Wednesday 22 November 2017

In brief: Woman 'cut off husband's penis'

A California woman has pleaded not guilty to cutting off her estranged husband's penis and running it through a garbage disposal.

Catherine Kieu faces charges of torture and aggravated mayhem with sentencing enhancements for bodily injury and use of a knife. If convicted of all counts, she could face life in prison without parole.

Man may be guilty in blink of an eye

A US judge said a videotape of a dying man's blinking eyes, which prosecutors say identified his killer, can be used as evidence in the suspect's trial.

The Cincinnati judge ruled that jurors in 33-year-old Ricardo Woods's murder trial will be allowed to see an interview of David Chandler blinking in response to police questions.

Fired gay soldiers' action over pay

Two days after repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy against gays serving openly in the military, the Obama administration is opposing a lawsuit seeking full severance pay for those dismissed under the law.

The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking class action status for 142 people who only got half pay after their discharge because of being gay.

Chavez 'had role in release of US pair'

A Venezuelan diplomat said President Hugo Chavez played a behind-the-scenes role in efforts to win freedom for two Americans who were released from prison by Iran this week.

Deputy Foreign Minister Temir Porras said Venezuela was approached for help last year by friends of Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, as well as by activists who were pressing for their release.

No-show lecturer had good excuse

Students puzzled by the absence of a professor later discovered he had a very good excuse for missing the first day of class -- he had died months ago.

Students at the University of Pennsylvania waited an hour for Henry Teune to arrive to take a political science class, and had started to think he had forgotten about his first lecture of term.

Cheap coffins beat recession blues

A firm in Romania is trying to make the cost of dying more affordable by offering cut-price coffins.

Ilie Troanca said he is beating the recession blues with bargain coffins which sell for around €114 in Transylvania.

Irish Independent

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