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Taliban Commander Turns Himself In For Reward Money

18 Apr

Mohammad Ashan, a mid-level Taliban commander in Paktika province, strolled toward a police checkpoint in the district of Sar Howza with a wanted poster bearing his own face. He demanded the finder’s fee referenced on the poster: $100.

Afghan officials, perplexed by the man’s misguided motives, arrested him on the spot. Ashan is suspected of plotting at least two attacks on Afghan security forces. His misdeeds prompted officials to plaster the district with hundreds of so-called “Be on the Lookout” posters emblazoned with his name and likeness.

When U.S. troops went to confirm that Ashan had in fact come forward to claim the finder’s fee, they were initially incredulous.

“We asked him, ‘Is this you?’ Mohammad Ashan answered with an incredible amount of enthusiasm, ‘Yes, yes, that’s me! Can I get my award now?’” recalled SPC Matthew Baker.

A biometric scan confirmed that the man in Afghan custody was the insurgent they had been looking for. Read the whole story here.

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El Salvador Has Its 1st Murder Free Day Since 2009

17 Apr

No one was murdered in El Salvador on Saturday, officials said, in what was the first homicide-free day in nearly three years for the Central American country plagued by violent drug gangs.

“After years when the number of murders reached alarming levels of up to 18 per day, we saw not one homicide in the country,” President Mauricio Funes said in a statement released on Sunday. The murder-free day was the first recorded since leftist Funes took office in June 2009.

At the beginning of Funes’ term, the country had an average of 12 murders a day, but that tally climbed closer to 18 per day in early 2012. Read the whole story here.

Caine’s Arcade

13 Apr

Maybe you’ve heard. Out in East L.A., there’s a kid named Caine Monroy. He made an arcade in his dad’s auto parts store. Out of cardboard boxes. If you haven’t already, you need to check out this video that details his saga. A 9 year old boy who built an elaborate cardboard arcade in his dad’s used auto parts store is about to have the best day of his life. Help Caine’s Scholarship Fund: http://CainesArcade.com

Escaped Pet Birds Are Teaching Wild Birds to Speak English

12 Apr

Across parts of Australia, reports have been pouring in of strange voices chattering high in the treetops — mysterious, non-sensical conversations in English. But while this phenomenon is certainly quite odd, its explanation isn’t paranormal. It turns out that escaped pet birds, namely parrots and cockatoos, have begun teaching their wild bird counterparts a bit of the language they picked up from their time in captivity — and, according to witnesses, that includes more than a few expletives.Jaynia Sladek, an ornithologist from the Australian Museum, says that some birds are just natural mimickers, able to acquire new sounds based on things they hear around them. For birds kept as pets, these sounds tend to mirror human language — but that influence doesn’t cease even after said birds escape or are released back into the wild.

Once back in their natural environments, these chatty ex-pets eventually join with wild birds who, in turn, start picking up the new words and sounds. The remnants of that language also eventually gets passed along to the escaped birds’ offspring, much like it does for humans. Read more here.

Miss Universe Changes Rules to Include Transgender Women

11 Apr

The Miss Universe pageant is changing its rules and will allow transgender women to take part in all of its competitions starting in 2013, the organization and gay rights group GLAAD said on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s decision follows a media outcry over the disqualification of Canadian contestant Jenna Talackova from the upcoming Miss Universe Canada contest because she was not a “naturally born female.”

Talackova 23, who underwent gender reassignment surgery when she was 19, was reinstated to the Canadian competition last week by businessman Donald Trump, who owns the Miss Universe organization. Talackova has a Canadian passport, driver’s license and other documents that identify her as a woman. Read the whole story here.

Dancing burglar’ arrested after moves recognized

10 Apr

The so-called “Dancing Burglar,” a teenager who was caught on camera busting a move during a burglary, was arrested Thursday, Galveston police said.

Security video shows the boy dancing at the scene of a Duck tour truck burglary in Galveston.  After the video hit the air, Galveston police got a call from police at Ball High School.

“When we saw his moves, when we saw his swag, we immediately knew we were dealing with a smooth criminal,” said Cpt. Jeff Heyse. Read the whole story here.

Drunk Trio Goes Through Car Wash Naked

6 Apr

Lucky for three drunk Abbotsford, B.C., men who went naked through a carwash, their records will remain squeaky clean.

Midnight Wednesday, police responded to calls from Abbotsford residents who woke to the sounds of screams.

“Somehow (the three men) found themselves outside a car wash, and conveniently there’s a shopping cart nearby,” said Const. Ian MacDonald. “They decided it would be a really good idea to strip down and run themselves and the cart through the car wash. Need I say they were intoxicated?”

MacDonald said the trio, all 20 years old, told police they weren’t sure if they had pressed the “typhoon” or “super typhoon” setting, but “whatever they chose had the effect of pounding them with really cold water and effectively pressure-washing them.” Read the whole story here.

Google Begins Testing Its Augmented-Reality Glasses

5 Apr

If you venture into a coffee shop in the coming months and see someone with a pair of futuristic glasses that look like a prop from “Star Trek,” don’t worry. It’s probably just a Google employee testing the company’s new augmented-reality glasses.

On Wednesday, Google gave people a clearer picture of its secret initiative called Project Glass. The glasses are the company’s first venture into wearable computing.

The glasses are not yet for sale. Google will, however, be testing them in public.

In a post shared on Google Plus, employees in the company laboratory known as Google X, including Babak Parviz, Steve Lee and Sebastian Thrun, asked people for input about the prototype of Project Glass. Mr. Lee, a Google product manager and originally worked on Google mapping software Latitude, mobile maps and indoor maps, is responsible for the software component and the location-based aspects of the glasses. Read the whole story here.

Malaysia Airlines Creates A No-Child Zone

4 Apr

First, it banned babies from first class, and now Malaysia Airlines has declared a child-free zone on its Airbus A380s.

The child ban applies to the upper deck economy section of its jets, restricting children to the lower deck, Australian Business Traveler reports.

The move was revealed in an advisory issued to travel agents which stated that children under 12 would be banned from the section on its new super jumbo, which is set to make its debut on July 1.

It hopes that the adults-only cabin will ensure a more enjoyable flight for business travelers who have to fly in economy. Read the whole story here.

Former Cincinnati Bengals Cheerleader Sarah Jones Charged With Sex Abuse

2 Apr

Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleader was indicted Thursday for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a student when she was a teacher at Dixie Heights High School.

A Kenton County grand jury indicted Sarah Jones on first-degree sexual abuse. She was also indicted on a charge unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited acts. The charges are felonies that are each punishable by up to five years in prison. Read the whole story here.

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