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15-Year-Old Girl Forced to Wear Electric Shock Collar For Punishment

Samuel and Diana Franklin were arrested this week on charges of child cruelty and false imprisonment after their adopted 15-year-old daughter told police that she was forced to live in a chicken coop and wear a remote-controlled shock collar (video below).

The unnamed 15-year-old, who was home schooled, was punished by spending up to six days at a time in the chicken coop behind the couple's house in Butler, Georgia, over the past two years.

Police also said that the girl was also forced to do manual labor and spend time in a 4-foot-wide outhouse.

A shock collar was found at the home when the parents were taken into custody on Tuesday. The girl said that a device was used to activate the collar and punish her with jolts of electricity.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Wayne Smith told KLTV: "I've never seen anything like this personally. If the allegations prove to be true, it's a very severe case."


Sightings App Lets Users Insert Images Of Jesus, Virgin Mary And Bigfoot Into Food Photos

Sightings App
© Betabrand
We'd never thought we'd write these words, but now there's an app that injects images of Jesus, Mary, or Bigfoot into any photo. Seriously.

The app, Sightings by Betabrand, is made by the same people behind pants line Cordarounds, which features items like slacks that lower the average wearer's crotch heat index. (Their words, not ours.)

In an e-mail to The Huffington Post, founder Chris Lindland explained why anyone would ever need the Sightings app.

"There's no better way to declare tastiness than to inject a divine apparition into your casserole or cup of coffee," he wrote.

Check out the app at work in the gallery here.


Americans' Confidence in the Church at All-Time Low

© Kevin Carden, Shutterstock
On average, older individuals have a stronger belief in God than younger age groups.
Americans' confidence in organized religion is at its lowest in more than three decades, with just 44 percent having a lot of faith in the church, a new Gallup poll released this week suggests.

The results follow a long-term decline in Americans' confidence in religion since the 1970s, when Americans ranked "the church or organized religion" higher than any other institution in the survey, beating out the military and the U.S. Supreme Court. In the 1980s confidence in organized religion fell below 60 percent for the first time. Gallup officials say the dip may have resulted from scandals involving televangelist preachers Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart.

Then, in 2001 confidence increased to 60 percent, only to be hammered back down, possibly as a result of charges of child molestation by Catholic priests, Gallup suggests.

When separated out by religious affiliation, the new Gallup poll showed that 56 percent of Protestants have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the church or organized religion, compared with 46 percent of Catholics. There weren't enough respondents from other religions to separate them out in Gallup's analysis.

Heart - Black

'Most humans disgust me': Chilling claims of survivalist accused of sexually assaulting girl, 5, alongside his wife

© Police photo
Complaint: Authorities say that David Armstrong also penetrated the girl, in addition to forcing the child to perform oral sex
A married Illinois couple has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a five-year old girl. Police say David Brian Armstrong, 33, and Danielle Armstrong, 22, had sex with the victim as well as forced the child to perform oral sex on David Armstrong in their Alton home.

The two were arrested after the victim told her grandmother what happened to her, who in turn notified police. News of the crime has shaken up the Saint Louis, Missouri suburb. Lieutenant Scott Golike told the MailOnline that nothing like this incident has ever happened on his watch. 'It's a horrible crime,' Lieutenant Golike said.

David and Danielle Armstrong were arrested on Wednesday after a tip came through the Illinois state sexual abuse hotline, police told the MailOnline. 'The victim reported it to another family member who reported it to police,' an official from the Madison County State's Attorney's Office said to the MailOnline.

The complaint alleges that the abuse of the girl took place over the course of a week between July 1 and July 8 of this month.Both Armstrongs were charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Danielle Armstrong was charged with 'committing an act of sexual penetration' and placing her mouth on the child's genitals. Authorities say that David Armstrong also penetrated the girl, in addition to forcing the child to perform oral sex.


Gold to Hit $2,000 by Year-End on More Fed Easing: Merrill

© AP
Merrill Lynch has added its voice to the chorus of gold bulls who have been predicting that bullion will hit $2000 an ounce.

Francisco Blanch, Head of Global Commodity & Multi-Asset Strategy Research at the investment bank, says he expects the Federal Reserve to initiate an asset-purchasing program of as much as $500 billion in the second half of the year, which will drive spot gold much higher by the end of the year.

"We think that $2,000 an ounce is sort of the right number," Blanch said on CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box" on Thursday. "We believe that ultimately the Fed will be forced to do quantitative easing. If it happens in September, as our economists expect, we will get a rally sooner in gold. If it happens after the election (in November), we will get the rally a little bit later; probably we will touch $2000 an ounce sometime next year."

Spot gold was trading almost unchanged at $1,569.71 an ounce by 6.14pm GMT on Wednesday and inched up to about $1,572.80 in early Asian trade on Thursday. The metal has fallen nearly 20 percent since touching an all-time high of $1,918 in September last year, as a combination of Europe's debt crisis and concerns over global economic growth triggered a selloff in risk assets like commodities.


100 people dead after Nigerian tanker fire

Hundreds of people crowded around as bodies are lifted into ambulances and police trucks.
More than 100 people who went to scoop up oil from an overturned tanker in Nigeria have been burned to death after the vehicle caught fire, according to officials.

About 50 people suffered severe burns.

"Early this morning a tanker loaded with petrol fell in Okogbe and people trooped to the scene obviously to scoop the spilled fuel and suddenly there was fire resulting in casualties," Rivers State police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam confirmed.

Hundreds of people crowded around as soldiers and emergency workers lifted bodies into ambulances and police trucks.

The fuel tanker was a pile of smouldering ash, twisted metal and melting tyres.

Fuel leaks and oil tanker accidents in Nigeria often draw huge crowds scrambling to scoop fuel, resulting in many deaths due to accidental fires.

Bizarro Earth

California Cities 'May Cease to Exist'?

Shuttered and padlocked businesses, Stockton, California
© Reuters/Kevin Bartram
Shuttered and padlocked businesses line Main Street in Stockton, California June 27, 2012
In a phenomenon that seems to be worsening with each and every hour, a widespread fiscal crisis in California is quickly propelling the state into bankruptcy, city by city.

Within a matter of only one month, three cities in California have officially sought bankruptcy protection, with a request out of San Bernardino on Tuesday being just the latest episode in recent surge of unfortunate fiscal news on the West Coast. Coming off of similar measures by way of officials in Stockton and Mammoth Lake, California is experiencing a departure into the deep end across the entire state that no authority seems ready to handle.

"There are likely to be more in the future, but it's hard to know, since a lot of struggling cities may manage to work things out,'' Michael Coleman, a fiscal policy advisor for the California League of Cities, tells the Los Angeles Times. "Some cities may not go into a bankruptcy, but they may dissolve. They may cease to exist.''

Stockton's seeking of bankruptcy protection this week marks the largest city in the state to do as such in the history of California. Going back to a Chapter 9 filing in 2008 out of the Bay Area city of Vallejo, however, it is a trend that hasn't gone unnoticed.


13 Freaky Facts About Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th
© Anneka | Shutterstock
Are you superstitious? Plan to stay in tonight?
Does Friday the 13th freak you out? If so, hold on to your rabbit's foot extra tight, because there are three of these supposedly unlucky dates in 2012, though perhaps luckily, this Friday (July 13) is the last of them. Though, there's always some fear to be had next year, 2013.

Read on for 13 strange facts about this day of superstition.

1. This year is a special one for Friday the 13ths: There are three of them: Jan. 13, April 13 and July 13. The freaky thing? The dates fall exactly 13 weeks apart. That hasn't happened since 1984.

2. If that scares you, you may have paraskavedekatriaphobia (also known as friggatriskaidekaphobia). Those are the scientific terms for fear of Friday the 13th. Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13.

3. It's not clear when or why Friday the 13th became associated with bad luck. The association may be biblical, given that the 13th guest at the Last Supper betrayed Jesus. His crucifixion was the next day, apparently a Friday. Or maybe 13 suffers from coming after the more-pleasing number 12, which gets to number the months, the days of Christmas and even the eggs in a dozen. (There are also 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel and 12 apostles of Jesus.)

4. Whatever the reason, fear of 13 has spread far and wide: Hotels and hospitals often skip the 13th floor, and even airports quietly omit gate 13 sometimes.

5. The next year in which we'll have three Friday the 13ths is 2015. They'll fall in February, March and November.


Mainstream media in decline as they lose Americans trust

When it comes to Americans having trust in the mainstream media, the numbers don't lie. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 21 percent of Americans have confidence in television News. The decrease in viewership has become an alarming trend.


Detroit-Windsor Tunnel reopens after bomb threat

© Paul Sancya/AP
Authorities meet during a investigation of a bomb threat at the Detroit Windsor Tunnel Thursday, July 12, 2012.
An international commuter tunnel connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, was closed for nearly four hours Thursday after a bomb threat was phoned in on the Canadian side. No explosives were found.

The Detroit Windsor Tunnel, a busy border crossing beneath the Detroit River, was shut down after a duty free shop employee on the tunnel's Canadian plaza reported receiving a call about a bomb threat shortly after 12:30 p.m.

The tunnel was eventually closed and traffic on both sides of the river was directed to the nearby Ambassador Bridge, which spans the river, tunnel executive vice president Carolyn Brown said.

Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Detroit police and other agencies flooded the plaza and entrance on the tunnel's American side.

Bomb-sniffing dogs from a number of federal and local agencies were called in, said Donald E. Johnson, head of Homeland Security for Detroit police.