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NewsPolitics'Don't say gay' bill advances in Tennessee, would ban teachers from discussing homosexuality

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© Fuse/Getty
A Senate committee in Tennessee approved a bill that would ban teachers from discussing homosexuality to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

A Tennessee Senate committee has given the green light to a bill that would bar teachers from discussing homosexuality with elementary and middle school students.

The legislation, dubbed the "don't say gay" bill, states teachers cannot "provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality."

Republican Stacey Campfield, the bill's sponsor, has argued the move is "neutral," according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

"We should leave it to families to decide when it is appropriate to talk with children about sexuality - specifically before the eighth grade," he added.

Family

Stress drives teachers out of schools

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© David Levene/Guardian
Is teaching the most stressful profession?
Targets, bureaucracy and ballooning workloads make teachers increasingly anxious, delegates at NUT conference are told

Stress is driving increasing numbers of teachers out of the profession, with some even considering suicide, a teaching union conference heard on Monday.

Delegates at the National Union of Teachers conference in Harrogate heard there had been a "meteoric" rise in work-related stress due to demands to meet government targets.

Research by the Health and Safety Executive in 2000 found teaching to be the most stressful profession, with 41.5% of teachers reporting themselves as "highly stressed".

Sue McMahon, a delegate from Calderdale, West Yorkshire, said: "As a divisional secretary, I have seen a meteoric rise in work-related stress and on more than one occasion have had to support a member who has attempted suicide.

Magnify

Hundreds of prisoners flee through Taliban tunnel

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© Ahmad Nadeem/Reuters
Afghan jailer Ghulam Dastager Mayaar stands next to the hole that the inmates used to escape from inside the Kandahar's main jail.
Kandahar, Afghanistan - Hundreds of prisoners escaped from a jail in Afghanistan's south on Monday through a tunnel dug by Taliban insurgents, officials said.

The daring escape was described as a "disaster" for the Afghan government and a setback for foreign forces planning to start a gradual withdrawal within months.

The militants tunneled at least 480 inmates out of the main prison in Kandahar overnight, whisking them through a 1,000-foot-long underground passage they had dug over months, officials and insurgents told The Associated Press.

Officials at Sarposa prison in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, say they only discovered the breach at about 4 a.m., a half hour after the Taliban said they had gotten all the prisoners out.

The militants began digging the tunnel about five months ago from a house within shooting distance of the prison guard towers. It was not immediately clear whether they lived in the house while they dug. They meticulously plotted the tunnel's course around police checkpoints and major roads, the insurgent group said in a statement.

Comment: Does it necessarily have to be 'the Taliban'? Could it have been a group of citizens concerned for their fellow men who were wrongfully imprisoned?

One shoe does not fit all feet.


Bulb

Knife-wielding plane hijacker overpowered by flight crew after he took stewardess hostage

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Mid-air scare: Alitalia flight crew were forced to act after a middle-aged Kazakh man tried to hijack their plane and divert it to Libya
Alitalia flight crew were forced to overpower a man who pulled a knife on their passenger flight and tried to divert it to Libya.

As 131 passengers looked on in terror, the would-be hijacker held a knife to the throat of an air-stewardess and ordered the Paris to Rome flight diverted to Tripoli.

'The man grabbed the stewardess from behind her back and pointed the knife. She was in difficulty and tried to turn around,' a passenger named Sofia told reporters.

X

US: Huge Long Island explosion completely destroys house, blows out neighbours' windows and sends 21 to hospital

A huge explosion flattened an empty house, blew out the windows of neighbouring homes and sent shoes and bedding flying into nearby trees.

Amazingly no one died in this morning's explosion on Long Island, New York, but 21 people were taken to hospital for evaluation.

The blast, which happened at 10.40am in Brentwood, Suffolk County, was most likely caused by a ruptured gas pipe, but investigators have not ruled out arson, according to the New York Post.

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© Paul Mazza
Rocked: Amazingly no one died in this morning's explosion on Long Island, New York, but 21 people were taken to hospital for evaluation
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© Associated Press

Stormtrooper

Footage reveals Bahrain police brutality

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New footage coming from Bahrain shows a protester has been beaten brutally to death by Saudi-backed troops in the capital Manama.

Officials in Salmaniyah hospital have pronounced him clinically dead.

Another footage from the same hospital indicates two protesters are being brutally beaten by Bahraini troops as well.

The victims are shown to have sustained severe injuries in their heads and legs.

Earlier on Sunday, Saudi-backed Bahraini forces stormed into an all-girls' school in the north of the country as part of the government's violent crackdown on popular revolution that has engulfed the Persian Gulf state since mid-February.

Stormtrooper

US: Police beating of Las Vegas man caught on tape


When Mitchell Crooks checked out of the county jail last month and checked into a Las Vegas hospital, the 36-year-old videographer knew he had a fight on his hands.

His face was bloodied and bruised. His $3,500 camera had been impounded by police, and he faced criminal charges for battery on a police officer.

One month later, things have changed for Crooks.

The Clark County district attorney's office has dropped all charges, and Crooks has retained an attorney of his own. The Metropolitan Police Department has opened an internal investigation into the Las Vegas police officer, Derek Colling, who Crooks says falsely arrested and beat him for filming police.

And his camera -- which captured the entire March 20 altercation between Crooks and Colling -- has been returned.

Newspaper

US: California gangster's tattoo of crime scene helps solve murder

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© Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Anthony Garcia
When Los Angeles County Sheriff's homicide investigator Kevin Lloyd was routinely looking through snapshots of tattooed gang members, he saw something that caught his eye - a crime scene he was familiar with.

Anthony Garcia, a member of the Rivera-13 gang, had a tattoo that resembled the scene of the liquor store killing of 23-year-old John Juarez in Pico Rivera on Jan. 23, 2004, reports the Los Angeles Times.

There were numerous details the murder inked on the gang member. The paper reports that the tattoo included the Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store where Juarez was shot and killed, the direction his body fell, the bowed street lamp across the way and the street sign. Above everything read the title, "RIVERA KILLS", a reference to the gang. A helicopter was also placed above the scene raining down bullets, a nod to Garcia's alias "Chopper."

When police discovered the evidence on Garcia's chest in 2008, they launched an investigation, which was followed by the arrest of Garcia, reports the paper.

Butterfly

Indian spiritual guru Sai Baba dies at 86

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© 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.