Monday, January 24, 2011

1600+ New "Wikileaks": Al Jazeera Releases Palestine Papers

Over the last several months, Al Jazeera has been given unhindered access to the largest-ever leak of confidential documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are nearly 1,700 files, thousands of pages of diplomatic correspondence detailing the inner workings of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. These documents – memos, e-mails, maps, minutes from private meetings, accounts of high level exchanges, strategy papers and even power point presentations – date from 1999 to 2010.

The material is voluminous and detailed; it provides an unprecedented look inside the continuing negotiations involving high-level American, Israeli, and Palestinian Authority officials.

Read the papers here

UFO Enthusiasts Abuzz Over Indonesia's FIRST Crop Circles

Indonesia’s first crop circles have appeared -- and locals call it evidence of alien life.

Found in a rice field in a hamlet of Sleman, Yogyakarta, the crop circle consists of triangles and circles with a diameter of about 70 meters. While some observes say the shapes are manmade, local scientists and government officials are struggling for a concrete explanation, leaving UFO enthusiasts murmuring of extraterrestrials.

"According to several residents, they saw a tornado on Saturday evening," said Ngadiran, one of six farmers who owns the land in Sleman. "On Sunday afternoon, we saw the footprint in our fields.

The pattern was first reported by a farmer, Tukiman, on Sunday at 6 a.m. His story drew hordes of people, causing heavy traffic congestion in the region. Enthusiastic locals all seem to have their own theory on the genesis of the mysterious occurrence.

"I think they were left by an alien space ship, like one I saw on TV," Krasakan resident Cahyo Utomo told the Jakarta Post on Monday. "It is impossible that this was made by wind or any animal."

Others noted the pattern's unique symbology. "This particular crop circle is fascinating because of its striking resemblance to the muladhara chakra -- one of the basic chakras in Tantric Hinduism," Perdana told local news agency kompas.com.

Read more..

Bomb Blast Rips Through Moscow Airport

At least 35 people have been killed and 130 injured in a suspected suicide bomb attack at Moscow's Domodedovo airport.

Sky's Amanda Walker, speaking from the airport, said the explosion ripped through the building's "meet and greet" international arrivals.

President Dmitry Medvedev said terrorists were behind the attack and vowed to track down those responsible.

"We mourn the victims of the terrorist attack at Domodedovo airport. The organisers will be tracked down and punished," he said. Read More:

UK, Leeds: UFO orb with "licking flames" or lights zooms off at incredible speed

Note: while not the most spectacular of sightings, this one is of note due to the ending, which shows the object zooming off at such incredible speeds that the camera is only able to pick up a speck on a frame.

It goes to show that while many things may look mundane, even normal initially, it's important to study the little details - that's where the answers may rest.

US Unemployment Report: Only 47% of working age Americans have full time jobs

VK, roving reporter for The Automatic Earth, has been playing with the numbers from the January 7 employment report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It seems valuable to look at unemployment from this, a different, angle. Some of it may even surprise you.

The total non institutional civilian labor force (Americans 16 years and older who are not in a institution -criminal, mental, or other types of facilities- or an active military duty) is reported as 238.889 million. Of these, we see:
  • Employed: 139.206 million people (58.3% of labor force)

  • Unemployed: 14.485 million people (6.1% of labor force)

Obviously, that can't be the total picture, we're only at 64.4%. This is why:
  • Part time employed for economic reasons: 8.931 million people. This concerns people who want a full-time job but can't get one.

  • Part time employed for non-economic reasons: 18.184 million people. Non-economic reasons include school or training, retirement or Social Security limits on earnings, but also childcare problems and family or personal obligations.
But the by far largest category "missing" from both the Employed and Unemployed statistics is the "Not In Labor Force": 85.2 Million people.

Read More

Oil 'could hit $200 a barrel' says investor Jim Rogers

BBC Interview:

Jim Rogers: Well, the surprise is going to be how high the price of oil stays and how high it goes, because Justin we have had no major elephant oil discoveries in over 40 years. The International Energy Agency is going around the world pleading with people to listen. Known reserves of oil are declining. It is not good news. Unless somebody discovers a lot of oil very quickly, prices are going to go much higher over the next decade.

Justin Rowlatt: How high do you think the oil price could go then?

Jim Rogers: Justin, the price of oil is going to make new highs. It will go over $150 a barrel. It will probably go over $200 a barrel.

Justin Rowlatt: Over $200 a barrel? I mean that's a world record high, isn't it?

Jim Rogers: Of course it is, but Justin, the world is running out of known reserves of oil. Maybe there is a lot of oil in the world, but if there is, we don't know where it is or how to get to it.

Read more

North Beach herring deaths 'rare occurrence'

DFO officers, fishermen look for answers after thousands of fish wash ashore - Jan 24th 2011

Large numbers of dead herring that washed ashore this week on a beach south of Nanaimo have both fishery officials and local fishermen looking for answers.

Will Meeks, who works near Cedar's North Beach where the fish washed ashore, said he knew something was amiss when he saw unusually large numbers of birds congregating on the beach Thursday morning.

He said he was surprised to find "thousands" of dead herring washed ashore, a scene he can't recall ever seeing before on local beaches.

Meeks said the dead herring appear to localized to North Beach because he and his friends checked nearby beaches and found nothing similar. Read more:

No explanation of French Polynesia’s 2002 plane disappearance

The judicial investigation has been completed in French Polynesia into the unexplained disappearance of four politicians nine years ago.

No charges have been laid and the case is likely to be closed.

Walter Zweifel reports

“As part of their election campaign, the leading opposition politicians at the time, including Boris Leontieff and Lucien Kimitete, were travelling in a small plane in theTuamotu archipelago when it disappeared. No wreckage has ever been found, giving cause to speculation that there may have been foul play or that the aircraft may have been diverted. Several investigations failed to explain what happened. The politicians’ wives even approached the French president to explore if the United States took satellite images of the Tuamotus at the time of the presumed crash. Without any result, the file is expected to be closed soon.” Source:

Violent volcanic eruptions 'caused largest ever mass extinction' 250million years ago

Scientists find layers of coal ash in rocks from the extinction boundary in Canada's High Arctic

Huge volcanic eruptions caused the largest mass extinction in history, scientists believe.

The last Permian extinction, also known as the Great Dying, devastated life on Earth when it took place 250million years ago.

It saw 95 per cent of sea life wiped out and 70 per cent of animals on land killed.

While it is widely accepted that a meteorite was at least the partial cause for ending the dinosaur era 65million years ago, it was unclear what led to the earlier, more severe extinction.

Japan Culls 410,000 Chickens in Miyazaki Farm as Bird Flu Outbreak Spreads

Japan is culling about 410,000 chickens at a farm in the southern prefecture of Miyazaki as avian influenza spreads to the nation’s second-biggest growing region for poultry.

The government is taking measures to contain the disease as the H5 flu virus has been detected in chickens found dead in the farm in Shintomi town, about 8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles) from where the first flu outbreak this year was confirmed, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Officials in Miyazaki culled more than 10,000 chickens on Jan. 22 after six out of 36 chickens found dead at a separate farm tested positive for influenza. Read More...

Hundreds of fish die in County Antrim river

Hundreds of fish have been found dead in the Six Mile Water river in County Antrim.

Billy Robinson from Ballynure Angling Club walked a few miles alongside the river on Sunday afternoon.

He said he saw dead fish from Doagh bridge right up towards Ballyclare.

"There are quite a few dead trout, from small fish, up to fish weighing three quarters of a pound to a pound in weight, so it seems to be a total fish kill," he said.

"I'm looking over the bridge at the moment and there must be around 30 or 40 fish dead in the space of a few yards." Source..

Tajikistan: Earthquake Measuring 6.1 Hits Karakul

An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale has hit the central Asian country of Tajikistan at around 07:45:30 AM local time. The epicenter of the earthquake was located 90 km (55 miles) SW of Karakul, Tajikistan. With its epicenter at a depth of 98.6 km (61.3 miles) the earthquake was felt by nearby countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan. Residents in high-rise buildings in the capital reported light tremors. Some houses in Kyragyzstan's southern Alai valley could be damaged by the quake due to poor construction, however, No loss of lives and major property have been reported yet.