Sunday, June 5, 2011

Risking it all: Hazardous trucking in DR Congo (Must-watch documentary, just 25 min)

'23 dead' as Israeli troops fire on Golan Heights protesters

Israel was accused of shooting dead as many as 20 protesters on Sunday after Palestinian refugees and their Syrian sympathisers massed in the occupied Golan Heights.

Hundreds of protesters came under fire as they advanced towards the fenced ceasefire line separating undisputed Syrian territory from the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in the Six Day War of 1967.

The march, led by refugees intent on reclaiming their homes lost to Israel in an earlier war in 1948, was the second of its kind in just over three weeks. Four protesters were killed last month after they breached the border fence.

The protesters, who waved Palestinian flags and occasionally threw stones, did not get as close on Sunday, although some did cut their way into a buffer zone on the Syrian side of the fence.

As they approached, to cheers from Syrian citizens watching from rooftops in the Golan Heights, Israeli troops broadcast warning messages through loudhailers, saying: "Anyone who comes close to the fence will be responsible for their own blood. Anyone who tries to cross the border will be killed."

Israeli officials said at least 12 protesters were wounded when soldiers shot at their legs, but would not confirm reports from Syrian doctors and on state television in Damascus that 20 had been killed. (read more)

Deeper and deeper into Libya: UK's long march into yet another war

The deployment of Apache helicopters might hasten Gaddafi’s departure, but Britain is facing a long stay in the country, writes James Kirkup in Benghazi.

Skimming fast and low over the ground, bristling with missiles and heavy with armour, the Army’s Apache AH64 attack helicopters are British might incarnate, a muscular show of power and self-assurance from a country that remains (just) in the global premier league of military players.

Yet their presence over western Libya this weekend is also a tacit sign of British failure, the failure of 11 weeks of aerial bombardment to remove Col Muammar Gaddafi from power.

Deploying the Apaches is final proof of something that all but the most partisan of RAF devotees have long conceded: you can start a war from 30,000 feet, but you can only win it on the ground. “Boots on the ground” may have been ruled out, but Britain’s military operation is undeniably moving closer to Libyan soil.

Ministers privately hope that the helicopters will provide the final, risky heave required for the Gaddafi regime to crumble, either persuading the dictator to quit and run, or persuading his henchmen, already said to be panicking, that they must remove him to save their own skins.

Even more fervently, they pray that Gaddafi’s forces do not manage the one lucky strike that brings down an Apache and summons up the ghost of America’s agonising “Black Hawk Down” experience in Somalia. (read more)

German-grown sprouts named likely culprit in deadly E. Coli outbreak



Sprouts grown in Germany are the likely source for an E. coli outbreak that has killed 22 people, officials said Sunday.

Gert Lindemann, agricultural minister of Lower Saxony, said there is a "direct link" between a company in the town of Bienenbuettel and "these people getting sick." The firm has been shut down and its products have been recalled, Lindemann said.

It is not immediately clear how the E. coli strain may have gotten into the sprouts, officials said.

Sprouts are bred in large drums.

No E. coli has been found in the company. Authorities say the infection may have taken place too long ago to be found at the company itself. But several restaurants and cafeterias linked to the outbreak got sprouts from the company, officials said.

Two workers at the agricultural company, which was not identified, have come down with severe cases of diarrhea; in at least one of those cases, E. coli was the cause, Lindemann said. (read more)

Russia: NATO 'one step' from land war in Libya

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov says NATO is "one step" from sending troops into Libya in a bid to help rebels remove Moammar Gadhafi from power.

Ivanov said Sunday at an Asian security conference in Singapore that Russia didn't know that a United Nations resolution it supported to protect civilians and shut down Libyan air space would lead to a land operation.

British and French attack helicopters struck for the first time inside Libya on Saturday. NATO had previously relied on attack jets generally flying above 15,000 feet (4,500 meters).

NATO airstrikes have kept the outgunned rebels from being overrun, but the rebels have been unable to mount an effective offensive against Gadhafi's better-equipped forces. (Source)

Yuan expected to become major world currency

Chinese policy makers are moving toward the internationalization of the yuan, amid growing worries about the country’s exposure to the fiscal woes of the United States and the U.S. dollar’s role as the global reserve currency.

Li Daokui, an adviser to the People’s Bank of China, told The Globe and Mail that he believes the yuan – which is currently in circulation only in China and a handful of neighbouring countries under special agreements – will be a fully international currency within five to 10 years.

China, he said, has two goals in moving to increase the international use of the yuan, which is also known as the renminbi. The first would be to decrease the country’s reliance on the U.S. dollar, which he suggested should no longer be considered a safe haven following the near-collapse of the American financial system in 2008. The second goal would be to stabilize the international financial system by creating another major currency where investors could put their money in times of crisis. (read more)

Pope denounces 'disintegration' of Europe families

Pope Benedict XVI denounced the "disintegration" of family life in Europe on Sunday and called for couples to make a commitment to marry and have children, not just live together, as he reaffirmed traditional Catholic family values during his second and final day in Croatia.

Benedict also voiced the Vatican's opposition to abortion at an open-air Mass Sunday at Zagreb's hippodrome, the highlight of his trip to mark the local church's national day of families. Tens of thousands of people, waving small plastic Croatian and Vatican flags, began arriving before dawn at the field muddied by overnight thunderstorms.

The sun shone through the clouds as Benedict arrived for the Mass in his white popemobile, waving to the crowd as he looped around the field, which has a capacity of some 300,000 and appeared nearly full with faithful from across Croatia and neighboring countries.

This is Benedict's first visit as pope to Croatia, an overwhelmingly Catholic Balkan nation that is poised to soon join the European Union. The Vatican has strongly supported its bid, eager to see another country with shared values join the 27-member bloc.

Yet while Croatia is nearly 90 percent Catholic, it allows some legal rights for same-sex couples and, thanks to leftover communist-era legislation, permits abortion up to 10 weeks after conception and thereafter with the consent of a special commission of doctors.

In his homily, Benedict lamented the "increasing disintegration of the family, especially in Europe" and urged young couples to resist "that secularized mentality which proposes living together as a preparation, or even a substitute for marriage."

"Do not be afraid to make a commitment to another person!" he said. (read more)

No “Conspiracy Theory”: Wikileaks Cable Confirms North American Union Agenda

A newly leaked U.S. diplomatic cable originally written over six years ago confirms that the agenda to merge the United States, Canada and Mexico into an integrated North American Union has been ongoing for years, debunking claims made consistently by the corporate media and establishment talking heads that the NAU is a baseless “conspiracy theory”.

“The cable, released through the WikiLeaks website and apparently written Jan. 28, 2005, discusses some of the obstacles surrounding the merger of the economies of Canada, the United States and Mexico in a fashion similar to the European Union,” reports the National Post.

“An incremental and pragmatic package of tasks for a new North American Initiative (NAI) will likely gain the most support among Canadian policymakers,” the document said. “The economic payoff of the prospective North American initiative … is available, but its size and timing are unpredictable, so it should not be oversold.”

While serving to confirm the agenda to integrate the United States, Mexico and Canada into an EU-style political and monetary union, the Wikileaks cable will come as no surprise to those who watched Alex Jones’ 2006 documentary Endgame, in which precisely the same information was outlined, with particular focus on the Security and Prosperity Partnership, or SPP meetings.

The mission to create a North American Union was also discussed in September 2006 during a closed-door meeting of high-level government and business leaders in Banff, Canada.

Despite the manifestly provable factual basis of the matter, during the 2008 presidential election the establishment media attempted to smear Ron Paul by attributing the notion of a move towards a North American Union to him and then claiming it was a non-existent “conspiracy theory,” when the veracity of the issue was readily documented from the very start. (read more)



This post was reader contributed.

US Congress gives hefty bonuses amid crisis -- and use inside trader information to make huge profits



This post was reader contributed.

International Monetary Fund to lend Egypt $3 billion to support the country's economy for the next year, IMF says: BREAKING NEWS

MORE AS STORY DEVELOPS.

Twenty 'Killed and 325 Injured By Israeli Forces' On Border - 5th June 2011

Twenty protesters, including a 12-year-old boy, have been shot dead by Israeli forces near the border fence on Golan Heights, Syrian state television is reporting.

Another 325 people were injured, according to the TV station.

The violence occurred as a large crowd of pro-Palestinian demonstrators approached the border to mark the anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War.

An Israeli military spokesman said the soldiers fired at demonstrators after warning them to back away.

"Despite numerous warnings, both verbal and later warning shots in the air, dozens of Syrians continue to approach the border and IDF (Israel Defence Force) forces were left with no choice but to open fire towards the feet of protesters in efforts to deter further actions," said a spokesman.

On the Israeli side, locals - many of whom are Syrian citizens - from the Golan Heights town of Majdal Shams shouted at the soldiers, calling on them to stop firing.

Meanwhile, the troops used loudspeakers to warn demonstrators in Arabic that "anyone who comes close to the fence will be responsible for their own blood."

Hundreds of protesters rushed towards the ceasefire line, attempting to cut through a line of barbed wire and head into the Golan Heights in a repeat of demonstrations last month, which saw thousands mass along Israel's north.

"Our aim is to plant the Syrian flag on the occupied land," protester Mohammed Shaiber told Syrian TV.

On May 15, protesters massed on Israel's borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, trying to force their way across on the anniversary of Israel's creation.

The Israeli military accused Syria of instigating the disturbances to deflect attention from its bloody crackdown on a popular uprising at home. Read More

Suicide Bomb Kills 18 in Pakistan - 5th June 2011

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Police say a suicide bomber has attacked a bakery in northwest Pakistan, killing 18 people and wounding 40 others.

Police official Liaquat Ali Khan says the attack occurred late Sunday in a neighborhood where army personnel live in the town of Nowshera.

It was the second bomb blast of the day. An earlier attack killed six people at a bus stop in the Matani area, also in the northwest.

The bombings were the latest in a wave of bloodshed to hit Pakistan since the May 2 U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad. Source

Weekly announcements --June 5, 2011

Hello everyone! This week we'd like to thank all the readers who keep sending in fantastic articles for us to post. We really appreciate it, and many of the stories are fantastic. Keep up the great work!

We'd like to remind everyone of the July 4th protests to take place across states in the US. It's a good time to voice opposition to what's going on in the government. Maybe if there's enough truth seekers out there, things will change. Here's hoping. Remember that our forums are open for anyone who would like to organize their protests. It's much safer and lower key than Facebook. Take care, friends. -- Matt & Lynsey

*****
Make sure you access our proper domain name, www.ComingCrisis.org, for more instructions as to where to find our new location in the event of an emergency. We have backed up all our posts and are prepared should such an event occur.

If you're in Europe, you can similarly find us through:
www.ComingCrisis.co.uk

Our Twitter feed for major breaking news and emergency instructions is:
http://twitter.com/ComingCrisis


Our discussion forum can be found at:
http://comingcrisis.forum-motion.net

Contact us with questions, comments and stories of your own at:
thecomingcrisis@gmail.com

D-FOX -- Please contact us if you can read this.

To D-fox: if you're reading this, please contact us at thecomingcrisis@gmail.com. It's important -- we believe.

Chile has a chain of 2,000 volcanoes, not yet clear which of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain's four volcanoes has erupted - 5th June 2011

Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes after a volcano which has been dormant for decades erupted in south-central Chile.

The explosion resulted in a gas column more than six miles (10km) high.

The ash cloud is being blown towards neighbouring Argentina and the border crossing between the two countries has been closed.

Chile's government said it 3,500 people from the surrounding area were being taken away from the area as a precaution.

Officials said the volcano was spitting molten rock, but there was no visible lava flow.

Local media said the smell of sulphur hung in the air and there was constant seismic activity.

Energy and mining minister Laurence Golborne said: "We have declared a red alert for the area and we have mapped risk areas and established potential situations we could deal with."

It is not yet clear which of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain's four volcanoes has erupted, because of the heavy ash cloud.

The chain last saw a major eruption in 1960.

Chile has a chain of 2,000 volcanoes, the second highest amount after Indonesia, 500 of which are potentially active. Source



Tornadoes leave northern Sweden reeling - 5th June 2011

Tornadoes and rough winds wreaked havoc yesterday in the north of Sweden, tearing down a large number of trees.

One man in the northern province Västerbotten was seriously injured when a tree fell on top of him, and is now in intensive care.

"The number of fallen trees is probably the worst I've experienced in several years," Zakarias Juto, traffic controller at the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket), told news agency TT.

The agency has received hundreds of calls reporting roads that are blocked due to fallen trees.

At worst, almost 15,000 of Vattenfall's customers in the provinces Västerbotten and Norrbotten were without electricity.

Today thousands are still waiting for the power to return. On Sunday morning, 2,400 of Vattenfall's customers, 425 of EON's customers and 2,280 of Skellefteå kraft's customers were still in the dark, reports regional newspaper Norran.

"In some areas our power lines are heavily damaged," Roger Lindmark, information officer at Vattenfall, said to TT.

"Poles have been tumbled over and trees have fallen on lines."

The thunderstorm was created as cold air from the west pushed out warmer air. Tornadoes in connection with thunderstorms are not entirely rare in Sweden, according to meteorological institute SMHI.

"Several cases are observed every year, especially in the summer," confirmed Linnéa Rehn, meteorologist at SMHI.

Tornadoes can give extremely high wind speeds. Winds as fast as 70 meters per second have been reported before. Source

Yemeni gunmen attack 2nd presidential palace as all-out civil war threatens to erupt

Dozens of gunmen have attacked the presidential palace at Yemen's second largest city, military officials and witnesses said Sunday, after the country's embattled leader went to Saudi Arabia to receive medical treatment for wounds sustained in a rocket attack.

One attacker and four soldiers died in the latest fighting in Taiz, according to officials.

The United Nations is investigating reports that about 50 people have died in clashes between pro-reform demonstrators and security forces since last Sunday in the southern city.

The attackers who acted on Sunday belong to a group set up recently to avenge the killing of anti-regime protesters at the hands of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's security forces.

Saleh left the country overnight after he was wounded Friday in an attack on his compound in the capital, Sanaa, a senior Yemeni official said early Sunday.

As morning came, protesters danced and sang in the central square of the capital to celebrate Saleh's departure.

However, an official with Yemen's ruling party insisted Saleh plans to return "within days," Reuters said. (read more)

Fukushima Radioactive water leak to be prevented for 3 days -- after that, it's anyone's guess

Tokyo Electric Power Company has decided to increase the transfer of radioactive water by about 1,500 tons to a facility at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The company says the transfer can keep contaminated water from leaking outside for about 3 days.

More than 105,000 tons of contaminated water is thought to have accumulated in the basements of the reactor and turbine buildings. An additional 500 tons or so flows into the basements per day as a result of the injection of water into the reactors.

The situation is raising concern about the possible overflow of contaminated water.

On Saturday, TEPCO obtained Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency permission to increase the water transfer from its initial plan. It began transferring 12 tons of water per hour from the basement of the Number 2 turbine building to the basement of a facility for nuclear waste. (read more)

This post was reader contributed.

Hospitals struggling to cope with E. coli crisis as biogas facilities increasingly seems suspect

German Health Minister Daniel Bahr said the scale of the E. coli outbreak in the country has overwhelmed hospitals in northern Germany. Meanwhile, some experts speculated that the pathogen might be linked to biogas facilities.

So far, there are some 2,500 cases of confirmed or suspected infections, leaving hospitals – particularly in Hamburg and Bremen – without enough resources to handle the influx of people needing treatment.

"The patient care situation is strained," Bahr told newpaper Bild am Sonntag. The health minister suggested that hospitals already operating above capacity transfer patients to other clinics in the area with extra vacancies.

The paper reported that German Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner, as well as state health and consumer protection ministers, would attend an emergency meeting on the E. coli crisis on Wednesday, presumably in Berlin.

German Health Minister Bahr planned to visit the Hamburg-Eppendorf university hospital Sunday to get an overview of the patient care situation.

Members of the political opposition have called on the government to set up a crisis management team. Thomas Oppermann, the parliamentary whip of the centre-left Social Democrats, said ministries, authorities, states, hospitals and health agencies have failed to coordinate their efforts to address the outbreak. (read more)

This post was reader contributed.

Miami Beach Police Ordered Narces Benoit, Videographer, At Gunpoint To Hand Over Phone

Miami Beach police did their best to destroy a citizen video that shows them shooting a man to death in a hail of bullets Memorial Day.

First, police pointed their guns at the man who shot the video, according to a Miami Herald interview with the videographer.

Then they ordered the man and his girlfriend out the car and threw them down to the ground, yelling “you want to be fucking paparazzi?”

Then they snatched the cell phone from his hand and slammed it to the ground before stomping on it. Then they placed the smashed phone in the videographer's back pocket as he was laying down on the ground.

And finally, they took him to a mobile command center where they snapped his photo and demanded the phone again, then took him to police headquarters where they conducted a recorded interview with him before releasing him.

But what they didn’t know was that Narces Benoit had removed the SIM card and hid it in his mouth, which means the video survived. (read more)

This post was reader contributed.

Wildfires continue to rage in Arizona as firefighting army grows to 1000



One of the largest wildfires in Arizona history threatened mountain retreats and spread ash and smoke as far away as Albuquerque, New Mexico, more than 200 miles away, officials said Saturday.

Across the state, blazes have burned more than 250,000 acres.

More than 1,000 personnel were battling a large wildfire near Alpine in the east-central part of the state. The fire, of undetermined origin, had burned 140,000 acres by Saturday and prompted the evacuation of nearly 2,500 people.

It was completely uncontained Saturday afternoon.

"The fire is burning pretty fast and it's pretty large," said Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who visited the area Saturday. "It's a big fire and we hope that we get more encouraging news in the morning."

She said officials have so far spent some $3 million on efforts to put out the blaze and that she would consider asking the state or federal governments for help if the situation gets worse.

The fire, which began last weekend, has destroyed several log outbuildings and remained a large threat to vacation homes and other properties in Alpine and Nutrioso, said Sgt. Richard Guinn of the Apache County Sheriff's Office. Residents in those communities and a subdivision were evacuated. (read more)

Israel fires tear gas, warning shots at protest in Golan Heights -- 11 dead, 120 wounded



Israeli troops fired tear gas and warning shots as protesters tried to cross the heavily fortified border between Syria and the Golan Heights, the Israeli military said Sunday.

Syrian television said 11 protesters were killed and more than 120 were wounded in the Palestinian protests marking the anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War.

The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately confirm the casualties, though a spokesman said that despite numerous warnings, dozens of protesters continued to approach Israel's border.

The "forces were left with no choice but to open fire towards the ground in an effort to deter further actions," the IDF said in a statement.

Clashes also broke out between Palestinians and Israelis at the Qalandia crossing between Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank on Sunday.

At least six Palestinians were injured there, one seriously, by rubber bullets. Israeli forces also fired tear gas, while Palestinians threw stones.

Protesters in the Golan have also been throwing rocks toward the soldiers. (read more)

NDM-1 Superbug Acquired In Canada: Let's keep drinking those antibiotics like kool-aid, everyone...

Canadian researchers have identified what appears to be the first domestically acquired case of an NDM-1 superbug.

An 86-year-old Ontario man was found to be carrying bacteria resistant to most antibiotics because of NDM-1, or New Delhi metallo-1, an enzyme that alters the DNA of various types of bacteria. NDM-1 is endemic in India and Pakistan and has spread worldwide due to global travel.

But the patient, who was admitted to hospital and then a rehabilitation centre after suffering a stroke last October, had not travelled outside southwestern Ontario for the last decade. None of the man's family members or other close contacts were carrying the superbug, nor had any been to parts of the world where NDM-1 is widespread.

"So it's really unfortunately a mystery in terms of his source, and it certainly suggests that he acquired it here in the southwestern Ontario region," said Dr. Susan Poutanen, an infectious disease physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. (read more)

Global Food Production May Be Hurt as Climate Shifts, UN Forecaster Says

Global food output may be hurt as climate change brings more extreme weather over the next decade, with China likely set for harsher droughts and North America getting heavier rain, said the World Meteorological Organization.

“Extreme events will become more intense in the future, especially the heat waves and extreme precipitations,” Omar Baddour, a division chief at the United Nations’ agency, said in a phone interview from Geneva. “That, combined with less rainfall in some regions like the Mediterranean region and China, will affect crop production and agriculture.”

The more extreme weather -- including in the U.S., the world’s largest agricultural exporter -- may disrupt harvests, possibly cutting production of grains, livestock and cooking oils and boosting prices. Global food costs reached a record in February, stoking inflation and pushing millions into poverty.

“We foresee with high confidence in climate projections that intense precipitation in some parts of the world will be more intense, and drought will be more intense,” said Baddour, who’s tracked the subject for more than two decades. Extreme heat waves “will also be more intense and more frequent.” (read more)

FDA finds BPA in top-selling foods: 90% of Americans have BPA in their blood

The FDA has been under significant pressure to regulate Bisphenol-A, a chemical component in plastics and resins that has been linked to health problems ranging from hyperactivity and early puberty to infertility and cancer. 90 percent of all Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their bodies, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

While the effects of the stuff have been fairly abundantly demonstrated, the mode of exposure has not been rigorously charted. Some FDA scientists decided to take the matter up themselves, testing the most popularly consumed canned foods. (Most cans of food are lined with resins that contain BPA.)

They found BPA in virtually all of the items they tested — including green beans, chile, pasta and fruit. (read more)

Urban Danger: Tempting Fate -- Will our cities become death traps?

We are coming up on the 3 year anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis. The economy has not improved. The unemployment payments, for most, have run out. People’s safety nets are destroyed. Housing is collapsing again. Inflation is ravaging what is left of our money. Now we are seeing a rash of violence all over the country, Miami, Myrtle Beach, Rochester, Long Beach, Charlotte, Nashville, Chicago, and Boston. All of this while things are still working. What is going to happen when the dollar collapses?

I have had a bunch of Strategy Sessions with members that have about their physical safety. Some are looking for international changes, most are simply trying to move out of urban areas. Many are asking about personal protection steps they should take. There are many things to consider and I am glad to see that people are thinking about this issue. It is unrealistic to think that you are going to be able to defend your property for any significant amount of time against a hoard of desperate people. Most homes are simply not able to withstand fire much less gunfire. This situation becomes even more untenable in a urban environment. I highly recommend that if you live in a urban area, get out now!

The last place I would want to be is in a multicultural, densely packed, urban area with huge wealth disparities when the dollar collapses. When the dollar collapses, food and fuel will become scarce and people will become desperate. We have seen riots in the past, but let me assure you that you have not seen anything yet. I remember the Rodney King riots and this collapse will make that look like child’s play. Those riots were over some verdicts on a few men, the dollar collapse is a verdict on all of us. (read more)

German Beansprouts May be 'Behind E.coli Outbreak' - 5th June 2011

German-grown beansprouts are the likely cause of the E.coli outbreak, say health authorities investigating the crisis.

A spokesman for the agriculture ministry in Germany's Lower Saxony state said people should stay away from eating the beansprouts, which are often used in mixed salads.

The new lead on the outbreak comes as the death toll in Europe increased to 22.

Germany's health minister has admitted the country is struggling to cope with the number of people suffering from E.coli

Daniel Bahr said Germany was facing a "tense situation with pateint care" adding that some hospitals had been moving patients with less serious illnesses in order to handle the surge of people with the deadly strain of the bacteria.

More to follow... Source

Breaking News: 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake WEST OF MACQUARIE ISLAND, Australia - 5th June 2011

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake has struck West of Macquarie Island at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 11:51:12 UTC Sunday 5th June 2011.
The epicenter was 794 km (493 miles) WSW of Macquarie Island, Australia
No tsunami watch, warning or advisory is in effect. No reports of Damage as yet.

Heavy rain causes flash floods in Singapore - 5th June 2011

SINGAPORE: Singapore national water agency PUB said heavy and intense rain fell over the central and eastern parts of Singapore early Sunday morning, resulting in flash floods in various locations.

PUB said the rainfall on Sunday was more intense than that of June last year, with about 65mm recorded within 30 minutes on Sunday morning, compared to the 100mm within tw
o hours on June 16, 2010.

PUB said the rainfall in the eastern area started early Sunday morning and caused flash floods at MacPherson areas including Wan Tho Avenue, Sian Kwang Avenue, Jalan Kemboja and Puay Hee Road.

The MacPherson area is a flood-prone area.

The rain moved over to the central area and intensified later in the morning.

Callers to the MediaCorp hotline reported flooding in areas such as Cuscaden Road, Hillcrest Road, Eng Neo Avenue, Sennett Estate near Potong Pasir, MacPherson, Toa Payoh, and
Balestier.

They also reported fallen trees caused by the downpour and gusty wind.

PUB said Orchard Road did not experience similar floods this time.

PUB said it has substantially completed raising the stretch of Orchard Road (from Orange Grove Road to Cairnhill Road).

However, flash floods occurred at Cuscaden Road, Tanglin/Tomlinson Road junction, and Napier Road/Tanglin Road junction.

The basement carpark of Delfi Orchard was flooded.


The basement level 1 of Tanglin Mall was also affected for the first time

Forum Shopping Mall was also affected, and many stores had to close temporarily.

MediaCorp understands that water levels were about ankle-deep.

When MediaCorp visited Tanglin and Forum Shopping malls, store owners and employees there said that they had been cleaning up for more than two hours.

Spinelli Coffee Company retail store manager at Forum The Shopping Mall Chen Jiahui said: "The rain is too heavy; the water comes too fast so subsequently, the area is all flooded.

"The water just keeps on gushing in because (the) door is an auto door, so there's no way we can stop the water from coming in".

PUB said it deployed tankers to both Delfi Orchard and Tanglin Mall to pump out the water from their basement carparks.

Meanwhile, at Bukit Timah Road, flash floods occurred at the stretch from Blackmore to Maplewood Road and two out of three lanes were affected. The road was closed temporarily for one hour.

PUB said drainage improvement works are in progress at the stretch from Jalan Kampong Chantek to Maple Avenue and this will improve the drainage capacity along this stretch by end-2011.

PUB mobilised staff and contractors to the sites once it received alerts of heavy rain.

PUB, Traffic Police and SCDF officers were on site to render assistance.

In a statement issued at 12.15pm, PUB said the flash floods reported earlier along Bukit Timah Road (the stretch from Blackmore road to Maplewood Road) and Dunearn Road (from Rifle Range Road to Yarwood Road) as well as at Orchard Road (Cuscaden Road - at the Tanglin/Tomlinson Road junction; Tanglin/Napir Road junction) have subsided.

These roads are now passable to traffic.
Read More

4 killed, 8 injured, several buildings destroyed in Gujranwala blast, Pakistan - 5th June 2011

At least four persons including a woman were killed and eight others injured due to blast at Sheikhupura Road here in Gujranwala on late Saturday night.

Building of a private bank, three shops and a house near the scene of blast were razed to ground due to blast.

According to SP Saddar Gujranwala, Khurram Shoaib the blast took place at 2.45am near a private cardiology centre due to unknown reasons.

One person was killed on the spot while ten others sustained injuries. Two bodies were later recovered from the rubble of the destroyed buildings.

The bodies and injured were shifted to District Headquarters Hospital Gujranwala, where one among the injured succumbed to his wounds raising death toll to four, while according to hospital sources condition of two injured people was also serious.

Three among the deceased were identified as Shahid, Sohail and Wakeela Bibi.
Three shops, building of a private bank and house located near the site of blast were destroyed completely due to the blast while window panes of the cardiology centre and other buildings were also broken due to intensity of the blast.

The blast also ruptured the main gas pipeline passing nearby. It took two hours to repair the gas pipeline due to pressure of the gas.

SP Saddar said that nature of blast has not been yet known and evidences were being gathered to confirm whether the blast occurred due to gas pressure or it was terror act. Source

Loud explosion sets Nairobi petrol station ablaze, Kenya - 5th June 2011

A loud explosion has gone off in Nairobi and set a petrol station ablaze near the junction of Kirinyaga and Accra roads.

Huge flames were witnessed in the petrol station before fire fighters put it out after 30 minutes.

Emergency services rushed to the scene and police officers evacuated nearby buildings.

Officials confirmed 28 people had been rushed to hospital while some were trapped under a shipping container which was overturned by the force of the explosion.

Police confirmed that at least six people suffered burns, one of them said to be in a serious condition.

A St John's Ambulance first aid assistant told Nation.co.ke some of the injured had been rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga visited the scene and said the government will seek ways of assisting the injured and those who have lost property. Source

Severe storms push through Indiana, leaving 1 dead, 3 injured and more than 35,000 blacked out - 4th June 2011

INDIANAPOLIS — Severe weather moving across central Indiana has left one person dead, more than 35,000 utility customers without power and much of the state under a thunderstorm watch.

State Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Rod Russell tells the Anderson Herald Bulletin that one person was killed Saturday evening and three others were injured when a tree fell on a van at Mounds State Park in Anderson. No further details were released.

Storms packing heavy rain, lightning, high winds and hail were reported throughout the state.

Indianapolis Power & Light Co. officials say most of its nearly 10,900 customers without power were located in Marion County.

Duke Energy says most of its 26,500 blacked-out customers were in Hamilton County.

Most of Indiana remains under a severe thunderstorm watch until 2 a.m. Sunday. Source

Food chain at risk of being poisoned by terrorist groups - 5th June 2011

Food and drink sold in Britain is under a growing threat from terrorist groups which might try to poison supplies, the Government’s security advisers have warned.

Manufacturers and retailers have been told that their sector is vulnerable to attacks by ideologically and politically motivated groups that may seek to cause widespread casualties and disruption by poisoning food supplies.

The warning from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure [CPNI], which operates as part of the Security Service, comes as experts warned the deadly E.coli outbreak in Germany has highlighted the vulnerability of the food chain and how quickly bacteria can spread.

The highly virulent strain has claimed 18 lives and left more than 1,800 seriously ill, with the true number of cases expected to be far higher.

A senior German doctor last night called for an investigation into the possibility that the bacteria had been spread deliberately.

Klaus-Dieter Zastrow, chief doctor for hygiene at Berlin’s Vivantes hospital, said: “It’s quite possible that there’s a crazy person out there who thinks 'I’ll kill a few people or give 10,000 people diarrhoea’. It’s a negligent mistake not to investigate in that direction.”

In the past, the main threat of deliberate contamination of food has been from criminals attempting extortion or from individuals with a grudge, but security officials fear there is an emerging threat from extremist groups such as al-Qaeda, dissident republicans in Northern Ireland and animal rights activists.

The CPNI has asked food and drinks producers, suppliers and supermarkets to tighten security at plants and depots and to identify vulnerabilities in supply chains.

One official from the CPNI spoke about the threat at a meeting of food safety experts. Addressing a conference of the Society for General Microbiology, he said: “The UK suffers from a low level of malicious contamination of food by the bad, the mad and the sad. Now it has to consider the possibility of food supplies being disrupted by politically motivated groups.”

The E.coli outbreak is thought to have been caused by poor hygiene at a farm, in transit, or at a food outlet. Read More

Chile's Puyehue volcano awakes after half a century causing evacuations of thousands and closing of borders - 5th June 2011


Southern Chile's Puyehue volcano has erupted for the first time in half a century, prompting evacuation orders for 3500 people as it sent smoke billowing into the sky, authorities said.

The National Service of Geology and Mining said the explosion that sparked the eruption also produced a column of gas 10 kilometres high, hours after warning of strong seismic activity in the area.

'You can see the fire (in the volcano) and a plume of smoke, and there's a strong smell of sulfur,' top Los Rios region official Juan Andres Varas told reporters.

The government, which earlier ordered the evacuation of 600 people, expanded that number to 3,500 people to be relocated to shelters in safe areas. Authorities issued a red alert, the maximum warning level, for the area.

A border crossing between Argentina and Chile was closed.

A cloud of ash could be seen in the Patagonian resort town of Bariloche in Argentina, about 100 kilometres east of the volcano.

'We're trying to stop car traffic and ask that people stay at home and close their doors and windows to prevent the volcanic ash from coming in. The city's airport was also closed,' Carlos Hidalgo, Bariloche's communications secretary, told TN television.

'Ash was dumped like a snowstorm... The city is covered in grey ash.'

Nearby localities were also affected, said Hidalgo, whose city of 50,000 people welcomes thousands of foreign tourists each year to its lakes and mountain scenery.

Puyehue is located 870 kilometres south of the capital Santiago in the Cordon Caulle complex nestled in the Andes mountains.

Its last major eruption was in 1960, following a magnitude 9.5 earthquake. Source

Obama's Libya mission rebuked by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress - 3rd June 2011

The House harshly scolded President Barack Obama on Friday for launching U.S. military forces against Libya without congressional approval, fiercely disputing constitutional powers and flashing bipartisan frustration over a nearly three-month-old conflict with no end in sight.

Congressmen crossed party lines as the vast majority of the House voted for a bill that asked the President to present his case within 14 days after he failed to present a ‘compelling rationale’ for the mission.

Lawmakers reprimanded the commander-in-chief for supposedly breaking the constitutional chain of authority by committing troops to the international military mission.

The vote was 268-145 for the measure by Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, with 45 Democrats joining 223 Republicans in a challenge to the Democratic President.

However, lawmakers stopped short of a more draconian resolution to order an outright end to U.S. involvement in Libya.

They rejected that measure, 265-148, with anti-war Democrat Dennis Kucinich of Ohio winning the votes of 87 Republicans and 61 Democrats.

Over White House objections, the House did adopt a resolution chastising Obama for failing to provide a ‘compelling rationale’ for the Libyan mission and demanding answers in the next 14 days on the operation's objective, its costs and its impact on the nation's two other wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Democrats as well as Republicans criticised the commander in chief.

‘Shall the president, like the king of England, be a dictator on foreign policy?’ asked Representative Jerrold Nadler, D-NY. ’The authors of the Constitution said we don't trust kings.’ Read More

Hayden Walton stepped towards first base and collapsed': Little Leaguer hit in the chest by baseball dies on the field - 4th June 2011

A 13-year-old Arizona boy was killed in a freak accident after a baseball hit him over the heart as he tried to bunt.

Hayden Walton went for the bunt during a game Tuesday night in the close-knit northern Arizona city of Winslow, said Jamey Jones, a Winslow Little League official.

'He took an inside pitch right in the chest,' Jones said. 'After that he took two steps to first base and collapsed.'

He died the next morning at a local hospital.

The boy's parents, who were at the game, are heartbroken, shocked and unable to speak to members of the media, league president and family spokesman Dale Thomas said.

'It's a hard thing to handle for everyone,' Thomas said.

'When you're touched by something of this magnitude, it sends shock waves throughout the community.'

Thomas said he grew up around the boy's family and described Hayden as 'the epitome of what every little boy ought to be.'

Besides participating in Little League, Hayden was a Boy Scout, loved to work on cars and helped neighbourhood widows by mowing their lawns and doing odd jobs for them, Thomas said.

He said Hayden had a younger sister.

The league suspended games until Friday and has counsellors available for players or parents who need them.

Stephen Keener, president and CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball, said in a statement that 'the loss of a child is incomprehensible.'

'Words cannot adequately express our sorrow on the passing of Hayden,' he said.

'Our thoughts and prayers go out to Hayden's family, all the players and volunteers of the Winslow Little League, his classmates, and his friends, at this difficult time.' Source

Thomas Lee and Laura Diprimo 'leave son in sweltering car and go to strip club', then complain about heat in police car after they are Arrested

A couple who allegedly left their son in a hot car while they were inside a strip club later complained about the heat of the police car they were being driven away in, a Kentucky court has heard.

Police officers claim emergency services had to be called last week after they received a report that an infant boy was alone in a car near the intersection of Taylor Boulevard and Longfield Avenue, Louisville.

The tip off came from an anonymous caller who also told police that the couple had being seen going inside a nearby strip club.

When officers arrived at the scene, around 11pm, they saw a Chevy Impala parked where the caller had said, and the boy inside. He was crying and sweating and in distress.

The court heard that at that point, 43-year-old Laura Diprimo, listed as the child's mother and employed by the club, allegedly ran out of the strip club and jumped in the car, lowering the windows.

It is an assertion that Diprimo denied at a preliminary court hearing. She claims that she was with the boy at all times and was in the car when the police arrived, insisting: 'I did not leave my son in the car.'

The boy's father, 28-year-old Thomas W. Lee, told the judge: 'I would never do that to my baby boy, I love him.'

Police claim Lee was seen walking out of the strip club after they arrived. He was wearing an ankle bracelet, as he was supposed to be under home arrest in Clark County, Indiana.

The arrest report says that, despite the incident happening late at night, the heat index at the time of the incident was 91 degrees. Link

It indicates that the child had been left alone in the car for at least 10-15 minutes.

Both Diprimo and Lee were arrested and charged with wanton endangerment, and the court heard that - while en route to the jail - Lee even complained about the heat in the back of the police car.

Probation authorities say Lee was already in trouble for charges relating to the child and Diprimo. Source

WARNING: Beaver alert! Officials warn people to stay clear of Philadelphia river after 35lb rabid rodent bites three victims - 5th June 2011

Wildlife officials are warning people to stay away from a popular creek in Philadelphia after a rabid beaver bit three people in the past few days.

The Pennsylvania State Game Commission confirmed on Friday that a 35lb male beaver captured in Pennypack Creek tested positive for rabies.

The rabies confirmation came after two separate biting incidents last Wednesday and Thursday. But now officials fear other beavers in the area may have rabies.

Game Commission Officer Jerry Czech described what happened when a couple fishing in Pennypack Creek was attacked.

Mr Czech said: 'The beaver kind of went underwater and came up.

'The wife started screaming and the husband looked over and saw the beaver biting on her leg.'

It then bit the husband when he came to her aid.

A 10-year-old girl was bitten the next day, nbc philadelphia reports.

While she was being treated at a hospital, a park ranger trapped and killed a beaver about 500 yards from where the child was attacked.

It had injuries consistent with reports the victims had made of their efforts to protect themselves.

The animal was later confirmed to have rabies after a post-mortem examination.

Wildlife officials suggest people stay out of the water until officials can declare it safe.

The beaver responsible for the attacks has been killed but other beavers or wildlife in the area could also be infected.

In late April, a rabid beaver attacked a fisherman in the White Clay Creek area of Chester County, Pennsylvania.

In that case, the victim was able to drown the animal.

Rabies is a viral disease with a long incubation period.

Once symptoms develop it is almost always fatal, but the disease can be prevented by the injection of rabies vaccine.

Game Commission officials are encouraging residents seeing beavers or other mammals acting in a suspicious manner to report that information to the agency’s Southeast Region Office at 610-926-3136 or local law enforcement.

The last human rabies fatality in Pennsylvania was a 12‑year‑old Lycoming County boy who died in 1984. Source


Kyron Horman Mystery his mother marks an agonising year since he vanished, and pleads with main suspect in the case to break her silence 5th June 2011

Today marks an agonising milestone for the mother of Kyron Horman - it has been one year to date since her son mysteriously vanished from his elementary school in Portland, Oregon.

Desiree Young has been desperately searching for her son since June 4, 2010 - when he was last seen by his stepmother at Skyline Elementary - but investigators have yet to find physical evidence leading to his whereabouts.

Now, the state task force searching for the boy is set to be closed, after investing a reported 28,000 hours and $1.4million in the investigation.

Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Stanton told local newspaper The Oregonian the task force would be disbanded on July 1.

One detective will be left on the case to continue the investigation, once led by a team of state investigators, prosecutors and members of the FBI.

Those investigators taken off the force could return, however, if there is a major lead, he said.

Stanton told the newspaper: 'Criminal investigations don't go away. This will continue. It will not be a cold case.'

The news comes weeks after Kyron's mother arranged for a large billboard to be erected by the side of the road in Roseburg, Oregon.

It shows seven-year-old Kyron Horman, with his close-cropped blonde hair and glasses - his face forever frozen in an adorable smile.

The message written above the boy's pictures is simple yet determined: 'I promise I will find you. I will never stop. Love, Momma.'

The signs - donated by Athey Creek Christian Fellowship in Wilsonville and the billboard company - aim to keep the case fresh in the minds of locals, but also to play on the conscience of stepmother Terri Moulton Horman - a suspect in the ongoing disappearance case.

Moulton Horman has been a virtual recluse in her parents' home in Roseburg after sensational claims made during the investigation.

Mrs Young told The Oregonian last month: 'I want her to know that we're not going away.'

Kyron Horman was last seen on the morning of June 4, during a science fair at Skyline School.

Moulton Horman said she dropped the boy off at school and last saw him walking off to this first class.

But the boy never made it to his class and was listed as absent from school that day.

When Moulton Horman arrived to pick Kyron up that afternoon, the alarm was raised. He has not been seen since.

Despite a major police investigation, which has seen investigators painstakingly searching wide areas around Roseburg, no leads have been uncovered.

The motions of Moulton Horman the day of Kyron's disappearance have been of interest to the police from the outset.

Kyron's biological parents have pleaded with Moulton Horman to reveal everything she is suspected of knowing about the case, but police say she 'has been cooperative...and other times she has not'. Read More

Casey Anthony's car Trunk Contained Hair 'from Caylee's dead body' , FBI expert testifies - 4th June 2011

An FBI forensic expert said a hair removed from the trunk of Casey Anthony's car is consistent with hair from a dead body.

That was the testimony of Karen Korsberg Lowe Saturday in Anthony's sensational murder trial.

The 25-year old Orlando mother is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

FBI expert Lowe said she examined a light-brown, 9-inch-long hair for this case.

She said the hair was similar to one pulled from Caylee's brush and was not similar to a hair sample from Casey Anthony.

Ms Lowe also said the hair showed characteristics consistent with decomposition.

Anthony is charged with first-degree murder.

Prosecutors say the girl was suffocated after duct tape was placed over her mouth.

The defence contends she accidently drowned in her grandparents' swimming pool.

Anthony's attorney challenged Ms Lowe's qualifications as an expert in microscopic hair examinations.

Earlier, crime scene investigator Gerardo Bloise showed the court where he had found a hair in the trunk of Casey Anthony's car.

The investigator searched Anthony's car on July 17, 2008 for clues about the fate of her missing daughter. On Friday, he testified that the odour of human decomposition wafted from the interior as soon as he opened the door.

Gerardo Bloise said: 'My professional opinion is that it was human decomposition.'

Mr Bloise told jurors he had seen as many as 45 bodies in various stages of decomposition in his career.

Mr Bloise was the latest in a series of witnesses, including Casey's parents, who have testified that they know the odour of human composition and that's what they smelled in Casey's car.

Mr Bloise spent almost three hours on the witness stand, primarily identifying bits of evidence he removed from the car. Read More

Is this a secret space station on Mars? Armchair astronaut sets the internet alight with new Google image - 4th June 2011

We have all heard of little green men from Mars.

But now an American 'armchair astronaut' claims to have discovered a mysterious structure on the surface of the red planet - by looking on Google earth.

David Martines, whose YouTube video of the 'station' has racked up over 200,000 hits so far, claims to have randomly uncovered the picture while scanning the surface of the planet one day.

Describing the 'structure' as a living quarters with red and blue stripes on it, to the untrained eye it looks nothing more than a white splodge on an otherwise unblemished red landscape.

He even lists the co-ordinates 49'19.73"N 29 33'06.53"W so others can go see the anomaly for themselves.

In a pre recorded 'fly by' video of the object, Mr Martines describes what he thinks the station might be.

He said: 'This is a video of something I discovered on Google Mars quite by accident.

'I call it Bio-station Alpha, because I'm just assuming that something lives in it or has lived in it.

'It's very unusual in that it's quite large, it's over 700 feet long and 150 feet wide, it looks like it's a cylinder or made up of cylinders. Read More


Tylar Witt and Steven Colver the Star crossed 'killers': Young lovers who 'plotted death' of mother thought themselves modern day Romeo and Juliet

A teenage couple who are accused of killing the then 14-year-old girl's mother after she disapproved of their relationship, considered killing themselves like Romeo and Juliet.

Tylar Witt, now 16, told a court this week how she had covered her ears and 'hummed' as her then 19-year-old boyfriend Steven Colver had repeatedly stabbed her mother Joanne Witt as she slept.

Mrs Witt had threatened to go to police after discovering Tylar and Colver, now 21, were having sex and using drugs after reading her diary.

Police found the body of 47-year-old Joanne Witt on June 15 2009 in the bedroom of her home in El Dorado Hills, near Sacramento in California.

According to Tylar, the pair hatched a plot to kill Mrs Witt after first rejecting the idea of killing themselves.

The court heard how she had waited outside the bedroom as Colver crept in with a kitchen knife taken from his work place.

Prosecutors say Colver then stabbed Joanne Witt 20 times, finally killing her with a slash across her throat.

Tylar said: 'I put my hands on my ears, closed my eyes, and hummed.'

After carrying out the attack, Tylar added: 'He [Colver] looked in shock.

'I hugged him and told him everything was going to be OK.'

Colver's defence have attacked Tylar, saying she is mentally unbalanced and that it was her, not Colver, who carried out the murder.

They pointed to the fact she had admitted to having three personalities, Tylar, 'Alex,' her inner angel, and 'Toby,' a demon from hell.

Tylar also described why the pair decided to carry out the attack.

After she realised her mother had taken her diary to the police, she said: 'I went into a full-blown panic attack, hyperventilating, screaming, shaking,' Tylar Witt said.

'Everything was in that diary. There was no way he was going to get out of the charges.' Read More