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News for Friday - 3/15/13

Tensions continued to rise in the Asia Pacific as North Korea tested two short-range missiles by shooting them off into the Sea of Japan. The event occurred as the United States continues to help conduct war-games with South Korea just a few hundred miles away. The U.S. government announced shortly after that they will boost their nuclear missile defenses to counter the North Korean threat. The White House announced plans to press China more about the rush of cyber attacks that have plagued dozens of businesses in recent weeks.

In the Vatican, Pope Francis I urged leaders of the Roman Catholic Church to focus on their mission and not be swayed by bitterness or criticism due to the recent scandals. This statement comes just as the Vatican rejected any questions about Pope Francis' possible involvement in Argentina's war in the 1970's.

Back in the United States, the Republican Party continued their Conservative Political Action Conference and welcomed losing-presidential candidate Mitt Romney to address the crowd on the main stage. Romney talked about his failure as the 2012 GOP nominee and urged fellow Republicans to learn from the states he lost to Barack Obama. Meanwhile, fellow Republican and G.O.P. Senator Rob Portman announced a reversal on his stance toward gay marriage after stating that his son had come out to him as gay just two years before. Republican Assemblyman Steve Katz followed suit with a sudden change of heart toward his stance on medical marijuana by being pulled over for speeding and getting arrested for possession of the very drug he voted against.

After an extensive outage with its and Hotmail services earlier in the week, Microsoft issued a formal apology to users in an attempt to mitigate their earlier attempt to downplay the outage. Apple continued their losing streak of legal battles with Mexico's Supreme Court's rejection of their appeal against an earlier ruling upholding Mexican company iFone's trademark.

In vehicular tech news, online luxury car service provider Uber saw over twenty drivers protesting outside of their San Francisco headquarters over low pay and lack of benefits. Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith stepped down today as well as a result of their recent buyout by Avis Budget Group, citing the need for a more dedicated leader.

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