Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Missing From California: Elisa Lam, 21

Twenty-one year old Eilsa Lam is missing from Los Angeles, California.

She was last seen on January 26.

Lam had been visiting from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Elisa is described as five foot four, one hundred and fifteen pounds, with black hair, and brown eyes.

Anyone with information should call the Los Angeles Police Department at 877-527-3247.

Her body was found in a water tank on top of an LA hotel.

Missing From Kentucky: Darci Hollan, 16

Sixteen year old Darci Hollan is missing from Booneville, Kentucky.

She was last seen on January 25.

Police are concerned as she deleted her social media profiles, since disappearing.

Darci is described as five foot five, one hundred and ninety-three pounds, with brown hair, and blue eyes.

Anyone with information should call the Kentucky State Police at 1-800-543-7723.

On February 6, police located her, and apprehended a forty-eight year old male.

Could the US Embassy Bombing in Turkey Have Been Prevented? Turkish Authorities Knew of the Attack In Advance

Last Friday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, in an email to reporters, wrote: "We can confirm a terrorist blast at a check point on the perimeter of our embassy compound in Ankara, Turkey, at 13:13 local time. We are working closely with the Turkish national police to make a full assessment of the damage and the casualties, and to begin an investigation."

The suicide bomber who carried out the attack was Ecevit Sanli, a member of the leftist Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), a Turkish group that has accused the U.S. of using Turkey as its "slave". Sanli blew himself up in a perimeter gatehouse as he tried to enter the embassy, also killing a Turkish security guard.

The DHKP-C is venomously anti-American and is listed as a terrorist organization by both the United States and Turkey.  Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is described as a US "puppet" by the DHKP-C in a statement on the Internet: "Murderer America! You will not run away from people's rage." The statement was posted on "The People’s Cry" website which included a picture of Sanli wearing a black beret and military style gear, with an explosives belt around his waist.

Sanli was born in 1973 in the Black Sea port city of Ordu and was jailed in 1997 for attacks on a police station and a military staff college in Istanbul, but received a deferred sentence after he became ill while engaged in a hunger strike. In 2002, he was condemned to life in prison but managed to flee Turkey a year later. Later, he re-entered Turkey using fraudulent documents, according to Interior Minister Muammer Guler.

Two others were taken into custody in Istanbul and Ankara in connection with the attack, state broadcaster TRT reports. The White House has condemned the bombing as an "act of terror", while the UN Security Council described it as a heinous act.

The violent attack was launched due to the terrorist organization’s wanting the US to remove the Patriot missiles, which are now part of a NATO defense system, from Turkey. The missiles are being deployed alongside systems from Germany and the Netherlands as a security measure against spillover of the war in neighboring Syria. The DHKP-C also resents the allied relationship between the US and Turkey and seeks to sever that bond. Turkey has been one of the leading advocates of foreign intervention to end the civil war in Syria and is also one of President Bashar al-Assad’s sharpest critics, a position which the DHKP-C views as submission to an imperialist agenda.
DHKP-C is one of some sixty terrorist organizations in Istanbul. A few of them, including DHKP-C, are anti-Western, anti-American and anti-Turkish government. The DHKP–C is suspected in several bomb attacks against Turkish authorities.

Originally formed in 1978, the organization went by the names Devrimci Sol, or Dev Sol, and was a splinter faction of the Turkish People's Liberation Party/Front. The group changed its name in 1994 after factional infighting. Its philosophy is based on Marxist ideology and its activities are financed primarily via armed robbery and extortion.

According to the State Department, in 1992 DHKP-C assassinated two US military contractors in addition to wounding a US Air Force officer. This was done in protest of the Gulf War. In 1992 rockets were launched at the US Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish authorities thwarted a DHKP-C attempt in June 1999 to fire a light antitank weapon at the US Consulate in Istanbul.

In 2004, in a dragnet spanning five countries, authorities arrested more than fifty people suspected of belonging to or aiding DHKP-C which was suspected of a string of deadly bombing and shooting attacks against Americans and Turks. In addition to that, fourteen Americans were murdered by the terrorist organization between 1979 and 1991.

DHKP-C uses PASS (Politicized Military War Strategy) as its modus operandi, with the ultimate goal being the overthrow of the Turkish government. The US is sometimes targeted because of the allied relationship between Turkey and the US and because DHKP-C is opposed to capitalism and the West, in general. They are also anti-Israel. According to the Turkish National Police:

"DHKP-C has used several tactics in the form of armed attacks, such as assassinations, suicide bombings and bomb traps which are still maintained among the terrorist organization's attempts. DHKP-C also organizes massive violent demonstrations, particularly on special days with political and ideological sense."

Turkish authorities knew that the DHPK-C was planning an attack. They said that they did not possess enough information to prevent it from happening but offered no further explanation.

President Abdullah Gul made the following statement: "Our security and intelligence organizations knew the terror organization was seeking to carry out an attack; they were on alert and had warned everyone. But unfortunately it could not be prevented, and they carried out this attack against the US embassy."

But, US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone said the embassy did not receive a specific threat warning in advance from the Turkish government. Instead, he said, the US was aware of a general warning with regard to the terrorist organization. The State Department's awareness of the threat was not conveyed on the State Department website; in October, the State Department issued a travel warning for the southern provinces of Turkey, due to the war in Syria, but Ankara, where the recent attack took place, was not listed.

At a press briefing, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said:

 "Ankara is one of the posts that is due for a completely new embassy compound in the future, and it is one of the posts that will go on the list if the department gets the money that we’re looking for from the Congress for security.

This is one of the compounds where we have been making steady security upgrades over the last decade, and, in fact, the attack was at one of the exterior compound access sites, so it was far from the main building. And it was a result of the way that it was hardened that we only lost the one local security guard."

Ricciardone said that FBI teams were on the ground in Ankara within forty-eight hours of the incident and that forensic experts from both the FBI and Turkish police are coordinating efforts to develop a solid case against the DHKP-C.

In response to the question as to whether Turkish authorities failed to prevent the attack, he said: "We are not in a blame game here. It is always possible to improve intelligence and law enforcement." He indicated that they will draw lessons from the incident. Ricciardone noted that both the US and Turkey have suffered a lot from terrorism.

According to embassy officials, the DHKP-C has stated that it intends to commit further attacks against the United States, NATO and Turkey. It's anyone’s guess as to whether the improvements Nuland spoke of will be in place in time for the next potential attack. It is also unclear as to why, with prior knowledge, the attack could not be thwarted. How much information the State Department had at its disposal, prior to the bombing, also remains a mystery, for now.

Monopoly Vote Results Are In

Last month, Monopoly announced that one piece would be out, and a new one would be in.

Well the votes are, the decision is made.

Your old iron will no longer be seen, in new editions of the game.

Shoe and wheelbarrow both barely survived.

Cat will be the new piece, bringing a long standing rivalry to the board game, with cat vs dog.

The feline won in a landslide victory, against other contenders.

Gamers ca expect the new edition to hit stores at the end of summer.

Missing From Texas: Christian Markcum, 16

Sixteen year old Christian Marckum is missing from Katy, Texas.

He was last seen on Sunday.

Authorities believe he may be headed for Colorado.

Christian is described as five foot ten, one hundred and fifty pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes, and a scar on one leg from knee to shin.

Anyone with information should call the Harris County Sheriff's Office at 713-221-6000.

He was reported safe by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, on February 20.

Remembering: Elizabeth II Becomes The Queen

Born, April 21, 1926, as the first daughter of Prince George, Elizabeth saw first her uncle's coronation and then after he abdicated, her father's.

During WWII she and her sister were sent to the countryside for safety, but when she reached eighteen she joined the women's services and as a second lieutenant drove and repaired military trucks.

In 1947, she married Phillip Mountbatten, a prince of Greece and Denmark, who renounced his titles in order to marry her.

On February 6, 1952 whilst in Kenya, on a world goodwill tour, they received word that her father had died. Immediately, she was proclaimed Queen, but it would take over a year for the full coronation ceremony to took place.

She would finally be crowned on June 2, 1953 as Queen of the United Kingdom, in a ceremony that dates back for a millennium.

During her rule, she has set many firsts for the monarchy, among them being the first reigning monarch to visit many of the commonwealth countries and the first monarch ever to pay income tax.

Despite beginning to give some of her duties to her children, she is still going strong and is showing no signs that she'll stop anytime soon. 

'Muslim Patrol' Roving London's Streets

A group calling themselves the 'Muslim Patrol' has been increasingly roving East London.

They 'patrol' various 'Muslim' neighborhoods enforcing Shariah laws, such as no alcohol and dress codes.

As they went unchecked, they began growing in numbers, and spreading to areas where Muslims are minorities.

Now British police have begun having to crack down on them, as they've become violent and began posting their exploits on Youtube.

Some Muslims, including clerics, have spoken out against the patrols, but the groups are still continuing.

3 Killed When Tanker Explodes in Georgia Pileup

Three people are dead after a pileup in Georgia.

It happened Wednesday morning under a dense fog advisory, on Interstate 16, in Twiggs County.

Twenty-seven vehicles ended up involved, but then a fire started.

The fire caused a tanker to explode, killing three people.

Traffic in both directions was closed for several hours.

Eastbound lanes were expected to open in the early afternoon, with Westbound lanes opening by the evening.

Thousands Protest After Belaid Assassinated in Tunisia

Thousands of Tunisians broke out into protests after a popular politician was assassinated.

Police have had to use tear gas to disperse crowds of protesters, in many cities.

In Sidi Bouzid, the police station was burned down, causing the police to evacuate the town, which had seen the start of the revolution in January 2011.

Army units are being deployed to several cities, in hopes of maintaining the peace.

Chokri Belaid had been one of the leading secular politicians, in the country.

Belaid had belonged to the Democratic Patriots party, and been very outspoken against Islamists dominating the new constitution.

His party and their allies have called for a nation wide strike, on Thursday, in protest of his death.

Solomon Islands Tsunami Kills 6 After 8.0 Quake

Six people were killed in the Solomon Islands, by a tidal wave on Wednesday.

Waves came in as much as five feet high, ripping through low lying areas.

Five villages were severely damaged by the wave and it's preceding quake.

The tsunami was set off by an 8.0 quake, which struck just after noon (SITZ).

Wednesday's quake occurred about fifty miles west of the Santa Cruz island chain.

Lata, the main island in the chain and the closest to the quake, saw most of the damage and all of the casualties.

Several aftershocks, over 6.0, followed it in succession, but after an hour things began calming down.

Tsunami watches and warnings had sprung out over the Pacific, but nowhere else saw anything, and most cancelled theirs, before the time came.

USPS Cutting Saturday Mail

Saturday mail delivery is officially going to end, as the United State Postal Services continues to try and find ways to cut into it's nearly sixteen billion dollar deficit.

The change will begin in August, and would not see an end in parcel deliveries.

They figure they could save thousands of work hours,
 without laying off a single person.

This is the first year in which the USPS could have attempted this move.

Previously congressional appropriations bills have blocked the USPS from ending the six day delivery schedule, but Congresses own stop gap funding measures have left the postal service with a little more autonomy.

Noting the autonomy, the USPS jumped at the opportunity, which could still be stopped by Congress, but isn't likely to be.

Missing From Texas: Kirsten Bivens and Traceton Timmerman, 15

Fifteen year old Kirsten Bivens and Traceton Timmerman, also fifteen, are missing from Sandia, Texas.

They were last seen on Sunday.

No description, other than the photo, was released for Bivens, while none at all was released of Timmerman.

Kirsten was wearing a hat with 'A is for ANGRY' on it, a long sleeved gray hoodie, blue jeans, and DC shoes with rainbow colored laces.

Traceton was driving a 2003 Honda Civic, four door sedan, with black wheels, and red lug nuts.

Anyone with information should call the Texas Department of Public Safety at 1-800-346-3243.

Missing From California: Carla Reyes, 54

Fifty-four year old Carla Reyes is missing from Yucca Valley, California.

She was last seen Sunday morning.

Carla is described as five foot two, one hundred and forty pounds, with brown hair, and hazel eyes.

Her vehicle is a maroon 2002 Mitsubishi Gallant, with a dent on the back driver's side, and an American flag around the license plate cover, with California license 5NOL847.

Anyone with information should call Detective Helmick with San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office at 760-366-4186.