Auckland high schoolers cause chaos

Throughout New Zealand massive outrage broke out after photos from teens of Green Bay High School in Auckland have appeared on Facebook. The pictures show the youngsters in which they make “disgusting” selfies with teachers.

“Everyone who sees these pictures gets sick, literally. They get angry, “says Christine McGonagle, Executive Officer of Green Bay High School.

Fortunately, we managed to speak with one of the students involved. He did not want his name to be published, so we call him John.

He agreed to hold a full interview with us and is shockingly open about their motives. At the moment, the school has already taken several measures against the boys, and hopefully they have learned their lesson. The school wants to set the boys as an example, and make it clear that such behaviour is out of the question.

“Everyone has a smartphone today and everyone is connected to the Internet. At one point, someone first posted a selfie with a teacher, and then everyone tries to surpass each other. Who dares to go even further? It’s just old-fashioned Catwreck with new technology … There are also no bad intentions behind it, but unfortunately we are put aside by the school and the media. We just love a joke, but in fact we realize that it is sometimes inadvertently at the expense of someone else.”

Yes, do you know that you completely take away the authority of a teacher with such pictures?

“Yes, afterwards, we see that. When something used to happen before, it stayed in the classroom. Now it’s visible to everyone and makes the damage even bigger. But come on, it’s not like we’re suddenly criminals. ”

But you realize that they need to set a boundary and use you guys as an example. To scare other boys to do the same..

“That’s the fear they actually have.”

After that, we said goodbye to John. All very understandable. It’s only a pity for these guys who have to pay the main price for something everyone could have come across.

Rookie cop rescues dog from Lake Michigan: ‘I heard the splash … and grabbed him

Probationary police Officer Juan Farris thought he was just responding to a bad crash on Lake Shore Drive on Tuesday morning. He ended up making the first dog rescue of his young career.

As Farris and other officers worked the scene in the 600 block of Lake Shore Drive, a dog got loose from one of the four wrecked cars and started running along the lake.

“He just kept running back and forth, was pretty excited,” said Farris, who graduated from the police academy six weeks ago.

The dog “kept trying to get water out of the lake and fell into the lake. I heard the splash. Once I heard, I turned over, I saw him swimming, just went over there and grabbed him,” Farris told reporters at a news conference.

“I was hoping he didn’t get too far because it would’ve been quite the battle if I had to jump in,” he said.

Once the dog was safe, Farris, field training Officer Daniel Guzman and other officers got him on a leash. The dog didn’t have a collar or chip, and police were trying to locate the owner.

“This is actually my first dog rescue that I’ve been in,” Guzman said. “We have taken some dogs to the animal control that are loose, but not one that we’ve actually had to rescue out of the water. As I witnessed this, I was just hoping that Farris wouldn’t fall in.”

The accident that started it all happened at 6:30 a.m. A Toyota Camry swerved in front of a GMC Terrain before hitting a Chevrolet Malibu, which then hit the driver’s side of a Dodge Durango, according to police.

Two people were sent to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Twin girls conjoined at the head successfully separated by 30-strong surgical team

Twin girls conjoined at the head have been successfully separated by a 30-strong team at a children’s hospital in Pennsylvania.

Erin and Abby Delaney’s shared blood vessels and the protective membrane around their brains had to be carefully teased apart during the 11-hour surgery.

The surgeons then split into two groups to perform reconstruction on each girl.

Surgery equipment such as monitors and tape was marked with green or purple tape to differentiate each girl.

The 10-month-old twins from North Carolina are currently recovering in intensive care, and have been placed in separate beds for the first time in their lives.

Their parents sought specialist pre-natal care after they found out they were expecting conjoined twins 11 weeks into mother Heather’s pregnancy.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said its surgeons had separated conjoined twins 23 times over the past 60 years, but this was the first time children joined by the top of their heads had been involved.

Parents Heather and Riley Delaney are planning a big coming hope party for their baby twins (AP)
The team performing the separation surgery on June 7 included physicians, nurses and specialists in neurosurgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and anesthesiology.

“Separating conjoined twins is a very complex surgery followed by a long and complicated recovery, but we are very hopeful for a positive outcome,” said Dr Jesse Taylor, the plastic surgeon who helped lead the team.

Global access to quality health care has improved in the last two decades

Health care quality and availability improved globally from 1990 to 2015, but the gap between the haves and the have-nots widened in those 25 years, researchers report online May 18 in the Lancet.

As an approximate measure of citizens’ access to quality health care, an international team of researchers analyzed mortality rates for 32 diseases and injuries that are typically not fatal when effective medical care is available. The team summarized this data as a number on a scale from zero to 100, called the Healthcare Access and Quality Index, for 195 countries and territories.

The researchers color-coded the results on world maps.

Places with the highest scores in 2015 include Canada, Australia, Japan and much of Europe, while some African countries as well as India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea have the lowest scores. The countries with the greatest improvement since 1990 include South Korea, Peru and China.

The growing gap between countries with the highest and lowest scores suggests that health care inequalities due to geography may be on the rise, the authors say.


Gap in 1990 between countries with the highest and lowest health care access and quality scores on a scale of 0 to 100



Gap in 2015

Source: R. Barber et al/The Lancet 2017

Homeless VT man honored for saving life of trucker

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James Pocock didn’t think he was being a hero when he looked into the cab of Paul Bristol’s truck. But what he did next saved Bristol’s life on May 4 on I89 in Williston.


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From left, James Pocock and truck driver Paul Bristol embrace after a ceremony Wednesday, May 31, 2017, at the Williston Fire Department honoring Pocock for actions that the department says were crucial in saving Bristol’s life after he suffered a heart attack while driving down I89 on May 4.(Photo: RYAN MERCER/FREE PRESS)Buy Photo

WILLISTON – Around 1 in the afternoon May 4, truck driver Paul Bristol was headed south on Interstate 89 when he suffered a sudden, serious heart attack near Exit 12.

Bristol’s truck veered into the left lane, “bunny-hopping” along the guardrail for some 300 feet before coming to a stop about 10 feet before the end of the rail. Had the truck not stopped, the vehicle would have dropped into the ravine of the median and likely rolled.

James Pocock, a homeless man living in the woods near Exit 12 for the past couple months, witnessed the entire event. He remembers a cloud of concrete dust as the truck hit the guardrail, along with the cab dramatically hopping up and down as the truck ground to a halt. So Pocock sprang into action.

The Williston Fire Department honored Pocock’s life-saving efforts at an event Wednesday. 

“James heard the commotion and ran up to help,” Fire Chief Ken Morton said, addressing Bristol. “He found you breathless and pulseless and began CPR.”

Left, James Pocock stands with Public Information Spokesman

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Left, James Pocock stands with Public Information Spokesman Prescott Nadeau of the Williston Fire Department to receive a medal for actions that the department says were crucial in saving truck driver Paul Bristol’s life after he suffered a heart attack while driving down I89 on May 4. (Photo: RYAN MERCER/FREE PRESS)

The fire department arrived on the scene about four minutes after receiving a 911 call at 1:25 p.m. Firefighters and EMTs took over for Pocock and others who were compressing Bristol’s chest while Pocock performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Bristol, 68, was transported to the University of Vermont Medical Center, where he received six stents in blocked arteries. He attended Wednesday’s award ceremony for Pocock, traveling from New Hampshire, where he lives with his family and fiancee Donna Dupont.

“He’s better than I’ve ever seen him,” Bristol’s son, Robert, said of his father. “He looks great.”


Pocock learned CPR as a Boy Scout and later had training from the American Red Cross, where he served as an instructor. He worked briefly as a firefighter and EMT in California but said that had been 20 years ago. He had not used his training or knowledge since.

“Everybody who doesn’t know CPR should, because whether it’s a family member, your neighbor or someone you don’t know, it may be 20 years from now, but when that time comes it makes a difference,” Pocock said.

Truck driver Paul Bristol watches with his daughter-in-law

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Truck driver Paul Bristol watches with his daughter-in-law Nikki as James Pocock is presented with a medal for his actions the day that he found Bristol unconscious in the cab of his tractor trailer suffering a heart attack.  (Photo: RYAN MERCER/FREE PRESS)

When Pocock first arrived on the scene of the crash, he was unable to see a driver in the truck. Climbing up the outside of the cab, he spotted Bristol wedged between the seats, “sucking for air.”

“That’s when I heard his last breath,” Pocock said.

Deprived of oxygen, Bristol was turning blue.

“From his lips more and more on his face, he was blue,” Pocock said. “That scared me.”

Pocock knew he needed help so he began stopping traffic. Somehow he had to get Bristol out of the cab, and now.

“That’s when these two country boys, 19 or 20, came out of nowhere,” he said. “They said, ‘What do you need?’ I said, ‘He needs to come out!’ They grabbed him and four seconds later he was out. I don’t know who they were, but they had a big part in saving his life.”

Notified by Bristol’s employer of his accident, Donna Dupont and Bristol’s family were racing toward UVM Medical Center from New Hampshire. After learning of Pocock’s role in saving Bristol’s life, the family visited Pocock in his camp and took him to the hospital to see the man he had helped save.

Pocock couldn’t shake the mental images of the experience.

“I remember looking down into his throat, hearing his last breath, that was all stuck in my mind,” he said. “I just kept reliving it, even though I knew he had pulled through.”

Truck driver Paul Bristol embraces Williston Firefighter

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Truck driver Paul Bristol embraces Williston Firefighter EMT John Ouellette who, along with Firefighter EMT David Auriemma, rear, took over administering emergency care to Bristol after he suffered a heart attack while driving his tractor trailer down I89 on May 4. James Pocock was the first to find Paul slumped over in his cab and started live-saving actions that bought precious time and helped Paul survive. (Photo: RYAN MERCER/FREE PRESS)

Seeing Bristol in the hospital with his family, Pocock found relief.

“Once I met him all that reliving stopped, immediately replaced by hearing him laugh,” he said. “Now instead of focusing on his last breath I could replace it with someone smiling and giggling.”

Bristol’s family went to Walmart and bought Pocock a pillow and other supplies for his camp. Robert Bristol says his family and Pocock’s family are now part of each other’s lives.

“We’re all friends on Facebook now,” Bristol said. “We talk to him all the time.”

Prescott Nadeau, public information officer for the Williston Fire Department, said a plaque will be placed on the wall in the fire station to commemorate Pocock’s actions.

“One action at one moment in time has had a ripple effect on everybody in this room,” Nadeau said. “James, your actions were incredibly important. It will forever be remembered in this department and by the people in this community.” 

Contact Dan D’Ambrosio at 660-1841 or 


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Montreal nurse makes tiny Superman capes for intensive care babies

Not all superheroes are created on the pages of comic books.

Some are born in the neonatal ward of the Jewish General Hospital, where the tiniest of human life forms precariously cling to life in incubators while doctors and nurses hover about.

It’s also where the unlikeliest of superheroes are born, wee ones like Benjamin Korres, who was born eight weeks premature to first-time parents Michelle Campbell and Chris Korres of Pointe-Claire.

Benjamin weighed a mere four pounds, six ounces at birth, so he did not go home as planned with Mom and Dad after his March 10 birthday.

He spent about three weeks in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) before he was deemed healthy enough to leave.

But Campbell will never forget what she saw during a visit to the hospital that moved her to tears. 

“We were coming to visit Benjamin and hanging by his incubator on an IV pole we saw a tiny felt Superman cape. But instead of the Superman ‘S’ on it, it had the letter ‘B’ stitched on it, his initial.”

Campbell, who’d been on an emotional roller coaster since giving birth, couldn’t hold back her feelings.

“It was a great surprise to us obviously. We weren’t expecting to see anything there. It just had a note attached that said, ‘To our little superhero, Love Stephanie T’.”

That would be Stephanie Treherne, a nurse who’s taken it upon herself to make tiny superman capes for intensive care babies at the Jewish General who find themselves, through fate, outside the waiting arms of their anxious parents at birth.

Treherne, a recent graduate of McGill’s Ingram School of Nursing, hopes the gesture eases the nerves of parents who are coping with the fact their baby is lying in intensive care.

“It’s just a little something that brings a little bit of comfort and reassurance (to parents) and maybe a change in perception that while it is scary, your baby is strong, your baby is going to work through this. … These babies really are like superheroes.”

But spending time in the NICU, even for short periods, can be very stressful for parents, Campbell said.

“There’s a lot going on there, a lot of beeps and machines and tubes. At the drop of a hat, something can go wrong. You’re never sure one day to the next, so it’s kind of nice to see something like that that shows love and compassion and it gives you hope.”

 “It made us feel good to know that the staff sees these kids as something special,” Campbell added. “Every baby that’s in the NICU really has quite a journey ahead of them to be able to be discharged. It’s a lot for the parents to be visiting day in and day out. We were lucky in a sense because Benjamin was only there for three weeks and he was relatively in good health. He just was small essentially and early.”

Treherne has hand-stitched about 100 capes so far and keeps a list of all the baby names. Although many of her fellow staff members were not aware she was the unit’s cape maker, she said acts of kindness toward others have their own rewards.  

“It’s nice to do,” Treherne said. “Sometimes you have bad days at work and it’s difficult and this is a reminder that what we do is very special.”

But Treherne’s compassionate gestures have apparently caught the attention of her bosses.

Lyne Charbonneau, the Head Nurse in NICU, said: “This gesture is not only sweet, it provides reassurance to the parents and reminds them that someone is looking out for their baby even when they are not there. It is also inspiring to see a newly graduated nurse take such an initiative!”

So, how is 11-week-old Benjamin doing since going home? He is now a bouncing baby boy of 11 pounds.

And his tiny superman cape now hangs prominently in his room, a keepsake for life.

Meet Ummul Kher who battled bone disorder, unsupportive parents, lived in a slum and cracked UPSC exam

As someone living with fragile bone disorder since she was a kid, odds were always against Ummul Kher. When she was 14, her parents disowned her because she wanted to study beyond Class 8. What took her ahead was sheer merit and determination as she went on to get admission in a prestigious Delhi University college and later entered JNU for her master’s. This week she cracked the civil services exam in her first attempt.

Ummul Kher, 28, got all India rank 420. She now hopes to get IAS under disability quota.

Kher, who has received 16 fractures and eight surgeries due to her disease, came to Delhi from Rajasthan when she was around five years old. Her father then worked as street vendor selling clothes near Hazrat Nizamuddin while the family lived in a nearby slum.

Kher took admission in Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute for The Physically Handicapped, where she studies till Class 5. She later went to Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust where she studied till Class 8.

“It was a charitable organisation run by the government and I didn’t have to pay anything. Though getting one square meal was difficult, I was satisfied that I could at least study,” she said.

Life was difficult, but what came after that was “both difficult and painful” as Kher puts it.

“I wanted to study at Arwachin Bharti Bhawan senior secondary school as it had better infrastructure and I had got a scholarship,” she said. But her parents were against it. They said that if she studied any further they will sever ties with her. “I was abused. My intentions were questioned because I wanted to study. It was the worst time. They said you have now got more education than a girl should,” she said.

She left home and took up a place in Jhuggi Jhopri (JJ) Cluster, Trilokpuri, for which she paid out of the money she earned from tuitions — a decision she feels was more difficult than cracking the civil services exam.

“I had started taking tuitions but living independently meant I had to earn more money. From few children the tuitions expanded to four batches — 3pm to 5pm, then from 5pm to 7pm, 7pm to 9pm and 9pm to 11 in the night. These were mostly children from slum areas and I got between Rs 50-100 from each student. I couldn’t have expected more as these were children of labourers, iron smith, rickshaw-pullers etc,” she added.

“Besides, for a girl to live alone in a jhuggi was sometimes traumatic. It was never safe but I had no choice,” she said.

Sehnag Begum, who lives in Trilokpuri where Kher lived for around three years said, “She is a brave child. She lived alone but my daughter used to sleep with her because it is not safe for a girl to live alone.” In return, Kher gave her free tuitions, Begum said.

After Class 8, Kher’s education was backed by Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust. They helped her as and when required and also financed her tuition for Class 9 and 10.

Kher scored 91% in Class 12 and got admission in Gargi College where she continued to fund her education through tuitions. Kher’s friend from DU, Abhishek Ranjan, recalls her difficult college days, “She funded her education through the money she won at debates in DU colleges. You can earn decent money as the prize amount is high in some of the college festivals. But here too, she could not participate in debates that were organised in evening as she had to take tuitions,” he said.

In 2012, she met a small accident and was confined to a wheelchair for a year due to her bone disorder.

After finishing her graduation, Kher cleared JNU entrance exam for master’s in International Studies. She was now getting Rs 2,000 means-cum-merit scholarship and did not have to give tuitions. In 2013, she cracked the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) under which she started getting Rs 25,000 per month.

Archna Upadhyay, a faculty member at JNU’s School of International Studies said the result was not surprising. “Despite her physical challenges she was always at a par with other students and excelled in both academics and extracurricular activities,” Upadhyay said.

Will she forgive her family for leaving her midway? “I don’t blame them. They were brought up in an environment that shaped their thinking. It is not their fault,” she said. “In the past two years, my relations with my family have improved. I will visit them soon.”

Her parents are now back in Rajasthan where her brother runs a small bangle shop.

This state is experimenting with legal advocates for animal abuse cases

HARTFORD, Conn. — Many states have victim’s advocates or child advocates, people in the judicial system who represent those affected by crime or abuse. Now, one state has created legal advocates for abused animals, an experiment being watched across the nation for signs of success.

There are eight approved volunteer advocates across Connecticut — seven lawyers and a UConn law professor, working with her students. It’s up to a judge to decide whether to appoint one, but they can be requested by prosecutors or defense attorneys. In the first six months of the law, advocates have been appointed in five cases.

“Every state has the problem of overburdened courts that understandably prioritize human cases over animal cases in allocating resources,” said University of Connecticut professor Jessica Rubin, a specialist in animal law. “Here’s a way to help.”

The American Kennel Club, though, opposed the legislation, saying it could result in confusion over who is responsible for an animal and limit the rights of animal owners, including in cases in which someone else is charged with the abuse.

Supporters say those issues are easily handled by a judge.

The law was created by the Legislature and went into effect late last year. “Desmond’s Law” was named for a dog that was beaten, starved and strangled by its owner, Alex Wullaert, who admitted to the violence but avoided jail time under a probation program for first-time offenders that allowed his record to be wiped clean.

UConn law student Taylor Hansen, one of the volunteer advocates, this week was the first to testify in court, with Rubin by her side, making arguments in a dogfighting case involving three pit bulls.

One emaciated dog with scars from fighting had been found wandering. The other two were found in a home filled with animal feces, rotting food and evidence of dogfighting. One animal had to be euthanized.

Hansen described the abuse dogs suffered, talked of studies linking animal and human abuse, and explained why she believed the man accused of raising them to fight, 33-year-old Raabbi Ismail, of Bloomfield, should be barred from the same program Wullaert used.

Judge Omar Williams listened and read through a letter the UConn advocacy team had written. If Ismail’s record were eventually wiped clean, Hansen argued, there would be nothing to prevent him from getting back into dogfighting.

Williams agreed the charges were serious. But after a 45-minute hearing, he found the crime was not on a list that would automatically prevent Ismail, who had never been arrested before, from participating in the program, known as Accelerated Rehabilitation.

On Hansens’ suggestions, the judge did impose conditions that will prevent Ismail from owning, breeding or having dogs in his home for at least the next two years. He also will have to perform 200 hours of community service, but nothing involving animals.

Outside the courthouse, Ismail declined to comment to a reporter.

Rubin and Hansen said they weren’t discouraged by the outcome.

“It showed the animals do have a voice,” Hansen said. “We are able to have an impact on the proceedings.”

The animal advocates are an official party to the case. They can do investigative work prosecutors often don’t have time for, such as interviewing veterinarians and other witnesses. They also make arguments, write briefs and make recommendations to the judge.

“It has really assisted me in doing my job,” said assistant state’s attorney Thomas O’Brien, the prosecutor in Ismail’s case.

Just having the advocate in court represents a sea change in the handling of animal abuse cases, said Annie Hornish, the Connecticut director for the Humane Society of the United States.

Connecticut’s experiment is being watched by other states, Hornish said. And Rubin said she has gotten inquiries from lawmakers elsewhere asking how it might be copied.

A few states, including neighboring Rhode Island, allow veterinarians to advocate for animals in court, said lawyer and animal advocate Thomas Page, but only Connecticut has legal advocates.

According to a legislative report, there were 3,723 animal abuse or cruelty cases charged in Connecticut between 2006 and 2016. Eighty percent were not prosecuted or were dismissed.

Nineteen percent resulted in convictions, and 55 cases — the remaining 1 percent — resulted in the defendant being found not guilty.

“We hope with this law in place, we will start to see much better procedural outcomes,” Hornish said. “We are very excited that judges seem to be taking advantage of it.”

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India issues medical visa to ailing Pakistani child

LAHORE: Four-month-old Rohaan, who is suffering from a heart ailment, finally received his medical visa due to the timely intervention of the Indian Foreign Ministry.

India has not issued medical visas to Pakistanis since three months.

The plea of the ailing child gained strength on social media and finally caught the attention of the Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Upon the request of Rohaan’s father, the four-month-old was issued a medical visa by the Indian High Commission.

The father, Kanwal Sadiq, had initially applied for a visa in Indian state Uttar Pradesh, however, to no avail.

Sadiq’s friends advised him to use social media to contact Indian officials, following which he tweeted to the Indian Foreign Minister.

Swaraj promptly replied to the father’s plea on Twitter, after which the Indian HC issued three visas to the family.

According to the child’s father, they are still awaiting passports.

Rohaan is to undergo heart surgery in Uttar Pradesh’s JP Hospital.

Since three months Pakistanis have been facing hurdles in receiving medical visas from India. The Pakistani FO had raised the matter with the Indian HC earlier as well.