Back in 2000, Oklahoma had a total of 29 earthquakes, all with relatively low magnitudes. In 2014, there were more than 5,400 earthquakes in the state, hundreds of them with a magnitude of 3 or above. According to a recent report released by the United States Geological Survey, Oklahoma is just one of eight states identified in the report (also Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas) where earthquakes are becoming increasingly common, at least partially because of oil and gas drilling practices. Oil drillers often inject polluted wastewater deep underground, which researchers say increases stress on fault lines and can trigger earthquakes. On Monday, the Oklahoma government acknowledged the increasing danger of man-made earthquakes and said the state will take action to prepare for the quakes, which could do considerable damage since the state’s building codes aren’t as strict as those in states like California, where earthquakes have long been regular occurrences. Many of the states affected by human-caused earthquakes have acknowledged the phenomenon, but, as The New York Times notes, “state regulators around the country have not gone as far in controlling industry practices as environmental groups have asked, and there is little sign that the new federal findings will goad them to go farther.” You can read the full report on the USGS website ... Discuss
Officials in New York have evacuated Ellis Island, Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty. There have been reports of some sort of suspicious package being found in a locker, as well as a telephoned bomb threat. A bomb squad has been dispatched to the area ... Discuss
Local media outlets in Palm Beach, Florida have obtained a disturbing video which shows a police officer shooting an unarmed black man. The incident occurred in 2013, and the video was just released as part of a lawsuit facing the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. The dashcam video shows Dontrell Stephens riding his bike, talking on his cell phone, as an officer begins following him. As the officer pulls over, Stephens is seen getting off his bike and walking briefly out of frame. Seconds later, he is shot multiple times. Stephens was paralyzed from the waist down in the shooting.
Florida’s WPTV reports that a conversation between the deputy who shot him and another officer was also recorded. The officer who opened fire says, “He starts backing away. I said, ‘Get on the ground, get on the ground,” to which the other officer replies, “I got your back man. I got your back. Hey, you hear me?” An attorney for Stephens told the TV station, “There are no records of any commands ever made to Dontrell Stephens. The deputy's recorded statements following the shooting were absolutely false. Internal affairs completely ignored that evidence.” No commands can be heard in the video. The officer was cleared to go back on duty just days later. At the time, police said Stephens, who had previous drug arrests, had marijuana on him ... Discuss
Italian police have arrested 18 people who were allegedly part of a terrorist network with connections to al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. Authorities say the group, which had been working from the island of Sardinia since 2005, had been part of several terrorist attacks in Pakistan, including a 2009 bombing that killed over 100 people. They also said the group had planned to take down the Pakistani government and planned a 2010 attack on Pope Benedict that never got carried out. The members of the network were Pakistani and Afghan nationals, some of whom are believed to have been former bodyguards for Osama Bin Laden. “"In a wiretapped conversation, one of them ... boasted that Bin Laden sent him personally to Italy," a police official leading the raids told NBC News. "We believe they were in touch with people who knew the whereabouts of Bin Laden” ... Discuss
Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow recently signed a contract to be a back-up quarterback with the Philadelphia Eagles, and a local bakery is giving him the ultimate welcome present: His own pretzel. The Philly Pretzel Factory recently unveiled the signature snack, which is shaped like the devout quarterback’s one-knee prayer position he’s known to take on the sidelines. Of course, Tebow is one of the country’s most polarizing athletes (he last played in the NFL during the 2013 preseason), so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that another baker has created an anti-Tebow pretzel. Welcome to Philadelphia ... Discuss
His role in the upcoming movie Jurassic World may have made Chris Pratt a Velociraptor whisperer, but when it comes to actual dinosaur knowledge, Pratt may have just met his match. The movie star squared off with Noah Ritter—the kid from the "Apparently" viral video. Not only is young Noah apparently a dino expert, he’s also a world-class trash talker ... Discuss