An Israeli student whose grandparents survived the Holocaust has admitted to stealing items from the Auschwitz death camp for an art project. Rotem Bides visited the former Nazi German camp in Poland several times and removed items, including a sign forbidding people from taking anything. But perhaps most ironic of all - she says she did it to fight Holocaust deniers. The Auschwitz-Birkenau museum called the acts "outrageous" and demanded the objects' return. More than a million people, mostly Jews, were killed at Auschwitz during World War Two. The objects from Auschwitz, which also include shards of glass, small bowls, a metal screw and soil, formed part of the 27-year-old's final project. Perhaps even more outrageous, Vides' supervisor at Beit Berl College, the Israeli artist Michal Na'aman, said she did not see anything wrong with what Vides had done adding, "The way I see it, she succeeds in creating a unique encounter between art and an event that has passed and has been wrapped in a lot of words, symbols and representations." (BBC)
The Sanctity of Marriage
A home-operated family business has led to criminal charges against a husband and wife in western Pennsylvania. Scott Allen Shadle, 34, allegedly threatened to divorce his wife because she wanted to quit the "family business." She was allegedly a prostitute and is accused of sexually servicing men for money - all from the confines of a Westmoreland County apartment. Police say Scott Shadle had posted online ads charging for sex with his wife, Rebecca Shadle, 38. Reportedly, police have text messages detailing discussions between the pair over how much money to charge for sex and how much of the proceeds Rebecca would then turn over to her husband. The texts also document a martial spat between the couple when Rebecca threatened to cut off the money, her husband texted "that he would file divorce papers and call her caseworker." Rebecca is also accused of charging her male customers extra to touch a 7-year-old-girl entrusted to her care. She faces charges of trafficking of a minor, aggravated indecent assault of a child, sexual exploitation of children, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children. Her husband, Scott Shadle, faces three counts related to promotion of prostitution. (Penn Live)
Reverse Honor Killing?
The so-called honor killings we usually read about involve misguided Muslim families. But this time it's a devout Christian living in Israel. Sami Karra has been arrested for allegedly murdering his 17-year-old daughter, Henriette, because the teen was dating a Muslim man and had plans to convert to Islam. Local police report that 58-year-old Sami Karra told his wife Aliham the night before their daughter's death that she should forget their daughter and "let her go to hell." In the course of the investigation, Henriette's mother told the police her husband felt humiliated by his daughter's behavior and saw it as an affront to the "family's honor." Henriette was found dead in the kitchen of her Ramle home with stab wounds on her neck. (Jerusalem Post)
Two adult men drowned in the Ungwasi River in Africa - while they were being baptized! Victory Christian Center pastor Samuel Kamigwa later said, "Following the incident, we have agreed on some measures that will ensure the safety of our followers during baptism in the rivers." Kamigwa added that churches were considering increasing the number of ministers at baptisms. They would also only baptize one person at a time, while others are kept at a safe distance, and will choose a time when the water is calm enough for the ritual. Last year, six children died during an early morning baptism in a stream. And in January 2015, two elderly Pentecostal church pastors drowned in Mutshedzi River in South Africa, where they had gone to baptize four junior church members. (Newser)
Suck it Smokers
A majority of smokers in the U.S., 56%, believe they are at least occasionally discriminated against in public life or employment because of their smoking according to a new Gallup poll. By comparison, just one in six overweight Americans (17%) feel they have been discriminated against at some point because of their weight. Thirteen percent of smokers say they feel discrimination every day, while only a fraction of self-described overweight people (1%) say they are discriminated against daily. These results come from a July 5-9 Gallup poll on Americans' consumption habits. Smokers often say they are discriminated against through smoking bans, including more recent bans at some parks and beaches, higher insurance rates, and not getting jobs because of their habit. Analysis of income patterns has shown smokers earn less than those who do not smoke, although this difference could result from smokers tending to have lower average levels of education than nonsmokers. The poll is the first time Gallup has asked about smokers' perceived discrimination. (Gallup)
What the What?
In Coolbaugh Township, Pennsylvania, 42-year-old Barbara Rogers has been arrested for allegedly shooting her 32-year-old boyfriend, Steven Mineo, dead-center in the forehead. She then called 911 to report the shooting - almost as if the matter were routine. Police say Mineo actually asked his girlfriend to shoot and kill him because he was a member of an online death cult. On Facebook, he posted about conspiracies, doomsday preparations, and getting right with God. But friends say Mineo had spoken of wanting to break away from the cult after finding it didn't fit his beliefs. Rogers told police that problems with the group lead Mineo to want to die. The investigation continues. (Penn Live)