News Briefs

Toddler chained to bed in Chicago

Authorities in Chicago found a 3-year-old boy chained by the neck to a bedpost Saturday while searching the home for drugs and weapons. The boy’s foster mother, Mary Bryant, 64, said he stole food and was therefore chained. Officer Oscar Arteaga said the chains, which were held in place by a padlock, were tight and that the child could have choked if he fell off the bed. Once the child was unchained he ran immediately to a police officer. The toddler and four other children in the home, ranging in age from 3 to 11, were taken into the custody of the state Department of Children and Family Services. One older child was left in the home. The foster mother and the foster father, Melvin Bond, 49, were charged with misdemeanor child endangerment. Mary Bryant’s daughter, Melinda Bryant, 29, was charged with felony child endangerment and weapons and drug charges. Cook County Public Guardian Patrick Murphy said five different social service agencies were involved in placing the children.

Barbie sues record company

The Supreme Court refused to hear a complaint from Mattel, the maker of Barbie, Monday. The company claims a song by the Danish group Aqua hurt Barbie’s image. The song includes the lyrics, “I’m a blonde bimbo in a fantasy world/Dress me up, make it tight, I’m your doll.” Lawyers for the group’s label, MCA, claimed the song is a parody protected by the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech and expression. Mattel claimed children would be confused and might believe the song was somehow linked to the actual Barbie doll. Although the group disbanded August 2001, the record company said the song sold about 1.1 million copies and it was a top 40 hit in the United States and Europe.

Pirated “Lord of The Rings” DVDs in United Kingdom

More than 10,000 illegal copies of “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” have been seized in Britain. The pirated DVDs were copied from a disc sent to Oscar judges. The Federation Against Copyright Theft said the digital copies were of a far higher quality than the traditional pirate method of using a video recorder during a screenplay. The Academy Award message “for your consideration,” which pops up every 15 minutes, is the only blemish on the DVDs. Some distributors are wary of sending copies of movies to members of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for the Feb. 23 awards. “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is not expected to be released on DVD in the United Kingdom for at least a year.

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