Music is a wonderfully powerful thing, and we've all experienced a life-changing gig before, just not perhaps like this. Fresh from wowing Irish fans in Dublin last week, Pink continued her tour with a date at Anfield were somehow something even more dramatic than Liverpool's Champions League heroics took place. Diehard fan - you definitely qualify if you go to a gig when nine months pregnant - Denise Jones was all set for a fun evening only to go into labour during the very first song on Tuesday. Incidentally, the song in question was 'Get The Party Started', which seems pretty perfect, no? The Liverpool Echo reports that on-site paramedics safely delivered a baby girl in the stadium's first aid room, despite being on the completely opposite side of the venue when Jones went into labour. Having been alerted, heroes in question John Matthews and Dani Berg made their way across the stadium to meet Jones and had to act fast, with no time to get to a hospital or administer anaesthetic. In fact, the only available equipment they had was a couple of beds."It took less than five minutes," said Matthews."We didn't have time to get concerned or worried, we just had to crack on and get on with it."“This doesn’t happen very often and I’d never delivered a baby in Anfield before," he added. "When things go well, it’s always a good feeling.”Mother and baby are both doing well, with the baby taking the name Dolly Pink.“I’m still massively in shock, just a bit gutted I missed the concert," noted Jones.
Friday, June 28
A bride has come under fire for overcharging her bridesmaids for their dresses - so that she could fund the cost of her own gown. An unnamed bridesmaid took to Facebook to reveal how the bride had initially told them the dresses she had picked out for them were €350 - only to find out much, much later that they were actually €175. The post, which was later shared on Reddit's Bridezilla forum, read: "Several years ago, a friend of mine asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding."There were six of us plus the maid of honour, so seven in total. The bride had picked out her dress already, one for the maid of honour and one for the bridesmaids."The dress itself was lovely but a bit expensive at $400 (€350) each since two of us were still in college so money was super tight."She explained that the bride had asked the maid of honour to coordinate with the bridesmaids for any fittings and alternations. The maid of honour ended up deciding she would pay for all of the girls' dresses on her credit card, as she wanted the air miles - and that the bridesmaids would just pay her back. The post continued: "None of us minded, especially since she was going to let us pay her back in instalments if we needed. I definitely needed."The bridesmaid explained that she hadn't been able to go with the rest of the bridesmaids to pick of the dresses, but planned to go by herself the following weekend. But when she was leaving the shop, there was a misunderstanding with the payment as one of the people working in the bridal shop didn't realise the dress had already been paid for. The bridesmaid continued: "As I'm walking out the door, another person working there yells out, 'hey, that will be $200!'"I was stunned and totally mortified. I apologised and explained how I thought the maid of honour had paid for it the weekend before."The shop owner comes running over to diffuse the situation and confirmed the dress was paid for already."I turned to walk out and suddenly realised she said $200, not $400."Long story short, the dress was only $200."When I confronted the maid of honour about it, she spilt the beans."Apparently, the bride and maid of honour plotted together to charge us double to help pay for the bride's dress."I let the bridesmaids know and four of us dropped out of the wedding immediately."Some Reddit users were stunned at the bride's "greedy" plan, while others praised the bridesmaids who had dropped out of the wedding."Oh woooooooooow, that goes beyond bridezilla and straight into theft," one person said."Only four of you dropped out? The two who forgave her are better people than I am," someone else commented."Oh wow. Bride and MOH are lucky that all that happened was that they lost 2/3 of the bridesmaids. A lesser person would have put the smackdown on them," another user added."Oh, that's grounds for dropping that 'friend' like a hot potato forever," a different person said.
A young American on vacation with her family was killed in a shark attack Wednesday. Jordan Lindsey, 21, was snorkelling in the Bahamas when cops say her parents saw a swarm of three sharks coming at her. They quickly engulfed her, fatally mauling her."We already miss her so much," her father said in a statement. "She was so caring. She loved all animals. It's ironic she would die getting attacked by a shark."The nightmare took place off Rose Island. Lindsey’s death is the latest horror in what's turning into the summer of the shark. Curator and co-founder of the Long Island Aquarium Joe Yaiullo spoke to Inside Edition about how to stay safe in the water during shark season. "Swimming in an area where there may be sharks, you just kind of want to use common sense. You want to avoid dawn and dusk times. Not wearing jewellery is a good idea because that does flash and will catch their attention," he said.
An Alabama woman was indicted on a manslaughter charge after she was shot in the stomach, leading to the death of her unborn child, officials said. Marshae Jones was five months pregnant when authorities say on Dec. 4 she and Ebony Jemison began arguing over the father of Jones’ unborn baby outside a Dollar General in Pleasant Grove, AL.com reported. During the fight, Jemison, 23, shot Jones in the stomach, authorities said. Emergency responders found Jones at a convenience store in neighbouring Fairfield and rushed her to UAB Hospital. Jones survived the shooting, but the expectant mother’s unborn baby was unable to be saved. Jemison was charged with manslaughter, despite police’s original intentions to charge her with murder, and the case went to a grand jury. But a grand jury failed to indict her and the charge was dismissed, AL.com reported. Police reportedly later said Jemison shot Jones in self-defence after the pregnant woman initiated the argument. “The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby,’’ Lt. Danny Reid of the Pleasant Grove police told AL.com. “It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight, which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby.”Officials said a grand jury would consider charges for Jones, and on Wednesday, she was indicted on a manslaughter charge. Her bond was reportedly set at $50,000, but by Thursday, she was bonded out of the Jefferson County Jail, online records show. Abortion rights advocates pointed to Jones’s indictment as an example of the ripple effect of Alabama’s restrictive laws concerning the procedure could have on non-abortion cases. It was unclear Thursday if the policies signed into law last month criminalizing actions that endanger a fetus played a part in the charge Jones faces.“This what 2019 looks like for a pregnant woman of colour without means in a red state,” NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said on Twitter. “This is now.”Amanda Reyes, executive director of the Yellowhammer Fund, part of a nationwide umbrella advocacy group, said in a statement to AL.com: “Tomorrow, it will be another black woman, maybe for having a drink while pregnant. And after that, another, for not obtaining adequate prenatal care.
Thursday, June 27
A man who married a second wife brutally disfigured his son’s face with a hot knife for stealing meat from the pot in Cross River State. According to a Nigerian Twitter user with the handle @ryann_agada, ‘his dad always beat him. The scar on his face was as a result of a knife the dad put in the fire and placed on his jaw because he stole meat from the pot’.
A Nigerian pastor in Ebonyi State left his congregation dazed after he was seen performing money miracle during a church service. The pastor could be seen in the video gathering empty newspapers together, and then squeezing them and within seconds, multiple naira notes began coming out of the squeezed newspapers.
The Lagos State Safety Commission on Wednesday shut down a Chinese firm, Cheng-Fa Nigeria Limited over poor safety standard after a 14-year old boy was electrocuted as he was operating a machine. Officials of the commission stormed the company situated at Obama Road in Ikeja area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria and were amazed at the poor safety standard and shut it. Joseph Ekwenobe, 14 was electrocuted while pouring materials into a faulty machine belonging to the firm, an action that led to a protest by workers of the company. Director General of the Commission, Hakeem Dickson led members of the agency to seal up the company, as a result of poor safety standard, saying that the company acted contrary to the law of the state which said a company must put safety standard in place if over five people were employed. According to him, the company engaged in poor housekeeping with lots of hazards detected, saying that the company had to be ISO certified before it could be opened. Dickson ordered the closure of the company immediately after an inspection showed that it never complied with safety standard for the safety of workers. He said the attention of the state government was drawn to the company following the electrocution of the 14-year old boy. Reports after inspection of the company by the staff of the commission showed that there were lots of electrical infractions as people were working in an unsafe environment, a stuffy factory, poor wiring of cables, use of unskilled labour, among others.
There is a trending video going online shows the moment a helicopter arrived to pick a VIP who was stuck in traffic for hours. According to reports, the traffic along the Lagos-Benin expressway lasted for hours and after spending over two hours in it, Nigerian billionaire ordered for a helicopter and it arrived to airlift him out of traffic. Other road users were stunned and some were seen running out of their cars to go see what was going on.
A sad photo of primary school and secondary school students struggling in the aftermath of a heavy downpour in Lagos has surfaced on social media. The photo, which has sparked talk on social media, was reportedly taken at Simpson street in Lagos Island. In the photo, the students were seen struggling to walk on the flooded street while they were heading home from school. Some of the students were seen hanging on a moving lorry so they could get across the flood. The uniforms worn by the students showed that they were all from different schools. The photo was shared by a Nigerian man identified as Olusegun Raphael on his Instagram page. He wrote: “Aftermath of heavy downpour in Lagos, students, others go through hell on Simpson Street, Lagos Island Nigeria.”
No less than twelve people have been said to have sustained injuries after a three-storey building that was under construction collapsed in Fagba area of Lagos state on Wednesday night, June 26. The Cable reports that the collapsed building left many people trapped in the rubble. Legit.ng gathers that the incident was confirmed by the general manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu. He said there were no mortalities recorded, adding that the victims of the incident are currently undergoing treatment. Oke-Osanyintolu said: “This is just to inform you that a three-story building collapsed at K Farm, Fagba, Off Iju Road. “It was a building under construction, and people occupying the building have been evacuated and the injured are responding to treatment.
“No mortalities recorded. All the key stakeholders that are important in managing the disaster in Lagos are on the ground. “However the building will be pulled to ground zero for the safety of the people living in the area. “All the buildings adjacent or beside the collapsed building will be subjected to solid material testing, for your information.” Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that there was panic at the Oshodi area of Lagos state as two people were on Sunday, June 23, injured when a building already marked for demolition collapsed. The distressed two-storey building is located at No 35, Adesanya street, off Ayoni Bus stop in the Mafoluku area of Oshodi. The incident occurred exactly at 9.45 a.m and caused panic among residents, as people still live in and around similar buildings already marked for demolition.
Wednesday, June 26
If you're heading to Europe on your jollies this year, then you may want to read this, as holidaymakers are being warned to brace themselves for a heatwave. Meteorologists predict temperatures could reach as high as 45C in some places, making it the hottest year since 2003 when 15,000 people died in France after temperatures in the south of the country peaked at 44.1 C. According to experts, countries such as France, Portugal and Spain will be the worst affected, while other European nations will also see higher than normal temperatures. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) warned temperatures could rise by as much as 6C.In a tweet, the body said: "WMO regional climate centre for Europe @DWD_presseissued Climate Watch for #heatwave for the next week. Temperatures 3°C-6°C above average over central Europe and 1°C to 3°C elsewhere. Widespread daily maximum above 30°C. Follow the advice from national met services."Another weather expert, warning residents and tourists about the blast of heat set to hit Spain, simply said: "Hell is coming."According to reports in France, Parisians have been put on alert to take extra precautions during the heatwave. The city's mayor Anne Hidalgo sanctioned an action plan earlier this week, which will see public 'cool rooms' and additional water fountains created across the city; opening times for public swimming pools have also been extended. School exams have been postponed, and people have been urged not to drink alcohol and wet their bodies multiple times a day. Switzerland could see highs of 37C, while temperatures will reach at least 35C in Poland - a rise of 11 to 17C for this time of year. It's claimed the surge of hot weather is being caused by a combination of storms in the Atlantic and high pressure over central Europe, which is seeing warmer air come in from the Sahara. And while heatwaves are not uncommon, it's rare for the continent to witness such extremes. The news has led some to blame climate change. Speaking to the Associated Press, Stefan Rahmstorf, a climatologist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said: "This increase in heat extremes is just as predicted by climate science as a consequence of global warming caused by the increasing greenhouse gases from burning coal, oil, and gas."While a study published in Earth's Future earlier this month, also claimed the impact of man was undeniable. It said: "Extremely high temperatures pose an immediate threat to humans and ecosystems. In recent years, many regions on land and in the ocean experienced heatwaves with devastating impacts that would have been highly unlikely without human-induced climate change."
San Francisco has become the first city in the United States to ban e-cigarettes until further research is done on its potential health effects. City officials voted to stop vaporisers being sold in shops and to ban online retailers from delivering their products to addresses under their jurisdiction. Californian e-cigarette company Juul - which is based in San Francisco - said that the move would drive young people towards smoking cigarettes and would "create a thriving black market" for e-cigarettes. The mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, has now got 10 days in which to decide whether to sign the legislation off. She has already indicated that she would do that. That would mean that the law would come into effect seven months after the legislation is formally signed, pending a potential legal challenge from companies. Critics of the e-cigarette industry say that they use flavoured products in order to attract and target young people into using their e-cigarettes. They also claim that there has not yet been enough scientific investigation into the longer term health implications of vaping and that it may be responsible for driving more young people into smoking traditional cigarettes. This latest move comes after the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) brought out some proposed guidelines for the industry giving companies until 2021 to have their vaping products properly evaluated. They initially suggested a deadline of August 2018 but then found that they needed more time to get ready for that. The City Attorney for San Francisco, Dennis Herrera - who was in support of the ban - said that the move was a good thing and a necessary move given what he perceives as an "abdication of responsibility" by the FDA with regard to regulating e-cigarette products. Whilst the age at which young people can buy tobacco products is currently set at 18 under federal law, in a number of states - including California - the legal age is 21. Despite that, the number of teenagers in the US who admitted using nicotine products rose by around 36 per cent last year. Some have attributed that growth to an increase in e-cigarette usage. Ted Kwong, a spokesperson for Juul - which has around 70 per cent share of the US vaping market - said: "This full prohibition will drive former adult smokers who successfully switched to vapour products back to deadly cigarettes, deny the opportunity to switch for current adult smokers, and create a thriving black market instead of addressing the actual causes of underage access and use."We have already taken the most aggressive actions in the industry to keep our products out of the hands of those underage and are taking steps to do more."He went on to say that traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes will "remain untouched by this legislation, even though they kill 40,000 Californians every year".
A French company claims to have invented a pill that can make your farts smell nice. Yep, we all know someone who could use that, right? By the way, if you're sat there thinking "actually, I don't know anyone" - it's you, mate. Anyway, the pills have been developed by an inventor called Christian Poincheval, who is based in the western French town of Gesvres and - he claims - that they can transform your smelly gas into the lovely fragrance of chocolate or roses. Yes, this anal alchemist actually thinks he can make your shit smell like roses. In fact, he's been at it since 2007, according to the official website of the company, called Lutin Malin (that's Cunning Imp, en Anglais). They claim that the pill is entirely natural, there's nothing medicine or drug-based therein. Just a "dietary supplement based on natural ingredients" that will make your guff smell good.Huge, if true. The website claims: "The Fart Pill is the result of lengthy research and trials and is on sale since 2007. Our fragrant variants also add a touch of humour for any occasion."Our numerous returning customers are no doubt the best proof."If you fancy giving this pump purifying product a bit of a go, then head on over to the website - or Amazon, as it happens - and you can pick up a sachet of 60 pills for less than £20. There are even some interesting variations, however, wanted your flatulence to smell of ginger? Yep, you can. There are even some interesting seasonal choices, too. Christmas chocolate or May Day lily, anyone? It's not just for humans, either. The website also claims to have some powders that you can use on your dog. Now that is a claim to make. Dog farts are the bane of every owner's existence. However, according to Lutin Malin, you can just sprinkle this powder onto their food and their ordinarily rank output will be replaced by the delightful smell of spring flowers. A few years back, Mr Poincheval told The Telegraph that his invention was borne out of necessity after a particularly smelly dinner party. He explained: "Our farts were so smelly we were nearly suffocated. Something had to be done, "Off he went. He experimented with ingredients and combinations an eventually settled on a recipe. Now, they've really taken off. He continued: "I have all sorts of customers, "Some buy them because they have problems with flatulence and some buy them as a joke to send to their friends. Christmas always see a surge in sales."
A mother was caught on CCTV saving her son's life thanks to her unbelievably quick reaction. In the split second, before her little boy fell from a fourth-floor balcony, she managed to grab his leg and pull him to safety, saving his life in the process. The mother and son are seen waiting outside a door at the Monserrate construction company's office in the Laureles Colonial building in Medellín, Colombia, as reported by local publication El Espactador.In the video, the toddler curiously heads towards the railing, putting his hands out on what he thinks is a glass panel between the railings. He collapses to his knees and falls head first through the gap. His mother glances up from her phone, having only taken her eyes off him for a few seconds, before jumping into action - she leaps over and grabs his leg, pulling him back through to safety. It's not confirmed at this stage whether the child was injured in the incident, but the heart-stopping clip leaves you fearing for what could have happened had his mum not spotted him just in time. After the boy falls, workers can be seen running to the woman, helping her to pull the child back over the barrier. The delivery man, who can be seen exiting the lift with the two, runs downstairs, presumably anticipating the child has fallen down. The video was then posted on Reddit, with some users praising the mum and her reactions, with others blaming her for not paying attention. Others still said that she should sue the company for not making it safe enough. One person posted: "Considering that there should be either glass or rails... this is a lawsuit waiting to happen."Another said: "It looks like there should have been glass. At first glance, the mom would have probably thought glass too..."A third person was just happy everyone was safe, writing: "I'm impressed how quickly both the mom and the guy in the helmet reacted. The bike messenger thought to go down the stairs nearly by instinct. Glad there was a good outcome."
Police have now confirmed the death of popular gaming YouTuber Desmond "Etika" Amofah after his body was discovered in Manhattan's East River earlier in the week. The 29-year-old was first reported missing one week ago. He'd recently uploaded a lengthy YouTube video discussing suicide, which sparked fears for his safety. His belongings were then found by police on the Manhattan Bridge on Monday, and his body was discovered two days later. Amofah, who joined YouTube in 2012, quickly became a popular presence on the site for his reaction videos in which he predominately discussed Nintendo games and products. In just seven years, Amofah amassed a following of over 800,000 fans over YouTube and Twitch - a fanbase he affectionately referred to as the JoyCon Boyz, after the Nintendo Switch controllers. His last upload to YouTube was the aforementioned video, titled "I'm sorry." First shared at midnight on June 19, it showed Amofah walking the streets of New York as he apologised for pushing people away and confirmed that he was living with mental illness. In the video, which has since been removed, he also warned against the dangers of using social media too much, and how it can "give you an image of what you want your life to be and get blown completely out of proportion."He said; "Let my story be one that advises caution on too much of the social media sh**. It will f*** you up and give you an image of what you want your life to be. ... Unfortunately, it consumed me."The news of Amoah's passing was met with an outpouring of tributes and support from his friends and fans. Rod Breslau described the YouTuber as "one of the most iconic and memorable personalities the youtube, streaming, and the gaming community has ever had the pleasure of watching."One fan wrote; "RIP, Etika. Thank you for all the laughs and smiles you gave everyone over the years. My thoughts go out to his friends and family." Another added, "Damn, rest in peace, mental health issues are no joke."Meanwhile, fellow YouTuber YongYea noted that he didn't know Amofah personally, but said that his "hype, energy, and enthusiasm leading up to the release of Smash 4 and Smash Ultimate was infectious. May he rest in peace."Other fans and influencers who shared the news of Amoah's death were encouraging each other to pick up the phone, open up a DM, or find someone to talk to if they ever found themselves feeling lonely, depressed, or overwhelmed.
Footage has emerged of a man falling through the ceiling of a house, right on to the police officers trying to find him suspect was reportedly hiding from police in the attic of a house, but stepped on a weak spot in the ceiling and fell through, with his leg dangling above one of the officers who was looking for him. Capturing the whole thing on camera was Matty Walsh, 24, who was at a party with some friends when he heard banging on the door.On hearing the unexpected visitors shouting 'police', he realised one of the group had vanished. He said that he had no idea who the man was, how he got there, or where he went when the police knocked on the door in Rochdale, Manchester. But he said the police came in and declared they were looking for an alleged suspect - before there was a loud creak from the ceiling. A hole appeared in the ceiling and plaster rained down on the police officer as a man's leg appeared through the newly-formed gap. Matty, from Rochdale, Manchester, said: "We heard a cracking and the police said, 'Who's in the roof?'"The next thing, a foot comes in and the plaster comes down and almost hits the copper on the head."There was no way out and he came down when they went to get him, there was no way out so he just gave up."We were all having a laugh about it, I don't know what the coppers thought of it."Matty, a builder, said he realised what was happening and filmed the incident, which occurred on 31 May, to put on Snapchat. A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police confirmed that a man had been arrested at the party following an earlier domestic assault they said: "Shortly after 2am on Saturday 1 June, officers responded to reports of a domestic assault in Rochdale."A male was detained at a nearby house in Ennerdale Road and arrested on suspicion of assault and breaching a restraining order."
A woman has been left with third-degree burns after a hot water bottle exploded in her bed, having completely scalded her lower back, bum and hands with the boiling water. Bree Schulz, 21, had placed her hot water bottle next to her in bed, but it exploded after she rolled over to her husband's side. She told The Sun that she 'blacked out completely and collapsed', as she went into a seizure from the shock of the searing pain. Having scalded her lower back, bum and hands with third and second-degree burns, Bree - from Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia - was rushed to the hospital, and has since been transferred to a specialist burns unit. Bree, who has an eight-month-old son, now faces an extensive course of rehabilitation therapy to regain full use of her hands - a process that will take several months. A family friend has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Bree and her family, in an attempt to ease the burden as her partner takes unpaid time off work to care for her, with a target of AUD $5,000 (£2,700 / US $3,500). The description reads: "On Sunday beautiful Bree suffered 3rd-degree burns on her back and 2nd-degree burns on her arms. This will result in her partner needing to take unpaid time off work to support and care for Bree in this hard time."They have a beautiful 8mo baby boy they need to support, and a house. They will get to a point where they could lose their house and belongings."The campaign has already raised more than AUD $800 (£440 / US $560) of its $5,000 goal. Bree's husband Tyson has since shared an update on Bree's condition, thanking those who have helped raise money or recognition for their cause."Healing is going very well," he said."Bree and I would just like to take a moment to thank everyone who has shared the story and especially everyone who has donated to us. Even the people who have donated $5-$10 and have put 'it's not much'. To you, it's not much but to us, it's everything so thank you so much."So many people that have next to nothing themselves and are struggling, have been digging deep to help us and we are so grateful to each and every one of use. We can't even begin to express our gratitude and appreciation."We have both been brought up to work hard and not expect anything from anyone. So to accept help has been hard. But we're so lucky to have the community we do have."So again thank you to everyone who has shared the story or donated."Speaking to The Sun, Bree has urged others to take care of hot water bottles. She said: "I've done a lot of research since this happened, I found out so many things I was unaware of, such as that hot water bottles have a manufacturing date on them."But it's just a circle with a couple of dots and a number, people aren't going to know what it is or if it's in date or out-of-date."So I just want manufacturers to take responsibility and think about their consumers and make their warning labels clearer."
A woman in the US wrote an eerie note to her family saying she had been to heaven after she died for 27 minutes before being resuscitated. Tina Hines, from Phoenix, Arizona, went into cardiac arrest in February 2018 as she and her husband Brian were getting ready to go on a hike. She collapsed, with Brian giving her CPR and resuscitating her twice before paramedics arrived to take over. As reported by AZfamily.com, on the way to the hospital, she was revived a further six times by medics, effectively dying for 27 minutes altogether. She was intubated in hospital but miraculously awoke. As soon as he did she gestured for a pen and paper and wrote a chilling message to her family. In barely readable handwriting, she wrote 'it's real'. When she was asked what was real, she nodded upwards."It was so real, the colours were so vibrant," Tina told AZfamily.com.She said she saw a figure that she believes was Jesus standing by some bright yellow, glowing gates. Tina's near-death experience, known as an NDE, is not that rare. Although most people have no memory of the period during which they were technically dead, around 10 to 20 per cent have some sort of visual or sensory episodes during the time, according to studies. Although they may seem mystical, scientists have been getting closer to finding out the truth of what happens during so-called NDEs.Researchers at the University of Michigan did a study on rats in 2013. According to reports by the BBC, a surge of activity in the brain just before death is higher than during most waking, conscious state. The leader of the study, Dr Jimo Borjigin, of the University of Michigan, said: "A lot of people thought that the brain after clinical death was inactive or hypoactive, with less activity than the waking state, and we show that is definitely not the case."If anything, it is much more active during the dying process than even the waking state."The nine rats were monitored while they were dying, and in the 30-second period, after the animal's hearts stopped beating, a sharp increase in high-frequency brainwaves was measured. These pulses are one of the neuronal features that are thought to underpin consciousness in humans, especially when they help to "link" information from different parts of the brain. Commenting on the research, Dr Jason Braithwaite, of the University of Birmingham, said that it was likely that the sudden surge of energy in the brain caused all sorts of 'striking' visions and colours, as well as emotions and feelings. Tina and her family believe the message is clear though - heaven is real, with Tina's niece even getting the note tattooed on her wrist.
My senior colleague attended a church ceremony recently, where a baby was being christened. This colleague’s place of worship isn’t in a church, but for the fact that it was an event to name a child and from the background that he was influenced by, he definitely had a fair idea how everything was going to turn out; or so he thought. In traditional African societies, for most of the West African region especially, the ceremony would usually include whoever is in charge of leading the charge, introducing the taste buds of the baby to such items as water and alcohol. But of course, those introductions are mere drops but truly significant. The significance here is a simple equation of helping that child grow up to the appreciation and understanding that there are mostly two sides to things; if they are not right, they must definitely be wrong or bitter. It’s that simple! And this has persisted over many centuries – a tradition that our ancestors passed down to those before us with the hope that we can also pass them on to those after us. The tradition must go on is the agenda. So that was the expectation of this colleague until he was pleasantly surprised, when, during the ceremony, of a few of the things he knew would be introduced to the child before a name was given him or her, there was no such thing as alcohol. It was a church setting and so that must have calmed his troubled thoughts a little because of what he has heard of the church not endorsing the use of alcohol. But he could not let this go away just like that especially when during the communion in church, what was served to symbolize the Blood of Jesus, was red alcoholic wine. Surely, he wondered what made it right for alcohol to be used for communion, yet not pass for a significant tradition that has had one important emphasis for as long as his people have existed – to teach the child to differentiate good from evil? Today, in African traditional settings, for instance, traditional marriages do not quite pass for a ‘full’ marriage any longer, largely due to the fact that Christianity has a different set of requirements for the ceremony of marriage. The laws of the land will award couples certificates of marriage even right after the traditional marriage, but the church has been so positioned today to be the one to actually present it to you. It requires that you have your union blessed in church then.
In fact, whether it is a court marriage or not, there is the need for a legally-recognized priest to be present to hand over this certificate of marriage to the couple, reinforcing the notion that you must be wedded in the church to feel married. Yet, the fact is that traditional wedding is actually a marriage. Of course, it is a ceremony performed at home but among our people, it is marriage and passes all the tests for it. But we ask, is Christianity waging a war on traditions that have defined our people for so long, merely under the umbrella that it is not-Christian? And, how is it that the church wedding, also called the white wedding, has to become the yardstick for confidently saying that a person is married the ‘proper’ way or not?
In South Africa, ceremonies such as the male puberty rites called the Thomba, which applied equally to boys and girl, was the practice where during the initiation process, boys and girls of the same age went into separate seclusion (mostly in forests), where they were taught by instructors on the requirements and duties of adulthood. After the male thomba ceremony, the young boy was called an insizwa ‘young man’ and he was free to court girls of his age and in his group, but he was not free to marry. Puberty rites, for instance in some parts of Ghana are today ranked in the same place of nudity or extreme sexual exposures but what has been the essence of such rites in our communities? Has it served the purpose(s) for which our ancestors instituted them? Has their relevance(s) changed today?
Let’s talk fairness now: there are many obsolete as well as a few very good practices that should not be completely thrown under the bus en meme merely because they come with a ‘traditional’ tag around their necks.With all these established, with many more traditions and customs around the continent unmentioned in this article but which persist, the question for Christianity today is, why are we fighting some of the practices that are still relevant in today’s world?There is no doubt that there are many practices, traditionally, across the continent of Africa, that are globally frowned upon and regarded inhumane and primitive and must, therefore, be abolished. A report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) titled ‘Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children’ states “Traditional cultural practices reflect values and beliefs held by members of a community for periods often spanning generations. Every social grouping in the world has specific traditional cultural practices and beliefs, some of which are beneficial to all members, while others are harmful to a specific group, such as women.“These harmful traditional practices include female genital mutilation (FGM); forced feeding of women; early marriage; the various taboos or practices which prevent women from controlling their own fertility; nutritional taboos and traditional birth practices; son preference and its implications for the status of the girl child; female infanticide; early pregnancy; and dowry price. Despite their harmful nature and their violation of international human rights laws, such practices persist because they are not questioned and take on an aura of morality in the eyes of those practising them.”In other parts of Africa, there are practices such as the Barabaig culture of East Africa, where boys get their faces scarred after they have had their heads cleanly shaven as a sign of true manhood – and they are supposed to live with it for life and with pride.
Most people may have read about Asha Mandela, the Florida woman and native of Trinidad-Tobago who has earned the name “Black Rapunzel” for owning the Guinness World Record for “World’s Longest Dreadlocks.”There is also Aevin Dugas, a social worker from New Orleans, U.S., who made headlines as the proud owner of the largest female natural afro in the world. But somewhere in the Eastern Province of Zambia, another woman is also blessed with a similar extraordinary gift that is yet to be given the needed recognition – an incredibly long hair that is almost twice her height. Named Lister Phiri, the Zambian mother of two from Chilanga District in Lusaka believes that if she had not been cutting her hair over the years, her hair would have stretched beyond the about two metres. She would have probably been considered for the Guinness Book of Records, she said recently. Born in 1969, Phiri has had this incredibly long hair right from her young days. During her days in high school, she was even forced to cut her hair several times in a year in order to maintain it within what was seen as acceptable lengths, she said in an interview with Times of Zambia. The 49-year-old believes she inherited her rare gift from her grandmother, who was also born with extremely long hair, she said. Growing up, Phiri realized that it was unnecessary trying to cut her hair to let it fit within what is seen as acceptable.
“After I saw that my hair was growing longer, I began to embrace it because I realised that it might be God-given and probably Samson power,” she said. But there was a problem – the cost of maintaining the hair using shampoo was too high for Phiri, so she found an alternative – detergent paste.“I have never used any chemicals to make my hair grow not even relaxing creams in my life, I have maintained natural hair from the time I was young and only use Vaseline and detergent paste to wash my hair, and style it with cotton thread,” she said. For now, her children and neighbours help her to style her hair, meaning, she wouldn’t have to spend so much time and money in hair salons and even though she sometimes trims the hair, she is not bothered as it grows back quickly.
But this comes with another challenge – a long hair that is not braided is heavy for her to bear. It is even worse when it soaked by the rains, she said. Thus, to ease such pains and be able to move about easily without much difficulty, she makes ponytails, which she then folds around her head, but this often takes three hours to do. Nevertheless, Phiri believes that her long hair is a blessing from God and she would continue to maintain that natural gift no matter what it takes.“This is my gift from God and I need to cherish it considering that very few women are blessed with such long hair,” she said.
Sunday, June 23
A mum has been banned from every Asda supermarket in the UK after failing to pay for the £16 worth of items.31-year-old Beth Robinson said that the self-scanning machine didn't take down half of her shopping, leading to a misunderstanding that saw her treated like a 'common criminal'.The mum, who has five children, was stopped as she attempted to leave an Asda supermarket in Scunthorpe by a security guard. Upon inspection, it turned out that she hadn't paid for several items within her shopping bags. She had used a scan-as-you-go device to buy the items to a strict budget of £45, but once she'd paid up and tried to leave she was collared by the guard, according to reports in the Scunthorpe Telegraph.Robinson said: "A security guard approached me outside the shop just after I had finished and said I needed to come back inside because there were discrepancies with the shopping."They rescanned all of my shopping and found it had missed £16 of items off. One of them was an £8 tub of baby formula for my seven-month-old son, who was with me at the time. The others were very cheap Savers items like 70p ham and crisps for my children."Robinson, who is currently on maternity leave, said that the scanning device beeped every time she passed an item across it, and added that she has never stolen in her entire life. She continued: "Why would I steal from there? I do three shops there a week, spending about £100 to £150 each week. I've spent so much money there over the years - why would I start stealing 70p items?"The staff said they could understand if I had stolen the items out of desperation, as it wasn't bottles of wine that people usually steal, but I honestly believed every item had been scanned."I was being treated like a common criminal. I told them to watch the CCTV and see for themselves that I scanned every item."Despite her protests, Beth was made to sign an exclusion order banning her from every single Asda location for one year. If she does, they could charge her with trespassing and she could be evicted from the store. She added: "It really shook me up. I tried telling them there must be a problem with the scanner but they said it would have frozen if it had, "I knew I didn't have enough money for all of the items, so I had to return some of them to buy the baby formula milk."I go to that Scunthorpe Asda all the time - we use it for Christmas presents and school uniforms for the kids, and we're all registered at the opticians there. Now I will have to go somewhere else."Beth's husband Dale said that they've contacted Asda to complain about the ban, during which calls he admits to becoming angry and frustrated. An Asda spokesperson said: "We always want to provide a welcoming environment for our customers and asking someone not to visit our stores is always an absolute last resort."Whilst the customer did understand why we had to make this difficult decision and we're more than happy to discuss the situation with her further, we'd like to remind the customer and her partner that we cannot tolerate shoplifting or any form of abusive or threatening behaviour towards our colleagues."
A woman in a Los Angeles restaurant found herself with an unwelcome dining companion after a live rat fell from the ceiling above her head. Alisha Norman was sitting in Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in LA, California when she suddenly heard the rodent drop from the ceiling. Posting photos of the scene to Facebook, she wrote: "So what do you do when a rat falls from the ceiling onto your table... Really LA? I was just trying to watch the soccer game."Many of Alisha's fellow Facebookers commented to express their disgust, with many saying they'd have instantly walked out. One person wrote: "I. Would. Have. Died."Someone else said: "Oh my god. I can't even."Another added: "I'd be out the door as fast as I could go!"While a fourth wrote: "I'd be out! Maybe the only time I walk out on a bill!"However, Alisha chose to stick around, explaining in a reply in the comments thread: "I'm a science teacher and went to nursing school, I've seen worse... but I got to see how they handle this bill."
In another reply, she lamented: "You really can't make this up....you just can't."
Alisha, who is originally from Houston, Texas, was on holiday in LA ahead of her 43rdbirthday this weekend and was at the restaurant to watch the US take on Sweden in a Women's World Cup group stage match. After she asked to speak to a manager, she was told the rat - which was still alive but injured after its mighty fall - had come 'from the construction up above'.The manager apparently came over with two plates and swept the rat 'into a bag', before compensating Alisha for her bill. Speaking to NBC, Alisha said she wasn't angry, but did admit the ordeal was 'disgusting'.She hadn't even ordered when she heard something from overheard."You could hear something come down," she said."I knew the rat was going to be injured because it hit like a Mack truck."Alisha then requested to speak to a manager, who came over to, erm, dispose of the rat before taking care of her bill."He took two plates and then they just picked it up and dumped it in a bag," she said."It was terrible. It was disgusting."
McDonald's has announced that it will be removing plastic lids from its McFlurrypackaging in all UK restaurants from September. It will also stop using single-use plastic for its salad options, as part of an overhaul to the packaging of its UK menu. This means that all the main meal and side salad options will be served in cardboard containers. According to reports in Metro, all the cardboard used will contain at least 50 per cent recycled content, as opposed to the single-use plastic that is used currently.McDonald's said the changes will reduce plastic waste by a total of 485 metric tonnes every year - 383 of which will come from McFlurry packaging alone. This represents a huge step in the right direction to tackling plastic waste and pollution. Beth Hart, supply chain director for McDonald's the UK and Ireland, said: "I am delighted that today's news means we will be serving our much loved and new menu items in an even more sustainable way."Removing plastic lids from the McFlurry, and introducing new cardboard packaging for salads, will save nearly 500 metric tonnes of plastic a year. It's the latest step in our sustainability journey."We are committed to listening to our customers and finding solutions with our suppliers that work for them. This is the latest example of that - but by no means the end."The news has come after the chain also removed plastic straws from its restaurants, with customers now offered cardboard ones instead. Although most people realised that this was nothing but good news for the planet, some people were very unhappy about the move - with one particularly angry person starting a petition to bring back plastic. We're saving turtles, mate. Earlier this week, McDonald's announced plans to bring back Oreo, Maltesers and Smarties McFlurries.The news was announced to fans on Twitter, asking which flavour they're most excited about. The poll that McDonald's released on Twitter currently has over 32,000 votes - at the time of writing, 49 per cent of people have opted for Maltesers with 28 per cent choosing Smarties. That leaves Oreo narrowly in third place, with 23 per cent. All this could change though because there are still two days left to vote. The McFlurry line-up will be changing on 26 June, but if you can't wait until then, you can always visit one of the restaurants for the Aero and Mint Aero McFlurries that are available at the moment.
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