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Monday, April 10, 2017


That Time Your Conscience Finally Kicked In

On the 24th anniversary of the crime and completely out of the blue, a 74-year-old Louisiana man confessed to killing his son-in-law in North Carolina. Maj. Tom Effler of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office in Goldsboro, NC, said that back on Feb. 7 of this year, Allen Deaver told authorities he'd killed Sydney Maurice Gregory on Feb. 7, 1993. Gregory, who was in his 20s, was beaten and left inside a mobile home that was set on fire in Seven Springs, NC. Effler said the crime "wasn't even on our radar." Deaver began talking with his minister about the crime while he was hospitalized in February but has not said why he killed his daughter's husband. Gregory was found in the bedroom of his burned mobile home. His death certificate lists blunt force trauma as his cause of death. No one else was injured. Effler said Deaver moved to Walker, La., shortly after the slaying. A Wayne County grand jury indicted Deaver on a charge of first-degree murder last week. (Newser)

American Airlines Hits Sour Note With Musician

American Airlines has hit a sour note with one of its regulars. Musician John Kaboff was in his seat on a plane, headed to Chicago for work out of DC's Reagan National Airport, when he says both the flight attendant and pilot told him he couldn't travel with his companion: a $100,000 cello, which was in a paid-for seat right next to him. The 46-year-old says staff indicated the instrument was a "safety risk" because it was brushing the floor and wasn't strapped in. They also whipped out a set of rules indicating bass fiddles aren't allowed on 737s. Kaboff quickly pointed out that this was a cello, not a bass fiddle. Nevertheless, he was told that if he didn't voluntarily deplane he would be removed. A video Kaboff posted on Facebook about his plight has been viewed thousands of times. American says its policy allows instruments to fly with their owners as long as those instruments weigh less than 165 pounds and fall within certain size parameters. Kaboff says his case-enclosed cello weighs only 70 pounds and is just over 4 feet long, and that airline staff wouldn't accommodate his request for a seat belt extension when he asked for one. American got Kaboff and his instrument on the next flight into Chicago and that it was sorry for his troubles. The airline also says it's giving Kaboff the $150 back that he coughed up for the cello's seat. Kaboof's response: "Before humiliating a passenger in front of 150 people ... they should know what a cello is." He also noted he had flown on the airline, cello by his side, dozens of times over the past three years. (ABC)

Planet of the Apes: Latest Development

New research seems to indicate that monkeys can read your mind! German researchers have found that the primates can tell when a human is wrong about something, and can even help to remedy the situation, which in this case was assisting a human in finding an object mistakenly believed to be in one location but actually in another. The study, published in the PLoS One journal, sought to see if the 34 chimps, bonobos, and orangutans at Germany's Leipzig Zoo could understand if a human was harboring a false belief, believed to be a sign of advanced social cognition apes weren't previously believed to possess. A press release lays out the experiment, which involved the apes watching while Person A put an object under one of two boxes, then leaves the room while a second person then moved the object to the second box. Person A then went to the original box to try to open it, seemingly not knowing the object had been moved. The apes, who'd been observing the whole thing and had been trained to unlock the boxes, tried more often than would be attributed to chance to guide the humans to where the object really was. These results are said to be the first to show that apes can use this "mind-reading" and apply it to their social interactions. (PLoS One)

Girl Living With Monkeys Rescued

Unbelievable as it may sound, authorities in northern India say they've rescued a young girl who appears to have been living with monkeys. Villagers first spotted the naked child walking on all fours and looking "very comfortable in the company of monkeys" in the Katarniya Ghat forest range. They tried to approach but the monkeys chased them away. Police were later able to seize the girl, though monkeys also chased an officer as he sped away with her in his police car.. The "highly aggressive" girl was then taken to a hospital in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, where doctors say she initially walked on all fours, ate off the floor with her mouth, and ran from humans. She's described as being wound-covered, with long hair and nails. She is now walking upright, eating with her hands, and responding to humans. She doesn't appear to speak any language but is warming up to her doctors and nurses -- a possible sign that she retains memories of living with humans, a doctor says. A psychological assessment also indicates she likely had human contact before her time with monkeys, according to doctors. Doctors believe she is 8 to 12 years old. Officials are reviewing missing child cases in the hope of identifying the girl. (Deccan Chronicle)

Murder Suspect Posts Gargantuan Bail

While it's one of the largest ever set in the U.S., it appears a $35 million bail won't be enough to keep one murder suspect behind bars in California. Tiffany Li, a 31-year-old woman accused of killing her ex-boyfriend and the father of her two children last year, is expected to post the gigantic amount using $62 million in property and $4 million in cash. In California, the value of property used as collateral must be twice the bail amount. Li, who has been in jail for about a year, comes from a wealthy family and the property was "put up by 15 to 20 extended family, friends, business associates," and others who believe Li is innocent. Prosecutors, however, say a custody battle over the couple's young daughters led Li to conspire with her boyfriend and friend to kill Keith Green last year. Authorities say Green was reported missing on April 29, 2016, a day after he met with Li to discuss the custody dispute. Given prosecutors' fears that Li could flee back to her native China, she would be kept under house arrest and subject to electronic monitoring if the bail amount is approved by a judge. A jury trial in the case is set for September. (San Jose Mercury News)

So What Do You Do When You're Not Guarding Mike Pence

More embarrassment for the Secret Service: Law enforcement sources say that an agent on Mike Pence's security detail was suspended after he was seen leaving a prostitute's room at a Maryland hotel last week. Sources say the agent, who was off-duty at the time, was charged with solicitation and self-reported the incident to the Secret Service. A spokesperson later said that the service "takes allegations of criminal activity very seriously." The agent was reportedly stripped of his security clearances pending "disciplinary actions." The Secret Service has been plagued by sex scandals in recent years, including one involving an agent who sexted an undercover officer from inside the White House. (CNN)

What the What?

Apparently taking your daughter to Disney World can be a crime in Britain! In a case with implications for millions of parents, the UK Supreme Court ruled last week that a British father broke the law by taking his daughter on vacation to Florida during school time. Jon Platt was fined $150 after taking his 6-year-old daughter out of school for a week in 2015, and prosecuted when he failed to pay. Lower courts found he had not acted unlawfully because his daughter had a good overall attendance record. Those rulings led to a surge in British parents taking children on vacation during school terms, when airplane fares and hotel prices are significantly cheaper. But local officials, backed by the British government, took the case to the country's top court. Five justices ruled unanimously that UK schools had the right to set rules about what constitutes "regular" attendance. Judge Brenda Hale said unauthorized absences were "a slap in the face to those obedient parents who do keep the rules." Platt said the ruling means millions of parents in Britain no longer have the power to make decisions about their own children. He said he has no plans to plead guilty or pay the fine. (Newser)

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