Wednesday Reads: World News….and US Shootings

146085581633138974_dHd13hgw_cGood Morning

This post will focus on world news reads, and updates on two US shootings making headlines. The latest news out of Texas:

4 Hospitalized in Shooting at Lone Star College

A dispute between two men at a community college in the wooded northern outskirts of Houston led to a shooting on Tuesday that left four people hospitalized and touched off fears that the campus was the site of another mass shooting.

Instead, the authorities said, the shooting, at Lone Star College’s North Harris campus, centered on an argument between two men, at least one of whom may have been a student or former student. Three people appeared to have been wounded by gunfire, including a maintenance worker who was shot in the leg. A fourth person, who was not shot, was taken to a hospital with medical problems.

Looks like one man was mad at another and he decided to let his gun do the talking.

This was not the only shooting in the news however, remember the young teen in New Mexico? Turns out he was home-schooled and according to some news reports loved to play video games.

Homeschooled Teen Who Killed Family With AR-15 Also Plotted Walmart Mass Shooting

New Mexico authorities announced on Tuesday that a 15-year-old boy who killed his family with several weapons including an AR-15 military-style assault rifle enjoyed playing “violent” video games and had planned to go to a local Walmart to shoot random people.

Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston told reporters at a press conference that Nehemiah Griego eventually admitted to the murders of his mother, father and three siblings after initially saying that he had come home to find them dead, according to KRQE.

Houston said that Griego had waited for his mother to fall asleep before gaining access to her unlocked bedroom closet to obtain an AR-15, a .22 rifle and two 12-gauge shotguns. Some of the weapons had been purchased by the father through private sales, the investigation found.

“The teen told authorities after killing his family he reloaded his weapons so that he could ‘drive to populated area to murder more people,'” KRQE reported. “He expressed a desire to shoot people at random and eventually be killed while exchanging gunfire with law enforcement.”

But the teen instead decided to spend time with his 12-year-old girlfriend before driving to Calvary Church, where his father had once been a pastor. A church security guard eventually called police, who discovered the bodies at the home.

A couple more links below:

New Mexico teen charged in family killings planned more carnage: police | Reuters

The murders have convulsed the faith community of Albuquerque, where Greg Griego, the teen’s father and a former gang member, worked as a pastor and volunteered with inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

A Statement of Probable Cause described Griego’s changing stories to police as well as the gory details of the quintuple homicide that took place on Saturday inside the family’s Albuquerque home.

The teen told police he shot his mother, the first victim in his rampage, because he was “frustrated” with her, Houston said.

After shooting his brother and two sisters, Griego, who police said often played violent video games, then waited five hours for his father to return from work and ambushed him with an AR-15 assault rifle – the same type of weapon used in the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school shootings.

“It’s the first time I’ve been to a crime scene with so much destruction in one home,” Houston said, describing the scene at the family home as “horrific.”

Police said that after the killings, Griego sent his 12-year-old girlfriend a picture of his mother’s body and the two then spent the day together, possibly planning to kill her parents.

The dead have been identified as 51-year-old Greg Griego, his 40-year-old wife Sarah Griego, and three of their children: a 9-year-old boy and two girls, ages five and two.

Griego showing no remorse |

Nehemiah Griego has been unemotional and stern throughout questioning, Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston said Tuesday, adding he also has not shown any signs of remorse after allegedly committing the most heinous crimes against his family.

“This is beyond any human reasoning or understanding,” Houston said.

The only motive, Griego told investigators, was that he was mad at his mother.

Just a few days after this shooting in New Mexico, and we know more than we do about Adam Lanza. It is frustrating…

Anyway, in world news….Over in Israel, Netanyahu has won re-election.

Netanyahu turns to Iran after narrow election win

Hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed victory in Israel’s parliamentary election, shrugging off surprise losses to centre-left challengers and vowing on Wednesday to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

However, Tuesday’s vote, which also disappointed religiously inspired hardliners, may deflect the premier’s focus on confronting Tehran and resisting Palestinian demands as Israel’s secular, middle-class demanded new attention to domestic issues.

That, in turn, might draw Netanyahu toward a less fractious relationship with his key ally, U.S. President Barack Obama, who himself embarked on a new term this week with great ambitions.

North Korea is in the news too: After UN Acts, NKorea Vows ‘Nuclear Deterrence’

North Korea swiftly lashed out against the U.N. Security Council’s condemnation of its December launch of a long-range rocket, saying Wednesday that it will strengthen its military defenses — including its nuclear weaponry — in response.

The defiant statement from North Korea’s Foreign Ministry was issued hours after the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution condemning Pyongyang’s Dec. 12 rocket launch as a violation of a ban against nuclear and missile activity. The resolution, which required approval from Pyongyang’s ally China, also added to sanctions against the North.

The Foreign Ministry called the launch a peaceful bid to send a satellite into space rather than a test of long-range missile technology. It said North Korea “should counter the U.S. hostile policy with strength, not with words.”

Words? Strength? Well, as I was looking for world news links for this post, I found this quite interesting:  Evacuation of Russians from Syria reflects Moscow’s doubts about Assad’s grip on power

The Kremlin’s evacuation of Russians from Syria on Tuesday marks a turning point in its view of the civil war, representing increasing doubts about Bashar Assad’s hold on power and a sober understanding that it has to start rescue efforts before it becomes too late.

The operation has been relatively small-scale, involving under 100 people, mostly women and children — but it marks the beginning of what could soon turn into a risky and challenging operation. Analysts warn that rescuing tens of thousands of Russians from the war-stricken country could quickly become daunting as the opposition makes new advances in the battle against the Syrian president.

“It’s a sign of distrust in Assad, who seems unlikely to hold on to power,” said Alexei Malashenko, a Middle East expert with the Carnegie Endowment’s Moscow office.

That is one take on the story, here is another: Russia says it is not planning full Syria evacuation

Russia said on Tuesday it had started evacuating scores of citizens who wanted to leave Syria but denied the move was the start of a mass exodus.

Two senior diplomats played down the significance of decision, announced on Monday, to send aircraft to bring Russians home almost two years after the start of the revolt against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

“We are not talking about a full evacuation … It is not planned that everyone will leave,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov said, according to state-run news agency Itar-Tass.

“We are helping those who want to leave,” Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on the sidelines of a meeting in Moscow between Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman.

Another powerful man, tyrant if you will, has been missing lately. I am talking about Hugo Chavez of course, this op/ed from the New York Times:  Chávez, the Missing President

ON Jan. 10, while Hugo Chávez lay in a hospital bed in Havana, he was symbolically sworn in as Venezuela’s new president in a ceremony here. The crowd that attended his virtual inauguration was moved to tears by a recording of Mr. Chávez’s singing the national anthem. The country is experiencing the very odd circumstance of being both with and without its leader; he is not here, but his voice endures.

From the intensive care unit, the president “continues to perform his duties”; he gives orders and sends kisses to children. This is what his vice president says. According to the Supreme Court, the Congress cannot consider him absent, for no matter how ill he is, only Mr. Chávez himself has the authority to declare himself absent. The opposition is demanding a “fe de vida” — proof that he is still alive, as if he were a kidnapping victim. Day after day, on the street, on Twitter, our president dies and comes back to life. But this is not a magical realist novel.

Read the rest at the link.
I will finish this post with a couple of stories about France.  Mali conflict shakes country’s faith in its leaders
French and Malian soldiers
A French soldier, second from left, speaks with Malian soldiers near Diabaly. The French military drove militants out of that key central town, as well as Douentza, on Monday. (Arnaud Roine, French Army Communications Audiovisual / January 23, 2013)
Malians say the military’s inability to halt an Islamist advance toward the capital without the aid of France has them wondering what happens when the French leave.
This next story made me laugh, just the thought of some stinky cloud from France crossing the Channel… Rotten egg stench wafts over UK after French gas leak
A cloud of harmless gas smelling of sweat and rotten eggs leaked from a chemicals factory in northwest France and drifted across the English Channel as far as London on Tuesday.The leak occurred on Monday morning at a Lubrizol France plant near Rouen, 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Paris, and winds blew the invisible gas cloud south over northern France on Monday night and then up into England on Tuesday.The fire brigade in the county of Kent, southeast of London, warned residents to keep their doors and windows closed due to the gas, which may make some people feel nauseous, and police said they had reports of an acrid smell in the capital.

Lubrizol France, which makes additives for industrial lubricants and paint, said the gas was mercaptan, also known as methanethiol, a colourless additive used in natural gas because its sulphurous smell enables gas leaks to be detected.

Harmless? I don’t know, but it looks as if France farted in England’s general direction. Check out this lovely description from the New York Times: Smell of Gas Causes Alarm in Northern France

It wafted over northern France late in the night and reached southern England by morning on Tuesday, a noisome cloud that roused inhabitants from their sleep with its nauseating stench. There were thousands of frantic calls to emergency services, from Normandy to Paris, with residents describing the smell of household gas or rotten eggs, but the authorities moved quickly to calm fears.

The cloud, officials said, was one of a group of substances called mercaptans, foul-smelling but largelyharmless chemicals — at low doses, at any rate. It had escaped from a chemical plant near the northern city of Rouen.

“Given the absence of danger,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement, “the inhabitants of the affected regions are invited to not call emergency services.” In a separate joint statement, the ministers of the interior and ecology noted that the chemical is dangerous only at concentrations 20,000 times that at which the nose detects it.

Often described as smelling of rotten cabbage, mercaptans are used as a marker for household gas, which is odorless, so that leaks do not go undetected. They are present in feces and some cheeses, and can cause headaches and nausea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those symptoms were described by a number of people in France on Tuesday.

Rotten eggs, rotten cabbage, feces and cheese…hmmmm, reminds me of this scene from Goldmember:

Fat Bastard: I’ve been tryin’ to go legit.
Austin Powers: Of course…
Fat Bastard: But when you’re an overweight child, in a society that demands perfection, your sense of right and wrong, fair and unfair will always be tragically skewed…
Austin Powers: Did you just soil yourself?
Fat Bastard: Maybe.
Fat Bastard: It did sound a little wet, there didn’t it? Right at the end! Oooh! Heh heh heh. Let’s have a smell, all right? Oh, everyone likes their own brand, don’t they? Oh, this is magic! Hmmm, wafting, wafting. Ok, analysis. Ooh, smells like carrots in throw-up! Oh that could gag a maggot! It smells like hot sick ass in a dead carcass! Even stink would say that stinks! You know when you go into an apartment building and you smell the other people’s cooking on each floor and you go “What are they cookin’?” That, plus crap!

That, plus crap sounds about right!

What are you reading this morning?