Monthly Archives: October 2011

Seven-Billionth Human Born

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Today, Oct. 31, marks the birth of the seven-billionth human.

According to the UN Population Fund, the child is probably a boy born in India or China.

Despite this large number, the trend of fertility is slowing down.  The world now has 75 countries with a fertility rate of below two.

Currently, Europe and democracies in eastern Asia are “poster children” for low fertility rates, however low birth rates are now coming up in Brazil, China, and the Middle East.

Ruth Madoff Claims Her and Husband Attempted Suicide

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Ruth Madoff, wife of Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff, admitted that her and her husband tried to kill themselves.

Madoff said that the two swallowed several pills on Christmas Eve 2008, with hopes to die, but awoke the next morning okay.  She claimed the pressure from her husband’s confession earlier that month had gotten to the both of them.

Madoff also reveleaed that she had sent a box of sentimental items to son Andrew prior to and told him of their plan.

Currently, Bernie Madoff is serving 150 years in jail for his billion dollar scam, and in December 2010, son Mark committed suicide.

Kim Kardashian Files for Divorce

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After only 72 days of marriage, Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce from basketball player Kris Humphries.

Kardashian filed the divorce papers on Oct. 31 and cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their divorce.  Also in the divorce papers, Kardashian states that she didn’t want to pay spousal support to Humphries and that the two should pay for their own lawyer fees.

The couple does have a prenup, and Kardashian hired lawyer Laura Wasser, who has represented Britney Spears and Maria Shriver.

Humphries and Kardashian were married in an elaborate ceremony on Aug. 20 in California.

Crime Against Four Mentally Challenged Adults


In the city of Philadelphia four mentally challenged adults were recently found captive in the sub-basement of a Tacony apartment house.  The captors Linda Weston, 51, Gregory Thomas, 47, and Eddie Wright, 50, were arrested two weeks ago for the crime.

The alleged ringleader was Weston, who Thomas’ cousin Rob Taylor claims was controlling Thomas with “money and affection.”  Upon arrest, Weston had in her possession 50 social security numbers.

Authorities suspect she could have been holding the four adults for at least ten years.  The whole thing was a fraud scheme to cash in on their disability checks.  This was not Weston’s first criminal offense though.  Back in 1981 she served eight years for starving a man to death in her closet.

The four mentally disabled adults, 3 men and 1 woman, ranging in age from 29 to 41, were kept locked up in the sub-basement of Weston’s apartment.  They were found by the landlord who went down to investigate after having received reports of suspicious activity.

The victims were found in a room measuring 15-by-15 feet located behind a steel door that was chained shut.  At least one victim was chained to the boiler.

Weston, Wright, and Thomas toted there victims across state lines, travelling from Texas, to Florida, to Virginia, and finally to Pennsylvania.  Since they crossed state lines, the FBI are taking part in the investigation.  Due to the victims’ diminished mental capacity authorities are having difficulties identifying who they are and where they came from.

The three conspirators were charged with kidnap, aggravated assault, trespassing, unlawful restraint, criminal conspiracy, and false imprisonment.  Thomas and Wright are being held on $2.5 million bail.  It has not been revealed yet if Weston has been arraigned.

Man Wins Lawsuit Against Toys ‘R’ Us

In the summer of 2006 the Aleo family went to Andover for a family get-together.  Robin Aleo, husband Michael, and 18-month-old daughter were seeing an aunt.  Little did they know that this would be the scene of Robin’s tragic accident that would lead to her death.

Robin Aleo and her family were swimming in the aunt’s pool.  In that pool was a Toys ‘R’ Us product called the Banzai Falls Slide from Toyquest.  Robin went to the top of the six foot high slide and began sliding down headfirst.  Near the bottom the inflatable slide caved in causing Robin to hit her head.

The accident resulted in a broken neck and left the 29-year-old mother paralyzed and unable to breathe.  She was taken to the hospital, but due to her injuries, was taken off of life support and died the following day.

The incident was called a case of wrongful death and taken to court.  Investigations found the slide had not been tested thoroughly for standards of safety regulations.  Jurors were also told the slide went through other tests and failed.  Once it failed for exceeding the limit of lead allowed in a product according to federal regulations.

Toys ‘R’ Us lawyers argued that as an inflatable product the regulations did not apply to the Banzai Falls Slide.  The company denies any responsibility for safety testing on this product.

Under the safety standards, all pool slides are supposed to support a maximum weight of 350 pounds, which the Banzai Falls Slide failed to do.

Other companies named in the suit were, where the slide had been purchased, and the manufacturers for SLB Toys USA.  Both companies settled for an undisclosed amount.

In the end, Toys ‘R’ Us was ordered to pay Michael Aleo $20.6 million dollars for the wrongful death.

Kansas Grain Elevator Kills Three, Three Still Missing

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Rescue efforts have been suspended for the three missing after a Kansas grain elevator exploded Saturday night. The blast killed three workers, injuring two others.

Atchison City Manager, Trey Cocking stated, Sunday, that the search had been called off due to the safety hazard regarding the explosion. The building reportedly sustained significant damage. Cocking also said that crews were waiting for more specialized equipment to help in the search at the Barlett Grain Co.

The explosion was reportedly seen and felt from up to four miles away.

In a statement by Bill Fellows, Barlett Grain president, the explosion occured when 11 workers loaded a train with corn. Several of those workers escaped without injuries.

A news release from Atchison city officals reported multiple injuries and that police officers were pending notifying families.

Kids Brave Cold Weather for a Trick or Treat Stop at the White House

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Some kids braved the cold weather Saturday for an early Halloween treat and visit to the White House, according to CNN.

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother greeted the kids outside their home with goodie bags, according to CNN.

The goodie bags were filled with M&M’s with the presidential seal, a butter cookie in the shape of the White House and some mixed dried fruit, according to CNN.

Many of the kids were dressed in costume underneath their winter jackets. The Obama’s, who were not dressed up, saw many princesses, witches and even a penguin, according to CNN.

A boy dressed as a headless man got a reaction from the president, “Look at this guy! He’s a headless man-terrible!” said President Obama, according to CNN.

According to the White House, kids came from elementary schools in Virginia, Maryland, military families and the Boys and Girls Club, according to CNN.

This story contains information from CNN.

Oregon ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protestors Arrested


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About 30 protesters refusing to leave a Portland park early Sunday, were arrested on criminal trespassing, interfering with a police officer and disorderly conduct charges.

Dozens of the occupy Portland movement gathered in Jamison Square Saturday, defying the midnight curfew rule.

The movement marched to Pearl District, protesting its wealthy demographic. The group of 30 sat in a circle awaiting arrest, while other protesters thinned out.

Mayor Sam Adams stated last week he would not allow demonstrators to take over any more parks in the area.

Commissioner Randy Leonard, in a letter to the demonstrators wrote that the friendship and support between city council and the

protesters was, “being unreasonably tested by the decision to occupy Jamison Square.”

Police have now outlawed camping in surrounding camps and areas.

Church Halloween Event Bans “Cross-Gender” Costumes

The Jesus Church of the Latter-Day Saints and some members of its members fought back after a flier was sent out for a Halloween party banning guests from wearing cross-gender costumes, according to Utah’s Fox 13.

This LDS  trunk or treat event was where kids could come and trick or treat in the parking lot of one of the religious centers, according to Utah’s Fox 13.

Bishop Dennis Toone defended the guidelines placed on the fliers, according to Fox News.

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The flier was created by a women’s group and was given to hundreds of people in the community, according to the family of the Bishop who leads the ward, according to Fox News.

Raquel Smith, a Utah mother, felt that the flier was sending the wrong message to children in the community, according to Fox News.

“I think definitely a child as young as a toddler can understand when a parent says ‘no honey, you can’t be Spiderman or Harry Potter because you’re a girl and that’s a boy.’ I think that immediately tells your child their decisions are wrong,” said Smith, according to Fox News.

Scott, Trotter, a LDS spokesperson, told Fox 13 that the no-mask policy is dictated for church events, however, the no cross-dressing rule is not a policy for the church but rules like this are at the discretion of the church, according to Fox News.

Trotter explained that he was unsure why such language was used on the flier but believes that meant to promote people to dress appropriately, according to Fox News.

One resident told Fox News, that no one should be excluded doing do so would be unfair, according to Fox News.

This story contains information from Fox News.


Police Officer Charged with Reckless Driving

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Earlier this month, Miami police officer, Fausto Lopez, 35, was handcuffed at gunpoint and charged with second-degree reckless driving, according to CNN.

According to Florida highway patrol, Lopez was found zigzagging through the Turnpike traffic at more than 120mph to get to his other off-duty job, according to CNN.

Lopez led, Florida patrol officer, D.J. Watts on a seven-minute car chase for almost 12 miles, according to CNN.

After a strenuous chase, the Miami officer pulled over his squad car at 6:35 a.m., according to CNN.

The state trooper pulled out her hand gun and approached the squad car where Lopez stated he was on his way to his off-duty job that he had to be at by 7:00 a.m., according to CNN.

Lopez was later released, however, his charges are considered a misdemeanor, according to the highway patrol’s offense report, according to CNN.

This story contains information from CNN.


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