Coworkers who became friends discover they are biological sisters


When Julie Tinetti and Cassandra Madison began working at the same bar in 2013 they hit it off instantly.

Not only did the two women share a striking physical resemblance but Julie, 31, and Cassandra, 32, bonded over the fact that they both tattoos of the Dominican Republic flag.

Both women had gotten the tattoos as a tribute to the fact they had both been adopted from the Central American country as babies by families in the United States.

The discovery immediately prompted both Julie and Cassandra to compare adoption certificates, however, they were disappointed to discover the details on each document didn’t match up.

“Papers said we were from two different cities (with) different last names. And, our mothers’ names on our paperwork were different,” Julie told Good Morning America.

But fast-forward to January this year when Cassandra and Julie discovered they were in fact full biological sisters after they were able to track down their birth family through an ancestry DNA test.

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‘WE STARTED DRESSING ALIKE’

When they began working together at the Russian Lady Bar in Connecticut, Julie and Cassandra quickly formed a close friendship.

“We become friends, start wearing matching clothes, having a blast together and telling everyone we’re sisters,” Cassandra wrote on Facebook.

“We started hanging out. We would go out for drinks, for dinner. We started dressing alike,” Julie told Good Morning America.

Their friendship continued when the pair stopped working together, with Julie and Cassandra attributing their close bond to the fact they had both been adopted.

But then Cassandra began searching for her birth family two years ago, tracking down her biological dad Adriano Luna Collado through a 23andMe DNA test.

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‘THEY COULDN’T TAKE CARE OF US’

Sadly Cassandra’s biological mother Yulianna Collado had died in 2015 after a heart attack.

The discovery led Cassandra to discover she had five biological siblings in the Dominican Republic, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that her dad revealed he had another daughter who had been adopted out.

In another surprise twist, Julie’s childhood friend Molly Sapadin, had also been adopted from the Dominican Republic as a baby and bore a resemblance to the two other women.

Molly and Cassandra compared adoption papers, which revealed they had the same last name and Yulianna listed as their birth mother.

But a DNA test ruled out Molly as Cassandra’s biological sister and instead revealed they were distant relatives.

This prompted Cassandra to find out once and for all if she and Julie were related.

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A DNA test revealed that Cassandra and Julie were what they had long suspected – sisters – while Molly is their third cousin.

Molly and Julie were adopted on the same day and now believe their adoption papers were mixed up by authorities.

Julie and Cassandra have since discovered they were adopted out by their parents as one of their brothers had been seriously ill.

“On top of the DR [Dominican Republic] being a very poor country, they couldn’t take care of us,” Julie told GMA. “I was (born) 17 months later and they weren’t ready.”

“Julia and I are not upset with our biological parents. We understand that they did the best they could with what they had,” Cassandra told Inside Edition.



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Alternative Mardi Gras parade could attract thousands


A fringe group of activists has split from the main Mardi Gras event saying the organisers have lost touch with the community.

One of the organisers, Toby, from Pride In Protest, told news.com.au the Sydney Mardi Gras’ decision to hold a ticketed event at the Sydney Cricket Ground has turned the event into “an absurdity”.

“When we saw the event was going to be in the SCG, a ticketed event, that’s so far out of the realm of us being able to participate in it,” they said.

“A paid event that’s not open for the community? It’s an absurdity,” Toby said.

The decision to allow uniformed police and corrections officers, and members of the Liberal Party to march in the parade has caused major friction in recent years.

This year’s event marks the first time the parade has been ticketed. It will include a performance from pop star Rita Ora.

“Essentially people would be paying $20 to watch the police and the Liberal Party walk around in a circle in the SCG,” Toby said. “That is so far removed from what the event really should be representing.”

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The alternative march, at 2pm this Saturday, has attracted 4200 attendees on Facebook.

“The spirit of Mardi Gras is political and it’s open to the community — so we wanted to provide that for people,” Toby said.

“What it means for us is we should be pushing for the political demands we need today and we should give people a chance to march for those issues.

“One of (our issues) is the increasing corporatisation of the event which means a lot of the floats are just dedicated to financial sponsors of the event.

“The other issue causes the most tension is that the police and correctional services march in uniform at the parade.

“We see this as increasingly not representing what Mardi Gras should be doing, which is being a political rally about our rights today.”

Toby also said Pride in Protest take issue with the Liberal Party marching in the parade, linking the Party to anti-Trans legislation proposals, and offshore detention. He said the issues have been simmering for about four years.

A former Mardi Gras board associate Katherine Wolfgramme earlier called the organisers a “bunch of troublemakers” in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.

Another Mardi Gras board member said Pride In Protest “care about every far left cause that is out there and I think it frustrates them that Mardi Gras as a business”.

The board member continued: “You can’t run it as an organisation that tries to address every social issue which is out there.”

“The driving force for Mardi Gras has to be looking for LGBTQ people and that is it because that is what unites us as a group.”

The Mardi Gras March 2021: Take Over Oxford Street was organised by a collective of six LGBTIQ affiliated community organisations, who plan to walk the original route of the 1978 Mardi Gras.

Toby said the group has five main demands, including an end to a “transphobic” religious freedom bill proposed by the Morrison Government.

The group also opposes a NSW Parliament bill, introduced by Mark Latham, that looks to restrict the discussion of gender in classrooms.

Toby said the bill could lead to “teachers being deregistered if they recognise their trans students”.

Two other main demands of the march are #NoPrideInDetention and #BlackLivesMatter.

“We can’t say at all that we’ve won all the rights that we have today until every single member of our community has those rights,” Toby said.

“A huge amount of people in detention are queer, and often that’s why they’ve sought asylum, because (in some other countries) homosexuality is illegal.”

The organisers also want all sex work decriminalised, and all drugs legalised.



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Remains found at Mollymook Beach identified as missing Ingleburn man


Human remains found on the NSW south coast belong to a missing Ingleburn man, police say.

It comes a day after NSW Police ruled out the remains found at a beach at Mollymook late on Friday belonged to alleged fraudster Melissa Caddick.

On Wednesday, the force said the remains had been determined to belong to a man reported missing from Sydney last month.

The 37-year-old man was last seen at an ATM in Kiama about 1.30pm on Monday, after he caught a train from Ingleburn.

Officers from Campbelltown City Police Area Command commenced inquiries to locate the man and will continue to lead investigations into the his final movements.

His death is not being treated as suspicious.

Police were called to the Mollymook Beach about 6.30pm on Friday, after a member of the public located human remains.

It came hours after police told the public about discovering Ms Caddick’s badly decomposed foot in an Asics running shoe at Bournda Beach the previous Sunday.

After campers found Ms Caddick’s shoe on February 21 police confirmed the foot inside belonged to her by comparing DNA from her toothbrush.

Mystery of what happened to Ms Caddick continues, with police not ruling out foul play or that she might have taken her own life.



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Tiger shark caught by Sydney fisherman on boat near Botany Bay


A photo has captured the moment a group of Sydney game fishermen reeled in a shark so big it dwarfed their boat.

Port Hacking Game Fishing Club member Paul Barning and his crew caught a 395kg tiger shark during a competition off the coast of Sydney.

The massive shark was brought in with a 15kg break line and it was caught between Botany Bay and Port Hacking during the NSW Game Fishing Interclub State championship during the weekend.

An incredible photo of the scene shows the crew’s boat, ‘Dark Horse’, almost overwhelmed by the size of the shark.

The tiger shark barely fits onto the vessel and its head is almost the same size as the boat’s Honda engine.

Six crew members on board can be seen working hard to get in on the boat.

Once ashore, the tiger shark was weighed and given to scientists for marine research.

According NSW Game Fishing Association records, the biggest tiger shark ever caught weighed 694.kg and was a male captured at Swansea near Newcastle in 2008

Mr Barning commented on a post about the shark that it “took 45 minutes” to reel in.

Tiger sharks can grow up to 6m in length and weigh up to a tonne. They are born measuring between 50cm-75cm in length while the average tiger shark grows to 287cm-330cm.

Most of the comment reactions to the Port Hacking Game Fishing’s post about the shark were positive, with one use responding “what a cracker of a shark!”

However, some comments were negative with one user asking, “What’s the thrill of killing something for the sake of it?”
Tiger sharks are not a protected species in Australia but many groups, such as the Australian Marine Conservation Society, believe they should be due to a study showing a 71 per cent decline in their population during the past 30 years.

On Sunday the same fishing club posted a picture of another big catch – a 340kg shark caught by the crew of a boat appropriately named The Undertaker.



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Facebook to pay US users $840m in facial recognition tag suggestion class action


After an almost six-year court battle, Facebook has been fined a little over two days of revenue for breaking a US state law that requires companies to get permission before using facial recognition.

Central to the class action lawsuit is Facebook’s use of facial recognition technology to recognise and identify people in photos and suggest you “tag” them so they and their friends can see it too.

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On Friday, a Californian federal judge ruled that violated the state of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act which prevents companies using things like a scan of your face or fingerprints to identify you without your permission.

Illinois’ biometric laws are among the strictest in the country, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The lawsuit was initially brought in April 2015 by Chicago lawyer Jay Edelson on behalf of his client Carlo Licata.

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Close to 7 million people in Illinois use Facebook and a little over a fifth of them (1.6 million) joined the lawsuit when it became a class action one after it was moved to the federal court.

They’re set to receive at least $US345 ($A444), while the three named plaintiffs, including Mr Licata, will get $US5,000 ($A6447).

As is common, the big winner in the class action was the lawyers and the legal system, with the presiding judge including $US97.5 million ($A125.7 million) in lawyer fees and $US915,000 ($A1.17 million) expenses as part of the $US650 million ($A838.1 million) Facebook agreed to pay.

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Mr Edelson said the case victory “sends a pretty clear message that in Illinois, biometric privacy rights are here to stay”.

US District Judge James Donato said the “landmark result” was a “major win for consumers in the hotly contested area of digital privacy” and ordered Facebook to pay the members of the class action suit “as expeditiously as possible”.

Last year Facebook reported just under $US86 billion ($A110.9 billion) in revenue.

The $US650 million fine ($A838.1 million) represents less than three days of revenue.



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What is a porcophile? Facebook apologises to Australian pig lover over post ban


Facebook has apologised after threatening to ban a South Australian widow from its platform because its computers didn’t like a comment she made on a picture of rabbits.

The 81-year-old self-confessed “porcophile” Rita Rich-Mulcahy began knitting pig dolls to cope with grief after her husband died last year.

Pictures posted to Facebook show her adorable little creations, but they’re not what got her in trouble.

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Facebook removed posts she commented on using the phrase “white pigs”, and accused her of hate speech.

She found that accusation “frightening” as someone who had never had so much as an overdue library book.

“One was on February 1, when a friend in Shrewsbury posted ‘white rabbits, white rabbits’ as it was the first of the month. And I said ‘No, white pigs, white pigs!’ Everyone on the knit site and my page knows I am a porcophile,” she explained, according to the Shropshire Star. “Facebook obviously uses a bot to trawl around Facebook and I had made two comments, totally innocent, which the bot saw as hate speech,” Ms Rich-Mulcahy said.

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Facebook predominantly uses “technologies” rather than people to moderate its platform of roughly 3 billion, and these “technologies” frequently make mistakes.

Appealing the mistakes is a lengthy process, many have told news.com.au that they need help to get anyone from the company to so much as acknowledge them after struggling to get a ban overturned, even when Facebook eventually admits that it was responsible for the error.

That’s what the tech titan has done in the case of Ms Rich-Mulcahy.

“Our systems made a mistake here and the comments have now been reinstated,” Facebook told the Telegraph.

“We do sometimes make mistakes when reviewing content, which is why we give people the opportunity to appeal against our decisions,” the company added.



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Wife exposes cheating husband’s double life after finding Facebook page


A woman has revealed how she exposed her husband’s double life after she found pictures of his second wedding and secret wife plastered all over Facebook.

British woman Yve Gibney met her ex-husband Maurice in a nightclub in Lagos, Nigeria and the pair married after a whirlwind three-month romance in the late 1990s.

But the pair’s 17-year marriage was unconventional from the start.

Yve, 60, explained how her husband would be away for months on end in the Middle East where he worked in the oil industry.

Although the couple originally lived out there together, Yve moved back to Birmingham in the West Midlands where she raised their now 22-year-old son.

“With hindsight, for us to have lived apart we had to have a tremendous amount of trust. It wasn’t the traditional marriage, but for us, it worked. I trusted him and loved him unconditionally and I felt that he loved me back in the same way,” she told Birmingham Live.

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In the final years of their marriage, Yve – who has written a book about her husband’s infidelity called Face Of A Bigamist – noticed that his trips back to the UK were becoming shorter and less frequent.

But while Yve put this down to work pressure at the time, she later discovered her husband had started seeing another woman.

Maurice met Stourbridge-based Suzanne Prudhoe while she was on holiday in Oman in September 2011.

In March 2013, the pair married in a lavish £45,000 ($A80,500) ceremony in Oman which was attended by members of Maurice’s family who were still friends with Yve on Facebook.

Although Maurice and Yve had separated two months prior to his second wedding, the couple were still legally married – and the Facebook photos of the lavish wedding were the first she heard of his new relationship.

“I was looking at some of his family’s Facebook pages and I saw his sister wearing a fascinator and his other sister all dressed up in wedding attire,” she said.

“I had this bizarre gut feeling that my husband had married someone else, but my friend said, ‘don’t be ridiculous’. But I couldn’t shake that feeling.”

Speaking to This Morning in 2019, Yve said: “I found out on Facebook. Her page came up and her picture was her on her wedding day, marrying my husband.

“I knew it was him, but I couldn’t believe it was him. I rang my friend and said ‘I can’t believe what I’m seeing.’ She went on and said, ‘Don’t look.’ She went on the photographer’s website and here’s his mother walking him down the aisle.”

What’s more, Yve claims Maurice kept up the pretence that he was in the Middle East when he was actually living 160kms away.

After tracing his IP address, Yve discovered that he had registered a car at an address in Worcestershire.

She then searched the names of the people living there and found the name of Maurice’s new brother-in-law on LinkedIn.

“He was a partner in a gas and oil construction company which had offices in Birmingham and Oman which was the field my husband worked, so I assumed they were friends.

“I rang the family in Stourbridge and made up a story about the car hire. In the conversation he said to me, ‘Maurice is my brother-in-law’. It didn’t make sense. He then said, ‘when Maurice comes back to England he always stays with us’.”

Unsurprisingly, Maurice’s new family hadn’t been informed that he was still married to his first wife – and Yve claims he told his brother-in-law they’d been divorced for years.

In 2014, Maurice received a suspended six month sentence for bigamy – he is still married to his second wife Suzanne Prudhoe.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission



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Aldi selling cheap Air Fryer for $40 in Special Buys sale


It’s a given that any time Aldi sells air fryers as part of its Special Buys sale they’ll be in high demand.

But the German supermarket has given shoppers an extra special reason to buy this Wednesday, selling the gadget at a heavily discounted price.

Aldi shoppers will be able to get their hands on an air fryer tomorrow for just $39.99, a steal when you consider most air fryers cost at least double that.

The smaller-sized air fryer has a 2.5-litre capacity making it suitable for preparing single meals or side dishes.

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It can cook food with a temperature range from 40-200C, meaning shoppers will still be able to make whatever meal their heart desires.

Instagram account @mr_aldi_au said he would be snapping up the bargain appliance when it hit stores this week.

“I haven’t bought an Aldi Special Buy in six months but that’s about to change this Wednesday,” he wrote.

Others also took to Aldi’s Facebook page saying they couldn’t wait to buy the “bargain” air fryer.

“Cheaper than Kmart’s 1.5-litre,” one person wrote.

“You can’t beat that price,” another commented.

But some warned that while it was a good price, the size wouldn’t be suitable for big meals.

One person wrote, “2.5 isn’t big enough to feed a family,” while another said: “Probably why it says cook up a snack and not a family meal then.”

There’s one catch though, with Aldi advising that some stores may experience delays in receiving the air fryer.
Shoppers should check Aldi’s website to see if their local store is impacted.

WHAT IS AN AIR FRYER?

Air fryers cook meals by circulating hot air around food, creating a crispy outside similar to deep-fried food.

They’re popular for cooking some foods faster than a conventional oven as well as not heating up an entire room – a must when cooking during summer.

According to Healthline, you can use just one teaspoon of oil to make fries in an air fryer that taste almost identical to the much less healthy deep-fried version.

Because of this the cooking gadget has been labelled as a sneaky way to lose weight – however, one dietitian has warned that it won’t magically make unhealthy foods suddenly better.

“But if you’re using your air fryer to whip up treats all day long, I’ve got some bad news. You see, a brownie is still a brownie, regardless of how it’s cooked,” Melissa Meier wrote for Body + Soul.

“My suggestion is to simply exercise a little common sense with your air fryer if good health is on your radar – veg, wholegrains and lean proteins are good-for-you everyday foods that can form the basis of a healthy meal, while chocolate, pastry and butter are not.”





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Children playing games on Xboxes and PlayStations groomed by paedophiles


Children playing games on Xboxes and PlayStations have been groomed by paedophiles.

They are among more than 1000 victims to be targeted online in the past two years, according to police force data.

Many grooming cases involve popular sites and apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

Predators are also lurking on less well-known sites such as Kik, Waplog, Chat-Avenue and Lycos Chat, figures from 38 police forces show.

Experts say the figures show parents need to be aware of the dangers – even on consoles, which are often thought safe.

An investigation by UK’s The Sun found that 28 different police forces charged people with grooming offences through crimes linked to Facebook.

There were 21 forces who charged or cautioned offenders for activity on Kik and 20 on WhatsApp.

Next came Snapchat (18 forces) followed by Instagram (11), Grindr (10) and Chat-Avenue (8).

Seven forces cited grooming offences linked to Waplog followed by Lycos Chat (6) and Meet4U (6).

CASES FROM ENGLAND POLICE FORCES

London’s Met Police – Britain’s biggest force – had 102 grooming cases in the last two years, with sites used including Facebook, Meet4U and Lycos.

Merseyside Police said it had charged 17 people with grooming in the last two years – and all had used the internet. Platforms used included Facebook, WhatsApp, Kik, Oasis, Kik and Meet 24.

In Northumbria, 87 of 97 cases were linked to online grooming including on Facebook, WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Cleveland Police said it had 12 cases in the last two years where the internet was used – on sites including Chatiq and Fast Meet.

West Midlands Police charged 12 people with grooming crimes – with eight linked to internet use of sites such as Twitter, Waplog and Facebook.

Avon and Somerset Police said 18 of 66 cases it logged involved the internet as a “key” factor. Offenders used Instagram, Badoo, Plenty of Fish, Twitter and Zoosk.

Essex Police revealed 22 cases in the last two years, including use of Facebook Messenger and Kik.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission



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Sex worker accused of starting fire that killed young family


A sex worker accused of setting fire to a Point Cook townhouse that killed a young family will wait another two months to face court again while lawyers negotiate her fate.

The matter of Jenny Hayes, 46, of Fawkner, appeared briefly in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday.

Defence lawyer Cynthia Lynch and prosecutor Honorah Edwards asked for an adjournment of four weeks while negotiations between both sides took place.

The case was adjourned to April 26, the next available date in the court system.

Inderpal Singh, 28, Abigail Forrest, 19, and their baby Ivy Forrest all died in the horrific fire on December 2 at their Point Cook townhouse.

Ivy, the couple’s only child, was three weeks old when she died in the fire.

Ms Hayes is facing six charges: three of murder and three of causing death by arson.

She has not yet said whether she intends to plead guilty or not guilty.

Neighbouring properties were damaged in the fire, but only the family’s townhouse was destroyed.

Police said after their investigations began that Ms Hayes did not know any of the deceased.

Abbey’s sister Emily Forrest gave an emotional tribute to her younger sibling after the tragedy, saying she had the “biggest, boldest personality”.

“She was an amazing mum; she just took to it like a duck to water. I’m so incredibly proud of her,” Emily said.

“She was absolutely smitten. She was so over the moon to become a mum and she did so well.”

Emily said her sister’s partner Indi was a “very loving man” who adored Abbey and their daughter.

Heroic neighbours desperately tried to break an upstairs window with an axe to free the young family, but they were forced back by the ferocity of the blaze, which destroyed the house in a matter of minutes.



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