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US: Teenage girl survives plunge from Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge
© Jeff King/CNNMore than 1,300 people have been killed jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge since the 1930s.
A 16-year-old girl survived a plunge from the Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay on Sunday, according to local media reports.

The girl either jumped or fell from midspan of the bridge, about a 220-foot fall to the water below, CNN affiliate KGO reported, citing a fire department dispatcher. The girl was conscious when pulled from the water, the Coast Guard told KGO. She was taken to Marin General Hospital.

It was the second time in two months a teenager plunged from the span and survived.


Best of the Web: Hungary considers giving mothers extra votes

© Agence France-PresseThe suggestion is that mothers with small children could get additional votes in elections
Hungary's new government is considering controversial plans to give mothers with small children additional votes in elections.

Jozsef Szajer, a senior official from the ruling conservative Fidesz party, explained that 20 per cent of Hungary's population are children and that "the interests of future generations are not represented in decision making". "100 years ago it was unusual to give votes to women," he said.

The proposed legislation, which would be a first for modern democracy, is inspired by a concept developed in 1986 by American demographer Paul Demeny, who argued that children "should not be left disfranchised for some 18 years".

Mr Szajer said the law would give "mothers the vote on behalf of a maximum of one child".


Teens - gay or straight - more likely to attempt suicide in conservative towns

Major study of Oregon high schoolers probes teen mental health and social climates

© Associated Press/ Phil Klein Zachary Toomay, 18, poses near his home in Arroyo Grande, Calif., on Saturday.
Chicago - Suicide attempts by gay teens - and even straight kids - are more common in politically conservative areas where schools don't have programs supporting gay rights, a study involving nearly 32,000 high school students found.

Those factors raised the odds and were a substantial influence on suicide attempts even when known risk contributors like depression and being bullied were considered, said study author Mark Hatzenbuehler, a Columbia University psychologist and researcher.

His study found a higher rate of suicide attempts even among kids who weren't bullied or depressed when they lived in counties less supportive of gays and with relatively few Democrats. A high proportion of Democrats was a measure used as a proxy for a more liberal environment.

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Egypt Archaeology Chief Zahi Hawass to Appeal Jail Term on Bookshop Plan

Dr Zahi Hawass
© unknownDr Zahi Hawass
Zahi Hawass, Egypt's minister of state for antiquities, said he will appeal a one-year jail sentence imposed on him yesterday.

The sentence is related to a lawsuit accusing him of refusing to carry out a court ruling, the state-run Middle East News Agency said today. The court had ordered a halt to bidding from companies to run a bookstore in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Hawass said today in his blog.

"Tomorrow, the head of the legal affairs department at the Ministry of Antiquities will go to the court to file our appeal," Hawass said in the Web log. "He will present evidence that the bid for the bookstore contract was finished before the original court ruling, so therefore we could not follow the ruling to stop the bidding."


"Technology can't replace God": Pope

Pope Benedict XVI
© Reuters/Stefano RellandiniPope Benedict XVI holds a palm as he arrives to lead the Palm Sunday mass at the Vatican April 17, 2011.
Pope Benedict led Roman Catholics into Holy Week celebrations, telling a Palm Sunday crowd that man will pay the price for his pride if he believes technology can give him the powers of God.

Under a splendid Roman sun, the German pope presided at a colorful celebration where tens of thousands of people waved palm and olive branches to commemorate Jesus' entry into Jerusalem the week before he was crucified.

The pope, who turned 84 on Saturday, wove his sermon around the theme of man's relationship with God and how it can sometimes be threatened by technology.

"From the beginning men and women have been filled -- and this is as true today as ever -- with a desire to 'be like God', to attain the heights of God by their own powers," he said, wearing resplendent red and gold vestments.

"Mankind has managed to accomplish so many things: we can fly! We can see, hear and speak to one another from the farthest ends of the earth. And yet the force of gravity which draws us down is powerful," he said.

Take 2

Sarkozy could play roles like Bogart's says Woody Allen

© Agence France-PresseFrench President Nicolas Sarkozy listens during a round table discussion on Thursday in Bagneres-de-Luchon, southern France. Film director Woody Allen says he could see Sarkozy playing a role like those of Humphrey Bogart, who was famous for his cynical and hardboiled anti-heroes.

Film director Woody Allen could see French President Nicolas Sarkozy playing a role like those of Humphrey Bogart, who was famous for his cynical and hardboiled anti-heroes.

Allen has already directed Sarkozy's wife, supermodel turned singer Carla Bruni, in a cameo role in his latest movie Midnight in Paris, which will premiere next month at the Cannes Fim Festival in southern France.

Asked by the French weekly Journal du Dimanche whether he could imagine casting Sarkozy himself in a future production, Allen said he could.


US: Ohio man who killed 3 says he has 'evil thoughts'

A man sentenced to life in prison without parole for murdering his girlfriend's daughter and an elderly couple said in his videotaped confession that he constantly has "evil thoughts" and thinks about killing.

Samuel K. Littleton II, of western Ohio, pleaded guilty to three counts each of aggravated murder and gross abuse of a corpse in a deal with prosecutors to avoid the death penalty for the three February slayings.

He shed some light on his thinking during hours of taped interrogations after he was arrested in West Virginia, The Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported Sunday.

"I think evil thoughts all the time. I mean, there ain't one minute that I don't say or think about how to snap somebody's neck, crush their head," Littleton, 37, told investigators. "Why would a person have that kind of thoughts all the time?"

Littleton lowered his head and sobbed as investigators showed him pictures of 84-year-old Richard Russell and 85-year-old wife Gladis Russell and then pleaded with him to reveal where their bodies were. Authorities believe he killed the Russells at their rural Lewiston home, put their bodies in the trunk of their car and drove south. Their bodies later were found in Tennessee and Georgia. Their car was found in Princeton, W.Va., where Littleton has relatives.


Mexico's Tamaulipas police chief sacked after killings

© The Associated PressThe Mexican navy captured the alleged mastermind of the killings on Saturday
The Mexican state of Tamaulipas has dismissed its head of security following the discovery of 145 bodies in mass graves earlier this month.

Former army Gen Ubaldo Ayala Tinoco has been replaced by another former soldier, Capt Rafael Lomeli Martinez.

The state governor said the new chief would improve coordination with the army and federal police in the fight against drugs gangs.

The killings have been blamed on the Zetas drug cartel.

More than 20 suspected cartel members have been arrested in connection with the killings, including the alleged mastermind of the massacre.

But 16 state policemen have also been arrested on suspicion of protecting the criminals.


US: Holly Bobo Search: Hundreds of Volunteers Comb the Woods

Police Searching for Missing Tennessee Woman Are Getting Leads From Across the Country

Hundreds of police and volunteers combed the woods in three Tennessee counties today searching for any sign of Holly Bobo, the 20-year-old college student abducted outside her home.

Some 600 volunteers joined police Saturday, working until midnight to find any trace of the young woman, whose brother saw the abduction Wednesday, but only realized too late that the man leading her into the woods was not her boyfriend.

Family, friends and concerned residents of Holly Bobo's hometown of Parsons, Tenn., and neighboring communities came out again this morning to continue the search.

"We got lots of volunteers and we're continuing to do searches throughout the county in other areas and looking any type of leads that could help us in bringing Holly back," Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent John Mehr said.

"We also are getting tremendous amount of leads from all over the country throughout the United States. And so, we're following up on those leads as they come in and prioritizing the ones that aren't the urgent leads," he said. "We're continuing to ask people to call in and give us information on this case because we want to bring Holly back."

A reward of $25,000 of information leading to Bobo's return and the arrest of her kidnapper was announced Saturday evening.

Bizarro Earth

20 Signs That A Horrific Global Food Crisis Is Coming

starving child
© Unknown

In case you haven't noticed, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis. At some point, this crisis will affect you and your family. It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but it is going to happen. Crazy weather and horrifying natural disasters have played havoc with agricultural production in many areas of the globe over the past couple of years. Meanwhile, the price of oil has begun to skyrocket. The entire global economy is predicated on the ability to use massive amounts of inexpensive oil to cheaply produce food and other goods and transport them over vast distances. Without cheap oil the whole game changes. Topsoil is being depleted at a staggering rate and key aquifers all over the world are being drained at an alarming pace. Global food prices are already at an all-time high and they continue to move up aggressively. So what is going to happen to our world when hundreds of millions more people cannot afford to feed themselves?

Most Americans are so accustomed to supermarkets that are absolutely packed to the gills with massive amounts of really inexpensive food that they cannot even imagine that life could be any other way. Unfortunately, that era is ending.

There are all kinds of indications that we are now entering a time when there will not be nearly enough food for everyone in the world. As competition for food supplies increases, food prices are going to go up. In fact, at some point they are going to go way up.