Tuesday, February 28, 2012

California Schoolgirl's Death in Fight Ruled Homicide

California Schoolgirl's Death in Fight Ruled Homicide
California Schoolgirl's Death in Fight Ruled Homicide (ABC News)
Joanna Ramos, 10, died after getting into a fight with another schoolgirl.
The death of a 10-year-old Southern California schoolgirl after a fight with another student has been ruled a homicide, the coroner said today.
Investigators said Joanna Ramos, a fifth-grader at Willard Elementary School in Long Beach, died from blunt-force trauma to the head.
"They did surgery on her brain because she had a blood clot, and after surgery the doctor said she was still alive, and then a few minutes later he comes back and tells us that her heart stopped and they couldn't bring her back," Joanna's sister, Vanessa Urbina, told the Associated Press.
Joanna died at 9 p.m. Friday. Earlier that afternoon, she and another fifth-grade girl had planned to fight in an alley near the school.
"They were fighting over a boy, just for a boy," classmate Stephanie Soltero told ABC News affiliate KABC, crying. "It's just stupid."
Police said there were seven witnesses to the fight, which lasted less than a minute and didn't involve any weapons. No arrests have been made, the AP reported.
After the fight, Joanna returned to her after-school program with blood on her knuckles from wiping a bloody nose. She also complained of a headache, prompting the school to call her parents. Joanna was unconscious and not breathing when family members took her to the hospital at about 5:50 p.m., according to police.
"There are times when words do not convey a sense of sadness and loss that we feel. This was one of those times," Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said Saturday. "It's hard to understand how this can happen. If you're like me, you're also thinking of your own children, perhaps your daughter or your granddaughter, and you get a sense of how precious life really is."
Outside Willard Elementary School, friends left balloons, candles, stuffed animals, flowers and letters to Joanna. - ABCNews

Friday, February 24, 2012

Girl forced to run till she died

This undated photo released by the Etowah County Sheriff's Dept. Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 shows 9-year-old Savannah Hardin. Authorities say they've charged a grandmother and stepmother of the girl, who died after being forced to run as punishment. Etowah County sheriff's officials say 46-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard of Carlisle and 27-year-old Jessica Mae Hardin are accused of murder in the death of Savannah Hardin. Investigators say Garrard allegedly made the girl run without stopping for there hours as punishment for lying to her. (AP Photo/Etowah County Sheriffs Office)
This undated photo released by the Etowah County Sheriff's Dept. Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 shows 9-year-old Savannah Hardin. Authorities say they've charged a grandmother and stepmother of the girl, who died after being forced to run as punishment. Etowah County sheriff's officials say 46-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard of Carlisle and 27-year-old Jessica Mae Hardin are accused of murder in the death of Savannah Hardin. Investigators say Garrard allegedly made the girl run without stopping for there hours as punishment for lying to her. (AP Photo/Etowah County Sheriffs Office)

A nine-year-old girl died after she was allegedly forced to "run to death" when she was punished for eating a chocolate bar.
The stepmother and grandmother of the child were last night charged with her murder in Alabama, US.
It was alleged Savannah Hardin - who had a bladder condition - was forced to run around the house for THREE hours.
She died in hospital around noon on Monday, with preliminary reports showing she was severely dehydrated.
Later that night, Savannah's stepmother Jessica Hardin, 27, rang 911 when her stepdaughter started having seizures.
She was airlifted to hospital where she later died.
Hardin was being guarded at a Gadsden hospital - where she gave birth to another child on Wednesday afternoon.
It is believed she already has a toddler son.
Savannah's father - who works overseas - raced home after hearing his daughter was in hospital and arrived just hours before she was declared dead.
Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin alleged that the child's grandmother Joyce Hardin Garrard, 46 handed her the punishment - which could have made her condition worse.
Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp said: "Basically she was caused to undergo physical exertion to the point in time where she just got dehydrated and her electrolyte levels got to the point where she couldn't survive."
A medical examiner later ruled her death a homicide. -

67 students quarantined after showing ILI symptoms

Image: Utusan

MELAKA: Sixty-seven students of Sekolah Menengah Sains Muzaffar Shah (MOZAC) were quarantined at the school's hostel after showing symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI).

Melaka Education, Youth and Sports Committee chairman Datuk Gan Tian Loo said 35 of the students were boys.

He said the symptoms were detected on Monday after 77 students complained of having flu, cough, joint pains, sore throat and fever.

"I was informed by the school and also the State Health Department that the outbreak is under control with the number of students being quarantined dropping after 10 students were confirmed free of ILI virus," he told reporters after visiting the school today.

All the students quarantined were being closely monitored by doctors and nurses from the Air Keroh Health Office, he added.

As such, he said he hoped parents would not be overly worried and should contact the school authorities if they had any questions.

He said learning sessions were running normally and suggested the students at the full-boarding school wore masks as a safety precaution.

He said the source of the outbreak was still being investigated and he was waiting for a report from the Melaka Hospital.

The state government had also set up a special unit to monitor the situation, Gan added. - Bernama

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Indonesian police storm Bali prison after riot

BALI, Indonesia (AP): Security forces stormed a prison on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on Wednesday after rioting inmates temporarily took control of the facility, setting fires and throwing rocks at guards. At least three inmates were wounded.
The violence erupted Tuesday night at the Kerobokan prison following the stabbing last week of an inmate.
Local police chief Maj. Gen. Totoy Herawan Indra said riot police and soldiers stormed the compound early Wednesday as hundreds of heavily armed security forces surrounded the perimeter.
Indra said three prisoners wounded by rubber bullets were taken to Sanglah hospital.
Indonesian police evacuate an injured prisoner at Kerobokan prison in Denpasar on Wednesday. - AP
He said soldiers and policemen were in full control of the prison following the 15-minute raid.
He said the prison's security personnel had left behind about 30 guns, but security forces have recovered all of them and none had been taken by rioting prisoners.
The prison has around 1,000 inmates, including dozens of foreigners. Those include members of an Australian drug smuggling ring who Australian media have dubbed the "Bali Nine."
Indra said foreign prisoners were neither involved nor injured in the rioting.
Hundreds of onlookers, including some foreign tourists, gathered around the prison, to see what was happening.
Two water cannons and six truckloads of troops are deployed to secure the prisons, witnesses said.

Sudirman may have passed away but his memory lives on

PETALING JAYA: It is exactly 20 years ago since his death at the age of 37 but singer-extraordinaire Sudirman Arshad lives in the hearts and memories of those who knew him.
For award-winning lyricist, film producer and close friend Habsah Hassan, it is unbelievable that two decades have passed by so swiftly.
Good times: (From left) Daniel, back-up dancer Joanne Ng, Sudirman and awardwinning composer Fauzi Marzuki celebrating after a performance.
“He was a great friend who was lovable, charitable and so manja(affectionate). I miss him so much,” said the 59-year-old who had penned lyrics for close to 30 songs that Sudirman popularised including Kul It!, Merisik Khabar, Salam TerakhirPunch Card and To Know Malaysia Is To Love Malaysia.
Paying tribute: Daniel (top), Habsah and Saw all sing praises of Sudirman’s showmanship.
“He did not look at race, creed or colour. It is important for TV stations to showcase some of his concerts and introduce him to the younger generation,” said Habsah, who is having a closed-door gathering for Sudirman fans on Saturday at Restoran Puteri in Sungai Penchala, Kuala Lumpur.
Sudirman's manager Daniel Dhar-anee Kannan remembers him as someone with high standards.
“He was never satisfied with his achievements. One of his most memorable acts was performing for over 100,000 fans in Jalan Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur in 1986. It was deemed impossible back then but he pulled it off,” he said.
Coinciding with his 20th death anniversary is the musical Hoore! Hoore! by award-winning director Saw Teong Hin. It will feature 12 of Sudirman's popular songs like Basikal Tua, Milik Siapakah Gadis Ini and Balik Kampung,rearranged by composer Audi Mok. It will be released in August and stars Akim AF7, Kilafairy, Harun Salim Bachik and Aznil Nawawi.
Saw, who directed the film version of Puteri Gunung Ledang, said: “Sudirman's work encompassed songs from different genres. I was a big fan and distinctly remember when he emerged best singer on Bintang RTM in 1976. Hopefully through this movie, we will be reminded of his greatness and enlighten the younger generation on his music.”
Warner Music Malaysia has released a career-spanning 101 Sudirman six CD box-set this week while two of his core EMI-era recordings - his debut album Aku Penghiburmu (1978) and the hit album Kul It!(1986) - previously unavailable in CD format, were finally issued last year.
Radio station Suria FM will commemorate the anniversary today by playing the entertainer's most popular songs includingMerisik Khabar, Salam Terakhir, Nilai Cintamu and Terasing. There will be one song played every hour from the start of the breakfast show, Ceria Pagi Di Suria (5am), right up to its last segment, Suria Cinta (2am). - theStarOnline

Woman finds ancient artifact in baby shark

MALACCA: A baby shark being prepared for lunch gave a family here a big surprise - an ancient artifact believed to be dated long before the Portuguese conquest of Malacca.
Housewife Suseela Menon, from Klebang, made the priceless discovery while filleting the fish for lunch.
It is believed to be a medallion worn by the Portuguese soldiers, presumably as a divine protection, during their conquests in this part of the world in the 16th century.
One side of the medallion is a profile of a woman's head with a crown and encircled by a halo and an inscription that is unclear.
The other side is a crucifix with an engraved inscription that read ANTONII.
Rare find: Suseela showing the artifact she found inside the baby shark’s stomach.
Checks with a local historian revealed the head engraving could be that of Queen Elizabeth, the consort of King Denis I of Portugal during his reign from 1271 to 1336.
Suseela said she immediately cleaned the medallion and preserved it in a box.
“I bought two sharks from the wet market and was taken aback upon discovering the object inside the stomach of one of the fishes,” said the 47-year-old mother-of-two at her home yesterday.
Suseela had wanted to prepare shark curry for her husband.
“Finally, my husband decided not to eat the fish as the object seems to be a religious item,” she said.
The medallion is 7.4cm long, 6cm wide and weighs 10g.
“My husband feels it is a blessing for the family to have the medallion coming to our home from beneath the sea. We will always cherish it,” said Suseela. - the StarOnline

Man slashes mum to death

SUNGAI PETANI: A 60-year-old rubber tapper died after her son allegedly slashed her head with a parang at their house in Kampung Padang Buluh, Sidam Kiri near here.
The woman's body was found sprawled in a pool of blood in the kitchen by a relative.
She had just returned home from tapping rubber and was about to prepare lunch for herself and her son when the latter attacked her.
It is learnt that the suspect, aged 26, the youngest of six siblings, lived with the woman at the house.
A relative, who also lived in the village, said she went to check on the woman after a neighbour told her that she saw the suspect running out of the house.
“I found the body on the floor but dared not get closer because of the blood.
“I went inside to check if the son was in and when I found he wasn't, I called the police,” said the 27-year-old woman when contacted.
Kedah CID chief Assistant Comm Zakaria Ahmad said the incident occurred at about 1pm yesterday.
He said police found an open wound on the back of the woman's head, believed to have been caused by a sharp object.
ACP Zakaria said the man was arrested near the house.
“Based on our investigation, the man had a record of mental illness and has received treatment at the hospital,” he said when contacted.
He said police were investigating the case under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder. - theStarOnline

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jumping red light, M'sian driver kills biker

A store-keeper at an electrical company in Besut, Terengganu was killed when she was hit by a car which skidded and went out of control at a traffic light intersection at Kampung Raja near Besut Friday.

Shamsinar Suria Ramia, 27, of Jalan Aman, Kampung Raja, died on the spot due to serious head and body injuries.

Deputy Besut district police chief DSP Noor Zainy Mohd Noor said the victim was on her motorcycle waiting for the traffic light to turn green when a Proton Wira car, believed to have jumped the red light, rammed into an oncoming Toyota RAV4.

The impact cost the driver of the Toyota car to lose control of the wheel and crashed into the victim, he told Bernama.
He said Shamsinar Suria's body was sent to the Besut District Hospital for a post-mortem and later claimed by family members for burial.
The driver of the Proton Wira has been detained for investigation.
Source: Bernama

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Whitney autopsy: No foul play

Whitney Houston ends her life tragically in her posh hotel bathroom in LA
Whitney Houston ends her life tragically in her posh hotel bathroom in LA

It's sad but true - Whitney Houston was already dead when her head hit the bottom of her hotel bathtub.

A coroner examining the body of the fallen pop diva has ruled that there was no "foul play" involved in her death.

Whitney died at the age of 48 on February 11 at her hotel room in the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

An autopsy carried out on February 12 has now been completed, though the official results have been put in a "security hold" until an investigation into her death finishes.

The results will reportedly be released in six to eight weeks' time.

However, Los Angeles Deputy Coroner Ed Winter has revealed minor details of the autopsy, saying there were "no signs of trauma" or "foul play" and confirming that Whitney was found - upside down - in her bathtub.

Shrimp fishing tragedy

 Sudin Haron
Sudin Haron praying on Pantai Puteri, near Tanjung Kling, Malacca, as the rescue team searches for his missing son, Omar Sudin, yesterday. Pic by Rasul Azli Samad
MALACCA : A FATHER'S desire to fulfil his children's wish to eat shrimp resulted in   tragedy when he drowned while catching shrimp off Pantai Puteri, near here, on Sunday night.  

Omar Sudin, 37, from Kampung Pantai Rombang is believed to have been swept away by strong currents after his newly bought net which he had been using to catch shrimps was found 100m from where he was last seen at a stone wall on the beach.

His body was   found by local fishermen who were assisting authorities in their search after nearly 19 hours.

The body was discovered at  4.35pm yesterday near a jetty at Tanjung Beruas, more than 4km  from the scene of the incident.

Tangga Batu Fire and Rescue Department chief Abdul Razak Manap said the victim's body had been caught on some coral.

The search and rescue operation began at  8.45pm and involved  more than 50 personnel, comprising fire and rescue, a scuba unit, police, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency,  Civil Defence Department, t People's Volunteer Corps (Rela) and Marine Operations Force.

The victim's wife, Zunaida Yusof, 37,  broke down in tears when she saw her husband's body.

She said her husband,  a barber, had left the house  about 8.30pm as he had been excited to try out the new net.   

She only found out about her husband's disappearance when her father-in-law told her about it at 10.30pm. - NST

Vietnamese punished for chopping down gaharu – a first in Penang

Vietnamese Nguyen Van Tien
Vietnamese Nguyen Van Tien (left) pleaded guilty to felling gaharu trees in the Bukit Panchor Forest Reserve in Nibong Tebal, Penang, on New Year’s Day. Pic by Mohd Kamil Rahim (NST)

BUTTERWORTH: A 23-year-old Vietnamese was sentenced to six years’ jail and fined RM200,000 in default six months’ jail for felling gaharu (agarwood) trees at the Forest Reserve in Nibong Tebal last month – a first in Penang.
Nguyen Van Tien had pleaded guilty to felling the agarwood trees, with two others still at large, at the Bukit Panchor Forest Reserve at 3.30pm on Jan 1.
He was earlier charged under Section 15 (1) of the Forestry Act 1984 together with Section 34 of the Penal Code, which carries a jail term of up to 20 years and a maximum fine of RM500,000, or both.
In mitigation, Nguyen asked for leniency, saying that he regretted committing the offence. The court proceedings were adjourned three times before the sentencing.
Deputy public prosecutor Siti Aishah Ramlan pressed for a deterrent sentence, claiming that the accused had destroyed the forest reserve and such incidents were rampant in the state.
She asked the court to impose a sentence that would serve as a lesson to other would-be offenders.
Session court Judge Ikmal Hishan Mohd Tajuddin then passed the sentence and ordered it to take effect from yesterday.
State Forestry Department assistant director Azhar Ahmad said they had to delay charging the accused because they needed to arrange for a Vietnamese interpreter.
He said besides the locals, foreigners were also involved in the illegal felling and stealing of the agarwood trees. - theStarOnline

‘This is not the iPhone I ordered’

JOHOR BARU: A manager was shocked to receive a toy smartphone, a used paint brush and a Chinese book after he deposited RM1,750 into a cash deposit machine for a brand new Apple iPhone 4S.

toy smartphone
Faizal Hussin with the toy smartphone, used paint brush and Chinese book after he deposited RM1,750 into a cash deposit machine for a brand new Apple iPhone 4S. Pic by Nor Hazwani Hamat
To make matters worse, the toy smartphone, which resembles an iPhone, had a picture of the popular Angry Bird game on it.

Faizal Hussin, from Taman Impian Jaya here, received the items on Jan 5 after he made an order for the popular Apple smartphone which was advertised on an online Internet portal.

Prior to this, Faizal said that he did not have any problems from purchasing mobile phones offered by other advertisers through the same online portal in the past.

"I was attracted to the iPhone 4S which was being advertised for RM1,750 per unit.

"The price was appealing as it was much cheaper than the recommended retail price of RM2,400.

"I contacted the number and was told to bank-in the payment and the phone would be delivered within two days."

Faizal was describing the events as part of his statement leading to the items he received in the post at the Malaysian Consumer Claims Tribunal which was chaired by its president, Maznah Haron here yesterday.

Continuing on his statement, Faizal said he made effort to locate the company's address which was in Muar based on the bank account number.

However, his findings proved to be futile after he found out that the address was a rented home.

On Jan 10, Faizal said he was shocked to read in the newspapers that a former bank officer received a lesung batu  (stone mortar) after making payments of RM3,250 for three smartphones from the same company.

"Following that, I filed  a consumer claim with the tribunal in the hope of getting some justice."

After looking at evidence of payment and Faizal's statement, Maznah then ordered the defendant, into whose account the money was deposited, to return the sum of RM1,750 to the victim within 14 days.

Maznah advised Faizal, as the claimant, to lodge a police report with regard  to the case.

"As consumers, we should be watchful and not  be deceived by products that have been offered at cheaper prices, especially through the Internet," she said. - NST

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Warning against treatments using leeches

Image: Google

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry yesterday advised the public to stay away from traditional healing treatments using leeches as it may cause bacterial infection.

Director-general Datuk Seri Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman said the ministry had not approved such treatment centres as the effectiveness was not proven.

"The ministry strictly does not allow this treatment method as there is no scientific evidence to prove the treatment works," he told the  New Straits Times yesterday.

Dr Hasan said stern action will be taken against traditional healing practitioners who continue to risk the public's health. 

He was responding to claims of a skin specialist at An-Nur Hospital, Dr Saadiah Sulaiman, that the leech treatment exposed the public to a dry cough.

She claimed that to date, two patients had sought follow up treatments for the illness at the hospital after trying out the leech treatment.

Dr Hasan added that the perception of many that leeches suck dirty blood was also wrong as there was no such thing as dirty blood in medical terms.

"Infectious disease may spread through blood when the same leech is used on another patient."

Dr Hasan said the treatment process could transmit dangerous diseases related to blood flow from one individual to another besides slowing the blood clot process.

"This may lead to constant bleeding with an open wound giving space for more serious problems." - NST

Toddler mistaken for handbag

 The damaged car passenger window
The damaged car passenger window after being briefed on the heritage room by the snatch theft incident. The snatch thieves had mistaken a baby girl in a baby carrier for a handbag.

KUALA LUMPUR: A PAIR of snatch thieves mistook a year-old baby for a handbag when they smashed the window of a car that was waiting at a traffic-light junction in USJ Subang on Feb 3.

The driver, 31-year-old business owner Yap Yann Fang, said she was looking at her baby when the window closest to the toddler was smashed about 9pm.

"Then an arm came in the broken window and was tugging at my baby," she told the New Straits Times yesterday.

Yap said it was fortunate that the thieves, who were on a motorcycle, realised that it was a baby in a baby carrier that they were trying to snatch and sped off.

"I was petrified when the incident happened; I could not see the motorcycle's  number plate, or even what the thieves looked like.

"There were glass shards everywhere -- pieces of glass were even found in my daughter's diaper; luckily she only suffered minor scratches on her leg."

Yap likened the incident to a mother's worst nightmare, and said she could not imagine what would have happened if pieces of glass had gone into her daughter's eyes, or worse, if the thieves had managed to remove her child from the car.

"My daughter was securely fastened in her baby carrier. That stopped the thieves from removing her from the car." she said.

The incident occurred while Yap was waiting at the Persiaran Kewajipan traffic light junction above the Shah Alam Highway.

She said she believed the area was a "hot spot" for snatch thieves with the same modus operandi.

"After I posted the incident on Facebook, almost a dozen of my friends, including my cousin, said they too have witnessed or have become victims themselves on that particular stretch of road.

"From their responses, it seems that the method used by the thieves in the area was the same -- targeting single women drivers waiting at those traffic lights."

Yap said the snatch thieves also had a 'convenient' escape route. She said those who experienced a similar ordeal there told her that the thieves all sped down the ramp into the highway after carrying out their deed.

She learned that in some cases, the thieves would even smash the passenger windows of cars when there were passengers on board.

"They have no regard for the safety of others. They know those sitting nearest to the window are sure to be injured that way, but they do it anyway just for a chance to get a few ringgit," she said.

Yap lodged a police report immediately after the incident.
Home-made tool
The home-made tool being briefed on the heritage room by used by the snatch thieves to break Yap Yann Fang’s car window. It was fashioned by tightly wrapping hard-materials with adhesive tape. According to police, most snatch thieves break car windows using screwdrivers or iron rods.
Subang Jaya police chief Assistant Commissioner Yahaya Ramli said even though there were no immediate leads as to who the perpetrators were, police intelligence had identified several key areas where snatch thieves preferred to strike.

"We have received several reports of similar attacks and have since increased police presence in those places, including the location where Yap was attacked.

"Our information tells us that these thieves work in small gangs, they are not from Subang Jaya and usually attack when they see an opportunity."

Yahaya said the move to mobilise more patrols in those areas was not a long-term solution and was meant to stop further attacks in the future.

"We are studying these snatch thieves and will carry out operations to nab the culprits once we have gathered enough intelligence on their whereabouts," he said. - NST

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