Girl survives being buried alive


A seven-year-old Indian girl who was allegedly buried alive by relatives in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh has been rescued by a villager

Police say relatives first tried to strangle her and then left her to die in a shallow grave. It is unclear why

The man who found her in Sitapur district alerted police she was taken to a hospital and is said to be doing well.

Police are looking for her mother, uncle and aunt who they say have fled.

The villager who rescued her followed the sound of muffled cries to the middle of a cane field where he found the soil moving

Police allege the girl’s uncle and aunt had promised to take her to a fair, but then strangled and buried her near the village of Semri Gaura where she lives

When the girl became conscious, she began to remove the soil on top of her and clambered out of the shallow grave. Then she sat there and cried loudly when the villager spotted her, Sitapur police chief Rajesh Krishna told BBC Hindi.

There are strangulation marks around the girl’s neck

Reports say the girl lived with her mother. Her father apparently had no idea about the attack and has told police he is estranged from his wife and lives separately.

Police say they have yet to establish a motive for the attack. But cases of baby girls being killed are not uncommon in India, where women are often discriminated against socially and girls are seen as a financial burden, particularly among poor communities.

In 2012, the father and uncle of a baby girl in Uttar Pradesh allegedly tried to bury her alive, apparently as a sacrifice to protect the health of their other children on the advice of a spiritual guru.

Fans delight at Kate Bush comeback

Bush came on stage at 19:45 BST as scheduled to open her Before the Dawn show

Gemma Arterton and Anna Calvi gave BBC Newsnight their take on Kate Bush’s comeback concert

Kate Bush has made her stage comeback to an ecstatic response from fans at her first live concert for 35 years.

Kate Bush is appearing in her first live show in 35 years

Undoubtedly the most ambitious, and genuinely moving, piece of theatrical pop ever seen on a British stage”

There were no songs from Bush’s first four albums, which meant fans did not get to hear early classics such as Wuthering Heights, The Man with the Child in his Eyes or Babooshka.

Fans outside the Hammersmith Apollo said the concert was worth the wait

As Colin Paterson discovered, some fans have travelled thousands of miles to attend the concert

Belinda from London turned up looking for a ticket while others had placards begging for a spare.

She said: “I should have been in here in ’78 but I was only 12 then, so I’m hoping to see it tonight. I’d pay £150 or £200.”

Awarded a CBE for her services to music last year, Bush is one of UK music’s most important and distinctive artists.

Theories about her long absence from the stage have included her fear of flying and the death of one of the tour crew during a warm-up show for The Tour of Life.

In an interview with Mojo magazine in 2011, Bush admitted that tour had been tiring – even for a 20-year-old.

“It was enormously enjoyable. But physically it was absolutely exhausting,” she said.

Ebola kills treated Liberia doctor

Liberia has had more Ebola deaths than any other country this year

More than 120 health workers have now died of Ebola, as Emily Thomas reports

A Liberian doctor has died despite taking an experimental anti-Ebola drug, Liberia’s information minister says.

Abraham Borbor was one of three doctors in Liberia who had been given ZMapp and were showing signs of recovery.

ZMapp has been credited with helping several patients recover, including two US doctors.

More than 1,400 people have died from Ebola this year in four West African countries – Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Dr Borbor “was showing signs of improvement but yesterday (Sunday) he took a turn for the worse,” Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown told the BBC.

“What this means for the drugs, I don’t know,” the minister added, without giving further details.

It is believed Dr Borbor died in the capital Monrovia. He was the deputy chief medical doctor at the country’s largest hospital.

Liberia has recently imposed a quarantine in parts of Monrovia to try to stop the spread of the virus.

Last Thursday, police fired live rounds and tear gas during protests among residents of the city’s West Point slum.

Liberia has seen the most deaths – more than 570 – in what is now the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

In a separate development on Monday, a UK volunteer nurse is being treated at a London hospital after contracting Ebola in Sierra Leone – the first confirmed case of a Briton contracting the virus in the current outbreak.

William Pooley, 29, returned to the UK on Sunday and is being kept in a special isolation unit.

Supplies of Zmapp are thought to have been used up and he is not currently being treated with the drug.

However, officials have not ruled the use of Zmapp or similar treatments.

His family said he was receiving “excellent care”.

Meanwhile, Japan said it was ready to allow shipments of an experimental anti-viral drug to help combat the Ebola outbreak.

It is not clear whether T-705 (or Avigan) will actually work against Ebola, and no monkey or human trials of the drug have been done, the BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo reports.

T-705 was developed by Japan’s Toyama Chemicals company for use against new strains of influenza. It was approved by the Japanese government earlier this year.

A company spokesman says the firm believes the similarity between flu viruses and Ebola means Avigan could be effective.

Japan says it is ready to ship Avigan even without approval by the World Health Organization.

Ebola is spread between humans through direct contact with infected body fluids and several doctors and health workers have died.

It is one of the world’s deadliest diseases, with up to 90% of cases resulting in death, although in the current outbreak the rate is about 55%.

The speed and extent of the outbreak was unprecedented the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week

An estimated 2,615 people in West Africa have been infected with Ebola since March

On Saturday, Sierra Leone’s parliament passed a new law making it a criminal offence to hide Ebola patients

If approved by the president, those caught face up to two years in prison.

Foley killing is betrayal of Britain

James Foley was reporting in Syria when he was captured in 2012

The killing of a US journalist by an Islamic State militant believed to be from the UK is “an utter betrayal of everything the British people stand for”, the foreign secretary has said.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Philip Hammond said the government was investing “significant resources” to tackle “a barbaric ideology”.

He said the threat from conflicts in Syria and Iraq could last a generation.

It comes as Downing Street said it had appointed a new security envoy to Iraq

A spokesman said the posting to the Kurdistan region of the country showed the government was stepping up its efforts to help Iraq defeat Islamic State (IS) militants operating in the area

Work is under way to supply non-lethal equipment to Kurdish forces who are battling IS in the coming days, including night vision equipment and body armour, the spokesman added.

UK authorities are seeking to identify the jihadist with an English accent who appeared in footage of the killing of journalist James Foley earlier this month.

Extremist group IS published a video of the moments before and after the apparent beheading of Mr Foley, who was seized in Syria in 2012.

In his Sunday Times article, the foreign secretary said It is horrifying to think that the perpetrator of this heinous act could have been brought up in Britain.

It is an utter betrayal of our country, our values and everything the British people stand for

More than 500 British citizens are thought to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight in the past few years

Mr Hammond said the UK had assisted Kurdish Peshmerga fighters with military aircraft delivering equipment

He said Britain would also start sending eastern European ammunition and weaponry

The government also announced Lt Gen Sir Simon Mayall, its senior defence advisor for the Middle East, as the new security envoy.

Gen Mayall’s extensive experience of the region means he will be able to draw on a broad range of existing relationships across Iraq, the region and with close allies No 10 said

The spokesman said Gen Mayall would travel to Iraq next week to meet political leaders in Baghdad and the regional government in Irbil, Kurdistan’s capital, to encourage all Iraqi communities to unite together against IS

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, also writing in the Sunday Times, called for a stronger domestic response.

More must be done to stop British citizens joining the barbarism and to keep the country safe if they return she said.

And she called for more action to disrupt the travel plans of those planning go out to fight through better monitoring of the borders’ watch list as well as access to passports

They should not have access to the privilege of travelling under a British passport

The Home Office said police, security services and the Border Force were working to identify, detect and disrupt terrorist threats, including from British fighters attempting to return to the UK.

As well as passport checks, passengers travelling into the UK were checked against watch lists he added

The UK uses the most advanced technology in Europe to ensure we collect passenger information on 95% of flights, which helps us to identify individuals who pose a threat before they fly

Mrs Cooper also urged Home Secretary Theresa May to “rethink her decision four years ago to end control orders and replace them with the weaker Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act”.

TPims are used to restrict movement, the use of computers and mobile phones and meetings with others. They replaced the previous, more-restrictive system of control orders

On Saturday, Mrs May said the government was looking at new powers to tackle the threat of extremism in Britain

Senior Conservative MP David Davis has called for British jihadists to be stripped of their UK citizenship

In an article for the Mail on Sunday, he said since this is an incredibly serious penalty, it should be done only after a proper public trial carrying all the public seriousness and opprobrium of a murder trial, because in many cases that is what it would be

As the home secretary reiterated yesterday, lawyers would say you cannot render someone stateless

Perhaps, perhaps not. Whitehall lawyers have been wrong before. Democracies have a right to defend themselves

Writing in the same newspaper, former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey made a similar point

They should not have access to the privilege of travelling under a British passport he said, adding and they certainly should not be able to travel back with the barbaric and bloodthirsty skills they have gained

Pentagon joins weapons debate

The sometimes violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and the law enforcement response has sparked a debate about what some call the “militarization of police,” after armored vehicles, stun grenades and high-tech weaponry were brought in to calm the violence.

Some of the equipment may be military surplus that came from the federal government through a program from the Defense Department’s Defense Logistics Agency, which provides military equipment to local police departments across the country.

The DLA’s law enforcement support program was created in 1999. “This is a program legislated by Congress which allows the secretary to transfer some excess military property to local law enforcements,” said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby on Tuesday.

Kirby said since 2007 the Ferguson Police Department has received two Humvees, one generator, and one cargo trailer. Over the same time period, the St. Louis County Police Department received six pistols, 12 rifles, 15 weapon sites, an explosives disposal robot, three helicopters, seven Humvees (two used by Ferguson Police), and two night-vision devices.

“It’s still up to local law enforcement to determine how and when and where and under what circumstances they use excess military equipment,” said Kirby, but Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “has been mindful of the public debate and discussion about this issue and asked his staff this morning about some additional information about this program.”

According to Kirby, Hagel has received an information paper with more details on the program, but has yet to order a formal review. Hagel wants a better understanding of the law and regulations governing the transfer program and what parts of that program are the responsibility of the Defense Department.

The program has been in place for several years with little controversy and attention, but has grabbed the national spotlight with the unrest in Ferguson, where police have used what looks like tactical military gear and vehicles, although it’s not clear what equipment may have actually come from Pentagon inventories.

Complete coverage on Ferguson shooting and protests

Pentagon officials say a key issue for the department is the fact that once the equipment is transferred, the military has no control over how a local agency uses it.

Many police departments also get funding for military-style equipment from Homeland Security and the Justice Department, which operate programs aimed at beefing up police capability in the event of a terrorist attack.

President Barack Obama called for a review of the program on Monday. “I think it’s probably useful for to us review how the funding has gone, how local law enforcement has used grant dollars to make sure that what they are purchasing is stuff that they actually need. Because there is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement and we don’t want those lines blurred, that would be contrary to our traditions and I think that there will be some bipartisan interest in reexamining some of those programs.”

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee, said his committee would “review this program to determine if equipment provided by the Defense Department is being used as intended.”

Surrogate babies

Surrogacy laws vary from country to country, which can leave children vulnerable

(bursa escort) — The case of Gammy, a baby with Down’s syndrome who was born to a Thai surrogate mother and allegedly left behind by the intended Australian parents, has caused international controversy. Where do people go to arrange for surrogate babies, and is it legal?

Surrogacy is where a woman becomes pregnant with the intention of handing over the child to someone else after giving birth. Generally, she carries the baby for a couple or parent who cannot conceive a child themselves – they are known as “intended parents”.

There are two forms of surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother’s egg is used, making her the genetic mother. In gestational surrogacy, the egg is provided by the intended mother or a donor. The egg is fertilised through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and then placed inside the surrogate mother.

It varies from country to country.

Countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria prohibit all forms of surrogacy.

In countries including the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Belgium, surrogacy is allowed where the surrogate mother is not paid, or only paid for reasonable expenses. Paying the mother a fee (known as commercial surrogacy) is prohibited.

Commercial surrogacy is legal in some US states, and countries including India, Russia and Ukraine.

People who want to be parents may go abroad if their home country does not allow surrogacy, or if they cannot find a surrogate.

However, even here, the laws may vary. For example, some Australian states have criminalised going to another country for commercial surrogacy, while others permit it.

Experts say that countries popular with parents for surrogacy arrangements are the US, India, Thailand, Ukraine and Russia.

Mexico, Nepal, Poland and Georgia are also among the countries described as possibilities for surrogacy arrangements.

Costs vary significantly from country to country, and also depend on the number of IVF cycles needed, and whether health insurance is required.

Families Through Surrogacy, an international non-profit surrogacy organisation, has estimated the approximate average costs in different countries

There are few statistics on how many children are born through surrogacy arrangements, as many countries do not formally record this.

Nicola Scott, a lawyer with UK family law firm Natalie Gamble Associates, says that about 25% of her firm’s clients go to the US, often because they feel it is safer.

The US has a very long history of surrogacy. One reason is that the parents know there are established frameworks in many states, particularly California, so there is safety associated with going there, she says.

Why do women become surrogate mothers? Sarah Wisniewski, Surrogacy UK

We’re aware of how, just taking a year out of our lives can drastically help someone else’s life.

The majority of us have our own children, although a couple of the surrogate mothers in our network are childless.

We appreciate and are grateful for our own children too – the majority of us just see pregnancy as something we find very easy  something we can do while getting on with our everyday lives.

People who choose other destinations tend to do so because a surrogacy there typically costs a lot less than in the US

In many countries, surrogacy isn’t illegal, but there’s no framework to support it, Ms Scott says.

For example, Thailand does not have clear regulations surrounding surrogacy. However, legislation has been drafted to regulate surrogacy, and authorities now say the surrogates must be a blood relative of the intended parents.

Similarly, India is considering legislation which could massively restrict surrogacy, Ms Scott says, and will “shut the door to singles and gay couples.

There are no internationally recognised laws for surrogacy, so many parents and children can be left vulnerable or even stateless

It can take several months to bring a surrogate baby back to the parents’ home country, as they may not be automatically recognised as the legal parents.

In Thailand, surrogates are seen as the legal mother, so if the parents leave the baby with the mother, she is legally responsible. This is one of the difficulties seen in the Gammy case, Ms Scott says.

In India, the intended parents are seen as the legal parents, whereas under UK law, the surrogate mother is recognised as the legal mother.

This means a surrogate baby born in India, for UK parents, is born stateless, and has to apply for British citizenship.

Depending on the parents’ legal status in their home country, things can also become difficult if the couple split up, Paul Beaumont, a Professor of EU and Private International Law at the University of Aberdeen, and author of the book International Surrogacy Arrangements, says.

There can be an unfair advantage in a custody dispute. The father will often have parental rights, as the one who supplied the sperm, whereas, more often than not, the egg has been provided by a third party donor… so the mother may not be regarded as the parent of the child, Prof Beaumont says

Many experts argue that an international agreement, similar to the Hague Adoption Convention, is needed so that rules are consistent across different countries.

However, this could be difficult since countries are divided in their views of surrogacy.

Prof Beaumont argues that regulation is also needed to ensure that “clinics are properly regulated and mothers are adequately compensated, given proper healthcare, and properly consenting”.

Regulation would also ensure that “the intending parents are considered suitable to be parents in their home country”, he adds.

Without regulation, one potential risk for many surrogate mothers is that “if the child is born with some kind of defect, the intending parents could abandon the child”, as has been claimed in the Gammy case.

Although it is difficult to get hard evidence of exploitation, it is also possible that, like any potentially lucrative industry, surrogacy could be open to abuse, with women forced to act as surrogate mothers for profiteers, Prof Beaumont says.

My experience with surrogacy: Richard Westoby, author of Our Journey: One Couple’s Guide to US Surrogacy

We chose to go to the US because my partner is American, and there is a legal framework in place in a lot of states that protects the surrogates, the intended parents, and the child.

All the parties involved had legal representation – our surrogate had her own lawyer represent her when we were negotiating the contract.

We spoke about the whole situation  what we were expecting regarding the number of embryos, caesareans, abortion  everything was discussed up front, so everyone was fully informed.

It’s so important that people have the whole picture before it starts. So many things can and do go wrong if you’re not properly counselled and guided through the process.

Surrogates don’t get a huge amount of money. I think surrogates are phenomenal women going through the process because they want to help other people enrich their lives with family

My partner was in the room when the twins were born. It’s the same as when any parent meets their child for the first time – there were lots of tears. It was indescribable.

There’s nothing like when your children open their eyes for the first time. It was an incredible feeling.

Our surrogate is part of our life now we email regularly and she comes to the UK to see the children.

House passes border bill that has nowhere to go

Washington ( ) — In a late-night vote after a bitterly partisan debate, the House of Representatives passed a $694 million border bill Friday, but the measure has no chance of becoming law.

The vote was almost entirely on party lines, 223-189, with just one Democrat, Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, voting for it. Four Republicans opposed the legislation.

The bill proposes to give the Department of Homeland Security more than $400 million for additional border security and law enforcement measures. It would allocate more than $20 million to speed up the deportation process by accelerating the judicial process, and also would set aside millions for National Guard border efforts and temporary housing for unaccompanied minors, among other things.

The measure that passed Friday also included a change to a 2008 anti-trafficking law to make it easier to send home the unaccompanied children from Central American countries.

The Democratic-led Senate had already left Washington to start a five-week summer recess after it was unable to pass its own legislation to give President Barack Obama some of the money he’s requested to address the massive influx of migrants at the nation’s southwestern border.

At a news conference Friday, President Barack Obama dismissed the House GOP measure as “a message bill” and vowed to veto if it came across his desk.

The vote came one day after a chaotic scene on Capitol Hill when House Speaker John Boehner was forced to abruptly pull an earlier version of the bill because it didn’t have sufficient votes to pass. Some conservatives didn’t like the price tag of the legislation and others demanded tougher restrictions on a separate bill that would halt future deportations of some child immigrants who arrived years ago.

House GOP leaders had already agreed to hold a separate vote on that measure, modeled on a plan from conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, which would prevent Obama from continuing his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Under DACA, the administration can defer deportations of children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.

But conservatives wanted to end that policy, fearing that the President would use his executive authority to expand deportation deferments.

After a late night of negotiations on Thursday, GOP leaders agreed to the demand.

The House passed that bill Friday, 216-192, after a heated and ugly floor debate. Democrats accused the GOP of being “anti-Hispanic” and “extreme” — a message the party will certainly repeat over and over before the midterm elections.

Brushing off accusations that both bills were just political theater, House Republicans worked all day to lock down the votes from their members. They believed passing legislation right before they left for the break would flip the narrative — instead of being the party that did nothing, they could claim they stayed and approved a plan while the Democrats who run the Senate left town without any action on the issue.

“The people’s House is here working and we’re not going to stop working until we pass legislation that actually addresses this crisis,” said Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana.

House Democrats said the Republicans would only make the situation worse.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, warned that the House Republicans’ legislation would cause the deportation of 600,000 “Dreamers” — people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as minors and received conditional permanent residency under the 2001 DREAM Act.

“Republicans want to kill DACA and kill it quietly on a Friday night,” Gutierrez said.

But Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, said the President’s move “to use his pen and cell phone to legislate” and allow children stay in the country violated the Constitution because it was up to Congress to pass new laws.

Republicans criticized Obama for sending mixed messages to Congress on modifying that law. The President and some in his administration indicated they could support a bill to expedite deportations of children coming from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, but then backed off after Congressional Democrats strongly opposed linking that with additional border money.

Without any agreement on additional resources to address the border crisis, Obama said Friday, “we’ve run out of money.”

Three weeks ago, Obama had asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to help process the unaccompanied children at the border and boost border security. The Senate Democrats’ plan called for $2.7 billion, but it failed to advance.

The President said Friday he would reallocate money to ensure federal agencies providing housing or holding immigration hearings could continue to handle the increased activity along the border in Texas

Hot car death mom lists herself as victim

(CNN) — The mother of a Georgia toddler who died after being left in a car for hours in the sweltering heat says she is a grieving mother caught up in “the storm around my family.”

“The rush to judgment by the public and the mainstream media has left me with little confidence in our legal system and our society,” Leanna Harris wrote in a victim impact statement obtained by CNN’s Victor Blackwell.

Police say Harris’ husband, Justin Ross Harris, left 22-month-old Cooper strapped into a car seat in his SUV for seven hours while he went to work on June 18.

Records show the temperature topped 92 that day, and police say it was 88 degrees when the boy was pronounced dead in a parking lot not far from his father’s workplace.

Justin Ross Harris has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and child cruelty.

Leanna Harris has not been charged, but her attorney, Lawrence Zimmerman, said Friday that “she is concerned that the district attorney’s office may try to level a charge against her.”

Police said Harris behaved strangely in the days before and moments after the death of her son.

For example, one detective testified that she asked her husband, “Did you say too much?” in a police interview room after he was arrested, and that she also insisted to employees at her son’s day care that “Ross must have left him in the car,” when they told her Cooper had not been dropped off that morning. Police also said both parents conducted Internet searches about how hot a car needed to be to kill a child.

Zimmerman, however, wants the world to know his client is suffering.

The Atlanta defense attorney provided the victim impact statement that was filled out by Leanna Harris, “with help from my attorney,” she wrote.

The form, which lists Justin Ross Harris as the defendant and cruelty to children and second degree murder as the charges, asks the person filling it out to state their relationship to the victim of the particular crime.

Leanna Harris wrote, “self,” not the name of her son.

“Sure, she’s a victim,” Zimmerman said. “She’s lost a child. She’s a victim of public perception thinking that she had something to do with it.”

The Cobb County District Attorney’s Office said the forms are standard practice.

“We are required by the Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights to send those forms to all victims or a victim’s next of kin,” said Kim Isaza, spokeswoman for the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office.

Tourist reportedly crashes drone into Yellowstone hot spring

(CNN) — Authorities at Yellowstone National Park are investigating reports that a tourist crashed a drone into the Grand Prismatic Spring, the park’s largest hot spring, on Saturday.

The tourist approached a park employee about getting the drone back after losing it in the almost 200-feet deep hot spring. The employee let the tourist go without initially reporting the incident to authorities.

“I don’t think the person who they spoke with realized that drones couldn’t be flown in the park or the implications of what they were being told,” Amy Bartlett, spokesperson for Yellowstone National Park, told CNN.

Drones are banned in national parks. The National Park Service announced in June that it was prohibiting unmanned aircraft from all park service-controlled lands and waters, totaling about 84 million acres throughout the country.

Park rangers have not yet spoken to the drone’s operator and are still trying to determine if they can even track that person down.

“The technology certainly has been around for a while, but this is the year that the problem has seemed to come to light for us,” Bartlett said.

Park rangers have not determined if the drone damaged the spring and if it’s necessary to recover it.

This is the latest in a string of recent drone incidents in national parks and beyond.

Visitors watching the sunset over the Grand Canyon were interrupted by a loud drone in April. And volunteers reported that a herd of bighorn sheep at Zion National Park in Utah scattered after being harassed by a drone.

Also, a Seattle woman called police in June to report a peeping Tom drone. The drone was hovering outside of her high-rise window, and the woman saw operators on the ground below with camera equipment.

The drone operators insist that they were not spying on the woman, but rather her view. They were working on plans for a new building.

Police said as long as the drone was flying in a public space, there was little that they could do.