Thursday, January 27, 2011

Double Death over $96: Nevada councilwoman found dead faced possible sanctions

A Nevada city councilwoman who faced possible sanctions over a travel expense voucher and public comments was found dead with her husband Tuesday, hours before a City Council meeting that had the issues involving her on its agenda, officials said.

Donna Fairchild and Bill Fairchild were found in a residence in the city of Mesquite, Nevada, on Interstate 15 near the border with Arizona, authorities said. Police got a call from the residence about 4:30 a.m.

Each apparently suffered a single gunshot wound, the city said. Autopsies are scheduled for Wednesday.

Results from the Clark County Coroner's Office were expected to take four to six weeks, according to a statement from the city.

Mesquite city spokesman Bryan Dangerfield would not comment on the circumstances of their deaths but said police confirmed that a note and a 9 mm handgun were found at the scene.

For those keeping track - that's now 3 people of government killed and/or gunned down in the last month.

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BREAKING NEWS - 6.0 MAGNITUDE EARTQUAKE HITS - SOUTHERN IRAN

The 6.0-magnitude earthquake at 12.08 p.m. local time (0838 GMT) was centered about 45 kilometers (27 miles) from Mohammad abad-e rigan in Kerman Province. It struck about 24 kilometers (15 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the Iranian Seismological Center.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the strength of the earthquake at 5.8 on the Richter scale, slightly weaker than Iran's estimate. The USGS estimated that some people may have felt very strong shaking, while some 209,000 others may have felt moderate to strong shaking.

It was not immediately known if there was damage or if there were any casualties as a result of the earthquake, but earthquakes - even light and moderate ones - often cause heavy damage and severe casualties in certain parts of the country due to poor construction, especially when they hit during the night when most residents are sleeping.

Most recently, on December 20, at least seven people were killed and hundreds more were injured when a strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck 16 kilometers (9.9 miles) from the town of Hosein abad in Kerman Province, southeastern Iran. Read More..

US Utah 'biological' army base 'locked down'

A US military base that carries out tests to protect troops against biological attacks was locked down on Wednesday to resolve a "serious concern", officials have said.

The base in Dugway, Utah, reopened early Thursday to allow staff in and out. There were reported to be 1,200 to 1,400 people inside Dugway at the time.

Base commander Col William King said on Wednesday no-one was in danger.

No information was given on the nature of the problem.

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Wild Weather: Snowbound U.S. Northeast digs out again - More Snow Coming

The U.S. East Coast began the all-too-familiar task of digging out on Thursday morning after a storm dumped more than 30 centimetres of snow in some areas overnight, heaping more misery on a region that has been hit by one snowstorm after another.

Snow was still falling in parts of New England on Thursday morning.

The storm started Wednesday with an icy mix but overnight gave a wallop of heavy blowing snow in many places, stranding thousands of airplane passengers and leaving more than 400,000 customers in and around the nation's capital without power.

Public schools remained closed for a second day Thursday and motorists were warned of dangerous road conditions. In New York City, even the Statue of Liberty was closed for snow removal. New York's Long Island Rail Road, a commuter rail line that is nation's largest, was operating on a reduced schedule.

"It's hard because you've got mixed water, ice and snow right now," said Miguel Williams, shoveling snow on Manhattan's 10th Avenue for a company that contracts with businesses to clear the sidewalks. Snowblowers are breaking down under the weight of the wet, heavy snow, he said.

Isn't this New York's second or third major snowstorm from which they've had to dig out this year? Is it just me, or the weather becoming especially vicious worldwide?

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Mount Bromo / Tengger Caldera, Indonesia has erupted 27th Jan 2011 grounding flights

A fiery volcano is causing holiday misery for hundreds of Australians with airlines cancelling flights as a large ash cloud floats in the skies above Indonesia.

In echoes of last year's Icelandic volcano chaos, the eruption of 2329-metre-high Tengger Caldera, in east Java, led to the cancellation of about a dozen flights and left passengers stranded on Thursday night.

Virgin Blue and Jetstar both cancelled flights to and from Denpasar, the main airport serving the popular holiday island of Bali.

Jetstar cancelled five flights and diverted another which was already in the air. Read More..

Note: Mount Bromo, on Java Island, is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions.

Ambam, the swaggering silverback gorilla who walks around his pen on two legs

Striding purposefully across the ape enclosure, he looks like a portly – and slightly grumpy – commuter in a hurry to catch a train.

While most gorillas are happy enough walking around on all fours, Ambam the silverback prefers a more human form of ambulation.

To the amusement of his keepers and fascinated onlookers, the agile ape has mastered the tricky art of walking upright on his hind legs for long distances.

The feat has placed Ambam, a Western lowland gorilla at Port Lympne wild animal park in Kent, on the brink of international stardom.

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Japan's Mount Kirishima Volcano Erupts Explosively Jan. 26th 2011



A spectacular volcanic eruption is currently under way in Japan. The mountain Kirishima is firing red-hot magma and volcanic bombs into the air.

Mount Kirishima, a volcano on the southern island of Kyushu, began erupting on Jan. 26. A giant ash cloud poured from the volcano, prompting the Tokyo VAAC to issue an ash warning for places above 25,000 feet (7.6 kilometers).

Volcanic material shot from the crater, triggering pyroclastic flows, according to the blog Big Think.

Kirishima ejected volcanic bombs — lava fragments that are rounded as they fly through the air — more than a mile (2 kilometers) high from its vent, according to news reports. Read More..

Note: This latest eruption could be the largest Since 1959

21 workers die in 2nd fatal blast at Colombian coal mine in 4 years

SARDINATA, Colombia - An explosion likely caused by a methane gas buildup ripped through an underground coal mine in Colombia during a shift change Wednesday, killing 21 workers, officials said. A similar fatal blast occurred at the same mine four years ago.

Five of the victims died at the mine's entrance and by afternoon two bodies had been removed from the mine with another 14 left to recover, said the provincial Colombian Red Cross director, Johel Enrique Rodriguez.

He told The Associated Press that rescuers had seen the rest of the bodies, which he said were covered in burns and scattered throughout the kilometre-long (0.6 mile-long) tunnel that extended horizontally beneath a verdant mountain. Read More..

David Kelly death riddle grows as it emerges personal items found on his body did not have fingerprints on them

Further questions have been raised over the death of Dr David Kelly after police admitted that two personal items found with his body – his mobile phone and a watch – did not have any fingerprints on them.

The news brings the number of objects without fingerprints at the site where the weapons inspector’s body was discovered to five – the other three being the knife he allegedly used to slash his wrist, the packs of pills he is said to have overdosed on, and a water bottle.

It had been suggested that the lack of fingerprints on the knife might be due to the presence of gaffer tape on it. But Thames Valley Police have now confirmed that the knife had no tape on its handle.

Dr Kelly is said to have killed himself in 2003 after being named as the prime source of a BBC report accusing Tony Blair’s government of lying to take Britain into war in Iraq. No coroner’s inquest has been held. Instead, a public inquiry found he killed himself in woods near his Oxfordshire home. Read more...

UPDATE RESULTS MASS BIRD & FISH KILLS IN ARKANSAS - Experts are clueless

The results for the 5,000 blackbirds and 100,000 Fish are in; of course, this wouldn't make breaking news as most people probably have forgotten about 20+ mass kills so far this year.

More and more cases of unexplained deaths among wildlife are coming in daily. However, none are making any "real" news and are hidden well enough to obscure the stories from people that just read the information slapped on the front pages.

They do all have one thing in common though, which are bad excuses from experts who do not really know what is causing the deaths. Even after test results have returned the experts seem to be clueless as to the exact cause of the deaths, once again leaving us with ludicrous conclusions such as fireworks being responsible for the birds' deaths.

RESULTS FOR DEAD FISH - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission say less is known about the Dec. 29 fish kill. Tests on fish and water samples didn't turn up anything.

"Arkansas wildlife officials say the mystery of what killed tens of thousands of fish that washed up along the Arkansas River late last year can't be solved."

“We probably will never know exactly what killed these fish,” said AGFC Assistant Chief of Fisheries Chris Racey. “But the testing has eliminated the largest public concerns of disease, parasites and toxins. We have no reason to think fish caught in the Arkansas River are unsafe to eat.”

“We can say conclusively that the drum were not killed from a bacterial or viral infection, or from parasites,” said AGFC Fish Pathologist Kelly Winningham. “UAPB ran a full set of fish health tests and everything came back negative.”

Fish kills are not that uncommon, said AGFC District Fisheries Supervisor Bob Limbird. “But kills of this magnitude in Arkansas are rare,” he said.

NOTE: Tests were also conducted on the water, with results showing that water levels were normal with NO toxic algae, metals or pollutants to blame these deaths on.

RESULTS FOR DEAD BIRDS: (Beebe, AR) -- No poison. No disease. The reason thousands of blackbirds died in Beebe on New Year's Eve is blunt force trauma.

That's from a lab test conducted at the University of Georgia. It confirms the findings from tests in Arkansas and also in Wisconsin.

"We're sure they died of trauma," said Arkansas State Veterinarian Dr. George Badley. "We don't know why they, why they flew off their roost and started running into things."

But he says fireworks from new year's celebrations is still the best theory - also the fact that blackbirds already have poor vision.

So here's the bottom line with the birds: the final test results are in and three different labs all agree the birds died from trauma. Now, as far as what caused that trauma ...

"Only the blackbirds know that," chuckled Dr Badley. SOURCE;

NOTE: The chuckling Dr Badley as goes on to mention that blackbirds are FLYING INTO EACHOTHER, which poses NO threat to HUMAN LIFE; basically, they do not know what caused these blackbirds to become suicidal.

Blackbirds flying into each other? Hmm. So first they were hit by cars, trucks, then they flew into trees and buildings because of the fireworks... then why is Dr Badley stating that they flew into each other?

No threat to human life? What a strange statement, since none of the cases regarding birds have been reported as harming any humans. I can understand if toxins or disease were the cause - an expert could then use "NO Threat to human life" to reassure the public. But birds flying into each other? Would it not be logical that this wouldn't be a threat to humans to start with?

Dozens of ducks found dead along Maumee Bay shore



It was a mystery of sorts in Oregon Thursday morning.

People who live along Maumee Bay in one neighborhood woke up to find nearly two dozen dead ducks on the shore. The birds showed no signs of trauma.

Other geese and swans in the water seemed to be fine. No one knows what could have killed them.

Bob Rutkowski says, "There's no blood and no signs of anything getting torn up except for the seagulls that are out here eating on the carcasses. So I really don't have any ideas."

So what killed the ducks? The Ohio Division of Wildlife says this time of year, ducks searching for food sometimes eat grain that has mold or fungus in it and that can kill them.

It's unusual but not unheard of. Officers say if it happens again, they will investigate. Source

Inquiry into unexplained deaths of swans in Carlisle park

Wed 26th Jan 2011 - A probe has been launched into the death of several swans at a popular Carlisle park.

Carlisle City Council today confirmed a number of the birds had been discovered dead at Hammonds Pond, Upperby, in the past week.

Their deaths have been reported to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) with efforts underway to find out what caused them. One swan lay dead at the edge of the water this morning.

The birds are a familiar feature at Hammonds Pond, which is popular with families and dog walkers.

A Carlisle City Council spokeswoman said: “In the past week our park warden has found several dead swans within the grounds of Hammonds Pond.

“As this is an unusual incident, we have reported the deaths to Defra as part of their wild bird mortality survey. Read More...

Shame: Financial Crisis Was Avoidable, New Inquiry Finds

The 2008 financial crisis was an “avoidable” disaster caused by widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street, according to the conclusions of a federal inquiry.

The commission that investigated the crisis casts a wide net of blame, faulting two administrations, the Federal Reserve and other regulators for permitting a calamitous concoction: shoddy mortgage lending, the excessive packaging and sale of loans to investors and risky bets on securities backed by the loans.

“The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done,” the panel wrote in the report’s conclusions, which were read by The New York Times. “If we accept this notion, it will happen again.”

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The Real China: Heartbreaking Poverty and Abuse - Is it Worth Cheaper Stuff?

Egypt Next to Collapse? Report: Mubarak’s Wife and Son Flee to London amid Protests

The wife of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and their son Gamal, considered the successor to his father as president, have fled to London with 97 suitcases after unprecedented massive protests in Egypt, an Arab website reported. Egyptian officials denied the claim.

The plane also reportedly carried Gamal's daughter, the Akhbar Arab website reported. It also said a Twitter account was blocked to prevent a social network campaign to urge the ousting of Mubarak, who is over 80 and is reportedly is suffering from cancer.

Dozens of Twitter messages have been sent saying that Mubarak’s wife Suzanne was identified at Heathrow Airport in London, where she and her son and granddaughter arrived in a private jet.

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