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Thu, 22 Apr 2021
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Criminalizing poverty: Tenants who fail to pay rent can be arrested in Arkansas even if claims are false

Arkansas is the only state in America that implements a law forcing tenants who do not pay rent and do not vacate a property to be placed in jail.

A recent report published by Human Rights Watch explores the law. In the report, titled "Pay the Rent or Face Arrest: Abusive Impacts of Arkansas's Criminal Evictions Law," it explains that renters have been "dragged into criminal court for transgressions that would not be a crime in any other U.S. state."

The failure-to-vacate law allows those who do not vacate a property to be charged in court.

Bizarro Earth

Maryland school promotes gay-to-straight therapy as a solution to bullying

Prince George's County Public Schools on Wednesday decided to drop the use of a video that promoted so-called "ex-gay" therapy as one possible solution to the bullying of LGBT students.

According to a report published on Thursday by Washington City Paper, students in at least six middle-school health classes were shown the 21-minute film "Acception," which disguises talk about gay-to-straight therapy within a larger message about bullying.

The film's creator, Christopher Doyle, is a board member of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX).


Hysteria: Second grader finds loaded handgun in backpack at school

© Shutterstock
Police in Philadelphia said on Thursday that they were called to an elementary school after a second grader found a loaded gun in his backpack.

Officials at Universal Samuel Daroff Charter School told law enforcement that the 7-year-old boy noticed the gun when he was putting a folder in his backpack around 4 p.m., according to the Philadelphia Daily News.


Amish beard-cutting ringleader sentenced to 15 years in prison

© Photograph: Tony Dejak/AP
Amish men and women leave the US federal courthouse in Cleveland after Samuel Mullet Sr was sentenced.
Prosecutors had sought life sentence for Samuel Mullet Sr, found to have committed a hate crime over religious differences

The ringleader in a series of unusual hair- and beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish religious followers in the US was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison.

Before his sentencing, Samuel Mullet Sr told the judge that he had been blamed for running a cult and was ready to take the punishment. The judge also sentenced 15 other members of the deeply traditional group to prison terms ranging from one to seven years.

Amish believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards once they marry. Cutting it would be offensive to the group.


Nine polio workers in Nigeria shot dead

© Photograph: Chris Hondros/Getty Images
A schoolgirl in Kano, northern Nigeria, receives the oral polio vaccine during a nationwide immunisation campaign.
At least nine health workers gunned down in northern city of Kano amid increasing hostility towards polio immunisation drive

At least nine women who were vaccinating children against polio have been shot dead in northern Nigeria by gunmen suspected of belonging to a radical Islamist sect.

The killings drew comparisons with a series of incidents in Pakistan last December where five female polio vaccinators were gunned down, apparently by Islamist militants. It also signalled a fresh wave of hostility towards immunisation drives in Nigeria, where some clerics have claimed the vaccines are part of a western plot to sterilise young girls and eliminate the Muslim population.

The attacks took place in Kano, the biggest city in Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north, where families generally feel more comfortable allowing women inside their homes than men.

On Friday morning gunmen arrived by motor tricycle and opened fire in the Hotoro Hayi neighbourhood, killing at least eight female vaccinators, witnesses told Associated Press. Four people were killed in a second attack, in the Unguwa Uku neighbourhood, according to witnesses.

Eye 2

Accused witch Kepari Leniata burned alive by mob in Papua New Guinea

A young mother was burned alive in Papua New Guinea this week after townspeople accused her of being a witch.

According to multiple reports, Kepari Leniata, 20, was tortured and killed in front of a mob of hundreds in the town of Mount Hagen. The woman, stripped naked and covered in gasoline, was burned alive on a pile of trash by relatives of a young boy who had died earlier in the week. The relatives had accused Leniata of killing him with sorcery.


Police and firefighters who tried to save Leniata were chased away by an overwhelming crowd. Agence France-Press writes that the woman "admitted to killing the boy, who died after being [hospitalized] with stomach and chest pains on Tuesday."

© AFP / Getty Images
A photo taken on Feb. 6 shows a young mother accused of sorcery who was stripped naked, reportedly tortured with a branding iron, tied up, splashed with fuel and set alight on a pile of rubbish topped with car tyres, in Mount Hagen city in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea. According to the Post-Courier newspaper she was torched by villagers who claimed she killed a 6-year-old boy through sorcery, with police outnumbered by onlookers and unable to intervene.


Feds allege San Jose man wanted to bomb bank to spark a civil war

© AP
A San Jose man who purportedly wanted to spark a civil war in the U.S. was arrested by federal agents Friday after he allegedly attempted to detonate a car bomb at a bank in Oakland, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Authorities arrested Matthew Aaron Llaneza, 28, for allegedly trying to bomb a Bank of America branch at 303 Hegenberger Road, federal prosecutors said.

According to a press release, the arrest came as the result of an months-long undercover operation during which Llaneza was closely monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's South Bay Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The press release details a plot being executed by Llaneza and an undercover FBI agent to detonate a bomb in an SUV parked outside the targeted bank on Thursday night.

Bizarro Earth

8-year-old Shaylyn Searcy sent home from school with shoes duct-taped to feet


Shaylyn Searcy feet duct taped
An 8-year-old girl with Down syndrome recently came home from elementary school with her shoes duct-taped to her feet and ankles.

For obvious reasons, the girl's parents, Nate and Elizabeth Searcy, wanted to know why their daughter Shaylyn arrived from her life skills program at Westlake Elementary in such a manner.

They have yet to receive an answer.


Doctors sterilize 9-year-old who gave birth against mothers wishes; Was it ethical?

Zoquipan Hospital
© Medical Daily
As we reported yesterday, a 9-year-old girl in Mexico gave birth in Zoquipan Hospital, in western Mexico over the weekend.

News reports today indicate that she has been sterilized by doctors and will no longer be able to conceive children for the rest of her life. Doctors went against family wishes when they performed the operation.

Dafne, the mother, was eight years old when she became pregnant, but did not know she was expecting until she was 7 months along.

It is still undetermined who the father of the newborn is. Authorities originally suspected her boyfriend, who is believe to be between 15 and 17 and fled two months ago when the mother to be refused to move in with him.

Doctors were performing DNA tests on all of Dafne's male family members in order to determine who the actual father is, amongst allegations that her step-father may have physically and sexually abused the new mother.


Obese man's GP payout

Luis Almario
© Steven Siewert
Luis Almario
A morbidly obese man dying of liver cancer has been awarded more than $350,000 from his doctor because the GP failed to refer him to a weight-loss clinic or send him for lap-band surgery.

Medical experts say the case of Luis Almario is a legal landmark and will force doctors to ensure overweight patients shed kilos or risk being sued.

Dr Emmanuel Varipatis, a Sydney GP, is appealing the Supreme Court ruling that he was negligent in not sending Mr Almario, 68, to an obesity clinic or arranging for a bariatric surgeon to assess his suitability for gastric band surgery.

Colombian-born Mr Almario was in the care of Dr Varipatis from 1997 to 2011. During that time he weighed 140 kilograms despite being only 154 centimetres tall.

The court found Mr Almario has terminal liver cancer as a result of liver disease brought on by his obesity. He has been given 40 weeks to live.