Female journalist killed

Female journalist killed, 21-year-old woman has become the latest victim of a series of deadly attacks against journalists in Somalia.

Rahma Abdulkadir, whose work focused on women's rights, was murdered on Sunday night as she was travelling to her home in the Yaaqshiid neighbourhood of the capital, Mogadishu, colleagues and friends confirmed.

Abdulkadir was shot by two men after she and a fellow journalist, Munira Ibrahim, left an internet cafe at about 9.30pm.

"Two men armed with pistols approached us and started shooting Ms Abdulkadir," Ibrahim said. "Within seconds I saw her falling on the ground with a lot of blood coming from her head. They shot her in the head three times and in the neck two times. There were no police and I had to escape from the scene."

Ibrahim had worked with Abdulkadir at Radio Caabudwaaq in the Galgaduud region of central Somalia. The station's director, Abdukarim Bulhan, described Abdulkadir as an active young journalist who had been working with him since 2010. In January last year she moved to Mogadishu, where she was also intending to join a local university.

Bulhan said: "She was an active and young female journalist with the aspiration to be a role model. Her main focus was human rights in Somalia, particularly women's rights."

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Abdulkadir is the third journalist killed in Somalia this year.

The National Union of Somali Journalists has demanded that the work of a taskforce established by the Somali government to probe media assassinations be sped up. Last year 18 media workers were killed, mostly in targeted murders, but no arrests have been made.

Mohamed Ibrahim, secretary-general of the union, said: "We condemn this unacceptable killing. We want to call on the government to open investigations into all the journalists assassinated in Somalia."

Augustine Mahiga, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Somalia, also expressed shock. "I condemn this hideous attack in the strongest terms and send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Rahma Abdulkadir," he said.

Baby left with note

Baby left with note, in a car had a note pinned to it, the note instructed anyone passing by that the mother was in the store grocery shopping and if the baby needed anything to call her on her cell phone. According to Vibe on Monday, March 25, 2013, someone took a picture of this baby wrapped up in a car seat with the note pinned to the blanket in New Zealand.

The note was written from the baby's perspective, “My mum is in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything,” the woman's cell phone number was also on the note. One parking lot witness said her and her husband stayed by the car thinking that this mother must have run into the store for just a second because how could anyone leave a baby alone in the car for even a minute, never mind any longer?

The man said his wife wouldn't leave until the mother came out to the car. They were there “a little bit,” reports the husband.

No charges were filed against the mother of this child because no one reported this incident to the police. You would think that someone would have made a complaint to law enforcement if not for anything else, but to make sure this mother never attempts this again.

T-Mobile contracts

T-Mobile contracts, the struggling No. 4 cellphone company, is ditching plans centered on familiar two-year contracts in favor of selling phones on installment plans.

The company changed its website over the weekend to sell the new plans. It was set to lay out the rationale for the change on Tuesday at an event in New York.

T-Mobile has been losing subscribers from its contract-based plans for more than two years, chiefly to bigger competitors Verizon Wireless and AT&T. T-Mobile has done better with contract-less, prepaid plans, but those aren't as profitable for the company.

The new plan blurs the boundaries between the two types. Prepaid plans have lower monthly fees, but the buyer usually has to pay full or nearly full price for the phones. With T-Mobile's new plans, the initial phone-buying experience won't be much different from what it's like for contract plans, but customers could save money in the long run.

For instance, someone who wants a Samsung Galaxy S III would pay $70 upfront and then $90 per month for unlimited calling, text and data. That monthly fee includes $20 to pay off the cost of the phone over two years.

By separating the cost of the phone from the service, T-Mobile is making its plans and upgrade options easier to understand. When the phone is paid off, the $20 fee in that example disappears. On traditional contract-based plans, the buyer is deemed to have "paid off" the phone after a certain period of time and become eligible for a new, subsidized phone, but the monthly payments don't decline.

As before, T-Mobile's prices generally undercut those of the bigger phone companies. The chief downside is that its data network coverage is poorer in rural areas.

T-Mobile stopped short of adopting shared-data plans that Verizon Wireless and AT&T introduced last year. Those plans allow all of a family's devices to share a pool of monthly data usage. Instead, T-Mobile is selling data per line in three tiers. The talk and text portion of the plan comes with 500 megabytes of data usage per month. Adding $10 bumps that to 2 gigabytes per month, while adding $20 provides unlimited data.

A big part of the reason for the exodus of contract-signing customers from T-Mobile is that it, alone among the four national-level cellphone carriers, doesn't offer the iPhone. That's because its network has, until recently, not been able to offer high-speed data service to iPhones. It's now able to offer high-speed data to iPhones in some cities, and had been trying to persuade iPhone owners who have come off their contracts with AT&T to move the phones over to T-Mobile.

Rock band splits

Rock band splits, fans of My Chemical Romance aren’t happy to hear that the group has decided to break up after 12 years together, MTV reported on Mar. 25.

According to the report, My Chemical Romance will no longer make music together; leaving fans upset and shocked by their big announcement.

"My Chemical Romance is done. But it can never die,” singer Gerard Way said of the rock band deciding to split. “I want to thank every single fan," Gerard said. "I have learned from you, maybe more than you think you've learned from me.
I feel Love.
I feel love for you, for our crew, our team, and for every single human being I have shared the band and stage with.”

However, it doesn’t seem that Way’s career is over. The My Chemical Romance singer seems optimistic about the future, and has plans to continue on.

What are your thoughts on the rock band My Checmical Romance splitting? Are you a fan of their music?

Matt Lauer ABC

Matt Lauer ABC, The longstanding host of NBC's the Today show was on the brink of defecting to rival network ABC last year, it has emerged.

Matt Lauer, who has anchored the popular morning programme since 1997, was so close to making the move to ABC last year that everybody close to the situation thought the deal was 'signed, sealed and delivered', according to a report.

The claims emerge amid reports the 55-year-old journalist's $25million NBC contract will not be renewed when it expires next year, after the fiasco surrounding the dismissal of former co-anchor Ann Curry saw his popularity with viewers take a nosedive.

Move: Today show host Matt Lauer was on the brink of moving to rival network ABC last year, it has been claimed

ABC chiefs including Bob Iger, CEO of parent company Disney, and Ben Sherwood, ABC News boss, all thought the move was confirmed, as did Lauer's agent, according to a report in the New York Post.

The NBC stalwart would have become an ABC News personality, co-hosted the Katie Couric talk show, and taken an occasional role on Good Morning America, said the report, which cited New York magazine.

But the journalist changed his mind and decided to stay at NBC, a decision which is said to have left Mr Iger and others 'infuriated'.

Ratings slide: Matt Lauer, seen left with co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, is said to have changed his mind and stay at NBC - his home of almost 20 years

The Today show was thrown into turmoil after co-anchor Ann Curry was sacked from her post, and Mr Lauer was not seen to fight for his colleague.

The handling of Ms Curry's dismissal prompted a backlash from viewers of the show, which is now in second place behind Good Morning America in the ratings.

Dismissal: The treatment of former co-anchor Ann Curry has seen some viewers desert the Today show

Mr Lauer's Q Score - the television industry's measure of popularity - has slumped from 19 last September to 9 in January. Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos now ranks higher than Mr Lauer in the popularity stakes for the first time.

Earlier this month it was reported that the high-profile television personality's $25million contract will not be renewed when it expires next year.

Willie Geist, 37, and David Gregory, 42, have been named as potential replacements for Mr Lauer in news reports in the U.S.

Bar Refaeli controversy

Bar Refaeli controversy, A new pro-Israel ad has sparked controversy, not for its subject matter but for its star: Bar Refaeli.

The Israeli supermodel has come under fire for her appearance in the latest hasbara (public relations) campaign after an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson wrote a letter criticizing the casting choice. The reason? Refaeli's evasion of the country's compulsory military draft, which has become a standard coming-of-age experience for 18-year-old Israelis.

Israel's Channel 2 News reported the contents of the letter sent by spokesman Big. Gen. Yoav Mordechai to the Foreign Ministry Director:
"The choice of a representative who did not serve in the military as an official presenter on behalf of Israel, conveys the message that we ignore and forgive evasion of enlistment, and encourages identification, among youths of both sexes, with the success of those who did not enlist ... The IDF has been operating, in the last few years, in a variety of ways, to strengthen the value of IDF service, and to fight the phenomenon of enlistment evasion, in order to preserve the societal value that sees the IDF as the people's army.”

According to Israeli law, men are required to serve three years while women are required to serve two. Refaeli, however, found a conscription loophole by marrying a family friend in 2007 so that she could continue her already-successful modeling career. She went on to date Leonardo DiCaprio and pose for brands like Sports Illustrated magazine and Victoria's Secret.

This hasn't sat so well with many Israelis. When the blonde bombshell landed a lucrative campaign with Fox in 2008, a boycott was threatened, demanding that Refaeli complete her military service before appearing in the ads. Critics were assuaged when the fashion company promised that the model would visit hospitalized IDF soliders and encourage enlistment.

Then in 2010, Maj. Gen. Avi Zamir spoke out against the model during a speech at IDC when asked about Refaeli's lack of prominence in the country's public relations activities. "At the end of the day she needs to look at herself in the mirror," he said. "The military is a central part of our society."

Of course, rather than boost Israel's profile, the 27-year-old's appearance in the hasbara campaign has only reignited the national tension surrounding her so-called "draft-dodging." Refaeli acknowledged the controversy on her Instagram account, posting a photo with the caption, "You can use the clip for the Foreign Ministry or drop it, but my Instagram feed has more readers than Israel’s most popular newspaper [Yedioth Ahronoth]!”

What do you think of this latest backlash? Should the public just forgive and forget?

NBC Robin Roberts tweet

NBC Robin Roberts tweet, When “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts left to receive treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome, NBC reportedly told former “Today” host Ann Curry that she could not sent a tweet to support her.

New York magazine reported Monday that Curry, who was ousted from the show last year, could not send a message of support when Roberts was seeking treatment for her illness because they were “afraid she was trying to aid the enemy.”

“Ann Curry was gone but not gone, which created a situation of spectacular awkwardness. Any trust that had existed between Curry and Today was shattered,” an excerpt from the New York article reads.

It added: “When Robin Roberts left Good Morning America a month later to get treatment for MDS, Curry asked NBC if she could tweet a note of sympathy for the ABC co-host. NBC said no, afraid she was trying to aid the enemy.”

According to the article, Lauer also reportedly was in talks with ABC at one point to join the network after he heard that Ryan Seacrest might be tapped to replace him on “Today.” However, he later signed a reported $25 million deal with NBC.

“Lauer learned of the leak [about Seacrest] while being forced to stand outside the security gate at the White House Christmas party because Ann Curry had forgotten her driver’s license,” the magazine said.

Over the year, “Today” show ratings have slumped, and the show was named second-place in ratings for the first time in 16 years, according to the New York Times. The show has lost around $50 million in advertising revenue.

Virgil Trucks dies

Virgil Trucks dies, Virgil "Fire" Trucks, who threw two no-hitters for the Detroit Tigers in an otherwise dreadful 1952 season and was the last pitcher to toss a complete-game no-hitter at Yankee Stadium, has died. He was 95.

Charter Funeral Home and Crematory in Calera, Ala., confirmed Trucks' death but did not release a specific cause.

The two-time All-Star died Saturday near Birmingham, Ala. He pitched in the major leagues from 1941-58, helping the Tigers beat the Chicago Cubs in the 1945 World Series.

"Virgil will forever be remembered for his significant contributions in Tigers history," team owner Mike Ilitch said in a statement. "Virgil remained a friend to the club following his career and will be greatly missed by those of us who had the pleasure of knowing him."

Trucks is one of five pitchers to throw two no-hitters in a season, according to STATS. The others were Johnny Vander Meer (1938), Allie Reynolds (1951), Nolan Ryan (1973) and Roy Halladay (2010). One of Halladay's no-hitters came in the postseason.

Trucks threw his in a year the Tigers lost 104 games — it was the first time Detroit reached triple figures in losses, and stood as a team record until 1996. The right-hander went 5-19 with a 3.97 ERA that season, but he held Washington without a hit on May 15 and did the same to the Yankees in New York on Aug. 25.

The only other time the Yankees have been hitless at their own ballpark since then came in 2003, when six Houston Astros blanked New York in a combined no-hitter at the old Yankee Stadium.

Trucks pitched 12 seasons for the Tigers and also had stints with the St. Louis Browns, Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Athletics before finishing with the Yankees in 1958. At the time of his death, he was believed to be the oldest living player who appeared for either the Tigers or Yankees.

According to STATS, the oldest living Yankee is now believed to be Rugger Ardizoia, who was born in Italy on Nov. 20, 1919. Ardizoia's entire big league career consisted of one relief appearance for the Yankees in 1947 — he allowed two runs on four hits in two innings.

The oldest living Tiger is now believed to be Eddie Robinson, who was born in 1920 and played 13 games for Detroit in 1957, near the end of his career.

Trucks was born in Alabama and is in the sports Hall of Fame in both Alabama and Michigan. The Tigers have only thrown seven no-hitters, and Trucks was the only pitcher to throw more than one with Detroit until Justin Verlander tossed no-hitters in 2007 and 2011.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski talked about Trucks after his team's spring training game Monday against the Miami Marlins in Jupiter, Fla.

"I got to know him years ago when I was working in Florida with the Marlins. We happened to sit at the same table for a SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) luncheon. What a fine gentleman. I really, really enjoyed his company," Dombrowski said. "Within the last month, he called and left a message with my secretary. He wanted to say hi. ... She didn't really know him as well ... and he said, 'Gee, I really like those spring training hats, I was wondering if I could get a couple of them.' I called my secretary and said, 'Call Virgil Trucks, and he can have whatever he wants — home hat, road hat, you send him whatever he needs.'"

Trucks was 1-0 in the 1945 World Series, when the Tigers beat the Cubs in seven games. That was the last year the Cubs reached the Series.

Trucks' best season may have been 1949, when he went 19-11 with a 2.81 ERA, edged Warren Spahn for the major league lead in strikeouts with 153 and tied for the lead with six shutouts.

Trucks went 20-10 in 1953, splitting time between the Browns and White Sox. He was 19-12 for Chicago in 1954 with a 2.79 ERA.

Karen Black cancer

Karen Black cancer, Actress Karen Black has turned to online crowd-funding in an effort to pay for cancer treatment, reports Deadline Hollywood.

The 73-year-old, who starred alongside Jack Nicholson in "Easy Rider," was diagnosed with ampullary cancer in November 2010. After undergoing an operation to remove a third of her pancreas, followed by chemo and radiation therapy, the actress was thought to have beaten the disease in July 2011. But sadly, just a few months later, the cancer returned and it has now spread to her lungs and lower back.

Now, Black is looking to raise $17,000 so she'll be able to enroll in an experimental treatment in Europe. Black's fundraising campaign was launched on March 14, and she's already raised close to $14,000.

Black's husband Stephen Eckelberry explains on the Gofundme page that the campaign is necessary, despite Black's successful career as an actress:

"So here is the big question; why would someone like Karen need money," Eckelberry acknowledged, and explained:

"Yes, she was an actress in movies, but most of the high-paying work dwindled out many years ago. She has a modest pension and medical insurance (thank goodness), but as anyone knows who has fought cancer, that is not enough. In the last two years we have used up all of our savings keeping Karen alive – traveling – treatments, getting people to help her. We have nothing left. And the European treatment is not covered by insurance."

According to Eckelberry, Black had been battling cancer privately as she was hoping she would be cured and would be able to call herself a survivor, but decided to come forward with the public campaign as it could be her last hope at beating the disease.

Eckelberry wrote that he wasn't able to go into detail about the treatment his wife is seeking in Europe, but "we have to move fast, Karen needs to go in the next few weeks, otherwise she might be to weak to go at all."

Why Obama won't be watching SCOTUS

One in an occasional series of observational pieces keyed off the White House daily briefing.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest scored a political point Monday when Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason asked whether the president would be watching the historic oral arguments on gay marriage at the Supreme Court this week.

The Supreme Court

“How is the White House watching this?” Mason asked. “Are you sending any staff to the hearings? Will the president be watching? Can you give us any color ahead of those hearings on that?”

“Well, as you know, Jeff, the Supreme Court doesn’t actually televise the hearings, so it will impact our ability to watch it,” Earnest said, prompting laughter from the assembled reporters.

“Touché,” Mason replied. “I’ll bet you could get a seat.”

When Mason pressed on, asking whether anyone from the Obama administration would attend, Earnest was noncommittal.

“I don’t know whether or not there will be administration — Obama administration staffers in the room as the arguments are being held,” he said. “But it — this certainly is an issue that the president has followed carefully. You know, there have been briefs that have been filed in the case from the Department of Justice representing the Obama administration’s legal position on these issues.”

In fact, that’s exactly why there will be Obama administration officials in the Supreme Court over the next couple of days. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. will be arguing on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the argument over California’s ban on gay marriage, and will be joined by Obama’s deputy solicitor general Sri Srinivasan in arguments Wednesday during the hearing on whether to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.


LeAnn Rimes Wears Skimpy PVC Shorts to Stepson Jake's Little League

Leann Rimes wears black leather shorts and ankle boots to stepson Jake's baseball game in Los Angeles, California on March 23, 2013.
Is it possible to be both overdressed and underdressed at the same time? LeAnn Rimes was in a league of her own, fashion-wise, when she stepped out in L.A. wearing a pair of super-short shorts and heeled shoes to watch her stepson Jake play little league.

The 30-year-old singer showed off her long, toned legs in black PVC (polyvinyl chloride) hot pants, paired with black suede ankle booties and a gray sweater with the number 78 printed on it. She looked happy and healthy as she walked with husband Eddie Cibrian and stepsons Mason, 9, and Jake, 5 -- despite having been out late the night before at her concert in Cabazon, Calif.

"After the two hour drive home after my show last night, THIS is an early baseball game!" she tweeted the morning of March 23. "Happy Saturday!"

A few hours later, she added: "Great game!!! Kids rocked it."

Rimes' close relationship with her stepsons has been a source of tension between her and Cibrian's ex-wife Brandi Glanville. Last month, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, 40, said that although their feud had simmered down slightly, there were still some issues regarding how to co-parent the kids.

"I don't think we'll be friends, but I hope we can coexist peacefully," Glanville said of the country music superstar. "Once she has a child of her own, I think she will understand boundaries and what's respectful to do and how to handle things a little better."

Beyonce Carries Sleepy Blue Ivy After Brooklyn Lunch Date

Beyonce and Blue Ivy in Brooklyn, New York on March 24, 2013.
Beyonce and daughter Blue Ivy spent some quality mother-daughter time together on Sunday, March 24, grabbing a bite to eat in Brooklyn -- though little Blue looked pretty tuckered out!

In photos snapped just outside Buttermilk Channel restaurant on Court Street, the 31-year-old singer grinned as she toted little Blue Ivy, 14 months, out of the eatery. The superstar singer dressed casually for the family meal, wearing an oversized black hoodie and sunglasses, with her hair up in a topknot.

The famous tot, meanwhile, showed off her early fashion sense with her hair in two little pigtails, snuggled into a camouflage hoodie, her two tiny feet dangling in Timberland boots.

Dad Jay-Z, 43, was not on hand for the Carter women-only lunchtime excursion.

"Family has always been important," Beyonce told the March issue of Vogue, calling Blue her "homey" and her "road dog." "I've always had my mother and my father and my husband. But it's just … Life is so much more than that. … It's not defined by any of this [fame or money]."

Brandi Glanville Denies Having Sex at Kyle Richards party

Brandi Glanville
In regards to her sex life, Brandi Glanville has nothing to hide. In the March 18 episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Faye Resnick accused the 40-year-old model of having sex in Kyle Richards' daughter's bathroom during the clothing store owner's annual white party.

Glanville set the record straight on her official Bravo blog March 22. "Faye, Faye, Faye. I think that she just makes things up in her head to get camera time. I wasn't found naked in a bathroom in any way, shape or form. I simply had a 10-second, fully clothed makeout session with a hot man," the single mother of two wrote March 22. "The only person that walked in was [Lisa Vanderpump] and she pulled me out of the bathroom by my ear like a good mum."

The Drinking & Tweeting author added that she "dated that hot man for six months after 'bathroom gate'" and they are still close friends. "In fact, he is my real estate agent!" Glanville said of Jonathan Ruiz.

Resnick confronted Glanville about the rumored hookup at Vanderpump's party in the March 18 episode. During the heated exchange, the Playboy model also sniped to Glanville, "No matter how many Chanel bags you borrow, you will never be a lady!"

"I really think that other than Lisa and [Yolanda Foster], most of these women are incredibly insecure," Glanville blogged, "and insecurity usually breeds bitchiness."

The season finale of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Monday, March 25, at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo.

Jaime Ray Newman Is Pregnant with First Child

Actress Jaime Ray Newman is pregnant with her first child.
Actress Jaime Ray Newman is pregnant with her first child. Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
 Jaime Ray Newman is going to be a mommy! The Red Widow actress, 34, and her husband, writer/director Guy Nattiv, are expecting their first child, her rep confirms to Us Weekly.

And the parents-to-be have already found out their baby's gender! The couple will welcome a daughter this summer.

"We're over the moon!" Newman tweeted on Monday, March 25.

"Thanks everyone for your wonderful tweets, I'm happy to share this news with you!" she added. "Guy and I are so excited!"

Newman recently wrapped her role in the play The Gift at L.A.'s Geffen Playhouse opposite James Van Der Beek, Kathy Baker and Chris Mulkey.

Man dies at rock arch

Man dies at rock arch, A 22-year-old man from Utah State of US was killed trying to swing through the opening of a 110-foot-tall sandstone arch in a stunt made so popular on YouTube that state authorities recently banned the daredevil activity by commercial outfitters.

Utah is a state in the Western United States.

Kyle Lee Stocking, of West Jordan, left too much slack in the rope he was using, and it sent him crashing into the sandstone base of Corona Arch near Moab, Grand County sheriff's officials said. He died Sunday afternoon.

Viral videos have bolstered the activity, which involves swinging wildly from ropes through arch and canyon openings. One video titled "World's Largest Rope Swing" has racked up more than 17 million views on YouTube since it was posted in February.

"Pendulum" swinging is a relatively new form of recreation in Utah's canyon lands, which see plenty of injuries and deaths from rock climbing and BASE jumping, which involves leaping from a fixed object with a parachute. On March 13, another man, Zachery Taylor, was killed rappelling at Tear Drop Arch in Utah's Monument Valley.

It's part of the recreational "craziness" sweeping the Moab area, where the annual Jeep Safari week got started Saturday, another potentially dangerous activity that involves rock crawling in modified vehicles, said John Weisheit, of Living Rivers, a local environmental group.

"People aren't accepting nature for what it is. They have to put an element of excitement into it," said Weisheit, a longtime rafting guide. "People see it on YouTube and then say, 'That looks like fun.'"

Stocking was with a group of five friends authorities didn't identify. His family in the Salt Lake City suburb of West Jordan couldn't be reached Monday.

It wasn't immediately clear how Stocking or his friends miscalculated the distance for a wild swing through Corona Arch. Sheriff's Lt. Kim Neal said Stocking left too much rope loose when he clipped into his waist harness.

"A lot of people are doing it around here," said Sean Hazell at Moab outfitter Western Spirit Cycling, who was planning to make his own jump from the top of Corona Arch. "I'm definitely going to think twice about it now."

Corona Arch is on Utah state trust lands but is set to be turned over to a federal land-management agency as part of a larger trade of state and federal lands. Because of the accident, the Bureau of Land Management is "taking a closer look at appropriate ways to balance and manage these activities on public lands," BLM spokeswoman Megan Crandall said Monday.

The Utah Trust Lands Administration tried to curb Corona Arch's growing appeal by banning commercial jumping effective Jan. 1. But the agency said it can't prevent private parties from using its lands. The agency posted a trailhead warning about the potential for "severe injury or death even if your equipment works."

Stocking's rope and harness didn't fail. His mistake was miscalculating the length of slack rope for the swing, Neal said.

"These people involved in extreme outdoor sports, I admire their courage, but I'm not going to do it," Neal said.

Supreme Court Takes Case on Affirmative Action

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday added a new affirmative action case to its docket. It is already considering a major challenge to the University of Texas’ race-conscious admissions program.

The new case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, No. 12-682, concerns a voter initiative in Michigan that banned racial preferences in admissions to the state’s public universities. In November, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, ruled that the initiative, which amended the State Constitution, violated the federal Constitution’s equal protection clause.

The initiative, approved in 2006 by 58 percent of the state’s voters, prohibited discrimination or preferential treatment in public education, government contracting and public employment. Groups favoring affirmative action sued to block the part of the law concerning higher education.

9-year-old girl walks mile in dark to get help after crash kills dad

9-year-old girl crawled out of a mangled SUV, climbed out of a canyon and walked about a mile in the middle of the night to find help after surviving a highway crash that killed her father in Southern California, authorities said.

The 2010 Ford Escape was launched about 200 feet down an embankment along a semi-rural stretch of the Sierra Highway in northern Los Angeles County about 1 a.m. Sunday, said California Highway Patrol Officer Cheyenne Quesada. The vehicle overturned several times.

The girl managed to extricate herself and walk through rugged terrain to a nearby home, but nobody answered the door, the CHP said. Then she hiked up the steep embankment and along the road to a commuter rail station in nearby Acton where she flagged down a passing motorist at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

"She walked quite a distance in a very, very threatening environment. It's very black out there, very dark," CHP Sgt. Tom Lackey told KABC-TV. "It's very steep and it's brushy and there's also coyotes in the background."

Responding officers found a man had been killed, Quesada said. A coroner's spokesman identified him Monday as 35-year-old Alejandro Renteria, of the North Hollywood section of Los Angeles.

A helicopter transported the girl to Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She was treated for minor injuries including bumps and bruises and a cut on her face.

On video shot by the family in the hospital, the girl said she was cold and hurt, according to KCBS-TV. She told her family she was saddened to learn her father did not survive the crash.

Television footage showed crews using a long tow cable to remove the severely damaged black SUV from the canyon.

The CHP is investigating whether alcohol played a role in the crash.

Acton is tucked in the mountains between the Angeles National Forest and the Mojave Desert.

Obama pushes immigration reform deadline as Congress signals progress

Barack Obama put pressure on Congress on Monday to introduce an immigration reform bill by April, saying the "time has come to fix once and for all" the broken system.

Speaking at the White House at a naturalisation ceremony for 28 people, Obama indicated that he wanted to stick to the timetable he outlined in his inaugural address in January.

Members of Congress directly involved in discussions had been reporting better-than-expected progress over the last few weeks but by the end of last week admitted they had been unable to resolve outstanding differences before breaking for the Easter holiday.

Senators expressed hope that they could have a bill ready within two weeks of their return. Hopes of a deal have been raised by the support coming from Republican senators such as Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

Speaking on Monday, Obama said: "We've known for years that our immigration system is broken, that we're not doing enough to harness the talent and ingenuity of all those who want to work hard and find a place in America. And after avoiding the problem for years, the time has come to fix it once and all. The time has come for comprehensive, sensible immigration reform."

He added: "We are making progress, but we've got to finish the job, because this issue is not new. Everyone pretty much knows what's broken, everyone knows how to fix it … So I expect a bill to be put forward. I expect the debate to begin next month. I want to sign that bill into law as soon as possible."

Immigration reform is among the key issues Obama wants to see addressed in his second term. Given the importance of the Latino vote to Obama's victory in November, the Republicans are more inclined to move on immigration reform than they are on other issues, such as gun laws.

Bipartisan groups in the Senate and the House are working on different versions of immigration reform. The Senate version broadly accepts the idea that reform should contain a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented workers in the US, but there remains resistance to this among House Republicans, reluctant to reward undocumented workers that entered the US illegally.

Obama, making the case for immigration reform, said: "The point is that unless you are one of the first Americans, unless you are a Native American, you came from someplace else. That's why we've always defined ourselves as a nation of immigrants. And we've always been better off for it."

He reiterated that he regarded reform as tackling the legal immigration system so that families do not have wait years to join someone already in the country and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers that includes a background check, learning English, paying taxes, including a penalty, and going to the back of the queue behind everyone trying to get to the US legally.

Tubby Smith fired

Tubby Smith fired, on Monday, Orlando "Tubby" Smith (born June 30, 1951) is an American college basketball coach. Cutting ties with veteran coach one day after the Golden Gophers lost to Florida in the NCAA tournament.

Athletics director Norwood Teague announced the decision Monday and said it was time for a "fresh set of eyes" on the program.

Orlando Tubby Smith is an American college basketball coach. Most recently, he was the men's basketball head coach at the University of Minnesota from 2007-2013. Smith previously served in the same role at the University of Tulsa, the University of Georgia, and University of Kentucky, where he coached the Wildcats to the 1998 NCAA championship.

Smith was 124-81 (.610) in six seasons at Minnesota, helping to bring the program back to respectability and ramping up expectations for a team hit hard by an academic cheating scandal.
Tubby Smith Smiling
Smith won 20 games five times. But he went just 46-62 in Big Ten play and never finished higher than sixth in the conference. The Gophers made three NCAA tournament appearances under Smith. They beat UCLA this year before losing on Sunday.

"Tubby has had a long and distinguished career and we feel it's time for a fresh set of eyes for our student-athletes and our program in general," Teague said. "We are grateful to Tubby and his entire staff for their hard work and dedication to this university, our students and the entire Minnesota community."

Smith was welcomed with wild enthusiasm when left powerhouse Kentucky in 2007, hailed as the savior to a program that Dan Monson was never able to raise back out of the abyss created from a the academic fraud that ended up wiping out the team's Final Four appearance in 1997.

Smith won 20 games his first season and took the team to the NCAA tournament the following year, restoring some sense of pride to a team that at one time was the most popular draw in the Twin Cities.
Tubby Smith Applauses
But the success seemed to level off after that. The Gophers made the tournament again in 2010, missed it in 2011 and settled for an NIT bid last year as fans started to grow impatient.

"I want to thank the University of Minnesota and the people of Minnesota for giving me the opportunity to lead the Golden Gopher basketball program for six years," Smith said in a statement provided by the school. "Our staff did things the right way and will leave knowing that the program is in far better shape than when we arrived."

This year's team started off 15-1 and rose as high as No. 8, with wins over Michigan State, Illinois and Memphis during that run. But they quickly came back down to earth, losing seven of 10 games in Big Ten play and squeaking into the tournament as a No. 11 seed thanks in large part to a late-season win over then-No. 1 Indiana at home.

The Gophers handled UCLA in the second round of the tournament only to be thumped by Florida in the next round. A common refrain from fans was that the players, and the team, never seemed to improve as the season went on, instead either stagnating or regressing. The Gophers never finished with a Big Ten record above .500 and finished in seventh place or worse four times in his six seasons.

Undaunted, Smith always pointed to his reputation for running a clean program and the empty cupboard he inherited when he arrived. He has long been lobbying for a practice facility and improvements to historic, but outdated, Williams Arena and has said the lack of investment in the facilities have led to some setbacks in recruiting.

"I don't apologize or I don't defend anything," Smith said last week. "We do the best we can. We do a good job. That's why we're NCAA bound."

The decision to part with a big-name coach after a rare tournament victory for the program is a bold one for Teague, who is in his second year on the job. It requires a cash-strapped athletic department to raise $2.5 million for Smith's buyout.

With a bevy of highly touted recruits in the state, Teague is acting quickly partially to give a replacement time to forge relationships with high school players including Apple Valley point guard Tyus Jones, one of the most sought-after juniors in the country.

Teague and his top assistant, Mike Ellis, are considered to be plugged in to the college basketball world and are believed to have a strong list of candidates to replace Smith at the ready.

Teague came to Minnesota from Virginia Commonwealth, and it has been speculated almost since his arrival that he would eventually bring Shaka Smart with him. But Smart may have higher profile suitors waiting for him as well with openings already at UCLA and USC.

Other names that could come up are former Timberwolves coach and Golden Gopher alumnus Flip Saunders, Villanova's Jay Wright and Marquette's Buzz Williams.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was taken aback at the news of Smith's firing, saying the coaches' wives were close.

"It'll be a loss for this league and a loss for college basketball if he doesn't stay in it," Izzo said. "He's got integrity beyond belief and let me tell ya, he's been in some tough situations. I'll close it up by saying it bothers me, saddens me."

Father kills son, self, custody altercation in Pa

Father kills son, self, The man from the central Pennsylvania father of 2 year old boy had shot and killed his 2-year-old son and wounded his estranged wife during a custody exchange before killing himself, authorities said. The Horrific incident took place in the Pennsylvania state of United states of America.

Police said Kenneth Ayers also shot at his mother during the altercation Saturday morning at her home in a rural area about 20 miles southwest of State College.

Huntingdon County District Attorney George Zanic said Ayers, 52, was subject to a protection from abuse order filed by his wife but was permitted visits with his son, Michael.

Saturday's visit was to happen at his mother's home in Barree Township. But once at the home, Ayers got into an altercation with his estranged wife, Hollie Jo, and shot her in the legs and arm with a .40 caliber handgun before intentionally shooting his son, police said.

Kenneth Ayers placed the child's body in the back of his vehicle but the wounded woman retrieved the body before Ayers shot her again in the face, police said. He also fired at his mother but missed.

"Words can't describe the scene ... heartbreaking," Zanic told The (Altoona) Mirror outside the home.

Kenneth Ayers' body was found several hours later in his parked truck in a wooded area in Warriors Mark Township. Investigators said he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Hollie Jo Ayers was transported to a hospital and expected to survive, according to police.

State police Cpl. Daniel Sneath said investigators are trying to determine what led to the shooting and why Ayers was carrying a gun despite the protection order.Police will also seek an autopsy to determine whether Kenneth Ayers was under the influence drugs or alcohol.

Hayden Panettiere kiss

Hayden Panettiere kiss, Hayden Leslie Panettiere is an American actress, singer and model. She began her acting career by playing Sarah Roberts on One Life to Live, and Lizzie Spaulding on Guiding Light, before starring at the age 10

The rumors were suggesting that they had got back together.

And it's clear Hayden Panettiere wanted no doubts that she had rekindled her romance.

Hayden, 23, and her ex-boyfriend Wladimir Klitschko, 36, were seen locking lips at the Miami Heat game in Florida on Sunday.

As Wladimir leaned in to kiss the petite blonde, he wrapped his arm around her neck, resting his elbow on her shoulder.

Kiss me! Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko locked lips at the Miami Heat game in Florida on Sunday

The Nashville star reciprocated the affection, holding the boxer by his neck with her eyes awkwardly open.

And that wasn't their only embrace caught on camera.

The two couldn't keep their hands off each other, snapped canoodling on multiple occasions.

Packing on the PDA: The duo couldn't keep their hands off each other

And if they haven't patched up their relationship already, it seems like Hayden certainly dressed appropriate for the occasion.

Amping up her sex appeal, she donned a plunging pink top paired with skin-tight trousers and let her silky hair flow past her shoulders.

Wladimir dressed more laid back than his date, wearing a casual white T-shirt, denim trousers, and a Miami Heat baseball cap that he sported backwards.

Sexy style: The 23-year-old wore a plunging pink top and figure-hugging jeans

It was clear that Hayden was ecstatic to be spending the night with Wladimir, flashing smiles throughout the game.

But in January, she denied that the two had officially reconnected after the six foot six Ukranian was seen dropping her off at the airport.

When she landed in Los Angeles on January 11 she insisted to TMZ that the former couple were just good friends, but her giggly demeanour somewhat spelled otherwise.

So happy: The petite blonde was full of smiles during her date

'We've been friends for five years now, so we're just good buddies,' she told the website.

'I knew that was going to be the question! I was lassoed in.'

Her reunion in Florida with Wladimir comes after the star split with former New York Jets star McKnight in December.

Group photo: The duo posed with Caroline Wozniacki and pro golfer Rory Mcilroy

The actress and footballer had been dating since June 2011, just one month after she split from fellow pro-athlete Klitschko.

Hayden had been dating the Ukrainian sports star since 2009 before parting ways in 2011.

In a statement obtained by German magazine Bunte, Klitschko said they called time on their 18-month romance because it was difficult coping with having a long-distance relationship.

Former fling: Hayden Panettiere split from her ex Scott McKnight (left) in December