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May 19, 2002

Unusual internet libel case
New Times LA | Submitted by: Soylent
"But a few weeks into the job, things turned very weird. Smith claims he overheard Batzel say she was the granddaughter of Heinrich Himmler, the notorious Nazi commander who ran Hitler's SS and oversaw the concentration camps where 6 million Jews were murdered. Smith also says he heard Batzel tell a friend she had hundreds of paintings that Nazis looted from Jewish owners. At the same time, Smith and Batzel began squabbling over money."

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Universe more unstable than thought
BBC | Submitted by: Soylent
"Analysis of the light coming from distant quasars suggests that a fundamental physical constant may have been increasing slightly over the past six billion years. The so-called fine structure constant, which measures the strength with which subatomic particles interact with one another and with light, may have been smaller at earlier times in the history of the Universe." What if pi is the next to fall?!

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Jed Clampett seizing cars
Stuff NZ | Submitted by: Li'lBillBaloo
"Collections staff are clamping down on unpaid fines in the Waikato by impounding offenders' cars and auctioning them off to recover $14 million in outstanding debts. Operation Jed, named after Jed Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies, began this week with collections officers clamping cars around the city. District collections manager Noel Smith said about half the 44,000 people on the Waikato fine list were recidivist offenders who just didn't pay."

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Star Wars: Ku Klux Klan's Fantasy of the Future
Detroit News | Submitted by: ian m.
"George Lucas, sometimes accused of reinforcing racial stereotypes with his movies, has done it again, according to critics. Latino critics in particular charge his latest Star Wars epic, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, toys with American paranoia about Mexican immigration with its cloned army of swarthy lookalikes who march in lockstep by the tens of thousands, and ultimately end up serving as Darth Vader's white-suited warriors. [...]Such allegations have a long history in that galaxy far, far away. A number of observers noted that the 1977 original was, at least at the human level, an all-white party -- looking, in Anderson's words, "like the Ku Klux Klan's fantasy of the future."

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Scoody Doo does phone sex
Australian Broadcasting | Submitted by: BHlegend
"An unwitting Florida mother discovered much to her dismay this week that a toll-free telephone number listed in a children's book, promising kids they can talk to cartoon characters, is actually the number for a telephone sex service."

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CEO a Boob?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Submitted by: anonymous
Becoming well 'abreast' of the billboards covering Pittsburgh PA, angry newspaper readers write in several times to voice their opinions, only to be rebutted by executives themselves and the applauding public. By the way the boobs girl works in the building.. unbeknownst to many.

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