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US: Fan dies after falling out of stands at Rangers Ballpark behind left field wall

© The Associated Press / Jeffery Washington
Police and fans look over the railing where a fan fell from the stands during the second inning of a baseball game between the Texas Rangers and the Oakland Athletics, Thursday, July 7, 2011, in Arlington, Texas.
A man attending a Texas Rangers game with his young son died after falling out of the stands and about six metres to the ground while trying to catch a baseball tossed his way Thursday night, the Rangers and Arlington fire officials said.

Arlington Fire Department officials in a statement that another fan nearby tried unsuccessfully to grab the man to keep him from falling. They said the victim's son did not fall.

"We had a very tragic accident tonight and one of our fans lost their life reaching over the rail trying to get a ball," team president Nolan Ryan said. "As an organization, and as our team members and our staff, we're very heavy-hearted about this, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."

A very sombre Ryan didn't get into details about the accident or release the man's name.

Ronnie Hargis was sitting in the stands at Rangers Ballpark next to the victim. The men were talking to each other before the accident.

"He went straight down. I tried to grab him but I couldn't," Hargis said. "I tried to slow him down a little bit."

TV replays showed the man falling head-first and landing behind a 4.2-metre-high wall supporting a video board for replays and scores. The area where the man fell is out of sight from the field.


US, Michigan: Killer of 7 was 'hunting' ex-girlfriends, relatives

Ex-con later killed himself after chase, taking hostages in Grand Rapids

When Rodrick Shonte Dantzler raised a gun to his head after going on a deadly shooting spree, the bullet ended what those close to him described as a troubled life in which he frequently resorted to violence and often made threats against women and relatives.

Police say the 34-year-old ex-con targeted two former girlfriends in Thursday's rampage, fatally shooting both of them and five members of their families, including his own 12-year-old daughter. He also shot and wounded two other people - one of them another ex-girlfriend - while leading officers on a chase through Michigan's second-largest city.

"He went out hunting these people down. It was very much a purposeful act." Police Chief Kevin Belk said Friday, describing Dantzler as mentally unstable but saying he knew of no clinical diagnosis or motive for the killings.

Dantzler's rap sheet goes back to 1992, when he was charged as a juvenile with breaking and entering and car theft. That was followed over the next eight years by charges of trespassing, domestic violence, destruction of property, larceny and assault.


US: Michigan woman faces 93 days in jail for planting a vegetable garden

vegetables in front yard
© Julie Bass
Vegetable boxes in the front yard of Michigan home.
It just doesn't get more ridiculous than this.

Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan -- a mother of 6, law-abiding citizen, and gardener -- is facing 93 days in jail after being charged with a misdemeanor.

Her crime? Planting a vegetable garden in the front yard.

Bass says that she planted the garden after her front yard was torn up for some sewer repairs. Rather than wasting the opportunity to start with a clean slate by planting a lawn, she decided to really put the area to use, and plant a vegetable garden.

Her garden consists of 5 raised beds, where she grows a mix of squashes, corn, tomatoes, flowers, and other veggies. Bass received a warning from the city telling her to remove the vegetable garden, because it doesn't adhere to city ordinances (more on that later.) When she refused, she was ticketed and charged with a misdemeanor. Her trial, before a jury, is set to begin on July 26th. If she is found guilty, she can be sentenced to up to 93 days in jail.


Kids Of Divorce May Have Happier Marriages

© kathera
Do children of divorce grow up to have happier marriages than their parents? That's the argument the Wall Street Journal is making this week. In an article on kids and divorce, they say that new research suggests kids whose parents split up may have happier marriages as adults.

They give two reasons for this. First, kids who've lived through a divorce learn from their parents' mistakes and are determined not to repeat them. Second, for kids who have a parent remarry, the new stepfamily is often happier and teaches them how to build loving relationships.

That sounds great. It fits with anecdotal reports from my peers who swear they'll never darken the doors of a divorce court after watching their own parents break up.

There's just one problem: statistics say it doesn't really work this way.

Bad Guys

Many on the Planet Starving While Nat Rothchild Throws £1m Birthday Party

© Will Wilntercross
The swimming pool stretches 215ft into the distance under a cloudless Montenegrin sky.
Superyachts, models and the infinity pool - welcome to Nat Rothschild's £1m birthday party.

Giant silver glitter balls float serenely on its surface while all around workmen saw, hammer and polish in last-minute preparations for what promises to be the party of the century for this tiny, newly-independent nation.

While the rest of the world struggles to come to terms with an era of austerity, there will be no such concerns tonight for Nat Rothschild, the billionaire British investment banker, as he celebrates his 40th birthday with an elite band of 400 fabulously wealthy friends.

The Oxford-educated entrepreneur, the scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty and one of the world's most eligible bachelors, is spending an estimated £1 million on three days of lavish celebrations in Porto Montenegro, a £518 million new marina resort on the Adriatic Coast.

He is one of the main investors in the exclusive development of boutiques, apartments and restaurants which, when finished in a few years' time, will provide berths for 630 yachts and aim to out-bling the likes of St Tropez and Monte Carlo.


Betty Ford Dead at 93

betty ford
Betty Ford, the widow of late President Gerald Ford and a co-founder of an eponymous addiction center in California, has died at the age of 93, according to the director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.

Ford died Friday evening with family at her bedside, according to a family member.

No other details were immediately available.


South Sudan Becomes an Independent Nation

South Sudan Independence
The new state is rich in oil, but also one of the world's least developed countries
South Sudan has become the world's newest nation, the climax of a process made possible by the 2005 peace deal that ended a long and bloody civil war.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are among international dignitaries attending celebrations in the capital, Juba.

Sudan earlier became the first state to officially recognise its new neighbour.

The south's independence follows decades of conflict with the north in which some 1.5 million people died.

Celebrations in Juba began at midnight (2100 GMT). A countdown clock in the city centre reached zero and the new national anthem was played on television.

South Sudan became the 193rd country recognised by the UN and the 54th UN member state in Africa.


Caylee's Law Petition Goes Viral, Some States Begin Drafting Law

© Joe Burbank/Associated Press
Casey Anthony was found not guilty in the murder of her daughter, Caylee.
Disappointment over the not guilty in Casey Anthony murder trial has spurred an online campaign in honor of the Florida mother's dead 2-year-old.

A petition urging lawmakers to create a law in memory little Caylee Anthony has gone viral - garnering more than 250,000 signatures in less than 36 hours.

The campaign, launched by an Oklahoma woman on Change.org, asks lawmakers to craft "Caylee's Law, " which would make it a felony for a parent to fail to report a missing child to law enforcement.

Change.org, the site which launches numerous petitions a day in an effort to create social change, said on its blog that the petition is already the most popular of all time on the website.


US: Man Mistakenly Jailed for Trying to Cash Check at Chase Bank

Chase Bank
© n/a
A 28-year-old construction worker was mistakenly thrown in jail after trying to deposit a check at a local Chase bank, and the whole ordeal ended up costing him his car and job.

KING5 reported that Ikenna Njoku of Auburn, Washington received a home buyer rebate from the IRS, which Chase Bank sent him in the form of a $8,463.21 cashier's check. When he tried to cash the check, a teller at his local Chase Bank suspected it was a forgery and took it, along with his driver license and credit card, to contact bank support.

When he arrived at the bank the next day to get his money, he was arrested for trying to cash a fraudulent check and thrown in jail.

The following day, on Friday, Chase Special Investigations realized the mistake and left a message with the police department. But Njoku ended up staying in jail until Monday morning.


Police suspect a Murdoch executive deleted 'millions of emails'


London police are investigating the possibility that an executive working for Rupert Murdoch's News International deleted "millions of emails" in an attempt to thwart a phone hacking probe, reports said Friday.

On two separate occasions, a senior executive is thought to have erased "massive quantities" of messages, according to The Guardian.

One of the massive deletions may have happened in January, just as police were launching "Operation Weeting" to look into charges that reporters at News of the World hacked voicemails.