Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Euro faces oblivion as shares hit longest losing streak in years - 24th Nov 2011

The stock market last night clocked up its longest losing streak for nearly nine years as the eurozone debt crisis threatened to engulf France and Germany.

As share prices tumbled for the eighth day in succession in London, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said the single currency was on the brink of collapse.

‘Without stronger economic governance in the eurozone it will be difficult if not impossible to sustain the common currency,’ he said.

The apocalyptic warning – unusually stark for a top official in Brussels – fuelled fears that the region is on the verge of meltdown.

The FTSE 100 index fell 67.04 points or 1.29 per cent to 5139.78 – wiping £17.3billion off the value of Britain’s leading companies. The blue chip index has lost 405 points, or £105billion, over the past eight days of trading in its longest losing streak since January 2003. Read More

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII - 24th Nov 2011

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck the Island of Hawaii, Hawaii at a depth of 40.6 km (25.2 miles), the quake hit at 04:15:38 UTC Thursday 24th November 2011.
The epicenter was 9 km ( 6 miles) WSW of Naalehu, Hawaii
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake JAVA, INDONESIA - 24th Nov 2011

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Java, Indonesia at a depth of 95.3 km (59.2 miles), the quake hit at 03:55:36 UTC Thursday 24th November 2011.
The epicenter was 130 km ( 81 miles) SSW of Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA - 24th Nov 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Tonga at a depth of 296.9 km (184.5 miles), the quake hit at 03:38:26 UTC Thursday 24th November 2011.
The epicenter was 170 km ( 105 miles) West of Hihifo, Tonga
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN TURKEY - 24th Nov 2011

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Eastern Turkey at a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles), the quake hit at 00:48:07 UTC Thursday 24th November 2011.
The epicenter was 32 km ( 19 miles) WNW of Van, Turkey
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA REGION - 23rd Nov 2011

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck Vancouver Island, Canada Region at a depth of 9.9 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 23:02:44 UTC Wednesday 23rd November 2011.
The epicenter was 167 km ( 103 miles) West of Port Hardy, British Columbia, Canada
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA - 23rd Nov 2011

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia at a depth of 24.9 km (15.5 miles), the quake hit at 22:05:58 UTC Wednesday 23rd November 2011.
The epicenter was 182 km ( 113 miles) WNW of Gorontalo, Sulawesi, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Cornwall coastguards in new island warning in the Canaries: UK

Coastguards in Cornwall have had to issue warnings to sailors to inform them that a new island has appeared in the Canary Islands.

The island has been formed by molten lava pushing up from the seabed.

Falmouth Coastguard, which deals with incidents in the Atlantic, said it confirmed the new island with coastguards in Spain.

Richie Williams, from Falmouth Coastguard, said they were passing on warnings from the Spanish.

He said: "They've issued a navigation warning to this effect and have put a four nautical mile cordon around that area

"Vessels are being advised to take extreme caution when approaching." source

Botched abortion results in death of twin baby boys -- When is enough, enough?

A healthy 32-week-old fetus has been terminated in a tragic mix-up at Melbourne's Royal Women's Hospital.

The Herald Sun says doctors had advised a woman who was having twin boys that one of them had a congenital heart defect that would require years of operations, if he survived at all.

She made the heartbreaking decision to abort but at 2.30pm on Tuesday the wrong baby was injected, terminating the healthy fetus.

The paper says the mother then underwent an emergency caesarian section to end the life of the sick child.

A hospital spokeswoman apologised for the distressing clinical accident and said a full investigation was under way.

A friend of the woman said the family was struggling with the tragic circumstances.

"She went to the hospital with two babies and now she has none," the friend said.

"And she had the heartache of giving birth to her sick baby. She's traumatised."

An ultrasound clinician checked three times before the termination because she didn't want to make a mistake. (And yet she still did anyway.) more

Fierce bushfire razes homes near Margaret River, and is spreading: Australia

Up to 20 homes near Margaret River have been damaged - and a dozen of them destroyed - after a prescribed burn blew out of control yesterday.

On a day one experienced firefighter called "as bad as they come", flames carved a path of destruction around the coastal hamlets of Ellensbrook to the north and Prevelly to the south of the South West tourist town.

Homes in Wooditch Road and Orchid Ramble, off Wallcliffe Road, are understood to have been the worst hit. It was believed that historic Ellensbrook Homestead had been lost, but it was unscathed. more

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake CENTRAL ALASKA - 23rd Nov 2011

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck Central Alaska at a depth of 12.4 km (7.7 miles), the quake hit at 19:37:41 UTC Wednesday 23rd November 2011.
The epicenter was 15 km ( 9 miles) South of Talkeetna, Alaska
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

6.0 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 23rd Nov 2011

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 37.7 km (23.4 miles), the quake hit at 19:34:32 UTC Wednesday 23rd November 2011.
The epicenter was 64 km ( 40 miles) ENE of Iwaki, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Jennifer Fox a Teenage Occupy Seattle protester 'suffered miscarriage after police kicked her and hit her in the stomach with a bicycle'

Police have launched an internal investigation after a 19-year-old woman claims she suffered a miscarriage after being pepper-sprayed at an Occupy Seattle protest.

Jennifer M. Fox says police kicked her and hit her in the stomach with a bicycle at the encampment on November 15 and also doused her with pepper spray.

She says she was three months pregnant at the time.

'I was standing in the middle of the crowd when the police started moving in,' Ms Fox has said.

‘I was screaming, “I am pregnant, I am pregnant. Let me through. I am trying to get out,”’ she continued.

After being kicked and sprayed, she was rushed to the hospital by ambulance where she said an ultrasound confirmed that her baby had not been affected.

But she began cramping and went back to the hospital five days later, and she said she was then told by doctors that there was no heartbeat for the baby. Read More

Russia will aim missiles at U.S. defence sites in Europe if Obama goes ahead with planned shield, Medvedev warns - 23rd Nov 2011

Russia will aim new missiles at U.S. defence sites in Europe if Washington goes ahead with a planned shield, Dmitry Medvedev warned today.

The Russian president said he will order missiles to be stationed in his country's western-most Kaliningrad region if Russia and Nato fail to reach a deal on the US-led missile defence plans.

Russia considers the plans for missile shields in Europe, including in Romania and Poland, to be a threat to its nuclear forces.

But the Obama administration insists they are meant to fend off a potential threat from Iran.

Moscow has agreed to consider Nato's proposal to cooperate on the missile shield, but the talks have been deadlocked over how the system should operate.

Russia has insisted that the system should be run jointly, which Nato has rejected. Read More

Ten-year-old boy among three killed in flash floods in Italy as woman feared dead found neck-deep in mud - 23rd Nov 2011

Three people have been killed after flash floods triggered a landslide that swept mud and water through an Italian village.

The victims included a ten-year-old boy, a father and his grown-up son, who all died after a wall of mud and debris crashed into their homes and swept them away following 24 hours of torrential rain.

A 24-year-old woman feared dead was found in the wreckage of her destroyed home with mud and debris up to her neck.

It is the third tragedy involving flash floods to have hit Italy in less than a month, following similar events in Genoa and the nearby Cinque Terre, which have left 17 people dead and caused damage costing millions of pounds. Read More


Take your children to work when schools are closed by teaching strikes says Cameron...... Does he actually think before he speaks?

Firms should allow parents to bring their children to work during next week's strike, Prime Minister David Cameron said today.

Millions of parents are expected to struggle with childcare as teachers strike next Wednesday - a move which could lead to the closure of thousands of schools.

Tory MP Louise Mensch said one of the 'most disruptive' aspects of the industrial action was that many parents would have to find childcare as a result of the schools closing.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, she said employers should allow staff to bring their children to work when it was safe for them to do so.

Mr Cameron agreed: 'Frankly, these strikes are going to go ahead. Everyone should be very clear about where responsibility lies.

'It is with those union leaders, including the party opposite which is taking their side and backing this strike. Read More

Embarrassment for economic powerhouse Germany as Eurozone debt uncertainty sees bonds go unsold - 23rd Nov 2011

A 'disastrous' German bond sale has triggered fears Europe's debt crisis is starting to threaten Berlin, with the leaders of the eurozone's biggest economies still at odds over a longer-term solution.

Investors were also unnerved by reports that Belgium is leaning on France to pay more into emergency support for failed lender Dexia under a 90billion euro (£77billion pounds) rescue deal that had appeared done and dusted.

A special report by Fitch Ratings suggested France had limited room left to absorb shocks to its finances like a new downturn in growth or support for banks without endangering its cherished AAA credit status.

After one of the least successful debt sales by Europe's powerhouse economy since the launch of the single currency, the euro fell to 1.336 to the dollar and European shares sank to seven-week lows.

'The debt crisis is burrowing ever deeper, like a worm, and is now reaching Germany,' said one more euro-sceptic backbencher in Angela Merkel's centre-right government, Frank Schaeffler of the Free Democrats - the junior coalition partners.

The German debt agency was forced to retain almost half of a sale of 6 billion euros due to a shortage of bids by investors. The result pushed the cost of borrowing over 10 years for the bloc's paymaster above those for the United States for the first time since October.

'It is a complete and utter disaster,' said Marc Ostwald, strategist at Monument Securities in London. Read More

Washington DC now employing license plate scanners, 200-plus cameras without any public debate (and they're storing all this information)

An armed robber burst into a Northeast Washington market, scuffled with the cashier, and then shot him and the clerk’s father, who also owned the store. The killer sped off in a silver Pontiac, but a witness was able to write down the license plate number.

Police figured out the name of the suspect very quickly. But locating and arresting him took a little-known investigative tool: a vast system that tracks the comings and goings of anyone driving around the District.

Scores of cameras across the city capture 1,800 images a minute and download the information into a rapidly expanding archive that can pinpoint people’s movements all over town.

Police entered the suspect’s license plate number into that database and learned that the Pontiac was on a street in Southeast. Police soon arrested Christian Taylor, who had been staying at a friend’s home, and charged him with two counts of first-degree murder. His trial is set for January.

More than 250 cameras in the District and its suburbs scan license plates in real time, helping police pinpoint stolen cars and fleeing killers. But the program quietly has expanded beyond what anyone had imagined even a few years ago.

With virtually no public debate, police agencies have begun storing the information from the cameras, building databases that document the travels of millions of vehicles.

Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the District, which has more than one plate-reader per square mile, the highest concentration in the nation. Police in the Washington suburbs have dozens of them as well, and local agencies plan to add many more in coming months, creating a comprehensive dragnet that will include all the approaches into the District.

“It never stops,” said Capt. Kevin Reardon, who runs Arlington County’s plate reader program. “It just gobbles up tag information. One of the big questions is, what do we do with the information?” more

Neo-nazis create furor by getting Adopt-A-Highway credit on signs: US

Cedar Grove Road in rural eastern Delaware has become an unlikely First Amendment battleground after state officials approved a neo-Nazi splinter group’s application to “adopt” a 2-mile stretch of the road under the state Department of Transportation’s litter-control program.

Although the wording has been tempered from “Nazi Party” to “Freedom Party,” residents are still riled over a pair of Adopt-A-Highway signs recently erected on the road in Sussex County. But free-speech analysts say that the state transportation agency, known as DelDOT, and the members of the organization are well within their rights.

“Viewpoint discrimination is really not permitted under the First Amendment,” said Charles C. Haynes, director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum and a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center. The state of Delaware does not have to allow anyone at all to participate in the roadside adoption program, but since it is open to the public, officials “can’t cherry-pick the groups” that get to participate, he said.

Edward McBride III, 24, initially filed an application for the DelDOT Adopt-A-Highway program in July under the name of the “National Socialist Freedom Movement Nazi Party.” Citing concerns that the state could be seen as endorsing a hate group, DelDOT rejected that application and Mr. McBride’s counteroffer for an abbreviated sign with the name “NSFM88 Nazi Party.”

“The bottom line is that we did not deny an individual’s request to collect litter on the roadside as part of the Adopt-A-Highway program,” Geoff Sundstrom, a spokesman for DelDOT, told The Washington Times. “We denied the request to display ‘Nazi Party‘ on a state-owned and maintained sign.” more

Russia Has No Idea Where Failed Mars Probe Will Crash

Russian space agency Roscosmos all but gave up on regaining contact with its lost Mars probe, and it has no idea where exactly it will crash back down to Earth when it finally falls out of orbit.

"There is little chance that we will be able to achieve this mission," the deputy head of Roscosmos, Vitaly Davydov, was quoted as saying by the Itar-Tass news agency. "We need to be realists. Since we could not establish contact for so long, the chances to carry out this expedition right now are very slim."

The unmanned Phobos-Grunt spacecraft blasted off toward the Red Planet on Nov. 9, where it was hoped to bring back rock and soil samples from the moon Phobos.

But its engines failed to put in the correct course, and the craft only managed to reach an orbit about 125 miles (200 kilometers) from Earth.

Roscosmos still does not know what went wrong, Davydov said.

"If we gain contact and understand what is happening with the probe, then maybe we will be able to draw conclusions. But now we have no information from the craft," Davydov said. "There is no telemetry. We simply don't understand what is happening." more

France: Police Clash With Anti-Nuclear Group - 23rd Nov 2011

At least five people have been arrested during anti-nuclear protests in France.

The arrests followed clashes with police over a convoy of German nuclear waste.

The protests are over the latest - and last - convoy of waste to be treated in France at the Areva plant in Normandy, and its return to Germany.

The practice has been the subject of huge controversy with French environmentalists furious at what they see as a potentially hazardous overland journey of more than 430 miles.

The waste is being transported by train from Valognes and police have been setting up roadblocks to stop protesters converging at the railway station.

The good news for the protesters is that Germany has decided to phase out its use of nuclear power following the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan earlier this year.

It means it will no longer be sending radioactive waste to France every year for reprocessing.

From now on until nuclear power is phased out, Germany will stockpile its own waste until a way is found to make it safe.

While the French have become more concerned about nuclear power since the Fukushima incident, opposition to nuclear power is not as strong as in Germany.

France still produces more than 75% of its electricity needs through nuclear reactors. Source

Roger Anthony, 61, dies after being shot with stun gun for not stopping when asked by police... because he's deaf...

A 61-year-old Halifax County man died Tuesday, a day after police shocked him with a stun gun while he was riding his bike, family members said.

Scotland Neck Police Chief Joe Williams said they received a call Monday night about a man who fell off of his bicycle and injured himself in the parking lot of the BB&T bank, 1001 Main St. The caller was concerned that the man was drunk.

When Officer John Turner arrived, he saw Roger Anthony pedaling away along 10th Street. He followed Anthony in his patrol car, briefly put on his sirens and lights and yelled out of the window for him to stop, but Anthony continued to ride away, police said.

Williams said Turner then saw Anthony take something out his pocket and put it into his mouth. At that time, Turner got out of the car and yelled for Anthony to stop. When Anthony didn't stop, the officer used a stun gun on him, causing him to fall off of his bike.

Anthony was transported to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where he was declared brain dead, his sister Gladys Freeman said. He was taken off of life support on Tuesday.

Freeman said her brother was disabled, suffered from seizures and had trouble hearing. She said he was riding his bike home from her house on Sunday night. Anthony lived alone in an independent living community. more

IMF beefs up lending tools as debt crisis spreads

The IMF on Tuesday beefed up its lending instruments and launched a six-month liquidity line, throwing help to countries with solid policies that may be at risk from the euro zone debt crisis.

By updating its lending tools, the IMF hopes to ensure it can make liquidity available to countries that may be struck by contagion from the crisis, as opposed to nations already deep in the mire.

The announcement comes as concern grows over a crisis that has moved from debt-stricken Greece to larger economies such as Italy and Spain where bond yields have risen sharply, raising questions about the euro's very survival.

The IMF said it was establishing a precautionary liquidity line as "insurance against future shocks and as a short-term liquidity window to address the needs of crisis bystanders."

The IMF said the new liquidity line would be available for six months to countries with relatively good policies that are facing short-term balance of payments needs due to events not of their own making.

Access under the six-month arrangement could be as much as 500 percent of a IMF member nation's quota, and the funds would come with few conditions. IMF quotas are calculated roughly according to the size of a country's economy, trade and reserves, and they determine the amount each nation can borrow from the global lender. more

Demonstrators Plan to Occupy Retailers on Black Friday

Some demonstrators are planning to occupy retailers on Black Friday to protest "the business that are in the pockets of Wall Street."

Organizers are encouraging consumers to either occupy or boycott retailers that are publicly traded, according to the Stop Black Friday website.

The goal of the movement is to impact the profits of major corporations this holiday season.

"The idea is simple, hit the corporations that corrupt and control American politics where it hurts, their profits, " states the Occupy Black Friday Facebook page.

A few of the retailers the protesters plan on targeting include Neiman Marcus, Amazon and Wal-Mart.

Their website states the following:

"Keep in mind that we are not occupying small businesses or hardworking people—we must make a distinction between the businesses that are in the pockets of Wall Street and the businesses that serve our local communities.

We are NOT anti-capitalist. Just anti-crapitalist. more

Russia threatens U.S. missile sites in Europe

Russia will deploy new missiles aimed at U.S. missile defence sites in Europe if Washington goes ahead with the planned shield despite Russia's concerns, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday.

Russia will station missiles in its westernmost Kaliningrad region and other areas if Russia and NATO fail to reach a deal on the U.S.-led missile defence plans, he said in a tough statement that seemed to be aimed at rallying domestic support.

Russia considers the plans for missile shields in Europe, including in Romania and Poland, to be a threat to its nuclear forces, but the Obama administration insists they are meant to fend off a potential threat from Iran.

Moscow has agreed to consider NATO's proposal to co-operate on the missile shield, but the talks have been deadlocked over how the system should operate. Russia has insisted that the system should be run jointly, which NATO has rejected.

Medvedev also warned that Moscow may opt out of the New START arms control deal with the United States and halt other arms control talks if the U.S. proceeds. The Americans had hoped that the treaty would stimulate further ambitious arms control efforts, but such talks have stalled over tension on the missile plans. more

Daily stress is leading to a rise in the potential nightmare of 'sleep texting', expert claims

The stress of daily life has sparked a new phenomenon - sleep texting.

People with the rare condition send incoherent text messages while asleep to their friends and family - completely unaware that they are doing it.

Sleep specialist Dr David Cunnington, of Melbourne Sleep Disorder Centre in Australia, said patients had reported incidents of sleep texting - and he has advised people to leave their mobile phones outside the bedroom.

He said: 'We have had patients who have reported sending text messages to their friends and family while asleep.

'It is one of those things that happens, but it is very rare, and certainly not a common trend.'

Unsurprisingly, there are no studies into sleep texting - but a similar phenomenon, sleep emailing, was studied in 2008.

Researchers at the University of Toledo reported the case of a woman, 44, who would compose emails while sound asleep. She had no recollection of sending the emails when awake.

Dr Cunnington said cases of sleep emailing were more common, and were likely to have a more detrimental effect on the lives of sufferers. more

Analysis: Europeans plan Christmas without the trimmings

When Santa Claus visits crisis-hit Europe this Christmas, his sack may not be quite so bulging with presents.

Rising prices, muted wages growth and swingeing austerity measures have squeezed disposable incomes across the region. And fears a debt crisis could blow the euro apart and bring down banks have dashed hopes of an improvement any time soon.

Consumer confidence in the 27-nation European Union (EU) sunk to its lowest level this year in October.

"I am definitely spending less this year," said Ben Bauer, 37, a machine operator at a hospital in Berlin, Germany.

"You can see the effects of the euro crisis everywhere, especially where I work, since we are earning less. If we are earning less, how are we supposed to spend more?"

And Germany is one of the better performing EU countries.

Retail consultants Conlumino predict retail sales in the 17-bloc euro zone will rise just 0.8 percent year-on-year in December, thanks largely to increases in Germany and France.

Stripping out the impact of inflation, the situation is much worse. Retail volumes -- the number of goods shoppers buy -- are tipped to fall 2.3 percent. That would be the biggest decline since at least the launch of the euro in 1999 and includes drops of 4.3 percent in Spain, 5.2 percent in Portugal and 8 percent in Greece -- three of the worst hit countries. more

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake CRETE, GREECE - 23rd Nov 2011

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Crete, Greece at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 13:50:03 UTC Wednesday 23rd November 2011.
The epicenter was 123 km ( 76 miles) South of Iraklion, Crete, Greece
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Family Heartbroken After Thieves Ransack Their Outdoor Christmas Decorations (Right after they set them up)



We haven’t even passed Thanksgiving and the grinches are already out!

The Rudd family was shocked to find that thieves had ransacked their outdoor Christmas decorations Monday night, stealing most of the expensive setup they had just put up.

The family said sometime last night between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. thieves came and took a portion of their decorations.

“They brought tears to my eyes because we put a lot of work and a lot of heart into it,” said Sandra Rudd.

The family spent a hefty penny on these decorations too — $1,600 in total.

“I’m just a middle class man trying to make people smile, put a smile on people’s faces, and they take it away from me,” said Ken Rudd.

It’s something the two parents didn’t get to enjoy much in their own childhoods, which makes it even more worthwhile to them.

“We actually grew up really poor and I remember being a kid and watching other families put up Christmas decorations,” said Sandra.

Now putting up decorations together has become a Rudd family tradition. Young Nathan enjoys fixing up the yard just as much as his mom and dad.

“I get home from work about 5 o’clock and I’m out working on it until 11:30, 12 o’clock at night,” said Ken. more

Kimono culture - a dying art?

Beautifully patterned kimonos may be enduring cultural symbols of Japan, but the industry that produces the garments is in steep decline - and it is feared that soon there could be no craftsmen left with the skills to make them.

In "Mastering the Art of the Kimono" - for BBC Radio 4 - the BBC's Japan correspondent Roland Buerk investigates the crisis facing the industry, and meets some of the people who make, sell and wear the colourful gowns. Watch the BBC video here

Ron Paul Calls Patriot Act "Unpatriotic" -- And we agree!



GOP candidates Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul debate the merits of extending the Patriot Act to secure our country.

"The Patriot Act is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty," Ron Paul said at the GOP debate in Washington, DC on Tuesday night. "I'm concerned as everybody is about [a] terrorist attack." Transcript of Ron Paul below.

PAUL: I think the Patriot Act is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty. I'm concerned, as everybody is, about the terrorist attack. Timothy McVeigh was a vicious terrorist. He was arrested. Terrorism is still on the books, internationally and nationally, it's a crime and we should deal with it.

We dealt with it rather well with Timothy McVeigh. But why I really fear it is we have drifted into a condition that we were warned against because our early founders were very clear. They said, don't be willing to sacrifice liberty for security.

Today it seems too easy that our government and our congresses are so willing to give up our liberties for our security. I have a personal belief that you never have to give up liberty for security. You can still provide security without sacrificing our Bill of Rights. more

New 'Climategate' emails old but genuine

The British university whose leaked emails caused a global climate science controversy in 2009 says it has discovered a potentially much larger data breach.

University of East Anglia spokesman Simon Dunford said that while academics didn't have the chance yet to examine the roughly 5,000 emails apparently dumped into the public domain Tuesday, a small sample examined by the university "appears to be genuine."

The university said in a statement that the emails did not appear to be the result of a new hack or leak. Instead, the statement said that the emails appeared to have been stolen two years ago and held back until now "to cause maximum disruption" to the imminent U.N. climate talks next week in Durban, South Africa.

If that is confirmed, the timing and nature of the leak would follow the pattern set by the so-called "Climategate" emails, which caught prominent scientists stonewalling critics and discussing ways to keep opponents' research out of peer-reviewed journals.

Those hostile to mainstream climate science claimed the exchanges proved that the threat of global warming was being hyped, and their publication helped destabilize the failed U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, which followed several weeks later. more