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Topics - mona

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World News / Kumasi sex workers Angry Over Nigerian sex workers
« on: September 01, 2010, 06:54:22 PM »

World News / Personality Set for Life By 1st Grade, Study Suggests
« on: August 09, 2010, 04:05:30 PM »
Our personalities stay pretty much the same throughout our lives, from our early childhood years to after we're over the hill, according to a new study.

The results show personality traits observed in children as young as first graders are a strong predictor of adult behavior.

"We remain recognizably the same person," said study author Christopher Nave, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Riverside. "This speaks to the importance of understanding personality because it does follow us wherever we go across time and contexts."

The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Tracking personalities

Using data from a 1960s study of approximately 2,400 ethnically diverse schoolchildren (grades 1 - 6) in Hawaii, researchers compared teacher personality ratings of the students with videotaped interviews of 144 of those individuals 40 years later.

They examined four personality attributes - talkativeness (called verbal fluency), adaptability (cope well with new situations), impulsiveness and self-minimizing behavior (essentially being humble to the point of minimizing one's importance).

Among the findings:

Talkative youngsters tended to show interest in intellectual matters, speak fluently, try to control situations, and exhibit a high degree of intelligence as adults. Children who rated low in verbal fluency were observed as adults to seek advice, give up when faced with obstacles, and exhibit an awkward interpersonal style.

Children rated as highly adaptable tended, as middle-age adults, to behave cheerfully, speak fluently and show interest in intellectual matters. Those who rated low in adaptability as children were observed as adults to say negative things about themselves, seek advice and exhibit an awkward interpersonal style.

Students rated as impulsive were inclined to speak loudly, display a wide range of interests and be talkative as adults. Less impulsive kids tended to be fearful or timid, kept others at a distance and expressed insecurity as adults.

Children characterized as self-minimizing were likely to express guilt, seek reassurance, say negative things about themselves and express insecurity as adults. Those who were ranked low on a self-minimizing scale tended to speak loudly, show interest in intellectual matters and exhibit condescending behavior as adults.

Changing personality

Previous research has suggested that while our personalities can change, it's not an easy undertaking.

Personality is "a part of us, a part of our biology," Nave said. "Life events still influence our behaviors, yet we must acknowledge the power of personality in understanding future behavior as well."

Future research will "help us understand how personality is related to behavior as well as examine the extent to which we may be able to change our personality," Nave said.


World News / Worst floods in a decade in China, 30,000 trapped
« on: July 28, 2010, 09:22:49 PM »

« on: July 27, 2010, 10:45:11 PM »

"Dear Grandson,

The other day I went to a local Xtian bookstore in Ikeja and saw a 'Honk If You Love Jesus' bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy after a thunderous prayer meeting, so I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.

I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good He is and I didn't notice that the light had changed. I found that LOTS of people love Jesus. Why, while I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and when he leaned out of his window and screamed, "for the love of God, GO! GO!" What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus.

Everyone started honking! I just leaned out of my window and started waving and smiling at all these loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love. I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. When I asked your teenage brother in the back seat what that meant, he said that it was probably a Northern Nigeria good luck sign or something. Well, I've never met anyone from Northern Nigeria, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign back. Your brother burst out laughing, why even he was enjoying this religious experience.

A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. So, I waved to all my sisters and brothers grinning, and drove on through the intersection.

I noticed I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and I felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared, so I slowed the car down, leaned out of the window and gave them all the Northern Nigeria good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks in this Lagos City!

Your Grandma"

Jokes / Naija couple's funny wedding list
« on: July 25, 2010, 10:43:33 PM »
take a cue from them and equip your shop or prolly build an estate.

Off Topic / When insults had class
« on: July 23, 2010, 01:20:45 PM »
The english language can be used rather effectively for insults.

When Insults Had Class :

These glorious insults are from an era before the English language changed to 4-letter words.

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:

She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison."

He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."


A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."

"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."


"He had delusions of adequacy."

Walter Kerr


"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

Winston Churchill


"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." Clarence Darrow


"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).


"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas


"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain


"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.."

Oscar Wilde


"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one."

George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill


"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second .... if there is one."

Winston Churchill's response


"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."

Stephen Bishop


"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."

John Bright


"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."

Irvin S. Cobb


"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others."

Samuel Johnson


"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."

Paul Keating


"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."

Charles, Count Talleyrand


"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."

Forrest Tucker


"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"

Mark Twain


"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."

Mae West


"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.."

Oscar Wilde


"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts ... for support rather than illumination."

Andrew Lang (1844-1912)


"He has Van Gogh's ear for music."

Billy Wilder


"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."

Groucho Marx

World News / nigerian parents give birth to white,blond baby.
« on: July 20, 2010, 01:38:19 PM »

Jokes / This guy own don finish!!!
« on: July 19, 2010, 07:22:03 PM »
 ;D ;D ;D

Jokes / Why did the Chicken Cross the Road?
« on: July 16, 2010, 02:02:20 AM »

      A Brazilian model who lives in Houston wanted to have the largest breasts in the world; she must now undergo surgery and is in the fight for her life.

     Sheyla Hershey was able to achieve her goal of having the largest breasts in the world when she had M-cup implants put into place. She soon removed them and downgraded to a smaller size when she learned she was pregnant in 2009.

     After more than 30 plastic surgeries, Hershey suffered her first complication following her most recent breast augmentation procedure in June. Her youngest child's first birthday was only days away.

     A severe staph infection reached both of Hershey's breasts.

     She had the augmentation surgery in Brazil, but came home to Houston for help. Hershey says the new surgeon told her she should be concerned for her life. Staph infections can enter the bloodstream and be life threatening. Hershey is also very concerned about losing one of her breasts. She has had to give herself infusions of intravenous antibiotics every twelve hours to fight the infection.

     The treatment has helped one breast, but doctors say the other one is still in jeopardy. That would mean that she will not only lose both implants, but quite possibly need to have the entire breast removed.

     Doctors took Hershey into surgery on Tuesday morning to remove the implants.

     "I had large fever and painful. I just couldn't breathe properly; it was terrible! I was in bed all day, couldn't get up," says Hershey.

      Hershey says she is trying to work through her obsession with plastic surgery. She says she wants to just be a mother. Her young son has asked her for a while to reduce her breast size. Even though she is being forced to do so because of a medical emergency, she admits that it is time.

World News / World first face transplant, with tear ducts
« on: July 08, 2010, 10:58:56 PM »

French doctors have carried out a successful full-face transplant -- eyelids, tear ducts and all -- on a 35-year-old man, the hospital where the operation took place confirmed on Thursday.

Doctors carried out the 12-hour operation June 26 and 27 on a patient -- identified only as "Jerome" -- afflicted with a face-disfiguring genetic disorder.

The head surgeon, Laurent Lantieri, described the surgery as a world first because it included a difficult and unprecedented transplant of tear ducts and eyelids.

A similar procedure carried out in Spain earlier this year replaced most of the face, but not the tear ducts.

Lantieri, who has already performed four other partial or nearly-complete face transplants, told AFP before the operation that reconnecting tear ducts and replacing eyelids was the "extremely challenging."

"My patient is doing well. He is walking, eating, talking. His beard has started to grow back on his new face," said Lantieri, who operated on Jerome at the Creteil Henri-Mondor hospital in the Paris suburbs.

"The first time he looked at himself in the mirror he stuck both thumbs up," he told a local newspaper, the Parisien. "He was waiting for this transplant for two years. He is very happy."

Lantieri's team operated on another patient suffering from the same genetic disorder, a type of neurofibromatosis called Von Recklinghausen's disease, in 2007.

In that case the tumour was so massive and hideous that the man could neither eat or speak properly.

Less then 13 months after the transplant, however, the man was working fulltime and considered himself to be reintegrated into society.

A face transplant involves the removal of the entire face from a corpse, including mouth and eyelids, and grafting it onto the patient. Nerves and blood vessels are connected under a microscope.

"We are the first to have done a full-face transplant including eyelids and tear ducts. I am proud because this has been done in France," Lantieri was quoted as saying.

The surgery required a team of ten people, fewer than for previous cases, he added.

Other doctors have also claimed to have carried out a similar operation.

In April, a 30-strong team at the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona said they had conducted a full-face transplant on a young man disfigured in an accident.

There have about a dozen partial or complete face transplants recorded to date, five of them -- including the first, in 2005 -- in France.

In that landmark operation, 38-year-old Isabelle Dinoire received the nose, lips and chin of a donor to replace parts of her face that had been mauled by a dog.

The procedure was conducted by Bernard Devauchelle, a professor of facial surgery at a hospital in Amiens, northern France. The first face transplant outside France took place in China in 2006 on a patient mauled by a bear.

The man died two years later, after he stopped taking medication to prevent his body from rejecting the graft. In April 2009, Lantieri and his colleagues also claimed another world first for replacing part of the face and both hands of a man in a single operation.

A face transplant is considered one of the toughest surgical tasks. It combines micro-surgery to connect nerves and blood vessels and a high risk of rejection by the recipient's immune system. "Beyond the grafting itself, these transplants are going to teach us a lot about numerous other areas of such as immunology," Lantieri said.

World News / Iran leader to visit Nigeria as it takes UN post
« on: July 01, 2010, 07:54:26 PM »
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit Nigeria this weekend as the West African nation assumes the rotating presidency of the United Nations' security council, an Iranian diplomat said Thursday.
Ahmadinejad's visit to Nigeria comes after the leader made similar visits to Uganda and Zimbabwe in April, as the pariah Middle Eastern nation tries to build alliances against stronger U.N. sanctions over its nuclear program.

Khosrow Rezazadeh, Iran's ambassador to Nigeria, on Thursday confirmed Ahmadinejad's planned visit, but declined to offer further details. Nigeria's foreign ministry also declined to tell reporters about Ahmadinejad's plans, though his arrival comes as Nigeria's capital, Abuja, is scheduled to host a conference for a group of developing countries known as the D-8.
Nigeria took over the presidency of the U.N. security council on Thursday. As president, Nigeria's U.N. Ambassador Joy Ogwu will serve as the ceremonial head of the 15-member body. She also will be able to set the council's schedule and lead mediation on any crisis during Nigeria's monthlong tenure.

Nigeria last served on the security council in 1994-95.
The U.N. put new sanctions in place against Iran in June over its nuclear program. Among the new restrictions, the sanctions freeze assets of new organizations linked to Iran's government, bans the nation from pursuing "any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons" and bars it from investing in uranium mining.
Ahmadinejad responded by vowing retaliation if Iran's ships are searched over suspicions that the cargo may violate the new sanctions. responded by vowing Iranian retaliation if its ships are searched over suspicions that the cargo may violate the new sanctions.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom criticized Nigeria on Thursday for taking over the security council presidency while religious violence continues to plague the nation. Nigeria, a nation of 150 million, is split between the Christian-dominated south and Muslim north. Hundreds have died in central Nigeria this year alone in sectarian fighting.

The bipartisan U.S. government commission asked other members of the security council to pressure Nigeria into addressing the violence.
"Nigeria's own security and stability is put at risk by a culture of unchecked and unpunished sectarian violence that gives rise to divisiveness along religious lines and repeated reprisal attacks," commission chairman Leonard Leo said in a statement. "Nigeria has the ability to prosecute perpetrators of sectarian violence, but so far lacks political will and determination to actually do so."

Nutrition & Health / Woman Eats 60 Meals A Day To Live
« on: July 01, 2010, 07:43:45 PM »

     Ten people have been arrested for allegedly serving as secret agents of the Russian government in the United States, the Justice Department said Monday.

Eight of 10 were arrested Sunday for allegedly carrying out long-term, deep cover assignments in the United States on behalf of Russia.

Two others were arrested for allegedly participating in the same Russian intelligence program within the United States.

Their job, according to the court papers in the case, was ''to search and develop ties in policymaking circles'' in the United States.

Each of the 10 was charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison on conviction.

The cases were filed in U.S. District Court for the southern district of New York.

Federal law prohibits individuals from acting as agents of foreign governments within the United States without notifying the U.S. attorney general.

Nine of the defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum 20 years in prison on conviction.

FBI agents arrested the defendants known as Richard Murphy and Cynthia Murphy at their residence in Montclair, N.J., and they were appearing Monday in federal court in Manhattan.

Three other defendants also were being taken to federal court in Manhattan -- Vicky Pelaez and a defendant known as ''Juan Lazaro,'' who were arrested at their residence in Yonkers, N.Y., and Anna Chapman, who was arrested in Manhattan on Sunday.

Two other defendants known as Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills were arrested at their residence in Arlington, Va., and were appearing in federal court in Alexandria, Va., on Monday.

Also being taken to federal court in Alexandria was Mikhail Semenko, who was arrested Sunday at his residence in Arlington.

Two defendants known as Donald Howard Heathfield and Tracey Lee Ann Foley were arrested at their residence in Boston on Sunday and were appearing in federal court in Boston on Monday.

The Justice Department said that a defendant known as Christopher R. Metsos was not in custody.

The arrests were the result of a multiyear FBI investigation into an alleged network of U.S.-based agents who concealed all connections between themselves and Russia.

The U.S. government intercepted a message from Russian intelligence headquarters in Moscow to two of the defendants, Richard and Cynthia Murphy.

''You were sent to USA for long-term service trip,'' the message from Moscow. ''Your education, bank accounts, car, house etc. -- all these serve one goal: fulfill your main mission, i.e. to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in US and sent intels,'' the message added.

World News / More Active Sun Means Nasty Solar Storms Ahead
« on: June 10, 2010, 06:28:08 PM »

Fashion / British students given 'sexy high-heel lessons'
« on: June 09, 2010, 05:01:05 PM »

  Students have been taught how to walk in stilettos as part of a government-funded course, a south London college said on Wednesday.
The six-week "Sexy Heels in the City" course was offered as an extra-curricular activity at South Thames College and finished in May.
The college said five students aged between 16 and 50-plus took part in the classes, and said the reactions were overwhelmingly positive.

   "The course improved students' confidence, it was a fun, sociable activity for them to do in their free time," a college spokeswoman told AFP.
"They practiced the Alexander Technique and learned how to walk responsibly and carefully in high heels." The Alexander Technique is a method that helps to improve a person's posture and balance.
Professional singer China Whyne -- who has worked with Eric Clapton, Seal and Peter Gabriel -- was paid 750 pounds (1,000 dollars, 900 euros) to teach the six-week course.

  On her website, the tutor promises to teach women teetering in high heels how to improve their posture, reduce back pain and "achieve that gliding feeling when walking".
One of the college students who completed the course said she now "felt more comfortable in my heels."
"I no longer feel pain on a night out because I know what exercises to do beforehand," said 16-year-old Celina Mystery. "Now I can finally rock my heels."

South Thames College said it was still evaluating whether to run the course again.
Meanwhile, the TaxPayers' Alliance campaign group dismissed the course as a waste of money.
"This is a silly gimmick that's most likely diverting money away from more needy parts of the college," chief executive Matthew Elliott told the Daily Mirror website.

World News / Indonesian child-teen smokers rising
« on: May 24, 2010, 12:50:15 AM »
Ardi Rizal, 2, throws a tantrum when his parents refuse him a cigarette. His father gave him his first when he was just 18 months old.
The smoking toddler was witnessed by a reporter who recently visited his home in the fishing village of Musi Banyuasin, in Indonesia's South Sumatra province.

"I'm not worried about his health, he looks healthy," shrugged the boy's father Mohammad Rizal. "He cries and throws tantrums when we don't let him smoke. He's addicted."
Ardi's youth is the extreme of a disturbing trend. Data from the Central Statistics Agency showed 25 percent of Indonesian children aged 3 to 15 have tried cigarettes, with 3.2 percent of those active smokers.
The percentage of 5- to 9-year-olds lighting up increased from 0.4 percent in 2001 to 2.8 percent in 2004, the agency reported.
A video of a 4-year-old Indonesian boy blowing smoke rings appeared briefly on YouTube in March, prompting outrage before it was removed from the site.

Child advocates are speaking out about the health damage to children from secondhand smoke, and the growing pressure on them to pick up a cigarette in a country where one-third of the population uses tobacco and single cigarettes can be bought for a few cents.

Seto Mulyadi, chairman of Indonesia's child protection commission, blames the increase on aggressive advertising and parents who are smokers.
"A law to protect children and passive smokers should be introduced immediately in this country," he said.
A health law passed in 2009 formally recognizes that smoking is addictive, and an anti-smoking coalition is pushing for tighter restrictions on smoking in public places, advertising bans and bigger health warnings on cigarette packages.

But a bill on tobacco control has been stalled because of opposition from the tobacco industry. The bill would ban cigarette advertising and sponsorship, prohibit smoking in public, and add graphic images to packaging.
Benny Wahyudi, a senior official at the Industry Ministry, said the government had initiated a plan to try to limit the number of smokers, including dropping production to 240 billion cigarettes this year, from 245 billion in 2009.

"The government is aware of the impact of smoking on health and has taken efforts, including lowering cigarette production, increasing its tax and limiting smoking areas," he said.
Mulyadi said a ban on advertising is key to putting the brakes on child and teen smoking. "If cigarette advertising is not banned, there will be more kids whose lives are threatened because of smoking," he said.
Ubiquitous advertising hit a bump last month when a cigarette company was forced to withdraw its sponsorship of pop star Kelly Clarkson's concert following protests from fans and anti-tobacco groups.

However, imposing a nonsmoking message will be difficult in Indonesia, the world's third-largest tobacco consumer.
Tubagus Haryo Karbyanto, a member of the National Commission of Tobacco Control, said Indonesia must also address the social conditions that lead to smoking, such as family influence and peer pressure.

"The promotion of health has to be integrated down to the smallest units in our society, from public health centers and local health care centers to the family," he was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Globe on Friday.
Health Minister Endang Sedyaningsih conceded turning young people off smoking will be difficult in a country where it is perceived as positive because cigarette companies sponsor everything from scholarships to sporting events.

"This is the challenge we face in protecting youth from the dangers of smoking," she said in a statement on the ministry's website.

Jokes / Na so fight take start
« on: May 19, 2010, 05:01:01 AM »

The wifey and Man were watching "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" while in bed.
Man turned to her and said, "Do you want to have sex?"
"No," she answered.
Man then said, "Is that your final answer?
She didn't even look at him this time, simply saying, "Yes."
So Man asks, "Can I phone a friend?" so fight take start!


Saturday morning Man got up early without waking the wifey, quietly dressed, made lunch,

grabbed the dog, and slipped quietly into the garage. Man hooked up his fishing boat up to

his 4x4 and proceeded to back out.... into a torrential downpour! The wind was blowing 50

mph, so he pulled back into the garage, turned on the radio, and discovered that the

weather would be bad all day.
He went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed.

He cuddled up to his wife's back, now with a different anticipation, and whispered, "The

weather out there is terrible."
His loving wife of 10 years replied, "Can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in

that?" so fight take start!


When Man got home last night, His wife demanded that he takes her someplace

expensive.................... ................
so, Man took her to the petrol station. so fight take start!


After retiring, Man went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security. The

woman behind the counter asked him for his driver's license to verify his age.
He looked in his pockets and realized he had left his wallet at home.

He told the woman that he was very sorry, but would have to go home and come back later.
The woman said, 'Unbutton your shirt'. So he opened his shirt revealing his curly silver


She said, 'That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me' and she processed his

Social Security application.

When he got home, he excitedly told the wifey about his experience at the Social Security

She said, 'You should have dropped your trousers. You might have gotten disability, too.' so fight take start!


Wifey and Man were sitting at a table at his high school reunion,
Man kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table.
Wifey asked, 'Do you know her?'
'Yes,' he sighed, 'She's my old girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking right after

we split up those many years ago, and I hear she hasn't been sober since.'
'My God!' says the wifey, 'who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?' so fight take start!


Man took wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason, took his order first.
"I'll have the steak, medium rare, please."
He said, "Aren't you worried about mad cow?"
"Nah, she can order for herself." so fight take start!


A woman is standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror.
She is not happy with what she sees and says to her husband, 'I feel horrible; I look old,

fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.'
The husband replies, 'Your eyesight's perfect.' so fight take start!

Jokes / Really pissed off
« on: May 19, 2010, 02:52:05 AM »

Romance / 9 Marriage Rules You Should??? Break
« on: May 13, 2010, 12:22:45 AM »

World News / Gospel musicians charged in Georgian church break-ins
« on: May 12, 2010, 05:37:48 PM »
Two gospel singers are facing multiple charges after authorities say they played uplifting music for several Georgia churches, then stole some $100,000 worth of speakers, microphones and other musical equipment.
Washington County Sheriff Thomas H. Smith said Tuesday that 28-year-old Deshawn Rico Thomas, of Augusta, and 28-year-old Rico Pionegro Blackshear, from Dublin, have each been charged with nine counts of theft by taking and nine counts of burglary.

Smith says authorities had been investigating nine break-ins at churches in central Georgia over the past several months. He says a tipster told authorities the pair might be linked to the break-ins and authorities executing a search warrant found musical equipment in the men's homes and cars.

Neither man had a listed phone number. Thomas said he did not know if they had attorneys.

A surge of attacks against children in China has continued in recent days despite official pledges of stepped-up security. The violence has prompted questions about the state of mental health care in China, highlighted shortcomings in the country's legal system and left the government struggling to find some way to stop the bloodshed.

On Wednesday morning, seven children and two adults were "hacked to death" and at least 20 people were injured in an attack in the central Shaanxi province, the state-run Xinhua news service reported. The assailant, a 48-year-old man who owned the house where the privately run kindergarten was located, killed himself after the attack, Wu Xiaoyan, an official in Nanzheng county, told TIME.

The assault is the sixth in a series of attacks on schoolchildren that has left at least 17 dead and dozens injured in the past eight weeks. The first, and deadliest, came on March 23, when a 42-year-old physician used a knife to kill eight students and wound five others as they waited outside the Nanping Experimental School in southeastern Fujian province. The assailant, Zheng Minsheng, said during his speedy trial that he was enraged after being spurned by a woman he was pursuing romantically. Domestic media reports suggested he had a history of mental illness. He was executed just over a month later, on April 28, the same day that 33-year-old Chen Kangbing stabbed 15 students and a teacher at a school in Guangdong province in southeast China. Chen had been a teacher at another school but went on disability leave in 2006 for mental health problems, according to state media. That was followed by an April 29 attack in Jiangsu province and another on April 30 in Shandong in eastern China.

There are no direct links between the attacks, but the cases have similarities. The assaults have all been carried out by middle-aged men who acted alone, and at least three of the attackers had known mental health problems. The number of attacks in such close succession suggests that some of the assailants may have been copycats. "The problems have been there for many years, but the concurrence of similar attacks in a short period of time, that was largely triggered by media reporting," says Ding Xueliang, a professor of social science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

But lack of access to mental health care is a larger underlying factor that likely contributed to the recent violence, says Ding. A study of four Chinese provinces published in medical journal the Lancet last June found that among individuals with a diagnosable mental illness, just 5% had seen a mental health professional. Yang Jiaqin, who stabbed seven people outside a school in the southern Guangxi region on April 12, killing a second-grader and an 81-year-old woman, had been treated for mental illness twice previously. His family had decided he needed more care, but they were too late. He went on his rampage one day before he was scheduled to visit a hospital for further treatment.

The attacks have also pointed to shortcomings in China's legal system, in which disgruntled parties often have little recourse when they clash with local officials. Some of the assailants spoke of personal grievances that may have prompted their bloody outbursts. Wang Yonglai, a 45-year-old farmer who crashed down a school gate with a motorcycle, attacked five children with a hammer and then set himself ablaze on April 30 was believed to have been infuriated by a dispute with local officials. Wang was told that a house he built for his son with his life savings would have to be demolished because it was illegally constructed on farmland, Xinhua reported.

China's petition system, which allows citizens who feel they are being mistreated by local officials to file a complaint with higher authorities, is antiquated and inefficient. One study found that just 2 out of every 1,000 petitions achieves any sort of results. To slow the flood of violent outbursts, the government should work to alleviate abuses in the legal system, says Ma Ai, a sociology professor at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. "In the long run, it boils down to building a society where everyone is treated justly by law," says Ma.

World News / Granny, 72, Having A Baby With Her Grandson
« on: May 10, 2010, 11:26:26 PM »

World News / Driver's thumbs insured for $13 million
« on: April 29, 2010, 10:29:05 PM »
Double world champion Fernando Alonso gave a 10 million euro ($13.33 million) thumbs-up to future Formula One success with Ferrari Monday.
Team sponsors Santander said they had insured the Spaniard's thumbs for five million each as part of a publicity campaign for accident and life insurance ahead of next week's Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
"Alonso's thumbs are a symbol, as well as being essential for driving a Formula One car, in that they make a sign of victory and show that everything is under control and well protected," the bank said in a statement.
Alonso, who joined Ferrari this season after winning championships with Renault, told a news conference in Madrid that he hoped the first European race of the season would reinforce his title challenge.
The Spaniard, winner of the Bahrain season-opener, is third overall after four races.
"The time has come to show who is up for winning the championship and who is not. Now in Europe the moment of truth has arrived for drivers and teams who are going to show who is able to develop quickest," said Alonso.

World News / Man steals electricity with meat hook
« on: April 29, 2010, 10:26:06 PM »
German police are investigating a man for theft after he siphoned electricity off a high-voltage overhead transmission line for one month with the help of an ordinary meat hook, authorities said on Tuesday.
The 36-year old man from Sibbesse in Lower Saxony concocted the plan to steal electricity after the power company cut him off for failure to pay his bills, police said.

The man attached a cable to the meat hook and tossed it onto an overhead power line. He then drew power from the transmission line to his home, located about 150 meters away.
"I've never seen anything like this in my 34-year-career," said Friedrich-Wilhelm Lach, chief executive of regional utility Ueberlandwerke Leinetal GmbH, told Reuters. "It's incredibly dangerous and utterly stupid."
An employee of the utility noticed the meat hook during a routine check. Lach said the man was lucky he is still alive and warned copycats not to try it: "It will kill you," he said.

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