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Wed, 07 Jun 2023
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90-year-old Saudi man buys underage girl for marriage

© AFP Photo / Hassan Ammar
Saudi young girls perform at the "Spring Al-Riyadh" festival.
The marriage of a 90-year-old man to a 15-year-old girl has sparked condemnation from human rights and social media activists throughout Saudi Arabia, while the groom insists that he has committed no crime.

The girl, who was sold by her parents for almost $20,000, reportedly became terrified of the man on their first wedding night. After locking herself in her room for two days, she managed to escape and return to her parents.

In an interview, the 90-year-old man insisted that his marriage was "legal and correct," and that he had paid a dowry of $17,500 to marry her, pan-Arabic news website Al Arabiya reported.

He said that on his first night with the bride, she went into the bedroom before him, locking the door from the inside so he could not enter, making him "suspicious about some kind of conspiracy" between the bride and her mother.

Friends of the bride's family said that she was frightened on the wedding night, and escaped to her parents' house after locking herself in the room for two consecutive days.

The man has vowed to sue his in-laws to return either the girl or the dowry.

Black Magic

Animal sacrifice reaches South Beach, Maimi

© Brian Squibb
Goats, roosters and other animals are routinely sacrificed in Santeria rituals.

The posh Miami neighborhood of South Beach gets a lot of visitors every day, from European supermodels to tourists gawking at the area's splendid Art Deco architecture.

But other, less welcome visitors have found their way to South Beach's sun-splashed shores - the mutilated bodies of animals killed in what some believe was a Santeria ritual sacrifice, reports NBC News.

Early this morning, the butchered remains of a goat and two roosters were found in a popular waterfront park; the animals' heads had been cut off and their bodies tossed into the water.

The discovery was made directly across from celebrity-studded Star Island, home to numerous actors and entertainers.

Santeria is an Afro-Caribbean religion whose practitioners often engage in animal sacrifice, according to the BBC. A large community of Caribbean immigrants call the Miami area home.


Alabama teenager faces prison for plot to blow up high school

© Reuters / Lucy Nicholson
A 17-year old Alabama teen was arrested for allegedly planning to bomb his high school using homemade explosives. The boy wrote about his planned 'terrorist attack' in a journal that a teacher found left behind in a classroom.

Derek Shrout, a student at Russell County High School, used bomb-making information that he found on the Internet to construct a device that Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor says was "a step or two away from being ready to explode."

Shrout had prepared his bombs using several dozen small tobacco cans and two large cans, which he drilled holes into and filled with pellets. Investigators did not find black powder, butane and fuses, which are necessary to complete the explosives. But Taylor knew what he was doing: in his journal, the teen correctly outlined the necessary steps to complete the deadly grenades.

The teenager apparently had sketched out two large cans labeled "Fat Boy" and "Little Man," the code names of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.

"It would have been serious," Taylor said in an interview with the Columbus Ledger-Inquirer.

Arrow Down

Potentially stomach-turning diet device would suck food directly out of abdomen

Obese Women
© Medical Daily
It is said that desperate times call for desperate measures. Indeed, we may be in the midst of desperate times for obesity: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 35.7 percent of Americans are obese. Experts say that half of American adults are projected to be obese by 2030.

But are measures so desperate that we need to resort to a machine to suck food out of our stomachs? Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based company Aspire Bariatrics is betting that we are - and they have filed a patent, along with Segway inventor Dean Kamen, in order to provide their prescribed solution.

According to the company's website, the idea works like this: a doctor makes a 1-centimeter incision and inserts a small tube, called the A-tube, in your stomach. That tube serves as a pump and connects to a valve that sits on the abdominal skin. You are able to eat whatever and whenever you want. Twenty minutes later, the pump sucks out the contents of your stomach.


Transgender teacher sues Catholic school over firing

© Victor Alcorn/Splash News
Mark Krolikowski, a Queens, N.Y. Catholic school teacher, claims he was branded as "worse than gay" and relieved of his responsibilities after he admitted to school officials two years ago that he was transgender, according to a new lawsuit.
A transgender teacher is suing the New York City Catholic school where he worked for more than 30 years, claiming he was wrongfully terminated for growing out his hair, painting his fingernails and being "worse than gay."

In a lawsuit, Mark Krolikowski, 59, alleges that after 32 years of teaching at St. Francis Prep in Queens, N.Y., and receiving numerous accolades for his work including leading students in a musical performance for Pope Benedict XVI, he was fired last year after the parents of a ninth grader complained about his appearance.

Krolikowski remains anatomically male and routinely wore suits and neckties to school where he taught music, social studies and a class on human sexuality. He also wore earrings and manicured his nails in "a feminine style" according to court documents.

Arrow Down

Horrified student finds strange "wrinkled brain" organ in KFC meal

KFC Fried Brain
© Medical Daily
A horrified student has said he'll never eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken again after finding what appeared to be a chicken brain in his fast food meal.

Despite being offered free food vouchers as an apology, Ibrahim Langoo from Britain has vowed that he'll never again eat at the fast food chain.

The 19-year-old was left in utter disgust after he noticed a "wrinkled brain" inside a piece of chicken while he was eating his Gladiator box meal.

Langoo had taken a photograph of the three-inch piece of organ, which was later determined to be a kidney by KFC officials, on his cell phone and complained to staff.

Langoo and his friend Laura Canning, 19, had gone into the Colchester, Essex KFC branch for lunch between classes.

Langoo and Canning had planned to share a Gladiator box meal. Canning decided to go for the filet burger and Langoo went for the two chicken pieces.

"The first piece was absolutely fine -I was hungry and polished it off," Langoo told the Daily Mail.

Cow Skull

Fear of food scarcity hits U.S. capital in Washington DC's outlying suburbs

white house homeless person
In the outlying areas surrounding Washington DC, students qualifying for free or subsidized meals face a difficult period ahead while schools prepare for their springtime curriculums, according to a recent report by the Washington Post. The existence of widespread food scarcity in the outlying suburbs of the nation's capital, some of which reside within some of the wealthiest counties in the US, gives the lie to claims that the DC area is "recession-proof."

The report mentions that although school systems in the region generally institute food programs for children during the summer months, no such program exists during wintertime. "Our hearts are in the right place, but there's no provision," Marla Caplon, director of food and nutrition services at Montgomery County schools in Maryland, told the Post .

Arrow Down

Faith-healer sought medical care while recommending against same for teen

© Getty Images
He was the "spiritual father" of a 15-year-old girl, terminally ill with cancer, who had convinced the girl's mother to rely on faith instead of medicine to try to heal her.

But when it came to his own cancer and pneumonia, Ariel Ben Sherman was treated in a hospital in South Carolina, records show.

"It's sad and ironic," Loudon County Deputy District Attorney General Frank Harvey said.

Harvey said Sherman and Jacqueline Crank, the mother of Jessica Crank, rejected medical treatment for the girl's rare cancer and turned to prayer instead. Jessica died in September 2002.

Sherman's death certificate showed he died at age 78 on Nov. 28 in a South Carolina hospital of respiratory arrest while being treated for small-cell cancer.

"He (Sherman) lived by a different standard," Harvey said.

Sherman's death ends one part of a convoluted legal case that has wound its way through the judicial system.


Chinese bulk buying creates baby food shortage in Australia

mother and baby
© AFP/File, Mark Ralston
Australian supermarkets and pharmacies were running out of popular baby formula on Thursday after unprecedented sales reportedly due to Chinese customers trying to secure supplies.

Nutricia, supplier of top-selling formula brand Karicare, said there had been a sudden surge in demand for its products which had seen stocks plummet and left shelves empty.

Major supermarket Coles said it was trying to arrange extra shipments of infant formula. Some pharmacies were rationing sales across brands to a few cans per customer.


After a half-decade, massive Wikipedia hoax finally exposed

Bicholim Conflict
© Wikimedia Commons
Up until a week ago, here is something you could have learned from Wikipedia:

From 1640 to 1641 the might of colonial Portugal clashed with India's massive Maratha Empire in an undeclared war that would later be known as the Bicholim Conflict. Named after the northern Indian region where most of the fighting took place, the conflict ended with a peace treaty that would later help cement Goa as an independent Indian state.

Except none of this ever actually happened. The Bicholim Conflict is a figment of a creative Wikipedian's imagination. It's a huge, laborious, 4,500 word hoax. And it fooled Wikipedia editors for more than 5 years.

But even exposed and deleted, Wikipedia's influence over the Web is such that the Bicholim Conflict continues to persist, like a resilient parasite.