AMSTERDAM — A 14-year-old Dutch girl who hopes to become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe solo said Monday she will wait until the school year ends before starting her attempt.
Laura Dekker is awaiting a court's decision on whether she can go ahead with her voyage or whether it would be too risky for a girl her age.
The Utrecht court temporarily blocked her departure in August out of concern for her safety. The decision sparked a worldwide debate on how much authorities and parents should limit children's freedom to undertake risky adventures.
"Before I made the plan I didn't expect (so much publicity) but now I'm trying to make the best of it," she told NOS television in an interview Monday.
"It's probably the most prudent if I just finish this school year" which ends in May, she said, citing the arrival of winter weather and a need for preparations before she departs on her 26-foot (8-meter) boat named "Guppy."
JOHANNESBURG — Rene Ngongo, honored with the "alternative Nobel" this week, grew up in a Congo where he could marvel at the wealth of animals and trees.
"Those are memories my children won't have," the father of four told The Associated Press, expressing fears that his work to save the forests may have started too late.
Ngongo won the Right Livelihood Award on Tuesday "for his courage in confronting the forces that are destroying the Congo's rainforests and building political support for their conservation and sustainable use."
A New Zealander, an Australian and a Canadian also won for working to rid the world of nuclear weapons, improving women's health in Africa and raising awareness of climate change. The awards were founded by Swedish-German philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull in 1980 to recognize deeds he felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.
Ngongo said by telephone from Kinshasa, Congo, that his award comes at a "great time," as negotiators prepare to meet in Copenhagen in December to draft a global climate pact.
Prince William arrived in New Zealand to begin his first official overseas trip on behalf of the Queen. ...
WASHINGTON — An earthquake with magnitude 6.0 has struck in the Pacific near Samoa, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.
The government seismologists said the quake was at a depth of 6.2 miles and occurred just after 2 p.m. EDT.
Its epicenter was 165 miles northwest of Hihifo, Tonga, and 1,630 miles north northeast of Auckland, New Zealand.
Gerard Fryer, a geophysicist at the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, says there is no threat of a tsunami. He says the quake's magnitude did not exceed the threshold for a tsunami.
The USGS announcement did not mention whether a tsunami was expected. An earthquake and a following tsunami killed more than 180 people on Samoa, American Samoa and nearby islands on Sept. 29. That earthquake was at 8.3 magnitude.
President Obama plans to nominate openly gay lawyer David Huebner as the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, a move that comes just days ahead o...
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has nominated a Minnesota policewoman to become the first openly gay person to serve as a U.S. marshal.
Sharon Lubinski is an assistant chief in the Minneapolis Police Department, where she has worked for 20 years.
Obama has had a rocky relationship with gay activists, who want him to end the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays. He publicly pledged last weekend to do so.
He has picked openly gay people to serve in other positions in his administration, including the director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.