Hollande Demands Journalists Back… And Other News

Hollande Demands Immediate Release

 “Give us back our journalists!” Hollande demands.

French president François Hollande has demanded the return of the two missing French journalists in Syria. The journalists, reporter Didier François and photographer Edouard Elias, had been on their way to Aleppo from the Turkish-Syrian border when radio broadcaster Europe 1 lost touch with them. Hollande fears they have been kidnapped and says their lives are at risk. He also emphasized the need for journalists in Syria so the world could keep an eye on the civil war and human rights violations. Fun fact: An Amnesty International report published last month named Syria as the most dangerous place in the world for journalists. CNN

Bieber in SpaceFinally! Someone is shooting Justin Bieber into space! The only catch? He will probably return… unless there is a mysterious mechanical failure. Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson tweeted that Bieber booked a seat along with his manager Scooter on one of the company’s suborbital spaceflights: “Great to hear @justinbieber & @scooterbraun are latest @virgingalactic future astronauts. Congrats, see you up there!” The tickets require a $250,000 deposit, which is not a bad price for ridding the world of Justin Bieber, if only temporarily. Maybe we should all chip in and get Chris Brown a seat. And then work on that mysterious mechanical failure… CBC News

Gilbert Goes HomeTurns out if you pay a prostitute to have sex with you and she doesn’t put out, you’re allowed to shoot her. A jury in Texas just acquitted a man who admitted he shot an escort who took his money but refused to have sex with him. When she refused to return his $150, Ezekiel Gilbert shot her in the neck. She didn’t die but did become paralyzed – and then died seven months later. His defense team argued that his actions were justified because he was trying to retrieve stolen property: the $150. The jury agreed and Gilbert thanked God and went home. NY Daily News

Bolivia Buried AliveWell that’s one way to punish a rapist: A man suspected of rape (and murder!) has been buried alive by villagers in the southern highlands of Bolivia. The 17-year-old suspect allegedly raped and murdered a 35-year-old woman and the villagers were less than impressed. They took punishment into their own hands, grabbing Santos Ramos and burying him alive in the grave of his alleged victim. They then filled the grave with dirt and blocked the roads into the village to stop police from arriving. Well, that takes care of that! Assuming he was indeed the attacker… otherwise, that’s a rough way to go. Justice – Bolivian style! BBC News

Prince PhilipAnd Prince Philip’s 92nd birthday present is… exploratory surgery! The Queen’s husband will spend his 92nd birthday in London hospital recovering from exploratory surgery involving “abdominal investigations”. Philip was admitted on Friday, just one day after attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace in central London. The royals released a statement saying Philip was in “very good health” and the surgery had been planned in advance. But this isn’t the first time the royal couple has been hospitalized – last year Philip was in for a bladder infection and the Queen had symptoms of gastroenteritis. New York Times

Pop v SodaAre you a pop person or a soda person? Now you can know for sure with the help of an interactive map! Joshua Katz, a Ph.D student in the Department of Statistics at NC State University, has published a set of maps that show the different ways Americans pronounce these much-debated words and phrases. Apparently I’m a pop person, no one is a soft drink person, and people in the south speak funny. NBC News

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