odd news bits from Harper’s Tuesday

Check here for links to sources and for more scary news.

When accused of stealing lingerie from a shop, a German man told a court that his elf alter ego may have been to blame,[BBCnews.com] and a woman in Boston was suing Planned Parenthood and two doctors for childrearing costs after finding out she was still pregnant following an abortion.[Boston Globe]

A Pennsylvania mother pled guilty to swinging her infant son like a bat to hit her boyfriend,[AP via CNN.com] and after stabbing his wife multiple times a Connecticut man gave the knife to his son and said, “Now you stab mommy.”[AP via CNN.com]

A study claimed that girls shown videos of women suffering from eating disorders became more likely to view these women as “very pretty” and thought it would be “nice to look like” them,[Reuters] and low-dose estrogen and progesterone birth control pills were reported to reduce ovarian cancer risk.[Reuters]

The Navy was researching an electromagnetic beam that would penetrate walls and cause people to fall over and vomit.[Wired.com]

A human rights group in Israel accused the country’s army of using Palestinians, including an 11-year-old girl, as human shields,[BBCnews.com] and the Israeli ambassador to El Salvador was recalled after police found him in the embassy, drunk and naked except for bondage gear, with a rubber ball stuffed in his mouth.[BBCnews.com]

A man in England who had demonstrated against cartoons of the prophet Muhammad was found guilty of soliciting murder.[BBCnews.com]

The United Nations announced that Afghanistan’s yield of heroin poppies rose 25 percent last year.[BBCnews.com]

Osama bin Laden turned fifty.[Reuters via CNN.com]