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Award-winning war photographer killed in Libya

© Agence France-Presse
Award-winning news photographer Tim Hetherington, pictured in 2010, of US magazine Vanity Fair was killed by mortar fire on Wednesday in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata, and three colleagues wounded, an AFP journalist learned at the local hospital
Award-winning news photographer Tim Hetherington of US magazine Vanity Fair was killed by mortar fire on Wednesday in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata, and three colleagues wounded, an AFP journalist learned at the local hospital.

Vanity Fair, a politics and fashion magazine, confirmed the death of Hetherington, 41, a Briton who had covered numerous conflicts over the past decade and won the 2007 World Press Photo Award for his coverage of US soldiers in Afghanistan.

Hetherington also produced the documentary Restrepo, which won two Oscar nominations.

Chris Hondros, also 41, an American with the Getty photo agency, was seriously wounded, while the names of the two others wounded were being withheld.


Furious Greeks press for country to default on debt

© Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
Protesters clash with riot police in Keratea over plans for a landfill site in the Athens suburb
Violence on the streets as backlash grows over Greece's austerity package and €110bn bailout

A growing chorus of voices is urging the Greek government to restructure its debt as fears grow that a €110bn bailout has failed to rescue the country from the financial abyss and is forcing ordinary people into an era of futile austerity.

"It's better to have a restructuring now ... since the situation is going nowhere," said Vasso Papandreou, whose views might be easier to discount were she not head of the Greek parliament's economic affairs committee.

Other members of prime minister George Papandreou's party have said that Greece is locked in a "vicious cycle", unable to dig itself out of crisis with policies that can only deepen recession.

International fears of a Greek default rose last week after the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, refused to rule it out and markets, sensing upheaval, sent Greek borrowing costs soaring.


IOWA: Video cameras now lethal weapons: Republicans launch another attack on your rights

© Unknown
Iowa is following in Florida's footsteps and working on passing a bill making it a criminal offense to film or photograph the abuse of animals on farms or in commercial CAFO operations. Apparently it is ok to abuse your animals, to leave them in fetid conditions, or to treat them inhumanely . . . Iowa just doesn't want you documenting that abuse.

Nine House Democrats joined all of the Republicans present to pass the bill in a 66 to 27 vote on Iowa bill H.R. 589.

Turns out your video camera or camera are now considered lethal weapons...the stuff of terrorism!

In an effort to protect industrialized CAFO operations, and unscrupulous corporate growers, Iowa is standing up to those activist citizens who document the abhorrent conditions on industrialized farms and ranches and also in some privately owned operations, claiming this somehow interferes with, or tampers with the property of another.


Canada: Armed man arrested at Quebec school

© Waubgeshig Rice/CBC
École St. Laurent in Buckingham, Que., just northeast of Ottawa, was in lockdown Tuesday after a man entered the building with a gun around 2 p.m. He was arrested shortly after. No shots were fired and no one was hurt in the incident.
A man armed with a rifle was arrested after he entered a classroom at an elementary school in Buckingham, Que., police said.

Gatineau Police said the man, brandishing a sawed-off 22-calibre rifle, entered a classroom at École St. Laurent filled with about 25 students, but was arrested a short time later and was co-operative.

No one was injured and no shots were fired, but the school was in lockdown.

Gatineau Police spokesman Const. Pierre Lanthier told CBC News the man was about 30 to 35 years old and was not a parent of any child at the school.

Police responded to a call at 2:13 p.m. from school staff that a man was spotted inside the school with a gun, and arrived within 15 minutes, Lanthier said.


Fukushima Residents Seek Answers: Report from the Radiation Exclusion Zone

Fukushima Residents Seek Answers Amid Mixed Signals From Media, TEPCO and Government. Report from the Radiation Exclusion Zone

Mistrust of the media has surged among the people of Fukushima Prefecture. In part this is due to reports filed by mainstream journalists who are unwilling to visit the area near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But above all it is the result of contradictory reportsreleased by the media, TEPCO and the government.

On the one hand, many local officials and residents in Fukushima insist that the situation is safe and that the media, in fanning unwarranted fears, are damaging the economy of the region.By contrast, many freelance journalists in Tokyo report that the central government is downplaying the fact that radiation leakage has been massive and that the threat to public health has been woefully underestimated. While the government long hewed to its original definition of a 20 kilometer exclusion zone, following the April 12 announcement that the Fukushima radiation severity level has been raised from a level 5 event (as with Three Mile Island) to a level 7 event (as with Chernobyl), the government also extended the radiation exclusion zone from 20 kilometers to at least five communities in the 30-50 kilometer range.

In recent weeks, many Fukushima residents who fled in the first week of the nuclear crisis have begun returning home and attempting to resume normal activities. For example, some local people in Iwaki city, 40-50 km from the Fukushima Daiichi reactor, are convinced that it is now safe to return despite the high radiation levels recorded. Here is one example.

Heart - Black

US: Baby cut out of pregnant Kentucky woman

© AP Photo/The Daily News, Miranda Pederson
Kathy Coy of Morgantown, Ky., listens to charges against her during a preliminary hearing in Warren District Court at the Warren County Justice Center, along with Diana Werkman, an assistant attorney from the Department of Public Advocacy, on Tuesday April 19, 2011, in Bowling Green, Ky. Coy is charged with the murder of a pregnant Jamie Stice and kidnapping of her newborn son.

Bowling Green - A woman used a stun gun to subdue an expectant mother before killing her and cutting the baby boy from her body, a Kentucky State Police investigator testified Tuesday.

Detective Chad Winn, speaking during a preliminary hearing in Warren County District Court, said Kathy Michelle Coy told 21-year old Jamie Stice they were going shopping for baby supplies but took her instead to a wooded area with plans to kill her.

Coy, 33, has been charged with murder and kidnapping of a minor.

Winn testified that after attacking Stice with the stun gun, Coy slit Stice's throat and wrists, then cut the baby out of her abdomen. Winn said Coy eventually led investigators to Stice's body and gave details of the slaying.


US: Pfc. Manning to be transferred to Army prison

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, in an undated file photo.
Washington - Under increasing public pressure and facing accusations of prisoner abuse, the Pentagon said Tuesday that it will transfer the soldier suspected of leaking secret documents to the Army prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The change for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, which could come as early as Wednesday, sources told NBC News, could include a dramatic shift in the conditions of his confinement.

Manning was held in maximum security at the Marine Corps brig Quantico, Va., for more than eight months where he spent 23 hours a day and ate all his meals in an isolated cell, was permitted no contact with other prisoners, and was forced to wear chains and leg irons any time he was moved. He also was often forced to strip naked at night and stand nude in his cell for early morning inspection.

The Marines claim they took his clothes to prevent him from injuring himself. Military and Pentagon officials insist the action was punishment for what the Marines considered disrespect from Manning. Such tactics for disciplinary reasons are against military regulations.


US: Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup Workers Report Mysterious Illnesses Year After Disaster

© AP

As the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill approaches, some scientists have deemed the health of the Gulf of Mexico as "nearly back to normal," though countless workers involved in cleaning up the aftermath of the disaster are reporting mysterious and unexplained illnesses.

The Associated Press reports that scientists have graded the Gulf's ecosystem health now as just a few points below where it was before the spill. Granted, the scientists go on to voice concern for the mysterious deaths of hundreds of young dolphins and turtles, dead patches of sea floor, and stained crabs.

Jane Lubchenco, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, the Gulf is "much better than people feared, but the jury is out about what the end result will be."


New Jersey, US: Anger rises after Camden officer fires 33 rounds- kills dog

© Denise Henhoeffer/Courier-Post
On Sunday, April 17, 2011, Terrell Aycox, 13, Hydir Moore, 11, and Keayrah Johnson, 10, watch Tyreek Jones, 11, sign a memorial for Kapone, an 8-month-old pit bull shot and killed by Camden Police Friday night on Lemuil Avenue in Camden. Residents say 33 rounds were fired by police in the area, hitting not only the pit bull, but also homes and cars.

Camden - Neighbors are seeking an apology from Camden police after a Friday night incident in which they say a dog was shot by officers who were carelessly firing on a street crowded with children.

The dog was killed around 9 p.m. Friday after officers responded to calls of a fight between teenagers in the Baldwin Run neighborhood of the city's Rosedale section.

But neighbors are also concerned by what they said is an excessive use of force after bullet holes were found sprayed around the neighborhood. Shots went through through the walls and windows of a home four houses away and punched holes in several vehicles parked in nearby driveways.


World Bank President: 'One Shock Away From Crisis'

The president of the World Bank has warned that the world is "one shock away from a full-blown crisis".

Robert Zoellick cited rising food prices as the main threat to poor nations who risk "losing a generation".

He was speaking in Washington at the end of the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Meanwhile, G20 finance chiefs, who also met in Washington, pledged financial support to help new governments in the Middle East and North Africa.

Mr Zoellick said such support was vital.

"The crisis in the Middle East and North Africa underscores how we need to put the conclusions from our latest world development report into practice. The report highlighted the importance of citizen security, justice and jobs," he said.

He also called for the World Bank to act quickly to support reforms in the region.