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Man charged with hoax near Boston marathon finish line
Written by PHILIP MARCELO, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 05:56

BOSTON (AP) — A man taken into custody near the Boston Marathon finish line late Tuesday, the anniversary of the deadly pressure cooker bombings, had a rice cooker in his backpack and was being charged with possession of a hoax device, police said.

The man was stopped by an officer who saw him acting suspiciously, including walking down the middle of a street barefoot in pouring rain, Police Superintendent Randall Halstead said. The man dropped the backpack and told the officer it contained a rice cooker, he said.

The incident took place hours after ceremonies to mark last year's Boston Marathon bombings, in which two pressure cooker bombs hidden in backpacks exploded, killing three people near the finish line and injuring more than 260 others.

The backpack Tuesday night was blown up by the bomb squad as a precaution as was a second unattended backpack found nearby. Halstead didn't release the identity of the man in custody and wouldn't say what was in the second backpack or who owned it. He said police were investigating.

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South Korea says 293 missing in ferry disaster
Written by HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press YOUKYUNG LEE, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 05:55

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A multi-story ferry carrying 459 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast Wednesday, leaving nearly 300 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by ships and helicopters. At least two people were confirmed dead and seven injured.

The high number of people unaccounted for — likely trapped in the ship or floating in the ocean — raised fears that the death toll could rise drastically, making it one of South Korea's biggest ferry disasters since 1993 when 323 people died.

One student, Lim Hyung-min, told broadcaster YTN after being rescued that he and other students jumped into the ocean wearing life jackets and then swam to a nearby rescue boat.

"As the ferry was shaking and tilting, we all tripped and bumped into each another," Lim said, adding that some people were bleeding. Once he jumped, the ocean "was so cold. ... I was hurrying, thinking that I wanted to live."

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T. rex gets new home in Smithsonian dinosaur hall
Written by BRETT ZONGKER, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 14:31

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 100 years after dinosaurs were first displayed on the National Mall, T. rex — the king — is joining the Smithsonian collection after a 2,000-mile journey from Montana.

Paleontologists and curators unveiled parts of a nearly complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton Tuesday, including its jaw with teeth as big as bananas, at the National Museum of Natural History. FedEx delivered the dinosaur bones in a special truck carrying 16 carefully packed crates that were kept at room temperature for the four-day trip.

A large leg bone and the T. rex teeth drew "ahs" as Museum Director Kirk Johnson told a crowd that the skeleton ranks as one of the top five T. rex skeletons discovered because it's about 85 percent complete.

"It lay in the ground much as it had died on the shores of a stream in Montana just over 66 million years ago," Johnson said.

It was discovered in 1988 on federal land in Montana and is one of about half a dozen nearly complete T. rex skeletons that have been uncovered.

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Dress codes: Where should schools set limits?
Written by MARTHA IRVINE, AP National Writer   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 05:48

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — They're called leggings — popular fashion items that are tight-fitting pants to some, and glorified tights to others.

Younger girls often wear them as pants with little fuss. But as those same girls approach middle school, leggings have become a clothing accessory that's increasingly controversial — and seemingly, the favorite new target of the school dress code.

Some schools have banned leggings outright. Others have set limits. Haven Middle School in Evanston, just north of Chicago, took what turned out to be a contentious stand: If you wear leggings, you need to have a shirt or skirt over them that reaches at least down to your fingertips.

In other words, girls need to cover their behinds.

It might seem a reasonable enough request at a time when school dress codes — and even school uniforms — are common and often supported by teachers and administrators who frequently complain about students who push the limits of good taste, and the parents who let them (and may even push those limits themselves).

But how far is too far? And do schools sometimes go too far in pushing back?

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Suspected extremists kidnap 100 girls in Nigeria
Written by HARUNA UMAR, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 14:22

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Suspected Islamic extremists abducted about 100 female students from a school in northeast Nigeria before dawn Tuesday, but some of the teens managed to escape from the back of an open truck, officials said.

The girls were abducted after midnight from a school in Chibok, on the edge of the Sambisa Forest that is an insurgent hideout, said Borno state police commissioner Tanko Lawan.

Gunmen killed a soldier and police officer guarding the school, then took off with at least 100 students, a State Security Service official said.

A local government official said he did not know how many of the girls have escaped but that "many" have walked through the bushes and back to Chibok. The girls were piled into the back of an open truck and, as it was traveling, some grabbed at low-hanging branches to swing off while others jumped off the slow-moving vehicle, he said. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to give information to reporters.

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