Saturday, February 18, 2012

U.S. drones reportedly monitoring Syria; China wants Syrian sovereignty respected

“A good number” of unmanned U.S. military drones are operating in the skies over Syria, monitoring the President Basir al-Assad’s military’s crackdown against the opposition, U.S. defense officials tell NBC News.

According to the unnamed officials, the drone surveillance is not in preparations for a future military operation in Syria. Rather, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is hoping to use the visual evidence and intercepts of Syrian government and military communications in an effort to “make the case for a widespread international response.”

Unlike in Libya and the regime of former dictator Muammar Qaddafi, there has been no widespread international support for military intervention in Syria.

Despite debate among White House, State Department and Pentagon officials about possible humanitarian missions, officials fear that those missions could not be carried out without jeopardizing those involved and would almost certainly draw the U.S. into a military role in Syria. more

US Senate introduces bill backing military response against Iran

Major Annoucement Forthcoming

The Coming Crisis will be issuing a major announcement within the next few days.

As you already know from visiting us, the CC is a website that strives to break all molds. We have already made several enormous strides in this regard, including:

1) Being the most informative website on the web regarding earthquakes, channeling thousands of global resources to give you the most accurate information possible. When the Earth rumbles, our readers know exactly where they should go for information.

2) Being the only website that provides a safe place for people of Faith to engage in discussion alongside factual, trustworthy news and information. We're proud to have built this first bridge of tolerance and cooperative discovery.

3) Being the only website to issue Crisis Alerts, providing timely information and linking people to emergency services behind the scenes. The safety of our readers is always our number one priority.

4) The only website with truly constant coverage, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, providing nearly 40,000 pieces of accurate and trustworthy information in that period.

And this is just the beginning. Over the next month, we plan to revolutionize the truth movement and pioneer several more tools that will make the Coming Crisis the most democratic and people-centric website on the entire Internet. Very shortly, the new fight for freedom begins with us.

-- Matt & Lynsey

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA - 18th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck Tonga at a depth of 34.1 km (21.2 miles), the quake hit at 19:15:22 UTC Saturday 18th February 2012
The epicenter was 181 km (113 miles) East from NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Small Iran boats increase concern on U.S. warship

(Reuters) - Nerves were strained as an Iranian patrol boat approached the USS Abraham Lincoln at speed.

A helicopter escort hovered above the vessel in a warning not to get any closer, and the grey boat, tiny compared to the massive U.S. aircraft carrier, eventually turned around.

The encounter involving U.S. and Iranian boats, common in recent weeks, underscores rising tensions in the Gulf region between rival powers since Tehran threatened to close the Hormuz Strait, the world's most important oil shipping waterway, over Western moves to ban Iranian crude exports.

U.S. and Iranian warships shadow each other as they ply the Gulf in a standoff over Iran's nuclear program the West fears is aimed at producing an atomic weapon. Many fear any incident could trigger a war.

"I watch it morning, noon and night. I take it (the threat to close Hormuz) very seriously. In fact it's pretty much my life these days," the commander of U.S. naval forces in the Gulf region, Vice Admiral Mark Fox, told a news conference in Bahrain ahead of the fleet's voyage earlier this week.

The fleet, known as "Carrier Strike Group Nine" has been making forays through Hormuz despite the Iranian threats. Read More

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 18th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck the Fox Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska at a depth of 38.4 km (23.9 miles), the quake hit at 17:34:48 UTC Saturday 18th February 2012
The epicenter was 167 km (104 miles) East from Atka, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Swede Survives for 2 Months in Car under Snow

A Swedish man has been found alive inside a car stuck in deep snow, after apparently surviving for two months on nothing but snow in sub-zero temperatures.

The man, who was stranded in the car on December 19 according to the Vasterbotten Courier newspaper, had survived inside a sleeping bag in the car, DPA reported.

He was found off a remote forest road near Umea, after passersby on a snowmobiles raised the alarm.

Temperatures in the north of the country have reached minus 30 degrees Celsius in recent weeks. Police said the absence of any disturbance around the car made the survivor's account credible.

He is currently being treated in hospital in Umea, where his condition is described as "good, under the circumstances." Source

Greek rescue 'threatens eurozone structure'

Greece's pending debt rescue could fundamentally change the financial mechanics of the eurozone and result in tighter fiscal union, a leading economic think tank has warned.

European leaders are working through the weekend to finalise the details of a second €130bn (£108bn) bail-out package for Greece, ahead of a key meeting on Monday.

A conference call is expected to be held on Sunday by finance ministry officials from the 17 eurozone countries.

If the package is adopted, Greece's finances will be placed under stringent watch to ensure it delivers deep cuts and meets loan requirements.

The respected Ernst & Young ITEM Club said: "This could be the template for a future European fiscal union." Read More

Nepalese woman accused of witchcraft and burned alive

Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN) -- A 40-year-old mother of two was burned alive in central Nepal after she was accused of being a witch, police said Saturday.

Dhegani Mahato was attacked and set on fire by family members and others after a shaman allegedly accused her of casting a spell to make one of her relatives sick, Police Officer Hira Mani Baral said.

The attack occurred Friday in Bagauda in Chitwan district, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, Baral said by telephone.

Police arrested 10 people, including two shamans, five women and an 8-year-old boy, in connection with the burning.

"Those arrested have confessed to their crime and will be charged with murder," Baral said. Read More

Hunger in Niger threatens millions

(CNN) -- The knock on the door is a sign of bad things to come.

"Do you have any work?" they ask.

They have fled their villages and come into the city out of desperation. Their bellies ache from hunger.

"For those of us in the city, we are seeing the first signs of food crisis spreading across our country. We have seen it before. It has already started, and it is coming fast."

That's what Haoua Lankoande, a manager with the humanitarian agency CARE wrote in a recent blog post from the Niger capital, Niamey.

The first phase of hunger drives villagers into the city; the second phase brings knocks on the door, Lankoande wrote.

"Do you have any food?" they ask. "I haven't eaten in three days."

Eventually in phase three, Lankoande said, people don't ask anymore. Read More

Pregnant woman tests positive for swine flu in Jodhpur, India

JAIPUR: A pregnant woman has tested positive for swine flu in Jodhpur. It is the seventh case of the disease this winter and the woman has been admitted to the MDM Hospital here.

The hospital authorities have kept her in the isolation ward to ensure that it does not spread.

Jodhpur chief medical and health officer Dr R C Mathur said, "The condition of the patient is improving. She is all right as the doctors have started treatment after diagnosis." Source

Crows are dying in Bihar from bird flu, India

PATNA: It is official now. Crows are dying in Bihar because of bird flu. This was revealed in the report of the Bhopal-based High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), officials Saturday said.

The HSADL has confirmed in its report that avian influenza was killing the crows in Gaya district.

After the confirmation, the Bihar government has directed the animal husbandary department officials to begin necessary measures to deal with the situation.

According to reports reaching Patna, crows are continuing to die across the state.

Hundreds of crows have died in Bihar in the last one and a half months, particularly in Gaya, Banka, Nawada, Jamui, Bhagalpur, Munger and Aurangabad districts.

The Bihar Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) has sounded an alert and has asked people not to touch the dead crows. It has issued advertisements in local dailies asking people to keep away from the dead birds and inform the administration when they spot any. Read More

Alan Simpson: Financial markets will turn on U.S.

Obama's deficit pledge comes back to haunt him

(Reuters) - One month after taking office, President Barack Obama summoned the nation's top lawmakers and budget experts to the White House for a summit to figure out how to tame huge federal deficits.

Standing at a podium in the elegant East Room, the Democratic president wasted no time in reminding his audience, which included Republican congressional leaders, that he had just inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit in the midst of "an economic crisis unlike any we have seen in generations."

He gave a finger-waving talk on fiscal responsibility and boldly pledged to halve the deficit in four years.

There was no hint in his remarks of the behind-the-scenes debate that had taken place among his advisers over whether such an ambitious promise could be kept. And as the economic recovery failed to take off, he stuck with it for the next two years.

On Monday, three years after first making that pledge, Obama conceded that he would not be able to keep it. Read More

Mount Gamalama Erupts, Indonesia

Nature-loving tourists have been warned not to climb Mount Gamalama in North Maluku after the frequently active volcano started emitting ash again over the past week.

Darno Lamane, of Gamalama’s observation post, said the volcano, which covers the entire island of Ternate, was still very dangerous for anyone climbing its upper reaches.

Darno added that it was impossible to say whether the mini-eruptions would become more intense or subside.

A severe eruption in early December destroyed more than 100 houses and left farmers devastated after ash smothered fruit trees and crops. The cost of that eruption was estimated at Rp 15 billion ($ 1.6 million).  Source

China concert seating collapse injures 64

BEIJING (AP) -- A seating section has collapsed at a concert by Hong Kong pop star Wang Fei in southwest China, injuring 64 people.

The state-run Beijing News says concertgoers suffered cuts, broken bones and head injuries after scaffolding behind the stage broke apart Friday night. Those seated in the area fell about 5 feet (1.5 meters) to the concrete floor of the city of Chongqing's Olympic stadium.

The paper says none of the injuries is life-threatening. The concert has been rescheduled for Monday.

Wang, also known as Faye Wong, was one of the Chinese-speaking world's biggest stars in the 1980s and 1990s and still boasts a massive fan base in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Chinese communities overseas. Source

Tourist Taken to Hospital Following chlorine leak at a hotel swimming pool on the Thai resort island of Phuket

More than 30 people, many of them foreign tourists, have been rushed to hospital after a chlorine leak at a hotel swimming pool on the Thai resort island of Phuket.

The accident occurred shortly after 10:00am local time at the Phuket Orchid Resort and Spa on Karon beach, according to chief investigator Lieutenant Colonel Chavalit Pethsripia.

He said more than 30 people suffered minor injuries, none of them serious, after they were exposed to an unhealthily high level of chlorine in the pool.

The leak caused skin irritation and sore eyes, according to director Phumin Silapan at the local Patong hospital.

"There are 37 people hospitalised, including 26 foreigners," he said, adding that 12 had already been discharged while 25 were referred to a larger hospital.

One of those referred was a pregnant tourist who had breathing difficulties after inhaling the chemical, he said.

Among those that went to hospital were 10 Norwegian and nine Swedish nationals, with five Swedes still in hospital, one of them in a serious condition, Sweden's foreign ministry said. Read More

Rise in typhoid, viral fever cases in city, India

GUWAHATI, Feb 17 – An unexpected rise of typhoid and viral fever cases in the city has baffled a section of doctors, who agree that young children are particularly vulnerable to the diseases.

A large number of patients have been admitted to nursing homes and the Gauhati Medical College Hospital from the city and its adjoining areas. Doctors say that in some cases, patients have had fever as high as 105 for three or more days before they were admitted.

Dr Ranjan Saikia, a city-based pediatrician, said that such diseases generally are frequent in this time of the year. However, this time the number of patients has shot up quite noticeably.

Both the diseases manifest in sharp rise in body temperature, body ache, nausea, loss of appetite, and delirium in some cases. Even after the start of treatment, the symptoms can remain for several days. Some doctors say that both viral fever and typhoid, in their experience, have developed resistance to some well-known antibiotics and patients under medication nowadays need more time to recuperate. Read More

The gun settles disputes in the new Lawless Libya

In towns and cities across Libya, celebrations took place marking the first anniversary of the uprising that led to the overthrow of Col Gaddafi, but hundreds of former rebels are still armed and many believe in settling disputes with a gun.

Benghazi is a city on edge. The flood of adrenalin that powered the revolution has ebbed away, exposing frayed tempers and short fuses.

We went to the hospital to interview a doctor. During the revolt against Gaddafi he had, for a brief period, swapped his stethoscope for a gun.

The doctor's name was Ahmed el Metjawel. He met us in the main entrance and we had not got very far when some former rebel fighters, acting now as security guards in the hospital, asked us if we had permission to film.

The doctor said he would answer for us and on we went. But before we could reach his office, the same security guards reappeared, running after us, with some more senior doctors in tow.

An argument broke out between our friend and one of the hospital directors.

The row was conducted in more or less civil tones, but the politeness was clearly for our benefit. Resentment bubbled under the surface.

Eventually we made it to Dr Metjawel's office, and started recording our interview. We had barely begun when those same three fighters burst in and told us to stop. Read More