Rampaging elephant ‘turns back to save baby’
A male elephant that smashed up a house in an Indian village allegedly returned to lift the debris from a crying baby girl.
By Becky Barnes
Last updated: 12 March 2014, 14:03 GMT
A distressed elephant turned back to save a 10-month-old baby after smashing up a family home, a couple in India have claimed.
Lalita and Dipak Mahato, who live in a village in West Bengal’s Purilia district, told the Times of India (ToI) that they were having dinner at around 8pm on Monday night when they heard a “cracking sound”, then a huge crash.
"We ran over and were shocked to see the wall in pieces and a tusker [male elephant] standing over our baby,” dad Dipak told ToI.
“She was crying and there were huge chunks of the wall lying all around and on the cot.
“The tusker started moving away but when our child started crying again, it returned and used its trunk to remove the debris."
The daily newspaper reports the male elephant removed every last bit of stone, brick and mortar from the tiny girl’s body before returning to the forest.
"We worship [elephant god] Lord Ganesh in our village,” the baby’s mum Lalita told ToI.
“Still, I can’t believe that the tusker saved my daughter after breaking down the door and smashing a wall.
“We watched amazed as it gently removed the debris that had fallen on her. It’s a miracle."
The youngster was taken to hospital where she was treated for external injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.
According to forest officers, the same elephant has killed at least three people in the last year. It has reportedly damaged at least 17 houses in three adjoining villages.
Forest officer Om Prokash said elephants come to the villages in search of food and do not intend to harm humans unless they are attacked.
According to ToI a similar incident was reported in Jalpaiguri’s Madarihat village about six months ago when a herd of elephants carefully removed a little girl before smashing several houses.
Scotland Yard detectives to return to holiday resort where Madeleine McCann vanished ‘within days’ to follow up new leads | Mail Online
Scotland Yard detectives to return to holiday resort where Madeleine McCann vanished ‘within days’ to follow up new leads
New leads: Scotland Yard detectives could travel to Portugal in the coming days to follow up on new leads in the case of missing Madeleine McCann (pictured)
Detectives searching for Madeleine McCann could fly to the Portuguese holiday resort where the youngster went missing within days to follow up on new leads.
Metropolitan Police officers could potentially interview suspects, search properties and even make arrests in the Algarve where Madeleine disappeared while on a family holiday in 2007.
The Crown Prosecution Service has written a Letter of Request to Portuguese judges this week asking for permission to work in the country to gather evidence alongside local police.
According to the Daily Mirror, the letter included the names of some of the suspects that police wish to speak to regarding the case and an outline of a number of offences being investigated.
Madeleine went missing from an apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, as her parents dined with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant.
The shambolic Portuguese inquiry was shelved in 2008, but Scotland Yard began a Home Office-funded review in 2011 – known as Operation Grange – following the intervention of David Cameron.
The Met said earlier this month that it was preparing to swoop on 38 suspects ‘scattered across Europe’ after announcing a full criminal investigation.
Among them are a dozen British nationals who were visiting or living in the Algarve at the time the then three-year-old went missing.
Investigators said that they have no prime suspects but said that they had found no evidence that the youngster had been murdered.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the inquiry, said: ‘We continue to believe that there is a possibility that Madeleine is alive.’
Crime scene: The Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz where Madeleine went missing in 2007
New hope: Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann welcomed the Met’s announcement that it had new leads earlier this month
The Met’s announcement came toward the end of a two year £5million review of the case which officers said has created a ‘unique picture’ of what happened in the Algarve.
Hopeful: Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said that police have no evidence that Madeleine was murdered
Mr Redwood said the painstaking review has brought together all the information about Madeleine for the first time.
He said: ‘That has given us the ability to see this case with fresh eyes, and through that bring out new – genuinely new – lines of inquiry.
‘I’m hopeful that when we pursue those lines of inquiry, we will be able to bring some sort of resolution.
‘Whether we will be able to solve it is a different issue, but I hope we will be able to have the ability to move the investigation on.
‘I believe that this is an important moment for Madeleine. It is a great opportunity which we intend to exploit to the full.’
A Met Police spokesman refused to comment on when detectives will be sent to Portugal as part of the investigation and the CPS was unavailable for comment.
Prime Minister David Cameron had ordered the review of the case back in 2011.
Derek’s death clinches it for BBC
The death of Derek Branning, played by Jamie Foreman, helped to propel EastEnders …
Evil Derek Branning’s last gasp helped EastEnders retain its traditional spot at the top of the Christmas Day ratings as the BBC dominated festive viewing once again.
The main channels’ period ratings hits Call The Midwife and Downton Abbey tied with an average audience of 7.3 million viewers, although ITV1’s Downton was 1.3 million down on the previous year.
Overnight figures show EastEnders pulled in an average 9.4 million viewers for the climactic episode last night in which fearsome Branning, played by Jamie Foreman, keeled over and died from a heart attack. ITV’s Coronation Street was runner-up with 8.8 million.
Many had expected the period blockbusters – which have performed well on Sunday evenings – to lead the field, but soaps were still the strongest force. However viewing figures were down for many shows, with EastEnders slipping half a million on 2011 and the show’s ratings were thought to be the lowest for Christmas Day for a decade.
Call The Midwife drew its smallest audience since launching earlier this year, and Doctor Who, on 7.6 million viewers, also had an average audience 1.3 million fewer than in 2011.
However the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special was up 300,000 year on year to 7.8 million viewers.
The Queen’s Christmas message was seen by 36,000 people in 3D on the BBC’s HD channel – the first time it has been broadcast in that format – although 6.3 million saw it on BBC1 and 2.2 million saw it on ITV1.
BBC1 had seven of the top ten programmes, while ITV1 (which includes viewers for its +1 catch-up channel) accounted for the other three. And BBC1 took 31.7% of the audience from 6pm to 10.30pm – when many of the biggest shows are broadcast – with ITV1 landing 26.9%.
However when "consolidated" figures are totted up – taking account of time-shift viewing – they often tell a very different story. Last year Downton drew 8.6 million on the day but including catch-up viewing, the figures shot up.
10 tips to make your phone’s battery last longer
Even hi-tech smartphones can last for days – as long as you follow a few basic procedures to keep the battery at full.
Making your phone last all day is simple – you just have to know how to use it
As smartphones have become more capable - for playing gaming, watching movies and shooting video - battery performance has worsened and now most modern smartphones won’t last a full a day before you need to reach for a charger.
Phone manufacturers are working hard to improve battery performance – Motorola in particular with their RAZR i and RAZR MAXX – but if you buy most other smartphones, be ready to charge every evening.
Here are some tips to help conserve your mobile phones battery life:
Modern Android and Windows Phone smartphones include power or battery saving modes typically located in the Settings menu. It is activated once the battery reaches a certain level, forcing battery intensive features – including push email, screen brightness and Facebook updates – to switch off. Unfortunately Apple doesn’t include any such power or battery saving features on its smartphones, although free apps like Battery Life Pro help monitor performance and shut down applications.
The biggest drain on a mobile phone battery is the screen and unfortunately the bigger and brighter the screen, the more battery life it uses. Save battery power by selecting ‘Automatic brightness’ and the screen will adjust the brightness automatically depending on the lighting conditions.
Alternatively, if the battery indicator is reaching precarious levels turn the brightness down as low as is comfortable to conserve as much power as possible.
Make sure auto lock is activated, so when your phone isn’t being used the screen shuts down saving power.
If you’ve got a phone with an AMOLED screen (such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 or S2) using a dark wallpaper may also help save battery.
In a working environment where loud ringtones are frowned upon, instead of popping your mobile phone in vibrate mode, which uses your battery, use silent mode instead.
Stop email sync
Your phone probably checks for emails every few minutes or if you’ve got a smartphone that supports push email, constantly. Every time your phone syncs or an email is ‘pushed’ though, it uses battery power. To change the rate of email syncing or to switch it off, go into the Settings menu of your smartphone and increase the interval your phone checks email, it varies from phone to phone, but we would suggest setting it to check every half hour, or to switch off sync completely. You can therefore manually check your email as and when you choose and save a sizable chunk of battery life in the process.
Reduce social networking updates
Getting Facebook and Twitter notifications delivered to your phone automatically (like push email) uses your battery, so turn notifications off. Most phones allow you to switch off all syncing with a simple toggle.
Turn connections off
WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth are found on most modern phones. Forget to turn your WiFi off when you leave the house and it will continually look for a WiFi connection, using the battery. So make sure you turn any connections off when you are not using them.
Shut down apps
Even if you are not using an application it may still be running in the background using the battery, so close any apps you aren’t using. Do this on an iPhone by double tapping the menu button, pressing the program icon and click the minus button.
On older Android smartphones, you may need a task manager to do this, however newer handsets running Android 4.0+ allow you to pull up a task manager by simply long pressing the home button. You can then thumb through your open apps and swipe them off screen to close them. You can even see what apps use the most battery in the settings of your Android smartphone.
Don’t download pictures
Downloading pictures when browsing or using email is something most of us do without thinking, but every time you download a photo it uses both data and power. So if you can live without pictures, turn them off in the internet browser’s settings menu.
When taking photographs using your smartphone, be conservative with your flash use. In digital cameras the flash is a huge battery drain and the same applies to phones, so instead of leaving it in automatic mode, turn the flash off when taking photographs, only turning it on when necessary.
Night time = downtime
Night time is the time most people charge their smartphones, but if you don’t have a charger to hand make sure you turn your phone off at night.
Smartphones are always trying to connect to a network, be it a cellular network, a wireless network or a data network. The harder they try and connect, the more battery they use. A
great way to save your battery is to switch on aeroplane mode when reception is poor or you’re underground. This stops your phone searching for signal when there’s none to be found and makes the best use of whatever battery you have left.
If you’ve followed the above tips and your phone battery still doesn’t last very long, it’s time to consider a charging accessory. The Mophie JuicePack Air (£40) fits over your smartphone, doubling the battery life, alternatively if you don’t fancy changing the look of your phone consider a portable battery charger like Proporta TurboCharger 7000 (£54).
The cheapest places in the UK and world for petrol
Petrol prices vary wildly from region to region and country to country, so where’s cheapest?
The bank holiday is an opportunity for people to head out of (or into) town and visit friends, relatives – or even jet overseas for a short break.
But those driving in the UK will not just encounter a change of scenery, but a large difference in the cost of filling up the car.
Figures from Santander show there’s a 16.2p a litre difference in the petrol prices paid by Brits in different parts of the country, meaning filling up could cost you £10 more (or less) depending on where you go.
Where’s cheapest then?
Looking at credit card data, Santander compared the prices paid for unleaded at petrol stations across the country – the cheapest region to fill up in was Grampian in Scotland with an average petrol price of 129.7 pence a litre.
Outside of Scotland, Denbighshire in Wales has the cheapest price per litre of 130.9p.
Regionally, north-west England was cheapest at an average of 131.9 pence per litre of premium unleaded fuel.
Where to avoid
As well as the cheapest place to fill up in Britain, Scotland is also home to the most expensive – with a litre of unleaded the Shetland Islands costing 145.9p on average, more than anywhere else.
After the Shetland Islands, Humberside was the next costliest place to fill up, where petrol costs 137.9p a litre. That high price helped push Yorkshire and Humberside to the top of the most expensive region table.
Average petrol costs by region
Yorkshire & Humberside
133.4 pence per litre
133.2 pence per litre
133.1 pence per litre
133.0 pence per litre
132.8 pence per litre
132.8 pence per litre
132.5 pence per litre
132.3 pence per litre
East of England
132.3 pence per litre
132.2 pence per litre
132.1 pence per litre
131.9 pence per litre
[Related feature: The real reason UK petrol prices are so high]
The savings available to people in different countries dwarf those available to people in different parts of the UK.
New research from car dealers Evans Halshaw shows Venezuela is the cheapest country to by petrol in for the second year running.
At just 8p a litre, the South American state has a bigger petrol smuggling trade than a drug smuggling one – especially given that residents of neighbouring nation Columbia pay more than 40 times as much for their fuel.
After Venezuela, Egypt (9p a litre), Saudi Arabia (10p a litre), Qatar (12p a litre) and Bahrain (15p a litre) are the cheapest countries to but petrol in.
By contrast, Norway was found to be the most expensive country to fill up in – with petrol costing an astonishing 1.64p a litre in the Scandinavian state.
Turkey (£1.62 a litre), the Netherlands (£1.48 a litre), Italy (£1.46 a litre) and Greece (£1.45 a litre) were the next most expensive.
[Related feature: The countries where petrol costs the most]
The 10 cheapest countries to buy petrol
Australia surfer bitten in half by shark
A surfer was bitten in half in a savage shark attack off Australia’s west coast Saturday, witnesses and officials said, the fifth such fatality in the region in less than a year.
An eyewitness explains how the shark also attempted to attack him.
The man was surfing near Wedge Island, north of Perth, on Saturday morning with a friend when he was mauled by the shark, suffering severe and extensive injuries.
A man jet-skiing near the surfers said it was a gruesome scene, with "half a torso" all that remained of the victim.
"There was just blood everywhere and a massive, massive (great) white shark circling the body," he told ABC television, estimating the fish was four or five metres (13 to 16 feet) long.
"I reached to grab the body and the shark came at me on the jet-ski and tried to knock me off. I did another loop and when I came back to the body the shark took it."
Made infamous by the horror movie "Jaws", great whites are among the largest shark species in the world and can grow up to six metres long (20 feet) and weigh up to two tonnes.
Beach patrol officials confirmed that the attack was fatal, and a large-scale air, coast and sea search was underway for the remains of the victim, who was reported to be in his early 20s.
A police spokesman told AFP: "At this stage no remains have been located."
All beaches in the area were closed until further notice, and fisheries were hunting the shark in order to kill it.
"We’ll go right through to nightfall tonight, we will then resume that tomorrow morning and make some decisions tomorrow," a fisheries spokesman said.
It was the fifth fatal shark incident off Western Australia since September — an unprecedented spate of attacks that sparked calls earlier this year for a cull.
Local marine scientists have described Australia’s west coast as the deadliest shark attack zone in the world, and a tagging and tracking programme has been launched in a bid to limit fatalities.
A sea kayaker narrowly escaped the jaws of a great white last month, with a friend managing to pluck him from the water after he was rammed by one of the marine predators off Perth’s Mullaloo Beach.
That attack came just hours after another great white, thought to be five metres long, lunged from the water at a crab fisherman at a dive park south of Perth.
Sharks are common in Australian waters but deadly attacks are rare, with only one of the average 15 incidents a year typically proving fatal.
Experts say the average number of attacks in the country has increased in line with population growth and the popularity of water sports.
Best of Yahoo! News
Weather alert as deluge expected
More than a month’s rain is expected to fall over just two days in parts of the UK this week.
A severe weather warning has been issued by the Met Office, with fears of flooding and disruption on Friday and Saturday.
Central and northern England is expected to be worst affected, with an amber alert – the second most severe category that can be given – in place for north-east England.
Up to 100mm (3.9 inches) of rain could fall in 36 hours during the downpours. The average UK rainfall for July is 69.9mm (2.8 inches), and 64.4mm (2.5 inches) for the north of England.
Met Office chief forecaster Martin Young said: "We are expecting outbreaks of heavy rain across a wide area of the UK, with worst affected spots likely to be in central and northern parts of the country.
"Rainfall totals could be 40-60mm (1.6-2.4 inches) widely across warning areas, but some places could see up to 100mm (3.9 inches) of rain through Friday and into Saturday.
"Given the saturated ground from the record rainfall in June, this could cause disruption – including difficult driving conditions and flooding in some areas."
People living in the affected areas have been warned to be prepared for flooding.
An Environment Agency spokesman said: "Heavy rain on Friday and Saturday may lead to significant flooding of properties across parts of northern England. We urge people to remain vigilant and prepared for flooding by checking the Environment Agency website and signing up for localised river flood warnings."
Last month was the wettest June since records began, with double the average rain falling during the month. Provisional figures from the Met Office showed the UK received 145.3mm (5.7 inches) during June, beating the previous record of 136.2mm (5.4 inches) in June 2007.
Cool of the wild: From sunhats to ice-cream, how animals around the world have taken tips from us to cope with the hot weather
By Nick Enoch
An ice lolly, a dip in the pool, deckchairs… when it comes to cooling off in the hot weather, these animals don’t play by the rules.
As Britain enjoys a heatwave, with the mercury hitting 27c (81f) today, these are just some of the cunning ways our furry friends cope.
And as the pictures below show, it’s not just those here who are feeling the heat – from China to Germany, Indonesia to the U.S., animals are scoffing at what they’ve seen in nature documentaries and trying something a little bit different…
Let sleeping dogs lie: Tara the dog opts for a sunbed and parasol to see her through the blistering heat in Britain
Bird bath with a difference: Jacquille the parrot cools down in a tea cup in Costa Rica
One cool dude: Dudu the walrus beats the summer heat in China, at Qingdao Polar Ocean World; right, a squirrel gets stuck into a frozen treat in Swindon, Wiltshire
I’ve got this licked: An African lion in Brookfield zoo, Chicago refreshes himself with a block of ice
Sealion solution: Keepers at Qingdao Polar Ocean World have come up with innovative ways to keep their animals cool; right, Eski the snowy owl could do with a towel in the New Forest, Hampshire
Flew what a scorcher! A tufted titmouse suns itself in Massachusetts
Spread the whirred: This chilled dog has found himself a new fan; right, Chino the donkey enjoys an ice-cream at Pennywell farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon
Furry nice! A squirrel takes a dip in a swimming pool in San Antonio, Texas
Does it come in banana flavour? A baboon enjoys an ice lolly at Hangzhou wild animal centre, China; right, a meerkat at Marwell Wildlife Conservation Park, Hants
To hell with the diet… An orangutan at Ragunan zoo in Jakarta, Indonesia
Just follow my lead: Harland the poodle on Southsea beach in Hampshire; right, a fur seal relaxes in Stromness, South Georgia Island
White tiger cubs Jeevan and Ashoka cool off in a paddling pool at a safari park in Germany
Trunks, glasses and parasol…this pooch looks good – and he knows it
I’ll be finished in about nine hours… A young gorilla chews on a block of ice containing fruit at Los Angeles Zoo
Do I look like I want to share? A ring-tailed lemur at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, Herts
Pass the oinkment, dear: Some pigs tan themselves in Cambridgeshire
It’s bacon hot! A piglet falls asleep in a doll’s house deckchair
Carpenter builds incredible egg-shaped tree house hidden from view on Crown land just yards from multi-million homes
‘Squatter’ secretly builds incredible (but thoroughly illegal) tree house hidden in Canada’s Whistler forest just yards from multi-million homes
By Leon Watson
It took months to find the right tree to build on, and when he did the spot was on public land looking down on a row of multi-million dollar homes.
But that didn’t stop Joel Allen – he just built this incredible egg-shaped tree house in Canada anyway, without telling anyone.
The computer technician-turned-carpenter started off by creating a scale model of his design to test its strength and durability, before beginning the months-long quest to find the perfect tree.
Joel Allen stepping into the amazing treehouse he built on public land in Canada at night
Joel Allen has built this incredible treehouse in Hemlocks, Whistler, western Canada
Joel took years to construct the tree house. At this point he was working on the base
Without the money to buy property, he decided to do it on Crown land in the forests of Whistler.
‘Finding that perfect spot on Crown land wasn’t so easy,’ he said. ‘I had an informal checklist of requirements, the most important ones being that it within a reasonable distance to a road, yet out of sight and out of earshot of human traffic.
‘The other requirement was hard to qualify, but was of prime importance: the shape of the egg would need to suit the environment and be proportionate to the tree. I couldn’t explain exactly what that was but I figured I would know it when I saw it.’
Mr Allen found it in a patch of old growth near a development of multi-million dollar homes, then began secretly constructing it. The process took years, thousands of dollars, and many free items found on Craigslist.
Finally, he created the HemLoft.
Without the money to buy property, Joel decided to do it on Crown land in the forests of Whistler
Mr Allen found the perfect spot in a patch of old growth near a development of multi-million dollar home
Hidden: The treehouse in Hemlocks was built in a forest away from view of nearby homes
Admiring the view: Joel Allen in the treehouse he built using items from Craigslist
Asked by a friend why he did it, Mr Allen said: ‘I found myself grasping for some sort of rationalisation that would make me seem less crazy.
‘She said "no, why did you really build it?" For the first time in my life, I was forced to face the truth about it. I said "I guess… I just wanted to build something cool".’
‘Since the treehouse was built on crown land, I don’t technically own it, and so its fate is uncertain.
Joel said: ‘The shape of the egg would need to suit the environment and be proportionate to the tree. I couldn’t explain exactly what that was but I figured I would know it when I saw it.’
The computer technician-turned-carpenter started off by creating a scale model of his design
It took Joel months to find the right tree to build on before he settled on the spot
The perfect egg-shaped treehouse was built on a tree over a slope on the mountain
For three years I kept the HemLoft secret, but now that I’m finished, I’ve found myself wanting to share it…Coming out of the bush about the HemLoft is fun, however it poses a few problems; if people know about it, they might try to find it. And if the wrong people find it, they may make me take it down.
‘It took a lot of work to build it, and I’d rather not take it down, just yet. So I’ve been thinking of ways to expose the HemLoft, while somehow making it legal.
‘To the best of my knowledge, Squatting on Whistler Mountain, beneath some of Western Canada’s most luxurious mega-homes would not be looked favourably upon.’
Joel Allen said: ‘It took a lot of work to build it, and I’d rather not take it down, just yet.’
Joel Allen’s construction was conducted in secret until he finally went public.