NEWS of the Day - April 5, 2013
on some LACP issues of interest

NEWS of the Day - April 5, 2013
on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ...

We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...

North Korea

'Threatening world peace while his people starve':
Hackers take control of North Korea's official Twitter and Flickr accounts and brand Kim Jong Un a pig

by Becky Evans

Hackers posted a picture of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un portrayed as a pig on the country's official flickr account today.

The account and the official Uriminzokkiri Twitter account were apparently hacked today as tensions in the Korean Peninsula continued to rise.

The North's Uriminzokkiri Twitter and Flickr accounts stopped sending out content typical of that posted by the regime in Pyongyang, such as photos of North's leader Kim Jong Un meeting with military officials.

Instead, a picture posted today showed Kim's face with a pig-like snout and a drawing of Mickey Mouse on his chest.

Underneath, text read: 'Threatening world peace with ICBMs and Nuclear weapons/Wasting money while his people starve to death.'

The mocked-up Wanted poster included a $1million 'bounty' placed on Kim and accusations of 'human rights violations'.

Another posting says 'We are Anonymous' in white letters against a black background.

Anonymous is a name of a hacker activist group. A statement purporting to come from the attackers and widely circulated online said that they had compromised 15,000 user records hosted on Uriminzokkiri.com and other websites.

The images have since been taken down but the Twitter account stills appears to be hacked.

Tweets on the North's Twitter account said 'Hacked' followed by a link to North Korea-related websites. One tweet said 'Tango Down' followed by a link to the North's Flickr page.

Tweets the Uriminzokkiri Twitter account said 'Hacked' with a link to the Flickr page

North Korea opened its Twitter account in 2010. It has more than 13,000 followers. The North uses the social media to praise its system and leaders and also to repeat commentaries sent out by North's official Korean Central News Agency.

Anonymous have previously been accused of a number of planned cyber-attacks government websites across the world.

One of their biggest coups was to secretly record a conference call between U.S. and British cyber investigators tasked with bringing the group to justice.

Kim Jong Un has been ratcheting up tensions on the Korean Peninsula in recent days.

North Korea warned today that 'the moment of explosion is near' as it declared that troops have been cleared to attack the U.S. using 'smaller, lighter and diversified' nuclear weapons.

The rogue state has moved a missile with a range of 3,000km (1,800m) to its east coast - within range of Japan - and claimed it would be ‘merciless' against its enemies.

Kim Jong Un's dramatic deployment came after the U.S. announced it was sending ballistic missile defences to Guam - the tiny Pacific Island on a list of possible targets for attack including Hawaii.



Majority of Americans now favor legalizing marijuana

by Sandra Emerson

For the first time in four decades of polling, a majority of Americans now favor legalizing marijuana, according to a survey released today by the Pew Research Center.

The center found that 52 percent of 1,501 adults surveyed last month favor legalization, up 11 percentage points since 2010.

The increase "suggests that some of this change is relatively recent," said Carroll Doherty, associate director of the Washington-based Pew Research Center.

The survey found that 65 percent of people between ages 18 and 32 favor legalizing marijuana, up from 36 percent in 2008.

There has also been a change among the Baby Boomer generation - half now support legalization, up from 24 percent in 1996.

Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1980, favor legalization by 54 percent, and support among the Silent Generation, those born between 1925 and 1942, has jumped from 17 percent to 32 percent since 2002, according to the survey.

The survey validates the beliefs of the Drug Policy Alliance, which means ending marijuana prohibition is not just a mainstream issue but a reform that will occur, said Stephen Gutwillig, deputy executive director of programs for the Los Angeles-based group.

"This is going to happen, and it is a question of how and how quickly," Gutwillig said.

A Field Poll released in February found that 54 percent of Californians were in favor of legalizing marijuana.

California is one of the key states the pro-marijuana movement is eyeing for a ballot initiative during the 2016 presidential election, Gutwillig said.

"That decision hasn't been made yet," he said, "but there's obvious advantages to concentrating on a win in California to capitalize on the momentum and to address the level of support that already exists here."

Voters in Colorado and Washington state legalized the use of marijuana during the November election.

"There's definitely going to be more activity on the part of marijuana advocates," said Jack Pitney, a politics and government professor at Claremont McKenna College. "They're going to take this as a sign that the wind is at their back. "

Initiatives proposed during a mid-term election face an older electorate as opposed to younger voters who lean in favor of legalization, Pitney said.

Passage of an initiative legalizing marijuana also depends on the wording of the measure and the amount of resources proponents have to get their message out to voters, he said.

A large part of the Pew survey includes Americans' views on enforcement of marijuana laws on both the federal and state level.

About 72 percent of those polled say efforts by the government to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they're worth, according to the survey.

About 60 percent say the federal government should not enforce federal laws prohibiting the use of marijuana in states where it is legal.

Doherty said that not only have the views of marijuana changed, but there is agreement among people of different political persuasions.

Of the people surveyed, 78 percent of independents, 71 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of Republicans agree government enforcement of marijuana laws cost more than they're worth.

About 64 percent of independents, 59 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans are opposed to the federal government enforcing marijuana laws in states where it's legal.

"These issues tend to get viewed through a red/blue prism," Doherty said. "There's a conservative/liberal tension. In this case, there seems to be agreement that it's just not worth the resources. "

Pitney said limiting the role of the federal government is a conservative value.

"You could make a fairly strong conservative case for legalizing marijuana," he said. "You could agree on a federal level, (restricting marijuana) greatly increases federal power. "

The economy has also played a factor in the recent increase in support of legalization, Pitney said.

Rather than spend money enforcing marijuana laws and incarcerating offenders, taxation of marijuana could lead to revenues, he said.

"A lot of people see this as way of shifting marijuana from the debit side of the ledger to the credit side of the ledger," he said. "Given the fiscal situation, that seems like a pretty good deal. "

The survey also found that an increasing percentage of Americans have tried marijuana.

About 48 percent of those polled said they have tried it, up from 38 percent a decade ago.

About half of all age groups, except for those 65 and up, say they have tried marijuana.

The views that marijuana use is immoral or that it is a "gateway drug" have also decreased, Doherty said.

"Even people who have never tried it are more supportive of legalization than they used to be," he said, "and it's really been an across-the-board shift."

Pew pollers questioned 1,501 people throughout the country from March 13 to 17.




Next drug forum will discuss community policing

The next in an ongoing series of community forums designed to make Cecil County residents more aware of drug abuse issues here is scheduled for Thursday.

Cecil County Sheriff Barry Janney and Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane will talk about community policing and other programs to reduce crime and how citizens can help.

The program begins at 6:30 p.m. in Room 208 of the Technology Building on Cecil College's North East Campus. For more information, call 443-722-4027 or email dbroomell@ccgov.org