Top News Stories –
Paris gunmen killed after 2 sieges –
The 2 gunmen who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre on January 7th 2015 have been killed by French police after a brief siege at a warehouse in Dammartin-en-Goele, 35km (22 miles) north of Paris. Brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi were shot dead as they came out of a warehouse building firing at police. Two officers were injured. Simultaneously, Amedy Coulibaly, the man who killed a policewoman on 7th January, was shot dead at a kosher supermarket in Paris after he had killed 4 hostages – 15 hostages were rescued. Coulibaly knew one of the brothers and their respective partners had spoken on the phone more than 500 times. A total of 17 people plus the 3 gunmen have died in the 3 days.
Brand and Rascal to be studied –
The exam board Oxford, Cambridge and Royal Society of Arts (OCR) plan to include evidence given by Russell Brand to a Commons select committee inquiring into drugs and an interview between Dizzee Rascal and Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman as part of the English A-level syllabus as from this September. The plans have been approved by exams regulator Ofqual amongst 37 new specifications for GCSEs and A-levels put forward by the exam board.
AirAsia tail section recovered –
The tail section of AirAsia flight QZ8501 that crashed while flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore has been recovered from the seabed using inflatable devices. Although the flight recorders are positioned in the tail it appears that the “black boxes” have been separated from it and the search continues.
The Indonesian navy has retrieved from the seabed the tail of the AirAsia plane that crashed two weeks ago.
Lucky he was a Dolphin –
Former Miami Dolphins running back Rob Konrad swam nine miles to shore after falling off his boat while fishing and his boat, which was on auto pilot, drifted away from him off the South Florida coast. Konrad, who played 82 games for the Dolphins between 1999-2004, was treated for hypothermia after it took 12 hours to swim to shore.
Saturn centre pinpointed –
Scientists have located the centre of the planet Saturn to within just 2 miles using ten antennae, known as the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), spread over an area from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands. The antenna assembly uses signals sent by the Cassini probe to monitor the position of the gas giant. Previously estimates of the positions of Saturn and its satellites used data received by tracking Cassini’s radio signal during its communications with Earth but the new calculations are about 20 times more accurate.
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Other News Stories –
- Armed conflicts and attacks
- Charlie Hebdo shooting
- The two suspect brothers take a hostage at a sign printing company, Création Tendance Découverte, in the Frenchtown of Dammartin-en-Goële. (AAP via SBS)
- A second hostage situation of unclear connection occurs at a Jewish market, Hypercacher, in the eastern Parissuburb of Vincennes. There are two suspected hostage takers, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, and Amedy Coulibaly, 32, who were previously suspected of shooting a policewoman dead earlier in the week. There are at least sixteen hostages. (Herald-Sun)
- The concurrent standoff ends with Coulibaly dead as well as four hostages. Four additional hostages and two police officers require hospitalization. Boumeddiene remains at large. (MSNBC)
- 2015 Baga massacre
- Refugees flee Nigeria’s Borno State following the Boko Haram massacre in the town of Baga. 7,300 flee to neighbouring Chad while over 1,000 are trapped on the island of Kangala in Lake Chad. Nigeria’s army vows to recapture the town, while Niger and Chad withdraw their forces from a transnational force tasked with combating militants. (UNHCR) (NPR via BBC)
- Business and economy
- The People’s Republic of China plans to soon permit the online sale of prescription drugs. (Reuters)
- Disasters and accidents
- A 193-vehicle pileup along a snowy Interstate 94 highway in Kalamazoo County, Michigan leaves one motorist dead and 20 injured. A fire among the vehicles which includes a chemical tanker and a truck loaded with fireworks further compounds the disaster. The debris and fire closes the expressway for over 14 hours. Exploding fireworks hit rescue workers injuring an additional three. (ABC News) (CNN)
- Law and crime
- Former Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra appears to face impeachment charges over a failed rice subsidy scheme. (BBC)
- Russia lists transsexual and transgender individuals among those with “personality and behavioural disorders” who will be banned from obtaining driving licenses. (BBC) (The Moscow Times)
- At a court in New York City, a US District Judge sentences the radical imam Abu Hamza al-Masri to a life sentence for terrorism offences in the United States. (Reuters via (ABC News Australia)
- In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, blogger Raif Badawi receives 50 lashes for “insulting Islam”. This first punishment is part of a sentence of ten years’ imprisonment and 1,000 lashes. He will receive 50 lashes a week for 19 more weeks. (Gulf News) (Guardian)
- A shooting into a car in San Francisco, California, U.S., leaves four men dead. (AP)
- Politics and elections
- Sri Lankan presidential election, 2015
- Barack Obama proposes a new program to waive tuition at community colleges in the United States for the first two years. (The New York Times)
- Stockholm University cuts its ties with the Confucius Institute citing concerns about foreign interference in academic freedom. (South China Morning Post)
- Science and technology
- 2015 AFC Asian Cup
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