March 5, 2009

Church addresses abortion by 9-year-old in Brazil

Per AFP, "BRAZIL's influential Catholic Church today raged against an abortion carried out on a nine-year-old girl who had been pregnant with twins after allegedly being raped by her stepfather."

According to the article, archbishop Father Jose Cardoso Sobrinhoalso, terminated the medical team and the girl's mother for assisting in the abortion.

Many Twitterers criticized the church's decision.

@loiane (Vitória - ES): Se eu fosse da igreja desse arcebispo eu parava de frequentar! Na minha igreja aborto tb é pecado, mas nesse caso entenderam, ainda bem! (If I were archbishop of the church that I stopped attending! In my church tb abortion is sin, but in this case understood, good!)

@matt02 (São Paulo): Igreja Católica excomungou os médicos do aborto e a mãe da garota, mas o padrasto NÃO. Acho ótimo. (Catholic Church the curse of abortion doctors and the mother of the girl, but NOT the stepfather. I feel great.)

@FellowDFBR (Brasilia): como a Igreja Católica é hipócrita, excomungar os médicos por terem feito o aborto de uma criança de 9 anos, vítima de abuso do padrasto... (as the Catholic Church is hypocritical, defrock the doctors for making abortion a child of 9 years, father of the victim of abuse ...)

@MeEloise: Catholic Church in Brazil excommunicated all involved with making sure a 9-year old rape victim got a legal abortion. But not the rapist.

But not all seemed opposed to punishing those involved in the abortion.

@bastos_mario (Brazil): Uma criança de 9 anos fazer aborto é um absurdo. Mais absurdo e igreja excomungar fiéis que ajudaram a garota nessa situação. (A child of 9 years to abortion is absurd. More absurd and defrock church believers who helped the girl in this situation.)


Canadian found not guilty for beheading

According to The Winnipeg Sun, Canadian Vincent Li was found not criminally responsible for the stabbing and decapitating of 22-year old Tim McLean aboard a Greyhound bus in July of 2008.

Justice John Scurfield delivered the verdict to a packed courtroom this afternoon. The verdict dictated that Li will not serve jail time for the murder, but will rather be sent to the Selkirk Mental Health Centre in Manitoba to treat his schizophrenia.

The Twitterverse throughout Canada was ablaze with negative reactions to the decison not to jail Li.

@Rocky1138 (Guelph, Ontario): You know, sometimes this great country of ours disappoints me.. Vince Li gets off scott-free.

@mrEBANKS (Toronto): Vince Li, found not criminally responsible due to mental illness!?!? that's getting away with murder...:( Sad.

@becksy21 (Edmonton): vince li not found criminally responsible is a bunch of crock! mental or not!

@Dingwell (Alberta): would write something vulgar about Vince Li... but doesn't want to get in trouble.. if only mob justice was still allowed.

@davidjamesgreen (Edmonton): Vince Li found NOT criminally responsible due to mental illness. Anyone else think the justice system has failed??

Others took a more rational approach, understanding the severity of Li's condition.

@whoopseedaisy (Vancouver): Vince Li is not criminally responsible. Clearly, you don't behead and cannibalize someone if you are sane. What do you think of the verdict?

One Twitterer waxed poetic about the case:

@Haiku_Headlines Vince Li found insane / Bus decapitator case / Tragic all around #haiku #senryu

The Winnipeg Free Press news team offered a video report from the courthouse where the verdict was given:

@WinnipegNews: VIDEO: Mike McIntyre reports on the end of the Vince Li trial:


North Korea threatens civilian flights

Per BBC News, North Korea stated it cannot guarantee the safety of South Korean passenger flights crossing near or over its airspace in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), BBC reports.

North Korean officials cautioned that "security cannot be guaranteed for South Korean civil airplanes... in particular while the military exercises are under way".

The statement comes in the midst of a joint South Korean/American military exercise, which Pyongyang says is preparation for the possible invasion of North Korea, as reported by BBC News.

Map Courtesy of

Twitter users express their views concerning these new developments.

@MattNeale: (London) Wondering if I should get on a plane to Korea

Marietta, Georgia) N Korea threatens civilian planes - you fly -you may die!

(Location Undisclosed) Realizing they'd never stand a chance against a real military, North Korea has resorted to threatening civilian

@analoguepilot: (Florida) why i wont be spuriously flying my learjet over north korea anytime soon:


Jackson moonwalking back

Per The Daily Mirror, popstar Michael Jackson is set to perform a series of shows in London this summer. The London Times quotes Jackson as saying these will be his final performances ever, and then asks whether the £75 ($105) ticket prices represent good value for money.

@ClipBlast has video of Michael Jackson's press conference in London.

Twitter fans across the globe reacted in many different ways to Jackson's announcement. Some were excited, others ridiculed the former "King of Pop":

@The_Great_Gazoo just heard Michael Jackson is planning a series of concerts in London. Hope the poor chaps nose doesn't melt off under the stage lights!

@DDNSmartMouth (Dayton, USA) Will Michael Jackson be able to moon walk during London shows?

@davidwalters (Pembrookshire, UK) So was it really Michael Jackson? Looked like Steve Tyler.

@kevmarl (Shepparton, Australia) Just saw Michael Jackson. Ewwww what a freak. lol

@BeingBrittany (Long Beach, USA) Michael Jackson will never perform again after July!? I think he's preparing for his face to fall off...

@cshields (Bloomington, USA) "Michael Jackson announces comeback".... is it really a comeback if you have to 'announce' it on CNN?

@iRidz (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Serieously considering going to see Michael Jackson in London for his final concert ever...

@danoliver Michael Jackson's fans are frickin INSANE!


England hostage drama unfolds

Per Sky News, armed police surrounded a building in the English town of St. Helens, near Liverpool. Early reports indicated a hostage situation in progress.

The building was evacuated and moments ago, the suspect has been arrested, according to Sky News.

Twitter users in England followed the drama:

@SkyNews (London, UK) Armed police surround St Helens factory - described as "significant incident"

@davidlrattigan (Liverpool, England) Alfred Knight Factory on Prescot Road, St Helens, near Liverpool: armed police surround building in 'hostage situation':

@prestonlife (Preston, England) armed police reported to have surrounded a factory in st helens-20 mins from preston...more details to follow...

@peterlillie (Liverpool, England) what's going on in St Helens?

@alunhill (London, England) the incident centres on Alfred H Knight International Ltd, a business with global interests, that analyses metals and minerals.

@simonpickles (Liverpool, England) Security alert on Prescot Rd st helens all local roads closed avoid the area

@garretkeogh (London, England) St Helen's merseyside incident described as possible hostage situation.

@liverpoolroads (Liverpool, UK) SEVERE A58 Merseyside - Prescot Road closed both ways at the Freckleton Road junction in St Helens, because of a police incident.


Former Beatles to reunite for benefit

Per Rolling Stone, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will both be performing at David Lynch's benefit for transcendental meditation, "Change Begins Within" at New York's Radio City Music Hall on April 4th.

Fans of the Beatles are atwitter.

@docinaustin (Austin, Texas): Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr gather together, we still call them The Beatles?

@tarranti (London, England): So iif Sir Paul & Ringo do this charity gig in New York, what's the betting McDonalds bring out the McStarr, fried drumsticks with wings

@davemazur (New York, NY): @Pollstar: Beatles reunion may be impossible but Paul on bass + Ringo on drums + Pete Townsend on guitar + Daltrey singing = The Who-tles

In other Beatles news this week, a university in Liverpool is now offering a Master of Arts degree in The Beatles, according to BBC News.

Some twitterers showed excitement, while others questioned the practicality of having a degree in The Beatles.

@shereenmarisol (Los Angeles, Calif.): RT@ weirdnews School offers master's in The Beatles SIGN ME UP!!!

@CLaubenstein (Hanover, Mass.): You can get a degree in The Beatles? Gotta love Europe : )

@lizreay: ...and precisely what job does a MA in The Beatles prepare you for?

@95sxbrown2gg (Charleston, S.C.): The Beatles. I thought you become a member of a fan club for your favorite bands not take college credits for a degree.

@95sxbrown2gg (Charleston, S.C.): @saltyfam I guess you could get that job. Is there a Beatles Museum? You could right a book about them should be an elective not a degree.


Featured TwitPic: New Zealand at Dawn

"View from the boat at dawn this morning as we headed out to the dolphins." (Posted by @damoski, Kaikoura, New Zealand, March 5, 2009.)