Society's Child

Che Guevara

Rafael Correa re-elected for third term as president of Ecuador

© Cecilia Puebla/EPA
Rafael Correa celebrates with his son, Miguel, daughter, Anne and wife Anne Malherbe in Quito, Ecuador, after the first results of the presidential elections.
Ecuador's president Rafael Correa has been elected to a third term in power.

The leftwing incumbent, who first took office in 2007 and was re-elected in 2009, won 58% of the vote, well ahead of his closest challenger, former banker Guillermo Lasso, with 24%.

A beaming Correa appeared on state TV hugging jubilant supporters at the Carondelet presidential palace less than an hour after polls closed. "This victory is yours. It belongs to our families, to our wife, to our friends, our neighbours, the entire nation," Correa said. "We are only here to serve you. Nothing for us. Everything for you, a people who have become dignified in being free."

Fireball 2

Russian scientists claim meteorite remains, meteor black market thrives

© Press Service of the Ural Federal University/ Alexandra Khlopotova
The site of a meteorite hit in the Chelyabinsk Region. Small 0.5-1 cm pieces of black matter resembling rock were found around the ice hole caused by the meteorite.
Scientists have confirmed the extra-terrestrial origin of dozens of tiny fragments found near Chebarkul Lake in Russia's Chelyabinsk region. Local opportunists meanwhile began selling alleged pieces of the space rock in a bid to make a quick fortune.

­"We have just finished the research and confirm that the fragments found by our expedition in the area of Chebarkul Lake are meteorite by nature," Viktor Grohovsky of the Ural Federal University told RIA.

The space object exploded into at least seven large pieces and hundreds of small ones, researchers claimed. One of the big fragments fell into the Chebarkul Lake, and is believed to have formed an ice-hole 8 meters in diameter.

The team was not allowed to inspect the ice crater itself, but around the hole scientists collected several dozens small fragments of the rock about 0.5 - 1 centimeter in diameters which were sent for examination.

So far the researchers were able to confirm the samples' celestial origin out of the 53 small particles sampled.

"This is a stone meteorite, an ordinary chondrite. We have diagnosed all the common minerals found there- the metallic iron, and olivine, and sulfite," Grohovsky elaborated. The scientists at the "Nanotech" center evaluated that over eight percent of the mass of the examined samples consisted of these metals.

© RIA Novosti
An ice hole in Lake Chabarkul, Chelyabinsk Region, where pieces of a meteorite could allegedly fall December 15.
The researchers aim to conduct further analysis before registering "Chebarkul Meteorite" in the international catalogue.

Earlier, a team of Emergency Ministry divers have examined the floor bed of the lake in search of the meteorite, but were unable to find anything resembling a big fragment of the rock, which is now rumored to further break-up upon impact.

Meanwhile, residents of the region are still speculating about the incident and putting forward their own theories on what really happened, RT producer Lida Vasilevskaya reported from Chelyabinsk.

"No, it definitely wasn't a meteor. I don't know what it was, but not that," one local stated. "It was a stage for a missile. For sure!" another claimed.

A rock estimated to weigh around 7,000 tons and be traveling at 40,000mph exploded over the Urals Mountains on Friday, scattering debris for miles and injuring some 1,240 people, including 299 children.


Chavez makes surprise return from Cuba

© Reuters
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez smiles in between his daughters, Rosa Virginia (R) and Maria while recovering from cancer surgery in Havana in this photograph released by the Ministry of Information on February 15, 2013.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made a surprise return from Cuba on Monday more than two months after surgery for cancer that has jeopardized his 14-year rule of the South American OPEC member.

The 58-year-old socialist leader underwent a six-hour operation in Cuba on December 11. He had not been seen or heard in public since then until photos were published of him on Friday.

"We have arrived back in the Venezuelan fatherland. Thanks, my God! Thanks, my beloved people! Here we will continue the treatment," Chavez said via Twitter after flying in.

There had been speculation Chavez was unwell enough to travel despite wanting to return for continued treatment for the disease he was first diagnosed with in mid-2011.

Better Earth

Thousands gather in Washington to protest Keystone pipeline

© Reuters / Richard Clement
Demonstrators carry a replica of a pipeline during a march against the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington, February 17, 2013.
Thousands of people have gathered in Washington today to urge U.S. President Barack Obama to make good on his recent promises to combat climate change.

TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline project is the rally's most popular whipping boy.

Organizers are billing the protest, held at the foot of the Washington Monument, as the biggest climate protest in American history.

Protesters formed a human pipeline and many waved signs and chanted slogans against Keystone XL.

Thousands have spilled onto the National Mall despite chilly temperatures and brisk winds.

Among them: Canadian tribal leaders, movie stars, Americans with ties to Canada and even a group of nuns.

Speakers included prominent environmentalists like Bill McKibben, head of, who was arrested last week at a similar protest outside the White House.

The U.S. government is reviewing the Keystone proposal, which would ship bitumen from Alberta to the U.S. gulf coast.

Source: The Canadian Press


Woman marries her twin sister's convicted killer, claiming he is an innocent man

  • Killer: Victor Cingolani (right) has married Edith Casas, twin sister of Johana (right) who he murdered
    Victor Cingolani is serving 13 years in jail for the murder of Johana Casas
  • He married Johana's sister Edith yesterday in the city where she was shot
  • Angry crowd outside the register office pelted Edith with stones and eggs
  • Cingolani was rushed out of the back door to his cell wearing a disguise
  • The wedding had been delayed by a judge for physiological tests on Edith
An Argentine woman was confronted by an angry crowd when she married her twin sister's killer on Valentine's Day.

Edith Casas, 22, wed Victor Cingolani yesterday in a ceremony taking place less than a year into the groom's 13-year sentence for the murder of model Johana Casas.

The bride was pelted with stones and eggs as she emerged from the register office, while her husband, disguised in sunglasses and a beret, was rushed out of the back door to his cell.

The couple married in Pico Truncade in southern Argentina, the same city where Johana was shot twice in the head days before her 20th birthday in July 2010.

Her body was found on the outskirts of the city, which lies around 1,200 miles from the capital Buenos Aires, and Cingolani, an ex-boyfriend, was convicted of murder in June last year.


Man tased outside Target trying to steal Justin Bieber Valentines

© Milford Patch
A Grafton man was arrested by Milford Police Tuesday after he fled the store with these items. Credit Courtesy Milford Police
Milford - An alleged shoplifter was hit with a stun gun as he tried to escape from Target in Milford, according to police.

Milford Patch reports that man, identified as Michael Pete Harding, 50, of Grafton was trying to swipe a shopping cart full of items that included several cases of Red Bull, Tide detergent, and packages of Justin Bieber valentines.

Police believe he planned to resell the items.

While Harding was in the store, Target's store security recognized him as having shoplifted from the store in the past, so they called police.

An officer was waiting for him as he tried to run out the doors.

"He pushed the cart at me and then ran off to my left," the officer told the Patch.

The officer was able to chase down Harding.

Harding allegedly tried to punch the officer, and was hit with a stun gun in response.

He's charged with larceny over $250 and resisting arrest.


Teenager arrested after home invasion, kidnapping in Quebec

Canada, Quebec - A 16-year-old Ottawa boy was interrogated Saturday night about his potential involvement with a home invasion and kidnapping of a senior couple at gunpoint in west Quebec overnight.

Quebec Provincial Police said two male suspects forced the couple out of their cottage in Bouchette, QC, near Maniwaki and used the couple's car to drive them to a barn in L'Isle-aux-Allumettes, near Pembroke.

The barn was more than two hours away from the couple's cottage.

Police said the suspects then tied the couple up.

Police said both suspects wore a scarf around their face and one of them had a handgun.

Both suspects spoke English, according to police.

Police said the couple managed to untie themselves and escape from the barn when the suspects fled. They then flagged down a passing motorist who contacted police.

Eye 1

Man charged in killings of 2 women in Missouri

© The Associated Press/Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department
Derek Richardson
A Kansas City-area man was arrested Saturday in the killings of two prostitutes whose bodies were found posed on the sides of rural Missouri roads nearly a year apart.

At a news conference Saturday night, authorities said Derek Richardson, 27, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of abandonment of a corpse. His bail is set at $2 million. It wasn't immediately known whether he has an attorney.

"We absolutely stopped a person who was going to kill again," said Kansas City police Sgt. Doug Niemeier, adding that authorities will search across the United States to ensure there weren't other victims.

"We do know that he had travels elsewhere," Niemeier said, "so we will be contacting those states just to make sure."

Police announced earlier this month that the deaths of Tamara Sparks and Nicoleone Reed were linked and asked the public for help. Police said they believed whoever was responsible for the deaths also was the person who lost a size 11, canvas, Crocs-brand shoe at the site where Sparks' body was found.


2 firefighters dead, 2 hurt in Texas lodge fire

© The Associated Press/Bryan College Station Eagle/Stuart Villanueva
A Bryan firefighter walks across the smoking rubble of a Knights of Columbus Hall in Bryan, Texas, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.
Bryan, Texas - Two Texas fire lieutenants have died of burns after battling a lodge hall fire, a city official said Saturday.

Gregory Pickard and Eric Wallace, both with the department in the Central Texas city of Bryan, were in a group of firefighters responding to the blaze about midnight Friday at a Knights of Columbus hall, city spokeswoman Mary Lynne Stratta said.

The team entered the burning building but didn't emerge when ordered to evacuate, Stratta said.

Wallace, 36, died at the scene and Pickard, 54, on Saturday at a hospital in Galveston, she said.

"He called for help, said he was low on air," Stratta said of Wallace, a 13-year Bryan Fire Department veteran.


Protesters show support for Christopher Dorner outside LAPD headquarters

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters downtown Saturday afternoon, holding signs of support for Christopher Dorner, the fired police officer suspected of killing four people.

Those gathered said they were protesting police corruption and the way the massive manhunt for Dorner was conducted. Authorities said Dorner appears to have died from a self-inflected gunshot wound after a shootout with police in Big Bear on Tuesday, ending a deadly rampage that stretched across Southern California.

Protesters said they believed Dorner's claims that he was unfairly fired from the department in 2009 - grievances described in a lengthy online manifesto that has been attributed to him. Dorner also claimed that he was the victim of racism.

Protesters also said they were appalled by police mistakenly shooting at passengers in two separate trucks in Torrance, wrongly believing Dorner might be in the vehicles. One woman was shot in the back and is still recovering.

The protesters emphasized that they did not condone the killings of which Dorner is accused.

Michael Nam, 30, stood at the corner of 1st and Main Streets with a sign, painted by his girlfriend, showing a tombstone and the words "RIP Habeas Corpus." The tombstone was engulfed in flames.