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US: Prosecutors: Raped Girl Pleaded She Was Only 14

Image
© Stickney Police
(From left) Vicente Hernandez, Majeed Khalifeh, Jonathan Leanos and Alex Picallo.
A girl raped by three teenagers and a 22-year-old pleaded that she was only 14 years old during an attack her assailants recorded on a cell phone camera, prosecutors said during a bond hearing today for one of the suspects.

Vicente Hernandez, 22, of Cicero, was ordered held on $600,000 bail after being charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault. The three other suspects -- Alex Picallo, 16, Majeed Khalifeh, 18, and Jonathan Leanos, 19, were charged Wednesday.

Police say Leanos met the girl on a MySpace page last summer, and they met several times before Leanos took her to his house on Saturday. When she refused to have sex, Leanos raped her, then took her along when he drove to pick up Khalifeh and Hernandez, police said. They returned to Leanos' house, where they were met by Picallo, police said.

When Hernandez took the girl into a bedroom and locked the door, she told him she was only 14, prosecutors said. Hernandez assaulted her and broke her cell phone before leaving the room, prosecutors said in court.

Khalifeh and Picallo then went into the room and assaulted the girl while Hernandez and Leonas used their cell phones to record the attack, prosecutors said. Leanos then allegedly raped the girl again.

Hernandez's lawyer portrayed his client as a hard-working family man working two jobs to support his girlfriend and two daughters. He is also the primary caregiver for his 85-year-old grandfather, said attorney Marco Raimondi. He requested that Hernandez be released on $50,000 bail, arguing his client posed no flight risk.

Pistol

Belarus: Fox Shoots Man

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© REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
A wild fox cub lies outside its burrow near the village of Khatenchitsy, some 37 miles north of Minsk, June 26, 2007
A wounded fox shot its would be killer in Belarus by pulling the trigger on the hunter's gun as the pair scuffled after the man tried to finish the animal off with the butt of the rifle, media said Thursday.

The unnamed hunter, who had approached the fox after wounding it from a distance, was in hospital with a leg wound, while the fox made its escape, media said, citing prosecutors from the Grodno region.

"The animal fiercely resisted and in the struggle accidentally pulled the trigger with its paw," one prosecutor was quoted as saying.

Info

Romania : Flying Drunk Proves Fatal for Bird Flock

There was nothing mysterious about the death of a flock of birds in Romania last week -- they were simply drunk, veterinarians said.

Residents of the Black Sea city of Constanta alerted authorities on Saturday after they found dozens of dead starlings, fearing they may have been infected with bird flu, which triggered mass deaths in avian populations in 2004-2006.

"Tests on five birds showed gizzards full of grape marc which caused their death," Romeu Lazar, head of the city's veterinary authority told Reuters, referring to a pulpy residue which is a by-product of winemaking.

"This also applies to two dead crows we tested," Lazar said. Birds are not used to alcohol but harsh winter and snow had prevented birds from finding food. Had they been able to eat some seeds, this would have diluted the poison."

Health

US: HealthWatch: Rep. Giffords And Brain Injury

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
© unknown
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
It has been almost three days since Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head in Arizona. Tuesday morning she remained in critical condition at a hospital in Tucson. Dr. Max Gomez reports on how she was able to survive such a devastating injury and what will determine how much function she may recover.

Giffords is heading into the most critical time in her recovery, when her brain will usually reach its maximum swelling after the gunshot wound.

"The brain will swell. If the brain is within the closed box of the skull, it has nowhere to swell, and it starts compressing or injring the normal, good part of the brain," said Dr. Philip Stieg of New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

To allow the brain to swell, surgeons actually removed a large portion of the congresswoman's skull and reportedly have stored it in the refridgerated bone bank for later replacement after the brain swelling subsides.

That bone may be contaminated after the gunshot and doctors may use a prosthetic bone later.

Bizarro Earth

US: 81-Year-Old Woman Bodyslammed, Mugged In Subway Station

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© CBS2
Madeline Klima lays prone on the ground after being bodyslammed and mugged by an unidentified female assailant, top.
Video Shows Elderly Victim Tossed By Another Woman!

New York - She said it felt like she was flying.

That's how an elderly woman described a heartless attack inside a subway station.

And it was at the hands of another woman.

The robbery was caught on camera. As CBS 2's Wendy Gillette reports, the video shows how Madeline Klima was robbed from behind.

A defenseless elderly woman, Klima said she can't make sense of what happened to her.

"Why? Why'd she have to hurt so much? She wanted it so bad she could have asked for it," Klima told Gillette.

The video shows her falling to the ground and hitting her head as the thief runs off with her purse.

"Oohh flying. Picked me up and like, threw me. And went down, and blood, you know. But I couldn't get up," Klima said.

The 81-year-old said she was stunned by how much force the woman used. Klima fractured and dislocated her shoulder in the fall and her eye is heavily bruised. She also needed stitches.

Police said the suspect is dark skinned, in her 20s, about 5-foot-10 and nearly 200 pounds.

Ambulance

Canada: Homeless Man Accused of Killing Toronto Cop with Snowplow Charged with Murder

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair says a homeless man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a Toronto police officer who died after being hit by a stolen snowplow.

Red Flag

The 'Food Bubble' is Bursting, Says Lester Brown, and Biotech Won't Save Us

Haitians awaiting food distribution
© U.N./Sophia Paris
Haitians awaiting food distribution from a U.N. food program.
For years -- even decades -- Earth Policy Institute president and Grist contributor Lester Brown has issued Cassandra-like warnings about the global food system. His argument goes something like this: Global grain demand keeps rising, pushed up by population growth and the switch to more meat-heavy diets; but grain production can only rise so much, constrained by limited water and other resources. So, a food crisis is inevitable.

In recent years, two factors have added urgency to Brown's warnings: 1) climate change has given rise to increasingly volatile weather, making crop failures more likely; and 2) the perverse desire to turn grain into car fuel has put yet more pressure on global grain supplies.

Brown's central metaphor -- which he's been using at least since the mid-'90s -- will be familiar to readers who've lived through the previous decade's dot-com and real-estate meltdowns: the bubble. The world has entered a "food bubble," he argues; we've puffed up grain production by burning through unsustainable amounts of three finite resources: water, fossil fuels, and topsoil. At some point, he insists, the bubble has to burst.

Well, for the second time in three years, the globe is lurching toward a full-on, proper food crisis, especially in places like Haiti that have de-emphasized domestic farming and turned instead to the global commodity market for food. In 2008, global food prices spiked to all-time highs, and hunger riots erupted from Haiti to Morocco. Now prices are spiking again, and have already surpassed the 2008 peak, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Newspaper

Acid-laden Tanker Capsizes on Rhine in Germany

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© Torsten Silz/AP Photo
Tug boats secure a tanker carrying 2,400 tonnes of sulphuric acid after the barge capsized at the river Rhine near St Goarshausen, south of Koblenz, western Germany, Thursday, Jan 13, 2011.
Berlin - A tanker loaded with sulfuric acid capsized early Thursday on the Rhine river in Germany and two crew members were missing, authorities said.

There was no immediate word on why the ship capsized, the shipping office in Bingen said. The other two crew members were rescued.

The ship, which overturned near St. Goarshausen, in western Germany, was carrying 2,400 tons of sulfuric acid. Initial measurements carried out downstream from the scene showed no abnormalities and there were no indications that the load was leaking, the shipping office said.

Authorities closed the river to shipping. They were working to secure the 360-foot (110-meter) long tanker, which was floating on its side, and to find the two missing crew members.

The German-owned ship was on its way from Ludwigshafen in southwestern Germany to Antwerp, Belgium.

Family

UK: Nine arrested in child sex abuse investigation

Image
© Christopher Thomond
Rochdale The girls claim they were plied with drink and drugs and then taken to flats and houses for sex
Rochdale arrests made after a police inquiry into the sexual exploitation of teenage girls

Police investigating a group of men who allegedly groomed young girls for sex in Rochdale have made a series of arrests.

Greater Manchester police said nine men had been arrested on suspicion of causing or inciting child prostitution, sexual activity with a child and paying for the sexual services of a child.

The men, aged between 20 and 40 from Rochdale and Heywood, were arrested on 21 December.

They have been released on police bail until March pending further inquiries.

Butterfly

Even The Troops Are Waking Up

Poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in another country to make the rich richer.