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Devout Pacific Island Aitutaki in the Cook Islands Reels After First Bank Heist

© NASA / Wikimedia Commons
Satellite image of Aitutaki.

A tiny Pacific island famed for having the most churches per capita in the world is reeling after its first-ever bank robbery.

The residents of Aitutaki, a peaceful tourist escape in the Cook Islands, have been shocked by a brazen theft from its tiny bank, which has left them up to $US164,000 ($157,000) poorer.

The island's mayor John Baxter told Radio New Zealand International he believes the heist was not carried off by one of the 1800 locals, most of whom kept their savings at the branch.

"It's a very sad occasion or event that has happened," Mr Baxter said.

"I think it is the first time that any of the banks have actually ever been robbed on this small island of Aitutaki and, as I said earlier on, everybody knows everybody and I suspect whoever has done this does not live on the island."

Bad Guys

UK: Essex police charge man over water fight planned on BlackBerry Messenger

water fight
© Getty Images
Essex police have arrested a man after discovering plans for a water fight circulating on BlackBerry Messenger
A 20-year-old is due in court after police discover alleged plans for a Colchester water fight circulating on BBM and Facebook

A man will appear before magistrates next month for allegedly trying to organise a mass water fight via his mobile phone.

The prime minister said last week that the government would investigate whether social networking platforms should be shut down if they helped to "plot" crime in the wake of the riots.

The 20-year-old from Colchester was arrested on Friday after Essex police discovered the alleged plans circulating on the BlackBerry Messenger service and Facebook.

The unnamed man has been charged with "encouraging or assisting in the commission of an offence" under the 2007 Serious Crime Act, police said.ue in court after police discover alleged plans for a Colchester water fight circulating on BBM and Facebook.

Heart - Black

UK: Did the same shark which killed British honeymooner in Seychelles in front of his new wife also kill French tourist just two weeks ago?

© Facebook
Tragedy: Ian Redmond and Gemma Houghton on their wedding day on the 7th August, before they flew to the Seychelles for their honeymoon
  • Teacher, 30, suffered appalling injuries to his leg and arm in second fatal attack in two weeks
  • Frenchman, 36, was just 60ft from the shore when he was bitten
  • Unclear if British couple were aware of earlier shark attack
  • Seychelles Maritime Safety Adminstration bans swimming on beaches around Praslin island
  • Beach voted in the top 10 in the world for 2011
A British honeymooner was killed by a shark in the Seychelles yesterday as his bride watched in horror from the beach.

Ian Redmond, 30, who had been snorkelling 20 yards off shore, suffered appalling injuries to his leg and arm in the second fatal attack in the area in two weeks.

The tragedy unfolded in Anse Lazio on the island of Praslin, regarded as one of the world's most beautiful beaches and a favourite honeymoon destination for thousands of Britons every year.

Arrow Up

US: Metal Thieves Scale New Heights: Cell Phone Towers

cellphone tower
© unknown
Police say man caught 100 feet in air stealing copper plates from cell phone tower

Thieves determined to reap value from scrap metal have pried storm grates from streets, sliced catalytic converters from cars and trucks and stripped copper downspouts from churches.

Now they've sunk to new depths - or reached new heights, depending on your view.

Lakeville Police Chief Frank Alvilhiera said police who went to a Verizon cell tower off Route 140 earlier this month found a man attempting to steal copper plates used to ground the towers during lightning strikes.

"The officers reported that he was over 100 feet above ground," said Alvilhiera. "This is the first time we have had a theft from a cell tower that I can recall. This has been the trend with copper prices high. Thefts are on the rise everywhere."

In fact, cell towers have been targeted by copper thieves around the country:

In Spartanburg County, S.C., copper has been stolen from seven cell towers this summer, including from four AT&T towers on a single day in July. Police said the rise in thefts may have been prompted by a new law to take effect later this month that will require anyone selling copper to obtain a permit from the county sheriff.

Che Guevara

US, Illinois: Latinos Protest Deportations at Obama Campaign Head Quarters

© Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press
Immigrant rights groups and community members rally in Los Angeles Monday for an end to the Department of Homeland Security's Secure Communities Program.
Latino activists held a protest outside President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign headquarters on Tuesday to ask him to end a criminal deportation program they say is snaring large number of illegal immigrants who have not committed crimes.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE, established the Secure Communities program in partnership with local law enforcement agencies as well as the FBI to deport unauthorized immigrants with criminal convictions.

"They're saying it is to deport criminal immigrants, but in reality, that's not happening," said Xochitl Espinoza, of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities activist group, which took part in the protest on Tuesday.

Obama supports comprehensive immigration reform, boosting workplace enforcement and border security while granting of millions of illegal immigrants in good standing a chance to become citizens if they pay a fine and learn English.

Heart - Black

US, Georgia: Boy Killed Great-Grandma With Sword: Police

© unknown
A teen killed his great-grandma with a sword, according to police.
Also wounded was his grandmother

A Georgia teen killed his great-grandmother and wounded his grandmother with a sword before cops took him down with a stun gun, officials said.

Cops in Douglasville arrived at the home Monday afternoon to find the dead woman lying in the front yard and the 15-year-old boy standing in the doorway with a sword and a pellet gun, which he used to shoot out the windows of their squad car, Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller told The Associated Press.

Inside, they found the grandmother, who is in her 50s, barricaded inside a room. She was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, Miller said.

Authorities had been to the home before on reports of the teen being violent.

"We've arrested him on two different occasions. Once in June where he had another sword, which is in evidence. This is not the same sword. He cut his grandmother on the foot with it that time," Miller said, according to CBS Atlanta.


US, Pennsylvania : Target of Murder Plot Hatched on Facebook is Killed

© ABC News
Corey White, left, and ex-girlfriend London Eley are seen in these undated photos.
A man who authorities say was the target of a murder-for-hire plot hatched on Facebook by the mother of his child was shot and killed in Philadelphia, police said on Tuesday.

Corey White, 22, died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on Monday shortly after being shot in the chest on a Philadelphia street, police spokeswoman Tanya Little said.

White's ex-girlfriend, London Eley, 19, and Timothy Bynum, 18, who have been implicated in an alleged plot to kill White, were in jail at the time of the shooting, Little said.

Heart - Black

US: Remains of Missing 3-Year-Old Missouri Girl Found

© The Associated Press / National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
An undated photo provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shows Breeann Rodriguez. Authorities say Shawn Morgan has confessed to suffocating Rodriguez, a 3-year-old neighbor girl who had been playing in his pool.
Remains believed to be a 3-year-old Missouri girl who went missing more than a week ago were found Tuesday near a series of ditches where authorities say a neighbor is suspected of dumping her body after suffocating her with a plastic bag.

A joint statement sent Tuesday night from prosecutors and law enforcement officers in the area said a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer searching by boat found the body of Breeann Rodriguez near the floodway ditches about eight miles southeast of the girl's family's home in Senath.

"We appreciate all the help and support from the community in what has been a difficult time for all," Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder said in the statement. "We are saddened to confirm our fears but glad we have been able to recover her for her parents."

The girl's parents were notified shortly after she was found, according to authorities.

More than four dozen investigators searched a floodway near the Mississippi River earlier Tuesday. Breeann was last seen Aug. 6 riding her pink bike with training wheels in front of her home.

Her parents insisted she would not have ridden farther than the end of the street - and they were right.

On Saturday, authorities announced they had arrested a neighbor, Shawn Morgan. Morgan, 43, told agent Tim Trowbridge of the Bootheel Drug Task Force that he found the child on a ladder in his backyard pool, grabbed her and carried her inside his home, where he suffocated her with a white plastic trash bag, according to a probable cause statement the agent filed.


Leaked "Rape" Report Sparks New Strauss-Kahn Furor

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Nafissatou Diallo
© Reuters / Todd Heisler/Pool (L) and Shannon Stapleton (R)
Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (L) and Nafissatou Diallo are seen in this combination photo.
Opposing lawyers disputed the meaning of a medical report that said "rape" caused injuries sustained by the woman who has accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault.

L'Express magazine on Tuesday reported the contents of a medical file from the woman's first hospital examination in New York shortly after the May 14 incident.

"Cause of the injuries: assault. Rape," the report said, according to the French translation in L'Express.

A lawyer representing the accuser said the report proves the attack occurred.

But defense lawyers for Strauss-Kahn criticized her team for releasing the report, calling it "misleading and deceitful" because it was based almost entirely on her account.


Canada, British Columbia: BC Hydro, Government to Set Timeline for Cuts and Job Losses

© The Canadian Press / Richard Lam
A BC Hydro crew in the Beach Grove neighbourhood of Tsawwassen, B.C., Sunday, February 5, 2006.
Energy minister Rich Coleman will sit down Tuesday with the president of BC Hydro to hammer out a timeline for $800-million in spending cuts at the Crown corporation that will spell major job losses.

"We're going to walk through the recommendations and set out expectations - I don't want this to sit on the shelf and collect dust," Mr. Coleman said in an interview Monday.

The cuts are recommended in a review, commissioned by Mr. Coleman and made public last week, that aims to rein in proposed electricity rate hikes.

BC Hydro's president, Dave Cobb, has agreed with the government's demand that Hydro cut its requested rate hikes in half - to 16 per cent from 32 per cent over three years.