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Thu, 05 Oct 2023
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Couple's Honeymoon Covers Cyclones, Fires, Floods, Quakes and a Nuclear Disaster

People queue for hours in downtown Sendai
© AP
People queue for hours in downtown Sendai, Japan after the massive earthquake
Couple endures nightmare honeymoon- Happy to be home safe at last

A Swedish couple are glad to be safely home after completing their four-month honeymoon trip - which took in the sights of a blizzard in Munich, a cyclone in Cairns, bushfires in Perth, floods in Queensland, an earthquake in New Zealand and then a nuclear disaster in Japan.

Stefan and Erika Svanstrom set out - along with their baby girl, Elinor - on December 6, following their November wedding, and were immediately stranded in Munich, Germany, due to snow from a so-called "storm of the century".

The 32-year-old bride told The London Times that despite the rocky start, the couple thought "things will get better. We're in love. And just think of the beaches we're heading for in southeast Asia."

Life Preserver

Woman plunges into icy North Sea during dramatic cruise ship rescue

cruise passenger in sea
© Colin Prescott
The moment the cruise passenger was accidentally dropped into the sea, captured on camera by Champion reader Colin Prescott
A Burscough couple were among the horrified witnesses of a bungled cruise ship rescue in freezing waters off the coast of Norway.

Colin Prescott, of Langdale Drive told The Champion that he and his wife Sheila were passengers on the Ocean Princess when a sick British woman being taken off the ship by Norwegian emergency crews was dropped on her stretcher into the icy sea.

Mr Prescott said: "The vessels, which hadn't been latched together, suddenly moved apart by several feet just as they were transferring her, which caused the rescue crews to drop the stretcher into the sea.

"We'd been told the sea was about minus three degrees that day. The rescue boat came back round to pick her up and she was taken to hospital, but she was in the water for about eight minutes or so, and I really want to find out whether she's okay."

Mr Prescott said that he and his wife had travelled on the Ocean Princess from Hull on March 20 to fulfill a lifetime ambition see Norway and the Northern Lights, which he described as "an unforgettable experience".


Quebec, Canada: Police comb icy river for signs of missing boy


Adam Benhamma is seen in this undated handout photo
A search for a missing autistic boy remains focused on a part of the Mille Iles River, near a waterfront property where three-year-old Adam Benhamama was last seen alive.

Police increasingly suspect that the young boy, who is also unable to speak or hear, fell into the river after he went missing on the weekend.

Benhamama was playing outside with his sister at a home of a family friend in Laval, Que., whom the two siblings were visiting with their father.

The boy slipped out of sight during a game of hide-and-seek while his father was momentarily inside the house.

The boy's absence was quickly reported to police, who brought in dogs, ATVs, extra officers and eventually divers to try to find him.

Bad Guys

Teens who killed classmate are psychopaths, sexual sadists, court heard

VICTORIA - The teen killers who raped and murdered 18-year-old Kimberly Proctor are psychopaths and sexual sadists with little or no capacity for remorse and almost no chance of rehabilitation in the next 25 to 30 years, various psychologists and psychiatrists testified at their trial.

Kruse Wellwood, 17, and Cameron Moffat, 18, were sentenced this week to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 10 years for killing Proctor, whose charred remains were discovered on a popular Victoria-area hiking trail on March 19, 2010, one day after her family reported her missing.

The disturbing details of her death, and the twisted young minds that planned and carried out the horrific slaying, emerged after a publication ban was lifted in the case.

Documents released by the court Wednesday include transcripts of police interviews, in which Moffat describes how he and his friend bound Proctor's ankles and wrists with duct tape and then took turns sexually assaulting her.

"If you're gonna restrain anything you know, like, um, shackles in prison you know," Moffat tells RCMP interrogator Martin D'Anjou. "Legs and arms and like, when you hog-tie a hog, you use ex-... extremities."

During a long interview in which Moffatt is too immature to even say out loud what he did to the young woman, he later tells the officer he sat in the living room watching TV while Wellwood beat and sexually assaulted her in another room.

"I went and sat in the living room just, the TV was on and, just sittin' there wholeheartedly... tryin' to forget what's happening and uh, watching the TV," Moffat said.

Alarm Clock

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

© Unknown
The Fat and the Furious: The top 1 percent may have the best houses, educations, and lifestyles, says the author, but “their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.”
Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation's income - an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.

It's no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation's income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous - 12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades - and more - has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.

Bizarro Earth

The Peasants Need Pitchforks

© Associated Press/Jason deCrow
Protesters yell at people looking out from the windows of an AIG building in New York during a 2009 rally against government bailouts for corporations.
A "working class hero," John Lennon told us in his song of that title, "is something to be/ Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV/ And you think you're so clever and classless and free/ But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see."

The delusion of a classless America in which opportunity is equally distributed is the most effective deception perpetrated by the moneyed elite that controls all the key levers of power in what passes for our democracy. It is a myth blown away by Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz in the current issue of Vanity Fair. In an article titled "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%", Stiglitz states that the top thin layer of the superwealthy controls 40 percent of all wealth in what is now the most sharply class-divided of all developed nations: "Americans have been watching protests against repressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet, in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation's income - an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret."

Bizarro Earth

Glenn Beck Pulling Show Off Fox News

© Unknown
Glenn Beck is pulling the plug on his popular daily show for Fox News.

In a release his production company says he will "transition" away from his Fox News show later this year.

According to the release Beck won't jump ship entirely. He'll develop a variety of programs for Fox News and its digital properties.

Talk of Beck leaving Fox News has been bubbling up for a while now.

Here's the release:


Are electrical systems really to blame, or something else is going on? FAA probes shattered windshields on American Airlines jets

The Federal Aviation Administration confirms that it's looking into why cockpit windshields on two American Airlines jets overheated and cracked in mid-air.

The latest incident happened Saturday on a Boeing 767 international flight to New York.

Two weeks ago, the pilot of another American Airlines 767 wide-body jet diverted to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with the same problem - a cracked windshield.


Sudan Investigates "Mysterious" Air Attack

© Unknown
Sudanese authorities said they began investigating the targeted bombing of a car late Tuesday night in the coastal city of Port Sudan on the Red Sea. The incident in the east of the country led to the death of two people.

A police statement quoted by the official Sudanese news agency conveyed that the missile struck a car on the main highway, 15 km south of Port Sudan, killing two people who were traveling the car.

According to the statement it immediately after the incident, security forces rushed to the scene and set up an operation room in order to determine the source of the attack.


Yemen protests: fresh clashes in Taiz

Tens of thousands demonstrate against President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the southern town a day after 15 people were killed
Yemeni protesters
© Reuters
Yemeni protesters run from teargas fired by police in Taiz.
Fresh clashes have broken out in Taiz in southern Yemen as security forces and armed men in civilian clothes fired on protesters a day after 15 people were killed.

Witnesses told Reuters that several people had been hurt after hundreds of troops attacked tens of thousands of demonstrators. Men believed to be plainclothes police wielded bats and daggers as protesters responded by throwing rocks.

Al-Jazeera reported that hundreds of protesters were wounded in the clashes, with dozens taken to hospital in the capital, Sana'a, 120 miles away.

Amid continuing violence against the 32-year rule of the president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Gulf Co-operation Council, the regional security group, invited government and opposition representatives to talks in Saudi Arabia, at a date yet to be set. Abubakr al-Qirbi, the acting foreign minister after Saleh sacked his government two weeks ago, said the government would agree to talks in Riyadh. "We welcome the GCC invitation and the government is ready to discuss any ideas from our Gulf brothers to solve the crisis," Qirbi said.