November 19th, 2009

Obama admits delay on Guantanamo

US President Barack Obama has for the first time admitted that the US will miss the January 2010 deadline he set for closing the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Mr Obama made the admission in interviews with US TV networks during his tour of Asia.
He said he was "not disappointed" that the deadline had slipped, saying he "knew this was going to be hard".
Officials are trying to determine what to do with some 215 detainees still held at the US prison in Cuba.
Mr Obama's announcement follows considerable speculation that the deadline would slip, as the administration wrestles with how to deal with those inmates who cannot either be freed or tried in US courts.

He did not set a specific new deadline for closing the camp, but said it would probably be later in 2010.

"We had a specific deadline that was missed," he told NBC.
And he told Fox News: "It's hard not only because of the politics. People, I think understandably, are fearful after a lot of years where they were told that Guantanamo was critical to keep terrorists out."
Closing the facility was "also just technically hard", he added, and depended on co-operation from Congress.
Domestic opposition
Moving to close Guantanamo was one of Mr Obama's first acts in office.

Paul Reynolds,
BBC News website world affairs correspondent
President Obama's admission that he will not close Guantanamo Bay by his target of 22 January is not a surprise given that his senior officials have been hinting at this for some time.

The problems have proved more complex than expected. Most difficult of all is what to do with those prisoners against whom there is not enough presentable evidence to use either in a civilian or a military court. The US government is trying to get foreign countries to take them but has had limited success.
There is some domestic opposition to their transfer to the US itself. A nearly-empty prison in rural Illinois is being considered to house them. The president's statement is an acceptance that this will not be resolved in time.

On 22 January 2009, just two days after inauguration, he set a deadline of a year for closing the heavily-criticised prison.

His administration says it will try some detainees in US courts and repatriate or resettle others not perceived as a threat.
Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four other defendants would be transferred from Guantanamo to face trial in a New York federal court.
Some lawmakers and relatives of 9/11 victims reacted angrily, arguing that the move put Americans at risk.
Asked about domestic opposition, Mr Obama told NBC that the anger over Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's civilian trial would disappear "when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him".

And in separate comments to CNN, he said that the notion that "terrorists possess some special powers that prevent us from presenting evidence against them, locking them up and exacting swift justice" was a "fundamental mistake".

In terms of other detainees, five have been ordered to face military commission trials in the US and a number of others, including several Chinese Muslim Uighurs, have been cleared by investigators for release and resettled overseas.
But the issue of detainees assessed as dangerous but who for legal reasons could not be successfully prosecuted in US courts remains unresolved.
The BBC's Jonathan Beale, who is at Guantanamo Bay, says the announcement of the delay to the deadline has come as no surprise.
The question of where to put those detainees who cannot be freed or tried remains a huge political obstacle, he says.

B.A.P - Himchan - Mechanichan

15 year old Missouri girl to be tried as an adult for murder

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Blessed with a Friday off school, 15-year-old Alyssa Bustamante dug two holes in the ground to be used as a grave, authorities said. For the next week, she attended classes, all the while plotting the right time for a murder, they said.

That time arrived the evening of Oct. 21, when Bustamante strangled 9-year-old neighbor Elizabeth Olten without provocation, cut the girl's throat and stabbed her, prosecutors said.

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I read this earlier and thought to post it here, especially after reading the post about the 10 year old being tasered. This is the first time I'm posting, so I hope I did everything right?

This story made me raaaaage, but I'm glad they're trying her as an adult. I think 15 is old enough to know that killing is bad, and she took her curiosity out on a 9 year old of all people. She needs mental help and a single bed jail cell, not the juvenile system where she'd be put in a group home with a bunch of other young offenders.
asoneill - Yahoo Me

Update on Burned Teenager: Slowly Recovering

Just thought you would like to hear an update on the teenager who was set on fire by his 'friends'.

Exclusive: Burned Teen's Parents Speak Of Recovery

MIAMI (CBS4) ― It's been five weeks since 15-year-old Michael Brewer suffered burns over two-thirds of his body after five other teens doused him in rubbing alcohol and set him on fire in a dispute over money, according to BSO detectives.

Now, Brewer's parents and grandmother are talking to CBS4's Shannon Hori.

"I don't tell him what happened. I just tell him he's in the hospital and he's safe and he's getting better. And he'll say, 'Am I going to be ok?' And I say 'Yes, Michael. You're going to be fine. You're going to be just fine'," explained his mother Valerie Brewer.

Michael Brewer has a long, painful road ahead. Even in his drug-induced state, he continues to relive the nightmare over and over again.

"He screams for his Dad and he screams for help, and he says he's on fire," said his grandmother Reenie Brewer, who then has to reassure him that he's not.

Michael has second and third degree burns over 65-percent of his body. Fortunately he protected his face as he ran to a pool and jumped in; an act that likely saved his life.

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Fat People Dare To Think They're "Normal"

According to a new study, almost 10% of obese people "misperceive that their body size is normal and think they don't need to lose weight." Time for a Fat Panic!

Researchers asked 5,893 people, 54% of them women, to choose their present body size and ideal body size from a chart depicting nine human figures. The discrepancy between the two was used to measure how satisfied the participants were with their bodies. Two to three percent of the subjects overall chose an "above-normal" size as ideal, but close to one in 10 obese people apparently felt that their size was normal and healthy.

However, say the study authors, 35% of obese people who felt this way had high blood pressure, 15% and high cholesterol, and 14% had diabetes. Time to freak out, right? If these people only knew they needed to lose weight, they'd be so much healthier. Except according to lead study author Tiffany Powell, these problems occurred at comparable rate in obese people who did feel like they were too fat. They just occurred along with a "healthy" dose of guilt.

The study did reveal a few benefits of "knowing you need to lose weight." Those who wanted to drop pounds were more likely to have seen a doctor in the past year (and yearly checkups are smart for many people), and also more likely to exercise. But since neither exercise nor going to the doctor has been proven to result in weight loss, isn't it time we stopped using fat-shaming to force people into these behaviors? Couldn't we find some way of promoting a healthy lifestyle that doesn't start with classifying people as abnormal?



Dana Perino Nominated By Obama To Broadcasting Board Of Governors

President Obama has nominated Dana Perino, George W. Bush's last press secretary and a frequent critic of the new administration, to a board overseeing government-sponsored international broadcasting.

Dana Perino was appointed late Wednesday to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).

"I'm honored by the president's announcement and I'm looking forward to serving on the bipartisan board, if I'm confirmed," Perino said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly urged the Obama administration to appoint Perino.

By law, no more than four of the eight members of the board appointed by the president can be of the president's political party.

Since leaving office, Perino has attacked the Obama administration for calling out Fox News and for its handling of the swine flu epidemic, among other things. But she also called Obama a "phenomenal candidate".


Perhaps the president thought that by granting Bitch McConnell's request, they can have some sort of bipartisan (fail) in the next bill he wants to pass?

But seriously, give it up already, Obama. The repubs hate you.
Music: Michael Jackson

But Is There Funding For Comprehensive Sex-Ed?

Senate Bill Restores Abstinence-Only Funding

Sarah Kliff

While the Senate toned down the House's language on abortion restrictions, it may have ratcheted things up with another controversial, reproductive health issue: abstinence-only education. Sec. 2954 of the Senate health reform bill, released Wednesday evening, restores funding for abstinence education.

As of this summer, abstinence-only education seemed en route to becoming a thing of the past. As I wrote for Newsweek this past month:

Buoyed by $1.9 billion in government funding since 1997 ($1.5 billion of that federal money), abstinence-only education grew from a niche market to a booming industry, with hundreds of curriculums for teachers to choose from. But if the 2000s were abstinence's boom years, the next decade may well be its bust. With Obama's budget for 2010 dropping all abstinence-until-marriage funds from the federal budget, past grantees are left uncertain.
Leave it to the United States Senate to prove my prediction slightly off. Their provision would restore a program called Title V which, since the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, has allocated a yearly $50 million in grants to abstinence-only education programs. Obama let the program lapse in June, leaving some abstinence-only groups in dire straits. So in September, Sen. Orrin Hatch offered an amendment to restore Title V via heath care reform, which (much to the outrage of liberal groups) just squeaked through the Senate Finance Committee with a 12-11 vote. A similar amendment, offered in the House by Rep. Terry Lee from Nebraska, died in committee.
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Source: Newsweek's The Gaggle Blog

Down Syndrome effects reversed in mice.

Boosting a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine in sufferers of Down Syndrome could help reverse the condition, which is the most common cause of mental retardation in children, a study showed Wednesday.

"If you intervene early enough, you will be able to help kids with Down Syndrome to collect and modulate information,'' Ahmad Salehi, the lead author of the study, which was published in Science Translational Medicine.

"Theoretically, that could lead to an improvement in cognitive functions in these kids,'' he said.

Mr Salehi was part of a team of scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in California who used a precursor of norepinephrine to reverse learning deficits in mice with symptoms very close to those seen in humans with Down Syndrome.

The mice had three copies of a fragment of mouse chromosome 16, while Down Syndrome occurs when each cell in the body has three copies of chromosome 21, instead of the usual two.

Children with Down Syndrome, like the mice in the study, suffer from contextual learning and memory deficits.

But Down Syndrome kids are not developmentally delayed at birth; rather, they fall behind as they age and "struggle to use spatial and contextual information to form new memories, a function that depends on the hippocampus part of the brain'', the study said.

"As a result, they have trouble with learning to navigate complex environments such as a new neighbourhood or a shopping mall."

Normally, as contextual memories are formed, hippocampal neurons receive norepinephrine from neurons in another part of the brain, the locus coeruleus.

But in the study of the mice with the Down Syndrome-like condition, the researchers noted that the locus coeruleus began to degenerate early on in the mice's lives.

When the locus coeruleus broke down, the mice failed at simple cognitive tests that required them to be aware of changes in their environment.

For example, they did not build nests when placed in an unknown cage, whereas normal mice typically do when placed in a new environment.

But when the mice were given norepinephrine precursors, which are converted in the brain into the key neurotransmitter and hormone, the problem was fixed.

slowing down

Birth control role in cutting emissions.

Investing in birth control to reduce population growth could be more effective in cutting greenhouse gas emissions than building wind turbines or nuclear power stations, according to a United Nations report.

Taking action to prevent one billion births by 2050 would save as much carbon dioxide as constructing two million giant wind turbines.

The UN Population Fund report predicted that the global population could reach 10.5 billion by 2050, up from 6.8 billion today, unless urgent action was taken to reduce fertility rates. It said that even its medium-growth forecast of 2.3 billion more people by 2050, which assumes a fall in average fertility from 2.56 to 2.02 children per woman, would make it much harder to achieve the cuts in carbon emissions needed to prevent catastrophic climate change.

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Wow. Couple arrested for not leaving tip.

Couple Busted for Refusing to Pay Tip

Patrons claim service was so bad, they had to get napkins and silverware for themselves
Updated 12:20 PM EST, Thu, Nov 19, 2009

If you’re frustrated by poor service at a restaurant, think twice before you decide to not tip. You may be in for a bit more than just a dirty look from the waiter.

"Nobody, nobody wants to be forced to pay a tip or be arrested for terrible service," Leslie Pope said when her happy hour ended in handcuffs.

Pope and John Wagner were hauled away by police and charged with theft for not paying the mandatory 18 percent gratuity totaling $16 after eating at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pa. with six friends.

Pope claimed that they had to wait nearly an hour for their order and that she had to get napkins and silverware for the table herself.

“At this point I became very annoyed because I had already gone up to the bar myself to have my soda refilled because the waitress never came back,” Pope said.

After the $73 bill came, the group paid for food, drinks, and tax but refused to pay the tip. After explaining the bad service to the bartender in charge, Pope claimed he took their money and called police. The couple was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car.

“I understand that, you know, we didn’t pay the gratuity, but it was a gratuity, it wasn’t something that was required,” said Wagner.

The owner admitted that the group waited unusually long for their food, but said the pub was extremely busy that night. He said managers offered to comp the food, a claim the couple denies ever happened.

“Obviously we would have liked for the patron and the establishment to have worked this out without getting the police involved,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Stuart Bedics.

Police charged them with theft since the gratuity was part of the actual bill. However, it is doubtful that the charges will hold up in front of a judge. The couple is scheduled to appear in court next month.


WTF? They PAID for their bill. They decided not to tip for shitty service. Thoughts?

I should add that I've had family members who were waitresses. I've seen what they go through and I've always left a hefty tip to waiters and waitresses. However, I don't think you should be arrested should you decide not to tip. How embarassing.

Just when you think the right couldn't possibly be less connected with reality

Poll: Majority Of Republicans Think Obama Didn't Actually Win 2008 Election -- ACORN Stole It!

The new national poll from Public Policy Polling (D) has an astonishing number about paranoia among the GOP base: Republicans do not think President Obama actually won the 2008 election -- instead, ACORN stole it.

This number goes a long way towards explaining the anger of the Tea Party crowd. They not only think Obama's agenda is against America, but they don't think he was actually the choice of the American people at all! Interestingly, NY-23 Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman is now accusing ACORN of stealing his race, and Fox News personalities have often speculated about ACORN stealing the 2008 Minnesota Senate race for Al Franken.

The poll asked this question: "Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the Presidential election last year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?" The overall top-line is legitimately won 62%, ACORN stole it 26%.

Among Republicans, however, only 27% say Obama actually won the race, with 52% -- an outright majority -- saying that ACORN stole it, and 21% are undecided. Among McCain voters, the breakdown is 31%-49%-20%. By comparison, independents weigh in at 72%-18%-10%, and Democrats are 86%-9%-4%.

Now, the obvious comparison would be that many Democrats felt that George W. Bush didn't legitimately win the 2000 election. But there are some clear differences.

First of all, Al Gore empirically won the national popular vote in 2000, and lost in a disputed recount process in Florida. By comparison, John McCain lost the national popular vote by a 53%-46% margin.

In order to believe that Obama wasn't the true winner of the 2008 election, one would have to think that ACORN (and perhaps other groups) stuffed ballots to the tune of over 9.5 million votes, Obama's national margin.

PPP communications director Tom Jensen says: "Belief in the ACORN conspiracy theory is even higher among GOP partisans than the birther one, which only 42% of Republicans expressed agreement with on our national survey in September."


So according to Wikipedia Obama could have lost every state he wound up winning by a sub-5% margin and still won. Yeah, there could've been some ballot box-stuffing, but I don't think you can stuff that much. Not that facts ever got in the way of the teabag crowd, of course.
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Oprah Winfrey to Leave Talk Show in 2011

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Dear Friends:

Over the past several weeks, my team and I have had conversations with many of you to help address your questions about the future of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Of course, the one question we couldn't answer was the one that only Oprah could. And tomorrow, she will do just that.

But before she speaks to her loyal viewers, we wanted to share her decision first with you -- our valued partners for more than two decades.

Tomorrow, Oprah will announce live on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that she has decided to end what is arguably one of the most popular, influential and enduring programs in television history. The sun will set on the "Oprah" show as its 25th season draws to a close on September 9, 2011.

We welcome you to share this news this evening with your colleagues and viewers. As we all know, Oprah's personal comments about this on tomorrow's live show will mark an historic television moment that we will all be talking about for years to come.

We want to thank you for the partnership and friendship we have shared over the years. Your invaluable support has helped us to create the phenomenon of the "Oprah Show" that we've all been so proud to be a part of for the last 24 years. My staff and I will be calling all of you directly tonight and tomorrow. We look forward to speaking with you.

And, if you think the last quarter century has been something, then "don't touch that dial" as together we plan to make history in the next 20 months ... and beyond.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Bennett

President, Harpo, Inc.


Christian Bale

(no subject)

True or False: Michelle Obama is Jealous of President Obama and Oprah’s Friendship…

What is really going on??? Word around Washington is that Oprah is not welcomed to the White House. Apparently, Michelle isn’t to thrilled when her husband jumps as soon as Oprah comes a calling.

We have no idea who made Oprah an expert on government policies but apparently she felt that President Obama was going to make her an adviser. Even if he was, Michelle was not hearing any of that. Apparently this all started during the campaign and Michelle held her tongue because Oprah was supporting her husband but as soon as President Obama was elected and the campaign was over, Michelle let her feeling show face. Sources say, that during Oprah’s visit to the White House to interview the first lady, Michelle barely acknowledge Ol’ Harpo. When Oprah would ask Michelle a question, the first lady would direct all her attention to Gayle, it was like Oprah wasn’t even there. Damn… that’s cold!!!

They say Oprah had plans to redecorate the Lincoln room and also would be making frequent trips to see her friend who she campaigned for so hard. If all this is true, it’s obvious Michelle is not the one to play with. Oprah, you better sit down somewhere.

We all know when Oprah co-signs someone or something, it normally turns to gold and whenever she says jump, they normally say, “HOW HIGH???” How many of you think that it’s possible for Oprah to overstep her boundaries???


Man charged with murder of gay Puerto Rico teen

A man has been charged with the first degree murder of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado.

Lopez Mercado, 19, was found dead by the side of a road on Saturday in the city of Cayey. His body had been burnt and dismembered.

The fashion student was said to be well-known among the island's gay community and was known to have taken part in charity work.

Juan A Martinez Matos was arrested on Monday evening. He has also been charged with three counts of weapons violations and one count of hiding evidence.

According to Associated Press, Matos is thought to have confessed to the murder.

Authorities are still deciding whether he will also be charged with a hate crime. Puerto Rico has had laws against homophobic hate crime since 2002 but these have never been used before.

Prosecutor Jose Bermudez Santos said that Matos and Lopez Mercado had met on Thursday night while Lopez was dress in women's clothes.

Matos allegedly killed him after discovering he was a man.

Local gay activist Pedro Julio Serrano said: "All the information we have is very clear that this is indeed a hate crime."

Matos could be one of the first to be tried under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which offers federal protection against hate crimes motivated by homophobia and transphobia.

The law was signed by President Barack Obama last month.

Source: Pink News

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Christian Bale

(no subject)

The LA Story, Part IV: Program for Torture Victims

Lavelle Stewart, of ACORN in South Central Los Angeles, tells us she thinks we have to hook up with “someone who’s on that international sex business level,” that “14 and 15 year olds been traveling overseas for years,” that she can do independent research for us, and that she has had meetings with Porn magnate Larry Flynt. As for laundering the sex money into my faux political campaign, Lavelle says, “there are ways, people do it all the time. Yeah there are ways, especially out here in California.”

Part I

Part II

girls aloud

Another greedy douche and scammer revealed.

this is a huge story in my local papers. Basically, this high-powered and very well-connected lawyer down in Fort Lauderdale ran a scheme similar to Bernard Madoff but in a much shorter timespan and naturally, got busted.
One of the specialty divisions at my old job did work on his boat and his other properties./cool story

A Scott Rothstein Sampler Platter
by Nathan Koppel

Though he has been absent from the blog for a few days, Scott Rothstein has not been far from our thoughts.

Let’s get you caught up on the latest news about the Florida lawyer who is being pursued by seemingly half of the Sunshine State for running an alleged Ponzi scheme. Click here for earlier news on the Rothstein saga.
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Christian Bale

Womens Viagra Will Solve Many Problems

'Women's Viagra' May Be Coming

A failed anti-depression drug may end the elusive search for the female version of Viagra.

During its initial clinical testing, flibanserin didn't cheer women up; rather, many who took it reported "an increased libido that they liked." This led to a series of studies in which pre-menopausal women in three countries went on a 24-week course of the drug and documented in a diary the intensity of their sexual desires and how many satisfactory sexual encounters they had.

Researchers found 100 milligrams a day of the drug resulted in "significant improvements" on both fronts relative to women who took a placebo. While Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications work on the blood supply, flibanserin achieves its action on the fairer sex by heading directly for a female's sexually complicated brain.

Not only is this potentially great news for sexually bored women (and the men who want to have sex with them), but "The Flibanserin Diaries" would make for a terrific high-concept porn. Anyone have a contact at Cinemax?


Beware the Pishtacos gang...

-Gang 'killed victims to extract their fat'Peruvian police arrest suspects who allegedly drained their victims and sold liquid as an anti-wrinkle treatment

Police named the band the "Pishtacos" after a myth dating to pre-Columbian times of killers who slaughtered victims with machetes to extract fat. The gang allegedly operated in Huanuco, a rural province dotted with Inca temples between the jungle and Andean peaks. Six members remained at large including the alleged leader, Hilario Cudena, who has been killing to extract fluid for more than three decades, said police.

Sixty people were listed as missing in Huanuco this year alone, though the province is also home to the Shining Path, a drug-trafficking leftist rebel group.

Mejia, the police chief, said his force received a tip four months ago about a trade in human fat. It infiltrated the gang and arrested Serapio Marcos Veramendi and Enedina Estela at a Lima bus station with a litre of human fat in a soda bottle.

Their testimony led to the arrest of another alleged member, Elmer Segundo Castillejos, 29, who led police to the severed head and supplied grisly details: the gang would sever victims' heads, arms and legs, remove organs and suspend torsos from hooks above candles which warmed the flesh as the fat dripped into tubs below. Castillejos claimed other gangs were engaged in similar killings.

The three suspects were charged with homicide, criminal conspiracy, illegal firearms possession and drug trafficking, according to Lima's superior court.

Police said they were searching for alleged buyers.

on the BBC

David Vitter: "What Has Love Got To Do With Interracial Marriage?"

Senator Vitter on Video: I Don't Know if Loving Was Correctly Decided

Vitter graduated Tulane Law School in 1988. Loving v. Virginia, decided in 1967, was a unanimous Supreme Court decision that declared state anti-miscegenation (interracial marriage) laws unconstitutional. It is one of the bedrock civil rights cases, right up there with Brown. It is simply not credible for any lawyer to claim ignorance when asked about Loving.

Anyway, this question did not come out of the blue. Several weeks ago, I invited Senator Vitter to condemn the racist Lousiana judge that refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. Vitter passed, simply smiling at me as the elevator doors closed on him.
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Does this means that once Vitter is done with Gay Marriage he is going after Interracial Marriage?...

Torture Memo Author Who Did Nothing Wrong Sets Up a Defense Fund Just in Case.

Torture Memo Author Sets Up Defense Fund to Fight Possible Impeachment

The federal judge who helped draft Justice Department memos on torture has set up a legal defense fund to pay the costs of defending against possible disciplinary or impeachment proceedings.
Jay Bybee, a U.S. Court of Appeals judge in Las Vegas, quietly set up the fund last July following widespread news reports that he and a former deputy, John Yoo, were the focus of a long-running investigation by the Justice Department's internal ethics unit, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), over their role in crafting the memos.

But there were no public references to the fund until this, week when Declassified noticed that a link to the fund had popped up on the Web site of Keep America Safe, an advocacy group set up last month by Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, that is highly critical of President Obama's national-security policies. The fund is listed as one of Keep America Safe's "causes we support."
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Where's Mitrice?

Mitrice Richardson is a 4.0 student, a former beauty pageant contestant, and a lesbian. She’s also been missing since September, and her family and girlfriend want answers.

Brilliant and beautiful, Mitrice Richardson found it easy to make people fall in love with her. The 24-year-old’s charm was evident the evening of September 16 when she showed up at a glamorous Malibu, Calif., restaurant to eat dinner by herself. A group of young people soon asked her to join their table, and they enjoyed her company even though they found her banter increasingly odd.

Richardson told her dinner guests she was from Mars and reportedly began speaking in gibberish.
This was not typical behavior for the former beauty pageant contestant, who graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a 4.0 grade point average, held down two jobs, volunteered for charity, and was in a committed relationship with another dynamic young woman.
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