Thursday, December 8, 2011

3.0 Magnitude Earthquake COLORADO - 9th Dec 2011

A magnitude 3.0 earthquake has struck Colorado at a depth of 4.8 km (3miles), the quake hit at 03:54:16 UTC Friday 9th December 2011.
The epicenter was 19 km (11 miles) WSW of Trinidad, Colorado
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN IRAN - 9th Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck Southern Iran at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 03:23:34 UTC Friday 9th December 2011.
The epicenter was 266 km (165 miles) Northeast of Doha, Qatar
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake BALI SEA, INDONESIA - 9th Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the Bali Sea, Indonesia at a depth of 614 km (381.5 miles), the quake hit at 03:03:24 UTC Friday 9th December 2011.
The epicenter was 197 km (122 miles) NNE of Mataram, Lombok, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake CENTRAL ALASKA - 9th Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Central Alaska at a depth of 23.4 km (14.5 miles), the quake hit at 01:25:41 UTC Friday 9th December 2011.
The epicenter was 14 km (9 miles) West of Gulkana, Alaska
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

EU Fails To Get Backing Of All Member States - 9th Dec 2011

European Union leaders have failed to secure the backing of all 27 member states to change the EU Treaty, according to Reuters news agency.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says a new Treaty among 17 eurozone states will be written by March 2012.

The heads of government and state are gathered at a eurozone crisis summit in Brussels in an attempt to thrash out a rescue plan.

It was reported earlier that they had agreed on some new principles - and details of the draft under discussion were revealed.

Under the new plans, eurozone countries would have new rules to govern their deficits and be punished if they breach them.

According to a leaked draft, European leaders were said to have reached agreement on a "fiscal compact" for the eurozone, drawn up to save the embattled currency.

David Cameron arrived at the summit saying that the UK relied on Europe but he insisted he is prepared to use his veto if necessary to protect British interests.

All the EU's 27 heads of government and state are at the summit billed as the last chance to save the eurozone.

Europe's leaders hope to agree new plans to improve financial discipline among the 17 countries which use the single currency. Read More

Dozens of Occupy protesters arrested in Washington after marching against lobbyists

Dozens of protesters have been arrested by police in the US capital, Washington DC, during a march to protest against the influence of money in politics.

A total of 62 people were arrested, police told the BBC.

Thousands of demonstrators shut down sections of K Street in the city's downtown area, known as the home of lobbying in the nation's capital.

Police blocked off part of the street during the otherwise peaceful protest held in heavy rain.

Elsewhere, in San Francisco police arrested 70 people during an overnight raid on that city's Occupy encampment.

Demonstrators there were given five minutes to gather their belongings before police took down about 100 tents. more

U.S. officials, analysts differ on whether drone in Iran TV video is real



Iranian TV aired images Thursday of what it says is a U.S. stealth drone that went down in Iran last week, an apparently intact RQ-170 drone propped on a pedestal and triumphantly displayed.

"Military experts are well aware how precious the technological information of this drone is," said Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

There was disagreement among Pentagon officials about whether the drone in the video is real. Military and intelligence officials were analyzing the Iran television footage.

One U.S. official said right now the U.S. can't be certain it's the real stealth drone, because U.S. personnel don't have access to it. But he added there's no reason to think it's a fake.

However, a second senior U.S. military official said that a big question the official has about the Iranian footage is to how the drone could have remained virtually intact given the high altitude it is believed to have crashed from.

Earlier Thursday, a Pentagon spokesman said the video is being examined.

"We've seen the imagery. There are folks that are looking at it," Capt. John Kirby told a news conference. more

NATO tankers destroyed in Pakistan - 8th Dec 2011

Militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons attacked and destroyed at least 22 oil tankers parked in Pakistan, carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan, a senior Pakistani police official told CNN.

At least seven militants on motorcycles took part in Thursday night's attack, said police official Hamid Shakeel. All seven escaped the scene, he said.

The attack took place at a terminal just outside of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, where the trucks had been parked since November 26, Shakeel said.

On November 26, the Pakistani government shut down both NATO supply routes through Pakistan to Afghanistan in protest of a NATO airstrike that had killed 24 Pakistani soldiers earlier in the day.

The airstrike was the latest blow to an already stormy partnership between the United States and Pakistan and plunged relations into perhaps the worst crisis since the two countries agreed to join forces in the fight against Islamist militancy after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Read More

Obama says considering all options on Iran - 8th Dec 2011

President Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States was considering all options on Iran and would work with allies, including Israel, to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

On Iran, Obama said: "No options off the table means I'm considering all options." Source

Barry Morrow Arrested Over Southport Murders - 8th Dec 2011

Police investigating the murders of a mother and daughter in Southport have arrested their lodger.

Barry Morrow will be questioned by Merseyside Police later.

Angela Holgate and her mother Alice Huyton were found dead at Mrs Holgate's home last weekend.

The bodies of Mrs Holgate, 54, and her 75-year-old mother were discovered by a relative.

Police launched a Europe-wide search for Morrow after he was seen in France.

The man was spotted in Calais on Saturday night after catching a ferry with Mrs Holgate's car.

However, it is understood he was detained in the UK.

Neighbours had described Mrs Holgate as a "lovely, quiet woman".

Mrs Huyton's son and Angela's brother said: "They meant so much in the eyes of different family members... The sad loss has had an impact on the whole family." Source

Two Killed At Virginia Tech: Gunman On Run - 8th Dec 2011

A police officer and another person have been shot dead at America's Virginia Tech university, with the gunman still at large.

In a statement the school confirmed the policeman had stopped a vehicle during a routine traffic stop in one of the campus' parking lots.

He was shot and killed, before the gunman fled on foot toward another parking lot.

A second victim has been found there.

The university says the suspect is still at large, while the campus' Collegiate Times newspaper reports via Twitter that there is police activity near the student centre.

Students and staff have been told to stay indoors until further notice.

The suspect was described as a white male wearing a maroon hooded top, grey tracksuit bottoms and a grey hat, and is carrying a backpack.

The campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, was the scene of a massacre in April 2007 when 32 people were killed by Seung-Hui Cho, a senior English major at the school.

More to follow...

4 die in northeast Colombia landslide - 8th Dec 2011

Four people died Wednesday when a landslide in the northeast of Colombia buried a bus under tons of rubble.

According to the police commissioner of Santander, the department where the incident took place, the bus was half a mile away from its final destination when a landslide buried the bus, killing the driver, his son, a woman and a policeman.

Local media reported that at least two women were still trapped alive on Thursday morning and rescue workers were in the process of releasing them.

Five other passengers were able to leave the buried bus alive on Wednesday evening.

The fatal landslide adds four to the 134 people who have already died since September in rainy season-related floods and landslides. Some 500,000 people have been affected by the torrential rains that are expected to last until the beginning of next year. Source

Storm knocks out power to 13,000 customers in New York - 8th Dec 2011

More than 7,000 utility customers in central and eastern New York are without power after an overnight storm dumped nearly 9 inches of wet, heavy snow on some upstate areas.

About 5,000 of the homes and business without electricity Thursday afternoon are in Schenectady, Schoharie and Rensselaer counties in eastern New York, which received snowfall totals ranging from 5 inches to nearly 9 inches in areas south of Albany.

Other outages are reported in the Binghamton area, where the National Weather Service says 5 inches to 8.5 inches fell during the storm that began late Wednesday night.

Some 13,000 utility customers were without power at the height of the outages Thursday morning.

Several dozen schools from the Binghamton area to the Hudson Valley have delayed the start of classes. Source

How did they get up there? Excavators dismantle Chinese highrise from the TOP - 8th Dec 2011

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake GULF OF ALASKA - 8th Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck the Gulf of Alaska at a depth of 4.4 km (2.7 miles), the quake hit at 17:53:33 UTC Thursday 8th December 2011.
The epicenter was 178 km (111 miles) SSE from Chenega, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Tesco plans for eurozone break-up

Tesco is shifting its currency exposure, holding cash and refusing to sign long-term supply contracts in the face of the eurozone crisis.

Britain’s biggest retailer said it was taking the risk of a eurozone break-up “seriously” and had taken steps to reduce its exposure to such an event.

Laurie McIlwee, Tesco’s finance director, said of a possible break-up: “Of course we’ve looked at it. Any business has got to take disruption in the eurozone seriously”.

Tesco’s finance chief said the retailer did not have any businesses directly in the eurozone core but that “currency management has been appropriately derisked”. He did not elaborate but the retailer is thought likely to have cut its euro holdings and moved cash into safer currencies such as the dollar or sterling, as well as better managing its exposure to eurozone suppliers.

Mr McIlwee also said he had made sure Tesco has “no refinancing risk until February 2014” and had already raised debt to pay off a £1.5bn bond due next year in the event that the credit markets seize up. “That’s not a shock you want,” he said of the threat of paying the bond back from cash flows. “We’ve already raised money to pay it [the bond] off and put the cash in the bank.”

Holding cash in the bank after raising capital in the debt markets is inefficient and underlines how seriously the retailer is taking the euro situation. more

Worst storm for 15 years batters Britain as winds of up to 165mph lash the North and people are warned to remain indoors for safety - 8th Dec 2011


Hurricane force winds of up to 165mph swept across Scotland today as storms battered Britain and police told people to stay indoors for their own safety.

Weather forecasters said the gusts were recorded at the Cairngorms between 2pm and 3pm today - just short of the all time record. Wind speeds of 173mph were recorded on the same Scottish mountains on March 20, 1986.

In England, wind speeds of up to 107mph were recorded at Great Dun Fell in the Pennines today while Manchester was hit by 67mph blasts.

Police in Scotland told people to stay indoors as the country is lashed by hurricane force winds.

The Met Office had this afternoon recorded gusts of 71mph in Glasgow, 68mph in Aberdeen and 68mph in Edinburgh.

The 151mph wind speed, recorded between noon and 1pm today on the Cairngorms, could yet be topped.

On lower ground, 105mph winds hit Tulloch Bridge in Inverness and 81mph winds were recorded in Dunstaffnage in Argyll and Bute.

In England, a lorry was blown over onto the central reservation of the A66 on the border between Cumbria and County Durham.

The driver, a 60-year-old from Millom, Cumbria, was not injured in the accident. Read More

NATO fuel tankers ablaze in Pakistan attack

Pakistani police say assailants have fired rockets at tankers carrying fuel for U.S-led troops in Afghanistan, setting at least 10 vehicles on fire.

The attack Thursday was the first since Pakistan closed the border for trucks carrying Afghan war supplies to protest a Nov. 26 NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani troops on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Police officer Hamid Shakil says the tanker attack took place at a roadside terminal close to the southwestern city of Quetta.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. source

Scotland Shut Down By Snow And 165mph Gusts - 8th Dec 2011

Icy winds up to 165mph are battering the northern parts of Britain, with people warned to stay indoors, schools forced to close and flights and rail links cancelled.

Localised flooding has also caused major disruptions on roads - and thousands of homes have been left without power.Link

The Met Office has issued its strongest warning - a red alert - for winds in Scotland and warned parts of England and Wales to "be aware", as temperatures drop and snowfall is predicted as far south as Birmingham.

It said the Highland observing station at Glen Ogle reported a gust of 104mph at 11am. The Met Office later tweeted that a gust at the Aonach Mor ski area peaked at 137mph.

But further north on the summit of the Cairngorms, winds topped 165mph - the fastest gust recorded in the UK since 1986 when 173mph was recorded, also on the top of the summit. Read More

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION - 8th Dec 2011

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck South of the Sandwich Islands Region at a depth of 153.7 km (95.5 miles), the quake hit at 16:12:38 UTC Thursday 8th December 2011.
The epicenter was 44 km (27 miles) North of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 8th Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 54.1 km (33.6 miles), the quake hit at 15:34:38 UTC Thursday 8th December 2011.
The epicenter was 75 km (46 miles) ESE of Hachinohe, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake LUZON, PHILIPPINES - 8th Dec 2011

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Luzon, Philippines at a depth of 40 km (24.8 miles), the quake hit at 15:31:01 UTC Thursday 8th December 2011.
The epicenter was 10 km (6.2 miles) Northwest of Claveria, Philippines
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time