A journalist has received a USB drive in the mail, and it turned out to be a bomb that detonated when they plugged it into a computer at the newsroom.
According to a report from the BBC, the journalist that received the USB drive was just one of many journalists across Ecuador that received similar USB drives. Luckily, other recipients either discarded the drive entirely or the bomb failed to detonate. The Ecuadorean attorneys-general's department confirmed it has opened a terrorism investigation following the explosion and explained that at least five news outlets were targeted.
The government body condemned the actions and said that any attempt to intimidate journalism and freedom of speech across Ecuador is a "loathsome action" that will be punished with "all rigor of justice". So, where did the devices come from? According to the interior minister, Juan Zapata, all of the devices were sent from the same town, with three USB drives being sent to media outlets located in Guayaquil, and two to newsrooms in the capital, Quito.
The journalist that detonated the bomb is One presenter, Lenin Artieda, who was injured by the explosion. Furthermore, reports indicate that authorities carried out a controlled detonation of one of the bombs sent to TC Television, while Ecuador's head of forensic science said the USB drives contained "military-type" explosives.
So, why is this happening? According to the BBC, Ecuador has seen a surge in violent crime that can be attributed to the growing competition between drug trafficking groups that are battling control throughout the region.
The publication reports that Ecuador's second-largest city has experienced such a surge in violent crime that there is rising number of reports on the number of decapitated bodies hanging from pedestrian bridges around the region. Furthermore, there has been an increase in the number of prison riots between rival gangs that dominate the prisons.
In other news, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has once again captured the beauty of the cosmos in a new stunning image of the globular cluster known as Messier 55. The now 30-year-old space telescope has served as an instrument for numerous scientific achievements, and images such as the one that was recently released demonstrate that despite the space telescope's age, it's still more than capable of producing jaw-dropping instruments with its 'outdated' equipment.
If you are interested in checking out that image for yourself or would like to learn more about Messier 55, visit the link below. Additionally, astronomers discovered a 200-foot-wide asteroid that will pass between Earth and the Moon very soon. For more on that story, check out the link below.