Authorities say a 21-year-old man has plunged to his death in an apparent suicide jump off the Empire State Building during the evening rush hour.
Police say the man was dead when rescue workers arrived at the 102-story skyscraper shortly before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Authorities wouldn’t immediately release his name or say from which floor he had jumped.
The Empire State Building is the third-tallest building in the United States. More than 30 people have committed suicide at the building since it opened in 1931.
Before Tuesday, the most recent was believed to have been in 2006, when a man jumped from a vacant office on the 66th floor.
Archive for March, 2010
A ‘highly professional’ criminal gang is on the run after digging their way into the vault of a Paris bank and stealing millions of pounds worth of cash and jewellery.
The meticulously planned raid saw four men using pickaxes and even a flame thrower to get into the vault of a Credit Lyonnais branch in the upmarket Avenue de l’Opera, close to the Louvre Museum.
Once inside they tied up a security guard and then spent at least seven hours emptying more than 200 high security private safes, getting away with more than £20million.
So as to destroy evidence, they then started a fire which set off sprinklers which flooded the entire basement of the bank.
Police have estimated the criminals’ haul to be worth ‘at least’ £22million.
The ingenious heist – which is already being described by French media as the ‘Crime of the Century’ – is thought to have been carried out by a notorious gang dubbed ‘The Termites’.
The bodies of 21 babies, believed dumped by hospitals, have washed ashore on a riverbank in eastern China, state media reported Tuesday.
Video footage showed that the bodies – stashed in yellow plastic bags, at least one of which was marked “medical waste” – included some infants several months old. Some wore identification tags with their mothers’ names, birth dates, measurements and weights. The official Xinhua News Agency said there were also fetuses among the bodies.
Residents discovered the remains under a bridge in the city of Jining, Shandong province, over the weekend. Tags on the feet of eight of the babies traced them back to a hospital in Jining, according to the People’s Daily Web site. Three of them had been admitted earlier to the hospital in critical condition, the report said. It did not say when.
Hat tip to Kara!
At the headquarters of Human Rights Watch, more than 30 storeys above the noise and bustle of Manhattan, there is so much high-mindedness hanging in the air you can almost taste it. This is the epicentre of a certain type of socially smart, progressive activism — the kind that persuades Hollywood grandees, power lawyers and liberal financiers to dig deeply into their pockets.
When the story broke that one of the organisation’s most prominent and vocal members of staff might be a collector of Nazi-era military memorabilia it felt like some sort of sexual scandal had erupted in the Victorian church. For a lobbying group accustomed to adulatory coverage in the media, it was a public-relations catastrophe. Human Rights Watch is one of two global superpowers among the world’s myriad humanitarian pressure groups.
It is relatively young — established in its current form in 1988 — but it has grown so quickly in size, wealth and influence that it has all but eclipsed its older, London-based rival, Amnesty International. Unlike Amnesty, HRW, as it is known, gets its money from charitable foundations and wealthy individuals — such as the financier George Soros — rather than a mass membership.
And, also unlike Amnesty, it seeks to make an impact, not through extensive letter-writing campaigns, but by talking to governments and the media, urging openness and candour and backing up its advocacy with research reports. It is an association that is all about influence — an influence that depends on a carefully honed image of objectivity, expertise and high moral tone.
So it was perhaps a little awkward that a key member of staff was found to have such a treasure trove of Nazi regalia.
Heads turned during the filming of singer Erykah Badu’s latest music video, “Window Seat”
The video was shot in and around Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas.
In it, Dallas native Badu walks down Elm Street while stripping her clothes off one piece at a time – until she’s fully nude.
Elm Street is the place where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Badu walks between several people on the street, and a few can be seen staring at her as she strolls and strips.
You can watch the video on her site.
It’s slightly NSFW, although parts of her body have been blurred out.
Badu is completely nude as she approaches the spot on Elm where Kennedy was shot (which is marked with an “X” on the pavement).
The sound of a gunshot can be heard and Badu collapses as if she has been shot.
A Republican National Committee (RNC) spokesperson said the committee is looking into a large expenditure at a Los Angeles club known for simulated bondage scenes and nudity.
A Daily Caller report Monday pointed out the expenditure, which was for almost $2,000 at Voyeur West Hollywood.
An RNC spokesperson said the committee is looking into the matter, but said the expenditure was made by a non-committee staffer and added that the report erroneously hinted that RNC Chairman Michael Steele attended the club.
“The chairman was never at the location in question; he had no knowledge of the expenditure, nor does he find the use of committee funds at such a location at all acceptable,” the spokesperson said.
“Good reporting would make that distinction crystal clear. The committee has requested that the monies be returned to the committee and that the story be corrected so that it is accurate.”
French and Swiss police have launched a cross-border manhunt for an armed gang who stormed a casino in Basle and broke open cash desks before vanishing into the night with hundreds of thousands of euros.
The raid, which prosecutors said was a professional operation orchestrated with “brutal” efficiency, was carried out at 4am this morning at the city’s Grand Casino by about 10 masked raiders armed with machine guns and pistols.
After one man burst through the front entrance with a sledgehammer, his accomplices ran inside and ordered guests to the floor while firing into the air.
“The criminals fired a number of shots, but luckily no one was hit,” the Basle public prosecutor said in a statement. Some of the gang tried to break into the safe room but failed, despite firing bullets into the door. Others went to the cash desks and managed to steal “several hundreds of thousands of [Swiss] francs”.
The gang then sped off across the border in two silver Audi cars whose numberplates were registered in the Bas-Rhin area of eastern France.
The Grand Casino, which describes itself as “the Swiss Las Vegas”, is just 200 metres from the French border. Witnesses said the gang members spoke in French. Today, as the authorities in both countries stepped up the manhunt, casino staff said they were left shaken by the heist.
“This is the first time we’ve been robbed. We are all very shocked. You can prepare for it, but when it happens it’s something else,” a manager, Michael Favrod, told Swiss television.
“Thankfully nothing happened to my colleagues or the guests,” he added. While none of the staff or guests were shot, several were kicked or manhandled. One woman, who accidentally blocked the gang’s getaway, was dragged from her car and beaten, said the authorities.
“The perpetrators knew what they were after. They proceeded quickly, professionally and brutally,” said Peter Gill, a spokesman for the Basle prosecutors.
Uma Thurman’s latest film is set to be one of the biggest box office flops ever after just one ticket was sold for the movie on its opening day.
Over its opening weekend at the beginning of March, only around a dozen people went to see Motherhood, a semi-autobiographical account of parenting in New York written and directed by Katherine Dieckmann. The film took just £88 at the British box office on its opening weekend.
On its debut Sunday, takings at the box office were just £9 – the price of a ticket for one person.
Only one British cinema was given permission to launch the film earlier this month, with the film’s producers hoping that exclusivity would generate a buzz and lead to box office success by word of mouth.
Instead, cinema goers stayed away from the Apollo West End in record numbers in a move that will be embarrassing for Thurman, the star of Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill who divides her time between London and New York.
Motherhood, which also stars Jodie Foster and Minnie Driver, is thought to have made only £40,000 when it opened in America last year, despite costing around £3.4 million to make.
State police have charged a central Pennsylvania man with public drunkenness after he was seen giving mouth-to-mouth “resuscitation” to a long-dead opossum along a highway.
Trooper Jamie Levier says several witnesses saw 55-year-old Donald Wolfe, of Brookville, near the animal along Route 36 in Oliver Township Thursday about 3 p.m.
The trooper says one person saw Wolfe kneeling before the animal and gesturing as though he were conducting a seance, while another saw the mouth-to-mouth attempt.
In freak accident, hydrogen peroxide used to lighten hair sparks when hair dresser lights a cigarette, causing her car to explode.
A British hairdresser died after her cigarette ignited a leaking bottle of hydrogen peroxide bleach which then blew up in her car as she drove along a quiet country lane, the Bournemouth Echo reported Thursday.
Jennie Mitchell’s grieving father Bob urged hairdressers to show extreme caution when carrying the hydrogen peroxide, a powerful bleach used to lighten hair when mixed with ammonia.
“The hydrogen peroxide had ventilated in the car. She opened the window, which introduced oxygen,” he said.
“Jennie was a smoker and it’s likely that she lit or had a lit a cigarette.”
“Until the accident, nobody knew this could happen. We keep saying, you couldn’t have written this in a script.”
In the hours after a monkey on the lam fell into a woman’s pool and then swiped some fruit from her backyard tree, fans of the wily primate cheered it for avoiding capture.
“Go little monkey, go! No cages for you,” wrote a guy named Jack on the “Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay” Facebook fan page. (There were more than 16,000 fans of the elusive monkey as of Wednesday morning.)
“I sure hope ‘they’ don’t catch you!” wrote a woman named Kathleen.
“Why can’t ‘they’ just leave you alone?”
Why, indeed? The rhesus macaque monkey has avoided capture for nearly a year.
Authorities don’t know where the animal came from, but some believe it could have gotten separated from a troupe of wild monkeys in an Ocala-area state park, some 118 miles north of St. Petersburg.
Another possibility: the animal could have escaped from an unpermitted owner. The creature has captivated people in Tampa Bay and beyond — possibly because of his ability to outwit the humans trying to catch him.
“It’s something that you can kind of cheer for,” said Amy Ellis, a Pasco County employee who has become a fan of the monkey on Facebook. “Every day there’s so much bad news. He’s kind of like a little hero.”
When Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, was chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools, his office kept a log of nearly 40 pages listing the local politicians and business people and others who sought help getting children into the city’s most selective public schools.
According to an article Tuesday in The Chicago Tribune, which first obtained and reported on the confidential log, those who sought such help included 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard M. Daley’s office, the State House speaker, the state attorney general, the former White House social secretary and a former United States senator.
A spokesman for the Department of Education said Tuesday that the log was a record of those who asked for help, and that neither Mr. Duncan nor the aide who maintained the list, David Pickens, ever pressured principals to accept a child. Rather, he said, the creation of the list was an effort to reduce pressure on principals.
“Arne Duncan asked David Pickens to respond to all of these requests, some of which came from him, some from lots of other people, as a way to try to manage a process that was putting a lot of pressure on principals,” said Peter Cunningham, who handled communications for Mr. Duncan in Chicago and is now assistant secretary of the Department of Education.
“This was an attempt to buffer principals from all the outside pressure, to get our arms around something that was burdensome to them. It was always up to the principal to make the decision. Arne never ever picked up the phone.”
Yep, I “believe” it too – do you?
A Chinese boy with 31 fingers and toes is set to undergo an operation to remove the extra digits.
The six-year-old boy, whose name has not been released, has 16 toes and 15 fingers.
One of the fingers is incomplete and appears on X-ray photographs as a “fork” sticking out from the right thumb.
Three fingers on each of the boy’s hands are also fused together by skin.
The boy, from Shenyang in China’s north-eastern Liaoning province, beats the current world record held Indian boys Pranamya Menaria and Devendra Harne, who have 12 fingers and 13 toes.
A 62-year-old man was rushed to hospital after he attempted to take his own life the ancient way. The sexagenarian inserted a zucchini into his anus in the attempted suicide at his home in Hong Kong on Friday.
According to Ming Bao, the man’s daughter who returned home at about 10.40pm was shocked to see her father moaning in pain and lying in a pool of blood.
She rushed him to the hospital for bleeding in the anus.
When asked by the medical assistants, the man said he wished to die and that it was an ancient way to take one’s own life.
Scientists have already created mini-cyborgs out of living cells and semiconductor materials, but now biological cells can also contain tiny silicon chips.
Those silicon chips could become future intracellular sensors that monitor microscopic activities, deliver drugs to target cells or even repair cell structures, according to Nanowerk.
Experiments found that living human cells can ingest or receive injections of silicon chips and continue functioning as usual for the most part.
More than 90 percent of chip-containing HeLa cells — the first immortal human cell line derived from a poor, cancer-stricken woman – still survived a week after receiving their silicon loads.R
Other studies have tested nanoparticles inside living cells. But silicon chips allow for much easier integration of electronics and mechanical parts, say scientists at the Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona in Spain.
The study published in the aptly-named journal Small opens the doors for possibly putting microprocessors and other silicon-based devices inside cells. That could lead to promising developments for both micro-computing and medicine.
Unexploded Second World War bombs at an Austrian airfield threaten to shut down a May concert by metal rockers AC/DC.
The concert at Wels Airport on May 22nd has already faced another obstacle — complaints by environmentalists that it would disturb colonies of rare birds in the area.
Now, city officials have informed the metal band that the bombs pose a danger to the estimated 80,000 fans who have bought tickets to the sold-out concert.
Hermann Wimmer, the mayor of Wels, told Austrian TV this week that approval for the concert will not go ahead until experts in demining and bomb defusing evaluate the site.
The airport had been the target of heavy Allied bombing during the war.
Clamp on your foil hat and cower under your bed, Alien Abduction Day is here!
March 20 is Alien Abduction Day, when “the skies are carefully watched by those expecting / wishing to be abducted by an alien life form,” states eHow.com.
The strange holiday’s origins are unclear, though it was clearly popularized by the 2008 Alien Abduction Day festival in Toronto.
The festival was an all around sci-fi street party in Toronto, sponsored by a comic book shop and several local businesses.
But references online exist to the even from years earlier — and watch for Twitter to heat up Saturday with the #AlienAbductionDay tag.
It could be India’s version of “Survivor,” or “The Biggest Loser.”
A famous Indian guru used his television show to boast about his power to kill other men using only a mystic ritual.
So the head on the Indian Rationalist Association offered himself up as a sacrificial lamb.
Sanal Edamaruku volunteered himself for the ritual because he wanted to expose the guru as one of many spiritual con men roaming the country.
While millions tuned in to watch the scheduled murder live on TV, the station canceled the program.
The showdown quickly appeared on YouTube. The guru, Pandit Surender Sharma, is seen chanting mantras and massaging Edamaruku’s forehead.
The willing participant is in good spirits and simply laughs it off. After the show, Edamaruku was still alive.
Hat tip to Jonathan!
It happened at about 8 p.m. at a Wal-Mart store in the area of 3rd Avenue and Bell Road. The victims were rushed to the hospital after the attacks.
Two people are in critical condition and a third person who jumped in to help was also hospitalized.
3TV has learned two women were walking down the street when they were attacked by the swarm of bees. Witnesses say there were so many bees that at one point they could not see the women’s faces.
Heather Laroc, who saw the bee attack, tells 3TV, “We hear screaming from outside and there’s two ladies laying in the street and they’re covered with bees from head to toe. You could just not see their skin and screaming ‘Help, help, help’.”
That woman called the police and the fire department.
By the time first responders arrived the two older women were still blanketed with bees.
They had been stung almost 100 times each. Two men who jumped in to try to help them were also stung.
The women and one man were rushed to the hospital.
Firefighters searched for the hive and eventually found it and took it down.
Tony Blair waged an extraordinary two-year battle to keep secret a lucrative deal with a multinational oil giant which has extensive interests in Iraq.
The former Prime Minister tried to keep the public in the dark over his dealings with South Korean oil firm UI Energy Corporation.
Mr Blair – who has made at least £20million since leaving Downing Street in June 2007 – also went to great efforts to keep hidden a £1million deal advising the ruling royal family in Iraq’s neighbour Kuwait.
In an unprecedented move, he persuaded the committee which vets the jobs of former ministers to keep details of both deals from the public for 20 months, claiming it was commercially sensitive.
The deals emerged yesterday when the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments finally lost patience with Mr Blair and decided to ignore his objections and publish the details.
The man who staged a St. Patrick’s Day bank robbery in a leprechaun costume and died during a police shootout also held up a bank three days before Christmas in a Santa suit, police said Thursday.
Investigators in the Nashville suburb of Gallatin said information from the FBI linked David Christopher Cotton, 20, of Brentwood to the December robbery.
FBI Supervisor Special Agent Scott Augenbaum told The Associated Press that investigators found a Santa suit at Cotton’s home, and that the suspect made similar comments during both robberies.
The man police identified as the getaway driver, 20-year-old Western Kentucky University student Jonathan Ryan Skinner, also was killed.
Police said they think Cotton shot himself to death as officers surrounded the two in a field after a car and foot chase.
Patrol car video of the chase released Thursday shows one of the suspects leaning out of the passenger window of the getaway car and firing several shots at police on the street of a subdivision.
At least one round strikes the front of the car, kicking up a shower of metal and glass. Police said the shots disabled the vehicle, and the video shows a string of other police cars giving chase.
Police said the two ditched their vehicle and ran into a field near a subdivision where they died.
Wal-Mart officials are looking at security tapes after an announcement was made for “all black people” to leave a store in South Jersey.
A man used the public-address system at the Route 42 store in Washington Township Sunday night and calmly announced: “Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store now.”
Patricia Covington and Shelia Ellington were inside the store when it happened and told the Courier Post that customers and store employees looked stuneed when they heard it.
“In 2010, I want to know why such statements are being made because it flies in the face of what we teach them [our kids] at home, and that’s tolerance for people,” said Ellington.
Ellington and other customers let store management and police know they were upset. They asked the store to use the same announcement system to apologize to customers that night, which it did.
A man armed with a high-powered gas pistol tried to break into Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin’s tomb on Red Square in Moscow, shooting a policeman in the process.
The man, named as Sergey Karpentsov, is quoted as saying he wanted to let loose a volley of bullets at Lenin’s carefully embalmed corpse, one of the Russian capital’s most popular and ghoulish tourist attractions.
“My main demand is the quick bulldozing of the mausoleum which contains the body of the anti-Christ,” he said.
“I wanted to open fire on the tomb with an assault rifle but I was advised not to do that in case the tomb is armour-plated.”
“I have drawn attention to this issue with my actions,” he added.
Lenin’s waxy presence at the heart of the Russian capital 86 years after his death continues to divide Russian society, with many older people believing he should be left where he is.
Game show contestants turn torturers in a new psychological experiment for French television, zapping a man with electricity until he cries for mercy — then zapping him again until he seems to drop dead.
“The Game of Death” has all the trappings of a traditional television quiz show, with a roaring crowd and a glamorous and well-known hostess urging the players on under gaudy studio lights.
But the contestants did not know they were taking part in an experiment to find out whether television could push them to outrageous lengths, and which has prompted comparisons with the atrocities of Nazi Germany.
“We were amazed to find that 81 percent of the participants obeyed” the sadistic orders of the television presenter, said Christophe Nick, the maker of the documentary for the state-owned France 2 channel which airs Wednesday.
“They are not equipped to disobey,” he added. “They don’t want to do it, they try to convince the authority figure that they should stop, but they don’t manage to,” he told AFP.
A £90,000-a-year housing boss leads a sordid secret life – dressing up as a Nazi for sick racist sex games.
By day Gareth Mead works in one of Britain’s most ethnically-diverse communities.Mead, 44, is in charge of social housing and homelessness in Hammersmith and Fulham, where his duties include helping decide who is eligible for a council house or emergency homeless shelter.
But at night he poses in front of a swastika in full SS regalia and tells other lovers of the vile fetish: “Gas the Jews and Wogs.”
In a series of shocking photos seen by the Sunday Mirror, the high-ranking council official shows off his array of fascist outfits.
In one shot, Mead reclines on a sofa, wearing jackboots, leather trousers, a khaki shirt with swastika armband and a Nazi officers’ hat.
In another photo, shaven-headed Mead stares menacingly into the camera, dressed in “bovver boy” boots, bomber jacket and swastika T-shirt.
Mead also sent racist texts to men he met on fetish websites. In one he wrote: “Turn on the furnaces for those Jewish boys and let them burn in hell with us 2 Nazis j****** off on their terrified screams.”
Villagers in a remote Alaska region are blaming the death of a 32-year-old schoolteacher on wolves after her body was found along on isolated road, though an autopsy completed Thursday was inconclusive.
The autopsy concluded that Candice Berner was killed by animals, the Alaska State Troopers said.
The agency’s chief said the autopsy could not determine for sure if wolves were responsible but it ruled out other causes of death.
Col. Audie Holloway said DNA tests might determine whether wolves are responsible.
Berner, who had arrived in Alaska just last August, appeared to have been attacked while jogging and her body pulled off the road, villagers in Chignik Lake told The Anchorage Daily News.
Four people riding snowmachines came across her body about 6:30 p.m. Monday, the newspaper reported.
“There was a blood spot on the road,” Gregory Kalmakoff, 23, told the Daily News by phone Wednesday. “I turned around, looked and there was drag marks going down a little hill.”
Authorities say a man tried to sexually assault a Southern California jogger who escaped by jumping off a cliff and sliding about 100 feet down a steep hillside.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Derek Sabatini says the woman was taken to a hospital Friday with cuts and bruises from the fall in Malibu.
She told deputies she had finished a run at about noon at Point Dume State Beach and was standing at the edge of a cliff when she was grabbed from behind.
She says she and the man struggled for several minutes before she was able to break away.
That’s when the woman ran and jumped off the cliff.
They were 51 young men who met a grisly death far from home, their heads chopped off and their bodies thrown into a mass grave.
Their resting place was unknown until last year, when workers excavating for a road near the London 2012 Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth, England, unearthed the grave.
But questions remained about who the men were, how long they had been there and why they had been decapitated.
On Friday, officials revealed that analysis of the men’s teeth shows they were Vikings, executed with sharp blows to the head around a thousand years ago.
They were killed during the Dark Ages, when Vikings frequently invaded the region.
“To find out that the young men executed were Vikings is a thrilling development,” said David Score, project manager for Oxford Archaeology, which excavated the remains.
“Any mass grave is a relatively rare find, but to find one on this scale, from this period of history, is extremely unusual and presents an incredible opportunity to learn more about what is happening in Dorset at this time.”
A woman dropped her gym bag on the tracks of a crowded Upper East Side subway station yesterday — then made the fatal decision to jump after it as screaming straphangers watched in horror.The 48-year-old victim was crushed by a northbound No. 6 train barreling into the 77th Street Station below Lexington Avenue as she tried desperately to claw her way back to the platform.
“She had one choice to make and seconds to make it,” said Alfonso McGruder, 55, of The Bronx, who witnessed the tragedy. “She didn’t make the one that would have saved her life.
Rose Mankos lost her life trying to retrieve a nylon LeSportsac bag filled with exercise clothes, toiletries and her cellphone, sources said.”She tried to go under the platform because the train was bearing down on her. Then she tried to climb onto the platform, but she couldn’t do that. Then she just froze.”
“People were yelling at the lady on the tracks when they saw the train coming,” said Hakeem Nhl, 53, a vendor on the opposite platform. “People were screaming, ‘Oh, my, God! Oh, my God!’ “
Witnesses reported that the train operator sounded his horn eight times and attempted to brake.
In 1951, a quiet, picturesque village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations.
At least five people died, dozens were interned in asylums and hundreds afflicted.For decades it was assumed that the local bread had been unwittingly poisoned with a psychedelic mould.
Now, however, an American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind control experiment at the height of the Cold War.
The mystery of Le Pain Maudit Cursed Bread still haunts the inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit, in the Gard, southeast France.
On August 16, 1951, the inhabitants were suddenly racked with frightful hallucinations of terrifying beasts and fire.One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother.
Another man shouted: “I am a plane”, before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Another saw his heart escaping through his feet and begged a doctor to put it back. Many were taken to the local asylum in strait jackets.
Time magazine wrote at the time: “Among the stricken, delirium rose: patients thrashed wildly on their beds, screaming that red flowers were blossoming from their bodies, that their heads had turned to molten lead.”
Eventually, it was determined that the best-known local baker had unwittingly contaminated his flour with ergot, a hallucinogenic mould that infects rye grain. Another theory was the bread had been poisoned with organic mercury.
The scientists who produced both alternative explanations, he writes, worked for the Swiss-based Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company, which was then secretly supplying both the Army and CIA with LSD.
However, H P Albarelli Jr., an investigative journalist, claims the outbreak resulted from a covert experiment directed by the CIA and the US Army’s top-secret Special Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Most pet owners take steps to protect their animals. In Santa Rosa, California, Odessa Gunn worried a car or coyote might one day claim the lives of her dogs, which is why she and her husband, renowned American cyclist Levi Leipheimer, fenced in their property.
But Fox News reported Wednesday that they’re mourning the loss of their beloved Chihuahua, Trooper, and nursing their other dog, Bandit, back to health. The attacker came from an unlikely place — the sky.
Gunn had just let her dogs out into the backyard and was preparing to join them. She recalls, “in the time it took me to put my boots on, I heard what sounded like a really horrendous cat screeching noise. I thought it was a mountain lion or a bobcat or something.”
In fact, it was a pair of Great Horned Owls, birds that typically eat rats and squirrels. On this recent night, the birds set their sites on larger prey. From out of the darkness, the two owls swooped down and attacked Trooper and Bandit, just feet away from where Gunn stood.
After a violent struggle, Bandit escaped, bloody and limping, but Trooper was carried off and hasn’t been seen since. No fur. No blood. Nothing.
Assisted suicide for anyone over 70 who has simply had enough of life is being considered in Holland.
Non-doctors would be trained to administer a lethal potion to elderly people who ‘consider their lives complete’.
The radical move would be a world first and push the boundaries even further in the country that first legalised euthanasia.
The Dutch parliament is to debate the measure after campaigners for assisted suicide collected 112,500 signatures in a month.
Euthanasia has been available for the terminally ill in Holland since 2002 in cases of ‘hopeless and unbearable suffering’ certified by two doctors, but this would be a far bigger step.
At least six women in New Jersey who hoped to plump up their backsides have ended up hospitalized with infections, after a bogus doctor injected their derrieres with a mixture of silicone, petroleum jelly and, perhaps most hazardous, household caulk.
New Jersey health officials said the dangerous mixture had seriously damaging effects.
“What we’ve been hearing from the hospitals is that these women are presented with deep tissue infections and skin infections,” New Jersey Health Department epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan told the New York Post.
“Abscesses form in some cases.”
Officials in Pecica, a village town about 13 miles from the Hungarian border in the country’s west, ordered the bright red signs, complete with the phrase “Attention – Drunks”.
The 10 road signs, which also show a person crawling on their knees while clutching a glass in one hand, were erected in popular nightspot areas close to the city’s bars and restaurants.
Peter Antal, the Pecica Mayor, said the idea came after he visited an unnamed town in Germany, which had installed similar signs.
He said officials took action after a “despairing” number of accidents in the town, which has a population of about 13,000, caused by drunken revellers, with some even resulting in fatalities.
He said it was not motorists’ fault but blamed the town’s pedestrians, many of whom were not able to look out for themselves as they walked around the town, which is more than 300 miles west of the Romanian capital Bucharest
True love can take many forms. In this case, it has taken the form of a Korean man falling in love with, and eventually marrying, a large pillow with a picture of a woman on it.
Lee Jin-gyu fell for his ‘dakimakura’ – a kind of large, huggable pillow from Japan, often with a picture of a popular anime character printed on the side.
In Lee’s case, his beloved pillow has an image of Fate Testarossa, from the ‘magical girl’ anime series Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha.
Now the 28-year-old otaku (a Japanese term that roughly translates to somewhere between ‘obsessive’ and ‘nerd’) has wed the pillow in a special ceremony, after fitting it out with a wedding dress for the service in front of a local priest.
Their nuptials were eagerly chronicled by the local media. ‘He is completely obsessed with this pillow and takes it everywhere,’ said one friend.
Rumours that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy are both having affairs are gaining momentum in France.
The suggestion that the couple were both committing adultery first emerged on Twitter, the microblogging website. It was followed by a report in the Sunday newspaper le Journal du Dimanche.
The first ‘tweet’ claimed that Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy had become romantically involved with Benjamin Biolay, a musician and a winner at France’s recent Victoires de la Musique awards.
It then claimed that the jilted Mr Sarkozy had swiftly found solace in the arms of his 40-year-old ecology minister Chantal Jouanno, also a French karate champion.
French web magazine suchablog.com alleged that Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy had been a close friend of Biolay for many years and was now unofficially living with him at his flat in Paris.
The rumours were given extra weight after being reported in an blog on the website of Le Journal du Dimanche.
Police arrested a man early Sunday after two bottles of corrosive liquid were hurled into a crowd at one of Hong Kong’s famous tourist spots, officials said.
At least 30 people were injured in the city’s latest acid attack. The victims, including children and tourists, were all treated at local hospitals for burns and other injuries and released.
The liquid was thrown on them Saturday night near Temple Street, a densely populated district known for its outdoor shops and restaurants in the city’s Kowloon area.
Hong Kong has seen a series of similar attacks since December 2008 that have injured more than 100 people.
The suspect, described as a Chinese man in his 30s, was arrested after authorities found him on the roof a nearby building along with caps to the bottles believed to have been used in the attack, said police spokeswoman Michelle Mak.
The suspect has not been formally charged, and the investigation is ongoing, Mak said.
She did not say if he was also suspected in other attacks.
Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, speaking on the GOP’s expected strategy against Democrats in elections this fall, said Republicans would describe President Obama as “a nice person … very articulate” but an ineffective leader who “couldn’t sell watermelons if you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic.”
Rather prefaced the comments, made Sunday on the “Chris Matthews Show,” by saying, “The Republicans will make a case and a lot of independents will buy this argument.”
Rather is known for his homespun anecdotes, though his choice of language in this instance already is raising some eyebrows on media blogs, which note the potential “racial minefield.”
Armed robbers on Saturday struck at Germany’s largest poker tournament, stealing hundreds of thousands of euros in prize money and injuring gamblers, police said.
The masked gang burst into the Grand Hyatt hotel in central Berlin, where the tournament was taking place, threatening security staff and prompting a brief panic, police spokeswoman Heidi Vogt told AFP.
Berlin’s Tageszeitung newspaper reported on its website that six robbers armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and grenades made off with €800,000 ($1.1 million).
“Several masked, armed individuals entered the Grand Hyatt and fled with a haul of money,” Vogt said, without giving details of the sum involved.
She said a number of the tournament’s players were injured in the incident, though none were seriously hurt.
Wildlife officials killed a mountain lion yesterday that invaded a home near Salida, attacking five dogs and trapping a mother and two children.
The mountain lion entered the home nine miles northwest of Salida about 4 p.m. Thursday after it chased a small dog through a pet door. Michelle Bese, 27, and her two children, ages two and five, were inside with four of her five dogs.
Bese said in an interview that her Jack Russell terrier had been outside when it spotted the mountain lion and began barking at it. The mountain lion jumped a 9-foot fence and chased the six-year-old Jack Russell terrier, named Shai, through the pet door.
Bese was sitting at the kitchen table with her five-year-old son Logan, who was coloring.
“At first I thought it was a stray dog, then maybe a coyote because it was not very big,” said Bese. However, she realized it was “a cat” when the dog turned and confronted the mountain lion.
Bese took Logan and ran to the back bedroom where Avery, her two-year-old, was sleeping. She said Logan couldn’t figure why she was dragging him through the house.
“He didn’t see the lion. He thought I was pretty mad at him,” she said. She shut the bedroom door but then realized the phone was in the living room with the cat.
Her husband, Devin, was driving home with their 9-year-old daughter, Mary, and Bese wanted to warn him. She dashed out of the bedroom, got the phone, ran back and called her husband and then 911.
When her husband arrived, he helped her and the two children out a bedroom window. Minutes later, deputies from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office arrived with Colorado Division of Wildlife officials.
The mountain lion stayed inside, where it had killed one of the dogs, even as a DOW officer pounded on the walls and windows. At that point officers went in and the cat was tranquilized, the DOW said in a news release.
A South Korean couple left their baby daughter to starve to death at home while playing an Internet game which simulated child-rearing, police said Friday.
The man aged 41 and his 25-year-old wife were arrested Thursday, five months after they reported the death of their three-month-old baby, a police investigator in the city of Suweon just south of Seoul told AFP.
The father met his wife in 2008 through the Internet. They had been on the run since their baby died.
“They were formally arrested yesterday,” the investigator said, declining to give details.
The baby was found dead last September 24 and an autopsy showed her death was caused by a long period of malnutrition.
The couple had “raised” an online girl character while neglecting their own prematurely born daughter, feeding her just once a day in between 12-hour stretches at a neighbourhood Internet cafe, Yonhap news agency said.
It quoted police as saying they had become obsessed with raising a virtual girl character called “Anima” in the popular role-playing game “Prius Online”.
“The couple seemed to have lost their will to live a normal life because they didn’t have jobs and gave birth to a premature baby,” Chung Jin-Won, a police officer, told Yonhap.
“They indulged themselves in the online game of raising a virtual character so as to escape from reality, which led to the death of their real baby.”
Hat tip to Trish!
Police say a bear bit off a woman’s fingers at a Wisconsin zoo after she ignored barriers and warning signs to try to feed the animal.
The Lincoln Park Zoo in Manitowoc closed after the incident Friday morning.
Police say the 47-year-old woman lost a thumb and a forefinger, and two other fingers were partially severed.
The woman’s boyfriend was bitten as he tried to pry the bear’s mouth off her hand, but he didn’t lose any fingers.
Her 3-year-old granddaughter wasn’t injured.
A mayor’s office statement says alcohol played a factor.
Surgeons saved a man’s life after a three week erection nearly killed him, The Sun reported Wednesday.
The businessman, 55, was forced to undergo an emergency operation after his problem persisted for a staggering 21 days.
Doctors at a hospital in Kolkata, India, eventually performed the surgery to put the middle-aged man out of his misery.
But although the hour-long operation was successful, it rendered the man impotent.
Doctor Avishek Mukherjee said: “It was very late when the man sought treatment.
“The treatment has to be sought within six hours, otherwise it could even lead to death, besides the degeneration of the penis.”
TWO Russian men died in a sauna after jumping into a plunge pool that had accidentally been heated to boiling point, investigators and media said.
The two men jumped into the pool to cool down after sweating in a steam room. A third man tried to save the victims but was unable to pull the men out of the boiling water, Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid reported today.
The two men’s bodies were discovered in the sauna in the city of Kirov in central Russia on February 18 and “their death was caused by overheating”, the Kirov regional investigative committee confirmed in a statement.
The water in the pool was “overheated due to an error by one of the victims,” investigators said.
As authorities nationwide warn motorists of the dangers of driving while texting, Florida Keys law enforcement officers add a new caution: Don’t try to shave your privates, either.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers say a two-vehicle crash Tuesday at Mile Marker 21 on Cudjoe Key was caused by a 37-year-old woman driver who was shaving her bikini area while her ex-husband took the wheel from the passenger seat.
“She said she was meeting her boyfriend in Key West and wanted to be ready for the visit,” Trooper Gary Dunick said.
“If I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have believed it. About 10 years ago I stopped a guy in the exact same spot … who had three or four syringes sticking out of his arm. It was just surreal and I thought, ‘Nothing will ever beat this.’ Well, this takes it.”
AN alleged pervert was caught with a picture of a man having sex with a dead SQUID, a court heard today.
Andrew Dymond, 46, was netted when cops apparently found a haul of grossly offensive porn on his home computer.
JPs heard the sea creature was clearly dead in the picture and a man was having sexual intercourse with it.
Dymond is charged with possessing an image of someone “performing an act of intercourse with a dead animal, namely an octopus/squid, which was grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character”.
He faces a total of 25 porn charges and entered no pleas when he appeared before magistrates.
Prosecutors claim Dymond also made 14 indecent photos of children and possessed an additional 57 child porn images.
He is also alleged to have had photos of a person performing sex acts with horses and dogs.
Hat tip to Kara!
An Australian woman walking to work was killed during a freak accident after she was struck in the head by flying metal thrown up by a grass cutter, which left her decapitated.
The 42 year-old woman, who has not been named, is believed to have been struck by a 60cm piece of steel pipe, in what witnesses described as a “freak accident”.
Workplace safety officials have launched an investigation into the accident, which occurred on Wednesday morning in the north Queensland town of Townsville.
The Daily Telegraph understands the woman was decapitated and died instantly at the scene after walking past an empty block of land just after 8am.
Police said a tractor pulling a grass cutter ran over a steel pipe that had been lying in the long grass, which was then sent flying through the air at great speed.
Hat tip to Jonathan!
Three teachers at a South Los Angeles elementary school have been suspended for allegedly encouraging students to celebrate O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul for Black History Month, officials said Wednesday.
Children at Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School were carrying pictures of the men at a parade Friday on the school playground, said Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman Gayle Pollard-Terry.
She said Supt. Ramon C. Cortines learned about the incident Tuesday and had the teachers, who are white, pulled from their classrooms pending an investigation.
The suspension is without pay for the first three days.
“The superintendent believes there are better choices,” she said.
Millions of dollars in Western aid for victims of the Ethiopian famine of 1984-85 was siphoned off by rebels to buy weapons, a BBC investigation finds.
Former rebel leaders told the BBC that they posed as merchants in meetings with charity workers to get aid money.
They used the cash to fund attempts to overthrow the government of the time.
One rebel leader estimated $95m (£63m) – from Western governments and charities including Band Aid – was channelled into the rebel fight.
The CIA, in a 1985 assessment entitled Ethiopia: Political and Security Impact of the Drought, also alleged aid money was being misused.
Its report concluded: “Some funds that insurgent organisations are raising for relief operations, as a result of increased world publicity, are almost certainly being diverted for military purposes.”
Patients of a northern Kentucky psychiatrist jailed on a charge he stabbed a woman with a sword have tried to keep appointments with him in jail.
Kenton County jail Chief Deputy Scott Colvin said deputies have had to turn away several patients of Douglas Rank, charged last month with first-degree assault in an attack on 32-year-old woman.
Colvin told the Kentucky Enquirer that some patients have asked if they could drop off Rank’s prescription pad at the jail so he could write their prescriptions.
Colvin said the requests have been denied, as prisoners are not allowed to practice their trade in jail.
Tired of that old Bible or Koran?
Members of the Atheist Agenda, a student organization at the University of Texas at San Antonio, are encouraging students to trade in religious texts for pornography this week with their “Smut for Smut” campaign.
In the view of club members, religious texts are as smutty as pornography because they contain violence and torture and spark religious wars. But mostly, it’s a public relations stunt meant to ignite debate and attract new members to the club.
As in past years, the campaign did not disappoint, drawing hundreds to UTSA’s Sombrilla Plaza Monday to either cheer, protest or inquire about the event, and to debate the role of religion in society.“It’s a First Amendment right,” said Bradley Lewis, 18-year-old freshman from Pearland who said he plans to join the Atheist Agenda.
“If religious groups can put out missionaries and go knock on my door and wake me up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning, I can put a table outside of the college.”
Robin Lorkovic, an 18-year-old freshman from Houston, disagreed. Lorkovic stood near the “Smut for Smut” table holding a cardboard sign that said “God Loves You! Keep your Bible and learn from it!”
An Elma man was killed by accidentally urinating on a downed power line after a one-car crash near Montesano.
Grays Harbor County sheriff’s Deputy Dave Pimentel said Monday that 50-year-old Roy Messenger was not seriously hurt after he collided with a power pole Friday night and called a relative to pull his car out of the ditch.
When family members arrived they found Messenger electrocuted.
Pimentel says Messenger apparently urinated into a roadside ditch but didn’t see the live wire.
A CAMERAPHONE application that finds names and addresses of total STRANGERS was blasted as a “stalker’s dream” last night.
The facial recognition “app” instantly identifies snaps by matching them to photos on websites like Facebook and Twitter, where personal info is accessed.
Horrified security experts claim BURGLARS taking secret snaps of revellers could find out their addresses. Unsuspecting strangers fooling around on nights out could also fall prey to BLACKMAIL.
And women could be stalked by PERVERTS. Simon Davies, of Privacy International, slammed the “Recognizr” gizmo as an “atrocious invasion”.
He warned: “It takes the dangers that already exist and increases them infinitely.”
Dr Ian Brown, of the Oxford Internet Institute, said: “A guy could take a picture of a girl in a bar and find out all sorts of information.”
Hat tip to Jonathan!
Citing what he described as the “the persecution of a great hero who rid their land of Godless communists” as a possible cause, prominent TV evangelist and amateur seismologist Pat Robertson today argued that the 8.8 magnitude of the earthquake that struck Chile early this morning should serve as a warning to the population that “God is even angrier with them than he is with the people of Haiti.”
“If I had to guess, I’d say it must have to do with Chile’s persecution and attempted prosecution of their great former leader, and a personal hero of mine, Augusto Pinochet – who, it should be noted, had never been convicted of a crime when the Lord called him home three years ago.”
The popular host of ‘The 700 Club’ and longtime bingo circuit icon also added, “General Pinochet not only assisted the CIA in the overthrow of Chile’s Marxist government, but is widely credited with personally arranging the meetings of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of his countrymen with Jesus.”
General Pinochet, who spent the last eight years of his life fighting prosecution on human rights and other charges before succumbing to congestive heart failure in December 2006, could not be reached for comment, even by Robertson.
The General–turned-Dictator has long been considered a transformative figure in the field of Crimes Against Humanity as a result of his landmark policy of ‘Forced Disappearance’, and was even honored in 1998 with the first-ever arrest warrant for a former head of state under the principle of ‘universal jurisdiction’ by Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon, who is currently investigating former Bush Administration officials for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.
Hat tip to Kara!