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Number of dead at northern Russia mine soars to 18 - local police

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© RIA Novosti
The entrance to the Vorkutinskaya mine
Eighteen people have been killed, and three others were injured in a blast at the Vorkutinskaya mine in the northern Russian Republic of Komi, according to the local police.

The bodies of 15 people have been identified.

One more person is reportedly missing in the mine, according to the local Emergencies Ministry.

A plane with the Head of Emergencies Ministry, doctors, and psychologists on board has flown from Moscow to Vorkuta. An additional aircraft carrying equipment to deal with the consequences of the blast is set to take off shortly.

Bizarro Earth

Afghanistan's growing number of child drug addicts

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© AFP Photo
They play badminton, kick a ball around and huddle over computer games just like normal children.

Except that they are recovering drug addicts aged around three to 12, representing a growing proportion of drug users in war-torn Afghanistan.

In response, increasing numbers of rehabilitation centers are weaning such children off their addiction and giving them a new appetite for life in a country that produces 90 percent of the world's opium used to make heroin.

While there are no statistics for kids, the rate of relapse is high for their parents, experts say.

For now two young girls, dressed in a blue uniform and playing badminton, and a group of boys playing football are all active and healthy - the total opposite of when they arrived.

Arrow Down

Indian women dumped in field after sterilisation

Mass Sterilisation
© Arab Times
Kolkata, India: Scores of women were dumped unconscious in a field after a mass sterilisation in eastern India because there was no room in hospital for them to recuperate, medical officials said Thursday.

The women had all undergone surgical procedures at a hospital in the Malda district of West Bengal, around 360 kilometres (220 miles) north of Kolkata, which officials admitted was not equipped to accommodate such a large number of patients.

The scandal came to light after news channel NDTV aired amateur footage of unconscious women being carried out of the hospital Tuesday by men and then placed on open land.

Local health officials acknowledged that the patients' treatment was unacceptable and promised an inquiry.

"Over 100 women, mostly poor, came to the camp for the surgery. Immediately after the procedure, the doctors asked the helpers to move each of them to the adjacent field," Biswa Ranjan Satpathi, West Bengal's director of health services, told AFP in Kolkata.

"This is inhuman and we have ordered a probe into the incident," he added.

Pistol

3 dead in Delaware courthouse shooting

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© 6abc.com
Gunfire erupted inside the New Castle County Court of Common Pleas in Wilmington on February 11, 2013.
Three people, including the alleged shooter, are dead after gunfire erupted inside a Wilmington courthouse Monday morning.

The shooting happened at 8:00 a.m. in the public lobby of the New Castle County Court of Common Pleas, located at 500 N King Street.

According to Wilmington police, two women were killed in the incident. The alleged shooter, a male, is also dead.

Heart - Black

Students, teacher at Indiana high school demand 'traditional prom' without gay kids

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© NBC 2
A team of Valley high schoolers and parents rally for a traditional prom that bans gays.

NBC 2's Paige Preusse reports how Sullivan High School says there's nothing legally they can do to allow it... several students and parents are taking matters into their own hands.

Several parents, students, and others who believe gays should be banned from the Sullivan High School prom met Sunday at the Sullivan First Christian Church.

"We don't agree with it and it's offensive to us," said Diana Medley.

Their idea is to create a separate...traditional prom.Students say there are several others from their high school who agree, but are afraid to take a stand.

Ambulance

Bus crashes in Bangladesh, killing at least 16

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© AP
A bus packed with Muslim pilgrims plunged off a bridge into a muddy ditch early Monday in Bangladesh, killing at least 16 people, police said.

The bodies recovered from the bus included children, said local police officer Ranjit Kumar Barua. Rescuers took another 15 people who were injured to a hospital, and the rest of the occupants were not hurt.

Cheeseburger

Horse meat found in British supermarkets 'may be donkey'

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French meat food industrial factory, working on the production chain of beef steaks. A Europe-wide food fraud scandal over horsemeat sold as beef deepened as Romania announced an inquiry into the origin of the meat and suspicions of criminal activity mounted.
A law banning horses from Romanian roads may be responsible for the surge in the fraudulent sale of horse meat on the European beef market, a French politician said today.

Horse-drawn carts were a common form of transport for centuries in Romania, but hundreds of thousands of the animals are feared to have been sent to the abattoir after the change in road rules.

The law, which was passed six years ago but only enforced recently, also banned carts drawn by donkeys, leading to speculation among food-industry officials in France that some of the "horse meat" which has turned up on supermarket shelves in Britain, France and Sweden may, in fact, turn out to be donkey meat. "Horses have been banned from Romanian roads and millions of animals have been sent to the slaughterhouse," said Jose Bove, a veteran campaigner for small farmers who is now vice-president of the European Parliament agriculture committee.

After a couple of days in which the horse meat affair was seen as a largely British problem, the scandal began to be taken seriously by French politicians and newspapers over the weekend.

Sherlock

Pablo Neruda's remains to be exhumed for investigation

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda
The remains of famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda are to be exhumed as part of an inquest into his 1973 death.

Chilean judge Mario Carroza has ordered the exhumation although the family of Nobel Prize-winning poet maintains that he died of prostate cancer at the age of 69.

Neruda died nearly two weeks after his close friend President Salvador Allende was overthrown in a military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet.

In 2011, Chile opened a probe into allegations that Communist Neruda might have been poisoned. The investigation was launched after Neruda's former driver Manuel Araya Osorio claimed that the poet had been injected with poison in a clinic by Pinochet's agents.

Osorio has claimed that Neruda was ordered killed by Pinochet so that he could not travel to Mexico where he was expected to form an anti-Pinochet front.

Flashlight

Christopher Dorner manhunt: possible sighting of fugitive ex-cop leads to store evacuation


Chris Dorner
© EricPetersAuto
A Northridge, Calif., home improvement store was evacuated tonight because of a possible sighting of suspected cop-killer Christopher Dorner, just hours after police announced a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

As helicopters hovered overhead and a command center was established, police searched the Lowe's store and eventually told shoppers they could leave, but could not take their cars out of the parking lot.

LAPD spokesman Gus Villanueva said the major response to the possible sighting was a precaution, but couldn't say whether Dorner was in the area.

The announcement of the $1 million reward today came as authorities in Big Bear, Calif., scaled back their search for Dorner, the disgruntled ex-cop who is suspected in three revenge killings.

"This is the largest local reward ever offered, to our knowledge," Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference today. "This is an act of domestic terrorism. This is a man who has targeted those that we entrust to protect the public. His actions cannot go unanswered."

The money for the reward was pooled by businesses, government, local law enforcement leaders and individual donors, Beck said.

Magic Wand

Second family accuses Disneyland of racism after Donald Duck refuses to hug their son

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© ABC10
Humiliating: The White family says this is the only picture Razzi, 5, took at Disneyland after Donald Duck spurned him for white children
The second family in as little as a week has come forward with allegations that a Disneyland character snubbed them because they were black.

The White family said they took their son, Ryder, to Disneyland to celebrate his birthday in December.

The day was going well until Razzi White, 5, walked up to a performer in a Donald Duck costume at the park's Main Street.

'He was sitting there with his arms open, saying, 'Donald, Donald!' said mother Nastasia White.

Nastasia claims that rather than play with her son, Donald deliberately walked away from him to play with a white baby in a stroller.

The Whites said they waited patiently for their turn - long enough that even the baby's parents urged Donald to play with Razzi - but Donald ignored them.

Nastasia asked for picture, but says Donald instead went to a young white girl on a bench on hugged her.