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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Weird news: Husband tortures separating wife for 9 days with 100 blade cuts

Sometimes the inhumanity of humans is incredible. The emotion of being rejected is powerful, especially in the case of marriage. There is a feeling that you own the other person, and when the other person moves away (as is their right), there is a tremendous sense of shock. In extreme cases, this shock can convert into anger at the person, and in such stages, there is no concept of right and wrong. While the whole word may perceive what you are intending and what you are doing as horrific, the person will feel that he is justified in his actions. This is very clear from this article that talks about how the husband, in the process of separation, captured his wife and subjected her to a long period of torture. One wonders about the pain she suffered, the humiliation of knowing that the person whom she had loved (and married without knowing his background) was subjecting her to this kind of treatment (link to article):

A 22-year-old girl was abducted, tortured, abused and slashed by her husband for nine long days, according to media reports. On Thursday, her husband was arrested and produced at a Mulund court. He was remanded to police custody till July 14. Their ill-fated love story started when both became friends on Facebook in February this year. The young girl was wooed by his charms and weeks after their virtual romance had begun, they got married at a Bandra court. But soon, the man started unleashing his menacing side, pestering the girl over religion, threatening and abusing her family. The girl lodged a non-cognisable (NC) complaint against her husband in Mulund police station. They divorced on May 29, however, the man's misbehaviour continued as the divorce was not formalised in a court of law. According to reports, on June 17, the husband ensnared the girl and held her captive for many days in his residence in Sewri, where he assaulted her with kicks, punches and a razor blade!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Weird news: Teen in jail for an offensive Facebook post

There are a number of cases where young people have committed grave crimes; the recent bombings in Boston, the shootings in Columbine and other places, in all such cases, the crimes have been committed by people who are like old teens or young adults. In a number of such cases, when the crimes have been committed and then a lot of digging into the background is done, there are indicators about how the culprit had made some kind of intentions clear already - there would be postings on forums, there would be Facebook posts that are angry or threatening, and there are questions about how these indicators were not picked up. As a result, there are now tendencies that tend to ensure that such threats on public forums are not taken lightly, and in fact, the people making such threats can be jailed under stiffer terms, such as in this case (link to article):

The Texas teen facing a felony terrorism charge over an alleged threat on Facebook has been released on bail after an anonymous donor posted a $500,000 bond. Justin Carter, 19, had spent five months in prison for posting, during an argument about a video game, what he said was a sarcastic comment about how he was going to "shoot up a kindergarten." "I just think it got taken out of context, and it's been blown out of proportion," Carter told Kate Bolduan on "New Day," CNN's morning show. The brief interview marked Carter's first public comments since he was jailed in February.
Just jailing somebody on the basis of their comments (even if the comments are horrific) unless it is a specific threat is dangerous, but at the same time, there is also pressure on enforcement authorities to read these indicators early.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Weird: Recruiting more ladies to reduce weight to save fuel costs

Fuel costs are high, and airlines claim that they are bleeding costs for a long time. So, over a period of time airlines have done a number of cost saving measures - these include reducing the amount of weight allotted to a person (many years back flights to and fro the US allowed 64 kg, which is now down to 20 kg), more and more flights are now charging for other services such as seats on the emergency exits (which have more leg space), and low cost airlines would even start charging for going to the rest room on the flight. So, there is a lot of focus on trying to find new places where money could be saved, but this airline has taken an interesting turn. Carrying more weight on board the flight means that it takes more in fuel charges, and fuel is expensive, so the airline is actually now preferring to hire females rather than male attendants because they tend to be 10-15 kg less in weight (link to article):
An Indian airline has hit on possibly the worthiest excuse yet for hiring slim women as cabin crew -- it saves fuel and therefore money. While some airlines admit to hiring women for their sex appeal, budget carrier GoAir has told The Times of India it will be hiring predominantly female flight attendants in future because they are 15-20 kilos lighter on average than men. The airline estimates each extra kilo on board costs Rs3 ($0.05) per flying hour, and the new policy will save it up to $500,000 annually. A spokesman for the airline denied to CNN that it had implemented a gender-biased recruitment policy. But he confirmed that the airline's male-female cabin crew ratio of 40:60 was among the most male-heavy in the industry in India.
Maybe this is also an opportunity for the most slim people to come forward and claim a preferential right when applying for jobs in airlines. :-)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Weird news - Lady married 600 year old bridge in France

You get all kind of weird news, and the concept of a bridge being 600 year old and still operational is not something that a lot of people will believe in. In fact, this bridge was fist build by monks in the 11th century and the present structure has been operational for 600 years. This makes the bridge a unique structure, since not many such structures are still surviving after so long (you hear of buildings surviving for so long, but not structures such as bridge which take much more strain and are not so strongly rooted to the ground). However the more weird news about this bridge was not the duration for which it has stood, but it was the groom in a ceremony where a lady married the bridge with witnesses, including the mayor of a nearby town. The marriage would be platonic, and fortunately was not recognized in French law, and it is doubtful whether anybody would protest to make such marriages legal (link to article):

Jodi Rose, an Australian artist who travels the world recording the vibrations of bridge cables for her "Singing Bridges" music project, knew it was true love the first time she laid eyes on Le Pont du Diable, a 600-year-old bridge in Southern France. On June 17, the intimate affair was held at the entrance of her groom with 14 guests in attendance, including the mayor of Saint-Jean-de-Fos, a neighboring town. The beaming bride kept it traditional on her not-so-traditional wedding day, wearing a floor-length ivory dress and carrying a beautiful bouquet, Oddity Central reported. Though their union is not legally recognized in France, Rose said it's just as strong as any other marriage. "While I respect those whose romantic and sexual feelings are oriented towards objects, mine is a symbolic affair, a pagan / animist view of the spiritual vibration in everything," she wrote on her blog, Bridgeland. "He understands that I love other bridges -- and men -- ours is a love that embraces the vagaries of life, as materialized in the swirling currents of the river that flows beneath his magnificent body."

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Weird news - Lady falls in bin, scared another lady nearby

Strange things happen all the time in the world, but unless they happen to us, they seem very weird. It is difficult to believe how such things happen, but they do happen. Once in a while there are even cases where people get stick inside cupboards and wall closets, but the story below is pretty incredible. How often do you think that such a story can happen ? A lady approached a large bin meant to collect donations, with all noble intentions and decided to donate a few items. However, some time later she found that she was missing her bracelet and wondered whether they might have also gone to the bin, and tried to locate that bracelet. And strangely, she feel inside and things started going wrong for her. Finally she was extricated from the bin after she called for help, but not before she apparently scared a lady who was planning on doing a donation as well (link to articles):

An Oklahoma City woman donated more than clothes to a roadside bin set up for charitable hand-me-downs this week. The city’s fire department tells in Oklahoma City they had to extricate the would-be Good Samaritan from the metal deposit box after receiving a harried – and more-than-a-little awkward – phone call requesting assistance. "We received a call from a lady that was actually stuck in a donation bin," OKC Fire Chief Brian Stanaland told the site. The snafu ensued when the woman realized she was missing a treasured bracelet after donating several items. She returned to the bin, and somehow fell inside while looking for the bauble.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Weird news - Girl cuts off father's head after he rapes her

Rape is such a brutal crime that it leaves women horrified, shakes up their emotions and their sense of security. Women can suffer severe emotional trauma over such a crime, and these feelings can be even more intense depending on other factors surrounding the crime, such as the violence of the crime, and whether the crime was committed by somebody known to the victim. And this is troublesome. In the family environment, there is a lot of trust involved, and for somebody to violate that trust and do such a crime would be very traumatic indeed.
When such a crime happened in the island of Papua New Guinea, the horror of the crime was increased due to the person who was doing such a crime; the rape was committed by the father on his daughter, which was a violation in many respects. The father is the one who is supposed to be a guardian to the children, the one who puts in a lot of effort to ensure the well being and growth of the children, and for a father to commit such a crime would be horrible indeed. In this case, after raping his daughter in the night, when he tried to do it again in the morning, she took a knife and cut his head off. The community has justified the death (link to article):

A teenage girl beheaded her father with a bush knife after he raped her at their home in Papua New Guinea, a report said Monday, with community leaders protecting her, saying the man deserved to die. The Post-Courier newspaper said the 18-year-old chopped her father’s head clean off after he repeatedly raped her last Tuesday night in their village in the poverty-stricken Pacific nation’s Western Highlands. The report cited a pastor as saying the father, in his mid-40s, had three other children and raped his daughter when they were alone in the house after the mother and the other siblings visited relatives. Pastor Lucas Kumi said the man went to his daughter’s room in the night and raped her repeatedly. “The father wanted to rape his daughter again in the morning inside the house and that was when the young girl picked up the bush knife and chopped her father’s head off,” he said.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Weird news - Family kicked off flight because cut on daughter's face cited as hazards

In the light of the 9/11 attacks, a lot more authority was given to the captain and the crew of the flights, and any disturbances during the flight were treated more seriously. So if there was somebody who was disturbing the flight or causing problems to the crew, the captain could land the place at the nearest possible airport where the local police would take away the person causing the disturbance, and that was that. So, there were misunderstandings, people who tried to act funny by speaking jokes about bombs in the flight were reported by co-passengers and captains would refuse to let the flight go until such a person was taken off the flight; in other cases, people were turbans and speaking languages other than English were reported and forced off the flight. There were genuine cases, but a lot more cases about misunderstandings.
However, sometimes things goes beyond such cases and people have to suffer a lot of inconvenience when something like this happens. In the following case, a family was forced to be moved out of the aircraft when the crew saw a small cut on their daughter's cheek and worried that this could be a health hazard when the flight was in the air. The family was embarrassed at being forced off the plane, and had to make their own way since the next flight was only 3 days later. They also had no option since the crew threatened to call the police (link to article):

A British family was kicked off a local plane flight because the pilot reportedly thought a small cut on their toddler’s face was a health and safety hazard. John Maitland, 33, and his partner, Laura Bishop, 36, were traveling with their 19-month old daughter, Robyn, between the Isle of Jersey and Newcastle, England this month when they boarded an easyJet flight, Sky News reported. A stewardess noticed a scrape on Robyn’s cheek that she got after falling on a radiator while on vacation. The couple did not think the small cut was serious. The stewardess alerted the pilot to the injury and the family was told they had to exit the plane.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weird news - Women sentenced to life in prison for cutting off husband's penis

Many years back, the word Bobbit came into significance (Wikipedia) when the wife cut off her husband's penis after claiming that he raped her. His penis was able to be re-attached and she was prosecuted for the major injury that she did on him. However, ever since, there have been other cases of such kinds of injuries happening once in a while. The nature of injury is so horrific that it is treated as a major injury, also because of the emotional impact it has on the person on whom such a injury has been committed.
This is not a normal injury, in the sense that it is not done normally by robbers and others, but is typically done by somebody who is intimate with the person whose penis has been cut off. It is quite normal that even in a husband and wife relationship, for the wife to cut the penis of such a person, means that their relationship is in a pretty bad state; and in such cases, it is quite normal for a criminal trial to happen. In the current case. the wife cut off the penis of the husband and threw it in the garbage dump, with the intention that the penis could be re-attached. In the trial, she was convicted of the crime and was sentenced for life (link to article):

A judge sentenced a Southern California woman who cut off her estranged husband's penis and tossed it in the garbage disposal to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Catherine Kieu, 50, was convicted by an Orange County jury in April of aggravated mayhem and torture following the July 2011 assault on her ex-husband. Kieu drugged her former spouse before tying him up and severing his penis with a knife. She then threw it into the garbage disposal unit.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Weird news - 10 year old boy shoots his mother dead, on trial

These are the sort of cases that both judges and juries dread to have. If you have a murder trial, where an adult has killed another person, you would not feel too much trouble in being part of such a trial, and even if it came to passing a judgment of execution in such a case, you would feel that you have gone through the proper process and done what needs to be done. However, this can get real tricky when you are dealing with a 10 year boy who is on trial for killing his own mother.
Typically, societies consider the age of 18 to be one where a person is considered to be an adult, and more important, when a person is considered of sound mind and capable of being responsible for their own actions. For somebody younger than that, and specially when somebody is like 10 years old, you would think that the child cannot be responsible for their own actions. What was more of a problem was that the 10 year old was in such anger after an argument with his mother, and equally important, had access to a gun with he was able to shoot his mother (link to news article):

An Ohio boy admitted he fatally shot his mother in the head with a rifle when he was 10 after what a relative described as an argument over chores. The boy, now 13, entered the equivalent of a guilty plea Monday in juvenile court. In January 2011, the boy went to a neighbor's house, called 911 and told the dispatcher he had shot his mother at their home in rural Holmes County, about 70 miles northeast of Columbus. "I shot my mom. I shot her with a gun," he said. At the time, his uncle said the boy and his mother had argued over carrying firewood.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Weird news - Man sentenced to 3 years in jail for not paying bill

Seems a bit strange. What was the normal expectation when you go to a restaurant and then refuse to pay the tab once you are done with your food and drinks. In older days, the joke used to be that you would be expected to roll up your sleeves and spend the rest of the evening and the night doing cleaning of all the dishes as compensation for the expense. In modern times, this is no longer insisted upon (you would not want to get sued by the person being forced to do the dishes later on), instead you could call the police and they would take the next action.
However, typically you would expect some minimal action on the person, or some settlement between the person and the restaurant. But would you ever expect this to result in a 3 year jail sentence ? Seems odd, but this is exactly what happened in an Illinois trial where prosecutors sought a theft charge on the person and the charge stuck because of his past history. Seems very odd (click here for the news article):

CHARLESTON, Ill. – A Mattoon man was sentenced to three years in prison after authorities say he skipped out on a $70 restaurant bill after ordering an appetizer, drinks and an entree. Anthony M. Malabehar, 47, pleaded guilty to felony theft charges after authorities say he didn't pay for his meal at the Alamo Steak House in Mattoon. Authorities tell the Mattoon Journal-Gazette that the April theft took place about a month after Malabehar was convicted of a similar theft from another eastern Illinois restaurant. Prosecutors say he was charged with a felony because of his previous criminal record includes other theft convictions.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Weird news - Girl suspended from school for smelling bad

Sometimes things happen that seem so weird. Imagine a girl being sent home from school on a regular basis because she has a foul smell coming from her, and the smell is so bad that she would be sent home. In such a case, it would seem simple that there were problems of personal hygiene and most people would argue that a simple solution would be for her parents to ensure that she was bathing regularly. The funny thing is that her parents claimed that she was bathing regularly, and this was not the reason for the foul smell.
In such cases when there is reason to believe that parents were not taking care of their children, then child services normally get involved and in extreme situations, they can even take the child or put some kind of monitoring. However, child services closed the case without reporting any problem; net result is that the girl was regularly sent back from school because of this smell and would be missing school (link to article):
So why is this little girl so stinky? Apparently, it's a big mystery, because the girl's mother, Krystal Hensley, claims she bathes daily. But when school administrators questioned the girl about why in the fresh hell she smells so foul, she claimed to not remember when she last took a bath. Hensley says, "She's been to the doctor and it's not a medical problem. They send her home at least once a month." The first suspension notice served to the girl's mother stated, "We have made repeated attempts to address a foul odor that [redacted] has been [emitting]. This is not being resolved."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Weird news - Minor Girl in Maldives to be flogged for having sex

The concept of punishing somebody for having sex outside of marriage is something that seems very strange to most people in the world. The right or freedom to have sex can be considered outside the cultural mores of many cultures, but punishing it as part of the legal framework seems weird. It is one of the most fundamental of individual rights and is also a sign of progress in terms of the right of women and their freedoms.
In this case, it is even more strange that this punishment is being levied on a girl who is not even of age. In most societies of the world, any such sexual behavior by a minor is condemned as being caused by those around her, she is not held responsible for her actions, being of an age where she can be influenced by others around her. In fact, anybody who enters into sexual relations with her is accused of committing the crime of rape, and would be prosecuted accordingly. Unfortunately, in this case, the legal system, influenced by a specific interpretation of Islamic criminal code, the minor girl is held guilty and is sought to be given a barbaric punishment. 
During a police probe into allegations that the girl had been raped by her stepfather, investigators uncovered evidence that she had had consensual sex with another man. "Though she has been sentenced she will be lashed once she turns 18," the court official, who asked not to be named, told AFP. "But the sentence will be enforced immediately if she wants it to be carried out now." Premarital sex is illegal under the Indian Ocean nation's strict Islamic law. The premarital sex charge against the teenager has been condemned by rights groups and the government has urged leniency towards the girl, saying she had been traumatised by the repeated rapes by her stepfather.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Weird news - Man gets kicked off plane for taking photos

Nowadays security on planes is getting very strict. When people make a nuisance of themselves on planes, there have been recent cases where the captain of the plane has deplaned them, and there has never been any action against the crew of such planes, even when there has been a lot of hue and cry about the actions of the crew. This has positively gone up manifold since the events of 9/11, and at this point, with the security situation as it is, you could just make a joke on a plane and if somebody misreads the joke, then you could be pointed out as a security concern, and would be evicted from the flight.
Consider this case, whereby an avid airline blogger and photo enthusiast was taking some photos on a flight. It was standard policy that nobody should take photos on the plane, but this was one of those policies that were there on the list and nobody followed, and in most cases, the crew on the flight would not have insisted. However, in this specific case, when the person was taking a photo, the crew objected and he stopped taking flights. However, later he did point out to the crew member that he was not a terrorist and used to take such photos for the blog earlier; and apparently this was enough for the crew to decide that they did not want him on the flight, and got him evicted (link to article):

I looked at the FA, smiled, but said nothing, putting my iPhone away. To be clear, I did not take any more pictures—not a single one. Meanwhile, another passenger was taking pictures behind the curtain and the FA ran over to him and demanded that he stop as well. This passenger had a lively discussion with the FA, though I did not hear the resolution. Naturally, the FA's warning bothered me and I felt the need to explain myself. I signaled for her to come back and asked her to hang my coat. I then said this verbatim— "I want you to understand why I was taking pictures. I hope you didn't think I was a terrorist. Here is my business card [offering her one]. I write about United Airlines on an almost-daily basis and the folks at United in Chicago are even aware of my blog." She took my jacket but refused to take my business card saying, "No, that's okay," then saying, "I did not know that" after I explained my reason for taking pictures. I again emphasize, I took no more pictures.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Weird news - Family defy no-smoking warnings on plane, forced to get off

There was a time when smoking was considered fashionable, and there were very few restrictions on smoking. It was only in the past few decades that the health problems of smoking became clear, and the restrictions on smoking started growing. Of particular concern was the impact of smoking on those who did not smoke themselves, this being called as 'second hand smoking', and more restrictions implemented to ensure that people who did not smoke did not get affected by those who did so. As a result, there were more laws passed to ensure that if people did smoke, they were prevented from doing so in a way that the smoke would impact others; one of these was about ensuring that smoking is totally banned on planes.
Given the closed environment of an aircraft, there was no way to ensure second hand smoking prevention, unless smoking was totally banned on a flight. Now it is strictly enforced, and there are warning messages that come on in aircraft, calling out that people cannot even smoke in the bathrooms (and in fact, there would be smoke detectors meant to prevent people from smoking there). Combine this with the fact that in this age of aircraft security, any unrest or disturbance on a plane is treated as a security problem and if the situation gets out of hand, then the plane can even land and the concerned people handed over to security (link to news article):
A family of three -- a father, a mother, and a son -- were arrested after they refused to stop smoking inside a plane, forcing the aircraft to land in the island nation of Bermuda. The flight from Halifax in Canada to the Dominican Republic landed in Bermuda, and police boarded the plane and arrested the three passengers, the Daily Mail reported.
Such a diversion can be pretty bad for the schedule of everyone concerned, since this causes delay in the transit of everyone, and if the time takes longer, then people may even need to stay overnight.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weird news - In Britain, man banned from speaking to women strangers for 10 years, will face prison if he does

Sometimes one comes across strange court judgments, which do not make sense from a layman's perspective. A typical judgment from the court typically would involve either a person getting exonerated by a court, or being sentenced to some sort of community service, or to probation, or to a prison term. These are the sort of court judgments in criminal matters that we have come to expect, and if something deviates from such a judgment, it seems weird. What would you say to a court judgment where a man is sentenced to a prison term if he speaks to a unknown woman in public, unless it is an emergency. This was a strange case where a man walked up to a lady in her mid 20's, kissed her on the cheek and told her that he was a sex offender.
You can imagine the shock that this lady would have felt, including the fear that she would have felt. The only reassurance that she would have felt was that they were in public; the problem is that such a situation is so odd that one does not know whether such a man is safe in public. At the same time, since the offence conducted was not one to jail him for a long period of time (in a sort of preventive custody), there was not much that the judge could do; and hence the unusual judgment. But how does one make such a judgment effective ? How do you determine whether the man spoke to an unknown lady, or just replied back. Similarly, how do you determine what is an emergency ? Read this news article (link):

A 56-year-old Briton has been banned by court from speaking to women for 10 years after he told a woman he was a rapist who had just been freed from prison. David Delahunty, 56, faces up to five years in jail if he just says hello to a woman he does not know, The Sun reported. A judge imposed the ban after the man admitted sexual assault. The order bans him from speaking to any woman he does not know in a public place for the next 10 years, except in an emergency. He said he walked up to a woman stranger at a bus stop, kissed her on the cheek and told her she was a "bonny lass".

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Weird news - Finally found remains of man 27 years after disappearing - in a chimney

Sometimes one comes across a whodunit that can defy comprehension. You find a body after so long and no more know who it was, and given the position in which it was found, it will take a large amount of police work just to find out who the person who died was; forget about being able to find out why the person died, and even more important, if the death was not natural, who was the person behind the death. Consider this case, where a person was found dead in the chimney of a bank in Louisiana. The body was only found when the bank decided to do some renovation on the second floor of the building, the floor having been used only for storage space till now. Consider the shock to the people actually doing the renovation when they discover that there are the remains of a person in the place that is being renovated; everything needs to stop while the police is called. Also consider the feeling of employees who suddenly learnt that somebody probably died a very miserable death, dying after being a few days in the chimney.
And then DNA records find the identity of the person, and the family learns that the person who has been missing for 27 years had actually died soon after disappearing, being in the chimney of the local bank. What does the police do in such a case, and can they even suspect that this was a homicide ? (link to article):

A man missing for 27 years has finally been located, according to police reports. The remains of Joseph Schexnider, lost for 27 years, were finally discovered lodged in a brick chimney in the Abbeville National Bank in Louisiana. The bones were found in May, when the bank was making renovations on the second floor, which had been long used for storage, to make more office space. The identity of the body was confirmed this week through DNA.

Weird news - Man discovers that his wife was actually a man (married for 19 years)

It can be the most shocking news for a person to bear. When you get married to someone, there can be many things that you learn in the marriage about the person whom you have got married to, but there is pretty much a limit to the extent of surprise that you can get and still bear. Now combine this with the concept of an increasing acceptance in society of people being homosexual, transvestite, or even those who have been diagnosed as actually needing to have a sex change. When such a person does have a sex change operation, what does this mean for their future life ? Can they have a relation with somebody else now, without telling the other person about their past. Would you want to be in a relationship where you discover that the spouse of so many years was actually the same sex as you, and then had a sex change operation ? Would there not be anger at not being told this information; that this seems like some sort of trickery.
Well, it happened to this man in Belgium, and he was devastated, when after 19 years of marriage, he learnt that his wife was actually a man before having a sex change operation; he now wants a divorce (or rather wants an annulment). This is a tricky case, with no easy solutions. The lady in question also deserves to have a future, especially since the law recognizes a sex change operation, and one can be sure that there are really no laws in place to deal with such cases (link to article):

A man was devastated when he discovered that his wife whom he had loved for many years was born a male, who has later in life undergone surgery to become a woman. The woman chose not to tell her husband about the sex change, since she is now a full woman. The man is asking a judge to annul their marriage after discovering that his wife of 19 years was born a man. The couple, who got married in 1993 is referred to as Jan 64, and Monica 48, they had a good marriage for most of their 19 years together. In recent weeks the husband was shocked when he discovered that his wife is a transgender man who had undergone a sex change. "I feel I've been assaulted," he said.

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