Monday, February 11, 2013

North Korea Likely Tests a Nuke

Seismic readings from North Korea suggest that they have tested a nuclear bomb.

The 4.9 earthquake was centered in the same area that previous nuclear tests have taken place.

It happened just before noon KST, on Tuesday.

South Korea has raised the alert status of it's military.

Japan is conducting tests to see if any radiation reached them.

For the last few weeks, the world has warned the North against any tests.

However, if they did in fact test a nuke, there is very little that the world could do, to punish them for the act.

Starbucks Joins The Navy

Starbucks has found yet another location for their brand.

The famous coffee will now be sold aboard the USS Boxer.

An entire Starbucks has been fit into the ship, and will serve all of the company's coffees, teas, smoothies, and baked goods.

Navy personnel were specially trained to operate the store and all profits will go to the ship's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation fund.

The USS Boxer is a Wasp class amphibious assault ship, which was launched on August 28, 1993.

Dr Who in 3D

The BBC has announced that a special Dr. Who episode is in the works.

For the fiftieth anniversary of the show, it will be filmed in 3D.

The show will air, on the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Who, in November.

BBC executives are also working on some other big plans for the next TV season.

Their plans include a new show called Atlantis, that will be set in the city of myth, and a sequel to Pride and Prejudice called Death Comes to Pemberley.

However, the Doctor is still their biggest show, and so they are focusing a lot of work and attention on it.

Mountain Dew Reveals Kickstart Breakfast Drink

Pepsico is trying to break into the breakfast drink market.

This attempt is a drink made with five percent juice, Vitamins B and C, a jolt of caffeine, and the flavor of Mountain Dew.

The company says that the sixteen ounce cans aren't energy drinks, as they don't have near the caffeine levels that those do.

They hope that Kickstart will be an alternative to coffee, tea, or juice.

In hopes of seeming a healthy alternative, Kickstart is also low in sugar and calories.

Kickstart has begun hitting stores in two flavors, Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch.

Delaware Courthouse Shooting Leaves 3 Dead

A shooting took place at a Wilmington, Delaware courthouse, Monday morning.

The shooting left three people, including the shooter, dead and two police officers wounded.

Both of the wounded officers were treated and released from a local hospital.

Police were not yet sure if their officers took down the shooter, or if he killed himself.

Nor have they confirmed the identity of the shooter.

It is believed that he targeted at least one of his victims.

Top Guinean General Killed in Plane Crash in Liberia

Ten people were killed when a plane crashed outside of Charlesville, Liberia, on Monday.

Authorities are trying to determine the cause of the crash, but are leaning towards mechanical malfunction.

Aboard the plane had been senior Guinean military officials, including the head of their military, General Kelefa Diallo.

Diallo had been key in working Guinea from a military rule, towards a democratically elected government.

Both countries have declared Tuesday to be a national day of mourning.

Coal Mine Explosion Kills 18

Eighteen miners were killed when an explosion occurred at the Vorkutinskaya coal mine, in Russia.

Two miners escaped and another three were rescued.

It is believed that a methane buildup caused the explosion.

Officials are investigating, to see if any safety violations led to the accident.

So far twenty-seven people have died in Russian coal mining accidents, in 2013.

Malians Declare Gao Empty of Enemy Troops

Malian troops feel confident that they have regained Gao from Al Qaeda forces.

Al Qaeda launched a surprise attack upon the city, sneaking in via boats, on Saturday.

Most of the fighting occurred at the city police headquarters.

The building is now heavily damaged and may just be considered a loss.

Arrests were made, and people questioned for their parts in helping the rebels enter the city.

French forces increased their patrols, through the city, as defenses were increased to keep enemy forces from entering again.

13 Killed When Car Explodes on Turkish Syrian Border

Thirteen people were killed and thirty-three injured when a car exploded at the Reyhanli border crossing.

Witnesses say that the car was coming from Syria and made it to the last checkpoint, before entering Turkey, when it exploded.

Turkish officials are investigating the explosion, which happened along their border with Syria.

At this time they are unsure if it was an attack or accident.

If it was an attack, it could be coincidence that it was along the Syrian border, as Turkey has several domestic terrorist organizations.

Officials are being extremely careful not to place blame on someone who didn't deserve it.

Al Qaeda Seizes Syrian Dam

Rebel forces in Syria have the won the battle for the Tabqa Dam.

The dam supplies some of the power to Aleppo, and the rebels are likely to use it as another way to wrest control of the city.

It is also a very symbolic victory, as Tabqa is based on Al-Assad Lake, named after President Assad's father.

Some are worried that the dam will now be mismanaged, which could have disastrous results if a flood occurs.

Worries are also increased by the group of rebels which captured the dam and town.

They are an Al Qaeda group known as Jabhat al-Nusra, and their terrorist backing has some worried that they'll go towards that nature.

Privacy Killing Executive Order Expected Soon From Obama

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is back, albeit with expected revisions. CISPA author Representative Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) and coauthor Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) are planning to reintroduce the bill in the House. But, this time they are working in conjunction with the White House in order to avoid a veto from President Obama.

When CISPA was first introduced, it passed in the House but was shelved after the Senate began work on its own cyber security bill. Adding to the mix, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has urged Congress to come up with legislation governing areas of cyber security so that individuals’ personal information can be shared between the private sector and the government.  Napolitano hopes that this will help prevent cyber attacks on infrastructure that is critical to US national security.

At the same time, Obama is working on a cyber security executive order, according to information leaked to the media. This executive order is expected to be signed some time following the president’s State of the Union address, which will be on Tuesday.

The White House opposed the original CISPA bill due to privacy concerns, but now Obama may completely bypass Congress and issue a cyber security executive order.

The White House began working on the executive order after Congress failed to pass CISPA last year. The issue of cyber security returned to the forefront due to recent reports of cyber espionage against The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, along with attacks on the Federal Reserve’s Web site and on several U.S. banks.

Tom Carper (D-DE), Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman explained that the draft executive order will be the topic of a joint hearing with the Commerce and Intelligence committees. The order will be discussed and feedback will be sought. "I think the smart thing for us to do would be to receive it, to read it, and I raised this as a possibility with [Commerce Committee] Chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller [D-WV] today: Maybe the relevant committees do a joint hearing … and invite the administration to come in, explain the executive order, and invite other folks to come in and react to the executive order," Carper said.

So, why did so many oppose CISPA? For one thing, it would allow any company to share all the data it has collected on you, if asked to by the government. And, some of the terms in CISPA are very vague. Additionally, very little oversight would be in place. US citizens would have a much reduced expectation of privacy.

According to ZDNet:

CISPA was a tricky law to get your head around. It defined cyber security threats as efforts to "disrupt, degrade, destroy or gain unauthorized access to any system or network, whether privately owned (by a company) or owned by government," said ZDNet's Violet Blue, who covered the topic extensively and in great detail.

But arguments have been made that suggest such attempts to "disrupt [or] degrade" a network—commonly known as a denial-of-service (DoS) attack—could in fact be a method of online protest.

A quick breakdown of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing & Protection Act:

Cyber threats are anything which makes "efforts to degrade, disrupt or destroy" vital networks; or, anything that makes a "threat or misappropriation" of information owned by the government or private businesses. And, of course private businesses and government can share information about cyber threats.

CISPA rewards companies for:
  • Collecting data
  • Intercepting or modifying communications
  • Providing the government with information
A Few of the Companies who support the measure:
  • AT&T
  • Facebook
  • IBM
  • Verizon
  • Microsoft
  • Intel
It is important to note that information collected from you is proprietary, you don’t have the right to know what's being collected. In addition to that, your name, address, and phone numbers can also be shared.

We’ll soon find out what modifications Congress and Obama will make to the original CISPA bill.

16 Killed When Bus Drives Off Bridge

Sixteen people were killed when a bus drove off a bridge, in Bangladesh.

The driver lost control and went right off the bridge, on Monday.

It happened just south of Dhaka.

An estimated ten thousand people are killed ever year in traffic related accidents in the country.

Just in the last three days there have been two deadly ferry accidents.

Remembering: Ohsumi and The Fourth Nation Into Space

On February 11, 1970 Ohsumi was launched into orbit, from the Kagoshima Space Center.

Ohsumi was the first satellite launched by Japan.

It marked Japan's arrival into space, as the fourth country to make it.

They followed the Soviet Union in 1957, the United States in 1958, and France in 1965.

The satellite would stay in orbit until August 2, 2003, when it burned up in the atmosphere.

South Korea Working on Unmanned Helicopters

South Korean Apache
South Korea's military admitted that they are working on building unmanned attack helicopters.

If successful, they would be used along the border with North Korea.

They would also be prepared as preemptive and first strike weapons, should the need ever arise to fight with the North.

Several other options are being considered by the South's military, but they weren't ready to discuss the others.

The South continues to try and find ways to lessen the risk to their own people, despite the continued belligerence of the North.

Mississippi Cleaning up After Tornado Spawning Storm

After taking a direct hit from a tornado, residents of Hattiesburg, Mississippi are cleaning up.

They are also counting their blessings that no one was killed.

Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged as the twister blew through the city.

Schools, including the University of Southern Mississippi, were shut down on Monday.

At least eighteen people were injured, throughout the state, on Sunday, as the storm struck.

Governor Phil Bryant declared states of emergency for Forrest, Lamar, Lawrence, and Marion Counties.

Tunisian Political Parties Haggle Over Government

Tunisia's top political parties are arguing over what to do with the government.

Ennahda, the leading Islamic party, which basically controls the government, has refused to allow for it's replacement.

However, the leading secular party, the Congress for the Republic, has threatened to withdraw from the government, by next week.

If they do so they will likely be joined by most, if not all, of the other secular parties.

The CPR has offered Ennahda a compromise.

They will stay in the government if the justice and foreign ministers, both members of Ennahda, resign their posts.

Secular politicians feel that if they can fill those spots the balance of power will become equal.

Missing Ohio Teen Found

A missing Ohio teen has been found.

Fifteen year old Michi Matsuda had been missing from Cincinnati, since Thursday.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children she was located safe, on Monday.

No further information was released. 

Pope Benedict Announces Resignation

Pope Benedict XVI has shocked the world, by announcing he will retire.

On Monday, he announced that he will resign his office, effective on February 28 at 20:00.

"Before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise."

Benedict, now eighty-five, was elected to the office in 2005.

He will become the first pope in nearly six hundred years to resign, rather than die in office.

Gregory XII, was the last to do so, in 1415.

Now comes the debate and rumor mill of who will replace Benedict.

With Easter coming on March 31, expectations are high that the new pope will be in place for the holy day.

Missing North Carolina Teen Found

A missing North Carolina teen has been found.

Fourteen year old Pamela Downing had been missing from Winston Salem, since January 23.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, she was located safe on February 11.

No further information was released.

Amber Alert, Texas: Rayden Dominguez, 2 Months

Menchaca, left, Dominguez, right
Texas authorities have issued an amber alert.

Two month old Rayden Dominguez is missing from Humble, Texas.

Authorities believe she was taken by Silvia Menchaca, who is believed to be unstable.

They were last seen Saturday night.

Rayden is described as eleven pounds, with dark brown hair, and a strawberry birthmark on her upper lip.

Silvia is described as five foot six, one hundred and twenty pounds, with dark brown hair, brown eyes, and a Marine emblem tattoo on her lower back.

Anyone with information should call the Humble Police Department at 281-446-7127.

They were both found safe, on Mach 1.