Monday, February 7, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake SOLOMON ISLANDS - 7th FEB 2011

A 6.2 Magnitude earthquake hit just of the coast of SOLOMON ISLANDS this evening at 19.53 UTC

The quake was at a debth of 413.9 km (257.2 miles) and did not generate a Tsunami .

There are no current reports of damage.

Thai-Cambodia clashes continue into fourth straight day

Clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops over a disputed area surrounding a 900-year-old Hindu temple have continued for a fourth day across the frontier between the two countries.

Shelling and machine gunfire echoed around the contested area on Monday around the ancient Preah Vihear temple claimed by both Southeast Asian neighbours, witnesses said.

Meanwhile, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has called for "maximum restraint" to cease the hostilities, which have already left at least five people dead.

These were the most deadly clashes since Preah Vihear was granted UN World Heritage status in July 2008, a move that sparked sporadic skirmishes between the neighbours.

The temple, which is surrounded by disputed territory, was damaged on Sunday by Thai artillery fire, according to Cambodia, which said one wing of the building had "collapsed" as a result.

Read more

The lightsaber in the sky: Launch of spy satellite blazes spectacular rocket trail over Californian coast


The long, thin, beam of light rising up over the Californian coast looks like something from another world.

The spectacular light show, bearing a resemblance to the lightsabers wielded by Jedi knights in Star Wars, took place after the launch of a rocket on a secret mission.

The Minotaur 1 rocket is carrying a spy satellite which will improve the ability of the U.S. to collect data in space.

'This particular payload carries some of the work we do in techniques and methods to improve intelligence collection. All part of our work to keep improving the value of our data,' a spokesman for the National Reconnaissance Office told the Spaceflight Now website.

The rocket took off from Vandenberg U.S. Air Force Base at 4.26am local time amid clear skies, said Colonel Richard Boltz, 30th Space Wing commander and the mission's leader.

The launch, which was scheduled for Saturday, had been delayed by 24 hours because of power problems with the rocket's safety equipment.

The four-stage, solid-fuelled rocket was carrying NRO equipment but officials gave no further details on the craft's purpose or cost. Read More

Official: 54 people treated for carbon monoxide poisoning after hockey tournament in Colo.

GUNNISON, Colo. (AP) — A hospital official says 54 people have been treated for varying degrees of carbon monoxide poisoning that occurred at a youth hockey tournament in the western Colorado town of Gunnison.

Randy Phelps, CEO of the Gunnison Valley Health Hospital, says eight of the people were hospitalized in serious condition, including two who were transported to Denver for hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatment. The pressurized chamber treatment restores a patient's oxygen levels and reduces carbon monoxide as quickly as possible.

KMGH-TV reports the rest of the victims were treated and released. Phelps says none of the patients' injuries were life-threatening.

The victims, including adults, teens and children — had attended a hockey tournament Sunday at a local ice rink.

There's no word yet on what may have caused the carbon monoxide leak. Source

1500 dead Birds found 24th Jan 2011 - 10.000 Destroyed the following day

An outbreak of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed at a farm in the Dhaka region of Bangladesh.

The authorities sent Follow Up Report No. 27 dated 3 February to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The report describes one outbreak of HPAI at a poultry farm in Lambadaradi in the Dhaka region. Of the almost 10,000 birds on the farm, 1,500 were found dead from 24 January and the rest were destroyed the following day.

The source of infection is unknown. Source

About 200 Dead cows and Buffalo calves - LAOS 3rd feb. 2011

About 200 cow and buffalo calves in Aed district, Houaphan province, have died after contracting a mouth infection, according to local officials yesterday [3 Feb 2011]. "The animals that died were aged between 1 and 6 months," an official from the provincial Livestock and Fisheries Sector, Mr Phuangsavath Phommasy, told Vientiane Times during a telephone interview.

According to a laboratory investigation into the cause of death, the animals did not die from foot-and-mouth disease [FMD] or as a result of the recent cold weather but from a mouth infection. Animals from 9 villages in Aed district have been infected with the disease. The district is located in the north of Laos and shares a border with Viet Nam.

Locals said the disease had broken out in Viet Nam prior to its appearance in Houaphan at the end of November [2010], Mr Phuangsavath said. The disease quickly spread after people threw infected carcasses into rivers, he observed. When it started appearing in Aed district, provincial authorities took immediate action to contain the disease and prevent any further outbreaks. "We are required to closely monitor the transport and trading of pigs or pork and pork products at the Lao-Vietnamese border and seize and destroy pigs of unclear origin," he said. In 9 communities along the border, pig farms, vehicle tyres, markets, and slaughterhouses have been disinfected and pig herds vaccinated. Read More

Bosses Move 'Haunted' Theme Park Ride

Bosses at a Surrey theme park have relocated one of its new rides after workers reported ghostly goings-on at the site.Staff building the water ride at Thorpe Park said they had encounted several strange phenomena, including what appeared to be a headless monk.

There were reports of objects being moved, workers feeling like someone was watching over their shoulders and sudden cold feelings being experienced.

A paranormal detection agency was called in by park bosses to carry out tests and found that an ancient burial ground or settlement could have been disturbed.

Managers at the theme park decided to relocate the ride to another area and also called in a forensic team to carry out further investigations.

Storm Surge, a 20m- (64ft-) tall water ride at Thorpe Park, was originally meant to have been built in an area on the site known as Monk's Walk.

The old footpath has linked the ruins of nearby Chertsey Abbey to Thorpe Church since the year 666 AD.

The ride's foundations would have been over 15m (49ft) deep in an area of the theme park where stone coffins have previously been excavated.

Paranormal expert Jim Arnold, who carried out tests at the site, said: "Results were picked up immediately, with orbs, ghostly images in photography and ouija reaction results being strongest around the site where they were proposing to build Storm Surge.

"The results were so strong we felt the only explanation could be that an ancient burial ground or settlement was being disturbed, prompting the extra paranormal activity."

Forensic geophysicist Peter Masters has now been called in to analyse the site, using deep ground radar.

He said: "From the preliminary investigations, we have picked up signatures similar to that of a burial ground - possibly ancient.

"Although this could simply be an old building, with Thorpe Park's history the investigation is definitely worth continuing." Source

DOLPHIN BLOODBATH EXPOSED - Feb 7th 2011

FISHERMEN use tarpaulins in a bid to cover up the slaughter of dolphins - as secret filming exposes their horrific killing methods.

Officials had claimed the mammals were destroyed humanely after 2009 Oscar-winning documentary The Cove told how 2,000 were killed every year in Taiji, Japan.

Fishermen said that piercing the animals' spinal cord with a sharp spike killed them instantly.

But video shot using cameras hidden on cliffs overlooking the waters show what really happens.

Hunters are seen driving a spike into dolphins' flesh before ramming a wooden plug in the wound to stop the blood turning the sea RED.

They then DROWN the animals by tying their fins and pushing them underwater.

Ric O'Barry, 71, who trained TV dolphin Flipper and made The Cove, last night said: "The dolphins thrash in agony for minutes. It is beyond cruel. We knew it was a lie, but couldn't prove it until now."

Activist Dieter Hagmann, who revealed the video for German conservationists Atlantic Blue, said: "The video confirms our worst fears.

"The fisherman work in shielded secrecy and supposedly use a bloodless humane method of killing. The footage exposed the cruel truth."

The Japanese government defends the killings for meat as traditional. Source

Fresh violence erupts in Tunisia



Fresh anti-government protests have erupted across Tunisia, with one young man dying during clashes in the south of the country.

A police headquarters was set ablaze and army troops deployed in the northwestern town of Kef.

Read more

New Zealand: Mystery as dead birds pile up on Rotorua city street

What killed hundreds of dead birds found on a Rotorua central city street? Nobody seems to know.

Rotorua mother Glyssa Bosworth was walking down Amohau St this week when her 1-year-old daughter pointed out a bird on the ground.

Then she saw a few more.

"I could smell something absolutely horrific," Miss Bosworth told The Daily Post.

She turned around and saw "hundreds" of them on the ground around the base of a tall tree in the reserve near the entrance to the Central Mall.

She said she had never seen that many dead birds before.

"There was a humongous pile of them. It was gross."

Read more

Protests spread to Europe: Thousands protest in Belgrade

Tens of thousands of disenchanted Serbs have held protests in Belgrade against the government.

Saturday’s rally was the biggest in years aimed at showing opposition strength ahead of scheduled 2012 elections.

A pro-European Union coalition has governed Serbia since 2008, but persistent economic hardship and frustration with slow EU integration has left many disgruntled with the government.

"This government was promising us milk and honey in 2008 and what do we have now? More hardship, and a dishonest and arrogant government which does not care about its own people," said Zdravka Stanojlovic, 44, a Belgrade waitress.

The rally was organised by Tomislav Nikolic, head of the Serbian Progressive Party, the most influential opposition party shown in polls as offering a strong challenge to the current ruling Serbian Democratic Party.

"Elsewhere in the world people are telling governments they should listen to the people," Nikolic said in reference to Egypt and other recent anti-government protests.

Read more

The beating continues down under: Wildfires hit western Australia after north-east floods

Wildfires have destroyed a number of homes in western Australia, as the north-east of the country continues to be affected by flooding brought about by Cyclone Yasi last week.

Flooding also affected the southern state of Victoria after Yasi caused a series of thunderstorms over Melbourne and other large towns in the state.

The resulting two days of heavy rain caused further flooding.

Yasi, a category-five storm (the worst), hit several Queensland towns.

It compounded the state's misery, coming on the heels of devastating floods that have claimed 35 lives and destroyed hundreds of homes since December.

Read more (with video)

The Real China #3: "China's Dirty Secrets"



China's factories provide low cost products such as computers and cars to the rest of the world. But critics claim such economic progress takes a heavy toll, polluting the country's air, land and rivers.

Even though China ordered more than 2,000 factories to be shut down last August due to pollution, inefficiency or unsafe working conditions, the country remains a major polluter.

Read more