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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Newspaper guy finds wife pinned under dead husband

In a strange occurrence that must have been very distressing and traumatic for her, a lady was pinned in her home under the much-heavier dead body of her husband. 84-year-old Blanche Roberts, lay pinned under the body of her 77 year husband Fred for a long time, from Wednesday evening to when she was eventually found on Sunday. Fred had apparently died of a heart attack:

Newspaper carrier Bruce Pitts knew the elderly couple only by the prayers the wife made for him while he was working at night and in bad weather, but he felt something was wrong when the papers piled up outside their home. "It was never like them to leave a newspaper in their tube," Pitts said Tuesday. "That wonderful, small voice inside me said, 'This isn't right."'
Pitts then eased open an unlocked side door and saw the couple about two feet inside, 84-year-old Blanche Roberts helpless looking right back at Pitts. Her right leg was pinned beneath the body of her 77-year-old husband Fred, who apparently had died last Wednesday evening of a heart attack after mowing the lawn. "The good Lord was with her. She was not scared, wasn't panicking," Pitts said during a telephone interview. "She was conscious, talking. Just peaceful. It was remarkable."

It was good for Blanche that she was found by Pitts, a concerned person. She was apparently incapable of removing the dead weight of her husband's body and would have continued suffering.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Father forced daughter to have 7 incestuous children

In a news that is shaking people to the core, it was revealed that a man in Austria, a father had a forced incestuous relationship with his daughter for a period of 24 years and had 7 children with her. This man, 73-year-old Josef Fritzl in the city of AMSTETTEN, Austria had built up a whole underground cellar system in his house in which he had forced his daughter into when she was 18 years old, and then kept her there for 24 years; during this period they had 7 children out of which 1 died, 3 of them the man adopted along with his wife (who lived with him in the same house but who did not know about this under-ground cellars), and the other 3 had never seen the light of day:

Three children freed from a cellar in which their mother had been imprisoned and raped by her own father for 24 years had never seen daylight, police in Austria have confirmed. The main question reverberating from the small Austrian town: How could a man keep his daughter locked in his basement for 24 years, where she gave birth to seven of his children while her mother and three of those children lived upstairs without an inkling of the horrors in the cellar?
Fritzl explained Elisabeth's disappearance by saying she had run away from home, a story backed up by letters he forced Elisabeth to write, including one that begged her parents not to look for her. Other letters made it seem the missing daughter had left the three children on the parents' doorstep -- when in fact they had been born in captivity in the family's basement.

This is horrific news; one wonders as to the depravity of the human soul that can do things like this - doing this with a stranger is bad enough, but doing this with your own daughter is like a scene out of hell.

Dolphin dies after collision during an aerial stunt

In a freak accident, a dolphin died during a stunt at the famous Sea World amusement park in Orlando, Florida. During an aerial stunt, the dolphin collided with another dolphin that was also aerial, and the tragedy occurred.

A 30-year-old dolphin at Sea World has died after colliding with another dolphin while performing aerial tricks, the Orlando, Florida, amusement park said Monday.
The incident occurred about 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Discovery Cove area of the park, according to a statement by Sea World spokeswoman Becca Bides. The animals were in the center of the lagoon and not near guests, she said.

Dolphins are about the most intelligent of sea creatures, and are a great hit with people, so this makes this even more of a tragedy.

Pregnancies of under-age girls found during raids

The raid carried out by the Texas State officials into the Yearning for Zion ranch in Eldorado, Texas has generated much controversy. There have been a large number of news articles, opinions and discussions about the raid, about the Church (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), an offshoot of the Mormons that believes in polygamy. There is one part of it that is totally abhorrent, namely that a number of under-age girls taken during the raid were either mothers or pregnant:

More than half the teenage girls taken from a polygamist compound in west Texas have children or are pregnant, state officials said Monday. A total of 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 are in state custody after a raid 3 1/2 weeks ago at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado. Of those girls, 31 either have children or are pregnant, said Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar. He didn't specify how many are pregnant.
Under Texas law, children under the age of 17 generally cannot consent to sex with an adult. A girl can get married with parental permission at 16, but none of these girls is believed to have a legal marriage under state law.

There are many issues involved with the raid and the church, but if these facts above are confirmed, it would show that the church is actively involved in forcing under-age girls into sexual relationships, something that is a criminal activity.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thieves steal sperm sample

Thieves will try to steal anything valuable, but maybe they need to learn that not everything that is valuable can be sold. An example is something that is of great personal value to one person, but no value to anything else. Another example is of something like sperm samples from a sperm back, that cannot be sold since any user will want to have the history of the sample. So, the thief steal sperm samples and tries to sell them to a doctor, but no doctor would want to buy something like this since they would want to know previous details of the sperm sample, including the profile of the donor:

A laboratory technician who allegedly tried to make a quick buck by stealing samples from the sperm bank where he worked has been arrested after a suspicious doctor tipped off police.
The doctor contacted police because they [doctors] usually refer patients to infertility clinics for treatment. They are never approached with sperm vials on sale. Infertility experts in Mumbai were astounded by the alleged theft.

And now these would be thieves are facing fines and jail terms for trying to sell something that could not be sold.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Couple abandon baby girl

In a shocking incident that portrays how parents have a quest for male children, a couple abandoned their girl child under the pretext of claiming that their child had been switched with another baby, and that their actual child was a boy. They even demanded a DNA test, and when the DNA test proved that the lady was the mother of the girl child, they refused to accept the DNA test. In the end, the police arrested them for deserting the girl child:

MUMBAI: A couple from Dharavi's Rajiv Gandhi Nagar slum was arrested on Friday for abandoning an infant girl at the civic-run Sion Hospital. The parents, Rajmani and Sheela Jaiswal, had earlier alleged that their baby boy had been swapped for a girl child after delivery in December. They left the child behind when Sheela was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday.
They had approached the Shahunagar police station and had demanded a DNA test to confirm parentage. The DNA report, submitted by the Forensic Science Laboratory in Kalina, had confirmed that the DNA of the mother and child matched. The unlettered couple, however, remains unconvinced. ''We don't trust the DNA report given by the police or hospital. We want the DNA test to be conducted in Delhi,'' said Salam Kazi from voluntary organisation Al-Hind, which is supporting the family and promises to provide them a lawyer if need be.

This is shocking. The quest for a male child has caused the parents to abandon their own flesh and blood. In the end, even though the child deserves to live with her parents, given that the parents are even refusing to acknowledge her, one can only wonder as to how they would have treated her later. Such a child would suffer major discrimination, with a bad quality of life.

Client-attorney privilege keeps man in prison

Imagine that you have been prosecuted for a crime that you did not commit; and then you discover that there were people who knew that you could be innocent, or that there was enough information that could be available that put your trial in question and the legal matter of attorney-client privilege was the reason that you spent so many additional years in prison. This is a case that shows how a regulation can end up harming the life of a human; but in the end, the person would have been happy that he eventually got out of prison:

A man locked away 26 years for murder was granted a new trial and freed on bail Friday with the help of two attorneys who came forward with a client's confession after the client died in prison. Two attorneys recently revealed that their former client, Andrew Wilson, admitted committing the crime that sent Logan to prison, but attorney-client privilege had kept them from coming forward.
Wilson's death last year allowed the attorneys to unseal an affidavit stating that Logan was not responsible for the fatal shooting of security guard Lloyd Wickliffe at a McDonald's restaurant in January 1982. Dale Coventry, one of the attorneys who signed the affidavit, said Friday night that he hopes prosecutors will acknowledge that they went in the wrong direction with the case.

It was good for Logan (the wrongfully sentenced person) that he finally got a chance to get out of jail and enjoy life again, although one is not sure whether he will get compensation for wrongful imprisonment. And even though the attorneys did the wright thing, maybe they could have explored some actions to take the right action earlier.

Europe causes London to smell

Imagine a vague smell permeating through a modern city; there is an odour that you can smell and you wonder as to what has gone bad. People who are more fastidious would be going crazy turning their house upside down to find out what is causing this smell. And then you find out that the smell is actually due to agricultural practices on the main continent, and you are paying the cost for a weather pattern that is pushing the smell your way:

A foul smell permeating London and parts of England over the past two days is due to farmers on the European continent spreading manure in their fields, forecasters and British farmers said Saturday. The agricultural odor is inescapable in central London and smells vaguely of farmland or even garbage.
The National Farmers' Union blamed the smell on the muck-spreading by Dutch farmers, who it said are banned from the practice in the winter and are now spreading it "en masse." Although the smell may be unusual, the phenomenon of European air spilling its contents over England is not, forecasters have said. "We quite often get pollution in the form of haze coming over when we've got these winds from [an] easterly direction, particularly when the winds are coming off the near-continent," he said.

The smell is also an indication of how easily any happening can be used to prove a point; so even this smell is being used by the National Farmers Union to oppose a practise proposed for implementation in Britain that is causing this smell in the European continent.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Girl, 8 years old, granted divorce

We all know of divorce rates increasing as people evaluate their marriages and determine their happiness or unhappiness levels. But the assumption is that marriages and divorces are matters handled between adults, not minors. It sounds shocking to know that minors could be involved with matters of marriage and divorce, and even more shocking that this could involve a 8 year old. In most countries, this would be treated as a very serious criminal offence:

A Yemeni judge dissolved the marriage of an 8-year-old girl to a man nearly four times her age, and the girl's lawyer said Wednesday that the court also ordered the youngster removed from the control of the father who forced her into the wedding. The lawyer, Shatha Ali Nasser, said the girl is just one of thousands of underaged girls who have been forced into marriages in this poor tribal country at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.
The girl said her father forced her to marry a 30-year-old man she identified as Faiz Ali Thamer. She charged that her husband constantly beat her and forced her to have sex. In issuing his ruling Tuesday, the judge said he was terminating the marriage because the girl "had not reached puberty." A provision in Yemeni law allows parents to sign marriage contracts for children younger than 15. However, the article states that a husband can only consummate the marriage when the wife reaches puberty.

Overall, this is a very shocking case. Marriages to underage children are allowed under Yemeni law, and there are no provisions to prosecute the husband in such cases. It is the girl who had the courage to fight for her own case, and it is all the more brave given that she is only 8 years old.

A girl having 2 faces

You only hear from time to time about people who get born with features that would be considered not normal. It is not their fault, it is just the way that nature made them, but people get very interested in such things happening; and with the over-whelming influence of religion in our lives, it is very easy to ascribe divine intervention for many of such occurrences. So, if in Hindu mythology, a particular Goddess has 2 faces, and a baby gets born with similar features, she would instantly be considered as a manifestation of such divinity:

The parents of an Indian infant girl born with two faces say that she is eating and breathing normally despite having two pairs of eyes and lips and two noses. The baby, who is yet to be named, was born to factory worker Vinod Kumar and his wife Sushma three weeks ago in northern India and has been drawing a stream of curious observers and others who consider her a deity in this deeply religious Hindu-majority country.
Doctors said it was an extremely rare case, with the girl having two skulls joined together, and that separating them was out of the question. "Since the heads are fused, separating them is not possible," paediatrician D.K Gupta of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences told the Hindustan Times newspaper on the weekend. But doctors said the girl should be examined thoroughly to study the possibility of complications.

Baby with two faces

One wonders how things will work out later. People overall treat anybody who is different with varying reactions, but never normally. One can only hope that things will turn out well.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Woman killed on boat by a leaping ray

Many people might have read the accident from some time back when noted animal worker and TV personality Steve Irwin was killed when the barb from a ray pierced him and the poison killed him. However, this was when Steve was in the water, and his death was considered a freak accident. So what would you consider this case when a woman was hit by a flying ray (a ray that leaped out of the water), which caused her to hit the boat and kill her. Read on:

A woman on a boat died after a spotted eagle ray leaped from the water off the Florida Keys Thursday and struck her, officials said. The force of the blow pushed the woman backward and she died when she hit her head on the boat deck, officials said. "It's just as freakish of an accident as I have heard," said Jorge Pino of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. "The chances of this occurring are so remote that most of us are completely astonished that this happened."
The woman was seated or standing in the front of the boat as it traveled at about 25 mph out of a channel, Pino said. "The ray just actually popped up in front of the vessel," he said. "The father had not even a second to react. It was too late. It happened instantly and the woman fell backwards and, unfortunately, died as a result of the collision."

What a bad way to go, dying in a freakish accident that happens so rarely.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sitting on a toilet for 2 years

Police and medical help personnel can come across many strange things, but this particular one would have been something that even they would not have expected. They reached a home in Kansas in response to a call to help - and what did they find ? They found a lady who had been sitting on a toilet for 2 years, and who was stuck on the toilet seat. Her skin had apparently grown around the seat, and the personnel had to pry the seat off and take it with her to hospital where it was removed. She was not cooperative during this period, but did finally agree to go to the hospital:

Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said it appeared the 35-year-old Ness City woman's skin had grown around the seat. She initially refused emergency medical services but was finally convinced by responders and her boyfriend that she needed to be checked out at a hospital. "We pried the toilet seat off with a pry bar and the seat went with her to the hospital," Whipple said. "The hospital removed it."
Whipple said investigators planned to present their report Wednesday to the county attorney, who will determine whether any charges should be filed against the woman's 36-year-old boyfriend. The boyfriend called police on February 27 to report that "there was something wrong with his girlfriend," Whipple said, adding that he never explained why it took him two years to call. Police found the clothed woman sitting on the toilet, her sweat pants down to her mid-thigh. She was "somewhat disoriented," and her legs looked like they had atrophied, Whipple said.

Her boyfriend must be equally weird, given that it took him 2 years to realize that maybe things were strange and that he needed help to resolve things.

Horrific crime: Cooking a baby in a microwave

A father was sentenced to 25 years in prison for badly hurting his daughter in a microwave; yes you read that right - a father actually put his baby girl in a microwave in a hotel and cooked her for 10-20 seconds, causing so much harm that the infant, now in the custody of a foster mother, has spent a prolonger period under treatment. How more horrific can this get ? The father claimed that he was insane at that time, a defense not bought by the jury (given that he first hit his own daughter, put her in a safe and then a refrigerator, before actually putting her in the microwave):

His daughter Ana's foster mother fought back tears as she detailed how after being injured, the girl's left hand was so burned that there was no skin, no muscle, no fat, only tendon and bone. Ana suffered second- and third-degree burns to her left ear, cheek, hand and shoulder and has required several skin grafts. Part of her left ear had to be amputated.
Prosecutors said Mauldin hurt his daughter because he was angry that he was in a loveless marriage and he didn't want to take care of the infant. They also said Mauldin had a history of violence and of lying about being mentally ill to get out of trouble. Cammack said Mauldin has been wracked by mental illness since he was 10. Mauldin claimed he started hallucinating when he was left alone in the hotel room with his daughter, feeling like mud was running up his body and consuming him.

Maybe what the defendant, Joshua Mauldin said was true. How can any sane person actually put his own daughter into a microwave ? You have to be mentally ill to do something like that.

Cruise ship debt leaves people stuck midway

Imagine going a cruise, having spent anywhere between $ 10,000 - $40,000 per person for this cruise. You are having a nice time, traveling to exotic islands on the cruise in fine weather and having fun on a great ship as well. You are almost done with the cruise, with the last leg, and you are looking forward to another great time. And then suddenly, you find yourself nowhere because the cruise ship has been seized. This actually happened, if you read this story.

Several hundred passengers on a luxury round-the-world cruise-ship tour were stuck Thursday on an island in the Atlantic Ocean after the vessel's owners ran into legal troubles. The 460 passengers and 200 crew members were marooned after their cruise ship sailed into a port in the Madeira Islands, a Portuguese archipelago about 684 kilometers (425 miles) west of Morocco.
Portuguese authorities detained the ship -- the Van Gogh -- on Tuesday because of a legal claim against the ship's owners, said Marcus Neal, operations manager for Van Gogh Cruises. They seized it in the port of Funchal, a city of about 100,000. The passengers were making their next-to-last stop on a 93-day cruise around the world. They paid between $12,000 and $44,000 for the voyage.

So even though the passengers can leave, most of them are staying on, hoping for the situation to get resolved. And of course, there is a sense of puzzlement as to why the legal action happened during the cruise, putting passengers to some trouble (although by doing so, there is a higher amount of pressure to get this situation resolved).

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