Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Congressman Bobby Rush, Thrown Out Over Trayvon Protest



A US congressman was escorted from the House after donning a hoodie and sunglasses while delivering a floor speech to protest the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

Democrat Bobby Rush, from Illinois, invoked the fury of the Speaker during his speech in Washington on Wednesday.

"Racial profiling has to stop, Mr Speaker," Mr Rush, a former Black Panther, said as he removed his suit jacket to reveal a gray hoodie.

He proceeded to don a pair of sunglasses, adding: "Just because you wear a hoodie does not make you a hoodlum."

Mr Rush was referring to the killing of Mr Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old who was gunned down by a Neighbourhood Watch volunteer in February.

His death has made international headlines and prompted national "soul-searching" - as it was termed by President Barack Obama - on race, guns, and Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" self-defence laws. Read More

'Highly Trusted' College In Immigration Scam

Staff at a college ranked as "highly trusted" by the UK Border Agency are helping foreign students cheat the immigration system, a Sky News investigation has found.

The investigation discovered that diploma certificates and dissertations were for sale inside the London College of Business in Barking.

As "highly trusted" by the UK Border Agency, the college can sponsor visa applications for foreign students and help them towards post-study work visas if they get their applications in by April 6.

But we found foreign students desperate to obtain visas can buy themselves the necessary qualifications without attending any classes.

It should take nine months to get a postgraduate diploma from the college but its marketing consultant has been secretly filmed by Sky News telling students they can have one in a week if they pay £1,000. Read More

Bomb Rant Pilot 'Clayton Osbon' Charged by Federal Prosecutors



A US pilot who was tackled by his own passengers after he allegedly ran through a packed plane screaming about bombs and terrorists has been charged by federal prosecutors.

Clayton Osbon, 49, was charged with "interfering with a flight crew", a charge that is often levied against unruly passengers or those who fail to comply with airline staff instructions.

During his mid-air outburst Osbon ranted about religion, bombs and terrorists, and told his co-pilot he was being evaluated by someone, according to the affidavit filed with the federal criminal complaint in Amarillo, Texas.

His co-pilot became concerned when Osbon "yelled over the radio to air traffic control and instructed them to be quiet" and declared "we need to take a leap of faith".

"We're not going to Vegas," Osbon allegedly told his co-pilot, before delivering what the first officer described as "a sermon".

After Osbon's co-pilot suggested they invite an off-duty captain who was on board the flight into the cockpit, Osbon abruptly left the cockpit to go to the toilet.

His actions alarmed the flight crew because they did not follow the airline's protocol for leaving the cockpit, the complaint said. Read More

Shawn Tyson was Released from Prison 24 Hours before Killing James Cooper and James Kouzaris

The families of two British tourists gunned down in Florida have criticised authorities who released their killer from prison the day before the murders.

The criticism came as friends of victims James Cooper and James Kouzaris faced their murderer Shawn Tyson in court and called him a coward, saying they hope he suffers "every second of every day".

Tyson was given two life sentences in prison after a jury took two hours to find him guilty of killing Mr Cooper and Mr Kouzaris during an attempted robbery in Sarasota last April.

Tyson had been released the previous day after his arrest for firing a gun into a car full of people.

The families of Mr Cooper and Mr Kouzaris called the decision "premature and and irresponsible". Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake BANDA SEA, INDONESIA - 29th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the Banda Sea, Indonesia at a depth of 23.2 km (14.4 miles), the quake hit at 02:52:37 UTC Thursday 29th March 2012
The epicenter was 283 km (175 miles) NNW of Saumlaki, Kepulauan Tanimbar, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWEST INDIAN RIDGE - 29th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck the Southwest Indian Ridge at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 00:36:40 UTC Thursday 29th March 2012
The epicenter was 732 km (454 miles) Northwest of Ile aux Cochons, Crozet Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake MYANMAR - 29th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Myanmar at a depth of 111.2 km (69.1 miles), the quake hit at 00:23:21 UTC Thursday 29th March 2012
The epicenter was 63 km (39 miles) SSW of Monywa, Myanmar
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 29th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 70.4 km (43.7 miles), the quake hit at 00:19:12 UTC Thursday 29th March 2012
The epicenter was 67 km (41 miles) Southwest of Banda aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake SICILY, ITALY - 28th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck Sicily, Italy at a depth of 238.9 km (148.5 miles), the quake hit at 23:17:05 UTC Wednesday 28th March 2012
The epicenter was 64 km (39 miles) Northwest of Messina, Sicily, Italy
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA - 28th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck South of Java, Indonesia at a depth of 51.3 km (31.9 miles), the quake hit at 23:09:46 UTC Wednesday 28th March 2012
The epicenter was 120 km (74 miles) South of Jember, Java, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake OAXACA, MEXICO - 28th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Oaxaca, Mexico at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 22:33:04 UTC Wednesday 28th March 2012
The epicenter was 158 km (98 miles) SSW of Huajuapan de Leon, Oaxaca, Mexico
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 28th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Southern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 95.2 km (59.2 miles), the quake hit at 21:37:06 UTC Wednesday 28th March 2012
The epicenter was 24 km (15 miles) South from Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 28th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck off the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 2 km (1.2 miles), the quake hit at 20:41:36 UTC Wednesday 28th March 2012
The epicenter was 253 km (156.8 miles) South of Kushiro, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

SHAWN TYSON GUILTY OF MURDERING BRITISH TOURIST JAMES KOUZARIS & JAMES COOPER IN FLORIDA



Teenager Shawn Tyson has been given two life sentences after being found guilty of murdering British tourists James Kouzaris and James Cooper in Florida.

The pair were gunned down they walked drunkenly into a public housing estate in the Newtown area of Sarasota last April.

Tyson, 17, was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder by a jury at Sarasota County Courthouse.

It took the jury of eight women and four men about two hours to reach their verdict.

Tyson sat emotionless as it was read out to the court, as did his mother, Kenyatta Whitfield, sitting in the public gallery.

In a statement, the families of Cooper, 25, a tennis coach, and Kouzaris, 24, described Tyson as "evil". Read More

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US Lawmakers Call for 'Hard-Nosed' Approach With Iran

Leading U.S. lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to take an even tougher stance with Iran over its nuclear program, questioning whether expanding economic sanctions are making a difference.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Democrat John Kerry, called Iran and its nuclear program the "biggest foreign policy challenge facing the U.S." during a hearing Wednesday. He said sanctions alone are unlikely to make Iran change course and called for Washington to engage in what he called "hard-nosed diplomacy."

The committee's leading Republican lawmaker, Senator Richard Lugar, also warned that Iran has refused to change "even as its isolation has grown." He said Tehran needs to understand it must choose between pursuing its nuclear program or preserving Iran's economic viability.

The lawmakers said the U.S. is keeping all options on the table, including the use of military force.

Iran denies Western claims it is trying to develop atomic weapons and says its nuclear activities are purely for power generation and medical research purposes. Read More

Flare Still Alight After North Sea Gas Leak



The company tackling a serious gas leak on a North Sea platform is playing down fears that a lit flare could ignite and cause an explosion.

Total says the flare was left alight on the evacuated Elgin platform because there wasn't time to turn it off when staff were airlifted off.

The company says the flame is still burning above the flammable gas beneath it but the wind is blowing the gas away from the flame.

It insists that safety considerations in the design of the platform mean there are 70m separating the flare from the leaking gas.

Bruce Lawson, asset integrity manager with Total, told Sky News: "We evacuated the platform because safety of our personnel was our prime concern and the fact that the flare remains to burn was not a concern at that time.

"The design of a facility is a complex process and the location of the flare in relation to the main well-head platform and prevailing wind conditions are a part of that.

"So it's designed to be upwind of the main area such that the prevailing winds blow away from the platform, which is exactly what's happening." Read More

Two Indonesian Bird Flu Suspects Still Treated In Bengkulu

JAKARTA, March 28 (Bernama) -- Two bird flu suspects are being treated at a hospital in Bengkulu province after three others tested negative for the disease, the Bengkulu agriculture and livestock affairs office said, ANTARA news agency reported.

Head of Bengkulu's agriculture and animal husbandry office, Arif Gunadi said here on Tuesday that eight chickens had died in the outbreak of bird flu which affected six villages in Koja.

More than 100 chickens affected by bird flu had been culled by their owners, he said.

Arif said his office has publicised to the chicken owners in Bengkulu to immediately provide disinfectants to the affected chickens and to clean their hen coops.

Meanwhile, head of public communication centre of the Health Ministry, Murti Utami said in a press release obtained on Monday that a new case of bird flu (H5N1) was reported in West Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. Read More

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 28th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck the Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska at a depth of just 2.5 km (1.6 miles Poorly Constrained), the quake hit at 17:42:18 UTC Wednesday 28th March 2012
The epicenter was 113 km (70 miles) WSW from Adak, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Freight train hauling hazardous materials derails, catches fire, Indiana

LIGONIER, Ind. (WLS) - A freight train hauling hazardous materials derailed in rural northeastern Indiana on Tuesday, causing tankers to burst into flames that belched yellow smoke and prompting the evacuation of a handful of nearby homes.

Twenty-one cars came off the rails around 4:40 a.m. near the Noble County town of Ligonier, about 40 miles northwest of Fort Wayne, Norfolk Southern said in a statement. It said the cause of the derailment was under investigation.

No injuries were reported.
Two cars containing molten sulfur caught fire in the derailment, and Noble County Sheriff Doug Harp said firefighters decided to let them burn because dousing it with water could wash the chemical into the nearby Little Elkhart River. The fire was still ablaze late Tuesday afternoon and Harp said it was expected to burn until at least noon Wednesday.

A car containing wine also was burning, Norfolk Southern said.

Nine other derailed cars also contained hazardous material: eight others with molten sulfur and one containing toluene, Norfolk Southern said. None of the toluene appeared to be leaking, it said. The material is used to make paint, paint thinner, fingernail polish and rubber.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management spokesman Rob Elstro said because of the fire and unsafe air immediately nearby it was impossible to assess the potential environmental damage. He said there could be an impact to nearby water that feeds into the Little Elkhart River and a marshy area adjacent to the railroad.

"Once we're able to get closer and do a full environmental impact we'll know more," he said. Read More

Mystery Disease Kills Five in Omaheke, Namibia

FIVE people have died in the Omaheke Region from what is believed to be either anthrax or Congo fever.

Initial laboratory tests were inconclusive and more samples were sent for testing in South Africa.

Dr Jack Vries, chairperson of the National Health Emergency Management Committee, says the results of the latest tests are expected back by the end of this week. "We don't know whether it's anthrax or not."

Should it be anthrax, it is atypical because the victims had intestinal symptoms like diarrhoea and vomiting. This is not typical of anthrax, Vries said.

It is understood that two people died at the Kroonster dairy farm and three at the farm Wonderboom.

At Kroonster, four people had contact with the deceased and needed close monitoring while two had contact with the three from Wonderboom.

The Kroonster people died after allegedly eating the meat of a cow that had died.

Kroonster owner Japie Engelbrecht yesterday said his business is doing "very badly" because his farm is under quarantine. Engelbrecht said he usually produces 600 litres of milk daily but is now prohibited from doing that. "And at the moment, there is no certainty of anything."

He denied that he had not vaccinated all his cattle against anthrax as required by law. "They are lying," he said. Read More

Ghana Cholera Alert

The Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate of Ghana Health Service is alerting the public about reported cases of cholera in parts of the region.

A statement issued by the directorate said any person who experiences frequent loose watery stools and vomiting should immediately rush to the nearest clinic or hospital for treatment.

The statement assures the public that all government health facilities in the region are equipped to handle cholera cases. Treatment for cholera is free.

The general public is advised to adhere to the following measures to minimize and stop further spread:

• Wash hands with soap and water before eating, cooking and after visiting the toilet

• Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly with water before eating

• Wash all plates and cooking utensils thoroughly before and after use

• Eat cooked food while hot

• Avoid buying /eating food which is exposed to flies and dust

• Food sellers should cover their food against dust and flies

• Use proper toilet facility and avoid passing stool anywhere

• Keep the environment clean

For further information, call this number: 028-9521924, 0244561328 Source

Roughly 10000 birds dead on, near local refuges, California

Roughly 10,000 birds, mostly snow geese, have died of avian cholera on and near the water-starved Lower Klamath and Tule Lake national wildlife refuges.

Limited water deliveries to the refuges, combined with large bird migrations, are blamed for the cholera outbreak, said Ron Cole, the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges Complex manager.

He said limited water deliveries to Lower Klamath last fall and this winter have dried up about half of the refuge’s wetlands. In turn, about 2 million birds, including large numbers of migrating pintails and Arctic nesting geese, are concentrated in smaller areas.

“When you concentrate that many birds on about half of the available wetlands, you develop a recipe for an avian cholera outbreak,” Cole said, noting the bacteria that causes avian cholera spreads more rapidly in heavy concentrations of birds. Source

Egyptian army takes on Islamists to retain power

(Reuters) - Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is locked in a power struggle with ruling generals over how much influence the army will have after civilians take over in three months time, a dispute that could decide whether democracy thrives after Hosni Mubarak's ouster.

The tussle is over a new constitution, being drafted by an Islamist-led assembly, and focuses on the powers of the next president, the extent army privileges will be preserved and how much say the military will have in national security policy in future, Brotherhood members and an army official told Reuters.

Islamists are already embroiled in a more public argument with liberals, who have withdrawn from the body drawing up the constitution because they say it gives too much weight to Islamists and does not represent Egypt's diversity.

But the outcome of the army row, largely being played out behind closed doors, is likely to have a far bigger impact. Read More