CLEVELAND, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A Cleveland woman said she was issued a $290 ticket for impeding the flow of traffic when she stopped her car so a passenger could assist an elderly couple.
Anaam Ighneim, 59, said she was driving with a friend the day before Thanksgiving when they saw an elderly man having difficulty helping an elderly woman get into a truck, WJW-TV, Cleveland, reported Thursday.
Ighneim said she stopped her car so her friend could assist the couple and she gave the passenger some money to give the seniors.
"I always help people," Ighneim said. "Not financially, I am on disability; my husband is on disability. But as much as I can, I help."
Ighneim said she was pulled over moments later by a Cleveland police officer.
"He put his flash on and started screaming at me, 'you can't do that.' I said, 'let me explain. I am just helping these people and he said no explanation necessary,'" Ighneim said.
Ighneim's passenger, Amy Lee, said she was shocked when the officer issued the ticket.
"I mean I was shocked," Lee said. "I got tickets before, but for helping somebody out, never in my entire life. She didn't believe it and I know I didn't believe it."
"It's time for giving and sharing and he shared a ticket," she said of the officer.
Ighneim said she will fight the ticket in court Wednesday.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A woman survived nearly three nights in bitter interior Alaska cold by burning her snowmobile and huddling with her small dog, Alaska State Troopers said Thursday.
Vivian Mayo, 57, of Cantwell, was found at about 1 a.m. Wednesday, taking shelter under the burned-out hulk of her snowmobile and sharing body heat with Elvis, a small, brown dog of unknown breed. She was severely hypothermic and in need of immediate medical attention, troopers said.
Megan Peters, spokeswoman for the troopers, said the dog likely helped Mayo preserve her body heat.
"It really did help save her life," Peters said. "Elvis is a little hero."
Mayo's ordeal began over the weekend.
She and her husband, Scott Mayo, 61, traveled on snowmobiles to a cabin near Mile 105 of Denali Highway, a mostly gravel east-west road east of Denali National Park and Preserve. The highway connects two paved highways but is not maintained during winter months and is not open to cars and trucks.
Scott Mayo departed the cabin by snowmobile Saturday to check on a trap line that started 4 to 5 miles away, Peters said.
He had not returned by Sunday. The Mayos were not due back to Cantwell, a community at the west side of the Denali Highway, until Tuesday night, and Vivian Mayo made the decision to return to Cantwell and seek help for her husband.
She did not get far. Her snowmobile broke down Sunday about a mile from the cabin.
The Mayos had told family members they would be back by 7 p.m. Tuesday, and if they weren't back by 10 p.m. Tuesday, to alert authorities.
Family members called troopers Tuesday night. Alaska Wildlife Trooper James Ellison and volunteer rescuers headed out and ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
MANILA, Philippines – The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan that struck the central Philippines on Nov. 8 has passed 6,000 with nearly 1,800 people missing, officials said Friday.
Twenty-seven bodies, all unidentified, were among the latest to be recovered under debris in typhoon-stricken coastal areas including the hardest hit city of Tacloban, said Maj. Reynaldo Balido, the spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
The overnight tally pushed the overall death toll to 6,009 while 1,779 others remain unaccounted for, the government agency said, making the typhoon the deadliest natural disaster on record to hit the Philippines.
Balido said that 20 to 30 bodies were still being found every day. Identifying cadavers in the advanced stage of decomposition and matching them with the missing is a difficult process and the reason why the number of the missing remains unchanged, he said.
The homes of more than 16 million people also were either flattened or damaged by the typhoon, and officials said rebuilding will take at least three years.
Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said that temporary bunkhouses and emergency shelters were being constructed and residents given cash in exchange for work, including repacking and hauling relief goods.
"We will provide materials to rebuild their houses, however, we stressed to the local governments that new shelters have to be built 40 meters away from the shoreline on high tide," she said.
Dec 13 2013
A door-to-door salesperson who ignored a "Do Not Knock" sign to try to win over a gas customer has ended up costing their Australian employers Aus$60,000 (US$53,600).
The Federal Court ordered gas company AGL South Australia and marketing firm CPM Australia to pay the total penalty after an incident in Adelaide November 2011.
"In this case, the sign was affixed to the consumer's front door and contained an image of a fist knocking with a line through it and the words 'DO NOT KNOCK. Unsolicited door-to-door selling not welcome here'," the Australian competition watchdog said after the decision.
"The salesperson nonetheless knocked on the consumer's door and attempted to negotiate an agreement to supply energy."
The Federal Court ordered AGL to pay Aus$35,000 and CPM, who contracted the salesperson, Aus$25,000.
"These penalties reflect the need to deter conduct of such seriousness by the relevant respondents and others in the door-to-door selling industry," judge John Middleton.
The maximum penalty for breaching the unsolicited consumer agreement provision is Aus$50,000, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said.
Dec 13 2013
Britain's Queen Elizabeth was so incensed with royal police officers eating nuts from bowls left out in the corridors of Buckingham Palace that she drew lines on the sides in a bid to catch them out, a London court heard on Thursday.
In emails submitted to the phone hacking trial of journalists at Rupert Murdoch's now defunct News of the World tabloid, its royal reporter said he had learnt that a memo had been issued to all officers telling them to "keep their sticky fingers out".
To laughter in the court, judge John Saunders told the jury that these were "unfounded allegations".
"Queen furious about police stealing bowls of nuts and nibbles left out for her in the BP (Buckingham Palace) Queen's corridors," an email from royal reporter Clive Goodman to then editor Andy Coulson said.
It said staff had put out a selection of nuts including cashews, almonds and Bombay mix around the palace for the 87-year-old queen.
"Problem is that police on patrol eat the lot. Queen so narked (annoyed) she has started marking the bowls to see where the levels dipped," it said.
The emails were read out to the long-running phone hacking trial, where eight people including former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are facing charges related to the interception of voicemails.
The eight all deny the charges. Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
Dec 12 2013
A 19-year-old Baruch College freshman died from “too many” tackles during a fraternity hazing over the weekend in the Poconos, a Pennnsylvania prosecutor said Wednesday.
Chun Hsien “Michael” Deng was one of four pledges to his college chapter of Pi Delta Psi who took part in what was described as a hazing ritual in a yard outside a home in Tunkhannock Township, authorities said.
Deng suffered a head injury Sunday morning and was taken inside the home, officials said. When he didn’t recover “after some time,” he was driven to the emergency room at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital in Wilkes-Barre on Sunday morning, where he was unresponsive and listed in critical condition.
He was placed on life support but died Monday of what was described as “major brain trauma.”
“He got tackled too many times,” said Monroe County District Attorney E. David Christine without elaboration.
About 30 members of the fraternity were taking part in the weekend getaway. Investigators found 20 Pi Delta Psi members at the home when they arrived and are trying to identify who was responsible for the fatal injuries, Christine said.
Pi Delta Psi identifies itself as “an Asian American cultural fraternity” founded in 1994, with a mission “to spread Asian American cultural awareness.” It has more than 20 chapters in 11 states and the District of Columbia.
China has designated the eve of Lunar New Year as a working day in 2014, triggering an outcry over the disruption of plans to celebrate the year's most important traditional holiday.
Each year in mid-December, the government announces public holidays for the following year.
They often follow a similar pattern, but next year's schedule, announced late on Wednesday, has surprised and angered many, as the Spring Festival holiday is when millions travel home to be reunited with families, many for the only time in the year.
"Many people need to go home and prepare for the Chinese New Year," said Ran Ying, a 26-year-old office worker in Shanghai's financial district of Lujiazui. "It's a mistake to swap the holiday plan between the eve and the seventh day of New Year."
The holiday plan approved by China's cabinet, or State Council, designates February 6 as a public holiday for the 7-day-long Spring Festival break, instead of January 30, the eve of Chinese Lunar New Year.
An overwhelming number of users also expressed anger on China's popular Sina Weibo microblogging site.
"I want to ask the people who made the plan: are you able to go home right after work?" wrote one Weibo user. "What about the people who work outside their hometown? How can they hurry home and have the family reunion dinner?"
Even the influential Global Times tabloid criticised the new schedule, saying those who lived away from their hometowns needed time to return, and calling for more public holidays.
"It is the desire of the urban Chinese society to increase public holidays as many people are feeling tired and care more about rest than money," it said in an editorial.
The new schedule will do nothing to avert the chaos ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Dec 12 2013
The parents of a US Marine whose body came back from Greece without his heart are suing the Greek government and an Athens hospital.
Craig and Beverly LaLoup are also suing the US Department of Defense over the remains of 21-year-old Sergeant Brian LaLoup.
Authorities say he fatally shot himself during a party at the US Embassy compound last year.
An Athens hospital performed an autopsy. Greek Embassy spokesman Christos Failadis said the heart had been removed for testing, but he would not say where it went next.
The Defense Department does not comment on pending litigation.
Mr LaLoup's parents say authorities later sent them a heart, but it was not their son's.
The US government is generally immune from wrongful death lawsuits, so the family is seeking damages only over their emotional distress caused by the missing organ.
They say they learned about the missing organ only accidentally, weeks after they buried their son.
"This is his heart. This is his soul. This is what made Brian who he is," Mrs LaLoup told reporters.
Dec 12 2013
A man has been charged with running a "revenge porn" website where he hosted more than 10,000 explicit photos - and then charged victims hundreds of dollars to have them removed.
Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 27, created ugotposted.com a year ago, and then let users anonymously post images of others without their permission, according to court documents .
Unlike similar sites, investigators said the website required the victim's name, age and other information.
Bollaert allegedly set up a second site - changemyreputation.com - and charged victims a fee ranging from $250 to $350 (£214) to remove the images.
He was arrested on 31 felony counts of conspiracy, identity theft and extortion. Both websites have now been taken down.
His activities "turned their public humiliation and betrayal into a commodity with the potential to devastate lives", said California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Bollaert, from San Diego, California, allegedly told investigators during a six-month investigation he received about $900 a month from online advertising.
However, officers said records from his changemyreputation.com PayPal account showed he received tens of thousands of dollars.
Photographs used as so-called revenge porn can be obtained during a consensual relationship, or can be stolen or hacked from online accounts, investigators said.
The practice resulted in a new law in California that makes it an offence to post identifiable nude pictures of someone without their permission and with the intent of causing emotional distress, though that law was not cited in the charges against Bollaert.
Other states, including Maryland, Wisconsin and New York, are considering introducing similar laws.
Some rights groups, like the American Civil Liberties Union, have expressed concern that the legislation conflicts with the First Amendment.
Dec 12 2013
Australia's highest court has repealed a law permitting gay marriage - meaning dozens of couples face having their weddings annulled within days of the nuptials.
Around 30 same-sex couples had tied the knot since the Australian Capital Territory passed the legislation last Saturday governing Canberra and its surrounding area.
But the federal government argued the law could not operate alongside the federal Marriage Act, which was amended in 2004 to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
The High Court unanimously upheld the challenge, and issued a statement saying: "The Marriage Act does not now provide for the formation or recognition of marriage between same-sex couples.
"The Marriage Act provides that a marriage can be solemnised in Australia only between a man and a woman. That Act is a comprehensive and exhaustive statement of the law of marriage."
Rodney Croome, national director of the advocacy group Australian Marriage Equality , said his group knows of about 30 same-sex couples who have married since Saturday, though the actual number may be slightly higher.
Outside the court in Canberra, a tearful Mr Croome said the ruling was a defeat for marriage equality, but there had been a greater victory this week.
"And that victory was the nation saw for the first time, I believe, what is really at the core of this issue - they've seen that marriage equality is not about protest or politics or even about laws in the constitution, ultimately," he said.
"Marriage equality is about love, commitment, family and fairness."
Among the couples upset by the ruling are Ivan Hinton and Chris Teoh, who were married on Saturday.
The pair received their marriage certificate on Wednesday and immediately applied to change their surnames to Hinton-Teoh.
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