Chatter: Costa Concordia crash, take two?




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Ship meets land. Doesn't go well. At least five people are dead after a container ship smashed into a control tower in the port of Genoa, northern Italy.

The inaptly named Jolly Nero seems to have suffered an engine failure and swung out of control as it was leaving the docks late last night – just as a shift change was taking place in the port control tower. The tower was almost entirely destroyed and several people are still missing, feared trapped either under the rubble or in the water around the docks. Costa Concordia, take two? Police say they're investigating.

The rebels are leaving. Kurdish militants have begun withdrawing from Turkey after 30 years of armed struggle that have cost more than 40,000 lives. Under a historic peace deal signed last month, armed members of the PKK rebel group will trek out of Turkey and into their safe havens in the mountains of Iraq. In turn, Turkish authorities will draft a new constitution that is expected to enshrine rights for minorities, including Kurds.

For both sides, the stakes are high. But will the peace hold?


Going inside the gulags. The United Nations has named the panel that will lead the first ever UN investigation into human rights in North Korea. Three international experts on abuses and war crimes will be responsible for establishing whether Pyongyang has, as defectors say, imprisoned, tortured and executed thousands of its own people. 

North Korea's leaders have, to no one's surprise, refused to cooperate with the inquiry. Not so their alleged victims: just hours after they were appointed, the UN team say they were inundated with requests from people wishing to testify.

The secrets of Seymour Avenue. Police in Cleveland, Ohio, are hoping to get some answers from the men accused of kidnapping and imprisoning three young women in a suburban home, undetected, for 10 long years. Authorities have until tonight to file charges against brothers Ariel, Pedro and Onil Castro, thought to be the only people – apart from the victims – who know what went on inside 2207 Seymour Avenue.

The suspects aren't the only ones who owe answers. Amid reports of years of suspicious activity at the house, many are demanding to know how the police missed what was right in their backyard.

A not-so-perfect crime. Remember the Brussels diamond heist? You know, the one where thieves drove onto an airport runway and broke into the hold of a plane to nab $50 million of uncut diamonds? And got away with it?

Yeah, about that. Police today arrested 31 people in Belgium, Switzerland and France in connection with the robbery. Wads of money and some of the stones have been recovered. Prosecutors say the thieves, who stood to go down in history for one of the biggest heists ever seen, were "professionals." Just not professional enough.


French fries. Cheese curds. Gravy. You might want to eat poutine, Canada's own comfort food, but surely only someone seriously addicted – and incapacitated – would want to drink it. And yet. That's precisely what Jones Soda is offering you, for a limited time only, the chance to do. Oh yes, their poutine-flavored pop isn't just liquid – it's fizzy.

Taste testers say it's not "quite so instantly repulsive that I had to spit it out" (the brand's next advertising slogan, surely), but pretty appalling nonetheless. Only available in Canada, you say? Fine by us.