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Archive for November 24th, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving From ticklethewire.com

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful
that thorns have roses.” Alphonse Karr

*******
“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fed Jury Convicts 5 Pirates in Attack on USS Nicholas

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — They may not have fit the stereotype of Hollywood, but a federal jury in Norfolk, Va., nonetheless convicted five men from Somalia of engaging in piracy for their attack in April on the USS Nicholas, authorities said. It was believed to be the first piracy trial conviction in the United States since 1820.

“Today marks the first jury conviction of piracy in more than 190 years,” said U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride of Alexandria. “These five Somali pirates were convicted of an armed assault on the high seas against what they thought was a merchant vessel, but turned out to be a U.S. Navy frigate engaged in counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa.

“Modern-day pirates not only threaten human lives but also disrupt international commerce by extorting hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom payments,” he said.

The conviction came after nine days of trial. Those convicted included: Mohammed Modin Hasan, Gabul Abdullahi Ali, Abdi Wali Dire, Abdi Mohammed Gurewardher and Abdi Mohammed Umar, all from Somalia.

Authorities said they face a mandatory penalty of life in prison when they are sentenced on March 14, 2011.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Tom DeLay Guilty of Money Laundering (Politics Daily)

DEA Cracking Down on “Fake Pot”

Michele Leonhart/dea photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The DEA on Wednesday announced it was using its “emergency scheduling authority” to temporarily outlaw  five chemicals used to make “fake pot” products.

The DEA said the move was in response to the increasingly popularity of the products that were harming people.

The DEA said plans to oulaw the products for at least 12 months with the possibility of a six-month extension. They will be designated as Schedule I substances, the most restrictive category.

In a press release the DEA stated: “Over the past year, smokable herbal blends marketed as being ‘legal’ and providing a marijuana-like high, have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults.

“These products consist of plant material that has been coated with research chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops and over the Internet.”

The DEA said since 2009 it has received an increasing number of reports from poison centers, hospitals and law enforcement about the fake pot products.

“The American public looks to the DEA to protect its children and communities from those who would exploit them for their own gain,” said DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “Makers of these harmful products mislead their customers into thinking that ‘fake pot’ is a harmless alternative to illegal drugs, but that is not the case.”

Color-Coded Terror Alerts Might Get Scrapped

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The color-coded terror alerts  that began eight years ago after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks could be headed for the trash bin.

The Associated Press reports that the Homeland Security Department is proposing to discontinue the the five-color coded system, with green representing the lowest threat and red the highest. At airports, the color has been orange, the second from the top.

AP reported that critics thought the colors were too vague and Democrats had complained during the Bush years that it was being used as a political scare tactic.

Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole told ABC’s “Good Morning America” said the administration wants to give the public a better idea of threats and that the colors may be too vague.

“I think it’s something that is under review to make it meaningful and relevant to the American people,” he said. “I’m just not sure how relevant it is.”

Movie: Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer