Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Obama, Sarkozy Push For UN Sanctions On Iran

With the president of France at his side, President Obama declared Tuesday he hopes to have international sanctions against Iran in place "within weeks," not months, because of its continuing nuclear program. But he acknowledged he still lacks full support at the United Nations.

Obama said he and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are "inseparable" in their thinking on the subject. For his part, Sarkozy told reporters, "Iran cannot continue its mad race" toward acquiring nuclear weapons.

Obama hailed France as one of the United States' oldest and best allies, noting the two countries have fought together on battlefields from Yorktown in the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan now. However, the two have had clear differences on Afghanistan, with the Obama administration pressing France as well as other European nations to send more troops, and Sarkozy so far resisting such requests.

Instead of troops, Obama will seek more French military or police trainers, according to two Western diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because the presidential discussions were private. French trainers have been among those killed in Afghanistan this year, and polls show most French voters don't support the effort.

Both presidents went to extraordinary lengths to defuse trans-Atlantic speculation of a chilly relationship. Obama repeatedly referred to Sarkozy by his first name and spoke fondly of his trip to Paris last year.

Florida Deputy Uses Google Earth To Make Arrest

A Florida Panhandle deputy was able to track down and arrest a man on charges of illegally dumping a boat near his home with a surprising tool: satellite pictures provided by Google Earth.

Deputy Gregory Barnes used the images after finding an 18-foot boat dumped in an undeveloped subdivision about 15 miles north of Pensacola.

Google Earth shows archived satellite and aerial images of communities across the world. Barnes used it to look at the surrounding area and saw a fuzzy image of the vessel at Dwight Everett Foster's home.

Authorities say Foster admitted dumping the boat and his son later removed it.

Police say it cost $18 to dispose of the boat at a landfill. Foster faces a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

UPDATE: School Staffs Face Tough Questions On Bullying

On a developing story we reported about last night...

School officials in western Massachusetts didn't follow all the anti-bullying advice they were given months before a harassed freshman girl committed suicide, according to a consultant who offered the tips.

Barbara Coloroso said she consulted with parents and administrators months before 15-year-old Phoebe Prince hanged herself in January. Authorities say she endured months of verbal assaults and threats, mostly in school and in person, although some of the bullying occurred on Facebook and in other electronic forms.

"The questions to ask are: Did they follow their own rules and did they keep Phoebe safe? Obviously not. And, did they deal effectively with the bullies? Obviously not," Coloroso said.

Nine fellow students face charges in connection with the girl's death, including two teen boys charged with statutory rape and a clique of girls charged with stalking, criminal harassment and violating Phoebe's civil rights. School officials won't be charged, even though authorities say they knew about the bullying.

Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel, who announced the charges Monday, said the events that occurred between September and Phoebe's death Jan. 14 were "the culmination of a nearly three-month campaign of verbally assaultive behavior and threats of physical harm."

Scheibel said the case is still under investigation and that one other person could be charged. It's unknown whether the teens who have been charged have attorneys.

Schiebel refused to discuss the circumstances of the rape charges.

No school officials are being charged because they had "a lack of understanding of harassment associated with teen dating relationships," and the school's code of conduct was interpreted and enforced in an "inconsistent" way, Scheibel said.

"Nevertheless, the actions - or inactions - of some adults at the school are troublesome," she said.

Phoebe was born in Bedford, England and moved to County Clare, Ireland, when she was 2. She moved last summer to South Hadley because the family had relatives there.

Tenant Says She Was Evicted Over Easter Decor

A Colorado jury is scheduled to hear arguments in a dispute between a landlord and a former tenant who says she was evicted over edible Easter decorations displayed on her door for two weeks after the holiday.

Carol Burdick says her landlord unjustly told her to remove a display of Easter stickers, Peeps marshmallow candies and plastic grass from her door shortly after Easter in April 2009.

After Burdick refused, the landlord removed the decorations and said Burdick was in violation of her lease, which says balconies, patios and other areas must be kept "in a clean sanitary condition."

Burdick then stopped paying rent. She was evicted in May. Burdick claims she was wrongly evicted. Building management AIMCO corporation is suing her for more than $2,000 in back rent.

Facebook To Scrap 'Become Fan Of' For 'Like'

Facebook is about to change the way it asks its users to connect to brands and celebrities on the site. Rather than ask people to "become a fan" of say, Starbucks or Lady Gaga, Facebook will instead let users click that they like the subject.

Facebook already lets people show that they like comments or pictures posted on the site, and it says users click that term almost twice as much as they click "become a fan." Facebook says changing the button will make users more comfortable with linking up with a brand and will streamline the site.

Businesses use Facebook pages, which are free to create, to connect with their customers and promote their brands. Facebook makes money from the advertisements these companies often use to draw users to their pages. The average user becomes a fan of four pages each month, according to Facebook.

"The idea of liking a brand is a much more natural action than (becoming a fan) of a brand," said Michael Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media, which helps companies establish their brands and advertise on social networks such as Facebook. "In many ways it's a lower threshold."

But while it might seem to be less of a commitment to declare that you "like" Coca-Cola than to announce you are a fan of it, the meaning essentially would stay the same: Your Facebook friends would see that you clicked that you "like" a page, and such pages would still be listed on your Facebook profile for anyone to see.

The world's largest online social network is known for constantly tweaking the way users experience the site. This often draws complaints, but Facebook continues to draw millions of new fans. More than half of its 400 million users log in every day.

Streaker Cites Boredom After Arrest

A man who has been charged with making a naked dash through a Tennessee supermarket told police he was "bored and didn't have anything else to do."

The Kingsport Times-News reports that a man entered an IGA store Friday night, wearing nothing but a face mask, and ran around the aisles.

A police report says officers found the suspect in the bathroom of a nearby Hardee's restaurant. Employees say he entered the fast food outlet wearing nothing but an orange hooded sweat shirt and asked if anyone could lend him clothes. An employee gave him a pair of athletic shorts.

Kingsport police arrested 22-year-old Daniel R. Lee of Church Hill and have charged him with indecent exposure.

Man Fleeing Police Jumps Fence - Into Prison

Police say a motorist fleeing officers in Cleveland abandoned his car and jumped a fence -- landing in what turned out to be a prison yard.

Garfield Heights police say the chase started in that suburb early Monday over a traffic violation and reached speeds of 90 mph.

Police say that after a race through several communities, the driver and a passenger bolted from the car and headed for a fence. They apparently did not realize it was on the outside the state women's prison in Cleveland.

The jumpers were arrested along with two other passengers who also tried to flee.

2 Trapped After Ride Gets Stuck In Air

Two passengers are trapped on a ride that got stuck in the air at the Miami-Dade County Fair on Tuesday afternoon, WPLG-TV reported.

The passengers were on a ride called the Space Roller when it got stuck. Officials said the two people were never in any danger. Rescue crews finally freed the passengers from the ride.

Recent Quakes

y/m/d h:m:s
MAP3.0 2010/03/30 20:42:18 44.672 -68.752 4.4 9 km ( 5 mi) ENE of Winterport, ME
MAP4.5 2010/03/30 09:14:18 31.675-113.534 10.0 39 km ( 25 mi) N of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico
MAP3.0 2010/03/30 04:05:52 18.865 -67.330 6.0 51 km ( 32 mi) NNW of Cabán, PR
MAP3.4 2010/03/30 01:20:35 18.665 -69.709140.7 18 km ( 11 mi) SSE of Monte Plata, Dominican Republic

AP; Reuters; Boston Globe; KVOR radio, Colorado Springs; Facebook; Kingsport Times-News; WPLG-TV, Miami; Pensacola News Journal; USGS

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