On Friday, December 14, 2012, a 20-year old gunman forcefully entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 20 six and seven year olds, six teachers including the principal and the school psychologist. Before carrying out the carnage at the school, it appears that he killed his mother at home and at the end he killed himself. Stories about heroic actions by teachers to protect the innocent children are emerging and parents are getting ready to bury their loved ones. The incident shocked the entire nation and the whole world is mourning the death of young and innocent. The local authorities along with the Federal and state investigators are trying to piece together the motive and the whole incident.
According to published reports, authorities found two pistols, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, and a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle near the gunman’s body igniting a new debate on guns and gun control, especially a ban on assault weapons even before the funerals of the dead begin. Contributing to the debate are those recent events that took place in Fort Hood, Texas; Aurora, Colorado; and Tucson, Arizona. Other matters that are in the limelight incudes school security and access to guns by mentally ill.
The majestic Rocky Mountain front range west of Colorado Springs, Colorado is under siege from recent wild fires that started on June 23, 2012. It has been dubbed as the worst fire in Colorado’s history. The ever spreading wildfire named High Park fire including the Waldo Canyon fire started on June 23, 2012 and so far destroyed 347 structures including many homes displacing and evacuating more than 34,000 people. Lower temperatures, increasing humidity and some rain are helping the firefighters to battle the blaze.
What a shock. Some reports indicated that the blaze reached 34,000 up into the sky. At the last count it has destroyed 78 square miles. Two deaths have been blamed with additional ten missing. The fire was visible miles away in Denver shocking its residents. Several miles north of Denver, in Fort Collins, people are fighting with falling ash from the fire. Approximately 1,200 firefighters from Colorado and other states are battling the blaze around the clock. Officials indicate 50 percent of the fire has been contained.
According to NASA map of land temperature anomalies the intensity and the scope of the fire changed the temperature in the western United States especially Colorado, southwestern Nebraska, and parts of Wyoming.
The Oslo, Norway’s confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik’s murder trial started in Oslo’s district court in mid-April, 2012. He admitted to killing 77 people including several teenagers.
Who could forget July 22, 2011, the day he shocked the entire world. He began his crime spree by bombing government buildings in Oslo killing eight people. Subsequently, he went to nearby Utoya island where Labor Party youth camp was underway and began shooting randomly killing 69 people mostly teenagers.
His trail is on-going in Oslo at this writing. He demonstrated a right wing salute at the beginning of the trial. He justified the killings as “necessary” and stated that victims betrayed Norway by embracing immigration. Statements made by Breivik at the start of the trial shocked the nation and the world. It indicates a strong hatred towards Norway’s immigration policies.
Since Norway has no death penalty, if convicted, he could be sent to prison for maximum of 21 years for his crimes. However, if he is deemed a threat to the society, he could be further jailed at the end of his term. If he is found insane at the time of killings, he would be confined to psychiatric care.
President Barak Obama this week congratulated Navy Seals for their daring nighttime rescue of two hostages, American Jessica Buchanan and Danish Pole Thistedwere, held by Somali pirates since October 2011. At the time of kidnapping, they worked for the Danish Refugee Council. Jessica who is in her 30s started to show weakening health condition which prompted the rescue that was in planning for quite some time according to Vice President Joe Biden. According to sources, some overheard President, who uttered “Good job tonight, good job tonight” to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta before his State of the Union address. According to sources, all hostage takers were killed during the raid.
Navy Seals parachuted into the grounds where hostages were held and picked up by helicopters after the raid. Seals surprised hostage takers and there was an exchange of gunfire. Neither Seals nor hostages were injured.
President contacted Buchanan’s father immediately after the address to inform him of his daughter’s rescue, reports various news sources.
This is the second time in less than a year that the members of the same Navy Seals team were involved in a daring mission. Last year they killed Osama bin Laden in a more complicated mission deep inside Pakistan.
Fuel leaking from a tank ignited by a cigarette butt accidentally thrown in has taken the lives of well over 100 people in the densely populated area of Nairobi in Kenya.
A petrol tank at a depot belonging to the Kenyan Pipeline Company burst and fuel spilled into an open sewer running through the populated slum. People tried desperately to scoop up the fuel and sewage but unfortunately burst into flames because of the cigarette butt.
The flames engulfed the community and many people burnt to death. Pictures of smoldering skeletons as well as horrendous images of survivors with skin peeling off their faces and arms due to the intense heat were aired on television.
Reports from the Red Cross say that an informal school within the community was burnt along with the students. Officials are unable to give an exact number of deaths though it is said to be over 150, with the police chief stating “the scene is very bad, there are many bodies we have not yet counted”.
Fire fighters were seen scrambling along the narrow alleyways spreading foam on the fuel that is spreading and fire that is still raging.
According to the EPA, In America approximately 29 million people’s tap water is not safe to drink. Many of these people live near an industrial plant or old army facility that has contaminated the groundwater. This is the case in Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Binghamton and many cities around the U.S.
This has led people to buying counter-top water filters to have clean safe drinking water, but the truth is that many types of chemicals like perfluorochemicals, trichloroethene and perchlorate cannot be removed from the water using a counter-top water filter.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies these unfortunate millions of American who have unsafe drinking water as living in mostly small communities that don’t have the necessary funding to treat their water. Many scared people turn to bottled water for their safe drinking water needs, but the Food and Drug Administration has the same regulations as the EPA which allows for certain levels of contaminants in the bottled water as they do for tap-water. Some unregulated contaminants by the EPA and FDA like perchlorates and MTBE which is a gasoline additive find their way into bottled water. Also, chemicals from the plastic water bottles have been proved to leak their way into the water over time.
Unlike utility customers who can request to see water testing results or who are able to view yearly water reports, bottlers are not required to release their test results to the public. Drinking water from the tap or from a bottle is a gamble in America that isn’t worth the risk.
23 students including their teacher were freed after they have been hostage inside a classroom in Wisconsin. The hostage taker was said to be their classmate, and the long hours of hostage drama ended after the said hostage taker took his own life by shooting himself. The shooter was immediately taken to the hospital after the incident and it was found that he suffered from wounds that were self inflicted, aside from the bullets he put in his body.
According to police officials who investigated the bloody incident, the suspect who was 15 years old was armed with 2 guns, which he used inside their classroom to hostage 23 of his classmates including his teacher. The said hostage drams started at 3pm CST, and after almost 5 hours, he freed 5 of his classmates because they had to go to the restroom.
The negotiations progressed during the entire hostage taking, and everything seemed well. But at approximately 8pm, the police heard some shots fired which forced them to rush into the classroom. It was then that they officials found out that the suspect shot himself. After the shooting incident, the remaining hostages were safely taken out of the crime scene and they were reunited with their family outside the parking lot of the school.
Parts of Pakistan have been ravaged by flooding, leaving death and destruction in its wake.The recent monsoon rains have brought the worst flooding that those regions have seen in decades.
The Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwahas been hit so hard that the full extent of the destruction is becoming evident only today, as the water levels started to drop. Entire villages were discovered to have been washed away along with food storages and livestock. But more than that, the loss of life has been the most shocking and devastating truth of all to be faced. Over 1,100 people are estimated to have lost their lives in the disaster.
The government’s response to the situation has been slow and in some parts, non-existent. Perhaps this maybe because the Pakistani government is ill equipped and unprepared for such a large scale disaster. The political landscape has always been in turmoil and in recent years the added pressure to curb the breeding of terrorism within its borders has been an added burden. Unfortunately for the people caught up in the disaster, all that has led to thousands being left in the lurch and fast running out of options for survival.
The U.S. has sent several million dollars in aid as well as rescue equipment and food rations. Islamic militants have also sent aid to the region and this could turn out to be a big blow for the Pakistani and U.S. governments. Both have been fighting the militant for a long time and have been trying to turn public sentiment against the militants. The inefficiency of the local government could have a significant impact on the war on terror unless it is corrected very soon.
“I killed both of them. I told you”, were the chilling words a 911 operator heard on that fateful day. Saiqa Akhter is accused of killing her two children and she is not fighting the charges in any way.
A resident of Irving in Dallas, Texas Akhter said that she had first tried to poison the children by giving them bathroom cleaner. But when they refused to touch it, she used a wire to strangle both of them. Akhter then called 911 to confess. In the recording of the 911 call, Akhter can be heard saying that she killed them and that they were lying motionless and turning blue. Upon questioning by the operator as to why she had killed them, Akhter said that both of them were autistic and she didn’t want them to be like that. She also said that she wanted normal kids.
Akhter has been officially charged with capital murder for the murder of her son five year old Zain Akhter, who is also her eldest child. The same charge is pending for the murder of Faryaal Akhter her two year old daughter. She has asked for a court appointed attorney to represent her, but so far she has not been assigned one as yet. Although prosecutors have not stated their position, Akhter faces the possibility of a death penalty. If the prosecution decides to be lenient she will probably spend the rest of her life in prison.
The father of the children, Rashid Akhter, has not made any statements so far.
CALCUTTA, INDIA – An extremely fast express train hit another stationary public train in Calcutta, India earlier today, instantly killing 61 passengers in the crash. The collision was so powerful that it sent one of the train’s roof flying on top of an overpass. Officials investigating the accident states that they are considering sabotage in the incident.The residents in the nearby area struggled, and went over the crash site trying to free all the passengers who have survived, even before the rescue team of the country arrived together with their heavy equipments to cut the metal body of the trains.
Mamata Banerjee, the Railway Minister rushed into the accident site and has stated that there is a high possibility of sabotage in the event. It can be recalled two months before this incident that Maoist rebels were accused of derailing the same line which cost 145 lives. Officials say that they have doubts in their mind about whether the event that took place was really an accident. The accident happened early this morning (2 a.m.) when the train Uttarbanga Express hit the stationary train Vanachal Express when it departed the station at Sainthia which is about 200 kilometers (125 miles) of northern Calcutta.
The incident destroyed two of the passenger cars and also the luggage car which turned into something like a twisted metal. The impact of the collision was so strong that it made the roof of one train fly and land on the overpass on top of the tracks.It has been noted that the railways in India are very susceptible to accidents because of the country’s poor maintenance on these tracks.