Tuesday, March 13, 2012

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 13th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Southern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 57.1 km (35.5 miles), the quake hit at 19:16:06 UTC Tuesday 13th March 2012
The epicenter was 98 km (61 miles) South from Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake HALMAHERA, INDONESIA - 13th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Halmahera, Indonesia at a depth of 222.8 km (138.4 miles), the quake hit at 19:07:15 UTC Tuesday 13th March 2012
The epicenter was 243 km (151 miles) NNE from Ternate, Moluccas, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake EAST OF THE VOLCANO ISLANDS, JAPAN - 13th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck East of Volcano Islands, Japan at a depth of 36.7 km (22.8 miles), the quake hit at 18:56:28 UTC Tuesday 13th March 2012
The epicenter was 327 km (203 miles) ESE from Chichi-shima, Bonin Islands, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Richard O'Dwyer to be Extradited to America accused of infringing copyright laws by advertising on his website



The Home Secretary has authorised the extradition of a student accused of infringing copyright laws by advertising on his website.

Sheffield Hallam University undergraduate Richard O'Dwyer, 23, allegedly earned thousands of pounds through the TVShack site before it was closed down by authorities in the United States.

On Tuesday Theresa May signed an order allowing him to be extradited, two months after a district judge said the allegations justified a trial in the US.

The ruling follows a series of high-profile extradition cases, the latest of which saw retired British businessman Christopher Tappin, 65, of Orpington, Kent, extradited to the US last month to spend 23 hours a day alone in his cell awaiting trial over arms dealing charges.

And Asperger's sufferer Gary McKinnon is still waiting for Mrs May's decision 10 years after the US first asked for him to be extradited over charges he allegedly hacked into military computers in 2002.

O'Dwyer faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the allegations, which were brought following a crackdown by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

His lawyer, Ben Cooper, has argued that the site did not store copyright material itself and merely pointed users to other sites, in the same way that Google and Yahoo operate. Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 13th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck off the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 18.1 km (11.2 miles), the quake hit at 18:39:25 UTC Tuesday 13th March 2012
The epicenter was 215 km (134 miles) ESE from Hachinohe, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

1918 Worst Bird Flu Pandemic in History…....Will it happen again?

Human infections with H5N1 avian influenza reported in Indonesia

The World Health Organization (WHO) updated the cumulative numbers of human cases of avian influenza, or as it is more commonly known as, bird flu Monday.

As of today, there have been 18 cases of human infection with bird flu in six different countries reported to the WHO in 2012. Of these cases, 10 of them ended as fatalities.

Two of the cases were reported on the WHOs Global Alert and Response (GAR) Monday, one in Indonesia and one in Vietnam.

In the Indonesian case, the Ministry of Health of Indonesia reports of a 24-year-old female from Bengkulu Province who developed fever on 23 February 2012 and was hospitalized on the following day. She had breathing difficulty, her condition deteriorated and she died on 1 March 2012. She was the fourth case and fourth fatality from the virus this year in Indonesia. Source

Salmon deaths a mystery, New Zealand

New Zealand King Salmon wants to know why an unusually high number of fish died at one of its Marlborough Sounds marine farms last week.

King Salmon aquaculture general manager Mark Preece said on some days last week, 7 per cent of fish died at its Pelorus Sound marine farm. Testing by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry confirmed the fish were clear of all known viruses and bacterial diseases.

Mr Preece said the number of fish with small lesions like swollen mosquito bites had increased in this summer-autumn period. It was not known how many deaths on the 500,000-fish farm were caused by these lesions, old age, stress and seal attacks. The delicate king salmon species was hard to farm and normally had a 5 per cent death rate over summer, Mr Preece said.

King Salmon had introduced measures to make sure no biological material was transferred to or from the site and no equipment on the farm would be moved, he said.

Those steps would stay in place until further test results came back confirming the exact cause of the problem and remedies. Read More

Calf missing, cow dead after wolf attack in eastern Oregon‎

JOSEPH -- A calf is missing and a cow was euthanized after a wolf attack in eastern Oregon, the Department of Fish and Wildlife reported today.

Two other cows also were injured in the attack.

The adult cow that was euthanized by a veterinarian was found March 8 in the Threebuck Canyon area east of Joseph with "hundreds of bite wounds ... consistent with wolf bites" on its left flank and elsewhere, said ODFW spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy. The other cows had multiple bite wounds.

"One of the live cows had recently calved and the calf is missing," Dennehy said in a statement.

The attacks appear to have happened two to five days before the cattle were found by a rancher, Dennehy said.

Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator, said the number of wolves involved in the attack isn't known. The injured cattle were brought to a holding pen and treated and released, he said.

Threebuck Creek is a tributary of Little Sheep Creek, and is regularly used by the Imnaha pack of wolves, Dennehy said. Source

Mystery fish found at La Jolla Shores identified



SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The mystery surrounding a fish found at La Jolla Shores has been solved.


The fish, which appears to be mostly head and no tail was found dead on the beach on Sunday. People who spotted the odd looking fish speculated on its species.

An expert at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography has confirmed that it is an ocean sunfish, also known as a mola mola. Source

At Least 10.000 dead fishes found floating‎ at the man-made lake at the Likas Sports Complex jogging track, Borneo

KOTA KINABALU: More fishes had been found dead at the man-made lake at the Likas Sports Complex jogging track here yesterday, bringing the number of dead fishes to around 10,000.

On Monday, workers had scooped up around 5,000 fishes which had mysteriously died in the lake. The condition had worsened when workers found the lake littered with dead fishes early morning yesterday.

Gosibi @ Robert bin Gambang, 48, an employee of Sabah Sports Board, said 15 workers had scooped up around 1,000 kilogrammes of dead fishes yesterday. The workers were shocked when they found more dead fishes floating in the lake with their bellies upturned during their patrol at the lake around 7.15am yesterday.

Twenty big fish were scooped up yesterday, Gosibi said, with the largest weighing in 16 kilogrammes and 2.5 feet lengthwise.

The employees reported the incident to the management of Sabah Sports Board and resumed scooping up the dead fishes from the lake till afternoon.

“Most of the dead fishes are emitting foul smell, joggers have to cover their noses while running.” Read More

Increased volcanic activity monitored in central Colombia‎

Authorities in central Colombia are keeping a close eye on recent activity reported at Nevado del Ruiz volcano although an eruption is "not expected."

The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Manizales reported plumes of smoke and sulfur dioxide emissions last week. According to observatory director Gloria Patricia Cortes, the recent emissions were caused by previous eruptions and were not a major source of concern.

Residents adjacent to the Los Nevados National Park, located 80 miles west of Bogota, have raised concerns over their safety, but authorities are assuring the public that all necessary precautions are being taken.

Nevado del Ruiz has been at yellow alert since 2010. If an eruption was imminent, the alert level would be increased to orange.

"Although we do not currently have a state of alert, emergency committees themselves should be aware of information that we provide about a change in volcanic activity. A yellow level of activity means that an eruption is not expected, but neither can it be ruled out," explained Cortes.

Nevado del Ruiz last erupted in 1985, killing 25,000 people. Source

Greek Island Shows Signs of Volcanic Unrest

The volcanic caldera on the picturesque tourist island of Santorini is showing signs of unrest. But researchers detecting the caldera's movement say it doesn't necessarily mean an eruption is imminent.

The Greek island was the site of one of the most massive volcanic eruptions in history 3,600 years ago. That eruption, which created tsunamis 40 feet (12 meters) tall, may have spawned the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. The volcano last erupted in 1950, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Global positioning system (GPS) sensors placed on the caldera have detected renewed movement after decades of peace. The earth around the caldera (a depression at the top of a volcano) is deforming, or expanding outward, researchers report in an upcoming article in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. GPS instruments on the northern part of Santorini have moved between 1.9 and 3.5 inches (5 to 9 centimeters) since January 2011, said study researcher Andrew Newman, a geophysicist at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Source

Turkish military plane crashes Killing the Pilot

TURKEY'S military says an air force jet has crashed in central Turkey, killing the pilot.

The military said that the Northrop F-5 plane went down near the city of Konya overnight during a training flight.

It says the cause of the crash was under investigation.

The state-run Anadolu Agency says the plane belonged to the Air Force's aerobatic team, the Turkish Stars. Source

Sakurajima volcano erupts violently in Japan

Sakurajima volcano in southern Japan has erupted for a second day, spewing hot rocks and ash for over a mile around.



The Japanese Meteorological Agency said the eruption on Monday was the most forceful since 2009.

Foot-wide rocks were expulsed over a mile away, although there was no major damage reported in the vicinity.

Sakurajima volcano, one of Japan's most active volcanoes, is located in the southern prefecture of Kagoshima. Source

Forest Fires All Over Costa Rica

The fire at Cerro Chirripo at the Talamanca Mountain Range, began to expand to other two national parks in Costa Rica, confirmed on Monday the Environment Ministry (Minaet).

The latest arson attacks consume hectares of forest in Palo Verde, in the province of Guanacaste, and Tivives on Route 27, in Atenas, emphasized a release by the governmental ministry.

These fires, caused by unknown, so far affected the flora and fauna of 700 thousand hectares in the three protected areas.

Much of the Chirripo National Park burned for 15 days and the process of extinguishing the flames came over the weekend in its finishing stage said Minaet.

The state agency thanked the Government of Guatemala for their collaboration to put out the fire in the territory, which will take three decades to regenerate after this event, according to the Association for the Preservation of Flora and Fauna. Source

Bus falls into ravine in southwest China; 15 dead

Fifteen people are dead after a bus flipped and fell into a ravine in southwest China.

The official Xinhua News Agency says the bus carrying 21 people was traveling on a mountain road in Sichuan province's Aba prefecture when it overturned and fell into the ravine at around noon Tuesday. Six people injured in the accident were taken to a hospital.

Aba has a large Tibetan population, but Xinhua didn't give the ethnicity of the victims.

Road safety is a serious problem in China, with many accidents caused by poorly maintained roads and bad driving habits. Source

One Killed, Another Injured after Helicopter Crashes in Russia

Moscow, March 13 (BNA) - One crewman was killed and another badly injured after a Ka-52 (Hokum B) attack helicopter crashed during a training flight near Torzhok in Russia's Tver Region on Tuesday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

A rescue group found the helicopter some 10 kilometers west of Torzhok airport on Tuesday morning, Russia's (RIA Novosti) News Agency reported. According to the group's report the navigator has died and the pilot is now receiving medical assistance, the spokesman said.

The Russian Defense Ministry investigation group has been set up to find the causes of the crash. Source

Jellyfish invading Gold Coast canals, numbering in their thousands

THOUSANDS of jellyfish have invaded a Gold Coast canal.

In a sight that has locals and tourists amazed, the stingers have floated into the waterway, behind Macintosh Island at Surfers Paradise, from the ocean.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Steve Williams, who manages the Capricorn One highrise overlooking the canal.

"There are thousands upon thousands of them that seem to come in every day on the incoming tide and the water has been thick with them . Many of our guests are from overseas and they're loving it.

"It's a bit of a phenomenon and quite spectacular."

Sea World marine sciences director Trevor Long said it was unusual to see so many jellyfish in the Nerang River.

"It's likely the water is very warm and rich in nutrients which could be luring them into what is quite a nice environment for them," he said.

"There's no need for panic - they won't harm anyone and will get in and out of the river themselves on the incoming and outgoing tides." Source

Suspected Bird Flu Case Reported in Korea

For the first time in nearly 10 months a suspected case of bird flu has been reported at a poultry farm in Korea.

The government says that out of the 450 chickens on the farm in South Chungcheong Province, 45 have died so far and 100 others are currently showing symptoms of avian influenza. In a screening test, six out 10 chickens tested positive.

Comprehensive results will be announced Tuesday. If the case is confirmed as highly pathogenic, the transport of poultry, personnel and vehicles related to the livestock industry will be temporarily controlled to prevent the spread of the disease. Source

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS - 13th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck South of the Fiji Islands at a depth of 545 km (337.9 miles), the quake hit at 18:23:43 UTC Tuesday 13th March 2012
The epicenter was 568 km (352.1 miles) Southwest of NUKU`ALOFA, Tonga
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake GUAM REGION - 13th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the Guam Region at a depth of 109.4 km (68 miles), the quake hit at 18:01:44 UTC Tuesday 13th March 2012
The epicenter was 25 km (15 miles) SSE of Rota, Northern Mariana Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Rain causes road collapse in Papua New Guinea

TORRENTIAL rain in Papua New Guinea has caused part of the main freeway in the nation's capital to collapse.

The section gave way after Port Moresby was bombarded by a fierce electrical storm and saturated by 83.2 millimetres of rain.

Authorities say there are no reports of injuries.

Measuring the length of about two cars and cutting across four lanes of Spring Garden Road - one of two main links between Port Moresby's central business district and outlying suburbs - the road collapsed late last night.

"It is the nature of the rain," said National Municipal authority Deputy manager for Engineering, Simon Vai.
"It caused the corrugated iron (drains) to collapse."

"We were addressing the issue - it already fell on one side - when it happened." Read More

Bird Flu Outbreaks in Israel Kill 10500 Turkeys, Officials Say‎

Bird flu killed about 10,500 turkeys on two farms in western Israel, the first outbreaks of the deadly H5N1 strain in the country in 11 months, veterinary officials said.

The virus threatens 51,000 8-week and 12-week-old Turkeys on the farms in Hadarom, said Nadav Galon, Israel’s director of veterinary services and animal health, in a March 9 report to the World Organization for Animal Health in Paris. The outbreaks began on March 7 and were confirmed the following day. The source of the attack is being investigated, Galon said.

World health and veterinary officials have been monitoring H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in birds for the past decade because of their potential to infect people. If the virus becomes easily transmissible among humans, it could touch off a deadly pandemic. Read More

Tornado Warning TEST Please Check Link For all COUNTIES

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE QUAD CITIES IA IL
131 PM CDT TUE MAR 13 2012

...THIS MESSAGE IS FOR TEST PURPOSES ONLY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE QUAD CITIES HAS ISSUED A

* TEST TORNADO WARNING FOR...
CLARK COUNTY IN NORTHEAST MISSOURI...
SCOTLAND COUNTY IN NORTHEAST MISSOURI...

* UNTIL 145 PM CDT.

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. AT 130 PM CDT...THIS IS A TEST TORNADO
WARNING ISSUED IN CONJUCTION WITH THE MISSOURI STATEWIDE TORNADO
DRILL AS A PART OF MISSOURI SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK. NO
SEVERE WEATHER IS OCCURRING. THIS IS A TEST.

* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
ALL CITIES IN MISSOURI.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

PLEASE TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW AND PRACTICE YOUR SEVERE
WEATHER ACTION PLAN IN YOUR HOME...SCHOOL...AND BUSINESS. THE
SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT OR ON THE
LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING IN AN INTERIOR ROOM OR HALLWAY
WITHOUT WINDOWS.

ONCE AGAIN...THERE IS NO SEVERE WEATHER OCCURRING IN THE LOCAL AREA
AT THIS TIME. THIS IS A TEST TORNADO WARNING ISSUED AS A PART OF
SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK. SOURCE

Perth travel chaos as rail lines shut down due to Fire

An electrical fire near Perth's central railway station has caused major disruption for the city's commuters with major rail routes shut down.

Transperth says the Fremantle line is closed in both directions while the Armadale-Thornlie line is only running to Cannington and the Midland line is only running to Bassendean.

Buses are being arranged to carry passengers but traffic was slow on highways and roads as more people took to cars to get to work.

The fire at about 7am (WST) on Tuesday in an electrical box about 100 metres from Perth station was quickly extinguished but brought the system down because of damage to wiring.

Transperth spokesman David Hynes says the system would not be fully restored anytime during the morning peak but officials are confident it would be back on track by the afternoon peak. Source

Cold wave damages crops in Akole, India

PUNE: Crops in their early stages of growth were damaged due to extreme cold wave in Akole taluka in Ahmednagar district.

The main cash crop - onion - did not suffer, but the frost, which was unexpected in the middle of the planting season of the summer crop, proved harmful to horse gram, pearl millet, maize, beans and groundnut.

This is the second consecutive year of climate variability here. Last year, the untimely rain in June had damaged the summer crop.

Crispino Lobo, co-founder and managing trustee of the Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), an NGO working for the climate change adaptation project in this region, said extreme cold in February and March, the middle of the planting season of the summer crop, proved to be harmful for the crops. "February and March are almost the end of winter in Maharashtra, and cold wave is not experienced during this time. Rather, a cold wave at the height of winter, middle of December or first week of January, is beneficial for the rabi crop," he said. Read More

Forest fires in Spain come early...about 4 months Early



Normally, the season for forest fires in Spain is the height of summer when high temperatures and dry conditions add to the dangers. However, the fire season seems to have started much earlier this year following a very mild and dry winter.

Fires broke out in several different areas of Spain on Sunday March 11 due to the dry conditions. According to El Pais, a fire in the province of Aragón destroyed over one thousand hectares of forest in the Pyrenees whilst fifty firefighters and a helicopter struggled to control it. Officials told the paper that winds in the area were helping to fuel the fire.

Fires also broke out in the regions of Girona and Lleida in Catalonia, some of which are still not under control. People have had to be evacuated from their homes and thousands of hectares of forest have been destroyed. Fire fighters are working round the clock to get the fires under control. Read More

US Airways Flight from D.C.-to-Philadelphia Makes Emergency Landing at Dulles

A D.C.-to-Philadelphia flight safely made an emergency landing at Dulles International Airport Monday afternoon.

US Airways Express 3650 left Ronald Reagan National Airport about 1:50 p.m., but shortly after takeoff, a mechanical warning light went on in the cockpit. Out of caution, the pilot declared an emergency and headed to Dulles, where firefighters waited for the plane.

The plane landed about 2:20 p.m. and was determined to be OK after inspection on the runway by fire officials.

The crew of three and the 29 passengers will be put on other flights, US Airways Express officials said. Read More

Afghans in anti-U.S. protest over killings

March 13 - Around 2,000 Afghans protest in Jalalabad over the massacre of 16 civilians in Kandahar by an American soldier. Travis Brecher reports

Watchdog says banks impeded foreclosure inquiry...But will anyone face Charges?

(Reuters) - Top banks impeded a federal inquiry into their foreclosure processes, according to a report released Tuesday, dragging their feet on turning over documents and blocking investigators' attempts to interview bank employees.

The inquiry led to the wide-ranging $25 billion mortgage settlement with the five largest mortgage servicers that was announced last month and filed in federal court on Monday.

But the banks hampered an early investigation into whether they were pursuing unlawful foreclosures through shoddy paperwork and lax controls, the inspector general's office at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said in its report.

Bank of America (BAC.N), for example, provided only excerpts of files, incomplete documents, and conflicting information to government investigators, and refused to provide some of its foreclosure policies. Read More

Israel-Gaza truce taking hold

March 13 - An Egyptian-brokered truce between Israel and militant groups in the Gaza Strip begins to take hold after four days of violence. Nick Rowlands reports

Homs under fire

March 13 - United Nations and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan awaits word from the Syrian regime as amateur video purportedly shows the continuing assault on Homs. Lindsey Parietti reports

Clashes in Ankara over court ruling

Mar. 13 - Turkish police fire tear-gas on hundreds protesting against a court ruling to drop the case against the people accused of killing 37 in a 1993 hotel fire.

Violence across Syria as U.N. efforts stall

(Reuters) - Syrian government forces killed dozens of people in the northern city of Idlib, dumping their bodies in a mosque, while some 22 soldiers died in two separate rebel ambushes, opposition activists said on Tuesday.

The army intensified its assault on the Idlib province near the Turkish border, intermittently shelling built-up areas and spraying houses with machinegun fire in a bid to dislodge anti-government fighters.

Clashes were also reported in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor and security forces shelled Syria's third largest city, Homs, as the year-long uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's authoritarian rule increasingly resembles a civil war.

The United Nations says more than 8,000 people have died in the uprising and its refugee agency said on Tuesday that some 230,000 Syrians had fled their homes during the past 12 months, of whom around 30,000 have sought safety abroad. Read More

More austerity needed in Greece: EU/IMF

(Reuters) - Greece will have to slash a further 5.5 percent of GDP in government spending in 2013 and 2014 to meet agreed fiscal targets underpinning the second international bailout for Athens, a European Commission report said.

The Compliance Report by the European Union's executive describes the progress of Greek reforms necessary for the release of new euro zone money to Athens and recommends the first disbursement be made as soon as possible.

The report, obtained by Reuters, said a package of savings adopted by Greece in early 2012 worth 1.5 percent of gross domestic product should allow Athens to meet the target of bringing the primary deficit down to 1 percent this year.

"However, current projections reveal large fiscal gaps in 2013-14," the Commission report said, adding that the shortfall for the two years totaled 5.5 percent.

"Therefore, substantial additional expenditure cuts will have to be announced and adopted by Greece in the coming months, in particular when Greece updates its medium-term budget in May 2012," the report said. Read More

U.S. drone strikes kill 15 in northwest Pakistan

(Reuters) - U.S. drone aircraft struck twice in Pakistan's unruly tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing 15 suspected militants, including two senior militant commanders, security and intelligence officials said.

In the first strike, a drone fired missiles at a vehicle in the Birmal area of the South Waziristan tribal region, killing eight.

Among the dead were Shams Ullah and Amir Hamza, senior commanders of a pro-government militant faction led by Maulvi Nazir, one of the most influential militant leaders in the region.

Seven suspected militants were killed in the second attack later in the day, when a drone fired missiles at a vehicle in the Sara Khawra area, which straddles the border between North Waziristan and South Waziristan.

Several militant groups, including the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda, operate in Pakistan's semi-autonomous border regions, taking advantage of a porous border with Afghanistan to conduct cross-border attacks or plot violence elsewhere. Read More

A mysterious benefactor leaving envelopes filled with money has a German town spellbound

Drought Threatens British Ecosystems

4 killed in suicide attack in Yemen

(CNN) -- Four soldiers in Yemen were killed and seven others injured Tuesday morning when a suicide bomber attacked a checkpoint in the province of al-Baitha, two security officials said.

The attacker used a car bomb, and the explosion was heard more than eight miles away, the security officials said.

After the blast, clashes erupted near the site of the explosion, and a suspected U.S. drone strike killed four alleged al Qaeda militants, including senior al Qaeda operative Nasser al-Thafri, officials said.

Security officials blamed al Qaeda for the suicide attack. Read More

Guatemalan soldier sentenced to 6,060 Years....…And yet, is it really time enough for what he's done?"

(CNN) -- A Guatemalan court convicted a former soldier for his role in a 1982 massacre and sentenced him to more than 6,000 years in prison.

Pedro Pimentel Rios is the fifth former soldier convicted of atrocities for the killing of 250 people in the village of Dos Erres during the country's civil war.

Pimentel was extradited from the United States to Guatemala in July, 2011.

Relatives of the victims told CNN affiliate Noti7 that justice was late, but it finally came.

Judge Irma Valdez said Monday the evidence presented by the prosecution and the testimonies of the witnesses proved that Pimentel was involved in the killings.
He was sentenced to 30 years each for 201 of the Dos Erres killings and another 30 on a charge of crimes against humanity.

Pimentel was part of a special unit known as the Kaibiles, who stormed the village, thinking that residents were hiding left-wing guerrillas. Read More

Obama announces WTO case against China over rare earths

(CNN) -- The United States, the European Union and Japan are filing a challenge with the World Trade Organization against China's export restrictions on minerals that are crucial for the production of many high-tech devices, President Barack Obama announced Tuesday.

In a statement to reporters at the White House, Obama said the case seeks to force China to lift export limits on certain minerals known as rare earths.

China produces 97% of all rare earths, according to the European Union. The materials are used in products such as flat-screen televisions, smart phones, hybrid car batteries, wind turbines, energy-efficient lighting, electronics, cars and petroleum.

"We want our companies building those products right here in America," Obama said. "But to do that, American manufacturers need to have access to rare earth materials which China supplies. Now, if China would simply let the market work on its own, we'd have no objections." Read More