Midday Roundup: 'One cannot win a war with a blanket'

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 9/19/14, 12:00 pm

Lethal aid. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with U.S. President Barack Obama and addressed a joint session of Congress on Thursday to ask for more military assistance for his fledgling government. He specifically wants the United States to step up the non-lethal assistance it has given and provide weapons to help Ukraine defend itself from violent separatists. “Blankets and night vision goggles are important, but one cannot win a war with a blanket,” Poroshenko said before heading to the White House. After his meeting with Obama, his tone changed slightly. “I am satisfied with the level of our cooperation with the United States of America in the defense and security sector,” he told reporters. “I cannot say more, but I am satisfied.”

Impenetrable? Apple has made it so not even the company can pry into password-protected iPhones or iPads, a move meant to reassure customers of their privacy after hackers stole photos of celebrities from the company’s iCloud service. The additional safeguard is part of Apple’s latest mobile software, iOS 8, which the company released Wednesday. Apple’s inability to unlock password-protected smartphones and tablets could frustrate law enforcement officials who sometimes obtain court orders to retrieve information from phones for evidence in criminal investigations. Google plans to include similar security changes in the next version of its Android software.

A town in shock. A Florida grandfather shot and killed his daughter and her six children before taking his own life Thursday, authorities say. The children ranged in age from 3 months to 11 years old. The Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Department would not speculate on the motive behind the killing, but said Don Spirit, 51, called 911 late in the afternoon and spoke of harming himself and others. The shootings happened in Bell, Fla., a town of 350 people near Gainesville. Spirit had a criminal record and had spent time in prison. In 2001, he accidentally shot and killed his 8-year-old son during a hunting accident, for which he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon.

Emergency landing. A JetBlue flight from Long Beach, Calif., to Austin, Texas, was in the air less than 15 minutes Thursday before the cabin filled with smoke and it had to make an emergency landing. An engine malfunction appears to have caused the problem. The plane returned to the Long Beach Airport and passengers disembarked down inflatable slides. One passenger was taken to the hospital, but no one was seriously injured.

Not-so-happy dance. Iran has sentenced a group of young adults to 91 lashes each for posting a video online of them dancing to the Pharrell Williams song “Happy.” The group has publicly apologized for the video, saying they were tricked into doing it. Their punishment was lighter than it could have been, thanks to the intervention of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The president criticized the arrest in a tweet, saying, “#Happiness is our people’s right. We shouldn’t be too hard on behaviours caused by joy.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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