Wednesday, March 9, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: 6.5 Magnitude Earthquake Papau New Guinea- 10th Mar 2011

KANDRIAN, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (BNO NEWS) -- A strong earthquake struck an island of Papua New Guinea (P.N.G.) on early Thursday morning, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The 6.5-magnitude earthquake at 7.24 a.m. local time (2124 GMT Wednesday) was centered about 24 kilometers (14 miles) north-northeast of Kandrian, the capital of Papua New Guinea's Kandrian-Gloucester District on the island of New Britain. It struck about 29 kilometers (18 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The USGS estimated that approximately 34,000 people may have perceived 'strong' shaking, which could potentially result in light to moderate damage. Some 125,000 others may have felt moderate shaking, it said. Read More

BREAKING NEWS: 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Near East Coast of Honshu, Japan - 9th Mar 2011

This is the 3rd 6+ Magnitude large Earthquake to follow the 7.2 Magnitude in the past 17 hours, in addition to 26 large aftershocks.

There have been no reports of injuries or damage to buildings.

Time: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 21:22:18 UTC
Depth:
23 km (14.3 miles)

154 km (95 miles) E of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
194 km (120 miles) SE of Morioka, Honshu, Japan
201 km (124 miles) E of Yamagata, Honshu, Japan
395 km (245 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan

Slavery: The challenges of counting a 'hidden population'

Slavery still exists. Of that there isn’t much dispute, if any. But how widespread is what many experts call modern-day slavery?

Estimates range from about 10 million to 30 million, according to policymakers, activists, journalists and scholars.

The International Labour Organization, an agency of the United Nations that focuses on, among other things, labor rights, put the number at a “minimum estimate” of 12.3 million in a 2005 report.

Kevin Bales, a sociologist who serves as a consultant to the United Nations and has authored several books about modern-day slavery, estimated the number was 27 million people in his book “Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy.” The book was published in 1999.

There is yet another estimate. Siddharth Kara, a fellow on trafficking at Harvard University and also an author, recently told CNN that his calculations put the range between 24 million and 32 million. That number was current as of the end of 2006, he said. (read more)

Ebadi says Arab-style revolt certain soon in Iran

Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi said on Wednesday an Arab-style popular revolt would come soon to her country, driven by poverty and the fierce oppression of critics by its Islamic rulers.

But Ebadi, a defence lawyer for Iranian dissidents who has lived outside Iran since 2009 but has close family still there, said human rights campaigners wanted the transition to happen peacefully and avoid a Libyan-style bloodbath.

"With the slightest breeze, there could be a conflagration," she told a news conference on the fringes of a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council, at which Western countries want an investigation into Iran to be set up.

"As to what will spark that fire and when, it is difficult to predict. But I can say with certainty that it won't be long in coming," she said.

Reports from Iran -- OPEC's second biggest oil producer after Saudi Arabia -- say the authorities have acted firmly to head off any repetition of the popular protests that have swept presidents from power in Tunisia and Egypt and pushed Libya close to outright civil war. (read more)

North Korea Nears Completion of Electromagnetic Pulse Bomb

North Korea appears to be protesting the joint U.S. and South Korean military maneuvers by jamming Global Positioning Devices in the south, which is a nuisance for cell phone and computers users -- but is a hint of the looming menace for the military.

Since March 4, Pyongyang has been trying to disrupt GPS receivers critical to South Korean military communications apparently in protest of the ongoing joint military training exercises between South Korean and U.S. forces. Strong jamming signals were sent intermittently every five to 10 minutes.

The scope of the damage has been minimal, putting some mobile phones and certain military equipment that use GPS signals on the fritz.

Large metropolitan areas including parts of Seoul, Incheon and Paju have been affected by the jamming, but "the situation is getting wrapped up, no severe damage has been reported for the last two days," Kyoungwoo Lee, deputy director of Korea Communications Commission, said.

The jamming, however, has raised questions about whether the Korean peninsula is bracing for new electronic warfare.

The North is believed to be nearing completion of an electromagnetic pulse bomb that, if exploded 25 miles above ground would cause irreversible damage to electrical and electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, radio and radar, experts say. (read more)

Niall Ferguson: if the US doesn't tackle the budget deficit, defaults are around the corner

Exclusive: ‘Make Wall St. Pay’ campaign debuts by occupying bank branch, House speaker’s office

A new campaign by a national network of activists kicked off Monday morning with a splash as it led hundreds of fed up homeowners in a series of protests that brought business to a halt at a major bank and the House speaker's office.

The National People's Action network picked Monday to launch the "Make Wall Street Pay" campaign thanks to another show in town: the National Association of Attorneys General's Convention in Washington, D.C.

But they didn't stop there.

Moving from the meeting of all 50 Attorneys General, the crowd made their way to a Bank of America branch on Pennsylvania Ave. While about 300 stood outside, another 300 moved indoors, filling up the lobby and bringing business to a standstill.

Then, they went to see if Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) was available, filing into his Capitol Hill offices to send an unambiguous message: Wall Street must pay.

"They delivered the message that we have a revenue crisis and that Wall Street must pay its fair share," George Goehl, executive director of National People's Action, told Raw Story in an exclusive interview. (read more)

Calls for end to Bahrain monarchy: Three Shia opposition groups join forces to demand an end to the kingdom

Three Shia opposition groups in Bahrain have announced their intent on toppling the Sunni monarchy and setting up a republic.

The declaration on Tuesday is likely to raise already inflamed tensions in the country, ahead of a planned march on the royal court.

Labelled the "Coalition for a Bahraini Republic," the group said in a statement that they "declare a tripartite coalition between the Wafa, Haq and Bahrain Freedom Movement that has chosen to fight for a complete downfall of the regime, and the establishment of a democratic republic in Bahrain".

"The coalition believes that the main demand of the popular revolution is the downfall of the current oppressive regime and the establishment of a democratic republic that expresses the desires of the people."

Anti-government protests in the Shia-majority, Sunni-ruled country entered the 23rd day on Tuesday, amid a wave of pro-democracy unrest that has gripped the region for weeks and toppled regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.

Other Bahraini opposition groups, including the main Shia Wefaq group, have stopped short of demanding outright regime change, instead calling for major reforms including an elected parliament "with full legislative powers".

"We are different in the demands, but it doesn't mean we can't cooperate," Haq leader Hassan Mashaima told AFP news agency.

"I believe that ... there is not much difference between a constitutional monarchy like in Holland or in Britain, there is not much difference between that and a republic." (read more)

Libya oil tanks seen as 'time bomb'



The oil producing town of Ras Lanuf in Libya has seen some of the worst fighting in the last few days.

Home to a huge facility at the very heart of Libya’s massive oil and gas industry, the plant could become a new target.

For now, opposition forces control this and virtually every other natural energy facility in the country.

But as this conflict wears on, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi will need oil. He will have to try and take it by force or, as many fear, he could bomb oil and gas complexes to prevent anyone else from using them

“ We expect that he will destroy everything because he is crazy," Fahad Kheri, superintendent in Libya's oil and gas Industry, told Al Jazeera. (read more)

Japan: China copter buzzes Maritime Self-Defense Force near disputed oil field

A helicopter of China's State Oceanic Administration approached a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Monday afternoon near an East China Sea gas field where both Japan and China have claimed exploration rights, according to the Defense Ministry.

The government lodged a protest with China through diplomatic channels, calling the helicopter's approach a "dangerous act."

The incident occurred at around 1:25 p.m. where China is developing a gas field called Shirakaba in Japan and Chunxiao in China, with the helicopter approaching as close as 70 meters to the vessel horizontally and only 40 meters above the sea, the Defense Ministry's Joint Staff said. (read more)

Oil markets brace for Saudi 'rage' as global spare capacity wears thin

Goldman Sachs suspects that OPEC has been pumping far above its agreed quota since November and therefore cannot easily raise output much without cutting deep into global spare capacity.

Jeff Currie, the bank's oil guru, said Saudi output had quietly crept up by 700,000 barrels a day (bpd) even before the Libyan supply shock.

Assumptions that OPEC has added 1.9m bpd over the last two years are wishful thinking. These new fields have been "largely offset" by attrition in old fields.

"We believe that OPEC spare capacity has already dropped below 2m bpd. The question therefore arises how much spare capacity is left to absorb potential supply disruptions in other countries," he said.

If this picture is broadly correct, spare capacity is already close to the wafer-thin levels that led to wild price moves in mid-2008. (read more)

Warning Of 'Food Price Riots In The UK'

A senior economist at the worldwide bank HSBC has warned of civil unrest in Britain if food prices continue to soar.

Speaking on Jeff Randall Live, senior global economist Karen Ward cautioned that the UK could experience the kind of food riots seen in other countries.

"Even in the developed world I think we have very, very low wage growth, so people aren't getting more in their pay packet to compensate them for food and energy, and I think we could see social unrest certainly in parts of the developed world and the UK as well."

She went on to highlight the link between high food prices and the escalating cost of crude oil.

"More and more we are seeing that some of these foodstuffs are actually substitutes for energy itself, particularly biofuels. So I think the energy markets are a significant contributor to these food price gains." (read more)

Monetary devaluation "inevitable" -- but hey, don't panic: Lee calls for utmost efforts to ease public anxiety about South Korea inflation

President Lee Myung-bak urged his government Tuesday to ramp up efforts to alleviate public worries over inflation, saying the problem is something of "the inevitable" under the current economic situations at home and abroad, according to his office Cheong Wa Dae.

"The consumer price problem has an inevitable aspect due to climate change, hikes in international law material prices, and other factors," Lee was quoted as saying in a weekly Cabinet meeting by Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung.

Lee added that all of the other nations, not just South Korea, are suffering troubles from inflation, she said. (read more)

BREAKING NEWS: 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Near East Coast of Honshu, Japan - 9th Mar 2011

Just 28 Min and the East Coast of Honshu has been hit by another large quake measuring 6.3 Magnitude.

This earthquake is very shallow at just 2 km (1.2 Miles)

Time: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 18:44:35 UTC
Depth: 2 km (1.2 miles)

  • 203 km (126 miles) E (82°) from Sendai, Honshu, Japan
  • 224 km (139 miles) SE (127°) from Morioka, Honshu, Japan
  • 253 km (157 miles) ENE (70°) from Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
  • 438 km (272 miles) NE (43°) from TOKYO, Japan

Wyoming Crisp Mountain air plagued by big-city problem: smog

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming, famous for its crisp mountain air and breathtaking, far-as-the-eye-can-see vistas, is looking a little bit like smoggy Los Angeles these days because of a boom in natural gas drilling.

Folks who live near the gas fields in the western part of this outdoorsy state are complaining of watery eyes, shortness of breath and bloody noses because of ozone levels that have exceeded what people in L.A. and other major cities wheeze through on their worst pollution days.

"It is scary to me personally. I never would have guessed in a million years you would have that kind of danger here," Debbee Miller, a manager at a Pinedale snowmobile dealership, said Monday. Read More

BREAKING NEWS: 6 Magnitude Earthquake Near East Coast of Honshu, Japan - 9th Mar 2011

Another strong earthquake has hit of the East coast of Honshu, this 6 Magnitude followed at least 20 strong aftershocks since the 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake from this morning.

Time: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 18:16:16 UTC

Depth: 16.3 km (10.1 miles)

Distance:
  • 155 km (96 miles) E (86°) from Sendai, Honshu, Japan
  • 201 km (125 miles) SE (139°) from Morioka, Honshu, Japan
  • 203 km (126 miles) ENE (70°) from Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
  • 394 km (245 miles) NE (40°) from TOKYO, Japan
No Tsunami Warning has been issued at this time.

No reports of damage of injuries at this time, more to follow.

D-FOX -- If you're reading this, please contact us.

We have questions we'd like to ask you. Please click on the "Contact us" link and use the email address there. We believe.

The day the sky turned black: Gaddafi blows up Libya's oil pipes as tanks are turned on civilians - 9th Mar 2011


Colonel Gaddafi's forces today blasted an oil terminal to smithereens as Libya's bloody civil war entered its blackest day.

Rebels retaliated by firing back with rockets as a fireball exploded from one of the oil tanks and the sky above the Es Sider terminal, in the east of the country, filled with smoke.

A witness said one of the smoke plumes was the biggest he had seen in the conflict so far.

The fresh onslaught came as Gaddafi deployed tanks and snipers to 'shoot anything that moves'.
Forces loyal to the Libyan dictator poured into the city of Zawiyah in a desperate bid to oust the hardcore band of protesters and army defectors who have taken control. Read More

March 2011 Planet Killer Asteroid

Close Encounter of the Asteroid Kind

During early March, the Earth will be getting ‘a shave’, a close encounter by a planet-killer asteroid that will zip by very near earth’s orbital plane at a speed of 32.9 kilometers per second. That’s 73,595 miles per hour!

Asteroid object ’23187′ also known as ’2000 PN9′ is a monster in terms of size. It is far bigger than most and measures between 1.6 km and 3.6 km across. Folks, that’s a 2 mile wide asteroid! It’s mass and velocity would definitely make it a planet killer if it were to hit the earth. The planet would remain, but we probably would not.

There has been a lot of conspiracy on the Internet about some sort of disaster from space happening on March 15. Looking at all the upcoming close approaches of ‘near earth objects’ in the upcoming weeks from the NASA Close Approaches page, this one, 2000 PN9, is by far the largest and most dangerous.

Looking at the orbital prediction model from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, it appears that on March 10, the Earth will be barely a step ahead of the would-be intersection point. The earth will pass through first, followed by the asteroid itself. Read More

Los Angeles Multi-Million fish kill, Mayor: underground camera shows dead fish 15 to 30 Feet under the water

Libya will retaliate against no-fly zone: Gadhafi

A combative Moammar Gadhafi threatened Wednesday to retaliate against any attempt by Western nations to impose a no-fly zone over his country.

In interviews with foreign journalists and in an appearance on state television, the dictator said Libyan citizens would take up arms against Western powers. He also repeated that the people of Benghazi have to rise up against those in their midst who are traitors, the CBC's Adrienne Arsenault reported from Tripoli.

"Certainly in the last 24 hours, we have seen a very cocky, very belligerent Moammar Gadhafi," Arsenault said Wednesday.

"He had two interviews scheduled with Turkish and French television late last night. He could have chosen to do them anywhere in this city, but he insisted on sweeping in through a crush of media … fists in the air." (read more)

UK: Petrol Prices 'Could Soar To £2 A Litre'

Petrol prices could reach £2 a litre if Middle East instablity escalates, Government minister Alan Duncan has warned.

The international development minister said, in a worst case scenario, where terrorists bombed oil tankers or Saudi reserves, the price of oil could rise to $250 dollars a barrel.

That figure would mean motorists in the UK paying around £2 a litre for petrol.

In an interview with The Times newspaper, he suggested it is possible the price of crude oil could easily top the current record price of $147 a barrel reached in July 2008.

"$200 is is on the cards if... anyone is reckless and foments unrest," said Mr Duncan. (read more)

Washington Post: Why the Dollar's Reign Is Near an End

The single most astonishing fact about foreign exchange is not the high volume of transactions, as incredible as that growth has been. Nor is it the volatility of currency rates, as wild as the markets are these days.

Instead, it's the extent to which the market remains dollar-centric.

Consider this: When a South Korean wine wholesaler wants to import Chilean cabernet, the Korean importer buys U.S. dollars, not pesos, with which to pay the Chilean exporter. Indeed, the dollar is virtually the exclusive vehicle for foreign-exchange transactions between Chile and Korea, despite the fact that less than 20% of the merchandise trade of both countries is with the U.S.

Chile and Korea are hardly an anomaly: Fully 85% of foreign-exchange transactions world-wide are trades of other currencies for dollars. What's more, what is true of foreign-exchange transactions is true of other international business. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries sets the price of oil in dollars. The dollar is the currency of denomination of half of all international debt securities. More than 60% of the foreign reserves of central banks and governments are in dollars.

The greenback, in other words, is not just America's currency. It's the world's.

But as astonishing as that is, what may be even more astonishing is this: The dollar's reign is coming to an end. (read more)

At Least One Eurozone Country Will Default if Brent Crude Rises to $150 a Barrel

If the price of Brent crude oil surges to $150 a barrel, one eurozone country will default and the whole region will fall into recession, according to Marie Diron of Ernst and Young (via Ambrose Evans-Pritchard).

The result of this rise would be particularly bad for Ireland, where the economy would shrink by 3% in 2011 as a result. Even worse, according to the report, if Brent crude prices hold around $120, which seems more likely, Ireland is still going to see its GDP shrink by 2.6%. Brent is around $116 right now.

"We think the peripheral countries would suffer most. Spain, Greece, and Portugal face a double whammy since they have no room to offset the oil shock by slowing the pace of fiscal consolidation," says Diron. (read more)

VIDEO: What did RAF pilot see? What was UFO sighting in Sri Lanka?

Classified files released by the National Archives have revealed an RAF officer had a close encounter while on holiday in Sri Lanka.

The man took images of the UFO which were found in declassified papers held by the Ministry of Defence.

(Source: Watch the BBC video here)

UN: food prices hit record high in February

A U.N. food agency says that global food prices reached new highs in February and warns that oil price spikes could provoke further increases.

Skyrocketing food prices have been among the triggers for protests in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere and raised fears of a repeat of the food price crises in 2007 and 2008. Global oil prices have spiked on concerns about the potential impact of supply disruptions from Libya.

The Food and Agriculture Organization said in a statement Thursday that its food price index was up 2.2 percent last month, the highest in real and nominal terms since the agency started monitoring prices in 1990.

It was also the eighth consecutive month that food prices had risen. In January, the index had already registered a peak. (Source)


Chechen warloard Doku Umarov urges 'total war' with Russia

The Chechen Islamist rebel leader who is Russia's most wanted man has issued an appeal for recruits for a "total war" against the Russian state, in a new video message posted on Thursday.

"A total war is in progress, fight the enemy where ever you can," Doku Umarov said standing alongside two other militants in a snow-covered forest in a video posted on militant website hunafa.com.

As well as repeating calls for women to join the rebellion, Umarov called on Russian Muslims from outside the Caucasus like the Volga regions of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan to join the insurgency. (read more)

Time Magazine: Are America's Best Days Behind Us?

I am an American, not by accident of birth but by choice. I voted with my feet and became an American because I love this country and think it is exceptional. But when I look at the world today and the strong winds of technological change and global competition, it makes me nervous. Perhaps most unsettling is the fact that while these forces gather strength, Americans seem unable to grasp the magnitude of the challenges that face us. Despite the hyped talk of China's rise, most Americans operate on the assumption that the U.S. is still No. 1.

But is it? Yes, the U.S. remains the world's largest economy, and we have the largest military by far, the most dynamic technology companies and a highly entrepreneurial climate. But these are snapshots of where we are right now. The decisions that created today's growth — decisions about education, infrastructure and the like — were made decades ago. What we see today is an American economy that has boomed because of policies and developments of the 1950s and '60s: the interstate-highway system, massive funding for science and technology, a public-education system that was the envy of the world and generous immigration policies. Look at some underlying measures today, and you will wonder about the future. (read more)

Britain unable to patrol no-fly zone over Libya as we have not got enough planes, warn experts - 9th Mar 2011

Britain would not be able to patrol a no-fly zone over Libya without switching resources from Afghanistan, military experts warned yesterday.

A leading defence think-tank said it was difficult to see how the UK could contribute enough aircraft to stop Gaddafi attacking rebel forces and civilians from the air without hampering the fight against the Taliban.

The comments by analysts at the respected International Institute for Strategic Studies were certain to prove embarrassing for David Cameron, who has called for an international no-fly zone to ground the Libyan air force. Read More

Sickened Seals Washing Up on the Jersey Shore - 9th Mar 2011

Earlier today millions of dead fish washed up in Redondo Beach, Calif. But that's not the only sad marine life news to report.

According to NBC Philadelphia, a higher-than-usual number of seals are washing up on New Jersey beaches. What's worse, many of the recently beached seals are starving, sick or infected with parasites, and experts aren't sure why it's happening.

Seal sightings aren't that unusual at the Jersey shore, and it doesn't necessarily mean there's a widespread animal crisis. According to The New Jersey Star-Ledger, officials noticed a seal that had come ashore at Island Beach State Park on Saturday, but before they could determine why it was on dry land, the seal swam away. Read More

Dozens of Dead Finches (Native to Australia) found in Gramercy Park, Manhattan - 8th Mar 2011



There is a mystery over dead birds found in and around a private park in Manhattan.

In Gramercy Park, you expect to see pigeons, not zebra finches, and never like the ones Eyewitness News saw Tuesday afternoon dead.

"Every time I see a dead bird, I feel terrible," said Joanie Watkins, a Gramercy Park resident.

It's the mystery hanging over this normally quiet enclave; how did these birds, that are native to Australia, end up here?

"I was really upset Sunday night," said Lisa Anastasi, a Gramercy Park resident.

Anastasi is one of many who spotted the birds Sunday, in and around the park, dozens of them that were dead, near death, or completely in a daze. Read More

5 million aquatic animals (including Hippo and Crocodiles) die at Mara river in Kenya - 20th Feb 2011

The National Environmental Management Authority (Nema), Public Health Ministry and Kenya Wildlife Service are investigating the deaths of fish in Mara River. Conservationists suspect the deaths that started last week might have been caused by agro chemicals from farms, that drain into the river. Hoteliers in Masai Mara Game Reserve are now expressing fear that the chemicals might kill animals that depend on the river.

“The deaths could have been caused by agro chemicals from large scale farms on the upper side of the river. The chemicals might also kill hippos, crocodiles and other animals that drink water from the river,” said Ben Kipeno, a conservationist from the northern side of the reserve. Mr Kipeno said on Wednesday there were unconfirmed reports that apart from fish, a crocodile and a hippo have already succumbed to effects of the chemicals. He urged the Government to rein in farmers along the river who use potent chemicals and claimed that despite several complaints to Nema no action has been taken. Read More

Millions of dead anchovies wash up in California's Redondo Beach: Fluke of nature or End of Times? - 8th Mar 2011



Something fishy is happening in the waters off Southern California.

Millions of anchovies washed up dead Tuesday morning in the harbor at Redondo Beach just south of Los Angeles, clogging up boating lanes, baffling local officials and providing fodder for conspiracy theorists.

"We're having millions of anchovies die off in our harbor," Redondo Beach police Sgt. Phil Keenan told Reuters. "At this point it's an unknown reason." Read More

NOTE: This year there have been several more cases where millions of fish have died please see below the videos of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay and Brazil where millions fish died during January 2011


We are hearing that the cause is lack of oxygen because the fish are schooling together and cant get out, this may well be but what is causing them to school together? we are not talking about a couple of hundred fish here. Also another common comment in nearly all the cases is from witnesses that have been around the area for many years, "this is the first time I have seen anything like this"


Is Syria the next domino in the mideast revolution?

With the Tunisian and Egyptian regimes gone and street protests roiling cities from Algiers to Tehran, many people are now wondering which domino might fall next. Syria, whose secular, militarised dictatorship most closely resembles the fallen regimes of Tunisia and Egypt, may not be next in line - but appears nonetheless to be approaching a tipping point.

Of course, the old "domino theory" of international relations was merely a crude way of emphasising that different parts of any region are linked to each other. For today’s Arab world, a better metaphor might be a chessboard, from which the removal of even a pawn inevitably alters the relationships among all other pieces.

Today, as protests mount and multiply, the government of every Arab state in the Middle East and North Africa probably believes that, if left to its own devices, it can contain internal dissent.

In Syria, it seems inevitable that protest may soon crack the regime's brittle political immobility. Most ordinary Syrians face extremely difficult economic and social conditions, including high unemployment, rising food prices, constraints on personal freedom, and endemic corruption. These factors are no different from those that brought people to the streets in North Africa and the Middle East. What began as protests over living conditions became full-scale demands for freedom and democracy. (read more)