Changes in the way we think about the world are not "news" in the classic sense -- they occur gradually, without discrete events to signal them. But they matter. Two such developments have come together recently, both reported in the New York Times.
The trend for tourists from wealthy countries to visit slums in countries like India, Brazil and South Africa has been steadily increasing over the last few years. Proponents of the industry argue, however, that ignoring poverty will not make it go away. Harold Goodwin, director of the International Center for Responsible Tourism in Leeds, England told the New York Times "Tourism is one of the few ways that you or I are ever going to understand what poverty means.
A video showing Brazilian police spraying a Rio de Janeiro slum with gunfire from a helicopter while in pursuit of a drug trafficker has raised concerns about law enforcement tactics in the country. The video, which was recorded in May 2012, shows police pursuing convicted drug trafficker Márcio Pereira, widely known as Mathematician, through the shanty down Favela da Coréia.
The Catholic Church has pointedly left the threat of excommunication hanging over Irish lawmakers who vote against the church's teachings on abortion in an upcoming parliamentary vote in the country. The coalition government introduced legislation on abortion on Friday, following a huge international outcry over the death of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian woman who died in an Irish hospital after being denied an abortion.
In Wisconsin, Audrey Edmunds served 11 years in prison in the shaking death of an infant girl for whom she had been baby-sitting. In 2008, a mountain of new medical evidence cast so much doubt on the case that a higher court overturned her conviction and set her free. Leaving prison, Ms. Edmunds hoped that would be the end of it
What does a person who was held hostage by Somali pirates not want to be confronted with again? We're guessing a room full of pirates would be pretty high up there. But that is exactly what Captain Colin Darch, who was held captive in the Indian Ocean by Somali pirates for weeks in 2008 was confronted with, when he came to give a lecture to a Womens' Institute group in Devon, England.
The cities of Florence, Jerusalem and Paris all have psychiatric disorders associated with them - and tourists are the most likely to fall prey to them. Paris Syndrome is an affliction primarily affecting Japanese tourists visiting the City of Light for the first time, who succumb to extreme culture shock and the shattering of their romantic image of the city. While an encounter with a rude Parisian waiter may be considered par for the course by most Western tourists, BBC News reports that for the Japanese - used to a more polite society in which voices are rarely raised in anger - the experience of having their dream city turn into a nightmare can simply be too much.
Laura and Rich Howard were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary with a scuba dive off of La Paz, Mexico, when their dive master instructed all divers to return to the boat quickly. The reason for his haste soon became apparent, as a pod of up to 20 orcas (killer whales) began following the boat and playing in its wake. In an interview with CNN, Rich Howard described how the massive animals got within "maybe 6-8 inches," of their boat.
Horrifying video has emerged purportedly showing the crash of a U.S. cargo plane in Afghanistan on Monday. The video, which appears to have been shot by a vehicle's dashboard camera, shows the National Airlines Boeing 747 taking off from the Bagram Airfield military base.
This may not seem out of place in a country in which you can play video games on a toilet and the national tourism ambassador is... Hello Kitty, but Japan has a crying baby competition, and it's a little weird.
The House Republicans are contemplating a new budget-hostage strategy, the the Washington Post reports in a story that is both highly useful and inadvertently Onion-esque. The hallmark of Onion news reporting is conveying insanity as if it were sane in a completely deadpan way. The news contained within the story is that the House GOP is thinking of tying the next increase in the debt ceiling to tax reform.
It isn't everyday that a giant alligator walks into the middle of a professional sporting event and makes himself at home, but that's what happened yesterday. Spectators and marshals were startled when the animal, estimated to be about 12 feet long, marched onto the side of the 12th fairway and started taking in the action, or possibly just sunning himself. He then made his way through a sand trap and returned to the water.
A man who claims to have been carjacked by the men authorities suspect were responsible for the Boston bombings told authorities that the duo spared him because he "wasn't American," according to NBC News.
Patch Associate Regional Ad Director Al Wilson was detained by police while returning to his home in Watertown, Mass. on Thursday night. Here, he explains what happened:
Anzor Tsarnaev, the father of Boston marathon attack suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, described his son Dzhokhar as a "true angel," who is intelligent. Tsarnaev, whose son Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police Thursday told ABC News that he had spoken with his sons Thursday. My opinion is: the special services have framed my children, because they are practicing Muslims.
One of the stars of Barack Obama's 2012 State of the Union address was Jackie Bray, a single mother who was laid off in 2011 and struggled for months to find a good-paying job. Bray's luck finally turned, the president explained, when German industrial giant Siemens hired her at a turbine factory in North Carolina. Though Bray didn't have the skills Siemens wanted, the company partnered with a local community college to train workers like her and even covered their tuition.
The family of murder accused Oscar Pistorius have released a statement bemoaning the tone of social media comments about the case. Part of the family's statement read: “The disregard that is being shown by some - specifically those commenting via social media - for the profound pain that Reeva's family and friends are going through is very troubling. There is not a moment in the day that Oscar does not mourn for his girlfriend and Reeva's family, and all those who were close to her are in his thoughts constantly.
Leaders of the Georgia NAACP have urged education authorities in the state to end a school's practice of allowing racially segregated proms. "These children want to go to prom together. The children in question are the students of Wilcox County High School, which has a longstanding practice of having both separate proms and homecomings for black and white students.
"You Can’t Always Get What You Want," according to one famous Rolling Stones track. Fans might want to heed that advice, as a furious backlash has erupted online over the $500 price of some tickets at the band's upcoming London gig. Standing-room tickets at the front of the Hyde Park venue in London are going for £330 (just over $500), with the cheapest tickets at the back of the park going for £95 ($144).
A group of high school students in Wilcox County High School, GA., are taking a stand against their school's practice of holding racially-segregated proms by organizing the first-ever integrated prom in the school's history. Stephanie Sinnot, Mareshia Rucker, Quanesha Wallace, and Keela Bloodworth are lifelong friends, who say they do everything together. "We are all friends," Stephanie told WSAV.
In Florida, President Obama has nominated the first openly gay black man to sit on a federal district court. In New York, he has nominated the first Asian American lesbian. And his pick for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit?
On March 29, 1994, nearly 500 police officers staged a show of force at the state courthouse in downtown Honolulu the likes of which hadn't been seen in the islands before or since.
On "Bloody Sunday," nearly 50 years ago, Hosea Williams and I led 600 peaceful, nonviolent protesters attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery to dramatize the need for voting rights protection in Alabama. As we crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, we were attacked by state troopers who tear-gassed, clubbed and whipped us and trampled us with horses. I was hit in the head with a nightstick and suffered a concussion on the bridge.
As a general rule, the craziest, most rabid, most provably false political ideas come from the political extremes. They flourish within small ideological subcultures that lock out opposing viewpoints. But occasionally such weird myths can be found not on the fringes but in the center.
Sisters Jill Kelley and Natalie Khawam invaded Tampa society like twin buccaneers. They were hilariously over-the-top, stars of their own imaginary reality show. But as they climbed ever higher, the revelations became ever more disturbing, with an FBI investigation, an American hero brought down, and, told here for the first time in detail, a tangled history of their own.