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Mon, 27 Sep 2021
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Indian train inferno kills at least 26 people

india train inferno
Fire raced through an Indian train carriage packed with sleeping passengers on Saturday, killing at least 26 people, and forcing terrified passengers to smash windows in a frantic bid to escape.

Some passengers were able to break the train's toilet cabin windows, but other victims were overcome by the thick, swirling smoke and bodies were found heaped at the windows and doors.

"We woke up to the screams of 'fire, fire!'. Everybody was screaming," one survivor, identified as Patil, told The Press Trust of India news agency.

Another survivor, Sharad, recalled: "We were all asleep. All of a sudden, we all woke up to a burning sensation."

Dollar Gold

Amazing luck! New York landscaper finds $1M winning lotto ticket in Hurricane Sandy leaves

© Victor Alcorn
Lucky lotto winner Marvin Rosales Martinez
Money does grow on trees!

A landscaper picking up grimy leaves on a Long Island street after Hurricane Sandy stumbled upon a million-dollar winning lottery ticket.

"This was someone else's luck, but my ticket!" Marvin Martinez, 27, told The Post.

"My co-worker was blowing the leaves and I was collecting them when I saw the ticket hiding between wet leaves," he said of his November 2012 find in Bayville. "I still don't know what made me pick it up."

But he did and saw that all three numbers on the "Win $1,000 a Week for Life" scratch card appeared to be winners.

"Whoever threw it away probably didn't realize there was a prize," said Martinez, who still lives with his mother in a Sandy-ravaged home in Hicksville. "I took it home and showed it to my mom but she didn't believe it." It was so wet that they could barely read the ticket "so I left it to dry underneath a lamp," Martinez said.


Backslider: Catholic youth leader raped victim after promising not to do it again

A Catholic youth leader who promised a teenager he had raped that he would never rape again if she didn't report him to police was reported to police by his victim after he sexually assaulted her best friend.

In a complaint filed by Marain Foley against Brandon Eckerson, she claims that Eckerson forcibly raped her two days before Christmas in 2012. However, he convinced her "not to say anything further to anyone about his sexual exploitation of her; in exchange he promised to never again sexually assault anyone. It was understood that if plaintiff discovered he violated this sworn promise she would go to the police."

According to complaint, the extent of Eckerson's inappropriate behavior extended beyond sexual assault. As leader of a Catholic youth group, Foley alleges, Eckerson talked to her about "her life, seeking intimate details, including dating and sexual relationship," and that youth group meetings were fraught with "permissive sexual dialogue, contact, spanking, slapping, gropings and ridicule."

She also claims that Eckerson brought the group of minors to bars and restaurants in which they were illegally served alcohol, and that he frequently purchased alcohol for the group and consumed it with them during meetings.

Comment: Something really reeks in the house of the Lord.

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La Quenelle goes international! French footballer Nicholas Anelka does the 'quenelle' gesture at English soccer match

© PA Photos
Nicolas Anelka celebrates his first goal against West Ham at Upton Park on December 28 2013
Frenchman Anelka, 34, celebrated his first of two goals in the 3-3 draw by apparently making a gesture known as the 'quenelle' in France, where it can have anti-semitic connotations. It is made by touching the right shoulder with the left hand, keeping the right arm pointed downwards.

Anelka could face punishment if his actions can be shown to be offensive, insulting, abusive or political.

The signal, popularised by French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, has been described as a reverse Nazi salute and is widely seen as being anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli. Dieudonne claims it is anti-establishment and not aimed at Jews.

Dieudonne - who originally started out as a left-wing activist but has since aligned himself with far-right parties associated with France's Front National, and some Islamist organisations - has been convicted for making anti-semitic remarks on six occasions, and in 2008 was fined 7,000 euros for describing Holocaust remembrance as "memorial pornography".

Anelka knew what he was doing and has previously been pictured making the gesture with the comedian.

Comment: Is a new revolution quietly brewing in France?

Eye 1

Another sick psychopath: Son, 22, gutted his own mother and disemboweled with a poker because he believed she had ruined his life

  • Robert Owen Rankin awoke the day after Christmas intent on murdering his mother in their Connecticut home
  • Rankin told police he sliced his mother from the belly button up before pulling out her intestines 'to see if there was a baby in her stomach'
  • Margaret Rohner, 45, was found naked and stabbed in the abdomen at the bottom of the stairs in her home
  • Rankin has been put on suicide watch at in his Connecticut jail cell at his attorney's request

A 22-year-old Connecticut man has admitted to police he used a fire poker and then a buck knife to ruthlessly gut his own mother and pull out her intestines on Thursday.

A chilling police report shows that Robert Owen Rankin of Deep River didn't know exactly what all the guts and gore he pulled from his mother Margaret Rohner, 45, were, but he knew why he was doing it.

'I don't know exactly what the stuff was, like octopus tentacles,' he would coolly recount to police. 'I killed my mother because she is pretty much responsible for everything that has gone wrong in my life.'


Society's Breakdown: No beer led to ceramic squirrel stabbing

© unknown
South Carolina authorities say a 44-year-old woman angry at a man for returning home without beer on Christmas beat and stabbed him with a ceramic squirrel.

The Charleston County Sheriff's office says in a report that deputies found a man covered with blood when they arrived at Helen Williams' North Charleston home early Wednesday. She told investigators the man fell and cut himself, but couldn't explain why her hands and clothes were also bloody.

Deputies say the man said Williams was so angry when he returned without beer because stores were closed on Christmas Eve that she grabbed a ceramic squirrel, beat him in the head, then stabbed him in the shoulder and chest.

Williams was in jail Friday and charged with criminal domestic violence. It wasn't known if she had a lawyer.


Chinese billionaire And French winemaker die in helicopter crash while celebrating chateau sale

© AFP/Mehdi Fedouach
Chinese billionaire Lam Kok (2nd R) and his wife with James Gregoire (2nd L), the former owner of the Chateau, photographed less than an hour before the helicopter crash.
France has stepped up its search for the two missing businessmen and their interpreter after the body of the Chinese billionaire's son is pulled from wreckage

A massive search continued for the bodies of a Chinese billionaire and a French winemaker who died in a helicopter crash after going on a flight to celebrate the sale of an historic Bordeaux chateau.

Police have found only the body of hotel magnate Lam Kok's 12-year-old son, whose remains were pulled out of the wreckage after the helicopter plunged on Friday into the Dordogne river in the southwest of the country.

Mr Kok's interpreter was also on board the aircraft piloted by Mr Gregoire, who was taking the Chinese businessman on a tour of the Chateau de La Riviere estate he had just purchased from him for a reported £25 million.

Police helicopters with thermal imaging cameras were hunting for the three missing bodies, while divers probed the fast-flowing Dordogne and more than 100 gendarmes with sniffer dogs searched the riverbanks.

The body of the yellow-and-black Robinson R44 helicopter was due to be lifted from the water on Monday. Officials said it would likely take weeks for the cause of the crash to be determined.


Humans acting like maddened beasts: Woman threatened to kill Walmart worker over price of skateboard

© unknown
A 45-year-old woman was arrested on allegations of threatening to kill a Walmart sales associate over the price of a skateboard.

Maria Desimone was arrested in the incident, which occurred December 20 at the Walmart at 1040 Malabar Road in Palm Bay.

According to police, the associate was assisting another customer when Desimone approached her and was upset about the price of a skateboard. Desimone began cursing at the woman and swung the board as if she was going to hit her, police said.

The sales associate pointed her finger at Desimone, who then threatened to kill her, according to police.

The associate called for a manager, and Desimone went to her car and left the store, police said.

She was later arrested on battery charges.

No other details were released.


Social collapse accelerates: Shelters fill as rent aid disappears

new york homeless
© The Wall Street Journal
New York City homeless shelters - swelling with record-high populations not seen since the Great Depression - are increasingly being sought out by people who participated in a now-defunct rent-subsidy program designed to reduce homelessness, according to a report to be released Saturday.

The author of the report, the Coalition for the Homeless, a nonprofit advocacy group, held up the report as evidence that homeless families need longer-term government help with rent to stay out of the shelter system. Since the rental-payment program, known as Advantage, was canceled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration after state budget cuts in June 2011, the city's homeless shelter system population has grown to its highest-ever levels: 52,000 people, including 22,000 children.

As of August, the coalition report found, 49.4% of family placements in the Advantage program had returned to the shelter system, climbing from 24.5% nearly three years ago. The numbers rose rapidly as subsidies ran out in 2012, with more than 300 families a month seeking shelter from the city during that summer after losing their rent subsidies. In 2013, more than 200 such families were entering shelters each month, the report said.

The coalition estimated that the cost of housing these families in the shelter system was $287 million more than paying their rent through Advantage.

The coalition said its report, titled "The Revolving Door Keeps Spinning," was based on city government data obtained from a Freedom of Information Law request.

Arrow Down

Sick: Teen cut off man's head as Christmas 'present' to Aunt

© Chicago Police
Alexis Valdez
A teen charged with killing his aunt's boyfriend allegedly cut off the victim's head and left it on his aunt's bed "as a present" on Christmas Day, according to prosecutors.

Alexis Valdez, 18, has been charged with first-degree murder, for allegedly killing 41-year-old Silvestre Diaz-Hernandez inside a basement apartment in the 2500 block of North Kildare Avenue early Christmas morning.

At a bond hearing Thursday afternoon, prosecutors unveiled a gruesome story in an attempt to keep Valdez detained. They say he had been living with his aunt and her boyfriend and was supposed to be helping pay the bills, but he had stopped working. After several arguments about the expenses, Valdez was asked to move out.