Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan earthquake: nuclear disaster fears as reactor overheats -- radiation levels 1000 times normal

Prime minister Naoto Kan declared a nuclear emergency as his trade minister admitted that a radiation leak might occur at the Fukushima power plant.

The reactor’s cooling system failed after the 8.9-magnitude tremor hit northern Japan at 2.46pm local time. Pressure in the reactor was continuing to rise after repeated efforts to return power to the cooling systems failed. Radiation inside the plant soared to 1,000 times its normal level, officials said, triggering evacuation orders for about 3,000 residents as the government declared its first-ever state of emergency at a nuclear plant.

Reports were also emerging of a second atomic plant in the earthquake-hit area experiencing reactor cooling problems.

At least 1,000 people were feared dead last night after the “superquake” 81 miles out to sea triggered a tsunami that sent a 30ft wall of water crashing into Japan’s Pacific coast.

Police said 200 to 300 bodies were found in Sendai, 150 miles north of Tokyo. Another 151 were confirmed killed elsewhere, with 547 missing. At least 800 people were injured. (read more)

Report: 2 Japanese plants struggling to cool radioactive material

Reactors at two Japanese power plants can no longer cool radioactive substances, a major electric company said Saturday, according to a news agency report that added that atomic material may have leaked out of one of the plants.

Citing the Tokyo Electric Power Co., Japan's Kyodo News Agency said that radioactive substances may have seeped out of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors, about 160 miles (260 kilometers) north of Tokyo.

Potentially dangerous problems in cooling radioactive material appear to have cropped up there, as well as at another of the Tokyo Electric Power Company's nuclear plants, Ichiro Fujisaki, Japan's ambassador to the United States, confirmed to CNN. Both plants are named Fukushima Daiichi and both have nuclear reactors, but they are separate facilities.

Kyodo reported Saturday that the power company alerted authorities that the cooling system at three of the four units of one Fukushima Daini plant in northeastern Japan's Fukushima prefecture had failed. (read more)

Japan earthquake: Five people washed away on US coast

The Tsunami that devastated the east coast of Japan on Friday could have claimed its first life on US soil after raging the breadth of the Pacific to America's west coast.

The impact of the tidal wave when it reached the US was minute when compared with the gargantuan torrent of water that blew away entire cities and is feared to have claimed more than 1,000 lives in Japan.

But despite losing much of its power as it travelled across the Pacific the tsunami was still strong enough to wreck boats and harbours as it crashed against the American shoreline.

Five people were swept out to sea in Crescent City, northern California, one of whom was still missing on Friday evening.

Most of the boats in the harbour were removed as the waves approached, but the 35 that remained were buffeted against each other and some sank under the impact of the water, Del Norte County sheriff's spokesman Bill Stevens said.

The waves, which broke apart the city's wooden docks, were not tall enough to reach over the harbour's 20ft (6m) wall but are still thought to have caused millions of dollars worth of damage, Mr Stevens said, with further surges expected throughout the day.

Crescent City Councilwoman Kelly Schellong told the Associated Press the docks and harbour "are pretty much completely destroyed. " (Source)

Japan: The AFTERSHOCKS -- 11 Mar 2011 (Updated as necessary)

Washington: The US tsunami monitoring center on Friday widened a warning to virtually the entire Pacific coast, including Australia and South America, after a massive earthquake in Japan.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center expanded a previous alert to include the US state of Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and the entire coast of Central and South America.

The center had earlier said the tsunami would hit Hawaii at around 2:45 am (1245 GMT) and the US West Coast at 7:45 am (1545 GMT) Source

Note Sky news:
** All nuclear powerstations have been closed down
** Tsunami is higher than some Pacific Islands
** All Hawaii Islands to be evacuated

The quakes 6 magnitude or higher that followed the 8.9 Which is the largest in Japans History
* 8.9 - 05.46 UTC
* 6.4 - 06.06 UTC
* 6.4 - 06.07 UTC
* 6.8 - 06.15 UTC
* 7.1 - 06.25 UTC
* 6.3 - 06.48 UTC
* 6.3 - 06.57 UTC
* 6.3 - 07.14 UTC
* 6.1 - 07.25 UTC
* 6.1 - 07.28 UTC
* 6.2 - 08.12 UTC
* 6.2 - 08.15 UTC
* 6.5 - 08.19 UTC
* 6.1 - 08.31 UTC
* 6.0 - 10.10 UTC
* 6.5 - 11.36 UTC
* 6.2 - 15.13 UTC
* 6.2 - 18.59 UTC
* 6.1 - 19.02 UTC
* 6.3 - 20.11 UTC
* 6.0 - 01.19 UTC - 12th Mar 2011
* 6.2 - 01.46 UTC
* 6.8 - 01.47 UTC
* 6.1 - 10.53 UTC
* 6.4 - 13.15 UTC
* 6.0 - 17.19 UTC
* 6.3 - 22.12 UTC
* 6.1 - 23.24 UTC
* 6.2 - 01.26 UTC - 13th Mar 2011
* 6.2 - 02.23 UTC
* 6.0 - 11.37 UTC
* 6.1 - 06.12 UTC - 14th Mar 2011
In addition the coast has been hit with 131 aftershocks of 5 + magnitude

Japan earthquake hits global markets

The earthquake struck just before the close of Tokyo stock trading, sending the benchmark Nikkei 225 index tumbling 1.7pc to a five-week low.

Other Asian stock markets reacted badly with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropping 1.8pc and South Korea's Kospi sliding 1.3pc.

Asian shares had been down earlier with higher-that-expected inflation data in China, jitters over eurozone debts after Moody's downgraded Spain, and unrest in Saudi Arabia weighing on sentiment.

In London, the FTSE 100 saw its worst weekly performance in eight months, as it dropped 0.3pc on Friday to 5828.67 points, with insurers such as RSA Group and Prudential a down a couple of percent as investors remain risk averse. The index is now below where is started the year.

On the Continent large reinsurers such as Swiss Re, Hannover Re and Munich Re were all down, with bourses in Germany and France sliding by around 1pc.

Wall Street, where the Dow Jones tumbled 1.87pc on Thursday, opened lower in a choppy morning session after a survey showed consumer sentiment fell to its lowest level in five months as petrol prices rose. (read more)

Gadhafi stikes back: Libya rebels face pro-government onslaught, on the run in Ras Lanuf



Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, have continued a large-scale military offensive against rebels in the country's east, launching air strikes at the oil-producing towns of Ras Lanuf and Brega.

Some of the fiercest fighting on Friday was reported from Ras Lanuf, where rebels launched a counter-attack to stem the advance of pro-Gaddafi forces. The rebels had earlier lost control of pockets of residential areas, and were clinging on in other parts of the town, sources told Al Jazeera.

Plumes of smoke were seeing billowing from an oil installation in the city, reportedly the result of military air strikes.

Ibrahim al-Alwani, a rebel fighter, said he and comrades still in Ras Lanuf had seen government troops in the town centre.

"I saw maybe 150 men and three tanks," he told Reuters on Friday morning. "I can hear clashes."

The government troops had landed by boat near the Fadeel hotel in Ras Lanuf on Friday, Mohammed al-Mughrabi, a spokesperson, told Reuters.

Rebels appeared to have withdrawn on Friday to their last main checkpoint, about 15km to the east of the town's centre.

"They came from the air, they came from the sea, and there were rockets everywhere. It was a big surprise for us,'' one rebel fighter, Mustafa Mehrik, a 39-year-old coffeeshop owner, said in Brega, a rebel-held town to the west where many of the casualties from the attack were taken.

"Everyone is worried. Today they say there will bring heavy weapons from Benghazi.'' (read more)

It gets worse: Report -- Radioactive material may have leaked from Japanese reactor damaged in earthquake

A mammoth earthquake and subsequent tsunami may have caused radioactive material to leak from an atomic power plant in northeast Japan, a major electric company said Saturday, according to a news agency report.

Citing the Tokyo Electric Power Co., Japan's Kyodo News Agency said that radioactive substances may have seeped out of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor, about 160 miles (260 kilometers) north of Tokyo. Earlier, the agency had reported that authorities may purposefully release radioactive vapor to alleviate pressure at the power plant.

Radiation levels measured at a monitoring post near the plant's main gate are more than eight times above normal, Japan's nuclear safety agency said, according to Kyodo.

These developments come a day after the quake ravaged the Asian nation, shutting down power to more than 1.6 million people and stoking fears of a crisis at the nation's atomic plants. (read more)

As U.S. damage is measured, man dies trying to photograph tsunami

A 25-year-old man was declared dead Friday afternoon after being swept out to sea off a northern California beach while trying to photograph a tsunami launched by the massive earthquake near Japan, according to a Del Norte County, California, official.

The man's identity was withheld as authorities tried to contact his family, said Joey Young, a spokesman for the emergency operations center of Del Norte County.

"We had one person reported missing who has been confirmed dead," Young said. "The Coast Guard has been doing a search for the body, but the oceanic conditions are making it very difficult."

Meanwhile, harbors in California and Hawaii bore the brunt of scattered damage in the United States following Japan's deadly quake and tsunami.

A tsunami warning was in effect in the rural area where the 25-year-old man and two friends had dared to go on the beach north of Redwood National Park, a Coast Guard spokesman said. All three were swept into the ocean, but the two friends were able to return safely to shore near Klamath, California, the spokesman said.

The man had been standing on a sandbar at the mouth of the Klamath River when he was washed away, Young said.

Starting shortly after 10 a.m. PT Friday, Coast Guard helicopters searched for the man, said Lt. Todd Vorenkamp, a Coast Guard spokesman. Five hours later, the man was declared dead, authorities said. (read more)


Japan Earthquake Update: The next morning -- Japan awakens to widespread destruction from earthquake, tsunamis

The morning after Japan was struck by the most powerful earthquake to hit the island nation in recorded history and the tsunami it unleashed -- and even as the earth continued to twitch with aftershocks -- the disaster's massive impact was only beginning to be revealed.

Hundreds of people died in the 8.9-magnitude temblor, which was centered near the east coast of Japan. The massive movement caused the formation of 30-foot walls of water that swept across rice fields, engulfed entire towns, dragged houses onto highways, and tossed cars and boats like toys. Some waves reached six miles (10 kilometers) inland in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan's east coast.

Buildings collapsed by the score, and numerous fires were ignited.

Hundreds of people were missing, Japanese media reported, citing local and national police. Tens of thousands of people were displaced, according to Japan's Kyodo News Agency.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the "enormously powerful" earthquake had caused "tremendous damage over a wide area." (read more)

BREAKING NEWS: 6.6 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE WEST COAST OF HONSHU, Japan - 11th Mar 2011

Another 6.6 Magnitude Earthquake has Hit Japan, this time it was registered on the West Coast of Honshu.

  • Friday, March 11, 2011 at 19:46:49 UTC
  • Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 04:46:49 AM at epicenter
122 km (75 miles) NW of Akita, Honshu, Japan
147 km (91 miles) WSW of Aomori, Honshu, Japan
196 km (121 miles) WNW of Morioka, Honshu, Japan
534 km (331 miles) N of TOKYO, Japan

Weak euro countries plead for help: Market jitters and clashing interests likely to hamper grand deal on eurozone rescue

The eurozone's weakest states on Friday pleaded for more help from their richer neighbors at a summit in Brussels, where leaders worked to thrash out a "comprehensive response" to the crippling debt crisis by the end of the month.

Markets remain unconvinced that countries like Greece, the crisis' first victim, will become financially self-sufficiant anytime soon, despite a long series of brutal austerity measures.

"We are on track with our program, we have taken the pain to make our economy more viable," said George Papandreou, the prime minister of Greece, as he arrived in Brussels. "But now we need European decisions, strong European decisions to calm the market."

In his call for more assistance and understanding Papandreou was joined by newly elected Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. "I've come here with two days in government with a very strong mandate from the Irish people for an improvement in the terms of the EU-IMF deal," Kenny told journalists, referring to the country's euro67.5 billion ($93 billion) bailout funded by the International Monetary Fund and other EU countries.

Meanwhile, Portugal -- seen by many as the next most likely candidate for an international rescue -- announced additional tax increases and moneysaving measures to convince other eurozone states that it is doing its part to survive the crisis.

The pleas by now have a familiar ring. More than a year into the debt crisis, Europe still faces much the same problems as a year ago -- except that after endless promises, negotiations, and two bailouts, jittery markets now appear at the end of their tether. (read more)

Surge in Arab protests expected on Friday in Gulf

Arab uprisings that have spread to the conservative Gulf region face a crucial test this week in Saudi Arabia where activists have made unprecedented calls for mass protests against the kingdom's absolute monarchy.

Gulf leaders are struggling to hold back an Internet-era generation of Arabs who appear less inclined to accept arguments appealing to religion and tradition to explain why ordinary citizens should be shut out of decision-making.

Protests are planned in other Gulf countries such as Yemen, Kuwait and Bahrain on Friday, the region's weekend. The time after Friday prayers has proved to be crucial in popular uprisings that have brought down Tunisian and Egyptian rulers who once seemed invulnerable.

Saudi Arabia, the largest country in the Gulf, is home to Islam's holiest sites and a long-time U.S. ally that has ensured oil supplies for the West.

More than 32,000 people have backed a Facebook call to hold two demonstrations in the country, the first of them on Friday. Saudi police dispersed a protest by a Shi'ite minority in the OPEC member's oil-producing Eastern province near Bahrain on Thursday with one to four people wounded as shots were heard, witnesses said.

It was the latest of a series of small protests by Eastern Province Shi'ites over the past three weeks and clerics are trying to dissuade Sunnis in the major cities from joining in by branding the demonstrations a Shi'ite phenomenon. (read more)

Japan: 30% of doctors give psychotropics to kids with disorders

Nearly three out of 10 pediatric specialists have prescribed psychotropic medication to preschoolers with developmental disorders such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a health ministry survey.

Conducted last fall by a ministry research group, the survey also found that more than half of the doctors who responded have prescribed drugs such as tranquilizers and sleeping pills to children up to second grade in elementary school.

It was the first such survey on prescribing such drugs to children.

Eiji Nakagawa, head of pediatric neurology at the National Center Hospital of the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry in Kodaira, Tokyo, warned of the need to examine the long-term effects of psychotropic medication on children.

"The potential impact on patients' minds and physical growth arising from the continued use of such medication from an early age has not been examined, although some medication has a direct impact on neurotransmitters and hormonal secretion," said Nakagawa, who conducted the poll. (read more)

BREAKING NEWS: 6.6 Magnitude Earthquake Nagano and Niigata , Japan - 11th Mar 2011

A strong 6.6 Eartquake was registered central Japan. Nagano and Niigata area it has just been followed by a 5.5 Magnitude aftershock

Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 03:59:15 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 37.037°N, 138.355°E
Depth 1 km (~0.6 mile)
Region NEAR THE WEST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
Distances 46 km (28 miles) NNE of Nagano, Honshu, Japan
96 km (59 miles) NNE of Matsumoto, Honshu, Japan
96 km (59 miles) NW of Maebashi, Honshu, Japan
195 km (121 miles) NW of TOKYO, Japan

Japan Earthquake Update: Tens of thousands roam Tokyo streets, stations after quake

Tens of thousands of stranded people roamed the streets of Tokyo or holed up in offices and train stations as the capital's usual bustling traffic came to a standstill Friday after the biggest earthquake in modern Japanese history struck.

The magnitude-8.9 temblor off Japan's northeastern coast shook buildings in the capital, left millions of homes across Japan without electricity, shut down the mobile phone network and severely disrupted landline telephone service. It brought train system to a halt, paralyzing the daily commuter flow of more than 10 million people.

Akira Tanaka, 54, a restaurant worker, was among those who just gave up and decided to walk home _ to suburban Saitama, 12 miles (20kilometers) north of Tokyo, an endeavor he has never tackled before.

``I've been walking an hour and 10 minutes, still have about three hours to go,'' he said. ``This is the kind of earthquake that hits once every 100 years.''

Phone lines were crammed, preventing some calls and messaging from getting through. Calls to northeastern Japan, where a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami washed ashore after the quake, often failed to go through, with a recording saying the area's lines were busy.

Unable to rely on their mobile phones, lines of people formed at the normally vacant public phone booths dotting the city. (read more)

Japan Earthquake Update: Over 1,000 feared killed as megaquake strikes Japan, triggers tsunami, fires

A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 struck a wide area of northeastern and eastern Japan including Tokyo on Friday, triggering dozens of fires and a massive tsunami that swept away houses, cars and ships, with the death toll likely to rise to over 1,000.

The 2:46 p.m. earthquake was the strongest recorded in the quake-prone archipelago by the Japan Meteorological Agency, the governmental agency said, with its magnitude surpassing the 7.9 registered in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake in Tokyo and its vicinity, which killed more than 100,000 people.

The Defense Ministry said about 1,800 homes in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, near the Pacific coast, have been destroyed, raising the possibility that the overall quake death toll will top 1,000. (read more)

Over 400 passengers feared dead as bullet train and cruise ship go missing in massive tsunami generated by Japanese mega-quake - 11th Mar 2011


More than 400 passengers were feared dead as a high-speed bullet train and cruise ship went missing after the sixth largest earthquake in history devastated Japan today.

The massive earthquake - 8,000 times stronger than the one that hit New Zealand last month - sent a catastrophic 33 foot tsunami hurtling across the Pacific Ocean.

Thousands of people were forced to flee for their lives as the massive wave bore down on them, sweeping away everything in its path.

This afternoon, the Japanese declared a state of emergency at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima after the 8.9 quake caused the cooling system to fail.

Meanwhile, a ship carrying 100 people was swept away by the tsunami and bullet train carrying hundreds of passengers in the Miyagi region was missing. Their fate is unknown. Read More

Japan Earthquake Update: 33-foot Tsunami Hits Japan After 8.9 Megaquake, hundreds dead

A 33ft tsunami is feared to have killed hundreds of people as it swept over Japan's northeastern coast after the country's biggest earthquake on record.

The 8.9 magnitude megaquake caused a huge wave that hit the port of Sendai city, sending ships crashing into the shore and carrying cars and buildings through streets.

Police there say between 200 and 300 bodies have been found on the coast, according to news reports in Japan. The official death toll stands at 88, with 349 people missing.

A major explosion at a petrochemical complex in Sendai was reported.

A passenger train near Sendai is unaccounted for while a dam in Fukushima prefecture broke and washed away numerous homes, Kyodo news agency said.

Coastguards are looking for a ship carrying around 80 dock workers that was among those swept away and a passenger train on the coast is also unaccounted for.

The quake rocked the capital, Tokyo, which was one of the cities shaken by at least 35 subsequent aftershocks.

UK ambassador to Japan David Warren, who was south of Tokyo, told Sky News: "It was very strong and a very long earthquake... it was frightening."

Police in Iwate prefecture, near the epicentre, confirmed the deaths of 34 people there.

After darkness fell on Friday night at least one waterfront residential area was hit by wild fires spreading from home to home. (read more)

WEST COAST WARNING (CALIFORNIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA)

This is just a special warning from this blog in case you haven't received the warning from the news: If you are on the west coast, STAY OFF THE BEACHES. Up to 8-foot waves / swells are predicted to strike within a half an hour.

Maybe it will result is nothing, but we'd rather warn you and be safe than sorry.

Change is coming people.

Japan Earthquake Update: Japanese authorities order precautionary evacuation near nuclear plant

Workers at a nuclear power plant in north-central Japan are having trouble cooling the reactor and authorities have asked nearby residents to evacuate, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a news conference.

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was shut down after the earthquake that hit the country.

"This is a precautionary instruction for people to evacuate. There is no radioactive leakage at this moment outside of the facility," he said. "At this moment there is no danger posed to the environment."

Japan declared a state of atomic power emergency after the earthquake, the Kyodo News agency reported. The government is sending senior officials and the defense force's Chemical Corps to the power plant, it said.

Fire broke out at a second facility, the Onagawa plant, but crews were able to put that fire out, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Edano said workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant were having trouble generating sufficient electricity to pump water into the cooling system. They were using all available backup electricity, he said.

"The emergency shutdown has been conducted but the process of cooling down the reaction is currently not going as planned," he said. (read more)


Japan Earthquake Update: Oil refinery ablaze after devastating Japan earthquake, Tsunami

Update: 8.9 Magnitude Earthquake, Japan - 11th Mar 2011


• Japan hit by vast 8.9 magnitude earthquake, 30ft tsunami
• At least 116 dead, 56 missing, 100 people in ship swept away
• 'State of emergency' after nuclear plant's cooling system fails
• 2800 residents evacuated amid fears of nuclear disaster
• Tsunami fears for entire Pacific, US west coast, Hawaii, Alaska
• Queen, PM send messages of sympathy
  • Passenger Train (East Japan Railway) unaccounted for.
  • Up to 200 - 300 Bodies been found along the Coast of Northeastern Japan
  • Major Explosion reported at PetroChemical plant in Sendai

8.9 Megaquake Death toll now stands at 91 As GOOGLE launches person finder - 11th Mar 2011

Japan earthquake: Google launches person finder to locate missing people

Google has offered help in the aftermatch of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, creating a 'person finder' to help people track down missing loved ones.

The person finder allows those looking for friends and relatives to search for their name, while those who have information about someone's whereabouts can add them to the database. The person finder is available in both Japanese and English versions.

With mobile phone networks out across much of the affected region, and transport links down, many people have been left unable to locate or contact their loved ones. Data networks are still operating in Tokyo, however, meaning that many have turned to social networks or even video calling services like Skype to contact their families.

The service can be found here >>>

The UK Foreign Office has set up a phone number for anybody in Britain concerned about friends and relatives in Japan to get information: 020 7008 0000.

Indonesian volcano (Mount Karangetang.) erupts hours after Japan earthquake - 11th Mar 2011

Manado, Indonesia: One of Indonesia's most active volcanos has erupted, sending lava and searing gas clouds tumbling down its slopes.

Volcanology official Agus Budianto said Friday that authorities were still trying to evacuate residents living along the slopes of Mount Karangetang.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage.

The 5,853-foot (1,784-meter) mountain is located on Siau, part of the Sulawesi island chain. It last erupted in August, killing four people.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is located on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

The eruption happened hours after a massive earthquake in Japan that triggered a Pacific-wide tsunami.

Meanwhile, thousands of people are fleeing their homes in northeastern Indonesia after officials warned that a tsunami up to six feet (two meters) high could hit coastal areas following a massive earthquake near Japan. Read More

Heightened state of alert at Japan atom plant: IAEA - 11th Mar 2011

(Reuters) - Japan has told the U.N. nuclear wathchdog that a heightened state of alert has been declared at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after Friday's major earthquake, the Vienna-based agency said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency also said it had been told that the plant had been shut down and that no release of radiation had been detected. Japanese media reported separately that a leak was possible at the plant as water levels fell.

"The IAEA is seeking further details on the situation at Fukushima Daiichi and other nuclear power plants and research reactors, including information on off-site and on-site electrical power supplies, cooling systems and the condition of the reactor buildings," it said in a statement. "Nuclear fuel requires continued cooling even after a plant is shut down." Source

Note: Reports coming through that 2000 residents have been evacuated in the area of the Nuclear Station.

Japanese tsunami hits market, Sensex down by about 154 points - 11th Mar 2011

Indian stocks today survived a tsunami scare with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) benchmark Sensex recouping to some extent day's sharp losses but still ended with a loss of 154 points.

Global equity markets plunged after 33-foot tsunami in Japan caused untold damages and panic-striken investors, already worried about boiling unrest in the Middle-East and Spain debt crisis, resorted to hectic selling.

Japanese benchmark index Nikkei closed down 1.72%, the Chinese Shanghai Composite by 0.73%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng by 1.55%. Singapore's Strait Times closed lower 1.04%.

The tremors of Japan earthquake were felt across European bourses which were trading lower between 0.39% and 0.92% in their afternoon deals. Read More

Massive earthquake in Japan Sends oil prices significantly lower - 11th Mar 2011

Most all assets are starting the last day of trading for the week on the defensive after another round of bearish news including a horrific earthquake and tsunami hitting Japan. The day of rage protests in Saudi Arabia have yet to materialize but it is still being watched closely by the market. The most devastating of all the news overnight is the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and accompanying tsunami. This is the seventh largest recorded earthquake and a horrific event.....

With Japan at a standstill and refineries shut down the demand for crude oil for Japan is going to decline quickly taking away some of the sting from the loss of Libyan crude oil. Japan consumes about 4.4 million barrels per day of crude oil with about 99% of it imported from a variety of sources. At least for the short term (not sure what the short term actually means as of yet as damage assessment continues) Japan is going to import less crude oil. Read More

Ship carrying 100 people missing after being hit by the Tsunami =, Japan 11th Mar 2011

(Reuters) - A ship carrying 100 people was swept away by the tsunami which smashed into northeastern Japan on Friday following a massive earthquake, Kyodo news agency reported. Source

The official Death toll now stands at 60 dead and 56 missing.

**The region has now been struck by 87 large eartquakes in the past 48 hours

**State of emergency at nuclear plant

Japan has issued a state of emergency at a nuclear power plant after its cooling system failed following the huge earthquake, the country's top government spokesman said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the nuclear power plant in Fukushima developed a mechanical failure in the system needed to cool the reactor after it was shut down in the earthquake. Read More


Max Keiser: Start A Revolution Against The Banks

New Home Sales Continue Their Descent Into Oblivion

For those who are thinking about buying a home or investing in real estate, this historical chart of new home sales is something that you are going to want to take a close look at.

This is what a real housing correction looks like.

The bottom falls out.

We have not seen this type of a correction/collapse in the existing home sales/prices arena but we will shortly as interest rates and food and energy prices are about to bring a lot of pain to the economy and housing market.

We are yet to pay the full price for the excessive credit bubble that has fed the housing market for nearly a decade.

Excessive credit always leads to excessive corrections.

This trend/collapse of the new home market is yet to hit bottom as the Census Bureau announced recently that new home sales in January of 2011 came in at a 284,000 seasonally adjusted rate. This pace is down 18.6% from last January and it is the weakest demand for new homes going back over 40 years. (read more)

Next Phase of the Economic Attack on America: Steal the Gold

Have you seen the guys standing out in the cold waving the signs “We Buy Gold” outside of storefronts? They seem to be everywhere around the Midwest. I’ve talked to the buyers behind the desks inside the warm shops. None of those stores sell gold back to the public. The men never have a problem telling me they send all the gold they buy to a larger buyer who melts it all down before selling it again to an even bigger buyer. Past that, though, the men really don’t know if the gold even stays in the USA or it’s shipped overseas. Maybe it’s used to make jewelry in India or it comes out of a vending machine in a 5-star hotel in Dubai or it sits in a vault in China.

I don’t blame the poor guy out in the cold who waves the sign (some of them get “paid” in cigarettes and coffee like we’re already in a 3rd world nation –I kid you not). It would be easy to blame the guy I can see behind the desk who sucks every scrap of gold from the people in the local community while paying below spot price, but he isn’t responsible for creating the current situation. I can put some blame on our domestic leaders in government and business who consciously put policies in place which were designed to destroy the economies of those local communities. (read more)

Exclusive: NASA Scientist Claims Evidence of Alien Life on Meteorite

We are not alone in the universe -- and alien life forms may have a lot more in common with life on Earth than we had previously thought.

That's the stunning conclusion one NASA scientist has come to, releasing his groundbreaking revelations in a new study in the March edition of the Journal of Cosmology.

Dr. Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, has traveled to remote areas in Antarctica, Siberia, and Alaska, amongst others, for over ten years now, collecting and studying meteorites. He gave FoxNews.com early access to the out-of-this-world research, published late Friday evening in the March edition of the Journal of Cosmology. In it, Hoover describes the latest findings in his study of an extremely rare class of meteorites, called CI1 carbonaceous chondrites -- only nine such meteorites are known to exist on Earth.

Though it may be hard to swallow, Hoover is convinced that his findings reveal fossil evidence of bacterial life within such meteorites, the remains of living organisms from their parent bodies -- comets, moons and other astral bodies. By extension, the findings suggest we are not alone in the universe, he said. (read more)

WikiLeaks Suspect Forced To Sleep Naked In Brig

The Army private suspected of giving classified U.S. documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks was forced to sleep naked in a military jail at least once this week, the Marine Corps acknowledged Friday after the soldier’s lawyer complained.

Commanders of the brig in Quantico, Va., ordered all of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s clothing, including his boxer shorts, taken from him Wednesday night under provisions of the Navy Corrections Manual, which governs prisoner treatment, said 1st Lt. Brian Villiard, a spokesman for the Marine Corps base.

“It was a situationally driven event but to go into detail about it would be inappropriate because it would violate the detainee’s privacy,” Villiard said. (read more)



Santelli: 'Good' US Jobs Report Has Dark Side

I remember all too well my refrain in the fall of 2008: "It’s all about JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!"

We created 192,000 headline jobs in the February employment report. It’s not enough, but it certainly is welcome news and it is heading in the right direction — although too slowly.

We also learned from the February report that the unemployment rate finally trended below the psychologically important 9 percent mark. This is a very big development, considering the rate was pushing the 10 percent level several months ago.

Upon closer scrutiny though, there is another factor contributing to the drop that is not necessarily good news: The official size of the U.S. labor force is shrinking. (read more)

Did the planet feel the impact? - 11th Mar 2011

After checking the live Seismic readings in several countries, I noticed most of them are looking like this, was the biggest recorded quake in history picked up by the live seismic server?

the image is the seismic reading from Antigua and Barbuda, Please check the seismic readings from around the world here>>>>>

Tsunami Slams North east Japan - 11th Mar 2011

BREAKING NEWS: 8.9 Magnitude Earthquake Near East Coast of Honshu, Japan - 11th Mar 2011

A huge 8.9 Earthquake hit just of the Coast of Honshu, Japan it was followed by 13 Large Earthquakes of 6.4 and higher

A 33 Ft Tsunami hit the coast

More to follow.....

A 33ft tsunami has killed at least 19 people as it swept over Japan's northeastern coast after a 8.9 magnitude megaquake near the capital Tokyo.

The huge wave hit the port of Sendai city, sending ships crashing into the shore and carrying cars and buildings through streets.

Mass evacuations are taking place after tsunami warnings were issued for the entire Pacific coast.

Libya: 'Gaddafi will prevail', says Barack Obama's intelligence chief

James Clapper, the director of US national intelligence, told the Senate armed services committee “the regime will prevail”, forcing the White House into an embarrassing damage control exercise.

“With respect to the rebels in Libya, and whether or not they will succeed or not, I think frankly they’re in for a tough row,” he said, adding the momentum had shifted to Col Gaddafi.

“I don’t think he has any intention of leaving. From all evidence that we have ... he appears to be hunkering down for the duration.”

His remarks came as the Dow Jones index fell 228 points on concerns over the effects of the Libyan conflict on oil supplies, slipping back under the psychological barrier that it passed in late January. (read more)

It begins: Saudi Arabia police 'fire at rally'

Police have reportedly opened fire at a rally in Saudi Arabia in an apparent effort to stop planned protests there, AP news agency has reported.

A witness in the eastern city of Qatif told AP that gunfire and stun grenades were fired at several hundred protesters marching in the city streets on Thursday.

The witness, speaking on condition of anonymity because he feared government reprisal, said police in the area opened fire. The witness saw at least one protester injured.

Government officials have warned they will take strong action if activists take to the streets after increasing calls for large protests around the country to press for democratic reforms. (read more)