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What is the “amber” in AMBER Alert? Plus, the origin of “kidnap”

The media is filled with reports of missing children. The term “AMBER Alert” has become synonymous with these tragedies, but the story behind the name “Amber” is worth repeating.

First, the basics. In the suspected kidnapping of a child, an AMBER Alert is issued. This urgent bulletin is voluntarily issued through several agencies within the United States and abroad. The hope behind an AMBER Alert is that the more people who are aware of a possibly abducted child, the quicker the child will be found and returned home.

(By the way, what’s the etymology of kidnap? The word is likely a compound of kid, meaning “child,” and nap, which is a variant of the word “nab,” and that it originally referred to children who were abducted and forced to work as servants in the American colonies. In an alternate etymology, the word is a back-formation of kidnapper. A napper is a thief.) 

AMBER is a backronym for “America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response;” it was originally named for Amber Hagerman. In 1996, the 9-year-old was tragically kidnapped and murdered in Texas. The murder shocked the small community where Amber lived, and radio stations and local authorities responded by creating an emergency bulletin system that was eventually adopted nationwide.

Amber” is also a pale yellow, sometimes reddish or brownish, fossil resin of vegetable origin, used for making jewelry and other purposes. It also describes the pale yellow color (yellow traffic lights are considered amber.)

Other states have alternate alert names that memorialize murdered children. For example, in Hawaii, it is called the Maile Amber Alert. Maile was a first grader who was abducted and brutally killed in Kailua, Hawaii in 1985.

On the topic of criminal justice, do you know the difference between a charge, a sentence, and a conviction? We offer an explanation in the context of a recent controversial trial, here.

POSH & FLICKS; Amazing spending sprees of footy millionaires Beckhams building pounds 600k 50-seater CINEMA at home.(News) this web site black swan movie

The People (London, England) November 20, 2005 Byline: BY MELANIE SWAN MOVIE-mad Posh and Becks are having a pounds 600,000 CINEMA built at their mansion.

The amazing private flicks will have 50 plush leather and velvet seats, giant screen and latest sound system.

Pals say Victoria, 31, persuaded David they should fork out on the latest extravagant addition to Beckingham Palace because of her growing interest in Hollywood.

A source close to the couple – pals of movie idol Tom Cruise and his fiancee Katie Holmes – said: “Victoria is desperate to have somewhere at her home where she can relax and watch movies with their friends.” Posh’s dad Tony Adams is masterminding construction of two new 1,000 square foot floors above the swimming pool at their pounds 2.5million home in Hertfordshire. Building work alone will cost pounds 400,000. Victoria and her England skipper hubby, 30, have also ordered pounds 100,000 of high-tech equipment for the cinema on the top floor. web site black swan movie

The audience will have their own volume and 3D activating controls. Another pounds 100,000 will go on sound-proof, triple-glazed stained glass walls.The floor below the cinema is a new playroom for the couple’s sons Brooklyn, six, Romeo, three, and eight-month- old Cruz.

The source said: “Victoria can’t wait for work to finish. She’s convinced the cinema will be a worthy addition.

“She has been developing an interest in Hollywood, especially since she and David became close to Tom Cruise.

“Victoria is always running over her ideas for improvements with David. But the cinema is one of her most extravagant changes yet.” The couple have already had a church built in the grounds. But at least they won’t have to hire a cinema again – as they did for Brooklyn’s birthday in 2003.

5 Beckham blockbusters1 Bed It Like Beckham 2 On Goldenballs Pond 3 The Lord of the Blings 4 Every Which Way But Loos 5 It Came From Outer Spice CAPTION(S):

FILM FANS: David and Victoria; DREAM SCREEN: Beckhams’ cinema is being built above pool at their home

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