Recently in International Category

Two Australian radio hosts have come off the air indefinitely after a prank call to the hospital treating pregnant Kate Middleton may have led to the suicide of the nurse who answered the phone, according to the New York Times.

On Tuesday, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, hosts of the 2Day FM show, called the King Edward VII hospital where Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is being treated for acute morning sickness, according to Reuters. The pair successfully convinced a nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, 46, that they were the Queen and Prince Charles asking about her medical state, according to the New York Times.

On Friday, Saldanha, a mother of two, was found dead after a suspected suicide, according to Reuters. The radio hosts were immediately taken off the air and are currently receiving counseling, according to the New York Times.

"I spoke to both presenters early this morning, and it's fair to say they're completely shattered," said Rhys Holleran, the network's chief executive, quoted on The Lede blog. "These people aren't machines, they're human beings. We're all affected by this."

Iran captures American drone, Navy denies

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Iran claimed to have captured an American unmanned drone on Tuesday, and displayed it on national broadcasts, though American Navy says that all aircrafts in the region have been accounted for, according to the Washington Post.

The conflicting accounts have led to controversy about intelligence and reconnaissance efforts in the region. According to the Washington Post, there have been doubts about the capture of the drone, because of its good condition, despite its lightweight carbon-fiber body.

There is a possibility that the drone was taken from the sea or from another country in the region that uses drones, according to the Washington Post.

According to the Reuters, White House spokesman Jay Carney said: "We have no evidence that the Iranian claims are true."

Russian snow causes 125-mile traffic jam for days

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Snow outside of Moscow has had vehicles trapped on the road for more than two days, according to Reuters. Police have said that field kitchens are running, but many of those trapped said that supplies were not reaching them. In the subzero temperatures, many are running out of gasoline to heat their cars.

Efforts to remove the snow were showing signs of progress, according to CNN. By Sunday evening, the jam line was down from 125 miles to 34. In other areas, a lane on each side had been partially cleared, allowing trucks to crawl along at 3-6 mph.

Snow and traffic problems in December are not new to Russians, but many had other complaints as well, according to CNN. According to many social networking sites, cafe's along the route were taking advantage of the situation by raising prices. Many gas stations ran out of fuel, and trucks were not getting through to refill them, according to CNN.

The Emergencies Ministry was on site offering what help it could, including psychological help for those struggling to cope, according to CNN.

New Archbishop of Canterbury Seeks Reconcilliation

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The newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, a leader among Anglican Christians worldwide, is already causing a stir with his plans to allow women to become bishops and his willingness to discuss gay rights, according to the New York Times.

Justin Welby, a former oil executive, has been a reverend for less than a year, but his other experience put him ahead of competitors, according to CNN.

In his new role, he will be facing not only challenges of GLBT rights, female bishops, but a gigantic shift in the locations and ranges of community of 77 million he will be leading. While there are dramatic declines in the UK and the United States, there has been a large increase of support in places like South Asia.

"I am always averse to the language of exclusion," Welby said, according to the New York Times. "Above all, in the church we need to create safe spaces for these issues to be discussed in honesty and in love."

With his belief that homophobia has no place in the church, he will be one of the highest positions within any of the major religious communities to recognize the need to accept GLBT groups.

Oldest Mayan Tomb to Date Found in Guatemala

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Scientists found jewels, jade, and symbols of early Mayan culture in an ancient tomb in western Guatemala, according to the BBC. No bones were found in the tomb, but scientists explain remains likely disintegrated in the more than 2000 years of internment.

"He was a big chief," said government archaeologist Miguel Orrego, according to the BBC. "He bridged the gap between the Olmec and Mayan cultures in central America."

The owner of the tomb was nicknamed by the scientists as K'utz Chman, which in the Mayan language means Grandfather Vulture, because the vulture symbolism in his tomb indicates his status as ajaw, or ruler.

"This symbol gives this burial greater importance," Orrego said, according to U.S. News. "This glyph says he ... is one of the earliest rulers of Tak'alik Ab'aj."

According to U.S. News and the Associated Press, the discovery a the Guatemala's Tak'alik Ab'aj temple site could shed light on early years of Mayan civilization. Historians were cited by Rueters as saying that this ruler may have been responsible for introducing elements into Mayan culture like pyramid-building and sculpture-carving to represent royal families. According to the AP, the jade and other items found in the tomb could also provide information about trade patterns and production.

Disney, the media and theme park giant, still seems unsure of itself when it comes to a firm place online. Disney.com is being redesigned for the third time in five years, as is DisneyStore.com. According to the New York Times, the site was launched earlier this month.

Robert A Iger, Disney's chief executive says the site is cleaner, simpler, and more elegant. The company hopes to revamp its gaming, mobile, and internet division after 15 quarters of losses, totaling nearly a billion dollars.

Some question why it took the powerful company so long to figure out the process. With an entire generation of target consumers spending increasing amounts of time online, the company's future will also need to be integrated.

The DisneyStore.com has several new features hoping to attract shoppers before and during the holiday season. One particular development is a customizable "Magical Video Message" that one can access when the gift is delivered, according to the HeraldOnline.

According to the New York Times, the struggles that big media conglomerates have faced show just how challenging it can be for traditional media sources to enter into the new cyberworld. In their efforts to find a niche, they have even let go of the "go-it-alone" policy, and have developed content for platforms such as Youtube.com.

"We have a long way to go," said John Pleasants, former chief executive of Disney's game console branch, "but we have a plan and just need to execute it."

A 26-year-old man has been charged with the July kidnapping of two photographers from the UK and the Netherlands, according to Reuters. Shajul Islam was arrested at Heathrow Airport on October 9th.

Islam is accused of imprisoning John Cantlie and Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans from July 17th-26th while the two were working near the Syrian border.

Prosecutor Piers Arnold told the court on Wednesday that Islam was a trainee doctor who studied at St Bart's and University London Hospital, and that Islam had joined a jihadist group in Syria as a medic, according to the BBC.

When he was arrested earlier in October, Islam was traveling back from Egypt with his wife and one-year-old daughter. Reuters reported that the 26-year-old woman believed to be his wife was also arrested, but she has since been released without charge.

The next hearing will be on November 2nd.

Jumping from the Edge of Space

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ROSWELL, N.M. -- An Austrian skydiver broke the sound barrier in a dive on Sunday, becoming the first man to reach supersonic speeds without a jet or spacecraft, and setting a new record for high-altitude free fall, according to the Boston Globe and Washington Post.

According to preliminary data from the Boston Globe, daredevil Felix Baumgartner hit Mach 1.24, or 833.9 mph. He jumped out of a capsule as it reached an altitude of 128,100 feet above the Earth. According to the Boston Globe, the descent lasted for just over nine minutes. Almost half of it was spent in a free fall of 119,846 feet, according to Brian Utley of the International Federation of Sports Aviation.

According to the Boston Globe, the 43-year-old former paratrooper has said this is his last jump. Instead, he intends to settle down with his girlfriend and fly helicopters.


A former drama teacher at a Faribault prep school has been charged with 17 cases of sexual misconduct and molestation of former students, according to KSTP.

According to the Star Tribune, Lynn Seibel was fired in 2003 after child pornography was discovered on his computer. Complaints of misconduct had been filed as early as 2001, but no outside authorities were ever notified.

An investigation began after a young man told a community corrections agent with whom he was working that Seibel had forced him and other students to perform sexual acts in front of him. SInce then, several other young people have come forward.

According to KSTP, Seibel has now admitted to touching several of the students in a dorm room, among other charges listed in the criminal complaint. Police still expect more alleged victims to come forward.

Seibel is currently being held in Los Angeles for charges unrelated to this investigation.

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