Thursday, November 3, 2011

Occupy Oakland goes up in flames: Protesters run over and cops use tear gas as demonstrators go on the rampage - 3rd Nov 2011

Occupy Oakland protesters claimed victory after they shut down one of the nation's busiest shipping ports - escalating a movement whose tactics had largely been limited to marches, rallies and camps.

In a five-hour stand-off protesters vandalised businesses and smashed bank windows, as they tried to shut down the city - and police appeared to respond using tear gas and flash bang grenades.

The California demonstrators blocked operations at the city's port and stopped traffic on Wednesday in protests against economic inequality and police brutality, marred by scattered vandalism.

As Oakland burned up, authorities were cracking down on protester camps elsewhere in the U.S.

Officials in Maryland are trying to get rid of protesters by turning off the electricity in the area. But Occupy Baltimore protesters told CBS Baltimore that won't make them leave McKeldin Square. Read More

Hacker group Anonymous publishes internet addresses of 190 paedophiles in hi-tech 'sting' - 3rd Nov 2011

'Hacktivist' group Anonymous has outed 190 alleged paedophiles by revealing their IP addresses - a unique internet address which can be used to trace their physical address.

The information was supposedly harvested in 24 hours from a 'darknet' site invisible to normal web users, by tricking posters into downloading tracker software.

The renegade hacking collective - which has been criticised by law enforcement agencies in the US and the UK - revealed the information after 'tracking' the paedophiles, who are all said to be regular posters on internet child porn forums.

The information was posted as part of Anonymous's self-styled 'Operation Darknet' - a campaign against child porn traded via anonymised sites

Via a posting, the hacker collective said, 'In the last three weeks of Operation Darknet we gained much support from the world.'

'There also was a large amount of resistance from the pedophile community claiming that Tor was their safe haven with messages such as: "We are here to stay. It is our god given right that we can choose to have our sexual preferences for youth.

"It is the same for the any other porn community. It is not what we choose to become, it is who we are. You do not have the right to censor us."'

Anonymous published details of how it harvested details from the supposedly 'protected' sites, using a trick to persuade posters to download software that tracked their web use.

Anonymous has published the files, along with a description of the complex process used to snare the users. Read More

UN hired 'inexperienced graduate students to write controversial Climate Change reports' - 3rd Nov 2011

It is the last word on climate change and global warming.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change Report sets the world's agenda and guides trillions of dollars of government funding.

But a new book has claimed that the reports are written, not by the foremost experts in the field, but by graduate students with little or no experience in their field of study.

Author, Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise says 'We’ve been told that [the IPCC] is a responsible business man in a three-piece suit, but it turns out it’s a sloppily dressed teenager -- a spoiled brat that can’t be trusted.'

'We’ve been told for the past two decades that 'the Climate Bible' was written by the world’s foremost experts,' Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise told FoxNews.com. 'But the fact is, you are just not qualified without a doctorate. In academia you aren't even on the radar at that point.' Read More

Brittany Norwood a Yoga store worker guilty of bludgeoning colleague to death with 331 wounds by 6 different weapons - 3rd Nov 2011

A woman who killed her co-worker in a Lululemon yoga clothing shop has been convicted of first-degree murder and now faces the prospect of spending the rest of her life behind bars.

Brittany Norwood, 29, used at least half a dozen weapons from inside the store to kill Jayna Murray, 30, in a 'prolonged and brutal attack' on March 11.

These included a hammer, wrench, knife and peg used to hold up a mannequin.

Norwood was yesterday found guilty after a jury in Montgomery County, Maryland, took an hour to reach a verdict.

Norwood attacked Miss Murray inside the Lululemon Athletica shop in Bethesda, Maryland - a Washington, DC suburb - and then staged a robbery.

She used numerous weapons to kill her, then lied and told police that they had been attacked by masked men.

Her defence lawyer conceded that Norwood killed Miss Murray, but said it happened during a fight and wasn't premeditated. Read More

Out of control: NTC militias run amok in Libya



Human rights groups say the number of revenge killings by revolutionary forces in Libya is escalating sharply. HRW suggests NTC fighters are terrorizing displaced residents of the coastal town of Tawergha for supporting the old regime.

Human Rights Watch reports that the entire town of 30,000 people has been abandoned, with some of it ransacked and burned. Meanwhile, Misrata brigade commanders say the residents of Tawergha should never return.

Some people from Tawergha who have fled to other parts of the country gave accounts of Misrata militias shooting unarmed civilians and arresting and beating detainees. They say in a few cases those beatings have led to death.

According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) the people of Tawergha fled the town in August and headed to the Jufra region, south of Misrata. Local authorities put the number of displaced Tawergha people there at 15,000.

Fred Abrahams from Human Rights Watch and one of the authors of the report outlining these abuses says that the Misrata militia is specifically targeting those they believe were Gaddafi loyalists.

”They accuse them of having fought for Gaddafi, for having committed atrocities in his name,” he said.“The problem here is that the militias are not under the control of the political [or] civilian authorities.” more

9-Year-Old Florida Girl Charged with Threatening to Kill Police Officer

A nine-year-old Florida girl was facing multiple felony charges Tuesday after allegedly spitting on a school bus driver and threatening to kill a police officer.

According to a Lee County Sheriff's Office report obtained by the website The Smoking Gun, the fourth-grade student was on a school bus from Royal Palm School in Fort Myers, Fla. -- about 130 miles south of Tampa -- on Monday afternoon when driver Robert Middleton asked her not to eat candy on the bus.

The child, who was not identified, "became very upset" and began yelling obscenities at Middleton, according to the police report.

She then allegedly threatened to hit other students and spit on Middleton as she exited the bus. Once outside, the report says, she threw pieces of asphalt at the bus.

A Lee County Sheriff's Office deputy arrived on the scene and ordered the girl to stop throwing asphalt. She responded with a string of profanities, yelling, "Shut the (expletive) up! I will (expletive) kill you!"

The deputy said the child "picked up an aluminum patio chair and threw it at me." He restrained her, and she attempted to bite his arm before threatening again to kill him.

The girl was charged with battery on a public school employee, resisting arrest with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, and throwing a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle.

She was released into her parents' custody Monday night and placed on home detention for 21 days. source

Illegal immigrant who murdered ex-girlfriend by pushing her off a bridge had been deported from Britain THREE TIMES - 3rd Nov 2011

An illegal immigrant who killed his ex-girlfriend when he shoved her off a footbridge into a busy road 30ft below had been deported from the UK three times, a court heard.

Yonas Beraki, 33, had been sent back to his native Eritrea on each occasion but he had smuggled himself back in to Britain a fourth time by hiding in a lorry, the hearing was told.

He was jailed for life yesterday after the Coventry Crown Court was told he hurled Genet Kidane, 41, to her death when she ended their relationship.

Chillingly, he even told her where and how he planned to kill her. He pushed her off a 25ft bridge as she walked to work. She was discovered lying in the road by her 22-year-old daughter. Read More

Olympic HQ built in secret for SAS forces -- And what will it be used for afterward?

A TOP secret new SAS base is under construction — at the Olympics.

It means the elite troops can combat any terrorists at next year's London Games in an instant, The Sun can reveal.

A source said last night: "It reflects the gravity of the threat."

Chinook helicopters have been in action over the capital for months ferrying special gear to the new East London HQ.

Underground bunkers will house even more crack troops.

The SAS will have a key role in massive security at the Olympics — using "black ops" BOATS to swoop via the Thames if terrorists attack.

A secret new riverside base being built for the Who Dares Wins heroes in East London will be home to a fleet of the high-powered rigid inflatables.

It means elite units can speed there "in seconds" using the network of waterways around the Olympic site that make it an island — with no fears about being held up in London's notorious traffic.

The plan to enlist Old Father Thames as an ally was hatched as part of a ring of steel that will be thrown around the London Games next year.

A source said last night: "All scenarios are being anticipated. London will be protected like never before — and the message is clear.

"If anyone is fool enough to try to endanger the public at these Games they will be met with the swiftest retribution by the best-equipped troops of our most elite fighting units." more

11th Tibetan nun dies in self-immolation in China

A Tibetan nun died after setting herself on fire in southwest China on Thursday, the official Xinhua news agency said, in the 11th such incident involving Buddhist monks and nuns in the restive region.

The International Campaign for Tibet confirmed the death of the nun, named Qiu Xiang and aged about 35, saying she called for religious freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, as she set herself on fire.

London-based rights group Free Tibet also confirmed the latest incident when contacted by AFP.

Xinhua said Qiu set herself alight around 1pm (0500 GMT) in Dawu county, part of Ganzi prefecture in China's Sichuan province, and that local authorities had launched an investigation into the nun's death.

Local police declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

Eight Tibetan Buddhist monks and two nuns have now set themselves alight in Tibetan-inhabited regions of Sichuan since the self-immolation of a young monk at the Kirti monastery in Aba county in March sparked major protests that led to a government clampdown.

At least five monks and two nuns have died in the self-immolations, rights groups have said.

"We heard she called for religious freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet," International Campaign for Tibet spokeswoman Kate Saunders said, citing sources in the region.

Tibetans in Ganzi prefecture are "known to be strong in their religious beliefs" and the region "has been very restive for some time, particularly since July", Saunders added.

Many Tibetans in China are angry about what they see as growing domination by the country's majority Han ethnic group. more

Kitchen workers at the Morton’s of Chicago steakhouse in Boca Raton stuck raw vegetables in their underwear before serving them to unsuspecting diners

According to a lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County court, kitchen workers at the Morton's of Chicago steakhouse in Boca Raton stuck raw vegetables in their underwear before serving them to unsuspecting diners, the website www.GossipExtra.comreported.

In his harassment action against the restaurant chain, sous-chef Reggie Williams claims he witnessed a colleague at the Shops at Boca Center "place stalks of asparagus inside his underwear, next to his anal/genital area in order to simulate his penis," then "serve that asparagus to Morton's unsuspecting paying customers."

"This was unquestionably unhygienic and reprehensible behavior," said Coral Gables lawyer Jorge Silva, who represents Broward resident Williams and his wife Crystal Williams, another plaintiff. "Reggie and other kitchen staffers called attention to the food handling practices and harassment but management did nothing."

The climate in the restaurant is that employees better have a thick skin or they don't belong," Silva said. "Some workers who complained were fired."

State records show the steakhouse was visited by food inspectors six times over the past 18 months and, each time, was rated as "meeting standards."

Williams has been on leave from the restaurant since February when, he alleges, a co-worker followed him into a storage area and allegedly exposed himself.

Williams is seeking an undetermined amount of money from Morton's, according to the lawsuit filed Oct. 3. He wants punitive damages for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil rights violations.

In addition to Morton's, the lawsuit names district manager Todd Shepard, general manager Larry Thomas, and staffers Edmund Bleus and Robinson Bur-Marie. Managers are named because, Williams claims, they turned a blind eye to the alleged shenanigans.

Bleus allegedly tried "to kiss other male co-workers, grab them, including their private parts, and hug them. "Edmund would come behind male workers aggressively, lick their ears, grab their buttocks and simulate dry-humping/anal intercourse," the lawsuit reads. more

Hundreds of thousands still without power from freak October snowstorm

More people woke up on Thursday morning with lights and heat for the first time in five days, but almost 431,000 still remained in the dark.

Crews restored power to about 124,000 Connecticut Light & Power customers since Wednesday morning, just shy of the 125,000 they planned to restore power to.

"It's not exactly where I thought they'd be or where they said they'd be, but it's reasonably close to that, at about 124,000," Gov. Dannel Malloy said on Thursday morning.

CL&P promised to have everyone by Sunday night, a full week after a rare October snowstorm caused brought down trees and power lines, affecting nearly a million power customers across the state.

"I am holding them accountable to the benchmarks they set," Malloy said. more

Hotel guests recruited with Homeland Security TV spots



The Department of Homeland Security is recruiting hotel guests to join the fight against terrorism.

Starting today, the welcome screens on 1.2 million hotel television sets in Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn and other hotels in the USA will show a short public service announcement from DHS. The 15-second spot encourages viewers to be vigilant and call law enforcement if they witness something suspicious during their travels.

During the PSA, which starts with a woman exiting a yellow taxi in front of a train station, a narrator says, "Maybe you see something suspicious. Can you be sure? If you see something, say something to authorities."

The PSA, which will be interspersed with other messages on the welcome screen, will be the same in all 5,400 hotels that LodgeNet serves. It ends by telling viewers to contact "local authorities." more

Debt Increased $203 Billion in Oct.--$650 for Every Man, Woman and Child in America

The federal government’s debt increased by $203,368,715,583.63 in the month of October, according to the U.S. Treasury.

That equals about $650 per person for each of the 312,542,760 people the Census Bureau now estimates live in the United States.

At the end of September, the total national debt stood at $14,790,340,328,557.15, according to the Bureau of the Public Debt. By the end of October, it had risen to $14,993,709,044,140.78.

The debt increased far more this October than it did last October. Between the last day of September 2010 and the last day of October, the debt rose from $13,561,623,030,891.79 to 13,668,825,497,341.36—for an increase of $107,202,466, 449.57.

October is the first month of the federal fiscal year. If the debt were to increase by an average of $203 billion for the remaining 11 months of the year, the national debt would increase by $2.436 trillion for the year. more

Some 15% of U.S. Uses Food Stamps

Nearly 15% of the U.S. population relied on food stamps in August, as the number of recipients hit 45.8 million.

Food stamp rolls have risen 8.1% in the past year, the Department of Agriculture reported, though the pace of growth has slowed from the depths of the recession.

The number of recipients in the food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), may continue to rise in coming months as families continue to struggle with high unemployment and September’s data will likely include disaster assistance tied to the destruction and flooding caused by Hurricane Irene.

Mississippi reported the largest share of its population relying on food stamps, more than 21%. One in five residents in New Mexico, Tennessee, Oregon and Louisiana also were food stamp recipients.

Food stamp rolls exploded during the downturn, which began in late 2007. Even after the recession came to its official end in June 2009, families continued to tap into food assistance as unemployment remained high and those lucky enough to find jobs were often met with lower wages.

States also made changes to make it easier for residents to tap into the program, such as waiving requirements that limited the value of assets food stamp recipients could own. source

IRAN Ready for War as U.S. and U.K. Plan Attack - 3rd Nov 2011

Iran today warned the West that it was ready for war after claims emerged that the UK and U.S. were planning an attack.

The country’s foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that Tehran was prepared to punish ‘any threats’ aLinks tensions escalated over its nuclear weapons programme.

‘The U.S. has unfortunately lost its wisdom and prudence in dealing with international issues. It only depends on power,’ he said on a visit to the Libyan city of Benghazi.

‘Of course we are prepared for the worst, but we hope they think twice before they put themselves on a collision course with Iran.’

In an interview published in Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, Mr Salehi had said that ‘Iran was always ready for war.’

‘Iran has always been threatened by Israel. This is not new for us. We have been hearing threats from Israel for eight years,’ he contined.

‘Our nation is a united nation. Its roots are deep in history. Such threats are not new to us.

‘We are very confident of ourselves. We can defend our country.’

The UK and U.S. are understood to be planning to take action after it was clamed Iran now has enough uranium for four nuclear weapons. Read More

China continues pouring missiles and other military equipment into Iran as war drums beat

China is continuing to provide advanced missiles and other conventional arms to Iran and may be doing so in violation of U.N. sanctions against the Tehran regime, according to a draft report by the congressional U.S.-China Commission.

“China continues to provide Iran with what could be considered advanced conventional weapons,” the report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission says.

According to the report, which will be made public Nov. 16, China sold $312 million worth of arms to Iran, second only to Russia, after Congress passed the Iran Freedom Support Act in 2006 that allows the U.S. government to sanction foreign companies that provide advanced arms to Iran.

The report also noted that, after Russia began cutting back arms transfers to Iran in 2008, China became the largest arms supplier to the Iranian military.

Most of the weapons transfers involved sales of Chinese anti-ship cruise missiles, including C-802 missiles that China promised the United States in 1997 would not be exported to Iran.

China also built an entire missile plant in Iran last year to produce the Nasr-1 anti-ship cruise missile.

“Because of the relatively short range of these missiles, China’s provision of them to Iran does not violate the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act of 2006, which seeks to prevent the transfer of only those missiles that can carry a 500-kilogram warhead more than 300 kilometers,” the report says.

“It is possible, however, that these transactions violate the Iran Freedom Support Act, or the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010, which both use the ambiguous term ‘advanced conventional weapons.’“ more

Bangkok postman persists despite heavy flooding: If only we were all this steadfast

High tides and heavy monsoon rains have left several districts in Bangkok swamped by water for more than a week.

But postman Somyod Somsamai is braving waist-deep, leech-infested water to continue mail deliveries in a community near the swollen Chao Phraya river.

As Thailand faces its worst floods for 50 years, he offers a welcome connection to normal life, which has been seriously disrupted for many of the city's residents. Watch BBC video here

Syrian activists say 4 killed by military gunfire

Syrian tanks mounted with machine-guns fired Thursday on a city at the heart of the country's uprising, killing at least four people one day after Damascus agreed to an Arab League plan calling on the government to pull the military out of cities, activists said.

The violence does not bode well for the success of the Arab League initiative to solve a crisis that has endured for nearly eight months already -- with no sign of stopping -- despite a government crackdown that the U.N. estimates has left some 3,000 people dead.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the Baba Amr district of Homs came under heavy fire Thursday.

At least four people were killed in Homs, he said, citing witnesses in the city.

Syria has largely sealed off the country from foreign journalists and prevented independent reporting, making it difficult to confirm events on the ground. Key sources of information are amateur videos posted online, witness accounts and details gathered by activist groups.

Under the Arab League plan announced Wednesday, Damascus agreed to stop violence against protesters, release all political prisoners and begin a dialogue with the opposition within two weeks. Syria also agreed to allow journalists, rights groups and Arab League representatives to monitor the situation in the country.

Najib al-Ghadban, a U.S.-based Syrian activist and member of the opposition Syrian National Council, was skeptical that Syrian President Bashar Assad would hold up his end of the deal, and called the agreement "an attempt to buy more time." more

Occupy protesters shut down Oakland port

Police clashed with protesters in Oakland, Cali., after thousands of demonstrators shut down one of the nation's busiest shipping ports, escalating a movement whose tactics had largely been limited to marches, rallies and tent encampments since it began in September.

The confrontation began after protesters started a large bonfire in the middle of a downtown street. Dozens of police in riot gear moved in on hundreds of protesters as the flames leapt more than four metres in the air from several large metal and plastic trash bins that had been pushed together.

The clash and subsequent standoff came only hours after thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters shut down one of the nation's busiest shipping ports late Wednesday.

The nearly 5-hour protest at the Port of Oakland, the nation's fifth-busiest shipping port, was intended to highlight a daylong "general strike" in the city, which prompted solidarity rallies in New York, Los Angeles and other cities across the nation.

Police estimated that a crowd of about 3,000 had gathered at the port at the height of the demonstration around dusk. Some had marched from the city's downtown, while others had been bused to the port.

The demonstrations in Oakland were largely peaceful until the evening skirmish.

The crowd disrupted operations by overwhelming the area with people and blocking exits with chain-link fencing and illegally parked vehicles. The demonstrators also erected fences to block main streets to the port. No trucks were allowed into or out of the area.

Port spokesman Isaac Kos-Read said evening operations had been "effectively shut down." more

Elizabeth Susan MacDonnell: Nova Scotia foster mom admits to starving child

A Dartmouth, N.S., foster mother pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated assault and failing to provide the necessities of life by denying food to her two-year-old foster daughter.

Susan Elizabeth MacDonnell, 43, was first charged in June 2010 with criminal negligence causing bodily harm, as well as the other two charges after the foster child became more ill while being treated at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.

Crown attorney Catherine Cogswell told the court Thursday that the child nearly died after being hospitalized due to malnutrition.

The Crown will be seeking a five-year jail term when MacDonnell is sentenced next March.

Other foster children in MacDonnell's household were also removed by the Department of Community Services. more

Euro crisis: 'Don't overlook dollar's weakness'

Given the scale and complexity of the Greek crisis, it might reasonably have been expected that the euro would have plunged in value against the US dollar, the traditional safe-haven currency in times of uncertainty.

However, although the euro has come under pressure against the US currency since the summer, its losses have proved surprisingly modest.

Does this reflect some mysterious confidence in the outlook for the troubled euro or, instead, a loss of faith in the dollar itself?

The answer, it would seem, is that this probably has more to do with abiding concerns about the buck than any new found faith in the euro.

This can be seen by looking at the dollar's performance against a number of other major currencies.

In the UK, the pound stands a good 5% higher against the dollar than it did on 6 October.

Given that this was the day that the Bank of England announced that it was injecting a further £75bn into the economy, this is telling.

Similarly, despite the tragic events of earlier this year, Japan has found itself fighting against the unwanted strength of the yen against the US currency. more

Can China control social media revolution?

At first sight, Longquan Temple, which sits at the foot of a mountain just outside Beijing, seems like an odd place to look for the modern world.

Buddhist monks have been performing complicated rituals in its incense-filled halls and courtyards for more than 1,000 years.

But the temple is going through a revival that is being driven by a very high-tech tool - the internet. The abbot even has his own microblog.

Master Xue Cheng is just one of 200 million people who have their own site on China's most popular microblogging portal, Weibo, a service run by internet company Sina.

It has led to a fundamental change in the way people communicate with each other, giving them the chance to share information and speak out. more

Syria unrest: Tanks 'open fire' in Homs

Tanks mounted with machine-guns have opened fire in the Syrian city of Homs, activists have reported.

It comes a day after authorities in Damascus agreed to an Arab League plan calling on the government to pull the military out of cities.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Baba Amr district of Homs came under heavy fire on Thursday.

Unconfirmed reports say at least three people were killed in the city.

On Wednesday, the Arab League said Syria had agreed to its proposals to end the violence.

The plan requires Syria to withdraw all troops from cities and an immediate cessation to all killing.

Under the plan Damascus also agreed to stop violence against protesters, release all political prisoners and begin a dialogue with the opposition within two weeks.

The Syrian government also agreed to allow journalists, rights groups and Arab League representatives to monitor the situation in the country. more

Afghanistan 'suicide attack' hits city of Herat

Militants have carried out a suicide gun and bomb attack on a private construction company in the western Afghan city of Herat, officials say.

Two guards were killed and four other people wounded, the officials say, with the fighting now said to be over.

The attack began with a blast at the company's compound in a district close to the city's airport.

Nato handed security control of Herat city to Afghan forces in July, ahead of a full combat troop pullout in 2014.

Meanwhile, in the volatile province of Ghazni two rockets have been fired killing a child, officials say. more

Greek tragedy has echoes of Argentina

A country is suffering from a deep recession, unemployment is increasing, and the government deficit looms larger by the day. Part of the problem comes from an overvalued, fixed exchange rate. Anti-government demonstrations are a common occurrence, and riots are increasingly frequent. The country seems engulfed by a rising wave of chaos.

The International Monetary Fund is administering an aid package. The government is duly passing austerity package after austerity package, at the behest of foreign creditors, while ignoring the population's wishes and representatives.

The country in question? Greece in 2011? No, it's Argentina in 2001. While not every part of the puzzle falls into place, many of the similarities are striking.

It all started so well. For a while, after Argentina introduced a currency board -- a rigid link with the U.S.-dollar -- inflation came down, and consumption and growth surged. Asset prices ballooned, wages went up, and the new prosperity was everywhere -- in swanky restaurants, in the form of gleaming new cars, and in massive public building projects. Then, suddenly, the dream fell apart overnight. more

Iran threatens to 'punish' any Israeli attack

Iran issued a warning to Israel on Wednesday, with a top military figure saying Iran will "punish" any threat.

"The United States is fully aware that a military attack by the Zionist regime on Iran will not only cause tremendous damage to that regime, but it will also inflict serious damage to the U.S.," said Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, commander of the joint chiefs of staff, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

"We, as the military, take every threat, however distant and improbable, as very real, and are fully prepared to use suitable equipment to punish any kind of mistake," he added, according to a CNN translation of his remarks.

Another semi-official Iranian news agency, ISNA, published a story in English quoting Firouzabadi as saying, "The U.S. officials know that Zionist regime's military attack against Iran will inflict heavy damages to the U.S. seriously as well as Zionist regime."

The Israeli Ministry of Defense said Wednesday that Israel "carried out the test-firing of a rocket propulsion system from the Palmachim military base. This had been planned by the Defense Establishment a long time ago and was carried out as scheduled."

"This is an impressive technological achievement and an important step in Israel's advances in the realms of missiles and space," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

The comments from Iran and the Israeli missile test come as a very public debate is taking place in Israel about the possibility of a military strike on the Islamic republic. more

Texas Judge William Adams's daughter: Violence was regular occurrence



A woman who launched a firestorm by posting a 2004 video of her father, a Texas judge, beating her on the Internet said Thursday that violence was a regular occurrence in her family home.

"It did happen regularly, for a period of time, and I could tell, because of the pattern, that things were escalating again," Hillary Adams, now 23, said on NBC's "Today." She said she left her video camera on her dresser recording and covered its light with a scarf in order to capture the video.

Her father, Aransas County, Texas, Court-At-Law Judge William Adams, faces a police investigation and a judicial probe after the graphic video surfaced of him striking his then-16-year-old daughter repeatedly while cursing at her and berating her.

On Wednesday afternoon, William Adams was temporarily relieved of his duties for the next two weeks, and a visiting judge will take over his caseload while the matter is being investigated, according to the office of Aransas County Administrative Judge Burt Mills.

No court dates were scheduled this week, Mills' office said. more

Oakland cops tear gas Occupy protesters as street battles rage



Authorities used tear gas early Thursday on anti-Wall Street protesters who defied orders to disperse after earlier shutting down the Port of Oakland, California, police said.

A crowd of several hundred people threw rocks and shot fireworks at officers after being asked to leave the scene, prompting officers to fire tear gas, authorities said.

After the port protest, Occupy Oakland demonstrators returned to a city park and nearby streets, where the violence broke out.

Hazy video from the scene, posted on the Internet, showed a fire burning and fireworks exploding as at least one protester threw objects.

Police said in a statement that after a day of "primarily peaceful" demonstrations, they responded to a late-night call that protesters had broken into and occupied a downtown building and set several fires.

"The protesters began hurling rocks, explosives, bottles and flaming objects at responding officers," the statement said. "Several private and municipal buildings sustained heavy vandalism."

Dozens of protesters wielding shields were surrounded and arrested, police said.

Police issued their first order to protesters to clear the area about 11:55 p.m., the statement said. After "repeated orders" were issued, police were then ordered to fire tear gas and bean bags at the demonstrators.

Earlier Wednesday, police said a small group of protesters vandalized five businesses, including banks and a Whole Foods. The incidents involved graffiti and smashed windows, authorities said. more

You Say You Wanna Bomb Iran? Take a Number and Stand in Line

Yes, you heard right: Britain is preparing to bomb Iran. Well, that's if the latest reported leaks from the British government are to be believed. The Guardian -- not known, like some of its British rivals are, for frequent breathless front-page claims of imminent military strikes on Iran -- reported Wednesday that Britain's Defense Ministry has stepped up plans for military action against Iran. Not that the Brits would kick things off, of course; their contingency planning is ostensibly geared towards playing a largely symbolic support role (think "Coalition of the Willing") should the Obama Administration "decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities."

Beneath the attention-grabbing headline, the story is a familiar one: British officials believe that while President Barack Obama "has no wish to embark on a new and provocative military venture before next November's U.S. election ... the calculus could change because of mounting anxiety over intelligence gathered by Western agencies, and the more belligerent posture that Iran appears to have been taking."

The Guardian's sources create the impression of dramatic new developments and a ticking clock, although the consensus among the world's intelligence agencies that Iran remains some years away from having nuclear weapons, and has not yet decided to actually build them even though it is assembling the means to do so. But the alarmist messaging certainly jibes with an Israeli diplomatic campaign launched to persuade reluctant governments to impose tough new sanctions on Iran if they hope to avoid a potentially catastrophic war. Israel underscored the point, Wednesday, announcing it had successfully tested a missile capable of reaching Iran -- at the same time as Israeli papers were filled with stories claiming that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking cabinet approval for bombing Iran. more

Ending organ trafficking in the Sinai

Torrential rain turns streets into rivers in Oman: 3 dead

Throwing normal life out of gear, heavy rain lashed several parts of the Sultanate, claiming three lives, even as international cyclone study centres and local weatherman yesterday predicted the possibility of tropical cyclone hitting Dhofar Coast.

“A tropical storm ‘Keila’ is forecast to strike land near Salalah and the probability for storm is 70 per cent within 12 hours. We have issued a yellow alert, which is CAT 1 (Severe Cyclonic Storm strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained),” according to Tropical Storm Risk Centre.

The Directorate General of Meteorology and Air Navigation (DGMAN) of Oman has also confirmed the storm forecast and has urged citizens to exercise caution during rains.

“Even though the cyclone will result in heavy rains in Salalah and neighbouring areas, Muscat will receive only light to moderate rains,” Goesta Hoffmann, associate professor of geology and geomorphology at the Gutech in Oman, told Times of Oman.

Meanwhile, the two-hour heavy rain disrupted normal life in the capital city, with the overflowing wadis in Al Batinah region claiming three lives. more

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake KOMANDORSKIYE OSTROVA, RUSSIA REGION - 3rd Nov 2011

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck Komadorskiye Ostrova, Russia Region at a depth of 1.1 km ( 0 miles poorly constrained), the quake hit at 15:47:31 UTC Thursday 3rd November 2011.
The epicenter was 133 km ( 82 miles) WNW Nikol'skoye, Komandorskiye Ostrova, Russia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Greek Bailout Deal Referendum Scrapped - 3rd Nov 2011

Greece's Prime Minister has told Sky News the referendum on the the eurozone bailout plan will no longer go ahead - and it was never his intention for it to happen.

The announcement came after an emergency cabinet meeting, in which the opposition party called for early elections and immediate approval of the bailout deal.

"The referendum was never an end in itself," George Papandreou told the cabinet according to statements released by his office.

"We had a dilemma - either true assent or a referendum. I said yesterday, if the assent were there, we would not need a referendum."

Mr Papandreou had been under pressure to stand down, as a split emerged in his government over the plans to hold a public vote on the rescue deal.

He now says he has no intention to quit, but will hold talks with the opposition over their calls for a transitional government and early elections.

However, he warned against holding elections in the near future - as this would entail a "big risk of bankruptcy".

Markets across Europe have been rising since lunchtime, as investors realised the likelihood of a Greek referendum - and subsequent threat of a 'no' vote - was falling. Read More

5.7 Magnitude Earthquake ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE - 3rd Nov 2011

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake has struck Antofagasta, Chile at a depth of 84 km ( 52 miles), the quake hit at 11:40:07 UTC Thursday 3rd November 2011.
The epicenter was 144 km ( 89.2 miles) East of Antofagasta, Chile
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Note: USGS has just listed this earthquake as a 5.2 Magnitude, the data from 7 stations have measured the following;

MIAR: 5.4 Magnitude
WVT: 5.8 Magnitude
SNNA: 6.1 Magnitude
EFI: 5.8 Magnitude
SJG: 5.4 Magnitude
COYC: 5.4 Magnitude
CHRN: 5.0 Magnitude

The closest station to the epicenter is COYC which measured this earthquake at a 5,4 Magnitude.

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN - 3rd Nov 2011

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck the Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan at a depth of 80 km ( 49.6 miles), the quake hit at 11:34:20 UTC Thursday 3rd November 2011.
The epicenter was 19 km ( 12.1 miles) Southwest of Ekaem, Afghanistan
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Chiba government: Cement company discharged water far over radiation limit into Tokyo Bay - 3rd Nov 2011

Radioactive cesium far in excess of a provisional legal limit was found in drainage water that a cement company discharged into Tokyo Bay, the Chiba Prefectural Government has announced.

According to the prefectural government, water that Ichihara Eco Cement discharged into the bay contained 1,054 to 1,103 becquerels of cesium per kilogram of the water, 14 to 15 times the provisional upper limit that the central government has set.

The company discharged an average of 300 tons of water per day, making an estimated total of around 13,200 metric tons for September to October alone. It continued the discharging until stopping on Nov. 2.

The prefectural government has begun investigating the seawater to check contamination levels.

Businesses are not legally required to measure or report the amount of radioactive substances they discharge, but on Oct. 28, the cement company reported to the prefectural government that it had found 1,103 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram of its waste water on Sept. 15 and 1,054 becquerels on Oct. 11, prefectural government officials said. Read More

Broken bottle of radium caused Abnormally high levels of radiation readings near a Supermarket in Tokyo - 3rd Nov 2011

The mystery of where the radioactive material discovered by a supermarket in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward came from may have been cracked with the Nov. 2 discovery of a buried chemical reagent bottle.

Abnormally high levels of radiation were detected Oct. 28 on the property of a Power Larks supermarket during radiation checks spurred by a local resident's warning. It was determined that the hot spot was not connected to the Fukushima nuclear plant, as radium was not one of the elements released in the disaster.

Work by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and other authorities to clear the hot spot and determine its cause has been ongoing for several days, resulting in the Nov. 2 find of the broken 500-milliliter bottle containing a mass of dark red-brown material believed to be radium-226.

After digging out the soil around where the bottle had been, radiation at the site dropped from 40 millisieverts per hour to 25 microsieverts per hour, leading the science ministry to conclude that radium in the bottle was indeed behind the hot spot.

Even after the bottle and surrounding soil were removed, however, a sweep of the supermarket property found 12 places both in- and outside the building emitting relatively high radiation of between 0.2 and 12 microsieverts per hour. Furthermore, there were three spots on the roads bordering the property which registered radiation doses of 0.3 to 2 microsieverts per hour. Airborne radiation around the supermarket hovered around 0.1 microsieverts per hour.

The science ministry and other authorities have said they will continue their examination of the area. Source

Forgotten radioactive materials cropping up in wake of Fukushima nuclear crisis - 3rd Oct 2011

Residents wary about radiation in the wake of the ongoing the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant have been uncovering abandoned radioactive substances, with repeated discoveries of radium-266 in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward.

Radioactive materials were used widely in the past, including in medical products and luminous paints. After World War II, a law requiring people to obtain the government's permission when using such materials was put into effect, but the law was not always strictly abided by. Now, with many residents armed with dosimeters in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, it is possible that more radioactive materials may be uncovered.

On Oct. 3, a resident with a dosimeter in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward reported a high level of radiation in an area of the ward to ward officials. When the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and other parties investigated, dozens of glass bottles containing radium-266 were found under the floor of a home in the ward. Read More

Note: So now it has all been explained all these cases of HIGH radiation readings has NOTHING to do with the HUGE NUCLEAR MELTDOWN from March, people stored radiation in their past time 50 years ago.

Anyone have a problem with this explanation? and if these family treasure keep sakes are throwing of HIGH RADIATION readings after 50 years or more, what is the result of the Fukushima Meltdown?

Recap: A resident reported high radiation readings in the area on Friday, prompting the ministry to take measurements, with up to 170 microsieverts per hour recorded at one spot on the surface of a pavement near the supermarket and up to 110 microsieverts per hour recorded at another spot near the shop's entrance.

The radiation level on the surface of the ground nearby was around 1 millisievert per hour, the officials said. The exposure limit set for ordinary people is 1 millisievert per year.

Xenon at Fukushima not result of 'critical' nuclear reactions according to TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co) - 3rd Nov 2011

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday the detection of radioactive xenon at its stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant, indicating recent nuclear fission, was not the result of a sustained nuclear chain reaction known as a criticality, as feared, but a case of "spontaneous" fission.

"It is not leading to instability of the reactor or a rise of the radiation level outside," the utility known as TEPCO said, adding that it does not expect the incident to impact its goal of attaining a stable condition of the plant's troubled reactors called cold shutdown.

The plant operator said it has judged that spontaneous fission, which it says occurs at a constant rate, has generated xenon-133 and xenon-135 at its crisis-hit No. 2 reactor, as a criticality would have resulted in the recording of concentration levels 10,000 times higher.

The data at hand match estimated levels of xenon produced by sporadic fission of curium-242 and curium-244 inside melted fuel, it said. Read More

Occupy Protesters Shut Port In California - 3rd Nov 2011

Thousands of protesters campaigning against corporate greed have closed one of the busiest ports in the US.

Officials at the Oakland port in California said operations had been "effectively shut down" because of the demonstration by around 5,000 people.

The city has been catapulted to the forefront of national anti-Wall Street protests after a former Marine was bady wounded during a march and rally last week.

On Wednesday, protesters streamed across a freeway overpass to gather in front of the gates to the port, which handles around $39bn a year in imports and exports. Read More

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake TOKYO, JAPAN - 3rd Nov 2011

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck Tokyo, Japan at a depth of 70.4 km ( 43.7 miles), the quake hit at 10:34:29 UTC Thursday 3rd November 2011.
The epicenter was 25 km ( 15 miles) ENE from Tokyo, Japan
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Occupy Oakland: Police use tear gas, pepper spray on protesters - 3rd Nov 2011



Anti-Wall Street protesters in two West Coast cities were subdued with tear gas and pepper spray after they shut down a California port and disrupted rush-hour traffic in Seattle, authorities said.

Oakland police fired tear gas on "several hundred people" throwing rocks and shooting fireworks at officers after demonstrators were asked to disperse early Thursday, a California police official said.

The violence came after protesters in the city appeared to carry out a successful strike of downtown businesses Wednesday as merchants and retailers shuttered their doors in what was a largely peaceful protest.

The protesters also disrupted business at the Port of Oakland, authorities said. Read More

Iran threatens to 'punish' any Israeli attack - 3rd Nov 2011

Iran issued a warning to Israel on Wednesday, with a top military figure saying Iran will "punish" any threat.

"The United States is fully aware that a military attack by the Zionist regime on Iran will not only cause tremendous damage to that regime, but it will also inflict serious damage to the U.S.," said Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, commander of the joint chiefs of staff, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

"We, as the military, take every threat, however distant and improbable, as very real, and are fully prepared to use suitable equipment to punish any kind of mistake," he added, according to a CNN translation of his remarks.

Another semi-official Iranian news agency, ISNA, published a story in English quoting Firouzabadi as saying, "The U.S. officials know that Zionist regime's military attack against Iran will inflict heavy damages to the U.S. seriously as well as Zionist regime."

The Israeli Ministry of Defense said Wednesday that Israel "carried out the test-firing of a rocket propulsion system from the Palmachim military base. This had been planned by the Defense Establishment a long time ago and was carried out as scheduled." Read More

Why China won't ride to Europe's rescue - 3rd Nov 2011



After a deal was hammered out by European Union leaders last week on a joint plan to help bailout Greece and bolster European banks, the world looked to China to help pick up the check.

In a historical context, it's a remarkable turn of events for China, which inside a generation has rocketed from isolation and poverty to become the world's second largest economy behind the United States.

But as Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Europe to meet with other G-20 leaders in Cannes, it became increasingly clear that Beijing wasn't coming into town wearing a white hat to rescue debt-ridden eurozone nations. Read More