The Explorer: Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines

  • (April 21) Today's Top Headlines - Student suspended for asking Miss America to prom

    MSN.com:A high school senior in Pennsylvania sparked a flurry of online outrage after he was suspended for defying school administrators’ orders and asking Miss America to the prom during an assembly Thursday.Patrick Farves, 18, approached the pageant princess, Nina Davuluri, as she addressed students at Central York High School to discuss the importance of diversity and math and science studies. In a gap between his classmates’ pre-vetted questions, Patrick handed Davuluri a purple plastic flower and said, “Miss America, I have a question. Will you go to prom with me?”He didn’t get a date out of the prank, but he did get national attention after a three-day school suspension prompted hundreds of supporters to rally to his defense on social media, launching the hashtag #FreePatty.Patrick is the class clown, and word of his plan to ask Davuluri to the school dance had spread days before her visit to the school. That’s why an administrator took Patrick aside 10 minutes before the assembly, telling him it would not be the appropriate venue for his question.On TODAY Monday, the jokester said he doesn’t regret ignoring the school’s warning.

  • (April 21) Today's Top Headlines - Boston Marathon kicks off with 36,000 runners

    MSN.com:The first wave of Boston Marathon competitors hit the pavement at 8:50 a.m. Monday, the first of 36,000 entrants hoping to endure the 26.1 miles from Hopkinton, Mass., to downtown Boston.The 118th running of the venerable race comes a year after twin bombings at the finish line killed three people and wounding more that 260.As many as 5,000 runners who were unable to cross the finish line at Boylston Street last year because of the explosions are back.While security is tight, including 3,500 police officers in uniform and plain clothes, 100 cameras and strict restrictions on what spectators and runners can carry, Massachusetts police are promising a fun and celebratory environment.“We want families and kids and everyone to come out and cheer on our runners,” said Col. Tim Alben of Mass. State Police. “This is a great day for Massachusetts and the city of Boston and for our country,” he said, according to NBC affiliate NECN.

  • (April 21) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

    1. Huge field lines up to run the Boston MarathonAbout 36,000 athletes converged to run in the 118th Boston Marathon under tight security on Monday, part of the storied race's emotional return a year after a deadly bombing at the finish line. The field is the event's second largest ever — race organizers expanded it so roughly 5,000 runners prevented from finishing after last year's blast could run again. "We're taking back our finish line," a runner from California said. [The Boston Globe, Reuters]………………………………………………………………………………2. Biden heads to Ukraine as diplomatic deal faltersVice President Joe Biden began a two-day trip to meet with Ukrainian leaders on Monday as violence frayed a diplomatic deal calling for separatists to give back occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine. At least three people died Sunday in a gunfight reportedly between Ukrainian nationalists and pro-Russia separatists. New photographic evidence appears to confirm some of the "green men" occupying government facilities are Russian special operations forces. [USA Today, The New York Times]………………………………………………………………………………

  • (April 18) Today's Top Headlines - At Least 13 Sherpas Dead as Avalanche Sweeps Mount Everest

    An avalanche swept down a slope of Mount Everest on Friday along a route used to ascend the world's highest peak, killing at least 13 people in the mountain's deadliest disaster.NBC News confirmed that all of the dead were Sherpa guides. The guides had gone early in the morning to fix the ropes for hundreds of climbers when the avalanche hit them just below Camp 2 around 6:30 a.m. local time, Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal told The Associated Press.Tilak Ram Pandey, an official at the ministry's mountaineering department, later told Reuters that some other people were thought to be missing.Read more here: 

  • (April 18) Today's Top Headlines - Police: Arrest warrant issued for captain, 2 crew members of sunken S. Korea ferry

    Jindo, South Korea (CNN) -- An arrest warrant has been issued for the captain of the ferry that sank off the coast of South Korea, an accident that killed 28 people and left nearly 270 missing.Two other crew members also face arrest, a spokesman for the joint prosecutor and police investigators said Friday.The spokesman did not provide any further detail.The cause of the accident still isn't known. But a South Korean prosecutor said the captain, Lee Joon Suk, wasn't in the steering room when the Sewol started to sink; a third mate was at the helm."It is not clear where (the captain) was when the accident occurred, although it is clear that he was not in the steering room before the actual accident happened," state prosecutor Jae-Eok Park said Friday.The captain was one of at least 179 people rescued soon after Wednesday's sinking.

  • (April 18) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

    1. Russia agrees to deal on easing tensions in UkraineRussia, Ukraine, the United States, and the European Union struck a deal Thursday calling for pro-Russia separatists to surrender local government buildings they seized in eastern Ukraine. The agreement also spells out steps to defuse tensions. President Obama said the deal was promising but if it fizzles the U.S. still could impose more sanctions on Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin declined to rule out sending troops if violence escalates. [The New York Times]………………………………………………………………………………2. Mount Everest avalanche kills at least 12An avalanche killed at least 12 Nepalese Sherpa guides on Mount Everest early Friday. It was the deadliest disaster ever on the world's highest mountain. Three other guides are still missing. The guides had set out early to fix ropes for other climbers below Camp 2. Hundreds of climbers, along with their guides and support crews, are gathered at the base camp to attempt to reach the 29,035-foot summit when weather permits next month. [The Associated Press]………………………………………………………………………………

  • (April 17) Today's Top Headlines - Organized Crime, Gangs Make Latin America Most Violent Region

    For more than half a century, Latin America has ruled the world as the most violent place on earth.In 2013, nearly one in every three murders that occurred globally took place in the streets of Latin America – where just 8 percent of the world's people live.The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime recently released their “Global Study on Homicide 2013” which examined peacetime murder statistics from all over the world and ranked 13 of the top 20 countries to be in Latin America and the Caribbean. Honduras, Venezuela and Brazil are among the countries with the highest murder rates in the world.In 2012, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime registered 134,519 homicides in Latin America out of the 440,000 murders globally."Ever since 1955, murder rates in the Americas have been five times higher than in Europe or Asia," said Angela Me, the chief of research at the UNODC. “That remains the case today. Latin America has the highest rate of criminal violence in the world.”Read more here: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/organized-crime-gangs-make-latin-america-most-violent-region-n83026

  • (April 17) Today's Top Headlines - Questions mount in South Korean ferry disaster; hundreds still missing

    Jindo, South Korea (CNN) -- Anguished relatives of missing South Korean ferry passengers waited sullenly for answers Thursday as rescuers fought bad weather, murky water, darkness and time to find a way deep into the capsized ship.Authorities believe 287 people -- many of them high school students on a field trip -- remain trapped inside the five-story ship. At least some, authorities say, could still be alive more than a day after the ship rolled over.Meanwhile, the ferry's captain is facing mounting questions about the incident.Among other things, authorities are investigating the possibility the ship was off course when it ran into trouble, as well as reports that few of its lifeboats made it into the water, according to Kim Soo Hyeon, the chief of South Korea's Yellow Sea Maritime Police Agency.Ferry captain Lee Joon Suk, his head and face covered, broke down in tears when reporters asked if he had anything to say.Read more here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/17/world/asia/south-korea-ship-sinking/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

  • (April 17) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

    1. Separatists attack Ukraine base as Geneva crisis talks beginPro-Russia separatists attacked a military base in eastern Ukraine on Thursday as diplomats gathered in Geneva for crisis talks. Three separatists were killed in the clash, making it the deadliest yet in the 10-day uprising. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Kiev's attempt to crush the protests by force was pushing the country into an "abyss." The White House threatened Russia with fresh sanctions if it doesn't defuse tensions. [Reuters]………………………………………………………………………………2. Hope fades in search for survivors of sunken South Korean ferryHundreds of people were feared to have died aboard a ferry boat that sank within sight of land just off South Korea's southern coast. Nine people have been confirmed dead, but the toll is expected to rise sharply as crews continue to look for the nearly 300 passengers still missing a day after the vessel tipped over in cold water. Investigators are looking into reports by survivors that the crew told people to wait for rescuers instead of escaping. [USA Today, CNN]………………………………………………………………………………

  • (April 16) Today's Top Headlines - Memory of Boston Marathon victim spurs on 2014 runners

    When Beth Zerilli told her 8-year-old daughter that she planned to run the 2014 Boston Marathon, Sophie burst into tears.“She said, ‘You can’t do that. You’re going to get hurt,’” Zerilli recalled.Sophie’s fears made sense. Most of what Sophie knew about the Boston Marathon was related to the tragic events of the 2013 Marathon, which struck particularly close to home since the Zerillis’ college friends, Bill and Denise Richard, lost their 8-year-old son Martin in the bombings.Zerilli’s husband, Sal, lived with Bill Richard and another friend, Larry Marchese, in college when they were in the same fraternity at Bridgewater State. The three men and their significant others all grew to be close friends by the time they graduated. But when the Zerillis moved out of state after college – first to Los Angeles, then Seattle and Toronto – the couples were busy raising their own families and it proved difficult to stay in touch more than a phone call every now and then updating each other on the latest in everyone’s lives.Then came a life-changing call last April from Marchese. The Zerillis were in Canada on Marathon Monday to finish packing up their home in Toronto since they had moved back to Massachusetts in January. The cable was already disconnected, so they had no Internet or television to tell them what was going on in Boston. The Zerillis did not know how bad it was until Monday night, when they received a call from Marchese telling them Martin was killed and his younger sister Jane lost her leg.“Our initial response was how soon we could do something for them,” Zerilli said. “We didn’t want to bother Bill and Denise but we knew the Marcheses were helping the Richard family with their children. They were in the hospital with them. We were just saying ‘OK, we’re going to be home in two days. Can we watch your kids? What can we do for you so you can help support them?’”

  • (April 16) Today's Top Headines - NATO: Our troops will fend off Russia

    NATO vowed Wednesday to toughen its military presence in Eastern Europe in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.“We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more readiness on the land,” Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters in Brussels. “We will start to implement these measures straight away.”Ukraine has begun to confront pro-Russian militants in its eastern cities, and Russia has amassed an estimated 40,000 troops along its border with Ukraine. The Ukrainian prime minister said Wednesday that Russia is building a “new Berlin Wall.”Outside analysts say that Russia is trying to destabilize eastern Ukraine, just as it did with the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. Russian troops took control of Crimea last month, claiming to protect ethnic Russians there, before Russia formally annexed the peninsula.NATO said that it will fly more policing missions over the Baltic region, put ships in the Baltic Sea “as required” and step up its training for NATO-allied military.Ukraine is not a NATO member, but the former Soviet republics of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are. They have asked NATO for additional protections because they fear Russian aggression.

  • (April 16) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

    1. Ferry sinks off South Korean coastAt least four people died and 295 were missing Wednesday after a South Korean passenger ferry carrying 450 people capsized and sank off the country's south coast. About 320 of the people on board were high-school students traveling with teachers to the resort island of Jeju. Search vessels and helicopters hurried to the scene to pluck people from the stricken ship. Authorities said they could not immediately determine what went wrong. [CNN, The Guardian]………………………………………………………………………………2. Boston Marathon finish line evacuated over bomb scarePolice evacuated the finish line of next week's Boston Marathon on Tuesday, the anniversary of the bombing at the race's finish last year, when a man chanting "Boston strong!" dropped a black backpack on the street. Police detained him and detonated the backpack, along with another unattended bag, as a precaution. The suspect told police his bag contained a rice cooker. The incident came after ceremonies honored the victims of the 2013 attack. [Daily News]………………………………………………………………………………

  • (April 15) Today's Top Headlines - Robotic Submarine Comes Up Short in First Deep Dive: Now What?

    A robotic submarine was set to be launched on a second underwater sweep for wreckage from missing Flight MH370 Tuesday after deep water ended an initial dive, triggering questions about whether the vehicle is capable of completing its mission.The U.S. Navy-owned Bluefin-21 gathered about six hours of data before returning to the surface of the southern Indian Ocean almost 1,000 miles off Australia's west coast.The unmanned sub had been expected to search for 16 hours but a built-in safety feature ended the journey after it exceeded its "operation depth limit" of 14,763 feet -- or about 2.8 miles, officials said.Bluefin-21 can create a three-dimensional sonar map of the area to chart any debris on the sea floor. The initial data collected was analyzed but no objects of interest were found.Searchers are confident they know the approximate position of wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet which vanished on March 8. They are moving ahead with the sub search on the basis of four acoustic signals they believe are from its black box recorders. However, no "pings" have been heard for almost a week.Read more here: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/missing-jet/robotic-submarine-comes-short-first-deep-dive-now-what-n80581

  • (April 15) Today's Top Headlines - A year after the marathon bombings, Boston perseveres

    (CNN) -- "United, we will always persevere." That was the message Massachusetts shared with the nation and the world Tuesday, on the anniversary of twin bombings that turned last year's Boston Marathon from a celebration into a day of horror.The state tweeted those words, along with an image of both the U.S. and Massachusetts flags, and the hashtag #BostonStrong.Mayor Tom Menino, Gov. Deval Patrick and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to echo that message Tuesday afternoon at a tribute marking the anniversary. The Boston Pops and a children's choir will take part.Three survivors are scheduled to speak: Patrick Downes, David Yepez and Adrianne Haslet-Davis. Downes was a newlywed at the time of the attack. He and his wife, Jessica Kensky, each lost a leg.Yepez, a teenager, was injured. He'll be joined at the ceremony by his father, Luis. Haslet-Davis, a dancer, lost her left foot in the attack.Near the end of Tuesday's ceremony, at 2:49 p.m. ET, will be a moment of silence, followed by church bells tolling and a flag-raising ceremony.Read more here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/15/us/boston-marathon-bombing-anniversary/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

  • (April 15) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day

    1. The Post and The Guardian win a Pulitzer for Snowden storiesThe Washington Post and The Guardian were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service for their articles on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, Columbia University announced Monday. The articles resulted in a review of the NSA's mining of telephone and internet communications data, and sparked a debate on balancing privacy rights with the need to thwart terrorists. [The New York Times]………………………………………………………………………………2. Ukraine moves against pro-Russia separatistsUkraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, told the country's lawmakers Tuesday that an "anti-terrorist operation" was underway against pro-Russia separatists occupying state buildings in the eastern Donetsk region. Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said Ukraine was "on the brink of civil war." President Obama, by phone, urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to de-escalate tensions. Putin said he wasn't meddling in Ukraine. [Reuters, The Associated Press]………………………………………………………………………………

  • (April 14) Today's Top Headlines - Ukraine's deadline passes for pro-Russian rebels to surrender

    Pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine on Monday ignored an ultimatum from the Kiev government to leave government buildings as another police headquarters in the region fell to separatists.As the 9am deadline passed with no sign of the protesters leaving barricades in Donetsk or Slaviansk, at least 100 pro-Russian separatists attacked the police headquarters in the eastern city of Horlivka. Video footage shown on Ukrainian television showed ambulance staff said to have been called to treat the injured.Protesters in Slaviansk, which was expected on Monday to be the focus of a broad government "anti-terrorist" operation involving the army, meanwhile issued a bold call for Russian president Vladimir Putin to help them while Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, asked for the deployment of UN peacekeepers.Following the death of a state security officer and the wounding of two others near Slaviansk, Turchynov gave a televised address on Sunday night in which he promised amnesty to those who had not fired at security forces if they laid down their arms and vacated government buildings.In an emergency meeting soon after of the UN security council in New York, Russia described Ukraine's threat to mobilise armed forces as a "criminal order".Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/14/ukraine-deadline-pro-russian-rebels-passes

  • (April 14) Today's Top Headlines - Ebola: A swift, effective and bloody killer

    Conakry, Guinea (CNN) -- It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here.We had just landed in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. In the fields right outside the airport, a young woman was in tears. She started to wail and shout in Susu, one of the 40 languages spoken in this tiny country of 12 million people. The gathered crowd became silent and listened intently.The young man sitting next to me quietly translated, although I already had my suspicions. He told me the woman's husband had died of Ebola, and then quickly ushered us away. It is probably not surprising the airplane bringing us into Conakry was nearly empty, as are all the hotels here. Not many people in the United States have ever visited Guinea, or could even identify where it sits in West Africa. It is already one of the world's poorest countries, and the panic around Ebola is only making that worse.Some of it is justified. That's because this time, the outbreak is different. In the past, Ebola rarely made it out of the remote forested areas of Africa.

  • (April 14) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day

    1. Three die in shootings at Jewish community centers in KansasThree people, including 14-year-old Reat Griffin Underwood and his grandfather William Lewis Corporon, were shot to death at two Jewish community facilities outside Kansas City on Sunday. The suspect — Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller — shouted "Heil Hitler!" as he was arrested. The Southern Poverty Law Center described him as a "raging anti-Semite" with past ties to the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups. [CNN]………………………………………………………………………………2. Bubba Watson takes his second Masters titleBubba Watson won the Masters golf championship on Sunday, surging to a three-shot victory on the final day of the tournament. It was Watson's second Masters win. He won his first green jacket two years ago in his first major tournament victory. He started the day even with Jordan Speith, a 20-year-old Texan who was playing in his first Masters and trying to become the storied tournament's youngest winner ever. [Los Angeles Times]………………………………………………………………………………

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