Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why Europe is on the brink of collapse

The deepening crisis in Greece and the collapse of the Schengen borders agreement are serious threats to the European utopia of political and economic union.

The visionaries who dreamed of a peaceful and united Europe after the end of the Second World War — Robert Schuman, Jean Monnet, Paul-Henri Spaak and their ilk — must be looking down in puzzlement and dismay.

Schuman, the Luxembourg-born Frenchman who was the so-called Father of Europe, spoke in 1949 of “a great experiment’’. Six decades on, the complex political and monetary contraption of the European Union is still a work in progress.

The utopian ideal of a European whole that is greater than its parts remains essential to the rhetoric. This bolting-together of half a billion people in 27 nation states, many of which had waged war against each other, half of which are either former components of the communist bloc or former Right-wing dictatorships, and 17 of which now share a currency, is in many ways a triumph of co-operation and political tenacity.

Yet the reality is that the great experiment has developed stresses and pressure-points that must make even the most ardent Europhile wonder how long it can hold together. The financial collapse of Greece and the disintegration of the Schengen Agreement on passport-free borders vividly illuminate that risk.

And it is not a risk which Britons can watch smugly from over the water, telling ourselves how wise we have been to maintain a truculent attitude to everything emanating from Brussels, to have kept our island frontiers intact, and to have shunned the single currency. We would certainly prefer a financially stable Europe as our closest neighbour — a strong competitor perhaps, but also a prosperous customer for our exports. We recognise the value of a coherent European voice in world affairs. We do not want the continent to regress into internal strife and protectionism. (read more)

Clashes along Israeli borders leave 12 dead, 200 wounded in protest against birth of Israeli state



Clashes between pro-Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces erupted along Israel's borders Sunday, leaving at least 12 dead on a Palestinian mourning day marking the birth of the Jewish state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried what he called "violent demonstrations" aimed at undermining Israel's existence.

"We hope for the peace and restfulness to return quickly, but no one should be mistaken -- we are determined to defend our borders and our sovereignty," Netanyahu said.

The conflicts broke out on "Nakba Day." Nakba -- Arabic for "catastrophe" -- marks the period when more than 700,000 Arabs were displaced from their homes during the fighting following the creation of Israel in 1948.

Two protesters were killed and 170 were wounded when fighting broke out in the Golan Heights area, the Syrian Arab News Agency said. And at least 10 were killed and 112 others were injured in clashes along the border with Lebanon, Lebanon's state news agency reported.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said troops fired on demonstrators who were illegally crossing the borders from Lebanon and Syria and damaging "security infrastructure." But Syrian and Lebanese officials criticized what they said were Israeli attacks, state media reported.

Israel's military accused Syria of inciting a crisis to divert attention from its own clampdown on anti-government demonstrations.Ten Israeli soldiers and three officers were injured in the clashes, the Israel Defense Forces reported.

The Israeli military also was attempting to push back demonstrators near the Gaza border, where medical sources said at least 70 people had been injured. Large clashes broke out between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians near a checkpoint that separates the West Bank from Jerusalem as well. (read more)

Secret UAE desert force set up by Blackwater’s founder: New York Times

Late one night last November, a plane carrying dozens of Colombian men touched down in this glittering seaside capital. Whisked through customs by an Emirati intelligence officer, the group boarded an unmarked bus and drove roughly 20 miles to a windswept military complex in the desert sand.

The Colombians had entered the United Arab Emirates posing as construction workers. In fact, they were soldiers for a secret American-led mercenary army being built by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, with $529 million from the oil-soaked sheikdom.

Mr. Prince, who resettled here last year after his security business faced mounting legal problems in the United States, was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents obtained by The New York Times.

The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the documents show. Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest or were challenged by pro-democracy demonstrations in its crowded labor camps or democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year.

The U.A.E.’s rulers, viewing their own military as inadequate, also hope that the troops could blunt the regional aggression of Iran, the country’s biggest foe, the former employees said. The training camp, located on a sprawling Emirati base called Zayed Military City, is hidden behind concrete walls laced with barbed wire. Photographs show rows of identical yellow temporary buildings, used for barracks and mess halls, and a motor pool, which houses Humvees and fuel trucks. The Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, are trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion, according to the former employees and American officials. (read more)

Dealing with Our Coming Economic Disaster

The situation in the United States has deteriorated and will continue to do so unless drastic action on our federal, state and local government deficits is taken. We need to trace what happens during an economic collapse. In preparation for a collapse here is what you can do personally to avoid being swept away by the tidal wave of fear, anxiety and trepidation.

During the early stages of a nation collapsing economically, the debt of the nation swells almost uncontrollably. We, in the United States are already there.

From the burgeoning debt loads come the setting for collapse.

While the disaster can unfold in many ways, the course for the United States is already set in motion.

Inflation will increase. When inflation hits, citizens with limited financial resources become economic casualties first. These citizens are part of the beginnings of the downward spiral which ultimately leads to a depression.

In a misguided attempt to kick start the economy, our government will attempt another stimulus program which will fail. The parameters under which Fiscal Policy might work if you are so inclined to believe that it does have long been broken. Consequences of government actions are becoming unpredictable and are having unintended consequences. (read more)

Japanese engineers have abandoned cooling plan at Fukushima Nuclear Plant -- Cooling chamber leaking

Japanese engineers have abandoned their latest attempt to stabilise a stricken reactor at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

The plant's operator, Tepco, had intended to cool reactor 1 by filling the containment chamber with water.

But Tepco said melting fuel rods had created a hole in the chamber, allowing 3,000 tonnes of contaminated water to leak into the basement of the reactor building.

The power plant was badly damaged by the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March.

Cooling systems to the reactors were knocked out, fuel rods overheated, and attempts to release pressure in the chambers led to explosions in the buildings housing the reactors.

The government and Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Company) said it would take until next January to achieve a cold shut-down at the plant.

Government spokesman Goshi Hosono said the latest setback would not affect the deadline.

"We want to preserve the timetable, but at the same time we're going to have to change our approach," he said. (read more)

Max Keiser interviews Eric Sprott on commodities prices (Gold, Silver)

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Weekly announcements

The site is up and running fine with only a small number of posts lost due to the Great Blogger Incident of '11. Please note that we now have a twitter feed (see it bottom left of this site), which will feature emergency news, emergency site instructions should this site go down for any reason, or huge breaking news that needs distributing. Thanks for all your kind words and patience, guys and gals!

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Breaking News: 6.5 Magnitude Earthquake BOUGAINVILLE REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 15th May 2011

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake has struck Bougainville Region, Papua New Guinea at a depth of 43.2 km (26.8 miles), the quake hit at 18:37:10 UTC Sunday 15th May 2011.
The epicenter was 122 km (76 miles) from Arawa, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
No tsunami watch, warning or advisory is in effect. No reports of Damage as yet.

Nathan Cassidy, 20 a Serial burglar walks free after judge accepts his OCD would make it 'traumatic' in jail - 15th May 2011

A habitual burglar has been spared jail after convincing a judge that his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder would make life behind bars 'too traumatic'.

Nathan Cassidy, 20, smashed his way into an elderly couple's home while they were sleeping and stole a handbag containing £105.

The serial crook, who has 14 previous convictions for 29 crimes, committed the burglary while on a suspended sentence for robbery and handling stolen goods.

However, Cassidy avoided jail by convincing Cambridge Crown Court he would not be able to cope with life behind bars because he is obsessed with cleanliness.

Instead, Judge Gareth Hawkesworth handed Cassidy, of Cambridge, a 12-month sentence in a young offenders' institution suspended for two years.

He was also placed under a two-year supervision order and ordered to undergo mental health treatment.

Judge Hawkesworth said: 'It's clear to me from the psychological report you have a raft of psychological problems that need addressing.'

Mark McDonald, defending Cassidy, told the court his client was not a normal prisoner because of his problems with OCD.

'Because of psychological problems, including obsessive compulsive disorder in relation to cleanliness, custody would have a very traumatic effect on him - more so than it would on the average prisoner,' Mr McDonald explained. Read More

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest , removes the toughest rival to French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the 2012 presidential race -15th May 2011

The former finance minister will plead not guilty to charges of carrying out a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. French officials say he must be presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest on sexual assault charges removes the toughest rival to French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the 2012 presidential race, bumping up his chances of re-election to a second term.

News of the charges against the IMF chief for assaulting a New York hotel maid shocked the world on Sunday, and unless the case unravels fast and shows him to be innocent, few can imagine a disgraced Strauss-Kahn running as the left-wing challenger.

But even if he is ultimately cleared, the case -- and the sordid publicity it will bring -- could easily run on well beyond the Socialist Party's autumn selection contest.

The charges of serious crimes mean Strauss-Kahn's reputation will not be spared by the French culture of ignoring the sexual behavior of politicians, as it was in 2008 when he emerged unscathed from a scandal over an affair with an IMF economist.

"It's too early to know what happened, but if things are confirmed then this is way beyond what we tolerate in France," said Paul Bacot, a political affairs professor at Sciences Po university in Lyon. "It's unbearable, for everybody."

French politicians were shocked. Socialist leader Martine Aubry called the news a "thunderbolt." Francois Bayrou, a centrist opponent of Strauss-Kahn, said: "If the facts prove true ... it's something degrading for all women. It's terrible for the image of France." Read More

Update: Dominique Strauss-Kahn Charged with a Criminal Sexual Act, Attempted Rape and Unlawful Imprisonment.

How Rogue Alien Planets Could Host Extraterrestrial Life - 14th May 2011

Interstellar planets — those without stars to orbit — could serve as havens for life, according to a new study.

They are often thought to be nearly invisible, since they are much dimmer than stars and do not have any suns nearby to illuminate them. Now, however, research suggests these worlds might be detected by their auroras.

Interstellar planets might either be rogue planets that were originally born around a star and were later cast out by gravitational tugs of war, or sub-brown dwarfs that formed alone in interstellar space. Scientists have suggested that interstellar planets could support life under or even on their surfaces.

"It has been speculated that Earth-like rogue planets could have very thick atmosphere that keeps them relatively warm, or moons of giant rogue planets could experience tidal heating and have oceans beneath their icy surface," said planetary scientist Heikki Vanhamaki at the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki.

Planet hunters have used a variety of methods to detect the indirect effects extrasolar planets have on their host stars, because the planets themselves are too small and dim to be seen by our telescopes. For example, the slight gravitational wobble an orbiting planet induces in its parent star -- called the radial velocity method -- is one way to detect a far-off world. Another way to find a planet is when it passes directly in front of its star from our point of view, causing a momentary dimming of starlight.

Scientists recently suggested that alien worlds around distant stars also could be detected by looking for radio waves given off by their auroras. Now Vanhamaki calculates the same technique might work for interstellar planets. Read More

Strangest Alien Planets Gallery >>>>>

Deyan Valentinov Deyanov, 28 Squalid Lair complete with a breeze block Altar - 15th May 2011

The maniac who decapitated a British grandmother and paraded her head through the streets of Tenerife lived in squalor in a filthy derelict squat.

Bulgarian Deyan Valentinov Deyanov, 28, shared the ramshackle one-storey house on Los Cristianos beach with a group of squatters.

The foul property stank of urine and was littered with old mattresses and empty beer cans.

Inside there was a peculiar shrine to Jesus which had been made out of breeze block - and there was a charred copy of the bible.

The 28-year-old who killed grandmother Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60, would walk round the popular tourist town shouting that he had been ‘sent by God to carry out his justice on earth,’ residents said'

His filthy residence was cluttered with boxes and had graffiti daubed on the walls which had their paint flaking off.

Squatters had to step over the sleeping Bulgarian to bed down for the night.

According to locals, his behaviour had become increasingly terrifying in recent days and he had been shouting at tourists.

A woman calling herself Fabiana, who works at the Miami Beach Bar, said: ‘Everybody knew he was crazy. He used to stand on the beach here shouting imaginary conversations with God.

‘He was getting worse and worse, really scaring people over the past few days. He would say to people, “I am God and I’m going to strike you down. I’m going to destroy you”.’ Read More

Police arrest man, 26, on suspicion of murdering 11-month -old girl - 15th may 2011

A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of an 11-month-old baby girl, according to police.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate the baby when they were called to a property in Worthing, West Sussex, just before 10am on Friday.

She was admitted to Worthing Hospital from where she was collected by a specialist team from St Thomas's Hospital in central London.

After being pronounced dead just after 3pm yesterday, a man from WLinkorthing was arrested at St Thomas's on suspicion of murder and transferred to Sussex for questioning.

He remained in custody this morning, a Sussex Police spokesman said. A post-mortem examination will be carried out tomorrow.

Detective Chief Inspector Trevor Bowles, leading the inquiry, said: 'The post-mortem to be carried out by a Home Office pathologist in London on Monday will establish the reason for this little girl's tragic death.

'At this stage, however, we are sufficiently concerned to make this arrest and my team will strive to ensure that we establish the truth surrounding the circumstances of her death.' Source

Daniel Crowther, 17, battered to death after 'arguing with youths who tried to jump queue in pizza takeaway' - 15th May 2011

Four people have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a teenager died following an alleged late-night attack outside a pizza takeaway.

Reports suggest that Daniel Crowther was set upon after he refusing to let a group of youths push into the queue at College Pizzas takeaway in the North Yorkshire market town of Stokesley.

The 17-year-old victim suffered severe head injuries when he was assaulted as he left the restaurant shortly after midnight yesterday.

Reports suggest the victim was punched in the chest and fell to the ground, striking his head on the kerb.

He died at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough three hours later, at 2.50am.

'North Yorkshire Police were called at around 12.05am after reports that a man had been seriously assaulted outside College Pizzas in College Square,' a police statement read.

'The victim, aged 17, from Stokesley, suffered a head injury in the incident and was taken to James Cook University Hospital for treatment.

'Unfortunately, he never recovered from his injuries and was pronounced dead at around 2.50am.'

The death stunned residents of Stokesley, where Daniel was known as a popular student.

Friends said the Stokesley School pupil had been out for a quiet drink with friends and went to buy a pizza around midnight.

'We'd been drinking with him in the Spread Eagle pub,' Sammy Selmi, 19, told The Sunday Sun in Newcastle.

'We were going to go on the karaoke in the Queens. He said: "Give me 15 minutes, I'm going to get a pizza."

'We were waiting for him to come back but he never did.' Read More

Dominique Strauss-Kahn IMF chief dragged off plane at JFK and charged over sex attack on New York hotel maid - 15th May 2011

(Image) Long-time rival: French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been accused of leading a smear campaign against Strauss-Kahn.

The wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn today said she ‘does not believe for a second’ sex attack allegations made against the International Monetary Fund’s chief and French presidential candidate.

Anne Sinclair, 63, a French journalist, made it clear she would be sticking by the 62-year-old, despite him being charge with a range of crimes including attempted rape.

Calling for ‘decency and restraint’ in the scandal's coverage, she said: ‘I don't believe for one second the accusations made against my husband. I have no doubt that his innocence will be established.’

Strauss-Kahn, 62, nicknamed 'The Great Seducer' in France, was about to fly to Paris when police boarded the Air France jet at New York’s Kennedy Airport yesterday.

Prosecutors confirmed Strauss-Kahn has been charged with a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment in the alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid in New York City, police said.

Strauss-Kahn is expected to be brought before a state court judge later today.

'He denies all the charges against him,' his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said. 'That's all I can really say right now.' Read More

Manitoba floodwater spreads across farmland: Canada

Manitobans were waking up to another day of worry Sunday as water from a deliberate breach of an Assiniboine River dike slowly spread across their farmland.

Officials kept the flow of the breach Saturday to a rate of 500 cubic feet per second — enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool every three minutes. But they warned the rate could be increased Sunday to ease pressure on dikes downriver.

The province has struggled with record flooding along the Assiniboine in central and western Manitoba.

Floodwaters have swamped low-lying farmland, cut off roads and forced more than 1,300 people to leave low-lying areas in Brandon, where temporary dikes are the only thing keeping homes in the city's valley dry. Winnipeg, to the east, is not affected. (read more)

Northern Canada is to be opened up to mining, energy and forestry projects

A large area of northern Canada is to be opened up to mining, energy and forestry projects.

The government of Quebec has unveiled a massive plan to develop a largely inhospitable but untouched area in the north of the province.

The "Plan Nord" aims to turn 1.2 million sq km of land into a major area of mining and renewable energy.

The plan also aims to ensure that half of the area will be environmentally protected.

"It is one of the world's last virgin territories," said Quebec's Premier Jean Charest.

"It's also a fragile territory and a territory of great richness and it's also a responsibility."

The area is rich in deposits of nickel, cobalt, platinum, zinc, iron ore and rare earth minerals.

"Northern Quebec has incomparable mining potential," said natural resources minister Sege Simard.

The plan includes 11 new mining projects, the development of renewable energy resources (mainly hydro-electric projects), sustainable forestry and a huge infrastructure programme.

This part of Canada is so remote that new roads, airports, and even a deep sea port will have to built to get the raw materials out to sell them to the outside world. (read more)

In a Changing Antarctica, Some Penguins Thrive as Others Suffer

Cape Royds, home to the southernmost colony of penguins in the world, is a rocky promontory overlaid with dirty ice and the stench of pinkish guano. Beyond the croaking din of chicks pestering parents for regurgitated krill lies the Ross Sea, a southern extension of the Pacific Ocean that harbors more than one-third of the world’s Adélie penguin population and a quarter of all emperor penguins, and which may be the last remaining intact marine ecosystem on Earth.

The penguin colony is one of the longest-studied in the world. Data on its resident Adélie penguins was first acquired during the 1907-9 expedition of Ernest Shackleton, the eminent British explorer, whose wooden hut stands preserved nearby.

“This is penguin nirvana,” David Ainley, an ecologist with the consulting firm H. T. Harvey and Associates who has been studying Ross Sea penguins for 40 years, said on a morning in January. “This is where you want to be if you’re a pack ice penguin.”

Of the species that stand to be most affected by global warming, the most obvious are the ones that rely on ice to live. Adélie penguins are a bellwether of climate change, and at the northern fringe of Antarctica, in the Antarctic Peninsula, their colonies have collapsed as an intrusion of warmer seawater shortens the annual winter sea ice season. (read more)

David Irving on the Holocaust and the manipulation of history

World population to pass 7 billion on October 31: U.N.

The world's population is projected to pass 7 billion on October 31 as it heads toward 10 billion or more by the end of the century, a new U.N. report said on Tuesday.

The report also predicted that the global population would be higher by mid-century than its last edition forecast two years ago, reaching 9.31 billion instead of 9.15 billion. It attributed this to fewer deaths as well as more births than it had anticipated.

The October date for reaching the 7 billion mark is based on calculations from current trends and Hania Zlotnik, head of the U.N. economic department's population division, said it should be taken "with a grain of salt."

Nevertheless, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) announced it would start a seven-day countdown on October 24 that would include a series of events. The world reached 6 billion people in 1998 and was 6.89 on July 1.

The report, "2010 Revision of World Population Prospects," projected there would be 10.1 billion people on the planet by 2100, the first time it has looked that far ahead. But it said that if global fertility was just half a child more per woman than it expected, that figure could be almost 16 billion.

U.N. officials said their figures were based on the assumption that fertility would taper off during the century.

But Zlotnik told a news conference, "Stabilization of the population doesn't seem to us as very probable at this moment." (read more)

1976 Swine Flu Vaccination Victims -- Many paralyzed, injured, even deaths; buried but not forgotten

Breaking News: 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake Central Mid-Atlantic Ridge - 15th May 2011

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Central Mid-Atlantic Ridge at a depth of 9.9 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 13:08:13 UTC Sunday 15th May 2011.
The epicenter was 1277 km (794 miles) ENE from Natal, Brazil

No tsunami watch, warning or advisory is in effect.

Wildfire area spreads in Siberia from 560 hectares to 1,500 hectares in the past twenty-four hours-15th May 2011

The area affected by wildfires raging in Siberia has expanded by 560 hectares to 1,500 hectares in the past twenty-four hours, the Emergencies Ministry reported on Sunday.

"There are 106 hotbeds of wildfires on a total area of 1,492.6 hectares in Siberia," the ministry said.

Firefighters have localized 52 wildfires on an area of 988 hectares in the past twenty-four hours. The cause of forest fires is the activity of local residents, the ministry said.

"Overall, 2,300 people and 534 pieces of equipment have been involved in the fire-fighting effort in the past twenty-four hours," the ministry said.

A large number of wildfires have also been registered in the Trans-Baikal Territory, the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Republics of Tyva and Buryatia, the Tomsk and Irkutsk Regions, the ministry said.

Wildfires devastated a number of regions in central Russia last summer, killing 62 people and leaving thousands homeless. Read More

Israeli Troops 'Open Fire' On Demonstrators on the country's borders with Lebanon and Syria, Killing at least 14 - 15th May 2011

Eight people have been killed after Israeli troops opened fire on protesters on the country's borders with Lebanon, Syria and Gaza, according to reports.

At least 45 people were also said to be injured in clashes on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Initial reports from Israel Radio indicated pro-Palestinian demonstrators from neighbouring Syria approached a frontier fence and were shot as they tried to break through.

However, a military spokesman said soldiers had also opened fire at a large crowd of Lebanese protesters who approached the border with Israel.

The spokesman added that dozens of people had illegally crossed the border from Syria. Source

Update: At Least 14 People are believed to have died now after Israeli Troops opened Fire at 3 seperate Border Locations.

Acton Beale, 20 Dies in Bizarre internet craze 'planking' after he plunges from balcony to his death - 15th May 2011

An Australian man has plunged to his death after taking part in a new internet craze known as 'planking.

Acton Beale, 20, fell from the balcony of a block of flats in Brisbane, Queensland, after he tried to 'plank' on some railing.

This is thought to be the first time someone has actually died from the growing craze in which people lie face down in unusual place before taking pictures and uploading them onto the internet.

It is thought Beale was on his way home after a night out with friends when he decided to try the high-risk move.

Deputy Police Commissioner Ross Barnett confirmed reports that Beale 'may have fallen while attempting a planking episode'.

Officers were told by witnesses that he had been preparing to lie on a balcony rail when he fell to his death. 'He has tragically lost his footing and fallen to the ground below,' said Mr Barnett.

The incident, in Brisbane, Australia follows the arrest of a 20-year-old man who was found planking on the roof of a police car, also in Queensland.

Furious officers arrested the man and issued a warning that the craze could cause serious injury or harm as people taking part became more and more competitive.

Participants have been photographed lying on railway lines, in the middle of the road, on walls, in trees and in hotel foyers. Read More


Four goats slaughtered in 'satanic ritual' in rural Devon village - 15th May 2011

Four goats have been found brutally slaughtered in a rural village - sparking fears of killings linked to a 'satanic ritual'.

The animals were discovered dead within a few days of each other in the village of Tipton St John, Devon.

Each goat was found either with their head twisted backwards or with their throat cut.

Jimmy Small, 66, who owns a small holding in the village and lost two of his goats to the killer, said: 'The whole village is up in arms over what is happening.

'Everyone is talking about it and locals are keeping their eyes open.

'I recognise it could have something to do with the occult.

'One of my goats was left dead foaming at the mouth with a swollen belly.

'The other I found dying and crying with its head twisted backwards.

'This has horrified locals. What sort of people could do this?

'The goats were killed three days apart and it is very worrying. I can't believe anyone could do such a thing.'

Another goat owner, who wished to remain anonymous, said: 'I found two of my goats dead within 48 hours of each other.

When I told my vet he advised me to read a book on occult. He seems to think the way the goats were killed and because they were horned, it may have something to do with satanic ritual.

'When I saw the first goat I thought it was a bizarre accident.

'The next involved the mother goat. We found her the day after Easter Monday with her throat cut from ear to ear.

'It had been dragged to the same spot where the other goat was found.

'All this is spoiling our lives.'

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed they were investigating the killings. Source

The secret body store: How parts of 44 murder victims were kept in labs and mortuaries for 15 years - 15th May 2011

The body parts of 44 murder victims have been secretly stored in labs and mortuaries for up to fifteen years, unknown to grieving relatives.

They should have been returned to families for burial or cremation, or be properly disposed of, but a breakdown in communication meant they were left on the shelves.

West Mercia Police has been visiting the bereaved relatives to explain the mix-up, and arrange the return of the organs. Last night a spokesman admitted it was distressing.

It is not clear which body parts were kept in storage but they are believed to range from tissue samples to entire organs.

'Only an inner circle of people seems to know about this scandal,' a source told Midlands newspapers The Birmingham Mail and the Birmingham Post.

'It appears that there has been a breakdown in communication between the coroner's office and Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust.

'Instead of the organs being disposed of properly, or being returned to families for cremation or burial, the body parts have been kept in a secret lab.

'You can only imagine how the families will be feeling when they are told the news.

'It's shocking and deeply disturbing. That these organs should be kept for years is simply a disgrace.' Read More

Fukushima: Japan readies new tactics for Fukushima after setback - 15th May 2011

Japanese officials are readying a new approach to stabilizing a reactor at a nuclear plant crippled by an earthquake and tsunami after discovering a leak from the containment vessel of enough radioactive water to fill an Olympic swimming pool.

The discovery has forced officials to abandon their original plan to bring under control the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. That plan would have entailed cycling a more limited volume of water across uranium fuel believed to have gone into meltdown.

Despite the setback, Japanese nuclear safety officials and the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), plan to stick to a target of stabilizing the plant and bringing its reactors to a state of "cold shutdown" by January.

"We want to preserve the timetable, but at the same time we're going to have to change our approach," Goshi Hosono, an adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, told a television talk show on Sunday.

Outside experts have questioned whether the initial timetable for Fukushima was too optimistic. The 9.0 earthquake and the tsunami that followed unleashed the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986. Read More

As marchers rally in Yemeni streets, soldiers slain in countryside - 14th May 2011

Violence rocked embattled Yemen on Saturday as suspected militants killed government soldiers for the second day in a row and security forces wounded around three dozen anti-government protesters.

The unrest comes as the regime is coping with two conflicts -- militant activity across the country and an anti-government movement demanding the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Six soldiers were killed and five others were injured in the Baitha provincial town of Rada'a, the Interior Ministry said.

It is blaming al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula for an attack on security forces.

"The terrorist group attacked them in large numbers. They were at least 20 terrorists and well armed," Amer Shaibari, a security official in Rada'a said.

On Friday, at least five soldiers were killed in Marib province by the al Qaeda group, a force that Yemen and the United States have been fighting for years.

Yemen's government is unpopular among many citizens, and it has been facing a lot of street opposition in recent months.

* * More than half a million protesters marched the streets of Taiz on Saturday demanding the ouster of the Saleh regime., ,

At least 35 protesters were injured when the republican guard and the central security opened fire at a protest in downtown Taiz province, medical staff said. Eyewitnesses said they saw at least 20 snipers taking shots at marchers from rooftops.

At least 10 of the injured were shot by security forces and more than 25 beaten by batons and rocks, said Yasser Nusairi of the medical staff in Taiz., , One of those injured was shot in the head and is in critical condition. Read More

More than 200 dogs massacred at Botosani Romania animal shelter - 13th May 2011

On Tuesday, over 200 dogs were killed at a public shelter at the Botosani, Romania animal shelter by the order of the mayor.

Supposedly, an overnight decision was made based on fear of an epidemic at the shelter because some of the dogs in the shelter were sick. Volunteers discovered the dogs the next this morning– in plastic bags with traces of blood everywhere.

The dogs were not euthanatized by injection but slaughtered. The volunteers were in shock and tried to save the few remaining puppies that were alive, but were allegedly assaulted and offended by the guards.

Public shelters in Romania do not have a quarantine zone and only the NGOs feed the dogs and offer medical services. The dogs are typically kept in improper conditions because the final goal is for them to die. Euthanasia is illegal in Romania unless the dogs are sick. Source

Rough Translation: Only 10 dogs, of the 230, escaped with his life after the slaughter of Botosani Hall paddock! ADOR representatives say they have tried to adopt some of quadrupeds, but were prevented.

Shelter employees say they were ordered to kill dogs because they were suffering from rabies.

"It's hard to describe in words what I see here. Hundreds of dogs dead, killed in an hour! We tried to get some puppies in a legal manner but we have postponed all were empty promises and ultimately to proved that they wanted to kill them all. Read More

Dozens of sheep were found dead in Unidentified Animal Attack - 15th May 2011

Dozens of sheep were found dead, while several were injured as unidentified animals attacked them overnight in Khorfakkan, breeders have confirmed.

According to Arabic daily Al Bayan, the sheep owners were shocked when they found their animals killed and injured apparently by a strange animal.

Curiously, the animals have left no trace of them and the wounds found on their body hardly resemble the signs of the known predators like wolf, fox or dogs.

According to the breeders’ description, the killed animals only a red circle of blood on the neck and on some parts of body for injured animals, which indicated that the predators are bloodsuckers.

Reports indicated that around 20 animals were killed in some areas while more killed in others, indicating that the attack was not confined to one particular location.

The breeders insist that they have never seen such an attack before, however, they confirm that they heard of these from their parents, which is called Al Sawta by local people.

Abdullah Suleiman Al-Kabory, Head of Public Relations at Khorfakkan Municipality said that the experts in the Department of Public Health and Environment are investigating the incident after receiving several complaints.

The municipality is carrying out a survey of the livestock market and inspecting the site of the attacks. The experts are carrying out tests on the infested and dead sheep to determine the attackers.

Preliminary results have hinted at a dog attack, however, more details would be revealed once the investigation is complete. Source

Flooding could spur largest ever dead zone - 14th May 2011

The massive amount of nutrient-heavy river water pouring out of spillways and through the mouths of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers will likely trigger a record-setting Gulf of Mexico dead zone, an area of low-to-no oxygen water that forms annually off Louisiana’s coast.

A huge dead zone will be another setback for fishermen trawling the Gulf in hopes of making up for last year’s spring fishing season, which was shut down in much of the state by the BP oil spill, said Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium researcher Nancy Rabalais, Marine organisms, especially bottom-feeders like crabs and shrimp, must flee the oxygen starved waters or die, creating large areas of “dead” fishing that lend the annual phenomenon its name.

Dean Blanchard, owner of Dean Blanchard Seafood Co. on Grand Isle, said the dead zone can be a critical factor for shrimpers on Grand Isle, where the oxygen-depleted waters can sometimes brush up against the island community.

“You can be going froLinkm wide open one day to nothing the next,” Blanchard said. “It completely shuts us down. It forces us to go out of our way to search for clean waters.”

While scientists have been reluctant to throw out numbers because they’re “so huge,” Rabalais said this year’s dead zone could be five to 10 percent bigger than the largest ever recorded. That was in 2002, measuring 8,484 square miles.

Last year’s dead zone measured almost 7,722 square miles, about the size of Massachusetts, and extended far into Texas waters.

“(The flooding is) going to have a huge effect,” Rabalais said. “We’re expecting the largest dead zone ever.” Source

Fish kill baffles Southwest Lubbock residents, experts - 14th May 2011

A fish kill Saturday in a Southwest Lubbock park baffled nearby residents as state parks and wildlife officials speculated what may have caused the deaths of hundreds of fish.

Hundreds of dead, mostly bait-size silver fish lined the shore of the retention pond in Hoel Park Saturday at 91st Street and Chicago Avenue.

Adrienne Laramore, who lives on nearby 93rd Street, said she was taking her daily walk around the lake when she noticed the fish for the first time Saturday.

Laramore said it was the first time she’d seen anything like it in her 31 years of living in the neighborhood. She said she suspected low water levels in the lake caused by the ongoing drought could have played role.

“The lake is so low that maybe there’s not enough oxygen in there for them,” she said. “Maybe the rain could have swept something in there that contaminated it.”

Other residents walking around the lake Saturday afternoon said they weren’t sure what killed the fish.

Texas Game Wardens in Lubbock said they hadn’t heard about the fish kill at the lake by Saturday afternoon.

Shannon Kruse, a Lubbock County game warden with Texas Parks and Wildlife, said a similar and recent fish kill at Buffalo Springs Lake was likely caused by a quick change in temperature during the winter. Read More

Breaking News: 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN - 14th May 2011

A moderate intensity earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale rocked Kashmir Valley on Saturday, there was no report of any damage, officials said.

"The tremor, which was recorded at 21.07.22 UTC Saturday 14th May 76 km ( 47 Miles) from Faizabad, Afghanistan

Depth of the Earthquake was at 207.4 km (128.9 Miles)

The Earthquake was later downgraded to a 5.9 Magnitude

Russell Petty, 50 saves home from rising floodwaters by building epic levee and MOAT around his property - 14th May 2011

One man has gone to extraordinary lengths to save his family's home from rising floodwaters...by building a giant levee and moat system.

Russell Petty, 50, of DeValls Bluff, Arkansas spent several weeks excavating and piling sand bags, including with the help of 100 friends and neighbors, reports The New York Times.

Mr Petty's home is menaced by high water from the nearby White River, in a state that has been badly battered by flooding and tornadoes this spring.

DeValls Bluff, a town of 783 residents, is east of Little Rock in Prairie County.

According to The Times, Mr Petty began trying to save his three-bedroom house and three-acre property late last month, as heavy rains fuelled fears of impending flooding.

Mr Petty, who is reportedly a car mechanic, does not carry flood insurance, according to the paper, despite his property's exposure to danger.

Mr Petty rented an excavator to dig a moat and pile the soil on the outside rim to form a levee. Read More


Fury at Iran's 'eye-for-an-eye' acid punishment as sentence is branded 'cruel and inhumane' - 14th May 2011

A punishment in which an Iranian man was to be blinded by having acid dropped into his eyes has been postponed after international condemnation.

Majid Movahedi was convicted and sentenced for pouring a bucket of acid over Ameneh Bahrami after she rejected his marriage proposals.

The attack left her blind and severely disfigured.

The court-ordered retribution was due to have been carried out yesterday in Tehran.

But it is understood the authorities in the Iranian capital decided to postpone the punishment, which is allowed under Sharia law if the victim requests it, because of national and international disquiet including concerns raised by the British Government.

Yesterday Ms Bahrami told Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based news service: ‘I was very happy that this was going to end today.

‘And yes, I was going to carry out the punishment myself, but I was afraid that I would get acid on my hands, so a doctor was going to do it. It’s been six years that I’ve been waiting. The verdict is completely legal.’

On November 3, 2004, Movahedi poured a bucket of acid on Ms Bahrami’s head as she was leaving work, after she had rejected his marriage proposal several times.

Two weeks after the attack Movahedi surrendered himself to the police.

He admitted attacking Ms Bahrami and his punishment was ordered by a court in 2008.

Among those unhappy about the prospect of Ms Bahrami exacting such a brutal revenge on her attacker was Amnesty International.

The organisation called for a stay of the sentence, which it described as ‘cruel and inhuman . . . amounting to torture’.

‘The Iranian authorities have a responsibility under international law to ensure it does not go ahead,’ it added.

Ms Bahrami, who was 24 when she met Movahedi in 2002, now lives in Spain where she has been undergoing medical treatment. She is blind in both eyes and still has serious injuries to her face and body. Source

25,000 flee as Mississippi floodgate opens to save New Orleans - 15th May 2011

Thousands of people were evacuating their homes in Louisiana last night as a massive operation got under way to save the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge from a flooding catastrophe.

Engineers were preparing to divert water from the swollen Mississippi river by unleashing millions of gallons across thousands of acres of farmland and homes in the state’s Cajun country, easing pressure on the flood defences of its two largest cities.

The US Army Corps of Engineers planned last night to open the massive Morganza Spillway 45 miles north of Baton Rouge, forcing up to 25,000 people to leave the area.

Volunteers and state officials have been making house-to-house calls to alert residents to the evacuation plan.

Fed by rainwater and the spring thaw over recent months, the Mississippi has risen to levels not seen in decades, and has caused the worst floods in Louisiana since 1927.

New Orleans has still not fully recovered from the flooding it suffered in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which killed nearly 2,000 people and caused billions of pounds of damage.

Earlier this week, the Mississippi covered parts of Memphis, Tennessee. And further upstream, officials opened levees in Missouri to keep the pressure off the town of Cairo, Illinois.

By opening the Morganza Spillway for the first time in nearly 40 years, water will be diverted across an estimated 18,000 acres of crops, as well as a wildlife refuge and a small oil refinery.

Although much of the water would end up in swampland, bayous and backwater lakes, several thousand homes are at risk of being engulfed. Read More

Madeleine McCann Mystery - Police authority: Maddie inquiry is a ‘ludicrous’ waste of money - 15th May 2011

The new police inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was yesterday described as a ‘ludicrous’ waste of money by a senior member of the body which governs Scotland Yard.

Jenny Jones said the millions spent on the review by British detectives – ordered last week by David Cameron – would deny ‘other victims of crime the chance of justice’.

Ms Jones, a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, has vowed to do everything in her power to stop the inquiry.

Her comments echo disquiet expressed by her fellow MPA member, Labour peer Toby Harris, who accused the Prime Minister of undermining the operational independence of the police.

Ms Jones said Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, had been given preferential treatment.

‘The police should not take this case up in this way,' she said.

'It is ludicrous. This could take years and will cost millions. It is very unusual for police to step in like this and it is not an appropriate use of police resources.’

Ms Jones, who is also a member of the London Assembly, added that the MPA would now be ‘asking tough questions about this’.

‘The Government is closing down the Forensic Science Service because there are not enough funds. This is a crucial part of police work. Although it is tragic and I feel for the McCanns, how can the Prime Minister justify spending millions of pounds on one case?’ Read More

Note: Back in December 2010 a Leaked Wikileaks Document revealed that British police helped "develop" evidence against Madeleine McCann's parents after their daughter's disappearance.

Britain's ambassador to Portugal, Alexander Wykeham Ellis, reportedly made the claim to his American counterpart on September 21, 2007 – two weeks after Portuguese police named Gerry and Kate McCann as suspects.

This lead to the McCann's Lawyer Opposing the Reopening of the Process on 14th December 2010

Portugese Article>>>>

Audio >>>>>>>

Translation of transcript:
McCann's attorney opposes reopening the case
Rogerio Alves, the McCanns lawyer, told TSF that no new data was revealed by Wikileaks in documents that justify the reopening of the case.

The lawyer for the McCanns in Portugal, Rogerio Alves said in statements to the TSF that he opposes the reopening of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine in Lagos in the Algarve, in 2007.

At issue is a telegram from the U.S. embassy revealed by Wikileaks which states that it was the British police who presented the evidence to determine that the McCanns were made ​​Suspects.
The telegram, quoted by the Guardian newspaper, describes a conversation between the ambassadors of Britain and the U.S. in Portugal, shortly after Kate and Gerry McCann have been made ​​suspects.
However, Rogério Alves found that these suspicions of British authorities do not bring anything new to the process.
"This information is completely useless. Bring only a reference to a proof that the prosecutor and the Judicial Police (PJ) considered completely useless, which consisted in some dogs that have barked, but may not testify in court of course, constitute any evidence against a child's parents, "he said.

Mohamed Mamdouh: I had nothing to do with this: Tearful terror suspect pleads his innocence as NYPD release video of arrest - 14th May 2011

One of the terror suspects arrested for allegedly planning to attack New York synagogues dressed as a Hasidic Jew has pleaded his innocence in a tearful interview.

20-year-old Mohamed Mamdouh, who was caught on Tuesday in a dramatic police sting operation, said he ‘had nothing to do with’ the synagogue slaughter plot.

Speaking from prison on Rikers Island, the taxi dispatcher blamed his 27-year-old friend Ahmed Ferhani for talk of the planned killing spree.

‘I was at the wrong place at the wrong time,’ he told a U.S. newspaper. ‘I don't have problems with anyone - not Jews, not anyone.’

Mamdouh was arrested on Wednesday, along with suspected plot ringleader Ahmed Ferhani. They men are charged with terrorism and hate crimes.

Ferhani ‘was the one who was talking about all the weapons and everything else’, Mamdouh told the Daily News.

I never spoke about guns and blowing things up, either.

‘That was him. It was all his idea. I had nothing to do with any of it.’

Mamdouh said he and Ferhani were acquaintances, not real friends, who occasionally hung out and drank.

Ferhani ‘has anger issues’, said Mamdouh, who met his co-defendant in 2009. ‘He gets mad and says things.’

Mamdouh, a Moroccan immigrant, said the arrest happened after the pair watched the documentary ‘The Ultra Zionists’ with a third man who turned out to be an undercover police officer.

‘I was drunk,’ Mamdouh said. ‘We had a conversation after the movie was over. It was just a conversation. It was not serious.’

Despite blaming his friend, Mamdouh defended Ferhani. He said: ‘At the bottom of my heart, I swear I don't think he would kill anyone either. I don't think he has the balls.’ Read More


Can he do it? Obama ramps up U.S. oil production in battle to stem rising prices (and public anger) - 14th May 2011

President Barack Obama is directing his administration to ramp up U.S. oil production in the face of continued public unhappiness over gas prices.

The President has ordered his administration to extend existing leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska's coast and hold more frequent lease sales in a federal petroleum reserve in Alaska.

Mr Obama said today that the measures 'make good sense' and will help reduce U.S. consumption of imported oil in the long term.

But he acknowledged anew that they won't help to immediately bring down gasoline prices topping $4 a gallon in many parts of the country.

His announcement followed passage in the Republican-controlled House of three bills - including two this week - that would expand and speed up offshore oil and gas drilling.

Republicans say the bills are aimed at easing gasoline costs, but they also acknowledge that won't be immediate.

The White House had announced its opposition to all three bills, which are unlikely to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, saying the measures would undercut safety reviews and open environmentally sensitive areas to new drilling.

But Mr Obama is adopting some of the bills' provisions.

Answering the call of Republicans and Democrats from Gulf Coast states, Mr Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address that he would extend all Gulf leases that were affected by a temporary moratorium on drilling imposed after last year's BP oil spill. That would give companies additional time to begin drilling.

The administration had been granting extensions case by case, but senior administration officials said the Interior Department would institute a blanket one-year extension.

New safety requirements put in place since the BP spill also have delayed drilling in Alaska, so Mr Obama said he would extend lease terms there for a year as well. An oil lease typically runs 10 years.

Lease sales in the western and central Gulf of Mexico that were postponed last year will be held by the middle of next year, the same time period required by the House. Read More

Alaina Giordano a Mother with breast cancer told to give up custody of her children - 14th May 2011

A mother of two children has been told by a judge that she must give custody to her ex-husband partly because she has breast cancer.

Life was already tough for Alaina Giordano as the mother of two young children struggled with stage IV breast cancer and an acrimonious divorce from her husband.

But nothing prepared her for the devastating recent ruling by a judge who gave custody of her son and daughter to their father 850 miles away partly because of her terminal medical condition.

Miss Giordano, 37, from Durham, North Carolina, was told to hand over Sofia, 11, and Bud, five, to her ex-husband Kane Snyder, who moved to Chicago for work last August.

"This is outrageous," she said last week. "I think it's a dangerous ruling for me and my children and now it will impact us, but also for people all over the world who have cancer. This is a bad precedent to set."

Mr Snyder, a business executive, argued that he should have custody as his former wife was too ill, doctors could not say how long she would live and he was earning a salary while she was unemployed.

Miss Giordano provided medical evidence that although the cancer has spread to her bones, the condition was "stable, not progressing", and contended that removing the children would harm them and her. Both parties traded allegations of infidelity and misbehaviour.

But in a ruling that has ignited a furious controversy, Judge Nancy Gordon ruled in Mr Snyder's favour - although she said that Miss Giordano could share custody if she moved to Chicago.

Miss Giordano insists that she cannot move to Chicago as her cancer is being held in check thanks to her team of medical experts at Duke University, near her home.

In reaching her decision, the judge cited doubts about how long Miss Giordano had to live and evidence from psychologists that children do better when they spend more time with a healthy parent. "Children want a normal childhood and it is not normal with an ill parent," testified one expert. Read More