Friday, May 20, 2011

Extraordinary homemade dams holding back the Mississippi as desperate residents try to save their homes

We've all undertaken home improvements but these residents in flood-stricken Mississippi have had to embark on major construction projects just to protect their houses and livelihoods.

These homes in Vicksburg are all situated along the Yazoo River, a tributary of the overflowing Mississippi River, and their owners have surrounded themselves with tons of earth and sand.

With questions over whether the main levees that protect the area from floods would hold, these farmers took no chances and have so far saved their homes and crops from destruction. (View more amazing photos and a video here)

Syrian forces fire into crowds as thousands protest across nation; dead reported

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the coastal city of Banias, which was stormed by the army this month, witnessed the largest demonstration since the uprising began in southern Syria nine weeks ago.

Syrian security forces fired live rounds into crowds gathered for at least two protests in the central city of Homs, an activist in the city said, as pro-democracy demonstrations erupted across the country on Friday. (Source)

United Airlines Ad at Ground Zero: "You'll love where we land."

View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.

A United Airlines ad across the street from ground zero that read "You're going to like where we land" has been removed after NBC New York reported that some found it inappropriate.

Some New Yorkers said it was insensitive because of its proximity to where United Flight 175 struck the south tower on 9/11.

The MTA approved the ad and said it was a third-party vendor that put up the sign above ground at the Cortlandt Street R subway stop, directly across the street from the terror attack site.

The ad was part of a wider campaign for United, which apologized on Wednesday for another 9/11-related controversy -- putting back into circulation the flight numbers from the Sept. 11 planes.

Flight 175 took off from Logan Airport in Boston, carrying 51 passengers, nine crew members and five hijackers. It hit the south tower at 9:03 a.m. (read more)

Dallas student, 12, duct-taped to chair and beaten by classmates while teacher ignored attack

A 12-year-old Dallas student was bound to a chair with duct tape and beaten by four classmates as a substitute teacher stood and ignored the attack, according to the victim's mom.

The Dallas school district is investigating the charges made by Keneshia Richardson, who claims the attackers wrapped tape around her son's mouth to keep him from shouting.

"It was uncalled for," Richardson told The Dallas Morning News, adding her son had trouble breathing.

The woman said his hands were taped to the chair, he was wrapped with a telephone cord, and the attackers knocked him to the ground. The boy's shirt was torn as well, she claimed.

The Monday attack remained under investigation Thursday, although disciplinary action is pending against the students and the substitute.

The teacher was additionally removed from the list of approved district substitutes, said Dallas Independent School District spokesman John Dahlander.

Richardson said her son was apparently targeted because he's in remedial classes, although Dahlander said school officials had heard a different version of the story. (read more)

China Gives Pakistan 50 Fighter Jets Immediately -- Is a conflict with the US coming?

Image Credit: Copyright Anthony Maw, Vancouver, Canada

China has agreed to immediately provide 50 JF-17 fighter jets to Pakistan, a major outcome of a visit by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to Beijing this week, Pakistani officials said Thursday.

China and Pakistan have jointly produced the JF-17 aircraft, but the new planes would be equipped with more sophisticated avionics, the officials said. The latest jet fighters would be paid for by China, they said.
The announcement came as Pakistan’s already tense relations with the United States soured further after the killing of Osama bin Laden deep inside Pakistan on May 2.
Last week, Pakistan’s spy chief denounced the United States in a rare briefing before Parliament in which he condemned the American raid for breaching Pakistan’s sovereignty. Parliament, in turn, called for the government to revisit relations with the United States.
Mr. Gilani’s visit to Beijing served as a pointed reminder of Pakistani suggestions that the government might seek to recalibrate relations with the United States, using China to offset what many here view as an overdependence on Washington. (read more)

US Supreme Court OKs warrantless searches

The Supreme Court on Monday gave police more leeway to break into homes or apartments in search of illegal drugs when they suspect the evidence might be destroyed.

The justices said officers who smell marijuana and loudly knock on the door may break in if they hear sounds that suggest the residents are scurrying to hide the drugs.

Residents who "attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame" when police burst in, Justice Samuel Alito said for an 8-1 majority.

In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that she feared the ruling in a Kentucky case had handed the police an important new tool.

"The court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement in drug cases," Ginsburg wrote. "In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant."

She said the Fourth Amendment's "core requirement" is that officers have probable cause and a search warrant before they break into a house.

"How 'secure' do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and ... forcibly enter?" Ginsburg asked. (read more)

NATO destroys 8 Libyan warships as conflict escalates

NATO jets pounded Libyan ports overnight, destroying eight of Moammar Gadhafi's warships, an alliance spokesman said Friday.

NATO targeted the ships in Tripoli, Al-Khums and Sirte after it was apparent that Gadhafi's forces were increasingly using naval vessels to launch attacks on civilians, said Mike Bracken, NATO's military spokesman. He said Gadhafi was indiscriminately mining waters in Misrata and hampering the flow of humanitarian aid.

"He was using maritime forces to lay mines. These were legal targets," Bracken said at a briefing in Brussels, Belgium.

Bracken did not say whether crew members were aboard when the ships were hit.

Bracken said the NATO campaign was progressing and that Gadhafi's combat power had been severely curtailed.

But the Libyan leader's forces continued their heavy shelling of Dehiba, on the Tunisian border, where thousands of refugees have amassed in recent weeks. The border crossing, through which humanitarian aid is often trucked in, was closed Friday. (read more)

May 21st Doomsday Cult worth $72 million, and collected $20 million in donations in 2009 alone -- still open for business despite Judgement Day

By now, you've probably heard of the religious group that's predicting the end of the world starts this weekend.

Harold Camping and his devoted followers claim a massive earthquake will mark the second coming of Jesus, or so-called Judgment Day on Saturday, May 21, ushering in a five month period of catastrophes before the world comes to a complete end in October.

At the center of it all, Camping's organization, Family Radio, is perfectly happy to take your money -- and in fact, received $80 million in contributions between 2005 and 2009. Camping founded Family Radio, a nonprofit Christian radio network based in Oakland, Calif. with about 65 stations across the country, in 1958.

But not even all of his own employees are convinced that the world is ending on Saturday.

In fact, many still plan on showing up at work on Monday.

"I don't believe in any of this stuff that's going on, and I plan on being here next week," a receptionist at their Oakland headquarters told CNNMoney.

A program producer in Illinois told us, "We're going to continue doing what we're doing."

According to their most recent IRS filings, Family Radio is almost entirely funded by donations, and brought in $18 million in contributions in 2009 alone. (read more)

European Parliament identifies HAARP as weapon -- No, really: it's outlined in parliamentary documentation

The 1999 document, entitled "Report on the environment, security and foreign policy", like most that come out of European Parliament, is large and unwieldy, so here is the particular line in question:

"T. whereas, despite the existing conventions, military research is ongoing on environmental manipulation as a weapon, as demonstrated for example by the Alaska-based HAARP system,"

The entire document can be viewed here.

Atmosphere Above Japan Heated Rapidly Before M9 Earthquake -- Ionosphere also affected; Where does this lead?

Infrared emissions above the epicenter increased dramatically in the days before the devastating earthquake in Japan, say scientists.

Geologists have long puzzled over anecdotal reports of strange atmospheric phenomena in the days before big earthquakes. But good data to back up these stories has been hard to come by.

In recent years, however, various teams have set up atmospheric monitoring stations in earthquake zones and a number of satellites are capable of sending back data about the state of the upper atmosphere and the ionosphere during an earthquake.

Last year, we looked at some fascinating data from the DEMETER spacecraft showing a significant increase in ultra-low frequency radio signals before the magnitude 7 Haiti earthquake in January 2010

Today, Dimitar Ouzounov at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland and a few buddies present the data from the Great Tohoku earthquake which devastated Japan on 11 March. Their results, although preliminary, are eye-opening.

They say that before the M9 earthquake, the total electron content of the ionosphere increased dramatically over the epicentre, reaching a maximum three days before the quake struck.

At the same time, satellite observations showed a big increase in infrared emissions from above the epicentre, which peaked in the hours before the quake. In other words, the atmosphere was heating up. (read more)

May 21 is Judgment Day: Christian group has no doubt -- but what will happen if it doesn't happen?

If the signs are to be believed, the end of the world starts on Saturday.

About 20,000 billboards have popped up around the globe, including in major Canadian cities, proclaiming May 21 as Judgment Day. "Cry mightily unto GOD for HIS mercy," says one of the mounted signs from Family Radio, a California-based sectarian Christian group that sent one of its four travelling caravans of believers into Vancouver and Calgary in the past week.

Family Radio's website is blunt in its prediction of Judgment Day and the rolling earthquake that will mark the beginning of the end, taking true believers to heaven while others are left to be consumed in the total destruction of Earth by Oct. 21. "The Bible guarantees it!" the site proclaims, under a passage from the book of Ezekiel, which says "blow the trumpet … warn the people."

Richard Ascough, a professor in the School of Religion at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., has been watching Family Radio's campaign, and fully expects life as we know it to continue on Sunday.

He has seen other apocalyptic predictions come and go, but Family Radio's differs in a notable way: it isn't accompanied by a bold, up-front request for money. And that's worrisome, in his mind.

"I think they really believe it's going to happen," Ascough said in an interview earlier this month. (read more)

Michael Crump attacks 93 year old women for $4, then attacks mother with infant in stroller for dessert

A 48-year-old Philadelphia man has pleaded guilty to two despicable robberies in Center City: an attack on a 93-year-old woman in the elevator of her apartment building, and another attack on a young mother walking her infant in a stroller.

Both victims were in court Wednesday as defendant Michael Crump admitted to the crimes.

There was an audible gasp from spectators in the courtroom as the prosecutor described how Crump had knocked the elderly victim to the ground and then kicked her before fleeing from the elevator.

Crump got four dollars from the woman, but not without a fight.

“You are supposed to, if you are being attacked, you’re supposed to hand over your valuables and not make a fuss about it,” the feisty elderly victim told the judge. “But my feeling is, damn it, I worked all my life for this money and you are not going to get it. It was only four bucks, let’s be brutally honest about it. The whole robbery was only four dollars. But at the same time it’s my money and I worked for it.” (read more)

Was Dominique Strauss-Kahn Trying to Torpedo the Dollar?

It's all about perception management. The media is trying to dig up as much dirt as they can on Dominique Strauss-Kahn so they can hang the man before he ever sees the inside of a courthouse. It reminds me of the Terry Schiavo case, where devoted-husband Michael was pegged as an insensitive slimeball for carrying out the explicit wishes of his brain-dead wife. Do you remember how the media conducted their disgraceful 24 hour-a-day Blitzkrieg with the endless coverage of weepy Christian fanatics on the front lawn of the hospital while Hannity, Limbaugh and O' Reilly fired away with their sanctimonious claptrap?

And now you're telling me that that same media is just "doing their job?"

Give me a break.

Whoever wants to nail IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has really pulled out all the stops. Their agents have been rummaging through diaries, hotel registries, phone records, yearbooks, yada, yada, yada. The UK Telegraph even paid a visit to a high-priced DC knocking shop to get a little dirt from Madame Botox; whatever it takes to make a randy banker look like the South Hill rapist. And they're doing a pretty good job, too. The cops have made sure that the "Great Seducer" always appears handcuffed and dressed in a "pervie" raincoat with 3-days stubble before they parade him in front of the media. On Wednesday--more grist for the mill--they released his mug-shot, an unflattering, deadpan photo that makes him look like Jack-the-Ripper. Was that the intention?

And, that's not the half of it. The Big Money is exhuming every woman he's ever had contact with for the last 30 years hoping they can glean some damning tidbit of information that will convince the doubters that beneath that sophisticated manner and $25,000 suit lurks a closet Bluebeard ready to snap up your daughters and defile your wives. Next thing you know, they'll be trotting out Paula Jones and Tanya Harding claiming they spent a torrid night with the Marquis de Kahn in a trailerpark outside Winamucca.

Where does it stop? Or does it stop? Are we in for another year-long Clinton-Lewinski feeding frenzy where everyday we hear more lurid details about the sexploits of people who don't really interest us at all? (read more)

Father and daughter in sexual relationship go on American TV -- (inches for the "society's collapse" tag)

It was too disturbed even for Jerry Springer.

So when the show rejected an 18-year-old girl who was having a sexual relationship with her father, there was only one person they could turn to - Steve Wilkos.

Recently the show aired a two-part story about a father - Morgan - and his biological daughter Britney, who reconnected through Myspace when she was 16 and started to have a relationship.

Britney explained to Steve Wilkos: 'I was 16 when I looked for him on Myspace. My family members had kept us apart and I hadn't seen him since I was seven so I looked him up.

'On my page I had pictures of my boobs and bum on there and when he saw it he said, "My little baby girl should not be doing that". But then he put a smiley face.

'When I saw that I thought he had sexual feelings for me.'

Wilkos asked her if she did not think that he was taking advantage of her and she said: 'No, because I wanted it too. I see a future with him. I have a really good feeling about us and I know it will work out.'

When her heavily-tattooed father Morgan came on, he was booed by the audience, but it did not stop him from greeting his girlfriend and daughter with a long, passionate French kiss, one in which Wilkos had to stop before it got too far.

He told Morgan that he 'should probably go and see a doctor and get some therapy, preying on your daughter like that'.

He replied: 'I'm not preying on her, yes I'm sleeping with her but it's not like I'm abusing her or something.' (read more)


Water in short supply in parts of eastern China as global drought worsens

Drinking water is in short supply in parts of eastern China where a months-long drought has reservoirs tapped, state-run media reported.

More than 230,000 people -- mostly in rural areas of Jiangxi Province -- are bearing the brunt of the water shortage, the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said Tuesday.

For the first four months of 2011, the province has received about half its normal rainfall, the agency said. (Source)

Wikileaks cables show race to carve up Arctic

Secret US embassy cables released by Wikileaks show nations are racing to "carve up" Arctic resources - oil, gas and even rubies - as the ice retreats.

They suggest that Arctic states, including the US and Russia, are all pushing to stake a claim.

The opportunity to exploit resources has come because of a dramatic fall in the amount of ice in the Arctic.

The US Geological Survey estimates oil reserves off Greenland are as big as those in the North Sea.

The cables were released by the Wikileaks whistleblower website as foreign ministers from the eight Arctic Council member states - Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland - met in Nuuk, Greenland on Thursday to sign a treaty on international search-and-rescue in the Arctic and discuss the region's future challenges.

The cables claim the Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller joked with the Americans saying "if you stay out, then the rest of us will have more to carve up in the Arctic". (read more)


A Window Into the Mind of a Scientific Dictator: How Elites Control Everything Through Human Innovation

The refinement of tyranny and control into a science is the dream to which the 21st century scientific dictator aspires. The study of human nature, psychology and biology aid him in his pursuit. What you will read here is a small window into the dark mind of a scientific dictator. In combination with increasingly centralized power and rapidly advancing technology, the ability of smaller and smaller groups to exercise power and effect greater numbers of people is a real danger. C.S. Lewis wrote in 1944, “The real picture is that of one dominant age… which resists all previous ages most successfully… Man’s conquest of nature, if the dreams of some scientific planners are realized, means the rule of a few hundreds of men over billions upon billions of men.”

Political Ponerology

“…the biological, psychological, moral, and economic destruction of this majority of normal people is a “biological” necessity to the pathocrats…”

Within the field of political science is a study called political ponerology, the study of evil applied to politics. Every time a society falls into the hands of a brutal dictator, nearly identical patterns can be observed. The scientific dictatorships of today and those that may come in the future will follow in the same vein. This is not by accident. Andrew M. Lobaczewski’s ground breaking 1998 book entitled Political Ponerology (A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes) discusses in depth the nature of psychopaths and their exploits when in positions of power. (read more)

The Fighting Season: Louie Palu's front-line photography of the Afghan war

Award-winning photojournalist Louie Palu has dedicated much of the past 10 years to covering the war in Afghanistan.

His exhibition, The Fighting Season, features imagery gathered during 18 months spent on the front lines. It is on display at Toronto's Kinsman Robinson Gallery as part of the CONTACT Photo exhibition until May 31. (View more here)


Chinese villagers 'descended from Roman soldiers'

Tests found that the DNA of some villagers in Liqian, on the fringes of the Gobi Desert in north-western China, was 56 per cent Caucasian in origin.

Many of the villagers have blue or green eyes, long noses and even fair hair, prompting speculation that they have European blood.

A local man, Cai Junnian, is nicknamed by his friends and relatives Cai Luoma, or Cai the Roman, and is one of many villagers convinced that he is descended from the lost legion.

Archeologists plan to conduct digs in the region, along the ancient Silk Route, to search for remains of forts or other structures built by the fabled army.

"We hope to prove the legend by digging and discovering more evidence of China's early contacts with the Roman Empire," Yuan Honggeng, the head of a newly-established Italian Studies Centre at Lanzhou University in Gansu province, told the China Daily newspaper. (read more)

Fears for up to Hundred whales in Loch Carnan, Scotland - 20th May 2011

MARINE rescuers fear up to 100 pilot whales could strand on South Uist.

Around 20 of the animals have injuries to their heads and there are fears that they may strand themselves.

Members of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) are arriving on the island today to assess the situation and they are ready to take action if the animals do strand.

BDMLR Scottish organiser Alasdair Jack, who was on the ferry heading for Uist, said: “We are relatively confident they are not in immediate danger. This morning they have moved and they are sitting in the same position as the whales were last year near the harbour at Loch Carnan.” He added that they would not be able to strand at this location but if they were to move round towards Benbecula causeway they would be in serious danger of stranding.

In October last year, a pod of whales were in the same location and although they left the site they were later found dead on an Irish beach.

Alasdair says up to 20 whales have head injuries and this is different to last year’s situation when the whales had no physical injuries.

“When they are in distress their family members will not leave them and it is in their nature to come ashore,” he said.

He said the team were heading for Uist today anyway as they were planning a marine rescue course, however this may now be training on the job if the whales are to strand.

If the animals strand, he said they would need a lot of local volunteers.

“If they do strand we have the equipment to try and save them but there is no doubt we could not save them all but we would give it a damn good go.”

Scottish SPCA Senior Inspector Calum Watt said, “We were alerted to the possibility of a mass stranding yesterday evening and are now co-ordinating with BDMLR. Read More

Tornado rips through Perth suburb of Canning Vale, front dumps 26mm on city - 20th May 2011

A MINI-tornado has ripped through the Perth suburb of Canning Vale early today, damaging houses and cars and removing tiles from roofs.

Several houses have lost roofs and at least one house has lost a pergola which was propelled through a neighbour's car.

McLean Rd, Canning Vale appears to have borne the brunt of the destructive, but small min-tornado.

Part of a metal patio also wrapped itself around some overhead power lines.

Western Power have a cherry picker at the scene attempting to remove the entangled metal.

A cream coloured A-frame patio was torn off one McLean St house and over next door's house before it was impaled through the side of a Toyota people mover parked in a neighbour's driveway.

Yasmaine Millson, whose vehicle was damaged by the flying pergola said she was getting ready to go to school when the tornado hit.

"I just heard a sudden bang. We didn't know till we came out of our house that it had crashed into the car,'' said Mrs Millson, who lives at the house with her husband and four kids.

"It just happened for two or three seconds.''

Suma Kamath, who lives in McLean street, said the side fence at her property had been knocked over, her laundry is flooded and the roof is damaged.

Her BMW car, which was parked in the garage was also damaged. "I think it was the fence that hit the car,'' she said.

"The storm was a loud noise like a train, it was just a fraction of time. It is devastating.'' Read More

644 hurt in Soweto train crash, Johannesburg, South Africa - 19th May 2011

Johannesburg - A total of 644 passengers were injured, two critically, when two trains collided in Meadowlands, Soweto on Thursday, Johannesburg paramedics said.

"We had a total of two men who were critically injured and airlifted to Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, and 642 with minor and serious injuries," Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks told Sapa from the scene.

"[The increase in total injuries] shows the chaos of the scene. We had people who were sprayed 200m around the trains...on arrival, paramedics found passengers from both trains lying on the track," he said.

Johannesburg emergency services spokesperson Synock Matobako said that about 150 of the injured were transported to various hospitals in the area.

A Sapa reporter on the scene said that a moving train had seemingly hit a stationary train at Phomolong station around 17:30.

Onlookers

Curious Sowetans had rushed to the scene out of concern for possible injured relatives.

"I heard a loud bang while watching television and came rushing to see if any of my relatives were in the train," said bystander Teko Peu.

He was expecting his sister to arrive by the train from work.

"I haven't heard from her and I wonder whether she is among the injured."

Gladwell Ntusi, who was in one of the trains said he heard a loud bang, screams and he realised something was wrong.

"People were screaming, some jumped out of the windows," he said.

"It was horrible, I saw people with broken legs, other had cracked their temples... it was not a nice scene," he said his eyes red with tears. Read More

Seven-year-old boy caught with 18 bags of heroin at school after 'handing them out on the bus' - 19th May 2011

A seven-year-old boy has been caught giving heroin to his class mates at an elementary school.

The child was caught with eighteen bags of the drug in his backpack and locker after he apparently took them from his father's home in Pittsburgh.

His stash was discovered by a teacher who became suspicious while talking to the boy after he cut his finger with a razor.

But three parents called Quentin Roosevelt Elementary School to complain after their children brought heroin home.

The boy reportedly told police that he handed out the bags of powder - which featured a bunny on the label and were dubbed 'Magic Ticket' - on the school bus.

Parents and the local community in Carrick have reacted with anger.

Shannon Macafee, whose six-year-old daughter attends the school, told KDKA TV: 'It think it's disgusting, I think it's shameful on the parent. However this child got it, someone has to be held accountable.

'I want to know how someone could let their child get their hands on something like this.'

'I explained to my daughter that you don't take anything off anyone, a little kid, stranger, because it could be anything these days.'

Police are investigating how the boy got his hands on the drug and brought a sniffer dog in after classes had finished.

The school said it is sending letters explaining the situation to students today and confirmed that no more drugs were found in the search.

Police have questioned the boy and searched his father's home but found no more drugs. Read More

Glorious Revolution: Chinese army develop first-person shooter game... with U.S. troops as the enemy - 20th May 2011

The Chinese army have developed a computer game that sees their troops shooting at 'enemy' U.S. forces.

Glorious Revolution, which is used as a training tool for People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers, pits the Chinese army against the U.S. military in a 'Call of Duty' style first person shooter.

In a video report, Chinese soldiers can be seen storming buildings and shooting at 'enemy' troops as they exit a bunker, before destroying an Apache helicopter gunship.

A Chinese state media video report shows rows of PLA soldiers hunkered over computer screens as they play through missions of Glorious Revolution.

The use of computer games by governments and international organisations to train their people has become more widespread in recent years.

The game is similar to the U.S. army's very own shooter, America's Army, which is used as a recruitment tool.

In the same vein, the Pentagon has developed its own 'thinking' first person simulators that deliberately overload commanders with information to see how they cope.

NATO also has its own game for negotiating with maritime pirates and even Hezbollah created a game called Special Force 2.

The news comes as it emerged the U.S. military are considering sending officers and cadets to China on study exchange programs.

Admiral Patrick Walsh said Washington is seeking to improve its relationship with the Chinese military, and an officer exchange program would provide a better understanding of Chinese culture, goals and thoughts.

'There's a strong effort here to improve the relationship,' Adm. Walsh said on the sidelines of a global naval conference in Singapore.' Read More


Ted J. Kaczynski the Unabomber is now being investigated by FBI for 1982 Tylenol poisoning that killed seven - 19th May 2011

Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski is being investigated by the FBI for the 1982 Tylenol poisonings that killed seven people in Chicago.

The FBI said they were making a re-examination of the case due to advancements in forensics and that Kaczynski was among 'numerous individuals' they were obtaining voluntary DNA samples from.

In a letter to the court, Kaczynski - once a UC Berkely professor - said that his DNA was being sought to compare with those connected with the 1982 crime, in which someone put potassium cyanide in Tylenol capsules.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the 69-year-old, who is serving a life sentence at a 'supermax' prison in Florence, Colorado, wrote the letter in order to stop the sale of his possessions at auction, saying they would provide evidence that he is not connected to the Tylenol killings.

He said that he had 'never even possessed any potassium cyanide' and claims that prison officials in Colorado visited him three weeks ago with the FBI's request.

James Lewis, who served a 13-year sentence for extortion, was the prime suspect in the case after sending the pharmaceutical company letters demanding $1million for the killings to stop. He has never been charged with murder. Read More

Health scare after Feds scramble to 'contain' museum's 135-year-old smallpox scab - 20th May 2011

A 135-year-old smallpox scab caused a health scare after government scientists feared the skin may still be highly infectious.

The scab, found in the Virginia Historical society archives, was originally used to vaccinate people against the deadly virus.

A concerned scientist contacted the Centrer for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who dispatched two agents to isolate and retrieve the scab, bringing it back to their high security Atlanta head quarters.

The artefact was uncovered after historians at the society began to assemble exhibits for their 'Bizzare Bits' show.

Buried among other peculiar historical pieces was a faded letter, with the small skin sample inside.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the letter, dated 1876, was mailed from a son to his father.

It read: 'Dear Pa ... the piece I enclose is perfectly fresh and was taken from an infant's arm yesterday.

'Dr. Harris says the enclosed scab will vaccinate 12 persons, but if you want more, you must send for it. I will pin this to the letter so that you cannot lose it as you did before.'

Before the scientists arrived museum officials said they were not afraid of the scab, as a medical historian had previously told them that it was harmless. Read More

SMALLPOX: A DEADLY DISEASE

Smallpox is a horribly disfiguring disease, with raised blisters totally covering the skin of those infected.

Thought to have originated around 10,000 BC, it is caught via bodily fluids and breathing phlegm from those infected.

Split into several different types, on average it is fatal in 30-35 percent of cases.

In the 20th century alone smallpox was responsible for an estimated 300–500 million deaths.

After a world wide vaccination campaign it was finally eradicated in 1979.

Fact or Fiction: Will Tomorrow be the end of the world? Evangelicals party like there's no tomorrow ' - 20th May 2011

Before I post this Article I would like to say, I sure hope it doesn't Because the Grand Prix is on this Sunday.. on a serious Note:

This cult has a Estimated 200 million Followers, by Chance if one of the believers reads this site could you please answer the following questions for me?

The Bible States:

"evil men and impostors [who] will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. - 2 Timothy 3:13"

It also says in the Bible "The truth is, no one knows the day or hour of the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:36)"

Also many stories have appeared of people leaving their Jobs, blowing all their savings on Advertising and Spreading the word of the End of the World, has Harold Camping who has a net worth of an estimated 25 Million Dollars done the same?

What makes you Think Harold Camping is right this time?, he predicted the Rapture to start in September 1994, he was wrong then.

What Will you all do on the 22nd May, if the World doesn's End? Much appreciated if someone could answer this for me. Thank you.

He claimed he misfired with his last prediction that the end of the world was coming in 1994 because of a mathematical error.

But this time Harold Camping is certain he has his sums right when he insists that Saturday is Judgment Day.

And just in case he’s right, some Americans are making the most of their time left with ‘Rapture Parties’ across the country.

In the Army town of Fayetteville, North Carolina, the American Humanist Association is organizing a two-day extravaganza with a party on Saturday and a day-after concert with the proviso of possible cancellation due to a natural catastrophe of some sort or another. Read More

Forecasters predict further misery for Americans as up to 10 hurricanes due for Atlantic storm season - 20th May 2011

With freezing blizzards, wildfires and devastating floods, America has suffered enough weather related disaster so far this year to last a lifetime.

But in its first storm forecast this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an 'above normal' season with six to 10 hurricanes expected - of which around half could become major.

The news heaps further misery on Americans who have already suffered five billion dollars in weather related damage in 2011 so far - the highest ever recorded for a half year.

Tornadoes, blizzards, floods, wildfires and storms have inflicted record costs because of their severity and their location - hitting populous areas such as Memphis, Tennessee, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Six to 10 of those storms were seen developing into hurricanes, of which three to six could become major at Category 3 or above, with winds of more than 110 miles per hour, the agency said.

NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco told a news conference: 'NOAA's forecast team is calling for an above-normal season this year.'

But she added NOAA's forecasting capacity could not yet pinpoint where or when a hurricane would hit: 'This hurricane outlook does not make any predictions about landfall, either place or timing.

NOAA's 2011 outlook mirrors that of earlier predictions from private forecasters calling for an active hurricane season this year.

The hurricane season officially starts on June 1 and typically peaks between late August and mid-October.

An average Atlantic hurricane season brings 11 tropical storms with six hurricanes, including two major hurricanes, NOAA said. Read More

Virgin Galatic: Astonishing video of the moment SpaceShipTwo made a near-vertical plunge towards Earth - 20th May 2011

It's a frighteningly fast plunge that is sure to leave all but the hardiest of flyers clutching their stomachs.

But if plummeting to Earth at a near-vertical angle sounds like your cup of tea, then this official video of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo 'maiden feathered flight' will whet the appetite for space travel.

Taped earlier this month, and released this week, the footage shows the rocket bend its wings into a near-right angle landing position after descending from 52,000ft.

Falling at 15.500ft per minute in this near-vertical state, SpaceShipTwo is slowed by the drag of the folded tail, similar to the way feathers slow a badminton shuttlecock.

Virgin Galactic's rocket plane deployed its twin tail sections in a position created to allow it a soft return to Earth's atmosphere from the vacuum of space.

During the test, SpaceShipTwo did not fire its rocket engine for a climb into space. Instead, a mothership lifted it to 52,000ft, where it was released.

It then rotated its twin tail booms upward 65 degrees during the test flight in the Mojave Desert in California.

The reconfiguration is a critical part of the spaceship's descent through Earth's atmosphere after suborbital trips into space. Read More


Thousands of children have carried a knife for their own protection, shock survey reveals - 20th May 2011

Thousands of children have carried a knife for their own protection in the last year, shock figures revealed today.

The youngsters admitted they had a weapons with them - even though they agreed that it made them more likely to be stabbed themselves.

The figures, based on interviews with almost 2,000 children aged between 13 and 15 for the British Crime Survey, were released for the first time to show children's experiences of bullying and personal safety.

One in 100 children said they had carried a knife for their own protection in the last year, while more than one in eight said they knew someone who had.

But more than two in three - 69 per cent - agreed that carrying a weapon meant they were more likely to be the victim of a blade attack themselves.

Younger children more likely to think that having a knife increased their chances of being harmed, the survey found.

Home Secretary Theresa May has said the Government are 'absolutely clear' that anybody convicted of possessing a blade should expect to be sent to prison after ex-EastEnders star Brooke Kinsella published a report on the issue in February.

The 27-year-old actress was brought in by the Government after her 16-year-old brother Ben was stabbed to death three years ago.

She found that many headteachers were reluctant to run anti-knife crime workshops out of a fear their school would be labelled as having a problem, damaging its reputation.

The crime survey also revealed that 22 per cent of children aged 10 to 15 had been bullied in a way that frightened or upset them in the last year.

Boys aged 10 to 12 were the most likely to have been targeted.

In 79 per cent of cases the children involved had been called names or sworn at, and in 7 per cent of incidents they were ordered to hand over money or other items by their tormentors.

Of all those who had been bullied in the last year, around one in four said they had been victims of cyber-bullying, where victims are sent 'unwanted and nasty emails, texts or messages' or have unpleasant items posted about them on a website.

A total of 3,762 children aged between 10 and 15 were interviewed across England and Wales for the survey. Source

A warning sign? Atmosphere above epicentre of deadly Japan earthquake heated up 'rapidly' in days before disaster - 20th May 2011

The atmosphere directly above the fault zone which produced Japan's recent devastating earthquake heated up significantly in the days before the disaster, a study has shown.

Before the March 11 earthquake, the total electron content in a part of the upper atmosphere, called the ionosphere, increased dramatically over the earthquake's epicentre, reaching a maximum three days before the quake struck.

It is believed that in the days before an earthquake, the stresses on geological faults in the Earth's crust causes the release of large amounts of radon gas.

This radioactive gas ionises the air, giving it a charge, and since water is polar it is attracted to the charged particles in the air.

This then leads to the water molecules in the air condensing (turning into liquid) - a process which releases heat.

It was this excess heat which was observed in the form of infrared radiation in recordings taken three days before the deadly magnitude 9 earthquake struck.

'Our first results show that on March 8 a rapid increase of emitted infrared radiation was observed from the satellite data,' said Dimitar Ouzounov at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, one of the scientists behind the findings.

Because Japan is a known earthquake hotspot, scientists had set up atmospheric monitoring stations there, using satellites to measure the state of the atmosphere before an earthquake. Read More

Fury as Obama tells Israel to return to 1967 borders in speech urging Middle East to seize 'moment of opportunity' in wake of Bin Laden's death

The Israeli Prime Minister voiced outrage at Barack Obama’s vision of Palestinian state on the borders of 1967 as he headed for talks in Washington DC.

Benjamin Netanyahu said the plan, endorsed by the President in a key speech on Middle East policy on Thursday, could leave Israel ‘indefensible’.

Candidates for the Republican presidential nomination were also quick to claim that Mr Obama had undermined the sensitive and delicate negotiations for Middle East peace.

‘The viability of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of Israel's existence,’ said Mr Netanyahu before flying to the U.S. for scheduled talks with Mr Obama.

Responding to the major speech outlining Middle East strategy, Mr Netanyahu said he expected Washington to let Israel keep major settlement blocs beyond the 1967 lines in the occupied West Bank, under any peace deal with Palestinians.

Israeli officials seemed taken aback by the language in Obama's speech. Asked if Netnayahu had been forewarned by Washington, one said: ‘No comment.’ But some Israeli reporters accompanying the prime minister predicted a stormy meeting. Read More

U.K. Rolls out the Red Carpet for another Torturer: Cameron Welcomes 'torturer' of Bahrain 'Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Kahlifa' to No. 10 - 20th May

David Cameron was accused of rolling out the red carpet for Bahrain’s torturer-in-chief last night after holding talks with the head of the hardline Arab regime.

Human rights campaigners condemned the Prime Minister’s decision to invite Bahrain’s crown prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to Downing Street at a time when his regime is engaged in a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Former Foreign Office minister Denis MacShane said: ‘The Prime Minister is rightly calling for Gaddafi to go to the International Criminal Court but the Bahraini despots who are equally guilty of repression and torture and mass arrests are being given tea and a gentle talking-to in Downing Street.

‘It is just sad that David Cameron has such a tin ear to the cries for freedom from the Arab world.’

Last month the crown prince abandoned plans to attend the royal wedding in London in the face of international outrage at the way his regime has crushed protests.

Bahrain is due next month to lift the martial law imposed in March following weeks of pro-democracy protests which resulted in the deaths of at least 29 people.

Hundreds of people have been arrested and dozens put on trial, with some sentenced to death for their role in the uprisings.


Read more: Hundreds of people have been arrested and dozens put on trial, with some sentenced to death for their role in the uprisings. Read More

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Out on $6million bail: Disgraced IMF boss is reunited with his wife after he is released from prison - 20th May 2011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was today dramatically bailed for $6million under draconian conditions as it emerged he will face a trial for his alleged sex attack on a hotel maid.

The former head of the IMF will be taken to a Manhattan apartment that his third wife, French journalist and millionaire heiress, Anne Sinclair, rented ahead of the hearing at the State Supreme Court this afternoon, lawyers said.

There he will subjected to 24-hour monitoring by a security firm paid for by him and an electronic tag will be fitted on his ankle.

Video cameras will also be installed in the house and alarms will be fitted on the doors to stop him leaving.

He was due to spend last night in Rikers Island prison in New York whilst his family got together $1million in cash and a $5million insurance bond, after which he will be released.

Ms Sinclair and Strauss-Khan's daughter Camille - a university student based in New York - were both in court and looked visibly relieved at the judge's decision.

New York's Supreme Court was told that an indictment has now been handed down against Strauss-Kahn after a grand jury agreed there was enough evidence for a prosecution.

He will appear in court next month to be arraigned. Read More

Peter and Sylvia Cox Flee their Home after becoming a Target of a Firebomber - 20th May 2011

A retired couple have been forced to flee their picture postcard village after a series of attacks by a mystery arsonist seemingly intent on taking their lives.

The fourth and most recent attack on Peter and Sylvia Cox gutted their 17th-century five-bedroom home and left their beloved greyhound dead.

The couple escaped through their bedroom window after a home-made firebomb was shoved through the letterbox of the house on the village’s high street.

In what could be a storyline from countryside drama Midsomer Murders, detectives are baffled as to why former parish councillor Mr Cox, 82, and his 74-year-old wife are being targeted.

The couple are staying with relatives – too scared to return to the close-knit Lincolnshire village of Castle Bytham until the culprit is caught.

The couple were alerted to the latest incident, in the early hours of May 4, by their dog, Toby, who raised the alarm by barking as the blaze took hold.

The noise also alerted neighbours who brought a ladder from their garage, enabling the Coxes to climb to safety. Sadly, Toby was recovering from an operation and would not climb the stairs. He died in the fire, which has destroyed the roof of the £400,000 detached home.

Police have now released CCTV images of a cyclist they wish to question who was seen passing the cottage shortly before it went up in flames at around 3am.

The first attacks took place last August and October, then the next two in March this year and earlier this month – each in the small hours and involving crude petrol bombs using fireworks in glass bottles. But those thrown at the outside of their house in the first three attacks did not ignite properly.

Former accountant Mr Cox said: ‘I have no idea why someone would target us like this. Read More

Shantaniqua Scott Caught on Hospital Surveillance 'trying to suffocate her baby so she could go back to her carefree pre-baby days' - 20th May 2011

This is the shocking moment a teenage mother attempts to smother her baby in a hospital.

Hidden video cameras caught 18-year-old Shantaniqua Scott place a blanket over her four-month-old son's mouth.

Moments later she clamps her hand over his face and mouth as the newborn baby kicks and struggles for life as his air supply is cut off.

By the time the teenage single mother removes her hand her son Raymond's body appears limp.

Seconds later, with alarms going off indicating the baby had stopped breathing, doctors and nurses rush in to resuscitate him.

The shocking footage was played to a shocked courtroom in Texas where Scott is on trial for attempting to kill her newborn son.

Jurors sat in rapt silence as the video tape recorded at the Cook Children's Medical Centre in July 2010 was played in a Fort Worth courtroom.

They had heard how Scott's son had been taken into hospital after he was reported to have suddenly stopped breathing.

Doctors who examined him at first thought he suffered from severe acid reflux.

He underwent surgery to correct the condition - when acid from the stomach backs up into the oesophagus - and was released from hospital.

But two days later he was back in the emergency unit after he mysteriously stopped breathing.

Staff suspected he was the victim of abuse and set up a hidden camera on the ward where the baby was recovering. Read More

Public Warning: Ohio again posting no swimming signs at lake in western Ohio after algae outbreak covers water - 19th May 2011

ST. MARYS, Ohio — Water warnings are going up again at Ohio's largest inland lake after another algae outbreak.

The state is telling visitors at Grand Lake St. Marys not to swim or wade in the lake because of the algae. It's the same kind that can produce toxins that shut down the lake last summer.

They're also warning against touching any of the algae on the water.

Officials say the algae bloom is visible across the western Ohio lake.

The state is planning to treat the water this summer in hopes of improving quality.

Marinas, campgrounds and other places that count on tourists lost much of their business last year after the state warned against swimming, boating and fishing. Source

Public Warning: Atlantic Coast, Hampton Harbor Shellfishing Closed - 'Red Tide' - 19th May 2011

To protect the public from the possible consumption of contaminated shellfish, officials from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department have closed New Hampshire's Atlantic coastal waters, and the waters of Hampton/Seabrook Harbor, to the taking of all species of molluscan shellfish (mussels, clams and oysters) until further notice.

This action is in response to elevated levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning or PSP, commonly known as "red tide," detected in blue mussels collected from the Isles of Shoals and from Hampton/Seabrook Harbor.

“Toxicity levels are increasing right now, in both offshore and near-shore waters, because of a ‘bloom' of red tide, which is toxic algae,” said Chris Nash, Shellfish Program Manager for DES. “It is too soon to know how severe this red tide bloom will be, or how long it might last.” He noted that additional sampling will be necessary to track the severity and duration of the bloom.

Nash emphasized that the closure affects those who dig their own shellfish, but it remains OK to eat shellfish from a reputable dealer or restaurant. “These shellfish have been sourced from shellfish beds that recently tested negative for red tide and other contaminants.” Read More