►The U.S. set a record this year with 12 separate billion-dollar weather disasters in 2011, according to data released by NOAA on Wednesday. The 12 disasters resulted in 646 dead and $52 billion worth of damage. This record year breaks the previous record of nine billion-dollar weather/climate disasters in one year, which occurred in 2008. Preliminary data for 2011 also shows the Autumn months were warmer than average this year with higher than average precipitation in November.
►The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics hopes to save the state thousands by providing drop boxes for law enforcement to deposit hazardous chemicals discovered after busting meth labs. After authorities discover a meth lab, they can sometimes wait 15 hours for a clean up to take place. Secure drop boxes allow officers to drop off seized chemicals at central locations instead of having disposal teams deploy to each site, News On 6 reports.
►German police say a bomb intercepted by the Deutsche Bank mailroom and addressed to bank chief Josef Ackermann was functional and capable of exploding. The bomb was discovered after an x-ray screening of the package showed an anomaly. Police were alerted and the bomb was deactivated. Authorities in Berlin have not released the name of any suspects or any further information. The return address on the package was “European Central Bank--the governing body for the 17-nation common European currency, which has its headquarters just across the park from Deutsche Bank in downtown Frankfurt,” the Associated Press reported.
►NATO’s International Security Assistance Force spars with the Taliban on Twitter over the number of casualties after a firefight in Kunar.♦ Adobe publishes a security bulletin warning of a Flash vulnerability that could cause the system to crash and “potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.”♦ And Tech 2 provides a wrap-up of the most successful hacking and phishing scams on Facebook in 2011.