Monday, November 26, 2012

Feds Stepping in on NHL Lockout

Possibly a small glimmer of hope remains that there will be any form of hockey for this season.

A large chunk of the season has already cancelled, due to the lockout imposed by the league.

Negotiations between the NHL and the players' union has failed to the point that the feds are stepping in.

On Monday, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service director George Cohen announced that federal mediators will now be trying to work things out between the two groups.

In a statement, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said, "While we have no particular level of expectation going into this process, we welcome a new approach in trying to reach a resolution of the ongoing labor dispute at the earliest possible date."

NHLPA executive director Don Fehr released his own statement, saying "We look forward to their involvement as we continue working to reach an equitable agreement for both the players and the owners."

Now we just wait and see if the federal government can solve the problem.

Cambridge Preparing Terminator Studies Center

Cambridge University has announced what could be a very interesting field of study.

The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk will be the home for "terminator studies".

Their goal for the new area of study is to ensure that mankind exists, in the future, by preparing for situations in which humanity might find itself in danger of extinction.

The center will focus on the four greatest threats to human existence: artificial intelligence, climate change, nuclear war, and rogue biotechnology.

Cambridge, one of the world's oldest universities, has long been known for being at the forefront of scientific thought.

Minnesota Man Arrested For Killing Teens Who Broke Into His House

Sixty-four year old Byron David Smith was charged with two counts of second degree murder, on Monday.

On Friday, Smith asked a neighbor it the knew a good lawyer and then asked them to call Little Falls, Minnesota police.

He took police into his home and showed them the bodies of two teenagers that he said broke into his place on Thursday.

According to Smith he was in his basement when he heard a window break upstairs.

Fearful after at least one previous break in, he grabbed one of his guns, a Mini 14 rifle.

When he could see the first suspect from the waist down, he fired, then shot him in the face when he fell to the floor.

Smith then dragged the body out of view and sat back down.

A few minutes later the second person started down the stairs, so he shot them when he saw their waist as well.

When she fell to the floor, Smith went to shoot her in the face, but his rifle jammed.

When this happened, Smith says the girl laughed at him.

Grabbing his .22, Smith then fired several shots into her chest, then dragged her body next to the boy's.

Seeing that the girl was still breathing he took his revolver to the bottom of her chin, and fired into her skull. 

His two victims were seventeen year old Nicholas Brady and eighteen year old Haile Kifer.

Kifer had a history of breaking into houses, but neither teen had and any history of violence.

Minnesota law allows for homeowners to use deadly force when they feel their life is threatened by home invaders.

However prosecutors are describing Smith's acts as those of an execution.

They have raised questions about the amounts of shots fired, which Smith does acknowledge was excessive.

Prosecutors are also pointing out the delay in the reporting of the shooting, as well as Smith's movement of the bodies.

UN to Vote on Palestinian Status, on Thursday

On Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly is set to vote on the status of the Palestinian state.

The UNGA will decide if the PLO should be moved from observer to a nonmember observer state.

It is very likely to pass as over two thirds of the UN's members have already recognized them as a country.

PLO leaders believe that the gain in status will move them closer to becoming the 194th member of the UN.

The US has previously vetoed a 2011 application by the PLO to become member 194, saying that they won't approve any application until after talks have successfully been concluded with Israel.

Both the US and Israel state that instead of going to the UN, the PLO should stop trying to skip negotiations, with Israel, over their statehood.

Spaceport Colorado One Step Closer to Reality

Spaceport Colorado gained a step closer to becoming reality.

Over the last couple of weeks private and public donors have pledged or given $660,000.

Matched with money already granted, by the Federal Aviation Administration, it puts funding closing in on a million dollars.

The next steps will be hiring consultants and then planning out the whole deal so that they can apply for a spaceport license.

Front Range Airport is to be the home for the future spaceport.

Located six miles east of Denver, the airport is already one of the largest general aviation airports in the country, and it has nothing but room to grow, out on the plains.

Currently plans are on pace for the spaceport to be finished within ten to fifteen years.

David's Sling Successfully Tested

Israel has successfully tested David's Sling.

During the latest conflict with Hamas, Israel's Iron Dome missile defenses became well known, around the world.

Iron Dome is however only meant to target short range missiles.

To further protect Israel, they have developed David's Sling to protect them from mid range missiles.

David's Sling has a range of twenty-five to two hundred miles.

It was created in a joint effort between Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and US contractor Raytheon, who call it the Magic Wand.

Goals are for Israel's Sling to be fully operational by 2014.

In 2016, Israel expects it's Arrow long range missile defense system to be ready to go, as well.

Missing 78 Yead Old Safe

Missing seventy-eight year old Paul Bernard Spitler was found Sunday night.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation canceled the senior alert out for him.

They said he was found safe, but release no further information.

He had been missing since Saturday, just after noon when he left home to visit his daughter, but never showed up.

Homeland Security and Interpol Seize 132 Websites

Police in at least six countries took place in an international domain name seizure, on Monday.

One hundred and thirty-two domain names were shut down for selling counterfeit merchandise.

Homeland Security led the investigation, but was joined by Interpol and authorities from Belgium, France, Denmark, Romania, and the UK.

Investigators confirmed the sites were illegal, after checking with copyright owners.

Supreme Court Orders Another Look at Constitutionality of Obamacare

On Monday, the Supreme Court ordered the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a case.

That case is Liberty University's challenge against Obamacare.

The university challenges that the mandated health care is unconstitutional, as it requires employers to pay for birth control.

Some forms of birth control, such as morning after and week after pills are seen as immoral by most religious communities.

Many have argued that forcing employers of religious organizations to do something against their faith, is a violation of their first amendment guarantee of religious freedom.

In 2010 a federal judge had rejected the claim and the appellate court later rejected it as well.

The Supreme Court's order gives new life to the claim, and once again brings awareness to the unconstitutionality of Obamacare.

Miami International Airport Evacuated

Concourse J of the Miami International Airport was evacuated for part of Monday.

A man claimed to have luggage filled with dynamite, causing the evacuation.

The bomb squad was called in, but they found no explosives.

Police say the man recanted his dynamite statement, after he was arrested.

One outgoing and several incoming flights were delayed by the scare.

None of the airport's other concourses were affected.

Miami International has since resumed full operations.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak Resigns

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave a major surprise announcement, on Monday.

The seventy year old announced that he will be resigning from politics after the elections, but will continue his post until his replacement is sworn in.

He said that he wishes to spend more time with his family.

Elections are scheduled for January 22.

Barak has served either in the military or in politics for over fifty years.

He served in the Israeli Defense Forces for thirty-six years, rising from draftee to Chief of Staff.

From 1999-2001, he served as Prime Minister, the shortest term ever for an Israeli PM.

Some have called him the man "everyone loves to hate", but he is widely respected, especially for his insight into his enemies.

Rumors of who will replace him are circulating widely, including some thought that he may stay on in an advisory position.

Fire Kills Fourteen Disabled Workers in Germany

Fourteen people were killed and six injured in a fire in Titisee-Neustadt, Germany, Monday afternoon.

The fire struck a facility, run by the Catholic Church's Caritas Foundation, which provides disabled people with trade jobs.

Around one hundred and twenty people have jobs there, including metalwork, woodwork, and electrical installation.

Over one hundred fire fighters were called to battle the blaze.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Missing: North Carolina: Sixteen Year Old Amanda Marie Atkins

Police in North Carolina are looking for missing sixteen year old, Amanda Marie Atkins.

She was last seen around 5:30pm EST, at home.

When her parents went to check on her around 10:20pm they found her room empty and her window open.

Police have not issued an amber alert as she is a possible run away.

Amanda is described as five foot one, one hundred and fifteen pounds, with blonde hair and green eyes.

Anyone with information should call the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office at 704-732-9050.

Thousands Strike in Bangladseh After Second Factory Fire

Thousands of workers strike in Bangladesh after second factory fire.

Just two days after a clothing factory fire killed one hundred and seventeen people, another clothing factory was engulfed in flames.

The second fire took firefighters over four hours to control, but killed no one and injured a dozen, early Monday morning.

Garment district workers struck on Monday, protesting the unsafe environments which led to the two fires.

Fire safety is of very little concern in Bangladesh, until something goes horribly wrong, then it suddenly becomes a huge issue, for a little bit of time.

Factory owners often promise the government that they'll improve conditions, but rarely actually do, so as to keep costs low.

Mosri Backs Down From Power Grab

According to the latest reports out of Egypt, President Morsi has backed down from his Thursday decrees.

His decrees would've made him unchallengeable in the government, and some had even said it made him a new pharaoh.

After his decrees were made public, the country was racked with violent protests.

Two people were killed in them and over five hundred were injured.

Morsi backed down Monday night, after judges and lawyers throughout the country went on strike, for a second straight day, in protest of his illegal moves.

Late Monday it was announced that Morsi and the Supreme Judicial Council had come to an agreement on things.

No details were released other than that Morsi would not be usurping the powers he had said he would.

Supporters, of the President, said that Tuesday would see protests from them, but they've now cancelled those plans.