Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanks for the help, guys!

Make it a daily habit, just once a day, to follow the request on the flashing arrow banner above.

It only takes 5 seconds of your time, is completely safe, and does a world a good!

Let's make a deal: You give us that five seconds of your time just once a day, and we'll give you 24/7 news that you can trust. Let's do this together.

Thanks for listening and doing!

-- Matt & Lynsey

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN TURKEY - 17th Nov 2011

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Eastern Turkey at a depth of 19.4 km (12.1 miles), the quake hit at 02:37:21 UTC Thursday 17th November 2011.
The epicenter was 40 km ( 24 miles) North of Mus, Turkey
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

5.7 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE COAST OF ECUADOR - 17th Nov 2011

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake has struck off the Coast of Ecuador at a depth of 29.8 km (18.5 miles), the quake hit at 01:57:05 UTC Thursday 17th November 2011.
The epicenter was 129 km ( 80 miles) Southwest of Manta, Ecuador
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWESTERN SAKHA, RUSSIA - 16th Nov 2011

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck Southwestern Sakha, Russia at a depth of 15.8 km (9.8miles), the quake hit at 22:05:54 UTC Wednesday 16th November 2011.
The epicenter was 145 km ( 90 miles) ENE of Ust'-Nera, Sakha, Russia
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 16th Nov 2011

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck off the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles), the quake hit at 19:39:48 UTC Wednesday 16th November 2011.
The epicenter was 106 km ( 65.7 miles) East of Miyako, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Shelby Dasher Charged With Murdering Her 13 Month Old Son, Tyler: Boy was found dead Tuesday; Police say mother said she hit boy repeatedly for crying

Prosecutors have charged a 20-year-old suburban St. Louis woman with murdering her 13-month-old son. St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said Wednesday that
Shelby Dasher is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her son, Tyler. She was arrested early Wednesday and is being held on $500,000 cash bond. McCulloch says Dasher admitted to police that she repeatedly struck her son because he was crying and "wouldn't lay down, wouldn't go back to sleep." He says she told police she disposed of the body.

Dasher reported her son missing Tuesday. Police say she initially told them she overslept that morning and discovered him gone from his crib when she awoke. People walking a dog discovered the boy's body later Tuesday near a cemetery about a mile from his home. source

OWS Protesters Calling For ‘Day Of Action’ Following Loss Of Camp In Zuccotti Park -- Possible confrontation ahead

The loss of their camp at Zuccotti Park doesn’t seem to be slowing down the Occupy Wall Street movement as protesters are calling for “a national day of direct action” on Thursday.

According to their website, protesters are planning three major actions Thursday starting with a “shut down” of Wall Street.

It all starts with a rally in Liberty Square starting at 7 a.m. to “put an end to Wall Street’s reign of terror.”

Then, protesters will fan out to all five boroughs of the city in what’s being called Occupy the Subway.

They plan on gathering at 16 subways stations around New York City to take their message to the trains.

Finally, they say tens of thousands of protesters will end the day in Foley Square followed by a march to the Brooklyn Bridge to mark the two month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Their website says similar days of action are also planned at Occupy sites around the country and around the world.

After Tuesday’s raid of Zuccotti Park that cleared it of tents, sleeping bags and tarps, protesters marched to Foley and Duarte Square where they distributed a poster about Thursday’s day of action. more

Chinese man sets himself on fire in Tiananmen Square

A Chinese man set himself on fire in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in what is thought to be the first act of self-immolation at the scene of the 1989 pro-democracy protests for more than a decade.

The incident - which happened on October 21 - appeared nowhere in China's censored state media, but was also witnessed by a Daily Telegraph reader who photographed the aftermath as Chinese police rushed to douse the flames using fire extinguishers.

"The man did it right in front of me. He stepped over the low railing in front of the cycle-lane that runs past the picture of Chairman Mao. He was only two or three metres away from me," recalled Alan Brown, a retired RAF Engineer from Somerton, Somerset.

"He said something quickly and a policeman nearby was suddenly agitated, but this chap whipped out his lighter and set himself on fire. Without being melodramatic, he looked straight at me and set himself on fire.

"The policeman initially leapt back and then grabbed a fire extinguisher from his motorbike and put the man out," added Mr Brown, who was holidaying in China with his wife, Pamela.

Despite being witnessed by several hundred other Chinese bystanders there is no record or mention of the incident either in China's heavily censored state media, or on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, where news deemed sensitive or undesirable by the state often leaks out. more

Jim Keefe: Head teacher attacked with bleach over school merger

The headmaster of a private school was attacked on his doorstep and had bleach thrown in his face for his part in an unpopular merger, police suspect.

Jim Keefe, 42, is the head of Arnold School in Blackpool, where fees are almost £9,000 a year.

Alumni of the 115-year-old school include a Nobel Prize-winner, the founder of Jaguar Cars and several sports stars, including Jimmy Armfield, the former England footballer.

Arnold recently agreed to merge with a rival local school, King Edward VII and Queen Mary School, in nearby Lytham St Annes.

However, the merger has proven unpopular with many parents and pupils.

Opponents alleged that the Arnold trustees were “selling off” the school; that they could earn £25million in salaries and dividends, that tuition fees would rise; and that the governors of both schools would make considerable financial gains. more

Tornado strikes southern Indiana town, ripping roof off police station - 15th Nov 2011

A tornado struck a southern Indiana town, tearing the roof off the police and fire headquarters and leaving debris piled on the courthouse square.

The National Weather Service said Monday night’s storm damaged numerous buildings in the Orange County town of Paoli, about 40 miles northwest of Louisville, Ky. The town also had widespread power outages following the storm, but no injuries were immediately reported.

“Fortunately we had nobody hurt. There are all kinds of rumors flying around of people hurt or missing. That’s not true. Everybody is accounted for,” Orange County Emergency Management Agency Director Rick Emerick told The Times-Mail of Bedford.

he National Weather Service said the damage was done by an F1 tornado with winds of about 95 mph. The tornado was on the ground for about two miles and was about 100 yards wide, the weather service said.

Emerick said emergency workers went door to door to check on residents during the night. Read More

38 sent to hospital after bee attack at Ngee Ann Poly‎, Singapore - 16th Nov 2011

Ngee Ann Polytechnic students participating in a sports and wellness class this morning were sent fleeing from the field when bees in a hive on a tree attacked them.

The students said they had been playing sports such as netball and soccer in the field when they heard cries for them to take cover.

'When I heard it I just ran. I was scared I could hear bees buzzing,' said a year one student who was playing soccer.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived to deal with the incident, which happened at about 8.30am. Source

Hundreds may have been exposed to measles in Edmonton, Canada - 15th Nov 2011

Up to 1,000 people may have been exposed to measles in downtown Edmonton and at University Hospital, Alberta Health Services said Tuesday.

Only people who have not been vaccinated or have not had the contagious disease should be concerned that they were exposed to the person who had measles.

“We’re particularly asking those people ... to watch very carefully for symptoms. And if symptoms develop, to stay home, stay away from people as much as possible and to call Health Link,” said Dr. Marcia Johnson, medical officer of health for the Edmonton zone.

Exposure may have occurred at the following locations and times:

— Manulife Place (office tower only), 10180 101st St., Nov. 1, 2, 3 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to noon

— Synergy Fall Social Event, main ballroom, Sutton Place Hotel, Nov. 3 from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

— University of Alberta Hospital, emergency department, Nov. 8 from 7:30 p.m. to midnight, and Nov. 9 from midnight to 4:30 a.m.

People who may have been exposed should continue to look for symptoms through Nov. 29.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus easily spread through the air, or by sneezing or coughing. Symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough and a rash that spreads all over the body. A red, blotchy rash usually starts behind the ears and on the face, and spreads down the body, toward the arms and legs.

An infected person may not show symptoms for up to 18 days, Read More

Two EF-2 Tornadoes Confirmed in Chautauqua County, New York - 15th Nov 2011



A team of investigators from the National Weather Service has determined two EF-2 tornadoes touched down in Chautauqua County on Monday.

The National Weather Service says the first tornado touched down in Fredonia at 5:10 p.m. The second touched down a short time later in Westfield.

They, along with officials from the Chautauqua County Emergency Services, announced their findings at a news conference on Tuesday morning, after surveying the storm damage.

In Westfield, parts of barns were completely crushed and debris littered fields. Some metal was even stuck, twisted in tree branches

"We're going to wait until the insurance documents it and everything and then probably in a few days we'll start cleaning up," said Dean Mead, whose barn was damaged. Read More

Radioactive cloud detected in France and large parts of Europe

A CLOUD of radioactive gas has been detected over France and large parts of Europe but the French nuclear watchdog IRSN and the International Atomic Energy Agency say there is no public health risk.

The gas - iodine-131 - was first officially revealed to have been detected in the Czech Republic last week and also in Sweden, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany and Austria. It is thought to have been spreading for about two weeks.

However, the IAEA said the atmospheric pollution was not caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in March in Japan. Iodine-131 is a short-lived radioactive isotope that has a half-life of about eight days and - with the prevailing winds across Japan carrying any airborne pollution across the Pacific towards the US - it would have all but vanished by the time it reached Europe.

However, much of the radiation released by Fukushima was Iodine-131 and it is linked to increased thyroid problems.

France's Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire also said the levels of radioactivity were too low to cause any risk to the public.

The IAEA said to The Connexion: "The levels of iodine-131 currently being detected are extremely low. If a person of any age were to breathe in iodine at the current levels for a whole year, then they would receive a dose of less than 0.1 microsieverts for the year. To put this into perspective, the average annual background radiation is 2400 microsieverts for the year." Read More

Economic crisis 'could spark rapid spread of HIV across Europe' - 16th Nov 2011

Experts have warned that the economic crisis could spark a 'rapid spread' of HIV infections across Europe.

Budget cuts have resulted in understaffing and hospital closures, while many patients say they are unable to afford medical treatment.

As a result an EU health agency has reported that the situation has triggered a growth in the number of drug-related HIV infections.

Greece, where hospitals had their budgets cut by 40 per cent, has witnessed a 52 per cent rise in the number of HIV infections among drug users.

While new infections were reported in Bulgaria, Estonia and Lithuania the European narcotics agency EMCDDA revealed in its annual report.

Wolfgang Gotz, director of the agency said: 'Across Europe drug services are under pressure, and HIV prevention is not always given the policy priority it once had.

'In some (EU) member states, we are witnessing an exceptional set of circumstances that create a perfect storm for causing the rapid spread of drug-related HIV infections within vulnerable communities.' Read More

Rebecca Zahau was less likely a victim of suicide than of murder according to Dr Phil Expert's - 16th Nov 2011

A prominent forensic pathologist said a woman found hanged, bound and nude at the mansion of her wealthy boyfriend was less likely a victim of suicide than of murder, and he urged a reopening of the case.

Dr Cyril Wecht, a private consultant in high-profile investigations ranging from the Kennedy assassination to the death of Anna Nicole Smith, made a nationally televised appearance today on the 'Dr. Phil' show to render his opinion about the bizarre death of Rebecca Zahau.

Dr Wecht performed a second, independent autopsy on Miss Zahau's body last month at the request of relatives who have challenged the official determination of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and coroner that she took her own life. Read More


US Post office near default? Losses mount to $5.1B

The U.S. Postal Service said Tuesday it has lost $5.1 billion in the past year, pushing it closer to imminent default on a multibillion-dollar payment and to future bankruptcy as the weak economy and increased Internet use drive down mail volume.

The financial losses for the year ended Sept. 30 came despite deep cuts of more than 130,000 jobs in recent years and the closing of some smaller local post offices.

Losses will only accelerate in the coming year, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe warned, citing faster-than-expected declines in first-class mail. He implored Congress to take swift, wide-ranging action to stabilize the ailing agency's finances as it nears a legal deadline Friday to pay $5.5 billion into the U.S. Treasury for future retiree health benefits.

Congress is expected to grant a reprieve, but that will only delay the day of reckoning for an agency struggling for relevance in an electronic age. Based on current losses, the Postal Service says it will run out of money - or come dangerously close - next September, forcing it to halt service.

"We are at a point where we require urgent action," Donahoe said.

In the event of a shutdown, private companies such as FedEx and UPS could handle a small portion of the material the post office moves, but they do not go everywhere. No business has shown interest in delivering letters everywhere in the country for a set rate of 44 cents for a first-class letter. more

Cancer center's Santa gets boot: "We don't want to offend anyone"

It's not even December, but Santa has already been fired from Charleston's Hollings Cancer Center.

For each of the past two years, hospital volunteer Frank Cloyes spent one day as St. Nick, spreading good cheer and snacks to patients sitting through chemotherapy treatments. The 67-year-old James Island resident, a retired insurance executive who calls himself a "gregarious guy," paid for his own costume rental.

On Tuesday morning, a volunteer coordinator told Cloyes his services no longer were needed.

"Because of our state affiliation, we decided not to have a Santa presence this year," Hollings spokeswoman Vicky Agnew said. Hollings is a part of the Medical University of South Carolina.

Decorations will be "more secular and respectful to all beliefs," Agnew said. "We don't want to offend a volunteer with good intentions, but we need to think of the bigger picture. People who are Muslim or Jewish or have no religious beliefs come here for treatment," she said.

Bah humbug, said Cloyes, a self- described libertarian with no religious affiliation.

"Santa is a tradition and everyone loves him," Cloyes said. "It's just something that makes people happy for a while. Kids liked it, staff liked it. People took pictures." more

Attack on Iran could risk Gulf oil supplies

Iran is contemplating violently shutting down shipping in the Persian Gulf as one of several counterattack options if Israel strikes its nuclear facilities, regional and intelligence analysts say.

Such attacks would present the Obama administration with the option of undertaking a limited war against Iran by striking its warships and shore-based anti-ship missiles to keep the Gulf open for business.

Former CIA analyst Larry C. Johnson said Iran has enough firepower to effectively close the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of all the world’s oil moves.

“One of the things that Iran has exercised, has the capability to do, is shut down the Persian Gulf,” Mr. Johnson said. “The best-case scenario is they shut it down for a week. The worst case is they shut it down for three to four months.”

He said Iran could unleash small boats laden with explosives “that we don’t have adequate covers for. Add to that the ability to fire multiple missiles. Our naval force will try to stop it, and that’s the hope.” more

New Italian Cabinet Contains No Politicians, Only "Technocrats"

Italy's new leader Mario Monti has formed a technocratic government containing no politicians as the country attempts to stave off financial disaster.

Economist and former European commissioner Mr Monti, who will be both prime minister and economic minister, has announced his new cabinet after two days of consultation.

Among the unelected technocrats he appointed was Corrado Passera, chief executive of Italy's biggest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo. He was named infrastructure and industry minister.

Mr Monti has the task of pushing through tough austerity plans demanded by European leaders to restore shattered confidence in the country.

The new leader said he was aiming to restart economic growth and hoped international markets would be placated by the installation of the new government.

He said it would need to convince the Italian public and parliament about what were expected to be painful austerity policies, and also paid tribute to outgoing PM Silvio Berlusconi who resigned on Saturday, bowing to market pressure. more

Oscar Ramiro Ortega arrested in Pennsylvania days after bullet hits window of the White House residence - 16th Nov 2011

After a manhunt for a disturbed gunman who is suspected of shooting at the White House with an AK-47 assault rifle and smashing a window, he was captured in Pennsylvania on Wednesday.

Police said Oscar Ramiro Ortega - who is thought to have a fixation on the building - opened fire across a lawn from half a mile away then ran off.

He was found by a Pennsylvania state trooper at a hotel near Indiana, Pennsylvania, shortly after noon on Wednesday.

When the White House was checked a round was found to have gone into a window and was only stopped from going inside by the bulletproof glass interior layer behind it.

A second round was found outside.

Barack and Michelle Obama were not in the White House at the time. He was in California en route to the APEC summit in Hawaii.

The Secret Service has not yet been able to definitely link the two incidents but were hunting Ortega, 21.

They said that he is mentally disturbed and had been in Washington for weeks before opening fire, coming back and forth to Washington Mall.

Agents said he is unpredictable and were extremely worried what he might do next.

They were also unsure if he is capable of launching a more sophisticated attack. Read More

Gerald Celente’s gold account was emptied by MF Global (More intrestingly: He has 6 figures worth of gold? Hmm...)



The recent bankruptcy of financial stalwart and Wall Street casino failure MF Global in the US, has claimed a new and unlikely victim. Following the company’s glorious collapse, Trends Research founder Gerald Celente had his own six figure gold investment account completely looted by chapter 11 trustees, and he is fighting to get it back.

Gerald Celente joined Alex Jones on the Infowars Nightly News for an in-depth discussion on the fallout from MF Global, with Celente issuing a stark warning to all Americans to withdraw their funds from the banks because “they are going to steal all our money”. Watch the video below (parts 2 and 3 to follow shortly). more

Paul LaDuke: Teacher Accused Of Masturbating In Class... with children in it... for the past 10 years...



A teacher at a suburban Christian school has been charged with a felony, after he was fired for allegedly masturbating behind a podium while teaching class.

As CBS 2′s Dana Kozlov reports, Schaumburg police said he might have been doing it for the past 10 years or more.

And in court Wednesday, a Cook County assistant state’s attorney told the judge that prosecutors have a handwritten note from LaDuke, in which he admits to fantasizing about female students while masturbating in class for the past 10 years.

Paul LaDuke, 75, has been charged with sexual exploitation of a child. LaDuke has been a math teacher at the school for 26 years, and is also an ordained minister.

Bond for LaDuke was set at $40,000 at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse Wednesday morning.

On Friday, a student at Schaumburg Christian School, located at 200 N. Roselle Rd., reported to another teacher that LaDuke appeared to be masturbating while seated at his podium during class.

The teacher notified the school administration, which launched an internal investigation. LaDuke was fired on Friday and, on Monday, school officials contacted Schaumburg police. more

Joe Amendola, Lawyer for Penn State 'child abuser' Jerry Sandusky 'got girl pregnant when she was 17 and he was 49' - 16th Nov 2011

The lawyer for alleged Penn State child abuser Jerry Sandusky got a teenage girl pregnant when she was 17 and he was 49, according to a report.

Defense attorney Joe Amendola, 63, is said to have later married the girl.

The Daily online newspaper quoted from documents in State College, Pennsylvania, that show Amendola represented Mary Lavasile in an emancipation hearing in 1996 just weeks before her 17th birthday.

At about the same time, the teenager became pregnant with the lawyer’s child, her mother, Janet, told The Daily. The age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16.

She said she thought Amendola was a ‘mentor’ figure to her daughter and did not realize the extent of their relationship. Read More

Joe Paterno in line for $500,000 a year pension -- Is this how we reward evil people?

Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's long service at the university theoretically puts him in line for a pension of more than $500,000 a year, according to an Associated Press analysis of state public pension records.

Paterno's pension records obtained Tuesday from the State Employees' Retirement System credit him with more than 60 years in the system. The formula used to determine benefits makes him eligible for a pension equal to 100 percent of the average of his three highest-salary years.

His pay rose from $541,000 to $568,000 over the past three full calendar years.

When Paterno retires, he will have to make a set of choices to determine his pension, including whether to designate a survivor to receive benefits after he dies and whether to obtain a one-time, lump-sum payment of his own contributions.

State Employees' Retirement System spokeswoman Pamela Hile said Internal Revenue Code and Retirement Code benefit limits may also apply, so the agency does not issue estimated pension benefits ahead of time. There also is a long-service supplement that could boost Paterno to 110 percent of his final average salary. more

Pit Bulls Slaughtered 42 Goats -- Three captured; one on the loose

Animal control officers captured three of four pit bulls believed to have killed 42 goats in a Los Angeles-area farm.

The goats were slaughtered on a property at 164th Street and Avenue Q Monday in Lancaster, county officials said.

"It appears that the pack mentality set in in this particular incident," Aaron Reyes, deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, told the LA Times.

Reyes said the dogs were captured Monday night.

"They just fed off one another's energy and mischievous behavior," he told the paper.

Animal control officers are searching for a fourth pit bull and the owner, said Danny Ubario, manager of the Lancaster Animal Care Center. The dogs appeared to be strays because they were running loose without collars or tags, Ubario said.

The carcasses were taken to an animal shelter for disposal. more

Berkeley university campus: Gunman shot by police - 16th Nov 2011

A man with a gun was shot by police Tuesday inside a campus building at the University of California, Berkeley, the school said.

The shooting happened at the Haas School of Business on the east side of campus. A campus alert was sent shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday, spokesman Dan Mogulof said.

The school said on its website that a suspect carrying a gun was seen by a faculty member.

The suspect, who has not yet been named, was followed by police into a computer room where they asked him to put up his hands, the school said.

The man then raised the gun, the school said, and was shot by police.

The suspect's condition was not immediately known. Read More

Hillary Clinton's convoy covered in paint in Philippines

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been targeted by anti-US protesters during a visit to the Philippines.

The cavalcade she was travelling in was splattered with red paint by activists angry at US involvement in the country. source

Would-Be Copper Wire Burglar Falls From Grocery Store Ceiling In Front Of Cash Register



An Albertson’s supermarket on Harbor Boulevard was evacuated Monday after a burglary suspect fell through the ceiling to the ground near a cash register.

Police say around 9:30 p.m., a female shopper reported seeing a man’s leg descend from the ceiling before disappearing again. The customer then alerted the store’s manager, before the suspect suddenly came crashing to the ground by the checkout lane.

At least a dozen police officers along with a fire truck responded immediately to the scene. Police used fire ladders to search the crawlspace above the ceiling for more suspects, but no others were found.

Officials believe the man was attempting to steal copper wiring from the supermarket. more

New York: L Train Attack Caught On Video, Cops Looking For Suspects



Police in Queens are hunting for three suspects they say are wanted for an assault on a subway train that was captured on video.

The video was recorded just after 2 a.m. on Nov. 8.

It shows an argument between two men on a Queens bound L train that police say quickly escalated into a beating.

In the video, the victim is seen pushing away one man when another jumps in and the two begin punching the victim.

Soon, three men can be seen hitting and kicking the victim to the floor.

No word on the extent of the victim’s injuries or what he was arguing about with the suspects.

If you have any information, call police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com. more

Obama visit: Australia agrees US Marine deployment plan; thousands of marines to be staged there in anti-Chinese stance

Australia has agreed to host a full US Marine task force in the coming years, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced at a news conference with US President Barack Obama in Canberra.

She said about 250 US Marines would arrive next year, eventually being built up to 2,500 personnel.

The deployment is being seen as a move to counter China's growing influence.

But Mr Obama said the US was "stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific", not excluding China.

"The main message that I've said, not only publicly but also privately to China, is that with their rise comes increased responsibility," he said.

"It is important for them to play by the rules of the road."

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin questioned whether the move was in keeping with the region's peaceful development. more

Syria: Turkish-Arab call for 'urgent' action -- War soon?

Turkey and members of the Arab League have called for "urgent measures" to protect Syrian civilians from a brutal government crackdown.

At a meeting in Morocco, they also declared they were "against all foreign intervention in Syria".

The statement came hours after reports that rebel Syrian troops had attacked a major military base near Damascus.

In another sign of Syria's increasing international isolation, France said it was withdrawing its ambassador.

Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told parliament: "There has been renewed violence in Syria, which has led me to close our consular offices in Aleppo and in Latakia as well as our cultural institutes and to recall our ambassador to Paris."

Although Turkey is not a member of the Arab League, its Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attended a meeting of a Turkish-Arab co-operation forum in the Moroccan capital Rabat on Wednesday. more

Occupy Seattle: Cops pepper-spray pensioner aged 84 and pregnant woman as violence erupts at Occupy protest in Seattle - 16th Nov 2011

Doused in milk to counter the effects of the pepper-spray indiscriminately fired in her face, this 84-year-old woman was caught in the crossfire when an Occupy march descended into violence.

Dorli Rainey was carried away from the scene by friends as police moved in on protesters in Seattle. A pregnant woman, who gave her name as Jennifer, had to be treated by medics after she too was pepper-sprayed.

Members of the Occupy Seattle movement had marched in solidarity with those in New York who had been evicted from their camp in Zuccotti Park, Manhattan in the early hours yesterday.

Last night, protesters in New York had been allowed back into the square with around 1,500 showing up. However a judge had decided that protesters would not be allowed to camp in the park and demonstrators were searched for tents and camping materials on their return.

The crackdown by authorities came as it was revealed that many officials had been sharing tips on how to rid their cities of Occupy camps. Read More

Bank of England sees 'worsened' economic outlook

The UK's economic outlook has worsened and the economy could stagnate until the middle of next year, the governor of the Bank of England has said.

Sir Mervyn King also said that the eurozone debt crisis was the "single biggest risk" to the UK.

The Bank has cut its 2011 and 2012 growth predictions to about 1%.

It came as the UK unemployment total rose by 129,000 in the three months to September to 2.62 million, with youth unemployment above one million.

The unemployment total was the largest since 1994, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.3%, the highest since 1996. more

Bank of Japan issues growth warning as it holds rates

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) has warned that the country's economic growth may be hurt by the eurozone debt crisis, flooding in Thailand and a strong yen.

It said the euro crisis was stifling demand from Europe, while disruption to supply chains due to the Thai floods was affecting Japanese manufacturing.

The warning comes just days after Japan reported that its economy grew by 1.5% in the third quarter.

The BOJ left its key interest unchanged between zero and 0.1% to boost growth.

"Japan's economy continues to pick up but at a more moderate pace, mainly due to the effects of a slowdown in overseas economies," the central bank said in a statement. more

Eurozone faces systemic crisis, says EU's Barroso

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has warned that the eurozone faces a "systemic crisis" that needs deeper integration to resolve.

He told the European Parliament in Strasbourg that further measures might be needed to tackle the debt crisis.

"Without this increased integration, convergence and discipline, we will not be able to sustain a common currency," he added.

His comments came as figures showed eurozone inflation was stable at 3%.

The rate of inflation across the 17-member zone in October remained unchanged from the month before, according to the EU statistics agency, as energy costs remained high.

The rate is still above the European Central Bank's target of just under 2%, but analysts suggested that the rate could fall in the coming months. more

Facebook admits to cyber attack that deluged users in vile porn and horror images - but says it is 'working to improve its systems' - 16th Nov 2011

The news feeds of thousands of Facebook users were flooded with violent and pornographic photographs after an attack by hackers, a spokewoman for the social networking site confirmed.

Thousands of users around the world were confronted with the videos and images - some of which were doctored to show pornographic pictures of celebrities including teen star Justin Bieber.

'This seems to be a purely malicious act,' said security company Sophos. 'Facebook has a reputation for maintaining a reasonably family friendly environment and most Facebook users don't expect dead dogs and penises showing up on their wall.'

Users were tricked into pasting malware into their browsers, which in turn resulted in the sharing of offensive content, she said.

The attack exploited vulnerabilities in browser software, not Facebook itself - which made it difficult for the site to respond to the flood of spam.

Facebook's own 'anything-goes' approach to sharing led users to think they were safe to post computer script into their browsers.

Facebook now says the attack is 'under control'. Read More