Friday, November 23, 2012

NHL Cancels Two More Weeks of Games and the All Star Game

The NHL announced the cancellation of two more weeks of games.

Games through December 14 have now been cancelled.

Which amounts to just over a third of the season.

Added to those two weeks was the All Star Game which had been set for January 27, in Columbus, Ohio.

Three weeks ago the NHL had announced the cancellation of the Winter Classic.

The league is now in it's tenth week of being locked out, and the third lockout under Commissioner Gary Bettman.

Many estimate that the league can only go two more weeks without cancelling the entire season, which was done in the case of the 2004-05 season.

The player's union went on strike after the league tried to lower the amount of money given players from fifty-seven percent, down to fifty.

Talk, in the union, has moved to discussing decertifying the union, which would allow the players to bring an anti trust law suit against the league.

Such a tactic was used before, by the NBA and NFL in 2011.

18 Injured in Massachusetts Explosion

Eighteen people were injured in an explosion, in Springfield, Massachusetts, Friday.

Firefighters had responded to a gas leak call, at the building, Friday afternoon.

As they investigated, something set the gas off causing the massive blast.

The explosion demolished one building and severely damaged at least twelve more.

All the windows, within a three block radius, were blown out.

Miraculously, no one was killed in the blast.

IDF: Lieutenant Boris Yarmulnik

Lieutenant Boris Yarmulnik, twenty-eight, of the Israeli Defense Force reserves died Thursday afternoon.

Yarmulnik was wounded in a rocket attack, Wednesday, during the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas controlled Gaza.

His unit was along the border when a mortar landed, injuring him and four other soldiers in his unit.

He was one of six Israelis killed, during the attacks, including one other soldier.

The family is preparing a funeral in their home town of Netanya.

Mexico Seeking to Change Name

It's a fact, though an uncommonly known one, Mexico's name isn't officially Mexico.

Since gaining independence in 1821, Mexico has actually been the Estados Unidos Mexicanos, or Mexican United States, which was then confirmed as the official name in 1824.

Only government officials use the full name, and most of the world, including the Mexican population is not even aware of the actual name.

To change this, and to put his name further into the history books, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who leaves office December 1, has put forth a piece of legislation. The legislation would change the name of Mexico, to Mexico.

On Thursday, when he announced the legislation, Calderon said, "the name Mexican United States was originally taken because back in 1824 the United States of America was an example of democracy and liberty for the new independent nations in the Americas. It's time that we Mexicans retake the beauty and simplicity of our motherland's name, Mexico. A name that we use when chanting or singing, a name that identifies us throughout the world and that makes us proud,"

1 Gazan Dead After 300 Rush Israeli Border

Friday saw about three hundred Gazans rush the Israeli border, in mass.

Israeli Defense Forces shouted at them to stay away, then when they weren't listened to fired warning shots into the air.

When those were ignored as well, the troops aimed at the ground, in front of the mob.

The Gazans kept coming right into the burst of fire, leaving one of their number dead and ten wounded.

Footage from the area shows Gazans continuing taunt IDF troops.

So far the incident has had no impact on the cease fire between Hamas and Israel.

Protests Continue in Jakarta, Despite Government Promises

Thousands of people continue to protest in Jakarta, Indonesia.

They have been marching and protesting as they demand increased wages, better benefits, and job protection.

The governor has already granted them a forty-four percent increase in wages, but many are fearful the courts will strike that decision down.

Some protesters, seeing how easily the governor gave in, have added to their list of demands.

Indonesia's economy is one of the fastest growing in the world and some estimates have it nearing ten percent growth by next year.

It's infrastructure, however, is having a hard time keeping up, causing all sorts of problems for the government and companies.

What have become regular protests aren't doing anything to help stabilize things, either.

7 Killed in Guatemala City Shooting

Seven people were killed in Guatemala City, on Friday.

Men dressed as police came into an upper class medical clinic, and opened fire on guards and bodyguards, who were present.

They then took off in five separate vehicles.

Guatemala's Interior Minister Mauriciao Lopez said that the gunmen were after Jairo Orellana, a drug lord who is a client of that clinic.

He further said that he believes it was "the product of a power struggle between drug traffickers".

Orellana was not there at the time of the shooting.

President General Otto Perez has vowed to crack down on the violent cartels, but that has become increasingly difficult as Mexican cartels push their influence further south.

EU at Odds Over Budget

Cameron (left) Merkel (right)
Both Britain and Germany held the EU to notice that there would be no deal on the EU's budget, if there weren't more spending cuts.

Sweden and the Netherlands backed them on their calls for deeper cuts of at least thirty billion more.

British Prime Minister David Cameron submitted a plan that would trim EU administrative costs by ten percent.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders backed the plan, but it wasn't even considered by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

The EU's total budget is roughly one trillion euros, and the governments have already agreed to eighty billion in cuts.

Countries that put in the most money, are generally from the north, and they're getting tired of seeing most of the money being spent in the poorer southern countries.

It is unclear if the EU will be able to come to a consensus on the budget, during this round of talks.

Mursi's Seizure of Power Causes Violent Protests in Egypt

Egyptian President Mursi's powers were always meant to be temporary. He was only meant to be in power until a new Constitution and Parliament could be approved.

But it looks more and more like he's planning on staying longer. His seizure of power, Thursday, granted himself decrees of law which are not appeal able, even by the judiciary. In other words he grabbed unilateral power.

Now Egypt is once again rioting against a man who would be Pharaoh. Tens of thousands have taken to the streets, both Thursday and Friday accusing him of hijacking the revolution for personal gain. They are also comparing him to former President Mubarak, who continuously had said that his dictatorial powers were necessary for protecting democracy.

The Muslim brotherhood and other Islamist groups have countered the protests with chants in support of Mursi. This has led to violent confrontations between the two sides, especially in Alexandria, Suez, and Port Said. At least two have been killed and dozens injured in the clashes. In Cairo, the police have maintained some control, but teargas is once again flowing in Tahrir Square, the heart of the previous revolution.

M23 Continues Advance, Captures Sake

M23 rebels march from Goma to Sake
M23 rebels continue their advance through Eastern Congo.

Less than a week after taking Goma, and then repulsing a counter attack, they have now taken the city of Sake as well.

Government forces put up small fights along the way, but nothing has stopped M23 for long.

Rebel leaders have pledged to take the entire country, but the capital is almost a thousand miles from their current positions.

Whereas, Goma and Sake, are less than twenty miles apart.

Congo's government said they retook Sake from the rebels, but United Nations forces confirm that M23 still holds the city.

The UN again released statements calling for the end of foreign aid to the rebels, but in a marked difference did not specifically mention Rwanda, as doing so.

Meanwhile, Congo's President Joseph Kabila has sacked the head of his army, General Gabriel Amisi.

Sources tell us Amisi is under investigation for selling weapons to other armed forces, both foreign and rebel.

Argentina Vows Not to Pay One Dollar

Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino
Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino announced that Argentina will continue to fight paying loans off.

Lorenzino, on Friday, said that his country will take their case all the way to the US Supreme Court, if necessary.

He argues that paying off their debt would be giving in to the "vultures" and "judicial colonialism".

The Minister said that the only thing missing from the US threats was "the Fifth Fleet".

This comes after Wednesday's decision, by New York federal judge Thomas Griesa, which ordered the country to pay off it's defaulted debt immediately.

President Cristina Fernandez swore that Argentina will not pay one single dollar.

Argentina owes around $1.33 billion dollars to various financial companies.

The seizure of the ARA Libertad, by Ghana, is part of the ongoing drama over the money owed.

Two Dead, Seventy Wounded in Afghanistan Bombing

Two people were killed and over seventy wounded when a truck exploded in Afghanistan.

As many as six NATO troops were amongst the wounded when the explosion occurred in Maidan Shahr, on Friday.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, in the Wardak province.

It is believed the bomber's target was a joint NATO and Afghan operations center, but for some reason he blew the truck about one hundred and twenty feet away from it.

Had he managed to hit the busy building casualties likely would've been much higher.