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North Korea claims H-bomb capabilities, many doubtful

The world is sceptical of North Korea’s claim it has successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb in an underground testing facility on Wednesday. South Korea is especially unconvinced, saying the tremors felt near the blast site were too small to be from an h-bomb detonation. Other critics agreed: “The bang they should have gotten would have been 10 times greater than what they’re claiming,” said Rand Corporation’s Bruce Bennett. “So Kim Jong-un is either lying, saying they did a hydrogen test when they didn’t, they just used a little bit more efficient fission weapon – or the hydrogen part of the test really didn’t work very well or the fission part didn’t work very well.” If North Korea has indeed managed to produce a hydrogen bomb, which are more advanced and devastating than atomic weapons, Wednesday’s test would be the country’s fourth since 2006 and highlight a major upgrade to its firepower potential. [Source: BBC]

President Barack Obama outlines stricter gun laws

A teary-eyed Barack Obama, surrounding by relatives of those killed in mass shootings, spoke out against gun violence in the U.S., promising to end the bloodshed despite Congress. “In this room right here, there are a lot of stories. There’s a lot of heartache,” said Obama, speaking in the White House East Room. “There’s a lot of resilience, there’s a lot of strength, but there’s also a lot of pain. Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying. I reject that thinking. We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.” Obama’s measures surround making it more difficult to purchase gun at gun shows, increased regulation and licensing for sellers, and increasing effectiveness of existing gun laws. Republics are poised and ostensibly excited to reject the measures Obama pushes through. Gun sales reached a record high in the U.S. in December, a sign of gun enthusiasts stockpiling before Obama’s measures are implemented. [Source: NYTimes]

Vatican upset over Charlie Hebdo’s depiction of God carrying Kalashnikov

The Vatican is panning French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo’s cover image marking the anniversary of the terrorist attacks that left 12 people dead. The picture is of a bearded man, representing God, with a gun slung over his shoulder. Beneath the illustration read: “One year on: the assassin is still out there.” The Vatican’s newspaper responded to the issue, of which 1 million copies were printed: “Behind the deceptive flag of uncompromising secularism, the weekly is forgetting once more what religious leaders of every faith unceasingly repeat to reject violence in the name of religion – using God to justify hatred is a genuine blasphemy, as pope Francis has said several times.” On Jan. 7, 2015, al-Qaida operators broke into Charlie Bebdo’s offices in Paris and gunned down eight of the magazine’s employees and four others in the building. [Source: Guardian]

A toboggan-hill map of Canada (you’re welcome)

If your hill isn’t included, add it, share it, go tobogganing.


Video of Winnipeg tattoo artist Bram Adey


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