Thursday, December 15, 2011

Occupy St Paul's: An ugly scene of hard drugs, violence and corruption among protesters - 15th Dec 2011

The chill winter wind is whistling through the streets, but in the protest camp that surrounds St Paul’s, the hot air continues to rise. In a marquee outside the cathedral, three activists hold an impromptu debate about the rights and wrongs of halal meat, arguing whether an animal that has had its throat slit feels any pain.

‘People in wars get their legs blown off and don’t even notice because of the adrenaline,’ observes one. ‘I don’t think a chicken would feel a thing.’

A hundred yards away outside the catering tent, a dishevelled, bearded man rolls a cigarette and points at his heavily bandaged eye. ‘You want to know how it happened?’ he asks of no one in particular. ‘It’s a long story, a very long story, but it all started when I was kicked by a pony . . .’

Bizarre? Undoubtedly. But at least these members of the movement are capable of speech. Back in a corner of the marquee a man sits on the floor, unmoving, his head buried between his knees which he pulls in tightly to his chest. Maybe he’s just tired. Or, more likely, he’s inhaled too much of the cannabis spliff that the person sitting next to him is openly smoking.

Yesterday marked the 60th day of the anti-capitalist Occupy movement’s protest outside St Paul’s. Read More

Graham Dearing who went on arson spree is spared jail after telling court the 'shock of getting married made me start fires' - 15th Dec 2011

A newlywed who went on an arson spree dodged a prison sentence after he told a court the 'culture shock' of getting married had driven him to it.

Graham Dearing, 56, set wheelie bins ablaze outside three properties in Hull, East Yorkshire, a month after tying the knot in August this year.

He claimed he was struggling to cope with his marriage after being a bachelor for so long.

Hull Crown Court heard that residents had to be evacuated from their homes after Dearing started a fire underneath the window of a flat - and two other infernos in the city centre.

Dearing handed himself in to the police at 6pm the next day, even though the force had not received any complaints.

He was charged with three counts of arson and later pleaded guilty to all three at Hull Crown Court. Read More

Kimberley Hainey Murdering Mother who left her dead toddler in his cot for eight months

A heroin addict who subjected her toddler son to a shocking catalogue of neglect before leaving his corpse in his cot for months is facing life in prison after being convicted of his murder.

Kimberley Hainey frequently left 15-month-old Declan on his own in dirty nappies while she went out with friends or stayed at her boyfriend’s house for days at a time.

After his death, a court heard how Hainey, 37, continued to claim child benefits and lied repeatedly to family, friends and health workers in a bid to maintain the deception that her son was still alive.

Declan was last seen in public around July or August 2009, but his body was not discovered in his cot at his home in Paisley, Scotland, until March 30, 2010.

Experts estimate he had been dead for anything up to eight months.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Hainey denied killing Declan, concealing his body and pretending that he was still alive to prevent police investigating his death. Read More

Rapist asylum seeker who dumped victim on rubbish tip is released after being TWO hours away from deportation - 15th Dec 2011

An asylum seeker who raped a woman and dumped her on a rubbish tip when he was 'finished' has been freed despite Home Office attempts to deport him.

Alphonse Semo, 54, was jailed for eight years for the rape and at the end of his term was due to be sent back to the Congo.

However two hours before his flight he was given permission to marry his girlfriend and stay in the country.

Now a judge has allowed the father-of-five to be released from an immigration detention centre.

He has been fitted with an electronic tag and is required to check in regularly with the authorities.

The Home Office is still fighting to have Semo removed but he has applied for judicial review and the case could take the courts years to resolve.

Semo was told three years ago that he would be deported after serving the prison sentence he was handed in 2002.

However, a Home Office blunder meant he was granted permission to wed his girlfriend, another refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo who became a German national, hours before he was to be sent back to Africa. Read More

'A return to the Great Depression': IMF boss ramps up pressure on EU with gloomy new recession warning - 16th Dec 2011

The world is heading for a new Great Depression, the head of the International Monetary Fund warned yesterday.

In an apocalyptic assessment of the debt crisis, Christine La;garde said the disaster in the eurozone was escalating – despite last week’s treaty designed to prop up the currency.

Delivering a clear warning that Europe has still not done enough to prevent the collapse of the euro, she insisted every country in the world would need to help boost growth.

Mrs Lagarde warned that failure to solve the crisis would lead to ‘protectionism, isolation, and other elements reminiscent of the 1930s Depression’.

She added: ‘This is exactly the description of what happened in the 30s and what followed is not something we are looking forward to.’ Read More

The treachery of Nick Clegg: Deputy PM and Lib Dem ministers plot to rally business chiefs against Cameron after Europe veto - 16th Dec 2011

Nick Clegg and Lib Dem Cabinet ministers are today accused of plotting to persuade business leaders to undermine David Cameron’s historic stand against a new EU treaty.

In an email leaked to the Mail, the heads of blue chip firms are asked to sign up to a letter demanding that the Government ‘re-engages’ with Brussels.

It is being circulated by leading City lobbyist Roland Rudd following a meeting with Mr Clegg, Vince Cable, Danny Alexander and Chris Huhne. It says it is ‘imperative’ that Britain is not left on the ‘outside’ when important decisions are taken on the future of Europe.

The revelation prompted cries of treachery from Tory MPs and raised fears that the issue of Europe could fracture the Coalition – which is under the greatest strain since it was formed.

Mr Clegg had initially backed the Prime Minister’s use of the veto, but flip-flopped after a furious reaction from his own party. Read More

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake KYRGYZSTAN - 16th Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck Kyrgyzstan at a depth of just 1 km (0.6 miles - Poorly Constrained), the quake hit at 03:14:41 UTC Friday 16th December 2011.
The epicenter was 37 km (23 miles) West of Balikci, Kyrgyzstan
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE - 16th Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck offshore Bio-Bio, Chile at a depth of 21.5 km (13.4 miles), the quake hit at 00:58:49 UTC Friday 16th December 2011.
The epicenter was 49 km (30 miles) West of Concepcion, Chile
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

LA traffic nightmare as oil tanker explodes on freeway - 15th Dec 2011

A section of a major Los Angeles freeway could be closed for days after a tanker erupted into flames and burned to the pavement.

The force of the explosion caused structural damage to the underpass above, and the heat was so fierce that concrete from the freeway boiled and popped.

The double tanker truck caught fire on the eastbound 60 Freeway just after midday on Wednesday, and the driver and a passenger were lucky to escape the vehicle as it stopped under the Paramount Boulevard overpass in Montebello, California.

Crews worked through the night to clean up the road, a major artery linking Los Angeles with the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire.

Thousands of motorists were stuck in place for hours on Wednesday, and California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers were forced to back traffic up and turn it around, using off-ramps to guide the cars onto clogged surface streets.

Meanwhile, flood control crews and officials from the California Department of Fish & Game worked to contain toxic runoff from the fire. Read More

Outrage as President signs off law to detain home-grown terror suspects indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay- even U.S. citizens. - 15th Dec 2011

President Barack Obama faced a civil liberties backlash today after he signed a law that will allow terror suspects to be held indefinitely- even raising the prospects of U.S. citizens being sent to Guantanamo Bay.

The controversial move, revealed last night, effectively extends the laws of the battlefield to American soil.

The move shows a clear hardening of Mr Obama’s anti-terror policies, and a major shift from the liberal stance that helped him sweep into power three years ago.

After campaigning heavily on the need to close the controversial terrorist detention base at Guantanamo Bay, he failed to deliver when met with legal obstacles.

Now, showing that he has truly moved to the opposite end of the spectrum, he is endorsing the tools and civil powers that he once rallied against.

'It's something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration,' said Human Rights Watch spokesman Tom Malinowski. Read More

The discovery of the Higgs boson 'God' particle - 15th Dec 2011

Putin describes killing of Gaddafi as repulsive and accuses opponents of working with the West to destabilise country - 15th Dec 2011

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has given an incendiary TV interview accusing protest organisers of working to weaken Russia on orders from the West.

Putin, whose authority has been rocked by recent demonstrations against alleged vote fraud, told a call-in TV show: 'That's a well-organized pattern of destabilizing society.'

The strongman insisted that the 4 December parliamentary election which triggered Russia's biggest protests for 20 years was a genuine reflection of the people's will.

He even sought to put a good spin on the protests by saying they reflected a rise in public activity that he welcomes.

Last week, Putin dismissed criticism of the vote by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as part of American efforts to weaken Russia. Read More

'American soldiers' stand around laughing at man beating a sheep to Death with baseball bat, Afghanistan - 15th Dec 2011

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT



Note: These are people fighting our wars, supposed to protect innocents..... does this not include helpless animals?

People that kill animals in such a evil way are classed as sociopaths in society, Does this not count if your in Uniform?

Radiation leaks caused illnesses, Dimona reactor employees say, Israel - 15th Dec 2011

Employees at the Dimona nuclear reactor told an Israeli court that they were sickened with cancer and other illnesses due to radioactive leaks.

During a hearing Wednesday in Petach Tikvah District Court, the attorney for 44 employees and their families presented internal memos claiming that the leak of radioactive substances was caused by safety problems.

A former deputy head of Dimona's Negev Nuclear Research Center safety division also testified that there had been radiation leaks, Haaretz reported.

The employees of the Dimona reactor and the Soreq Nuclear Research Center in the mid-1990s who filed suit want to be recognized as victims of work-related accidents. Some of the plaintiffs have died since the suit was filed.

The Dimona plant is said to be the source of fuel for Israeli nuclear weapons, though Israel has remained ambiguous about whether it has such weapons. Source

Bird Flu killing Hundreds of crows in Jharkhand, India - 15th Dec 2011

In a worrying development, hundreds of crows have died in Jharkhand due to bird flu, a government official said Thursday.

The crows first started dying mysteriously last month in Jamshedpur district. This was followed by their deaths in Ranchi, Bokaro, Khuti, Sahebganj and other districts of the state.

Concerned over the situation, the Jharkhand's animal husbandry department called in experts from Bhopal's Indian Veterinary Research Institute to ascertain the cause of the crows' large-scale deaths.

"Samples of the dead crows were sent to Bhopal for tests. The scientists found strains of the deadly H5N1 virus in the dead crows, thus confirming that they had died of bird flu," an official of the animal husbandary department told IANS.

The department has issued advisories in local newspapers, asking people not to touch the dead crows, bury them and inform officials and others. Also, the Ranchi zoo has also been closed to visitors as a precautionary step.

"We are taking suitable measures and seeking views of experts about the deaths of crows," Jharkhand Agriculture Minister Satyanand Bhokta told reporters here Thursday.

The central government also has sent an advisory to the Jharkhand government regarding the deaths of the crows. Source

Slovaks bust radioactive goods smuggling ring led by Czech pensioner - 15th Dec 2011

Police arrest 71-year old Czech man heading ‘pensioners club’ that sought to sell radioactive material here and in Slovakia.

A gang of “pensioners” who sought to sell highly radioactive materials in the Czech Republic and Slovakia have been caught by police after long-term surveillance. What has been branded the “pensioners club” was led by a 71-year-old Czech living in Slovakia with the rest of the group all elderly.

The Slovak police, who have been keeping tabs on the group since February, said on Thursday that the gang planned to sell a wide range of radioactive materials for which they hoped to pocket some €500,000. Police say the group planned to do deals at first in the Czech Republic and then in neighboring Slovakia.

“They have been charged with the criminal acts of illegal production and possession of nuclear material, radioactive materials, highly dangerous chemical substances and biologically aggressive substances and toxins,” the Slovak police said in a statement. “If found guilty, they face prison sentences of between three and 10 years.”

Group members took photographs of the radioactive materials on offer and sent them to would-be buyers, police said, adding that the materials had not been imported into either the Czech Republic or Slovakia. The statement did not say where the material was being stored or give information about its origin.

Czech public broadcaster Czech Television (ČT) said seven individuals have been charged with the radioactive materials originating in the former Soviet Union. Read More

Chinese Fugitive Was TV Actor For 13 Years - 15th Dec 2011

A Chinese actor who played a detective in a television drama has been arrested after spending 13 years on the run from the police.

Ji Siguang is accused of attacking a policeman in the city of Qiqihar in northern China with three other men. The officer's gun was stolen during the assault.

Since then, Mr Ji is alleged to have gone on the run, changed his name to Zhang Guofeng, and built a career as one of China's most successful character actors.

He has appeared in more than 30 television dramas, including a hugely popular series named Lurk in 2009.

Other roles included a spy in the series The East is Red, 1949, and a Qing-dynasty eunuch in Miracle-working Doctor Dadaogong.

According to China's state media, Ji Siguang was generally cast in parts with few lines, but was much loved by directors for his loyalty.

Mr Ji was finally tracked by police in southern China where he was filming a new costume drama named Shaolin Tigers in which he portrays a Buddhist monk.

He has reportedly admitted his involvement in the 1998 assault and confessed he had always been scared he would be recognised. Source

Fire Engulfs Two 33-Storey Towers In Vietnam - 15th Dec 2011


Scores of people have been rescued after a fire ripped through two 482ft-high buildings in Vietnam.

Thick black smoke from the blaze at the 33-storey EVN Centre For Telecommunications Information Management in the city of Hanoi could be seen from miles around.

Local newspaper Tuoi Tre News reported that around 30 people were rescued from the 30th floor of one building, with firefighters also saving separate groups of four and seven trapped occupants.

It said at least five fire engines went to battle the blaze, with water cannons sent to extinguish flames on the 30th floor.

Rescuers told reporters at the scene that all electric and cable wires stretching from basements to the 30th floor had been destroyed.

Nobody is thought to have died in the fire, which was reported to be under control by 8.50pm local time. Source

Cracks Start To Appear In EU Finance Pact

The Czech Republic and Hungary have said they will not sign the new European Union pact unless tax harmonisation plans are dropped.

The announcement comes less than one week after the EU summit hailed as bringing unity to all but one of its member nations.

In Brussels, 26 of the 27 members of the EU backed new fiscal rules to keep budgets in line, with only the UK abstaining.

Neither Hungary nor the Czech Republic uses the euro, and tax harmonisation plans were not explicitly discussed as part of the changes at the summit.

Nonetheless Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and his Czech counterpart Petr Necas said they wanted to take active roles in negotiations, adding they are concerned the pact may take away their independence on tax policy.

Mr Necas said: "We support the solutions which result in the stabilisation of the eurozone.

"But we are convinced that tax harmonisation would not mean anything good for
us." Read More

Iraq veering towards 'Lebanonisation'

Eight years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq is veering towards a "Lebanonisation" of its political system, with power permanently distributed along strict ethnic and sectarian lines, experts say.

For two governments in a row, the posts of president, premier and parliament speaker have been parcelled out to a Kurd, a Shiite and a Sunni, all with deputies of the other two groups, a path analysts warn is dangerous.

"What we fear is a Lebanonisation and unfortunately, this is what is happening," said Mowafaq al-Rubaie, a former national security adviser, referring to Lebanon's codified distribution of power.

"Certain political parties, who claim to speak on behalf of a sect, believe that a Lebanonisation of the regime is in their interests." Read More

South African banks blasted as "climate killers"

Two South African banks are the biggest "climate killers" among African banks, environmental activists said on Wednesday.

Standard Bank was the biggest culprit, while Nedbank, which claimed to be a carbon neutral bank, was ranked number 60, activists said on the sidelines of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17) in Durban.

The two banks were mentioned during the release of a report showing that banks around the world had lent about R2.5 trillion to the coal industry, which is regarded as the major source of greenhouse gases.

In response, Nedbank said it was a proud conservation partner of the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA)

"Together we aspire to reduce the consumption of our natural resources. Nedbank is also the first African bank to adopt the Equator Principles," the bank said in a statement. Read More

Chinese angry over pollution

Millions of Chinese went online on Tuesday to vent their anger over the thick smog that has blanketed Beijing in recent days, raising health fears and causing hundreds of flights to be cancelled.

Sales of facemasks were reported to have surged as residents of China's heavily polluted capital sought to protect themselves from the air, which US embassy figures ranked "very unhealthy".

Beijing's main airport cancelled hundreds of flight due to the poor visibility on Sunday and Monday, angering passengers at the world's second-busiest airport.

Visibility had improved by Tuesday, but 80 domestic and 10 international flights had been cancelled by 12:00 due to light snow.

Users of Sina's weibo - one of China's popular micro-blogging sites - expressed frustration at the delays to their journeys, with one saying it had taken him 24 hours to travel to Beijing from the southern city of Shenzhen.

Air quality

"I'm exhausted. All of this was because of the thick smog," wrote Hu Yueyue in one of 4.4 million comments on pollution posted to Sina on Tuesday. Read More