10 Things Happening Today-July 21, 2012

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 10 Things Happening Today July 21, 2012

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Police will enter the Dark Knight shooting suspect’s “booby trapped” apartment, director Christopher Nolan issues a statement, and more in a roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion.

1. POLICE TO ENTER SHOOTING SUSPECT’S APARTMENT
Police in Aurora, Colo., are grappling with how best to enter the “booby-trapped” apartment of James Holmes, the man arrested in connection with the Friday morning movie-theater shooting that left 12 people dead and more than 50 injured, when he allegedly opened fire as they watched The Dark Knight Rises. After Holmes was apprehended, he told investigators there were explosives in his apartment. Police used a camera to check the residence and found trip wires and containers with mysterious liquids, as well as a cache of ammunition. The apartment building and several others near it have been evacuated. Kaitlyn Fonzi, Holmes’ downstairs neighbor also told investigators that she heard loud techno music being played in Holmes’ apartment around midnight on Friday. She went upstairs to ask him to turn it down, but got no answer. Though his door was unlocked, she decided to leave without entering, a decision that may have saved her life, and instead called the police. Fonzi says she believes the music was on a timer because it stopped around 1 a.m. [Associated Press, USA Today]
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2. U.N. EXTENDS OBSERVER MISSION IN SYRIA
On Friday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to extend the observer mission in Syria by 30 days. Fighting between Syrian troops and rebels escalated this week following a rebel bombing on Wednesday that rattled the military regime and claimed the life of national security chief Gen. Hisham Ikhtiyar. The bombing was a “resounding blow” to President Assad, whose government is struggling to regain momentum. [Associated Press]
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3. DIRECTOR NOLAN ISSUES STATEMENT ON SHOOTINGS
The director of The Dark Knight Rises issued a statement on behalf of the cast and crew of the movie, expressing “profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy” that left 12 people dead and more than 50 wounded after a gunman opened fire in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater where Nolan’s movie was being screened. “The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me,” Nolan said. [USA Today]
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4. MILITARY UNIFORMS ALLOWED AT PRIDE PARADE
The Department of Defense granted permission to all members of the U.S. military, including those on active duty, to don their uniforms at an upcoming gay pride parade in San Diego. The move is the first of its kind since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “We are hopeful that those who have feared coming to share in the joy of Pride out of concern for losing their military careers will be able to finally celebrate their full and complete selves,” San Diego LGBT Pride said in a statement. [Reuters]
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5. OLYMPIC FLAME ARRIVES IN LONDON
On Friday, the Olympic flame arrived in London after a tour around the world, marking the latest step toward the opening of the Games in a week’s time. The flame was delivered by Martyn Williams, a British Royal Marine, who rappelled from a helicopter into the Tower of London carrying the torch. Hundreds of people watched the daredevil stunt from the banks of the Thames, a rare moment of uplift for an event that has been tainted by accusations of shoddy planning and complaints about congested traffic. In an op-ed in The Sun newspaper, London Mayor Boris Johnson addressed the grumblings directly, telling Londoners to “put a sock in it.” [Washington Post]
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6. VIACOM TO RESTORE CHANNELS TO DIRECTV
Viacom, the owner of MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and other popular channels, announced that it has reached a deal with DirecTV to restore its channels to the satellite TV provider. The contract ends a 10-day blackout that had DirecTV customers up in arms. Viacom will reportedly get more than $600 million a year from DirecTV in programming fees, under their new seven-year agreement, up at least 20 percent from the previous rate. Before the accord was reached, DirecTV complained that Viacom was demanding a 30 percent increase, amounting to more than $1 billion in additional costs. [Bloomberg]
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7. CHINESE DISSIDENT AI WEIWEI LOSES TAX APPEAL
A court in Beijing upheld a $2.4 million fine for tax evasion against Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei, who in 2011 became the subject of an international human rights campaign when he was held in secret detention by Chinese authorities for 81 days. The tax fine had been imposed against Ai’s company, Beijing Fake Cultural Development, but Ai insists that the fine is an attempt by Chinese officials to penalize him for his online political activism. [Los Angeles Times]
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8. GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AT ALL-TIME HIGH
According to a new report by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, global emissions of carbon dioxide increased by 3 percent in 2011, reaching an all-time high of 37 billion metric tons. China, the U.S., the European Union, India, Russia, and Japan rank as the top five emitters, from highest to lowest, even though emissions from the E.U., the U.S., and Japan all decreased. [Christian Science Monitor]
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9. EUROPE ON CUSP OF APPROVING GENE THERAPY
The European Medicines Agency has recommended a genetic therapy — a type of therapy that alters a person’s DNA to treat inherited diseases — for a rare genetic disease that prevents people from digesting fats. If approved, the therapy would be the first of its kind, and the move would be a “landmark moment for the field” of gene therapy. The decision to move forward now rests with the European Commission. [BBC]
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10. GOOGLE PROFITS UP 11 PERCENT
Google has reported a profit of $2.79 billion in the second quarter, up 11 percent over the same period last year. This is the company’s first financial statement since it completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility in May. Motorola is responsible for bringing in $1.25 billion in revenue for the quarter, about 10 percent of Google’s total revenue of $12.21 billion. [PC World]

Many thanks to The Week for their contributions to this story.

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 10 Things Happening Today July 21, 2012
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2 Responses to 10 Things Happening Today-July 21, 2012

  1. bitcodavid Reply

    July 21, 2012 at 10:42 am

    So 600 million – down from one billion. And we’re supposed to be grateful? Who’s going to pay that increase? DirecTV? Nope. Us. That’s who. The cable industry actually makes the pharmaceutical industry appear benevolent by comparison.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      July 21, 2012 at 11:28 am

      You make a valid point David. I have DirecTV but I spend way too much on it and am going to cut back. They charge you for everything.

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