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Dr. Fly

18 years in Wall Street, left after finding out it was all horseshit. Founder/ Master and Commander: iBankCoin, finance news and commentary from the future.

Thomson-Reuters is Selling Its Soul For $1 Million Bribes

A closely watched consumer confidence number that routinely moves markets upon release is accessed by an elite group of traders, for a fee, a full two seconds before its official release, according to a document obtained by CNBC.

A contract signed by Thomson Reuters, the news agency and data provider, and the University of Michigan, which produces the widely cited economic statistic, stipulates that the data will be posted on the web for the general public at 10 a.m. on the days it is released.

Five minutes before that, at 9:55 a.m., the data is distributed on a conference call for Thomson Reuters’ paying clients, who are given certain headline numbers.

But the contract carves out an even more elite group of clients, who subscribe to the “ultra-low latency distribution platform,” or high-speed data feed, offered by Thomson Reuters. Those most elite clients receive the information in a specialized format tailor-made for computer-driven algorithmic trading at 9:54:58.000, according to the terms of the contract. On occasion, they could get the data even earlier—the contract allows for a plus or minus 500 milliseconds margin of error.

In the ultra-fast world of high-speed computerized markets, 500 milliseconds is more than enough time to execute trades in stocks and futures that would be affected by the soon-to-be-public news. Two seconds, the amount promised to “low latency” customers, is an eternity.

For exclusive access to the data, Thomson Reuters pays the University of Michigan $1 million per year, according to the contract, in addition to a “contingent fee” based on the revenue generated by Thomson Reuters. The contract reviewed by CNBC was signed in September of 2009. It expired a year later. Thomson Reuters and the University Michigan confirmed that the relationship still exists.

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Magic Johnson’s Gay Son: Sometimes the Apple Falls Very Hard From the Tree


So Magic Johnson’s son came out of the closet today (or yesterday, wTF, I don’t know) and that’s what he looks like. I couldn’t care less about his orientation, whether he enjoys to play with balls in the mud or not. But WTF is Magic Johnson’s son doing looking like a fat drag queen?

I do believe a DNA test is in order for Magic and the mother of this donut lover. Perhaps they can go on Maury Povich and hash it out.

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Riches to Rags, a la $AAPL

FORTUNE — In the late 1990s, an ad agency creative director I’ll call Joe Smith to protect his privacy bought several hundred shares of Apple (AAPL) at $60 apiece. Last fall, at age 42, he found himself out of work and increasingly dependent on the value of those shares to make ends meet.

Following the lead of a 33-year-old investment advisor named Andy Zaky who had written that Apple was going to $750 by January and to $1,000 within a year, Smith converted most of his Apple common stock — more than he should have — into high-risk Apple call options. When those options expired in the third week of January with Apple trading below $500, they were worth exactly zero. Smith had lost roughly $400,000 and all his Apple shares.

A lot of people lost a lot of money when Apple went into the extended downward slide that just entered its sixth month. And there were plenty of other experts saying all along that the stock was undervalued and ready to bounce. But Smith’s story — and the story of hundreds of other investors who were following Andy Zaky’s so-called Apple model portfolio last fall — hold a special poignancy for me. Not only did these people get some spectacularly bad advice, but they got it from someone whom I helped make famous.

I’d been writing about Zaky since the fall of 2008. I’d covered his earnings predictions, his buy and sell calls, his critiques of competing fund managers. I’d eaten dinner with him, toured him around my Brooklyn neighborhood, introduced him to my wife.

So I feel a personal and professional obligation to find out what went wrong.

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FLASH: SEC Freezes Assets in Swiss-Based Account Used in Suspected Insider Trading Ahead of Heinz Acquisition

Washington, D.C., Feb. 15, 2013 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today obtained an emergency court order to freeze assets in a Zurich, Switzerland-based trading account that was used to reap more than $1.7 million from trading in advance of yesterday’s public announcement about the acquisition of H.J. Heinz Company.

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The SEC’s immediate action ensures that potentially illegal profits cannot be siphoned out of this account while the agency’s investigation of the suspicious trading continues.

In a complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, the SEC alleges that prior to any public awareness that Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital had agreed to acquire H.J. Heinz Company in a deal valued at $28 billion, unknown traders took risky bets that Heinz’s stock price would increase. The traders purchased call options the very day before the public announcement. After the announcement, Heinz’s stock rose nearly 20 percent and trading volume increased more than 1,700 percent from the prior day, placing these traders in a position to profit substantially.

“Irregular and highly suspicious options trading immediately in front of a merger or acquisition announcement is a serious red flag that traders may be improperly acting on confidential nonpublic information,” said Daniel M. Hawke, Chief of the Division of Enforcement’s Market Abuse Unit.

Sanjay Wadhwa, Senior Associate Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, added, “Despite the obvious logistical challenges of investigating trades involving offshore accounts, we moved swiftly to locate and freeze the assets of these suspicious traders, who now have to make an appearance in court to explain their trading if they want their assets unfrozen.”

The SEC alleges that the unknown traders were in possession of material nonpublic information about the impending acquisition when they purchased out-of-the-money Heinz call options the day before the announcement. The timing and size of the trades were highly suspicious because the account through which the traders purchased the options had no history of trading Heinz securities in the last six months. Overall trading activity in Heinz call options several days before the announcement had been minimal.

The emergency court order obtained by the SEC freezes the traders’ assets and prohibits them from destroying any evidence. The SEC’s complaint charges the unknown traders with violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. In addition to the emergency relief, the SEC is seeking a final judgment ordering the traders to disgorge their ill-gotten gains with interest, pay financial penalties, and be permanently barred from future violations.

The SEC’s expedited investigation is being conducted by Market Abuse Unit members Megan Bergstrom, David S. Brown, and Diana Tani in the Los Angeles Regional Office with substantial assistance from Charles Riely, Market Abuse Unit member in the New York Regional Office who will handle the SEC’s litigation. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Options Regulatory Surveillance Authority (ORSA).

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The Most Prolific Sniper in US History, Chris Kyle, Has Been Buried

AUSTIN — Surrounded by the graves of heroes, soldiers and legends, the body of decorated military sniper Chris Kyle was laid to rest Tuesday in the Texas State Cemetery.

The 38-year-old known as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history was honored with bagpipes, a funeral salute and taps at a private ceremony in the sunshine near a small waterfall on the cemetery grounds.

With a giant Texas flag at half-staff overhead, Texas first lady Anita Perry presented Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, the American flag from his casket.

The services, attended by about 150 mourners, took place after a 180-mile funeral procession down Interstate 35 from Kyle’s hometown of Midlothian.

“For me, it’s a way of saying thank you to a true hero,” said Chris Dion, an Air Force active duty dog trainer at Lackland AFB who rode into town from San Antonio with about 100 Patriot Guard Riders, motorcyclists who volunteer to escort military funerals.

Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, were shot and killed Feb. 2 at a gun range southwest of Glen Rose in Erath County. Eddie Ray Routh, 25, has been charged with two counts of capital murder.

Remembered by his family as a softhearted father and husband, by his friends as “the legend” and by his wartime enemies in Iraq as the Devil of Ramadi, Kyle was widely known for his book, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.

He was buried in a section of the cemetery known as Statesman’s Meadow, at the center of 21 acres of gently rolling hills, waterfalls and a stream. He was laid to rest near the grave of former University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal and close to the 9/11 monument.

Mourners waved flags from overpasses up and down the interstate as the procession, escorted by an estimated 200 Patriot Guard Riders, began from Midlothian in the rain at 8:45 a.m. and arrived to sunshine in Austin three hours later.

The hourlong burial service included the tradition of Navy SEALS “pinning” the casket with Trident pins before it was lowered into the ground.

Leather-clad Patriot Guard Riders, many of them with military backgrounds, ringed the cemetery in a flag line, standing frozen in silent tribute. Mourners shook their hands, hugged and thanked them as they left the cemetery.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst attended the service, but Gov. Rick Perry was out of state.

Officials said Kyle’s brother requested permission from an overseeing committee for Kyle to be buried in the cemetery that is the final resting place for Texas politicians, honored members of the military and other public figures.

A two-hour memorial service on Monday drew 7,000 to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.


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The Man Who Literally Killed Bin Laden Cannot Find a Job

So absurd.


The man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden sat in a wicker chair in my backyard, wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care.

It was a mild spring day, April 2012, and our small group, including a few of his friends and family, was shielded from the sun by the patchwork shadows of maple trees. But the Shooter was sweating as he talked about his uncertain future, his plans to leave the Navy and SEAL Team 6.

He stood up several times with an apologetic gripe about the heat, leaving a perspiration stain on the seat-back cushion. He paced. I didn’t know him well enough then to tell whether a glass of his favorite single malt, Lagavulin, was making him less or more edgy.

We would end up intimately familiar with each other’s lives. We’d have dinners, lots of Scotch. He’s played with my kids and my dogs and been a hilarious, engaging gentleman around my wife.

In my yard, the Shooter told his story about joining the Navy at nineteen, after a girl broke his heart. To escape, he almost by accident found himself in a Navy recruiter’s office. “He asked me what I was going to do with my life. I told him I wanted to be a sniper.

“He said, ‘Hey, we have snipers.’

“I said, ‘Seriously, dude. You do not have snipers in the Navy.’ But he brought me into his office and it was a pretty sweet deal. I signed up on a whim.”

“That’s the reason Al Qaeda has been decimated,” he joked, “because she broke my fucking heart.”

I would come to know about the Shooter’s hundreds of combat missions, his twelve long-term SEAL-team deployments, his thirty-plus kills of enemy combatants, often eyeball to eyeball. And we would talk for hours about the mission to get bin Laden and about how, over the celebrated corpse in front of them on a tarp in a hangar in Jalalabad, he had given the magazine from his rifle with all but three lethally spent bullets left in it to the female CIA analyst whose dogged intel work and intuition led the fighters into that night.

When I was first around him, as he talked I would always try to imagine the Shooter geared up and a foot away from bin Laden, whose life ended in the next moment with three shots to the center of his forehead. But my mind insisted on rendering the picture like a bad Photoshop job — Mao’s head superimposed on the Yangtze, or tourists taking photos with cardboard presidents outside the White House.

Bin Laden was, after all, the man CIA director Leon Panetta called “the most infamous terrorist in our time,” who devoured inordinate amounts of our collective cultural imagery for more than a decade. The number-one celebrity of evil. And the man in my backyard blew his lights out.

ST6 in particular is an enterprise requiring extraordinary teamwork, combined with more kinds of support in the field than any other unit in the history of the U.S. military.

Similarly, NASA marshaled thousands of people to put a man on the moon, and history records that Neil Armstrong first set his foot there, not the equally talented Buzz Aldrin.

Enough people connected to the SEALs and the bin Laden mission have confirmed for me that the Shooter was the “number two” behind the raid’s point man going up the stairs to bin Laden’s third-floor residence, and that he is the one who rolled through the bedroom door solo and confronted the surprisingly tall terrorist pushing his youngest wife, Amal, in front of him through the pitch-black room. The Shooter had to raise his gun higher than he expected.

The point man is the only one besides the Shooter who could verify the kill shots firsthand, and he did just that to another SEAL I spoke with. But even the point man was not in the room then, having tackled two women into the hallway, a crucial and heroic decision given that everyone living in the house was presumed to be wearing a suicide vest.

But a series of confidential conversations, detailed descriptions of mission debriefs, and other evidence make it clear: The Shooter’s is the most definitive account of those crucial few seconds, and his account, corroborated by multiple sources, establishes him as the last man to see Osama bin Laden alive. Not in dispute is the fact that others have claimed that they shot bin Laden when he was already dead, and a number of team members apparently did just that.

What is much harder to understand is that a man with hundreds of successful war missions, one of the most decorated combat veterans of our age, who capped his career by terminating bin Laden, has no landing pad in civilian life.

Back in April, he and some of his SEAL Team 6 colleagues had formed the skeleton of a company to help them transition out of the service. In my yard, he showed everyone his business-card mock-ups. There was only a subtle inside joke reference to their team in the company name.

Unlike former SEAL Team 6 member Matt Bissonnette (No Easy Day), they do not rush to write books or step forward publicly, because that violates the code of the “quiet professional.” Someone suggested they might sell customized sunglasses and other accessories special operators often invent and use in the field. It strains credulity that for a commando team leader who never got a single one of his men hurt on a mission, sunglasses would be his best option. And it’s a simple truth that those who have been most exposed to harrowing danger for the longest time during our recent unending wars now find themselves adrift in civilian life, trying desperately to adjust, often scrambling just to make ends meet.

At the time, the Shooter’s uncle had reached out to an executive at Electronic Arts, hoping that the company might need help with video-game scenarios once the Shooter retired. But the uncle cannot mention his nephew’s distinguishing feature as the one who put down bin Laden.

Secrecy is a thick blanket over our Special Forces that inelegantly covers them, technically forever. The twenty-three SEALs who flew into Pakistan that night were directed by their command the day they got back stateside about acting and speaking as though it had never happened.

“Right now we are pretty stacked with consultants,” the video-game man responded. “Thirty active and recently retired guys” for one game: Medal of Honor Warfighter. In fact, seven active-duty Team 6 SEALs would later be punished for advising EA while still in the Navy and supposedly revealing classified information. (One retired SEAL, a participant in the bin Laden raid, was also involved.)

With the focus and precision he’s learned, the Shooter waits and watches for the right way to exit, and adapt. Despite his foggy future, his past is deeply impressive. This is a man who is very pleased about his record of service to his country and has earned the respect of his peers.

“He’s taken monumental risks,” says the Shooter’s dad, struggling to contain the frustration that roughs the edges of his deep pride in his son. “But he’s unable to reap any reward.”

It’s not that there isn’t one. The U.S. government put a $25 million bounty on bin Laden that no one is likely to collect. Certainly not the SEALs who went on the mission nor the support and intelligence experts who helped make it all possible. Technology is the key to success in this case more than people, Washington officials have said.

The Shooter doesn’t care about that. “I’m not religious, but I always felt I was put on the earth to do something specific. After that mission, I knew what it was.”

Others also knew, from the commander-in-chief on down. The bin Laden shooting was a staple of presidential-campaign brags. One big-budget movie, several books, and a whole drawerful of documentaries and TV films have fortified the brave images of the Shooter and his ST6 Red Squadron members.

There is commerce attached to the mission, and people are capitalizing. Just not the triggerman. While others collect, he is cautious and careful not to dishonor anyone. His manners come at his own expense.

“No one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job,” Barack Obama said last Veterans’ Day, “or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home.”

But the Shooter will discover soon enough that when he leaves after sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation:

Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.

Since Abbottabad, he has trained his children to hide in their bathtub at the first sign of a problem as the safest, most fortified place in their house. His wife is familiar enough with the shotgun on their armoire to use it. She knows to sit on the bed, the weapon’s butt braced against the wall, and precisely what angle to shoot out through the bedroom door, if necessary. A knife is also on the dresser should she need a backup.

Then there is the “bolt” bag of clothes, food, and other provisions for the family meant to last them two weeks in hiding.

“Personally,” his wife told me recently, “I feel more threatened by a potential retaliatory terror attack on our community than I did eight years ago,” when her husband joined ST6.

When the White House identified SEAL Team 6 as those responsible, camera crews swarmed into their Virginia Beach neighborhood, taking shots of the SEALs’ homes.

After bin Laden’s face appeared on their TV in the days after the killing, the Shooter cautioned his older child not to mention the Al Qaeda leader’s name ever again “to anybody. It’s a bad name, a curse name.” His kid started referring to him instead as “Poopyface.” It’s a story he told affectionately on that April afternoon visit to my home.

He loves his kids and tears up only when he talks about saying goodbye to them before each and every deployment. “It’s so much easier when they’re asleep,” he says, “and I can just kiss them, wondering if this is the last time.” He’s thrilled to show video of his oldest in kick-boxing class. And he calls his wife “the perfect mother.”

In fact, the couple is officially separated, a common occurrence in ST6. SEAL marriages can be perilous. Husbands and fathers have been mostly away from their families since 9/11. But the Shooter and his wife continue to share a house on very friendly, even loving terms, largely to save money.

“We’re actually looking into changing my name,” the wife says. “Changing the kids’ names, taking my husband’s name off the house, paying off our cars. Essentially deleting him from our lives, but for safety reasons. We still love each other.”

When the family asked about any kind of government protection should the Shooter’s name come out, they were advised that they could go into a witness-protection-like program.

Just as soon as the Department of Defense creates one.

“They [SEAL command] told me they could get me a job driving a beer truck in Milwaukee” under an assumed identity. Like Mafia snitches, they would not be able to contact their families or friends. “We’d lose everything.”

“These guys have millions of dollars’ worth of knowledge and training in their heads,” says one of the group at my house, a former SEAL and mentor to the Shooter and others looking to make the transition out of what’s officially called the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. “All sorts of executive function skills. That shouldn’t go to waste.”

The mentor himself took a familiar route — through Blackwater, then to the CIA, in both organizations as a paramilitary operator in Afghanistan.

Private security still seems like the smoothest job path, though many of these guys, including the Shooter, do not want to carry a gun ever again for professional use. The deaths of two contractors in Benghazi, both former SEALs the mentor knew, remind him that the battlefield risks do not go away.

By the time the Shooter visited me that first time in April, I had come to know more of the human face of what’s called Tier One Special Operations, in addition to the extraordinary skill and icy resolve. It is a privileged, consuming, and concerning look inside one of the most insular clubs on earth.

And I understood that he would face a world very different from the supportive one President Obama described at Arlington National Cemetery a few months before.

As I watched the Shooter navigate obstacles very different from the ones he faced so expertly in four war zones around the globe, I wondered: Is this how America treats its heroes? The ones President Obama called “the best of the best”? The ones Vice-President Biden called “the finest warriors in the history of the world”?

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FRANCE’S REVENGE: ‘BEEF’ Lasagna Sold in the UK Was 100% HORSEMEAT

Findus has tonight admitted that it has been selling packs of its popular frozen lasagne that were 100 per cent horsemeat.

The news is the first time that it has been confirmed that horsemeat contamination of products sold in the UK has spread beyond beef burgers.

There are concerns that the horse meat used in the lasagne contained the drug bute, which is a known human health risk.

Findus was today unable to say how long horsemeat has been used in its products.

The lasagne packs were manufactured by French company, Comigel, at a plant in Metz, which produces food for supermarkets in Britain and Europe.

Comigel makes a range of beef products for Tesco and Aldi, which have both removed them from shelves as a precautionary measure.

Tesco removed its packs of frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese, whiles Aldi has withdrawn its Today’s Special Frozen Beef Lasagne and Today’s Special Frozen Spaghetti Bolognese.

Tests are being carried out on these products, however there is no evidence – to date – that they contain horse meat.

Findus asked supermarkets and corner shops to remove three sizes of beef lasagne – 320g, 360g and 500g – from shelves on Monday.

At the time, it said this was because of what it called a ‘labelling issue’ in what appears to have been a crude attempt to pull the wool over customers’ eyes.

In fact, it has now emerged that these products contained horse meat, which constitutes a crime under labelling laws and will alarm the public.

The revelation raises further questions about whether major food brands have any good idea about what is being put into their products.

Findus said: ‘At Findus UK we are committed to our customers and the quality of our products.

‘Following a thorough investigation, Findus UK can confirm that testing of its beef lasagne, produced by a third party supplier and not by Findus, has revealed some product containing horse meat.

‘As a precautionary measure, on Monday we coordinated a full withdrawal of our affected beef lasagne.

‘We understand this it is a very sensitive subject for consumers and we would like to reassure you we have reacted immediately. We do not believe this to be a food safety issue.’

Labour’s Shadow Food and Farming Secretary, Mary Creagh, described the handling of the scandal by the Government as ‘appalling’.

She said the horse meat found in the Findus products has not been tested for the presence of the drug bute, which is a known human health risk.

‘This drug is banned from the human food chain because it can cause aplastic anaemia, which is a type of leukaemia,’ she said.

‘Ministers have been hiding under their desks, rather than getting to grips with this.

‘We have a real crisis of confidence in the meat industry, people do not feel they can trust what it says on the label. This is potentially a disaster for UK supermarkets, manufacturers and farmers.

‘The government’s handling of this has been appalling. Unless they come out on the front foot and show leadership, we won’t have a meat processing industry left.’

The Food Standards Agency(FSA) said the level of horsemeat found in the Findus products ranged from 60 to 100 per cent. It said tests will be carried out for the presence of bute.

A spokesman said: ‘We have no evidence to suggest that this is a food safety risk. However, the FSA has ordered Findus to test the lasagne for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, or ‘bute’. Animals treated with phenylbutazone are not allowed to enter the food chain as it may pose a risk to human health.

‘The Findus beef lasagne was distributed to the main UK supermarkets and smaller convenience stores. Findus has already begun a full recall of these products.

‘People who have bought any Findus beef lasagne products are advised not to eat them and return them to the shop they bought them from.’

Last night the Food Standards Agency is now demanding a massive sweep of all beef products for the presence of horse meat.

Chief executive, Catherine Brown, said: ‘Following our investigations into Findus products, the FSA is now requiring a more robust response from the food industry in order to demonstrate that the food it sells and serves is what it says it is on the label.

‘We are demanding that food businesses conduct authenticity tests on all beef products, such as beef burgers, meatballs and lasagne, and provide the results to the FSA. The tests will be for the presence of significant levels of horse meat.’

Bute was banned from use in humans after it was found that about one person in 30,000 recipients suffered a serious side effect. But in levels reported in previous FSA testing of contaminated meat, the maximum level found would have to be multiplied a thousand-fold to be at the same level as that which used to be given to humans.

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Apple Blocks Java From Macs

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Some Mac users were taken by surprise Thursday as their computers stopped running programs written using the Java programming language after Apple blocked Java due to security problems.

Java allows programmers to write a wide variety of Internet applications and other software programs and run them on most computers, including Apple Inc.’s Mac.

However, earlier this month the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommended disabling Java in Web browsers to avoid potential hacking attacks. Oracle Corp., which owns Java, has issued updates that fix known vulnerabilities, but the DHS expects that there are more flaws in Java’s coding.

Apple sends out virtual “blacklists” to Internet-connected Macs, instructing them not to run certain programs. Apple is blocking the latest version of Java from running on the most recent versions of its Mac operating system, and blocking an older version, Java 6, from running on the older version of its Mac system, called Snow Leopard. The blocks affect programs and online games that use Java in Web browsers.

Oracle had no immediate comment on Apple’s action.

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Burger King has tonight admitted that it has been selling burgers and Whoppers containing horsemeat despite two weeks of denials.

The fast food chain, which has more than 500 UK outlets, had earlier given a series of ‘absolute assurances’ that its products were not involved.

However, new tests have revealed these guarantees were incorrect in a revelation that threatens to destroy the trust of customers.

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The male American bulldog mix pictured above faced euthanization at Jackson Rabies Control Animal Shelter in Tennessee on Thursday, after his owner saw him mounting another male dog, assumed he was gay, and turned him in.

A Facebook user, under the name “Jackson Madison Rabies Control Stalker,” often visits the kill shelter looking for dogs to advertise for adoption. The 39-year-old mother and animal lover featured this unwanted dog on her page, in a post that received more than 4,200 shares and 1,405 comments overnight.

This guy was signed over to RC, not bc he’s mean or bc he tears things up, but because… His owner says he’s gay! He hunched another male dog so his owner threw him away bc he refuses to have a “gay” dog! Even if that weren’t the most assinine [sic] thing I’ve ever heard, its still discrimination! Don’t let this gorgeous dog die bc his owner is ignorant of normal dog behavior! He’s in kennel 10L and he WILL be put down tomorrow bc there is no room at the inn!
What the owner of the dog obviously didn’t know, as The Atlantic Wire points out, is that dogs “often mount each other to show dominance.”

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Teflon Don, RICK BOSS ROSS, Targeted in Drive By Shooting, Escapes Unscathed

MMG boss Rick Ross was reportedly the victim of a drive-by shooting that took place early Monday morning (January 28) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Witnesses told Fort Lauderdale station WPLG that they spotted Ross and a female passenger inside a Rolls Royce that was fired upon by as-yet-unknown assailants and targeted with nearly two dozen bullets.

A spokesperson for the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department could not be reached for comment at press time. The shooting occurred around 5 a.m. Monday, when police received several calls from residents reporting shots fired near the corner of Las Olas Boulevard and 15th Avenue. Though police did not identify the passengers in the car, they confirmed that there were two people in it when another vehicle approached and someone inside fired multiple shots.

The Huffington Post reported that a Ft. Lauderdale police source confirmed that Ross (born William Roberts), was a passenger in the car that crashed after “dozens” of shots were fired at it.

The driver of the Rolls tried to get away and ended up crashing the vehicle into a residential apartment building on 15th Avenue. No one was injured in the incident and at press time MTV News was still awaiting for comment from a spokesperson for Ross.

An investigation is ongoing to find the people responsible for the shooting, but so far no official information has been released about the suspects or the vehicle they were driving. Police had also not officially released the names of the victims, who, Fort Lauderdale PD spokesperson Det. DeAnna Garcia told NBC Miami, are requesting anonymity because they “are fearful for their lives and their families’ lives after the shooting. An employee at the nearby Floridian diner told the station that Ross and a woman were in the car and that the God Forgives, I Don’t MC appeared shaken up by the incident. Ross was reportedly celebrating his birthday at the diner earlier in the night and the shots were fired as he got into his vehicle.

The Miami Herald reported that the restaurant was hit by a handful of the 15 or so bullets, with some striking a window and a cooler, though none appear to have hit the Rolls.

Another witness said that Ross had recently bought a house in the area.

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