Witchcraft trial hears how tortured boy drowned
A teenage boy allegedly tortured and killed because his attackers believed he was practising witchcraft struggled to get out of the bath where he was drowned but had no strength left, a court has heard.
The Old Bailey watched video footage of police interviews with the brother of 15-year-old Kristy Bamu – who cannot be named for legal reasons – carried out the day after Kristy was allegedly killed by Eric Bikubi and Magalie Bamu, both 28, because they believed he was a sorcerer.
Kristy was found dead in the bathroom of a blood-covered flat in Forest Gate, east London, on Christmas Day 2010. He had 101 injuries and was covered in deep cuts and bruising allegedly administered by an “armoury” of weapons. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
Shakespeare and Native American Authors Among Those Banned from Tucson Schools
As part of its compliance with a state ban on ethnic studies, the Tucson Unified School District has banned its Mexican American Studies program and a number of books including The Tempest by William Shakespeare and Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years, which includes pieces by various Native American authors including Suzan Shown Harjo, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joseph Bruchac, Leslie Marmon Silko and Winona LaDuke.
“By ordering teachers to remove Rethinking Columbus, the Tucson school district has shown tremendous disrespect for teachers and students,” said the book’s editor Bill Bigelow. “It offers teaching strategies and readings that teachers can use to help students think about the perspectives that are too often silenced in the traditional curriculum.” Read full story from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork
Thindwa’s ASH launches fight against recognition of witchcraft
BLANTYRE: The Association for Secular Humanism (ASH) says it has formed a task force to ensure that Malawi “continues not to recognise witchcraft despite some quarter’s desire that our law should be reviewed to recognise witchcraft.”
In a statement made available to MaraPost, ASH said it “considers any moves calling for recognition of witchcraft as retrogressive and unconstitutional and not in line with modern and democratic principles.” Read full story from maravipost.com
Lost Charles Darwin fossils rediscovered in cabinet
A “treasure trove” of fossils – including some collected by Charles Darwin – has been re-discovered in an old cabinet.
The fossils, lost for some 165 years, were found by chance in the vaults of the British Geological Survey HQ near Keyworth, UK.
They have now been photographed and are available to the public through a new online museum exhibit released today. Read full story from bbc.co.uk
Incredible New View of Eagle Nebula’s ‘Pillars of Creation’
The European Space Agency’s Herschel space telescope has captured this gorgeous new view of the famed Eagle Nebula.
The Eagle Nebula, located 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Serpens, is visible as a fuzzy red spot to backyard astronomers with a modest telescope.
In 1995, NASA’s Hubble space telescope captured a famous image of one region within the Eagle Nebula: a star-forming cluster named NGC6611, known as the “Pillars of Creation.” Light and heat from young stars carved out the iconic pillars, which are each several trillion miles long. Read full story from wired.com
One Of World’s Oldest Cypress Trees, ‘The Senator,’ Burns In Florida
Investigators are now saying arson was not the likely cause of a fire that on Monday destroyed a cypress tree in Central Florida that was an estimated 3,500 years old — making it perhaps the oldest such tree in the nation and one of the oldest in the world.
Known as “The Senator,” the tree that once stood 165 feet tall (before a hurricane lopped off about 45 feet in 1925) was more likely brought down by a fire that had been smoldering inside it — without being detected — since a lightning strike about a week ago, investigators say. Read full story from npr.com
Q&A with Joe Berlinger, Director of West Memphis Three Documentary
In 1993 acclaimed director Joe Berlinger arrived in West Memphis, Arkansas, a community still in shock after three eight-year-old boys disappeared, then were found dead in a nearby ravine. Facing a public that was both enraged and afraid, police scrambled to make an arrest. Soon three local teens—Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley—found themselves in court, accused of the murders.
With no physical evidence linking the teens to the crime, prosecutors pointed to their black clothing and interest in heavy metal music, indications, they said, that the teens had formed a devil-worshipping cult and, inspired by the full moon, murdered the boys as a sacrifice to evil spirits. Read full story from huffingtonpost.com
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