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Tue, 07 Feb 2023
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India hit by second grid collapse in two days: 620 million without power in larger outage

India suffered its second huge, crippling power failure in two days Tuesday, depriving as much as half of the vast and populous country, or up to 600 million people, of electricity and disrupting transport networks. The first power grid collapse, on Monday, was the country's worst blackout in a decade. It affected seven states in northern India that are home to more than 350 million people.


Linda Chase, Michigan Woman, Faces Forgery Charge After Keeping Mummified Boyfriend

Mummified borfriend

Charles Zigler's remains were found in Linda Chase's home, more than a year after he died.

One woman's mummy dearest has her in some legal trouble.

Police charged Linda Chase, 72, with forgery after they found her mummified boyfriend, Charles Zigler, inside her Jackson, Mich. home.

Chase previously admitted to cashing Zigler's benefits checks, but she said the only reason she allegedly kept the man's lifeless body for 18 months was that she was lonely.

"It's not that I'm heartless. It's just that after so many bad things happen to you, I don't know," Chase told MI Live earlier this month. "I didn't want to be alone. He was the only guy who was ever nice to me."

Prosecutors charged Chase with cashing $28,000 worth of fraudulent checks in Zigler's name, MI Live reports.


Student arrested for threatening to 'shoot up' Kent State University just 10 days after the Dark Knight massacre


William Koberna has been arrested for posting a Twitter message in which he said he planned to 'shoot up' Kent State University campus
A 19-year-old Ohio student has been arrested by police after posting a Twitter message in which he said he planned to 'shoot up' Kent State University campus.

William Koberna, 19, was arrested at his parents' Brunswick home on Sunday on charges of inducing panic and aggravated menacing related to the tweet.

Koberna gave himself up without incident after Brunswick police arrived at his home and the sophomore student will be arraigned in court on Monday.

He is also facing a university hearing which could possibly result in his suspension or dismissal from Kent State.

One of his Koberna's friends, Ashley Mikulec confirmed that he was indeed arrested for his indiscreet tweet saying, 'Holy sh*t I can't believe bill got arrested for a tweet. If they saw half of his tweets and took them seriously he'd be in a mental asylum.'

She followed this up by saying, 'I would say this violates freedom of speech but at the same time he could have induced some panic.'

Heart - Black

New York Woman Sentenced to 12 Years in Jail for Kidnapping, Raising Baby

© Michael Appleton / The New York Times
Joy White, speaking to reporters on Monday. Her daughter Carlina White was taken in 1987 from Harlem Hospital 19 days after her birth.
A woman who audaciously kidnapped a 3-week-old girl from a Manhattan hospital on a summer day a quarter-century ago and raised her to adulthood was sentenced on Monday to 12 years in prison.

"This was not a crime of greed, this was not a crime of vengeance," Judge P. Kevin Castel of Federal District Court in Manhattan said in imposing the sentence on the woman, Ann Pettway. "But it was an act of selfishness, a crime of selfishness" that he said "inflicted a parent's worst nightmare on a couple."

The sentence drew a muted response from a packed courtroom populated with friends and relatives on both sides of the harrowing case.

In terse remarks before sentencing, Ms. Pettway, 50, apologized to the family of the kidnapped girl, Carlina White, and said, "I am here today to right my wrong and ask for forgiveness."

Ms. White, who is now 25 and lives in Atlanta, did not attend the hearing and has distanced herself from the case. According to Ms. Pettway's lawyers, she has a movie deal.

The parents, Joy White and Carl Tyson, who separated a year after the kidnapping, made emotional pleas for a prolonged prison term.


Colorado Shooting Defendant Charged

james holmes
© unknown
James Holmes
James Holmes showed no visible reaction Monday as he learned that he faced 142 criminal charges and the possibility of the death penalty for a deadly shooting rampage inside a Colorado movie theater.

Holmes, making his second court appearance, was formally charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder - two for each of the 12 people killed and 58 wounded. For each victim, Holmes was charged once for showing deliberation and once for showing extreme indifference to human life.

He was also charged with illegally possessing explosives, a nod to the hive of explosive booby traps that police found inside his apartment after he was arrested outside the movie theater, just moments after the July 20 shooting.

The court hearing focused mostly on procedural issues and offered a glimpse of how slowly the complex and voluminous legal case against Holmes will probably move in the months ahead.

It could be a year or more before a jury sits to decide whether Holmes is guilty of walking into a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and opening fire on the sold-out crowd. When he was apprehended outside the Century 16 multiplex, he had three weapons, with one weapon left behind in the theater, and was wearing a black commando-style outfit, authorities said.

2 + 2 = 4

D.C. Pays Students $5.25 an Hour to Attend Summer School

© unknown
The District is paying 305 students with poor academic and behavioral records to attend summer school, The Washington Examiner has learned.

The rising ninth-graders are earning $5.25 an hour to participate in the "Summer Bridge" program, which targets students identified by D.C. Public Schools as less likely than their peers to graduate high school within four years.

The 95 students who voluntarily signed up for the summer school program will receive half of an elective credit. But to fill the 400-student session with at-risk students, DCPS reached out to the Department of Employment Services. More than 300 students flagged by DCPS and who had signed up for the Summer Youth Employment Program were told that school would be their jobs this summer.

Melissa Salmanowitz, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Kaya Henderson, said DCPS officials are going to study this year's results, with the intention of expanding the program next summer.


Post Office Nears Historic Default on $5B Payment

© The Associated Press/Robert Ray
This photo taken July 27, 2012 shows Jim Husa, 87, of Lawrence, Mich. outside a US Post Office in Lawrence, Mich.
Washington - The U.S. Postal Service is bracing for a first-ever default on billions in payments due to the Treasury, adding to widening uncertainty about the mail agency's solvency as first-class letters plummet and Congress deadlocks on ways to stem the red ink.

With cash running perilously low, two legally required payments for future postal retirees' health benefits - $5.5 billion due Wednesday, and another $5.6 billion due in September - will be left unpaid, the mail agency said Monday. Postal officials said they also are studying whether they may need to delay other obligations. In the coming months, a $1.5 billion payment is due to the Labor Department for workers compensation, which for now it expects to make, as well as millions in interest payments to the Treasury.

The defaults won't stir any kind of catastrophe in day-to-day mail service. Post offices will stay open, mail trucks will run, employees will get paid, current retirees will get health benefits.

But a growing chorus of analysts, labor unions and business customers are troubled by continuing losses that point to deeper, longer-term financial damage, as the mail agency finds it increasingly preoccupied with staving off immediate bankruptcy while Congress delays on a postal overhaul bill.

Arrow Down

Colosseum in Rome is Leaning, Officials Say

Experts say ancient building has started to tilt, with south side 40cm lower than north, and may need urgent repairs.
© Ray Tang/Rex Features
The Colosseum in Rome
The ancient Colosseum in Rome is slanting about 40cm lower on the south side than on the north, and authorities are investigating whether it needs urgent repairs.

Experts first noticed the incline about a year ago and have been monitoring it for the past few months, Rossella Rea, director at the 2,000-year-old monument, said in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, another of Italy's most popular attractions, was reopened in 2001 after being shut for more than a decade as engineers worked to prevent it from falling over and to make it safe for visitors.

Rea has asked La Sapienza University and the environmental geology institute IGAG to study the problem and report back in a year.


Summer of So Many Sad Goodbye's

© sassywire.wordpress.com
The news of Alexander Cockburn's death went through me like an arrow Saturday morning. Some deaths you're prepared for, the whispers are on the wing before the final word arrives. This wasn't one of them. He bore his illness under a cloak of stoic all-is-well. It was only with the announcement from Jeffrey St. Clair, Cockburn's co-editor at Counterpunch, the radical website and newsletter, that we learned that Alex had been racked by cancer these last few years. Alex and I had been in light contact over the last few years and there was no hint of his condition in his emails. But then I wouldn't have expected any. He was not one given to personal divulgence, certainly not with a long-lost colleague like myself, and not someone you would describe as an emotional "sharer." That wasn't his style, any more than it is, say, Gore Vidal's.

Heart - Black

Wisconsin Sexual Assault Victims Charged Up To $1,200 For Cost Of Rape Kits

rape victim
© PA
For years, hospitals in northeastern Wisconsin have billed sexual assault victims as much as $1,200 for the cost of their examinations, according to a new investigation.

The Post-Crescent newspaper found that, despite the availability of government funds to cover the cost of sexual assault examinations, many hospitals were sending the bill to victims. The AP has more:
When someone is sexually assaulted, the process of collecting forensic evidence can include taking pictures of bruises, swabs of sexual fluids or hair. Other expenses, which can include a pregnancy test, antibiotics and medical supplies, can bring the final price tag to about $1,200. [...]

For example, hospitals in the ThedaCare system used to absorb the cost for years as part of their charity care, said Jean Coopman-Jansen a program coordinator at Appleton Medical Center. After a change to comply with the health system's billing rules, some victims last year were forced to pay the costs themselves, she said.