Sending Marijuana to Grandma? (AP)

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TALLADEGA, Ala. ' A package addressed from “Grandpa Henderson” in San Diego to “Grandma Henderson” in Talladega, Ala., wasn’t ordinary mail, and it wasn’t picked up by any grandmother.

The package aroused suspicions among Talladega postal inspectors, who contacted the Talladega County drug task force. Task force commander Jason Murray said a trained drug-detection dog singled out the package, and law enforcement officers waited for someone to pick it up.

Three men did that Saturday. They were stopped after they left the post office, and officers found more than 6 pounds of marijuana in the package.

Murray said the three have been charged with trafficking in marijuana.


Information from: The Daily Home – Talladega, View the original article here

Bingo war divides sheltered housing complex

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The letter, if anything, has had the opposite effect and now the entire complex is up in arms.

Problems started when Jean Walton, 65, moved in and began hosting regular bingo sessions in the common room. Her crime was not the bingo, but that she invited outsiders in in the form of family and friends.

Some of the residents, fiercely protective of their room, were infuriated, and sought redress through official channels. A series of ever more lurid accusations followed.

Complaints included reports of partying until 2am, loud music being played and posters at local shops advertising the bingo being torn down.

Miss Walton, who moved in in April, remains defiant and said she will not be intimidated. 'Our bingo will carry on and it will not stop me. I don’t want to vegetate for the rest of my life – we have a room and we should use it.

“They are closing all of our elderly day centres around here and we’ve got a perfectly good room to use for activities and fun.”

She said the problems started after a housewarming party she hosted on July 4th, which she claimed finished just after 11pm, although others have suggested much later, adding: 'I wish to God I never moved here and that I never threw that party.”

Her friend and fellow bingo organiser, Brenda Gough, 66, also claims to have found herself on the end of malicious gossip by some of those seeking to have their activities shut down.

Miss Gough, who has lived at Ash Grove, in Great Barr, for 15 years, said she has been accused of bringing men home for sex, which she denies, branding the complainants 'childish' and 'pathetic'.

With residents as old as 90, opponents of Miss Gough and Miss Walton say the peace and tranquility of the complex are of the highest importance. There is also increased concerns about crime if strangers are allowed in and out of the common room and the complex.

Such are the growing hostilities that Jacqueline Carbado, Birmingham City Council's assistant housing officer, wrote to all residents reminding them of their tenancy responsibilities.

Her letter states that 'several residents have complained of harassment, which consists of intimidation, bullying and spreading malicious rumours' and warns of direct action should the bad behaviour continue.

Residents have called for the letter to be formally withdrawn and are trying to gather a committee to sort the problems out.

June Hill,62, a former warden at the housing scheme, said: 'This has never happened in the 16 years we have lived in the community ' it's a huge stress.'

Mr Hill, 62, added: 'The outsiders coming for the bingo fill the road full of cars and there’s no room for emergency vehicles.

“We’ve had burglaries and we don’t need strangers down here.'

Birmingham Cllr Keith Linnecor said the council's actions were over the top and said: 'The council should withdraw these letters and mount a full investigation. This is a private estate and I am sure they are not allowed to use the common room for public events.”

A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: 'We takes matters of anti social behaviour seriously and following a number of complaints from residents at the Ash Grove Warden Scheme, which we are currently investigating, we felt it was necessary to remind all residents that abusive, threatening or intimidating behaviour towards their neighbours would not be tolerated.

'We have not threatened any of our residents with an ASBO, but we accept that the letter may be regarded as over zealous. We did not intend to cause our residents any upset or concern and we are sorry if we have. We remain committed to protecting their safety.

'Local housing staff are currently working with residents to find a solution to the issues they face.'

Fat Guy Keeps Turning Up on TV

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A portly, balding man – nicknamed the news raider and the fat guy who wants to be on television – has been spotted during live reports on the BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4, at a string of diverse locations.

Bloggers have identified him as a community worker from south London called Paul Yarrow. The profile picture on Mr Yarrow’s Facebook page matches that of the mystery man.

Furthermore, a ‘Paul Yarrow’ has also applied to go on Big Brother 2010, saying he is “currently known as the fat guy who wants to be on television” and is “very well known in south London, working in the voluntary sector”.

He has also been spotted on the BBC website, in a story about an unofficial ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of the 7/7 bombings, and in the background of an episode of the BBC programme Antiques Roadshow.

Most of the sightings have been in London, including outside the Houses of Parliament, Peckham, Hyde Park and the Gaza protest march in May that went from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy.

He started coming to mainstream attention late last year, when comedian Russell Howard featured him on his BBC show Russell Howard’s Good News, giving him the sobriquet of the “fat guy who just wants to get on TV”. Howard used a Sky News clip showed him moving in front of the camera to get into shot 10 times. He then appeared on a later edition of the show, this time in a clip from BBC News, doing the same thing.

A website,, has been tracking his appearances and wondering who he is, and displaying screenshots of his various appearances – the most recent of which is last week.

According to The South London Press, Mr Yarrow is “a good Samaritan” who has been nominated for Community Champion, Good Samaritan and Carer of the Year in his home in Bermondsey. He is said to have cared for unwell relatives, helped elderly people in the community and championed local causes since he was 12.

Grey Squirrel for Lunch?

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The only branch of Budgens currently stocking the squirrel meat is an independent in Crouch End, North London Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

The shop claims it has seen huge demand for the rodents because they are high in protein and low in fat.

Squirrels were once widely eaten in Britain and regularly cooked in pies and casseroles.

But the move has been criticised by animal welfare group Viva.

Viva founder and zoologist Juliet Gellatley told the Daily Mail: ‘Culls of thousands of grey squirrels by so-called conservation groups to boost populations of red squirrels are irrational, inhumane and destined to fail, so it is very sad that Budgens are allowing profit to be made from wildlife massacre.

“If this store is attempting to stand out from the crowd by selling squirrel, the only message they are giving out is that they are happy to have the blood of a beautiful wild animal on their hands for the sake of a few quid.”

Viva claims many squirrels are killed inhumanely and often left for days to bleed to death after being clubbed.

The only branch of Budgens currently stocking the squirrel meat is an independent in Crouch End, North London.

More Facebook Security Problems?

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On Wednesday, the list was rapidly spreading across the internet being distributed and downloaded by more than 1,000 users, the BBC reported. One user described the list as “awesome and a little terrifying”.

But its publication provoked concern from privacy experts who said it proved Facebook's 'confusing' privacy settings were still apparent.

But the company defended its privacy settings and denied any 'private data' had been made available or comprised, saying the information was already available.

Last week Facebook reached 500 million members ' the equivalent of connecting with eight per cent of the world's population. If it were a country, its 500 million members would make it the third-largest country in the world.

The list was 'leaked' to the site by Ron Bowles, an online security consultant, who reportedly used a simple piece of code to collect the data from the site.

He told the broadcaster that he published the data to highlight privacy issues.

Simon Davies, of Privacy International, a campaign group, said:”Facebook should have anticipated this attack and put measures in place to prevent it,” he said.

“It is inconceivable that a firm with hundreds of engineers couldn’t have imagined a trawl of this magnitude and there’s an argument to be heard that Facebook have acted with negligence.'

He added: “This highlights the argument for a higher level of privacy and proves the case for default nondisclosure.

“There are going to be a lot of angry and concerned people right now who be wondering who has their data and what they should do.”

In a statement to the BBC, Facebook said the list's information was already freely available online.

“People who use Facebook own their information and have the right to share only what they want, with whom they want, and when they want,” a spokesman said.

“In this case, information that people have agreed to make public was collected by a single researcher and already exists in Google, Bing, other search engines, as well as on Facebook.

“No private data is available or has been compromised.'

He added: 'It is similar to the white pages of the phone book, this is the information available to enable people to find each other, which is the reason people join Facebook.

“If someone does not want to be found, we also offer a number of controls to enable people not to appear in search on Facebook, in search engines, or share any information with applications.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder and chief executive, has said he believes the company has got its privacy settings right 'on the whole'.

The site recently faced a storm of international protest over its over-complicated privacy settings, which users said led them unwittingly to make personal information public.

It forced the social networking site to announced last month that it would 'drastically simplify' the controls that let users set how much of their personal information is visible to other users.

Popularity Adds Time to Life Expectancy?

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Healthy ‘social connections’ – with relatives, friends, neighbours or workmates – can improve our odds of survival by 50 per cent, the study found.

But being a hermit can be as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, being an alcoholic, doing no exercise – and can even be twice as bad for us as being obese.

Professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad, from the Department of Psychology at Brigham Young University, said: “The idea that a lack of social relationships is a risk factor for death is still not widely recognized by health organisations and the public.

“When someone is connected to a group and feels responsibility for other people, that sense of purpose and meaning translates to taking better care of themselves and taking fewer risks.”

The researchers looked at data from 148 previous studies that measured human interaction and tracked health outcomes for a period of seven and a half years on average.

Because information on relationship quality was unavailable, the 50 per cent increased odds of survival may underestimate the benefit of healthy relationships.

Professor Holt-Lunstad said: “The data simply show whether they were integrated in a social network.

“That means the effects of negative relationships are lumped in there with the positive ones. They are all averaged together.”

Study co-author Professor Timothy Smith, who works alongside Professor Holt-Lunstad, said the results did not just stem from elderly people living longer – with men and women of all ages benefitting from close relationships.

The Professor also said that modern conveniences and technology have lead some to think that good friendships aren’t necessary – but that this was not the case.

He said: “This effect is not isolated to older adults. Relationships provide a level of protection across all ages.

“We take relationships for granted as humans we’re like fish that don’t notice the water.

“That constant interaction is not only beneficial psychologically but directly to our physical health.”

Silly Baby Names

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Experts said many new parents were being influenced by celebrities who had given their children more unusual names.

But they warned parents to 'think very carefully' before embarking on unusual names because it could affect their child's psychology.

The poll found three quarters of people who had given their child a traditional name believed more alternative parents were paving the way for their child to be bullied.

They added that those who had chosen more wacky names were selfish and not thinking of their child.

The 'Most Unusual Names of the Decade' list, published on Tuesday, was compiled by Bounty Parenting Club, a parent organisation after it attempted to discover how many had tried to give their baby an unusual name.

The bizarre names were discovered after experts trawled through the millions of recorded names given to newborns over the past decade.

The poll, of more than 3000 parents, found more than one in 10 parents regretted their decision to veer from the norm.

The poll also found that the same number of children, perhaps unsurprisingly, did not like their name while a growing number had asked for it to be changed.

The poll also found that initial reactions from friends and family were varied.

When told what the newborn’s name was almost one in five expressed surprise, almost a third asked questions about how to spell it while many requested the parents to repeat the name again to check they had heard properly.

Each of the unusual names on Bounty's top 20 list, including Zowie, Puppy and Ice, were given to only a handful of babies since 2000.

Rooney, Bowie and Cobain were some of the names given to children by parents who seem to have been influenced by the celebrity footballer and musicians.

There are also a handful of unusual hippy-style names such as Stone, Gift, Heaven and Echo, while the fashion world might have inspired the names Denim, Diesel and Armani.

“Our records have uncovered these unusual name choices of parents over the decade, illustrating the ever growing trend for wackier, celebrity-style names not previously heard of in Britain’s playgrounds,' said Bounty spokeswoman Faye Mingo.

“It’s great to see parents being creative and wanting their children to stand out from the crowd with more unusual names but there are a few names here that children may find hard to live up to.

'The majority of parents polled said their unusual choice was because they didn’t want their child to share anyone else’s name.'

But she added: “Parents do need to think very carefully about everything that comes attached to an unusual moniker as it can definitely shape a child’s experiences from how they are treated at school and beyond.”


1. Shy

2. Unity

3. Bean

4. Zowie

5. Puppy

6. Ice

7. Victory

8. Porsche

9. D’Andre

10. Denim

11. Diesel

12. Armani

13. Rooney

14. Bowie

15. Cobain

16. Stone

17. Gift

18. Echo

19. Heaven

20. Maroon