Sep 26 2014
JINHUA, China, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- A Chinese county is offering high school entrance exam bonus points to students whose parents donate more than a gallon of blood.
The Pujiang county government issued a directive this year stating the children of blood donors who reach the 1 gallon mark will receive a bonus point on their high school entrance exams, and the total goes up to two points for those whose parents donate 1.5 gallons and three points for children of 2-gallon donors.
The Qianjiang Evening News said it would take about five years for an adult who donates blood twice a year to reach the 1 gallon mark.
The county government is also offering blood donors incentives including reimbursement for medical bills, free rides on public transportation and cash payouts.
The policy was publicized when a 28-year-old man on social media site Weibo celebrated reaching the 1 gallon mark.
"Because of this policy, I [donated so much blood that I] have put my life at risk! want to tell my future son: No worries with the high school entrance exams, Dad has already got you bonus marks!" the man posted.
LIVERPOOL, N.Y. – A 90-year-old central New York woman has been officially sworn in as a U.S. citizen -- 86 years after she emigrated from Europe.
The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports Anne Zajac of Liverpool was nearly four years old when she arrived in the U.S. from Poland. A clerical error on her parents' citizenship application meant that she wasn't a documented American citizen.
Zajac didn't find that out until last November, when she tried to file paperwork to receive her deceased husband's social security benefits.
When no record of her citizenship was found, her son turned to a local congressman for help. His office helped locate her parents' 1935 application and the error was corrected.
On Thursday afternoon, a government official gave the oath of citizenship to Zajac in her home outside Syracuse as her family looked on.
Sep 22 2014
SHANGHAI, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A Shanghai man is offering to rent out his girlfriend to raise funds to buy an iPhone 6 -- but no "funny business" will be allowed.
The man, whose sign near Songjiang University's campus went viral on social media website Weibo, wrote he is "sharing" his girlfriend, Xiao Ai, for "pocket money" amounting to about $1.64 per hour, $8.19 for the day or $82 for the month.
The sign specifies that "no funny business" would take place between his girlfriend and interested parties, specifying that the "sharing" will be limited to studying, eating, playing games and going on "three person dates" with his girlfriend while he acts as chaperone.
"If you are interested, connect to personal hotspot 'wifi sharing master' to check her out," he said, referring to photos of his girlfriend, who he noted was a willing participant.
The man is reportedly trying to raise money to buy an iPhone 6, which came out in multiple locations around the world Friday, but may not be released in China until next year.
Sep 22 2014
A girl was born without a droplet of blood in her body after her mother absorbed it all during pregnancy.
In what is believed to be a medical first, Emma Vignes feared her daughter Maisy wouldn't make it past the first few days of her life.
Metro reports that the baby, born six weeks premature in County Waterford, Ireland, needed three blood transfusions during two weeks in intensive care.
"It was an unbelievable situation - none of the consultants had ever heard of something like it happening before," Emma said.
"I learned that Maisy had no blood - just a thin, plasma substance in her veins."
Despite fears of brain damage, Maisy made a full recovery.
A Brooklyn, New York mortgage broker, who would scribble secret stock tips on napkins and pass them to an accomplice in Grand Central station before eating them, pleaded guilty to insider trading on Friday, federal prosecutors said.
Frank Tamayo, 41, was the middleman in what prosecutors called a three-man scheme that generated $5.6 million in illegal profits over five years, based on tips about a dozen transactions being negotiated by a prestigious New York law firm.
Tamayo, who had been cooperating with authorities, pleaded guilty to securities fraud, tender offer fraud, and conspiracy charges in the federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, according to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey.
The defendant also agreed to forfeit more than $1 million, the contents of two brokerage accounts, and a 2008 Audi Q7. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the fraud counts.
Matthew Beck, a lawyer for Tamayo, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed related civil charges.
Authorities had in March accused Steven Metro, a managing clerk at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, of passing tips about the law firm's clients through Tamayo to Morgan Stanley stockbroker Vladimir Eydelman, who would then trade for himself, his family, customers and Tamayo.
Prosecutors said the scheme lacked sophisticated computerized techniques or cover-ups now often associated with insider trading.
Rather, they said Tamayo would typically meet Metro, a friend and former law school classmate, at Manhattan bars or coffee shops, and write the ticker symbols of stocks to be bought on napkins or Post-It notes.
Tamayo would then meet Eydelman near the main clock in Grand Central, show him a symbol and, once satisfied Eydelman had memorized it, "chew the paper or napkin to destroy it," prosecutors said.
The scheme allegedly began in February 2009 when Metro told Tamayo that Liberty ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Sep 22 2014
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A new startup in Los Angeles is delivering marijuana-infused pizzas to medical marijuana patients. Stoned Oven Gourmet Pizzas makes personal pizzas, about six inches in diameter, that contain 250 mg of THC, according to the Los Angeles Times.
You must have a valid medical marijuana card to get the pizza, but if you do, you can get the marijuana pizza delivered right to your door. Aside from delivery, they're also baking pizzas for over 20 marijuana dispensaries around Los Angeles. The company claims it is the "strongest medicated pizza" that you can find in the world. The company that makes the pizzas also makes an assortment of other marijuana-infused baked goods.
Sep 17 2014
Teachers in Brazil who fined a transgender student for wearing a skirt have been forced to back down after her classmates - both male and female - did the same.
Maria Muniz, 17, who was born Mario Muniz, said she had never felt happy as a boy and decided to come out by wearing a skirt to school.
But her difficult decision failed to find support among teachers at the Pedro II School, in Rio de Janeiro, who fined her and ordered her to wear trousers in future.
But the teachers were forced to backtrack when the pupil's classmates - including the boys - supported her decision by turning up for classes in dresses.
They then posted the images on social media where they quickly ended up being widely shared.
Maria said: "I always turned up in trousers but I felt repressed and for me wearing a skirt was about expressing my freedom over who I am inside and not how society sees me.
"I am really happy about the way my classmates supported me and I hope it serves as an example to others to feel encouraged to do the right thing. I was always taught at school to accept who you are, I am only trying to live that."
After the protest, the Brazilian school principal said they were considering relaxing the school rules.
"The sexual orientation is not important for us, all our students are equal. However, the uniform determines male and female clothing, but we will study a new manual of coexistence", he said.
A Swiss goalkeeper has threatened legal action after fans of a rival lower league team urinated in his water bottle and then taunted him when, unawares, he took a sip during a match at the weekend.
FC Muri goalkeeper Reto Felder said he had felt sick after tasting the warm contents of the bottle, which he had left near the goalpost during the 1. Liga (third tier) game at FC Baden near Zurich.
"The idea of drinking piss is simply intolerable," the Aargauer Zeitung website (www.aargauerzeitung.ch) quoted the 34-year-old player as saying, adding that he was waiting for an analysis of video evidence before further action.
"What if next time it is something that knocks you out?," added Felder.
Swiss tabloid Blick reported that the unidentified fans had persuaded a ball boy behind the goal to pass them the bottle during the second half of the match.
The paper said the fans shouted "Now you have AIDS" after Felder realized what had happened.
Muri coach Beat Hubeli was shocked
"That's bottom drawer," he said. "I've played football and experienced a lot but that beats everything."
Baden president Thomi Bram apologized to the goalkeeper on the club website (www.fcbaden.ch) and said they were conducting an internal investigation.
Condemning the fans for damaging the club's reputation with their 'reprehensible' behavior, he said he had apologized in person to the goalkeeper, coach and Muri president and informed the Swiss soccer authorities.
Sep 17 2014
SALLANCHES , France, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A French woman who used 66 pounds of coins to pay her $268 tax bill said she was angry about having to sell her car to raise the sum.
The woman, who gave her name as Audrey D., 28, visited the tax authority's office in Sallanches to make her final payment on a bill that originally totaled $1,434 and she handed over $268 in coins.
"To pay my taxes on time, I had to sell my car," said Audrey, who is unemployed but owed the taxes on her income from 2013.
Audrey said office workers initially seemed annoyed by her stunt, but they were able to see the humorous side of things while counting the coins -- a task that took more than two hours.
"I'm not against paying taxes. But I don't think we should have to pay so much," the woman said, adding: "I am French and I love to complain!"
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean border guards arrested an American man who they believe was attempting to swim across a river into rival North Korea, a South Korean defense official said Wednesday.
The man was apprehended Tuesday night while lying on a bank of the Han River, which is in a restricted military area near the border, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to office policy. The man was in his late 20s or early 30s, Yonhap news agency said, and had told investigators that he tried to go to North Korea to meet leader Kim Jong Un.
Americans are occasionally arrested after entering North Korea illegally from China but a U.S. citizen trying to get in from South Korea is unusual.
In the 1960s, several U.S. soldiers walked into the North while on a patrol near the mine-strewn Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ. Those army deserters later appeared in North Korean propaganda films and taught English.
In 1996, American Evan C. Hunziker entered the North by swimming across the Yalu River that marks the Chinese border. Hunziker, who apparently made the swim on a drunken dare, was accused of spying and detained for three months.
Hunziker, 26 at the time, was eventually freed after negotiations involving a special U.S. envoy. The North Koreans wanted to slap Hunziker with a $100,000 criminal fine but eventually agreed on a $5,000 payment to settle a bill for a hotel where he was detained. He killed himself about one month after his release.
About 27,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea to avoid poverty and political suppression since the end of the Korean War, but some South Koreans also have attempted defect to the impoverished, authoritarian neighbor to the north. Such cases are rare.
Last year, South Korean soldiers shot and killed a man with a ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)