Bizarre: World's most evil couple engaged
SWEDEN: A cannibal who ate his girlfriend in cold blood and a vampire who drank the blood of a man after killing him have recently become engaged. The evil duo are admitted in the same psychiatric unit in Sweden, reports The Sun.
The daily called the pair the 'world's most evil couple'. The 33-year-old man and the 23-year-old woman plan to get married despite knowing each other's past.
The pair called up The Sun office in the UK to try and cash-in on their story of 'unholy matrimony'. But they were unable to seal the deal as the daily told them that they "would never pay anyone guilty of such horror".
The paper said that Sweden has a liberal judicial system. The couple have managed to evade a prison sentence by going for indefinite psychiatric treatment.
The phone call from Sweden to the daily in the UK is one such example of the liberty and privilege that such criminals enjoy, the daily commented.
Although the pair will not be let free any time soon, it was not clear if the couple would be allowed to wed or not.
Teacher commits lewd acts on students as young as 6
LOS ANGELES: Authorities say the primary school teacher told the children that it was a game. Once inside his third-grade classroom, they say, he blindfolded them, gagged them and set cockroaches crawling on their faces.
And then, Mark Berndt photographed them, creating hundreds of images that would eventually lead to his arrest, police say.
Today, Berndt, 61, was sitting in jail on charges that he committed lewd acts on 23 boys and girls, ages 6 to 10, between 2008 and 2010. None of them complained about Berndt's behaviour, authorities said.
Police and school officials only learned of it when a film processor found Berndt's photos more than a year ago.
Since the discovery, the school district fired Berndt and police put him under surveillance.
"If it wasn't for the film processor, this could still be continuing today," said Lt Carlos Marquez of the Los Angeles County sheriff's department.
Berndt was arrested on Monday at his home and was being held on $US2.3 million ($2.17 million) bail.
Some parents picking up their pre-kindergarteners at the school complained that officials at Miramonte Elementary School in South Los Angeles should have notified them when the photos were found.
"My concern is why, if the principal knew this in advance, why didn't he inform us?" said Gloria Polanco, the mother of a second- and a third-grader.
"How long has he been doing this?"
The probe began after the film processor, who is required by state law to report suspicions of child abuse and molestation, turned over some 40 photographs to authorities.
Searches of Berndt's classroom and home turned up about 400 photographs depicting children, though the number of pictures may not be the same as the number of kids. At least 10 youngsters in the photos have not yet been identified.
Some photos showed Berndt with his arm around children or his hand over their mouths. Some photos showed children with live bugs the size of hissing cockroaches on their mouths or faces.
Others depicted girls with what appears to be a spoon up to their mouths as if they were going to ingest a clear-white liquid. Children were fed Berndt's semen from a spoon or on cookies, Mr Marquez said.
Kids reported being fed something distasteful. A blue plastic spoon and container found in the rubbish in his classroom tested positive for his semen, authorities said.
Police recommended the children in the photos be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. There also may be more victims given the length of time that Berndt taught at the school, Marquez said.
Authorities could have arrested Berndt on misdemeanour charges when the investigation began, but chose to build a stronger felony case, Marquez said. He could get a life sentence if he is convicted.
Berndt, who has no previous arrest record, was placed under surveillance and is not believed to have had contact with children during the investigation. The childless bachelor lives a few blocks from two parks and an primary school.
The incidents occurred during school hours but not all the children were his students, Mr Marquez said.
"The reason some of the kids are not his students, per se, is that during the lunch breaks or recess, he'd go out to the playground and entice them back to the classroom," Mr Marquez said.
"They didn't know they were being violated in that manner.
"They just thought it was a game."
Berndt was a teaching assistant in the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1976 and 1977 and he began teaching at Miramonte in 1979, according to a district work history obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Berndt had no disciplinary actions on file and performed up to standards in his last five evaluations over the last decade, according to the document.
Miramonte Principal Martin Sandoval said he wanted to express his sympathy to the children's families.
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said in a statement that he was notified of the investigation last January and removed Berndt from the classroom the same day. The school board then fired him, he said.
Berndt is scheduled for an arraignment on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
19-year-old rapes 80-year-old
INDIA: A teenage florist has been found guilty of digital rape of an elderly woman fit to be his great grandmother.
The 19-year-old boy used his fingers to assault the 80-year-old woman in New Delhi, reports Indo-Asian News Service.
The molestor has been sentenced to jail for 10 years for the horrific crime on an abandoned woman.
The Indian court has suggested that it is high time law-makers in the country considered redefining the the different categories of rape and included the instances of digital rape/male rape/anal rape.
Toddlers subjected to palm-reading assessments
CHINA: Several kindergartens in a province in northern China are charging parents 1,200 yuan (120.34 pounds) for a palm-reading test that they claim can predict their toddlers' intelligence and potential, state news agency Xinhua said.
Many parents have flocked to palm readers for the test, used in kindergartens in northern Shanxi province and designed for children above the age of three months, the report said.
According to the company that designed the tests, Shanxi Daomeng Culture Communication Co, the reading of palms helps "determine the children's innate intelligence and potential," Xinhua reported.
In Communist Party-ruled China, a one-child policy has raised the stakes for parents who place great emphasis on educating their children in the expectation that the offspring will support them when they grow old.
Some experts, however, have dismissed the idea of the palm-reading technology.
"This technology remains unaccounted for," Xinhua quote a paediatrics expert as saying.
Fortune-telling, including palm-reading, has deep roots in Chinese tradition, although China's leaders have discouraged and punished devotees of the practice which they brand superstition.
Many people, including government officials, seek geomancy masters' guidance on financial, career and personal matters and many Chinese couples go so far as to plan the timing of a child's birth to fall within auspicious times in the lunar calendar.
Oldest known croc had a shield-like head: study
The oldest known species of crocodile had an armor-plated head and a body half the length of a subway car, according to research released Tuesday by US scientists who identified the now-extinct creature, reports AFP.
Nicknamed "Shieldcroc" for its impressive head plate, the aquatic reptile swam in the waters of Africa some 95 million years ago and is the newest discovery of an ancient crocodile species, said the study in the journal PLoS ONE.
University of Missouri anatomy professor Casey Holliday identified the croc, Aegisuchus witmeri, by studying a fossilized partial skull specimen that was first discovered in Morocco.
The croc's shield was likely used as a way to intimidate foes, attract mates and even control its head temperature, researchers said. Its head was considerably flatter than other known species of crocodile.
Given the creature's relatively thin jaws, Shieldcroc mostly ate a diet of fish, and probably did not use his armored head as a fighting weapon but rather as camouflage.
"We believe Shieldcroc may have used its long face as a fish trap," said co-author Nick Gardner, an undergraduate researcher at Marshall University in West Virginia.
"It is possible that it lay in wait until an unsuspecting fish swam in front of it. Then, if it was close enough, Shieldcroc simply opened its mouth and ate the fish without a struggle, eliminating the need for strong jaws."
An analysis of the croc's head size compared to other known creatures led the team to believe it likely boasted a five foot (1.5 meter) long head and a 30 foot (nine meter) long body.
The croc would have shared the Earth with the many dinosaurs that thrived during the Late Cretaceous Period in the Mesozoic Era, which has been referred to as the "Age of the Dinosaurs."
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