November 2007

Thousands of Sudanese, many carrying knives and sticks, protest in Khartoum, Sudan, after prayers Friday Nov.30, 2007, calling for the execution of a British teacher Gillian Gibbons convicted of insulting Islam for letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad. Arabic slogan read as " revenge revenge" (AP Photos/Abd Raouf)

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) – Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and swords and beating drums, burned pictures of a British teacher Friday and demanded her execution for insulting Islam by letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad.

Sudan’s Islamic government, which has long whipped up anti-Western, Muslim hard-line sentiment at home, was balancing between fueling outrage over the case of Gillian Gibbons and containing it.

The government does not want to seriously damage ties with Britain, but the show of anger underlines its stance that Sudanese oppose Western interference, lawyers and political foes said. The uproar comes as the U.N. is accusing Sudan of dragging its feet on the deployment of peacekeepers in the war-torn Darfur region.

Many in the protesting crowd shouted "Kill her! Kill her by firing squad!"

(AP) Angry Sudanese protesters burn a newspaper carrying a photo of British teacher Gillian Gibbons

In response to the rally in central Khartoum, Gibbons was moved from the women’s prison across the Nile in Oumdurman to a secret location, her chief lawyer Kamal al-Gizouli told the Associated Press. He said he visited her there to discuss her conviction Thursday on charges of insulting Islam.

The 54-year-old Gibbons, who was sentenced to 15 days in jail, spoke Friday with her son John and daughter Jessica in Britain by telephone.

"One of the things my mum said today was that I don’t want any resentment towards Muslims," the son told AP. "She’s holding up quite well."

Despite the fervor of the protest, the rest of Khartoum was quiet. The rally was far smaller than February 2006 protests held with government backing after European newspapers ran caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, suggesting popular anger over Gibbons did not run as deep.

In their mosque sermons Friday, several Muslim clerics harshly denounced Gibbons, saying she had intentionally insulted the prophet, but they not call for protests and said the punishment ordered by the court was sufficient.

Still, after prayers, several thousand people converged on Khartoum’s Martyrs Square, near the presidential palace, and began calling for Gibbons’ execution. Many seemed to be from Sufi groups, religious sects that emphasize reverence for the prophet.

Some angrily denounced the teacher, but others smiled as they beat drums and burned newspapers with Gibbons’ picture, waving swords and clubs and green banners, the color of Islam.

Chants of "Kill her!" and "No tolerance: Execution!" rang out as hundreds of police in riot gear stood by, keeping the crowd contained but not moving against the rally.

Protesters dismissed Gibbons’ claims that she didn’t mean to insult the prophet.

"It is a premeditated action, and this unbeliever thinks that she can fool us?" said Yassin Mubarak, a young dreadlocked man swathed in green and carrying a sword. "What she did requires her life to be taken."

Several hundred protesters marched to Unity High School, where Gibbons worked, and chanted outside briefly before heading toward the nearby British Embassy. They were stopped by security forces two blocks from the embassy. The protest dispersed after an hour.

"I would like to tell the whole world that what happened here from this English teacher is not acceptable to us," said a protester, Sheikh Nasser Abu Shamah.

There was no overt sign that the government organized the protest, but such a public rally could not have taken place without at least official assent.

Gibbons was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in jail and deportation for insulting Islam with the naming of the teddy bear, which was part of a class project for her 7-year-old students at the private school.

She escaped harsher punishment that could have included up to 40 lashes, six months in prison and a fine. Her time in jail since her arrest Sunday counts toward the sentence.

The conviction shocked Britons, and the British government said it was working with Sudan’s regime to win her release. Muslim groups in Britain and the United States denounced the ruling, saying Gibbons should not have been tried.

Many in the West were mystified by the anger over a teddy bear.

During her trial, a weeping Gibbons said she had intended no harm. Her students, overwhelmingly Muslim, chose the name for the bear, and Muhammad is one of the most common names for men in the Arab world. Muslim scholars generally agree that intent is a key factor in determining if someone has violated Islamic rules against insulting the prophet.

But the case was caught up in the ideology that President Omar al-Bashir’s Islamic regime has long instilled in Sudan, a mix of anti-colonialism, religious fundamentalism and a sense that the West is besieging Islam.

"The escalation is deliberate," said Mariam al-Mahdi, a leader of the main opposition Umma party. "There has been a strong official mobilization in the media and mosques against the so-called imperialists and the crusaders."

She pointed to nationalistic songs often played on state media, including one that proclaims, "For you America, we were trained and for you prophet, we were armed."

Gibbons’ defense lawyer, al-Gizouli, said that given the strong religious feeling in Sudan, "if you tell the people that someone has done such and such, they get angry … without (finding out) what exactly happened, the facts, the reality."

By prosecuting Gibbons, the government may have wanted to raise public anger to bolster its resistance to including Western peacekeepers in the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force that is supposed to deploy in Darfur, al-Gizouli said.

"You take an event like this teacher incident, enlarge it and make a bomb out of it," he told AP. The aim is to show "Muslims in Sudan don’t want these people (Westerners) to interfere, we want African troops."

Al-Bashir said in early November that he would not allow Scandinavian countries to join the peacekeeping force because newspapers there published the cartoons that insulted the Prophet Muhammad.

But he long resisted any U.N. peacekeepers, denouncing them as colonialists and vowing to lead a holy war against them, until he consented under growing international pressure to allow the joint force earlier this year.

On Tuesday, the U.N. peacekeeping chief, Jean-Marie Guehenno, said the Khartoum regime was still throwing up obstacles to the deployment of the 26,000-strong force.

Al-Bashir came to power in a 1989 military coup, supported by fundamentalists rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood. His ruling party, dominated by Islamic hard-liners, controls the levers of power in the north, where Islamic Sharia law is in place.

(AP) Thousands of Sudanese, many carrying knives and sticks, protest in Khartoum, Sudan, after prayers
(AP) Sudanese student Yassin Mohamed Al Mubark a suffi student from Fitaihab, near Khartoum, brandishes his sword during the protest in Khartoum, Sudan, after Friday prayers Nov.30, 2007, calling for the execution of Gillian Gibbons



Evel Knievel

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) – Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho’s Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69.

Knievel’s death was confirmed by his granddaughter, Krysten Knievel. He had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs.

Knievel had undergone a liver transplant in 1999 after nearly dying of hepatitis C, likely contracted through a blood transfusion after one of his bone-shattering spills.

Immortalized in the Washington’s Smithsonian Institution as "America’s Legendary Daredevil," Knievel was best known for a failed 1974 attempt to jump Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered cycle and a spectacular crash at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. He suffered nearly 40 broken bones before he retired in 1980.

Though Knievel dropped off the pop culture radar in the ’80s, the image of the high-flying motorcyclist clad in patriotic, star-studded colors was never erased from public consciousness. He always had fans and enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

His death came just two days after it was announced that he and rapper Kanye West had settled a federal lawsuit over the use of Knievel’s trademarked image in a popular West music video.

Knievel made a good living selling his autographs and endorsing products. Thousands came to Butte, Mont., every year as his legend was celebrated during the "Evel Knievel Days" festival.

"They started out watching me bust my ass, and I became part of their lives," Knievel said. "People wanted to associate with a winner, not a loser. They wanted to associate with someone who kept trying to be a winner."

For the tall, thin daredevil, the limelight was always comfortable, the gab glib. To Knievel, there always were mountains to climb, feats to conquer.

"No king or prince has lived a better life," he said in a May 2006 interview with The Associated Press. "You’re looking at a guy who’s really done it all. And there are things I wish I had done better, not only for me but for the ones I loved."

He had a knack for outrageous yarns: "Made $60 million, spent 61. …Lost $250,000 at blackjack once. … Had $3 million in the bank, though."

He began his daredevil career in 1965 when he formed a troupe called Evel Knievel’s Motorcycle Daredevils, a touring show in which he performed stunts such as riding through fire walls, jumping over live rattlesnakes and mountain lions and being towed at 200 mph behind dragster race cars.

In 1966 he began touring alone, barnstorming the West and doing everything from driving the trucks, erecting the ramps and promoting the shows. In the beginning he charged $500 for a jump over two cars parked between ramps.

He steadily increased the length of the jumps until, on New Year’s Day 1968, he was nearly killed when he jumped 151 feet across the fountains in front of Caesar’s Palace. He cleared the fountains but the crash landing put him in the hospital in a coma for a month.

His son, Robbie, successfully completed the same jump in April 1989.

In the years after the Caesar’s crash, the fee for Evel’s performances increased to $1 million for his jump over 13 buses at Wembley Stadium in London – the crash landing broke his pelvis – to more than $6 million for the Sept. 8, 1974, attempt to clear the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in a rocket-powered "Skycycle." The money came from ticket sales, paid sponsors and ABC’s "Wide World of Sports."

The parachute malfunctioned and deployed after takeoff. Strong winds blew the cycle into the canyon, landing him close to the swirling river below.

On Oct. 25, 1975, he jumped 14 Greyhound buses at Kings Island in Ohio.

Knievel decided to retire after a jump in the winter of 1976 in which he was again seriously injured. He suffered a concussion and broke both arms in an attempt to jump a tank full of live sharks in the Chicago Amphitheater. He continued to do smaller exhibitions around the country with his son, Robbie.

Many of his records have been broken by daredevil motorcyclist Bubba Blackwell.

Knievel also dabbled in movies and TV, starring as himself in "Viva Knievel" and with Lindsay Wagner in an episode of the 1980s TV series "Bionic Woman." George Hamilton and Sam Elliott each played Knievel in movies about his life.

Evel Knievel toys accounted for more than $300 million in sales for Ideal and other companies in the 1970s and ’80s.

Born Robert Craig Knievel in the copper mining town of Butte on Oct. 17, 1938, Knievel was raised by his grandparents. He traced his career choice back to the time he saw Joey Chitwood’s Auto Daredevil Show at age 8.

Outstanding in track and field, ski jumping and ice hockey at Butte High School, he went on to win the Northern Rocky Mountain Ski Association Class A Men’s ski jumping championship in 1957 and played with the Charlotte Clippers of the Eastern Hockey League in 1959.

He also formed the Butte Bombers semiprofessional hockey team, acting as owner, manager, coach and player.

Knievel also worked in the Montana copper mines, served in the Army, ran his own hunting guide service, sold insurance and ran Honda motorcycle dealerships. As a motorcycle dealer, he drummed up business by offering $100 off the price of a motorcycle to customers who could beat him at arm wrestling.

At various times and in different interviews, Knievel claimed to have been a swindler, a card thief, a safe cracker, a holdup man.

Evel Knievel married hometown girlfriend, Linda Joan Bork, in 1959. They separated in the early 1990s. They had four children, Kelly, Robbie, Tracey and Alicia.

Robbie Knievel followed in his father’s footsteps as a daredevil, jumping a moving locomotive in a 200-foot, ramp-to-ramp motorcycle stunt on live television in 2000. He also jumped a 200-foot-wide chasm of the Grand Canyon.

Knievel lived with his longtime partner, Krystal Kennedy-Knievel, splitting his time between their Clearwater condo and Butte. They married in 1999 and divorced a few years later but remained together. Knievel had 10 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.




Christopher Mata is pictured with with his aunt Yvette Morales in this family photo

A 19-year-old and a 16-year-old have been arrested and charged with aggravated assault in the beating of a Del Valle High School sophomore.

Police believe the assault was gang-related, and the preliminary investigation indicates that the victim, Christopher Mata, willingly participated in the attack. Police said they believe he was being "jumped out" of one gang so that he could join another.

Police said Mata agreed to meet 19-year-old Jorge Flores and a 16-year-old male gang member at the school to be "jumped out," which is similar to the process of "jumping in" to become a gang member when one is assaulted by other gang members.

"The investigators received information Flores and the 16-year old juvenile viciously assaulted the victim and left him bloodied and laying on the floor," police spokesman Officer Chris Mears said. "Although it appears the victim willingly participated in the event, it is still illegal to assault someone and both subjects have been charged with aggravated assault."

Flores was jailed on a $25,000 bond. The juvenile was referred to the Juvenile Probation Department.

Mata remains hospitalized at Thomason Hospital in serious condition. His mother has said that he is not involved with gangs.

Source The Mexican Times

When first reported:

Del Valle High School sophomore Christopher Mata was sitting in Spanish class Wednesday, his last class of the day, when he asked his teacher for a hall pass.

His request was granted, so he left the class. He never returned.

Before that class ended, a janitor had found Mata unconscious in a stairwell of the Lower Valley campus at 950 Bordeaux.

El Paso police say Mata was assaulted at the school. He was found bleeding and with head injuries.

Mata was rushed by ambulance to Thomason Hospital, where he remained in the

intensive-care unit Thursday.

His mother, Monica Aguirre, said doctors have told her Mata suffered a serious blow to his head, which fractured his skull and caused internal bleeding. Upon arriving at the hospital he was placed on a ventilator in a drug-induced coma.

Aguirre said doctors told her that they didn’t think he’s suffered any brain damage, but that only time and more tests will show for sure. Meanwhile, all she can do is wait and see how his body responds to medical treatment.

Aguirre can’t believe her son is in ICU, she said. Even more disturbing is that he was assaulted and seriously injured while classes were in session at Del Valle, a place that is supposed to be a haven.

"He was unconscious on the stairwell for about an hour before a janitor found him," Aguirre said.

Thursday night, family members said they were told by El Paso police detectives that two "teens from school" had been arrested in connection with the case.

"The detective told us that the sister of the main suspect had confirmed to police that he had come home with a bloody shirt," said Mata’s aunt, Yvette Morales.

Morales also said they believed four people, possibly more and and possibly a girl, were involved in the assault.

"There’s a lot of information going around that we’re hearing from students coming to visit my nephew," Morales said.

El Paso police said an investigation continued.

"As far as we know, the last time he (Mata) was seen safe and secure was about 3:10 p.m," said Darrel Petry, police spokesman.

Petry said an El Paso police officer assigned to Del Valle as a school resource officer was informed during school hours that an injured student was in a stairwell. The officer reported that a 16-year-old boy was bleeding and had head injuries "he suffered during an altercation," Petry said.

Berenice Zubia, Ysleta Independent School District spokeswoman, said school officials think Mata was assaulted during the last period of the school day, which runs from 2:25 to 3:55 p.m.

While the police report on the assault says that Mata got his hall pass around 3:10 p.m., school officials say the student received the pass around 3:20 p.m. He was found unconscious by a custodian around 3:40 p.m, Zubia said.

"This is a very unfortunate situation," Zubia said, "and we are working very closely with the authorities to find out what happened."

As a result of the assault, security has been increased at the campus.

The school regularly has a school resource officer – a police officer assigned to the campus – and three security guards. Officials said more security guards were sent to the campus Thursday, but they would not disclose how many more guards were added because of security concerns. More counselors were also added to help students who may be having trouble coping with the situation.

Zubia said investigators were at the campus Thursday talking to people who know Mata and to try to find anyone who may have information about the assault.

School district officials said between August and September, six assaults were reported at Del Valle. Statistics for October and November were not available.

Zubia said it’s not uncommon for high schools to report assaults because students get into fistfights from time to time. When fights occur, they tend to be broken up quickly.

She also said that not all assaults involve fistfights. Allegations of students pushing each other can also be classified as assaults, she said.

"But this is not common. It was an extremely violent situation," Zubia said about the assault that took place Wednesday at Del Valle.

Mata is the eldest of Aguirre’s four children. He is in his third year of high school but is listed as a sophomore at Del Valle.

Aguirre said she couldn’t believe it when school officials called her Wednesday to tell her that her son was going to be rushed to a hospital.

"They said, ‘Ms. Aguirre we have a child here found in a stairwell. He was unconscious. We believe it’s Christopher Mata. We don’t know how long he’d been there. The ambulance is coming here and taking him to the hospital. He’s in bad condition. He’s really bad,’ " Aguirre recalled.

Aguirre said that during the telephone call, she felt many emotions. She was concerned for her son’s well-being, scared, confused and angry. The anger, she said, was over school officials’ failure to keep her son safe while he was in their care.

By the time she arrived at Thomason, she said, she was desperate for answers.

"I was really mad because my son is in ICU and I wanted to know who hit him, who did this to him, and nobody knew anything," Aguirre said. "It happened at the school which has many security guards. Where were they when this happened to my son? Aren’t they doing routine checks?"

Aguirre said she was told her son was assaulted while a taking a break from a class.

"He had a hall pass to get out of class. I believe he was going to the restroom, and while he was out at that moment is when he was attacked and left in a stairwell. We still don’t know who attacked him," she said.

Aguirre said Del Valle administrators told her they suspect the attack was gang-related.

"They accused my son of being a gang member," she said, "while we are arguing to them that he is not a gang member."

Aguirre said school officials then told her that regardless of whether he was affiliated with a gang, they would help her.

She said school officials probably believed the attack was gang-related because last year her son would talk to students who were linked to gangs. She said he no longer associated with those people.

Aguirre said her three other children, who range in age from 9 to 12, were now scared to go to school, so she would keep them home from school today.

"Schools are supposed to be safe and fun and provide a good learning experience and that is not happening," Aguirre said. "As parents we are responsible for our children’s safety when they are with us.

"When our children are at school, the school is responsible for their safety," she said. "They are supposed to protect them."


Monica Aguirre and her son Christopher Mata in the intensive-care unit at Thomason Hospital

Source The Mexican Times

We bet our paychecks that the Mexicans involved including Mata and his family are illegally in the US and… 

 We guarantee you Mata’s mother can’t/won’t pay the Mexican gang banger’s hospital bill. Why should she when she knows she doesn’t have to and that US tax payers will end up paying for her POS son. 

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) ― A new policy to ensure consistent communication between San Francisco police officers and those who speak little English has been approved by the San Francisco Police Commission.

According to the "Language Access Services for Limited English Proficient Persons" policy, San Francisco Police Department members will have access to a language card to let the public identify which language they speak.

The new policy also provides free language assistance to the public, officials said.

Police officers are prohibited from using family members, neighbors, friends, volunteers, bystanders or children for translation, except in dire circumstances, according to the policy.

Qualified bilingual Police Department members, civilian interpreters and telephone interpreters through the Department of Emergency Management may be used by officers, according to the policy.



A woman is escorted away from the Clinton office after being released.

Click Here For Updates

ROCHESTER, N.H. —  A man claiming to have an explosive device strapped to his body released the two hostages he was holding Friday afternoon at the Rochester, N.H., campaign headquarters of Sen. Hillary Clinton, law enforcement officials told FOX News.

The hostages — believed to be staffers — included a woman with a child.

ABC News reported that police believe the man is a local resident with a history of mental illness, and that he told his son to "watch the news today."

The drama began to unfold just after 1 p.m. Friday when local news reported a man walked into the campaign office saying he wanted to speak with Clinton, a federal source told FOX News.

Clinton was not in New Hampshire at the time.

Police and SWAT teams were using loudspeakers to communicate with the man, and there are reports that police have tried to arrange for a cell phone to be given to him.

"There is an ongoing situation in our Rochester, N.H., office. We are in close contact with state and local authorities and are acting at their direction. We will release additional details as appropriate," a campaign release issued about 2:45 p.m. ET.

Clinton canceled her speech that was scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Democratic National Committee fall meeting in Northern Virginia, party chair Howard Dean announced.

Clinton was said to be monitoring the situation from her Washington, D.C., home. Husband Bill Clinton has a scheduled event in Newton, Iowa, acting as a surrogate for his wife.

Sharpshooters have been positioned near the building, and at least one bomb squad unit also is on the scene.

Other nearby presidential campaign offices including those for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and John Edwards, have been evacuated, as well as other nearby businesses, according to news reports.

WMUR reported that witness Lettie Tzizik said she spoke to a woman shortly after she was released from the office by the suspect. The woman was carrying an infant, and crying.

"She said, ‘You need to call 911. A man has just walked into the Clinton office, opened his coat and showed us a bomb strapped to his chest with duct tape," Tzizik said.

The assailant is being described as in his 40s with salt-and-pepper hair.


Via Bullwinkle:

Unless you been asleep, on the moon, or visiting Botswana, you probably heard how former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani billed taxpayers for the security and travel of his mistress, now third wife Judith Nathan. Richard Esposito at ABC News reports

Well before it was publicly known he was seeing her, then-married New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani provided a police driver and city car for his mistress Judith Nathan, former senior city officials tell the Blotter on “She used the PD as her personal taxi service,” said one former city official who worked for Giuliani.

New York papers reported in 2000 that the city had provided a security detail for Nathan, who became Giuliani’s third wife after his divorce from Donna Hanover, who also had her own police security detail at the same time.

The former city officials said Giuliani expanded the budget for his security detail at the time. reported yesterday that many of the security expenses were initially billed to obscure city agencies, effectively hiding them from oversight. The former officials told the extra costs involved overtime and per diem costs for officers traveling with Giuliani to secret weekend rendezvous with Nathan in the fashionable Hamptons resort area on Long Island.

When the New York City comptroller began to question the accounting, Mayor Giuliani’s office declined to provide details to city security, officials told today. “The Comptroller’s Office made repeated requests for the information in 2001 and 2002 but was informed that due to security concerns the information could not be provided,” a spokesperson for the comptroller’s office said.

Giuliani called the reports a hit job and dirty trick. When politicians reply like that to allegations of misuse of office, I believe the allegations. That goes for members of any political party.

Does Rudy’s use of his public office make him any different than Bill Clinton who carried on an affair with Monica Lewinsky when President? How do any Republicans who were outraged at Clinton reconcile supporting Giuliani?

Yes I admit Clinton, lied under oath. Giuliani probably lied to the public. Other than one of those being a crime, is it really different? I’d place a bet there is some statute or ethics rule that Rudy broke if its true about his mistress being shuffled about like she was.

Rick at Stuck on the Palmetto says

The same people who were so famously outraged at Bill Clinton’s indiscretions while in office are more than willing to vote for a conservative who is more liberal than some liberals and who used taxpayer money to help facilitate his extramarital affair while in office.

Rick is doing some generalizing about Republicans, and is off about how liberal Giuliani is compared to liberal Democrats, but he makes a point. Are some Republicans being hypocritical when supporting Rudy Giuliani for President?

By the way, if Oscar Wilde is right, Rudy may not be through having affairs. Who knows, but I think even Rudy supporters will say he tends to be secretive.

“A man who marries his mistress leaves a vacancy in that position.”


Harare: Thousands of Zimbabwean war veterans gathered in Harare on Friday to lead a "million-man march" in support of President Robert Mugabe’s bid to extend his rule.

The 83-year-old Mugabe is seeking re-election in presidential and parliamentary elections set for March 2008.

Thousands of supporters converged at various points in the city on Friday, singing revolutionary songs and pledging support for Harare.

Opponents allege that Mugabe has seen off challenges through tough policing, vote-rigging and patronage to reward supporters. He denies the accusations.

War veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda told state media that the "one million men and women march" was meant to demonstrate that Mugabe enjoyed solid support despite Western powers’ opposition to his rule.



New Delhi: A 200-year-old cannon wheeled out by Indian villagers to greet a visiting minister exploded after being overstuffed with gunpowder, killing two men, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

Residents of Badoli village in the country’s western Rajasthan state had planned the gun salute on Tuesday evening to welcome Kirodi Lal Meena, a state minister, the Times of India reported on Thursday.

The minister left immediately after the accident, which also injured six other people.


Colombo, Nov 30 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan military said Friday that more than 4,000 deserters have rejoined the Army during a two-week amnesty period.

Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara told reporters 4,394 deserters rejoined the Army between Nov 12 and Nov 24.

He said this accounts for about half of the 10,000 soldiers who have deserted the Army due to various reasons.

‘After a short period of retraining they will be posted in the ranks they held when they deserted,’ he said.

The spokesman also said soldiers who have completed their 12-year service are encouraged to rejoin the Army.

Analysts say these moves will give a boost to the Sri Lankan Army in their struggle against the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).


By Brian Tracey


Twitch the Raccoon comes with its own body bag. A truck-tire print runs across its back.

Look into any child’s toy box and you’ll usually find at least one stuffed animal that has seen better days — a teddy bear with an eye missing or an arm nearly torn off. Now a British company wants to give you that look right out of the box with its line of  "roadkill" plush toys.

The first to be launched is Twitch the Raccoon which comes with its own body bag, reports U.K newspaper Metro.

Twitch also has an identity tag revealing it was "run over over by a milk [delivery truck] last Thursday."

A zipper on each side of the toy allows the owner to remove Twitch’s internal organs and stuff them back in again. A truck-tire print runs across its back.

The product’s creators, Compost Communications, call themselves "toy terrorists." 

"We squash and burn and bludgeon and maim," the company was quoted as saying on its Web site. "But we’re also toy fanatics like you. We love toys."

Toy creator Adam Arber, 33, said: "I got the idea from looking at my mother-in-law’s dog which is quite ugly and I thought it would make a great toy. A friend of mine had taken some pictures of road kill and the two things gelled into one idea."

He said he thought the toys, which cost $50, would appeal to people with a sense of humor and "probably not anyone easily upset".

Twitch is set to go on sale starting in December at London’s Play Lounge toy store and online at Coming soon are other characters including Grind the rabbit, Splodge the hedgehog and Pop the weasel.

What, no baby deer called Slambi?

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