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Newsbrief: While You Were Out


  • Google Unveils Project Glass, Change You Can See

On Tuesday, March ch26, Google announced that it is distributing Android-powered augmented reality “glasses” to 8,000 participants in their beta testing program. The high-tech headwear can snap photos and record video of anything within the wearer’s field-of-view and even send text messages. Information and news can be streamed right across the wearer’s vision.

The experimental format boasts many exciting “augmented reality” applications, but lawmakers in some states have already moved to restrict the breakthrough technology. West Virginia lawmakers already moved to make Google Glass illegal to wear while driving, and a bar in California has already banned them from the establishment. Aaron Messing, a technology and information privacy attorney told Fox News that Google Glass could be threatening to some states’ “two-party consent” laws which state it is illegal to record a conversation without everyone’s consent.


  • Steubenville Football Players Charged With Rape, As Juveniles

Two Steubenville, Ohio teens, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, were found guilty of rape on Sunday, March 24, and were each sentenced to serve one year in the Ohio juvenile system. Mays was sentenced to an additional year for the photographs he took of the victim when she was unconscious. According to CNN, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has called for a secondary investigation concerning the unanswered questions surrounding this small-town controversy. A special grand jury will be assembled to focus on the events surrounding Aug. 11 and 12 of 2012.

CBS affiliate KDKA 2 out of Pittsburg, PA reports that the case continues as two teenage girls appeared in court Wednesday, March 27, for the online threats of homicide and bodily harm they made against the victim after the accusations surfaced. Since their arrest last week they have been held in juvenile detention.

As her own retort to rape and the media’s coverage of the case, University of Oregon student Samantha Stendal, 19, directed this viral video titled “A Needed Response.”


  • Supreme Court Reviewing Landmark Cases

Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, along with his other liberal colleagues, seemed prepared today to strike down segments of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that restrict the rights of married gay couples. For example, some 130,000 legally married gay couples are denied the right to receive Social Security benefits after the death of their partner. Also, the tax code excludes married gay couples from filing jointly – a benefit granted to married straight couples. The conservative justices have raised questions on

The opinions of the liberal justices’ can be reflected by the statements made by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. Justice Sotomayor said that on our nation’s federal level we have created two classes of marriage. As a nation, “[we] are treating a married couple from New York (who are gay) differently than a couple from Oklahoma,” despite the fact that both are legally married under state laws. She went on to say that the government “can’t create a class they don’t like and decided they get different benefits on that basis.”

On Tuesday, March 26, the Supreme Court heard arguments on California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state only 5 months after it was made legal. The Court will rule on its constitutionality, and both cases’ rulings are expected by the end of June.


  • Computer Glitch to Delay IRS Refunds

Two weeks ago the IRS had announced a software glitch would delay some 660,000 tax returns for up to six weeks. This initial estimate was later reduced to two weeks, and some of the affected have already received their returns. As reported by the Associated Press, those affected by the glitch had claimed education tax credits and had filed between Feb. 14 and Feb. 22.


  • Tragedy in the Marine Corps

Three Marines died on Thursday evening, March 21, in an apparent murder-suicide at the Marine Corps Base Quantico. The Washington Post reported that base commander Colonel David Maxwell made a statement on Friday, March 22, saying that a Marine shot and killed two fellow Marines employed at the officer candidate school. Maxwell went on to say that it was an isolated event, dispelling any rumors of a connection to terrorist activity.

The news of the murder-suicide at Quantico follows another recent tragedy for the Marine Corps. On Monday, March 18, a mortal shell exploded prematurely during a live ammunition drill at an Army base in Nevada, killing seven Marines from 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. As reported by military news source Stars and Strips out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., Private First Class Joshua M. Martino, 19, of Clearfield, Pa, was among the casualties.


  • President Obama’s Trip a Success

President Barack Obama announced another success on his diplomatic visit to the Palestinian Territories and Israel. The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a surprising gesture to Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, March 22, when he not only apologized for a 2010 naval assault on a Turkish vessel which resulted in nine civilian casualties, but promised to work on restoring relations.


  • Tensions on the Rise in Middle East

Israeli soldiers destroyed a Syrian machine gun nest in the Golan Heights region after the nest fired across the border at Israeli military on two occasions. The Associated Press calls this incident a notable rise in hostilities in the region, following Iran’s threats of attacking if Israeli forces enter Syria. Recently the head of the House Intelligence Committee, Michigan Representative Mike Rogers, said that it is now “probable” that Syrian military has used chemical weapons on rebels which, President Obama said, will not be tolerated.


  • North Korea Severs Last Hotline with South

In yet another questionable move by the communist nation, North Korea has cut its’ last line of communication with South Korea on Wednesday, March 27. According to the Associated Press, an unnamed senior North Korean military official told South Korea that the severed military hotline and all other channels of communication would remain closed until “hostile” actions against the North stop.

The hotline was essential in the operation of an industrial complex in the North that employs several hundred South Koreans. As reported by the Associated Press, the complex is the only way the two countries trade labor, goods, and materials across the heavily guarded border. A similar communication breakdown in 2009 left South Koreans stranded across the border.

ABC News reported on North Korea’s outlandish behavior on March 27:

In recent weeks, North Korea has:

    • Made several unannounced nuclear tests. A test on Feb. 12 led the U.N. to impose sanctions on N. Korea.
    • Promised to make a preemptive strike on their “arch nemesis,” America.
    • Stated intentions of building an intercontinental missile tipped with a nuclear warhead.
    • Stated intention of finishing Korean War.
    • Declared the Korean Armistice Agreement of 1953 invalid, citing breaches in the agreement made by South Korea and the U.S. [This agreement is what enacted the delicate cease-fire that ‘paused’ the Korean War.]
    • Released a propaganda video about the destruction of North Korea’s enemies, including the U.S.


Written by Matthew Nason, a Telecommunications/Journalism student at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.