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EDM Monday Briefing: North Korea Threats, Body of Missing North Carolina Toddler Found

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Emergency and disaster management briefing: An annual U.S. military drill with South Korea prompts threats from North Korea, police in North Carolina arrested the mother’s boyfriend in connection with her missing toddler, Oroville Dam spillway ready to tackle winter rains as repair costs more than double, health experts warn of an early flu season and a vaccine that may only be ten percent effective, Japan sees an alarming increase in suspected North Korean “ghost-ships” on its northern shores, one person is dead and five others were injured by an angry driver and his vehicle on Sunday in Queens, new I-66 HOT lanes open with varying–and often high–tolls during heavy congestion hours in greater Washington, DC, privacy concerns mount over Apple’s sharing of facial recognition with app developers on the iPhone Xs.

  1. An annual military drill conducted by the United States in conjunction with South Korea that began Monday has [link url=”” title=”prompted warnings from North Korea”] that the exercises are a provocation and are escalating the already tense situation to the “brink of war.” In a show of power by the U.S., it is also the first time that stealth fighter jets, including the F-22s, F-35As, and F-35Bs, are participating in the drill. The exercise, [link url=”″ title=”dubbed Vigilant Air”], involves 12,000 U.S. Military personnel and 230 aircraft, and is designed to improve coordination and cooperation between the U.S. and South Korean militaries. 
  2. The [link url=”″ title=”corpse of the toddler, Mariah Woods, reported missing last Sunday from Jacksonville, North Carolina”], was found in Shelter Creek in Pender County by a Fayetteville Police dive team. The discovery came just one day after police arrested the mother’s live-in boyfriend, Earl Kimrey, 32, in connection with the 3-year-old’s disappearance. According to reports, the toddler’s death was not natural and [link url=”” title=”the body was removed from the place where she died”].  [relink url=”” url2=”” url3=””]
  3. Officials monitoring the repairs on the Oroville Dam in California have said that [link url=”” title=”hairline cracks found by federal inspectors”] are normal during the curing process of the cement that was used to repair the spillway. The dam’s emergency spillway failed last February, prompting an evacuation of nearly 200,000 people downriver, but officials say that the dam and its newly repaired spillway are ready for the winter rains. The $275 million contract to repair both spillways and a bottom splash pool was awarded to Kiewit, but costs for the contract repairs have since [link url=”” title=”increased to $500 million”]. [relink url=”” url2=”” url3=””]
  4. Experts are warning that [link url=”″ title=”the flu season may be particularly nasty this season”], and it might be arriving earlier than normal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also noted a wider geographic spread of influenza-like illnesses this year, and is encouraging people to get their flu vaccinations now. However, health officials are indicating that [link url=”″ title=”the vaccine may only be 10% effective against the main strain of the virus”], but are still encouraging individuals to get the vaccine in order to prevent the virus spreading further. [relink url=”” url2=”” url3=””]
  5. Vessels caught in winds and water currents regularly push boats onto Japan’s northern coasts every year. However, [link url=”″ title=”Japan has recently stepped up patrols in the area”] after an uptick in “ghost boats” – boats with missing or deceased crew members primarily from North Korea – were detected in November. In a recent incident, Japanese officials stated that two bodies, believed to be North Korean, [link url=”″ title=”washed ashore in northern Japan on Monday”], and one body was picked up by a Japanese fishing boat. Authorities believe they might be from a dilapidated fishing vessel, seemingly from North Korea, that was found two days prior. 
  6. [link url=”” title=”One person was killed and five people were injured early Sunday morning”] when an angry driver plowed his vehicle into a crowd of people on a sidewalk in Queens, New York. The incident began when a man, upset over a parking dispute, jumped out of his car and [link url=”” title=”stabbed two people in the chest”], then got back into his vehicle and drove off, jumped the curb and hit a group of pedestrians. One person remains in critical condition, and the others are in stable condition, including the two stabbing victims. [relink url=”” url2=”” url3=””]
  7. In an attempt to [link url=”″ title=”reduce traffic on a highly congested area of I-66 in the greater Washington, DC area”], new toll rates have been introduced that vary according to traffic congestion. Transportation leaders are betting that the new tolls will push people toward public transportation or carpooling, helping to reduce roadway congestion. The new tolls are steep, with one toll reportedly being $34.50 for just 10-miles of travel in the new HOT lanes–High Occupancy Toll lanes–which [link url=”” title=”permits single occupancy vehicles use of HOV lanes during rush hour”]. [relink url=”” url2=”” url3=””]
  8. Privacy concerns are mounting over [link url=”” title=”Apple’s sharing of facial recognition on its iPhone X with apps”]. The apps will be able to store a wireframe representation of the user’s face and a live read-out of 52 micro-movements of an individual’s eyelids, mouth, and other features. However, some security features will include [link url=”” title=”a requirement for iPhone users to grant permission to developers”] who wish to access the phone’s camera before use, and to explain how and where the data will be used. [relink url=”” url2=”” url3=””]

Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.

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