Queens Couple Charged With Starving and Beating 12-Year-Old Daughter For Nearly Two Years

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Image via Google Maps
96th Street in Ozone Park, Queens, where the Ranots reportedly lived. Their address is listed as that of the boarded-up building on the right.
An Ozone Park, Queens couple has been arrested after their 12-year-old daughter told authorities about the abuse that she endured at their hands, including being isolated, beaten and starved down to just 58 pounds. Rajesh Ranot, 46, the child's father, and Sheetal Ranot, 31, her stepmother, are being charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child in the attacks on Maya Ranot. According to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, the little girl was been seen by emergency room doctors at least three times over the past year and a half. In one May, 2013 incident, emergency medical technicians found Maya lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor, with the tendons to her left wrist cut to the bone after her stepmother allegedly attacked her with a metal broom handle.

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Allegedly Horrible People Charged With Stealing $12.4 Million from Special Needs Toddlers

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Google Maps
The very reputable-looking Far Rockaway strip mall where Island Child Development Center (center) was located.
Here's your story for today about terrible people doing awful things: according to the Queens County District Attorney's office, four men in Far Rockaway, including a rabbi, have been charged with stealing $12.4 million intended for Jewish special needs toddlers.

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Seven Dead and Dozens Injured As Rescue Crews Continue Work At East Harlem Explosion Site

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Screenshot via.
The FDNY at the scene yesterday.
Emergency crews are continuing their work this morning on a stretch of Park Avenue where two buildings were destroyed by an explosion yesterday. Four more bodies have been recovered from the wreckage, bringing the death toll to seven. Late Wednesday, according to the New York Times, nine more people were still missing. The fire at the scene is contained, although the FDNY is still working to put out all of the flames. The National Transportation Safety Board announced that they've also arrived at the explosion site to investigate its cause.

The Times reports that the dozens of people injured in the explosion were taken to area hospitals, including 13 to Harlem Hospital Center, one of them a 15-year-old boy in critical condition, 22 to Mount Sinai, including a woman in critical condition with head trauma; and 18 to Metropolitan Hospital Center, none of them seriously injured. TV news outlets are estimating the number of injured people at around 70.

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Jerome Isaac, Who Allegedly Burned Deloris Gillespie to Death in Her Elevator, Pleads Not Guilty

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Yesterday Jerome Isaac was arraigned on murder charges in Brooklyn Supreme Court for the death of 73-year-old Deloris Gillespie, who, in December, he allegedly sprayed with flammable liquid and set on fire in her elevator in Prospect Heights. He was caught on video doing all of this, which led rather quickly to police finding him. Of course, he also burned half of his face in the awful act, and, oh yes, he turned himself in to cops. But, apparently, he forgot that part because at his arraignment he announced, "If the video wasn't there, you would still be looking for me."

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Doomsday Clock, Still a Total Buzz Kill, Predicts Disaster

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The Doomsday Clock, a very appropriately named metaphorical timepiece that predicts the possibility of nuclear apocalypse, says that the world is a figurative minute closer to radioactive catastrophe than it was in 2010, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The clock, run by the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, was started in 1947 and symbolically set at seven minutes to midnight -- basically to make people realize that nuclear power ain't fuckin' around.

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Chances Are, Your Brain Will Not Be Eaten by an Amoeba

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That font is terrifying.
This is worrisome. We have been reminded that a science-fiction horror-film-esque fear is actually a reality. Brain-eating amoebas exist, and they have killed three people this summer, including a boy in Virginia, a girl in Florida, and a man in Louisiana. Fortunately, NPR has spoken with an expert in infectious diseases, William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, who set some of our fears to rest, and advised on the best course for avoiding a brain-eating amoeba, a/k/a, the ominous-sounding "Naegleria fowleri."

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