Sunday, April 15, 2012

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake GULF OF CALIFORNIA - 16th Apr 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck the Gulf of California at a depth of 10.3 km (6.4 miles), the quake hit at 03:27:42 UTC Monday 16th April 2012
The epicenter was 137 km (85 miles) Southwest from Navolato, Sinaloa, Mexico
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWESTERN SIBERIA, RUSSIA - 16th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Southwestern Siberia, Russia at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 02:18:37 UTC Monday 16th April 2012
The epicenter was 97 km (60.2 miles) East of Chibizhek, Siberia, Russia
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Scientists discover glaciers in Asian mountain range are actually getting BIGGER....So much for Global Warming

Photos taken by a French satellite show glaciers in a mountain range west of the Himalayas have grown during the last decade.

The growing glaciers were found in the Karakoram range, which spans the borders between Pakistan, India and China and is home to the world's second highest peak, K2.

The startling find has baffled scientists and comes at a time when glaciers in other parts of the region, and across the world, are shrinking.

French scientists from the National Centre for Scientific Research and the University of Grenoble, were forced to rely on satellite images, to study the region - because much of the Karakoram range is inaccessible.

They compared observations made in 1999 and 2008 and found a marginal mass increase.

They estimated the glaciers had gained between 0.11 and 0.22 metres of ice each year. Read More

North Korea's Kim Jong Un defies 'enemies' in first speech

North Korea won’t be bullied by its nuclear-armed enemies, third-generation dictator Kim Jong Un said in his first public address at a military parade on Sunday as South Korea warned that his regime may conduct an atomic test.

Dressed in a dark Mao suit and standing on a podium high above Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, the new leader said, “The days of enemies threatening and blackmailing us with nuclear weapons are forever over.”

Goose-stepping soldiers, mobile rocket launchers and tanks rumbled through the streets below in a celebration broadcast on state television.

North Korea’s humiliation after a long-range rocket that disintegrated within minutes of liftoff on Friday increases the chance of Kim ordering an atomic test to regain face, South Korean Deputy Defence Minister Lim Kwan Bin said. The launch also ended a U.S. food-aid deal.

“Kim is very aware of how powerful the military is and knows his only strategy is to keep selling the ‘military-first’ policy,” said Koh Yu Hwan, a professor of North Korean studies at Seoul’s Dongguk University. “Stability is what the young Kim needs most and he needs the full support of the military.” Read More

Israel arrests pro-Palestinian activists, bans dozens from entry

Israel has refused entry to dozens of activists who arrived in Tel Aviv as part of an international campaign dubbed ‘Welcome to Palestine.’ Nine Israeli activists have also been arrested.

The international activists, intending to take part in a solidarity event with Palestinians in the West Bank, were detained as they landed in the country’s main airport on Sunday.

As many as 49 were stopped in the airport, the Interior Ministry reported on Sunday evening. Most of flew from France, but others came from Spain, Switzerland, Canada, Italy and Portugal. About a dozen were sent back home, with several more possibly to follow after arrangements are made.

Israeli police accused the activists of posing a security threat, intending to disrupt public order and attempts to delegitimize Israel.

But organizers say they had planned peaceful activities and have criticized Israel for overreacting. Around 1,200 Palestinian rights activists worldwide have bought tickets to travel to Israel on April 15. Read More

Afghan capital wakes to fighting as siege continues

The Afghan capital woke up to the sounds of explosions and gunfire as a siege by Taliban militants continued into its second day.

A police official in Kabul said fighting in the central diplomatic quarter had ended, but gunfire is being reported near the parliament in the west of the city.

Officials said at least 17 gunmen and one police officer have died.

Attackers also struck in the provinces of Logar, Paktia and Nangarhar.

In Kabul, foreign embassies, Nato's HQ and the Afghan parliament were hit in the first major attack on the city in more than six months.

The BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul quotes officials as saying that special forces have entered the construction site in the Wazir Akbar Khan district which the insurgents were using as a base.

The neighbourhood is home to a number of embassies and a Nato base. Read More

Syria: UN Observers Arrive In Damascus

The first six UN military observers who will monitor a shaky cessation of hostilities in Syria have arrived in Damascus, just hours after Syrian forces reportedly shelled the city of Homs.

"They've arrived and they will start work tomorrow morning," Kieran Dwyer, a spokesman for the UN peacekeeping department, told AFP.

The six are the first of 30 monitors who were approved by the UN Security Council on Saturday.

"The other monitors in the advance party are still expected in Syria in coming days," Dwyer added.

The first group will set up a headquarters and prepare routines so the mission can verify that a cessation of hostilities, which started on Thursday, between President Bashar al Assad's forces and opposition fighters was holding. Read More

People of Norway are fed up hearing about Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik

The people of Norway are fed up hearing about Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

Now they have to brace themselves for even more details as the trial starts.

Every day since the terror attacks on July 22 last year, the Norwegian media have brought new revealing details about the attacks and the man behind them.

For them it feels like the court case has already been ongoing for almost nine months.

They cannot see how a 10 week trial can possibly bring valuable new information to shed light on the question of guilt.

They want the killer to be sentenced to prison and not to be treated for a mental illness as the first psychiatric report suggested back in November.

The newspaper Dagbladet said it understood that people are fed up with news about Breivik. Read More

Kabul Attacks 'Are Retaliation'



A series of attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul were in retaliation for Koran burnings, a US Marine urination video and the Kandahar massacre, the Taliban has reportedly claimed.

The country's interior ministry said a total of 17 militants were killed and two others were captured. One police officer died in the fighting.

The co-ordinated strikes on Sunday targeted Nato's headquarters, the city's parliament building and a number of diplomatic residences - including the British and US embassies.

There were also attacks outside of Kabul, with two suicide bombers targeting an airfield used by Nato in Jalalabad, while a police station was attacked in the town of Gardez, 75 miles south of the capital.

President Hamid Karzai was reported to be under lockdown and MPs have been among those fighting back against the onslaught in Kabul, with some standing with Afghan forces to shoot at insurgents.

"These attacks are the beginning of the spring offensive and we planned them for months," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has been quoted as saying. Read More

Lord Ahmed deniedsoffering a £10m "bounty" for the capture of US President Barack Obama

A House of Lords peer has been suspended over reports that he offered a £10m "bounty" for the capture of the US President.

Lord Nazir Ahmed's Labour Party suspension comes after claims he was said to have offered the cash for the capture of Barack Obama and White House predecessor George Bush

Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper said the remarks were made by Lord Ahmed at a reception in Haripur, Pakistan on April 13.

He allegedly made the comments at the function in response to an American reward for the capture of a prominent Pakistani radical.

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who founded the violent extremist group Lashkar e Taiba, is blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were killed.

A Labour spokeswoman said: "We have suspended Lord Ahmed pending investigation.

"If these comments are accurate we utterly condemn these remarks which are totally unacceptable. Read More

6.0 Magnitude Earthquake SULAWESI, INDONESIA - 16th Apr 2012

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck Sulawesi, Indonesia at a depth of 9.9 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 02:17:49 UTC Monday 16th April 2012
The epicenter was 169 km (105 miles) NNW of Kendari, Sulawesi, Indonesia
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Note: This earthquake has been listed on USGS as a 5.8 Magnitude. of the 29 stations, 17 measure this earthquake from 6.0 to 6,5 Magnitude with the majority 6.4 magnitude.

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 15th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 30.7 km (19.1 miles), the quake hit at 22:27:23 UTC Sunday 15th April 2012
The epicenter was 400 km (248 miles) Southwest from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

D-FOX: Please contact us if you can read this.

To D-fox: if you're reading this, please contact us at thecomingcrisis@gmail.com. It's important -- we believe.

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Libya breaking into separate countries after NATO intervention

SYRIAN PAWN IN USA WAR GAME!

CIA training and giving weapons to terrorists in Syria

North Koreans watch fireworks on founder's 100th birthday.

April 15 - Crowds gather along Pyongyang's river banks for a lavish fireworks display to celebrate the 100th birthday of North Korea founding leader Kim Il-sung, referred to as the 'Eternal President'. Hours before, Kim Il-sung's grandson Kim Jong-un, North Korea's new leader, delivered his first major public speech since taking power last December.

South Koreans release anti-North leaflets

April 15 - South Korean activists release balloons containing anti-Pyongyang leaflets towards the North, as the isolated state celebrates its founder's birthday. Travis Brecher reports.

Palestinian 'Fly-in' downed

April 15 - Police in France and Belgium prevent pro-Palestinian activists from boarding flights to Tel Aviv, sparking airport scuffles. Andrew Raven reports

Israel, US Show Skepticism on Iran Nuclear Talks

ISTANBUL—Renewed negotiations between Iran and international powers over Tehran's nuclear program this weekend already are facing fire from Israel and American lawmakers, who fear the Islamic Republic is seeking to use the revived diplomatic track to forestall additional economic sanctions while continuing to advance its nuclear work.

This skepticism toward the talks, which will go into a second round on May 23 in Baghdad, illustrates the tight political space U.S. President Barack Obama and his diplomatic partners face as they seek to peacefully end the standoff over Iran's nuclear program, which has fueled higher global energy prices and sparked fears of war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government has continued to threaten to take military action against Iran's nuclear sites if diplomacy appears futile.

And leading U.S. lawmakers on Sunday again pledged to enact new economic sanctions on Tehran if it doesn't immediately abide by United Nations resolutions calling for it to freeze its production of nuclear fuel.

"My initial impression is that Iran has been given a 'freebie' " Mr. Netanyahu said on Sunday. "It has got five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation, any inhibition." Read More

Syria ceasefire imperiled as government vows crackdown

(Reuters) - Syria's ceasefire increasingly was under threat on Sunday as the government vowed a crackdown on a wave of "terrorist attacks" and its forces shelled Homs on the day the first U.N. peace monitors were due to enter the country.

An initial team of U.N. ceasefire monitors was expected to arrive on Sunday evening and will be deployed on Monday in an effort to keep the peace plan on track, the spokesman for international mediator Kofi Annan said.

They will be joined by two dozen more observers in coming days in line with a U.N. Security Council resolution adopted on Saturday authorizing the deployment of up to 30, Ahmad Fawzi said.

"Of course we are hoping that the process holds together until the observers get on the ground," Fawzi told Reuters in Geneva. Read More

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake SUNDA STRAIT, INDONESIA - 15th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck the Sunda Strait, Indonesia at a depth of 60 km (37.2 miles), the quake hit at 18:22:10 UTC Sunday 15th April 2012
The epicenter was 146 km (90 miles) South from T.-Telukbetung, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Deadly Midwest tornadoes

Two months after a 3-year-old endangered orca washed ashore bloodied and bruised in Washington state, the cause of its death remains a mystery.

Marine experts believe the female orca, known as L-112, died of massive blunt force trauma, but they’re still examining evidence and waiting for tests of tissue samples to determine what caused that trauma. Some orca experts, however, suspect the injuries are linked to an underwater explosion or military training activity at sea.

Law enforcement officers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week began looking into the orca’s death and are seeking information from the U.S. Navy and other sources about their activities as part of its investigation, said NOAA spokesman Brian Gorman. “So far, there haven’t been any red flags,” he said.

The Navy said that it wasn’t conducting activity off the coast in the weeks before Feb. 11, when the orca’s 12-foot long carcass was discovered in Long Beach.

The young female orca was a member of the L pod, one of three groups of federally-protected orcas that frequent Puget Sound, whose population now stands at 86. Orcas, also popularly called “killer whales” are members of the dolphin family. Read More

Mutant Bird Flu Research: Bias accusation rattles US biosecurity board

A closed meeting, convened last month by the US Government to decide the fate of two controversial unpublished papers on the H5N1 avian influenza virus was stacked in favour of their full publication, a participant now says. Michael Osterholm, who heads the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy in Minneapolis, is a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which was tasked with evaluating the research. In a letter to Amy Patterson, associate director for science policy at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and sent to other members of the NSABB, Osterholm writes that the meeting agenda and presenters were “designed to produce the outcome that occurred“. The letter was leaked to Nature by an anonymous source.

The two-day meeting held at the end of March was meant to put an end to swirling controversy around research papers describing an H5N1avian influenza virus able to pass between mammals, in this case ferrets, which are a model for human flu transmission. When the NSABB was asked by the US government to review the papers for publication in the fall of 2011, they suggested that the papers be published in redacted form, stripping away detail that would allow people to recreate the viruses.

The recommendation was a controversial compromise pitting the ideals of open, international science communication against concerns that the work could be misused by bioterrorists or result in the accidental release of a potentially devastating pathogen. In February, after the World Health Organization convened a brief meeting in Geneva, Switzerland that favoured full publication, the US government asked NSABB to reconvene and reconsider their position in light of modifications made to the papers and new information presented by the researchers.

At that meeting, the NSABB revised their position, voting unanimously to publish one of the papers, a manuscript submitted to Nature by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the University of Tokyo. But the board voted only 12-to-6 in favour of publishing the other paper, submitted to Science by Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Several members of the board, including Osterholm felt that the modifications made to the paper did not strip away their concerns.

In the letter, dated 12 April, Osterholm writes that the March meeting was stacked heavily in favour of experts doing such research on flu viruses, who had an interest in the outcome of the decision. Read More

Bird Flu: Fears that amateurs might make deadly virus

Anxieties are rising that viruses like the bird flu could be made by do-it-yourself scientists, who can buy the lab equipment on eBay. Na Son Nguyen / Associated Press

Just how easy is it to make a deadly virus?
The question has arisen recently, thanks to two controversial experiments that transformed the H5N1 bird flu virus into mutant forms that spread in mammals.

After months of intense worldwide debate, scientists brought together by the World Health Organization in February recommended publishing the results. And last month United States government biosecurity advisers said they support publishing the now-revised studies because they don't reveal details bioterrorists could use.

The journals Nature and Science say they plan to publish the works as soon as possible.
While terrorists and cults have long been a concern, some scientists also fear publication may allow curious amateurs to recreate the mutated virus - raising the risk of an accidental release.
Over the past decade, more amateur biologists have started to do genetic experiments of their own. The Web site DIYbio.org now has more than 2,000 members.

"I worry about the garage scientist, about the do-your-own scientist, about the person who just wants to try and see if they can do it," Michael T. Osterholm of the University of Minnesota said recently at a meeting of biosecurity experts in Washington, D.C. Read More

Connor Saunders Dies of his Injuries: 3 Teens aged 13 and 14 Arrested on Suspicion of Murder

A teenager from Brighton has died after he was punched in the head in a fight last night (Saturday 14 April).

Connor Saunders, 19, of Downsway, Woodingdean, was attacked in West Street, Rottingdean, between 10.30pm and 11pm.

Sussex Police said that he was hit after “an altercation between two groups” who knew each other.

Three boys – a 13-year-old and two 14-year-olds – were arrested shortly afterwards on suspicion of assault causing grievous bodily harm (GBH).

They have now been arrested on suspicion of murder and remained in custody this afternoon (Sunday 15 April).

Connor, who celebrated his 19th birthday three weeks ago, played County League football for Peacehaven and Telscombe FC where his father Shaun is the manager.

The youngster was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton after the attack but doctors were unable to save him.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick May, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, is leading the investigation.

He said: “Sadly a young man has now died following a serious assault in Rottingdean last night. Read More

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 15th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 43.1 km (26.8 miles), the quake hit at 16:35:44 UTC Sunday 15th April 2012
The epicenter was 173 km (108 miles) ENE from Sendai, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

HALF of all social housing in England goes to people born abroad

British people who have paid their taxes should get priority in the social housing queue over new migrants, David Cameron’s poverty tsar has said.

Frank Field, the senior Labour MP, has called for a shake-up of the way housing is handed out as it emerged that nearly half of all social housing in parts of the country were given to immigrants.

Nearly five million families are languishing on waiting lists for subsidised housing in England.

But in parts of London, which has the most expensive rents and property prices in the country, nearly half the social housing is allocated to foreigners. Read More

San Francisco Yacht Race: One Dead, Four Missing

A sailing boat crew member has died and four others are missing after a powerful wave hit their boat during a race in San Francisco.

The eight-member crew aboard the 38-foot Low Speed Chase were taking part in a yacht race from San Francisco Bay around the Farallon Islands when their craft ran aground.

Seas were running high at 10-12ft when the boat was hit by a bigger wave and the five were washed overboard, coast guard spokesman Levi Read said.

"They turned the boat around to go rescue those people and they got hit by another wave," he added.

A mayday call reporting the accident went out at about 3pm local time.

Coast Guard and National Guard helicopters as well as more boats rescued three crew members who were clinging to rocks, around 300ft from their boat.

The body of the dead crew member was pulled from the water.

Dozens of boats were registered for the Full Crew Farallones Race, running from the St Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay to the islands and back - a 60-mile round trip, Mr Read said.

They were wearing life vests and cold weather gear - equipment that gave rescuers hope in the search for the missing. Read More

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 15th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 65 km (40.4 miles), the quake hit at 14:29:01 UTC Sunday 15th April 2012
The epicenter was 83 km (51 miles) Southeast of Hachinohe, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS - 15th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck South of the Fiji Islands at a depth of 518 km (321.9 miles), the quake hit at 14:05:12 UTC Sunday 15th April 2012
The epicenter was 436 km (270 miles) SSW of Ndoi Island, Fiji
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

TORNADO WARNING ISSUED ADAIR COUNTY IN NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA, BENTON COUNTY & WESTERN WASHINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TULSA OK
942 AM CDT SUN APR 15 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TULSA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHERN ADAIR COUNTY IN NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA
SOUTHWESTERN BENTON COUNTY IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS
WESTERN WASHINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

* UNTIL 1015 AM CDT

* AT 938 AM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS LOCATED 4 MILES SOUTH OF PROCTOR...MOVING NORTHEAST AT
40 MPH. THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM WITH STRONG LOW LEVEL ROTATION...
A TORNADO IS OCCURRING OR COULD FORM AT ANY TIME.

* SOME LOCATIONS IN OR NEAR THE PATH OF THIS STORM INCLUDE...
CHRISTIE...WESTVILLE...CINCINNATI...WATTS AND SILOAM SPRINGS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IF YOU ARE NEAR THE PATH OF THIS STORM...TAKE COVER NOW! IF NO
UNDERGROUND SHELTER IS AVAILABLE MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE
LOWEST FLOOR. MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES SHOULD BE ABANDONED FOR MORE
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. AVOID WINDOWS!

HEAVY RAINFALL MAY OBSCURE THIS TORNADO. TAKE COVER NOW! IF YOU WAIT
TO SEE OR HEAR IT COMING...IT MAY BE TOO LATE TO GET TO A SAFE PLACE. Source

Taliban "spring offensive"

(Reuters) - Afghanistan's Taliban said they launched a spring offensive on Sunday with multiple attacks against Western embassies in the central diplomatic area and at parliament in Kabul, with heavy explosions, rockets and gunfire rattling the city.

The assault, one of the most serious on the capital since U.S.-backed Afghan forces removed the Taliban from power in 2001, highlighted the ability of militants to strike the heavily guarded diplomatic zone even after more than 10 years of war.

"These attacks are the beginning of the spring offensive and we had planned them for months," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters.

Heavy fighting erupted again more than five hours after the Taliban first struck, as dusk was falling over the capital and as mosques were issuing calls to prayer.

The Taliban said the main targets were the German and British embassies and the headquarters of Afghanistan's NATO-led force. Several Afghan members of parliament joined security forces repelling attackers from a roof near the parliament. Read More

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 15th Apr 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 30 km (18.6 miles), the quake hit at 13:57:46 UTC Sunday 15th April 2012
The epicenter was 618 km (383 miles) Southwest from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Five Killed As 120 Twisters Strike MidWest

Five people have been killed after a tornado ripped through a small town in Oklahoma, where many residents were caught unaware because storm sirens failed to sound.

The tornado was one of some 120 twisters reported over the weekend so far in America's Midwest.

Woodward, in the northwest of Oklahoma, was badly damaged in the twister, which struck after midnight, local time.

Reports said two children were among the dead, and one person injured in the storm is believed to be in a critical condition.

The town's mayor, Roscoe Hill, said the tornado hit a mixed area of homes and businesses.

He added it appeared that sirens to warn people of the approaching danger had not worked - even though they had been sounding loudly from storms on Saturday afternoon.

"We had a little tornado earlier... and they blew all the sirens. When this one came in, our sirens weren't working," Mr Hill said.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said there had been some 120 tornado sightings in four US states - Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.

Most were recorded in Kansas, where almost 100 twisters were spotted - including a half-mile-wide tornado close to Wichita. Read More

Secret Service in prostitution scandal



Cartagena, Colombia (CNN) -- A group of Secret Service agents and officers sent to Colombia ahead of President Barack Obama were relieved of duty and returned home amid allegations of misconduct that involved prostitution, according to two U.S. government sources familiar the investigation.

The 11 Secret Service members -- both agents and uniformed officers -- were interviewed Saturday at the agency's Washington headquarters, after which they were placed on administrative leave, Assistant Director Paul Morrissey said in a statement.

They are under investigation after preliminary findings revealed that they brought back several prostitutes to the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, sources told CNN on Saturday. Read More

Afghanistan Attacks in Central Kabul

Indians in Afghanistan safe, New Delhi keeping close watch

All Indians are safe in Afghanistan after heavily-armed Taliban suicide bombers unleashed a wave of coordinated attacks in Kabul and three other cities and the situation is being closely watched by the Indian government.

“Indian Ambassador in Afghanistan Gautam Mukhopadhyay has briefed External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who is presently on a visit to UAE, about the ground situation following the terror strikes,” official sources told PTI.

The sources said all Indians are safe and government was closely watching the situation after explosions and firing rocked different areas in Kabul including at the diplomatic enclave.

The Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said it was in constant touch with the Embassy in Kabul and all Indians are reported to be safe.

“There have been reports of attacks in Kabul and other provinces of Afghanistan. Some of these attacks have taken place close to the diplomatic enclave in Kabul where many Embassies are located. We are in constant touch with our Embassy in Kabul. All Indian citizens are reported to be safe,” it said.

ITBP Director-General Ranjit Sinha said there was no threat to the Indian embassy as it was located three to four km away from the scene of the attack this afternoon by the Taliban gunmen. Read More

Twisters strike Midwestern U.S.

April 15 - A series of violent storms tear through the Midwestern United States, with powerful tornadoes touching down in Oklahoma. Travis Brecher reports

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 15th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 14.7 km (9.1 miles), the quake hit at 12:30:59 UTC Sunday 15th April 2012
The epicenter was 659 km (409 miles) Southwest from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 15th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 12:15:55 UTC Sunday 15th April 2012
The epicenter was 466 km (289 miles) SSW from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Oil contamination fears following warehouse blaze, Scotland

Firefighters fear that oil from the site of a warehouse blaze could contaminate drainage systems.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said on Saturday that there is a threat of oil seeping into nearby drains following Friday night's fire in Lancefield Street, in the Finneston area of Glasgow.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency is now monitoring the situation and inspectors from Glasgow City Council's building control team are also at the scene.

More than 30 firefighters tackled the fire at the Alfa Wholesale Grocer which broke out just after 8.30pm on Friday and was only brought under control at around 3.20am on Saturday.

An investigation is underway into the cause of the fire, which created plumes of black smoke seen billowing from the premises. Read More

Coordinated suicide attacks rock Afghanistan

KABUL — Suicide bombers struck across Afghanistan in coordinated attacks Sunday, with explosions and gunfire rocking the diplomatic enclave in the capital as militants took over a hotel and tried to enter parliament.

Taliban insurgents claimed the attacks in Kabul with a spokesman saying by mobile phone text message that "a lot of suicide bombers" were involved.

Outside the capital, attackers also targeted government buildings in Logar province, the airport in Jalalabad, and a police facility in the town of Gardez in Paktia province.

Witnesses said suicide bombers had taken over the newly-built Kabul Star hotel, which was reportedly on fire in an area which includes a major US military base, the United Nations office and the presidential palace.

The area was sealed off by security forces.

Several other attackers tried to enter the Afghan parliament but were engaged by security forces and driven back, an official said.

They had taken cover in a building near the parliament and fighting was ongoing, parliamentary media officer Qudratullah Jawid told AFP. Read More

Gunmen attack embassies, parliament in Afghan capital

(Reuters) - Gunmen launched multiple attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday, assaulting Western embassies in the heavily guarded, central diplomatic area and at the parliament in the west, witnesses and officials said.

Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the assault, one of the boldest on the capital since U.S.-backed Afghan forces removed the group from power in 2001.

The Taliban said their main targets were the German and British embassies and the headquarters of Afghanistan's NATO-led force. Taliban fighters had also launched assaults in two provinces, a spokesman for the insurgents said.

"We claim responsibility for these attacks," said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. Read More

Kabul Under Attack With Blasts Near Embassies

The Afghan capital Kabul appears to be under attack, with blasts near Western embassies and reports that militants have tried to enter the parliament building.

The Taliban has apparently claimed responsibility for the assault - adding that a group of armed suicide bombers were targeting Nato's headquarters, parliament and a number of diplomatic residences.

Witnesses said several explosion have happened near the US, British and German embassies and a Nato base.

One report even said a rocket-propelled grenade has hit the residence of the British diplomat in Kabul.

The Foreign Office confirmed in a statement: "There is an ongoing incident in the diplomatic area of Kabul. We are in close contact with embassy staff."

Afghan security forces, who are responsible for the safety of the capital, were scrambling to reinforce areas around the diplomatic enclave of the city centre.

More than 10 explosions in all shook the capital, and heavy gunfire continued to be heard more than 30 minutes after the initial blast.

There are also reports that several gunmen attempted to enter the parliament building, but were driven back by security forces and have taken cover in a nearby building. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 15th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 30.7 km (19.1 miles), the quake hit at 10:36:53 UTC Sunday 15th April 2012
The epicenter was 23 km (14 miles) ENE of Iwaki, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 15th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 15 km (9.3 miles), the quake hit at 10:20:58 UTC Sunday 15th April 2012
The epicenter was 696 km (432 miles) WSW from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 15th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 14.4 km (8.9 miles), the quake hit at 09:50:49 UTC Sunday 15th April 2012
The epicenter was 629 km (391 miles) Southwest from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake FLORES REGION, INDONESIA - 15th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck the Flores Region, Indonesia at a depth of 182 km (113.1 miles), the quake hit at 09:33:05 UTC Sunday 15th April 2012
The epicenter was 106 km (66 miles) ENE from Raba, Sumbawa, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Anders Behring Breivik bent on turning trial into "circus"

(Reuters) - Anti-Islam militant Anders Behring Breivik appears bent on turning a Norwegian court into a "circus" show for his views when he goes on trial on Monday for killing 77 people, reopening wounds in the traditionally tolerant and tranquil nation.

The facts of the case will hardly be at issue; Breivik has proudly admitted bombing the government's headquarters in Oslo last July, killing eight people, before gunning down 69, mostly teenagers, at a summer camp of the ruling Labour Party.

Nevertheless, the "lone wolf" killer intends to deny criminal guilt and subject the country to a trial scheduled to last 10 weeks, during which the court must rule on both his guilt, and his sanity.

"Not only will he explain (his actions), but he will also say he regrets that he didn't go further," said Geir Lippestad, Breivik's defense attorney, urging Norwegians to brace themselves for "tough and demanding" testimony.

Some Norwegians fear Breivik will succeed in making the trial, with about 800 journalists on hand, a platform for anti-immigrant ideas. His defense team has called 29 witnesses, ranging from Islamists to right-wing bloggers, to shed light on his world view. Read More

Rare look into North Korea

April 15 - A Reuters journalist joins an official tour of North Korea, and takes a guided but revealing look at the country's progress. Maxim Duncan reports

Iran, big powers agree - to keep talking

(Reuters) - After a year of sanctions and sabre-rattling over Iran's nuclear programme, negotiators from Tehran and six world powers finally resumed talks and found at least enough common ground to agree to meet again next month.

With threats of war hanging over an already unsettled Middle East, U.S. and other Western diplomats welcomed an Iranian willingness in Istanbul on Saturday to discuss their nuclear activities - something they had refused since early last year.

But though they will meet again, in Baghdad on May 23, they remained poles apart. Iran called for a lifting of sanctions and recognition its uranium enrichment is for purely peaceful ends; the United States demanded urgent action to prove the Islamic Republic is not seeking the potential nuclear arsenal which Washington and ally Israel threaten to eliminate by force.

"While the atmosphere today was positive and good enough to merit a second round, we continue to stress ... that there is urgency for concrete progress and that the window for a diplomatic resolution is closing," said a senior U.S. official. Read More

U.N. monitors due in Syria as violence persists

(Reuters) - Syrian government forces shelled the city of Homs on Sunday and rebels attacked a police station in Aleppo province, resident opposition activists and a rights group said, in more violence four days after a ceasefire was meant to come into effect.

The fighting comes hours before an advance party of United Nations ceasefire monitors is due to arrive in Syria after Russia and China joined the rest of the Security Council on Saturday to authorize their deployment.

"Early this morning we saw a helicopter and a spotter plane fly overhead. Ten minutes later, there was heavy shelling," said Walid al-Fares, an activist living in Khalidiya, one of the neighborhoods where mortars bombs have landed. Read More

Will al Qaeda affiliates exploit Africa crisis?....You mean they haven't already?



(CNN) -- Africa has seen some ugly divorces in recent times: Eritrea and Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan. Now Mali is threatened with partition as a rebellion flares in the north and political uncertainty grips the capital, Bamako. Mali's neighbors and western governments are looking on anxiously as drug traffickers and Islamist groups affiliated with al Qaeda take advantage of the vacuum -- in a region already blighted by hunger, poverty and weak government.

The origins of Mali's collapse are twofold. In January, Tuareg rebels began attacking towns in the vast deserts of northern Mali. Many had recently returned from fighting for Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, bringing guns and vehicles with them. Then, on March 22, there was a coup by mid-ranking officers in Mali's army angry with corruption and the lack of resources for fighting the rebellion.

A vast country of few inhabitants (15 million) and searing desert, Mali lies at an awkward intersection in Africa. To the north is a 1,200 kilometer border with Algeria, to the east Niger with its own restive Tuareg minority, to the west Mauritania. All four countries are dealing with the growing presence of Islamist groups affiliated with al Qaeda. Read More

10 of 23 Egyptian presidential candidates disqualified

Cairo (CNN) -- Ten of the 23 nominees running for president in Egypt -- including Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat el-Shater and former Vice President Omar Suleiman -- have been disqualified and cannot run for the nation's top job, the head of Egypt's executive election committee said Saturday.

The disqualifications are due to "legal irregularities," and the 10 candidates have 48 hours to appeal to the committee, which in turn will respond in 24 hours, Hatem Bagato said.

"Omar Suleiman was banned because he did not collect the 30,000 endorsements from 15 different directorates in Egypt but obtained them from several cities only, which is not legal," Bagato explained.

Bagato added that both el-Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood's No. 1 choice, and Ayman Nour, the head of the Al Ghad party, were disqualified for issues surrounding their unresolved pardons for time in prison.

Alaa Ayad, a campaign spokesman for el-Shater, called the disqualification a "political decision" and said the party's lawyer will appeal it.

"This decision may cause tension on the streets," Ayad said. Read More

Peru Hostages held by Shining Path freed after clashes in Peru

(CNN) -- After battling government forces, a Maoist guerrilla group in Peru has released 36 hostages it captured earlier this week, state media reported Saturday.

Peru's Defense Ministry said that 1,500 government troops had encircled members of the Shining Path in southern Peru, the state-run news agency Andina reported. This action prompted the release of the hostages, who were identified as oil and gas workers.

Masked attackers had kidnapped dozens of workers in the town of Kepashiato early Monday morning, Andina reported earlier. It is not clear if all of the hostages have been released and are now safe.

A police captain was killed and two people were injured during a search operation Thursday, when suspected rebels opened fire on a military helicopter, Peru's government ombudsman said in a statement.

The Maoist guerrillas had demanded $10 million in ransom for the hostages, in addition to explosives and weapons. Read More