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UK, Rebecca Aylward murder: Jury sent home for weekend

Jurors in the trial of a 16-year-old boy charged with the murder of his former girlfriend, Rebecca Aylward, have been sent home for the weekend.

The 15-year-old from Maesteg was found dead in woods in Aberkenfig, near Bridgend, in October 2010.

The trial began four weeks ago, when members of the jury at Swansea Crown Court were told the schoolgirl died of head injuries.

Comment: For more information concerning this case, see these Sott links:

What is going on in Bridgend, Wales? Another case in the string of weirdness: Schoolgirl battered to death with brick

UK: Bridgend schoolgirl 'murdered by psychopathic ex-boyfriend over free breakfast bet'


Ambulance

Chinese D-train derails and falls from bridge

Dramatic pictures have just been released of a major train incident in the Wenzhou region of eastern China.

Image
© Unknown
The Chinese D train derailed with two of its carriages falling off a bridge.
The Chinese D train derailed with two of its carriages falling off a bridge after being crashed into by another train, reports suggest. The number of casualties, however, is still unknown, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The train, travelling from Hangzhou to Wenzhou, went off the rails in eastern China's Zhejiang province around 8:30pm (1230 GMT), it reported, citing local firefighting sources.

It is thought to have come to a halt on the bridge near Wenzhou when its power failed following a lightning strike. A second train collided from behind, pushing carriages of the D train off the bridge.

Bizarro Earth

U.S.: One year later, cleanup of southern Michigan's oil-polluted Kalamazoo River poses challenge

oil,bird
© AP Photo/Kalamazoo Gazette, Jonathon Gruenke
A Canada goose covered in oil attempts to fly out of the Kalamazoo River in Marshall, Mich., Tuesday, July 27, 2010. Crews were working Tuesday to contain and clean up oil from a ruptured pipeline that poured into a creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo River in southern Michigan, coating birds and fish. An estimated 877,000 gallons (3.3 million liters) of oil leaked from a pipeline into the river.

Marshall, Michigan - A year after one of the largest oil spills in the history of the U.S. Midwest, cleanup crews still toil along the Kalamazoo River in southern Michigan - and it won't surprise some regulators and residents if they remain working in a more limited capacity next summer and beyond.

Less than 10 per cent of the more than three million litres (800,000 gallons) that Enbridge Inc. confirmed was leaking from one of its pipelines on July 26, 2010 remains uncollected. Most of it has settled at the river bottom, and removing it is a tricky task that will take time to complete.

About 550 people continue to work on the Kalamazoo River cleanup, down from about 2,500 at its peak last year.

Bad Guys

US, Young woman accuses Oregon Rep. David Wu of aggressive, unwanted sexual encounter

A distraught young woman called U.S. Rep. David Wu's Portland office this spring, accusing him of an unwanted sexual encounter, according to multiple sources.

When confronted, the Oregon Democrat acknowledged a sexual encounter to his senior aides but insisted it was consensual, the sources said.

The woman is the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor. She apparently did not contact police at the time.
Image
© Doug Beghtel/The Oregonian
Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., talks to constituents at an Oregon town hall.

Newspaper

US: Ohio Man Convicted of 11 Killings Had "Nightmares"

Image
© AP Photo/Marvin Fong
Anthony Sowell listens during the prosecutions' closing arguments in his trial in Cleveland on Wednesday, July 20, 2011.
The nightmares happened when Anthony Sowell was smoking crack cocaine in the company of women, especially if they reminded him of his ex-girlfriend. And, as he told detectives, the nightmares were all the same: They involved him hurting a woman with his hands.

When he woke up, the women were gone.

"Reminded me of my girl, that's the best I can tell you. It was like everything's cool, she was spending the night or something," Sowell said in a police interrogation that was recorded as authorities were pulling 11 bodies out of his Cleveland home and backyard. "And I'd be like, 'Damn, where'd you go?'"

Sowell was convicted Friday of killing 11 poor, drug-addicted black women whose remains were found in his home and backyard in late 2009. He now faces the death penalty.

During the trial, prosecutors painted Sowell as a man jilted by an ex-girlfriend who made other women pay for his fury. His ex-girlfriend Lori Frazier, the niece of Mayor Frank Jackson, testified that he grew violent when he smoked crack. After she moved out of his home, she often saw him with bloody injuries on his face and neck. Once, she saw him dumping the contents of a bucket into a hole in his yard.

Bug

US, Colorado: Man Dies after Suffering 19 Black Widow Spider Bites


A man from Erie, Colo. died after getting bitten by a black widow spider. Health experts say it's a rare for someone to die from black widow bites.

Jeff Seale, 40, noticed 19 bites on his foot two weeks before he died. His sister says he worked at a horse stable, and she wonders if that's where her brother might've encountered the spider.

Seale was an accomplished baseball player when he was younger.

The Fairview High School baseball team in Boulder is practicing this week for a tournament they are hosting, and even though many of them had never met Jeff Seale, they knew of his legacy.

"When you assess that type of tradition, you definitely look up to him," says Brian Sture, a graduating senior.

Handcuffs

US, California: TSA worker stole watches, debit card from LAX bags, officials say

TSA
© unknown
A Transportation Security Administration officer has been indicted on five charges in the theft of four watches and a pre-paid debit card from luggage at Los Angeles International Airport, officials announced Friday.

A federal grand jury indicted Paul Yashou, 38, of Torrance, on two felony and three misdemeanor theft counts Friday afternoon.

Yashou is alleged to have stolen the items from luggage going through security at LAX's Terminal 1, the U.S. District Attorney's Office said. According to the indictment, one of the watches was valued at about $15,000, another at $5,000 and two at $1,000. The pre-paid debit card was valued at $1,000.

Vader

Israel PM guards tell women reporters to remove bras

Image
© AFP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the conference of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS in Tel Aviv on July 14. Foreign journalists have spoken of their distress after being asked to remove their bras for a security check before being allowed into the offices of the Israeli premier

Foreign journalists on Friday spoke of their distress after being asked to remove their bras for a security check before being allowed into the offices of Israel's prime minister.

The three women were told by security personnel to undress and take off their bras for x-ray in two separate incidents at the Jerusalem offices of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week.

All three complied with the request, despite the distress it caused, in an incident denounced by the Foreign Press Association (FPA) as "unnecessary, humiliating and counter-productive."

Bizarro Earth

US: Hudson River, Harlem River, part of East River not fit for recreational activity after sewage spill

Image
© Mariela Lombard for News
Harlem's Riverbank State park closed due to Wednesday's four-alarm fire at the sewage plant.
Don't expect to beat the heat this weekend in a canoe, a kayak or a windsurfing board off Manhattan.

City officials declared the Hudson River, the East River south of the RFK Bridge and the Harlem River unfit for recreational activity due to raw sewage spilled by a treatment plant fire.

"Right now, there's no impact on public beaches," Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway said. "However, you should not be doing contact recreation on the Hudson River."

Attention

UK Researchers Urge Rules Governing Creation and Use of Human-Animal Hybrids

Centaur
© Wikimedia Commons
Human-Animal Hybrid A British research group is calling for new regulations governing the insertion of human genes into animals for research purposes.

A new regulatory group should be formed to oversee experiments that mix animal and human DNA, British researchers said Friday. While the experiments themselves don't necessarily need stricter regulation, there are a few types of experiments that could "approach social and ethically sensitive areas," so they should have an extra layer of scrutiny, the researchers said.

Although it sounds like something from science fiction, human-animal hybrids are actually very common - at least on a genetic, cellular level. In the past few weeks alone, we've seen mice engineered to express a human form of hemophilia, and cows engineered to produce milk with human characteristics. Human DNA is frequently inserted into mice to study cancer, and so on.

But some experiments are a little more ... bizarre, for lack of a better word. Like fertilizing human eggs in animals. Or experiments that would use human brain cells to alter animal brains. Or giving animals human-like speech or facial expressions.