Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mother molested by TSA, screams for help -- Police arrive and take her away rather than assist

Ronnie Holloway mercilessly beaten by police... for having his jacket undone: Hear the march of jackboots?

Little girl screams while being groped by TSA: Just in case you missed it

Rare Tornado Strikes Springfield, Massachusetts hours ago

BREAKING NEWS: "Waves of explosions" reported across Tripoli by Sky News Correspondent in Libya

DETAILS FORTHCOMING.

Republicans Vote Against Raising Debt Ceiling: Is a crisis in the works for America?

House Republicans dealt defeat to their own proposal for a $2.4 trillion increase in the nation's debt limit Tuesday, a political gambit designed to reinforce a demand for spending cuts to accompany any increase in government borrowing.

The vote was lopsided, with just 97 in favor of the measure and 318 against.

House Democrats accused the GOP of political demagoguery, while the Obama administration maneuvered to avoid taking sides – or giving offense to majority Republicans.

The debate was brief, occasionally impassioned and set a standard of sorts for public theater, particularly at a time when private negotiations continue among the administration and key lawmakers on the deficit cuts Republicans have demanded.

The bill "will and must fail," said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., the House Ways and Means Committee chairman who noted he had helped write the very measure he was criticizing.

"I consider defeating an unconditional increase to be a success, because it sends a clear and critical message that the Congress has finally recognized we must immediately begin to rein in America's affection for deficit spending," he said. (read more)

China's "land of fish and rice" parched by drought

The drought gripping stretches of central and eastern China has dried Lake Honghu into an expanse of exposed mud, stranded boats and dying fish farms, threatening the livelihoods of residents in Hubei Province who call this their "land of fish and rice."

Dry spells and floods blight various parts of China nearly every year, and officials are prone to call each the worst in 50 years or longer.

But many residents around the lake said that was a fitting label for the months-long drought that has drastically shrunk the lake, the adjacent Yangtze River, and many other lakes and tributaries along the mighty river's course through farming and industrial heartlands.

"I've never, ever seen it this bad. Look at the rice. It's all going yellow and the stalks will die unless we get some rain soon," said Ouyang Jinghuang, a pepper-haired 66-year-old farmer tending rice paddies near Lake Honghu.

"We're all digging wells and buying our drinking water. Usually, we have so much water here that we worry about floods, not droughts."

The dry spell is a jarring reminder of how China, the world's second-biggest economy, relies on increasingly strained water resources to feed its people and power rapidly increasing numbers of hydro stations. (read more)

Mystery Virus in South Korea Claims Second Victim

The second victim of a mystery virus that has infected eight patients from different parts of the country died yesterday.

According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus, dubbed “acute interstitial pneumonia” by health authorities, killed the first pregnant woman on May 10. The second pregnant woman died at 4 a.m. yesterday.

Seven of the eight patients are females who are pregnant or had recently given birth. One is an adult male in his 40s.

Similar to the first victim - a 36-year-old pregnant woman - the 32-year-old pregnant woman, identified as “A” was hospitalized on April 21 complaining of a severe cough and difficulty breathing and was placed in intensive care after developing pulmonary fibrosis, or scarring of the lungs. The doctors were able to save the baby by inducing labor, just like the first victim, according to the KCDC.

The KCDC said all eight patients were hospitalized to receive treatment for various conditions suspected to be caused by the same unidentified virus. All of them initially received treatment at different clinics, but were later transferred to Asan Medical Center in Seoul. Four patients remain hospitalized. Two were released after receiving lung transplants, the KCDC said. The KCDC said it has been checking 43 university hospitals throughout the country to see if other patients are suffering from similar symptoms. The KCDC is waiting for DNA results of the virus. (Source)

ACLU wants porn to be allowed for South Carolina inmates

The American Civil Liberties Union is pushing for porn at a detention center in Moncks Corner, South Carolina.

The move came after reports surfaced that the facility only allowed inmates to read the Bible. But prison officials said that isn't true and inmates have a wide variety of reading material at their disposal.

The ACLU said it wants prisoners to be able to read and view pornography. Lawyers for the jail said that just won't happen.

"If they don't like the wording in some of our policies, we'll be happy to try and create better wording for them. But, there are certain issues that we're just not going to be able to bend on," said Sandra J. Senn, an attorney for the Hill-Finklea Detention Center in Berkeley County. (read more)

"The Stage Is Set For a Nuclear False Flag": Fact or fiction?



The stage has been set for a nuclear false flag in America.

Many in the alternative media have wondered if a false flag nuke attack within America is a real possibility. Would they do it? Who would it be? What cities would be targeted?

Recently, The New York Times reported that the United States is running out of a rare gas that is used to detect smuggled nuclear materials.

The reason given is that one arm of the Energy Department is selling the gas much quicker than the other is able to accumulate it.

While this could possibly be a legitimate reason, it seems highly suspicious that a government that is installing a police state nationwide to supposedly save us from terrorists would be unable to obtain the gas needed to detect smuggled nuclear weapons.

Wouldn’t a nuclear attack on America be the MOST important threat to combat?

Unfortunately there is a long history of suspicious nuclear activity in the United States, with cover story after cover story being spread throughout the corporate controlled media.

At this junction in history it seems prudent to lay out some of the more ludicrous stories that have been planted into the minds of the American people. (read more)

Analysis: Could a cyber war turn into a real one for the U.S.?

The United States is warning that a cyber attack -- presumably if it is devastating enough -- could result in real-world military retaliation.

Easier said than done.

In the wake of a significant new hacking attempt against Lockheed Martin Corp, experts say it could be extremely difficult to know fast enough with any certainty where an attack came from. Sophisticated hackers can mask their tracks and make it look like a cyber strike came from somewhere else.

There are also hard questions about the legality of such reprisals and the fact that other responses, like financial sanctions or cyber countermeasures, may be more appropriate than military action, analysts say.

"There are a lot of challenges to retaliating to a cyber attack," said Kristin Lord, author of a new report on U.S. cyber strategy at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based think tank.

"It is extremely difficult to establish attribution, to link a specific attack to a specific actor, like a foreign government."

The White House stated plainly in a report last month that Washington would respond to hostile acts in cyberspace "as we would to any other threat to our country" -- a position articulated in the past by U.S. officials. (read more)

Goldman Sachs Reportedly Offered Qaddafi Big Chunk of Company After Investment Losses

Libya thought it was placing a sure bet when it gave $1.3 billion to Goldman Sachs to invest in currencies and other trades, according to The Wall Street Journal.

What it got: a 98 percent loss, followed by an offer of a huge chunk of Goldman shares.

The newspaper reports that Goldman offered Libyan officials several options for earning back the country's money -- including taking a piece of the global financial firm -- after Goldman lost its investments in bank trades and currency baskets.

The talks eventually amounted to naught, the newspaper reports, and nothing was done about the massive losses in 2008, right as the global economy took a fierce slide. (read more)


Chinese, Mexican defense ministers hold talks on military cooperation

Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie met his Mexican counterpart Guillermo Galvan Galvan here Wednesday to promote bilateral military cooperation.

Liang, also China's state councilor, said that Mexico is China's good friend and partner in the Latin American region, adding China attaches great importance to developing ties with Mexico.

China is willing to boost its military ties with Mexico and deepen bilateral military exchanges and cooperation in various fields, he said.

Liang thanked the Mexican government for its support to China on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet.

Galvan said China is a great country, and Mexico has high expectations for boosting its military ties with China. The two sides can strengthen exchanges to expand military cooperation, the minister added. (read more)

Congress Mulls Cuts to Food Stamps Program Amid Record Number of Recipients

ABC News' Huma Khan reports: Congress is under pressure to cut the rapidly rising costs of the federal government’s food stamps program at a time when a record number of Americans are relying on it.

The House Appropriations Committee today will review the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bill for the Department of Agriculture that includes $71 billion for the agency’s “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.” That’s $2 billion less than what President Obama requested but a 9 percent increase from 2011, which, critics say, is too large given the sizeable budget deficit.

A record number of Americans -- about 14 percent -- now rely on the federal government’s food stamps program and its rapid expansion in recent years has become a politically explosive topic.

More than 44.5 million Americans received SNAP benefits in March, an 11 percent increase from one year ago and nearly 61 percent higher than the same time four years ago.

Nearly 21 million households are reliant on food stamps. (read more)

Car Bomb Explodes Near Libya Hotel - 1st June 2011

A car bomb has exploded near a hotel used by foreign diplomats in Libya's rebel-held city of Benghazi.

The explosion happened in the car park of the Tibesty hotel, which is used as a base by foreign officials visiting the provisional rebel government, known as the National Transitional Council.

Some western journalists also use the hotel.

However, rebel spokesman Jalal al Gallal confirmed that nobody was killed or injured in the car bomb.

"It's a cowardly act," he said, adding that rebels assume elements of Colonel Gaddafi's regime planted the device.

Rebel forces closed off the area in Benghazi as firefighters put out the fire which had spread to three other cars.

A crowd gathered at the scene, shouting "Libya is free".

The blast comes as a United Nations panel accused Libyan government forces of committing crimes against humanity and war crimes.

A report by three UN-appointed experts, who spoke to people on both sides of the uprising, also said opposition forces had committed "some acts which could constitute war crimes".

The study is part of a UN drive to conduct transparent and exhaustive investigations and bring those responsible for abuses to justice. Source

Killer cuteness: The slow and painful death of the real-life Furbies that have become a YouTube sensation - 1st June 2011

WARNING: Graphic image below

Their cuteness has made them an internet sensation. But ther popularity is now threatening their very survival.

Thanks to millions of hits on YouTube slow lorises have become a must-have pet - and are being plucked from their natural habitat in the rainforests of south-east Asia and traded for up to £3,500.

But what happens to them before they are 'customer ready' makes their plight even more distressing.

They have to have their teeth ripped out with nail clippers so that they don't cause an injury to their new owners.

There is a global high protection order under endangered species conventions meaning they can't be transported to the UK but the black market is rife and it is feared that many are smuggled in.

The population of slow lorises has declined to the point that there are now fears over their survival and they could soon become extinct.

Two of the endangered primates were smuggled aboard a Brisbane-bound flight from Singapore but had to be put down by quarantine officers.

The crew on the Emirates flight found them in the cabin during the filght and when the plane landed in Australia customs officials took the animals.

A spokesman said: 'Slow lorises can carry several diseases... including rabies and they also have a bite that is toxic.' Read More


Tragic Winston White, Three, Dies after he's locked in a boiling car for EIGHT HOURS by his godmother - 1st June 2011

A three-year-old boy died after being locked in a car for at least eight hours by his babysitter.

Tragic Winston White was found dead inside the vehicle after temperatures inside the car were reported to have reached an astonishing 150 degrees.

Police said no windows were left open in the vehicle as it sat outside a home in blazing sunshine.

Genee Brumfield, the boy's godmother,has been charged with negligent homicide following the incident in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Brumfield had been babysitting the boy when she stopped to visit her mother, according to police.

She was supposed to drop the toddler off at his regular day care but instead made an unscheduled stop at her mothers.

The boy was left inside the vehicle with all the windows closed and doors locked.

'For some unknown reason, Brumfield decided to stop by her mother's home, leaving the 3-year-old inside the car with the windows up and the doors locked,' said police spokesman Marlon Defillo.

Defillo said it was eight hours before somebody realised what had happened.

Police said Brumfield's sister came out and discovered the boy.

He was unresponsive, and despite the efforts of paramedics could not be revived. Read More

Zhang Gang threatened to impale his tiny daughter with a Samurai sword - 1st June 2011

This was the dramatic moment when a crazed motorist staged a tense stand off with cops - by threatening his own daughter with a razor sharp samurai sword.

The horrific scene was captured after Zhang Gang, 34, caused an accident with another car and instead of stopping to exchange details tried to speed off.

But police who were in the area chased the hit and run motorist - finally stopping him 15 minutes later just outside a farmer's market at Yongren country, in Yunan province.

Zhang, who was with his wife Lu and daughter May in the car, refused to surrender and demanded police get out of the way.

Local farmer Lu Yin said: 'I heard the car coming at speed and then slam on the brakes when two police cars blocked the road.

'Then this man leapt out carrying a huge sword and waving what I thought was a doll.

'But then I realised it was a little child. She seemed shocked but then she started crying when she heard her daddy shouting.

'He had the razor sharp sword at her chest the whole time and was shouting 'Let me go or I'll kill her I swear it - I will show no mercy.'

'Then he climbed back in the car with the kid and still with the sword at her chest demanded he be allowed to drive off.'

But a trained police negotiator was soon on the scene and started speaking to the road rage dad and several of his relatives were also sent over - allowing specially trained officers to get into position and storm the vehicle - freeing the little girl unharmed.

Witness Lu Yin said: 'They were talking to him for an hour to calm him down - but the operation to free the girl was over in seconds.' Read More

Hangman wanted: Indian state searches for executioner to carry out first death sentence in twenty years - 1st June 2011

The search is on in India to find the country an executioner to fulfil a death sentenced handed down to a convicted murderer.

Mahendra Nath Das was convicted of a gruesome killing in the state of Assam and the only one thing keeping him from the gallows is the lack of a hangman.

The death sentence is rare in India with only two hangings over the past 15 years and it has been more than two decades since any convict was executed in Assam.

Officials in the north-eastern state are scouring the rest of the country for a possible candidate.

Das was convicted for publicly decapitating a victim with a machete.

Brojen Das, the jailer of the prison at Jorhat, 190 miles east of Gauhati, said 'We have started the process of putting up the gallows.'

Prison authorities have written to their counterparts in the states of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal searching for a hangman, but have so far gotten no response, said S Thakuria, Assam's top prison official.

Qualified executioners, who know how to prepare the rope and tie the knot so as to cause a swift death, are scarce in India.

The last hanging took place in 2004, when a security guard was hanged in a Kolkata jail for the rape and murder of a teenage girl.

Nata Mullick, India's most famous hangman, came out of retirement at age 84 to carry out that execution, earning $435 and a job for his grandson as a maintenance worker at the jail.

A third generation hangman, Mr Mullick executed 25 of the 55 people who died on the gallows since India gained independence in 1947.

He would run repeated dry runs, using sandbags the same weight as the condemned prisoner.

He waxed the rope with soap and ripe bananas and tied it with five knots, hoping his preparations would keep the pain to a minimum and ensure the prisoner's head was not severed during the drop from the gallows.

In 2007, Mr Mullick described the job as 'an art' saying that 'skills need to be honed.'

Mr Mullick died in 2009.

Local media said there might be one or two hangmen still around nationally, including Mr Mullick's son, Mahadeb. Read More

Liam Shackleton, Six, plunges to death from eighth floor of tower block as four arrested for child neglect - 1st June 2011

Police have arrested four people on suspicion of child neglect after a six-year-old boy was killed when he fell from a block of flats.

Liam Shackleton's identity was officially revealed by police this afternoon.

The youngster is thought to have plunged from a window on the eighth floor of the tower block in Lindsey Mount in Leeds at about 5.15pm on Tuesday.

He was taken to Leeds General Infirmary but died a short time later.

Shocked neighbours today spoke of their horror about the child's death as mourners lay tributes of flowers and teddy bears at the scene.

Maria Jordan, 50, who lives nearby on the large Lincoln Estate, said it was a heart-breaking tragedy.

Mrs Jordan, who has two grandchildren aged four and seven, wept as she said: 'My neighbour knocked on my door and told me a little boy had fallen to the ground.

'I don't know the family but it breaks my heart thinking about that poor kiddie.

'If I lived that far up I wouldn't let my grandchildren anywhere near the windows.'

Father-of-three Mohammad Kulan, 42, a security guard, saw the aftermath of the tragedy from his house opposite Lindsey Mount.

He said: 'I looked out of the window when I heard the police sirens and there was a lot of people gathered in the gardens.

'Paramedics were tending to the boy but I don't think there was much they could do.

'It's very sad, everybody I've seen today has said what a terrible thing it was.' Read More

'Man-made' earthquake strikes Blackpool... and consequences could be severe for UK's gas drilling industry - 1st June 2011

The people of Blackpool may have barely felt a shudder, but the repercussions could be wide-reaching.

Measuring just 1.5 on the Richter scale, the seaside town escaped a recent earthquake totally unscathed.

But it was the latest in a series of 'natural' disasters, that are not considered natural at all - they are man-made.

Now the UK’s only ‘shale’ gas drilling project has been suspended after it emerged that the controversial technique may have caused the tremors..

Shale gas drilling – known as 'fracking' – is the process of fracturing rock deep underground using high-pressure water to extract gas.

The company behind the scheme, Cuadrilla, confirmed that it had been doing this just 1.2 miles from the epicentre of the tremor and has downed tools to investigate.

Experts believe the process could be behind the earthquake, which could have severe repercussions for drilling in the UK.

It follows a 2.3 magnitude earthquake at the beginning of last month, which also occurred near to the site at Preese Hall, near Blackpool.

Today, the British Geological Survey's head of seismology, Brian Baptie, said the survey recorded the magnitude 1.5 earthquake shortly after midnight on Friday.

He said: 'Data from two temporary instruments close to the drill site, installed after the magnitude 2.3 earthquake on April 1, indicate that the event occurred at a depth of approximately 2km or 1.2 miles.

'The recorded waveforms are very similar to those from the magnitude 2.3 event last month, which suggests that the two events share a similar location and mechanism.' Read More

WHAT IS 'FRACKING'?

  • It is a mining technique commonly used to get gas or oil from under land rather than under the sea.
  • To get the gas out, companies drill down into shale and form a well. They then inject wells with water, small amounts of chemicals and sand to create tiny cracks in the rock, allowing natural gas and sometimes oil to flow upwards into the well.
  • The technique could add about 40 per cent to previous estimates of global recoverable gas resources, with the largest known reserves are in China, the United States, Argentina and Mexico.
  • However, It is now feared the process could be the cause of small earthquakes.
  • Critics such as the Green party say that it is environmentally unsafe because the chemicals could contaminate soil and get into drinking water.

Sick Sadistic vandals behead 18 birds, and slaughter frogs and fish in 'shocking' attack at park wildlife attraction - 1st June 2011

Vandals beheaded 18 birds, stamped a frog to death and poisoned hundreds of fish by pouring fertiliser into a pond after breaking into a family wildlife attraction.

Police said the level of cruelty was 'shocking and distressing'.

The yobs also caused more than £10,000 worth of damage at the Horticultural Centre in Wythenshawe Park in Manchester, as they chopped down trees and smashed 130 windows.

They broke into the park some time between 4.30pm on Sunday and 10am the next day.

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council's executive member for culture and leisure, said: 'This is a sickening act of cruelty and vandalism, causing significant damage to a centre which has been enjoyed by generations of people.

'I know that everything possible is being done to catch those responsible for this appalling crime and bring them to justice.'

Pc Terina Wild, of the Northenden Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: 'The level of vandalism and cruelty shown by the offenders is shocking and distressing.

'This is an extremely serious offence and I would ask the community to help me identify the culprits.

'Did someone you know come home with filthy clothing or were they acting strangely?

'If you know who is responsible, but didn't get involved at the time, please come forward.

'This is an appalling crime which has affected a community facility and the offenders need to be brought to justice.

'Someone will know who is responsible and it is important you get in touch.' Source

UN panel finds BOTH Libya forces and Opposition Forces committed war crimes "will this give them the excuse for full invasion of libya?" - 1st June

GENEVA (AP) — A United Nations panel says Libyan government forces have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The U.N. investigators says opposition forces also committed "some acts which would constitute war crimes."

The report by three U.N.-appointed experts published Wednesday called on both sides to conduct transparent and exhaustive investigations and bring those responsible for abuses to justice.

The experts based their finds on interviews with 350 people in government and rebel-held parts of Libya, and neighboring countries. Source

E COLI UPDATE: 'Killer Cucumber' Outbreak: 365 New Cases of which 100 serious - 1st June 2011

German health officials have reported 365 new cases - 100 of which are serious - of the E.coli outbreak as it continues to spread across Europe.

The deadly bacteria - linked to contaminated vegetables - has killed 16 people and made more than 1,500 ill in Germany, Sweden and other countries since it surfaced in mid-May.

And health experts say more people are expected to inundate hospitals with the bug in the coming days.

The rise in the number of infections comes as Spain threatens to sue Hamburg for damages after the German city blamed Spanish cucumbers as the source of the bacteria.

Spanish farmers, who have been forced to throw away their produce, say they are losing around £175 million (200 million euros) per week in sales.

Spain Agriculture minister Rosa Aguilar, who on Monday ate Spanish-grown cucumbers to prove they were safe, said Madrid would be asking "for extraordinary measures to compensate for the huge losses imposed on the Spanish sector."

The exact source of the virulent strain of E.coli is still not known.

Dr Robert Tauxe, a foodbourne disease expert at the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said the outbreak was like nothing he had seen before.

"There has not been such an outbreak before that we know of in the history of public health," he said.

"It's extraordinary to see so many cases of the kidney complication from a foodbourne illness." Read More

100-150 evacuated in Rogersville after possible chlorine gas leak at local sewer plant, Tennessee

Between 100 and 150 people have been evacuated in Rogersville after a possible chlorine gas leak at the local sewer treatment plant.

Hawkins County Emergency Management Agency Director Gary Murrell told WJHL-TV an employee at the plant discovered a possible leak in a 1,400 pound chlorine canister and called for help around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Neighbors living on nearby streets were evacuated to the Hawkins County Rescue Squad Building.

No injuries had been reported by midmorning.

Numerous emergency agencies including the Kingsport Fire Department's Regional Haz-Mat Team were responding. Source

France on drought alert after hottest spring since 1900 - 1st June 2011

France is now on heatwave alert after the hottest spring since 1900 has left water tables down and farmers struggling to feed their livestock.

The Health Ministry has put into effect level one of an anti-drought plan that was drawn up after 15,000 people died in the long-hot summer of 2003.

Summer 2011 could be drier than summer 1973, when drought cost the economy an estimated 15 billion euros and a “drought tax” was introduced to raise 900 million euros to make up farmers’ losses, according to weather forecasters.

Spring this year has been the hottest since at last 1900 and the driest for 50 years. Temperatures have been 2.6°C higher than the average between 1971 and 2000.

Over half of the country’s d├ępartements are already limiting the use of water and farmers have already been promised millions of euros of aid.

The price of straw has been fixed at no higher than25 euros a tonne, Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire announced Tuesday.

The water shortage is likely to push already-rising food prices even higher but could mean a boost to tourism as holiday-makers head for Mediterrenean beaches.

Level one of the government’s heatwave plan puts weather-watchers and health authorities on alert. An emergency phone line has been set up with the number 0800066666.

The highest level of alert allows the government to bring in the army and order news media to broadcast government announcements on how to react to the crisis. Source

Breaking News: 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Chile - 1st June 2011

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck offshore Bio-Bio, Chile at a depth of 15.1 km (9.4 miles), the quake hit at 12:55:21 UTC Wednesday 1st June 2011.
The epicenter was 7 km (4 miles) North of Lebu, Bio-Bio, Chile

No tsunami watch, warning or advisory is in effect. No reports of Damage as yet.


The Earthquake registered initialy at a 6.4 Magnitude and was later down graded to a 6.2

U.K. mining company halts fracking due to earthquake concerns -- Cuadrilla Resources says it has stopped hydraulic fracturing (for now)

A mining company has halted drilling for shale gas in England after scientists said two small earthquakes might be linked to the controversial process of fracking.

The British Geological Survey recorded a 1.5-magnitude quake Friday near Blackpool in northwest England, within two kilometres of the gas exploration site. A 2.3-magnitude quake was recorded last month.

The geological survey's head of seismology, Brian Baptie, said Tuesday the two quakes appeared to have "a similar location and mechanism."

U.K.-based Cuadrilla Resources says it has stopped hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — the process of extracting gas by pummeling rocks deep underground with high-pressure water, sand and chemicals — while it studies data from the quakes and consulted with experts.

"We expect that this analysis and subsequent consultation will take a number of weeks to conclude and we will decide on appropriate actions after that," said chief executive Mark Miller.

Shale gas extraction, pioneered by the U.S. and Canada, is forecast to boost global recoverable natural gas resources by 40 per cent. But ecologists are alarmed by its environmental impact.

The biggest worry is that cancer-causing compounds used in the process could pollute water supplies. High levels of methane gas also have been found in tap water near some U.S. drilling sites, with YouTube videos showing people apparently setting fire to tap water. (read more)

US Cities that weathered housing bust now suffering as real estate collapse spreads

Even cities that weathered the housing market crash with relatively little damage are suffering now.

Severe price declines have spread to Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis and Cleveland, which had mostly withstood the bust in housing since 2006. The damage has now gone well beyond cities hit hardest by unemployment and foreclosures, such as Phoenix and Las Vegas.

"We didn't enjoy the highs and the lows like other cities," said Kay Weeks, a Realtor with Ebby Halliday in Dallas, where prices fell nearly 1 percent in March and are expected to keep falling. "But when we get bad news nationally, people take notice and cut back on spending and buying homes."

Home prices in big metro areas have sunk to their lowest since 2002, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city monthly index showed Tuesday. Since the bubble burst in 2006, prices have fallen more than they did during the Great Depression.

The index, which covers metro areas that include about 70 percent of U.S. households, is updated every quarter and provides a three-month average. The March data is the latest available.

Foreclosures have forced prices down so much that some middle-class neighborhoods have turned into lower-income areas within months.

Prices are expected to keep falling until the glut of foreclosures for sale is reduced, companies start hiring in greater force, banks ease lending rules and more people think it makes sense again to buy a house. In some markets, that could take years. (read more)

U.S. wealthy exit Swiss bank accounts as tax evasion laws take effect: Where will they hide next?

Wealthy U.S. individuals have already pulled most of their money from Swiss private banks and could exit altogether as a global clampdown on tax evasion and banking secrecy benefits onshore rivals, a report showed.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) data showed U.S. clients have withdrawn almost completely from Swiss banks since 2006, particularly since an extended tax dispute between U.S. authorities and UBS (UBSN.VX)(UBS.N), Switzerland's largest bank.

North American assets held in Swiss private banks fell to just 2 percent of the total in 2010 from 18 percent just four years earlier, the BGC report showed on Tuesday. (read more)

NATO, military partners extend Libyan mission: Lies, lies, and more lies

NATO and its partners in the military campaign to protect Libyan civilians have decided to extend their mission another 90 days, the alliance's top official said Wednesday.

"This decision sends a clear message to the Gadhafi regime: We are determined to continue our operation to protect the people of Libya," said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is trying to withstand the NATO air barrage and put down a rebellion among his own people.

Wednesday's decision came during a meeting of ambassadors from the 28 NATO countries plus ambassadors from the five non-NATO countries participating in the Libya campaign — Jordan, Qatar, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, said Carmen Romero, NATO's deputy spokeswoman.

It comes just a few days after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told CBC Radio's The House that he hopes for unanimous consent when Parliament is asked to approve a "reasonable" extension of Canada's military involvement in Libya.

Harper said in the interview that that there are encouraging signs of success in Libya, but the reasons Canada intervened in the first place haven't changed and warrant the military’s continued involvement. (read more)

The Canadian Dollar is No Haven from a US Dollar Collapse

We spend a lot of time here at The Dol­lar Vig­i­lante chastis­ing Ben Bernanke and the Fed­eral Reserve and prepar­ing our sub­scribers for a col­lapse of the US dol­lar – some­thing which has been pay­ing off very hand­somely, with gold and sil­ver at record highs this year – but don’t take that to mean that we pre­fer any other fiat cur­rency. No fiat cur­rency in the west­ern world is any bet­ter than the US Dol­lar. In fact, in every case, they are worse.

The Fed­eral Reserve is still, despite its secrecy, one of the most trans­par­ent cen­tral banks in the world. It also has, over the last cen­tury, despite inflat­ing the dol­lar down­ward by 97%, been one of the least infla­tion­ary banks.

We often hear of peo­ple denounce the US dol­lar and cor­rectly divine that it is headed to worth­less­ness, but, in the same breath, they say they own other fiat cur­ren­cies like the Cana­dian dollar.

This is a case of igno­rance of the work­ings of banks like the Bank of Canada – or vir­tu­ally any other major cen­tral bank in the world, for that matter.

There are numer­ous rea­sons why the Cana­dian dol­lar will not sur­vive a US dol­lar collapse:

  • The Cana­dian econ­omy is very tied to the US economy
  • The Cana­dian Gov­ern­ment is intent on devalu­ing the Cana­dian dol­lar along­side the US
  • The Bank of Canada has vir­tu­ally no gold back­ing the Cana­dian dollar
  • All that does back the Cana­dian dol­lar is the US dol­lar and other fiat currencies
  • The Cana­dian dol­lar is not used globally (read more)

Democrats Want 62 Percent Tax Rate (!)

If the Democrats get their way on taxes, the top combined tax rate would soar to 62 percent, warns economist Stephen Moore of The Wall Street Journal.

A combination of higher income tax rates, phasing out of deductions, payroll taxes, state taxes, new healthcare taxes, and a 3 percent “millionaire’s tax” would add up fast, Moore says.

Essentially, the Democrat’s plan is more Jimmy Carter than Bill Clinton, he writes in an Op Ed for the newspaper.

“If the Democrats' millionaire surtax were to happen — and were added to other tax increases already enacted last year and other leading tax-hike ideas on the table this year — this could leave the U.S. with a combined federal and state top tax rate on earnings of 62 percent,” he figures.

“That's more than double the highest federal marginal rate of 28 percent when President Reagan left office in 1989. Welcome back to the 1970s.”

The problem, he says, is that the United States is trading places with once non-competitive rivals in the rest of the world. America’s largest trading partners in 1990 had individual income tax rates as high as 51 percent, compared to 33 percent in the United States. (read more)

Was half of New Testament forged? Bible scholar says so

A frail man sits in chains inside a dank, cold prison cell. He has escaped death before but now realizes that his execution is drawing near.

“I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come,” the man –the Apostle Paul - says in the Bible's 2 Timothy. “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”

The passage is one of the most dramatic scenes in the New Testament. Paul, the most prolific New Testament author, is saying goodbye from a Roman prison cell before being beheaded. His goodbye veers from loneliness to defiance and, finally, to joy.

There’s one just one problem - Paul didn’t write those words. In fact, virtually half the New Testament was written by impostors taking on the names of apostles like Paul. At least according to Bart D. Ehrman, a renowned biblical scholar, who makes the charges in his new book “Forged.

“There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” says Ehrman, an expert on ancient biblical manuscripts.In “Forged,” Ehrman claims that:

* At least 11 of the 27 New Testament books are forgeries.

* The New Testament books attributed to Jesus’ disciples could not have been written by them because they were illiterate.

* Many of the New Testament’s forgeries were manufactured by early Christian leaders trying to settle theological feuds. (read more)

The reckless masters of 'economic armageddon'?

There have been many books written about the financial crisis: What caused it, who’s to blame and how it could have – and should have – been prevented.

This new one, “Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon,” lives up to its lengthy title and gets deep into the weeds of who did what, when and how. In short, Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner name names and connect the dots.

Singled out for particular criticism, James Johnson, former CEO of Fannie Mae, who the authors say built the U.S. backer of mortgages into “the largest and most powerful financial institution in the world.” And that’s not a good thing—not in this case. The authors paint a painstaking portrait of the way they allege Johnson, and so many others, used money and political influence to get around the rules, get rich, and create a catastrophe.

Fannie Mae was not a lender, nor was it a bank. The U.S. government created the institution in the 1930s to steady the housing market in times of crisis, especially if bank money became unavailable for mortgages. However, Fannie Mae became something else, a behemoth charged with keeping the mortgage market flush with capital by purchasing mortgages made by banks, or by guaranteeing them, allowing banks to go out and lend even more.

But Morgenson and Rosner say Fannie Mae cheated on its accounting, paid huge bonuses to its executives and political friends, and encouraged the absurdly risky financial practices that led to the meltdown.

I interviewed the authors on World Business today, and asked them to link it all up for us: From the mortgage industry to the financial “enablers” such as Goldman Sachs, Morgenson and Rosner describe a perfect storm. (read more)

China: Can Education Curb a Mistress Epidemic?

This fall, young girls in China's southern Guangdong province will be learning a new subject in school: how to avoid becoming a mistress. Although Chairman Mao kept a stable of women at his disposal, extramarital peccadilloes were frowned upon during China's more fervent socialist years. But as economic reforms have helped Guangdong become one of the nation's wealthiest regions, the province has been beset by a flood of ernai, literally, "second breast," as mistresses are commonly known in China.

In 2007, Guangdong passed a piece of legislation that outlawed the keeping of mistresses, but wasn't able to enforce it. The provincial government's new solution is a pioneering "female education program" across elementary and high schools that aims to teach girls to depend on themselves — not sugar daddies — for their future. "The education will focus on self-esteem, self-confidence, self-reliance and self-improvement," Lei Yulan, vice governor of Guangdong, told a symposium when the initiative was announced in March. (read more)

U.S. to propose mandatory vehicle 'black boxes'

The U.S. Transportation Department said today it will propose making vehicle "black boxes" mandatory in all vehicles by the end of the year.

The department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has long considered whether to make black boxes, officially called event data recorders, or EDRs, mandatory. They collect data about the seconds leading up to a crash and can help investigators determine the cause.

Last year, Congress considered requiring EDRs in all vehicles. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland told Congress the agency was studying the issue.

The plan was included in a 197-page Transportation Department regulatory reform proposal released by the White House this morning.

"NHTSA plans to propose mandatory EDRs in all passenger vehicles in 2011," the Transportation Department said in the report. (read more)

EU demands stealth taxes that will cost families £200 a year (while they CUT the money given back to Britain) - 1st June 2011

Grasping EU leaders have sparked condemnation by demanding an inflation-busting budget rise that would see Britons forced to pay £200 a year directly to Brussels.

Euro MPs plan to raise the cash with a stealth raid hitting millions of families with taxes covering everything from consumer charges to aviation levies.

As millions of pounds pour into EU coffers, the money Britain receives back from Brussels would actually be cut.

The plans have been met with fury by MPs who raised the prospect of leaving the EU state and branded the taxes a 'kick in the teeth' for British people.

'This kind of attempt to stitch up the British people can only be answered by the simple word: No. The veto must be used,' Bill Cash, the chairman of the Commons European Scrutiny commiLinkttee, told the Daily Telegraph.

'The Prime Minister knows he is heading for a showdown which he can only lose now that the Liberal Democrats are so weak.'

Tory eurosceptic MP Douglas Carswell said that the plans showed that 'Eurocrats simply don't get it'.

'We have been forced this year to increase massively the amount of money we pay to the EU, both in the budget and through the bailouts of eurozone countries, and still they want more,' Read More

Schoolgirl, 10, 'takes dealer father's cocaine stash to show-and-tell session at school after he hid it in a bag of Haribo' - 1st June 2011

A ten-year-old schoolgirl sparked a police raid on her father's home when she took a bag of cocaine to a 'show and tell' class.

The child innocently took a bag of Haribo sweets to show friends at Southdown Junior School in Newhaven, East Sussex, unaware that there was a stash of the Class A substance hidden inside.

Her teacher took the wrap - which the girl had thought was a bag of sherbet - and contacted police.

Officers went to the girl's father's £200,000 house where they found 100 wraps of a suspected Class A substance and arrested a 31-year-old man on suspicion of drug dealing.

Parents at the girl's school have been told about the incident while other pupils are being taught about the dangers of drugs.

The girl, who cannot be identified, has been sent to live with her mother with monitoring from social services.

A father of one of the pupils at the school said: 'You teach your kids about taking sweets from strangers but don't expect them to be in danger from eating sweets offered by other children at school.

'I don't want to be wondering if my boy is being handed drugs in the playground.'

Another mother of two told The Sun: 'Drug dealing is evil enough but for a dealer to disguise his drugs in a packet of sweets with children in the house is so irresponsible it beggars belief.

'She or a friend could have taken the drugs and died.' Read More

Deadly E. coli infections still rising in Germany - 1st June 2011

German researchers are still trying to identify the source of a deadly E. coli outbreak after Spanish cucumbers were found not to have the lethal strain.

About 100 patients in north Germany are reported to be suffering the most severe and potentially fatal symptoms.

The E. coli has killed 16 people - 15 in Germany and one in Sweden.

The reprieve for the Spanish cucumber came too late for growers, who were forced to destroy tonnes of freshly harvested vegetables in southern Spain.

Shoppers in northern Germany are even boycotting locally grown vegetables, the German newspaper die Welt reports.

Germany's Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has advised people not to eat raw vegetables, especially in northern Germany.

Meanwhile, the Spanish government has demanded compensation for affected Spanish growers.

Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba threatened legal action.

"We may take action against the authorities, in this case Hamburg," he warned on Wednesday.

In Germany, 1,169 have been affected by enterohaemorrhagic E. coli, also known as EHEC.

In many instances, the gastrointestinal infection has led to Haemolytic-uraemic Syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney problems and is potentially fatal.

The RKI has confirmed 373 cases of HUS in Germany.

About half of the HUS patients in Hamburg clinics have suffered neural disorders three to five days after falling ill, such as epileptic fits and slurred speech, die Welt reports. Read More

Japan 'Underestimated' Tsunami Nuclear Risk - 1st June 2011

Japan underestimated the risk of tsunamis to its coastal nuclear power plants, a British-led UN safety team has concluded.

The report also said that Japan needs to closely monitor public and workers' health after the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant, as a result of the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

The report, from an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team, was led by Britain's top nuclear safety official Mike Weightman.

It highlighted some of the well-documented weaknesses that contributed to the crisis at Fukushima when the plant, 150 miles north of Tokyo.

The plant was hit by a massive earthquake and then a tsunami in quick succession on March 11.

Those start with a failure to plan for a tsunami that would overrun the 19-foot break wall at Fukushima and knock out back-up electric generators to four reactors.

This occurred despite multiple forecasts from a government agency and operator Tokyo Electric Power company's own scientists that such a risk was looming.

The IAEA team said Japan's crisis offered several lessons for the nuclear industry globally, including that plant operators should regularly review the risks of natural disasters.

It also recommended that "hardened" emergency response centres should be established to deal with accidents.

"The tsunami hazard for several sites was underestimated," the report's three-page summary said.

"Nuclear plant designers and operators should appropriately evaluate and provide protection against the risks of all natural hazards."

Goshi Hosono, an aide to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, accepted the report, marking the first step in an effort by Japanese officials to show that the lessons learned from Fukushima can be applied to make its remaining reactors safe.

Hosono said the government would need to review its nuclear regulatory framework.
The IAEA team will submit its findings to a ministerial conference on nuclear safety in Vienna from June 20-24.

"We had a playbook, but it didn't work," said Tatsujiro Suzuki, a nuclear expert and vice chairman of Japan's Atomic Energy Commission. Source

Flooding Blamed For Fish Kills, Animal Deaths along the Mississippi River - 31st May 2011

Record flooding along the Mississippi River is killing some fish and other animals, but wildlife officials said that was anticipated and no reason for alarm.

Ron Garavelli, the director of fisheries for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, said a small fish kill was confirmed in Wolf Lake north of Yazoo City in recent weeks.

He said chemicals and decaying debris take oxygen out of the water, which is expected to cause more fish kills. Garavelli said the flooding also kills other animals.

He urged Mississippi residents to report dead animals and fish kills to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality or the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. Source

5 trucks of ‘double dead fish’ held - 1st June 2011

WARNING - Some people in Batangas province are reportedly eating double-dead fish instead of disposing them.

DOH said people who eat such fish, even if cooked, will cause illnesses or even death.

The department said symptoms of illnesses related to eating double-dead fish include vomiting, dizziness, and parts of the body becoming swollen.

*****************************

MEMBERS of Dagupan City police intercepted five 10-wheeler trucks loaded with fish believed taken from Pangasinan towns where fish kill occurred recently.

Police said they set up a checkpoint along De Venecia Road after receiving reports about a delivery of “double dead fish” to Magsaysay Market in Dagupan.

A fish examiner confirmed that the seized milk fish were already rotten.

Fish kill was reported in Anda and Bolinao towns in Pangasinan over a week ago.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Regional Office 1 said at least 30 to 50 metric tons of milk fish worth over P3 million were affected.

Last Friday, fish kill also struck fish pens at Taal Lake. Source

Public Warning "Don't eat the Fish" as Another 200 Tons Of Dead A Fish Found in Lake Taal - 1st June 2011

BATANGAS, Philippines – Another 200 tons of fish have died in Talisay, Batangas Tuesday night after a sharp decrease in oxygen levels in Taal Lake, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said.

A BFAR study showed that the oxygen level in Taal was depleted in half due to the transition to rainy season.

BFAR said it may take several more days before conditions at the lake normalize.

BFAR is now advising the harvesting of the remaining milkfish in Taal Lake.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Health Office is studying if the illnesses acquired by residents in the area are caused by the foul smell emitted by the dead fish or merely due to the change in weather.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier warned the public against eating "double dead" fish.

Some people in Batangas province are reportedly eating double-dead fish instead of disposing them.

DOH said people who eat such fish, even if cooked, will cause illnesses or even death.

The department said symptoms of illnesses related to eating double-dead fish include vomiting, dizziness, and parts of the body becoming swollen. Source

Ash from Russian Shiveluch Volcano Forces Flight Reroutes - 31st May 2011

Ash clouds coming from an active volcano in Russia’s far east has forced authorities there to reroute a number of international flights, officials said on Tuesday. No flights have so far been canceled.

Although the 3,283-meter (10,771-foot) Shiveluch volcano is not fully erupting, the active volcano in Kamchatka Krai has been active since May 2009 and periodically spews ash up to eight kilometers (4.9 miles) high.

But activity at the volcano has increased in recent days, and Russia’s geophysical service said on Tuesday that the volcano is now spewing plumes of ash up to a height of nine kilometers (5.6 miles). Fears are that the volcano is now at risk of a full eruption.

Because volcanic ash can pose a threat to planes and because of the increased risk of a full eruption, authorities have decided to reroute all air traffic around the ash clouds, which is close to a major air corridor for aircraft flying between Russia and locations in Japan and South Korea.

Shiveluch, one of the largest and most active volcanoes in Russia, is located in Kamchatka Krai, a federal subject of Russia. It is one of more than 150 volcanoes in Kamchatka, although only 29 of them are active.

Earlier this month, European airlines were forced to cancel nearly 1,000 flights over a span of several days after the Grimsvotn in Iceland erupted, spreading an ash cloud over several countries. So far, no flights have been canceled as a result of the volcano in Russia. Source

Cambridge Volcanologist 'Clive Oppenheimer', Volcano expert fears we’ll see a super eruption - 1st June 2011

Volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer yesterday warned there was a one-in-500 chance of the world being hit by a super- volcano this century.

The reader in vulcanology at Cambridge University told a Hay audience: “That might not sound like much, but it is a lot more likely than an asteroid impact.

“The events in Japan remind us that you can have a tsunami and earthquake and a nuclear plant there as well and you can have these chain reaction events that are actually quite calamitous and they are not unimaginable.”

Examining geological, historical and archeological records, the expert took the audience on a journey back to three volcanic eruptions that have shaken the world – the 1815 Tambora volcano in Indonesia that killed 100,000 people, the 1783 eruption of Kaki in Iceland and the massive Toba eruption in indonesia that pumped 3,000 cubic km of magma into the atmosphere around 75,000 years ago, leaving behind a lake-filled crater in North Sumatra 100km long and 30km wide.

If such an eruption was to happen tomorrow, he said, the world would be far more vulnerable.

He said: “The world population is bigger, for one thing, and many people are living in abject poverty who are already very vulnerable.

“The effects would be huge, both to people and to the technological world.”

The 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption in Iceland woke the world up to the threat posed by large-scale clouds of ash, he said.

“Communications become very vulnerable, with disruption to mobile phone communications.

“We do need to think about all these vulnerabilities, both the technological risks and the humanitarian ones.”

He added that evidence shows category-eight earthquakes can trigger volcanoes 1000km away, and that this year’s devastating earthquake off the coast of Japan would be likely to trigger a volcano elsewhere in the country.

“They are linked,” he said.

“Statistically, we could say within the next six months there is likely to be an eruption in Japan because of the events this year.

“Global warming and melting of the ice caps will also have an effect, because a lot of volcanoes are under the ice which, when you remove that loading, will also statistically be more likely to erupt.” Source

Michelle Hoang Thi Le Mystery - 'It's hard not to assume the worst': Family of nurse who disappeared during class offer $20,000 reward for her return

The family of a nurse who vanished during a medical class have offered a $20,000 reward for her safe return.

Michelle Hoang Thi Le, 26, vanished at around 7pm on Friday from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Hayward, California.

Witnesses said that she took a break from her clinical rounds and took her car keys and cell phone with her.

Speaking to KTVU.com, Miss Le's brother Michael said: 'It’s really hard not to assume the worst, but we’re trying.

'That’s the hardest thing, staying positive.'

Her car was found a few blocks from the hospital on Saturday with valuables still inside, but police have been unable to contact her on her phone.

The cell phone signal was traced to Oakland, Union City and Fremont, but can no longer be picked up.

‘The reality is, it's a pretty large area,’ Roger Keener of Hayward police told KGO.

‘We've had the helicopter fly over the area. We haven't found anything at all that leads us [in] one direction or another, that tells us this is a foul play incident or anything.’

Officers said they have examined surveillance video from the hospital car park, but as yet they have found no sign of Miss Le.

Miss Le had reportedly told some classmates that she had plans to go to Reno, Nevada, on Friday night.

Police said that she does not have any medical or psychiatric conditions that could account for her disappearance.

Miss Le was a student at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, California.

‘The entire Samuel Merritt University community is deeply concerned about the disappearance of our nursing student Michelle Le,’ a university spokesman told ABC News.

‘She was last seen Friday evening after she did not return to the hospital from the parking garage at the Kaiser Permanente Hayward Medical Center.’ Source

Tourists flee in terror as swarm of bees descends on New York's Little Italy - 1st June 2011

It's been enshrined in New York legend as the home of the Mob.

But today tourists in Little Italy encountered a different kind of Mafia when a swarm of bees descended on legendary Mulberry Street.

They screamed in terror as hundreds of buzzing honeybees suddenly appeared around a mailbox at midday.

The panic was so great NYPD officers were forced to cordon off an entire stretch of sidewalk from the corner with Grand Street while they waited for reinforcements - New York's own beekeeping association.

It remained closed for hours as frustrated restaurateurs looked on and visitors gathered round the mailbox to take photos of the blanket of insects on their camera phones.

Some compared it to a movie set, as police officers stood guard to make sure no-one got hurt by the invasion.

The box, outside the Italian-American Museum, was almost entirely covered by bees for several hours.

But soon help arrived in the form of Elie Miodownik, from the New York City Beekeepers' Association, who turned up in full protective costume to rescue the bees and take them to a new hive.

He was then joined by an NYPD beekeeper, and together they inspected the swarm to find the queen.

Mr Midownik told DNAInfo: 'It's a swarm, a natural phenomenon when a beehive gets overcrowded. It tends to happen more in the spring or summertime. It means that there's a beehive within a couple blocks.' Read More


Casey Anthony's Mother in tears as she hears 911 call made by Casey Anthony 31 DAYS after her little girl disappeared - 1st June 2011

A distraught Cindy Anthony buried her head in her arms and slumped on the witness stand today as she listened to a tape of her daughter, Casey Anthony, calmly telling 911 operators that two-year-old Caylee had been missing for 31 days.

Casey Anthony, 25, is on trial for the alleged June 2008 murder of Caylee, whose remains were found in a swamp in December that year, wrapped in a Winnie the Pooh blanket and with duct tape over her mouth and nose.

Anthony appeared emotional at the start of the tape, but for the rest of the recording sat stone-faced as it was played to the jury.

Mrs Anthony gulped and wept as she was shown a photograph of a doll and a pink and turquoise backpack belonging to her grand-daughter Caylee, holding a handkerchief to her face as she testified before a court in Orlando, Florida.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Anthony has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. Read More


'Jonas Bevacqua' LRG Hip hop fashion designer, 34, who founded multi-million dollar company found dead in California home - 1st June 2011

A hip hop fashion designer who founded a multi-million dollar company when he was barely out of his teens has been found dead in California home aged 34

Jonas Bevacqua launched the popular street clothing brand LRG in 1999 and presided over its rapid rise as a major fashion force.

Orange County sheriff's officials said his body was found in his Laguna Beach home.

‘There were no obvious signs of the cause of death,’ said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. He added that the county coroner would conduct an autopsy on Wednesday.

Mr Bevacqua and his business partner, Robert Wright, founded Lifted Research Group, known to customers as LRG, with start-up capital raised in part from friends of Mr Bevacqua's adoptive father.

By 2006, LRG had annual sales of $150 million and was named by Entrepreneur magazine as number five on its list of that year's 500 fastest growing companies.

Among its popular clothing lines are Luxirie, which targets 18- to 30-year-old women, offering clothing with Western and military themes, and items such as crystal-covered jeans.

Initially a clothing company, LRG has since branched out to include sales of electronic devices and music, releasing compilation CDs with artists such as Kanye West and Raekwon. Read More