A 25-year-old Egyptian man cut off his own penis to spite his family after he was refused permission to marry a girl from a lower class family, police reported Sunday.
After unsuccessfully petitioning his father for two years to marry the girl, the man heated up a knife and sliced off his reproductive organ, said a police official.
The young man came from a prominent family in the southern Egyptian province of Qena, one of Egypt’s poorest and most conservative areas that is also home to the famed ancient Egyptian ruins of Luxor.
The man was rushed to the hospital but doctors were unable to reattach the severed member, the official added citing the police report filed after the incident.
Archive for May, 2009
Saudi authorities beheaded and crucified a man convicted of brutally slaying an 11-year-old boy and his father, the Interior Ministry announced.
According to the statement issued by the ministry Friday, shop owner Ahmed al-Anzi molested the boy and then strangled him with a length of rope. He then stabbed the boy’s father to death when the man came looking for his son. He hid both the bodies in his shop, the statement said, adding that al-Anzi threatened police with a knife when they came to arrest him.
Al-Anzi had previously been convicted of sodomy and owning pornographic films, a crime in conservative Saudi Arabia.
Crucifying the headless body in a public place is a way to set an example, according to the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Islam. Normally those convicted of rape, murder and drug trafficking in Saudi Arabia are just beheaded.
Do cats always land on their feet?
The unbelievable tale of a cat named Lucky — who fell 26 stories and survived — doesn’t quite prove the myth but it comes pretty close.
In early May, Keri Hostetler was readying her lower Manhattan apartment for guests who were coming to visit. She cracked the window of her home office a few inches — something she “never, ever did” — just to air the place out. She left the door to the room ajar and got to work on her laundry.
Her beloved cat Lucky, a 3-year-old gray-and-black striped male who Hostetler describes as “a lover and a hugger” was wandering around the apartment. Or so Hostetler thought.
“I came back up from doing laundry and saw that the room where the window was open — the door was open,” she told “Good Morning America Weekend Edition.” “I rushed in to the window and saw the window washers kind of waving for me.”
A serial killer obsessed with electricity murdered at least five people in a series of lurid experiments to test his home-made electric chair, Russian police said on Friday.
The 30-year-old electrician, identified only as Dmitry K, lured victims to his house by posting adverts for computer equipment on the internet. Police in Yekaterinburg, a city in Russia’s Urals region, tracked the suspect down after finding the charred body of a law student in a roadside ditch.
Dmitry K admitted murdering the student, investigators said, before claiming that he had also killed several other victims as he conducted experiments on an improvised electric chair that he had invented.
The suspect, who worked at a local power plant, told detectives he would confess to the other murders if they found the bodies.
Police say they are investigating at least four other incidents in which Yekaterinburg residents went missing after responding to internet adverts for computer supplies over the past 12 months.
A newly released report about marijuana potency undermines previous claims by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) that the drug’s potency has hit record highs.
In May, the media ran wild with stories of highly potent pot sweeping the nation, as the ONDCP announced that their testing showed average marijuana potency had topped 10 percent THC-level for the first time ever. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana.
“According to the latest data on marijuana samples analyzed to date, the average amount of THC in seized samples has reached a new high of 10.1 percent,” reads the announcement by Gil Kerlikowske, the Drug Czar.
But the full report is now available and it shows that the 10-percent bar is only crossed by throwing hash into the equation. Without hash, the average potency was 8.52 percent. The average potency of hash was 20.76 percent.
A small-town newspaper is apologizing for running a classified advertisement calling for the assassination of President Barack Obama.
Warren Times Observer Publisher John Elchert says the ad appeared Thursday.
It read, “May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!”
The four presidents were all assassinated. Elchert tells The Associated Press that the newspaper’s advertising staff didn’t make the historical connection.
North Korea’s nuclear threats are grabbing the world’s attention. But if the North were to strike South Korea today, it would probably first try to savage Seoul with the men and missiles of its huge conventional army.
The attack might well begin with artillery and missiles capable of hitting South Korea’s capital with little or no warning.
North Korea’s vast cadre of commandos could try to infiltrate and cause chaos while the South tried to respond.
The hair-trigger nature of the danger is reflected in the pledge of preparedness that American ground forces stationed just below the North-South divide have lived by for decades: ”Fight tonight.”
If it came to war, destruction — civilian and military — would be heavy, even if the North held back whatever nuclear weapons it may have.
The consensus American view, generally shared by allies, is that the South would prevail but at enormous human cost, including a refugee crisis on the Korean peninsula.
A senior zookeeper has been mauled to death by a white tiger at a wildlife park in New Zealand.
Two keepers went in to clean the white tiger enclosure at Whangarei’s controversial Zion Wildlife Park about 11am today when it attacked one of the keepers, a police spokeswoman said.
She said that, despite the best efforts of the other keeper, the tiger would not let go. The man died before an ambulance arrived at the park.
The keeper suffered injuries to the abdomen and lower leg which involved “tearing” by a big cat.
His identity has not been released yet. The other keeper was not injured. The tiger was shot dead.
Two weeks from today, Iran’s presidential election will determine whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Holocaust-denying, Israel-hating, America-bashing incumbent, remains in office, whether his country continues its drive to become a nuclear power, and whether a state with a key role in Iraq, Afghanistan and other international flashpoints remains hostile to the West.
The stakes could scarcely be higher, but it is the lowly potato that has been grabbing attention.
The Government is handing out 400,000 tonnes of free spuds in rural towns. It says that it is merely distributing the surplus from a bumper crop, but Mr Ahmadinejad’s opponents accuse it of bribing the poor.
“Death to potatoes,” they chant at rallies. The spat is instructive. To much of the world, the election is about the nuclear ambitions of a pariah state. To most Iranians, the economy is the main issue. Mr Ahmadinejad’s rivals are savaging the record of a President who took office promising to give all Iranians a share of the oil wealth.
Time Warner Inc. will spin off the entire AOL Internet unit by the end of the year, reversing a failed $124 billion merger that triggered record losses. AOL’s online advertising and Internet-access businesses will be separated into an independent, publicly traded company, New York-based Time Warner said today in a statement.
“A separation will be the best outcome for both Time Warner and AOL,” Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Bewkes said in the statement. “The separation will also provide both companies with greater operational and strategic flexibility.”
Bewkes is getting rid of AOL, which has confronted falling ad sales during the recession, to focus Time Warner on its film and cable-television businesses. AOL has dealt Time Warner a series of setbacks since the 2001 deal: shareholder lawsuits, a regulatory probe and declining sales.
The parent company wasn’t able to sell or find a partner for the unit after talks last year with Google Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
“The obvious implication of spinning out all of AOL in one entity is that Time Warner’s efforts to sell AOL failed,” Fred Moran, a Boca Raton, Florida-based analyst at Benchmark Co., said in an interview. “Now, as a last resort, Time Warner is looking towards spinning the whole company out.”
A Queens teacher and her student were recently caught having sex in the classroom.
On Thursday she was behind bars, charged with rape, sexual abuse and child endangerment after the student’s mom tracked her down.
Her head hung low, Melissa Weber was ushered away in cuffs, no doubt thinking about the probable end to her teaching career and whether her alleged sexual rendezvous with her 14-year-old student had been worth it.
“It’s real disconcerting to find that,” said parent and school employee Stacy Gold. Gold works at I.S./M.S. 8 with Weber. “It’s extremely shocking. This is a teacher that teaches my son,” Gold said.
It was inside a second-story classroom where police said Weber gave one of her students an up close and personal lesson in sex education.
A total of 11 beavers have been released into the wild in Argyll as part of a reintroduction programme. Four more may join the Scottish Beaver Trial being run in Knapdale Forest.
The beavers have been brought to Scotland from Norway and their release marks a return to the UK after a 400 year absence.
The release will be studied to determine whether the trial should be extended and beavers reintroduced across Scotland.
But SNH’s Colin Galbraith said he felt a duty towards the beavers: “For me the argument is very simple.
“They were here – we killed them out.
“I think we’ve got the moral obligation to bring them back.”
Witnesses have testified in the case of 11 men in Burundi, accused of the attempted murder of albino people and selling of their body parts.
Initial charges of murder have been dropped because the prosecution failed to produce enough evidence.
Police suspect the body parts are being sold in neighbouring Tanzania, for use in witchcraft.
Forty-six albino people have been murdered in Tanzania in the past 18 months, but no-one has been convicted.
A feisty Chihuahua chased a cougar out of a Philomath yard earlier this week. As Pete Springer reports, it’s the third cougar sighting in the area in the past year. Chiquita the Chihuahua and Rosie the border terrier charged the cougar after it jumped a backyard fence. The mountain lion pinned Rosie down but Chiquita kept barking incessantly at the big cat until it jumped out of the yard and ran off. The house is next to a wooded area where Philomath police have posted cougar warning signs. Roger Furhman is with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He says cougars will generally run away when they encounter humans, but people shouldn’t count on a dog to scare a big cat away.
A Dutch artist famous for making her pet cat into a purse has launched a new controversial project: revealing personal details about everyone who has sent her hate mail over the cat “art.”
Katinka Simonse, also known as Tinkebell, has assembled the thousands of e-mails she received since twisting her cat’s neck and skinning it with her own hands in 2004, and she has published them along with the names, ages and addresses of each sender, according to the English version of the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad.
The book, “Dearest Tinkebell,” is especially controversial because it also includes YouTube videos, MySpace profiles and any other embarrassing information available on the Web pertaining to the e-mail authors, NRC International reported.
Simonse was quoted in NRC as saying that “everything has been obtained legally,” and all the published information already was made accessible by the people themselves.
Patients undergoing a common treatment for cancer are being warned to carry medical documentation when traveling abroad because the drug can make their fingerprints disappear.
A cancer sufferer was detained at an airport in the United States when immigration officials were unable to take a print from his fingers, his doctor has revealed.
The patient, only referred to as Mr. S, was taking the drug capecitabine, which is sold under the brand name Xeloda and can result in several side-effects.
One of them is chronic inflammation of the palms or soles of the feet. Known as hand-foot syndrome, it can result in peeling of the skin, bleeding and development of ulcers or blisters.
Immigration officials held the patient for several hours before they allowed him to enter the country.
Canada’s public broadcaster was wrong to show a skit that joked about the possible assassination of President Barack Obama and suggested he could be a thief, an industry panel ruled on Monday.
The New Year’s Eve “Bye Bye” comedy program — shown by the French-language Radio Canada network — generated more than 200 complaints. In one segment, two hosts discussed Obama’s election in November 2008. Obama, who took office in January, is the first black U.S. president.
“We’re not racists. It will be good to have a Negro in the White House. It will be practical. Black on white, it will be easier to shoot him,” one of the show’s hosts remarked. The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council said it found “nothing redeeming in the allegedly comedic notion that an American president should be shot, still less that this would be easier to achieve because of the color of the president’s skin. It was a disturbing, wounding, abusive racial comment”.
The show also featured an interview with an actor pretending to be Obama. The host said, “The blacks, you all look alike,” and then warned viewers to hide their purses.
The Church of Scientology in France went on trial today on charges of organised fraud.
Registered as a religion in the United States, with celebrity members such as actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Scientology enjoys no such legal protection in France and has faced repeated accusations of being a money-making cult.
The group’s Paris headquarters and bookshop are defendants in the case. If found guilty, they could be fined €5 million ($7 million) and ordered to halt their activities in France.
Seven leading French Scientology members are also in the dock. Some are charged with illegally practising as pharmacists and face up to 10 years in prison and hefty fines.
Police in Washington state said a suspect used his genitals as a puppet while standing over an air conditioner intake at an apartment complex.
The police report of the incident said Timothy Wayne Martin, 44, of Auburn, Wash., was arrested after residents of the Arcadia Apartment Complex in Federal Way called police at about 10:30 a.m. May 13 and reported a man standing over an air conditioner intake wearing only an unbuttoned flannel shirt and “was apparently manipulating” his penis with a string “like a puppet,”
Seattlepi.com reported Thursday. Police said Martin was arrested at the scene and still had the string attached to his penis. He was charged under the state’s felony indecent exposure statute due to having two prior convictions for similar crimes.
A man was so desperate to avoid a parking ticket that he ran over a NYPD traffic cop before she could write it, breaking her legs and causing a head injury.
The incident happened Friday afternoon on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx. The 26-year-old agent was about to write a ticket for a double-parked car when the motorist ran to the vehicle, got in and tried to drive away, police said.
As he made his escape, the car knocked the agent to the ground and then drove over her, crushing her legs. Police were trying to identify a suspect. They say the traffic agent is in guarded condition at St. Barnabas Hospital.
Surveillance video captures the suspect wearing a red shirt and dark pants running across the street to his 2002 black Ford Taurus. The suspect is described as a man who is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 250 pounds.
A passerby pushed a would-be suicide jumper off a bridge in southern China because he was angry at the jumper’s “selfish activity,” Chinese media reported Saturday.
It happened Thursday in the city of Guangzhou as Chen Fuchao threatened to jump off Haizhu Bridge, China’s Xinhua news agency reported. The bridge has gained a “macabre” reputation with 11 jumpers having thrown themselves off the bridge since the start of April, Xinhua said.
Traffic was held up for nearly five hours and a crowd gathered as Chen sat on the bridge, threatening to jump, Xinhua reported.
Chen wanted to kill himself because he had 2 million yuan ($294,000) in debt after a failed construction project, Xinhua reported.
The “/b/tards” strike again.
The teenaged pranksters of 4chan.org’s /b/ discussion board flooded YouTube with pornographic clips Wednesday and Thursday, according to various reports.
YouTube has strong filters and dedicated employees seeking out and deleting porn from the site, but it wasn’t enough to handle the onslaught of uploading clips. To get around the filters, many of the clips appeared innocuous for the first 20-30 seconds, the tech blog Ars Technica reported, but then cut abruptly to hardcore sex scenes.
A spokesman for Google, which owns YouTube, said most of the porn had been removed by Wednesday afternoon.
“It may take some time for video search results and thumbnail images to disappear from the site,” Scott Rubin told ArsTechnica.
“Typically, this should not take more than a couple of days, but the videos themselves are no longer viewable.”
A GIRL dubbed the Jigsaw Kid due to her jumbled-up organs has amazed medics by defying the odds against her survival.
Brave Bethany Jordan was born with five spleens, a hole in her heart, a diseased and back-to-front liver, two left lungs and her stomach on the wrong side.
Doctors who saw pregnancy scans warned parents Lisa, 37, and Robert, 44, there was little chance she would survive birth.
Now six, Bethany looks a picture of health — despite having a body like no other child in the world
An Egyptian billionaire and former top political figure has been sentenced to death in Cairo for the 2008 murder of Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim.
Hisham Talaat Moustafa was found guilty of paying $2m to an ex-policeman to kill the singer. The killer Muhsin Sukkari was also sentenced to hang.
Ms Tamim reportedly broke off a secret love affair with Moustafa months before she was stabbed to death in Dubai. The tale of sex, politics, money and show business gripped the Arab world.
Reports described “chaos” in the courtroom after the judge read out a short statement and ordered the sentences referred to the religious authorities for confirmation – as is normal in Egypt.
Sukkari’s face went pale and family members burst into tears as the sentence was delivered, news agency AFP said.
A New Zealand couple are reportedly on the run after $10 million – instead of $10,000 – was mistakenly deposited in their bank account.
The couple, who ran a Rotorua service station, were understood to have applied for a $10,000 overdraft from Westpac but instead had the larger amount mistakenly paid into their account.
Detective Senior Sergeant David Harvey said some of the money had since been withdrawn and the Asian couple had disappeared, the New Zealand Press Association reported.
Interpol had been called in to help find them, NZPA said.
The service station has closed its doors after going into receivership.
Fresno firefighters had to remove a wall and use an improvised pulley system to remove a man believed to weigh more than 800 pounds who was found dead in a downtown residential hotel Tuesday night. The 51-year-old man was not identified.
Fire Department spokesman Ken Shockley said that the removal effort, at the Asia Hotel near the intersection of Kern and G streets in Chinatown, was unlike anything anyone in the department has ever seen.
Fresno police officers and firefighters from Station 3 responded, then called for assistance from the fire department’s urban search and rescue unit when it became clear that they couldn’t remove the body in the normal way.
The Fresno Fire Department had to cut out part of the wall of the apartment to extract the man, who was believed to weigh more than 800 pounds.
“It was a major challenge, and our firefighters were trying at the same time to protect his identity and the dignity of his remains,” Shockley said.
The mysterious, media-blackout meeting was called by Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire-Hathaway; Bill Gates, co founder of Microsoft; and David Rockefeller Jr., chairman of Rockefeller Financial Services.
It was held in the President’s Room at Rockefeller University In New York at 3 p.m. on that Tuesday afternoon.
How so many giant figures in American life managed to interrupt and coordinate their schedules on such short notice, and meet in total secrecy in the world’s media capital remains a mystery — as does the ultimate outcome of the billionaires’ conference.
An Arizona man killed himself early Sunday while demonstrating gun safety techniques.
Samuel Benally, 26, of Phoenix, was in an apartment with the two witnesses when he told them guns should be kept unloaded because people could point them at their heads, Sierra Vista police Sgt. Brett Mitchell told the Arizona Star
. Benally put his own 9mm Ruger, which he thought was unloaded, to his head and fired, Mitchell said. He was flown to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Mitchell said.
Brazil and the U.S. have been arresting people who have been illegally using obsolete, but still functioning, U.S. Navy FLTSATCOM communications satellites. The FLTSATCOM (Fleet Satellite Communications System) were eight communications satellites launched between 1978-89. Two of the launches failed, and FLTSATCOM was replaced by the UFO in the 1990s.
Although the FLTSATCOM birds were built to last for seven years, two of them are still operational twenty years later. As the navy stopped using FLTSATCOM in the late 1990s (shifting over to the more efficient UFO satellites), ham radio users in Brazil discovered that the FLTSATCOM satellites had no security on them. If you knew the frequency and had a satellite dish, you could send a signal to the FLTSATCOM satellite, that would then automatically be rebroadcast by the satellite over a wide area below.
While the navy sent encrypted messages (which sound like static, for anyone picking it up below on ham radio gear), the Brazilians found that they could simply use FLTSATCOM to communicate over a wide area (the interior of the country) that lacked telephones. FLTSATCOM birds had multiple transponders, making several simultaneous conversations possible. There was no security because, back in the 1970s, the remote possibility of homemade satellite dishes using FLTSATCOM, did not seem to warrant the additional hassle of adding passwords to transmit from the satellites.
Someone has beheaded a statue of President James Garfield that was installed last week at an Ohio college.
Hiram College spokesman Shawn Brown says the vandalism was discovered Friday morning, just a day after the sandstone statue was dedicated on the campus in Hiram, 30 miles southeast of Cleveland.
Brown says the college is hoping the head will be recovered so the 95-year-old statue can be restored, but police have no leads in their investigation.
Police say a man is dead after slipping from the roof of a car while joyriding.
The man was one of two male passengers riding on the roof of a Toyota Camry in Sunnyvale Saturday night, police say.
The car was traveling between 30 and 40 miles per hour.
The victim slipped off the car’s roof, holding on while being dragged an undetermined distance and then falling onto the road.
The victim died shortly after being taken to El Camino Hospital.
A STUNNED mum has shown the world her twin sons — born to DIFFERENT fathers.
Babies Justin and Jordan Washington arrived just seven minutes apart. But incredibly they were CONCEIVED separately because their mother Mia was cheating on partner James Harrison with another lover.
Astonished US medics say different eggs were fertilised by each man within a very short time of each other — a million-to-one condition. That makes the boys, who are now 11 months old, half-brothers rather than real twins.
A worker at a Lübeck soup factory died after getting trapped inside a giant cauldron and cooking to death, daily Bild reported Saturday.
The accident happened at midday on Friday, the newspaper reported, when the man climbed into a cauldron at the Eraso soup factory to clean it.
The cauldron’s lid suddenly closed while the 36-year-old was still inside and began to fill with steam as part of the disinfection process.
A doctor confirmed that the unidentified man had been cooked to death.
A 17-year-old boy accused of killing his mother last week intentionally strangled her to death and sexually abused her corpse before dumping her body in a trash can, according to a juvenile court document released Monday.
Johnson City Juvenile Court Judge Sharon Green ordered Codey Wayne Miller, 17, held at the Upper East Tennessee Juvenile Detention Center pending a June 5 status hearing, when she will hear motions in the case, including prosecutors’ request to transfer the teenager to adult Criminal Court for trial.
Miller is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and abuse of a corpse in the death of his mother, Sherry R. Cooper, 36, at her Lake Terrace housing development apartment on Thursday. Assistant Public Defender Ivan Lilly, appointed to represent Miller, waived the teen’s detention hearing after telling Green that details from the homicide had not been released to news media or Miller’s family.
One of science’s most puzzling mysteries – the disappearance of the Neanderthals – may have been solved. Modern humans ate them, says a leading fossil expert.The controversial suggestion follows publication of a study in the Journal of Anthropological Sciences about a Neanderthal jawbone apparently butchered by modern humans. Now the leader of the research team says he believes the flesh had been eaten by humans, while its teeth may have been used to make a necklace.
Fernando Rozzi, of Paris’s Centre National de la Récherche Scientifique, said the jawbone had probably been cut into to remove flesh, including the tongue. Crucially, the butchery was similar to that used by humans to cut up deer carcass in the early Stone Age.
“Neanderthals met a violent end at our hands and in some cases we ate them,” Rozzi said.
The idea will provoke considerable opposition from scientists who believe Neanderthals disappeared for reasons that did not involve violence. Neanderthals were a sturdy species who evolved in Europe 300,000 years ago, made complex stone tools and survived several ice ages before they disappeared 30,000 years ago – just as modern human beings arrived in Europe from Africa.
Hat tip to Una!
Authorities say a North Carolina teen who was thwarted as he tried to rob a store with a banana ate it before they could arrive.
Winston-Salem authorities say 17-year-old John Szwalla held the banana under his shirt when he entered the store Thursday, saying he had a gun and demanded money.
Owner Bobby Ray Mabe says he and a customer jumped Szwalla, holding him until deputies arrived. While they waited, Mabe says the teen ate the banana.
Rick Strandlof, executive director of the Colorado Veterans Alliance and the man most colleagues knew as Rick Duncan, was front and center during the 2008 political campaigns in Colorado.
He spoke at a Barack Obama veterans rally in front of the Capitol in July, co-hosted several events with then- congressional candidate Jared Polis and attacked Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer in a TV ad paid for by the national group Votevets.org. And the mostly Democratic candidates he supported — looking for credibility on veterans issues and the war — lapped it up appreciatively.
Now, politicians are dealing with news that the man they believed to be a former Marine and war veteran wounded in Iraq by a roadside bomb, in fact, never served in the military — but did spend time in a mental hospital.
Many of the candidates he supported won their elections handily and now say they were defrauded as much as anyone else.
“His fraud is a slap in the face to veterans everywhere and a betrayal to us all,” Rep. Polis, a Boulder Democrat, said in a written statement Thursday.
“It sounds like this man had a problem telling the truth and needs help,” said Tara Trujillo, a spokeswoman for Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.
Two bottles of acid were thrown into a crowd in a popular shopping district in downtown Hong Kong on Saturday, injuring 30 people, police and news reports said.
It was the second such attack in five months in the neighborhood.
Television footage showed firefighters washing off victims’ arms and legs before sending them to hospitals for treatment. Some had holes in their clothing.
Hong Kong Cable TV said people in the Mong Kok district had been splashed with acid, though police Superintendent Leung Ka-ming would not confirm what liquid was thrown.
A total of 43 children were directly and indirectly shocked by electric stun guns during simultaneous ”Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day” events gone wrong at three state prisons, according to new information provided Friday by the Florida Department of Corrections.
Also, a group of kids was exposed to tear gas during a demonstration at another lockup. Three prison guards have been fired, two have resigned and 16 more employees — from corrections officers to a warden — will be disciplined due to the incidents that unfolded April 23, said DOC Secretary Walt McNeil. An investigation is ongoing.
None of the children in any of the incidents required medical attention or was notably harmed, McNeil said. He said the children, who ranged in age from 5 to 17, were all children of prison officials.
In nearly every case, the guards had permission from parents or grandparents to administer the ”electronic immobilization devices,” McNeil said.
GORDON Brown was under pressure last night to call an immediate general election in the face of public fury over the Westminster expenses scandal. Angry voters across the country are demanding a mass clearout of MPs.
At the same time, Scotland Yard has announced a team of leading police officers and prosecution lawyers will meet next week to decide what action to take against those who have abused the public’s trust. A poll of voters yesterday found two-thirds want an election called as soon as possible. The same number want MPs who have been named and shamed to be forced to stand down, according to the ComRes poll.
Sickened by the amount of taxpayers’ money wasted on moats, trouser presses and mole catchers and chocolate snacks, many fear the depth of sleaze revealed by the leaking of MPs’ expenses details means a significant section of the ruling establishment needs to be swept away for good. Opposition MPs backed the call for an election as the only way of restoring trust in Britain’s political system.
Odd couples come in all shapes and sizes but the story of the primate and the canine who are best friends has proved to be a match made in showbiz heaven.
Suryia the orang-utan and Roscoe a Blue Tick hound became friends when they crossed paths at a South Carolina sanctuary for endangered animals. Now they swim together, play together and Suryia even takes the dog for his walks.
Such is their bond that the pair drew the attention of National Geographic magazine and Oprah Winfrey, who will feature them tomorrow in a special show called Amazing Animal Friendship.
The bodies of four U.S. citizens were found strangled, beaten and stabbed in a van in this border city, two days after they reportedly left their Southern California homes for a night at the Mexican clubs, U.S. officials said Thursday.
The victims, ages 19 to 23 years old, were found tied up on Saturday, but their deaths were not reported earlier because they were under investigation, said Fermin Gomez, an assistant state prosecutor in Baja California.
U.S. consular officials in Tijuana said the victims — two men and two women from the San Diego and Chula Vista areas — were U.S. citizens. The state attorney general’s office in Baja California said one of the women was Mexican.
Air pollution has long been a fact of life in Spanish cities, but scientists now say it is not just smog that chokes people as they walk to work or stroll through the park.
A new study has found the air in Madrid and Barcelona is also laced with at least five drugs — most prominently cocaine.
The Superior Council of Scientific Investigations, a government scientific institute, said on its Web site Thursday that in addition to cocaine, they found trace amounts of amphetamines, opiates, cannabinoids and lysergic acid _a relative of LSD — in two air-quality control stations, one in each city.
A teacher at a Head Start preschool in Miami has been charged with hitting three children in his care, including a 5-year-old girl whom police say he kicked in the face as she lay on her cot during nap time.
Jean E. Dorvil, 56, a preschool teacher at the Head Start program at Charles R. Drew Elementary in Miami, was charged Friday with aggravated child abuse with great bodily harm, three charges of battery and two charges of child abuse with no harm.
Four of the charges are felonies. Dorvil is in jail without bond.
A Clarendon County waitress is accused of shooting a customer at the restaurant after the two had a dispute.
Yakeisha Ward, 29, is charged with assault and battery with intent to kill. An early morning run for breakfast at the Waffle House on Paxville Highway in Manning turned terribly wrong for Crystal Samuel.
”I thought I was gonna get me an All-Star,” says Samuel. A popular meal on the menu. “Grits, sausage, toast, eggs and a waffle,” says Samuel. She didn’t get what she came for. Instead, she says while she waited for her order, her friends started eating.
That’s when Samuel says she was told they couldn’t eat from carryout trays inside the restaurant.
“I said what is your fuss about. I said we haven’t paid for our food. She (Ward) said well you all got to leave. How you want us to leave and we ain’t paid for the food yet,” says Samuel. That’s when it got ugly.
Samuel says she threw a waffle at the waitress. “I did actually throw some food but it didn’t hit her,” says Samuel. “That’s when she (Ward) jumped across the counter and we got into it,” says Samuel.
Clarendon County Sheriff Randy Garrett says the altercation continued outside where he says Ward got a gun from her car and a gun magazine from her trunk.
Britain’s prime minister called for drastic steps to restore trust in the country’s scandal-tainted political class, as lawmakers across the political spectrum sought to take cover from public anger over their lavish expense claims.
Political leaders have been writing checks, making apologies, calling for inquiries and even threatening action against their own lieutenants in an effort to survive the publication of their expense claims in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper over the past few days.
The paper has stoked outrage in recession-hit Britain by revealing how lawmakers have asked to be reimbursed for everything from porn movies to chandeliers to housekeepers. One legislator even charged the public for sacks of horse manure, while an ex-minister submitted a claim for cleaning the moat that circles his country home.
Brown said “extreme action” was needed to reform the expense system “because politicians must show themselves worthy of public trust.”
Survivors of a Nazi death camp were shot at and abused as they gathered to remember their liberation. Masked neo-Nazi thugs screamed ‘Heil Hitler!’ and ‘This way for the gas!’ at ten elderly Italian men and women, who returned to the site of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.
The gang also fired air guns at a group of 15 French survivors, many dressed in the striped pyjama-style uniforms they wore as inmates. One suffered a head wound while another was injured by a shot in the neck.
The four thugs managed to escape. Jewish leaders in Austria were appalled by the weekend scenes that marred events marking the 64th anniversary of the camp’s liberation by American troops.
An estimated 320,000 people were murdered or worked to death at Mauthausen and its outlying slave labour installations. Jewish leaders condemned Saturday’s incidents, which marred events marking the 64th anniversary of the camp’s liberation by U.S. troops.
AN Indian man who fathered seven daughters has not washed for 35 years in an apparent attempt to ensure his next child is a boy, newspapers report.
Kailash “Kalau” Singh replaces bathing and brushing his teeth with a “fire bath” every evening when he stands on one leg beside a bonfire, smokes marijuana and says prayers to Lord Shiva, according to the Hindustan Times.
“It’s just like using water to take a bath,” Kalau was reported as saying. “A fire bath helps kill germs and infection in the body.”
Kalau, 63, from a village outside the holy city of Varanasi, outraged his family by refusing to take a ritual dip in the river Ganges even after his brother died five years ago.
A US security consultant who negotiated the release of dozens of kidnap victims in Latin America has himself been kidnapped by masked gunmen in northern Mexico.
The gunmen abducted Felix Batista outside a restaurant last Wednesday in the relatively safe industrial city of Saltillo in Coahuila state, Mexican authorities and his employer, security consultancy ASI Global, have revealed.
“We have notified the FBI and Mexican authorities, and they are working on the case,” said Charlie LeBlanc, chairman of ASI. Mr LeBlanc said Mr Batista had his own security business and that “he was in Mexico for business that wasn’t associated with our company”.
Taleban fighters have been using deadly white phosphorus munitions, some of them manufactured in Britain, to attack Western forces in Afghanistan, according to previously classified United States documents released yesterday.
White phosphorus, which can burn its victims down to the bone, has been found in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in regions across Afghanistan including in the south, where British troops are based. It has also been used in mortar and rocket attacks on American forces.
Last night the US military in Kabul condemned the use of white phosphorus by the insurgents as “reprehensible”. White phosphorus is banned as an offensive weapon under international rules of armed conflict.
Major Jennifer Willis, a spokeswoman for the US Army at Bagram, near Kabul, said that markings on some of the white phosphorus munitions that had been recovered showed that they had been manufactured in a number of different countries, including Britain, China, Russia and Iran.
The Boston-area transit authority trolley driver who allegedly slammed into another train while text-messaging his girlfriend Friday was hired as a minority because of his transgendered “female-to-male” status and had three speeding tickets on his driving record in recent years, ABC News has learned.
Aiden Quinn, 24, was born Georgia Quinn and boasts on an Internet networking site that he was one of the first transgender hires by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. The trolley driver lists his sexual orientation as “FTM” and was hired as a minority using his transgender status, two sources told ABC News.
“[Quinn] was initially hired as a minority and used her transgender status,” an MBTA source said today.
Kevin Moake, 50, of Flower Mound, Texas, was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey to 10 years in federal prison, the statutory maximum, following his guilty plea in January to one count of possession of child pornography, announced James T. Jacks, acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Judge Godbey also ordered that Moake register as a sex offender and serve a lifetime of supervised release following his release from prison. Moake, who has been on bond, was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing.
According to documents filed in court and public documents, Moake admitted that on May 30, 2007, he drove to a Burger King restaurant, on Mockingbird Lane near Love Field in Dallas, to meet an undercover officer in an attempt to buy a 9-year-old girl for sex. Public documents reveal that Moake gave the undercover officer $100 to spend the night with the nonexistent child, the cash representing a down payment in a “rent-to-own” plan. Moake was arrested on the spot and is presently facing charges in Dallas County related to this sting operation. Moake’s federal sentence will run concurrent to any state sentence he receives.
THE moral authority of Parliament is at its lowest ebb in living memory. That, I’m sorry to say, is my inescapable verdict on Westminster’s great expenses scandal. Coming at a time of financial crisis and political betrayal of the Gurkhas, this threatens to be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back.
Can public trust ever be restored? The whole nation has seen minister after minister on TV, cringeingly trying to justify their allowances and expenses claims.
And let us not forget there was a time when to become an MP was seen as a noble and honourable way of serving your country.
Ask yourself now whether men or women of integrity from whatever walk of life will want to touch political office? Our politicians of the future are all likely to have climbed the greasy pole from within by working as researchers or lobbyists.
Already our MPs are seeking a scapegoat. The first reaction was to shoot the messenger, blaming so-called chequebook journalism. Yet they’ve only themselves to blame.
It is not just the clawing greed of painstaking claims for such minor items as tampons, barbecue sets and bathrobes, but also the egregious way some have transferred allowances from one second property to another-enabling them to refurbish homes at public expense then sell at a profit.
A SAUDI judge has told a seminar on domestic violence that it is okay for a man to slap his wife for lavish spending, a local newspaper has reported.
Jeddah judge Hamad al-Razine gave the example of overspending to buy a high-end abaya, the head-to toe black shroud Saudi women have to wear in public, as justifying a smack for one’s wife, Arab News said.
”If a person gives 1,200 riyals ($423.50) to his wife and she spends 900 riyals ($317.65) to purchase an abaya from a brand shop, and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment,” he said.
A 7-year-old boy who was allegedly shot in the head by a couple who thought he and three other people were trespassing on their property died Saturday, authorities said.
Donald Coffey Jr. died Saturday morning at a Houston hospital, less than two days after the boy was struck in the head by shotgun pellets, Sheriff’s Cpl. Hugh Bishop said.
Sheila Muhs and her husband, Gayle Muhs, both 45, were charged with second-degree felony counts of aggravated assault in the shootings Thursday. They were being held at Liberty County Jail with bail set at $25,000 each and had not yet retained an attorney, Bishop said.
More than 300 stray dogs that were dumped on isolated islands turned to cannibalism after weeks of starvation, animal welfare activists said Thursday.
The plight of the dogs cast away by villagers on two small, uninhabited islands off Malaysia’s western Selangor state ignited outrage after activists this week released photographs showing dogs eating the carcasses of ones that had died.
Residents of a fishing village on Pulau Ketam, another island off Selangor, caught the dogs last month and took them to the islands covered in mangroves. The villagers said they never intended to be cruel — they believed the dogs could feed on the deserted islands’ wildlife — but wanted to rid their island of dogs that defecate on the streets and sometimes bite children.
The tiny Swiss canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden has voted to prohibit the phenomenon of naked hiking. Anyone found wandering the Alps wearing nothing but a sturdy pair of hiking boots will now be fined. Appenzell is considered one of the most conservative regions of Switzerland; it gave women the vote only in 1990. Locals have been outraged by an apparent upsurge in hikers who think the best way to appreciate the mountains is with their clothes off.
Hat tip to Valentina!
A tide of torture and killing of innocent women linked to ’sorcery’ and the ‘dark arts’ is overwhelming the nation’s police.
Nearly all the residents of Koge watched as Julianna Gene and Kopaku Konia were dragged from their homes, to be hung from trees and tortured for several hours with bush knives. No one came forward to help. In the eyes of the villagers, the women were witches. They deserved to die.
“They used their powers to bewitch a man to death,” said Kingsley Sinemane, a community leader. “We had to get rid of them, as they could have killed others. We had to protect our village.”
Hat tip to Una!
A SECRETARY accidentally bit off the penis of her employer while giving him oral sex in a car.
Sin Chew Daily and China Press reported yesterday that while the 30-year-old woman was performing oral sex on the man, the car was hit by a reversing van.
The impact of the crash, China Press reported, caused the woman to bite off her lover’s organ. The daily reported that the incident occurred in a Singapore park where the couple met after work.
To make matters worse for the woman, her husband had sent a private investigator to spy on her after suspecting that she was being unfaithful.
Praise to Sin Chew Daily for sharing this with us!
This Australia is known around the world for its large and deadly creepy-crawlies, but even locals have been shocked by the size of the giant venomous spiders that have invaded an Outback town in Queensland.
Scores of eastern tarantulas, which are known as “bird-eating spiders” and can grow larger than the palm of a man’s hand, have begun crawling out from gardens and venturing into public spaces in Bowen, a coastal town about 700 miles northwest of Brisbane.
Earlier this week locals spotted an Australian tarantula wandering towards a public garden in the center of town where people often sit for lunch. They called in a pest controller, but not before using a can of insect spray to paralyze the spider.
Audy Geiszler, who runs Amalgamated Pest Control in Bowen, said that the spider was a large male with powerful long fangs and was so big that when he placed it — dead — in the palm of his hand, its legs hung over his fingers.
Sales of Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler’s autobiography and apologia for his anti-semitism, are soaring in India where business students regard the dictator as a management guru.
PA Booksellers told The Daily Telegraph that while it is regarded in most countries as a ‘Nazi Bible’, in India it is considered a management guide in the mould of Spencer Johnson’s “Who Moved My Cheese”.
Sales of the book over the last six months topped 10,000 in New Delhi alone, according to leading stores, who said it appeared to be becoming more popular with every year.
Several said the surge in sales was due to demand from students who see it as a self-improvement and management strategy guide for aspiring business leaders, and who were happy to cite it as an inspiration.
“Students are increasingly coming in asking for it and we’re happy to sell it to them,” said Sohin Lakhani, owner of Mumbai-based Embassy books who reprints Mein Kampf every quarter and shrugs off any moral issues in publishing the book.
After they got into a dispute over a beer-pong game, Joseph Jiminez, 24, and Scott Riley, 25, met in a Bridgeport alleyway and Riley made a dare, investigators said.
“Shoot me, shoot me,” Riley said to Jiminez and a companion. “You guys ain’t got the … ”
Jiminez accepted the challenge, police said, and today he is being held without bail at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility on murder and related charges pending a hearing a week from now.
A prolonged lull in solar activity has astrophysicists glued to their telescopes waiting to see what the sun will do next—and how Earth’s climate might respond.
The sun is the least active it’s been in decades and the dimmest in a hundred years. The lull is causing some scientists to recall the Little Ice Age, an unusual cold spell in Europe and North America, which lasted from about 1300 to 1850.
The coldest period of the Little Ice Age, between 1645 and 1715, has been linked to a deep dip in solar storms known as the Maunder Minimum.
During that time, access to Greenland was largely cut off by ice, and canals in Holland routinely froze solid. Glaciers in the Alps engulfed whole villages, and sea ice increased so much that no open water flowed around Iceland in the year 1695.
At least 45 people have been killed in an attack on a wedding party in south-eastern Turkey, officials say. Mask-wearing assailants opened fire with automatic rifles and grenades, officials in Mardin province said.
The area, near the border with Syria, has been plagued by fighting between Kurdish separatists and government troops for 25 years. But Turkey’s Interior Minister Besir Atalay said the attack did not appear to be a “terror event”.
Local media have suggested the violence might have been the result of a blood feud or an argument between guests. Other unconfirmed reports said the wedding guests included members of a militia who help troops to fight Kurdish rebels.
The Federal Trade Commission has begun an inquiry into whether the close ties among the boards of two of technology’s most prominent companies, Apple and Google, amount to a violation of antitrust laws, according to several people briefed on the inquiry.
Apple and Google share two directors, Eric E. Schmidt, chief executive of Google, and Arthur Levinson, former chief executive of Genentech. The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 prohibits a person’s presence on the board of two rival companies when it would reduce competition between them.
The two companies increasingly compete in the cellphone and operating systems markets. Antitrust experts say the provision against “interlocking directorates,” known as Section 8 of the act, is rarely enforced. Nevertheless, the agency has already notified Google and Apple of its interest in the matter, according to the people briefed on the inquiry, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity because the inquiry was confidential.
The local Sizzler must have been closed.
Two upstate New York campers broke into a dairy farmer’s barn, stole his calf, shot it with arrows and then slit its throat before slicing off a couple steaks, police said.
“They were out camping and decided they wanted something to eat,” State Police Investigator John Stubbe said of the cattle rustling.
“One guy led the calf by a rope around its neck, and the other shot it twice with an arrow. It still wouldn’t die, so he cut its throat.”
After cutting off a couple of steaks from the 2-month-old calf named Emmy, the two discarded the rest of the carcass.
David Lochner, 21, and Timothy Welch, 18, were arrested Wednesday on burglary charges. Police said more charges are pending, including cruelty to animals.
The French Navy said they seized 11 pirates Sunday after they apparently mistook a French military vessel for a commercial ship and made a run at it.
Two pirate assault boats approached the Nivose “at great speed,” Capt. Christophe Prazuck said, but a French helicopter intervened before the attackers had time to fire at the French navy ship.
The helicopter fired warning shots, he said.
The pirates, who had a mother ship as well as the two assault boats, are being held for questioning on the Nivose, Prazuck said. The vessels were carrying AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, but the pirates did not fire, he said.
The incident took place about 1,000 km (620 miles) east of Mombasa, Kenya, at 8:30 a.m. local time (0430 GMT) he added.
In the latest chapter in the agonizing chronicle of David Hasselhoff’s multiple falls off the wagon, a new report surfaced today that the former Baywatch hunk was hauled off to the hospital after his youngest daughter found him passed out at home.
Vodka-swilling Hasselhoff registered a mind-numbing 0.39 blood alcohol level when he was taken to Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Saturday, radaronline.com reported.
The legal limit in California is 0.08.
The 56-year-old “America’s Got Talent” judge was found passed out at his home in Encino, Calif., by 16-year-old daughter Hayley, the Web site reported. The teen called mom Pamela Bach, from whom Hasselhoff is estranged.
The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) is calling on the Government to allow the use of more powerful pesticides to contain Britain’s growing rodent population.
It is estimated that their numbers have swelled by 13 per cent in the past year to more than 50 million, one for every person living in England.
Infestations in some towns and cities have reportedly doubled in the past 12 months. Exeter council has seen a 66 per cent rise in vermin call-outs in 2008, while there was a 40 per cent rise in Salford.
The BPCA says the situation has also escalated in two Berkshire towns, which it has not named, because the local rat population is now almost completely resistant to the standard poisons.
Police in Vienna arrested a man suspected of slipping drugs into drinks at a crowded bar Sunday, causing five people to collapse. Authorities said all five victims were hospitalized in life-threatening condition.
Investigators said they were still trying to determine a motive for the attack, which happened on a sunny afternoon at a small bar packed with up to 50 people enjoying an “after hours” party.
Authorities were called to the scene when customers at a sidewalk ice cream salon across the street from the bar saw the five victims fall to the ground.
“We got an emergency call at 5 p.m.,” or 1500 GMT, said police spokeswoman Iris Seper. She said officers later took the unidentified suspect into custody after witnesses said they had seen a man offering the victims drinks.
Investigators said it was unclear exactly what substance had been added to the drinks, but that it appeared to be some kind of narcotic. Seper said the victims drank freely, apparently unaware that anything was amiss.
May Day protesters clashed with riot police in Germany, Turkey and Greece on Friday while thousands angry at the government’s responses to the global financial crisis took to the streets in France.
Rising unemployment across Europe and beyond has added intensity to May Day marches as last year’s market crash and banking meltdown rolls into the real economy.
There were early morning clashes in Germany and protests in Istanbul swiftly turned violent. Greek police clashed with self-styled anarchists.
Turkish riot police fired water cannon and tear gas, firing shots and pepper spray to disperse masked protesters.
Young men hurled stones and Molotov cocktails, smashing bank and shop windows in side streets.
An Istanbul police spokesman said 68 demonstrators were detained and 11 police wounded. Leftists and Kurdish separatists regularly clash with police at demonstrations in Turkey and the May Day protest last year also turned violent.
When Google Earth added historical maps of Japan to its online collection last year, the search giant didn’t expect a backlash. The finely detailed woodblock prints have been around for centuries, they were already posted on another Web site, and a historical map of Tokyo put up in 2006 hadn’t caused any problems.
But Google failed to judge how its offering would be received, as it has often done in Japan. The company is now facing inquiries from the Justice Ministry and angry accusations of prejudice because its maps detailed the locations of former low-caste communities.
The maps date back to the country’s feudal era, when shoguns ruled and a strict caste system was in place. At the bottom of the hierarchy were a class called the “burakumin,” ethnically identical to other Japanese but forced to live in isolation because they did jobs associated with death, such as working with leather, butchering animals and digging graves.
Castes have long since been abolished, and the old buraku villages have largely faded away or been swallowed by Japan’s sprawling metropolises. Today, rights groups say the descendants of burakumin make up about 3 million of the country’s 127 million people. But they still face prejudice, based almost entirely on where they live or their ancestors lived. Moving is little help, because employers or parents of potential spouses can hire agencies to check for buraku ancestry through Japan’s elaborate family records, which can span back over a hundred years.
Australian government has ordered an investigation after mice repeatedly bit residents of a nursing home.
One man, a bedridden veteran aged 89, was found covered in blood after his ears, neck and throat were chewed by the mice. He had to be sedated later.
The incident at the home in Queensland state was “extremely disturbing”, said Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot.
A Swedish man and a Singaporean woman have been fined for strolling naked through a busy upscale bar and restaurant area for a stunt after a few drinks, local media reported Friday. Jan Philip, 21, an exchange student with a local university, and Eng Kai Er, a 24-year-old Singaporean studying in Sweden, were each fined 2,000 Singapore dollars (1,300 US) for committing an obscene act, the Straits Times said. In January, the two attracted much attention when they strolled naked through Holland Village, a place popular among expatriates for its bars and al fresco restaurants, apparently after drinking beer.
Thousands of people have thronged the streets of the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown, to see one of the country’s shortest people get married. Masire Kamara is well known in the city where she sells tea in a market. When word spread that she was getting wed, many people did not believe it was true and went to see for themselves. Street parties were held in the happy couple’s honour. The event was covered live on state television and was on the front page of many newspapers. Thousands packed the church and hundreds more climbed onto rooftops to see Sierra Leone’s celebrity wedding – the local equivalent of David and Victoria Beckham.
The freed captain of a merchant ship attacked by pirates near Somalia last month called Thursday for military protection and armed crew members to thwart attacks in dangerous waters.
Capt. Richard Phillips, skipper of the Maersk Alabama, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that it was the “responsibility of the U.S. government” to protect any ship flying an American flag, through military escorts or onboard squads of highly trained security forces
He added that an armed brigade of specially trained senior crew members also could deter pirate attacks in certain situations. “And I don’t mean a security guard. I don’t mean a mall cop. I mean someone who’s sufficiently trained,” Phillips said