Archive for October, 2013

English: Samsung Galaxy S i9000

English: Samsung Galaxy S i9000 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two reputed gang members were charged Monday with robbing and killing a man who police say was lured to his death with a Craigslist ad and gunned down in front of his 15-year-old son.

Ryan Roth, 17, and Markell Thomas, 18, were charged with murder, attempted murder and robbery in the Oct. 19 death of Rene Balbuena and the wounding of his son.

Roth, the alleged shooter, was charged as an adult. Both were arrested last week and remained jailed.

Both are reputed members of an Inglewood gang, police said.

At a news conference, family members said they were grateful to investigators for finding Balbuena’s alleged killers.

“My dad is my best friend. He was everything to me and nothing’s going to bring him back,” Sandra Balbuena, 19, said in a shaking voice.

Thanks to the arrests, the alleged killer “isn’t gonna go do more damage to no one,” said Ana Guerrero, the victim’s sister.

Balbuena, 41, answered a Craigslist ad for a $300 Samsung Galaxy and drove with his son to South Los Angeles the night of Oct. 19 to buy it, authorities said.

Kiss-in (17) - 12Dec09, Paris (France)

Photo credit: °]°

CHICAGO (AP) — Two men filed a complaint with the state of Illinois against a Chicago taxicab company Monday, alleging one of the company’s drivers ejected them from a cab after they kissed.

Steven White of West Hollywood, Calif., and Matthew McCrea of Chicago say they kissed during a ride in May from O’Hare International Airport to McCrea’s home. They claim the driver for Sun Taxi turned the interior lights on and off, telling his passengers, “This is public transportation.” The driver initially pulled over on an expressway but then drove to a grocery store parking lot and ordered them out, they said.

“My initial reaction was that I was afraid of this man, and I didn’t know what he was thinking,” said White, 29. “Matt’s initial reaction was that we are not getting out of this cab on the expressway.”

White called a complaint line and was eventually connected to police, who sent officers to the grocery store parking lot. The cab driver told police White and McCrea had been “making sex,” which the two deny. No one was arrested, and the two men eventually got out of the cab and waited for another one to come pick them up.

The driver told the Chicago Sun-Times that he was annoyed because the two men wouldn’t stop kissing and that he found their behavior distracting.

The couple say they exchanged only a brief kiss.

A British court has jailed an elderly couple after a deaf and mute girl was trafficked from Pakistan to work as a servant and then repeatedly raped for nearly a decade.

Ilyas Ashar, 84, and his wife Tallat Ashar, 68, kept the girl in the cellar of their house in Salford, north-west England, after she was illegally brought to Britain in 2000 at the age of around 10.

Ilyas Ashar was jailed for 13 years for raping the girl from before the age of puberty until she was rescued in 2009, while his wife was jailed for five years for trafficking a person for exploitation.

The couple were also convicted of using the girl, who is profoundly deaf and cannot speak, to fraudulently claim more than $50,000 in welfare payments.

The couple’s daughter, Faaiza Ashar, 46, was sentenced to carry out community service after being convicted of giving false information to obtain benefits.

The victim cannot be named for legal reasons.

Sentencing the couple at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, Judge Peter Lakin said the couple had subjected the girl “to a life of misery and degradation”.

“You, Ilyas Ashar, and you, Tallat Ashar, did not treat this girl as a human being. To you she was merely an object to be used, abused and cast aside at will,” he said.

English: Montage of various Punjab images.

English: Montage of various Punjab images. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A teenage girl was buried alive after being raped in Pakistan‘s Punjab province, prompting a court to order a probe into the brutal attack.

Siddique Mughal, a resident of a village in Toba Tek Singh district, located 225 km from Lahore, told police that his 13-year-old daughter was abducted by two unidentified men while she was going to a seminary for Quran lessons.


The men took the girl to a deserted place and raped her. They believed she had died during the assault and buried her by the roadside, Mughal said.


However, the girl regained consciousness and dug her way out of the mud covering her. She raised an alarm and caught the attention of a passerby, who took her to a nearby rural health centre.


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A woman who was born a man and her husband have written to an Italian cardinal to ask the Catholic Church to officially recognize their marriage, four years after they were controversially wedded in a church in Piagge in the central Marche region.

Sandra Alvino, a male-to-female transsexual and her husband Fortunato Talotta, were married in 2009 by priest Alessandro Santoro, in spite of a letter from the Archbishop of Florence saying that the marriage could not take place in church.

On Sunday it was reported that the couple and the priest who married them have sent a letter to Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, the Archbishop of Florence, to ask the Catholic Church to officially recognize their marriage.

“We are here after four years to remember and renew the blessing that we experienced back then, and your words as bishop came to mind that considered, and still consider today, this act as ‘devoid of all value and validity’”, reads the letter, quoted by Corriere della Sera.

“Once again, and this time openly and publicly, we ask you to start a dialogue and, as a Church for the Holy Synod, to tackle this particular question of how to give dignity of true acceptance in the church to the different and various loving relationships.”


Homophobia (Photo credit: Mike_fleming)

A 21-year-old man plunged 11 floors to his death in Rome over the weekend after leaving a note in which he complained of homophobia. It is the third suspected homophobia-related suicide in Italy in the past year.

The man fell to his death on Saturday night on via Casilina from the 11th floor of an apartment block in the suburbs of eastern Rome.

In a suicide note in which the 21-year-old admitted to being gay, he wrote: “Italy is a free country but homophobia exists and whoever has these attitudes has to face their own conscience”.

If police confirm that homophobia is behind the suicide this would make it the third tragedy of this kind in a year in the Italian capital.

Last November, a 15-year-old student at the Scientific Liceo Cavour in central Rome hung himself with a scarf.

“I’m homosexual, no one understands my tragedy”, wrote the 14-year-old before throwing himself off the balcony of his home.

In May, a 16-year-old student jumped from a third-story window of his school during lunch break in the Marconi area of southern Rome.

Child Pornography

Child Pornography (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BARRIE – The mother of a five-year-old girl says she is “shocked,” “horrified,” and “disgusted” after learning the babysitter she trusted is now charged, along with her boyfriend, with some 130 sex-related offences against young children.

The couple, Shayne Lund, 22 and his girlfriend, Avery Taylor, 20, of Orillia are charged with several counts each of counselling and conspiring to kidnap a child, making and selling child pornography, invitation to sexual touching, voyeurism, sexual assault and bestiality.

Lund faces 120 total charges while Taylor faces 16.

A third female, Katheryne Thompson, 19, of Orillia, a former girlfriend of Lund, has also been arrested in connection with similar offences and is awaiting a bail hearing. It is not yet known how many charges Thompson faces.

Police started their investigation after an alleged victim came forward. Since then, four more alleged child victims between the ages of two and 10 have been identified. Animals have also been identified as victims.

The charges are so “disturbing” that the Crown has announced it will be seeking to have the accused deemed dangerous offenders if they are found guilty, which could keep them behind bars indefinitely.

In an interview with the Toronto Sun outside court, the mother of the five-year-old, who can not be identified, said her daughter was allegedly blindfolded while being babysat and given a taste test that involved tasting ketchup chips and, unknown to the child, strawberry and banana-flavored condoms.

“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare,” said the mother. “It’s horrifying. It’s disgusting.”

She said she has learned other “sordid” details that she was not able to talk about.

She and her fiancé said they got a call from Orillia OPP three weeks ago and were asked to come and identify photos of their child. The mother looked at several photos of her little girl, showing close-ups of her genitals that were allegedly taken while she changed into her bathing suit to go to the beach with the babysitter. The mother said Taylor, who worked at a McDonald’s restaurant, told her she was taking a college child care worker course.

“She kept asking if she could borrow my daughter to work on an assignment,” said the mother. “I said OK, of course … I trusted her.”