Face of the Day

Face of the day

When U.S. Army Spc Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he could never imagine that he would have to wage a legal battle just to get his Florida house back from a pair of ex-convicts who had settled there in his absence.
Sharkey and his wife, Danielle, live in Wahiawa, Hawaii, where the soldier is currently stationed, but in a little over a month, the family are expected to return to New Port Richey, Florida, where they own a house.
However, the Sharkeys’ homecoming has been complicated by the presence of squatters in their one-story residence in the 6800 block of Westend Avenue.

According the solider and his wife, the strangers had broken into their home, changed the locks and are refusing to leave.
To add insult to injury, officials at the Pasco County Sheriff’s department have informed the couple that they have no legal grounds to evict the man and woman.
The couple living in Sharkey’s home, identified as Julio Ortiz and his girlfriend, Fatima Cardoso, have offered a different version of events.

Ortiz insisted to a local news channel that he has permission to live in the Sharkeys’ house because he had entered into a verbal agreement with the soldier’s friend to make repairs to the residence in exchange for rent-free housing.
Mr Sharkey dismissed the squatter’s claims as lies, as did his friend Lisa Pettus, who was left in charge of the unfinished home on Westend Avenue when the family moved to Hawaii.
According to Miss Pettus, Ortiz has agreed to renovate the family’s home with the supplies she had provided, but their deal never included a living arrangement for the handyman and his girlfriend.

When Sharkey’s wife and mother of three, Danielle Sharkey, returned to Florida on New Year’s Eve, she came by the house with a sheriff’s deputy in tow hoping to remove the intruders.
But the law enforcement official informed her that because it was a civil matter, his hands were tied.
Now, the couple will likely be on the hook for hundreds of dollars in legal fees for filing for eviction.
‘I work hard, long hours, and these people never had permission to live in my home’ the outraged serviceman told the station WFLA. ‘They should be thrown out.’
Another cause for concern for the Sharkeys is the squatters’ extensive criminal backgrounds.
Ortiz, 42, served a combined 12 years behind bars in New Jersey for robbery, selling drugs on school property and carjacking.

His so-called better half, Miss Cardoso, served more than two years in prison on drug charges, and she has more than a half-dozen arrests in her rap sheet.
‘They are criminals,’ Spc Sharkey said. ‘I am serving my country, and they have more rights to my home than I do.’
Under an obscure Florida real estate law, anyone who possesses the land of another for seven years has the right to claim legal title to that land.
A defiant Julio Ortiz said he won’t leave the New Port Richey home until he is good and ready. – Mail Online

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Face of the day

This drowsy Orangutan is a dead ringer for the mythical Big Foot as he is treated in hospital after being shot by poachers.
The enormous 14-year-old male dwarfed the petite vet as she worked to remove several metal pellets from his body at Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme centre.

The team conduct medical examinations on a 14-year-old male orangutan found with air gun metal pellets embedded in his body in Sibolangit district in northern Sumatra island.

The center has cared for over 280 orangutans rescued from palm oil plantations, poachers and pet owners.
Over 200 have been reintroduced in the wild.
The critically-endangered primates population are dwindling rapidly due to poaching and rapid destruction of their forest habitat that is being converted into palm oil plantation.
The great ape was rescued by Indonesia’s ministry of forestry personnel and Orangutan Information Center earlier this week in nearby Langkat district.
He was found in a small patch of forest and agricultural plantation.
SOCP began in 1999.One of its first targets was to establish a quarantine facility for confiscated illegal pets and a reintroduction programme to release these animals back to the wild.
In 2002 the Batu Mbelin orangutan quarantine center was finally completed near Medan in North Sumatra.
SOCP monitors the status of remaining wild orangutan populations in Sumatra using remote sensing and field surveys.

There is a growing problem of human-orangutan conflict, where orangutans at the forest edge are increasingly attacked for raiding the crops of local farmers. – Daily Mail

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Getty Images

Face of the day

It goes without saying, taking selfies next to an oncoming train is a really bad idea.

Actually, it probably does need saying, because this guy apparently thought it was the perfect setting for a short film, featuring himself.

The ‘hero’ of this story is so busy lining his face up with the camera he doesn’t notice a mysterious boot heading straight for his face.

One moment he’s shooting footage of himself looking mean and moody – the next he’s being kicked by a train conductor.

Clearly shocked by the assault, he exclaims: ‘Wow, that guy kicked me in the head.’

The drive-by kicking happens so fast it’s almost impossible to make out how the drama unfolds. – Metro

Fortunately, it was all caught on video. I don’t see the problem with stupidity colliding with a boot. What an idiot. I’d kick him in the head too, a gentle reminder that a train hits harder than a boot.

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Face of the day

Bjørn Frilund, 64, is a master baiter in his local village of Eidsbygda, Norway. He was slacking his line one morning when his attention got tugged to one of the cod in his fishing nets, according to the photo database WENN.

He quickly inserted his knife into the fish’s orifices, and found a big, pink sex toy. He swears it wasn’t his — the fish probably thought the dildo was a small octopus, and ate it, Frilund maintains. The fish was filleted and given away, while the dildo remains at Frilund’s house.

There’s no word on how the naughtiest catch found the naughtiest feast. – The Huffington Post

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Face of the day

AC/DC may be announcing their retirement as soon as Tuesday, according to media reports. The famous rock band, which formed in 1973, is one of the most popular and highest-grossing bands of all time.
Sources close to the band have confirmed that guitarist and songwriter Malcolm Young, 61, has returned to Australia with his family. He is believed to be unable to continue playing, although there has not been any explanation why.
Entertainment commentator Peter Ford told radio station 3AW on Tuesday morning that after last year’s talk of a tour, nothing has been announced since.

“The suggestion is being put to me that tour will never happen and we will never see AC/DC perform again or record again,” he said.
The rumour mill soon added that this was due to a terminal illness.

The claims were originally made in an email to Perth radio station 6PR by a person identifying himself as ”Thunderstruck”.
”My information is that Malcolm Young has moved himself and his family back to Australia, he’s very very ill and that AC/DC may well be history,” Thunderstruck told 6PR on Tuesday morning.
The email sent on Monday and read out on 6PR said: ”I have extremely good contacts in Europe that are very close to AC/DC. I have it on very good authority that one of the band members is quite ill and has returned to Australia with his family.

”AC/DC members have previously made a pact that no band members will be replaced should someone need to leave the band.
”No more is currently being said, however the particularly ill member of AC/DC’s son has stated that AC/DC may well be over.”
Reports that the band has a booking at a Vancouver studio for May 1 both contradict and yet leave open the possible truth of the rumours.
The booking may suggest a new album is on the cards but it’s also possible that circumstances have changed since the studio booking.
Albert Music, headquarters for AC/DC in Australia since 1973, has virtually shut down to media enquiries. No one is taking calls or answering emails, let alone talking. This may be a sign they are as blindsided by the rumour as anyone else, or are trying to confer with the band and overseas management.
Or it could be they were caught short before the official announcement and are working out a new media strategy.
AC/DC was formed by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, siblings of the Easybeats songwriter and guitarist George Young, in 1973.
Original singer Dave Evans was replaced by Bon Scott in 1974 before the recording of the band’s first album, High Voltage. Scott became the principal lyricist for the music written by the guitar-playing Young brothers.
AC/DC’s first international album, also titled High Voltage, was a compilation of their first two Australian albums, High Voltage and T.N.T, and would go on to sell three million copies. Two more albums were released internationally before their major breakthrough, Highway To Hell, which reached the US top 20 and established the band as the new wave of hard rock.
However, Scott died in 1980 just as the band started work on a new album. He was replaced by British hard rock journeyman Brian Johnson, although the first of what would turn out to be many premature obituaries of the band were being written.
AC/DC’s 1980 album Back In Black, the first to feature Brian Johnson, reached number one in the UK, number four in the US and became one of the biggest-selling albums of all time. Songs such as You Shook Me All Night Long, Rock ‘n’ Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution and Back In Black became not just staples of their set for the next 30 years, but staples of rock radio.
AC/DC were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1988, though their sales were starting to slip at that time.
1990′s The Razor’s Edge – recorded in Vancouver where the next, now in question, album is meant to be recorded – featured their biggest hits in a decade, including Thunderstruck.
Even as album sales seemed to plateau – admittedly at a fairly high level and with more than 100 million sales and growing, even in years where they didn’t release anything – the band became one of the most lucrative touring acts in the world. Their last world tour, which ran between 2008 and 2010, reportedly played to almost 5 million people and grossed more than $450 million.
The band has sold more than 200 million albums, with the Young brothers estimated to be worth $255 million.
In 2013, AC/DC was No. 13 on BRW’s Rich List, earning $5.8 million that year from royalty payments of their bestselling albums and DVDs. – The Sydney Morning Herald

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Faces of the day

Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Picture: AFP/Getty Images

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Face of the day

A father takes recording childhood growth spurts to the next level by creating a timelapse film of his daughter Lotte, capturing her transformation from newborn baby to teenager.
The captivating video shows the gradual transformation of Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s daughter Lotte, who was born on October 28 1999, the filmmaker and photographer has also made similar films of his son Vince.
Mr Hofmeester, filmed his children every week for about 15 seconds to make the films, which in total he says have received over 15 million views on YouTube and Vimeo, this particular video has also been shown at the Spanish National Reina Sofia museum in Madrid.
The filmmaker explained the motivation behind the videos and the techniques he had to employ to engage his – some times reluctant – subjects.
“I filmed Lotte every week from the moment she was born. She was changing at such a rapid pace, that I felt the need to document the way she looked, to keep my memories intact. – The Telegraph

Face of the day

A six-year-old girl who is about to go blind has created a heart-warming ‘bucket list’ to complete before she loses her sight.

Molly Bent has a degenerative condition called retinitis pigmentosa which means she could lose her vision at any time.

But now, with the help of her parents, she has compiled a list of wonderful places to see and amazing activities to do.

‘It is heartbreaking for us but Molly is so bright. She has a list as long as her arm of things she wants to see,’ explained mum Eve Bent.

‘We just want to help her create as many magical memories as we possibly can.’

Molly had been able to see perfectly in her younger life but after struggling to see her homework or watch TV she was subsequently diagnosed with the rare hereditary condition.

She will learn to read braille and have white stick training to enable her to live life to the fullest, but in the meantime the family hope to give her as many happy memories of sight as possible.

Top of the Manchester-based family’s list is a trip to Disney World, followed by visits to London and hopefully to the pyramids of Egypt.

‘I know I won’t be able to give her half of that,’ added Mrs Bent. ‘But I can try.’ – Metro

Picture: Cavendish Press

Picture: Cavendish Press

Face of the day

AN African grey parrot has swooped in to protect his owner after she was pushed to the ground in a random attack in a north London park.

Wunsy was being taken for a walk – and fly – in Sunningfields Park, north London, on Friday when his female owner was grabbed by the shoulders and shoved.

He flapped his wings and squawked, causing the attacker to take flight towards Great North Road, Hendon.

Pc Chris Cutmore from Colindale Police Station said: “This was a random attack on a woman walking out of a park.

“Although the parrot Wunsy came to her rescue, we are obviously very keen to trace the suspect and prevent him from attacking anybody else.

“I would encourage anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who has seen the man in the local area to call police on 101 quoting reference 2407517/14. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”

The attacker is a white man aged 25 to 35 with short blond hair. He was wearing beige trousers and had a dark black rucksack. – The Scotsman

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Face of the day

With his head in his hands, Oscar Pistorius on Wednesday sensationally refused a prosecutor’s taunt to look at the photograph of his late girlfriend’s bloodied, shattered skull, shouting tearfully: “I won’t look at that picture. I remember! I was THERE!”
On day 19 of the Olympian’s murder trial, prosecutor Gerrie Nel wasted no time in attacking the Olympian as he began his eagerly-anticipated cross examination of Pistorius over the death of Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius spent the first hour in courtdemonstrating to the court how Ms Steenkamp died in his arms.
But then chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel got to his feet, and began by asking Pistorius to agree he was one of the most “recognised faces in the world” and “a model for disabled sportsmen and able-bodied sportsmen, all over the world”.
“I think I was, my lady, until that terrible mistake,” he replied.
Mr Nel seized on the word “mistake”.
“You killed a person, that’s what you did, isn’t it? You killed Reeva Steenkamp, that’s what you did?”
Pistorius repeated the phrase, and Mr Nel asked him to explain what that “mistake” had been.
“My mistake was that I took Reeva’s life,” he said.
But the prosecutor, renowned for his cross-examination, was unsatisfied.
“You killed her, you shot and killed her. Won’t you take responsibility for that?”
Pistorius said he did, and Mr Nel continued: “Then say it then, say ‘yes, I killed, I shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp’.”
“I did, my lady,” said Pistorius, crying.
He went on to say: “I am human I have many faults, I have sins, I believe I’m a sinner.”
But more drama was to follow, with Mr Nel moving to show a video clip, previously aired on Sky News in South Africa, in which the double-amputee is at a shooting range, firing bullets at watermelons.
When one of his shots hit a watermelon and caused it to explode, Pistorius can be heard saying, “It’s a lot softer than brains” and “it’s like a zombie stopper.”
Then without warning, an image of Ms Steenkamp’s bloody skull flashed up on the screen as Mr Nel said: “You know that the same happened to Reeva’s head? It exploded.”
Gasps echoed around the court as the images, which were also broadcast live on TV, brought the Olympian undone.
He wailed uncontrollably as he said he would not look at the picture.
He said he was “tormented by that” image.
“My fingers touched her head,” he said, crying. “I remember! I was there.”
Burying his head in his hands, he dissolved into sobs, as his barrister Barry Roux objected, saying the prosecutor had gone “too far”.
The court swiftly adjourned, as Pistorius was once more inconsolable.
His sister Aimee rushed to his side, shooting an angry and upset look in the direction of the prosecutor.
Ms Steenkamp’s mother June told reporters in the break she understood why the picture had to be shown, and had been warned about it in advance.
When the court resumed, Mr Nel returned to asking Pistorius about the watermelon incident, suggesting he “shot that firearm to see what the effect would be” of shooting someone in the head.
Pistorius denied the inference, saying the distasteful remark was about zombies.
Earlier, Pistorius battled against rising emotions as he resumed his testimony from Tuesday, describing how he carried the bloody body of his girlfriend downstairs after shooting her through a toilet door.
“I had my fingers in her mouth I was trying to help her breathe,” Pistorius said.
“I had my hand on her hip. I was trying to stop the bleeding.”
“She already died while I was holding her,” Pistorius said.
“Every time I looked up there were more people in the house, there were more policemen. I asked a policeman if I may wash my hands because the smell of the blood was making me throw up.”
Shortly before the lunch adjournment, Mr Nel began questioning Pistorius about discrepencies between the version he gave to his bail hearing in February 2013, shortly after the incident, his “plea explanation” from the beginning of the trial and his evidence.
Mr Nel asked if Pistorius had ever changed his version, and he said no.
“The state’s case has changed many times, but [nothing they have come up with] have changed my version.”
However, Mr Nel then began by focusing on the athlete’s assertion about bringing the fans in shortly before he heard a noise in the bathroom, suggesting he had tailored his version to suit the evidence.
The case continues. – The Sydney Morning Herald

Photo: AFP Photo

Photo: AFP Photo

Crown prosecutor State prosecutor Gerrie ‘pit bull’ Nel