The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Talon Top Five: Current Events

North Korean missile launch fails

A North Korean three-stage rocket broke into several pieces over the Yellow Sea during its launch today. The rocket was supposedly carrying a weather satellite into orbit in honor of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung’s 100th anniversary. The United States government condemned North Korean actions, which are in defiance of U.N. resolutions and agreements with the United States.

A spokesman of the South Korean defense ministry said that the rocket traveled about 70 miles into the air before splitting into four pieces and falling. No debris was reported to have fallen over land. It is likely since the rocket blew apart between just over a minute into its launch that it had failed between stages one and two of the three-stage launch.

North Korea’s launch violates U.N. Security Council resolutions banning North Korea’s work on long-range ballistic missile projects. It is feared North Korea was using this missile launch to test weapon systems that could be used against U.S. allies in Asia and abroad. North Korean promises to cease missile tests had been given in exchange for 240,000 tons of food aid from the United States.

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Justice Department sues Apple over ebook antitrust allegations

The Department of Justice brought lawsuit to Apple and five of the largest book publishers over colluding to raise the prices of ebooks. The DOJ charges these companies forced consumers to pay tens of millions of dollars more for their ebooks, of which Apple then took a 30 percent cut.

Apple’s policy to coordinate the prices of ebooks with publishers began in 2010, when Steve Jobs was working to challenge Amazon’s hold on the ebook market with Apple’s new iPad. Amazon had priced many of its ebooks at $9.99 to promote consumer adoption of Amazon’s Kindle. Several publishers allegedly agreed to prohibit selling their ebooks to other retailers for less than Apple’s prices of $12.99 to $14.99, as well as prohibiting discounts on their ebooks. Apple’s strategy eroded Amazon’s share of the ebook market to 60 percent from 90 percent in 2010.

Following the allegation three publishers have already agreed to drop their pricing policy. Amazon, the company which has the most to gain from this announcement, has already announced plans to provide discounts to its ebooks and drop prices.

Rick Santorum drops out of the race for the Republican nomination

On Tuesday, April 10 presidential candidate Rick Santorum suspended his campaign, effectively ending his bid for president.

The candidates that now remain are Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. Santorum had been Romney’s biggest challenger and with him out of the race Romney appears to be the likely nominee.

Neither of the other two candidates have posed any serious challenge to Romney. Gingrich has only won two primaries; Paul hasn’t won any.

The next contests are on Tuesday, April 24 in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Secret Service agents caught up in prostitution allegations

Secret Service agents have been accused of hiring prostitutes in Colombia while preparing for President Obama’s visit. So far one has resigned, another has retired, and it has been proposed that a third be removed.

Another 8 agents and 10 U.S. troops are also under investigation.

President Obama was visiting Colombia for the Summit of the Americas and the team of agents was sent beforehand.

The allegations arose after there was an apparent dispute over payment of one of the women and the police became involved. There is also disagreement over whether the agents all believed the women were prostitutes.

India successfully tests long-range missile

On Thursday, April 19 India said its test of a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead was a success.

The weapon is known as the Agni V and can travel more than 5,000 kilometers. This is within range to be able to hit both Shanghai and Beijing.

India is now part of a small group of nations with long-range missile technology, including the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Israel. India claims its nuclear program is purely defensive and that they have a policy of not firing first.

India is bordered on two sides by nuclear nations, Pakistan and China.

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