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.