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Kids, guns and the American way

Kids, guns and the American wayn February, a nine-year-old Arkansas boy called Hank asked his uncle if he could head off on his own from their remote camp to hunt a rabbit with his .22 calibre rifle. “I said all right,” recalled his uncle Brent later. “It wasn’t a concern. Some people are like, ‘a nine year old shouldn’t be off by himself,’ but he wasn’t an average nine year old.”

Hank was steeped in hunting: when he was two, his father, Brad, would put him in a rucksack on his back when he went turkey hunting. Brad regularly took Hank hunting and said that his son often went off hunting by himself. On this particular day, Hank and his uncle Brent had gone squirrel hunting together as his father was too sick to go.

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Wikipedia blocks 'disruptive' page edits from US Congress

WikipediaWikipedia administrators have imposed a ban on page edits from computers at the US House of Representatives, following "persistent disruptive editing".

The 10-day block comes after anonymous changes were made to entries on politicians and businesses, as well as events like the Kennedy assassination.

The biography of former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld was edited to say that he was an "alien lizard".  One staffer said they were being banned for the "actions of two or three".

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Halliburton Fracking Spill Mystery: What Chemicals Polluted an Ohio Waterway?

fracking watersOn the morning of June 28, a fire broke out at a Halliburton fracking site in Monroe County, Ohio. As flames engulfed the area, trucks began exploding and thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals spilled into a tributary of the Ohio River, which supplies drinking water for millions of residents.

More than 70,000 fish died. Nevertheless, it took five days for the Environmental Protection Agency and its Ohio counterpart to get a full list of the chemicals polluting the waterway. "We knew there was something toxic in the water," says an environmental official who was on the scene. "But we had no way of assessing whether it was a threat to human health or how best to protect the public."

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Detroit Shuts Off Water to Residents but Not to Businesses Who Owe Millions

Detroit shuts water to people not businessMore than 15,000 households have had their taps turned off for being past due. Yet the bankrupt city hasn’t touched 40 businesses who owe $9.5 million in total.

DETROIT — In Detroit, even the most basic necessity cannot be taken for granted.

Some 15,000 residential customers have lost water service, and tens of thousands more are in danger of losing it, thanks to past due bills. But businesses owing hundreds of thousands of dollars have not been disconnected, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department records show.

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State judge strikes down Florida's gay marriage ban, stays ruling

Gay marriage allowed in FloridaA state judge struck down Florida's gay marriage ban on Friday in the latest in a string of legal gay-rights victories that have nonetheless been put on hold for resolution by higher courts.

Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel in Miami-Dade County said Florida's ban violated the constitutional rights to due process and equal protection, as well as offended "basic human decency." Florida's attorney general quickly appealed the ruling.

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U.S. embassy in Libya evacuated amid growing violence

US embassy in Syria evacuatedThe U.S. embassy in strife-torn Libya was evacuated early Saturday, under cover of American warplanes and spy aircraft, according to the State Department and Pentagon.

Personnel from the embassy were evacuated as security deteriorated in the capital of Tripoli.

"Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.

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Bodies pulled from rubble in Gaza after Israel, Hamas begin 12-hour truce

gaza dead pulled from rubbleThousands of Gaza residents who had fled Israel-Hamas fighting streamed back to devastated border areas during a 12-hour truce Saturday to find large-scale destruction: scores of homes were pulverized, wreckage blocked roads and power cables dangled in the streets.

After the temporary truce took effect at 8 a.m., Gaza streets quickly filled with Palestinians trying to stock up on supplies or returning to devastated areas to inspect their homes. Ambulances of the Red Crescent reached the hardest-hit areas, including Beit Hanoun and the eastern Shujaeya district of Gaza City, to recover bodies.

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85 wealthiest are richer than poorest 3.5 billion

gatesThe U.N.'s annual Human Development Report released Thursday shows that the world's 85 richest people are wealthier than the poorest 3.5 billion.

The top five countries ranked in the Human Development Index (HDI) are Norway, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States. The bottom five are all from Africa: Mozambique, Guinea, Burundi, Burkina Faso and Eritrea. The U.N. attributed slowing improvements in health, education and income to worsening income inequality, climate change and government corruption.

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Fed Court: Florida: doctors cannot discuss gun safety with patients

doctors cannot discuss gun safetyA federal appeals court is upholding a Florida law restricting what doctors can discuss about guns with their patients.

A panel of judges on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Friday overturned a decision from a lower court that found the law unconstitutional.

The appeals court called the law a "legitimate regulation of professional conduct" and that the limits imposed by it were "incidental."

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