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Today, Friday, March 20, is the first day of spring. Enjoy it. Enjoy the weekend. Get outside. I know you will.
Boko Haram ‘weaker by the day,’ says President
Boko Haram is “getting weaker and weaker by the day,” Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan told BBC, adding that the areas still in the Islamic militant group’s control will be retaken within the month. With the joint military muscle of neighbouring Chad, Niger, and Cameroon, 11 of the 14 districts currently in Boko Haram’s control have been seized. The group, however, attacked and killed 11 people in the town of Ngala, one of the districts Jonathan claimed had been seized. The extremist group is responsible for thousands of deaths in Nigeria since it began its insurgency in 2012. Jonathan is campaigning to keep his post as president, as Nigeria heads to the polls next week. [Source: BBC]
Arctic ice levels lowest on record
The sea ice covering part of the Arctic Ocean has shrunk to its lowest levels on record, following an earlier than usual, February 25 peak in growth. That big chunk of ice is the smallest it’s been since satellite records began in 1979. Some scientists say a late-winter deep freeze is still possible. Other scientists and researchers, however, said, “this new data on sea ice loss sends a clear message to the global community that the Arctic is unravelling, warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet.” This winter has been warmer than usual over the Arctic, but colder temperatures are forecasted for the area. [Source: Guardian]
Amazon to begin drone-delivery testing
The Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S. has given Amazon permission to start testing its Prime Air delivery drone initiative; so many questions that won’t get answered in this brief. Apologies. The company announced its dream of drone delivery in late 2013, but was immediately put on hold pending permission from the FAA, which finally came, with a few caveats. Amazon is not yet allowed to fly its drones out of sight, and the pilots require certification and medical clearance. [Source: The Verge]
Ferret parties happen in New York, and they’re illegal and strange
Underground, illegal ferret parties are happening in New York, and The Guardian got the exclusive, gaining access to one of these strange parties. New York has made it illegal to keep such animals in your home. From Death and Taxes: “In The Guardian’s exclusive video snapshot of the illegal pet demimonde, the toothy terrors can be observed chasing each other around, licking humans they barely know, and taking hits of an unidentified brown substance. ‘They love this stuff,’ sneers one libertine. Adds another, somewhat ominously: ‘When they calm down, they’re very affectionate.’ One particularly concerning shot shows an all-out interspecies tickle-fest raging on a mattress. Thankfully, the camera pans away before things get too real.” [Source: Death and Taxes, Guardian]
Follow Toban Dyck at @tobandyck.
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