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In brief: Rapture-predicting preacher Camping dies

Wed., Dec. 18, 2013, midnight

Oakland, Calif. – Harold Camping, the California preacher who used his evangelical radio ministry and thousands of billboards to broadcast the end of the world and then gave up public prophecy when his date-specific doomsdays did not come to pass, has died at age 92.

Family Radio Network marketing manager Nina Romero said Camping died at his home on Sunday. She said he had been hospitalized after falling.

Camping’s most widely spread prediction was that the Rapture would happen on May 21, 2011.

His independent Christian media empire spent millions of dollars – some of it from donations made by followers who quit their jobs and sold all their possessions – to spread the word on more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs plastered with the Judgment Day message.

When the Judgment Day he foresaw did not materialize, the preacher revised his prophecy, saying he had been off by five months.

But after the cataclysmic event did not occur in October either, Camping acknowledged his apocalyptic prophecy had been wrong and posted a letter on his ministry’s site telling his followers he had no evidence the world would end anytime soon, and wasn’t interested in considering future dates.

Forest fire burns homes and forces out residents

Big Sur, Calif. – An unusual late fall wildfire fueled by drought conditions destroyed more than a dozen homes and forced about 100 people to flee the forested mountains of the scenic Big Sur region overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The slow-moving fire in Los Padres National Forest near state Highway 1 had consumed 769 acres, or a little over a square mile, by Tuesday night and was 20 percent contained.

It has destroyed 22 buildings, Los Padres National Forest spokesman Lynn Olson said. About 14 of those structures were homes, she said.

No injuries have been reported.

About 830 firefighters have deployed to the area, and thus far, weather has been working in their favor, said Mark Nunez, the incident commander of the team fighting the fire. But today could be another matter, depending on which way the wind blows.

Harvard bomb hoax blamed on student

Boston – Bomb threats that led to the evacuations of four Harvard University campus buildings this week were made by a student trying to get out of taking a final exam, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

The student, 20-year-old Eldo Kim, sent emails saying bombs had been placed around campus to Harvard police, two university officials and the president of the Harvard Crimson newspaper, according to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. attorney’s office.

The messages said shrapnel bombs would go off soon in two of four buildings, including one where prosecutors say Kim was supposed to take an exam at 9 a.m. Monday. The buildings, on Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, just outside Boston, were shut down for hours before investigators determined there were no explosives.

Kim, who lives in Cambridge, is to make an initial court appearance today.

Investigators from several agencies searched the buildings for hours before determining there were no explosives. One of the buildings was a freshman dormitory; classes are held in the other three.


 

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