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Indian spiritual guru Sai Baba dies at 86

© Reuters
Devotees sit beside the body of Indian spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba at an ashram at Puttaparti
Indian spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba, revered by millions of followers as a living god, died Sunday in a hospital in southern India. He was 86.

Sai Baba, who was admitted to hospital in his hometown of Puttaparti a month ago, died of multiple organ failure, media said.

His followers, estimated to number six million, included top Indian politicians, business tycoons and Bollywoods stars.

Sai Baba, with distinctive frizzy hair and always clad in his trademark saffron robes, ran schools and hospitals through trusts in numerous countries. Questions are likely to arise over the management of his substantial assets.

Eye 1

Big Brother and Reproductive Rights: Policing Pregnancy

pregnant women
© Unknown
Utah prosecutors and conservative politicians are determined to lock up the young woman known in court filings as J.M.S. for the crime of trying to end her pregnancy. Her grim journey through the legal system began in 2009, when she was 17 and pregnant by a convicted felon named Brandon Gale, who is currently facing charges of using her and another underage girl to make pornography. J.M.S. lived in a house without electricity or running water in a remote part of Utah. Even if she could have obtained the required parental consent and scraped together money for an abortion and a couple of nights in a hotel to comply with Utah's twenty-four-hour waiting period, simply getting to the nearest clinic posed an enormous challenge. Salt Lake City is more than a three-hour drive from her town, twice that in bad weather, when snow makes the mountain passes treacherous. There is no public transportation, and she didn't have a driver's license.

And so, according to prosecutors, in May 2009, in her third trimester and desperate, J.M.S. paid a stranger $150 to beat her in the hope of inducing a miscarriage. The assault failed to end her pregnancy, but that didn't stop police from charging her with criminal solicitation of murder. The juvenile court judge who heard her case, however, tossed it out on the grounds that her actions were legal under the state's definition of abortion.

Local abortion opponents were outraged that J.M.S. had been freed. "It revealed an extreme weakness in the law, that a pregnant woman could do anything she wanted to do - it did not matter how grotesque or brutal - all the way up until the date of birth to kill her unborn child," said Carl Wimmer, a state representative. He led a successful campaign to amend Utah's abortion law so that as of last year, women who end their pregnancies outside the medical system can be prosecuted as killers. "We will be the only state in the nation that will do what we're attempting to do here: hold a woman accountable for killing her unborn child," Wimmer told the Salt Lake Tribune.

He's wrong. In recent years, women in several states have faced arrest and imprisonment for the crime of ending their pregnancies, or merely attempting to do so. For decades now, feminists have warned about a post - Roe v. Wade world in which women are locked up for having abortions. Antiabortion activists dismiss such fears as propaganda. "The pro-life position has always been that women are victimized by abortion," says the Priests for Life website, which has a page of sample letters to the editor meant to refute claims that abortion bans could lead to women being prosecuted. "In fact, we have repeatedly rejected the suggestion that women should be put in jail, much less executed." But as abortion rights weaken and fetuses are endowed with a separate legal identity, women are being put in jail.


Radioactive rain causes 130 schools in Korea to close - Yet rain in California had 10 TIMES more radioactivity

Citizens arm themselves with umbrellas, raincoats, boots, Korea Times, April 7, 2011:

[Emphasis Added]
... The Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) said radioactive iodine and cesium were found in rainwater collected in the early morning at a checkpoint on the island. The concentration level of iodine-131 was 2.02 becquerels per liter (Bq/l), that of cesium-137, 0.538 Bq/l, and that of cesium-134, 0.333 Bq/l. ...

Following the news that minuscule radioactive substances were detected on Jeju, people in all parts of the country carried umbrellas to work or school even though the rainfall was light.

Parents had their children not only use umbrellas but also wear raincoats, rubber boots and even masks. Some of them gave their children a ride to school, with streets near schools congested.

In Gyeonggi Province, about 130 pre-, elementary and middle schools were closed after the regional educational office allowed school heads to close them if they deemed it necessary. More than 40 others shortened school hours. ...


Prosecutor orders Mubarak be moved to prison hospital


Cairo - Egypt's public prosecutor ordered on Sunday that ousted President Hosni Mubarak be transferred to a prison hospital in Cairo after a doctor declared him well enough to travel.

Mubarak took refuge in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikhafter a popular uprising ended his 30-year rule. He now faces questioning over corruption and murder allegations.

"The public prosecutor has ordered the Interior Ministry to transfer former President Hosni Mubarak to Mazra'a hospital in Torah prison (in Cairo)" once the hospital is ready to receive him, the prosecutor said in a statement.


Rising energy, food prices spark global protests

© REUTERS/James Akena
Supporters of Uganda's Forum for Democratic Change leader Kizza Besigye participate in a protest along the road in the Kasangati suburb of the capital Kampala, April 14, 2011.
Oil prices hit their highest level in over two years this month, cutting into workers' incomes, compounding the effects of high unemployment, and fueling protests around the world.

West Texas intermediate crude oil reached $112 Friday, up 32 percent from a year ago. Average prices at the pump hit $3.84 in the United States, up 30 cents from a month ago, and over one dollar from April 2010, according to the American Automobile Association. Gas prices on the West Coast of the United States are even higher, averaging over four dollars per gallon.

Food prices edged down slightly from their February high last month, but remained higher than any other month on record, according to the world food price index published by the World Bank. Prices were up by 36 percent compared with a year ago.

No Entry

US: Man Sentenced To Over 250 Years for Rape, Assault, Robbery

© unknown
A 25-year-old man was sentenced to over 250 years in prison Friday after a home invasion and robbery that left a woman raped and her boyfriend beaten. The presumptive sentence by Missouri Sentencing Commission guidelines would have been 20 years.

Taurian J. Burton, of Kansas City, had only been out on parole for seven months from another home invasion burglary in Jackson County. In July 2009, Burton and another person invaded the victims' home to steal their plasma TV. Once inside the home, prosecutors said Burton pistol-whipped and bound the pair.

"Our male victim had a skull fracture and a broken finger and was lying unconscious in the living room while his girlfriend was dragged into a bedroom, gang-raped at gunpoint, and sexually assaulted with the barrel of a handgun," Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White said.

The victim told jurors the rape lasted 45 minutes.


US: FBI arrests Tenn. pastor in custody case of former lesbian partners

© Vyto Starinskas / AP
Janet Jenkins, of Fair Haven, Vt., holds up a photo of her daughter, Isabella, in Rutland, Vt. The FBI has arrested Tennessee pastor Timothy David Miller, who is accused of helping Jenkins' former lesbian partner of fleeing to Central America with the girl.
Mother allegedly absconds to Central America with couple's daughter

A Tennessee pastor who allegedly helped a woman abscond to central America with her 9-year-old daughter has been charged with aiding a kidnapping, the latest twist in a long-running custody dispute between former lesbian partners.

Timothy David Miller, 34, of Crossville, Tenn., is accused of helping to arrange passage for Lisa Miller of Virginia and daughter Isabella Miller Jenkins, who have been on the run since 2009 and now are believed to be living in Nicaragua.

It doesn't appear that Timothy Miller is related to the mother. He works with an Ohio-based Christian ministry and people with links to Jerry Falwell's Liberty University may have provided a beach house where the two could live, according to an FBI affidavit.

"I know very little at this point, but I really hope that this means that Isabella is safe and well," said Lisa Miller's former partner, Janet Jenkins, of Fair Haven. "I am looking forward to having my daughter home safe with me very soon," she said in a statement released by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, which has provided legal help to her.

Bizarro Earth

Nuclear Fallout: You won't hear this on any mainstream news

Nuclear Facts. A very clued in professional who will not be bought or intimidated into silence:

Alarm Clock

Yemeni president agrees to step down

© Muhammed Muheisen/AP
An anti-government protester reacts during a demonstration demanding the resignation of of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa, Yemen, on Saturday.
Sanaa, Yemen - Yemen's embattled president agreed Saturday to a proposal by Gulf Arab mediators to step down within 30 days and hand power to his deputy in exchange for immunity from prosecution, a major about-face for the autocratic leader who has ruled for 32 years.

The protest movement demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh's immediate departure said Saturday that it also accepted the latest draft of the deal but with reservations.

A day earlier, protesters staged the largest of two months of demonstrations, filling a five-lane boulevard across the capital with a sea of hundreds of thousands of people. A deadly crackdown by government forces and Saleh supporters has killed more than 130 people and prompted key allies to abandon the president and join the protesters.

The opposition movement, fed up with poverty and corruption under Saleh, took inspiration from the toppling of leaders in Tunisia and Egypt.

2 + 2 = 4

US: Homeless woman prosecuted for enrolling son in Connecticut school

Connecticut authorities have filed theft charges against Tanya McDowell, a homeless woman, alleging that she used a false address to enroll her son in a higher-income school district, The Stamford Advocate reports. If she's convicted, McDowell may end up in jail for as many as 20 years and pay a $15,000 fine for the crime.

McDowell is a homeless single mother from Bridgeport who used to work in food services, is now at the center of one of the very few false address cases in the Norwalk, CT, school district that is being handled in criminal court--rather than between the parent and school. Authorities are accusing McDowell of enrolling her 5-year-old son in nearby Norwalk schools by using the address of a friend. (Her friend has also been evicted from public housing for letting McDowell use her address.)

McDowell says she stayed in a Norwalk homeless shelter sometimes--but she didn't register there, which would have made her son eligible to attend the school.

"I had no idea whatsoever that if you enroll your child in another school district, it becomes a crime," the 33-year-old told the paper.