BRAMPTON, Ontario (UPI) — Almost 2,000 Canadian teenagers attended a massive party at an Ontario mansion after the organizer posted invitations on Twitter, Facebook and Craigslist.
The teens partied so hard at the mansion, which is under construction, that they reportedly caused $70,000 in damage.
The hashtag #MansionParty began trending on social media and more than 200 cars were parked in the area of the party.
The police sent more than 60 squad cars and a K-9 unit to break up the rowdy gathering.
“I have seen something like this, in the movies, but never in real life,” a 16-year-old partygoer told the Record. “There were hundreds of people here. Some people were climbing over ladders and smashing the windows. Some were drinking. Everyone wanted to get inside.”
There were no reported injuries at the party and no one was arrested for trespassing. Some people were arrested for assaulting officers and public intoxication.
“We want to make the public aware that social media may not be the best place to advertise the party, simply because we’re not really aware of just how far-reaching social media really is,” Const. Thomas Ruttan told the Brampton Guardian.
NORCROSS , Ga. (UPI) — A warrant charging a Georgia man with armed robbery has been issued after a 50-year-old suspect allegedly used a pitchfork to rob a Waffle House in Norcross.
Police are looking for Jeffery Wooten after he allegedly used the farm tool to herd employees and customers into the back room of the Waffle House so he could grab the cash register.
“When he realized he couldn’t get the cash register open, he took the whole cash register and exited the store with his pitchfork,” Norcross Police Chief Warren Summers told WSB-TV.
While he was carrying the register, Wooten dropped the pitchfork and a woman picked up the tool and began hitting him with it. “It appears the suspect sustained some injuries from this incident,” Summers said.
The pitchfork was also used to smash a window on Wooten’s truck while he made his escape.
“Once he didn’t have a pitchfork, he wasn’t as brazen. I know that,” Summers said. “It wouldn’t be an offensive weapon in your garden, but it was in a Waffle House.”
MIAMI (UPI) — An 18-year-old Miami student is facing felony charges after allegedly hacking into his high school’s computer system and changing grades for himself and four other students.
Jose Bautista, a senior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, allegedly broke into the principal’s office and used his computer to change the grades in exchange for money.
Bautista was arrested by Miami-Dade County Schools Police and charged with four counts of intellectual property crimes for modifying a program and four counts of modifying computer user data, all felonies.
“If it is true, it’s definitely not fair to the rest of the students,” senior Brett Curtis told NBC 6. “We have almost 3,000 kids here who come to school every day and work hard for every single grade that they earn.”
According to the school’s principal, Bautista gave him a written confession.
“The school district takes incidents like this very seriously,” Miami-Dade Schools said in a statement. “In addition to the arrest and ongoing criminal investigation, the Code of Student Conduct provides for corrective strategies up to and including recommendation for expulsion.”
A judge placed Bautista on house arrest and ordered the teen to wear a GPS monitor.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (UPI) — According to reports, a North Carolina State Senate candidate who has been a supporter of a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage used to be openly gay and work as a drag queen at a nightclub.
Steve Wiles, who is running in a May 6 Republican primary against two other candidates, worked at Club Odyssey under the name Miss Mona Sinclair for several years, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
Wiles, 34, also helped to promote the Miss Gay America Pageant.
“He is Mona Sinclair,” co-owner Randy Duggins told the Journal. “I recognized his picture when I was looking in the paper. That’s definitely him. He has aged some, but that’s him. I have no ax to grind against him. I just think he’s a liar.”
Although Wiles has denied the allegations at times, his campaign website, Facebook page and Twitter account have been taken offline.
“I have already apologized to the people who matter most to me for the things I did when I was young,” Wiles said last week.
Club Odyssey closed in 2010 after 14 years of serving “gay, lesbian and straight clientele.”
MINNEAPOLIS (UPI) — Target chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel resigned Monday in the wake of continuing fallout from a massive data breach last December that left millions of customers’ credit card data unprotected.
“Today we are announcing that, after extensive discussions, the board and Gregg Steinhafel have decided that now is the right time for new leadership at Target. Effective immediately, Gregg will step down from his positions as chairman of the Target board of directors, president and CEO,” said Target in a statement on its website.
The resignation comes five months after a security breach that occurred during the height of the holiday shopping season.
Steinhafel is a 35-year veteran of Target and led the response to the breach. In a letter to the Target board of directors, he said, “The last several months have tested Target in unprecedented ways. From the beginning, I have been committed to ensuring Target emerges from the data breach a better company, more focused on delivering for our guests.”
Target CFO John Mulligan will serve as interim president and CEO and board member Roxanne Austin will serve as interim chair. Steinhafel will stay as an adviser during the transition and will receive severance pay according to an SEC filing.
Target shares were down $1.70, or 2.79 percent, to $60.29 shortly after 10 a.m. Monday morning.
SEATTLE (UPI) — Amazon announced a partnership with Twitter that allows users to link both accounts and add products to their shopping cart by using the hashtag #AmazonCart.
The new initiative would require Twitter users to link their their account to their Amazon account. Users can add items to their shopping cart automatically by responding to tweets with Amazon product links with the hashtag #AmazonCart.
But Amazon has said that products will only be added to the cart and will not be considered a confirmation of purchase. For that users will still have to log in into their Amazon accounts.
An Amazon spokesperson said that Twitter does not get any revenue from the sale of products and declined to further discuss the arrangement.
“We are certainly open to working with other social networks,” said the Amazon spokesperson. “Twitter in particular offers a great environment for our customers to discover product recommendations from artists, experts, brands and friends.”
Customers who have already linked their accounts will be notified with a reply tweet from @MyAmazon and also receive a confirmation email. It is to be seen if users embrace #AmazonCart because all tweets are public and people will be publicizing their purchasing decisions by responding to a Tweet with that hashtag.
The move is another initiative by Twitter to grow its business model, which has been struggling to engage its 255 million active users. The new initiative helps Amazon make the process of buying a product more convenient for its customers.
Amazon customers in the U.K. will have to use #AmazonBasket to add items to their shopping carts starting Monday.
WASHINGTON (UPI) — The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower, the cosmic debris of Halley’s Comet, will come to a crescendo overnight tonight, as shooting stars grow in intensity and frequency from midnight to sunrise on Tuesday morning.
As long as clouds don’t spoil the fun, sky-watchers in the Northern Hemisphere could see as many as 30 shooting stars an hour, as Eta Aquarid meteors burn up in the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. Star-gazers in the Southern Hemisphere could see some 60 shooting stars an hour.
For homebodies and those cursed with overcast conditions, NASA will be live streaming the meteor shower from its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Clear skies are anticipated.
The shower will also be broadcast by the online Slooh community telescope beginning at 9 p.m. EDT. The live stream will be accompanied by commentary from astronomer Bob Berman.
“What makes this shower somewhat special is that the meteors stem from the most famous comet in all of history, Comet Halley,” Berman said in a statement. “As Halley goes around the sun in its 76-year orbit, pieces of it, little chunks of ice, slough off the comet and we intersect that every year around this time, in early May.”
Halley is the only short-period comet that can be seen by the naked eye from Earth. It’s also the only comet that may become visible twice in a human lifetime. It last appeared in 1986, and is expected to whiz by within view again in 2061.
WASHINGTON (UPI) — Salmonella — the foodborne illness that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is responsible for some 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths every year — doesn’t just arrive via undercooked meats. Just as often, it travels with crates of contaminated fruits and vegetables: lettuce, melons, tomatoes, you name it.
That’s why scientists with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are excited about a newly identified benign bacterium that shows real promise in thwarting Salmonella as it attempts to colonize raw tomatoes.
Since 2000, more than 2,000 people in the U.S. have fallen ill as result Salmonella-infected tomatoes.
“The conditions in which tomatoes thrive are also the conditions in which Salmonella thrives,” FDA researcher Eric W. Brown recently explained. “But we knew that if we could block Salmonella from infecting the tomato plant, we could reduce its risk of infecting the person who eats the tomato.”
Luckily for scientists — and tomato lovers — the same conditions that allow Salmonella to thrive also enable the growth of many kinds of benign bacterium, those that aren’t harmful to human health. Researchers knew they just need to find a strain that outcompeted Salmonella for real estate. They succeeded, having isolated Paenibacillus alvei.
“We hypothesized that such an organism could be found that possessed the ability to outcompete or chemically destroy Salmonella,” says co-researcher Jie Zheng. “After screening many hundreds of potential biocontrol strains of bacteria that were isolated from farms and natural environments in the Mid-Atlantic region, we found about 10 isolates of bacteria representing very different genera and species that could curb the growth and/or destroy Salmonella in our test assays.”
Brown and Zheng’s important research will be detailed in the July edition of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. A manuscript is currently available online.
PASADENA, Calif. (UPI) — A 25-foot asteroid passed between Earth and the moon over the weekend, coming within 186,000 miles of Earth’s surface. On average, the moon’s orbit is 238,855 miles from Earth.
Dubbed 2014 HL129 by astronomers, the bus-sized asteroid was discovered only several days before by scientists at the Steward Observatory, which sits atop Mt. Lemmon in Arizona’s Catalina Mountains.
The near miss of an asteroid flying anonymously through space (until just a few days ago) is sure to bring further attention to NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge, a series of contest aimed at bringing amateur scientists and astronomers into the asteroid-hunting fold.
“Asteroid hunting is an activity everyone can get involved with,” NASA claimed in a promotional video earlier this year. “Whether it’s writing computer code, building hardware, making observations through a telescope. Survival is its own reward. It’s up to each of us to protect our planet from asteroids.”
BOSTON (UPI) — New studies show that older mice injected with the blood of younger mice seem to experience a reversal in the effects of aging.
After the blood was put into the circulatory system of the older mice, they were found to have dramatic improvements in brain and muscle strength and activity. The mice given younger blood were also able to last longer on a treadmill than the control group, which was given saline. Young mice injected with old blood saw a negative effect of premature aging.
The findings are the result of three studies, all published Sunday in the journals Science and Nature Medicine, with two by Harvard Stem Cell Institute and one by a group of researchers from Stanford University.
The researchers are trying to narrow down what in the blood of the young mice causes the effects, and found that a prevalent protein in the young blood, GDF11, caused the same effects when injected to the older mice. The researchers believe there are other components in the blood that help reverse aging but this protein is one of the main components.
The hope is the new studies will lead to human tests and to possible treatments for dementia and Alzheimer’s.
“Right now we can’t do anything for Alzheimer’s patients, and this seems so easy and simple,” said Tony Wyss-Coray, a neuroscientist and study author from Stanford University.
Beyond the mental effects of aging, scientists are hoping to find that with greater knowledge of the aging process, they can start to tackle other diseases that come with getting older.
“If we understand the aging process in enough detail, we can begin to tackle the underlying mechanisms rather than treating one disease at a time,” said Judith Campisi, a biochemist at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.