News in Brief

Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.A.

On Sunday, April 13, a shooter opened fire at two separate Jewish facilities in Kansas City and killed three people, The Kansas City Star reports. Overland Park Police promptly arrested the suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, who was heard shouting “Heil Hitler” while sitting in the back of a police car. Cross will be tried for premeditated murder and hate crimes.  If convicted, Cross could receive the death penalty. The Southern Poverty Law Center referred to the suspect as a “longtime anti-Semite” for his extensive posting on an online forum that proposes exterminating Jews.

Moriarty, New Mexico, U.S.A.

Google announced on April 14 its decision to buy Titan Aerospace, a producer of “high-altitude, solar-powered drones,” CNN reports. While employees of Titan will operate independently of Google, they will work closely with Google Maps and Project Loon, a plan to deliver Internet access to underserved areas by means of high-altitude balloons. “Atmospheric satellites could (one day) bring Internet access to millions of people and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage,” Google said.

Kharkiv, Ukraine 

On Tuesday, March 15, acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov declared the beginning of an “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-Russia protesters in eastern Ukraine, CNN reports. The operation was created in response to protesters seizing several government and police buildings throughout the region and was enacted on Tuesday after Turchynov’s 24-hour ultimatum for the protestors to make peace expired. “Ukraine is on the threshold of civil war,” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on his Facebook page.

Beijing, China

In light of the water shortages ever present in northern China, government officials are heavily investing in an alternative water source: desalination. According to The New York Times, a new desalination plant could provide for over one-third of Beijing’s water use within five years. Officials told the media on April 14 that a provincial development agency had approved of building the plant in the city of Tangshan in Hebei Province. With the proposed plant operating in 2019, the price of water in Beijing will rise to $1.29 per ton, double the current price of tap water, The New York Times reports.