Regional Roundup 3/6/13

The Korean Conundrum

North Korea has vowed that they will end the cease-fire that put a stop to the Korean War in 1953.

North Korea reasoned that because of recent U.S. led United Nations sanctions and U.S.-South Korea joint military drills, they will end the armistice on March 11, according to an article in the Associated Press.

These threats are becoming common from North Korea as tensions flair between Pyongyang and Seoul.

The U.S. and other countries fear that North Korea’s most recent nuclear test pushes the country closer to gaining nuclear weapons.

North Korea says that this nuclear program is a response to U.S. aggression dating back to the 1950-53 Korean War. The War ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty, leaving South Korea and North Korea technically still at war.

The country also says that Washington and others are going beyond economic sanctions by showing military aggression. North Korea also warned that it will block communications between itself and the U.S. at the border village separating North Korea and South Korea.

North Korea says that they mean to unify the divided Korean Peninsula, according to the Associated Press article.

“We aim to surgical strikes at any time and any target without being bounded by the armistice accord and advance our long-cherished wish for national unification.”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Has Died

The health issues that have plagued Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for months led to his death yesterday in a Caracas military facility, according to an article in the Miami Herald.

Chavez had been fighting an undisclosed form of cancer since at least June 2011. He informed his nation in a somber speech of his disease while in Cuba.

Standing at the podium in Cuba, according to the article, he said he had asked God to allow him to address Venezuela not from another “dark cave or a night without stars,” but “from this steep path, where I am coming out of another abyss, illuminated by the morning sun. I think we’ve made it.”

Since undergoing treatment in Cuba, the 58-year-old socialist leader was not seen in the public or heard from in almost three months.

Chavez suffered multiple complications after his Dec. 11 surgery that included bleeding and an earlier respiratory infection that officials said had been controlled.

Mayor Brown’s Spending

About $1.3 million was left to spend in Jacksonville after the books were tallied and Mayor Alvin Brown knew just where to utilize the funds. Brown ultimately decided that the money would be spent on streetlights and grass mowing.

Brown wanted to use money not spent last year by the City General Counsel’s Office for right-of-way mowing and to turn back on streetlights, according to an article in The Florida Times-Union.

The mayor’s plan called for about $500,000 to be spent on mowing while $300,000 was to be spent on streetlights. The city would also allocate $89,500 in order to reimburse the Sherriff’s Office employees for job-related educational expenses.

The General Council’s office would get to keep about $400,000, according to the article.

Brown proposed the plan Monday as an amendment that now stands before the City Council. The amendment also calls for two Community Redevelopment Zones in order to keep the funds that they didn’t spend last year, according to the article.

“We have regained our ability to invest in key city services,” Brown said.

12 Students Charged in Hazing Death of Former FAMU Drum Major

Prosecutors are charging 12 former Florida A&M University band members with manslaughter in the death of a former drum major in 2011, according to an article in The Florida Times-Union.

Ten members were charged with felony hazing charges last May for the death of 26-year-old Robert Champion, according to the article.

However, prosecutors said Monday that they are raising the charges to manslaughter and are including two other defendants in those charges.

Champion died in Orlando in November 2011 after what prosecutors say was a brutal hazing ritual. It happened on a bus in a hotel parking lot in Florida after FAMU played rival Bethune-Cookman.

Authorities say that Champion died of internal bleeding.

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