Thursday, February 23, 2012

Israel's Barak calls A-bombing 'unavoidable'

HIROSHIMA — Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak has termed the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima an "unavoidable tragedy."

He made the remark during a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on Friday, where he also laid flowers at the cenotaph for atomic bomb victims and took in the nearby Atomic Bomb Dome.

After touring the museum, Barak said the bombing was one of many tragedies that could not have been prevented during the war, but stressed that every individual should strive to learn the lessons of Hiroshima so that a similar catastrophe is never repeated.

He declined to answer questions from reporters. Read More

Nuke crisis caused by Japan, not quake: Kan

Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan has admitted that Japan was woefully unprepared for last year's nuclear disaster and suggested that the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant should not have been built so close to a tsunami-prone coastline.

In an exclusive interview, Kan acknowledged flaws in the authorities' handling of the crisis, including poor communication and coordination among nuclear regulators, Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s management and the government Kan was heading at the time.

But he said the disaster — the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986 — laid bare a host of even bigger vulnerabilities in the nuclear power industry and its regulations, ranging from inadequate safety guidelines to crisis management, all of which he said need to be overhauled.

"Before 3/11, we were totally unprepared," he said. "Not only in terms of the hardware, but our system and the organization were not prepared. That was the biggest problem." Read More

Eurozone Recession Looms As Output Shrinks

The EU Commission has warned that the eurozone is heading for its second recession and has lowered its growth forecast for 2012.

The Commission forecasts that economic output in the 17 nations sharing the euro currency will contract by 0.3% this year, compared with its previous forecast of 0.5% growth.

The EU's Executive also said that the wider European Union, which represents 27 nations and generates a fifth of global output, will not manage any growth this year.

Germany's growth is expected to fall to 0.6%, and France to 0.4%.

Troubled Greece will enter its fifth year of economic contraction, with negative growth of 4.4%.

The economies of Spain and Italy, which saw their financing costs pushed up to near-unaffordable levels last year, will shrink by around 1%. Read More

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 24th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck near the South Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 75.8 km (47.1 miles), the quake hit at 04:10:35 UTC Friday 24th February 2012
The epicenter was 25 km (16 miles) NNE from TOKYO, Japan
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Matt Cartoons Witty Political and Satirical Sketches

Source

Opinion: Extreme austerity breeds extreme politics - 13th Feb

(CNN) -- A seismic shift is taking place in the Greek political system. The series of bailouts and austerity measures implemented during the last two years has led to a fundamental political crisis affecting both the function of government and the standing of key politicians and political parties.

Sunday's debate in parliament regarding the latest austerity and bailout package was marked by unprecedented scenes of tension both inside and outside the building. The bill passed but left both historic buildings in central Athens, as well as both major parties of the interim coalition government, in tatters.

Yet, it would be a mistake to attribute Sunday's destruction to the austerity measures -- similar events took place in December 2008, well before any talk of a debt crisis had reached Greece. What these events symbolize is the mainstreaming of extremism in Greece and the rejection of the rule of law. Read More

Ron Paul: Uniting All People

Eric Joyce MP Charged With Three Counts of Common Assault

MP Eric Joyce has been charged with three counts of common assault after an alleged fight in a House of Commons bar.

The 51-year-old MP for Falkirk had already been suspended by the Labour Party until the investigation was completed.

Staff at Strangers Bar who were on duty on Wednesday evening were interviewed at Belgravia police station on Wednesday afternoon.

Officers began interviewing MPs who were present during the incident, in the House of Commons in the evening.

It is understood police were called to Strangers Bar in the Commons at about 11pm on Wednesday.

Commons Speaker John Bercow has asked MPs not to discuss the incident in the Chamber.

"Members will be aware of reports of a serious incident in the House," he said.

"I have been informed by the Serjeant at Arms that the honourable member for Falkirk has been detained in police custody. Read More

Syria Summit Told To 'Stop The Massacre'



The Tunisian President has told Sky News that the world can no longer stand by and "watch the massacre" in Syria.


President Moncef Marzouki was speaking as Western and Arab leaders gathered for the "Friends of Syria" summit in the Tunisian capital, with efforts to broker a humanitarian ceasefire at the top of the agenda.

His comments come as former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is appointed as the new joint UN-Arab League envoy to Syria. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake PAGAN REGION, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS - 24th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the Pagan Region, Northern Mariana Islands at a depth of 129.1 km (80.2 miles), the quake hit at 03:14:44 UTC Friday 24th February 2012
The epicenter was 23 km (14 miles) SSW of Agrihan, Northern Mariana Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN COLOMBIA - 24th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Northern Colombia at a depth of 150.9 km (93.8 miles), the quake hit at 03:05:41 UTC Friday 24th February 2012
The epicenter was 37 km (22 miles) South of Bucaramanga, Colombia
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake PERU-ECUADOR BORDER REGION - 24th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the Peru-Ecuador Border Region at a depth of 159.8 km (99.3 miles), the quake hit at 02:56:46 UTC Friday 24th February 2012
The epicenter was 265 km (164 miles) ESE of Riobamba, Ecuador
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.4 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS - 24th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.4 earthquake has struck South of the Fiji Islands at a depth of 33 km (20.4 miles), the quake hit at 02:40:39 UTC Friday 24th February 2012
The epicenter was 364 km (226 miles) North of Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE COAST OF WESTERN TURKEY - 24th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck near the Coast of Western Turkey at a depth of just 0 km (0 miles - Poorly Constrained), the quake hit at 01:00:04 UTC Friday 24th February 2012
The epicenter was 25 km (5.5 miles) Northwest of Míthimna, Turkey
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake SULAWESI, INDONESIA - 23rd Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Sulawesi, Indonesia at a depth of 122 km (75.6 miles), the quake hit at 21:46:20 UTC Thursday 23rd February 2012
The epicenter was 54 km (33.4 miles) Southwest of Mogabu, Sulawesi, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Gay Dallas Judge (Tonya Parker) Won't Perform Straight Marriages

Dallas County Judge Tonya Parker says she won't perform marriage ceremonies until homosexuals can be wed.

During a Feb. 21 meeting, Parker told the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas that while she has the power to perform legal marriage ceremonies in her court, she will not.

“I use it as my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state because I feel like I have to tell them why I’m turning them away,” Parker said. “So I usually will offer them something along the lines of, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people.’ And it’s kind of oxymoronic for me to perform ceremonies that can’t be performed for me, so I’m not going to do it." more

Canada confines mutant flu to maximum-security facilities

Canada this month announced that any research on mammalian-transmissible strains of the H5N1 avian flu virus in the country’s labs would need to be done at the strictest level of biocontainment, Biological Safety Level 4 (BSL-4). It’s the first country to issue a biosafety rating following the creation of such H5N1 strains in two recent controversial studies (see “Nature News Special: “Mutant Flu”).

The question of which biosafety rating is appropriate for research on the new strains was highlighted as critical by an expert meeting convened in Geneva last week by the World Health Organization (WHO). The new, modified H5N1 strains are held at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in two BSL3-enhanced facilities (the second highest biocontainment level), and the WHO described these as “well-established research facilities with high security and high safety“. But it also recommended that regulators should “urgently” review the biosafety and biosecurity conditions under which further research on such strains is conducted, and that until that’s done, the strains should stay where they are, and not be shared with other labs. Read More

Syria: Injured Press Pair Make Video Appeal



A British photographer and French journalist wounded in an attack in Syria that killed Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin and photojournalist Remi Ochlik have appealed to be evacuated for urgent medical attention.

Paul Conroy, who works for the same newspaper as Ms Colvin, and Edith Bouvier, suffered leg injuries after a rocket struck the makeshift media centre in Homs in which they were staying.

The Syrian government has denied responsibility for the deaths of the two foreign journalists, as Foreign Secretary William Hague ruled out the possibility of military intervention.

Mr Conroy and Ms Bouvier spoke on videos - reportedly posted online by opposition activists. Read More

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 23rd Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 48.2 km (30 miles), the quake hit at 19:27:57 UTC Thursday 23rd February 2012
The epicenter was 126 km (78 miles) Southeast of Morioka, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION - 23rd Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck the Kermadec Islands Region at a depth of 43.9 km (27.3 miles), the quake hit at 18:26:24 UTC Thursday 23rd February 2012
The epicenter was 170 km (105 miles) East of Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Media Contradiction at it's best: Topic Bird Flu

Bird flu more common and less lethal - study‎

Bird flu is believed to be a rare disease that kills more than half of the people it infects, but a US study out today suggests it may be more common and less lethal than previously thought.

The research could help soothe concerns about the potential for a deadly pandemic that may kill many millions of people, sparked by the recent lab creation of a mutant bird flu that can pass between mammals.

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York analysed 20 previous international studies that tested the blood of nearly 13,000 participants worldwide.

They found that between one and two percent of those tested showed evidence of a prior H5N1 avian flu infection, meaning millions of people may have been infected around the globe. Read More

H5N1 flu is just as dangerous as feared, now requires action

The debate about the potential severity of an outbreak of airborne H5N1 influenza in humans needs to move on from speculation and focus instead on how we can safely continue H5N1 research and share the results among researchers, according to a commentary to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on February 24. H5N1 influenza has been at the center of heated discussions in science and policy circles since the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) asked the authors of two recent H5N1 investigations and the scientific journals that planned to publish the studies to withhold crucial details of the research in the interest of biosecurity.

In the mBio® commentary, Michael Osterholm* and Nicholas Kelley, of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, present their case that H5N1 is a very dangerous virus, based on their analysis of published studies of the seroepidemiology of H5N1 in humans. H5N1 flu infections have exceedingly high mortality, they say, and current vaccines and antiviral drugs will not pull us out of a global H5N1 pandemic. "We believe that the assertion that the case-fatality rate of H5N1 influenza in humans may be overestimated is based on a flawed data analysis,"Osterholm said. Read More

Note: Both these articles started doing the circles today, one is research from Researchers at a school who have taken the irresponsible view of announcing that H5N1 is more common and less deadly than first thought whilst in the same breath announcing that the mutant bird flu research is nothing for us to worry about if it were to be released.

Now the second article also published today is from the Center for Infectious Disease Research who, "...Present their case that H5N1 is a very dangerous virus, based on their analysis of published studies of the seroepidemiology of H5N1 in humans. H5N1 flu infections have exceedingly high mortality."

So who are we to believe?

Paramyxo Virus Spreading to Other States in Australia...Are the Hiding Mutant Bird Flu Strain?



Note: You will notice from this report that humans are the only mammals that can pick up this virus which results in flu like symptoms.

Below you will see another report which seems to contradict the above statement, are they confuse, or are they hiding what is truly going on.?

And why was this Virus not reported in Main news? Especially if humans can catch it and it has a 100% mortality rate among birds.




Paramyxo Virus a Rare Bird Virus Kills Victorian pigeons (100% Mortality Rate, Sure kept that one Quiet) Sept 2011, Australia

Shepherd's beaked whales Filmed for the First time: Rare whales spotted in Bass Strait

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake HALMAHERA, INDONESIA - 23rd Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Halmahera, Indonesia at a depth of 42 km (26 miles), the quake hit at 16:10:19 UTC Thursday 23rd February 2012
The epicenter was 174 km (107.8 miles) East of Ternate, Moluccas, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

USA working with al-Qaeda against the Syrian government

Moscow, Beijing reject 'interference' in Syria

MOSCOW (AP) — Moscow and Beijing remain opposed to any foreign interference in Syria, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday as Russia worked to shore up international support for its position ahead of a major international conference.

Russia and China have vetoed two Security Council resolutions backing Arab League plans aimed at ending the conflict in Syria and condemning President Bashar Assad's brutal crackdown on opponents. Thousands of people have been killed since an uprising began in March.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's office said he called his Chinese counterpart on Thursday and they "reaffirmed the joint position of Russia and China."

Both countries support "a speedy end to any violence in Syria and the launch of inclusive dialogue between the authorities and the opposition without preconditions for a peaceful settlement that excludes foreign interference in Syrian affairs," the ministry said.

Officials from the United States, Europe and Arab nations were meeting in London on Thursday to craft details of an ultimatum to Assad demanding that he agree to a cease-fire and allow humanitarian aid into areas hardest hit by the crackdown.

The ultimatum was to be presented at a major international conference Friday in Tunisia on the Syrian conflict. Read More

Dead seals 'illegally shot' on Waterford Beach

Two seals have been put down after they were discovered with "horrific" gun wounds in County Waterford.

The seals were found dead on Tramore Beach on Wednesday night.

Garda have said they are investigating. The seals were put down by Waterford SPCA and local vets.

The Irish Seal Sanctuary claimed the animals had been illegally shot.

It said it was horrified to learn that the adult grey seals were coming ashore dying from bullet wounds to their heads.

The sanctuary said if the animals had been shot with an authorised shooting license, it would have been done with a weapon capable of killing it outright, something which they were not opposed to.

The sanctuary said it understood that some fishermen were calling for a cull of seals. Read More

Mutated Trout Raise New Concerns Near Mine Sites in Southern Idaho

It was the two-headed baby trout that got everyone’s attention.

Photographs of variously mutated brown trout were relegated to an appendix of a scientific study commissioned by the J. R. Simplot Company, whose mining operations have polluted nearby creeks in southern Idaho. The trout were the offspring of local fish caught in the wild that had been spawned in the laboratory. Some had two heads; others had facial, fin and egg deformities.

Yet the company’s report concluded that it would be safe to allow selenium — a metal byproduct of mining that is toxic to fish and birds — to remain in area creeks at higher levels than are now permitted under regulatory guidelines. The company is seeking a judgment to that effect from the Environmental Protection Agency. After receiving a draft report that ran hundreds of pages, an E.P.A. review described the research as “comprehensive” and seemed open to its findings, which supported the selenium variance for Simplot’s Smoky Canyon mine. Read More

Eric Joyce Suspended after being Arrested for 'Headbutting' MP Stuart Andrew



MP Eric Joyce has been suspended by the Labour Party after being arrested on suspicion of assault after an alleged fight in a bar in the House of Commons.

A spokesman for the party said the suspension would be maintained until a police investigation into the incident was completed.

Sources said the decision was taken by Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Police are understood to have been called to Strangers Bar in the Commons at about 11pm on Wednesday.

Stuart Andrew, Conservative MP for Pudsey, has alleged he was assaulted and headbutted Mr Joyce, MP for Falkirk.

He told Sky News he received a "bloody nose" and intends to press charges. Read More

Storm slams northwest Georgia damaging at least 100 homes‎

ROME, Ga. — Authorities say dozens of homes were damaged by a storm that rolled through northwest Georgia, toppling trees and knocking out power to thousands of customers.

Floyd County Emergency Management Agency Director Scotty Hancock tells WSB Radio that an estimated 50 to 100 homes were damaged by the storm that hit late Wednesday night.

Floyd County Emergency Management Agency Director Scotty Hancock tells WSB Radio that an estimated 50 to 100 homes were damaged by the storm that hit late Wednesday night. He said the path of destruction is between a mile and a half and two miles long.

A National Weather Service team was expected to assess the scene Thursday and try to determine whether the damage was caused by a tornado.

The Rome News-Tribune reports that power lines were down along Kingston Highway and on Turner Chapel Road. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Source

True Heroes

Red tide toxin found in dead ducks‎, Texas

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Fishermen working here recently saw five ducks fly directly into a building, killing themselves.

Another 120 dead ducks were found over the last six weeks.

The birds’ carcasses were sent to a lab in Corpus Christi where biologists found the tissue contained brevatoxin, a potent neurotoxin associated with red tides.

Island Coastal Resources Manager Reuben Treviño said since the onset of red tide in September and October, gulls and pelicans have died, but the death of redhead ducks is abnormal. It isn’t immediately clear how the waterfowl are contracting the brevatoxin, he said.

“Redhead ducks winter here because of the sea grass. It’s what they feed on,” Treviño said. “So our next step is to collect sea grass samples from around the bay to determine if they are getting sick through the food web.”

The dying ducks aren’t limited to waters near South Padre Island. The entire 367-mile Texas coast is affected and reports of birds dying span the length of it.

The dead ducks first began appearing at a pond in front of the Pearl South Padre Hotel, an area where the ducks rest after feeding.

When the waterfowl are poisoned they display erratic behavior, such as flying in circles or letting humans approach them. The birds have also reportedly flown into power lines.

“And we wondered, is that really the problem? The power lines have been there for 20 years and it has never been an issue before,” he said. Read More

Avalanches hit Kashmir Valley; 16 soldiers killed, 9 injured, India

Sixteen Army personnel, including five officers, were killed and nine others injured in two avalanches in Ganderbal and Bandipora districts of Kashmir Valley.

"Massive avalanches hit two Army Posts in Central and North Kashmir on Wednesday, resulting in the death of 16 soldiers. Three jawans are still missing," Defence spokesman Lt Colonel J S Brar said here today.

Rescue operations were hampered by heavy snowfall which continued through the day.

The first avalanche hit the workshop area of the 109 Infantry Brigade, which guards the LoC in Gurez sector, at around 10 pm yesterday in Dawar area in Bandipora.

"Thirteen jawans lost their lives and as many were rescued, while three jawans are still missing," Brar said. Read More

Children Suffer from Lead Poisoning in S China

Thirty-seven children were found to be suffering from lead poisoning in Shaoguan, south China's Guangdong province, and the relevant departments have yet to find the cause of the contamination, according to local health authorities.

Chinanews.com reports that local villager Zhou Ximing's grandson was the first found to have elevated lead levels in his blood in the township of Dongtang, located in the province's Renhua County.

Zhou began to notice that the 7-year-old boy was beginning to lose his hair last May. But a lcoal doctor insisted it was caused by vitamin deficiency. Six months later, his grandson's illness became worse.

During the spring festival this year, Zhou took his grandson and his neighbor, an 8-year-old girl who had the same symptoms, to Shaoguan Health Center for Women and Children. Both of them were diagnosed with lead poisoning.

The incident and several like it caused local authorities to take notice and conduct an investigation which found 37 sufferers. Read More