|'I Thought It Was Absolutely Unbelievable'|
|Mar 23, 2013, 8:04 PM|
A touching note and gift from an anonymous veteran to a woman missing her deployed soldier boyfriend went viral this week, while President Obama visited Israel where he pressed for peace. Click through to catch up on the top stories you may have missed this week.
A U.S. soldier deployed in Afghanistan was thrilled to the point of tears by $40 and a note of support for his girlfriend back home, he told ABCNews.com in a phone call from Afghanistan.
Army Spc. Albert DeSimone said what overwhelmed him was knowing that a stranger was "there for her" while he was away at war.
DeSimone's girlfriend Samantha Ford was leaving a Dunkin' Donuts Sunday in Arlington, Mass., when she saw a white envelope tucked under the windshield wiper on her car. She has a bumper sticker that reads, "1/2 of my heart is in Afghanistan."
Written on the outside of the envelope was a note that read, "I noticed the sticker on the back of your car. Take your hero out to dinner when he comes home. Thank you both for serving. Him deployed and you for waiting."
It was signed, "United States Veteran, God Bless." There were two $20 bills inside the envelope.
"I thought it was absolutely unbelievable and it brought tears to my eyes because it just made me feel good that people back home were there to be there for her, which has made her feel really good," DeSimone said.
As Ronda Stone sees it, she wasn't the owner of a Purple Heart medal she bought at a storage auction in Woodburn, Ore., 34 years ago. She was just holding onto it.
"I've always known it was my job to get it back to whoever it belonged to," the Canby, Ore., woman, 66, said. "I just waited and knew there would be a time I could, hopefully, find the family."
The medal, which is given to service members wounded or killed in combat, was engraved with the name Lowell L. Reynolds.
In the years before the Internet, finding Reynolds or surviving relatives of the World War II vet was an uphill battle for Stone. She tried flipping through the phonebook, but was daunted by the number of people with the same last name. She tried calling veteran's groups but had no luck, before she tucked the medal away in a drawer.
A 2006 fire decimated her home and her belongings but, somehow, the Purple Heart was unscathed.
"The smoke and fire and water didn't get it. I knew it was meant to survive," she said.
Speaking before a young Israeli audience in Jerusalem, President Obama today delivered an impassioned plea for Israelis and Palestinians to reach a peaceful two-state solution while he affirmed the "unbreakable bonds of friendship" between the United States and Israel.
"The only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine," Obama said at the Jerusalem Convention Center. "Peace is necessary, but peace is also just.
"... Palestinians must recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state, and that Israelis have the right to insist upon their security. Israelis must recognize that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace, and that an independent Palestine must be viable, that real borders have to be drawn."
The president asked Israelis to consider the Palestinians' "right to self-determination and justice" as they work toward a peaceful solution.
Seventy-nine Libyans died this week from drinking homemade spirits in the North African country, where alcohol is illegal. Libyan officials suspect that the homemade liquor contained methanol, and said many of those who survived drinking it were blinded, according to The Associated Press.
Methanol poisoning is infrequent in the United States, but it can be deadly if it's not treated, said Dr. Donna Seger, the executive director of the Tennessee Poison Center and a professor at Vanderbilt University. She said she only sees methanol poisonings a few times a year, and that they're often not from drinking homemade liquor but because children get into things like windshield wiper fluid, antifreeze and paint thinner.
Methanol is metabolized in the liver and the retinas, which explains why people who drink it can go blind, she said.
There are two antidotes to methanol poisoning: fomepizole, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within the past 15 years, and ethanol, which is the kind of alcohol found in safe-to-drink liquors, Seger said. Before fomepizole was available, it was necessary to treat methanol poisoning patients with intravenous drips of ethanol, which, yes, would get them drunk.
"There's nothing worse than a drunk 2-year-old," said Seger, recalling a toddler who had to be treated for methanol poisoning before fomepizole was available.
Ohio school shooter TJ Lane spewed vile and unprintable words Tuesday at the families of three students he killed, gave them the finger and then laughed and smiled as they described him as an animal and a monster.
Lane, 18, got another chuckle when the judge sentenced him to three life terms in prison with no chance for parole.
Lane arrived at his sentencing hearing wearing a blue button down shirt. After he sat down, he unbuttoned the shirt to reveal a white T-shirt with the word "killer" emblazoned across the front in black marker.
When Lane was given the opportunity to make a statement to the court, he gave a short, crude statement that ended with "f*** all of you" before sticking up his middle finger in the courtroom filled with the loved ones of the three students he gunned down.
"Frankly, I wasn't prepared for this," the prosecutor said moments after Lane's gesture. He said the action was proof that Lane is a "disgusting human being."
"This is confirming what we have known all along, that this was a cold, calculated, premeditated killing," the prosecutor said.
You can't have too many Steve Jobs biographical movies. At least that's the thought behind "iSteve," a new Steve Jobs biopic from Funny or Die starring Justin Long as Apple's iconic founder.
"Our goal was to be the first Steve Jobs movie out there," Ryan Perez, the writer and director of "iSteve," told ABC News in a phone interview.
Perez and his team wrote the script in three days and shot the film in five. It will be released on April 15 on Funnyordie.com.
Justin Long, who played the Mac in Apple's "Mac vs. PC" commercials, won the role of Jobs.
"We put together a list of actors that would be great to play Steve Jobs, and he was at the top of the list," Perez said. "He was a fantastic actor and totally committed to the role. He learned an 81-page script on the fly."
Reporters looking to get close to a crime scene, take video footage of a raging wildfire, or chart the changes in an ecosystem may soon turn to drones, the little flying helicopters often associated with the military.
In fact, the emergence of drone journalism is expected to become such a mainstay of the media industry in the next few years that journalism students at the University of Missouri Journalism School, in Columbia, Mo., are now taking courses in how to use drones to report stories.
"We have a class here of journalism students who are learning to fly J-bots, for journalism robots, or drones," said William Allen, a professor of journalism who pioneered the course.