Interpreter at Mandela event: I was hallucinating JOHANNESBURG (AP) - The man accused of faking sign interpretation while standing alongside world leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama at Nelson Mandela's memorial service said Thursday he hallucinated that angels were entering the stadium, has schizophrenia and has been violent in the past. Thamsanqa Jantjie said in a 45-minute interview with The Associated Press that his hallucinations began while he was interpreting and that he tried not to panic because there were "armed policemen around me." He added that he was once hospitalized in a mental health facility for more than one year.
'12 Years,' 'Hustle' lead Globes nominations The searing historical epic "12 Years a Slave" and the con-artist caper "American Hustle" lead the 71st annual Golden Globes with seven nominations each. The nominations announced Thursday morning in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association suggested "American Hustle" and "12 Years a Slave" - one outlandish and farcical, the other grimly accurate - may be this year's Oscar favorites.
Federal data show health disparities among states JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The slow rollout of a new federal health insurance marketplace may be deepening differences in health coverage among Americans, with residents in some states gaining insurance at a far greater rate than others. The demarcation may be as simple as Democrat and Republican.
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Putin defends Russian conservative values MOSCOW (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin used his state-of-the-nation address on Thursday to defend conservative values, referring obliquely to his government's anti-gay stance as he chided the West for treating "good and evil" equally. Russia has faced Western criticism over a law banning "propaganda of non-traditional relations," which gay rights groups say has given a green light to harassment and intimidation. The law has prompted activists across the world to demand a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.
Mob hunts down Muslims in Central African Republic BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) - African peacekeepers fired into the air Thursday in Central African Republic's chaotic capital, trying to disperse a mob bent on hunting down and killing Muslims taking refuge in a church compound. The unrest in Bangui underscored the rage and uncertainty that remains in the capital of the Central African Republic, despite the arrival of 1,600 French soldiers and patrols by regional African peacekeepers. The two forces are seeking to stabilize this impoverished, now lawless, country after more than 500 people were killed last week in sectarian bloodshed.
Aviation schools prepare for boom in drone jobs GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - Two student pilots are seated shoulder to shoulder before a bank of video monitors, maneuvering an unmanned aircraft by keyboard and mouse as the drone descends toward a virtual runway in a suburban landscape. Aaron Gabrielson and Andrew Regenhard, aviation students at the University of North Dakota and self-proclaimed video-game junkies, could just as well be sitting on a couch playing Xbox. But instead of tapping their fingers on a controller, they're learning to fly the plane and use onboard equipment that includes a camera with a zoom lens.
Calif. prostitutes may gain victim compensation SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California officials are considering whether to change a decades-old anti-crime regulation and allow prostitutes to receive money from a victim compensation fund if they're raped or beaten. Under the current system, those harmed in violent crimes can be paid for medical costs and related expenses, but prostitutes are excluded because their activities are illegal.
Celebrity tutors thrive in grade-fixated Hong Kong HONG KONG (AP) - When the Hong Kong school year began in September, tutor Tony Chow arranged to have his face plastered on the sides of double decker buses to raise his profile. For many of Chow's students, the advertisements may be the closest they'll ever get to him.
Charity to raffle a Picasso for 100 euros ($138) PARIS (AP) - For aspiring art collectors everywhere, there is hope. Sotheby's Paris is giving away a $1 million masterpiece by Pablo Picasso for just 100 euros ($138) in an unusually affordable charity raffle Wednesday.
Spurned by president, EU embraces Ukraine protest BRUSSELS (AP) - Two weeks ago, the European Union's foreign policy chief was at a summit in Lithuania, wooing Ukraine's president with offers of preferential dealings with the world's largest trade bloc. This week, she stood in Kiev's Independence Square with protesters bent on ousting the same man. The EU is seeking to bounce back after Ukraine rejected a deal with Europe in favor of a rival alliance with Russia. What had been a policy of courting President Viktor Yanukovych has become a more nuanced campaign to work both sides of the escalating dispute.