►A new law in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt gives police the power to completely shut down wireless communications in emergency situations. The law says police don’t need permission from a court to do it and that all service providers “would have to make themselves able to be shut off,” The Local reports. It would be up to police when they were turned back on after an emergency. Critics worry the power will be abused.
►Following the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, sales of child-sized body armor, bulletproof clothing, and backpacks have risen 500 percent for one company in Utah. The backpacks sell for $300 and will stop a bullet fired from a .357 Magnum. “Amendment II has been selling its products to police and military agencies for years now and began putting sheets of the material in children’s backpacks a year ago. [A company spokesman] rejected any suggestion the company is seeking to cash in on last week’s shooting,” Fox News reports. Gun shops have reported a dramatic increase in sales and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation says it received more applications for firearms background checks the day after the shooting than it does on it’s busiest day, Black Friday.
►In one UK town police say a new bike registration scheme has reduced bike thefts by 80 percent. “Officers from the Norwich East Safer Neighbourhood Team have also been marking bikes and registering them on national database BikeRegister.com. If a marked bike is stolen and later recovered it can be traced back to its original owner,” Professional Security Magazine reports. Police says the registration sticker serves as a deterrent to thieves.
►Newtown buries six more victims as the NRA finally breaks its silence saying it is ready to “offer meaningful contributions” to prevent future massacres, The Guardian reports. ♦ Video of the Pemex pipeline explosion from September that closed a highway and had around 50 casualties has been released (see above). The resulting fire took more than 10 hours to control. According to media reports, somewhere between 26 and 30 people were killed and some workers are still unaccounted for. ♦ And four officials resign after the Benghazi report is released. ♦The report said the U.S. State Department had “grossly inadequate” security at a U.S. mission in Libya.