Here's a pro tip: If you're in the middle of a nasty divorce, better lock up your expensive violin collection. Over in Japan, 34-year-old Midori Kawamiya was arrested this week after allegedly destroying her ex-husband's $950,000 violin collection in 2014 in the midst of their divorce. Authorities say Kawamiya admitted to breaking into Daniel Olsen Chen's apartment in Nagoya but denied destroying his collection, which was comprised of 54 violins and 70 bows. Kawamiya, a Chinese national, was finally arrested this week when she returned to Japan from China. The 62-year-old Chen, who both collects and builds violins, says it will probably take him the rest of his life to repair his collection. The most valuable of the destroyed violins - said to be worth nearly $450,000 on its own - is believed to have been a Nicola Amati instrument from Italy. (Japan Times)
Our Very Nuclear World
The US Pacific Fleet commander, Adm. Scott Swift, says he stands ready and willing to launch a nuclear strike against China next week if President Trump ordered it! Don't panic just yet- that's not currently on the table, but he was responding to a hypothetical question at an Australian National University security conference following a major joint US-Australian military exercise off the Australian coast. The drills were monitored by a Chinese intelligence-gathering ship off northeast Australia. Asked by an academic in the audience whether he would carry out a nuclear attack on China next week if Trump ordered it, Swift replied: "The answer would be: yes." He added, "Every member of the US military has sworn an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and to obey the officers and the president of the United States as commander and chief appointed over us. Any time you have a military that is moving away from a focus and an allegiance to civilian control, then we really have a significant problem." Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Charlie Brown later said Swift's answer reaffirmed the principle of civilian control over the military, noting that Swift "was not addressing the premise of the question, he was addressing the principle of civilian authority of the military." Brown also added, "The premise of the question was ridiculous." (Newser)
Mississippi Police Problems
Down in Southaven, Mississippi lives 41-year-old Ismael Lopez. He's never been in trouble with the law, is an American citizen and is not wanted for anything. Nevertheless, he's now dead because he was shot by a police officer attempting to serve an arrest warrant - at the wrong house. According to the Washington Post, Lopez was in bed when he heard a sound outside his home and got up to see what was going on; moments later he was dead. Prosecutor John Champion claims that Lopez was pointing a gun at the two police officers outside his house through a partially open door and ignored orders to put the gun down. Champion says it appears one officer shot at a pit bull that ran out of Lopez's home and the other shot at Lopez himself. There were three bullet holes in Lopez's door. It's unclear if Lopez fired any shots or if he knew the people at his front door were police officers. Attorney Murray Wells says neither Lopez's wife nor a neighbor heard the officers tell Lopez to drop the gun. In fact, he says Lopez, wasn't even holding a gun during the shooting. Wells says there was a gun on the couch at the time. Police were attempting to serve an arrest warrant for Samuel Pearman, who lives next door. Wells says the two homes are 36 feet apart and both have their addresses clearly visible. An investigation into the shooting is underway. (Washington Post)
Is Your Roomba Up to No Good?
Got one of those Roomba robotic vacuums? That may not be such a good idea. iRobot, which makes the Roomba is considering selling data that the Roomba picks up along with dirt during its daily cleanup sessions. That includes everything from the layout of your home to the brands of furniture you buy, to your daily traffic patterns. It also estimates your income based on your furniture choices and whether there's a baby in the house. They're considering selling the data to Amazon, Google, or Apple. iRobot insists consumer privacy is paramount, noting customers can flick a switch and "opt out" of their map data being uploaded, or not connect their Roomba to the internet at all. Their statement reads: "No data will be shared with third parties without the informed consent of our customers." iRobot also says it doesn't have any imminent plans for data-hawking, but company CEO Colin Angle says that a contract to sell Roomba's maps to either Apple, Amazon, or Google could happen within the next couple of years. (New York Times)
Yeah - That Probably Would Traumatize a Nine-Year-Old
In Connecticut, 33-year-old Juan Vega was just sentenced to 120 days in prison for murder - fish murder. The April incident began when Vega showed up unannounced at his girlfriend's home and a fight started. Police say he pushed the unidentified woman, kicked and broke a TV, gathered up his things, and left. But after his departure, the victim found other damaged items throughout the home, and then officers spoke to her 9-year-old son who told them Vega picked up the family's beta fish from its tank and sliced it in half! Vega later confessed to killing the fish and pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree breach of peace. He was sentenced to 120 days in prison. The prosecutor said the incident "really did traumatize the 9-year-old." (Bristol Press)
Quincy Jones-1, Michael Jackson - 0
Michael Jackson's estate will have to pay Quincy Jones $9.4 million in royalties and production fees from "Billie Jean," ''Thriller," and more of the superstar's biggest hits. The award from a Los Angeles Superior Court jury fell short of the $30 million the legendary producer sought in the lawsuit filed nearly four years ago, but well above the approximately $392,000 the Jackson estate contended Jones was owed. A jury of 10 women and two men found for Mr. Jones. In a statement Jones wrote: "This lawsuit was never about Michael, it was about protecting the integrity of the work we all did in the recording studio and the legacy of what we created." He added, "Although this (judgment) is not the full amount that I was seeking, I am very grateful that the jury decided in our favor in this matter. I view it not only as a victory for myself personally, but for artists' rights overall." Estate attorney Howard Weitzman says he and his team are surprised and disappointed by the verdict and are planning an appeal. (Newser)
What the What?
It's well documented that the vast majority of Americans believe climate change is real. Also, 57% of us believe that human activity along with natural causes are affecting Earth's climate. However, even though we may believe in it, most of us aren't doing a darn thing about it. New data from YouGov says that when respondents were asked about their consumption of fossil fuels and red meat, both of which have been noted for their impact on Earth's ecosystems, hardly anyone has made any changes in their lifestyle. Commercial beef production, for instance, accounts for more greenhouse gas each year than all the cars on the planet. Only 13% of climate change believers said they've greatly reduced their consumption of red meat. 66% haven't changed their habits at all. Also only 9% of us have made any noticeable changes in consumption of fossil fuel, while 54% haven't changed our consumption at all. At least 53% of us said we do try to recycle and practice sustainable waste management habits, like composting or reusing, since hearing about climate change. When asked how much longer they think the earth will be habitable for humans if no changes are made in how humans currently use fossil fuels, reduce waste, or otherwise manage their environmental footprint, the most popular response is under 300 years. (New York Magazine)