Crazy World: Pole goes through skull in crash...

Man survives pole through face and skull in car crash

(FILE)

US: In a miraculous escape from death, a man survived after a 5cm-wide (2in) metal pole went through his mouth and out the back of his skull during a car crash.

34-year-old met with an accident when he fell asleep at the wheel and hit a fence.

Speaking on US morning TV, The Today Show, Andrew Linn said: ‘I am just a lucky guy who had some great doctors. I didn’t do anything amazing, they did. I’m just so thankful that I can be here, alive with my family.’

His surgeon, Dr Jay Coats, said: ‘If that pole had gone another centimetre in either direction Andrew would not be here now.’

The father-of-two has already survived a tour of Iraq and another car crash where a drink driver smashed into the back of him.
 
Internet craze: Planking goes global

(AFP)

AUSTRALIA: Is it worth life in a wheelchair to take a funny photo to impress somebody you don't know on the Internet?

This is the question police in Australia have posed after a man died on Sunday, May 15, taking part in the latest craze going viral on the Internet - "planking".

Acton Beale, 20, plunged to his death after positioning himself for a picture on a balcony railing seven floors up in Brisbane after a night out drinking.

He was a "planker", a fast-growing group of people who lie flat on their stomachs with their arms against their bodies - to resemble a plank - in unusual and sometimes dangerous situations.

Photographs of their exploits are then shared through social media sites.

Little-known until last week when a man was charged with planking on a police car, the Planking Australia Facebook page has seen its number of fans soar from under 10,000 four days ago to almost 100,000 on Monday.

The craze, and news of Beale's death, has sparked copy-cat Facebook sites around the world, including Planking UK, Planking USA, Planking France and Planking Germany.

But police are worried that the fad could spin out of control.

"We don't have any problem with planking itself," Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett told reporters.

"If you want to take a photograph of yourself planking on a park bench two foot off the ground, there are no risks to your health with that.

"But when you start doing it seven storeys up or lying across a railway line or in a range of other places that invite death or serious injury, that's what we have a concern about.

"Ultimately, is it worth life in a wheelchair to take a funny photo to impress somebody you don't know on the Internet?"

Prime Minister Julia Gillard also had words of caution on Monday.

"Well, I guess there's a difference between a harmless bit of fun... and taking a risk with your life," she said.

"This (death) is a really tragic thing - there'd be a family that's just devastated today.

"So, my message would be everybody likes a bit of fun, but focus has to be on keeping yourself safe first."

Sam Weckert, the founder of the Facebook page dedicated to planking in Australia, denied the craze encourages people to take unnecessary risks.

"Planking was started as a fun and quirky past-time," he was quoted as saying by Australian media.

"While we have no control over the actions of others we'd like to encourage any members of the planking group and the general public to undertake this in a safe and responsible fashion."

"We would like to encourage all planking members as well as the media not to sensationalise this tragic event," he added, referring to Beale's death.

The trend has spawned how-to videos on YouTube and the term now has a Wikipedia entry.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, planking started to become popular several years ago in Europe and Japan, where it was known as "the lying down game".

But it has only taken off recently with the phrase "planking" believed to have been coined in Australia.
 
Royal outcast hypnotised on TV 

(AP)

Fergie pours out her feelings for Prince Andrew to a psychiatrist under hypnosis for a US reality show. All this to earn some desperately needed cash, reports The Sun.

Royal outcast Sarah Ferguson is seen lying on a chaise longue with a satin pillow behind her head as she reveals during the shoot and the daily quotes her: "I wish we'd never got divorced".

It is part of footage shot for a series called Finding Sarah being made by the Oprah Winfrey Network - the chat queen's own cable channel.

Fergie continues to the shrink: "He and I both wish we'd never got divorced, but we did. I wish I could go back and be the bride again, but I can't."

The daily gives further details on Fergie's session with the shrink: "He's my best friend and the father of my children. He's a great ex."

Fergie, 51, also agrees to explore her "guilt" about the effect of the split on their two daughters.

It simply shows the lengths to which the ex-Duchess of York will now go in order to make money to pay debts, the paper said. 
 
Mothers accused of killing two brides

(AFP)

INDIA: Two mothers in a northern Indian town have been arrested on accusations they killed their daughters for dishonoring the family by eloping with men who follow a different religion, police said Sunday.

Newlyweds Zahida, 19, and Husna, 26, were strangled when they returned home after getting married to men of their choice, said Anil Kumar Kusan, a police officer.

Marriages between Hindus and Muslims are frowned upon by both communities, although there are more instances of inter-religious marriages among the educated urban population.

Across India, many marriages are still arranged by families. But with the booming economy and more women entering the work force, such traditions are slowly giving way to love marriages.

However, centuries-old caste and community barriers still come into play, and there has been a spurt in "honor killings" in recent years across northern India.

Zahida and Husna were neighbors in Baghpat, a town in India's Uttar Pradesh state, when they fell in love with two construction workers. They eloped and got married last week before returning home to make peace with their families, Kusan said.

The women belonged to Muslim families and their mothers, both widows, were furious, Kusan said.

Initial investigations showed that the mothers helped each other to strangle their daughters.

"We killed them because they brought shame to our community. How could they elope with Hindus? They deserved to die. We have no remorse," Khatun, one of the mothers, was quoted as saying by the Indian Express newspaper after her arrest Friday. Khatun uses only one name.

Earlier this week, India's Supreme Court recommended the death penalty for honor killings, calling the practice barbaric and feudal.

Most victims of such killings are young adults who fall in love or marry against their families' wishes. In some cases, village councils order couples killed who marry outside their caste or religion.

While there are no official figures, an independent study found around 900 people are killed each year in India for defying their elders.

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