Whitney Houston Dead at 48
At 3:55 p.m. on Saturday, February 11, pop singer Whitney Houston was found dead in her room at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Paramedics spent 20 minutes trying to revive her. The cause of death is currently unknown, but police report there are no signs of foul play. She was 48.
Since her rise to fame in 1985, Houston has released seven albums and sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. She has also won two Emmy awards and six Grammy awards.
In an interview on Oprah Winfrey's show in 2009, Houston admitted that by the late 1990s, she had become a heavy marijuana and cocaine user. Throughout the last decade, Houston’s voice had become less secure, and her performances erratic. Houston turbulent marriage with singer Bobby Brown ended in divorce in 2007.
US, EU Clear Google’s Bid for Motorola
The European Union has approved Google’s 12.5 billion dollar bid to acquire cell phone maker Motorola Mobility. Before the deal can be finalized, Google will need the approval of the Chinese, Taiwanese and Israeli governments. The regulatory review period has expired in the U.S. — However, the justice department could still file a lawsuit blocking the deal.
If the deal goes through, Google will acquire Motorola’s 17,000 patents, ranging from smartphones to tablets to other mobile devices. It has been six months since Google announced plans to purchase Motorola. The deal is the largest acquisition in Google’s history, and the company expects the purchase to be finalized early this year.
Israel Blames Iran for Attacks on Diplomats
Israel put its foreign missions on high alert on Monday, February 13, after two bomb attacks on their diplomats. The first attack was in New Delhi, India, where a car was set on fire, injuring four people, including the wife of a diplomat at the Israeli embassy. A second bomb was found in Tbilisi, Georgia and diffused. Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to defend Israel.
Israel is blaming Iran for the attacks, as tensions between the two countries escalate over Iran’s nuclear program. “Iran is behind these attacks, and is the largest terror exporter in the world,” claimed Netanyahu.
While Iran claims the nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, there are growing concerns over whether Iran will weaponize the program. According to a USA Today article, CIA Director David Petraeus has testified before the Senate, claiming that Iran's uranium-enrichment activities surpass what is needed for an allegedly peaceful nuclear program.
UN Slams Syria, War Seems Inevitable
Diplomats at the United Nations have rebuked Syria, as violence escalates and members wonder about the implications of war.
"Everyone we've been talking to ... believes that the country is heading towards, or already is in, a full-blown war, and recovering from that is going to be incredibly challenging,” said CNN’s Arwa Damon, reporting from an undisclosed location in Syria.
The U.N. high commissioner for human rights said that she is outraged by the “ongoing onslaught” of its citizens. During the week of February 6, it was reported that approximately 680 people died in Syria and on Monday, February 13, 30 more civilians were killed in violence. Activists report that Syrian cities are continuously being attacked by soldiers as tanks roll through towns, raining down shells on neighborhoods.
“[Residents of Syria] describe indiscriminate bombings of homes; snipers in the streets; attacks on hospitals by government forces and arbitrary arrests.” The Local Coordination Committees of Syria says the death toll has exceeded 7,000.