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Ambulance

Christmas night fight between sisters over apple fritters ends in stabbing

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Contisha Q. Hayes, 21, of Callis Oval, was charged with felonious assault and booked into the Summit County Jail for stabbing her sister, Tamara D. Delaney, 21, who was transported to Akron City Hospital where her injuries do not appear to be life threatening.
One sister is hospitalized and another is in jail after an argument over apple fritters ended in a stabbing.

Akron police say they were called to the 900 block of Springdale Street around 11:30 p.m. Christmas night for a reported stabbing.

Investigators say one sister was in the kitchen making apple fritters when two other sisters "started to play fight" over the treat.

At one point, police say, one sister pulled the hair of the other sister.

Bad Guys

India's rape culture: 20 year old woman gang-raped on Christmas Eve

A 20-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped on Christmas Eve in south India, media reports said on Friday, the latest in a string of sexual attacks reported in the country.

The reports of the latest assault came two days before India was due to mark the first anniversary of the death of a student who was gang-raped on a bus in an attack that shocked the nation.

The woman who was assaulted on Christmas Eve told police she was abducted by three men while sightseeing with friends in Karaikal, a port city in Puducherry, the Times of India newspaper and TV networks reported.

One of the men raped her at a secluded spot before freeing her, the Times said. She called for help but then another group of seven men attacked her as she was being escorted to a safe place, the paper said. Six of the men raped her, it added.

Comment: India gang-rape account: 'Police argued amongst themselves instead of calling an ambulance'
Gang-rape epidemic: India mourns victim, proposes chemical castration for offenders
Swiss tourist gang raped in India, say police
Psychopaths in our midst: Gang-raped Indian girl commits suicide
Further attacks on women in India raise doubts over crackdown


Heart - Black

Knockout Game: Mom punched while walking with young daughter

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© NYPD
Police described the suspect in the assault as a 5-foot-8 man, 180 pounds, with short braids. He wore a black wool cap, green jacket and dark jeans, police said.
A mother was sucker punched while crossing a Midwood street with her 7-year-old daughter in broad daylight, police said.

The 33-year-old mother was near the intersection of 12th Street and Elm Avenue in Midwood about 2:45 p.m. Saturday when a man approached her from behind, swung at the back of her head and knocked her to the ground, police said.

Nothing was reported stolen. The woman sustained minor injuries to her hands and knees, police said.

Attention

Harper's government policy: Canada's prison population at all-time high

© Unknown
New figures show the number of visible minorities in Canadian prisons has increased by 75 per cent in the past decade, while the number and proportion of inmates who are Caucasian has declined significantly.

As well, Canada's prison population is now at its highest level ever, even though the crime rate has been decreasing over the past two decades. Ten years ago, the number of inmates in federal prisons was close to 12,000. It's now more than 15,000.

These are just some of the statistics expected to be examined Tuesday, when the annual report of Correctional Investigator of Canada Howard Sapers is tabled in Parliament. His report is widely expected to be a scathing indictment of federal correctional policy.

"You cannot reasonably claim to have a just society with incarceration rates like these," Sapers said Sunday in a speech he gave at a church in Toronto.

Magnify

Greenwald snarks at MSNBC: I defend Snowden like you defend Obama

© Unknown
Journalist Glenn Greenwald appeared on MSNBC Thursday, one day after Edward Snowden delivered a Christmas address to television viewers in the UK and around the world from Russia. Things got heated when MSNBC anchor Kristen Welker cited critics who've accused Greenwald of "crossing a line" in his defense of Snowden. "What do you say to your critics who say you've become more of a spokesman for Edward Snowden?" she asked.

"I think that's ludicrous is what I say to that," Greenwald shot back. "Every journalist has an agenda. We're on MSNBC now, where close to 24 hours a day the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Party are promoted, defended, glorified, the agenda of the Republican Party is undermined. That doesn't mean the people who appear on MSNBC aren't journalists, they are."

He said that every journalist has a "viewpoint" and he doesn't hide the fact that he finds Snowden's decision to expose the NSA's surveillance programs "heroic."

I think the point is not so much about MSNBC and what happens here," Welker said in defense of her employer, "but more that sometimes when you talk about Edward Snowden you do defend him, and some people wonder if that crosses a line."

"Sure, I do defend him just like people on MSNBC defend President Obama and his officials and Democratic Party leaders 24 hours a day." When Welker pushed back that "not everyone on MSNBC does that 24 hours a day," Greenwald conceded that it's "not everybody, but a lot of people do."

After comparing Snowden to figures like Chelsea Manning and Daniel Ellsberg, Greenwald said, "I absolutely do defend what Edward Snowden does and I don't pretend otherwise."

Arrow Down

Immigration fears spark political firestorm in UK

© AP Photo/Alastair Grant
Recent editions of Britain's Daily Express and Daily Mail newspapers, featuring headlines about immigration, are photographed in London, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. For months, Britain's tabloids have repeatedly warned of the horrors they believe will ensue after Jan. 1, 2014 when work restrictions will be lifted across the European Union for migrants from Romania and Bulgaria — two of the trading bloc's newest members. Those changes, the papers claim, will unleash a mass exodus of the poor and unemployed from the two eastern European countries to Britain.
London -- They're portrayed as pickpockets who will steal British jobs. There are predictions they will beg, the unruly young ones will stir up riots, and some will even try to sell babies.

For months, Britain's tabloids have repeatedly warned of the horrors they believe will ensue after Jan. 1, when work restrictions will be lifted across the European Union for migrants from Romania and Bulgaria - two of the trading bloc's newest members. Those changes, the papers claim, will unleash a mass exodus of the poor and unemployed from the two eastern European countries to Britain.

"In January, the only thing left will be the goat," a Daily Mail headline proclaimed, referring to a remote Romanian village where, the paper claimed, everyone was preparing to move to Britain for the higher wages and generous welfare benefits.

"We're importing a crime wave from Romania and Bulgaria," another headline declared, quoting a Conservative lawmaker who told Parliament that most pickpockets on British streets hail from Romania.

Radar

A deeper look: Five myths about Russia

© Unknown
The past several weeks have been very busy, and I haven't had a chance to post quite as much as I'd like to. I thought I'd throw my hat back into the ring with a short post about where Russia is today. Part of what gets me so frustrated about most mainstream media coverage of Russia is that people tend to conflate the country's condition (e.g. people drink a lot, don't make much money, and are generally miserable) with its trajectory (e.g. people are drinking more, people are making less money, and people are getting more miserable). These are, obviously, two very different things, but they're often treated as if they're interchangeable.

Ice Cube

Chinese ship breaks through ice in Antarctic rescue mission

© Laurence Topham for the Guardian
First sighting of Chinese icebreaker Xue Long from the top deck of the Akademik Shokalskiy, which is stuck in Antarctic ice.
Xue Long encounters thicker ice than expected as it makes slow progress to reach stranded crew of Akademik Shokalskiy

A Chinese icebreaker ship is making its way through dense pack-ice just off the coast of Cape de la Motte in Antarctica, where a ship of scientists and members of the public have been trapped since Christmas Day.

The vessel, the Xue Long, and a French icebreaker, the Astrolabe, reached the edge of the ice pack, around 13 nautical miles from the Russian-operated MV Akademik Shokalskiy, just before 7pm New Zealand time (6am GMT) on Friday.

The Xue Long started cutting through the ice soon after, and has made steady, but slow, progress since and is now within sight of the stricken vessel. The ice it has encountered at the edge has been much thicker than expected - 3-4 metres thick in some places. It is travelling at between 0.1 to 3 knots depending on the density of the ice and should reach the Shokalskiy some time in the next 12 hours. The Astrolabe has not yet entered the ice field.

"We know that the ice conditions around us are extremely difficult and that the ice is under a lot of pressure," said Greg Mortimer, co-leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE), aboard the Shokalskiy. "The ships that are coming to assist us will probably not have the ability to cut a path into us individually, so they have to work in tandem."


Magic Hat

Yasser Arafat died of natural causes say Russian experts report

© Unknown
Yasser Arafat died in a Paris hospital on 8 November 2004, four weeks after falling ill
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of natural causes, not radiation poisoning, Russian forensic scientists have said.

Their investigation was one of three carried out on his remains in 2012. Arafat died in Paris in 2004, aged 75.

Last month, Swiss scientists said they had detected high levels of radioactive polonium but could not say if it had caused his death.

A French inquiry is also said to have found he was not a victim of poisoning.


Comment: From this article, here were the:
Three parallel inquiries

Swiss report - 8 Nov 2013: High levels of polonium; moderate backing for poisoning theory
French report - 3 Dec 2013: Source says poisoning theory rejected in favour of death by natural causes
Russian report - 26 Dec 2013: Death by natural causes not from radiation exposure

People

Migrations: Census bureau expects Florida to surpass New York in population

The U.S. Census Bureau said Florida is likely to surpass New York in population in 2014, if it hasn't already.

Demographers expect Florida to replace New York as the third most populous state, separated by as little as a few thousand people.

The Census Bureau is expected to release its population estimates Monday, the New York Times reported Friday. California and Texas are expected to hold firm as the No. 1 and No. 2 most populous states, respectively.

The census figures indicate foreign-born migrants are moving to warm-weather states, like California, Texas and Florida, and New York is losing roughly 50,000 people each year to Florida, most of them retirees.

"It's going to happen," said Andrew A Beveridge, a professor of sociology at Queens College. "And if Florida accidentally grew faster and New York slowed down, it could have happened already."