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Thu, 20 Jan 2022
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French mother to sue couple who filmed drunk son before he drowned

Sylvie Zecca accuses pair of breaking law requiring people to help anyone in danger, after they let teenager walk away

© Remy Gabalda/AFP/Getty Images
The Garonne river in Toulouse.
A grieving mother in France is to sue a couple who allegedly mocked and filmed her drunken son who was later found drowned.

Sylvie Zecca, a former police officer, says she wants to make an example of the pair, and accuses them of contravening a French law requiring individuals to help anyone in danger.

Her 19-year-old son, Vincent, disappeared after a night out in Bordeaux in March 2012. Three weeks later police divers retrieved his body from the Garonne river that runs through the city.

At first the family thought he had been murdered, as one of his credit cards appeared to have been stolen and used that evening. A police investigation concluded he had accidentally drowned after slipping into the Garonne while drunk.

After gaining access to the police file shortly before Christmas, Zecca announced she was suing the two passersby who told police they had seen her son.

The pair, who have not been named, told investigators the teenager was "very drunk ... near comatose". Instead of helping him, the couple apparently laughed at him, filmed him with their smartphone and watched him walk off.

Mr. Potato

Chris Turney aka Chris "the penguin": Fool in chief

emperor penguin
© Chris Hill
I did wonder if applying the "Ship of Fools" tag to Chris Turney and his shipmates wasn't just a bit rude, but take a look at this video, recorded before his departure, in which he talks about the trip. You have to say that Turney does not come over well. And to spend most of the interview discussing the life and death nature of the expedition and the hardships they will face, before revealing that he is taking his wife and family along, is almost too much.

You can see how the trip might end in a shambles.

Comment: The title of this video should have been: "Chris the penguin gets trapped in Sea ice":


30,000 African migrants take to Tel-Aviv streets protesting detention policy

African migrants hold a sign during a protest
© Reuters / Nir Elias
African migrants hold a sign during a protest at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv January 5, 2014.
Tens of thousands of Africans took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Sunday in protest of Israel's detention of their fellow migrants deemed illegal job-seekers by the nation. The rally is the biggest ever held by migrants in the state.

"More than 30,000 demonstrators marched peacefully in Tel Aviv," police spokeswoman Lubra Samri told AFP.

The protesters gathered in the capital's centre Rabin Square, chanting slogans like: "We are all refugees" and "yes to freedom, no to prison!" A three-day strike was also launched in several Israeli cities.


Family says officers shot and killed son

Emergency crews responded to President Drive for a officer involved shooting Sunday.
Emergency crews responded to President Drive for a officer involved shooting Sunday.
Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina - Emergency crews are on the scene of an officer involved shooting at a home in Boiling Spring Lakes.

The State Bureau of Investigation has been called to the incident at the request of District Attorney Jon David, according to a spokesperson for the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office. She said sheriff's deputies were assisting BSL police with the initial response to a home on President Drive.

At the scene, Mark Wilsey said officers shot his son.

Wilsey said his family called the police to help with his schizophrenic son Keith Vidal who had a screwdriver in his hand. Officers tased the son then shot him, according to Wilsey.

Wilsey said officers came into their home after they called for backup help when Vidal was having a schizophrenic incident. Wilsey said officers had his son down on the ground after the teen was tased a few times and an officer said, "we don't have time for this", and shot in between the officers holding the teen down and killed him.

"There was no reason to shoot this kid," Wilsey said. "They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son."


The former congressman who lives in a remote cabin in the woods, prepping for doomsday

© Politico
Then Roscoe Bartlett was in Congress, he latched onto a particularly apocalyptic issue, one almost no one else ever seemed to talk about: America's dangerously vulnerable power grid. In speech after late-night speech on the House floor, Bartlett hectored the nearly empty chamber: If the United States doesn't do something to protect the grid, and soon, a terrorist or an act of nature will put an end to life as we know it.

Bartlett loved to conjure doomsday visions: Think post-Sandy New York City without power - but spread over a much larger area for months at a time. He once recounted a conversation he claimed to have had with unnamed Russian officials about how they could take out the United States: They would "detonate a nuclear weapon high above your country," he recalled them saying, "and shut down your power grid - and your communications - for six months or so."

Bartlett never gained much traction with his scary talk of electromagnetic pulses and solar storms. More immediate concerns always seemed to preoccupy his colleagues, or perhaps Bartlett's obsessions just sounded more like quackery than real science, even coming from a former Navy engineer who had worked on the space race. Whatever the reason, Congress's failure to act is no longer Bartlett's problem. The octogenarian Republican from western Maryland - more than once labeled "the oddest congressman" - found himself gerrymandered out of office a year ago and promptly decided to take action on the warnings others wouldn't heed, retreating to a remote property in the mountains of West Virginia where he lives with no phone service, no connection to outside power and no municipal plumbing. Having failed to safeguard the power grid for the rest of the country, Bartlett has taken himself completely off the grid. He has finally done what he pleaded in vain for others to do: "to become," as he put it in a 2009 documentary, "independent of the system."

Arrow Down

UK villagers facing church bill from Henry VIII time

Henry VIII
© Metro.co.uk
Henry VIII: To blame.
A church which is in need of repair has used a law which dates back to the era of Henry VIII in an attempt to force villagers to foot the bill.

St Peter's church sparked anger when it sent notices to residents informing them they may be required to pay for the 14th century building to be fixed.

An ancient law states that people living on former church land could be liable for chapel maintenance.

Michael Collins said he and 141 other homeowners near the church in Bywell, Northumberland, could be called on to pay unlimited amounts of money.

Mr Collins, 52, said: 'Despite living three or four miles from the church, it seems I may be called upon to meet some of the cost due to an arcane ecclesiastical law. There has been no prior warning that this was to happen.'

Notices of Chancel Repaid Liability date back more than 500 years to Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries.

A clause upholding the rights of medieval churches to claim money for repairs from householders was confirmed in a Land Registry Act in 2002.

However, a spokesman for the diocese of Newcastle apologised for the 'distress' caused and said those affected would not be held liable on this occasion. Martin Sheppard said a complex legal process initiated in good faith had been 'overtaken by letters sent from the Land Registry'.


Amazon owner Jeff Bezos floored by kidney stones on vacation

Jeff Bezos
© Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post
Jeff Bezos, owner of The Washington Post, suffered kidney stones while in the Galapagos Islands.
Amazon.com founder Jeffrey P. Bezos, who purchased The Washington Post last year, suffered a kidney stone attack while vacationing in the Galapagos Islands over the New Year's Day holiday and was flown back to the United States for treatment.

"Galapagos: five stars. Kidney stones: zero stars," Bezos said through a spokesman.

An Ecuadorian navy captain in the Galapagos, Daniel Ginez Villacis, said in a statement carried by Ecuadorian news media that an HN-407 navy helicopter flew Bezos from Academy Bay on the island of Santa Cruz to the neighboring island of Baltra, where he had his private jet.

The statement said Bezos had suffered a kidney stone attack and was evacuated at 3 p.m. on New Year's Day. He then was flown to the United States for medical treatment.

Ecuadorian news media reports, first distributed by CNBC, said Bezos had been vacationing on a boat in the Galapagos when his kidney troubles began.


Lawsuit accuses Texas police chief of harassing man during affair with his wife

© Unknown
Suit Accuses Texas Police Chief of Harassing Man During Affair with His Wife
A Texas police chief is being sued in federal court for allegedly harassing the husband of a woman with whom he purportedly fathered a son.

Kyle City Police Chief Jeff Barnett allegedly "abused his authority and connections in January 2012 by having Dr. Glen Hurlston arrested for domestic violence soon after Barnett left his position as police chief in the North Texas town of Princeton," according to the lawsuit filed December 27 in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas.

Barnett has been Kyle Police Chief since May, 2011. Prior to that, he served as chief of police for the City of Princeton, Texas, since 2005.

In the suit, Hurlston, who is chief of anesthesia at Byrd Regional Hospital of Leesville, La., alleged that Barnett ordered his officers to conduct a "campaign of harassment" against him, which included an arrest in January 2012. The suit notes that a Jan. 1, 2012 domestic battery abuse arrest pressed by the chief against the doctor was reduced to a misdemeanor, to which he plead no contest.

The suit alleges that Hurlston was threatened with arrest if "he showed his face" in Collin County, "making it difficult to exercise his visitation rights."

Hurlston told ABCNews.com that he filed the civil rights suit against the cities of Kyle and Princeton as well as Barnett and other officers.


Saudi Arabian Airlines jet makes emergency landing at holy city - remains of person found in wheel bay

Crash 767_1
© Alarabiya News
A Saudi Arabian Airline plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz airport in Madinah, Al Arabiya News channel reported on Sunday.

The Saudi Boeing 767-300ER, which was traveling from the Iranian city of Mashhad with 315 passengers on board, suffered landing gear failure.

"The pilot of the plane told Madinah's airport's air traffic control tower about a technical glitch in the rear wheels and a defect in the aircraft's hydraulic system," said Hani al-Safian, an Al Arabiya correspondent in Riyadh.

"The control tower called upon fire fighters as well as all relevant security authorities at the airport and a foamy substance was sprayed on the runway to limit friction during the landing," Safian said.

The expertise of the senior captain helped in a safe landing as he was able to stop the aircraft at the end of the runway, the correspondent added.

Al Arabiya images show that the damages were at the rear end of the plane.

Take 2

Michael Moore breaks from left to decry Obamacare as 'awful'

© AP
Filmmaker Michael Moore
Michael Moore, the Hollywood legend of liberal mindset and pro-Democratic documentary, has broken from the party line to criticize Obamacare, calling both its rollout and provisions "awful."

He made the assessment in a written piece to The New York Times, saying that it was high time liberals came forward and admitted the obvious.

"That is the dirty little secret many liberals have avoided saying out loud for fear of aiding the president's enemies at a time when the ideal of universal health care needed all the support it could get," Mr. Moore wrote. But the truth is this, he added: "Obamacare is awful."

But his reasons were hardly those of conservative views.

Rather, he said the health care plan was actually pro-insurance industry, and that President Obama knew that the better path for reform was a single-payer system that simply provided Medicare for everybody, Mediaite reported.