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Paris Shooting, AirAsia Tail, Alien Earth

The tail of the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 was found Tuesday
The tail of the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 was found Tuesday

Wednesday, January 7, 2014

At least 10 journalists and two policemen were killed after two heavily armed men opened fire at the Paris offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo Wednesday morning. Four other people were seriously wounded in the shooting; the gunmen managed to flee and a large manhunt is now underway in Paris.
"This is a terrorist attack, there is no doubt about this," French President François Hollande told reporters.
The headquarters of the provocative weekly were already firebombed in 2011 after it published cartoons mocking the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Developing

The tail of the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 has been found on the sea bed around 30 kilometers away from the plane’s last known location, an Indonesian search team announced during a press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday. It is a breakthrough that could lead investigators to find the black boxes — located in the tail — and understand what may have lead to the crash. The head of the Indonesian search and rescue agency, Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo, said the plane part was identified by divers after it was spotted by an underwater machine, Reuters reports. Photographs of the wreckage were released Wednesday morning by the authorities.
Flight QZ8501 had vanished from radars over the northern Java Sea on Dec. 28, during a two-hour flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore. Authorities say there are no survivors among the 162 people on board, most of them Indonesian. Another body was also found Wednesday, bringing the total recovered to 40.

A car bomb killed at least 30 people and injured more than 50 outside a police college in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Wednesday. An Al Jazeera journalist on site said the number of casualties is likely to be higher. The blast was heard across the city and a large plume of smoke was visible in the area, located near the defense ministry and the central bank. Yemeni police said the victims included students from the college as well as people waiting to enroll and passers by. No claim for responsibility had yet been made.

To the surprise of many, the family of legendary novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez sold his personal papers to the University of Texas. It's nothing political — but all about posterity, and money of course, writes El Espectador’s Pablo Ximénez de Sandoval: “José Montelongo, Texas University's Librarian for Mexican Studies, says the archive's information on the novelist's self-editing process will be a "treat" for Gabo researchers. Among the papers are a first draft of One Hundred Years of Solitude, the novel that catapulted the writer to fame in 1967, several versions of Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Love in the Time of Cholera, and 10 versions of the unpublished We'll See Each Other in August. The last copy contains corrections, which means he considered it premature to publish.”
Read the full article, How The Garcia Marquez Papers Wound Up In A Texas Library.

Brent crude oil has fallen below $50 a barrel — going as low as a dollar to $49.92 in early trading Wednesday — for the first time since May 2009, The Wall Street Journal reports. Observers also expect prices to drop further as North American shale producers supply increasing quantities of oil and gas, and the oil-producing group Opec is not reacting to support prices, according to Forbes.

Euro zone consumer prices fell by more than expected in December because of much cheaper energy, a first estimate by the European statistical office showed in data that is likely to trigger the European Central Bank's government bond buying program, Reuters reports.


A suicide bombing that killed a policeman in central Istanbul Tuesday has been claimed by the “Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front” (DHKP/C) on social media. The group wrote "our sacrificial fighter... carried out the sacrificial action on the tourist police department in Sultanahmet,” the Turkish daily Hürriyetreports.

Overtaken by the United Kingdom’s GDP, France has dropped from 5th to 6th position in the list of the world’s most powerful economies, Le Figaro reports.


What happened to the Leaning Tower of Pisa on Jan. 7, 1990? Find it out (and much more) in your daily 57-second shot of history.

Astronomers announced during a meeting of the American Astronomical Society Tuesday that a recently discovered planet resembles our Earth more than any other previously identified planet. It is part of eight new planets observed in distant solar systems by Nasa’s Kepler space telescope.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Nuclear Card And Firing Squads: Lukashenko's Long Game To Retain Power

A few weeks after an explosion at a military field in Belarus, Vladimir Putin announced plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. There is a connection, even if Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko is walking a tight rope of domestic control and keeping Putin satisfied.

Image of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko welcoming Russian President Vladimir Putin in his arms.

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko welcoming his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at Minsk National Airport.

Igar Ilyash


Back on the afternoon of February 26, local Belarus media reported explosions at the military airfield in Machulishchy, near Minsk, and increased activity of military services. Soon after, the BYPOL association, created by former security forces to fight the regime of Alexander Lukashenko,, announced that Belarusian partisans had used drones to attack a Russian A-50U long-range radar detection aircraft.

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Neither Minsk nor Moscow acknowledged that such a valuable aircraft had been disabled. However, a few days later, the A-50U left the territory of Belarus for repairs.

The day after the explosions, Lukashenko convened a meeting of the security forces. He looked agitated, demanding "the strictest discipline" and spoke vaguely about some "internal events" and attempts to "stir up" the situation in Belarus. The Belarusian authorities publicly acknowledged the sabotage only on March 7.

That same day, Lukashenko accused the Ukrainian special services of organizing the terrorist attack in Machulishchy. "Well, the challenge has been met," he declared, before quickly clarifying that he did not intend to use the incident to draw Belarus into war. "If you think that throwing this challenge will drag us into a war that is already going on all over Europe, you are mistaken."

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