Thursday, May 3, 2012

Russia official warns of pre-emptive strike against U.S.-led Europe missile defense

Moscow rejects Washington's claim that a planned missile defense system is solely to deal with any Iranian missile threat and has voiced fears it will eventually threaten Russia.

Russia's top military officer has threatened to carry out a pre-emptive strike on U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe if Washington goes ahead with its controversial plan to build a missile shield.

President Dmitry Medvedev said last year that Russia will retaliate militarily if it does not reach an agreement with the United States and NATO on the missile defense system.

Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov went even further Thursday. "A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens," he said at an international conference attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov also warned on Thursday that talks between Moscow and Washington on the topic are "close to a dead end." Read More

N Korea has enough uranium for 6 nuclear bombs, warns expert

North Korea has stockpiled enough uranium for six nuclear bombs, an expert has warned.

According to a South Korean nuclear expert North Korea has appeared to have started relying on enrichment activities because of its dwindling stock of plutonium after two rounds of nuclear tests.

The expert's warning came amid growing concerns Pyongyang could be primed for another nuclear test, The Herald Sun reports.

According to the report, in November 2010, North Korea revealed its uranium enrichment plant to US scientist Siegfried Hecker, claiming it was being used for energy development.

The plant was thought to have been operational in 2009, meaning it could have produced enough enriched uranium for up to six bombs.

The South Korean state news agency quoted the expert, as saying that 'if the North Korean claim is true, it could allow the North to make some 88lbs (40kg) of highly enriched uranium per year, enough for one or two atomic weapons.' Read More

US Expresses Support for South Korea Missile Program

Baku-APA. The U.S. Department of State sees no threat in South Korea’s ballistic missile program and is set to continue its support for Seoul’s efforts to boost the country’s defense capabilities, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.

The announcement was made after media reports that South Korea designed ballistic missiles with a range than 300 km.

“We are strongly in support of the defense of South Korea, and that goes without saying that we seek to work productively and constructively with South Korea on meeting their security needs,” Department of State Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner.

However, the U.S. strongly opposes the space program in neighboring North Korea, which it says is a cover for a ballistic missile technology test.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula intensified following Pyongyang’s failed Unha-3 rocket launch which the North said would put a satellite into orbit. South Korean military experts said, citing intelligence data, that North Korea is likely to hold an underground nuclear weapon test soon. Read More

Blind Activist Begs Hillary Clinton For Help

Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has made a dramatic plea to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and American lawmakers from his hospital bed.

Mr Guangcheng phoned in to a congressional hearing to ask for help to travel to America, claiming he fears for his safety.

In bizarre scenes on Capitol Hill, a mobile phone was held up at the hearing as a friend translated from Mandarin into English.

The blind activist, who is currently in hospital in Beijing, told the hearing: "I really am fearing for my family members' lives.

"The thing I'm most concerned with now is the safety of my mother and my brother. I really want to know what's going on with them."

He appealed directly to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is currently in the Chinese capital, asking for talks.

"I want to meet with Secretary Clinton. Read More

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 4th May 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 61.4 km (38.2 miles), the quake hit at 02:54:10 UTC Friday 4th May 2012
The epicenter was 37 km (23 miles) ESE from TOKYO, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 4th May 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck New Britain Region, Papua New Guinea at a depth of 50.1 km (31.1 miles), the quake hit at 02:31:31 UTC Friday 4th May 2012
The epicenter was 139 km (86 miles) South of Rabaul, New Britain, Papua New Guinea
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN TURKEY - 4th May 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck Western Turkey at a depth of 9.1 km (5.7 miles), the quake hit at 02:00:37 UTC Friday 4th May 2012
The epicenter was 51 km (31 miles) NNW of Usak, Turkey
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN TURKEY - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck Western Turkey at a depth of 10.7 km (6.6 miles), the quake hit at 21:45:18 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 45 km (27 miles) NNW of Usak, Turkey
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck the Kuril Islands at a depth of 165.9 km (103.1 miles), the quake hit at 21:20:38 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 283 km (175 miles) Northeast of Kuril'sk, Kuril Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Lioness Tries to Eat Baby......Maybe not a good idea to dress him like a Zebra



High stakes for Obama and Chen Guangcheng

The fate of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng is not yet clear. But that won't stop many from judging that this muddle is of US President Barack Obama's making.

The Obama administration looks like it has been caught on the hop and the embassy is being portrayed by many as either fools or knaves.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says it is a dark day for freedom and a day of shame for the Obama administration.

In some of his numerous telephone interviews, Mr Chen suggests that he feels let down by America. Although he did not say that talking to the BBC.

Elsewhere, he has suggested that he was pretty much forced to leave to save the US embarrassment as important talks get underway.

President Obama's spokesman says it is "not the case" that Mr Chen has been abandoned, adding that talks were still going on with him, his family, and the Chinese government. Read More

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN GREECE - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck Southern Greece at a depth of 2 km (1.2 miles), the quake hit at 19:40:22 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 10 km (6.2 miles) Southwest of Áyios nikólaos, Greece
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NORTH INDIAN OCEAN - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck the North Indian Ocean at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 18:41:20 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 641 km (397.4 miles) Southwest from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Syria: Britain To Blame For Civilian Deaths



Syria's deputy foreign minister has accused Britain of being directly responsible for the deaths of civilians in his country.


Doctor Fayssal Mekdad's accusation was in response to an incident in which a British-Algerian man was killed on the Syrian border.

His family insists he was a documentary film-maker.

Speaking to Sky News foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall, the minister insisted his government has not committed any violations of a UN ceasefire. Source

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5.2 Magnitude Earthquake NORTH OF HONDURAS - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck North of Honduras at a depth of 29 km (18 miles), the quake hit at 18:08:06 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 121 km (75 miles) West of Swan Island
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Russia threatens to strike NATO missile defense sites

Russia’s most senior military officer said Thursday that Moscow would preemptively strike and destroy U.S.-led NATO missile defense sites in Eastern Europe if talks with Washington about the developing system continue to stall.

“A decision to use destructive force preemptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.

The threat comes as talks about the missile defense system, which the U.S. and its allies insist is aimed at Iranian missiles, appear to have stalled.

“We have not been able to find mutually-acceptable solutions at this point and the situation is practically at a dead end,” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said. more

Ukraine denounces 'destructive' Euro boycott

KIEV — Ukraine on Thursday denounced a threatened EU boycott of its Euro 2012 football matches as a "destructive" attempt to politicise sport that will hurt mutual understanding and ties.

The furious statement came moments after the European Union confirmed that all its commissioners would skip next month's football events in the country to protest the treatment of its jailed ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko.

Russia's president-elect Vladimir Putin had earlier in the day attempted to defuse the escalating crisis by offering to receive Tymoshenko for treatment should the Ukrainian authorities agree to let her travel to Russia.

But the suggestion met no immediate response from Kiev and may not be accepted by the 2004 Orange Revolution leader herself. Read More

Donald Trump threatens to sue Scottish authorities if plans to build a wind farm near his Links course go ahead

North Korea jamming South's air traffic navigation

North Korea has been busy for the past week, trying to jam the navigation signals going to civilian aircraft over South Korea, according to reports in South Korean media.

Through Wednesday afternoon, the GPS satellite signals to more than 250 aircraft have been affected, the Chosun Ilbo reported, citing South Korea's Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry.

Planes from Korean Air, Japan Airlines, FedEx, Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways have been affected, Bloomberg news reported, citing the Land Ministry.

The jamming began April 28, according to a report from Dong-A Ilbo.

The planes have been able to use other systems to keep on their courses, according to the reports.

The planes affected were either taking off or landing at Incheon or Gimpo international airports or flying over the central region of the country, according to the reports. Read More

'Dozens killed' in Nigeria market attack

(CNN) -- Thirty-four people were killed and 30 wounded in an attack on a cattle market in Nigeria's northern Yobe state, a government official briefed on the investigation said Thursday.

The attack Wednesday evening appears to have escalated from an initial raid on the market by two suspected robbers, one of them armed, said the official, who did not want to be named for security reasons.

The market traders eventually overpowered the man with the gun and beat him severely before burning him with tires, the official said.

This appears to have angered allies of the two robbers, who then attacked the market with grenades and sporadic shooting, the official said. He noted that the tactics used were similar to those of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

The governor of Yobe is believed to be on his way to the market to see the level of damage, the official said. Read More

Did Obama betray Chen the a Chinese hero?

(CNN) -- When the blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng staged his astonishing escape from house arrest, he sought American protection at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Six days later, when Chen left the embassy for a local hospital, it looked as if U.S. officials had found a solution that, as the State Department put it, "reflected his choices and our values."

One official at the U.S. Embassy said Chen was so grateful for America's help that he told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the phone, "I would like to kiss you."

But the picture is starting to change, with signs emerging that the Obama administration failed to effectively protect Chen.

Did the United States betray the Chinese human rights lawyer?

The United States said a deal with China would set Chen free and allow him to relocate within the country along with his family and attend a university. But Chen has told CNN that the U.S. government let him down. The United States insists the activist left the diplomatic compound willingly and wanted to remain in China. However, Chen said he fears for his life, his wife's safety and wants to leave the country. More troubling, he claims that U.S. officials, instead of extending their protection, pressured him to leave the safety of the embassy.

If this is true, it is a dark mark of shame for the United States. Until now, President Obama had a mixed record on human rights. This was an important test for an administration that has favored pragmatism over emotionally satisfying displays. Source

4 minors suspected in South Africa gang rape released on bail



Johannesburg (CNN) -- Four minors accused in a brutal videotaped gang rape of a mentally disabled teenager were released on $67 bail Thursday, their lawyer said.


The boys fear for their safety and will not be returning to their homes because of anger in the community, lawyer William Karam told CNN.

A South African court has already determined that three of the four will face full prosecution.

The court has not made a ruling on how to prosecute the fourth minor suspect, a 13-year-old. South African law presumes children up to the age of 14 to be "criminally incapable." Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN TURKEY - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Western Turkey at a depth of 35 km (21.7 miles), the quake hit at 17:10:10 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 14 km (8.6 miles) East of Simav, Turkey
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN TURKEY - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck Western Turkey at a depth of 9.7 km (6 miles), the quake hit at 16:16:05 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 50 km (31 miles) Northwest of Usak, Turkey
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck New Britain Region, Papua New Guinea at a depth of 57.7 km (35.9 miles), the quake hit at 16:14:18 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 142 km (88 miles) South of Rabaul, New Britain, Papua New Guinea
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN TURKEY - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck Western Turkey at a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles), the quake hit at 15:24:14 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 12 km (7.4 miles) Northwest of Saphane, Turkey
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN TURKEY - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Western Turkey at a depth of 9.7 km (6 miles), the quake hit at 15:20:27 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 48 km (29 miles) NNW of Usak, Turkey
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN GREECE - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Southern Greece at a depth of 22.3 km (13.9 miles), the quake hit at 15:17:03 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 11 km (6.8 miles) East of Zakynthos, Greece
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck off the West coast of Northern Sumatra at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 14:40:57 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 368 km (228.6 miles) Southwest from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR NORTH COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck near North Coast of New Guinea, Papua New Guinea at a depth of 108.2 km (67.2 miles), the quake hit at 14:28:59 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 99 km (61 miles) WNW of Madang, New Guinea, Papua New Guinea
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 3rd May 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck off the West coast of Northern Sumatra at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 13:38:34 UTC Thursday 3rd May 2012
The epicenter was 338 km (210 miles) SSW from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Neo-Nazi sheriff candidate guns down toddler and three adults in suicidal body armour-clad killing spree in Arizona

A well known neo-Nazi who was campaigning to be a county sheriff has been named as the man who killed four members of a family, including a toddler, in Gilbert, Arizona today.

Law enforcement sources have said that Jason 'J.T.' Ready, a former member of the National Socialist Movement, was responsible for the deaths at a property in the affluent suburb.

The shootings took place around 1 p.m and dozens of police and paramedics were dispatched to the scene after neighbours reported shots having been fired.

Although not officially confirmed by police in Gilbert, it is thought that J.T Ready shot and killed his 47-year old girlfriend, Lisa Mederos, Lisa's daughter 22-year-old Amber Mederos, Amber's 22-year-old boyfriend Jim and Amber's 2-year old daughter Lilly. Read More

Al Qaeda magazine describes how to start huge forest fires across the U.S..with instructions on how to make 'ember bombs'

Al Qaeda has called upon its followers to unleash massive forest fires upon the United States this summer.

Published in the latest edition of the notorious terror magazine, 'Inspire', are graphic instructions for the creation and ignition of 'ember bombs'

Detailed in the memorably titled, 'It is of your Freedom to Ignite a Firebomb', the magazine encourages any would-be terrorist to target Montana, because of the rapid population growth in its wooded areas.

'In America, there are more houses built in the countryside than in the cities,' explained the writer known as The AQ Chef according to ABC News.

'It is difficult to choose a better place than in the valleys of Montana.' Read More

Asif Iqbal raped drunk passengers in his Taxi and his wife even tried to bribe victim to keep quiet

A married taxi driver who raped a number of drunken passengers has been jailed for 12 years.

Asif Iqbal, from Newport, South Wales, was convicted of raping two passengers - but police fear many more women may have been attacked on late-night rides home.

And his wife was also jailed for six months after admitting to perverting the course of justice by offering one of the victim's money to withdraw her complaint.

Iqbal targeted women outside pubs and nightclubs, because he knew they would be drunk. Read More

Jael Mullings who stabbed two young sons to death thought the devil was chasing her

A mother who stabbed her two young sons to death has told how she had believed she was being pursued by the devil and how voices told her she must kill them.

Jael Mullings killed Romario Mullings-Sewell, two, and his three-month-old brother Delayno at their home in Kilimington Drive, Cheetham Hill, Manchester in 2008.

She wiped tears from her eyes yesterday as she spoke via a video link from a secure hospital during an inquest into the children's deaths at Manchester Crown Court.

Mullings told the court: 'At the time Romario was born, I started suffering from paranoia. When Delayno was born I started to turn really psychotic. I couldn’t cope. I was getting no support from the children’s father. Read More

Bird-flu paper that raised bioterror fears is published

CHICAGO -- The journal Nature has published the first of two controversial papers about laboratory-enhanced versions of the deadly bird-flu virus that initially sparked fears among U.S. biosecurity experts that it could be used as a recipe for a bioterrorism weapon.

Bird flu is lethal in people and spreads among those who are in close contact with infected birds, but so far, the virus known as H5N1 has not had the ability to pass easily among humans through sneezing and coughing.

The studies by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dr. Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical College in the Netherlands showed that with a few genetic mutations, the virus could pass easily among ferrets, which are used as a close approximation of how a virus might behave in people. Source

Bin Laden's Private Papers Published Online

The United States has released the final words of Osama bin Laden as he struggled to command the attention of his far-flung terror network.

A selection of documents seized in last year's raid on bin Laden's house in Pakistan have been posted online by the Army's Combating Terrorism Centre at the US Military Academy.

The correspondence shows a leader revered but sometimes ignored by field commanders, who dismissed him as out of touch even as he urged them to keep attacking US targets.

White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said this week that bin Laden's own words confirm that America is safer with him gone.

Mr Brennan says bin Laden wrote of his worries that his leaders were being killed so quickly the group would not survive.

More follows...

2 bald eagles found dead in Talbot County

CAMBRIDGE, Md. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it is asking the public for information about two bald eagle deaths in Talbot County.

The eagles were found Monday near the intersection of Kitty's Corner and State Road 328 just south of Tuckahoe Creek. The birds are thought to have died of poisoning after feeding on a fox carcass.

The service said it is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to a conviction. Bald eagles are no longer listed under the Endangered Species Act, but are still federally protected. Source

Fish Pond in Shenzhen Ravaged Overnight, China

Over 50 thousand fish in a pond near an industrial area in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen died overnight on Monday, CRI Online reports.

The dead fish are mostly concentrated in the northern corner of the pond, and half of the body of water is now covered with rotting fish.

Located in the Qiangxiaxin Village at the junction of the Guangming New District and Dongguan in Shenzhen, the fish pond is larger than two basketball courts in area.

"We have invested a total of 350 thousand yuan (about 56 thousand USD) in the form of 60 thousand fish; now it's all over," said Ms. Liu, the fish pond owner. "These fish have been raised for one year, and could have been sold at market three months later."

Liu said she will not sell the dead fish at market despite suffering great financial losses as a result. She also suspects that heavy rain may have led to the pond being contaminated by toxic and harmful substances from a nearby building site in the Maike industrial area. Read More

About 150 fish found dead in Arkansas lake

PERRYVILLE, Ark. (WTW) — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is investigating the deaths of about 150 white bass in a lake in Perry County.

Officials say a property owner on the 1,200-acre Harris Brake Lake reported seeing 10 fish floating near his dock on Tuesday. Game and Fish Commission officials say biologists investigated the report and found more fish floating and along the lake's shoreline.

Several fish have been collected for tests, which may take up to 30 days to complete. Officials say water quality parameters appear to be within the normal ranges for the lake, and the only physical abnormalities on the fish were redness around the base of the fins and inflamed and eroded gills.

Officials say there's no concern with the eating or handling of live fish in the lake. Source

Second bird dies from West Nile in Sacramento, authorities ask public for help

A second bird of the 2012 season has tested positive for West Nile virus in the Sacramento region, and officials warn that warm weather will amplify the virus in the area.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito Vector Control District received confirmation Wednesday that an American crow found in Sacramento's Tahoe Park area tested positive for the virus, according to a district news release.

Officials encourage residents to report all dead birds by calling the California Department of Public Health hotline at (877) 968-2473 or going to www.westnile.ca.gov. They noted that some species of birds, such as crows, jays and magpies, are very susceptible to the virus and are more likely to die from the infection.

Birds are hosts for West Nile virus, and mosquitoes transmit the virus by biting an infected bird, then biting a person or animal. Read More

Rabies case confirmed in Polk County‎

LAKELAND, Fla. — A case of rabies has been confirmed in Polk County, according the Sheriff's Office Animal Control Section.

According to the Sheriff's Office, a resident of Broken Arrow Trail, in Lakeland, found his dogs with a dead raccoon.

Animal Control sent the raccoon to be tested, and the tests came back positive for rabies.

The resident's dogs and other livestock on the property where the raccoon was found have been placed in quarantine, according to the Sheriff's Office.

It's the fourth confirmed rabies case in the county this year. Read More

Dead Sea Turtles in Mississippi Hits 99 for 2012

Dead sea turtles and dolphins continue to wash up along Mississippi beaches. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports scientists are still trying to determine the cause of death.

"We’ve been responding to quite a few animals. In the last few days, we’ve had at least four live animals now, and then we’ve had a dead dolphin."

That’s Moby Solangi, president of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport. The institute has a hotline for reporting stranded turtles and dolphins. Solangi is on the beach at the end of Mockingbird Lane in Gulfport documenting a dead sea turtle.

"This animal has been dead for quite some time now. He is in pretty deteriorated condition."

He’s with biologist Alicia Carron.

"38 even..notch to tip 38 even, notch to notch 37.8."

This is the 99th dead turtle found this year in Mississippi, compared to 186 turtles that washed up in the state during the first four months of 2011. Read More