Monday, March 19, 2012

Magnitude 5.5 Earthquake - SAMOA ISLANDS REGION

Abandoned baby found behind Manitoba school (left behind by drunk mother): Canada

A Manitoba woman is facing charges after an abandoned baby was found behind a school in Portage la Prairie.

The seven-month-old infant was found at about 3:45 a.m. on Saturday by a man riding a bicycle, according to RCMP. He heard a noise that sounded like a cat and when he checked to find what it was, he located the baby lying in some leaves beside the steps of the school.

The baby was dressed only in a sleeper, RCMP said.

The man covered the baby with his jacket and called police and paramedics. The child was transported to hospital and treated for exposure.

RCMP searched the area and found a baby carriage, and not far away, the baby's intoxicated mom. The woman, 28, was arrested and is facing charges of abandoning a child and failing to provide the necessities of life. She has been released from police custody and will appear in provincial court at a later date, RCMP said.

The woman's name is not being released in order to protect the identity of the infant. more

New Obama Executive Order Seizes U.S. Infrastructure and Citizens for Military Preparedness

In a stunning move, on March 16, 2012, Barack Obama signed an Executive Order stating that the President and his specifically designated Secretaries now have the authority to commandeer all domestic U.S. resources including food and water. The EO also states that the President and his Secretaries have the authority to seize all transportation, energy, and infrastructure inside the United States as well as forcibly induct/draft American citizens into the military. The EO also contains a vague reference in regards to harnessing American citizens to fulfill “labor requirements” for the purposes of national defense.

Not only that, but the authority claimed inside the EO does not only apply to National Emergencies and times of war. It also applies in peacetime.

The National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order exploits the “authority” granted to the President in the Defense Production Act of 1950 in order to assert that virtually every means of human survival is now available for confiscation and control by the President via his and his Secretaries’ whim. more

FRANCE RAISES TERROR ALERT TO HIGHEST LEVEL IN REGION HIT BY SCHOOL SHOOTING.

TOULOUSE, France — French president raising terror alert to highest level in region hit by school shooting...More to Follow

Avalanche warning issued for Gallatin Range, Southern Madison Range and Lionhead area near West Yellowstone

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center has issued a backcountry avalanche warning for the southern Gallatin Range, southern Madison Range and Lionhead area near West Yellowstone.

Officials say heavy snowfall and strong winds are creating unstable conditions. The avalanche danger is rated high on all slopes and backcountry travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

Most areas picked up 4 to 6 inches of snow from Sunday morning to Monday morning, while the Cooke City area saw 8 inches of snow fall. Snow was expected to continue accumulating on Monday.

The center says recent heavy snow is resting on two distinct weak layers of snow, leading to natural avalanches that are large and destructive. Source

Norway avalanche kills four tourists at Kaafjord

Four tourists have died after being caught in an avalanche in northern Norway, local police say.

Police in the Troms district said one person had been pulled out alive, while three others had been located via radio transmitters.

The snowfall trapped five Swiss and one French person. They were in a group of 12 skiers in Kaafjord.

The avalanche happened on Mt Sorbmegaisa in the north of Troms district on Monday afternoon.

Troms police chief Tor-Einar Eilertsen said a medical helicopter had been despatched and the army had been asked to help. Read More

Uruguay nurses charged with 16 murders

March 19 - Three nurses are being charged with killing at least 16 patients at two different hospitals in Uruguay. Jessica Gray reports

Sarkozy vows justice for school killer

March 19 - French President Nicolas Sarkozy vows Toulouse school killer will be caught, makes link with other recent deadly shootings. Travis Brecher reports

Drug-resistant TB lurks among rich and poor

LONDON (Reuters)- On New Year's Eve 2004, after months of losing weight and suffering fevers, night sweats and shortness of breath, student Anna Watterson was taken into hospital coughing up blood.

It was strange to be diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB)- an ancient disease associated with poverty - especially since Watterson was a well-off trainee lawyer living in the affluent British capital of London. Yet it was also a relief, she says, finally to know what had been making her ill for so long.

But when Watterson's infection refused to yield to the three-pronged antibiotic attack doctors prescribed to fight it, her relief turned to dread.

After six weeks of taking pills that had no effect, Watterson was told she had multi-drug resistant TB, or MDR-TB, and faced months in an isolation ward on a regimen of injected drugs that left her nauseous, bruised and unable to go out in the sun.

"My friends were really shocked," Watterson said. "Most of them had only heard of TB from reading Victorian novels."

Tuberculosis is often seen in the wealthy West as a disease of bygone eras - evoking impoverished 18th or 19th century women and children dying slowly of a disease then commonly known as "consumption" or the "white plague". Read More

Helicopter Dispatched to SW China Forest Fire

Photo taken on March 19, 2012 shows the forest fire spread to Caopu Township in Anning, a county-level city on the outskirts of Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province. A fire that engulfed mountain forests in Yimen county of Yunnan Province Sunday, has spread to the provincial capital Kunming, local authorities said Monday. More than 530 firefighters have been sent to the site Monday. A severe drought has lingered in the heavily-forested province for three consecutive years, causing water shortages for several million residents and posing fire risks. [Photo: Xinhua]

A helicopter and more than 1,000 people have been dispatched to help extinguish a forest fire that continues to rage in southwest China's Yunnan province, local authorities said Monday evening.

A rescue team consisting of 1,075 military personnel and civilians was sent to the site of the blaze Monday evening, local authorities said.

The fire, which broke out at 5:25 p.m. Sunday in Yimen county, defied overnight firefighting efforts and spread through the county's mountainous forests to Caopu township in Anning, a county-level city on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Kunming, said a spokesman from the provincial forest fire prevention headquarters.

A helicopter and five excavators from the nearby city of Dali have been mobilized to help fight the fire.

A severe drought has lingered in Yunnan for three consecutive years, causing water shortages for several million residents and creating fire risks. Read More

Helicopters join in Mt Kenya forest fire fight

Helicopters have been scrambled to fight the raging fires on Mt Kenya which continued for the ninth day running yesterday. The KWS chopper been joined by another one offered by a volunteer, Lady Lori, and are now spraying the forest with water in a bid to contain the fires which have destroyed thousands of acres of indigenous tree.

British Army has provided one chopper which is helping survey the areas affected and airlifting the firefighters at the regions affected. Mt Kenya National Park deputy warden Simon Gitau said hundreds of acreages of indigenous and bamboo forest and moorland were being destroyed despite the efforts by KWS, KFS and over 500 members of the local community to fight the fires.

The fire was still burning at the Upper Burguret and some parts of Gathiuru forest, Narumoru River valley, Chogoria side, along Nairobi River and South Moorland at Sirmon area which is above 11,000 feet above sea level. The whole of western part of Mt Kenya forest between Kabaru and Ontilili areas were all still on fire yesterday. The Kenya and British armies joined in the fight yesterday with Mt Kenya Tourism Circuit providing sleeping bags while Highlands Company providing water for the fire fighters. Read More

Radioactive water leaks at Japan nuclear plant

TOKYO: Japan's nuclear safety watchdog Monday said a leakage of about 1.5 tonnes of low-level radioactive water occurred at a plant of Japan Atomic Power Co. in the village of Tokai in Ibaraki Prefecture.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency launched an investigation to check whether the water had leaked into the sea, reported Xinhua.

The water was used to decontaminate radiation protection suits and other items and was contaminated to an extent of 33 becquerels per gram, Kyodo News said, adding that the leakage occurred when water was transferred from a storage tank to another tank of a nuclear reactor during decommissioning Wednesday. Source

Tornadoes strike Nebraska, flipping tractor-trailer and rail cars

Severe storms overnight in Nebraska, Texas and Ohio damaged homes and tossed rail cars as well as at least one tractor-trailer, and the threat continued Monday with a large part of the central U.S. on alert.

The greatest damage overnight was just outside North Platte, Neb., where two confirmed tornadoes tore roofs off several homes, downed power lines and injured two people.

One twister crossed Interstate 80, flipping a tractor-trailer in its path. The truck's driver was hospitalized.

A rail yard also was hit, with 15 cars derailed or knocked over, the North Platte Telegraph reported. One worker there was hit by flying debris, treated at a hospital and then released. Read More

Ex-intelligence chief shot dead hours after Guinea Bissau elections

(CNN) -- The former head of intelligence of Guinea Bissau was shot dead in the capital late Sunday, hours after the peaceful conclusion of the country's presidential elections.

Col. Samba Djalo was shot seven times, officials said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, and authorities did not have a motive, said Interior Minister Fernando Gomes.

Djalo served as the country's intelligence chief during a time when many key political figures were assassinated, including a high-ranking parliamentarian and an independent presidential candidate.

He was overthrown along with then-Army Chief of Staff Jose Amora Induta in a mutiny in April 2010. Both were jailed briefly but later released, and no charges were filed. Read More

Luxury cruise liner involved in collision with a Container Ship off Vietnam



(CNN) -- A luxury cruise line ship collided in deep fog with a container ship off Vietnam, punching a hole in the container ship and knocking passengers off their feet, a passenger told CNN Monday.

"No one was hurt on our ship; everyone was certainly shaken up," said passenger Andrew Lock about the incident, which occurred Friday, when the Silver Shadow was about five miles from the coast.

Lock said he and his wife were in the observation lounge at the front of the ship with about eight other passengers. "It was a very foggy day with zero visibility," he said Monday from Hong Kong. "We heard a loud fog horn at the front of our ship, which caused us to look up. Out of the fog we saw a Vietnamese container ship appear, it was sideways on and it was so perfectly lined up that we knew we would hit it. In less than five seconds, we did hit it with the full force of our ship." Read More

NATO failed to investigate airstrike casualties in Libya

(CNN) -- A leading human rights organization accused NATO on Monday of failing to investigate civilian deaths caused by its air strikes in Libya that aided in the downfall of Moammar Gadhafi.

In a 20-page report titled "Libya: The Forgotten Victims of NATO Strikes," Amnesty International laid out allegations that NATO and the new Libyan government failed not only to document the deaths but has not paid reparations to the victims and their families.

The report said "scores of Libyan civilians who did not directly participate in hostilities were killed and many more injured as a result of NATO strikes," adding that the 28-member nation alliance has yet to address the incidents in the months since it ended the air campaign.

NATO did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment, though it apparently defended its actions in a letter to Amnesty International.

"While NATO did everything possible to minimize the risk to civilians, in a complex military operation that risk cannot be reduced to zero," NATO said in response to an inquiry by the rights group, according to the report. Read More

Why Syria Won't Get the Libya Treatment from the West

One year ago, on March 19, 2011, Western leaders, alarmed by the disaster unfolding in Libya, voted in the U.N. Security Council to intervene militarily with "all necessary means," arguing that they could not stand by and watch civilians get massacred.

As a result of the U.N. resolution, NATO launched a bombing campaign, led by Britain, France and the U.S., and flew about 10,000 bombing sorties over Libya, helping to obliterate Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year dictatorship in just seven months.

So, could it happen in Syria? Probably not, according to two reports out on Monday. Both suggest that the Western powers would face significantly bigger challenges in intervening against President Bashar Assad, both politically and militarily, than they did in Libya. Says the British military think tank Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) in a report marking the anniversary of the U.N. vote: "The Libya intervention took place in a singularly unique moment where the international stars, as it were, were aligned in a set of propitious circumstances."

Unlike Gaddafi, Assad has hugely upgraded his air- and sea-attack capabilities since the revolt against him erupted a year ago, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which tracks the opaque defense industry. In its yearly report on global arms transfers, also to be published on Monday, SIPRI lists billions spent by Assad on state-of-the-art Russian systems, much of which has been delivered during the past year. "This is a major upgrade," says Paul Holtom, SIPRI senior researcher on arms transfers. "Any discussions about an air attack on Syria would be more challenging than it would have been previously." Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA - 19th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia at a depth of 164 km (101.6 miles), the quake hit at 16:45:49 UTC Monday 19th March 2012
The epicenter was 187 km (115.9 miles) Northeast of Los palos, East Timor, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SOLOMON ISLANDS - 19th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the Solomon Islands at a depth of 27.4 km (17 miles), the quake hit at 16:03:12 UTC Monday 19th March 2012
The epicenter was 49 km (30 miles) WSW from HONIARA, Solomon Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Soccer fans trash Greece's Olympic stadium

Athens, Greece (CNN) -- Athens' Olympic stadium suffered heavy damage during violent clashes between soccer fans and police, authorities said.

The clashes left 20 police wounded, two seriously, police said. Fifty-seven people were detained and another 23 arrested on charges of violence against police and possession of Molotov cocktails.

Police said they were provoked by "a large group" throwing sticks, stones, bits of metal, Molotov cocktails and flares.

The clashes began two hours before a Sunday night match between Greece's two main football clubs, Panathinaikos and Olympiakos, was due to begin.

"Before the match, individuals who had already gained entry made a sortie from their stands, breaking stadium doors, attacking police and allowing others to enter without security checks," a police statement said. Read More

Al Qaeda leader's brother to be freed in Egypt

Cairo (CNN) -- Mohamed al-Zawahiri, brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, will be freed from prison in Egypt after 13 years, his attorney said Monday.

He was acquitted by an Egyptian military court and will be released Tuesday, said attorney Nizar Ghorab.

Mohamed al-Zawahiri was imprisoned in 1999 after being detained and extradited from the United Arab Emirates on allegations that he was linked to the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Al-Zawahiri was acquitted on the assassination charges but later was accused of conspiring against the Egyptian government.

He was sentenced to death, but then appealed the ruling.

Last year, Egypt's interim government released him along with scores of other political prisoners after a general pardon was issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which ruled the country after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. But al-Zawahiri was arrested again shortly after. Read More

Zimbabweans found guilty of watching Arab Spring videos

(CNN) -- Six Zimbabweans arrested last year for watching footage of the Arab Spring protests were found guilty of conspiracy to commit public violence Monday, according to the wife of one of the men.

The men face six to 10 years in prison or a $2,000 fine when they are sentenced in a Harare court Tuesday, Shantha Bloemen said.

The six were among 46 people arrested on February 19, 2011, during an academic meeting where a video on the events in Tunisia and Egypt were shown.

"I am very disappointed that they were found guilty," defense lawyer Alec Muchadehama said after hearing the verdict.

Rights activist Munyaradzi Gwisai said the verdict was "not surprising."

"We are not deterred," Gwisai said. "We are not intimidated." Read More