Jan 08 2014
"Exceptionally rare" conjoined whale twins have been found dead in a lagoon in Mexico.
Fishermen found the grey whale calves in the Ojo de Liebre lagoon in the Baja California peninsula, which opens up to the Pacific Ocean.
The four-metre (13 feet) long creatures, which weighed nearly half a tonne, were linked at the mid-section.
They had two full heads and tail fins, according to Benito Bermudez, a marine biologist and regional manager at the National Natural Protected Areas Commission.
Mr Bermudez said the discovery was "without any precedent" in the region, which is in the nortthwest of the country.
It is believed the whales were born as the result of a miscarriage and did not survive for long.
Scientists were examining the carcasses and plan to look for other cases in the animal's habitat off the peninsula.
Hundreds of grey whales migrate from the Bering Sea between North America and Russia to the warmer waters of Baja California every year.
Almost 1,200 of them were spotted in the region during the 2012-2013 season, and their migration draws tourists to the area.
The grey whale undertakes the longest yearly migration of any known mammal, heading south to feed after breeding in the winter in the Bering Sea.
Jan 08 2014
Police have recovered 140kg of cocaine which had been shipped in banana crates by accident to Aldi supermarkets in Germany.
Workers at five stores around Berlin found the drugs among packages of the fruit on Monday, in what is being called a "logistical mistake" by smugglers.
Police spokesman Stefan Redlich said: "Employees of supermarkets in Berlin and Brandenburg found boxes that should have been filled with bananas, but in the boxes had been more than 100kg (of) cocaine."
Police said the drugs, worth around £5m, came from Colombia. At the German port of Hamburg they were loaded onto trucks and sent to Berlin.
Mr Redlich said the seizure was one of Berlin’s biggest in almost 20 years.
"For Berlin this is the biggest drug find in the last 10 or 20 years. Usually you find such amounts only in the harbours like Hamburg. For Berlin this is extraordinary," he said.
Jan 08 2014
A circus star with "superhuman hair" has used her famed locks to pull a four-tonne car.
Anastasia IV treated crowds to the hair-raising display in Eastbourne, East Sussex, on Tuesday.
Using a hook woven into her hair, she pulled the vehicle along the seafront, as members of the public looked on in amazement.
Anastasia was originally born in Poland but moved to London to study biochemistry.
However, a chance encounter with the Circus of Horrors put her career on a very different path.
She said: "From then on I knew I didn't want to be a biochemist and wanted to run away with the circus.
"I applied for a job and told them of my superhuman hair. They gave me an audition and away I went."
Anastasia won a Guinness World Record after she was lifted upside down while holding another person weighing 53.4 kg with her hair.
She will be taking part in a number of shows across the region in January.
Jan 08 2014
A man who cannot swim survived drifting at sea for more than two days by clinging to a wooden coffin lid.
Tseng Lien-fa was catching baby eels on a beach off the east coast of Taiwan when he was swept away by an unexpectedly large wave.
According to reports, the 42-year-old managed to grab hold of a floating wooden coffin lid as he was taken away from the shore in Hualien county.
Mr Tseng told the United Daily News: "I managed to hold on as the first wave hit me on the chest, but I was overwhelmed by the second and bigger wave.
"On the lid, I was drifting and drifting ... during that period I hoped I could be picked up by any ships passing by."
Mr Tseng's fiancee, who is expecting a baby next month, raised the alarm when he did not return home on time. He had been fishing to make extra money.
The strong waves eventually carried him onto a beach in the southeastern county of Taitung, 46 miles away.
Coastguards tasked with searching for Tseng found him lying on the beach on Sunday.
Doctors said he was slightly dehydrated and had developed sores on his arms due to being in the seawater for so long.
Chen Tien-su, a doctor at Hualien Hospital, said: "Considering the fact that he had not taken in any food or water while drifting at sea for 60 hours and he remained conscious, all I could say about him was that this was a miracle."
Mr Tseng said he had now promised his fiancee he would stop the fishing trips.
Jan 08 2014
The US Air Force has confirmed that one of its Pave-Hawk military helicopters has crashed in North Norfolk.
Norfolk Police say four people died when the helicopter came down in Cley Next The Sea around 6pm today.
Officers at the scene of the crash have set up a 400-metre cordon at the site.
The helicopter was based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk.
The 48th Air Wing of the US Air Force based at RAF Lakenheath said on Twitter: "We can confirm that one of our HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters was involved in an incident during a training mission outside Cley-Next-The-Sea."
Police said residents close to the scene can stay in their homes, but pedestrians and motorists are being diverted away as there is live ammunition on board the craft.
Around a dozen emergency vehicles from the fire brigade, coastguard and police are at the scene.
Cley artist Rachel Lockwood said: "We had never seen so many police cars and fire engines, so went to have a look.
"The beach road to Cley is sealed off. There are lots of fire engines near the Dun Cow pub at Salthouse.
"A helicopter is hovering over the marsh with a light beaming down."
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) earlier confirmed it was aware of the crash, adding that the helicopter is not believed to be a British military craft.
The Norfolk Wildlife Trust said the helicopter crashed on the shingle bank at the Cley Marshes nature reserve.
A spokesman for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) said: "We were asked for three lifeboats to respond to reports that an aircraft had possibly ditched in the sea.
"Lifeboats Wells, Sheringham and Cromer were launched at the request of the coastguard but ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
LEXINGTON, Ky., Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Authorities in Kentucky said a man who escaped from a minimum-security prison turned himself in after experiencing the frigid temperatures of the outdoors.
Lexington police Lt. Eric Lowe said Robert Vick, 42, was discovered missing from the Blackburn Correctional Complex about 8:35 p.m. Sunday and he was next seen about 4 p.m. Monday when he walked into the Sunset Motel in Lexington and "asked the clerk to call the police," the Lexington Herald reported Tuesday.
Vick had been wearing only his prison-issued khaki pants, shirt and jacket when he left the prison, state corrections spokeswoman Lisa Lamb said, and police said he spent all night Sunday and most of the day Monday out in the cold.
Lowe said an ambulance crew determined Vick was healthy and he was returned to Blackburn by Kentucky State Police.
Vick, who is serving a six-year sentence for convictions, including burglary and second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, would have been eligible for parole in March.
Read more: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2014/01/07/Escaped-prisoner-in-Kentucky-gives-himself-up-due-to-cold/UPI-64961389130139/#ixzz2pl29HZRR
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into the shooting of a mentally ill teenager by a police officer in Boiling Springs Lakes over the weekend.
Brunswick County District Attorney Jon David asked for the investigation after the shooting Sunday afternoon. One of three officers involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave on Sunday, WECT.com reported.
Family members said they called police after 18-year-old Keith Vidal picked up a screwdriver and threatened his mother. The boy's father, Mark Wilsey Sr., said that initially officers were able to calm his son, who suffers from schizophrenia.
Wilsey said that when a third officer arrived, his son became agitated. Officers used a stun gun on Vidal and then a shot was fired and Vidal was hit, he added.
Authorities say officers from three agencies responded. They have not released additional details.
"There was no reason to shoot this kid," Wilsey told reporters at a news conference on Monday. "They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son."
He said the screwdriver was small and would not have hurt anyone. Vidal's mother said she had made multiple attempts to get her son help for his mental illness, WECT.com reported.
"Where is the justice, why did they shoot my son?," she asked. "This is what's wrong with our mental health system."
According to a Brunswick County report obtained by the station, one of the officers involved in the shooting said in a radio dispatch that he had to shoot at the subject in order to defend himself.
Both parents said Vidal had just turned 18 years old and weighed about 90 pounds. Neighbors told the station that the teen played with their children ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Jan 07 2014
The body of a newborn girl has been found dumped in a biomedical waste disposal truck at a hospital in India.
The child died in the early hours of Monday morning and her family paid the privately-owned Mata Chanan Devi Hospital 1,500 rupees (£15) to keep her body in a mortuary overnight.
However, it was missing when the family returned to collect it at around 10am.
Ashok Kumar, the newborn's uncle, said: "We asked for it and it wasn't there.
"One of the hospital staff suddenly ran towards a truck collecting biomedical waste.
"He looked in the garbage bags and found her there."
The hospital has denied medical negligence, and the hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Nidhi Sareen promised to conduct an internal inquiry.
Delhi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said: "Dumping a newborn’s body into the garbage is cruel and inhuman.
"We’ll investigate the matter and take action against the guilty."
According to some reports, it is thought that the hospital staff mistook the newborn's body as an amputated limb and dumped it into the truck.
Rajesh Kumar Verma, the newborn’s father, said his daughter was born prematurely at Khanna Nursing Home in Janakpuri at 1.30pm on Sunday.
The family said she had swelling in her head and the doctors advised them to take her to the hospital.
Jan 07 2014
A 10-year-old girl who apparently attempted to carry out a suicide attack wearing a vest packed with explosives has been detained by Afghan authorities.
The girl, named only as Spozhmai, appeared at a news conference in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province.
She told how her brother, reportedly a Taliban commander, had forced her to wear the vest and ordered her to detonate herself at a police checkpoint.
"I was tired of my stepmother. My brother told me to wear the black vest, go to the police checkpoint and press the button," she told reporters.
"I went past a river and decided to drop the vest. My brother fled and police arrested me."
There are conflicting accounts of the incident, with some officials saying she was wearing the vest when she was arrested and others saying no vest had been recovered.
The Afghanistan-based Tolo TV news channel said the girl was unable to operate the button to detonate the explosives.
The interior ministry said that her brother was a Taliban commander who coerced her into putting on the vest and walking towards the police post in Khanashin district in the southern heartlands of the insurgency.
Taliban militants have been accused in the past of using young boys to plant roadside bombs and act as suicide bombers.
The insurgents, who made no comment on the latest incident, have always denied using children to launch attacks.
The Taliban has been fighting against the US-backed government since it was ousted from power in late 2001 after the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
Jan 07 2014
The last monolingual Chickasaw language speaker has died in her Oklahoma home at the age of 93.
Emily "Shonsh-She" Johnson Dickerson, spoke only Chickasaw for her entire life and was one of an estimated 70 remaining fluent speakers of the language.
Joshua Hinson, director of the Chickasaw Nation Language Department, said her death was "monumental".
He said: "I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the loss and what this means to the Chickasaw Nation."
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said: "Emily Dickerson was a treasured elder who held the Chickasaw language and ways of life close to her heart.
"This is a sad day for all Chickasaw people because we have lost a cherished member of our Chickasaw family and an unequalled source of knowledge about our language and culture.
"My condolences go out to her closest friends and family as we mourn the loss of a woman who holds a special place in the hearts of her family and her tribe."
Born on February 22, 1920, with the Chickasaw name of Shonsh-she, Emily Dickerson's childhood was spent in Oklahoma picking cotton, harvesting peanuts and chaffing broom corn as a farm labourer.
When she married in 1968, she raised her children to speak only Chickasaw until they enrolled in public school.
Her son, Carlin Thompson, said his mother's health had started to deteriorate after she fell and broke her hip a few months ago.
Her funeral took place on Saturday east of Ada near the Kullihoma ceremonial grounds on Chickasaw Nation land.
Native Indians from the Chickasaw tribe had their ancient homelands in Kentucky, Tennessee and the northern Mississippi and Alabama.
After encounters with European explorers and traders from England, France and Spain they were forced to ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)