Jan 14, 2018

Hawaii false alarm to speed changes to alerts

Honolulu, Hawaii, the morning a false emergency alert about an inbound ballistic missile was sent out. Photo: EUGENE TANNER / AFP / Getty Images

"A false alert sent to cellphones across Hawaii on Saturdaywarning of an incoming ballistic missile is calling attention to an emergency notification system that government officials at all levels say needs major improvements," per the N.Y. Times' Cecilia Kang:

  • "The Federal Communications Commission said it was opening a 'full investigation into what happened' when the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent the errant alert as a result of what Gov. David Y. Ige said was human error: a worker who 'pushed the wrong button' during a shift change at the state’s emergency command post."
  • Why it matters: "The episode in Hawaii appeared to be the Wireless Emergency Alerts system’s most serious misfire since it became operational in 2012 to [use alerts pushed to cellphones to] modernize America’s decades-old approach of using television and radio to notify the public about impending weather, safety and other hazards."
  • What's next: "The system has come under growing scrutiny in recent months, with public safety officials complaining that it requires upgrades on several fronts. Critics say they are often sent too widely, sowing fear among people unlikely to be affected by the threat in question."

This is a great read ... Go deeper: "False Alarm Hints at Thin Line Between Mishap and War," by N.Y. Times' Max "The Interpreter" Fisher:

  • "Security experts called it a frightening warning of how a technical error could set off an unintended conflict with North Korea."

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Cruise ship evacuations: More Americans test positive for coronavirus

A bus carrying American citizens from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship arrives at the U.S. government-chartered aircraft that is taking them back to the United States while authorities wear protective suits look on at Haneda airport in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Another 14 passengers tested positive for the novel coronavirus during their evacuation from the Diamond Princess cruise ship before being flown in a "specialist containment" area of the plane to the United States, per a Trump administration statement early Monday.

Details: Over 40 Americans who had been on the ship had previously been confirmed as infected and will remain in Japanese hospitals for treatment, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Face the Nation" Sunday. The rest were evacuated, and these latest cases were among them. All evacuees will undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival later Monday.

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GM to exit Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

GM's Holden brand is popular among racing fans down under, and it's been a regular fixture at events like the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar Race in Australia. Photo: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

General Motors is retiring its Holden brand from sales in Australia and New Zealand and winding down operations in the two countries and Thailand by 2021, the company confirmed in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The Holden brand has been in Australia and New Zealand for 160 years, per a GM statement issued in Australia. It is beloved by many motor racing fans down under. Holden produced Australia's first wholly locally made car in 1948.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

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