Your request is being processed... Brenda Lee, Reporter, Dragged Kicking And Screaming From Near Air Force One

Secret Service personnel remove Brenda Lee from near Air Force One after Lee attempted to give President Obama a letter, Thursday May 28, 2009, at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles. Lee never got close to President Obama and she was released after being questioned. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

LOS ANGELES — A writer for a small Georgia newspaper who wanted to give President Barack Obama a letter was forcibly removed from a press area near Air Force One on Thursday shortly before he arrived at the airport.
Airport security officers carried the woman away by the feet and arms as she protested her removal. She was then allowed to leave. She said the letter she had written was opposing gay marriage.
She later identified herself as Brenda Lee, a writer for the Georgia Informer in Macon, and said she is a "Roman Catholic priestess" who lives in Anaheim, Calif. She said she has White House press credentials.
The newspaper's Web site says it is a monthly publication; the site has writings by Lee posted. A call to the newspaper was not immediately returned.
The White House had no comment, said deputy press secretary Josh Earnest in Washington.
The incident occurred about 10 minutes before Obama arrived at Los Angeles International Airport by helicopter to board Air Force One. He had been in Los Angeles to attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Beverly Hills on Wednesday.
Lee said later in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that she wanted to hand Obama a letter urging him "to take a stand for traditional marriage."
She said she asked a Secret Service agent to give the president her letter, but he refused and referred her to a White House staffer. Lee said she refused to give the staffer the letter.
"I said, 'I'll take my chances if (the president) comes by here,'" said Lee. "He became annoyed that I wouldn't give him the letter."
Lee said she protested when she was asked to leave.
"I said, 'Why are you bothering me?' They escorted me outside the gate," she said. She said security officers allowed her to return when she promised she would not yell or wave, but then other officers arrived and told her to leave.
"I said, 'I'm not leaving,'" she said. "They tried to drag me out."
Two officers then picked her up and carried her out. An Associated Press photographer photographed the incident.
"I was afraid you could see under my clothes," she said, her voice choking up.
Lee, who said this was the second presidential event she has covered, was later released.

Wind farm 'kills Taiwanese goats'

Wind turbine (generic image)
Abnormal noises could affect growth and feeding of the goats, officials say
A large number of goats in Taiwan may have died of exhaustion because of noise from a wind farm.
A farmer on an outlying island told the BBC he had lost more than 400 animals after eight giant wind turbines were installed close to his grazing land.
The Ministry of Agriculture says it suspects that noise may have caused the goats' demise through lack of sleep.
The power company, Taipower, has offered to pay for part of the costs of building a new farmhouse elsewhere.
A spokesman for the company said the cause of the goats' deaths still needed to be investigated, but that it doubted the goats died from the noise.
One night I went out to the farmhouse and the goats were all standing up; they weren't sleeping
Farmer Kuo Jing-shan
Before the wind farm was built about four years ago, farmer Kuo Jing-shan had about 700 goats.
Shortly after the electricity-generating turbines were installed, the 57-year-old says his animals started to die. He now has just 250 goats left.
"The goats looked skinny and they weren't eating. One night I went out to the farmhouse and the goats were all standing up; they weren't sleeping.
"I didn't know why. If I had known, I would've done something to stop the dying," he told the BBC's Cindy Sui in Taiwan.
A local livestock inspector from the agriculture ministry said that Mr Kuo was the only farmer to have reported such large-scale deaths.
He said his claim was plausible because of all the farmers in the Penghu archipelago, his farm was closest to the wind turbines.
"Abnormal noises could affect the normal growth and feeding intake of animals and cause them to suffer sleep deprivation," Lu Ming-tseng said.
Mr Kuo said the power company had offered to help him move but that there would be no compensation for the loss of his goats.
"It's a pain to relocate, but what can I do. I can't survive with the wind turbines," he said.

Cyprus overrun by asses. Donkeys too

DIPKARPAZ, Cyprus - Cypriot donkeys are a particularly stubborn lot.
Decades after machines replaced them as the backbone of the farming economy, donkeys just refuse to bow out. Wild herds have overrun a remote part of the island, trampling crops, scaring drivers and giving authorities a headache over what to do.

The invasion has pitted village communities against environmental activists. The goats also serve as an unlikely reminder of the violent recent history of Cyprus - split for the past 35 years into a Greek Cypriot South and a Turkish Cypriot north.

Mehmet Demirci, mayor of Dipkarpaz, or Rizokarpaso in Greek, in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north, says donkeys outnumber villagers by two to one and should be forcibly sterilized, or even expelled to Turkey.

"The donkeys are a real problem, (authorities) just don't care about us," Demirci told The Associated Press.

Demirci says the last straw was the death last summer of a local youth, who crashed his car trying to avoid a wandering herd.

Although estimates vary widely about the precise number of feral donkeys, Demirci says there are now about 1,000, all officially protected by Turkish Cypriot authorities.

The beasts are a peculiar remnant of war, abandoned in 1974 by Greek Cypriot farmers fleeing an invading Turkish army after an abortive coup by supporters of the union with Greece. The island has since been split along ethnic lines, despite repeated diplomatic efforts for its reunification.

Despite a lack of human care, the animals have multiplied and thrived in the sparsely populated Karpas peninsula, a largely unspoiled sliver of land sticking out of the Mediterranean island's northeastern edge. Over the decades, they have been broadly adopted as a cuddly symbol of the island's agrarian past.

"Donkeys have offered so much," says Maria Nicolaou, manager of a donkey sanctuary near the coastal resort of Limassol, in the island's internationally recognized Greek-Cypriot south. "They are beautiful animals and very smart."

But most Karpas residents just see the long-eared animals as a major pain. Demirci says 1,000 donkeys are far too many for a 116 square mile (300 square kilometer) area, and complains that the fiercely territorial animals are encroaching on populated areas in search of food.

Locals say they gobble up wheat and barley crops, ravage fruit and vegetable gardens, trample down vines and wantonly amble across the peninsula's narrow roads.

Demirci says at least three villagers have been convicted of shooting donkeys dead and have each been fined 1,000 euros ($1,350). They were fortunate to avoid jail time - intentionally killing the protected animals is punishable by up to 7 years in prison.

Hoping to capitalize on the frustration, one Turkish businessman offered to buy several of the donkeys at 1,000 euros per head, and put them to tourism-related work in Antalya, Turkey.

Demirci said the idea "made good sense," but was turned down by Turkish Cypriot authorities.

Word of the rumored sale drew quick condemnation from environmentalists on either side of the heavily militarized divide that cuts through the island from coast to coast. Kenan Atakol, head of the Turkish Cypriot environmentalist group CEKOVA, says sterilization is a solution officials could consider after careful scientific study.

Turkish Cypriot authorities tried years ago to pen the animals inside a 2,000-hectare (4,942-acre), fenced sanctuary at the very tip of the peninsula. Some locals were paid to feed and water the animals.

But over time, donkeys breached the 11-mile (18-kilometer) fence in several places, spilling out to seek food.

Local conservationist Lois Cemal advocates a selective cull while admonishing "armchair environmentalists" for turning a blind eye to the needs of locals.

"I'd like to say to them, have a donkey in your backyard, see how you control them," says the 56-year-old Canadian, who has lived in the north with her Turkish Cypriot husband for the last 22 years.

Cemal says a "sustainable" donkey population could be rounded up and placed in two or three smaller sanctuaries that could be converted into moneymaking ecotourism enterprises, such as petting zoos or dairy farms.

"Ecotourism is a solution for sustainable development," she says. "You won't need to build five-star hotels."

Somali pirate on trial in the Netherlands likes the country so much

He's considering staying there after his trial is over. "He thinks the lavatory in his cell is fantastic."

Somali pirates might be allowing themselves to be deliberately captured in order to take advantage of European asylum laws, Dutch legal experts have warned.

Pirates captured after attacking a Dutch vessel have gone on trial in the liberal Netherlands and at least two of them have declared their intention to stay on as residents.

Geert-Jan Knoops, an international criminal law attorney and professor at the Royal University of Utrecht, has suggested that the Dutch trial might encourage pirates to surrender just in order to seek a better life in Western countries.
"These trials may trigger other pirates to let themselves be arrested on purpose," he told the Volkskrant newspaper.

"The Dutch Justice department must be cautious. I cannot imagine the five alleged pirates would voluntarily return to Somalia after their conviction."

The five Somali pirates were arrested off the coast of Africa in January by Danish marines after attacking the Samanyulo, a Dutch-flagged cargo ship.

But since Somalia has a record of international human rights violations it will be almost impossible to deport the men after their conviction in the Netherlands.

"Life is good here," said one of the defendants, named Sayid, about his experience in a Dutch jail.

"I appeal to the government not to send me back to Somalia. The people who live here respect human rights. I wish to settle here."

Willem-Jan Ausma, a Dutch defence attorney who is representing another pirate, described his client's relief to be in a Western prison.

"My client feels safe here. His own village is dominated by poverty and sharia [Islamic law] but here he has good food and can play football and watch television. He thinks the lavatory in his cell is fantastic," he said.
Mr Ausma has told the Somali that he will be considered for a residence permit after serving his sentence, expected to be a maximum of four years in prison.

"He intends to send for his wife and children as soon as he is released from prison. He knows he cannot easily be sent back to Somalia. He loves it here in the Netherlands," Mr Ausma told the NRC Handelsblad newspaper.

Mr Ausma has also warned that ongoing piracy trials in the Netherlands, France and the United States will encourage pirates to commit crimes, for the purpose of being captured, rather than deterring attacks on Western flagged vessels.

"Anything is better than Somalia," he said.

Prof Knoops has called for an international tribunal to deal with Somali pirates.

"This would immediately solve a large number of problems, because there are good reasons why many countries do not wish to burn their fingers on the pirates," he said.

Coffee Creek prison guard arrested for dispensing cream to female inmate

Police: Prison guard had sexual contact with female inmate
WILSONVILLE, Ore. -- Police arrested a former prison guard on suspicion he had sexual contact with a female inmate in a control room for prison cell doors.

Detectives arrested Darcy Aaron MacKnight, 29, at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning in southeast Portland on a warrant for custodial sexual misconduct in the first degree and official misconduct in the first degree.

MacKnight worked at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Ore., from Aug. 14, 2006, until he resigned Jan. 8, 2009.

In December 2008, Oregon State Police investigated allegations that MacKnight had sexual contact with a female inmate in a control room between two housing units at Coffee Creek. The room houses controls allowing access to the units as well as individual cell doors.

Inmates are not allowed in the control room, according to the Department of Corrections.

A Washington County Grand Jury indicted MacKnight on the charges.

Court rules you can't be fired for taking a sick day to go surfing. Righteous

An Australian surfer who took part in a competition when he was on sick leave from work has had an appeal against his sacking upheld.

An Australian surfer who took part in a competition while off sick should not have been sacked
An Australian surfer who took part in a competition while off sick should not have been sacked Photo: EPA

Shane Bevan, a former world championship tour surfer, took part in Queensland's Coolum Classic surf competition while he was off work with a bad back in 2007.

The baggage handling company he worked for found out about his exploits and promptly fired him.
The Industrial Relations Commission initially upheld his sacking, but on appeal ruled that terminating his employment was too harsh and ordered the company to pay compensation.

Mr Bevan injured his back while working for Oceania Aviation Services. He saw an osteopath who issued him with a medical certificate that recommended he remain off work until September 16.

While he was on leave, his grandfather died and Mr Bevan decided to compete in the surfing tournament, which he had won the previous year, in his memory.

His back had improved and the osteopath was happy with his progress. The day he entered the water Mr Bevan was on a scheduled day off from work which fell within the period of sick leave.

However, when he returned to work and told bosses he had been for "a bit of a paddle", he was fired.

The commission found Mr Bevan had gone surfing "in his own private time" and noted that the osteopath said he had not put his injury at risk by surfing.

26-year-old 'baby' baffles doctors in Meghalaya

SHILLONG: A 26-year-old youth who looks like a toddler has baffled doctors in Meghalaya.

Jerly Lyngdoh is an adult trapped, perhaps forever, in a baby's body and mind. Born on March 29, 1983, Jerly has not grown beyond 84 cm which is the normal height of a two-year-old baby and weighs about 10 kg.

He cannot communicate and needs his mother's help for any normal activity. In fact, the only sign of adulthood in him is his denture, his milk teeth having been replaced at the right age.

Ruling out malnutrition as a cause for the retarded growth of Jerly, senior paediatrician J Ryngdong, who is looking into the case at the government-run Ganesh Das Hospital here, said, "The boy has a proper diet, has strong teeth and has no digestive problem. What is more intriguing is his inability to speak a single word even at this age".

Born to illiterate parents in a remote village in the state's Jaintia Hills district, Jerly was shifted to the hospital on April 3 last after 17 months of unsuccessful treatment at the Shillong Civil hospital.

Jerly's mother Merilda said she did not notice any abnormality when her son was born but when he was about four months, she noticed some kind of an epileptic disorder. Too poor to afford proper treatment, she had relied on a traditional healer after Jerly became 15 years old, but to no avail.

Ryngdong, who admits that the case is a challenge, said the circumference of Jerly's head is equivalent to that of a child aged between nine months and one year.

"Since the investigation is still in the early stage, it is difficult to say the exact cause of the abnormality. We are examining factors like hormonal deficiency," the paediatrician said, rejecting the hereditary factor as Jerly's six siblings from the same mother are normal.

Without chronic health problems, a person like Jerly can live for four decades or slightly more, he says. Merilda, Jerly's mother, had to battle family prejudices and endure neighbours' derision to keep her son surviving. Once, she recalled, Jerly's grandfather had labelled him as a curse on the family and even advised her to throw him away.

"I did not flinch and rather decided to take extra care of Jerly while seeking help from civil societies. I was lucky. The Bethany Society in Shillong responded with whose help I brought him to the Shillong Civil Hospital," Merilda said fighting off tears.

Activists slam US donkey sport

Cruel ... donkey rider lines up a dunk
Cruel ... donkey rider lines up a dunk

THESE shocking images show the latest outrageous craze to come out of America — "donkey basketball".

The controversial sport is booming in the US's midwest but has sparked anger among animal rights groups.


Originally invented in the 1930's Depression as a cheap form of entertainment the brutal looking sport is making a comeback in parts of the US as the credit crunch bites.
Strain ... man tugs on donkey
Strain ... man tugs on donkey
But animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) say the animals are mistreated by participants and handlers.
The sport is proving ever popular with 600 people in the town of Moravia, which has a population of 680 recently turning out for a game hosted by Buckeye Donkey Ball.
Kenny Schappacher, who works for the company slammed accusations of animal cruelty saying: “My favourite area is the Midwest. Some of these towns, there just ain’t nothing to do.
"When you come to a town like this, it’s just really good. Everyone has a good time.”
Desiree Acholla, PETA’s animals-in-entertainment specialist, said the games are cruel because the donkeys get confused in the chaotic atmosphere of the gym.
‘ If these donkeys weren’t doing this, they would probably be in a dog-food can somewhere. ’
She said she receives reports of donkeys getting punched and kicked by inexperienced riders, and the animals’ backs are stressed by having to carry heavy weights. She also said it’s common for operators to withhold food and water so the donkeys don’t urinate during games.
But donkey ball player Kelsey Flattery said gamers are instructed not to strike the donkeys or pull on their ears, hair or tails.

Shoot ... player throws ball
Shoot ... player throws ball
Ms Flattery said: “As long as we’re not being cruel to them, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.
“Isn’t it just the same as riding a horse?”
The apparent brutality of the sport has led to it being banned by schools in Portland, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania, among other places.
In March, a donkey basketball game scheduled for a school in Idaho, was cancelled after 27-year-old auto mechanic Josh Maus started a petition drive.
Mr Maus wrote in an email: “There are better fundraising alternatives to donkey basketball that don’t use animals but are designed so that everyone can participate.”
A company called Donkey Sports of Entiat was lined up to run the event in Kuna, and owner Bruce Wick said it was the first time he had had one cancelled.

Mr Wick said his business still carries out about 150 donkey games a year, about the same number as Buckeye Donkey Ball.
He added: “We never really gave PETA much mind, usually when they fuss about a game, it brings more people to watch.”
Moravia Superintendent Brad Breon said he was not contacted by animal rights activists in advance of his school’s event.
Mr Schappacher added: “This is just good old fun riding a bunch of donkeys. If these donkeys weren’t doing this, they would probably be in a dog-food can somewhere.”

Meet the 17yr-old girl who drinks a vodka bottle daily

London, May 7 : A 17-year-old girl is so addicted to alcohol that she gulps down one litre of vodka and eight cans of beer every day.

And the addiction is so severe that Jamie-Lee Day even punched her mum in the face when she refused to buy her more alcohol.

Jobless Jamie-Lee, who was hooked on booze at 12, has confessed that she spends most of her 47 pounds-a-week benefits on her addiction.

She has even been in trouble with the police for a string of drunken brawls, but has claimed that it’s not her fault.

The youngster had slid into alcoholism because of which her schoolwork collapsed and she turned increasingly wild and aggressive.

By 15, she had moved from cider to bottles of spirits to get drunk quicker and now this resident of south Wales is so hooked that she has claimed that she "can drink Absinthe like water".

"I do feel guilty, but I need booze to get through life and would rather buy vodka than food," The Daily Star quoted her as saying.

She added: "My mum worries, so she helps with food shopping and bills, leaving me cash for drink. Sometimes alcohol makes me want to fight, sometimes I just cry."

And it was her mum Meryl who became the target of her daughter’s anger, as she tried to tackle her drink problem.

Meryl 35, said: "I’d try to talk to her, but she’d attack me. I had scratch marks on my arms and bruises where she punched me in the face."

Other than having a referral order for carrying a knife while drunk, Jamie-Lee also has a two-year supervision order for assault and could face jail on re-offence.

Chimp tries to rape female zookeeper in Russia!

LONDON - Russian police is investigating a lusty chimp, named Otello, after it tried to rape a female zookeeper.

Valentina Kirilova was trying to give the animal a banana at Rostov Zoo, but instead of taking the food Otello grabbed her hand.

After dragging her into the cage, the chimpanzee began to try to rape her, reports The Sun.

Valentina said of the attack: “I have spent a lot of time around the primates but I’d never imagined that a lonely chimpanzee could see me as a sex object.”

The ape broke the keeper’s wrist as he pulled her into his cage and began to attack her.

“When I tried to pass a banana to him, the chimpanzee grabbed my hand and pulled me into the cage and tried to rape me,” said Valentina.

She was only saved when her screams brought other keepers running.

One keeper said: “It’s a serious matter. If that had been a member of the public we would all be in court by now.”

Viagra very popular in conservative Saudi Arabia

Dubai, More and more young Saudis are falling for the blue pill as Viagra is commonly known in the kingdom.

A large number of married Saudi youths are flocking to pharmacies to buy Viagra to get more sexual satisfaction as online advertisements try to catch more customers with catchy words and obscene images.

They agreed that the pills were instrumental in keeping them virile during love making, the Gulf News reported.

Overweight British tourists accused of animal cruelty by accepting rides on worn out donkeys

Head hanging down, the donkey presses on in the blazing heat with its heavy load.
Carrying tourists more than its own weight the skinny animal sometimes falters, but is urged on by the handler - who hits its hind quarters with sticks or nails.
This is the shocking picture of cruelty against animals in top tourist destinations visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.
overweight tourists on donkey
Cruelty: A skinny donkey struggles under the weight of a tired tourist in a shocking example of the way animals are treated at top tourist destinations
Tourists flock all year round to see the ancient city of Petra, in Jordan, and the Egyptian pyramids in Cairo.
In rose-stoned Petra, many are determined to climb 800 rock cut steps for a famously impressive view from the impressive Ad-Deir Monastery.
But the trek proves too much for some, and when they get a little weary there are more than enough donkeys on-hand, led by locals who rely the animals for their livelihood.
Because they are desperate for money the handlers often insist no load is too big for the donkeys.
Visitors heave themselves onto the animals - which are sometimes smaller and slighter than their load.
Others double-up for a ride, or cram as many people as possible into a carriage pulled by the animal.
overweight tourist on donkey
One of the donkeys is urged up the 800 steps at Petra, in Jordan, by his desperate owner
These horses can be highly decorated - but the ornate coverings can hide angry sores caused by rubbing, and bones protruding from the animal.
But while they spend all day working, the animals will sometimes go without food because owners cannot afford to feed them after being bartered down on the price of a ride by lazy tourists, desperate for a bargain.
Donkey and horse charity The Brooke, which Camilla Parker Bowles is president of, is warning all tourists travelling abroad to be mindful of the welfare of the animals when on holiday, and stress it happens in destinations across the world.
'They are living beings, they're not machines,' said Dorcas Pratt, head of international development at the charity.
'When people get onto a horse or donkey, they should make sure they match their size to the size of the animal.
'Nevermind whether it seems to be able to take your weight, it might be suffering from carrying that weight - these animals have feelings and they feel pain.'
overweight tourist on donkey
Plight: Many of the donkey are not fed properly because tourists haggle the price of a ride down and elaborate harnesses often hide sores and protruding bones
Mrs Pratt, from the charity whose president is the Camilla Parker-Bowles, added that while beach donkeys in Britain have a donkey charter detailing their rights, which includes a strict eight stone weight limit, there are no regulations to protect animals overseas.
She said: 'People are not deliberately being cruel, but when they step out of your own context and go abroad maybe they loose sight of the fact the animal still feels.
'When horses are raced against each other they are beaten with sticks, electric flex or even nails.
'Sometimes tourists might want to have a bit of fun and encourage the handler to race them, not realising how painful this can be for the animal.
'There needs to be one person per animal, the rider needs to match their weight to the animal.
'It is also important that tourists pay a fair price for the ride, as bartering the owner down will just mean they have a tighter budget, which means the animal can suffer and might not get fed.
'Choose the animal, rather than a highly decorated carriage, and praise the owner for their healthy animal.'