1. Rob Ford to respond to crack video allegations
Amid widespread, international media coverage including Gawker’s “crackstarter” campaign, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is expected to respond today to allegations that he was recorded on video smoking crack. Doug Ford, Toronto city councillor and brother of Rob Ford, told a Vancouver radio station that he would comment today on reports regarding the footage. New York-based gossip website Gawker broke the story Friday, with editor John Cook claiming he’s viewed the cell phone video which appears to show Ford smoking crack. Two reporters from the Toronto Star, Kevin Donovan and Robyn Doolittle, have also seen the video.
On Friday, Gawker launched a crowdsource campaign, which they’ve lovingly dubbed “crackstarter”, to raise $200,000 to buy and post the footage on their site. As of mid-Tuesday, the campaign had raised nearly $89,000, with seven days of fundraising remaining. [National Post]
2. Honeybees being trained to find land mines in Croatia
Researchers in Croatia are training sugar-craving honeybees to find unexploded land mines dotting their country and the surrounding area of the Balkans. About 750 square kilometres are suspected to be littered with mines from the Balkan wars in the 1990s. Nikola Kezic, a professor at Zagreb University in Croatia’s capital, said bees can quickly detect the scent of explosives and are being trained to identify their food with the scent of TNT. [Business Week]
3. Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of the Doors, has died
Manzarek, who was 74, battled bile duct cancer for many years and died in a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany. After founding the Doors in 1965 with Jim Morrison, Manzarek became one of the best-known keyboardists of his era and sold more than 100 million records with the group. After Jim Morrison’s death in 1971, Manzarek went on to produce and play with acts such as Echo & the Bunnymen, X, and Iggy Pop. [BBC]
4. Search and rescue in Oklahoma continues after tornado
The rescue effort continues across the Oklahoma City area in the wake of a massive, mile-wide tornado that ripped through parts of Oklahoma City and the surrounding suburbs, killing at least 24 people and destroying a hospital and two schools. The search for survivors is still underway in the suburb of Moore, where much of the damage was sustained. Rescuers are still digging through the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary School, where children are still missing and believed to be trapped under the wrecked building. [New York Times]
5. Wi-Fi shut down in Guantanamo Bay after Anonymous threat
The American military has shut down Wi-Fi service inside the prison at Guantanamo Bay after threats by the hacktivist group Anonymous. Anonymous launched “Operation Guantanamo” on May 18 in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike. “disrupt activities” at the base, in solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike. By the beginning of May, 100 of the 166 inmates in the detention camp were staging a hunger strike due to living conditions in the jail and their ongoing detainment.
In 2012, Time called Anonymous one of the “100 most influential people” in the world. [BBC]
Palmer Fritschy is filling in for Mark Schram, who grew up on a ranch in southwestern Manitoba and now writes out of Winnipeg. Palmer does the social media for Spectator Tribune and has his own Twitter account, too! @palmerfritschy