Monday, February 27, 2012

Police in riot gear move in to clear an Occupy campsite outside London’s St Paul’s Cathedral

Details forthcoming.

S&P Downgrades Greece to "Selective Default"

Standard & Poor's downgraded Greece's credit rating Monday to "selective default" after the government took legal steps to impose losses on all holders of Greek government bonds.

The move, which had been expected, was prompted by Greece's decision last week to insert "collective action clauses" into the contracts of most Greek government bonds, S&P said in a statement.

In March, Greece is expected to finalize a deal with investors to write down 53% of its debt held by the private sector as part of a second €130 billion bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

The collective action clauses would give Greece the power to force losses on bondholders who refused to take part in the agreement, which involves investors exchanging government debt for securities with lower interest rates.

S&P said that unilaterally changing the terms of the bond contracts constitutes "a de facto restructuring and thus a default" under its definitions. more

Do geomagnetic storms and planetary alignments have anything to do with earthquakes? Coincidence? Connected?

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake FIJI REGION - 27th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck the Fiji Region at a depth of 574.6 km (357.1 miles), the quake hit at 20:12:10 UTC Monday 27th February 2012
The epicenter was 32 km (19 miles) North of Ndoi Island, Fiji
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Russian apartment block Collapses after explosion: Search on for victims

MOSCOW — A section of a nine-story apartment building in a southern Russian city has collapsed in an explosion possibly caused by natural gas, injuring at least 12 people.

Rescue workers are searching through the rubble for more possible victims. Russian news agencies, citing emergency officials, say at least 11 people who lived in the building haven’t been accounted for.

The explosion occurred Monday in Astrakhan, 1300 kilometers (800 miles) southeast of Moscow.

The ITAR-Tass news agency quoted regional Investigative Committee spokeswoman Aanna Konyaeva as saying that the blast first blew out a lower section of the building. As people rushed to help, the upper six stories collapsed. Read More

5.6 Magnitude Earthquake RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN - 27th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck near the Ryukyu Islands, Japan at a depth of 18.6 km (11.6 miles), the quake hit at 19:31:48 UTC Monday 27th February 2012
The epicenter was 83 km (52 miles) Southwest from Naha, Okinawa, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

"Illegal payments" rife at Murdoch's Sun according to Police

(Reuters) - Journalists at Britain's Sun newspaper paid large sums of cash to corrupt public officials, aware the practice was criminal, an inquiry into press ethics heard Monday - revelations that could prove damaging to Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

The police officer heading three criminal inquires centered on Murdoch's British newspaper arm, News International, said the Sun had operated a "culture ... of illegal payments."

"The current assessment is that it reveals a network of corrupted officials," Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers told the inquiry headed by senior judge, Justice Brian Leveson.

"There appears to have been a culture at the Sun of illegal payments, and systems have been created to facilitate those payments whilst hiding the identity of officials receiving the money."

The disclosure could damage Murdoch's News Corp if it gives ammunition to the FBI and other American government agencies that have stepped up their hunt for signs of illegality at the U.S.-based company.

A case brought under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act could, if successful, bring fines of millions of dollars and criminal charges against individuals. Read More

Germany backs second Greek bailout

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- In a widely expected move, German lawmakers approved Monday a politically unpopular second bailout for Greece.

The vote on Germany's contribution to the €130 billion rescue package passed with a large majority, despite opposition from within German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.

It passed with 496 votes in favor, 90 against and 5 abstentions in the lower house of Germany's Bundestag.

The vote means Greece is one step closer to its second bailout, which euro area finance ministers approved last week. European Union heads of state are expected to officially approve the package at a summit later this week. Read More

Anonymous: Operation V - Declaration of War on the United States Government.

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake IRAN - 27th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck Central Iran at a depth of 36.4 km (22.6 miles), the quake hit at 18:48:58 UTC Monday 27th February 2012
The epicenter was 133 km (82 miles) NNW of Kerman, Iran
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

'Shadow CIA' buys state secrets for cash via Swiss bank accounts, claims WikiLeaks as it releases 'stolen' files

Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks today started to publish more than five million confidential emails from the global intelligence company Stratfor.

The emails, dated from July 2004 to late December 2011, are said to reveal the 'inner workings' of US-based firm known as the 'Shadow CIA'.

Among the allegations to emerge is that Stratfor's claim to be a media organisation providing a subscription intelligence newsletter is a front for 'running paid informants networks' and 'laundering those payments through the Bahamas, through Switzerland, through private credit cards'.

Stratfor 'is monitoring Bhopal activists for Dow Chemicals, Peta activities for Coca-Cola', WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claimed at a press conference in London today.

The group said the emails show Stratfor's 'web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods'.

WikiLeaks claims the company 'fronts as an intelligence publisher', but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations.

It says these number Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. Read More

A7 motorway Bus Fire, Bispingen, Germany: Miracle escape for dozens of school children

Dozens of children fled in terror when a school bus burst into flames in Bispingen, Germany - after its toilet caught fire.

Eight teenagers were treated in hospital for burns and smoke inhalation after the coach caught fire as it sped down a motorway in the early hours of Saturday.

Eyewitnesses say the quick-thinking driver pulled over onto the hard shoulder where the youngsters scrambled to safety after kicking out windows and emergency exits.

The flames were so ferocious that the bus burned down to just a shell within a matter of minutes.

Pupils told the driver they had seen smoke coming from under the door of the onboard loo.

'It was a very intense fire. The children were very lucky to have survived,' said one witness. Read More

Putin 'assassin': Chechen rebel with British links captured after 'plotting to kill Russian premier'

A 'terrorist' with strong British links has been arrested in connection with a foiled 'plot' to assassinate Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Dramatic television footage showed half-naked and evidently wounded Chechen Adam Osmayev seized by special forces in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa.

On his knees, his head bowed, he said in an alleged confession: 'Our goal was to go to Moscow and try to kill Prime Minister Putin... Our deadline was after the Russian presidential election.'

The Russian security services have previously claimed that Osmayev was 'a graduate of a prestigious institution of higher learning in Great Britain', and is from a prominent Chechen family opposed to Putin.

Shown on Russian state-run TV with his hands bandaged and wounds on his face, Osmayev has been on Russia's wanted list for a number of years.

He is believed to have lived 'for many years' in London, which, if true, will inflame Russian concerns that Britain is a safe haven for alleged Islamic extremist terrorist suspects from Chechnya. Read More

Cory Youlden out on Licence free to kill 83 year old Disabled Cory Youlden

A 'cowardly' serial offender who broke into a defenceless pensioner's home and strangled him to death following his release from prison on licence has been jailed for life.

Cory Youlden had been out of prison for just three months for a string of street robberies when he throttled 83-year-old Paul Cox at his home in Rednal, Worcs.

The 23-year-old broke into Mr Cox's home and violently strangled him before fleeing the property in the pensioner's Ford Focus in June last year.

Mr Cox, described by his family as 'fiercely independent', had been burgled so many times he had taken to sleeping in his front room with his most valuable belongings when the savage attack happened.

Youlden, who has 24 previous convictions and was first given a custodial sentence aged just 14, pleaded guilty to murder earlier this month, having also admitted burglary and theft.

The killer was jailed today after Worcester Crown Court heard he had been freed on licence in late February last year.

Having served half his sentence, he was released from jail to serve the second half on licence, meaning prisoners are essentially free provided they abide by certain conditions attached to their offence. Read More

Narraser Gordon a Anti-gun campaigner Claimed 8 Family Members had been Killed.....yep you guessed it, most are still Alive

An anti-gun campaigner who received a standing ovation after a speech at the Labour Party conference in September has been found to have made up parts of her address.

Narraser Gordon claimed eight members of her family had been murdered in Bristol as she pledged to help defeat gun and knife crime.

However, documentary makers have discovered that most of the people she had said were dead are still alive.

Gordon has even been seen chatting to some of them on Facebook.

The BBC made the discovery while filming an episode of Inside Out looking into her life.

In her speech to the conference, Ms Gordon said: 'I'm here to talk about why the young people are dying before they can even see the age of 21.

'This is an issue causing a problem in all the cities in the UK, including London, Liverpool, Nottingham, Birmingham and in my own area Bristol, with eight of my family members being murdered here.'

But Narraser - who has also personally met Labour leader Ed Miliband - has now admitted that only three relatives have been murdered after a BBC investigation exposed the truth. Read More

Two British cruise ships turned away from Argentina after visiting the Falklands

Two British cruise ships have been stopped from entering Argentina after visiting the Falkland Islands, it has emerged.

The P&O-owned Adonia and Star Princess - each with about 3,000 passengers on board - were turned away from the South American country's port of Tierra Del Fuego.

The South American country told crews of both ships they could not dock in the south coast city of Ushuaia after visiting Falklands capital Port Stanley.

Adonia, part of the fleet of ships operated by P&O Cruises out of Southampton, Hampshire, has been diverted to the port of Punta Arenas, Chile.

Star Princess, which is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, and run by Princess Cruises from Southampton, has also been diverted away from Ushuaia, the capital of the Tierra del Fuego Province. Read More

Angela Merkel Showered in Beer....is the waiter Greek?

Chardon High School Shooting: 1 Dead 4 Injured

(CNN) -- A gunman wounded five students, one of them fatally, at a suburban Cleveland high school Monday morning before apparently being chased out of the building by a teacher, police said at a news conference.

The Chardon High School shooting suspect -- believed to be a student, according to a school official -- was in custody after turning himself in to bystanders, police said.
Two students injured in the shooting, one boy and one girl, were taken to Hillcrest Hospital, spokeswoman Heather Phillips said. One was in serious condition, the other in stable condition, she said.

Three students were taken by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center, hospital representative Shannon Mortland said in a statement. Mortland did not provide details on their conditions.

It was unclear where the fatally wounded student had been taken.

A student at Chardon High, Evan Erasmus, told CNN affiliate WEWS that the victims may have been students at a school in nearby Auburn, Ohio, waiting for a bus to take them there. Read More

MP John Woodcock Assaulted On Train travelling from Lancaster to Barrow in Cumbria: Appeal To Find Suspect

Police have released a CCTV image of a man they want to question after a shadow transport minister was assaulted on board a train.

John Woodcock, the Labour MP for Barrow, was travelling from Lancaster to Barrow in Cumbria, around 10.30pm on Thursday when he was attacked - but not injured.

The politician said he was assaulted after challenging a group of men who made racist and sexual comments. Read More

Anyone who can help is asked to call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Merkel warns MPs over Greek bail-out

Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear on Monday that she disagrees with Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, who called for Greece to quit the euro zone. His comments in SPIEGEL exposed a rift in her coalition about how to manage the euro crisis ahead of Monday's vote on the new Greek bailout.

Hours before the German parliament is due to vote on the second Greek bailout package, Chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to rebuke one of her cabinet ministers, Hans-Peter Friedrich, for breaking ranks with the government's line and saying Greece should be encouraged to quit the euro.

Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said she "doesn't share this view" and believed that the priority was to stabilize Greece within the euro zone.
Seibert added that the center-right coalition government had a unified position on the €130 billion ($175 billion) package for Greece. Read More

Climate change blamed for drought and Schmallengerg virus as cases reach 83....Climate Change? is this the new Term for "We haven't got a clue"?

Climate change has been blamed for an increase in drought and animal disease in Britain as the number of farms hit by the deadly new Shmallenberg virus hits 83.

An update from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) today said that Schmallenberg virus had now been detected in 78 cases in sheep and five in cattle, on farms across southern and eastern England.

Five more cases were reported in West Sussex as well as one more farm each in Kent, East Sussex, Hertfordshire and Surrey.

The virus first emerged in the Netherlands and Germany last year, causing mild to moderate symptoms in adult cattle, including reduced milk yield and diarrhoea, and late abortions and birth deformities in newborn sheep, goats and cattle.

It is thought the virus is spread by midges, and has crossed the Channel from the Continent.
Millions of ewes are due to start lambing in the next few weeks and if the virus gets hold it could be devastating. Read More

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake FRANCE - 27th Feb 2012

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck France at a depth of 1 km (0.6 miles, Poorly Constrained), the quake hit at 16:31:21 UTC Monday 27th February 2012
The epicenter was 6 km (3.7 miles) Southwest Saint-paul-sur-ubaye, France
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Three killed in Nepal blast

Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN) -- Three people were killed and seven others injured, two of the seriously, when an improvised explosive device went off Monday near government offices here.

It is unclear who is behind the blast, a rare occurrence in the Himalayan capital, although a previously unknown group, United Ethnic Liberation Front, has claimed responsibility, police Officer Dhiraj Singh said.

"We cannot verify that as we are still investigating," Singh said. No arrests have been made so far.

The explosion happened outside a court house and less than 200 meters from the Central Secretariat, which houses most government ministries.

Two people died on the spot while third died while undergoing treatment at hospital. All 10 victims are men. Read More

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 27th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 30 km (18.6 miles), the quake hit at 16:30:30 UTC Monday 27th February 2012
The epicenter was 54 km (33.4 miles) East of Kesennuma, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN - 27th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck near the Ryukyu Islands, Japan at a depth of 41.4 km (25.7 miles), the quake hit at 16:29:25 UTC Monday 27th February 2012
The epicenter was 85 km (53 miles) SSW from Naha, Okinawa, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Chardon High School Shooting: 5 Injured

At least five students have been injured in a high school shooting in the US state of Ohio.

The shooting was reported on Monday morning at Chardon High School in a small city around 30 miles east of Cleveland.

Television images showed the school on lockdown with armed police on site, and parents and students were seen gathering on the school grounds.

Civil deputy Erin Knife said a single person was suspected of carrying out the attack.

An FBI spokesman said five students had been injured in the shooting and the gunman had been arrested near his car about half a mile (one kilometre) away from the high school.

A spokeswoman for the Cleveland Clinic confirmed five students were being treated at two different hospitals.

A student at the college said she saw the gunman as he opened fire in the cafeteria.

17-year-old Heather Ziska said at about 7.30am she heard popping sounds coming from the corridor.

She then saw a boy with a gun who she recognized as a fellow student come into the cafeteria and start shooting. Read More

TSA airport checkpoint left unattended in Sacramento, causing shutdown

Terminal B at Sacramento International Airport was shut down temporarily after five people got past an unattended security checkpoint.

The security breach happened Saturday when a walk-through metal detector was left unattended for less than a minute, officials said.

After noticing it was unattended, Transportation Security Administration officials closed the checkpoint and went to search for the five individuals that got by. Police were called to help.

"All five individuals were located and were brought back to the checkpoint and rescreened as a precaution," according to a statement from the TSA.

According to TSA spokesperson Ann Davis, the terminal was closed for an hour starting at around 9 a.m.

As a result of the incident, officials said, two TSA officers have been removed from screening duties and are to undergo additional training. source

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS - 27th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck South of the Fiji Islands at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 14:54:44 UTC Monday 27th February 2012
The epicenter was 444 km (276 miles) SSW from NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Chardon High School, Ohio, Shooting: 4 students wounded in Ohio high school shooting



Boat arrivals at Christmas Island have typhoid

TWO asylum seekers have been diagnosed with typhoid, putting Christmas Island staff and inmates under watch.

The two men arrived on different boats over the past week.

One has been admitted to hospital on the mainland while the other is in isolation on the island, an immigration department spokeswoman said yesterday.

She said staff and inmates who had come in contact with the pair were being monitored for signs of the disease, contracted by contaminated food or water and spread by bacteria.

Despite other diseases being picked up over the past 20 months in asylum seekers, including syphilis, hepatitis B and C and active tuberculosis, it is the first time typhoid has been diagnosed in some time.

Residents have been told their risk of infection is very low.

Twenty-five vessels have arrived since December with 2068 people on board, smashing arrival records set in previous summers. Source

59 new dengue cases in Lahore, Pakistan scare people

LAHORE: The report of up to 59 new dengue positive cases in different teaching hospitals of Lahore Sunday has scared not only the masses but also the government to gear up its efforts to avert any possible attack of dengue virus ahead of time.

As many as 59 patients with fever were admitted to different teaching hospitals, whose confirmatory diagnostic tests of IgM and IgG were found positive. At least 41 patients were found IgM and IgG positive the Mayo Hospital, 13 in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, three in Services Hospital and one each in Jinnah Hospital and Lahore General Hospital.

However, the medical experts believed that these cases canít be declared as sure shot dengue fever patients, because confirmatory dengue diagnostic tests of IgM and IgG could still be positive among those patients, who had contracted dengue fever during last season but presently suffering from enteric fever or else. The medical experts, though believing dengue fever doesnít exist at this point of the season, have recommended NS1 test for suspected dengue fever patients to confirm its presence among the patients.

Talking to The News, Prof Dr Javed Akram, renowned medical expert and principal of Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital, said there was no need to scare from reporting of dengue fever cases because confirmatory tests of IgM and IgG could still be positive among those patients, who suffered from the disease in last season. Read More