Three killed in clashes
Clashes between two villages in a northern state have killed three people, just a month after sectarian violence between Hindus and Muslims left dozens dead and led hundreds of troops to deploy to the region. District Magistrate Kaushal Raj says three Muslim men were beaten to death on Wednesday night in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, the Press Trust of India reported. Police official H.M. Singh said eight people have been arrested and paramilitary troops are on patrol. The district has been tense since early September when groups of Hindus and Muslims — some armed with guns, swords or clubs — engaged in clashes that killed 62 people.
Police raid baby factory
Police have raided a baby factory in the oil city of Port Harcourt and arrested a woman accused of harboring six pregnant girls, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday. “We rescued six girls last week at different stages of pregnancy from an illegal maternity home in Port Harcourt,” Joy Elomoko of the Imo state police said. She said the youngest of the girls was 14, without disclosing the ages of the others. “We have also arrested the proprietress of the clinic and she is assisting us in our investigation,” she said. Elomoko said the raid on the Port Harcourt home followed the arrest of a girl with a baby in nearby Owerri on Oct. 15. Elomoko said detectives followed the girl to Port Harcourt where six expectant mothers were found in a clinic run by a woman. She said the girls told police that they were being kept in the home to make babies which would be sold to willing buyers.
Breivik book published
Publisher Aschehoug announced on Wednesday that it would publish a book about the mother of convicted mass murderer Anders Breivik ahead of schedule, despite legal attempts to prevent its release. The company said the book, Mother: The story of Wenche Breivik, would be released yesterday. The new release date was announced after lawyers acting for the estate of Wenche Breivik said they were applying to prevent publication of the controversial book. Wenche Breivik had accused the author — journalist Marit Christiansen — of misleading her about the nature of the book and allegedly withdrew her consent shortly before she died on March 22. She is said to have felt that the book portrayed her in a negative light, accusing Christiansen of abusing their friendship. Wenche Breivik was due to testify at her son’s trial, but withdrew her testimony shortly before her scheduled appearance. Anders Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in jail for the murders of 77 people in Oslo and Utoeya on July 22, 2011.
Earth-like planet discovered
Scientists have found the most similar planet to Earth so far discovered, which is only a little bigger and seems to be made of very similar material. Describing the results in Nature, two independent teams of scientists found the planet — which is 400 light years away — has a diameter of about 1.2 times that of Earth, a rocky interior and an iron core. However, Kepler-78b zips around its star every eight-and-a-half hours and the surface temperature is probably at least 2,000?C higher than the hottest day on Earth. The scientists used the transit method to determine the orbit and size of Kepler-78b — where they watched the light given off by the parent star, Kepler-78, and noted how often and how much it dims every time the planet passed in front of it.
Girl who stayed a tot dies
A girl who was born with an extremely rare condition that kept her a toddler for life has died at the age of 20, her father said on Wednesday. Brooke Greenberg, whose rare condition was sometimes called syndrome X, raised scientists’ hope of unlocking the secret to aging. She died last week of a lung illness, Howard Greenberg said. “We are going to remember her every day. She was a very, very, very special child,” he said. Brooke, who lived in Maryland with her parents and three sisters, stayed about the size of a two-year-old for life. Only her hair and nails grew, according to an ABC news report. She had the mental capacity of a one-year-old and weighed about 7kg. Brooke was unable to speak, but communicated her wants and needs through vocalization and mannerisms. One of her physicians, Richard Walker, told ABC that he had seen minimal changes in Brooke’s brain over time. If scientists could decipher a genetic mutation that made Brooke the way she was, perhaps it could be tested in lab animals to help unlock the secrets of aging and mortality, Walker said. Greenberg said his family was never aware of other children who had the same condition as their daughter. “We have been told that she was one of 6.7 billion people,” he said.
Man wins millions again
A man who won a multimillion-dollar jackpot playing the Florida Lotto has done it again. The Florida Lottery says 67-year-old James Bozeman Jr has claimed a US$3 million jackpot from the drawing held on Aug. 31. Last year, Bozeman claimed a US$10 million jackpot. He purchased both winning tickets from the same convenience store. Bozeman says he started using a different set of numbers since the last time he won and is looking forward to picking a third lucky set for the next drawing.
Chavez ‘appears’ in tunnel
Former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez may have died in March, but his successor says the comandante is still around — most recently in an image of his face that appeared on a subway tunnel. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday workers in the tunnel saw the image come and go, and he showed a photo of the alleged visage in a rally in Caracas. “Look at the figure, a face. This picture was taken by the workers,” he said, smiling. “Chavez is everywhere.” Maduro said during the election campaign in April that he had seen Chavez incarnated as “a little bird.” Since then in several speeches he has imitated the tweeting of a bird to allude to Chavez. In June, Maduro said Chavez tends to appear to him in the mountains that overlook Caracas.
Coldest place revealed
The coldest place in the universe — just one degree above absolute zero, the temperature at which all atoms freeze — is the Boomerang Nebula, astronomers in Chile said on Wednesday. It is about 5,000 light years away in the Centaurus constellation, the scientists at the Atacama Large Millimeter-submillimeter Array (ALMA) observatory said. The nebula is “colder, in fact, than the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, which is the natural background temperature of space,” the statement explained. It runs a temperature of one Kelvin (minus-272°C), making it “the coldest known object in the universe,” the astronomers said. The image was captured by the ALMA — a telescope installed on a plateau 5,000m high in the Atacama desert.