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Dallas, US: Air traffic controller supervisor suspected to have fallen asleep on duty

While most are familiar with the term "asleep at the wheel," how about "asleep in the control tower?"

That was apparently the case as two planes, including an American Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft carrying 91 passengers that had taken off from Dallas, were trying to land at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

There was silence for nearly 40 minutes from the tower around midnight Tuesday at Reagan National Airport. American Airlines Flight 1900 and a United Airway's plane both went in for a landing without any tower control communication from the Washington airport.

The pilots and regional air traffic controllers tried several times to reach the lone on-duty supervisor. Federal investigators are looking into allegations that the supervisor may have fallen asleep.

People

ACLU to defend student sent home for wearing pro-equality shirt

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© Unknown
An eighth-grade Louisiana student who was sent home from school for wearing a pro-equality shirt is receiving support from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

KTBS reported that De Soto Middle School student Dawn Henderson was ordered to go home after refusing to remove a shirt with the text "Some Kids are Gay. That's OK."

De Soto Middle School Principal Keith Simmons said he sent her home because her shirt was a distraction to other students.

"Students do not give up their free speech rights at the schoolhouse gate," ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie R. Esman said in a letter to Simmons. "To allow students to express one kind of opinion but not another is the very definition of censorship, and it violates the Constitutional rights of students like Dawn Henderson, who may have views different from those of her school Principal."

Arrow Down

US: Death of the Motor City: Detroit's population plummets 25 per cent

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© The Associated Press
A chained fence at the former General Motors engine plant that closed in 2010. Detroit's population has plummeted 25 percent over the past decade
Hammered by the auto industry's slump, Detroit saw its population plummet 25 per cent over the past decade, according to census data released on Tuesday that reflects the severity of an economic downturn in the only state whose population declined since 2000.

The statistics show that the Motor City's population fell to 713,777 in 2010, compared to 951,270 in 2000. Although a significant drop was expected, state demographer Ken Darga said the number is "considerably lower" than the Census Bureau's estimate last year.

"That's just incredible," added Kurt Metzger, a demographer with a Data Driven Detroit, a non-profit that collects statistics used by area planners. "It's certainly the largest population loss percentage-wise that we've ever had in this city."

Mayor Dave Bing disputed the numbers, claiming his city has at least 750,000 residents, which he called an important threshold for qualifying for some state and federal financial programmes. He didn't say how so many people were missed by census workers, but he said he planned to appeal.

Detroit's population peaked at 1.8 million in 1950, when it ranked fifth nationally. Tuesday's numbers reflect the steady decline of the auto industry - the city's economic lifeblood for a century - and an exodus of many residents to the suburbs.

"The census figures clearly show how crucial it is to reinvent Michigan," Gov. Rick Snyder said. "It is time for all of us to realign our expectations so that they reflect today's realities. We cannot cling to the old ways of doing business."

Chart Pie

Canada: Poll rejects museum's plan to set Holocaust apart from other genocides

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© unknown
The Forks, Winnipeg, Manitoba (scheduled completion 2012).
A poll sponsored by two organizations opposed to the exhibition plans of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights indicates Canadians wish to have "one exhibit which covers all genocides equally" rather than one zone devoted to "a particular genocide" such as the Holocaust and another dedicated to others.

The telephone poll of 1,216 adults, conducted earlier this month by Nanos Research, is the latest instalment in an ongoing feud between various communities and the CMHR over the Winnipeg-based museum's plans to establish a large, permanent space highlighting the Holocaust and a separate one for other atrocities, such as 3.3 million Ukrainians starved to death under Stalin in 1932-33 and the 1915 Armenian genocide.

The poll was paid for by Canadians for Genocide Education and the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the last being one of the most vociferous opponents of the CMHR's current plans. Of the 1,216 respondents, just over 60 per cent said they want the CMHR to adopt a "one exhibit/all genocides" approach, whereas close to 25 per cent prefer "one gallery [highlighting] a particular genocide permanently, while [grouping] the others ... together in a separate exhibit." Just over 15 per cent of respondents said they were "unsure."

USA

US: Ex-KKK Grand Dragon, a Democrat, running for mayor of Lake Wales


Lake Wales, Florida - A mayoral candidate in Lakes Wales is speaking out about his involvement with the Klan.

70-year-old John Paul Rogers wants to become the next mayor of Lake Wales, but critics say he could have a tough time bringing the town together because he's a former member of Ku Klux Klan.

Rogers, who is currently a commissioner, spoke with 10 News Tuesday afternoon and says, "I'm not running for the Klan for Grand Dragon." That's because Rogers has already had that title.

Photo Gallery: Pictures of a 1977 KG rally in Tallahassee (photos courtesy State Library Archives of Florida)

He blames his opponent Mike Carter for bringing up his former involvement in the United Klans of America.

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© State Library Archives of Florida
KKK leader and members marching past protesters during a downtown rally in Tallahassee, Florida tak
"My opponent's been going around saying I hung somebody in the park two years ago. Well, we have a city ordinance against that and I'm sure the police would have put me in jail if I would have done that."

He adds, "It's a shame that in a small city like Lake Wales where most everyone knows one another you have this kind of muckraking and character assassination."

Magic Hat

US: Houdini's last surviving stage assistant dies

Dorothy Young, the last surviving stage assistant of illusionist Harry Houdini and an accomplished dancer, has died. She was 103.

Young's death was announced Wednesday by Drew University, where she was a prominent donor and patron of the arts. Spokesman Dave Muha said she died Sunday at her home in a Tinton Falls, N.J., retirement community.

Young joined Houdini's company as a 17-year-old after attending an open casting call during a family trip to New York. She initially sat in the back because she was too shy to step forward, but Houdini and his manager soon noticed her and asked her to dance the Charleston. They signed her to a contract, and she eventually persuaded her parents to let her join the stage show.

During her year with Houdini in the mid-1920s, she gained recognition for playing the role of Radio Girl of 1950, emerging from a large mock-up of a radio and performing a dance routine. She also performed other roles during the tour, which proved to be Houdini's last in the United States before he died in October 1926, two months after she had left the show .

Young then formed a dance act with Gilbert Kiamie, a New York businessman and the son of a wealthy silk lingerie magnate, and they gained international prominence for a Latin dance they created known as the rumbalero. They later married and remained together until Kiamie died in 1992.

Heart - Black

US: New Hampshire home invasion suspect: Deadly attack was 'cool'

Gribble
© AP Photo/ Don Himsel, Pool
Christopher Gribble listens to testimony during his trial at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua, N.H. on Tuesday, March 22, 2011. Gribble is on trial for his role in the 2009 murder of Kimberly Cates and injury of her young daughter Jaimie.

Nashua - A man who admits killing a mother and maiming her daughter in a machete and knife attack said in a taped interview with police that was played Wednesday that he thought the slashing was "cool" and would have killed the girl if he had realized she was still alive.

In a recorded 7-hour statement to police played for jurors Tuesday and Wednesday, Christopher Gribble said he hacked to death Kimberly Cates and thought he had killed her 11-year-old daughter, Jaimie.

Family

First pictures emerge of the Fukushima Fifty as they battle radiation poisoning to save Japan's stricken nuclear power plant

The darkness is broken only by the flashing torchlight of the heroes who stayed behind.

These first images of inside the stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant reveal the terrifying conditions under which the brave men work to save their nation from full nuclear meltdown.

The Fukushima Fifty - an anonymous band of lower and mid-level managers - have battled around the clock to cool overheating reactors and spent fuel rods since the disaster on March 11.

Fukushima Fifty

Conundrum: Two of the Fukushima Fifty pour over plans as they try to work out how to fix the stricken plant

Heart - Black

US: Slain Kentucky couple banned teen from seeing girl

Edmonton - A troubled 15-year-old shot and killed relatives who had taken him in because his mother could not control him, then stole their car and fled with the younger girlfriend they had ordered him not to see, police and family members said.

Gary and Barbara Holloway's adult son found them dead in their bed Tuesday. Police issued an Amber Alert for the teen and his 12-year-old girlfriend, saying they feared they might be in grave danger. They soon caught up to them after a volunteer firefighter spotted them in the car, the 15-year-old behind the wheel.

Evil Rays

We Are Not Able To Measure The Amount Of Radiation Coming From The Power Plant