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Another Colombian Cocaine Smuggling Fail

COLOMBIA-CANADA-DRUGS Cocaine

A Canadian woman has been arrested in Colombia after trying to board a flight to Toronto with a fake pregnancy bump filled with cocaine.

This wasn’t just some pillow case stuffed under a shirt, this was a realistic looking belly made of latex. Unfortunately (for the smuggler) it wasn’t very realistic feeling. When a policewoman Fake Bumpasked 28 year-old Tabitha Leah Ritchie her how far along she was, she reacted aggressively. Well, that made everyone a little suspicious so they went on to search her. When the inspector went to touch her belly, she realized it unusually cold and hard. That’s when police discovered it was a fake and gave her an emergency C-section (c for cocaine of couse). Inside they found 2 kilograms of cocaine hidden behind a pocket of latex in the fake pregnancy prosthetic. Creative? Yes. Stupid. Oh yes. She should have at least invested in a softer prosthetic with internal heaters.

Needless to say the social worker (yes, the social worker) did not make it on the Air Canada flight to Toronto.  Instead the Torotonian will be charged with drug trafficking, possession and production and could be sentenced to between five and eight years in prison. Good thing too – the last thing Toronto needs is more crack addicts. We already have Rob Ford.

This year, nearly 150 people (a third of whom were foreigners) were caught with drugs at Bogota’s airport, often with creative disguises. Just ask those three nuns that were caught back in May. Colombian officials say 874 foreigners are currently held in the country’s jails, mostly stemming from drug charges. Make that 875!

Via: The National Post

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Teddy Bear + Housecat = My New Pet

Olinguito New Pet

Cuteness alert! Smithsonian scientists have discovered a new carnivorous mammal, and it is suuuper cute.

Dubbed the olinguito (oh-lin-GHEE-toe), the new mammal is a relative of the raccoon family. The Smithsonian press release describes the 2-pound animal’s appearance as “a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear.” Love it.

The cat teddy bear lives in the cloud forests of Ecuador and Colombia in South America and is the first new carnivore species to be found in the Americas in 35 years. It’s thought that an olinguito was exhibited in several zoos in the US between 1967 and 1976 but it was misclassified and no one could figure out why it wasn’t bredding with the other animals. Now they know why – olinguitos only like other olinguitos.

But don’t get too attached – the olinguito may be already be a threatened species thanks to the tear down of cloud forests.

“The cloud forests of the Andes are a world unto themselves, filled with many species found nowhere else, many of them threatened or endangered,” Kristofer Helgen, lead researcher on the discovery and curator of mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, said in the release. “We hope that the olinguito can serve as an ambassador species for the cloud forests of Ecuador and Colombia, to bring the world’s attention to these critical habitats.”

Either way, I know what the cats are getting for Christmas this year!

Via: The Smithsonian 

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Soviet-Style Missiles

Current Event Cat - Soviet-style Missiles to NK

After Panama caught them in the act, Cuba admitted to supplying old Soviet-style weapons to North Korea. Those sneaky Cubans…

A North Korean cargo ship was seized in the Panama Canal and after a quick search authorities discovered missiles, fighter jets and other weaponry amongst a load of 10,000 tonnes of sugar. The missiles and other arms were hidden in containers underneath the abundant sugar cargo. Apparently North Koreans really like sugar. And really old Soviet-style weapons.

Just how old were these weapons?

We’re talking old,” one official who investigated the ship said. “When this stuff was new, Castro was plotting revolutions.”

Since the United Nations prohibits the direct or indirect supply of all weapons to North Korea, Cuba found itself in a bit of a sticky situation – and not just because they were knee deep in sugar.

Cover story time! The Cuban Foreign Ministry declared that the weapons found were “obsolete” Soviet-era arms and were simply being sent to North Korea for “repair”.

“The agreements subscribed by Cuba in this field are supported by the need to maintain our defensive capacity in order to preserve national sovereignty,” the ministry said in a statement, arguing that it had the right to send these weapons off for North Korean-style repair.

First, obsolete Soviet-style arms are not going to be much use in defending your national sovereignty – there’s a reason why they’re called obsolete. Second, who sends anything to North Korea for repairs? Well, maybe Cubans… They don’t strike me as a people with a highly developed missile system – especially if they’re still using old Soviet leftovers.

Via: Current Event Cats & The Guardian

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Miguel Angel Trevino Morales

Drug Cartel Miguel Angel Trevino Morales

Mexico’s war on drugs is over! Actually it’s not even close to being over but the Mexican military took the drug trade down a notch when they captured the head of the notoriously vicious Zetas drug cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales.

Mexican Marines caught Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, head of the Zetas cartel and known around town as “Z-40”, in a pick-up truck near Nuevo Laredo. When captured Trevino Morales had eight guns and $2 million in cash on him. Very suspicious…

And Trevino Morales is no friendly neighbourhood pot dealer. He’s reputed to be exceptionally dangerous and violent—he’s known to burn his enemies alive in 55-gallon drums. Others have been beaten to death with wooden planks.

Along with the rest of the Zetas, Trevino Morales has been spreading terror through Mexico, making their name displaying the bodies of their murdered victims throughout the country. In 2010, the drug cartel’s leaders ordered the killing of 72 undocumented immigrants as punishment for their refusal to act as drugs mules in 2010 in what is known as the San Fernando massacre. A year later, he apparently oversaw the massacre of almost 200 more immigrants for similar reasons.

Trevino Morales rose to the top of the Zetas in 2012 after leader Lazcano died in a shootout with Mexican marines. Since joining the Zetas he was placed on the “wanted” list on both sides of the border for ordering massacres and running drugs on a global scale.

Although Zetas is only one of eight major, rival drug cartels involved in an ongoing conflict for regional control, Trevino Morales’s capture represents the first major blow against an organized crime leader by President Enrique Peña Nieto, whose administration is struggling to drive down persistently high levels of violence. At the very least, it’s a true public relations victory!

Via: The Guardian and Current Event Cats

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera Praises 11-Year-Old Rape Victim

Chilean Pinera

While Texas Governor Rick Perry is pulling out all the stops to get his beloved restrictive abortion bill passed, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera is praising his country’s even more restrictive abortion laws.

Chile’s president, Sebastian Pinera, praised a pregnant 11-year-old rape victim for her “depth and maturity” after she said in a recent TV interview that she was happy to have the child. The young girl also said in the interview that having the child would be “like having a doll” so I’m not quite sure how high her maturity level really is…

“I’m going to love the baby very much, even though it comes from that man who hurt me… It will be like having a doll in my arms,” the 11-year-old said in the TV interview.

Maturity level aside, the 11-year-old, who was raped repeatedly over a two-year period by her mother’s boyfriend, has now become President Pinera’s poster child for Chile’s abortion laws. Chile is one of seven Latin American countries where abortion is completely banned and Pinera wants to keep it that way. 

“I’ve asked the health minister to personally look after the (girl’s) health,” Pinera said. “She’s 14 weeks pregnant, and yesterday she surprised us all with words showing depth and maturity, when she said that, despite the pain caused by the man who raped her, she wanted to have and take care of her baby.”

Pinera’s comments have caused some outrage among his critics, who say that abortion should be legalized in cases of rape or when the mother’s life is in danger. Experts have also criticized Pinera’s comments, saying the girl would not have the mental or emotional capacity to understand her situation.

“At that age the girl doesn’t have a capacity of discernment, not even at age 14 would she have the mental and emotional capacity to discern this,” said Giorgio Agostini, a forensic psychologist, “What the president is saying doesn’t get close to the psychological truth of an 11-year-old-girl. It’s a subjective view that is not based on any scientific reasoning to support it.”

Considering it took Chile until 2004 to legalize divorce, I’d say they have a long road ahead of them in terms of abortion rights…

Via: CBC News

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And the Title of the World’s Most Obese Nation Goes to…. Mexico!

Mexico Obese Nation

“We’re #2, we’re #2!” Americans everywhere shouted as Mexico waddled past them to take over the title as the world’s most obese nation.

According to United Nations report released Tuesday, Mexico is now the leader in obesity rates – out of populous countries. If it were out of any old country, the South Pacific ones would definitely win. Those are some obese islanders!

Anyway, the report details how nearly 33 percent of Mexicans are now obese and 70 percent are overweight (don’t worry Americans – you’re not far behind at 32%! – just keep piling it in!) Childhood obesity is especially rough in Mexico – it has tripled within the past decade. Diabetes is also a huge problem with 70,000 deaths in each year caused by weight-related diabetes and more than 400,000 new cases diagnosed annually. The weight crisis disproportionately affects the young and the poor.

‘The same people who are malnourished are the ones who are becoming obese,’ said physician Abelardo Avila with Mexico’s National Nutrition Institute.

‘In the poor classes we have obese parents and malnourished children. The worst thing is the children are becoming programmed for obesity. It’s a very serious epidemic.’

Why do Mexicans keep eating and eating? For starters, the country’s restaurant culture promotes foods that are fried and high in calories. Fast food chains have spread rapidly since the early 1990s. Then there’s also the money issue: healthier options tend to be pricier. And of course, the Coca Cola addiction.

‘Because of a lack of money and food, people go for more energy-intense foods. These are often high in sugar or fat. People drink Coca Cola as if it was water in order to have the energy to carry on – and so many of the foods are rich in carbs, are full of cheese or are fried,” Mexican resident Sally Neiman says.

‘There is no control in schools to what kids eat this days, it is normal to see a kid having a soda for breakfast and eating ‘comida chatarra’ (junk food), it is allowed to be sold in schools.’

‘There really is no clear information on nutritional facts in this country and people with poor education are not aware of the risks. They believe the energy a Coke or a fatty food will bring to them is beneficial in order to help them get through the day.’

Mexicans do get their fill of Vitamin T though: tacos, tamales and tostadas.

Wait a minute…I think I know what’s happening here… it’s not the tacos or the tostadas, it’s that only the fit Mexicans are able to jump the barbed wire immigration fence into Arizona! All the fat Mexicans are left behind, driving up the obesity rate and all the fit Mexicans are living it up migrant worker style!

Via: CBS News

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Ecuador Claims Their UK Embassy / Julian Assange Hide-out was Bugged

Ecuador Embassy Bug Julian Assange

Ecuador’s ambassador to the United Kingdom said on Wednesday that a hidden microphone was found in its embassy, where WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has been holed up for more than a year.

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino (pictured looking angry above) has said the microphone was found in the office of Ambassador Ana Alban at the time of his visit to the embassy on June 16 to meet with Julian Assange.

“We have reason to believe that the bugging was carried out by The Surveillance Group Limited, one of the largest private investigation and covert surveillance companies in the United Kingdom,” Patino said.

But the British private surveillance company denied that it had bugged the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was granted asylum by Ecuador last year, lives and works in a different, non-bugged room within the embassy. He has been camped out there for over a year to avoid extradition to Sweden. Sounds like a similar case to one with that guy living in the transit area of a Moscow airport… Except the United States doesn’t want to question Edward Snowden over allegations of rape and sexual assault – just the leaking part.

The UK and Ecuador still haven’t figured out what to do with Julian Assange. Ecuador wants to guarantee him a safe passage to their country but Assange faces arrest if he steps out of the Ecuadorean embassy. The UK says it has a legal obligation to send him back to Sweden if they catch him. Assange is scared to go back to Sweden, because in addition to the rape charges, he fears Sweden would extradite him again – but this time to the United States to face potential charges over the release of thousands of confidential U.S. documents on WikiLeaks.

102966298PM001_JULIAN_ASSANIf Julian Assange really wanted to stay hidden, he should just move to the Arctic – he’d blend right in.

Via: The Guardian

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Bolivian President’s Jet

Current EVent Cat - Bolivian President Jet

Bolivian President Evo Morales’s jet was diverted overnight and searched on suspicion of harbouring fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. Spoiler alert: He wasn’t onboard.

In what became an international goose chase, Bolivian President Evo Morales was forced to make an unscheduled stop in Austria after a rumour started that Snowden was on board. The Bolivian President’s jet took off from Moscow and was scheduled to land in Spain to refuel before heading back to Bolivia. But the jet had to be rerouted to Vienna after France, Portugal, and Spain all denied his plane access to their airspace. The plane was then searched with Morales’s permission and spent 13 hours overnight on the tarmac at the Vienna airport.

That’s what Evo Morales gets for making an offhand suggestion in Moscow that you might be willing to take in a US fugitive who currently resides in the Moscow airport!

Needless to say, Evo Morales and his Bolivian buddies were not happy campers.

“We don’t know who invented this big lie,” Bolivia’s foreign minister said of the Snowden rumors. “We want to express our displeasure, because this has put the president’s life at risk.

Evo Morales said presidents should have the right to travel anywhere in the world and likened the incident to “a kidnapping of 13 hours”. What a baby!

Meanwhile, France, Spain and Portugal are calling bullshit, insisting their airspace was open to the jet. But Bolivia’s UN envoy Sacha Llorenti won’t let it go, saying the plane was denied permission to fly through the countries’ airspace at the bidding of the U.S. 

“We have no doubt that it was an order from the White House… For no reason whatsoever should a diplomatic plane with a president [inside] be diverted from its route and forced to land in another country,” Llorenti said.

There’s only one thing Bolivia can do to the U.S that will enrage them as much as the plane fiasco enraged Evo Morales: go back to Russia, pick up Snowden, and this time pack enough fuel to make it all the way to Bolivia.

Via: The New York Times & Current Event Cats 

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

Current Event Cat - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called her top cabinet members for an emergency meeting Friday to discuss the country’s most widespread protests in two decades.

The protests began more than a week ago over transport fare rises, but have since grown to include government corruption and the cost of next year’s football World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. As of Friday about a million protesters were believed to be in the streets of 80 cities clashing with police as they rally against corruption and public transport. Brazilians get really upset about public transportation – so much so that several cities have already cancelled the scheduled transit fare hikes. But like in Turkey with Gezi Park, the protests are not just about the transit fares any more.

So far the death total is only at one: a man was killed when a driver—angry that the demonstrations had made it impossible to drive through São Paulo—plunged straight into a crowd of protesters with his car in the ultimate act of road rage.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s emergency meeting to discuss the situation will include top Cabinet members and hopefully a lot of coffee. Until now, Rousseff was largely silent about the whoe thing, perhaps hoping it would sort itself out. Her response – or lack of one – has been criticized by the Brazilian media.

“Dilma Rousseff and (Brasilia Gov.) Agnelo Queiroz are the epitome of Brazilian rulers,” wrote political commentator Fernando Rodrigues in the country’s biggest newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo.

“They embody the perplexity and the lack of leadership capabilities of several parties’ politicians vis-a-vis the new phenomena of protests without leaders or defined proposals. … It seems they are just waiting and hoping the tsunami will end.”

Hopefully the emergency meeting will productive – otherwise the Confederations Cup could be cancelled!!

Via: Current Event Cats & The Associated Press

Brazil Protests Turn Violent… And Other News

Brazil Protests

Well, this isn’t great publicity for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil…

Brazil’s nationwide protests turned violent on Monday, prompting police in Rio de Janeiro to fire rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators who were burning cars and ravaging buildings. Approximately two hundred thousand Brazilians have taken to the streets to protest government corruption, rising public transportation costs, and the belief that the billions of dollars spent preparing for the World Cup and the Olympics could have been put to better use (i.e. education, healthcare, anything that is not a stadium). Don’t fret Brazil – it could be worse: Over in Russia, the government is being accused of stealing $30 billion while preparing for the Sochi Winter Games. The Guardian

Taliban TalksThis is going to be one awkward conversation… The United States will officially meet with the Taliban for the first time at their office in Qatar as early as next week. Yes, the Taliban have an overseas office. Oh yeah, and Hamid Karzai will send some delegates too – he’s a little busy with taking over Afghan security from NATO right now. The talks between the US and the Taliban will be to discuss each other’s agendas: “We want to get the hell out of your country” – US. “We want to bomb the hell out of your country” – Taliban. One catch though: the direct peace talks are on condition that the Taliban renounce violence, break ties with al-Qaeda and respect the Afghan constitution – including the rights of women and minorities. BBC News

Digging For HoffaDigging for Hoffa! Nearly 40 years after his disappearance, the FBI are still trying to solve the mystery of Jimmy Hoffa. The notorious Teamsters boss went missing in 1975 and remains one of America’s most famous missing persons. A hot tip from a mobster turned informant sent FBI agents on a tame goose chase, digging up holes in a field outside of Detroit. They didn’t find anything but the head of the FBI’s Detroit office insisted that the digging was justified – the informant was “credible”. CNN

Michael Applebaum,After being charged with 14 charges related to corruption, Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum has called it quits. Despite maintaining his innocence Applebaum announced in a brief statement on Tuesday that he would be resigning from his post. “Being mayor of Montreal is not a task one can do while defending themselves against accusations of this nature. This is why I am resigning as mayor of Montreal.” Well, that makes two Montreal mayors in a row to resign amid allegations of corruptions. Maybe that will give Toronto an idea of how to get Rob Ford to resign… CBC News

HowellAnd the award for Mother of the Year goes to…. 25-year-old Jessica Lynn Howell! The Missouri mother has been charged with child abuse and murder after she let her boyfriend rape her 4-month-old infant, resulting in the child’s death. Her 4-month-old daughter Ashlynn Lilith Peters died on December 3rd after she was allegedly sexually assaulted and strangled to death by the mother’s boyfriend, Jordan Lafayette Prince. However, the strangulation didn’t really matter because apparently “the injuries to her anus and rectum of Ashlynn were sufficient to eventually cause her death even without the strangulation.” Evidence from text messages sent between the two reveal that Howell was willing to let him have sex with her daughter even though she knew he was a convicted pedophile. Raw Story

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