Saturday, December 3, 2016

Pollsters Victims of Organ Theft Rumors (Peru)

Voice of America
2 December 2016


LIMA —  One woman has been killed and some 40 people were arrested in a Peruvian shantytown after an angry mob tried to lynch two pollsters whom residents believed were butchering local children to take their organs, authorities said Friday.

False rumors on social media claiming dead children had been found with their organs missing fanned mass hysteria in the shantytown Huaycan on the outskirts of Lima, prompting residents to target two employees of a polling company who had been conducting door-to-door marketing surveys, said Police General Hugo Begazo.

"From one second to the next, people started to surround us," said visibly shaken Luis Nunez with polling firm Quantum in broadcast comments. "They nearly lynched us and set us on fire."

Police managed to pry Nunez and his colleague from the mob, which then attacked the police station in Huaycan where they were being held for their protection, Begazo said. […]

Saturday, November 19, 2016

“If You Want to Get Away with Murder, Go To Clinton, Iowa”

Clinton Herald [Iowa]
19 November 2016

    By Matt Parbs

[Talk show host Johnny Carson supposedly joked that “if you want to get away with murder, go to Clinton, Iowa.”] [...] I know many Clintonians vividly remember watching him say that one late night. Would you believe me if I claimed he never said it about Clinton, and probably never made a joke like that at all?

First, some context. The joke is claimed to have been made between the 1980s and early 1990s. During the decade the joke was born, national homicide rates hit all-time highs. While murder rates rose for seemingly all communities, the national clearance rate for homicides dropped from 90 percent resolved in the 1960s to below 70 percent for most years since 1980. And there was a trend of backlogged cases waiting for trial.

America was facing two disturbing trends, rising homicides and fewer closed cases. In this context, at least 40 towns swear they heard either Johnny Carson or Paul Harvey say their town was the place to escape murder charges. […]

Monday, November 7, 2016

Plastic Rice Rumors (Cambodia)

The Phnom Penh Post [Cambodia]
7 November 2016

Touch Sokha

The Ministry of Agriculture has moved to debunk fears that “plastic rice” has been distributed across the Kingdom in the wake of a series of Facebook posts from people claiming to have swallowed grains of plastic.

“According to the experiment, the Ministry . . . kindly informs the public that in the samples of milled rice provided by the Cambodia Rice Confederation, there is no plastic substance in the rice,” the ministry announced on Friday, adding that misinformation could affect the price of the product.

Six samples from across the country were tested in the ministry’s laboratory, said lab director Choun Mony Roth. “It is impossible for plastic to be made into milled rice, but it can be made into plastic pills for other products,” she said.

Roth added that it made no economic sense for rice to be crafted from plastic, as a kilogram of plastic retails at $1.50, while the same amount of rice costs between $0.50 and $0.75. […]