Teen sailor reaches isle, reunited with brother
Saint-Denis, Reunion: Sixteen-year-old Californian sailor Abby Sunderland got a big hug from her older brother Saturday on the appropriately named Reunion Island, and again defended her family for letting her try to sail around the world alone. Though saddened by the loss of her boat in an Indian Ocean storm, Sunderland said she isn't giving up sailing.
"I'm really disappointed that things didn't go as planned," Sunderland told reporters after coming to shore early Saturday on the remote French island of Reunion, located in the waters near southeastern Africa. Her 18-year-old brother Zac flew to Reunion to meet her.
Massive waves snapped her boat's mast June 10, and she was rescued in a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean two days later by a French fishing boat. It took two weeks more at sea to reach Reunion, from which she plans to fly home Sunday.
Guinea prepares for first free elections months after chaos
Conakry, Guinea: The powerful leader of Guinea's military junta vowed to ensure this West African nation's first-ever free election on Sunday is fair and transparent, warning a roomful of presidential hopefuls they must help avert violence or risk casting the nation back to its volatile past. "We can no longer continue to live like we are in a jungle, as if we are in a state without authority," Gen. Sekouba Konate told 24 candidates gathered on couches in the presidential palace on the eve of the vote. "Too many Guineans have perished and suffered. ... Starting from now, it's up to you to make it happen."
Konate, along with all members of his junta and a transitional governing council comprised of civilians are barred from running in the vote, which many hope will go down in history as the nation's first truly democratic poll since independence from France in 1958. The ballot also marks a spectacular turnaround for a country that just months ago was full of despair, terrorized by an army that rampaged through the capital with impunity — courtesy of Moussa "Dadis" Camara, an erratic army captain who seized power in a December 2008 coup hours after the nation's previous despot passed away.
When opposition leaders rallied at a Conakry stadium last September to insist Camara step down, the military opened fire into the crowds, massacring more than 150 people, wounding more than 1,000 and raping countless women. A U.N. investigation into the tragedy fueled tensions within the junta over who would take the blame, and Camara was shot in the head by his presidential guard chief and ultimately removed from the political stage.
Palin criticizes California AG, Dumpster-diving students
Turnlock, Calif.: Sarah Palin leveled criticism at California's attorney general and others raising questions about her visit to a cash-strapped university, telling supporters that students had better things to do than dive through Dumpsters to find out how much she earns speaking. The former Alaska governor's headline address Friday night at the 50th anniversary celebration at California State University-Stanislaus has drawn criticism and scrutiny since it was first announced. It also attracted sizable donations for the public school.
Officials have refused to divulge the terms of her contract or her speaking fee, and some details only came to light after students fished part of what appeared to be Palin's contract from a rubbish bin.
herald-leader wire services