Monthly Archives: March 2012

Women May Receive Pelvic Exams Without Their Consent

Canadian women may be subjected to pelvic exams during procedures, even if they did not consent to the examination, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Medical professionals have often performed these examinations without the patient knowing.

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In September 2010, Canada updated its guidelines, making it mandatory for patients to give consent before the procedure. However, the CMAJ claims that these new rules do not apply to medical residents, therefore the students can still perform the pelvic exam without asking.

When a study was performed in 2010, 70% of the women polled said they expected to be asked for permission before anyone performed a pelvic exam. According to Professor Elaine Gibson of Dalhousie University, the current practices “show a lack of respect for women.”

To learn more, click here.

Single Mother Found Strangled, Covered in Bleach

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A 33-year old mother, Melissa Jenkins, was found in the Connecticut River after being strangled to death and covered in bleach.

The suspects arrested were Alan Prue, 30, and his wife Patricia Prue, 33. They lured Jenkins out of her house by calling and her and asking for help because their car had broken down. When she arrived, Alan strangled her, then put her in the backseat of their car to take it home, where they put the body on a tarp and poured bleach all over it. They weighed the body down with cement blocks before throwing the body in the Connecticut River, which separates New Hampshire from Vermont.

Allan Prue had asked out Jenkins before, and she had said that she felt uncomfortable around him. Also, Prue had told police that he was trying to “get a girl.” Prue, that Sunday night, showed up an hour late to work. His mother, Donna Prue, believes that her son is innocent.

The police were first alerted when a friend called the police because Jenkins’s two-year old son was found unharmed, idling in the back of her SUV.  She was a single mother and a science teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy.

The Prues were arrested on Wednesday, and are facing charges of 2nd degree murder charges and improperly disposing of a body.

Man Lights Himself On Fire to Protest China’s Rule

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On March 26, Jamphel Yeshi, an escapee from Tibet, lit himself on fire in protest of the Chinese government’s rule of Tibet.

Before Chinese President Hu Jintao’s arrival, Yeshi, 27, lit himself on fire and ran 50 meters before collapsing. Despite fellow protestors’ efforts to put out the flames, 98% of Yeshi’s body suffered burns. He later died in the hospital.

Tenzin Dorjee, a protester who witnessed Yeshi’s act, told reporters, “This is what China faces unless they give freedom to Tibet.”

In this year alone, already 30 people have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule over Tibet.

Read more here (warning: disturbing images).

University Basketball Player Uploads Sex Tapes on Facebook

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University of Rhode Island basketball player, Jonothan Holton, was arrested on March 27 after allegedly posting two sex tapes to social media site, Facebook.

Campus police arrested Holton, a freshman, after two students said he recorded two separate sexual encounters with them and proceeded to post them to Facebook. Police say while the encounters took place on campus last fall and were consensual, neither victim knew about the video taping.

According to Holton’s lawyer, the basketball player did not post the videos to Facebook or distribute them to other people. The lawyer maintains Holton’s account had been hacked and the videos were sent to approximately thirty other people.

Holton has been suspended from the basketball team and it is possible he will be suspended from school. He is facing three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Both counts of video voyeurism are considered felonies.

Read more here.

Jennifer Lawrence: Too Full-Figured to be Katniss?

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As always with highly anticipated book-turned films, “The Hunger Games” has seen its fair share of criticism since opening. The actors portraying the book’s characters have been given positive reviews for their performances, but have received backlash over their appearances.

Jennifer Lawrence plays the protagonist of the film, Katniss Everdeen, a famine-stricken teen living in dystopian America. Some critics have voiced Lawrence’s fuller figure does not represent the struggle Everdeen’s character faces in the book.

Manohla Dargis, a New York Times film critic, wrote, “A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes for a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission.”

Dargis’s  critique has created a wave of backlash.

Gabby Vittoria of said, “Katniss may not have been as thin or small in stature as depicted in the book, but it’s not unfathomable that her hunting prowess would have allowed her to have some meat on her bones.” Vittoria continued, “For me Jennifer’s acting and the quality of the film makes her weight a non-issue.”

Read more here.

13-Year Old Boy Calls 911 After Shooting Mother

In Osage, Iowa, A 13-year old boy named Noah Crooks was arrested for allegedly trying to sexual abuse his own mother, and then shooting her with a hunting rifle.

The investigation by the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office is ongoing into the murder of Gretchen Crooks. They still can find no motive, and have no insight as to where Noah could have gotten his .22 caliber rifle. He’s currently behind held in the North Iowa Juvenile Detention Center, waiting for charges to be filed, where he’ll be tried as a minor.

The twist in the story is that Noah was the one who called 911, reporting the murder. He was said to be very calm on the phone, as if he was in shock.

There has been no history of domestic abuse in the Crook family. In most juvenile sex offense cases, juveniles to other juveniles or siblings, or occasionally adults generally commit it. To have a child sexually abuse its own parent is unheard of.

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Bank of America Introducing New Option to Avoid Foreclosure

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Bank of America is hoping to start a new program that would allow people who face foreclosure to rent their homes for an extended period of time.

The new foreclosure-avoidance plan is called “mortgage-to-lease,” and would also allow the homeowners to have their mortgage debt wiped away.

Bank of America will begin sending proposals at the end of the month to around 1,000 customers in New York, Arizona, and Nevada.  If the new program proves popular, expect to see it expand to other states.

Homeowners in the initial pilot tests had all been previously offered a various amount of alternatives to foreclosure, including loan modifications and short sales, but all had either not qualified or not responded to the proposals.  These people now have no options except foreclosure.  But with the mortgage-to-lease plan, a borrower gives back their home to the bank.  However, they receive multiyear leases at or around the going market rent for that type of home, but only if they have monthly income to pay for it.  When the lease expires though, there is no direct guarantee that the former homeowners will be able to repurchase their home.

Bank of America currently has no estimates as to how many will take the new offer, but they surely hope many do.  The plan particularly benefits the bank, as they’ll most likely obtain higher returns from this type of investment then from trying to sell a foreclosure home.

While Bank of America has not discussed details of the plan with advocate groups for foreclosure-prevention and homeownership, leaders of most of the groups have viewed the concept positively.

Teenager Sentenced to Life in Prison

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Shawn Tyson, 17, was sentenced to life in prison without parole in Sarasota, Florida after killing two British tourists on April 16, 2011. Because Tyson is still a minor, he is not eligible to receive the death penalty.

The two victims, James Cooper and James Kouzaris, were vacationing in Florida when Tyson robbed the men after they left a nearby bar. Tyson then proceeded to shoot and kill the pair. After the murders, Tyson reportedly bragged to his friends about the crime.

The jury for the case, which consisted of eight women and four men, only deliberated for two hours before convicting Tyson with both first-degree murder charges.

Both families and friends of Cooper and Kouzaris have reached out to President Obama about the murders, but have received no response in return.

To read more about the sentencing, click here.

Biden Speaks Out Against Republicans Over Medicare and Social Security

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Vice President Joe Biden spoke about Republicans and their desire to get rid of Social Security and Medicare in his second official speech of the campaign.

Biden spoke about some of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act to the retirement community of Coconut Creek, Florida on March 23.

However, he spent most of his time speaking out against the budget-cutting plans of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., then on Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate hopeful.

Biden joked about Romney and the recent Etch-A-Sketch reference that has plagued the candidate over the past week.  The reference derives from Romney’s senior advisor who suggested that the GOP candidate could “reset” his message, like how one can erase a picture on the children’s toy.

The Vice President’s speech was most straightforward, and he mainly chose to focus on the budget-cuts and how this would affect Medicare and Social Security.  He mentioned that funds for Medicaid, which is a program for the poor, were likely to be cut.

While most of Biden’s bashing were primarily toward Ryan and Romney, he also discussed the fact that both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum would be just as tough on the programs.

Is The Hunger Games Too Violent?

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The recent hit at the box office, The Hunger Games, may be too violent for children. Many parents have left with their young kids in the middle of the film because of this violence.

Some scenes of the movie include children killing one another, and other disturbing themes. The children in the film are part of a dystopia where they are forced to fight one another as punishment for their wrongdoings.

The British Board of Film Classification, or the BBFC, gave the film a 12A rating, which means that no child under 12 can see the film alone. Originally, the film was given a rating of 15, but producers of the film and the BBFC both agreed to drop the rating.

The Hunger Games is based on the best-selling novel written by Suzanne Collins. Read more here.

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