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Woman blinded in attack by boyfriend urges victims: don't suffer in silence

Shane Jenkin has been detained in a psychiatric hospital after his attack on girlfriend Tina Nash.
A woman whose boyfriend blinded her by gouging her eyes with his thumbs has urged other victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence but to alert the police or support groups.

Tina Nash spoke out as former partner Shane Jenkin began a life sentence for the barbaric, unprovoked assault on her at her home in Cornwall.

Nash said: "I urge anyone out there suffering domestic abuse to contact the police before it is too late. Don't be frightened or embarrassed - there are specially trained officers who can and will help you.

"If you really feel unable to contact the police, there are charities and support groups such as Women's Aid who will help, advise and support you in doing so."


Going to Jail? Sarkozy prepares to hand over presidency - and judicial immunity

Outgoing French president likely to return to law practice, but could be forced to explain himself over series of scandals

He has spent 30 bruising years in politics, often saying it would have been more pleasant to earn big money in private business, and now plans to return to work as a lawyer while his millionaire pop star wife takes to her tourbus with a new album. But after he hands power to the Socialist François Hollande next week, Nicolas Sarkozy's biggest post-presidential headache is likely to come from the justice system.

Comment: It should be clarified that "30 bruising years" really means 30 years of bruising (and murdering) others.

In a ceremony at the Élysée palace on Tuesday, Sarkozy will pass the presidency to France's first leftwing leader since François Mitterrand. He will then walk the final metres of red carpet to his grace-and-favour chauffeur-driven car and return home to Carla Bruni's west Paris mansion. He has said he wants to quit politics, although few believe him, and he has warned journalists: "You won't hear from me again."

But when Sarkozy's presidential judicial immunity officially ends on 16 June, he risks dominating the headlines once more, as he could be forced to explain himself to magistrates over a series of party funding scandals that have dogged his time in power.

Arrow Down

Declining Birth Rates Threaten Japan

Study: Japanese could become theoretically extinct


More Arrests of People Linked to Bizarre Tennessee Abduction, Murder Case

© Reuters/Tennesse Bureau of Investigation/Handout
Adam Mayes (L) is shown with Adrienne and Alexandria Bain (R)
US: Nashville, Tennessee - Four neighbors of a man who authorities say abducted a Tennessee family and killed the mother and one daughter were arrested in connection with the case, authorities said on Friday, one day after the man committed suicide as police closed in.

Adam Mayes, briefly the most-wanted fugitive in America, shot himself in the head on Thursday as police approached a spot in thick Mississippi woods where he was hiding with the remaining two daughters from the abducted Bain family of Tennessee.

Police found 12-year-old Alexandria Bain and 8-year-old Kyliyah Bain alive and unharmed on the ground nearby.

The girls were "hungry, thirsty and dehydrated" and suffering from exposure and poison ivy, said Aaron T. Ford, special agent in charge of the FBI's Memphis division.

"They look like they've been in the woods for three days," Ford said.

The girls were released to unidentified family members early on Friday after spending the night at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, hospital spokeswoman Anne Glankler said.

The discovery of the girls unharmed ended a week-long, multi-agency manhunt across two states that thrust the rural border area into the national spotlight.

The saga began in the rural western Tennessee town of Whiteville on April 27 when the husband of Jo Ann Bain, 31, reported his wife and three girls missing.


Horrific Child Murder Case Ends with Guilty Verdict

© Reuters/Geoff Robins
Tara McDonald (2nd L), mother of slain eight-year-old Woodstock, Ontario girl Victoria Stafford, receives a hug from family outside the courthouse in London, Ontario, May 11, 2012, following a guilty verdict in the trial of Michael Rafferty, the accused in Victoria's murder.
Canada, Toronto - A Canadian man was found guilty of the murder, assault and kidnapping of an 8-year-old girl on Friday, after a gruesome two-month court case that horrified the country.

A jury in London, Ontario, found Michael Rafferty, 31, guilty of first degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault, dismissing his girlfriend's testimony that she alone was responsible for killing Tori Stafford.

"We got him. We got justice," Tori's father Rodney Stafford told reporters outside the courtroom, showing the waiting TV cameras a picture of Tori. "It was for every little girl in Canada. Nobody deserves what happened to her."

In graphic testimony during the trial, Terri-Lynne McClintic admitted she had kidnapped Tori from outside her school in April, 2009 and delivered her to Rafferty, who raped the child.


Economic Depression Continues to Spur on Suicides in Europe

Europe Crisis
© Care2
Greece and Italy are normally associated with beautiful sea views, earthy food and vibrant culture. In the last few years, however, these countries have also experienced some of the worst economic hardships as the European and global economies have weakened.

Last month a retired Greek man, Dimitris Christoulas, shot himself in a public square in Athens. In a report issued by CBS News, the retired pharmacist committed suicide due to the debt crisis in Greece and the resultant austerity measures that have brought many Greek families to the brink of ruin. The number of suicides increased by about 40 percent in the second half of 2011 and has continued to pose a problem in Greece. NPR has stated that about 30 percent of Greek families live below the poverty line.

Christoulas' suicide sparked a number of protests in the streets in Greece. He became an icon of the severity that has plunged so many families into poverty.

Italy has also been at the front of headlines recently for a rash of suicides intimately connected with economic problems. Just this week, three people committed suicide, leaving tragic notes that revealed their despair at their inability to find new employment. There have been 34 suicides related to economic hardships in Italy since January, according to NBC News.

The Italian government owes many entrepreneurs up to $90 million and "some have been waiting to be paid for up to two years." And these suicides are often committed by businessmen who have watched their businesses fail, or male family members who have lost a significant source of income.


Time Breastfeeding Cover Sparks Controversy

© Time
The May 21, 2012, cover of Time
This week's Time magazine cover features Jamie Lynne Grumet, a 26-year-old woman breastfeeding her three-year-old son. Grumet was one of four mothers photographed by Time for a cover story on "attachment parenting," an approach--outlined by 1992's The Baby Book by Dr. Bill Sears--that recommends extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and "baby wearing." Time's cover line for the May 21 issue asks, "Are You Mom Enough?"

The provocative cover, published online Thursday, was met with the predictable Twitter jaw-drop.

"Love the Time cover," AllThingsD.com's Peter Kafka wrote. "In the cringiest way possible."

"Anybody else slightly slack-jawed over this week's Time cover?" The Atlantic Wire's Adam Clark Estes asked rhetorically.

"Breastfeeding your 3-year-old is one thing," the Daily News' Bill Hammond wrote. "But putting a picture of him doing it on the cover of Time?"

"The kid on the cover of this week's Time magazine is really going to hate middle school," Gavin Purcell observed.

"Heads up, parents!" John Cannon warned. "If you're planning to take your kids grocery shopping, you will have to explain this Time mag cover."


Bizarre Baby Tossing Ritual in India

In a bizarre ritual, Hindu priests in the south Indian state of Karnataka toss babies from the rooftop of a temple onto a cloth held by waiting men, believing that this will make them grow stronger.
Mother N Baby
© NYDailyNews.com
On Monday, large crowds of devotees gathered at the Marutheshwara temple near Mudhol town in Bagalkot district to observe the ritual, locally known as 'Okali'.

Eager parents presented their babies, who were between the ages of three months and two years, to priests at the temple who tossed them from the temple roof onto a cloth borne by a group of men standing below.

Though the ritual often evokes criticism, it is defended by devotees and priests, who feel that their belief necessitates a ritual that places babies at such huge risk.

A trustee of the Marutheshwara temple, Basavaraj, said that the ritual was an age-old one and it was important that it be respected.

"This is a ritual that we have been observing from ancient times. The important thing is for us to have the spirit of worship in our hearts, because true worship is from the heart," he said.

Heart - Black

Romney's classmate says bullying incident was "like Lord of the Flies."


No remorse
A classmate who remains anonymous said that there are "a lot of guys" who went to Cranbrook who have "really negative memories" of Romney's behavior in the dorms, behavior this classmate describes as "like Lord of the Flies."

One of Mitt Romney's closest friends and a high school classmate has been asked by the Romney campaign to come out and offer "supporting remarks" in defense of the candidate following a Washington Post article that described pranks at the Cranbrook School in the 1960s that focused on a student who was "presumed" to be gay. Romney has denied that the pranks were targeted.

Romney's older brother Scott called White, asking him to act as a surrogate for Romney on their high school years.

White, in an interview with ABC News, said that he is "still debating" whether he will help the campaign, remarking, "It's been a long time since we've been pals." While the Post reports White as having "long been bothered" by the haircutting incident," he told ABC News he was not present for the prank, in which Romney is said to have forcefully cut a student's long hair and was not aware of it until this year when he was contacted by the Washington Post.

According to White, he knows of several other classmates that have also been approached by the campaign to counter the article. White declined to name the fellow classmates.

Heart - Black

Mitt Romney bullied gay boy in prep school


Cranbrook School
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. - Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn't having it.

"He can't look like that. That's wrong. Just look at him!" an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann's recollection. Mitt, the teenage son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber's look, Friedemann recalled.

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school's collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber's hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.

The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them - Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal - spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be identified. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama's campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections.

"It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me," said Buford, the school's wrestling champion, who said he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber, who was "terrified," he said. "What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do."