Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hundreds arrested at Indonesia protest for independence

Indonesian security forces arrested about 300 protesters who gathered Wednesday in the eastern province of West Papua to declare independence.

Soldiers swarmed in soon after members of the Papuan Peoples' Congress read their declaration in the provincial capital, Jayapura.

"The reason we broke in was because the Congress violated the permit. The permit was only to talk about the basic rights of Papuans," said Papua police Senior Commissioner Wachyono.

Wachyono, like many in Indonesia, go by one name.

The soldiers fired shots in the air and used batons and canes to disperse the crowd, two prominent Papuan figures said.

Police did not dispute the account, but said the crowd fought back, resulting in about 20 injuries.

Ruben Wagai, a member of Papua's local legislature, said three people were killed. Victor Yeimo, a spokesman for the West Papua National Committee, said at least two died. more

Violence erupts in Syrian village

Military personnel were killed and injured when Syrian soldiers and gunmen believed to be dissidents battled on Thursday, an activist group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the clashes occurred in the Homs province village of Al-Burhaniya, located in the western part of the country.

Two of the army's armored personnel carriers were immobilized in the fighting, the group said. The precise numbers of deaths and injuries were not immediately known. source

After Gadhafi, Libya's oil will flow - slowly - 20th Oct 2011

Even with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi dead, analysts say it will likely take years for the country's oil production to return to full capacity.

It's thought that Libya is producing about 350,000 barrels of oil per day, up from near zero during the depths of the conflict earlier this year.

Most of this oil goes to Europe, given its proximity and the previous longstanding U.S. embargo against the dictatorship. Italy's Eni (E) is the largest operator in the country.

Libya could probably double its current production relatively quickly, which at current prices might fetch $80 million or so daily on the open market. But a return to its prewar output of 1.6 million barrels a day, which could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars, is slow and complicated work.

Extensive repairs on old damaged oil fields will likely be required, and the challenge of Libya's new fractured leadership agreeing on how to divvy up the oil wealth remains daunting. Read More

Sad survivors of exotic animal bloodbath - 20th Oct 2011

Caged and alone, the sad survivors of the exotic animal bloodbath are now in the care of the Columbus Zoo.

Six animals - three leopards, a grizzly bear and two monkeys - were captured and taken to the Zoo after they were freed by their owner before he killed himself.

'We are happy to report they all seem to be doing very well," zoo spokeswoman Patti Peters said in a statement Thursday. Read More

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake GUJARAT, INDIA - 20th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Gujarat, India at a depth of 15.5 km (9.6 miles), the quake hit at 17:18:35 UTC Thursday 20th October 2011.
The epicenter was 129 km ( 80 miles) SSW from Rajkot, Gujarat, India
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

Our New World no longer needs a war crimes international criminal court as the Slaughter continues

Note: So here we have it. They finally managed to execute Gaddafi, with headlines and images around the world, like the image you see here, making fun of a leader that was once said to have given his people wealth unseen in the rest of Africa.

So is it OK to execute a tyrant? Parade the image around the world? And disrespect the dead in this way? If so, where are the images of the TERRORIST leader Saddam?


Over the past few months many have been executed without even having been given a chance of appearing in a war criminal court. Why are we paying for this, when the leaders of war have become judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one, and why are they doing nothing about YEMEN, SYRIA, IVORY COAST... and the list can go on... ?

They and only they decide who they wish to help and for whatever reason the rest of the innocent people go on being slaughtered without the luxury of international help and special shoot-to-kill policies that certain oil rich nations seem to benefit from.

Finally, recently you would have noticed in the news that a group of American troops was sent into Uganda on a mission to assassinate capture another dictator. Guess what? Uganda is also rich with benefits: oil.

Megler Washington Seismic activity continues today, still no earthquakes listed - 20th Oct 2011

LkCa 15 b, A planet is born: Telescope captures first image of new world forming round a star - 20th Oct 2011

LkCa 15 b is 450 light years away from Earth and is 'building itself' out of dust and gas. This impression by University of Hawaii artists shows how the planet sits near the star, while a disc of dust lies further out. It's the youngest planet ever found.

A University of Hawaii astronomer used the twin 10-metre Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea to capture the first direct image of a planet forming around a star.

The scientists used mirrors to 'cancel out' starlight. It's usually impossible to capture such 'births' because the parent star's light outshines them.

The planet - called LkCa 15 b, is hot 'protoplanet' surrounded by cooler dust and gas, which is falling into the still-forming planet. LkCa 15b will become a Jupiter-like gas giant. Read More

Greek protesters take to the streets of Athens again as it emerges second rescue package for cash-strapped country might not save it from bankruptcy

Greek protesters have taken to the streets of Athens for a second successive day over the country's rescue package which might not be enough to save Greece from bankruptcy.

Angry protesters swelled into a crowd of thousands outside the Parliament buildings in Athens today, as tensions over the country's debt crisis threatened to spill over into violent clashes with police once again.

Greeks frustrated at the strict 'austerity laws' set to be approved this evening launched a 'general strike' outside Parliament which is set to last for 48 hours.

The protests had escalated yesterday into violence against police with petrol bombs and and rocks, and the demonstration threatened to turn ugly again today.

Inspectors from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund have described Greece's debt dynamics as 'extremely worrying.'

Greece is said to have missed its deficit-cutting targets, while an inspectors' report added that the pace of its reforms is insufficient. Read More

Anti-capitalist protesters could do what the Nazis couldn't and force St Paul's Cathedral to close its doors - 20th Oct 2011

It has survived two world wars, but anti-capitalist activists who have set up camp outside St Paul's Cathedral could force it to shuts its doors to the public for the first time in living memory.

On the 379th anniversary of the birth of Sir Christopher Wren, the cathedral's architect, church authorities revealed the house of worship may have to close because of growing concerns over the safety of worshippers and tourists.

The cathedral did not even shut its doors during the Second World War and became a symbol of British resistance during the Blitz.

The makeshift camp was inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York which led to other demonstrations all over the world. Read More

Philippines seizes 25 Chinese boats in tense waters

The Philippines said Wednesday it had seized 25 small Chinese boats after its navy confronted a larger fishing vessel in disputed South China Sea waters.

Tuesday's encounter followed a series of incidents between the two nations in the strategically vital South China Sea this year that have led to a spike in diplomatic tensions.

Philippine authorities said the bigger Chinese vessel was towing the 25 wooden, motorised dinghies near Reed Bank, an atoll just 150 kilometres (90 miles) from the western Philippine island of Palawan.

"The Chinese vessel strayed into our waters," Philippine foreign department spokesman Raul Hernandez told AFP.

However he sought to downplay the significance of the encounter, describing it as a "little incident" and saying the Philippines was considering returning the wooden boats, which had no people on them.

The bigger vessel cut loose the dinghies when a Philippine navy gunboat approached the Chinese party, regional military chief Major General Juancho Sabban said.

"We want to make it clear that there was no hostile intention on our part," Sabban told AFP, dismissing some local media reports that suggested the gunboat had deliberately rammed the main Chinese fishing vessel.

"The normal procedure is to approach them and inform them that they are in Philippine territory and, if they are fishing, they should have permission from the government. more

Occupy San Diego protesters maced by police

Occupy Tokyo 2011.10.15(English)

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake WEST OF MACQUARIE ISLAND - 20th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck West of Macquarie Islands at a depth of 15.2 km (9.4 miles), the quake hit at 16:07:24 UTC Thursday 20th October 2011.
The epicenter was 1191 km ( 740 miles) SSW from Hobart, Australia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

Hezbollah delegation visits Moscow (by invitation)

A delegation from the Lebanese Hezbollah movement arrived in Moscow for a three day visit on Wednesday at the invitation of the State Duma, Lebanese website Al Manar reports.

The delegation will be headed by the leader of the Loyalty to the Resistance group, Mohamed Raad, and will include the leader of the parliamentary information committee Hassan Fadlallah and the deputy of the ruling council Nawar As-Sakhili.

The delegation is due to visit Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, as well as the council of Muslims in European Russia and the Foreign Ministry, and will also give lectures at Moscow universities.

The delegation will discuss the situation in the Middle East including the recent events in Libya, Palestine, Syria and Yemen.

Hezbollah is a paramilitary and political organization originating in Lebanon’s Shiite population, fighting for an Islamic state in Lebanon. The group is considered a terrorist state by many Western governments including Israel, the US, UK and many European states, but not by Russia. source

Hezbollah, Israel war imminent, both sides well prepared

Hezbollah is well prepared to engage in war with Israel, as the Jewish state plans for a possible third war against Lebanon amid regional unrest, Al-Joumhouria newspaper reported Wednesday.

“Hezbollah is in a state of alert and it anticipates an Israeli attack on Lebanon at any moment,” security sources told the paper, adding that the party was fully prepared for a “second round” with Israel.

According to the Lebanese daily, political sources close to Hezbollah said the party has received a wide range of missiles, including “thousands of rockets, advanced anti aircraft [weapons], long-range missiles as well as land to air and sea missiles.”

Hezbollah now has the capabilities necessary to deter Israel’s air force, even at high altitudes, and also has advanced anti-aircraft missiles. The party has sought to keep this information under wraps in an effort to retain the element of surprise should there be a confrontation with Israel, the paper quoted sources as saying.

The Daily Star reported earlier this year that Israel has been building up its military capabilities since the end of the July-August 2006 war by introducing new weapons such as a multi-tiered anti-rocket shield and a tank protection system. It has also developed a deterrence strategy that would directly identify and destroy Hezbollah's fields of operations.

In April, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, citing U.S. Embassy cables from 2009 and released by WikiLeaks, said Israel expected the next war to last two months during which Hezbollah would likely fire between 24,000 to 36,000 missiles into Israel, about 6,000 aimed at Tel Aviv. more

China demands the Philippines return boats promptly, unconditionally

China on Thursday demanded the Philippines return small Chinese boats promptly and unconditionally after a Philippine military vessel confronted a Chinese fishing vessel.

"China has presented its stance to the Philippines. We demand that the Philippines return the small Chinese boats unconditionally and as soon as possible, and properly handle related issues," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a daily press briefing.

On Tuesday, a Philippine military vessel entered the sea area neighboring the Liyue Tan, also known as the Reed Bank, of the Nansha archipelago in the South China Sea and tried to approach a Chinese fishing vessel towing 25 smaller, unoccupied boats, Jiang said.

The propeller of the Philippine vessel got tangled with the rope, disconnecting the Chinese fishing vessel from the 25 smaller boats.

"The Chinese fishermen and the fishing vessel are currently safe," Jiang said.

She said China has undisputed sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and neighboring sea.

"It is completely justified for Chinese fishermen to fish in areas where generations of Chinese have fished," Jiang said.

Jiang said the Philippines' behavior impinged upon the legitimate rights of Chinese fishermen. source

9th Tibetan Dies after Setting Herself on Fire

Wayne Bishop FREED due to ‘human rights’ is now accused of assault ...well I must say didn't see that coming!

Note: to the Human Rights Lawyers freeing criminals or preventing Criminals from being kicked out of our Country, read this or better still look at the cases where criminals have hurt or KILLED children..I guess your paycheck and easy weak Brussels System is more attractive than that of a human life. The United Kingdom needs to not only regain it's backbone but also it's own legal system.

A burglar freed from jail because his five children would suffer if he remained behind bars has been accused of assault within a month of his release.

Wayne Bishop, of Clifton, Nottingham, hit the national headlines when he won his appeal against an eight-month prison sentence for burglary and dangerous driving in May.

When he was released on May 27, after serving a month of his sentence, he told how he was overjoyed to be reunited with his children.

But Bishop is then alleged to have assaulted a man called David Parsons on June 19 in Broxtowe, Nottingham.

Robert Wheelhouse, 39, of Clifton, Nottingham, is also accused of taking part in the alleged assault.

They are charged with assault by beating, and are due to stand trial at Nottingham magistrates on Monday. Read More

Note: Most likely with a human rights wing-man waiting in line, I Wonder what his punishment will be this time, I will take a stab in the dark call and predict a fine of no more than 100 GBP

Franco-German split threatens EU summit

Divisions between Germany and France over the role of the European Central Bank in shoring up the eurozone and the size of a haircut on Greek debt are threatening the outcome of a three-day EU crisis summit this weekend.

The sense of doom and gloom has been compounded by Germany's announcement that it had nearly halved its growth forecast next year compounding fears about a slowdown and deepening euro zone debt crisis.

Berlin cut its forecast for 2012 growth to 1pc from 1.8pc, and its 2011 forecast to 2.9pc from 3pc.

The move followed a French warning on Tuesday that France would not meet its growth target of 1.75pc in 2012.

JosĂ© Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, pleaded for compromise as German opposition to involving the ECB in leveraging the “firepower” of the eurozone’s European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) hardened.

“The political decisions should be taken by Sunday, even if some implementation measures may follow. But if there is one aspect without which all the others will lack credibility this is indeed the need to reinforce the euro zone's firewalls,” he said. more

Satellite images of Earth show human occupation of planet

Britons need to spend extra £736 to maintain living standards

The cost of living is rising so quickly that people need to spend an extra £736 just to maintain the same living standards as one year ago, new research shows.

Household incomes are being decimated by spiraling inflation, which means that people's money is spreading less far. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) hit a three year high of 5.2 per cent in September, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures released yesterday.

High inflation means that UK households will collectively need to find an extra £46 billion simply to have the same standard of living that they had this time last year. This is equivalent to £736 for every person or £1,768 for every household in the UK, according to MGM Advantage, the pension company.

In households where the main occupant is aged between 65 and 74, an extra £1,104 is needed for the same lifestyle to be maintained.

Rising energy bills, petrol prices and food prices were behind the rise in inflation. The ONS said that the average household electricity bill rose by 7.5 per cent between August and September, while the average gas bill rose by 13 per cent. The price of clothing also rose by over 4 per cent in the one month period.

Aston Goody, a director at MGM Advantage, said that high inflation is “significantly” affecting the everyday lives of people, especially pensioners. more

Arizona ski slopes using recycled sewage to make snow: Indians oppose this action

A ski area in the US state of Arizona hopes to become the latest in a small number of resorts using "recycled" sewer water to make snow. But the Hopi Indian tribe aims to stop what they describe as the desecration of their sacred mountain.

The San Francisco Peaks tower over the baking Arizona desert. Stands of white barked aspens, spruce and ponderosa pines dot the high tundra landscape, and the mountain is the highest in the state.

The US Forest Service, which manages the land, recommends it for hikers seeking solitude in the wilderness. The mountain is a holy entity for the Hopi and other Indian tribes who lived in the area centuries before Europeans arrived.

On the mountain's western face lies the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort, a narrow 777-acre block of land poking 10,000ft (3,048m) into the wilderness area, which surrounds it on three sides.

People have been skiing there since 1938. But Arizona is one of the driest states in the US, and a recent run of dry winters has left the operators scrambling to find water to make artificial snow to keep skiers - and their dollars - on the slopes. more

2,000 sharks slaughtered for fins off Colombia

About 2,000 sharks appear to have been slaughtered for their fins in a Pacific Ocean marine sanctuary off Colombia, the Guardian reports.

Hammerhead, Galápagos and whale sharks were among the carcasses research divers found in the waters of the Malpelo preserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site, about 300 miles off Colombia. They saw fishing trawlers -- 10 flying the Costa Rican flag -- entering the zone illegally, said Sandra Bessudo, a marine biologist who is the top environmental adviser to President Juan Manuel Santos.

"When the divers dove, they started finding a large number of animals without their fins. They didn't see any alive," she said. Video shot by one diver shows the bodies of dead sharks on the ocean floor.

Costa Rica's Foreign Ministry said that it "energetically condemns" the reported finning and that Costa Rican-flagged ships would be prosecuted if they were involved. more

Copper Wiring Traded For Crack as Thefts Continue

Copper thieves are getting bolder, but the metal that can be sold for cash at scrapyards may be making its first stop on the streets and traded for crack cocaine.

In recent months, thieves have stolen copper wiring from South Florida churches, businesses and even from street lights, in hopes of making a quick buck.

Miami-Dade County has created a task force to help legitimate buyers and sellers catch copper crooks.

"We now have systems in place where we have to ask for fingerprints, we have to get pictures. We take a picture of the material. We do more than what a bank does," said scrapyard owner Van Kono.

The Scrap Dragon is a computer program used to document a seller. It asks for driver's license information and proof of ownership. It's also linked to the police. The program has been effective for Mark Kram and his family's 40-year-old scrapyard business. . "It has been wonderful because we know how.to help stop this theft," Kram said. more

‘Occupy’ May Hold National Assembly In Philadelphia

Mayor Michael Nutter was reacting cautiously on Wednesday to word that national organizers of “Occupy Wall Street” and similar protests across the country plan to gather in Philadelphia next summer.

The plans are found in a document posted online by an “Occupy Wall Street” working group, titled “The 99 Percent Declaration.” The document proposes a National General Assembly to be held in Philadelphia starting on July 4th, 2012 and running through next October.

The proposal says the Assembly would operate similarly to the original “Committees of Correspondence” — the Founding Fathers who met in Philadelphia prior to what the group refers to as “the first American Revolution.”

It was not immediately clear if such a gathering will actually take place, but city officials are aware of the proposal and Mayor Nutter says he wants to talk about it with the organizers.

“I understand national Occupy would want to be in Philadelphia — this is birthplace of freedom, liberty, and democracy for the United States of America — so I look forward to a conversation,” Nutter told KYW Newsradio. “We need to better understand what it is they want to do, where and what it’s all about. But I welcome the discussion.” more

Jobless Claims Straddle Key Level; Big Upturn Still Elusive

Applications for unemployment benefits have fallen to a six-month low, according to a four-week averaged calculated by the government.

Some economists said the steady decline signals fewer layoffs and possibly stronger job growth in the months ahead. But they cautioned that employers are not yet hiring at healthy levels.

Weekly applications dropped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 403,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average fell for the fourth straight week to 403,000. A month ago it was 422,250.

"This decline in initial claims signals the potential for an improvement in the pace of job creation in October relative to recent months," said John Ryding, an economist with RDQ Economics. "However, we are still waiting for that decisive move in claims below the 400,000 mark to send a stronger signal that payroll growth is running at a pace that will begin to make sustained inroads into unemployment."

Many economists say applications need to fall consistently below 375,000 to signal sustainable job growth. They haven't been below that level since February. more

An Unprecedented 26 Million Americans Are Now Underemployed

While the number of unemployed workers has held steady at around 14 million in recent months, another telling measure of frustration in the labor market—the number of underemployed individuals—rose for a third consecutive month in September, by almost a half of a million people.

Almost 9.3 million Americans are considered underemployed, defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as working part-time for economic reasons, such as unfavorable business conditions or seasonal declines in demand.

That's up from just over 8 million in July, but down from a peak of about 9.5 million in September 2010. In addition, about 2.5 million individuals are considered "marginally attached to the labor force," meaning they were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. (They are not counted as unemployed because they had not looked for a job in the past four weeks prior to the survey.)

Put together, almost 26 million Americans are either unemployed, marginally attached to the labor force, or involuntarily working part-time—a number experts say is unprecedented. more

US 'Misery Index' Rises to Highest Since 1983

An unofficial gauge of human misery in the United States rose last month to a 28-year high as Americans struggled with rising inflation and high unemployment.

The misery index — which is simply the sum of the country's inflation and unemployment rates — rose to 13.0, pushed up by higher price data the government reported on Wednesday.

The data underscores the extent that Americans continue to suffer even two years after a deep recession ended, with a weak economic recovery imperiling President Barack Obama's hopes of winning reelection next year.

Inez Stallworth, an underwriting assistant for a financial services company, recently gave up her car, in part because of rising costs for gasoline and groceries.

"I can't fit it in," said the 27-year-old Chicago resident, who said most of her extended family was getting by "paycheck-to-paycheck." Consumer prices rose 3.9 percent in the 12 months through September, the fastest pace in three years.

With gasoline prices high, consumers have less to spend on other things.

Moreover, a rise in overall prices saps economic growth, which is typically measured in inflation-adjusted terms.

The last time the misery index was at current levels was in 1983.

But in 1984 an improving economy probably helped President Ronald Reagan win reelection.

This year, the index has risen more than 2 points. more

A Long, Steep Drop for Americans' Standard of Living

Think life is not as good as it used to be, at least in terms of your wallet? You'd be right about that. The standard of living for Americans has fallen longer and more steeply over the past three years than at any time since the US government began recording it five decades ago.

Bottom line: The average individual now has $1,315 less in disposable income than he or she did three years ago at the onset of the Great Recession – even though the recession ended, technically speaking, in mid-2009. That means less money to spend at the spa or the movies, less for vacations, new carpeting for the house, or dinner at a restaurant.

In short, it means a less vibrant economy, with more Americans spending primarily on necessities. The diminished standard of living, moreover, is squeezing the middle class, whose restlessness and discontent are evident in grass-roots movements such as the tea party and "Occupy Wall Street" and who may take out their frustrations on incumbent politicians in next year's election.

What has led to the most dramatic drop in the US standard of living since at least 1960? One factor is stagnant incomes: Real median income is down 9.8 percent since the start of the recession through this June, according to Sentier Research in Annapolis, Md., citing census bureau data. Another is falling net worth – think about the value of your home and, if you have one, your retirement portfolio. A third is rising consumer prices, with inflation eroding people's buying power by 3.25 percent since mid-2008. more

CDC: Antidepressant use skyrockets 400% in past 20 years

Use of antidepressant drugs has soared nearly 400% since 1988, making the medication the most frequently used by people ages 18-44, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Eleven percent of Americans ages 12 years and older took antidepressants during the 2005-08 study period, the authors write. They add that though the majority of antidepressants were taken to treat depression, the drugs also can be used for anxiety disorders and other conditions.

The data are from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, which included information from 12,637 participants about prescription-drug use, antidepressant use, length of use, severity of depressive symptoms and contact with a health professional.

Mental-health professionals not associated with the survey cited several reasons as possible explanations for the spike:

•The struggling economy and the record number of layoffs and home foreclosures. "These drugs can be very helpful for people who need them,'' says Elaine Ducharme, a psychologist and public educator in Connecticut for the American Psychological Association. "People should expect to be depressed after a layoff. They should not be put on a drug, though, unless they have an acute problem."

•Ad campaigns waged by pharmaceutical companies citing benefits of the drugs.

•Families who might be reimbursed by health insurance companies for a prescription but may delay getting therapy from a mental-health professional because of the cost of treatment. more

Climate change migration warning issued through report

Governments and aid agencies should help the world's poorest to move away from areas likely to be hit by flooding and drought, a UK report says.

The government-commissioned report warns of potential humanitarian disasters because of climate change.

It says the cost of acting now would be much less than the cost of the conflicts and huge loss of life that would otherwise ensue.

The report focused on the issue of human migration patterns.

The Migration and Global Environmental Change Foresight Report is the most detailed study carried out on the effect of flooding, drought and rising sea levels on human migration patterns over the next 50 years.

The government's chief scientist, Professor Sir John Beddington, who commissioned the study, said that environmental change would hit the world's poorest the hardest and that millions of them would inadvertently migrate toward, rather than away from, areas that are most vulnerable.

"[These people] will be trapped in dangerous conditions and unable to be moved to safety," he said. more

Turkey steps up offensive in Iraq after Kurdish raids

A major Turkish military offensive is continuing in northern Iraq, following a deadly attack by Kurdish rebels inside Turkey.

Ankara said 22 battalions, or about 10,000 soldiers, were taking part in the operation in northern Iraq and also south-eastern Turkey.

The troops - including commandos and paramilitary forces - are being backed by war planes and helicopters.

On Tuesday, Kurdish PKK rebels killed 24 soldiers near the Iraqi border.

The attacks in Hakkari province are thought to have inflicted the biggest loss on Turkish forces since 1993 and President Abdullah Gul has vowed to avenge them.

In recent months, violence between the army and Kurdish rebels from the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) has mounted.

PKK guerrillas are seeking greater autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated south-east. more

Ohio tragedy shows wild animals belong in the wild

Exotic animals should live in the wild, not be exploited in profit-motivated zoos -- or worse — as "pets" or backyard oddities by people who have a deeply misguided sense of dominion or ownership.

What happened in Ohio on Tuesday and Wednesday has drawn dramatic attention to the private possession of exotics, an issue that is a major component of Born Free USA's mission to protect wildlife.

On Wednesday, 56 exotic animals — including lions, tigers, bears, giraffes and wolves — were freed from their captivity at a rural residence outside Zanesville. Police report the animals' "owner," 62-year-old Terry Thompson, let the animals out of their cages before he killed himself. Forty-nine of the animals -- including 18 tigers and 17 lions -- were shot dead by law enforcement officers.

Thankfully, other than Thompson's death, no human injuries have been reported as a result of this situation. more

Animal rights group rescues 800 dogs from China meat trade

Nearly 800 dogs were rescued by a Chinese animal protection group last Saturday night in the city of Zigong, in southwest Sichuan province.

The Qiming Center, an animal-rights protection group in Sichuan, pulled off the rescue. Last Friday night, a volunteer tipped off the group that hundreds of caged dogs were being loaded onto trucks in Zigong and headed to various restaurants in Southern Guangxi province. The group dispatched a team of five to block the dog-trader while they posted microblogs online calling for help from animal-loving citizens.

After a standoff and negotiation, the group agreed to pay the dog trader 83,000 yuan ($13,000) to secure the caged dog's freedom, said Qiming president Qiao Wei.

"It's a compromise we took in an effort to let the dogs free—they are visibly suffering for being packed in small cages with very limited space. We spent hours negotiating with the trader," Qiao told CNN in a phone interview. "Finally with the help of local government he was willing to hand over the dogs in exchange for 83,000 yuan—60,000 for personal compensation, another 20,000 for cages that we lack."

Qiming volunteers are now helping settle down the dogs, according to state-run media. more

Fighting erupts at mass rally over Greece austerity bill

Rioters have fought other protesters in Athens where thousands of people are rallying outside parliament to condemn a new round of cuts.

Stones and petrol bombs were hurled and fire extinguishers set off as masked youths battled communist-backed trade unionists near luxury hotels.

The trade unionists, who were tasked with keeping at the rally, appeared to charge back, wielding sticks.

The country is into the second day of a 48-hour general strike.

The Socialist-dominated parliament is expected to give final approval to a new austerity bill on Thursday, after giving it preliminary approval in a first vote late on Wednesday by a margin of 154-141 of the 300 deputies.

The bill, which includes tax hikes and pay cuts, is needed to secure EU and IMF bailout loans.

Civil servants, shopkeepers, dock workers, taxi drivers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, construction workers and others were all due to take part in the strike, which began on Wednesday. more

Thailand floods: Bangkok 'impossible to protect'

The Thai government says it will be impossible to protect all of the capital from flooding because of a build-up of water to the north.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said sluice gates would be opened to allow a controlled release of water through parts of Bangkok.

Describing the flooding as a "national crisis", she said officials were doing all they could to solve the problem.

Over 320 people have died in the floods across the country since July.

Central Bangkok is protected by flood barriers which have been reinforced by troops in recent days.

But the run-off from severe flooding in central parts of the country has built up to the north of the capital, and several northern suburbs are already under water. more

Colonel Gaddafi Killed, National Transitional Council Official Says - 20th Oct 2011

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been killed and his body is being taken to the city of Misratah, National Transitional Council spokesman Abdullah Berrassali has told Sky News.

"Gaddafi is dead, absolutely dead. He was shot in both legs and in the head," he said.

"It looks like Gaddafi and his close aides tried to flee. The freedom fighters tried to apprehend them but it looks like from the reports, which are not 100% confirmed, that as a result of the exchange of fire maybe Gaddafi was badly injured.

"I have always said that the priority would be to take Gaddafi alive and put him on a fair, just trial ... but if he resisted arrest there was a great likelihood he would be killed."

There have been conflicting reports about how the capture and killing of the ousted Libyan leader happened.

Earlier National Transitional Council (NTC) military commander Abdel Majid he was injured in a gunfight as his convoy attempted to flee Sirte.

An anti-Gaddafi fighter who claimed he witnessed Gaddafi's capture said the former Libyan leader was shot in the stomach as he hid with his bodyguards.

"We catch him and we shot him, somebody shot him by gun - 9mm," the witness said. Pointing to another man next to him, he added: "This man hit Muammar Gaddafi with his shoes." Source

South Texas Enjoys Major Boom From Oil Fracking....DID THEY CAUSE THE 5.0 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE? - 20th Oct 2011

Bill Cotulla's hand rests on the handle of his great-grandfather's cane, his gravelly voice recounting the changes in the small town his ancestor founded and named for himself some 130 years ago. Almost overnight, it has transformed from a South Texas backwater to the hub of a major oil boom.

"You can't be choosy," the 75-year-old muses, considering the expanse of new RV parks, hotels and restaurants. "The oil companies that are putting up buildings are keeping nice yards."

For generations, Cotulla has been a town where even the paved roads had the aura of the dusty, saloon-lined paths from old Western movies. Cowboys, ranchers and shop owners tied their livelihood to the hunting season. Young people left to escape double-digit unemployment and poverty rates.

Now, the challenge is all the people pouring in. Cotulla, about 90 miles south of San Antonio. Read More

30th May 2011 -

If the predictions prove true then it is a discovery that will have a dramatic effect on the U.S. economy.

For experts believe that the astonishing finds in 20 new onshore oil fields could, together, increase the country's oil output by 25 per cent in just ten years. This would reduce dependence on imported fuel and risky off-shore drilling.

The Texas field, also known as Eagle Ford, is one of the 20 and more than a dozen companies plan to drill 3,000 wells over the next 12 months in Catarina, South Texas. Read More

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN TEXAS - 20th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Southern Texas at a depth of just 5 km (3.1 miles), the quake hit at 12:24:40 UTC Thursday 20th October 2011.
The epicenter was 22 km ( 14 miles) Northwest of Pawnee, Texas
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

More to follow

NOTE: USGS has this earthquake listed as a 4.6 Magnitude, out of the 7 stations which sent through information only only 2 of them measured this earthquake under a 4.6 Magnitude. (European - Mediterranean Seismological Centre also has this at a 5.0 Magnitude)

Station – WVOR – 12:29:30 – 4.3 Magnitude

Station – BINY – 12:29:42 – 5.3 Magnitude

Station – SJG – 12:31:02 – 5.3 Magnitude

Station – SDV – 12:31:14 – 5.3 Magnitude

Station – EGAK – 12:32:56 – 4.8 Magnitude

Station – COLA – 12:33:17 – 5.5 Magnitude

FEMA Encourages Californians to Join in Public Earthquake Drill Today - 8 million Particitpating and counting - 20th Oct 2011

Brought to our attention by one of our readers:

Note: The Great California Shake out has conducted these drill for years and this year has received record registered participants with 8.5 Million compared to 7.9 Million for 2010, Making it the Largest Earthquake drill in U.S. history.

As part of its ongoing efforts to encourage Americans to prepare for all hazards, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging all Californians to participate in the "Great California ShakeOut" on Thursday, October 20, 2011.

The ShakeOut is the state's annual public earthquake drill, organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance. During the drill, which will be conducted at 10:20 am pacific standard time, anyone can practice how to protect themselves during and after a major earthquake - whether at work, at home or at school. To date, over 8.4 million Californians have signed up.

"Californians have a strong tradition of practicing earthquake safety and have set a great example for the rest of us about how to prepare for disasters. The ShakeOut drill is a great way to get your ready for emergencies and connect with those who are also at risk for an earthquake," said FEMA Regional Administrator Nancy Ward. "As recent earthquakes in Haiti, New Zealand, Japan, and the east coast of the U.S. remind us, earthquakes can strike anytime, anywhere - and often happen without warning. While we don't know where the next earthquake will strike, preparing for them helps people become more resilient in the face of a real disaster."

California's ShakeOut event continues to grow as the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history. Participating in the ShakeOut drill is simple and free - and everyone can participate, including businesses, government offices, organizations, neighborhoods, schools, and individuals. Read More

Hundreds arrested at Indonesia protest - 20th Oct 2011

Indonesian security forces arrested about 300 protesters who gathered Wednesday in the eastern province of West Papua to declare independence.

Soldiers swarmed in soon after members of the Papuan Peoples' Congress read their declaration in the provincial capital, Jayapura.

"The reason we broke in was because the Congress violated the permit. The permit was only to talk about the basic rights of Papuans," said Papua police Senior Commissioner Wachyono.

Wachyono, like many in Indonesia, go by one name.

The soldiers fired shots in the air and used batons and canes to disperse the crowd, two prominent Papuan figures said.

Police did not dispute the account, but said the crowd fought back, resulting in about 20 injuries.

Ruben Wagai, a member of Papua's local legislature, said three people were killed. Victor Yeimo, a spokesman for the West Papua National Committee, said at least two died.

Wachyono said there were no fatalities.

About 300 protesters were then taken into custody, but will be released, police said. Read More