Society's ChildS

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Sickening: Two women beheaded in Papua New Guinea over witchcraft claims

Two elderly women have been beheaded in front of a crowd of onlookers in Papua New Guinea in the latest of a spate of brutal attacks in the country against people accused of witchcraft.

Police at the scene were outnumbered by an angry mob and were forced to stand by as the women were murdered in a remote village, the Post-Courier newspaper reported.

Bougainville police inspector Herman Birengka said his men had been "helpless".

It is understood the two women had been suspected of causing the death of a local teacher through sorcery.


Home Depot horror: Crazed California man attempts to amputate arms using saws in home improvement store

Home Depot
© Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press
Horrified shoppers could only watch as a "crazed" man tried to cut off his arms by sawing them both to the bone in a busy suburban Home Depot store in West Covina, Los Angeles.

Customers at the home improvement outlet watched as he grabbed several small saws - usually used to cut sheet rock - and began slicing open his arms.

He soon passed out on the floor in a pool of his own blood.

An off-duty paramedic was shopping nearby and sprang into action - collecting twine and rags from shelves to secure makeshift tourniquets over the wounds.

It was a move that probably saved the man's life, West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez told KTLA.

The man, who has not been identified, was taken for surgery at Queen of the Valley Medical Center.

His current condition is not known and it's unkown why he carried out Wednesday afternoon's brutal attack on himself.

The store remained shut for the rest of the day.


Triple suicide in Italy over economic struggle

Italian suicide
Italian rescuers retrieving the body of the brother to the wife who committed suicide on April 4, 2013 in Civitanova.
Italian authorities say an elderly Italian couple has committed suicide in a village in the central parts of the country, after being unable to pay their rent.

The bodies of Romeo Dionsi, 62, and Anna Sopranzi, 68, were discovered by neighbors on Friday at their home in Civitanova in the central Marche region on the Adriatic Sea.

After receiving the news, Sopranzi's brother Giuseppe, 73, jumped into the sea from a fishing quay. His body was later discovered by rescuers.

Local authorities said that there was no question that the suicides were connected to financial problems.

According to the police, Sopranzi received a meek pension of 500 euros (USD 650) a month, while Dionsi did not receive unemployment insurance or the right to a pension, due to recently imposed labor reforms by the government.


UK Climate scientist Katherine Giles killed in bike crash

Global warming researcher Katherine Giles was killed when she was struck by a garbage truck as she bicycled to work in London.

The crash occurred Monday morning, the Evening Standard reported. But the victim was only identified Wednesday as Giles of the Center for Polar Observation and Modeling at University College London.

The truck struck Giles as it made a left turn, police said. Mayor Boris Johnson responded to the news by saying heavy trucks should only be allowed in central London if they have mirrors and other equipment to reduce the risks to cyclists.

Giles graduated from UCL and received a doctorate in 2005. She was considered a possible successor to Seymour Laxon, the center's director, who died in a fall on New Year's Day.


Gunman dead, officer wounded as Georgia hostage standoff ends

© ReutersGwinnett County Police Department SWAT members are shown in this handout courtesy of Gwinnett Daily Post responding to the scene of a barricaded gunman holding four firefighters hostage in a home in Suwanee, Georgia April 10, 2013. The gunman has died and an officer was wounded after an exchange of gunfire.
Atlanta - A gunman who took four Georgia firefighters hostage, demanding his utilities and cell phone service be restored, was killed on Wednesday in an exchange of gunfire with authorities who moved in to free the captives, police said.

A police officer was wounded and the firefighters, taken hostage after responding to what had appeared to be a medical call, suffered minor injuries during the rescue at a suburban Atlanta home, Gwinnett County police spokesman Edwin Ritter told a news conference.

Officials declined to give details about what happened inside the home, and Ritter could not immediately say whether the suspect died as a result of gunshots by law enforcement or a self-inflicted wound.

"This is the result of his actions," Ritter said. "We didn't want it this way but he was calling the shots, and this was the end result."

The man, whom police have not identified, had apparently been in financial trouble and demanded his power, cable television and cell phone service be restored, Ritter said.

"He wanted all those things turned back on," Ritter said. "That's why he was holding them hostage."

Property records show the home in Suwanee, about 35 miles (56 km) northeast of Atlanta, is owned by Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, and a Freddie Mac spokesman confirmed to WSB-TV that the property was in foreclosure.


Environmental victory! Administration broke law by issuing oil leases without examining fracking risks

© AFP Photo / Spencer PlattEquipment used for the extraction of natural gas is viewed at a hydraulic fracturing site on June 19, 2012 in South Montrose, Pennsylvania.
The Obama administration has broken the law, issuing oil leases across California without examining the risks of fracking. A federal judge ruled that the administration has "completely ignored" environmental concerns upon issuing the leases.

In response to a lawsuit filed by environmentalist groups, US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal ruled that the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the law by distributing oil drilling rights before reviewing the potential risks associated with fracking.

"BLM's dismissal of any development scenario involving fracking as 'outside of its jurisdiction' simply did not provide the 'hard look' at the issue that NEPA requires," Grewal said during Sunday's ruling in San Jose, Calif.

While the ruling highlights the flaws of the Obama administration, it is largely viewed as a landmark victory by environmentalists who have been fighting against the procedures they fear might harm the environment.

"It's the first federal court opinion we're aware of that explicitly holds that federal agencies have to analyze the environmental impacts of fracking when carrying out an oil and gas leasing program," Brendan Cummings, a lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity, which was involved in filing the lawsuit, told Reuters.

Comment: For more background on the dangers of fracking read:
If this is what fracking is doing to animals - what is it doing to people?
Fracking Linked To Earthquakes In The U.S.
US: Environemental Protection Agency Finally Admits 'Fracking' Likely Polluted Town's Water


Unravelling the mystery of Pablo Neruda's death

Neruda driver
Mr Araya says Pablo Neruda told him he had been given an injection
The remains of Chile's Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda are being exhumed on Monday in a bid to determine the cause of his death after his assistant alleged he was murdered by Gen Augusto Pinochet's military regime, the BBC's Gideon Long reports from Isla Negra.

Pablo Neruda's bones are interred in the garden of Isla Negra, his beloved beach house on Chile's Pacific coast. He is buried next to his wife and muse, Matilde Urrutia.

The poet died aged 69 on 23 September 1973, just 12 days after Gen Pinochet's military coup.

His death certificate says he died of prostate cancer, a view widely accepted for nearly four decades.

But his former personal assistant Manuel Araya says the poet was given a lethal injection in hospital.

Mr Araya says Neruda, a communist, was about to go into exile in Mexico from where he planned to lead the global opposition to the military dictatorship in his homeland.

"Until the day I die I will not alter my story," Mr Araya told the BBC.

"Neruda was murdered. They didn't want Neruda to leave the country so they killed him."


Pablo Neruda's body exhumed following murder claim - video

The body of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda is being exhumed in Isla Negra, Chile, after claims that he died as a result of poisoning in 1973. Neruda's sudden death, 12 days after the military coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet to power, was originally ascribed to prostate cancer. However, his driver has made claims to the contrary involving a 'suspicious' injection before his death.

Eiffel Tower

Louvre Museum shuts for day as guards protest pickpockets

© Christian Hartmann / ReutersPeople enjoy the snow in front of Paris landmark, the Pyramid of the Louvre Museum, January 20, 2013
Tourists caught no glimpse of the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory or Venus de Milo on Wednesday due to a one-day closure of the Louvre, as guards protested that pickpockets were rampant at the world's most visited museum.

Two hundred museum guards exercised their right to a work stoppage, forcing the museum to shut its doors for the day, union representatives said.

The CGT union said guards were "fed up" by attacks and threats directed at them and visitors over the past few months by pickpockets.

The secretary general of the national union for museums (SNMD), David Maillard, said petty thieves were multiplying at the site, visited by nearly 9 million people each year.

"There are thefts and threats every day. The guards are fed up with being assaulted by pickpockets," Maillard told Reuters, adding that the unions want better security at the museum.


Police discover hidden underground tunnels used by the homeless in Kansas

© KMBCImages of an underground suburb used by the homeless on the city's northeast side near Interstate 435. The camp was broken up by Kansas City Police on Friday.
During a routine crime investigation, Kansas City police discovered a series of underground dirt tunnels being used by the city's homeless. Local affiliate KMBC was on hand for the discovery when newscasters accompanied Kansas City Police Officer Jason Cooley, who was leading an investigation of stolen copper wiring from a nearby grain mill. While checking on the seemingly ordinary homeless campsites, Cooley discovered a series of tunnels that went several feet under the earth and stretched nearly 25 feet. "It was kind of in a little hill and probably four feet beneath the surface," Cooley told the Kansas City Star.

Additional images

Comment: Speaking of 'expertly crafted', these pictures look a lot like:
Going underground: The massive European network of Stone Age tunnels that weaves from Scotland to Turkey