Wednesday, October 5, 2011

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake KATLA VOLCANO , ICELAND - 6th Oct 2011


A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the Katla Volcano, Iceland at a depth of 5.2 km (3.1 miles), the quake hit at 01:06:20 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 25 km ( 15.3 miles) Southwest of Grimsey, Iceland
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck Northern Xinjiang, China at a depth of just 1 km (0 miles), the quake hit at 02:26:01 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 75 km ( 46.6 miles) Northeast of Korla, China
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

5.6 Magnitude Earthquake REYKJANES RIDGE, ICELAND - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck the Reykjavik Ridge, Iceland at a depth of 10.2 km (6.3 miles), the quake hit at 00:39:33 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 901 km ( 559 miles) Southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake REYKJANES RIDGE, ICELAND - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck the Reykjavik Ridge, Iceland at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 00:03:04 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 890 km ( 553 miles) Southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

5.4 Magnitude Earthquake REYKJANES RIDGE, ICELAND - 5th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.4 earthquake has struck the Reykjavik Ridge, Iceland at a depth of 10.1 km (6.3 miles), the quake hit at 23:52:20 UTC Wednesday 5th October 2011.
The epicenter was 901 km ( 559 miles) Southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake REYKJANES RIDGE, ICELAND - 5th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the Reykjavik Ridge, Iceland at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 23:02:12 UTC Wednesday 5th October 2011.
The epicenter was 890 km ( 553 miles) Southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake SUMBAWA REGION, INDONESIA - 5th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck the Sumbawa Region, Indonesia at a depth of 118.9 km (73.9 miles), the quake hit at 22:54:47 UTC Wednesday 5th October 2011.
The epicenter was 53 km ( 32 miles) Southwest of Bima, Sumbawa, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake APURE, VENEZUELA - 5th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Apure, Venezuela at a depth of 8.9 km (5.5 miles), the quake hit at 20:20:50 UTC Wednesday 5th October 2011.
The epicenter was 66 km ( 41 miles) Southeast of San Cristobal, Venezuela
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

Apple founder Steve Jobs dies



Steve Jobs, the visionary in the black turtleneck who co-founded Apple in a Silicon Valley garage, built it into the world's leading tech company and led a mobile-computing revolution with wildly popular devices such as the iPhone, died Wednesday. He was 56.

The hard-driving executive pioneered the concept of the personal computer and of navigating them by clicking onscreen images with a mouse. In more recent years, he introduced the iPod portable music player, the iPhone and the iPad tablet -- all of which changed how we consume content in the digital age.

His friends and Apple fans on Wednesday night mourned the passing of a tech titan.

"Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives," Apple said in a statement. "The world is immeasurably better because of Steve."

More than one pundit, praising Jobs' ability to transform entire industries with his inventions, called him a modern-day Leonardo Da Vinci.

"Steve Jobs is one of the great innovators in the history of modern capitalism," New York Times columnist Joe Nocera said in August. "His intuition has been phenomenal over the years." more

Los Angeles City Council votes in FAVOR of "Occupy Los Angeles" as protests and rebellion spread across United States: Join the fight!

UPDATE: Protestors in Los Angeles and New York are calling for supplies and labour reinforcements. If you are able to offer towels, non-meat foods or tents, please keep the supply chain going.

Details forthcoming. If you have video of a protest in your city or have information regarding a protest you are organizing, please, get email us so we can help spread the word!


Fight! This is the chance EVERYONE has been waiting for!

Syria threatens to attack Tel Aviv in case of NATO strike

Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday threatened to set fire to the Middle East, and especially to Israel, if NATO attacks Syria, the Iranian Fars news agency reported.

In a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Assad said: "If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I will need not more than six hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv."

Davutoglu reportedly conveyed a message of warning from the US to Assad. The Iranian report has not been verified by other sources.

According to the Fars news agency, the Syrian president stressed that Damascus will also call on Hezbollah in Lebanon to launch a fierce rocket and missile attack on Israel, one that Israeli intelligence could never imagine. more

Turkish parliament approves cross-border raids

Turkish lawmakers Wednesday voted to extend authorization for the Turkish military to carry out cross border attacks against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

The vote authorizes cross-border military operations for another year. Its passage came a day after Turkish police arrested more than 100 people across the country, suspected of links to rebels with the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

Lawmakers from the main Kurdish nationalist party, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), denounced the arrests.

In a phone call with CNN, deputy BDP chair Meral Danis Bestas claimed her party was the true target of the arrests.

"Almost 90% of the people detained are from the BDP, members of the party administration or executive council or mayors," Bestas said.

She also criticized the parliamentary vote on cross-border raids, calling it a "big mistake."

"It would have been so much better if the first task of the parliament was one that contributed to peace and elimination of obstacles in the way of democracy, rights and freedoms," Bestas said.

The Kurds represent the largest ethnic minority in Turkey. For decades, they were the target of repressive government policies, implemented by officials who sometimes referred to them as "mountain Turks." Until just a few years ago, it was illegal to speak Kurdish on radio and television in Turkey. The government of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried to improve relations by launching a state Kurdish language TV station in 2009. more

Hundreds killed in Thai floods

The death toll from months of devastating floods in Thailand has risen to 237, authorities said Wednesday.

More rain could hit the waterlogged nation in the next few days when the remnants of what is now Typhoon Nalgae arrive, Interior Ministry officials said. Nalgae, which battered the Philippines earlier, has weakened significantly now to a tropical depression and not much rainfall is expected from it.

Flooding has affected 28 Thai provinces and more than 2 million people, authorities said.

The rains have also threatened historical temples in several areas. source

Another foolish teenager with saggy pants identified in crime by his boxers -- Fantastic

A suspected teenage burglar whose shorts fell down as he fled after being confronted last night on a Florida street was later arrested after a witness was able to identify him by his boxer shorts, police reported.

As detailed in a Charlotte County Sheriff's Office report, witness Donna Decker called 911 to report spotting a suspicious male wearing a black hoodie inside an unlocked 1991 Dodge pickup in a Port Charlotte parking lot.

When the 65-year-old Decker approached, the teenager exited the vehicle, which he claimed was owned by his grandfather. Suspicious, Decker told the minor that he would have to wait there until police responded to the scene. Instead, the teen sprinted away.

His getaway, though, was not a smooth one. The teenager’s shorts slipped down his legs, exposing his red boxer shorts to Decker (and anyone else in the vicinity). The underage suspect, the witness noted, disappeared into a nearby apartment building.

After deputies arrived, a brief canvass located Antonio Kleiss, 14, in his grandmother’s apartment. He still had on the black hoodie and tan shorts described by Decker.

To cement Kleiss’s ID, an underwear check revealed that the teen was wearing red boxers. Decker, deputies reported, “asked him to pull down his tan shorts a little and he revealed that he was wearing red boxer shorts underneath.” more

Bridget Wismer Agreed To Sell Newborn To Philadelphia Man for $15,000



A Delaware mother, along with a Philadelphia man, are facing charges after investigators allege the two agreed to the sale and purchase of the woman’s newborn son.

“I didn’t want to give my baby away,” said 33-year-old Bridget Wismer of Brookside Park, New Castle County Delaware.

Wismer, charged with selling her newborn for $15,000, said she did nothing wrong.

According to her, she had an agreement with friend, John Gavaghan, who wanted to help Wismer raise her son, Christian.

“He told me he would help out,” explained Wismer. “Whenever I needed something for the baby, I would call him. There was no organized thing.”

Wismer said she is already raising two children. She doesn’t have a job and she lives at home with her mother. Gavaghan doesn’t have any children but wanted one.

“He was with him (referring to the baby) at night, because he comes down for the races, he races horses in Delaware,” said Wismer. “We were doing this together.”

New Castle County Police paint a different picture.

“You can’t sell a baby in Delaware,” said Cpl. John Welgarz with the New Castle County Police. “There are different ways you go about it, if you don’t want your child.” more

Two scuba divers saved by passing yacht after charter boat left them to DIE at sea

Two terrified divers were left stranded in shark-infested waters when their charter boat disappeared.

Paul Kline and Fernando Garcia Puerta had to cling to a buoy for two hours after surfacing from their late-afternoon dive in the Atlantic Ocean three miles from Miami and finding no trace of their boat.

'We were in shock. We could easily have died,' Kline, 44, told the Miami Herald.

'If night had fallen, the situation would have turned into panic.'

He said they kept talking to each other throughout their ordeal 'to try to keep up our high spirits'.

Mr Kline, a married father of six from Texas, told WSVN-TV that he could only think about getting back to his family while stranded in the water.

He said: 'I wasn't giving up anytime soon.'

Mr Kline and Mr Puerta, a Spanish tourist, were eventually spotted by the crew of a passing yacht and brought safely to shore. more

Americans face double-digit hikes in electricity bills to fund upgrades by utilities

Already weary of high gas prices and 9.1 percent unemployment, many Americans are about to get another kick in the wallet thanks to large increases in their electricity bills.

From Alaska to Georgia and Wyoming to Florida, utilities are seeking permission to pass on hundreds of millions of dollars in new charges to customers to help upgrade aging infrastructure and build new or retrofitted power plants that comply with tougher environmental regulations, a Daily Beast review of regulatory filings has found.

The influx of requests, many still pending before state regulators, has left energy experts convinced that electricity prices will be on the rise for the foreseeable future as the industry struggles to modernize its aging infrastructure.

“They desperately need to upgrade,” says Bill Richardson, the former New Mexico governor and Clinton-era energy secretary who once famously called America a superpower with a Third World power grid. “You’re seeing rate hikes everywhere because this is a widespread, national problem.”

The pending rate hikes are bad news for poor and elderly Americans on tight budgets, as Congress and the White House begin making cuts to programs that help people cope with their utility bills. One program in particular, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, was slashed during the budget negotiations earlier this year, and is slated for even deeper reductions this fall. more

'Sesame Street' unveils impoverished muppet to teach kids about hunger -- Art imitates life

Sesame Street has a new muppet who is hungry for more than just cookies.

The iconic kids show is set to unveil a new impoverished puppet named Lily, whose family faces an ongoing struggle with hunger issues. Lily will be revealed in a one-hour Sesame Street primetime special, Growing Hope Against Hunger, which is being sponsored by Walmart. The special will star country singer Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberly Williams Paisley, as well as the Sesame Street Muppets.

“Food insecurity is a growing and difficult issue for adults to discuss, much less children,” said the Paisleys in a statement. “We are honored that Sesame Street, with its long history of tackling difficult issues with sensitivity, caring and warmth asked us to be a part of this important project.”

The special will share the stories of real-life families to raise awareness of hunger issues in the United States, as well as strategies that have helped these families find food. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that 17 million American children — nearly 1 in 4 — have limited or uncertain access to affordable and nutritious food. Walmart is sponsoring the show as part of a $1.5 million grant toward the initiative and holding screenings in select communities.

The special is set to air nationwide on Oct. 9. source

Moore: The Rich Are Out Of Control, Kleptomaniacs And Sociopaths

Keith Olbermann, host of "Countdown" on Current TV: "Figuratively, where does it (Occupy Wall Street) go from here, do you think? Based upon your experience and what you've seen in your three trips down there."

Michael Moore: "I think that, not only is this going to continue, these cities that you mentioned. This is what is so wonderful about this. There really isn't anything driving this other than what Wall Street has done and what those who are in charge of our economy have done. They weren't just happy enough with multi-billions, they wanted tens of hundreds of billions, maybe even trillions, so --"

Olbermann: "Kleptomania."

Moore: "They're kleptomaniacs, is what they are. They're out of control. I think there is some sort of sociopathic illness and they know what us to life in a kleptocracy. Where the kleptomaniacs run the show. This is going to spread. I said this last week, I said it two weeks ago when I first spoke with you. And the mainstream media was trying to pooh-pooh this, 'oh it's just a feud down there, don't worry.' Well what happened Saturday, not just here, but as you said in Boston, LA, in Chicago and elsewhere."

Moore calls on President Obama to give another speech and to call upon his Justice Department to investigate the bankers and give them a perp walk. video here

Italy downgrade deepens contagion fears over euro debt crisis

Italy's sovereign debt rating has been cut for the second time in as many weeks, with ratings agency Moody's citing "sustained and non-cyclical erosion of confidence" as it slashed its forecast for the country.

In a report released after US stock markets closed on Tuesday, Moody's downgraded Italy's government bond ratings from Aa2 to A2 with a "negative outlook", suggesting further cuts could be to come. The move threatens to increase Italy's cost of borrowing, and will add yet more pressure to European finance ministers now wrestling with a financial crisis that has spread across the continent.

Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, criticised Moody's rival Standard & Poor's when it cut Italy's credit rating last month, saying the ratings agency's action was "dictated more by newspaper stories than by reality".

In its report, Moody's said the decision had been driven by three main factors: the debt crisis, which was causing a "sustained and non-cyclical erosion of confidence" in Europe and increasing "long-term funding risks" for Italy; the increased downside risks to economic growth due to macroeconomic structural weaknesses; and a weakening global outlook.

"The implementation risks and time needed to achieve the government's fiscal consolidation targets to reverse the adverse trend observed in the public debt, due to economic and political uncertainties," Moody's said.

Berlusconi again tried to play down its significance, saying "Moody's choice was expected". more

Earliest Winter Return in Tahoe since 1969; Snow above 6,000 feet

A cold weather front took aim at Northern California Tuesday, packing a potent punch with as much as 10 inches of snow for the Sierra peaks, the earliest return of winter conditions to Tahoe since 1969, according to weather forecasters.

According to the Central Sierra Snow Lab, the flurries predicted with this storm will make the shortest duration between snow storms since 1969. The lab – located in Norden – got its last measurable snow on July 1 – 96 days ago.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Sierra in advance of the storm. The forecasters predicted 5-10 inches of snow above 6,000 feet with winds gusting to 50 mph below the mountain ridges.

At lake level in Tahoe, the forecasters warned residents to be ready for several inches of slushy snow.Temperatures were expected to drop 15 to 25 degrees when the heart of the storm crosses over the northern half of the state early Wednesday.

"It's unusual for fall. This is more typical of a winter storm," said Steve Anderson, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Monterey. "On average, heavy rain doesn't typically start until the end of October in Northern California. So we're a few weeks early." more

Stress 'is top cause of workplace sickness' and is so widespread it's dubbed the 'Black Death of the 21st century'

Stress has become the most common reason for a worker being signed off long-term sick, a report reveals today.

Experts said the psychological condition had become so widespread that it was the ‘21st century equivalent of the Black Death’.

Stress has even eclipsed stroke, heart attack, cancer and back problems, according to the report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Jill Miller, an adviser to the institute, says the report ‘highlights the heightened pressure many people feel under in the workplace as a result of the prolonged economic downturn’.

Stress was found to be especially common at firms that have announced redundancies.

Long-term absence is defined as taking four weeks or more off at one time because of sickness.

Cary Cooper, the co-author of a recent book about stress, The Science of Occupational Health, drew a distinction between pressure and stress.

He says the former is ‘stimulating and motivating’ but becomes stressful when ‘it exceeds your ability to cope with it’.

Professor Cooper, who is based at the Lancaster University management school, said stress was signalled by changes in behaviour.

Typically, these include finding it difficult to focus, losing your sense of humour or losing your temper more quickly than normal. more

Europe Plots Mission to the Sun

Europe's collective space agency is planning an ambitious space mission that would send a satellite nearly three-quarters of the way to the Sun.

The Solar Orbiter, which would launch in 2017, would operate just 25 million miles from the Sun, far closer than any spacecraft ever sent from Earth. The mission was green-lighted by the European Space Agency member states on Tuesday, according to the BBC.

"I'm really looking forward to Solar Orbiter, which will become the reference for solar physics in the years to come," Alvaro Gimenez, ESA's director of science, told the BBC.

NASA will assist in the mission, providing instruments for the probe and the rocket that will propel it toward our star, which is about 93 million miles away from Earth.

The idea for the billion-euro Solar Orbiter has kicked around since the 1990s. Scientists hope it will help acquire measurements of the energetic particles and magnetic fields found near the Sun. It will move in an elliptical orbit that will follow the star's rotation, allowing it to observe specific areas for much longer than currently possible. more

Michelle Obama's Africa Trip Cost More Than $424,142 (and that's just the flights)

irst lady Michelle Obama's family trip to South Africa and Botswana in June cost taxpayers well over $424,000, according to new accounting based on Air Force manifests obtained by Judicial Watch, a taxpayer watchdog group.

The use of Air Force aircraft alone for the June 21-27 trip cost $424,142, said the group, and that doesn't include the food, lodging, and ground transportation for the 21 family and staff members.

Judicial Watch said it based the jet costs on the Pentagon's hourly rates for the C-32A aircraft used for the trip. The documents don't give exact cost calculations, which is typical for presidential and first family trips.

The White House this afternoon disputed the costs calculated by Judicial Watch. "The number stated is misconstrued and out of context. The hourly rate is not the marginal cost of operation the plane - it is an accounting figure that prices in a number of fixed costs from maintaining the Air Force fleet for this kind of plane over a year," said an official. "For example, it includes estimated replacement parts, depreciation, repairs, and costs that would have been incurred regardless of this flight. Also, for security reasons Mrs. Obama must fly on military aircraft." Also, during her good-will mission, the first lady attended five to seven official events daily. more

Announced Job Cuts in U.S. More Than Triple From Year Ago

U.S. employers announced the most job cuts in more than two years in September, led by planned reductions at Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and in the military.

Announced firings jumped 212 percent, the largest increase since January 2009, to 115,730 last month from 37,151 in September 2010, according to Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Cuts in government employment, led by the Army’s five-year troop reduction plan, and at Bank of America accounted for almost 70 percent of the announcements.

While the bulk of firings are not “directly related” to economic weakness, they “could definitely be a sign of more cuts to come,” John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement. “Bank of America is not the only bank still struggling in the wake of the housing collapse, and the military cutbacks are probably just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to federal spending cuts.”

More reductions will add to the pool of job seekers competing for work as policy makers, including President Barack Obama and Federal Reserve officials, strive to spur the labor market. Payrolls probably didn’t rise fast enough last month to lower the jobless rate, according to a Bloomberg News survey of economists before the Labor Department’s monthly jobs figures in two days. more

Service sector growth slows, employment mixed: What industries are left for Americans?

Service sector activity growth slowed in September, but other data on Wednesday showed private employment up modestly for the month, suggesting that overall the economic recovery is sluggish.

Service sector activity slowed as a contraction in employment eclipsed a jump in new orders, but a second report showed private-sector employers overall added more jobs than expected, while a third report showed a jump in planned layoffs in the month.

"Beneath the surface, it's actually a fairly mixed report," said Tom Porcelli, chief economist, at RBC Capital Markets, in New York.

"The hard data are not pointing toward a recession yet. Financial markets are telling you a completely different story. Copper, equities, Treasuries -- they're all pointing in the direction of a downturn."

The data comes ahead of Friday's monthly report on total U.S. nonfarm payrolls from the U.S. Labor Department which is expected to see a gain of 60,000 payrolls last month, according to a Reuters survey, after being unchanged in August. more

Scientists Find Ocean-Like Water On Comet - 5th Oct 2011

Scientists have, for the first time, found water like that found in the Earth's oceans on a comet.

The new evidence strongly suggests that a significant portion of the Earth's seawater arrived as a result of collisions with ice-packed comets.

Astronomers at the University of Michigan found the comet Hartley 2 carries ice with the same chemical composition as our oceans.

"We were all surprised," said Professor Ted Bergin.

"Life would not exist on Earth without liquid water, so the questions of how and when the oceans got here is a fundamental one (sic)," he said.

"It's a big puzzle and these new findings are an important piece."

The scientists made the discovery with infrared instruments on the Hershel Space Observatory, a telescope which orbits 930,000 miles away from Earth.

They measured the ratio of hydrogen and deuterium - or heavy hydrogen - in the frozen water, and found it was the same as in seawater. Read More

Is Alzheimer's contagious? Condition 'could be infectious like mad cow disease' - 5th Oct 2011

Alzheimer's could in some cases be caused by an infection and the disease could even be contagious, scientists have claimed.

The damage to the brain caused by the neurological condition is similar to that caused by infectious diseases such as mad cow and the human form CJD.

Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston were studying what could cause the build-up of proteins in the brain, which characterises the degenerative condition.

In tests on mice, they found that it occurs when a normal protein becomes misshapen and then spreads by turning 'good' proteins into bad ones. A similar process is seen in both mad cow disease and CJD. Read More

10,000 Greek strikers and police in running battles as debt-ridden country starts a 24-hour walkout - 5th Oct 2011

Greek riot police have fired teargas at petrol bomb throwing youths and charged them wielding batons as 10,000 public sector workers marched to protest against budget cuts and high taxes.

The country is today in the grip of a 24-hour national strike which has seen flights grounded, schools shut and people on the streets trying to storm the Athens parliament of its bankrupt government.

Violence broke out as anarchists mixed with the marchers and started attacking more than 1,000 police with any weapons they could find.

This has been the first nationwide walkout in months and marked the start of what campaigners say is the culmination of two years of tax hikes and wage cuts.

In the chaos hospitals ran on emergency rotas and some state schools closed. Read More

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake SOLOMON ISLANDS - 5th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck the Solomon Islands at a depth of 85.5 km (53.1 miles), the quake hit at 15:02:35 UTC Wednesday 5th October 2011.
The epicenter was 88 km ( 54 miles) Northwest of Gizo, New Georgia Islands, Solomon Islands
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

Snake plague strikes Territory, Australia - 5th Oct 2011

EXPERTS are urging Territorians to be wary of snakes around their homes after reports of bites jumped in the Top End.

Reptile wrangler Chris Peberdy said snakes were searching for water at the end of the dry season.

He said it was common to find snakes in houses - and even in beds.

"I've been finding snakes in (sliding door) runners, toilets, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, all sorts of weird places," he said.

"At this time of year, they are looking for water to drink, because a lot of dams are dry, so they come into homes to find water.

"And females are looking for suitable areas to lay their eggs."

A large number of Western Brown snakes have already been recorded across the Top End.

Palmerston residents are living in the most at-risk area, followed by Karama - courtesy of the dump.

To avoid snake bites, Territorians are urged to:

WEAR covered footwear, gloves and long pants when in areas likely to be home to snakes.

USE a torch when moving around at night.

DO NOT try to catch or kill snakes.

KEEP your yard free from rubbish piles.

KEEP your property free from objects that snakes may hide in such as stacks of tin or wood piles.

KEEP your grass cut short and do not allow vegetation to grow close to your house.

If you are bitten:

APPLY a firm broad pressure bandage to the bite site and extend to the rest of the limb. Don't remove clothing from limb, just bandage over the top. Wrap it as tight as for a sprained ankle.

THE VICTIM should be kept very still and the limb should be immobilised by using a splint.

REASSURE the casualty and call 000 for an ambulance.

For snake removal in Darwin, call 1800 453 210, in Katherine call 0407 934 252 and in Alice Springs, call 0407 983 276. Source

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake CRETE, GREECE - 5th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck Crete, Greece at a depth of 28.5 km (17.7 miles), the quake hit at 14:41:28 UTC Wednesday 5th October 2011.
The epicenter was 85 km ( 52 miles) WNW of Chania, Crete, Greece
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 5th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck Southern Xinjiang, China at a depth of 16.1 km (10 miles), the quake hit at 14:40:48 UTC Wednesday 5th October 2011.
The epicenter was 153 km ( 95 miles) East of Qiemo, Xinjiang, China
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake KYUSHU, JAPAN - 5th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Kyushu, Japan at a depth of 4.2 km (2.6 miles), the quake hit at 14:33:26 UTC Wednesday 5th October 2011.
The epicenter was 12 km ( 7 miles) Northeast of Kumamoto, Kyushu, Japan
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

IAEA reports incident at Belgian nuclear waste site - 5th Oct 2011

A U.N. inspector and two other people are being checked for radiation exposure after a "contamination incident" at a nuclear waste processing facility in Belgium, the U.N. atomic agency said on Wednesday.

Belgian authorities say no radioactivity leaked into the environment after Tuesday afternoon's incident at the Belgoprocess facility in the northern municipality of Dessel, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.

"The inspector, accompanied by a EURATOM inspector and a Belgoprocess official, was conducting a routine inspection at the facility when the incident occurred," it said in a statement.

The three have undergone "external decontamination procedures" and medical checks and are now being assessed to determine the level of their exposure, the Vienna-based agency said.

"Belgian authorities have reported that the incident area has been sealed off and no radioactivity has been released to the environment," it added. "Decontamination of the facility is expected to begin soon."

Public fears about the safety of nuclear energy rose worldwide after the Fukushima power plant accident in Japan in March, the worst such disaster in 25 years.

Last month, a furnace exploded at the Marcoule nuclear waste treatment site in southern France, killing one person, but there was no leak of radioactive material outside the furnace, France's ASN nuclear safety watchdog said. Source

Cantaloupe toll rises to 100 sick and 18 dead, CDC says

At least 100 people are sick and 18 have died after eating listeria-tainted cantaloupe in an ongoing food poisoning outbreak that has spread to 20 states, federal health officials reported Tuesday.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said they expect the number of illnesses from four outbreak strains of listeria to rise through October and beyond, but the toll could well surpass a listeria outbreak in hot dogs and deli meat that claimed 21 lives in 1998.

Federal Food and Drug Administration officials said they are still working to determine the cause of the contamination that led to the recall of more than 300,000 cases of whole fruit grown and shipped by Jensen Farms of Holly, Colo.

"We have to ensure that we do a thorough job of collecting the data and the analysis," said spokesman Doug Karas. "It's complicated because there are so many factors that have to be considered."

Investigators are examining potential problems with everything from agricultural practices to harvesting techniques and storage, Karas added.

The Jensen Farms Rocky Ford-brand melons were recalled Sept. 14 after being shipped directly to two dozen states and likely distributed to more. Because cantaloupe has a shelf life of only about two weeks, the fruit is likely no longer edible. more

IMF warns that countries may need to reverse cuts

Europe's stronger economies should avoid imposing drastic budget cuts at the expense of growth, a report by the International Monetary Fund has said.

If things worsen in the UK, Germany or France, they should "consider delaying" cuts, because they can borrow "at historically low" interest rates.

The IMF also warned that a recession in Europe in 2012 could not be ruled out.

Separately, a Markit PMI study said the eurozone's service sector shrank for the first time in two years last month.

The IMF's warning came in its latest 100-page report on the economic outlook for Europe.

"Finding a durable solution to the euro area sovereign crisis has become more than overdue," the IMF said in its report.

"(This) will require some difficult decisions to improve crisis management and a demonstration of unity behind the project of economic and monetary union that will convince markets.

"The pursuit of nominal deficit targets should not come at the expense of risking a widespread contraction in economic activity," the IMF said. more

UK economic growth slower than previously thought

The UK economy grew by 0.1% between April and June, less than the 0.2% estimated previously.

Output from the service sector grew by 0.2% in the quarter, compared with the previous estimate of 0.5%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Separate data suggested activity in the UK service sector grew in September.

The Treasury pointed to these figures as evidence the UK economy was still growing and said it would be sticking with its deficit reduction programme.

The ONS also revised down growth in the first three months of the year, from 0.5% to 0.4%.

It added that household consumption fell by 0.8% in the second quarter. more

Tuberculosis smoking toll 'could reach 40 million'

Forty million smokers could die from TB by 2050, research suggests.

Smokers are about twice as likely to get the lung infection and die from it, compared with non-smokers.

Many of the new TB cases will be in Africa, the eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asian regions, according to projections published in the BMJ.

A lung charity said global efforts to fight TB are being undermined by the tobacco industry's "aggressive promotion" of smoking in some places.

Dr John Moore-Gillon is a TB specialist and honorary medical advisor for the British Lung Foundation.

He said: "It is nearly 20 years since the World Health Organization declared tuberculosis to be a 'global health emergency'.

"Since that time rates have risen rather than fallen, and smoking increases the risk of getting - and dying from - TB.

"Concerted international efforts are now under way to try and turn the tide of TB, but this important research shows that all these efforts may be undermined by the tobacco industry's continuing aggressive promotion of smoking in many parts of the world." more

Storm roars into Atlantic Canada

Ferries in Atlantic Canada remain docked Wednesday morning as a storm brings heavy rain and gusting winds into the region, knocking out power in some areas.

Utility crews are staying on top of the situation in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. More than 2,000 customers were without electricity in New Brunswick mid-morning, but that was down to fewer than 1,000 by noon AT. In Nova Scotia, more than 6,000 were without power, but by noon that number was closer to 3,000.

New Brunswick Power said most of the trouble was from tree branches on power lines.

Rough sailing conditions are keeping Marine Atlantic's ferries between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland tied up until late Thursday. The forecast calls for winds exceeding 100 km/h and wave heights from eight to 11 metres. more

Cellphone call limits suggested by Health Canada -- Because it's dangerous after all?

Parents should encourage children under 18 to limit the time they spend talking on cellphones, Health Canada said Tuesday in new advice on mobile phone usage.

The guidance is a nuanced change from previous advice, which suggested that people could limit their use of cellphones if they were concerned about an unproven suggestion the devices increase one's risk of developing brain cancer.

"Really it's more proactive in encouraging cellphone users to find ways to limit their exposure, and … to empower parents to make healthy choices to reduce their children's exposure," explained James McNamee, division chief for health effects and assessments in Health Canada's bureau of consumer and clinical radiation protection. more

Canada real estate shows signs of slowdown

Royal LePage says the Canadian real estate market is moderating in some areas, even as quarterly home prices increased once again.

Home prices remained unexpectedly resilient across Canada's housing market in the third quarter, the real estate company said in its latest house price survey and market forecast. Overall, the market benefited from low interest rates and a relatively stable domestic economy.

"A broader slowdown is expected in the months ahead but fears of a U.S.-style correction are completely unfounded," Royal Lepage president Phil Soper said. more

Why men are in trouble: Lost roles in society

For the first time in history, women are better educated, more ambitious and arguably more successful than men.

Now, society has rightly celebrated the ascension of one sex. We said, "You go girl," and they went. We celebrate the ascension of women but what will we do about what appears to be the very real decline of the other sex?

The data does not bode well for men. In 1970, men earned 60% of all college degrees. In 1980, the figure fell to 50%, by 2006 it was 43%. Women now surpass men in college degrees by almost three to two. Women's earnings grew 44% in real dollars from 1970 to 2007, compared with 6% growth for men.

In 1950, 5% of men at the prime working age were unemployed. As of last year, 20% were not working, the highest ever recorded. Men still maintain a majority of the highest paid and most powerful occupations, but women are catching them and will soon be passing them if this trend continues.

The warning signs for men stretch far beyond their wallets. Men are more distant from a family or their children then they have ever been. The out-of-wedlock birthrate is more than 40% in America. In 1960, only 11% of children in the U.S. lived apart from their fathers. In 2010, that share had risen to 27%. Men are also less religious than ever before. According to Gallup polling, 39% of men reported attending church regularly in 2010, compared to 47% of women. more

Are you a slavery-free consumer?

In today's world, it can be tough to determine whether products have or have not been produced through slavery. A specific component of a product – the cotton used to make a T-shirt, for example – may be the result of human trafficking.

Thankfully, there are products in our lives that we know are slavery-free, like the homegrown tomato you had for lunch. (More: What is your slavery footprint?)

CNN iReport is inviting you to participate in a special assignment to identify items that you know are slavery-free. Was the exercise easy or surprisingly difficult? Do you make an effort to shop slavery-free, or is this the first time you've thought about where products come from?

Upload photos of your slavery-free items and share your perspective with CNN. The best stories will be featured here on the Freedom Project blog. You can check out the iReport assignment for additional details.

Want to find out more about slavery in the supply chain? Check out a brief overview or go to Anti-Slavery International's interactive map. source

Japan will hold winter whale hunt, despite protests

Japan says it will hunt whales in the Southern Ocean this winter and will send a Fisheries Agency ship to guard its whalers against promised intervention by a conservation group.

"The Fisheries Agency will send a patrol boat and take increased measures to strengthen the protection given to the research whaling ships," Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano said at a news conference Tuesday.

At its annual meeting in July, the International Whaling Commission passed a resolution calling on its member countries "to cooperate to prevent and suppress actions that risk human life and property at sea."

Last winter, Japan cut short its planned December-to-April hunt by two months after anti-whaling activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society repeatedly interfered with the whaling vessels.

Sea Shepherd claims it saved 800 whales by its actions during last season's hunt. Japanese whalers killed 171 minke whales and two fin whales during the Antarctic hunt, according to IWC figures.

In a statement issued last Friday, Sea Shepherd vowed to take on the whaling vessels again.

"They will have to kill us to prevent us from intervening once again. ... We will undertake whatever risks to our lives will be required to stop this invasion of arrogant greed into what is an established sanctuary for the whales," Sea Shepherd's leader, Paul Watson, said in a statement on the organization's website. Sea Shepherd will have more than 100 people in the Southern Ocean to block the Japanese whaling fleet, according to the statement. more

U.S. and China moving toward trade war?

China says it could be on the march to a trade war with the United States. That’s after the U.S. Senate on Monday passed a key test vote that targets countries believed to keep their currencies artificially weak.

If the bill passes in the Senate – perhaps as early as this week – it would be the next step at shooting new tariffs onto exports from those countries. Looking between those Congressional crosshairs, this week’s legislation is clearly aimed at China.

The consistent clash takes place over the yuan, China’s currency, which China keeps loosely tied to the U.S. dollar and makes the country’s exports to the U.S. cheaper than those “Made in the USA.”

The U.S. has had a trade deficit with China lasting more than a quarter century. In 1985, the deficit was $6 billion, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. It's now skyrocketed to more than $273 billion, according to the latest 2010 figures.

For its part, China has allowed the yuan to appreciate 6.7% since August 2010 but some critics say its real value could actually be 20% to 30% stronger. Today $1 gets you RMB 6.77. If those analysts are right, $1 could equal as little as RMB 4.75, shaving off a huge pricing advantage for Chinese goods sold in the U.S.

Will the name-calling from the U.S. Congress work? Will China bend over, say “I’m sorry,” and hike its currency?

That’s not going to happen. Saber rattling has rarely worked and as the Chinese economy rises, that kind of talk will work even less. more

India launches world's cheapest computer

Greek default is just a matter of time

It was once unthinkable but is now widely expected: Greece is headed toward default.

Not if -- but when.

A default is likely," said Wolfango Piccoli, director of the London office of the Eurasia Group. "At this stage, the question is about the timing."

The timing is important because European authorities are scrambling to build a "firewall" that will protect banks and other euro area nations from the fallout of a Greek default.

The first step is to overhaul an existing bailout fund for Europe, which is expected to be officially approved by all 17 eurozone nations by the end of October.

The goal, analysts say, is to create conditions for Greece to default in an organized way, rather than an abrupt collapse that could cause chaos in global financial markets.

Euro area officials have said repeatedly that Greece will meet its obligations and avoid a default. Yet the inevitability of a Greek default has become conventional wisdom in financial circles. more

Bahrain opposition keeps up hunger strike

Bahraini opposition leaders, many sentenced to life in prison, are 12 days into a hunger strike dedicated to gaining the release of "innocent women and girls" from jail, the son of one of the leaders told CNN Wednesday.

Dozens of activists have been jailed and sentenced to prison during recent political unrest, including Hassan Mushaimaa, the secretary-general of the banned opposition Haq group.

"We are really worried about his health," said his son, Mohamed Mushaimaa. "They won't let us talk with him very often." Phone calls are allowed every week, he said.

The elder Mushaimaa's life sentence was upheld last week by the National Safety Court of Appeals. He and other activists were accused of trying to topple the leadership of the kingdom.

Rioting and arrests are happening on a daily basis, according to Mohamed Mushaimaa, who was released last month after a year in jail.

"All the people are talking about the freedom they want," he said. "They will fight until the end of their lives. The movement is very strong."

On Tuesday, a court in Bahrain sentenced 27 people to between five and 15 years in prison for offenses connected to the recent unrest, court documents showed.

Observers see the court rulings as the latest sign of a growing crackdown on mainly Shiite activists who have staged a series of protests in the Gulf kingdom. more

Mideast: Violence injures 14; Saudis promise 'iron fist' against 'instigators'

Security forces in eastern Saudi Arabia clashed with armed people provoked by a "foreign country," the Saudi Press Agency said Tuesday, citing an official source at the Interior Ministry.

The incident occurred Monday night in Awamiyya, in the Qatif region of Eastern province, where many Shiites in the predominantly Sunni country live. At least 14 people were wounded.

"A group of instigators" congregated in the town's roundabout and "used motorcycles and Molotov cocktails to undermine security and interfere in national sovereignty," according to the report.

"As security forces managed to disperse them, the group fired with automatic weapons at the security forces from a nearby neighborhood which resulted in the injury of 11 security forces, nine of them from gunshots and two from Molotov cocktails. In addition, a civilian and two women were wounded from gunshots in a nearby building. All were taken to a hospital," the report said.

The ministry said that it "will not tolerate any threat to the security and stability of the homeland and its citizens, and will respond with an iron fist."

The Interior Ministry source was quoted as saying the "group was incited by a foreign country that seeks to extend its influence outside its circle and to undermine the security of the homeland." It didn't name the country. more

China's Lost Girls: Abandonded by China, saved by Western adoptive parents

Sheldon Bernard Chase: Extremely dangerous man, 22, on the run after killing three Native Americans near site of Custer's Last Stand - 5th Oct 2011

An armed man is on the run from police after shooting dead three Native Americans at a reservation near the site of General Custer's Last Stand.

Sheldon Bernard Chase, 22, is thought to have gunned down an elderly woman, her granddaughter and the girl's boyfriend on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana before fleeing into the night.

The suspect, described by police as 'armed and extremely dangerous' gunned down the three people at the site a few miles south of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.

The site in Montana marks the spot where Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer and his cavalry unit died fighting Indian forces in 1876.

The three victims were described as Indian tribal members, while the suspect is not. Read More

5.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEW ZEALAND, NORTH ISLAND - 5th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake has struck the North Island of New Zealand at a depth of 310 km (192.4 miles), the quake hit at 10:57:41 UTC Wednesday 5th October 2011.
The epicenter was 63 km ( 39 miles) North of Rotorua, New Zealand
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

Note: USGS has this registered at a 4.6 Magnitude this also happened last week when New Zealand Region was hit by high 5+ Magnitudes USGS listed them as 4+ Magnitudes, if anyone knows why they are downgrading many of the earthquakes let us know.