SVU IRL: Man Accused of Serial Sexual Assault Allowed to Blame His Twin in Court


NewsFeed

It wasn’t me, it was my evil twin.

That alibi could arguably be the most famous, overused and least believed response to an accusation in history. But for possibly the first time it will be admissible in court, a judge ruled on Friday.

Aaron Lucas, 32, a Fort Collins, Colo., army officer accused in several sexual assaults on female children will be able to point the finger at his twin brother, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported. In his ruling, Judge David Shakes said it would be “inappropriate” to hinder Lucas’ attorneys from opening the idea of his twin, Brian Lucas, as the culprit in court because they both share the same DNA.

“Whether it’s persuasive or not – that’s not my role,” Shakes said at a Friday hearing. “It’s the role of the jury.”

In cases where a crime suspect has a twin, DNA evidence can be strongly questioned and…

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FDA Ruins Everything by Saying Super Crispy French Fries Could Cause Cancer


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Were you having a good day? No longer!

The FDA announced that the crispy french fries you love so much could contain acrylamide, a carcinogen that’s known to cause cancer in animals. While the limp, pale fries no one wants are in the clear, well-done fries are reportedly to be avoided.

Although browned fries aren’t about to get banned à la trans fats, the FDA did release a report encouraging food makers to err on the side of pale:

Cook cut potato products such as frozen french fries to a golden yellow color rather than a brown color. Brown areas tend to contain more acrylamide.

The same goes for toast and coffee.

But don’t get too worried.

Dr. and chef John LaPuma told the WSJ that the “amount of acrylamide you need to cause cancer in people is astronomical.”

We’re going to go stress eat half-frozen reject fries…

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And Oxford’s Word of the Year Is…


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A good “word of the year” will sum up our culture as it was during that particular orbit around the sun. Given that more and more tools are created every day that encourage us to focus on ourselves—to publicly share our opinions, our whereabouts, our calorie intakes, our playlists and our dogs’ mistakes—Oxford Dictionaries’ choice certainly seems to capture the zeitgeist: 2013 was a selfie year.

For those 9% of Americans who still don’t have a cell phone, this is how Oxford defines selfie:

(n.) a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website. 

Explaining why that word won the crown, Oxford editors note that usage of selfie has gone up 17,000% since this time last year. That’s according to their new word monitor, which scans web content and collects 150 million words each month. A dedicated…

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Missouri Governor Denies Clemency for White Supremacist Serial Killer


The 40-Year Slump and Other Fascinating News on the Web


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  1. The Slump

    Between 1947 and 1974, American workers brought home most of the wealth they produced. Some businesses upheld the goal of making sure their employees made a enough money to afford the products they were making. Then suddenly, those values vanished faster than a Snapchat selfie. In American Prospect, Harold Meyerson describes the forty-year slump that followed that era: “The middle has fallen out of the American economy — precipitously since 2008, but it’s been falling out slowly and cumulatively for the past 40 years. Far from a statistical oddity, 1974 marked an epochal turn. The age of economic security ended. The age of anxiety began.”

    + It’s bad time to be a worker, but it’s a good time to be an investor. The Dow briefly broke 16000 for the first time.

  2. The Problem with Statins

    Several leading cardiologists are questioning new guidelines (and an online “calculator”)…

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George Zimmerman Charged With Aggravated Assault


U.S.

Updated: Nov. 18, 2013, 9:18 p.m. E.T.

George Zimmerman, who was acquitted earlier this year of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was charged with aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief on Monday following a domestic dispute at his girlfriend’s home in Florida.

Chief deputy Dennis Lemma of the Seminole County Police Department in Florida said at a press conference on Monday that Zimmerman pulled a shotgun on his girlfriend. Zimmerman reportedly offered no resistance during his arrest. His girlfriend has not been identified by the police.

There were no known injuries at the time of the press conference.

Though Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder in July, he was questioned in September following an incident involving his estranged wife. No charges were filed in that case.

In the 911 tape, Zimmerman’s girlfriend tells dispatchers that the former neighborhood-watch captain was breaking things in her house because she asked him to leave…

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Rob Ford Gives Councilwoman a Fat Lip as Toronto Strips Him of Power


World

Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford, of crack-smoking, drunk-driving, profanity-using, red-faced fame, issued yet another apology on Monday for knocking over a city councilwoman.

The city-council chambers were in an uproar on Monday afternoon, as Ford spoke in his defense and then the council continued with a series of votes to systematically strip the mayor of all governing authority, National Post reports.

“It’s a coup d’état, that’s all this is,” Ford said upon arriving at city hall.

“You have just invaded Kuwait,” Ford told the council, in an apparent reference to Saddam Hussein’s ill-fated invasion that sparked the Gulf War.

As the voting began, Ford’s brother, one of his few defenders in public, exchanged words with a member of the audience. Ford then charged toward the spectators, in the process bowling over city councilor Pam McConnell, a grandmother.

“I apologize to anyone I accidentally hit when my brother was in an altercation…

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Shootings Cast Pall Over Detroit’s Comeback Narrative


U.S.

In a wood-paneled conference room in New York City earlier this month, several of Detroit’s blue-ribbon business leaders stood with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to promote the long-awaited revival of their city and his state.

It was almost as if the dignitaries were touting a new stock in its initial public offering, creating buzz for a bright future. But as they were conducting their optimistic road show, the place they left behind was experiencing one of its worst weeks in recent memory.

In breathtaking succession between Halloween eve and Veterans Day, murders and shootings touched key corners of Detroit, from Wayne State University, an anchor of the city’s redevelopment, to a barbershop, from an important black church to a suburb seen by some as a haven from danger.

The wave was a vivid reminder that even as Detroit’s downtown swells with enough young, college-educated people to keep the vacancy…

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U.N. Chief Rolls Out World Toilet Day


AP Source: JPMorgan, Government Agree to $13 Billion Settlement