Residents of Israel and Lebanon feared Wednesday that their countries were edging toward war after Israeli troops and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia exchanged deadly barrages across a fractious border earlier in the day.
The clashes, which began with a Hezbollah attack that killed two Israeli soldiers, marked one of the most serious flare-ups of violence in the area since a month-long war in 2006 and raised tensions in a volatile tri-border zone close to positions held by Syrian insurgents, including Islamist factions. A U.N. peacekeeper was also killed, although it was unclear how he died.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that “whoever is behind today’s attack will pay the full price.” In addition to Hezbollah, Netanyahu said Israel would hold the governments of Lebanon and Syria — which Hezbollah is backing in its civil war — responsible for any attack originating from their territories. The Israeli leader, in the midst of close elections, also blamed Iran, another ally of Hezbollah, for trying to open a new front against Israel.
I’m not saying everybody in prison is an innocent victim of The Man, obviously. But in a system where conviction rates can run 88 percent or higher, one thing is clear: you’re probably going to jail, whether you’re guilty or not. That’s just the way it is, and that’s apparently how the people want it.
It basically comes down to this country’s obsession with being tough on crime. And why not? After all, the police are never, ever wrong. So why not assume everyone arrested and brought to trial are guilty? Fifth amendment “rights” only get in the way of justice. /so very sarc
(hey, I said it was Cracked, didn’t I?)
John Timmer on the discovery of what maybe the oldest planets in the universe.
The first stars, which formed 400 million years after the Big Bang, were massive, short-lived beasts. But their deaths scattered the heavier elements into the Universe, which eased the formation of smaller stars like our Sun. The heavier elements were also essential for the formation of another feature of our Solar System: the planets.
But just because the raw materials for planets were in place, it doesn’t mean that the conditions were appropriate for their formation. But a new discovery, made using data from the Kepler mission, suggests what the authors call the “era of planet formation” didn’t take too long. The discovery is the Kepler-444 system, which contains five small rocky planets that formed over 11 billion years ago.
As far as the Kepler data was concerned, Kepler-444 was simply a single star with evidence of transiting planets. But an international team of researchers took a closer look with Hawaii’s Keck I telescope, which has a significantly higher resolving power than Kepler. And there they spotted a separate object, orbiting with a period of 430 years. An examination of the light from this revealed that it was a binary containing two red dwarfs. That makes Kepler-444 a three-star system.
I guess Republicans are against state-run enterprises except when they are for it.
Indiana Governor (R) to start up State-Run official mouthpiece news outlet.
Hey- If a nice guy Republican/Tea Party favorite like Putin can have his own state-run mouthpiece, why not us? Now that Republicans are OK to initiate their own taxpayer funded news outlets, and displacing private enterprise in the process, it shouldn’t be an ideological conflict anymore for them to oppose single payer Universal Health Care? Right?
It’s good to be reminded how fortunate we are, how much we take for granted.
Sarah was born and raised in Hagadera refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. Now 21, she has become a wife and mother without ever setting foot outside the camp.
“I feel like I am Somali,” she says, tenderly rocking her two-week-old daughter, Somaya. “My parents are Somali. I believe that someday Somalia will be peaceful and I will go there.”
Today, over 1 million Somalis remain displaced outside their country. With the crisis well into its third decade, UNHCR has launched a Global Initiative on Somali Refugees in a bid to find solutions. The aim is to empower Somali refugees so that, one day, they can return home and rebuild their nation.
“Now we are all educated,” says Sarah, proudly. “We have knowledge in all different areas. I think when we go back to Somalia we will develop the country, one way or another.”
Find more stories like this at tracks.unhcr.org
As awful as all that is, it appears that things might finally be looking up for Somalia after 25 years of government collapse, civil war, drought, piracy, and terrorism. See the articles below for more info.
A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School - Uptown Funk Dance Lighting up the halls and laying down the funk. Now get on up and dance…..
The SPLC today filed a judicial ethics complaint against Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore over his public statements urging the governor and Alabama judges to defy federal law and enforce Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriages.
The complaint was filed with the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama, which could recommend that Moore face ethics charges in the Alabama Court of the Judiciary. That court removed Moore from the office of chief justice 12 years ago after he refused to comply with a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building.
“Moore is once again wrapping himself in the Bible and thumbing his nose at the federal courts and federal law,” said SPLC President Richard Cohen. “As a private citizen, Moore is entitled to his views. But as the chief justice of Alabama, he has a responsibility to recognize the supremacy of federal law and to conform his conduct to the canons of judicial ethics.”
Moore vowed in the letter to stand with Gov. Robert Bentley to “stop judicial tyranny” following a federal judge’s ruling in Mobile last week that overturned the ban. The order is on hold until Feb. 9, but Moore’s letter encouraged probate judges to disobey it once it is in effect. The letter, which was written on state Supreme Court letterhead, was sent to the governor Tuesday and released to the media. In an interview with WSFA following the letter’s release, Moore threatened “a confrontation” with the federal courts.
The SPLC complaint describes how Moore has committed numerous ethics violations, noting that he is encouraging lawlessness by attempting to assemble a virtual army of state officials and judges to oppose the federal judiciary and its “tyranny” - the opposite of what is expected from the state’s chief judge.
The SPLC complaint also outlines other violations by Moore, including publicly commenting on a pending case - the federal case that overturned the ban - as well as impending cases: the same-sex marriage cases likely to come before state judges, including Moore, if same-sex marriage is legalized in Alabama.
“We have gone down this road before during the civil rights movement,” Cohen said. “The chief justice is trotting out the same tired - and disproven - states’ rights arguments that were used to disenfranchise African Americans. Even if Moore isn’t a student of history, you would think he would be a student of his own history. The opinion that removed him from the bench in disgrace more than a decade ago clearly explained why he can’t ignore the federal courts.”
That opinion stated that the oath of chief justice commands Moore “to support both the United States and Alabama Constitutions.” It also states that if there is a conflict between the documents, “the Constitution of the United States must prevail.”
The 2003 opinion followed a successful SPLC lawsuit to remove the judge’s Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has just released a new flight animation video that reveals its vision of how it wants it next launch to proceed. Presuming, of course, it doesn’t end up in flames. It shows what will be the first test flight for the heavy-lift Falcon rocket and also throws in some hints of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where SpaceX plans to have its second Florida launch pad later this year. That is, of course, if all goes well.
Right now, SpaceX has two leases in Florida, one with NASA and another one at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station just south of the NASA spaceport. It will be here, specifically at Launch Pad 39A, where SpaceX will be launching its first Falcon Heavy mission. The same Pad has been used by historic Apollo launches.
In the wake of a National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employee’s late-night drunken mischief with a DJi Phantom 2 consumer quadrocopter drone over White House airspace, President Barack Obama called for new laws to govern the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Meanwhile, the company that manufactured the drone used in the ill-fated flight has announced that it will issue a mandatory upgrade to the firmware for its Phantom 2 line of products to make sure that customers comply with the FAA’s no-fly zone around DC.
In a press release issued this morning, DJI announced that the firmware update “will help users comply with the FAA’s Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) 0/8326, which restricts unmanned flight around the Washington, DC metropolitan area.The updated firmware (V3.10) will be released in the coming days and adds a No-Fly Zone centered on downtown Washington, DC and extends for a 25 kilometer (15.5 mile) radius in all directions. Phantom pilots in this area will not be able to take off from or fly into this airspace.”
On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission issued an “Enforcement Advisory” stating that blocking W-Fi in hotels is unequivocally “prohibited.”
“Persons or businesses causing intentional interference to Wi-Fi hotspots are subject to enforcement action,” the FCC bluntly stated, referencing a dispute between Marriott and its customers who said the hotel chain had blocked their personal hotspots to force them to pay for Marriott’s Wi-Fi services.
“The Enforcement Bureau has seen a disturbing trend in which hotels and other commercial establishments block wireless consumers from using their own personal Wi-Fi hot spots on the commercial establishment’s premises,” the FCC wrote. “As a result, the Bureau is protecting consumers by aggressively investigating and acting against such unlawful intentional interference.”