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Chatter: Meteor hits Earth. No, really.

An exploding meteor injures hundreds in Russia, Oscar Pistorius is charged with murder, the cruise ship from hell finally reaches shore, and a lesson in why you should leave dogs just as nature made them.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

It's raining meteors! No, seriously: more than 400 people are reported injured after a 10-ton meteoroid exploded and showered debris over central Russia. The impact was felt in at least six cities, shattering windows and shaking buildings with a powerful shockwave.

In a week of things we didn't see coming, this was the thing we saw coming the least. Experts assure the meteor shower had nothing to do with that other large space object well and truly seen coming, Asteroid 2012 DA14, which is due to make a "harmless" fly-by later today. Here's hoping.

It's official: Oscar Pistorius will be tried for murder. The South African sports star appeared in court in Pretoria this morning, where charges of "premeditated murder" were read against him for the death of Reeva Steenkamp. She was found fatally shot at his home yesterday. Pistorius wept in court today.

Of course, we won't know what happened until the trial, which is still a long way off. But Steenkamp's shooting has shocked South Africa, a nation where gun crime and violence against women is rife. GlobalPost's Erin Conway-Smith examines the painful truths the case reveals about South Africa's crime problem.

Things are out of control on the Line of Control. India's army says it shot dead a Pakistani soldier today after he strayed into the disputed terroritory of Kashmir. Two Indian troops were wounded in a gun battle with the "infiltrator," a military spokesman said.

Pakistan has confirmed that one of its soldiers "lost his way" and crossed the border by mistake. In Kashmir, where tensions have been rising for weeks, a mistake like that can be deadly.

WANT TO KNOW

Never have holiday-makers been happier to come home. The 4,000-plus passengers aboard the Carnival Triumph – the so-called "cruise ship from hell" – are finally back on dry land, five days after the vessel lost power and turned into a stinking, floating nightmare.

The Triumph docked in the US port of Mobile, Alabama, late last night, and then began the long process of getting the understandably disgruntled passengers off the ship and back to their homes. Cruise operator Carnival (which you may remember from such other shipping disasters as the Costa Concordia), is offering them a refund, compensation, and – ever optimistic – a discount on future bookings.

No more horsing around: it's time to get serious about mislabelled meat. The EU's top food safety experts are holding a crisis meeting today to draw up a comprehensive, Europe-wide testing program for unwanted horsemeat and any potentially harmful veterinary drugs that came with it.

Tests are one part of showing consumers that the contamination is contained. The other is finding the unscrupulous suppliers responsible. So far three people have been arrested in Britain, France has suspended one processing firm's license, and authorities are talking about "an international criminal conspiracy." Unsavory stuff. GlobalPost's Paul Ames investigates the murky world of – ahem – horse trading behind ready meals.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

People, people, people: do not face-lift your dogs. This cautionary tale comes from China, where one misguided owner sought to gild the furry lily by subjecting his Tibetan Mastiff to plastic surgery. The doggie facelift was supposed to make the pooch more attractive to lady pups and their stud-seeking owners, but instead succeeded only in killing the poor patient. He died of a heart attack on the operating table.

The mastiff's owner is now suing the vet who carried out the procedure, arguing that he's due the dog's full asking price – more than $140,000. We'd give him a poopascoopa and a piece of our mind.

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