Monday, September 12, 2011

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE COAST OF NICARAGUA - 13th September 2011

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck near the Coast of Nicaragua at a depth of 60.6 km (37.7 miles), the quake hit at 00:48:24 UTC Tuesday 13th September 2011.
The epicenter was 95 km (59 miles) West of Rivas, Nicaragua
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

6.2 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR NORTH COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 12th September 2011

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck near North Coast of New Guinea, Papua New Guinea at a depth of 34.9 km (21.7 miles), the quake hit at 22:44:31 UTC Monday 12th September 2011.
The epicenter was 48 km (29 miles) ESE of Wewak, New Guinea, Papua New Guinea
No reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN COLOMBIA - 12th September 2011

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Northern Colombia at a depth of 47 km (29.2 miles), the quake hit at 21:16:42 UTC Monday 12th September 2011.
The epicenter was 110 km (68 miles) South of Apartado, Colombia
No reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

The state of "news" today...

Is a global stimulus package coming soon, to be coordinated by the world's banks?

Richard Gage and Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth: "911 Controlled Demolition of WTC7"

Unseen WTC7 collapse footage from new angle -- Still need convincing?

Pro-Gaddafi forces kill 17 at Libya oil refinery

Muammar Gaddafi loyalists killed 17 guards outside an oil refinery on Monday in an apparent attempt to disrupt a drive by Libya's new rulers to seize the ousted ruler's last bastions and revive the oil-based economy.

A Syrian-based television station that has broadcast messages from Gaddafi in the past said he was still in Libya, but it was unable to air a televised appearance for security reasons.

"It was meant to show the leader among his fighters and people, leading the struggle from Libyan lands, and not from Venezuela or Niger or anywhere else," Mishan Jabouri, owner of the Arrai channel, told viewers.

He read out a text quoting Gaddafi as saying: "We cannot give up Libya to colonization one more time ... There is nothing more to do except fight until victory."

Libya's new ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) says that as long as Gaddafi remains on the run he is capable of attracting followers to a dangerous insurgency -- of the kind which the refinery attack might prefigure. more

Risk of radioactive leak after deadly explosion at French nuclear plant

One person has been killed and several injured in an explosion at a nuclear plant in southern France, leading to the potential risk of a radioactive leak.

The blast occurred in an oven at the Marcoule nuclear site near the city of Nimes in the south of France, according to emergency services.

One person was killed and three were injured in the explosion, according to Le Figaro newspaper.

It hit the Centraco nuclear waste treatment centre belonging to the Socodei subsidiary of national electricity provider EDF, said a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Commissariat (CEA).

"For the time being nothing has made it outside," a spokesman said.

A security perimeter has been set up around the installation, firefighters said, without being able to provide further details. more

Chantelle Booth, Daniel Newstead, and Joe Boyer jailed for life for 'vile' murder of disabled woman Gemma Hayter

Three people have been jailed for life for the “vile” torture and murder of a disabled woman, whose naked body was found on a disused railway line.

Chantelle Booth, 22, her boyfriend Daniel Newstead, 20, and Joe Boyer, 18, were handed sentences at the Old Bailey of a minimum of 21, 20 and 18 years, respectively, for brutally beating to death Gemma Hayter, 27, who had lifelong learning difficulties and a physical disability.

The court heard how Miss Hayter was forced to drink urine, hit with a mop and beaten in a flat for hours before being escorted to an old railway line where she was stripped naked and had a plastic bag put over her head.

Her body was found by a jogger alongside an embankment in Rugby, Warks, on August 9 last year.

Co-defendants Jessica Lynas, 19 and Duncan Edwards, 19, were yesterday sentenced to a minimum of 13 and 20 years after they were found guilty of manslaughter during a seven-week trial.

Lady Justice Rafferty, sentencing the five, all from Rugby, described the case as a "chronicle of heartlessness". more

At least 2,660 killed in Syria since start of protests

At least 2,600 people have been killed in Syria since protests erupted in mid-March, the United Nations said on Monday, as the regime itself admitted around half that number had died.

Navi Pillay, the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that 2,600 people had died in Syria since mid-March after the regime dispatched tanks and troops to quell a wave of political protests.

"According to reliable sources on the ground, the number of those killed since the onset of the unrest in mid-March 2011 in that country has now reached at least 2,600," Ms Pillay said, adding that her office continues to be denied access to Syria by the government of President Bashar Assad.

One of President Assad's top advisers disagreed with the UN estimate however, insisting that the real number was around 1,400 deaths and that almost half of those were policemen and soldiers rather than protesters.

"The (UN's) information is wrong," said Bouthaina Shaaban, who was in Moscow for talks with top Russian officials.

"According to our data, the number of dead is about 700 on each side. We have a full list with the names of the victims and can make it public." more

UK growth slowing at fastest pace in more than a year, says OECD

Hopes for Britain's troubled economy have been dealt another blow after a key indicator suggested growth is slowing at its fastest pace in more than a year.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), activity in the UK fell for a sixth straight month in July and at its steepest rate since June 2010. The contraction, from 100.9 to 100.4 – a level not seen since the UK entered recession in 2009 - indicated the country is in a "slowdown".

The OECD's composite leading indicator is closely watched because it is thought to predict turning points in the economy six months in advance. The indicator also seems to confirm the OECD's recent bleak outlook for growth in the UK, that the economy would virtually flatline in the final six months of the year with average quarterly growth of less than 0.1pc.

Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "The further deterioration in the OECD leading indictor for the UK ties in with the current softness of the UK economy and the increasingly worrying outlook. The indicator is now getting down perilously close to the 100 points level that indicates only flat activity."

The OECD's indicators had bad news across the board, as the global picture worsened for a fourth straight month in July. The indicator for the seven leading industrialised nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the US – dropped to 102 from 102.5 in June. The OECD said it signalled "widespread slowdown in activity".

Of the G7, Canada, France and Italy are currently deeper into "slowdown" territory than the UK. more

Egypt's military rulers ignored pleas from US as mob attacked Israeli embassy

Egypt's military leaders have been accused of turning a blind eye to the mob attack on Israel's Cairo embassy at the weekend as it emerged that they ignored repeated telephone calls from the Obama administration.

With six Israeli security guards fending off an angry mob rampaging through the mission, Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, tried for two hours to get hold of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's de facto head of state, to demand an immediate rescue operation.

Aides told Mr Panetta that the general could not be found, Israeli officials were quoted as saying. The response prompted fury in Washington, and threats of US retribution. Field Marshal Tantawi's mysterious disappearance intensified speculation that Egypt's generals had deliberately failed to protect the embassy for political gain.

The armed forces, which are running Egypt until a civilian government is elected at the end of the year, are thought to be desperate to retain the political influence and financial privileges they enjoyed under President Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled by protests in February.

Officials in Israel, as well as a number of political activists in Cairo, have claimed that Field Marshal Tantawi turned down an opportunity to rein in the violence at the embassy in order to prove that, without a strong army, Egypt would descend into violence and anarchy.

Israel was forced to send military aircraft to Cairo to evacuate its ambassador and more than 80 diplomats after a mob, angered by the killing of three Egyptian border guards by Israeli forces last month, laid siege to the embassy. As the Egyptian police and army stood by, unwilling or unable to intervene, the rioters broke through the mission's defences and ransacked the building. The incident has plunged relations between Israel and its oldest Arab ally deep into crisis. more

Germany and Greece flirt with mutual assured destruction

Bild Zeitung populism has prevailed. Germany is pushing Greece towards a hard default, risking the uncontrollable chain reaction so long feared by markets.

First we learn from planted leaks that Germany is activating "Plan B", telling banks and insurance companies to prepare for 50pc haircuts on Greek debt; then that Germany is “studying” options that include Greece's return to the drachma.

German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble has chosen to do this at a moment when the global economy is already flirting with double-dip recession, bank shares are crashing, and global credit strains are testing Lehman levels. The recklessness is breath-taking.

If it is a pressure tactic to force Greece to submit to EU-IMF demands of yet further austerity, it may instead bring mutual assured destruction.

"Whoever thinks that Greece is an easy scapegoat, will find that this eventually turns against them, against the hard core of the eurozone," said Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos.

Greece can, if provoked, pull the pin on the European banking system and inflict huge damage on Germany itself, and Greece has certainly been provoked. more

Gale force winds produced by Hurricane Katia hit Britain: Photo Gallery

State pension age to be lifted to 67 a decade earlier than planned: UK

Millions of workers aged under 50 will have to delay their retirement by at least two years, the Government has admitted.

Ministers will bring forward a planned increase in the state retirement age to 67 – after previously announcing that both men and women will have to retire at 66 from 2020.

The retirement age could rise to 67 as soon as 2026 – a decade earlier than previously proposed – and future increases may automatically be linked to improvements in life expectancy.

Steve Webb, the pensions minister, said the current planned increases in the state pension age were "too slow".

"Everybody knows we are living longer," he said. "It is like an express train. I am even more convinced now than I was a year ago that we are running to stand still on all this stuff. In a world [where] you are going to live into your late 80s, and before we know it [into your] 90s, we think now we have got to move on these things."

Mr Webb said previous governments had failed to address a significant increase in life expectancy and argued that bringing forward the rise in the state pension age was now crucial. "The timescales for 67 and 68 are too slow," he said. "If it is 67 in the mid-2030s we will be going backwards in terms of share of your life in retirement." more

Bank reform: customers are being bamboozled by complex charges, Vickers report says

Britain’s biggest banks are bamboozling current account customers with opaque charging structures, according to the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB).

Banks need to make the pricing of current accounts more transparent and there needs to be more competition in the market to improve choice for consumers, according to the commission's final report, published today.

The ICB, headed by Sir John Vickers, said bank customers found that the opaque charging structures on many current accounts – particularly in relation to overdraft charges – made it difficult for them to identify which account would be the most cost-effective.

It recommended that there should be a strong new challenger in the market to provide a more competitive alternative; there should be a new switcher service introduced – to make it easier for consumers to move accounts – and the new regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, should have a primary duty to promote effective competition.

The complex pricing of current accounts – particularly for overdraft charges – has made it increasingly difficult for consumers to identify which accounts offers them the best value for money, according to some respondents to the ICB's interim report. One even went so far as to suggest that banks designed these complex tariffs to hinder the ability of consumers to shop around properly.

Overdraft charging is particularly opaque, with some banks charging a flat fee for each day customers are overdrawn while others continue to charge interest. more

Russia supports Palestinian bid to win UN statehood: envoy

Russia supports the Palestinian bid to win UN statehood despite resistance from Israel and the United States, Moscow's ambassador to the United Nations said on Monday.

"We will, of course, be voting for any of the Palestinians' proposals," Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. "We are saying that whatever you decide to do, we will support you." source

Jordan's Abdullah: Israel's situation today more difficult than ever

"Jordan and the future Palestine are stronger than Israel is today. It is the Israeli who is scared today," King Abdullah of Jordan said late Sunday in Amman.

The king described a recent conversation he held in the US with "one of the Israeli intellectuals" who commented on events in the Arab world, arguing that they were good for Israel. "I replied and said that it was the opposite and that Israel's situation today is more difficult than ever before."

Abdullah reiterated that his country would not serve as an "alternative homeland to the Palestinians." more

Street brawl erupts in Minneapolis, caught on video



A series of fights broke out after a teen dance party in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday night, causing wild scenes on busy streets, and leading to the arrests of three participants.

Early news reports called the action a "riot," but that term has since been downgraded to "mini-riot." The trouble started as hundreds of teenagers poured out of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, which was hosting the "Big Bash 2" dance party. During the party, kids had scuffled with event security, leading to a police call, an early end to the party, and an exodus of riled-up kids.

As a large crowd moved down Nicollet Mall, it tossed restaurant furniture and confronted bystanders, according to the Star Tribune.

More troublesome, though, were the fights that took place within the group, one of which was caught on tape.

The video, captured and uploaded by someone who says he was having his bachelor party at the Local, shows a slew of young people walking down the street. A couple of them begin to have words, and some scatter, before a dozen or so get into brief brawl with punches and chairs thrown.

The fighting ends soon enough, and the crowd simply moves on farther down the block, increasing its speed as cops arrive. more

Israel facing 'diplomatic tsunami' with Arab neighbors

The attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo has brought into sharp relief Israel's increasing isolation in a still region grappling with the changes of the Arab Spring.

Israel was forced to evacuate its ambassador and most of its diplomatic staff from Cairo this weekend after hundreds of Egyptian protesters tore down a security wall protecting the Nile-side embassy, ransacked its files and burned an Israeli flag. It came less than a week after Turkey, Israel's other major ally in the Muslim world, announced it was expelling the Israeli ambassador and downgrading its relationship to the lowest possible level after a deadly skirmish involving a Turkish aid vessel that was attempting to deliver supplies in defiance of Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

With another potential predicament brewing later this month when the Palestinians are expected to request membership and statehood at the United Nations, Israeli-Arab relations appear to be plunging to their lowest point in years.

"Within a week Israel has found itself two friends down and about to face a so-called diplomatic tsunami with the Palestinians," said one European envoy in Jerusalem, who spoke on condition of anonymity under diplomatic protocol.

"I would be nervous if I was an Israeli diplomat today." more

Doomsday weapon: Israel’s nuclear-armed submarines

The day the Twin Towers collapsed in Manhattan, September 11, 2001, IDF submarine “Leviathan” of the advanced Dolphin model was on a training sail somewhere at sea – the exact location of Israel’s submarines will always remain classified, even dozens of years after the fact.

At one point, the submarine rose to the surface to take a break. The sub’s commander, then-Lt. Colonel Oded, looked through the periscope and saw a calm, blue sea. However, one crew member soon informed him that he just saw the New York towers collapsing on television. Oded’s first reaction was laughter: What kind of movie are you watching there? How could the Twin Towers collapse? Yet soon after, the official announcement arrived from Israel.

The training session ended abruptly. Orders started to pour in from Navy headquarters. The submarine went into high alert and sank into the water for a lengthy period of several weeks. “In such case,” Oded says, “nobody knows where you are except for your crew and your direct commanders. Even your family doesn’t know. They don’t know what you’re doing or when you’ll be back. They know nothing.” more

Security Remains Tight In New York City Following 10th Anniversary Of 9/11: 342 Reports Of Suspicious Packages Over The Weekend

While the 10th anniversary of the 9/11/01 attack on America passed without an attack here at home, security in New York City remains ramped up.

That means vehicle checkpoints set up after what authorities described as a specific, credible but unconfirmed threat will remain in place.

“We were in a taxi and we got pulled over,” said Marv Williams, a tourist from Los Angeles. “They checked the trunk. Who cares? I think it’s good.”

Truck driver Eddie Belfiore was among those pulled over, but he told WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane the delay was alright.

“Whatever it takes, you know what I mean? You can’t let these people, you know, take advantage of this city, of this country,” Belfiore said. “If this is what we gotta do, this is what we gotta do. I don’t mind.”

People will continue to see bomb-sniffing dogs, heavily armed officers and be subject to bag checks.

“We will be holding our tours, holding our personnel, for an additional four hours” through today, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said over the weekend. “Effectively increasing by a third the size of our patrol, transit and counterterrorism, highway and traffic bureau.”

All this comes as authorities continue to look into the possibility three individuals may have been tasked to create mayhem using car bombs or by targeting area bridges and tunnels. more

290-pound Martin Kessman Sues White Castle Over Seats Because Their Discomfort "Violates the Rights of Fat People"

A 290-pound New York man is steaming mad at the White Castle fast-food chain, which he claims repeatedly broke promises to make the booths in his local eatery bigger.

Martin Kessman, 64, filed a lawsuit against the fast-food giant last week in Manhattan federal court, claiming that the uncomfortable booths violate the civil rights of fat people.

Kessman's lawsuit came more than two years after he complained to White Castle about the size of the booths at the Nanuet, N.Y., eatery and reportedly received a pledge that renovations would be carried out to cater for larger customers.

"They sent me specs and everything, about how the booths were going to be enlarged and made comfortable for people with a little more weight. So two and a half years went by, and nothing was done," he told the NY Post , adding that he has no problem finding a place to take a load off at other fast-food places and fits easily into airline seats.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is "applicable -- not only to me, but to pregnant women and to handicapped people," according to Kessman, who is suing for bigger chairs and unspecified damages. "I just want to sit down like a normal person." more

OPEC cuts oil demand forecast on growth concerns

OPEC sharply revised down its forecast for world oil demand for this year and expected consumption would remain weak in 2012, citing on Monday waning economic growth in key industrialized nations and a weak U.S. driving season.

The 12-nation group that supplies about a third of the world's crude oil slashed its global oil demand forecast by 150,000 barrels per day for 2011 and by 40,000 barrels per day for 2012, saying "turbulence in world economic recovery has resulted in considerable uncertainty for demand growth next year."

It also lowered its estimate for crude produced by OPEC nations by about 100,000 barrels per day in 2011.

"Uncertainties in the oil market are increasing at a time when the recovery of the global economy is losing momentum and is becoming less evident," OPEC said in its September monthly oil market report. "Over recent months, a deceleration of economic growth was observed in almost every major economy."

Oil prices have swung sharply over the past few weeks, affected by volatility in the equities markets. Investors and economists are increasingly worried that the global economy is headed back into a recession amid staggering debt woes in Europe and a decision by credit ratings firm Standard & Poor's to cut the U.S. debt rating from its top tier level.

The concerns about an economic slowdown have been coupled with uncertainty over supply, as output from OPEC member Libya largely stopped because of its civil war, which has now dragged on for over five months. more

Al Gore in 24-hour broadcast to convert climate skeptics (is he paying for it from the $49 million he earned from "An Inconvenient Truth"?)

Former Vice President Al Gore will renew his 30-year campaign to convince skeptics of the link between climate change and extreme weather events this week in a 24-hour global multi-media event.

"24 Hours of Reality" will broadcast a presentation by Al Gore every hour for 24 hours across 24 different time zones from Wednesday to Thursday, with the aim of convincing climate change deniers and driving action against global warming among households, schools and businesses.

The campaign also asks people to hand over control of their social networking accounts on Facebook and Twitter to it for 24 hours to deliver Gore's message.

"There will be 200 new slides arguing the connection between more extreme weather and climate change," Trewin Restorick, chief executive of the event's UK partner Global Action Plan, told Reuters on Monday.

"There will be a full-on assault on climate skeptics, exploring where they get their funding from."

Gore tried to raise awareness about global warming in the 2006 documentary film "An Inconvenient Truth," which earned $49 million at the box office worldwide. The film was criticized by some climate change skeptics for being one-sided. more

German minister raises ‘orderly default’ for Greece

Germany has stepped up its rhetoric against Greece, warning that the debt-laden country could default on its debts in a move that highlights the growing divisions at the heart of Europe.

Philipp Roesler, Germany’s economy minister, said an “orderly default” for Greece could no longer be ruled out and branded the country’s deficit-reduction measures “insufficient”.

The warning is likely to spook financial markets further and comes despite Greece yesterday announcing a fresh €2bn (£1.7bn) of budget cuts and the introduction of a country-wide real estate tax.

Evangelos Venizelos, the finance minister, said the cuts and tax measure were necessary to allow Greece to meet obligations demanded by the European Union and IMF in exchange for bail-out funds.

Writing in the Die Welt newspaper, Mr Roesler said: “To stabilise the euro, we must not take anything off the table in the short run. That includes as a worst-case scenario an orderly default for Greece if the necessary instruments for it are available.”

He said such a default would mean “re-establishing the affected state’s ability to function, perhaps with a temporary restriction of its sovereign rights”. more

Greek default jitters hammer French banks, euro

Growing fears of a Greek default sent a hurricane through heavily exposed French banks on Monday and hit the euro as investor confidence in the European currency area's ability to surmount a sovereign debt crisis ebbed.

Shares in Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole slumped by more than 10 percent amid expectations of an imminent downgrade by credit ratings agency Moody's, due largely to their exposure to Greek bonds.

The shock resignation of European Central Bank chief economist Juergen Stark last Friday, and weekend comments by German politicians suggesting Athens may have to default and be "suspended" from the euro zone, drove the euro to a 10-year low against the yen and a seven-month low against the dollar, although it later recovered some ground.

"Europe is not just lurching from one crisis to another. It is lurching into a new one before the previous one is solved," said Makoto Noji, senior strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

The storm forced SocGen, the hardest hit French lender in recent weeks, to announce further drastic measures it denied only last week were under consideration, speeding up asset disposals and deepening cost cuts to free up 4 billion euros in fresh capital. more

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWEST OF SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 12th September 2011

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 14.7 km (9.1 miles), the quake hit at 18:23:55 UTC Monday 12th September 2011.
The epicenter was 213 km (132 miles) WSW of T,-Telukbetung, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 12th September 2011

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 61.2 km (38 miles), the quake hit at 17:42:42 UTC Monday 12th September 2011.
The epicenter was 46 km (28 miles) ENE of Mito, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Unable to pay child support, poor parents land behind bars


It may not be a crime to be poor, but it can land you behind bars if you also are behind on your child-support payments.

Thousands of so-called “deadbeat” parents are jailed each year in the U.S. after failing to pay court-ordered child support — the vast majority of them for withholding or hiding money out of spite or a feeling that they’ve been unfairly gouged by the courts.

But in what might seem like an un-American plot twist from a Charles Dickens’ novel, advocates for the poor say, some parents are wrongly being locked away without any regard for their ability to pay — sometimes without the benefit of legal representation.

Randy Miller, a 39-year-old Iraqi war vet, found himself in that situation in November, when a judge in Floyd County, Ga., sent him to jail for violating a court order to pay child support.

He said he was stunned when the judge rebuffed his argument that he had made regular payments for more than a decade before losing his job in July 2009 and had recently resumed working. more

Travellers 'who kept, beat and starved slaves were organised crime ring running the family business': London, UK

A slavery ring which held 24 captives in appalling conditions at a travellers' camp was an organised crime group run by just one family, police believe.

Yesterday about 200 officers in a dawn raid stormed the site where two dozen men were being kept in dog kennels, horseboxes and filthy caravans.

Today, as the extraordinary details began to emerge about how vulnerable people were lured into the camp in Little Billington, near Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, the youngest victim, a boy of only 17, was reunited with his family.

The vulnerable victims - some who were starving - had been lured from soup kitchens, benefit offices and hostels with promises of paid jobs and shelter. more

Christians in China: Is the country in spiritual crisis?

Many of China's churches are overflowing, as the number of Christians in the country multiplies. In the past, repression drove people to convert - is the cause now rampant capitalism?

It is impossible to say how many Christians there are in China today, but no-one denies the numbers are exploding.

The government says 25 million, 18 million Protestants and six million Catholics. Independent estimates all agree this is a vast underestimate. A conservative figure is 60 million. There are already more Chinese at church on a Sunday than in the whole of Europe.

The new converts can be found from peasants in the remote rural villages to the sophisticated young middle class in the booming cities.

There is a complexity in the structures of Chinese Christianity which is little understood in the West. To start with, Catholicism and Protestantism are designated by the state as two separate religions. more

Glowing cats shed light on Aids

Cats that have been genetically modified to glow in the dark are being used to gain insights into Aids.

The scientists inserted one gene into the cats that helps them resist the feline form of Aids.

They also inserted a gene that produces a fluorescent protein called GFP, Nature Methods journal reports.

This protein - which is produced naturally in jellyfish - is commonly used in this area of research to monitor the activity of altered genes.

"We did it to mark cells easily just by looking under the microscope or shining a light on the animal," said Dr Eric Poeschla, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, US.

The antiviral gene comes from a rhesus macaque, and produces a protein called a restriction factor that can resist Aids-causing viruses affecting other animals.

The team from the US and Japan then transferred this gene, along with the one for GFP, into feline eggs - known as oocytes.

The method worked so well that nearly all offspring from the modified eggs had the restriction factor genes. And these proteins were made throughout the cats' bodies. more

Fifty new exoplanets discovered

Astronomers using a telescope in Chile have discovered 50 previously unknown exoplanets.

The bumper haul of new worlds includes 16 "super-Earths" - planets with a great mass than our own, but below those of gas giants such as Jupiter.

One of these super-Earths orbits inside the habitable zone - the region around a star where conditions could be hospitable to life.

The planets were discovered using the Harps telescope at La Silla in Chile.

The new findings are being presented at a meeting called Extreme Solar Systems in Wyoming, US, and will appear in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Dr Michel Mayor, who led the effort, said the haul included "an exceptionally rich population of super-Earths and Neptune-type planets hosted by stars very similar to our Sun".

He added: "The new results show that the pace of discovery is accelerating." source

Fish oils block chemotherapy drug (Hmm)

Fats found in fish oil supplements can stop chemotherapy drugs working, according to researchers.

Writing in the journal Cancer Cell, they advise cancer patients not to take the supplements.

The two fatty acids involved, which are also produced by stem cells in the blood, lead to tumours becoming immune to treatment.

Cancer Research UK advised patients to ask their doctor whether they would be affected.

Scientists in the Netherlands were investigating how tumours develop resistance to treatments.

Experiments on mice showed that stem cells in the blood responded to the widely-used cancer drug cisplatin. The cells started producing two fatty acids, known as KHT and 16:4(n-3).

These fatty acids begin a series of chemical reactions, which mean cancerous cells become resistant to chemotherapy. more

6 months into Japan's cleanup, radiation a major worry

The scars of Japan’s March 11 disaster are both glaringly evident and deceptively hidden.

Six months after a tsunami turned Japan’s northeast into a tangled mess of metal, concrete, wood and dirt, legions of workers have made steady progress hauling away a good portion of the more than 20 million tonnes of debris covering ravaged coastal areas. The Environment Ministry says it expects to have it all removed by next March, and completely disposed of by 2014.

But a weightless byproduct of this country’s March 11 disaster is expected to linger for much longer.

The Japanese learned a lot about the risks posed by radiation after the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Now, once again, they are facing this invisible killer. This time, the mistake is of their own making.

"I’m afraid," says Shoji Sawada, a theoretical particle physicist who is opposed to the use of nuclear energy.

Sawada has been carefully monitoring the fallout from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. “I think many people were exposed to radiation. I am afraid [they] will experience delayed effects, such as cancer and leukemia.” more

SpongeBob may impair 4-year-olds' brains

Four-year-olds who watched nine minutes of the fast-paced cartoon SpongeBob Squarepants showed temporary attention and learning problems, researchers found.

The study compared 60 children who were randomly assigned to watch SpongeBob, the slower-paced PBS cartoon Caillou or to draw pictures as a control.

After nine minutes, the children did four tests to tap their "executive function" such as attention, problem-solving and delay of gratification.

"Just nine minutes of viewing a fast-paced television cartoon had immediate negative effects on four-year-olds’ executive function," Angeline Lillard and Jennifer Peterson of the psychology department at the University of Virginia concluded in Monday's issue of the journal Pediatrics.

"Parents should be aware that fast-paced television shows could at least temporarily impair young children’s executive function."

In the fast-paced show, the scenes changed, for example from a swimming pool to a bedroom, every 11 seconds on average compared with every 34 seconds on average in the educational TV show, the researchers said.

The children also watched for nine minutes, while many kids' cartoons last 11 minutes. Two such episodes are often shown in a 30-minute programming slot, Lillard and Peterson noted in suggesting that watching a full fast-paced program could be more harmful. more

Halifax woman says she saved 47 dogs from fighting: Canada

A Nova Scotia woman who cares for injured dogs says organized fighting rings exist in the Halifax area and thousands of dollars can change hands during the secret fights.

Gail, whose last name is being withheld to protect her identity, says people concerned about the welfare of the dogs go to fights under the guise of willing spectators, then seize the animals and bring them to her.

"I've had dogs come in with legs hanging off, half their face gone. You name it, it's been done," she told CBC News.

Gail said over the past five years, she has rehabilitated 47 dogs from fights and adopted them out.

She said thousands of dollars are at stake when spectators bet on the fights.

"It could be like a $1,000 up to $10,000 depending on the dog. If it's a dog that has won multiple fights, the purse goes up. It just keeps going up and up and up," said Gail.

She said the fights happen in all parts of the Halifax region — in Spryfield, on the peninsula of Halifax and in North and East Preston. more

Doctors slam alternative medicine proposal: They feel alternative medicine and naturopathy has no place in health

Some medical groups are concerned that proposed guidelines on how Ontario doctors should approach alternative medicine may require physicians to accept and incorporate the practice.

"We believe the draft policy should be revised to sharpen its focus, and should respect the conviction of many physicians and clinical researchers, that [alternative medicine] has minimal scientific validity and that recommending it to patients achieves no clinical purpose and may be unethical," the Canadian Medical Association says in a written letter to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO).

The Ontario college is currently taking submissions from the public and organizations about its draft policy guidelines for physicians regarding how they should handle alternative medicine.

In the proposed guidelines, the college differentiates between allopathic medicine (traditional or conventional medicine taught in medical schools) and non-allopathic therapies (complementary or alternative medicine).

The goal of the proposal "is to prevent unsafe or ineffective non-allopathic therapies from being provided by physicians, and to prohibit unprofessional or unethical physician conduct in relation to these therapies," the college said.

The guidelines, if approved, would prohibit doctors from misrepresenting the benefits of alternative medicine, the college said, but it stressed it had no intention of depriving patients of alternative medicine therapies "that are safe and effective."

However, a number of medical professional organizations feel the proposed guidelines may give alternative medicine scientific legitimacy. They also worry the proposals place an expectation on doctors to have knowledge of alternative medicine and promote its use. more

French nuclear officials downplay risks from blast

An explosion at a nuclear waste-management site at the Marcoule complex in southeastern France on Monday has killed at least one man, but the country's nuclear safety agency says there was no leak of radioactive material at one of the country's oldest nuclear facilities.

Four people were also injured in the explosion, which occurred around 12:37 p.m. local time. One person was seriously injured and has been airlifted to a hospital in Montpellier, while three others were taken to a local hospital, according to reports.

No names have been released.

The Agency for Nuclear Safety (ANS) said the explosion was set off by a fire near a furnace at the Centraco facility, a centre for processing and conditioning low-level radioactive waste that is situated at the massive Marcoule complex.

The accident was under control within the hour, the agency said in a statement.

"According to initial information, the explosion happened in an oven used to melt radioactive metallic waste of little and very little radioactivity," the statement said. "There have been no leaks outside of the site."

The Marcoule site does not house any nuclear power reactors.

Marcoule is located in the Gard region of France, in Languedoc-Roussillon, near the Mediterranean Sea.

No evacuation notice was given to the local area but a security perimeter around the site has been established, according to reports. more

Should Afghan translators who worked with Canadian forces be granted refuge?

he majority of Afghan translators who have worked with the Canadian military in Kandahar have been denied refugee status in Canada.

Despite a special-measures program introduced in 2009, two out of every three interpreters who faced extraordinary risk working with NATO forces have been turned away.

Translators have been in high demand since Canadian troops began their work in Afghanistan in 2006. But Afghans who offered their services became instant targets for the Taliban.

Muhibollah Karegar worked as a translator and describes that time as unnerving.

"I have seen the most dangerous days in my life with Canadian Forces," he said in an interview with the CBC. source

Animal-rescue experts help Tripoli Zoo in the knick of time



In a city slashed by war, a tiger fights for life.

Osama, a Siberian tiger at the Tripoli Zoo, has been suffering for days. He is on his side, breathing shallowly, his huge paws motionless -- caramel, black-and-white-striped fur covered with flies that he is too weak to brush off.

A team of animal-welfare experts from Austria's Four Paws International gently rolls the tiger over and Dr. Amir Khalil, dripping sweat, searches for a vein, then puts in an IV drip to give the animal vitamins.

Asked why the tiger is so sick, the veterinarian replies, "Honestly, we don't know but I believe he's old, 21 years. That's number one. Number two, it was a lot of stress in the surroundings here."

During the struggle for Tripoli, gunfire raged just outside the zoo. When the fighting was at its height some Libyans packed up their cars and fled. The animals at the Tripoli Zoo didn't have that option. The deafening sounds of shooting, the acrid smell of battle -- there was no respite for these sensitive creatures.

Shells still litter the zoo grounds. As the zoo's director, Dr. Abdulfatah Husni, leads a CNN crew to the mammal house, he points out bullet casings on the sidewalk. "This is for Kalashnikov. You know Kalashnikov?" he asks, referring to automatic rifles. more

The death and life of a great American bookstore

The End.

It seems wrong to begin a story like that, doesn't it? Particularly a story about a bookstore. It should begin "In the beginning," or "Once upon a time," or "It was love at first sight."

Especially "It was love at first sight."

After 40 years in business, Borders No. 1, the company's original Ann Arbor store, is scheduled to close on Monday. By late August, posters on the windows declared, "NOTHING HELD BACK!" -- and that meant the fixtures and furniture as well. The goods -- books, but also games and puzzles and teddy bears and throw rugs -- gave off the sour tang of a picked-over flea market.

A lonely security guard stood watch; he was added just recently, an employee said, after a shoplifting incident.

Borders Rewards customers have been receiving e-mails for some time now, ever since the chain declared bankruptcy and announced it was closing its 399 remaining stores. A month ago it was "30 to 50 percent off!" Now it's "60 to 80 percent off!"

There was recently a sign taped to No. 1's front door. It said, "Now Hiring: Apply Online at Borders.com." It was serious -- the liquidators needed to hire part-time help -- but it seemed like a sick joke.

What happened to the love? more

Markets sink on question: Will Greece default?

The global sell-off that began Friday continued as Asian markets opened Monday, despite weekend assurances that a Greek debt deal was imminent.

The euro was trading at its lowest level against the yen since 2001, as Bloomberg reported Germany was preparing for a possible default by Greece.

"We are watching Greece, and only Greece," said Satoshi Tate, a senior dealer at Mizuho Corporate Bank told the Wall Street Journal. "Conditions are getting very serious and everyone is worried how the issue will unfold."

Senior European officials scrambled to reassure financial markets with a Sunday announcement from Athens on a plan to skirt debt payment default with a property tax increase.

"We have made the decision to give a battle to avoid a disaster - a disastrous bankruptcy for the country and the citizen," Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said Saturday. more

Japan: Time to learn how to love the strong yen?

The man once tasked with keeping the yen stable says, despite the currency's rapid climb, this is not a time for intervention.

Eisuke Sakakibara, Japan's top currency official in the late 1990s, tells CNN's Andrew Stevens that effective, persistent intervention is not possible without the consent of the other currency party, something Japan does not have from the United States at the moment.

"Implicitly, the U.S. is following a weak dollar policy. If they are following a strong dollar policy like Robert Rubin in the 1990s, that is a different story," says Sakakibara, widely-known as Mr. Yen.

He predicts the strong yen is here to stay for some time – and it could even break the mark of 70 yen to the U.S. dollar.

The Japanese yen is considered a major safe-haven currency. In uncertain times, investors flock into the yen and what they see as the relative stability of the Japanese economy, despite its ultra-low interest rates. The "fear factor" for investors has been high in 2011 thanks to the European debt crises and the sputtering in the U.S. economy. That has driven the yen up almost 5% to post-World War II record highs against the dollar.

It's a situation that irks Japanese manufacturers like Toyota or Panasonic. When the yen gets stronger, the companies make less money selling in the major markets of the United States and Europe. more

What happened to spirit of 9/12?

In the days following the horrendous attacks against the United States on 9/11, all the talk in Washington was about the need for bipartisanship. Republicans and Democrats promised that they would work together to protect the home front and capture those who were responsible.

On the day after, Democrats and Republicans followed the traditional post-military crisis ritual of promising to work on policies in bipartisan fashion. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton -- who was still struggling to gain her sea legs in her first year on Capitol Hill, after having spent eight years serving as the first lady during some bruising partisan battles -- announced that it was important to be "united behind our president and our government, sending a very clear message that this is something that transcends any political consideration or partisanship."

Republicans also promised political peace. House Speaker Dennis Hastert assured the nation that "we are in complete agreement that we will work together, that we want to share information, that we will be ready to move on whatever the president suggests, and we will go through the debate and the actions of Congress in a bipartisan way to make that happen." The kind of partisan sniping that voters were accustomed to, he and his colleagues said, would be a thing of the past.

The political question on September 12 was how long this unity would last: Would the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil really transform the politics of national security? more

Explosion at French nuclear site in Marcoule kills 1

An oven exploded Monday at a nuclear site in France, killing one person and injuring four, a spokeswoman for French energy company EDF told CNN.

There was no radioactive leak or waste released, she said. The French nuclear safety agency also said there had been no radioactive leak.

The explosion happened at a center for processing and decommissioning nuclear waste, said the safety agency, which is known by its French acronym ASN.

The agency has sent inspectors to the site, it said in a statement.

The explosion took place in Marcoule, in southeastern France, the EDF spokeswoman said, declining to give her name in line with company policy.

Different activities take place at the large-scale site, including research by France's Center for Atomic Energy, said a spokeswoman for Areva, a nuclear company which has operations at Marcoule.

Areva dismantles nuclear facilities at the site, she said.

There are no nuclear power plants in Marcoule, the spokeswoman said, declining to give her name.

Weapons-grade plutonium is produced at the plant, the think tank Global Security says. more

Kenya pipeline explodes, flattening homes, killing at least 68

A fuel pipeline exploded in a densely populated Nairobi slum Monday morning, flattening homes, reducing some bodies to dust and forcing a massive evacuation of the area amid fears that big pools of leaked fuel could ignite, police and Kenya Red Cross officials said.

At least 68 people died in the explosion and fire that erupted around 10 a.m. (3 a.m. ET), possibly as a group of people were siphoning fuel from the pipeline in the Sinai slum, the officials said. But the death toll is likely to reach at least 100, Nairobi police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said.

Charred bodies were strewn throughout the wreckage. Some bodies were still bobbing in a stream that passes through the settlement Monday afternoon.

Many of the bodies were too hot too move, and it was hard to tell exactly how many people had died because so many of the victims were found huddled together and severely burned, said Carol Nduta, a Kenya Red Cross emergency medical instructor and dispatcher who traveled to the scene. Some of the bodies were burned to dust, she said.

"Almost the whole place blew up," she said. more

U.N. office: Death toll in Syria reaches 2,600

An adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says parliamentary elections could be held in the country by the end of the year, according to Russian media.

Bouthaina Shaaban, the political and media adviser to al-Assad, was in Moscow on Monday to speak to journalists on the situation in Syria.

"I can tentatively say that such elections may be held either at the end of this year or the beginning of next," Shaaban said, according to the RIA-Novosti news agency.

But the number of people killed in unrest in Syria since mid-March has reached at least 2,600, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said Monday. more

Libya: Forces stalled near Gadhafi stronghold amid reports of in-fighting



Libya's new leaders are moving to unite fractious, heavily armed bands of fighters under a single control, even as the forces struggled Monday to take control of Moammar Gadhafi's last bastions of support.

The announcement Sunday by the head of the National Transitional Council followed reports of in-fighting and arguments among bands of fighters stalled outside the town of Bani Walid after encountering stiff resistance during an assault.

Syrian television station Al Rai on Monday, meanwhile, said it would air a message from Gadhafi. The station ran a banner allegedly quoting the ousted Libyan leader as saying, "We cannot surrender Libya to imperialism once like the agents/spies want us to now. So we have no option but to kill until victory and to destroy this attempted overthrow."

Bani Walid, home to a powerful tribe loyal to Gadhafi, is one of three major towns still in the hands of those loyal to the ousted leader.

A large convoy of troops left the front after arguing with another group of fighters from Bani Walid, who insisted they alone take the lead in fighting to take the town, witnesses told CNN's Ben Wedeman. more

WFP captures heartbreak of North Korean hunger

A four-year-old boy looks straight into the camera. His eyes are dull, his tiny legs crossed underneath him. Choi is an orphan, severely malnourished and too weak to stand.

This is just one of the heartbreaking sights captured on film by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as they traveled around North Korea last month delivering aid to the most needy.

The most deprived are children -- WFP estimates a third of those under the age of five in North Korea are severely malnourished, and says it will only worsen if more aid is not delivered soon.

A pediatric hospital in South Hwanghae province sees a steady flow of young patients. The footage shows health care workers pulling on the mottled, loose skin of a crying child's stomach and another child on an intravenous drip. Many are suffering from diarrhea and skin disease from drinking polluted water.

A group of seven-year-olds are filmed sitting inside, huddled together, too weak to play outside, according to WFP. They look far younger than seven.

"There is a very high rate of children and also adults who are much shorter than you would expect them to be, and why does this happen, because it's a long story of suffering," says Claudia von Roehl, WFP's country director for North Korea. more

Angry crowd turns on journalists reporting embassy attack in Egypt



An angry crowd lingering near the Israeli embassy in Cairo after an attack on the building a day earlier turned on journalists reporting the incident Saturday, accusing at least one of being an Israeli spy.

As a CNN crew filmed the embassy from across the street, another crew from American public television -- led by Egyptian television producer Dina Amer -- approached the building.

The crew's Russian cameraman was preparing to film the embassy when a woman in the crowd began hurling insults at the TV team, Amer said.

"There was this older lady who decided to follow me and rally people against me," Amer recalled.

"She said 'you're a spy working with the Americans.' Then they swarmed me and I was a target."

A growing crowd surrounded Amer and her colleagues, as they tried to leave the scene.

Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, a producer working for CNN, rushed to help escort Amer through the angry crowd. But suddenly the two reporters were pinned against the railing of an overpass by young men who were accusing Amer of being an Israeli spy.

Yelling "I'm Egyptian," Fahmy managed to pull Amer another 10 meters down the road, until the pressure from the mob overwhelmed the pair.

Amer screamed as she and Fahmy were knocked to the ground and the crowd started to trample them. more

Toddlers and Tiaras Mother who dressed her three-year-old daughter as Pretty Woman prostitute in hiding after receiving death threats - 12th Sept 2011

A mother who dressed her daughter like a prostitute for a toddler beauty pageant has revealed she has had death threats.

Wendy Dickey provoked outrage after her three year old daughter strutted along a catwalk in a costume that mimicked the outfit worn by Julia Roberts' prostitute character in the movie 'Pretty Woman'.

She has been forced to go into hiding after receiving death threats following daughter Paisley's appearance on the 'Toddler and Tiaras' show and the outrage it caused. Read More

David Schofield, 21, knocked down and killed by bus after chasing thief who stole his phone - 12th Sept 2011

A student was accidentally run down and killed by a double decker bus as he sprinted after a cyclist who had stolen his mobile phone.

University undergraduate David Schofield, 21, was chasing the thief at full speed when he ran into the path of the bus as it was ferrying revellers into town.

Despite attempts by the driver to avoid him, he fell under the wheels of the vehicle and suffered fatal crush injuries.

The college student who was in his second year of a sociology degree at Liverpool John Moores University was taken to hospital but died 24 hours later from multiple injuries.

Today police appealed for the thief to give himself up following the tragedy at 11.30pm on Saturday outside the BBC TV studios in Manchester, which was captured on CCTV. Read More

US Troops "on the ground" in Libya: Breaking News

Despite repeated assurances from President Obama and military leaders that the U.S. would not send uniformed military personnel into Libya, four U.S. service members arrived on the ground in Tripoli over the weekend.

According to Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby, the four unidentified troops are there working under the State Department's chief of mission to assist in rebuilding the U.S. Embassy.

Kirby noted the embassy in Tripoli was badly damaged during the conflict between Muammar Qaddafi's forces and the rebels.

Two of the military personnel are explosive-ordnance experts who will be used to disable any explosives traps left in the embassy. The other two are "general security," according to Kirby.

Kirby also made clear these troops are in no way part of a military operation on the ground. They are armed, however, if for some reason they need to protect themselves.

The troops are only expected to be there for a short while. After the assessment of the embassy is complete, they are expected to leave. more

Is this the beginning of what may become a full-scale occupation like Iraq?

Who (or what) is killing China's children? Hundreds wounded or killed in attacks spanning 16 years (A Coming Crisis Editorial)

In every society, disturbed individuals often target children to vent their frustrations: children are vulnerable and easy targets, and allow the perpetrator to "strike back at society" since the small ones represent our future. However, in China a disturbing trend is developing regarding such attacks, and it was especially difficult not to notice the horrific spate of assaults on children throughout 2010 in various Chinese cities. In these incidents, primary school children were wounded or killed, supposedly by lone persons, which the Chinese media swiftly dismissed as copy-cat killings.

Adamant that there is no connection between these murders, the Chinese government and police maintain a stalwart media blackout over the incidents, citing a fear of further copycat attacks. Upon closer examination, however, all these dark events share some chillingly similar characteristics, and we've taken the time to list the cases we were able to find spanning a period of 16 years. The reader will note more often than not that the cases the cases involve:

--children from primary schools
--a knife being used as the main method of attack
--attacks that are of a brutal, almost sadistic nature
--attackers having respectable occupations, such as teachers or other professionals
--attackers without any shared profile (men, women, old, young)
--a heavy reliance on the "mentally ill" card
--attackers possessing no known motive

The cases listed below are only the ones that escaped the Chinese blackout and were reported by media outlets outside of the country, making it difficult to form a complete picture of just how many incidents have occurred and the true total casualty figures. Sadly and disturbingly, the attacks could be far more widespread than even we realize.

Other cases involving very young children include mass poisoning, and in some instances have even been proven to be pre-meditated, that is, done intentionally. Despite this, the Chinese media have quickly stamped out the possibility of planned attacks and dismissed these incidents as "food poisoning". If such is the case, why is this happening only in China for the most part, and why are the consequences so lethal? In just the past couple of weeks there has been a deluge of food poisoning cases in China that have all happened at primary schools: 3 cases have occurred in 3 days at 3 different schools. Coincidence?

Earlier on it was established through investigation by Chinese authorities that the instances of mass poisoning of children were deliberate, planned and intentional. Now it's simply "food poisoning", despite the fact that these incidents are becoming more widespread and occurring with greater rapidity than ever before. Add to this that the knife attacks on primary schools suddenly ceased in 2010 around the time when the media black was put into effect, and one acquires a bizarre and nebulous conclusion as to the nature of these attacks and if they really did stop as claimed. Are they still occurring and going unreported?

Who or what is killing the young children of China, and why is there no obvious motive or connection behind or between these attacks? A more chilling question is this: how are so many lone persons capable of butchering entire groups of young children as young as two years old with enormous knives (and other sickening implements) without showing any emotion? Is this a blatant symptom of society's collapse in China, or is there an unknown connection that's going unmentioned?

The list of attacks spanning the last 16 years are as follows:

July 10, 1995 - Meihekou,China – Dong Chi – 2 dead – 16 Injured
An assailant armed with a double-barreled shotgun and garden shears attacked staff and students at a kindergarten in Meihekou, killing a six-year-old girl and wounding 15 other students and a teacher. The assailant, identified as Dong Chi, was shot and killed by police.

August 1998 – Henan, China – Teacher – 2 dead – 15 Injured
A teacher stabbed two children to death and wounded 15 others.

September 14, 1998 – Hejiang County, China – Lin Peiqing – 23 Injured
Lin Peiqing stabbed 23 elementary school children during a morning flag-raising ceremony.

November 26, 2002 – Huaiji County, China – Shi Ruoqiu – 5 dead – 2 Injured
Shi Ruoqiu stabbed seven children at Shilong Elementary School with a kitchen knife before being arrested. One child died at the scene, while four more succumbed to their wounds in hospital.

November 26, 2002 – Guangdong, China – School Dinners laced with rat poison – 70 Injured
Seventy nursery school children and two teachers have been admitted to hospital in south-eastern China after eating lunches which appeared to have been laced with rat poison.

March 7, 2003 – Beihai, China – Xie, Zhongcai – 8 Injured
24-year-old Xie Zhongcai stabbed four teachers and four children in a kindergarten in Beihai, after one of the teachers, with whom he had been in love, had arranged for him to be beaten up. Xie was finally overpowered by staff members and the father of one of the kindergarten children.

September 11, 2004 – Suzhou, China – Yang Gouzhu – 28 Injured
A man armed with a knife and homemade explosives attacked 28 children at a kindergarten.

September 20, 2004 – Ying County, China - Jia Qingyou – 25 Injured
36-year-old Jia Qingyou, a bus driver, injured 25 children with a kitchen knife at No. 1 Experimental Primary School in Ying county. He was later sentenced to death and executed.

September 30, 2004 – Chenzhou, China – Liu Hongwen – 4 dead – 12 Injured
Liu Hongwen, a 28-year-old primary school teacher, killed four children with a knife in a grade one class at a school in Chenzhou and wounded nine other children and three teachers, before taking 65 students hostage. After negotiations with a county government official he surrendered to police. He was later found not guilty by reason of insanity due to schizophrenia.

December 4, 2004 – Mingcheng Town, China – Liu Zhigang – 12 Injured
12 students were stabbed by Liu Zhigang, a man suffering from schizophrenia, at the Central Primary School of Mingcheng Town, Panshi City. Liu was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

October 12, 2005 – Guangde County, China – Liu Shibing – 18 Injured
18 people, among them 16 children, were injured when Liu Shibing shot them with six home-made guns at Niutoushan Primary School in Guangde.

May 8 , 2006 – Shiguan, China – Bai Ningyang – 12 Dead – 5 injured
Shiguan kindergarten attack. Armed with two knifes and petrol 19-year-old Bai Ningyang entered a classroom on the second floor of a kindergarten in Shiguan, a village near Gongyi. He forced the 21 children and the teacher to the back of the room, sprayed the floor with gasoline, and, before setting it on fire, let one child go because he knew their parents. Bai then locked the door and escaped. 12 of the children died and four others and the teacher were wounded. Bai was arrested the next day and sentenced to death in December 2007.

May 24, 2006 – Luoying, China – Yang Xinlong – 2 dead – 2 injured
35-year-old farmer Yang Xinlong hacked his aunt to death, set her house on fire and injured another person after an argument before entering Luoying Primary School where he stabbed a child to death in a third grade classroom and took 18 others hostage for several hours. When Yang refused to let the children go he was shot and arrested by police.

June 13, 2007 – Chiling, China – Su Qianxiao – 1 dead – 3 Injured
A nine-year-old boy was killed when Su Qianxiao, a 42-year-old villager from Chiling, stabbed four children with a kitchen knife at Chiling Primary School. He was caught by locals before he could commit suicide by jumping off the school's roof.

September 13, 2007 – Hengyang, China – Kuang Xi – 1 dead – 5 Injured
28-year-old Kuang Xi, an allegedly mentally disturbed man, hurled five girls and one boy out of a window on the third floor of Hongqiao Primary School, killing a nine-year-old girl. He was subdued by four men, before he could throw out a seventh child.

September 24, 2007 – Northwest China – Food Poisoning – 300 Injured
The number of children hospitalized with food poisoning after eating school meals at a kindergarten in northwest China has risen to 307.

July 1, 2008 – Southern China – Water was Poisoned – 60 Injured
More than 60 children fell ill after drinking water that may have been deliberately poisoned at a primary school in southern China

September 17, 2008 – Hubei Province, China – Poisoned Milk – 3 dead – over 600 injured
Three infants have been killed by the powder, which was laced with the compound melamine, while 158 are fighting acute kidney failure. The number of sick children has hit 6,244, said Chinese health minister Chen Zhu.

September 22, 2008 – China – Poisoned Milk – 53,000 Injured
The number of Chinese children reported sick from the poisonous plastic melamine added to their milk has increased to almost 53,000, the government said.

December 2, 2008 – China – Poisoned Milk – 6 dead – 300,000 Injured
Nearly 300,000 children were made sick and six may have been killed by milk tainted with the toxic plastic melamine, Beijing has said in a major revision of numbers of those affected by China's worst recent health scare .

March 3, 2009 – Mazhan, China – Xu Ximei - 2 dead – 4 Injured
40-year-old Xu Ximei, an allegedly mentally disabled woman, stabbed two boys, aged 4 and 6, to death with a kitchen knife and injured another three children, as well as the 76-year-old grandmother of one of her victims at the primary school of Mazhan village in Guangdong province. She was later found lying in a classroom and arrested.

August 20, 2009 – Central China – Lead Poisoning – 1300+ Injured
More than 1,300 children have been poisoned by a manganese factory in central China, the state media reported today, amid growing fears about the prevalence of heavy metal pollution nationwide.

March 23, 2010 – Nanping, China – Zheng Minsheng – 8 Dead – 5 Injured
Nanping school stabbings. Eight children were hacked to death with a machete and five others were injured outside an elementary school inNanping. The assailant, identified as 41-year-old Zheng Minsheng, was restrained by school security guards and then arrested by police.

April 13, 2010 – Xichang, China – Yang Jiaqin – 2 dead – 5 Injured
An assailant armed with a meat cleaver attacked students and bystanders outside an elementary school, killing a schoolboy and an elderly woman and wounding three other children and two adults before being arrested by police. The assailant, identified as 40-year-old Yang Jiaqin, was reported to be mentally ill.

April 28, 2010 – Leizhou, China – Chen Kangbing – 17 Injured
Chen Kangbing stabbed and injured 16 students and one teacher at Leicheng First Primary School in Leizhou before being restrained by teachers and arrested by police.

April 29, 2010 – Taixing, China – Xu Yuyuan – 32 Injured
Xu Yuyuan stabbed 29 children, two teachers and a security guard at the Zhongxin Kindergarten in Taixing. It was reported that five of the injured children were in critical condition.

April 30, 2010 – Weifang, China – Wang Yonglai – 1 dead – 6 Injured
Wang Yonglai, a 45-year-old farmer, used a motorcycle to break through a gate at Shangzhuang Primary School in Weifang and then assaulted several children with a hammer, wounding five of them. A teacher also injured her foot, while trying to stop Wang, who ended his attack by grabbing two children and pouring gasoline over himself. Teachers managed to pull the children to safety, before Wang committed suicide by setting himself on fire.

May 12, 2010 - Hanzhong, China – Wu Huanming – 10 Dead – 11 Injured
An assailant killed seven children and two adults and wounded 11 other children at the Shengshui Temple Kindergarten in Hanzhong when he attacked them with a cleaver. The assailant, identified as 48-year-old Wu Huanming, fled from the school and committed suicide when he returned to his house.

May 20, 2010 – Beijing China – 5 Knife-wielding men - 9 Injured (college students)
Men with knives burst into a college dormitory and slashed nine students in the latest violence in a country shaken by a recent string of rampages at schools.

August 3, 2010 - Zibo, China – Fang Jiantang – 3 Dead – 7 Injured
A knife-wielding man attacked children and staff at a kindergarten in Zibo. Three children were killed and three other children and four teachers were injured in the attack. It was reported that two of the injured teachers were in critical condition. The assailant, identified as 26-year-old Fang Jiantang, was arrested by police after the attack.

Jan 6, 2011 – Gaohe, Anhui Province, China – Lead Poisoning – 200 Children injured
Mass testing of young children in the central Chinese town of Gaohe, Anhui province, began in December. (Lead poisoning, which tends to build up slowly as a result of repeated exposure, can damage the kidneys, nervous and reproductive systems and is especially harmful to children, causing brain damage and behavioural problems.)

February 21, 2011 – Shaanxi Province, China - food Poisoning – 100 injured
Nearly 100 children were sickened by food poisoning Monday noon at a kindergarten in Northwest China's Shaanxi province.

April 6, 2011 – Fujian Province, China – encephalitis – 200 injured
According to the head of administration of the county health Woo Chzhansinya, 115 cases have been laboratory confirmed. In cases biomaterials experts from the Ministry of Health and local epidemiological centers found enteroviruses ECHO 30 type.

April 8, 2011 – Gansu Province, China - food poisoning – 3 dead – 35 Injured
Three children have died of food poisoning in northwest China's Gansu Province and investigators suspected they had drunk nitrite-tainted milk, the local government said Friday.

May 4, 2011 – Fukui Prefecture, China – food poisoning – 2 dead – 56 injured
Two children died and 56 other people became ill from food poisoning linked to a raw meat dish at a restaurant in central Japan, news reports said Tuesday.

June 12, 2011 – Hangzou, China – Lead Poisoning – 600 injured – 103 children injured
More than 600 people, including 103 children, have been found to be suffering from lead poisoning in east China's Zhejiang Province, according to local health authorities.

June 24, 2011 – Heilongjiang Province, China – food poisoning - 13 Injured
Thirteen children between the ages of 3 and 8 were hospitalized on Thursday in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province after becoming sickened in a suspected case of food poisoning, doctors said.

July 8, 2011 – Zhejiang Province, China – food poisoning – 42 Injured
Spoiled leftovers have been identified as the cause in a food poisoning case that hospitalized 42 kindergartners in east Zhejiang Province, local authorities said Monday.

August 29, 2011 – Shanghai, China – Unknown – 8 Injured
A 30-year-old woman slashed eight children with a box cutter at a child-care centre in Shanghai, leaving one of the wounded in serious condition. The attacker, a day care worker at the kindergarten, who was said to have suffered from psychiatric problems, was arrested.

September 6, 2011 – Hebei Province, China – Food Poisoning – 27 Injured
Twenty-seven students of a primary school in Hebei Province were receiving medical treatment Tuesday after a suspected food poisoning incident, local authorities said.

September 7, 2011 – Gao'an City, China – Food Poisoning – 14 Injured
Fourteen children in an east China kindergarten have been hospitalized in what local authorities suspect was food poisoning.

September 8, 2011 – Shenxian County, China – Food Poisoning – 86 Injured
Eighty-six primary school students have been affected by a suspected food poisoning incident in East China's Shandong province, said local authorities Thursday.

September 9, 2011 – Songjiang District, China – food Poisoning – 27 Injured
A total of 27 children from a kindergarten in Songjiang District left hospitals yesterday after treatment for suspected food poisoning.

And on it goes...

-- By Matt & Lynsey. You are free to reproduce this editorial on your own website as long as you offer a link back to this page. Thanks!