The Explorer: Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines

  • (April 17) Today's Top Headlines - Organized Crime, Gangs Make Latin America Most Violent Region

    For more than half a century, Latin America has ruled the world as the most violent place on earth.In 2013, nearly one in every three murders that occurred globally took place in the streets of Latin America – where just 8 percent of the world's people live.The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime recently released their “Global Study on Homicide 2013” which examined peacetime murder statistics from all over the world and ranked 13 of the top 20 countries to be in Latin America and the Caribbean. Honduras, Venezuela and Brazil are among the countries with the highest murder rates in the world.In 2012, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime registered 134,519 homicides in Latin America out of the 440,000 murders globally."Ever since 1955, murder rates in the Americas have been five times higher than in Europe or Asia," said Angela Me, the chief of research at the UNODC. “That remains the case today. Latin America has the highest rate of criminal violence in the world.”Read more here: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/organized-crime-gangs-make-latin-america-most-violent-region-n83026

  • (April 17) Today's Top Headlines - Questions mount in South Korean ferry disaster; hundreds still missing

    Jindo, South Korea (CNN) -- Anguished relatives of missing South Korean ferry passengers waited sullenly for answers Thursday as rescuers fought bad weather, murky water, darkness and time to find a way deep into the capsized ship.Authorities believe 287 people -- many of them high school students on a field trip -- remain trapped inside the five-story ship. At least some, authorities say, could still be alive more than a day after the ship rolled over.Meanwhile, the ferry's captain is facing mounting questions about the incident.Among other things, authorities are investigating the possibility the ship was off course when it ran into trouble, as well as reports that few of its lifeboats made it into the water, according to Kim Soo Hyeon, the chief of South Korea's Yellow Sea Maritime Police Agency.Ferry captain Lee Joon Suk, his head and face covered, broke down in tears when reporters asked if he had anything to say.Read more here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/17/world/asia/south-korea-ship-sinking/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

  • (April 17) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

    1. Separatists attack Ukraine base as Geneva crisis talks beginPro-Russia separatists attacked a military base in eastern Ukraine on Thursday as diplomats gathered in Geneva for crisis talks. Three separatists were killed in the clash, making it the deadliest yet in the 10-day uprising. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Kiev's attempt to crush the protests by force was pushing the country into an "abyss." The White House threatened Russia with fresh sanctions if it doesn't defuse tensions. [Reuters]………………………………………………………………………………2. Hope fades in search for survivors of sunken South Korean ferryHundreds of people were feared to have died aboard a ferry boat that sank within sight of land just off South Korea's southern coast. Nine people have been confirmed dead, but the toll is expected to rise sharply as crews continue to look for the nearly 300 passengers still missing a day after the vessel tipped over in cold water. Investigators are looking into reports by survivors that the crew told people to wait for rescuers instead of escaping. [USA Today, CNN]………………………………………………………………………………

  • (April 16) Today's Top Headlines - Memory of Boston Marathon victim spurs on 2014 runners

    When Beth Zerilli told her 8-year-old daughter that she planned to run the 2014 Boston Marathon, Sophie burst into tears.“She said, ‘You can’t do that. You’re going to get hurt,’” Zerilli recalled.Sophie’s fears made sense. Most of what Sophie knew about the Boston Marathon was related to the tragic events of the 2013 Marathon, which struck particularly close to home since the Zerillis’ college friends, Bill and Denise Richard, lost their 8-year-old son Martin in the bombings.Zerilli’s husband, Sal, lived with Bill Richard and another friend, Larry Marchese, in college when they were in the same fraternity at Bridgewater State. The three men and their significant others all grew to be close friends by the time they graduated. But when the Zerillis moved out of state after college – first to Los Angeles, then Seattle and Toronto – the couples were busy raising their own families and it proved difficult to stay in touch more than a phone call every now and then updating each other on the latest in everyone’s lives.Then came a life-changing call last April from Marchese. The Zerillis were in Canada on Marathon Monday to finish packing up their home in Toronto since they had moved back to Massachusetts in January. The cable was already disconnected, so they had no Internet or television to tell them what was going on in Boston. The Zerillis did not know how bad it was until Monday night, when they received a call from Marchese telling them Martin was killed and his younger sister Jane lost her leg.“Our initial response was how soon we could do something for them,” Zerilli said. “We didn’t want to bother Bill and Denise but we knew the Marcheses were helping the Richard family with their children. They were in the hospital with them. We were just saying ‘OK, we’re going to be home in two days. Can we watch your kids? What can we do for you so you can help support them?’”

  • (April 16) Today's Top Headines - NATO: Our troops will fend off Russia

    NATO vowed Wednesday to toughen its military presence in Eastern Europe in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.“We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more readiness on the land,” Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters in Brussels. “We will start to implement these measures straight away.”Ukraine has begun to confront pro-Russian militants in its eastern cities, and Russia has amassed an estimated 40,000 troops along its border with Ukraine. The Ukrainian prime minister said Wednesday that Russia is building a “new Berlin Wall.”Outside analysts say that Russia is trying to destabilize eastern Ukraine, just as it did with the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. Russian troops took control of Crimea last month, claiming to protect ethnic Russians there, before Russia formally annexed the peninsula.NATO said that it will fly more policing missions over the Baltic region, put ships in the Baltic Sea “as required” and step up its training for NATO-allied military.Ukraine is not a NATO member, but the former Soviet republics of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are. They have asked NATO for additional protections because they fear Russian aggression.

  • (April 16) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

    1. Ferry sinks off South Korean coastAt least four people died and 295 were missing Wednesday after a South Korean passenger ferry carrying 450 people capsized and sank off the country's south coast. About 320 of the people on board were high-school students traveling with teachers to the resort island of Jeju. Search vessels and helicopters hurried to the scene to pluck people from the stricken ship. Authorities said they could not immediately determine what went wrong. [CNN, The Guardian]………………………………………………………………………………2. Boston Marathon finish line evacuated over bomb scarePolice evacuated the finish line of next week's Boston Marathon on Tuesday, the anniversary of the bombing at the race's finish last year, when a man chanting "Boston strong!" dropped a black backpack on the street. Police detained him and detonated the backpack, along with another unattended bag, as a precaution. The suspect told police his bag contained a rice cooker. The incident came after ceremonies honored the victims of the 2013 attack. [Daily News]………………………………………………………………………………

  • (April 15) Today's Top Headlines - Robotic Submarine Comes Up Short in First Deep Dive: Now What?

    A robotic submarine was set to be launched on a second underwater sweep for wreckage from missing Flight MH370 Tuesday after deep water ended an initial dive, triggering questions about whether the vehicle is capable of completing its mission.The U.S. Navy-owned Bluefin-21 gathered about six hours of data before returning to the surface of the southern Indian Ocean almost 1,000 miles off Australia's west coast.The unmanned sub had been expected to search for 16 hours but a built-in safety feature ended the journey after it exceeded its "operation depth limit" of 14,763 feet -- or about 2.8 miles, officials said.Bluefin-21 can create a three-dimensional sonar map of the area to chart any debris on the sea floor. The initial data collected was analyzed but no objects of interest were found.Searchers are confident they know the approximate position of wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet which vanished on March 8. They are moving ahead with the sub search on the basis of four acoustic signals they believe are from its black box recorders. However, no "pings" have been heard for almost a week.Read more here: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/missing-jet/robotic-submarine-comes-short-first-deep-dive-now-what-n80581

  • (April 15) Today's Top Headlines - A year after the marathon bombings, Boston perseveres

    (CNN) -- "United, we will always persevere." That was the message Massachusetts shared with the nation and the world Tuesday, on the anniversary of twin bombings that turned last year's Boston Marathon from a celebration into a day of horror.The state tweeted those words, along with an image of both the U.S. and Massachusetts flags, and the hashtag #BostonStrong.Mayor Tom Menino, Gov. Deval Patrick and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to echo that message Tuesday afternoon at a tribute marking the anniversary. The Boston Pops and a children's choir will take part.Three survivors are scheduled to speak: Patrick Downes, David Yepez and Adrianne Haslet-Davis. Downes was a newlywed at the time of the attack. He and his wife, Jessica Kensky, each lost a leg.Yepez, a teenager, was injured. He'll be joined at the ceremony by his father, Luis. Haslet-Davis, a dancer, lost her left foot in the attack.Near the end of Tuesday's ceremony, at 2:49 p.m. ET, will be a moment of silence, followed by church bells tolling and a flag-raising ceremony.Read more here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/15/us/boston-marathon-bombing-anniversary/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

  • (April 15) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day

    1. The Post and The Guardian win a Pulitzer for Snowden storiesThe Washington Post and The Guardian were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service for their articles on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, Columbia University announced Monday. The articles resulted in a review of the NSA's mining of telephone and internet communications data, and sparked a debate on balancing privacy rights with the need to thwart terrorists. [The New York Times]………………………………………………………………………………2. Ukraine moves against pro-Russia separatistsUkraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, told the country's lawmakers Tuesday that an "anti-terrorist operation" was underway against pro-Russia separatists occupying state buildings in the eastern Donetsk region. Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said Ukraine was "on the brink of civil war." President Obama, by phone, urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to de-escalate tensions. Putin said he wasn't meddling in Ukraine. [Reuters, The Associated Press]………………………………………………………………………………

  • (April 14) Today's Top Headlines - Ukraine's deadline passes for pro-Russian rebels to surrender

    Pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine on Monday ignored an ultimatum from the Kiev government to leave government buildings as another police headquarters in the region fell to separatists.As the 9am deadline passed with no sign of the protesters leaving barricades in Donetsk or Slaviansk, at least 100 pro-Russian separatists attacked the police headquarters in the eastern city of Horlivka. Video footage shown on Ukrainian television showed ambulance staff said to have been called to treat the injured.Protesters in Slaviansk, which was expected on Monday to be the focus of a broad government "anti-terrorist" operation involving the army, meanwhile issued a bold call for Russian president Vladimir Putin to help them while Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, asked for the deployment of UN peacekeepers.Following the death of a state security officer and the wounding of two others near Slaviansk, Turchynov gave a televised address on Sunday night in which he promised amnesty to those who had not fired at security forces if they laid down their arms and vacated government buildings.In an emergency meeting soon after of the UN security council in New York, Russia described Ukraine's threat to mobilise armed forces as a "criminal order".Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/14/ukraine-deadline-pro-russian-rebels-passes

  • (April 14) Today's Top Headlines - Ebola: A swift, effective and bloody killer

    Conakry, Guinea (CNN) -- It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here.We had just landed in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. In the fields right outside the airport, a young woman was in tears. She started to wail and shout in Susu, one of the 40 languages spoken in this tiny country of 12 million people. The gathered crowd became silent and listened intently.The young man sitting next to me quietly translated, although I already had my suspicions. He told me the woman's husband had died of Ebola, and then quickly ushered us away. It is probably not surprising the airplane bringing us into Conakry was nearly empty, as are all the hotels here. Not many people in the United States have ever visited Guinea, or could even identify where it sits in West Africa. It is already one of the world's poorest countries, and the panic around Ebola is only making that worse.Some of it is justified. That's because this time, the outbreak is different. In the past, Ebola rarely made it out of the remote forested areas of Africa.

  • (April 14) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day

    1. Three die in shootings at Jewish community centers in KansasThree people, including 14-year-old Reat Griffin Underwood and his grandfather William Lewis Corporon, were shot to death at two Jewish community facilities outside Kansas City on Sunday. The suspect — Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller — shouted "Heil Hitler!" as he was arrested. The Southern Poverty Law Center described him as a "raging anti-Semite" with past ties to the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups. [CNN]………………………………………………………………………………2. Bubba Watson takes his second Masters titleBubba Watson won the Masters golf championship on Sunday, surging to a three-shot victory on the final day of the tournament. It was Watson's second Masters win. He won his first green jacket two years ago in his first major tournament victory. He started the day even with Jordan Speith, a 20-year-old Texan who was playing in his first Masters and trying to become the storied tournament's youngest winner ever. [Los Angeles Times]………………………………………………………………………………

  • (April 11) Today's Top Headlines - Deadly crash cuts short hopeful college trip

    (CNN) -- A group of low-income and first-generation prospective college students were the victims of a fiery freeway crash that killed 10, including five youths.It was a trip to open doors and possibilities for the students, but it was cut short by a horrific crash.Three buses -- two from the Los Angeles area and one from the Fresno area -- were en route Thursday evening to Humboldt State University in Arcata when a FedEx truck crossed a median and slammed head-on into one of the buses.The collision killed both drivers, five students and three chaperones, said Lt. Bruce Carpenter with the California Highway Patrol.The crash resulted in a fire that engulfed the truck and bus, spewing black smoke."I went outside, and everything was in flames already," a local resident, Luis Lopez, told CNN affiliate KXTV. "There were a couple of explosions after that."

  • (April 11) Today's Top Headlines - SeaWorld loses appeal against killer-whale occupational safety ruling

    A US appeals court on Friday upheld a federal occupational safety agency's finding against SeaWorld Entertainment Inc, following the workplace death of one of its killer whale trainers.The ruling by the US court of appeals for the District of Columbia circuit could have a major impact on how SeaWorld presents its shows, because it would require increased separation of humans and killer whales.The three-judge panel, split 2-1, held that SeaWorld had violated its duties as an employer by exposing trainers to "recognized hazards" when working with killer whales.A spokesman for SeaWorld, which operates 11 parks around the US, had no immediate comment on the ruling.The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had fined the company $75,000 after trainer Dawn Brancheau died in February 2010. She drowned after being pulled underwater by Tilikum, a 12,000lb bull orca at the SeaWorld site in Orlando, Florida.Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/11/seaworld-loses-appeal-killer-whale-occupational-safety 

  • (April 11) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day

    1. Sebelius resigns as health secretaryKathleen Sebelius is resigning as health secretary after taking heat for months over the troubled ObamaCare website rollout. Sebelius, a former Democratic governor of Kansas, touted the health law as a success after a surge of sign-ups before the open-enrollment period ended March 31. On Friday, President Obama is expected to announced that he is nominating Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to fill the job. [The Associated Press]………………………………………………………………………………2. Stephen Colbert picked to succeed David LettermanComedy Central star Stephen Colbert will take over for David Letterman as the next host of The Late Show, CBS announced Thursday. The handover will take place in 2015, although Letterman has yet to decide the date of his last show. "Simply being a guest on David Letterman's show has been a highlight of my career," Colbert, the 49-year-old host of The Colbert Report, said. "I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps." [CBS Los Angeles]………………………………………………………………………………

  • (April 10) Today's Top Headlines - Many question reason for school stabbing

    (CNN) -- A day after a Pennsylvania student rampaged through his high school's hallways, stabbing wildly with two kitchen knives, hints of a motive remain elusive.Who is 16-year-old Alex Hribal, and what troubled him?Hribal was charged as an adult and faces four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault related to the 21 people he wounded.Some classmates at Franklin Regional Senior High School describe him as having few friends and being quiet, but also as a "really nice kid."Read more at www.cnn.com

  • (April 10) Today's Top Headlines - Colbert to replace Letterman on "The Late Show"

    (CNN) -- Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as host of "The Late Show," CBS announced on Thursday, one week after Letterman told his audience that he would retire sometime in 2015.CBS said Colbert had signed a five-year contract to helm the iconic late-night broadcast.Colbert, 49, has been the host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" since 2005.Will Colbert remain in his Comedy Central character? Apparently not. CBS said "specific creative elements" would be determined and announced at a later date.Colbert has been mentioned as a possible successor to Letterman for years, and his name quickly became a consensus pick after Letterman's retirement announcement on April 3. But the swiftness of the announcement was surprising.CBS said "Colbert's premiere date as host of The Late Show will be announced after Mr. Letterman determines a timetable for his final broadcasts in 2015."

  • (April 10) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day

    1. Pennsylvania student charged with high school stabbingsA 16-year-old boy was accused of stabbing at least 21 people in a rampage at a Murrysville, Pa., high school on Wednesday. Four were in critical condition. Witnesses said the student, Alex Hribal, moved through the hallways with two kitchen knives before being tackled by a security officer and a vice principal. Another student, Nate Scimio, was praised as a hero for sending people fleeing by pulling a fire alarm, and defending a girl before being slashed. [Reuters]………………………………………………………………………………2. Judge shields ex-Christie aides from Bridgegate subpoenasA New Jersey judge ruled Wednesday that two former aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie do not have to comply with subpoenas for records related to the Bridgegate scandal. Some state officials have complied and provided documents, but Christie's former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and his former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, were fighting a demand to turn over information on the allegedly politically motivated bridge-lane closures. [Asbury Park Press]………………………………………………………………………………

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