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South Africa: 750 African Greys die on Durban flight

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Durban - More than 750 African Grey parrots worth about R2m died on a flight from Johannesburg to Durban.

The news has caused shock waves among conservationists, bird breeders and those involved in the aviation industry. The parrots died on December 24 on a flight operated by 1time.

Dr Steve Boyes, director of the organisation World Parrot Trust Africa, said steps should be taken to ensure that something like this never happens again.

The parrots were part of an order of 1 650 adult African Greys which were caught in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to be sold to South African breeders.

Pistol

Arizona lawmakers OK'd to carry guns in Senate

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© Scripps Media, Inc.
Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce says it's OK for State Senators to carry guns inside the Senate building.

The Arizona Republic reports the Mesa Republican issued a memo Tuesday to lawmakers clarifying his policy.

Pearce says a member of the Legislature does not lose his or her Second Amendment rights when coming to work each day.

The policy does conflict with state law that prohibits weapons inside the Arizona House and Senate.

Pearce counters that the Arizona Constitution gives him the authority to make the rules within the building.

Pistol

What to do with child psychopaths? 13 year old American Jordan Brown appeals against being tried for murder as an adult

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© Ho/AFP/Getty Images
Judges are to rule on whether Jordan Brown, who has been charged with homicide, should be tried as an adult.
Jordan Brown, who was 11 when he allegedly killed his father's pregnant fiancee, could face life sentence with no parole

Lawyers for a child in Pennsylvania who was 11 when he allegedly shot and killed his father's pregnant fiancee attempted today to persuade an appeals court not to try him as an adult under America's harsh system of juvenile justice.

Unless the lawyers for Jordan Brown who is now aged 13, can convince the judges to change tack, he will be tried in adult court and if convicted will serve an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole. He would become the youngest child in US history to be sentenced to be incarcerated forever.

The US is the only country where juveniles are serving life imprisonment without parole under the so-called "life means life" policy. Only the US and Somalia have refused to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which rules out life sentences with no chance of release for crimes committed before the age of 18.

Question

Rise of Hate in America: Man Shot in Tucson Rampage Is Arrested at a Televised Forum

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© Joshua Lott/NY Times
J. Eric Fuller
Tuscon - A victim of the shooting spree here that killed six people and wounded 13, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, was arrested Saturday after he spoke threateningly at a televised forum intended to help this stricken city heal, the police and witnesses said.

The man, J. Eric Fuller, 63, a military veteran who supports Ms. Giffords, was involuntarily committed for a 72-hour mental health evaluation, said Jason Ogan, a spokesman for the Pima County sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office has forwarded charges against Mr. Fuller of threats and intimidation, as well as disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors, to the county attorney's office, Mr. Ogan said.

Mr. Fuller, who was shot in the left knee and back on Jan. 8, was among several victims, medical personnel and others who attended a special forum at St. Odilia Catholic Church hosted by Christiane Amanpour to be televised Sunday on ABC.

Phoenix

Protestors burn themselves up In Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia

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© Unknown
As thousands continued to demonstrate in Tunisia over the weekend against the interim “national unity” government, antigovernment protests spread to Algeria, Yemen and Jordan. Photo: Demonstrators face riot police in Algiers, capital city of Algeria.
Inspired by the suicide of a Tunisian man who helped topple his government, more than a dozen men have set themselves on fire in the Middle East in the past few weeks to show their opposition to governmental repression and corruption.

Che Guevara

Images from the anti-government protests in Egypt

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© Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
"We don't need no thought control..."

The situation in Egypt remains tense with people pouring into the streets across the country to protest against the government of President Hosni Mubarak.

Heavily armed riot police have been deployed in major cities as the Interior Ministry said that it would not tolerate demonstrations.

Reports say at least 14 protesters have been arrested in El Monofeya near the capital Cairo after clashes between riot police and demonstrators.

In Cairo, at least one person was wounded when police tried to disperse the angry people.

Mubarak's son and wife have reportedly fled to Britain amid the spreading unrest.

The opposition groups have called on people to take to the streets to continue anti-government protests.

Info

UK Council Plans to Use Crematorium to Heat Pool

swimming pool
© unknown
A British local council is planning to use excess energy from a crematorium incinerator to heat one of its swimming pools, it emerged Tuesday, but critics slammed the proposals as "sick"
A British local council is planning to use excess energy from a crematorium incinerator to heat one of its swimming pools, it emerged Tuesday, but critics slammed the proposals as "sick".

The council in Redditch, a town near Birmingham in central England, said the measure would help reduce its carbon footprint.

"Redditch Borough Council, with a commitment to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, is considering proposals to re-use energy at its crematorium to heat a nearby leisure centre," a spokesman said.

"The heat would otherwise be exhausted into the atmosphere."

However, the Unison trade union has condemned the plans, which are due to be discussed at a full meeting of the council on February 7.

Crusader

US: Woman Hanged Nephew's 'Devil Dog' from Tree Before Burning it After it Chewed Her Bible

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© unknown
Miriam Smith told officers she killed the female pit bull named Diamond because it was a 'devil dog'
A US woman has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly hanging her nephew's pit bull from a tree with an electrical cord and burning its body after it chewed on her Bible.

Animal control officers said that 65-year-old Miriam Smith told them she killed a female dog named Diamond because it was a 'devil dog' and she worried it could harm neighbourhood children.

Smith's nephew left the one-year-old animal at the home he shared with his aunt during the recent winter weather while he went away.

When he returned, he could find no trace of the dog and assumed she had broken the chain where she was usually tied at the front porch of the house.

Ambulance

Germany: UK Pensioners Drive into German Church Directed By GPS

GPS system
© unknown
Two British pensioners landed in hospital in southern Germany after their car's global positioning system directed them to drive into a church.

While driving their Renault in the evening on a back road near the Austrian border, the navigation system instructed the couple to turn right where there was no road.

"They were confused and didn't notice that the navigation system was faulty," a police spokeswoman said.

Hardhat

Najib Mikati appointed new PM of Lebanon

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Lebanon's incoming Prime Minister Najib Mikati
Lebanese President Michel Sleiman has issued a decree appointing Hezbollah-backed candidate Najib Mikati as the country's new prime minister.

Mikati won 68 votes out of the parliament's 128 seats to be poised as the new prime minister following two days of discussions between lawmakers and Sleiman.

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri had also nominated himself for the post.

His government collapsed nearly two weeks ago following the resignation of 11 ministers from the coalition cabinet in a dispute over a US-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of Lebanese former Premier Rafiq Hariri.

In a televised speech shortly after his installation, Mikati reached out for all Lebanese factions and called on them to overcome differences and participate in an inclusive unity government.

"Nothing justifies the refusal of any political party to participate" in the next government, he added. "My hand is extended to all Lebanese."

He called for an end to all political divisions in the country and the establishment of mutual trust "based on national dialogue whereby we can discuss all issues of difference far away from any insult."