Saturday, March 24, 2012

United States Joins Japanese Condemnation of North Korean Plans

The United States has joined Japan in issuing warnings to North Korea over a planned rocket launch. The rocket, which North Korea says is designed to carry a satellite into space, is scheduled to launch in mid April, in celebration of what would have been Kim Il-sung's 100th birthday.

Japan, the United States, and others say that the rocket launch is a test of a long range missile. Such a test would be in violation of current agreements between the governments.

To avoid issues with Japan, North Korea has moved the trajectory to a more southerly course, that should avoid Japanese airspace completely. But Japan is still reading missile defenses in case the rocket crosses into their airspace, and may decide to shoot it down.

The new course takes it towards Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell stated that such a trajectory has never been seen before. Adding that the possibly effected countries have been asked to join the condemnation of the launch.

Royal Wedding Crashers

John and Frances Canning had just finished their vows when their wedding was crashed by some surprise guests.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip were visiting the Manchester Town Hall at the same time as the wedding, and decided to pay their respects to the couple.

"It was very special. It was so lovely that she took the trouble to speak to us," bride Frances Canning told The Sun newspaper. "We're going to have to get a bigger wedding album now. Not many people will have pictures like that."

Jarno Smeets and His Flight are Fake

For a few days man could fly. Or at least many thought so.

The world's press was fooled into believing the story of Jarno Smeets, and his claim that he had made custom wings, which enabled him to fly.

Floris Kaayk, now admits that he pretended to be Smeets and faked the flight in an online storytelling experiment. He had stood by the original story until the video was proven to be fake. After that his story started falling apart as deeper investigations were done.

Experts at George Lucas's Industrial Lights and Magic were involved in the take down of the video.

Kaayk faked not just the video, flight, and his name; but also created an entire background for his Smeets character, to make him seem real. Investigators found that the companies and university that he stated he had worked for and studied at, had no knowledge of any such person.

Charges of fraud are being considered against Kaayk. Though what success any would have, are unknown as Kaayk did not take any money nor harm anyone.

Remembering: Queen Elizabeth I

March 24, 1603 Queen Elizabeth I dies after ruling England for forty-four years.

Under Elizabeth I's rule England had grown into a truly global power. Helping establish her as one of England's greatest monarchs in all of history.

Elizabeth I established a permanent Protestant church, fought off Catholic influences that wished to see England subjugated, and encouraged the Calvinists of Scotland.

One of the most famous victories for her England, came in 1588, against the Spanish Armada. A combination of determined English sailors and weather saw England take Spain's spot as the world's greatest navy.

She also greatly encouraged exploration, which later helped ensure England's dominance in North America, and other parts of the world.

The English Renaissance took place during her reign, a time where artists such as William Shakespeare thrived into greatness.

Elizabeth I feared that a marriage would endanger her authority, and so never married. This led to her nickname "The Virgin Queen". It was because of this nickname that Virginia was named after her.

Because she had no heirs, her nearest relative King James of Scotland became ruler of England, upon her death. James would unite Scotland and England, beginning the formation of Great Britain or the United Kingdom.

Colorado's Welfare Drug Test Law Moves Forward

Colorado's bill to drug test welfare recipients gained a step forward as it passed the house's appropriations committee, on Friday. The amendment it took to pass there, adds a requirement for all elected officials, including the governor, to have to pass drug tests as well.

Opponents of the bill state that it plays on inaccurate stereotypes of minorities and low-income people. They also warn that the state could face legal challenges because courts in other states have struck down similar drug-testing programs, ruling that such plans amount to an unconstitutional search of people. Concerns also have risen that it would cost more to implement, than the money it could possibly save.

Backers of the bill say that it is needed make sure government benefits are going to people who truly need the help, not people who are using the money for drugs. As to the cost, they say it is actually much cheaper than the numbers from the opposition suggest.

The bill is expected to pass the Republican held house. However, the Democrat controlled senate is not likely to allow the bill to survive.

Similar bills have failed in other states, such as Wyoming. But earlier this week Florida Governor Rick Scott signed such a law into place.

Mystery of Clintonville, Wisconsin Solved

The mystery of Clintonville, Wisconsin has apparently been solved. The mysterious noises that had begun to plague the town were identified by scientists as small barely measurable earthquakes.

Ironically though, scientists had previously ruled out earthquakes. Now scientists say that the noises were caused by a combination of the unique bedrock under the town, and the shallowness of the quakes.

The largest quake measured at 1.5 on the richter scale. So small that most seismographs are not regularly calibrated to read instances that low.

It is unknown for how much longer the quakes will occur, or why they've been only really happening at night. Only time will tell when and if they'll stop. The reasoning behind them, may never be known.