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Alarm Clock

Teenager Kills 5-year-old niece With a Scythe

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© Family Handout
Jada Beth Williams, 5.
Matthew Kaleb Pierson, 18, admitted to leaving Jada Beth Williams beaten and blooded in the garage of the girl's grandmother's house, police say.

An Ohio teenager is in jail on $500,000 bond after he confessed to brutally killing his 5-year-old niece with a scythe, WXIX-TV reported.

Jada Beth Williams' body was found lying in a pool of blood in the garage of a home in Jackson Township.

Tina Williams, the little girl's grandmother, made the gruesome discovery and called 911, telling the dispatcher that Jada "was here with the guy I live with and my grandson, and she is dead."

In a recording of the call, obtained by the Fayette Advocate, Williams says the girl is "covered in blood."

2 + 2 = 4

Poverty Forces Some to Consider Betting on Their Lives

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© Photo illustration by Katherine Wolkoff. Models: COACD; FunnyFace Today.
'Do you see lights?" Ruben Robles asked his brother, Mark, in 2007. Bright, star-shaped and white, they flashed before Ruben's eyes while he was driving, shopping at Costco, feeding the cats. Mark didn't see anything, so Robles went to a doctor, who thought that the visions might be stress-induced. Robles ran a collection agency in Los Angeles, and the hours were long, the debtors argumentative. Several weeks later, Ruben began suffering seizures. He went to see another doctor, and this one ordered an M.R.I., which revealed a ghostly white orb on his left frontal lobe. The diagnosis was brain cancer. Only 36 years old, Ruben was told that he might not live to see his 38th birthday.

Horrified, Robles says he thought constantly about God. But his crisis was practical as well as existential. Over the next year and a half, surgeons operated on his brain three times, excising as much of the cancer as they safely could. The side effects of the operations left Robles barely able to walk and unable to speak more than a word or two at a time. He shuttered the collection agency. His wife left him, and Robles, needing daily help, squeezed into his mother's Chihuahua-filled apartment. The medical bills were mounting, and Robles was worried: though he believed God would provide for him in the afterlife, what he desperately needed until then was money.

Video

Man Accidentally Shoots Self in Theater During 'Bourne Legacy'

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Police say a man accidentally shot himself in the buttocks at a Nevada movie theater during a showing of The Bourne Legacy.

Police in Sparks, Nev., say the 56-year-old man's injuries are not life-threatening and no others were hurt.

Eye 1

Texas Shootout Gunman Had Mental Illness

Thomas Caffall

Thomas Caffall
Texas - In the months leading up to Monday's shootout near Texas A&M University that killed three, gunman Thomas Alton Caffall III had cut off contact with his family, even though his mother was seriously ill.

Caffall's family said the 35-year-old told them he had his own issues, an unspecified mental illness they declined to comment on.

On Monday, Caffall opened fire on a law enforcement officer who was trying to serve him with a court summons for being two months behind on rent. The officer was killed.

Police said officers shot and killed Caffall during the 30-minute shootout. A bystander also died and four others were wounded; police did not say whose gunfire struck them.

"It breaks our hearts his illness led to this," Caffall's family said in a statement released through an attorney.

Authorities continued their investigation Tuesday, saying Caffall was in possession of multiple weapons and fired numerous times.

Bizarro Earth

Philadelphia Woman Faces $600-a-Day Fine for Feeding Needy Neighborhood Kids

brown bag lunch
A Pennsylvania woman who offers free lunch every day to low-income children in her neighborhood faces a $600-a-day fine next summer if she continues because she did not clear the food giveaway with township officials.

Angela Prattis donates her time to distribute the meals -- supplied by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia -- and adheres to strict paperwork, like filling out weekly reports and being visited bi-weekly from a state worker, MyFoxPhilly.com reports.

"Angela saw it as a way to contribute to the community in a positive way," Anne Ayella, a member of the archdiocese, said. "There was nothing in it for her."

Prattis laughed and said, "I don't make a dime."

Prattis lived in the township for three years. She reportedly distributes the meals to the 60 or so children at a gazebo on her property during the summer months, when children are home from school.

Wall Street

Chinese Companies Leaving US Stock Markets over Prices and Accounting Scrutiny

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© AP Photo/Andy Wong
A Chinese man walks past a TV advertising screen by Focus Media Holding Ltd. on display near an apartment lift in Beijing Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012. Just a few years after Chinese companies lined up to sell shares on Wall Street, a growing number are reversing course and pulling out of U.S. exchanges.
Chinese firms leave US stock markets amid complaints about price, accounting scrutiny

Beijing -- Just a few years after Chinese companies lined up to sell shares on Wall Street, a growing number are reversing course and pulling out of U.S. exchanges.

This week, Focus Media Holding Ltd., announced its chairman and private equity firms want to buy back its U.S.-traded shares and take the Shanghai-based advertising company private. The deal would value Focus Media at $3.5 billion, according to financial information firm Dealogic.

Smaller companies also are withdrawing from U.S. exchanges. In a sign of official encouragement, a Chinese business magazine said a state bank has provided $1 billion in loans to help companies with listings abroad move them to domestic exchanges.

The withdrawals follow accusations of improper accounting by some companies and a deadlock between Beijing and Washington over whether U.S. regulators can oversee their China-based auditors.

Bad Guys

Chevron's refinery, Richmond's peril

Chevron Richmond
© Lance Iversen / San Francisco Chronicle / Associated Press
People view the fire at the Chevron Richmond Refinery. The fire burned out of control for more than five hours, sending a giant black cloud of toxic chemicals, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, thousands of feet into the air and out across the bay.
The facility that caught fire violates pollution rules and is a daily threat to workers and neighbors.

Stay inside, close your windows and doors, and turn off air conditioning and heating units. Pets and all children in sporting activities should be brought inside, and have duct tape ready should you need to further seal windows and doors.

These are among the "shelter in place" warnings made to Bay Area residents last week in response to a massive fire at theChevron Corp.refinery in Richmond. The fire burned out of control for more than five hours, sending a giant black cloud of toxic chemicals, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, thousands of feet into the air and out across the bay. While automated calls went to more than 18,000 people, some 160,000 residents live in the areas directly affected by the warning. More than 5,700 people have sought medical treatment.

Chevron is the world's eighth-largest corporation and hands-down the largest in California. The Richmond refinery is also the state's single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, having released 4.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2010 alone.

Built in 1902, the refinery shows its age. Rather than use its $27 billion in 2011 profits to run the cleanest, safest and most transparent refinery possible, Chevron operates a refinery that is in constant violation of federal and state law and a daily threat to the health and safety of its workers and neighbors.

Question

End-of-Life Care for Kids Raises Ethics Issues

Child Care
© MesdPage Today
Healthcare providers should have rapid access to legal remedies for end-of-life disputes involving children whose parents resist withdrawal of aggressive therapy on the basis of religious beliefs, authors of a review concluded.

Over a 3-year period, 17 of 203 cases could not be resolved after lengthy discussions with parents. Subsequently, most of the cases were resolved, but five remained undecided, each because of the parents' belief in a miracle for their children, according to an article published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

"On the rare occasions that it occurs, fervent belief in religion and the interpretation of those religious teachings are significant factors in end-of-life conflict between parents and staff on pediatric intensive care units (PICUs)," Joe Brierley, MBChB, of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, and co-authors wrote.

"Protracted dialogue was often unable to resolve these differences, while the child was subject to pain and discomfort from invasive ventilation, suctioning, and multiple injections," they added. "We suggest it is time to reconsider current ethical and legal structures and facilitate rapid default access to courts in such situations when the best interests of the child are compromised in expectation of the miraculous."

Gear

Greeks Change Gears Amid Economic Crisis

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© Reuters/Yorgos Karahalis
Music saleswoman Elena Koniaraki, 39, rides her bicycle in front of the parliament on the way to work in Athens July 6, 2012.
Greece's dire economic plight has forced thousands of businesses to close, thrown one in five out of work and eroded the living standards of millions. But for bicycle-maker Giorgos Vogiatzis, it's not all bad news.

The crisis has put cash-strapped Greeks on their bikes - once snubbed as a sign of poverty or just plain risky - and Greek manufacturers are shifting into fast gear.

The high cost of road tax, fuel and repairs is forcing Greeks to ditch their cars in huge numbers. According to the government's statistics office, the number of cars on Greek roads declined by more than 40 percent in each of the last two years. Meanwhile, more than 200,000 bikes were sold in 2011, up about a quarter from the previous year.

Card - VISA

Summer of Gloom for Crisis-Hit Rome Shops

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© Agence France-Presse/Gabriel Bouys
A display window outside a shop in Rome advertises reduced prices.
It is not just stifling summer heat that is keeping shoppers at bay on Rome's Via del Corso: as the economic crisis hits locals and tourists alike, many shops have little choice but to close for good.

The few people around seem to ziz zag from shop to shop, seeking relief from the heat in air-conditioned outlets and leaving behind frustrated shop assistants who struggle to sell anything despite discounts of up to 80 percent.

"The crisis has hit everyone," sighed one empty-handed customer, while shopkeepers up and down the street whiled away their time folding and re-folding piles of brightly coloured T-shirts and stylish outfits.

"The sales have not gone well," said clothes shop manager Fabio Anticoli. While the eternal city usually draws tourists from all over the world who spend their cash on Italian designs, "this year, it's an impoverished tourism."

The sales have gone "very badly" compared with 2011 according to the shopkeepers' association Confesercenti, which reports a 20 percent drop in turnover in central Rome, a figure that rises to 40 percent in outer suburbs.