April 3, 2009

North Korea launch imminent

Per Sky News, Pyongyang's official news agency has announced that preparations are complete and it will launch a satellite "soon." The move would be in defiance of international calls for resistance in recent days.

Voice of America foreign correspondent Steven Herman (@W7VOA) is reporting via Twitter that the launch could happen at any minute, as 2:00 GMT (the current time as of this post) opens a window North Korean officials have given for it.

The latest reports have heightened the fears of Japanese Twitterers:

  1. Pete Leong
    prophotopete (Japan) Apparently North Korea has a bloody missile aimed in our direction and are getting ready to launch it soon. Any news in the US?
  2. 後藤康之
    dialogjapan (Tokyo, Japan) North Korea says to rocket launch imminent. Is it a missile to Japan ? so much afraid that if it hits anywhere in Japan. http://news.go ...
  3. Jeff Chapman
    japchap (Japan) North Korea's supposedly launching their "satellite" into orbit... or is it really a satellite? Crazy dictators stirring the pot...
  4. ❤M!CKS™❤
    mickstokyo (Tokyo, Japan) scared of north korea's rocket!!!!
  5. Takashi Shitamichi
    shita (Yokohima, Japan) North Korea is ready....


Featured TwitPic: Antelope Canyon in Arizona, U.S.A.

"More Antelope Canyon from today" (Posted by @kristenwestlake, Arizona, April 3, 2009" Find more of her pictures here.


13 dead in Binghamton, N.Y. shooting

Per the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, a gunman killed at least 12 people after a hostage situation inside the American Civic Association in Binghamton, N.Y., on Friday afternoon.

CNN is reporting that the death count raised to 13, but it is not clear if the gunman is included in that toll.

The Press & Sun-Bulletin's official Twitter account provided the first tweets on the news.

  1. pressconnects
    pressconnects Gunshots fired at Amer. Civic Association downtown Binghamton. Possible hostage situation. 2 people injured. Call press with updates.
  2. pressconnects
    pressconnects Call out for 8 ambulances at American Civic Association shooting.

Tweets in Binghamton and its suburbs painted a picture of the impact on local residents.

  1. taliagirl
    taliagirl (Binghamton, N.Y.) I live a two streets away from the shooting and I keep hearing ambulances go by. I pray that nobody will be killed from this hold off.
  2. Eric Adler
    eric_adler (Binghamton, N.Y.) At my desk. Apparently there's an active shooting situation in downtown #binghamton
  3. Brett Martin
    pcmofo (Johnson City, N.Y.) Wow Binghamton is going crazy. They are bringing a few people from the shooting to the hospital where I work. Lots of conflicting reports.
  4. Ryan Smith
    smithryanp (Binghamton, N.Y.) great...there is a shooting down the street from my house. Some nut case went crazy. Just turn on MSNBC to see lovely Binghamton, NY
  5. Marcia Grippen
    sudsinhereyes (Binghamton, N.Y.) BU sent out alert saying "Avoid area of Main and Front St due to shooting. Campus and Downtown Center are secure."


Berlusconi upsets the Queen

Per Times Online, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has made Queen Elizabeth a YouTube hit after a photo opportunity at the G20 Summit yesterday. On camera Berlusconi can be heard calling out to United States President Barack Obama and the Queen can be heard saying, "Why does he have to shout?" This has caused outrage in Italy as newspapers are calling Berlusconi out on being an embarrassment to the country.

The Twitterverse is buzzing about what happened:

  1. Telegraph Politics
    TelegraphPoliti (London, England) Queen shows up Silvio Berlusconi - how on earth did he end up in charge of a great country? http://tinyurl.com/cc4wcp
  2. Cleo Walpole
    CleoWalpole (England) Ha, Queen tells off italian president Mr Berlusconi - "Why do you have to shout?" Go Queeny, you tell 'em!! http://tinyurl.com/c4a7dj
  3. Kevin Atkinson
    kevatkinson (England) @ronniewilson Good morning (afternoon here) not much happening, except the Queen (of England) is a little miffed at Berlusconi (Italian PM)
  4. Helô Vieira
    helovieira (Brazil) what can I say about a guy who yells and scary the England queen? Berlusconi, I missed you at the news in the last months.
  5. GiordanoContestabile
    giordanobc (Shanghai, China) Hilarious:Berlusconi makes noises calling Obama,Queen Elizabeth chastises him. He's the best http://tinyurl.com/d72452
  6. Leisure In Rome
    Leisure_In_Rome (Rome, Italy) Buongiorno! Good old Berlusconi always brings a smile to my day.........go Queen!!! http://tinyurl.com/c6pyz3
  7. macleans
    macleans (Location not listed) Video of the Queen jokingly reprimanding Berlusconi a YouTube hit http://tinyurl.com/dcynb5


NATO summit underway in France

Le Monde reports that the NATO summit has started in Strasbourg with 300 protesters arrested after clashes with police. The summit marks NATO's 60th anniversary. The BBC has a look at U.S. President Barack Obama's early remarks, as he gives a 'town hall' style meeting in Strasbourg and holds talks with his French and German counterparts who are co-hosting the Summit.

In sidebar stories, Agence France Presse (AFP) report that Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni (wives of the US and French Presidents, respectively) bring "star power" to the summit. And The Telegraph profiles the French chef who will be cooking dinner for NATO leaders.

Twitterers in Strasbourg - residents and summit visitors - are writing about their experiences:

  1. CND
    CNDuk (U.K.) Strasbourg swarming with police. Makes London during the #g20 look calm. Tram network suspended but making our way to #NATO counter-summit
  2. lOlA2luxe
    lOlA2luxe (France & Luxembourg) Strasbourg Otan : Michelle Obama embrasse spontanément Sarkozy mais Barack Obama garde ses distances avec Carla !!! (NATO Strasbourg: Michelle Obama spontaneously embraces Sarkozy but Barack Obama keeps his distance from Carla !!!)
  3. María Ramírez
    mr2157 (Brussels) A pie al centro de Prensa. Tráfico bloqueado hasta para buses de Otan! (On foot heading to the press center. Traffic is blocked by NATO busses!)
  4. Joel Kociolek
    lejoko (Strasbourg, France) #otan #sxb le balais des helicos au ras des maisons continu zone PMC http://twitpic.com/2rcys (Helicopters continue to buzz the rooftops near the security zone)


Madonna loses second adoption bid

Per AfricaNews, Malawi’s High Court has barred U.S. pop singer Madonna from adopting a second child, Mercy James. The court said there was no proof that the girl’s orphanage -Tikondane - was not keeping her well to warrant her adoption into a foreign country.

This is seen as a major blow to the singer who made headlines worldwide with the case. How do Madonna’s tweeter fans worldwide feel about this latest development:

  1. Dana Edwards
    danaluv judge turns down Madonna's adoption petition for 2 y o Malawi girl..
  2. Erinn A. Fitzpatrick
    zeropointseven Madonna's adoption...rejected! take cover, citizens of Malawi. this can't end well.
  3. Mel SHaw
    designerdiva65 Is kinda feeling sad for Madonna being denied adoption in Malawi. Especially after she had that party planned n everything!!!
  4. Top Gossip
    TopGossip Gossip Girls >> Madonna: Denied Adoption in Malawi: She tried her best to adopt a second ch.. http://tinyurl.com/cdkp6l
  5. Alan Tecktiel
    alanteck is sad that his Malawi adoption fell through. I was really convinced that Madonna would be a great mother for me.

Also, major news sources used Twitter to break the news:

  1. africanews.com
    africanewsfeed Malawi: Madonna loses adoption case: Malawi's High Court has stopped US sensational pop singer Madonna from adop.. http://tinyurl.com/db3tkl
  2. AllAfrica
  3. Le Post
    LePost Madonna: le Malawi dit non à une deuxième adoption: Pourtant, la star, déjà maman de David, un petit malawite, é.. http://tinyurl.com/cldnuu
  4. eyewitnessabc7
    eyewitnessabc7 Malawi rejects Madonna's adoption bid: A judge has rejected Madonna's request to adopt a second child from Malawi. http://tinyurl.com/dbmn7l
  5. afra_news
    afra_news Malawi Rejects Madonna Adoption: Malawi Rejects Madonna Adoption By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: April 3, 200.. http://tinyurl.com/dghtmx
  6. Euro news 24


Australia signals UN Aboriginal rights acknowledgment

Per Brisbane Times, the Australian Government has signaled its support for a United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous people. The declaration was adopted by the UN in 2007 but Australia - along with the US, Canada and New Zealand - voted against it.

Sky News Australia reports that a prominent Aboriginal politician has called for the Australian Government to back up its support for the UN declaration with more action to improve the health of Aboriginal people.

Meanwhile, Australian ABC's The World Today program quotes another Aboriginal leader saying Government support for the UN charter is purely symbolic, and that Aboriginal people in Australia still lack a lot of basic human rights.

Here's what some Twitter users have been saying:

  1. Jack H Smit
    ProjectSafeCom (Fremantle, Australia) @SkyNewsAust - If the government has any self-respect, it now should move towards a Treaty with Aboriginal peoples!
  2. sciculturist
    sciculturist (Undisclosed) @appfrica i hear you. finally Australian govt recognises the Aboriginal people's rights. keen to see implementation
  3. appfrica
    appfrica (Kampala, Uganda) @sciculturist I have friend who fights for Aboriginal rights in Australia within the gov there. This is a big victory for them, bt lots 2 do

Meanwhile many Australian news sources have been using Twitter to highlight other Aborginal stories hitting the headlines Down Under:

  1. The Age
    theage (Melbourne, Australia) Aboriginal kids 'played with asbestos' http://tinyurl.com/crjqqj
  2. Live_NewsAU
    Live_NewsAU (Sydney, Australia) Not saying sorry a mistake - Abbott: THE Howard Government's failure to apologise to Aboriginal people was "a mi.. http://tinyurl.com/chonps
  3. The West Australian
    thewest_com_au (Perth, Australia) Protesters express outrage at death of Aboriginal elder. http://tinyurl.com/cov55k
  4. alf welch
    whitsundays (Queensland, Australia) Queensland Facts.
    Prior to non-indigenous settlement, it is estimated that there were more than 90 indigenous languages in Queensland.