Today I have update on the Federal investigation into Michael Brown's death. Also, the guy who invented the Keurig K-Cup was interviewed by The Atlantic and you might be surprised about what he has to say. Plus, the US Ambassador was attacked in South Korea, and North Korea’s reaction was poetic, to say the least.
Do you use a one-cup coffee maker? Will you be going to Ringling Brothers Circus now that it’s going elephant-free? Have you been following the Boston Marathon trial? Discuss these or any news items in the comments or tweet me directly @AmandaLauren.
US Ambassador Attacked in South Korea
US Ambassador Mark Lippert, a former Navy SEAL, was attacked in South Korea just prior to giving a speech. Police identified his attacker as Kim Ki-jong, 55, who screamed, “South and North Korea should be reunified,” as he slashed Lippert’s right cheek and left arm with a 10-inch fruit knife.
Lippert is currently in stable condition after being treated at a hospital in Seoul. He received 80 stitches to close the 4-inch long and 1-inch deep wound on his face. The knife also cut his left arm and caused nerve damage to the area where his pinkie and tendons connect to his thumb, which could potentially cause sensory problems in his left hand for months.
According to Brad Glosserman, executive director of the Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu, the attack was unwarranted, telling USA Today,
For all I have seen, Lippert has made a great impression on the ROK people. He was doing all the right things, and was garnering a lot of positive PR. His wife just had a son and they gave him a Korean middle name.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye made a statement addressing the attack,
This incident is not only a physical attack on the U.S. ambassador, but an attack on the South Korea-U.S. alliance and it can never be tolerated.
However, the North Korean government doesn’t share this sentiment, telling their official news agency, KCNA,
[The attack is] punishment for U.S. warmongers.
They also said the attack is “righteous punishment” on the United States, and it was a “a knife-attack shower of justice.”
Apparently, the motive for the attack was the not so popular annual South Korean/US military drills, which many people believe further divides the line between North Korea and South Korea.
After the attacks, Lippert tweeted,
Doing well&in great spirits! Robyn, Sejun, Grigsby & I - deeply moved by the support! Will be back ASAP to advance US-ROK alliance! 같이 갑시다!
Lippert is expected to be released from the hospital on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Begins
On Wednesday, the Boston Marathon bombing trial began with an admission from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's defense attorney Judy Clarke,
It was him.
While the court doesn’t need to prove guilt, they are tying to figure out what Tsarnaev's motive was for exploding two pressure cooker bombs that killed three people and injured 260 others at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Clarke believes Tsarnaev was heavily influenced by his older brother, Tamerlan, who was shot and killed by police.
Several survivors of the attack gave their testimony to the court, including Colton Kilgore and Rebekah Gregory.
I was blown through the air. There was a deafening explosion.
Gregory was watching the marathon with her five-year-old son Noah, who was injured in the attacks. Gregory lost her leg and now wears a prosthesis.
My bones were literally laying next to me on the sidewalk. At that point I thought that was the day I would die… I could feel my body going tingly and I was getting increasingly cold. I knew I was dying.
Reports also said the court is trying to present the boat Tsarnaev hid in as evidence, but it is too large to bring into the courtroom. Inside the boat, Tsarnaev allegedly scrawled anti-American sentiments on the walls including:
The U.S. government is killing our innocent civilians. I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished.
We Muslims are one body. You hurt one, you hurt us all.
Now I don't like killing innocent people. It is forbidden in Islam but due to said (unintelligible) it is allowed.
Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.
The prosecution is seeking the death penalty.
Michael Brown Update
Darren Wilson was cleared of Federal charges in the shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri man Michael Brown. An 86-page memorandum was released to the public on Wednesday and concluded Brown acted in self-defense,
There is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson's stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the report demonstrated:
…sound, considered and independent judgment of the expert career prosecutors within the Department of Justice.
Michael Brown’s family was clearly not happy with the decision and released a written statement,
Today, we received disappointing news from the Department of Justice that the killer of our son wouldn't be held accountable for his actions. While we are saddened by this decision, we are encouraged that the DOJ will hold the Ferguson Police Department accountable for the pattern of racial bias and profiling they found in their handling of interactions with people of color. It is our hope that through this action, true change will come not only in Ferguson but around the country. If that change happens, our son's death will not have been in vain.
The Brown family is also in the process of filing a wrongful death suit against both Darren Wilson and the City of Ferguson. At the press conference, one of their attorneys, Anthony Gray announced these plans,
We feel and we’ve always felt from the very beginning that officer Darren Wilson did not have to shoot and kill Mike Brown in broad daylight in the manner that he did. That he had other options available to him and that he chose deadly force as his option.
And we plan to demonstrate in a court of law to reasonable-minded people that choice to use deadly force was unreasonable and unnecessary under those circumstances.
Gray did not specify the exact time frame in which in the suit will be filed, only saying it would be filed “shortly.”
· In an interview with The Atlantic, Keurig K-Cup inventor John Sylvan admitted he has some regrets about his invention saying, “I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it.” While undeniably convenient, K-Cups have come under fire in recent years because the cups aren’t 100% recyclable as-is (you currently have to separate the components) and have generated a whole lot of waste. In fact, in 2014, if you placed every K-Cup ever sold end to end, it would circle the planet 10.5 times. And if you were wondering, Sylvan isn’t making bank off his invention any more. He sold his share of the company in 1997 for $50,000.
· As promised in his campaign, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will close public schools on two Muslim holy days, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. At a conference, de Blasio remarked, “We’re here today to make good on a promise to our Muslim brothers and sisters that a holiday of supreme importance to the Muslim community will be recognized in our school calendar so that children can honor the holiday without missing school.”
· Ringling Brothers circus will be phasing out their iconic elephants by 2018 after pressure from anti-circus ordinances, animal cruelty charges and consumers alike. However, the parent company of Ringling Brothers, Feld Entertainment is denying this. “We're not reacting to our critics; we're creating the greatest resource for the preservation of the Asian elephant,” said Alana Feld, who is the company’s Executive Vice President. The elephants will retire to same place many people choose to retire, Florida, making their new home The Center for Elephant Conservation. So far, 29 out of the Ringling Brothers’ fleet of 43 elephants have been retired. No word if they play shuffleboard with their trunks.