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Pakistani family: 9-month-old booked on attempted murder charge

Sophia Saifi and Aliza Kassim, CNN:

A 9-month-old Pakistani boy bawled as he was fingerprinted and booked in Lahore on an attempted murder charge after his family members allegedly threw bricks at police trying to collect an unpaid bill.

The ordeal started February 1 when several police officers and a bailiff went to a home hoping to get payment for a gas bill, said Atif Zulfikar Butt, a senior police official in Lahore.

A scuffle ensued, during which the infant’s father, one of his teenage sons and others in the residence severely injured some of the officials by tossing bricks their way, according to Butt.

How and why the baby was implicated was unclear,…

I love the journalism speak in that last sentence.

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Mayor Rob Ford approached for reality TV show

Ann Hui, The Globe and Mail:

The production company behind American Chopper and Dirty Jobs has approached Toronto Mayor Rob about creating a reality show, The Globe and Mail has learned.

"I’m writing because I’m interested in speaking with you and Mayor Ford about the possibility of developing an unscripted television project together," an executive of the studio wrote to the mayor’s spokesman at the time, Amin Massoudi, in an e-mail obtained by The Globe.

Oh.

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Media hounds family of man with same name as dead Fort Hood shooter

Lindsey Bever on The Washington Post's Morning Mix:

After an official released the name on Wednesday of the alleged Fort Hood shooter, reporters found a man by the same name in Arizona. Some called his relatives for comment about his death. Some posted his photo with the story.

TV stations went to his home and asked his wife if she knew that Ivan Lopez had been shot and killed. He hadn’t. And his daughter, who was standing nearby, started to cry.

Every damn time.

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US secretly created 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest

Desmond Butler, Jack Gillum, and Alberto Arce for the AP:

In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba’s communist government.

McSpedon and his team of high-tech contractors had come in from Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Washington and Denver. Their mission: to launch a messaging network that could reach hundreds of thousands of Cubans.

Yup, we’re still doing stuff like this.

This is an AP feature report with tons of details by the way, you should definitely read this one.

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Stem cell scientist Haruko Obokata found guilty of misconduct

Ian Sample, The Guardian:

A young researcher who shot to fame in scientific circles when she published an apparently radical and simple way to create stem cells has been found guilty of misconduct by a committee charged with investigating her work.

Haruko Obokata, at the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology in Kobe, announced the breakthrough in January in two articles published in the scientific journal Nature, but the discovery was thrown into doubt after researchers elsewhere failed to replicate her work.

The ruling has not settled the debate over whether her breakthrough was real, though. In a bizarre twist in an already convoluted story, the committee’s ruling against Obokata came moments before an independent researcher claimed to have succeeded in making the cells using a slightly different procedure.

Never heard of her or her research before now. This is weird as heck.

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Posting music a day early because I want to reserve tomorrow for something else (not a prank, I promise). WORLD ORDER has a new song, “HAVE A NICE DAY,” and I can assure you that I had a nice day as a direct result of watching this video.

I didn’t think the choreography was as great as it has been in the past, but the video has more sight gags than usual to compensate. I loved the bit starting at 2:49 when they go nuts with the glowsticks while the entire crowd behind them are completely unimpressed.

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Ukraine's Hopes Riding on a Chocolatier

Andrew E. Kramer, The New York Times:

After a leading contender dropped out of Ukraine’s presidential race on Saturday, the hopes of many Ukrainians and their Western supporters are now riding on a man known as the Willy Wonka of Ukraine, the billionaire owner of a chocolate candy company.

Petro Olekseyevich Poroshenko, 48, was the highest-profile Ukrainian industrialist to support the street protests that ousted President Viktor F. Yanukovych last month, and has for several weeks led in polls for the May 25 presidential election.

Mr. Poroshenko, also known as “the chocolate king” for his ownership of Roshen, the Ukrainian chocolate manufacturer, won notice during the antigovernment protests last month for climbing onto a backhoe to prevent an angry demonstrator from driving it into police lines.

Okay I get he makes chocolate and all but about that Willy Wonka thing does anyone actually call him th–

On Saturday evening a placard in English was being waved in the Maidan, the centre of the protest movement drove out the government of Viktor Yanukovych, declaring “Dream Team. Willy Wonka and Rocky.”

Kim Sengupta, The Independent

Oh, well okay then.

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National Geographic Traveler is having their annual photo contest, so that’s pretty cool. As I write this they have 597 submissions, and I’d love to check some of them out, but every time I view one the server throws a proxy error, so they’ve got to get their act together.
In the mean time, The Big Picture has a selection of ten photos, including this one by Nicholas Roemmelt titled “Mirror Wave”:

The Wave after a heavy thunderstorm with a small pond granting a perfect mirror for the reflection of the hiker. A calm and solemn place at a perfect day.

I cracked up reading the the “Access trails” section of the Wikipedia article for The Wave, as it devotes several paragraphs to how the Bureau of Land Management apparently operates the site as a death trap for hapless hikers.

National Geographic Traveler is having their annual photo contest, so that’s pretty cool. As I write this they have 597 submissions, and I’d love to check some of them out, but every time I view one the server throws a proxy error, so they’ve got to get their act together.

In the mean time, The Big Picture has a selection of ten photos, including this one by Nicholas Roemmelt titled “Mirror Wave”:

The Wave after a heavy thunderstorm with a small pond granting a perfect mirror for the reflection of the hiker. A calm and solemn place at a perfect day.

I cracked up reading the the “Access trails” section of the Wikipedia article for The Wave, as it devotes several paragraphs to how the Bureau of Land Management apparently operates the site as a death trap for hapless hikers.

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I.R.S. Takes a Position on Bitcoin: It's Property

Rachel Abrams on The New York Times's DealBook blog:

The I.R.S. announced on Tuesday that it would treat Bitcoin, the computer-driven online money system, as property rather than currency for tax purposes, a move that forces users who have grown accustomed to operating under the government’s radar to deal with new tax issues and reporting requirements.

The industry had been expecting the government to come out with some sort of guidance on Bitcoin, so the announcement on Tuesday did not come as much of a surprise. But some users worry that treating it as an investment could discourage the use of Bitcoin as a payment method. If a user buys a product or service with Bitcoin, for example, the I.R.S. will expect the individual to calculate the change in value from the date the user acquired Bitcoin to the date it was spent. That would give the person a basis to calculate the gains — or losses — on what the I.R.S. is now calling property.

"People might just be tempted to hoard rather than spend, because as soon as they spend they would be liable to incur capital gains taxes," said Pamir Gelenbe, the co-founder of the CoinSummit conference and a partner at Hummingbird Ventures, a venture capital firm that recently invested in the online Bitcoin exchange Kraken.

Everyone’s going to keep track of their bitcoin transactions and report everything to the IRS now, right? Right? Hello? Why are you guys just staring at me?