67-Year-Old Becomes China’s ‘Oldest New Mother’


A 67-year-old woman has given birth in China, a hospital said Monday, with the parents claiming they are the country’s oldest couple to conceive a baby naturally.

The woman, surnamed Tian, delivered a healthy girl by Caesarean section on Friday, Zaozhuang city’s Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital told AFP.

“The child was bestowed on the two of us by heaven,” Tian’s 68-year-old husband, surnamed Huang, told Chinese news site guancha.cn.

Tian told Jinan Times that she only discovered that she was pregnant when she went to the hospital for a health check, telling the newspaper: “I didn’t want it, initially.”

The hospital said it could not confirm that Tian had conceived naturally as she was already pregnant when it took her as a patient.

The Global Times reported the new baby girl was called “Tianci”, meaning “gift from heaven”.

The Jinan Times said Tian already had two children, including a son born in 1977, two years before China imposed a one-child policy to control its burgeoning population.

Reports of the birth drew criticism on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform.

“The parents are too selfish,” one commenter wrote. “At their advanced age they have no ability to take care of a kid, and the pressure will be on the older siblings.”

“Poor child, he’s going to start taking care of his elderly parents by the time he’s 20,” wrote another.

Others wondered if Tian and Huang would be penalised for having more than the current allowance of two children.

In 2016, Beijing relaxed the one-child policy, allowing families to have two.

While Tian’s age makes her an outlier, women in China are increasingly delaying childbirth or choosing not to have children after decades of strict family planning policies that have made small families the norm.

The age at which the average Chinese woman has her first child rose from 24.3 years in 2006 to 26.9 years in 2016, according to a report this year by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

While the two-child policy has had a smaller effect on China’s birth count than expected, it has prompted more older women to consider having second children.

Around 51 percent of newborns in 2017 were second children, compared to around 40 percent in 2016, the Economist Intelligence Unit report said.

Other women in their 60s and 70s have given birth in recent years, though generally after having fertility treatment.

The China Daily reported in December 2016 that a 64-year-old woman gave birth to a baby boy by Caesarean section after IVF treatment in the country’s northeast Jilin province.

And in 2016, a woman in India gave birth to her first child in her 70s, following two years of IVF treatment.

A 65-year-old German woman was reported to have given birth to quadruplets in 2015, after undergoing an artificial insemination procedure in Ukraine.


Motherhood Is A ‘Struggle’ Under Spotlight, Says Meghan Markle

In this file photo taken on April 25, 2018 US fiancée of Britain’s Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, talks with Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) as she arrives to attend a service of commemoration and thanksgiving to mark Anzac Day in Westminster Abbey in London. 


Meghan Markle has admitted becoming a mother while living under an intense media spotlight has been a “struggle”.

The Duchess of Sussex gave birth to son Archie in May after marrying Prince Harry last year.

Britain’s aggressive press at first welcomed Markle, 38, into the royal fold but coverage has become increasingly hostile, with the tabloids luxuriating in stories about Markle’s fractured American family and rumours of palace rifts.

Speaking to ITV during the couple’s recent tour of southern Africa, she said that: “Not many people have asked if I’m OK”.

“Look, any woman – especially when they are pregnant – you’re really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging, and then when you have a new born – you know?” she said, when asked how she was coping.

“And especially as a woman, it’s a lot.

She added: “And also, thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I’m OK. But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”

Asked if it would be fair to say it had “really been a struggle”, Meghan said: “Yes.”

Her comments come after the couple launched legal action this month against British tabloid the Mail on Sunday for invasion of privacy, with Harry recalling the hounding of his later mother Diana.

Harry told ITV the memories of what happened to his mother was a “wound that festers”.

“I think being part of this family, in this role, in this job… every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back, so in that respect it’s the worst reminder of her life, as opposed to the best,” he said.

The Duke of Sussex is also suing two British tabloid newspaper publishers over alleged phone hacking.

Samson Siasia’s Mother Regains Freedom After Two Months In Captivity

In this file photo taken on March 27, 2011 then Nigeria’s coach Samson Siasia watches his team during the African Cup of Nations qualifying match between Nigeria and Ethiopia in Abuja. Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP


The mother of former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia has been released by her kidnappers.

The release comes two months after she was abducted  in her country home in Odoni community, Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

When contacted, the spokesman for the Bayelsa State Police Command, DSP Asinim Butswat, confirmed the incident.

A relative of the family, Pinaowor Siasia, also confirmed the release and said the elderly woman would be taken to hospital for medical checks.

His mother was earlier taken in 2015 and held for 13 days before a ransom was exchanged.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Abduct Samson Siasia’s Mother In Bayelsa

Kidnapping for ransom has been frequent recently, especially in southern states, where wealthier residents and foreign oil workers have often been abducted.

Relatives of high-profile sports figures have been targeted repeatedly by gangs.

The father of then national team skipper John Mikel Obi was abducted last year in southeastern Enugu state before a ransom was paid for his release.

Siasia, who also served in the Nigerian Football Federation, was last month hit by a life ban by the sport’s world governing body FIFA after its ethics panel found him guilty of taking bribes in connection to match fixing.



Mother, Daughter Killed Over Witchcraft Allegation In India

Indian flag


An Indian mother and daughter were hacked to death by three men over allegations of witchcraft in the country’s remote tribal-dominated east, police said Saturday. 

The 50-year-old woman and her young daughter were beaten by their neighbours before being attacked with knives on Wednesday night in West Singhbhum district in Jharkhand state.

Police said the victims’ family was embroiled in a land dispute with one of the accused, who used black magic allegations as a cover-up to commit the crime.

READ ALSO: Geneva Braces For Large Protests Against Cameroon President

“One of the accused told the villagers that the women were witches and responsible for deaths and diseases in the village. They attacked the women in the night and killed them brutally,” district police chief Indrajit Mahatha told AFP.

The woman’s husband filed a complaint against the accused who are on the run, he said.

More than 2,000 people — many of them women — were killed in India on suspicion of witchcraft between 2000 and 2012, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

Some states, including Jharkhand, have introduced special laws to try to curb crimes against people accused of witchcraft and superstition.

Experts say belief in witchcraft and the occult remains widespread in impoverished rural communities across India. There are also occasional reports of human sacrifices.

Earlier this month police in northeastern Assam state said they suspected a case of human sacrifice after finding the headless body of a woman near a Hindu temple.


Mother Gets 20-Year Jail Term For Murdering Her Children

Alleged Bribery: Witness Testifies As Rickey Tarfa’s Trial Continues
File photo


A French court on Thursday jailed for 20 years a woman who killed five of her children right after they were born, a crime that was only solved over a decade after the corpses were discovered.

The jury in Colmar in eastern France followed the recommendations of prosecutors in giving 55-year-old Sylvie Horning a 20-year prison term.

Horning was found guilty of murdering the five children between 1990 and 2005.

The mother of three adult children hid her pregnancies from her partner, giving birth in secret and then strangling the newborns at her house in the eastern town of Wittelsheim.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Taraba Community, Burn Down Police Station

Nothing untoward was suspected until the discovery in 2003 of the bodies of four babies in rubbish bags in the nearby Galfingue forest.

But the initial investigation was closed in 2009 after it failed to yield any clues over who was behind the infants’ deaths.

The probe was reopened in 2016 to take advantage of advances in DNA testing, and a year later investigators made a link between Horning and the babies, completely by chance, after her DNA was taken in a separate case following a fight with neighbours.

The samples revealed her to be the mother of the dead children.

Horning admitted to strangling five of her children after giving birth to them in secret in a bathroom.

The body of the fifth baby was found in a freezer at her home.

Her partner, who died in 2018, had said he was completely unaware of the events.

 ‘Considered as things’ 

The defence argued that Horning’s psychological state at the time of the killings should be taken into account in deciding her sentence.

As the verdict was read out she remained still but then began sobbing.

“She needs to appeal. Twenty years is excessive, it is nearly a record for France,” said her lawyer Roland Moeglen.

The state prosecutor Melody Barbuti told the court in Colmar that the trial has shown Horning “did not love these babies, she considered them as things”.

During the trial Horning had become emotional when relating the sexual abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her stepfather.

She claimed that the children “were not babies for me but beings that my body and spirit did not accept.”

“I regret having done so much harm to these babies and my family,” she told the court, adding that she loved her three other children and would “accept all the sentences, even if it is 30 years in prison.”

“If I was told ‘you die tonight’, I would accept it immediately.”

In her testimony, Horning confirmed giving birth to the five children in her bathroom and concealing what was happening from her partner, with whom she spent 34 years.

She only told him she was pregnant with their first two children in the last weeks of her pregnancy and the youngest just hours before she was born.

Those children — a son and two daughters who have all renounced their mother — were present at her sentencing.

During the trial, her daughter, 29, told the court: “This is a woman but it is not a mother, she should never have had a child.”


Mother And Child Die In French Bakery Fire

Mother And Child Die In French Bakery Fire
Firefighters extinguish a fire caused by an explosion in a bakery in the rue de Vienne, in the south of Lyon, late on February 9, 2019. ALEX MARTIN / AFP


A woman and a child were killed in a fire in the eastern city of Lyon believed to have been sparked by a gas blast in a bakery, authorities said.

The fire comes days after 10 people were killed in a blaze at a Paris apartment building and a month after a massive gas explosion in the centre of the capital that left four dead in a building that also housed a bakery.

The Lyon fire broke out Saturday night after the blast in the bakery on the ground floor of the two-storey building.

“Two bodies were found, that of a woman and a child,” Lyon’s public prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet said, adding that police were investigating the cause of the blaze.

READ ALSO: France: Yellow Vest Protesters Return, Clash With Police

Witnesses told AFP that a man who suffered minor injuries after jumping from the second floor told the fire service that his pregnant wife and child were still inside. Three passersby were also slightly hurt.

“Blue flames several metres high rose up from the bakery and engulfed the upper floors,” Chahine Reghi, a man living across the street, told AFP.

Tuesday’s inferno in Paris was started by a resident with psychological problems, investigators said. The suspect, who is in her 40s, has been charged over the fire, which was the deadliest in the city in over a decade.


‘Loving Mother’ On Trial For Hiding Baby In Car Trunk

File photo


Relatives of a woman who hid her baby in the maggot-infested trunk of a car insisted Wednesday that they had no idea of her secret, at a trial that has drawn horror in France.

Rosa Maria da Cruz, 50, faces up to 20 years in prison for keeping her daughter hidden away until she was nearly two, leaving her with serious mental disabilities.

Discovered in 2013 in the filthy trunk of a Peugeot 307, the baby Serena had also been kept in an unused room at the family home in the Correze region of central France.

It was a mechanic who found the baby in the trunk after da Cruz, who is originally from Portugal, took the car to be repaired.

Hearing a noise, he opened the trunk to discover the baby in a car seat, naked, filthy and dehydrated. She was surrounded by maggots and excrement.

The trial, which opened on Monday, has heard remarkable testimony from relatives of how da Cruz was to all appearances a model mother to her three other children.

Her partner Domingos Sampaio Alves insists he had no idea she had given birth to another child and kept it a secret.

By way of explanation, he said he went only once a month on average to the small ground-floor room, under renovation, where da Cruz kept the baby much of the time.

He also did not visit the car often, as he does not have a driving licence.

“I don’t know why she did this,” he told the court in Portuguese through a translator.

The unemployed bricklayer was originally charged, but investigators concluded there was no reason to doubt his account.

– Other children ‘perfectly raised’ –
Da Cruz was released pending trial, and the couple have stayed together.

“I continue to live with her because she is a good mother to the children,” Alves told the court.

They have kept their three older children — aged nine, 14 and 15 — but authorities have refused to let them have contact with Serena, who is now aged seven and living with foster parents.

In her opening testimony Monday, da Cruz fought back tears and told the court: “It’s very hard to be confronted with reality, with the damage I have done.”

Serena now suffers from severe mental impairments including irreversible autism which medical experts have linked to sensory deprivation during her early months.

A paediatrician who examined Serena and her siblings after the discovery said her team had been “stupefied” by “the gulf between Serena’s situation and those of her brothers and sisters”, who appeared to have been “perfectly raised”.

“You could see she had been a good mother, and we could not understand why Serena had not received the same quality of care at home,” the doctor said.

Judge Gilles Fonrouge said that while the child was now in good physical health, she was “closed off to interactions around her”.

Marie-Pierre Peis-Hitier, a lawyer for social services, said the child could only say a handful of words, adding that it had taken a full afternoon to win the child’s trust.

In emotional testimony, da Cruz’s sister and nieces also said they had no idea of Serena’s existence, adding that she was a “loving” mother to the other children.

“Inside I think she is suffering. She knows what she has done,” her niece Elodie told the court.

The trial heard that da Cruz had initially hidden the pregnancies of two of her other children from her partner, not wanting to face reality.

Mother Hangs Children In Bolivia After Taping Their Goodbyes

Map of Bolivia


A 25-year-old Bolivian woman hanged her three children after making them record goodbye messages to their father on video, police reported Thursday.

The woman hanged her one-year-old baby, and her two other children aged four and seven, late Tuesday after a series of arguments with her husband, state prosecutor Oscar Vera told Los Tiempos newspaper.

Police said the mother was being treated in hospital after taking poison.

Regional police chief Colonel Johnny Corrales said the woman had become distraught over her husband’s drinking, “which is why she decided to hang her children and then tried to commit suicide.”

“We know that there is a video where the children say goodbye to their dad,” said Vera, a prosecutor in the central city of Cochabamba, where the tragedy unfolded.

A police forensic report said the children died of “mechanical strangulation.”

The mother, who left a letter alleging mistreatment by her husband, was being treated in intensive care and unable to give statements to the police.

Police said they had placed the father under preventive arrest.

Bolivia’s public prosecutor’s office recently reported 37 cases of infanticide during the first six months of the year.