Tuesday, April 17, 2012

As bomber openly walks the streets, what WAS the point of doing freedom deal in secret?

The convicted terrorist released from prison early after becoming an Al Qaeda supergrass has made a mockery of the secret arrangement by flaunting his freedom, it emerged yesterday.

Saajid Muhammad Badat, 33, jailed for 13 years for plotting to blow up a transatlantic jet, has been seen in his home city of Gloucester ‘loads of times’ since he was set free two years ago.

Incredibly, he even sought a character reference from a local councillor, tried to land a job as a children’s sport coach and wants to advise youngsters on the dangers of being brainwashed by extremists.

Under the terms of his controversial release, probation officers stopped monitoring him a year ago and he is a free man.

The revelations intensified the row over Badat being secretly let out of jail in March 2010. His early release was revealed by Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service only on Monday.

A key issue justifying the clandestine court proceedings which paved the way for the former grammar school boy’s freedom was the ‘personal safety’ of Badat.

Officials were concerned that he could be at risk because he had agreed to testify against a suspected terrorist in the U.S.

Yet the former Islamic fundamentalist, who planned to blow up a plane in a co-ordinated attack with fellow Briton Richard Reid in December 2001, turned down the offer of a new identity and has made no effort to disguise the fact he is back on the streets. Read More

Revealed; Official1959 fears from U.S. and UK over President Obama's 'anti-American' and 'anti-white' father

In his three years as U.S. president, Barack Obama has been dogged by claims he is not patriotic enough.

Last year he even had to publish his birth certificate to silence doubters who suggested he was not born an American.

Now it emerges that similar fears were expressed about his father, who was categorised with others as ‘anti-American and anti-white’ when he moved to the United States in 1959.

Mr Obama Snr had grown up in Kenya under British rule and aroused the fears of both colonial officers and American officials when he won a chance to study in Hawaii. The officials felt Kenyan students were ‘academically inferior’ with a ‘bad reputation’ for turning anti-American.

A memo from a British diplomat in Washington to Whitehall – released today by the National Archives in West London – sets out their concerns about the young Kenyans.

Dated September 1, 1959, it says: ‘I have discussed with the State Department. They are as disturbed about these developments as we are. They point out that Kenya students have a bad reputation over here for falling into the wrong hands and for becoming both anti-American and anti-white.’

In one of the Foreign Office files, the future president’s father appears on a list of Kenyan students as ‘OBAMA, Barack H’ – they shared the same name. Read More

Second World War airbrushed from European history at a £44m museum... As Spain teeters on the brink, eurocrats are spending like never before

** £7m TV propaganda channel in 22 languages
** £18m visitor centre
** £44m museum

One thing that symbolises the European elite’s sense of delusion as they cling to the dream of an unviable single currency is the grandiose decision to build a House Of European History.

At a cost of £44 million, eurocrats have invested in this project, which is intended to promote ‘an awareness of European identity’.

There is one problem, though. The governments of the EU countries are unable to agree over fundamental aspects of the showcase museum in Brussels.

They have been arguing, for example, over diverging interpretations of events such as World War II — which EU enthusiasts risibly call the ‘European Civil War’.

Farcically, it’s been decided to omit any exhibit on which agreement cannot be reached.

And because of their differing views about World War II, the museum will begin with an EU ‘year zero’ of 1946.

Martin Callanan, the European Conservatives’ group leader in Brussels, has highlighted the madness of such a narcissistic project — particularly when Europe is in a deep economic crisis.

‘The European Parliament should not be in the business of running museums,’ he says. ‘Even in good times, the money would be a waste, but during these hard times it is scandalous. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 18th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the Izu Islands, Japan Region at a depth of 38.4 km (23.9 miles), the quake hit at 02:50:24 UTC Wednesday 18th April 2012
The epicenter was 218 km (135 miles) North of Chichi-shima, Bonin Islands, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake Panama - 18th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Panama at a depth of 10.7 km (6.6 miles), the quake hit at 01:43:21 UTC Wednesday 18th April 2012
The epicenter was 45 km (27 miles) WSW of Las Tablas, Panama
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake VANUATU - 18th Apr 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck Vanuatu at a depth of 204.1 km (126.8 miles), the quake hit at 01:18:38 UTC Wednesday 18th April 2012
The epicenter was 249 km (154 miles) North of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake NORTH INDIAN OCEAN - 18th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the North Indian Ocean, Indonesia at a depth of 14.9 km (9.3 miles), the quake hit at 01:15:15 UTC Wednesday 18th April 2012
The epicenter was 714 km (443 miles) WSW from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN TURKEY - 17th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Western Turkey at a depth of 7 km (4.3 miles), the quake hit at 20:45:17 UTC Tuesday 17th April 2012
The epicenter was 10 km (6.2 miles) Northwest of Saphane, Turkey
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - 17th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck offshore Northern California at a depth of 19.8 km (12.3 miles), the quake hit at 20:31:35 UTC Tuesday 17th April 2012
The epicenter was 26 km (16 miles) WSW from Trinidad, California
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

North Korea warns US over broken nuclear-food deal

PYONGYANG: A spokesman for North Korea's foreign ministry has accused the US of "overt acts of enmity" after the suspension of a nuclear deal between the countries.

In a statement released on Tuesday through state media, the spokesman warned that North Korea will take countermeasures following the breakdown of the deal, in which the US agreed to provide much-needed food aid in exchange for a moratorium on the North's nuclear and missile activity.

Washington suspended the February deal after North Korea fired a long-range rocket last Friday.

North Korea insists it was a peaceful bid to launch a satellite but the UN Security Council condemned it as a violation of resolutions banning Pyongyang from nuclear and missile activity and said it will strengthen sanctions against the North. Source

Syria peace stymied by 'outside forces," Russia says



(CNN) -- Russia's top diplomat took a shot at the Western and Arab attempts to bring democratic change to Syria Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov singled out the Friends of the Syrian People, a coalition of dozens of nations led by the United States and the Arab League calling for tough action against the Damascus regime.

"There are outside forces that are not interested in the success of the current U.N. Security Council efforts," Lavrov told reporters. "They are trying everything possible to substitute the Security Council with various unofficial formats such as the 'Friends of Syria' or some other forms.

"And (they are trying), with everything possible, to influence the Syrian opposition so that it doesn't work with the government in maintaining a cease-fire and setting up future dialogue." Read More

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 17th Apr 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 12 km (7.4 miles), the quake hit at 19:45:36 UTC Tuesday 17th April 2012
The epicenter was 445 km (276 miles) Southwest from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Madeleine McCann:specialist unit are said to have been mobilised after 'lookalike' is spotted in Nerja, Malaga

The Madeleine McCann mystery took a new twist today as it emerged that Spanish police are looking for the missing girl in a Costa del Sol holiday resort

Detectives are making inquiries in Nerja after a tip-off from colleagues in Portugal.

Portuguese police are understood to have received information from an informant about a Madeleine McCann lookalike spotted in the town near Malaga.

Officers from a specialist unit are said to have been mobilised after being sent details of the sighting. Read More

Mutant-flu researcher plans to publish even without permission from Dutch Government

Virologist plans to defy Dutch government over export permit requirement for avian flu paper.

Ron Fouchier, a researcher at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, whose work on H5N1 avian flu virus has been at the centre of controversy, says that he is prepared to defy government demands and submit the work to Science without seeking the export permit that the Dutch government says is required.

A government official says that such an action could incur penalties including up to six years' imprisonment.

Fouchier’s paper is one of two reporting the creation of forms of the H5N1 virus capable of spreading between mammals. The other, by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his colleagues, has been submitted to Nature.

In December, the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) said that experimental details of the two studies should be redacted from any publications, on the basis of concerns that the information could be used by bioterrorists. Read More

Captain seeks to save whales snared in fishing nets



(CBS News) Deep-sea fishermen are not usually looking to land a whale. But the fishing line and nets they leave behind are often blamed for a huge loss of ocean life.

According to one estimate, abandoned fishing gear kills more than 300,000 whales and dolphins every year.

However, one man is trying to turn that around. On Captain Dave Anderson's whale watching boat, the mission goes beyond giving tourists an adventure. It also might be called "mission nearly impossible." Anderson hunts for whales tangled in old fishing nets.

Anderson told CBS News, "The problem with fishing gear is that it is really hard to see."

Though almost invisible, fishing nets can injure or even kill a 150-ton whale.

Anderson explained to his whale watching group, "The gill nets are like a curtain - a curtain of death." Read More

6.2 Magnitude Earthquake EAST OF THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS - 17th Apr 2012

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck East of the South Sandwich Islands at a depth of 1 km (0.6 miles), the quake hit at 19:03:55 UTC Tuesday 17th April 2012
The epicenter was 2677 km (1663 miles) Southeast from STANLEY, Falkland Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Over 100 sperm whales gather in Kalpitiya, onlookers puzzled

An aggregation of over 100 Sperm Whales in seas around Kalpitiya left many onlooker puzzle. This unusually large aggregation

was first recorded around Bar Reef area of Kalpitiya. Upali Mallikarachchi of Marine & Coastal Resources Conservation Foundation who witnessed the large gathering last weekend said these Whales were seen swimming toward North on Saturday.

Whales are capable of sensing sound from underwater and there is also speculation that the sound waves and shock waves
generated by the underwater earthquake last week could trigger this sudden aggregation. Another phenomenon is that underwater drilling that has been done for oil exploration too could have an impact

The whales eventually dispersed by breaking into few groups, said naturalists who had gone to observe this unusual gathering. Read More

Santorini's underwater volcano activity resumes

(AGI) Washington - Santorini's volcanic basin is showing signs of resumed volcanic activity. According to researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, satellite research tools suggest that a build-up of some 14m cubic metres of lava at a depth of 5km took place between September and January last.

Widely touted by academics as the cause of the Minoan civilisation's obliteration, what is left of the volcano - a small archipelago - last witnessed significant geological activity in January of 2011. Having published his findings in the latest issue of Geophysical Research Letters, the Institute's Andrew Newman says "our research shows that the lava build-up is accelerating," suggesting that even though the build-up may not indicate an imminent eruption, it may cause minor volcanic events, including ash fall-out, landslides and even tsunami type phenomena. . . Source

Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano showing signs of Activity

MEXICO CITY (CNN) -
Scientists recorded continuing volcanic activity Tuesday in Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano, which sits just southeast of Mexico City and its more than 19 million residents.

Local government officials and residents began taking precautions, with schools in the zone near the volcano closing Tuesday and the government advising residents to close windows and avoid the outdoors.

Activity had decreased in Popocatepetl overnight, but eight exhalations of low intensity were recorded, Mexico's National Center for the Prevention of Disasters said.

A low amplitude tremor lasting 40 minutes early Tuesday morning was also felt, the agency said.

Officials placed the alert at Popocatepetl -- which means "Smoking Mountain" in the native Nahuatl language -- at Yellow Level 3. This means there is a probability of explosive activity of an intermediate to high scale, an eruption of lava and a spewing of ash.

A glow was visible inside the crater overnight, the agency said. Read More

Salecia Johnson Handcuffed by the Police at Creekside Elementary School, Georgia...She is just SIX years old

Police in the US have handcuffed a six-year-old girl after she threw a tantrum at school.

The family of Salecia Johnson demanded that the Georgia city of Milledgeville change policy so that other children are not treated the same way.

Salecia was accused of tearing items off the walls and throwing furniture in an outburst at Creekside Elementary School. Police said she knocked over a shelf that injured the principal.

Police said when an officer tried to calm the child in the principal's office, she resisted and was handcuffed. The girl was charged with simple assault and damage to property.

Police Chief Dray Swicord said the department's policy is to handcuff people in certain situations.

"Our policy states that any detainee transported to our station in a patrol vehicle is to be handcuffed in the back and there is no age discrimination on that rule," he said. Read More

state veterans' home in Rocky Hill, Connecticut: 18 veterans to the hospital on Monday, with six being diagnosed with a "special" strain of flu

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTW) — An outbreak of influenza at the state veterans' home in Rocky Hill sent 18 veterans to the hospital on Monday, with six being diagnosed with a special strain of flu.

State Veterans' Affairs Commissioner Linda Schwartz told The Associated Press that the veterans were taken to Hartford Hospital after a number began complaining of flu-like symptoms. The 18 men live at the Connecticut State Veterans Home in either the Sgt. John L. Levitow Veteran's Health Center or a residential facility.

The six diagnosed veterans came from the health care facility and Schwartz said they were in stable condition. She was uncertain how long they will remain under observation at the hospital, saying it will depend on how they respond to treatment.

"We haven't heard anything terrible," she said of their current condition. "It's the respiratory kind. Many of our veterans are frail and elderly, so it's very risky." Read More

Building collapses in Moscow killing one

Image: © RIA Novosti. Vladimir Astapkovich

An illegally constructed building collapsed early on Tuesday morning in Moscow injuring 10 and leaving one dead.

The seven-story building near the Nagatinskaya Poima region in southern Moscow folded like a house of cards on the territory of the Greifer factory.

The resulting pile of debris is 10 meters high, and the total area of the collapsed building is 2,500 square meters.

“Overall, 12 construction workers were removed from under the debris, one of them died, one declined hospitalisation, and 10 were taken to a hospital,” deputy head of Moscow Emercom emergency services division, Ilya Denisov, told Interfax. “They suffered injuries from being crushed – head injuries and eye injuries. The collapsed construction was inspected, no more injured were found.” Read More

Shiveluch volcano Spews Ash to 9,500 Meters, Russia

Russia's northernmost active volcano is churning out ash to a height of 9,500 meters (over 31,000 feet) in the country's Far East, local scientists reported on Tuesday.

The 3,283-meter (10,771-foot) Shiveluch volcano increased activity in May 2009 and has been periodically spewing ash from three to ten kilometers.

“A powerful eruption of ashes took place 05.59 a.m. local time [17:59 GMT on Monday], a source at the Far Eastern Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

The official said the column of ashes could be clearly seen from a distance of 40 kilometers spreading to the east.

“It is the most powerful eruption this year,” the expert said. Read More

Northville school sends out tuberculosis alert

Northville — As many as 400 students and staff at Northville High School may have come in close contact with a student who has an active case of tuberculosis.

A female student at the school was diagnosed with the contagious disease two weeks ago, and the school has alerted families about the possibility of the bacteria spreading.

The infected student is expected to recover, said Dr. Mouhanad Hammami, chief of health operations for Wayne County.

"We contacted the school administration and the school superintendent and informed them that we would like to contact the parents of these students to ask for their consent to test them," Hammami said. "We just want to make sure that due diligence is done."

The school sent an email to all parents alerting them of the case, Northville Public School Superintendent Mary Kay Gallagher said.

Some parents also received a letter in the mail warning that their children may have a higher risk of exposure.

Wayne County health department staff members will go to the high school to perform free skin tests next Monday and Tuesday for those with a higher chance of exposure. Read More

Toronto reports first case of human rabies since 1931

TORONTO — Toronto has reported its first case of human rabies in 81 years, in an unidentified person who may have become infected during travel outside the country.

Toronto Public Health won't reveal the gender or age of the individual or say where and when the person had been travelling.

Dr. Elizabeth Rae, associate medical officer of health for the city of Toronto said officials in an unnamed country have been notified of the case so that they can investigate whether the person's contacts there need to be given treatment to prevent rabies.

People exposed or believed to have been exposed to rabies are given a combination of rabies shots and human rabies immune globulin, antibodies taken from the blood of people immunized against rabies.

Toronto Public Health is interviewing close contacts of the person and hospital staff who treated him or her before the diagnosis of rabies was made.

"We're still in the middle of those moving numbers. But I can tell you all told, the number of people that even need to be screened to find out if there's a problem is probably going to be under 75," Rae said.

The investigation isn't helped by the fact that it isn't known how the person contracted the rabies virus, which is almost always fatal. By the time the diagnosis was made, the person was too ill to help in the investigation, Rae suggested. Read More

150 schoolgirls poisoned by right-wing Afghans opposed to educating women

Officials, fearful of retribution, stopped short of naming group responsible

Conservative Afghan radicals opposed to education for women poisoned 150 schoolgirls by dosing jugs of water at their high school, authorities said.

Some of the girls were in critical condition after the poisoning, while others were treated and released at a hospital in the province of Takhar. The poison left the girls with headaches and nausea.

“We are 100% sure that the water they drunk inside their classes was poisoned,” said Jan Mohammad Nabizada, an education department spokesman.

“This is either the work of those who are against girls’ education or irresponsible armed individuals.”

But officials, fearful of retribution, stopped short of naming any group as responsible for the attack. Authorities determined the jugs of water were poisoned because the school’s main water tank was clean. Read More

Shuttle zooms past Washington monuments

April 17 - Space shuttle Discovery makes its final journey, piggybacking on a 747 jet over the U.S. capital.

Bo backed, then blocked wife's murder probe

(Reuters) - Chinese politician Bo Xilai initially agreed to a police probe of his wife's role in the murder of a British businessman before abruptly reversing course and demoting his police chief, causing upheavals that led to the downfall of both men, sources said.

The sources' account gives new details of the dramatic breakdown in relations between Bo, an ambitious leader who cast himself as the crime-fighting boss of Chongqing, China's biggest municipality, and his once trusted police chief, Wang Lijun.

Reuters reported on Monday that Briton Neil Heywood was poisoned last November after he threatened to expose a plan by Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, to move money abroad.

The scandal is potentially the most divisive the Communist Party has faced since Zhao Ziyang was sacked as Party chief in 1989 for opposing the brutal army crackdown on student-led demonstrations for democracy centered on Tiananmen Square in Beijing that year.

Before his fall, Bo, 62, was widely seen as a contender for a post in China's top leadership committee, which will be decided later this year. Read More

U.N. sees need for more Syria observers (its own aircraft and deploy more troops)

(Reuters) - A United Nations mission to oversee an end to violence in Syria may need to bring in its own aircraft and deploy more troops to ensure that a firm ceasefire takes hold throughout the country, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday.

The six-day-old truce has held in some parts of Syria since President Bashar al-Assad pledged to enforce it last week. But in strong opposition areas such as Homs, Hama, Idlib and Deraa the army continues to attack and battle rebels, using heavy weapons in violation of the pledge by Damascus to pull back.

After negotiations led by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan acting as envoy of the United Nations and Arab League, Assad's government has agreed to allow a small U.N. force to monitor the ceasefire.

But the planned 250-strong mission is a fraction of the size of U.N. peacekeeping forces sent to other conflicts, raising doubt among Assad's opponents about whether it can be effective or will serve as a figleaf substitute for more robust action. Read More

Stung by gas prices, Obama seeks new oil market crackdown

(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama, whose political fortunes are threatened by rising gasoline prices, proposed new measures on Tuesday to reduce oil market manipulation that are unlikely to get support from a divided Congress.

Obama called on lawmakers to raise civil and criminal penalties on individuals and companies involved in manipulative practices.

He also pressed for more money to fund the agency charged with policing the markets to hire "more cops" for oversight and upgrade old technology.

Republicans, who blame Obama's energy policies for high gasoline prices, called the effort a political gimmick.

"We can't afford a situation where speculators artificially manipulate markets by buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage, and driving prices higher, only to flip the oil for a quick profit," Obama said in the White House Rose Garden.

"We should strengthen protections for American consumers, not gut them," he said. Read More

World economy fragile, faces "uneasy calm": IMF

(Reuters) - Global growth is slowly improving as the U.S. recovery gains traction and dangers from Europe recede, but risks remain high and the situation is very fragile, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

Another flare-up of the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis or sharp escalation in oil prices on geopolitical uncertainty could disrupt a world economy finding its feet once again after market turmoil over euro-zone budget deficits, the IMF said.

"An uneasy calm remains. One has the feeling that at any moment things could well get very bad again," IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard told reporters as he detailed the Fund's World Economic Outlook.

"Our baseline forecast is for low growth in advanced countries, especially in Europe, but with downside risks being extremely present," he said.

The IMF revised upward its global growth forecast for this year to 3.5 percent from 3.3 percent in January, and to 4.1 percent for 2013 from 3.9 percent previously. Read More

Incensed Spain threatens Argentina after YPF seizure



(Reuters) - An incensed Spain threatened swift economic retaliation against Argentina on Tuesday after it announced plans to seize YPF, the South American nation's biggest oil company, in a move which pushed down shares in Spanish energy giant Repsol, the controlling shareholder.

Madrid called in the Argentine ambassador in a rapidly escalating row over the nationalization order by Argentina's populist and increasingly assertive president, Cristina Fernandez, a move which delighted many of her compatriots but alarmed some foreign governments and investors.

Promising action in the coming days, Spanish industry minister Jose Manuel Soria said: "With this attitude, this hostility from the Argentine authorities, there will be consequences that we'll see over the next few days. They will be in the diplomatic field, the industrial field, and on energy."

"Argentina has shot itself in the foot," said Foreign Minister Jose Manual Garcia-Margallo.

Despite the rhetoric, Spain appeared to have little leverage over Buenos Aires - any action to be taken will be determined at a cabinet meeting on Friday - and Argentina has proven impervious to such pressure in the past. Read More

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 17th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 17:06:37 UTC Tuesday 17th April 2012
The epicenter was 452 km (280.2 miles) Southwest from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 17th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 15:29:29 UTC Tuesday 17th April 2012
The epicenter was 258 km (161 miles) Southwest from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN - 17th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan at a depth of 210.6 km (130.9 miles), the quake hit at 15:15:58 UTC Tuesday 17th April 2012
The epicenter was 78 km (48 miles) SSW of Faizabad, Afghanistan
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 17th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 60 km (37.3 miles), the quake hit at 14:29:48 UTC Tuesday 17th April 2012
The epicenter was 137 km (85 miles) ENE of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

India set to test long-distance missile......Ooooh! So good for one not the Other

New Delhi (CNN) -- India plans the maiden test flight this week of its longest-range nuclear-capable missile, which can travel more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles), military officials said.

The Agni V rocket could be launched between Wednesday and Friday, said Ravi Gupta, the spokesman for the country's Defense Research and Development Organization.

"It's the most advanced missile so far," he said.

In November, India successfully tested the fourth version of Agni, meaning "fire" in Hindi, with a range of 3,500 km. Built years earlier, Agni I could travel 700 km, according to Indian defense authorities.

India says that it pursues no aggressive designs and that its military program is based on building a credible minimum deterrent with a "no-first-use" policy.

"Our missiles are purely for deterrence," said Gupta. (we Believe you!! but then again we also believe Obama is American.... Oh Shoot we don't)

Read More

Egypt's presidential race in turmoil

Australia to withdraw troops from Afghanistan earlier than expected


(CNN) -- Australian troops could begin pulling out of Afghanistan in the coming months and may leave the country almost entirely by the end of next year, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Tuesday.

It's the latest announcement of international troop drawdowns in Afghanistan, a trend that signals the coalition's confidence in the country's fighting forces, the transition to Afghan security control, and the war's growing unpopularity in the countries that contribute troops.

Australia's move would mean that most of the more than 1,500 Australian soldiers in Afghanistan could leave a year earlier than the government had previously suggested.

"We continue to see steady gains in the fight against the Afghan insurgency," Gillard said in a speech in Canberra, suggesting that the strategy of international forces in the country had led to "security gains over the past year and a half." Read More

Glaciers in western Himalayas bucking global melting trend

(CNN) -- A heavily glaciated region of the Himalayas is bucking the trend of global ice loss and showing small signs of increasing in mass, according to a new study.

Data examining six regions in the Karakoram mountains in the western Himalayas, which contains 7,700 square miles (nearly 20,000 square kilometers) of glaciers, revealed more than half of them are either stable or have been advancing in recent years.

French scientists observed the size and shape of ice covering 2,168 square miles (5,615 square kilometers) in central Karakoram using satellite data from the Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (STRM) and the Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT5).

Between 1999 and 2008 the glaciers gained, on average, the water equivalent of around 11 centimeters a year, according to the study published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Read More

Violent clashes ahead of Bahrain GP.......Still look calm Bernie?

Discontent amongst DPJ members grows over restart of Oi nuclear power plant

Disagreement amongst Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) members has grown after the administration asked local governments to restart the number 3 and 4 reactors at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture.

In particular, discontent has mounted against a group of five -- acting policy chief Yoshito Sengoku, who led the request for the plant reactivation, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano, minister in charge of nuclear plant accidents Goshi Hosono, minister in charge of national strategy Motohisa Furukawa, and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tsuyoshi Saito -- with Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi trying to calm the party down.

"I have consistently sat in on minister meetings (on nuclear power plant reactivation) as an observer of the party, and as there is much information I explained it to those of the Fukui Prefecture (DPJ) group," said Sengoku on April 16 in a speech at a forum held by the Mainichi Newspapers in Nagoya, explaining his visit to Fukui Prefecture on April 14 as acting separately from Edano, who requested the plant reactivation that day. Read More

Darrell Desuze Jailed for Just 8 Years for Killing Pensioner Richard Mannington Bowes during 2011 London Riots



Darrell Desuze who killed pensioner Richard Mannington Bowes during last year's riots in London has been sentenced to eight years in jail.

His mother Lavinia Desuze, 31, was jailed for 18 months at the same court for perverting the course of justice by cutting up his clothes.

Desuze, 17, punched the elderly man to the ground as disturbances swept the country on August 8 last year.

Mr Bowes, who had been trying to put out a fire in a dustbin near his home in Ealing, west London, suffered brain damage and died three days later in hospital.

Desuze was caught on camera kicking in the glass doors of a shopping centre before joining a mob that attacked heavily outnumbered police with missiles.

Wearing sunglasses and a distinctive top saying 'Robbers and Villains', he threw his full weight behind a punch to Mr Bowes' jaw, buckling his legs and knocking him unconscious. Read More

IMF: Euro Break-up Cannot Be Ruled Out....First Abu Qatada Arrested now this....Day just keeps on getting Better!

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has for the first time accepted the prospect of the euro breaking up.

In its flagship economic survey of the world economy, the IMF acknowledged that there were fundamental "flaws" in the design of the single currency and said that one prospective "tail risk" is a "disorderly default and exit by a euro area member".

It is the first time the IMF has openly contemplated such an outcome.

Its previous forecasts disregarded such a scenario, and its managing director, Christine Lagarde, said earlier this month that it had no agenda to see the euro collapse. Read More

Qatada Arrested As Deportation Is Prepared



Radical cleric Abu Qatada has been taken into custody and proceedings to have him deported to Jordan are under way.

The Home Office has confirmed it is now preparing to have Qatada sent home to face trial for terrorism offences after years of fighting for his deportation.

Qatada, once described by a judge as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, was arrested by officers from the UK Border Agency at his home in London.

He has been informed the intention is to deport him to Jordan on or around April 30.

A Home Office spokesman said: "UK Border Agency officers have today arrested Abu Qatada and told him that we intend to resume deportation proceedings against him."

Sky's deputy political editor Joey Jones said the move must mean the government is confident it has the assurances it requires from Jordan about his future trial.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in January that the cleric could not be sent back without promises evidence gained through torture would not be used. Read More

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 17th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 26.2 km (16.3 miles), the quake hit at 12:29:07 UTC Tuesday 17th April 2012
The epicenter was 20 km (12 miles) ENE of Iwaki, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE COAST OF SOUTHERN PERU - 17th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck near the Coast of Central Peru at a depth of 65.3 km (40.6 miles), the quake hit at 12:26:33 UTC Tuesday 17th April 2012
The epicenter was 67 km (41 miles) Southwest from Puquio, Peru
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Australia Boom And Gloom: Calls To Spread The Wealth



Perth in Western Australia positively gleams as the autumn sunlight bounces off its skyscrapers and luxury waterfront apartments.

No wonder this city sparkles. Perth is at the heart of Australia's booming economy which has avoided recession for two decades.

Australia is one of just over a dozen countries with the top credit ratings from all three of the leading ratings agencies.

Many in Europe and America can only look on with envy.

It is Western Australia's minerals which have largely helped keep the country afloat. Read More