Sunday, January 25, 2015

Under surveillance

Little Jaxon attempts to stop words leaving TV

Oh no.

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Meanwhile in Thailand

It's only a matter of time before the inevitable happens.

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Couple heartbroken at being forced to give up pet bear they've looked after for 33 years

Jeff and Debbie Gillium of Lodi, Ohio, have been the proud owners of an adult bear for 33 years, but a state law now threatens to break up the trio. The couple have owned Archie since the black bear was 6 years old. "I rescued him from a horrible situation. he was living in a cage that was four feet high," said Jeff Gillium. Now, Archie is nearing 40 - and near the end of his life. But Gillium fears his beloved pet might die before he has to. The Ohio Department of Agriculture sent the couple a letter last week saying they must either provide a permit for the bear, voluntarily surrender him to be tranquilized and transferred out of state, or transport him themselves.

"The ODA says they're going to come out and use a tranquilizer," said Gillium. "That might kill him. My only other option is to kill him myself." An agency spokeswoman said the Dangerous Wild Animal Act was passed in 2012 to prohibit casual dangerous wild animal ownership in Ohio. "The law provided a reasonable opportunity for existing owners to obtain a permit to keep their animals and this owner did not comply," said Erica Hawkins. "If relinquished as requested, the Department's animal health veterinarians will work to identify an appropriate, permanent home for the animal and will use their professional judgment to develop a plan for the safe movement of the animal."

Debbie Gillium said the couple was never informed of the law. "We didn't know," she said. "The only thing I was told is that we were grandfathered in from the division of wildlife and the USDA." That law changed in 2012, after several exotic animals were let loose in Zanesville, Ohio by a suicidal owner. If you owned your "pet" before then, you had to apply for a permit and prove proper caging and care for the animal. Before 2012, there was no law against owning exotic animals. The Gilliums have the correct permits for Archie up until 2013.

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They say when they went to renew they were told they didn't have to. Now that it's too late to get a permit, state law prohibits them from keeping Archie. "I think that he should be allowed to finish out his life here, his years here," said Debbie. "I think that's the fair thing. We are not using him for profit. He's never harmed anybody in all these years. They should've notified us they had all summer." The ODA says they will look into whether or not the couple was notified in 2012 when the law changed and also whether or not they had the up to date permits before then.

Gunfire meant for iguana terrified vacationing family

A North Carolina family said their idyllic vacation in Islamorada, Florida, was suddenly interrupted by a moment of terror on Wednesday morning when they heard a gunshot whistle past them and smack into the wooden dock at the Upper Matecumbe Key resort where they were staying. " Run, someone is shooting at us," Robert Wells, 54, said to his wife Ruth. Ruth Wells, 49, told detectives she whisked her children off the resort's beach, and the family locked themselves in their hotel room, according to a Monroe County Sheriff's Office report.

The family did hear at least one gunshot that may or may not have hit the dock. But it wasn't the Wells in the crosshairs. Rather, an iguana perched on the seawall of a house next to the Pines and Palms Resort at mile marker 80.4 was the intended target. And from the blood Sheriff's Office deputies found on top of the seawall, apparently it was a successful reptile hunt. Jeffrey Spencer Bennett, a gynaecologist who lives at mile marker 80.5 on the Old Highway, directly north of the oceanside resort, told deputies that he saw a large iguana sitting on the seawall of his 3-acre property. Bennett said he went inside his house and retrieved his .22-calibre Remington rifle.

He went back outside to the yard, where he said he shot the rifle once and the iguana fell into the water. He told deputies that he positioned himself to take the shot facing the water. No one was in his line of fire, he said. Bennett told police he is an experienced hunter and would never shoot in the direction of people. He also said he had between 10 to 20 higher-calibre guns locked in a safe in his home, "and he would not use them to shoot at iguanas," wrote Deputy Luis Gomez. Asked in an interview if he thinks the bullet went through the iguana and into the Pines and Palms dock, he responded, "Impossible." He declined to comment further.

Gomez said he stood on the dock where the Wells said they were when they heard the gunshot. He lay down on the dock and looked over and saw a "small indentation" in the wood. He said the indentation was facing north and toward Bennett's property. However, he added, "It is unknown if the indentation was caused by the projectile that struck the dock." Gomez and other deputies did not find any shell casings in Bennett's yard. The Wells told deputies they did not want to press charges against Bennett "because they felt it was not done intentionally," Gomez said. The State Attorney's Office is reviewing the case. Bennett faces one count of improper exhibition of a firearm, which is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Couple returned money after receiving bag full of cash at Burger King drive-through

After going through the drive-through at Burger King in Rochester, New Hampshire, on Friday, a local woman discovered that instead of the sweet tea and junior spicy chicken sandwich that she ordered, she got a bag full of money. Rather than keeping the cash, totalling $2,631, she went back to the restaurant with her husband and returned it.

At round 4:30pm Janelle Jones, of Rochester, had ordered a drink and a sandwich at the drive-through of the North Main St. restaurant. She was driving home when she discovered that the sandwich bag was actually full of cash, and there was no food inside. Jones called her husband, Matthew Jones, who suggested she come home so they could return the money together. At home, the couple inspected the bag and found the cash, most of which was inside two bank deposit bags.

There was also a loose $100 bill. Matthew Jones admitted, “We are not perfect human beings,” and said the couple had considered the possibility of keeping the money, adding they could have certainly used the cash. But he said he and his wife are Jehovah's Witnesses, and that “Jehovah sees everything.” When they returned the money about an hour later, the employees of the store were extremely thankful, he said.

“It felt a lot better than keeping it,” said Matthew Jones. Store employees at Rochester's Burger King confirmed the incident but chose not to comment on the story. “One person said 'they were going to get fired' so it felt good knowing we helped them keep their jobs,” Janelle said. “A manager told me they would give me five free meals,” Janelle added. “The manager said he talked to the corporate office and they said to tell me 'thank you.'”

Frenchman has created Valentine's Day fart pills

A French inventor of scented flatulence pills designed to make bodily gases smell more pleasant has added a new flavour to his repertoire, just in time for Valentine's Day. Christian Poincheval, 65, from north-western France has added the special Valentine's Day product to his array of scented flatulence pills designed to make wind less odious. His new St Valentine's ginger fart pills, mean loved-up couples don't have to worry about committing any faux-pas on the most romantic day of the year.

He chose ginger because of its fabled aphrodisiac qualities. "Say it with love, flavour your farts with ginger," reads the advert for the pills. Poincheval, who has been involved in homeopathy, claims the all-natural herbal medicine not only facilitates intestinal transit, but also neutralizes the odour of the gas let out. The the herb mixture in pills, which also come in rose and violet scents, are claimed to also help reduce bloating. The idea for the pills came to him six years ago after a rather disagreeable dinner with friends.

"We had just come back from Switzerland and we were eating a lot with our friends and the smell from the flatulence was really terrible. We couldn't breathe so me and a friend decided something had to be done," Poincheval said. "When we were vegetarian we noticed that our gas smelt like vegetables, like the odour from a cow pat, but when we started eating meat, the smell of the flatulence became much more disagreeable," he said.

"We needed to invent something that made them smell nicer." At that point Poincheval went to see a scientist in a lab to look at ways of inventing a natural remedy for the everyday problem. The pills cost €19.99 (£14.95, $22.40) for a packet of 60 and according to the inventor they have been approved by French health authorities. "We're not quite ready to be floated on the stock exchange, but we sell a few hundred jars every month. Everyone needs these kind of pills," he said.

Mysterious blue fox spotted at London hotel

A mysterious blue fox has been spotted at a Travelodge in south east London.

A worried guest at the Travelodge in Woolwich spotted the creature whilst at the hotel bar .

A man in the bar was able to befriend the fox by feeding it Doritos.

The animal was then escorted away from the hotel by staff.

Bubble machine brings joy to young gorillas

Playful gorillas are having great fun with their new toy - a bubble machine. The play-thing has been entertaining young western lowland gorillas at Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury in Kent.

The bubble machine was donated by a supporter of the park after keepers drew up a wish-list of useful items that would help enrich the animals' lives.

Animal director Neil Spooner said: "Enrichment is a vital part of how we care for our animals here and we are always looking for new and exciting themes.

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"Enrichment is just one of the many ways we keep our animals active and healthy." Lorna Wanless, head of the gorilla section at Howletts, said: "Jouki and Nkoumou love trying to catch them and Nkoumou even managed to pop one."

Festive onesie-wearer’s jaw broken after he was mistaken for a Power Ranger

A onesie-wearing man had his jaw broken in an unprovoked attack on a night out after being mistaken for a Power Ranger. Andy Mulligan, 24, was dressed in a red all-in-one, with a Christmas tree on the front, when he was knocked out outside the Revolution bar in the Electric Press in Leeds city centre. It later emerged his attacker had confused him with another customer he’d had a scuffle with inside the bar who was dressed up as one of the characters from children’s television show, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Mr Mulligan, of Alwoodley, said: “It was a totally unprovoked attack. I’ve got a friend who knows someone who was knocked out in similar circumstances and they died as a result. He needs locking up.” Mr Mulligan had been drinking with his rugby team and was standing outside the bar when he was attacked. “I think he might have shouted ‘Oi!’ but the next thing I knew I’d turned round and he’d smacked me in the face and knocked me out. Apparently he was half way down the street before I hit the ground.”

Mr Mulligan didn’t go to hospital until the following day, when he found out he had broken his jaw. He was on soft foods for several weeks. “The fact that I wasn’t more seriously injured is down to luck more than anything,” he said. Police have examined CCTV but are still looking for the attacker over the incident, which happened on December 18. The attacker was described as white, aged in his late twenties to early thirties, about 5ft 10ins tall and of medium to stocky build.

He has brown hair which was longer on top and was wearing a dark red or burgundy long-sleeved top and carrying a jacket. It has been suggested he may have been called Lee. Detective Constable Kate Hutton, of Leeds district CID, said: “The victim was left seriously injured in what we believe was a completely unprovoked attack where it appears he was mistaken for someone the suspect had been involved in scuffle with earlier on the dancefloor. I would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident.”

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Baby Elephant Walk

Written by the late Henry Mancini.

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Tawny owl rescued from lady's living room

After paying a visit via her chimney. As ever, Simon Cowell of Wildlife Aid rushed to the rescue.

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Man who admits killing his mother insisted on cats' names being added to murder indictment

A man from Massachusetts who confessed to killing his mother and her two cats has been ordered to undergo a mental evaluation before a judge will consider a request to change his plea to guilty.

Matthew McAveeney, 46, of Winchester, has pleaded not guilty to murder in the beating death of his mother, Barbara, and to animal cruelty charges. McAveeney fled Massachusetts after her slaying and was arrested in North Carolina in October. He later confessed to the crime on camera.

"To my mother Barbara McAveeney and to her cats, Pumpkin and Puffy McAveeney, I apologize deeply," he said to news cameras in October as he got out of a police van. McAveeney also requested to amend the indictment to include the names of the cats. "(The indictment) does not name animals that were killed.

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"The animals were living beings; they had lives; they had personalities; they had identities. If I am going to be convicted of killing them, I would like them to be known for what they were and who they were by their names," he said. The judge allowed the change. McAveeney will return to court after a mental evaluation. The judge will decide then whether to accept the plea change request.

Man 'cooked alive' while using malfunctioning sauna

A woman has been left devastated after she found her father's blackened, charred body inside a malfunctioning sauna. Dennis Antiporek, 68, left a note for his family saying he was going to relax in the sauna at his condominium complex in North Miami Beach, Florida, on Sunday.

His daughter Laura went looking for him when he failed to return hours later. “When I opened the door, I looked and there was a black man in the sauna. It wasn’t my dad so I shut the door and I looked, the clothes hanging it was his clothes,” said Lara. At this point she realised it was her dad. "I close my eyes and I just see his face charred," wife Ronnie Antiporek said.

"And this sounds horrible, but there was skin on the floor and on the bench, and we shouldn't have had to see that." Dennis's family had been preparing to celebrate his birthday next week. Instead, they are preparing for his funeral. The family claim the timer outside the sauna was not working and an attorney for the family claims he was "cooked alive".

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"We believe at this point in time that he died by asphyxiation by becoming overheated," attorney Douglas Ede said. The family members now plan to file lawsuits against the property owner, the management company and manufacturer of the sauna.

With additional news video.

Baby orangutan kept in chicken cage saved after months of neglect

A baby orangutan rescued from a house in Borneo is making a slow recovery after he was kept in a chicken cage and fed condensed milk. The orangutan, Budi, was so malnourished when he was saved by an International Animal Rescue (IAR) team that his bones were malformed and his limbs swollen from a lack of protein. Budi is about a year old and was rescued in December.

He was kept in the cage for the whole 10 months he was living as a pet at the property. His owner, a woman, told authorities that she was willing to hand Budi over and she knew he was sick. "The owner said that she was afraid to give Budi any fruits and thought that giving condensed milk would be sufficient," says Dr Ayu Handayani, who rescued Budi. The orangutan is now receiving intensive treatment at IAR's Indonesian centre.

The pain he is suffering is clear, as he cries whenever he is touched or moved. "We cannot even imagine how much pain this small baby has suffered," says IAR's Indonesian programme director Dr Karmele L Sanchez. "His eyes fill with tears every time he's moved by the doctors and he screams in pain. It's really amazing that Budi has been able to survive this long." Budi is also receiving treatment for a severe metabolic disease affecting his bones.

Contains upsetting footage.

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He was unable to sit on his own when he first arrived at the clinic, but can now sit for short periods. "At the moment we are still worried for his life and trying to minimise his pain. But Budi is a very strong little baby and he is fighting very hard to survive," says Dr Karmele. It's too early to know whether the neglect Budi faced will leave him with permanent damage.

Burqa-clad ‘ISIL militants’ turned out to be men en route to clandestine tryst with their girlfriends

Two men detained as suspected jihadists in the province of Mardin in south eastern turkey were actually wearing burqas to disguise themselves in order to visit their girlfriends secretly, police have found.

According to a Jan. 21 statement issued by the Mardin Governor’s Office, the two burqa-clad men, identified only by their initials M.D. and Z.T., were detained by police as suspected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

The two were “unmasked” after a police team noticed that one of the burqa-clad “women” was actually wearing men’s shoes. Security forces took the suspects to a nearby police station as a precaution against a possible lynch attempt after a local crowd had gathered.

“The investigation has revealed that the men were wearing burqas to hide their love affairs,” the Mardin Governor’s Office stated. The men had resorted to the burqa disguise in order to clandestinely visit their girlfriends, whose families oppose their relationships.

Suspected disabled children's nursery burglars caught after police followed footprints in snow

A trio of suspected burglars accused of trashing a nursery for disabled children were arrested after police followed their footprints in the snow. Officers said they were able to track down the alleged offenders to a house just 200 yards away after neighbours spotted a break-in at the Stepping Stones Therapy Nursery in Haslingden, Lancashire.

Staff said they were ‘devastated’ by the raid, which saw £240 stolen and a host of doors and windows smashed. Police said the thieves scaled a security gate and used two bricks to shatter the front door glass before ransacking an office drawer containing children’s lunch money.

The nursery was forced to close to its 16 youngsters pupils in the aftermath of the break-in, which happened between 11.15pm and 11.45pm on Tuesday. Haslingden councillor Granville Morris said it was more than fortunate the weather helped the police in their investigation. He said: “Thankfully these people did not realise what they were doing leaving their footprints in the snow and the police were on the ball enough to pick up on the very clear evidence.”

A spokeswoman for Lancashire police said two men, aged 26 and 28, and a 50-year-old woman had been arrested in Haslingden on suspicion of burglary and had been bailed until February 15. She said: “It is correct that officers followed distinctive footprints in the snow to an address in Haslingden where they seized footwear and made the three arrests.”

Lady unhappy about finding dead mouse in her popcorn kernels

A woman from Kingsbury, north west London, who wishes to remain anonymous, was horrified after she found a dead mouse lying in the packet of Island Sun popping corn she'd bought from the Tesco Metro in Burnt Oak.

Both she and her 24-year-old son had already eaten a portion of popcorn made from the kernels, after opening the packet an hour earlier, and were in the process of making more when they made the discovery on Sunday. She said: “I have been throwing up for the last few days since I found it and have hardly been able to eat anything. I feel so sick, so sick to the stomach to think I made a bowl of popcorn from this bag.

“My son feels the same. We are traumatised.” The grandmother-of-three said she had left a voicemail message with Brent Council’s environmental health office to report the find and is waiting for a return call. She said: “All the packets from that store should be recalled and an investigation launched into how this happened. I’ve been unable to touch anything else that was in the cupboard alongside this packet and I will have to throw it all out when I find the courage.

“I can never eat popcorn again.” A Tesco spokesman said: “We take complaints about products bought in our stores extremely seriously and were disappointed to hear of this incident. We have asked the customer to return the product to us and we will work with our branded supplier to help them investigate the issue thoroughly. We will update our customer as soon as the investigation is complete.”

Happy days as missing sandy beach returned overnight

Residents in a seaside resort where the entire beach was taken away by a freak high tide are celebrating after it miraculously came back. Locals in Porthleven in Cornwall were left scratching their heads after its pristine golden sands were replaced with jagged rocks covered in seaweed and algae. Overnight last Wednesday a severe high tide removed all the sand, leaving it a rocky not sandy beach.

Photos from the scene showed promenade steps that used run down into the lush sand leading to a sharp drop onto rocks. But locals woke up on Thursday to find the sand was brought back, leaving them with a golden coast again. Councillor Andrew Wallis said the beach returned "completely naturally" confirming that "Mother Nature" put the sand back, not the council.

He said: "The beach had never had that little sand in living memory. This area is quite prone to long shire drift and sometimes it is more extreme than others. This time was definitely on the more extreme side." Alan Jorgensen said he has never seen the level of sand so low in all his years in the village, adding: "I've never seen it like this before. It was a bit of a surprise to be honest."

Experts calculated that nearly a million tonnes of sand were lost off British beaches last year, with popular beaches in Newquay, Bude and Perranporth also left bare. Estimations were that the sand, which was left languishing offshore in mountainous sandbanks and bars, would take years to return.