U.S. Soldier Shoots Afghan Civilians; Two Children Found Dead In Bronx, Brooklyn; Japan Mourns At One Year Anniversary Of Quake, Tsunami

A U.S. soldier killed 16 Afghan civilians in their homes when he walked off base. Following the attack he turned himself in. The reports of the number of casualties have been varied. In addition to the at least 16 dead, five were wounded. The victims include girls aged 6 or younger. "We don't know why he killed people," a villager told the New York Times. In February, riots broke out in Afghanistan after Korans were burned at an U.S. military base. [MSNBC, CNN, NYT]

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Japanese Motorcycle is Fueled by Feces; This Shit Might Save the World

via Tototalk.jp
In the search for renewable energy, humans have dug through Earth, split atoms, and harnessed the Sun. Have we been flushing the solution to our fuel problems all along? Japanese toilet manufacturer Toto, creators of this remarkable product, have made a motorized tricycle with a toilet for a seat. As TokyoMango reports, the amazing thing about this machine is that it runs completely on the driver's feces. Any poop taken on the machine is directly converted into fuel. The bike is driving from the southern tip of Japan to Tokyo to raise awareness for Toto's efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. This is the rare instance when someone is told not to go to the bathroom before a long road trip.

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Double-Dutch Dogs Jump in Unison, Break World Records

It is what it looks like. The woman in the video, one Uchida Geinousha, is the owner of the Super Wan Wan Circus in Tsukuba City, Japan. She's also the new Guinness World Record holder for "handler of the most dogs skipping on a rope."

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Israeli Ambassador Airlifted Out of Egypt; Japanese Man Questioned About Air Force One Leak; State of Emergency Declared in Texas

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Scenes from Springtime anti-Mubarak protests
Israel airlifted its ambassador out of their Cairo embassy after protesters swarmed the building, the Washington Post reports. Protests have been growing after the deaths of three Egyptian border guards who were killed by Israeli troops who say they mistook them for militants crossing from Gaza. Israeli guards were also forced out, as they were "eventually extricated at about 5 a.m. Saturday by Egyptian special forces and escorted to the airport, where they were flown back to Israel on an Israeli air force plane." [Washington Post]

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Fukushima Starbucks Opens

Making a "Starbucks is everywhere!" joke was old in 1999, but sometimes it is worth reminding ourselves that Starbucks is absolutely everywhere. New York Times reporter Hiroko Tabuchi tweeted that the coffee chain opened a store last week in central Fukushima, the nearest city to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant meltdown. There is a large evacuation zone around the plant and massive amounts of radiation still plague the area. Nonetheless, the Starbucks is doing just fine: Tabuchi reports a "huge line." [@HirokoTabuchi]

TV May Get More Profanity and Violence; Japanese Retirees Want to Help Cool Nuclear Plant; NYC to Get Better Street Signs

Shit. It's shit. Thank you.
• After striking down a California law restricting the sale of violent video games to minors as unconstitutional, the Supreme Court will look at FCC rules barring profanity and nudity on TV. [Pat's Papers]

• A group of senior citizens in Japan, led by retired plant engineer Yasuteru Yamada, 72, is continuing in their efforts to get Tokyo Electric to let them help in cooling the damaged nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant. (Because of their age, they're less likely to get cancer or diseases that develop slowly due to radiation exposure.) [NYT]

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Barack Obama at Ground Zero Today; Leonardo DiCaprio Buys a Salvador Dali; China to Ban Spy Shows on TV

• Six days after ordering a raid on Osama bin Laden, Barack Obama will be at Ground Zero this afternoon, his first visit to the area as president. He'll lay a wreath at a memorial to 9/11 victims and meet privately with victims' family members. [NYT]

• Note: Traffic changes are expected! [NBC NY]

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Mafia Disorganized; 17 Killed in Tornados; Radioactivity Rises Off Japan Coast

  • The Mafia is out of commission. Rather, the Mafia Commission, the caucus of leaders of the five main crime families, apparently hasn't met in 25 years. Cue "disorganized crime" joke. [NYDN]
  • A tornado warning has been issued for parts of Georgia as the death toll from recent twisters rises to 17. Alabama, Oklahoma, and Mississippi have all declared a state of emergency. [CNN]
  • The radioactivity levels in the sea near Fukushima Daiichi have spiked, suggesting that there could be a new leak at the damaged nuclear plant. This isn't necessarily cause for panic yet; the increased levels could be caused by steel panels that have been installed in an effort to contain radiation. [NYT]

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Japanese Nuclear Disaster on Same Level as Chernobyl; Sarah Coit Murder Update; Central Park Zoo Under Ticket Fire

The Fukushima Daiichi plant
• The Japanese government is now calling the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crisis a disaster on the same level as Chernobyl, or "a Level 7 event on the international system." Tokyo Electric's president, Masataka Shimizu, has issued a new apology, saying "we will make the utmost effort to bring the situation to an end." While scientists think the radiation levels are only a tenth of what was released at Chernobyl, the levels of radioactive iodine and cesium released into air, water, and soil around the plant are "15 times higher than the threshold for a top-scale event," according to the latest figures. [CNN]

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Raul Barrera, Alleged Clinton Street Murderer, to Appear in Court; Evacuation Zone Expanded in Japan; Today: Highs in the 70s

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Sarah Coit, 23
Sarah Coit, 23, from Riverside, CT, was fatally stabbed (and "nearly decapitated") by her boyfriend, 33-year-old Raul Barrera, at 63 Clinton Street -- where they'd lived together -- early Sunday morning. Coit had reportedly been trying to break up with Barrera, who later confessed to officers "I did something bad." He'll have his first court appearance today, facing 2nd degree murder charges. Coit had worked at the Lacoste store in Rockefeller Center and studied advertising and marketing at Hunter College. [The Lo-Down]

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