Saturday, February 11, 2012

Singer Whitney Houston dies at 48

Legendary pop singer Whitney Houston died at a Beverly Hills, California, hotel at age 48, officials said Saturday night.

The entertainer, whose incredible talent was discovered at an early age, was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. (6:55 p.m. ET) at the Beverly Hilton despite resuscitation efforts, a police spokesman said.

Beverly Hills Police Lt. Mark Rosen said there were "no obvious signs of criminal intent" and that the cause of her death is being investigated.

Houston's bodyguard found her body, said Courtney Barnes, publicist for hip-hop artist Ray J, who was dating the pop diva.

Houston died on the eve of the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

According to her official website, Houston sold more than 170 million albums, singles and videos over her career. But she also struggled with addiction problems over the years. more

Typhoid outbreak hits Harare law courts, Zimbabwe

Magistrates’ courts in the Zimbabwean capital Harare were forced to close down on Friday after a suspected typhoid outbreak affected magistrates and staff.

The building that houses the courts in central Harare has been without water for almost a month.

The government owned The Herald newspaper on Saturday said some prosecutors had not been reporting for a duty due to illness.

“Some magistrates and clerks of court were sent home in the morning after they exhibited symptoms of the contagious disease,” the paper quoted an unnamed court official.
“The most affected were vomiting and the closure of toilets due to the water problem did not help the situation.”

Harare council spokesperson Mr Leslie Gwindi said the water problem at the courts was caused by a major pipeline breakdown.
The closure of the courts is set to worsen the backlog of cases caused by poor staffing. Harare is battling a sever typhoid outbreak that started at the end of last year and has affected more than 1,500 people. Read More

Mugabe's party says typhoid outbreak 'biological warfare'

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has attributed the typhoid outbreak that has affected 1,500 people in the capital Harare to biological warfare and Western sanctions.

The claim was made by a Zanu-PF spokesperson in Harare Mr Claudious Mutero as Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr Henry Madzorera warned the outbreak would spread to other towns because of collapsing water and sewer infrastructure.

“The sanctions induced typhoid does not discriminate whether one is MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) or Zanu-PF as it attacks all people irrespective of their sex, ethnic or religious background,” he told state media.

“We suspect biological warfare by imperialists who are using nationals worldwide as conduits.

“Councillors must unite and call for the removal of these sanctions.” Read More

Dolphin Found Swimming in Ocean City Lagoon



The dolphin could still be seen in the Ocean City, N.J. waterway late Friday

A dorsal fin is grabbing people’s attention in an unusual spot: a back-bay lagoon in Ocean City, N.J., just feet from homes.

A common dolphin began surfacing in the waterway on Wednesday. It was still there late Friday.

“It’s a very unusual occurrence to have a dolphin in our lagoon. We’ve never seen it in the ten years we’ve been here,” homeowner Fred Hoffman told NBC10 News.

Chlorine contamination kills half of Redondo Beach SEA Lab’s sea life

The warning came late Thursday morning.

Around 11:30 a.m., some of the white sea bass at Redondo Beach’s LA Conservation Corps SEA Lab were swimming erratically. Some were even belly up.

Brent Scheiwe, the program director, reacted immediately. He shut down the water intake pumps and scrambled to find the source of the contamination. They quickly added a neutralizing agent; a quick call was made, and soon almost everybody who worked at the SEA lab was at the facility scrambling to save the thousands of sea creatures under their watch.

The schooling tank was drained after every fish in the tank died.

Within hours, however, half of the sea life at the facility was dead. Read More

North Korea began enriching uranium in 1998, exported to Libya via Pakistan

LONDON -- North Korea began to enrich uranium in 1998, the year after the construction of light-water nuclear reactors began in the country under a 1994 agreement with the United States, the Mainichi has learned.

The U.S. government had believed that North Korea began to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons in 2000. It is also known that North Korea has been producing uranium hexafluoride (UF6) through cooperation with Pakistan in violation of its framework agreement with the U.S.

The latest revelations highlight Pyongyang's intense focus on its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea began building nuclear reactors and related devices at its Nyeongbyeon Nuclear Scientific Research Center in the 1980s. It then started reprocessing spent nuclear fuel to extract plutonium for nuclear bombs. Read More

Over 100,000 signatures collected for Tokai nuclear plant scrapping, Japan

MITO (Kyodo) -- Civic groups submitted to the Ibaraki governor on Friday about 51,000 signatures and a petition demanding that the Tokai No. 2 nuclear power station be scrapped, bringing the total number of signatures they have collected against the plant operation to more than 100,000.

Last November, about 50,000 signatures against the resumption of the plant's operation, halted since last year, were already submitted to Ibaraki Gov. Masaru Hashimoto.

The petition submitted Friday urges the prefectural government not to allow the Tokai power station to resume operation, saying, "We should not allow a recurrence of the irretrievable sacrifice and loss as experienced in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident."

Having received the signatures and the petition, Katsuyoshi Tan in charge of the prefecture's crisis management said, "The (central) government has not yet announced its decision on resuming operations (of idled nuclear reactors), so we are undecided."

Civic groups are encouraging the prefecture to make "independent" decisions instead of waiting for the central government's policies. Read More

Citizens group runs full-page anti-nuclear ad in Mainichi, Japan

A citizens group formed by intellectuals Shinichi Nakazawa, Tatsuru Uchida, and writer Seiko Ito ran a full-page anti-nuclear power ad in the Feb. 11 edition of the Mainichi Shimbun.

The ad reads in large print, "We aim for a Japan with no nuclear power plants." Nakazawa says the ad "is valuable in that it makes the opinions of people below the surface (of public discourse) visible through newspapers."

The ad was endorsed by some 150 people, mainly musicians and others in the arts, as well as around 20 organizations.

"To be ethical towards the future, we have to change direction," says Ito. Read More

Russia denies backing to new Syria resolution

Saudi Arabia has tried to find a way to get round Russia’s and China’s vetoes on the Moroccan-tabled Security Council resolution on Syria by circulating a similar draft, which it is hoping will win the support of the United Nations General Assembly.

Russia is opposing the Saudi move. Writing in his Twitter account Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said both drafts are ‘unacceptable’, because they ignore the right of the Syrian people to settle their own domestic problems through a national dialogue which should be started after the renunciation of violence by all the conflicting sides.

Russia and China fear that passing a resolution of the proposed kind would open the way for outside military intervention in Syria which could turn it into another Libya.

No UN member exercises the right of veto in the General Assembly. At the same time, Assembly resolutions are not legally binding. Source

Nasa orbiter captures geysers of frost shrouding south pole of icy moon Enceladus

Nasa's Cassini spacecraft has captured a spectacular view of the crescent moon Enceladus in front off the planet.

The orbiter captured the famous jets of water ice spraying from Saturn's moon Enceladus in a recent visible-light image - visible as a very faint smoky halo of ice shrouding the moon's south pole.

The spacecraft has orbited the planet Saturn since 2004, studying the planet, its mysterious moons, and its rings of tiny particles of ice.

The geyser-like jets on Enceladus appear as a small white blur below the dark south pole, down and to the right of the illuminated part of the moon's surface in the image.

The jets are made of water ice - and hint that Enceladus could have oceans below its surface.

The geyser-like jets create a halo of ice, dust and gas around Enceladus that helps feed Saturn's E ring. Read More

U.S. Ambassador Posts a military aerial photograph On Facebook....How did he obtain this?

The U.S. Ambassador to Syria has blamed the country's government for attacks on civilians and has taken the unusual step of posting a military aerial photograph on Facebook to back his claims.

Robert Ford spoke angrily about the killings of unarmed civilians in Syria's third-largest city of Homs after uploading the detailed aerial image showing army vehicles in residential neighbourhoods.

Speaking from Paris after he closed the U.S. Embassy in Damascus earlier this week, he called on the country's Government to end the bombardment of civilians.

The U.S. State Department also piled on the pressure by releasing further images showing the Syrian regime's artillery deployed around the country. More than 300 civilians have died in Homs in the past week alone. Read More

Robert Dewey Hoskins captured after escaping from mental hospital

A 'psychotic' stalker who broke into Madonna's estate and threatened to slit her throat has been captured following his escape from a mental hospital.

It was feared that Robert Dewey Hoskins who walked out of the Metropolitan State Hospital in Southern California last Friday could target actress Halle Berry, police said.

Hoskins is 'highly psychotic' and can be extremely violent, police said.

But after a massive manhunt, the convicted stalker was apprehended in Long Beach and is now in custody.

Hoskins served a 10-year prison sentence for stalking and threatening Madonna after being convicted by a jury in 1996.

He had finished his sentence for and had been receiving treatment at the hospital after being committed there last year, investigators say. Read More

'John Wayne Gacy had an ACCOMPLICE': Serial killer was not in Chicago when two of his 33 victims vanished, claim lawyers

Serial killer John Wayne Gacy raped and killed 33 men and was executed for the murders in 1994, but today new details have emerged that suggest the notorious 'killer clown' may not have acted alone.

Chicago based criminal defense attorneys Robert Stephenson and Steven Becker claim to have unearthed information which could prove that Gacy, who worked as an amateur clown, had atleast one accomplice.

The men have revisited the murders of Russell Nelson of Minneapolis, Robert Gilroy and John Mowery, both from Chicago, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

The three young men disappeared in 1977 and were among 29 victims found in 1978 buried under Gacy’s suburban Chicago home.

Gacy dumped four more victims in a river when he ran out of room. Read More

Mysterious stadium at Warren Jeffs' Church compound sparks fears that paedophile Mormon's followers are planning 'Jim Jones-style' mass suicide

Photos of a stadium being built on the site of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - led by convicted paedophile Warren Jeffs - have emerged, raising concerns about its purpose.

The pictures, taken by a local resident in Eldorado, Texas, have sparked fears that the concrete building could be used for a mass suicide, like that led by Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple in 1978.

Another theory is that the concrete building - measuring 30 feet high and 289 feet across - will house a large statue of polygamist leader Jeffs, who is serving a life sentence for raping two underage girls.

Judge Jimmy Doyle, who captured the pictures from his aircraft, told Time magazine that the greatest fear among locals was that 'there will be a Jim Jones-like thing out there'.

Jones led a mass suicide in 1978 at the Peoples Temple in Guyana. In total, 913 followers died, including 200 children who were forced to swallow poison by the group's leaders. Read More

CIA website forced offline as hacking group Anonymous admits it has stolen the personal information of 46,000 people

The CIA's website has been targetted by computer hackers believed to have stolen the personal information of more than 46,000 people.

Members of hacking group Anonymous have claimed they were behind an attack that closed down the website cia.gov for nine hours on Friday.

The hackers said they broke into several Alabama law enforcement and government websites to steal Social Security numbers, license plate numbers, phone numbers, addresses and criminal records.

The group claimed the attack was prompted by what it called Alabama's 'racist legislation' targeting illegal immigrants.

'You complain about immigrants costing the state money, however, you do not care about spending the same money to protect your own legal citizens,' a news release said. Read More

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA, RUSSIA - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Kamchatka, Russia at a depth of 18.7 km (11.6 miles), the quake hit at 16:48:14 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 348 km (216 miles) ESE of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Russia to oppose U.N. resolution

(Reuters) - Syrian forces bombarded districts of Homs city on Saturday in a campaign to crush a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, whose ally Russia said it would not support an Arab peace plan circulating at the United Nations.

Activists said seven people were killed in the latest attacks in a week-long government siege of Homs, which has been at the heart of the uprising which broke out 11 months ago.

Mohammed Hassan, an opposition campaigner in the western city, told Reuters by telephone that a 55-year-old woman was among those killed by shellfire on the Bab Amro district.

The bloodshed followed Friday's violence, when bombings targeting security bases killed at least 28 people in Aleppo and rebel fighters battled troops in a Damascus suburb after dark.

Assad has ignored repeated international appeals, the latest from the European Union, to halt his crackdown. Read More

US & CNN's Agent "Danny" Asking for War III Over Street Protests in Syria?

Bogus Media Claims About Syria

Syrian civilians set the record straight with BBC...But she still won't Listen

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake SOLOMON ISLANDS - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck the Solomon Islands at a depth of 39.3 km (24.4 miles), the quake hit at 15:23:07 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 62 km (38 miles) SSE of HONIARA, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Greek government told rebellious lawmakers on Saturday to back a deeply unpopular EU/IMF rescue or send the nation down "an unknown, dangerous path"

(Reuters) - Greek leaders told a growing band of rebellious lawmakers on Saturday to back a deeply unpopular EU/IMF rescue in parliament or send the nation down "an unknown, dangerous path" to default, international economic isolation and a deeply devalued drachma.

Conservative leader Antonis Samaras, who has attacked austerity policies for driving Greece ever deeper into recession, still told his party to back the 130 billion euro deal or be dropped as candidates in the next general election.

With voters deeply hostile to the bailout's tough conditions, former socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou admitted that backing austerity had cost him the premiership and even some of his friends, but the alternative was a collapse in living standards and further "unforeseeable consequences."

The coalition of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has a huge majority, which should ensure parliament approves on Sunday a package including a further 3.3 billion euros in budget cuts this year, needed to secure Greece's second bailout since 2010. Read More

Ahmadinejad: Major nuclear announcement expected within days

(CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Saturday that the nation will reveal "several major achievements in the nuclear domain" within days, state media reported.

Ahmadinejad did not offer details during his announcement at a rally to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

But he slammed "hegemonic powers," accusing them of pressuring the nation on the nuclear front.

In the near future, Iran's nuclear demands will be met by the nation's scientists, Ahmadinejad said at the Tehran event broadcast on Press TV

"Today you see that the Iranian nation has become nuclear and can supply many of its demands," he said. "And God willing, in next few days, the whole world will witness the inauguration of several major achievements in the nuclear domain. Read More

New Blasts Shake Homs, Syria

U.N. pushes to condemn Syria



(CNN) -- As U.N. diplomats make another attempt to condemn Syria's massacre of civilians, one resident in the besieged city of Homs pleaded for President Bashar al-Assad's regime to have mercy on the most innocent victims.

"We just want from Assad to give us permission to move the injured baby -- they are just the babies," said an activist named Omar. "They have to leave the area to have a good treatment. ... He don't even let us save and treat our (injured) babies."

At least six people were killed Saturday morning in Homs, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an opposition group that organizes and documents protests.

Opposition activists say hundreds of people have died in Homs in the past week as the government tries to wipe out the opposition through indiscriminate shelling and sniper fire. Read More

Sun newspaper staff among eight arrested in police probe

London (CNN) -- Authorities arrested eight people Saturday -- including five employees of Britain's bestselling Sun newspaper -- as part of an inquiry into alleged illegal payments to police and officials.

The other three are a police officer, an employee of the Ministry of Defence and a member of the armed forces, the Metropolitan Police said.

News International's offices in east London are being searched, the police said, as well as the homes of those arrested. News International, which owns the Sun, is a U.K. subsidiary of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

The Sun's editor, Dominic Mohan, said in a statement: "I'm as shocked as anyone by today's arrests but am determined to lead The Sun through these difficult times. Read More

Lenders Warned As 95% Mortgages Return



Low-deposit mortgage deals are back on offer for first-time buyers after the financial crisis left many struggling to get on the property ladder.

But there is concern that a surge in 95% loans could lead to lending spiralling out of control as it did before the crash.

Bernard Clarke, from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, says credit checks will be stringent to make sure that does not happen.

"The safety nets need to work on both sides, really," he said.

"Lenders still need to be very cautious in assessing the ability of a borrower to repay a loan and borrowers need to think long and hard about taking on such a long-term commitment as a 25-year mortgage." Read More

Syria: Gunmen Assassinate General In Damascus



Gunmen have assassinated an army general in Damascus, state media reports have said.

The killing of Brig Gen Issa al Khouli in the Syrian capital came as shells once again rained down on the city of Homs, the epicentre of the uprising against president Bashar al Assad's regime.

SANA said three gunmen opened fire at al Khouli in the morning as he left his home in the Damascus neighborhood of Rukn Eddine.

Al Khouli was a doctor and the chief of a military hospital in the capital. No one claimed responsibility for the killing.

The attack indicates that violence in Syria is reaching the tightly controlled capital, which has been relatively quiet compared to other cities. Read More

Saudi Protester Shot Dead By Security Forces

One protester has been shot dead during demonstrations in Saudi Arabia.

Officials said security forces shot the protester after being fired upon by members of what they described as "an illegal gathering".

It was the second such incident in two days.

Activists from Dubai said that Zuhair al Said, 21, was killed as security forces dispersed a protest on Friday against the death of another Shiite demonstrator the previous day.

"Security forces following an unauthorised gathering in the (Shiite) town of al Awamiya in Qatif district came under fire from masked gunmen," SPA quoted a police spokesman as saying.

Police "responded, sparking an exchange of fire that resulted in the wounding of one of them, who died later".

An activist told AFP that Said was "shot dead by security forces as they dispersed a protest against the killing of another man" on Thursday.

"Eight armoured vehicles belonging to Saudi security forces intervened to disperse the protest," the activist said. Read More

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Mindanao, Philippines at a depth of 58.3 km (36.2 miles), the quake hit at 11:59:28 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 83 km (51 miles) ENE of Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

New South Wales lashed by intense thunderstorms

Quick-moving thunderstorms have swept through NSW, bringing large hailstones, heavy rain and flash flooding.

Trees brought down powerlines, houses were inundated and a family had to be evacuated as the storms moved across the Blue Mountains and western Sydney before travelling up to the mid-north coast and beyond.

The State Emergency Service (SES) received more than 200 calls for assistance on Saturday afternoon, including one from a Blue Mountains family trapped in their home.

The two adults and two children had to be rescued after water inundated their Hazelbrook house, SES spokesman Dave Owens said.

Most of the other calls related to damaged roofs and gutters, as well as damaged cars.

Residents reported hailstones around the size of a 20c coin that were "big enough to bruise" on the SES Facebook page.

The storms then moved on to Port Macquarie, where an intense storm felled several trees and brought down powerlines in the nearby town of Telegraph Point. Read More

Severe storm warning for NSW, Queensland

The weather bureau has issued severe thunderstorm warnings for parts of New South Wales and Queensland.

The New South Wales mid north coast is being warned to expect large hailstones and flash flooding in communities over the next few hours.

Authorities say residents in Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Armidale and Dorrigo should remain alert as the storm cell moves towards the north east.

The State Emergency Service received more than 120 calls for help this afternoon after heavy rain and hail storms west of Sydney.

A family of four had to be rescued from the Blue Mountains when their home was affected by flash flooding.
Central and southern Queensland is also being warned of a line of storms detected in the Wide Bay, Burnett, Darling Downs, Granite Belt, Central Highlands, Capricornia, Coalfields and south-east coast. Locations that may be affected include Warwick, Toowoomba, Dalby, Kingaroy, Biloela and Stanthorpe over the next several hours. Source

3.0 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 3.0 earthquake has struck Southern California at a depth of just 2.4 km (1.5 miles Constrained), the quake hit at 09:46:47 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 5 km (3.1 miles) WSW from Niland, California
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake PAPUA, INDONESIA - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Papua, Indonesia at a depth of 34.1 km (21.2 miles), the quake hit at 09:27:10 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 108 km (67 miles) WNW from Enarotali, Irian Jaya, Indonesia
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the Kuril Islands at a depth of 59.3 km (36.8 miles), the quake hit at 08:52:11 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 396 km (246 miles) ENE of Kuril'sk, Kuril Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Iran to announce nuclear progress: Ahmadinejad

(Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday the Islamic Republic would soon announce "very important" achievements in the nuclear field, state TV reported.

He was speaking on the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic revolution. Tens of thousands of Iranians joined state-organized rallies across the country to mark the occasion.

Demonstrators carrying Iranian flags and pictures of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei chanted "Death to Israel" and "Death to America."

"In the coming days the world will witness Iran's announcement of its very important and very major nuclear achievements," Ahmadinejad told a crowd at Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Square in a speech relayed live on state television.

He gave no details. Read More

Russia jails CIA mole for passing information on missile systems to the U.S.

A Russian court today jailed a CIA mole for passing highly classified secrets on missile tests to American intelligence.

Lieutentant Colonel Vladimir Nesterets was sent to prison for 13 years after admitting receiving cash payment for passing detailed information to the U.S.

Russia's FSB counter-intelligence service said the senior site launch engineer handed over data concerning 'tests on Russia's latest strategic missile systems.'

Nesterets worked at the Plesetsk launch site in north-western Russia, which is used for both military strike missiles and civilian rocket launches to put satellites in space.

The revelation from the secret services did not include details of how long Nesterets had been working for the CIA, or how much he was paid.

The organisation's terse statement did not say when the officer had been arrested or give any further details about his case.

Russia's RIA Novosti news agency quoted the officer's wife, Irina, as saying she could not understand the guilty plea.

She said her husband had told her he did nothing wrong and had not betrayed his country. Read More

Uzbek man pleads guilty to plotting to shoot dead President Obama 'for Islamic terror group'

A man from Uzbekistan who pleaded guilty to plotting to kill President Obama with an automatic rifle claimed he was acting at the direction of an Islamic terror group in his home country.

Ulugbek Kodirov allegedly discussed trying to kill the president as he campaigned for re-election because he would be out in public more often.

Defense attorney Lance Bell said the 22-year-old avoided a potential life sentence by pleading guilty in Birmingham, Alabama. He faces up to 30 years in prison, though Bell expected Kodirov to receive about half that.

The judge also told Kodirov that he will face deportation once he's released from prison.

Kodirov pleaded guilty to three counts: Threatening to kill the president, possessing an automatic weapon, and providing material support to terrorists. Four other charges were dropped as part of the deal. Read More

Syria: Opposition Stronghold Prepares For Assault



Idlib is a city in waiting, waiting for what it believes has become inevitable - the Assad attack.

The city, with its population of about 100,000 says it is ready.

The rebel flag is flying in the centre and tens of thousands have turned out after prayers to demand President Bashar Assad stands down. Activists put the number at about 40,000.

Sky News was welcomed by crowds of protesters, who are desperate to get the message out to the outside world.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for them - the communication network is cut and water and power supplies are intermittent. Read More

Dean Dinnen stormed into a pub with CHAINSAW after being thrown out for smoking

A man has been jailed for three years for bursting into a pub wielding a petrol-driven chainsaw while high on drugs after another customer threw him out for smoking.

Dean Dinnen, 24, charged into The Endyke pub in Endike Lane, Hull, armed with the 18in chainsaw to exact revenge on the man who forced him to put out his cigarette.

One of the pub's customers, Adrian Pryor, suffered ruptured tendons as he desperately tried to defend himself with a bar stool.

Dinnen was only stopped after customers managed to overpower him with chairs, bar stools and pool cues. The man he was looking for had actually left before his return.

Prosecutor Jharna Jobes said Dinnen was drunk at the pub and was escorted out by a man who objected to him smoking and told him to stop.

The male took him outside and Dinnen claimed he beat him up. He then returned home to find the chainsaw.

'He returned to the car park with the chainsaw,' said Ms Jobes. 'He had it in front of him He was revving the chain saw up and frightening people.

'He then entered the pub. But the man he was looking for had gone. Read More

Could tiny surges in the stock market light the fuse for financial Armageddon? Study offers hope we could predict the next crash

Could rapid stock-price changes caused by computerised trading be responsible for recent stock market crashes?

A new study has analysed price logs from 60 markets worldwide, and found evidence of a pattern.

Before the stock market crash in 2008, prices of some stocks shot up and down at incredible speed, often returning to their previous levels within half a second.

The changes- which the researchers describe as 'fractures' - could be key to understanding what causes stock market crashes

They could also offer an 'early warning system' for when the markets are becoming unstable.

The 'fractures' occur so quickly they would be invisible to any human trader, existing in a world of computerised trading algorithms which make trades in milliseconds.

The same ultra-fast changes preceded another, smaller crash in 2010 - the so-called Flash Crash.

Theresearchers, led by Neil Johnson at the University of Miami in Coral Gables analysed 18,520 'fractures' between 2006 and 2010.

Johnson told New Scientist that ultra-fast trading systems themselves could be to blame for the crashes. Read More

Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen

Nasa announces plans to cut funding for missions to Mars

Nasa is to cut its exploration of Mars, it has been announced.

It is part of the space agency's plan to reduce its exploration of other planets. But Nasa's former science chief is calling the plan 'irrational'.

With limited money for science and an over-budget new space telescope, Nasa essentially had to make a choice in where it wanted to explore: the neighbouring planet or the far-off cosmos. Mars lost.

Edward Weiler, who until September was Nasa's associate administrator for science, said: 'To me, it's totally irrational and unjustified,'

'We are the only country on this planet that has the demonstrated ability to land on another planet, namely Mars. It is a national prestige issue.'

Two scientists who were briefed on the 2013 Nasa budget that will be released next week said the space agency is eliminating two proposed joint missions with Europeans to explore Mars in 2016 and 2018. Read More

Anni Dewani honeymoon murder Hitmen told they must wait in custody for husband Shrien to be extradited from UK.....They may have a long wait

Two gunmen accused of murdering Anni Dewani on her honeymoon have been told they must remain in custody while a High Court decides whether the bride's husband Shrien will be extradited from the UK to stand trial with them, a South African court heard today.

Alledged gangsters Mziwamadoda Qwabe, 25, and Xolile Mngeni, 23, appeared in court charged with murdering Mrs Dewani, who was shot dead when her taxi was hijacked in Cape Town, in November 2010.

But South African authorities have asked for the pair to remain in custody and for a pre-trial hearing to be put back until a decision is made on Mr Dewani's appeal against extradition from the UK.

Senior state advocate Shareen Riley told Western Cape High Court in South Africa today that Mr Dewani would appear alongside Mr Qwabe and Mr Mngeni if his appeal is unsuccessful. Read More

Police vs Firefighters on streets of Brussels as striking crews hose down PM's office in pension protest

Hundreds of protesting firefighters turned their water hoses on police during a dispute over pension reform - leaving the officers drenched and freezing cold in the sub-zero temperatures.

The furious firefighters broke through police lines in Brussels to get to the Belgian prime minister's office to vent their anger over the government's tougher retirement plans.

They want to keep their early retirement age at 58, arguing their arduous job does not allow them to work into their sixties.

But these demands run counter to government plans to have the overwhelming majority of people work two years beyond 65.

The Belgian government is proposing the reform in a bid to afford an ever-increasing pension bill as Belgium's population ages. Read More

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake BARBADOS REGION, WINDWARD ISLANDS - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the Barbados Region, Windward Islands at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 07:19:04 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 98 km (60 miles) Southwest of BRIDGETOWN, Barbados
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

World earthquakes 2011 Visualization map

Pope Benedict XVI assassination plot within a year, claims senior Vatican cardinal

A senior Vatican cardinal has sensationally claimed Pope Benedict XVI could be ‘the victim of an assassination plot’ within the next 12 months, it emerged today.

Cardinal Paolo Romeo is said to have revealed the details while on a visit to China and that another cardinal who was told of the comments, then submitted a top secret report to the Vatican Secretary of State.

The plot, which could come straight out of a Dan Brown-style thriller, was revealed in Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano today.

Cardinal Romeo, who is Archbishop of Palermo, is said to have made the claims during his visit to China last November where he met with Italian businessmen and local Catholic Church officials.

The Catholic Church is not officially recognised in China and relations between the two are strained but in November, Pope Benedict did grant approval for the ordination of a new bishop which was accepted by the Bejing government. Read More

5.7 Magnitude Earthquake MOLUCCA SEA, INDONESIA - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake has struck the Molucca Sea, Indonesia at a depth of 16.9 km (10.5 miles), the quake hit at 07:06:48 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 204 km (127 miles) SSW from Ternate, Moluccas, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Iran government cuts off internet access as hardline regime makes a stand

Iran has demonstrated further evidence of its strict regime after the government cut internet links leaving millions without email and social networks.

Interestingly, the shutdown comes at a time when inhabitants are preparing to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, with rumours of anti-government protests also planned.

But some internet boffins are rising above the crackdown, and accessing the web by using proxy servers over VPN connections.

Gmail, Google and Yahoo are all thought to have been restricted, and users have been unable to log in to their online banking.

'The interesting thing is that when asked, they deny the fact that all these services are all blocked,' an Iranian contacted by CNET said.

'I don't know the the infrastructure that they will use but I don't think we have a way out of that one. Read More

Milind Sanade a Sex attacker's 'human right' to stay in the UK (but is his family even here?)

A foreign nurse who sexually assaulted a pregnant patient has avoided deportation because of his ‘right to family life’ – even though his wife and children may have returned to India.

Milind Sanade was jailed for 12 months after he groped a vulnerable 21-year-old he was examining for signs of breast cancer.

Following his release from prison, Indian national Sanade, 36, should have been deported.

But he appealed on the grounds of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, after fathering two children in England. He was granted leave to stay because his family life deserved ‘respect’.

But last night neighbours at his £165,000 terraced house in Chelmsford, Essex, said his wife, Veni, had returned to India.

One said: ‘Sanade is always coming and going and we never really see much of him. I have heard that his wife has left him and taken the kids to India with her.’ Read More

Tibetan Monk Sets Himself On Fire in Protest - WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES



A Tibetan monk has set himself on fire in a protest against the Chinese government, according to pro-Tibet groups.

The monk - thought to be in his 30s - is believed to have survived the suicide attempt in China's far-western Qinghai Province, which is heavily populated with Tibetans. He is reported to be in a serious condition.

Pro-Tibet groups say he was taken away from the scene of his self-immolation by Chinese security personnel. His whereabouts are unknown.

The incident brings the number of Tibetans inside China to have set themselves alight over the last year to 21.

Many of the suicides and attempted suicides were monks and nuns, including a senior member of the clergy widely regarded as a "living Buddha". Several of the dead were teenagers.

It is believed that the self-immolations are protests against Chinese interference in Tibetan religious practices. Several of those who set themselves on fire are reported to have chanted slogans calling for religious freedom as they burned. Read More

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake SUCRE, VENEZUELA - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Sucre, Venezuela at a depth of 107.5 km (66.8 miles), the quake hit at 05:56:35 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 20 km (12.4 miles) NNE of Guiria, Venezuela
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake NEGROS - CEBU REGION, PHILIPPINES - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck Negros, Cebu Region, Philippines at a depth of 10.6 km (6.6 miles), the quake hit at 05:39:08 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 69 km (42 miles) SSE of Bacolod, Negros, Philippines
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NEGROS - CEBU REGION, PHILIPPINES - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Negros, Cebu Region, Philippines at a depth of 10.2 km (6.3 miles), the quake hit at 05:30:37 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 61 km (37 miles) SSE of Bacolod, Negros, Philippines
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck Tonga at a depth of 169.9 km (105.6 miles), the quake hit at 05:10:47 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 67 km (41 miles) Northwest of NUKU`ALOFA, Tonga
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN PERU - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Northern Peru at a depth of 14.7 km (9.1 miles), the quake hit at 04:44:24 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 66 km (41 miles) ESE of Moyobamba, Peru
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.6 Magnitude Earthquake BIO-BIO, CHILE - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck Bio-Bio, Chile at a depth of 35 km (21.7 miles), the quake hit at 02:58:23 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 52 km (32 miles) SSW of Concepcion, Bio-Bio, Chile
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Note: This earthquake has been downgraded to a 5.6 Magnitude from the initial report of 5.9 Magnitude.

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN HONSHU, JAPAN - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Eastern Honshu, Japan at a depth of 61.7 km (38.3 miles), the quake hit at 01:26:58 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 37 km (22 miles) NNW of TOKYO, Japan
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake SUCRE, VENEZUELA - 11th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Sucre, Venezuela at a depth of 93.9 km (58.3 miles), the quake hit at 00:12:18 UTC Saturday 11th February 2012
The epicenter was 35 km (21 miles) WNW of Guiria, Venezuela
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Glasgow Restaurant Stand-Off: Man Arrested following 8 Hour Stand-Off With Armed Police



A man has been detained following an eight-hour stand-off with armed police at an Italian restaurant in Glasgow city centre.

Officers evacuated Amarone Restaurant and the surrounding buildings after being called to reports of a man "acting suspiciously" at around 3.45pm.

A number of roads around Nelson Mandela Place were also closed as specialist police negotiators, armed officers and a Royal Navy bomb disposal unit were dispatched to the scene. Read More

Falklands Row: Nuclear Claims 'Absurd'



Britain's ambassador to the UN has said Argentinian claims that the UK is militarising the Falkland Islands are "manifestly absurd".

On Friday Argentina said it had intelligence that a Vanguard submarine had been sent to the South Atlantic, and demanded to know whether it was carrying warheads.

Sir Mark Lyall Grant said the Government did "not comment on the disposition of nuclear weapons, submarines etc".

But he said "nothing has changed in the UK's defence posture in recent months or recent years".

"Before 1982 there was a minimal defence presence in the Falkland Islands," he said.

"It is only because Argentina illegally invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982 that since then we had to increase our defence posture." Read More