US: A nine-year-old was punished and forced to run around her house for hours for lying about a candy bar. The little girl's grandmother and stepmother have been charged with murder, reports CNN.
The stepmother dialled the emergency number and reported that her stepdaughter had suffered a seizure and was not responding after running for three hours.
She died at the hospital where the doctors ruler her death a homicide.
Husband insures wife's life, batters her to death two days later
BRITAIN: A man has been sentenced for a minimum of 22 years after the court found that he took out a life insurance police in his wife's name and battered her to death two days later.
Mohammed Tariq Aziz was found guilty of battering to death his 41-year-old wife, Zarina Bibi, in Aylesbury Crown Court, reports Daily Mail.
The mother of five died after receiving fatal head injuries. According to the post-mortem report, the woman suffered from 10 separate skull fractures as well as breaks to her nose and both cheekbones.
The husband was facing financial difficulties in paying off his mortgage and hence came up with the plan to make a gain out of her killing. The neighbours reported that they had heard loud voices of argument coming out of the family's home in the recent past.
The man initially claimed that his wife had been killed by someone else. However, the detectives found small traces of his wife's blood and DNA on his shoes. Further investigation also showed that the husband had changed clothes twice in the morning.
Two men chop friend's hand for insurance claim
BRITAIN: Two men deliberately severed another man's hand with a saw so they could collect the insurance payout and share it between themselves.
The trio recieved a payout of over $671,000 from a homeowner's insurance policy and three accidental death and dismemberment polices, reports Daily Mail.
One of the accused faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines if convicted, according to wmbfnews.com. The other person has yet to be identified in the insurance fraud scam case.
Man imprisoned wife for seven years
BUENOS AIRES: A 33-year-old man has been arrested for holding his wife captive in their home for seven years under threats of death against her and their four children, an Argentine court official said Saturday.
His 24-year-old wife, identified as Sofia, had been locked in their small home in the Buenos Aires suburb of Guernica, where she was subjected to beatings, abuse and threats, the court official said.
Police released the woman after she informed her sister of her captivity through Facebook messages and neighbors confirmed the spousal abuse.
"Thanks to indications the victim was able to give her neighbors through signs or gestures indicating she had been abducted, we were able to get to her," said German Di Pascual, a court administrator.
He added that the victim's family knew her husband kept her captive, but they were unaware of the location.
Family members said in court they "never dared to break into the houses where they suspected she might be because her partner was so dangerous," Di Pascual said. "They all are afraid of the defendant because they say he is an aggressive person who carries firearms."
The woman, who had four children by the defendant before being rescued Friday, rarely left their home "and when she did, she was accompanied by her captor, so she could not ask for help," Di Pascual said.
"One witness reported that when he occasionally saw them, she was able to express in short sentences the situation she was in and to ask for help with signs."
French village for sale
FRANCE: An entire French village is up for sale for just £275,000.
The eventual buyer will get 19 buildings including houses and a village hall, as well as a swimming pool, stables and tennis courts, reports Sky News.
The extraordinary price of Courbefy, in the Limousin region, is attributed to a failing economy and the break-up of rural communities. The village was once home to around 200 people.
As the farming industry started looking down in the 1970s, Villagers started shipping out. There were plans to turn it into a holiday village in the 1990s, but that idea too did not take off, said the television channel.
It is up for sale after the current owner went bankrupt.
Future peek: Loos that will analyse your poo
BRITAIN: Technology will usher in a lot of changes that will transform our lives and the way we live by 2027, according to top futurologist Dr Frank Shaw from the Centre for Future Studies.
High-tech toilets that will be able to analyse your poo, 3D contact lenses and doors which open when you look at them will be a common sight in the next 15 years, reports The Sun.
The study was commissioned to celebrate Plusnet's 15th birthday.
CEO Jamie Ford was quoted by the daily as saying: "The next 15 years will see an exciting transformation take place, where we integrate 'smart devices' into the home, and the net becomes much more about rich services."
Here are some of Dr Frank's Dr Frank ideas for the future (courtesy The Sun)
- Face recognition software in doors will run strangers' faces against a criminal database ensuring complete security.
- Sensors track all items in your home and their whereabouts so you never lose anything.
- Vast neural networking system connects all appliances, TVs, PCs, video, security and remote handheld or Bluetooth-type devices.
- Pre-programmed smart home technology, which can be controlled from smart phones, will take care of day-to-day chores.
Doing the shopping
- E-commerce will become F-commerce — online consumers will be able to enjoy a tailored shopping experience based on Facebook 'likes'. You will be able to follow the advice from your friends online, see what they have bought, what they own, even what's on their wish-list.
TV and entertainment
- Walls, ceilings and floors will become interactive sensory screens which take computer games and 3D movies to another level.
- By combining future augmented reality, virtual reality and mediated reality, movies and television will be more interactive than ever before.
- High-definition video will be augmented by realistic surround sound.
Working from home — or wherever we like
- The ability for everything to be connected will mean that work will transcend any physical space and occur wherever the worker may be.
- 3D contact lenses will allow you to have whatever information you need instantly before your eyes.
Apologise on Facebook or go to jail
US: A man who was threatened with jail time for posting comments about his estranged wife on his personal Facebook page unless he posted daily apologies for a month says the court ruling violates his freedom of speech.
Mark Byron of Cincinnati is making the apology to avoid 60 days in jail, but he plans to appeal the domestic relations court ruling. Byron and free speech and media experts say it should concern other users of the social networking site.
With hundreds of millions of people using Facebook for communication, Byron said "if they can do this to me, they can do it to others".
The idea "that anybody could tell you what to say to your friends on Facebook should be scary to people", said Cincinnati lawyer Jill Meyer, who specialises in free speech and media issues.
The ruling is highly unusual and "troubling because it's a court telling someone to say something to - in some regards - his chosen group of friends", said Meyer. She noted that the comments were not directed to Byron's wife, Elizabeth Byron, who was blocked from accessing the page.
According to the ruling, Byron posted comments on his page in November, saying in part: "If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband's life and take your son's father away from him completely - all you need to do is say you're scared of your husband or domestic partner and they'll take him away."
The Byrons are involved in ongoing divorce and child custody proceedings. Byron has said his wife and the court have prevented him from seeing his 17-month-old son many times. The court maintains he is allowed to see him on a twice-weekly basis.
Domestic Relations Magistrate Paul Meyers last month found Byron in contempt of a protective order over his Facebook comments. Meyers said that Byron could avoid a 60-day jail sentence and a $500 fine by posting the apology - written by Meyers - to his wife and all of his Facebook friends and paying her lawyer's fees.
The June court order prohibited Byron from causing his wife physical or mental abuse, harassment or annoyance. She asked in December that he be found in contempt after learning of the Facebook comments.
Byron's comments expressed frustration, but they were not threats and he didn't make them to his wife, said Cincinnati lawyer Jack Greiner, who also specialises in free speech and media issues.
Greiner said he doesn't think the First Amendment "allows a court to find that someone has harassed or caused a person to suffer mental abuse merely by expressing one's opinion about a court proceeding in a non-threatening way".
Greiner said that a court compelling speech through a court-written apology raises as many free speech concerns as actions prohibiting free speech.
The statement that Byron says he has been posting since February 13 has him apologising to his wife for "casting her in an unfavourable light" and to his Facebook friends for "attempting to mislead them". Byron said he is being forced to make statements that are false.
The magistrate's assistant said on Friday that Meyers cannot comment on pending court cases. Elizabeth Byron's lawyer did not immediately return calls.
The ruling found that several of Mark Byron's comments were "clearly intended to be mentally abusive, harassing and annoying" to his wife and "generate a negative and venomous response to her from his Facebook friends".
Responses by Facebook friends to his posting caused Elizabeth Byron to be "afraid and concerned", according to court documents.
Byron and his lawyer, Becky Ford, say he made his comments out of frustration and never expected his wife to see them since she couldn't access his account.
"Once he made the comments, some of his Facebook friends started making inflammatory comments which he had no control over," Ford said.
His comments were "nothing other than free speech communication where he was venting truthful information", Ford said.
Bryon is scheduled to appear in court on March 19 and show proof that he posted the apology or go to jail.