Pakistani Earthquake Kills Hundreds But Creates New Island… And Other News

Pakistan EarthQuake

Powerful earthquake packs a punch in Pakistan.

Hundreds are dead and hundreds more injured in Pakistan’s remote southwest province of Balochistan after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck on Tuesday.  The killer quake flattened entire villages and was so strong that it was felt as far away as Delhi and Dubai. But on the bright side, Pakistan got a new island out of it. After the earthquake struck, an island, about 200m long and 100m wide, appeared the coast near the port of Gwadar. But don’t try to visit the island yet – it’s still emitting some pretty heavy gas. BBC News

Mall AttackThe Kenyan mall attack is over but investigators are still trying to sort things out. The death toll from the attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi and the four-day siege that followed is expected to rise. Militants from the al Qaeda-linked network al-Shabab said Wednesday that 137 hostages had been killed – but no one knows if that’s true or not. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said 67 people died including six security personnel – but no one knows if that’s true or not either. Police are also still piecing together who exactly these al-Shabab gunmen were. Five of them were killed in the four-day standoff and another 11 have been arrested. Some reports suggest that a British woman (perhaps the “white widow” of a London 7/7 bomber) and two or three American citizens may have been involved, but again, no one knows if that’s true or not. To sum up: there are still questions. CBC News

Ted Cruz SmileAfter 21 hours of Dr. Seuss stories, Duck Dynasty quotes, and Obama rages, Senator Ted Cruz can finally go to the bathroom. The Texas Republican was forced to end his faux-filibuster marathon speech at noon when the Senate got together to vote on the House bill to fund the government but defund Obamacare. Cruz’s speech had no effect on the vote, and was probably just a stunt to get some campaign money from his tea-party base. The Senate is expected ignore Cruz and return the funding for Obamacare that the Republicans took out of the bill. #KeepCruzing Wall Street Journal

MacArthurThe MacArthur Genius Grant Winners have been announced but The Sun Herald definitely won’t be receiving one. The newspaper accidently published the list of this year’s “genius” grant recipients early, despite the fact that the caption under the photo read “hold for release at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.” Mistake aside, two dozen scientists, scholars, artists and other genius-like people will receive $625,000 over the course of the next five years to spend on whatever their little hearts desire. The prize money, which is meant to promote creative development, not reward past work, used to be $500,000 but was increased to take inflation into account. Now if only they could do that with the minimum wage… Washington Post

Aaron Alexis in ActionThe FBI has released a video of the Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis. The video shows the shooter entering a building, loading his rifle, and searching nearly empty office space for more victims. According to the FBI, Alexis was under the “delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by electro-magnetic waves.” He had also sawed messages on his shotgun: “End to the torment,” “Not what y’all say,” and “Better off this way.” So yeah, he was a bit delusional. CNN

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