Thursday, February 10, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: 6.5 Magnitude Earthquake Southwest of Gensan - 10th Feb 2011

MANILA, Philippines—A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck under the Celebes Sea off the Philippines on Thursday, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake hit at 10:39 p.m. local time (1439 GMT) around 320 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of the city of General Santos on the island of Mindanao, at a depth of 528 kilometers, USGS said.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, based in Hawaii, did not immediately issue a tsunami warning following the earthquake.

The Philippines is part of the Pacific's so-called "Ring of Fire", a zone of frequent tectonic activity where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common.

The last major quake to cause widespread death and destruction in the Philippines was in 1990, when a 7.7-magnitude quake killed 2,400 people in the country's north. Source

14 butchered swans - Police: "We established no offences had been committed"

Here is an article that appeared in several news outlets on the 4th Feb 2011, obviously not worth headlines as the following was concluded by the Police, Environment Agenc and the RSBP:

- A police spokesman said: "We were contacted by the Environment Agency and visited the scene on Tuesday alongside the RSPB.

"We established no offences had been committed and no further action was taken."

I would like to remind you of something before you read this article.

- All swans are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 although the mute swan has had special protection since 1482 because the species is owned by the Crown.

There was even a case back in 2005, where the composer of Queen's music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, found himself in a spot of bother. After finding a dead swan he decided to take it home to eat, when police with a search warrant raided his home and seized the swan carcass as evidence. Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was informed that taking the bird home to eat was illegal and that he could face charges as it was illegal. Source

POACHERS have been accused of slaughtering 14 swans and cooking them on campfires at a popular beauty spot.

Headless swan carcasses stripped clean of meat were left lying in a row at Block Fen Lakes, in Mepal, Cambs.

Electrician Martin Audoire, 48, found the trail of devastation while walking round the lakes on Monday.

He also spotted the remains of three campfires - where the birds were possibly cooked - and reported his findings and suspicions to police and the RSPB.

But an initial investigation by the RSPB said that all 14 birds hit electric overhead power lines before their remains were eaten by wild animals.

Martin believes the lakes have been targeted in recent months by poachers from Eastern Europe stealing fish and birds to eat. Read more

Note: It seems experts are convinced that all of a sudden birds have lost the use of sight and direction; thousands have died in 2011 already, many with the most cruel of injuries. I for one don't buy it. If they are constantly flying into cars, lorries, buildings, powerlines and each other, could some experts explain why they have lost the use of their navigation? It would be much appreciated.

2nd case - Government vets investigate five swans' deaths

Government veterinary officers are working to establish how five swans died in the County Down area.

It is understood two more birds are ill. The dead birds' remains were found on private land in the Killyleagh area.

A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (Dard) said the swans had been removed so that post-mortem exams could be carried out.

"This is the second case that has been brought to our attention," he said.

"The first case was investigated by Dard and the post mortem revealed lesions suggestive of bacterial infection."

"We would ask the public to refer to the Dard website or helpline for information on the types of bird deaths that we would like to be brought to our attention, so that Dard can monitor the situation and respond quickly." Source

Bejing gets first precipitation (snow) in over 100 days while drought ravages country


Beijing has finally seen some snow.

This is the first time they've seen any precipitation at all since 26 October, and it's not just Beijing. Six provinces in the northeast of the country are in the grip of a drought, and this is the heart of the wheat-growing region.

China is the world’s largest wheat producer and despite temperatures dropping down to an average of minus 10 Celsius in January, 18 per cent of global wheat production is grown in this region in winter.

Winter wheat is sown in mid-September or October and harvested in mid-May or June. Normally it only takes around 120 days to grow, but during the frigid temperatures between December and February, winter wheat lies dormant. A coating of snow should protect the plants from the severity of the Chinese winter, but this year there hasn't been any.

Read more

Negotiations Collapse: North Korea says no need for talks with South

It also said that on the surface, the South shows an interest in inter-Korean dialogue, but its true intention is blocking the mood for dialogue and seeking to quiet down the calls to reverse its “confrontational” policy toward the North.

On Wednesday, the preliminary talks aimed at setting up a high-level meeting broke down without any agreements as the two sides failed to narrow their differences over the agenda and other issues for the opening of the talks.

Seoul’s Defense Ministry said that the high-level meeting can be held when the North showed a significant shift in its attitude, stressing that the “door for dialogue” remained open.

“Our stance is that the door for a high-level military meeting is still open, but such dialogue will be possible only if North Korea takes responsible measures for the two attacks last year,” Col. Moon Sang-gyun, Seoul’s chief delegate for the preliminary talks, told reporters.

Read more

Courage is not yet extinct: "Handbag heroine" takes on armed robbers

A handbag heroine has fought off robbers armed with sledgehammers as they attempted a smash-and-grab raid at a jewellery store.

Footage filmed by a passer-by shows six men brazenly smashing their way into the Michael Jones Jeweller in Gold Street, Northampton, at 9.30am.

As staff activate automated shutters to protect the store's windows, the video shows a woman in a red coat running across the road towards the men, armed only with her handbag.

The footage shows her raining blows down on the armed gang with her bag, chasing them away from the shop where they attempt to make a getaway on their scooters.

Read more (with video of the event)

Hyperinflation has at last arrived


(The above chart shows price increases for commodities)

The headlines are screaming at the top of every financial media outlet tonight: The Dow Closes Above 12,000 For the First Time in Two Years!

What's going on here? Is the recovery well and truly underway? And, if it is, why is the Fed dropping hints again that "QE3 may get discussed" at future Fed meetings, as Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig said on Feb 1st?

Given the raft of good economic news lately, one might be forgiven for wondering what the Fed has in mind here. If everything is so economically rosy, why are they already dropping trial balloons about more Quantitative Easing? What are they seeing that we are not seeing, that justifies more than $100 billion in thin air money each month, and why won't they just tell us what it is?

Read more

The unknown 20 trillion dollar company

There is a busy little private company you probably never have heard about, but which you should. Its name is the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation. See their website. Looks pretty boring. Some kind of financial service thing, with a positive slogan and out there to make a little business. You can even get a job there. Now, go and take a look at their annual report. Starts with a nice litte Flash presentation and has a nice message from the CEO. And take a look at the numbers. It turns out that this company holds 23 trillion dollars in assets, and had 917 trillion dollars worth of transactions in 2002. That's trillions, as in thousands of thousands of millions. 23,000,000,000,000 dollars in assets.

As it so turns out, it is not because DTCC has a nice website and says good things about saving their customers money that they are trusted with that kind of resources. Rather it is because they seem to have a monopoly on what they do. In brief, they process the vast majority of all stock transactions in the United States as well as for many other countries. And - and that's the real interesting part - 99% of all stocks in the U.S. appear to be legally owned by them.

Read more

Magnetic Polar Shifts Causing Massive Global Superstorms?

NASA has been warning about it…scientific papers have been written about it…geologists have seen its traces in rock strata and ice core samples…

Now "it" is here: an unstoppable magnetic pole shift that has sped up and is causing life-threatening havoc with the world's weather.

Forget about global warming—man-made or natural—what drives planetary weather patterns is the climate and what drives the climate is the sun's magnetosphere and its electromagnetic interaction with a planet's own magnetic field.

When the field shifts, when it fluctuates, when it goes into flux and begins to become unstable anything can happen. And what normally happens is that all hell breaks loose.

Read more

10 Things That The Egypt Riots Can Teach Us About What Happens When Society Breaks Down

The rioting in Egypt is perhaps the biggest single news story so far in 2011. The pace at which Egyptian society has been transformed over the past week has been absolutely breathtaking. A few months ago, nobody would have ever dreamed that there would be huge riots in the streets of major Egyptian cities calling for the resignation of Hosni Mubarak. But it has happened, and now Egypt will never be the same again. So what does the future hold for Egypt? Well, many are hopeful that this revolution will bring about a better government in Egypt and a better way of life for average Egyptians.

Personally, I am not nearly so optimistic. In fact, I believe that there is a great danger that an even more repressive government could take the place of the current regime. But in any event, there are important lessons that the Egypt riots can teach all of us about what happens when society breaks down. Societal collapse is often a very messy, very violent affair. Someday if the global economy completely implodes, we may see economic riots erupt all over the world (including inside the United States) and we all need to get prepared for that.

Read more here

Save our seals: Mystery sickness striking down British pups as vets treat double usual number

If he looks a little sorry for himself, then he has a very good reason.

Sitting on a vet's stretcher, this seal pup is one of dozens hit by a mystery illness which is devastating the species in one of its biggest British breeding grounds.

The sickness, which has baffled experts, leaves the animals weak, starving and barely able to breathe. Most of the casualties are pups, spotted struggling on Norfolk’s sandy beaches by passers by.

The number of harbour seals – also known as common seals – needing emergency veterinary care along the coast of East Anglia has doubled over the last 12 months.

Marine experts can find no signs of viral disease or bacteria as they nurse the animals back to health. While many have been infected with lungworm parasite, this is likely to be an underlying problem, not the cause. Read More

UPDATE: Mystery bird deaths: 'Poison not to blame'

10 Feb 2011 - A Rotorua pest controller says it's unlikely hundreds of birds found dead in the city recently were poisoned with the pest control agent alphachoralose.

About 200 of the birds fell from the trees and died near Rotorua Central Mall and another 200 were found dead by the nearby skate park on Ranolf St after Auckland Anniversary Weekend.

Rotorua SPCA manager Nicola Martin said the deaths of the birds were consistent with having been poisoned with commonly used pest control agent alphachoralose.

However, Chris Brunel of Bay Pest Services Rotorua said it was unlikely as the weather was too hot. The poison, which could be laced in grain, acted on the nervous system and resulted in hypothermia.

Mr Brunel said the strength of the poison which could be purchased over the counter at farming stores would have a very slow effect on birds and it was likely there would have been reports from people seeing distressed birds, rather than dead birds.

He said if someone got hold of the full strength alphachoralose, it would work a lot quicker.

However, the only people who had access to that were registered pest control technicians and suppliers kept records of purchases.

Mr Brunel said cyanide worked a lot quicker than alphachoralose, but there would be evidence of that in the carcasses. If he had seen the birds he would have been able to tell if they had been poisoned, he said.

While some people believed it could have been the stormy weather which hit Rotorua over Auckland Anniversary weekend that killed the birds, Ms Martin said she did not think that was the case.

"We have storms all the time and nothing like that happens." Source