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  |   April 4, 2013 at 5:21 PM
2nd missing hiker rescued from canyon

TRABUCO CANYON, Calif., April 4 (UPI) -- A hiker missing for days in the foothills of California's Santa Ana mountains was found alive Thursday, officials said.

Kyndall Jack, 18, of Costa Mesa, was shouting for help as she clung to the side of a steep cliff in Trabuco Canyon in Cleveland National Forest southeast of Los Angeles, ABC News reported. Rescuers rappelled down to her rescue and she was airlifted to University of California, Irvine Medical Center to be treated for severe dehydration.

Her companion, 19-year-old Nicolas Cendoya, was found alive Wednesday night, authorities said.

Lt. Jason Park of the Orange County Sheriff's Department said Cendoya was "dehydrated and very confused" when found and was being taken to a hospital, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Cendoya was found a half mile from the pair's parked vehicle.

The pair had gone out hiking in the rugged hills on Easter Sunday. They used their cellphone to call 911 Sunday evening but the phone went dead before authorities could pinpoint their location.

Rescuers aided by bloodhounds had been searching for the youths ever since.


Film critic Roger Ebert dead at 70

CHICAGO, April 4 (UPI) -- Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago film critic Roger Ebert died Thursday after a long battle with cancer, his employer the Chicago Sun-Times announced.

He was 70.

Ebert wrote on his blog Tuesday night he was again undergoing treatment for cancer after fracturing his hip a second time and planned to scale back on his daily workload.

"The 'painful fracture' that made it difficult for me to walk has recently been revealed to be a cancer. It is being treated with radiation, which has made it impossible for me to attend as many movies as I used to," he wrote. "I'll be able at last to do what I've always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review."

Ebert began his stint as Chicago Sun-Times' film critic April 3, 1967, and later gained national celebrity status as the host of movie review TV programs such as "Coming Soon to a Theater Near You," "Sneak Previews," "At the Movies," "Siskel & Ebert & The Movies" and "Ebert & Roeper." It was during his television career that he perfected his trademark thumbs up or thumbs down signs to recommend or blast thousands of movies during his programs.

"No good film is too long," he was famously quoted as saying. "No bad movie is short enough."

Ebert slowed down a bit after a battle with thyroid cancer, which began in 2002. Although he had been unable to speak or eat solid foods for the past several years, due to complications from the disease and reconstructive surgeries, he continued to write until shortly before his death.

Ebert is survived by his wife, Chaz, a stepdaughter and two stepgrandchildren.


Governor signs Connecticut gun control law

HARTFORD, Conn., April 4 (UPI) -- Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed into law Thursday a sweeping new gun control measure in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

The comprehensive legislative package on gun violence prevention, mental health and school safety was approved early Thursday by the Connecticut House. The 105-44 vote came hours after the Senate approved the bill and 111 days after the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Newtown, where 20 children and six educators were killed by a 20-year-old who fired 154 shots in 4 minutes with a semiautomatic rifle.

"We can never undo the senseless tragedy that took place on Dec. 14," said Malloy, a Democrat, prior to signing the bill Thursday. "But we can take action here in Connecticut and we can make Connecticut towns and cities safer and this bill does that."

The bill passed the Senate in a bipartisan 26-10 vote Wednesday evening following a 6-hour debate, The Hartford Courant reported.

Two of the body's 22 Democrats and eight of 14 Republicans voted against the measure.

The tough legislation adds more than 100 firearms to the state's assault-weapons ban, including the Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle used by Sandy Hook Elementary School gunman Adam Lanza.

It also requires universal background checks for purchasers of all firearms and prohibits the sale and purchase of large-capacity ammunition magazines holding more than 10 bullets, or rounds, such as the 30-round magazines Lanza used.

In a compromise, owners of those large-capacity magazines are not be required to turn them in, but they are restricted in where they use them and must register them with the state by Jan. 1.

"It's a mental health issue, not a firearms issue," Jake McGuigan, government relations director of the National Shooting Sports Foundation in Newtown, was quoted by The New York Times as saying.

"Nothing in this legislation would have stopped what happened in this horrible tragedy in Sandy Hook," McGuigan said.

The Courant said hundreds of people flocked to gun stores Wednesday to buy semiautomatic weapons or 30-round magazines. Customers said they're afraid the Connecticut law will lead to even further limits on gun ownership.

The Connecticut votes came hours after Maryland's lower House of Delegates passed what is expected to be another strict gun-control measure.

The 78-61 vote Wednesday requires fingerprinting of gun buyers, new limits on firearm purchases by the mentally ill and bans on assault weapons and on magazines that hold more than 10 bullets.

Maryland's is the only package forcing gun buyers to provide fingerprints and undergo classroom training, target practice and background checks before getting a license to buy a firearm.

The bill returns to the state Senate, which passed a similar bill last month.


Facebook reveals 'Home' for Android phones

MENLO PARK, Calif., April 4 (UPI) -- Facebook debuted its new Facebook Home interface for the Android operating system in California Thursday, calling it a "deeper" experience than an ordinary app.

Consisting of a set of the social network's apps that become the home screen of your Android phone, Home transforms it into "Cover Feed," a visually rich and swipe-able version of News Feed for a user's phone.

It also includes a updated version of messaging, complete with a feature Facebook has dubbed "Chat Heads," with colorful notifications that include a user's Facebook friends' pictures, CNET reported.

Facebook unveiled the software, which will be available for download to a limited number of Android phones starting April 12, at its Menlo Park headquarters.

"We're not building a phone and we're not building an operating system," Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg said. "We're building something a whole lot deeper than an ordinary app."

At the unveiling, Taiwanese phone maker HTC also announced plans for a model they've dubbed the HTC First, which will be the first smartphone to come with Facebook Home pre-installed.

It will represent a "great opportunity to bring mobile and social together," HTC chief Peter Chou said.

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