Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Smile for the camera

Village People's YMCA video without music

YouTube link.

Man doesn't appear to be desperately unhappy following arrest for bank robbery

Prosecutors in Denver, Colorado, say they have formally charged a man accused of robbing a bank and then using light rail to try to make his getaway.

Michael Whitington, 45 is charged with one count of robbery, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office.

The charge alleges that last Tuesday at around 5pm Whitington robbed a bank and then boarded a light rail train. Police stopped the train a few blocks away and took Whitington into custody without incident.

He remains in custody with bond set at $5,000. Whitington is scheduled to appear in Denver County court on Tuesday to be advised of the charge.

Glowing dog food probably caused by sea bugs

Mysteriously glowing dog food found by a woman in Taranaki, New Zealand, might be explained by the presence of sea-based bacteria, an expert believes. The eerie fluorescent blue glow emanating from a pair of dog bones bought for her dog Tyke left Fiona Wallis hunting for answers. And Auckland microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles thinks she may have them. The head of the bioluminescent superbugs lab at the University of Auckland, Wiles said she would be working with Jimbo's Pet Food, which distributed the meat and is considering recalling the product, to solve the mystery. "They are going to get me something from the same batch but it would be good to get [Fiona's] one as well,'' Wiles said.

She said at first glance the glow was most likely produced by sea-based bacteria. ''The bones are kept in a kind of brine which is very salty, so those sea bacteria will enjoy that environment.'' She said although there were a couple of strains that could be dangerous, it was unlikely to be the case for this meat. ''I think the risks are really minimal. It's really common in fish. If you leave fish in the fridge for a few days sometimes it will start to glow. In most cases you would never know because we would cook it.'' She said it was also likely that those packaging the meat wouldn't notice a glow.

''The product is sealed up and if it stays sealed you wouldn't see any light because there isn't any oxygen in there. But when you open the packet they start to glow. So without opening all the packets it would be rather difficult to tell whether there was anything there.'' Wiles said she can't wait to get her hands on one of the glowing cuts of meat, but it was likely to take some time before they could determine exactly what it was. ''We have to grow the bacteria, then isolate its DNA and then send it off for sequencing to find out exactly what it is.'' Ms Wallis said she didn't know what to think when she discovered the glow. ''The dog trotted off to its room and it started glowing in its mouth. You naturally think it's radioactive or something.

''What is in this animal to make it glow like that?'' Jimbo's Pet Food general manager Dave Allan said the glowing meat was packed 29 days ago, so most of it would have been consumed, but he is looking at recalling any of the product that is still on shelves. ''We are not aware of any risk to the animals.'' He is to pick up the affected meat and take it back to Auckland for testing. In 2011 stories came out of China of a woman who found that meat she had fed her family was emanating the same light. After a detailed investigation it was found the cause for the ''blue glow pork'' was secondary bacterial contamination called phosphorescent bacteria. At the time, the Shanghai Health Supervision Department said the pork was ''still safe to eat if well-cooked''.

Two-faced lamb born in New Zealand

From the deepest reaches of the most southerly point of mainland New Zealand, a biological anomaly has been born. A lamb with two faces – that's two mouths, two noses, three (maybe four) eyes – and one head was born at the Slope Point backpackers on Friday afternoon. The diprosopic bundle doesn't have an official name yet and farmer Andrew Wilson said the family were in two minds about what to call him, but he's certainly something a bit special, he conceded.

Wilson's six-year-old daughter Kate said they have taken to calling him Two Face. Little Two Face was discovered out in a paddock with his mother. The ewe had managed to give birth unassisted. However, because of the position and shape of his two mouths, Two Face was unable to feed naturally, Wilson said. ''He'd only last a day or so.'' Luckily, the lamb was given a second chance for survival and taken back to the farmhouse to be cared for by Kate and her half sisters Sarah and Anna Parker, aged 8 and 10.

Life will not be easy for the lamb. Two of his eyes have fused in the centre giving him one big, blind, cyclops eye and he appears able to only walk in circles. ''He's a bit top heavy,'' Wilson said. ''He almost needs a third leg in the front to balance him out.'' Also, it seemed he could eat with only the left side of his mouth, although when he baas, both tongues move in synchronisation. Despite his odd appearance, Kate and her sisters were quite taken with the little creature.

Kate said when she first saw him, she thought he was ''a bit gross.'' ''But then I started to like it.'' Little is known about what might cause the condition. Experts contacted today could not explain why the anomaly occurred without actually seeing the animal themselves. Former vet Andrew Roe, who practised for 25 years, said it was one of those rare freak-of-nature things that popped up occasionally. Usually animals with similar conditions did not survive long past birth and it was unusual the lamb had made it this far, Roe said.

With short video.

Yet another child rescued after getting stuck in washing machine

An 11-year-old boy stuck inside a washing machine at home was rescued by firefighters in Xuzhou City in east China's Jiangsu Province, on Saturday.

The boy got stuck inside the washing machine while playing with his friends.

YouTube link.

His parents, who were not around at the time of the incident, came running after being informed by neighbours. Firefighters were soon called for help.

Five firefighters rushed to the scene. They dismantled the washing machine with the help of cutters, screwdrivers, and a metal cutting machine. After about 15 minutes they successfully got the boy out who suffered no injuries.

Previously. And. And. And. Etc.

Swedish police arrest smugglers of Norwegian nappies

Police in northern Sweden have arrested two individuals with a haul of over 25,000 nappies (diapers), which they believe were destined for the black market in eastern Europe. The pair, who are believed to be in their 20s and 40s respectively, were stopped in Jämtland by officers. When the officers checked inside the foreign registered van they found that it was loaded to the brim with nappies bought in Norway - 25,179 to be precise.

Both were arrested on suspicion of smuggling offences and taken to the police station in Östersund for questioning. The alleged smugglers are both residents of Lithuania, and were believed to be en route to a location in eastern Europe with the nappy haul. "They did not report that they were transporting the goods across the border from Norway to Sweden.

"You are accountable to report it to customs and pay the duty fee," Stefan Fredriksson of the Jämtland police said. He added that officers were up all night counting the nappies so that they had the accurate figure. While Norway is regarded as one of the most expensive countries to live in, the price of nappies is rather cheap. Police have reported in the past that the Norwegian nappy trade is big business for smugglers due to the price difference in eastern Europe.

Several raids have been carried out in the last year alone. Officers said that the two men had bought the nappies in different stores in Norway so as not to arouse suspicion. A spokesperson for the Jämtland police said that two men gave the impression that the whole operation was "very well organized" during questioning. The smuggled nappies are now being held in police storage alongside weapons and drugs.

Man seeks retrospective permission for 9-foot slag bank crucifixion statue tribute to late wife

A crucifix put up without permission on a coastal hill overlooking the sea in Workington, Cumbria, has been granted a brief reprieve as talks continue about its fate.

Peter Nelson, 49, erected the 9ft cross on the seat at the top of the town’s slag banks in memory of his wife Angela, who died in March. Mr Nelson and friends cemented the statue to an existing stone seat.

He chose the spot because he and Angela had spent so much time on the cliffs, walking their dogs. Her ashes were also scattered nearby. But he did not get planning permission from the landowner, Cumbria County Council. The authority said it had entered into discussions with Mr Nelson and will continue to talk to him about the statue.

Mr Nelson has written to the council and asked for more time so he can apply for retrospective permission, continue to take advice from “interested parties” and discuss where the crucifix could go if it has to be removed. He said: “My intentions were never to cause any ill feelings or trouble. I feel it is an asset and enhances the area and I am aware that many people are enjoying its presence.”

Football match abandoned after substitute brandished pitchfork during brawl

An investigation has been launched after a football match was called off following an alleged incident involving a pitchfork.

The match between Staines Lammas FC and Chessington & Hook FC had to be stopped by the referee after 27 minutes. The Combined Counties league game was being played at Ashford Town last Saturday.

Honorary general secretary and director of the league, Alan Constable, said two players had been sent off the pitch after 25 minutes, due to violent conduct.

He said the pair "continued the discussion" as they left the pitch, when other players became involved and one substitute is said to have produced a pitchfork. A Surrey FA spokesman said: "The county FA is aware of the incident and is investigating the matter. We are unable to comment any further at this time."

Man tried to rob shop after childhood sweetheart told him she had become a lesbian

A knife-wielding man tried to rob a shop after his childhood sweetheart told him she had become a lesbian, a court heard. Craig Rock said he hit the bottle after his partner broke up with him, falsely claimed he was not the father of their child and announced her apparent change in sexuality. He went out with a knife to rob a shop high on drink and tablets in the wake of this triple whammy of heartache, said his lawyer Simon Walker. He pulled out the weapon and shouted “give me the money or I’ll stab you” to the proprietor of the Mini Food Store in central Middlesbrough.

The shop owner, who had worked at the store for 15 years, feared for his life and his wife’s safety, Teesside Crown Court heard. He shouted at Rock to get out at 6.30pm on April 14, said prosecutor Rachel Masters. Rock advanced on the victim, repeated his demands and threats, but ran off empty-handed after the shop owner managed to open the back door. Police found him “flat out” on the ground nearby and initially thought he was simply a local drunk, said Mr Walker. He pulled out the knife, put it to his own throat and threatened to hurt himself. Rock told officers: “I did it. Tell the judge maximum sentence.”

Rock, of no fixed address, admitted attempted robbery and having an offensive weapon. He had 15 previous offences including theft and burglary and was under a community order at the time. In his defence, Mr Walker said: “This offence was committed at the time when he was perhaps at his lowest ever ebb. He had broken up with his childhood sweetheart. She was denying him access to his child. She went further and said he wasn’t the father and, further still, said 'I’m now a lesbian'. He reacted to that situation in an entirely inappropriate and disgusting way. “He would love the opportunity to be able to turn the clock back. He wouldn’t have done this if he hadn’t taken the cocktail of tablets and drink.”

He said the robbery attempt was out of character and Rock’s violence was directed against himself. A DNA test proved he was in fact the baby’s father and the child had been brought to visit him inside. A psychiatrist said he had an “unstable personality disorder” with difficulty managing anger and poor coping mechanisms. Mr Walker said Rock expressed remorse, pleaded guilty immediately wanting to go to prison to “get his head sorted out”, and would love to apologise to the shopkeeper. Judge John Walford said Rock was a persistent offender who reacted badly to “a number of problems”. But he said Rock terrified the shop owner by brandishing the knife and making persistent threats, and such vulnerable traders would be protected by the courts. The judge jailed Rock for three years.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Centre of attention

Cats have filthy swimming pool altercation

YouTube link. Unembeddable YouTube link.

Silly dog thinks door is closed

YouTube link.

Man fired shot into neighbour's home to unload gun

A 31-year-old Pennsylvania man accused of firing a bullet that broke a neighbour’s window allegedly claimed he fired the gun because it was the only way he knew how to unload it. No one was injured when the bullet hit the rear window on Adams Avenue in Middletown at around 12:30pm on Friday, but George Byrd IV, of Jefferson Avenue, is facing charges including persons not to possess firearms and discharging a firearm into an occupied structure. The Adams Avenue resident told police that around noon she heard what she thought were gunshots near her home. She later noticed a rear window on her porch had been shattered.

At around 1:00pm she was standing inside her home looking at the damage when she saw a man dressed in dark coloured shorts and no shirt leave the house behind hers. As he stood in the doorway of the home, he fired a gun in what appeared to be the direction of her home and then ran back into the house he had previously exited, police said. Detective Patrick Nicastro inspected the Adams Avenue home and found what appeared to be two bullet holes in a fence that separated the Adams Avenue and Jefferson Avenue homes, police said. Nicastro also found a small hole in a window screen of the shattered window and recent damage to the siding on the porch.

After pulling the siding free, Nicastro found what appeared to be a fired, medium calibre handgun bullet behind the siding. Police officers visited the Jefferson Avenue home where they were met by a man wearing black shorts and no shirt later identified as Byrd. Byrd denied any knowledge of shots being fired and police detained him and checked the home to see if any armed subjects were inside, court documents said. During that sweep, police allegedly found several rounds of handgun ammunition on the basement floor. A search warrant was obtained and executed and police confiscated various handgun ammunition of varying calibres, a .357 revolver, 12-gauge double barrel shotgun an a M77 long rifle.

Police also found two bullet holes entering and exiting the back of a shed in the rear of the property. Similar bullet holes were seen entering and exiting a fence at the rear of a shed on the Jefferson Avenue property. A review of Byrd’s criminal record found he was adjudicated delinquent — the juvenile court equivalent of guilty in adult court — of felony burglary when he was 17, which would prohibit him from possessing a firearm. During his arraignment Byrd made a statement to District Judge Philip Daly admitting that he shot the gun into the ground to clear it because he was unfamiliar with guns and didn’t know how to unload ammunition, Nicatro said. Following his arraignment Byrd was sent to Bucks County prison in lieu of 10 percent of $20,000 bail.

Little dog rescued after spending week in drain

A dog mysteriously stuck in a drain for days was rescued on Wednesday in the city of Guiyang in southwest China.

People passing by said they realized the little animal was trapped underground when they heard it barking.

It had apparently been stuck underground for over a week, and local people had been feeding it through the holes in the drain cover.

YouTube link.

They had tried in vain to free the dog, but the concrete drain cover was too heavy. They then called in a road maintenance worker, and after 20 minutes, the worker managed to free the muddy dog.

CCTV operator jailed for voyeurism

A CCTV operator who was convicted of spying on a woman in north Belfast with a police camera has been jailed for a total of eight months. Ciaran McCleave, 51, of Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, was convicted of voyeurism and misconduct in a public office at Antrim Road police station. The court heard, he had directed a camera at a woman's apartment for 79 minutes over a 26-day period. A judge said he had spied on the woman for his own "sexual gratification". On one occasion, the woman was viewed in her underwear after coming out of the shower.

The camera he used was supposed to monitor a north Belfast interface. McCleave faced eight charges - misconduct in a public office, voyeurism and six counts of attempted voyeurism. Passing sentence on Friday, Judge Ramsey QC said McCleave's conduct was a "flagrant and wilful abuse of the trust placed in you by the public as a CCTV operator". The judge said the defendant had deliberately "trained the camera on her apartment to catch her in a state of undress". "This was, in any view, a gross intrusion into the privacy of this woman in her apartment for your personal sexual gratification," he said.

The judge said that as a result of his misconduct in public office he had "lost his job, his reputation and his good name". He said the only mitigating factor in McCleave's favour was that he was a "man of previous good character with no criminal convictions". During the trial, the jury heard how the alarm was raised by a colleague of McCleave's who noticed that a security camera being operated by McCleave was trained into the first floor window of an apartment in north Belfast. The camera's default position was to monitor an interface but McCleave used the camera to zoom into the apartment when he watched the woman in her flat.

McCleave was also convicted of six counts of attempted voyeurism, having zoomed the same camera into the same woman's apartment on all occasions. The jury was also shown footage of cameras being used by McCleave zooming in on women going about their business in Belfast. Supt Muir Clark said it was "regrettable this incident took place". "It was something we uncovered locally and we dealt with robustly," he said. "It is right that those working for the Police Service of Northern Ireland are held to account via a number of mechanisms including through the legal system. As a result of this incident, we have reviewed the work processes of our CCTV operators and have put into place a number of procedures to help minimise the risk of this happening again."

Bomb disposal team called to deal with suspicious bag of rubbish

A "suspicious bag" found on a roundabout close to Southend Airport was found to contain just clothes and rubbish, police said. Bomb disposal experts were called to the airport approach road at about 10:40am.

The entrance to the airport was closed and passengers arriving at the terminal were told not to leave the site. Four inbound and outbound flights were delayed for 50 minutes. The police cordon was lifted at about 1:00pm.

Mark Slemmings, who had just arrived at the airport from Barcelona, said: "After clearing immigration we heard that nobody was allowed in or out of the airport. I walked as far as I could go, but was stopped by airport staff.

"Once we could leave you could see the cordon and a suitcase looked like it had been exploded with rubbish everywhere." A spokesman for Essex Police said: "The bag, which had been left on a roundabout near the airport approach road, contained rubbish and old clothes."

Otter retrieved iPhone dropped into pool by visitor at animal sanctuary

An otter fished out an unusual catch for a woman who dropped her iPhone into his pool at an animal sanctuary.

The visitor feared the phone would be lost for good after it fell into the murky depths, until Starsky the Asian short-clawed otter dived into action.

He swam down to the bottom of his tank before hauling the handset to the surface between his paws. Starksy calmly handed it back to speechless animal care assistant Jenny Lewis at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, in Gweek, near Helston, Cornwall.

Nine-year-old Starsky arrived at the sanctuary in January 2009, along with his brother Hutch. Starsky's usual tricks include juggling stones and climbing up the mesh sides of his enclosure - although he's too afraid to come down by himself.

Sir Roger Moore shunned scotch egg for ham hock terrine

James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore stopped off for scotch egg for lunch in a pub on Friday according to Saturday's Torquay Herald Express.

The 86-year-old, who played the 007 secret agent for seven films between 1973 and 1985 called in at the Jack in the Green pub in Rockbeare.

The former 007 enjoyed a homemade scotch egg at the pub, prior to his appearance at Torquay's Princess Theatre, they reported.

However, following an exchange on Twitter, on Sunday The Herald Express published an important update as to what the octogenarian had actually eaten.

Dog rescued after getting head stuck in tumble dryer vent

Raymond Edmonds from Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton, couldn’t believe his eyes when he found pet dog Junior's head sticking through the wall - with the rest of his body stuck outside. German Shepherd Collie cross Junior had pushed his head through a hole in the wall which was where an old tumble dryer was installed leaving Raymond desperately shampooing his dog to try to get him out.

But the poor pet was wedged in and Raymond had no choice but to call in firefighters. Concerned Raymond called 999 and officers from West Midlands Fire Service managed to free Junior after a half an hour struggle - by drilling the wall around his head. Mr Edmonds said: “It was raining outside and I could hear Junior barking out in the garden, but when I went to the porch to let him in I had the shock of my life.

“He had pushed his head through an old vent for a dryer I used to have, and he was just peering at me through the wall. I was so shocked and I didn’t know what on earth to do.” Unfortunately for Junior the hole he had pushed his head through was slightly taller than him, so the poor pooch couldn’t sit down or rest his legs while he was stuck. Luckily, firemen managed to drill around the hole and released Junior’s head safely.

Mr Edmonds has released the pictures of Junior’s rescue to raise awareness of the good work West Midlands Fire Service carry out. He said: “Junior is a crazy dog and he coped with the ordeal really well. The firefighters who attended did an excellent job of getting Junior out of the hole, without distressing him. It’s safe to say, Junior won’t be putting his head in any other holes in a hurry.”