Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Maine Quake Shakes Region

A 4.0 earthquake occurred at 7:12pm EDT, Monday.

Centered 3 miles west of Hollis Center, Maine it was felt all over New England and eastern Canada.

At this time there are no reports of serious damage or injuries.

Originally it was recorded as a 4.5, then a 4.6, and eventually downgraded to the 4.0 status.

Canadian Border Guard Shot

A Canadian border guard agent was shot in the neck, Tuesday afternoon, by a man who then killed himself.

The shooting happened at the Peace Arch crossing, just south of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Emergency services airlifted the wounded agent, to a hospital, her condition is not yet known.

Traffic entering from Washington, has been completely stopped, due to the incident, since about 3pm PDT.

Chowmein Behind Rise in Rapes in Indian Town?

Jitender Chhatar, a member of a town council, in Haryana, India attempted to explain a rise in rapes. The councilman claims that the recent rise in rape cases is the fault of chowmein. "To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts."

Other town ouncil members, congress members, and ministers have also tried to place the blame for the increase of rapes, in their town. Sube Singh says that rapes would disappear if all females were married off by the age of sixteen. Congress chief Phool Chand Mullana and education minister Geeta Bhukkal put forth that the rape cases are a conspiracy against the state government. And Congress member Dharamvir Goyat said that at least ninety percent of the cases had actually been consensual.

Some however tried to put actual reasons on the table. Former minister and Congress MLA Sampat Singh said that a "lack of intellectual growth" was the reason behind rising crime against women. "People might have prospered but have not become mature enough to understand their responsibilities towards society and in some cases towards their families even. Generally, families hardly monitor the activities of their children, especially the sons, who are later found to be involved in such acts."

Hopefully more intelligent people, like Singh, will be able to persuade the rest of the government to reason. If they can, with some effort, rapes will decrease in the area, and the women of Haryana will be safer.

Supreme Court to Rule on Arizona Voting Law, Action Delayed on Early Voting in Ohio

The Arizona Voter ID case has resurfaced, with the Supreme Court having agreed on Monday to rule on the constitutionality of a state requirement which requires voters to prove they are U.S. citizens prior to registering and casting a ballot.
The review of  Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. was granted, though the court had previously rejected Arizona's request to block a lower court decision that had struck down that requirement. That particular law had been in effect since 2004, when "Proposition 200" was passed.

But, the Supreme Court will not rule on the case until after the election, in 2013. It will likely be argued in February and ruled on in June.

This case holds particular significance because:
  • Whether or not proof of citizenship will be required for registering and casting a ballot will be determined.
  • The court will clarify the cooperative, yet sometimes conflicting, roles of state governments and Congress in regulating election procedures.
  • The relationship between the Elections Clause, the Supremacy Clause and the National Voter Registration Act will be interpreted:
State legislatures, under the Constitution, are accorded the authority to decide “the time, place and manner” of holding elections. This includes elections for federal offices, but Congress is given the authority to “make or alter such regulations.”

The Ninth Circuit has interpreted the Elections Clause to bestow upon Congress full and final veto power over any state law or regulation related to federal elections

The Circuit Court held that the “presumption against preemption” that normally protects state laws, under the Supremacy Clause, does not apply when the Elections Clause is at issue.  And, it excused Congress from having to provide a plain statement of its intention to override the state procedure, when overruling a state on federal election procedures.

Hence, the Circuit Court made the determination that Arizona, in requiring that voters show specific documentation to prove citizenship, was in conflict with the National Voter Registration Act.

Though the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the Arizona voting case, no action has been taken by the Justices in regard to the controversial early voting case in Ohio. SCOTUSblog reports the case is currently fully briefed and is expected to be addressed by the Court in the near future.

Cross-posted on RedState and Red Pill Report

Meningitis Cases up to 231

Latest numbers out of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have meningitis cases up to 231.

That number is up nineteen from what it was yesterday.

Good news is that no new deaths have been reported.

The Food and Drug Administration continues to investigate other drugs, produced by New England Compounding Center, for meningitis.

So far it is thought that two more of the drugs were contaminated with the fungal form of the disease.

As many as 14,000 people took the injections known to have been contaminated, it is unclear how many more people could be at risk if other drugs were as well.

Denver Seeking Snow Buddies

The city of Denver and Volunteers for America are looking for volunteers to become 'snow buddies'.

In the snow buddy program, volunteers are matched up with seniors, who need help shoveling their driveways and sidewalks.

Anyone who volunteers, must commit for the entire snow season.

To sign up, or get more information, you can go to http://www.voacolorado.org/ or call 720-264-3379.

Ammo Bunker Explodes in Louisiana

An ammunition bunker exploding caused panic in part of Louisiana, Monday night.

Some reports listed a series of explosions, but only one has been confirmed.

Explo Systems, owns a series of bunkers, near Camp Minden Army ammunition plant.

Their government contract gives them the job of disassembling ordnance, and recycling the old parts.

It's not yet clear what caused one of the bunkers to explode, but it did so with enough force to show up on weather radars.

The National Weather Service released a statement saying, "Based on radar analysis, the plume was initially as high as almost 7,200 feet above ground level."

All Explo employees, who were working at the time, are accounted for with only minor injuries.

Ross Perot Endorses Romney

On Tuesday, former Presidential candidate Ross Perot announced that he will be backing Mitt Romney in 2012.

"The fact of the matter is that the United States is on unsustainable course. At stake is nothing less than our position in the world, our standard of living at home, and our constitutional freedoms.

"That is why I am endorsing Mitt Romney in his quest for the presidency. We can't afford four more years in which national debt mushrooms out of control, our government grows, and our military is weakened.

"Mitt has the background, experience, intelligence, and integrity to turn things around. He has my absolute support."

Hollande Declares Homework a Class Enemy

French President Francois Hollande has targeted homework as a class enemy, that blocks equality.

He proposed that all work, "must be done in the facility rather than in the home if we want to support the children and reestablish equality".

According to his administration, the inequality of living conditions amongst the classes makes homework easier for children from families with higher incomes.

As the state can not yet equalize the home environment, they must force all children to do all their work, at school, where teachers can ensure no one has better opportunities than anyone else.

Hollande may have trouble getting his proposal to pass, though, as various polls show between two-thirds to three-fourths of the adult population being against such a ban.

Blue to Gold: ARMY Sgt. Robert J. Billings

ARMY Sgt. Robert J. Billings, thirty, of Clarksville, Virginia, died October 13, in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan.
Billings, of Clarksville, Virginia, died Saturday, in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, JBLM.

According to unit records, Sgt. Billings entered the Army in January 2006 and reported to Fort Benning, GA, for Army Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training MOS 11B (Infantryman). Upon graduation from AIT he was assigned to Fort Carson, CO. He arrived at JBLM in June 2009 and was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. He deployed with 4th Stryker Brigade to Iraq from September 2009 – August 2010. Sgt. Billings was assigned to 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division in January 2011. He deployed to Afghanistan with 3rd Stryker Brigade in December 2011. This was his second deployment.

Sgt. Billings' civilian and military education includes High School Diploma (2001), Associates in Arts, Criminal Justice (2012), Field Sanitation Team Certification (2011), Unit Prevention Leader (2011), Airload Planner (2011), Warrior Leader Course (2010), Combatives Level 1 (2010), Combat Life Savers Course (2009), Force XXI Battle Command Brigade (2007), Military Occupational Specialty: 11B- Infantryman (2006).

His awards and decorations include Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (two awards), Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (two awards), NATO Medal, Certificate of Achievement, Combat Infantry Badge.

Blue to Gold: ARMY Spc. Brittany B. Gordon

ARMY Spc. Brittany B. Gordon, twenty-four, of St. Petersburg, Florida, died October 13, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
The hidden bomb that killed St. Petersburg's Army Spc. Brittany Gordon on Saturday is being linked to the revenge killing of a nine year old Afghan child according to the New York Times.
In a tragic coda to Saturday's story, the suicide bomber's nine year old brother was killed in revenge by the brother of a victim, said Shamsullah, a Maruf local, who commands a guardpost.

"The nine year old boy was killed in front of his mother and father," said Shamsullah. "The parents didn't know their son Abdul Wali was going to commit suicide."
The Department of Defense described in a statement Monday that Gordon, the daughter of St. Peterburg's assistant police chief Cedric Gordon, was killed by an improvised explosive device. But the IED was carried inside a vest by a suicide bomber Cong. Bill Young told the Tampa Bay Times.
"It is not one that was planted as a mine. The person was wearing a suicide vest. This is also considered an IED," said Young, who chairs the House defense appropriations subcommittee. "It was an inside job."
The American coalition that included Gordon was delivering new furniture to an Afghan intelligence office in the Maruf district. The suicide bomber, dressed in an Afghan intelligence uniform, detonated the explosive vest  hidden under his uniform and killed two Americans and four Afghans according to the New York Times.

Family members said Brittany Gordon's parents met the body in Delaware. Services have not been announced yet.

"I know that Chief Gordon was extremely proud of Brittany and all that she accomplished in her life," police Chief Chuck Harmon said in a statement. "Her life of service and especially service to her country stand as a testament to the type of person she was."

Family friend Cynthia Jolliff-Johnson said Brittany Gordon was vivacious. "She was kind. She was compassionate. She really had a joie de vivre," Jolliff-Johnson said.

Gordon joined the military in 2010. This was her first deployment. She was assigned to the 572 Military Intelligence Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, the military said.
Gordon worked in military communications, relatives said. She was scheduled to return home in December.

Some 20,000 of the 205,000 service members serving in Afghanistan are women, according to the Department of Defense. Pentagon statistics show that, as of Monday, 152 military women have been killed and 947 wounded in combat and noncombat incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Defense Department says there have been more than 2,000 total military deaths in Afghanistan.

Gordon is the 12th female soldier from Florida to die in the wars.

Cuba Lifting Travel Ban

Cuba has announced that it will be lifting what amounted to a ban on travel, for it's citizens.

Under current law, Cubans were required to apply for a special permit, just to leave the country.

In this way the country kept individuals of worth and political dissidents, from leaving.

The new policy will allow for anyone to leave at anytime, with nothing but their passport.

It is set to go into effect January 13, 2013.

Sixteen Dead in Latest Iraq Bombings

At least sixteen people are dead and another thirty-two injured after another bombing wave, in Iraq, on Tuesday.

The provincial government complex in Kirkuk seemed to be one of the focuses of this wave, with multiple bombings happening around it's entrances.

Most of the other bombs occurred in the Kirkuk province, aimed at police and anti Al Qaeda militias.

The Salah ad Din, Diyala, Al Anbar, and Nineveh Governates were also heavily hit; as usual Baghdad was the target of some of the violence.

Some of the attacks were carried out by IEDs, others by gunmen, but suicide car bombings still seem to be the main way for Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Hundreds of people are killed weekly, across the country, as violence only grows stronger, without the presence of international troops.

Ford Recalling 154,000 Fiestas

Ford has announced a recall of 154,000 Fiestas.

In the 2011 through 2013 models, side air bags were failing to deploy, in the rear, if no one was sitting in the passenger seat.

Dealers will simply reprogram the air bags to deploy even if no one is in the passenger seat, for free.

According to the company, no injuries have been related to the issue.

Syrian Jets Bombard Maaret al-Numan

Syrian jets focused on bombarding rebel areas in Maaret al-Numan, on Tuesday.

Fighting has centered around the area as rebel forces work to cut the main highway between Damascus and Aleppo.

Elsewhere, across the country, fighting rages on all fronts as the rebels continue to gain ground against government forces.

With death tolls mounting, international agencies confirm that the fighting is only growing in intensity.

Estimates place the death toll closing in on thirty-five thousand, as the conflict continues into it's twentieth month.

Fears of international involvement continue to grow as Turkey brings more firepower to it's border, and the war of words between the two countries escalates, with both countries banning the other from using it's airspace in any capacity.

Second Presidential Debate Tonight

The second Presidential debate of 2012 will take place tonight, in New York City.

Tuesday's moderator will be CNN's Candy Crowley.

This debate will be a town hall format, so set up quite differently and more strictly than the first one.

Eighty participants, who were chosen by Gallup as being undecided voters, and who live in the area, have submitted questions for the candidates.

Crowley will pick which of the questions she wishes to have asked, the audience member who wrote the question will then get to ask the question, the candidates will each have two minutes to respond to it, and then Crowley can ask a follow up question.

The Romney campaign is hoping for a repeat of the first, with a definitive win, whilst the Obama campaign is promising an actual fight this time.

Supreme Court Will Take up Arizona Voter Law

On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to take on a decision over Arizona voter law.

The law in question requires people to prove their citizenship when they register to vote.

Arizona passed the law, in 2004, and in April 2012 it was suspended by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In June, the Supreme Court denied Arizona the right to lift the ban, whilst the appeals process was under way.

Arguments, for the case, won't be heard til at least February of 2013, and so will have no effect upon the 2012 election.

Clinton Claims Responsibility For Benghazi Debacle

In a CNN TV interview, Monday night, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton stated that it was her fault that the Benghazi debacle occurred.

An attack upon the US consulate there, left four Americans dead, including the US ambassador to Libya.

Saying "I take responsibility", Clinton attempted to deflect criticism aimed at President Obama over the lack of security at the consulate.

That criticism was only strengthened while administration officials continued to give countering accounts of what occurred in Benghazi.

Over the last few weeks more and more evidence has come out that the consulate repeatedly asked for an increase in security, but the requests were both rejected and ignored.

Clinton now pledges that such an incident will never happen again.

Softbank to Buy 70 Percent of Sprint

Japan based Softbank Corp is moving ahead with plans to buy seventy percent of Sprint.

It will cost them over seventy billion dollars, the largest amount ever spent by a Japanese firm to buy into a foreign one.

Sprint is the third largest mobile carrier, in the US, and Softbank is one of the largest in Japan.

The move is an important one for Softbank, as the Japanese mobile market has stagnated, whilst the US is still growing.

Since the announcement was made, Softbank stock has gone down, but Sprint and that of the companies it owns have gone up, especially that of Clearwire.

Every part of the deal should be completed by mid 2013.

Portugese Protesters Clash With Police

Portuguese austerity protests turned into a half riot Monday night.

Thousands of people in Lisbon had peacefully protested for hours, on Monday.

They were demanding that Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho cancel the newly approved budget.

By Monday evening protesters began setting fires, and then clashed with police when they tried putting them out.

Tear gas was used to clear the crowd from the area outside of the National Assembly.

The government approved the new budget, early Monday, that is one of the harshest in history for the country, and includes heavy tax increases, pension cuts, and other ways the government hopes to save money.

Portugal is working hard to rescue it's failed economy, they've already received over a hundred billion dollars in bailout money from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Hurricane Paul to Hit Land Tuesday Afternoon

A low populated area of the Baja peninsula is bracing for the impact of Hurricane Paul.

Paul should strike the west coast of Mexico, Tuesday afternoon.

The category two hurricane has winds over one hundred miles per hour.

It is moving at twenty-one miles per hour, and picking up speed.

Mexico issued a hurricane warning for the area between Santa Fe and Punta Abreojos.

Girl Receives 60 Lashes for Talking to Men

A fifteen year old girl in Timbuktu received sixty lashes for talking to men.

Ansar Dine currently run the city, and they do so with Shariah law.

Charges of talking to men were accompanied by accusations that she refused to stop talking with them, despite multiple warnings.

The Shariah court found her guilty, sentenced her, and had her punishment carried out.

The whipping took place in front of the Islamic police headquarters, which has been placed next to Independence Square.

German Town Evacuated Due to Chemical Accident

A chemical accident at a Kraft chemical plant caused an evacuation of part of Bad Fallingbostel, Germany.

Nearly fifteen hundred people were forced to evacuate the area, on Monday.

Hundreds of firefighters converged on the plant, and broke out biohazard gear and tents.

Focus is still on cooling the container to avoid any explosion.

Plant workers accidentally added acid to a tank of sodium hydroxide.

The resulting chemical reaction created hazardous nitrous gasses.