North Korea: Kim abruptly reappears after 36 days out of the spotlight with “prepare for war” order

Source: Yahoo! News

“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un abruptly reappeared after 36 days out of the spotlight as he ordered his country to ‘prepare for war,’ according to multiple reports. Kim was photographed presiding over a meeting of the central military commission of the ruling Workers’ Party on Monday, Reuters reported. His presence marked the first time he was back in the public eye after more than a month for reasons that have not been made public. … The meeting comes as Pyongyang prepares to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the Korean People’s Army on Wednesday, which will likely be celebrated with a military parade. Kim is expected to be there, NK News reported. Tensions have been rising around the Korean Peninsula after Pyongyang condemned planned joint military drills between its rival, South Korea, and the US in the area.” (02/07/23)

Germany: Court rejects climate lawsuit against automaker BMW

Source: SFGate

“A German court on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit by environmental campaigners seeking to force automaker BMW to stop selling vehicles with combustion engine by 2030. The group Environmental Action Germany, also known by its German acronym DUH, argued that manufacturers such as BMW pose a threat to people’s right to property, health and life if they continue making vehicles that produce greenhouse gas emissions. The Munich regional court ruled Tuesday that while the plaintiffs’ arguments couldn’t be dismissed from the outset, ‘at present there is no threat of illegal encroachment’ of their rights. Judges noted that German and European lawmakers, spurred partly by a 2021 ruling by Germany’s top court, have taken numerous measures to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord. As such there was no absence of laws that would warrant civil action against BMW ‘at last not at this time.'” (02/07/23)

Twitter suspends pol’s account

Source: The Hill

“Twitter suspended the account of Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), the chairman of the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, because the social media platform said the account violated its media policy. Daines’s @SteveDaines account did not show his profile or background photos as of Tuesday morning, and slew of posts going back as far as last Friday showed a statement that read, ‘@SteveDaines’s account is temporarily unavailable because it violates the Twitter Media Policy.’ … The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), linking to a reporter’s tweet, alleged that Daines had been suspended from his account because he and his wife were shown hunting in his profile header. The Hill has reached out to Twitter for comment.” (02/07/23)

Turkey: Fire extiguished at quake-damaged Iskenderun Port

Source: Deutsche Welle [German state media]

“A large fire at the earthquake-stricken port of Iskenderun in Turkey has been put out, the defense ministry said Tuesday. The blaze forced operations to cease and freight liners to divert vessels to other ports. Footage from the scene showed black smoke billowing from burning containers at the port, which is located on the Mediterranean Sea. It’s believed the fire began when containers toppled over during Monday’s earthquakes. The earthquake also caused other structural damage at the port, Turkey’s maritime authority said.” (02/07/23)

BP Cuts Climate Pledges While Reporting Record $28 Billion in Profit

Source: Common Dreams

“BP, a London-based oil giant that has attempted to style itself as a leader of the renewable energy transition, announced Tuesday that it is slashing its emission-reduction goals and planning more fossil fuel output than previously expected after reporting a record $28 billion in profits for 2022 — more than double what it made the year before. Compared to its earlier plan to curtail fossil fuel production by 40% below 2019 levels, the company said it now intends to cut output by just 25% by 2030. ‘BP correspondingly now aims for a fall of 20% to 30% in emissions from the carbon in its oil and gas production in 2030 compared to a 2019 baseline, lower than the previous aim of 35-40%,’ the company said in a press release. The oil giant also said it plans to pour just as much money (up to $8 billion) into its fossil fuel businesses as its so-called ‘transition growth engines’, which include renewables, by 2030.” (02/07/23)

SpaceX launches Hispasat’s Amazonas Nexus communications satellite

Source: Space News

“SpaceX successfully launched the Amazonas Nexus telecoms satellite Feb. 6, which will fuel Spanish operator Hispasat’s Americas expansion while carrying a payload for the U.S. Space Force. Amazonas Nexus lifted off on a Falcon 9 at 8:32 p.m. Eastern from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, after being delayed a day because of poor weather conditions. The satellite separated from the rocket about 36 minutes later to begin its journey to geostationary orbit over the next few months using onboard electric propulsion. … Just over eight minutes after lift-off, the Falcon 9’s first stage landed on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean for reuse. SpaceX had previously used the booster to launch the SES-22 broadcast satellite, a lunar lander for ispace, and three Starlink broadband missions. It marked SpaceX’s 170th landing of an orbital class rocket, including Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy missions.” (02/06/23)

AZ: Elderly rancher charged with murdering Mexican man on his property

Source: New York Post

“An Arizona cattle rancher living near the US border with Mexico has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a man believed to be a Mexican citizen. George Alan Kelly, 73, was arrested last week in connection to a Jan. 30 killing that took place on his property, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s office said. Authorities say the victim, identified as Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, 48, was living in Nogales, Mexico — separated by the border from an American town by the same name. Officials believe Cuen-Butimea was a Mexican citizen because of a Mexican voter registration card he carried. The fatal shooting took place just outside of Nogales, Arizona, in the Kino Springs area, according to Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Gerardo Castillo. … Authorities have not provided much information about the killing, including a possible motive or whether the two men had known each other before the shooting.” (02/07/23)

Rescuers in race against time as Turkey-Syria quake death toll passes 5,000

Source: Reuters

“Rescuers struggled to dig people out of the rubble of collapsed buildings on Tuesday in a ‘race against time’ as the death toll from an earthquake across a wide area of Turkey and Syria passed 5,000. The magnitude 7.8 quake — the deadliest in Turkey since 1999 — hit early on Monday and was followed by a second hours later. Thousands of buildings were toppled, hospitals and schools wrecked and tens of thousands of people were injured or left homeless in several Turkish and Syrian cities.” (02/07/23)

Report: Amid soaring crimes, Memphis cops lowered the bar for hiring

Source: SFGate

“Beyond the beating, kicking, cursing and pepper spraying, the video of Tyre Nichols’[s] deadly arrest at the hands of young Memphis police officers is just as notable for what’s missing — any experienced supervisors showing up to stop them. That points to a dangerous confluence of trends that Memphis’[s] police chief acknowledged have dogged the department as the city became one of the nation’s murder hotspots: a chronic shortage of officers, especially supervisors, increasing numbers of police quitting and a struggle to bring in qualified recruits. Former Memphis police recruiters told The Associated Press of a growing desperation to fill hundreds of slots in recent years that drove the department to increase incentives and lower its standards.” (02/07/23)

WA: Intruder shows up to Yakima home armed, gets shot and killed

Source: KIMA News

“The Yakima Police Department (YPD) says they responded to reports of gunshots at the 1100 block of E. Beech Street on Sunday. YPD says it was about 2:00 a.m. They arrived at the house and found a 29-year-old man dead in the backyard of the home. People inside the home said that a man came to the door armed with a firearm, at which time a physical struggle took place. One of the people inside the home armed himself and shot the alleged intruder. The intruder died as a result. After interviewing the two men inside the house, police released them.” (02/06/23)