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article imageTopFinds: Europe Votes, Scientology Goes on Trial

By David Silverberg     Jun 12, 2009 in Internet
The trial against Scientology in France begins. A Nevada brothel looks for male prostitutes. Why are atheists embracing debaptism? These are the top stories gaining attention around the world.
The European elections became the hottest issue as millions of voters took to the ballot boxes to have their say in their various democracies. Quick to illustrate the process was Michael Cosgrove, who wrote about his voting experience in Lyon, France. He tracked every step of the process, and snapped some illustrative pics of the voting booth, the volunteers and more. Great job, Michael.
Still in Europe, Christopher Szabo gave us a history lesson by exploring the origins of the Huns. He uncovered new archaeological evidence that pointed to the Huns' competency and city-building prowess, quite different than the portrait of the Huns as barbarians commonly bandied around as a stereotype. He interviewed an expert on the Huns and brought a new viewpoint to an under-reported story.
Quoting actor Christopher Plummer and Louise Arbour within 48 hours? It was a praiseworthy feat accomplished by Stephanie Dearing, who wrote about the two high-profile personalities receiving honourary degrees from the University of Guelph in Ontario. She was able to attend both events and heard Arbour -- former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights -- discuss waging a "war on poverty" and imploring students to service their country with dignity. She also described Christopher Plummer's address as being ripe with humour and charm. The photos are excellent, too.
A brothel looking for male prostitutes? This bizarre story came alive when Jeff Knebel interviewed the owner of Shady Lady Ranch in Nevada, which has been winning attention for announcing it's looking for men to join its prostitution service. The quotes are delectable, the humour shines through and the story is nicely well-written. Worth a look and a laugh.
Miguel Cotto speaks to the media
Miguel Cotto speaks to the media
Oliver Iglesias
And in our ever-popular category of boxing reportage, Oli Iglesias provided readers with an intimate look at a rising boxing star, Miguel Cotto. Oli attended a press conference in New York introducing the Puerto, Rico-born athlete and injected his article with enough stats and quotes to give it an ESPN shine. Well done, and kudos on the front-row photos, Oli.
Many other stories are popular on, including:
North Korea issues 'merciless offensive' nuclear threat: North Korea is once again rattling its saber, "demonstrating an increasing instability following its recent nuclear detonation test." As Michael Krebs reported, North Korea's nuclear arsenal can easily reach cities in South Korea and Japan. This story will continue to develop throughout the summer.
Shooting at Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.: Digital Journalist KJ Mullins was quick to report breaking news on a shooting at the Holocaust Museum. But she didn't just stop there; she informed us about the shooter, whose racist and anti-Semitic perspectives are alive and well on the Web. The same can't be said for the shooter, in critical condition at the hospital.
Ronald Wilson Reagan.
Ronald Wilson Reagan.
File photo
Reporter blames present U.S. problems on Reagan: Current U.S. problems, Robert Parry says, can be traced to Reagan. It's a damning statement in an article filled with insight on how Ronald Reagan may have sparked the economic crisis in the U.S. The ol' Gipper might be to blame for other fallouts: "In foreign affairs, especially in the Middle East, it was the Reagan administration who gave aid to Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan in order to combat Soviet involvement."
Latest news from The French Scientology Trial: Our French correspondent Michael Cosgrove updated readers on the trial with Scientology front and center. There are charges of mental and emotional abuse, fraud, and protests circling the courthouse. Definitely the making of a great documentary.
Space Travel Takes its Toll on Human Appearance: Should we be surprised? Researchers found that travelling
Space shuttle
Perched on the end of the Canadian-built remote manipulator system, astronaut Andrew Feustel, mission specialist, performs work on the Hubble Space Telescope as the first of five STS-125 spacewalks kicks off a week’s work on the orbiting observatory. Feustel, teamed with astronaut John Grunsfeld (out of frame), will join the veteran spacewalker on two of the remaining four sessions of extravehicular activity later in the mission.
Photo courtesy NASA
in space can adversely affect your appearance. Bloated faces? Hair loss? Extra weight? Doesn't sound very appealing, all you astronauts wannabes.
Family of David Carradine distraught over leaked photo: The news of David Carradine's mysterious death shocked the world (especially Hollywood), but lost amidst the furor was a frustrated family. Carradine's relatives are upset that a Thai newspaper leaked photos of the actor's dead body. The FBI is contacting the newspaper to find out if the reporters should be involved in the investigation.
Debaptism the Latest Trend for Atheists: It almost sounds like a imagined word -- Carolyn E. Price enlightened us to debaptism trends where more than 100,000 people have downloaded a debaptism certificate from the website of the National Secular Society. 666divine pointed out an interesting irony: "How can any true atheist believe in the power of debaptism? It would mean that he believes in religion and god which true atheists don't, therefore debaptism would not be necessary."
U.S. city revises clothing bylaw, thongs a pain in the butt: We wonder what Sisqo would say about this ordinance. Yakima city council, in Washington State, recently passed a
Photo by Jack Versloot
revision to a clothing law that bans any "cleavage of the buttocks" (a name of a comedy troupe, perhaps?). Looks like women wearing thongs were upsetting locals. So now that the law is passed, violating this misdemeanor is subject to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Yakima women, time to invest in granny panties.
Are Japanese germ-free vegetables the food of the future?: After an informative intro on agriculture and food germs, Digital Journalist Bart B. Van Bockstaele introduced us to new research from Japan. Some fruits and vegetables are being cultivated in factories rather than on farmland. As he wrote, "Production can continue 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. This vastly improves productivity. Lettuce, for example, can be cropped up to 20 times a year. Some factories produce up to 3 million vegetables a year."
Apple unveils Safari 4, new MacBook Pro, and more on Snow Leopard: One of the top tech journalists on wrote an excellent overview of Apple's latest announcements. If you want to learn more about the new MacBooks, browser updates and the increased speed of Snow Leopard, don't miss this article.

TopFinds Awards

The honourees of this week's TopFinds Awards attracted impressive attention and widest readership. Digital Journal thanks the following Digital Journalists with Awards for their passion for covering the top issues of the day: Michael Krebs, M Dee Dubroff, Stephanie Dearing, Jane Fazackarley, Oli Iglesias, Brenton Currie, Jeff Knebel, Michael Cosgrove, Carolyn E. Price,Christopher Szabo , KJ Mullins, Bart B Van Bockstaele, Bob Ewing, Stephanie Dearing, and Carol Forsloff.
The Top Blog Post of the Week is awarded to W. Christopher Epler for his lengthy screed on President Obama's failings (in his opinion). One of his most indicting statements: "In our wounded and virtually dying country (which is still 90 plus percent under to domination of Bush/Cheney policies!), Obama fiddles while Rome burns." He says Obama has a lot more to do in his tenure as president -- he outlined a six-point plan of things Obama should accomplish -- so feel free to add your opinion on the blog post in the comments section of the piece.
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