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Florida couple kidnapped and being held for ransom in Haiti, family says

Florida couple kidnapped in Haiti

A Florida couple visiting the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince are being held at ransom after being kidnapped, according to their family.

Jean Dickens Toussaint and Abigail Toussaint were reportedly abducted on a bus on 18 March while visiting the stricken nation to see ailing relatives and attend a community festival.

The US state department advises Americans not to travel to Haiti “due to kidnapping, crime, and civil unrest”. It has not confirmed the kidnapping but said it is “aware of reports of two US citizens missing in Haiti”.

“The US department of state and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater priority than the safety and security of US citizens overseas,” the federal agency said.



Florida principal resigns after parents decry Michelangelo’s David as pornography

Michelangelo's DavidA Florida principal has resigned after students at a Christian charter school in Tallahassee were shown the statue of the biblical figure David by Michelangelo, prompting at least one parent to complain that the children had been exposed to pornography.

Hope Carrasquilla resigned Monday as principal of the Tallahassee Classical school after the campus’s governing board told her to either step down or be fired over parental complaints that came in after sixth-grade students were shown the 16th-century sculpture, one of the Renaissance’s most famous pieces of art.


‘Unhinged’: Trump Ripped In Withering Editorial From Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post

NY PostThe New York Post, the previously pro-Donald Trump tabloid owned by conservative billionaire Rupert Murdoch, on Friday urged supporters of the former president to look elsewhere.

The newspaper, which appears to have increasingly soured on Trump since the GOP’s poor 2022 midterm election results, called out his threat of “death & destruction” if he is indicted following an investigation into a hush-money payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels.


'It's pretty leveled': Pennsylvania chocolate plant explosion kills at least 2 and 5 still missing

Chococolate factory explodes

A deadly explosion at a Eastern Pennsylvania chocolate factory Friday night killed two people, injured eight others and left nearby buildings and homes damaged and destroyed.

Meanwhile, a search continued Saturday for five people still missing after the blast, officials said.

West Reading Borough Police Department Chief of Police Wayne Holben said the explosion took place just before 5 p.m. at the R.M. Palmer Co. plant in West Reading.

Officials on Saturday continued to investigate what caused the explosion at the plant about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia.


Tornadoes rip through Mississippi: At least 23 dead; Biden calls devastation 'heartbreaking'

Tornados in Mississippi

Tornadoes left a trail of destruction across rural Mississippi overnight Friday, killing at least 23 people, razing buildings and plunging thousands of homes into darkness.

On Saturday, President Joe Biden called the devastation "heartbreaking" as search and rescue efforts continued and survivor accounts emerged, including restaurant employees who huddled in a refrigerator to survive.

In addition to the dead, dozens of people were injured and four were missing in the wake of a spate of tornadoes, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency confirmed Saturday morning. Crews also began damage assessments Saturday, the agency said. The death toll may continue to climb, according to the agency.


US bombs Syria targets after deadly drone attack

US bombs Syria targets

The US has carried out air strikes against Iran-linked groups in eastern Syria after a drone attack killed a US contractor, the US defence chief said.

Fourteen pro-Iran fighters were killed, according to a monitoring group.

US officials said the air strikes happened on Thursday night, hours after the drone attack, which US intelligence said was "of Iranian origin".

US bases in north-east Syria have come under attack before, with the US responding with air strikes.

Hidden tunnel, possibly connected to the Underground Railroad, found in Pennsylvania

Tunnel possibly from Underground Railway found in Pa.A backed-up sewer led to a surprising discovery of historical significance in Pennsylvania.

Turns out, a brick tunnel had been hidden since the 1800s under the Merrick Art Gallery in New Brighton.

"We are not positive, but we do think it may be related to the Underground Railroad," said Michelle Long, director of the Merrick Art Gallery. "We'd have to prove it a bit more, but in my heart and mind there's a connection."

New Brighton historians have, after all, previously documented several locations in the borough that served as Underground Railroad destinations helping slaves find freedom prior to the Civil War.


Biden touts close ties to Canada, heralds modest successes during visit

Trudeau and Biden meetAll day long, it was “Justin” and “Joe.”

There were frequent back pats and nods of agreement. Multiple red carpet walks. The president regularly flashed his Joe Biden grin, drawing an eruption of laughter from Parliament after he cracked a joke about Canada’s Maple Leafs hockey team. And whoever was tasked with filling the joint press conference space Friday with as many U.S. and Canada flags as they could find — they understood the assignment.

It wasn’t quite the bromance Barack Obama shared with the Canadian prime minister, but Biden and Justin Trudeau still managed to check every box when it came to reaffirming their efforts to rebuild the U.S.-Canada relationship after four years of Donald Trump, who set fire to the cross-border partnership. The day was packed with pleasantries — from their hug as Biden arrived on Parliament Hill, telling the prime minister “good to see you man,” to the glitzy gala where Trudeau raised his glass to “allies, neighbors, and most importantly, true friends.”

The gala dinner at the Ottawa Aviation Museum concluded a busy day of meetings, photo-ops, speeches and a joint press conference. Biden’s visit marked the first true bilateral meeting in Canada between the two leaders since the Obama years.


Minnesota nuclear plant shuts down for leak; residents worry

Minnesota nuclear plant shuts down A Minnesota utility began shutting down a nuclear power plant near Minneapolis on Friday after discovering water containing a low level of radioactive material was leaking from a pipe for the second time. While the utility and health officials say it is not dangerous, the issue has prompted concerns among nearby residents and raised questions about aging pipelines.

Xcel Energy discovered in November that about 400,000 gallons (1.5 million liters) of water containing tritium had leaked. The utility made a temporary fix but learned this week that hundreds more gallons of tritium-laced water leaked, leading to the shutdown decision.

After the plant cools over the next few days, workers will cut out the leaking pipe, which is over 50 years old, said Chris Clark, Xcel Energy’s president. The utility will then have the pipe analyzed in hopes of preventing future leaks, he said.


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