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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Cell Phones May Damage Sperm

That cellphone in your pocket might be frying your private parts:

Hungarian researchers have found that men who regularly carry a cellphone may have their sperm count reduced by as much as 30 percent.

A team from Hungary's University of Szeged studied 221 men for 13 months and compared the sperm of those who used their cellphones heavily with those who didn't, the New York Post reported.

Men who carried a phone with them on stand-by throughout the day had significantly lower sperm concentration...Furthermore, men who made lengthy calls had slower-moving sperm.
Science: Cellphone Use Cuts Sperm Count [wbex.com]
Cell phones may damage sperm, study claims [MSNBC]

Packing .50 cal heat to Protect Patagonian Toothfish

Australia is arming a research ship to deter poachers:

HEAVY-calibre machine-guns have been fitted to the Hobart-based Antarctic research vessel Aurora Australis as part of a $90 million bid to deter poachers from Australian waters.

It has been fitted with two deck-mounted .50-calibre machine-guns and will carry an armed Customs boarding party to deter poachers trying to illegally fish Patagonian toothfish stocks in the Southern Ocean.

Polar ship packing heat for fish poachers [The Mercury]

Warning: No Playing Dirty DVD's in the Car

Most people slow down when they see the police. Here's something else to consider:

A man caught playing an adult film in his car will have to serve jail time.

Thirty-five-year-old Andre Gainey of Clifton Park, New York has pleaded guilty to public display of sexual material and two other misdemeanors. He's expected to get a 30-day jail term when he's sentenced next month.

Gainey's lawyer says his client didn't know he was breaking the law when he played the X-rated DVD on three screens visible from the outside of his Mercedes-Benz earlier this year. Schenectady, NY police officers noticed the movie as Gainey drove near the police station.

Playing porn in car earns man jail time [MSNBC]

Parasite Attacks Yank's Jason Giambi

Jason Giambi the Yankee first baseman was diagnosed with an intestinal parasite yesterday. He's been given antibiotics and he should be OK in a few days. He has had trouble keeping food down and was beset by fatigue over the past three weeks. George Steinbrenner has been critical of his play during his mysterious slump.

Parasite bugging Giambi [NY Daily News]

Update 2-Jul: Yankee pitcher Kevin Brown was also diagnosed with an intestinal parasite like the one that infected Giambi. The Yankees, of course, are trying to figure out where it came from.
Like Giambi, Brown’s got a parasite [Newsday]

100 Million Americans Breath Bad Air

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that 100 million Americans who lived in 243 counties in 22 states (almost all in the eastern third of the nation and in California) are breathing soot-filled air. This soot-filled air (or fine particle matter) annually causes 15,000 premature deaths, 95,000 cases of chronic or acute bronchitis, and thousands of hospital admissions because of respiratory or cardiovascular illnesses.

The largest clusters of counties with high levels of sooty air were along the urban corridor from New York City to Washington, D.C., eastern Tennessee, in the Ohio River Valley region and counties surrounding the urban centers of Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Atlanta.

EPA Blames Soot for Unhealthful Air [ABC News]
EPA, States Working to Protect Public Health Through Fine Particle Standard [EPA]

Monday, June 28, 2004

Liars Clubs for Cellphone Users

Cellphone-based liars clubs or alibi clubs as they call themselves, which have sprung up in the United States, Europe and Asia, allow people to send out mass text messages to thousands of potential collaborators asking for help in deceiving others.

For Liars and Loafers, Cellphones Offer an Alibi [NY Times]
The Alibi and Excuse Club [sms.ac]
Phone Becomes Alibi for Liars [Wired]

Pirates Stalking the Malacca Strait

The Economist reports about the seaborne threat of pirates and potentially terrorists at the critical shipping choke point of the Malacca strait:

A QUARTER of the world’s entire maritime trade, including about half of all seaborne oil shipments, passes through the Malacca strait in South-East Asia, which at one point narrows to as little as one and a half nautical miles. The strait and the seas around it are infested with well-organised, armed and ruthless pirates who hijack ships and kill or maroon their crews before repainting the vessels at sea and sailing into port under a new, “phantom” identity.

Perils on the sea [Economist]

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Brits Warned: No Cartwheels After Drinking

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the Royal Life Saving Society UK are both worried that the British might injure themselves by trying to imatate "the Rooney cartwheel".

Wayne Rooney is the 18-year-old soccer sensation for Team England at the European Championship. He is the top scorer with four goals in three games at Euro 2004.

The RoSPA said: "Fans have always copied crazy celebrations but the Rooney cartwheel could cause injury if not done correctly. Children will often get excited when trying to recreate a move so it's essential to keep an eye on them to ensure that they don't hurt themselves. Adults too could face injury if they attempt the celebration after a few drinks."

The Royal Life Saving Society UK said that fans - especially the middle-aged - faced potentially fatal consequences if they rushed off to the park after a match to try to replicate the highlights.

Val Sumner, a lifesaving support officer at the organisation, said: "After watching a match - and maybe enjoying a few cans in the armchair - it's easy to get carried away."

Don't try Rooney flip at home, warn safety experts [Telegraph]

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Cellphones in Prison

contraband cell phone
Smuggled cellphones have become a very big problem in prisons, with inmates using them to plot escapes, buy drugs, arrange hits, intimidate witnesses, or oversee organized crime back home. The NY Times reports:

Most prisons and jails in the United States have policies forbidding inmates to have cellphones. At least three states have taken the enforcement a step further by making it a crime for an inmate to have a cellphone.

Under a law enacted last year in Texas, it is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison for an inmate to possess a cellphone or for a person to give one to an inmate. The inspector general of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is now prosecuting 50 cases of cellphone use by inmates, some involving multiple defendants.

Iowa and Pennsylvania have recently enacted similar laws.

Inmates Use Smuggled Cellphones to Maintain a Foot on the Outside [NY Times]

Pentagon Wants to Spy on U.S. Citizens

The Pentagon is trying to persuade Congress to allow military intelligence agents to work undercover in the United States. This is a violation of the 1974 Privacy Act. The Senate version of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2005 includes this provision. Wired reports:

The bill would allow Pentagon intelligence agents to work undercover and question American citizens and legal residents without having to reveal that they are government agents.

That exemption currently applies only to law enforcement officials working on criminal cases and to the CIA, which is prohibited from operating in the United States.

Pentagon officials say the exemption would not affect civil liberties and is needed so that its agents can obtain information from sources who may be afraid of government agents, such as a green-card-holding professor of nanotechnology who formerly lived under a repressive government.

The military has increased its focus on antiterrorism programs within the United States, most notably by reorganizing its command structure in 2002 by creating the Northern Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The command is tasked with preventing and defeating threats and aggression aimed at the United States and helping civil authorities in the event of an emergency.

Such investigations should be conducted by the FBI, and the Department of Defense should not be engaged in widespread intelligence gathering in the United States, say civil liberties advocates...

Pentagon Seeks U.S. Spy Powers [Wired]

Monday, June 21, 2004

U.S. Dirty Bomb Attack Likely

"The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism," a new book from the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), warns that substandard security at nuclear facilities in Europe, Central Asia, Russia, and Pakistan increases the risk of terrorists seizing highly enriched uranium to make crude, but devastating, nuclear explosives...

Dr. Potter and Dr. Ferguson maintain that there is a greater likelihood today than any time in the past three decades that nuclear weapons will actually be used...

The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism [CNS, book freely available in PDF format]
U.S. dirty bomb attack 'all but certain' [SunTimes]

Friday, June 18, 2004

Eco-terror threat

Wired reports:

The FBI says eco-terrorism -- acts of violence in protest of harm to animals or to the environment -- is the United States' No. 1 terrorism threat from inside its own borders...

The FBI estimates that domestic eco-terrorism has caused $110 million in property damage since 1976. Gary Perlstein, a professor of criminal justice at Portland State University, points out that the figure excludes lost research, increased security costs, lost productivity and abandoned grants. About 1,100 criminal acts have been committed in the name of animals or the environment since 1976, the FBI says...

Web sites of Eco-Terror Groups:
Earth Liberation Front
Animal Liberation Front
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC)

Eco-Terror Cited as Top Threat [Wired]

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Tongue in Cheek, Tongue on Alter

An Indian man chopped off his tongue at the temple of a Hindu goddess in eastern India, hoping the sacrifice would please the deity and get him a job, police said today.

Prasanta Palei, 22, was admitted to a hospital after the incident yesterday and was out of danger, said police...

Man chops off tongue in ritual [Herald Sun]

Buying Drugs Online Can Be Risky

A General Accounting Office (GAO) Report says that people who buy prescription medicine on the Internet risk taking drugs without proper instructions, getting ripped off, or even getting counterfeit drugs.

The GAO obtained most of the prescription drugs from a variety of Internet pharmacy Web sites without providing a prescription.

The GAO obtained 68 samples of 11 different drugs - each from a different pharmacy Web site in the US, Canada, Argentina, Costa Rica, Fiji, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Phillippines, Spain, Thailand, and Turkey. Five U.S. and all 18 Canadian pharmacy sites from which the GAO received samples required a patient-provided prescription. The remaining 24 U.S. and all 21 foreign pharmacy sites outside of Canada provided a prescription based on their own medical questionnaire or had no prescription requirement.

The GAO was able to obtain highly addictive narcotic painkillers (OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin) without a prescription.

Most Internet pharmacies were not reliable in their business practices. The GAO did not receive six orders from Internet pharmacies for which it paid. Thirteen orders wer shipped improperly, were packaged unconventionally, or arrived damaged. Four foreign orders were counterfeit products or not comparable to the product that was ordered.

14 of the 68 pharmacy Web sites were found to be under investigation by regulatory agencies for reasons including selling counterfeit drugs and providing prescription drugs where no valid doctor-patient relationship existed. Nine of these were U.S. sites, 1 a Canadian site, and 4 were foreign Internet pharmacy sites.

Internet Pharmacies: Some Pose Safety Risks for Consumers [GAO.gov]

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Hospital Error Exposes 177 to Hepatitis and HIV

North Shore University Medical Center on Long Island mailed a warning letter to 177 of its patents. The letter said that patients having endoscopies and colonoscopies at the hospital from April 28th through May 10th should be tested for hepatitis and HIV immediately and again in six months because two workers may not have followed proper procedure in cleaning the endoscopy tubes in between patients.

Disturbing Warning For Patients Of A Long Island Hospital [WABC-TV]

Osteoporosis Threatens Men

The fact is that men are more likely to get osteoporosis (bone loss) than prostate cancer. One in four men over age 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture. Two million men have this disease.

Larry Curson was a strapping 6-foot-1-inch farmer growing 200 acres of corn and raising some 550 head of cattle and hogs in Marshalltown, Iowa. Then, at age 38, he was hospitalized for a blood clot in his left leg, and doctors discovered that his bones were breaking.

Now, 25 years later, Curson walks on crutches. Because of the broken vertebrae in his back, he stands just 5-foot-5. He fills his days carving wooden caricatures for friends, having given up farming 23 years ago.

Osteoporosis: Men Suffer, Too [BusinessWeek.com, 21-Jun-04]

Spyware Infects One in Three PC's

Spying on Spyware: EarthLink and Webroot Software released a report Wednesday, revealing that nearly one of every three computers scanned in April for Trojan horse programs or system monitor spyware was infected.

Internet access provider EarthLink and security software maker Webroot scanned nearly 421,000 computers for their April Spy Audit report. Trojan horses and system monitors accounted for 133,715 pieces of the spyware found on those computers--representing almost one in three machines.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Museum of Illegal, Dangerous and Quackery Products

The Federal Drug Administration keeps an interesting collection of nasty pills, food, cosmetics, medical devices, and other assorted quackery that have defrauded, injured, killed, and/or maimed the American public. They were all available before the FDA had them removed from the marketplace. Some "artifacts" include:

• Pillsbury Blueberry Pancake Mix: 1959 box had no blueberries
• Hemorr-Ice: a refrigerated thumb-sized plastic cylinder to treat hemroids
• Lash Lure: synthetic aniline eyelash dye that blinded many women in the 1930s
• Lady Ample: bogus bust developer
• Waist Whittler: a squeezing belt for fat ladies of the 60’s
• Acupuncture Pants: underwear with embedded magnets to supposedly increase male potency
• Shoe Fluoroscope: used by shoe stores to x-ray customer’s feet
• Elixir Sulfanilamide and Kevadon (thalidomide): drugs that killed or maimed many patients in this country and thereby revolutionized drug laws in 1938 and 1962

FDA Museum of Dangerous Products & Devices

Buy a House & Villa in Bagdad

Property info and specifications:

"The Villa and the house are both located in Al_Qadisia district minutes from the Tigris river and close to the touristic wedding island. The area is residential calm & safe, currently both the phone and electricity system are restored in the area."

[...]
Basement: Big basement designed also as anti-aircraft bunker with water facilities.

Asking Price: $665,000 USD

Outsourcing Prayers to India

With Roman Catholic clergy in short supply in the United States, Indian priests are picking up some of their work, saying Mass for special intentions, in a sacred if unusual version of outsourcing.

American, as well as Canadian and European churches, are sending Mass intentions, or requests for services like those to remember deceased relatives and thanksgiving prayers, to clergy in India.

Short on Priests, U.S. Catholics Outsource Prayers to Indian Clergy [NY Times]

Monday, June 14, 2004

Monday Linkage

UCLA laptop theft exposes ID info: Representatives of the University of California, Los Angeles, are warning 145,000 blood donors they could be at risk for identity theft due to a stolen university laptop.

•Al-Qaeda is using Iraq as a strategic proving ground to develop new terror tactics:

Kidnappings Bleed Iraq of Doctors
Saboteurs May Be Aiming at Electrical and Water Sites as Summer Nears

German Spam Zombies Flood Email Inboxes: "Zombies are personal computers that have been infected with a virus that allows spammers to control them from a remote location for the purposes of sending out mass quantities of spam. These infected machines allow spammers to send much more e-mail than they could with their own e-mail server. It also makes it harder for authorities to trace the source of the messages."

Friday, June 11, 2004

Piracy on the High Seas

Security Management reports:

Captain Kidd and Blackbeard have long disappeared into Davy Jones's locker, but maritime piracy, far from a mere historical curiosity, is a growing threat to commercial shipping. According to the Piracy Reporting Center at the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), pirate attacks rose by 20 percent in 2003 to 445 incidents...

these attacks are not carried out by rogue criminals but by sophisticated syndicates. As hijacking requires money, equipment, weapons, planning, experience, and contacts with corrupt officials, and given that the loot per vessel ranges from $8 million to $200 million, piracy has matured into a branch of organized crime, with political or terrorist connections in some cases...

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Chinese War with Taiwan in 2006?

Speculation is mounting that China may be tempted to launch a pre-emptive attack against the island nation of Taiwan in 2006. China's military buildup of its army, navy and air forces will soon give it strategic superiority over Taiwan.

China has repeatedly threatened to invade Taiwan should the island declare formal independence - something Taiwan may try to do before 2008.

China to attack Taipei in 2006?

Arrests Made in 1995 California Murder Cold Case

Fingerprint and DNA matches led to two arrests thousands of miles apart in connection with the 1995 slaying of a woman whose nude body turned up in a Chula Vista [CA] park, authorities said. Adrian Southerland of San Diego and Andre Robinson, who serves aboard the USS Harry S. Truman, an aircraft carrier homeported in Norfolk, Va., surrendered to investigators Wednesday morning, police reported. A 2-year-old ``cold case'' investigation into the killing of Pamela Shelley, 32, allegedly has incriminated the two men in the homicide, Chula Vista police Sgt. John McAvenia said.

Read more

Half of town's cops are polygamists

An eight-month investigation by the state of Utah has found more than half of the police officers in the southern town of Hildale practice polygamy – that is, having more than one spouse.

"Hildale has 13 officers who are certified by Utah, seven by our records are polygamists," Attorney General Mark Shurtleff told the Salt Lake Tribune.

Read more

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Sarah Fox Murder Mystery Update

Sarah Fox
Sarah Fox

The Sarah Fox murder looks more likely to have been committed by a serial killer. The fact regarding the placement of tulip blossoms reported by tne NY Post adds further credence to this suspicion:

Investigators have concluded that Fox's killer didn't move her body far from where she was strangled on May 19 as she jogged inside Inwood Hill Park. The killer carefully placed 24 blossoms from a tulip tree in a circle around her, investigators confirmed to The Post.

Therefore, in order to have any chance of catching the killer the police will have to link other crimes to this particular perpetrator. Veteran homicide investigator, Vernon Geberth, theorized the killer has a background as a sexual offender.

The NYPD is offering a $10,000 reward for information on the case and is urging tipsters to call (800) 577-TIPS.

SARAH 'SERIAL KILLER' [NY Post]
Mourning a Student, and Talent Lost [NY Times]
Hundreds Say Goodbye To Sarah Fox [1010 WINS]

Monday, June 7, 2004

Civilization-Changing Event

Bill Joy one of the founder's of Sun Microsystems and considered "a Silicon Valley deity, generally regarded as one of the most gifted engineers ever to have negotiated freeway traffic," is very worried:

Four years ago in an article he wrote for Wired magazine, Joy declared that the headlong race in biotechnology and nanotechnology might prove catastrophic. In the time since, he has continued to explore and advance this concern. Joy says he thinks the probability of a ''civilization-changing event'' is most likely in the double digits, perhaps as high as 50 percent. He doesn't merely ascribe these odds to terrorism; he suggests a pandemic disease might arise from a sudden accident or as a consequence of cutting-edge research. For disquieting evidence, he points out that a couple of years ago scientists assembled polio in a lab. That in late 2002 J. Craig Venter, the founder of Celera Genomics, announced plans to create organisms from scratch. That only a few months ago scientists were tinkering with deadly strains of bird flu in less-than-top-security labs. That the genomic sequence for the plague is now on the Web for anyone to see or make use of.

Joy calls the bird-flu experimentation ''insane.'' But he is fixated less on whether scientists committed ethical breaches in this case than on whether the larger scientific community can temper the pace of innovation before it's too late.

Proceed With Caution [NY Times]

Saturday, June 5, 2004

Galactic Wrecking Ball

Wired reports about recent meteorite and asteroid impact studies:

A meteorite the size of Mt. Everest plummeted into the Earth with such force nearly 2 billion years ago that it caused part of the Earth's crust to flip inside out, according to Canadian researchers...

Though catastrophic meteorite impacts on Earth are few and far between, scientists are concerned that such a strike in the future could have a dramatic effect on the human race. Last month, a team of American scientists released a report claiming that most land-living dinosaurs were incinerated within hours after an asteroid impact at Chicxulub, Mexico, nearly 45 million years ago. And a few weeks before that report, a different team linked a meteorite to the Great Dying, a mass extinction on Earth that took place approximately 250 million years ago.

A Galactic Wrecking Ball [Wired]

Friday, June 4, 2004

Living Small in Argentina

Guillermo Coria will be playing for the clay court French Open Tennis Championship on Sunday against countryman Gaston Gaudio. One external factor that will be weighing on his mind is the safety of his family back in Argentina. Coria like all Argentine sports stars is a target for thugs and kidnappers. Coria built a fortified house with a wall around it to protect his family in Argentina. However, he rarely spends the night at the house instead preferring to stay at a more secure location in Buenos Aires when he is in the country.

Keeping a low profile is now mandatory in Argentina especially for sports stars like Coria. Well organized kidnapping gangs are always looking for an opportunity to get their hooks into a wealthy sports celebrity.

Living Small [ESPN-subscription]

Wolf Attacks on Humans

Abundant Wildlife Society of North America documents wolf attacks on humans. One incident went as follows:

In August, 1996, the Delventhal family of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, were spending a nine-day family vacation in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada and joined a group of Scouts in "howling" at the wolves. They were answered by the howl of a solitary wolf.

That night the Delventhals decided to sleep out under the stars. Young Zachariah was dreaming when he suddenly felt excruciating pain in his face. A lone wolf had bit him in the face and was dragging him from his sleeping bag. Zach screamed and Tracy, Zach's Mother, raced to his side and picked him up, saturating her thermal shirt with blood from Zach's wounds.

The wolf stood menacingly less than a yard away. Tracy yelled at her husband, Thom, who leapt from his sleeping bag and charged the wolf. The wolf retreated and then charged at Tracy and Zach. The charges were repeated. Finally the wolf left. Thom turned a flashlight on 11-year-old Zach and gasped "Oh, my God!" "The boy's face had been ripped open. His nose was crushed. Parts of his mouth and right cheek were torn and dangling. Blood gushed from puncture wounds below his eyes, and the lower part of his right ear was missing." Zach was taken to a hospital in Toronto where a plastic surgeon performed four hours of reconstructive surgery. Zach received more than 80 stitches in his face.

Canadian officials baited the Delventhals' campsite and captured and destroyed a 60-lb wild male wolf. No further attacks have occurred since.

WOLF ATTACKS ON HUMANS [Abundant Wildlife Society]

Verizon Wireless warns of phone scam

Verizon Wireless notified authorities of a telephone scam claiming to offer "free phones and services" claiming to represent Verizon Wireless.

The scam involves an offer of a free wireless phone and service for $3.95, the purported cost of shipping and handling, in exchange for victims' checking account and bank routing number information, based on information gathered by the company.

The false offer and unauthorized use of the company's name came to the attention of Verizon Wireless recently, when several victims called Verizon Wireless to inquire about the status of their so-called orders.

Verizon Wireless advises that it has not offered free phones and service as part of a promotional or telemarketing campaign.

Verizon Wireless warns of phone scam [WashingtonTimes]

You Can't Trust E-Mail

Phishing scams are epidemic. Phishing is the use of spoofed e-mails and fraudulent Web sites to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames, passwords and Social Security numbers.

Examples of phishing, these e-mails are fakes, frauds and phonies:

From: Admin [mailto: support@citibank.com]
Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2004 8:35pm
To: jsmith@yahoo.com
Subject: Citibank Account Update

Dear Citibank member,
As part of our continuing commitment
to protect your account and to reduce
the instance of fraud on our Web site,
we are undertaking a period review of
our member accounts.
You are requested to visit our site,
logon to your account and fill in the
required information.

-------------------------------------------------

Dear AOL member,
We regret to inform you, but
the credit card information
for your account has expired.
To enjoy your AOL experience
and keep your account active,
you must enter new *valid*
credit card information
within 24 hours of receiving
this e-mail.

-------------------------------------------------

Dear eBay user,
During our regular update
and verification of the
accounts, we couldn't verify
your current information.
Either your information has
changed or it is incomplete.
As a result, your access to
bid or buy on eBay has been
restricted. To start using
your eBay account fully,
please update and verify your
information by clicking
below:

-------------------------------------------------

To catch a phisher [Network World]
Learn About or Report Fraudulent E-mails [CitiBank.com]

Thursday, June 3, 2004

Chinese Population Crisis

China faces some unexpected demographic changes that could shake the world's economic and political realities throughout the 21st century. The trends:

• Bottomline problem: China will age faster than any major country in history. The one couple one child policy will cause serious problems.

• Median age in China goes from 32 today to 44 in 2040. Europe took 100 years to mature this much.

China gets old before it gets rich. The reverse happened in Japan, Europe, and the U.S.

• China has a surplus of males (118 to 100 in 2000).

• This surplus of males will produce social stress. An army of bachelors, more likely to commit crimes or wage wars than men in sexually balanced societies.

• China's list of problems includes: aging society, low level of development, no pension or health care coverage, rising taxes, and the working age population starts to shrink in 10 years.

The Graying of the Middle Kingdom
Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population [Amazon]
A Population Crisis in the Most Populous Nation [NY Times]

Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Vulevic Case: Gusto Reopens

The Zef Vulevic (aka Zef Vulaj, Joe Vuli) murder mystery grows colder. His restaurant, Gusto's Ristorante, in Danbury, CT, is no longer the focus of the police investigation. The restaurant was reopened by his nephew, Marash Gojcaj, on Friday, May 28th.

Restaurant Reopens After Chef's Murder [1010Wins, May 29, 2004]
Restaurant Reopens After Chef Was Killed [AP/wtnh.com, May 29, 2004]
Did the Albanian Mafia kill Zef Vulevic? [TJN, May 19, 2004]

Teen Drivers: Click it or Ticket

"Click It Or Ticket" Nets 11,651 Occupant Protection Charges in First Week in North Carolina. The "Click It or Ticket" campaign is especially aimed at teenagers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 4,530 teens ages 16-19 died and another 320,000 more were injured in the traffic crashes in 2002. National seat belt usage is about 75%. The remaining 25% who don't wear their belts are disproportionately teenagers.

• An additional side benefit of the "Click It or Ticket" program in North Carolina:

"Click It or Ticket" takes a "bite out of crime."

During the Governor's Highway Safety Initiative from 1993 to September 1999, nearly 30,000 checkpoints were held across the state. As a result, officers discovered 56,800 criminal offenses including fugitives from justice, firearms violations, felony drug violations and stolen vehicles. Law officers are capturing criminals who may have driven away if not for high visibility enforcement of traffic laws.

NCDOT, GHSP, Click it or Ticket Program [ncdot.org]
SS&S Click It or Ticket [smartsafeandsober.org]

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Tuesday Linkage

• The Sarah Fox murder mystery in New York City has few new clues. The police did find the pink portable CD player she was carrying when she was attacked. It was 50 feet from the body, but there were no prints on it.

Sarah's Killer Left No Prints [NY Post]

• Vernon Geberth, 60, retired homicide investigator for the NYPD (involved in 8,000 homicide cases over 35 years), famous in CSI circles, edited/wrote two investigative books:

-Practical Homicide Investigation: Tactics, Procedures and Forensic Techniques
-Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigations: Practical and Clinical Perspectives

Geberth offers his educated assessment of the Fox case:
-believed the killer knew the park, or at least the immediate surroundings of the primary homicide scene
-Fox was not dragged off the running path but probably cooperated with the killer
-significant that the victim's clothing has not been found - taken either as trophy or "engram," or perhaps to conceal forensic evidence
-killer has a background as a sexual offender

Ex-detective has ideas on slaying of student [NYJournalNews]

Psyche's Knot looks at one theory about the Wichita BTK Strangler: Autoerotic Asphyxiation Influence?

• America's Most Wanted profiled the Wichita BTK strangler on their Saturday, May 29, 2004 show. There have been 23 reported new clues based on the show's telecast.

BTK Goes National [WIBW-TV]
Consolidated BTK Strangler Information [TJN]

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia