Heroic Teen Loses Own Horse In Barn Fire

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick, Aug. 31 (UPI) — A Canadian teenage girl who helped get 15 horses out of a burning stable in New Brunswick said she wasn’t able to save her own horse and two others.

Shanita Fox-Pelletier, 17, and her mother Sharon were asleep in an apartment over the Royal Road Equestrian Center outside Fredericton early Monday when barking dogs awakened them to the smell of smoke, the Fredericton Daily Gleaner reported.

The pair made repeated trips into the smoke-filled barn and led horses outside to safety as flames quickly spread on the wooden structure.

The teenager, who has been riding horses since she was 6, told the newspaper she and her mother had to take quick breaks for fresh air before she was able to get to the stall of her horse, Kingston.

“By the time I got to the back of the barn, my horse’s stall was already completely engulfed in flames and the ceiling crashed down on top of him,” she said. “I’m really numb at the moment.”

Two other horses also perished in the fire, she said.

Her mother was taken to hospital for smoke-inhalation treatment, but no other injuries were reported.

There was no immediate indication of what started the fire.

Frankfurt Airport Shooting Trial To Begin

FRANKFURT, Germany, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Prosecutors say a Kosovo man accused of killing two U.S. soldiers in an attack at a Frankfurt, Germany, airport was radicalized solely by the Internet.

Extra security was in place at the Frankfort courthouse Wednesday for the scheduled trial against Arid Uka, 21.

State prosecutors said Uka was an Islamic “lone wolf” who had no contact with any known militant groups, the BBC reported.

The BBC said Uka wants to deliver a statement in court, but it wasn’t clear whether he would be allowed to do so.

Prosecutors alleged Uka wanted to kill the soldiers because they were going to join coalition forces in Afghanistan. They said Uka confessed at the scene.

The indictment said Uka entered the airport terminals in March then followed U.S. soldiers to their military bus. It said he asked one soldier for a light and where the bus was going, and then fatally shot him. The indictment said Uka then boarded a military bus, shouting “Allah-u akbar” (God is great), and shot and killed another man. Two other passengers were injured.

Prosecutors said the gun jammed and Uka fled into the terminal where he was captured.

“The investigation showed that the accused wanted to kill the soldiers because they belonged to U.S. forces under the [International Security Assistance Force] mandate in Afghanistan,” the state prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Head Scarf Ban Prompts Clash

RYE, N.Y., Aug. 31 (UPI) — Fifteen people were arrested at a New York amusement park after a scuffle broke out with Muslim visitors over a head scarf ban on certain rides.

The Muslim American Society of New York had arranged a trip to Playland in Rye, N.Y., Tuesday to celebrate the end of Ramadan, The New York Times reported.

Things were fine until some of the female visitors were told they couldn’t get on certain rides without removing their Muslim hijab.

Park officials were in the process of arranging refunds when some members of the group began fighting amongst themselves, The (White Plains) Journal News reported.

Police from at least nine agencies were called to the park to assist Westchester County police.

Two visitors were charged with felony assault. Thirteen others were arrested, most of them on charges of disorderly conduct, before being released.

The headgear ban at Playland was among a number of safety rules instituted after accidents, unrelated to clothing, killed two children and a park worker from 2004 to 2007.

At Least 88 Syrians Died In Detention

LONDON, Aug. 31 (UPI) — At least 88 people, including 10 children, have died in detention in Syria in the government crackdown on protests, a humanitarian rights group said.

In a report released Wednesday Amnesty International said the death toll from April to mid-August far exceeds Syria’s usual annual total of five custody deaths.

“These deaths behind bars are reaching massive proportions and appear to be an extension of the same brutal disdain for life that we are seeing daily on the streets of Syria,” said Neil Sammonds, Amnesty International’s researcher on Syria.

The report said injuries on many of the victims indicated they probably suffered horrendous beatings and other abuses.

All 88 victims cited in the report were male, some as young as 13.

They were detained because they were involved in or suspected of being involved in pro-reform protests.

“We believe the Syrian government to be systematically persecuting its own people on a vast scale,” Sammonds said.

Amnesty International has called on the United Nations Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Syria, freeze the assets of President Bashar Assad and refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

Toddler Survives Mauling In Cougar Attack

VICTORIA, British Columbia, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Training and quick-thinking are being credited by a Canadian man who yanked his 18-month-old grandson from the claws of a cougar on Vancouver Island.

The big cat sprang out of a wooded area around 6 p.m. Monday in the Pacific Rim National Park as the toddler was walking 10 feet ahead of his grandfather and another adult relative, the Victoria Times Colonist reported.

Parks Canada spokeswoman Arlene Armstrong said the grandfather and others “did everything right” by locking eyes with the cougar while shouting and making aggressive moves.

Once the cat let go of the toddler, it lunged at a 4-year-old girl, missed and then disappeared back into the forest, Armstrong said.

The 18-month-boy was taken to a local hospital and then airlifted to the British Columbia Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, the newspaper said. He was in serious condition early Wednesday.

Meanwhile, some 25 parks, conservation and police officers with tracking dogs were hunting for the cougar, which will be killed when found, Armstrong said.

Parks Canada posted an advisory Aug. 19 for the area, warning of wolves and cougars, the report said.

Rebels: End Is Near For Gadhafi Regime

TRIPOLI, Libya, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Rebel leaders in Libya said Moammar Gadhafi’s rule is nearly over as the Saturday deadline approaches for all loyalists to surrender.

Ali Tarhouni of the National Transitional Council predicted Gadhafi’s four-decade reign will end within a week, CNN reported.

“I’ve waited 42 years,” the oil and finance minister said. “I really have no problem waiting another week.”

The council issued an ultimatum Tuesday for tribal leaders in towns under loyalist control to surrender or face attack on Saturday when all festivities marking the end of Ramadan are over.

Rebels are particularly interested in Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte.

Before fleeing Tripoli pro-Gadhafi forces closed water-pumping stations, leaving 60 percent of the capital without water or sanitation, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

The United Nations and the European Union were working to restore the water supply and to bring millions of gallons of bottled and tanked water to Tripoli.

Eleven days after opposition forces stormed the capital, Gadhafi’s whereabouts are unknown.

His wife, daughter Aisha and sons Hannibal and Mohammed fled to Algeria which has promised to turn over Gadhafi if he is found in that country.

In a related development, a nanny said Hannibal Gadhafi’s wife Aline had poured boiling water on her for refusing to beat a crying child.

The woman, Shwygar Mullah, was being treated at a Tripoli hospital for burns.

Iran Sending Sub, Warship To Red Sea

TEHRAN, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Iran will send a warship and submarine from the Republic’s 15th fleet to the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, navy commander Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said.

The navy will continue to maintain a high active presence in the area to serve the country’s interests, Press TV quoted him as saying Tuesday.

Sayyari did not say when the vessels would be dispatched.

Iran’s presence will not only enhance security in the area, but will convey a message of peace and friendship to all countries, he said.

Iran’s announcement came shortly after Israel said it was boosting its naval presence near the border with Egypt Tuesday, following reports Sinai terrorists plan attacks on Israel.

Due to the warnings based on concrete intelligence received by the security establishment, Israel also boosted its ground forces along the border with Egypt and Gaza.

Israel informed the Egyptian authorities of the move.

Johannesburg Quiet As Police Guard City

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Johannesburg was quiet Wednesday amid tight South African police security that kept supporters of ANC youth leader Julius Malema off the streets.

Police had earlier cordoned off roads around Luthuli House, headquarters of the ruling ANC or African National Congress, after learning the party had decided to continue with the disciplinary hearing of Malema and another Youth League leader at the same place despite clashes the previous day, Jacaranda Radio reported.

Malema is a strong critic of South African President Jacob Zuma, who was visiting Norway Tuesday.

Earlier, ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe said the hearings might be moved to an undisclosed location after the first day of hearing Tuesday resulted in serious clashes with protesters throwing rocks, bricks and bottles, the radio report said.

Malema and other top leaders of the ANC Youth League face disciplinary action for allegedly bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing division in the organization, the Johannesburg Times Live reported.

The report said Malema’s supporters had allegedly called President Zuma a traitor for allowing charges to be filed against their leader. Malema had called on youth to stage a peaceful gathering.

“What people must always remember is that when you bring fresh air, mosquitoes also come in. You must take responsibility for both the air and the mosquitoes,” the party’s Mantashe was quoted as saying.

Netanyahu’s Office Dismisses Allegations

JERUSALEM, Aug. 31 (UPI) — The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office denied media reports Sarah Netanyahu mistreated a foreign worker hired to care for her elderly father.

Channel 2 reported Tuesday Binyamin Netanyahu’s wife was suspected of mistreating a caretaker from Nepal.

The television report said Netanyahu suspected the worker of stealing funds from her 96-year old father. An argument reportedly ensued and the worker fell injuring her hand.

In response to the allegations, the worker alleged Netanyahu failed to feed her, cursed her and refused to give her vacation time.

A statement issued by Netanyahu’s office denied the charges and said the worker’s allegations were baseless, made only after she found out the agency employing her was looking for a replacement, The Jerusalem Post said.

“When it became known to her that she was about to be fired — something that could lead to her being deported from the country — she made up the story, and now there is a cynical and unworthy campaign against the Netanyahu family,” the Post quoted the statement issued by Netanyahu’s office as saying.

Neglected Dog Carried 30 Pounds Of Hair

GODMANCHESTER, England, Aug. 31 (UPI) — A dog dumped at an English animal shelter had trouble walking because of lack of exercise and nearly 30 pounds of excess matted hair, employees said.

Wendy Kruger, head of the Wood Green Animal Shelter in Godmanchester, said the Old English sheep dog suffered from “criminal” neglect, the Cambridge News reported Tuesday. The dog, who has been named Floyd and appears to be about 10 years old, has been under constant care since he was found at 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

A security guard said the dog was dumped by someone who drove to the shelter in a dark vehicle.

Shelter veterinarians and workers spent 2 hours trimming Floyd’s hair and the 2-inch claws on his paws and removing seeds stuck in his hair and ears. The hair removed from the dog weighed 28 pounds.

Kruger said the muscles on Floyd’s rear legs have atrophied and will require special exercise to rebuild them. His teeth and skin will also require special care.

“We were all extremely shocked and distressed at Floyd’s condition,” Kruger said. “It is the worst case of neglect the charity has ever seen.”