Saturday, March 24, 2012

Clashes in Bahrain protest

Mar. 24 - Clashes erupt in series of demonstrations in Bahrain, as police disperse protesters with water cannons. Michaela Cabrera reports

U.S. seeks more interest in Alaska offshore drilling

(Reuters) - The Obama administration on Saturday said it would again gauge interest from the oil and gas industry to explore federal waters off the Alaska coast, another bid to expand domestic energy production as gas prices soar and political pressure grows.

The Interior Department said it would again issue an official request for drilling interest in potential development leases in federal waters in Cook Inlet off the south-central coast of Alaska.

A federal lease sale for that area a year ago was canceled because of lack of interest. Cook Inlet, the channel that runs from the Anchorage area south to the Gulf of Alaska, is home to Alaska's oldest producing oil and gas basin.

The Interior Department has estimated the area could contain more than 1 billion barrels of oil and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that is undiscovered and potentially recoverable. It has said at least one company has expressed interest, but has not identified it. Read More

North Korea meetings set to boost young leader's power

(Reuters) - North Korea said on Saturday it will hold a special parliamentary session next month during which the reclusive country's new young leader, Kim Jong-un, is expected to be given a top title aimed at consolidating his grip on power.

The North has planned a series of events next month to mark the centenary of the birth of the state's founder, Kim Il-sung, including a rare ruling party conference and the controversial launch of a ballistic rocket it says will carry a satellite.

Experts say the young Kim, believed to be in his mid to late 20s, could be given two of the countries' senior most titles during the celebrations -- secretary general of the party and chairman of the defense commission.

The North's state media said on Saturday the Supreme People's Assembly, which has the formal mandate to appoint the chief of the National Defence Commission, the state's supreme military body, would meet on April 13.

The Workers' Party conference is also scheduled for the middle of next month. Read More

Teenager left dead as football fans in Egypt riot over team's suspension

A teenage boy has been shot dead in violent clashes over the decision to suspend a football team in Egypt.

Violence erupted late yesterday and continued until early this morning as thousands of fans came up against Egyptian soldiers and police in Port Said during protests against the ban of football side Al-Masry.

A 13-year-old, Belal Mamdouh, was killed with a gunshot to the back while 25 were injured, mostly because of breathing difficulties from tear gas.

Witnesses said that protesters set fire to tires, blocked major roads and then gathered in front of the Suez Canal's main administrative building in an attempt to storm it.

Protesters also denounced what they described as a media campaign against their club, including one famous sports presenter, a former goalkeeper, reporting that the measures were not enough. Read More

'It's completely unexpected': What's made these mystery clouds form over the Martian landscape?

An amateur astronomer has managed to capture recent images of Mars which appear to show cloud like formations on Mars.

Wayne Jaeschke, from West Chester, Pennsylvania, noticed the formations which can be seen rising up from the edge of the Martian disk after he took the pictures on March 20.

Some observers have suggested the so-called clouds are at least 150 miles away from the surface while others have suggested it could be debris which was disturbed after the Red Planet was hit by a meteor.

Social networking sites have been buzzing with the latest find which has prompted astronomers to investigate further and before they disappear.

'It's not completely unexpected. But it's bigger than we would expect, and it's definitely something that our atmosphere guys want to take a look at,' said Jonathon Hill, a member of the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University, to Cosmic Log. Read More

Rachael Pagani knocked woman unconscious with champagne bottle after being thrown out of nightclub

A former international ice skater who knocked a woman unconscious with a champagne bottle 'for no reason' has been jailed.

Rachael Pagani, who had 'tremendous potential' as a young ice skating champion, hurled a bottle across a crowded nightclub dancefloor after being thrown out the Walkabout bar in Carlisle.

The 20-year-old became involved in a scuffle with other revellers in the club and was escorted from the bar after the row in December.

But as she collected her bag, Ms Pagani grabbed a champagne bottle and threw it across the packed dancefloor, striking Hayley Dodgson, 20, on the back of the head.

Miss Dodgson was rushed to hospital and treated for a 3cm gash to the head after the incident.

Pagani, who represented the Great Britain as a 'very talented' teen ice skater, wept in court yesterday as she was sentence to eight months in a young offenders' institute. Read More

'Poltergeist' captured on CCTV throwing boxes inside supermarket

Two ships collide in poor visibility in English Channel

A cargo ship and a tanker have collided in the Dover Strait during poor visibility.

The ships were both damaged above the water line but did not have to end their journeys, the coastguard said

The tanker Gas Arctic, with 14 crew aboard, and cargo ship Spring Bok, with 22 crew, collided when visibility was at less than half a mile.

Dover Coastguard said the vessels will be inspected at Portland in Dorset, after colliding at 10:15 GMT.

The Dungeness all weather lifeboat was launched at the request of the coastguard, which also called for the assistance of HMS Tyne, which was in the Strait.

Phil Davies, watch officer at Dover Coastguard, said: "The vessels have both incurred damage above the water line but are fully capable of making their way to Portland where they will be inspected." Source

Beznau nuclear power plant shut down to fix pump fault, Switzerland

A reactor at the Beznau nuclear power plant has been temporarily shut down due to a technical problem.
The shutdown at the plant in northern Switzerland happened on Friday night and is expected to last for several days.

A problem arose with the shaft seal unit of the coolant pump at Beznau II, the operator Axpo said in a statement. It was shut down as a “preventative measure”.

Axpo said the reactor posed no danger to the public or the environment. The other reactor, Beznau I, is still operating. It is the oldest in the world.

Axpo told swissinfo.ch the faulty part was new and had been installed last year. Repairs will begin on Monday and once complete the reactor will be checked by the Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate. Source

Ten children die of measles in Bihar, India

Patna: At least 10 children died in a village in Bihar's Madhubani district due to a disease commonly referred as 'khasra' or measles, an official said on Saturday.

Patna: At least 10 children died in a village in Bihar's Madhubani district due to a disease commonly referred as 'khasra' or measles, an official said on Saturday.

The district administration has assured villagers to rush a team of doctor to inquire cause of the disease and provide treatment, an official said.

"The authorities have sounded a high alert to check the spread of the disease," the official added.

The children reported high fever followed by bouts of unconsciousness and convulsion. Source

Kenyan fighter jets kill 10, injure 25 others in south Somalia

At least 10 people have been killed and 25 others, including woman and children, injured in an airstrike by Kenyan fighter jets on a southern Somali town near Kenya border, Press TV reports.

Residents told Press TV that the fighter jets hit three al-Shabab bases on the outskirts of Fafadun town late on Friday.

“Aerial attacks hit three al-Shabab military training camps last night, over 10 al-Shabab fighters were killed and 25 others, including women and children, were admitted in the Bardhere's hospitals,” said Mohamed Farah, a resident in Bardera city.

Somalia military officials in the region confirmed the attack.

Airstrikes targeting areas under the control of al-Shabab in southern Somalia has become common, causing civilian casualties.

Kenya has beefed up security along its border with Somalia since it dispatched soldiers over its border into the conflict-plagued country last October to chase al-Shabab militants.

Meanwhile, a large number of Ethiopian military forces have been deployed into the central Somali town of Guriel in the Galgadud region, 300 km north of the capital, Mogadishu. Read More

Seven injured in explosion on South Korean ship off Mumbai

Mumbai, March 24: Seven people were injured due to an explosion on a South Korean ship off Mumbai Saturday, an official said. No casualties were reported.

"Some work was in progress on the ship off Mumbai coast when there was an explosion on board," a military official told IANS.

The injured have been moved to hospitals. It is not clear if the injured were civilians or crew members. Source

Military defectors unite under Free Syrian Army



(CNN) -- A top defector from the Syrian military said Saturday that armed rebel groups have aligned under the leadership of the Free Syrian Army.

Uniting all efforts will bolster the anti-regime movement and safeguard the nation, Brig. Gen. Mustafa Sheikh said in a video posted on YouTube.

The move addressed a key concern for observers of the Syrian crisis both inside and outside the country -- that armed rebel groups were disjointed and divided.

Sheikh was one of the first high ranking officers to announce his defection from President Bashar al-Assad's forces. He was accompanied in the video by Free Syrian Army commander Col. Riad al-Asaad. Read More

Trayvon case renews 'war on bigotry'



(CNN) -- As I walked the streets of New York the other day, I saw several white youths with hoodies, tattoos and nose rings. Not one time did it enter my mind that they could be skinheads.


While walking into the Howard University Hospital in Washington earlier that day, a few African-Americans rocked various types of hoodies. There wasn't a knot in my stomach; I didn't cross the street out of fear, and no, I didn't nervously look around for a cop or two.

As a native of Houston, I grew up in a black neighborhood. Went to a black church. Attended mostly black schools. I've seen every kind of black person possible. The drug dealer. The doctor. The bully. The postal worker. The crack addict. The city councilman. And never have I walked in fear of black folks who have given me no reason to be scared.

Oh, let's be clear, I've seen a group of menacing looking black folks who scared the hell out of me. But I can say the same for whites, Hispanics and Asians. Read More

Military blackout fuels suspicions in Afghanistan



Atlanta (CNN) -- It began with scant details released by the military about a heinous allegation: A soldier slipped away from a remote outpost in southern Afghanistan and went on a shooting rampage at nearby villages that left 17 people dead.

The questions were immediate: What was his name? What was he doing at the outpost? Where did the military take him?

The answers from the American military were slower in coming, and the dearth of information fueled angry accusations by Afghans of a cover-up, with President Hamid Karzai at one point accusing the U.S. military of withholding details and refusing to cooperate with Afghan investigators.

"The U.S. military justice system is unfamiliar territory to most Americans. So we should be hardly surprised that Afghans view it with skepticism," said Eugene Fidell, a former judge advocate who teaches military justice at Yale Law School.

Part of the issue is differing cultural and social practices.

But the larger problem, Fidell and other legal experts say, is perceived missteps in a number of high-profile war crimes cases and the closed culture of the military itself have led to a lack of confidence -- whether justified or not -- in the military justice system. Read More

Obama heads to South Korea for nuclear summit

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- President Barack Obama travels to South Korea Saturday on a three-day trip centered on an international nuclear security summit in Seoul.

He is due to arrive in Seoul early Sunday, where he will later hold a bilateral meeting with his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak.

Top officials from 54 countries, including China and Russia, will attend the summit meeting on Monday and Tuesday.

But its message of international cooperation has been overshadowed by North Korea's announcement last week that it is planning to carry out a rocket-powered satellite launch in April.

South Korea has said it considers the satellite launch an attempt to develop a nuclear-armed missile, while the United States has warned the move would jeopardize a food-aid agreement reached with Pyongyang in early March.

President Lee has already said he will use the summit to drum up international support against the actions of his northern neighbor. Read More

Obama heads to South Korea for nuclear summit

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- President Barack Obama travels to South Korea Saturday on a three-day trip centered on an international nuclear security summit in Seoul.

He is due to arrive in Seoul early Sunday, where he will later hold a bilateral meeting with his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak.

Top officials from 54 countries, including China and Russia, will attend the summit meeting on Monday and Tuesday.

But its message of international cooperation has been overshadowed by North Korea's announcement last week that it is planning to carry out a rocket-powered satellite launch in April.

South Korea has said it considers the satellite launch an attempt to develop a nuclear-armed missile, while the United States has warned the move would jeopardize a food-aid agreement reached with Pyongyang in early March.

President Lee has already said he will use the summit to drum up international support against the actions of his northern neighbor. Read More

Oxford Cild Exploitation: Anjum Dogar, 30, Akhtar Dogar, 31 and Kamar Jamil Remanded in custody...They still allowed 9 back onto the Streets though



Three men have been remanded in custody accused of preying on vulnerable young girls and grooming them for sex.

Brothers Anjum Dogar, 30, and Akhtar Dogar, 31, both of Tawney Street, Oxford, and Kamar Jamil, 26, of Aldrich Road, Oxford, were remanded at High Wycombe Magistrates' Court accused of a string of offences including rape, conspiring to rape a child, arranging child prostitution and trafficking.

They are to appear at Aylesbury Crown Court on March 30.

Prosecutor Clare Tucker read out the charges against each of the defendants, who all appeared in the dock. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN PERU - 24th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Southern Peru at a depth of 157.9 km (98.1 miles), the quake hit at 14:39:25 UTC Saturday 24th March 2012
The epicenter was 49 km (30 miles) West of Juliaca, Peru
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake SOLOMON ISLANDS - 24th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the Solomon Islands at a depth of 10.2 km (6.3 miles), the quake hit at 13:24:09 UTC Saturday 24th March 2012
The epicenter was 148 km (91 miles) South of Gizo, New Georgia Islands, Solomon Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Masked parent attacks high school student... and then gets knocked out in seconds



A man wearing a ski mask storms onto a Howard County school campus and attacks a student, and the whole thing is caught on tape.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the video that’s gone viral.

That video has now been viewed by more than half a million people.

Steps from the school’s front door, a masked man attacked a student as staffers rushed to break up the fight.

The shocking fight happened in seconds. A man in blue wearing a ski mask swung at a Long Reach High School student. In one punch, the 16-year-old football player knocked him out. more

Note: As you can see, this fight involved bullying, a young black man and an older black man. Where is Al Sharpton? Jesse Jackson? The Black "Kill 'Em All" Panthers? Is there no personal profit to be made from this incident?

Todd Schrier gave dog vodka, left him drunk and stumbling in the street

A Montana man who allegedly fed vodka to a dog was arrested on an animal cruelty charge after investigators found the animal’s blood alcohol content to be more than four times the legal limit (for humans).

According to a police affidavit filed in Lewis and Clark District Court, officers were called to a bar earlier this month after two men brought in an “intoxicated dog.” When an employee placed the canine--known as Arly II--on the floor, “he was unable to walk in a straight line and continually fell over and lost balance.”

One man who claimed ownership of the dog told police that Todd Schrier, 49, had given Arly II “a ‘to-go cup size’ worth of vodka.”

As an East Helena officer watched, Arly II attempted to walk but fell over and “struggled to raise himself to his own feet when picked up and placed back on the ground.” Concerned that his condition was serious, police took the 20-pound dog--described as either a Pomeranian or Pomeranian mix--to an animal clinic for evaluation. Tests revealed the pooch had a BAC of .348 (the state's legal limit is .08).

Schrier, pictured in the above mug shot, was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty, as well as felony drug possession after cops found a bag containing Hydrocodone pills on the ground where he was standing outside the bar. He is currently jailed on $30,000 bail and scheduled to appear in court today.

Arly II is now recovering at a Humane Society animal shelter. source

Teacher Fired After Not Noticing Third Graders Having Oral Sex Under Desk

A teacher at Tallulah Elementary School lost her job after not noticing two third graders participating in oral sex under their desks.

The News-Star is reporting that the teacher was fired for not keeping a proper eye on her students, as the incident occurred under her watch.

“The principal felt that she was not monitoring the classroom adequately,” District Superintendent Lisa Wilmore said to the News-Star. “The principal made a decision, and I supported the principal.”

She added, “We have to make sure we have people in these classrooms who are monitoring our students.”

Both students reportedly received counseling after the incident, which happened last week.

Note: Interestingly, stock photos of white students are being used for this story, although apparently this incident took place between two black students. Hmm.

Trayvon Martin case: 'Blacks are under attack,' says Jesse Jackson

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Friday that he's grateful the rest of the country has sat up and taken notice of the tragic slaying of Trayvon Martin. But he can't help but wonder: Why has it taken so long for everyone else to recognize the chronic injustices that African Americans face?

"We're surprised that everyone else is surprised," Jackson told the Los Angeles Times. African Americans have tried for decades to get the rest of America to understand their plight, he said, particularly their beliefs that justice is still elusive in many parts of America, especially the Deep South.

Then along comes the Trayvon Martin case, and facts that are not in contention: Volunteer neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman pursued and then gunned down the unarmed 17-year-old last month, and never faced arrest because police said there was no evidence to contradict his claim that he fired in self-defense.

"I hope that this will be a transformative moment," Jackson said. more

Milan Jurisic: Serbian gangsters killed rival, ate him for lunch in a stew and disposed of body using a meat grinder

Sadistic mafia bosses tortured and killed a treacherous gang member then turned him into a stew, police believe.

Serbian gangsters beat Milan Jurisic, 37, to death with a hammer, skinned and boned him with a sharp knife then put him through a meat grinder at a flat in Madrid.

They made a macabre face mask from his skin, cooked his flesh and ate him for lunch.

Later they threw the bones into the River Manzanares in the Spanish capital.

Fellow gang member Sretko Kalinic, nicknamed The Butcher, confessed to the crime after being arrested in the Croatian capital Zagreb last year. more

Wanted Dead or Alive Poster Issued for George Zimmerman by New Black Panther Party

Yesterday afternoon at a press conference, the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense circulated a “wanted dead or alive” poster for George Zimmerman for shooting to death a Florida teenager four weeks ago.

Zimmerman, a self-proclaimed neighborhood watch captain said he accosted what he alleges was a suspicious looking black male walking through his neighborhood. He further contends the man punched him, and bloodied his nose, so Zimmerman fired a gun shot striking the man in the chest. The “man” was 17 year old Trayvon Martin, who would lie in the county morgue three days before police alerted his parents of their child’s death.

Minister Mikhail Muhummud led the press conference, calling for the firing of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, the arrest of George Zimmerman and some involvement from President Obama. Muhummud stated he is the southern regional director for the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense located in Jacksonville, Florida. While Minister Muhummud fired off a list of demands and expressed outrage over the handling of the shooting and subsequent investigation; a member of the group passed flyers to about 100 people who showed up for the press conference. Muhummud told the group he was not concerned with rumors of death threats to George Zimmerman, “He should be afraid for his life…” more

Note: This case needs a more thorough investigation to see what really happened, and to determine who is at fault, and who didn't fulfill their tasks in the pursuit of justice. No one questions this. However, it's always interesting that the initial act of violence is declared horrendous, unthinkable, and an act no one should ever emulate... that is, until those who consider themselves "victims" (often in perpetuity) want their revenge, and then such acts of violence suddenly become not only all right, but mandatory. If one becomes like the individual who did them wrong, how is one any different from the criminal? Hypocrisy may make for good retribution, but achieves little justice.

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake TARAPACA, CHILE - 24th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Tarapaca, Chile at a depth of 155.1 km (96.4 miles), the quake hit at 11:46:23 UTC Saturday 24th March 2012
The epicenter was 88 km (54 miles) East of Tacna, Peru
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Clintonville Solved: 1.5 Magnitude Quakes are to Blame for the Sonic Booms According to USGS

A series of mysterious booms and bangs that spooked locals in a US town this week may have been triggered by tiny earthquakes.

Police received more than 600 calls within three days from fretful residents reporting the sonic booms in the Wisconsin town of Clintonville.

Resident Al Miller said it "almost felt like a heavy duty thunderstorm".

But experts have now linked the booms to earthquakes.

"The mystery is solved," Clintonville city administrator Lisa Kuss said.

One quake early last Tuesday was recorded by the US Geological Survey (USGS) at 1.5-magnitude.

USGS geophysicist Paul Caruso said quakes that size typically go unnoticed, but the ancient and consolidated rock in Wisconsin caused the tremor to have a larger than normal effect.

As for the rest of the strange roars and bangs, they could also have been the result of miniscule earthquakes. Read More



Bird flu H2N5 found in chicken in New Taipei

The China Post news staff--A market in New Taipei City was closed yesterday for disinfection after a chicken sample collected there was found to be H5N2 positive, officials said.

But the city officials maintained that the avian flu virus was determined to be of low pathogenicity, and that the chicken came from outside of New Taipei City.

The Cabinet's Council of Agriculture (COA) will trace the origin of the chicken, the officials said.

The sample was collected from the Defu market, a major chicken market in New Taipei City's Sanchong District, as the city stepped up monitoring poultry products after an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N2 was reported in Taiwan.

The COA, after conducting tests on the sample, informed the city government on March 22 that the chicken was infected with H5N2, the officials said. Read More