Unbelievable. Exxon’s duck-killing pipeline won’t pay taxes to the oil spill cleanup fund.
North Korean Leader Says Nuclear Weapons Guarantee Peace
North Korean nuclear weapons act as a deterrent to potential aggressors and as a foundation for its prosperity, the country’s leader said in a speech delivered on Sunday and published in full by the country’s KCNA news agency on Tuesday.
“Our nuclear strength is a reliable war deterrent and a guarantee to protect our sovereignty,” Kim Jong-un said in a speech delivered to the central committee meeting of the ruling Workers Party of Korea.
The speech appeared to emphasize a shift to economic development and accused the United States of seeking to drag North Korea into an arms race in a bid to create obstacles to economic improvement.
Photo Credit: (Reuters / KCNA)
Dig for Survivors After Tibet Mudslide Buries 83
Searchers were continuing to look for miners buried when a landslide swept through a gold mine in an extensively cleared area of Tibet, but authorities said chances were slim any survivors would be found. Some 83 workers were buried.
It might not get you all the way to Cardassia Prime, but NASA hopes its newly launched solar-sail Sunjammer program will lead to a future where propellantless space craft are used for a multitude of functions beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.
“Once proven, solar sail technology could enable a host of versatile space missions, including flying an advanced space-weather warning system to more quickly and accurately alert satellite operators and utilities on Earth of geomagnetic storms caused by coronal mass ejections from the sun,” NASA said in a release.
Additionally, NASA sees the project as something that can work to help clean up the piles of floating space garbage in orbit.
Photo Credit: (NASA)
American taxpayers spent $3.7 million last year on four surviving presidents, and one presidential widow, according to a new report by the Congressional Research Service.
Syrian Crisis: ‘Bloody March’ Was Conflict’s Deadliest Month
More than 6,000 people died in Syria in March, the deadliest month since protests against the government began two years ago, activists say.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based activist group, said it recorded 6,005 deaths last month.
It said victims included at least 291 women, 298 children, 1,486 rebel fighters and army defectors, and 1,464 government troops.
The other casualties were unidentified civilians and fighters, it added.
The anti-government group, which monitors human rights violations on both sides of the conflict via a network of contacts across Syria, said the total toll was much higher than the 62,554 deaths it has documented.
“We estimate it is actually around 120,000 people,” Rami Abdelrahman, the head of the group, told Reuters news agency.
“Many death tolls are more difficult to document so we are not officially including them yet.”
The UN says more than 70,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began.
Photo Credit: (Reuters)
New Search for 9/11 Victim Remains Underway
The New York City medical examiner says it has started sifting recently uncovered construction debris from the World Trade Center site in an effort to find any human remains from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Prosecutors To Seek Death Penalty For Accused Aurora Theater Shooter
Prosecutors in Colorado sent a clear message to James Holmes and his defense team on Monday: Only the ultimate punishment will suffice.
George Brauchler, the Arapahoe County district attorney, said that the state would pursue the death penalty for the alleged shooter in the Aurora movie theater massacre.
Brauchler said that his office reached out to more than 800 victims and family members to make a decision.
“It’s my determination and my intention that in this case for James Eagan Holmes justice is death,” Brauchler told the court.
The announcement wraps up days of maneuvering between the prosecution and defense attorneys.
In a court document released Thursday, prosecutors rejected the defense offer of a plea deal for life in prison without parole. At the time, prosecutors insisted that the defense denied the state information necessary to complete a comprehensive evaluation of Holmes and his alleged acts, making it “extremely unlikely” that a plea deal would be reached, according to court documents.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo)
Georgia City Looks to Make Gun Ownership Mandatory
A north Georgia city is set to vote Monday night on an ordinance that would make gun ownership mandatory. But the proposed ordinance gives an exemption to people who conscientiously oppose gun ownership.
North Korean Propaganda Mill Serves Up Soft Side of Kim
The outside world focuses on the messages of doom and gloom from North Korea: bombastic threats of nuclear war, fantasy videos of U.S. cities in flames, digitally altered photos of leader Kim Jong Un guiding military drills. But back home, North Koreans get a decidedly softer dose of propaganda: Kim portrayed as a young, energetic leader, a people person and family man.
Mixed in with the images showing Kim aboard a speeding boat on a tour of front-line islands, or handing out commemorative rifles to smartly saluting soldiers, are those of Kim and his wife clapping at a dolphin show or linking arms with weeping North Korean children.
The pictures can look odd or obviously staged to outsiders. But they’re carefully crafted propaganda meant to give North Koreans an image of a country governed by a leader who is as comfortable overseeing a powerful military as he is mingling with the people.
Analysts say the images also hint at something that often gets lost amid the threatening rhetoric: North Korea’s supreme commander isn’t an all-powerful, isolated monarch who can govern without considering his people’s approval. Kim is still busy building his reputation at home.
“Even dictatorships respond to public opinion and public pressure,” said John Delury, a North Korea analyst at Seoul’s Yonsei University. “He’s expected to pay attention to and make improvements in the common people’s standard of living. They’ve put that promise out in their domestic propaganda.”
Photo Credit: (AP Photo)
Girl Looking For Cell Phone Rescued From Train Tracks At Last Second
Your cell phone or your life? One girl in Brazil almost lost both, according to a shocking cell phone video posted to YouTube last week.
The clip, filmed by a bystander in the the Corinthians-Itaquera Metro station, in São Paulo, Brazil, shows the harrowing, last-second rescue of a girl pulled from the tracks and out of the path of an oncoming train.
Media reports claim the girl had climbed down to the tracks to try to retrieve her phone. A security guard pulled her to safety and she was unharmed, although she appears visibly shaken in the final moments of the video.
Microsoft to End Support for Windows Phone 8 July 2014
Microsoft has revealed the product support life-cycle for Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8 will end in the second half of 2014. Specifically, Microsoft plans to support Windows Phone 8 until July 8, 2014, and Windows Phone 7.8 until Sept. 9, 2014.
These dates are derived from the life-cycle start date, which is Dec. 14, 2013 for WP8, and Feb. 9, 2013 for WP7.8. Microsoft’s support page explains the company product support strategy as follows:
“Microsoft will make updates available for the Operating System on your phone, including security updates, for a period of 18 months after the life-cycle start date. Distribution of the updates may be controlled by the mobile operator or the phone manufacturer from which you purchased your phone. Update availability will also vary by country, region, and hardware capabilities.”
According to a recent Microsoft job listing, the company is planning to release a new version of Windows Phone for the holiday season. Current WP8 devices should be upgrade-able to that version, which will likely get its own 18 months of support.
Photo Credit: (Mashable)
Signed copy of The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s’ album auctions for $290,500
A signed copy of The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ has sold at auction for $290,500 (£191,000).
The record was purchased by an anonymous buyer at an auction in Dallas, US on Saturday (March 30). The sale was originally estimated to be around $35,000, with the final price shattering the previous record for a similar item, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The UK Parlophone copy of the record, with high gloss cover and gatefold, is believed to have been signed by all members of the Fab Four around the album’s original release date in 1967.
According to Rolling Stone, the item was originally priced at $15,000 but early pre-auction pushed the price up to $110,000 a week before the auction date. Gary Shrum, consignment director of Heritage Auctions, which ran the sale, said that the bidding had “taken on a life of its own”.
Photo Credit: (billboard.com)
Rolling Stones Expected to Announce Tour on Wednesday
The Rolling Stones are expected to make a big announcement on Wednesday, and it’s presumably about their long-rumored American summer tour. Billboards stating “Start Me Up” and other song titles alongside the Stones’ tongue logo have gone up around the country, and their Facebook, Twitter and official app have been counting down to #StartMeUpWednesday for a few days.
The group is already confirmed for the Glastonbury Festival on June 29th, and their other tour plans have been just about the worst-kept secret in rock. Late last month, Rolling Stone reported the band had signed on with AEG for an 18-date North American run. They will receive between $4 million and $5 million per show, meaning top tickets will cost about $500 to $650. Those numbers may be eye-popping, but they’re actually slightly less than the top-tier seats from the band’s brief 2012 tour.
It’s unclear how the tour will be announced on Wednesday. Many of the Stones’ past tours were announced with gigantic press conferences, but their 2012 dates were announced by press release.
The Rolling Stones are going to play London’s Hyde Park this summer and will probably add other European dates, but it seems likely this will be a significantly smaller tour than the marathon outings of the past. “Are the Stones going to do anything after this? I doubt it,” an industry source told Rolling Stone. “Look, anything’s possible. But it’s Mick and Keith’s show, so we don’t know.”
Photo Credit: (Ethan Miller/WireImage)