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  • Obama Orders Review of Programs That Allow Police to Purchase Military Equipment
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 5:38 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (117)

    President Barack Obama has ordered a review of programs that clear the way for state and local police to purchase military equipment, CNN reported, citing a senior administration official.

    The review follows criticism of the use of force by police during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown earlier this month.

    Demonstrators speak to Capt. Ronald Johnson (in blue uniform) of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who was appointed by the governor to take control of security operations in the city of Ferguson after the shooting death of Michael Brown, on August 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Image source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    The review, CNN said, will focus on:

    • Whether such programs and funding are appropriate;
    • Whether state and local enforcement agencies have the necessary training and guidance after getting such equipment;
    • Whether the federal government is sufficiently auditing the use of equipment obtained through federal programs and funding.
    Police wearing riot gear walk toward a man with his hands raised Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Police wearing riot gear walk toward a man with his hands raised Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    CNN, citing the official, reported that White House staff — including members of the Domestic Policy Council, the National Security Council and the Office of Management and Budget — will lead the review in coordination with Congress.

    The following clip accompanied the CNN story:

  • 20-Year-Old Man Fleeing Police May Never Live Down the Way He Was Captured
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 5:02 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (47)

    Becky Powell was in a moving car when she saw a man running from police officers in Richland, Washington.

    Powell, 40, told her husband to speed ahead of the fleeing man — who turned out to be half her age.

    Image source: AP

    Image source: AP

    “I told my husband (the cop) is never going to catch him,” Powell, a bartender, told the Tri-City Herald.

    Then — while the car was still moving, the Herald noted — she got out to confront him.

    “I got into a football stance and said, ‘You’re going to stay here,’ ” Powell told the Herald. “He stiff-armed me and I just wrapped him up and threw him on the ground.”

    Not only that — when she tackled the man, Powell grabbed his shorts and underwear, exposing his rear end as they fell, the paper added.

    She got help pinning the man down…and then the big payoff: “I whispered in his ear, ‘How does it feel to be taken down by a mother of five and a grandmother of three?’” Powell told the Herald.

    She even got a high-five from an officer after her citizen’s arrest Wednesday, the Herald noted.

    Richland police Capt. Mike Cobb said police appreciated Powell’s actions but warned people not to get involved in police matters. 

    The 20-year-old man Powell tackled, Joseph Lewis Fry, told police he ran because he had an outstanding warrant, Cobb told the Herald, adding that he was jailed on suspicion of obstructing a police officer.

    The Associated Press contributed to this story.

  • Man Dies After He Was Shot Multiple Times at Rap Concert
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 4:18 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (119)

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (TheBlaze/AP) — A 38-year-old man died Saturday after being shot multiple times backstage during a rap concert, authorities said.

    The shooting occurred at Shoreline Amphitheatre where Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa, Atlanta hip hop artist Jeezy and others had finished performing Friday night. The victim, whose name was not immediately released, died at a hospital.

    Wiz Khalifa performs during the Under the Influence of Music Tour at Shoreline Amphitheatre on August 22, 2014 in Mountain View, California. (Image source: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

    Police rushed to the outdoor venue after receiving multiple calls that shots had been fired but no arrests have been made. Officers were still looking for a male suspect believed to be in his 20s and armed with a handgun — described as a black pistol with a large magazine, KTVU-TV reported, citing Mountain View police.

    Investigators asked concertgoers for photos or videos that might provide clues.

    Authorities don’t yet know how a gun made it into the amphitheater, where patrons undergo security screening, Mountain View police spokeswoman Shino Tanaka told the station.

    Wiz Khalifa was scheduled to continue his Under the Influence of Music Tour at Sleep Train Amphitheater in Chula Vista, California, on Saturday night, but the show was canceled, according to a recorded message by the venue that did not give a reason.

    He has another concert scheduled Sunday in Irvine, California.

    The rapper has been in the news for offstage incidents of late. The BBC reported that a warrant was issued for his arrest in earlier this month after he failed to appear at a scheduled hearing in Texas over a 2013 misdemeanor arrest for possession of marijuana. E! News noted that Khalifa opted for an appearance on ”The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” instead.

    This story has been updated.

  • Russian Aid Trucks Leave Ukraine; Highlight Dire Needs
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 3:46 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (10)

    Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

    DONETSK, Russia (AP) — Hundreds of Russian aid trucks returned home from rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Saturday, highlighting a dire need for long-term assistance to the region where homes and livelihoods have been destroyed by months of fighting.

    Ahead of a much-anticipated meeting on Tuesday between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks in Kiev with Ukrainian officials and expressed hope for a peaceful solution to the conflict that has claimed more than 2,000 lives.

    Russia unilaterally sent hundreds of aid trucks into Ukraine through a rebel-held border point Friday, saying it had lost patience with Ukraine’s delaying tactics, a move that Ukraine promptly described as an invasion.

    Trucks marked as being from a bitterly disputed Russian aid convoy to Ukraine stand in line as they return to Russia on the border post at Izvaryne, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. (Image source: AP/Sergei Grits)

    By mid-afternoon Saturday, all the vehicles had returned to Russia, Paul Picard of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe told reporters in the Russian town of Donetsk. A Russian emergency official said 227 vehicles had taken part.

    An AP reporter on the Ukrainian side of the border was able to look inside about 40 of the white-tarpaulined tractor-trailers and confirmed they were empty. Russia said the trucks carried only food, water, generators and sleeping bags to the hard-hit rebel stronghold of Luhansk.

    Ukraine and others — including the U.S., the European Union and NATO — denounced the Russian move as a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. Kiev and Western countries also suggested the convoy could be used to smuggle supplies and reinforcements to pro-Russian separatists fighting the government.

    It remained unclear, however, what the Russian convoy had actually delivered, since it only arrived late Friday afternoon. Unloading all those trucks in just a few hours in a war-battered region represents a sizeable task. AP journalists following the convoy said rattling sounds Friday indicated some of the trucks were not fully loaded.

    In those towns and cities recaptured by Ukrainian forces from the rebels, the need for something more long-term than a one-time delivery of food and water is glaring. Assistance has been trickling in from the government and international donors, but it is still not enough to help rebuild livelihoods destroyed by war.

    Residents in the city of Slovyansk, which endured a weekslong siege before the rebels left town in July, were caught between government forces and the separatists for several months and are now largely left on their own after devastating artillery strikes.

    Trucks marked as being from a bitterly disputed Russian aid convoy to Ukraine return to Russia as people wait to enter Ukraine at the border post at Izvaryne, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. (Image source: AP/Sergei Grits)

    Valerie Amos, who oversees U.N. emergency assistance programs, visited Slovyansk on Saturday to inspect aid efforts there.

    “This is particularly difficult in some areas in the eastern part of the country where there is ongoing fighting,” Amos told The Associated Press.

    Rebels have rejected overtures by authorities to provide territory under their control with much-needed aid.

    Rows of burned-out houses on the northern fringes of Slovyansk stood as a reminder of the impact of the fighting. Owners could be seen Saturday clearing out the debris from their partially damaged or totally charred homes. Few seem confident they will be able to repair their houses anytime soon.

    Yevgeny Bezkorovainy, an unemployed 25-year-old resident of Slovyansk, said his household didn’t have enough money to repair their shrapnel-scarred roof.

    “Somebody said they would help, but it has been two months already, but what help do we see? Everybody is building now off their own back,” he said.

    People offload Russian humanitarian aid goods from a truck in Lugansk, on August 23, 2014. All of the trucks in Moscow’s controversial aid shipment to rebel-held parts of Ukraine returned to Russia on August 23, OSCE monitors said. Kiev had accused Russia of invading Ukraine, while the West warned that the move could lead to an escalation in the four-month conflict. (Image source: AFP/Stringer/Getty Images)

    One of the countries pledging aid to Ukraine is Germany. Chancellor Merkel held talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev on Saturday and promised 500 million euros ($660 million) in loan guarantees to support private investment in infrastructure and schools in war-struck areas.

    Merkel urged a political solution to the crisis three days before Poroshenko will be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk in their first encounter since June. Merkel said she was looking forward to the outcome of those talks and expressed “hope that at least a step forward will be reached there.”

    Poroshenko said Ukraine is anxious to bring peace as soon as possible and solve the conflict by negotiations, but “not at the expense of sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine.”

    Asked what message he intended to convey to Putin, Poroshenko said “take away your armed people from our territory and I can promise peace will come to Ukraine very soon.”

    A driver of a Russian lorry part of a humanitarian aid convoy inspects the aftermath of a shelling in Lugansk, on August 23, 2014. (Image source: AFP/Stringer/Getty Images)

    Ukraine has retaken control of much of its eastern territory bordering Russia in the last few weeks, but fierce fighting for the rebel-held cities of Donetsk and Luhansk persists.

    In Ukraine’s Donetsk, the largest city under rebel control, residents reported artillery strikes throughout Friday night and Saturday. The mayor’s office said six people were killed, including two who had been waiting for a bus and three others in an artillery strike on their apartment building.

    The stadium of Ukrainian soccer champion Shakhtar Donetsk, a city landmark that had hosted games for the 2012 European championships, was damaged by shelling Saturday.

    Unrest in eastern Ukraine began in mid-April, one month after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. The United Nations says more than 2,000 people have been killed and 340,000 forced to flee their homes during the fighting.

    ___

    Leonard reported from Slovyansk, Ukraine; Nataliya Vasilyeva in Kiev, Mstyslav Chernov in Izvaryne, Jim Heintz in Moscow and Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.

  • Libyan Islamist Fighters Say They Have Overrun Tripoli International Airport: Reports
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 2:45 pm by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (68)

    Libyan Islamist fighters announced Saturday that they captured Tripoli International Airport after more than a week of fighting with nationalist army men, the Agence France-Presse reported.

    According to the AFP, a statement played on television said that “Fajr Libya announced that it totally controls Tripoli International Airport.” That report was verified by Al Arabiya News.

    Earlier this week, black smoke was seen rising from the strategic site as ongoing fighting continued in the region.

    Black smoke is seen in the area of Tripoli’s international airport, on August 20, 2014. Regular thuds from rival militias’ battles near Tripoli airport have become part of daily life for the Libyan capital’s residents, busy coping with power cuts and petrol shortages. (AFP/Getty Images)

    Images posted on social media appeared to show the Islamists taking control of the airport Saturday, but the authenticity of the photos could not be independently verified by TheBlaze.

    The strategic location has been closed since July 13 because of ongoing fighting, the AFP reported.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • Will This U.S. City Be the Site of the Next Big Terror Attack?
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm by Zach Noble

    Comments (110)

    Is Sin City Al Qaeda’s next target?

    Police have confirmed that Las Vegas is listed as a top target in an Al Qaeda publication, KVVU-TV reported.

    image

    Las Vegas (Image via JH Images / flickr)

    The publication, “Palestine,” lists nightclubs and casinos as prime targets for terror bombings.

    FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

    Doron Benbenisty, the owner of Counter Terrorism Training School, said Las Vegas makes sense as a terror target.

    “The population is very dense,” Benbenisty told KVVU. ”The Strip is the lifeline of the city, they know. What’s the purpose of terrorists, besides killing people? It’s disrupting our way of life.”

    The appropriate response: preparedness, not panic.

    “Preparing, being proactive, that’s the key role that needs to be played to prevent that,” Benbenisty said.

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • Israeli Airstrike Demolishes 12-Story Apartment Tower
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 1:43 pm by Zach Noble

    Comments (90)

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Witnesses say an Israeli airstrike has collapsed a 12-story apartment tower in central Gaza City.

    Gaza police say Israeli aircraft fired a warning missile at the roof of the tower at dusk Saturday, followed five minutes later by two missiles with explosives.

    Smoke rises after an Israeli strike hits Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

    The blast sent a huge ball of fire and a black cloud of smoke into the air. The explosions shook neighboring buildings.

    Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra says at least 10 people, including four children, were wounded.

    This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

  • When a Biker With a GoPro Encounters This Young Animal You Can’t Blame Him for Swearing
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm by Zach Noble

    Comments (46)

    He said what many of us would have thought in his position.

    A video posted to YouTube Thursday shows the moment when a biker, speeding down a wooded trail, comes face to backside with a bear cub.

    (Content warning: video contains strong language, and a bear cub)

    The biker apologized for his reaction in the video description, writing, “Just ran into a bear while biking sorry for the language I was sorta scared.”

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • Gay People Are Becoming Widely Accepted in American Society. That’s Turning Out to Be a Problem for a Certain Type of Establishment.
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm by Associated Press

    Comments (442)

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gay bathhouses that once remained in the shadows to stay in business are now seeking attention to keep their doors open.

    This July 30, 2014 photo shows the doors to private rooms at the North Hollywood Spa in Los Angeles. Gay bathhouses that once were shut down by laws or public outcry are facing a new pressure: lack of interest. A generation ago, bathhouses thrived at society’s fringes, offering a discreet haven for friends and lovers to meet. Now, as homosexuality heads mainstream and hooking up is done online, competition means change for bathhouses. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

    Some are doing aggressive online advertising and community outreach. Others tout their upscale amenities like plush towels and marble baths. A bathhouse in Ohio has even added hotel rooms and a nightclub.

    Gone are the days when bathhouses drew crowds just by offering a discreet place for gays to meet, share saunas and, often, have sex.

    “The acceptance of gays has changed the whole world. It’s taken away the need to sneak into back-alley places,” said Dennis Holding, 75, who owns a Miami-based bathhouse.

    This July 30, 2014 photo shows the entrance to the North Hollywood Spa in Los Angeles. Gay bathhouses that once were shut down by laws or public outcry are facing a new pressure: lack of interest. A generation ago, bathhouses thrived at society’s fringes, offering a discreet haven for friends and lovers to meet. To draw in customers, owners are rebranding clubs as open and upscale: renovating facilities, marketing on social media, and adding Wi-Fi, house DJs and meet-and-greets with adult film stars. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

    In the heyday of bathhouses in the late 1970s, there were nearly 200 gay bathhouses in cities across the U.S., but by 1990, the total had dropped to approximately 90, according to Damron, the publisher of an annual gay travel guide. In the last decade, bathhouses, including ones in San Diego, Syracuse, Seattle and San Antonio, have shut down and the total nationwide is less than 70. Most patrons are older.

    Hollywood Spa — one of the largest bathhouses in Los Angeles, a city regarded as the country’s bathhouse capital — closed in April. Owner Peter D. Sykes said fewer customers and rising rent put an end to four decades in business.

    “Bathhouses were like dirty bookstores and parks: a venue to meet people,” said Sykes, who still owns the smaller North Hollywood Spa. “Today, you can go to the supermarket.”

    This July 30, 2014 photo, North Hollywood Spa owner Peter Sykes tours his North Hollywood business in Los Angeles. Gay bathhouses that once were shut down by laws or public outcry are facing a new pressure: lack of interest. A generation ago, bathhouses thrived at society’s fringes, offering a discreet haven for friends and lovers to meet. Now, as homosexuality heads mainstream and hooking up is done online, competition means change for bathhouses. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

    Bathhouses date to the Roman Empire. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, American bathhouses were built in many cities to maintain public hygiene among poor and immigrant communities. Chicago and Manhattan each had about 20 public bathhouses.

    But the need for public places to wash up declined and by the 1950s and ’60s, bathhouses largely had become rendezvous spots for gays, prompting occasional raids because sodomy was still criminalized.

    Privately run, gay-owned bathhouses proliferated in the 1970s, offering a haven for gay and bisexual men to meet. Clubs like New York City’s Continental bathhouse and Los Angeles’ 8709 Club saw a steady stream of patrons.

    Each venue was operated like a speakeasy: a nondescript building often located in the urban fringe. In-house entertainment was common, from DJs to live performers. Bette Midler even launched her career from the stage of the Continental.

    Amid the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, bathhouses were vilified for enabling promiscuity and helping spread the disease, and many either closed voluntarily or by legal pressure. Those that remained were stigmatized, and now many younger gays see them as anachronisms.

    “The younger generation’s main fear is that it’s some dark, seedy place,” said T.J. Nibbio, the executive director of the North American Bathhouse Association. NABA formed two years ago for bathhouse owners to pool best practices for marketing and operations.

    To attract younger patrons, some bathhouses offer steep discounts, cutting admission by as much as 60 percent. At the three-story Midtowne Spa in downtown Los Angeles, 18- to 20-year-olds get in for $5 any time. On Tuesdays, Los Angeles’ Melrose Spa lets those 18 to 25 in for free, a deal that brought 22-year-old Brett Sparks on a recent midweek visit.

    “You’re either hooking up online or you are here, or you go to bars in West Hollywood, get drunk and hook up,” said Sparks, acknowledging that although the bathhouse crowd skews older, it’s not as risky as going home with a stranger. “Here it’s a safer environment — there’s condoms and other protection.”

    The CEO of Ohio-based Flex Spas, Todd Saporito, has positioned his bathhouse chain as a pillar of the gay community. Saporito uses the chain’s Cleveland-based flagship spa, whose 50,000 square feet include luxury hotel rooms and a nightclub, to run the city’s annual pride parade and this year’s Gay Games, an international LGBT athletic competition.

    Flex Spas also has sponsored the White Party, an annual electronic music festival in Palm Springs, and partnered with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, part of an effort to frame the bathhouse as an opportunity for preventing risky behavior.

    Flex Spas has had mixed success over the past few years. Its location in Atlanta has seen “exponential” growth, but clubs in New Orleans and Columbus, Ohio, have closed, Saporito said.

    Saporito said more progressive views on homosexuality aren’t evenly spread across the country, underscoring the need for modern bathhouses in some areas. Still, he takes nothing for granted, regardless of the location.

    “Bathhouses at some level will go extinct if you don’t offer something more than a towel,” Saporito said.

  • Liberals’ Darling $2.2 Billion Solar Plant Suddenly Needs More of the One Thing You Would Never Expect
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm by Zach Noble

    Comments (201)

    Solar power is supposed to replace fossil fuels, right?

    The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station concentrates sunshine, heating water and converting the steam into electricity.

    But lately, it hasn’t been getting enough sunshine — despite being located in the blistering Mojave Desert southwest of Las Vegas — so the plant’s operators are asking for permission to bring in more of another fuel source: natural gas.

    Image via flickr

    Ivanpah. (Image via Bill & Vicki T / flickr)

    As the Arizona Daily Independent reported:

    Bright Source Energy, the company operating the plant, is petitioning the California government, requesting permission to burn more natural gas and to emit 94,749 more tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s the equivalent of emissions from about 16,500 automobiles.

    If the permit is approved, then this “solar” plant will produce about 35 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels.

    You may remember Ivanpah as the plant that has been setting birds on fire with the power of the sun.

    This story has been updated.

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • No-Fly Zone Established in Iceland as Subglacial Volcano Erupts
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 11:24 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (79)

    Story by the Associated Press; curated by Oliver Darcy.

    UPDATE: Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano began erupting Saturday under the ice of Europe’s largest glacier, prompting the country to close the airspace over the volcano.

    Thousands of small earthquakes have rattled the volcano, located deep beneath the Vatnajokull glacier, in the last week. Seismic data indicated that magma from the volcano was melting ice beneath the glacier’s Dyngjujokull icecap, Meteorological Office vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer said.

    The remote area, 200 miles (320 kilometers) east of the capital of Reykjavik, is uninhabited.

    The Civil Protection Department said scientists flew over the ice cap Saturday afternoon but saw no visible signs of the eruption on the surface of the glacier.

    Still, authorities raised the country’s aviation alert to red — the highest level on a five-point scale — indicating the threat of “significant emission of ash into the atmosphere.”

    Icelandic authorities declared a no-fly zone of 100 nautical miles by 140 nautical miles around the eruption as a precaution, but did not shut down air space over most of the island nation in the North Atlantic.

    “All airports are open and flights are on schedule,” said spokeswoman Olof Baldursdottir.

    REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland’s Meteorological Office says a subglacial eruption is underway at the Bardarbunga volcano, which has been rattled by thousands of earthquakes over the past week.

    Vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer said seismic data indicates that lava from the volcano is melting ice beneath the Vatnajokull glacier. She said it was not clear when, or if, the eruption would melt the ice and send steam and ash into the air.

    Minutes earlier, Iceland raised its aviation alert for the volcano to the highest level of red on Saturday, indicating an eruption that could cause “significant emission of ash into the atmosphere.” Red is the highest alert warning on a five-point scale.

    Scientists had planned to fly over the glacier later Saturday to look for changes on the surface but it was not clear if that would still take place.

    Authorities had evacuated several hundred people earlier this week from the highlands north of the Vatnajokull glacier as a precaution. The area is uninhabited but popular with hikers.

    Iceland sits on a volcanic hot spot in the Atlantic’s mid-oceanic ridge and eruptions have occurred frequently, triggered when the Earth’s plates move and when magma from deep underground pushes its way to the surface.

    A 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokul volcano produced an ash cloud that caused a week of international aviation chaos, with more than 100,000 flights cancelled. Aviation regulators since have reformed policies about flying through ash, so a new eruption would be unlikely to cause that much disruption.

    Pfeffer said the amount of ash produced would depend on the thickness of the ice.

    “The thicker the ice, the more water there is, the more explosive it will be and the more ash-rich the eruption will be,” she said.

  • With One Glance, You’ll Understand Why This Six-Second Video Took a Year to Make
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 11:17 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (36)

    Vine artist Ian Padgham set out to capture the transformation that motherhood produces in a woman, using a special subject: his wife.

    The result: a beautiful time-lapse of her pregnancy.

    She goes from flat-bellied…

    Image via Vine

    Image via Vine

    …to full-bellied…

    Image via Vine

    Image via Vine

    …to proud mother.

    Image via Vine

    Image via Vine

    The six-second video is generating quite a stir online: Since being posted on Friday, the “The 9 Month Vine” has been looped more than 6 million times.

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • This Internet Craze Has Gotten So Bad, New Jersey Issued a Statewide Warning
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 11:03 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (132)

    It’s like the “Ice Bucket Challenge” but reversed: fire instead of water, and no good cause behind it.

    Teens across the country are partaking in the “Fire Challenge,” WCAU-TV reported, and the dangerous trend is sending kids to the hospital.

    It’s even prompted a statewide warning from the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety.

    What is the “Fire Challenge”?

    Image via WCAU-TV

    Image via WCAU-TV

    The trend involves putting rubbing alcohol or some other flammable liquid on your bare skin, and then setting yourself ablaze for the amusement of peers on the Internet.

    It’s already produced some devastating consequences.

    As WCAU reported:

    Derrick Robinson, an 11-year-old from the Miami-area, had to be hospitalized in a regional burn center after trying the challenge. He suffered burns to his torso, chest and shoulder and has to undergo weekly hospital visits as he heals.

    In Arkansas, a 14-year-old girl suffered second degree burns to 27 percent of her body after pouring nail polish remover on her skin and igniting it.

    A mother in Charlotte, North Carolina, was arrested after police said she helped her 16-year-old son undertake the dangerous act.

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • 75 Years Ago, an Evil Alliance Was Formed. Why Do We Struggle to Remember It?
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 9:38 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (138)

    Saturday marked the 75th anniversary of an historical event that seems hard to believe, in retrospect: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union teaming up.

    Image via Mr.TinDC / flickr

    The Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Image via Mr.TinDC / flickr)

    The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, also known as a “honeymoon for two dictators,” staked out an official alliance between two of the twentieth century’s mightiest totalitarian states, and now, three-quarters of a century later, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is dedicated to making sure the world doesn’t forget about the many millions who were killed under communist rule.

    The group held a Black Ribbon Day ceremony Saturday at the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C.

    Aug. 23 is the anniversary of “[Josef] Stalin and [Adolph] Hitler conspiring to start World War II,” Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Executive Director Marion Smith told TheBlaze.

    He added that it’s easy to forget that for the first two years of the war, 1939-1941, there was “direct cooperation” between Hitler’s SS and Stalin’s secret police.

    “The level of cooperation [between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia] was official, real and deadly,” Smith claimed, saying that the Russians went so far as to round up German Jews who had fled into the USSR and returned them to Hitler’s genocidal control.

    “The evil there is just so massive, it’s hard to wrap your head around,” he added.

    Smith’s foundation works to keep the memory of the horrors of communism alive, which is a tougher task than some might think.

    “When the Soviet Union crumbled in 1989 we started forgetting about everything, dusting off our hands,” Smith said.

    The evil of Nazi Germany is nearly universally acknowledged, with the Holocaust standing as a singular representation of Nazi atrocities.

    But communism has no one Holocaust to stand as an historical reminder; Communism created dozens of Holocaust-scale killings, which, Smith acknowledged, can make it harder for people to grapple with communism’s evil.

    “After the fall of communism [in Europe at the end of the 1980s], they sort of came to terms country by country,” Smith said, contrasting that experience against the global rejection of Nazism in the 1940s.

    Adding to the problem: The U.S. worked with the Soviet Union during World War II and afterwards.

    (Image via Clair P. / flickr)

    A wall in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (Image via Clair P. / flickr)

    “It was a practical matter of geopolitics,” Smith explained. “We had to deal with the Soviet Union.”

    Nowadays, he said, Americans still struggle to commemorate the victims of communism, despite the ”tens of thousands” of Americans who died fighting communist expansion in Korea, Vietnam and “dozens of other flashpoints” around the world between 1950 and 1980.

    “Very powerful interests are communist,” Smith noted, pointing to one particular power: China. “There’s a lot of diplomatic pressure, economic pressure not to highlight the atrocities of communism.”

    Plus, as evidenced by the popularity of socialist economists like Thomas Piketty, or the “income inequality” rhetoric of President Barack Obama, many people are still drawn to the ideals of communism/socialism.

    Why does there seem to be such a powerful modern pull back towards socialism?

    “The idea gets separated from its consequences,” Smith said. “It’s a failure of accurate history, a failure of memory, a failure of truth-telling.”

    Smith stressed the importance of remembering a few facts: ”Every communist regime has ended up killing a portion of its population,” and, ”Ideas have consequences.”

    The modern media may harp on “income inequality” and the failures of capitalism, but Smith said that’s no reason to turn back to communist thinking.

    “There is a constant and withering critique of capitalism going on,” Smith acknowledged, “but the only real alternative is Marxism. Two imperfect systems, but one is the best that there is and the other, so far as we’ve seen, is the worst.”

    “The time is now ripe, 25 years after the fall of communism in Europe, to remember and ask ourselves, ‘What happened? What is at stake?’” Smith said. “We have an opportunity to honor the victims of communism, and to ensure that it never happens again.”

    a group of ambassadors and human rights leaders in the Freedom Foyer of the US Capitol. This marks the first official US commemoration of Black Ribbon Day.

    A group of ambassadors and human rights leaders in the Freedom Foyer of the U.S. Capitol. Saturday marked the first official U.S. commemoration of Black Ribbon Day, a Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation spokeswoman told TheBlaze. (Image via Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation)

    More than 100 million people died under communist regimes worldwide in the twentieth century, with tens of millions perishing in Stalin’s brutal purges and tens of millions more worked to death under Mao Zedong’s “Great Leap Forward” in China.

    As Smith noted, more than one billion people still live under communist rule in China, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos and North Korea.

    This story has been updated.

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  • She Accused Her Husband of Downloading Child Porn. Now She’s the One with a Felony Conviction.
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 8:49 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (252)

    If you’re going to accuse your husband of downloading child pornography to the family computer, you might not want to get him kicked out of the house before you try to frame him.

    Meri Jane Woods was convicted of a felony count of sexual abuse of children/possession of child pornography and a misdemeanor count of lying to law enforcement Tuesday, the Indiana Gazette reported.

    It’s a story TheBlaze has been following since last year.

    “She download[ed] in excess of 40 images of different acts of child pornography to the family computer, took it to the state police and said, ‘My husband downloaded all this porn,’” District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said.

    Investigators found that the images Woods claimed her husband sought out were date-stamped between Aug. 11 and 14, 2013, which meant they were downloaded after Woods’ husband had been forced out of the house by a protection-from-abuse order.

    Now Woods faces two years in jail and a $5,000 fine for the misdemeanor, the Gazette reported, while the felony conviction could bring up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

    She was convicted by a jury of six men and six women, the Gazette noted, and her sentencing was scheduled for December 15.

    This story has been updated.

    (H/T: Raw Story)

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  • ‘Trolled by Skanky Topless Libtards’: Texans Comparing Breasts to Guns Plan ‘Go Topless Day’
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 8:10 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (215)

    It seems some women are planning to let it all hang out in a couple of Texas towns on Sunday.

    Their argument: Breasts are less dangerous than guns.

    “The 2nd amendment is very popular in TX ‘the right to bear arms’ to protect one’s family is one argument but baring breasts is illegal also ‘to protect the children,’” the group, GoTopless, wrote in a Facebook post. “Texas women, affirm your right to bare your breasts!!! If breasts are more dangerous to children than weapons, then something is truly wrong with our society!”

    Image via Facebook

    Image via Facebook

    As MySA reported, the Las Vegas-based GoTopless group is protesting on the city level, as Texas law does not prohibit women going topless but individual cities, including San Antonio, prohibit the practice.

    GoTopless also has a rally slated for Austin on Sunday.

    The tension between open-carry advocates and topless ladies is reminiscent of last month’s spat in Austin, where a pro-gun group was “trolled by skanky topless libtards.”

    Image via YouTube

    Image via YouTube

    Video from that incident is here (link contains some potentially offensive material).

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • Obama Wanted to End This ‘Corporate Welfare’ Program When He Campaigned. Now He Wants Congress to Reauthorize It.
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 7:39 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (45)

    Option No. 1: It’s one of those government programs that “don’t work” and is merely “corporate welfare.”

    Option No. 2: It’s an “independent” bank that “pays for itself” and creates jobs.

    President Barack Obama has flip-flopped between No. 1 and No. 2 when it comes to the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

    “Its sole mission is to create American jobs,” Obama said in his weekly address Saturday. “That’s it. It helps many American entrepreneurs take that next step and take their small business global.”

    While urging Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im, Obama said, “the bank works. It’s independent. It pays for itself. But if Congress fails to act, thousands of businesses, large and small, that sell their products abroad will take a completely unnecessary hit.”

    It’s a near-total reversal of what he said on the campaign trail six years ago.

    As the Washington Free Beacon noted earlier this month, in 2008 then-Sen. Obama called Ex-Im “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”

    What exactly is Ex-Im?

    “Unless you are part of the Ex-Im brotherhood, you couldn’t begin to guess when it was created—in 1934 by Franklin D. Roosevelt,” the Wall Street Journal explained in June. “It’s now kept on life support by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and an in-crowd of current and retired Congressional Republicans and Democrats.”

    The bank is a government program that provides loans, loan guarantees and other financial support, ostensibly to help American exports compete in the global market.

    “Two years ago a bipartisan coalition waved through Ex-Im’s reauthorization and increased its lending cap by $40 billion, to $140 billion,” the Journal reported. “This year Ex-Im wants another five-year reauthorization and a lending cap boost to $160 billion.”

    While Obama may now be a supporter of the bank, a strong chorus of dissenters is still asking an important question: Is the bank necessary to “level the playing field” for U.S. companies facing tariffs and taxes abroad, or is it merely a crony capitalist slush fund that distorts market forces?

    The Heritage Foundation is pushing to let Ex-Im expire, arguing that the bank will inevitably lose money (as it did in the 1980s) and saying that most of the bank’s financing goes to help mega-corporations, such as aerospace giant Boeing, not U.S. small businesses.

    George Mason University’s Mercatus Center has produced a wealth of research showing the downsides of Ex-Im, including one study showing just how dramatically government money can be sucked up by powerful interests: Between 2007 and 2014, almost half of all Ex-Im disbursements flowed to one state, Washington, which happens to be the home of Boeing.

    The Journal made the case that a government bank skews the market — and puts taxpayer dollars at risk unnecessarily — when it provides loans that private banks would have deemed too risky.

    WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 25: Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers delivers remarks during the 2014 annual conference of the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) April 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. The two-day event focused on global business environment and prospects for growth. Alex Wong/Getty Images

    It’s also not entirely clear what impact the bank’s work really has on the U.S. economy.

    The Washington Post criticized Ex-Im’s calculations, through which the bank estimated that for every billion dollars in Ex-Im-backed exports, 6,390 U.S. jobs were supported.

    “[Ex-Im's] figures do not differentiate between full-time and part-time work,” the Post noted, “and, crucially, provide no information about what might have happened to employment at the firms in question, or others, if the resources marshalled by Ex-Im had flowed elsewhere in the economy.”

    The bank’s charter is set to expire Sept. 30.

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • Cuts Weren’t Due Until Next Week, but Four Players Just Got the Boot Early
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 5:48 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (13)

    NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. has picked the 12 players it believes can defend its world basketball title.

    The Americans kept Derrick Rose and cut All-Star Damian Lillard and three others early Saturday morning, getting their roster down to the limit for the FIBA World Cup of Basketball.

    Atlanta Hawks’ Kyle Korver, left, and Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard, right, scramble for the ball during the USA Basketball Showcase game Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, in Las Vegas. Both men were cut from the U.S. team early Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)

    Though team officials had previously said they might carry extra players when they left for Spain on Saturday, and final rosters aren’t due until next Friday, the Americans decided there was no need to wait.

    Derrick Rose smiles during a practice of the men’s U.S. National basketball team Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, in Chicago. Rose made it through a round of cuts early Saturday. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Kyle Korver, Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons also were cut, shortly after the Americans beat Puerto Rico 112-86 in their final home exhibition game.

    “Since taking over the USA Basketball men’s national team program in 2005, this was without doubt the most difficult selection process we’ve gone through,” USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said in a statement. “I can’t stress enough the outstanding effort and commitment that has been given by each finalist.

    “I also want to make it clear that this is not just about talent — each player is incredibly talented and each player offered us unique skills. In the end it was about assembling the best team, selecting guys who we felt would be able to best play the kind of style we envision this team playing.”

    The rest of the roster is: Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, DeMarcus Cousins, Klay Thompson, Andre Drummond, Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Kenneth Faried and Mason Plumlee.

    The Americans can still change the roster in event of injury or withdrawal before Friday, a day before the World Cup opener, which is why they originally considered bringing extra players to Spain.

    “We feel that it’s better to go with 12 because that’s really difficult on anybody if they’re not going to be on the team to travel that far,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game at Madison Square Garden.

    Lillard, Drummond, Hayward and DeRozan didn’t play in the game, but Krzyzewski stressed afterward the final decisions on the roster hadn’t been made — and it turned out two got tickets on the plane.

    “I’m excited about the 12 players selected and feel we have excellent versatility and the makings of a really good defensive team,” Krzyzewski said.

    Rose came off the bench and scored six points in 14 minutes. He had sat out the previous game and a couple of practices this week after feeling soreness following last Saturday’s exhibition opener against Brazil, his first action since missing most of the last two seasons after a pair of knee surgeries.

    But he proved he was healthy enough to make his second U.S. team, having played for the Americans when they won the former world basketball championship in 2010.

    “These guys want to play with him. That’s part of getting back is to be around a group of peers,” Krzyzewski said.

    Curry scored 20 points, while Harden and Gay had 13 points apiece for the Americans, who will play a final exhibition game in Spain against Slovenia and open the World Cup next Saturday against Finland.

    The U.S. led 52-47 after Thompson’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of an entertaining first half before a divided crowd that included plenty of Puerto Rican fans. Knicks All-Star and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist Carmelo Anthony, who is part Puerto Rican, was in the front row along with golfer Rory McIlroy and tennis star Andy Murray.

    The Americans lost a number of key players this summer but are still good enough to defend their world title with the roster that remains, though they are vulnerable, which Puerto Rico proved by staying right with them for 20 minutes.

    But they can also turn close games into blowouts in a hurry, which they did by outscoring Puerto Rico 14-2 to open the second half, with some energetic plays from Faried on both ends, to open a 66-49 lead.

    “The team is looking great,” Puerto Rico guard Carlos Arroyo said. “A lot of young guys motivated to represent their country with a lot of pride and honor, and you’ve got to give respect to that.”

    Puerto Rico’s veteran backcourt of Arroyo and J.J. Barea has loads of international and NBA experience, and they didn’t wilt under relentless U.S. pressure the way so many other teams do. Former Knicks forward Renaldo Balkman also started for the Puerto Ricans, who play in Group B along with regional rival Argentina, Croatia, Greece, Senegal and the Philippines.

    Barea scored 16 points and Arroyo had 15.

    “Not every game is going to be pretty when we get to Spain, so this is a good test for us and a good experience for everybody on the roster,” Curry said.

    ___

    Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney

  • Pay Close Attention to the Man Who Causes Fan Interference by Catching Foul Ball — If You Watch TheBlaze TV, You’ll Likely Recognize Him
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 1:33 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (187)

    A Blue Jays fan was caught on camera Friday evening causing fan interference by catching a foul ball along the first baseline — and if you are a fan of TheBlaze, you’ll likely recognize him.

    Video footage posted to the MLB’s official website, and played throughout the night on ESPN, shows Stu Burguiere — executive producer of The Glenn Beck Program — reach over into foul territory and catch a foul ball off center fielder Colby Rasmus’ bat.

    Company CEO Christopher Balfe was also seen in the shot at the Toronto game smiling.

    Burguiere’s catch came as Tampa Bay Rays player James Loney slid in an attempt to make the play. However, despite Loney being robbed of the ball by TheBlaze’s very own radio and TV personality, the umpire ultimately ruled Burguiere’s catch as fan interference and called Rasmus out.

    “It’s a nice baseball, and he’ll get to have it, but he’s probably going to lose that seat though,” one of the television announcers commented.

    “If they haven’t removed him yet, (Blue Jays manager) John Gibbons will make a phone call,” the other announcer said.

    It was not clear if Burguiere did ultimately lose his seat, but the Blue Jays did end up losing the game to the Rays 8-0.

    Watch the Play:

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • Armed Elderly Woman’s Epic Stand Against Intruder Captured on 911 Call — Listen Closely to How Suspect Responds to Her Simple Demand
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 10:56 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (230)

    An armed 73-year-old woman stood her ground when a man broke into her Lilburn, Georgia, home earlier this month, sending the suspect to a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound. The audio from the 911 call, released by police recently, captured the entire incident and proves she is one tough woman.

    The woman, who hasn’t been identified, says she heard someone knocking at her door at around 9:45 p.m. on August 3. She didn’t answer and a few moments later, she heard the sound of glass shattering, confirming her fears that an intruder was trying to get into her home.

    Source: Fox 5

    Source: Fox 5

    The woman, who was home alone at the time, then retrieved her handgun and called 911.

    “Sir, they are in my house now,” the woman is heard telling a 911 dispatcher.

    After a period of silence, apparent gunshots ring out and unintelligible screaming can be heard in the audio.

    “Get out of my home!” the woman screams at the intruder. “Get out now — while you’re still alive!”

    “OK, I’ll get out,” the intruder responds, seemingly terrified. “I’m getting out.”

    Listen to the dramatic audio via My Fox Atlanta:

    Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

    The suspect, identified by police as Jamie Christopher Lewis, ran for his life and went to a nearby hospital to get treatment for a gunshot wound. After he was treated at the hospital, he was arrested.

    Watch WAGA-TV’s full report:

    Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

  • Obama Admin. Weighing Airstrikes in Syria: ‘If You Come After Americans, We’re Going to Come After You’
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 10:15 pm by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (110)

    The Obama administration is considering launching airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, U.S. officials said Friday, according to the New York Times.

    This image posted by the Raqqa Media Center shows a fighter from the Islamic State group inspecting a military truck in Raqqa, Syria, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center)

    In addition to possible airstrikes by fighter jets and bombers, American officials said they would also consider sending special operations forces into Syria to combat the growing Islamic threat, the Times reported.

    “If you come after Americans, we’re going to come after you, wherever you are,” deputy national security adviser Benjamin Rhodes said Friday. “We’re actively considering what’s going to be necessary to deal with that threat and we’re not going to be restricted by borders.”

    “If you come after Americans, we’re going to come after you, wherever you are.”
    Share:

    The possible change in policy comes after Islamic State militants published video online earlier this week beheading an American journalist and threatening to execute another.

    “Given what’s happened to Jim Foley, given the public profile that this ISIS bunch has taken, I think it’s easier for the president, and for that matter for members of Congress, to make the case to the public that the United States really ought to be operating in the skies over Syria against this particular group,” Frederic Hof, a former Syria adviser in Obama’s State Department, told the Times.

    However, aides were unsure if President Barack Obama — who has been skeptical to use force in Syria — would authorize such military action and said the commander-in-chief has yet to be presented such recommendations, the Times reported.

    According to the Times, officials said other options could include arming and increasing efforts to train moderate Syrian rebel forces. The president took heat from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this year when she said failing to arm those forces was a mistake.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • Did a Missouri Bar Really Offer a ‘Mike Brown Special’ With ’6 Shots of Something’?
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 10:05 pm by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (80)

    A Missouri bar owner said Friday that his establishment did not offer a “Mike Brown Special,” despite a flurry of social media posts accusing the bar of just that.

    In the afternoon an image depicting a sign outside St. Louis bar called The Lounge on Main started going viral on Twitter and Facebook.

    “Mike Brown Special,” the sign said. “6 shots of something.”

    The supposed special was in reference to the unarmed Ferguson black man who was fatally shot by a police officer earlier this month, igniting unrest in the Missouri suburb.

    However, despite confirming the sign had been displayed outside his bar, owner Justin Donahue told BuzzFeed that his staff was not responsible for it.

    “The parking lot sign is a community sign,” he told the website. “Lots of times customers write on it— people put jokes on them. Yesterday, the sign was facing away from the bar and everybody inside couldn’t see it.”

    (Image source: Facebook)

    Justin Donahue. (Image source: Facebook)

    Donahue told BuzzFeed it was up for about 40 minutes before he removed it and disciplined the responsible customer.

    “When I parked my car and went into the bar, I saw the sign and immediately took it down,” he said. “I confronted the customer who did it and asked him to leave the bar and never come back — he’s banned for life.”

    Donahue, who has a half-black son, added to BuzzFeed that he’d be “the last person to ever put that message outside my restaurant.”

    (H/T: BuzzFeed)

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • St. Louis Cop Seen ‘Pushing’ CNN’s Don Lemon in Ferguson Relieved of Duty After Speech Slamming ‘Undocumented President’ Emerges
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:58 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (414)

    The St. Louis police officer who was caught on live TV “pushing” CNN anchor Don Lemon back while he was covering unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, has reportedly been relieved of duty after video emerged online of the cop giving a speech railing against affirmative action, President Barack Obama, Islam and more.

    St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar confirmed to USA Today that he immediately placed officer Dan Page on administrative leave once he learned of the video. Though he said he doesn’t have the legal authority to fire the officer at this point, he argued he would have let him go if he were a probationary officer.

    Page will reportedly under a psychological evaluation and be subjected to an internal investigation.

    YouTube

    YouTube

    In the video reportedly recored at an Oath Keepers meeting months ago, Page refers to Obama as the “undocumented president” from Kenya and rails against the “four sodomites on the Supreme Court.” He also speaks out against affirmative action and radical Islam.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” Page is heard saying in the video, quoting the Declaration of Independence. “That doesn’t mean affirmative action.”

    Later in the speech, Page, citing Biblical scripture, suggests that Islam will be the evil force driving the apocalypse.

    You can watch his entire speech here:

    Chief Belmar said he was embarrassed by Page’s comments and apologized to the community in an interview with CNN:

    (H/T: Mediaite)

  • Incredible Footage Shows SpaceX Rocket Automatically Detonate in Mid-Air After ‘Anomaly Was Detected’
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:54 pm by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (24)

    A SpaceX prototype rocket automatically detonated Friday evening in Texas after “an anomaly was detected in the vehicle,” the company said in a statement.

    “Throughout the test and subsequent flight termination, the vehicle remained in the designated flight area,” the statement said. “There were no injuries or near injuries. An FAA representative was present at all times.”

    SpaceX said they were conducting a test flight of a “three engine version of the F9R test vehicle,” a successor to Grasshopper.

    Images quickly emerged on social media showing the explosion in mid-air.

    SpaceX said they would provide another update after flight data had been wholly analyzed.

    This post has been updated with new video.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • If You’re Afraid of Spiders, You Probably Should Avoid Watching This Video: ‘Holy Smokes’
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (73)

    A new video posted online this week is taking the web by storm — and it involves one frightening looking spider.

    The video, initially posted to Facebook and then uploaded to YouTube, shows a Segestria Florentina guarding an individual’s shed, terrifying viewers.

    “Well…. I didn’t want to sleep tonight anyways,” commented one.

    “Well…. I didn’t want to sleep tonight anyways.”
    Share:

    “Holy smokes,” echoed another.

    The footage depicts the spider crawl quietly out of its home. 33 seconds into the video, it appears another spider can also be seen moving on the left side of the screen.

    The Segestria Florentina is a large spider native to Europe that typically occupies a “tube-web” located in a hole or crevice, according to a London natural history museum.

    Those who have reported being bit experienced a “sharp and painful bite” which “felt like a deep injection,” but ultimately subsided after a few hours, the museum added.

    Watch the Footage:

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