Friday, June 3, 2011
Yemen's veteran president, Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded by shellfire, as his presidential palace came under attack amid the country's brewing civil war.
Mr Saleh, who has held office for nearly 33 years, was praying in a mosque inside the fortified palace compound when it was struck by at least two shells, killing three guards.
The president escaped with light injuries, according to western diplomats and government officials, but the prime minister and speaker of parliament were more seriously hurt. Rashad al-Alami, the deputy prime minister and a leading pro-Western voice in the cabinet, was said to in a critical condition.
The government was quick to blame the powerful Ahmar family, leaders of the Hashed tribal federation, whose militiamen have been engaged in bloody street clashes with regime forces in Sana'a.
Raising fears of a major escalation in the violence of the past fortnight, in which more than 100 people have been killed, the government promised retribution and by nightfall a number of Ahmar family homes had been shelled.
For four months, Mr Saleh has clung to power in the face of protests that have drawn hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets to demand his resignation. (read more)
The unemployment rate in the world's biggest economy climbed 0.1pc to 9.1 pc in May, while the number of jobs showed its smallest rise in eight months. Just 54,000 were added to payrolls for non-agricultural work - some 100,000 fewer than forecast.
The Dow Jones, the US benchmark share index, fell more than 140 points to just over 12,100 at one point as Wall Street digested the latest disappointment, while the dollar hit a record low against the Swiss franc, seen as a "safe haven" currency. However, the Dow recovered in late trading to 12,205.19 , down 43.36.
Investors had already seen a leading US manufacturing survey this week fall to its lowest level since September 2009 and a second credit rating agency threaten to put the country on review for a possible downgrade of its rating, unless politicians agree to raise its legal debt limit.
"The greater surprise is not the US slowdown was unexpected, but rather that it was so pervasive - reflected in housing, labour, manufacturing and consumer spending data," said Michael Woolfolk, managing director at BNY Mellon Global Markets.
Analysts have blamed the softness in the US economy on high energy prices, supply chain disruptions following the Japanese earthquake and tornadoes and flooding in some states. (read more)
As four more cases of the food poisoning bacteria were diagnosed in Britain yesterday, retailers were continuing to import vegetables including cauliflower, sweetcorn and cabbage from Germany despite concerns that the highly toxic bacteria is being spread by contaminated produce.
Tesco and Lidl confrmed that they had "small quantities" of German produce in their stores.
Hugh Pennington, an emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University, said: "They [the supermarkets] should take a safety first approach and if it is a small amount of produce they should remove it from the shelves. This is a very dangerous bug because a surprisingly large proportion of the people who have been infected have gone on to develop nasty complications."
The World Health Organisation yesterday confirmed that there has been the first case of the bacteria spreading from person-to-person.The individual from Norway became infected after coming into contact with someone who had visited North Germany.
Andrea Ellis, an epidemiologist at the World Health Organisation, said: "There has been a case identified where there has been person-to-person transmission. It is something we worry about with any kind of bacteria." (read more)
Ralph Fiennes at Hay Festival 2011: We live in a world of soundbites -- the perfect summation of today's society
The actor said that bringing people to the plays is increasingly difficult because Shakespeare's writing bears so little relation to the way we speak today. His latest film, an adaptation of Coriolanus, is set in a modern war zone but stays true to the original text.
Dame Helen Mirren recently suggested that schoolchildren should not be made to read Shakespeare, but should be exposed to his plays on stage and screen first.
"I absolutely agree with her," said Fiennes. "It wasn't such a challenge for me at school because I always felt excited by Shakespeare, but I was very aware that I was in a minority. For a lot of people it was a pain in the ----.
"I don't think Shakespeare should be read first of all. Students should see performances or film and, even better, be encouraged to stand up with some of the more accessible scenes and speak it. When you read it out loud, you can discover that a seemingly difficult sentence means something quite simple. Obviously, not everyone will love Shakespeare, but I think people can be moved by the language and surprised by it.
"There is no getting away from it, to a lot of people it's a challenge. And it's increasingly a challenge because the way we speak now, the language, has been so grossly over-simplified. Politicians, the media - we now live in a world of soundbites. What you are saying has to be straight to the point. (read more)
Ministers will target those who could afford to buy or rent a house comfortably but instead choose to live in a council house at vastly lower rents than those paid in the private sector.
For some London properties this amounts to the equivalent of someone having their rent subsidised by the taxpayer by up to £70,000 a year.
According to a Whitehall analysis prepared for ministers, there are up to 6,000 people in social housing with an income greater than £100,000.
A range of options is now being considered to free up this housing, which ministers say is being kept from those in need. These include granting new powers to councils, and the social landlords they control, to take homes away when it is clear that the income in the household is more than £100,000.
That would require changes to the law, but ministers are prepared to change the law to demonstrate their commitment to reforming the way in which council houses are allocated. (read more)
More than 1,000 people have died in Syria since the conflict there started in mid-March, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday, a grim milestone that reflects his alarm over the "escalation of violence" in the authoritarian Arab country.
The unrest, which started percolating in the southern city of Daraa and then spread to the rest of the country, claimed more lives Friday in Hama, the city known for a 1982 government massacre against the civilian population.
At least 34 were killed Friday and many more were wounded, according to Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an entity in regular touch with activists in the country.
He said all of the deaths came from indiscriminate gunfire toward demonstrators, reviving memories of the decades-old crackdown. (read more)
Tests carried out in the wake of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, from which large amounts of radioactive materials have leaked, detected radiation exceeding the legal limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram of tea leaves.
It is the first time for the government to halt shipments of tea under the Special Law on Nuclear Disaster Countermeasures. Since the concentration of cesium changes during each of the steps in which tea is produced -- from drying the leaves to create unrefined tea to processing them and making them into a drink -- the government had been considering which stages of the production process to halt.
Most of this season's first crop of tea has already been processed into unrefined tea, or "aracha," and on June 2 the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare ordered new inspections of aracha. Up until now, there have been hardly any inspections of tea at this stage of the production process, and it is possible that tea containing radioactive materials exceeding the legal limit has already been shipped out.
"If we find that it has exceeded the limit, we will take measures under the Food Sanitation Law, such as recalling products," a ministry representative said. (read more)
The Robert Koch Institute said in a statement there had been 149 cases of E.coli infection and 50 of the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) caused by E.coli. The latest numbers bring the total number of cases since May 1 to 1,733, it said. (Source)
“As China moves into a cycle of generating autonomous structural inflation, it is widely anticipated that China will export this inflation to the rest of the world. Here is how the dominos will fall.
The first domino is China creating autonomous structural inflation:
China attempts to rebalance economy away from investment/exports towards consumption. In March, inflation hit a 32-month high of 5.4% yoy. Policy makers remain well behind the curve. That domino has already fallen.
The second domino (in the process of falling) is proffered to be that China will then export this inflation to the rest of the world. This dynamic seems as inevitable as gravity itself.
The third domino is teetering.
- domestic inflation rising in China
- pace of Yuan appreciation stepping up in Q2-11.
Import price indices from China, for the developed economies, are turning up. Given the “stickiness” of supply, the world will remain a China “price-taker”. The past two decades of outsourcing that turned China into the world’s factory were long term trends. Manufacturing production cannot simply be transplanted quickly to another economy.” (read more)
In a report from the president's National Economic Council, officials said that figure is down from the 60 percent the Treasury Department originally estimated the government would lose following its $80 billion bailout of Chrysler and General Motors in 2009.
The report's release coincides with the administration's efforts to tout the bailout's role in the revitalization of the U.S. auto industry after last week's announcement that Chrysler is repaying $5.9 billion in U.S. loans and a $1.7 billion loan from the Canadian government. Those payments cover most of the federal bailout money that saved the company after it nearly ran out of cash in and went through a government-led bankruptcy.
GM previously announced that it had repaid a little more than half of the $50 billion it received in federal aid. (read more)
The ratings agency said there is a “very small but rising risk of a short-lived default.”
Administration officials have warned of a catastrophic consequences if the U.S. government defaults and is unable to pay its bills.
The government has been juggling its books since the middle of May to continue making payments, but has warned that it must raise the debt ceiling by August 2 or risk defaulting on its obligations. Moody’s said:
If the debt limit is raised and default avoided, the Aaa rating will be maintained. However, the rating outlook will depend on the outcome of negotiations on deficit reduction. A credible agreement on substantial deficit reduction would support a continued stable outlook; lack of such an agreement could prompt Moody’s to change its outlook to negative on the Aaa rating.
-Tom Bemis (Source)
Demand continues to fall, while inventories continue to rise. That means that retailers have enough backlog to keep orders down for at least a while, probably through the summer — especially if food and fuel price increases continue to erode disposable income. Retailers have already begun to announce missed targets, and the Morgan Stanley retail index dropped slightly in trading this morning. (read more)
New orders for manufactured goods in April, down two of the last three months, decreased $5.5 billion or 1.2 percent to $440.4 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. This followed a 3.8 percent March increase. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.2 percent. Shipments, down following seven consecutive monthly increases, decreased $0.9 billion or 0.2 percent to $444.5 billion. This followed a 3.1 percent March increase. Unfilled orders, up twelve of the last thirteen months, increased $2.5 billion or 0.3 percent to $850.7 billion. This followed a 0.7 percent March increase. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.08, up from 5.96 in March.
Inventories, up eighteen of the last nineteen months, increased $7.7 billion or 1.3 percent to $587.8 billion. This followed a 1.4 percent March increase. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.32, up from 1.30 in March.
Yes, if one rather shady website, that peddles gun oil containing liquefied pig fat, is to be believed.
The makers of Silver Bullet Gun Oil claim it contains 13 per cent USDA liquefied pig fat thus making the product 'a highly effective counter-Islamic terrorist force multiplier.'
The apparent owner of the gun oil site, who goes by the name 'The Midnight Rider,' explains how the pig fat will transfer onto anything the bullet strikes.
This 'effectively denies entry to Allah's paradise to an Islamo-fascist terrorist,' Rider adds.
The oil, which costs $8.95 for 4oz, apparently puts the 'fear of death into them (terrorists)'. (read more)
Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery’s order against the Medina Valley Independent School District also forbids students from using specific religious words including “prayer” and “amen.”
The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by Christa and Danny Schultz. Their son is among those scheduled to participate in Saturday’s graduation ceremony. The judge declared that the Schultz family and their son would “suffer irreparable harm” if anyone prayed at the ceremony.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said the school district is in the process of appealing the ruling, and his office has agreed to file a brief in their support.
“Part of this goes to the very heart of the unraveling of moral values in this country,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told Fox News Radio, saying the judge wanted to turn school administrators into “speech police.”
“I’ve never seen such a restriction on speech issued by a court or the government,” Abbott told Fox News Radio. “It seems like a trampling of the First Amendment rather than protecting the First Amendment.” (read more)
No one was injured as a result of the incident, which observers on scene said ranks as the most audacious example of metal theft in recent memory.
“It stopped a little too late and derailed — it just dropped down on both sides,” CSX trainmaster Mark Smith said of the four-axle GP40 engine that was pulling two cars and a rear engine.
The engine’s front wheels landed astride the tracks, but neither it nor the other engine and two cars, tipped over. The rear engine, with the two cars in tow, by late Wednesday managed to pull away, leaving the front engine mired in the dirt among shards of shattered railroad ties.
Smith, 52, said the slow-moving train derailed at 1:30 p.m. as the two-man crew was delivering goods to Agar Supply, a foodservice distributor located at 225 John Hancock Road. (read more)
Despite being flooded with tens of thousands of phone calls and a petition of over 200,000 Australians, the Government hasn't acted to stop more boats of Australian cattle leaving for Indonesian slaughterhouses. In fact, three more boats have left this week.
Let's step our campaign up and target politicians where it matters: their voters. If we all chip in together we can create a national advertising campaign that the Government can't ignore.
That's why we've joined with our friends at the RSPCA and Animals Australia to get this hard-hitting TV ad on air. Can you chip in to put it on air right now? (Source)
This post was reader contributed.
USGS Has this earthquake registered as a 5.6 Magnitude while the Japanese Seismic monitors have set this Earthquake at a 6.0 Magnitude (seen here>>>>)
U.S. gives billions of dollars in foreign aid to world's richest countries - then BORROWS it back - 3rd June 2011
The Congressional Research Service released the report last month which shows that in 2010 the U.S. handed out a total of $1.4bn to 16 foreign countries that held at least $10bn in Treasury securities.
Four countries in the world's top 10 richest received foreign aid last year with China receiving $27.2m, India $126.6m, Brazil $25m, and Russia $71.5m.
Mexico also received $316.7m and Egypt $255.7m.
And yet despite the massive outgoings in foreign aid, the receiving countries hold trillions of dollars in U.S. Treasury bonds.
China is the largest holder with $1.1trillion as of March, according to the Treasury Department.
Brazil held $193.5bn, Russia $127.8bn, India $39.8bn, Mexico $28.1bn and Egypt had $15.3bn.
Foreign aid is earmarked for causes including HIV/AIDs prevention, combating weapons of mass destruction, fighting tuberculosis, and counter-terrorism efforts.
The news has caused grave concern, with Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla, who requested the report seen by Fox News, calling the policy 'dangerous'.
In a written statement Senator Coburn said: 'Borrowing money from countries who receive our aid is dangerous for both the donor and recipient.
'If countries can afford to buy our debt, perhaps they can afford to fund assistance programs on their own.
'At the same time, when we borrow from countries we are supposedly helping to develop, we put off hard budget choices here at home. Read More
Sandra Hadsock, 64, punched hulking student in the face 'who called her the C-word and backed her against a wall' - 3rd June 2011
Though Sandra Hadsock, of Hernando County, was originally charged with child abuse and can be seen clearly punching the student in the video, the State Attorney's Office has decided not to file criminal charges, saying it is not clear whether she wasn't acting in self defence.
The video, taken by one of the other students in the classroom, shows the teenager towering over the teacher at the wall.
The mother-of-two can then be seen swinging at the teen, just missing his jaw. She takes another shot, gripping his jacket collar as she does and catches him on the jaw.
Her punch is so powerful, the student's head snaps back and the rest of the students in the classroom can be heard screaming and shouting with one saying: 'Oh my God! He didn't do anything. You can't punch him in the face.'
Mrs Hadsock replies: 'He pushed into me.'
The student is then heard saying: 'I didn't touch her. You guys saw that, right? I didn't touch her.'
It was reported at the time that the 64-year-old's assault gave the teen a cut lip and she was arrested on a single count of child abuse.
According to the St Petersburg Times, prosecutor Brian Trehy said the video doesn't provide conclusive evidence that the 64-year-old veteran teacher wasn't acting in self-defence when she swung at the student.
He said that students who witnessed the incident said the teen made contact first and the teacher was responding to that. Read More
Suzanne Ballantyne a Mother-of-two dies after doctors give her 16 times correct dose of labour-inducing drug - 3rd June 2011
Suzanne Ballantyne, 47, a partner at Capsticks Solicitors, was being treated at St George's Hospital in London, after her unborn child died in the womb 39 weeks into her pregnancy.
Doctors gave her an 800-microgramme dose of misoprostol, as recommended by the Trust's in-house protocol, in an attempt to induce labour and retrieve the foetus.
However, the drug is known to put patients at increased risk of tears to the uterus.
Guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - published just four days before Mrs Ballantyne's death last November - recommend doses of no higher than 50mcg.
Deputy Westminster Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said she had 'grave concerns' about St George's Healthcare Trust's procedures in relation to misoprostol.
She said the 800mcg figure did not appear to be backed up by research from outside bodies.
An internal investigation at the Trust apparently found the high dosage was recommended in a report by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, but bosses were unable to produce documents from the regulator referring to the figure at the inquest.
The Trust has since published a new protocol based on the Royal College guidelines.
Mrs Ballantyne lived with her landscape gardener husband Stephen and their two sons in Wimbledon, London.
The inquest heard she suffered multiple ruptures to her uterus, with amniotic fluid from her womb leaking into her heart and lungs and causing her vital organs to fail.
She was pronounced dead early on November 14, having collapsed shortly after the deceased child was born. Read More
Police are investigating after the corpse was discovered floating in the Coventry Canal between Bedworth and Bulkington in Warwickshire at 2.30pm yesterday.
Friends and relatives of missing Emma Ewart, 27, who disappeared from her Coventry home last Tuesday, rushed to the scene.
However, Warwickshire Police have refused to confirm if the body is that of the missing mother-of-one.
Forensic teams were today conducting a finger-tip search of the area and people in canal boats were ordered to remain inside.
One shocked canal boat user described seeing the body with a 'hood' over its head.
He said: 'The body is still in the water and we don't know when we will be able to move.
'I am 25 metres away. It looked from here that the body has been bound and has a bag over its head.'
Warwickshire Police said they were treating the death of the woman as 'unexplained', a spokesman adding: 'We are treating the death as unexplained at this stage and an inquiry into the circumstances is under way.
'There will be no further information until the body is identified and relatives informed.'
Meanwhile the family of Emma Ewart yesterday issued a heartfelt appeal to find the missing mother from Coventry, who has not been seen for more than a week. Read More
Italian Scientists: 'No Proof Veg To Blame For Killer E. Coli' "So where is it coming from?" - 3rd June 2011
Researchers at the EU's Reference Laboratory for E.coli in Rome said scientific checks had failed to support the theory that contaminated vegetables were behind the outbreak.
"Alarmism over the consumption of vegetables is not justified... since laboratory analyses do not support the hypothesis that contaminated vegetables were the source of the infection," the laboratory said in a statement.
The latest news on the killer bug came as scientists discovered the strain combines a highly poisonous but common toxin with a rarely seen "glue" that binds it to patients' intestines.
A global team of researchers is continuing to work to establish the source of the infection, which has struck more than 1,700 people in 12 countries and killed 18.
It was originally suspected to have originated in raw tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce, but researchers have still been unable to pinpoint the exact food responsible.
So far, seven people in the UK have been affected by the outbreak, including three Britons and four German nationals - with all seven having caught the infection in Germany.
Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin defended his country's ban on EU vegetables in the wake of the infection, saying he would not allow Russians to "get poisoned".
Scientists say it may take months to fully understand the characteristics of the bacteria - but fear this E.coli strain is the most toxic yet to hit a human population.
Tests so far have revealed it is part of a class of bacteria that has the ability to stick to intestinal walls, where it pumps out toxins, causing diarrhoea and vomiting.
The strain is part of a class of bacteria known as Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia E.coli, or STEC. Read More
In a speech outlining his vision for the future of European economic and monetary union after the eurozone crisis, he called for medium-term measures that would allow EU members to veto national economic policy decisions if they endangered eurozone stability.
"There is no crisis of the euro," Mr Trichet declared in his capacity as chief guardian of the stability of the common European currency. While he avoided any detailed reference to negotiations for a new rescue package for Greece, he called for a drastic change in the system of economic governance in the eurozone, going beyond "the dialectics of surveillance, recommendations and sanctions".
He said "strengthening rules to prevent unsound policies" was an "urgent priority". The ECB had already called for a "quantum leap" in economic governance, and urged the European Parliament to reinforce the draft secondary legislation that is under negotiation with the Commission and the Council.
Speaking in Aachen, Germany, Mr Trichet called for a European Union that would be "a confederation of sovereign states of an entirely new type". (read more)
Reinhard Burger, president of the Robert Koch Institute, told the BBC "we may never know" the infections' source.
He expressed sympathy for Spanish farmers affected by the false charge that their cucumbers were to blame.
More than 1,500 people have been infected by enterohaemorrhagic E.coli (EHEC), which can cause the deadly haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS).
Seventeen people have died - 16 of them in Germany and one in Sweden.
Meanwhile, Russia has banned the import of fresh vegetables from European Union countries. A quarter of all vegetables exported from the EU are sent to Russia.
Russian consumer protection agency head Gennady Onishchenko announced the ban and criticised health standards within the EU.
"This shows that Europe's lauded health legislation - one which Russia is being urged to adopt - does not work," he said.
Spread to US
At least 365 new E.coli cases were reported on Wednesday, a quarter of them involving HUS, a condition associated with bloody diarrhoea and kidney failure, the Robert Koch Institute said.
The new cases include two in the US, both of whom had recently travelled to Hamburg, where many of the cases are clustered. (read more)
Last year, Li was granted the right to take escorted walks around the Selkirk Mental Health Centre after he responded to treatment.
They were limited to two hours; he'll now enjoy up to 12 hours a day on the unfenced grounds.
As well, Li's supervision will be reduced to one minder from three, the the Criminal Review Board of Manitoba decided Thursday in Winnipeg.
However, Li won't be allowed off the grounds of the facility, the board ruled.
Li was found not criminally responsible for the gruesome killing of Tim McLean, 22, a carnival worker, aboard a Greyhound bus near Portage la Prairie, Man., in 2008.
The judge found Li was an untreated schizophrenic who heard voices telling him to kill McLean, a man he had never met who happened to be sitting beside him. (read more)
The U.N. health agency says anti-diarrhea medication also isn't recommended as it stops the bacteria from quickly leaving the body.
WHO epidemiologist Andrea Ellis says use of either treatment "can actually make the situation worse."
But she told reporters in Geneva on Friday that doctors treating infected patients can prescribe such drugs in certain specific cases.
WHO has no active role in combating the outbreak that has so far sickened over 1,700 people, mostly in Germany, and killed 18. (read more)
At least 27 people were killed when security forces opened fire on a crowd of about 50,000 people in the central city of Hama, activists said.
The opposition has dedicated the day to the memory of more than 30 children said to have died in the uprising.
The army is meanwhile continuing its assault on the central town of Rastan.
Scores have been killed in the past few days as troops and tanks attempted to quell protests there. At least two civilians died on Friday, the Local Co-ordination Committees said. (read more)
Markets had expected a rise of 150,000. It follows a downwardly revised but still rapid 232,000 increase in April.
Despite the slowdown, it was the eighth month in a row of positive employment growth, according to data from the US Labor Department.
The unemployment rate also rose unexpectedly to 9.1%, from 9% a month earlier.
The number of unemployed remained largely unchanged at 13.9 million, but the number of long-term unemployed - out of work for more than 26 weeks - rose by 361,000 to 6.2 million. (read more)
The international aid agency’s “Growing a Better Future,” a 74-page report released Tuesday, chronicles symptoms of a worldwide food crisis that “will create millions more hungry people unless we transform the way we grow and share food.”
The report was released before Oxfam’s launch Wednesday of a global GROW campaign to pressure governments to beef up policies to address hunger, and lobby companies to do their share in helping drive down food prices.
“Our world is capable of feeding all of humanity, yet one in seven [925 million people worldwide] of us are hungry today,” says Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam. “In this new age of crisis, as climate change impacts become increasingly severe and fertile land and fresh water supplies become increasingly scarce, feeding the world will get harder still.
“Millions more men, women and children will go hungry unless we transform our broken food system.” (read more)
Although the former problem has now grabbed significant public attention, most Americans seem to think that our national capacity for innovation is healthy and without problems.
After all, we're the home of Silicon Valley. So things must be going great, right?
Unfortunately, no, and for the same reason that, as I explained elsewhere, our manufacturing sector isn't healthy. While it's true that there's an enormous amount of innovation (and manufacturing) going on in this country, "enormous" is not, in and of itself, an adequate quantity.
To figure out how much innovation (or manufacturing) is enough for America, the quantity must be measured against how much we need to maintain our living standard. And we are, in reality, falling short in both areas.
As long as our manufacturing output is so small that we must run a trade deficit with foreign nations in order to satisfy our consumption desires, we aren't manufacturing enough.
As long as our innovation output is so small that American industry can't keep pace with its foreign rivals and continues to inexorably surrender market share and technological superiority to them, we aren't innovating enough. (read more)
According to the 2011 edition of the GPI, South Korea was ranked 50th at 1.829 points, while the North ranked among the 10 lowest at 149th place, with 3.092 points.
Published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the GPI showed that both countries’ ratings had plummeted since last year, especially for the North.
“Pyongyang’s relations with neighboring countries became even more strained in 2010 following the administration’s decision in March 2010 to sink a South Korean navel vessel, the Cheonan, and to fire missiles at Yeonpyeong in November,” said the report. (read more)
We would like to bring it to everyone's attention that The Coming Crisis also re-posted the later article updates which stated that it may have been a stalker, rather than the group of youths, who murdered Katya.
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Luciano Pitronello Schuffeneger accidentally blows himself up in failed bomb attack on bank - 3rd June 2011
Luciano Pitronello Schuffeneger also lost his eyesight and suffered severe burns after the device went off too soon.
Police believe the would-be anarchist accidentally flicked the bomb's detonator switch as he fumbled around outside the bank in Chile as he tried to force a way inside.
He was recorded on camera moments before the blast sneaking up to the entrance. A powerful fireball then lights up the area and Schuffeneger is seen staggering around in pain.
Flames gradually engulf the man before he walks slowly into the road where cars stop and a driver throws a blanket over him.
Witnesses said the man's accomplice fled on a motorcycle after the bomb went off outside the Santander bank in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
'After feeling the explosion I saw a guy on fire. He walked to the middle of the street then hit the ground asking for help because he was burning,' a passer-by told local media.
'A bus driver who was just passing by stopped and took a powder extinguisher to douse the flames that were on his clothes. He was only young, he was all bloody. He was asking to be taken to a hospital.'
Police reportedly arrived at 2.25am moments after the explosion. It is believed that the man posed as a worker who was installing a local pump.
Authorities believe that Schuffeneger accidentally enabled the bomb's timer, which caused it to detonate before he could flee the scene.
The blast also caused serious damage to the front of the bank branch and debris was strewn across the pavement.
Reports suggest that Schuffeneger had used a bomb made from a powder extinguisher which had been stored in a container.
He suffered serious burns and has been put into a drug-induced coma in a desperate bid to recover.
Friends of Schuffeneger said he became increasingly politicised in recent years. Read More
Avril Murray, 19, Laughed in the Face of a Masked raider pointing a Gun at her head because she thought it was a Friend Playing a Joke - 3rd June 2011
Avril Murray, 19, was alone behind the counter during the lunchtime shift in Leeds, West Yorkshire when a hooded man carrying an automatic pistol burst in and demanded money.
CCTV images from the Thomas Dawes and Son Bakery show the girl standing calmly in front of the sandwich counter as he tilts the gun towards her face.
Miss Murray, who has worked at the bakery for two years, said: 'It must have been an unlucky day because it was Friday 13, nothing like this has ever happened before.
'The other staff were on their break so I was on my own when this man suddenly burst in shouting ''give me the money''.
'At first I thought it was someone joking about, so I said, ''Are you having a laugh?''
'It was then he pulled out a gun, started waving it about, then pointed it close to my face over the counter. All the time he kept shouting, ''give me the money''.
'He got really angry. He grabbed some bananas that were on the counter and started chucking them about, then he smashed the glass counter with his fist.
'I said to him, ''no, what are you doing?'' and moved across the counter to get away from him. I walked past the till but there was no way I was going to open it for him.
'I shouted for Neil, the manager, to come out because he was in a back room. He came out and the man ran off and we called the police.'
The CCTV showed that the bungling robber was in the shop for a minute at 1.30pm, before fleeing.
Miss Murray said: 'I think I was more scared afterward when it all hit me. I was shaking. I had to stay in the bakery to give statements to the police.
'You just never expect anything like that to happen. I just stood there looking a bit gormless. I realise now how serious it was.'
West Yorkshire Police are hunting the suspect after the incident on May 13.
The man is a 6ft tall, white male, with a thin build and aged between 18 and 25 years old. He was wearing a dark-coloured hoodie with a light-coloured scarf over his mouth and nose. Source
The two control room operators were the first men to surpass the government-set limit, said Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Dozens of other workers from the Fukushima Daiichi plant are being tested further.
The two men are not showing any immediate health problems, the company said.
They were exposed to the radiation because they were working at the plant when the earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck on March 11.
The plant was left without power which knocked out the cooling system.
Tepco has been criticised for not disclosing fully the extent of radiation exposures by the plant workers or their working conditions.
The president of the power company, Masataka Shimizi, resigned last month.
Leaking radiation prompted the evacuation of thousands of residents in the north east of the country.
It was the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union in 1986. Source
Four of his guards were apparently killed and the speaker of the parliament and the prime minister wounded after the shelling.
The ruling party said the mosque inside the palace was hit during Friday prayers.
The party blamed one of the opposition tribal chiefs for the attack and said the group had "crossed all the red lines".
The attacks took place after forces loyal to the president battled with tribal fighters in Yemen's capital in clashes that killed dozens and injured hundreds more.
Two weeks of street fighting with mortars, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades intensified late on Thursday.
Witnesses said security forces had fired live bullets at people protesting against Mr Saleh's rule.
Street fighting in Sanaa has killed at least 135 people in the past 10 days, officials said.
Battles near the airport briefly grounded flights, with state television showing the Yemeni Airways building ablaze.
It also showed heavily damaged government buildings which had been taken back by government forces.
The capital is split, with Saleh loyalists holding the south against tribesmen and renegade military units in the north.
People in the city said dozens were likely to have been killed in the most recent round of fighting, mostly for control of government buildings. Read More
A nine-square kilometre blaze was sparked by lightning yesterday near Tisigar Lake in northern B.C., 35 kilometres south of the Yukon border.
The aggressive fire exploded as it was fanned by high winds -- and similar conditions are expected today.
Although no homes or communities are threatened, the flames have forced closure of Highway 37 in both directions, 25 kilometres north of Good Hope Lake. Source
Uncontrolled Arizona Wildfire now 4th Largest in History and forces evacuations in 3 communities - 3rd June 2011
The evacuation order for Paradise and East Whitetail Canyon in southeastern Arizona went out Thursday night as strong winds pushed the so called Horseshoe Two fire toward the towns, the Cochise County Sheriff's office said.
The nearby Chiricahua National Monument was closed as a precaution.
Earlier in the day, people living in or staying in Alpine in eastern Arizona were ordered to evacuate by evening. A shelter was set up at Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop-Lakeside.
There was no exact figure on the number of evacuees. Alpine is home to about 250 people, though not all live there year-round.
The Alpine blaze, known as the Wallow fire, has burned 63 square miles (40,500 acres) of forest land and is being fanned by strong winds. It's at zero containment, fire officials said.
The Horseshoe Two fire has been burning for days and has charred about 135 square miles (86,000 acres) of brush and timber. Officials said it had been 75 percent contained until the winds picked up, dropping containment down to 50 percent.
Paradise has about a dozen occupied homes and many other vacation residences, Carol Capas, a spokeswoman for the Cochise County Sheriff's office, told The Associated Press. East Whitetail Canyon has about a dozen homes.
The U.S. Forest Service said about 800 firefighters are battling the blaze, and many are involved in protecting structures in the evacuated communities.
Meanwhile, a wildfire burning in northern Arizona has threatened the closure of part of Interstate 40 west of Flagstaff, officials said.
The Engineer fire has burned about 100 acres near Camp Navajo, an Army National Guard Base in Bellemont.
KTVK-TV in Phoenix reports I-40 remains open Thursday night but could close if smoke gets too heavy or conditions become dangerous. Source
Lunathi Dwadwa, three, was killed as she slept in her parent's shack in the Khayelitsha slum outside Cape Town and another girl was killed in Soweto township near Johannesburg on the same day.
Little Lunathi was sleeping on a makeshift bed on the floor of her family's breeze block and corrugated iron home on Sunday night when she died. Her puzzled parents didn't even hear her scream.
When her mother discovered her lifeless body, she saw that her daughter's eyes had been gouged out.
Bukiswa Dwadwa, 27, said: 'I can't forget how ugly my child looked after her eyes were ripped out.
'She was eaten from her eyebrows to her cheeks, her other eye was hanging by a piece of flesh.'
Her father Mncedisi Mokoena said police told him: 'Nothing could have done that but rats'
And today police revealed that a baby girl died in the Soweto township when she was attacked by rats while her teenage mother was out with friends.
'We were called to the scene of the death of an infant due to a rat attack on Monday morning at around 9am,' said police officer Bongani Mhlongo.
'The mother of the child was arrested on charges of culpable homicide and negligence.'
The deaths appear to be part of a spate of deadly rat attacks in the country.
Last month, 77-year-old grandmother Nomathemba Joyi died after giant rats chewed off the right side of her face.
Residents of South Africa's impoverished townships say the giant rats grow up to three-foot long, including their tails, and have front teeth over an inch long.
The suspects in the baby attacks are believed to be African Giant Pouched Rats, a species only distantly related to UK rats, but native to sub-Saharan Africa - and the biggest in the world.
They are nocturnal, omnivorous and can produce up to 50 young a year. Some tribal people breed them for food.
They thrive in the townships' filthy conditions and feast on residents' uncollected rubbish. Source
Simon Parker Revealed: The racist, sexist, foul-mouthed primary school HEADTEACHER who called parents 'Muslim f******' - 3rd June 2011
The disgraced head 'bullied and intimidated' terrified staff and 'belittled' children at Coppice Primary School, Chigwell, Essex, in 2008 and 2009.
A General Teaching Council disciplinary inquiry heard Parker called parents 'Muslim f******' and labelled a supply teacher a 'black b****'.
He also pulled his eyes sideways to impersonate a Chinese early years teacher, adding 'I can't stand them'.
His shocking catalogue of abuse included Parker calling a prospective teacher a 'P*ki' and stating 'we don't want any of those' in respect to a black applicant.
Parker also called a governor a 'lazy whore', claimed a teacher was absent because she had 'vaginal thrush' and referred to another as a 'fat a*** teacher'.
The disgraced headteacher called less-able pupils 'Congo Bongo' and claimed Muslims are 'always blowing things up'.
Shamed Parker refused to attend the two-day disciplinary hearing held in Birmingham or defend his case.
The General Teaching Council found Parker guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and banned him from teaching indefinitely.
Chairman Tony Neal said: 'He demonstrated a deep-seated contempt for members of many other races, encompassing members of his own school staff and the community beyond.
'He displayed a disrespectable attitude to governors, pupils, parents and past, present and potential members of staff. Read More
Two weeks of street fighting with mortars, machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades intensified late on Thursday.
Witnesses said security forces had fired live bullets at people protesting against Mr Saleh's rule.
Street fighting in Sanaa has killed at least 135 people in the past 10 days, officials said.
Battles near the airport briefly grounded flights, with state television showing the Yemeni Airways building ablaze.
It also showed heavily damaged government buildings which had been taken back by government forces.
The capital is split, with Saleh loyalists holding the south against tribesmen and renegade military units in the north.
People in the city said dozens were likely to have been killed in the most recent round of fighting, mostly for control of government buildings.
"It felt as if the artillery shells were flying next to my head... my wife, my daughter were screaming. It was horrible," Sadeq al Lahbe said before fleeing.
"There is no electricity, no water and violent strikes shaking the house. Is this life?"
The battles on the ground have unfolded as a US envoy flew around the region to try to stop a looming civil war.
Mr Saleh has reneged on a deal brokered by the Gulf Arab states to secure a peaceful end to his nearly 33 years in power.
US President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser arrived in the region on Wednesday to reinforce the drive to oust him.
Late on Thursday, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), whose power transition plan Mr Saleh has refused to sign so far, said it would continue its efforts towards a "peaceful solution". Source
Around 400 kilos of stale milkfish or bangus, suspected to be from the fish kill in Batangas province, were seized by authorities at the Balintawak market in Quezon City on Thursday morning.
Authorities also seized 300 kilos of double-dead fish in the city last Wednesday.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo said authorities have issued orders to tighten monitoring of fish deliveries to make sure stale fish are not sold to the public.
Meanwhile, more than 100 kilos of double-dead fish were also seized in at least 3 markets in Pasay City.
The fish are believed to have been transported from the Navotas and Malabon fish ports and came from provinces hit by fish kill.
City authorities said they will inspect fish being sold in public markets daily.Dr. Ronaldo Bernasor, Pasay City veterinarian, said people who eat the stale fish may get ill. Source
It may take months for the global team of researchers to fully understand the characteristics of the bacteria that has killed at least 17 people in Europe and sickened 1 500. But they fear this E coli strain is the most toxic yet to hit a human population.
Most Escherichia coli, or E coli, bacteria are harmless. The strain that is sickening people in Germany and other parts of Europe, known as 0104:H4, is part of a class of bacteria known as Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, or Stec.
This class has the ability to stick to intestinal walls where it pumps out toxins, causing diarrhoea and vomiting. In severe cases, it causes haemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, attacking the kidneys and causing coma, seizure and stroke.
"Germany is now reporting 470 cases of HUS. That is absolutely extraordinary," said Dr Robert Tauxe, a food borne diseases expert at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has been working with German health authorities on the case since late last week.
Deadliest E coli outbreak
"That is 10 times more than the largest outbreak in this country," he said, referring to a 1993 outbreak involving fast-food hamburgers that sickened more than 700 people and killed four. In that outbreak, there were 44 cases of HUS.
Asked if this was the world's deadliest E coli outbreak yet, Tauxe said: "I believe it is."
He said a strain very similar to the German strain had been seen in Korea in the 1990s, but is very rare.
Remarkably, the German strain appears to combine the toxin found in the most common type of Stec bacteria in the US, known as E coli O157:H7, with an unusual binding agent. Tauxe said that "glue" is typically only found in children in the developing world.
"The glue that this bug is using is not the same glue that is E. coli 0157 or most other Stec bacteria," he said.
"It's this combination from the glue from another kind of E coli and the shiga toxin that makes this an unusual strain," he said.
The UN World Health Organisation has confirmed that the strain "has never been isolated from patients before", and said the bacteria had likely acquired some extra genes that may make it especially deadly. Read More
Angelica Guerrero, 39 died shielding her 15-year-old daughter in bath tub as tornado flattened their home - 3rd June 2011
Angelica Guerrero, 39, died in her house in West Springfield as she desperately tried to save the lives of her family as the house collapsed on top of them.
The tragic story emerged as the clear up began following the deadly tornado that swept through Massachusetts, killing at least four and leaving more than 200 people injured.
Mrs Guerrero’s older daughter wept on Thursday as she returned to the wreckage of the home.
She was at work when the tornado hit and got a call saying their house was flattened.
She said that her 15-year-old sister had been asleep when the tornado approached, and that their mother ran to wake her and get her into the bathroom, saving her life by sheltering her with her own body.
She said her sister was trapped for two hours, crying for their father, who also was injured.
‘She was saying, “Daddy, help me,” and “Mom isn't talking”.’
Police chief Thomas Burke said ‘There is no doubt she saved her daughter’s life.’
He said the 15-year-old girl, who was not identified, remained hospitalized with severe cuts to her legs.
‘When the house came down, she was crushed,’ Mr Burke said
‘They feel the daughter is alive because the mother took the brunt of it.’
When rescue workers arrived, they saw Guerrero's husband trying to pull his daughter out of the rubble, Mr Burke said. He was also hospitalised. Read More
Homeland Security test 'Minority Report' system which knows when you're even THINKING about committing a crime - 3rd June 2011
The Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) security programme is designed to spot people who are planning to commit a terrorist act.
The U.S. government system can ‘sense’ when you are planning and measures physiological factors such as heart rates and eye movements.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) carried out a FAST trial in a secret area of Northeastern America over the past few months.
The technology relies on non-contact sensors so can measure indicators while somebody is walking along, reported Nature.com.
This means the system does not require active questioning of anyone.
Comparisons have already been made to Steven Spielberg’s 2002 science-fiction film ‘Minority Report’, starring Tom Cruise.
The film, set in 2054, features Washington D.C. as a virtually crime-free city because of a ‘pre-crime’ elite law enforcement squad.
They use three humans with special powers known as ‘pre-cogs’ who can see into the future and prevent crimes before they happen.
The FAST programme is being tested by officials instructing some people passing through the system to carry out a ‘disruptive act’.
But psychologist Tom Ormerod, of Lancaster University in Britain, says this role-playing may not be representative of real terrorists.
He has also suggested people will react differently when they know they are being tested.
‘Fill the place with machines that go ping, and both screeners and passengers start doing things differently,’ he told Nature.com.
Tests so far did not happen at an airport but were at 'a large venue that is a suitable substitute for an operational setting', a DHS spokesman said.
The DHS claims accuracy rates of around 70 per cent in lab tests but it is still analysing results and said more tests will be carried out.
Other critics have questioned the system’s effectiveness and raised concern that innocent people will be labelled as terrorists. Read More
Carey Hal Dyess, 73 a Divorced husband kills attorney and five others before turning gun on himself in Arizona shooting spree - 3rd June 2011
Carey Hal Dyess, 73, from Arizona, is said to have shot an attorney related to the case and other friends and relatives this morning in and around Yuma County.
The Yuma Sun identified the dead lawyer as Jerrold Shelley, 62, who specialised in divorce cases and was nearing retirement.
Mayor Alan Krieger said details of the incident were sketchy, but that the shootings unfolded at six locations in and around the city, located in the southwestern corner of Arizona near the border with Mexico.
Authories say that Dyess used a rented car to travel between shooting victims.
Court documents show that Dyess, who formerly lived in South Kitsap, was named in 16 court cases from Washington, 12 of which came from Kitsap County. Accusations range from assault to false reporting.
Dyess was divorced four times in Kitsap County, most recently in 1997.
A judge issued an order of protection against Dyess in 2006, which a court clerk said stemmed from a divorce case.
The incident began shortly after 9am local time and continued until about 11am, when the gunman shot himself in a rural area outside Yuma, the mayor said.
He said City Hall and the local courthouse were shut down as a security precaution after news of the shooting spree broke.
A Yuma school official said three nearby elementary schools also were locked down for about two hours.
Mayor Krieger said: 'It's a tragedy. It affects the city, and obviously, that's not the kind of press we would like to have for our city. But it doesn't have anything to do with the way we are in Yuma or Arizona.' Read More