Thursday, October 6, 2011

Abuse Claims Of Pro-Gaddafi Prisoners Denied - 7th Oct 2011

A senior Libyan official has denied abuse of captured Colonel Gaddafi loyalists is widespread after allegations of torture were made to Sky News by imprisoned soldiers.

Thousands of alleged loyalists are being held in jails across Libya.

Many of them were caught on the battlefield, while others have been accused by neighbours of supporting the deposed dictator.

We were shown around a makeshift jail in Misratah. It was clean and appeared to be well run.

But a number of prisoners claimed they had been beaten and tortured by soldiers from the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) when they were arrested.

One inmate, Hannibal, is accused of supplying pro-Gaddafi soldiers and was detained in the capital, Tripoli.

He claims he is innocent and says he was given electric shocks during a lengthy interrogation process.

During the interview he pointed out what appeared to be burns on his legs and feet.

Another man, who did not give his name, made similar accusations. He was arrested outside Colonel Gaddafi's home town of Sirte.

It is impossible to verify any of the stories. Read More

Note: Why is it impossible to verify these stories?, it is taken at face value when the rebels speak without the need of proof. We have all heard of the mass graves if the dead appear to be Pro Gaddafi and images are there to prove the amount of bodies and that they were executed then it is quickly moved away from the main stream.

But when the news broke of the Mass grave next to a prison where they proceeded in showing the world a handful of bones from 20 years ago it would be played on the news every 20 minutes for about a week.

The propaganda is being played out by pro and anti Gaddafi, who is making sure Western mainstream Media participates in assisting propaganda?

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION - 7th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck Hokkaido, Japan Region at a depth of 74.3 km (46.2 miles), the quake hit at 02:51:21 UTC Friday 7th October 2011.
The epicenter was 103 km ( 64 miles) East of Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

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

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the Reykjanes Ridge, Iceland at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 23:53:00 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 872 km ( 541 miles) Southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES - 6th Oct 2011


A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Mindanao, Philippines at a depth of 38 km (23.6 miles), the quake hit at 23:47:04 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 36 km ( 22 miles) Northwest of Hinatuan, Mindanao, Philippines
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN BABAR, INDONESIA - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Kepulauan Babar, Indonesia at a depth of 99 km (61.5 miles), the quake hit at 21:52:37 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 209 km ( 129 miles) West of Saumlaki, Kepulauan Tanimbar, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

Obama Has Now Increased Debt More than All Presidents from George Washington Through George H.W. Bush Combined

The Obama administration passed another fiscal milestone this week, according to new data released by the Treasury Department. As of the close of business on Oct. 3, the total national debt was $14,837,099,271,196.71—up about $44.8 billion from Sept. 30.

That means that in the less-than-three-years Obama has been in office, the federal debt has increased by $4.212 trillion--more than the total national debt of about $4.1672 trillion accumulated by all 41 U.S. presidents from George Washington through George H.W. Bush combined.

This $4.212-trillion increase in the national debt means that during Obama’s term the federal government has already borrowed about an additional $35,835 for every American household--or $44,980 for every full-time private-sector worker. (According to the Census Bureau there were about 117,538,000 households in the country in 2010, and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 93,641,000 full-time private-sector workers.)

When Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, according to the Treasury Department, the total national debt stood at $10,626,877,048,913.08.

At the end of January 1993, the month that President George H. W. Bush left office, the total national debt was $4.1672 trillion, according to the Treasury. Thus, the total national debt accumulated by the first 41 presidents combined was about $44.8 billion less than the approximately $4.212 trillion in new debt added during Obama’s term. more

France to impose fat tax on sugary drinks such as Coca-Cola and Fanta

A thoroughly enlightening article graciously provided for us by:

Ian Sparks


France is to impose a 'fat tax' on sugary soft drinks in a bid to combat soaring child obesity.

The new tax will add just over 1p to a can of fizzy drink like Coca-Cola or Fanta but zero-calorie 'diet' drinks will be exempt from the charges, the government said.

The new measures - a hike of from 3 to 6 Euro cents per litre on sugary drinks - are also expected to raise more than £100 million a year for government coffers.

The revenue would be used to fund lower social security charges for farm workers, the government said.

The move comes days after France also announced it would be rationing tomato ketchup and salt in school canteens.

Under the rules, tomato sauce and mayonnaise will only be on dinner tables once a week when chips are served and would be removed when traditional French dishes such as roast veal are served.

Denmark also recently announced a new higher tax on foods containing high levels of saturated fat. more

Fukushima nuclear plant worker dies: Third so far, more to come?

A worker at Japan's disaster-stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant has died, its operator said, adding that the death was not necessarily related to radioactive leaks.

The male worker, in his 50s, was taken to hospital for treatment on Wednesday after feeling ill during a regular morning assembly at the plant, some 140 miles north of Tokyo, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).

He died early morning on Thursday at the hospital, TEPCO spokesman Chie Hosoda said, adding that the cause of his death was being investigated.

"He had been exposed to a small amount of radiation. It is difficult to assume that radiation was a cause of his death," she said.

The unidentified worker had worked for 46 days at the plant to install a tank which will be used for processing contaminated water from the crippled reactor units.

He worked three hours every day and had been exposed to a total of 2.02 millisieverts of radiation, the official said. An exposure of 100 millisieverts per year is considered the lowest level at which any increase in cancer risk is evident. more

Vladimir Putin diving discovery was staged, spokesman admits



Vladimir Putin's seemingly remarkable discovery of two ancient Greek amphorae beneath the waters of the Black Sea this summer was a staged set-up, his spokesman has admitted.

In an uncharacteristically unguarded admission, the Russian prime minister's spokesman conceded that the amphorae had been planted in shallow water for Mr Putin to find by well-meaning archaeologists keen to please the Russian strong man.

"Putin did not find the amphorae on the sea bed that had been lying there for thousands of years," said Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman. "That is obvious. They were found during an (archaeological) expedition several weeks or days beforehand. Of course they were then left there (for him to find) or placed there. It is a completely normal thing to do."

The archaeologists had wanted the 58-year-old politician to experience what it was like to be on an expedition, he added.

The disclosure is totally at odds with how the episode was presented to the Russian public on state TV.

In typically fawning coverage, state TV broadcast images of a wetsuit-clad Mr Putin emerging from the sea clutching the remains of the two ancient vessels (that were once used to store wine or olive oil). "Treasure!," Mr Putin said with a big smile, quipping that there was nothing left to drink in the artefacts. more

Why Fukushima Can Happen Here: What the NRC and Nuclear Industry Dont Want You to Know (Arnie Gunderson)

Police Push Disabled Woman To The Ground Then Walk Off (from 2010, buried but not forgotten)

‘UK has nothing to be optimistic about’



The British PM has called for a 'can-do' optimism during an 'anxious time' for the UK economy. And though the speech sounded optimistic, Gavin Hayes of Compass pressure group told RT Britain is not in a position to rejoice.

­“People all across Britain will be quickly coming to realize that David Cameron is an out-of-touch prime minister and that we have a see-nothing and do-nothing government. The people are very worried about the economy and the prime minister’s lack of a plan B for the economy,” the general secretary of left-wing pressure group Compass stated.

“In his speech today Cameron failed to allude to any plan B for the UK economy. He also talked about the need for people to pay off their credit card debts. On this he also seems entirely out of touch with the British people as millions struggle to make ends meet every month,” he added.

According to Hayes, people in the UK are struggling with simple necessities let alone paying their debts or even saving a little bit for the future.

“And the prime minister talked about the needs to pay off debt for future generations, yet failed to say his government in the last year has imposed future generations with £9,000 in university tuition fees,” he maintained. more

House prices fall for second month in a row: UK

Mortgage lender Halifax said the property market continued to lack direction after it reported a second successive month of lower prices.

A decline of 0.5pc in September followed a fall of 1.1pc in August, although Halifax said average prices in the quarter to September were still 0.1pc higher than the previous three months - the first such rise since early 2010.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said September's drop continued the mixed monthly picture so far this year with four rises, four falls and one month of no change in prices.

He said: "This mixed pattern is consistent with a market where prices are lacking genuine direction."

The average UK house price in September was 1pc lower than in December 2010 on a seasonally adjusted basis, at £161,132.

Mr Ellis said the financial uncertainty was likely to be constraining demand but added that low interest rates and a rise in employment over the last year have been supporting the market. more

Kanellos the Greek protest dog returns to Athens







The Ticking Euro Bomb: How a Good Idea Became a Tragedy

Before Germany's Horst Reichenbach had even stepped off the plane in Athens, the Greeks knew who was coming. He had already been given various unflattering nicknames in the Greek media, including "Third Reichenbach" and "Horst Wessel" -- a reference to the Nazi activist of that name who was posthumously elevated to martyr status. The members of his 30-strong team, meanwhile, had been compared to Nazi regional leaders.

The taxi drivers at the airport were on strike, while hundreds stood in front of the parliament building, chanting their slogans. One protestor was wearing a T-shirt that read: "I don't need sex. The government fucks me every day." Within the first few hours, Horst Reichenbach realized that he had landed in a disaster area.

Reichenbach is the head of the task force the European Commission sent to Athens to provide what Brussels officials call "technical assistance" in the implementation of necessary reforms. For the Greek media, the task force is the advance guard of an invasion force, the bureaucrats that have arrived to transform beautiful Greece into a German colony.

Reichenbach describes his tasks as follows: restructure the tax system, streamline the administration, accelerate privatization, strengthen legal certainty, open up access to protected professions, restructure the energy and healthcare sector and remove structures that are hostile to investment. The effort, says Reichenbach, requires "thinking in terms of years instead of months." He was the vice-president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and had planned to retire at the end of December. But then he received a call from European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who then dispatched Reichenbach on this mission impossible. more

Russia arrests Chinese 'spy' in row over defence weapons

Russia's security service has revealed that it arrested a suspected Chinese spy who posed as a translator while seeking sensitive information on an anti-aircraft system.

The man, identified as Tun Sheniyun, was arrested on 28 October last year, the federal security service (FSB) said in a statement cited by RIA-Novosti news agency.

It was unclear why the FSB disclosed the arrest on Wednesday, less than one week before the prime minister, Vladimir Putin, travels to China on an official visit.

The alleged spy was acting "under the guise of a translator of official delegations", the statement said.

He had "attempted to obtain technological and maintenance documents on the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system from Russian citizens for money", it added. That information is a state secret, it said.

Prosecutors sent the case to court on Tuesday, the statement said. Tun faces charges of attempted espionage. more

'Cloning' used to create embryonic stem cells in humans

Scientists have for the first time used a cloning technique to get tailor-made embryonic stem cells to grow in human egg cells.

The development in New York marks a landmark in stem cell research, according to experts in the field, but also represents a potential new flashpoint for opponents of such controversial cell research.

The researchers were trying to prove it is possible to use a cloning technology called somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT, to make embryonic stem cells that match a patient's DNA.

The achievement, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, is significant because such patient-specific cells potentially can be transplanted to replace damaged cells in people with diabetes and other diseases without rejection by the immune system.

This technique could ignite new controversy because some opponents consider it to be cloning, which they fiercely oppose.

"This paper will be seen as significant both by those who are trying to use SCNT to produce human patient-specific embryonic stem cell lines and by those who oppose human 'cloning' experiments," said Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, a division head at Britain's National Institute for Medical Research. more

Occupy Wall Street: Nationwide College Student Walkout Planned; 'Anonymous' Goes After NYSE

The “Occupy Wall Street” rally gained thousands of new supporters as New York City became protest city on Wednesday when the group marched to City Hall. The protests, however, were not without incident.

The NYPD said that there were about a dozen arrests Wednesday night. Most of those were for disorderly conduct, but at least one arrest was for assaulting a police officer. Police said a protester knocked an officer off his scooter.

It was night of fury, and physicality by protestors and police, CBS 2′s Sean Hennessey reported. Chopper 2 captured an image of an officer with a baton hitting a protestor as other police surrounded him and tossed the protester to the ground.

“I saw night sticks fly. I saw cops on the floor. I saw them charging groups of people,” Jack DePalmer said.

“There’s been a few agitators here, people real angry — which is understandable. But at the same time, we have to be peaceful about it. Cops are going to be cops — they have to make a living. They’re not the real enemy here,” Ty Davis said. more

Is CBS News Silencing Fast and Furious Reporter?

Yesterday, CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson told radio show host Laura Ingraham that the White House yelled and swore at her over her reporting on the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal tied to the deaths of two U.S. law enforcement agents. Attkisson also revealed that she'd also been yelled at by the Justice Department.

Today, I called CBS News in an attempt to interview Attkisson. I was told by CBS News senior vice president of communications Sonya McNair that Attkisson would be unavailable for interviews all week. When I asked why Attkisson would be unavailable, McNair would not say.

I've also heard from a producer at another media outlet that has previously booked Attkisson that they tried to book her since she made news with the Laura Ingraham interview yesterday. They were also told that she would be unavailable.

After our initial conversation earlier today, I called McNair back and left a message with her office. I also sent McNair an email asking whether Attkisson's unavailability has anything to do with reporting that the White House and Justice Department were angry at her. I further asked McNair if the White House or Justice Department contacted CBS News about Attkisson since yesterday. McNair has not responded to my inquiries. more

Mystery of break-ins in Amish community as robbers cut off hair and beards of victims

Members of the Amish community in Ohio are being investigated by the sheriff's department after several homes were broken into and the beards and hair of Amish victims were chopped off.

Four different sheriff's departments - Jefferson County, Carroll County, Holmes County and Trumbull County - reported similar incidents this week involving hair cutting, with reports of groups of Amish men yanking victims out of their homes by their beards or bursting into their homes and attacking them with scissors.

The Carroll County Sheriff's Department reported the Amish men referred to themselves as being part of the 'Bergholz Clan'. more

Was William Shakespeare a fraud?

With the release of Anonymous, two academics give their views and you can vote and join the debate on whether Shakespeare was the Bard.

Did he or didn’t he? That is the question. The debate over whether William Shakespeare could write his own name, let alone the body of works considered among the greatest in English literature, has consumed minds for more than 150 years.

Now a new film, Anonymous, by Independence Day director Roland Emmerich, is about to throw more fuel on the fire.

Anonymous, released on October 28, is set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England. It asserts that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the true author of the Bard’s plays. And Shakespeare, an actor, was a mere provincial frontman for the plays so Oxford’s authorship could remain secret.

The film includes a masterful performance from Rhys Ifans as the brooding genius Oxford, with the mother-and-daughter team of Joely Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave playing the young and old Queen Elizabeth. Ifans might seem a more obvious choice for the comic role of the buffoonish, scheming Shakespeare, but that part is taken by Rafe Spall, son of Timothy.

Anonymous is no wordy but drab costume drama. Emmerich brings his epic style to bear on the exterior shots, swooping over Tudor London in all its teeming glory and culminating in Elizabeth’s funeral procession along a frozen Thames, an icy finality to the story. more

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake KYRGYZSTAN - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Kyrgyzstan at a depth of 12.9 km (8 miles), the quake hit at 16:47:16 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 45 km ( 27 miles) Southwest of Sary-Tash, Kyrgyzstan
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

Food poisoning downs 300 at Bilao restaurant in SM City, Philippines - 6th Oct 2011

City officials of Santa Rosa in Laguna have ordered the inspection of all food establishments at a popular mall in the city after around 300 teachers and students were downed by food poisoning inside a mall Restaurant Tuesday’s Teachers’ Day event.

Mayor Arlene Arcillas on Thursday said that while tests had yet to confirm that the food catered by Pancit sa Bilao restaurant in SM City caused the poisoning, the inspection was called for to make sure that all establishments at the mall are complying with food sanitary measures.

She said a food sample was already submitted to the Bureau of Food and Drugs for testing.

Following a meeting with officials of the Department of Education and the city government, the restaurant agreed to shoulder the hospital expenses of the teachers and students and promised to provide medical assistance to those affected but were not Hospitalized, Arcillas said.

None of the teachers has filed a complaint against the restaurant, which is also a regular caterer to the other functions of the city government, the mayor said. Read More

Gaddafi Calls For Peacefull Resistance To New Leaders - 6th Oct 2011

Colonel Gaddafi has called on Libyans to protest peacefully in their "millions" in an apparently new audio message aired on a Syria-based TV channel.

He also says "conditions in Libya are unbearable now" in the speech.

Col Gaddafi claims the National Transitional Council, which has assumed leadership of the country since then-rebel forces swept into Tripoli in late August, has no legitimacy.

The last time the outside world heard from Gaddafi was in a broadcast on September 20 on the same channel - Arrai TV.

More follows...

Fears UK Is In 'Worst Ever' Economic Crisis - 6th Oct 2011

Britain could be in the grip of the "most serious financial crisis ever", the governor of the Bank of England has exclusively told Sky News.

Sir Mervyn King said the global and UK economies had been turned on their heads in the past three months alone and said: "The world has changed."

The situation could be even worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s, he said, making it crucial do "the right thing" - which in the UK now means pumping more cash into the economy.

Sir Mervyn gave the rare interview after the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to unleash a fresh round of quantitative easing (QE) to stimulate economic growth, while holding interest rates.

The move, which means effectively printing an extra £75bn of cash, has prompted fresh fears that the UK is on the brink of another recession.

The decision marks the first time the Bank of England has extended QE since November 2009, and suggests the MPC is growing more pessimistic about the UK's economic prospects.

There are also fears it will lead to a surge in the already-high rate of inflation, which would erode savings and pension funds. Read More

Occupy Wall Street Protestors Descend Upon One Police Plaza

Unemployment Claims Edge Up Amid Wobbly Economy: US

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week, according to a government report on Thursday that hinted at an improvement in labor market conditions.

Initial claims for state unemployment [cnbc explains] benefits climbed 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 401,000, the Labor Department said, from a revised 395,000 the prior week.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 410,000 from the previously reported 391,000.

The data falls outside the survey period for the government's closely watched employment report for September, which will be released on Friday.

Nonfarm payrolls likely increased 60,000 last month, according to a Reuters survey, after being flat in August. The anticipated gain in nonfarm employment will mostly reflect the return of 45,000 striking Verizon Communications workers to payrolls.

The jobless rate is seen steady at 9.1 percent. more

Secret panel can put Americans on "kill list'

American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials.

There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House's National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

The panel was behind the decision to add Awlaki, a U.S.-born militant preacher with alleged al Qaeda connections, to the target list. He was killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen late last month.

The role of the president in ordering or ratifying a decision to target a citizen is fuzzy. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to discuss anything about the process.

Current and former officials said that to the best of their knowledge, Awlaki, who the White House said was a key figure in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al Qaeda's Yemen-based affiliate, had been the only American put on a government list targeting people for capture or death due to their alleged involvement with militants. more

Mumps Outbreak Reported On Berkley Campus

Fever, headaches, muscle aches and fatigue. For members of the University of California at Berkeley community, these symptoms could spell more than a common cold—they could mean a case of the mumps.

The university community is experiencing an outbreak of the viral infection after several cases of mumps were confirmed in students last Thursday, campus health officials said.

On Tuesday, UC Berkeley’s health services website posted an alert about the outbreak, encouraging all Cal students, faculty and staff—regardless of their vaccination history—to receive an additional dose of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine, or MMR.

Most people receive two doses of MMR, with the first administered at 12 to 15 months of age and the second given any time at least four weeks after the first dose.

Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus originating from the mouth, nose or throat of an infected person.

“University Health Services and the City of Berkeley’s Public Health Division are working closely with the California Department of Public Health to limit (the) spread of the disease,” the alert read.

Members of the UC Berkeley community should review their vaccination history, and health officials recommend that people seek vaccination if they are not sure whether they have received two doses of MMR. more

Nearly Half of U.S. Lives in Household Receiving Government Benefit

Families were more dependent on government programs than ever last year.

Nearly half, 48.5%, of the population lived in a household that received some type of government benefit in the first quarter of 2010, according to Census data. Those numbers have risen since the middle of the recession when 44.4% lived households receiving benefits in the third quarter of 2008.

The share of people relying on government benefits has reached a historic high, in large part from the deep recession and meager recovery, but also because of the expansion of government programs over the years. (See a timeline on the history of government benefits programs here.)

Means-tested programs, designed to help the needy, accounted for the largest share of recipients last year. Some 34.2% of Americans lived in a household that received benefits such as food stamps, subsidized housing, cash welfare or Medicaid (the federal-state health care program for the poor).

Another 14.5% lived in homes where someone was on Medicare (the health care program for the elderly). Nearly 16% lived in households receiving Social Security. more

UN raises death toll in Syria unrest to 2,900

The UN's human rights office has raised its tally of people killed during seven months of unrest in Syria to over 2,900.

Rupert Colville said the names of the dead have all been confirmed and likely include some members of the security forces.

The figure represents an increase of at least 200 since the beginning of September.

Since mid-March, Bashar Assad's regime in Syria has cracked down on protesters leading movements similar to those that have ousted other Arab autocrats this year.

The UN's announcement Thursday comes two days after Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced Canada is toughening and expanding its sanctions against Syria.

The new sanctions freeze the assets of 27 more people and 12 entities in the country. The expanded measures include travel restrictions, and a prohibition on dealings with members of the regime and those who provide it with support. source

Richest Canadians list shows fortunes "decreasing"

It seems that some of Canada's rich, haven't been getting richer lately.

Canadian Business magazine says many of the country's wealthiest people have seen their fortunes shrink this past year.

Toronto's Thomson family, who've topped the top-100 list for years, saw their massive wealth shrink an estimated 8.7 per cent to $21.34 billion.

Also a little worse off this year is supermarket magnate Galen Weston — though still not struggling to keep food on the table.

He's second on the list with $8 billion — down 5.8 per cent from last year.

The Irving family of Saint John, New Brunswick comes in third with $7.8 billion — up 4.5 per cent from 2010.

The Rogers family is fourth with $5.94 billion — down 1.3 per cent.

Vancouver's Jim Pattison is next at $5.73 billion — up 3.7 per cent.

Then it's the Saputo family of Montreal with $4.34 billion — up a whopping 23.5 per cent in just one year. more

Amanda Knox may know 'truth' about murder, judge says

The Italian appeals court judge who was part of the jury which acquitted Amanda Knox said in a TV interview Wednesday night that the American and her ex-boyfriend might know the "real truth" about who killed her British roommate and could even be responsible.

In his first public comments since Knox and her Italian co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito, were acquitted Monday night, Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellmann stressed on state TV that the acquittals "resulted from the truth that was created in the "trial."

"But the real truth could be different," Hellmann added. more

Afghanistan appeals for aid as drought looms

Afghanistan is appealing for $142m (£92m) to feed 2.6 million people this winter as it faces the worst drought for a decade.

The agriculture minister described the situation as extremely serious, with 14 provinces - about half the country - in the north and east hit by drought.

Many farmers have sold their livestock and will now depend on food aid to keep alive during winter.

The World Food Programme has issued an urgent appeal for assistance.

Agriculture Minister Mohammed Asif Rahimi said that Afghanistan had not been able to develop the systems necessary to deal with shocks like this on its own.

"Lower harvests due to drought, and rising food prices world-wide, have created an emergency for Afghans in the north," he said, adding that food support would be needed for the next six months. more

Bank of England injects further £75 billion into economy

The Bank of England has said it will inject a further £75bn into the economy through quantitative easing (QE).

The Bank has already pumped £200bn into the economy by buying assets such as government bonds, in an attempt to boost lending by commercial banks.

But this is the first time it has added to its QE programme since 2009. There have been recent calls for it to step in again to aid the fragile recovery.

The Bank also held interest rates at the record low of 0.5%.

On Wednesday, data showed the UK economy grew by 0.1% between April and June, which was less than previously thought.

"In the United Kingdom, the path of output has been affected by a number of temporary factors, but the available indicators suggest that the underlying rate of growth has also moderated," the Bank said in a statement.

"The deterioration in the outlook has made it more likely that inflation will undershoot the 2% target in the medium term.

"In the light of that shift in the balance of risks, and in order to keep inflation on track to meet the target over the medium term, the committee judged that it was necessary to inject further monetary stimulus into the economy." more

Afghanistan: A marine's journey to hell and back again

A new wave of films documenting the war in Afghanistan is proving more realistic than ever - with the latest following an injured marine having difficulties adjusting to life at home.

In July 2009, hundreds of US marines from the 8th Regiment's 2nd Battalion landed deep behind hostile lines in southern Afghanistan at the start of a major assault against the Taliban. Within hours they were surrounded and attacked from all sides.

In the fighting that followed, one marine was killed and several others collapsed from heat exhaustion.

Amid the chaos of battle, a photojournalist embedded with Echo Company, Danfung Dennis, was handed a precious bottle of water by a 25-year-old sergeant, Nathan Harris.

It was the start of a friendship that would change both their lives.

"Sgt Harris was an exceptional leader," says Dennis.

"He had done two deployments already to Iraq and Afghanistan and he was the first marine to step off the helicopter during the assault.

"We slept in the same dust, ate the same instant meals and learned to trust one another." more

World's largest solar bridge project gets underway in London

Work on the world's largest solar bridge has started in central London.

The new solar roof spanning Blackfriars Railway Bridge above the River Thames will cover more than 6,000 square meters when finished, according to developers.

Over 4,400 individual photovoltaic panels are expected to produce around 900,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year, providing the station with half of its energy needs, according to Solar Century, the UK company installing the solar roof.

Annual CO2 emissions are also expected to be reduced by more than 500 tons. more

Wall Street protests mark 20th day Thursday



Thursday marks the 20th day of Wall Street protests and the grassroots demonstrations against income inequality, corporate greed and other social ills appear to be picking up steam.

The crowds at the "Occupy Wall Street" rally on Wednesday seemed to be the largest since the protests started. At the event, protesters and officers scuffled and New York police arrested 28 people for various offenses including one facing charges of assaulting an officer.

Thousands marched from lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park -- considered a rallying point for the largely leaderless group -- to Foley Square near City Hall.

While the fledgling movement has struggled in its definition, demonstrators appear steadfast in their general criticism of the country's wealthiest 1% and its purported influence.

The group seemed to gain momentum after a September 24 pepper spray incident involving protesters and New York police officers. more

Vandals paint swastikas on walls of Jewish holy site

Worshippers who came to pray at Joseph's Tomb, a Jewish holy site in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, found swastikas and graffiti sprayed on the walls.

Israel Defense Forces tried to cover up the graffiti with white paint, a spokesman said.

It is unclear when the graffiti was sprayed on the walls. Joseph's Tomb is under Palestinian Authority rule and Jewish worshippers arrive every couple of months to pray at the holy site. The visit to the tomb is coordinated by the Israeli forces, who escorted the 1,300 people who came to pray overnight Wednesday.

The Israeli Civil Administration filed a complaint with the Palestinian Authority.

"Joseph's Tomb was abandoned exactly 11 years ago after Palestinians forcefully took over the place. According to the Oslo agreements, it should be under Israeli rule and this proves that freedom of religion and worship can only be achieved if Israel controls the tomb," said Dani Dayan, the Yesha Council chairman, an umbrella group for settlements.

The discovery of the graffiti comes a few days after the burning of a mosque in the Israeli village of Tuba Zangariyye, which led to confrontations between residents and Israeli police. more

Police: Raid frees 30 from alleged forced prostitution



Police in Barcelona have arrested 39 members of a suspected Chinese mafia and freed 30 young Chinese women whom they allegedly forced into prostitution, a senior officer of the Catalan regional police told CNN Wednesday.

The arrests occurred earlier this week after a long investigation. It was the biggest strike to date against Chinese-run mafias involved in forced prostitution in the northeast region of Catalonia, whose capital is Barcelona, said the senior officer, Xavier Cortes, head of the Catalan police unit that fights human trafficking.

In recent years, the Chinese crime syndicate had crowded out others from the prostitution market in the fashionable Eixample district of Barcelona by using forced prostitution and charging below-market rates, Cortes said.

The women were forced to work in unsanitary conditions and in marathon sessions, seeing eight clients in a row for an hour each, he said.

After initial arraignments, a judge ordered 33 of the suspects to remain in prison. Six others were released but remain under investigation, and must check in regularly with authorities, Cortes said. more

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake JUJUY, ARGENTINA - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck Jujuy, Argentina at a depth of 213 km (132.6 miles), the quake hit at 17:05:29 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 144 km ( 89.3 miles) Southwest of Villazon, Argentina
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

'My night stick's gonna get a work out tonight': NYPD officer caught bragging about beating protesters hrs before violence on the streets of New York

A NYPD officer was caught bragging about using his nightstick on Wall Street protesters just hours before violence broke out between demonstrators and police last night.

In the video, which appears to have been shot just hours before last night's clashes, the officer can be heard saying 'my little night stick's going to get a work out tonight' as he saunters past a police barricade.

The shocking recording comes as unions lent their muscle to the long-running protest against Wall Street and economic inequality, fuelling speculation about how long the camp-out in lower Manhattan - and related demonstrations around the country - will continue. Read More


Billy Bob Thornton's Estranged daughter sentenced to 20 years in jail for death of best friend's baby - 6th Oct 2011

The estranged daughter of actor Billy Bob Thornton has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the death of a friend's one-year-old daughter during an overnight stay at her home.

Amanda Brumfield was sentenced today, four months after she was convicted of aggravated manslaughter of a child.

She was acquitted of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse charges.

Brumfield claimed that Olivia Madison Garcia hit her head after falling while trying to climb out of a playpen.

Olivia was the daughter of Brumfield's friend Heather Murphy.

Prosecutors said it was 'impossible' that a fall from that height would cause a three-and-a-half inch fracture on the girl's skull and bleeding and swelling to her brain.

Her sentencing came after her application for a new trial was denied.

The 32-year-old was found guilty in June. Read More

Australian boy, 14, holidaying with parents in Bali faces 12 years in brutal jail 'for possession of marijuana' - 6th Oct 2011

A 14-year-old boy is being held in a harsh prison cell on the holiday island of Bali for drug possession - one of the youngest foreigners to be arrested in Indonesia.

The young Australian faces up to 12 years in jail after being arrested for allegedly being in possession of 6.9 grams of marijuana.

The teenager, who was on holiday with his parents and friends, was said last night to be crying in his cell at Denpasar's police headquarters.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph said it had been told by a source on the island that the boy bought the marijuana because he felt sorry for a man who gave him a hard luck story. Read More

Malcolm White held for attempted murder after 'blasting burglar with shotgun during raid by two intruders at rural home' - 6th Oct 2011

A watchmaker has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a suspected burglar was allegedly shot in the leg during a botched raid in a quiet rural village.

The man, named locally as clock repairer Malcolm White, is believed to have caught two raiders trying to steal his new Audi from outside his £420,000 home in Whitbourne, Herefordshire, last night.

The pair are suspected of fleeing in a getaway car but were forced to stop seven miles away in the village of Leigh Sinton, over the border in Worcestershire, because the man, in his 20s, was bleeding profusely.

Police were called to reports of a man bleeding from a gunshot wound outside a Chinese takeaway about 8pm and he was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital with non-life threatening injuries to his right leg.

He has not been arrested and is still receiving medical treatment but a second man, in his 20s, has been arrested on suspicion of burglary. Read More

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake VANUATU - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck Vanuatu at a depth of 142.9 km (88.8 miles), the quake hit at 15:26:22 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 73 km ( 45 miles) NNE of Luganville, Espiritu, Vanuatu
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake TARAPACA, CHILE - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck Tarapaca, Chile at a depth of 98.1 km (61 miles), the quake hit at 14:56:34 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 131 km ( 81 miles) ENE of Iquique, Tarapaca, Chile
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the Kermadec Islands Region at a depth of 69.9 km (43.4miles), the quake hit at 13:59:27 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 91 km ( 56 miles) East of Raoul Island, Kermadec Island
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

Now even LEGAL immigrants are fleeing Alabama over tough new immigration law - 6th Oct 2011

Tough new Alabama immigration laws are forcing even legal migrants workers to flee the southern state over fears they will be deported.

Regulations introduced last week seen as the toughest in America have caused a mass exodus in the state, which experts say could cripple Alabama's economy.

A staggering one quarter of commercial building workers are thought to have left the state since tight regulations were introduced.

Masses of legal Hispanic workers are leaving Alabama because family members and friends don't have the correct paperwork and they fear they could be jailed.

Many are fleeing to Tennessee or Washington, while those who are staying are 'trying not to go out as much'.

Under strict rules brought in last week, schools have to check the immigration status of newly enrolled children.

Immigration laws in Alabama also allow police to ask for papers showing citizenship or immigration status during traffic stops if they have a 'reasonable suspicion' that the person may be in the country illegally. Read More

Wayne Rooney's Dad Arrested In Betting Probe - 6th Oct 2011

Manchester United star Wayne Rooney's father was among nine people arrested by police investigating allegations of illegal betting, Sky sources say.

Scottish Premier League footballer Steve Jennings was also among those detained as part of the probe into suspicious gambling patterns around a match between his Motherwell side and Hearts last December.

Jennings, who is from Merseyside, was sent off late in the game for directing foul and abusive language at the referee as his side lost 2-1. Jennings denies any wrongdoing.

A spokesman for Merseyside Police told Sky News: "Detectives have today executed warrants at 10 addresses across Merseyside and Glasgow and arrested nine men as part of an investigation into suspicious betting activity.

"The arrests are the culmination of a joint operation with the Gambling Commission and the nine who have been arrested for conspiracy to defraud are being interviewed by detectives.

"Those arrested are a 29-year-old from Bootle, a 48-year-old from West Derby, a 54-year-old from Norris Green, a 26-year-old from Croxteth, a 22-year-old from Kirkdale, a 31-year-old from Litherland, a 68-year-old from Fazakerley, a 36-year-old from Kirkby and a 26-year-old from Glasgow." Source

6.2 Magnitude Earthquake JUJUY, ARGENTINA - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck Jujuy, Argentina at a depth of 9.5 km (5.9 miles), the quake hit at 11:12:29 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 139 km ( 87 miles) ENE of Salta, Argentina
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN HONSHU, JAPAN - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Eastern Honshu, Japan at a depth of 29.6 km (18.4miles), the quake hit at 10:37:17 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 36 km ( 22 miles) SSE of Toyama, Honshu, Japan
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

10billion-year-old supernovas spotted in the Subaru Deep Field - 6th Oct 2011

The oldest supernovas ever seen have been uncovered in a record-breaking field of 150 exploding stars.

A project spearheaded by Tel Aviv University researchers has revealed the massive number of supernovas in the Subaru Deep Field, a patch of sky the size of a full moon.

Out of the 150 supernovas observed, 12 were among the most distant and ancient ever seen - some 10billion years old.

Supernovas - stars in the process of exploding - open a window onto the history of the elements of Earth's periodic table as well as the history of the universe.

The most ancient explosions, far enough away that their light is reaching us only now, can be difficult to spot. Read More

EU votes through inflation-busting £5billion budget increase, defying Cameron's calls for a freeze... Like they were going to take any notice of him

The European Parliament has voted through an inflation-busting £5billion increase in the EU budget - defying David Cameron's calls for a freeze.

MEPs have agreed a rise of nearly 4.9 per cent - more than double the two per cent inflation-only increase the Prime Minister had backed.

The shock move came soon after William Hague told the Tory party conference in Manchester that EU costs were under control.

Mr Cameron had said that a real-terms freeze made sense at a time when everyone is having to be more prudent.

But generous MEPs on the budgets committee have now capitulated to the European Commission's original demand for a budget of more than £112bn.

The budget this year was £107bn - a 2.9 per cent rise on last year in the face of MEP demands for a huge six per cent rise and a call from Mr Cameron for an absolute freeze.

Referring to that argument, Mr Hague told the party conference in Manchester: 'When we said that the costs of the EU budget were out of control we were right, and now we have had unprecedented success in bringing it under control.'

UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen blasted Mr Hague's calm attitude. Read More

Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell vows to clear his name after being arrested over child sex abuse - 6th Oct 2011

Coronation Street favourite Michael Le Vell today vowed to clear his name after being arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a schoolgirl.

Le Vell, who plays mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap opera, was arrested at his £750,000 home in Hale, an upmarket suburb of Manchester, before being taken to a police station where he was held for questioning.

With his lawyer present, the 46-year-old actor - a married father of two - spent eight hours answering police questions after a teenage girl made a formal complaint.

He has been freed on bail until next month and is said to have gone into hiding to plan a vigorous defence with his lawyers.

Today the actor issued a statement in which he said: 'I strenuously deny these allegations and will do everything in my power to prove my innocence.'

A source close to the case told the Sun that Le Vell - real name Michael Turner - had been 'going through a private hell' since finding out about the allegation.

'These accusations have sent his head spinning,' the source said, adding that Le Vell was determined to carry on working. Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE COAST OF NICARAGUA - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck near the Coast of Nicaragua at a depth of 59.8 km (37.2 miles), the quake hit at 08:38:10 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 99 km ( 61 miles) SSW of Leon, Nicaragua
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 6th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 31.2 km (19.4 miles), the quake hit at 08:37:32 UTC Thursday 6th October 2011.
The epicenter was 157 km ( 97 miles) East of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

Fifth shark attack in La Réunion‎ - 6th Oct 2011

A French man had a terrifying ten minute wait in the water after a shark attacked him in his kayak and left him shouting out for help.

"It attacked the kayak's hull and took out a chunk," Jean-Pierre Castellani told local radio station Réunion Première after the attack. "I managed to keep my balance and bashed it with the paddle on its head. That made it flee."

"I then capsized and spent ten minutes shouting before being picked up by a boat," he said. "When I found myself in the water I didn't know if it would come back a second time."

The 51-year-old was out in the waters off Saint-Gilles on the west of the island on Wednesday morning when he was attacked by a tiger shark.

The new attack has prompted authorities in the Indian Ocean island to extend the zone where swimming and water activities are banned.

In the last attack, on September 19th, experienced surfer and former bodyboard champion, Mathieu Schiller, was killed.

The wave of attacks is having an impact on tourism to the island, which is one of France's overseas departments.

"Tourists who came here to enjoy the sea are fed up and you see fewer people on the beaches," said one island habitant, reported by daily newspaper Le Parisien. Read More