A British court has jailed two young men for setting fire to a stranger's beard as he slept on a train.
The judge on Wednesday condemned the "cowardly and callous actions" by Dean Hardy, 20, and Aedan Palmer, 19, in the attack last December that left 22-year-old Luke Kennedy with severe burns to his lips, ears and cheeks.
During the trial, the court had heard that Hardy and Palmer had each drunk about 10 cans of beer before they boarded the train with two younger boys and sat down opposite Kennedy, who was sleeping in his seat.
Prosecutors said they began abusing Kennedy from the outset and then Palmer put a lighter to his "significantly long" beard and set it alight.
Closed-circuit television footage showed the group "smiling and laughing" as smoke billowed from Kennedy's beard, before they got off at the next station and ran off.
Other passengers raised the alarm and Kennedy was rushed to hospital, where he remained for two days. His ears were permanently disfigured in the attack.
The attack received wide press coverage and two days later, Hardy handed himself in. The other three members of the group were arrested the next day.
Hardy was found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm following a two-week trial at Chichester Crown Court in southern England last month, and was sentenced Wednesday to two years in a young offenders institution.
Palmer had already pleaded guilty and was ordered to serve 16 months. The two 14-year-old boys with them were cleared of all charges.
Judge Claudia Ackner told the defendants: "The travelling public are entitled to go about their lawful journeys without being subjected to wanton violence from people like you."
Saturday, January 9, 2010
The so-called Liberty Head nickel, one of only five known of that specific date and design, was sold "in spirited bidding" to a private East Coast coin collector in Orlando late on Thursday, said Greg Rohan, president of Dallas, Texas-based Heritage Auctions. The buyer wished to remain anonymous.
The $3,737,500 price for the five-cent coin included a 15 percent buyer's premium.
"It is probably the most famous United States rare coin," Rohan said in a statement.
Once part of the coin collection owned by Egypt's King Farouk, who was deposed in 1952, the Liberty nickel changed hands several times and featured as part of the plot in a 1973 episode of the well-known CBS TV series "Hawaii Five-O."
The value of the rare coin, which was made at the Philadelphia Mint with the Miss Liberty design, crossed the million dollar mark in 2003.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Lottery officials said Rob Anderson and his wife were winners of the largest jackpot in the state's history.
What would you do with the money? Leave your comments below.
They've been buying tickets together for 12 years.
"We didn't hit it, that's not us," Rob Anderson said he told his wife after showing her the winning ticket the morning after the Dec. 26 drawing. "Something's not right!"
But they nearly didn't win the cash, as Mr Anderson revealed the winning ticket was a misprint that he decided to keep while buying stocking stuffers at a gas station. He wanted to buy $1 lottery tickets for three people, but the clerk goofed.
"The clerk ran the $3 Quick Pick but he put it all on one ticket, and I was like, doggone it, I needed three separate tickets," Anderson said.
The clerk asked him if he wanted to keep the ticket, which had three sets of random numbers.
"Yeah, I got a couple extra dollars," Anderson said, and he bought three more tickets to give as gifts.
When he arrived at home, he tossed the ticket on his dresser and didn't think about it until the Sunday morning after the drawing. When he remembered it, he checked the Powerball numbers and they matched one of the sets of numbers on the botched ticket.
Mr Anderson said he and his wife are grounded people.
"My wife taught me well, so to speak, to hang on to that dollar and see how far it gets you," he said. "We'll still clip coupons and still look for the clearance rack."
The couple said they haven't decided if they'll return to work.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Newark International went on high alert on Sunday, with huge delays for passengers, after an unidentified man was spotted in the "sterile" zone. He was not caught or even identified.
The Star-Ledger daily quoted security officials saying that videotape reveals the feared intruder was no more than a man wanting a last kiss from a departing woman.
He simply passed under a rope barrier and with the woman went "hand in hand toward the boarding area", the newspaper quotes the security officials and US Senator Frank Lautenberg as saying.
The embarrassing revelation follows the brief shutdown of Bakersfield airport in California on Tuesday when a passenger tried to bring five bottles on to the plane.
Explosives tests initially came back positive, police said, but in the end the substance turned out to be honey.
US airports are jittery following a Christmas Day incident in which a Nigerian man allegedly tried to set off an explosive device on a plane bound for Detroit.
President Barack Obama has called that a major national security breach.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
"There is an investigation under way," a spokesman for the border police at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris said when asked to confirm a report on the website of the Le Figaro.
The paper said around 4,000 euros ($5,744) appeared to have been stolen from five business class passengers as they slept on the overnight flight.
"On this flight, which takes off from Tokyo Narita at 10 p.m., passengers often sleep deeply before waking up shortly before arriving in Paris at around 4 a.m.," Le Figaro quoted one of the alleged victims as saying.
A woman alerted the cabin crew when she woke to find a large sum missing, the passenger said.
"This lady called staff to say that all the cash in her handbag had been stolen. Counting Swiss francs, euros and yen, there was apparently about 3,000 euros," the passenger said.
A spokeswoman for Air France said the pilot had alerted police who were waiting when the flight touched down.
"I would say that it is really extremely rare to have several passengers at once reporting thefts on board," she said.
She said that while the company was responsible for baggage carried in the hold, passengers had responsibility for possessions they had with them in the cabin.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Cothi said: “I was looking out of my window when I saw the cow. At first I thought that it was an illusion and that it was in the background and not really on the roof. But after a closer look I could see it was actually on the roof.”
The house owner in Somerset, fearing a break-in, called police after returning home. Police said: “If it wasn’t for the photo we wouldn’t have known a cow was responsible.”
The photograph taken by neighbour William de Cothi, shows the cow on the roof with a couple of others below in the background
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Men lit sleeping train passenger's beard.
A British court has jailed two young men for setting fire to a stranger's beard as he slept on a train.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A 'princely' Rs.400 had been sanctioned as her reward by the police, says a bitter Anita. This was the response to her application informing the police department of the laurels she had won.
'No compliments, bouquets or encouraging words from any quarters. Even the media took no notice of my achievements,' Anita told IANS in an interview. 'Cricketers would have been honoured and recognised by everyone but athletes like us are cold shouldered.'
Anita's kitty of medals weighs several kilograms, having won them at state, national and international meets at regular intervals. But the cold indifference and lack of encouragement from people in general and her own department in particular has begun to hurt.
'When I returned after 15 days of hard gruelling competitions at the international level in Malaysia and applied for three days' leave, my boss said you have already had such a long outing and rest. Get back to work.
'With this kind of attitude how can sports flourish here?' Anita wonders.
At the Malaysian International Open Masters Athletics Championship held at Ipoh Nov 7 and 8, she was given the best woman athlete award.
She touched 5 m 40 cm in long jump, winning a gold. She clinched a gold in javelin throw and a bronze in the Medley relay race. She was the lone representative from Uttar Pradesh.
'At 35 plus, I had to compete with a 23-year-old girl,' she said.
As a constable attached to the Sadar police station in Agra, she finds it hard to combine her duties with sports.
'But I manage because my husband, Shanti Swarup, who is also in the police, takes care of my 11-year-old daughter and six-year-old son. He has never let me feel burdened with domestic chores and has been a great source of encouragement.
'I come from a very conservative background in Etawah and when I go to my in-laws, I still have to hide my face behind a veil despite my long international exposure.
'Even with 80 odd medals I have no future in sports. They give me nothing extra, no facilities, no allowances. My own salary is spent on my diet. I eat 85 almonds daily, two litres of milk and a very rich vegetarian diet of dal roti, plus lots of desi ghee and at least five glasses of fruit juice.
'I could win medals at Malaysia because I am fit and practise regularly, come what may.'
A post graduate in sociology from Jeevaji University, Gwalior, Anita is totally devoted to sports and has won medals not only in athletics but also judo, table tennis, weight-lifting.
She keeps a low profile. 'At the international meets I stay alone, don't mix around with people, keep a low profile and concentrate on my work because I am a fitness freak,' she says.
In fact, the poor efficiency and performance levels of the police she attributes to lack of interest in sports.
'Speaking for myself and my family, let me put it in bold letters: we do not accept a single penny from corrupt sources or as bribery. The whole department knows that. You know how difficult it is to stay away from the corrupting influences of the system you are part of, but I am proud of this fact,' Anita said.
'I have won all the shields and honours in police games for Agra and Uttar Pradesh in the past 12 years. But no one is proud of me. I feel so frustrated and feel like giving up because I cannot give anything to my family.