Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fukushima No. 1 plant designed on 'trial-and-error' basis

While changes improved safety at the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant, overconfidence, complacency and high costs stymied such action at the now-crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant, according to people familiar with the situation.

The difference in the safety designs was the main reason why the crisis continues to unfold at the Fukushima No. 1 plant--one of the oldest in Japan--while the No. 2 plant a few kilometers south remains relatively unscathed by the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Officials at another Tokyo Electric Power Co. nuclear plant in Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, Niigata Prefecture, analyzed the differences in safety designs at the two Fukushima plants.

According to their analysis and TEPCO sources, there are clear differences in safety levels between the two plants concerning power source equipment, such as emergency diesel generators and transformers at the reactor cores, and pumps used to bring in seawater to remove residual heat from the cores. (read more)

Tsunami-hit towns forgot warnings from ancestors

Modern sea walls failed to protect coastal towns from Japan's destructive tsunami last month. But in the hamlet of Aneyoshi, a single centuries-old tablet saved the day.

"High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants," the stone slab reads. "Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis. Do not build any homes below this point."

It was advice the dozen or so households of Aneyoshi heeded, and their homes emerged unscathed from a disaster that flattened low-lying communities elsewhere and killed thousands along Japan's northeastern shore.

Hundreds of such markers dot the coastline, some more than 600 years old. Collectively they form a crude warning system for Japan, whose long coasts along major fault lines have made it a repeated target of earthquakes and tsunamis over the centuries.

The markers don't all indicate where it's safe to build. Some simply stand — or stood, until they were washed away by the tsunami — as daily reminders of the risk. "If an earthquake comes, beware of tsunamis," reads one. In the bustle of modern life, many forgot. (read more)

Why the UN can never stop climate change

On Sunday in Thailand diplomats opened another round of formal United Nations talks on global warming. For more than 20 years, the UN has been working on this problem, with little progress. Expectations have never been lower. The December 2009 conference in Copenhagen that was supposed to finalise a new treaty to replace the expiring Kyoto protocol ended in deadlock. Last year's talks in CancĂșn ended without agreement on most of the important new issues.

Some of the troubles with global warming diplomacy are unavoidable. Stopping climate change is one of the hardest challenges the international community has undertaken. The main cause of climate change, emissions of carbon dioxide, is intrinsic to the burning of fossil fuels that power the world economy. Even in the best of circumstances, getting off carbon will take decades and trillions of dollars. The world economic crisis makes that even harder as few societies choose to spend money on distant problems when they face more immediate challenges such as unemployment and poverty.

The failure to make progress, though, is mainly due to bad strategy. The United Nations forum is the wrong place for serious diplomacy. One of the chief strengths of the UN system – that it involves every nation on the planet – is a huge liability for global warming. By working in large groups, UN talks are often held hostage to the whims of even small players – as happened in Copenhagen and CancĂșn when Sudan and Bolivia and a few other nations whose emissions of warming pollution are tiny. The UN system has also relied on legally binding agreements, which sound good in theory yet have proved difficult to tailor and adjust in light of the many different interests that must be reflected in any serious international pact to control emissions. (read more)

B.C. boy youngest Taser recipient: professor

The West Vancouver Police Department is investigating the circumstances that led to an 11-year-old boy being stunned with a Taser by a Mountie in Prince George, B.C.

RCMP in Prince George said Friday that the device was used on the boy after a 37-year-old man was allegedly stabbed by the boy on Thursday evening.

Police found the boy inside a group home next door and, when the boy came out, he was shocked with a stun gun.

The RCMP wouldn't release any new information on the boy's case on Saturday, and said the incident is under investigation by the West Vancouver Police Department, whose officers will be flying to Prince George on Monday.

David MacAlister, an associate professor at Simon Fraser University's School of Criminology, studies police policies on the use of Tasers, or conductive energy weapons.

"It doesn't seem right," MacAlister said. "Canadian law doesn't even hold individuals who are under the age of 12 criminally responsible." (read more)

David Icke: "You don't want to know about this, shut up!"

Reeling from quake, Japan automakers cut output in U.S. plants

Ripple effects from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan continued to be felt by the U.S. work force this week as Japanese automakers announced cuts in plant production at North American factories.

While the cuts were expected, the news signals the long road ahead for Japan's economy, the world's third largest, and how other nations will be affected.

Japan's big three - Honda, Nissan and Toyota - and the global auto industry are increasingly hampered by parts suppliers in Japan who are struggling in the aftermath of the worst disaster to strike the island nation since World War II.

Strong aftershocks and rolling blackouts almost a month after the magnitude-9.0 quake have continued in metropolitan Tokyo, the nation’s economic center.

Toyota said in a statement on Friday it was cutting production schedules at its North American auto plants “with production suspended on April 15, 18, 21, 22, and 25.” (read more)

17,500 rally against nuke plants

About 17,500 people held two rallies Sunday against nuclear power plants, reflecting public rage over the crisis unfolding at the Fukushima No. 1 power station some 220 km northeast of Tokyo.

Around the JR Koenji Station in Suginami Ward, some 15,000 people took part in a demonstration march organized by local shop owners. The turnout rose after several people went online to issue calls to join the event, organizers said.

One of the organizers of the rally, Hajime Matsumoto, said he was amazed that so many people showed up just on their own.

"It's epoch-making that so many people gathered without being mobilized by a large organization," he said. "It's become powerful because we joined hands over the Internet." (read more)

American Airlines CEO: 'We're facing a fuel crisis'

Just as major airlines have started getting their balance sheets back in order, they're bracing for the impact of skyrocketing oil prices.

"We're facing another fuel crisis, and crisis is not too strong of a word," said American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey, speaking at a conference of business journalists in Dallas.

Last year, airlines had their best year in a decade, carving out a slim 2% profit margin. But oil prices have soared more than 20% in 2011, and that will increase jet fuel costs, which claim a large chunk of airline operating costs.

As violence in the Middle East and North Africa stokes fears that the political turmoil will spread to other oil producing countries, crude prices continue to climb. And that's adding upward pressure to fuel costs.

On Friday, crude oil prices settled at a fresh 2-1/2 year high of $112.79 a barrel.

Arpey said he's also concerned that higher energy prices will stall the economic recovery and decrease traffic as Americans pull back on overall spending, including travel budgets. (read more)

Ai Weiwei, an artist whose work is freedom, speaks before arrest and disappearance



One month before Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained by authorities in his country, he made a powerful case for free expression in a film shown at the TED2011 conference in Long Beach, California.

The 53-year-old artist was shown talking about the limits on freedom of speech in China. At the end of the film, he was shown on a live webcam waving as he acknowledged the cheers and standing ovation from the audience at TED.

Ai Weiwei was detained April 3 at the Beijing airport, as he was about to travel to Hong Kong, and authorities later said he was under investigation for suspicion of "economic crimes." A spokesman for the foreign ministry, asked about Ai Weiwei, said, "It has nothing to do with human rights or freedom of expression."

In the film, the artist said, "I'm living in a society in which freedom of speech is not allowed" and pointed to the blocking of Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube. He said searches for his name on domestic websites were blocked and that he was constantly under surveillance. (read more)

Icelanders reject debt repayment deal to UK, Netherlands

Voters in Iceland have rejected a government-approved deal to repay Britain and the Netherlands $5 billion for their citizens' deposits in the failed online bank Icesave, referendum results showed Sunday.

The result complicates Iceland's recovery from its 2008 economic collapse.

With about 90 percent of the votes counted, the "no" side had 59.1 percent of the votes and the "yes" side 40.9 percent.

Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir said the results were disappointing but she would try to prevent political and economic chaos ensuing.

A tiny North Atlantic nation with a population of just 320,000, Iceland went from economic wunderkind to financial basket case almost overnight when the credit crunch took hold. Its major banks collapsed within a week in October 2008, its krona currency plummeted and protests toppled the government.

British and Dutch savers had deposited more than $5 billion in Icesave's high-interest accounts. After Icesave collapsed, British and Dutch authorities borrowed money to compensate their citizens, then turned to Iceland for repayment.

The dispute has grown acrimonious, with Britain and The Netherlands threatening to block Iceland's bid to join the European Union unless it is resolved. (read more)

Donald Trump Only Interested In Libya, “If We Get The Oil.”

Let the new Neo Con agenda arise from the dead. From the guys that brought you the preventative war Bush Doctrine and Gestapo Homeland Security, here comes a new, more forceful, Neo Con agenda. Get ready for more war, debt, and loss of freedoms as the 2012 election comes closer.

After America thoroughly rejected the Neo Con agenda in 2008, the Neo Cons went into strategy mode. The Power Elite must have seen the two big things that kept them from power in 2008. #1 Ron Paul causing a rift inside the Republican Establishment with his “crazy” talk about the Constitution, Honest Money, and Non-Intervention. Since the 2008 campaign, Sarah Palin has been groomed by Henry “600,000 dead Cambodians” Kissinger to become the Tea Party king maker with her $25 Million dollar speaking tour. Then there is Ruppert “Fox News Alerts every 10 minutes” Murdoch who transformed Glenn Beck from calling the Ron Paul Revolution, terrorists, into a new Patrick Henry. I have gone on record showing how the Neo Cons have attempted to infiltrate, subvert and destroy the national Tea Party movement, in my article, Beware Of The Patriot Pied Pipers.

The #2 reason was that none of their Neo Con sock puppets could forcefully fight back the founding of the Tea Party with a good justification for more war and debt. Rudy Guiliani was as close as the could get and he was in effective at best. Donald Trump is not a serious candidate in this race, he is just the Neo Con attack dog the Elite need to bash Ron Paul. (read more)

Obama's record 2010 budget: deficit soars amid job spending

U.S. President Barack Obama pledged on Monday to halve a record 2010 budget deficit by the end of his first term in office, but made tackling double-digit unemployment his immediate priority with a spending plan that risked public ire and a rough battle in Congress.

Criticized by Republicans for raising taxes on wealthy Americans, Obama is under pressure to convince investors and vital creditors like China that he has a credible plan to control the U.S. deficit and debt over time.

"We won't be able to bring down this deficit overnight, given that the recovery is still taking hold," Obama said after laying out $3.8 trillion in spending plans for the fiscal year to Sept. 30, 2011.

"We will continue, for example, to do what it takes to create jobs. That is reflected in my budget. It is essential," he said in a televised statement from the White House. (read more)

California Assembly OKS concealed guns for four legislators

Assembly Chief Sergeant-at-Arms Ronald Pane has given four legislators permission to carry concealed weapons in the state Capitol, according to two senior Senate staff members who have been informed of the decision.

State law prohibits carrying loaded firearms and deadly weapons in public buildings, except under limited conditions. A 2010 bill by Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, D-Livingston, tightened the law, requiring that most holders of concealed weapons permits or other gun licenses get permission from the sergeants-at-arms of the state Assembly or the state Senate in order to bring their gun in the Capitol or legislative office buildings. Peace officers are exempt from the restrictions.

No such approval has been given in the Senate, where the Rules Committee has established a no-guns policy. Senate Chief Sergeant-at-Arms Tony Beard said while he respects the Assembly's judgment to establish its own security practices to best protect its members, it would take an "extraordinary situation" for him to give a member the OK to carry a concealed weapon in the building. He said his focus has been on how existing safety protocol and systems can be used to respond to threats and protect all members, staff and visitors. (read more)

New FBI ‘vault’ discusses Utah UFOs, other secrets

On April 4, 1949, FBI agents in Utah sent a cable marked “urgent” to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. It said an Army guard at the Ogden Supply Depot, a Logan policeman and a Utah Highway Patrol officer in Mantua each saw from miles apart a UFO — which they said exploded over Utah.

Under the title “Flying Discs,” the cable said they “saw a silver colored object high up approaching the mountains at Sardine Canyon” that “appeared to explode in a rash of fire. Several residents at Trenton … [reported] seeing what appeared to be two aerial explosions followed by falling object.”

That and other documents show the FBI was investigating whether UFOs were real, and it figured they could be. Such documents are now available in “The Vault,” vault.fbi.gov, a revamped FBI website for documents that have been released through the Freedom of Information Act and have been recently or often requested.

Besides talking about Utah UFOs, other Utah-related documents on the website look at such things as FBI snooping into whether the Salt Lake City NAACP had been infiltrated by communists; a death threat in Utah against Lady Bird Johnson; and Hoover lambasting W. Cleon Skousen — a Utahn who has become an icon of the tea party movement.

“The new website significantly increases the number of available FBI files, enhances the speed at which the files can be accessed, and contains a robust search capability,” David Hardy, chief of the FBI’s Record/Information Dissemination Section, said in a statement. (read more)

Julian Assange claims WikiLeaks is more accountable than governments

WikiLeaks is more accountable than democratically elected governments because it accepts donations from members of the public, Julian Assange has claimed, in his first formal public appearance since being arrested in December following accusations of rape and sexual assault.

Questioned at a public debate about the whistleblowing organisation's own transparency, Assange told an audience of 700 people, many of them supporters: "We are directly supported on a week-to-week basis by you. You vote with your wallets every week if you believe that our work is worthwhile or not. If you believe we have erred, you do not support us. If you believe we need to be protected in our work, you keep us strong.

"That dynamic feedback, I say, is more responsive than a government that is elected after sourcing money from big business every four years."

The WikiLeaks founder, who is currently appealing against his extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault, told the audience at a packed debate organised by the New Statesman and the Frontline Club that whistleblowing was essential in a democracy because "the only way we can know whether information is legitimately kept secret is when it is revealed". (read more)

Ivory Coast mercenaries 'are burning people alive'

More than 100 bodies, some of them burned alive, have been found in the Ivory Coast in the past 24 hours, the UN said today.

About 60 were killed in one attack and about 40 people in another that appeared to have been carried out by Liberian mercenaries, said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

He added that "all the incidents appear at least partly ethnically motivated" and that there were reports of "smaller scale killings in other places that have yet to be investigated".

Some victims were burned while others were thrown down a well.

The International Rescue Committee warned that chaos in the country was escalating, citing an "explosive mix of political, economic and ethnic tension". "Even if the political and military showdown in Abidjan ends today, we're concerned that looting, hostility, bloodshed, reprisal killings and sexual assaults will escalate in communities across the country," said Louis Falcy, the rescue committee's director in Ivory Coast. (read more)

Egypt’s military forcibly breaks up Tahrir Square protest; 2 reported killed -- not over yet?

Egypt’s military used force early Saturday to break up a camp of protesters in Tahrir Square, as tensions continued to build between the pro-democracy movement and the military leadership that has run the country since President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in February.

Hundreds of troops, firing into the air and attacking protesters with electric batons, swarmed the center of the square to expel several hundred people who had defied a 2 a.m. curfew following a massive but peaceful protest Friday. The overnight protesters had set fire to cars and barricaded their encampment with barbed wire.

Among those who had joined the overnight protesters in the tent camp were a dozen or more uniformed soldiers who had broken ranks to demand that Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces move faster to try Mubarak and members of his regime on corruption charges.

As armored cars and troops swept in shortly after 3 a.m., the protesters, most of whom were young, initially tried to form a human chain to protect the rebellious soldiers in their camp. They scattered when the troops began firing their weapons into the air. (read more)

Gaza-Israel violence rages on as 4 militants killed: Dozens of rockets fired at Israel

Israel killed four Palestinian militants and wounded half a dozen others as it pursued air raids in Gaza for a third day on Saturday, responding to increased rocket fire out of the territory, local medics said.

Militants in the Gaza Strip, ruled by the Islamist Hamas, continued striking Israel's south with rockets, wounding five Israelis at around daybreak, according to Israeli media reports.

Israeli forces killed a local Hamas commander in the southern Gaza town of Rafah bordering Egypt, as well as two of his bodyguards, in a targeted strike on a vehicle, medics said. Israel blamed the slain commander for a rocket strike on its port of Eilat launched from Egyptian Sinai some months ago.

Five militants were wounded in a second air raid in northern Gaza. Another air strike at daybreak killed a further militant.

Cross-border violence has surged since Hamas militants fired an anti-tank rocket at an Israeli school bus on Thursday, wounding two people including a teenager, who was listed in critical condition.

Israel has said it wants to teach Hamas a lesson for that attack, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday amounted to "crossing a line," adding that "whoever tries to attack and murder children puts his life on the line." (read more)

NASA Apollo Image Anomalies: Unidentifed objects on and above the Moon

PART ONE:


PART TWO:

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media -- A free documentary you need to watch



Watch the full documentary for free, here.


Dutifully recommended by our Neighbour Blog, Wit's End.

D-FOX -- If you're reading this, please contact us. (April 10, 2011)

D-Fox, we are looking to get in touch with you. Our email can be found on the "contact us" page, so please let us know if you've found us. We believe.

Cat and dolphins playing together — a lesson for humanity

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study - Most EVIL HUMAN Experiments - 10th Apr 2011

The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the African American Male was a clinical study, conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama, in which 399 (plus 201 control group without syphilis) poor — and mostly illiterate — African American sharecroppers were denied treatment for Syphilis.

Dead sea turtles, dead dolphins, dead armadillos, dead everything -- Gulf of Mexico photos from April 8, 2011 (Reader contributed)





Green algae buildup in Mississippi? Gulf of Mexico death entering new dangerous phase? -- Reader contributed photos from April 8, 2011


United for the Gulf Fest: Kindra Arnesen's Sound Science -- Fight for Gulf of Mexico Continues (Reader contributed)

Radioactive Fallout in Saint Louis Missouri rain water

Nazca Lines UFO Sighting in Peru, January 2011 -- Incredible

Triangle UFO by Pittsburgh, March 29, 2011

Mother of 6, Cherri Foytlin Marches to Washington for Help on Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Casualties (Reader Contributed)

PBS full video: "Journey to Planet Earth -- Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization"

Watch the full episode. See more Journey to Planet Earth.

Time for Plan B: Our Civilization Is on the Edge of a Systemic Breakdown

"How many failing states before we have a failing global civilization?" asks environmental pioneer Lester Brown in Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, premiering March 30 on PBS as part of its continuing Journey to Planet Earth series. It's a Gordian knot of a question with no simple answer and nothing but complex, demanding solutions, fearsomely put forth as the fate of humanity totters in the balance.

Based on Brown's book of the same name, Plan B is likely the scariest horror film that was ever disguised as a documentary, despite its calm narration from superstar Matt Damon. That's because the acclaimed environmentalist has deeply studied the variety of environmental and geopolitical tipping points we are fast approaching, and found that we're headed for a seriously dark dystopia if we don't turn civilization as we know it around, and fast. A catastrophic confluence of food and water shortages, overpopulation and pollution, collapsed governments and communities and more natural disasters than Roland Emmerich can dream up await us on the other side of Plan A, which Brown calls "business of usual." (read more)

How it is today: Top 5% of US holds more than half of the country’s wealth

The distribution of wealth in the United States is even more unequal than the distribution of wages and income. The Figure, from EPI’s new paper, The State of Working America’s Wealth. shows how wealth is divided among American households. It merges survey data on household wealth with changes in aggregate asset prices to estimate how wealth has been affected by the bursting of the housing bubble and the Great Recession. It shows that in 2009, the top 5% of wealth holders claimed 63.5% of the country’s wealth. The bottom 80%, by contrast, held just 12.8% of the country’s wealth. (read more)

A while in the making: CEO-to-worker pay imbalance grows -- from 2006

In 2005, the average CEO in the United States earned 262 times the pay of the average worker, the second-highest level of this ratio in the 40 years for which there are data. In 2005, a CEO earned more in one workday (there are 260 in a year) than an average worker earned in 52 weeks.

The 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s have been prosperous times for top U.S. executives, especially relative to other wage earners. This can be seen by examining the increased divergence between CEO pay and an average worker’s pay over time, as shown in Figure A. In 1965, U.S. CEOs in major companies earned 24 times more than an average worker; this ratio grew to 35 in 1978 and to 71 in 1989. The ratio surged in the 1990s and hit 300 at the end of the recovery in 2000. The fall in the stock market reduced CEO stock-related pay (e.g., options) causing CEO pay to moderate to 143 times that of an average worker in 2002. Since then, however, CEO pay has exploded and by 2005 the average CEO was paid $10,982,000 a year, or 262 times that of an average worker ($41,861). (read more)

Earth is Shaped like a Lumpy Potato - 5th Apr 2011



A sleek satellite orbiting Earth has confirmed that the planet is not the simple squashed sphere we often imagine it to be. It is, in fact, more like a lumpy potato.

Nearly a year's worth of gravitational measurements from the European Space Agency's Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) have yielded a colourful map portraying the geoid – the shape the Earth's surface would be if it was entirely covered by water and influenced by gravity alone.

The result is not a smooth sphere because mass is not distributed evenly within the Earth's mantle. Different parts of the globe exert a different gravitational pull on the ocean, meaning that sea level is lower than expected in some places – represented by blue patches – and higher than expected in others – the red and yellow areas.

In the visualisation, the vertical scale has been exaggerated by a factor of 7000, so the pits and crests are 7000 times shallower or taller, respectively, than depicted here.

The visualisation shows true sea level, liberated from the artefacts of tides and winds. Mission scientist Roger Haagmans explains the influence of winds on the oceans through a simple model: suppose you have a bathtub full of water and you place a fan on one side to blow the surface: the water will pile up on the opposite side. Now shut the fan off, and the water will settle at a new level, according to gravity. Read More

Los Angeles synagogues on 'high alert' after Santa Monica bomb sends 300lbs concrete block flying into sleeping boy's house - 9th Apr 2011

Synagogues in California have been put on high alert after a bomb blast in Santa Monica.

Jewish organisations around Los Angeles were urged to be extra vigilant after the explosion, which shattered windows at a synagogue and sent a 300-pound block of concrete flying into the roof of a nearby house.

Police said they are searching for an ‘extremely dangerous’ 60-year-old homeless man named Ron Hirsch in connection with the bombing.

Officers initially believed that the explosion was a ‘freak industrial accident’ but on Friday, detectives scouring the scene discovered evidence that the blast was caused by an explosive device.

Items found nearby were linked to Hirsch, who was known in the area as a frequent visitor of synagogues and Jewish community centres.

The man, who is also known as Israel Fisher, is now being sought on charges of possession of a destructive device. Police said they did not know of the motive behind the explosion.

About 20 people had been attending a Passover service at the Chabad House synagogue at the time.

The explosion shattered windows, punched a hole in the synagogue and sent a pipe encased in a concrete block flying 25 feet into the air into the roof of a neighbouring house where a young boy was sleeping. There were no injuries.

On Friday afternoon, the Anti-Defamation League issued a security alert to synagogues and other Jewish organizations in the Los Angeles area. Read More

'Zero per cent contained': Fire chiefs warn massive wildfire could shape up to be among the worst in Texas' history - 9th Apr 2011

A massive wildfire that has burned more than 61,000 acres in West Texas remains out of control and could shape up to be among the worst in the state’s history.

Fire chiefs said they expected the blaze to continue spreading with dry, windy conditions in the area.

Alan Craft of the Texas Forest Service said on Saturday that the fire was ‘Zero per cent contained.’

About 100 members of the Texas Forest Service have been fighting the fire by land and air, with help from local volunteer fire departments.

Tanker planes have dropped more than 58,000 gallons of fire retardant on the land, but the spread of the fire continues

The blaze, which started in Stonewall County, moved quickly into neighbouring Knox and King counties, destroying two homes and threatening a dozen more. Read More

British banker dies in fall from rooftop bar at luxury Singapore hotel - 10th Apr 2011

A leading British banker has died after a dramatic plunge from the rooftop bar of a luxury Singapore hotel.

William Hart, head of sales at the Bank of China International in Singapore, fell from the seventh-floor bar of the boutique hotel after witnesses said he had climbed over a metal railing and glass barrier.

Police will tomorrow continue their inquiries into the death of the 37-year-old , which a spokesman described as 'mysterious and needing a full investigation'.

The case has been officially listed as 'an unnatural death'.

Police rushed to the waterfront after receiving an emergency call but Mr Hart's body could not be found immediately.

The search moved further up the Singapore River and his body was found about two hours later near the river bank.

A Singapore newspaper reported today that while it remains unclear how Mr Hart fell, one theory is that he had leaped from the rooftop in a game of dare.

Mr Hart's father has flown to Singapore from Hong Kong to collect the body of his son, who died shortly before midnight on Thursday.

It was only at the weekend that the first details of his death began to emerge. Read More

We've never had it so bad: Families' financial squeeze is worst in 90 years - 10th Apr 2011

Soaring inflation and weak earnings growth has led to the biggest squeeze on household finances since 1921, research has revealed.

British families are on average £910 worse off than they were two years ago, the Centre for Economics and Business Research found.

The squeeze - which is considered the worst in peacetime for 90 years - is set to continue with a two per cent fall in household disposable income this year.

The squeeze is set to have a knock-on effect on the already-suffering high street as shoppers rein in their spending.

The CEBR said public spending cuts was a 'minor element' in the troubling financial conditions, with the rising cost of oil, food, cotton and metals being bigger contributory factors, the Sunday Times reported.

The fall in disposable income is comparable with the savage post-World War One recession which lasted between 1919 and 1921, as a result of a collapse in manufacturing and international trade.

The findings also show the fall in household disposable income is sharper than in the 1930s depression. Read More

Bones And Teeth Found In 'Stew Maker's' Pit - 9th Apr 2011

Investigators in Mexico have discovered human bones and teeth in a pit used by a man known as 'the Stew Maker' who has confessed to dissolving 300 bodies in acid.

Prosecutors said around 30 bone fragments and 15 tooth fragments were dug up at a ranch where Santiago Meza Lopez once lived in eastern Tijuana.

Meza's nickname, which is 'El Pozolero' in Spanish, comes from a form of stew called pozole which is made with corn processed with caustic soda.

He is believed to have used a similar process to dissolve the victims.

Miguel Angel Guerrero, head of the Baja California state prosecutors' office on disappearances, said laboratory tests will determine the number of bodies found in the three adjoining graves.

The remains would be the first confirmed victims of Meza, who told authorities he dissolved 300 bodies of drug cartel victims at ranches in the border city before his arrest in January 2009.

The Citizen's Association Against Impunity, a Tijuana group that has pushed authorities to find the remains, said it hopes the fragments can be linked to some of the nearly 300 people it estimates have disappeared in the city since 1997. Read More

Syria Forces 'Kill 28 At Peaceful Protests' - 10th Apr 2011

At least 28 people have been killed after Syrian security forces opened fire on peaceful gatherings of protesters, it has been claimed.

The National Oganisation for Human Rights in Syria said 26 were killed in the southern city of Deraa and two in the central province of Homs.

A spokesman for the group said security and police forces had "dispersed peaceful gatherings in a number of Syrian provinces by using excessive and unjustified violence through the use of bullets".

It follows claims that 37 people were killed across the country on Friday.

"What is happening in Syria is a flagrant violation of (human rights)," the National Organisation for Human Rights said in a statement.

"Syrian security committed (in Deraa) what could be called a crime against humanity ... It fired indiscriminately on protesters and killed and wounded tens of them."

After Friday's violence, Syria's interior ministry warned it would not tolerate breaches of the law and would deal with "armed groups".

Inspired by Arab uprisings that began in Tunisia and Egypt, popular demonstrations calling for greater freedom have shaken Syria. Read More

Fact or Fiction - Lapis Exillis, Secrets of the Illuminate - 10th Apr 2011

An Exploration Into the World's Most Secret Societies. Lapis Exillis, the stone that is called the grail to the Illuminate, has influenced world history for centuries. This Code is the subject of this original and highly controversial award winning feature length documentary.


'We think the Craigslist Ripper may be a cop': Investigators' chilling new theory on 'smart' Long Island serial killer - 10th Apr 2011

The serial killer dubbed the Craigslist Ripper has a sophisticated understanding of police investigation techniques and 'may be a cop', it was claimed today.

The startling new theory emerged as it was revealed the last man to see suspected victim Shannan Gilbert believes the prostitute is still alive.

Officers in Long Island where four bodies of of vice girls have been dug up, are convinced the killer could be in law enforcement because:

  • He used disposable and untraceable cell phones to contact the four victims - all in their twenties - who advertised their services on Craigslist.
  • When he made six taunting calls to the sister of victim Melissa Barthelemy they lasted under three minutes each thwarting officers racing to find his exact location.
  • The calls were made in New York City, including Times Square and Madison Garden, allowing him to blend in with the crowds unseen, ensuring if his cell was pinpointed surveillance cameras would not be able to pick him out.

Some investigators now believe the killer's behaviour points to a man who has a deep knowledge of how police investigate serious crimes.

One told the New York Times: 'He is a guy aware of how we utilise technology. Frankly, people are thinking maybe he could be a cop - either one still in law enforcement or one who has moved on.

'Without question this guy is smart, this guy is not a dope. it's a guy who thinks about things.'

Ms Barthelemy's body was found in deep undergrowth along Ocean parkway near Gligo Beach last December along with three others. All were covered in burlap. She had been missing for nearly two years. Read More

British Justice Strikes Again!, Scandal of mentally ill man who killed his father, was then released...and killed his mother - 10th Apr 2011

Last month at Liverpool Crown Court, Leslie Gadsby, 39, was sentenced to life for manslaughter. On the evening of March 31 last year police and firefighters had been called to the Liverpool home of his mother, 70-year-old Edna Gadsby, after neighbours reported seeing smoke.

They found her sofa and bed had been set on fire. In her son’s flat a few miles away they discovered Edna’s body in the bathroom, in a large pool of blood. Gadsby, a paranoid schizophrenic, had knifed her in the neck from behind with such force that it severed an artery and her jugular vein. It would have killed her immediately.

It was an appalling crime, made even more shocking by the fact that Gadsby was at liberty at all. In February 2004, he had killed his father with a claw hammer, and battered his mother with a spanner, fracturing her skull and wounding her arms and wrists.

This case once more highlights serious fundamental problems with mental health services in this country. It suggests that lessons have not been learned from previous, similarly tragic cases. If they had, Edna Gadsby might be alive today. Read More

Stranded and alone: The 75-year-old man found ALIVE at his devastated farmhouse four weeks after Japan earthquake and tsunami - 10th Apr 2011

He must have wondered whether he would ever be found. However, farmer Kunio Shiga was discovered alive and well - and sitting among the debris of his home - more than four weeks after an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan.

The 75-year-old was found with only a battery-powered radio for company, holed up in his small farmhouse which was surrounded by fallen trees, dead pigs and debris from the deadly tsunami on March 11.

It would seem the frail man was found in the nick of time - he had almost run out of food and had long ago lost electricity and running water. Read More

Orphanages in tourist resorts and disaster zones are abusing, buying and even renting children from their parents to fleece gullible Westerners

As a child welfare expert who has worked amid bullets and bombs in some of the world’s toughest war zones, Jennifer Morgan is not someone easily shaken. But even she admits she was shocked by some of the orphanages she visited recently in Haiti.

‘Outside it is a sunny day. Then you step inside the walls of an orphanage and realise that the children there have been exposed to rapes, severe beatings, emotional and mental trauma,’ she said. It was even more disturbing, she added, than the damaged children she came across amid the deadly mayhem of Darfur.

But perhaps the most troubling thing is that these tragic scenes in Haiti are not unusual. In dozens of places around the world, unregulated orphanages have become a boom business trading off Western guilt. Our desire to help is backfiring in the most dreadful fashion.

Morgan, whose job is to reunite children with their families, was even screamed at one day by the director of an orphanage in Port-au-Prince. ‘Stop reuniting children with their families,’ he shouted. ‘You’re destroying my business.’ Read More

BBC in Grand National ‘cover-up’: Two horses lie dead... but fury as TV commentator just calls them ‘obstacles’ - 10th Apr 2011

Two horses died during yesterday’s Grand National in one of the most ‘distressing’ races in recent history.

Millions of TV viewers saw Ornais fall at the fourth fence, breaking his neck, while Dooneys Gate broke his back minutes later at Becher’s Brook.
It meant that for the first time in the race’s history the two fences were bypassed during the second circuit of the Aintree track – as the horses were hastily screened off with tarpaulins.

But the BBC was accused of a ‘cover-up’ after commentator Mick Fitzgerald described the dead horses as ‘obstacles’.

The former Grand National winner made the remark while discussing how chequered flags were waved as jockeys approached the 20th and 22nd fences, which they were required to bypass because the dead bodies had not been removed.

Mr Fitzgerald said: ‘The thing is, you know there is an obstacle ahead, that’s what these chequered flags tell you.’

One viewer wrote on the corporation’s own website: ‘I’m amazed that the BBC coverage pans over the tarpaulins on the re-run and the commentators just talk about “obstacles”.’

Another said: ‘And the BBC – shame on you. No mention of what’s happened, even when there’s 2 dead covered horses on screen.’ Read More

Gaddafi Tanks Blasted As Misratah Attacked - 10th Apr 2011

Nato forces have destroyed 17 Libyan tanks as the rebel city of Misratah came under sustained attack from forces loyal to dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Sources said Nato aircraft hit 15 tanks near the western city of Misratah, where Colonel Gaddafi's forces are attacking rebels, and two south of Brega in the east of the country.

Nato's commander of Libyan operations said the alliance, which took command of air strikes against Col Gaddafi on March 31, had destroyed "a significant percentage" of his armoured forces in the past 24 hours as well as ammunition stockpiles east of the capital, Tripoli.

Canadian Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard also accused Gaddafi's forces of using civilians as human shields to deter Nato forces from attacking them, adding to similar charges made by other Western commanders.

"We have observed horrific examples of regime forces deliberately placing their weapons systems close to civilians, their homes and even their places of worship," Lt Gen Bouchard said in a statement.

"Troops have also been observed hiding behind women and children. This type of behaviour violates the principles of international law and will not be tolerated." Read More

3 Shopping Center's Closed through the Night in Alphen aan den Rijn Due to Bomb Scare - 10th Apr 2010

After the shocking shooting took Place at De Ridderhof shopping Center in Alphen aan den Rijn, which left 7 dead and many more wounded a letter was located in the shooters car, A local known to the police as Tristan van der Vlis aged 24.

In a letter found in the shooters car, it stated that bombs had been placed at shopping center’s Atlas, Herehof and shopping center Aarhof and resulted in all 3 locations being evacuated for the night, after a extensive search of the locations residence where allowed to return late last night.

Although the shooters is known locally to the police they are adamant that they will find the motive for this senseless horrific killing spree which left 7 dead and a further 15 wounded including children.

In addition yesterday Saturday 9th of April a 17 year old lad from Hoogvliet was arrested and is being kept for making threats via Twitter in which he revealed that the event which happened in Alphen aan den Rijn is nothing compared to what would happen in his hometown.

(Image: Tristan van der Vlis aged 24)