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Headlines from around the world: 2/3/14

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Written by James Davis

Posted on 02 February 2014

The U.S. government is seeking death penalty against the Boston Marathon bombing suspect. In a statement by US Attorney General Eric Holder, plans of pushing capital punishment are in order. Holder shared that the government believes the nature and harm done by this issue are forcing this action. During the Boston Marathon bombing, three victims were killed and over 260 injured.

Last week, Panama has released the 32 crew members of a North Korean trade vessel. Six months ago, on suspicions of smuggling drugs, Panamanian customs officers seized and searched the Chong Chon Gong. Upon inspection of the vessel, customs officers discovered 25 cases of Soviet weaponry, including missile defense systems and two MIG-21 fighter aircrafts. Panamanian officials stated that this is a direct violation of North Korea's weapons embargo, and that smuggling these weapons through their canal is a danger to their country.

Abnormally high death rate in Russians blamed on vodka. Studies show that approximately 25% of Russian males die before the age of 55, the primary cause of death being gratuitous alcohol consumption. The Russian Cancer Treatment center stated that in 2011, the Russian adults drank an average 13 liters of pure alcohol. Russian authorities have attempted to reduce this number by increasing alcohol sales tax, but to no success.

The U.S. shows concern at Syria's unfulfilled disarming. Syria agreed to destroy all chemical weaponry by June 30th. As of now, only about four percent of this material has been removed. Defense secretary Chuck Hagel asked the Russian defense minister to make an attempt at influencing the Syrian government. Discussion of the matter continues during Geneva peace talks.

Australia plans to dump sediment near the Great Barrier Reef in order to expand coal mining operations. The government wants to use the coastal town of Abbot Point to export the coal, but the port needs to be expanded to make way for the cargo ships. Silt and clay will be cleared out and dumped approximately 16 miles south of the Great Barrier Reef. Australian officials publicly stated that they will stick to a strict environmental code.

A malicious computer program, dubbed "Chewbacca", has been used to steal over 24 million credit card transactions. The program was named "Chewbacca", because the login page of the malware featured this Star Wars character. The file was found on point-of-sale equipment and was disguised as a file that processed printing prompts. This particular program has been found in over 11 countries, including the US. Cyber security companies suggest that shop retailers be more vigilant with regards to their point-of-sale-equipment.