Girl mistaken for skunk, shot
Police say a costumed nine-year-old girl was accidentally shot outside a western Pennsylvania home during a Halloween party by a relative who thought she was a skunk. New Sewickley Township police say the girl was over a hillside and wearing a black costume and a black hat with a white tassel. Chief Ronald Leindecker says a male relative mistook her for a skunk and fired a shotgun, hitting her in the shoulder on Saturday night. Leindecker tells the Beaver County Times that the girl was alert and talking when she was flown to a hospital in Pittsburgh. Her condition was unavailable. Leindecker said the man had not been drinking and he did not know if charges would be filed.
Men steal vans, bodies
Police said on Sunday they had arrested two men involved in stealing vans in Germany, including a vehicle that was carrying 12 bodies bound for a crematorium. The two men, aged 25 and 27, were arrested on Thursday and Friday and are Polish nationals. “We are sure that it is them who committed this crime, we have proof,” police spokesman Andrzej Borowiak said. Three vehicles were stolen on Oct. 15 in Hoppegarten, Germany. Police later found one van belonging to a building firm. Police were searching on Sunday for the other vehicles, including the van that was meant to supposed to take the bodies to a crematorium in Meissen in Saxony. Two other people are also being sought. A reward of 5,000 zlotys (US$1,592) has been offered for information leading to the arrest. A Protestant pastor in Berlin has called on the thieves to return the bodies. “Please, think how you would feel if you could not bury your mother or your father,” Markus Droege said in an appeal reported by German newspapers.
Healer’s certificate valid
A labor appeals court has validated a “medical certificate” written by a traditional healer, the Sunday Times reported. After being denied unpaid leave by her Pretoria employer in 2007, Johanna Mmoledi had produced a note from a traditional healer stating somewhat cryptically that she had been “diagnosed with a perminisions of ancestors.” According to court proceedings, she left her job for a month to follow a course by a sangoma — or traditional healer — who helped her appease the “wrath of her ancestors.” The appeals court ruled that her dismissal was “substantively unfair” and argued that the country was a multicultural society where traditional forms of healing should be recognized. Speaking to the Sunday Times, labor law expert Tony Healy voiced surprise that the certificate was validated when there was no legal framework for sangomas’ activities.
Driver charged with murder
Police on Sunday charged a man with murder after one woman died and 13 other people were injured in a series of hit-and-run incidents in the Welsh capital, Cardiff. The 31-year old suspect was also charged with 13 counts of attempted murder following the rampage in Ely, Cardiff, on Friday, South Wales Police said. He was due in court in Cardiff yesterday. Seven children were among those injured after a white van mounted the kerb at five different locations, before police eventually stopped a vehicle, witnesses and emergency services said. Nine of the injured remain in hospital. Karina Menzies, a 32-year-old mother, was killed when she was hit by the vehicle, Superintendent Julian Williams of South Wales Police said.