Thursday, May 19, 2011

Breaking News: 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake Near East Coast of Honshu - 20th May 2011

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 26.2 km (16.3 miles), the quake hit at 00:46:16 UTC Friday 20th May 2011.
The epicenter was 111 km (68 miles) East of Tokyo, Japan
No tsunami watch, warning or advisory is in effect. No reports of Damage as yet.

Breaking News: 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake Western Turkey - 19th May 2011

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck Western Turkey at a depth of just 9.1 km (5.7 miles), the quake hit at 20:15:24 UTC Thursday 19th May 2011.
The epicenter was 80 km (50 miles) from WSW Kutahya, Turkey
No reports of Damage as yet.

Update: The Earthquake was Downgraded to a 5.9 Magnitude at Turkey's Kandailli Earthquake Observatory

BREAKING NEWS: George Soros sells entire holding in gold as panic sets in over imminent gold bubble burst

George Soros, the hedge fund investor who called gold "the ultimate bubble", has sold almost his entire holding of the precious metal, leading to fears that the price is about to fall.

The investor, famous for his £10bn bet against the Bank of England in 1992, made his "ultimate bubble" remark in January last year but acted to cut his holding only in the first quarter of this year.

Holding on has proved hugely profitable – in January 2010 gold was trading at about $1,100 an ounce, whereas the lowest price during the first three months of 2011 was more than $1,300. The highest was about $1,450.

It is not known exactly when Mr Soros sold his gold, which was held via the Soros Fund Management investment vehicle. Filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the American regulator, showed that he had sold 99pc of his holding in SPDR Gold Trust, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) backed by gold bullion, by the end of March.

The New York-based fund sold its entire holding in iShares Gold Trust, a similar investment. But Mr Soros bought shares in two mining companies, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold and Goldcorp.

This may have been a smart move. "As the precious metals rally ends, you'll get transition toward related equities," James Dailey of Pennsylvania-based Team Financial Asset Management, told Bloomberg. "You don't see any speculative appetite for gold stocks yet." (read more)

NATO aircraft target Tripoli's seaport as pounding of Libya continues



NATO aircraft targeted warships overnight, striking eight of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's vessels in Tripoli's seaport, the organization said Friday morning. A Libyan government official said the targets included commercial vessels as well as military ones.

"All NATO's targets are military in nature and are directly linked to the Gadhafi regime's systematic attacks on the Libyan people," said Rear Adm. Russell Harding, deputy commander of Operation Unified Protector. "Given the escalating use of naval assets, NATO had no choice but to take decisive action to protect the civilian population of Libya and NATO forces at sea."

In a statement, NATO said the attack occurred after two weeks of escalating use of government maritime forces that had disrupted the flow of humanitarian assistance. (read more)

European Central Bank threatens to pull the plug on Greek lending

The European Central Bank has threatened to stop lending to banks using Greek government bonds as collateral if Athens changes the terms of the debt, a move which could bring down the country's banking system.

The eurozone's central bank has played its "last card" in an attempt to prevent the debt restructuring it fears, said analysts. The cost of insuring Greek sovereign debt rose to more than €1.33m to protect every €10m of bonds as the threat laid bare the divisions in Europe over how to resolve the crisis.

The Mediterranean nation is struggling to carry out the reforms agreed under its €110bn EU/IMF bail-out, prompting fears Athens will not be able to repay its debts, currently totalling about €340bn.

EU officials have been floating the idea of a "soft" restructuring of the debt, whereby the holders of the bonds see the terms extended.

However, Juergen Stark, ECB chief economist, said that if the country altered its repayment terms, the eurozone's central bank would not be able to lend to Greek banks putting up government bonds as collateral.

"A sovereign debt restructuring would undermine the eligibility of Greek government bonds," he said. "A continuation of liquidity provisions would be impossible." (read more)

Indiana police may now enter homes without warrant and arrest occupants: The American police state marches onward

An Indiana Supreme Court ruling that people don't have the right to resist police officers who enter their homes illegally has sparked outrage among some residents and lawmakers, with plans under way for a large Statehouse protest, a flurry of threats made against police and judges and calls for the state to reinforce homeowners' rights.

The court's 3-2 ruling last week brought Indiana law in line with most other states', but critics contend that it infringes on their constitutional rights and contradicts centuries of common law precedent regarding homeowners' rights and the limits of police power.

"We're by and large outraged by it. It pretty much wipes out the Fourth Amendment," Greg Fettig, a co-founder of the Hoosier Patriots tea party group, said Wednesday. "Police can come into your house and do whatever they want now."

Police are investigating several threatening emails and phone calls directed at the state Supreme Court because of the ruling, court spokeswoman Kathryn Dolan said. She declined to say how many threats the court received, but said most of them were aimed at police officers, "This opinion sparked more debate than other opinions we've handed down," Dolan said. (read more)

Dorsey Henderson, 84-year-old man, beaten by police officer after calling 911 for help

An Alabama police officer allegedly hospitalized an elderly man who called 911 to report an accident across the street from his house while his wife watched the entire beating from her wheelchair.

The Courthouse News Service reported that 84-year-old Dorsey Henderson of Fairhope, Alabama called 911 after investigating the car accident and discovering that the driver of the vehicle was severely intoxicated.

Henderson told the driver of the car he was under citizens arrest and needed to wait near his car until police arrived.

When Officer Trent Scott arrived on the scene, Henderson attempted to inform him of the driver's belligerent behavior and that the driver had been placed under citizens arrest. The officer allegedly told Henderson there was "no such thing as citizen's arrest in Alabama," and to "get out of the way, old man."

After Henderson tried to explain that he was only trying to help, Officer Scott placed him in an arm bar and slammed him face first into the ground, breaking his nose and eyeglasses. Henderson's wife, Dorris, watched from a wheelchair at the front window of her house, telling a 911 dispatcher that the officer was "beating the hell out of my husband."

At no point did Scott place Henderson under arrest or charge him with any crime, but kept Henderson handcuffed in the backseat of his police cruiser.

Roughly ten minutes later, Scott sent an ambulance that had arrived away, telling the paramedics that the elderly man "doesn't need an ambulance."

A superior office who later arrived on the scene ordered the ambulance to return and Henderson was taken to the hospital, where he doctors said he suffered a broken nose, multiple contusions and a torn rotator cuff.

As of May 16, 2011, Scott was still employed by the Fairhope Police Department. (Source)

Ahmadinejad says West to blame for drought in Iran -- Is weather manipulation fiction, or indeed very real?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday accused Western countries of devising plans to "cause drought" in the Islamic republic, as he inaugurated a dam in a central province.

"Western countries have designed plans to cause drought in certain areas of the world, including Iran," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in the central city of Arak in Markazi province.

"According to reports on climate, whose accuracy has been verified, European countries are using special equipment to force clouds to dump" their water on their continent, he said.

By doing so, "they prevent rain clouds from reaching regional countries, including Iran," Ahmadinejad charged.

Iran has experienced several droughts in recent years.

Ahmadinejad also recalled, according to IRNA, an article by "a Western politician", whom he did not identify, in which "droughts in some regions spanning from Turkey and Iran to east of Asia are predicted for the next 30 years."

"The regions (referred to in) the article... include countries whose culture and civilisation frighten the West," Ahmadinejad said in support of his argument. (read more)

Jerome Corsi and new book "Where is the Birth Certificate" under fire from White House -- because it's true, perhaps? (Reader contributed)


Alex Jones addresses the latest revelations about the phony document presented by the Obama White House as proof of his eligibility for high office.

Author Jerome Corsi has now become the target of White House dirty tricks coinciding with the release of his new book, Where is the Birth Certificate? Corsi has not backed down, but rather renewed his charges, asserting that the long-form birth certificate just released by Obama is a composite forgery made up of several real birth certificates. He has stated his intent to validate these claims in coming media interviews, including a scheduled appearance on the Alex Jones Show this Friday, May 20, 2011.

Pro-Obama factions have panicked, using a deceptive “satire” piece published in Esquire under the title “BREAKING: Jerome Corsi’s Birther Book Pulled from Shelves!” in attempt to sabotage Corsi’s books sales and public support. Simultaneously, Obama’s re-election campaign is trying to score 2012 points by mocking “birthers” with a new campaign shirt that reads “Made in America” with Obama’s image and his purported birth certificate.

But why would the White House even care about best-selling authors like Jerome Corsi (notoriously behind the John Kerry Swift Boat book) or fringe “birthers” if the released document gives all necessary proof to silence the doubters? As the Latin phrase res ipsa loquitur indicates, the thing should speak for itself. In other words, the truth lies in the evidence not the pitch for the case. (Source)

In China, some new cities are ghost towns -- is the Chinese real estate bubble about to burst?

In China's Inner Mongolia, Kangbashi district offers residents "new modern" living, with tree-lined streets, shiny apartment buildings, vast parklands, restaurants and even a motor racing track.

But seven years after construction workers broke ground on the arid plateau, most of the apartments appear empty and the wide streets are almost deserted -- earning Kangbashi the tag of "ghost city".

The new section of Ordos city on the edge of the Gobi desert was designed to accommodate about 300,000 people but residents say fewer than one-tenth of that number live in Kangbashi. Estate agents insist the number is much higher.

New districts like Kangbashi are springing up across China as the world's second-largest economy undergoes an unprecedented urbanisation process with hundreds of millions of people heading to fast-growing metropolitan areas.

Ordos is part of a nationwide building boom that has been fuelled by a massive credit binge, raising fears of a real estate bubble and a potential explosion in bad debts, especially among local government investment vehicles.

In the northern port city of Tianjin, the government is building an "eco city" covering 30 square kilometres (11.6 square miles) of non-arable salt pans and former fishing villages that can accommodate 350,000 people.

Near the southwestern city of Kunming, authorities started developing a new district for nearly one million people in 2003 but the area is reportedly still largely empty.

"These sorts of towns raise the question -- does the government have some amazing vision for filling these cities... or are they just great white elephants that are wasting public funds?" Rupert Hoogewerf, founder and compiler of the Hurun rich list, told AFP. (read more)

439,000 US Jobless claims as 4-week average moves to six-month high

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, but a rise in the four-week moving average to a six-month high indicated the labor market recovery will remain painfully slow.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 409,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday, continuing to unwind the prior weeks spike.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dropping to 420,000. The prior weeks figure was revised up to 438,000 from the previously reported 434,000.

The four-week moving average of unemployment claims, a better measure of underlying trends, rose 1,250 to 439,000 - the highest level since mid-November.

The data covers the survey period for the governments closely watched employment report for May, which will be released early next month.

The recent jump in claims, blamed on auto layoffs because of supply chain disruptions from March's Japanese earthquake and problems with adjusting data for seasonal variations, had raised fears of a pull back in the pace of job creation. (read more)

Marie Lauradin, NYC mom, sets baby daughter on fire in voodoo ritual

Prosecutors say a New York City woman admitted setting fire to her young daughter during a voodoo ritual by pouring flammable liquid on the girl's head and igniting it, scarring her body.

Marie Lauradin (lah-hahr-DAHN') pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree assault by pouring the liquid on her then-6-year-old daughter at their Queens home in 2009.

Prosecutors say Lauradin poured the accelerant on her daughter's head and in a circle on the floor as part of a voodoo practice involving a loa, or spirit.

Prosecutors say the judge indicated he would sentence her to 17 years in prison. She also faces possible deportation back to her native Haiti.

Defense attorney Jeff Cohen says his client admitted that her actions were reckless, but he would not comment on her motives. (read more)

The Doomsday Food Price Scenario Turning Hedge Fund Managers into Survivalists

On the rare occasion that New Yorkers talk about farming, it's usually something along the lines of what sort of organic kale to plant in the vanity garden at the second house in the Adirondacks. But on a recent afternoon, The Observer had a conversation of a different sort about agricultural pursuits with a hedge fund manager he'd met at one of the many dark-paneled private clubs in midtown a few weeks prior. "A friend of mine is actually the largest owner of agricultural land in Uruguay," said the hedge fund manager. "He's a year older than I am. We're somewhere [around] the 15th-largest farmers in America right now."

"We," as in, his hedge fund.

It may seem a little odd that in 2011 anyone's thinking of putting money into assets that would have seemed attractive in 1911, but there's something in the air-namely, fear. The hedge fund manager and others like him envision a doomsday scenario catalyzed by a weak dollar, higher-than-you-think inflation and an uncertain political climate here and abroad.

The pattern began to emerge sometime in 2008. "The Hedge Fund Manager Who Bought a Farm," read the headline on one February 2008 Times of London piece detailing a British hedge fund manager's attempt to play off the rising prices of grains in order to usurp local farmland. A Financial Times piece two months later began: "Hedge funds and investment banks are swapping their Gucci for gumboots." It detailed BlackRock's then-relatively new $420 million Agriculture Fund, which had already swept up 2,800 acres of land. (read more)

May 21: The End of the World As We Know It? Prediction of Saturday "Rapture" is Fuel for Faithful, Doubters

For some, it's Judgment Day. For others, it's party time.

A loosely organized Christian movement has spread the word around the globe that Jesus Christ will return to earth on Saturday to gather the faithful into heaven. While the Christian mainstream isn't buying it, many other skeptics are milking it.

A Facebook page titled "Post rapture looting" offers this invitation: "When everyone is gone and god's not looking, we need to pick up some sweet stereo equipment and maybe some new furniture for the mansion we're going to squat in." By Wednesday afternoon, more than 175,000 people indicated they would be "attending" the "public event."

The prediction is also being mocked in the comic strip "Doonesbury" and has inspired "Rapture parties" to celebrate what hosts expect will be the failure of the world to come to an end.

In the Army town of Fayetteville, N.C., the local chapter of the American Humanist Association has turned the event into a two-day extravaganza, with a Saturday night party followed by a day-after concert. (read more)

Whistleblower says Russian troops fed dog food

Russian Interior Ministry troops were fed dog food earlier this year to save money, a former officer in the ministry said on Thursday.

A rare whistleblower in Russia's expansive security forces, ex-Major Igor Matveyev said officers tried to cover up the scandal and other alleged wrongdoing at the Interior Ministry troops base where he served in the far east city of Vladivostok.

Matveyev, who served in Russia's wars against Chechen separatists in the 1990s, said he was ordered dismissed after posting a video on the Internet this month alleging widespread corruption in the Interior Ministry forces.

No one at the ministry's troop unit was immediately available to comment on his allegations.

"It's embarrassing to say but soldiers here were fed dog food. It was fed to them as stew," Matveyev said in an interview with Reuters, adding that dog food labels were covered up with labels reading 'premium quality beef'.

He said he would contest a dismissal order issued by a superior after he posted the nearly 10-minute video, in which he asked President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to intervene.

"It took me a month to determine through various reports exactly what was happening," he said by phone from Vladivostok, some 6,400 km (4,000 miles) east of Moscow. (read more)

Strange Lights Showing Up at Every Big Event Around the World? What are they?

Are You a Sheeple? Take the Sheeple Quiz and Find Out! (Posted for amusement)

Have you herd about the Sheeple Quiz? Although most NaturalNews readers will easily beat it, it's a fun quiz to find out how smart (or gullible) your friends really are. So let 'em take the Sheeple Quiz! And then you'll know whether they're independent thinkers or just zombie-minded sheeple like the rest of the flock.

Here's the quiz. Choose "A" or "B" as the answer for each question, then check your score below.

The Sheeple Quiz

#1) The purpose of the mainstream media is to:

A) Keep you informed.
B) Feed you misinformation while keeping you distracted from the real issues our world is facing.

#2) Social Security is:

A) A financial safety net that makes sure people have a retirement income.
B) A government-run Ponzi scheme that requires more and more people to keep paying in just to stay afloat and will ultimately collapse into total bankruptcy.

#3) The fluoride dripped into municipal water supplies is:

A) A naturally-occurring mineral.
B) An industrial chemical waste byproduct.


#4) When you donate money to find the cure for cancer, that money goes:

A) To fund research programs that assess actual cancer cures for the purpose of freely sharing them with the public.
B) To fund mammogram campaigns that actually irradiate women's breasts, causing the very cancers that earn huge profits for the cancer treatment industry.

#5) The national debt is:

A) Under control and will be paid off in a few years.
B) Out of control and will spiral into a runaway debt collapse.
(Rest of the quiz is here)

Is the Gold/Copper Ratio Predicting A Drop In the S&P?

People are always talking about the silver/gold ratio—but the copper/gold ratio seems to be much more predictive of market trends.

My friend Michael Hampton has this very interesting chart—check it out.

The top chart is a ratio of copper-to-gold prices. The bottom chart is of the S&P index. If you notice the timeline, you’ll see the chart covers the last three years.

The red circle 1 is when the copper/gold ratio turned down—followed shortly by a turn down in the S&P index which [sarcasm alert] we all have such fond memories of. The subsequent green circle in the ratio—the bottom of the ratio—came shortly before the uptick in the S&P from its bottom of 666.37.

Similarly, red circle 2—the downturn in the copper/gold ratio—signaled the top of the market in the S&P. However, the subsequent green circle anticipated the bottom of the S&P by about six weeks.

Now, at red circle 3, there is a clear break down in the ratio.

Does this signal a break down in the S&P? (read more)

China The Video Game Enemy Now… And Our Real Enemy in the Future?

I stated on Jan 1st in Doom is Always 6 Months Away, that I believe that our psychopathic Elite will blame China for the collapse of the dollar. It did not take long for Donald Trump to float that trial balloon that China is, “our enemy.” I pointed out that the real enemy is not China, Saudi Arabia or any other foreign nation. These countries would have been 3rd world stink holes if not for our Elite building them up, while stripping us down.
  • The Elite created the Petro Dollar.
  • The Elite defend the tyrannical regimes in the Middle East.
  • The Elite gave China most favored trade nation status.
  • The Elite shipped our manufacturing over there to use their slave labor and no environmental standards.
  • The Elite created the debt that they are buying.
  • The Elite are solely responsible for the debt and wars that plague our country.

The Elite will never take responsibility for their actions, like true Psychopaths. They will instead blame everyone else in the world for their/our problems. Ultimately, I believe that they will blame China for the collapse of the American Dollar. They could pull a economic false flag and blame China for a crash in the bond market. They could pull a military false flag by sinking an Aircraft carrier in the Pacific. Some way, some how, the Elite are going to make a move to turn the tides for global power back to the West.

China has been very wise not to directly confront the West. China has a very bad history of nations raping China for all of their wealth like the Opium Wars and the Rape of Nanking. China has instead chose to move slowly and surely to ensure victory without firing a single shot. This is the land of Sun Tzu after all. They have accumulated massive dollar reserves, copied our technology and manufacturing. With the opening of the new Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange they are taking the next major step of cutting into the heart of the Anglo American Empire, the dollar stranglehold on the world’s commodities. This will not sit well with the Western Elite and will not go unchallenged. (read more)

Lorna Lambden, a Paramedic died after taking tablets she bought over the internet to help her sleep - 19th May 2011

A London Ambulance Services paramedic suffered a heart attack after accidentally taking overdose of tablets to help her sleep, an inquest found today.

Lorna Lambden, 27, was found by her boyfriend on 17 December last year in her home in Harpenden with Breakfast at Tiffany’s - her favourite film - playing in the background and an empty wine glass by her side.

It is believed she had been dead for about two days, Hertfordshire Coroners Court heard.

She is believed to have over-dosed on Amitryptyline, an anti-depressant drug she is thought to have bought over the internet, to help her sleep.

The paramedic had 'found her vocation' in the last few years with the LAS and loved ‘dashing across London to someone’s assistance’, her father Roy said.

In a statement read out to the court, he also describes her as someone who would go ‘full pelt’ into everything and ‘smiled at everyone she encountered'.

She had been studying for a Masters degree at the University of Hertfordshire and on the 15th - the last day of term - had had coffee with friends.

On the same day, she had also received some tickets for a skiing trip and had posted on her Facebook profile: ‘Snow, goodie, snow yippee.’ Read More

Devious Malcolm Webster, murdered first wife then tried to kill his second five years later in staged car crashes for £1m insurance money - 19th May

A 'womanising' qualified male nurse staged car crashes to murder his first wife and try to kill his second -as part of a plot to pocket £1 million in insurance payouts.

Devious Malcolm Webster, 52, murdered Claire Morris, 32, in a car crash in 1994 and then fraudulently claimed more than £200,000 from policies following her death.

He then tried to kill his second wife Felicity Drumm, 50, in New Zealand in February 1999 in a bid to claim more than £750,000.

He also tried to fleece several women out of their estates.

Webster, from Guildford in Surrey, killed his first wife when he drugged her, staged a car crash and then torched the car she was in.

At the crash scene, in Aberdeenshire in May 1994, Webster coldly told people who stopped to help that no one was inside the burning Daihatsu 4x4 vehicle.

He cashed in the insurance policy and splashed out on a Range Rover and yacht following her death.

Webster, who went on trial on February 1, initially told police in 1994 that he swerved to avoid a motorcyclist and crashed.

But after the investigation into Ms Morris's death was re-opened in 2008, forensic tests on a tissue sample from her liver revealed she had been given a sedative.

Experts also said the crash would have been at low speed as Ms Morris's body had not moved in her seat.

Five years later Webster tried to kill his second wife, Felicity Drumm, in New Zealand. He thought it would lead to a £750,000 insurance payout. Read More

Unexplained Lights moving at High Speed Caught by NBC TV - 17th May 2011

These Unexplained Lights were recorded by NBC Cameras on the 17th May around 22:00 O'Clock

Free-floating lonely planets the size of Jupiter found in central 'bulge' of Milky Way - 19th May 2011

A new class of 'lonely planets' floating on their own in space has been found by astronomers.

The dark, Jupiter-like worlds are isolated and far from any host star.

Scientists believe they may have been ejected from developing planetary systems.

An international team of astronomers made the discovery from observations of the central 'bulge' of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

They found evidence of what appear to be ten free-floating planets with roughly the mass of Jupiter.

Dr David Bennett, from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, said: 'Our results suggest that planetary systems often become unstable, with planets being kicked out from their places of birth by close encounters with other planets.'

The findings, published in the journal Nature, not only confirm that 'lonely planets' exist, but also that they are quite common.

Since they are very hard to spot, the discovery of ten at one time suggests they could be as common as those like Earth which orbit a host star. Read More


Yorkshire - Body of newborn baby girl is found dead at waste site - 19th May 2011

Police are hunting for a woman who dumped the body of her newborn baby girl in a Yorkshire rubbish tip.

A staff member at Association Waste Management, in Bradford, made the gruesome discovery at the firm's Valley Road site at 2.30am this morning.

West Yorkshire Police is now desperate to track down the mother.

Detective Superintendent Sukhbir Singh told a news conference in Leeds: 'I am genuinely concerned for the safety and welfare of the mother. My overriding priority is for her safety."

A force spokesman had earlier confirmed that the baby, who it is believed was born recently, was already dead when officers arrived at the scene.

He said: 'An investigation is under way to identify the child and the circumstances surrounding the discovery of her body.

'We have serious concerns for the health and welfare of the mother.

'We ask her or anyone who may have information to contact the police as soon as possible.'

A post-mortem examination will be conducted later today to determine the cause of baby's death.

Parts of the site at Association Waste Management, which is between Bradford and Shipley, remained sealed off today.

Police officers were on guard outside the premises. Source

‘Whitebirk Witches’ who terrorised neighbourhood are given taxpayer-funded bowling, cinema and canal trips 'to stop them re-offending' - 19th May

Two teenage girls who terrorised an estate leaving one man too scared to turn on his house lights are being taken to the cinema and on canal boat trips to stop them re-offending.

Amanda Holt, 16, and Tori Duxbury, 15, who led a ladette gang called the Whitebirk Witches, harassed families and provoked brawls of up to 30 people.

But now the pair, and other troublemakers who all have Asbos, are being sent on a number diversionary activities, including trips to the cinema, bowling alley, playing in football matches and even going on a canal boat.

Police and local officials defended the move as it also emerged the gang are being allowed to congregate at a local community centre, despite their Asbos..

Holt and Duxbury have been ordered to attend a programme designed to reform yobs. The teenage tearaways are banned from being in public together, but Asbo rules do not apply at the community centre in Blackburn, Lancashire, where it is being held.

But neighbours say the centre has become a hotspot for trouble. Police have been repeatedly called to the centre as the girls, along with Asbo brothers Paul and David Stafford, have become the ringleaders of a group involved in stone-throwing, intimidation and nuisance. Read More

South Korean man found crucified in abandoned stone quarry ‘committed suicide’ - 19th May 2011

A South Korean man found with his hands and feet nailed to a wooden cross and a crown of thorns on his head is likely to have killed himself, according to police.

The unidentified 58-year-old taxi driver was found in an abandoned stone quarry on Sunday in Mungyong wearing only his underwear.

Police found the man with a wound on the side of his torso and nylon strings tied around his neck, arms and stomach.

Officers believe the man, whose surname is Kim, killed himself without assistance by nailing his feet to the cross, tying his neck to it and stabbing himself in the side.

He is then thought to have drilled holes in his hands and slipped them over nails on the cross.

The site where he was found is around 115 miles south-east of Seoul.

Officials simulated some elements of the crucifixion and concluded that an adult male could perform the act on his own, according to Gyeongbuk Provincial Police Agency.

There were also allegedly two smaller crosses erected on each side of the cross he was nailed to, as well as a propped-up mirror nearby so the man could witness his own suffering.

Also found were nails, a hammer, an electric drill, pieces of wood and instructions on how to build crosses inside a tent near the scene.

Police speculated the man was a devout Christian and that his 'deep religious faith' may have helped him endure 'immense pain.'

An autopsy showed the man died of bleeding from the stab wound and suffocation, police said.

Popular representations of the death of Jesus Christ depict him crucified between the crosses of two thieves, wearing a crown of thorns, a white cloth over his loins, with a wound on his side from a Roman soldier's spear. Source

Huge blaze engulfs TriTech Lubricants factory, an oil manufacturing plant in Melbourne's southeast. - 19th May 2011

FIREFIGHTERS were last night battling to control a massive fire at a Dandenong South factory that contained about 800,000 litres of flammable lubricants.

CFA operations officer Arthur Haynes said the 20 metre by 40 metre fire at TriTech Lubricants started about 8pm and had threatened nearby factories.

About 20 fire trucks were at the scene, along with air support, as flames destroyed the Williams Road factory.

Mr Haynes said fire authorities had been trying to contain the blaze, but faced a problem over when to extinguish it. The huge fuel load meant attempting to douse the flames in foam could prove unsuccessful.

No injuries had been reported. Residents in surrounding suburbs were told to stay indoors.

The cause of the fire had not been determined last night.

Mr Haynes said the fire had ruptured several 50,000 litre tanks of oil. An MFB spokesman said support had been provided to the CFA. Source

WTF!! He said what?? Banning wild animals from circuses could breach Human Rights, claims environment Minister Jim Paice - 19th May 2011

Daily I get more worried hearing that Dreadful term 'Human Rights' it's a cop-out for the stupid, criminals and rich.

Why Don't we hear people fighting for the Victims, why is it always the accuser that has his or her 'Human Rights' violated? The System is a Joke and a very bad one at that.

Banning the use of wild animals in circuses could be in breach of the Human Rights Act, a junior minister claimed today.

To howls of laughter from the Labour benches, environment minister Jim Paice said a case was being prepared by the European Circuses Association against the Austrian government after it banned the use of performing animals.

He said an earlier statement that the case was already moving through the courts was inaccurate but his clarification did not change the Government's legal position on any ban.

Mr Paice said: 'The very strong legal advice which we have received, and which is consistent with the case being prepared against Austria, is that a total ban on wild animals in circuses might well be seen as disproportionate action under the European Union Services Directive and under our own Human Rights Act.'

Mr Paice added: 'To have pursued a ban in light of that legal advice we believe would have been irresponsible.'

But shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh said 'the big top was spinning out of control' at the Environment Department as ministers did not seem to know whether there was currently a legal challenge.

She challenged the Government to place the legal advice it had received in the Commons library so it could be scrutinised by MPs.

'On the legal cases that don't exist and hiding behind human rights legislation, it is this department which is pathetic,' she said. Read More

Social networking linked to rise in STDs: How health experts blame Facebook for making it easier to find casual sex - 19th May 2011

A rise in sexually transmitted diseases among teens and young adults could be attributed to social networking websites, a report has suggested.

Health experts said a recent spike in STDs in America may be due to users letting their guards down before meeting someone in person.

They also said online social networking can make it easier to move on to multiple partners before learning about their sexual history.

According to Florida's Seminole County Health Department (SCHD), there has been a 200 per cent rise in Syphilis cases within the last year.

Chlamydia, experts say, is also the rise, with three to four million new cases occurring each year.

Comparatively, 50 per cent of all Americans are expected to contract Human Papillomavirus (HPV) at some point in their lives.

One in six Americans, or 16 per cent, have herpes. Ninety per cent, however, are unaware they have it.

Health officials said they are seeing patients ages 14 to 24 most often. Read More

Horse Walks into a Bar, Bartender asks: "why the long face" - 19th May 2011

After stunning railway staff by trying to get his horse on a train, it emerged today that it wasn't the first time its owner had treated him like one of the family.

Remarkably he had taken the animal into a pub for a drink and, after being told to leave, took it back 24 hours later only to be turned again.

And when he tried to go with the animal see a doctor in an Accident and Emergency department he was again asked to get out - despite protesting that it was 'sick'.

Today RSPCA officials confirmed they had launched an investigation after being shown the bizarre images.

Retired teacher George Cawley, 62, said he was amazed when the man led his pony into the crowded bar in Wrexham, North Wales.

Mr Cawley said: 'It was a crazy scene which caused uproar among customers. I was there with my wife and this guy just walked in with his pony in a very matter of fact way.

'But I must say the pony seemed relaxed and undistracted. Perhaps it is used to going into strange places.'

Pub staff at the Elihu Yale bar in Wrexham asked the man - and pony - to get out.

A spokesman for Weatherspoon's said: 'On Friday the man did come into the pub while staff were serving other customers. Initially they were taken aback by seeing a horse but after about 20 seconds they told him to leave.

'On Saturday he tried to come in again with the horse but was stopped at the door. He was told he could not come in which he accepted.'

But it was later seen tied up outside another pub in the town centre on its tour in Wrexham.

The horse was taken into the A&E department where the man had asked for treatment for the animal from doctor. Read More


Deyan Valentinov Deyanovho Who beheaded British grandmother was released from mental health unit in UK just months before killing - 19th May 2011

The man who beheaded a British grandmother was released from a mental health hospital in the UK after he was sectioned last summer.

Deyan Deyanov was in Britain visiting relatives when he was admitted to the Glan Clwyd Hospital's Ablett Psychiatric Unit in North Wales.

The Bulgarian was receiving treatment after concerned relatives told authorities about his drug-taking and deteriorating behaviour.

But he was released in October last year after being monitored constantly.

News of his release came as two of his ex-girlfriends spoke about how they had feared for their lives and a security guard said he had been smashed in the face by Deyanov.

Labour MP Steve McCabe told the Sun newspaper: 'There must be an urgent inquiry to find how someone in psychiatric care can be released, travel abroad and carry out such a crime.'

One of his Deyanov's ex-girlfriends, 22-year-old Rachel Sharpe, from Canterbury, said: 'He told me he wanted to kill someone to see what it would be like, to cut someone up.

'He thought he was the Messiah. I told him he wasn't God and he was so angry, I thought he was going to kill me.' Read More

Ben Heney, The Heartless thief that robbed a woman as she lay dying after 80ft fall from multi-storey car park - 19th May 2011

A sick thief who robbed a young woman as she lay dying in the street after plunging 80 feet from the top of a multi storey car was behind bars tonight.

Ben Heney, 23, sneaked up to the 22-year-old victim and grabbed her mobile phone after he spotted her as she lay in the road with fatal multiple injuries.

As she was rushed to hospital, Heney sold the Samsung phone on the black market for just £20.

The woman, who has not been named, later died from her injuries.

Today, just 24 hours after the callous raid, Heney, of Fulton Court, Hulme, Manchester, admitted theft and was jailed for 12 weeks.

Manchester magistrates were told the incident occurred at 12.45am on Wednesday May 18 after the woman fell from the car park at the back of Chorlton Street coach station in Manchester city centre.

Police were called to the scene but before they arrived Heney went up to the woman as she was being helped by another member of the public. He grabbed the phone but was spotted by CCTV operators and his description was circulated to police.

He was arrested in the same area at about 4pm that day. The phone, with a dark purple touch screen, has not been recovered. Police are now trying to find the device so the woman's family can call her friends to tell them about the tragedy.

The woman's death is not being treated as suspicious and the case has been passed onto a coroner. Read More

Sony PlayStation Network ‘hacked’ again, user passwords affected

With Sony's PlayStation Network freshly back online, attackers have once again breached the system, this time going for a vulnerability with the system's password reset.

This is getting (more) ridiculous. Not even two days after Sony restored its embattled PlayStation Network for most users worldwide, cyber criminals have once again launched an attack, this time going after the PSN’s password reset system. In order for users to reconnect to the PSN, they were required to reset their passwords. You know, for security reasons…

News of this third, most recent attack were originally reported on Nyleveia.com, which warned PSN users that “accounts are still not safe.”

“I want to make this clear to ALL PSN users. Despite the methods currently employed to force a password change when you first reconnect to the PlayStation network, your accounts still remain unsafe,” writes Nyleveia. “A new hack is currently doing the rounds in dark corners of the internet that allows the attacker the ability to change your password using only your account’s email and date of birth. It has been proven to me through direct demonstration on a test account, so I am without any shadow of a doubt that this is real.”

Following the Nyleveia post there was, in fact, some doubt that this was real. But further tests by Eurogamer proved that the breach was real, which caused prompt action from Sony. In response, the company has blocked PSN login access to a number of its site, and the PSN password reset site has also been taken offline.

Sony responded to the new attack, saying: “Unfortunately this also means that those who are still trying to change their password via Playstation.com or Qriocity.com will be unable to do so for the time being. (read more)

China acknowledges Three Gorges dam 'problems' -- and the massive environmental destruction those 'problems' are creating

China has admitted that the Three Gorges Dam has created a range of major problems that need solving quickly.

Top leaders say the project has led to environmental problems and issues involving relocating 1.3m people.

The Three Gorges is the world's largest dam and could have cost up to $40bn. This appears to be the first time that central government leaders have admitted to problems with the project.

The admission came in a statement from top government body, the State Council.

The statement initially praised the scheme's achievements, saying it had helped alleviate flooding, improve navigation and generate electricity.

But it went on: "There are urgent problems that need to be addressed, such as stabilising and improving living conditions for relocated people, protecting the environment, and preventing geological disasters." (read more)

Fang Binxing, China's Great Firewall designer 'hit by shoe' over growing hatred of Chinese censorship among Chinese

Police in China say they are seeking a man who allegedly threw an egg and shoes at the designer of the country's Great Firewall of web controls.

Fang Binxing was lecturing at Wuhan University, Hubei province, when the alleged protest took place.

Reports of the attack spread quickly on Twitter after a user named Hanunyi posted his account of the incident.

Mr Fang is reviled by many Chinese web users for overseeing development of China's system of internet censorship.

The computer scientist, who is Principal of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, has been dubbed the Father of the Great Firewall.

An officer at Luojiashan Public Security Bureau confirmed police were investigating the alleged attack, AP news agency reported.

Hanunyi posted a live account of the alleged shoe-throw on his profile page, including a picture of a hand clutching an egg.

"The egg missed the target. The first shoe hit the target. The second shoe was blocked by a man and a woman," he tweeted. (read more)

Wildlife rush for high ground in Mississippi flood areas: US

Please don't feed the animals. Or touch them. Or do anything to keep them from crossing levees to escape rising floodwaters.

At a time they are already under stress, deer, bear, turkeys and other animals don't need any interference from humans, wildlife officials said Tuesday.

Across woodlands near the Mississippi and other large rivers, wildlife is on the move. Louisiana has reported deer drownings and Mississippi officials are worried about a spike in deer-vehicle collisions.

Much of the focus is on the Atchafalaya Basin in south-central Louisiana. Over the weekend, the Morganza Spillway was opened, easing the crisis in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, but ensuring millions of gallons of water will flood communities in the basin.

Four black bears have been seen on the move in the Morganza area, said Christina Stephens, a spokeswoman for the governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. "We've received lots of wildlife sightings." (read more)

Record Mississippi flooding to linger in Vicksburg: US



The flood-swollen Mississippi River held at historic levels at Vicksburg early Thursday -- a status it's not expected to relinquish for days.

Hitting its expected peak of 57.1 feet hours ahead of the original forecast, the National Weather Service predicts the crest will hold through at least Saturday morning.

"Residents who live along the river need to keep an eye out and be vigilant," said Marty Pope, a senior hydrologist with the weather service's Jackson, Mississippi office. "We're not going to fall to the kind of levels we got to during the large 2008 flood until early June, and won't fall below flood stage until mid-to-late June."

The river, initially forecast to crest at Vicksburg Thursday morning, began cresting ahead of schedule Wednesday night probably because an old levee system in Greenville, Mississippi, was breached last Friday and spread the flood's flow, Pope said.

The Mississippi is more than 14 feet above flood stage at Vicksburg and more than a foot over the record set in the city in 1927. (read more)

More than 800 killed in Egypt Unrest -- and justice has still not yet been served: Amnesty International



At least 840 people were killed and more than 6,000 injured during the Egyptian revolution earlier this year as then-President Hosni Mubarak clung to power through violence and intimidation, Amnesty International said in a report Thursday.

Though protesters ultimately ousted Mubarak, Egyptian leaders have a lot of work to do to compensate victims' families and restore citizens' faith in the government, the report said.

"The Egyptian authorities have much to do to rebuild trust in public institutions, which have been seen as tools of repression and obstacles to justice," the report said.

"They must start by overhauling laws that allowed violations to happen and take steps to guarantee that such abuses will not be repeated."

Egyptian government officials declined CNN's request for comment about the report.

Amnesty International said it sent a team to Egypt, which spent more than two months conducting interviews for the 120-page report. (read more)

Is College a waste of money, time and a giant scam? "College Conspiracy" documentary explores this situation

What the world eats: Time Magazine's Startling Expose from "The Hungry Planet"

The following series of photo essays are not new, and are from the book entitled "The Hungry Planet" featured by Time Magazine. They are worth posting, however, as rising food prices steadily bring revolution to country after after country around the globe, as millions starve while millions others are too fat to leave their couches, and as droughts and toxic processed foods endanger human health and existence.

While observing these three photo essays, please take note of the following things:

1) The quantity of food possessed in the developed countries compared to the underdeveloped countries;
2) The quality of food that the two poles possess, such as the amount of boxed, bagged, processed and "fast" food that appear in the developed diets as opposed to the wholesome meats, vegetables and fruits that dominant the diets of the underdeveloped nations;
3) The markets available to the two poles, consisting of shelves of boxed, bagged and processed food in the developed markets, and basic, wholesome ingredients in the open air markets of the developing world.

The Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, Part I
The Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, Part II
The Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, Part III

Brazil's disappearing favelas: Sporting world's most powerful corporate interests render families homeless in Brazil

In Chile, it was called the The Brick. It was the many-thousand page economic manifesto of Dictator Augusto Pinochet, written by "the Chicago Boys" - Chilean exchange students from the University of Chicago. Disciples of the university's conservative, neoliberal economics professor Milton Friedman, they printed The Brick on "the other 9/11" - September 11th, 1973. As Chile's Presidential palace was being bombed, "Companero Presidente" Salvador Allende was being murdered, and General Pinochet was assuming power, The Brick became Pinochet's economic compass. It guided the country through two decades of slash and burn privatisation, displacement, and inequality - all in the name of "development".

Today Pinochet is reviled and gone, but The Brick has become a default manifesto for much of the globe. Today, it's most ardent sponsors ironically bear its name as an acronym: BRIC. They are Brazil, Russia, India, and China. These ambitious nations have established themselves as the future, not only of global economic growth, but as future centres of international sport. They can offer two things that the decaying, Western powers can no longer provide: massive deficit spending and a state police infrastructure to displace, destroy, or disappear anyone who dares stand in their way.

We are seeing this in particularly dramatic form in Brazil. The country will be hosting both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. In the 21st century, these sporting events require more than stadiums and hotels. The host country must provide a massive security apparatus, a willingness to crush civil liberties, and the will to create the kind of "infrastructure" these games demand. That means not just stadiums, but sparkling new stadiums. That means not just security, but the latest in anti-terrorist technology. That means not just new transportation to and from venues, but hiding unsightly poverty from those travelling to and from the games. That means a willingness to spend billions of dollars in the name of creating a playground for international tourism and multi-national sponsors.

Every day in the favelas, the slums that surround Brazil's major cities, these international athletic festivals are vividly recalling the ways of The Brick. Amnesty International, the United Nations, and even the International Olympic Committee - fearful of the damage to their "brand", are raising concerns. It's understandable why.

This week came a series of troubling tales of the bulldozing and cleansing of the favelas, all in the name of "making Brazil ready for the Games". Hundreds of families from Favela de Metro find themselves living on rubble with nowhere to go after a pitiless housing demolition by Brazilian authorities. By bulldozing homes before families had the chance to find new housing or be "relocated", the government is in flagrant violation of the most basic concepts of human rights. (read more)

Phage: The Virus That Kills MSRA?

Cancers Can Vanish Without Treatment, but How? -- Big Pharma won't likely offer insight, that's for certain

Call it the arrow of cancer. Like the arrow of time, it was supposed to point in one direction. Cancers grew and worsened.

But as a paper in The Journal of the American Medical Association noted last week, data from more than two decades of screening for breast and prostate cancer call that view into question. Besides finding tumors that would be lethal if left untreated, screening appears to be finding many small tumors that would not be a problem if they were left alone, undiscovered by screening. They were destined to stop growing on their own or shrink, or even, at least in the case of some breast cancers, disappear.

“The old view is that cancer is a linear process,” said Dr. Barnett Kramer, associate director for disease prevention at the National Institutes of Health. “A cell acquired a mutation, and little by little it acquired more and more mutations. Mutations are not supposed to revert spontaneously.”

So, Dr. Kramer said, the image was “an arrow that moved in one direction.” But now, he added, it is becoming increasingly clear that cancers require more than mutations to progress. They need the cooperation of surrounding cells and even, he said, “the whole organism, the person,” whose immune system or hormone levels, for example, can squelch or fuel a tumor.

Cancer, Dr. Kramer said, is a dynamic process.

It was a view that was hard for some cancer doctors and researchers to accept. But some of the skeptics have changed their minds and decided that, contrary as it seems to everything they had thought, cancers can disappear on their own.

“At the end of the day, I’m not sure how certain I am about this, but I do believe it,” said Dr. Robert M. Kaplan, the chairman of the department of health services at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, adding, “The weight of the evidence suggests that there is reason to believe.” (read more)

Mississippi fishermen snag manatees near Deer Island - 19th May 2011

Two Mississippi fishermen have reported hooking manatees in the last week.

While both incidents happened in the same area -- around the Katrina Reef near Deer Island, just off the Mississippi coast from Ocean Springs -- it was unclear whether the same manatee was hooked twice.

Manatees often travel in groups, and often stay in an area for days or weeks at a time, if conditions are favorable.

Ruth Carmichael, a senior marine scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and director of the Manatee Sighting Network, said the new reports suggest that manatees are arriving in the northern Gulf much earlier than in years past.

"Something is going on that we do not fully understand, perhaps due to early warmer temperatures and the greater freshwater inputs," Carmichael said. "We are definitely looking at evidence of more animals further west earlier in the year this year."

Carmichael also said that a manatee fitted with a satellite tag after being captured in Dog River last year returned to Mobile Bay last month. Named Zewie, the animal migrated to Florida's Crystal River for the winter, stopped briefly in Mobile Bay in April and has now headed west into Louisiana.

The public can follow the travels of Zewie and other manatees tagged in Mobile Bay during the last three years on the Sighting Network's website at http://manatee.disl.org.

It remains unclear whether any manatees were affected by the oil spill, though Carmichael said she has seen no evidence of direct impacts thus far.

A record number of dead manatees were found in Alabama waters this past winter, all believed to have waited too late to begin migrating to the warmer waters of central Florida. Read More

Huge Blaze Engulfs Newcastle Scrapyard, authorities labelling the inferno a "major incident" - 19th May 2011

A huge fire has engulfed a scrapyard in Newcastle, prompting police to warn nearby residents to close doors and windows.

Thick black smoke has been billowing from the site of the blaze in the Byker area of the city.

Eight fire engines have been sent to the scene, as authorities labelled the inferno a "critical incident".

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: "Local businesses and residents are being advised to stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed as a precaution because of the thick smoke."

Leighton Street and Byker Bank between Northumberland Terrace and Ouseburn Road, east of the city centre, are currently closed.

How did they survive? U.S. military tanker bursts into flames in crash at California air base - but all on board escape with their lives - 19th May

An aeroplane has skidded off a runway and burst into flames as it took off from an air base injuring three people.

The Boeing 707 tanker plane was taking off from Point Mugu Naval Air Station in Southern California, just north of Los Angeles according to a spokesman.

Thick black smoke and flames were seen pouring from the aircraft after it slid off the runway at about 5.25pm, local time.

All three people on board, civilian employees, escaped with minor injuries, air station spokesman Terry Reid confirmed.

He said the plane was operated by Omega Aerial Refuelling Services which contracts with the Navy to provide fleet operations support and fuel transport services.

A helicopter dumped several loads of water on the fire with little effect while firefighters on the ground appeared to be letting the fire burn but were dousing the area around the tanker.

The stricken plane came to a rest within a few hundred feet of the Pacific Ocean, but Reid said none of the fuel went into the ocean.

It is not known where the tanker was flying to at the time of the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board was investigating the cause of the crash.

Omega president Stewart Orr declined to comment. Read More

The last Bin Laden tape: 12 minute recording made by terror chief shortly before his death released online - 19th May 2011

Osama bin Laden recorded a message praising the Middle East protest movements shortly before his death, predicting the revolutions would spread across the region.

The 12-minute message was released as a video but only contains an audio track and a picture of the Al Qaeda leader who was killed earlier this month.

It is likely to have been filmed at the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where bin Laden was living with members of his family.

He was traced there by the US after they discovered the name of one of his courier's and most trusted aides from Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Navy SEALS launched a daring raid on the compound on May 2, flying there in helicopters without even seeking Pakistan's permission.

Bin Laden was shot in the head and chest and killed. Within 24 hours his body had been buried at sea to avoid his grave becoming a shrine for terrorists.

In the tape, he said: 'I think that the winds of change will blow over the entire Muslim world, with permission from Allah.

'Let the truth ring out. Remember those that go out with a sword are true believers, those that go fight with their tongue are true believers, and those that fight in their hearts are true believers.'

He claimed 'the sun of the revolution has risen from the Maghreb'. 'The light of the revolution came from Tunisia. It has given the nation tranquility and made the faces of the people happy.' Read More


Gwinnett County under "Rabies Alert" - 18th May 2011

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Gwinnett County is under a “Rabies Alert” after a two animals believed to be rabit bit a teenager and a 4-year-old boy. The attacks happened at neighboring apartment complexes in Lawrenceville.

A 15-year-old girl was bitten at the Alexander Mill Apartments by a fox authorities believe could be rabid. That fox, which the teens taped, disappeared and officials are still looking for it.

Animal control officials were able to get catch up with a canine which bit a 4-year-old at the neighboring Magnolia Apartments after the father held it down until officers could arrive.

Officials say wild animals usually do not attack unless provoked. Anyone who sees an wild animal acting strange should call their local animal control office. Source

Gwinnett County under "Rabies Alert": MyFoxATLANTA.com


Bloom of blue-green algae - Health warning issued for parts of Lake Rotorua & Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand

A health warning has been issued for parts of Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti. The affected areas include the eastern side of Lake Rotorua from Holdens Bay to Ohau Channel and the Okere arm portion of Lake Rotoiti.

Routine water test results provided by Bay of Plenty Regional Council have confirmed a bloom of blue-green algae.

“The health warning means that people should avoid any activity which results in significant contact with the water,” says Dr Jim Miller, Medical Officer of Health. “Blue-green algae have the potential to release toxins which can affect health by aggravating hayfever and asthma, causing skin rashes, and even neurological effects such as tingling around the mouth, headaches, breathing difficulties and visual problems,” advised Dr Miller.

“As we have many recreational waters in the area, the sampling points are limited. Blooms can also occur quite quickly in the right conditions, so it is always safest to check the water before you get in,” says Dr Miller. “Look before you leap; if the water looks discoloured, smells unusual, or if there is scum on the surface of lakes or on the beds of rivers, go somewhere else to swim or do motorsports.”

Rotorua District Council will be erecting signs at Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti advising potential lake users of the algal bloom. Read More