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Ambulance

Four dead after gun attack on British car in French Alps

Three people were found shot dead inside a British-registered BMW following a gun massacre that also left an eight-year old girl fighting for her life and a male cyclist dead at a French alpine beauty spot.


Three people died at the scene. A male cyclist was also found shot dead near the scene. A young girl who is thought to be aged eight was seriously injured and transported to hospital by helicopter.

The scene, four miles from the nearest house, was discovered by a passer-by in a remote woodland car park near the town of Chevaline, close to the mountain resort town of Albertville.

Police said three bodies, which may all be from the same family, were found in a BMW estate car registered in the UK.

People

Exceptional upward mobility in the US is a myth, international studies suggests

The rhetoric is relentless: America is a place of unparalleled opportunity, where hard work and determination can propel a child out of humble beginnings into the White House, or at least a mansion on a hill.

But the reality is very different, according to a University of Michigan researcher who is studying inequality across generations around the world. "Especially in the United States, people underestimate the extent to which your destiny is linked to your background. Research shows that it's really a myth that the U.S. is a land of exceptional social mobility," said Fabian Pfeffer, a sociologist at the U-M Institute for Social Research and the organizer of an international conference on inequality across multiple generations being held Sept. 13-14 in Ann Arbor.

Pfeffer's own research illustrates this point based on data on two generations of families in the U.S. and a comparison of his findings to similar data from Germany and Sweden. The U.S. data come from the ISR Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a survey of a nationally representative sample that started with 5,000 U.S. families in 1968.

He found that parental wealth plays an important role in whether children move up or down the socioeconomic ladder in adulthood. And that parental wealth has an influence above and beyond the three factors that sociologists and economists have traditionally considered in research on social mobility - parental education, income and occupation.

Bizarro Earth

Mom Potty Trains Daughters At Restaurant Table

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© Kimberly Decker
Screen shot of woman potty training child at a restaurant’s dining table.
A woman catches a mother potty training her two daughters at the dining table of a Utah restaurant.

Kimberly Decker posted on her blog this week a photo of a toddler sitting on a potty training toilet at the Thanksgiving Point Deli in Lehi.

"While we sat down to have lunch, I noticed this young Mother was potty training her two twin daughters at the table. It didn't quite register at first what was happening, but when I took a second glance I realized this is NOT OK! I decided to snap a picture of the whole incident and then later that afternoon as a 'joke' I decided to post it on Facebook. I couldn't believe the response I got," she wrote.

A local television station picked up the story, and Decker explained how she initially thought the "seats" the kids were sitting in were booster seats. She was stunned when she realized they were actually toilets.

Newspaper

Democrats amend platform to add God, Jerusalem

Antonio Villaraigosa
© AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Los Angeles Mayor and Democratic Convention Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa blows a kiss to he delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012.
Embarrassed by Republicans, Democrats amended their convention platform Wednesday to add a mention of God and declare that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Many in the audience booed after the convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, ruled that the amendments had been approved despite the fact that a large group of delegates had objected. He called for a vote three times before ruling.

The party reinstated language from the 2008 platform that said "we need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."

It also reinstated its 2008 language that Jerusalem "is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."

Democrats had approved a platform on Tuesday that made no mention of God or Jerusalem. Instead, it expressed "unshakable commitment to Israel's security."

Republicans pounced quickly on both omissions.

Heart - Black

Brought by US "liberation": Shocking malnutrition in Afghan children

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© Reuters
Children eat in a makeshift house in an Afghan refugee camp
About a third of young children in southern Afghanistan are acutely malnourished, with a level of deprivation similar to that found in famine zones, a government survey has found, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid that has been poured into the region.

The worst affected area identified by the United Nations-backed survey was the southern region, centred around Kandahar and Helmand. The report found about a million Afghans under five were acutely malnourished.

''What's shocking is that this is really very high by global standards,'' said Michael Keating, the deputy head of the UN mission in Afghanistan. ''This is the kind of malnutrition you associate with Africa and some of the most deprived parts of the world, not with an area that has received so much international attention and assistance.''

No Entry

American Airlines refused family first class seats because their son has Down's Syndrome

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Discrimination: Joan and Robert Vanderhorst are threatening to sue American Airlines after they say they were victims of discrimination over their 16 year old son Bede who has Downs syndrome
A family have claimed they were stopped from boarding a flight because their son has Down's Syndrome and was not wanted in the first class section.

Joan and Robert Vanderhorst are threatening to sue American Airlines after they say they were victims of discrimination over their 16 year old son Bede.

The couple claim as they waited to board their flight back to their home near Los Angeles they were told by airline staff they were not allowed to take their seats.

Airline staff allegedly told them their son was disruptive and a danger to the flight crew.

But Mrs Vanderhorst told KLTA TV that she began filming her son as he waited in the departure lounge showing him sitting silently waiting to board the flight at Newark, New Jersey.

In the video, she can be heard sobbing and her husband expressing disbelief.

'He's behaving,' Mr Vanderhorst says. 'He's demonstrating he's not a problem.'

'Of course he's behaving. He's never not behaved,' his wife added.

Mrs Vanderhorst told KLTA: 'I kept saying, "Is this only because he has Down's Syndrome?"'

Magnify

Tourist swallows $13,600 diamond at gem fair

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© Agence France Presse/Getty Images
A Sri Lankan security official and uniformed police escort a Chinese national accused of stealing a diamond by swallowing it at Sri Lanka's main gem and jewellery exhibition in Colombo on Wednesday.
Sri Lankan police arrested a Chinese tourist suspected of swallowing a diamond worth $13,600 on Wednesday at the island nation's biggest international gem and jewelry exhibition.

Chow Cheng, 32, is believed to have swallowed the diamond as he inspected it at the exhibition, attended by buyers from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Europe, police said.

"His intention was to steal it," police spokesman Ajith Rohana told Reuters. "The x-ray shows the diamond is in his throat."

The Associated Press reported that the diamond was 1.5 carats.

Suresh Christopher Wijekoon, owner of the exhibition stall, said Chow had tried to switch the original diamond with a synthetic one.

Pistol

Quebec Premier Victory Speech: Shots Fired, 1 Dead, Gunman Detained


Canada - Quebec's newly-elected Premier Pauline Marois has been rushed off stage during her acceptance speech, after shots were heard inside Montreal's Metropolis concert hall. One man is reported dead.

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© Agence France-Presse/Rogerio Barbosa
Another person is in a critical condition and one more witness is being treated for shock, Montreal police have informed Canadian media.

Ian Lafrenière stated that the dead man was in his 40s and that two guns were recovered at the scene, but there was no reason to believe there was more than one shooter.

After firing shots the gunman started a fire behind the downtown Montreal venue where Marois' supporters had gathered, Reuters reports.

Video has emerged, reportedly showing a man in a blue bathrobe and black balaclava with a gun on the ground surrounded by police. Video footage showed a high-powered rifle, which Twitter users identified as an AK-47 or Valmont Hunter weapon.

The gunman is said to be 50 years old and was apparently shouting "the English are waking up" in French with a Canadian-English accent as he was subdued.

Marois heads the separatist Parti Quebecois, which seeks independence for the French-speaking province of Quebec.

The premier-elect returned to the stage a few minutes after she left it, urging her supporters who packed the hall to leave calmly, stating that "there was a little unfortunate incident," so as not to create panic. Everyone was evacuated and police are investigating.

"We don't know what was [behind] that event," police spokesperson Dany Richer told CBC. "Our investigators are going to meet with [the detained] overnight."

Extinguisher

Chaos In Walmart: Broomfield Man Sets Fire in Store and Threatens Customers with Knife

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© Broomfield Police Department
Samuel Maldonado-Tapia
Broomfield, Colorado - Police in Broomfield have identified the man they say set a fire inside a Walmart and threatened customers inside with a knife.

Samuel Maldonado-Tapia, 28, is in custody after he allegedly caused so much panic on Monday in the store that it was evacuated and then closed for several hours.

The crime happened in the early afternoon at the retailer, located near 120th and Sheridan.

Police so far aren't saying much about why the man was so upset, but several shoppers talked with CBS4 about what happened.

"We look over and there's flames going on over by the Kitchen Aid and everybody's like, 'Oh man, what's going on?' " witness Dominique Le'Nior said. "Some people were running, some were freaking out, some were like, 'Can I get my groceries?' "

Witnesses said a child may have been one of the two people the man threatened. The man also allegedly set some clothes on fire.

Handcuffs

Teen Arrested after Calling 911 About His Odd Dream

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© Volusia County Jail
Mark Welch, 18, was arrested for making false 911 calls to report an odd dream he was having - Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012.
Volusia County, California -- Perhaps it was the synthetic marijuana Mark Welch said he was smoking on Sunday.

But when Welch awoke from a strange dream, convinced that everything he dreamed was actually happening for real, he told his parents about it.

When the 18-year-old's parents said they didn't believe him, he decided to call 911 to report the incident.

The call-taker, from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, briefly tried to make sense of the story before dispatching a deputy to the scene, but was unsuccessful:
911 Call-Taker: "What's happening?"

Mark Welch: "Everything that happened today is actually in my dream, and I want to prove it to everybody."

911 Call-Taker: "What did you dream about that's happening?"

Welch: "It's all on paper. I wrote it down."
A deputy was dispatched to Welch's home, near Orange City, and determined the teen was a little confused -- apparently from the K2 deputies said he had been smoking -- but was not in need of medical attention.

The deputy told Welch not to call 911 again unless he had a genuine emergency, and the Sheriff's Office said the teen's parents even hid his phone to prevent him from calling again.