Chinese professional driver Han Yue takes world records very seriously. The feat of breaking his own parallel parking Guinness World Record was such a big deal, the latest attempts were held at a stadium in front of a massive crowd gathered to watch someone park a Mini Cooper in an unfathomably tight spot. Maybe he could give this poor driver a lesson ... Discuss
Authorities say two Palestinians killed four men during a knife attack in a Jerusalem synagogue. Police responding to the attack on the worshippers shot and killed the men, who were armed with knives, an ax and a handgun. Six others were wounded, including two police officers. The Israeli police department released the identities of the four victims: They were all rabbis; one of them held dual Israeli-British citizenship, and the three others were Israeli-American citizens. Because the attack involved the death of U.S. citizens, the FBI has said it will also join the investigation.
After the attack, police moved into the neighborhood where the attackers had lived, arresting nine people after a clash with residents. The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement on Twitter saying, “We will respond with a heavy hand to the brutal murder of Jews who came to pray and were met by reprehensible murderers.” Though they did not claim responsibility for the synagogue attack, Hamas has said it was retaliation for the recent death of a Palestinian bus driver who, as CNN explains, died “under disputed circumstances.” In a statement, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Our hearts go out to all Israelis,” adding, “People who had come to worship God in the sanctuary of a synagogue were hatched and hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder” ... Discuss
This weekend, ISIS released yet another graphic hostage video, this time showing that American aid worker Peter Kassig had been beheaded. The video reportedly does not show the actual execution, but instead features the same masked terrorist with a British accent—that is a fixture of other recent videos showing the executions of Western hostages—holding up Kassig’s severed head. Also unlike the other videos, Kassig’s is not seen making a statement. Instead, the ISIS member says, “His previous cellmates have already spoken on his behalf.” In previous video, the brutal killings were said to be retaliations for air strikes against ISIS.
Kassig was a former a Army Ranger who began charity work delivering food and medical supplies to refugees in Syria after being honorably discharged from the military. He was abducted by ISIS last fall. While being held captive, Kassig converted to Islam, and took the name Abdul-Rahman Kassig. In a statement, President Obama offered “prayers and condolences” to his family and parents, calling the execution “pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity." In their own statement, his family asked that the video not be distributed by the media, saying, “We prefer our son is written about and remembered for his important work and the love he shared with friends and family, not in the manner the hostage-takers would use to manipulate Americans and further their cause” ... Discuss
Imagine a not-so-distant future, where Hershey Kisses are used in place of large-denomination currency bills. Where only royalty will be able to enjoy the sweet, smooth refreshment of a York Peppermint Patty. Where Nestle’s 100 Grand Bar will become its own ironic self-fulfilling prophecy. That nightmare is upon us. According to a new report, global chocolate makers have said that demand for cocoa is becoming so high, that it will outpace the ability to supply it by the year 2020.
From The Washington Post: “Last year, the world ate roughly 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced.” As a former Mars executive explained, environmental (including a crop disease) and economic pressures on farms producing cocoa is “just not sustainable.” The massive demand on cocoa shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to the industry however. As The Independent notes, back in 2010 the Nature Conservation Research Council predicted “in 20 years, chocolate will be like caviar … It will become so rare and expensive that the average Joe just won’t be able to afford it" .... Discuss
The mayor of Iguala—the town in Mexico where 43 student protestors disappeared in September—has been formally charged. Prosecutors charged Jose Luis Abarca with “aggravated homicide against six people” and “attempted murder of others.” It’s the latest development in a truly gruesome story.
The group of college students was apprehended by police on Sept. 26 while on their way to demonstrate at a speech being made by the mayors wife. Six were killed in the confrontation, and the rest were handed to over members of a drug gang. Since then, several of the suspected gang confessed of massacring the dozens of student teachers. Police have said that they have recovered some of the burned remains of the students ... Discuss
According to a report from the Associated Press, the Islamic militant groups ISIS and al Qaeda have formed an alliance, agreeing to stop fighting one another in order to focus on mutual enemies in Syria. At one point earlier in the war, al Qaeda disassociated themselves from ISIS, insinuating that their brutal tactics were even too radical for the terrorist organization. The agreement between the two groups creates a new challenge for the coalition being led by the U.S., who are assisting moderate rebels on the ground in Syria. From the AP: “Those rebels, already considered relatively weak and disorganized, would face far stronger opposition if the two heavy-hitting militant groups now are working together.” However, experts did caution that such an agreement is a fragile one, and the two “rival groups” are unlikely to formally merge ... Discuss