The national overview: volume II

Turkish Terrorist Attack Occurs Uncomfortably Close to U.S. Embassy

Early on Friday morning a suicide bomber in the Turkish capital of Ankara detonated an explosive device right outside a U.S. embassy, killing himself and one Turkish national. Officials believe the attack was carried out by either an agent of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda or operative of Iran, though investigators are still unsure. This attack comes roughly five months after another international incident involving a U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, where 4 people including the ambassador J. Christopher Stevens were killed and 10 more injured. This, along with other recent terrorist attacks in the African country of Mali, seems to indicate growing terrorist activity in the midwest region. The U.S. State Department is collaborating with the Turkish government in the investigation of the attack but as of yet no conclusive evidence on the alignment of the bomber has turned up.

Country Recognizes the 10th anniversary of the Columbia Disaster

Friday, February 1st marks the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the space shuttle Columbia upon re-entry into the atmosphere, breaking apart after a 16 day orbit around the planet. This disaster occurred fairly close to the anniversaries of two other prominent accidents in NASA’s history: the explosion of the challenger space shuttle on January 28th 1986 and the fire on Apollo I on January 27th 1967. Controllers directing Columbia on the ground lost contact around 8:59 a.m., only 15 minutes before it had been expected to land, bursting into pieces a few minutes later. Investigation of the crash discovered the shuttle’s fate was fairly sealed from the start, noting the absence of a key piece of insulated foam meant to protect the external fuel tank and a crack in a panel on the left wing thought to be caused by the foam smashing into it. The crack allowed superheated gas to seep in which caused the shuttle to lose control and break apart before it could completely re-enter the atmosphere. Commemorations for the disaster will be held by both NASA and some of the towns where debris from the shuttle rained down upon.

Chimpanzees get a Break: Growing Movement Away From Animal Testing

About 360 chimpanzees involved in scientific research might soon be removed from testing and taken to sanctuaries across the U.S. A group under the direction of the National Institutes of Health or NIH issued a report calling for the retirement of a large percentage of these chimps on the grounds that research using these animals is not as fruitful nor as necessary as it used to be. “It’s not that the chimpanzee is not itself a valuable animal,” said K.C. Kent Lloyd, co-chairmen of the group working for their release, but new technologies and non-animal systems have “shown to address questions that we before may have only been able to address for chimpanzees.” A 60-day period where both public and professional personnel may weigh in on the subject is under way, whereupon conclusion the NIH Director Francis Collins will decide whether or not to accept the report.

Convicted Murderer Accidently Released in Chicago

Friday morning Steven Robbins, a 44 year-old convicted of murder in Indianapolis was released from custody under unknown pretense after a court hearing for unrelated criminal charges. The charges in question were dropped and Robbins was to be returned to continue serving out his 60-year sentence when “for reasons yet unknown” commented the Indiana Department of Correction, he was released by Illinois authorities into Chicago where the hearing was located. Local police are assisting in the search for the convict and in determining how exactly the incident occurred, but as of yet they report nothing has been found.

Prosecutor Shot Down Outside His Office

Prosecutor Mark Hasse was found right outside his office in Kaufman, Texas after a brief conversation with an unknown person resulted in him being shot several times and left on the pavement. “It was apparent that he was not expecting to have anything happen.” said police chief Chris Aulbaugh, as “he was on his way to his office.” Officials are investigating into whether or not he had been killed as revenge for his many prosecutions over the years, but as of yet have not discovered a motive or suspect.