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POSTED January 20, 2012 8:32 p.m.

AFTER PROTEST, CONGRESS PUTS OFF MOVIE PIRACY BILL: WASHINGTON (AP) — Caving to a massive campaign by Internet services and their millions of users, Congress indefinitely postponed legislation Friday to stop online piracy of movies and music costing U.S. companies billions of dollars every year. Critics said the bills would result in censorship and stifle Internet innovation.

The demise, at least for the time being, of the anti-piracy bills was a clear victory for Silicon Valley over Hollywood, which has campaigned for a tougher response to online piracy. The legislation also would cover the counterfeiting of drugs and car parts.

Congress' qualms underscored how Internet users can use their collective might to block those who want to change the system.

The battle over the future of the Internet also played out on a different front Thursday when a loose affiliation of hackers known as "Anonymous" shut down Justice Department websites for several hours and hacked the site of the Motion Picture Association of America after federal officials issued an indictment against Megaupload.com, one of the world's biggest file-sharing sites.

COLO. GIRL ESCAPES APPARENT KIDNAPPER, CALLS 911: DENVER (AP) — A missing 9-year-old girl escaped from an apparent kidnapper and called 911 herself from a convenience store in Colorado Springs on Friday.

The Pueblo girl was reported missing Thursday night after she didn't return home from school.

The suspect, Jose Garcia, 29, is also a suspect in an alleged molestation involving a different girl, Pueblo police Capt. Eric Bravo said.

The car of the man accused of kidnapping the girl broke down Friday morning in Colorado Springs, and a passerby gave them a ride to a Circle K, police said.

The girl ran into the convenience store and asked to use the phone to call her uncle but instead called 911, which prompted the man to take off, authorities said.

"Once she realized she had that window of opportunity, she became a hero and rescued herself by calling 911," Colorado Springs police spokeswoman Barbara Miller said in a statement.

Efren Vialpando told The Gazette he saw the girl come in the Circle K with two black eyes and a bruise on her lip and face. She had refused to leave the store with the man, saying, "I ain't going nowhere. I'm waiting for my momma." He said the suspect fled after that.

FEMALE ARK. PRISON GUARD KILLED CHECKING ON INMATE: LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A convicted murderer stabbed a female guard to death at an east Arkansas prison Friday while she was investigating whether he had an unauthorized pair of shoes, a prison spokeswoman said.

Sgt. Barbara Ester, 47, was stabbed in the side, abdomen and chest at about 12:30 p.m., said Shea Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Correction. Ester died about 3 p.m. at a hospital in Memphis, Tenn., about 40 miles away.

Ester, a 12-year veteran of the correction department, was a property officer who investigated whether inmates had contraband items. Wilson said the guard had received a report that Johnson had a pair of contraband shoes.

SUDDENLY 'NECK AND NECK' _ ROMNEY, GINGRICH IN SC: CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — On the eve of a Southern showdown, Mitt Romney conceded Friday he's in a tight race with Newt Gingrich for Saturday's South Carolina primary in a Republican campaign suddenly turned turbulent.

It's "neck and neck," Romney declared, then said later in the day he expects he will win some states while Gingrich takes others in the primaries and caucuses ahead.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, swiped at both men in hopes of springing a South Carolina surprise.

But several days after forecasting a Romney victory in his state, Sen. Jim DeMint said the campaign's first Southern primary was now a two-man race between the former Massachusetts governor, who has struggled in recent days with questions about his personal wealth and taxes, and Gingrich, the former House speaker who has been surging in polls after a pair of well-received debate performances.

The stakes were high as Republicans sought a challenger to Democratic President Barack Obama. Television advertising by the candidates and their supporters exceeded $10 million here, much of it spent in the past two weeks, and mailboxes were stuffed with campaign flyers.

NEW US PLAN TO STOP DRUG FLOW OVER NORTHERN BORDER: BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Federal law enforcement agencies will help tribal officers obtain equipment and training on Indian lands near the U.S.-Canadian border as part of the White House's newly released strategy for reducing the flow of illegal drugs and drug proceeds between the two countries.

Tribal officers also should be included in criminal intelligence sharing and inter-agency task forces, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy report released Friday.

"Drug smugglers have been known to seek out tribal jurisdictions in order to smuggle illegal drugs into the United States," said the report, the first of its kind since being required under the Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy Act of 2010.

The goal is to stop Canadian marijuana, Ecstasy and methamphetamine from entering the United States and to keep cocaine that originates in South America from flowing north. Authorities have also targeted bulk cash smuggling in both directions that finances criminal organizations.

ILL. MAN IN JOKING MOOD DESPITE NAIL IN BRAIN: OAK LAWN, Ill. (AP) — Gail Glaenzer still can't believe that her fiancé unknowingly shot a nail into his skull, let alone that he posted a picture of the X-ray on Facebook during his ambulance ride between hospitals for surgery.

But she was joking about the circumstances Friday, a day after doctors successfully removed the 3 ¼-inch nail from Dante Autullo's brain.

"Dante says, 'I want it to make a necklace out of it,'" Glaenzer said.

Glaenzer sat Friday in the lobby of Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. where Autullo, 32, of Orland Park, was listed in fair condition in the hospital's intensive care unit. She was still trying to process just how lucky the father of her four children was.

"He feels good. He moved all his limbs, he's talking normal, he remembers everything," said Glaenzer, 33. "It's amazing, a miracle."

Autullo was in his workshop using the nail gun Tuesday when it recoiled near his head, Glaenzer said.

He felt what he thought was the point of the gun hit his head. But what really happened was that when the gun came in contact with his head, the sensor recognized a flat surface and fired, she said.

"I looked at it when he got home, and it just looked like (his head) was cut open," she said.

With nothing to indicate that a nail had not simply "whizzed by his ear," as Autullo explained to her, she cleaned it with peroxide.

While there are pain-sensitive nerves on a person's skull, there aren't any within the brain itself. That's why he would have felt the nail strike the skull, but he wouldn't have felt it penetrate the brain.

 

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