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Thu, 01 Jun 2023
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US: American Idol Contestant Brutally Beaten By Gang Of Girls

Administrators at Brooklyn Academy High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant canceled Friday's talent show in the wake of a all-girl gang assault on one of the student contestants, PIX 11 has learned.

According to authorities, 17-year-old Shacara McLaurin was brutally attacked by at least five other students on April 1st, one of them hitting her in the face with a padlock wrapped in a sock.

"Yo, b--ch, I got a lock," one of the teen suspects allegedly shouted, as she pummeled McLaurin with the weapon.

"I wasn't able to open my jaw. I wasn't able to talk. I wasn't able to sing," the victim told the New York Daily News.

One of McLaurin's fellow classmates, Jacky Alcine, told PIX 11 he had heard McLaurin rehearse for the talent show and knew she was a favorite to win.

"She has a great voice," he said. "It fills the room."


US: Facebook mom in toddler drowning gets 10 years

© Weld County Colo. Sheriff/Greeley Tribune/Associated Press)
Shannon Johnson was playing a game on Facebook while her 13-month-old son drowned in a full bathtub. She was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison.
A northern Colorado woman who was playing a game on Facebook while her 13-month-old child drowned in a full bathtub was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison.

Shannon Johnson, 34, of Fort Lupton, cried as District Judge Thomas Quammen told her he didn't think she was a bad person or that she killed her son on purpose, the Greeley Tribune reported.

But, he added, that doesn't mean her action wasn't criminal.

"You left this little boy in a bathtub so you could entertain yourself on the computer by playing games," Quammen said. "And you left that 13-month-old human being, little Joseph, incredibly for those reasons."

Johnson pleaded guilty in March to negligently causing the death of her child. The charge carried a sentencing range of four to 12 years, but it also left open the possibility she could receive community service or probation. Authorities rejected both of those options, saying they didn't want to play down the seriousness of her crime.


US: Valpo sixth-grader handcuffed over spilled milk

A 12-year-old faces two counts of resisting law enforcement for his alleged actions when he refused to clean up spilled milk in the Ben Franklin Middle School cafeteria.

A police officer was helping supervise the lunch period on Tuesday, because both the principal and assistant principal were in a meeting, and the boy got into a confrontation with a school staff member.

After refusing to wipe up the mess, according to the police report, the sixth-grader refused to sit and wait for the other students to return to class so the staff member could deal with him individually.


US: Woman sues Match.com after 'she was raped by a man she met on the dating site who had convictions of sexual battery'

© unknown
Alan Paul Wurtzel allegedly raped a woman he met through match.com
A woman who claims she was raped by a man she met on Match.com, who she later found out had convictions for sexual battery, is suing the dating website.

The woman, an entertainment executive from California, is demanding that the website screens all its members for sexual predators.

Her lawyer Mark L. Webb is asking for a temporary injunction barring the site from signing up more members until his client's demands are met.

He said: 'They are a very powerful and successful online dating service, and they have the means to do this.'

He described his client, known in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, as an Ivy League graduate who works in film and television.

She met her her alleged assailant, Alan Paul Wurtzel, last year at a cafe in West Hollywood.

She said he seemed charming and so agreed to see him again. After the second date, however, he allegedly followed her home and forced himself on her.

Mr Wurtzel's attorney has described the incident as 'a consenting sexual encounter.'


Japanese emperor pays first visit to disaster zone

© Kyodo News/AP
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko speak to evacuees in Asahi city.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko meet evacuees in Asahi city, where 13 people died in the earthquake and tsunami

Japan's emperor has made his first trip to the disaster zone since last month's earthquake and tsunami.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited two evacuation shelters in Asahi city, near the Pacific coast. They knelt on mats and spoke quietly with evacuees, who bowed deeply. Some wiped tears from their eyes.

Thirteen people died in the city and 3,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. The emperor and empress plan additional visits to other tsunami-affected areas in coming weeks.

More than 26,000 people are believed to have died in the disaster. About 11,250 bodies have been recovered so far.


Whatever Happened To The Anti-War Movement?

© Associated Press
A crowd of demonstrators gather at the Washington Monument for a rally to protest the Vietnam War on Nov. 15, 1969.
The United States is knee-deep in at least three international military conflicts at the moment - in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

American lives are being lost. Innocent civilians are being killed. Several of the engagements appear to be primed for protraction. The wars are expensive in other ways, too.

At least since the stormy 1960s, whenever America has gotten involved in deadly combat on foreign soil, large crowds of peace-promoting citizens have gathered in Washington and other cities to demonstrate against war.

It happened in 2007, when tens of thousands congregated on the National Mall and heard actors Sean Penn, Jane Fonda and Danny Glover speak out against President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. It happened in 1991, when throngs rallied against U.S. involvement in the first Gulf War. And it has happened more than a dozen other times since the March on Washington for Peace in Vietnam in 1965.

Eye 1

BP faces angry protests at first annual shareholders' meeting since spill


London - BP was facing angry protesters and disgruntled shareholders on Thursday at its first annual general meeting since a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The meeting in London is taking place almost a year since the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and caused millions of barrels of oil to spew into the sea.

Bob Dudley, the American who took over as chief executive in October, faces accusations that he engineered a deal to create a venture to explore for oil in the Arctic with Russian giants Rosneft in a bid to camouflage the worst disaster in BP's history.


Jakarta, Indonesia: Hypnosis More Likely Than Brainwashing in Mysterious Case

A top Jakarta Metro Police psychiatrist says it is unlikely that a woman suffering amnesia after going missing the day before had been brainwashed.

"It takes a long time to brainwash a person, it can't be that fast," said Sr Nurcahyo, the head of the Jakarta Metro Police psychiatry division.

Laila Febriani, 26-year-old Transportation Ministry employee known as Lian, was reported missing by her family on April 7. A day later, she turned up dazed, confused and wearing a full veil at At-Ta'awun Mosque in Cisarua, Bogor, with no recollection of her past.

However, Nurcahyo said it was possible that Lian had been hypnotized.

"Hypnosis can be done in a short time, while brainwashing is planting a certain ideology in a person's mind by blocking their logic and common sense," he said.


Syria's young cyber activists keep protests in view

Citizen journalists defy threats of violence to replace harassed local reporters and banned foreign media with web technology
citizen journalism
© AP
A citizen journalism image taken on a mobile phone shows Syrian women holding an anti-government demonstration in Banias.
He's got sim cards and pseudonyms, cigarettes and light fingers that dance across the touchpad in a mad ballet of digital information sharing. "Now I'm receiving reports of four people killed in Deraa. They opened fire there now," says Rami Nakhle.

Staring down at his laptop, Nakhle reconnects, for the eighth time that afternoon, a Skype call to a protester in Banias, a port on Syria's western Mediterranean coast. "Now I will tell demonstrators in Banias there are four killed in Deraa," he says, sucking back on a cigarette.

On the laptop screen is the pixelated image of a man holding an olive branch in one hand and a mobile phone in the other, which he is using as a video camera to stream, via the social media programme Qik, live images of tens of thousands of protesters in Banias directly into Nakhle's laptop, ready for uploading to YouTube.

Over a faltering digital connection, Nakhle tells his colleague in Banias about the deaths in Deraa. The message is relayed to a protester with a megaphone, who broadcasts it to the masses. Ten minutes later the reaction comes in: "OK, now we can hear chanting in Banias, 'With our souls, with our blood, we sacrifice to you Deraa.' And they are in Banias, a different side of the country!"

Among unprecedented and growing protests against the 41-year dictatorship of the Assad family over Syria, social media mavens such as Nakhle are emerging as the thread that binds disparate protests together. Foreign media have been all but barred from reporting from Syria and dozens of local and Arab journalists have been arrested or expelled. In their place, Syria's cyber activists are using social media and technology to ensure reporting gets out, linking the protesters on the street with the eyes and ears of the world.


Internet Rumor of Inbound 2012 Spaceships Untrue

NO Spaceships Headed for Earth

Has the SETI Institute discovered three objects en route to our world? Alien spacecraft that will arrive in 2012?

If you believe a widespread story now being circulated on the internet, and published by the ironically named "Pravda", you might think so. But it's all nonsense - it's a rumor, a hoax, and a fabrication that uncritical web sites have reprinted without checking.