Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bungled Burglary

March 29, 2015 VSN News A Texas burglar was foiled by his own stupidity and a cool, female homeowner who confronted him in the act, causing him to run away. But he didn't get far, as he was collared by police only a couple of blocks from the crime scene. He was identified for police by the female homeowner, arrested and taken to jail. When confronted by the homeowner inside her home, the perp claimed he was trying to alert her to the burglary by someone else
, but had left his own phone inside the house. Just then, his phone began to ring, from his own pocket. The perpetrator then fled on foot, leaving a trail of dropped or discarded items stolen from the home. The victim locked the door behind him and called 911.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Snuff Killing of California Woman

California woman killed by gravel dumped on her car in driveway SAN FRANCISCO | By Emmett Berg (Reuters) - A San Francisco-area woman was crushed to death in her driveway by a load of gravel that spilled accidentally from a dump truck onto her car as she was about to move the vehicle at the request of construction workers, authorities said on Tuesday. The tragedy occurred on Monday afternoon while sidewalk construction was under way along a half-mile stretch of the woman's street in the East Bay town of Martinez, according to an initial report gathered by workplace safety inspectors. “Someone knocked on her door, the lady came out, then actually the chain of events that happened from there are under investigation as to how the gravel load came down onto the woman’s car, pinning her and killing her inside,” said Julia Bernstein, a spokeswoman for California's Occupational Safety and Health Division. “It was not expected, and it was absolutely an accident,” she said. The Contra Costa County coroner's office identified the victim as Lindsey Combs, 32, who according to her Facebook profile was a hairdresser and the mother of a 4-year-old girl. Martinez police were not immediately available for comment. State safety inspectors have six months to investigate and report on the incident, including any citations or fines that might be issued should workplace infractions be found. Bernstein said the general contractor for the project was cited in 2009 and 2010 for such regulatory violations as failing to post proper signs. (Reporting by Emmett Berg; Editing by Steve Gorman and Eric Beech)

Penis Theft Hurting Congo Men

Penis theft panic hits city.. KINSHASA | By Joe Bavier (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft. Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur. Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings. Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure. "You just have to be accused of that, and people come after you. We've had a number of attempted lynchings. ... You see them covered in marks after being beaten," Kinshasa's police chief, Jean-Dieudonne Oleko, told Reuters on Tuesday. Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs. The 27 men have since been released. "I'm tempted to say it's one huge joke," Oleko said. "But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said. Some Kinshasa residents accuse a separatist sect from nearby Bas-Congo province of being behind the witchcraft in revenge for a recent government crackdown on its members. "It's real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny," said 29-year-old Alain Kalala, who sells phone credits near a Kinshasa police station. (Editing by Nick Tattersall and Mary Gabriel)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Iowa Mailman Shortens Work Week - Punches Out Girlfriend

Associated Press March 20, 2015 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Des Moines mail carrier has been sentenced to a year of probation for throwing 63 pieces of mail off a bridge last May instead of delivering them. Court documents show Shayne L. Lovelady, 29, agreed to plead guilty on Jan. 21 to "desertion of mail." Prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of mail destruction. He was sentenced Thursday. Lovelady was working as a rural mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service delivering mail for the South Des Moines post office on May 19, documents filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Bruner in federal court in Des Moines said. "Rather than deliver the mail or return the undelivered mail to another postal service employee, Lovelady 'pitched' approximately 63 pieces of various classes of mail over the side of a bridge before returning to South Des Moines Station," documents said. Lovelady was immediately placed on off-duty status then fired July 26, said John Friess, a spokesman for the postal service in an email message. The mail Lovelady tossed was later recovered and delivered, Friess said. "The Postal Service prides itself on providing excellent customer service and consistently monitors and supervises the work habits and methods of our employees to protect the mails and ensure we are providing timely and efficient service to our customers," he said. Lovelady was indicted Oct. 29. He faced a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. He didn't immediately reply to an email message Friday and his telephone number was disconnected. Prosecutors sought probation, home confinement with work privileges allowing him to travel to work, and community service. "Lovelady has a pattern of taking the easy way out and using his position to defraud the community," Bruner wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed March 16. In 2006, Lovelady pleaded guilty to fraudulent practices for unlawfully receiving unemployment benefits. He also pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a credit card after he bought two $300 Sears gift cards with someone else's credit card. He served 30 days in jail for violating his probation on both offenses when he failed to complete community service and pay restitution. In September 2013 he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for striking his girlfriend in the face. Senior Judge James Gritzner on Friday imposed a year of probation and a $25 mandatory assessment with no fine.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Ultra-Orthodox Jews' Bizarre Circumcision Practice

NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual. Associated Press By VERENA DOBNIK February 24, 2015 In this 2015 photo, Abraham Romi Cohn is shown using an antiseptic mouth wash before proceeding with a ritual circumcision, of Yosef Sananas in New York. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is negotiating a medical protocol that would allow for religious freedom as it navigates health officials concerns over the practice of oral suction during ultra-Orthodox circumcision ceremonies, in which a rabbi sucks blood from a wound on the penis. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) NEW YORK (AP) — The city said Tuesday it has reached a tentative agreement with members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over a tradition known as oral suction circumcision. Health officials have linked 17 cases of infant herpes since 2000 to the ancient ritual of sucking blood from the wounds on the infants' penises. On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration said mohels, as the circumcisers are called in Yiddish, should no longer be required to obtain signed consent forms before the rites. Administration officials said they will ask the Board of Health to vote to rescind the requirement while working with a coalition of rabbinical leaders and medical experts to educate members of the ultra-Orthodox community about the possible dangers of the practice, known as metzitzah b'peh in Hebrew. A vote is expected in June. If an infant is found to have herpes after a circumcision, officials will ask a rabbinical coalition to identify the mohel who performed it so his DNA can be tested. If he's found to have infected the infant, he'll be banned from performing the ritual. Oral suction circumcisions first came under scrutiny in 2012 during Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration, which asked parents or guardians to sign consent forms indicating they understood the medical risks. But the city's mohels, believed to perform more than 3,000 rites annually, say they apply strict medical procedures, including testing for herpes, sterilizing their hands and rinsing with mouthwash before the ceremony. Rabbi A. Romi Cohn, who has performed 35,000 circumcisions, said he believes babies could have contracted the herpes virus from sources other than mohels. Officials said Tuesday that DNA testing by health officials likely would prove or disprove whether there's a match between an infected infant and a mohel. If not and a baby still tests positive, health officials will try to seek the source of the herpes, which often results in skin blisters. Officials said the new agreement fulfills the mayor's commitment to find a more effective policy that protects children and religious rights. "Increasing trust and communication between the city and this community is critical to achieve the administration's ultimate goal of ensuring the health and safety of every child, and this new policy seeks to establish a relationship based on engagement and mutual respect," the administration said in a statement. Details of the agreement haven't been finalized, but officials concede it's impossible to enforce the proposed measures in a community that practices its religious freedom in private. Mohels have produced only one signed consent form in recent years, and rabbis have urged their faithful not to comply. Of the 17 cases cited since 2000, two were reported in 2013 and four were reported last year. Families refused to name four of the six mohels, and the other two declined to be tested, the city's Department of Health said. De Blasio's administration, asked by The Associated Press whether it still links all 17 cases to oral suction rites given that DNA testing wasn't performed in all of them, said it couldn't immediately provide an answer. The administration will ask hospitals, obstetricians and pediatricians who serve the community to distribute information about infants' health risks associated with herpes, which they say can lead to brain damage or death. The rabbinical coalition has pledged to cooperate with city health officials in identifying any mohel in question and asking him to undergo testing, administration officials said. The new protocol roughly mirrors that of Rockland, a county north of New York City that's home to thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Rectal Medicine Cabinet

NEW CITY, N.Y. (AP) — An inmate in New York is accused of hiding oxycodone pills in his rectum and selling them to other inmates at his jail. Authorities say correction officers at the Rockland County jail found about 50 pills Monday after searching Bryan Lora and his cell. The Journal News ( ) says Lora has been charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and two misdemeanors. Authorities say Lora was jailed last month after being one of 22 people arrested on drug charges during an undercover operation in Rockland. Lora has been arraigned and sent back to jail. He's due back in court Friday. It isn't immediately clear if he has a lawyer. It isn't immediately clear if a lawyer will have him. ___ Information from: The Jour

Man Has First Penis Transplant

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African doctors have successfully performed the world's first penis transplant on a young man who had his organ amputated after a botched circumcision ritual, a hospital said on Friday. The nine-hour transplant, which occurred in December last year, was part of a pilot study by Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town and the University of Stellenbosch to help scores of initiates who either die or lose their penises in botched circumcisions each year. "This is a very serious situation. For a young man of 18 or 19 years the loss of his penis can be deeply traumatic," said Andre van der Merwe, head of the university's urology unit and who led the operation said in a statement. The young patient had recovered full use of his manhood, doctors said, adding that the procedure could eventually be extended to men who have lost their penises to cancer or as a last resort for severe erectile dysfunction. "There is a greater need in South Africa for this type of procedure than elsewhere in the world, as many young men lose their penises every year due to complications from traditional circumcision," Van der Merwe said. The patient, who is not being named for ethical reasons, was 21 years old when his penis was amputated three years ago after he developed severe complications due to a traditional circumcision as a rite of passage into manhood. Finding a donor organ was one of the major challenges of the study, a statement by the university said. The donor was a deceased person who donated his organs for transplant, doctors said without elaborating. Each year thousands of young men, mainly from the Xhosa tribe in South Africa, have their foreskins removed in traditional rituals, with experts estimating around 250 losing their penises each year to medical complications. Initiates are required to live in special huts away from the community for several weeks, have their heads shaved and smear white clay from head to toe and they move into adulthood. Another nine patients will receive penile transplants as part of the study, doctors said, but it was not clear when the operations could be carried out. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by James Macharia)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dwarf Tossing Illegal in Florida

In Florida, no dwarf-tossing is allowed. Owners of commercial establishments where alcohol is sold may be fined up to $1,000 if they participate in or permit any contest of dwarf-tossing, since it was outlawed in 1989. A Florida state legislator tried to repeal the law in 2011, but wasn't successful. Dwarves sued to overturn the law in the early 1990s, claiming it was an infringement of their right to earn a living. Apparently dwarf-tossing is okay in a church or in an Elks Lodge, where no elk-tossing is allowed.

Cannibalism Now Illegal in Idaho

When it outlawed the act in 1990, Idaho became the only state to declare cannibalism illegal. The act is strictly prohibited and punishable by up to 14 years in prison, but it's okay to "willfully ingest the flesh or blood of a human being" in life-or-death situations — if it's the only apparent means of survival. Murder will get you life in prison or execution but serving a hunan head on a platter will only result in up to 14 years in prison. Be sure to serve victims live to be eligible for the lesser sentence.