Saturday, January 17, 2015

Man 'buried 10-year-old daughter alive because she was a girl'

A man has been arrested for trying to bury his 10-year-old daughter alive because she was a girl.

Police say the shocking incident in Tripura, India, saw Abdul Hussein dig a pit in his back garden while his wife was out, and then put his daughter in the hole with her hands roped together and her mouth taped up.

Her dad is then said to have filled up the pit to chest level, with pictures showing the young girl with her arms and head above the dirt floor.

When Abdul's wife returned home he put a bamboo basket over their daughter's head, with the intention of burying her completely later on, NDTV reports.

But his wife began to question where the little girl was, and she was soon discovered by neighbours.

They are said to have beaten up the dad before calling police.

Abdul was then arrested, and now faces a charge of attempted murder.
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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Referee Karl Hess' racist comment costs him job in ACC

Karl Hess is widely regarded as one of the best officials in college basketball but that didn't stop the ACC from terminating him this week after he made an inappropriate comment to a Wake Forest booster sitting courtside during a game against Louisville.

The booster, Mit Shah, the former chairman of the Wake Forest board of trustees, used his Twitter account to post a quote he attributed to Hess during the game.

"Karl Hess to me at the Wake-Louisville game tonight...'When I'm older I want to sit in your seat & watch your Egyptian ass ref a game' #Wow"

Shah is the CEO of an Atlanta-based hotel management company. He is of Indian descent but was born in the U.S. and grew up in North Carolina. Shah did not return messages from Yahoo Sports.

To this point, the ACC is the only league to terminate its relationship with Hess. It's a relationship that dates back more than two decades. Hess has reportedly withdrawn from assignments in the American and Southeastern Conferences for the rest of the season but had not done the same with the Big 12 and Big East as of Friday.

"It's a sad day and is devastating, but I'm responsible," Hess told ESPN.

While Hess is considered one of the better officials in the college game, he is a polarizing figure among fans because of previous incidents and his interactions with fans, coaches and players during games.

Hess was reprimanded in 2012 by the ACC for the failing to follow the league's protocol for ejecting spectators in a game between Florida State and North Carolina State. Hess ejected former North Carolina State stars Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani because they were badgering him about calls.

Monday, December 29, 2014

‘The Interview’ Tops YouTube Charts

The Interview is on top of YouTube’s Popular Right Now chart after being released online on Dec. 24 through four digital channels: Google Play,, Xbox Video, and YouTube Movies.

From a nationwide U.S. opening in 331 small and independent theaters, The Interview is thought to have taken in $1 million in Christmas day ticket stubs according to reports from both Variety and Deadline. The top earner in the same time period was the Angelina Jolie-directed war flick Unbroken (an estimated $15.6 million), followed by Disney’s musical Into the Woods ($13.6 million), and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ($12.7 million).

The Interview’s digital takings were almost certainly hurt by piracy. Although the hackers who targeted Sony Pictures didn’t release unfinished edits of the film online (as they did for both Annie and Fury), Internet users have noticed that the DRM on Sony’s official streaming site is woefully inadequate. Users who paid $5.99 to rent the film for 48 hours could simply copy and paste the site's URL to share the film with friends. Variety estimates that high-quality versions of the movie were torrented more than 900,000 times in the 24 hours after the film’s legitimate release.

Ferguson officer placed on unpaid leave after calling Michael Brown memorial 'a pile of trash'

The spokesman for the Ferguson, Mo., police department has been placed on unpaid leave after calling the makeshift memorial to slain black teenager Michael Brown a "pile of trash in the middle of the street" after it was destroyed.

Timothy Zoll, the Ferguson police public information officer, told the Washington Post that he wasn't sure the destruction of the memorial on Christmas night amounted to a crime.

"I don't know that a crime has occurred," Zoll said, according to the paper. "But a pile of trash in the middle of the street? The Washington Post is making a call over this?"

When asked about the remarks, Zoll told KMOX-TV that the Post had misquoted him.

According to a statement by the City of Ferguson released Saturday, Zoll initially denied making the comments to his superiors, too.

"Upon being confronted with the results of the Ferguson Police Department’s investigation regarding the remarks that were attributed to the Public Information Officer, the officer admitted to Department investigators that he did in fact make the remarks attributed to him, and that he misled his superiors when asked about the contents of the interview," the statement read.

Zoll was placed on unpaid leave pending "disciplinary proceedings." According to city records obtained by Yahoo News, Zoll been with the department for 12 years and earns an annual salary of $50,960.

"The City of Ferguson wants to emphasize that negative remarks about the Michael Brown memorial do not reflect the feelings of the Ferguson Police Department and are in direct contradiction to the efforts of City officials to relocate the memorial to a more secure location," the statement continued. "The Ferguson Police Department also wants to note that even after the officer’s initial denial of his statement; the Police Chief continued the investigation until the truth was discovered. The City of Ferguson and the Ferguson Police Department in particular, are focused on creating a trusting relationship with the entire community and taking impactful steps to improve the effectiveness of the department."

Meanwhile, residents have rebuilt the memorial on Canfield Drive near the site where Brown was fatally shot by a white police officer in August.

Islamic State executed nearly 2,000 people in six months: monitor

The Islamic State militant group has killed 1,878 people in Syria during the past six months, the majority of them civilians, a British-based Syrian monitoring organization said on Sunday.

 Islamic State also killed 120 of its own members, most of them foreign fighters trying to return home, in the last two months, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The militant group has taken vast parts of Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate in territory under its control in June. Since then it has fought the Syrian and Iraqi governments, other insurgents and Kurdish forces.

Rami Abdulrahman, the head of the Syrian monitoring group, told Reuters that Islamic State killed 1,175 civilians, including eight women and four children.

He said 930 of the civilians were members of the Sheitaat, a Sunni Muslim tribe from eastern Syria which fought Islamic State for control of two oilfields in August.

Reuters cannot independently verify the figures but Islamic State has publicized beheadings and stoning of many people in areas it controls in Syria and Iraq. These are for actions it sees as violating its reading of Islamic law, such as adultery, homosexuality, stealing and blasphemy.

The group, an offshoot of al Qaeda, has also released videos of executions of captured enemy fighters, activists and journalists.

It beheaded two U.S. journalists, and one American and two British aid workers this year in attempts to put pressure on a U.S.-led international coalition, which has been bombing its fighters in Syria since September.

Abdulrahman, who gathers information from all sides of the Syrian conflict, said that Islamic State had also executed 502 soldiers fighting for President Bashar al-Assad and 81 anti-Assad insurgents.

He said that 116 foreign fighters who had joined Islamic State but later wanted to return home, were executed in the Syrian provinces of Deir Al-Zor, Raqqa and Hassakeh since November. Four other Islamic State fighters were killed on other charges, Abdulrahman said.

The overwhelming number of the group's victims have been from the Syrian population.cracked down on peaceful pro-democracy protests in 2011.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas: Military bans movement in Borno over Boko Haram threat

Nigerian military yesterday announced four days restriction of movement in Borno State following an intelligence report that suggested planned attacks by Boko Haram.
Spokesman of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri and Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, said security reports indicated Boko Haram was making efforts to unleash terror on the area during the Christmas celebration.
“Security reports at the disposal of the Headquaters of 7 Division Nigerian Army indicated concerted efforts by the Boko Haram terrorists to unleash mayhem on some parts of Borno State and in particular, the city of Maiduguri during Christmas celebration,” Usman said in a statement made available to reporters yesterday.
He said the military resolved to ban vehicular movement from 6pm on December 24 to 7am on December 28 to prevent any attack.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Nicki Minaj Blasts Ex-Boyfriend Safaree Samuels on Twitter: "Stop While You're Ahead"

Though her third studio album The Pinkprint was released this past week, Nicki Minaj is currently focused on her personal life — fitting, because The Pinkprint is supposedly inspired by her recent breakup from longtime boyfriend Safaree Samuels.

The rapper, 32, and her ex got into a heated Twitter battle on Saturday, Dec. 20, but the precise cause of the public feud is still unknown. The "Anaconda" emcee started the online war, writing, "Even when I try to protect ppl, they still try to take advantage of me. Haven't u learned that God is in control? Stop while you're ahead."

"Anything you don't appreciate will be taken. God sees your ungrateful evil soul. I gave and gave and gave. Threatening me? Blackmail? Jump," she continued. "30K watch the night my cousin was killed on the street like a dog. More than rappers. But it was never enough. Don't make me. Too much love."

Minaj went on to imply that she encouraged Samuels to start his own career as a musician.

"Wanted fame. I gave u my blessing. I still love. I still love. I still love. I'll always love. So disappointed," she wrote, quoting lyrics from her "Pills N Potions" single. "Told u It was the wrong move. I sheltered and protected u for years. Loyal for years. Come on. Selling ids? Cuz I'm happy now? Disgusting. Add up them chains watches bracelets rings cars bikes trex's babe. Stop spending money to floss on IG. that doesn't last. Love lasts."

In a recent interview with radio DJ Angie Martinez on Power 105, Minaj opened up about her long relationship with Samuels.

"This is somebody I grew up with," she explained. "Like, I don't even know how I'm going to function without that person in my life. I never lived my life as a famous person without him. I don't think people realize it's not just a breakup, that was a humongous part of my life."

When Samuels caught wind of Minaj's tweets, he also took to Twitter, defending himself.

"im doing interviews about my s--t and s--t im promoting.. not 1 thing said im doing interviews about nicki. yall sound ridiculous," he tweeted. "and speaking to some1 about pub and splits isnt blackmail. stop looking for pitty.. u handle your buisness why cant i? and its not Bout fame its about respect and youve had 0 for me the pass few years.the 0 respect u had for me at home had nothing 2do w/music."

Samuels noted that the public would sympathize with Minaj more because she is a celebrity, and added that her Twitter attack was not the right way to handle the situation.

"im dissapointed too.. ur doin something to me publicly that the public doesnt know your doing but your the victim cuz ur famous.. smh," he wrote. "its so ridiculous that instead of hitting my phone u come on here.. i dnt kno what your talking about at alll!! i would never do that!!! were not 2gthr nemore im fine with that.but im not goin back m forth w/u on here.i cant believe were doin dis. we use 2 laugh at ppl 4 this."

Saturday, December 6, 2014

American hostage 'murdered' during failed rescue attempt in Yemen

The American freelance photographer kidnapped by Al Qaeda militants in Yemen in 2013 was 'murdered' Friday during a U.S. special operations rescue mission inside the country after it was learned that his life was in imminent danger, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a statement.

Luke Somers was still alive, but badly injured when the team reached him, a Yemeni national security official told Fox News. The official said Somers was shot by militants. None of the special forces members were injured.

Hagel said in the statement that the rescue bid was conducted in partnership with the Yemen's government and its security forces.Ten militants were killed between the rescue attempt and the drone strike prior to the mission, the Yemeni official confirmed.

South African hostage Pierre Korkie was the other hostage killed in the operation, the Gift of the Givers, a South African aid group confirmed.

President Obama, who ordered the mission, released a statement early Saturday morning condemning the "barbaric murder" of Somers.

Lucy Somers, the photojournalist's sister, told The Associated Press that she and her father learned of her 33-year-old brother's death from FBI agents at 12 a.m. ET Saturday.

"We ask that all of Luke's family members be allowed to mourn in peace," Lucy Somers said from London.

Yemen's national security chief, Maj. Gen. Ali al-Ahmadi, said the militants planned to kill Luke Somers on Saturday.

"Al Qaeda promised to conduct the execution (of Somers) today so there was an attempt to save them but unfortunately they shot the hostage before or during the attack," al-Ahmadi said at a conference in Manama, Bahrain. "He was freed but unfortunately he was dead."

Yemen's local Al Qaeda branch, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, posted a video Thursday that showed Somers, threatening to kill him in three days if the United States didn't meet the group's demands, which weren't specified. He was kidnapped in September 2013 from Sanaa.

The news of the failed rescue comes after a suspected U.S. drone strike in Yemen killed nine alleged Al Qaeda militants early Saturday, a Yemeni security official said before news of Somers' death. The drone struck at dawn in Yemen's southern Shabwa province, hitting a suspected militant hideout, the official said. The official did not elaborate and spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to brief journalists.

Later Saturday, tribal leaders said they saw helicopters flying over an area called Wadi Abdan in Shabwa province.

American authorities rarely discuss their drone strike campaign in Yemen. The strikes are despised by many in Yemen due to civilian casualties, legitimizing for many the attacks on American interests. At least six suspected militants were killed in an airstrike in the same province last month.

Before her brother's death, Lucy Somers released an online video describing him as a romantic who "always believes the best in people." She ended with the plea: "Please let him live."

In a statement, Somers' father, Michael, also called his son "a good friend of Yemen and the Yemeni people" and asked for his safe release.

Korkie was kidnapped in the Yemeni city of Taiz in May 2013, along with his wife Yolande. His wife later was released returned to South Africa. A non-governmental group, Gift of the Givers, helped mediate her release. Those close to Korkie said al-Qaida militants demanded a $3 million ransom for his release.

"The psychological and emotional devastation to Yolande and her family will be compounded by the knowledge that Pierre was to be released by Al Qaeda tomorrow," Gift of Givers said in a statement Saturday. "A team of Abyan leaders met in Aden this morning and were preparing the final security and logistical arrangements, related to hostage release mechanisms, to bring Pierre to safety and freedom. It is even more tragic that the words we used in a conversation with Yolande at 5.59 this morning was `The wait is almost over."'

In a statement Thursday, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby acknowledged for the first time that a mysterious U.S. raid last month had sought to rescue Somers but that he turned out not to be at the site. The U.S. considers Yemen's Al Qaeda branch to be the world's most dangerous arm of the group as it has been linked to several failed attacks on the U.S. homeland.

Kirby did not elaborate on the joint U.S-Yemeni operation to free Somers, saying details remained classified.

However, officials have said the raid targeted a remote Al Qaeda safe haven in a desert region near the Saudi border. Eight captives -- including Yemenis, a Saudi and an Ethiopian -- were freed. Somers, a Briton and four others had been moved days earlier.

Somers was kidnapped in September 2013 as he left a supermarket in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, said Fakhri al-Arashi, chief editor of the National Yemen, where Somers worked as a copy editor and a freelance photographer during the 2011 uprising in Yemen.

Somers, who was born in Britain, earned a bachelor's degree in creative writing while attending Beloit College in Wisconsin from 2004 through 2007.

"He really wanted to understand the world," said Shawn Gillen, an English professor and chairman of Beloit College's journalism program who had Gillen as a student.