The Lookout
  • The happy ending keeps getting happier for Billy Ray Harris. Two months ago, the homeless man who gained notice on the Web when he returned an engagement ring put in his change cup accidentally, now has a home, a part-time job, and his long-lost family.

    The Kansas City, Mo., man was befriended by Sarah Darling, whose engagement ring he returned. Wanting to help, Darling and her husband, Bill, set up a fund for Harris. They hoped to raise the $4,000 he had been offered by a jewelry store on the spot for the diamond ring. Instead of selling, the 55-year-old decided to wait to see if Darling would come back for the ring. A couple of days later, she did.

    As word of the story spread, so did generosity to Harris. The fund now has more than $186,000 from 8,000-plus donors. More than money, Harris has received the priceless gift of reuniting with family he hadn’t seen in 16 years. His sister, Robin Harris Williams, recognized her older brother when the story of the ring in the change cup

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  • Rocket fire seen in a North Korea propaganda video (YouTube)

    North Korea has submitted yet another entry to its ongoing propaganda film festival. This time, it has released a video that threatens an attack on U.S. forces using "powerful weapons of mass destruction" and depicts an invasion of Seoul in which 150,000 American citizens are taken hostage.

    Posted on North Korea's official Uriminzokkiri website and YouTube channel, the video comes less than a week after one showing the White House in its crosshairs and the explosion of the U.S. Capitol building.

    The film, titled "A Short, Three-Day War," opens with rockets firing into South Korea from the north followed by thousands of North Korean troops crossing the border.

    "The crack storm troops will occupy Seoul and other cities and take 150,000 U.S. citizens as hostages," a narrator says in a voice-over, according to a translation by the Telegraph.

    [Related: Rodman returns from N. Korea, says Kim wants Obama to 'call him']

    Last month, North Korea produced a bizarre video of a dream sequence that imagined a U.S. city resembling New York under an apparent missile attack and the Empire State Building shown in flames. The soundtrack to that three-and-a-half-minute video was an instrumental version of "We Are the World," and the attack footage appeared to have been taken from the video game "Modern Warfare 3." It was eventually removed from YouTube.

    Watch North Korea's latest propaganda video:

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  • The Cyclone in Coney Island (Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)NEW YORK—Erik Knapp was just 7 when he took his first turn on the Cyclone, Coney Island’s famed wooden roller coaster. His mother had insisted that he was too young to ride the old rickety coaster, but his grandfather took him anyway, and to hear Knapp tell it, it was love at first ride.

    In the years since, Knapp, who is now 47, estimates he’s ridden the coaster “at least 2,000 times” and says he’ll ride it until the day he dies. As proof, he points to a gigantic tattoo of the Cyclone he had inked on his right bicep many years ago. It’s a permanent depiction of the coaster’s iconic red Cyclone sign and a train of passengers falling on the ride’s first major drop. Seated in the front seat alone is a skeleton.

    “That’s me,” Knapp says, grinning. “This ride is such a part of my life. I have never lost the thrill of it, and I don’t think I ever will.”

    But in October, Knapp worried he might lose his beloved ride forever in the fierce winds and flooding of Superstorm Sandy. A massive nine-foot storm surge wiped out many businesses along Surf Avenue, Coney Island’s main strip, and flooded the 86-year-old coaster. But unlike the Jet Star, the coaster in Seaside Heights, N.J., which collapsed into the sea and became an iconic image of Sandy’s devastation, the Cyclone stayed put. And on Sunday, it reopened—along with the Wonder Wheel Ferris wheel and the rest of the amusement park that city officials once feared might not be able to recover in time for this summer.

    “Coney Island is open!” Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz declared as he and Sen. Chuck Schumer christened the Cyclone’s reopening by smashing a wine bottle full of egg cream on the ride’s first car.

    But all around Coney Island, there are still signs of Sandy’s wrath.

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