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Another shooting: Naval station Norfolk shooting leaves 2 dead

Norfok Naval base
© Reuters/U.S. Navy/MC2 Ernest R. Scott
US Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia
At least two people were killed on Monday night in a shooting at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.

According to the station's official Facebook fan page, which is sponsored by Naval Station Norfolk, the incident occurred at approximately 11:20 p.m. at Pier 1.

Terri Davis, a base spokeswoman, told The Associated Press that the two men who died were a sailor and a civilian.

No other injuries were reported.

U.S. Navy security forces responded to the shooting and placed the station in lockdown as a precaution. The lockdown was later lifted.

At the time of this writing, no other details have been released.

Naval Station Norfolk is the world's largest naval station, Military.com reports. The station supports at least 75 ships and 134 aircraft.

Stormtrooper

Russians targeted in Ukrainian anarchy: Ukraine radicals rob Russia-Moldova train passengers

Ukrainian militants
© RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin
The recent robbing of passengers, traveling from Russia to Moldova via Ukraine's territory, by a local ultra-nationalist Insurgent Army is a manifestation of "anarchy," the Russian Foreign Ministry has said.

On March 21, the train, en route from Moscow to the capital of Moldova, Chisinau, made a scheduled stop in the city of Vinnitsa in central Ukraine.

"To the horror of passengers...people dressed in the uniform of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) got into carriages and began a 'document check'. People who showed Russian passports were then made to hand over their money and golden jewelry," the Russian Ministry said on Monday in a statement published on its website.

The robbery was accompanied with "political sensitization," diplomats said.

Moscow also said it was "bewildered" by the refusal of the Ukrainian police to take any action when the victims attempted to file a report.

"That is the kind of 'rule of law' that is currently being formed in Ukraine," the ministry said. "It seems that the anarchy of the beginning of the 20th century is reviving."

A similar incident occurred with passengers traveling from the Ukrainian city of Krivoy Rog to the Russian capital, reported the NTV channel. However, this time it was either Ukrainian border guards or customs service officers who were involved.

According to passengers, during the border control procedure, Ukrainian officers grabbed passports from Russian citizens providing them with no explanation.

Passenger, Angela Piskokha, told NTV that Ukrainian officials then offered her the opportunity to buy back her own passport for 6,000 rubles (US$ 166).

Stormtrooper

Updated: Notorious Ukrainian nationalist militant Muzychko 'shot dead' in Western Ukraine

Aleksandr Muzychko
© Unknown
Aleksandr Muzychko killed in Rovno, Western Ukraine
Notorious Ukrainian right-wing militant leader Aleksandr Muzychko, also known as Sashko Bilyi, has reportedly been shot dead in western Ukraine, where he coordinated actions of local groups belonging to the nationalist Right Sector movement.

Muzychko was killed in Rovno, western Ukraine, according to reports in the Ukrainian mass media.

A Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada MP, Aleksandr Doniy, was among the first to write about Muzychko's death.

"His car was cut off by two other cars. He was dragged out and placed in one of those cars. Then he was thrown on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back and [he received] two shots in his heart," Doniy wrote on Facebook.

There are differing accounts as to how Muzychko died.

Comment: Though blame will undoubtedly go to Russia, there are many other groups that would have an interest in killing this militant, not least the Ukrainian people.


Question

Baffling coded messages discovered at Western University

Baffling Code
© The Star
A series of cryptic notes have been discovered in the Western University library. There are too many for it to be an accident, and they're too similar and detailed for it not to be a coordinated effort by someone/some group.
Calling all cryptographers - there's a real-life mystery unfolding at Western University.

At least 15 hidden messages have been discovered at the school's D.B. Weldon Library, written entirely in symbols on standard printer paper, and concealed in plain-white envelopes tucked inside the pages of various books.

Each note is accompanied by an item, like a feather or a gem stone, that appears to relate to the symbols. On each note there is also an image of a household item like a vase or table.

"It's completely baffling!" said assistant professor Mike Moffatt, who found one of the messages two weeks ago Sunday.

"I'd taken a book off the shelf on international economics," he said. "Inside the book there was an envelope. I immediately thought somebody had been using it as a bookmark."

"But when I opened it up, there were two items in it. One was a green plastic leaf, like something you'd buy at a dollar store, with two paint splotches on it. The other was this piece of paper covered in symbols with an image of a pillow," he said.

Arrow Down

Fifteen flamingos found dead at Frankfurt zoo

Flamingo
© Getty Images
The mysterious killing of 15 flamingos at Frankfurt Zoo has shocked staff and puzzled police, it appears.
The birds were killed over two consecutive nights, with their bodies found on Friday and then Saturday. Some had their heads cut off or torn off, while others were stabbed to death, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Zoo director Manfred Niekisch calls this a "shocking incident" and staff are "speechless". It is not clear who or what killed the birds, but stab wounds suggest it was done by humans. Police have referred to "one or several previously unknown perpetrators" and Niekisch believes animals such as foxes or raccoons could have played a role.

Strangely, very little blood was found at the scene. Police say they are considering whether the birds were stolen from the zoo and killed, before their bodies were returned. In 2007, three flamingos at the same zoo died in a similar manner. The seven-year-old case is still unresolved.

The flamingo killings in Frankfurt leave the German media guessing. "Who would do such a thing?" asks Die Welt daily. "Psychopaths? Was it a completely out-of-order test of courage among young people? Or was it Satanists?"

People 2

New York City school suicide epidemic: 10 student suicides in past 7 weeks

france suicide
© Stavros/flickr
France's suicide rate is well above the European average.
New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said she feels "heartsick" over the fact that 10 public school students have committed suicide since she took office less than two months ago.

According to a report in the New York Post, Farina discussed the suicide epidemic during a private meeting with new school principals on Saturday.

The statistic has not been made public. The Post said it received a recording of Farina's comments delivered at the prestigious Stuyvesant High School.

Family

Malaysia Airlines Flight: Protesting lack of information, families threaten hunger strike

Image
© Reuters
Family members of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 sit on chairs as they wait for news at a hotel in Beijing.
Families of the missing passengers on Malaysian flight MH370 have threatened to go on hunger strike in protest at the lack of information regarding the whereabouts of the plane, according to a report in The Guardian.

The Boeing 777 has been missing for 11 days now and the unprecedented search for the plane is still continuing since it disappeared less than one hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur airport on its way to Beijing.

A total of 153 of the 239 people on board MH370 were Chinese. Now, many of the relatives of those Chinese passengers who are missing are threatening to go on hunger strike to emphasise their demands for more information from the Malaysian authorities.

"Now we have no news, and everyone is understandably worried," said Wen Wanchen, whose son is one of the people missing on board MH370.

"The relatives say they will go to the [Malaysian] embassy to find the ambassador. The Malaysian ambassador should be presenting himself here. But he's not. Relatives are very unsatisfied. So you hear them saying 'hunger strike'," he told AFP.

Robot

Nearly half of all US jobs are threatened by robotics

Robot
© Thinkstock

According to a study by University of Oxford researchers, nearly half of all US jobs could be lost to robots in the future.

Researchers studying over 702 detailed occupation types to find how susceptible jobs are to computerization found that jobs in transportation, logistics and administrative support are at "high risk" of automation. The findings also revealed that even occupations in the service industry were highly susceptible to losing their positions to robotics.

"We identified several key bottlenecks currently preventing occupations being automated," Dr Michael A. Osborne, from the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, said in a statement. "As big data helps to overcome these obstacles, a great number of jobs will be put at risk."

According to the findings, about 47 percent of US employees are at risk from losing their jobs to computerization in the future. They also said they found evidence that wages and educational attainment exhibit a strong negative relationship with an occupation's probability of computerization.

"We note that this finding implies a discontinuity between the nineteenth, twentieth and the twenty-first century, in the impact of capital deepening on the relative demand for skilled labour," the authors wrote.

V

More mass protests in France as 'Socialist' government imposes severe austerity measures

Image
© WSWS
The banner reads: "Wages frozen, jobs cut, personnel disrespected: enough!"
Yesterday's trade union protests called against the social cuts of Socialist Party (PS) President François Hollande were a political dead end for workers seeking to fight the austerity measures and the rising threat of fascism and war facing the working class. The Stalinist General Confederation of Labor (CGT) called the protest last month, while stressing that they were "not against" Hollande's Responsibility Pact, which cuts tens of billions of euros in Social Security funding and in corporate taxes.

Such protests, designed to let off steam and hide the unions' role in negotiating and designing Hollande's cuts, offer nothing to workers. They highlight the social gulf between complacent, chauvinist bureaucrats and workers concerned and angry about social cuts, the rising influence of the neo-fascist National Front (FN), and the belligerent, far-right regime the PS is supporting in Ukraine.

The class tensions between these two social layers are increasingly coming to the fore. The unions and the pseudo-left political parties endorsed the PS in the final round of the 2012 elections and are desperate to block opposition to Hollande. CGT leader Thierry LePaon stressed yesterday that this was not an "anti-Hollande protest". Among workers, however, there is escalating anger at the PS.

Handcuffs

Five former Madoff aides convicted as part of $17.5 billion Ponzi scheme

Image
© Photographers: Michael Nagle, Louis Lanzano, Jin Lee, Peter Foley/Bloomberg
The five former aides to Bernard Madoff accused of aiding his $17.5 billion Ponzi scheme are (L-R) Daniel Bonventre, Jerome O'Hara, Annette Bongiorno, George Perez, and Joann Crupi.
Five former aides to Bernard Madoff, who spent decades working for his firm, were found guilty of helping run the biggest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, a $17.5 billion fraud exposed by the 2008 financial crisis.

The three men and two women, hired by Madoff with little financial experience, were convicted on all counts. The defendants failed to persuade a federal jury in Manhattan they were ignorant of the fraud despite being part of the inner circle at his New York-based firm.

Hatched in the 1970s, Madoff's fraud targeted thousands of wealthy investors, Jewish charities, celebrities and retirees. It unraveled in 2008 when the economic crisis led to more withdrawals than Madoff could afford to pay out. In addition to $17.5 billion in principal, it erased about $47 billion in fake profit that customers thought was being held in their accounts.

Today's verdict, after five months of testimony and four days of deliberations, is a major victory for the U.S. government, coming in the only criminal trial brought in the five years since the scam was revealed. Madoff refused to cooperate with prosecutors.

Some clients learned they lost their life savings after Madoff's confession and arrest on Dec. 11, 2008, leading to criticism of regulators who repeatedly overlooked the scam. Madoff, 75, pleaded guilty the next year and is serving 150 years in a North Carolina prison.