The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday April 1st

View from the Hill

On the wire: national and world news

Raleigh Episcopal bishop installed as head of church

(MCT) WASHINGTON D.C. —The service that installed Michael Bruce Curry as presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church on Sunday would have been unrecognizable to Episcopalians of the past century. And congregants say that’s a good thing.

The church’s first African-American presiding bishop was instated in a ceremony led by female bishops, openly gay priests and even a rabbi. After a spirited opening by a gospel choir, Episcopal leaders filed into the National Cathedral in Washington to the sound of guitars guiding a Spanish hymn and a Native American drumming prelude.

“Don’t worry. Be happy! God has not given up on the world, and God is not finished with the Episcopal Church yet,” Curry said.

Russian jet crashes in Egypt, killing all on board

(MCT) CAIRO — A tourist charter jet filled with Russian vacationers mysteriously crashed in a remote part of Egypt’s violence-plagued Sinai peninsula on Saturday, leaving 224 passengers and crew members dead.

There were no survivors when the Metrojet Airbus A321 headed for St. Petersburg suddenly lost altitude and crashed 23 minutes after departing Sharm el Sheik, a Red Sea resort town popular with Russians seeking sunshine and warm waters.

Officials from Russia and Egypt immediately launched an investigation into the cause of the crash, which could add another black mark to Russia’s spotty aviation safety record if investigators deem it an accident. Questions were also raised over whether Islamist militants angry at Russia’s increasing role in the Syrian civil war may have targeted the craft.

Migrants crowd German-Austrian border

(MCT) PASSAU, Germany — The number of migrants at the German-Austrian border showed no signs of easing Saturday after the two countries agreed to enforce stricter controls at five border checkpoints.

About 1,000 people waited for Germany-bound shuttles early Saturday on the Austrian side at the crossings of Wegscheid and Simbach am Inn. More than 5,500 migrants arrived at the border area on Friday.

The border between Germany and Austria is the last leg for tens of thousands of refugees using the so-called Balkan route to try to reach wealthy Western European countries.

Under an agreement that took effect Saturday, Germany and Austria designated five exclusive crossings along their shared border as handover and inspection points. Located in Germany’s southeastern state of Bavaria, they are: Wegscheid, Neuhaus am Inn, Simbach am Inn, Freilassing and Laufen.

Georgia death row case reaches Supreme Court

(MCT) WASHINGTON D.C. — A Georgia death row inmate convicted of murder when he was a teenager is about to get a potentially lifesaving chance to challenge how his jury was formed.

Timothy Tyrone Foster is African-American. The 12 Floyd County jurors who convicted him in 1987 were all white. On Monday, the Supreme Court will consider whether prosecutors unfairly used race to tilt the jury selection.

The court’s ultimate decision may reach well beyond Foster, one of 85 Georgia inmates on death row. It could also shape how attorneys choose jurors, while giving a sharply divided court another chance to debate capital punishment.

“It’s going to be decided on the backdrop of the whole new disagreement at the court on the death penalty ... and whether or not the death penalty has this inherent problem of racial discrimination, both in terms of who’s charged and how they’re tried,” noted attorney Paul Smith, a frequent Supreme Court advocate.

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