Wednesday, September 21, 2011

5.5 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN TURKEY - 22nd Sept 2011

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake has struck Eastern Turkey at a depth of just 4.4 km (2.7 miles), the quake hit at 03:22:36 UTC Thursday 22nd September 2011.
The epicenter was 71 km (44 miles) West of Erzincan, Turkey
No reports of Damage or Injuries reported at this time.

More to Follow

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA REGION - 22nd Sept 2011

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck the Tonga Region at a depth of 36.4 km (22.6 miles), the quake hit at 00:49:59 UTC Thursday 22nd September 2011.
The epicenter was 218 km (135 miles) Southeast of Hihifo, Tonga
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries reported at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 21st Sept 2011

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck the Izu Islands, Japan Region at a depth of 126km (78.3 miles), the quake hit at 23:43:10 UTC Wednesday 21st September 2011.
The epicenter was 71 km (44 miles) North of Hachijo-jima, Izu Islands, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries reported at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SAMOA ISLANDS REGION, TONGA - 21st Sept 2011

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck the Samoa Islands Region at a depth of 34.8 km (21.6 miles), the quake hit at 23:10:46 UTC Wednesday 21st September 2011.
The epicenter was 149 km (92 miles) Southeast of Hihifo, Tonga
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries reported at this time

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake TAIWAN - 21st Sept 2011

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck Taiwan at a depth of 17.9 km (11.1 miles), the quake hit at 22:18:32 UTC Wednesday 21st September 2011.
The epicenter was 12 km (7 miles) ENE of Hualien, Taiwan
No reports of Damage or Injuries reported at this time

Weekly announcements: September 20, 2011

Hello everyone, we hope you're all doing well and enjoying the fall/spring (I forgot that the world was round!).

1) The new Dollar Drive! We've made the Dollar Drive even more exciting. For every dollar you contribute, you receive a free entry into our monthly draw. So far we have prizes such as: survival supplies, paintball, archery and outdoor activity prizes, as well as a brand new Apple iPad2! Click on any Dollar Drive banner above to learn more.

2) Would you like to advertise on the Coming Crisis for free? All it takes is the contribution of a modest prize to the Dollar Drive, and you'll get your logo on 15,000+ pages, 4 million views a year and access to a wonderful community of readers. Just send us an email.

3) We have access to new seismic monitoring data! We're now hooked into 3000+ stations, so expect data and information not normally available. In fact, we might be the most connected quake source on the web now. Yahoo!

4) New category: "Animal Attacks" is our newest section. Please see the "Categories" link for an explanation of what we'll cover under this heading.

5) Remember to bookmark ComingCrisis.org or ComingCrisis.co.uk! These addresses are important to know in case there's a website emergency and the location changes. Also, stay in tune with our twitter feed (#ComingCrisis) for emergency information.

Take care everyone and thanks for all your comments and contributions: it's you guys and gals that make this all worth doing.

--Matt & Lynsey

Britain calculating cost of split with Scotland

The government is calculating the cost of Scotland splitting from Britain to reinforce its case against nationalist demands for independence, a cabinet minister said on Monday.

Ministers in every government department are examining the implications of a Scottish separation on areas such as defence, welfare payments, and broadcasting, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore told Reuters in an interview.

"(There is) a sharpened focus on what is at stake if ... Scotland should go off on its own," he said, speaking on the sidelines of his Liberal Democrat party's conference in Birmingham.

The exercise would be completed before the end of the year, he added.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) won a majority in the devolved Scottish parliament in May and pledged to hold a referendum on independence within five years, some 300 years after Scotland and England were united.

Alex Salmond, the SNP leader and first minister of Scotland, is delaying the referendum until late in his five-year term so as to turn the surge in his party's popularity into stronger support for breaking away from Britain.

But keeping his political powder dry means Salmond has also given little detail about what an independent Scotland would look like.

As a result, the nationalist party was refusing to engage in a proper debate, Moore said.

"We're doing our work to make sure that we can make a good positive case about the United Kingdom and challenge the SNP on the costs and risks attached to separation," he said. more

Syria: Five activists shot dead as regime claims "terrorist ambush" killed four security men

Syria's security forces opened fire on Monday during a ackdown on opposition activists in the town of Houla in central Homs province, activists said. "Five residents, including a woman, were shot dead on Monday by security forces, who have been conducting a sweep in Houla since Sunday," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement, quoted by AFP.

Meanwhile, a 26-year-old man died of his injuries on Monday after being among a group of people whom security forces shot at the night before in the town of Irbin, near Damascus, the activist group said earlier.

Elsewhere, security forces also fired at hundreds of demonstrators in the towns of Qusayr and Talbisseh, in central Homs province, said the activist group.

On its part, Syria's state news agency SANA reported that four law enforcement members were killed and 18 others wounded in an ambush set up by "armed terrorist group" while on their way back to their unit at el-Dahiriyeh crossroads in Hama.

An official source at the governorate told SANA that gunmen opened fire at two buses carrying law-enforcement forces near the crossroads, causing one bus to crash. more

Jennie Bristow on parenting and junk neuroscience

A century ago, phrenologists would measure people’s heads in a quest to explain differences in their social position, and healthy, well-behaved families would be sent to ‘eugenics camps’ to breed more of their kind. Today, policymakers seek to explain everything from income equality to anti-social behaviour through the formation of toddlers’ brains, and parents are instructed in the precise arts of cuddling their children and singing nursery rhymes in order to optimise synaptic development.

Why has modern society become re-enchanted with biological explanations for human behaviour - and what does that mean for social policy about the family? This was the key question explored at the conference ‘Monitoring Parents: Science, Evidence, Experts and the New Parenting Culture’, held at the University of Kent on 13-14 September 2011.

Papers presented at the conference by academics from across Europe, North America and Australia explored the international trend towards gearing social policy around the principle of ‘early intervention’. The papers raised a number of important ideas and questions about where this might lead - for politics, for individuals, and for families. more

32 inmates break out of three Mexican prisons

Inmates staged near simultaneous jailbreaks from three prisons in the Mexican state of Veracruz early Monday and at least 32 of them escaped, officials said.

Authorities said 14 of the fugitives were later recaptured, but prison officials were conducting reviews to establish who was still at large.

Between 2:30 and 4:00 am, prisoners escaped from prisons in Coatzacoalcos, Amatlan de los Reyes and Cosamaloapan, Gerardo Buganza, the state`s top security official, said.

A spokesman for the state, Miguel Valera, told AFP that initial indications were that the prisoners were armed with knives and had overpowered the guards.

But Buganza said authorities were investigating whether employees of the jails were involved in the jailbreaks. "An investigation of the guards, prison management and external security contract workers will be carried out," he said.

Mexico`s overcrowded prisons, which house 230,000 inmates, are plagued with breakouts, brawls and killings. more

Gunmen from Congo kill 36 in Burundi pub

Armed men from Congo burst into a pub in the central African nation of Burundi and killed 36 people, an official said Monday. One wounded man said an attacker yelled, “Make sure there’s no survivors.”

Burundi, a tiny nation still reeling from a civil war that killed more than 2,50,000 people, is awash in weapons but attacks like the one Sunday night are rare. Still, the region borders eastern Congo, which is wracked by violence from myriad rebel groups.

Bujumbura province governor Jacques Minani said the attackers targeted the pub in Gatumba, west of Burundi’s capital, after crossing the river from Congo. He said 36 people were killed.

Survivor Jackson Kabura, who was shot in the stomach, said the men entered wearing military fatigues.

“One of them said, ‘kill them all, kill them all. Make sure there’s no survivors,’” he said.

Congolese military spokesman Col. Sylvain Ekenge said officials were “astonished” by reports that the attackers were believed to be from his country. He said the perpetrators are more likely to be rebels from Burundi’s last rebel army, the Forces for National Liberation. He said Congolese forces had captured some of the Burundian fighters in Congo several months ago. “It is they who often attack Gatumba and its surroundings, even if Burundian authorities call them bandits, but in this forest there are (Burundian rebel) fighters,” he said. more

Hong Kong Police seize cocaine worth $77 million

Hong Kong police have made their biggest ever cocaine bust, seizing more than 1,200 pounds (560 kilograms) of the drug and arresting eight people.

Police say the five men and three women arrested included five Mexican nationals, an American and a Colombian. They are to appear in court later Monday.

Police say narcotics bureau officers acting on a tip carried out raids at a warehouse and other locations across the city starting Friday. Police say the cocaine seized in the raids was worth about $600 million Hong Kong dollars ($77 million).

Police say the warehouse was believed to be a drug packaging and storage center. source

Workers Find 7-Million-Year-Old Beaver Teeth in Oregon

The Bureau of Land Management says a fossil found by employees on federal land represents the earliest record of living beavers in North America.

The pair of teeth was found on BLM land in northeast Oregon.

The Albany Democrat-Herald reports the teeth come from the Rattlesnake Formation and are 7 to 7.3 million years old.

The BLM says the earliest beavers were found in Germany 10 to 12 million years ago and the animals spread across Asia, eventually crossing the Bering Land Bridge to North America.

The previous earliest known records of living beavers in North America, from about 5 million years ago, were from Nebraska, California, and northern Oregon.

The fossils will be displayed at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. more

UFO Sightings Spiked This Summer

According to an organization that tracks UFO reports, this summer has been an especially busy period for UFO sightings. The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) noted that sightings increased over the past six weeks, with some states more than doubling their normal numbers.

Are we on the cusp of an alien invasion? Or maybe people just have more time on their hands to spot — and report — strange things in the sky?

"It's pretty exciting," said Clifford Clift, the international director of MUFON. "When you average 500 a month [nationwide] and go to 1,013 in one month, that's an interesting spike in sighting reports."

Clift told Life's Little Mysteries that he's not sure what to make of the data at this point. It could be the start of something big, or it could merely be a computer glitch that accidentally counted some reports twice. Another possibility is that we're simply in the midst of a "UFO flap," one of many periodic increases in sightings over the years.

There are several reasons UFOs might appear in flaps, or clusters. One is that objects in the sky are usually seen by many people, especially when they appear over urban areas. UFOs typically don't hover close to Earth or in someone's back yard; instead, they are often sighted high in the sky — just far enough away so that we can't see details or get sharp photos. more

Future Iceland Eruptions Could Be Deadly for Europe

What if one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recent history happened today? A new study suggests that a blast akin to one that devastated Iceland in the 1780s would waft noxious gases southwestward and kill tens of thousands of people in Europe. And in a modern world that is intimately connected by air traffic and international trade, economic activity across much of Europe, including the production and import of food, could plummet.

From June of 1783 until February of 1784, the Laki volcano in south-central Iceland erupted. Although the event didn’t produce large amounts of volcanic ash, it did spew an estimated 122 million metric tons of sulfur dioxide gas into the sky — a volume slightly higher than human industrial activity today produces in the course of a year, says Anja Schmidt, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

Historical records suggest that in the 2 years after the Laki eruption, approximately 10,000 Icelanders died — about one-fifth of the population — along with nearly three-quarters of the island’s livestock. Parish records in England reveal that in the summer of 1783, when the event began, death rates were between 10 percent and 20 percent above normal. The Netherlands, Sweden, and Italy reported episodes of decreased visibility, respiratory difficulties, and increased mortality associated with the eruption. According to one study, an estimated 23,000 people died from exposure to the volcanic aerosols in Britain alone. But elsewhere in Europe, it’s difficult to separate deaths triggered by the air pollution from those caused by starvation or disease, which were prominent causes of death at the time. more

China's soaring costs could help American jobs

For Bill Green it was more than just a routine visit to his Dongguan factory.

The thuds, bangs and sparks of the factory floor were the same; the metal cut, twisted and welded in the usual shower of sparks. It had all become very familiar from five years of visiting factories in China, outsourcing his production of industrial cabinets, chasing lower costs.

For years he had generally been happy with the results, but no longer.

"If they don't sand the stuff down, that will come back through the damned paint and we'll have an issue here," he said, running his finger along the edge of one unfinished cabinet.

Later, hunched over a laptop, the factory boss at his side, his frustration came pouring out.

"This is unacceptable, we can't have this," he complained. "This is rust coming out from here."

The factory boss looked to his chief engineer who became defensive, "We can't fix every problem. It takes too much manpower," he complained.

The boss said Green was being too demanding.

"None of these problems are hard to fix," Green shot back. "We work to these standards all the time in the United States."

Green owns a metal-processing factory in Mobile, Ala., where his workforce shrunk from 60 to just 25 as more work, on cabinets and also on lamps, was outsourced to China.

But after this trip he made a decision – to bring at least some of that work back home. more

North American Earthquake Faultline Update: ABC National News

Christians Targeted as Domestic Terrorists?

Today, one does not need to blow up buildings, take hostages in political motivation, send anthrax through the mail, or even wave a gun around in a public place to be considered a terrorist threat.

A new strategy document released by the White House promises to “closely monitor…the Internet and social networking sites” in order to “counter online violent extremist propaganda” as the federal government attempts to embed itself further in local communities under the guise of preventing domestic extremism. Despite the White House document’s claim that, “opposition to government policy is neither illegal nor unpatriotic and does not make someone a violent extremist,” the Department of Homeland Security has gone out of its way to characterize adversaries of big government as potential domestic terrorists.

A shocking 2011 Department of Homeland Security video depicted white Americans as the most likely terrorists only confirms that the federal government is now profiling middle class America as the main terror threat. The video serves a very useful purpose for the Department of Homeland Security as it fits perfectly with their obsession to frame white, politically active Americans as domestic extremists and terrorists, who by no coincidence are also the biggest roadblock when it comes to expanding the DHS-driven takeover of America through TSA-staffed checkpoints and stifling “security” measures that have nothing to do with stopping terrorists and everything to do with creating a police state.

In 2009, a secret report distributed by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) entitled “The Modern Militia Movement” was exposed. This MIAC report specifically describes supporters of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as “militia” influenced terrorists and instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties. more

Typhoon Roke Heads Directly Over Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

'Fracking' protesters say drilling jobs not worth environmental risks

Charlotte Bevins' long blond hair blows in the wind as she stands amid protesters, her eyes red and puffy from crying.

Just four months ago, Bevins' brother, Charles, lost his life in a drilling accident in central New York. He was 23, a father of two small children.

Gazing at the ground, Bevins tightens her grip on the handles of the baby stroller that cradles her young niece while hundreds of protesters lining the nearby streets wave signs and yell around her.

No fracking way. No fracking way. No fracking way, the crowd chants.

Bevins recently made the trek from West Virginia to Philadelphia, with her mother and her late brother's son and daughter, to join up with other protesters calling for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

KOCO: Natural gas drilling rig explodes, burns

The "Shale Outrage" rally took place outside a gas industry conference at the city's convention center this month. more

Opinion: Last warning for Rome as Italy's credit fizzles

It's the same old story: At first, politicians deny the seriousness of the situation. Then, costs for the disbursement of government bonds rise immensely. A few austerity packages are launched. Then the country is downgraded by a ratings agency. Investors lose confidence in the country, followed by huge increases in government bond interest rates. Politicians hesitate, but then announce they can no longer manage on our own and must resort to the eurozone bailout mechanism.

That's what happened in Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Now, it's Italy's turn. Why should it be different this time?

It must be different this time because at 1900 billion euros, Italy's debt is much bigger than the debt accrued by Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Right now, the eurozone countries' bailout fund is too small to save Italy from bankruptcy. The eurozone nations won't make the necessary resolutions until the beginning of October.

But there does not have to be a bailout yet; Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi still has the chance to change tack and regain the markets' confidence by really economizing, introducing genuine reform programs and rational, comprehensible policy. What does Berlusconi do? He beats up the messenger of the bad news, the ratings agency. Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) attested Italy a dismal economic outlook. more

EU splits over food aid for poor

A programme delivering food aid to 13 million poverty-hit Europeans was left in limbo Tuesday due to opposition from six austerity-driven EU nations, Polish Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki said.

Farm ministers from the 27-nation bloc failed to clinch a deal at talks in Brussels to renew the so-called European programme of assistance to the poor, a scheme dating back to 1987, thrown into jeopardy by a court ruling in April.

"We have not registered a compromise," said Sawicki, whose country holds the rotating European Union presidency. "Six countries are clearly opposed."

Sawicki did not name the nations but diplomats earlier told AFP that Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Sweden would block a deal.

In Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country is one of the top recipients of the aid with Italy and Poland, said it was "unacceptable for Europe to abandon its weakest citizens." more

Bomb blast injures up to 15 in Ankara, Turkey

Powerful bomb exploded in the centre of the Turkish capital Ankara on Tuesday, wounding up to 15 people, senior government officials said.

"There are no dead. Fifteen people were injured," Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

A fellow government minister said a bomb caused the blast.
"There has been information that the blast was caused by a bomb," Bulent Arinc, another deputy premier, was quoted as saying by the private NTV television.

The blast, which targeted the Cankaya district administration offices, blew out windows of shops and offices in the surrounding area, damaged cars and sparked a fire which was later put out by firefighters at the scene, NTV said.

The offices are near downtown Kizilay square. Police feared a second explosion and sealed off the area, it said. Kurdish rebels have conducted bomb attacks in Turkey's urban areas in the past. more

‘Dengue’ claims nine more lives in Lahore

The Punjab government seems helpless to control dengue virus which claimed lives of nine more people in the provincial capital on Tuesday, the highest number of deaths reported in a day since the disease hit the city.

Some 1,110 more dengue cases were reported, including 974 in Lahore, which is also the highest figure officially confirmed by the health authorities during a day so far.

Reports said three patients died at Lahore General Hospital, one of the major public-health institutions in the city attending a large number of patients suffering from dengue fever daily. Two patients died each at Mayo Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Sources said 25-year old Mubarik Ali of Ghazi Road, 40-year old Parveen Bibi of Gulshan-i-Colony and 65-year old Muhammad Subah of Kot Lakhpat died at the LGH after they were tested positive for the virus.

Similarly, Tajpura resident Muhammad Khalil, 32, and Township resident Javed Iqbal, 35, died at Mayo Hospital.

While 45-year old Farhat Abbas of Montgomery Road and 50-year old Muhammad Tariq of Gujrat died at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. A Township resident, Muqadas Bibi succumbed to dengue virus at Jinnah Hospital while dengue also claimed life of another patient, 28-year old Nasreen, at a private hospital on Ferozepur Road. more

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Controversially Made in China

When it was built in 1936, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was a Depression-era project that put scores of Americans to work. When its $6.3 billion replacement opens in two years, it will be an international affair from the bottom up, an example of massive outsourcing that has drawn both praise and criticism.

Half a dozen countries contributed expertise or materials, none more so than China.

"China was immensely helpful to getting this project built," says California Department of Transportation spokesman Bart Ney. "They were able to turn the steel around and work directly with our own inspectors to make sure we met the specifications of what this bridge required."

Several thousand Chinese workers spent five years fabricating the steel used to construct the roadbeds, cable strands, and landmark tower for the single anchor suspension bridge set to open in 2013.

But the project is sparking outrage among groups who argue the work should have stayed here.

Huge deck segments were shipped overseas from Shanghai, contributing to pollution, say critics, and delivering another blow to California's battered economy and 12 % unemployment rate.

Roger Ferch with the National Steel Bridge Alliance says "I saw one estimate of the fabrication man hours, the labor to construct this bridge in the fabrication shop of more than a million man hours. That's a million man hours of work that should have been done in the US."

And each job, Ferch, says, has a multiplier effect "because not only do you lose the fabrication jobs, you lose those people paying taxes, those people buying groceries, those people buying clothing, and the list goes on." more

Unit Prepped Nuclear Bomber in 30 Hours — And Still Passed Inspection

America’s nuclear bombers are supposed to be ready to go in a hurry. They’re subject to the strictest rules for loading and prepping aircraft with the world’s most dangerous weapons. So how did inspectors hand out a passing grade to wing of B-52s when it took them four attempts and 30 hours to get a single plane ready to fly?

The incident took place in September 2007, shortly after the U.S. Air Force suffered one of the most worrisome events in its history, when a military crew misplaced six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles for over a day. Eventually, more than 90 officers and airmen were relieved or reassigned after the incident. Both the Secretary and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force were fired. Nuclear bombers and missiles were all brought together under a single chain of command.

But in the immediate aftermath of the so-called “Bent Spear” incident, the reaction was something awfully close to ho-hum. Yes, Limited Nuclear Surety Inspections (LNSIs) were ordered for all nuclear units. But between August 2007 and April 2008, the Air Force handed out “Satisfactory” ratings for 20 out of 21 LNSIs — a figure that “would have been considered somewhat incredible even at the height of attention to the nuclear enterprise,” a Defense Science Board report (.pdf) later noted.

Perhaps the most curious passing grade was handed out to the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. The unit encountered “numerous maintenance equipment reliability issues” during its test, according to an inspection report (.pdf) obtained by the blog In From the Cold under the Freedom of Information Act. Those problems included “six failed weapons load trailers, 5 failed power generators, power controller unit failure and 2 [Common Strategic Rotary Launcher] issues.” more

Italian parents turn to law to evict 41 year old son who refuses to leave

An Italian couple have sought legal help to persuade their 41-year-old son to fly the nest, Italian media reported.

The Venetian parents, who have not been named, say their son has a job but refuses to leave home and wants his clothes washed and his meals prepared.

They have sought help from lawyers at the consumer association Adico.

Lawyer Andrea Camp said a letter was sent to the son, advising him to leave home in six days or face legal action.

If he refuses, lawyers will ask a court in Venice to issue a protection order for the elderly parents against their son.

"We cannot do it any more," the father was quoted as saying.

"My wife is suffering from stress and had to be hospitalised. He [the son] has a good job but still lives at home.

"He demands that his clothes be washed and ironed and his meals prepared. He really has no intention of leaving."

Some reports said the son had also become aggressive. more

Insurance giant sues Saudi Arabia for ‘funding’ 9/11 attacks that cost firm $215 million

An insurance firm is suing Saudi Arabia in a U.S. court over claims that the country funded the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

A division of Lloyds of London is demanding the return of $215million compensation it paid victims by alleging that the Saudi government is responsible because it used banks and charities to support Al Qaeda.

The lawsuit - filed in Johnston, Pennsylvania, where United Airlines flight 93 crashed on 9/11, names nine defendants, including a leading member of the oil-rich state’s royal family.

Saudi Arabia has always denied claims that Osama bin Laden's organisation received official financial and practical support from his homeland.

And the 9/11 Commission’s official report on the attacks, found that there was no evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi officials individually funded Al Qaeda.

But the Lloyds 3500 syndicate’s 156-page legal document cites details revealed in U.S. diplomatic cables recently exposed by WikiLeaks, according The Independent newspaper.

The cables are said to show that American officials remained concerned that the Saudi authorities were not doing enough to stop money being passed to the terror group its citizens.

The legal claim suggests the defendants knowingly provided resources to Al Qaeda and acted ‘agents and alter egos’ for the Saudi state.

It states: ‘Absent the sponsorship of Al Qaeda's material sponsors and supporters, including the defendants named therein, Al Qaeda would not have possessed the capacity to conceive, plan and execute the 11 September attacks. more

Russian VIP auto convoy 'kills four pedestrians'

Four migrant workers were mown down on a pedestrian crossing close to Moscow by a motorcade reportedly carrying a top banker, the head of a road safety campaign group told AFP on Wednesday.

Two cars, a Mercedes and a Toyota Land Cruiser, ran over and killed the men from ex-Soviet Moldova as they used a pedestrian crosswalk on the road leading to the city's southern Domodedovo airport, Komsomolskaya Pravda daily reported.

"According to many eyewitnesses, the convoy was travelling at a speed of at least 120 km/h at this location, where the speed limit is 40 km/h due to roadworks," Sergei Kanayev, the head of an influential drivers' federation, told AFP.

"According to our sources, the cars belong to Avangard bank and one of them was carrying a top executive of this bank," he said.

Avangard is a medium-sized commercial bank based in Moscow. Moscow region's police refused to comment on these allegations to AFP.

Avangard bank told Gazeta.ru news website that it did not "have any information regarding the bank's cars being involved in the accident."

Muscovites are regularly killed and injured in accidents involving cars carrying officials and businessmen that are equipped with blue flashing emergency lights, allowing them to circumvent traffic jams.

Exasperated bloggers have formed online communities posting photos and videos of executives' cars that break the rules and publicising hit-and-run accidents ignored by the traffic police. more

NATO extends Libya mission for another three months (Remember Obama saying it would only be for a few days?)

NATO agreed on Wednesday to a three-month extension of its air and sea campaign in Libya as the country's new rulers try to dislodge well-armed Gaddafi loyalists holding out in several towns.

The agreement to extend the mission, which NATO took full control of on March 31, was reached at a meeting of ambassadors of the 28 NATO states in Brussels, a NATO diplomat said.

It was the second three-month extension to the mission that has involved a campaign of air strikes and a naval mission to enforce a U.N. arms embargo. source

David Alan Anderson: Salt Lake airplane passenger carried knife on board, made threats

A Salt Lake airline passenger faces federal charges for allegedly carrying a knife onto an airplane and verbally threatening police and FBI agents.

Shortly after taking his seat on a Delta Air Lines flight from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas on Sunday, David Alan Anderson, 60, began elbowing the passenger next to him to "claim" the armrest, according to a federal complaint. He then put his foot on the passenger's leg.

"Sir, you are going to have to move over," the passenger told him.

About five minutes later, the passenger saw Anderson staring at him. He then said to the passenger, "If I have a knife, I would slit your throat," the complaint states.

The passenger told flight attendants, who noticed Anderson reach into his bag several times with something cupped in his hand. The flight crew then called Salt Lake police.

Anderson denied having a weapon or making threats. But during a consensual search of his bag, police found a Gerber folding knife with a 3 ½-inch blade. Police handcuffed Anderson and took him to the airport police station. more

Fukushima: TEPCO burdened with task of treating contaminated water at damaged nuclear plant - 21st Sept 2011

The government is pouring effort into bringing the temperature at Unit 2 of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant under 100 degrees Celsius to prevent the release of radioactive materials through steam, but workers are also faced with the task of dealing with huge amounts of contaminated water.

The process of bringing the temperature in the reactor core under 100 degrees Celsius is known as a "cold shutdown." However, this normally applies to a properly functioning reactor, and experts are split over whether it is applicable at the Fukushima No. 1 complex, where meltdowns have occurred.

The government has stated that managing and controlling the release of radioactive materials is a condition for completing Step 2 of the roadmap for bringing the nuclear crisis under control. However, even though the temperatures of the plant's Unit 1 and 3 reactors have been brought under 100 degrees Celsius, radioactive materials continue to be released.

According to data from the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the level of radioactive materials released from the plant between Sept. 1 and 15 reached 200 million becquerels per hour. Read More

Japanese Government warns of partial collapse of landslide dams in Nara, Wakayama prefectures - 21st Sept 2011

The government is calling for the Nara and Wakayama prefectural governments and local bodies to take precautions following signs that two landslide dams in the prefectures created by Typhoon No. 12 may have partially collapsed.

"It's possible there've been partial breaches or overflows," a representative of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's Kinki Regional Development Bureau said. Collapse of the dams could lead to significant flooding.

One of the dams, located in Gojo, Nara Prefecture, has a maximum capacity of 550 cubic meters of water, making it the second-biggest of 17 landslide dams formed in the two prefectures. The water level had been steadily rising due to rain that fell from Sept. 20, and as of 10:10 a.m. on Sept. 21, the water level was 1.33 meters from the top of the dam. However, the water level then sank by 1.12 meters in one hour, suggesting part of the dam had collapsed.

Another dam in the Kumano district of Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture, is believed to have overflowed on Sept. 20. Over a 1 1/2-hour period from 9:50 a.m. on Sept. 21, the water level fell by 42 centimeters. About one kilometer downstream from the dam, a sensor designed to warn of landslides was activated and a siren sounded. Officials said the water level in the river had risen but no landslides had been confirmed. Read More

Actions speak louder than words over cold shutdown goal for Fukushima nuclear reactors - 21st Sept 2011

Achieving a "cold shutdown" of a nuclear reactor is not difficult as long as the reactor is not broken. A cold shutdown is defined by experts as a situation in which nuclear reactors whose operations are suspended are being stably cooled down and the temperatures in them are kept below 100 degrees Celsius.

However, it is no easy task to achieve a cold shutdown at the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant where fuel has melted and holes have developed in damaged reactors.

Goshi Hosono, state minister for the prevention of nuclear accidents, told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) annual general meeting under way in Vienna that Tokyo will do its best to achieve a cold shutdown of the stricken reactors at the plant by the end of this year. His remark suggests that the government intends to bring forward its target of achieving a stable cool-down of the troubled reactors and of substantially reducing the amount of radioactive substances released from the plant by January 2012.

The temperature at the bottom of the No. 1 reactor's pressure vessel has been stabilized at less than 100 degrees Celsius, and that of the No. 3 reactor has recently been kept below that level. Hosono appears to have made the remark at the IAEA conference while keeping in mind these positive signs.

It is a matter of course for the government to try its utmost to bring the crippled reactors under control as soon as possible, and it is important for it to show its determination to achieve this goal to the international community. Read More

Typhoon Roke pounds Japan - 21st Sept 2011

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake SUMBAWA REGION, INDONESIA - 21st Sept 2011

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck Sumbawa Region, Indonesia at a depth of 44.6 km (27.7 miles), the quake hit at 19:52:30 UTC Wednesday 21st September 2011.
The epicenter was 171 km (106 miles) Southwest of Raba, Sumbawa, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries reported at this time

Falling satellite 'could land' any time from tomorrow - and the 'strike zone' covers most of the planet - 21st Sept 2011

Nasa scientists are working round the clock to tell us where and when a six-ton satellite will land this week - but the only thing that's certain is that pieces of it will hit the surface of the planet.

The 20-year-old satellite will, Nasa estimates, break into more than 100 pieces on re-entry, and some will burn up - but it's estimated that around 26 of the heaviest metal pieces WILL hit the surface - in lumps weighing up to 300 pounds. In total, 1,200 pounds of metal will hit.

Debris could be scattered over an area up to 500 miles long. Nasa says there’s a 1 in 3,200 chance pieces could hit someone. It would be the first time in history someone was injured by space debris.

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, ran out of fuel in 2005 and could land on any of six continents. NASA says it could land at any point between 57 degrees north and 57 degrees south - which includes almost all the populated areas of our planet (see map below).

Most of the satellite will burn up during re-entry, but a 1,200 pounds of metal metal will still plummet to the Earth’s surface.

Don't worry too much, though - the odds of any one particular person being hit are much lower, around one in 21 trillion. Read More

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A SATELLITE FALLS TO EARTH?

Astronomer Dr Ian Griffin, from the UK Association of Science and Discovery Centres, says the Earth's atmosphere slows down falling satellites a great deal.

He explained that what remains of UARS will hit the ground relatively slowly and 'certainly not at orbital velocity of 17,500mph'.

Much of any satellite crashing to Earth will be disintegrated by heat, caused by friction with the atmosphere. It's the reason we get shooting stars - created by meteors burning up in the upper atmosphere. UARS is large enough, though, that up over a ton will strike the ground. It will not be in one piece, however: space vehicles experience incredible stress on re-entry. The load can be as much as 10Gs. An F1 car experiences around 5Gs with maximum braking from high speed.

The reason why the location of the crash site is so hard to predict is because the density of the atmosphere varies so greatly higher up, producing different amounts of drag.

A prediction that was wrong by even a few minutes would mean the satellite landing a huge distance away, owing to its speed.

South Korea unveils 'Peace Eye' war plane as techno-battle between North and South heats up again - 21st Sept 2011

The cold war between North and South Korea has heated up once again - with South Korea launching a radar spy plane dubbed 'Peace Eye', which is also capable of acting as an airborne command and control centre for fighter squadrons.

The modified Boeing 737 is equipped with a powerful radar module made by defence giant Northrop Grumman, capable of simultaneous scans of air, sea and ground.

South Korea said this week that it was building anti-jamming equipment and planning to launch military satellites in response to signal-jamming attacks by North Korea on its military GPS system.

In total, Seoul has ordered four of the hi-tech war planes.

'Peace Eye increases South Korea's self-defense capacity with powerful airborne-surveillance and battle-management capabilities that will help enhance the security of the Korean peninsula,' said Boeing's Randy Price. Read More

Mystery creature that nobody can identify handed in anonymously to a Zoo in China - 21st Sept 2011

If this cute little chap looks a wee bit confused, it's no wonder.

His big wide eyes stare out at the world around him - which in turn is staring back at him.

Because nobody has seen a creature quite like this one before.

With a nose that looks more like a rodent's but long, pointy paws and white fur dappled with brown and orange, he is quite unique.

And zookeepers at Wenling, in eastern China, who were handed the animal by an anonymous man, have been unable to work out exactly what species he belongs to.

They think they are looking at some strange type of monkey - but other students of nature might recognise the characteristics of a bush baby.

As he sits in his cage, the creature therefore awaits an uncertain fate.

And the zookeepers sit and monitor his development and hopes he grows up into something slightly more recognisable. Source

The wild and colourful jets deep down inside a black hole - 21st Sept 2011

This amazing picture shows for the first time the colourful jets deep inside one of the most mysterious elements in the galaxy, the black hole.

Showing the innermost parts of a black hole’s active jets, the picture suggests that the spouts are much more dynamic than previously suspected.

And it shows that although no light can escape a black hole, energetic flares are produced inside the ultra-dense ball of matter.

Observed by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft, this wildly fluctuating black hole is located 20,000 light-years away near the center of the galaxy.

It is estimated to have a mass at least six times greater than the sun.

Because the WISE spacecraft looks in the infrared, it was able to peer through the black hole’s turbulent disk to the base of the flaring jets. Read More

FBI trainer caught on video warning agents to forget Al Qaeda and 'go after the Death Star' of Islam instead - 21st Sept 2011

A leading FBI analyst who gave a lecture last year criticising mainstream Muslims has been caught on camera giving a second presentation urging agents to 'forget Al Qaeda' and 'go after the Death Star' of Islam.

The Bureau's William Gawthrop was recorded making the 'dangerous' remarks to an audience of over 60 law enforcement officials during a counter-terrorism seminar in New York three months ago.

Gawthrop's presentation in June told the audience that the fight against Al Qaeda is a 'waste' compared to the threat posed by the ideology of Islam itself.

The controversial training seminar then went on to compare the 'internal forces which seek to exert Islamic rule' to the Death Star in the Star Wars films.

Gawthrop's 25-minute speech has since been branded 'mind-numbingly stupid and dangerous' and has drawn strong criticism from top Senators and representatives from Arab and Muslim-American groups.

During the lecture on June 8, Gawthrop tells the audience: 'We waste a lot of analytic effort talking about the type of weapon, the timing, the tactics. All of that is irrelevant... if you have an Islamic motivation for actions.' Read More

Scientists think solar system may have had a FIFTH gas planet - 21st Sept 2011

Scientists believe our solar system may have once had a fifth gas planet that was ejected from the solar system and 'orphaned'.

A new study by David Nesvorny, from the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado, U.S., used different computer simulations to explore what the solar system looked like four billion years ago.

He discovered that back then planets had not yet settled into their existing orbits as they migrated and moved around.

However, after a series of tests he worked out that the solar system we recognise today could never have emerged without the existence of a fifth planet.

He came to this conclusion by using several different starting positions and ran computer simulations using the four gas planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune - but discovered they were to large and one would destroy another eventually.

Even using configurations where the gas planets survived, the solar system's rocky planets like Mars and Venus did not. Read More

Are hundreds of dead squid predicting a coming quake in California? (Mass animal deaths are often a precursor sign)



A super important question. This happened before Christchurch. This happened before Japan. Is it happening again?

(From our fantastic friend John at
PatrioticTruther on Youtube).

Father, 2 kids hurt in car bomb explosion in Michigan (That's right, not Iraq, Michigan, USA)



Local, state and federal authorities are investigating the detonation of a possible car bomb that hospitalized three people Tuesday evening.

The incident happened about 5:40 p.m. at East Elm and Interstate 75, Monroe police officials said in a press release.

A father and his two children were in the vehicle at the time of the incident, Michigan State police said, citing preliminary information from Monroe County authorities.

The children were flown by helicopter to St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo and were listed in serious condition, police said. The father was taken by ambulance to the hospital, police said. He also was listed in serious condition.

The victims' injuries weren't released.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed Wednesday morning that an explosive device was involved in the incident.

Michigan State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are working with Monroe police on the investigation. more

Troops amputations up sharply in Afghan war

The counterinsurgency tactic that is sending U.S. soldiers out on foot patrols among the Afghan people, rather than riding in armored vehicles, has contributed to a dramatic increase in arm and leg amputations, genital injuries and the loss of multiple limbs following blast injuries.

These devastating injuries affected unit morale. And they gave rise to talk on the battlefield that some troops had made secret pacts not to help each other survive if they were so severely injured, a new report said Tuesday.

The number of U.S. troops who had amputations rose sharply from 86 in 2009, to 187 in 2010 and 147 so far this year, military officials said Tuesday, releasing the report on catastrophic wounds.

Of those, the number of troops who lost two or three limbs rose from 23 in 2009 to 72 last year to 77 so far this year. Only a dozen or so of all amputations came from Iraq and the rest were from Afghanistan, where militants are pressing the insurgency with roadside bombs, handmade land mines and other explosives.

Officials said genital injuries also have risen significantly, but they did not give specific figures.

The sharp rise in severe injuries came as a buildup of foreign forces expanded the counterinsurgency strategy that seeks to protect civilians, win their support away from insurgents and help build an Afghan government the population will embrace instead. The soldier on foot is at greater risk for severe injuries, Tuesday's report noted, "and the injury severity (in Afghanistan) confirms this." more

Law gives huge pension perks to union leaders: 23 expected to collect combined $56 million in their lifetimes

All it took to give nearly two dozen labor leaders from Chicago a windfall worth millions was a few tweaks to a handful of sentences in the state's lengthy pension code.

The changes became law with no public debate among state legislators and, more importantly, no cost analysis.

Twenty years later, 23 retired union officials from Chicago stand to collect about $56 million from two ailing city pension funds thanks to the changes, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation found.

Because the law bases the city pensions on the labor leaders' union salaries, they are reaping retirement benefits that far outstrip the modest salaries they made as city employees. On average, their pensions are nearly three times higher than what the typical retired city worker receives.

No one from either the state Legislature or city government will take credit for the law, which passed in 1991, and the process of drafting pension legislation in Springfield is so shrouded in secrecy that there's no way of knowing exactly whom to hold responsible. more

Isis Brantley: TSA Searches Dallas Woman's Hair for Weapons

Is it possible to hide weapons in your hair?

The Transportation Security Administration thinks so.

Dallas resident Isis Brantley said she was stopped on Monday at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta after she went through security.

Brantley said an agent asked her if someone had checked her hair. She said no one had and continued on her way. She then heard someone yelling as she went down the escalator to catch her flight.

"I just heard these voices saying, 'Hey you, hey you, ma'am, stop. Stop -- the lady with the hair, you," she said.

Two TSA agents told her she could not go any further until they checked her hair for explosives, Brantley said.

She said she reluctantly allowed them to do it. The agents patted her hair down right there instead of asking to return to a private area for screening.

"And so she started patting my hair, and I was in tears at that point," Brantley said. "And she was digging in my scalp."

She said the experience was very humiliating.

"I was outraged," Brantley said. "I was humiliated. I was confused." more

Clifton Lyles: Another TSA Employee Accused of Rape

Another TSA agent has been arrested and accused of rape.

Clifton Lyles, who worked at the Nashville International Airport, was arrested earlier this week in Rutherford County, Tennessee, and charged with statutory rape. His bond was set at $10,000, according to NewsChannel 5 WTVF-TV in Nashville.

Earlier this month, a TSA employee was arrested in Nevada and charged with six counts of lewdness with a child.

In March of 2010, a TSA worker was arrested in Massachusetts and charged with statutory rape, enticement of a child and indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older, a Boston news station reported.

The agency has weathered a number of criminal accusations since its inception in late 2001 following the September 11 attacks.

In February, the TSA admitted in federal court that a supervisor and two TSA agents were arrested and charged with stealing thousands of dollars in cash from the luggage of travelers. Another employee was arrested and fired for assaulting a co-worker in a dispute over a parking space. more

Florida firm Merchantservice.com welcomes clients with AK-47

A Florida company is giving new clients a voucher to buy an AK-47 assault rifle to defend themselves from violent crime.

Sarasota-based MerchantService.com is a business that provides small stores and businesses with cash machines and credit card processing services.

Its "No Merchant Victim" program now offers a voucher that can be used to buy a gun such as an AK-47 from a local gun dealer, or upgraded security camera equipment, when clients have had its services for three months.

"We encourage all merchants to stand their ground against attack with lethal force," company president Gino Kauzlarich told AFP. "Hence our recommendation they buy a firearm such as a AK-47... (But) what the merchant chooses to do with the voucher payment cash is the merchants choice." more