Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: North Korea, DC Metrorail, Ferguson, Apple

EDM Wednesday Briefing: North Korea, DC Metrorail, Ferguson, Apple

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 16, 2016: North Korea continues making threats, a multiple vehicle crash sends a car into the Ohio River, the EU holds a meeting in Brussels over the refugee crisis, and Washington, D.C. shuts down the Metrorail amid safety concerns.

  1. Kim Jong-Un of North Korea has again ordered a nuclear warhead explosion test, along with the firing of several different ballistic rockets, that he noted will be conducted shortly. This is just the latest in a string of tests and missile firings that have resulted in the strongest sanctions ever imposed on the nation by the UN Security Council.  
  2. Tensions have been mounting in the region since North Korea, under the direction of Kim Jong-Un, conducted a rocket launch that was said to send a satellite into orbit but was viewed by others as being a cover for a ballistic missile test. North Korea has been making threats against South Korea and the U.S. since Kim Jong-Un came into power. However, many believe the latest tests and launches are just a way for the nation to attempt to show that it is still strong in the face of increasing economic and diplomatic isolation.
  3. In Cincinnati, OH, a multiple vehicle crash on the Combs-Hehl Bridge resulted in one car plunging into the Ohio River. The crash closed the bridge Tuesday night into this morning, which is part of the I-275 interstate, causing major delays. Campbell County officials located the vehicle relatively close to the bridge around 9:30 pm using sonar, and were determining the best way to rescue anyone still inside and recover the vehicle. According to a Campbell County dispatcher, the search for the cars' occupants was called off at approximately 1:30 am. The dispatcher was unaware if anyone was found or recovered from the water, but also indicated that police will release further information later today.
  4. In an attempt to resolve the ongoing refugee crisis, European Union leaders are again meeting in Brussels later this week regarding a tentative proposed agreement.  Devised on March 7, the tentative agreement would allow Greece to return migrants to Turkey while new routes are opened by Europe to allow pre-screened migrants to gain asylum legally.  The agreement is in response to Greece's closed northern border into Macedonia that has sparked a humanitarian crisis due to the number of migrants stuck in refugee camps in that area.
  5. In Washington, DC, transit officials have suspended Metrorail service today to conduct emergency inspections on electric cables after a fire two days ago that crippled the system.  The Virginia Department of Transportation was preparing for a particularly brutal commute and noted that traffic volume was already higher than normal much earlier, and was only anticipated to get worse.  The Metrorail system is the nation's second busiest, and issues have plagued the aging system, which is 40 years old, including another fire that included one fatality, just over one year ago.  
  6. In a unanimous decision, the Ferguson, MO City Council voted to accept the proposed overhaul of its police force and municipal court system by the U. S. Department of Justice.  The reform comes after the 2014 shooting of a black man, Michael Brown who was shot by a white police officer, Darren Wilson and subsequent allegations that Ferguson was involved in constitutional violations.  The city was the scene of intense civil unrest after a grand jury decision on November 24, 2014 that voted against indicting the officer involved in the shooting.  
  7. In the ongoing fight between Apple and the FBI over unlocking a terrorist's phone from the San Bernardino shootings, Apple again reasserted its stance in a filing on Tuesday in the U. S. District Court in Riverside, CA.  Apple stated in its filing that being forced to comply with the FBIs request  would not only be illegal, it would be dangerous, amounting to a master key for hackers.  The company again noted that written computer code is seen as speech by the courts, and that being forced to write code would violate its constitutional rights.  

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.