Tuesday Reads: A Mixed Bag of Breaking NewsPosted: May 7, 2013 Filed under: Crime, morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, Bangladesh, black widow spiders, Chuck Hagel, Cleveland abductions, factory collapse, Helen Mirren, Jeffrey Krusinski, limo fire, Mount Mayon eruption, Philippines, San Mateo Bridge, sexual assault 33 Comments
There’s a lot of news breaking around the world this morning, much of it only tangentially to politics; so I have a mixed bag of reads for you to peruse.
Let’s start with some humor. Did you hear about actress Helen Mirren’s public rant yesterday? The NY Daily News spells it out: Helen Mirren, dressed as Queen Elizabeth II, tells drummers who interrupted her performance to ‘shut the f- -k up’
All hail the drama queen!
Dame Helen Mirren was spotted cursing up a storm in London after a gay pride parade chanced to pass outside the theater where she was performing.
The Oscar-winning actress, dressed in character as the Queen of England, rushed out onto the street and screamed at the noisy crowd to “shut the f–k up.”
The 67-year-old star was headlining the play “The Audience” at London’s Gielgud Theatre. Drummers from the gay music festival stopped outside the theater and kept up the racket for the first half of her performance.
During the intermission, Mirren burst through Gielgud’s front doors and tried to grab the conductor’s arm.
Later, she told reporters she’d “yell at [the] drummers again.”
Helen Mirren has said that she’d repeat her expletive-filled outburst at a group of drummers who disrupted her performance at the Gielgud Theatre in London at the weekend.
“If they make the same noise I would say the same again,” she said. “I was very upset, I was very cross.”
The Batala samba band had begun an impromptu performance on Sunday outside the theatre at which Mirren is starring as the Queen in the play ‘The Audience’.
But on hearing the noise, Mirren, still dressed in her costume, stormed off the stage and out into the street to give the band a piece of her mind.
A Volcano erupted in the Philippines, killing five members of a group of mountain climbers. BBC News:
Mount Mayon, 330km (206 miles) south-east of the capital Manila, sent a cloud of ash and rocks into the sky early on Tuesday.
The ash blast caught a group climbing the mountain, which is famous for its near-perfect cone.
At least seven other climbers were hurt in the eruption, which lasted for just over a minute.
“Five killed and seven are injured, that is the latest report,” National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chief Eduardo del Rosario said.
Four of those killed were German nationals and the fifth was their Filipino guide, the NDRRMC said later in a statement.
You probably heard about the horrific limo fire in San Francisco yesterday. SF Chronicle:
They were heading out on what was supposed to be one of the happiest nights of Neriza Fojas’ life, a party to cap off the bridal shower she’d been celebrating with eight of her nurse friends. Then the women’s stretch limousine headed west over the San Mateo Bridge – and horror erupted.
Just after 10 p.m. Saturday, flames burst out in the back of the 1999 Lincoln Town Car. The driver pulled over, and he and four of the women managed to escape. But the other five passengers, including Fojas, remained trapped.
They couldn’t get out the rear doors, so they tried to squeeze through a small window into the driver’s compartment. Within seconds, the back end was engulfed and it was too late.
Emergency workers later found Fojas and four of her friends clustered under the 3-by-1 1/2-foot window. The women, all in their 30s and 40s, died in the flames.
The driver claimed he did everything he could to help, but one of the survivors is “disputing” his story. Detroit Free Press:
One of the survivors of a limousine fire that killed five women on a San Francisco Bay bridge is disputing the driver’s version of what happened when the limo burst into flames.
Nelia Arellano told San Francisco’s KGO-TV that she yelled at the driver to stop the car, but he “didn’t want to listen.”
When the driver, Orville Brown, did finally stop, Arellano says he did nothing to help the women get out of the burning car after he exited.
Brown has said that, at first, he misunderstood what one of the passengers in the back was saying when she knocked on the partition between the passenger area and the driver and complained about smelling smoke.
With the music up, he initially thought the woman was asking if she could smoke. Seconds later, he said, the women knocked again, this time screaming, “Smoke, smoke!” and “Pull over,” Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle.
CNN reports: Death toll from Bangladesh building collapse climbs above 700
Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN) — The death toll from the disastrous building collapse in Bangladesh last month has risen above 700, authorities said Tuesday, as recovery workers continued to pull bodies from the rubble.
The building, which housed five factories full of garment workers, caved in nearly two weeks ago, burying hundreds of people in a heap of mangled concrete in Savar, a suburb of the capital, Dhaka. It is the South Asian nation’s deadliest industrial disaster.
Rescue workers managed to save more than 2,400 people in the aftermath of the collapse, but their work for the past week has focused on using heavy machinery to uncover the remaining bodies buried inside the ruins.
The number of people confirmed dead from the disaster reached 705 on Tuesday, according to Jitendra Kumar Nath, a senior official with the district administration of Dhaka.
A large number of people have continued to wait near the site of the collapse for news of missing relatives. Their gathering point is a school playing field where bodies retrieved from the ruins are taken for initial identification attempts.
From Reuters: Head of U.S. Air Force’s anti-sexual assault unit arrested for sexual battery
The officer in charge of a program to curb sexual assault in the U.S. Air Force was arrested over the weekend for allegedly grabbing a woman by the breasts and buttocks in a parking lot not far from the Pentagon, officials said on Monday.
Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, was arrested on Sunday and charged with sexual battery after the alleged incident in the Crystal City area of suburban Arlington, Virginia, officials said.
Krusinski, the head of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, was removed from his job pending an investigation on Monday….
An Arlington County Police spokesman said Krusinski, who was under the influence of alcohol, grabbed the woman by the breasts and buttocks in a parking lot. She fended him off, and when he tried to grab her again, she called the police, who arrived shortly thereafter and detained him, the spokesman said.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed “outrage” over the incident:
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called Air Force Secretary Michael Donley Monday to express his “outrage and disgust” after the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response branch chief was arrested and charged early Sunday morning with sexual battery.
“Secretary Hagel expressed outrage and disgust over the troubling allegation and emphasized that this matter will be dealt with swiftly and decisively,” said George Little, the Pentagon’s top spokesman, in a statement.
Arlington County police officers arrested Air Force Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, in the early morning hours of Sunday morning in a Northern Virginia parking lot near Crystal City Gentleman’s Club and Restaurant — a strip club one mile from the Pentagon. He was accused of fondling a woman near the strip club before the female victim fought him off, according to the police report.
Here’s an interesting science story: Male Black Widows Flip Sexual Cannibalism
Black widow spiders get their names from the belief that the female devours her partner after sex. But this gruesome ritual doesn’t always happen after mating and sometimes, the roles are even reversed, researchers say.
For choosy female black widows, sexual cannibalism is an extreme way to assert their partner preference, with less desirable males more likely to be chased down and eaten after they insert their sperm-coated palps into a female.
But in the species Micaria sociabilis, males are more likely to eat the females than be eaten, a new study found.
A team at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic studied how different pairings of the spiders interacted in a lab, making sure the creatures were well-fed to rule out hunger-driven cannibalism.
Males ate the females typically after the spiders’ first contact and before any mating, with the culprits most often males from the summer generation, the researchers found. These males tend to be larger than their counterparts born into the spring generation, suggesting size matters in aggression.
Meanwhile, age might be a dooming factor for the female Micaria sociabilis. There was a peak in reverse sexual cannibalism when males from the summer generation encountered older females from the spring generation, the researchers found. What’s more, not even virginity or big body size, often considered signs of mating quality for spiders, could save the older females from male cannibalization.
Authorities in Cleveland are currently holding a press conference on the dramatic story of three missing women being discovered in a home in Cleveland. You can watch it hear or on CNN.
If there are new developments today, I’ll update in a later post.
CNN compares last night’s dramatic story to another Cleveland case: Cleveland abductions a chilling reminder of ‘House of Horrors’
CNN breaking news says the women have been released from the hospital.
They are taking questions in the press conference now. The FBI is investigating the story and is aware of the possibility that this could involve a national story (I guess he means human trafficking).
I remember that case, and thought the same thing this morning…what a nightmare. I am so glad that these women are okay…and that they are finally home safe. Charles Ramsey is fabulous…damn what an amazing 24 hours he has had.
From Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter:
Plain Dealer: Cleveland girls’ kidnapping and escape among a trickle of similar sensational cases worldwide
Looks like one of the women had a child while in captivity: Ohio woman missing for decade has daughter – San Jose Mercury News
They said in the news conf. it is Amanda’s daughter. That seemed pretty clear, since they were in the same hospital room (see photo on earlier post)
I thought that was the case last night, but kept it to myself. Wow…it is unbelievable.
NYT: U.S. Directly Blames China’s Military for Cyberattacks
Cleveland Kidnap Suspect Was ‘Charismatic’ Guy, ‘Ashamed’ Neighbor Said
There is something even “creepier” about this story when 3 brothers are involved for over 10 years and their own families “had no clue” about their activities.
Right now we have few answers to how this was kept secret for 10 years, especially when one young girl apparently gave birth during this period, but I would be looking at those family members as well.
One neighbor said he once heard screaming from the house and reported it, according to ABC news. It was on a link I posted above.
Police investigated and heard nothing, so didn’t enter home, got in their car and left, and did not return.
Oh. My. God.
Minnesota man arrested by FBI for planning a “terrorist” attack was a right wing militia type. Will he still be called a “terrorist?”
Sounds like a real winner…
Diabetic high school student in Alabama falls asleep in study hall, gets assaulted by cop and jailed.
Damned idiots must grow on trees, there are so many of them. Hope they end up owning the school district!
Thanks to the sky dancers who reported on Elizabeth Smart Kidnapping Case here, and then just hours later the three girls were found. Women like Elizabeth will be able to talk to the others who experienced the same, it helps with the reality of things……………The’s Castro’s were animals, filthy men. How they kept these girls tied up and hidden from the community for over a decade, and just a couple miles from home. This needs to be pointed out to the community, to all of us to become more aware and question what you see and hear, and look around, instead of turning heads, and avoiding getting involved.
Wow, we have just had a bumper crops of idiot officers, and teachers, and administrators in the schools, and in the community. They need to be fired, and I hope the girl sues and gets millions for her diabeties.
Lovely artwork at the top of the post, BB. A soothing contrast to the atrocities in the news, thank you.
My thoughts exactly. A very peaceful scene.
Contemplating beauty – in art, music, nature – can be very healing.
Thanks, I chose it on purpose. So much shocking stuff in the news.
I had to add the [sic] above. Whomever thinks Medicare patients are “mostly sheltered” from healthcare costs has obviously never talked with an average person on Medicare.
Not content with attacks on Social Security and Medicare, the Rs keep chipping away at the already meagre protection for workers in the U.S.:
And don’t forget, comp time is a 1 to 1 ratio where overtime is paid time & a half. Essentially employers get overtime work performed for the cost of regular work time rates.
Absolutely right, ecocat!
Workers get screwed (again). Screwed out of full payment for their work, and screwed health-wise as longer hours are associated with poorer health.
Impressive; my state’s Congresscritters actually declined to further cut mental-health funding, and even improved some aspects of care: