Thursday, April 26, 2012

Suicide car bombs hit Nigerian newspaper offices



(Reuters) - Suicide car bombers targeted the offices of Nigerian newspaper This Day in the capital Abuja and northern city of Kaduna on Thursday, killing at least four people in apparently coordinated strikes.


This Day is based in southern Nigeria and is broadly supportive of President Goodluck Jonathan's government - the main target for Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram, which has killed hundreds of people this year in shootings and bombings.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

At around 11 a.m. (1000 GMT) one bomber drove a jeep into the daily's office in Abuja, killing himself and two others, witnesses and the state security service (SSS) said.

At the same time, 140 km (90 miles) north in Kaduna, a car was stopped from getting into This Day's offices and one of the attackers jumped out.

"He was immediately challenged by two gallant Nigerians, following which he threw the bomb at them and it detonated, killing them instantly," the SSS said in a statement. Read More

Judge denies freedom of information request to release Bin Laden photos

WASHINGTON – A federal judge on Thursday denied a request to release photos and video taken of Usama bin Laden during and after a raid in which the terrorist leader was killed by U.S. commandos last year.

In court papers, the Justice Department had said that the images of the deceased bin Laden are classified and are being withheld from the public to avoid inciting violence against Americans overseas and compromising secret systems and techniques used by the CIA and the military.

"The court declines plaintiff's invitation to substitute its own judgment about the national-security risks inherent in releasing these records for that of the executive-branch officials who determined that they should be classified," wrote U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg in rejecting a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group.

The group, which had sought the records under the Freedom of Information Act, filed an appeal on Thursday.

Boasberg said that the Defense Department didn't turn up anything responsive to the FOIA, while the CIA found 52 responsive records. The agency withheld all of them, citing exemptions for classified materials and information specifically exempted by other laws. Read More

TREASURIES-US bonds rise after S&P downgrades Spain

(Reuters) - Treasuries prices rose in Asia on Friday, after Standard & Poor's cut of Spain's credit ratings added to fears about the ability of some European countries to continue financing their debt.

* S&P's cut Spain's ratings by two notches to BBB-plus due to its deteriorating public finances.

* Later on Friday, the U.S. government will release preliminary data on Q1 gross domestic product, which is forecast to show growth at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent, slower than the 3.0 percent in the final last quarter of 2011.

* U.S. data will be in focus after the Fed held policy steady on Wednesday and reiterated its expectation that interest rates would not rise until late 2014. Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank was prepared to do more to aid the U.S. economy if necessary, though his comments did not signal that a third round of quantitative easing was on the way anytime soon. Read More

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NORTH INDIAN OCEAN - 27th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck The North Indian Ocean at a depth of 15.6 km (9.7 miles), the quake hit at 01:40:53 UTC Friday 27th April 2012
The epicenter was 725 km (450 miles) WSW of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWEST OF SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 26th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck Southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 22:16:59 UTC Thursday 26th April 2012
The epicenter was 723 km (449 miles) SSW of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN TURKEY - 26th Apr 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Western Turkey at a depth of 5.8 km (3.6 miles), the quake hit at 22:05:35 UTC Thursday 26th April 2012
The epicenter was 51 km (31 miles) NNW of Usak, Turkey
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.5 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 26th Apr 2012

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 26. km (16.2 miles), the quake hit at 19:21:45 UTC Thursday 26th April 2012
The epicenter was 329 km (204 miles) SSW of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION - 26th Apr 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck Hokkaido, Japan at a depth of 69 km (42.7 miles), the quake hit at 18:41:22 UTC Thursday 26th April 2012
The epicenter was 62 km (38.4 miles) Northeast of Mutsu, Hokkaido, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Bird flu feared in Ang Thong, Thailand after hundreds possibly Thousands Storks have died mysteriously

Hundreds and possibly thousands of open-billed storks have died mysteriously in Ang Thong, triggering fear of a new outbreak of bird flu.

The birds were found dead in open ground behind a deserted factory by the side of the Chamlong-Nong Jik road in tambon Chamlong in Sawangha district after residents noticed that the animals looked drowsy and lay around on the ground, causing a bad stench in the air, the kamnan of Chamlong, Suebsak Waewkaew, said.

Residents alerted authorities who inspect the site twice and then went away, Mr Suebsak said.

He demanded the authorities collect samples of the birds’ remains and move quickly to identify the cause of the mass deaths as residents living nearby were worried that bird flu might be involved. Read More

18 of poisoned children in Kyustendil released from hospital, Bulgaria

Kyustendil. 18 of the children hospitalised with poisoning in the town of Kyustendil have been released, Mayor of Kyustendil Petar Paunov announced for FOCUS News Agency.

At around 10 p.m. on Wednesday the Emergency Room in Kyustendil received 18 children with vomiting. The children are of first to third grade. Later on, 15 more children were received at the E.R. They are from schools from Sofia, Lozen and Kostinbrob, and were on a green school at a spa centre.

“At 11 p.m. I received a signal from the parents of some of the children and I went to the hospital immediately. The first symptoms were detected at around 22 p.m. yesterday. There were 18 children hospitalised already. There was a full coordination at the spot among the management of the hospital where the emergency room is, the management of the local structure of the food safety agency and the regional health inspectorate. Authorities have already taken samples of the vomiting of the children and the food offered at the hotel,” the mayor explained.

Paunov assured that the current state of the children is not worrying and almost half of them are already ready to be released from hospital. Source

Strange jellyfish-like creatures shut down Diablo Canyon Nuclear reactor, California

Strange, jellyfish-like creatures swarming a coastal nuclear power plant: It might sound like the premise of a cult horror flick, but the invasion has prompted officials at the Diablo Canyon facility in San Luis Obispo to curtail operations for at least a few days.

The plant's operator, Pacific Gas & Electric, cut power generation from one of the plant's two reactors to 25% of its capacity, spokesman Tom Cuddy said Wednesday. The other reactor was shut down this week for what PG&E described as routine refueling and maintenance, a procedure that could take about a month.

Workers on Monday discovered an influx of the creatures, called salp, clogging screens that are used to keep marine life out of the seawater used as a coolant, Cuddy said. Often thronging many square miles of ocean in huge, gelatinous masses, salp are tubular, transparent organisms that can be roughly the size of a human thumb. No one knows how many are at the Avila Beach plant or how long they will remain.

"We'll continue to monitor the intake structure and clean the salp off the screens," Cuddy said. "Once they decide to move on and it's safe to do so, we'll resume full power."
That could take several days, he said, but no blackouts or interruptions are anticipated. Read More

Two flooding evacuation alerts in BC, Canada

KIMBERLEY (NEWS1130) - Evacuation alerts have been issued near both Princeton and Kimberley. They are the result of the first major flooding in BC this year. Warm weather and a high snow pack are likely to blame.

Kimberley Mayor Ron McRae says water from two creeks rose rapidly and spilled into a neighbourhood, flooding basements and some living areas.

"We're looking at roughly eight properties where about 19 or 20 individuals have chosen to leave," explains McRae. "Certainly we do have some damage."

Forty homes are under the evacuation alert in the Morrison Subdivision. Crews have sandbagged the area and have been attempting to pump the water out. Water levels have slightly receded and evacuees are currently being housed at the city's curling club.

Shortly before 5 p.m., another evacuation alert was issued, this time for Tulameen by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. The community is located north of Princeton.

Residents are being told to be ready to evacuate due to rising ground water because of the spring thaw. Read More

James Speidel 'cut natural gas line to kill his wife and their four children as they slept'

A Nike business director allegedly tried to blow up his home by cutting a natural gas line to kill his sleeping wife and their four children.

James Speidel, 36, was arrested on five counts of attempted aggravated murder, five counts of attempted assault and attempted arson.

His deadly plan was foiled by his wife Laura, 38, who smelt a strong natural gas odour at the Washington County, Oregon, home at 7.30 a.m. Tuesday.

Fearful, she fled the house with her three sons and one daughter, aged between three and nine, Sgt. Bob Ray with the Washington County Sheriff's office told KGW.com.

Northwest Natural Gas discovered that a gas line outside the home had been cut and a large amount of gas was leaking under the house.

The line had been placed so the gas would fill the crawl space, police said.

The workers encouraged the woman to call the sheriff's office, who noted the gas line looked as if it had been cut on purpose, Ray added.

Speidel was found hiding in a field on Tuesday afternoon and was arrested. Read More

Chinese sewer transformed into a sea of colour after dumping of millions of pill capsules

Environmental officials in China have been left baffled by the mysterious dumping of millions of pill capsules which has left a sewer awash with colour.

The bizarre sight along Zhengshang Road in Zhengzhou, China has seen a 900ft ditch transformed into a luminous rainbow of colour thanks to the mountains of green and blue pill capsules strewn inside.

The sight is all the more remarkable given there are reportedly no pharmaceutical factories nearby and resident are generally baffled as to where the capsules came from.

It is thought the dumping of capsules could be the work of medicine factories trying to avoid a government crackdown over public health fears.

Some of the capsules are made with industrial grade gelatin containing high levels of chromium, which could cause cancer or organ failure of they come into human consumption. Read More

Alton Hayes III admits beating and robbing white man WAS 'revenge' for Trayvon Martin death.....Racist criminal uses Dead Kid to Justify his Actions

A black teenager has told police he punched a white man to the ground and robbed him because he was angry about the Trayvon Martin case.

Alton Hayes III said he smashed his 19-year-old victim to a Chicago suburb road after pinning his arms to the side and threatening him with a tree branch.

Alongside a 15-year-old black accomplice, who cannot be named as he is a juvenile, he screamed at the man to 'empty your pockets, white boy'.

He then battered his victim, who he chose purely because he was white, on his back and head.

MyFoxChicago said Hayes told police his motive for the 1am, April 17 crime, was his anger over the death of Trayvon Martin.

Hayes has been charged with attempted robbery, aggravated battery and a hate crime. His teenage comrade was referred to juvenile court. Read More

Teenage boy, 15, arrested on suspicion of raping schoolgirl, 8, and gouging out her eyes in horrific sex attack, South Africa

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested after allegedly raping an eight-year-old schoolboy and gouging out one of her eyes, it emerged today.

The horrific attack saw the young girl subjected to a brutal sex attack, as well as being bitten and gouged on her way home from school in Gingindlovu, near Durban, South Africa.

Police said they believed the youngster dragged the young girl into a sugar field and subjected her to a brutal sex attack before gouging out her left eye and attempting to gouge out the other.

It is also thought the teenager tried to strangle the young girl while her grandmother waited for her to return home on Monday afternoon.

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said: 'The suspect attempted to murder her by strangling her with his hands.

'He gouged her left eye out the socket and tried but failed with the right eye which was left swollen shut.

'She was bleeding profusely from both eyes.

'The suspect also bit her in the neck, raped her and left her lying helplessly on the ground.

'The victim was rushed off to the clinic from where she was subsequently transferred to a nearby hospital. She is in a serious but stable condition. Read More