Video offers lead in hunt for Boston bomber

Martin Richard

Martin Richard, 8, was waiting at the finish line when he was killed by the bombings.
Boston bombing

Boston Marathon bomb scene pictures taken by investigators show the remains of an explosive device.

Investigators of the deadly Boston Marathon bombing have an image from surveillance video of a man dropping off a bag containing one of the bombs, a politician says.

City Council President Stephen Murphy said he didn’t know if investigators have identified the man, who was seen on surveillance footage from a nearby department store. Murphy said police involved in the probe say investigators have matched information from the footage with witness descriptions of someone leaving the scene.

“They may be on the verge of arresting someone and that’s good,” Murphy said.

The identification of a possible suspect marked the most significant, publicly-disclosed break since Tuesday’s blasts at the Boston Marathon’s finish line killed three people and injured 176 others in the worst attack on US soil since September 11, 2001.

The bombs killed 8-year-old Martin Richard, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell and a Boston University graduate student who was a Chinese citizen. Boston University has identified the student as Lu Lingzi.

Police may make an appeal to the public for more information on Tuesday’s blasts at a news conference scheduled for later today, a US government source said.

Earlier, CNN reported a suspect was in custody, citing Boston and US law enforcement sources, but later retracted its report.

Officials later confirmed the arrest report was inaccurate.

“Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the marathon attack,” Boston police said in a statement.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a statement asking the media to “exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting”.

The crowded scene in central Boston was recorded by surveillance cameras and media outlets, providing investigators with significant video of the area before and after the two blasts.

Investigators were also searching through thousands of pieces of evidence from cellphone pictures to shrapnel pulled from victims’ legs.

Based on the shards of metal, fabric, wires and a battery recovered at the scene, the focus turned to whoever may have placed homemade bombs in pressure cooker pots and taken them in heavy black nylon bags to the finish line of the world-famous race watched by thousands of spectators.

Streets around the bombing site remained closed to traffic and pedestrians on Wednesday, with police continuing their work.

SENSE OF RELIEF

Rich Havens, the finish area co-ordinator at the Boston Marathon who also witnessed the blasts, said he was relieved officials had identified a suspect.

“When the police said we are turning every rock, they really meant it,” Havens said. “There is a sense of relief that the amazing work they are doing – breaking through bits and pieces – is actually turning things up. And that they’ve gotten to this point in a matter of two days.”

Star Wars actor Richard LeParmentier dies aged 66, 35 years after he was choked by Darth Vader

  • He played the arrogant Admiral Motti, commander of Vader’s Death Star
  • The circumstances surrounding his actual death are currently unclear
Infamous scene: LeParmentier as Admiral Motti in the infamous Death Star choking scene as featured in 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope LeParmentier as Admiral Motti in the infamous Death Star choking scene as featured in 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope. He has died aged 66

 

Star Wars actor Richard LeParmentier has died, aged 66.

He famously played a choking victim of Star Wars villain Darth Vader in 1977 film A New Hope.

TMZ reports that the circumstances surrounding LeParmentier’s death are currently unclear.

The actor had appeared in more than 50 movies and TV shows but was best remembered for his role as the arrogant Admiral Motti, commander of Vader’s planet destroying Death Star in 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope.

In the infamous scene, Motti mocks Vader’s ‘sorcerer’s ways’ and ‘sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion.’

This leads to a near-fatal confrontation with the helmeted Vader who crushes his windpipe using ‘the force.’

LeParmentier also played a British police lieutenant in 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and is reported to have recently been working as a screenwriter for British television.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1946 to British and Irish parents, he moved to the UK in 1974.

He was married from 1981 to 1984 to British actress Sarah Douglas, who played the supervillain Ursa in Superman II.

LeParmentier also made an appearance in the Christopher Reeve film as a reporter.

Star Wars actor Richard LeParmentier dies aged 66, more than 35 years after playing Darth Vader choking victim Famous scene: Richard’s character Admiral Motti was choked by Darth Vader but narrowly escaped death

 

He also had roles in James Bond film  Octopussy and the TV shows Capital City and We’ll Meet Again.

 

The actor, who appeared at several sci-fi conventions, once said of his famous Star Wars scene: ‘I did the choking effect by flexing muscles in my neck. It set off a chain of events, that choking.

‘I can’t do it anymore because, oddly enough, I have had an operation on my neck and had some 21st century titanium joints put into it.’

Originally, LeParmentier was asked by creator George Lucas to play an unnamed part with only a few lines, but he turned it down, before being offered the role that would launch his career.

He died at his home in Austin, Texas.

Famous role: Star Wars actor Richard LeParmentier, pictured in 1999, has died aged 66Long career: LeParmentier worked as a script writer following his 50 year career in films and TV

Saying goodbye is such sweet sorrow: Worker quits by baking a cake and writing resignation letter in ICING (let’s hope he isn’t made to eat his words!)

  • Chris Holmes, 31, had been working worked at Stansted Airport
  • He now plans to pursue his dreams and grow his baking business

A Border Agency employee stunned his bosses with bizarre resignation letter iced on to a cake.

Chris Holmes, 31, who worked at Stansted Airport, tweeted a picture of the note to resign from his job and pursue his dream to run a bakery business.

Mr Homes said: ‘I handed in the cake in person to the duty manager. I think he was pleasantly surprised.

Resignation cakeChris Holmes penned his resignation letter to the UK Border Agency at Stansted Airport on a homemade cake.

‘It was a passion cake – a carrot cake made with coconut, pecans, sultanas and orange buttercream.

‘The lettering was a bit tricky because there were so many words and was quite fiddly.

The resignation seemed like the natural choice for a cakemaker with a whimsical sense of humour.

‘I thought it was a good natured resignation and hopefully left a nice taste in their mouths.

‘I’d been planning it for six-months but kept it to myself because I wasn’t sure when I would be leaving.’

Chris HolmesIcing on the cake: Chris Holmes (pictured) had previously worked at the UK Border Agency for 7 years but has now decided to focus on spending time with his family

‘I’d been working with the UK Border Agency for around seven years and set up the cake business in July 2010.

‘I decided that my passion lies with food and wanted to spend more time at home with my son Ben.’

The former civil servant stunned employees by adding a touching message to the confectionery.

He wrote: ‘Having recently become a father I now realise how precious life is and how important it is to spend my time doing something that makes me and other people happy.

‘For that reason I hereby give notice of my resignation, in order that I may devote my time and energy to my family, and to my cake business which has grown steadily over the past few years.

Chris Holmes icing cakeChris Holmes (pictured) now hopes to build on his baking business after leaving his job as a Duty Manager at Border Force Stansted‘I wish the organisation and my colleagues the best for the future .

’The picture of the ‘resignation cake’ came to light when it was tweeted by his relative Stuart Jackson.

He tweeted: ‘So, my brother-in-law has resigned from his 9-to-5 job in spectacular fashion. Jerry Maguire meets Masterchef.’

Bill Form, Border Force Assistant Director at Stansted, said: ‘Chris handed in the cake, along with a more formal letter, yesterday. He leaves with our very best wishes and we wish him well for the future.

Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 11.25.35 AM 1

That’s another fine mess: Victorian music hall which once hosted Laurel and Hardy is a crumbling wreck of its former glory

  • Palace Theatre in Plymouth has been closed since 2006 and has been left to deteriorate
  • Built in 19th century, it has been used as a theatre, bingo hall and a nightclub

 

It was once a grand music hall which hosted huge stars Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy. But now this historic Victorian music hall has dwindled to a crumbling wreck.

The Palace Theatre in Plymouth, Devon, drew some of greatest names in show-business in its heyday. After opening in 1898, the Flemish Renaissance-style theatre hosted the likes of Chaplin and Gracie Fields – but its ornate splendour is long gone.

The plaster friezes and ornamental cherubs are now coated in a thick layer of dust and the floor is covered with debris and broken glass. Laurel and Hardy can still be seen smiling down from a battered painting on the tiered auditorium which originally seated 1,440 theatre-goers.

palace theatreThe historic Palace Theatre in Plymouth, that once played host to Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy, is now just a shabby shell of its former glory

 

palace theatreThe Palace Theatre in Plymouth, Devon, drew some of greatest names in showbusiness in its heyday – but now it’s just a crumbling wreck

palace thatreThe Flemish Renaissance-style theatre opened in 1898 and hosted the likes of Chaplin and Gracie Fields – but its ornate splendour is now long gone

palaceThe plaster friezes and ornamental cherubs are now coated in a thick layer of dust and the floor is covered with debris and broken glass

The legendary duo performed at the Palace in 1954 but their week-long run was cut short after one night when Oliver Hardy had a severe bout of flu and a mild heart attack. The Palace was built for the Livermore Brothers as a music hall, forming part of a development which included the adjoining Grand Western Hotel.

The Grade II listed building was one of the few Victorian properties to survive the devastating blitz of World War Two.  In 1983 the curtain finally came down on the theatre for the last time. It was given a new lease of life after it was turned into a wrestling club and bingo hall before being reborn in 1996 as the Dance Academy nightclub.

But it has remained empty since 2006 when police targeted it in a massive drugs sting. Former club boss Manoucehr Bahmanzadeh, who bought the property for £550,000, was jailed for allowing the building to be used for the supply of Class A drugs. He was also ordered to hand over £1million under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Bahmanzadeh, who has since been released from prison, has previously offered to give the venue away to an Islamic charity so it can be turned into a mosque. The Palace features on the ‘at risk’ building lists published by English Heritage and the Victorian Society.

A spokesman for Bahmanzadeh said: ‘We are speaking to English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Plymouth City Council about raising funds to put it right.’

palaceThe paintwork is faded and peeling, and rubbish litters the floor. The building, built in the 19th century, is on the English Heritage’s ‘risk’ list

 

palaceOnce a stalwart of Plymouth, the old theatre – which was used as a bingo hall and a nightclub – has been closed since 2006

palaceThe owner has previously offered to give the venue away to an Islamic charity so it can be turned into a mosque

palace
l&h

Laurel and Hardy can still be seen smiling down on the tiered auditorium which original seated 1,440 theatre-goers, but the paintwork is peeling and the features are crumbling away

When the Jews facing extermination fought back: Haunting new images of doomed Warsaw Ghetto uprising are revealed to mark 70th anniversary

A large proportion of Polish schoolchildren are openly anti-Semitic, a shocking new survey suggests today.

The study, carried out at schools across the capital Warsaw, showed more than 60 per cent of those asked would be ‘unhappy’ if they discovered their boyfriend or girlfriend was Jewish.

The poll was commissioned by the city’s Jewish leaders to mark this Friday’s 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, where hundreds of ghetto dwellers were slaughtered attempting to fight back against the Nazis.

But disturbingly, one in four said they thought the camp where Hitler sealed Jewish occupants into a controlled zone was a ‘success.’

Shocking: A quarter of Polish schoolchildren believe the Warsaw ghetto (above) where thousands of Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis was successfulShocking: A quarter of Polish schoolchildren believe the Warsaw ghetto (above) where thousands of Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis was successful

Worrying findings: The poll was commissioned by the city's Jewish leaders to mark this Friday's 70th anniversary of the Warsaw UprisingWorrying findings: The poll was commissioned by the city’s Jewish leaders to mark this Friday’s 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising
Rounded up: The Uprising began on April 19, 1943, led by a less than 1,000 Jewish resistance fighters, but was crushed by Hitler less than a month laterRounded up: The Uprising began on April 19, 1943, led by a less than 1,000 Jewish resistance fighters, but was crushed by Hitler less than a month later

Ethnic cleansing: Nazi occupiers established Warsaw's ghetto in October 1940 to put Jewish occupants into a controlled zone away from the general populationEthnic cleansing: Nazi occupiers established Warsaw’s ghetto in October 1940 to put Jewish occupants into a controlled zone away from the general population

Researchers also found that 45 per cent of the city’s students would be ‘unhappy’ if a family member turned out to be Jewish, with 44 per cent saying they wouldn’t want a Jewish neighbour and another 40 per cent saying they wouldn’t want to go to school with a Jew.

The students surveyed also showed a dismal lack of knowledge about their city’s Jewish history with almost all of them saying they thought Warsaw’s pre-war Jewish population was 18 percent, when in fact every third resident of the city was Jewish.
And the poll, commissioned ahead of the Ghetto Uprising’s 70th anniversary, showed an appalling lack of knowledge about the events.

Nazi occupiers established Warsaw’s Jewish Ghetto in October 1940.

The Uprising began on April 19, 1943, led by fewer than 1,000 Jewish resistance fighters.

Herded to their deaths: Around 13,000 Jews were killed in the uprising, while more than 300,000 had already been sent to the extermination camp at TreblinkaHerded to their deaths: Around 13,000 Jews were killed in the uprising, while more than 300,000 had already been sent to the extermination camp at Treblinka

Surrender: Armed with smuggled and homemade weapons, around 750 Jews staged revolts against Nazi soldiers carrying out transportations to death campsSurrender: Armed with smuggled and homemade weapons, around 750 Jews staged revolts against Nazi soldiers carrying out transportations to death camps

On death row: Upon liquidation of the ghetto by German troops, 7,000 Jews were shot and the remaining 49,000 survivors were deported to concentration campsOn death row: Upon liquidation of the ghetto by German troops, 7,000 Jews were shot and the remaining 49,000 survivors were deported to concentration camps
'Historical awareness extremely poor': Despite this being the largest single revolt by Jews against the Nazis, a third of students couldn¿t say when the uprising began‘Historical awareness extremely poor’: Despite this being the largest single revolt by Jews against the Nazis, a third of students couldn¿t say when the uprising beganBy the time it had been crushed by the Nazis on 16 May, around 13,000 Jews had been killed. More than 300,000 Jews from the ghetto had already been sent to the extermination camp at Treblinka.

The 56,000 remaining Jews were shipped to concentration and extermination camps, in particular to Treblinka.

SS officer Jürgen Stroop who led the attack against the Jewish insurgents reported on 16 May, 1943: ‘180 Jews, bandits and sub-humans, were destroyed.

‘The former Jewish quarter of Warsaw is no longer in existence. The large-scale action was terminated at 20:15 hours by blowing up the Warsaw Synagogue.

Keeping watch: Officers of the Jewish Ghetto Police or Jewish Order Service in the Warsaw Ghetto, who were an auxiliary police unit operating under Nazi jurisdictionKeeping watch: Officers of the Jewish Ghetto Police or Jewish Order Service in the Warsaw Ghetto, who were an auxiliary police unit operating under Nazi jurisdiction
'Lack of historical consciousness': 40 per cent said they thought the uprising was utlimately won by the Jews, while nine per cent thought outside help was 'far too high'‘Lack of historical consciousness’: 40 per cent said they thought the uprising was utlimately won by the Jews, while nine per cent thought outside help was ‘far too high’
Prejudiced: The study, carried out at schools across the capital Warsaw, showed more than 60 per cent of those asked would be 'unhappy' if they discovered their boyfriend or girlfriend was JewishPrejudiced: The study, carried out at schools across the capital Warsaw, showed more than 60 per cent of those asked would be ‘unhappy’ if they discovered their boyfriend or girlfriend was Jewish

Ignorant: The poll was carried out carried out by public opinion researchers Homo Homini in March this year on 1,250 high school studentsIgnorant: The poll was carried out carried out by public opinion researchers Homo Homini in March this year on 1,250 high school students

‘Total number of Jews dealt with 56,065, including both Jews caught and Jews whose extermination can be proved. … Apart from 8 buildings (police barracks, hospital, and accommodations for housing working-parties) the former Ghetto is completely destroyed.

‘Only the dividing walls are left standing where no explosions were carried out.’

Yet despite this being the largest single revolt by Jews against the Nazis, a third of the students surveyed couldn’t say when the Uprising began, and 40 per cent said they thought it was a victory which the Jewish resistance won. Nine per cent said they thought outside help was ‘far too high’.

Dr Michal Bilewicz, from Poland’s Centre for the Research of Prejudice at Warsaw University, said: ‘The historical awareness of Warsaw’s high school students is extremely poor, which is unfortunately a reflection on the standard of teaching in our schools.

‘And this lack of historical consciousness and awareness explains their aversion to modern Jews.’

The poll was carried out carried out by public opinion researchers Homo Homini in March this year on a representative 1,250 high school students.

Christchurch lawyer took gun to court

Craig Ruane

IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
LAWYER: Craig Ruane, who had a pistol in his briefcase at a Christchurch courtroom after shooting practice.

A high-profile criminal lawyer was able to walk into a courtroom with a gun stashed inside his briefcase – sparking a formal investigation and a call for more rigorous training for security staff.

Craig Ruane, the man who unsuccessfully defended Hayden Miles’ killer, Gavin Gosnell, has admitted accidentally carrying the air pistol when he passed through security at Christchurch District Court last month.

His briefcase was put through an X-ray machine, but the gun inside went undetected.

It was only discovered when he left the court and had to pass through security again when he returned.

A source claims the security breach has been kept “hush hush” with only a handful of people aware of the incident.

However, the Ministry of Justice this week rejected any suggestion of a cover-up.

Officials have launched a formal investigation into the security breach and it is understood staff at the court responsible for the lapse could lose their jobs.

When approached about the incident, Ruane admitted he had used the low-powered spring air pistol at the gun range that morning and then carried it into court in his briefcase.

“I can assure you that this was not done deliberately – it was entirely inadvertently – and I was deeply embarrassed when it came to light.”

When asked whether he had been waved through by staff without being checked, Ruane said: “I can tell you we [lawyers] get no favours at all.”

His briefcase was put through an X-ray machine when he passed through security with the gun, he said.

He thought the matter had been dealt with and “was at an end”.

However, District Courts general manager Tony Fisher said a formal investigation was under way into “what happened and how it happened”.

“We take the issue of court security very seriously.”

Both police and the Law Society said they were not made aware of the security breach.

A source believed the incident had been kept “hush hush” and highlighted the lack of training security staff received about X-ray machines at courts throughout New Zealand.

“It’s quite dangerous … it could have been a 16-round handgun. I’m sure there should be some sort of training [about x-ray machines].”

But Fisher said: “I completely reject any suggestion we have covered this up.”

He declined to comment further about the incident until the investigation was complete.

The Christchurch court system received X-ray machines in the 2010 financial year, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said.

Labour’s courts spokesman, Andrew Little, said the latest security breach was concerning, but acknowledged security at courts had been “beefed up” in recent years

“The fact that any contraband could get through screening is a very serious matter and something that warrants further attention.”

Courts Minister Chester Borrows declined to comment until the investigation was complete.

Ruane is a respected Christchurch lawyer who has worked as both a defence lawyer and Crown prosecutor.

He has spent time in East Timor prosecuting war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has also spent many years with the New Zealand Defence Force as deputy leader of legal services.

He is a member of the territorials and holds the rank of Colonel.

SHARP DROP IN WEAPON CARRIERS

Information released under the Official Information Act shows an array of weapons including knuckle dusters, knives and even a ball and chain were seized by court security staff throughout the country in the past two years.

The number of people caught carrying weapons fell from 35 in 2011 to 23 in 2012.

The Ministry of Justice has rolled out security upgrades at courts around New Zealand using $9 million of funding made available over four years in the 2009 Budget.

The funding was in response to a man stabbing himself in the throat using a knife hidden in his shoe while being sentenced on child pornography charges in the Wellington District Court in 2009.

Nationally, court security incidents had dropped 35 per cent and serious incidents were down 63 per cent since improved security measures were introduced, District Courts general manager Tony Fisher said.

Weapons confiscated at court search stations in New Zealand:

2011

26 knives or blades

2 scissors

2 ammunition

2 knuckle dusters

1 piece of wood with a nail

1 laser pointer

1 ball and chain

1 screwdriver

2012

23 knives or blades

1 BB gun

1 metal bar

2 knuckle dusters

1 bottle

1 screwdriver

Ricin-tainted letter to senator intercepted

Senator Roger Wicker

Reuters
TARGET?: Senator Roger Wicker.

An envelope addressed to a US senator has tested positive for ricin, a potentially fatal poison with no antidote.

The discovery this morning (NZT) has raised concerns about terrorism a day after two explosions tore through crowds watching the Boston Marathon, killing three and wounding more than 170.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was told the letter was addressed to Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker’s office.

Wicker’s office issued a statement saying “any inquiries regarding member security must be directed to the United States Capitol Police”.

Capitol Police had no immediate comment.

But Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters of the test, and other lawmakers said they had been briefed by the office of the Senate Sergeant At Arms.

Mail addressed to congressional offices in Washington is has been routinely screened at an off-site facility since anthrax attacks in 2001, and there was no evidence it was ever delivered to Wicker’s office.

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said the letter was discovered at a mail processing plant in Prince George’s County in suburban Maryland when the envelope tested positive in a routine test.

“Luckily, this was discovered at the processing centre off premises,” Durbin said. He said all mail to senators is “roasted, toasted, sliced and opened” before it ever gets to them.

The package was retested another two times and each gave a positive reading, CNN reported.

The package was then sent for further testing in a laboratory and the congressional post offices would be temporarily shut down.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said ricin was a poison found naturally in castor beans, but ”it would take a deliberate act to make ricin and use it to poison people”.

It said unintentional exposure to the poison was ”highly unlikely”, except through the ingestion of castor beans.

It can be in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid. An amount the size of a pin head was enough to kill an adult.

– AP

Parents’ heartbreak as marathon bomb claims daughter

Patty Campbell, mother of Boston Marathon explosion victim Krystle Campbell

Reuters

HOPE DASHED: Patty Campbell, mother of Boston Marathon explosion victim Krystle Campbell, inset, reads a statement with her son Billy at her side.

Krystle Campbell

Facebook
KRYSTLE CAMPBELL: ‘She had a great sense of humour and freckles and red hair that brought her right to her Irish roots.’

For a few hours, Patty and William Campbell thought their daughter was alive, hurt in the deadly Boston Marathon bombing, but alive.

Then, in a shocking twist, they realised the woman doctors thought was 29-year-old Krystle Campbell was in fact her best friend.

They were taken to a room where Karen Rand was recovering after the bomb blast that killed three and instantly knew something was wrong.

“I said, ‘That’s not my daughter, that’s Karen! Where’s my daughter?”‘ Mrs Campbell told Boston television station WCVB.

Now, Krystle’s family and friends are struggling to come to terms with her death, describing it and the deaths of two others – including eight-year-old Martin Richard, who had been a picture of joy just moments before the bomb claimed his life – as “a waste”.

Her relatives said the long-time Massachusetts resident went to the Boston Marathon every year because she liked to meet new people.

This year, she went with Ms Rand to watch the latter’s boyfriend compete. The pair were at the finish line to get his photograph when the first bomb exploded.

Ms Rand is still in hospital with serious injuries.

Her sister-in-law reportedly explained on Facebook that Ms Rand was carrying Ms Campbell’s identification.

Ms Campbell’s grandmother, Lillian, said the vivacious woman was drawn to the marathon by the euphoric crowds.

“She’s been doing it since she was a little girl. She didn’t miss a marathon, watching it at the finish line,” she told the Boston Globe.

“She just felt that she had to. She enjoyed doing it because she liked people. She’d meet a lot of people over there. She was very friendly, Krystle. She’d talk to anybody.”

Her granddaughter “was special. She’s a hard worker and she was always right there if you needed her. All you had to do was call Krystle, and she was there.

“She took care of me for almost two years after I had an operation. She moved right into my house with me for two years. [She] was one of those people who always have to be doing something for somebody.”

“I said to my son when I saw him this morning, ‘You know, it’s not right. My granddaughter shouldn’t die before me’,” Lillian said. “No mother should bury their children, I don’t care who they are. No grandmother or anybody.”

Mr Campbell described how the family was shocked at what had happened.

“My daughter was the most lovable girl. She helped everybody, and I’m just so shocked right now. We’re just devastated. “She was a wonderful, wonderful girl. Always willing to lend a hand,” he told Yahoo News.

Ms Campbell worked in food service and was known to work between 70 and 80 hours each week.

Her employers, gymnasium Hordon Health, posted a tribute to Ms Campbell on Facebook, saying she could easily be described as being “the salt of the earth”.

“Krystle was seldom caught not smiling, and not expressing her opinion,” the tribute read. “She was beautiful, she was loud, and everyone loved her for it.

“Along with the million-dollar smile came head to toe freckles and gorgeous bright red hair, connecting her Irish roots and kid-like manner; it was easy to feel 10 years younger around her, no matter who you were. She had tremendous passion and energy, and Krystle attacked life with vigour and excitement.”

Anchored in the USA! Model girlfriend of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich gives birth in New York after parking his $1.5bn yacht on the Hudson for two months

  • Leah Lou born in New York to 46-year-old Russian business tycoon
  • Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova, 31, already have three-year-old son Aaron
  • Baby girl will get US citizenship after being born at NY Presbyterian hospital
  • Billionaire Roman is paying $2000-a-day to moor his super-yacht in New York
  • Chelsea-owner has five children – two boys, three girls – with ex-wife Irina

 

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is celebrating the birth of his seventh child after his girlfriend Dasha Zhukova gave birth a daughter called Leah Lou in New York.

The little girl was born in Manhattan after the Chelsea owner, 46, kept his $1.5 billion yacht moored on the West Side docks for the past two months.

Stunning brunette Dasha – real name Daria – gave birth to Leah at the city’s Presbyterian hospital.The couple’s son Aaron Alexander, now three, was born in Los Angeles.

Leah’s US birth, confirmed by a source close to Abromovich to MailOnline today, means that she automatically qualifies as an American citizen. Her mother already has a US passport after growing up in Los Angeles.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich with his girlfriend Daria Zhukova, who gave birth to their second child on MondayChelsea owner Roman Abramovich with his girlfriend Daria Zhukova, who gave birth to their second child on Monday

Abramovich's 557-foot yacht named Eclipse, which has lost the title of world's largest private yacht to a newly-launched yacht named Azzam measuring 590-foot, has been anchored in New York harbour for the past two months Abramovich’s 557-foot yacht named Eclipse, which has lost the title of world’s largest private yacht to a newly-launched yacht named Azzam measuring 590-foot, has been anchored in New York harbour for the past two months

 

A source said Abromovich and Dasha did not plan the birth in the States with this intention, clarifying that Dasha wanted her children to be born in the US, where she lived as a child and attended university, adding: ‘Dasha grew up in the US. The baby could have been born anywhere in the world and still had US citizenship.’

Abramovich already has five children with his ex-wife Irina Vyacheslavovna Malandina.

RIA Novosti broke the news and a source said that Abromovich had been by Dasha’s side, reporting that Leah was born last Monday, adding:  ‘Mother and daughter are doing fine. Roman is, of course, delighted.’

 

Socialite Dasha gave birth at NY Presbyterian.Dasha is now thought to have checked out of the hospital and the Eclipse is said to be leaving New York this week.

Women who deliver at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia have their babies in the Sloane Hospital for Women, where ‘Labor and delivery rooms are spacious, newly renovated, and flooded with natural light, many with views of the Hudson River.

‘Each room includes a sleeper couch for a significant other, and plenty of room for members of the healthcare team.’

Abramovich has five children – Arkadiy, Anna, Sofia, Arina and Ilya – with his second wife Irina, to whom he was married between 1991 and 2007.

The eldest, Arkady, 19, is already following in his father’s footsteps, having executed his first oil deal worth £30.6 million last month.

Taking it easy: Dasha Zhukova has now given birth to the couple's second child, a daughter named Leah LouTaking it easy: Dasha Zhukova has now given birth to the couple’s second child, a daughter named Leah Lou

The 590-foot super-yacht, worth $1.5bn and seen here in New York, was recently robbed of the 'world's largest private yacht' title by a newly-launched yacht named Azzam measuring 590-footThe 590-foot super-yacht, worth $1.5bn and seen here in New York, was recently robbed of the ‘world’s largest private yacht’ title by a newly-launched yacht named Azzam measuring 590-foot

Russian billionaire Abramovich's super-yacht Eclipse has been moored in New York for the past two months, and it has just been revealed that his girlfriend Daria Zhukova gave birth to his seventh child, Leah Lou, last MondayRussian billionaire Abramovich’s super-yacht Eclipse has been moored in New York for the past two months, and it has just been revealed that his girlfriend Daria Zhukova gave birth to his seventh child, Leah Lou, last Monday

 

Speculation was rife when the twice-married oligarch docked his 557ft private yacht Eclipse in New York in February, much to the astonishment of New Yorkers – at a cost of $2,000-a-day.

Until recently the largest yacht in the world, Eclipse was unlikely to go unnoticed as it arrived in the Big Apple.

The incredible vessel boasts two swimming pools, two helicopter pads, a movie theater, a jacuzzi as well as a disco, around 30 cabins, a mini-submarine, and even a missile defence system.

It also has armour-plating around Abramovich’s master suite, bullet-proof windows and a laser system designed to dazzle long-lens photographers.

When it was ordered the initial cost was estimated at around $500million, but by the time Abramovich took delivery last year it was spiralling towards the $1.5billion mark because of the extra luxury fittings and security measures

 

Eclipse was built by the Blohm and Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and delivered to Abramovich last December.

The oligarch also owns three other mega-yachts, the Pelorus (377ft), the Ecstasea (282ft) and the Sussurro (161ft).

Annual running costs for his fleet are around $25million including full tanks of petrol at around $110,000 per yacht.

Until recently the Eclipse was recognised as the largest private yacht in the world. But it was robbed of its title recently by new super-yacht, commissioned by a mystery billionaire.

The colossal 590ft Azzam is the length of two football fields and cost US$609m. It hit the water for the first time last week from a shipyard in Bremen, Germany,fter fours years of construction by the Lurssen Yachts company.

Expensive: The yacht's initial estimated cost was around $500million, but by the time Mr Abramovich took delivery last year it was spiraling towards the $1.5billion Expensive: The yacht’s initial estimated cost was around $500million, but by the time Mr Abramovich took delivery last year it was spiraling towards the $1.5billion

 

Best of the fleet: Abramovich also owns three other mega-yachts, the Pelorus (377ft), the Ecstasea (282ft) and the Sussurro (161ft)Best of the fleet: Abramovich also owns three other mega-yachts, the Pelorus (377ft), the Ecstasea (282ft) and the Sussurro (161ft)

 

Too big: Eclipse lies at anchor in Antibes' bay, southeastern France, where it was not denied space to dock in 2011Too big: Eclipse lies at anchor in Antibes’ bay, southeastern France, where it was not denied space to dock in 2011

The person who commissioned the project is still a secret, but reports speculate that the owner is member of the Saudi royal family.

It can travel at 30 knots (34.5mph) and the interior has been decked out in the ultimate of luxury.

‘She represents another milestone in yachting history,’ said Lurssen Managing Partner Peter Lurssen.

Cruisin': The incredible vessel boasts two swimming pools, two helicopter pads, a dedicated disco hall, around 30 cabins, a mini-submarine, and even a missile defence systemCruisin’: The incredible vessel boasts two swimming pools, two helicopter pads, a dedicated disco hall, around 30 cabins, a mini-submarine, and even a missile defence system

Abramovich met the daughter of Russian oligarch Alexander Zhukova at a New Year’s Eve party hosted by her father in 2006.

But apparently romance did not blossom between the two until he had split from second wife Irina after 16-years of marriage.

Their divorce ended in a record settlement rumoured to be £1.5billion made by Abramovich to the mother of his five children, who now lives on an £18million West Sussex estate.

Dasha was photographed showing off her baby bump on the Caribbean island of St Barts in January.

The former model grew up in the US and she gave birth to son Aaron in Los Angeles, where she was raised.

Dasha now heads the Iris Foundation, which funds a culture centre in Moscow, edits a magazine and is boss of a fashion label.

Abramovich reportedly boosted his army of security staff to 40 people in 2007 – making him one of the best-protected businessmen in the world.

The latest addition to his clan came just weeks after the death of Russian billionaire rival Boris Berezovsky, 67, who sued him for £3.7billion last year and lost.

Abramovich and his eldest son Arkadiy watch Chelsea playing Cardiff City in 2010Abramovich and his eldest son Arkadiy watch Chelsea playing Cardiff City in 2010

 

Roman Abramovich with his second wife Irina and their daughter Anna in 2007Roman Abramovich with his second wife Irina and their daughter Anna in 2007

 

Roman Abramovich, with his son Arkadiy, celebrates his team winning the Premier League at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge ground in London in 2005Roman Abramovich, with his son Arkadiy, celebrates his team winning the Premier League at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground in London in 2005

David Tepper: The owner of Appaloosa Management, earned a staggering $2.2billion last year

 

 

 

 

  • David Tepper, the owner of Appaloosa Management, earned a staggering $2.2billion last year
  • List of 25 top-earning hedge fund managers together make $14.14billion
  • List compiled by Institutional Investor’s Alpha, a news magazine serving the hedge fund industry
  • Tepper is a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and famously leveled his Hamptons mansion last year to make a new one with better views

 

Huge gambles paid off in spades for these hedge fund managers, who have made a combined $14.14billion atop a list of the richest in their field.

Leading the way is David Tepper of New Jersey-based Appaloosa Management, who collected a staggering $2.2billion haul last year.

The top 10 earners brought in just under $10billion in 2012.

Moneymaker: David Tepper of New Jersey-based Appaloosa Management, collected a staggering $2.2billion haul last yearMoneymaker: David Tepper of New Jersey-based Appaloosa Management, collected a staggering $2.2billion haul last year

The list was compiled by Institutional Investor’s Alpha, an online magazine serving the hedge fund industry.

The total amount made by the 25 people on the list may seen high, but the $14.14billion total is less than last year, when the top hedge fund managers made $14.14billion.

In 2010, the total was $22billion.

Michael Peltz, the editor of the magazine group at Institutional Investor, said in a statement: ‘The very best hedge fund managers proved in 2012 that they could deliver strong returns in challenging markets.’

The Motley Fool reported earlier this month that Mr Tepper made a gamble in the fourth quarter of 2012 that paid off considerably – betting on Apple.

He worked for eight years at Goldman Sachs as a trader but left to start up his own hedge fund, Appaloosa Management, in 1992 after repeatedly being passed over for partnership at Goldman.

Wedded bliss: Tepper and his wife Marlene, right, have three children and live in Livingston, New JerseyWedded bliss: Tepper and his wife Marlene, right, have three children and live in Livingston, New Jersey

Mr Tepper owns property in the Hamptons but calls Livingston, New Jersey, his home. Gov Chris Christie, Chelsea Handler and Seinfeld star Jason Alexander also live there.

He and his wife Marlene have three children.

After Hurricane Sandy struck last year, he donated $200,000 worth of Target gift cards to residents impacted by the storm.

The David A. Tepper School of Business at his alma mater Carnegie Mellon University was established after he made a $55million donation.

He’s also a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Taken out: Mr Tepper famously tore down his Hamptons mansion because he couldn't see the ocean from every roomTaken out: Mr Tepper famously tore down his Hamptons mansion because he couldn’t see the ocean from every room

Gone: Mr Tepper tore down his 6,165-square-foot, $43.5 million Hamptons home to make room for a bigger one with better views Gone: Mr Tepper tore down his 6,165-square-foot, $43.5 million Hamptons home to make room for a bigger one with better views

Raymond Dalio
Steven Cohen

Other top earners: Mr Tepper was joined in the top three by Raymond Dalio of Bridgewater Associates, top, and Steven Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors, bottom

Mr Tepper made headlines back in 2011 when he tore down his sprawling $43.5million oceanside home in Long Island’s plush Hamptons – because he didn’t have enough ocean views.

He was allegedly irked that he couldn’t see the ocean from every room of the sprawling 6,165 square foot estate, so he decided to build another one from the ground up, according to Curbed Hamptons.

Benefactor: James Simons, 74, who generally stays out of the public eye is known for his entrepreneurial effortsBenefactor: James Simons, 74, who generally stays out of the public eye is known for his entrepreneurial efforts

It is thought he made the money by correctly predicting that the U.S. government would not allow major banks to fold that year, compounding his profits as the banks’ share prices then recovered.

Not far behind Mr Tepper on the list was Raymond Dalio of Bridgewater Associates, and Steven Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors, each earning $1.7billion and $1.4billion, respectively.

Mr Dalio, who topped the list last year, graduated from Harvard University and Long Island University.

He is known for his harsh business practices, which, according to Forbes, include videotaping all meetings and requiring brutal honesty from all staffers.

Like Mr Tepper, Mr Cohen has spent some of his fortune with a sports team, and is a minority owner of the New York Mets.

He graduated from the prestigious Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2010, he and his wife pledged $50million to the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.

James Simons, 74, who generally stays out of the public eye is known for his entrepreneurial efforts.

The former math professor and his second wife, Marilyn Hawrys Simons, have donated more than $200million to Stony Brook University. He is involved in several other charitable foundations.

 

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From a prison cell to driving Rolls-Royces and hanging out with movie stars: How the REAL Wolves of Wall Street are on top of the world after being released from prison over $200million fraud

  • Jordan Belfort and Danny Porush set up ‘pump and dump’ firm in 1990s
  • Belfort now gives motivational speeches and hangs out with Leo Di Caprio
  • Porush lives in $4million mansion after starting medical supplies company
  • Di Caprio stars in Scorsese film based on scam released later this year

 

The story of the ‘Wolves of Wall Street’ who ran a $200million stock market scam is about to hit the big screen after being turned into a blockbuster starring Leonardo Di Caprio.

But Jordan Belfort and Danny Porush, the real-life fraudsters behind the audacious crime who between them spent five years in prison, are also living Hollywood lifestyles after setting up lucrative new businesses after their release from jail, it was revealed today.

Porush lives in a $4million home and drives a Rolls-Royce convertible, while Belfort has been hanging out with Di Caprio, who is playing him in the film, directed by Scorsese.

 

Scam: Danny Porush, left, and Jordan Belfort, right, defrauded investors in Stratton Oakmont of $200millionScam: Danny Porush, left, and Jordan Belfort, right, defrauded investors in Stratton Oakmont of $200million

 

Star: Leonardo Di Caprio is appearing in a forthcoming film based on the scam, The Wolf of Wall StreetStar: Leonardo Di Caprio is appearing in a forthcoming film based on the scam, The Wolf of Wall Street

Belfort and Porush set up Stratton Oakmont, a ‘boiler room’ firm based on Long Island designed to ‘pump and dump’ shares by hyping their prospects and quickly cashing in once their price rose.

They managed to rake in $200million from the fraud, which they spent on cocaine, prostitutes and a yacht once owned by Coco Chanel.

However, after the FBI caught up with them in 1996, Belfort spent 22 months in prison while Porush was sentenced to 39 months.

Belfort, 50, has written a pair of memoirs detailing his past misdeeds, The Wolf of Wall Street in 2008 and 2009’s Catching the Wolf of Wall Street.

High life: Belfort poses with his fiancée at the Melbourne Cup in Australia in November last yearHigh life: Belfort poses with his fiancée at the Melbourne Cup in Australia in November last year

Luxury: Belfort, right, pictured during his heyday; the pair have apparently resumed their glitzy lifestylesLuxury: Belfort, right, pictured during his heyday; the pair have apparently resumed their glitzy lifestyles

 

Helicopter: Belfort admits, 'It's easier to get rich quick when you don't follow the rules'Helicopter: Belfort admits, ‘It’s easier to get rich quick when you don’t follow the rules’

‘It’s easier to get rich quick when you don’t follow the rules,’ he told the New York Post this week – but he is adamant that he has not profited from his crimes.

He claims that all the proceeds of his book are going directly to the victims of the Stratton Oakmont fraud.

‘I’m a wolf who became a more benevolent character,’ he said. ‘I refuse to glorify my past.’

The memoirs are currently being adapted into a Hollywood film, The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Di Caprio, Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey, due to come out later this year.

Glamour: Belfort, pictured with his second wife Nadine, has been spending time with Di CaprioGlamour: Belfort, pictured with his second wife Nadine, has been spending time with Di Caprio

 

Blockbuster: Di Caprio is starring in the film alongside the likes of Johan Hill and Matthew McConaugheyBlockbuster: Di Caprio is starring in the film alongside the likes of Johan Hill and Matthew McConaughey

Belfort bonded with Di Caprio during the filming of the movie, and said: ‘I have tremendous respect for him.’

The former scammer lives in California and now makes a living giving motivational speeches, including talks on ‘wealth creation’ and corporate training.

Porush, 56, has started a business selling medical supplies in Florida, and appears to be able to support a glitzy lifestyle on its proceeds.

He lives with his second wife Lisa in a $4million mansion, and the couple drive matching Rolls-Royce Corniche cars.

‘I would never try to profit from a crime I’m so remorseful for,’ he told the Post.

  • ‘Quidditching’ began in Japan and has already gone to Europe and America
  • It involves jumping in the air with a broom between your legs, as if flying
  • Named after J.K. Rowling’s mythical sport made famous in Harry Potter

As any internet craze aficionado will know, there’s a gossamer-fine line between inventing a popular meme and just looking stupid, if not a little deranged.

Indeed, if you’re into online trends, you’ll know all about planking, breading, owling and Batmanning… and you’ll definitely have heard of Lion King-ing.

But here’s a new one that is bound to get off the ground: Quidditching.

Hundreds of Harry Potter fans are literally jumping at the chance to show off their Quidditch skills in this new online rage that is already beginning to sweep the globe.

Scroll down for video

Catch the Snitch: These Japanese high school baseball players have judged their picture to perfectionCatch the Snitch: These Japanese high school baseball players have judged their picture to perfection
High flying: Hundreds of Harry Potter fans are literally jumping at the chance to show off their Quidditch skills in this new online rage that is already beginning to sweep the globeHigh flying: Hundreds of Harry Potter fans are literally jumping at the chance to show off their Quidditch skills in this new online rage that is already beginning to sweep the globe

Beachin' ride: All you need is a spring in your step, a quick-fingered friend with a camera and a broomstick wedged firmly between your legsBeachin’ ride: All you need is a spring in your step, a quick-fingered friend with a camera and a broomstick wedged firmly between your legs

All you need is a spring in your step, a quick-fingered friend with a camera and a broomstick wedged firmly between your legs.

And unlike some of its predecessors, this is a trend that is both safe and easy.

It involves leaping with a broomstick to look like J.K. Rowling’s bespectacled wizard Harry Potter competing in a game of the mythical sport Quidditch.

She's a real Eiffel: The trend has become so popular that it has reached as far as Paris in FranceShe’s a real Eiffel: The trend has become so popular that it has reached as far as Paris in France
Snow gravity: These Russian soldiers high on life... and broomsSnow gravity: These Russian soldiers high on life… and brooms
Muggles mania has swept across the globe once again as Hogwarts fans go 'Pottering' around on their broomsticks in the latest Internet craze
Muggles mania has swept across the globe once again as Hogwarts fans go 'Pottering' around on their broomsticks in the latest Internet craze

Aisle be! The craze can be done anywhere, from supermarkets to seasides, across the world

In the dark: This young man has the right idea but the wrong broomIn the dark: This young man has the right idea but the wrong broom
In training: And unlike some of its predecessors, this is a trend that is both safe and easyIn training: And unlike some of its predecessors, this is a trend that is both safe and easy
Muggles mania has swept across the globe once again as Hogwarts fans go 'Pottering' around on their broomsticks in the latest Internet craze
Muggles mania has swept across the globe once again as Hogwarts fans go 'Pottering' around on their broomsticks in the latest Internet craze

Really taking off: It began in Japan, invented by a handful of (presumably bored) university students, and has already travelled to Russia, Europe and America

The game, made famous by Harry Potter and his wizard mates, involves chasing Snitches and beating off Bludgers all while flying on broomsticks.

It began in Japan, invented by a handful of (presumably bored) university students, and has already travelled to Russia, Europe and America.

It is not the first time a bizarre photograph meme has swept the globe on the internet.

Gun show: Forget planking, breading, Batmanning and Lion King-ing, Quidditching is an internet craze that's bound to take offGun show: Forget planking, breading, Batmanning and Lion King-ing, Quidditching is an internet craze that’s bound to take off
Girl fun: This is an internet craze that's not just for the boysGirl fun: This is an internet craze that’s not just for the boys
No hooper: This Quidditcher appears to have got his sports mixed upNo hooper: This Quidditcher appears to have got his sports mixed up
Exotic: Muggles mania has swept across the globe once again as Hogwarts fans 'Potter' around on their broomsticks in the latest Internet craze
Muggles mania has swept across the globe once again as Hogwarts fans go 'Pottering' around on their broomsticks in the latest Internet craze

Exotic: Muggles mania has swept across the globe once again as Hogwarts fans ‘Potter’ around on their broomsticks in the latest Internet craze

Schooling about: These Japanese schoolchildren know how not to do homeworkSchooling about: These Japanese schoolchildren know how not to do homework

Most recently, Lion King-ing became the internet’s most popular fad.

It sees pet owners around the world lifting their animals above their head, copying a famous scene from the film The Lion King in which the wise mandrill Rafiki presents the young Simba to the herd.

It joined the ranks of planking, Tebowing, Batmanning and owling, to name a few.

Well timed: It's fun and practical. but are these students jumping or really flying?Well timed: It’s fun and practical. but are these students jumping or really flying?
Fly- thru: If you haven't got time to drive, sometimes it's quicker to drive Fly- thru: If you haven’t got time to drive, sometimes it’s quicker to drive
Serious game: Some of these Quidditchers take the job very seriously
Fly- thru: If you haven't got time to drive, sometimes it's quicker to drive

Serious game: Some of these Quidditchers take the job very seriously

Plane crazy: This Quidditcher has found some competition. Wonder who would win in a flight?Plane crazy: This Quidditcher has found some competition. Wonder who would win in a flight?
Double trouble: These witches have found a broomstick that could fit twoDouble trouble: These witches have found a broomstick that could fit two
Branching out: These young men have used branches from palm trees rather than brooms, but they seem to have done the trickBranching out: These young men have used branches from palm trees rather than brooms, but they seem to have done the trick

Planking involved people posting pictures of themselves lying flat in random places for no apparent reason.

Tebowing took its name from the Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who dropped to one knee and paused with a hand resting on his forehead as he prayed during a game.

Images soon starting spring up all over the internet of people pulling the exact same pose.

Owling consisted of people crouching on their haunches and staring into the middle distance, like an owl.

Batmanning was similar, except participants hung upside down.

Truly breathtaking pictures! Photographer braves shark-infested ocean and razor-sharp reef to capture stunning underwater images of surfers serenely gliding beneath huge 30ft waves

A photographer risked bone-crunching sea swell as well as man-eating sharks to capture these amazing underwater pictures of a surfer riding a massive 30 foot wave.

Brave Lucia Griggi, 30, took the incredible images off the coast of Fiji.

The British snapper went there to cover a surfing competition in June, last year.

Stunning: Photographer Lucia Griggi captures surfer Stu Johnson clings onto his board as he plunges under an enormous wave off the coast of FijiStunning: Photographer Lucia Griggi captures surfer Stu Johnson clings onto his board as he plunges under an enormous wave off the coast of Fiji
Breathtaking: A surfer dives under the crushing breaking waves during the the Volcom Pro competition in FijiBreathtaking: A surfer dives under the crushing breaking waves during the the Volcom Pro competition in FijiAmong the stunning collection of pictures was an image of the exact moment surfer Stu Johnson clings onto his board as he plunges underwater.

Lucia said: ‘I went to Fiji to cover the Volcom Pro competition which attracts some of the world’s best surfers.

‘These particular shots are of Stu Johnson surfing a “cloud break” wave.’We ended up getting a really big swell and the wave was 30 feet high.

Serenity: Lucia Griggi captures the serenity of a surfer diving deep underwater as a huge 30-foot wave crashes overheadSerenity: Lucia Griggi captures the serenity of a surfer diving deep underwater as a huge 30-foot wave crashes overhead
Surf's up: Lucia Griggi, 30, took this incredible image of a female surfer gliding under a massive wave while dodging sharks off the coast of FijiSurf’s up: Lucia Griggi, 30, took this incredible image of a female surfer gliding under a massive wave while dodging sharks off the coast of Fiji
Clear blue sea: Two surfers glide effortlessly under the turbulent sea as they look for the perfect wave to ride in the Volcom Pro competitionClear blue sea: Two surfers glide effortlessly under the turbulent sea as they look for the perfect wave to ride in the Volcom Pro competition’I jumped in the water before the waves got too big and churn up the water and create too much turbulence to take good images.

‘The problem with shooting underwater is it can take a while to get the right shot.

‘You have to line-up the surfer and follow them in the water. You wait for them to decide which way they’re going to ride the wave.

‘The wave breaks a certain way and they then ride the wall of the wave.

Lucia GriggiAbove and beyond: Lucia Griggi put her endurance and bravery to the test as she contended with powerful waves and razor sharp reefs to capture these stunning pictures

Pushed to her limits: Lucia Griggi, pictured underwater, pushed herself to the limits of endurance as she dived deep underwater to capture the amazing views of competitorsPushed to her limits: Lucia Griggi, pictured underwater, pushed herself to the limits of endurance as she dived deep underwater to capture the amazing views of competitors
World's best: The world's best surfers - as well as the sport's top photographers - came from all four corners of the globe for the competition off the coast of Fiji World’s best: The world’s best surfers – as well as the sport’s top photographers – came from all four corners of the globe for the competition off the coast of Fiji
Battle: One of the female competitors swims under the surface to avoid the huge waves crashing overhead as she paddles out to begin her roundBattle: One of the female competitors swims under the surface to avoid the huge waves crashing overhead as she paddles out to begin her round

‘You’re sitting in position to catch them go past – it’s very technical shooting under water.

‘You have to sit in the impact zone of the wave which is the most dangerous place to be.

‘I was shooting near a reef and the wave could have pulled me over it – which is dangerous because the reef is quite sharp.

‘There are also risks of getting pulled under water – not to mention the risk of sharks as well.

Silhouette: Surfers not only had to brave the shark-infested waters during the Volcom Pro competition but also watch out for the reef jutting up from the sea floorSilhouette: Surfers not only had to brave the shark-infested waters during the Volcom Pro competition but also watch out for the reef jutting up from the sea floor

‘While I was taking the pictures I saw sharks feeding nearby.

‘I was also taking the pictures in the middle of nowhere. It took 40 minutes by boat to get to the right spot – so it was quite intimidating.

‘I was in the water for about three or four hours during an evening session – trying to get the right shot.

‘I used a Canon 5D Mark II and Mark III.

‘It’s always a challenge and I did get scared during this shoot because of the size of the waves.’

That’s one way to dodge the fare! Man caught on video riding ON TOP of Long Island train

A New York man was determined to feel the wind in his hair on Sunday.

So he climbed atop a Long Island Rail Road train in Queens, New York.

Boruch Nemtzov, 28, was waiting at the Forest Hills station in the morning when he spotted the reckless commuter.

He snapped a few pictures with his iPhone as the eastbound train hurtled past.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

Roof-top rider: Boruch Nemtzov, 28, was waiting at the Forest Hills station in the morning when he spotted the reckless commuter, picturedRoof-top rider: Boruch Nemtzov, 28, was waiting at the Forest Hills station in the morning when he spotted the reckless commuter, pictured

A video also captured the risky rider in action.

The man is seen wearing grey denim jeans, sneakers and a backpack as he lay flat on his stomach across the top of the locomotive.

The train surfer was clinging for dear life to the top of the train.

Nemtzov, who was waiting for a ride to his job in Manhattan, was dumbfounded by the man’s choice of transport. 

Casual: The man is seen on the Long Island Rail Road train wearing black or grey denim jeans, sneakers and a backpack as he lay flat on his stomach across the top of the locomotiveCasual: The man is seen on the Long Island Rail Road train wearing black or grey denim jeans, sneakers and a backpack as he lay flat on his stomach across the top of the locomotive

‘What was he doing up there? Maybe he was trying to beat a $20 fare,’ he told the New York Daily News.

The train was bound for Babylon on the LIRR.

Nemtzov called 911 but officials could not confirm to the Daily News if the roof-top rider was apprehended.

It’s also unclear how long he’d been traveling on the top of the train or whether this was a favorite pastime of his.

More than 1,000 Boeing 737 jets, the world’s most popular model, may have faulty part that could cause pilot to lose control of the aircraft

  • The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered an inspection of the jets
  • A fixing pin on the planes’ tales may not have received proper coating and could corrode
  • A Boeing 737 crashed into the coast of Bali over the weekend, in which all 108 people aboard survived, but the accident is not believed to have been caused by the fixing pin
  • The inspection will cost carriers more than $10 million but is not expected to change flight schedules

 

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered an inspection of more than 1,000 Boeing 737, the most popular jet model used worldwide, to examine the tail planes for a potentially faulty part which could cause pilots to lose control of the aircraft if it failed.

The airworthiness directive issued by the FAA calls on airlines and other operators to replace tail plane fixing pins with improved pins following concerns over how their protective surface coating was applied.

The directive comes just days after a Boeing 737, the most commonly used aircraft in the world, crashed off the coast of Bali as the Lion Air flight lost control as the jet approached the runway.

It is not immediately believed the fixing pin was a factor in the accident, in which all 108 people aboard survived.

The FAA has ordered an inspection of more than 1,000 Boeing 737 jets after finding a potentially catastrophic problem with fixing pins on the tailsThe FAA has ordered an inspection of more than 1,000 Boeing 737 jets after finding a potentially catastrophic problem with fixing pins on the tails

 

‘We are issuing this AD to prevent premature failure of the attach pins, which could cause reduced structural integrity of the horizontal stabilizer to fuselage attachment, resulting in loss of control of the airplane,’ the FAA said in the directive issued on Monday.

The airworthiness directive was posted on the website of Federal Register.

The FAA said the inspection was ‘prompted by reports of an incorrect procedure used to apply the wear and corrosion protective surface coating to attach pins of the horizontal stabilizer rear spar.’

FAA said its directive affects 1,050 aircraft flown by U.S. carriers and may cost up to $10.1 million across the fleet, or up to $9,627 per aircraft.

The directive applies to models including 737-600, 737-700, 737-700C, 737-800, 737-900, and 737-900ER series aircraft.

The FAA order only applies to U.S.-based carriers but foreign governments may adopt similar inspections, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The order takes effect in late May and is not expected to have an impact on flight schedules.

This Boeing 737 crashed into the sea off the coast of Bali on Saturday but it is not believed to have been caused by the potentially faulty fixing pinThis Boeing 737 crashed into the sea off the coast of Bali on Saturday but it is not believed to have been caused by the potentially faulty fixing pin

On Saturday, a Boeing 737 smashed into the sea off the coast of Bali. All 108 people aboard the Lion Air flight survived and an investigation is underway to determine the crash’s cause.

The pilot has described how he felt it ‘dragged’ down by wind while he struggled to regain control, a person familiar with the matter said.

Officials stress it is too early to say what caused the incident, which is being investigated by Indonesian authorities with the assistance of U.S. crash investigators and Boeing.

But initial debriefings, witness comments and weather bulletins have focused attention on the possibility of ‘wind shear’ or a downdraft from storm clouds known as a ‘microburst.’

Although rare, experts say such violent and localized gusts can leave even the most modern jet helpless if they are stronger than the plane’s ability to fly out of trouble – with the critical moments before landing among the most vulnerable.

The pilot of the Lion Air jet reported feeling 'dragged' down by a microburst of windThe pilot of the Lion Air jet reported feeling ‘dragged’ down by a microburst of wind

 

News of the inspections come a little more than week after Boeing said its successful flight of a 787 should be the final test of the battery problems that have kept the plane grounded.

Boeing called the flight ‘the final certification test for the new battery system.’

It will analyze the data and submit materials to the FAA, which will then decide whether Boeing’s battery fix is good enough for airlines to safely fly it again.

Final check: A Boeing-owned 787 production plane built for LOT Polish Airlines lands after a demonstration flight last week meant to be the final certification test for the 787's new battery systemFinal check: A Boeing-owned 787 production plane built for LOT Polish Airlines lands after a demonstration flight last week meant to be the final certification test for the 787’s new battery system

 

– dailymail.co.uk

Mother ‘watched as her boyfriend smothered their baby then they put limp infant back in playpen and had sex’

  • Angelina Rodriguez, five months, is fighting for her life after her father, Rodrigo Rodriguez, 29, allegedly covered her mouth three times to stop her from crying
  • Angela Petrov, 21, allegedly watched as her daughter was smothered
  • The Chicago parents were already under investigation for allegations of abuse involving another child in January
  • Baby suffered a ‘blown pupil’ from lack of oxygen and will have severe brain damage if she survives
Tragic: Five-month-old Angelina Rodriguez, pictured, is fighting for her life after the horrific incident on ThursdayTragic: Five-month-old Angelina Rodriguez, pictured, is fighting for her life after the horrific incident on Thursday

A Chicago couple suffocated their baby daughter because she was crying then put the limp infant back in her playpen and had sex, police said.

Five-month-old Angelina Rodriguez is fighting for her life after her father, Rodrigo Rodriguez, 29, allegedly covered her mouth three times to stop her from crying as her mother, Angela Petrov, 21, looked on.

The next morning, the parents found the baby unresponsive. They have each been charged with aggravated battery to a child.

Rodriguez and Petrov were drinking Hennessy in their West Rogers Park apartment on Thursday night while Angelina was sleeping, Assistant State’s Attorney Stephanie Buck said at a hearing on Sunday.

Buck said that when the child began to cry, Petrov picked her up and gave her a bottle but she wouldn’t settle so Rodriguez took her from her mother and put his hand over the baby’s mouth until she stopped crying.

He did this numerous times as the baby continued to sob and gasp for air, Buck said. She said Petrov sat in the room and watched as Rodriguez, who has a tattoo on his arm that reads ‘Trust None,’ smothered the child.

The third time Rodriguez covered his daughter’s mouth, the baby went limp, according to Buck, who said the couple then put the girl in her playpen, had sex and went to sleep.

At around 7 a.m., Petrov woke up to get an older child ready for school and then went back to sleep.

Accused: Rodrigo Rodriguez, 29, pictured left, allegedly covered the baby's mouth three times to stop her from crying as her mother, Angela Petrov, 21, right, watched on
Accused: Rodrigo Rodriguez, 29, pictured left, allegedly covered the baby's mouth three times to stop her from crying as her mother, Angela Petrov, 21, right, watched on

Accused: Rodrigo Rodriguez, 29, pictured top, allegedly covered the baby’s mouth three times to stop her from crying as her mother, Angela Petrov, 21, bottom, watched on

There are three children in the home, two of which were fathered by Rodriquez.

At about 11 a.m., Rodriquez and Petrov got up and noticed the baby was ‘stiff and unresponsive’ in the playpen, Buck said

The couple tried throwing water on the baby’s face to wake her and performed CPR before Petrov called 911.

Angelina was taken Saint Francis Hospital and then transferred to Lurie Children’s Hospital, where she is on life support.

Brain damage: Doctors say the baby, pictured, suffered brain swelling and a 'blown pupil' due to a lack of oxygen and she currently has limited or no brain activityBrain damage: Doctors say the baby, pictured, suffered brain swelling and a ‘blown pupil’ due to a lack of oxygen and she currently has limited or no brain activity

 

Neglect: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Dave Clarkin said the agency is investigating both Rodriguez, left, and Petrov, right, for neglect and abuse
Neglect: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Dave Clarkin said the agency is investigating both Rodriguez, left, and Petrov, right, for neglect and abuse

Neglect: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Dave Clarkin said the agency is investigating both Rodriguez, top, and Petrov, bottom, for neglect and abuse

Doctors say the baby suffered brain swelling and a ‘blown pupil’ due to a lack of oxygen and she currently has limited or no brain activity, Buck said.

Doctors also noted that the baby had a skull fracture from a previous incident, prosecutors said.
Rodriguez and Petrov were arrested late on Friday.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Dave Clarkin said the agency is investigating both Rodriguez and Petrov for neglect and abuse. The couple’s other children have been placed with a family member, Clarkin said.

Other children: The couple, pictured, have two older children who have been placed in the care of relativesOther children: The couple, pictured, have two older children who have been placed in the care of relatives

 

Tattoo: Rodriguez has a tattoo that reads 'Trust None' on his arm
Tattoo: Rodriguez who allegedly smothered the baby, right, has a tattoo that reads 'Trust None' on his arm, left

Tattoo: Rodriguez who allegedly smothered the baby, bottom, has a tattoo that reads ‘Trust None’ on his arm, top

Brain damage: Doctors say the baby, pictured, suffered brain swelling and a 'blown pupil' due to a lack of oxygen and she currently has limited or no brain activityEarlier investigation: Rodriguez and Petrov were already under investigation for allegations of abuse involving another child on January 29

Rodriguez and Petrov were already under investigation for allegations of abuse involving another child on January 29, Clarkin said. That probe is still pending.

Rodriguez’s mother, Crucita Rivera, insisted her son, who she said has bipolar disorder, ‘would never smother a child.’ Rivera, 56, said she had previously offered to take care of the couple’s three children.

Buck said Rodriguez eventually admitted to officers that he put his hand over his daughter’s mouth repeatedly and Petrov allegedly told police that she sat in a chair and watched him do it.

Cook County Judge James Brown ordered both parents held in lieu of $5 million bail on Sunday.

– dailymail.co.uk

Touching moment 12-year-old dog who spent her entire life in 18-inch puppy mill cage walks on grass for the first time

  • Video shows Lizzy the Maltese apprehensively walking over the grass
  • But a second video taken weeks later shows her bounding across the grass as she revels in her new-found freedom
  • She was found at an Arkansas puppy mill and taken to a Colorado rescue

 

A touching video has shown the moment a 12-year-old dog who spent her entire life locked in a tiny cage has felt grass beneath her paws for the first time.

The footage shows Lizzy the Maltese stepping apprehensively across the grass weeks after she was rescued from an enclosure no bigger than 18 inches by 18 inches.

Until she was saved by the National Mill Dog Rescue in March, Lizzy had spent her life locked in the cage at a puppy mill in Arkansas, never leaving the confines of its four walls to play or run.

Lizzy
Lizzy

Apprehensive: Lizzy, a 12-year-old Maltese dog who spent her entire life in a tiny cage at a puppy mill in Arkansas, is filmed trying to walk across grass for the first time in a touching video

Getting there: Lizzy looks uncertain as she stumbles across grass for the first time since being rescued in MarchGetting there: Lizzy looks uncertain as she stumbles across grass after being rescued in March

So it is unsurprising that the video shows how she is overwhelmed by the experience as she apprehensively sniffs the ground and wobbles from paw to paw.

But in another video taken by her new owner just weeks later, Lizzy is seen full of life and leaping across the grass as she revels in her freedom.

She has just a right eye as veterinarians were forced to remove her left one when it was found swollen and infected. She also had several tumors removed.

‘When we brought her in, she was terrified,’ the Rescue’s media officer, Michele Burchfield, said. ‘These dogs know nothing of human touch.

Saved: An image shows Lizzy shortly after she was found. She went on to have her infected left eye removedSaved: An image shows Lizzy shortly after she was found. She went on to have her infected left eye removed

‘The video is very cute and sweet but it’s also very poignant because it reveals what these dogs have been through.’

She added that after Lizzy received medical care, she was put into a foster home in Colorado.

In what the Rescue jokingly call a ‘foster failure’, the foster parents adored her so much that they decided to adopt her, and she is now going from strength to strength.

‘She’s actually doing really well and looking much healthier,’ Burchfield said. ‘She’s running about and is used to the grass. She’s a lovely dog.’

Burchfield added that puppy mills are entirely legal and the dogs’ treatment and cage sizes follow strict U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines.

On the mend: Lizzy, who is going from strength to strength, is pictured at bedtime at her new homeOn the mend: Lizzy, who is going from strength to strength, is pictured at bedtime at her new home

Lizzy on grass
Lizzy on grass

Happier times: In another video taken weeks later, Lizzy is seen hopping across the grass with ease

But while it may be above board, she added that many pet owners are unaware that their puppies have been born to mothers living in such heart-wrenching conditions.

‘People don’t understand the puppies in some pet stores are coming from these places,’ she said. ‘If you can’t see the homes and see a loving environment then look elsewhere.

‘Twenty-five per cent of all dogs in shelters are pure breeds, so even though it might take a bit of time, I would tell people to look around shelters instead of going to pet stores that sell puppies.’

Puppy mills contact the Rescue when they have dogs which are no longer of breeding age, and the group will rescue them. Burchfield added that other mills simply euthanize the dogs.

The Rescue takes in around 60 to 100 dogs a month and takes them to their shelter in Peyton, Colorado, where they stay until they are adopted or put into foster homes.

Locked up: The rescue center saves as many as 100 dogs from puppy mills every month (file picture)

Locked up: The rescue center saves as many as 100 dogs from puppy mills every month (file picture)

Body of boy, 9, found buried under eight-feet of snow after he fell down deep crevasse during snowmobile race

  • Shjon Brown, from Fairbanks, died after he crashed his snowmobile through a glacier on Saturday in the Hoodoo Mountains of Alaska
  • Rescuers recovered his body under his snowmobile and six to eight feet of snow at 12:40 a.m. on Monday
  • Had been riding the machine with his father Roger Brown in the Hoodoo Mountains of Alaska on Saturday when he disappeared

 

The body of a nine-year-old boy who fell down a 200-foot crevasse in Alaska on the weekend has been found buried under six to eight feet of snow.

Officials believe Shjon Brown, from Fairbanks, died after he crashed his snowmobile through a glacier on Saturday in the Hoodoo Mountains of Alaska.

Rescue workers recovered Shjon’s body at around 12:40 a.m. on Monday, Alaska State Troopers spokesman Megan Peters confirmed.

Tragic: The body of Shjon Brown, 9, pictured, who fell down a 200-foot crevasse in Alaska on the weekend has been found buried under six to eight feet of snowTragic: The body of Shjon Brown, 9, pictured, who fell down a 200-foot crevasse in Alaska on the weekend has been found buried under six to eight feet of snow

‘Recovery workers reported that his body was located buried in six to eight feet of snow underneath the snow machine,’ she said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Recovering the boy’s body was difficult because of the depth of the hole and the condition of the ice.

Rescuers were required to rappel into the crevasse and search the bottom where the boy’s goggles and helmet were seen, along with the snowmobile.

His body will be transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for autopsy.

Crushed: Shjon, pictured, was found under six to eight feet of snow and his snowmobileCrushed: Shjon, pictured, was found under six to eight feet of snow and his snowmobile

 

Father and son: The boy's father Roger, pictured, stopped on a hillside to watch his son, right, as he rounded a snow mound and disappearedFather and son: The boy’s father Roger, pictured, stopped on a hillside to watch his son, right, as he rounded a snow mound and disappeared

The young snowmobile racer had been riding the machine with his father at the Arctic Man Classic and Sno-Go – a major snowmobile and ski race in the Hoodoo Mountains in central Alaska.

The boy’s father stopped on a hillside to watch his son as he rounded a snow mound and disappeared.

When the father went looking for the boy he found that Shjon had fallen into a deep hole in the glacier, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.

Heartbreak: The little boy had been riding the snowmachine, pictured, with his father JackHeartbreak: The little boy had been riding the snowmachine, pictured, with his father Roger

 

Snow fans: The father and son, pictured left, were avid fans of extreme sports
Snow fans: The father and son, pictured left and right on Saturday before the accident, were avid fans of extreme sports

Snow fans: The father and son, pictured top and bottom on Saturday before the accident, were avid fans of extreme sports

Racer: The young snowmobile racer, pictured, had been riding the machine with his father at the Arctic Man Classic and Sno-Go - a major snowmobile and ski race in the Hoodoo Mountains in central AlaskaRacer: The young snowmobile racer, pictured, had been riding the machine with his father at the Arctic Man Classic and Sno-Go – a major snowmobile and ski race in the Hoodoo Mountains in central Alaska

Such holes – called mulans – can spring open in glaciers when water welling up from a spring melts away the snow beneath the surface.

A trained climber rappelled down the hole and found Shjon ‘s goggles and snowmobile, though there was initially no sign of the young boy.

Authorities were assisted by a team from the U.S. Army Black Rapids-Northern Warfare Training Center to recover the body.

The tragic accident occurred about five miles north of the Arctic Man Classic, where snow enthusiasts, using skies, boards and snowmobiles were competing on the weekend.

– dailymail.co.uk

Hoarder, 68, missing for two months is found ‘mummified’ under a pile of trash in her apartment

  • Alice Klee reported missing on February 8 and police searched her home
  • Relatives and neighbors had expressed doubts that she would leave
  • Landlord was cleaning out her apartment when he found her body
Found: Alice Klee, 68, has been found dead in her home two months after she went missingFound: Alice Klee, 68, has been found dead in her home two months after she went missing

A 68-year-old hoarder who was reported missing in February has been found partially mummified under a pile of trash, clothing and blankets in her apartment, police said.

Alice Klee, from New Milford, New Jersey, was last seen on February 8, and police and relatives had carried out extensive searches for her in the area.

Even though neighbors described her as ‘reclusive’ and authorities carried out several checks of the home with K-9 units, her body was not found.

Over the weekend, Klee’s landlord obtained permission to clear out her apartment after she had failed to pay rent for months. He discovered her body when he was cleaning the home.

Police described her state as ‘partially mummified’, the North Jersey Record reported.

‘He located the body under a pile of trash, clothing and blankets between the bed and window,’ Police Chief Frank Papapietro said.

A family member told the Record that Klee was ‘a hoarder.’

The Bergen County Medical Examiner said that Klee had died of natural causes, Papapietro said.

The discovery comes after a months-long search by authorities.

Police said in March that searches of her apartment turned up her wallet, cell phone and keys. She lived with numerous cats, who were suffering with starvation, and one was found dead.

Neighbors said they were shocked to learn of her disappearance as she kept to a very exact routine each day – moving her car, rifling through bins and feeding stray animals in the area.

Scene: Her body was found by her landlord when he went to clean the New Milford apartment, picturedScene: Her body was found by her landlord when he went to clean the New Milford apartment, pictured

Another neighbor added that it was unlikely she would have left her beloved cats alone.

Her bank account and cell phone were not used after she was last seen on February 8. Her car was found outside her home and police said all they could do was ‘sit back and wait’.

But family members said they were skeptical about the search.

‘I told the police multiple times, “Are you sure she’s not in there?”‘ a relative told the Record. ‘He said we would smell it. I was in there and I did not smell anything.’

Papapietro said that Klee had not received treatment for any mental illness or disorder, and that no criminal activity was suspected in her death.

‘It is a very, very sad situation,’ he said.

Former high school librarian and prison chief arrested in ‘cannibal cop’ plot to ‘kidnap, cook and EAT women and children’

  • Chris Asch, 61, and Richard Meltz, 65, were arrested for plotting to kidnap and eat women and children
  • FBI arrested Asch and Meltz after following their investigation that began with the New York ‘cannibal cop’ who was found guilty last month
  • Men responded to online ad calling for help ‘kidnapping, raping and killing a man’s wife, sister-in-law, and the sister-in-law’s child’
  • Asch responded and met with undercover officers repeatedly
  • Brought tools that he thought would be helpful including a taser, ski mask, a hammer and forceps

 

A former high school librarian and a prison chief were arrested today for plotting to kidnap, cook and then eat women and children.

The two arrests on Monday morning stemmed from an investigation into ‘cannibal cop’ Gilberto Vale who was convicted on similar charges last month.

Robert ‘Chris’ Asch, 61, is the former male librarian from New York’s prestigious Stuyvesant High School who was arrested by the FBI in his Greenwich Village apartment Monday morning.

Connected: FBI agents arrested the two men after investigating former New York police officer Gilberto Valle (pictured) who was found guilty last month of plotting to kidnap, cook and kill women Connected: FBI agents arrested the two men after investigating former New York police officer Gilberto Valle (pictured) who was found guilty last month of plotting to kidnap, cook and kill women

His alleged co-conspirator Richard Meltz, a 65-year-old who was the chief of police at a veterans hospital in Massachusetts, was also arrested on Sunday in Rockaway, New Jersey.

The New York Times reports that Asch and Meltz were charged with kidnapping conspiracy.

The FBI has not explained how Asch and Meltz are connected to Vale, but The New York Post reports that an undercover officer was used in investigating their plot.

NBC New York reports that the FBI came into contact with Asch when he responded to an online ad where someone had posted that they wanted help kidnapping, raping and kill his wife, sister-in-law and the sister-in-law’s children.

The ad was posted in October and Asch met with undercover FBI agents to discuss a similar plot in recent months.

At two of the meetings, he brought items that he reportedly thought would be useful including a taser, a black ski mask, handcuffs, a hammer, pliers and forceps.

Past: Chris Asch was fired from his job as the librarian at Stuyvesant High School in New York (pictured) in 2009 after he allegedly touched four male students and whispered in one if their earsPast: Chris Asch was fired from his job as the librarian at Stuyvesant High School in New York (pictured) in 2009 after he allegedly touched four male students and whispered in one if their ears

The agents set it up so that Asch conducted surveillance on a woman- not knowing that she was also a member of the undercover operation.

During one conversation with another meeting with agents, Asch reportedly said the female target ‘had to die’.

Asch was the one who brought Meltz into the operation, saying that he wanted to help with the kidnapping of the woman.

‘This is a fairly high-risk operation,’ Asch said in a recorded conversation with Meltz.

‘Trying to snatch somebody off the street, home invasion, I think they’re pretty high-risk.

‘I mean, there are ways to dismember and dispose.’

Few details about their plot have been revealed, but some of their intended victims were said to be infants.

This is not the first time that Asch, who is openly gay, has been arrested.

Asch’s relationship with children has previously come into question when he was arrested and suspended from his job at Stuyvesant in 2009.

Harrowing: Valle (pictured) allegedly discussed how to kill a woman by slowly cooking her over emails with co-conspirators, who may have now included Asch and MeltzHarrowing: Valle (pictured) allegedly discussed how to kill a woman by slowly cooking her over emails with co-conspirators, who may have now included Asch and Meltz

His dismissal came after he allegedly touched four male students at the high school and whispering in one of their ears. The charges were dropped.

FBI agents were seen searching Asch’s apartment at the St Germain building on Greenwich Avenue shortly after his arrest around 11am.

A neighbor in his building said that other residents include a number of actors, some of whom have played serial killers in their careers.

 

– dailymail.co.uk

Teen ended relationship hours before death

Beaten to death ... Jazmin-Jean Ajbschitz.Beaten to death: Jazmin-Jean Ajbschitz. Photo: NSW Police Media

“You’re a cheating, girl-bashing dog.”

With those words, 18-year-old Jazmin-Jean Ajbschitz ended her relationship with boyfriend Sean Lee King by text message, his Sydney murder trial has heard.

Hours later, she was dead.

“You’re telling me you’re going to do s— to my mum and come to my house. WTF [what the f—]. I’m out of here,” Ms Ajbschitz said in a text message to Mr King on July 10, 2011, crown prosecutor Kara Shead told the NSW Supreme Court court on Monday.

“We been so good. Do you really want it to end?” Mr King texted back.

“Yeah, watch,” Ms Ajbschitz replied.

Mr King, 26, has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Ms Ajbschitz on July 10, 2011, but has denied murdering her on the grounds that he was affected by drugs and didn’t intend to kill her.

The Crown alleges Mr King murdered Ms Ajbschitz by beating, kicking and stomping on her.

Her brother discovered her body in her Ultimo apartment three days later.

The court has previously heard Mr King and Ms Ajbshitz had a tumultuous relationship and Mr King allegedly assaulted Ms Ajbschitz on a number of occasions before her death.

Less than a week before she was killed, Ms Ajbschitz sent several messages to Mr King describing her love for him and begging him to let her come over.

He replied, “Jus [sic] stay out of my life. I’m sick of ur s—,” the court heard.

The trial continues before Justice Geoffrey Bellew.

AAP

Pub fall victim apologises over safety

Matthew Bell pictured with his fiancee Samantha Pynappels in a photo taken from Facebook.Matthew Bell pictured with his fiancee Samantha Pynappels in a photo taken from Facebook.

Justin Crosby admits he was a ”bloody idiot” and thought he was ”bullet proof” when he fell from a handrail at Sydney pub Jacksons on George nine years ago.

“I was the bloody idiot who thought I was bullet proof “

Now he wants to apologise to the family of 26-year-old Matthew Bell, who died in almost identical circumstances on Saturday night while celebrating his buck’s night at the inner-city pub, saying he should have demanded sweeping safety alterations after his accident.

Jacksons on George hotel near The Rocks, where 26-year-old Matthew Bell was fatally injured in what was believed to be an accident.Jacksons on George hotel near The Rocks, where 26-year-old Matthew Bell was fatally injured in what was believed to be an accident. Photo: Ben Rushton

Mr Bell was due to marry his high-school sweetheart, Samantha Pynappels, at a ceremony in Fiji in June.

Mr Crosby said despite the hotel adding a safety net and plastic bumps on the stairwell’s banister, even more should have been done to avert another tragedy.

The Rocks police crime manager Detective Inspector Simon Jones said they had collected CCTV footage from the night and were treating the death as a ”misadventure”.

Justin Crosby: broke his neck when he fell at Sydney pub Jacksons on George.Justin Crosby: broke his neck when he fell at Sydney pub 9 years ago. Jacksons on George.

In 2004 Mr Crosby fell from the same rail and crashed to the bottom of the stairs, fracturing his C-6 vertebra, his left eye socket, and other bones in his face. A titanium plate was inserted in his face, and he wore a neck brace for about nine weeks.

Jacksons on George says it did take measures to improve the safety of the staircase and handrail five years after Mr Crosby’s accident in 2009.

Metal rounded knobs were placed on the handrails to prevent customers from sliding down, a safety sail was attached to the open staircase, and non-slip grips were placed on the edges of carpeted steps to prevent slips, the pub says.

The Rocks police say they believe Bell was attempting to slide down the handrail between level three and two when he lost his balance and fell.

The civil engineer, who was celebrating with his brother and a small group of friends, landed at the bottom of the stairwell. He suffered critical and ultimately fatal head injuries.

Mr Crosby said something needed to be done to prevent other people falling from the handrail.

”I want to apologise to them for not kicking up enough of a stink nearly nine years ago … we need to take personal responsibility, something that I have done in my case – but we also need to look out for each other,” he said.

After recovering Mr Crosby got on with his life and did not pursue the matter any further, he said.

A spokeswoman for Jacksons on George said since the safety changes were made to the staircase in 2009 ”there have been no injuries relating to the staircase until Saturday night’s tragic accident”.

 

– smh.com.au

NSW police seize $6.75m worth of cannabis

 

ALMOST seven million dollars worth of cannabis and a loaded gun have been seized during raids on a property in central western NSW.

Drug squad detectives found 377 cannabis plants up to two metres tall growing on the property and 200kg of cannabis drying in a shed when they raided the Pollabooka home, south of Forbes, on Monday morning.

The also discovered a loaded rifle.

Police say the drugs have a street value of $6.75 million.

Three men, aged 20, 40 and 49, were arrested at the scene and charged with commercial cultivation and supply of cannabis.

The 49-year-old also faces firearms offences.

They will face Forbes Local Court later on Tuesday.

– news.com.au

Gun heist foiled as store owner punches, arrests would-be thief

A Sydney jewellery store owner has apprehended a man who allegedly tried to rob his store armed with a replica pistol.

Shortly after 5pm on Monday a man entered the store at Mosman, on the city’s north shore, wearing a hooded jumper and allegedly pointed the gun in the owner’s chest, police say.

The owner, a 35-year-old man, punched him in the face, causing him to run from the store.

He pursued the would-be robber and apprehended him, assisted by another local store owner.

Police arrived and arrested the 19-year-old man.

He was taken to North Sydney Police Station where he is expected to be charged with numerous offences including armed robbery with a dangerous weapon.

He will be refused bail and will appear in Central Local Court on Tuesday.

Police say they are pleased with the outcome of the incident, but they don’t advise this course of action when confronted with a weapon.

AAP

Trapped under car for four days: 76-year-old’s grim ordeal

An elderly man has been rescued by his neighbours after he was found trapped under his car on a remote property in the state’s central west.

The Hunter Westpac rescue helicopter was called to a property at Rylstone, near Mudgee, after the 76-year-old man was located on his property trapped by his Honda CRV.

The man is believed to have spent four days trapped under the wreckage.

It appears the man may have got out of his car after his car hit a tree, then the car rolled, pinning him to the ground.

His dogs kept by his side during his ordeal.

The man’s daughter raised the alarm when she was unable to contact him. She called on the man’s neighbours who then went to investigate.

They located the man, who was still conscious and had suffered severe injuries, including a fractured skull.

Emergency services were called and the man was taken by ambulance to Rylstone Hospital, and then flown to John Hunter.

Police from Mudgee Local Area Command are investigating the incident.

Fleeced over Facebook message

Liz Lyons was charged more than $300 when her Facebook account was hacked. Photo / Greg Bowker

Liz Lyons was charged more than $300 when her Facebook account was hacked. Photo / Greg Bowker

Facebook users are being warned to secure their profiles after an Auckland woman’s account was hacked and more than $300 was charged to her credit card.

Liz Lyons paid $1 two weeks ago to message someone with whom she has no mutual friends and used her credit card, since it’s the only accepted form of payment.

Facebook introduced the message charges at the start of the year.

“My credit card details got scammed, all for a US85c message,” she said.

She discovered what happened only when she got a message that said: “Congratulations, your ad has been approved.”

Then the receipts started coming. Someone had paid for two Facebook advertisements totalling $308 with the credit card she’d saved to her account.

The receipts sent to Mrs Lyons, of Pt Chevalier, show one of the advertisements was for a Norwegian sports shoe website worth $285 and for a Wikipedia page about Martin Luther King Jnr’s Birmingham campaign in Alabama, worth $16.57.

The hackers also added a Hong Kong phone number to her account.

Mrs Lyons, a communications contractor at the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, had assumed her credit card details were secure because such a flaw in Facebook’s security would be detrimental to a company now publicly listed.

To make payments with a card previously saved on the site, users just have to re-enter their password.

Mrs Lyons has deleted her credit card details from Facebook and wants others to be aware of the problem. She’s also told her bank that the charge wasn’t hers and has tried to contact Facebook, but hasn’t been able to make direct contact.

“Facebook is such a faceless organisation. The only response I’ve had from Facebook is some lame security settings that tell you to reset your password.”

Mrs Lyons emailed Facebook telling them to reverse the charges after they messaged her on Saturday warning there had been some irregular activity on her account and that she needed to secure it.

Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker said people needed to be cautious of any sites that suggest you save credit information for future use.

He said people needed to choose strong passwords which use numbers and capital letters.

“If someone else logs on to your account then they can use your card. But what they can’t do usually, if the system is appropriately set up, is use the details of your credit card outside of the system.”

People who want to contact a non-friend can now pay 65c to send the message to a person’s inbox with an automatic alert, or send the message for free to a less visible folder.

Synthetic cannabis robbery haul worries police

The offenders took at least nine different brands of synthetic cannabis including Kryptonite, Syco, Anarchy, Insane and Shotgun. Photo / File / George Novak

The offenders took at least nine different brands of synthetic cannabis including Kryptonite, Syco, Anarchy, Insane and Shotgun. Photo / File / George Novak

Thousands of dollars of synthetic cannabis was stolen in an aggravated robbery of a North Dunedin dairy last week, prompting concerns over potential health risks to users, police say.

Two offenders, including one armed with a knife, robbed the Willowbank Dairy on George St just after 1am on Friday.

The pair made off with cash and 150-200 packets of synthetic cannabis products with a value of more than $5000, Detective Sergeant Rob Hanna said.

The offenders took at least nine different brands of synthetic cannabis including Kryptonite, Syco, Anarchy, Insane and Shotgun.

Police were concerned about such a large amount of synthetic cannabis in the community and also fear there is potential for misuse and harm for those not aware of the health risks of using synthetic cannabis.

“There has been plenty of recent media coverage of the health risks of consuming this product and we are concerned that there could be such a large amount potentially readily available in the community.”

He urged any friends and family members to contact police if they knew of anyone who may have come into possession of synthetic cannabis either cheaply or for free.

“We want to get this off the street … the amount of it is a real concern,” Det Sgt Hanna said.

Police confirmed they had CCTV footage of the aggravated robbery, and were not ruling out one of the offenders may be a female.

The pair were both described as being 167-173cm tall, of medium to solid build, and were both believed to be Caucasian.

They were last seen leaving on foot in a northerly direction, he said.

Anyone who knew the identity of the offenders or who was in the vicinity of the Willowbank Dairy at the time of the incident was asked to contact Dunedin police on 471 4800, or provide information anonymously on the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111.

Otago Daily Times

Fears growing for missing teenager in Hamilton

Megan Jenkins. Photo / Supplied

Megan Jenkins. Photo / Supplied

Police hold grave fears for a missing teenage girl who failed to return from school in Hamilton yesterday.

Officers worked until 5am this morning searching for 17-year-old Megan Jenkins, including reopening Fraser High School in case she was still at the building.

Constable Andrew Osborn said officers had searched parks and reserves and likely routes of travel home that may have been taken by Megan, who has a mental disability.

Police said Megan had the mental age of 8 or 9 and given the wet weather overnight there were grave fears for her safety.

“The last confirmed sighting we have of Megan was at the school at midday,” Mr Osborn said.

“She is reported to have attended all her classes and normally walks home past Nawton Mall.”

Police were informed she was missing shortly before 5pm and received an unconfirmed sighting of her at the school at 3pm.

There was a second possible sighting on Crawshaw Dr about 4.30pm. A patrol car was sent to investigate but failed to find Megan.

The school is about 2.5km from Megan’s home on Aileen Pl.

Police will speak with Megan’s friends and others at the school today to further establish her movements after midday.

Her social networking pages will also be monitored and searchers will return to Horseshoe Lake, which was too dark to search last night.

“Enquiries with hospitals, medical centres and taxis have already been conducted and will be carried out again,” Mr Osborn said.

Police have urged anyone with information about Megan’s whereabouts to contact Hamilton Police on 07 858 6200.

She is described as a female Caucasian with a slim build and about 168cm tall.

“Megan was last seen wearing the white shirt, black shorts, jacket and black sandals of her Fraser High School uniform and was carrying a black bag,” Mr Osborn said.

“She has distinctive reddish shoulder-length hair which she brushes to the right and her disappearance is described by family as being out of character.

“Police are working closely with the school, friends and family to locate Megan.”

APNZ

New Zealand jetpack prepares for launch

Richard Lauder

Fairfax NZ

ROCKET MAN: Martin Jetpack creator Glenn Martin.

Christchurch aero-engineering firm Martin Aircraft Company has appointed a new chief executive to launch its jetpack into the market later this year.

International aviation expert Peter Coker spent part of his first day on the job watching test flights near Oxford yesterday.

He said he had been a long-time observer of the Martin Jetpack and his decision to join the company was spurred by the “spectacular leap forward” in the aircraft’s technological capabilities.

“Recently, the company achieved a number of flight technology breakthroughs with their latest generation Jetpack and that’s when I really sat up and took notice.”

Coker said the developments had allowed the flying machine to become “a very practical machine” rather than something that was in research stages only. “In the past it’s been a research and development company. My role is now to bring it into a very much commercial company.”

The company was putting in place a plan to take it from development into production stage.

“A commercial opportunity by the end of the year is certainly an aim that we have right now.”

The current development model, the P12, has already been proven up to 5000 feet and could theoretically fly for 10 or 15 minutes, but the end production model would have greater range and endurance, Coker said.

The jetpack has achieved manned flight in controlled settings. It is undergoing unmanned remote control flight testing and later this year manned testing would become a regular part of its operations.

Based on the current test performance, the company expected the manned flight results would “catapult” its readiness towards the first commercial release of the first responder Jetpack, planned for late 2013.

A slightly modified version – the Personal Martin Jetpack – would be released in 2015.

On its website the company says it is accepting inquiries from commercial customers. Coker expects the first customers to be first responders like search and rescue teams.

Martin Aircraft chairwoman Jenny Morel said yesterday: “We have dramatically increased the overall performance of the Martin Jetpack and now with Mr Coker’s extensive networks and experience across a broad spectrum of industry sectors on board, the next step is to launch the jetpack to commercial markets around the world.”

In June last year Morel said the company wanted to raise about $2.4 million to complete the product and get it into the market, ahead of listing the company.

Coker said yesterday the company had raised “a significant amount” in the pre-IPO round and would suggest an IPO date to its board once it had established a firmer timeline for the final part of its research and development plan.

Coker was most recently general manager for Lockheed Martin Global Inc (New Zealand) and head of international business development mission systems and training for Asia Pacific. Before joining Lockheed Martin, he amassed over 5500 flying hours across 20 different types of aircraft for the Royal Air Force. He is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the New Zealand Institute of Management, a New Zealand Institute of Directors member and an upper freeman of the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators.

– © Fairfax NZ News

Facebook negotiating iPhone Home

Facebook Home

Getty Images

FACEBOOK HOME: Already available on Android smartphones.

Facebook is talking to Apple about crafting a version of its new mobile software for the iPhone, in a push to boost revenue from the growing number of users who access the social network on smaller screens.

After debuting the software, called Home, for Google’s Android operating system earlier this month, the operator of the world’s biggest social-networking service is speaking to Apple and Microsoft about expanding to other platforms, said Adam Mosseri, director of product at Facebook. The talks are ongoing and nothing has been finalised, he said.

Now that the majority of users access Facebook via mobile devices, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is looking for ways to keep them engaged longer and coaxing more advertisers to pay to place promotions. While Google’s Android software powered about 70 per cent of smartphones worldwide last year, Apple’s iOS operating system commanded about 21 per cent, according to Gartner.

“We’ve shown them what we’ve built and we’re just in an ongoing conversation,” Mosseri said, referring to discussions with Apple and Microsoft.

Jen Martin, a spokeswoman for Apple declined to comment. Bill Cox, a spokesman for Microsoft, didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

Already, Facebook and Apple have a “great relationship”, Zuckerberg said when he introduced the Home software earlier this month.

‘ACTIVE DIALOGUE’

“We are integrated into the operating system with them,” Zuckerberg said. “We have an active dialogue to do more with them.”

On iPhones, the Home software would be tailored to what Apple prefers, Mosseri said. It could look much different to the Android version.

“It may or may not be Home,” he said. “We could also just bring some of the design values to the iOS app. That might be how it ends up. Or we could build just the lock screen. Maybe then it’s not called Home, it’s called something else.”

The new Home software is designed for newer Android handsets, including some made by Samsung and HTC. Home, which will have monthly updates, can be installed from Google Play, Google’s online app store.

While the program will not initially have advertising, Zuckerberg said promotions will be included in future updates.

“There are no ads on this yet,” Zuckerberg said. “I’m sure at some point there will be.”

 

Bloomberg

Raglan surfer dragged to safety in New Zealand

Surfer rescued, Raglan

Supplied

DRY LAND: A surfer is treated at Raglan after nearly drowning at Ngarunui Beach on Sunday.

A novice surfer who nearly drowned in solid surf at Raglan was so exhausted after his ordeal he had to spell his name in the sand for rescuers.

The 30-year-old Auckland man encountered serious trouble at Ngarunui Beach about 4pm on Sunday. There were no lifeguards on duty because patrols ended the weekend after Easter.

It was off-duty senior lifeguards Mark Shrimpton, Caroline Cave and Audrey Panis who responded to a call about the surfer, who had been close to drowning until his friends dragged him ashore.

Mr Shrimpton said the man was vomiting “a lot” but the initial radio call that someone had “drowned” proved false. The surfer was conscious.

Mr Shrimpton had been in Raglan to conduct water safety for Raglan Area School’s harbour swim. He knocked off at 2pm and went surfing at the beach.

He was almost out of his wetsuit when he and Ms Panis heard the emergency radio call.

“It said a surfer had been pulled out of the water and had drowned,” Mr Shrimpton said.

The man was exhausted and had swallowed “a lot of water”.

The lifeguards administered first aid and oxygen, keeping his airway clear.

The Waikato Westpac rescue helicopter picked up the patient along with one of his friends.

Mr Shrimpton could tell the men were novice surfers because of their equipment. He suspected the man got into trouble in the stronger-than-usual whitewater rolling in.

“People like that should check conditions with the surf school who are always operating on the beach,” Mr Shrimpton said.

“It still amazes me how many people go swimming on days like that.

“When I was coming in on my surfboard I saw people on boogie boards and in chest-deep water trying to swim with poor swimming style. It didn’t surprise me that it happened.”

NZ Surf Life Saving clubs have just experienced one of the busiest summers on record.

Provisional statistics show nationwide rescues increased by 48 per cent over last season.

The largest number of rescues took place at Muriwai on Auckland’s west coast, where there were 105 rescues, followed by Raglan (92) and Whangamata (61).

– © Fairfax NZ News

Bailed man savagely beat partner in street in Huntly, New Zealand

domestic-violence

A Huntly man bailed by the court after beating his partner, then got drunk and later savagely beat her again in the street.

Haare Henare Waitohi, now 19, was arrested and charged with beating his former partner in July last year.

Waitohi appeared in the Huntly District Court on the charge before being granted bail.

He then left the courthouse and started drinking. Later that evening he saw the victim on Baker St.

Waitohi walked towards her, then chased her down, pulling her to the ground by her hair, a summary of facts at the Hamilton District Court during a sentencing hearing revealed.

He swore at her, then kicked her a “number of times on the ground”, including “many other times” to the back and head.

Waitohi also punched her a number of times, including to the mouth, causing her to lose a tooth, while telling her he would kill her.

Judge Barney Thomas said the victim was fortunate not to suffer any broken bones or more permanent injury, including to her kidneys.

Judge Thomas issued a starting point for sentencing of two years six months’ jail, but added another six months for attacking his former partner while just being bailed for the same offence.

However, he gave Waitohi a discount for his early guilty plea and young age.

“You’re still a young man and made some bad decisions and I hope these are the last of your bad decisions,” Judge Thomas said.

Waitohi’s sentence was two years and two months in prison.

– © Fairfax NZ News

One drowns in fishing boat accident in New Zealand

DROWNING: The Lady Anna rolled while coming over the bar at Greymouth.

DIEDRE MUSSEN

DROWNING: The Lady Anna rolled while coming over the bar at Greymouth.

One person has drowned after a fishing boat rolled while coming over the bar at Greymouth this morning.

Police, coastguard, a rescue helicopter, another fishing vessel and members of the public were all involved in the rescue of the crew of the Lady Anna.

Two of the fishermen managed to cling to a flotation device and made it to shore on the Cobden Tiphead about 7.50am.

The third man’s body was recovered from the sea by police about 8am.

The two survivors have been taken to Grey Base Hospital for assessment.

The Lady Anna has drifted about 25 metres up the Grey River and is fully submerged.

Greymouth police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn said the fishermen had been contending with “huge seas and strong wind” when the boat rolled.

“And it’s a notoriously tricky entrance in and out there,” she said.

A witness, who declined to be named, said three men were clinging to the capsized boat in the mouth of the Grey River when he arrived at the Greymouth tip head about 7.35am.

“One of them was yelling out at one stage,” he said.

Within minutes, the men had let go of the boat and were floating in the water. Two swiftly drifted around to the Cobdon side of the mouth but the witness said a third seemed in trouble.

“He was bobbing around in the water. I could see him going under. He would disappear then come back,” he said.

That man also slowly drifted around to the Cobden side of the river mouth.

People on the Cobdon side were trying to throw life preserving rings to the man but he was unsure if he managed to grab one.

The witness and his work colleague said it was a “massive sea” with a huge swell on a low tide this morning so it was very unsafe to cross.

Grey District Council general manager Paul Pretorius said the blue safety light that was installed after a previous fatal capsizing on the bar was not on last night.

“There was no reason to have it on,” he said.

“The sea was as flat as can be. Normally when there’s an easterly blowing it flattens the bar.”

The council was criticised for failing to implement further safety measures on the bar after Te Anau fishing boat Koromiko rolled and two men were killed in 2000.

The council had been instructed to install accurate monitoring equipment at the bar, appoint an experienced harbourmaster to take responsibility for vessel movements across the bar, and install a signal to indicate dangerous conditions.

As the port was “operating on a deficit” they had decided not to appoint a harbourmaster, Pretorius said.

There was no port manager either.

“We survey the bar on a regular basis and that’s what were doing,” he said.

“A harbourmaster would not have stopped this morning from happening.”

Pretorius said there were “no safety measures” that could be put in place other than insisting the skipper “knows what he’s doing”. People knew the conditions and were well prepared.

“It’s one of the most dangerous bars in the country, that is a reality,” he said.

“Even very experienced fishermen get caught out on the bar.”

Greymouth coastguard spokesman Doug Griffin said the Grey River bar was a well known hotspot for boating tragedies.

There was “no simple answer” as to why the bar was notorious for accidents, he said, but it was generally a combination of skill level, sea conditions and the boat itself.

“There’s a whole raft of reasons why people come aground on the bar,” he said.

“All the bars [in New Zealand] are dangerous. You’ve got to approach them with due care and know what you’re doing.”

– © Fairfax NZ News

Pregnant mother kills herself and three children: Horror after she posts ‘Mummy will always love you’ on Facebook

  • Three children discovered after woman died after a fall in Lowestoft
  • She has been locally identified as Fiona Anderson
  • It is believed she had recently split from father Craig McLelland
  • Friends say she was heavily pregnant when she died
  • Suffolk Police say they are treating the children’s deaths as suspicious
  • Post-mortem on children will take place this evening

 

A young mother plunged to her death from a multi-storey car park today before her three young children were found dead in her flat.

The woman who was named locally as Fiona Anderson, aged in her early 20s, is believed to have been heavily pregnant.

Suffolk Police closed off Gordon Road in Lowestoft, Suffolk, just after 8am when the woman was found with fatal head injuries.

The incident led officers to a basement flat in nearby London Road South three hours later, where the bodies of her three children were discovered.

Loss: Fiona Anderson, aged in her early 20s, is believed to have been heavily pregnant when she died. Her three children were found dead at her home three hours after she fell from the car parkLoss: Fiona Anderson, aged in her early 20s, is believed to have been heavily pregnant when she died. Her three children were found dead at her home three hours after she fell from the car park

Kyden McLelland
Levina McLelland

Kyden McLelland (left), who was 11-months-old and Levina McLelland, three. It is not known how they died

Innocent: Addy McLelland was just two. He was found dead at the flat with his brother and sisterInnocent: Addy McLelland was just two. He was found dead at the flat with his brother and sister

Friends described her as a ‘brilliant mother’ who was devoted to her children Levina, three, Addy, two and an 11-month-old son Kyden. But they thought she had been depressed after recently splitting up with her boyfriend Craig McLelland, the father of her children.

One friend said she had heard that Miss Anderson had left a despairing message on her Facebook page on Sunday night, saying: ‘My babies will go with me.’

Police are keeping an ‘open mind’ about the four deaths, but it is believed they are investigating a theory that she killed her children before jumping 40ft to her death.

The ground floor flat in an end terrace Victorian block was cordoned off by police today while officers searched for clues.

Happy siblings: Levina, Kyden and Addy in Halloween fancy dressHappy siblings: Levina, Kyden and Addy in Halloween fancy dress

Precious: Levina in school uniform
Precious: Levina in school uniform and a smiling Addy enjoying a joke

Precious: Levina in school uniform and a smiling Addy enjoying a joke

Family: Father Craig McLellan pictured with his children (left to right) Addy Kyden and Levina. The three were found dead in their mother's falt this morningFamily: Father Craig McLellan pictured with his children (left to right) Addy Kyden and Levina. The three were found dead in their mother’s flat this morning

Grief: Craig McClelland, the father of the three dead children, at the scene. The mother is believed to have committed suicide by jumping from a multi-storey car park this morning

Grief: Craig McClelland, the father of the three dead children, at the scene. The mother is believed to have committed suicide by jumping from a multi-storey car park this morning

Support: Mr McClelland is comforted by a friend as he surveys the growing mountain of tributes
Support: Mr McClelland is comforted by a friend as he surveys the growing mountain of tributes

Support: Mr McClelland is comforted by a friend as he surveys the growing mountain of tributes

Distraught: The pair has three children together and are believed to have recently split upDistraught: The pair had three children together and are believed to have recently split up

The body of the woman was found a short distance from the property where the three dead children were foundThe body of the woman was found a short distance from the property where the three dead children were found

Investigation: Police outside the house on London Road South where the three children were foundInvestigation: Police outside the house on London Road South where the three children were found

Deaths: Police have sealed off this multi-storey car park in Lowestoft today after a woman fell to her death here, which led officers to discover her three children at homeDeaths: Police have sealed off this multi-storey car park in Lowestoft today after a woman fell to her death here, which led officers to discover her three children dead at home

It is though that Miss Anderson had lived alone in the flat with her children for several years.

Shocked neighbours and friends were last night putting teddy bears, cuddly toys and flowers on a makeshift shrine outside the flat as a mark of respect.

Mr McLelland, who also lives in Lowestoft, arrived at the flat just before 7.30pm and wept while being supported by two friends.

He choked back tears as he told reporters: ‘I have just lost my family. My children are dead. What would you be feeling?

‘I found out this morning when I got a phone call saying somebody had committed suicide and I had a feeling who it was.’

Tribute: The mountain of cuddly toys at the property grew as people in the town arrived to pay their respectsTribute: The mountain of cuddly toys at the property grew as people in the town arrived to pay their respects

Remembrance: A police community support officer joined those laying tributes to the children
Remembrance: A police community support officer joined those laying tributes to the children

Remembrance: A police community support officer joined those laying tributes to the children

The three children's bodies were taken to the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston for post-mortem examinationsThe three children’s bodies were taken to the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston for post-mortem examinations

After looking at the growing pile of cuddly toys outside the flat, he added: ‘It is really touching to see that people care.’

Asked if he had recently split up with Miss Anderson, he refused to comment.

Police are awaiting the results of post-mortems by a Home Office pathologist carried out at the James Paget Hospital, Gorleston near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.

Det Supt John Brocklebank of the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team described the deaths as ‘an awful tragedy’.

Det Sup John Brocklebank described the deaths as 'an awful tragedy' Det Sup John Brocklebank described the deaths as ‘an awful tragedy’

The property is a basement flat on the corner of Grosvenor Road and London Road South, a short distance from the sea The property is a basement flat on the corner of Grosvenor Road and London Road South, a short distance from the sea

He said: ‘We are in the early stages of a large investigation to try and work out exactly what has happened.

‘It is too early to be able to come up with a definitive explanation and we will be keeping an open mind.

‘We are treating the deaths of the children as suspicious, but from our initial enquiries we do not believe there is any threat to the wider community.

‘Our priorities now are to establish the circumstances behind the woman’s death and how it may be related to the deaths of the three children.’

Mr Brocklebank said police were first alerted by a 999 call from a member of the public who found a woman lying on the ground beside the car park with what appeared to be serious injuries.

Plunge: The town centre car park the woman is believed to have fallen fromPlunge: The town centre car park the woman is believed to have fallen from

The car park is less than a mile away from the flat where the woman's children were found deadThe car park is less than a mile away from the flat where the woman’s children were found dead

He added: “At this stage we are trying to find out if anyone saw her fall or jump or be pushed. We believe we have got some witnesses who might have seen her falling.

‘Emergency services including ambulances and an air ambulance arrived and they did what they could to try and resuscitate her, but unfortunately she was pronounced dead at the scene.

‘We managed to identify the lady concerned which led us to the address. Police officers gained access at 11.20am and the bodies of the children were tragically found inside.

‘I don’t want to speculate about how they died and where the bodies were in the property. We believe she was the mother of the young children.

Probe: Police say the investigation is in preliminary stages and have not formally identified the woman or the childrenProbe: Police say the investigation is in preliminary stages and have not formally identified the woman or the children

‘At this stage we are keeping an open mind about what happened and we must maintain that open mind. At this time, I don’t want to speculate on whether a third party was involved or not.’

Mr Brocklebank said the car park would remain closed so that police could make a forensic search for clues.

He added: ‘These are the most tragic circumstances you can imagine and we are looking after the welfare of the officers involved.

‘But a family have lost some very precious children and are needs are secondary to the family of the deceased.’

The deaths of the children are being treated as suspicious but the police say they believe there is 'no threat to the wider community'
The deaths of the children are being treated as suspicious but the police say they believe there is 'no threat to the wider community'

The deaths of the children are being treated as suspicious but police say they believe there is ‘no threat to the wider community’

Karleigh Burlingham, 20, who lives knew Miss Anderson, said: ‘She was a lovely person. She just didn’t seem the sort of mother to do this. It is devastating that three innocent little children have died.

‘I knew her for three or four years and I thought she was a brilliant mother. She must have been going through a very tough time. We just cannot believe it.

‘Her kids were healthy and well brought up. Fiona was outgoing and friendly. She would talk to anyone and she was very laid back.

‘But her boyfriend left her about a month or so ago for someone else. She was heavily pregnant with a baby girl due next month. I fell out with her about a month ago and have not really seen her since then.

‘She was friendly with my sister Kayleigh and she sent a Facebook message to her last night , saying that she was down and had nobody to talk to. My sister said she would talk to her if she wanted.’

Another friend said: ‘We heard she put a status on her Facebook page last night, saying, “My babies will go with me”.

‘I don’t think anyone thought she would harm herself, let alone her children. Why kill your kids and then yourself. It is just awful.’

Suffolk Police are appealing for anyone who has information that may help the investigation to contact police on 101.
For confidential support about depression, call the Samaritans on 0845 790 9090 or visit a local Samaritans branch. Or click here to visit the charity’s website.

 

– dailymail.co.uk

Suspect being ‘held in Boston hospital’ with severe injuries while another man is pictured in handcuffs

A potential suspect in the Boston marathon attacks is being guarded by police in hospital, according to reports.

Several reports now say a suspect is being guarded in a Boston hospital bed. One report said he was a Saudi Arabian national.

The reports claim the hospitalized suspect was himself injured by shrapnel from the finish line explosions and has severe injuries.

Evacuation: Police were desperately trying to evacuate the area following the explosions as three secondary devices were reportedly found

Evacuation: Police were desperately trying to evacuate the area following the explosions

Pictured: Images of a man in cuffs were posted online but police were keen to underline there had been no arrests.

Pictured: Images of a man in cuffs were posted online but police were keen to underline there had been no arrests. Officers said they were speaking to several people as would be expected in any major incident

The New York Post said a police source told them the suspect was a Saudi Arabian national.

Police were keen to underline there had been no arrests but they did say they were talking to suspects.

There was another individual pictured in handcuffs at the scene but it wasn’t clear whether it was an unrelated arrest or not

‘At this time, we haven’t been notified of any arrests or anyone apprehended,’ a police spokesperson said.

Other reports suggested one line of inquiry was an individual caught on camera before the attack carrying multiple backpacks into the area – 20 minutes before the deadly blasts.

It came as police were believed to be looking at whether bombs were planted in trashcans along the route.

Another possible link is that today is Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts.

The Oklahoma City bombing took place two days after Patriot’s Day in 1995.

An FBI source told Mail Online it was an area being examined.

The two blasts occurred almost concurrently near the finish line of the marathon killing 2 and injuring dozens.

Police initially said a third blast occurred at the John F.Kennedy Presidential Library but later reported it as an unrelated fire.

Cellphone service was shut down across the area to prevent any potential remote detonations as police feared there were secondary devices.

Police were also said to be investigating the surveillance video of a potential suspect carrying backpacks.

The report appeared to corroborate earlier suggestions that small homemade bombs were responsible for the attacks designed to go off in unison and cause mass casualties.

Police were in a desperate race against time to find any additional devices this afternoon and said the task had been complicated by the items discarded by spectators fleeing the scene.

Multiple reports were flooding in in the moments after the attack saying there were devices reported outside Harvard and other sites along the marathon route.

Police said none of the reports were later confirmed as explosives.

All off-duty officers in the city were called back on duty as dog units were sent in to help the emergency response.

The area will remain cordoned off as forensic work continues.

Police were pleading with onlookers to head home over fears the dangers remained in the downtown area of the city.

NBC reported that the devices which caused the blasts were ‘small homemade bombs’ as the FBI referred it as a ‘terrorist attack’.

Controlled explosions: Officers were said to be carrying out controlled explosions on three secondary devices

Controlled explosions: Officers were said to be carrying out controlled explosions on three secondary devices

Police departments across the country including San Francisco and New York have been put on heightened alert.

In London security will now be assessed ahead of the marathon being held there on Sunday.

A non-fly zone was temporarily introduced over the city and has now been lifted.

Runners still on the course were being bussed out this afternoon as officers begun the hard task of trying to work out who would cause such an attack.

Early indications suggested the bombs were planted at the finish line rather than being suicide attacks.

U.S. President Barack Obama was notified and directed his administration to provide whatever assistance was necessary, the White House said.

No groups have claimed credit for the attack and officials say no intelligence alerted them to a threat prior to the marathon.

Anyone with information about the explosions should call 1800-494-TIPS.

 

– dailymail.co.uk

Panic in cities across the world as fear of a copycat attack grips New York, Washington, D.C., London and other cities

  • NYPD has ‘stepped up security’ at hotels and other landmark locations
  • The White House increased security around the perimeter
  • London Marathon officials are reviewing their security plans for this Sunday’s race
  • Air travel into Boston was temporarily stopped but has since resumed
  • Increase security at two nuclear power plants near Boston

The two bombs detonated in Boston near the finish line of the marathon sent a wave of panic across the country as fears of a copycat attack gripped cities from Washington, D.C. to New York.

‘We’re stepping up security at hotels and other prominent locations in the city through deployment of the NYPD’s critical response vehicles (CRVs) until more about the explosion is learned,’ NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

Security was increased at the White House and Pennsylvania Avenue has been shut down.

London Marathon officials are reviewing security plans for its race this Sunday.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

NYPD said it was increasing patrols and security at hotels and other prominent locations until it knows more about the terror attack in BostonNYPD said it was increasing patrols and security at hotels and other prominent locations until it knows more about the terror attack in Boston
Dozens of uniformed NYPD officers setup post in the center of New York City's Times Square following news of the Boston Marathon explosions.Dozens of uniformed NYPD officers setup post in the center of New York City’s Times Square following news of the Boston Marathon explosions.
NYPD has parked several patrol cars in front of a building in Times Square as the department has said it will step up security after the Boston Marathon bombingNYPD has parked several patrol cars in front of a building in Times Square as the department has said it will step up security after the Boston Marathon bombing
U.S. Secret Service agents walk around the White House complex after two explosions struck the Boston Marathon U.S. Secret Service agents walk around the White House complex after two explosions struck the Boston Marathon

‘This changes everything [in New York],’ one source toldthe New York Post.

‘Everyone’s on high alert. Our marathon was canceled in November. Who knows if that changed someone’s plans?’

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the MTA police would increase patrols  and bag inspections Monday on the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road.

The NYPD will give ‘additional attention’ to the subways as well.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said security is being upped both visibly and in covert ways, NBC reported.

‘We have 1,000 members of the NYPD assigned to counter-terrorism duties,and they – along with the entire NYPD and the investments we have made in counter-terrorism infrastructure – are being fully mobilized to protect our city,’ he said in a statement.

A garbage can on a subway platform was seen taped up so that nothing could be tossed inside – preventing a bomb from being placed and left behind.

A Twitter user posted this picture from a New York City subway platform that shows a garbage can taped up, preventing an explosive device from being tossed inside and leftA Twitter user posted this picture from a New York City subway platform that shows a garbage can taped up, preventing an explosive device from being tossed inside.
View from inside the White House after secret service closed Pennsylvania Avenue following explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, in Washington, DC, USAView from inside the White House after secret service closed Pennsylvania Avenue following explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, in Washington, DC, USA

In Washington, the White House increased security outside the building with Secret Service establishing a broader ‘perimeter.’

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan says the measure was taken “out of an abundance of caution.” He says it is not unusual to expand or contract the security perimeters.

Shortly after the explosions Monday, Secret Service shut down Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House, cordoning off the area with yellow police tape.

Several Secret Service patrol cars also blocked off the entry points to the road.

U.S. Secret Service agents stand on top of the White House amid the heightened security around the area
Law enforcement guards Madison Square Garden and Penn Station as officials said there will be increased security on transit

Uniformed Secret Service officer stands guard in front of the White House as the surrounding area have been closedUniformed Secret Service officer stands guard in front of the White House as the surrounding area have been closed

 A couple stands behind a police line on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White HouseA couple stands behind a police line on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House

The White House was not on lockdown and tourists and other onlookers were still able to be in the park across the street from the executive mansion.

There was ‘heightened security throughout D.C, NBC reported, citing local police officials.

D.C.’s Metro system had increased patrol officers on call for Monday evening’s rush hour, Politico reported.

The attack had an impact on air travel as Boston’s main airport was temporarily halted.

‘Apparent ground stop for incoming flights to Boston. At least for shuttle flights from NY,’ CNN anchor Anderson Cooper Tweeted.

The Federal Aviation Administration later lifted a temporary ground stop that halted inbound flights to Logan International Airport in Boston.

NYPD uniformed officers stand guard in the heart of Times Square NYPD uniformed officers stand guard in the heart of Times Square
Row of NYPD patrol cars line the streets of Times Square as a show of force Row of NYPD patrol cars line the streets of Times Square as a show of force

Nuclear power plants in Massachusetts and New Hampshire have increased security as well.

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass., and the Seabrook Station in Seabrook, N.H., heightened checks of vehicles, materials and individuals entering the plants.

Pilgrim, about 45 miles south of Boston, was already shut down for refueling when the explosions occurred. Seabrook is about 45 miles north of Boston in Seabrook, N.H.

Eliot Brenner, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said federal officials have not ordered changes in security at other U.S. nuclear reactors in the wake of the Boston explosions.

Organizers from the London marathon — set to take place this Sunday — said they were in contact with Metropolitan Police as soon as the explosion occurred.

‘A security plan is in place for the London Marathon. We will be reviewing our security arrangements in partnership with London Marathon,’ a police spokeswoman said.

Helicopters fly near the construction site of One World Trade Center. Officials in New York increased security after the two bombs at the Boston Marathon were detonated, fearing a copycat attack

Helicopters fly near the construction site of One World Trade Center. Officials in New York increased security after the two bombs at the Boston Marathon were detonated, fearing a copycat attack

– dailymail.co.uk

‘Somebody’s leg flew past my head’: Eyewitnesses describe scenes of unimaginable horror as Boston Marathon bomb blasts injure more than 100

  • Unimaginable horror as victims with missing limbs are transported away
  • At least two dead, six in critical condition and as many as 100 injured
  • The race’s medical tent has been turned into a morgue
  • Doctor who ran to the scene: ‘It was like a war zone’
  • Reports of other suspicious packages across the city adds to the chaos

Eyewitnesses have described scenes of unimaginable horror after two bomb explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line today, as medical staff scrambled to help the injured and others rushed to set up makeshift morgues for the dead.

Two huge explosions occurred seconds apart at 2.50pm and emergency vehicles swarmed the area.

Witnesses described horrifying scenes of bloody spectators being carried from the scene, as others reported seeing piles of bodies with missing limbs and shrapnel wounds.

Two people have died, including an eight-year-old child. Eight people are in critical condition, four have undergone leg amputations and 110 – including eight children – have reportedly been injured.

‘Somebody’s leg flew by my head,’ spectator John Ross told the Boston Herald. ‘I gave my belt to stop the blood.’

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Emergency response: Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston on Monday afternoon. Police and fire services swarmed the sceneEmergency response: Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston on Monday afternoon. Police and fire services swarmed the scene

Pained: Medical workers transport away a blood-covered man minutes after the two explosionsPained: Medical workers transport away a blood-covered man minutes after the two explosions

 

Impact: A runner, knocked to the ground by the blast, lies by police officers running to the sceneImpact: A runner, knocked to the ground by the blast, lies by police officers running to the scene

Chaos: The injured are helped at the scene, with hundreds of spectators flee the areaChaos: The injured are helped at the scene, with hundreds of spectators flee the area

 

Competitors and race organizers were crying as they fled the chaos. A man was pictured with his lower leg blown off, while children were seen being wheeled away in chairs with burned limbs.

Blood and broken glass was strewn across the sidewalks, while a emergency worker was seen checking the pulses of young women lying on the ground.

A trauma nurse told ABC that the race’s medical tent has become a makeshift morgue and that staff are dealing with injuries including severed limbs, shrapnel wounds and children with severe burns.

 There were reports that a three-year-old child was injured and taken to hospital, while Adidas, which is a sponsor of the marathon, said it is still trying to figure out if all of its workers are safe.

David Abel, a reporter for the Boston Globe who was standing just feet from the finish line to record runners, recounted the scene of horror he witnessed.

‘I saw just a pile of bodies,’ he said. ‘It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life… mangled limbs, people not breathing. Within minutes, police, medical staff, marathon staff [arrived] and were just trying to carry people off as quickly as possible.’

A person who was injured in an explosion near the finish line
Medical workers aid a man

Rushed away: Medical staff respond to the scene and transport injured spectators to hospitals

 

Struggle: A woman is comforted by a man near a triage tent set up for the Boston MarathonStruggle: A woman is comforted by a man near a triage tent set up for the Boston Marathon

Chaos: Eyewitnesses described seeing scores of people without limbs and bleeding being carried awayChaos: Eyewitnesses described seeing scores of people without limbs and bleeding being carried away

First responded: Eyewitnesses described people being carried away soaked in blood and missing limbsFirst responded: Eyewitnesses described people being carried away soaked in blood and missing limbs

 

Control: Every single one of Boston's 2,100 police officers has been called to work following the explosionsControl: Every single one of Boston’s 2,100 police officers has been called to work following the explosions

‘THERE WAS A COLLECTIVE SCREAM THAT WENT ON AND ON…’

Jeff Chin, 27, who was a block from the explosion, spoke to People magazine about the horror he witnessed:

‘People started screaming. I saw a guy with his shirt off, and it was wrapped around his hand and it was soaked red with blood…

‘What you don’t see on TV is how loud it was after the fact. Imagine there were hundreds of people just screaming at the top of their lungs, screaming so loud. It was like a sustained scream, collective scream and it went on and on. It was piercing, just the terror that you could hear…

‘It was a nightmare, the worst thing you can imagine…

‘It was like every sense of mine was heightened, I was feeling and seeing and hearing everything. I never want to go through anything like it again, it was terrifying…’

He said he was not aware of any security concerns ahead of the events, adding: ‘There was a massive security presence.’

Beck Dangler, who was on a fifth-floor patio overlooking the finish line, told NBC News that when the explosions went off, he saw a plume of smoke ‘and then the immediate scatter’.

‘You could smell it,’ he said. ‘It smelled like a giant firecracker… Then there was immediate pandemonium.’

A doctor in a medical tent around 150 yards from one of the explosions told ABC News he immediately ran to the scene.

‘We all went running over there and started to bring people into the medical tent,’ he said. ‘It was not good. Very bad. Like a war zone. 9/11 immediately came to mind.’

NBCSN reported that some marathon runners who crossed finish line continued to run to Mass General Hospital to give blood.

ABC reporter Josh Elliott tweeted that the emergency room at Massachusetts General hospital said they have carried out multiple amputations, with the number of patients as high as 25.

Every one of the 2,100 Boston police officers in the city were ordered to respond to the scene, and Boston police chief Ed Davis said FBI and state police were also sending personnel.

 

Aftermath: An NBC still shows the debris and blood strewn area after the area was cleared on MondayAftermath: An NBC still shows the debris and blood strewn area after the area was cleared on Monday

Aid: Emergency personnel respond to an injured woman after two explosions went off todayAid: Emergency personnel respond to an injured woman after two explosions went off today

Suffering: A man who appears in severe pain is rushed away from the scene for aidSuffering: A man who appears in severe pain is rushed away from the scene for aid

Fears: Young women who were hit in the explosions are rushed away on stretchersFears: Young women who were hit in the explosions are rushed away on stretchers

Lucky escape: A man hit by the blast walks away from the scene with shredded pantsLucky escape: A man hit by the blast walks away from the scene with shredded pants

Steven Saurbier, who saw the explosion’s aftermath from his window, described the swift police response after he witnessed the scene from his apartment.

‘Police swarmed immediately,’ he said. ‘They removed one or two people after patting them down. There were a lot of injured people… I estimate 20 people were medically transported… I saw a woman being carried by two men and I am almost positive her left leg was blown off at the knee.’

Of the police officers in the city, around 1,000 would have working on the event already, Bratton said, with a concentrated police presence around the finish line and the area behind it.

At a press conference on Monday afternoon, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis described the moments following the explosions and said the FBI and state police immediately sent resources.

‘All of the victims have been moved from the scene we have sent officers to hospitals to be in touch with family members and possible witnesses,’ he said.

Suffering: A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs at the finish lineSuffering: A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs at the finish line

 

Sadness: An unidentified Boston Marathon runner leaves the course crying near Copley Square

Sadness: An unidentified Boston Marathon runner leaves the course crying near Copley Square

Screams: Medical workers aid an injured woman. Scores are believed to have been hurt, and two killedScreams: Medical workers aid an injured woman. Scores are believed to have been hurt, and two killed

Overwhelmed: People comfort each other after the explosions, which killed two people on MondayOverwhelmed: People comfort each other after the explosions, which killed two people on Monday

Moments after: Smoke billows from near the finish line after the bomb was detonated, inflicting tragedyMoments after: Smoke billows from near the finish line after the bomb was detonated, inflicting tragedy

Destruction: A view of the finish line shows the debris strewn across the road after the explosionsDestruction: A view of the finish line shows the debris strewn across the road after the explosions

‘Every asset of the commonwealth of Massachusetts and the federal government is either here or coming here,’ he added.

CBS reported that Rep. Bill Keating confirmed there were two unexploded devices found – one at a hotel in Copley Square and another at an undisclosed location, possibly beneath bleachers.

In an interview with ABC, former police chief Bill Bratton said that as well as the chaos from the injuries, ‘you have the compounding factor of dealing with unidentified packages’.

He said he expected police to be receiving numerous calls from concerned residents, as there were reports that as many as three hotels were being evacuated as a precaution.

ABC News reported that there were at least three reported packages, with one controlled explosion having been carried out.

‘You have to investigate them all,’ he said. ‘That’s the reality. [There’s a] heightened sense of awareness. [Police] are guaranteed to be getting some calls on public transportation. Every one of these things will be have to be looked at.’

Concern: Women react as they walk from the area where there was an explosion after the Boston MarathonConcern: Women react as they walk from the area where there was an explosion after the Boston Marathon

 

Briefing: Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis speaks about the explosions at a press conferenceBriefing: Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis speaks about the explosions at a press conference

Aftermath: Firefighters take position on Boyltson Street near the finish line after the explosionsAftermath: Firefighters take position on Boyltson Street near the finish line after the explosions

There were also 400 Massachusetts National Guardsmen at the marathon to beef up the security.

Police are also asking for anyone with video of the explosions to contact them to help with the probe.

‘This is a horrific day in Boston,’ Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement. ‘My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured.

‘Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.’

Obama praised the first responders for acting ‘heroically’ as he addressed the nation just after 6pm.

‘Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers,’ he said. ‘We don‘t yet have all the answers but we do know local people have been wounded, some gravely.

‘We still do not know who did this or why and people should not jump to conclusions before we have the facts,’ he added.

– dailymail.co.uk

Eight-year-old among two dead and 90 injured as two explosions rock finish line of Boston Marathon leaving behind scene of carnage

  • Bloodbath in Boston as two explosions rock finish line of famous Boston Marathon as race was winding down
  • Officials urging people at the scene to leave as secondary explosive devices have been found
  • Law enforcement sources told New York Post that 12 people were killed
  • However Boston authorities report 2 have been killed and 107 people injured
  • Sources told Post that suspect is in custody at Boston-area hospital
  • New York City stepping up anti-terror efforts in wake of attack and have tightened security around popular destinations like Times Square
  • FBI officially classifying bombings as terrorist attack, but President Obama said it is important to ‘get to the bottom of this’ before classifying it

 

At least two people have been killed and up to 100 people have been injured after two large bombs went off near the finish line of the famous Boston Marathon today, leaving behind a scene of carnage.

It was revealed that an eight-year-old child was one of the two people confirmed dead in the blast, and additionally, a three-year-old boy was injured in the day’s chaos.

Hours after twin explosions rang out near the city’s Copley Square, President Obama appeared before the nation to tell them, ‘We still don’t know who did this or why they did this,’ vowing that Americans stand by those affected.

The reiterated that many people were injured, ‘some gravely’ and remarked that on days like today, ‘there are no Republicans or Democrats,’ emphasizing that it is crucial not to categorize the bombings as terrorist attacks.

He made clear that the ‘full weight of justice’ would be brought down upon those responsible. ‘We will find out who did this and hold them accountable,’ he said.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis had  said at an afternoon press conference that there was a third, uncontrolled explosion at the JFK Library which was believed to be an electrical fire.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

This image shows the two separate explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon This image shows the two separate explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon

kA still from NBC shows one explosion at the Boston Marathon

 

 

kA second explosion goes off (rear) as a runner was blown to the ground by the first explosion near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon

kPolice officers with their guns drawn hear the second explosion down the street. The first explosion knocked down a runner at the finish line

 

kA second explosion goes off (rear) as a runner was blown to the ground by the first explosion

Eyewitnesses at the scene said there were two loud explosions about five seconds apart, and emergency vehicles crowded the scene.

Witness Dave Weigel said via Twitter minutes after the explosion: ‘I saw people’s legs blown off. Horrific. Two explosions. Runners were coming in and saw unspeakable horror.’

Police told the Boston Globe that are they still finding ‘secondary devices,’ and pleading with anyone still in the area to leave at once. A controlled explosion was set for outside the city library.

A source who was speaking with authorities told MailOnline that there were shotgun shells in two explosions, which sprayed onlookers and runners with massive amounts of shrapnel, though the statement has not been confirmed by authorities.

CBS News reports that police are now looking at surveillance video showing someone carrying multiple backpacks into the area about 20 minutes before explosions. Additionally, a shadowy figure was captured on CCTV around 20 minutes before the two blasts.

One witness said ‘there was blood everywhere.’

kTwo race officials react seconds after the explosions went off

 

kBoston police on bicycles patrol on Commonwealth Avenue following the explosions

CNN revealed that families from last December’s Newtown tragedy were at the scene, though none of them were reported injured.

Boston’s Lenox Hotel that serves as the headquarters for the Boston Marathon was locked down on Monday after a security incident near the finish line. Two blasts were heard by reporters in the media center.

kPresident Barack Obama spoke around 6pm Monday evening, saying that the American people stand by those in Boston affected by today’s bombing

kPresident Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office today with FBI Director Robert Mueller and was seated with Lisa Monaco, head of Homeland Security, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and was briefed on the attack

kBoston Police Commissioner Edward Davis speaks about the explosions during a press conference as Massachusetts Gov Deval Patrick, right, looks on this afternoon

Authorities closed off the finish line and urged anyone in the area to stay away from trash bins.

In response to the attacks, both the White House and New York’s Times Square were given extra security measures. The White House released in a statement that President Obama received a briefing from Homeland Security advisor Lisa Monaco and other members of his staff in the Oval Office.

‘The president called Boston Mayor Tom Menino and expressed his concern for those who were injured and to make clear that his administration is ready to provide needed support as they respond to this incident.’

kMap of downtown Boston, Massachusetts, locates the area near the Boston Marathon finish line where two explosions erupted about five hours after the race began

kAn injured man lays on the ground following the explosions

 

kA Twitter user posted this picture of JFK Library after an explosive device detonated; the police commissioner said that no injuries had been reported

House Speaker John Boehner is expected to lead a moment of silence in the House from the Speaker’s chair for the victims of the Boston bombing at around 6:30pm EST, and the president is expected to speak at 6:10pm EST.

Andrea Storer, who witnessed the blast, told the Boston Globe: ‘It was huge. There had to be people killed. There had to be’

NECN reporter Jackie Bruno posted on Twitter: ‘I saw people’s legs blown off. Horrific. Two explosions. Runners were coming in and saw unspeakable horror.

Cherie Falgoust was waiting for her husband, who was running the race.

kA Boston police officer wheels in injured boy down Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner

kMedical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston

kMedical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following the two explosions

kTwo explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon today

 

kAn aerial shot shows the scene of carnage at the finish line

kEmergency workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston

‘I was expecting my husband any minute,” she said. “I don’t know what this building is … it just blew. Just a big bomb, a loud boom, and then glass everywhere. Something hit my head. I don’t know what it was. I just ducked.”

The White House says President Barack Obama has been notified about the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

The White House says the administration is in contact with state and local authorities and directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response.

Vice President Joe Biden was on a conference call with gun control activists when staffers turned on televisions in his office Monday to view coverage of the explosions. Biden said during the call that his prayers were with those who suffered injuries.

Vice President Joe Biden has released a statement regarding the Boston Marathon bombings.

kA couple embrace near the finish line area

 

kMedical workers aid an injured man at the 2013 Boston Marathon

 

kA person who was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon is taken away from the scene on a stretcher

kPeople panic and run after the explosions occurred at the finishing line

kRunners who had not finished the race were stopped before the Massachusetts Avenue overpass on Commonwealth Avenue

 

‘Our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered injuries. I don’t know how many there are.’

kA woman on the ground is covered in dirt and blood and looks on in shock as she is surrounded by a scene of carnage

State and local officials told CNN’s John King that there was no known credible threat prior to the explosions.

The marathon said in a statement: ‘There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today’s Boston Marathon. We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened.’

Competitors and race organizers were crying as they fled the chaos. Bloody spectators were being carried to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners. A man was pictured with his lower leg blown off with his tibia and fibula exposed.

As people wailed in agony, bloody spectators were carried to a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners.

‘They just started bringing people in with no limbs,’ said Tim Davey, of Richmond, Va. He said he and his wife, Lisa, tried to keep their children’s eyes shielded from the gruesome scene, but ‘they saw a lot.’

‘They just kept filling up with more and more casualties,’ Lisa Davey said. ‘Most everybody was conscious. They were very dazed.’

kBoston Police look at blown out windows at the scene of the first explosion on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon

 

kA man comforts an injured woman on the sidewalk at the scene of the first explosion on Boylston Street near the finish line

 

kA runner who did not wish to be identified sits alone following an explosion covered in a blanket

Some 23,000 runners took part in the 26.2-mile race, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathons. One of Boston’s biggest annual events, the race winds up near Copley Square, not far from the landmark Prudential Center and the Boston Public Library.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis asked people to stay indoors or go back to their hotel rooms and avoid crowds as bomb squads checked parcels and bags left along the race route.

The Federal Aviation Administration barred low-flying aircraft from within 3.5 miles of the site.

‘There are people who are really, really bloody,’ said Laura McLean, a runner from Toronto, who was in the medical tent being treated for dehydration when she was pulled out to make room for victims.

A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013

kEmergency personnel respond to the scene

 

kA person who was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon is taken away from the scene in a wheelchair

About four hours into the race and two hours after the men’s winner crossed the line, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another explosion could be heard a few seconds later.

By that point, more than 17,000 of the runners had finished the race, but thousands of others were farther back along the course.

The Boston Police Department said two people were killed. Hospitals reported at least 57 injured, at least eight of them critically.

A senior U.S. intelligence official said the two other explosive devices found nearby were being dismantled. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the findings publicly.

‘There are a lot of people down,’ said one man, whose bib No. 17528 identified him as Frank Deruyter of North Carolina.

He was not injured, but marathon workers were carrying one woman, who did not appear to be a runner, to the medical area as blood gushed from her leg.

A Boston police officer was wheeled from the course with a leg injury that was bleeding.

kJustine Franco of Montpelier, Vermont, holds up a sign near Copley Square in Boston looking for her missing friend, April, who was running in her first Boston Marathon

 

kAn unidentified Boston Marathon runner leaves the course crying near Copley Square

About three hours after the winners crossed the line, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another thunderous explosion could be heard a few seconds later.

Runner Laura McLean of Toronto told the Associated Press that she heard two explosions outside the medical tent.

‘There are people who are really, really bloody,’ McLean said. ‘They were pulling them into the medical tent.’

k

An explosion rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon where dozens of people have been reported seriously injured

kPolice officers rushed to the scene as smoke billowed; up to 60 people could be injured from the blast

kMedical workers wheel the injured across the finish line

kThe two explosions went off within seconds of each other near Boston’s Copley Square and the finish line of the race in the city’s Back Bay neighborhood

kThe grandstands were empty as authorities work though the chaos of the scene

Steven Saurbier, who saw the explosion’s aftermath from his window, told The New York Observer: ‘It shook my building, we’re about 100 yards down the street. I figured it was a cannon, or some giant confetti blast, or something planned for the Marathon.

‘Then a second blast went off–much larger–and it rattled the whole building.

‘There was a large cloud of white smoke and people were running from the blast site. Police swarmed immediately, they removed one or two people after patting them down. There were a lot of injured people … I estimate 20 people were medically transported. … I saw a woman being carried by two men and I am almost positive her left leg was blown off at the knee.’

All off-duty Boston police officers have been called in to work following the blasts.

A spokesman for the Boston Marathon said that the race’s headquarters are on lock down.

Train service on the green line between Kenmore and Park suspended, according to the MBTA.

Windows of Marathon sports store blown out by the force of the two blasts.

Have a friend running the marathon? Check out this site to find their most recent checkpoint. Additionally, families looking for loved ones should call 617-635-4500. Anyone with info about explosions should call 1800-494-TIPS

Additional reporting by Sara Nathan.

Inside Mexico’s drug war: Heartwrenching images of poverty and violence capture true misery of country ravaged by cartels

It is a place at once thought of for its destitution, crime, and poverty – where a bitter conflict has claimed the lives of more than 35,000 Mexicans.

Photographer David Rochkind captures Mexico’s seedy drug trade in a brutally humanistic light in a series of images collected in his book, ‘Heavy Hand, Sunken Spirit.’

His photographs capture a rugged landscape thrown into a vicious war on the trade, and the people who have been affected by or succumbed to the overwhelming influence of the drug trade.

Mr Rochkind, who graduated from the University of Michigan and is currently based out of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, traveled to Mexico beginning in 2007 to photograph the series, shooting cartel members, addicts, inmates, and communities torn apart by the drug war.

These images are only a small sampling of the collection or reportage appearing in his book.

kDestitution: Photographer David Rochkind has captured a series of poignant images of Mexico’s devastating drug culture; here, a young girl walks by a caravan of police vehicles during a security sweep looking for criminals and drug dealers

 

kDarkest before dawn: Police in Nogales perform a security sweep in the poor neighborhoods of the city looking for drug dealers and drug users

 

kThe only thing that matters: Here, a woman shoots heroin in front of her lover and a baby they are supposed to be caring for

 

kBehind bars: A man arrested for drug possession stands in his jail cell in a small prison high in the hills of Nogales, Sonora

 

 

kLift thine eyes: Men pray at an evangelical church in Tijuana. Many churches in Tijuana are reporting increased membership as citizens seek refuge from all of the violence around them

 

 

kBelly of the beast: Ciudad Juraez is at the center of Mexico’s violence, with more than 5,000 drug related murders over the past two years. President Felipe Calderon has sent thousands of soldiers to the city to try to stem the violence, though after a short decrease in murders the violence blossomed once again. Here, soldiers search young men for drugs, weapons or signs of drug use

kTelling the story: Members of a Norteño band sit in their tour bus after giving a show in Mexico City. Many Norteño groups sing corridos, or ballads, that tell a story

 

kLong day’s journey into night: Central American migrants ride atop a freight train carrying cement as they head north in an attempt to enter the US. Traveling by train has become more dangerous as kidnappings and robberies have risen in recent years with increased drug cartel activity

 

– dailymail.co.uk

Bus driver fired after shocking video reveals passenger being punched 18 times in the head for ‘asking too many questions’

Shocking surveillance video shows a Nebraska bus driver who is accused of assaulting a passenger repeatedly punching the man before dragging him off the vehicle and leaving him on the side of a road.

Troy Fischer, 43, was fired from StarTran Bus Service in Lincoln on Thursday, reported the Lincoln Journal Star. Officials released the video Friday and Fischer has been cited on suspicion of misdemeanor assault in the March 23 incident.

The video shows Fischer communicating with the lone passenger. At some point, Fischer becomes agitated with the man, stops the bus and begins attacking him, screaming ‘What did I say about the next question you asked me?’

Scroll down for video

Fired: Bus driver Troy Fischer was fired after a video was released that appeared to show him punching a passenger 18 timesFired: Bus driver Troy Fischer was fired after a video was released that appeared to show him punching a passenger 18 times

Troy Fischer
Troy Fischer

The video appears to show Fischer beating the passenger repeatedly before dumping the victim by the side of the road

The video shows Fischer punching the passenger 18 times. He then drags him off the bus and leaves him on the side of a road.

Miki Esposito, director for the city’s Public Works and Utilities Department, said Fischer was initially suspended without pay after the incident.

 

But he was fired after a disciplinary hearing that allowed him to rebut the allegations. Esposito called Fischer’s actions reprehensible.

‘This type of behavior is not, cannot and will not be tolerated by the city of Lincoln,’ she said.The Associated Press could not reach Fischer for comment Friday.

 

The alleged victim is the only passenger on the bus
The alleged victim is the only passenger on the bus

The alleged victim is the only passenger on the bus and at some point, Fischer becomes agitated with the man, stops the bus and begins attacking him, screaming ‘What did I say about the next question you asked me?’

Esposito said the March incident began after Fischer notified his supervisor that he was having trouble with a passenger.

The supervisor instructed Fischer to let the passenger leave voluntarily or call police. ‘His directions were blatantly ignored,’ Esposito said. ‘He took matters into his own hands.

In the video, Fischer is heard telling his supervisor after the attack that he put the passenger off the bus and ‘it wasn’t pretty.’

The incident occurred on March 23 on a StarTran bus in Lincoln, Nebraska The incident occurred on March 23 on a StarTran bus in Lincoln, Nebraska

Esposito said there were no red flags with Fischer, who had been a driver for StarTran for four years. He was warned once for a traffic violation, and he had a DUI case in 2004 that was dismissed.

Fischer was remorseful during the disciplinary hearing, Esposito said.

The newspaper reported that investigators have been unable to reach the man in the video, who provided an address and phone number to police on the day of the attack.

U.S. Airways ‘forced two black passengers to take off their jeans and hoodies before boarding first class… but let white passenger dressed identically on the plane’

U.S. Airways are accused of refusing to let two young black men into first class until they changed their clothes.

McCraig and Miles Warren are suing the airline for discrimination, claiming that when they tried to board the plane in Denver, they were told by an employee that they should change into more appropriate attire.

According to the federal discrimination lawsuit which was filed on Wednesday, the employee repeatedly told the brothers that their jeans, hooded sweatshirts and baseball caps violated an alleged first-class dress code.

discriminationMcCraig and Miles Warren are suing U.S. Airways for discrimination, claiming that when they tried to board the plane in Denver, they were told by an employee that they should change into more appropriate attire

 

Discrimination: The brothers were shocked to discover two young men in first class - one Caucasian and one Filipino - wearing jeans and hooded sweatshirtsDiscrimination: The brothers were shocked to discover two young men in first class – one Caucasian and one Filipino – wearing jeans and hooded sweatshirts

They were told they should change into button-down shirts, dress shoes and slacks if they wanted to sit in first class and were told that was the airline’s policy.

The men went to the bathroom and changed before boarding the plane bound for Los Angeles. They were shocked however to discover two young men in first class – one Caucasian and one Filipino – wearing jeans and hooded sweatshirts

Upon questioning the two men, the men revealed that they were ‘not instructed to change their clothes prior to boarding, nor at any time during the flight’.

Policy: They were told they should change into button-down shirts, dress shoes and slacks if they wanted to sit in first class and were told that was the airline's policyPolicy: They were told they should change into button-down shirts, dress shoes and slacks if they wanted to sit in first class and were told that was the airline’s policy

 

The Warrens say they were shocked, humiliated and confused by what happened and are seeking punitive damages.Justice: The Warrens say they were shocked, humiliated and confused by what happened and are seeking punitive damages

The Warrens say they were shocked, humiliated and confused by what happened and are seeking punitive damages.

U.S Airways spokesperson Andrew Christie told AlterNet: ‘We welcome customers of all ethnicities and backgrounds and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We take these allegations seriously.

‘Initial indications are that these pass-riders were traveling on non-revenue tickets as part of our employee travel program. All employees and pass-riders are expected to comply with the policies associated with this travel privilege.’

‘She would have been a Belieber’: Justin Bieber causes outrage after writing ‘tasteless’ message in guest book at Anne Frank museum

Justin Bieber has caused outrage after leaving a ‘tasteless’ comment in the guestbook at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

The 19-year-old singer – who is currently on tour in Europe – visited the famous home where Jewish wartime diarist Frank and her family hid from Nazi persecution for two years during the Holocaust.

After spending an hour touring the home on Saturday, which opened as a museum in 1960, Bieber wrote a message in the guestbook, which read: ‘Truly inspiring to be able to come here.

‘Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.’

Comment chaos: Justin Bieber visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam on Saturday and left a comment that has Facebook and Twitter fans outragedComment chaos: Justin Bieber visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam on Saturday and left a comment that has Facebook and Twitter fans outraged

The Anne Frank House staff-run Facebook page shared the singer’s comments.

But since the the museum updated its page with Justin’s words, the Facebook post has garnered hundreds of comments expressing dismay over the young pop sensation’s presumptuous remarks.

Many described it as ‘disrespectful,’ ‘disgusting’ and an ’embarrassment to Canadians.’

Belieber battle: Hundreds of people left comments on the Anne Frank House's update about Justin that expressed disgustBelieber battle: Hundreds of people left comments on the Anne Frank House’s update about Justin that expressed disgust

From Justin to Anne: 'Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.'From Justin to Anne: ‘Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.’

Hundreds of people took to Twitter to express outrage, branding the singer a ‘moron’ and ‘douche,’ leaving several to question whether he actually wrote such a shocking message.

Buzzfeed reports that BBC reporter Anna Holligan received confirmation from the Anne Frank House press office.

The press office commented: ‘He was very interested in Anne Frank.’

Handling the situation with grace, they said of his odd note: ‘He’s 19, it’s a strange life he’s living, it wasn’t very sensible but he didn’t mean bad.’

People on Twitter seems to disagree, some even saying it’s time to take Bieber to rehab.

One person even tweeted: ‘When life gets done with Justin Bieber, I have a feeling it isn’t going to be pretty.’

Another wrote in regards to Justin’s note in the guestbook: ‘I weep for humanity.’

Further driving the point home, an additional shocked Twitter commenter said: ‘He has no right to say this.’

Anne Frank wrote her now-famous diary while residing in the house, with the teenager describing it as luxurious compared to other hiding places she had heard about.

The Frank family moved to Amsterdam from German in 1933 – the same year the Nazis gained control over Germany.

By 1940 the Nazi had occupied the Netherlands, leaving the family trapped in Amsterdam.

Not happy: People took to Twitter to express their dismay over the pop star's disrespectful comment in the Anne Frank House guestbookNot happy: People took to Twitter to express their dismay over the pop star’s disrespectful comment in the Anne Frank House guestbook

In 1942 the family went into hiding in the hidden rooms of Otto Frank’s office building, as persecution of the Jewish population increased under the Nazi regime.

But after two years the group were anonymously betrayed and were sent to their deaths at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where Anne died of typhus in 1945.

Otto Frank, Anne’s father, returned to Amsterdam after the war and discovered her diary had been saved. It was published in 1947, leading to her posthumous fame.

 

Monument: This statue of Anne Frank stands near her home in Amsterdam, where Justin visited on Saturday and signed the guestbookMonument: This statue of Anne Frank stands near her home in Amsterdam, where Justin visited on Saturday and signed the guestbook

Britain’s Got Sleaze: BGT viewers’ backlash over the lap-dancer and the schoolgirl of 11 singing about one-night stands

Britain’s Got Talent has been hit by a huge backlash from viewers after broadcasting a performance from an 11-year-old schoolgirl singing a song about a one night stand, and a highly sexualised lapdancing performance – all before the 9pm watershed.

The first episode of this year’s ITV talent contest, which was shown at 7pm on Saturday night and watched by more than 13 million people, was branded ‘totally unsuitable’ by outraged parents.

David Walliams and 43-year-old Keri Graham gave Simon Cowell a lap dance of the family entertainment showRaunchy: David Walliams and 43-year-old Keri Graham gave Simon Cowell a lap dance in the family entertainment show

It has also emerged that contestant Keri Graham, whose provocative performance saw her stripping down to her underwear, writhing semi-naked on a chair and gyrating on Simon Cowell, is a professional stripper who has posted a series of raunchy pictures of herself on a ‘stripagram’ agency website.

Appearing on stage shortly after 7.30pm, the 43-year-old, who was joined at the audition by her husband and teenage son Callum, told the show’s judges and audience members that she teaches ‘chair fitness classes’, before launching into the routine and dancing to explicit song Freak Me, by Another Level.

A second act featured 11-year-old Arixsander Libantino performing a rendition of Jennifer Hudson song One Night Only, which features the lyrics: ‘You’ve got one night only, that’s all you have to spare, let’s not pretend to care, come on, big baby, come on, we only have ‘til dawn.’

Keri Graham stripped down to her underwear and danced to explicit song Freak Me, by Another LevelProvocative: Keri Graham stripped down to her underwear and danced to explicit song Freak Me, by Another Level

Miss Libantino’s parents Aristotle and Elma, who are from the Philippines, and were watching off-stage, received a standing ovation from Simon Cowell and his fellow judges, but viewers immediately took to the internet to express their disgust that she was allowed to sing a song which featured such adult lyrics, with one member of the public condemning the show by branding it ‘Britain’s Got Sleaze’.

Helen Marianne from Eastbourne, wrote online: ‘The song this young girl sang was totally unsuitable for her age – She’s 11 for Heaven’s sake. However good her voice is, something much more appropriate should have been chosen for her. It gave me the creeps if I’m honest.’

Another wrote: ‘Marvellous isn’t it? Viewing images of children online is deemed wrong and rightly so, yet TV put up an 11-year-old girl who then sings a very adult-themed song. All very wrong. Her parents should not have condoned this.’

Arixsandra Libantino, 11, sang a Jennifer Hudson song about a one-night standControversial: Arixsandra Libantino, 11, sang a Jennifer Hudson song about a one-night stand

A further comment said: ‘The child was singing an adult song and should NOT have been allowed to sing it as it make her look like a Lolita.’

Viewers were equally appalled by Mrs Graham’s lapdance routine, with richbrownowl writing: ‘This show is pre-watershed, so the appropriateness of a half-naked woman doing a sexually provocative act needs to be called into question. This is a family entertainment show after all. No, I am not a prude.’

Lyrics in the schoolgirl's song included 'let's pretend not to care, come on big baby, come on, we only have til dawn'Family viewing?: Lyrics in the schoolgirl’s song included ‘let’s pretend not to care, come on big baby, come on, we only have til dawn’

Another post read: ‘Nice Saturday night family viewing as your child asks, “Mummy, why has that lady got hardly any clothes on, and what is she doing with those men?” So even a simple talent show has to have some sleaze.’

Jojo Moyes added on Twitter: ‘I hate that lapdancer moves are somehow considered family entertainment.’ Former X Factor winner Steve Brookstein also condemned the show, saying: ‘Family entertainment and BGT have a lap dancer. Stay classy ITV.’

Both acts were put through to the next round of the talent contest, with contestants competing for the £500,000 prize money and a place in the Royal Variety Show, which will be performed in front of the Queen.

The scenes risk angering media regulator Ofcom, who set out stringent guidelines in 2011 which banned lewd dance routines from pre-watershed programmes.

The move came after the 2010 X Factor final attracted around 4,500 complaints over the racy dance routines it featured from semi-naked pop stars including Rihanna and Christina Aguilera.

Ofcom even met with broadcasters, including ITV, to issue new guidance on ‘protecting’ under-18s and ‘observing’ the 9pm watershed and detailing rules on what can be aired before the 9pm watershed, warning broadcasters to take particular care with ‘family viewing’.

At the time, Ofcom said: ‘In entertainment and talent show genres, particular areas of concern include the sexualised clothing and dance routines of performers and guest artists.

Ofcom also stressed that broadcasters need to make sure that lyrics, sexual images, violent images, raunchy clothing and provocative dancing do not feature heavily when children are likely to be watching.

Simon seemed to enjoy Arisxandra's performance despite the inappropriate lyricsReceptive: Simon seemed to enjoy Arisxandra’s performance despite the inappropriate lyrics

‘Broadcasters should take care to avoid any explicit images of sexual behaviour or images that convey a sexualised theme. Ofcom would not expect to see any images that failed to adequately cover their bodies, in particular breasts, buttocks or genital area.’

Mrs Graham, whose stage name is Keri Gold, has admitted stripping in the past to make money, but claimed she had done it when she was younger because she was struggling to make money.

‘I have done stripping in my younger years, mainly because at the time I was a single girl on my own trying to earn a living.’

However, the Daily Mail can reveal that she was signed up to the Colchester-based LimeLite Agency near to her home in Essex, and that she only quit the company two weeks ago following her performance on Britain’s Got Talent.

A spokesman for the agency said: ‘Keri was on our books, but left two weeks ago. It was her on Britain’s Got Talent. I think her leaving was because she was going to be on the show.’

Despite any controversy, Britain's Got Talent succeeded in beating rival The Voice on BBC1 in the ratingsStrong start: Despite any controversy, Britain’s Got Talent succeeded in beating rival The Voice on BBC1 in the ratings

Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch UK, which campaigns for decency on television, said: ‘Having an 11-year-old girl sing an adult song like this is simply sexualising children. It’s incredibly damaging because this show is marketed at primary school children.

‘ITV appear to have completely ignored the Ofcom guidelines – I don’t even know why they put the guidelines out. This kind of thing is not what families want to see.

‘We are sleepwalking into a situation where pornography is the norm.’
Ofcom said yesterday (Sun) that it was too early to tell if they had received any complaints from the public, but added: ‘Any complaints we receive will be assessed against the broadcasting code.’

A spokesman for ITV said last night: ‘In its seventh series, Britain’s Got Talent celebrates variety and showcases a wide range of different acts. Mindful of our family audience, the performance was carefully edited to ensure it was suitably inexplicit.’

Britain’s Got Talent scored a peak audience of 11.42m – 13.03m including those who watched on ITV catch-up service ITV+1, making it the most watched programme of the year.

It thrashed rival BBC talent contest The Voice in the ratings, which managed a peak of 7.73m. Both shows went head-to-head on Saturday night.

Caught on camera, the 79-year-old grave vandal: Hidden CCTV shows culprit dumping bags or gravel and dead flowers

  • Clare Burke, 79, trashed grave of Jill Wilks and one-day-old granddaughter
  • Widower’s £150 CCTV camera caught her replacing flowers with dead ones
  • Burke given restraining order, made to pay £100 costs by court

This is the moment a 79-year-old woman was caught on camera vandalising a grave.

Clare Burke was filmed after a widower upset at the desecration of his wife’s final resting place hid a CCTV camera in a nearby tree.

Ron Wilks, 77, saw Burke throwing dead flowers and gravel on to the grave of his wife Jill and their one-day-old granddaughter Hayley Reynolds.

Profane: This CCTV footage shows Burke desecrating the graveProfane: This CCTV footage shows Burke desecrating the grave
As well as 'planting' dead flowers on the grave, Burke also emptied gravel onto itAs well as ‘planting’ dead flowers on the grave, Burke also emptied gravel onto it
Disrespect: Burke also emptied bags of dead flowers onto Mrs Wilks' graveDisrespect: Burke also emptied bags of dead flowers onto Mrs Wilks’ grave

Satisfied: Burke is captured walking away from the vandalised grave by the spycam Satisfied: Burke is captured walking away from the vandalised grave by the spycam

Burke attacked the grave because she had a grudge against Mr Wilks, a court was told. She resented him because he had become engaged to a woman who used to date her former partner.

Prosecutor Sharon Jomaa told Cheltenham magistrates that the hidden  camera showed Burke emptying carrier bags full of dead flowers and gravel  over the grave.

Claire Burke repeatedly desecrated the grave of Jill Wilks and her one-day-old granddaughterClaire Burke repeatedly desecrated the grave of Jill Wilks and her one-day-old granddaughter

She would pull up live flowers and ‘plant’ dead ones in flower holders at the burial plot at Coney Hill Cemetery in Gloucester, she said.

‘The matter was very distressing for all the family and for Mr Wilks’s daughter Debbie, the mother of  the one-day-old baby,’ she told  the court.

She said Burke had ‘no relationship with Jill Wilks or the baby and there is no reason for her to go anywhere near the grave’. The court heard that Mr Wilks, of Tuffley, Gloucester, had known Burke as a client through his work for a finance group.

He said he had put a camera in a conifer tree in February, expecting to see that children were responsible for the vandalism.

He was appalled to see it was Burke and was shocked that she could do such a ‘despicable’ thing, the court heard.

Mark Anderson, defending, said Burke apologised for her actions. ‘She fully accepts what she has done and that it was utterly wrong, she is very sorry,’ he said. ‘Her temper had just boiled over.

‘Any interference with a grave is a reprehensible act and it was intended to cause distress. There is a great deal of background in this case but none can justify what she did and she doesn’t suggest that it does.’

Ron Wilkes, 78, with his daughter Debbie Reynolds whose daughter Hayley shares the grave which was vandalised with her grandmother JillRon Wilkes, 78, with his daughter Debbie Reynolds whose daughter Hayley shares the grave which was vandalised with her grandmother Jill

The grave of Jill Wilks at Coney Hill cemetery, Gloucester was vandalised by pensioner Claire Burke

The grave of Jill Wilks at Coney Hill cemetery, Gloucester was vandalised by pensioner Claire Burke

Clare Burke trashed the grave of Jill Wilks at Coney Hill, Gloucestershire on multiple occasions by removing new flowers and replacing them with dead onesClare Burke trashed the grave of Jill Wilks at Coney Hill, Gloucestershire on multiple occasions by removing new flowers and replacing them with dead ones
The family of the late Jill Wilks said Claire Burke from Abbeydale had shown no remorse for her actionsThe family of the late Jill Wilks said Claire Burke from Abbeydale had shown no remorse for her actions

He added: ‘There is a history of antagonism and on this occasion it boiled over.’

Chairman of the bench Hilary Davidson said Burke’s actions caused the family ‘immense distress’, but added: ‘We have heard you apologise sincerely and say that you won’t do it again.

‘I cannot imagine what Mr Wilks has felt like – and his daughter.

‘It is hard to know how to punish you for this, considering the distress caused.’

Burke, of Oxmoor, Gloucestershire, admitted a charge of harassment. She was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and a two-year restraining order prohibiting her from contacting Mr Wilks or his fiancee or going near the grave.

She was also ordered to pay  £100 costs.

After the trial, Mr Wilks said:  ‘This has been going on for a long time. At first I thought it was children messing around but it was happening so often that I realised it was malicious.

‘It makes no sense to me why  she did it”

She has no sense of remorse

– dailymail.co.uk

How tourists are leaving their mark on the world’s largest palace: Visitors blamed for graffiti and theft at the 1,200-room Baroque home of the Bourbon kings of Naples

The world’s largest royal palace is under threat from vandals and looters, with damages so bad the local mayor is calling on the Italian army to step in to protect it.

Reggia de Caserta, a former royal residence, is falling into ruins as a result of light-fingered tourists and time taking its toll on the giant palace without the funds for even the most urgent repairs.

The palace, located in Caserta, 20 miles north of Naples, boasts 1,200 rooms, two dozen state apartments, a grand park with waterfalls and several famous gardens as well as paintings and sculptures which has attracted art lovers for centuries.

 
Royal protection: Reggia di Caserta, is falling to ruins as a result of lack of funds and years of vandalism and looting, and the government is now being urged to send the Italian army to protect itRoyal protection: Reggia di Caserta, is falling to ruins as a result of lack of funds and years of vandalism and looting, and the government is now being urged to send the Italian army to protect it
 
 
Stone guards: Magnificent marble statues and fearsome lions no longer scare off thieves and vandals who have helped see the palace fall apart by stealing parts of the interior and spraying graffiti on the wallsStone guards: Magnificent marble statues and fearsome lions no longer scare off thieves and vandals who have helped see the palace fall apart by stealing parts of the interior and spraying graffiti on the walls
 
On-screen dazzle: The throne hall inside the palace which has been used as a set for several Hollywood blockbusters, including Star Wars and Mission ImpossibleOn-screen dazzle: The throne hall inside the palace which has been used as a set for several Hollywood blockbusters, including Star Wars and Mission Impossible

Built in the mid-18th century for the Bourbon kings of Naples, after a design by architect Luigi Vantielli made to rival the Versailles, it took nearly a century to complete.

In 1997 it made it onto UNESCO’s world heritage site, and was described by the organisation as ‘the swan song of the spectacular art of the Baroque, from which it adopted all the features needed to create the illusions of multidirectional space.’

Reggia de Caserta has played both the home of Queen Amidala and Queen Jamilla in the latest Star Wars trilogy, featured in the film version of Angels and Demons and doubled up as the Vatican in Mission Impossible III.

Despite the honours and Hollywood fame, visitor numbers which used to hit 500,000 per annum, are dwindling by 50,000 a year as a result of poor maintenance, according to the Sunday Times.

Its annual budget of under €500,000 (£426,000) is not enough to keep up with the constant repairs, nor to pay for sufficient security.

 
Royal nap: One of the bedrooms in Reggia di Caserta which, despite its fame and hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, is falling apartRoyal nap: One of the bedrooms in Reggia di Caserta which, despite its fame and hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, is falling apart
 
The library in Reggia de Caserya, a 1,200-room palace built in the 18th century for the Bourbon kings of Naples, is at risk from visitors with sticky fingers The library in Reggia de Caserya, a 1,200-room palace built in the 18th century for the Bourbon kings of Naples, is at risk from visitors with sticky fingers
 
Suffering: One of the bedrooms in the palace, located in Caserta, about 20 miles north of NaplesSuffering: One of the bedrooms in the palace, located in Caserta, about 20 miles north of Naples

 
 
The artworks inside the former royal palace, such as these at the 'Great Staircase of Honour' may be at risk, according to the mayor of CasertaThe artworks inside the former royal palace, such as these at the ‘Great Staircase of Honour’ may be at risk, according to the mayor of Caserta

Plea for aid: The mayor of the town of Caserta wants a 24-hour police guard and for the government to bring in the Italian army to protect the palace and its treasuresPlea for aid: The mayor of the town of Caserta wants a 24-hour police guard and for the government to bring in the Italian army to protect the palace and its treasures

Graffiti can be found all over the palace, marble structures are collapsing as a result of rusting iron clamps and thefts are common.

The lack of security cameras has been blamed for a number of recent fires and the palace’s court theatre has been closed for over a decade.

Now the mayor of Caserta, Pio Del Gaudio, is demanding ‘immediate attention’ from the Italian government urging them to supply 24-hour police protection and to consider drafting in the army to guard the palace.

Local arts chiefs blame tourists for the damage, saying they lack manners and respect for the site.

‘The decay is due to the incivility of thousands of people who came from nearby areas,’ Paola Raffaella David, superintendent for the heritage sites in Caserta, said.

 
Diving numbers: Reggia di Caserta attracts 500,000 visitors per year, a dumber which is dwindling by about 50,000 per annum as a result of the decay of the palaceDiving numbers: Reggia di Caserta attracts 500,000 visitors per year, a dumber which is dwindling by about 50,000 per annum as a result of the decay of the palace
 
Honoured site: The magnificent palace and its famous gardens saw Reggia de Caserta enter UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1997Honoured site: The magnificent palace and its famous gardens saw Reggia de Caserta enter UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1997
 
 
– dailymail.co.uk

More than 60 pairs of shoes, $10,000 dresses and lobster from room service: The lavish lifestyle of a 6-year-old beauty pageant millionaire

Former Toddlers and Tiaras star Isabella Barrett is a millionaire at the age of six, thanks to her impressive beauty pageant record, TV appearances, and her own jewellery and make-up line.

And the young entrepreneur has developed the lifestyle to go with her riches, telling the Daily Mirror all about her expensive taste in food, clothes and shoes.

‘What’s not to like about being a millionaire?’ she told the paper. ‘I’m a superstar, I have my own jewellery line and I just love being the boss. I never lose at anything and almost every pageant I enter, I win. But what I love more than anything is shoes. I have over 60 pairs.’

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Isabella Barrett
Isabella Barrett

Millionaire: The young entrepreneur has developed the lifestyle to go with her riches

Isabella’s mom Susanna, 39, co-owns the jewellery business with her daughter and entered the girl in her first pageant.

She told the Mirror she doesn’t want her daughter to ‘grow up spoilt.’ But Susanna added ‘You see what happens to these child stars like Britney Spears and I certainly do not want that happening to my daughter. But she does like nice things, so we do treat her.’

Isabella relishes room service at extravagant hotels. ‘We travel so much to enter pageants, she really has developed a taste for five-star hotels and loves being waited on,’ said Susanna.

‘She can go a little crazy though and once ordered $2,200 worth of food. It’s ­never cheeseburgers and fries, always the most expensive like filet mignon and lobster.

‘I know it seems pompous, but to us it’s just funny and part of her personality,’ she explained to the Mirror.

Isabella Barrett's mom Susanna Barrett (left) said of her daughter's expensive habits: 'I know it seems pompous, but to us it¿s just funny and part of her personality' Isabella Barrett’s mom Susanna Barrett said of her daughter’s expensive habits: ‘I know it seems pompous, but to us it¿s just funny and part of her personality’

Most the money the mother and daughter make from their co-owned jewellery line is spent on clothes and shoesMost the money the mother and daughter make from their co-owned jewellery line is spent on clothes and shoes

Isabella has made most of her money from the Glitzy Girl collection, which features lip glosses, charm bracelets and velour hoodies. The idea for Glitzy Girl came about during Isabella’s pageant days.

Every time the Rhode Island native won a beauty contest, she and her mother would get the title printed on a charm bracelet, ‘so she could brag about her accomplishments,’ explained Mrs Barrett in and interview with In Touch.

Since fans loved the look of her charms, Isabella and her mother took advantage of her popularity and launched the line.

Most the money they make from the line is spent on clothes and shoes. ‘I’ll admit when it comes to Bella’s wardrobe, there is no expense spared,’ said Susanna.

‘That means a voice coach, make-up artist, regular spray tans, hair extensions, acrylic nails and even made-to-measure fake teeth which cost us $500.’

'Each performance needs to be like a Broadway show and every single outfit is custom-made, costing up to $10,000.'‘Each performance needs to be like a Broadway show and every single outfit is custom-made, costing up to $10,000.’

Isabella Barrett
Isabella Barrett

Isabella’s mother said: ‘We must have spent around $50,000 entering pageants in the last two years alone, but look where she is now. It’s been more than worth it’

Susana added: ‘Each performance needs to be like a Broadway show and every single outfit is custom-made, costing up to $10,000.

‘We must have spent around $50,000 entering pageants in the last two years alone, but look where she is now. It’s been more than worth it.’

Isabella’s mom insisted to the Mirror: ‘I am not a pushy ­parent, I just help Isabella achieve her dreams. If she told me tomorrow she didn’t want to do it any of it any more, then that would be fine.’

Did SeaWorld turn performing whale Tilikum into a killer? Centre accused of keeping orca in dark tank for up to 14 hours a day before he dragged trainer to her death

  • Blackfish, premiered at Sundance Film Festival and is scheduled for a worldwide release this summer
  • Orca Tilikum dragged trainer Dawn Brancheau to her death during a show at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010
  • It has been reported that SeaWorld could raise as much as $540million in its initial public offering of its stock

A new documentary about the captivity of killer whales who perform for tourists at theme parks has questioned their treatment and speculates whether it drives the animals to murder their trainers.

Blackfish, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, examines the history of whales taken out of the ocean for the purpose of entertainment – and makes a case of why they should be left in the wild.

It focuses on a 12,000lb orca named Tilikum, who in 2010 dragged its trainer Dawn Brancheau to her death in front of horrified tourists at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.

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Tragedy: The documentary focuses on a 12,000lb orca named Tilikum, pictured with trainer Dawn Brancheau, who in 2010 dragged the woman to her death in front of horrified tourists at SeaWorld in Orlando, FloridaTragedy: The documentary focuses on a 12,000lb orca named Tilikum, pictured with trainer Dawn Brancheau, who in 2010 dragged the woman to her death in front of horrified tourists at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida

In interviews promoting the film, Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite says that something never seemed to sit right with her when she took her sons to SeaWorld in San Diego.

Ms Cowperthwaite told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune: ‘Shamu Stadium always seemed kind of garish and unsettling, but I went with the flow. I would see hundreds of people laughing and smiling and I’d think, “Could something that makes everyone this happy be that bad?”‘

And when trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by Tilikum on February 24, 2010, she knew something had to be done

Brancheau, 40, died after she was grabbed by the orca and dragged under water, where she was held until she drowned.

The film was shown earlier this month at the Sarasota film festival – located about 130 miles from SeaWorld Orlando.

A chilling trailer for the film plays actual 911 calls of the incident, including one where a male caller says: ‘A whale has eaten one of the trainers.’

Director: Filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite says that something never seemed to sit right with her when she took her sons to SeaWorld in San DiegoDirector: Filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite says that something never seemed to sit right with her when she took her sons to SeaWorld in San Diego
Film: The documentary premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and has since been picked up for a worldwide release set for July 26Film: The documentary premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and has since been picked up for a worldwide release set for July 26

The film premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and has since been picked up for a nationwide release set for July 26.

Following Brancheau’s death, SeaWorld was fined for health and safety breaches, but Tilikum and other whales at the Orlando park have continued to perform.

The documentary focuses on Tilikum’s life, showing how he was forcibly separated from his family after being captured in 1983 near Iceland.

It claims the Orca was bullied by other whales as a calf, and was kept in a small dark tank for up 14 hours at the time.

The film claims these conditions left the whale deeply traumatized and effectively turned it into a killer of humans.

Swimming killer: Tilikum continues to perform at SeaWorld, despite being responsible for the deaths of three peopleSwimming killer: Tilikum continues to perform at SeaWorld, despite being responsible for the deaths of three people
Grisly accident: Dawn Brancheau was killed in front of horrified tourists during a show at SeaWorld in Orlando, FloridaGrisly accident: Dawn Brancheau was killed in front of horrified tourists during a show at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida

It points out that there are no recorded attacks on humans by killer whales left in the wild whereas Brancheau, one of SeaWorld’s most-experienced trainers, was the third person Tilikum had killed.

In 1991, the whale killed a young trainer called Keltie Byrne in a Canadian park and eight years later drowned a man who had stayed behind at SeaWorld and jumped into the pool with the animal.

The death of Brancheau, and the horrific injuries she suffered, led to calls by animal activists for Tilikum to be freed from captivity.

SeaWorld said the killer whale would not be able to survive on its own and temporarily retired him from performing in their show called Shamu.

Trainers were also banned from going into the water with the performing animals.

Former SeaWorld trainers are featured in the documentary which was one of the hits at the Sundance film festival earlier this year.

Regulations: Following Brancheau's death, trainers were banned from going into the water with the performing animalsRegulations: Following Brancheau’s death, trainers were banned from going into the water with the performing animals

For her film, Ms Cowperthawaite was also able to secure home movie footage shot by trainers that showed ‘near misses’ where killer whales have threatened or injured trainers.

Cowperthwaite was only able to obtain them because the U.S. government sued SeaWorld following Brancheau’s death and they became accessible to the public.

She claims in the film that SeaWorld, which operates 11 theme parks and brings in close to $1.5billion a year in revenue, classified aggressive behavior by the whales as trainer error.

Captivity: Following Brancheau's death, SeaWorld was fined for health and safety breaches, but Tilikum and other whale continue to performCaptivity: Following Brancheau’s death, SeaWorld was fined for health and safety breaches, but Tilikum and other whale continue to perform

SeaWorld did not return an email from MailOnline for comment, but told the Herald-Tribune: ‘Based on our very preliminary review, Blackfish appears to repeat the same unfounded allegations made many times over the last several years by animal right activists.

‘Importantly, the film fails to make the most important point about SeaWorld: the company is dedicated in every respect to the safety of our staff and the welfare of the animals.’

The parks have had to deal with legal fallout over Brancheau’s death, which occurred in front of horrified spectators.

A lawsuit that accused SeaWorld of enslaving whales was dismissed in February 2012.

It was reported last week that SeaWorld could raise as much as $540million in an initial public offering of its stock.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. and its owner, the private equity firm Blackstone, hope to sell 20 million shares for $24 to $27 per share, according to a SEC filing last Tuesday.

Blackstone Group LP will sell 10 million shares, and SeaWorld will issue 10 million.

The banks managing the deal could also buy another 3 million shares, which would raise total proceeds of the deal.

SeaWorld plans to use its share of the IPO proceeds to repay debt and pay a fee to Blackstone, which bought it in 2009 for $2.3billion.

The private equity firm will still have a majority stake in SeaWorld after the IPO.

SeaWorld plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ‘SEAS’ ticker symbol.

The rise of robot wars: Google chief warns armed drones will soon be in the hands of terrorists and miniature models could be used to spy on neighbors

The head of Google has warned drone technology proves a serious danger to global security and privacy unless an international treaty is put into place controlling the technology fast.

Eric Schmidt today said that the technology for armed unmanned planes will soon pass into the hands of terrorists posing huge security concerns across the globe.

He also said that ever expanding drone technology is making smaller and cheaper models, including nano-drones, which could be used by nosy neighbors spying on each other in a dispute.

Anti-drone: Google boss Eric Schmidt has warned about the spread of drone technologyAnti-drone: Google boss Eric Schmidt has warned about the spread of drone technology

‘You’re having a dispute with you neighbor,’ he told The Guardian. ‘How would you feel if your neighbor went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their back yard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?’

On Thursday, Idaho’s Republican governor signed a law restricting the use of such pilot-less aircraft by police and other public agencies in a bid to protect privacy rights.

The state now requires law enforcement to obtain warrants to collect evidence using drones following in the footsteps of Virginia, which also introduced such a measure.

‘We’re trying to prevent high-tech window-peeping,’ Idaho Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, sponsor of the measure told Reuters.

Terror threat: Drones could fall into the hands of terrorists Schmidt warnsTerror threat: Drones could fall into the hands of terrorists Schmidt warns
Privacy breach: The Google boss also warns nano-drones will cause issues around privacyPrivacy breach: The Google boss also warns nano-drones will cause issues around privacy

Law enforcement agencies have been known to use small drones, which cost as little as $30,000, to locate marijuana farms and track fugitives.

Schmidt also warned that deadly armed drones could soon be used by terrorists following the proliferation of state drone strikes over recent years.

‘I’m not going to pass judgement on whether armies should exist, but I would prefer to not spread and democratize the ability to  fight war to every single human being,’ he said.

‘It’s got to be regulated. It’s one thing for governments, who have some legitimacy in what they’re doing, but have other people doing it…It’s not going to happen.’

He added that drone technology will become more and more normalized part of warfare.

‘It’s probable that robotics becomes a significant component of nation state warfare,’ he told the newspaper.

 

– dailymail.co.uk

A medieval murder mystery: Archaeologists uncover body of teenage girl among 4,000 artefacts which have been preserved beneath the soil for 600 years

Archaeologists have uncovered the body of a woman who may be at the centre of a 600-year-old murder mystery.

The find, as well as 4,000 other artefacts hidden within a medieval and long-forgotten settlement, only came to light during the development of a section of road in Northern Ireland.

For the last ten months excavators have been amassing numerous items taken from the site, which will now be preserved and hopefully one day displayed to the public.

DigQuick work: ‘Dr Bermingham said: ‘Because of the preservation here it means we have a wealth of material that we wouldn’t normally find in an archaeological context, be that Ireland or anywhere in Europe’

RemainsSticky end: It is unknown how or why the woman died, with archaeologists inspecting the remains further

In spite of the finds, heavy plant diggers are expected to return tomorrow to concrete over the site in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, to make way for a new link road in time for a G8 summit held there in June.

The new transport route has, since the discovery, met with fierce opposition from residents who consider the 1,400-year-old Drumclay Crannog – and its pristine relics – as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reveal knowledge of the community previously unheld.

The body of the woman, who it is thought died around the 15th or 16th Century, was in her late teens when she met her fate. Because she was not buried in either a recognised graveyard or in a traditional manner it has led archaeologists to consider foul play.

Speaking of the dig as a whole, excavation director Dr Nora Bermingham said: ‘I think it would be fair to say that this is probably the pinnacle of my archaeological career and I would say everybody here knows that they are working on an incredible excavation that we probably won’t see the like of again.’

Discovery: This gold ring was also plucked from the earth at the site where it has lain undiscovered for centuriesDiscovery: This gold ring was also plucked from the earth at the site where it has lain undiscovered for centuries

Other objects of antiquity preserved under the man-made wooden island have included a medieval board game, a gold ring, carved bowls, leather shoes and finely-decorated metal dress pins.

More than 2,000 people visited the dig on three public open days.

Carbon dating has confirmed that many of the ornamental and household items go back as far as 670AD. The last occupants are believed to have abandoned the site in the 17th Century.

‘It’s the extraordinary preservation here that makes this site so special,’ said Dr. Bermingham.

The clay-rich wetlands under which the remains had been buried, had protected it from the oxygen required for decomposition.

Despite wide-spread joy at the findings Dr John O’Keeffe, principal inspector of historic monuments with Stormont’s Department of the Environment insisted that long-term preservation was not practicable or economically-viable. He said: ‘Whenever the lid has been kept on a site, it’s intact, it’s not decaying. Once you take the lid off and stir it around a little bit it starts to decay again.

‘If we were to stop today and try to freeze frame the site it wouldn’t work. In order for it to work we would need to intervene with new protections on the ground which are massively expensive.’

Discoveries

Discoveries: Excavation director Dr Nora Bermingham with a bead and a clothes pin

 

– dailymail.co.uk

‘It’s our worst nightmare’: Zookeeper’s devastation after meerkats, reptiles and otter die in fire which killed 80 animals

  • All animals in reptile house, two meerkats and one otter dead
  • Two dwarf crocodiles and an otter were rescued by firefighters
  • Colony of 500,000 leaf cutting ants burned to death in zoo fire

Reptiles, otters and insects have died in a fire at a zoo’s tropical animal house in the early hours today.

Horrified owners Brian and Shirley Curran were woken by an alarm at 3.50am yesterday and found the enclosure ablaze at Five Sisters Zoo in Polbeth, West Lothian.

As many as 80 animals are feared dead in the fire which broke out at Five Sisters Zoo at Polbeth, West Calder, West Lothian, at 3.50am.

Scroll down for video

All the animals in the reptile house were killed in the fire at Five Sisters Zoo in West Lothian in the early hours this morningAll the animals in the reptile house were killed in the fire at Five Sisters Zoo in West Lothian in the early hours this morning
Fire Incident Commanders, Fraser Simpson,left, and Matt Acton at the scene of this morning's fireFire Incident Commanders, Fraser Simpson,left, and Matt Acton at the scene of this morning’s fire

An investigation will be launched into the cause of the fire at Five Sisters Zoo, which is not yet knownAn investigation will be launched into the cause of the fire at Five Sisters Zoo, which is not yet known50 firefighters and 11 fire engines were called to tackle the blaze which was described as ‘fierce’ and burned for many hours.

It is understood that all the animals in the reptile house, which included tortoises, turtles, lizards, geckos, snakes and iguanas, have died.

Nine meerkats are missing, two have been put down and two more are being treated for smoke inhalation, along with a group of lemurs who survived the fire.

Staff react to the news of a fire at the reptile house at the Five Sisters Zoo at Polbeth, West Calder, West LothianStaff react to the news of a fire at the reptile house at the Five Sisters Zoo at Polbeth, West Calder, West Lothian
Zoo workers were able to assess the damage at Five Sisters Zoo, where dozens of animals died in a blaze todayZoo workers were able to assess the damage at Five Sisters Zoo, where dozens of animals died in a blaze today
High winds may have caused the fire at Five Sisters Zoo, West Lothian to spread, a fire spokesman saidHigh winds may have caused the fire at Five Sisters Zoo, West Lothian to spread, a fire spokesman said

 VIDEO  The aftermath of the fire which left 80 animals dead at zoo

A colony of 500,000 leaf cutting ants were lost as well as crickets and stick insects.

The number of animals dead is not yet known because the burnt out structure is not safe to enter, but a spokesman said dozens had perished.

Firefighters were able to rescue two dwarf crocodiles and an otter were rescued by firefighters.

Firefighters and vets carry an animal box away from a fire in the reptile house at the Five Sisters Zoo at Polbeth, West CalderFirefighters and vets carry an animal box away from a fire in the reptile house at the Five Sisters Zoo at Polbeth, West Calder
Firefighters rescued an otter and two dwarf crocodiles from the fire at Five Sisters Zoo, West Calder, West LothianFirefighters rescued an otter and two dwarf crocodiles from the fire at Five Sisters Zoo, West Calder, West Lothian
50 firefighters and 11 fire engines were called to the blaze at the zoo which started at 3.50 am today50 firefighters and 11 fire engines were called to the blaze at the zoo which started at 3.50 am today

Lesley Coupar, of marketing and visitor services at the zoo, described the blaze as ‘the worst nightmare’.

She confirmed that a range of reptiles and insects living in the reptile house, and an otter housed elsewhere, have died.

‘We are devastated. It’s the worst nightmare,’ she said.

‘We’re in the business of rescuing animals, giving a safe haven to animals. To look now at the shell of the reptile house and everything gone from there, it’s just the worst tragedy ever.

‘There were dozens of animals inside the reptile house and they all died. Nothing survived.

‘The owners are obviously distraught, as are we all. We’re all animal lovers. The Currans have put their lives into the zoo. They are distraught.

‘The only thing to be thankful for is that some animals from the reptile house were being temporarily housed elsewhere.’

A police officer at the Five Sisters Zoo at Polbeth, West Calder, following a fire in the reptile houseA police officer at the Five Sisters Zoo at Polbeth, West Calder, following a fire in the reptile house
Fire incident commander Fraser Simpson, right, with a SEPA Investigator and the Zoo owner Brian Curran at the scene of the fireFire incident commander Fraser Simpson, right, with a SEPA Investigator and the Zoo owner Brian Curran at the scene of the fire
Charred coops can be seen where firefighters assessed the damage caused by the fire which burned for many hoursCharred coops can be seen where firefighters assessed the damage caused by the fire which burned for many hours

She added: ‘We think some meerkats managed to escape by fleeing into a tunnel which connects their enclosure with an outside area.

‘The crocodiles were also safe because they were in their outside pool area.’

Describing how events unfolded, she said: ‘The alarm went off around 4am. The owners, who live on site, woke up to this and came down to see the reptile house ablaze.’

Ms Coupar said the dwarf west African crocodiles housed behind the reptile house have been saved.
But she added: ‘One of our beloved otters was found dead. The otters are a huge, popular attraction at the zoo, so many people love them.

‘Sadly the male has gone. The female is being looked after by the vet just now.’

The fire, which is ongoing, has been confined to the tropical house, is understood to have been well alight during the incident.

A number of the rescued animals were unable to be saved by vets
A zoo spokesman said the building would have to be demolished

Zoo spokesman Lesley Coupar said the reptile house will be demolished after it was destroyed by flames

Some of the animals rescued by firefighters suffered smoke inhalation and could not be saved by vetsSome of the animals rescued by firefighters suffered smoke inhalation and could not be saved by vets

A total of 11 fire engines, including specialist appliances, were involved in the operation at its height.

Ruth MacLeod, a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman, said work was continuing to extinguish the blaze, which broke out several hours ago.

She said: ‘The tropical house where the fire broke out was well alight when crews arrived on scene. High winds made firefighting conditions more difficult but crews successfully battled to prevent the fire from spreading to neighbouring animal enclosures.

‘They’re still firefighting but it is contained to the tropical house. I think we’ll be there for several hours.’

Ms MacLeod said crews remain at the scene in ‘significant number’.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: ‘Police are currently in attendance at a zoo in West Calder in response to a fire that broke out within a building housing exotic animals at around 4am today.

‘The fire service is also in attendance and is dealing with the building and road closures are in place in the vicinity as emergency services respond to the incident.

‘The cause of the fire is yet unknown and investigations will take place in due course.’

All animals in the reptile house at Five Sisters Zoo, Polbeth, near Livingston, Scotland died in a fire earlier todayAll animals in the reptile house at Five Sisters Zoo, Polbeth, near Livingston, Scotland died in a fire earlier today
50 firefighters tackled the blaze at Five Sisters Zoo, seen from the air near the lake with West Calder nearby50 firefighters tackled the blaze at Five Sisters Zoo, seen from the air near the lake with West Calder nearby
The Currans opened the zoo, which had around 130 animals, in 2005. They had previously run a garden centre with a few pens holding exotic animals.The couple are said to be ‘utterly devoted’ to animals and last year they raised £80,000 to save three elderly female brown bears bears from a life of misery in Belgium.

The trio had worked for years in a travelling circus but had been abandoned after the owner fell ill.
Lesley said: ‘The Currans campaigned tirelessly to raise the money and the bears now live in a state-of-the-art two-acre woodland enclosure.’The privately-owned zoo was established in 2005, according to its website.

The zoo, described as a non-profit making organisation, is said to have a collection of over 130 different species of animals, birds and reptiles from around the world.

No humans are thought to have been injured in the incident.

– dailymail.co.uk

Notorious French armed robber blasts himself out of prison using DYNAMITE

  • Redoine Faid, 40, took wardens hostage and blasted through five doors
  • He was in prison for an armed robbery where policewoman was killed
  • Faid was driven off in high speed ‘getaway’ car in ‘well organised’ escape

The criminal mastermind behind a notorious armed robbery in which a policewoman was killed dynamited himself out of a high-security prison today.

Redoine Faid, one of the most feared armed robbers in France, broke out of Sequedin jail, near Lille.

The 40-year-old is armed and dangerous, and police have issued an all ports alert which includes the Channels one from which Faid could reach Britain.

Redoine Faid used explosives to blast through five prison doors and break free in the northern town of SequedinRedoine Faid used explosives to blast through five prison doors and break free in the northern town of Sequedin
Members of the ERIS Police service stand guard in front of the destroyed door of the Sequedin prisonMembers of the ERIS Police service stand guard in front of the destroyed door of the Sequedin prison

Faid took four prison wardens hostage early on Saturday morning and then blew up five heavy doors.

Police believe that his wife may have smuggled explosives wrapped in handkerchiefs into the prison.

Once outside, Faid released the guards and was driven away at high speed in a car which was later found burned out near the town of Ronchin.

French criminal Redoine Faid who masterminded an armed robbery, broke out of prison using dynamiteFrench criminal Redoine Faid who masterminded an armed robbery, broke out of prison using dynamite

Detectives were trying to trace a second vehicle which Faid is thought to have jumped in to.

‘It all happened very quickly,’ sad a prison spokesman. ‘The escape was clearly very well organised – we are still busy trying to work out the facts.’

Faid was named as the chief suspect for the organising of a botched armed robbery in 2010 in which Aurelie Fouquet, a 26-year-old policeman was killed.

Some 27 people were arrested in a sting operation following the murder, but Faid escaped.

He was finally arrested in June 2011 and sent to prison for eight years.

He is also notorious for his brazen attacks on cash-in-transit vehicles.

Etiene Dobremetz, a prison warden union official at Sequedin, said the four men taken hostage had all been ‘deeply traumatised’.

It was Mr Dobremetz who accused Faid’s wife of supplying the explosives, but the criminal’s lawyer, Jean-Louis Pelletier, denied this, saying she had not even visited the prison today.

Mr Dobremetz said he was ‘not at all surprised’ that his client had escaped, adding: ‘That a prisoner should escape is, in principal, not particularly surprising.

Redoine Faid is armed and dangerous, and police have issued an all ports alert which includes the Channels port to BritainRedoine Faid is armed and dangerous, and police have issued an all ports alert which includes the Channels port to Britain
Four prison wardens hostage were taken hostage by armed robber Redoine Faid before he blew up prison doorsFour prison wardens hostage were taken hostage by armed robber Redoine Faid before he blew up prison doors
Members of the Eris police service are investigating at the Sequedin prison after one of France's most dangerous gangsters blasted his way out of jailMembers of the Eris police service are investigating at the Sequedin prison after one of France’s most dangerous gangsters blasted his way out of jail’Especially when the prisoner is someone in his situation, and, if I may say so, someone with his social network. There was certainly the possibility that this could happen.’

Faid, who grew up on a council estate outside Paris, is notorious for attacking armoured vehicles carrying cash.

In 1998 he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for at least eight armed robberies and bank thefts, but in 2009 he was released on parole.

Armed police were called after dangerous gangster Redoine Faid escaped from a prison in northern FranceArmed police were called after dangerous gangster Redoine Faid escaped from a prison in northern France
An all ports warning has been issued after Redoine Faid used dynamite to blast his way out of prison in FranceAn all ports warning has been issued after Redoine Faid used dynamite to blast his way out of prison in France- dailymail.co.uk

Drinking milkshakes, an evening at the drive-in and dancing the night away: Candid pictures capture the birth of the ‘teenage’ generation having a gas in 1940s America

Before Justin Bieber, One Direction and Gossip Girl, the carefree teens of the early 1940s sipped milkshakes, listened to records and went on their first dates – usually to the movies to catch a flick.

The stunning images by photographer Nina Leen, captured daily life of the American teenager as the country emerged from the Great Depression and World War II was waged abroad.

The photos highlighted a Life Magazine article published in 1944 about the birth of the so-called ‘teenage’ generation, which was marked by its own fashion, music and shoulder-length hairstyle.

A little help: A gaggle of teens try to push their broken down model T down the street in this image featured in Life magazine in 1944A little help: A gaggle of teens try to push their broken down model T down the street in this image featured in Life magazine in 1944
Flirting: A young women flaunts her charm while sipping a milkshake with some teenage boysFlirting: A young women flaunts her charm while sipping a milkshake with some teenage boys
Gathering: If alive today, the women featured in the photographs would be between 83 and 85 years oldGathering: If alive today, the women featured in the photographs would be between 83 and 85 years old

One image shows a group of teens working together to push a Ford model T down the street after it wouldn’t start. Another shows a group of girls huddled around a record player, likely listening to Bing Crosby, the top artist of 1944.

An adolescent boy puts his arm around his date during a trip to the movies in one of Leen’s photos, as 1944 was a popular year for films. Casablanca won the best picture Oscar that year.

The young women of the day emerged as a distinctive generation between childhood and adulthood in post-Depression America.

As the feature in Life magazine put it: ‘There is a time in the life of every American girl when the most important thing in the world is to be one of a crowd of other girls and to act and speak and dress exactly as they do. This is the teen age.

Dining out: A group of teens enjoy some fruit, cake and milk in one of Leen's images from 1944Dining out: A group of teens enjoy some fruit, cake and milk in one of Leen’s images from 1944
Time Life
Time Life

Daily life: At top, women listen to a record as two boys glance at a magazine. At bottom, a young couple gets romantic as they take in a movie

Fashion firsts: The so-called 'teenage' generation, which was marked by its own style, music and shoulder-length hairstyleFashion firsts: The so-called ‘teenage’ generation, which was marked by its own style, music and shoulder-length hairstyle

‘Some 6,000,000 U.S. teen-age girls live in a world all their own – a lovely, gay, enthusiastic, funny and blissful society almost untouched by the war. It is a world of sweaters and skirts and bobby sox and loafers, of hair worn long, of eye-glass rims painted red with nail polish, of high school boys [not] yet gone to war.’

For the story, Leen followed around a group of 12 teenage girls in Webster Groves, Missouri, snapping various pictures as they hung out together, dressed alike and met up with boys at local sweet shops and movie theaters.

If alive today, the women would be between 83 and 85 years old.

Carefree: The women of 1940s America had little to worry about while World War II was waged overseasCarefree: The women of 1940s America had little to worry about while World War II was waged overseas
Dawn of a new age: The young women of the day emerged as a distinctive generation between childhood and adulthood in post-Depression AmericaDawn of a new age: The young women of the day emerged as a distinctive generation between childhood and adulthood in post-Depression America
– dailymail.co.uk

Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens have been invited to party at the Playboy Mansion.

Selena Gomez & Vanessa Hudgens Invited To Playboy Party

Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens have been invited to party at the Playboy Mansion.

The former Disney stars have shed their good girl images for new movie ‘Spring Breakers’ about a raunchy group of college students and bosses at Playboy were so impressed, they have issued an open invitation for the duo to party with Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion.

A tweet from Playboy said: “@VanessaHudgens & @SelenaGomez now have an open invitation to the next Mansion party.”

Vanessa previously admitted she jumped at the chance to take on the role of college student Candy, who is forced into working for a drug dealer after he bails her and four friends out of jail for robbing a restaurant, in order to move away from her squeaky clean image after ‘High School Musical’.

She said: “I’m really proud of the movie. I feel like it’s a breed of its own, it’s a movie unlike any other and it’s very fresh and fun and exciting.

“I feel like it’s a great take on our youth culture right now.

“For a while I was kind of struggling and fighting for these roles that I just desperately wanted. It was hard and it was a struggle, but then again life is always a struggle.

“Having a career will always be a struggle. You’ll always have to fight for what you want. Definitely crossing over and being able to tackle these grittier parts was a challenge, but I feel like I’ve done it! It’s a whole new chapter!”

BANG Showbiz

Kesha Hires Glitter Guy

Kesha has hired someone to make sure she is constantly covered in glitter.

The ‘Die Young’ singer is famous for her glitter and after some issues with trying to figure out how to adequately cover herself in it, Kesha splashed out and hired an employee to take charge.

Speaking on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’, she said: “When I first started I was just young and naive. I used to bathe myself in beer and then roll around in [glitter] and then I started getting a skin rash. It worked, but the beer was fermenting my skin, so then I started using baby oil.

“[Now this guy] just follows me around and makes sure I’m always covered in glitter, because I feel it would be seriously a disappointment if I was ever seen without it. When I get out [of the bath], his really hard job is just to make sure it’s covering every inch of my body.

“I’ve had glitter in all the umentionables.”

Kesha has previously spoken of her love of glitter, saying: “If you come and see a show of mine, there is no shortage of glitter. By the end, everyone from the back of the auditorium to the very front is covered and potentially choking on glitter.”

BANG Showbiz

One Direction are said to be in “desperate need” of a break from their hectic schedule.

 

One Direction are said to be in “desperate need” of a break from their hectic schedule.

As well as their current 118-date world tour, the band are preparing for the August release of their 3D film ‘This Is Us’ and management are now pushing them to start work on their third studio album.

However, it’s said the quintet – made up of Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Niall Horan – are keen to have a few months off to relax after becoming one of the biggest acts in the world over the last two years.

A source told the Daily Star Sunday newspaper: “The boys are working incredibly hard and are in desperate need of some time off.

“They want to take a full four months off at the end of the year but management are keen for them to release another album while they are such hot property.

“In an ideal world the record label would have another album out in time for Christmas, but that won’t be possible.”

The insider added the band are keen to use the break to write the record themselves, but label bosses don’t want them to lose momentum by having a long gap after the 2012 release of ‘Take Me Home’.

They said: “The boys want to take time out and write most of the third album themselves.

“But management know the group can’t take too much time off to make the next record like Adele does because teenage fans are so fickle.”

BANG Showbiz

Hogan chases his financial adviser and stolen millions

Linda Kozlowski and  Paul Hogan.Crocodile Dundee actors: Linda Kozlowski and Paul Hogan. Photo: Getty Images

Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan may have settled his tax case with Australian authorities but he is accusing his once-trusted tax adviser of absconding with $US34 million ($32.3 million) he helped Hogan hide in offshore tax havens.

There is already an international warrant out for Philip Egglishaw, the man known as the ”bowler hat Englishman”, who is the alleged mastermind behind Australia’s biggest tax evasion scheme.

But now the international fugitive has the Australian actor on his tail, with Hogan’s advisers taking legal action in the US alleging Egglishaw, who set up elaborate corporate structures in tax havens to help his clients evade tax, has stolen the entertainer’s money.

Paul HoganSwiss account: Paul Hogan. Photo: Getty Images

Swiss newspaper Le Matin Dimanche has reported Hogan’s $US34 million ”has been lying for almost 20 years in account number 379865 at the Corner Bank in Lausanne” run by the Geneva firm Strachans. But Hogan cannot get his hands on it.

Egglishaw is alleged to have ”absconded with or spent all” of Hogan’s millions, according to documents filed in the Californian District court by Hogan’s representative, Schuyler ”Sky” Moore, one of Los Angeles’ top entertainment lawyers.

In October last year, Moore emailed Egglishaw’s lawyer in Geneva, Paul Gully-Hart. ”The actions of Egglishaw have now crossed the boundary of legality, and he is now engaging in criminal fraud, theft, and breach of fiduciary duty, and you are now directly aiding and abetting his criminal actions,” Moore said in his email. ”The Carthage Trust’s beneficiary [Hogan] is not going to stand idly by in the face of this theft, and he is going to take every step possible in every country possible to hold Egglishaw, Strachans, you, and your firm liable and brought to account.”

Philip Eric de FigueiredoFormer tax adviser and alleged mastermind: Philip Eric de Figueiredo. Photo: Glenn Hunt

Throughout last year, Hogan and his US advisers became increasingly anxious after Egglishaw refused to provide any bank statements or accounts relating to the millions in the Carthage Trust.

An added problem for Hogan is the other signatory to the Carthage account is in jail in Australia.

Philip de Figueiredo, Egglishaw’s partner at Strachans, is serving 2½ years in prison. Last month in the Queensland Supreme Court, de Figueiredo pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiring to defraud the Australian government of more than $4 million in tax. His guilty plea related to helping clients avoid paying tax. A string of Strachans’ clients such as prominent entrepreneur Glenn Wheatley, Brisbane entrepreneurs Adam Hargraves and Daniel Stoten, have already served time for tax evasion.

De Figueiredo had money laundering charges against him dropped and he has agreed to assist authorities with ongoing investigations. An arrest warrant has been issued for Egglishaw over the same matters. It is believed he is in Switzerland.

Operation Wickenby, a joint investigation by the Australian Crime Commission and the Tax Office, has taken years and cost millions of dollars investigating Egglishaw’s and de Figueiredo’s Australian clients, including Hogan and his comedy sidekick John ”Strop” Cornell.

After years of legal battles, Hogan and Cornell settled with the Tax Office on confidential terms. Its fight with their financial adviser Anthony Stewart continues.

After the Crime Commission and Tax Office began stepping up their inquiries into Hogan in 2005, Egglishaw set up a new trust for Hogan called the Carthage Trust.

This trust replaced the Quatre Saison Trust which was alleged to have been a vehicle set up by Strachans to enable Hogan to stream revenue from his Crocodile Dundee franchise into offshore accounts and thereby avoid paying tax. Hogan disputes this.

The initial beneficiary of the Carthage Trust was listed as the ”British Red Cross” but later documents stated ”the sole intended beneficiary of the Carthage Trust is Hogan, and this structure was adopted to maintain his privacy”.

Egglishaw used another entity, Grasselle, a British Virgin Islands company, to run the Carthage Trust. Up to $US37 million was held by Carthage Trust in the Corner Bank in Lausanne.

Late last year, Moore, who is listed as the trustee of Hogan’s Carthage Trust, launched action against Egglishaw and Strachans in the US.

In the Californian court filings, Moore stated he believed Egglishaw had absconded with Hogan’s millions, or if he had not, he intended to. California District judge Otis D. Wright summed up Moore’s case when he said it was ”a sordid tale of wayward fiduciaries and international fraudsters supposedly absconding with millions of dollars in funds from a Swiss bank account”.

But there were two major problems with Moore’s case, Judge Wright said. California was not the correct jurisdiction to bring the action since one defendant, Grasselle, was a company in the British Virgin Islands and the other was a British-born Swiss resident.

”Given the dearth of connections … to California, the ‘long arm of the law’ is simply too short to reach them,” the judge said, dismissing the case in February.

According to Le Matin Dimanche, Brian Merryman, Egglishaw and Strachans’ US lawyer, has said Judge Wright’s decision had not been appealed and Moore had not lodged any further complaints.

Hogan’s Australian lawyer Andrew Robinson tried to distance Hogan from the US court proceedings, saying he was ”not a party and gave no evidence by way of affidavit or otherwise” in the recent case. ”Paul has never denied the existence and operation of overseas structures set up in accordance with competent advice received,” Robinson said.

Hogan’s US lawyer Craig Emanuel told Fairfax Media: ”For a variety of ethical reasons, I am not available to comment on your inquiries.”

The Wickenby tax inquiry was kicked off by the 2004 seizure of a computer belonging to Egglishaw, who was in Australia to see some of his clients.

Le Matin Dimanche came across the Hogan court case as part of an inquiry by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists into the use of tax havens.

– smh.com.au

Luhrmann lists mansion for $15m to find family-friendly home

Iona, number 2 Darley Street , Darlinghurst.Italianate: Iona, in Darlinghurst, was built in the late 1880s for pastoralist Edward Chisholm. Photo: Peter Rae

Iona, the 1880s Darlinghurst mansion owned by filmmakers Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, is on the market for more than $15 million.

Reports the famous couple needed to sell Iona for financial reasons due to a budget blowout making The Great Gatsby were vehemently denied on Sunday by McGrath agent Joe Abboud, who has listed the property in conjunction with his colleague Chris Chung.

“They want to separate their business from their home life. “

”Baz and Catherine want to buy a family home with a garden for their children,” Mr Abboud said. ”The reason Iona is for sale is because they want to separate their business from their home life.”

Catherine Martin in the combined lounge and dining room of the Darlinghurst home she shares with Baz Luhrmann and their two children.Mixed business: Catherine Martin in Iona’s lounge. Photo: Anson Smart

The couple paid $10 million for the grand Victorian building in 2006 and had rented it for nine years before that. It has been both home and work for the couple, with the ground floor being the creative headquarters of Luhrmann’s production company Bazmark and upstairs a residence for Luhrmann, Martin and their children Lillian, 9, and William, 7.

But Mr Abboud hosed down suggestions of the couple running out of money, saying they were even prepared to buy elsewhere before they sold Iona. If they didn’t get their desired price of more than $15 million for the property , they would rent it out.

”They want to buy a house in the Vaucluse and Watsons Bay area or near the eastern suburbs beaches,” Mr Abboud said. ”If they find the right house, they’ll purchase it before selling Iona.

”They also want to buy a creative space, a warehouse or something smaller than Iona, where Baz can work with his team.”

Iona was built in the late 1880s as a city residence for pastoralist Edward Chisholm. In 1908, it sold to Adela Taylor, wife of Sir Allen Taylor, a lord mayor of Sydney after whom Taylor Square is named.

The Italianate mansion, listed on the State Heritage Register, stands on a 2700-square-metre block with beautiful gardens featuring established trees, rolling lawns and parking for up to 20 cars.

Luhrmann and Martin funded Iona’s 2006 purchase from the sale of three Bronte Beach apartments which sold for a total of about $8 million in 2005.

Luhrmann and Martin are in the US to finalise the release of his adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, which premieres in New York on May 1.

– smh.com.au

Murder-accused Pistorius seen partying

"One patron of the restaurant said the double amputee, known as "Blade Runner" was seen downing shooters and being "flirtatious" before leaving".“One patron of the restaurant said the double amputee, known as “Blade Runner” was seen downing shooters and being “flirtatious” before leaving”. Photo: AP

South African Paralympian sprint star Oscar Pistorius was spotted partying last weekend at a trendy Johannesburg hangout, his first outing with friends since his arrest for the Valentine’s Day killing of his girlfriend, media reports say.

According to a Sunday Times report, a “relaxed-looking” Pistorius was seen knocking back drinks at a party at an upmarket restaurant last Saturday, but did not stay long.

His publicist, Anneliese Burgess, said the sprinter left the venue when “public interest became overwhelming”.

Happier times: the accused Oscar Pistorius with Reeva Steenkamp. Happier times: the accused Oscar Pistorius with Reeva Steenkamp. Photo: Reuters

According to Burgess he then moved on to another restaurant but left for the same reason.

“The place went quiet when people realised it was Oscar and (the mood) never really recovered from there,” a restaurant manager told the Sunday Times.

One patron of the restaurant said the double amputee, known as “Blade Runner” was seen downing shooters and being “flirtatious” before leaving.

“He was greeting a couple and then gave the woman a little pat on her backside. It was just so inappropriate,” said the woman.

The paper reported that Pistorius was at the first restaurant in a group that included a wealthy businessman friend.

They were watched over by bodyguards.

Burgess said the outing was a way of “trying to reconnect with friends of his and Reeva’s”.

Pistorius, 26, whose athletics career has been on hold since he was arrested for shooting dead 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp, has kept a low profile since he was released on bail on February 22.

The runner claims that he shot Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door in the middle of the night, after having mistaken her for an intruder.

He is facing a charge of pre-meditated murder.

Last month he successfully challenged his strict bail conditions, including travel restrictions and alcohol consumption.

The athlete returns to court on June 4.

AFP

Police search for tattooed man after mother found murdered in car boot

39-year-old Colin Maxwell Farrow - a person of interest in the death of 41-year-old Linda Stevens at Corrimal.Person of interest: Colin Maxwell Farrow. Photo: Supplied

Detectives investigating the death of a woman found in her own car boot in bushland are looking for a man they described as highly dangerous who has ”mum” tattooed on his right wrist.

Linda Stevens, 41, a Wollongong mother of one, was identified as the victim on Sunday. Police say she was known to them.

An autopsy revealed she had multiple puncture wounds but the type of weapon used is unknown.

Police have named Colin Maxwell Farrow, 39, as a person of interest in the investigation. He is 184 to 190 centimetres tall, of solid build, with brown hair and blue/grey eyes. His tattoos include a cross on his lower left arm, a hinge on his left elbow and a crucifix, cross or swastika on his upper right arm. Police said he should not be approached.

Ms Stevens was found in her abandoned white Kia Rio sedan off Foothills Road, Corrimal, just north of Wollongong, on Thursday night.

Police had been called out to the area after reports of a car being driven erratically about 2.45pm. They found Ms Stevens’ car but it appeared abandoned and so they went to her Bligh Street home. When they were unable to find her, officers returned and found her body in the boot.

– smh.com.au

Iconic hotel makes way for next big thing

chifleyThe developers of NEXT, say its contemporary design will “complement the aesthetics of the council’s vibrant laneways project.” Photo: Supplied

The next stage has begun for one of Brisbane’s landmark hotels.

The redevelopment of Chifley at Lennons gets underway today, the first step in a rebranding of the iconic hotel as the world’s first NEXT Hotel.

SilverNeedle Hospitality, the Singaporean-based firm which had run the Queen Street Mall property for about 15 years, announced plans for the $35 million redevelopment and rebranding late last year.

IqbalSilverNeedle Hospitality chief executive and managing director Iqbal Jumabhoy says choosing Brisbane as the location for their new flagship hotel brand was an easy decision. Photo: Supplied

Hutchinson Builders will start construction work on April 15.

SilverNeedle Hospitality chief executive and managing director Iqbal Jumabhoy said his firm was aware of the hotel’s place in the city’s landscape.

“The hotel is very much for the neighbourhood and a part of it,” he said.

“Its contemporary design will complement the aesthetics of the council’s vibrant laneways project and feature a dedicated entry to the hotel from both Queen Street Mall and Burnett Lane.”

Choosing Brisbane as the location for their new flagship hotel brand was an easy decision, Mr Jumabhoy said.

“Brisbane has a thriving hotel market, but there is a shortage of new capacity.  It is also a city with a very welcoming local authority, which is pro-business not only to the hospitality industry but across all industry sectors,” he said.

“Brisbane continues to experience a high level of growth. Our investment will help Brisbane realise its future vision to meet the increased demand from its business base, which is driven in part from its proximity to resource opportunities that in turn will generate greater numbers of business travellers.”

The move has been welcomed by tourism and industry groups, including the council, recognised as another step towards addressing the city’s room shortage problem.

Room capacity at the hotel is set to almost double, from 154 rooms to 300 and have been designed to “appeal to the modern business traveller”.

“Exclusive luxury retail space” is part of the redevelopment plan.

“It will be about space, technology and service and embody all the fine traits of the modern urban lifestyle which is the epitome of Brisbane,” Mr Jumabhoy said.

The project has been timed to be completed ahead of the G20 Leaders Summit in November next year, when the leaders of 19 countries and the European Union arrive in Brisbane for major talks.

It’s not the first time the Lennons Hotel has seen change; it had originally been built on George Street between Adelaide and Ann Streets, before it was demolished and rebuilt on Queen Street.

General Douglas MacArthur and the 36th United States president, Lyndon Johnson, both stayed there, as did the Beatles, including its namesake, John Lennon.

– brisbanetimes.com.au

Knife-wielding man forces teen to drive west of Brisbane City

https://i0.wp.com/www.burdekin.qld.gov.au/wp/media/2012/06/Queensland-Police-Service-logo.jpg

 

Police are searching for a man who abducted a teenager at knife-point in Brisbane’s inner-south on Sunday afternoon and forced her to drive to Rosewood, west of Ipswich.

The 19-year-old woman was stopped in her car at the intersection of Creek and Stanley roads in Carina about 5.15pm, by a knife-wielding man.

The man ordered the woman drive to Rosewood, while threatening her.

The 63 kilometre trip took the pair about an hour and a half.

When the pair arrived at Bremer Road in Rosewood about 6.50pm, the man jumped out of the car and ran away.

The woman was not injured.The man is described as being about 50 years old, with a slim build and fair shoulder-length hair.

He was wearing a black hooded-jumper, blue jeans, a black baseball cap and black thongs.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au.

Paraglider plunges to his death on Bribie Island, Australia

Emergency crews arrive at the scene of a paraglider crash on Bribie Island.Emergency crews arrive at the scene of a paraglider crash on Bribie Island. Photo: AGL Action Rescue Helicopter

Beachgoers watched in horror as a paraglider crashed to his death north of Brisbane at the weekend.

The 29-year-old man was paragliding on Sunday afternoon north of Woorim Beach on Bribie Island when he lost control and crash landed near the water’s edge.

A friend and fellow paraglider witnessed the crash from the air.

Witnesses on the beach reported seeing the motorised paraglider lose power and spiral to the ground.

The man suffered a number of serious injuries on impact, AGL Action Rescue Helicopter said in a statement.

Some friends of the man witnessed the crash landing and phoned for help, while other bystanders rushed to the man’s aid.

Paramedics attended soon after and tried to revive the injured paraglider, but he was pronounced dead at the scene about 4.45pm.

Forensic crash officers are investigating the incident.

– brisbanetimes.com.au

Not-so fantastic plastic surgery

cosmetic-surgery

THE Gold Coast’s addiction to cosmetic surgery is far from a feel-good story with more patient complaints about the final result coming from the Glitter Strip per capita than any other region in Queensland.

The state’s independent health watchdog has found Gold Coasters have complained more per capita during the past six years about cosmetic and medical surgery compared to the rest of the Queensland population.

A report by Queensland’s Health Quality and Complaints Commission shows it received 73 Coast cases, 74 from Brisbane and 14 from the Sunshine Coast between 2006 and 2012.

More than 80 per cent of complaints were about cosmetic surgery, with breast enhancement the most common area of concern.

Cosmetic injections, laser treatment and chemical peels also garnered plenty of concern from patients.

Nearly all complaints centred around patients not being happy with the appropriateness of the procedure or its outcome.

Southport plastic surgeon Dr Ian McDougall said the local spike could be attributed to the Coast having more untrained doctors performing cosmetic procedures than anywhere else in the state.

“There is just so much cosmetic surgery being performed by non-trained surgeons,” Dr McDougall said.

“Anyone can start themselves up and perform cosmetic surgery. This has to stop.”

Peter Davison, manager international services for Phuket International Hospital, said the report showed how surgery was just as risky on the Coast as it was overseas.

 

Mr Davison’s comments come after a Helensvale mum recently returned from Thailand with a botched tummy tuck.

“This research study clearly shows that the situation in Queensland, and the results and complications from cosmetic surgery particularly on the Gold Coast, are far from satisfactory, with the city recording a disproportionate number of complications compared with other regions of Queensland,” Mr Davison said.

“All surgery has risks, irrespective of whether the surgery is in Thailand or Queensland.”

But Dr McDougall said it was difficult to compare overseas procedures with those on the Gold Coast because there was no avenue to lodge complaints for surgery performed outside the country.

“We’re seeing a lot of horrendous results, far greater than what’s going to the complaints tribunal, because (patients) can’t complain, they can’t do anything,” Dr McDougall said.

 

Qeensland thieves break into 48 cars

 

QUEENSLAND police believe a large number of personal items have been stolen from 48 cars broken into in a car park in Toowoomba.

Police say the thieves used a sharp implement to break into 48 vehicles in a private car park in Wilsonton, a suburb of Toowoomba.

The break-ins occurred between 4am and 5.10am (AEST) on Sunday.

Most of the cars were damaged and police believe a large number of personal items were stolen.

– gold coast.com.au

All-night dance party has residents pissed-off

Ravers slept in their cars after the party stopped around 9am yesterday. Pic: David Clark

A WILD rave party that raged for 14 hours has left residents at the northern end of the Gold Coast frustrated by a lack of police response.

Heavy bass-driven “doof doof” music could be heard blasting from the block of land off the Old Pacific Highway at Pimpama from 7pm on Saturday, dragging through until 8.55am yesterday.

Residents from up to 5km away in Upper Coomera complained they could hear the non-stop music and that it kept them awake, despite several requests for police help.

Glow sticks hung in trees and parked cars marked the semi-hidden entry to the private property on Saturday night.

By midday yesterday several parked cars remained on the road verge with occupants asleep inside.

Frustrated Upper Coomera residents took to Facebook to vent their anger after their phone calls to police failed to stop the noise. “That beat is going through your head,” one wrote.

“I tried calling (police) numerous times but it was always bloody engaged — it’s doing my head in!” another wrote.

Mum of two, Kathy Sannes, said the party’s noise kept her family and many neighbours awake all night.

“It was unbearable, the noise travelled across eight lanes of the highway and through my double-brick home,” an angry Ms Sannes said.

“We all have kids around here and it was impossible to sleep with the continuous bass pumping. It would stop for a second and we sighed in relief, but then the next song would start.”

A Queensland Police spokesman said officers attended the party at 11pm and asked for the music to be turned down. He said the job was not considered a high priority on a busy Saturday night.

Officers attended again at 8am and directed the music to be shut off.

“It was a noisy party but there was nothing to indicate it was a major job of any magnitude,” he said.

“On a Saturday night these complaints are a dime a dozen.”

The spokesman said officers confirmed the party was not an event or a teenage Facebook rave, but were investigating whether the crowd had permission to hold the party on private property.

Board-maker catches wave of success

Paul Barron

GOOD WAVES AHEAD: Paul Barron’s business is shaping up nicely.

 

Surfboard shaping is a dying art, but Paul Barron believes he has a revolutionary new design that will boost his Christchurch business.

Barron Surfboards, a stone’s throw from the residential red zone, had been hit by the earthquakes as have Barron’s home and family.

His 16-year-old business crafting surfboards for surfers around the country was growing before February 2011, but the quakes knocked it off kilter and he was forced to let his staff of four go.

He was making 20 boards a week, but that fell to about six.

The business is still running from the same place.

He is thankful to his accountant, IT support contractor and business adviser for helping him keep the business going.

Barron has handshaped boards since he was 15 and is completely self-taught.

His surfboards are made from “blanks”, default shapes of foam which are imported by the handful of Kiwi shapers to be cut and shaved to custom size and contours.

The foam is then covered with a lightweight fibreglass fabric and watertight layer of resin.

Traditionally, the foam is made from polyurethane which cannot be recycled and is toxic for the shaper if inhaled.

A substitute is polystyrene foam, essentially a tougher form of the material used for packaging wedges used to protect electronic goods.

It can be recycled and is not harmful to the shaper. It is also much lighter and made by some Christchurch factories.

Worldwide, surfboard manufacturers have been making surfboards from polystyrene for many years.

However, there are a few problems still being ironed out.

Polystyrene boards were lighter and more buoyant than polyurethane which changed the way they rode waves.

The main problem with polystyrene boards was they would “chatter” – bounce along the wave – rather than ride smoothly like a polyurethane board.

However, Barron says his design fixed that problem while still having a product that can be manufactured efficiently in bulk.

“I know how a board should go and this goes better than a PU [polyurethane board]. It’s the bomb really.”

It also allowed people to determine how much flexibility custom-made boards had to improve their turning speed.

The coating used for polystyrene boards made them stronger than traditional boards which was another bonus.

Hand-finished boards were all subtly different because of the marked difference even a few millimetres made, he says.

“Pro surfers, if they get a dream board, they want to keep it as long as they can.”

However, perfect boards balanced weight and strength meaning they could be fragile.

It took him a year to develop the design, which he calls BarronFlex, and he has patented it, along with the method of construction.

He hopes to get enough overseas interest to launch an export business of Christchurch-made polystyrene BarronFlex blanks.

He said he would soon head to Hawaii to show off the design there.

– © Fairfax NZ News

Media heir stole millions from his mum

Melissa Scripps. Photo / Supplied

Melissa Scripps. Photo / Supplied

An heir to the US Scripps media fortune has been convicted of stealing $4.2 million from his mother and a disabled uncle.

Michael Scripps, 36, who lives in Detroit, spent the money on cars, jewellery and women, including a stripper and porn actress, according to testimony at the two-week trial in Philadelphia. He faces more than seven years in prison.

His mother, Melissa Scripps, told jurors that she received $12.8m from the 1980s-era sale of some family holdings, while her brother, David, received more, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Her son had a six-figure trust fund, along with a $4500 monthly stipend she provided, she said.

Yet he persuaded her to steer money to his friend, a financial adviser in the Philadelphia suburbs, then raided the accounts, she said.

“I don’t want anyone else to go through what we’ve been through as a family,” Melissa Scripps testified.

The family owns newspapers and television stations, and is the name behind Scripps College and the Scripps Oceanography Institution.

Melissa Scripps, 62, said she had spent much of the fortune, including $1.17m on family cruises, flying her dogs to her second home on St Maarten, two of Princess Diana’s dresses and a Napoleonic tiara.

She smokes marijuana daily and has been married four times.

The court was told Michael Scripps thought his mother was spending his inheritance.”

He will be sentenced on July 15.

– AAP

Stalker throws pubic hair-filled razor at Hugh Jackman, sources say

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman has reportedly been targeted by a stalker at his home, his gym and his daughter’s school. Picture: Stuart Wilson

AN ALLEGED female stalker has burst into Hugh Jackman’s New York City gym and thrown an electric razor filled with her pubic hair at him, the New York Post reported, citing police sources.

The woman was screaming “I love you!” as a staffer dragged her away from the star.

The actor, who plays Wolverine in the X-Men movies, was exercising at Gotham Gym in the West Village about 8am on Saturday when Kathleen Thurston, 47, attacked him, the Post reported.

The blond, wearing khaki pants and a blue hoodie, was hysterically sobbing as she slipped past the check-in desk at the tiny gym and made a beeline for the actor, said Mike Castle, 35, a Gotham trainer.

“She was crying,” said Mr Castle, who was in the facility’s boxing ring. “I physically removed her from the place, then I called the cops.”

Ms Thurston shouted her desperate declaration of love for Jackman.

Then she reached into her waistband and launched the dirty razor at her obsession.

Jackman thought the unhinged woman was grabbing for a gun or a knife, said one police source.

He backed away as soon as she made a move for her nether regions.

Cops caught up with the woman a few blocks away, where she was arrested and taken to a police station.

The NYPD Crime Scene Unit recovered the weapon and had to pick the hairs out of it to match them with her DNA, the source added.

Ms Thurston, whose listed address is a shelter for the mentally ill, was charged with stalking and taken to Manhattan Criminal Court, where she was awaiting arraignment.

It wasn’t Ms Thurston’s first time stalking the 44-year-old Australian hunk, the sources said. She once showed up at Jackman’s home in the West Village, where he lives with actress wife Deborra-Lee Furness.

Jackman told cops he also has seen her outside seven-year-old daughter Ava’s primary school in Manhattan.

But police say Ms Thurston has no prior criminal history, and Jackman didn’t have a restraining order against her.

Read more about Hugh Jackman’s scary stalker incident at the New York Post.

Viva Lale goes on The Voice Australia after losing her cousins, relatives in Australia’s worst ever housefire

Viva Lale

The Voice Australia contestant Viva Lale on stage. Picture: Channel 9

Viva Lale

Relatives of The Voice Australia contestant Viva Lale .. Jeremiah Lale and Viva Picture: Channel 9

THE last time Viva Lale sang for her cousins, Lini Paul and Jeremiah, was at the teenagers’ memorial service, a five-hour tribute to the music-loving brothers and nine other family members lost in Australia’s worst ever house fire.

Then she stood grief-stricken and numb with pain just days after the Slacks Creek tragedy of August 2011 which robbed the young men of their futures and took the lives of Lale’s aunty Neti and her five children.

Almost two years on, the 26-year-old songbird realised their dream for her by taking to The Voice Australia stage and sharing the gift for singing they had championed before they died.

It was not to be result they had imagined for her, with none of the superstar coaches turning their chairs, but the determined singer from Goodna, near Brisbane in Queensland, told News Limited her dream and theirs will live on long after the reality TV show.

While other unlucky contestants came from the stage in tears, Lale says she took great pride in making that moment happen for herself.
Fans of the US series of The Voice before their shock deaths, Lini Paul, 16 and Jeremiah, 18, had urged their favourite cousin to audition for the first Australian season when it was announced.

“They passed away two months before auditions started for The Voice and at that time I wasn’t really ready, but this year I knew I had to do it,” the account manager said.

Overcoming her natural shyness, Lale says she felt compelled to live her life with renewed purpose after losing so much.

“I know how precious life is…I know it sounds corny, but it’s so true. I could bear (losing) one, but six at the same time has been really, really hard. The only way to get through it was to remain positive. It would have been such a waste of another life if I sat there and did nothing,” Lale said.

“That’s not the life they wanted to live, that’s not what they wanted for me either. I know they would want me to be happy and do what I love to do and that’s sing.”

Her cousins had big plans for their lives too: Lini Paul was the “clown” aiming for university; while ‘Jerry’ loved rugby and wanted to play for the Queensland Reds.

But just after midnight on August 24, those ambitions were extinguished after the two-storey home they shared with their aunty Fusi Taufa and her extended family at Wagensveldt St, Slacks Creek was destroyed by a blaze that would shock Brisbane’s Samoan community and beyond.

Sharing her memories of that black night for the first time, Lale recalls turning into the street, where emergency vehicles were crowded around her cousins’ house.

“It was like a scene out of a movie. The flashing lights and as I realised the house was still burning I just took my hands off the steering wheel and covered my face,” she said, blinking back tears.

“I tried to walk (towards the house) but my legs just buckled out from under me. It just wasn’t real.”

Walking onto The Voice stage was a woman transformed.

“I was not going to sit there on my butt and wait for the moment,” she said.

“People do a lot of waiting, instead of doing it and I don’t want to be one of those people.”

So she didn’t win through to the battle rounds, so what? It’s not life or death to this focused, talented performer, who has been booked to perform regular Sunday sessions at Brisbane’s Southbank and begins recording her first EP this week.

“As soon as I hit that stage I wanted to cry, tears of happiness that I made it. That was my ultimate goal and I feel in myself that they were with me.”

Perhaps the emotion of her audition song, Mariah Carey’s heavenly reunion anthem, One Sweet Day, got the better of her, but as Ricky Martin remarked: “you have six angels on your shoulder, (you will) go out and do it.”

Man dies in Sydney nightclub whilst celebrating his buck’s night

Fall

Emergency services at the scene. Picture: Gordon McComiskie

A MAN who died on his buck’s night after falling down a stairwell at a Sydney hotel last night was expected to marry in June.

The 26-year-old is believed to be from NSW’s far north coast originally. His family are travelling to Sydney to talk to police.

The young man was a civil engineer.

Police rushed to a pub on George Street, Sydney, about 10.30pm, after reports that a man had fallen down a stairwell.

The man was found lying unconscious at the bottom of the stairwell with severe head injuries.

Security staff and an off-duty police officer performed CPR on the man before he was taken by paramedics to St Vincent’s Hospital.

He died a short time later.

It’s understood the man, who had been celebrating his buck’s night with mates, was attempting to slide down a handrail between level three and two when he lost his balance and fell backwards to the ground.

A report will be prepared by police for the information of the NSW Coroner.

 

Golfer goes crazy and attacks two African American players with his club and calls them n***** for not letting him through

A golfer in Long Island has been charged after he yelled racial slurs at two other players and attacked one with a golf club on Tuesday.

Grant Smith, who is white, had his meltdown on the White Course at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, New York.

According to reports, he approached two black men, 66 and 65, and demanded that he be allowed to play through.

Grant Smith Grant Smith has been charged after he yelled racial slurs at two other players and attacked one with a golf club on Tuesday

Smith, 48, allegedly kept shouting at the men, telling them they didn’t have any golf etiquette.

‘I said, “if you were courteous, I would have allowed you to go through, but after this, no,'” one told NBC4, asking that his name be withheld.

 

He said he then made an obscene gesture at Smith, who became angry and approached the pair on the fifth hole moments later, yelling at them, including using the ‘n-word’ three times.

‘After the third one, he grabbed his club… came up to us and swung the iron and hit my buddy in the leg,’ the man said.

Smith had his meltdown on the White Course at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, New YorkSmith had his meltdown on the White Course at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, New York

The impact broke the head off the club, and police said Smith then threatened to stab the victims with the broken club before fleeing.

Smith was arrested Thursday at his home in Long Beach. He was charged with assault, assault as a hate crime and two counts of menacing as a hate crime.

He pleaded not guilty in court on Friday and is being held on $50,000 bond.

A judge issued orders of protection for the two attacked golfers.

The 65-year-old was treated at Nassau University Medical Center for a contusion to his calf.

Jessica Alba looking beautiful as ever as she plays with her one-year-old daughter, Haven

There’s no better way of encouraging a child than leading by example.

And Jessica Alba went as far as hopping onto a playground slide to prove a point to her youngest offspring Haven on Saturday.

The 31-year-old actress was seen squeezing her adult frame onto the playground apparatus in order to show her 19-month-old that there was nothing to be afraid of.

One size fits all! Jessica Alba was seen with her family at a birthday party at the park in Beverly Hills, California on SaturdayOne size fits all! Jessica Alba was seen with her family at a birthday party at the park in Beverly Hills, California on Saturday

Thrilling stuff! The actress managed to persuade daughter Haven to get in on the funThrilling stuff! The actress managed to persuade daughter Haven to get in on the fun

Luckily Jessica was wearing the comfortable attire of jeans with a long-sleeve top plus black trainers on her feet, so she had no problem performing the task.

 

After persuading her red-head youngster to give it a go, they swiftly moved on to the swings for more fun.

The ombre-haired star – who is also mother to four-year-old daughter Honor – was joined by her husband Cash Warren for the kids’ birthday party.

Whoosh! The red-head tot moved on to the swings next as her mother proudly watched onWhoosh! The red-head tot moved on to the swings next as her mother proudly watched on
Practical gear: Jessica was dressed casually in a pair of jeans and trainersPractical gear: Jessica was dressed casually in a pair of jeans and trainers

The trim couple were picture tucking into calorific cake but only shared one portion between.

As well as doting over their own little one, they took plenty of snaps of the occasion’s honorary guest as did many other parents in attendance.

Jessica – who has her own brand of eco-friendly baby products with company the Honest Company – has been married to her partner since  2008.

Doting mother: The ombre-haired beauty watched on as her little girl got familiar with the apparatusDoting mother: The ombre-haired beauty watched on as her little girl got familiar with the apparatus
Kids' day out: The gathering was attended by many other families with young childrenKids’ day out: The gathering was attended by many other families with young children
Guest of honour: The attendees took snaps of the youngster celebrating a new ageGuest of honour: The attendees took snaps of the youngster celebrating a new age

Capturing the moment: Their daughter Haven sat beside them as they pressed down on the shutter buttonCapturing the moment: Their daughter Haven sat beside them as they pressed down on the shutter button

But she hasn’t completely shunned her screen career.

This year she has starred in A.C.O.D, playing the character Michelle in the comedy about a grown man (Adam Scott) who is still caught in the crossfire of his parents’ 15-year divorce.

She also voiced the character of Lena Thackham in animated film Escape From Planet Earth.

Jessica still has parts as Sartana in Machete Kills and Nancy Callahan in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For to look forward to with the movies released in September and October respectively.

Spousal support: Jessica was joined by husband Cash WarrenSpousal support: Jessica was joined by husband Cash Warren
Splitting the calories! They shared some birthday cake form the same plateSplitting the calories! They shared some birthday cake form the same plate

We come bearing gifts! The family toted a present as she showed up to the partyWe come bearing gifts! The family toted a present as she showed up to the party

Premier stars face massive losses in £200m Moroccan villa nightmare: Embarrassment for Terry and Ferdinand as project they backed flounders

England footballers Rio Ferdinand and John Terry are among hundreds of Britons who face  losing millions of pounds after investing in a holiday villa project in Morocco.

They and other star players, including Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and football pundit Gary Neville, ploughed money into the £200million project believing they would now have the keys to stylish beachside homes – but nothing has been built at the site for four years.

What they were assured would be a luxury resort featuring 1,342 properties, three golf courses and a sports complex is today an abandoned building site. Investors fear there is little prospect of it ever being completed.

And to the embarrassment of the players, many British investors were won over by promotional work they did in return for discounted properties at Le Jardin de Fleur in Saidia.

Trevor Cockrell, 55, a semi-retired textile importer from Bolton, faces losing his deposit on a two-bedroom apartment at the resort in Morocco’s Berkane region.

He said: ‘A lot of investors are going to be disappointed. At first, everything was fine – we were given flashy promotional material about footballers investing and we thought if they were part of it, it must be a good idea.

‘But now we’ve accepted it will not get off the ground. It’s all right for the footballers because it is just a drop in the ocean for them, but this is going to hit many others hard. Nothing has happened at the site for years.’

In 2006, developers Property Logic collected €60million (about £40million at the time) in deposits from investors who each paid at least €30,000 (£20,000) on properties worth up to £1million.

The dream: An artist's impression of one of the luxury villas that the athletes invested inThe dream: An artist’s impression of one of the luxury villas that the athletes invested in
The reality: Work has ground to a halt at Le Jardin de Fleur in Saidia, leaving some British investors disgruntledThe reality: Work has ground to a halt at Le Jardin de Fleur in Saidia, leaving some British investors disgruntled

Almost all of the 480 buyers are British, and include at least 25 footballers. The stars invested in an exclusive area of the resort called Le Village des Amis.

By 2007 the company had completed basic works but, despite promises it would be finished by 2010, work stopped in 2009 after the funding parties went bankrupt and the developer has since struggled to find finance.

Suzanne Campbell, a design consultant from London, who runs an internet forum for the disgruntled British investors, said: ‘I have no idea what’s going to happen.

‘Some members of the forum have gone ahead with legal action and we may consider lobbying the Moroccan government for help. I should have been out there three years ago.’

moroccoThis Le Jardin De Fleur development in Morocco newsletter shows support from John Terry, Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand

Manchester United defender Ferdinand, who appears in a sales brochure photo alongside Neville and Terry, paid deposits on a three-bedroom townhouse and three villas worth a total of £2million.

He is quoted in the brochure as saying: ‘I plan to have a holiday once or twice a year here with the family. When I saw the plans I liked the fact there were plenty of quality shops, restaurants and cafes nearby. I was also impressed it’s a gated community with good security.’

Sean Cusack, a director at Property Logic, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We appreciate the development should have been ready years ago but no one was able to predict the financial crisis.

‘Some investors have become tetchy and at the moment we haven’t been able to find financiers. However, we are in discussions and are hopeful the people who still want their apartments will get them.

‘The footballers have been patient. They know we’re not responsible for the recession.’

Now violent DVDs banned in prison perks crackdown

Justice secretary Chris Grayling has banned prisoners from watching 18-rated DVDs as part of his plan to turn jails into ‘no-frills’ institutions.

Violent and sexually explicit movies will be removed from prison libraries and inmates will no longer be able to receive them from visitors. Any such material found in cells will in future be confiscated.

Computer and video games for over-18s were banned in prisons several months ago and now the Government has widened the net.

Chris Grayling says he wants prisons to be 'spartan' places which people do not want to return toChris Grayling says he wants prisons to be ‘spartan’ places which people do not want to return to

It comes after Mr Grayling, who took up his current post last September, told The Mail on Sunday that he wanted prisons to be ‘spartan but humane’ places to which people had ‘no particular desire’ to return.

 In an interview two months ago, he announced plans for a ban on Sky TV, a reduction in the number of televisions in jails and less  pocket money for inmates.

Mr Grayling said he did not approve of prisons buying state-of-the-art entertainment systems which were out of the price range of many law-abiding people.

graylingMr Grayling said he did not approve of prisons buying state-of-the-art entertainment systems

Prison governors were informed of the latest restriction in a message from Nigel Mulcaster,  a senior civil servant at the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), which is run  by the Ministry of Justice.

Mr Mulcaster referred to the ‘often violent and sexual nature’ of 18-certificate films and added: ‘Prisoners will no longer be able to possess or view 18-rated DVDs within any prison.’

But the move has already been criticised by some inmates.

One man behind bars at Stafford Prison told prisoners’ newspaper Insidetime: ‘Where is the logic in stopping a prisoner from buying an 18-rated DVD when he can watch 18-rated films and programmes every night on his television?’

But Mr Grayling insisted last night that his review of privileges would continue.

‘I want to ensure the public can be confident in a justice system that properly punishes as well as reforms,’ he said.

Mystery as Tamara Ecclestone’s £300k Lamborghini disappears

 

Lambo lost: Tamara's car has been takenLambo lost: Tamara’s car has been taken

Tamara Ecclestone’s £300,000 Lamborghini has been dramatically seized from a mechanic’s garage as part of an on-going ‘custody’ battle with her ex-boyfriend.

The daughter of Formula 1 supremo  Bernie bought the luxury Lamborghini Aventador in 2011 from car dealer Ziad Shawadi while she was dating businessman Omar Khyami.

The car was put in her boyfriend’s name to secure a resident’s parking permit, but registered to Miss Ecclestone’s address in Chelsea.

After the couple split last June, Tamara – whose father is worth an estimated £2.5 billion – tried to sell the car but was told that unbeknown to her, there was an outstanding debt taken out against the vehicle which had to be paid off before it could be sold.

The car then became the subject of a legal battle between the couple, due to be heard in the High Court this year, after Mr Khyami claimed ownership.

In a new twist, the car has now disappeared from the HR Owen garage in Acton, West London, where Tamara had booked it in for a service.

It is alleged that Ziad Shawadi and two men told staff they were taking the car in relation to an outstanding debt.

 

Tamara, 28, said: ‘I made a formal complaint at Notting Hill Gate police station. My father has had calls from Ziad Shawadi who says he has the car and intends to sell it.’

A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed a complaint had been received but said they would not be taking the matter further.

Car-ted off: Tamara Eccleston bought the luxury Lamborghini Aventador in 2011 when she was still dating Omar KhyamiCar-ted off: Tamara Eccleston bought the luxury Lamborghini Aventador in 2011 when she was still dating Omar Khyami

Prince Harry’s fun-loving friends Astrid and Davina Harbord – dubbed the ‘Hardcore sisters’ – obviously take their lead from their mother. Sarah-Juliet, whose husband Charles committed suicide last year, is doing a charity sky-dive over Salisbury, Wiltshire, today to raise money for The Children’s Trust and Mind.

 

Las Vegas is  set to cash in on Prince Harry’s return to the United States – by hiring lookalikes to take part in a tongue-in-cheek publicity campaign.

The Prince was famously pictured playing strip billiards on his visit to Sin City last year. Now the Las Vegas tourist authority is searching for redheads to play him at a series of promotional events.

Harry’s last headline-grabbing trip boosted visitor numbers and generated an extra £15 million for the city.

Unsurprisingly, the Prince’s US itinerary next month does not include a return to Las Vegas.

‘I snuck out to get high then pooped on my neighbor’s porch’ Mom punishes son’s bad behavior by forcing him to stand out on the street holding a sign declaring it to all passers by

 

A mother appalled at her teenage sons behavior made him stand on the street corner of their neighborhood wearing a sign shaming him for his boisterous actions.

The unidentified boy stood on the corner of Leslie Boulevard and Rachel Road in Richland, Texas holding a sign saying ‘I snuck out to get high and pooped on my neighbors porch because it was funny…not so funny now.’

Photographed by a passer-by who posted it online, the boys mother was apparently sat in a lawn chair around three feet away from her son with a sign that read, ‘p****d off mama’.

 
One motorist noticed a teen posing with a sign that read 'I snuck out to get high and pooped on my neighbors porch because it was funny¿not so funny now.'

One motorist noticed a teen posing with a sign that read ‘I snuck out to get high and pooped on my neighbors porch because it was funny¿not so funny now.’

The photograph has been shared widely on Facebook – with some praising the mother for her forthright approach to parenting and punishment for drug taking.

Shaming a child in public is becoming something of a trend across the nation, with parents Gentry and Renee Nickell coming under fire for making their 13-year old daughter stand with sign saying ‘I am a self-entitled teenager with no respect for authority’ at a busy intersection.

One motorist even called the police, who visited the scene and only left after receiving assurance that the girl was aware of her punishment and wasn’t in any harm. 

 

The girl held the sign for 90 minutes at the intersection of Ferdon Boulevard and U.S. Highway 90 in Crestview, Florida. It read: ‘I’m a Self-entitled teenager w/no Respect for authority. I’m also super smart, yet I have 3 “D’s” because I DON’T CARE.’

‘We got to the point where we just didn’t know what else to do,’ Renee told the Northwest Florida Daily News. She says she got the idea from a Christian counselor several years ago.

 
Gentry and Renee Nickell show the sign which they forced their 13-year-old daughter to hold at the side of a busy intersection in Florida on Saturday

Gentry and Renee Nickell show the sign which they forced their 13-year-old daughter to hold at the side of a busy intersection in Florida on Saturday

The Nickells say their daughter has become increasingly disrespectful at home and school since her uncle – Renee’s brother – was killed in Afghanistan in December 2011. She has been unresponsive to other forms of punishment including being grounded.

‘We just felt like she just kind of gave up,’ said Renee, who also has two younger children.

Gentry was present with his daughter the entire time. He says as the time passed, he could see moments in which his daughter was thinking about the actions that had led her to that corner.

‘At the end, she gave me a hug in front of the police officer and told me she was sorry,’ he said.

The Nickells claim their daughter’s behavior has improved since the incident.

Food truck for DOGS sets tails wagging with tasty ‘chef inspired’ meal treats

A food truck for dogs that promises to bring artisanal treats to four legged foodies is to open in Phoenix this weekend.

Serving up flavors to pooches such as beef short rib, braised brisket and grilled sirloin steak, the Chef Michael’s Food Truck for Dogs claims that as well as being tasty, the meals are nutritional too.

‘They sound inspired by human food because they are,’ says Niky Roberts, spokesperson for Chef Michael’s, the Purina-owned brand that operates the nationally touring truck.

A new food truck allows dogs to snack on tasty artisanal treats created by a top chefA new food truck allows dogs to snack on tasty artisanal treats created by a top chef

‘We create chef-inspired meals for dogs. We work with nutritionists, dog behaviorists and even chefs to create meals for dogs that are nutritionally sound for them and meet their needs.’

Setting customers back up to $10, the inspiration for the truck came when Michael realized that people often stop at food trucks in the street, but their pets are going without.

 

‘In 2012, they recognized that dogs are under-served at the curb,’ said spokesman Aaron Methvin to Az Family.

‘So we launched the Chef Michael’s Food Truck for Dogs so that canines can enjoy a meal with their owners at different food truck stops along the way.’

Serving up flavors to pooches such as beef short rib, braised brisket and grilled sirloin steak, the Chef Michael's Food Truck for Dogs claims that as well as being tasty, the meals are nutritional tooServing up flavors to pooches such as beef short rib, braised brisket and grilled sirloin steak, the Chef Michael’s Food Truck for Dogs claims that as well as being tasty, the meals are nutritional too

 

Setting customers back up to $10, the inspiration for the truck came when Michael realized that people often stop at food trucks in the street, but their pets are going without.Setting customers back up to $10, the inspiration for the truck came when Michael realized that people often stop at food trucks in the street, but their pets are going without.

‘It’s been awesome for us to provide a well-rounded meal for their dog, while they’re there also enjoying the food trucks.’

The meals contain real meat as the main ingredient. ‘It’s got the tender kibble in there, along with the crunchy kibble,’ Methvin says.

‘A lot of vendors will put a water bowl out for dogs, which is great, but there’s not really a lot (at these events) for dogs (that is) specifically designed for a dog, something that’s not going to upset their stomach, like giving them half of an ice cream or a hot dog,’ says Niky Roberts, spokesperson for Chef Michael’s.

‘We wanted to create a moment where the owner and the dog can bond, but provide something specifically made for the nutritional needs of the dog.’

Female cyberstalker ‘made death and rape threats against Billy Joel’s daughter’ before she was eventually tracked down by Paul McCartney’s private detectives

A female stalker allegedly made horrific threats of sexual violence and murder to Billy Joel’s daughter, Alexa Ray, but was eventually tracked down by private detectives to woods in Minnesota where she was found naked.

According to the New York Post, Sheryl Finley, 40, of Austin, has been charged with threatening Alexa Ray Joel, 27, with terrifying messages sent from Facebook over several months.

Billy Joel was so concerned that he got in touch with Paul McCartney who recommended a private security firm to help solve the case and stop the threats.

Threatened: Billy Joel's daughter, Alexa Ray (left), was reportedly terrified by the Facebook messages from the cyberstalker Threatened: Billy Joel’s daughter, Alexa Ray (left), was reportedly terrified by the Facebook messages from the cyberstalker

According to court records quoted by the Post, Finley sent more than 60 messages and some mentioned ‘pedophilia, sadistic-sexual behavior, violent physical assaults and murder.’

Finlay reportedly had treatment for mental issues in 2010.

 

Alexa’s mother, supermodel Christie Brinkley, was ‘terrified’ that someone was going to hurt her daughter, while Billy was ‘worried but focused.’

The Post reports that the 27-year-old singer, songwriter and pianist was scared to leave her Manhattan home.

Sheryl Finley
Alexa Ray Joel

Sheryl Finley (top) is accused of making terrifying threats to Alexa Ray Joel (bottom) by Facebook message

 

Billy Joel recruited a bodyguard for his only child and then asked the former Beatle for his advice on private detectives.

According to ABC 6 News the investigators endorsed by McCartney tracked Finley’s log-ins on computers at a community college and a public library in Austin, Minnesota.

When she was intercepted Finlay told authorities that the violent threats she had made were not things she wanted to do ‘during this life,’ according to court records reported by the Post.

Finley told officers that she hoped that Alexa Ray would not ‘object to meeting with her.’

The 40-year-old has been released from jail after posting bond, but will face felony and gross misdemeanor charges.

Clues: Private detectives tracked down log-ins to the Riverland library in Austin, Minnesota Clues: Private detectives tracked down log-ins to the Riverland library in Austin, Minnesota

Hilarious moment animal control officer carries off gigantic, squealing pig from quiet neighborhood after residents spotted the hog roaming the streets

Residents in a quiet neighborhood in Greensboro, North Carolina were astounded this week when they spotted a giant pig roaming around.

Unsure of where the hog came from and uncertain of what to do with the animal intruder, neighbors called Guilford County Animal Control on Thursday around 4pm to help.

An officer who arrived at the scene managed to keep the pig contained and calm in a grassy area but his truck wasn’t large enough to transport the massive animal.

Guilford County Animal Control Furry friend: Guilford County Animal Control E. Afari carries off a gigantic pig discovered roaming a neighborhood on Thursday in Greensboro, NC

Finally another animal control officer,  E. Afari, arrived on the scene.

The fearless responder scooped up the pig and the animal belted out in a ‘horrific, loud squeal’ until the officer placed it in a cage in his truck, according to the News-Record.

The animal control officers and the police had no idea where the pig came from and even area residents were left dumbfounded on how the pig managed to enter the residential spot.

Greensboro is the third largest city in North Carolina and is not a rural community.

LostLost: The pig was wandering around in the grass in this Greensboro neighborhood

A representative from Guilford County Animal Control told the MailOnline on Saturday that they didn’t have any information about the status of the pig.

The Greensboro Police likewise didn’t have information about what happened to the animal.

From the photo it appears that the animal could be a Large White Pig, possibly a Yorkshire pig.

This breed of swine is valued for their bacon production.

Tough-on-crime police chief accidentally eats entire cannabis-laced cake left at his home by his daughter’s friend

A tough-talking Ohio police chief was hospitalized after he fell ill from eating a pot-laced cake at his home that was intended for his younger daughter.

Berkemeier Laurelville Police Chief Mike Berkemeier was hospitalized after eating a cake baked with hash oil

Laurelville Police Chief Mike Berkemeier unwittingly ate the pastry on Easter Sunday, thinking it was left by a friend as a goodwill gesture since his eldest daughter was in the hospital following a major traffic accident.

The bizarre mix up left the officer disoriented and confused and his youngest daughter revealed how a friend had baked the cake with hash oil.

Chief Berkemeier, who has pledged to clean up the community and has made good on that promise with a series of drug raids and cracking down on speeding, told the Logan Daily News about the unfortunate turn of events.

He had spent the day on March 31, Easter Sunday, at the hospital with his eldest daughter, who had been hurt in a car accident.

Arriving home exhausted after the harrowing incident, he decided to eat something and was going to fix himself a sandwich but instead opted for a delicious looking cake that was on the kitchen counter.

Shortly after eating that cake, Berkemeier says he began to feel sick like never before.

‘It was flat out the worst experience of my entire life,’ he said about the unintentional high he experienced.

‘I have never felt like I was going to die before. Not knowing what has happened to you and feeling like you have no control over what’s happening and not knowing what’s happened, is, I can’t even describe. It’s the most awful feeling in the world. I really didn’t think I was going to live to see the next day. And that’s the God’s honest truth,’ he explained.

Mix upMix up: Laurelville Police Chief Mike Berkemeier, with his fiancee Vanessa Vara, ate the pastry on Easter Sunday, thinking it was left by a friend as a goodwill gesture

He was dumbfounded as to what caused him to feel to ill and thought maybe there were toxins in his home and so he went outside for some fresh air.

‘I was on the phone with my daughter in the hospital, and I’m talking to her and I’m answering questions, but I’m not remembering what I just said. I’m going, “What is wrong me?”‘ Berkemeier said.

He then drove to the Laurelville police station for assistance.

‘I don’t remember much of the drive here, even though it’s just a few blocks and was met by a couple of the medics from the fire department,’ he said.

HelpHelp: After he began to feel ill, the police chief drove to the Laurelville police station to get help

He was admitted to the Berger Hospital in Circleville for a day-and-a-half while doctors performed various tests to try to understand what the problem was.

Berger’s fiancee, Vanessa Vara, inquired about the cake in a conversation with her younger daughter who immediately knew what was going on.

‘When Vara asked her daughter where the cake came from, a scream was immediately heard over the phone,’ Berkemeier told the local paper.

‘I could hear it from the hospital bed. I could hear it over my fiance’s phone,’ the father said.

SourceSource: The policeman was hospitalized and doctors were dumbfounded as to the source of his sickness. His fiancee, right, found out from his daughter that the cake was loaded with hash oil

‘And then I thought, what is going on? She hangs up the phone and says it was the cake, get the nurse,’ he said.

Realizing the source of the problem, doctors promptly gave him a sedative and he slept off the impacts of the high.

Few details were provided about the source of the pot-laced cake, but the local news reported that a friend of the chief’s younger daughter brought the cake to the family’s home, even though the daughter reportedly pleaded with the friend not to store the spiked pastry in the home.

The Hocking County Sheriff’s office is investigating possible charges of corrupting another with drugs and assault.

Pictured: Dramatic moment armed FBI agents and police officers took down robbery suspects outside Oklahoma home

  • Michael Lewis, 27, and Jerry Lewis, 19, were arrested on federal bank robbery charges on Friday
  • Duo are believed linked to at least five bank robberies throughout the Oklahoma City area in the last two months

With multiple weapons drawn and a pistol placed to his head, a dramatic photo captures the moment FBI agents and police officers took down a suspected serial bank robber, while appearing nothing short of a Hollywood movie.

The incredible scene out of Oklahoma City on Friday led to three arrests linked to at least five bank robberies throughout the area in the last two months, according to authorities.

Michael Lewis, 27, and Jerry Lewis, 19, were apprehended just hours after the last armed robbery was reported at the city’s MidFirst Bank that morning.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

Locked and loaded: Oklahoma City Police and the FBI take one of three bank robbery suspects into custody from his home in Oklahoma City on FridayLocked and loaded: Oklahoma City Police and the FBI take one of three bank robbery suspects into custody from his home in Oklahoma City on Friday

The pair successfully fled the scene with an undisclosed sum before crashing their stolen car into a tree in an apartment complex.

Fears of the armed men running on foot throughout the area led to four schools placed under lock down.

 

The men were later found at two separate homes on the same street of Los Pueblos.

A third suspect, Edna Huff, 21, was also arrested inside one of the homes on related charges. A fourth arrest was made without their name or relation provided.

‘We definitely do believe that they all are connected,’ FBI Special Agent Rick Rains told News9 of the two men’s arrest.

Serial thefts: The men are believed to be responsible for at least five bank robberies throughout the area in the last two months, one picturedSerial thefts: The men are believed to be responsible for at least five bank robberies throughout the area in the last two months, one pictured

Michael Deon Lewis, age 27, and Jerry Carlton Lewis, age 19, both of Oklahoma City, were arrested on federal bank robbery charges
Michael Deon Lewis, age 27, and Jerry Carlton Lewis, age 19, both of Oklahoma City, were arrested on federal bank robbery charges

Nabbed: Michael Deon Lewis, age 27, top, and Jerry Carlton Lewis, age 19, bottom, both of Oklahoma City, were arrested on federal bank robbery charges on Friday

Getaway: Authorities say that after crashing their stolen vehicle into a tree while fleeing the bank, pictured here, they fled on foot prompting the lock down of four schoolsGetaway: Authorities say that after crashing their stolen vehicle into a tree while fleeing the bank, pictured here, they fled on foot prompting the lock down of four schools

Ambush: Officers swarmed two homes, one pictured, just hours after a morning bank robbery at Oklahoma City's MidFirst BankAmbush: Officers swarmed two homes, one pictured, just hours after a morning bank robbery at Oklahoma City’s MidFirst Bank

Bank robberies face suspects with up to 20 years behind bars, according to Rains.

After an ongoing string of bank robberies throughout the area, the suspects’ arrest hopes to calm residents’ late worries about going to their bank.

‘I don’t have a bank account right now and I’m not going to get one, not with this going on. I’m going to bury my money in the backyard,’ one man joked to News9 after hearing of the latest heist.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:

 

Live like a Russian spy: Suburban New Jersey home of married KGB agents who inspired The Americans TV show goes on market

The beige colonial boasts four bedrooms, an updated kitchen – and the chance to own a slice of Russian spy history that inspired the new television series The Americans.

The U.S. Marshals Service is selling a Montclair, New Jersey, home whose previous owners were arrested in 2010 by the FBI and accused of being members of a Russian spy ring.

Authorities said the home’s former occupants went by the aliases Richard and Cynthia Murphy and led what appeared to be a banal suburban life.

Spies' den: The Montclair, NJ, house where KGB agents 'Richard Murphy' and 'Cynthia Murphy' were arrested by the FBI has been put up for sale by the U.S. Marshals Service Spies’ den: The Montclair, NJ, house where KGB agents ‘Richard Murphy’ and ‘Cynthia Murphy’ were arrested by the FBI has been put up for sale by the U.S. Marshals Service

 

Cynthia
Richard

Sleeper agents: The home’s former occupants  – deep-cover KGB agents – went by the aliases Cynthia Murphy (left) and Richard Murphy (right), but their real names are Lydia and Vladimir Guryev

 

Stranger than fiction: The 2010 real-life spy drama inspired the new FX series The Americans, which follows two married undercover KGB agents Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, played by Matthew Rhys and Kerri RussellStranger than fiction: The 2010 real-life spy drama inspired the new FX series The Americans, which follows two married undercover KGB agents Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, played by Matthew Rhys and Kerri Russell

Lawyers for the couple said the man was a stay-at-home father to two daughters and his wife worked for a New York accounting firm and made $135,000 a year.

It was all an elaborate, illegal ruse straight out of the popular FX series The Americans, which was in fact inspired by the real-life spy saga.

Like in the show, which follows married Russian sleeper agents Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, the Murphys – whose real names are Vladimir and Lydia Guryev – were part of a group of deep-cover Russian operatives who had been living in the U.S. for years under the guise of leading seemingly normal lives.

Guryevs and eight others – including the redheaded beauty Anna Chapman – were arrested in June 2010 after a decade-long counterintelligence probe that led to the biggest spy swap since the Cold War.

Both pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign country and were deported not long after their arrests.

The Guryevs lived in New Jersey for more than 15 years and had two children: Kate, 11, and Lisa, 9, who were later taken away by FBI agents.

Average home: The beige colonial four-bedroom house with $444,900 list price is located on Marquette Road in Montclair, described by one realtor as a perfectly ordinary street Average home: The beige colonial four-bedroom house with $444,900 list price is located on Marquette Road in Montclair, described by one realtor as a perfectly ordinary street

 

Until recently, the dwelling was plastered with 'No Trespassing' signs and other court documentsUntil recently, the dwelling was plastered with ‘No Trespassing’ signs and other court documents

 

Eyesore: Neighbors say Murphys' former residence has fallen into disrepair, with overgrown bushes and brown lawn in the front yard Fixer-upper: Neighbors say Murphys’ former residence has fallen into disrepair, with overgrown bushes and brown lawn in the front yard

Prosecutors described a ring that used techniques both elaborate and seemingly out of a Cold War spy movie.

The group meshed into American life while engaging in clandestine global travel with fake passports, using invisible ink and engaging in practices so sophisticated the government would not describe them in open court.

It was all toward the goal of infiltrating U.S. policy circles and learning about U.S. diplomacy and weapons information.

Cynthia Murphy provided financial planning for venture capitalist Alan Patricof, a political fundraiser with extremely close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

When the case broke, the secretary of state’s spokesman issued a statement as an attempt to distance Mrs Clinton from the spy ring.

‘There is no reason to believe that the Secretary of State was a special target of this spy ring,’ her spokesman said.

In 2009, authorities allege the Guryevs were asked to find out information from people involved in U.S. politics and foreign policy about President Obama’s impending trip to Russia and how he would negotiate with regards to the START nuclear arms treaty, Afghanistan and Iran’s nuclear program.

Authorities said they found $80,000 in crisp $100 bills in the Montclair home, which was paid for by the Russian government.

The home has an unfinished basement and a $444,900 list price with Fast Track Real Estate Co., of nearby Waldwick.

Double-life: Richard Murphy (left) shown with suspect Christopher Metsos (right) was a mostly stay-at-home dad to two pre-teen children with his wife who worked for an accounting firm that had close ties to Bill and Hillary ClintonDouble-life: Richard Murphy (left) shown with suspect Christopher Metsos (right) was a mostly stay-at-home dad to two pre-teen children with his wife who worked for an accounting firm that had close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton

The sale comes after a default judgment in a federal civil case that ordered the marshals to sell the property. Until recently, the dwelling was plastered with ‘No Trespassing’ signs and other court documents.

Neighbors in Montclair told NBC News that they were relieved that the house finally has been put up for sale because over the past three years, it has become an eyesore.

According to the real estate site Zillow.com, the average-looking house at 31 Marquette Road sold in September 2008 for $481,000.

The two-story residence has four bedrooms, one-and-a-half baths and was built in 1950.

‘If there is an “Ozzie and Harriet” road in Montclair, it’s Marquette,’ real estate agent Roberta Baldwin told NJ.com in 2010. ‘You couldn’t get more normal. You couldn’t find anything more quiet and demure.’

In The Americans, which takes place in the 1980s, Philip Jennings, played by Matthew Rhys, and his wife and spy partner Elizabeth, portrayed by Kerri Russell, live in a similarly ordinary house in a quiet Washington DC suburb.

Anna Chapman
Anna Chapman

Agent provocateur: One of the Moscow agents caught by the FBI in 2010 was the redhead stunner Anna Chapman, who since being sent back to Russia has turned into a TV personality

As young KGB agents, Philip and Elizabeth were sent to the US in the 1960s with instructions to lead a normal life, build a family and blend in while fulfilling their mission to serve the Motherland.

When they are not trying to steal state secrets or outsmart their FBI agent neighbor, the pair of sleuths moonlighting as travel agents are struggling to keep their marriage from falling apart.

like the Guryevs, the Jenningses have two young children, which significantly complicates matters for them.

In fact, several couples who were exposed as Russian spies in 2010 also had kids, some as young as one year old,  who ended up being left behind when their parents were sent back to Russia.

According to court documents filed in the case in 2010, like in the case of the fictional characters in The Americans, the Guryevs’ main objective was to blend in.

One message from their handlers back home read: ‘You were sent to USA for long-term service trip. Your education, bank accounts, car, house, etc – all these serve one goal: fulfill your main mission, i.e. to search and develop ties in policymaking circles and send intels [intelligence reports] to C[enter].’

– dailymail.co.uk

Murder on Google Earth? Does this shocking satellite image show a brutal murder being carried out at a lakeside in the Netherlands?

  • Satellite picture from Almere, Holland has been posted on Reddit
  • The image has sparked speculation as to what was going on by the lake

 

It could be the scene of a particularly gruesome murder.

Or it could just be a trail of water left by a dog that’s been paddling in the lake.

But this satellite shot from Google maps has sparked online speculation that a nasty crime may have taken place and gone undetected in the city of Almere, across the water from Amsterdam in Holland.

With what looks like a trail of blood apparently leading from a waterside jetty into a park, it’s easy to see why eagle eyed readers might have feared a murder had taken place.

Crime scene? A picture posted on Reddit has sparked speculation that something sinister happened and went undetected in the Dutch city of AlmereCrime scene? A picture posted on Reddit has sparked speculation that something sinister happened and went undetected in the Dutch city of Almere

The picture appears to show at least one shady figure stood at the end of the jetty.

But if the satellite shot has captured a crime in progress the perpetrator is pretty brazen – it’s broad daylight.

The shot was posted on Reddit with the caption ‘A murder near my house on Google Maps’.

It’s not the first time that unusual images have been spotted on Google Earth.

Earlier this year, Fiona Powell of Bristol came across a ghostly image of a man at a house in a village bulldozed to make way for an airfield in South Gloucestershire.

New city: The photo was taken over the city of Almere in Holland (pictured)New city: The photo was taken over the city of Almere in Holland (pictured)

The village of Charlton had been destroyed in 1946 so that the airfield in Filton – owned by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, which is now BAE Systems – could be extended for the giant Brabazon airliner.

Security guard Jason Cook also claimed to have spotted the Loch Ness monster in satellite images.

He claimed that the 65ft oblong shape followed by thin strands is actually the highly contested creature which is famously said to inhabit the open stretch of water in the Scottish Highlands.

The city of Almere where the latest bizarre Google Earth image was captured is Holland’s newest city and home to more than 193,000 people.

Jason Cooke says this Google Earth image looks just like the Loch Ness Monster

Is this it? Jason Cooke says this Google Earth image looks just like the Loch Ness Monster

Circled: A haunting image of a man was captured on Google Earth at the remains of a house in a ghost village in South Gloucestershire that was bulldozed to make way for an airfieldCircled: A haunting image of a man was captured on Google Earth at the remains of a house in a ghost village in South Gloucestershire that was bulldozed to make way for an airfield

Mom charged with child abuse for ‘lifting her 3-year-old son over zoo’s protective barriers where he got mauled by a bobcat’

A New Mexico mother has been arrested for child abuse after lifting her three-year-old son over a safety railing at the zoo which led to the child being attacked by a bobcat last month.

Courtney Hutchins, 22, of Carlsbad was arrested on Thursday and released on $5,000 bail.

Investigators say that the woman had jumped the protective barrier with son Ethan Kennedy and they were coaxing the animal nearer when it lashed out and clawed at the child.

The boy needed eight staples to the left side of his head after the incident at the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park on March 18.

Courtney Hutchins
Bobcat

Courtney Hutchins (top) was accused of child abuse after allegedly lifting her 3-year-old son over a protective barrier at the zoo where he was mauled by a bobcat

Investigators concluded that: ''The only way to get around the barrier is to climb over it' Investigators concluded that: ”The only way to get around the barrier is to climb over it’

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that witnesses said Hutchins stepped over the railing right next to a warning not to cross the barrier.

The mother told police that she hadn’t seen the warnings and that she didn’t know what a barrier was until officers explained the term to her.

Hutchins first told animal officers at the park that she was sitting next to the enclosure with Ethan and her brother LeeVon Hutchins.

In the police report, Courtney said she looked away when she heard a noise from the mountain lions and then a bobcat grabbed the boy from ‘out of her arms.’

The incident happened at the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park in Carlsbad, New Mexico, on March 18The incident happened at the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park in Carlsbad, New Mexico, on March 18

According to the Current-Argus LeeVon Hutchins admitted to the animal officer that their party was sitting on the barrier but claimed they were doing it to keep other visitors away from the ‘passive aggressive’ cats.

LeeVon said in the police report that the ‘bobcat’s paw reached out, grabbed Ethan by the head and pulled Ethan towards the fence.’

When Carlsbad Police Detective Tonia Tiller investigated, however, she found the protective railing traveled around the perimeter of the whole bobcat exhibit.

‘The only way to get around the barrier is to climb over it,’ she wrote.

Tiller also noted that there is a there is a 33-inch gap between the barrier and the fence of the enclosure.

Even when the fence was pulled as far towards the barrier as it would go this only reduced the gap by 8 inches.

Courtney Hutchins said she looked away when she heard a noise from the mountain lions and then a bobcat grabbed the boy from 'out of her arms'Courtney Hutchins said she looked away when she heard a noise from the mountain lions and then a bobcat grabbed the boy from ‘out of her arms’

– dailymail.co.uk

‘Wow, this is all new!’ Man released from prison after 38 years following unfair trial ruling enjoys how much the world has changed since 1975

  • David Bryant was released from jail on Thursday
  • A judge ruled that he did not receive a fair trial in the case of a brutal rape and murder of 8-year-old neighbor in 1975
  • Bryant, who was 18 when he was imprisoned, enjoys new technology, bigger food portions and softer beds

A man who was released from jail after almost 40 years when a judge ruled he did not receive a fair trial has spent his first days of freedom enjoying how much technology, food and bedding has changed since 1975.

David Bryant, now 56, was dramatically sprung on Thursday after a Bronx judge ruled that his defense during hearings into the brutal rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl had been flawed.

The man, who was just 18 when he was imprisoned, looked at an iPad and iPhone with amazement, according to the New York Post.

Free man: David Bryant has been released from prison after serving 39 years for the murder of an 8-year-old girl he says he did not commitFree man: David Bryant, 56, from Bronx, has been released from prison after serving 39 years for the murder of an 8-year-old girl he says he did not commit’Wow, this is all new!’ Bryant said as he used the tablet.When he picked up a smart phone bought for him by the advocacy group that helped get him released, he remembered that in 1975 everyone dialed with a rotary phone.

‘The last time I was out, it was ‘tick, tick, tick,” Bryant said as he motioned with his hand.

Food was also a surprise to the newly-released man. ‘I couldn’t believe how much the size of the food has changed. Everything is so huge. Who can eat all that?’ he said.

‘I feel like I walked out of a time machine. Everything is totally different,’ he told the New York Daily News.

Bryant told the Post: ‘Last night they took me to dinner at a nice restaurant, and the appetizers were more than we would eat for a week.’

Incarcerated: Bryant, now 56, spent the last 38 years in Marcy prison in upstate New YorkIncarcerated: Bryant, now 56, spent the last 38 years in Marcy prison in upstate New York

He spent the night of his release at the home of Centurion Ministries director Kate Germond. ‘In there (prison) the bed was like a rock, and here last night the bed was so soft,’ Bryant enthused. ‘I’m like a little kid learning to walk again.’

After being told he was a free man, Bryant shouted out cries of joy and revealed how his parents never believed he was innocent.

According to the Post, he tearfully said outside court: ‘I just wanna go to church and get on my knees and pray for my mother and father because they never believed me.

‘I wish they were alive today so that I could tell them that I didn’t do it.’

The New York Times reports the judge found the failure of Bryant’s attorney to consult with a blood and semen testing expert deprived him of a fair trial.

Free at last: David Bryant cries tears of joy after being released from prisonFree at last: David Bryant cries tears of joy after being released from prison

The then-18-year-old Bryant was arrested less than a day after the discovery of New York City girl Karen Smith’s body in the stairwell of an apartment house. She’d been raped, beaten and stabbed.

A spokesman for the Bronx district attorney’s office says no decision has been made on appealing the judge’s ruling.

Bryant was freed after the advocacy group, The Centurion Ministries, filed a motion because it believed Bryant was wrongfully convicted.

It claimed he received poor counsel because Bryant’s court-appointed lawyer did no question semen and blood evidence which was picked up at the scene of the crime.

It was discovered that Bryant’s blood type did not match semen found at the scene where the youngster was killed.

Tears of joy: David Bryant receives a hug from Kate Germond, from the Centurion Ministries, who fought hard with his legal team to get him released from prisonTears of joy: David Bryant receives a hug from Kate Germond, from the Centurion Ministries, who fought hard alongside his legal team to get him released from prison

After being left shocked by the decision, Bryant realised he would quickly need to come to terms with how the world has changed during his time in prison.

He said: ‘You come out and you see all the changes and you don’t know if you’re going to make the adaptations to this new life.’

To celebrate his new-found freedom, Bryant said he wanted a box of Kentucky Fried Chicken, biscuits, Dunkin’ Donuts and Pepsi.

‘I love you, be good!!’ The touching tale of a daughter who tattooed mother’s last note written hours before she died on her arm

  • Taylor Smith’s mother died in her sleep in February 2011 from a heart failure
  • The note was left for the 20-year-old college student before her parents went on a weekend getaway

 

Taylor Smith does not have to strain her memory to recall her mother’s last words – because she had them etched into her skin.

Smith, 20, a student at Central Michigan University, posted a photo on the popular site Tumblr displaying a tattoo on her arm consisting of the words: ‘I Love you Be good!! – Mom’

Next to the tattoo the 20-year-old placed a folded page from a lined notebook with the same words written in her mother’s hand.

Message of love: Taylor Smith, 20, posted a photo on the site Tumblr displaying a tattoo on her arm consisting of the words from her late mother's last note to her: 'I Love you Be good!! - Mom' Message of love: Taylor Smith, 20, posted a photo on the site Tumblr displaying a tattoo on her arm consisting of the words from her late mother’s last note to her: ‘I Love you Be good!! – Mom’

Smith wrote beneath the photo: ‘It’s on my left forearm. It’s a note my mom left me the night she died. Here’s a side-by-side-by-side shot of the two.’

The touching image went viral on the site, with more than 410,000 ‘likes’ and ‘rebloggs.’

In response to numerous queries from curious Tumblr users, Smith explained in a post on the site that her mother passed away suddenly in February 2011 from what was believed to be a heart failure.

At the time she had written the note, Smith said that her mother had no idea she was going to die later that same night.

According to the college student, on the day of her mother’s passing, her parents headed to the family’s cottage for the weekend to celebrate their anniversary.

Smith, who lives in an apartment near the CMU campus, wrote that she came to her parents’ home to watch their dog while they were away.

Sudden loss: Smith, a student at Central Michigan University, explained that her mother passed away suddenly in February 2011 from what was believed to be a heart failureSudden loss: Smith, a student at Central Michigan University, explained that her mother passed away suddenly in February 2011 from what was believed to be a heart failure

Girl Gets Tattoo of final note left by her now deceased mother
Girl Gets Tattoo of final note left by her now deceased mother

Following mom’s advice: Smith is a hardworking college student pursuing two majors who also holds two jobs as a secretary and a cashier in a Kohl’s department store (right)

She explained that her mother loved leaving notes for her, and since she did not get to the house in time to say goodbye to her parents before they hit the road, she was not surprised to find the handwritten missive from her mom.

‘The note was expected but the importance of it wasn’t because she didn’t know it was essentially her last good-bye,’ Smith wrote.

The daughter went on to say that later that night, her mother went to sleep, and never woke up, leaving her with those six little words to hang on to and cherish for the rest of her life.

‘It was very sudden and unexpected so the note is even more important to me because when she wrote it, she was just saying goodbye for the weekend,’ Smith wrote.

In another post on Tumblr responding to users’ questions about her unique tattoo, Smith, who has three other tattoos, noted that her brother and sister tried to dissuade her from inking their mother’s last words on her arm, but she has been getting a lot of positive feedback about the unusual body art from other people.

Girl Gets Tattoo of final note left by her deceased mother
Girl Gets Tattoo of final note left by her deceased mother

Body art aficionado: Smith (pictured) said that her brother and sister were not happy with her decision to ink their mother’s last words, but she has been getting compliments on the tattoo from other people

From her Instagram and Tumblr accounts, Smith emerges as a well-adjusted, bubbly young woman with a quirky sense of humor and lots of interests.

She shared online that she is majoring in emotional impairment special education and English.

When she is not in class and writing papers, the 20-year-old works in CMU’s physics department as a secretary, and also has a second job as a cashier in a Kohl’s department store.

-dailymail.co.uk

The Walking Dead; The Cookery Show: TV execs casting for contestants for post-apocalyptic food-themed show

  • A TV production company is looking for contestants for a post-apocalyptic experimental cooking challenge show

A new TV cookery show is in the works which aims to feed on the current popularity for all things post-apocalyptic – including The Walking Dead – and the growing ‘prepper’ movement readying itself for the end of civilization as we know it.

According to advertisements placed on the Reality Wanted website, a ‘major TV network’ has decided the time is right for an experimental cooking challenge show featuring contestants making ‘unexpectedly delicious’ meals from whatever is close at hand rather than worrying about what is currently in season or what has been sourced locally.

TV production company Schweet Entertainment is looking for chefs to compete in ‘post-apocalyptic cooking challenge scenarios’ that will include using whatever is available to whip up a tasty meal without electricity or a fully stocked grocery store to help you out.

An experimental new cooking challenge show is in the works that will feature contestants making delicious meals from whatever they can find in post-apocalyptic scenariosAn experimental new cooking challenge show is in the works that will feature contestants making delicious meals from whatever they can find in post-apocalyptic scenarios

 

prepper
prepper

The new show will challenge chefs to create something tasty when there is nearly nothing available to cook

‘Are you willing to take on a challenge scenario where there’s nearly nothing available to cook with and make the tastiest meal possible?,’ reads their ad.

‘Can you take a few cans of food, a box of jello, a jar of beans, a car windshield to fashion a solar cooker, and create something unexpectedly delicious? New fun, extreme cooking challenge series will put chefs and survivalists to the test to stretch the bounds of their creativity to whole new levels.’

 

The show promises to feature restaurant chefs facing-off in post-apocalyptic cooking challenge scenarios, reports Eater.

The same company is also seeking a survivalist expert to host the show and guide competitors on how best to track down food and water sources in post-apocalyptic scenarios.

Hungry for more: Zombie-apocalypse show The Walking Dead is one of the most successful drama series in cable TV historyHungry for more: Zombie-apocalypse show The Walking Dead is one of the most successful drama series in cable TV history

‘This fun, extreme cooking challenge series will teach the public a wide range of survival skills and showcase highly-creative methods of creating gourmet meals from the most limited of resources,’ the ad continues.

One of chief inspirations for the show is undoubtedly the runaway success of zombie-apocalypse series The Walking Dead, which managed to draw in 12.4 million viewers for the finale of its third series at the end of last month.

‘The Walking Dead’ averages seven million U.S. viewers ages 18 to 49, making it the top-rated drama for that demographic in cable history, according to AMC.

The hit zombie-themed television series has already helped turn the small town Senoia, 25 miles south of Atlanta, into a thriving tourist attraction.

For the show’s third season the Senoia was transformed into the fictional town of Woodbury.

SenoiaOnce a quiet little town, Senoia, has seen a tourist boom since fans of ‘The Walking Dead’ began visiting

SenoiaThe zombie drama has become a cultural phenomenon and one of cable television’s top-rated dramas

Fans proved eager to get a behind-the-scenes look at filming in and around Senoia, have been traveling to the area and have found a town that had stopped cutting the grass and weeding the flower beds to foster an authentic post-apocalyptic setting, said Mayor Robert Belisle.

Stores displayed zombie-themed T-shirts next to baby clothes and home decor items.

Georgia has enticed the film and TV industry to towns across the state with generous tax incentives and dozens of direct flights each day between Atlanta and Los Angeles, said Scott Tigchelaar, a developer and president of Raleigh Studios – Atlanta, a film company whose 120-acre property in Senoia serves as home base for the show’s production.

The state hosted 333 films, TV productions and music videos between July 2011 and June 2012, generating nearly $880 million in direct spending by the entertainment industry, according to the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office.

SenoiaWith millions of tourists visiting the the small town, locals are even talking about building a five-star hotel

SenoiaA store with Walking Dead merchandise is scheduled to open in Senoia later this year when production resumes on the show

Senoia is not paid for the filming, leaving local leaders to find other ways to capitalize on the spotlight while preserving the town’s historic charm.

The downtown development authority installed sidewalk plaques to highlight some of the two dozen movies and TV series that have filmed in Senoia, including ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and ‘Drop Dead Diva’.

Tigchelaar, a Canada native whose development company has restored much of the downtown, said he and his brother-in-law bought a trolley to give tours of various film locations starting this spring.

A store with licensed merchandise for ‘The Walking Dead’ is set to open when production resumes in May and, later this year, developers expect to break ground on a boutique hotel.

‘Ten years ago to talk about a four-star hotel in Senoia, people probably would have laughed me out of town,’ Tigchelaar said

– dailymail.co.uk

Horror as man is set on fire inside his SUV by homeless man after he refused to give him money

A man was set on fire inside his SUV in Long Beach last night after reportedly refusing to give him any money.

Police say a homeless man set a 63-year-old California man on fire outside a 7-Eleven store by throwing a flammable substance inside the man’s parked SUV.

The unidentified victim is said to have walked past panhandler as he requested money.

As he got in the car, the man threw a flammable liquid into the vehicle and set it alight.

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Horrific attack: A 63-year-old man was set alight in his car on Long Beach after he refused to give the beggar money Horrific attack: A 63-year-old man was set alight in his car on Long Beach after he refused to give the beggar money
Firefighters rush to put out the flaming SUV after a 63-year-old man was set ablaze inside itFirefighters rush to put out the flaming SUV after a 63-year-old man was set ablaze inside it

Long Beach Sgt. Aaron Eaton says the man suffered severe burns in the Friday evening attack.

Bystanders helped douse the flames and 38-year-old Raymond Sean Clark was arrested a block away.

Clark was jailed on suspicion of attempted murder and on some misdemeanor warrants.

He was being held in lieu of $502,000 bail.

The victim was hospitalized in critical condition.

He suffered third degree burns to his chest and face with his orange T-shirt burned off his body, according to the Beachcomber blog.

It looks as if a bomb went off inside the SUV after it was torched by a panhandler It looks as if a bomb went off inside the SUV after it was torched by a panhandler
Suspect Raymond Sean Clark is taken into custody on charges of attempted murderSuspect Raymond Sean Clark is taken into custody on charges of attempted murder

‘This is an unsettling crime, a horrific act,’ Eaton told NBC Bay Area.

‘The potential for other people to get hurt through the vehicle catching fire next door, the building, someone walking by … it’s extremely unsettling for sure.

‘Right now it appears to be a random act,’ he said.

Steve Cox said he gave spare change to the alleged attacker minutes before the fire.

‘He didn’t seem like he was going to harm anybody. He wasn’t very aggressive or anything. I mean, asking for change, he seemed like a nice guy,’ Cox said.

‘I’m really surprised about what happened. It’s outrageous.’

'This is an unsettling crime' a police officer said of the attack‘This is an unsettling crime’ a police officer said of the attack

One witness said he’s seen the suspect, Clark, often around the neighborhood.

‘He’s always outside the 7-Eleven asking for money and smoking cigarettes,’ the man, who did not want to be identified, told the Los Angeles Daily News.

Shannon Flynn, 16, of Long Beach, said the victim ‘was engulfed in flames. The fire was so big, people were screaming. I just can’t believe this happened here.’

Robert Linkroum saw Clark approaching the SUV and described him as a man ‘walking on a mission’ as he threw what looked like a bottle into the vehicle.

‘It was crazy,’ he said. ‘The vehicle went up in flames immediately, just totally engulfed. It was all flames. It became so hot in 7-Eleven that I moved towards the back of the store because I thought the windows were going to blow.’

Freeband Double D Dead: Music Executive Killed in Highway Shooting

Click here to find out more!

GlobalGrind is sad to report the passing of music executive Freeband Double D. Double D was gunned down on Interstate 20 in DeKalb County, Georgia while driving his Maybach. No arrests have been made.

The shooting occurred during rush hour Thursday. According to DeKalb police spokeswoman Mekka Parish, witnesses say the shots were fired from a white SUV.

“We potentially could’ve had an extremely dangerous situation. At this point, we are still looking into the background of this victim,” said Parish.

An off-duty police officer was the first to respond to the shooting. Double D was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition, but later on died from his injuries.

Double D is known for his association with rappers Future, Young Scooter & Rick Ross

No reports of possible suspects or motives have been released. The investigation is on-going and police encourage anyone with information surrounding the shooting to step forward.

Rest In Peace Freeband Double D. You will be missed.

-globalgrind.com

YouTube star who rose to fame after hilarious drunk makeup tutorial now has more than one billion hits and 8.2 million subscribers

It all started with a hilarious tutorial on how to apply makeup while thoroughly intoxicated.

More than four million hits later and 8.2 million subscribers and ‘Jenna Marbles’ – her online persona – is one of the biggest stars on YouTube.

Real name Jenna Mourey, the 25-year-old shoot her videos out of her $1.1million Santa Monica town house – a far cry from the $800-a-month Cambridge, Massachusetts, pad she lived in when she first started out.

Her total video views have reached more than one billion and she has more Facebook fans and Twitter followers than some of the biggest celebrities in Planet Hollywood.

Star: Jenna Mourey shoots her videos out of her $1.1million Santa Monica town house - a far cry from the $800-a-month Cambridge, Massachusetts, pad she lived in when she first started out

Star: Jenna Mourey shoots her videos out of her $1.1million Santa Monica town house – a far cry from the $800-a-month Cambridge, Massachusetts, pad she lived in when she first started out

Co-stars: Her dogs Marbles and Kermit are also big stars of her videos and often sit inside her top for long periods of time

Co-stars: Her dogs Marbles and Kermit are also big stars of her videos and often sit inside her top for long periods of time

Presenters Larry King (L) and Jenna Marbles speak onstage at the 3rd Annual Streamy Awards at Hollywood Palladium

American entertainer and YouTube personality Jenna Marbles (real name Jenna Mourey) gets the James Joyce Award from the UCD L&H Society

Fame: Jenna Marbles with Larry King at the third Annual Streamy Awards at Hollywood Palladium, top, and bottom, she gets the James Joyce Award from the UCD L&H Society

But what makes her so popular? What separates her from the thousands of other wannabe YouTube stars? Her straight-up, funny, no-holds barred, profanity-laced videos have a huge fan base – mainly in the form of teenage girls all over America.

They love her because she speaks directly to them about issues that are important in their young lives. Issues like – Things Boys Don’t Understand, Things Boys Think About During Sex, How Guys Fall Asleep and Drunk Christmas Tree Decorating.

Since that first drunk makeup tutorial, she has had to hire an assistant, a business manager and take her mother on to deal with her fan mail and endorsement requests.

Though she would not disclose how much she is making in an interview with the New York Times,  industry experts estimate that a star at Jenna Marbles’s level could make a very comfortable six figures from advertising revenues that the video network pays out to members of the YouTube Partner Program.

TubeMogul, a video ad-buying platform in California, examined traffic on the Jenna Marbles channel and estimated that she could have earned as much as $346,827.12 in 2012.

She did tell the Times: ‘I make more money than I need ever.

‘I’m not completely sold that you ever have to transition to mainstream media, you know? What I get to do is have fun in my house, by myself, and put it on the Internet.’

Before and after: Jenna Mourey, a 25-year-old YouTube personality from Santa Monica, has uploaded a hilarious video of herself applying make-up while she is 'drunk.' She is shown slurring as she offers 'tips' to women

Before and after: Jenna Mourey, a 25-year-old YouTube personality from Santa Monica, has uploaded a hilarious video of herself applying make-up while she is ‘drunk.’ She is shown slurring as she offers ‘tips’ to women

When she and her boyfriend Max – who used to feature heavily on her videos – split up, the outcry from her fans was akin to that of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.

When she eventually announced the split on YouTube, her fans reacted on Twitter: ‘MY LIFE IS OVER’, ‘I feel like my parents are getting divorced,’ and ‘everything I know about love is a lie.’

In the summer of 2010, she was making ends meet by bartending, blogging, go-go dancing at nightclubs and working at a tanning salon, despite having a degree in sports psychology.

Fame came fast after she posted the drunk makeup tutorial which shows the-then 25-year-old attempting to apply false eyelashes, liquid eyeliner, lip liner and other cosmetics to her face in a video that pokes fun at the unpolished make-up often seen on inebriated women.

It first shows the Boston University graduate present a plastic cup filled with an unspecified liquid to the camera before getting to work on touching-up her face.

She is seen slurring at the camera: ‘Nobody really talks about how hard it is, if you go, like, day-drinking and then everyone’s like “yeah alright, rally in a few hours and then let’s go out”… how f***ing impossible it is to put make-up on and get ready when you’re drunk.’

What follows is a suspiciously coherent, albeit ridiculous, demonstration on how to apply common cosmetics.

First, Miss Mourey is shown discussing skin preparation.

image001.pngimage010.png

Messy: The YouTube star’s tutorial has attracted more than one million hits since it was uploaded Wednesday

She says: ‘I don’t recommend washing your face because you might drown.

‘Make it look like your skin is not so angry at you for your bad life choices,’ she says.

‘Make your face look like a different face by piling on, like, the heaviest make-up you can find and do it with some kind of brush that doesn’t judge you.

‘If you can’t move your brush good, just move your face.’

Funny: She advises women not to wash their face in fear that by doing so, 'you might drown'

Funny: She advises women not to wash their face in fear that by doing so, ‘you might drown’

Miss Mourey also talks about how time-starved women often are when they’re forced to continue a day’s worth of drinking into the night.

She says: ‘You don’t have time for concealer but you have time for powder for when you start crying later about how some boy doesn’t like you.

‘What I like to do is take liquid eyeliner… take a little baby step and now you’re committed, there’s no turning back.

She then applies eye shadow to her eyelids.

‘You’ve got the black and then you want to just put some sh** on your sh**.’

She now does uncanny impressions of famous people including Snooki, Lady Gaga. Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber.

drunk
Drunk girl

Thorough: She uses powder rather than concealer before attempting to add eye shadow to her eyelids

drunk
image014.png

Struggle: False eyelashes prove difficult to apply but Miss Mourey claims that the job is rather easy

Beauty: She goes so far as to attempt to apply lip liner, telling viewers the colour does not matterBeauty: She goes so far as to attempt to apply lip liner, telling viewers the colour does not matter

The end: The final result is completely unflattering, leading viewers to suspect that her techniques are in fact poking fun at womenThe end: The final result is completely unflattering, leading viewers to suspect that her techniques are in fact poking fun at women