A U.S.-born man who was abducted as a child, taken to Mexico and robbed of all his money in a harrowing trek back to the United States more than three decades later has found refuge at a San Diego church that is trying to reunite him with his mother in Wisconsin.
David Amaya Barrick, 37, was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents last month but freed after convincing authorities of his U.S. citizenship and contacting his mother for the first time since his 1979 abduction - only to vanish again for several days.
His mother, Kathy Amaya, 60, was so distraught by his disappearance that she called San Diego police last week to report him missing.
He ended up at the Iglesia de Cristo Minesterios Llamada Final, where church officials said on Tuesday they were trying to arrange a reunion with his mother, who lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
"We are going to find a way to get him to his family," said Pastor Freddy Rivas. "The grace of God brought him to our shelter and the grace of God will get him to his family."
Barrick was abducted from Chicago by his father and taken to Mexico, where he was left with his paternal grandparents. He grew up in the north-central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, seeing his father a few times, then made his way to the northeastern city of Monterrey, where he studied music.
Last week, he illegally crossed into California from Mexico with undocumented immigrants and was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol about a mile (1.6 km) east of the Pacific Ocean. In detention, he told Border Patrol agents that he was born in a Chicago hospital and is a U.S. citizen.
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Nov 13 2013
It was a day for celebration, even marriage -- at least for people who love numbers -- as the calendar rolled over to 11/12/13, or November 12, 2013.
The only other sequential date still to come this century -- at least in the American-style of putting the month before the day -- will be next year, on 12/13/14.
After that, it'll be around another 90 years before the next sequential date, in 2103, with 01/02/03, according to the site numerology.com.
"Happy 11/12/13!" popped up across the internet Tuesday, and on Twitter AsapScience called on people to make a wish at 14:15 (and 16 seconds).
Meanwhile, a number of American couples profited from the memorable date.
One such couple was Shanel Manzano and Elliot Bryant, both 27 and self-proclaimed math geeks, who said their vows on NBC's Today Show at 9:10 am exactly (creating a 9-10-11-12-13 sequence.)
In Lawrenceville, Georgia, marriage fees were waived at the courthouse Tuesday, and Fox 5 Atlanta reported that, by noon, some 20 couples had already taken advantage.
Laurette Veres, head of Houston Bridal Extravaganza, said of the date: "A normal Tuesday will not have any weddings. It's catchy and easy to remember. Now there will not be an excuse for the husband to forget the anniversary."
Brian Beitler, marketing director at David's Bridal, a large chain that sells wedding finery, said "iconic dates have become a trend in the United States."
Some 65,000 couples tied the knot on 07/07/07, the company said. Though just 3,000 wed on Tuesday, according to the company's estimates, that's still eight times as many as the same date a year earlier.
Next year's 12/13/14 falls on a Saturday, "so we predict this date could reach record breaking numbers," Beitler said.
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Nov 12 2013
An animal rights activist who committed suicide also killed 31 dogs she was looking after in a sanctuary at the same time.
Sandy Lertzman was found dead at her home she called Sandy's Safe Haven For All Animals in Moreland Hills, near Cleveland, Ohio, last week.
Alongside her body, which was found by a friend in a car in a garage attached to the property, were the bodies of the dogs.
The 62-year-old had been looking after animals at the centre for more than 40 years before ending her life.
Police said a suicide note was found inside her house.
Moreland Hills interim police chief Dale Canter said although the car's engine was running when her body was discovered, it was unclear how long she had been dead.
One dog was able to escape by jumping out of the car and was later found by police in the garage.
It is understood the surviving dog is recovering at the home with Ms Lertzman's husband Rick.
According to the website of the organisation she founded, Animal Rescue Foundation, Ms Lertzman also looked after cats, horses, deer, racoons, squirrels, geese, ducks and other birds.
The local paper said the other animals are being cared for by a worker at the foundation.
A statement on her foundation's website said: "We sadly mourn the passing of our founder, Sandy Lertzman.
"Sandy Lertzman, for over 45 years, was a pioneer in animal rescue. She woke every day to help all of god's beautiful creatures.
"Sandy's dogs were all formerly abused dogs that no one wanted or could not be adopted.
"Blind dogs, dogs with severe disabilities, dogs who could not be socialised - all the dogs found her love and compassion
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A controversy over a child's remark on an American television talk show that jokingly advocated killing Chinese people to avoid paying down U.S. debt to that country continued to simmer three weeks after the event, as China on Monday sharply criticized the show's host.
Chinese-American groups staged a protest demonstration on Saturday outside the California headquarters of ABC, the broadcaster of the show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
The controversy blew up after a segment of the show that aired on October 16. Host Jimmy Kimmel, who often uses children on his show for comedic effect on adult issues, asked a group of four children during a non-scripted segment how the United States should pay back the $1.3 trillion it owes to China, the world's second-largest economy. A 6-year-old replied, "Kill everyone in China."
Kimmel replied: "That's an interesting idea."
Kimmel's show is pre-taped.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said ABC must respond to the Chinese-American community's protests.
"It's necessary to point out that spreading racism and hatred runs counter to the media's social responsibility," he told a regular news briefing.
ABC has issued a statement expressing regret for the incident, and Kimmel apologized on October 28 on his show.
ABC, which is owned by Walt Disney Co, on Saturday issued a statement in Chinese intended for China that apologized again for the segment and said it has added new quality controls.
"The simple fact is, the segment should never have been broadcast," ABC said in the statement. "Systems we have in place for these types of things did not function properly, and steps have been made to try and prevent this kind of egregious mistake from occurring in the future."
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A Canadian tailor is releasing a three-piece suit that has everything a danger-seeking 21st century executive could need -- killer looks plus bulletproof protection that would make James Bond envious.
The company, Garrison Bespoke, believes it has combined style and safety, using lightweight carbon nanotube technology to absorb impact from bullets fired from handguns and prevent punctures from knife attacks.
All in all, the luxury suit, retailing at almost Can$20,000, seeks to provide a select few customers a way to avoid being killed while traveling abroad.
"We focused on making the ultimate James Bond suit," said David Tran, head of special projects for Garrison Bespoke.
"The tailoring industry is actually quite sleepy, and you want to be challenged like this."
Tran said the suit was inspired by a conversation with a client who was shot in a foreign country six months ago, but lived to tell the tale.
At his next visit to the store, he confessed that he was shaken up by the near fatal encounter.
Nov 12 2013
Vouchers for Matalan, John Lewis, Mothercare or supermarkets are to be dished out to new mothers if they feed their babies with breast milk.
Researchers from the University of Sheffield are examining ways to boost low rates of breastfeeding in parts of the UK.
Mothers will be given shopping vouchers worth up to £120 if their babies receive breast milk until they are six weeks old, and a further £80 if their babies are still breastfed at six months.
If the "feasibility" project is successful, the authors will conduct a national research project into the scheme.
But midwives have warned that financial reward should not be the main motivation for women to breastfeed.
The Department of Health has admitted it is funding the project, however, Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter stressed that he did not believe "financial incentives" were the best way of encouraging mothers to breast feed.
He said: "Breastfeeding has huge health benefits, and it helps to promote a strong bond between mum and baby. But it should be a woman’s choice to breastfeed and we know not all mothers are able to.
"Latest figures show nearly 74% of mums start breastfeeding and we have seen a general increase in recent years.
"We believe the main way to promote breastfeeding is not financial incentives, but to make sure women have all the information they need to make an informed decision."
The new study is to be trialled in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire - in areas where breastfeeding uptake rates are low.
Only 34% of UK babies are breastfed at six months with only 1% exclusively breastfed at this stage, said Dr Clare Relton, senior research fellow at the University of Sheffield.
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Nov 12 2013
A British father is recovering after being attacked by a crocodile in Mexico while playing golf with friends.
Dougie Thompson told the Daily Mirror he had stepped into a bunker to take a shot when the reptile sprung from nearby undergrowth and clamped down on his leg.
It was only after friends beat the animal with golf clubs and drove over it in a golf buggy that it released its grip, allowing Mr Thompson to be pulled to safety.
The 58-year-old, from Wishaw, near Glasgow, told the newspaper he needed 200 stitches after the crocodile tore through muscle in his thigh and hip.
"I couldn't feel pain, I was in total shock. It was like a big toy, big black eyes looking at me," he told the Daily Mirror.
"Hitting it was like hitting a brick wall.
"The crocodile tore away all the muscle in my thigh. My leg is like a butcher's shop window. Initially only two of us were going golfing. If that had happened, there is no way one friend could have helped.
"It would have pulled me back into the lagoon and had me for supper."
The group were on holiday in Cancun for a friend's wedding but the father-of-two is preparing to be flown home to Canada, where he lives with his family, for further treatment.
A Singaporean man with an unusual superhero-like name turned out to be a villain who consumed drugs and stole from his brother.
Batman bin Suparman, which means Batman son of Suparman in the Malay language, was jailed on Monday for two years and nine months for various offences including stealing his brother's automated teller machine card to make withdrawals, media reported.
The 23-year-old unemployed man had also broken into the office of a firm in western Singapore to steal money and taken heroin.
Batman, who has his own fan club on Facebook, became a social media sensation after an image of his identity card with his unusual name was circulated online.
Nov 12 2013
Australia's mail service has injected technology into the simple postage stamp -- creating a "video stamp" to deliver a personal message that recipients can view on their mobile phone.
Australia Post said the Video Stamp, to be distributed for free on some parcel services in the pre-Christmas period, was the world's first to allow users to send a 15-second personalised video along with their packages.
"Christmas is a time when people want to be with their loved ones but more and more friends and family are scattered across the country and around the globe," said Richard Umbers, executive general manager of parcel and express services.
"Australia Post has always helped people connect. This year we are doing more than ever to eliminate the tyranny of distance. The Video Stamp lets you send a little piece of yourself with your gift this Christmas."
The stamp, distributed free with Express Post and Express Courier International products before Christmas since Monday, can be accessed through a smartphone.
To use it, senders scan the stamp, attach it to their parcel and record a personalised greeting using their smartphone and the free Australia Post Video Stamp app within 12 hours of posting.
When the parcel is delivered, the recipient scans the stamp with their phone and it will play the message.
The personalised messages are available for viewing for 90 days after recording, via smartphones and online, and can be shared through social media and email.
Nov 12 2013
A Russian performance artist has been arrested after stripping naked and nailing his scrotum to a cobblestone in Red Square in protest at what he called the country's descent into a "police state".
Pyotr Pavlensky, 29, said the stunt was a metaphor for "apathy, political indifference and fatalism in modern Russian society".
Timed to coincide with Police Day, a national holiday celebrating Russia's law enforcement officials, Mr Pavlensky walked on to the square on Sunday afternoon, took off his clothes and took up his excruciating position outside Lenin's Mausoleum, one of the capital's most famous tourist spots.
Apparently undaunted by the autumnal Russian weather, the protest lasted for around an hour before Mr Pavlensky was removed from the ground by police.
Officers confronting the artist were initially clearly unsure how to proceed before covering him with a blanket and sending him to hospital in an ambulance.
He was given basic treatment, but refused to be admitted and accompanied officers to a police station to be arrested instead.
Explaining the stunt, which he has described as an art installation called "Fixation", Mr Pavlensky said: "It's not the bureaucrats' lawlessness that is stopping the society from action - it is fixation on its own defeat and loss that is nailing us harder to the Kremlin cobblestones.
"Thus creating a human army of apathetical statues, patiently awaiting their fate.
"Right now, when those in power are turning our country into one big prison, openly stealing from the population and redirecting financial flows into the enrichment and expansion of police apparatus and other security services."
"The society allows this lawlessness forgetting that their number is bigger and that their inaction is drawing the dawning of a police state nearer."
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