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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

19 Germanicus, the best loved of Roman princes, dies of poisoning. On his deathbed he accuses Piso, the governor of Syria, of poisoning him.
732 At Tours, France, Charles Martel kills Abd el-Rahman and halts the Muslim invasion of Europe.
1733 France declares war on Austria over the question of Polish succession.
1789 In Versailles France, Joseph Guillotin says the most humane way of carrying out a death sentence is decapitation by a single blow of a blade.
1794 Russian General Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov crushes the rebel Polish army at Maciejowice, Poland.
1845 The U.S. Naval Academy is founded at Annapolis, Md.
1863 The first telegraph line to Denver is completed.
1877 Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer is buried at West Point in New York.
1911 Revolution in China begins with a bomb explosion and the discovery of revolutionary headquarters in Hankow. The revolutionary movement spread rapidly through west and southern China, forcing the abdication of the last Ch’ing emperor, six-year-old Henry Pu-Yi. By October 26, the Chinese Republic will be proclaimed, and on December 4, Premier Yuan Shih-K’ai will sign a truce with rebel general Li Yuan-hung.
1911 The Panama Canal opens.
1933 At Rio de Janeiro, nations of the Western Hemisphere sign a non-aggression and conciliation treaty. President Roosevelt adopts a "good neighbor" policy toward Latin America and announces a policy of nonintervention in Latin American affairs at the December 7th International American Conference at Montevideo, Uruguay.
1941 Soviet troops halt the German advance on Moscow.
1953 The Mutual Defense Treaty between the US and South Korea signed.
1966 U.S. Forces launch Operation Robin, in Hoa Province south of Saigon in South Vietnam, to provide road security between villages.
1970 The Quebec Provincial Minister of Labour, Pierre Laporte, is kidnapped by terrorists.
1971 The London Bridge, built in 1831 and dismantled in 1967, reopens in Lake Havusu City, Arizona, after being sold to Robert P. McCulloch and moved to the United States.
1973 Spiro Agnew resigns the vice presidency amid accusations of income tax evasion. President Richard Nixon names Gerald Ford as the new vice president. Agnew is later convicted and sentenced to three years probation and fined $10,000.
1985 An Egyptian plane carrying hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise ship is intercepted by US Navy F-14s and forced to land at a NATO base in Sicily.
2008 Orakzai bombing, Afghanistan: members of the Taliban drive an explosive-laden truck into a meeting of 600 people discussing ways to rid their area of the Taliban; the bomb kills 110.

Non Sequitur


3 Reasons America Is Totally Paranoid Despite Being the Only Superpower on Earth

It Could Soon Be Much Easier To Diagnose Ebola Thanks To This Student’s New Invention

Study Documents The Transformation of Women’s Legal Status From Persons To Birthing Vessels

Women today are living out The Handmaid's Tale, where faulty "birthing vessels" are prosecuted for failing to perform as a birthing vessel.…
women are not birthing vessels
For years the anti-choice movement has waged war on women’s reproductive rights by regulating most abortion clinics out of existence, by issuing deceptive talking points about abortions and mandating doctors to recite them and mandating intrusive but medically unnecessary tests such as the trans-vaginal ultrasound.
They have taken it further with laws that reduce women to birthing vessels subject to criminal prosecution for miscarriages and self-induced abortions. The Guttmacher Institute studied the results of policies that criminalize self-induce abortions and for that matter criminalize the “faulty” birthing vessels who had miscarriages.
As noted by the author, Andrea Rowan, we don’t know if self-induced abortions are increasing – only that they are gaining more attention as the pro-birth movement continues its crusade for the protection of zygotes and fetuses over the well-being of women and children.
It’s important to note that laws targeting women who self-induce abortions also trap woman who miscarry and woman who need addiction support services. That is the context in which women are reduced to birthing vessels while zygotes and fetuses are rendered worthy of the fullest protections of the law. The targets of these “laws” are the usual targets, women living in poverty or facing other challenges.
The results of these dehumanizing and barbaric policies can be summarized by one sentence in Rowan’s study.
Jailing women who self-induce has no societal purpose nor any benefit for women’s health, by contrast, women and society would benefit from improved access to comprehensive reproductive health services, including affordable, legal and supportive abortion care and contraceptive care to prevent future unintended pregnancies.
This is the result of 287 anti-choice laws passed in the past 4 years. These laws were passed mostly by old men who consulted other old men to build layers of restrictions with the long term objective of banning abortion. Of course they told willing believers and skeptics alike, these laws are intended to protect women’s health.
Even if we wish to ignore the history before Roe V. Wade that proves abortion bans don’t ban abortions, we can see the post Roe efforts not only fail to protect women’s health, but also prosecute those who “failed” in being adequate “birthing vessels.”
Bans don’t stop abortions. They just create more health hazards for women because women will self induce if that is their only option – even when that means putting their health and their liberty at risk. Moreover, the effort to criminalize self-induced abortion penalizes women who are suspected of self-inducing when in fact they had miscarriages. But hey, jailing woman is all about protecting our health because old male conservatives say so.
Seriously, we’re living the Handmaid’s Tale, where faulty “birthing vessels” are prosecuted for failing to perform as a birthing vessel.
The origins of this version of “protecting women’s health” occurred in Florida during the 1990’s. A 19-year-old pregnant women shot herself in the abdomen to end her pregnancy. She was turned away from an abortion clinic because she couldn’t afford to pay for the abortion out of pocket. Medicaid wasn’t an option in a state that subscribes to the poor picking themselves up by their bootstraps.
The woman was charged with third degree murder and manslaughter. Eventually, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that established legal precedent precluded prosecution in the death of her fetus.
In 2009, a 17 year old woman in Utah paid a man $150 to beat her to induce an abortion. This teenage was charged with solicitation to commit murder in juvenile court. The charge was dropped when a judge ruled a woman cannot be prosecuted for seeking an abortion. The state legislature responded by amending the criminal code to empower the state to prosecute women who seek to terminate pregnancies beyond medical channels.
The Guttmacher Institute reports 38 states allow prosecutions of persons, including in some cases the pregnant woman, deemed responsible for the unlawful death of a fetus.
The advent of medical abortions with RU-486 made it possible for some women to take matters into their own hands. But, in the name of “protecting women’s health” there are at least half a dozen cases where women were arrested and charged after attempting to self-induce an abortion using illicitly obtained abortifacients.”
The Guttmacher Institute’s study cites a 2004 case involving a woman in South Carolina. She was charged with illegal abortion and failure to report the abortion to the coroner. She was convicted and sentenced to time she already served in jail and a fine.
The study also cites a 2007 case of a Massachusetts woman who was charged with “illegal procurement of miscarriage” She wasn’t charged with murder because the state was unable to assess whether the fetus met the definition of viability at the time of the abortion. In the end, she got probation and she was ordered to get counseling.
Another case involves an Idaho woman who, in 2011 was charged with unlawful abortion. The prosecutor threatened to charge her under the state’s new law that banned abortions after 20 weeks. Charges were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence.
In 2013, a Pennsylvania woman was reported by hospital staff because she ordered abortifacients on line for her daughter. She was charged with “providing abortion without a medical license, dispensing drugs without being a pharmacist, assault and endangering the welfare of a child.” She received a 9-18 month jail sentence.
This year, a Georgia woman was arrested and charged with murder after she gave birth on her way to the hospital, after she took abortifacients that she ordered on line.” Eventually the murder charge was dropped. However, this woman faces a misdemeanor charge for possession of a dangerous drug.
Even if one cannot recognize the barbarity of these prosecutions, these laws “to protect women’s health” have resulted in fishing expeditions to intimidate and prosecute women suspected of self inducing abortions.
One tragic case involves a woman who sought medical attention in Iowa after she fell down the stairs. A hospital worker reported her to law enforcement, claiming the patient said she was trying to induce an abortion. The patient’s whose health the law makers say they were trying to protect, disputed this claim. Still, she was arrested and only released after it was clear that the hospital misdated her pregnancy. In other words, she wasn’t charged because her pregnancy wasn’t far enough along to prosecute her under the state’s fetal homicide law.
In Indiana, a physician reported a woman to authorities after she told the hospital that she miscarried. In the name of protecting her health, the woman was charged with feticide and neglect of a dependent. The prosecution claimed she delivered a life baby after attempting to induce an abortion with drugs she purchased on the internet. Even though the prosecutor didn’t present conclusive evidence that the women obtained or took these drugs, this woman was convicted of both crimes and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Currently, she is appealing the sentence.
We don’t need a study to understand that policies that place a priority on a zygote over women and for that matter, over children are inhumane and cruel. We don’t even need a study to recognize the self-defeating aspects of laws that define zygotes and fetuses as persons and objectify woman as mere “birthing vessels.”
However, this study shows the degree of viciousness involved when women who miscarry are sent to jail based on an accusation, rather than anything resembling proof beyond reasonable doubt. It outlines the history in which pro birth extremists transformed the legal status of women from persons whose lives are worthy of protection under the law to birthing vessels whose lives are secondary to those of the zygote and the fetus.
It proves that women’s health is secondary when women desperate enough to attempt suicide are jailed because of the harm to a fetus – without regard for the fact that a woman who would attempt suicide needs treatment – not jail.
But yes, let’s defund Planned Parenthood in the name of protecting the health of the birthing vessel.

Pregnant Teenager Deported Back To El Salvador After She Aged Out Of The Foster System

Nevada School Bans Transgender Student From Boys’ Bathrooms

This bible-thumping Texas public school principal covered up student molestation for ‘PR’ reasons

Prosper High School principal Greg Wright -- Prosper ISDA high school principal in Texas –already under fire for conducting daily Bible readings with his students — has been accused of harassing a whistle-blower teacher for going to the cops about a fellow teacher sexually assaulting a student.

Children of notorious mormon Warren Jeffs accuse him of sexually abusing them

Roy and Becky Jeffs — now both adults — are speaking out for the first time about their father, who is currently behind bars serving a life sentence plus 60 years for aggravated sexual assault.

Alabama KKK member tells horrified British reporter Auschwitz was ‘summer camp’ for Jews

Alabama KKK member speaks to BBC (screen grab)
A BBC documentary crew who filmed members of the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama were shocked after a member of the racist organization claimed that the Holocaust concentration camps were actually “summer camps” for Jewish people.

European Ghost Town Bans Death To Stay Alive

What Every Block of Manhattan Looked Like 400 Years Ago

When Henry Hudson arrived in 1609, the island called Manahatta was a lush area with hills, swamps, beaches, forests, rivers, meadows, tidal flats, and a wide variety of plant and animal life. Landscape ecologist Dr. Eric Sanderson launched a project to detail what every block of the city was like back then. He’s worked on it since 1999, and now you can use the interactive map from the Welikia Project to see it yourself. The research that went into the work is staggering.
The 16-year process of uncovering what once lay beneath the super-dense urban fabric was (and is) a feat of incredibly detailed historical detective work. The geological and landscape data was the simplest–it came from a 1782 map drawn by the British that included locations of more than 60 miles of streams, as well as 300 natural springs and plenty of wetlands, beaches, and hundreds of types of trees, plants and soil types. Not to mention dozens of hills–after all, the island’s name is derived from the Lenape word Mannahatta, or “the island of many hills.”
But figuring out the specifics of the city’s more than 50 ecological groups was more difficult, as Sanderson explains on the project’s website. They created a list of species that lived on the island, then compared them against the existing data about different environment pockets in the island, creating a web of relationships based on which species were more likely to flourish or depend on which ecologies – they call this a Muir web, after the naturalist John Muir, who popularized this idea of interconnected habitats. The data visualization designer Chris Harrison created this Muir web of the associations between known habitats and species in Manhattan in the 17th century:
The Welikia Project is far from finished- they hope to eventually have all five boroughs of New York City mapped this way. The rest will be more difficult, as they weren’t mapped as early as Manhattan. Read more about the project at Gizmodo.

Are record-LOW temperatures near Greenland ominous?

Most areas of the globe are experiencing above-average temperatures.  So why are scientists especially concerned about an anomalous area of record-LOW temperatures near Greenland?
First of all, it’s no error. I checked with Deke Arndt, chief of the climate monitoring branch at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, who confirmed what the map above suggests — some parts of the North Atlantic Ocean saw record cold in the past eight months...
And there’s not much reason to doubt the measurements — the region is very well sampled. “It’s pretty densely populated by buoys, and at least parts of that region are really active shipping lanes, so there’s quite a lot of observations in the area,” Arndt said. “So I think it’s pretty robust analysis.”..
There is strong evidence — not just from our study — that this is a consequence of the long-term decline of the Gulf Stream System, i.e. the Atlantic ocean’s overturning circulation AMOC, in response to global warming.
More at the link and in Wikipedia:
In 2005, British researchers noticed that the net flow of the northern Gulf Stream had decreased by about 30% since 1957. Coincidentally, scientists at Woods Hole had been measuring the freshening of the North Atlantic as Earth becomes warmer. Their findings suggested that precipitation increases in the high northern latitudes, and polar ice melts as a consequence. By flooding the northern seas with lots of extra fresh water, global warming could, in theory, divert the Gulf Stream waters that usually flow northward, past the British Isles and Norway, and cause them to instead circulate toward the equator. If this were to happen, Europe's climate would be seriously impacted.

Man who handed over £500 in the street for two iPhones now the proud owner of a bag of sugar

A man who handed over £500 in the street for two new iPhones was left disappointed when he discovered he had been sold a bag of sugar. The victim was fleeced by a street trader in Manchester city center at around 3pm on Monday.
He was walking through Piccadilly when he was approached by a man, who offered him an iPhone 6s. The would-be-customer struck up a deal, withdrew £500 from a cashpoint and handed it over for two of the devices.
After money was handed over, the street trader swiftly left and when the man opened his purchase he found only a bag of sugar. GMP City Center tweeted: “Another day, another scam. Man hands over £500 for two iPhone 6s in Piccadilly and is now the lucky owner of a very expensive bag of sugar.
Inspector Phil Spurgeon added: “We’d like to remind people that if a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is. You’re either buying a fake or stolen article, or something completely different.”

Lottery winning shoplifter thought she was invisible

A mother-of-four went on a shoplifting spree despite having just won £250,000 on a National Lottery scratchcard. Nicola Lord took diazepam which she thought made her invisible when she went stealing, a court heard on Monday. Despite being barred from every Boots store in Britain, Lord still went into a branch and helped herself to £514 of perfume. The theft happened just two days after her massive win was confirmed, Blackpool Magistrates Court was told.
The winner was one of two cards she bought from a mini market in Blackpool town center. Lord’s boyfriend David Buckley was removed from proceedings by District Judge Jeff Brailsford after shouting “ Hello Gorgeous” at Lord as she was led into the dock from the custody cells. Earlier Buckley had sung ”We are in the money” outside court and said of the win:”We don’t want to talk about it we don’t want the scrotes to know.” Lord also admitted an earlier theft of clothing and shoes worth £377 from Marks and Spencer. She is currently on license after serving eight months behind bars.
District Judge Brailsford gave her a 24 week suspended jail term and ordered her to pay £1,330 in costs and fines within 35 days after being told by defense lawyer that Lord was due to receive a life changing amount of money within that time. Pam Smith, prosecuting, said the theft from Boots took place on September 27. When interviewed by police Lord said: ”I had taken diazepam ... it makes me feel invisible.” She said she shoplifted because she needed money to pay rent arrears on her flat in Blackpool. The court also heard she owed money to her boyfriend and she is currently receiving £120 a fortnight in State benefits.
Lord’s defense lawyer Steven Duffy told the court hearing: “Her finances are to improve substantially very shortly. She will be in a better position than she has ever been.” Sentencing her District Judge Brailsford told Lord: ”You now have a chance to change your life thanks to this change. If you do not take it you are going to be in deep deep trouble. Your life needs to improve not worsen. Your record is absolutely appalling and so far you have wasted your life.” After her case Lord said: ”I don’t know how everyone knows about the scratchcard.”

Woman who flashed her breasts and squeezed policeman's bottom banned from parks

A drunken woman flashed her breasts and groped a police officer in a “shocking” confrontation in a South Tyneside park as families watched on. Louise Richards shouted “You fancy me, don’t you” before squeezing the male officer’s right buttock at North Marine Park, South Shields. The victim was one of four police officers who had been called to the park after complaints of rowdy behavior by Richards and a group of friends. After the confrontation with the officer, the 46-year-old, of South Shields, was arrested on the spot and admitted a charge of sexual touching at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court. She will be sentenced next month - but magistrates banned from entering any park in the town in the meantime. Janice Bellamy, prosecuting, said Richards had injured the officers’ ‘dignity’. Mrs Bellamy said: “The victim was one of four police officers called to North Marine Park at 2pm on Friday, August 21 to reports of a group of males and females being rowdy in the park. Richards was one of those present and the officer had cause to search her.
“She lifted her top and flashed her breasts. She was warned about her behavior and told members of the public and families were in the park. Richards approached the officer and said ‘You fancy me, don’t you?’.” She said the officer began to walk away, but Richards grabbed their right buttock and squeezed it. She added: “The officer was shocked and had cause to arrest her. The officer says they believe it was a deliberate sexual act because of the comments she had also made.” Mrs Bellamy told magistrates: “You will need to consider compensation. The injury was to the officer's dignity rather than their person.”
Christopher Brown, defending, said Richards was getting help to tackle her drink problem. He said: “There is a great deal of support for her. She is trying to move away from a life of drink. In terms of this offense, she had a lot of drink on board and in the company of others she displayed foolishness. She didn’t intend to be malicious but her behavior will be taken by a sober officer to be an affront to their dignity.” Magistrates asked for a probation report to be prepared on Richards ahead of sentencing on October 21. She was granted bail until then - with the condition she does not enter any parks in the South Shields area.

Microbeads and Marine Life

You know those little beads in body washes, scrubbers and even toothpaste? Well, they're made of plastic,and if they find their way from our drains out into the ocean it could spell big trouble for all manner of sea life.

The World's Smallest Snail Can Fit in the Eye of a Needle

This is the Angustopila dominikae, a resident of Guangxi Province, China. At 0.86 mm across, it's the smallest known land snail in the world. It's 1 of 7 new microsnail species discovered by Dr. Barna Páll-Gergely and his colleagues in Guangxi Province. They published their findings in the journal ZooKeys. It's a landmark discovery, but Páll-Gergely admits that they don't know what evolutionary advantage such a tiny size could offer the Angustopila dominikae. The Guardian quotes him:
We cannot explain their size by adaptation to the environment. For very tiny insects we can guess the evolutionary reason why they evolved like that, but in the case of snails it is much more difficult. The whole family of species are all very small and their common ancestor, which lived maybe 60 million years ago was also very small. Since then this very tiny species survived somehow in different geographical areas and under different climates.

Leopard Gets Stuck in Pot

A leopard was seen wandering through the village of Rajsamand, Rajasthan, India, with its head stuck in a metal water pot. The animal had apparently tried to get a drink, but the opening of the pot was easier to get into than to get out of. Now, a fox stuck in a jar or a skunk stuck in a yogurt container can be helped by anyone willing to try, but a leopard is a dangerous animal, even with its teeth encased. According to ANI News, forest department officials responded to a call and sedated the leopard, making the job of removing the pot much safer.

Escaped pet skunk on the loose in Devon

A skunk is on the loose in Crediton. The beloved black and white stinker named Bella disappeared from her home on Monday. Search parties have been desperate to catch a whiff of her strong scent as they pound the streets to try to rescue her. Her owner Tracey Stubbs, 50, said the family are growing increasingly concerned for eight-month old Bella who has never been out on her own before.
She believes she escaped through the back garden as her scent remains there, but her whereabouts since are unknown. Tracey has now issued a desperate plea to the public for their help in reuniting them with their unusual pet. She said: "We have had Bella since March and she has just been spayed. She is only eight months old. She somehow got out the house. We don't know how but she must have gone through the cat-flap and disappeared.
"There is a strong scent of her in the garden so she must have gone through there. We are out hunting for her now. We are very concerned. She has not been left out on her own like this before. She is normally in her own bed but has no food or anything. We are scared what might happen to her. She is a very friendly pet and is going to be very scared about being out on her own." Tracey said they bought the unusual pet from Exeter Exotics earlier this year.
She said: "We have never had a skunk before but she is just lovely. You get used to the smell. We have all been out joining the search and the whole family is all very concerned about her. We just pray she comes back and is OK." Bella was last seen behind a local Tesco Express in Crediton. The owners have now sought the help of staff at the town's St Boniface veterinary clinic. A spokesman said: "If anyone sees Bella the skunk then please contact us."

Stubborn goat 'arrested' after refusing to leave coffee and doughnut restaurant

Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Warman, Saskatchewan, were forced to arrest a "stubborn" goat for refusing to leave a Tim Hortons on Sunday morning.
In a statement, RCMP said that employees initially "asked" the goat to leave and tried to walk him outside, but the rebellious animal turned around and sauntered back through the restaurant's automatic doors. Eventually two RCMP members were called to deal with the "disturbance." The officers believed that the goat was "cold," and like many Canadians, was forced to take refuge in a Tim Hortons.
They added that the goat simply wanted to "sleep in the entrance." Faced with a noncompliant citizen, the RCMP officers "arrested" the goat and escorted him into their vehicle. RCMP says the goat was "very unhappy" at his treatment. "The members decided to take him home instead of holding cells at the detachment," said the RCMP statement.
At first, they were unable to locate the owners of the goat after knocking on the doors of many local farms. The goat was held at an animal hospital, until the RCMP tracked down his owners. "We are happy to report that the goat is safe and sound, back with his owners after his adventurous night out on the town."

Runaway emu returned home in back of car after recognizing silver-lined jacket

An emu seen wandering around a New Hampshire town that was caught last week has been reunited with its owner – a Vermont farmer who lives more than 80 miles away. Kermit Blackwood, curator of Taft Hill Farm in West Townshend, Vt., called Maria Colby, who owns Wings of the Dawn, a wildlife rehabilitation center in New Hampshire, to see if their emu, Beatrice, might be there. She said birds can recognize individuals they know, so they arranged to have Blackwood and farm intern Daniel Lipschutz visit the emu, which was spotted in Bow before it was caught and brought to the wildlife center on Sept. 20.
Blackwood wore a jacket lined with silver fabric, which he typically wears while milking cows at his farm, inside out in the hope that the emu would recognize him. When he approached the bird slowly, the emu rolled its neck toward Blackwood, something it hadn’t done since arriving at the farm, Colby said. In late July, a pack of coywolves attacked the emus at Taft Hill Farm. Prior to the attack, there were six emus at the farm. After the attack, Taft Hill Farm owner Robert DuGrenier said they found the leg of one of the emus, a pile of feathers from another, and assumed the remaining emus were missing or killed.
A pair of emus were caught in nearby communities, but Beatrice was still nowhere to be seen. It’s unclear how the emus escaped from the pasture near the farm’s sugar shack where maple sugar is made every year. The emus have been at the farm since 2004, and several have been born there. DuGrenier says they eventually saw video of an emu in Bow. When no one claimed the bird after a little while, they made arrangements to see it at the wildlife center. After Beatrice and Blackwood reconnected, Colby, her husband, Blackwood and Lipschutz spent about 20 minutes trying to corral the bird to put into a 2013 Toyota Prius.
A hand-woven wool sock was put over Beatrice’s head to keep her calm, and she was also wrapped in a blanket. DuGrenier says the seats were put back up with Beatrice in the back of the Prius without the stocking over her head. The flightless bird gave his owner a bit of a scare on the return ride to the farm. “On the drive home Beatrice decided she had had enough of the traveling conditions and began to struggle violently, nearly heaving herself out the window,” DuGrenier said. Beatrice has now been reunited with her flock, DuGrenier added.

Police were skeptical when Nicky Bacon called to report stolen piglet

Police officers were skeptical when Nicky Bacon called to say a piglet had been stolen from Windmill Hill City Farm, in Bristol. But after checking the city farm worker's passport and realizing it wasn't a hoax, the little porker was soon returned. Nicky from Ashton, Bristol, said: "I phoned the police and told them one of our pigs had been stolen and I didn't think any more about it. It wasn't until I got a call back really rapidly questioning the details I had given them, and then they turned up at my house. They were really suspicious. They said that both of my names had made them suspicious it was a hoax.
"On reflection, having the surname Bacon when reporting a pig missing is funny, but I hadn't even thought about my first name. I wasn't expecting two police officers to turn up at my door - that's for sure. Apparently it caused a lot of humor at the police station." Fortunately the piglet was found a day after the pignapping, when a member of the public reported seeing the animal in the garden of a house in Withywood. The female Old Gloucester large white cross, who was the smallest of a litter of seven, was found safe and well before she was returned back to the farm by officers in a riot van.
Simone Dougall from Windmill Hill Farm said: "We were all just really shocked. We had no idea where the pig had gone. But from the look of how the pen was damaged we could tell that it was done deliberately by a human rather than an animal. It was quite comical - just seeing the little pig in this massive van, I think the police were quite attached." Staff at the farm believe the unnamed cute piglet was stolen for food. Simone said: "Apparently it is quite common. After we reported the theft we heard from a number of farmers who had similar experiences of people stealing livestock to slaughter and use as food."
Lauren Duffield, who works at the farm, added: "We really care about our animals at the farm and it is likely that the piglet was scared and missing its brothers and sisters. They are very sweet animals and very cute, but they are in no way house trained and would not make good pets." However, the piglet's luck is about to run out, as she is due to be slaughtered for meat in November. Simone said: "We are a working farm and we raise animals for meat - we do not pretend to be a petting zoo. We were incredibly worried about getting the piglet back because for its own safety and wellbeing. Our animals are slaughtered in a very humane way in accordance to rules and regulations. It is likely whoever was planning to kill her would not have adhered to this." Bradley McCarthy of Bristol was jailed for fours weeks for handling stolen goods following the theft.

Man accused of murdering wife sues authorities after it was established she was killed by an elk

A man from southern Sweden, who was accused of murdering his wife, is suing for damages after it was established that she was in fact killed by an elk. The man, a resident of Loftahammer, is now demanding tens of thousands of kronor in compensation for being falsely accused of murder.
His lawyers are critical of the way in which prosecutors and the police handled the investigation after his 63-year-old wife was found gravely injured near the shore of a lake outside of Loftahammar in northeast Småland in September 2008. According to the man, investigators were too quick to assume that he had killed his wife. For months he labored under the suspicion that he had murdered his wife, and he was also detained for ten days.
Then it turned out that his wife was in fact killed by an elk. When the woman was found dead on a forest path, the police immediately suspected her husband, and arrested him on suspicion of murder, just hours after she was found. After ten days in detention, he was released, but the suspicions against him remained. It would take several months before police identified the real culprit after hairs found on the woman’s body were finally identified as coming from an elk.
Police then realized the woman had been kicked to death by the animal. The man says that because of the false accusation, he was viewed as a killer by his neighbors where he lived and had to move away. Now he is asking for damages totaling 621,000 kronor (£48,500, $73,500)- 300,000 kronor (£23,500, $35,500) in compensation for suffering and 321,000 kronor (£25,000, $38,000) in compensation for lost income.

Feisty seal found on farm miles from the sea chased police officer around patrol car

An adventurous seal has made a 75 kilometer (47 mile) journey through the canals of the Waikato in New Zealand before running out of steam outside a farm shed. But the frisky female, named Cedrica, still had enough energy to chase a police officer around a patrol car before being swaddled up by the Department of Conservation. The wayward seal was discovered lying high and dry near Morrinsville on Sunday morning. A passer-by noticed something unusual on the roadside and called police.
Morrinsville police Sergeant Vic Sneddon said. "We have images of her chasing one of our staff around a patrol car so while it may have had problems adjusting its internal GPS, she still had plenty of life left in her. But in terms of how she came to be there in the first place, its lips were definitely sealed." It is not known exactly when the seal began its journey from the Firth of Thames but Department of Conservation ranger Garry Hickman believed it used the Piako River to navigate in and out of the canals during heavy rain.
"They come up the rivers, sometimes there can be one or two. They are chasing trout, mullet, koi carp, so it's not hard for them to get a feed. They have to chase the fish - they are opportunists." Hickman arrived at the farm to find the docile seal napping in the shade about 15 meters from the road. "It looks like it had been out of the water for quite a while as it was pretty dry, the nearest drain would of been about 100 meters away." He said the seal, measuring about 1.5metre long, made a move, clambering through a farm fence into a paddock.
"You can walk up to a seal and it looks really docile but they can react like lightning." With the help of police officers, the trio approached the seal from different directions, boxing it in. "I threw a net over it while it was looking the other way. It hissed and snarled and bared it's teeth as they do." The seal was then put in a polypropylene box and driven to Tapu where Hickman released it back into the sea from the beach. "When I let the bag go on the rocks she popped her head up, looked at me, and swam back into the ocean."

Drunk man thought he'd been assaulted by a hippopotamus

Police were called to an address in Madison, Wisconsin, late on Friday night for a man knocked unconscious following an attack.
A witness stated another man was throwing punches at the victim, a 25-year-old, from Cambria.
The suspect continued to punch and kick the man after he was down. He suffered broken teeth and needed multiple stitches to close a cut on his head.
The victim was quite intoxicated and didn't know what exactly happened, telling an investigative officer he thought he had been assaulted by a hippopotamus.

911 caller reported a monkey eating letters out of neighbor's mailbox

On Monday morning, a 911 caller reported something that even the Sanford Police Department in Florida called a little "out of the ordinary". There was a mail-eating monkey sitting on top of a neighbor's mailbox.
"Our officers are ready for anything - literally," Public Information Officer Shannon Cordingly said. Luckily, someone in the neighborhood happened to see the monkey and recognize the situation was "not normal," Cordingly said.
Unsure whether or not the monkey was going to be aggressive, five police officers, along with members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, responded to the call as a precaution. Officers used a patrol car to block off the road and shook a water bottle in an attempt to lure the monkey away from the busy street. The tactic worked, but it also led the monkey to the top of a patrol car, where he decided to pull molding off of the car, Cordingly said.

Later, the monkey's owner, who had a proper permit to own the animal, joined officers in the wild chase before too much damage was done. Within 20 minutes, the owner was able to coax the monkey identified as "Zeek" back into his arms. "Our officers respond to some pretty serious, sad and horrific calls," Cordingly said. "It's nice to be able to respond to something of this nature, a little more lighthearted and have a happy ending."
There's a news video here.

Animal News

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The marine reptile is the first ever documented to exhibit biofluorescence.

Animal Pictures