Thursday, February 21, 2013

Missing From Indiana: Ashley Moore, 28

Twenty-eight year old Ashley Moore is missing from Evansville, Indiana.

She was seen on February 8 and last heard from on February 11.

Ashley is described as five foot five, one hundred and twenty-five pounds, with blonde hair, and green eyes.

Her vehicle is a white 2006 Chevrolet Impala.

Anyone with information should call the Indiana State Police at 800-852-3970.

The Latest Form of Exercise: Light Saber Training

A new form of exercise has come to Golden Gate Knights dance studio, in San Fransisco.

Things are run by self proclaimed Jedi Master Alain Bloch, who has a background in martial arts and stage combat.

Bloch trains students in a form of martial combat based on the light saber.

It combines forms seen in the Star Wars movies with parts from other martial arts.

Dozens of people come to the studio to learn the forms and routines, from Bloch, while music from Star wars plays. 

While most are dressed as Jedi or Sith, some come for the exercises dressed in regular clothes.

It started out as just fans of Star Wars, but it is starting to spread to non fans, as well.  

US Marshals Looking for Registered Sex Offender in Denver

The US Marshals are asking the public's help in locating a missing parole.

Forty-six year old Matthew Preston Caulk is a registered sex offender.

He has convictions for sexual assault of a minor in both Colorado and Washington.

Caulk had been staying at a halfway house in Denver, but disappeared.

Authorities believe he will strike again, if not found.

Anyone with information should call the US Marshals Service at 1-877-WANTED2.

Midwest US Slammed With Winter Storm

A severe winter storm has blanketed much of the Midwest United States in snow.

Schools all over the plains closed on Thursday, to avoid having to deal with the storm.

Flights throughout the country were cancelled and delayed by the storm.

Many cities went on accident alert as the storm came through leaving messy roads.

A nineteen year old woman was killed in an accident near Giltner, Nebraska, that the sate patrol said was caused by the weather.

Kansas City saw two to three inches an hour during Thursday morning.

Interstate 70 was closed between Hays and Salina, Kansas.

Wichita reported over fourteen inches of snow, the second highest total the city has ever recorded.

Further south, the storm left ice covering a vast area, while parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas dealt with tornado watches and warnings.

The Rockies dealt with the storm, on Wednesday, where it left up to two feet of fresh snow in Colorado's ski slopes.

Even places as far south as Tuscon, Arizona saw snow on Wednesday.

The storm is good news for much of the Midwest due to the drought they are facing.

How Sequestration Would Impact the Benghazi Consulate and Other US Diplomatic Posts

C_DiploPostsSequest_RPSequestration, expected to kick in on March 1, would result in $85 billion in cuts in financial year 2013 and a total of $1.2 trillion spread out over ten years. The sequestration is almost a certainty.

The approach of potentially disastrous cuts to the military did not stop Congress from authorizing $60.2 billion in additional deficit spending for Hurricane Sandy relief, a pork filled measure which includes billions of dollars for road construction, FBI salaries, Head Start, Smithsonian roof repairs, the National Park Service and the Kennedy Space Center.

And now, President Obama is now pushing a $50 billion stimulus plan as automatic budget cuts while at the same time blaming Republicans for the looming sequester; the sequester that was his idea. Obama has had plenty of opportunities to avert sequestration, but has failed to do so.

The GOP has also been criticized in its handling of the issue. Jonathan Tobin, writing for Commentary Magazine, opines:

“… the idea that Republicans are better off abandoning their principles is not one that will ensure their political survival. A lot of the discussion about the GOP future rightly revolves around the need to put forward new ideas rather than to keep pounding the talking points of the past but a Republican Party that no longer possesses the ability to stand up to Obama’s demagoguery of these issues is not going to win in either 2014 or 2016. A defeat on the sequester after the fiscal cliff collapse could presage even worse to come as the president pursues the rest of his liberal agenda this year. If Republicans are incapable of mounting a spirited defense of their position that rejects the president’s false choices in which they are depicted as defending millionaires at the expense of the middle class and the poor, they might as well pack up and go home right now.”

So, how will the sequester affect U.S. diplomatic posts? According to Secretary of State John Kerry:

“These cuts would severely impair our efforts to enhance the security of US government facilities overseas and ensure the safety of the thousands of US diplomats serving the American people abroad.”  Similarly, State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland warned at a press briefing that “cuts of this magnitude would obviously severely impact our ability to execute all of our vital missions overseas, particularly in the areas of national security, diplomacy, development.”

The following is a partial list of how diplomatic posts will likely be impacted by the sequester:
  • Efforts to ramp up diplomatic security abroad would be delayed
  • $500 million would be cut from global security accounts
  • Unspecified cuts would be made to international peacekeeping operations
  • Counter narcotics programs, counter terrorism efforts, and non-proliferation activities would be reduced
  • The State Department might not be able to effectively provide emergency services to Americans in trouble abroad
  • Inability to properly vet visa applications
  • Inability to issue passports to Americans in a timely manner
  • With the recent uprisings in the Middle East and Africa, for example, US personnel located in those countries would be much more vulnerable
  • Benghazi is only one of several dangerous US diplomatic posts and the US Embassy in Turkey was recently attacked.
Additionally, according to Undersecretary of State Pat Kennedy, over half of US diplomatic posts around the world may not fully meet security standards. Speaking before a House appropriations subcommittee, he elaborated, saying that, “many of these facilities were built or acquired prior to the establishment of the current security standards, and others are subject to authorized waivers and/or exceptions.”

Under reciprocal treaty obligations, host nations have an obligation to provide security for the diplomatic facilities of the sending states. But, sometimes host nations are unable or not completely committed to fulfilling this responsibility, which can leave a US facility profoundly vulnerable.

Five Killed in Georgia Plane Crash

A small jet crashed during landing at the Thomson-McDuffie County Airport, outside of Augusta, Georgia.

Wednesday night's crash left five dead and two injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Some witnesses reported that it happened after landing, which decreases the chance of mechanical error.

Gao Declared Secure Once Again

Malian and French troops have declared Gao secure again.

On Thursday morning, five members of the Al Qaeda fighters managed to infiltrate the city.

They attacked the mayor's offices and then holed up inside the building, after finding it empty.

After a several hour gun battle, Malian and French forces were able to eliminate the threat, without taking any casualties of their own.

Gao being infiltrated once again, has only reiterated that while capturing Gao and the other cities was fairly easy, the war is far from over.

Missing From Texas: Rogelio Guardado, 73

Seventy-three year old Rogelio Guardado is missing from Houston, Texas.

He was last seen on February 6.

Rogelio is described as five foot five, one hundred and fifty pounds, with grey hair, and brown eyes.

When last seen, he was wearing a plaid shirt and khaki pants.

His vehicle is a green 2001 Toyota Tacoma pickup with Texas license 48NJM6.

Anyone with information should the Houston Police Department Missing Persons Unit at 713-731-5223.

Iran Installing More Advanced Centrifuges

The IAEA, the UN's atomic watch group, reported that Iran is installing more advanced centrifuges.

More advanced centrifuges will allow Iran to speed up their accumulation of nuclear material.

Iran still is adamant that it is all for peaceful purposes, but they are refining the uranium to weapons grade levels, which are high above those needed for energy or medical purposes.

In response to the news, a new UN bill was introduced, to increase sanctions against Iran.

On Tuesday, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the US are scheduled to meet with Iran, in an attempt to try and convince them to shut down their enrichment programs.

60 Injured in West Bank Clashes

Palestinian throwing home made bombs at Israelis
Hundreds of Palestinians are rioting in the West Bank and clashing with Israeli police and soldiers.

Rocks, bottles, and home made bombs are thrown at soldiers and police who have responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Over sixty people have been injured in the clashes.

The riots began from a protest meant to show support for four prisoners.

The prisoners are trying to secure early release by refusing to eat.

Missing From New York: Anna Kroup, 24

Twenty-four year old Anna Kroup is missing from Waterford, New York.

She was last seen shortly after midnight on Monday morning.

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

When last seen, she was wearing a brown wool coat and brown boots.

Anyone with information should call the Town of Waterford Police Department at 518-237-3341.

Car Bomb Claims 53 in Damascus

A car bomb in Damascus killed fifty three and injured over two hundred, on Thursday.

The explosion struck a check point, in a civilian area, near Baath party headquarters.

Both the government and rebel forces are blaming each other for the attack.

Fighting continues in several areas of the city as the rebels try to seize control of the capital, from the regime.

Hyderabad Struck by 2 Bombs, 11 Killed

Two bicycle bombs went off in Hyderabad, India, Thursday evening.

The twin bombs struck a busy market, killing at least eleven and injuring over fifty.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack and police do not have any suspects, at this point.

Due to the attack, the entire country has gone a high terrorism alert.

Missing From Nebraska: Christen Boles, 14

Fourteen year old Christen Boles is missing from Gering, Nebraska.

She was last seen on Wednesday.

Christen is described as five foot, one hundred and twenty pounds, with brown hair, and brown eyes.

Anyone with information should call the Gering Police Department at 308-436-5088.

The Gering Police Department reported her safe on Friday.

Body of Missing Canadian Woman Found in LA Hotel Water Tank

Twenty-one year old Elisa Lam had been missing from Los Angeles, since January 31.

She had been visiting from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Her body was found in a water tank atop the Cecil Hotel. when employees went to investigate weak water pressure.

Police are investigating how she ended up in the tank, when only employees have access to the roof, let alone the tank.

Hotel guests had been complaining that the water tasted odd, for the last few weeks.

Missing From Connecticut: Lizandra Badillo, 15

Fifteen year old Lizandra Badillo is missing from Hartford, Connecticut.

She was last seen on Wednesday, at school, but was missing at the end of the day.

No description, beyond the photo, was given at this point.

Anyone with information should call Detective Ivys Arroyo of the Hartford Police Department at 860-757-4236.

Missing From South Carolina: Taylor Cromer, 15, and Michaela Davidson, 16

Cromer, left, Davidson, right
Fifteen year old Taylor Cromer and sixteen year old Michaela Davidson are missing from Spartanburg, South Carolina.

They were last seen on Tuesday afternoon, at school, but neither made it home.

Sheriff deputies have so far been unable to locate them.

Taylor is described as five foot one, one hundred and twelve pounds, with dark brown hair, and brown eyes.

When last seen, she was wearing a brown and white shirt and blue jeans.

Michaela is described as five foot seven, one hundred and forty pounds, with brown hair, and blue eyes.

Anyone with information should call the Spartanburg Sheriff's Office at 864-503-4500.

They were reported safe on the morning of February 26.