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President Obama heckled at S.F. fundraiser

As President Obama addressed the crowd at a breakfast fundraiser in San Francisco Thursday, he fielded some audience input that he wasn't bargaining for.

A woman in the crowd suddenly rose from her seat and said: "Mr. President, we wrote you a song," according to the White House pool report. The president attempted to quiet her, but the woman and her table of donors at the St. Regis Hotel breakfast broke into song and raised signs that read "Free Bradley Manning"--the Army intelligence specialist accused of releasing diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. Yesterday, it was reported that Manning had been moved to a less restrictive prison following pressure from human rights groups.

The protesters said they had spent $5,000 donating to Obama. "We'll vote for you in 2012, yes that's true. Look at the Republicans--what else can we do?" they reportedly chanted.

"We paid our dues. Where's our change?" they sang.

You can watch a clip of the protesters below, via the San Francisco Chronicle:


Mystery Of Bodies Buried In French Garden: Father Was a Secret US Agent About to Testify in a Drug Case?

French police searching for a missing family have launched a murder probe after five bodies were found buried in the garden of their home.

© Unknown
The parents and their children were reported missing earlier in April
The gruesome discoveries began with a severed leg being dug up at the house in Nantes.

Then officers found the corpses, which had bullet wounds.

Officials say the bodies are believed to be those of Agnes Dupont de Ligonnes, 49, and her four children: Arthur, 21; Thomas, 18; Anne, 16; and Benoit, 13.

Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes, the father, remains missing and there are no signs of a struggle in the house.


US: Mysterious Disappearance in North Georgia

© Unknown
Amber Gerweck
North Georgia investigators are trying to find a Michigan mother, missing now for 11 days.

Amber Gerweck's parents live in Calhoun, Georgia and they spoke with their daughter on April 9th, the day she left Jackson, Michigan. But she never mentioned she was coming south.

Her father Dale Seger said, "We have no answers, only questions is all we have."

Gerweck is 32 years old and has four children back in Michigan. She also works as a data analyst in Homeland Security. The GBI is not ruling out any possibilities, but has also discovered no connection. Family friend Susan Kirkland described Gerweck as a responsible person. "Amber had a very important job and went through a lot of vetting. She would not make rash decisions," Kirkland said.


US: Man uses sheets to escape nursing home, dies in fall

© Vstock LLC
A man who tied sheets together and used them to try and lower himself out a window of a nursing home accidentally fell and died Wednesday morning in the Logan Square neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

Ramon Crisantos, 57, who lived at the Woodbridge Nursing Pavilion at 2242 N. Kedzie Blvd., woke up early Wednesday and a nurse saw him begin his normal routine so the nurse began her daily duties, according to a Shakespeare District police lieutenant.

But about 5:20 a.m. Wednesday, someone downstairs heard a noise and went to investigate. That person saw Crisantos lying on the ground, with bedsheets tied together into a makeshift rope, according to the lieutenant.

The lieutenant said it appeared Crisantos had been trying to "escape" the home by using the sheets to lower himself out of a window, but accidentally fell 10 to 20 feet.


Kyrgyzstan MPs sacrifice rams to banish "evil spirits"

Members of Kyrgyzstan's divided parliament slaughtered seven rams before their morning session on Thursday, in a sacrifice they hope will banish "evil spirits" disrupting their work.

Kyrgyzstan elected a new legislature in October in a bid to build the first parliamentary democracy in former Soviet Central Asia, a region otherwise run by authoritarian presidents.

But the fragile governing coalition has come under threat after weeks of bitter recriminations and disputes in parliament, leading a senior government member to resign temporarily.

Kyrgyzstan, which lies on a drug trafficking route out of Afghanistan and hosts both Russian and U.S. military air bases, saw its president toppled by a violent revolt last April. More than 400 people were killed in ethnic riots in June.

"We decided to resort to popular customs, in order for this building not to see bloodshed anymore," member of parliament Myktybek Abdyldayev told Reuters after the rams were sacrificed on a green lawn in front of the government headquarters.


US: Discovery of Barnes' body could yield new leads

© AP/Baltimore Police Department
After months of searches and appeals to the public, authorities confirmed Thursday, April 21, 2011, that a body found in a northeast Maryland river was that of Barnes, a North Carolina teen who went missing while visiting relatives in Baltimore over the Christmas holidays.
North Carolina teen vanished from Northwest Baltimore in December

As the desperate search for missing honors student Phylicia Barnes came to a heartbreaking end Thursday, police said the discovery of her body in the Susquehanna River could be "instrumental" in hunting down new leads in a 4-month-old case that has yielded painfully few clues.

"We're at stage one of a new phase of the investigation," said Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III. "Finding her body is really going to be instrumental in giving us an opportunity to bring closure to the family. ... It gives investigators a real opportunity."

The North Carolina native was 16 years old when she disappeared Dec. 28 from her half sister's Northwest Baltimore apartment, touching off the Baltimore Police Department's most extensive missing-person investigation in years.


Japan earmarks first $50 billion for post-quake rebuild

© Reuters/Toru Hanai
Members of the Japan Self-Defense Force remove debris as they search for victims in a damaged house at an area devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, April 21, 2011.
Japan's cabinet approved on Friday almost $50 billion of spending for post-earthquake rebuilding, a down payment on the country's biggest public works effort in six decades.

The emergency budget of 4 trillion yen ($48.5 billion), which is likely be followed by more reconstruction spending packages, is still dwarfed by the overall cost of damages caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, estimated at $300 billion.

"With this budget, we are taking one step forward toward reconstruction ... and toward restarting the economy," Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

The magnitude 9.0 earthquake and 15 meter tsunami that followed caused Japan's gravest crisis since World War Two, killing up to 28,000 people and destroying tens of thousands of homes.

It also smashed a nuclear power plant which began leaking radiation, a situation the plant's operator says could take all year to bring under control.


Helen Caldicott: Fukushima is many orders of magnitude worse than Chernobyl

Helen Caldicott, M.D., is a physician, speaker and author who has campaigned tirelessly against the dangers of nuclear power. Although thousands of fellow physicians have supported her through decades of campaigning, no one who really mattered when it comes to life or death decisions over the masses of people would listen to her.


Massive blast kills 16 in Pakistan

© unknown
Police examine evidence at a bomb blast site in a gambling building in Karachi on April 21, 2011.
At least 16 people have been killed and over 30 others injured after a massive explosion ripped through Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi.

The powerful blast targeted the Liyari area of Karachi on Thursday, Xinhua reported.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but police suspect that the attack may have been the result of feuding gangs.

Most of the injured have been taken to the city's hospital.

Hospital sources said the death toll would continue to rise as some of those wounded in the incident are in critical condition.


US: Michigan jury to weigh mosque protest bid

© Reuters/Rebecca Cook
Controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones sits in the courtroom of the 19th District Dearborn Court for a hearing in front of Judge Mark Somers about Jones' right to protest in Dearborn, Michigan April 21, 2011.
A Dearborn, Michigan jury will consider on Friday whether a controversial Florida pastor will have to post a "peace bond" before a planned demonstration in front of the largest mosque in the United States.

District Court Judge Mark Somers issued a preliminary ruling on Thursday in favor of prosecutors who have sought the bond on the grounds that the appearance by Terry Jones would require heavy police protection to prevent violence.

A six-person jury will hear the case on Friday morning.

Dearborn, which includes one of the largest Muslim American communities in the United States, has denied Jones and a handful of his supporters a permit to protest outside the Islamic Center of America.

Detroit area clergy and community activists have rallied against the planned protest by Jones in recent days, calling him a divisive figure who practices hate speech.