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How bizarre! How bizarre!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-11-11 09:40:32
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Bolivia returns stolen mummy to Peru

bizzzzzzzz01_400Bolivia has returned a 700-year-old mummy to Peru, from where it was stolen by antiquities traffickers. The mummy of a child of about two years of age is only 30cm (12in) tall and sits wrapped in blankets. Bolivian police seized it two years ago from a woman who was going to ship it to France.

Experts determined it was an original but found that one of its legs had been added later presumably by the smugglers who wanted to raise its value. Experts have not been able to determine the sex of the mummy but archaeologists think it came from a pre-Inca culture of coastal Peru. Bolivian Culture Minister Pablo Groux handed the mummy to his Peruvian counterpart Luis Peirano at a ceremony at the Peruvian Foreign Ministry in Lima.

The two ministers also signed an agreement to improve their co-operation in the fight against the smuggling of cultural artefacts. Referring to an increase in the illegal trade in antiquities, Mr Peirano said the mummy was "just a sample of the sacking, of the violation of our patrimony and all our inheritance."  Peru, at the centre the Inca culture and other civilisations predating the Incas, has had thousands of its relics plundered and stolen over the centuries. Peruvian officials say trafficking in mummies has been less common, though "lately, there has been an increase in the trafficking of human remains".


Landlady faked robbery after seeing it on CSI

bizzzzzzzz02_400A landlady sparked a huge police operation after a staging a fake heist on her social club inspired by a hit television show. Scores of special officers and a police helicopter were scrambled to the Big Club in Boldon Colliery after a cleaner found Kim Collins bound and gagged inside. The 42-year-old was tied to a chair with tape over her mouth, cable ties around her wrists and cuts to her arms and legs. She told the terrified cleaner a masked man had woken her in the night and tied her up before he snorted a bag of cocaine, emptied the safe and disappeared. But after detectives found holes in her story, she admitted to making the whole thing up to try to convince her boyfriend and business partner that they should sell the club and move away.
And Collins, of Station Road, Boldon Colliery, claimed inspiration for the bizarre plan from watching CSI programmes. She pleaded guilty to wasting police time and possessing a Class A drug when she appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday. Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “Last November, she called police to say she was receiving abusive letters at the club which threatened to kill her. “They were sent for forensic tests but nothing came back, though she said the letters were still being sent. Then on June 17, the police were called by the cleaner, who said she had found Collins tied up with a bag of cocaine near her. Collins had told her that someone had been in the loft waiting for her.” Mr Anderson told the court that 12 officers went to the club and were told by Collins that the intruder might still be there. A police dog team and scene of crime officers were sent to the scene and a helicopter scrambled to the area. He added: “She had cuts to her arms and legs and said the man had cut her and ran the knife across her body. She was taken to hospital for treatment. The defendant told the Major Crime Team that she had been asleep in bed when a man had come in and dragged her along the corridor to turn off the alarm and black out the security cameras before tying her up.”

But investigations revealed that the alarm had been deactivated just 40 minutes before the cleaner turned up and CCTV from outside the club didn’t show anyone else entering. Her saliva was found on the cable ties that had been used to bind her wrists and a pathologist said the injuries could have been self-inflicted. The court heard that Collins found a bag of cocaine in the club the night before and put it in the safe with the intention of telling the police about it later.  She said the masked raider had brought it as an excuse for having it in the club. Collins was arrested in September and admitted she concocted the tale because she wanted to leave the club.

Mr Anderson added: “She said takings were down and she wanted out. She said she wanted to show her partner how bad things were so that he would agree to sell up, and so started to send herself the letters.  “When that didn’t work, she came up with the plan to stage a break-in after watching CSI.  “She said she cut herself, tied her legs together then used her mouth to tie the cable ties before putting gaffer tape over her mouth and waiting for the cleaner. More than £1,000 was spent on the investigation but it is harder to quantify what the total cost was including launching the helicopter and the man hours put in.” David Forrester, defending, said: “This lady clearly thought this was a good idea in the short term but hadn’t realised how the police would deal with it.” Magistrates adjourned the case until November 16 for Collins to be interviewed by a community psychiatric nurse and be interviewed by the probation service. She was granted unconditional bail until then.


Cell phone leads Feds to presidential theft suspect

A box truck carrying President Obama’s teleprompter and podium was found in Henrico a little over a year ago. But the questions as to whether the items had been swiped and who had stolen the truck remained unanswered. Wednesday, Federal officials said they had those answers. During a Fall 2011 presidential visit by President Barack Obama to Central Virginia, organizers had to go to a back-up plan after audio and visual equipment along with the presidential podium were swiped from a Courtyard by Marriott parking lot near Virginia Center Commons mall.

Days later, the equipment was found at a Holiday Inn Express near the airport. The crime remained a mystery until federal investigators received a tip that a man had been bragging about the theft. Federal officials identified that man as 48-year-old Eric Brown. “Anytime you’re talking President of the United States, there’s a possibility sensitive information may be involved, so that’s why it was investigated so thoroughly,” said CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone.

In a federal affidavit, agents spelled out how Brown became a suspect.  Around the time of the campaign stop, police had been working a few cases involving box trucks stolen from hotels.  Through their investigation, they learned of what they believed was a getaway vehicle. Months later police got a tip from an informant, accusing Brown of selling a stolen laptop.  The informant also told agents he saw first-hand bins and other items with the presidential seal, but the affidavit states the feds’ smoking gun was a cell phone.


UN plotting takeover of internet

bizzzzzzzz04The United Nations is about to discuss whether it should have the power to regulate the Internet. Next month, the 12th World Conference on International Telecommunications, or WCIT-12, will be held in Dubai. At the meeting, the 193 member countries of the U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union, or ITU, will consider renegotiating a fairly obscure treaty known as the International Telecommunication Regulations, or ITRs. The 24-year-old agreement delineates much of the ITU’s rule-making authority over telecommunications. The hope of several countries is that they can expand the ITU’s jurisdiction to the Internet, replacing the current governing system with one that is controlled by a U.N. bureaucracy. The member nations will also consider an “Internet tax” designed to collect money from more affluent nations and redistribute it to poorer nations to improve their Internet infrastructure. ITRs do not currently include regulation of the Internet within their jurisdiction, since they have not been revised since the beginning of the Internet communications era.

In testimony given last May at a hearing of a U.S. House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee, Republicans and Democrats were united in their opposition to any move by Russia and China to transfer control of the Internet to the U.N. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, said, “Nations from across the globe will meet at a United Nations forum in Dubai at the end of this year, and if we’re not vigilant, just might break the Internet by subjecting it to an international regulatory regime designed for old-fashioned telephone service.” Walden said that as the U.S. delegation to the WCIT takes shape, he urges the Obama addministration “to continue the United States’ commitment to the Internet’s collaborative governance structure and to reject international efforts to bring the Internet under government control.” Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., the ranking member of the subcommittee, echoed Walden’s comments.

“Beyond just imposing new regulation on how Internet traffic is handled, several nations are set on asserting intergovernmental control over the Internet,” she said. “Now, we have had some real battles here over the issue of ‘Net neutrality, and it seems to me that we are calling on the international community for hands off, international ‘Net neutrality, as it were, when it comes to the Internet.” Vinton Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, was even more explicit in his concerns over the power grab for a technology that has become an integral part of 35 percent of the world’s population. “A new international battle is brewing, a battle that will determine the future of the Internet,” Cerf said. “And if all of us from Capitol Hill to corporate headquarters to Internet cafés in far-off villages don’t pay attention to what is going on, users worldwide will be at risk of losing the open and free Internet that has brought so much to so many and can bring so much more. “As you can see,” he continued, “the decisions made this December in the ITU could potentially put regulatory handcuffs on the ‘Net with a remote U.N. agency holding the keys.” The International Telecommunication Union, previously the International Telegraph Union, is a U.N. agency that is responsible for information and communication technologies. The ITU was first formed in 1869 and has seen its mandate increase from regulating telegraph communication to helping assign the orbits used by space satellites.

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