Afghan Officials Arrest 5 with 11 Tons of Explosives

| No Comments

Afghan security forces arrested five men Saturday who possessed 11 tons of explosives, which they are suspected to have possessed in order to attack the capital of Kabul.

The men were arrested on the outskirts of Kabul, where they were driving a truck with Pakistani license plates. The truck contained 400 bags holding explosives hidden beneath sacks of potatoes, reported MSNBC. Three of the men were Pakistani terrorists, while the other two were Afghani collaborators. All five confessed to being trained by the Pakistani Taliban.

According to the New York Times, the explosives were also intended to be used in assassinating Afghanistan's second vice president, Karim Khalili.

On the same day the men were arrested, other attackers took over buildings in Kabul. The Taliban posted video clips of their attack plots on heir Alemara website.

Boy's Lemonade Stand Raises $10,000 in One Day

| No Comments

A 6-year-old boy from Gladewater, Texas, raised over $10,000 on Saturday when he set up a lemonade stand to help fund his father's hospital bills.

Drew Cox charged 25 cents per cup as he attracted customers in from within 70 miles away, reports the New York Daily News.

According to MSNBC, Drew's father, Randy Cox, suffers from seminoma, a type of testicular cancer. But in Randy's case, the tumors have appeared in his chest and other unusual spots.

Among the donations to Randy Cox's cancer fun was a $5,000 check. A friend of his, Tameka Royal, set up an internet account to generate donations to the family, which includes Cox's wife and two other boys in addition to Drew.

Trayvon Martin Shooter to be Freed on Bond

| No Comments

George Zimmerman, the man accused of shooting and killing Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, was granted bail by a Florida judge Friday.

Zimmerman's bond was set at $150,000, and his release could occur as soon as the middle of next week. Zimmerman will have to wear an ankle monitor given his release, reported MSNBC.

Among the restrictions Zimmerman will face on bail are no drinking, no possession of firearms, no contact with the Martin family, and 7 PM to 6 AM curfew.

At his hearing, Zimmerman apologized to the Martin family, saying, "I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not."

Trayvon's parents called Zimmerman's first attempt at reaching out to them "insincere and self-serving."

Zimmerman, 28, maintains that he shot Trayvon Martin, 17, in self-defense, reported USA Today. Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, asked that Zimmerman be able to leave the area while he is on bail due to safety concerns.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester was assigned to the case, replacing judges before him who claimed conflict of interest impaired their ability to tend to the case.

Population Growth Expected for Twin Cities

| No Comments

The Twin Cities' population is expected to expand, age, and diversify by the year 2040, claimed the Metropolitan Council in a report released Wednesday.

Met Council Chair Sue Haigh said the Council projects that over 40 percent of the population will be people of color in 2040, reported MPR News. The area's population is expected to add 893,000 people to its population over the next three years, 460,000 of which will be immigrants.

And because of the aging baby-boomer generation, a majority of households will be single or childless two-person dwellings. Overall, the number of people older than 65 will increase from 300,000 at the last census to 770,000 by 2040.

Minnpost interpreted the Met Council's data to say that the area's population growth will slow by 2040, and only grow by 31 percent.

The Gross Metro Product in 2040 is projected to be $400 billion, which will only amount to 1.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product in the region, which accounts for less than one percent of the nation's population.

Still, two-thirds of population growth over the next three decades will result from births exceeding deaths, Minnpost and the Met Council reported.

Minneapolis Lake Monster is Just Art

| No Comments

Alongside children, boats and fish, art is one more thing Minnesotans can expect to find in the lake this summer.

For the past three years, Minneapolis artist Cameron Gainer has displayed a Loch Ness Monster look-alike in local lakes. The creature, named Minne, first appeared in Lake Harriet, and made her way to Lake of the Isles, Brownie Lake, and Powderhorn Lake, reported CBS Minnesota.

Gainer said Minne was initially presented in a number of art exhibitions, but found her home in Minnesota. Although her location is always a surprise, Minne's Twitter and Facebook profiles give fans hints as to where she might show up.

Minne can be expected to make her first appearance of the year in mid-May, and she won't move to another lake until after a few weeks.

According to the Huffington Post, Minne is a 13-feet-tall gimmick by the Minneapolis Parks Foundation to attract more people to the city's parks this summer.

A former Modesto, Calif., teacher who quit his job to move in with his 18-year-old student girlfriend was arrested Friday on charges of sexually abusing a student almost 15 years ago.

Jordan Powers, 18, promptly broke up with Christopher Hooker, 41, when he called her from jail after his arrest, MSNBC reported. The student whom Hooker allegedly abused met Hooker online in 1998, when she was a 17-year-old student at Davis High School in Modesto, where Hooker worked at the time.

Powers said she believes the woman previously involved with Hooker came forward to rescue Powers' relationship with him.

According to the Associated Press, investigation on Hooker's history of sexual abuse began in February of this year, when Hooker and Powers came forth to the public about their relationship. The now ex-couple claims they didn't have a sexual relationship until Powers turned 18, although they met while Powers was still a 14-year-old student at Enochs High School in Modesto.

Hooker was arrested n one count of oral copulation with a minor, and a judge set his bail at $50,000. The judge set a hearing for next Tuesday to consider lowering Hooker's bail.

Avalanche Buries 135 in Pakistan

| No Comments

An avalanche crashed down on a military base in Pakistan close to the India border Saturday, leaving 135 people, including 124 soldiers, missing, reported BBC News.

No survivors have yet been found since 6 a.m. Saturday, when the 70 feet deep snowdrift covered the Gayari base, located on the side of the 49-mile-long Siachen Glacier in the Himalayas, reported the New York Times.

According to Time, the Siachen Glacier is known as the world's highest battlefield, where more people have died from weather conditions than from combat.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since 1947 over Kashmir, and have kept troops from both countries stationed on the Siachen since 1984.

An avalanche in 2010 killed 24 Pakistani troops, which was previously the largest loss in an avalanche until Saturday.

Navy Jet Crashes into Apartments, Called an "Miracle"

| No Comments

A Navy F/A-18 jet crashed into an apartment complex in Virginia Beach, Va., Friday, leaving about 40 units destroyed and landing seven people in the hospital.

According to the Associated Press, a student pilot and his instructor caused the crash that injured them and five others on the ground. All of them were released from the hospital by Saturday. The lack of casualties in this incident led the Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms to call it a "Good Friday miracle."

The jet emptied most of its fuel before it the crash, which caused the explosion to be less extensive, reported AP. Lives were also spared because the plane crashed into the apartment complex's courtyard in the middle of the day when fewer people are at home.

Mayfair Mews Apartments, where the jet crashed at about 12:05 p.m., is located about four miles northeast from where the jet took off, at the Naval Air Station Oceana, MSNBC reported. The two pilots ejected from the jet, but the parachute of one tangled on the building, where residents cut him free.

The cause of the crash is still unspecified, but Capt. Mark Weisgerber, deputy commodore of Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic, said "catastrophic mechanical malfunction" was to blame.

Gophers Linebacker Found Dead in Dorm

| No Comments

University of Minnesota senior and former Gopher football linebacker Gary Tinsley died Friday morning at the age of 22, just weeks before graduating.

Tinsley's roommate in Roy Wilkins Hall checked on Tinsley after his alarm sounded for too long without being turned off, and found him not breathing. Tinsley's roommate then called the campus police around 7:30 a.m., and after about 30 minutes of resuscitation attempts, Tinsley was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:15 a.m., reported USA Today Sports.

Police found no evidence of foul play at the scene, but are still suspicious of the death because "the death of a young athlete is out of the ordinary," university Police Chief Greg Hestness said.

According to Kare 11, Tinsley had two brushes with the law during his college career. Police arrested Tinsley for being involved in a brawl during his sophomore year, and he was charged with a DUI after being chased by police while driving the wrong way down a one-way street on his moped as a junior. Friends and teammates said Tinsley settled down after that incident.

Tinsley, who was from Jacksonville, Fla., will receive his business management degree posthumously.

St. Paul Woman Rescued from Burning House

| No Comments

St. Paul firefighters climbed to the top of a three-story house Wednesday night to rescue a woman trapped inside the burning building.

The rescue happened around 11:30 p.m. at a red-brick house on 829 Portland Ave. in St. Paul, reported the Pioneer Press. No others were reported to be inside the house at the time.

The rescued woman was sleeping when the fire occurred, but awoke at the sound of loud voices outside and smoke in her bedroom. Firefighters climbed up two ladders to retrieve her from where she leaned out of a window to shout for help. One firefighter gave the woman his air mask to help her breathing.

St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard said the back of the house was engulfed in flames upon the firefighters' arrival. The first two floors of the house were damaged by smoke and water, while the third floor and attic sustained only fire damage.

In the wake of the fire, the street view of the house appears normal, save for a broken window, said Kare 11.