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Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, current leader Neon Vincent, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, wader, Man Oh Man, rfall, and JML9999. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, ek hornbeck, ScottyUrb, Interceptor7, BentLiberal, Oke and jlms qkw. The guest editors are Doctor RJ and annetteboardman.

Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.


This will be my 100th diary. Appropriate that it would be Overnight News Digest.

BBC      The story that never dies.

Missing Malaysia jet MH370: 'Whistleblower fund' set up

A fund-raising drive has been launched by relatives of some passengers on the missing Malaysian plane to seek information on flight MH370.
The campaign, spearheaded by an Australian businessman, aims to raise at least $5m (£2.9m) "to encourage a whistleblower to come forward".

Flight MH370 went missing on 8 March as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Officials say they are reviewing search data, having failed to find any trace of the plane so far.
They continue to survey the sea floor and are bringing in specialist equipment,

Using satellite data, officials have concluded that the airliner, which had 239 people on board, ended its journey in the Indian Ocean, north-west of the Australian city of Perth.


Bulgaria halts work on gas pipeline after US talks

Bulgaria is to halt work on its Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline following criticism from the EU and US.
Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski announced that he had "ordered all work to be stopped".
"We will decide on further developments following consultations with Brussels," he said after meeting with US senators.

The Gazprom-financed pipeline would ship gas to western Europe via the Balkans, thus avoiding Ukraine.

The European Commission had sent Bulgarian authorities a letter at the start of the month, asking them to suspend work on the project.
The EC claimed Bulgaria may have broken EU public procurement laws by choosing local and Russian bidders.
Bulgaria has previously said it is being targeted by Brussels as a means of retaliating against Russia over the situation in Ukraine.

Al Jazeera America
Deadly gun attack at Pakistan Airport
Gunmen stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan's largest city Sunday night, killing 11 people, officials said, striking a blow to a city vital to the country's economy.
A total of 18 people have died in the assault, including nine airport security personnel, seven attackers and two airport employees, according to Simi Jamali at Jinnah Hospital, where the bodies were brought. He said 18 people suffered injuries in the fighting, but the severity of those wounds so far remains unclear.
Meanwhile, suicide bombers in southwestern Pakistan killed 23 Shia pilgrims returning from Iran in a separate incident underscoring how the fragility of Pakistan's security.
The attack still was ongoing early Monday in Karachi, a sprawling port city on the southern coast of Pakistan. Gunfire could be heard coming from the terminal at Jinnah International Airport as authorities scrambled to secure the area.

The attackers used forged army identification documents to gain entry to the airport, according to Dawn, a Pakistani news agency. They were dressed as police guards, according to The Associated Press.

Gunmen attacked the terminal late Sunday, said Shaukat Jamal, a spokesman for the Airport Security Force. Pakistani television stations aired footage of what appeared to be a major fire at the airport, with the silhouette of a jet visible.

Al Jazeera America
Comedian Tracy Morgan was in critical condition Saturday after multi-car crash.
Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was in critical condition Saturday after a tractor-trailer rammed into his chauffeured limousine bus in New Jersey, setting off a chain-reaction crash that left one member of his entourage dead and two others seriously hurt, authorities said.
The former "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" cast member was returning from a standup comedy show in Delaware when his Mercedes limo bus carrying seven people overturned on the New Jersey Turnpike near Cranbury Township at about 1 a.m., state police Sgt. 1st Class Greg Williams said.
Doctors do not expect his condition to change Saturday, according to celebrity news website TMZ. Whether that signals hope for improvement remained unclear.

The crash has claimed one life. James McNair, 62, of Peekskill, New York, a passenger in the limo bus, died at the scene of the crash, authorities said.

Al Jazeera America
Growing toll from flash flood in Afghanistan
Police and villagers have found more than 80 bodies in the wake of a devastating flash flood in Afghanistan's mountainous and remote north, a provincial official said Sunday, as teans continued scouring the rugged terrain for missing people.
Lt. Fazel Rahman, the police chief in the Guzirga i-Nur district of Baghlan province, said the death toll from Friday's flash flooding had climbed to 81 from 54. The flood destroyed some 850 houses across several villages and damaged more than 1,000, leaving thousands of people in need of shelter, food, water and medicine, Rahman said.
Local resident Sahib Nazar wept while recounting his losses.

 "I have lost everything, my parents, my wife and five children," he said. "I have buried my mother, wife and three of my children, but still looking for my father and two other children's bodies."
Nazar, a local police officer, said he received a phone call late Friday afternoon about the heavy rain and flooding. He said he left his sick son at a hospital and tried to come home, but couldn't as all roads were destroyed.

By the time he reached home the next morning, "all the village was gone," he said.

Woman drops cell phone in toilet, two die in rescue attempt
"It's only a phone," is an argument that is constantly lost on those who fear they've lost their phones.

In the latest tragic incident, a woman in Xinxiang city, Henan, China dropped her phone when she went to an open-pit toilet.
It fell into a cesspit.
The phone was brand new. As the South China Morning Post reports, it cost 2,000 yuan (around $320).
First her husband jumped in. He was overcome by the fumes. His mother also jumped in. When she encountered breathing difficulties, the woman's whose phone it was jumped in too.
The waste was reportedly only knee-deep. However, despite rescue attempts by neighbors, both the woman's husband and his mother died.

The tragedy unfolded in five minutes.

U S A Today

California Chrome owner Steve Coburn still irate a day later

NEW YORK – Steve Coburn, cowboy hat wearing co-owner of California Chrome, didn't back off one bit Sunday morning in venting his anger over what he again said was a competition format that was unfair to his horse in his unsuccessful try for the first thoroughbred racing Triple Crown in 36 years.

Coburn was just as hot as he was after Saturday's race in which California Chrome finished in a tie for fourth behind fresh-legged winner Tonalist, who had not run in either of the first two legs of the Triple Crown: the May 3 Kentucky Derby and the May 17 Preakness.
"You might compare this to a triathlon,' Coburn said in a trackside interview on Good Morning America at Belmont Park.

"You know you've got to swim and you've got to bicycle and you've got to run. … You don't make it to run if you're not going to do the other two.''

Raw Story
FL woman sentenced for burning down 3,500-year-old tree so she could see her meth
Florida woman was sentenced on Wednesday to 2 1/2 years in prison, with all time suspended if she completes the terms of her probation, for her part in burning down a landmark 3,500-year-old cypress tree in 2012 so she could see the drugs she was using in the dark.
Sara Barnes, 28, pleaded no contest  to unlawful burning of lands and possession of methamphetamine and must perform 250 hours of manual labor, pay restitution, and must submit to a substance-abuse testing, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Barnes set fire to The Senator in Big Tree Park, reputed to be one of the largest and oldest baldcypress trees in the world. The Senator was 118 feet tall and about 18 feet wide, and was estimated to be 3,500 years old.

Raw Story
Hillary Clinton will not make decision on 2016 presidential run until ‘the end of the year’
Hillary Clinton won't make her intentions known about a possible White House before year's end, she said in an interview broadcast Sunday.
"I will be on the way to making a decision by the end of the year," she said in a taped interview with ABC television. "Certainly not before then."
Clinton's remark came as she embarks on a sweeping book tour for her latest memoir "Hard Choices."

"I just want to kind of get through this year, travel around the country, sign books, help in the midterm elections in the fall, and then take a deep breath and kind of go through my pluses and minuses about what I will -– and will not -– be thinking about as I make the decision," she said.

Her non-committal remarks notwithstanding, many see Clinton's book tour launch this week as an unofficial start to her expected presidential run.

L A Times
U.S. farmers making hay with alfalfa exports to China
The machine harvester cut across Ronnie Leimgruber's alfalfa field, blades whirring, leaving behind a thick trail of leafy legume ready to be dried and baled.
"You've got to drive like hell, drive fast and get as much as you can," said Leimgruber, a burly third-generation farmer in this Imperial Valley outpost.
Every stalk counts. Demand has never been greater for Leimgruber's crop. Prices for alfalfa hay have doubled in recent years to near-record highs.

"The last four years have been the best ever," said Leimgruber, 53. "I've made millions when in years past I've lost millions."
His good fortune traces across the Pacific to China's booming dairy industry.

Faced with dwindling access to water and arable land, China has little choice but to turn to U.S. farmers to help supply feed for the country's growing herd of dairy cows. Packed with fiber and protein, alfalfa hay is considered the gold standard for forage, and the Western United States is the crop's Côte d'Or.

We're in a drought, here, folks. That's our water.

(Update:  Mrs. side pocket says my comment is California-centric and
not everyone might agree. YMMV.)

N Y Times
U.S. Crew Is Arrested on Honduras River Job

MEXICO CITY — When Robert Mayne, a marine salvage expert, sailed from Florida to the Mosquito Coast of northeastern Honduras, he carried with him a business plan that would allow him to make some money while helping the poverty-stricken people of the region.
So far, it has not worked out that way. As soon as he reached the harbor at Puerto Lempira last month, his ship was raided by the local police, who found five guns on board. He and his five-man crew were charged with weapons possession and thrown in the town’s rudimentary jail where they remain, facing up to 10 years in prison.
“This is just a travesty that we’re here,” Mr. Mayne said by telephone from the overcrowded prison last week. “We have violated no law. We came down to do a beautiful project.”

Mr. Mayne’s salvage company, Aqua Quest International, has a contract to dredge the Patuca River and raise valuable mahogany and cedar logs that have lain on the riverbed for more than a century. The old-growth logs, once floated in great numbers downriver for export, were preserved in the oxygen-poor environment of the river mud and are still suitable for use in furniture, moldings and other wood products, after a careful drying-out process.

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