Gazans Crowd Streets, Restock During Brief Truce
Gazans Crowd Streets, Restock During Brief Truce
California's Hidden, Slow-Moving Disaster
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Gaza residents crowded banks, vegetable markets and shops Thursday, taking advantage of a brief cease-fire that offered the first respite from 10 days of fierce fighting between Hamas and Israel, while the conflict looked set to resume within hours. The truce was briefly thrown into doubt when Gaza militants fired three mortar shells toward Israel after the truce took effect at 10 a.m. local time, but it appeared to be an isolated incident, and Israel did not respond.
As people dig ever deeper to find water, nearly 1,200 square miles of California is sinking 2 inches a month – destroying roads, bridges and farmland in the process. In addition to wildfires, the state is facing a slower-moving disaster at ground level: collapsing levees, buckling irrigation canals, water rising up over bridges and sloshing over roads. So much water has been pumped out of the ground that vast areas of the Central Valley are sinking, destroying millions of dollars in infrastructure in the gradual collapse. The Central Valley is the world’s largest patch of class one soil, considered to be the best for crops, and produces about 40% of the country’s fruits, nuts and vegetables. In some parts of the valley, however, the land is sinking at a rate of 2 inches a month. According to The Guardian, about 1,200 square miles, roughly bounded by interstate 5 and state route 99, is collapsing into what scientists describe as a “cone of depression”.
This weekend kicks off the busiest shopping season in many parts of the world – and, starting Cyber Monday, the most popular season for cyber-attacks. According to EnigmaSoftware.com, an anti-malware and spyware company, attacks on shoppers increased 40% on Cyber Monday in 2013 and 2014, compared to the average number of attacks on days during the month prior. Other cybersecurity software providers have identified the December holiday shopping season as the most dangerous time of year to make online purchases.Christopher Budd, Trend Micro’s global threat communications manager said, “The attackers know that there are more people online, so there will be more attacks."
Pope Francis traveled to Uganda's holiest shrine on Saturday, paying tribute to 19th century Christian martyrs killed for their faith, including for protecting young boys in the royal court from abuse by the king. Francis, on the second leg of his first African tour, said Mass for tens of thousands of people huddled on muddy hillsides surrounding the soaring modern shrine made of iron and cone-shaped to resemble a hut of the Baganda tribe. Twenty-five Anglicans and 22 Catholic converts where killed during the persecutions, mostly by being burned to death, between 1884 and 1887 on the orders of King Buganda Mwanga II.
North Korea appeared to conduct a submarine-launched ballistic missile test on Saturday. However, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported it ended in failure with no indication that the missile successfully ejected from the vessel and took off. A South Korean government source was quoted as saying by Yonhap that there is no identification of a missile taking flight. Only fragments of a safety cover was observed, so it's highly likely that the launch was a misfire. But South Korea said it believed the rocket was fired from a submarine and flew about 150 meters out of the water.
On Saturday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced regret over Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane. He said his country was "truly saddened" by the incident and wished it hadn't occurred. It was the first expression of regret by the strongman leader since Tuesday's incident in which Turkish F-16 jets shot down the Russian jet. The shooting happened on grounds that the jet had violated Turkey's airspace despite repeated warnings to change course. It was the first time in half a century that a NATO member shot down a Russian plane. The incident drew a harsh response from Moscow.
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