Today in history, February 23


This Just In

Talk about good karma.

Well-wishers from around the world are opening their wallets to a homeless man who returned a diamond engagement ring to its rightful owner, after she accidentally dropped it in his donation cup.

“I actually feel like I’m especially lucky to have this ring now. I loved it before. I loved it so much, but I love it so much more now. I feel like it has such great karma,” Sarah Darling told CNN’s “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.”

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This Just In

A Somali terror leader implored his fellow countryman in California to send money ‘to finance jihad,” triggering a chain of events that ended with four convictions.

U.S. government agents recorded dozens of such calls a few years ago, according to the Department of Justice.

And on Friday, prosecutors played them to jurors in San Diego, who found four Somali nationals guilty of supporting terrorism in their native country.

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This Just In

This will be one short-lived Twitter feed.

When Pope Benedict XVI leaves office on February 28, his Twitter presence as @Pontifex will also come to an end, according to Vatican Radio.

Benedict has been active on Twitter for only about two and a half months, but more than 2 million people have chosen to follow his tweets in nine languages.

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The Academy Awards Are Sunday Evening. It’s the most fabulous time of the year in Hollywood, although it probably helps if you’re somehow involved in Argo. (Los Angeles Times)

Seth MacFarlane Will Host. It’s the first time hosting the Oscars for the creator of Family Guy, and he’ll reportedly close the show with a musical number rather than the traditional Best Picture announcement. (ABC News)

Seven Discontinued Oscar Categories. Kind of disappointing to learn that not one of these was “Best Talkie,” but life goes on. (mental_floss)

The Embarrassing Early Films of Oscar-Winning Directors. These are nice and all, but remember that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Adrien Brody and Matthew McConaughey were in Angels in the Outfield together. (Flavorwire)

Speaking of Best Picture Winners:Slumdog Millionaire actress Frieda Pinto visited a nursery in her hometown of Mumbai for Plan International’s “Because I Am a Girl”…

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Yu the turtle has surmounted her latest hurdle.

Life hasn’t been easy for for the 25-year-old loggerhead turtle. In 2008, her front fins were torn off in a shark attack; after being caught up in a fishing net, Yu was sent to Suma Aqualife Park in western Japan, according to Agence France-Presse.

After that, Yu has been on a difficult journey toward recovery. Scientists have been trying to restore her swimming ability by designing turtle-specific high-tech prosthetic flippers. On Feb 12, the 212-pound turtle donned her latest one – her 27th pair, in fact — in front of an excited crowd at the aqualife park, AFP reported.

(More: Endangered Animals: Better Looking, Better Protected?)

A video from ITN News showed how the rubber limbs were attached to a vest slipped over Yu’s head. The turtle appeared to be quite nonchalant during the process.

She was then released into…

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On paper, it presumably sounded like a winning ticket. Hot young Hollywood heartthrob Shia LaBeouf makes his Broadway debut alongside veteran Alec Baldwin (still a heartthrob to many). The play? Lyle Kessler’s Orphans. The previews? Less than a month away. What could possibly go wrong?

The answer, apparently, is plenty. According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Daniel Sullivan “became worried” about LaBeouf’s “performance choices” shortly before the Transformers star left the production.

(TIME MAGAZINE: The Kid Gets the Picture)

But the 26-year-old actor wasn’t about to go quietly into the New York night. He’s since tweeted an Orphans audition video and screenshots of what he said were email exchanges between himself and Sullivan, Baldwin and Kessler. LaBeouf actually apologized to Baldwin “for my part of a dis-agreeable [sic] situation,” which elicited the following response from Sullivan.

I’m too old for disagreeable situations. you’re one hell of…

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Mashed Potato Bulletin

Ron PaulIt is quite astonishing those who dismiss trust in government as gullibility are the very same people who believe so fervently a wholly for-profit system will be altruistic.   

Ron Paul will pen book advocating a free-market approach to education

Fresh off a presidential primary run and retirement from Congress, Ron Paul is hitting the books.

Actually, he’s writing them. The former Texas GOP congressman is turning his libertarian focus to education with a new book that advocates for a free-market approach to schooling and education.

“New School Manifesto” will be published by Grand Central Publishing Sept. 17, just in time for back-to-school season.

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This Just In

The Pentagon’s most expensive weapons system is going to spend some time on the bench.

The U.S. military on Friday grounded the F-35 fighter jet due to a crack in an engine component that was discovered during a routine inspection in California. The fighter is currently being tested.

The Pentagon said in a statement that it was too early to assess the impact on the nearly $400 billion fleet of jets designed for use by the Navy, Air Force and Marines.

The program has been beset by cost overruns and various technical problems during development.

Currently, there are 51 planes in the F-35 fleet.

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