Emma Kelty was traveling through Brazil's northern region on a mission to kayak the 4,000-mile length of the Amazon River. Along the way a Peruvian guide told her she would have her boat stolen and be killed. He was actually just joking with her and being sarcastic - but then that's exactly what happened. Just one day after remarking that she'd come across dozens of men in motor boats armed with arrows and rifles near Coari - an area known to be frequented by river pirates and drug traffickers - Kelty sent out a distress signal and then went silent. Authorities now believe the 43-year-old British woman had pitched her tent on the banks of an Amazon tributary when she was approached by men who shot her and threw her body in the river. A man and two 17-year-olds are in custody while police search for four other suspects who may have tried to sell Kelty's electronic devices. A search for Kelty's body is also underway. (Guardian)
Do NOT Sleep With Your Baby! Why is This Hard?
Not quite sure what's up with this "co-sleeping" with infants trend. It's not only creepy - it's damned dangerous. Just ask 32-year-old Leslie Neuman, the Michigan mom who's now facing criminal charges after her infant son died in a co-sleeping episode. Prosecutors say Neuman had been drinking before she tucked 6-month-old Connor Kleeman into bed with her. When she woke up, He wasn't breathing and paramedics were unable to revive him. The Wayne County Medical Examiner ruled the baby had become "wedged" between the bed and the wall, and died of accidental asphyxiation as a result of "bed sharing." Neuman was arraigned on Monday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse. Last year, Neuman had been warned in a class for new mothers about the dangers of "co-sleeping." She was enrolled in the class run by Child Protective Services after a tipster told authorities it looked like she was going through drug withdrawal. Her lawyer says she's been punished enough. (Detroit News)
So What's the Best Food On a Plane?
So what's the best food to order on a plane? According to renowned chef and frequent flyer Anthony Bourdain - nothing! He tells Travel and Leisure magazine: "You're not digesting your food on the plane, which is why you feel like a horribly bloated beach ball when you get off." Plus, the food itself is pretty lousy, "edible at best," because of the unique circumstances of air travel. Airplane meals have to be prepped in advance, and freeze-frying and reheating don't do wonders for taste. What's more, "every food tastes completely different than it does on the ground, so they have to make adjustments to it," he says, referring to the changes our sense of taste goes through in a pressurized cabin. Bourdain's advice - he does recommend a Scotch on the rocks - which is echoed by another famous chef, Gordon Ramsay, who says, "I worked for airlines for 10 years, so I know where this food's been and where it goes, and how long it took before it got on board." (Travel and Leisure)
It's a classic love story. Malakye Brooks was in love with his girlfriend. They went on vacation together, had too much to drink one night and she suggested he get a tattoo of her "with my boobs out" on his back. So they found a tattoo parlor and four hours and $500 later, there it was - his beautiful topless girlfriend plastered across his back for the world to see. While the tattoo in itself may have later given him pause, what really makes it sting is shortly after, she dumped him. He says these days people either find it hilarious or look at him like he's an alien. It is unclear if Malakye's unnamed ex-girlfriend will mind having her chest permanently inked on a man she is no longer dating. (Metro)
Can't Afford Your Mortgage? Get Creative!
Meanwhile...in Seattle...a new startup called Loftium launched on Monday and they're not really selling anything. What they will do is give you up to $50,000 for a down payment on a house. In exchange, you've got to be willing to rent out a room in that house for up to three years on Airbnb. It's all the brainchild of 29-year-old Yifan Zhang who recently realized she could cover the mortgage on her new townhouse by renting out the spare bedroom on Airbnb. Loftium uses an algorithm to figure out how much value your spare room has and determine the amount of money it will give you for a down payment. In return, new homeowners agree to continuously list an extra bedroom on Airbnb for one to three years, sending about two-thirds of that rental income back to Loftium. Zhang says, "It's for the people who don't have the parents to help or the high income to save while paying rent." Laura Coe, 29, is closing on a home in Seattle today (Friday) with the help of $9,000 from Loftium - money it would have taken her time to save. She says, "It allowed me to get in now. In its first week, Loftium had 50 home-buyers lined up. If all goes well Loftium may expand to other cities including Denver and Chicago, in the coming year. (New York Times)
Winning the Lottery, Then Making the Worst Possible Choice
Pedro Quezada should have the Cinderella story to beat them all. He moved to the US from the Dominican Republic about 30 years ago, worked 15-hour days at his bodega in Passaic, New Jersey, but then lady luck struck and he won a $338 million Powerball jackpot in 2013. But now he's in jail, charged with sexually assaulting a child. Passaic County prosecutor Camelia Valdes said the child was between 11 and 14 years old when the assaults occurred. Police believe the girl was the only victim. Quezada, 49, could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. (PIX 11)
Both players and fans were shaken Wednesday after a foul ball hit a young girl in the face during a game at Yankee Stadium. The game between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins was delayed for several minutes while the girl, who was hit by a 105mph line drive from Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier, was rushed to a nearby hospital. Her father told reporters it was too early to tell whether she'll need surgery. Frazier, who took a knee while the girl was taken away, had tears in his eyes when he spoke to reporters after the game. He told ESPN, "I thought of my kids. I have two kids under 3 years old and I just hope she's all right." Several other players were in tears as the girl was taken away. She had been sitting with her grandparents about five rows up. After the game, players said more teams should follow Major League Baseball's recommendation to install more protective netting. (ESPN)
What the What?
Here's your lawsuit of the year. In California, 30-year-old Ryan Flores tried to rob a Starbucks armed with a knife and a fake gun. Now he's planning to sue 58-year-old Cregg Jerri - the customer who stopped him! Jerri hit Flores in the back with a chair and then stabbed Flores multiple times with Flores own knife as the two scuffled. Flores' mother, Pamela Chimienti, says, "The guy, in my opinion, went from a Good Samaritan to a vigilante. Stabbing somebody that many times, it doesn't take that many stab wounds to get somebody to succumb to you." She says her son had 17 stab wounds, lacerations, and defensive wounds. Jerri was slashed in the neck before getting the knife away from Flores and needed six stitches. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says Jerri was not charged in connection with the incident and the idea of suing him for allegedly using excessive force is "ludicrous." Flores, who wore a Transformers mask during the attempted robbery, was charged with second-degree robbery and assault with a deadly weapon and has been in jail since the July incident. (San Francisco Chronicle)