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Monday, October 28, 2013

American WWII veteran and candy maker, 87, died after mugging by teens

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Shine Thornton (Photo from Facebook.com/DeltaHotTamaleFestival
Shine Thornton (Photo from Facebook.com/DeltaHotTamaleFestival
 
A World War II veteran well known and loved by his local community in Mississippi was attacked by four teens in a mugging, and died two days later.
Lawrence E. “Shine” Thornton, an 87-year-old widower, was targeted after the four muggers recognized him as king of the second annual Delta Hot Tamale Festival, which was just drawing to a close on October 18 in Greenville.
The four teens, all aged 18 and 19, “pushed him down and stole his wallet,” local police told the Delta Democrat Times. The incident took place at 5:30pm on Thornton’s driveway. After emergency services arrived, Thornton was airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, where he died two days later. 

Reuters/Erich Schlegel
Reuters/Erich Schlegel
The suspects were arrested and charged variously with capital murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. This followed the community setting up a reward for the arrest of those that attacked their neighbor. 
Bail was set variously for three of the suspects at $2.5 million to $3 million. For one, Terrence Morgan, 19, bail was denied altogether. 
The attack took place just hours after Thornton was crowned for the second time as the Delta Hot Tamale Festival king. Hot tamale is a type of spicy cinnamon candy, and Thornton had his own recipe. 

Photo from Facebook.com/RoddyThornton
Photo from Facebook.com/RoddyThornton
But more than just a Tamale entrepreneur, Thornton also ran a liquor store while being employed by the Delta Electric Co. for 37 years; this followed a two-year stint as Fireman First Class aboard the minesweeper USS Herald.
The alcoholic beverage store had become a side business over the years – something he kept to support the family, and one he switched to in 1984, after losing his job at Delta Electric.
In the same year he also started experimenting with his special hot tamale recipe, something that eventually turned into a successful business. His wife, Mary, Sicilian by origin, was the inspiration for his brand, “Maria’s Famous Hot Tamales.”

The Facebook page of the festival, which held its second annual event Oct. 17-19, posted Thornton’s picture, along with a statement expressing shock at his killing. “[Y]ou will forever be our King Shine,” it said.
Thornton’s death comes a little less than three months after two teens were suspected of fatally stabbing another WWII veteran, 88 year-old former US infantryman, Delbert Belton, in Spokane, Washington state, near the Canadian border. The suspects were aged 16 and 19 and appeared not to have known Belton. 

 

Worst storm in decade lashes Britain, France

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Large waves break against barriers on the seafront in Brighton, southern England on October 27, 2013 as a predicted storm starts to build 
London (AFP) - Britain faced travel chaos on Monday and some 75,000 homes were without electricity in northern France as one of the worst storms in years battered the region, sweeping at least one person out to sea.
Britain's national weather centre the Met Office warned of falling trees, damage to buildings and disruption to power supplies and transport as the storm hit England's southwest coast late Sunday.
Between 20 and 40 millimetres (0.8 to 1.6 inches) of rain were predicted to fall within six to nine hours as the storm tracked eastwards across Britain, with a chance of localised flooding.
Wind gusts of up to 99 miles (159 kilometres) per hour whipped across southern England and south Wales on Monday, forecasters said.
The Met Office issued an "amber" wind warning for the region, the third highest in a four-level scale, and urged people to delay their Monday morning journeys to work to avoid the worst of the bad weather.
In northern France the storm left some 75,000 homes without power early Monday, according to the ERDF distribution network, after wind gusts reached 139 kilometres (86 miles) in some areas knocking down power lines.
The rough conditions led to rescuers suspending the search for a 14-year-old boy who was washed out to sea from a beach in East Sussex on England's south coast.
London looked set for a chaotic rush-hour after train companies First Capital Connect, C2C, Greater Anglia, Southern and Gatwick Express services all said they would not run services on Monday until it was safe to do so. That is unlikely to be before 9:00 am (0900 GMT), according to forecasts.
Robin Gisby from line operator Network Rail warned commuters to expect severe disruption.
"If we get through this in the morning, restore the service during the afternoon and are able to start up a good service on Tuesday morning, in the circumstances I'll be pretty pleased," he added.
Major airports also warned of disruption to flights with London hub Heathrow expecting approximately 30 cancellations.
Cross-channel train service Eurostar said it would not be running trains on Monday until 7:00 am, meaning delays to early services.
Several ferry operators said they had cancelled some cross-Channel services and Irish Sea crossings.
Forecaster Helen Chivers told AFP the expected damage was likely to be comparable with a storm seen in October 2002.
Prime Minister David Cameron received an update from officials on contingency planning in a conference call on Sunday, amid fears of similar damage wrought by the "Great Storm" of October 1987.
That left 18 people dead in Britain and four in France, felled 15 million trees and caused damages worth more than £1 billion ($1.6 billion or 1.2 billion euros at current exchange rates) as winds blew up to 115 miles (185 kilometres) an hour.
Martin Young, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: "While this is a major storm for the UK, we don't currently expect winds to be as strong as those seen in the 'Great Storm' of 1987 or the 'Burns Day storm' of 1990.
"We could see some uprooted trees or other damage from the winds and there's a chance of some surface water flooding from the rainfall -- all of which could lead to some disruption."
Veteran weather forecaster Michael Fish also said Sunday's storm was unlikely to be as severe as 26 years ago, although his comments will be taken with a pinch of salt in Britain.
Fish was the BBC's main television weatherman in 1987 but famously denied that a major storm was on its way just hours before it hit.
This year's storm has been named St Jude after the patron saint of lost causes, whose feast day is on Monday.

 

12yo Canadian pleads guilty to hacking govt sites, trading info to Anonymous for video games

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AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen
AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen
 
A fifth grader has admitted of being the mastermind behind hacker attacks that took down government websites during the 2012 Quebec student protests and passing some of the hacked data to the Anonymous group in exchange for video games.
The 12-year-old Canadian boy has pleaded guilty to causing three incidents that paralyzed a number of government websites including that of the Quebec Institute of Public Health, and the Chilean government.

Some sites were out of service for as long as two days, the Toronto Sun reports, while thousands of students were rallying against tuition fee hikes in Quebec in 2012, clashing with police and disturbing public order.

Police estimate that the child caused $60,000 in damages, as he appeared before the court accompanied by his father and a lawyer on Thursday.

In court, the lawyer had told the judge that the 12-year-old's actions were not politically motivated.

"He saw it as a challenge, he was only 12 years old,"
his lawyer said. "There was no political purpose," as quoted by Toronto Sun.

The boy, who has been in hacking since the age of nine, was practicing three basic types of attacks, a police expert told the court.

Reuters / Thomas Peter
Reuters / Thomas Peter
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack was one of the methods used by the fifth grader to break the government servers by flooding them with traffic and rendering them ineffective.

Another way the young Montreal hacker disabled the systems was by altering information and making it appear as a homepage with his own information. In such an attack, known as website defacement, the hacker gets access to a web server of the target and replaces the original page with a fake one.

The child also exploited security holes to access database servers. The boy allegedly had managed to mine personal information belonging to the sites' administrators and users, and sent some of the mined information to the hacktivist group Anonymous in exchange for video games.

Others involved in the hacking attack have reportedly been arrested but it was the boy who opened the way.

“And he told others how to do it,” explaining it was easy to hack, but not so easy to remain untraced, a police expert testified in Montreal court on Thursday.

According to the paper, a detailed report into the allegations will be handed over next month when the 12-year-old is expected to be sentenced.

It is not the first time in Quebec’s history that a minor has plead guilty to hacking charges.

In 2001, a 17-year-old Canadian hacker was sentenced to an eight month juvenile term for crippling several web sites when he was 15-years-old, including that of Amazon, eBay, Yahoo and  CNN, causing an estimated $1.7 million in damage.

Known as the "Mafiaboy," the teenager pleaded guilty to more than 50 charges related to the attacks. The judge in Montreal also banned the teenager from owning any non-commercial computer and talking to other hackers.

In his book, "Mafiaboy: A Portrait of the Hacker as a Young Man" published in 2001, Michael Calce (Mafiaboy's real name), said that his attacks in 2000 were "illegal, reckless and, in many ways, simply stupid."

 

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