World forests 'threatened by food, fuel demands' Mon Jul 14, 9:49 AM ET LONDON (AFP) - The world's forests will be gobbled up by an escalating demand for fuel and food unless steps are taken to hand the people who live in them greater rights, two reports published here Monday said. The US-based Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), an international coalition of forest governance and conservation groups, warned that widespread deforestation would make climate change more severe. It would also push the billion or so people dependent on forests further into poverty and trigger conflicts, the coalition's reports said. The international community must work to empower poor forest-dwellers if the loss of forest and its consequences are to be avoided, the RRI concluded. The world will need a minimum of 515 million more hectares (1.27 billion acres) by 2030, in order to grow food, bio-energy and wood products, said the reports. This is almost twice the amount of available land and equal to an area 12 times the size of Germany, the RRI said. "Arguably we are on the verge of a last great global land grab," said RRI co-ordinator Andy White. "Unless steps are taken, traditional forest owners, and the forests themselves, will be the big losers. "It will mean more deforestation, more conflict, more carbon emissions, more climate change and less prosperity for everyone." The RRI found that developing countries' governments claimed an overwhelming majority of forests and had made limited progress in recognising local land rights. The report said that left open the potential for violence, as some of the world's poorest peoples struggled to hold on to their only asset: the forest land. The biggest carbon emitters from deforestation, including Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Democratic Republic of Congo should be targeted for investment in land rights reform, the research urged. "It is clear from the research that the dual crises of fuel and food are attracting significant new investments and great land speculation," White said. "Only by protecting the rights of the people who live in and around the world's most vulnerable forests can we prevent the devastation these forces will wreak on the poor and the poorly governed hinterlands.
Mankind to wage wars for water by 2025 The shortage of fresh water on planet Earth is likely to become the biggest problem ever during the forthcoming decades. Experts from the International Water Management Institute said in their recent report that the water crisis in the world would occur because of the growing number of population. According to the UN, the population of planet Earth will grow from 6 to 8.5 billion people by 2030. One person living in an industrially developed country consumes up to 3,000 liters of water a year. If the global population grows by 2.5 billion, it will be necessary to find additional 2,000 cubic kilometers of water for their living. “The global consumption of water has increased six times during the recent 100 years and will double by 2050. There are countries that have already run out of water reserves for the production of their food. The shortage of fresh water will inevitably boost prices on this resource,” the Director of the International Water Management Institute, Frank Rijsberman said. The accelerating urbanization and the rising living standard will set forth new requirements to the quality of water. Drinking water and industrial water is obtained from one and the same sources. It may just so happen that agricultural producers, for example, will face serious problems with the required volumes of water. Mankind will have to deal with a serious shortage of water in 25 years. Earth’s fresh water reserves will not be enough to feed the growing population of the planet. Specialists say that one should take urgent measures now to solve the water problem. The list of measures includes the construction of water reservoirs, the use of rain water for irrigation of fields and gardens, etc. Pravda
Air hostess picks up chocolate bar, wins space trip July 16, 2008 A French air hostess will become one of Europe's pioneer space tourists after picking a chocolate wrapper out of the rubbish and finding a winning number in a competition to fly to the upper reaches of the earth's atmosphere. Mathilde Epron, 32, said she had bought a Kit Kat chocolate bar at her local supermarket but initially threw the wrapper in the bin, telling herself that "it's only others who win." Two hours later, thinking back to the competition, she decided to try her luck and fished the wrapper out of the bin, only to find a code marked inside. "For someone who works in air travel it's really a dream come true," she told France Info radio. A spokeswoman for Nestle in France confirmed that Epron had won the prize to take a flight on a four-seater, fighter-sized aircraft built by Rocketplane, a company that builds aircraft intended to provide cheap flights into space. She will receive four days of astronaut training in Oklahoma City in the United States before boarding the Rocketplane XP aircraft which will reach an altitude of 100 km (60 miles) and allow a five-minute experience of weightlessness. REUTERS
News Holographic handsets by 2010 Friday 20th June 2008 An Indian company is promising handsets that can project holographic images will be with us by 2010. The handset has been patented by Indian technology company Infosys, which claims its handset will be able to capture and project multiple forms of footage, including still images, films and games into our laps. While there are already a multiple examples of holographic projection technology in use, Infosys claims its device will distinguish itself by being portable and having the ability to display 3D images without loss of resolution, something that isn't possible using current technology, such as stereoscopic displays. Infosys envisages the device becoming a valuable aid to remote working. In one example, the company cites an accident investigator using it to record a car crash scene for viewing later, or as a tool for doctors to assess injuries before arriving at the site.
Hitmen Posting Their Services on Craigslist Jul 15th 2008 at 11:04AM Craigslist is probably the best resource for finding local people who do things that you need taken care of, whether they be mowing lawns, hauling away old appliances, or watching your kids (if you're brave). According to a report in London's Telegraph, the latest types of ads to show up on the site are giving a whole new angle "taking care of" things, with Mexican hitmen advertising their services on the site . The purported professional killers are offering their services for as little as $6,000, and are pledging traditional service agreements like "job guaranteed in 10 days or less" and "I am 100 per cent professional and don't charge in advance." With offers like that, you seemingly can't go wrong -- except that you're committing a horrible deed and setting yourself up for a potentially long time in jail. Given this is Mexico, though, you may not have to worry about that last issue. The Mexican police system is overwhelmed with drug-related crimes and has little time to investigate the estimated 1,000 - 1,700 murders that will occur in Mexico this year. We're guessing that's a market Craig Newmark didn't have in mind when he founded the site. [Source: The Telegraph ]
Tue, July 15, 2008 Drunk teen sex ruled no crime Judge says evidence insufficient to prove girl involved didn't consent Having sex with a drunken 14-year-old he had plied with alcohol was not a criminal offence by former Calgary man, a judge ruled yesterday. Justice Peter McIntyre said there was insufficient evidence the girl didn't consent to having sex with Trevor Byron Niebergall. But McIntyre did find Niebergall guilty of sexual assault for placing his genitals on the girl's face after she passed out -- an act the offender captured on his cellphone camera and showed to co-workers. McIntyre said the fact the teenage complainant didn't remember her sexual encounter with Niebergall at a December 2005 New Year's Eve party did not mean she hadn't consented. He noted one witness said she appeared to have the capacity to consent when she and Niebergall went to a washroom in his brother's apartment, where they had sex. And the Queen's Bench judge said the girl willingly consumed large amounts of alcohol supplied by Niebergall even after he made lewd sexual comments. She said on three occasions the accused said he would drink with her if she performed a sexual act on him. "The accused's lewd comments towards her did not compel her to leave," the judge said. "The complainant was not forced to consume alcohol -- she drank ... beer willingly and then switched to alcohol. It is not at all clear why she drank so heavily." Niebergall, then 19, showed photographs of the teen, naked and passed out, to co-workers the following day, bragging he had had sex with her six times. But in his testimony he said they only had sex twice, one in the bathroom and later when other partygoers had left and both times with her consent. McIntyre said because the girl drank so heavily and had little recollection of events at the party, he could not accept her claim she didn't agree to have sex. "Her evidence was not reliable after she started drinking," he said. Crown prosecutor Susan Kennedy said a 45- to 60-day jail term is warranted for the incident which occurred after the teen passed out.
Woman accused of offering sex to get out of drunken driving arrest A Michigan woman reportedly attempted to get out of a drunken driving arrest Friday by offering sexual favors and $10,000 to a Wisconsin Dells police officer. Elizabeth Ann Kommes, 30, of Iron Mountain, Mich., is free on $1,000 bail after she was arrested and charged with drunken driving as a fifth offense and bribery of a public official, both felonies, and with misdemeanor operation after revocation. Bystanders reported to police that they saw an intoxicated woman leave a Wisconsin Dells parking lot driving a red Pontiac Grand Am with Michigan license plates "TROUBLE," according to a criminal complaint. Kommes was stopped by officers and tested for sobriety. After she was informed she was under arrest for drunken driving, Kommes allegedly offered an officer $10,000 and suggested sexual favors to let her go. Kommes told officers she was on probation in Michigan for possessing three pounds of marijuana and that the arrest would result in her being sent to prison in Michigan for violation of her probation, the complaint stated. Kommes was convicted of drunken driving in Wisconsin in 2000, 2001 and 2006, and in Michigan in 2007. Her driver's license was revoked in 2006, according to the complaint. If convicted of the felony charges, Kommes faces up to six years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
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Lafave Begins Probation After Early Out On House Arrest The Tampa Tribune July 11, 2008 TAMPA - The ankle monitor has come off. Schoolteacher-turned-sex-offender Debra Lafave no longer will have to provide Florida Department of Corrections officials her daily schedule, and they no longer will keep minute-by-minute track of her whereabouts. With Lafave having served more than 2 1/2 years of a three-year house-arrest sentence, a judge commuted the final five months to probation. She will remain on probation for seven years. Probation officials said Lafave arrived at the Plant City probation office at 8:20 a.m. Her probation officer deactivated the ankle bracelet and cut it off. She left at 8:40 a.m. While on house arrest, Lafave was allowed to leave home for only a few reasons, including grocery shopping and work, DOC spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said. Lafave had to write her schedule in advance and have it approved by a probation officer, Plessinger said. Now, Lafave will have to meet with a probation officer regularly, and an officer will come to her home, but she will not have to present schedules for approval, Plessinger said. Because Lafave is a sex offender, she will be subject to a curfew for the remainder of her probation. She must be home by 10 p.m. and cannot leave before 6 a.m., Plessinger said. Lafave, a former English teacher at Greco Middle School, was arrested in June 2004 after a 14-year-old boy's mother called police to report that Lafave was having sex with him. Prosecutors have said the only reason they offered Lafave a plea deal was the extreme level of media coverage. The teenager's mother wanted to spare him the difficulties of testifying at trial. The terms of Lafave's plea deal with prosecutors — inked in November 2005 — stated that she was to serve three years of house arrest and then seven years of probation. If she did not willfully violate house arrest after the first two years, she was to be allowed to ask a judge to commute the third year to probation. While serving house arrest, Lafave had one legal incident. In December, Lafave was arrested for having inappropriate conversations with a 17-year-old girl at a restaurant where they worked. Circuit Judge J. Rogers Padgett determined the conversations were a violation of her house arrest but were not willful. She was not punished.
Miss Venezuela is Miss Universe 2008 NHA TRANG, Vietnam (AP) — Miss Venezuela was crowned Miss Universe 2008 on Monday in a contest marked by the spectacle of Miss USA falling down during the evening gown competition for the second year in a row . The new Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza, was once kidnapped in her homeland and says the experience taught her to remain poised under pressure. Tension got under the skin of Miss USA, Crystle Stewart of Texas, who tripped on the train of her bejeweled evening gown as she made her entrance. During the 2007 Miss Universe contest in Mexico City, Miss USA Rachel Smith also tumbled during the evening gown competition and became an unintended star on YouTube, where the video was shown over and over again.
Sabrina Sabrok, the proud owner of world's biggest breasts She has appeared in various television shows such as La hora pico (as a model), and the Mexican edition of the reality show Big Brother VIP. Many times, Sabrina appeared topless on Big Brother VIP. She currently hosts her own television show on TeleHit, called Sabrina, El Sexo en su Máxima Expresión or more commonly known simply as SabrinaSabrina Sabrok (born March 4, 1976 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) is an Argentine television personality, singer, actress and model. In the mid-1990s, Sabrok moved to Mexico to pursue a career in television and modeling. In 1996, Sabrok began modeling in advertisements for companies such as Bic, Sanyo, Harley Davidson, Diesel Jeans and Volkswagen. The same year, Sabrok formed the Nu Metal Ciberpunk Band 'Primeras Impresiones' (First Impressions). In 1997, she and the rock band were support band when Marilyn Manson visited Argentina. Sabrina and the band released five albums. Sabrina has posed naked for the Mexican edition of Playboy magazine in July 2003 and August 2005. In October 2005, Sabrina dyed her hair blonde; before being a blonde Sabrok was a redhead.
Indiana News Pot Found Growing On Girl Scout Camp Marijuana Grown In Woody, Swampy Area POSTED: 6:55 am EDT July 16, 2008 WARSAW, Ind. -- Police found thousands of marijuana plants being grown in a remote part of a Girl Scout camp, according to court documents and a scout official. Officials at Camp Ella J. Logan were dismayed when they found out what had happened, said Sherri Weidman, chief executive of the Limberlost Girl Scout Council. Police found the hidden marijuana farm with plants in various stages of cultivation in a wooded swampy area of Kosciusko County, according to documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in South Bend. Some of the plants were growing on land belonging to a local resident, while the bulk -- about 5,000 plants -- were growing on camp land. State troopers in an airplane spotted the plots. Mario Comacho, 44, Mariano Gonzales, 38, and a juvenile were arrested last week after police found the farm. Comacho and Gonzales, both of Goshen, appeared for an initial hearing Monday in federal court on charges of possession of more than 1,000 marijuana plants with the intent to distribute. Neither man had an attorney, according to court documents. Johnny Coy, who owns part of the land where the pot was found growing, said he wasn't aware of the operation and rarely visits the swampy area. Weidman said the area was in a remote part of the 220-acre camp accessible only by wading through the muck or taking a canoe. The land was bought by the council to provide a safety buffer, she said. Parents of campers were informed of the discovery when they picked up their children.
Women arrested in sex competition Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:27pm IST ATHENS (Reuters) - Nine British women were facing prostitution charges after being arrested at the weekend for taking part in an oral sex competition in the Greek holiday island of Zakynthos, police said on Monday. Six British and six Greek men, including two bar owners, were also charged in the incident, which took place at Laganas beach in the south of the Ionian island, which lies off the west coast of mainland Greece, police said. The women, who came to the popular resort on holiday, had been paid to take part in the competition, which was video recorded and was to be posted on the Internet, police said. The men were charged with encouraging obscene behavior. In recent years, Laganas has established itself as one of Greece's most popular destinations for twenty-something holidaymakers and is known for its wild party scene. Around 15 million people -- a fifth of them British -- visit the eastern Mediterranean country each year, drawn by its soaring summer temperatures, azure waters and sandy beaches.
Scattered, smothered, covered and hitched Couple marries at Waffle House Saturday, July 05, 2008 DACULA - As the famous twang of Hank Williams Jr. blasted from an SUV stereo Friday afternoon, about 30 folks socialized, sipped soda and puffed on cigarettes. No, this wasn't a Fourth of July backyard barbecue. It was the run-up to a wedding. In a Waffle House parking lot. The lucky couple, George "Bubba" Mathis and Pamela Christian - both 23 and employees at the Dacula diner located at the Ga. Highway 316/U.S. Highway 29 interchange - wouldn't have it any other way. "I don't know, it's something different," Mathis said while fixing his tie prior to the ceremony. For years, the couple tried to marry on their Independence Day anniversary. But the bride was always scheduled to work. Instead of waiting any longer - she got the day off at the last minute; Mathis had to report for the morning shift - the couple of nine years decided to seal the deal at work. The result was what a NASCAR tailgate might be like if Hank Jr. himself stopped by with all his rowdy friends: Loud and proud - country music, storytelling and plenty of Dale Earnhardt paraphernalia - and not an iota of pretentiousness. Shortly after exchanging vows under the shade of a tree next to the parking lot, both man and wife let out sighs of relief as they picked up their two little blonde girls and chatted with family and friends. But there was not time to relax - the wedding cake had to be cut inside. "It's been crazy, madness," the bride said. "Finally, everything worked out." Standing nearby, the father of the newly minted Mrs. Pamela Mathis, William Christopher, wondered if anyone had videotaped the ceremony. He wants to send it in to CMT. "I think it's pretty redneck myself," he said, laughing. "But I'm a redneck anyway, so." The couple plans to honeymoon Monday and Tuesday, but then it's back to work. The destination? "I don't know yet," Mathis said.
Man used teen's head as bowling ball, court told AAP | Wednesday, 16 July 2008 A man stabbed a teenager to death before cutting off his head and using it as a puppet and a bowling ball, an Australian court has been told. James Patrick Roughan, 28, has pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to murdering 17-year-old Morgan Jay Shepherd on March 29, 2005. Instead, he pleaded guilty to a charge of accessory to murder after the fact, but the crown rejected the plea and is proceeding with a murder trial. Roughan also pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with a corpse. Mr Shepherd's headless body was found in a shallow grave near Dayboro, west of Brisbane, on April 1, 2005. The court was today told the teenager died after being stabbed more than 133 times, and that his head had been sawn off. Prosecutor David Meredith told the court Roughan and his friend, Christopher Clark Jones, 24, had murdered Mr Shepherd after becoming embroiled in an argument during a drinking session at Roughan's home in Sandgate, north of Brisbane. In his opening address, Mr Meredith told the jury several witnesses would testify that they overheard Jones and Roughan boasting about the killing. He said one witness would say Jones spoke of holding Mr Shepherd down and stomping on him several times before both he and Roughan stabbed him with a knife. Mr Meredith said Jones also told friends that Roughan used the head like a puppet and a bowling ball, which Roughan denied. The court was told the pair enlisted a friend to help dispose of the body, and that they later drove back to Dayboro to bury the body more carefully. Three people have already been sentenced for helping to dispose of the corpse. Mr Meredith said Roughan and Jones blamed each other for the "thrill kill", but that "both of them were equally involved" in the death. He said the "barbaric" killing appeared to have had no motive, but may have been fuelled by the consumption of alcohol. The trial continues.