Norway: Private tycoon goes public with wife’s disappearance

STAVANGER, Norway — Tom Hagen and his wife expected to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 2019. Today, one of Norway’s wealthiest men just wants to know that Anne-Elizabeth Falkevik Hagen, the childhood sweetheart he married at age 19, is alive.

Her disappearance and suspected abduction from the couple’s home on Halloween has gripped a small, wealthy Scandinavian country with the fourth-lowest homicide rate of 36 European countries. Some argue that violent crime happens infrequently enough among the 5.3 million Norwegians that police are unprepared when it does occur.

The family and local police investigators kept the case secret for more than a month. But with leads drying up in the discreet probe, no suspects and the risk of witnesses forgetting vital information as more days passed, the family gave police the greenlight to go public with the case on Jan. 8. The following day, word was out.

“It has been a topic for some time,” Svein Holden, the Hagen family’s lawyer, told The Associated Press. “When the police came to us saying this is the next necessary step in the investigation, the family trusted the police.”

The revelation turbo-charged the investigation. Police released security videos of men walking back and forth outside Tom Hagen’s workplace. More than 200 tips poured in. Officers and police dogs were seen scouring the grounds around the couple’s home.

A ransom for the missing woman’s release was demanded with “serious threats,” police said. They declined to give the amount, but Norwegian newspaper VG said it was for 9 million euros ($10.3 million) to be paid in Monero, a cryptocurrency considered popular among cyber-criminals.

Tom Hagen, the second-oldest in a farming family of 12 children, struck it rich in the real estate business he started in 1978. Last year, financial magazine Kapital estimated his fortune to be worth nearly 1.7 billion kroner ($200 million), wealthy but not uber-rich in Norway. The magazine put Hagen 172nd on its list of the country’s wealthiest people.

Known for being a modest and private man, Hagen has had to cope with the glare from public interest in his wife’s whereabouts as well as the trauma of not knowing himself if she is safe or suffering.

He and the couple’s three children “are dealing with the fact that this is the main topic in all of Norway, and that is what they are feeling,” said Holden, the lawyer. “It is an extra burden but they rely on the police. They have to put their own feelings in the background.”

Police have informed international police agency Interpol, which on January 10 put Anne-Elizabeth on the list of missing persons, raising fear she might have been taken out of Norway.

Four years ago, Raider Osen, a wealthy Norwegian art dealer, was kidnapped in Bergen, southwestern Norway. He was beaten and partially buried. The gun jammed down his throat smashed his teeth and broke his jaw. But Osen managed to flee before his abductors received the 2 million kroner ($200,000) ransom they demanded.

The three suspects also escaped. Osen says his kidnappers spoke through their ski masks with accents that sounded eastern European. He felt badly let down when police failed to catch them and feared the image of law enforcement inaction or ineffectiveness would embolden potential copycats.

“I was worried that similar things could happen again,” Olsen told the AP. “I knew it would.”

The same had been said after a right-wing extremist killed 77 people in 2011, eight with a car bomb he set off in Oslo and another 69 when he opened fire at the nearby island summer camp run by the left-wing Labor Party’s youth wing. Anders Behring Breivik is serving a 21-year prison sentence for carrying out a terror attack.

Two days before she vanished, Anne-Elizabeth Hagen was serving a friend coffee at her and her husband’s home in Loerenskog, east of Oslo and some 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the Swedish border.

“She is a very nice, charming, decent and beautiful woman, and they had a good relationship in their marriage, where she encouraged him in his life and his work,” Glenn Hartmann-Hansen, a former colleague of Tom Hagen’s who has known the couple for half of their marriage.

Nestled between a secluded forest and more densely built housing blocks, the house they have lived in since 1982 is modest by multimillionaire standards. Tom Hagen isn’t one to flash his fortune, Hartmann-Hansen said.

“He is a normal guy with a normal house … who walks to his work and brings his packed lunch in his pocket,” he said.

The property and its occupants seemed to escape notice. Many Norwegians would recognize it now from news coverage of Anne-Elizabeth Hagen’s disappearance.

Holden said his client now hopes the extra attention might persuade the people believed to be holding her to make contact.

“Their aim is to get a proof of life, and if they get proof that she is alive then they are prepared to start a process to get her back safely,” Holden said.

Mark Lewis, The Associated Press

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Missing Child San Antonio

Missing Child San Antonio

San Antonio police say they believe an eight-month-old boy reported as abducted is believed to be dead, and three members of his family have been charged in the case.

Police Chief William McManus says the father, grandmother and cousin of King Jay Davila have been charged in the case of the missing baby. All are in custody on evidence tampering charges.

At a Thursday night news conference, McManus said Christopher Davila is believed to have injured the child severely, then told police the boy was in a car that was stolen. McManus says Beatrice Sampayo, the child’s grandmother, is suspected of disposing of the child’s car seat and dropping off Angie Torres, the child’s cousin, who was seen on surveillance video as participating in a staged kidnapping.

McManus says the search continues for the child’s body.

Davila, who denied involvement in the child’s disappearance, is charged with child endangerment.

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Texas police say child reported abducted believed dead

San Antonio police say they believe an 8-month-old boy reported as abducted is believed to be dead, and three members of his family have been charged in the case.

Police Chief William McManus says the father, grandmother and cousin of King Jay Davila have been charged in the case of the missing baby. All are in custody on evidence tampering charges.

At a Thursday night news conference, McManus said Christopher Davila is believed to have injured the child severely, then told police the boy was in a car that was stolen. McManus says Beatrice Sampayo, the child’s grandmother, is suspected of disposing of the child’s car seat and dropping off Angie Torres, the child’s cousin, who was seen on surveillance video as participating in a staged kidnapping.

McManus says the search continues for the child’s body.

Davila, who denied involvement in the child’s disappearance, is charged with child endangerment.

The Associated Press

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MCALLEN, Texas — Taking the shutdown fight to the Mexican border, President Donald Trump edged closer Thursday to declaring a national emergency in an extraordinary end run around Congress to fund his long-promised border wall. Pressure was mounting to find an escape hatch from the three-week impasse that has closed parts of the government, cutting scattered services and leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without pay.

Trump, visiting McAllen, Texas, and the Rio Grande to highlight what he says is a crisis of drugs and crime, said that “if for any reason we don’t get this going” — an agreement with House Democrats who have refused to approve the US$5.7 billion he demands for the wall — “I will declare a national emergency.”

Some 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, were to miss their first paycheque on Friday under the stoppage, and Washington was close to setting a dubious record for the longest government shutdown in the nation’s history. Those markers — along with growing effects to national parks, food inspections and the economy overall — left some Republicans on Capitol Hill increasingly uncomfortable with Trump’s demands.

Asked about the plight of those going without pay, the president shifted the focus, saying he felt badly “for people that have family members that have been killed” by criminals who came over the border.

Trump was consulting with White House attorneys and allies about using presidential emergency powers to take unilateral action to construct the wall over the objections of Congress. He claimed his lawyers told him the action would withstand legal scrutiny “100 per cent.” But such a move to bypass Congress’ constitutional control of the nation’s purse strings would spark certain legal challenges and bipartisan cries of executive overreach.

“We’re either going to have a win, make a compromise —because I think a compromise is a win for everybody— or I will declare a national emergency,” Trump said before departing the White House for his politically flavoured visit to the border. He wore his campaign-slogan “Make America Great Again” cap throughout.

It was not clear what a compromise might entail, and there were no indications that one was in the offing. Trump says he won’t reopen the government without money for the wall. Democrats say they favour measures to bolster border security but oppose the long, impregnable barrier that Trump envisions.

No negotiations were taking place at the Capitol.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said at one point that he didn’t “see a path in Congress” to end the shutdown, then stated later that enough was enough: “It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction of a border wall/barrier.”

Visiting a border patrol station in McAllen, Trump viewed tables piled with weapons and narcotics. Like nearly all drugs trafficked across the border, they were intercepted by agents at official ports of entry, he was told, and not in the remote areas where he wants to extend tall barriers.

Still, he declared, “A wall works. … Nothing like a wall.”

He argued that the U.S. can’t solve the problem without a “very substantial barrier” along the border, but offered exaggerations about the effectiveness of border walls and current apprehensions of those crossing illegally.

Sitting among border patrol officers, state and local officials and military representatives, Trump insisted he was “winning” the shutdown fight and criticized Democrats for asserting he was manufacturing a sense of crisis in order to declare an emergency. “What is manufactured is the use of the word ’manufactured,”’ Trump said.

As he arrived in Texas, several hundred protesters near the airport in McAllen chanted and waved signs opposing a wall. Across the street, a smaller group chanted back: “Build that wall!”

In Washington, federal workers denounced Trump at a rally with congressional Democrats, demanding he reopen the government so they can get back to work.

Union members and other federal employees rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 at AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington.

On Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the president of engaging in political games to fire up his most loyal supporters, suggesting that a heated meeting Wednesday with legislators at the White House had been “a setup” so that Trump could walk out of it.

In an ominous sign for those seeking a swift end to the showdown, Trump announced he was cancelling his trip to Davos, Switzerland, scheduled for later this month, citing Democrats’ “intransigence” on border security. He was to leave Jan. 21 to attend the World Economic Forum.

The partial shutdown would set a record early Saturday, stretching beyond the 21-day closure that ended on Jan. 6, 1996, during President Bill Clinton’s administration.

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SAHM, EBF, BLW: A New Mom Glossary For Navigating Facebook Groups

Parents love acronyms.

“FTM here. My DS won’t STTN. ISO EUC book on gentle CIO methods. TIA.”

If you’re a parent fluent in “online forum lingo,” chances are you can decode the code above. (A rough translation is “HALP ME, my baby won’t sleep.”)

But to a new mom or dad just starting to explore the endless options of Facebook groups and forums for parents, it might look like the locals are speaking another language. All you wanted was to ask a question about car seats or see if anyone was selling used sleep sacks, and suddenly you’re trying to figure out WTF VGUC means (vaginal guacamole?) and why people keep talking about the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in fertility forums.

A new mom trying to figure out WTF people are saying in her local buy/sell group.

Digital parenting groups can be a life-saver for new parents seeking to connect with others, ask questions, and vent. It takes a village to raise a child, and for modern parents, that village is often online: 75 per cent of parents use social media, according to Pew Research Center, and many use it as a parenting resource.

And it seems there’s a Facebook group that caters to every type of parent. Say you’re a working mom of a toddler and you live in Ottawa, just as a totally random example. You might be in the following Facebook groups: working moms, meal-planning parents, sleep-deprived parents, crunchy moms, frugal moms, fertility support, car seat questions, playdate groups for your neighbourhood, and three or four local buy/sell groups.

Parenting groups love acronyms

Their goals may differ, but parenting groups have one thing in common: acronyms. And not just the ones you’d expect of people trying to raise tiny humans, like WTF and LOL and OMG.

We can only assume acronyms started out of necessity as moms and dads struggled to ask questions of their online brethren while rocking a colicky baby in one arm or while running after a toddler hell-bent on flushing Play-Doh down the toilet.

A glossary of terms

With that, we give you this glossary of online parenting lingo. It’s by no means complete (we’d need two years and an anthropology degree for that), but it should help guide you through most posts, and maybe save you the embarrassment of having to ask Susan from “Attachment Moms” what CIO means.

Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments! TIA!

Buy/Sell Groups

VGUC stands for very good used condition.

If there’s anything parents love, it is buying, selling, and trading used items online. You might be in several buy/sell groups on Facebook led by iron-fisted admins deleting pyramid scheme posts and frequented by people who want $45 for a half-empty can of formula that expires tomorrow (but only if you pick it up). Giddy up!

BNIB: Brand new in box. The NWT (see below) version of non-clothes items.

BNWOB: Brand new without box. It came in a box, but the person tossed it.

BNWOT: Brand new without tags. This person probably ordered maternity clothes online, ripped off the tags eagerly, then realized their boobs are three sizes bigger than they thought.

EUC: Excellent used condition. It was used, but there’s nary a scratch, stain, or pull. Might as well be NWT.

GUC: Good used condition. Now it’s getting borderline.

ISO: In search of. Samesies as LF.

LF: Looking for. Susan is LF a Hatchimal three days before Christmas. LOL, good luck, Susan!

NWT: New with tags. Happens more often than you’d think, because parents always buy way more than they need, or baby came out a whopping 10 pounds and doesn’t fit in any of those newborn clothes, or you didn’t get any gift receipts from your baby shower and don’t need another effing “Cute Like Daddy” onesie.

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PC: Play condition. This item is rough. It’s seen things. But your kids will probably destroy it anyway, so why not?

PO: Pickup only. If you want this item, you gotta go get it.

PPO: Porch pickup only. A stealth exchange that involves zero actual human contact.

PPU: Pending pickup. Someone nabbed this item already, but they haven’t picked it up yet and the parent doesn’t want to take down the post in case the deal falls through. It can still be yours if they’re a no-show!

TIA: Thanks in advance. This person probably wants something tricky or annoying, like for you to drive across town to deliver an item.

UC: Used condition. A kid definitely pooped through this onesie or bit the ear off this stuffy. But maybe you don’t mind, or really, really want it.

VGUC: Very good used condition. It’s no EUC. This person is probably lying and it’s really UC. You’d probably still buy it.

Fertility and pregnancy groups

BD stands for baby dance.

So, you’re trying to get knocked up, or maybe you already are and want more info. If you happen to be in a Facebook group, use an app, or look in forums, chances are you’ve seen these and wondered WTF people were talking about.

Wonder no more.

AC: Assisted conception. An umbrella term for fertility treatments and procedures.

AI: Artificial insemination.

AF: Aunt Flow. Your period. Men-stroo-ation.

AIH: Artificial insemination with husband’s sperm.

ART: Assisted reproductive technology.

BBT: Basal body temperature.

BC: Birth control.

BD: Baby dance. A cute way of saying having sex for the purposes of TTC. See also: DTD.

BFN: Big fat negative (on a pregnancy test) Not pregnant. Better luck next month 🙁

BFP: Big fat positive (on a pregnancy test). Congrats! You did it! Prepare for the MS.

BW: Blood week. Your period. Not cute. You hate BW.

CD: Cycle day. CD14 = day 14 of your cycle. If you happen to ovulate on CD14… get to the BD.

CM: Cervical mucous. Perhaps you are tracking this in an app you hope no one ever sees.

CMP: Complete molar pregnancy. A rare type of miscarriage.

CS: C-section.

DI: Donor insemination.

DPO: Days past ovulation.

DTD: Do the deed. Sex. Maybe you’ve been TTC for so long that it’s a job now. A deed, indeed.

Looks like she got a BFP.

EP: Ectopic pregnancy. A complication where the embryo implants outside the uterus.

ER: Egg retrieval.

ET: Embryo transfer.

EWCM: Egg white cervical mucous. It’s go time. Sorry to ruin your ability to eat eggs ever again.

HPT: Home pregnancy test. You’ll probably need a few of these while you’re TTC.

IUI: Intrauterine insemination.

IVF:In vitro fertilization.

LH: Luteinizing hormone. An LH “surge” can trigger ovulation. Get to the BD.

LP: Luteal phase.

MC: Miscarriage.

MS: Morning sickness, i.e. why you can only eat crackers and no one is allowed to cook indoors anymore.

OPK: Ovulation predictor kit. Another way to attempt to track your cycles.

POAS: Pee on a stick. Take a HPT.

PMP: Partial molar pregnancy. Another rare type of miscarriage.

TTC: Trying to conceive, i.e. get pregnant. No, not Toronto Transit Commission, although it might also get sweaty and feel like it’s taking forever.

US: Ultrasound.

VBAC: Vaginal birth after C-section.

People in these groups

FTM stands for first time mom.

You are no longer just Anna. Online you are Anna, FTM! Oh yes, you and your loved ones all have code names now. It’s fun.

AP:Attachment parent. Someone who ascribes to a parenting style about providing consistent, immediate and nurturing responses to a child’s needs.

DD: Dear daughter, and sometimes darling daughter. Your kid.

DF: Dear fiance. Your betrothed.

DH: Dear husband. “DH stepped on a squeak toy and woke the baby, so I filed for divorce.”

DS: Dear son, and sometimes darling son. Your kid of the male persuasion.

DSD: Dear step-daughter.

DSS: Dear step-son.

DW: Dear wife. “DW has been hiding in the bathroom for three hours. Do I dare knock?”

DXP: Dear ex-partner. “DXP has the kids this weekend. Who wants to go out?”

FIL: Father-in-law. “FIL bought the kids a trampoline, FML.”

SAHD gettin' it done.

FTM: First-time mom. “FTM here. When do babies sleep?”

FTD: First-time dad. “FTD here. When do babies sleep?”

LO: Little one. Your kid. “When will my LO start sleeping?”

MIL: Mother-in-law. “MIL thinks car seats are just a suggestion. Help!”

OH: Other half. Your partner in baby-raising crime.

SAHD: Stay-at-home dad.

SAHM: Stay-at-home mom.

WAHD: Work-at-home dad.

WAHM: Work-at-home mom.

WOHD: Work-out-of-home dad.

WOHM: Work-out-of-home mom

WD: Working dad.

WM: Working mom.

Baby-wearing groups:

SSC stands for soft structured carrier

Congratulations! You joined a cult. JUST KIDDING. Kind of. The wonderful world of baby wearing has saved many a parent, but … bet you can’t buy just one.

BC: Baby carrier. What you wear your baby in. Not you, the carrier of the baby.

BW: Baby wearing. Wearing a baby strapped to your own person.

FFO: Front facing out. Baby is on your front, facing the world.

MT: Mei tai. A type of carrier. Like an SSC (see below), but without buckles.

RS: Ring sling. Exactly what it sounds like: a sling with a ring.

SPOC: Simple piece of cloth. A wrap, but probably homemade.

SSC: Soft-structured carrier, like an Ergo. It has buckles and velcro. It’s for rookies, but good luck with that back shoulder clip.

SW: Stretchy wrap, like a Moby or Boba. You probably need to watch a few YouTube tutorials to figure this one out.

T2T: Tummy to tummy. Baby is on your front, facing you.

WW: Woven Wrap. Ah, now you’re a true baby-wearer. Bonus marks if you can still carry your toddler in one.

Posts about eating, sleeping, travel:

STTN stands for sleep through the night.

Whether you’re in groups specific to these things or you just dabble in general parenting groups, chances are people will be posting about feeding, sleeping, and getting around. You know, the basics.

BF: Breastfed. Baby eats from the boob.

BLW:Baby-led weaning. A style of introducing kids to solid foods where they take the lead. Baby wanna gnaw on a pork chop? Sure.

BP: Breast pump, also known as milking oneself.

CC: Controlled crying (a type of sleep training).

CD: Cloth diapers.

CIO: Cry it out (another type of sleep training).

DA: Dairy allergy. The worst.

EBF: Exclusively breastfed. Baby only eats from the boob.

EN: Extended nursing. Breastfeeding a toddler or small child.

ERF: Extended rear-facing. A car seat term. Keeping your kid rear-facing in their car seat.

A mom wonders when her DS will STTN.

FF: Formula fed. Baby eats formula.

FF: Forward-facing. A car seat term. Kid’s car seat faces forward.

GF: Gluten free.

LC: Lactation consultant. Actual angels sent to this earth to help with feeding.

MIC: More in comments. Someone who has LOTS to say will probably tack this on the end of a post.

NAK: Nursing at keyboard. This person is BFing their kid as they type. Probably one-handed. Pardon the typos.

NIP: Nursing in public.

RF: Rear-facing. A car seat term. Kid’s car seat faces the rear of the car.

STTN: Sleep through the night. THE ULTIMATE GOAL. Until your baby STTN, you hate all the other parents who talk about how their kids STTN. But once your kid does, you’ll probably post about it.

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