Outside the Circle

A look at news outside of Case Western Reserve

Tara Tran and Mark Patteson

1. Man shot trying to swim from South Korea to North Korea

Attempts of defecting from South Korea to North Korea are rare. However, on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, a man whose surname is Nam, tried and failed to do so. Other than his surname, the South Korean government has released no other information as the case is still being investigated.

It is believed that Nam got past the barbed wire fence put by the bank of the Imjin River and then jumped into water with a float. The Imjin River flows through part of the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.

A unit of 30 soldiers attempted to verbally warn him and directed him to turn around, as it would not have taken him very long to swim across. When Nam failed to turn around, the unit started firing, where it is believed several hundred shots were fired.

When asked his opinion of whether or not he thought the response to the situation was appropriate, Brig. Gen. Cho Jong-sul of South Korea responded with, “It is regulation to shoot anyone who does not respond to the command and tries to escape in the controlled area.”

2. Tropical storm in Mexico leaves at least 40 dead

Dual tropical storms hit Mexico’s east and west coast Sept. 15, the day before their Independence Day. The Mexican government has declared a state of emergency in over 20 towns as well as distributing emergency funds to fix the natural disaster.

These storms have left over 4,000 people in shelters as well as 40,000 tourists stranded in cities due to closed airports after power cuts and flooding of main highways leading out of the city.

3. 12 Victims dead in Washington Navy Yard shooting

On Sept. 16, 2013, a shooting left 12 victims and a gunman dead. The gunman has been identified as Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old contractor from Queens, New York.

The Washington Navy Yard is a ceremonial and administrative headquarters for the U.S. Navy, where over 18,000 people work. The Navy Yard is over 41 acres of buildings and streets secured by guards, metal detectors and employee screenings.

While his motive still unclear, research into Alexis’ past shows a history of complaining about the Navy. He was also described to being a victim of discrimination and has a record with law enforcement, two of which were shootings.

4. Colorado town considers issuing drone hunting licenses

License to Kill… Robots?

Applications for drone hunting licenses have poured into the small town of Deer Trail, Colorado after the town trustees decided to vote on a proposal to issue permits and $100 bounties for “killing unmanned aerial vehicles” and “defending the sovereign airspace of Deer Trail Colorado.”

Though the town has yet to approve the measure, nearly 1,000 people have applied for the $25 licenses.

The author of the ordinance began selling mock licenses on droneshooters.com in August to protest the expanding use of surveillance drones by the federal government. The town of 561, previously known as the “Home of the World’s First Rodeo,” considered adopting this ordinance after the licenses’ rapid popularity promised to bring money and tourism. However, the Federal Aviation Administration challenged the legality of the proposal, saying “Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane.”