Friday, May 4, 2012

Nuevo Laredo: More victims in Mexican massacre found across border (WARNING: GRAPHIC)

A wave of violence in Mexico has led to a string of gruesome discoveries.

The bodies of nine people were found hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, just 6 miles from the U.S. border. Five were men and four women.

Pictures showed the nine bound, gagged and hanged.

A message left with the bodies identified them as members of the Gulf cartel. A rivaling cartel, Los Zetas, is believed to be responsible for the deaths.

All of the victims showed signs of torture. Their hands were tied and their eyes covered, sources tell WTOP.

Mexican authorities say they also discovered 14 headless bodies stuffed into black bags and left inside a van. Fourteen heads were later found outside the mayor's office, preserved in ice boxes.

Mexican military and police authorities are investigating the 23 deaths. U.S. Homeland Security officials are watching the situation carefully because of its proximity to the U.S. and the encroaching violence growing out of the cartel drug wars.

The bodies of three Mexican journalists were discovered Thursday afternoon in the state of Veracruz. They had been dismembered and stuffed into black plastic bags dumped into a waste canal.

At least seven current and former reporters and photographers have been slain in Veracruz over the last 18 months. more

Chen case is another human rights issue for Obama

Washington (CNN) -- Iran, Syria and now China. President Barack Obama faces a third front of vulnerability on his administration's record of defending human rights with the muddled situation involving activist Chen Guangcheng.

With his re-election campaign just hitting full stride, Obama hoped to capitalize on foreign policy successes, such as last year's raid that killed Osama bin Laden, to blunt Republican attacks on the sluggish U.S. economic recovery.

However, the increasingly strange and challenging case of Chen provides potential fresh fodder for opponents to continue their attempts to portray the Obama presidency as soft or acquiescing to brutal regimes that abuse their own people.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney led the attack Thursday, saying at a campaign event that circumstances of the incident -- if true -- meant a "dark day for freedom, and it's a day of shame for the Obama administration." Read More

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake GUATEMALA - 4th May 2012

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck Guatemala at a depth of 108 km (67.1 miles), the quake hit at 18:57:53 UTC Friday 4th May 2012
The epicenter was 10 km (6.2 miles) SSW from Santiago Atitlán, Sololá, Guatemala
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS - 4th May 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck South of the Fiji Islands at a depth of 35.7 km (22.2 miles), the quake hit at 17:58:47 UTC Friday 4th May 2012
The epicenter was 433 km (269 miles) SSW of NUKU`ALOFA, Tonga
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

May Day 2012 protests much larger than mainstream media dared to show (New posts below)


Generously written for the CC by Gail from Wit's End, our neighbour blog. Gail is also a regular writer for the CC Magazine, whose massively enlightening first piece will appear in our May 2012 issue. Subscribe today to read her words of wisdom!

Perhaps it shouldn't have come as such a powerful shock, but untold numbers of people who rallied on May Day with Occupy Wall Street to protest growing income disparity and corporate domination woke up the next morning, incredulous, to discover there had been a bloodless media massacre of their huge demonstration.  The silence was deafening about actions from other cities around the country and indeed, mass turnouts around the world.

Tens of thousands of protesters in New York, who had taken over Broadway from the early beginnings of the day at Bryant Park in Midtown, marching all the way through the night to the furthest reaches of the Financial District in lower Manhattan, were jubilant and celebratory at the overwhelming turnout. Hundreds of banners, balloons, musicians, street artists and flags had contributed to a festive, peaceful demand for the end of a capitalist system that values profit over people and the environment.  No one anticipated such a gigantic resurgence would receive a near total blackout of news coverage, or that of the few truncated articles that did appear, a grotesquely disproportionate focus would feature arrests.

Since then the organizers have been bitterly reminded once again that, just as occurred at the beginnings of Occupy last fall, corporations and banks control not just government - the legislature, along with the Federal Reserve and other agencies, plus most notoriously, the judiciary - but have an iron grip on that last bastion of freedom, the Fourth Estate - the press.

Even though representatives from the media amply recorded the participation of dozens of disparate labor and justice groups that had organized in support, most of the pictures, videos, interviews and articles were ignored by their editors and never made it into the public eye.

Nobody needs to be fooled more than twice, and it's hard to imagine that Occupiers will rely on the veracity of mainstream media in future.  Expect them to implement plans for drastically improved, coordinated, self-produced information going forward.  Reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated by the propaganda that passes for news in America.

Event photos:






For more photos of protestors (and the police brutality used against them), check out this article here (the very top photo of the goading donuts is also from this article):

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/05/may-day-around-the-world/100289/

Misery Continues to build for the euro zone

(Reuters) - The euro zone economy worsened markedly in April, according to business surveys that clashed with the prospect of a gradual recovery augured by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi this week.

Friday's purchasing managers indexes (PMIs), primarily covering services, suggested a recession across Europe's currency union could now extend to mid-year and be deeper than previously thought.

They did, however, indicate better progress among Chinese companies.

Still, the overall tone of economic data on Friday was gloomy, given news the U.S. economy added only 115,000 non-farm jobs in April, far less than the 170,000 predicted.

Following the European Central Bank's policy meeting on Thursday, President Mario Draghi spoke of a gradual economic recovery taking place in the euro zone during the course of the year, although he did speak about risks. Read More

Chen Guangcheng village remains heavily guarded and under Lockdown

(Reuters) - The Chinese village that blind dissident Chen Guangcheng fled two weeks ago remained under lockdown on Friday as Chen, recovering in a Beijing hospital, worried about the fate of friends and family he left behind.

Guards chased away two Reuters reporters who attempted to enter Dongshigu village, in northeast Shandong province, on Friday afternoon. The four heavy-set guards ran slowly, yelling at the reporters as their car drove away.

Chen, a self-taught legal activist, has triggered a diplomatic crisis between China and the United States after he staged a dramatic escape from house arrest and travelled to the U.S. embassy in the capital where he took refuge for six days.

He left the embassy on Wednesday after Chinese assurances that he and his family would receive better treatment and that Beijing would investigate his treatment by Shandong officials. But he almost immediately changed his mind after hearing that his family and friends had been badly treated since his escape.

"Don't go, they're still there and inside where you can't see them. They will beat you up," said a woman shopkeeper on the road approaching the town. Read More

U.S. sets new rules for fracking on federal lands

(Reuters) - The Obama administration unveiled long-awaited rules on Friday to bolster oversight of "fracking" on public lands, seeking to allay environmental concerns over the technology that has spurred a boom in shale gas drilling in the United States.

The Interior Department proposal would require companies to obtain government approval to use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in drilling for natural gas on federal lands.

The rules would not affect drilling on private land, where the bulk of shale exploration is taking place. Still, the administration has said it hopes the rules could be used as a template for state regulators.

"Most shale plays are out of the reach of Interior," said Whitney Stanco, an analyst with the Guggenheim Washington Research Group.

A Guggenheim analysis found that only about 5 percent of shale wells drilling in the United States in the past decade occurred on federal lands.

The proposal would also require that companies disclose the fluids used in hydraulic fracturing after completing the process, which involves injecting water, sand and chemicals under the ground to extract fuel. Read More

Two British Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

Two British soldiers, from The Royal Logistic Corps, have been killed in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Their families have been informed.

More follows...

NATO: Russia talk of pre-emptive strike unjustified

BERLIN (Reuters) - A Kremlin threat to launch pre-emptive strikes on a planned NATO missile defense system in Europe is unjustified as the system poses no threat to Russia's security, the head of the Atlantic alliance said on Friday.

NATO has long insisted that the anti-missile shield it is developing is aimed at protecting member states from a possible Iranian attack, but Russia fears the system could undermine the effectiveness of its own nuclear arsenal.

In a stark escalation of rhetoric ahead of Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency next week, Russia's military chief-of-staff said on Thursday that Moscow might be forced to carry out pre-emptive strikes on NATO missile defense installations.

"These statements are unjustified," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Berlin after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Read More

Kosovo terror training camps re-open for Syrian rebels

Egypt clashes video: Troops water-cannon protesters at Cairo rally

'West hindering progress in Africa'

The Unknowns, steal codes from Nasa, the U.S. military... and the Jordanian Yellow Pages

Nasa and the U.S. military are among high-profile victims of a new group of hackers, calling themselves 'The Unknowns'.

The group, who professes to use its hacking abilities as a force of good, contacted a range of security-conscious firms and revealed a list of passwords and sensitive documents that they had plundered.

It is unclear whether the companies affected even knew that their security systems had been bypassed.

The Unknowns posted the names and passwords of employees at Nasa's Glenn Research Center, the U.S. Military's Joint Pathology Center, the European Space Agency, Thai Royal Navy, the ministries of defence of France and Bahrain, Harvard University and the Renault automotive firm.

Bizarrely, FoxNews also reports that the group targeted the Jordanian Yellow Pages. Read More

Adam Yauch dead at 47 after battle with cancer

Beastie Boys rapper Adam Yauch has died at 47.

The performer, also known as MCA, passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer.

Rapper Russell Simmons' website GlobalGrind was the first to report the news.

Yauch revealed in 2009 that he was undergoing surgery and radiation therapy to treat a tumor in his salivary gland.

Yauch also turned to a vegan diet and eastern medicine to help his fight.

Last year he denied reports he had beaten the disease, but said he was 'staying optimistic and hoping to be cancer free in the near future.'

Yauch co-founded Beastie Boys in 1979 with Michael Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad Rock).

He is survived by his Dechen and his daughter, Tenzin Losel. Read More

CAT VS FISH

UK Screwed Up Society, where Criminals have more Rights than Law Abiding Citizens ... Doing a Great Job Cameron!

Squatters have invaded the £7.5m mansion once sought after by Hollywood movie star Johnny Depp and footballer John Terry.

Police were called the luxury home which comes with two swimming pools, 34-seat cinema and nuclear bunker, after intruders were discovered.

But officers left without making arrests after the group of seven squatters put up a legal notice stating their rights to stay at the ten-bedroom residence called Golden Hill, in Romsey, Hampshire, which is still being built.

Squatter Ian Randall, 38, who moved into the house with common law wife Jade, 24, said: ‘I used no force to enter.

‘Me, my wife and another person were offered £500 pounds between us to leave quietly. The place was unsecured and unlocked and there is no damage to the property.

‘It is a smashing house. We just camped out in the room, played cards in our sleeping bags and had a few sandwiches.
Take notice: The squatters have refused the leave the property - despite claiming to have been offered £500 to get out

Take notice: The squatters have refused the leave the property - despite claiming to have been offered £500 to get out

‘We stayed there because our friends were squatting and they phoned us offering a place because we are homeless.

‘The police came but left in the morning. They said there was nothing they could do because it was a civil matter.’ Read More

America's 300-pound 'flying' bear who fell 15 feet from a tree is killed by a CAR

Authorities say a bear tranquilized on a Colorado campus last week and photographed as it fell from a tree has been killed by a car.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say the black bear was struck on U.S. 36 around dawn on Thursday.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill tells the Boulder Daily Camera that officials positively identified the animal as the bear that caused the stir by an ear tag placed on him after the brush with authorities at the University of Colorado. Read More

Plot to create super-powerful EU president 'that will mean the end to nation states' ......And NONE of us will get a Vote, welcome to Fascist Europe

Britain could be stripped of even more powers under plans to create a new super-powerful EU president who would not be directly elected by voters.

A group of Eurocrats have secretly devised a scheme to merge the jobs currently done by Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, and Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.

The new Europe chief would be in charge of both the administrative and political arms of the EU and have sweeping control over the entire union.

The UK has been excluded from the covert discussions, which were were uncovered by Independent Labour peer Lord Stoddart of Swindon.

Critics fear David Cameron is doing nothing to prevent the ominous plans, according to the Daily Express.

'This is a plot by people who want to abolish nation states and create a United States of Europe,' said Lord Stoddart.

'The whole thing is barmy. These people are determined to achieve their final objective. Read More

"The year 1941 will be, I am convinced, the Historical year of the Great European New Order"

- Adolf Hitler

"Whoever Dominates Europe will thereby assume the leadership of the world"

- Joseph Goebbels 8th May 1943

Rise of the Fourth Reich, how Germany is using the financial crisis to conquer Europe. Source

"The hand of God is creating a new world & working miracles...We are becoming the United States of Europe under German Leadership, a United European Continent"
- Wilhelm II - 1940

Ibrahim Giwa Jailed for Just 5 Years for Leading his Street Gang to Rape a 11 Year old Girl on More than one Occasion

A 13-year-old ringleader of a gang that raped an 11-year-old girl in a McDonald's toilet was today jailed for five years.

The girl had met Ibraheem Giwa, now 15, at a summer camp and was raped by him in his bedroom in east London before he watched as six other gang members attacked her.

He had previously raped her in a park and before that a fellow gang member aged 14 had raped her in the toilet of a McDonald's.

The girl said she was crying all the way through the attacks but was told by the gang of up to eight boys to shut up as people would think they had done something wrong to her.

As if the ordeal of being raped wasn't enough, the teenagers, thought to be part of the notorious Say No More Gang, beat her up as a warning not to tell anyone about what had happened.

Only two were convicted and two more boys were acquitted at trial but prosecutor Emily Smaller warned further prosecutions may follow. Read More

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake NORTH INDIAN OCEAN - 4th May 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck the North Indian Ocean at a depth of 14.5 km (9 miles), the quake hit at 16:23:43 UTC Friday 4th May 2012
The epicenter was 738 km (459 miles) WSW from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Suicide bombers kill 12, wound 110 in Dagestan, Russia

MAKHACHKALA, Russia - Suicide bombers killed 12 people and wounded 110 in attacks on a police post on the outskirts of the capital of Russia's Dagestan region, local investigators and law enforcement sources said Friday.

The attacks outside Makhachkala late Thursday were the deadliest in months, undermining efforts by Russian security forces to contain an Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus region near Sochi, where Russia will host the Winter Olympics in 2014.

More than a decade after federal troops toppled an Islamist government in Chechnya, also in the North Caucasus, security forces are fighting militants whose ranks are swollen by anger at poverty, clan feuds and pervasive corruption. Read More

European shares fall sharply as U.S. outlook worsens

(Reuters) - European shares fell sharply on Friday after worse-than-expected jobs data from the United States dealt a fresh blow to recovery expectations for the world's largest economy.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index provisionally closed down 17.32 points, or 1.7 percent, to 1,027.07 points and the Euro STOXX 50 index fell 37.83 points, also 1.7 percent, to 2,249.27 .STOXX50E.

Equities extended losses in the afternoon, when data showed U.S. employers cut back on hiring in April, further raising doubts about economic momentum in Europe's largest export market after an already weak services sector report on Thursday. (ID:nL1E8G414Y)

Cyclical sectors were the worst hit, with basic resources .SXPP and automotives .SXAP falling 3.9 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. Source

Fresh clashes outside Egyptian defence ministry

Clashes between protesters and security forces have been taking place near Egypt's defence ministry in Cairo.

The protesters ignored a warning not to approach the ministry building and threw rocks. Police responded with water cannons and tear gas.

Calls to join the demonstration have also been broadcast in Tahrir Square.

On Wednesday, unidentified assailants attacked people protesting against the ruling military council outside the ministry, leaving at least 20 dead.

The unrest comes just three weeks before presidential elections are due to be held - the first since Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down.

Islamists blamed

Earlier on Friday, thousands once again gathered in Tahrir Square - the focus of the uprising that ousted President Mubarak in February 2011 - to protest against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Read More

Chen Guangcheng to leave China soon.....Well according to the US

The US says it expects China to allow prominent dissident Chen Guangcheng to travel abroad soon.

The US state department said Mr Chen had been offered a fellowship at an American university, and it would allow his wife and children to accompany him.

Earlier, Beijing said the blind activist could apply to study abroad - paving the way for a resolution to a tense diplomatic stand-off with the US.

Mr Chen fled house arrest last month and spent six days in the US embassy.

He left but now says he wants to go to the US with his family.

His case has overshadowed high-level US-China talks taking place in Beijing.

"Mr Chen has been offered a fellowship from an American university, where he can be accompanied by his wife and two children," US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

She said the US expected Beijing to process their application for travel documents "expeditiously". Read More

Conrad Black Freed From Florida Prison after serving around three years of the six and a half years sentence

Disgraced media mogul Conrad Black has been released from prison, officials have said.

The 67-year-old was freed from a Florida jail after serving around three years for fraud and obstruction of justice.

The former Daily Telegraph owner was convicted of swindling shareholders of £3.8m from the now defunct media holding company Hollinger and trying to cover up his crimes in 2007.

He was originally sentenced to six and a half years - but launched several appeals.

Black had only served two years when he successfully appealed to have his sentence cut short in July 2010.

Last September, he returned to prison after a judge ordered him to serve another year. Read More

Ranger Michael Maguire Killed during Live firing exercise at Castlemartin military firing ranges in Pembrokeshire, Wales

A soldier who died at the Castlemartin military firing ranges in Pembrokeshire, Wales on Wednesday has been named as Ranger Michael Maguire.

Ranger Maguire died during a live firing exercise at the military training area in Wales.

An MoD spokeswoman said: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

The soldier's death is being investigated by Dyfed Powys Police with the assistance of the Health and Safety Executive.

Dyfed Powys Police said the soldier's family and the Coroner have been informed.

More to follow...

Falklands TV Advert Condemned By Own Agency



A controversial Argentinian TV advert showing an Olympic hopeful training on a British war memorial in the Falklands has been condemned by the agency behind it.


Young & Rubicam said it had asked the government in Buenos Aires to pull the commercial, accusing its creators of behaving "in a manner that is unacceptable to our company".

President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner's government released the advert linking the Games to its demand to rule the South Atlantic islands.

The 90-second clip says the athlete is preparing for London 2012 on "Argentine soil".

It shows Argentina hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg running in the Falklands capital, Port Stanley, and exercising on the island's Great War Memorial, which honours British sailors who died in the First World War.

The advert calls the islands by their Argentinian name, the Malvinas, and carries the tagline: "To compete on British soil, we train on Argentinian soil."

It ends with the words: "Homage to the fallen and the veterans of the Malvinas. Presidency of the Nation." Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA REGION - 4th May 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck near Vancouver Island, Canada Region at a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles), the quake hit at 10:55:41 UTC Friday 4th May 2012
The epicenter was 355 km (220.1 miles) West of Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Emma Winnall, 94, Viciously' Beaten In Her Own Bed

A 94-year-old grandmother is seriously ill in hospital with a fractured skull and partially severed finger after being beaten in her own bed as she slept.

Police said Emma Winnall also suffered a broken arm and wrist in the "vicious" and "sickening" assault at her West Midlands home.

Her carer raised the alarm at 9am on Tuesday but detectives said the attack, which left her with potentially life-threatening injuries, could have occurred at any time from 9pm on Monday night.

Mrs Winnall, of Pensby Close, Moseley, in Birmingham, was taken to hospital and remains under sedation after emergency surgery, which involved inserting metal plates into her arm.

Detectives have been unable to determine a motive for the attack. Nothing was stolen from the property and the interior was largely undisturbed. Read More

Anyone with information is asked to contact West Midlands Police on the 101 number or the independent charity Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.

Four sheep confirmed dead in wolf attack outside Weston

A Weston-area sheep producer suffered the first loss of livestock to a wolf in Umatilla County since the predators have returned to Oregon, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Department biologists on Wednesday confirmed two ewes and two lambs were killed in a pen by a single wolf on private land. Another lamb is missing and is believed to have been killed by a wolf. Source

Oil spill alert on River Bourne in Hampshire

Environment Agency workers are battling to contain a major oil spill on the River Bourne in Hampshire.

The slick is stretching out across the water which is a popular site for salmon fishing.

Officials say that no dead fish have yet been reported but they are advising dog walkers to keep their pets out of the water. Source

Dead Pygmy Sperm Whale Washes Ashore In West Hampton Dune

A dead pygmy sperm whale was found beached in West Hampton Dunes Village on Wednesday evening.

The estimated 800-pound, 9-foot-long whale was discovered by Village Trustee Catherine Woolfson and her son Liam while they were combing the beach, according to village officials. The mammal, believed to be an adult, was already dead. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Officials with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation were contacted by Ms. Woolfson and Village Police Constable John Jacobs. Crews removed the mammal on Thursday afternoon, with assistance from Bruce Hubbard of Hubbard Contracting of Westhampton, whose employees had to manually carry the whale more than 500 feet to a flatbed truck on Dune Road. Workers had to carry the dead mammal because it is piping plover season and vehicle beach access is limited. Read More

Newborn Baby Girl Dumped On Doorstep in Reading

A newborn girl has been found abandoned in a holdall on a doorstep in Reading.

Police said a note written in Polish was left with the baby, who was found on London Road yesterday evening.

The girl, who is thought to be between two and three weeks old, is being cared for by medical staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Thames Valley Police said they are concerned for the mother, who could need medical help.

“Early indications are that the baby appears unharmed, with no immediate evidence of any injuries or trauma," superintendent Stuart Greenfield said.

"Our main concern now is for the welfare of her mother, who may need medical assistance," he added. Read More

"Although we cannot say for certain that one or both of her parents are Polish, the fact that the note was written in Polish leads us to think that this may be the case.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Detective Inspector Mark Tucker at Thames Valley Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

'US to continue surrounding Russia & China claiming it's for Iran'

Encircling Iran: US claims would win in 3 weeks

Kim Dotcom,Megaupload Founder has started to get back his assets in New Zealand, after a local court ruled the confiscation of his fortune was illegal

Syria's propaganda war

Journalists killed in Mexico's Veracruz

Sudanese oil interest bow to China

US students protest tuition fee hikes

Taliban announces spring offensive

'Obama, most pro-war US president'

Putin criticizes Euro 2012 boycott calls...and So he Should, .....Remember Bahrain F1 2012?

(CNN) -- Russian premier Vladimir Putin has criticized plans by European leaders to boycott next month's Euro 2012 football finals due to the treatment by Ukrainian authorities of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

German chancellor Angela Merkel has raised her concerns at Tymoshenko's treatment, while European Union president Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and the governments of Austria and Belgium have all said they will not be attending any matches in Ukraine in protest.

But Putin has waded into the row, telling journalists in Russia that sport and politics should be kept separate.

"In absolutely every case, you can't mix politics, business and other issues with sport," Putin told Russian news agency Novosti.

"I stick to the principle professed and supported by the International Olympic Committee -- sport is outside politics."

Putin's statement echoes the sentiments of Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone, who defended the elite motorsport's decision to race in Bahrain last month despite widespread concerns over human rights issues. Read More

Iran dismisses Western demand to close nuclear bunker

(Reuters) - Iran said on Friday it will never suspend its uranium enrichment program and sees no reason to close the Fordow underground site, making clear Tehran's red lines in nuclear talks with world powers later this month.

Last month a senior U.S. official said the United States and its allies would demand that Iran halt higher-grade enrichment and immediately close the Fordow facility at talks over Tehran's nuclear standoff with the West.

The New York Times reported that negotiators for Western countries would press Iran to ultimately dismantle the site near the city of Qom, which has been used to expand the higher-grade enrichment the Islamic Republic began just over two years ago.

But Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told Reuters he saw "no justification" for closing Fordow, which he said was under IAEA surveillance.

"When you have a safe place, secure place under IAEA control, then why do you tell me that I should close it?" he said, making clear Iran built the site to better protect its nuclear program against any Israeli or U.S. attacks.

"Fordow is a safe place. We have spent a lot of money and time to have a safe place," Soltanieh added. Read More

Spread of chemical weapons feared in Syria

(Reuters) - With an uprising in Syria loosening the grip of president Bashar al-Assad, world powers are worried that he could lose control of a secret stockpile of chemical weapons, giving militants access to deadly poison gas.

Syria is one of just eight states - along with its arch foe Israel and nearby Egypt - that have not joined the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, which means the world's chemical weapons watchdog has no jurisdiction to intervene there.

Western countries believe that Damascus has the world's largest remaining stockpile of undeclared chemical weapons - including mustard gas and the deadly VX nerve agent - which Assad maintains as a counterbalance to Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal.

The Syrian army is trained to use poison gas and, according to US and Israeli intelligence, can deploy it on long-range missiles. In a sign of growing concern, an Israeli factory was refinanced to ramp up production of gas masks to prepare for a possible attack, an Israeli member of parliament told Reuters. Read More

Note: If all else Fails mention the Chemical Weapons: Was starting to wonder when they were going to throw chemical weapons into the mix, nothing else has worked so I guess it was bound to come along sooner or later.

So now the rebels turned terrorist will add chemical weapons to there bombs and weaponry? I thought they were not well armed and prepared according to many reports? And surely the countries providing finances and weapons should start taking some responsibility for creating this dangerous situation?

Notice how they have attached the gas mask production in Israel to this story, you may remember we posted about increased production months ago (February 8th to be precise) because of the tensions, they realized they only had enough gas masks for half population of Israel.

http://thecomingcrisis.blogspot.com/2012/02/nearly-half-of-israelis-wont-receive.html

Japan shuts last nuclear plant; will it cope?

(Reuters) - Japan shuts down its last working nuclear power reactor this weekend just over a year after a tsunami scarred the nation and if it survives the summer without major electricity shortages, producers fear the plants will stay offline for good.

The shutdown leaves Japan without nuclear power for the first time since 1970 and has put electricity producers on the defensive. Public opposition to nuclear power could become more deeply entrenched if non-nuclear generation proves enough to meet Japan's needs in the peak-demand summer months.

"Can it be the end of nuclear power? It could be," said Andrew DeWit, a professor at Rikkyo University in Tokyo who studies energy policy. "That's one reason why people are fighting it to the death."

Japan managed to get through the summer last year without any blackouts by imposing curbs on use in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. Factories operated at night and during weekends to avoid putting too much stress on the country's power grids. A similar success this year would weaken the argument of proponents of nuclear power. Read More

Global shares, oil fall before U.S. payrolls

(Reuters) - European shares lost ground on Friday and Brent oil sank towards its steepest weekly fall this year, ahead of a reading on the U.S. jobs market that could heighten concerns about the health of the world's biggest economy.

Investors also kept a wary eye on weekend elections in the euro zone, with evidence of a sharp contraction in the region's dominant services sector suggesting its recession could last longer than feared.

Voting in France and Greece is likely to provide a litmus test of popular tolerance for further austerity, a day after the European Central Bank ended near-term hopes of more policy easing to boost the ailing economy.

The FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top European shares dropped 0.35 percent by 1055 GMT while U.S. stocks were expected to open flat with the DJIA future up 0.02 percent. Read More

Clinton says U.S. willing to work with North Korea if it reforms

(Reuters) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that the United States was willing to work with North Korea if it changed its ways, and also said more pressure should be brought to bear on Sudan and Syria.

Speaking in Beijing at the end of two-days of high-level meetings overshadowed by a crisis over a Chinese dissident who had sought refuge at the U.S. embassy, Clinton sought to underscore that Washington and Beijing could still work together on key international issues.

"We see two nations that are now thoroughly and inescapably interdependent," Clinton said in prepared remarks in the closed door meeting.

On North Korea, where the United States wants China to put more pressure on the isolated nation's leadership to reign in its nuclear ambitions, Clinton said Washington was still willing to work with Pyongyang if it changes its ways.

"The new leadership in Pyongyang still has the opportunity to change course and put their people first. Read More

Argentina nationalizes oil company YPF

(Reuters) - Argentina's Congress nationalized the country's biggest oil company, YPF, by an overwhelming lower house vote on Thursday that underscored broad popular support for a measure that threatens to scare off foreign investment.

The Chamber of Deputies voted 207-32 in favor of expropriating YPF, clearing the way for President Cristina Fernandez to sign the bill into law. The Senate last week approved the measure by a similarly overwhelming margin.

Fernandez, who has tightened state control of the economy, unveiled the plan to seize a majority stake in YPF from Spain's Repsol six months after her landslide re-election.

The move drew a swift reprisal from Spain, which curtailed Argentine biodiesel shipments. Wall Street warns that Argentina risks scaring off investment needed to bolster growth against fallout from Europe's debt crisis and slower demand from key trade partner Brazil. Read More

Florida house is nearly engulfed by 100ft wide sinkhole

A massive sinkhole opened up in a residential neighbourhood in Windermere, Florida today that was 100 feet across and nearly 50 feet deep.

Luckily, no one was hurt in the freak accident, though the massive hole displaced a family of six, which had to be evacuated with aid of the fire department.

The cause of the sinkhole is unknown, but officials believe the dry weather conditions experienced in parts of the south could have contributed to the hole.

The hole ends a mere three feet from the family’s two-storey house, WESH reported.

One of the homeowners discovered the pit in their backyard around 7am this morning when they let the dog out. Read More

Nasa probe flies past Saturn's icy moon Enceladus just 46 miles up - and captures mystery 'jets' of ice which may harbour life

A hair-raisingly close fly-by by Nasa's Cassini Probe aims to learn more about what lurks beneath the icy moon Enceladus's surface - and what exactly lurks in the 'geysers' of ice it spews into space.

Cassini captured a startling new picture of the jets, which a scientist claimed earlier this year could be 'snowing microbes' onto the icy moon.

These jets, which spew through cracks in the moon's icy shell, could lead back to a habitable zone that is uniquely accessible in all the solar system.

This week, Cassini flew past the moon just 46 miles above the surface.

The radio science team is particularly interested in learning how mass is distributed under Enceladus' south polar region, which features jets of water ice, water vapor and organic compounds spraying out of long fractures.

A concentration of mass in that region could indicate subsurface liquid water - where life could lurk. Read More

Jordan Hill appears in court accused of 'choking his girlfriend'

L.A. Lakers basketball star Jordan Hill has appeared in court, after he allegedly choked his ex-girlfriend during a furious argument in Texas.

Hill, 24, who plies his trade as a forward for the club, attended a court in Houston yesterday to answer a domestic violence charge.

The 6ft 10 ins defendant was briefly taken into custody following the hearing.

However, he was released after paying a bail bond of $5,000 (£3,092)

If convicted, Hill, who hails from Newberry, South Carolina, faces up to 10 years in jail.

The domestic violence incident is alleged to have taken place on February 29. Read More

Joseph E. Wright slashed throats of his mother and grandmother

The father of a 23-year-old man accused of slashing his mother’s and grandmother’s throats and dumping their bodies at a school called his son evil.

Joseph E. Wright, from Boston, is due in court today to face murder charges in the brutal killing of his mother Donna Breau, 54, and grandmother Melba Trahant, 83.

He has a history of violence towards family members as well as a number of other charges including destruction of property and theft.

In 2011 he was charged with assault after menacing his dad with 'balled fists' and kicking a family computer when told to help with the dishes, according to the Boston Herald.

His father Joseph, 52, told the paper yesterday: 'What my son did was evil.' Read More

Memphis boy, 2, accidentally shoots dead his 16-month-old sister after finding gun ... just DAYS after similar shooting in Kentucky

A 16-month-old girl was shot dead by her 2-year-old brother in their Memphis home on Tuesday.

Calvuna Reese was killed on Tuesday when her brother allegedly accidentally pulled the trigger of a loaded gun.

The girl's father confirmed the shooting to neighbors, but the case is still under investigation by police.

'Oh it tears me up. It really really hurts,' neighbor Randy Lark told local station WMCTV.

'I'm so shocked and hurt by what happened to this child.'

'She was real sweet, she was obedient.'

The tragedy has left many unanswered questions, but Mr Lark feels there is at least one lesson to come out of it.

Everyone should learn from that lesson, not to leave a loaded gun around a kid,' he said.

This shooting comes just two days after a similar incident in Kentucky.

Bella San Martin, 15-months-old, was shot dead by her 3-year-old brother in their family's Hardin County home on Sunday.

Police involved in the Kentucky say it was a tragic accident and that the parents were home at the time. Read More

Bungling anarchist attacks Nike store during Occupy protest on May Day... wearing Nike sneakers

First rule of the anarchist handbook - when attacking the big guns of the capitalist world, try not to endorse their products.

An Occupy activist missed the irony in his own dress sense during Tuesday's May Day protest by attacking a Nike store wearing a pair of the brand's sneakers.

The instantly recognizable Nike tick can be seen emblazoned on the side of his shoe, as the unidentified man, his face covered with a bandana, stands in front of 'death to capitalism' graffiti on the shop window in downtown Seattle. Read More

Richard Din died while working with dangerous strain of meningitis identified

The medical examiner's office has identified the young laboratory research associate at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center who died of an infection that he may have contracted at work.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that for the past several weeks, 25-year-old Richard Din, a biology major working with the Northern California Institute for Research and Education, had been researching the germ Neisseria meningitidis that can cause meningitis and bloodstream disease.

A state laboratory has confirmed that the rare strain that Din was studying -- Serotype B -- was the same one found in his body, according to the website Military.com.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease caused by this particular strain is relatively uncommon in the United States, with only about 1,000 cases reported each year. In 2010, an estimated 75 people died from this type of meningococcal infection. Read More

Plane crash in Chicago kills two

Police in the Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake say two men have died in a small plane crash.

Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Gene Lowery says the plane crashed Thursday afternoon just west of the Lake in the Hills Airport, about 50 miles northwest of Chicago.

Lowery says the plane went down in a marshy, former gravel mine pit after, according to one witness, abruptly banking to the left while appearing to approach the runway.

Lowery says officers had to trek 200 to 300 yards through mud and marsh to reach the wreckage. Read More

Myron Chisem Shot Dead with a Single Bullet to his Head by 14 year old Son, from the backyard into the television room

A 14-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of murder after he shot his father dead with a single bullet from the garden into their home.

Myron Chisem, an Immigration and Custom Officials agent, was struck in the head while he sat in the home's television room in Carson, California.

The boy, who has not been identified, shot his 42-year-old father from the backyard using the agent's ICE-issued handgun, authorities said.
The teen then called 911 saying his father had been shot.

Chisem, a U.S. Navy veteran, had worked as a special agent in Los Angeles since 2007. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His girlfriend also lived at the home but was not present at the time of the shooting, which occurred around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A preliminary investigation indicated the fatal round was fired from outside the home and through a window in the back of the house, police said.

The service weapon was found in the front garden.

Police did not announce a motive, but LA County Sheriff's Lt. Holly Francisco called it a 'domestic violence incident'. Read More

Kidnapper who targets college students on the loose in Atlanta after two women escape his clutches less than an hour apart

Police are looking for a man they say tried to stuff two different Georgia State University students in the trunk of his car.

The women were accosted outside of their east Atlanta homes just 30 minutes apart, but were each able to get away.

'We have a predator that’s roaming the streets of Atlanta right now, and it’s very serious to us,' police Sgt. Curtis Davenport told WSB-TV.

The kidnapper approached his first would-be victim early Wednesday morning as she sat on her porch with a friend on Mayson Avenue.

'He had a gun in his pocket and he, you know, grabbed her, marched her off the porch, marched her up the street and stuffed her into the trunk of his car,' the friend, who wished to remain anonymous, said to Fox.

She said the man sped off at about 2 a.m., but she called 911 and jumped into her car to chase after him.

After 15 minutes of following him, her friend somehow managed to escape and sprung out of the moving vehicle.

Just 30 minutes later, the man struck again and tried to snatch another Georgia State University student less than a mile away on Hawthorne Street.

The second woman screamed out for help and the kidnapper ran off. Read More

Giant Croc Trapped After Eating Nine Pet Dogs, Northern Australia



A crocodile with a taste for pet dogs has finally been caught in northern Australia.

The crocodile was pulled from a river bank in a remote part of the Northern Territory and had, according to police, eaten nine dogs in the last month.

The 4.4-metre (14.5-feet) crocodile was trapped at Daly River community, about 225km (139 miles) south of Darwin, where it was terrorising residents and animals, the Northern Territory News said.

Community police officer Mark Casey told the newspaper: "Crocs are an ever-present danger but you don't see them. Read More

Jo Ann Bain and her 3 Daughters Missing as police name family friend 'Adam Christopher Mayes' as 'person of interest'

A mother and her three daughters are missing and police are searching for a man in connection with their mysterious disappearance.

Jo Ann Bain, from Tennessee, and her daughters Adrienne, 14, Alexandria, 12, and Kyliyah, eight, went missing last Friday from their home in Whiteville, between Jackson and Memphis.

The mother-of-three's SUV was then found abandoned on a country road less than three miles away on Sunday.

Her credit card and cell phone have not been used since they disappeared.

The Hardeman County Sheriff's Department told ABC they had brought in family friend Adam Christopher Mayes, 35, from Mississippi, for questioning on Sunday.

On Tuesday they learned he had given them false information and issued a warrant for his arrest, charging him with filing a false report based on statements he'd made to investigators about the Bain family. Read More

PM 'Sorry' After Tories Take Polls Battering



Prime Minister David Cameron has said he is "sorry" for all the "hard-working Conservatives" who have lost their seats in the local elections while Labour racks up a series of significant victories across the country.

On a bruising night for the Tories and Liberal Democrats, Labour claimed it was "exceeding expectations" by seizing control of key councils such as Thurrock, Harlow, Southampton and Birmingham.

The Opposition also took Great Yarmouth, Chorley and Plymouth and a number of councils in Wales.

The Prime Minister suffered the added embarrassment of losing in the backyard of his Commons constituency - with Labour taking Witney Central, Witney East and Chipping Norton. Read More

Russia threatens military strike over NATO missile defence 'if U.S doesn't back down'

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 further in his statements yesterday.

'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 that talks between Moscow and Washington on the topic are 'close to a dead end'.

U.S. missile defense plans in Europe have been one of the touchiest subjects in U.S.-Russian relations for years. Read More

'Welcome to Chicago, capital of Illinois and Obama's childhood home': Embarrassing errors in NATO video promoting summit host city



A video promoting the upcoming NATO summit later this month inadvertently moved the meeting 200 miles south when it declared that leaders would convene in the capital of Illinois.

The summit, is of course, planned to take place in Chicago, not Springfield, but the film, produced by NATO staff, included three embarrassing errors that made native Chicagoans cringe.

The narrator of the five minute video, meant to introduce Chicago to international journalists and visiting dignitaries, also called the city Barack Obama's childhood home -- another glaring mistake. Read More

Sleepwalking girl, 4, hangs herself

A sleepwalking four-year-old girl has accidentally hanged herself from the top of her cabin bed with the strap of a Hello Kitty bag.

Her seven-year-old sister, Channelle, found her the next morning and alerted her parents.

Tegan was found hanging from her bed by the strap of her bag with her feet two inches off the ground.

Her mother, Becky Hancox, lifted her daughter and began resuscitation, even though the girl was obviously dead.

The young girl had a habit of sleepwalking during the night, a trait apparently inherited from her biological father. Read More