The Lookout
  • Rehtaeh Parsons, center (Facebook)

    Outrage over a woman’s suicide after an alleged rape has spilled online. A petition to ask Canada’s minister of justice to review the case of Rehtaeh Parsons has already gathered over 88,000 signatures in just a few days.

    Nova Scotia's minister of justice initially said he would not open an independent investigation. Now the department is looking for ways to review the case.

    The incident involves the 17-year-old girl and an alleged sexual assault by four young men in November 2011.

    Sherri Bain of Halifax, a friend of Rehtaeh’s mother, Leah Parsons, started the petition. She wrote on the website that the Nova Scotia high school student never recovered from the attack.

    “Rehtaeh was destroyed by this ... She was called a slut. She was bullied. She faced depression.”

    Abandoned by friends, even switching schools to start fresh, she eventually attempted suicide last Thursday. Rehtaeh was taken off life support and died on Sunday.

    Rehtaeh’s mother noted on a Facebook page as a

    Read More »from Online outrage over ‘Canada’s Steubenville’
  • While serving in Afghanistan, 25-year-old airman mechanic Tom Burright struck up a friendship with a puppy that was scavenging for food in the streets.

    "She was young and helpless. I had to pick her up. I fell in love and put her in the truck and took her home,” he told local CBS-DFW. Burright eventually named her Lyla.

    Lyla lived with Burright and 15 other airmen in their barrack. "She lived in my room with me. Slept in my bed. I brought her food from the chow hall. She ate everything I did,” Burright said.

    When Burright's time in Afghanistan was up, he learned that bringing Lyla to the U.S. would cost around $4,000. "I didn’t think it was going to happen,” he told the station.

    [Related: Dog owner retrieves $100 bills swallowed by pet]

    Still, he persevered, making a video asking for assistance and sending the clip to The Puppy Rescue Mission, an organization dedicated to reuniting service members with their overseas canine companions.

    In just a few hours, Puppy Rescue had raised

    Read More »from Airman reunited with adopted dog from Afghanistan
  • Ozarowski (Suffolk County District Attorney's Office)

    A Long Island woman who claimed to have ovarian, stomach, bone and brain cancer, soliciting thousands of dollars for her treatment, faked the diagnosis to help fund her heroin addiction, authorities say.

    “There was no cancer, no chemotherapy, no radiation and no medical bills,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a statement. “There was just heroin.”

    Brittany Ozarowski, a 21-year-old from Selden, N.Y., collected money from unsuspecting donors for more than a year.

    “In September of 2011, I was diagnosed with stage two ovarian cancer as well as stomach cancer," Ozarowski wrote on her website. "I was cancer free until they had found a tumor on my left hip in February 2012. That is when I found out that I have bone cancer. The cancer has spread to my spine as well as my brain.”

    She claimed her treatments cost $33,000 per day. "My family had already liquidated all assets," Ozarowski wrote. "I have tried to receive financial help from many different charities, catholic charities, cancer organizations, and organizations of all types for that matter. It is very hard to receive financial help.

    "Many places will not help with fundraising to individuals only organizations," she continued. "I have very few options left and I am still in desperate need of treatments."

    Ozarowski asked for donations via a Paypal button on her website:

    No donation is too big nor too small, anything at all would help greatly. If there is anyway you can help to donate anything or help with fundraising it would be greatly appreciated very much by both my family and I. Thank you very much for your generosity. You can easily donate by clicking on the PayPal “Donate” button below. All major credit cards are accepted. PayPal does not require you to have an account with them to donate.

    Ozarowski placed donation jars around town. Local businesses, including Paws N Claws, Tuscany Gourmet Market and the Port Jeff Moose Lodge, threw fundraisers for her. At least 25 businesses fell for the alleged hoax.

    “The truth is she is a 21-year-old drug addict with four open narcotics cases and we have strong evidence she forged doctors’ notes to avoid court appearances,” Spota said.

    Ozarowski was arrested on April 1 and indicted on 24 counts, including grand larceny, forgery and fraud charges. She is being held at the Suffolk County jail in lieu of $5,000 bail. Her arraignment was expected Thursday morning.

    Read More »from Woman faked cancer to fund heroin habit, authorities say


(3,632 Stories)
  • Today in History

    Today is Good Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2014. There are 257 days left in the year.

  • Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs
    Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — In the first period, Ryan Miller looked like the goalie who limped home 0-5. For the final 80 minutes, 26 seconds, the St. Louis Blues saw the cool, confident backstop they acquired to make the deep playoff run they've long sought.

  • Rob Ford Launches Re-Election Campaign With Understatements, Free Booze
    Rob Ford Launches Re-Election Campaign With Understatements, Free Booze

    Despite being stripped of most of his mayoral powers, crack-smoking mayor of Toronto and national embarrassment Rob Ford somehow believes he'll be re-elected. "There's been some rocky moments over the past year," Ford said. "The people of Toronto know that I am just like them," he added, which may have come as a shock to the people of Toronto who haven't smoked crack in one of their drunken stupors. "The people of Toronto deserve nothing less than accessibility, accountability and transparency," said Ford, who basically had to be forced into being transparent about his drug and alcohol use after being confronted with video evidence and has never been held accountable for that behavior.

  • Cut off from the world, Gazans consumed by poverty

    By Noah Browning and Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Life has never seemed so grim for the Mustafas, a family of seven cramped into a shabby two-room hovel in Gaza's Jabalya refugee camp. Seven years into an Israeli blockade and ten months into a crippling Egyptian one, Gaza's economic growth has evaporated and unemployment soared to almost 40 percent by the end of 2013. Opposition to the Hamas militant group which runs the Gaza Strip has led its neighbors to quarantine the enclave, shutting residents out of the struggling Mideast peace process and leaving them with plenty of parties to blame. Living on U.N. handouts of rice, flour, canned meat and sunflower oil, with limited access to proper health care or clean water, families like the Mustafas - seemingly permanent refugees from ancestral lands now part of Israel - have no money, no jobs and no hope.

  • A Mother's Day to Remember: Winner Gets Portrait By Anne Geddes

      By Teri Whitcraft and Carrie Halperin For Allison Dearstyne of Dunkirk, Md., her first Mother’s Day as a mom may be the best ever. Last November,  when she was nine months pregnant, she and her husband Richard entered a photo in the Million Moms...

  • Texas has been holding this man hostage for 12,600 days
    Texas has been holding this man hostage for 12,600 days

    Last week, in a decision that contorted both law and fact, a state judge ruled against an illiterate, intellectually disabled black man named Jerry Hartfield. Hartfield has been imprisoned for more than 33 years — without a valid conviction or sentence authorizing his confinement. In the latest decision, the judge ruled that even though state and local officials clearly were negligent in letting Hartfield slip through the cracks all these decades, there is nothing in the Constitution that provides him with any protection from being retried. It's the fact that 10 months have passed since the state courts in Texas (after many years of prodding) first acknowledged the terrible mistake that was made in this case.

  • William and Kate hit the beach on Sydney visit
    William and Kate hit the beach on Sydney visit

    Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate got to grips with Australia's beach and bush lifestyles on Friday, watching a life-saving display and a sheep-shearing demonstration as part of their tour Down Under with baby son George. The young royals have received a warm welcome in Sydney, the first stop of their 10-day Australian tour, with thousands flocking to their official reception at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday. Thousands more craned for a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Royal Easter Show on Friday, where the glamorous couple viewed agricultural exhibits. The pair are popular in Australia -- where William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II is head of state -- and have been lavished with bouquets and gifts from the crowds, including many for eight-month-old George, who also travelled with them to New Zealand.

  • Jews pray in Jerusalem after Old City clashes
    Jews pray in Jerusalem after Old City clashes

    Thousands of Jews prayed at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City on Thursday, after a series of clashes at the adjacent flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound. Ahead of the ceremony, Israeli police blocked access for non-Muslims to the highly sensitive holy site, which is directly above the Western Wall plaza, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. Rosenfeld said the move was to prevent clashes, and the prayers took place without incident. Palestinians and police clashed on Wednesday and last Sunday after Jewish visitors were allowed onto the compound, which is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and considered Judaism's holiest place -- the site where the biblical first and second Jewish temples stood.

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