Nine dead after armed Santa Claus opens fire in LA suburb

Monday, December 29, 2008

At least nine people have been killed in a two-story house in Covina, California, after a man dressed in a full Santa Claus outfit opened fire at a Christmas Eve party and then set the house ablaze. Covina is a city in Los Angeles County, California about 22 miles (35 km) east of downtown Los Angeles.

According to local police, the Christmas party at the 1100 block of East Knollcrest Drive was attended by about 25 people. Trend News Agency said that the gunman fired two semi-automatic handguns and used an apparently home-made pressurized device to spread some kind of accelerant. As the guests tried in vain to escape, the gunman used his ‘present’ to spray inflammable liquid that started the raging blaze. Reports from the scene said Molotov cocktails were also used by the madman.

Media reports said the gunman was plotting vengeance against his ex-wife. Prime suspect, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, age 45, six-foot-three-inch, 250 pound (1.9 meter, 113 kilogram), an electrical engineer, is long time Roman Catholic church usher and a laid-off aerospace worker. He worked with ITT Electronic Systems, Radar Systems, in Van Nuys from February 2005 to July 2008, and as an engineer at Northrop Grumman for five months in 2005, according to Court records. He had also worked for about nine years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena until 1994.

Pardo’s ex-sister-in-law, who escaped from the Covina house alive with her injured daughter, called 911. Police on Friday released her 911 audio.

Msnbc.com has reported that Pardo “has brown hair and blue eyes, and known to frequent La Crescenta and La Verne.” Court records reveal that Mr Pardo’s wife acrimoniously divorced him last September. The divorce decree was finalized December 18. Until earlier this year, he lived in the Sylmar house with his ex-wife and her three children. The marriage lasted barely a year. However, Pardo held no criminal record and had no history of violence.

There is some speculation that the divorce may have been caused by Pardo concealing a paraplegic child from a previous relationship. Matthew, his nine-year-old son, by another former girlfriend, Elena Lucano, became brain damaged when he fell into a backyard swimming pool on Jan. 6, 2001. Pardo kept this child a secret from his wife. Pardo owed her $10,000 as part of the divorce settlement, according to court documents that detailed a bitter split. He also lost a dog he doted on and did not get back a valuable wedding ring. Pardo complained in a court declaration that Sylvia Pardo was living with her parents, not paying rent, and had spent lavishly on a luxury car, gambling trips to Las Vegas, meals at fine restaurants, massages and golf lessons.

After the mass murder, Pardo put on his street clothes and drove his rental Dodge Caliber car to the house of his brother, Jimmy Pardo, in Sylmar, approximately 30 miles away from the crime scene, where he committed suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. His brother was not present in the home and he broke inside to enter in. It was believed that Pardo intended to flee to Canada by plane as he had bought an airline ticket to a flight there from Los Angeles to Moline, Illinois. However due to suffering from severe third-degree burns on both arms stemming from the blaze, he decided to go against the initial plan.

Police had found $17,000 cling-wrapped on his legs inside a girdle, the car key, and his rental car that had been parked on Herrick Avenue, one block from his brother’s house, which had been rigged by remnants of his Santa suit that would ignite a flame and detonate the car with black powder if removed. Also recovered from the scene were four 13-round capacity handguns that were each empty, and at least 200 rounds of ammunition. Suggesting that what had been inside the car was being treated as a threat, police fired an incendiary device into it, destroying and burning it.

The police found on early Thursday, Mr Pardo bore a single gunshot wound to the head. According to LA County coroner’s official Ed Winter, the bodies found in the ashes were “extremely charred and burned.” All three of Sylvia Pardo’s children — Selina, Sal and Amanda — survived. According to the Scott Nord, the Ortega family lawyer, “the entire family was wiped out, and there’s basically like 16 orphans.”

Three other party guests have injuries, according to police. A 16-year-old girl was shot in the back, and an eight-year-old girl suffered facial gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening, while a 20-year-old woman had a broken ankle, after jumping from a second-story window, the police specified. About 80 firefighters put off the fire that soared fifteen metres (40 to 50 feet) high for more than one hour. The police discovered two handguns at the scene, and found two more in the in-laws’ house. Media reports on Friday said the 16-year-old daughter of Sylvia Pardo was released from Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Meanwhile, investigators served a search warrant at Pardo’s Montrose house, where they retrieved evidence of high-octane racing fuel, five empty boxes for semi-automatic handguns, as well as two shotguns.

Covina police Lt. Pat Buchanan on Saturday said they are looking for Pardo’s rented gray 1999 RAV4, with California license plate 5RYD562. Police have found the second rental car Saturday night in a Glendale, California but found no bombs nor any explosives.

The police also revealed Saturday the names of nine people missing since the Christmas Eve massacre occurred. They are Pardo’s ex-wife, Sylvia Pardo, 43; her parents, Joseph Ortega, 80, and Alicia Ortega, 70; Alicia Ortiz, 46, and her son, Michael Ortiz, 17; Sylvia’s brother, Charles Ortega, 50, and his wife, Cheri, 45; another brother, James Ortega, 52, and his wife, Teresa, 51, according to Lt. Buchanan. “Hopefully, we’ll get positive identifications early next week,” Covina Police Chief Kim Raney said.

A murder-suicide is an act in which an individual kills one or more other persons immediately before, or at the same time as, killing him or herself. According to the psychiatrist Karl A. Menninger, murder-suicide or murder and suicide are interchangeable acts – suicide sometimes forestalling murder, and vice versa.

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Nasality How To Get Your Voice Out Of Your Nose}

Nasality – How to Get Your Voice Out of Your Nose

by

The Voice Lady

Dont you just hate it? The voice you know in your head sounds fabulous and then you hear yourself on your voicemail and suddenly you are subjected to a whiny, nasal sound that is unrecognizable. You may also find it embarrassing, appalling, or disgusting. Whatever your reaction, what you hear on recording equipment is true. What you hear in your head is the lie.

Excessive nasality results in too much sound being sent up through the nose. There are certain sounds in English which most definitely should vibrate to some degree in the nose. Those sounds are the n, m, and ng sounds: any word which has one or more of those sounds (called nasals) will vibrate to some degree, such as the words rain, finger, no.

The problem we find with excessive nasality is that there are a number of other sounds travelling up through the nasal passages which dont belong there. If your nose vibrates excessively on your nasals or with other non-nasal sounds, such as the long e (he) or the long a (hay), you can practice a simple exercise to begin enunciating those sounds along the floor of your mouth instead of in your nose.

The 1st thing you need to do is to notice the difference between a jaw which is tight and one which is relaxed. Close your mouth, clench your teeth tightly and feel the knot in your jaw with your fingertips right below your ears. This is a tight jaw. Now open your mouth, unclench your teeth and drop your jaw. You should notice that the knot has disappeared. This is the position of a relaxed jaw.

Next try this exercise: Tighten your jaw and say the words Many dancers rang many rings, sending them up through your nose in an exaggerated manner. Yes, it will sound silly. Then relax your jaw and say those same words again along the floor of your mouth. This will only work if your jaw is relaxed.

Did you notice a difference? Your homework is to practice saying something in the exaggerated nasal position and then in the relaxed mouth position, back and forth, over and over again so that you can train your inner ear to recognize the difference.

Another method of eliminating your nasality is by means of voice training because you will not only eliminate your nasality but you will also discover a richer, deeper sound in the process.

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Nasality – How to Get Your Voice Out of Your Nose}

Too Grimm? Mother Goose cartoonist sued by Colombian coffee growers

Sunday, January 11, 2009

While it was just a joke, the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia doesn’t find a recent “Mother Goose and Grimm” comic terribly funny.

In what the coffee growers association calls “an attack on national dignity and the reputation of Colombian coffee,” the characters in a comic strip by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Mike Peters call into question the relationship of Colombian coffee growers and the crime syndicates of Columbia.

The cartoonist is being sued not only for “damages [to] the intellectual heritage” of the coffee, but also “moral compensation. A public manifestation,” to the tune of $20 million.

At the start of a week-long series of strips, a dog character named “Ralph” finds out that part of chemist and food storage technician Fred Baur‘s remains was buried in a Pringles can, upon his last wishes. Baur’s best known innovation, among multiple, was the patented can and packing method for the Pringles potato chip. The character theorizes what other remains might be interred in their food packaging. Eventually, the dog states that “when they say there’s a little bit of Juan Valdez in every can, maybe they’re not kidding.”This play on an old advertising slogan refers to fictional character Juan Valdez, created by the Federación Nacional.

In a statement Peters says:

I had no more thought to insult Colombia and Juan Valdez than I did Pringles, Betty Crocker, Col. Sanders, Dr. Pepper and Bartles & Jaymes. The cartoon is meant to be read along with the rest of the week as a series of which the theme is based on the fact that the inventor of the Pringles can had his ashes buried in one.

I thought this was a humorous subject and all of my Mother Goose & Grimm cartoons are meant to make people laugh. I truly intended no insult.

Julio Cesar Gonzalez, El Tiempo newspaper’s famous cartoonist, told the BBC that the lawsuit is “a real waste of time.”

In 2006, the Federación Nacional sued Café Britt over their advertising campaign titled “Juan Valdez drinks Costa Rican coffee. In a counter-suit, Britt presented an affidavit from a Costa Rican man named “Juan Valdez”, acknowledging that he drinks Costa Rican coffee, and that the name is too generic to be exclusive. A variety of legal challenges and charges from both sides were eventually dropped. The phrase was actually first used in a 1999 speech by Jaime Daremblum, then-Costa Rican ambassador to the United States.

Mother Goose and Grimm appears in over 800 newspapers worldwide; Peters has won the Pulitzer for his editorial cartoons for the Dayton Daily News. Thirty years ago, his editorial cartoon about electricity prices featured Reddy Kilowatt, an electricity generation spokescharacter. The Daily News defended that comic image in the United States Supreme Court, winning on the basis that “the symbol was not selling a product”, and thus the satire was legally permissible.

Peters drinks Colombian coffee.

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NASA prepares to launch mission to nearby asteroids

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

NASA is beginning the final preparations for next Wednesday’s launch of the Dawn probe, aboard a Delta II rocket. The Dawn probe, costing over US$250 million, will visit the dwarf planet Ceres and the asteroid Vesta. The launch was originally planned for mid-June, however due to a damaged crate, shipping delays, and a damaged solar panel, NASA chose to delay it until now. Last week the spacecraft was delivered to the launch pad, and engineers performed tests to ensure that it is ready for launch. Today, the payload fairings were installed, and the probe is ready for its launch next week onto its 5 billion kilometer (3.2 billion mile) mission.

As the Delta II launches, three stages of rockets will propel the probe towards its first target. With the help of ion thrusters, it will reach Mars in mid-2009. Using Mars’ gravity, the probe will speed up and proceed towards the first asteroid, Vesta, in late 2011. After orbiting for seven months, it will leave Vesta in mid-2012, and arrive at Ceres in 2015. After making scans of Ceres, it will enter an orbit around Ceres that will ensure that it does not impact the asteroid for half a century. This is required due to the United Nations’ “Outer Space Treaty”, which states that “harmful contamination” of these asteroids must be avoided.

The targets of this mission, Ceres and Vesta, couldn’t be less alike. Ceres (diameter 975 km, 600 miles) is larger than Vesta (578 km, 350 miles). This makes Ceres approximately the size of Texas. NASA believes Ceres could contain water beneath its outer crust because, like Earth, its inner layers are heavier than the outer layers, and Ceres’ outer layer is lighter than water. Vesta, on the other hand, is the size of Arizona, and has a surface of volcanic rock, which astronomers believe came from its hot inner layers. Vesta also has a large crater – almost 500 km (300 miles) across – on its southern pole. The collision that caused this likely blasted enough rock into space to fill a container 160 by 160 by 80 km (100 by 100 by 50 miles).

The probe will make several observations of these asteroids: it will compare the makeup, shape, size, and densities, analyze craters, and determine mass, gravity, rotation. To determine the makeup, the probe carries a mapping spectrometer, and tools to map emissions of neutrons and gamma rays. Using this information, NASA can compare the formation of these bodies to learn more about our solar system, for example, to test a theory which states that a number of stony meteorites may be debris from Vesta.

There’s one more piece of equipment aboard the probe: A small silicon chip containing the names of 350,000 people who submitted their names to the “Send Your Name to the Asteroid Belt” campaign. After next week’s launch, the spacecraft will deploy its solar panels and undergo two months of testing before it begins the cruise to Mars.

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Bacterial Vaginosis Common Symptoms You Should Be Aware To Prevent The Spread Of Bacterial Vaginosis

By Irsan Komarga

Have you been smelling funny these past days? Like something has died inside your vagina. Well, dont be surprised what you have is bacterial vaginosis. If this is not your first time, then more or less you already know what to expect. For people who are not sure if they had been infected before, there are symptoms that would help you determine if you have BV.

The most common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are stinking vagina, white discharge, persistent itching, pain, and soreness. The discharge is thin, nothing like yeast infections discharge. These are the common experience of people that has been infected.

Most women dont even know they have bacterial vaginosis until they had sex, in fact, some of them only notice the smell after the sex. This circumstance can lead them into an awkward and totally embarrassing situation with their partner. Dont let this happen to you, it is better to know all the symptoms than ended up in an uncomfortable position with your partner, you would not want to let them think that you have infected them with what you got.

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In dealing with bacterial vaginosis prevention is always the key. Dont be lax in taking care of yourself; it is important that you do something before the problems get worse. In the end no one can benefit from it but you. Besides the last thing you need is to further complicate your condition, which can happen if you fail to be bothered by it.

A bacterial vaginosis left untreated can lead to complication. The bacteria can spread into your uterus wherein you can develop a condition called Pelvic Inflammatory disease. The disease can make you infertile is the condition is severe, and if you are pregnant you are likely to give birth earlier than expected. An ectopic pregnancy is also possible, wherein the egg will fertilize in the fallopian tube rather than where it supposed to be. Ectopic pregnancy is dangerous to the mother; if there is a rupture it could kill them.

If you suspect that you have been infected by bacterial vaginosis, you should consult immediately with your doctor to get examine and be treated right away. Dont be embarrassed to discuss your situation with your doctor. Everyone can be infected with BV; there is nothing shameful about your condition. It is simply an illness that anybody, especially women goes through.

So dont be afraid to meet with your doctor or any health professional and discuss your condition. The sooner you do this the better for you to resume your normal sexual activity. After all, you would not dare sleep with someone while you are still suffering from Bacterial vaginosis, unless you want your partner to be turned off by your foul smelling vagina.

An informed patient can ask the right question to the doctor; therefore learn more about BV to put off any future infection. A life where BV is a thing of the past, so get healthy, be treated right away and most importantly be smart and avoid unsafe sex.

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72 hour Australia wide ban on horse movements

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Honourable Peter McGauran, Federal Minister for Agriculture, has issued a 72 hour Australia wide travel ban on all Equine horse species. The ban followed confirmation that 16 horses from two separate Sydney locations have been infected with Equine Influenza. This follows earlier restrictions placed on horses in New South Wales (NSW).

Mr McGauran said “There will be a 72-hour ban on all race meetings for both thoroughbreds and harness…”

“In addition there will be an order for standstill for all horses under licensed persons. Also, an appeal to all those with ponies, recreational horses or work horses not to leave their properties…”

Equine flu was first detected in a stallion at Eastern Creek Quarantine station after arriving from the northern hemisphere. There are 80 horses currently in quarantine at either Eastern Creek in New South Wales or at the Spotswood quarantine station in Victoria. These horses are thoroughbreds brought into Australia for the spring breeding season. Horses currently in quarantine are expected to be held for another 30 days.

The movement ban caused the cancellation of race meeting across the country, resulting in losses of tens of millions of dollars.

Equine flu is highly contagious though it is not infectious to humans, though skin, clothing and equipment can transmit the disease. Additional restrictions have been place on people and equipment in NSW with exclusion zones around the quarantine stations. Breaches of these restriction could result in fines of up to A$44,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 12 months.

The normally unrestricted travel of horses between Australia and New Zealand has been suspended and New Zealand authorities are checking all horses that have entered the country since the beginning of August.

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Wikinews interviews Jim Hedges, U.S. Prohibition Party presidential candidate

Saturday, January 29, 2011

U.S. Prohibition Party presidential candidate Jim Hedges of Thompson Township, Pennsylvania took some time to answer a few questions about the Prohibition Party and his 2012 presidential campaign.

The Prohibition Party is the third oldest existing political party in the United States, having been established in 1869. It reached its height of popularity during the late 19th century. The party heavily supported the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which banned the sale of alcohol, and resulted in the US period known as Prohibition (1919–33). It was repealed in 1933. The party has declined since this period, but has continued to nominate candidates for the presidential election.

In 2003, the party split into two factions. Preacher Gene Amondson and perennial candidate Earl Dodge were nominated for the presidency by their respective factions. After Dodge’s death in 2007, the party reunified and named Amondson as its sole presidential nominee for 2008. During the election, Amondson was interviewed by Wikinews. He died in 2009, leaving an opening in the party for 2012.

Jim Hedges is a longtime Prohibition activist, who holds the distinction of the first individual of the 21st century (and the first since 1959) to be elected to a political office under the Prohibition Party banner. In 2001, he was elected as the Thompson Township tax assessor, and was re-elected to the post in 2005. He served until his term expired in 2010. Hedges declared his intent to run for the Prohibition Party presidential nomination on February 18, 2010. This marks his first run for the presidency.

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Why Is The Fast Food So Popular?

Why Is the Fast Food So Popular?

by

sanmath

Speaking of fast food, there is no doubt its popularity all over the world; it is closely related with our daily life. Sometimes, I can’t help thinking why it is so prevailing. As my opinion, it is mainly due to the fast pace of our life. In such a competitive society, everyone are pressed for time, they have too much work to day in every day. Take myself for instance, I work in a foreign company and I fell I am under pressure because I have a heavy workload each day, so that I order take away sometimes to save some time for work.

Fast food as new thing became more popular in China now, I think the main reason is that fast food is convenience for people working and living, especially popular in young people, be fit for their fast living speed. Even though from health point of view, most fast food are junk food, when restaurants were cooking food they ignore health of consumers.

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There is no doubt that fast food has been a part of our lives. As for me, even though i know it’s not good to us, I also like it especially McDonald s… I think it’s delicious… what I can do now is just to control myself.

As its name suggests, it can be prepared fast, most of people have to go to job on time, so the fast food is the better choice. But from the nutrition, the fast food couldn’t meet the human being’s daily nutrient necessary. Eating a long time, which will make the people innutrition? So as for the fast food, we’re better taking it by chance.

On the other hand, it’s also have disadvantage of the fast food that can’t contain much nutrition, so people can’t refresh their power of body. What worse some fast food harms for people’s health. So in my opinion fast food should eating when there is really make in time it’s not essential food.

Fast food is very convenience for everyone, especially is 9 to 5 officer people. But the nutritional value of the fast food is very poor. For you and your family health, fast food try to eat less is good for all people.

Copyright by Tina Anne.

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Imprisoned Haitian priest may need US doctors

Friday, December 16, 2005

Supporters of jailed priest Jean-Juste say that he needs medical treatment in the United States. His attourney, Bill Quigley, told reporters that the priest, who was considered a potential presidential candidate before his arrest and long detainment, may have cancer and should be released so that he can seek medical attention in the United States. A doctor, Dr. John Carroll, who examined Jean-Juste said that an abnormal white blood cell count, as well as swelling in his neck and under his arms could be early signs of cancer. The government of interim President Alenxandre said that their doctors have examined the priest as well and said no signs of cancer exist.

Jean-Juste has been in jail since July when he was arrested at a funeral of a popular Haitian journalist and poet. He was originally detained for questioning related to the murder but also allegations of illegal weapons possessions have been brought up. He’s yet to be charged in any crimes. The doctor who made the claim of possible cancer is a supporter of Jean-Juste and some might think that this is an exaggeration to allow Jean-Juste out of Haiti to plan his political future.

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Efforts to cap Deepwater Horizon oil spill delayed again

 Correction — May 11, 2011 This article incorrectly describes BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

An attempt to cap the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has hit yet another obstacle, reported officials from British Petroleum (BP).

Friday night’s attempt to install a 6-inch (15.2cm) tube into the leaking drill pipe was only the latest in a series of efforts by BP to stop or slow down the spill. Previously, the oil company had tried to enclose the pipe with a large container dome, and then lowered a smaller “top hat” container dome. The siphon tube method is designed to reduce the amount of oil flowing into the ocean, but is not a permanent solution to stopping the leak altogether. It will draw the oil from the broken pipe to a tanker at the surface, said BP.

The tube was to be inserted into the broken pipe by robotic submarines, but the attempt on Friday to do so was unsuccessful, causing it to be taken back up for changes. The problem was a metal frame on the tube, which had changed position and this prevented the tube sent down from the drill ship Discover Enterprise from connecting. The tube had not been inserted into the leaking drill pipe before it was brought back up.

BP said that it would try again Saturday night (local time) to slow the leak using a reconfigured tube. If this attempt is unsuccessful, they will use the smaller dome to cap the leak, and may also try to plug the leak by covering it with trash, mud, or concrete. The company is already in the process of drilling relief wells to completely stop the leak, but this is expected to take several more months. The amount of oil currently leaking from the pipe is disputed, and BP said it has spent several hundred million US dollars in response to the oil spill.

BP was also given permission yesterday by the US Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency to use chemical oil dispersants to combat the spill.

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