In the News
Betty On the News: Top Stories
Video released of captured U.S. soldier, nun suing over naked photo, boy sells toys to help struggling family and more
-Kathy Campbell and Carolyn French
1. A U.S. soldier captured by the Taliban says in a video released over the weekend that he is “scared I won’t be able to go home.”
Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl of Ketchum, Idaho, was captured on June 30 in Afghanistan. The Taliban has threatened to kill the 23-year-old if foreign troops continue targeting civilians in search operations. NATO-led forces deny targeting civilians.
In the 28-minute video, the soldier was emotional as he spoke of his family. “I miss them every day that I’m gone,” he said. “I miss them and I’m afraid I might never see them again and that I’ll never be able to tell them I love them again. I’ll never be able to hug them.”
He added that he was scared. “I’m scared I won’t be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner.” (CNN)
2. We’ve heard of the singing nun and the flying nun, but the naked nun? A novice nun is suing her ex-boyfriend, who posted a nude photo of her on Facebook.
The 31-year-old Italian woman, who is due to take her vows this fall, was devastated when she saw the picture, taken on a Sicilian beach in 2006, on the site. Her ex – who wanted to stop her from taking the vows of chastity, poverty and humility – has refused to remove the picture (which he labeled “topless nun”), despite her requests.
This prompts plenty of questions, the least of which is: Are nuns allowed to have Facebook accounts?
The outraged novitiate has hired a lawyer, who says, “My client doesn’t want money, she only wants that he respects her decision to become a nun.”
The picture has become a hit on Facebook with people posting comments like: “If all nuns were like her, I’d become a priest.”
If all nuns were like her, it’d probably end up as a reality show or an HBO series. (Sydney Daily Telegraph)
3. A California Republican congressman has run into opposition over his plan to engrave the words “In God We Trust” and the Pledge of Allegiance in prominent spots on the walls of the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC.
Rep. Dan Lungren‘s plan to spend $100,000 to decorate the walls was approved 410-8 by the House of Representatives in a vote last week but the Freedom From Religion group, whose members include “atheists, agnostics, skeptics and freethinkers,” is suing to stop the move, accusing Lungren of trying to force his religious beliefs on others.
“Lungren and others are pro-religious, and they want to actually use the machinery of government to promote their particular private religious views. That is unconstitutional, and that’s what we’re asking the court to decide,” says the group’s co-president Dan Barker.
Lungren counters: “Suggesting that the Pledge of Allegiance and the national motto is un-American in some way – talk about turning ideas on their heads.”
Regardless of which side you are on in this debate, do you think that the government should be spending $100,000 on engraving walls in the middle of a recession? (Yahoo)
4. Henry Allingham, the world’s oldest man, died on Saturday at the age of 113. The British World War I veteran attributed his longevity to “cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women.”
How refreshing to learn that he enjoyed life and wasn’t a celibate teetotaler! (Ahem, not that there’s anything wrong with that…) Allingham, whose wife died in 1970, had five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild.
The world’s oldest man and woman are now both Americans: 112-year-old Walter Breuning and 115-year-old Gertrude Baines. (AFP)
5. They say in space nobody can hear you scream, but NASA certainly heard about it when one of two toilets on the International Space Station broke yesterday. There are currently 13 astronauts working together at the space station (including a crew from the space shuttle Endeavour) and now the line for the remaining toilet just got a whole lot longer.
Two astronauts spent hours trying to fix the Russian-built multimillion-dollar toilet yesterday but their attempts to repair it were unsuccessful. Guess gaffer tape doesn’t work in space…
Today marks the 40th anniversary of man’s first moon landing, and it is worth noting that back then, the Apollo astronauts didn’t even have toilets and had to use collection bags. Ick. So we guess it’s one small step for man, one giant leap backwards for space-age plumbing? (Associated Press)
6. Zach McGuire of Toledo, Ohio, is voluntarily parting with dozens of his favorite toys in order to help lighten his family’s financial burdens. The angelic 11-year-old came up with the idea to sell his belongings following a conversation with his father, Tom McGuire, who has been unemployed since December. “You can’t live in toys, or eat toys,” Zach explained to CNN television partner WNWO. “Even though they are fun, you don’t need them.” Heartbreaking yes, but amazingly selfless for a boy of his age.
Tom McGuire, a licensed contractor, is currently out $30,000 which he says is partially due to the economy, though he did a job last summer and never received payment.
This isn’t the first time that Zach lent a helping hand; in 2005 he set up a Kool-Aid stand to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, which garnered him $400, and a few years later he created the “Cocoa for California” for wildfire victims. (CNN.com)