Woman, 45, raped mentally and physically disabled boy, 13

SOUTH AFRICA: In a first conviction of its kind, a 45-year-old woman has been sentenced for raping a 13-year-old mentally disabled and physically handicapped boy.

For the first time in the history of South Africa, a woman has been convicted for rape, reports Iolnews.com. The rapist has been put behind bars for 15 years.

The incident occurred when the woman was looking after the boy as a care giver.

The woman was earlier convicted on a charge of sexual assault. However, that decision was overturned when the new act came into effect. The new law recognises that a woman, man or a child can now be raped by another woman or man.

The change in law led to this landmark judgment and the woman's name will now be listed in the National Sex Offenders Register.


Man adopts girlfriend as his daughter

FLORIDA: Ina weird turn of events, a wealthy Florida polo club founder has adopted his adult girlfriend as part of a legal battle stemming from a fatal 2010 car crash.

Court records show International Polo Club Palm Beach founder John Goodman legally adopted 42-year-old Heather Laruso Hutchins. Hutchins says the couple has been dating since 2009.

Attorneys for the family of a man killed in the car crash tell the Palm Beach Post the adoption is an attempt by Goodman to shield assets in a trust from potential lawsuit damages. Goodman's lawyer says it's aimed at ensuring the future stability of his assets.

Goodman also faces criminal DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and other charges in the crash that killed 23-year-old Scott Patrick Wilson. Goodman has pleaded not guilty. The criminal trial is on March 6.


Bathroom alarm limits call center employees to 8 minutes per day

NORWAY: Employees at a call centre in Norway are outraged at the new surveillance device that has been installed in the restrooms. The system alerts managers if staff members spend too much time away from their workstations, reports The Telegraph.

Employee unions and watchdog agencies have condemned the policy as a major violation of workers' rights.

The alarm goes off and flashes lights when a call centre worker spends more than eight minutes (in total) away from work.

"Surveying staff to limit lavatory visits, cigarette breaks, personal phone calls and other personal needs to a total of eight minutes per day is highly restrictive and intrusive and must be stopped," a spokesman for the Finance Sector Union of Norway told the daily.

The company management in its defence told the media that the system is not meant to track individual employees but to ensure that the phones were manned and all calls were answered immediately.

The company also vehemently denied that it restricted the restroom break to eight minutes per day.

According to the Telegraph, Norwegian companies have a history of imposing harsh restrictions on employees.

 Big freeze stops famed Brussels statue from peeing

BRUSSELS: The Manneken-Pis, a bronze statue of a young boy urinating that is a symbol of Brussels and a major tourist attraction, has had to stop peeing because of sub-zero temperatures, Belgium's tourist office said on Wednesday.

Officials turned off the flow of water through the statue, which has stood on a Brussels corner since the 1600s, out of concern the cold might damage its internal mechanism.

Temperatures in the Belgian capital were set to fall to minus 10 Celsius (14 degrees fahrenheit) on Wednesday night, far below the average minimum for February.

"It all depends on the weather, if the temperatures go up again it will work again," a tourist office spokeswoman said.

The statue, which is on the site of a 15th Century drinking fountain, has more than 800 specially made outfits which city officials use to dress it up during the year. It is one of Brussels' most popular attractions.


Woman delivers baby at stranger's home

KUWAIT: Police and paramedics were dispatched to the home of an unidentified man in Jabriya when the Operations Department of the Interior Ministry received a call from a person that an Asian woman had given birth to a baby in his home, reports Al-Rai daily.

The caller said he was taken by surprise when the woman just barged into his home and complained of labor pains and soon gave birth to a baby.

The mother and the baby have been admitted to a hospital.

Police are waiting to interrogate the mother.


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