The Daily Moth 5-31-17

May 31, 2017

 

 

Truck Bombing in Kabul Kills At Least 90, President Trump to Decide on Paris Accord, Mexican Motorcycle Gang Steals Over 150 Jeep Wranglers, NASA Announces Mission to Send Probe to Sun, and DeafBlind Man from Saudi Arabia Sentenced to Death by Beheading 

 

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Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, May 31. Ready for news?

 

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In Kabul, Afghanistan — there was a truck full of explosives that detonated at a busy area close to foregin embassies and military bases. At least 90 people died and more than 300 people were injured — many of them on their way to work. At least 11 U.S. citizens were injured and there was a number of Afghan security who worked for the U.S. who died. Very sad. 

 

The blast was so strong it caused several nearby buildings to collapse, killing people at work and destroying office space. 

 

The truck bomb looked like a water delivery truck and a suicide bomber drove it. 

 

Immediately, emergency personnel came and helped bring out the dead and the wounded. There were pieces of metal and glass all over the area, with burning cars. 

 

It is not clear which group was responsible — it could be the Taliban or ISIS. 

 

This is the latest serious attack in Afghanistan — the last one was on March 8 at a hospital — ISIS people dressed up like doctors entered the building and shot at hospital staff and patients, killing more than 40. 

 

There continues to be serious security issues in Afghanistan as the government has to deal with both the Taliban and ISIS. 

 

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Many are looking at President Donald Trump on what his stance will be on the Paris climate accord — an international effort by 190 countries to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

 

The U.S. is the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon, second to #1 emitter China. Carbon is released in the air by the burning of fossil fuels. 

 

During his recent trip to Europe, at the G7 summit, he did not clearly affirm the U.S.’s support — which is the opposite of previous President Obama’s stance. Trump instead tweeted that he would make a decision “next week.” He just tweeted again about it, saying he would announce his decision in the next few days. 

 

There are media reports that say Trump is leaning towards withdrawing from the Paris accord, which would match with what Trump said during the campaign — he said he would pull the U.S. out of the agreement. Trump is reported to meet with various business leaders to get advice, as the climate deal has both environmental and economical benefits.  

 

Trump also consulted with the current head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt yesterday. Pruitt has previously said the Paris deal is bad for the U.S. and hurts the economy.

 

Trump could do a “partial withdrawal” — which would allow the U.S. to still have a goal of lowering emissions, but not at the same standard as the Paris agreement. 

 

If the Trump administration does withdraw, the U.S. would join two other countries who are not in the agreement — Nicaragua and Syria. The withdrawal process would take several years — until November 2019. 

 

We’ll see what Trump decides. 

 

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Members of a Mexican motorcycle gang has been arrested by the FBI for stealing over 150 Jeep Wranglers in Southern California, bringing it over the border in Mexico, and stripping it down for parts. 

 

The motorcycle gang is Hooligans Motorcycle Club and they are based in Tijuana. Their techniques for stealing the Jeeps is very creative. 

 

First, the gang managed to hack into a Jeep’s database of key codes for replacement keys for the vehicles (the codes are there in case someone loses a Jeep key — they would ask a dealership to “print” a new key).

Secondly, the gang would scout neighborhoods to look for Jeeps they wanted to steal — and when they found one, a person would look at the VIN# of the Jeep and notify a key cutter, who looked into the Jeep database to cut a new key that would fit the Jeep. 

 

They then went back to the Jeep, used its external latches to open the hood, manually disabled the alarm horn and flashing lights, and used the keys to get into the Jeep and updated its computer system to accept the new key. They then drive it into Mexico and either sell it whole or strip it down for parts. Since 2014, they’ve stole over 150 Jeeps worth over $4.5 million. Wow. 

 

The key codes were traced from a Jeep dealership in Cabo San Lucas (Mexico), and it is possible that someone within the dealership worked with the gang. 

 

The FBI investigation started in 2015 when they arrested three gang members and uncovered their techniques. Their indictment has 9 suspects, three already arrested in the U.S. while the others are still at large. 8 of them are Mexicans, one U.S. citizen. The FBI is still looking for more gang members. 

 

The FBI is recommending Jeep owners to change their hood locking system so people can’t open it from outside. 

 

News: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/motorcycle-gang-busted-for-hacking-and-stealing-over-150-jeep-wranglers/

 

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The NASA announced they will schedule a mission to send a probe to fly into the sun’s atmosphere next year.

 

The probe, named the Parker Solar Probe, will “touch the sun” and it is possible because it has a heat shield that allows it to withstand very high temperatures. It will orbit the sun within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface. 

 

The goal of the mission is to improve space weather forecasts that affect satellites and astronauts in space — and Earth. It will also give scientists information about how the sun/star functions. 

 

The Parker Solar Probe is named in honor of Eugene Parker, an astrophysicist credited with discovering “solar wind” in 1958. Solar wind is wind that blows from the sun at 200 to 600 mph. 

 

NASA, wow. 

 

Article: https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-05-31/nasa-announces-mission-to-touch-the-sun-with-parker-solar-probe

 

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A DeafBlind man from Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to death by beheading, according to an article from UK Independent and a report from human rights group Reprieve. 

 

It says the man, Munir Adam (23) was arrested after being involved in political protests in 2012, accused of being violent and for sending texts. 

 

He was imprisoned and tortured, causing him to have more hearing loss. He was forced to sign a confession and the statement was used as evidence against him in a secret trial. 

 

His sentence has been appealed but upheld. There is one more appeal before it will reach King Salman (who Trump visited last week) — the King will have the final decision to sign Munir’s execution warrant. 

 

The Independent article suggested that because President Trump did not discuss human rights issues in Saudi Arabia, the country’s administration is emboldened to execute protesters. 

 

Reprieve has called on the White House to demand the release of Munir and others who are imprisoned for expressing their opinions during protests. 

 

Reprieve report: http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/10867/

Independent Article: http://ind.pn/2rbV0x9

 

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That is all for today! See you tomorrow and stay with the light!

 

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