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Voluptuous squirrel rescued from German manhole

A red squirrel is recovering after his voluptuous figure got him trapped last week in a manhole cover in Munich, according to multiple reports.

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The squirrel was spotted last Friday by a passerby, who alerted animal-rescue services, The Local reported. Rescuers tried to grease the animal with olive oil in hopes they could ease him free, but his plump posterior made any movement impossible.

A veterinarian who checked on the trapped critter determined the squirrel was showing the first signs of hypothermia.

"He seemed to have no strength," a rescuer told The Local. "His front claws had been battered by his desperate attempts to free himself."

He was freed after rescuers and onlookers lifted the manhole cover from the pavement and eased his head from the hole, according to the BBC. He was covered in olive oil, earning him the nickname "Olivio."

"He was almost dead," rescuer Sabine Gallenberger told German media. "Now he is eating a lot and sleeps all the time."

Scammers landed retired Florida dad in South Korea jail, son says

A 79-year-old retired Federal Reserve vice president who winters in Jupiter Farms, Florida, has been in a South Korea jail since Nov. 10, charged with fraud, his son said Thursday.

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Julius Malinowski is the real victim, set up by people posing as executives of BB&T Bank, said his son, Kent Malinowski, also of Jupiter Farms.

Kent said an American lawyer in Seoul has told the family that neither a bail amount nor a trial date has been set and that their father faces possibly years in prison — but he did get good news Thursday from his father's lawyers.

The alleged fraud involved a South Korean business contact's laying out for Julius the equivalent of $11,663 for first-class air fare from Virginia and the cost of a Seoul hotel room. The lawyers said Thursday the contact had said he'd gotten some credits on the air fare and hotel and that he had signed a release saying he wouldn't pursue criminal and civil charges in exchange for the lawyers paying him the equivalent of $6,308.

The deal doesn't automatically get Julius off the hook, Kent said. He said the lawyers advised that in Korea prosecutors still can press forward on a criminal case and that only a judge can drop all charges.

But, he said, "it goes a long way. So we're hopeful."

Kent said his father has been sleeping on a concrete floor and has inadequate food, which aggravates his chronic kidney problems. He said Julius Malinowski was admitted Monday to a hospital for tests but was out by Thursday.

"His last note passed to family read, 'I'm good, but not healthy,' " Kent wrote this week. He told The Palm Beach Post by phone Thursday that "our attorneys report that Dad looks much better."

"Mal" Malinowski retired from the government in the late 1990s but still does volunteer work. Recently, his son said, he was approached to do part-time work in international transactions from people who presented themselves as officers of North Carolina-based BB&T.

"They paid his round-trip travel expenses and a fee for contract delivery-courier services," Kent Malinowski said. He said the "executives" met his father in advance in Williamsburg, Va., and even bought him a round of golf.

Kent Malinowski said the family didn't know anything about either "Mal's" assignment or his international travel until they learned that he had called a Virginia neighbor from jail. He said the family called the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, which confirmed that their father was under arrest.

Kent said the family was told their father had delivered a contract in Australia without incident in October but was arrested Nov. 10 after he flew from Virginia to South Korea.

The family can't figure out how the bad guys might have benefited. "We don't know what the end game was," Kent said. He speculated his father was an unwitting "front man" who would get the government and business contacts in Australia and South Korea comfortable and pave the way for the scam.

It was only after his arrest that family members got into his computer and found the official-looking exchanges purporting to be from BB&T executives, his son said.

Kent said his father is a victim of an "elaborate" internet scam.

"He was swept up in a criminal enterprise about which he had no knowledge," his son wrote. "They targeted an elderly retiree who was healthy enough to travel, but not tech-savvy enough to spot the bogus email addresses."

Kent Malinowski said police in his father's hometown of Culpeper, Virginia, about 70 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., also have concluded he's a victim.

Culpeper Police Lt. Andrew Terrill would say Thursday only that "there is an active and ongoing investigation."

Kent Malinowski said he's also contacted criminal investigators for both the FBI and the Department of State.

A State Department official confirmed the department was aware of press reports that an American citizen was detained in South Korea, but was unable to comment further because of privacy issues. The official confirmed the department was ready to provide consular assistance.

The FBI would not confirm it is looking into the case. BB&T spokesman Brian Davis referred a reporter to law enforcement.

Calls by The Palm Beach Post to the law firm representing Julius Malinowski in Korea, as well as the South Korean embassy in Washington, D.C, were not returned.

South Korea impeaches President Park Geun-hye

South Korea’s parliament impeached President Park Geun-hye on Friday amid a corruption scandal that has left her isolated, The Associated Press reported.

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After the vote, parliamentary officials hand-delivered formal documents to the presidential Blue House that stripped Park of her power and allowed her No. 2, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, to assume leadership until the country's Constitutional Court rules on whether Park must permanently step down. The court has up to six months to decide.

South Korean National Assembly speaker Chung Sye-kyun said the bill for impeachment was passed by a vote of 236 for and 56 opposed, with nine invalid votes and abstentions, the AP reported.

That surpassed the necessary two-thirds support in the 300-seat assembly. The opposition needed help from members of Park's party to get the needed votes, and it got it.

"I'd like to say that I'm deeply sorry to the people because the nation has to experience this turmoil because of my negligence and lack of virtue at a time when our security and economy both face difficulties," Park said at a Cabinet meeting after the vote.

Friday was the last day of the current parliamentary session. As lawmakers arrived at the parliament, hundreds of protesters rallied in front of the National Assembly’s main gate to urge impeachment.

Once called the “Queen of Elections” for her ability to win at the ballot box, Park has been battling what prosecutors say was collusion with a longtime friend to extort money from companies and to give that confidante extraordinary sway over government decisions.

Park has publicly apologized over the scandal three times.

Her approval ratings have plunged to 4 percent, the lowest among South Korean leaders since democracy came in the late 1980s.

Pakistani plane crash: 48 feared dead after plane crashes in mountainous north

A plane carrying 48 people crashed Wednesday in the mountains of northern Pakistan, according to multiple reports.

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Pakistan International Airlines Flight PK-611 was bound for the capitol, Islamabad, from the northern city of Chitral when it lost contact with aviation officials around 4:30 p.m. local time, an airline spokesman said in a statement. The plane went down around 4:45 p.m. in the Havelian area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, about 45 miles northwest of Islamabad.

The plane had 42 passengers, five crew members and a ground engineer onboard, according to Pakistan International Airlines.

"PIA is doing everything possible to help the families of passengers and crew members," the airliner said in a news release.

Government officials warned that there were likely no survivors. Pakistan’s interior ministry sent a team to the scene of the crash, including experts in identifying bodies through DNA tests, according to The Associated Press.

"All of the bodies are burned beyond recognition. The debris is scattered," Havelian-based government official Taj Muhammad Khan told Reuters. 

Witnesses told Khan and other local officials that the plane appeared to be on fire before it crashed.

"A plane has crashed and locals told us that it is on fire," Saeed Wazir, a senior local police official, told AFP. "Police and rescue officials are on the way but have yet not reached on site."

Images shared on state-run television and social media showed the fiery wreckage on a mountain slope.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, although Irfan Elahi, the government's aviation secretary, told reporters that the plane had engine problems.

WATCH: Angry bull destroys SUV, terrifying people inside

A terrifying viral video shows an angry bull terrorizing the streets of Peñalver, Spain.

In the July 1 clip, posted to Rumble in late November by ViralHog, the bull runs toward people who quickly dart over fences to get out of its path.

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Suddenly, the bull then turns and attacks an SUV sitting on the side of the road with people inside.

The bull lifts the car off its front wheels several times, puncturing a front tire and shaking up the people inside a bit before turning away.

>> Click here to watch

Source: Bull Destroys 4x4 by ViralHog on Rumble

   

Zookeeper keeps job after punching kangaroo in face to save dog in viral video

An Australian man sprang into action when a kangaroo wrapped its hands around his dog's throat, running toward it and punching it in the face in what is considered by some to be one of the most Australian videos to hit the internet yet.

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The short video, which has since gone viral, was posted to Facebook Saturday by a man who said he got it from his "buddy from Australia."

"The buck has hold of the dog and not the other way around," an animated Aussie announces as the dog and kangaroo come into focus. "The buck 'roo sees the odds stacking against him and tries to get the dog with its claws one last time."

The kangaroo lets go of the dog and the dog's owner squares up against it. He delivers a single punch to the kangaroo's face, shocking the 'roo before the animal hops away.

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The video was filmed in June during a boar hunting trip in Condobolin, New South Wales and included in a DVD compilation of the trip, news.com.au reported.

The hunting trip was organized for Kailem Barwick, a 19-year-old who was dying of cancer, according to WAtoday.com.au.

Barwick died Dec. 2.

"It was a memory and part of the trip and gave us a great laugh after," hunt organizer Mathew Amor told WAtoday.com.au on Sunday.

Armor told news.com.au that his friend, zookeeper Greig Tonkins, hit the kangaroo after it grabbed his hunting dog, Max.

"The dog Max was fine, just startled because the kangaroo had a hold of him," Armor said, noting that the dog was wearing a chest plate meant to protect him from boar tusks at the time of the confrontation. "It was funny because the guy who did it is the most placid bloke."

Some people have questioned the punch was necessary. A spokesperson for Taronga Western Plains Zoo, where Tonkins works, told news.com.au in a statement that the zoo is looking into Tonkins' actions.

"Good animal welfare and the protection of Australian wildlife are of the utmost importance to Taronga," the spokesperson said. "We are working with Mr Tonkins to understand the exact circumstances of the event and will consider any appropriate action."

WAtoday reported that Taronga Western Plains Zoo said in a statement Tuesday that Tonkins would keep his job.

Best practice animal welfare and the protection of Australian wildlife are of the utmost importance to Taronga. Taronga strongly opposes the striking of animals and does not support the practice of using dogs to hunt, as this can result in negative welfare for both species. We support the Guidelines outlined by the Department of Environment and Heritage in the event of confrontation with a kangaroo. Mr. Tonkins is an experienced zookeeper and during his six years at Taronga Western Plains Zoo has always followed Taronga’s best practice approach to animal care and welfare. We confirm that there is no suggestion of Mr. Tonkins’ employment at Taronga Western Plains Zoo ending as a result of this event. However, the highest standards of animal welfare and care are a core value of Taronga and one that we expect our staff to uphold in all their interactions with wildlife and we continue to work with Mr. Tonkins on his conduct in regards to this incident. Taronga asks on behalf of Mr. Tonkins and his family that media respect their privacy at this time.

Photos: Cuba mourns Fidel Castro

WATCH: Cat rescued after its paws froze to the ground

A cat found frozen to the ground has a second chance thanks to a quick-thinking couple.

A video posted to YouTube shows a couple comforting the cat whose paws and fur froze to the ground as it sought refuge under a car in Russia.

>> Watch the video here

The couple used warm water to gently free the cat from its frozen state.

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According to Mashable, the couple said the cat was able to walk later that evening and was adopted that week.

>> Watch the follow-up video here

'I'm too old for this' says great-grandmother who won $50M lottery prize

A Canadian woman from a small farming town was in disbelief when she learned last month that a lottery ticket she bought while grocery shopping was worth a whopping $50 million ($37.6 million USD).

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"For my family, it's going to help them out a lot," Lois Olson, 80, told the CBC. "For me, I'm too old for this. I would have liked to have won this 20 or 30 years ago."

Olsen lives in Irma, Alberta, a town with fewer than 500 residents, according to the Edmonton Journal.

"To give an idea of the scale … Olsen's winnings are about 38 times the yearly revenue of her town and 40 times its annual expenses," the newspaper reported.

Olsen bought a Lotto Max ticket on Nov. 11 at a co-op in Irma. The next day she returned to the store to check her numbers on a self-checking machine. She ended up calling a woman over to help her because she thought the machine might be broken.

"I put my ticket in, and pulled it out, and it looked like $50," she told the CBC. "I pulled it out and put it back in, and it looked like $500. Pulled it out and put it back in, and told the girl, 'I think there's something wrong with this machine. She comes around the corner and says, 'No, you just won $50 million."

For weeks after that, she did her best to stay anonymous – although word traveled fast in Irma. She picked up her winnings Tuesday.

"Money doesn't mean a whole bunch to me," she told the Journal, adding that she plans to spend some of the money on her four children, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. "I had hard times … maybe not now so much."

Some of the money will also go toward buying herself a new SUV to replace her 11-year-old car and, she said, perhaps toward a trip to Ireland.

World AIDS Day 2016: Officials push for testing, awareness

Officials worldwide are pushing for HIV/AIDS awareness, testing and treatment access as health officials mark World Aids Day on Thursday.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 36.7 million people across the globe are living with HIV/AIDS. The illnesses claim more than 1 million lives each year, the agency said.

However, the World Health Organization noted that in 2015 the epidemic claimed fewer lives than it had at any point in nearly two decades. Health officials credited the expanded use of antiretroviral therapy, which has brought the number of HIV-related deaths down by 45 percent since 2005.

"With access to treatment, people living with HIV are living longer. Investing in treatment is paying off," said Michel Sidibe, executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAID), in a statement Thursday. "AIDS is not over, but it can be if we tailor the response to individual needs at particular times in life."

The agency is behind what's known as the "90-90-90" goals, which aim to raise the number of people who know their HIV status, get them treatment if needed and have that treatment be effective.

"The success we have achieved so far gives us hope for the future, but as we look ahead we must remember not to be complacent," Sidibe said. "We cannot stop now."

In America, health officials encouraged leaders to strengthen commitments to end HIV infections with the day's theme, "Leadership. Commitment. Impact."

"Thirty-five years ago the first documented cases of AIDS brought about an era of uncertainty, fear, and discrimination," President Barack Obama said Wednesday. "But in the decades since those first cases, with ingenuity, leadership, research, and historic investments in evidence-based practices, we have begun to move toward an era of resilience and hope -- and we are closer than ever to reaching an AIDS-free generation."

About 39,500 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States last year, health officials said. More than 1.2 million people are living with HIV – and about one in eight don't realize it.

Between 2005 and 2014, new HIV diagnoses fell by 19 percent, according to the CDC.

"We are winning against the AIDS epidemic, but we are not seeing progress everywhere," Sidibe said.

Health officials estimate that 2.1 million people are newly infected by HIV annually, a majority of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the large number, the World Health Organization said the number of new infections was at its lowest point in the last 25 years.

Countries are working toward goals set by UNAIDS. By 2020, the health organization aims for 90 percent of all people living with HIV to know their status, 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV infection to receive antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of all people who are getting antiretroviral therapy to have viral suppression.

The push is credited with revving up global efforts to fight HIV. As of June 2016, 18.2 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection, up from the 7.5 million receiving treatment at the end of 2010, according to the CDC.

World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day recognized by officials. It was launched in 1988 and is held on Dec. 1 each year to increase awareness, show support to those living with HIV and remember those who have died.

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