(Stories really reported by mainstream news media, for real) – Not sure why this page gets so many clicks.

Did Palin Scribble Notes on Her Palm?

There’s a lot of talk on the internet about Sarah Palin’s notes on her hand during her address to the Tea Party National Convention, but critics are overlooking how difficult it is to remember to talk about “energy,” “tax,” and “Lift American spirits.”

Here’s the blog post about this from Susan Davis at The Wall Street Journal:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin offered the keynote address Saturday night at a Nashville, Tenn., Tea Party convention, but the lingering question today is: Did she really have notes written on the palm of her hand?

Photographers and television cameras captured shots of scribbled notes on Palin’s hand during her hour-long appearance before 1,100 grassroots activists in which she answered a handful of questions from convention organizer Judson Phillips.

An enlarged photograph seen here appears to show the words “energy,” “tax,” and “Lift American spirits” written on Palin’s left hand. TV snapshots also appear to show Palin consulting her palm during the question-and-answer session.

The notes are in line with a response to a question about what she believed the top three priorities should be for the party. Her answers were: cutting government spending, jumpstarting energy projects, and “allowing America’s spirit to rise again.”

Liberal bloggers, naturally, have seized on Palmgate to criticize the former governor, who in her remarks chided President Barack Obama for using a teleprompter when he gives speeches. “Oh don’t fault her for using good ol fashioned American know-how instead of some new-fangled furrin-made device,” snarked liberal blog FireDogLake.

Shoplifting fun for whole family

Cyberspace – I don’t really have a real “news” story for the above headline, but the true story is this (in two parts): I get more Google traffic on this site from people searching for “shoplifting” than for anything else.  Thus, and here’s the second part, I will share a funny, true story about shoplifting that I found online from an unnamed source (that’s right, and unnamed source!):

My friends and I rented a house, and I built some lofts in the hallway, so we wanted to get a ladder.  We couldn’t find any free ladders online or in the alleys, so we decided to take matters into our own hands and steal one from Home Depot.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to steal a ladder from Home depot, but it’s not easy.  We thought our best bet would be to just grab a ladder and walk out like we owned the place.  That’s usually a good strategy, but maybe not with a ladder.  We set off an alarm and the guy at the door was just like, “what are you doing?”

We all sort of looked at each other, like, “I can’t believe he asked us that.”  “Uh, we… were… um.”  Somebody noticed some similar ladders on display (chained up) outside and said we were just going to compare this one to the one out there.

We left without a ladder.

To end on a positive note, sometime later, we actually we able to get a free door from Home Depot, though it wasn’t quite by stealing it outright.  That time, we were smart enough to steal small things and return them* for store credit until we had enough to get a free door.  Perhaps we should have done the same with the ladder.  We eventually got a ladder, but I don’t remember how.

Three of the four of us were later convicted for various shoplifting scams.  Good times.

*The items actually never left the store.  We just took them off the shelf and brought them right to the returns counter.  This required a lot of fancy talking because getting them to the returns counter actually set off an alarm.  The lesson here is that, while it might not be easy, there’s almost always a way to get away with whatever you need for free.  You just have to weigh the risks and benefits.

CNN reports on the death of Ted Kennedy, boobies.

Everything on the front page of CNN.com Wednesday afternoon paid tribute to Ted Kennedy, except for one thing.


Close up

Close up

Students Fired By Best Buy After Tackling Shoplifter

Man Pulls Knife, Cuts Store Manager

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Two college students who tackled a shoplifter at a Best Buy in Broomfield have been fired.  Jared Bergstreser, 20, and Colin Trapp, 23, were fired Sunday, two weeks after they tried to stop two men fleeing the store at the FlatIron Marketplace.When the students saw the men fleeing with armloads of merchandise, Bergstreser tackled one of the men.

“A gentleman came by us in a red shirt with a bunch of product in his hand. It was pretty obvious that he hadn’t paid for it yet,” Trapp said.”I just kind of reacted. I wasn’t thinking about it and followed the guy out the front door and tackled him,” Bergstreser said.As Bergstreser was struggling with the thief on the ground, Trapp ran over to help.”We thought we had the situation under control. That’s when he pulled a knife and began flailing it around wildly,” Trapp said.The man broke free and cut the store manager, who had come out to try to calm things down.The two shoplifters escaped in an old light-green Pontiac driven by a woman, according to police. The car had a temporary license.A police report said the two men got away with computer hard drives and other items. No arrests have been made in the theft, which occurred Aug. 1.Trapp and Bergstreser said they feel they were wrongfully terminated for their actions on that day.”It was just completely demoralizing. You think you have in your head what you know is right or wrong, what your parents instilled in you growing up as a child, and then to be reprimanded for that act is so sour and so sad,” Trapp said.”I think I did what I believed was right,” Bergstreser added.

Best Buy spokesperson Kelly Groehler told 7NEWS that the company won’t talk about the termination of any employee.Groehler did say,

“…that employees who in our stores are aware, and trained, on the standard operating procedurs for dealing with shoplifting or theft – which includes ceasing pursuit of a suspected shoplifter once they exit the store.”

Groehler said the procedures are in place foremost for the safety of employees.Bergstreser, who received minor cuts and bruises, worked at the store for nearly three years.He said he understands the company’s concerns.”By my doing that, it put other people in danger. Even myself. So I can definitely see why they would have reprimands for that,” he said.But Bergstreser says he doesn’t think the reprimand should have been termination.

Assault weapons at Obama event

Nun Helps Nab Independence Burglary Suspect

Reported by: Sloane Heller
Email: heller@nbcactionnews.com
Posted by: Aaron Heintzelman
Last Update: 1:02 pm

A burlgary suspect is escorted through the woods by an Independence Police officer Thursday morning, Aug. 13, 2009

A burlgary suspect is escorted through the woods by an Independence Police officer Thursday morning, Aug. 13, 2009

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Police have arrested a burglary suspect that was chased into the woods by a nun Thursday morning in Independence.

Authorities say the man is suspected of breaking into a home in the 13000 block of Silver Lane around 6:05 a.m. Thursday and another home in the 2000 block of N. Liberty about 25 minutes later. A gun was reported missing from the second home.

SkyTracker assisted in the search for the suspect and caught EXCLUSIVE VIDEO of the man being escorted by police through the woods right around 8 a.m.

The nun, Sister Catarina, tells NBC Action News she saw the suspect from a window of Sisters of St. Francis Convent, 2100 N. Noland Rd. He was holding a rifle and walking through a nearby field.

She and another nun went out to talk to the suspect, who both nuns thought may have been a man hunting illegally.

Catarina says the suspect was pleasant to talk to at first, but when she and the other nun, Sister Connie, started pressing him, he ran away through the woods.

Catarina gave chase, but was unable to keep up with him. But she was able to provide police with a detailed description of what he looked like and what he was wearing.

Police say somebody was inside both homes at the time of the break-ins, but nobody was injured.

Kenyan offers livestock dowry for Chelsea Clinton

(CNN) — What can 40 goats and 20 cows buy a Kenyan man? Chelsea Clinton’s love, if you ask Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor.

Hillary Clinton says she would let her daughter Chelsea know about a Kenyan man's unique marriage offer.

Hillary Clinton says she would let her daughter Chelsea know about a Kenyan man’s unique marriage offer.

The Kenyan man first offered the dowry nine years ago to then-President Bill Clinton in asking for the hand of his only child. He renewed it Thursday after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked about the proposal at a Nairobi town hall session.

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, the session’s moderator, commented that given the economic crisis at hand, Chepkurgor’s dowry was “not a bad offer.”

However, Clinton said her daughter was her own person.

“She’s very independent,” she said. “So I will convey this very kind offer.”

The audience laughed, but Clinton’s comments were no joke to Chepkurgor, who described the younger Clinton as a “beautiful, disciplined and well-natured woman.”

“Of course I have never met her, but I like her family and how they stick together,” Chepkurgor told CNN. “I’ve waited for a long time. I’m still waiting to meet her and express my love for her.”

Chepkurgor operates a small electronics and computer shop in Nakuru, a major city northwest of Nairobi. He may still be waiting for Chelsea, but he’s not exactly single. He married his wife Grace, a college classmate, in 2006.

“My wife has no problem with this,” he insisted. “She listened to the answers given by Hillary and did not complain.”

Polygamy is legal in Kenya, so Chelsea would be Chepkurgor’s second wife.

“Is that allowed in your side of the world?” he laughed.

In Kenya, a man proposes with dowry for the prospective bride, Chepkurgor explained. He said he stands by his initial livestock offer until someone makes a counteroffer.

Chepkurgor, now 39, first made his intentions known when all three Clintons visited East Africa in 2000. He wrote a letter to the former president, offering himself as his only child’s suitor. He said he had not expected the secretary of state to address the issue during her visit to Kenya this week.

However, he admits his chances might be rather slim.

“Unfortunately, I don’t have their contact information,” he said.

“I just want to convey my message of goodwill to the Clintons,” he said. “And to all of America.”

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press Writer 32 mins ago

TEHRAN, Iran – A young French academic and local staff of the British and French embassies stood trial Saturday with dozens of Iranian opposition figures and confessed to being involved in the country’s postelection unrest.

Iran’s opposition and rights groups have condemned the trial as a sham and say such confessions are coerced and scripted. Britain, which seemed caught off guard by the appearance of its embassy employee, called it an outrage, while France demanded the immediate release of its citizen.

Saturday’s second hearing at Tehran’s Revolutionary Court involved a new group of detainees and focused on testimony from the French academic and the two other foreign-linked defendants, demonstrating the government’s resolve to taint Iran‘s pro-reform movement as a tool of foreign countries — particularly Britain and the United States.

The prosecutor accused the two countries of fomenting the unrest in an attempt to engineer a “soft overthrow” of the government.

The French academic and the two embassy employees took turns standing at a podium in the large, wood-paneled courtroom to make confessions before a judge seated between two large portraits for Iran’s supreme leader and the Islamic Republic’s founder.

“Brothers at the Intelligence Ministry made me understand my mistake”

The French Embassy employee, Nazak Afshar, cried as she admitted she was involved in postelection disturbances. She dabbed her eyes with a tissue and said that “brothers at the Intelligence Ministry made me understand my mistake,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Such confessions — whether coerced or not — have become the centerpiece of Iran’s mass trial of more than 100 prominent opposition figures and activists, which began a week ago.

The defendants are accused of crimes including rioting, spying and plotting to overthrow the regime during the massive street demonstrations denouncing the official results of the June 12 election.

The prosecutor read out an indictment at Saturday’s session that accuses Britain and the U.S. of planning to rouse the unrest with the aim of toppling Iran’s Islamic rulers through a “soft overthrow,” the IRNA news agency reported. The indictment also accused the two powers of providing financial assistance to Iran’s reformists to undermine hard-line ruling clerics.

Hossein Rassam, a political analyst at the British Embassy who was arrested shortly after the election, told the court that Britain was involved in fomenting the unrest, according IRNA.

He said a budget of 300,000 pounds — or about $500,000 — had been allocated to establish contacts with Iranian political groups, influential individuals and activists, IRNA reported.

The news agency quoted him as saying that he established contacts before the election with the campaign headquarters of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the pro-reform candidate who says he was robbed of victory through fraud.

“My main responsibility was to gather information from Tehran and other cities by setting up contacts with individuals and influential parties and political groups and to send reports to London. … The British Embassy, due to its hostile policies in Iran and fear of exposure of its contacts inside Iran, employed local staff to establish such contacts. I established such contacts based on orders from embassy officials,” IRNA quoted Rassam as saying.

Rassam has been charged with espionage and “acting against national security,” IRNA reported.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband condemned the trial and said the British government had raised the matter with the Iranian ambassador in London and Iran’s deputy foreign minister.

“Hossein is a member of our staff going about his legitimate duties,” Miliband said in a statement. It added that the trial against him and other embassy staff “only brings further discredit to the Iranian regime.”

An earlier Foreign Office statement said Rassam’s appearance in court was an outrage and contradicted assurances from senior Iranian officials.

Eight other British Embassy staffers arrested along with Rassam were released after about a week in custody.

Seated in the front row of the courtroom with a scarf over her hair was 24-year-old French academic Clotilde Reiss, who was reportedly arrested July 1 at Tehran airport.

According to IRNA, she told the court that she made a mistake by attending a demonstration.

“I had personal motives for joining gatherings to see what was happening out of curiosity but I admit that I made a mistake and should not have attended,” IRNA quoted her as saying.

Reiss has been charged with acting against national security by joining protests, gathering information, taking photos and sending them abroad.

The French Foreign Ministry on Saturday called for the immediate release of both Reiss and embassy employee Afshar, saying that the charges against them were without basis.

The ministry statement also objected to the conditions under which Reiss and Afshar were being tried, and “deplored” that neither woman was represented by a lawyer.

Sweden, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, expressed concern over the trials and noted that actions against one EU country — citizen or embassy staff — is considered action against all EU member states.

Iranian defendants appearing Saturday included Ali Tajernia, a former reformist lawmaker; Shahaboddin Tabatabaei, a prominent leader of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, Iran’s largest reformist political party; and Ahmad Zeidabadi, an outspoken journalist opposing hard-liners.

A reformist Web site said riot police attacked family members of the defendants and others gathered in front of the court to denounce the trial.


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