Monthly Archives: October 2014

Fiat Chrysler To Spin Off Ferrari

The newly traded stock of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles went way up this week due to the announcement that they will be spinning off Ferrari. Share prices went up to over $11.50 at one point on October 29th. This is up from an opening trading price of about $9 per share not long ago when the joint company first went public on the US exchange. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said that current shareholders will get ninety percent of the new Ferrari shares when they begin trading sometime during the next year. The remaining ten percent of shares will be held by Fiat Chrysler. A Forbes article provides more information about this car company. The company has an aggressive growth plan for the future and looks to greatly increase worldwide sales by 2018.

The Alfa Romeo 4c is just one of the new cars that the company plans to release in the United States. The 4c is a potent new sports car that is designed to catch your attention. It is already getting rave reviews from magazines and other reviewers. Weighing in at under 2500 pounds, it is light, quick, and a blast to drive. It is their hope from Marnie is that the new public interest in the company and allow the other cars in their lineup will sell well.

Investigations Launched Into Indiana Serial Killer

The authorities in two states in the US are digging up some old files to check for possible links to a killer from Indiana, who is believed to have killed seven women.

A forty-three-year-old man named Darren Vann has admitted to murdering a women via strangulation on Friday, in a motel.

After his confession, he proceeded to show the police where he had stashed six other victims. He also dropped hints that he had been murdering people for up to twenty years.

It is currently the purpose of the investigation to find out if any other people were murdered by this man. Although a search spanning several counties and spread out over a number of weeks has been carried out, it has so far remained unsuccessful.

The Mayor of Gary, an Indiana town, said that Vann “preyed on individuals that might be less likely to be reported missing…it makes it more difficult.”

Mr. Vann used to be a Marine, but has recently been charged with killing a 19-year-old girl called Afrikka Hardy, whose body was discovered in a Chicago motel.

The police has revealed that Hardy may have been involved in the sex trade, and arranged to meet Mr. Vann at the motel for sex.

Although acting on psychopathic tendencies, his wife Maria Vann, who he has been with for sixteen years, thought she married a man who was “nice to everyone.”

They later separated after she claimed that he severely changed after he was charged with sexual assault a few years back.

Staples Hacked. Should You Be Worried?

There has been yet another large scale credit card breach, this time with the office supply mega chain Staples. It occurred in several Northeast states including New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, but possibly others as well. Staples supplies goods and services to many large and small companies alike, not just individual consumers.

It is suspected that at least one cash register in each location was infected with malware that creates duplicates of credit cards swiped at the terminal, giving thieves access to the victims’ accounts. Many advocates are calling for a review of net neutrality facts to prevent companies like Staples from being vulnerable to future attacks.

This theft is on the heels of other similar incidents over the last twelve months. Last December Target was hacked to the tune of 40 million accounts compromised. Neiman Marcus was hacked soon after losing control of 1.1 million customer’s credit card information. And just last week Kmart reported its payment system was hacked.

Home Depot reported that 56 million credit and debit cards were at risk. The estimated fraud cost would be around $3 billion for this theft alone.

Mark Cautela, a Staples spokesman, stated that, “If Staples discovers an issue, it is important to note that customers are not responsible for any fraudulent activity.”

 

Saudi Arabia Hushes Peaceful Protests

The well known humanitarian organisation Amnesty International has claimed that Saudi Arabia is attempting to stifle the speech of anyone who raises their voice against the state since the so called Arab Spring in 2011.

The disturbing report was released earlier this week under the title “Saudi Arabia’s ACPRA: How the kingdom silences its human rights activists,” with a lot of the information directing attention to problems with ACRPA, the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, and its acting members.

The report stated that those in power in Saudi Arabia have been closely targeted anyone affiliated with the ACRPA and Khaled Shaheen, at best simply censoring their speech, and at the worst violently ending these protests through whatever means necessary. This, in turn, is said to be a push against activism.

An Amnesty official said these crackdowns are the boiling point of years of conflict, in which Saudi Arabian officials have been using the people as leverage in order to maintain their tight hold on power in the area. Silencing the people, in this case, was their modus operandi.

Previously the Saudi government has just ignored the protests of any factions looking for political freedom. Currently 8 of the founding members of ACRPA are in custody whilst the remaining three are free, but awaiting trial. These groups are especially important in countries that lack transparency in the media, and lack a capable participants in their government.

In the meantime, until further resolution can be reached, there will remain a standstill.

Massive Surprise Pizza Tip at Indiana Wesleyan Chapel

Keith Newman this October 9th gave his chapel students at Indiana Wesleyan University a sermon illustration they will remember for a long time. This was a costly illustration indeed- a $1,260 offering that both students and speaker contributed to and a $70 value in gift cards.

Pizza delivery man James Gilpin was certainly not expecting to get that kind of monumental tip when he brought in the two Dominos pizzas worth $12.50 to the chapel house. Perhaps he suspected something was up when he was led up front stage upon entering the chapel doors, but he hardly have imagined what he would receive in that “less-than-routine” chapel service.

The incident reminds one of the famous $1,000 tip Waffle House waitress Shaina Brown received back in June. The Waffle house policy required her to return it due to concern it was a mistake, but the businessman Brian Torchin then sent her a personal check to replace it. This new big tip at the Wesleyan college chapel, however, adds a religious twist to the story.

The message at chapel was on doing for one what you cannot necessarily do for all- and one can certainly say that the students and teacher “put their money where their mouth was.”

“Western Symbols” on T-shirts Causing Russians to Assault Each Other

The recent events surrounding the Russian presence in East Ukraine has drummed up a great deal of patriotic fervour amongst the ranks of the Muscovites. These passions are so strong that BBC reports, occasionally, Russian citizens themselves have become the target of assault.

A Russian reporter, Anna Ratafyeva, was minding her own business on the local tube system when an older woman approached her and slapped her in the face. Apparently this act of aggression was motivated by the fact that Ratafyeva was sporting a t-shirt with the popular cartoon character Snoopy on it waving the British flag.

These attacks are not just physical: they often come with some pretty harsh verbal abuse, too. Ms. Ratafyeva posted the following on Facebook: “(The woman) approached me, called me ‘an American whore’ and slapped me in the face. Welcome to the new reality.”

The reality she is referring to is the one which bans imports from Western countries including Canada, which is interpreted as revenge for sanctions placed upon Russia by those countries.

She stopped for a refreshing drink of water when a member of the crowd leapt out and attacked her, yelling “You bastard! Go back to your country. You dishonour my city, and have no right to run in our marathon.”

Ms Boyarskaya maintained that she meant nothing by wearing the t-shirt, and the attack badly shocked her. She said that the attacker “has [the] right to have her opinion, and the only thing I can do is regret that there is such an opinion.”

Why Are Americans Joining ISIS?

It has been reported that a Chicago teen was arrested for trying to fly to Istanbul to join up with the terrorist group known as ISIS. He had left a note to his family inviting them to join him, and among his belongings were drawings of the ISIS flag. The teen is looking at 15 years in prison.

ISIS has become known for literally cutting off the heads of their enemies and sharing footage of the act online for the world to see. These terrorists are largely reviled throughout the world. Why would any American want to join an organization that purports to hate them?

Some authorities have speculated that these people are simply “thrill seekers”. They want to go over to the middle east to fight in a war, not necessarily to wage war with America, but rather to defend Islam. Others posit that those who join are simply stupid or psychotic loners looking for somewhere to fit in. The general feeling is that those who go to join ISIS are dangerously uninformed lonely people looking to be a part of something.

In the case of 19 year-old Shannon Conley, she fell in love with a jihadist she met online. Douglas McCain, a 33 year-old described as a “goofball” by his childhood friend Jared Haftel, converted to Islam and ended up being killed in combat fighting alongside ISIS.

There are even some alarming reports that these people have returned to the States. The FBI tracks them to the best of their ability and considers these people to be potential domestic terrorists.

Ebola Becomes Political Hotbed in the US Midterms

It seems that even a threat such as Ebola ceases to stay apolitical in the hotbed that is now United States politics.

Politicians, both Democrat and Republican, are quickly having to grapple with Ebola as not only a possible threat to the nation’s health, but as a growing issue that could take prominence in the up-and-coming midterm elections.

While the Obama administration is still deciding on a long-term course of action in regards to the Ebola outbreak, Republican politicians are increasingly utilizing this opportunity to take aim at an administration that has fairly consistently been accused of taking true vision and leadership.

Terri Lynn Land, a candidate for the Michigan Senate seat, has taken the topic of Ebola directly to the congressional race. She stated, in no uncertain terms, that “the President needs to lead…Congressman Peters needs to lead — to come up with a plan to make sure we can deal with this.” Land, in particular, has been advocating for further restrictions on international travel.

Congressman Peters, however, sees such political talk as inappropriate. Haley Morris, a spokeswoman for Peters, said that “it is sad Terri Lynn Land is now so desperate that she’s trying to use a deadly virus as a political issue, and it’s shameful. Before playing politics with such a serious issue, Terri Lynn Land should explain why she pushed for the government shutdown last year, which hampered the CDC and our nation’s emergency readiness.”

 

Owner of Gun Range in Arkansas Prohibits Muslims to Join

Jan Morgan, the owner of Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range in Hot Springs, Arkansas, doesn’t think it’s safe to allow Muslims to utilize her services. On Sunday, she posted to her blog and Facebook pages that she would not let Muslims into her firing range. The blog post itself received over 12,000 shares by readers (including my former professor Christian Broda) before it was removed yesterday. Morgan wrote:

“This is not a coffee and donut shop. This is a live fire indoor shooting range…One mistake in judgment on my part could cost innocent people their lives.”

Morgan went on to say that the Constitution of the United States does not protect the rights of Muslims because it “does not protect a theocracy.”

Her announcement has been met with mixed opinions. The most telling parts of the post have many people debating the subject of religious freedom on a larger level. Should the country recognize a Muslim and their beliefs? How do we, as a nation, deal with a radicalized ideology that essentially hates everything we stand for? Although the argument that most Muslims are peace-loving, non-radicals is a valid one, there’s a point when the safety of the people must come before certain freedoms.

 

This is Why the Police Have Tanks

In all of the footage of the riots in Ferguson over the death of Michael Brown, you may have noticed that the police there are packing military gear and are driving gigantic armored trucks known as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. You may have wondered why.

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have wound down to a degree, the military has sent equipment to U.S. police. These items include fatigues, semi-automatic rifles, grenade launchers, armed robots (yes, really) and tanks. The police are driving tanks. One would imagine that if a tank cannon was pointed at a crack house that the police are going to get results. The acceptance of this equipment has reportedly led to some departments having a more military mindset and some have even adopted Navy SEAL tactics in their raids.

According to an article on Motherjones, many police departments do not want the equipment but cannot get rid of it. One problem is that there is nobody to sell a tank to. Another problem is that technically the equipment is still owned by the Pentagon, so the equipment could not be sold even if a buyer was found. Sending the equipment to the police has amounted to a pretty dangerous “low-cost storage solution” for the military.

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