Putin, Seagal promote sports
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday teamed up with US action movie actor Steven Seagal to promote a Soviet-style regime of rigorous physical training for Russian schoolchildren. Accompanied by the star of Under Siege and Above the Law, Putin toured a newly built complex at a prominent sambo martial arts training center in Moscow. Putin said too many Russian children were sickly, noting they should take up sports to be able to defend themselves — and the country. “We should not have any children who, as they say, sit on the bench during physical education classes. Everyone should practice sports, everyone without exception,” Putin said at the Sambo-70 sports complex. Sambo, a mixture of judo and wrestling, was the official in-house martial art of the KGB security services. “Children should become strong, they should be healthy, love sports and have an opportunity to practice them, should know how to defend themselves, their loved ones, their family,” Putin said. “Ultimately, they should be able to defend their motherland.”
Vets find pennies in pooch
A New York City dog has undergone emergency surgery to remove more than 100 pennies from his stomach. The New York Daily News reports that the Jack Russell terrier named Jack swallowed 111 pennies last week and quickly became ill. The zinc from the coins could be lethal.
Sex diploma shocks parents
A “shagging diploma” given to youths at a Swedish Lutheran Church confirmation camp proved too much for parents who complained on Wednesday that their 14-year-olds were too young for sex. After attending a course entitled “Love and Sexuality,” the teenagers in the southeastern town of Ronneby were given a certificate stating they were “qualified for sex.” Vicar Mats-Ola Nylen said the course had been organized by a man purporting to come from the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, but the church later found out he had not worked for the organization in years.
Soldier to have sanity review
A soldier charged with slaying 16 civilians in Afghanistan will undergo a sanity review set to begin next week to determine his mental state during the killings and his ability to stand trial, a military official said on Wednesday. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, and his defense attorneys have indicated they are preparing a possible mental health defense. The decorated veteran is accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers in cold blood during two rampages in Kandahar Province in March last year.
Mom, baby fall 8 stories
A woman clutching her baby son in her arms plunged eight stories out of an apartment window to her death in an apparent suicide on Wednesday, but the baby survived, police said. Cynthia Wachenheim was found on the street in West Harlem, New York, with her son, 10-month-old Keston, near her arms. A police officer who responded took the baby to a hospital, where he was listed in critical, but stable condition. Police discovered a suicide note in the apartment Wachenheim shared with her husband. In the note, Wachenheim said she recognized what she was about to do was “evil,” but she was concerned about how her child was developing, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case.