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Uploaded: Jan. 29, 2015


Drug-Smuggling Schemes
Jan. 29, 2015
From the days of rum-running during Prohibition, smugglers have used all manner of creative ways to spirit their cargos past law enforcement. Now drug traffickers may be adopting the latest modern marvel: remote-control drones. Here’s a look at some high-tech and far-fetched drug smuggling schemes.
The recent crash of a quadcopter drone on the White House lawn highlighted the growing security threat posed by the new high-tech toys, which are growing in popularity but posing new questions about privacy and airspace safety. Drug-carrying drones would be an alarming new aspect to the debate.
Earlier this month a quadcopter drone carrying more than six pounds of methamphetamine crashed in a supermarket parking lot near San Ysidro, Calif., on the Mexican border. Tijuana officials speculate the drone, a Spreading Wings S9000, crashed because it had been overloaded. It’s cargo was worth an estimated $40,000.
DEA special agent Matthew Barden speculates that, given their small carrying capacity, drones might have other uses for drug cartels, telling Time: “They can be used to spy on agents doing rounds… People can use them to set up an ambush.” Added Barden: “If it’s not happening, it soon will.”
Companies such as Amazon have recently experimented with using drones to delivery small packages to consumers, everything from prescription drugs to pizza and pastries.
The approach is still in its infancy, though, and faces uncertain regulatory oversight, especially in urban areas. Pictured, an experimental delivery drone operated by DHL.
The Domino’s Pizza “Domi-Copter” pizza delivery drone. (It might not ever deliver drugs, but it would be invaluable to cope with the ensuing munchies.)
BORDER BATTLE: Drones are also playing a growing role in border security enforcement. The Los Angeles Daily News reports that nearly half of the U.S.-Mexican border is now patrolled solely by drone aircraft such as MQ-9 Reapers, the same platform used by the Pentagon.
The drones primarily do not provide real-time monitoring but instead are used for “change detection,” sweeping over remote areas of the border over successive days to collect images that are analyzed for tiny changes that could indicate footprints, tire tracks, or other evidence of human activity.
According to the Daily News, the border patrol has flown around 10,000 “change detection” flights since the program began in March 2013, covering some 900 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border, mainly in Texas. Most flights originate at Fort Huachuca in Arizona.
Earlier this month a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general found the drone patrol program ineffective — operating just 22% of its planned patrols — and costing five times as much as was reported. The report recommended requested funding increases be directed elsewhere.
SMUGGLING SCHEMES: Driven by huge profit potential, drug smugglers have resorted to sometimes outlandish schemes to transport their illegal cargoes, from tunnels to submarines capable of carrying millions of dollars worth of drugs.
Drug Subs: When drug agents got too good at spotting and capturing boats, the smugglers went underwater. Colombian authorities captured this submarine owned and operated by drug cartels in Timbiqui. The submersible was capable of carrying eight tons of cocaine from Colombia to distributors in Mexico.
The legendary drug-smuggling submarine dubbed “Bigfoot” is now on display at Naval Air Station Key West in Florida. Captured in 2006, the 49-foot craft carried a four-man crew and three tons of cocaine.
A drug-sub captured in Ecuador in 2010. Costing less than $1 million to build, they can move cargo valued at more than $150 million for each load.
A fiberglass submersible intercepted by the Coast Guard in 2007. According to a New York Times article, some 70 such subs were thought to carry as much as 30% of cocaine exports from Colombia in 2009.
Colombian Navy troopers guard a diesel-powered semi-submersible craft used by drug smugglers in 2012.
Ultralights: Drug enforcement officials first began seeing these small airplanes used by smugglers in 2008 to ferry loads as large as 250 pounds. Pictured, a crashed ultralight discovered near Albuquerque, N.M., in 2011, with it’s load of marijuana bundles still attached.
Because they are easily spotted in daylight, they often to fly at night, using roads or lighted temporary runways to navigate. This ultralight seized by federal agents in 2008 near Tucson, Ariz., carried 253 pounds of marijuana.
Difficult to detect on radar, ultralights have been involved in near collisions with civilian and military aircraft. This drug-smuggling ultralight crashed into a field north of San Luis, Ariz., in 2008. The pilot’s body was found still in the wreckage.
Catapult: In 2011 Mexican troops discovered jury-rigged catapults that had been used to fling parcels of marijuana from the the border city of Agua Prieta over a 21-foot-tall fence into Arizona. Smugglers reportedly drove the catapult on the back of an SUV. Fox News Latino reports the troops seized 1.4 tons of marijuana along with the catapults.
Pot Cannon: This pneumatic cannon carried on the back of a pickup truck used compressed carbon dioxide cartridges to fling packages weighing around two pounds some 500 feet. Border agents became aware of the device after finding more than 30 canisters of marijuana in a field near the Mexican border.
A small hand-held pneumatic “tee-shirt cannon” of the type used during sporting events was also used by smugglers along the Arizona border.
Coffins: In the 1970s, Harlem heroin kingpin Frank Lucas boasted of spiriting his drugs from suppliers in Asia’s Golden Triangle inside the coffins of dead American servicemen arriving from Vietnam. Though this claim is contested, it was dramatized in the 2007 film American Gangster.
Plush Dolls: In 2006 DEA officials busted a drug smuggling operation headquartered in Greeley, Colo., that had used children’s dolls including the Sesame Street character Elmo (pictured) to transport highly purified methamphetamine. During the raid authorities seized more than 50 pounds of meth with a street value of up to $2.4 million.
Tunnels: Drug smugglers have been tunneling under the U.S.-Mexican border for the last several decades, many originating in Tijuana, Mexico and ending up in San Diego, Calif. The tunnels range from Great Escape-style crawlways to hallway-sized corridors complete with lights and air conditioning.
San Diego police carry drug parcels found in a tunnel near Otay Mesa, Calif.
A Mexican soldier inspects the entrance a tunnel hidden under a bathtub in Culiacan.
A two-story electric elevator services this drug tunnel connected warehouses in Tijuana, Mexico and Otay Mesa, Calif.
A motorized rail ferries drugs and drug runners through a tunnel in Tijuana, Mexico.
A portion of a lighted drug tunnel in Culiacan, Mexico.
HIDDEN PRIZES: Smugglers have tried to hide their contraband in every conceivable (and sometimes inconceivable) hiding place to sneak them past customs inspectors at airports and ports of entry. Here’s a look at some of the more outlandish attempts intercepted by authorities.
Drug smuggling through the U.S.-Mexico border often parallels the trafficking of illegal immigrants, where people are hidden inside every possible empty space in a vehicle, from trunks to engine compartments to, in this unsuccessful 2006 attempt, the inside of a chair.
This young woman was found crammed behind the dashboard of a car.
In September 2011 authorities at Dulles International Airport discovered 15 bags of cocaine hidden inside clams carried by a smuggler arriving from Panama. The five ounces of cocaine had a street value of $10,000.
Texas police intercepted a shipment of cocaine in 2006 that was molded to look like the distinctive curved Pringles potato chip.
These bottles of illegal liquid steroids impounded in Australia were hidden inside sexual lubricant packages.
A German customs official holds a soccer ball stuffed with illegal cigarettes.
This Mr. Potato Head doll seized by Australian Customs officials was packed with 293 grams of ecstasy.
Packages of heroin inside the gearbox of a vehicle caught at the Mexican border.
Drug parcels inside the chassis of a motorcycle.
Drugs were hidden in the hollowed-out interior of this surfboard.
More than five tons of marijuana were packed into this furniture confiscated by British authorities in 2005.
This wooden door intercepted in Australia contained 11 pounds of cocaine.
In 2009 Spanish officials in Barcelona arrested a man arriving from Chile with a cast on his leg they determined had been made out of cocaine.
Airport customs officials in New York City discovered packages of cocaine taped inside a pair of underwear worn by an arriving passenger.
NYC officials have also discovered drugs hidden inside wigs…
… and bras.
Packages of drugs extracted from the body of a dog.
A tightly wrapped parcel of drugs designed to be hidden inside a “body cavity.”
Cartoon of the Day
Jan. 29, 2015
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Close Encounter with a Comet
Jan. 28, 2015
The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft continues to follow a massive comet as it tumbles deeper into the solar system, sending back eye-popping images of a stark alien landscape filled with unexpected features and new mysteries. Here’s a look. (All images: ESA)
Rosetta arrived at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014 after a ten-year journey, and immediately began transmitting pictures from the five cubic-mile comet. 67P orbits the sun every 6.7 years, and on its closest approach dips down just outside the orbit of Earth.
In January, the Philae lander descended to the surface of the comet. Though it bounced several times on the surface and ended up in partial darkness, the first-ever landing on a comet was a major milestone in space exploration. (Image: ESA illustration)
As 67P tumbles further into the solar system, solar winds are heating the surface and causing eruptions of gas and dust. These eruptions create the distinctive comet tail, and have also created features on the surface that are both alien and familiar to Earthbound eyes.
Another view of the of 67P’s ejection gases, many of which are being observed in the thinner central region of the comet’s structure, which has been named Hapi by ESA scientists.
More faint whisps of gas stream up from the top portion of the comet (top as oriented in the image — in space there is no up and down, top and bottom).
One interesting fact from the ESA scientists: Despite it’s size — approximately five cubic-miles in volume — 67P is not very dense, consisting mostly of dust, minerals, and gas. As a result, with a porosity of 70% to 80%, the comet would actually float if it were gently dropped into an ocean.
The 19 geomorphic regions of 67P have been given ancient Egyptian names in the spirit of the probe’s name Rosetta, after the Rosetta stone that helped modern linguists understand ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Smooth plains and rocky ridges mark this region of Imhotep. Temperatures on the surface of 67P, which is a nearly uniform dark brownish black color, ranges from -93 to -43 Celsius, with subsurface temperatures much lower. The comet rotates completely every 12 hours.
Detail of a rockier area of Imhotep.
Another area of Imhotep.
Dust and boulders litter the Hapi region beneath the sheer face of the Hathor cliff face (at right).
Another area of rock formations and dustlike surface materiel.
This vista might easily be mistaken for a desert area of Nevada or a snowy mountaintop in the Alps — but it’s on the surface of a comet currently beyond the orbit of Mars.
An active pit in the Seth region, where Rosetta cameras have seen evidence of outgassing.
In another region crossing from Hapi into Anuket, cameras discovered a large crack running across the comet’s surface.
Another view of the crack running through Hapi.
A tectonic crack feature in the Aker region.
Many areas of the surface of 67P are covered in so-called “airfall material,” dust-like granules ejected from the interior that have collected on the surface. Ripples and wind-tails that appear similar to desert sand dunes are theorized to result from the “wind” from subsequent outgassing.
More dune-like structures in the Hapi region.
An apparent impact crater in a region of dust, possibly created by ejected debris that fell back to the surface. The crater is approximately 35 meters across.
Evidence of active surface processes on the boundary between Ash and Seth, including collapsed cliffs (left) and surface deflation (right).
A partially uncovered, heavily-fractured rock structure (left), and a collapsed area (right).
A pit in the Laftet region shows evidence of material flowing out from the interior.
A deep-space mystery: “Goosebump”-like surface textures on a cliff-face.
More “goosepumps” on the walls of a comet pit.
Holocaust Remembrance Day
Jan. 28, 2015
This year’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day coincided with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on January 27, 1945. Here’s a look at the solemn remembrances that took place in Poland this past week.
More than 3,000 guests attended a commemoration at Auschwitz on the evening before Holocaust Remembrance Day. The event brought together survivors, family members, heads of state, and other dignitaries. Pictured, a group of Auschwitz survivors stands under the camp’s main gate.
HISTORY OF HORROR: Located in southern Poland west of Krakow, the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex was the largest facility built by the Nazis to facilitate their so-called “Final Solution.” The camp has since become emblematic of the entire Holocaust. (Pictured, the wire fence around Auschwitz as it appears today.)
Auschwitz-Birkenau consisted of three separate camps stretching across 15 square miles. Between 1940 and 1945, at least 1.3 million people, mostly Jews, were sent to Auschwitz. An estimated 1.1 million were systematically murdered inside the camp.
On the day that Soviet forces liberated the camp, more than 7,000 prisoners remained in the camp. Pictured, young Auschwitz prisoners found by Soviet soldiers 70 years ago.
MODERN-DAY MEMORIES: Some 300 survivors of the Auschwitz camps attended this year’s commemoration. They wore special garments to remember their captivity and liberation in 1945.
Seven decades after the liberation of Auschwitz, the number of survivors and witnesses continues to dwindle. The New York Times notes that while some 1,500 survivors marked Holocaust Remembrance Day at the camp a decade ago, this year fewer than 300 were able to attend.
Paula Lebovics points to an informational display at the Auschwitz museum. She was an 11-year-old camp prisoner when the Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz in 1945.
Yuda Widawski, age 96, is among the oldest survivors of Auschwitz.
More faces of the survivors of Auschwitz.
Eugenivsz Dabrowski
Inside the Auschwitz camp, former prisoners leave tributes at a wall where fellow prisoners were executed.
A survivor touches the Death Wall.
A message to the victims of the camps written on a stone rests in the Death Wall.
Auschwitz survivor Halina Birenbaum told the New York Times: “The greatest debt we have today is to pass on the memory of their lives to others, their desire and will to live.”
Roman Kent, president of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, spoke at the remembrance: “We do not want our past to be our children’s future. We survivors cannot, dare not, forget the millions who were murdered. For if we were to forget, the consciousness of mankind would be buried alongside the victims.”
This year a tent was built over the original red-brick entrance to the Auschwitz II camp to host the 70th anniversary commemoration, where numerous speakers addressed those in attendance about the legacy of the Holocaust and the troubling resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe.
Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski spoke at the ceremony: “The memory of Auschwitz means the memory of the importance of freedom, justice, tolerance, and respect for human rights.”
As evening fell, survivors and family members carried candles through the darkness and across the rail lines leading to the camp to the nearby Birkenau Memorial.
The Birkenau Memorial at Auschwitz.
Treasury secretary Jack Lew represented the United States at the commemoration.
Candles of remembrance line the Birkenau Memorial.
Today in History: Space Shuttle Challenger
Jan. 28, 2015
JANUARY 28, 1986: The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after lift-off, killing all seven astronauts including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, the first civilian to fly for NASA. A subsequent inquiry places the blame for the loss on pressure to launch under unusually cold weather conditions that affected O-ring seals on the spacecraft’s powerful external boosters.
1980: Six U.S. diplomats caught in the Iranian revolution who had avoided being taken hostage at the embassy with their colleagues are spirited out of the country using false passports by CIA operate Tony Menendez. The 2012 film Argo (pictured), starring Ben Affleck as Menendez, dramatizes the operation but is criticized for downplaying the role of Canadian embassy officials.
1959: The Green Bay Packers hire Vince Lombardi as coach and general manager to turn around its struggling football franchise. Over nine seasons, Lombardi leads the team to five championships and wins in the first two Super Bowls, in the process embodying the ideal of a single-minded focus on victory.
JANUARY 27, 1945: Soviet forces liberate the Auschwitz concentration camp in southern Poland in the waning days of WWII, finding some 7,000 ill and dying prisoners left behind by retreating SS guards. Auschwitz was the largest facility established by Nazi Germany as part of its “Final Solution,” where more than 1.1 million people had been systematically murdered since 1940.
1998: During an interview on The Today Show, First Lady Hillary Clinton blames a “vast right-wing conspiracy” for the continuing scandals engulfing the administration of husband Bill Clinton, including the ongoing Monica Lewinsky investigation and accusations surrounding the Whitewater real-estate venture.
1967: Apollo 1 astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee are killed when a fire sweeps through their command capsule during a launch rehearsal at Cape Canaveral. A NASA investigation determines that several design flaws, including a pure-oxygen internal air mixture and difficult escape hatch, contributed to the loss of the crew.
1888: The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C. to promote “the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge.” Over more than century the organization has supported some 5,000 major scientific projects and expeditions, helped set cartographic standards with high-quality maps, and funded award-winning photography through its popular journal.
JANUARY 26, 1788: Captain Arthur Phillip raises the British flag on the first European settlement at New South Wales. Phillip’s fleet had come bearing some 700 British convicts bound for a proposed penal colony. Though it struggled mightily in its early years, the colony eventually flourished, and the date of Phillip’s arrival would later celebrate the nation’s founding as Australia Day.
1979: The Dukes of Hazzard debuts on CBS. Following the misadventures of two cousins (John Schneider and Tom Wopat) in the rural South, the show becomes famous for its frequent car chases — featuring the “General Lee,” an orange 1969 Dodge Charger with a large Confederate flag and welded-shut doors that required acrobatic entry — and the tight outfits of co-star Catherine Bach.
1957: The Wham-O company begins manufacturing the flying-disc toy that will evolve into the world-famous Frisbee. Originating with the empty tins thrown by customers of the Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport, Conn., inventor Walter Morrison sells an improved plastic version to Wham-O dubbed the “Pluto Platter” (pictured). Wham-O changes the name to Frisbee in 1958.
2005: Longtime Tonight Show host Johnny Carson dies at age 79. Taking the host seat in 1962, Carson’s casual and witty style helps define the late-night talk format for all who came after. His influence only grows when he moved the show to Burbank in 1972, and the network maneuvering after his retirement in 1992 changes the landscape of late-night television.
1983: The action series The A-Team premieres on NBC. The tale of former Army special-forces soldiers turned mercenaries, the show becomes a pop-culture phenomenon with its over-the top, cartoonish action scenes and colorful characters such as team leader Hannibal Smith (George Peppard) and B.A. Baracus (breakout star Mr. T).
1977: The television miniseries Roots debuts on ABC. Based on the novel by Alex Haley and charting a harrowing family saga from 1750 through the Civil War, the show dramatizes the era of black slavery for a mainstream primetime audience for the first time. Across eight episodes, the show draws historic ratings and wins nine Emmy Awards.
1968: North Korean forces capture the intelligence boat USS Pueblo after alleging it was discovered in their territorial waters. Pueblo’s capture markedly increases tensions on the Korea peninsula and resulted in the loss of a large amount of classified materiel. The ship’s crew are sent to prison camps and in some cases tortured, and are finally released nearly a year later.
JANUARY 22, 1973: The Supreme Court hands down the landmark Roe v Wade decision. Finding a right to privacy within the 14th Amendment’s due-process clause, the 7-2 decision strikes down the Texas statutes at issue in the case and clears the way for legalized abortions nationwide. The decision permanently reshapes the national political debate on abortion and other cultural issues.
1973: George Foreman scores an upset win over Joe Frazier to take the heavyweight boxing title. Critics had scoffed at “Big George’s” Olympic career, thinking he had never faced an opponent as strong as Frazier, who had bested Muhammed Ali two years earlier. But Foreman’s second-round punch elicited Howard Cosell’s famous cry: “Down goes Frazier!”
1973: Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th president of the United States from 1963 to 1968, dies at his Texas ranch. During his tenure in the White House Johnson pushed through the Civil Rights Act and a range of federal programs under his “War on Poverty” campaign. But the conflict in Vietnam weighed on his administration, and he declined to run for reelection in 1968.
1968: The television comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In premieres on NBC. The sketch program featured a rotating cast of current and future comedy luminaries, and was famous for its rapid-fire jokes on politics and sexual mores. Presidential candidate Richard Nixon appeared in an early episode uttering the famous line: “Sock it to me?”
1905: Russian Imperial troops fire on protesting workers at Czar Nicholas II’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Hundreds are killed and wounded in what becomes known as the Bloody Sunday Massacre, and strikes and riots break out across the country in response, planting the seeds of the Bolshevik revolution a decade later.
JANUARY 21, 1954: The USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, launches at Groton, Conn. Carrying 105 officers and crew, Nautilus goes on to break many speed and endurance records, and in 1958 becomes the first vessel to transit the North Pole submerged, an important achievement for the U.S. in the post-Sputnik era. She was decommissioned in 1980.
1977: On his second day in office, President Jimmy Carter issues a pardon for all Vietnam War draft dodgers, wiping the slate for civilian violators of the controversial conflict — but not those who had deserted from active duty. The move enrages veterans groups as an affront to those who had served honorably.
1968: U.S. Marines at the Khe Sahn Combat Base come under heavy bombardment by North Vietnamese army forces, marking the beginning of a grueling 77-day siege. A massive air operation was marshaled to resupplying the remote base and strike back against enemy forces, allowing the Marines to hold out against relentless attacks until being relieved on April 8.
1959: Carl Dean Switzer, the actor who portrayed the freckled-face, cowlick-coiffed Alfalfa in the Our Gang film-shorts series, dies in a fight in Mission Hills, Calif., at age 31. Switzer appeared in the children’s comedy series from the mid-1930s to the early 1940s, but received no royalties when the shorts were syndicated to television in the mid-1950s as The Little Rascals.
1950: Former state department official Alger Hiss is convicted of perjury. Accused of being a Communist prior to WWII, Hiss appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where his case galvanized supporters and critics of HUAC’s methods. Evading a charge of treason (because of the statute of limitations), Hiss would serve nearly four years.
1793: King Louis XVI is executed at the Place de la Revolution in Paris. Louis had resisted calls to reform the monarchy in the face of revolutionary fervor, and was forced to leave the royal palace in 1789 with his unpopular queen, Marie Antoinette. After the monarchy was abolished in 1792, evidence of his conspiracy with foreign powers sealed his doom.
JANUARY 20, 1981: Iran releases 52 American hostages held in the U.S. embassy in Tehran, ending a 444-day international standoff. The long-running crisis — punctuated by a disastrous attempted rescue mission — crippled President Carter’s reelection bid, and the hostages were released just minutes after President Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.
1987: Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite is taken hostage by Hezbollah militants in Lebanon while on a mission to negotiate the release of other Western hostages. Hezbollah accused Waite of being a CIA spy and kept him imprisoned for nearly five years, where he was beaten and kept in seclusion. Waite was released in November 1991 (pictured).
1942: Top Nazi officials gather in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to discuss a “final solution” for the Jewish population of occupied Europe. Led by SS General Reinhard Heydrich (pictured) and Adolf Eichmann, the conference attendees planned various relocation and execution methods. Notes of the meeting were later used at the Nuremberg war crimes trials.
1841: China signs the Chuenpi Convention ceding the island of Hong Kong to the British during the First Opium War. The colony flourished under British rule as a commercial gateway to southern China and eventually a world commercial center. In 1898 Britain secured an additional 99-year lease, and finally handed control back to China in 1997.
JANUARY 16, 1991: With the passing of a United Nations deadline for withdrawal from Kuwait, Operation Desert Storm begins with a massive six-week air campaign by allied nations led by the United States that devastates Saddam Hussein’s military from Kuwait to Baghdad. The air war paves the way for a February 24 ground invasion that expels Iraq from Kuwait, and just four days.
1973: The primetime western drama Bonanza signs off after 14 seasons and 430 episodes, second only to Gunsmoke in duration. The saga of the Cartwright family of ranchers in mid-1800s Virginia City, Nev., was a male-heavy affair led by patriarch Ben (Lorne Greene) and his three grown sons that struck a chord with storylines that avoided the classic trope of the wandering gunslinger.
1919: The 18th Amendment prohibiting the manufacture and sale of “intoxicating liquors” is ratified, culminating a decades-long push by anti-alcohol organizers across the country. Nine months later Congress passes the Volstead Act to put prohibition into effect, but a massive law-enforcement effort fails to stop the practice. In 1933 the 21st Amendment repeals prohibition.
JANUARY 15, 1559: Elizabeth Tudor is crowned Queen Elizabeth I at Westminster Abbey. The daughter of Henry VIII, Elizabeth endured imprisonment by her Catholic half-sister Mary, and as queen established a permanent Protestant Church of England. The “Virgin Queen” would guide England to its place as a major world power, and is renowned as one of England’s greatest monarchs.
2009: US Airways pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger lands a stricken Airbus 320 in the Hudson River after a birdstrike incapacitates both the plane’s engines shortly after takeoff from La Guardia Airport. The so-called “Miracle on the Hudson” results in a handful of injuries but no deaths among the 150 passengers and five crew. Sullenberger retired the following year.
1967: The Green Bay Packers face off against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first-ever Super Bowl game at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Pitting the champions of the rival National Football Leage and American Football League, Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr led his team to a 35-10 victory. The leagues merged three years later.
1919: A massive tank of molasses collapses in the heart of Boston, plunging more than two million gallons of fiery hot liquid in an eight-foot wave that kills 12 people and dozens of horses, and damages numerous buildings and structures. The incident leads to more than 100 lawsuits against the United States Industrial Alcohol Company.
JANUARY 14, 1973: The Miami Dolphins cap the first and and so far only undefeated season in NFL history by besting the Washington Redskins 14-7 in Super Bowl VII. Despite their perfect regular-season and playoff record, coach Don Shula’s team was a three-point underdog going in, having lost the previous year, but quarterback Bob Griese prevails in a low-scoring match.
1969: An explosion rips through the the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise on station off the coast of Vietnam. The explosion and resulting fire kills 27 sailors and injures another 314; 15 aircraft are also lost on the heavily-damaged flight deck. The cause was determined to be a MK-32 Zuni rocket on a parked F-4 Phantom fighter which became heated by nearby equipment.
1954: Yankees baseball legend Joe DiMaggio marries movie star Marilyn Monroe in San Francisco, Calif., where, despite their efforts at privacy, they are mobbed by press. The pair seemed to struggle from the start as DiMaggio grew uncomfortable with Monroe’s sexpot image, even enduring the filming of her famous blown skirt scene on the set of The Seven Year Itch. They divorced in October.
JANUARY 13, 1968: Singer Johnny Cash records two performances at Folsom State Prison in California. The resulting album, released in May, becomes a major commercial success led by a live version of one of his first hit singles “Folsom Prison Blues” and revitalizes Cash’s career.
1962: Television producer Ernie Kovacs dies in a car crash in Los Angeles. Kovacs brought an off-beat approach to his eponymous comedy program, staging skits with surreal plots and colorful, at times bizarre characters including the mincing Percy Dovetonsils and the masked Nairobi Trio. The show also featured experiments with the emerging technology of television.
1929: Legendary frontier lawman Wyatt Earp dies in Los Angeles. Born in Illinois, Earp had worn may hats as a lawman and private citizen before arriving in Tombstone, Ariz., where he joined his brothers Virgil and Morgan — and longtime friend John “Doc” Holliday — in the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral in October 1881.
1898: Émile Zola publishes “J’accuse…!” (“I Accuse”) in defense of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French Army convicted of treason. The letter blasted the Army for covering up the details of its illegitimate conviction — known as the “Dreyfus Affair” — and though it brought Zola a libel sentence, it was instrumental in obtaining a new trial that eventually exonerated Dreyfus.
1971: Producer Norman Lear’s All in the Family debuts on CBS. An adaption of the British series Till Death Us Do Part, the show focused on the angry working-class patriarch Archie Bunker and broke new ground in addressing topics including race and women’s liberation. The show ranks as the top-rated show for its first five years and goes on to win numerous Emmy Awards.
1969: The British music group Led Zeppelin releases their self-titled first album, a fusion of blues and rock that receives initially poor reviews but strikes a chord with music fans. Songs such as “Dazed and Confused” and “Communication Breakdown” would become concert staples performed throughout their long run atop the music business.
1879: British forces under Lord Chelmsford cross into Zululand after Zulu King Cetshwayo refuses an ultimatum to dismantle his large army. Within two weeks British forces would stumble into two historic battles against Cetshwayo’s primitive military, losing some 800 soldiers in a surprise attack by Zulu warriors at Islandwana, and killing more than 500 Zulu in a desperate defense at Rorke’s Drift.
JANUARY 9, 2007: Apple Steve Jobs CEO unveils the iPhone, the first device to combine a phone, music player, camera, and Internet access with a touch-screen interface. During his keynote address, considered among his best, Jobs first demonstrated many of the features that would become common on smartphones, and that solidified Apple’s dominance in the sector.
1776: Thomas Paine publishes the influential pamphlet Common Sense, setting out his arguments in favor of independence for the American colonies. Paine’s plain language brought average citizens and politicians together in the idea of independence and an identity apart from England, and helped catalyze the nascent revolution.
JANUARY 8, 1964: President Lyndon Johnson declares a “War on Poverty” during his State of the Union address, and the legislation that followed created the Medicare and Medicaid, established the national food-stamp program and Job Corps, and greatly expanded the federal government’s role in education.
1982: AT&T settles an anti-trust lawsuit with the Justice Department by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell Systems companies, the local exchanges that made up the company’s national phone network, while retaining the long-distance operation. The era of the so-called “Baby Bells” would see a surge in competition in phone services and technology, leading to the wireless revolution.
1918: President Woodrow Wilson delivers his "Fourteen Points" in a speech before Congress, outlining his proposal for a postwar peace settlement involving free trade, freedom of the sea, and an international forum of governments in which to settle disputes. The latter idea would later take the form of the League of Nations, but failed to prevent the outbreak of another world war.
JANUARY 7, 1953: President Harry Truman announces the development of a hydrogen bomb during his final State of the Union address in a move to counter the Soviet nuclear program. With a destructive force measured in megatons, the hydrogen bomb was a far more powerful weapon than the earlier atomic bomb, and was small enough to fit inside a ballistic missile.
1955: Singer Marian Anderson makes her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in a performance of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, becoming the first black singer to perform there, one of numerous times she would break the color barrier during her career. Anderson’s contralto voice was widely celebrated, and her 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial was heard by millions on radio.
1927: The New York Globetrotters play their first game in Hinckley, Ill. Organized by sports promoter Abe Saperstein (at left), the team was initially named the Savoy Big Five, and in 1930 adopted the hometown of Harlem. The team began adding comedy elements to their game in the late 1930s, and those became a focus of their exhibitions after the NBA became racially integrated in the 1950s.
1911: Silent film actress Mary Pickford marries actor Owen Moore. Known as “America’s Sweetheart,” Pickford rose from an anonymous extra to become one of the cinema’s first true movie stars and one of the richest and most famous women in the country. Pickford later married Douglas Fairbanks, with whom she founded the United Artists studio in 1919 alongside filmmaker Charlie Chaplin.
JANUARY 6, 1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers his “Four Freedoms” goals during the State of the Union address to rally support for a more interventionist role in international affairs. The four freedoms — freedom of speech and of worship, and freedom from want and fear — were later embraced by Eleanor Roosevelt in the campaign for the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
1994: A soap-opera drama overtakes the world of Olympic figure skating when Nancy Kerrigan (right) is attacked by a man hired by the the ex-husband of Tonya Harding (left), Kerrigan’s chief rival for a spot on the U.S. Figure Skating Team. Both skaters went on the Olympic Games in Lillehammer, where Harding falters badly and Kerrigan won a silver medal.
1759: George Washington, then a young officer in the colonial British Army, resigns his commission to marry Martha Dandridge Custis, and the couple move into Washington’s family estate at Mount Vernon, with the future first President adopting Martha’s two children, Jack and Patsy. They remained married for four decades until his death in 1799.
JANUARY 5, 1972: President Richard Nixon signs a $5.5 million funding plan for the space shuttle, NASA’s proposed reusable low-Earth orbit vehicle. Columbia is the first to fly in 1981, and over the next two decades five shuttles fly 135 missions — suffering two catastrophic losses — and play a vital role for the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. The fleet is retired in 2011.
1973: Bruce Springsteen’s first album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J., is released, drawing strong reviews for the singer-songwriter’s distinctive sound. Columbia Records head Clive Davis thought the album lacked a big single, so Springsteen added “Blinded by the Light” and “Spirit in the Night”; neither song proved a hit, but Manfred Mann’s recording of “Blinded” would top the charts in 1977.
1933: Construction begins on the the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Real-estate speculators had dreamed of connecting the San Francisco peninsula with southern Marin County for decades, but a workable and affordable plan to span the 3,000-foot wide strait with a suspension bridge did not emerge until the 1920s. The completed bridge was opened on May 27, 1937.
JANUARY 2, 1811: Massachusetts’s Timothy Pickering becomes the first U.S. senator to be formally censured after a scandal over the disclosure of secret presidential documents. Pickering had been General George Washington’s adjutant during the Revolutionary War, but was dismissed from his post as secretary of state by President Adams because of his ties to Alexander Hamilton.
1974: President Richard Nixon signs the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, setting a uniform national speed limit of 55 miles per hour. Enacted in the aftermath of the Arab oil embargo, the act was intended to enforce more fuel-efficient travel and thus lessen demand for petroleum. Unpopular in Western states with long rural highways, the act was finally repealed in 1995.
1965: University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath signs with the New York Jets for a three-year contract worth an unprecedented $400,000. A brash new kind of sports celebrity, Namath quickly began racking up impressive passing stats, and in 1969 cemented his legendary status by guaranteeing — and delivering — a Jets victory in the Super Bowl.
1935: Bruno Hauptmann goes on trial for the kidnapping and murder of the the infant son of Charles and Anne Lindberg. Hauptmann, an immigrant German carpenter, was found with part of the large ransom payment, and other circumstantial evidence linked him to what the media had sensationalized into “The Crime of the Century." He was convicted and executed the following year.
1492: King Boabdil of Granada surrenders to the forces of Spanish King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella, making the fall of the last Arab stronghold in the Iberian peninsula more than 700 years after Muslim armies had first invaded Europe.
Miss Universe National Costume Show
Jan. 26, 2015
Paulina Vega took the Miss Universe crown for Colombia on Sunday night. One of the highlights of this year’s event was the National Costume Show, a dazzling parade of colorful outfits. Here’s a look at some of the best.
Miss Indonesia Elvira Devinamira took the top prize in this year’s National Costume Show with an homage to the Borobudur Temple in Java.
Miss Albania, Zhaneta Byberi
Miss Angola, Zuleica Wilson
Miss Argentina, Valentina Ferrer
Miss Aruba, Digene Zimmerman
Miss Australia, Tegan Martin
Miss Austria, Julia Furdea
Miss Bahamas, Tomii Culmer
Miss Belgium, Anissa Blondin
Miss Bolivia, Claudia Tavel
Miss Brazil, Melissa Gurgel
Miss British Virgin Islands, Jaynene Jno Lewis
Miss Bulgaria, Kristina Georgieva
Miss Canada, Chanel Beckenlehner
Miss Chile, Hellen Marlene Toncio
Miss China, Yangliang Hu
Miss Colombia, Paulina Vega
Miss Costa Rica, Karina Ramos
Miss Croatia, Ivana Misura
Miss Curacao, laurien Angelista
Miss Czech Republic, Gabriela Frankova
Miss Dominican Republic, Kimberly Castillo
Miss Ecuador, Alejandra Argudo
Miss Egypt, Lara Debbane
Miss El Salvador, Patricia Murillo
Miss Ethiopia, Hiwot Mamo
Miss Finland, Bea Toivonen
Miss France, Camille Cerf
Miss Gabon, Maggaly Ornellia Nguema
Miss Georgia, Ana Zubashvili
Miss Germany, Josefin Donat
Miss Ghana, Abena Appiah
Miss Great Britain, Grace Levy
Miss Greece, Ismini Dafopolou
Miss Hungary, Henrietta Kelemen
Miss India, Noyonita Lodh
Miss Ireland, Lisa Madden
Miss Israel, Doron Matalon
Miss Italy, Valentina Bonariva
Miss Jamaica, Kaci Fennell
Miss Japan, Keiko Tsuji
Miss Kazakhstan, Aiday Issayeva
Miss Kenya, Gaylyne Ayugi
Miss Korea, Yebin-Yoo
Miss Kosovo, Artnesa Krasniqi
Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige
Miss Lithuania, Patricija Belousova
Miss Malaysia, Sabrina Beneett
Miss Mexico, Josselyn A. Garciglia
Miss Netherlands, Yasmin Verheijen
Miss New Zealand, Rachel Millns
Miss Nicaragua, Marline Barberena
Miss Nigeria, Queen Celestine
Miss Paraguay, Sally Jara Davalos
Miss Peru, Jimena Vecco
Miss Philippines, Mary Jean Lastimosa
Miss Portugal, Patricia Da Silva
Miss Russia, Yulia Alipova
Miss Singapore, Rathi Menon
Miss Sri Lanka, Marianne Page
Miss South Africa, Ziphozakhe Zokufa
Miss Spain, Desire Cordero Ferrer
Miss Sweden, Camilla Hansson
Miss Switzerland, Zoe Matthez
Miss Thailand, Pimbongkod Chankaew
Miss Trinidad & Tobago, Jevon King
Miss USA, Nia Sanchez
Miss Uruguay, Johana Riva Garabetian
Miss Venezuela, Migbelis Castellanos
SAG Awards Red Carpet
Jan. 26, 2015
The stars of film and television turned out to honor their own at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night. Here are some fashion highlights from the red carpet. Pictured, Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie poses in her Giles gown.
Interstellar star Matthew McConaughey and model Camila Alves make their arrival.
Modern Family star Sofia Vergara (in Donna Karan Altelier) and Wild star Reese Witherspoon (in Giorgio Armani) take a break backstage.
Orange is the New Black actress Alysia Reiner gets a hand with her flowing red gown.
Shameless actress Emmy Rossum floats along in her Armani gown.
Orange Is the New Black actress Danielle Brooks fluffs up her outfit.
The Theory of Everything star Eddie Redmayne lines up a selfie for some female fans. Redmayne is also nominated for an Academy Award.
Actor Jeff Goldblum checks out a picture taken by a fan alongside new wife Emilie Livingston.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sarah Hyland, and Justin Mikita pose for a selfie.
STRIKE A POSE: Here's what the stars wore on the red carpet. Pictured, Veep actor Reid Scott and wife Elspeth Keller face the press corps.
Uzo Aduba wore Angel Sanchez.
Camila Alves wore Donna Karan Altelier.
Jennifer Aniston wore John Galliano.
Patricia Arquette wore Custom Vivienne Westwood Couture.
Caitriona Balfe
Stephanie Beatriz wore Johanna Johnson.
Julie Bowen wore Georges Hobeika.
Sophia Bush
Laura Carmichael wore Vionnet.
Anna Chlumsky wore Escada.
Emilia Clarke wore Donna Karan.
Kaley Cuoco wore Romona Keveza.
Claire Danes wore Marc Jacobs.
Viola Davis wore Max Mara.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus wore Monique Lhuilier.
Edie Falco wore Randi Rahm.
Joanna Froggatt wore Honor.
Melissa Fumero
Maggie Gyllenhaal wore Thakoon.
Alex Hudgens
Sarah Hyland wore Vera Wang.
Felicity Jones wore Balenciaga.
Rashida Jones wore Emnauel Ungaro.
Keira Knightley wore Erdem.
Natasha Lyonne wore Proenza Schouler.
Kelly Macdonald wore Moschino.
Julianna Margulies wore Giambattista Valli.
Maria Menounos wore Romona Keveza.
Gretchen Mol wore Dennis Basso.
Julianne Moore wore Givenchy Couture.
Lupita Nyong’o
Kelly Osbourne ore Elisabetta Franchi.
Molly Parker wore Lorena Sarbu.
Paula Patton wore Aiisha Ramadan.
Sarah Paulson wore Armani Prive.
Rosamund Pike wore Dior.
Amy Poehler wore Jenny Packham.
Melissa Rauch
Julia Roberts wore Givenchy.
Emma Stone wore Dior.
Meryl Streep wore Lanvin.
Sophie Turner wore Christian Louboutin.
Sofia Vergara wore Donna Karen Altelier.
Naomi Watts wore Balenciaga.
Maisie Williams
Ariel Winter wore Zac Posen.
Reese Witherspoon wore Giorgio Armani.
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