In what may have been the most Canadian chase scene ever, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police last week took off after a suspect not on their equines, but rather on a borrowed snowmobile. The man they were chasing: A thief who made his getaway on board a giant John Deere tractor.
Last Thursday, Mounties got a call about stolen firearms in a rural part of Alberta, followed by another call less than two hours later about a John Deere 6400 tractor — complete with front-loading bucket — getting swiped from another property in the same area. A quick-thinking officer investigating the tips flagged down a snowmobiler and asked to borrow his recreational vehicle to give chase. After following the tractor's tracks through fields and woods for a little while, the officer finally caught up to the machine as it lumbered along doing about 15 miles-per-hour.
"It was very slow, there wasn't any speed to this incident," RCMP Corporal Barry Larocque told the Calgary Sun.
As the officer tried to approach and apprehend the tractor driver, later identified as Jesse Cecka, the suspect tumbled the machine down a hill. Cecka was not injured and was charged with breaking and entering and theft, among other things. Presumably, he was not also issued a ticket for speeding. Jon Terbush
Often the moments that change the course of human history aren't understood until the consequences of such actions are already realized. That wasn't so with the atomic bomb — President Harry Truman knew the invention was going to change the world forever when he authorized the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.
Truman recalled the moment he told Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin about the plan to drop the bomb — a memory he scrawled on the back of a photograph rediscovered by presidential historian Michael Beschloss:
Harry Truman note on back of photograph about telling Stalin about US atomic bomb, July 1945: pic.twitter.com/GqLSQTcnHb
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) May 27, 2016
In which I tell Stalin we expect to drop the most powerful explosive ever made on the Japanese. He smiled and said he appreciated my telling him — but he did not know what I was talking about — the atomic bomb!
Around 140,000 people were killed or died within months of the August 6, 1945 attack. Three days later, 80,000 people were killed when a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. On Friday, President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site of the Hiroshima bombing since Truman's decision. Jeva Lange
Facebook and Microsoft are taking their quest for faster internet to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The two tech giants have announced that they're planning to start construction on a giant underwater fiber optic cable in August that will span from Virginia Beach to Balboa, Spain — a distance of more than 4,000 miles. The cable is set to be "the highest capacity link across the Atlantic," The Wall Street Journal reports.
In a joint statement Thursday, Microsoft and Facebook said the cable will make bandwidth rates faster and increase reliability of cloud services like Skype, Xbox Live, photo sharing, and live video broadcasting. The cable will handle up to 160 terabytes per second. That's roughly 8.5 million times the average home internet speed in the UK, The Independent reports.
Construction is set to be completed by October 2017. Becca Stanek
On Thursday night, the U.S. government–funded National Toxicology Program released partial results from a multi-year, peer-reviewed study on the risk of cancer from cellphone emissions, and unfortunately they found "low incidences" of two types of tumors. Some previous epidemiological studies have also found an increase in these two types of tumor — gliomas, in the brain's glial cells, and schwannomas in the heart — leading the World Health Organization to classify cellphone radiation as a 2B possible carcinogen (the same category as coffee and some pickles, The Wall Street Journal notes).
"Given the widespread global usage of mobile communications among users of all ages, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure to [radio-frequency radiation] could have broad implications for public health," the NTP said. The $25 million study, overseen by the National Institutes of Health, used rats and mice, exposing them to radio frequencies from GSM and CDMA devices, the two most common types of consumer wireless technologies. Only the male rats appeared to experience a boost in cancer rates.
Experiments on rodents and other lab animals don't always translate to humans, and a number of other studies have found no link between cancer and cellphones, including a recent study from Australia that found no rise in brain cancer since cellphones were introduced in the 1980s. But "where people were saying there's no risk, I think this ends that kind of statement," Ron Melnick, who ran the NTP project until retiring in 2009, told The Wall Street Journal. The full study, slated to be released by the fall of 2017, could prompt the U.S. government to modify its safety guidelines, including recommending you talk only with a headset or avoid carrying your phone in your pocket. Peter Weber
Anyone who has ever tried to teach a parent how to use a newfangled electronic device is likely to be sympathetic to Hillary Clinton's apparent plight with her desktop computer. According to a sworn deposition by former State Department administrative official Lewis A. Lukens, Clinton was not ultimately set up with a computer in her office when she became secretary of state in 2009 because she was "very comfortable checking her emails on a BlackBerry, but she [was] not adept or used to checking her emails on a desktop."
The "I can't work a computer" excuse might have made sense in the early aughts... but it's pretty baffling for a high government official by 2009 (although one presidential candidate in 2016 has confessed he still doesn't even do "the email thing"). What's more, the release of the deposition follows an excruciating report from the State Department's inspector general earlier this week, which raised questions about Clinton and her aides' seemingly willful disregard for following proper cybersecurity measures.
The question of how adept Clinton was at computers is only the latest excuse from her camp; the Clinton team has also defended the former secretary of state for using her BlackBerry by saying two phones would have been a hassle, that she did not want a government account to mingle with her nonwork matters, and to keep information from the potentially prying eyes of Republican lawmakers.
The State Department has said 22 emails sent or received from her private email server while secretary of state were top secret, but not marked as classified. Clinton has since called the decision to use her private server "a mistake." Jeva Lange
On Wednesday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel asked Donald Trump a question from Bernie Sanders — a Trump-Sanders debate may arise out of it, seriously — and on Thursday's show, Kimmel asked Sanders a Trump question: "Dear Crazy Bernie, will you run [as] a third-party communist against Hillary, or are you a coward and a loser?" That wasn't the actual question, but what Trump really proposed was essentialy the same. "Bernie, you have been treated very unfairly," Trump began. "Will you run as an independent when Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the Democratic Party bosses steal this nomination away from you?"
"Well, I think there's a little self-service there for Donald Trump," Sanders said. And then he poured on the sarcasm, finally ending with his final answer: "Tell him what I hope will happen is that, in fact, I will run against him as the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, and if I do, we're going to beat him, and beat him bad. You can tell him that." "I don't think I'll see him again," Kimmel replied. But if the debate really happens — and I'd say it won't, but who knows with this election? — Sanders can tell Trump himself. Peter Weber
In a speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Obama called for an end to nuclear weapons. On June 6, 1945, Obama said, "death fell from the sky and the world was changed." When the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and then Nagasaki, killing about 210,000 people and effectively ending World War II, the bomb "demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself."
"We stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell," Obama said, "We listen to a silent cry." He did not apologize, but said the memory of Hiroshima "must never fade." He ended his speech with a call for "a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not known as the dawn of atomic warfare, but as the start of our own moral awakening."
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 27, 2016
Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima. Before speaking, Obama laid a wreath at the monument, and afterward he met with survivors of the bombing. Obama also signed the guest book, and this is what he wrote: "We have known the agony of war. Let us now find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons." Peter Weber
On Friday, President Obama landed in Hiroshima, making him the first sitting U.S. president to visit the city destroyed by a U.S. atomic bomb at the end of World War II. Obama has said he won't apologize for the bombing, which killed 100,000 people, mostly civilians, but on Friday he laid a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and also visited the more controversial museum, which mostly portrays Japan as a victim. Security is tight at the memorial park, but hundreds of people are lined up along Peace Boulevard, waving for Obama, The New York Times reports, including bombing survivors, a Buddhist monk, and families and office workers.
"Even if all he does is come here, that is enough," said Jitsuo Mizuta, 84, who survived the Hiroshima bombing. "I am so happy. I don't need any apology or anything." Peter Weber