Headlines from around the world: 10/22/12

A U.S. Navy frigate chased a speed boat through international waters off Central America and recovered cocaine worth $26 million after the smugglers dumped their cargo. The frigate was conducting patrols as part of Operation Martillo, a mission designed to crack down on organized drug trafficking.

Nearly half of all robberies in San Francisco this year are cellphone-related. A thief recently stole a smartphone while sitting behind his victim and darted out the rear of a bus in mere seconds. Another robber grabbed an iPhone from an oblivious bus rider while she was on the phone. These incidents are part of a crime wave striking coast to coast. A New York City Police report shows that more than 40 percent of all robberies now involve cell phones. Additionally, cell phone thefts in Los Angeles are up 27 percent from this time last year. Longtime San Francisco Police Capt. Joe Garrity said, “This is your modern-day purse snatching. A lot of younger folks seem to put their entire lives on these things that don’t come cheap.”

Hong Kong customs seized 1,209 elephant tusks smuggled in two shipping containers from Kenya and Tanzania last Saturday, arresting seven people in the biggest elephant tusk bust in Hong Kong history.The tusks are valued at $3.4 million with a single tusk often fetching thousands of dollars on the black market. The ivory trade ban enacted in 1989 has helped elephant populations increase, but some African countries continue to lose their elephant population. In 1930 there were about five to ten million african elephants, whereas today there are only about 450,000 african elephants.

North Korea threatened to open fire on South Korea if activists are allowed to go ahead with plans to drop anti-North leaflets on its territory. North Korea often threatens the South with all-out war. The activists plan to launch giant balloons containing 200,000 leaflets criticizing North Korea’s government. South Korea’s defense minister said that it would retaliate in the event of any attack.

Khamis Gadhafi, the youngest son of slain Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, was reported dead on Saturday. Al Arabiya news agency reported that Khamis Gadhafi was arrested, severely wounded, and later died. He was arrested during a gunbattle in Bani Walid, a pro-Gadhafi stronghold where fighting has raged for three days. A Libyan journalist said that Khamis Gadhafi was captured while fleeing in a convoy.

Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani school girl shot in the head by the Taliban is able to stand with help and communicate and has high chances of full recovery. Yousufzai was shot by the Pakistani Taliban for advocating education for girls. She began standing up to the Taliban at age 11 when the Islamabad government effectively ceded control of the Swat Valley where she lived. She was shot at point blank range and the bullet hit her left brow. It did not penetrate the skull but rather traveled under the skin along the side of her head into her neck stopping above her left shoulder-blade.

Four puppies were given credit for helping rescue a ten-year-old boy with Down syndrome who was lost in the woods for 18 hours. Jamie Swinney of Hackelburg, Alabama, said
“Those puppies kept him company, they kept him warm and comfortable. We don’t know what would have happened to him had the puppies not been with him. And credit goes to the mother dog for leading me to the boy.” Kyle Camp went missing from his home at about 4:30 pm Tuesday and his family called the police for help at about 7:30 pm. Volunteers, police officers, and fire crews from surrounding communities searched the area including a wooded area behind the boy’s home. Swinney found the boy wet, shivering and shoeless in a creek, with four puppies piled onto him at about 8:30 am on Wednesday. He is being treated for minor scrapes and bruises at a local hospital.

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