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Defendant in Loud Music Killing Says He Acted in Self-Defense

Originally posted on U.S.:

A Florida man charged with killing a teenager after a fight about loud music testified in a Duvall County courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida Thursday that he acted in self-defense.

Michael Dunn, 47, said that he felt threatened after a verbal altercation with three teenagers who were parked next to his car and playing “thumping” music outside a convenience store near Jacksonville, Fla. in November 2012, the Associated Press reports.

Dunn said someone in the car called him a “cracker,” a derogatory term for white people, and that he thought he saw a gun barrel pointed at him from the vehicle.

According to his testimony, one of the African-American teenagers then stepped out of the car, prompting Dunn to fire several shots at the vehicle, ultimately killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

Dunn, whose lawyers invoked the controversial “stand your ground” defense, was reportedly teary-eyed during the testimony.

After the defense rested its…

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‘We’ve Doubled Our Capabilities’ Ahead of Storm, Atlanta Mayor Tells TIME

Originally posted on U.S.:

Consider it a test run. Two weeks ago, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed became a late-night punch line for his city’s response to a winter storm that stranded commuters along interstates, inside schools and on the floors of convenience stores despite just a few inches of snow accumulating. Hundreds of people were injured and officials reported one storm-related death.

The city’s inability to handle a winter storm turned its leaders into a national joke — a picture of a highway gridlocked in one direction and empty in the other that called to mind the AMC zombie-apocalypse show The Walking Dead didn’t help matters; Reed and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal blamed each other for the region’s preparedness problems.

(MORE:Georgia Braces for Second Snowstorm in Two Weeks)

On Wednesday, another severe storm is set to hit the area. Reed tells TIME that Atlanta is ready for this one. Seriously.

“We’ve doubled…

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Belgium Set to Extend Rght-to-Die Law to Children

Obama Slams Russia for Blocking U.N. Syria Action

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Disturbing Stuff Happens When You Use Bing For Chinese-Language Searches

Originally posted on World:

Microsoft’s search engine Bing appears to be censoring information for Chinese-language users around the world in the same way as it does for users in mainland China, media reports say.

Anticensorship campaigners at GreatFire.org say that searches for what Beijing regards as controversial terms — such as Dalai Lama, June 4 (the date of the bloody Tiananmen protests in Beijing in 1989) and Falun Gong — return vastly different results when conducted in Chinese instead of English.

(MORE: China Censorship Fail: Hundreds of Million Sent to Blocked Website)

While an English search for Dalai Lama directs you to the Tibetan leader’s homepage and Wikipedia page, the results of a search for 达赖喇嘛 are topped by the Dalai Lama’s entry in China’s heavily censored Wikipedia rival, Baidu Baike, as well as a link providing details of a documentary by the state-controlled broadcaster CCTV. Additionally, English searches turn up images…

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Media Freedom Declined Around the World in 2013

Originally posted on World:

The 2013 World Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders shows declines in media freedom in all parts of the world, with the United States, Guatemala, Central African Republic and Malaysia among the countries that have taken the biggest drops on the annual list.

According to Lucille Morillon, head of research at Reporters Without Borders, the main explanation for the declining press freedom in many countries is either armed conflicts – Syria, for example, is ranked 177th out of the 180 measured countries – or “overly broad and abusive interpretation of the concept of national security protection,” which the report claims is the case in the U.S.

The index in based on seven criteria, including media independence, transparency and legislative frameworks. Northern European countries Finland, the Netherlands and Norway head the index again this year, while the bottom three spots are once more occupied by Turkmenistan, North Korea and…

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People of Sonora, Please Stop Naming Your Children Facebook and Circumcision

Originally posted on World:

Parents in Mexico’s Sonora state must refrain from naming their children Facebook, Rambo, Circumcision and 58 other appellations deemed “derogatory” by local authorities.

“The law is very clear because it prohibits giving children names that are derogatory or that don’t have any meaning and that can lead to bullying,” said Sonora state Civil Registry director Cristina Ramirez, according to Associated Press.

Other banned names in Sonora include Spanish equivalents of “Martian” and “Circumcision”.


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Florida Man Charged in Loud Music Killing Takes Stand

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Justin Bieber’s Wax Statue Has Been Groped To Death

Originally posted on NewsFeed:

It’s a sad, sad day for Madame Tussauds in Time Square. Justin Bieber’s wax figure has had to go into early retirement due to damage from excessive groping, the New York Post reports.

How could you, Beliebers? How could you.

Madame Tussauds general manager Bret Pidgeon told the Post, “This is disappointing, but hopefully we can welcome a new ‘grown-up’ Justin back to the attraction in the near future.”

But I mean, who isn’t hoping a “grown up” Justin appears in the near future?

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