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Swiss "Healer" Accused of Intentionally Infecting 16 People With HIV Using Acupuncture Needles

Acupunture
© iStockPhoto
Geneva - An unlicensed acupuncturist in Switzerland has been accused of intentionally infecting 16 people with the HIV virus for over a decade, authorities announced Thursday.

The unidentified man was indicted by a five-judge panel in Bern-Mitelland regional court on charges of intentionally spreading human disease and causing serious bodily harm, offenses that carry maximum penalties of five to 10 years respectively, said the regional prosecutor's office in Bern, the Swiss capital.

The office said in a statement that most of the victims attended a music school that the man operated.

A spokesman for the prosecutor, Christof Scheurer, said the man also practiced as an unlicensed, self-styled acupuncturist -- a trade which he is believed to have used between 2001 and 2005 as a pretext to prick and infect some of his victims with blood that was infected with AIDS.

HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids such as blood, semen or breast milk. According to international AIDS and HIV organization Avert, about 34 million people worldwide were living with HIV or AIDS as of 2010, 2.7 million of which were newly infected that year. Deaths attributed to the AIDS virus in 2010 totaled 18 million.

Attention

Global Food Prices Jumped 10% in July, Raising Fears of Food Insecurity for the Planet's Poorest

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A severe drought in the US has led to many farmers having to abandon their 2012 harvest
Global food prices have leapt by 10% in the month of July, raising fears of soaring prices for the planet's poorest, the World Bank has warned.

The bank said that a US heatwave and drought in parts of Eastern Europe were partly to blame for the rising costs.

The price of key grains such as corn, wheat and soybean saw the most dramatic increases, described by the World Bank president as "historic".

The bank warned countries importing grains will be particularly vulnerable.

From June to July this year, corn and wheat prices each rose by 25% while soybean prices increased by 17%, the World Bank said. Only rice prices decreased - by 4%.

In the United States, the most severe, widespread drought in half a century has wreaked havoc on the corn and soybean crops while in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, wheat crops have been badly damaged.

The World Bank said that the use of corn to produce ethanol biofuel - which represents 40% of US corn production - was also a key factor in the sharp rise in the US maize price.

Overall, the World Bank's Food Price Index - which tracks the price of internationally traded food commodities - was six percent higher than in July of last year, and one percent over its previous peak, in February 2011.

Dollar

Japan Could Run out of Money in a Month, Plans to Cut State Spending

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© AFP

The upper house has passed a censure motion against Yoshihiko Noda, piling more pressure on him to make good on his promise to call an election to parliament's lower house

Japan's government is planning to suspend some state spending as it could run out of cash by October, with a deficit financing bill blocked by opposition parties trying to force Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda into an early election.


The impasse in Japan's parliament has raised fears among investors that the world's third largest economy is being driven towards a "fiscal cliff", Reuters reported.

"The government running out of money is not a story made up. It's a real threat," Finance Minister Jun Azumi told a news conference, making a last-ditch appeal for cooperation by opposition parties to pass the bill.

"Failing to pass the bill will give markets the impression that Japan's fiscal management rests on shaky ground," he said.

Unless the bill clears the current parliamentary session that ends next week, the government will start suspending or reducing some state spending to avoid running out of money for as long as possible, the finance ministry said.

Noda's ruling Democratic Party passed the deficit-financing bill through the lower house on Tuesday. But the opposition boycotted the vote, signalling the bill has little chance of clearing the opposition-controlled upper house.

Black Cat

Psychopaths in the Classroom: Teacher Joins Students in Bullying 13 Year Old

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A 13-year-old boy at Kopachuk Middle School in Gig Harbor, Washington was allegedly bullied by his teacher John Rosi and eighth-grade classmates (video below).

The students swung the boy by his arms and legs, wrote on his feet, stuck a traffic cone on his head, gagged him with a sock and taunted him, reports the Daily Mail.

The boy's parents became aware of the bullying, after their son refused to go to school and became withdrawn and suicidal.

They complained to the school administrators and demanded to see the video footage from student cell phones.

The boy's father Randall Kinney told King5.com: "I was shocked. My wife broke down crying. It was tough to see. Rosi is completely ignorant of the fact that he's got a whole classroom hazing one kid. They classified it as roughhousing. But it's not 14 kids wrestling each other. It's a dozen kids using my son to demonstrate their dominance over him."

Stormtrooper

Police Brutality! Woman Dies after Genital Kick from LAPD Officer

Alesia Thomas
© KTLA 5
Alesia Thomas
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating at least five officers after one of them allegedly stomped on a woman's genitals and she later died of suffocation.

Patrol car video camera captured a struggle between police and Alesia Thomas and several officers on July 22, according to the Los Angeles Times.

LAPD Cmdr. Bob Green admitted to the Times that a female officer had followed through with a threat to kick Thomas in the genitals when she resisted being put into the patrol car. Video shows a restrained Thomas struggling to breath in the back of the patrol car. She was taken to a local hospital and later died.

Officers had been attempting to arrest Thomas on suspicion of child endangerment. After the woman resisted arrest, she was put into handcuffs and they placed a "hobble restraint device," or a binding strap binding, around her ankles. The original police report did not mention the kick to Thomas' genitals.

MIB

Black helicopters playing tag over local community in Michigan


Grand Traverse County - Dozens of people have spotted mysterious low-flying helicopters but no one seems to know who they belong to.

For a week, Grand Traverse County dispatchers have been fielding calls from residents concerned about unfamiliar helicopters near Chums Corner.

Jason Torrey, Grand Traverse County Dispatch Deputy Director says, "We got about 30 calls in a short period of time. Some people are scared because they are flying low and are not well lit, if lit at all. The report is that one helicopter is chasing another."

Question

Mysterious find of three shoes on Beach in British Columbia

Victoria - The discovery of three shoes - two of which appear to be children's - containing bone and a "meat-like substance" have forced police to shut down a stretch of beach in the province's capital.

The discovery of the first shoe, which appears to be that of a child's, was made by a tourist at about 5:30 p.m. PDT Thursday at Clover Point, a residential area, said Victoria police Const. Mike Russell.

He said a middle-aged male called police who found two more shoes during a search. One of the shoes was also children's sized, and appeared to contain bone and a "meat-like substance," too.

The discoveries are not the first, as officials have investigated the appearance of nine feet on B.C. shores since 2007.

"It's still way too early to say what it is, or if it's human or not," said Russell of the contents of the shoes.

"They're still sitting on the sand, so we have to seize them, get them back to the coroner's and pathologist, let them take a very close look at that, and that will help guide our investigation."

Crusader

Psychopath Blames the Victim: Catholic Priest Says Molester Priests 'Seduced' by Minors

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© Fatherbenedict.com
Father Benedict Groeschel, founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal order, is shown in this undated photo.
A prominent New York Catholic priest stated in an interview that minors often seduce older clerics, leading them to commit sex acts. The interview was subsequently removed and the paper that posted it called its publication an "editorial mistake."

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, the Reverend Benedict Groeschel was asked how to deal with priests who sexually abuse minors.

Groeschel suggested that the priest was not always fully responsible for his actions.

"Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him," he noted. "A lot of the cases, the youngster - 14, 16, 18 - is the seducer."


He suggested that first-time offenders should be relieved of a jail sentence "because their intention was not committing a crime."

Former Penn State coach Jerry Sandunsky, who is now likely to get life imprisonment after being found guilty of sexually abusing at least eight young boys, was also referred to in one of his answers as a "poor guy."

The interview, which was posted on the National Catholic Register's website, was subsequently removed and replaced with an apology from both the editor-in-chief and Groeschel himself.

Candle

'Toughest sheriff in America' under fire for warrantless arrests of critics in the middle of the night

Joe Arpaio
© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/Spencer Platt
Joe Arpaio
Self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America" is facing a lawsuit for ordering police to break into the homes of two journalists and arresting them in the middle of the night.

The Phoenix New Times paper has long been a critical of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose questionable actions have included organizing detention facilities for illegal immigrants that some have compared to Nazi concentration camps. Apparently Arpaio got so annoyed with their criticism that he issued a subpoena demanding the newspaper to give up its sources. The subpoena, issued by Arpaio's office, "demanded that the paper reveal its confidential sources as well as produce reporters' and editors' notebooks, memoranda, and documents." When newspaper co-owners Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin refused to follow through, though, they received a surprise visit. Both men were arrested in the middle of the night in their own homes by sheriff's deputies and accused of a misdemeanor. Law enforcement didn't even bother to obtain a warrant for the arrest, however, so needless to say the charges were dropped the next day.

The sheriff is now facing a lawsuit for violating constitutionally-protected free speech by ordering the arrest of the two news executives in 2007.

"Sheriff Joe Arpaio's arrest and jailing of journalists is part of a pattern of trying to silence critics," Lacey told the Huffington Post. "It is an outrageous abuse of power. But he loves the publicity, even when it backfires. Arpaio relishes law enforcement by headlines. Today he rounds up Mexicans. Tomorrow's target is anybody's guess."

Although charges were dropped, Lacey and Larkin sued the sheriff for violating their freedom of speech. The newspaper co-owners also argued that they had been falsely arrested and targeted for selective prosecution.

On Wednesday, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the newspaper executives could sue the sheriff for their arrests without a warrant.

Lacey and Larkin had tried to sue Arpaio for $15 million in 2008, but it was dismissed. The federal appeals court overturned the ruling.

Cut

Unscripted 'Violence:' Simpsons' Itchy and Scratchy Show Cut from Russian Broadcasts

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Itchy & Scratchy
They've been maiming and killing each other for decades - but the infamous cat and mouse from the Simpsons are about to be cut permanently, thanks to a new Russian law purportedly aimed at protecting children.

­The law was written with a view to protecting children and young adults from "information detrimental to their health and development," and calls for anything screened on television to have a clear-cut age restriction policy. The categories are similar to those already used in cinemas across the globe, and feature age guidelines like 6+, 12+ or 18+. Images of violence, bad and addictive habits like smoking or drinking, unlawful behavior, swearing, gambling and engaging in sexual activities - all those fall in 18+ category and have caused TV channels nothing but grief.

Because the law, sponsored by the ruling United Russia party, is vague and hasn't provided broadcasters with clear-cut rules on what is and isn't acceptable, the country's TV industry has been in a panic in the run-up to September 1st, when the law is to take effect.

No one wants to be fined - or, worse, taken off the air - for showing something that could be deemed inappropriate, so preparations for the law are in full swing.

Popular American animated series the Simpsons, for example, will have to say goodbye to The Itchy and Scratchy show - an integral show-within-the-show piece turning the traditional triumph of good over evil on its head.