Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bangkok subways at risk as floodwaters inch closer - 5th Nov 2011

Thailand's floodwaters inched toward downtown Bangkok Saturday, threatening some subway stations as leaders urged residents not to open defenses set up to divert the waters from the capital.

At least six subway stations are on the floodway, authorities said.

Residents have threatened to open the defenses to drain water from their flooded neighborhoods, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration said.

"The main problem of solving flood is no longer technical but people," Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said during the weekly radio address.

The flooding has killed 442 people, the Interior Ministry said. Of Thailand's 64 provinces, 25 have been affected.

Bangkok's central business district is still dry but other parts of the bustling metropolis of 12 million people are inundated. Read More

3.2 Magnitude Earthquake SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA - 5th Nov 2011

A magnitude 3.2 earthquake has struck San Francisco Bay, California at a depth of 6.4 km ( 4 miles), the quake hit at 21:52:18 UTC Saturday 5th November 2011.
The epicenter was 6 km ( 4 miles) North of Oakland, California
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE COAST OF SOUTHEASTERN ALASKA - 5th Nov 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck off the Coast of Southeastern Alaska at a depth of 20 km ( 12.4 miles), the quake hit at 20:46:41 UTC Saturday 5th November 2011.
The epicenter was 70 km ( 43 miles) Southwest of Sitka, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake GUIZHOU, CHINA - 5th Nov 2011

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Guizhou, China at a depth of 15.1 km ( 9.4 miles), the quake hit at 20:44:25 UTC Saturday 5th November 2011.
The epicenter was 78 km ( 49 miles) South of Anshun, Guizhou, China
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA - 5th Nov 2011

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia at a depth of 26 km ( 16.2 miles), the quake hit at 19:53:59 UTC Saturday 5th November 2011.
The epicenter was 83 km ( 51.4 miles) North of Gorontalo, Sulawesi, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Northeast Nigeria militant attacks kill at least 65 - 5th Nov 2011

At least 65 people were killed in the northeast Nigerian city of Damaturu, an aid agency said Saturday, after Islamist insurgents bombed churches, mosques and police stations and fought hours of gun battles with police.

The Boko Haram militant sect claimed responsibility for the attacks, one of the worst days of violence since it launched its insurgency two years ago in what it says is a campaign to impose Islamic law in Africa's most populous country.

Witnesses said dozens of bodies were piled up in morgues in the city, which was all but deserted Saturday after Friday's raids.

"This place was like a war zone last night. There is no single policeman on the street now. The attacks destroyed mosques and churches, I have seen many injured persons in the hospital," said local Damaturu artisan Benard Ogbeifun.

"There were dozens of dead bodies, and no vehicles on the road. I'm staying in my shop and praying."

In an interview with the Abuja-based Daily Trust, Boko Haram's spokesman Abu Qaqa claimed responsibility for the strikes and said "more attacks are on the way," the paper reported in its Saturday online edition.

An internal memo sent to Reuters from an emergency relief agency, which declined to be named and did not say who was responsible for the killings, counted 65 people killed in total. All were in Damaturu, except for two in Patiskum. Read More

Occupy DC protesters are mowed down by car... but driver WON'T be charged - 5th Nov 2011

Police said early Saturday that a driver will not be charged for striking three people taking part in an Occupy DC protest in downtown Washington.

Lieutenant Christopher Micciche of the D.C. police said the driver was not cited because he had a green light when his vehicle struck the three on Friday night.

He said witnesses told police that the three pedestrians 'either ran toward or jumped in front of the moving vehicle.'

He said one pedestrian jumped on the hood of the car. One of them was cited for being in the roadway.

'The protesters were apparently trying to block the roadway,' Mr Micciche said. 'It was essentially an accident where three individuals were injured but they were in violation by being in the roadway.'

D.C. fire department spokesman Lon Walls said Saturday morning that the three were transported to two area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Read More

Bank Transfer Day is TODAY!

Ancient Aliens season 3 episode 14 -- "Aliens and the Undead"

Texas man Barrett Brown says he'll join Anonymous in fight against Zetas cartel



A Texas man who is a self-proclaimed supporter of Anonymous says he's joining the hacking ring's purported fight against one of Mexico's most violent drug cartels.

Barrett Brown, 30, told CNN that in the next two days he expects to receive thousands of e-mails naming alleged Zetas drug gang affiliates that he's been told were taken by hackers from a Mexican government website.

"It's possible this is all a big hoax, (but) I'm more involved in this because of the possibility of striking a blow against the Zetas. ... The issue to me was more about how do we do this operation. I'm intent on what we could do with the information when we release it," Brown told CNN in a telephone interview Thursday.

The Dallas resident, who describes himself as a former member of Anonymous and has frequently spoken publicly about his involvement in Anonymous activities, posted a YouTube video Wednesday explaining why he planned to join the effort.

"I've decided to support the operation, which I understand is controversial for a number of reasons. In this case, there are lives hanging in the balance, in that those who are identified are likely to be killed," Brown says in the video, leaning back in a leather desk chair as he smokes a cigarette.

He told CNN he learned about the so-called OpCartel after Mexican members of Anonymous reached out to him in an online chat forum. more

Seriously ill prisoner Natalia Gulevich told to cough up $3 million – or else



A gravely ill woman being held at a pre-trial detention center in Moscow has been told she must pay a record sum of $3 million bail before she can be released.

The news comes after the inmate, 52-year-old entrepreneur Natalia Gulevich, filed a complaint to the Strasburg Court of Human Rights demanding justice. According to Russia’s new legislation, gravely ill people must not be kept in pre-trial detention.

After considering Gulevich’s appeal, the court ruled that the initial decision to arrest her was illegal, but demanded that the businesswoman paid the immense sum of $3 million in bail money. This would be the biggest bail ever paid in Russia.

The woman's lawyers say the ruling is not legitimate and plan to appeal the decision. They insist that bail should not exceed $100,000. more

German Economists on Greek Referendum: 'The Euro Zone Could Face Ruin'

The plausibility of a bankruptcy scenario for Greece didn't disappear for very long at all. This time around, European leaders only managed to quiet things down in the debt crisis for four days before all hell broke loose again. Before the markets began to shudder, even banking executives whose companies are being asked to pay up as part of the bailout had been supportive of the euro rescue package.

Now, however, with the announcement Tuesday by the Greek prime minister that his country may hold a referendum on the bailout, everything has been thrown on its head again. Prime Minister Giorgios Papandreou defended the step, saying it would be "democratic and highly patriotic."

That didn't stop his announcement from unleashing tumult on the markets on Tuesday. European stock markets plunged sharply; Germany's DAX index of blue chip companies lost almost 6 percent of its value, dropping to 5,795 points. But banks were among the biggest losers -- shares at Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank temporarily fell by 10 percent. The reason is clear: Investors fear that the debt crisis will escalate further if Greek voters reject the austerity measures that are linked to the disbursement of the latest bailout package for the highly indebted euro-zone country.

But what could really happen if Greek voters reject the bailout? And why is Papandreou turning to this extremely risky measure? SPIEGEL ONLINE polled respected German economists for their opinions on Greece's call to pursue a national referendum on the bailout. more

Russia's perfect excuse to fire unwanted officials?



Parliament has approved a law making it legal to sack officials for losing the trust of their bosses.

The term “loss of trust” is being introduced into Russian legislation for the first time. Back in September 2010, it was “approbated” on ex-Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov.

The new law opens doors for both regional heads and state investigators who would like to order a check-up on officials’ income declarations and the assets of their family members.

Even if there is not enough evidence against the officials, the suspects can now immediately be fired.

Deputies believe that the new measure, instigated by President Medvedev, will make Russia’s fight against corruption more successful.

“It’s a comprehensive bill and if it’s implemented, it will provide a number of tools to enhance the efficiency of the fight against corruption,” Vladimir Pligin, from the State Duma Committee on Constitutional Legislation, told RT. “I would like to underline that the steps proposed are not only designed to increase criminal responsibility, they are also aimed at improving the performance of all public services.”

However, some political analysts believe that the new law will, in fact, boost corruption rather than stop it. more

'Shocking' US military spending since 9/11

How did America keep the terrorists from winning? Three words: Very. Expensive. Tanks.

A new report reveals that in the decade since the September 11 attacks, the Department of Defense spent around $1 trillion on weaponry for troops in Iraq in Afghanistan.

Conservative lawmakers and most of the GOP front-runners meanwhile have insisted that making any cuts to the US Military budget would be detrimental to the defense of the nation. As the country continues to hemorrhage money abroad and a financial crisis is causing a second recession in just as few years, however, the United States have wasted $1 trillion on wars that a recent poll showed that even those who served didn’t think was worth it.

In the recently released report from the Stimson Center, "What We Bought: Defense Procurement From FY01 to FY10,” it is revealed that rather than investing the Pentagon’s massive budget in the troops themselves, the United States spent colossal amounts on modernizing its army with tanks, ships, jets and other warcraft. In addition to the allocated budget for the DoD, the Pentagon also dipped deeper into the taxpayers’ pockets by spending over $232 billion in supplemental funds bulking up its line of defense.

As RT reported last month, a third of the men and women who served in the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars told pollsters at the Pew Research Center that they while they support America, they did not feel like those two wars were its toll. more

Loosening Rules, China Allows Facial and Neck Tattoos to Join Army -- Do they suddenly need more soldiers for something?

Seeking to broaden its appeal to China’s better-educated and perhaps more hip youth, the People’s Liberation Army has dropped a longtime bar to enlisting in the service: now, recruits can sport tattoos on their faces and necks.

Moreover, enlistees may be chubbier or thinner than the rules had previously allowed.

The Defense Ministry announced the changes on Wednesday, five days after China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, approved a relaxation of the rules for military service.

Recruits with facial or neck tattoos will now qualify for service if the decorations are no larger than two centimeters wide, or about 0.8 inches. The new weight rules permit a recruit to weigh as much as 25 percent more or 15 percent less than the army’s standard, as opposed to 20 and 10 percent in the past.

The ministry also began an effort to lure more university students to the military, offering them a 6,000 renminbi discount on annual tuition — around $944 — if they take a break from their studies to enlist.

Although military service is technically compulsory, the draft is seldom needed because there are more than enough volunteers to fill the ranks of the 2.3-million member force. The newly relaxed rules seek to attract better-educated recruits for a military that increasingly relies on technically sophisticated weaponry.

Tattoos, in particular, were once scorned, but they have become faddish among the savvier urban youth that the People’s Liberation Army hopes to attract. more

Iran says united and 'ready for war' with Israel

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Thursday responded to reports claiming Israel is planning a military attack against his country, stating Tehran is "ready for war" with Israel.

“We have been hearing threats from Israel for eight years. Our nation is a united nation…such threats are not new to us,” Salehi told Turkey’s Hürriyet Daily.

Salehi further warned that if any country would attempt an attack, Iran would not hesitate to retaliate. "We are very sure of ourselves. We can defend our country," Salehi claimed.

Salehi’s statements come a day after Iran's chief of staff said Israel would be severely punished for any attack on Iranian soil.

"We would make them regret such a mistake and would severely punish them," Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi told the ISNA news agency on Wednesday.

"In case of an attack by the Zionist regime, the United States would also be hit," he added, without elaborating. more

Let’s bomb Iran: Old song, new lyrics



The US and its allies, such as the UK and Israel, may launch a missile attack on Iranian uranium enrichment facilities in the next 12 months, media speculate.

The possible bombing campaign may start after next November’s presidential election in America, reports The Guardian, citing unnamed sources in Whitehall. It also cites sources in UK’s Ministry of Defence as saying that the top brass are penning contingency plans to help the US with attacking Iran, should Washington launch offensive.

The military action may be chosen because Iran proved to be surprisingly resilient in the face of the international sanctions and the cyber attack on its nuclear facilities, allegedly perpetrated by American and Israeli hackers, the newspaper says. The damage done by the Stuxnet worm was reportedly less severe than first expected, and Iran has managed to overcome the sabotage.

The deadline for the military action is due to Tehran’s intention to move their uranium enrichment centrifuges to the military base dug beneath a mountain near the city of Qom and other heavily-fortified secret locations. Once there, missile strikes will not be able to destroy the equipment, the newspaper was told. The likely timing of the offensive is next spring, The Guardian sources say.

At the moment the hawks are waiting next week’s report by the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, which could be a game changer for the issue.

The newspaper says the attack will predominantly involve cruise missile attacks with limited navy engagement. Raids by commando forces may also be called for. more

Iran warns US against ‘collision course’ over nuclear programme

Tehran has stepped up its attacks on the United States, amid speculation that Washington may accelerate plans for missile strikes against Iran’s nuclear programme.

The Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, said during a visit to Libya that the US should “think twice” before putting itself on a “collision course” with Tehran.

Iranian newspapers carry the Supreme Leader’s comments, accusing the US of being behind terrorist attacks.

Ayatollah Khamenei said he had ’100 undeniable documents’ proving the US had been responsible for terrorism in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Israel has staged a mass drill, simulating the impact of a missile attack by Iran. It follows a week of media reports that Israel may attack Iranian nuclear installations, but the military has dismissed any link.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog is due to report on Iran’s nuclear programme next week.

“There is going to be a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which will highlight some of the progress that Iran has been able to make despite the various other issues and sanctions and other aspects that have slowed it down. But I don’t think that in any way it justifies that type of media headlines that we are having,” said Professor Gerald Steinberg from Bar Ilan University and also a columnist for the Jerusalem Post. more

Why Is Occupy Wall Street Blanketed With NYPD Cameras -- And Are Police Breaking the Law?

On October 15, the day OWS solidarity protests broke out as far away as Australia and Japan, and thousands of people poured into Times Square, a line of NYPD TARU (Technical Assistance Response Unit) officers stood on the street, pointing handheld digital cameras at the protestors jammed behind metal barricades. The SkyWatch tactical platform unit -- a "watchtower" with tinted windows like the one that's loomed over Zuccotti Park for most of the occupation -- stood at one corner, its four cameras roving across the crowd. The whole scene unfolded under the NYPD security cameras stationed all over Times Square and in most parts of the city.

Like the massive crowd control arsenal unleashed on OWS -- riot gear, smoke bombs, rubber bullets, pepper spray, horses, metal blockades, helicopters, plastic cuffs, and the police motorcycles, cars and vans that clog the streets -- the three-tiered surveillance seemed like overkill for an overwhelmingly peaceful movement, where the occasional slur thrown at police is usually shouted down with reminders not to goad cops because they're part of the 99 percent.

It's unclear what the NYPD plans to do with footage obtained by TARU. But recording legal protest activity violates the Handschu decree, a set of legal guidelines designed to check the NYPD's historic tendency to steamroll First Amendment rights. The order emerged from a class-action lawsuit prompted by revelations that the NYPD had spent much of the 20th century and millions of dollars monitoring legal protest activity, an endeavor that generated up to a million files on such dangerous radicals as education reform groups and housing advocates. The Handschu decree prohibits investigations of legal political activity and the collection of data, including images and video of protests, unless a crime has been committed. more

U.S. blames China, Russia for cyber espionage: What will America do about it?

China and Russia are using cyber espionage to steal U.S. trade and technology secrets to bolster their own economic development, which poses a threat to U.S. prosperity and security, a U.S. intelligence report said on Thursday.

So much sensitive information and research is on computer networks that foreign intruders can collect massive amounts of data quickly and with little risk because they are difficult to detect, according to the report to Congress titled "Foreign Spies Stealing US Economic Secrets in Cyberspace."

Foreign intelligence services, corporations and individuals increased their efforts to steal U.S. technologies which cost millions of dollars to develop, according to a report by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, a U.S. government agency. The report covers 2009-2011.

"The nations of China and Russia, through their intelligence services and through their corporations, are attacking our research and development," National Counterintelligence Executive Robert Bryant said.

"That's a serious issue because if we fuel their economies on our information, I don't think that's right," he said at a news conference. more

Growing pressure in Israeli cabinet to approve attack on Iran

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have been trying to muster a majority in the cabinet in favor of military action against Iran, a senior Israeli official was quoted as saying Wednesday by the Tel Aviv-based Haaretz newspaper said. According to the official, there is a "small advantage" in the cabinet for the opponents of such an attack.

Netanyahu and Barak recently persuaded hardline Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who previously objected to attacking Iran, to support such a move.

The newspaper claims Israeli leaders have been arguing over a possible war with Iran. Senior ministers publicly hinted on Tuesday that Israeli warplanes could attack Iran.

Senior ministers and diplomats said the International Atomic Energy Agency's report, due to be released on November 8, will have a decisive effect on the decisions Israel makes. source

‘US is determined to stay in Gulf’



American troops may be pulling out of Iraq, but they're staying in the Gulf region. Kuwait is top of the list of countries likely to take US troops in. News editor Jason Ditz says that the US is after control of the Middle East.

The Pentagon says stability in the Middle East is a priority. Jason Ditz, editor at Antiwar.com, told RT that the real priority for the US is to keep its forces in the region so as to be poised to launch attacks into Iraq – whether the Iraqi government agrees to them or not.

Ditz believes that as long as US media continues to report that they are out of the combat zone most people will probably believe that the war is really over.

“Last year the US ‘ended’ combat operations by redefining all combat troops in the country as non-combat troops. It was touted on [US TV] channels as the end of the Iraq war. It hasn’t been broadly covered ever since. A lot of people aren’t even really aware that the war is still going on,” he said.

Ditz says that putting pressure on Iran is also a goal of the US government. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said this move is proof of an ongoing commitment to the future of the region. Ditz argues that “in reality it’s an ongoing commitment to try to interfere in a region in which the US track record is far from stellar.”

However, according to Ditz, the invasion of Iran seems highly unlikely: “As far as this being a threat to invade Iran, it would be a very impractical way to launch such an invasion. If you look at a map Kuwait doesn’t border Iran. It’s not that far away from Iran but you’ve got Basra right in between, which is a major Shiite city in Iraq.” source

In Manipur, India, hostilities persist despite blockade's end

Truck driver Rahman Anwar, 33, was on National Highway 39 in September when his vehicle was surrounded by protesters angry because he was breaking their economic blockade. They smashed his head with a boulder and he died days later without regaining consciousness.

On Tuesday, the Kuki tribal group voted to end its 92-day blockade of the road in remote Manipur state after the government agreed to consider establishing a new administrative district known as Sadar Hills, part of the Kuki community's bid for greater autonomy.

During the blockade — which some say is the longest in Indian history — four people have been killed, 10 government buildings burned and Manipur residents have faced extensive shortages of fuel, food and medicine.

"We can only hope we're the last family that has to suffer like this," said Mohammad Anwar, 29, the slain truck driver's brother.

Given the deep tribal, geographical and historical divisions in Manipur, however, few expect it to end there. more

Can't find ET? Just look for city lights to locate alien civilisations, professors claim

The hunt for ET could be made all the more easier by searching for artificial light which creates a signature that could point to other-worldly civilisations, astronomers have claimed.

The suggestion comes from two American professors who say we should start surveying the edges of our solar system right away.

Harvard's Abraham Loeb and Princeton's Edwin Turner admit that detecting aliens by looking for the glow of their cities would be a long shot, but pointed out that the cost of the exercise would be low.
Prof Loeb, who chairs Harvard's astronomy department, told msnbc.com: 'We say that we can piggyback on existing surveys that people are doing anyway.

'There's no need to use extra resources. My philosophy is simple: If we can do it, why not do it and check? Why put blinders on ourselves?' more

Mysterious 'Unicorns of the Sea' Tracked by Scientists for First Time

The frigid waters of the Arctic are home to near-mythical creatures, sometimes called the "unicorns of the sea" for the long, ivory tusk that spirals several feet out of the top of their heads.

Worldwide there are only about 50,000 to 80,000 narwhals, as they are more commonly known, with about two-thirds of these whales summering in the fjords and inlets of Nunavut in northern Canada.

Scientists are hoping to learn more about narwhals through a new effort to track them as they move around the icy waters of northern Canada, as well as more about how declining amounts of sea ice are affecting the creatures.

"Although we've been working on a better understanding of the narwhal in the past seven or eight years, it was only recently that people have figured out how to fit satellite radios to them, so we know where they go and what they're eating,” said Pete Ewins, an Arctic species specialist for the environmental group WWF-Canada. more

Global Crisis: Second Wave?

The upcoming G20 summit on November 3-4, 2011 is unlikely to reverse the negative trends in the world economy. Russian political scientist Igor Panarin believes that another wave of the global crisis is quite possible.

­In the article below, Panarin explains his view.

Outside the European Parliament in Brussels, you can often see people taking pictures of each other posing against the statue of a haggard-looking woman holding the euro symbol. With the second wave of the global crisis looming, you can see all the current troubles of the euro reflected in the woman’s face. Her purposeful, even fiery, gaze seems to declare: the euro is here to stay.

Yet the Second Wave is in the offing and there are plenty of indicators that point to it. The latest in the row is the bankruptcy of MF Global, one of America’s biggest brokers, due to significant write-offs on the value of its European bonds. It’s the first major victim of the European debt crisis. There were attempts to save the company, but even former New Jersey governor and, more importantly, Goldman Sachs co-chairman, Jon Corzine failed to keep it afloat. This indicates that the European fiscal system is extremely shaky and it may soon face drastic changes.

The fact that the continuing debt fever in Europe demonstrates quite negative trends was proven by the latest reports from the eurozone leaders’ summit, where it was agreed to write off 50% of Greek bond debt and scale up the European Financial Stability Facility to €1 trillion. Many experts regard these steps as “too little too late.” It’s also alarming to see such a prompt increase of the EFSF to gigantic volumes. So far, its capacity has not been raised and remains at €440 billion. But its guarantee commitments have been significantly extended to €1 trillion. Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, went further, saying the leveraged volume could rise to €2 trillion.

Another adverse factor for the social and economic situation in Europe has been the military conflict in Libya. more

Ron Paul's 'Black Vote'



(Audio only.)

Report: Half of China’s millionaires want to leave

Nearly half of Chinese millionaires are thinking about leaving the country, while 14% have or are in the process of applying for emigration, according to a Hurun Research Institute and the Bank of China report.

Their joint “Private Banking White Paper 2011” talked to individuals with assets of more than 10 million yuan (US$1.57 million) in18 cities to find out how China’s super rich manage their wealth. The average asset holdings of the 980 surveyed are 60 million yuan (US$9.44 million), with the average age of 42.

Where do China’s millionaires want to move? North America is the top choice. The United States is the most popular immigration destination for Chinese millionaires, attracting 40% of the respondents who are interested in leaving China, followed closely by Canada (37%) followed by Singapore and Europe.

Half of the investors said they want to leave for better overseas education opportunities for their children. About a third invest abroad as a step toward emigration, while a quarter of them do so to diversify and manage risk.

Observers believe that personal and capital safety is an increasing concern for the rich who are choosing to transfer their wealth overseas.

“We see too many worried entrepreneurs nowadays who are afraid that they would end up in prison for offending Chinese officials,” Beijing-based scholar Hu Xingdou told Ming Pao, a Hong Kong newspaper. He believes the lack of legal protection in many areas has lead to the worsening of business environment in China, which is accelerating the emigration drive.

Where did they get their cash? One quarter of China’s top 1000 richest people obtained their wealth from property, compared to less than 10% among the world’s 1000 richest, the report says. The percentage of wealth generated from manufacturing industry is also significantly higher.

One-third of the rich surveyed own foreign assets, which accounts for 19% of their investment assets. Another one-third are planning to invest abroad. The most popular investment is property.

The outflow of super-rich is worrisome to some China observers. Hu warns that if the cash fails to flow back to the mainland due to recession, Chinese economy might face a collapse. source

Scientist Marco Kaltofen Presents Data Confirming Hot Particles: Fukushima, Japan

Fukushima Japan Nuclear Update (as of 10/31/11)

Life can exist on edge of black hole – astrophysicist



Black holes could become humanity’s salvation after the sun ceases to exist, Russian astrophysicist Vyacheslav Dokuchaev told RT.

“Our sun will not live forever – it will live for approximately a few billion years,” Dokuchaev said. “After that, heat production will stop. Our descendants will have to go to another place in the world – to the galactic center, where there are huge black holes.”

Dokuchaev explained that living inside black holes is quite similar to living outside.

“We only need the orbits that have existed for quite a long time and that do not have a problem with tidal forces,” the astrophysicist told RT. “The tidal forces are less if you are living inside a black hole of a bigger mass. If you construct your house inside the center of the galaxy, there will be no problem.”

Dokuchaev agrees that the idea could be subject to criticism in the scientific community, as the prediction is not easy to verify.

“Going inside a black hole is a one-way ticket,” Dokuchaev told RT. “We are not discussing human civilization traversing the black-hole horizon. We are speaking about our civilization a million years from now. Who knows what will happen with us in a million years? Our descendants may not be biological at all.” source

‘Palestinians are changing the rules of the game’



Palestine has received recognition by a UN body – its cultural arm has accepted it as a fully-fledged member. But this decision comes at a price, with the US cutting its part of the UNESCO funding.

Welcoming Palestine to the United Nation’s educational, scientific and cultural organization means saying “goodbye” to as much as 22 per cent of the organization’s budget. Washington has been the agency’s biggest contributor so far, and the US State Department has confirmed that they will stop sponsoring UNESCO.

A US law, passed in 1990, obliges Washington to cut up funding to UNESCO, should the organization admit Palestine. Nonetheless, this UN body, facing huge budget cuts, voted 107-14, with 52 abstentions. Eighty-one votes would be enough for approval, or two-thirds of the 173 eligible member delegations present.

The results of the vote present a very sensitive and jubilant moment for the Palestinians and a sour outcome for Israel and the United States. The latter seemed to have been doing everything possible to derail the vote, but to no avail.

Despite education, science and culture being UNESCO’s main focus, the vote has been seen as very much political, as a reminder of extreme popularity of Palestine’s bid for full membership. That application is now pending before the UN Security Council where the United States is threatening to use its veto power in order to scuttle the motion. more

Signs of Syria, Pakistan nuclear ties

UN investigators have identified a previously unknown complex in Syria that bolsters suspicions that the Syrian government worked with AQ Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb programme, to acquire technology that could be used to make nuclear arms. The buildings in northwest Syria closely match the design of a uranium enrichment plant provided to Libya when Muammar Gaddafi was trying to build nuclear weapons under Khan's guidance, officials told The Associated Press.

The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency also has obtained correspondence between Khan and a Syrian government official, Muhidin Issa, who proposed scientific cooperation and a visit to Khan's laboratories following Pakistan's successful nuclear test in 1998.

The complex, in the city of Al-Hasakah, now appears to be a cotton-spinning plant, and investigators have found no sign that it was ever used for nuclear production. But given that Israeli warplanes destroyed a suspected plutonium production reactor in Syria in 2007, the unlikely coincidence in design suggests that Syria may have been pursuing two routes to an atomic bomb: uranium as well as plutonium.

Details of the Syria-Khan connection were provided to the AP by a senior diplomat with knowledge of IAEA investigations and a former UN investigator. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. more

Why is our consumption falling?

The year 2001 was more eventful than most and, a decade on, we're inundated with anniversaries. September was 9/11, this month the invasion of Afghanistan and next month the release of the first iPod. To which we could add the foot-and-mouth crisis, the Gujarat earthquake and the first ever entries on Wikipedia.

With so many significant events to look back on, one thing that few people will remember 2001 for is its entry in the UK's Material Flow Accounts, a set of dry and largely ignored data published annually by the Office for National Statistics.

But, according to environment writer Chris Goodall, those stats tell an important story. "What the figures suggest," Goodall says enthusiastically, "is that 2001 may turn out to be the year that the UK's consumption of 'stuff' – the total weight of everything we use, from food and fuel to flat-pack furniture – reached its peak and began to decline."

Quietly spoken but fiercely intelligent, Goodall is a consultant and author who, over the last decade or so, has established himself as a leading analyst on energy and climate issues. Probably the only Green Party parliamentary candidate who also used to work at McKinsey, his speciality is trawling through environment statistics that would send traditional eco-warriors to sleep.

"One thing that's remarkable is the sheer speed with which our resource use has crashed since the recession," Goodall continues. "In the space of a couple of years, we've dropped back to the second lowest level since we started keeping track in 1970. And although the figures aren't yet available for 2010 and 2011, it seems highly likely that we are now using fewer materials than at any time on record." more

Wild weather worsening due to climate change, IPCC confirms

Freakish weather disasters — from the sudden October snowstorm in the north-east US to the record floods in Thailand — are striking more often. And global warming is likely to spawn more similar weather extremes at a huge cost, says a draft summary of an international climate report obtained by The Associated Press.

The final draft of the report from a panel of the world's top climate scientists paints a wild future for a world already weary of weather catastrophes costing billions of dollars. The report says costs will rise and perhaps some locations will become "increasingly marginal as places to live."

The report from the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be issued in a few weeks, after a meeting in Uganda. It says there is at least a two-in-three probability that weather extremes have already worsened because of man-made greenhouse gases.

This marks a change in climate science from focusing on subtle changes in daily average temperatures to concentrating on the harder-to-analyse freak events that grab headlines, cause economic damage and kill people. The most recent bizarre weather extreme, the pre-Halloween snowstorm in the US, is typical of the damage climate scientists warn will occur – but it's not typical of the events they tie to global warming.

"The extremes are a really noticeable aspect of climate change," said Jerry Meehl, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "I think people realise that the extremes are where we are going to see a lot of the impacts of climate change." more

City lights spy on Farmington Hills, Michigan

In Farmington Hills, Michigan, things just got a whole lot creepier. Officials say the installation of ten new high-tech light posts will curb crime and cut energy costs for the Midwest community.

All the townspeople have to do in return is give up their privacy.

Farmington Hills just became the first city in America to host a state-of-the-art system of lampposts that make up something called the Intellistreets system. Farmington Hills native Ron Harwood worked over ten years to make the project a reality, and as of Friday his dream had fully come to fruition. For his neighbors that dream of a future where their every move won’t be monitored, however, they might want to think about heading out of Michigan.

Simply put, the Intellistreets project is a system of Internet-connected luminaries that communicate with one another across the city. In addition to lighting the area, they can broadcast verbal and written messages, monitor rainfall and give directions.

According to their own website, the system is also great for “data harvesting.”

Not only does Intellistreets offer information about the neighborhood and provide light, it also monitors the conversations of pedestrians, records video, monitors foot-traffic and counts heads — all of which is recorded and stored for possible analysis. And according to Harwood, the tiny 80,000 community of Farmington Hills isn’t going to be the only town using his technology — Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh have placed orders and the inventor claims that he is in talks with the Department of Homeland Security.

“This is not a system with spook technology,” Harwood tells WXYZ News. To placate that argument, however, one must be comfortable knowing that their every move and whisper is recorded and monitored by a network of computers between posts that can be controlled by a central hub, iPhone or tablet. more

Texas’ New Grenade Launcher-Equipped Police Drone

Crime-Fighting Drone Fitted with Grenade Launcher: MyFoxHOUSTON.com



For the first time in the history of Texas, a local law enforcement agency will have a high tech drone with grenade-launching capabilities, night vision and infrared imaging at its disposal.

Last week the Blaze told you about the second drone heading to patrol the Texas border in support of federal operations. This time, though, a drone will be in the hands of local law enforcement. The Montgomery Sheriff’s office will have full operational control over its own Shadowhawk drone, marking a first for the Lone Star state.

The price tag on this little aerial beast? $250,000, much of it paid for by the department of Homeland Security. The operating cost of the drone is approximately only 11% of that required for a helicopter crew. In addition, it can be airborne in minutes, and only takes five minutes to completely refuel. more

Slums with penthouse views highlight Hong Kong's wealth divide

If you can tolerate the junkies on the stairwells or the rats that sometimes scale the 12 floors of her building on the external electrical wiring, Liu's penthouse shack ticks all the boxes for a multi-million dollar property in Hong Kong.

It's light, it's well ventilated and it has sweeping views of Kowloon's Lion Rock Hill. Constructed from recycled materials, the design is customized to her lifestyle down to the last detail.

"This is my washing machine," says Liu, pointing proudly to a small stainless steel basin on the terrace side of her rooftop house in Sham Shui Po. "I do my tai chi exercises here in the morning, and on moonlit nights I like to sit out here and look out on the mountain."

Anywhere else in Hong Kong, luxury apartments can often fetch HK$100 million (US$12.85 million), and a house with these features could easily cost the average transaction price of HK$13.25 million (US$1.7 million), according to data released by agency Midland Realty earlier this year.

The only difference is that as an unprepossessing corrugated iron shack that forms part of Hong Kong's extensive network of sky slums -- technically illegal rooftop structures barnacled onto the roofs of tenements built in the 1950s and 60s -- the market is sluggish.

Nevertheless, a grey market in these slum dwellings does exist.

"Of course the agent never explicitly says it's a rooftop dwelling. The listing will say something like small apartment with a unique view or interesting features," says Dr. Ernest Chiu of Hong Kong University who has studied informal housing.

I've heard anecdotal evidence of them changing hands for HK$40,000 (US$5,000) but that was three years ago when I was doing my research." more

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION - 5th Nov 2011

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck the Kermadec Islands Region at a depth of 50.7 km ( 31.5 miles), the quake hit at 16:49:37 UTC Saturday 5th November 2011.
The epicenter was 104 km ( 64 miles) ENE of Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Occupy Sydney protesters vow to stay put

Occupy Sydney protesters are vowing to stay put after chaotic scenes which saw several protesters dragged away by police.

About 100 protesters had moved from an earlier rally at Martin Place on Saturday afternoon to Hyde Park to continue their protest against corporate greed.

Their protest was peaceful until police moved in to take down a tent set up by protesters.

Several people were dragged away by police as protesters chanted "Let them stay, let them stay" and called the police "nazis".

Three people have been arrested and all are expected to face charges.

Police said they expected to charge a 29-year-old man with resisting and hindering police and escaping lawful custody, while two others are to be charged with failing to comply with police and using offensive language.

Protesters said they were determined to stay in the park, maintaining they had a right to protest and were not doing anything illegal.

"We are standing together in the middle of Hyde Park and we are linking arms and hoping to stay here as long as possible," protester Ben Peterson told AAP on Saturday night.

"There has been a lot of police harassment and we have been told we will be moved on ... but there is absolutely no basis for any legal move-on."

A police spokesman said a heavy police presence would remain to monitor the situation.

"Police will continue to monitor throughout the evening," a police spokeswoman told AAP on Saturday night.

"I don't know how long they are going to be there but obviously police will do whatever they need to do." more

Guatemala's toxic river of trash that is attracting thousands of 'miners' risking life in search of gold and jewellery

Amidst a torrent of grey, toxic water, these are the men who call themselves ‘miners’ as they risk their lives in search for gold and jewellery in a garbage-filled gorge.

The water spews from a drainage tunnel and surges along the ravine, tumbling along trash that has fallen from Guatemala City’s landfill 1,000 feet above.

Despite the foul odours, the danger of unstable piles of garbage collapsing and the chance for heavy rain to suddenly raise the water level, dozens of people are busily at work searching for jewellery and other metal scraps knocked loose from the trash.

They call the ravine the ‘mine’, and refer to themselves as ‘miners’.

Every day, about 300 hike to the bottom of the ravine in Guatemala's capital and wade into the water in search of rings and bracelets made of silver or gold. Read More

NY mayor lashes out at Occupy Wall Street protesters

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lashed out at anti-greed Occupy Wall Street activists on Thursday after reports of self-policing, his patience seeming to wear thin with the seven-week old movement.

The mayor said there were sexual assaults and a possible rape at the protesters' gathering place in Zuccotti Park.

"There have been reports, which are equally as disturbing, that when people in Zuccotti Park become aware of crimes, instead of calling the police, they form a circle around the perpetrator," Bloomberg said.

People in the park then "chastise him or her and chase him or her out into the rest of the city to do who knows what to who knows whom," the major said.

Bloomberg called that "despicable and ... outrageous" behavior which makes "all of us less safe."

An Occupy Wall Street kitchen worker has been charged with sexually abusing an 18-year-old activist in her tent. Bloomberg said the man was also a suspect in a rape at Zuccotti Park.

Protesters set up camp in the park in mid-September to protest a financial system they believe mostly benefits corporations and the wealthy. Similar protests against economic inequality have since sprouted globally. more

Tornado rips the roof off stable as it swept past the Worcestershire village of Inkberrow, England - 5th Nov 2011

It looks like the aftermath of a tropical storm, but this scene of destruction took place on a farm in Worcestershire yesterday.

A tornado uprooted trees and tore the roof of a stable as it swept past the village of Inkberrow in the mid-afternoon.

Amazingly, the fierce winds threw the stable roof 20metres through the air before it came to rest stuck in the branches of a nearby tree.

Other trees were left broken in half at the Knowle Fields Barn Farm complex.

Incredibly, the storm passed over workers in a nearby office building, who didn't realise the extent of the damage until they stepped outside after it had finished.

Dawn Wheatcroft, office manager at partitioning company Waterson's Projects, which is based on the site, said that the storm seemed to 'last forever'. Read More

Suicide bombers, explosives target northeast Nigeria amid wave of radical sect attacks

Suicide bombers attacked a military base, a car bomb exploded outside a barracks and explosives detonated Friday around northeast Nigeria, a region under siege from a radical Muslim sect, officials said. While casualties weren’t immediately clear, one blast struck outside a school where parents had arrived to pick up their children.

There was no claim of responsibility but blame immediately fell to the sect known as Boko Haram, which has staged targeted assassinations and bombings in the region, killing more than 240 people this year alone across Nigeria’s Muslim north, according to a count by The Associated Press.

The attacks appear to be the most bold and coordinated ever carried out by Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege.”

In August, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing at the United Nations headquarters in Nigeria’s capital, which killed 24 people and left another 116 wounded. Friday’s attacks involved five separate assaults, including one on a high-profile military installation. more

M5 inferno: Seven dead and 51 injured as police fear more bodies will be found inside 34 vehicles wrecked by fireball - 5th Nov 2011

At least seven people were killed and 51 injured in a horrific crash on the M5 motorway described by the emergency services today as one of the worst they have ever seen.

There are fears the death toll could soar even higher as police said they believe bodies may still be trapped in vehicles which have been left 'burnt and unrecognisable'.

The smash on the northbound carriageway near Taunton, Somerset, involved 34 vehicles, including four lorries. Police said the vehicles were 'immediately alight' following the crash as a 'massive fireball' engulfed the carriageway.

Officers confirmed that a fireworks display was going on at the nearby Bridgwater Carnival at Taunton Rugby Club which witnesses said cast a pall of black smoke over the motorway carriages when the collision happened at 8.25pm last night. Read More

'The Common Currency Endgame Has Begun' -- Europe is toast

It took less than a week for confidence in the euro zone to evaporate. Again. Last Wednesday, European Union leaders agreed to sweeping measures aimed at saving the common currency. But the shocking announcement on Monday by Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou that his country intended to hold a referendum on the conditions of the bailout measures, with its rigid and unpopular austerity measures, was all it took to shake markets again and raise doubts about the strength of the bailout.

As if that weren't bad enough, interest rates are rising on Italian government bonds again -- this week increasing to 6.4 percent and ever closer to the psychologically important 7 percent figure at which analysts believe the country will begin to have significant difficulties refinancing its debt.

On Thursday, even as Papandreou abandoned his referendum plans, he reinforced the image of a bumbling euro zone unable to get a grip on its currency crisis. His about face came within 24 hours of an emergency meeting with euro-zone leaders in Cannes -- and under tremendous pressure from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

For the first time, the pair broke a longstanding taboo by raising the prospect that Greece might be forced to exit the euro. "We are prepared," Merkel said. And high-ranking representatives of the euro states said they were already reviewing scenarios of a Greek insolvency. On Thursday, Merkel reiterated her message, saying "our main concern is the stability of the euro."

Papandreou backed down after Merkel and Sarkozy threatened to freeze an €8 billion aid tranche until the referendum had been concluded. The Greek prime minister faces a crucial vote of confidence on Friday evening. more

Anonymous to attack Fox, Facebook, banks and drug cartel on November 5?

If you haven’t made it a point to remember the fifth of November before, hacktivists belonging to the group Anonymous are looking to change all of that this weekend.

According to various tweets, blog posts and message across the Web, November 5 will host a series of attacks on various institutions waged by members of the online collective Anonymous. Among the rumored targets this weekend include Fox News, Facebook and a notorious Mexican drug cartel.

Additionally, November 5 is scheduled to be the day that customers of big banks across America have vowed to close down their accounts and transfer their money to smaller institutions in alignment with the growing Occupy movement. Across the Internet and in Occupy encampments across the country, November 5 is being dubbed as Bank Transfer Day, Move Your Money Day and other monikers as part of the Operation Cashback movement.

Internationally, November 5 is recognized as Guy Fawkes Day, named in remembrance of the radical Englishman who attempted to overthrow parliament in 1605. His plight was idolized in the major motion picture V For Vendetta, and the Guy Fawkes mask from the film has since become the calling card for members of Anonymous.

On Saturday, those members are expected to open up battlefronts across the Web and in banks across the country.

Aside from the Operation Cashback initiative, Anonymous has previously vowed that it will take on the website for Fox News on November 5, swearing to shut down their servers under the umbrella of an agenda called Operation Fox Hunt. According to a YouTube video posted on October 22, the assault on Fox will come as a response to the cable news network’s lack of serious coverage aimed at the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Now in its second month, Fox was late to devote any coverage to the movement and, once it did, took a light-hearted and laughable approach at what polls show that many Americans feel is a serious issue. more

3.6 Magnitude Earthquake OKLAHOMA - 5th Nov 2011

A magnitude 3.6 earthquake has struck Oklahoma at a depth of 4.9 km ( 3 miles), the quake hit at 14:36:30 UTC Saturday 5th November 2011.
The epicenter was 4 km ( 2.4 miles) Southeast of Sparks, Oklahoma
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Note: Earlier Aftershocks in the same area.

3.3 Magnitude - 11:24:16 UTC
3.4 Magnitude - 13:42:26 UTC
3.4 Magnitude - 13:52:02 UTC

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake PAPUA, INDONESIA - 5th Nov 2011

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Papua, Indonesia at a depth of 43.8 km ( 27.2 miles), the quake hit at 12:09:44 UTC Saturday 5th November 2011.
The epicenter was 209 km ( 129 miles) Northwest of Tanahmerah, Papua, Indonesia
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Syria peace plan unravels; 15 killed in protests - 5th Nov 2011

A Syrian peace plan brokered by the Arab League has unraveled as security forces killed 15 people, opening fire on thousands of protesters who denounced President Bashar Assad and said he never intended to hold up his end of the deal to end the violence.

Friday's bloodshed, coming only two days after Syria agreed to the deal, suggests Damascus is unwilling -- or unable -- to put a swift end to a crackdown that already has killed 3,000 people since the uprising began in March.

"This regime is not serious about ending its brutal crackdown," said Mustafa Osso, a Syria-based human rights lawyer. "Today was a real test for the intentions of the regime and the answer is clear to everyone who wants to see."

The crisis in Syria has burned for nearly eight months despite widespread condemnation and international sanctions aimed at chipping away at the ailing economy and isolating Assad and his tight circle of relatives and advisers. The protesters have grown increasingly frustrated with the limits of their peaceful movement, and there are signs of a growing armed rebellion in some areas.

Some protesters even are calling for the kind of foreign military action that helped topple Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Read More

45 Chinese miners in cave-in pulled out alive - 5th Nov 2011

Forty-five grimy, exhausted Chinese coal miners trapped by a cave-in were rescued Saturday, ending a 36-hour ordeal in the world's most dangerous country for the industry. Eight other miners were killed in the accident.

After Thursday's cave-in, at least 200 workers dug a small rescue tunnel about 1,650 feet (500 meters) deep to reach the trapped miners, the People's Daily newspaper said. Seven trapped miners were pulled out alive Friday from the mine in the city of Samenxia in Henan province, in central China.

On Saturday, state broadcaster CCTV showed rescuers with helmets and oxygen tanks carrying the workers out of the mine shaft to ambulances. The miners lay on stretchers, wrapped with blankets with their eyes covered by towels to prevent them from being damaged by the sudden exposure to light after hours of being trapped.

The rescue was the biggest in the country since April 2010, when 115 miners were pulled out alive after being trapped for eight days in a mine in northern China.

Luo Lin, head of the State Administration for Work Safety, praised the rescue after the last miner was rushed away in an ambulance, but said more work needed to be done to promote safety. Read More

Floodwaters close in on heart of Thai capital - 5th Nov 2011

Floodwaters lapped Bangkok's largest outdoor market Saturday as officials warned that no major barriers now stood in the way to prevent the water from reaching the heart of the Thai capital.

Hoping to divert some of the mass of water still piled up in northern Bangkok, workers Friday night completed a 3.7-mile (6-kilometer) flood wall made from massive, hastily assembled sand bags, said Bangkok city spokesman Jate Sopitpongstorn. But the city will have to rely on its existing drainage system to fight water that was already just a few miles (kilometers) from the central business district, he said.

Water from the country's worst flooding in more than half a century flowed past the eastern side of the famed Chatuchak Weekend Market, a sprawling open air shopping zone and major tourist attraction that sits less than 6 miles (10 kilometers) north of the central business district. Associated Press reporters saw only a few vendors and shoppers on a day that would normally be packed with sellers and buyers.

The floodwaters were also advancing southward in adjacent Lad Phrao, a district studded with office towers, condominiums and a popular shopping mall. Read More

High Levels of Radioactive asphalt detected in South Korea - 4th Nov 2011

Employees of a construction company remove asphalt on the road where higher than normal levels of radiation were detected in the Wolgye neighborhood of Seoul’s Nowon District, Nov. 4.

The Nowon District government decided to remove asphalt from two roads and repave them after it detected radiation 10 times higher than the permitted standard for an entire year for a 24 hour exposure. The district government believes the asphalt contains radioactive materials and also suggested the Seoul City government thoroughly investigate the roads across the city.

The fact that the asphalt was contaminated with radiation was first discovered by a farmer and investment consultant. Baek Cheong-joon, 42, who bought two instruments at 20 million won to measure and analyze radiation to protect his children worried of radioactive materials flying from Japan in the wake of Fukushima nuclear accident. He discovered the contaminated asphalt on Nov. 1, receiving a tip from a resident in the Wolgye neighborhood.

Alfonso Cano, leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) Killed In Military Attack - 5th Nov 2011

The head of Colombia's main rebel group, the Farc, has been killed in a military bombing, the defence ministry has said.

Alfonso Cano, leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), had been the country's top target since September 2010, when the group's military chief was killed.

The government offered up to $3.7m (£2.3m) for information that would lead to his capture.

"The fingerprints matched," said one senior security official who confirmed the death, adding that the 63-year-old was killed in "a standard military operation" in Cauca state in which ground troops also participated.

His killing is the latest in a series of withering blows to Latin America's last remaining leftist rebel army that began in March 2008, when the Farc's foreign minister, Raul Reyes, was killed in a bombing across the border in Ecuador.

That same month, the Farc's revered co-founder, Manuel Marulanda, died in a mountain hideout of a heart attack. He was believed to be 78. Read More

3.9 Magnitude Earthquake EL HIERRO, CANARY ISLANDS - 5th Nov 2011

A magnitude 3.9 earthquake has struck El Hierro, Canary Islands at a depth of 20 km ( 12.4 miles), the quake hit at 09:44:44 UTC Saturday 5th November 2011.
The epicenter was 80 km ( 49.6 miles) Southwest of Valle Gran Rey, Canary Islands
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Whale surprises surfer and nearly swallows her whole after lunging out of water in front of beachgoers, California - 4th Nov 2011

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Earlier in the week the U.S. Coast Guard warned of a pod of whales approaching the California coast and the dangers they faced to beach-goers, but nothing could prepare these swimmers for what happened to them next.

Idling in the water off Santa Cruz, the glassy-smooth surface beside a surfer and group of kayakers was smashed when two whales plunged, mouth-gaping wide out of the water, nearly swallowing them whole.

The entire scene was caught on camera by one of the swimmers, to her total shock - then and now. Read More