Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Lynsey!


Happy Birthday to you,
happy birthday to you!
Let's keep up the posting
'cuz the world's ending soon!

Let's all wish Lynsey, the poster who brings you fantastic stories about animals, UFOs, earthquakes and volcanoes that "those guys" don't want you to know about - a happy birthday!

Hope your day is fantastic - Mr. Harley

Israel sounds alarm to allies about Iranian warships near Suez

Two Iranian warships are expected to pass through the Suez Canal Wednesday night on their way to Syria, a move that Israel considers a "provocation" and that sent oil prices soaring.

The passage, which Iran said was part of a training mission, is "something which has not happened in many years," Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said.

"This is a provocation that proves that the self-confidence and insolence of the Iranians is growing from day to day," he said. "This happens after the Iranian president's visit to south Lebanon and his aggressive declarations there towards Israel."

The Israeli Defense Ministry said Israel was monitoring the movement of the Iranian ships and alerted its allies. Read more

At least 10 Chinese moles infiltrate Taiwan: report

At least 10 Chinese moles are believed to have penetrated Taiwan's national security units, a retired agent told media Monday, as the island reels from its worst espionage case in half a century.

The warning came after Taiwan arrested army major general Lo Hsien-che on charges of spying for China, which is still technically at war with the island despite reduced tensions in recent years.

"Some of the suspected Chinese agents have not yet been arrested as the authorities are short of solid evidence against them, even though they have been closely monitored for some time," the retired agent, whose name was not given, told the China Times. Read more

18 banks closed so far in 2011... and counting

* Banks closed on Friday have total of 19 branches (Adds two more bank failures)

Feb 11 (Reuters) - U.S. banking authorities closed small banks in California, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin on Friday, bringing the total number of bank failures in 2011 to 18.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced the following closures on Friday:

* Peoples State Bank, based in Hamtramck, Michigan, with 10 branches, was closed. Its deposits were assumed by First Michigan Bank. As of Dec. 31, Peoples State Bank had some $390.5 million in assets and $389.9 million in deposits.

* Canyon National Bank in Palm Springs, California, was closed. Canyon National Bank's three branches will reopen as part of Pacific Premier Bank. As of Dec. 31, Canyon National Bank had about $210.9 million in assets and $205.3 million in deposits.

* Sunshine State Community Bank of Port Orange, Florida, which has five branches, will reopen as Premier American Bank. As of Dec. 31, Sunshine State Community Bank had some $125.5 million in assets and $116.7 million in deposits.

* Badger State Bank of Cassville, Wisconsin, was closed. Its sole branch will re-open at part of the Royal Bank. As of Dec. 31, Badger State Bank had approximately $83.8 million in assets and $78.5 million in deposits.

In 2010, 157 banks failed while 140 failed in 2009. The bulk of the failures have increasingly been smaller institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, as large banks have recovered more quickly from the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Source

Corporatization of Space Begins: Red Planet for Sale? How Corporate Sponsors Could Send Humans to Mars

NASA scientists and their colleagues are now proposing corporate financing for a human mission to Mars. This raises the prospect that a spaceship named the Microsoft Explorer or the Google Search Engine could one day go down in history as the first spaceship to bring humans to the Red Planet.

The proposal suggests that companies could drum up $160 billion for a human mission to Mars and a colony there, rather than having governments fund such a mission with tax dollars.

The plan covers "every aspect of a journey to the Red Planet — the design of the spacecrafts, medical health and psychological issues, the establishment of a Mars base, colonization, and a revolutionary business proposal to overcome the major budgetary obstacles which have prevented the U.S. from sending astronauts to Mars," said Joel Levine, a senior research scientist at NASA Langley Research Center. Read more

UK inflation expected to be double target rate

The upward pressure on UK inflation is intensifying, official figures will show on Tuesday, with one economist predicting that the Retail Prices Index will hit its highest level in close to two decades.

The Government's preferred measure of annual price rises, the consumer price index (CPI), is expected to rise to 4pc, double the 2pc target rate.

That will prompt the Bank of England Governor, Mervyn King, to write his tenth letter to the Chancellor to explain why the inflation rate has soared above the target.

Meanwhile the average forecast is for RPI inflation, which many see as a better reflection of the cost of living, to climb from 4.8pc to 5.1pc.

The respected forecaster, Philip Shaw, an economist at Investec, predicts it will be 5.5pc, a level not seen since 1991. Read more

Egypt: Hosni Mubarak used last 18 days in power to secure his fortune

The former Egyptian president is accused of amassing a fortune of more than £3 billion - although some suggest it could be as much as £40 billion - during his 30 years in power. It is claimed his wealth was tied up in foreign banks, investments, bullion and properties in London, New York, Paris and Beverly Hills.

In the knowledge his downfall was imminent, Mr Mubarak is understood to have attempted to place his assets out of reach of potential investigators.

On Friday night Swiss authorities announced they were freezing any assets Mubarak and his family may hold in the country's banks while pressure was growing for the UK to do the same. Mr Mubarak has strong connections to London and it is thought many millions of pounds are stashed in the UK.

But a senior Western intelligence source claimed that Mubarak had begun moving his fortune in recent weeks. Read more

FEMA Camps, Martial Law, and Civil War?



(This post is to highlight the political content of the video, without any reference or association to the religious message at the video's conclusion.)

Huge Oceanic Sun fish washes on beach - 17th Feb 2011

Florida Fish and Wildlife biologists studied from the shores of St. Augustine Beach Wednesday to determine what may have killed a large sharp-tailed mola, otherwise known as an oceanic sunfish.

The 9-foot long, close to 500-pound fish washed up on St. Augustine Beach near A Street around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, said St. Johns County Natural Resource Deputy Bo Strange.

"We got the call early in the morning about a possible small whale that beached itself," Strange said. "When we got there we saw it was a big fish -- a pretty thick sunfish, to be exact."

The fish was alive when deputies and FWC officials arrived, but died in the sand later in the day, Strange said.

The fish is unusual looking because it has two huge fins on the top and bottom of its body as well as small fins on its side. The fish can live to be 100 years old.

Biologists found parasite and worm infestations inside the fish's muscular tissues and liver, but the exact cause of death is unclear at this time. Biologists sent samples to a laboratory after a full necropsy was completed. Then the remains were buried on the beach. Read More

'Concerning' mass of dead fish, ducks blankets Little River - 17th Feb 2011

WINDSOR, Ont. -- There’s an increasingly smelly fish-and-duck soup at the mouth of Little River as thousands of dead shad and several dozen dead ducks blanket the water’s surface, causing some alarm among residents.

“It seems a little strange,” said Mike Stoyshin, who noticed the mass of dead gizzard shad in the river while going for a walk Tuesday evening.

When he got a little closer, he realized there were several dead mallard and merganser ducks floating among the fish.

“I know that everybody says the shad die off every year but a dozen ducks dead in the same pile is kind of concerning,” said Stoyshin.

Ministry of Natural Resources biologist Andy Cook dispatched a team from the Wheatley MNR office after being notified of the dead waterfowl by The Star Wednesday morning.

Seven mallards, one merganser and two Canada geese carcasses were retrieved and will be sent to the Canadian Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre in Guelph for analysis. Read More

Mysterious fish deaths fan villagers' fears in northern Turkey - 17th Feb 2011


Sudden and unexplained mass fish deaths in the Black Sea region of Turkey have local residents worried about the safety of their water supply and calling on officials to solve the mystery.

When residents in Mescitli village in Gümüşhane province first observed dead fish in Harşit stream 15 days ago, they thought the fish had died of natural causes, said village head Cenk İnce.

“However, when we realized the number of dead fish had risen, we urgently informed the officials. There were fish for two kilometers along the shore, which worried us. We are using the stream’s water in our agricultural activities,” İnce said, according to the Doğan news agency, or DHA. He added that the villagers have urged officials to investigate immediately.

The provincial directorates of health, forest, environment and agricultural have reportedly launched an investigation, taking samples of the dead fish and the water from the stream.

Locals believe the deaths are due to pollution. “The fish died due to pollution produced by people,” one villager said.

“Forty years ago, we and our animals were able to drink the stream water. Water for our crops was provided from the stream. Now there is nothing growing here, life has ended here,” DHA quoted a local resident as saying. Read More