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Comment Tip of the Scummy Iceberg (Score 2, Interesting) 100

Believe it or not, despite this being a big political scandal, there is an even bigger one unfolding in Canada. This other one could make Watergate look minor. Actual Watergate criminals have expressed shock at how big RoboCon could be.

Some group conspired during the last Canadian general election to place (hundreds of?) thousands of misleading and/or harrassing phone calls to members of the Liberals and NDP predominantly, to suppress their votes. The Conservative Party was the benefactor of this plot, obtaining a majority government in our Parliament, giving the Prime Minister nearly unchecked power for 5 years. It's been calculated by a professor and independent researcher, LaRue, from Quebec (now living Stateside), that the Robocalls may have affected the outcome in as many as 18 ridings (12 gave the Conservatives a majority).

I've spoken with LaRue, and I trust his findings. His other unreleased allegations are also huge. I'm not exaggerating. I think he's ahead of the RCMP and Elections Canada in their own respective investigations.

Crime

Killer Convicted, Using Dog DNA Database 97

lee1 writes "It turns out that the UK has a DNA database — for dogs. And this database was recently used to apprehend a South London gang member who used his dog to catch a 16-year-old rival and hold him while he stabbed him to death. The dog was also accidentally stabbed, and left blood at the scene. The creation of human DNA databases has led to widespread debates on privacy; but what about the collation of DNA from dogs or other animals?"
Earth

Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn 819

Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that Orange County officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for replacing the grass on their lawn with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants, reducing their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009. The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their front yard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water — and hundreds of dollars — each year. 'We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future,' said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book. But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require that 40% of residential yards to be landscaped predominantly with live plants. Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery — lavender, rosemary, horsetail, and pittosporum, among others. But according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards. At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court. The couple could face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for their grass-free, eco-friendly landscaping scheme. 'It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money,' says Quan Ha."
Politics

Submission + - Net Neutrality - Canada Liberal Party Q & A (liberal.ca)

LibParty writes: When we were asked by the Save Our Net Coalition to discuss our position on net neutrality and the future of the internet in general we jumped at the opportunity to be able to tell Canadians how we would steer Canada to be more competitive and innovative.

Below, you will find a series of Q&As we did with the Save Our Net Coalition. The Internet is the backbone of today’s flow of free ideas and sharing. The Liberal Party supports the principles of net neutrality and an open and competitive Internet environment.

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