Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Greek socialist makes last-ditch attempt at government

(Reuters) - Greek Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos will make a last- ditch attempt to form a government on Thursday and avoid a new election after voters rejected a bailout deal and pushed Greece into a political crisis.

Chances are slim Venizelos can clinch a deal after both the conservatives and leftists tried and failed to cobble together a coalition in three days of talks following Sunday's election, when voters spurned big parties and their austerity policies.

The political deadlock prompted European threats to eject Greece from the euro, while impatient governments withheld part of the latest tranche of rescue funds to be paid to Greece on Thursday.

New elections in 3-4 weeks loom as Athens, due to run out of cash in June, needs to impose fresh measures in exchange for funds.

"I will continue the effort because it is in the nation's interest," Venizelos told reporters. "Prolonging this uncertainty only hurts the country and its economy, and in the end, the weakest and the unemployed." Read More

Russian jet Wreckage found on Indonesian volcano; 47 people were on demonstration flight

CIDAHU, Indonesia - Helicopters spotted the scattered wreckage a Russian-made passenger plane on the side of a mist-shrouded mountain Thursday after it disappeared during a demonstration flight in Indonesia with 47 people on board. There was no sign of survivors.

Family members who spent the night at the airport broke down in tears on hearing the news.

"Rescuers on the helicopters could clearly see the wreckage located at the top of Mount Salak," including the blue-and-white of the aircraft maker, said Gagah Prakoso, a spokesman for the Search and Rescue National Agency.

"There is no sign of any of the passengers," he said. "We're trying to move in closer to the wreckage now." Read More

Kelly Thomas Murder: Cops Face Trial Over Beating Death



Two California police officers will stand trial over the death of a schizophrenic homeless man who was beaten and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun.

Kelly Thomas, 37, died on July 10, 2011, five days after the incident outside a bus station in Orange County, southeast of Los Angeles.

Officer Manuel Ramos, 38, is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, and faces a maximum penalty of 15 years to life in prison if found guilty.

The second officer, Corporal Jay Cicinelli, 40, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and the use of excessive force. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted. Both have pleaded not guilty.

A judge ordered that the trial would go ahead after a three-day hearing in which he was shown CCTV that showed several officers delivering multiple blows and taser shocks before restraining Mr Thomas.

Prosecutors said the pair, who approached Thomas to question him about reports of vandalised cars near the bus depot, turned a routine police encounter into an unnecessary and savage beating.

"They have uniforms, bases, they carry the guns, Tasers. It's awesome power, really. We just have to trust that they follow the law," Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackaukas said. Read More

Ferrari Skids Into Trouble Over China Stunt

Ferrari has sparked outrage in China after a publicity stunt left skid marks all over a 600-year-old historical site.

The Italian performance marque had paid 80,000 yuan (£8,000) to have exclusive use of the popular tourist site for half a day.

A special-edition Ferrari 458 Italia sports car, valued around six million yuan (£591,480), was filmed at night doing 'doughnuts' and wheel spinning on the ramparts of the Zhonghua Gate Tower.

The tower was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) in the provincial capital city of Nanjing. Read More

Baby Missing After Falling From Stena Line Ferry on Way into Port in Northern Ireland

A baby is missing after falling from a ferry as it made its way into port in Northern Ireland.

A search by the police helicopter, coastguards and lifeboat services in Belfast Lough, near Holywood, County Down will resume in the morning after being suspended when it became too dark.

The baby was with a woman who plunged into the sea as the Stena Line boat arrived in Belfast from Cairnryan on Scotland's western coast.

The woman was pulled from the water by the crew of a pilot boat about 15 minutes after the alarm was raised.

Ian Murdoch, Belfast coastguard watch manager, said: "We have been searching for the second missing person for over two hours but sadly we have not found any sign of them so far." Read More

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake CENTRAL ALASKA - 10th May 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck Central Alaska at a depth of 14.7 km (9.1 miles), the quake hit at 02:23:20 UTC Thursday 10th May 2012
The epicenter was 93 km (58 miles) East of Nikolai, Alaska
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake EASTER ISLAND REGION - 10th May 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck the Easter Island Region at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 02:13:56 UTC Thursday 10th May 2012
The epicenter was 349 km (216 miles) WSW of Hanga Roa, Easter Island
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

3.5 Magnitude Earthquake WYOMING - 10th May 2012

A magnitude 3.5 earthquake has struck Wyoming at a depth of 6.3 km (3.9 miles), the quake hit at 01:18:30 UTC Thursday 10th May 2012
The epicenter was 47 km (29 miles) SSE of Jackson, Wyoming
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 10th May 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 42.5 km (26.4 miles), the quake hit at 00:28:22 UTC Thursday 10th May 2012
The epicenter was 91 km (56 miles) ENE of Morioka, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 9th May 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 22:14:39 UTC Wednesday 9th May 2012
The epicenter was 343 km (213 miles) Southwest of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Civil War-ning: US backs one-sided violence in Syria?

Red Square 2012 military parade

Bus rolls off cliff in Taiwan

Russian Sukhoi SuperJet-100 missing on test flight in Indonesia

Inside Story - Will Greece exit the eurozone?

North Korea to start electronic war against South

US Arming Israel - Analysis

India: Iran is a stable source of energy

Chen Guangcheng's Trip Aboard Not Confirmed

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN TURKEY - 9th May 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Western Turkey at a depth of 6 km (3.7 miles), the quake hit at 17:49:31 UTC Wednesday 9th May 2012
The epicenter was 15 km (9.3 miles) Northwest of Saphane, Turkey
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

South Korea to File Complaints About North's Alleged GPS Jamming

South Korea is to file formal complaints with Pyongyang and relevant United Nations agencies about jamming of Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver frequencies that it contends emanates from North Korea.

On the 12th consecutive day of interference to GPS receivers in parts of South Korea, the government here declared it has had enough.

Formal complaints with Pyongyang, UN agencies
Kim Choon-oh, director of air navigation facilities at the Transport Ministry, says complaints about North Korea's intentional jamming of the satellite-based navigational system will be sent to Pyongyang, the International Telecommunications Union and the International Civil Aviation Organization. Read More

Kevin Robinson a US soldier sentenced to 6 years for rape in South Korea

SEOUL, South Korea -- A Seoul court has sentenced an American soldier to six years in prison for raping a teenage South Korean girl last year.

The Seoul Central District Court's sentencing of Pvt. Kevin Robinson on Wednesday follows the sentencing in November of another U.S. private to 10 years in prison for a similar crime.

The two cases rekindled anti-American sentiments in South Korea and prompted U.S. officials to apologize. The United States has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea as a deterrent against North Korea.

U.S. Forces Korea says it's checking whether Robinson intends to appeal. Read More

US will have a say in China's future, whether it wants to or not

The drama surrounding Chen Guangcheng highlights — again — America’s role as refuge for Chinese citizens.

Late last month, the blind activist, after a request for protection, entered the U.S. embassy in Beijing, smuggled in under the noses of Chinese security agents.

By taking him in, the U.S. had chosen sides in the increasingly volatile confrontation between the Chinese people and China’s Communist Party. Washington, by its actions, had implicitly stated that the rights of citizens were more important than the sovereignty of the People’s Republic. It was a blatant interference in China’s internal affairs — and it was the right thing to do.

Moreover, Washington revealed how weak the Chinese regime is by getting it to extend guarantees of Chen’s safety. In short, Beijing, after negotiations with a foreign government, made agreements relating to its treatment of one of its own nationals on its own soil.

True, Chinese officials violated those promises almost as soon as they were made. But the fact that Beijing extended guarantees was stunning in and of itself. Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN - 9th May 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck the Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan at a depth of 239 km (148.5 miles), the quake hit at 16:08:50 UTC Wednesday 9th May 2012
The epicenter was 82 km (50 miles) Southeast of Faizabad, Afghanistan
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 9th May 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the New Britain Region, Papua New Guinea at a depth of 53.4 km (33.2 miles), the quake hit at 15:37:56 UTC Wednesday 9th May 2012
The epicenter was 27 km (16 miles) WNW of Taron, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Russian plane missing in Indonesia



Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- A Russian passenger airliner went missing Wednesday after it disappeared from radar screens over a mountainous region of Indonesia.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100, Russia's newest civilian airliner, was carrying 42 passengers and eight Russian crew members, said Sunaryo, an official with Sukhoi's Indonesian agent, Trimarga Rekatama.

However, the number was in dispute. The Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency said only 37 of the 42 invited passengers were on board. Russian state-run news agencies reported 44 people were on the plane.

The plane was on its second demonstration flight Wednesday when it lost contact with air controllers at Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma Airport.

"The first demonstration flight in the morning went smoothly," said Sunaryo, who uses only one name. "There were no problems." Read More

Terro....Rebels Place Bomb near unarmed observers in Syria....There's Gratitude for you

Fears for the security of unarmed observers in Syria were heightened today after a roadside bomb struck an army truck accompanying a convoy of UN monitors, amid mounting warnings that the country risks slipping into a full scale civil war.

Major General Robert Mood, the head of the UN monitoring mission who was one of 12 observers in the convoy, described the attack as "a graphic example of violence that the Syrian people do not need". Six Syrian soldiers were reported to have been wounded in the blast, and although UN vehicles remained unscathed, the incident was an uncomfortably close call for the organisation. Read More

Researcher death highlights dangers of pathogen work

A researcher in the US has died of a disease caused by the bacteria he was studying. The tragedy highlights the dangers of research on human respiratory germs. Research on airborne mutants of H5N1 bird flu is currently under an indefinite moratorium, partly over fears of just such laboratory infections.

Richard Din was working on Neisseria meningitidis at the Veterans Health Research Institute in San Francisco. The bacteria live harmlessly in the noses of 10 per cent of people, especially teenagers. Yet some strains cause meningitis or blood infection – sepsis – in 1.2 million people a year worldwide when inhaled.

Din had a fever, headache and chills on the evening of 27 April, and went to hospital the next morning after developing a rash. He died just 17 hours after symptoms started. He had been infected by the same strain of meningococcus as the one he worked with – serogroup B. Read More

Volcanic floods hit Indonesia: Three killed, 5 missing in Indonesia flood

Three people were killed and five missing on Wednesday after floods carrying volcanic debris swept through a town in eastern Indonesia, a government official said.

“Following heavy rains during the night, volcanic floods hit early morning at 2.00am (17.00 GMT),” national disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Two people were also injured as the floodwaters rampaged, damaging at least 20 homes in Ternate City in North Maluku province and forcing evacuations to government offices and schools, he added.

He said rescue workers were searching for five missing people.

The floods carried volcanic mud from Mount Gamalama, which forms the entire island of Ternate in the Maluku chain. It erupted and spewed a column of ash 2 000 metres into the air in December.

Two rivers on the eastern side of the volcano overflowed after heavy rains, carrying volcanic debris down to three residential areas in the town, Nugroho said. Read More

Tugboat explosion kills seven off Qatar

Seven people were killed in a violent gas explosion and fire on a Danish-owned tug operating in Qatar’s Ras Laffan offshore field on April 29.

The crew of the Svitzer tug Al Deebel (438gross tonnes) were carrying out maintenance on a single-point mooring buoy for transferring liquid natural gas into tankers 30 miles from the coast when the explosion occurred in the engine room, a Svitzer spokesman said.

Six of those killed were crew members, and the seventh an employee of a local oil company. A further four crew were injured, with only one of those on board escaping injury, according to website maritimedanmark.dk.

Four of the dead were Indonesian, one an Indian and the remaining two British, including the vessel’s captain, Pete Jordan. Read More

WHO 'concerned' over deadly Vietnam mystery disease

The World Health Organisation said Monday it was "concerned" about an outbreak of a mysterious skin disease in central Vietnam which has killed 19 people, mostly children.

More than 170 people have fallen ill with the unidentified illness, which causes stiffness in the limbs and ulcers on victims' hands and feet that look like severe burns.

"We are concerned about this. WHO is very aware of this case," said Wu Guogao, the organisation's chief officer in Hanoi, adding Vietnam had not asked for help with an investigation into the outbreak.

The WHO has not been given access to any official reports on the issue.

"It is difficult to say the exact cause at this stage," he told AFP.

The disease appears to have been concentrated mainly in Ba To district in central Quang Ngai province and the WHO said it had not heard of similar outbreaks elsewhere in the country. Read More

21 die of bizarre skin disease in Quang Ngai, Vietnam

Two more people from a central Vietnamese province have died from an unidentified skin disease in the past 2 days, taking the total death toll to 21 so far. Meanwhile, the cause of the disease remains a mystery.

The perished victims all hailed from Quang Ngai Province which has been hit by the disease since April 2011.

Yesterday, a 53-year-old man, Pham Van Nhoc, of Ba Dien Commune, Ba To District, died at Hospital C in Da Nang City, Pham Van But, chairman of the commune People’s Committee, said.

Nhoc and his wife, Pham Thi Sao, suffered from the disease early this year, but the woman gradually recovered.

On Monday, a 60-year-old woman, Pham Thi Ngot, also of Ba Dien, died from the disease. Read More

3 dead, one hurt in separate mudslides, India

Mathura, May 9 (PTI) Three people were killed and a girl injured in separate incidents of mudslides in the district, police said today. Khushboo (14) and Kanti (16) died of suffocation after being buried in a mudslide at Jugsana village, they said, adding that farmers were able to rescue the third girl, Renu, upon hearing her cries for help.

In a second incident, Vimlesh (25) died in Barotha village when trapped while digging for mud, they said. PTI CORR RCJ Source

17 workers killed in clothing store fire in Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – An inferno at a three-story clothing store in the southern Philippines early Wednesday killed 17 employees, all women who were sleeping on the top floor, police said.

Three women managed to dash out of a burning room and groped their way down three floors in darkness but found that the main steel door in the building in downtown Butuan city was locked, police investigator Jonathan Basil said.

Bystanders used a hydraulic car jack to pry open the gate and pulled the three screaming women out from the burning lobby, Basil said.

"The women kept on pounding the hot steel gate while yelling for help," Basil told The Associated Press by telephone, adding that the employee who kept the door key perished in the room upstairs. Read More

Clinton Cards Collapses Into Administration

Embattled UK retailer Clinton Cards has gone into administration, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

The group, which is the UK's biggest specialist cards retailer and operates 628
Clintons and 139 Birthdays stores, collapsed into administration after failing
to find a buyer for all or parts of the business.

Administrators at Zolfo Cooper said the group had made losses of £130m since 2004 and it was "likely that a number of stores would need to be closed to make the business financially viable".

Shares in the company, which employs more than 8,000 staff, were suspended on the London Stock Exchange this morning.

The move came after its banks - Barclays and taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland - sold the company's £35m of loans to its biggest supplier, American Greetings, which initiated the move into administration.

Clinton's collapse comes as another blow to the UK High Street after recent high-profile casualties, including video games retailer Game Group, fashion chain Peacocks and outdoor specialist Blacks Leisure. Read More

Abu Qatada's European Court Appeal Bid Fails....Shame, Now pack your bags and clear off

Jordanian terror suspect Abu Qatada has lost an appeal bid over deportation heard by Europe's top human rights judges.

The ruling clears the way for UK deportation proceedings against the radical cleric, described by a judge as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, to continue.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: "I am pleased by the European court's decision. The Qatada case will now go through the British courts."

A panel of five judges rejected Qatada's bid to have his appeal heard by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.

However the panel ruled his application was made in time, according to a spokesman for the Council of Europe, which runs the court.

Qatada lodged a last-minute appeal to the court on April 17, claiming he faced the threat of torture in Jordan.

Mrs May said: "I am confident the assurances we have from Jordan mean we can put Abu Qatada on a plane and get him out of Britain." Read More

5.5 Magnitude Earthquake NORTH OF ASCENSION ISLAND - 9th May 2012

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake has struck North of Ascension Island at a depth of 10.4 km (6.5 miles), the quake hit at 14:49:50 UTC Wednesday 9th May 2012
The epicenter was 870 km (540 miles) SSW from MONROVIA, Liberia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NORTH INDIAN OCEAN - 9th May 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the North Indian Ocean at a depth of 14.9 km (9.3 miles), the quake hit at 14:27:15 UTC Wednesday 9th May 2012
The epicenter was 716 km (444 miles) WSW of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake MAUG ISLANDS REGION, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS - 9th May 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the Maug Islands Region, Northern Mariana Islands at a depth of 117.1 km (72.8 miles), the quake hit at 13:55:03 UTC Wednesday 9th May 2012
The epicenter was 113 km (70 miles) North from Pagan, Northern Mariana Island
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Now Florida is hit by an invasion of savage termites (to go with the pythons, giant rats, crocodiles and poisonous caterpillars)

Dangerous wood-eating termites that can destroy trees and damage homes are the latest infestation to turn up in Florida.

The Nasutitermes corniger termite are native to the Caribbean but have now joined the 20 or so other species of termites which live in the Sunshine State.

The pesky insects are the latest unusual species found in Southern Florida along with African rats, Burmese pythons, and poisonous caterpillars.

The arrival of the termite poses a particular problem because they feast on hardwood, foraging on trees, garden furniture and attack the outside wall of homes. Read More

Josue Manrique 'burns his 11 year old son's face with an iron over missing $1 bill'

An Illinois man has been arrested following claims he burned his 11-year-old son with an iron while trying to make the boy confess to stealing a dollar from him.

Josue Manrique, 35, from Joliet, has been charged with aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery of a child.

According to the authorities, the abuse took place when Manrique returned home 'on edge' at 3am last Sunday after a night of drinking.

Police Commander Brian Benton said: 'He'd been watching a boxing match where his fighter had lost and was having transmission problems with his car on the way home.

'When he came home, he noticed a dollar missing from his dresser and that apparently set him off.' Read More

Amy Freeman and Daughter Ainsley Freeman Found Shot in their Home

Authorities in the U.S. suspect a mother killed her 13-year-old daughter then shot herself after becoming paranoid about her teenager's online relationship with a boy.

Police said Amy Freeman Burton's husband found her and their daughter Ainsly after they had been shot in their home in Pleasanton, California on Monday evening.

Mrs Freeman Burton, 37, died of a gunshot wound before officers could reach the scene.

Her daughter Ainsly was found alive and rushed to the Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, but died later that night.

Investigators have discovered messages and photos that Ainsly was swapping with a 16-year-old boy in Kentucky.

Ms Burton's husband said his wife had grown 'paranoid' about their teenager's online communications. Read More

Note: This report in the Daily Mail indicates that it is a case of Murder-Suicide, while the Pleasanton Police announced that they at this time could not determine if this was the case and are still treating it as a Homicide Investigation.


Pleasanton police announced Wednesday that preliminary autopsies on a mother and teenage daughter found shot Monday couldn't determine if it was a murder-suicide.

Police said they are still treating it as a homicide investigation as they await more test results on the bullets and a handgun found near the bodies.

Amy Freeman Burton, 37, and her daughter Ainsley Freeman, 13, were found in their Stacey Court home about 6 p.m. Monday by Christopher Burton, Freeman Burton's husband and Ainsley Freeman's stepfather.

Early autopsy results show that both suffered single gunshot wounds to the head, and that Ainsley Freeman most likely didn't shoot herself, said Lt. Jeff Bretzing.

He added that results were unclear on whether Amy Freeman's wound was self-inflicted, but it is not being ruled out and police are awaiting lab tests that won't be available until next week.
"We would love to make a determination to make people at ease but until we have all the facts, we can't do that," Bretzing said. "We are still awaiting evidence on the prints, if any, on the gun and DNA."

The bullets recovered were consistent with the handgun found near the victims, but police were also unable to determine if the gun was the one used and are awaiting lab results.

Bretzing said Christopher Burton is not a suspect and continues to cooperate with police.

Freeman Burton's mother, Linda Walp, who lives in Missouri, told a St. Louis newspaper Wednesday that her daughter told her she had been receiving death threats after she told police and the FBI about a man involved in a child porn ring who was trying to befriend Ainsley via the Internet.

Bretzing said police have no record of Freeman Burton reporting death threats. In February, Pleasanton police and the FBI did investigate a report that Ainsley had been text messaging with a suspicious man. The investigation revealed it was a 16-year-old boy from Kentucky, and that no crime had been committed. Read More

Oscar Fuller who put woman in a coma by punching her in row over parking spot is CLEARED of a felony and faces just one year jail

A man who punched a woman in the face over a New York City parking spot was convicted Tuesday of a misdemeanour assault charge, but cleared of a more serious felony in his second trial over a clash that left her brain-damaged.

Oscar Fuller, 36, could face up to a year in jail at a June 18 sentencing. He was accused of knocking 25-year-old Lana Rosas to the ground, which put her in a coma and gave her permanent brain damage.

Ms Rosas’ mother Angie Harrison told the New York Post that her daughter cannot work or drive and spends the majority of her time in therapy.

‘It’s a slow process,’ she told the Post.

She stoically listened to the surprise verdict being read and left the court without speaking to any reporters, the newspaper said.

Fuller felt vindicated by his acquittal on the felony assault charge, defence lawyer Thomas Kenniff said after the verdict. Read More

Abu Qatada Appeal Rejected

Radical cleric Abu Qatada's request for a deportation appeal hearing to the grand chamber of the European Court has been rejected, according to Sky sources.

The British government is seeking to deport Qatada from London to Jordan, where he is wanted on terror charges.

Qatada launched the appeal attempt at the European Court of Human Rights on April 17, saying he faced the risk of tortue in Jordan.

More follows...

Joshua Packer who 'stabbed husband, wife, and unborn child to death in front of their two children' now charged with sexual assault

A new count of sexual assault has been added to charges against a 22-year-old man facing trial in the stabbing deaths of an affluent couple and their unborn child in their multi-million-dollar Southern California beach house.

Joshua Graham Packer was indicted last week by a grand jury for forcing a pregnant Davina Husted to perform a sex act on him before she was stabbed to death.

Packer is facing a death penalty trial on accusations that he killed Brock and Davina Husted and their unborn child inside their Faria Beach home on May 20, 2009.

Packer appeared in court Monday on the latest indictment, but arraignment was postponed until May 16.

The prosecutor and defence lawyer wouldn't comment.

The case has sparked national interest, in part because Ventura County, California – otherwise known as the Gold Coast – is one of the safest neighbourhoods in the country. Read More

Keith Judd Beats Obama: How unpopular can Obama get? INMATE beats President in West Virginia primary (and he's in jail for extortion)

Just how unpopular is President Obama in some parts of the country? Enough that a man in a Texas prison received four out of 10 votes in West Virginia's Democratic presidential primary.

Inmate Keith Judd, 53, is serving 17 years for extortion at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution. He was sentenced in 1999 for making threats against the University of New Mexico and is due to be released on June 24 next year.

With 93 per cent of precincts reporting, Obama was receiving just under 60 per cent of the vote to Judd's 40 per cent.

For some West Virginia Democrats, simply running against Obama is enough to get Judd - or Inmate Number 11593-051 - votes.

'I voted against Obama,' said Ronnie Brown, a 43-year-old electrician from Cross Lanes who called himself a conservative Democrat. Read More

Rev Jesse Lee Peterson: 'The greatest mistake America made was allowing women to vote'

A frequent Fox News guest has drawn wide condemnation for saying women should have never been given the right to vote.

In a sermon that was posted on YouTube in March, Rev Jesse Lee Peterson said women are leading the United States down a path of wickedness because they have too much political power.

Fox News host Sean Hannity has invited Rev Peterson on his show several times, including after the video was posted, and sits on the board of the conservative activist's organization.

The remark seemed to draw disagreement, if not condemnation, from Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch, who tweeted: 'When? Women voting is best thing in a hundred years.'

Rev Peterson's fiery statement had drawn immense criticism.

'I think that one of the greatest mistakes America made was to allow women the opportunity to vote,' Peterson said in the sermon.

'We should’ve never turned this over to women. It was a big mistake... And these women are voting in the wrong people. Read More

Ar 1476: 'Monster' sunspot could put Earth in the crosshairs of powerful solar storms

A mind-bogglingly big sunspot has appeared in the past few days, which could mean the Earth is about to be blasted by powerful solar storms.

Known as AR 1476, it was spotted by Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft, which launched in 2010.

Its diameter of 60,000 miles is many times that of the Earth, which measures just under 8,000 miles across.

The sunspot is so ginormous that it’s possible to view with home telescopes – though experts warn that these must be fitted with sun filters to prevent permanent eye damage. Read More

Multi-million dollar NASA moon rock heist was an inside job conducted by physics geniuses

A new British documentary is set to reveal the incredible story behind the multi-million dollar moon rock heist at NASA - and how it was an inside job.

In July 2002 'physics genius' Thad Roberts and three accomplices pulled off perhaps the greatest ever theft in NASA history at the Johnson Space Centre, Houston, Texas.

Using their NASA IDs Roberts, and one female partner in crime, slipped into the centre at night stealing a 600lb safe containing moon rocks from every Apollo mission.

As well as samples from every Apollo mission between 1969 and 1974, they also managed to bag ALH84001 - a famous meteorite that might contain fossilised evidence of micro-biotic life on Mars. Read More

Jessica Starr shows why meteorologists definitely SHOULDN'T wear green

Why Meteorologists Avoid Wearing Green on TV: MyFoxDETROIT.com

Saiba Khatoon stabbed to death days after revealing she was pregnant

A traumatised boy of seven was being comforted last night after his mother was stabbed to death just days after telling friends she was expecting a baby.

Saiba Khatoon, 26, was knifed at her family home after revealing she was almost four months pregnant.

The alarm was raised when her son was woken by a smoke alarm late at night and ran out of the house to get help from neighbours.

One went into the house to find carer Mrs Khatoon lying dead in a downstairs room.

Police were today questioning a 30-year old taxi driver believed to be a boyfriend of the dead woman on suspicion of murder.

The tragedy in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, occurred just days after Mrs Khatoon, whose estranged husband worked as a doctor had excitedly announced her pregnancy news to friends and neighbours. Read More

First light: 'Heat' from distant 'super-Earth' twice the size of ours detected directly for first time by space telescope

Picking out the heat against the blazing beams of a parent star is like picking out a single candle among 10,000 - but scientists have picked up infrared rays from a planet 40 light-years away.

But human beings are unlikely to be moving to 55 Cancri e - at 2,000 degrees centigrade, the surface of the planet is hot enough to liquefy steel.

Researchers at MIT and other institutions say the planet may lack reflective surfaces such as ice caps, instead absorbing most of the heat from its parent star — much as Earth’s dark oceans trap heat from the sun

Using telescopes on the ground and in space, scientists examine light patterns from a star to determine the traits of any planets around it.

Periodic dips in starlight indicate that a planet has transited, or passed in front of, its star.

From this data, scientists have now calculated 55 Cancri e’s radius (twice that of Earth’s) and the duration of its orbit (18 hours, versus our leisurely 365 days). Read More

Just three out of 200 suspected war criminals have been kicked out of 'safe haven' Britain

Just three of the 200 suspected war criminals found in Britain in the past 18 months have been removed from the country.

Suspects identified by border officials are accused of systematic killing, torture and rape in countries such as Afghanistan, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. More than 30 have been given the right to stay here.

Campaign groups said the figures showed Britain was a ‘safe haven’ for war criminals.

Earlier this week the Daily Mail revealed that a former Serbian soldier accused of involvement in one of the worst atrocities of the Balkans war was allowed to stay in Britain because of his human rights.

Milan Sarcevic is accused of taking part in the 1991 Vukovar massacre when 300 wounded Croats were beaten, executed and buried in a mass grave.

The 60-year-old – who denies any wrongdoing – came to Britain more than a decade ago and, when he was refused asylum, returned to Croatia in September 2002. Read More

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake NORTH INDIAN OCEAN - 9th May 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck the North Indian Ocean at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 12:42:26 UTC Wednesday 9th May 2012
The epicenter was 634 km (393 miles) Southwest of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

'That wasn't Maddie... it was my daughter': Swiss father says he was mystery man seen driving blonde girl identical to Madeleine

A Swiss father-of-three is being interviewed by police today after it emerged he was the mystery man seen driving from the camping ground with a girl who looked like Maddie McCann days after she vanished in 2007.

Karsten Mayer, 41, is a German-speaking Swiss native who lives near the capital Bern whose own daughter was in the family car and who, he says, was mistaken for the missing toddler by a British eyewitness.

The potential sighting came three days after Madeleine was abducted from Praia da Luz in Portugal, a few hours drive away.

It emerged yesterday that British detectives investigating her disappearance have been told the German family paid extra after arriving at the campsite with one more child than expected on May 6, 2007, according to The Sun.

But Mr Mayer, who was spotted with the blonde girl, has since insisted the youngster was not Madeleine, and was infact his own daughter. Read More

Unidentified floating object: Mysterious blob filmed in the deep - and no-one can work out what it could be

A mysterious ocean 'blob' has been recorded by a deep-sea remote-controlled underwater camera.

The creature looks like nothing seen before, with speculators suggesting it is everything from a jellyfish to the remains of a whale placenta.

While, at a quick glance, the description of a jellyfish makes sense, the creature has organs and appendages never spotted on a jellyfish before.

Meanwhile it could be a whale placenta, but if that is the case then the hexagonal shapes on the skin are a mystery. Read More

David Simpson faces death penalty for 'mass murder' in Africa after FINDING 13 victims of wanted warlord Kony

A British man was last night facing the death penalty after being charged with mass murder following the discovery of 13 bodies in an African jungle.

David Simpson, 24, a manager for a big game company, was arrested six weeks ago in the Central African Republic after he reported the gruesome find to police.

He found himself being thrown in prison accused of the killings, which are widely believed to have been carried out by supporters of notorious warlord Joseph Kony.

Mr Simpson, whose company offers wealthy clients the opportunity to shoot lions, leopards and buffalo, is being detained in a cramped and filthy jail cell with 80 other inmates in what he has described as a ‘nightmare’.

The Yorkshire-born son of a farmer told the Daily Mail he has been charged with a crime that still carries the death penalty in the war-torn impoverished country.

Speaking yesterday on a mobile phone smuggled into prison, he said: ‘For six weeks they held me without a shred of evidence.

'And now I have been forced to sign a piece of paper which states that I have been charged with murdering 13 people. Read More

'Britain treats Europe like a self-service restaurant' claims Francois Hollande....And Europe Treats the UK as Free CASH POINT

France's new president Francois Hollande made another thinly-veiled on David Cameron today when he claimed Britain treats Europe 'like a self-service restaurant'.

The new Socialist president-elect made his aggressive position towards the UK clear while outlining plans for his first meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron.

Asked by the news website Slate how he planned to deal with Mr Cameron, given the fact that the Conservative leader had snubbed him during a visit to London earlier this year, Mr Hollande also said he would meet him 'quickly'. Read More

Putin promises a strong Russia on world stage



(Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin, speaking in Moscow's Red Square with military generals at his side, said he would promote Russia's might on the world stage in a patriotic speech on Wednesday glorifying the Soviet victory over Germany in World War Two.

Two days after being sworn in for a six-year term that has drawn protests against his return to the Kremlin, Putin used the address to troops and war veterans at the annual military parade on Red Square to reinforce appeals for national unity.

Putin faces a battle to reassert himself after the biggest protests since he rose to power in 2000 and the detention of hundreds of protesters this week to keep a lid on dissent. Read More

U.S. institute says sees "new activities" at Iran site

(Reuters) - A U.S. security institute says commercial satellite imagery shows new activity at an Iranian military site which raises concern that the Islamic state may be "washing" a building the United Nations' nuclear agency wants to inspect.

The United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) suspects nuclear weapons-related research may have taken place at the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran.

Iran has dismissed the allegations but has yet to allow the agency to visit the facility, despite repeated requests.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said last week that the agency had recently noticed some "activities" there. He gave no details but Western diplomats suspect Iran may be cleaning the site before any inspection. Tehran denies this. Read More

Brazil's northeast struggles with drought

May 8 - Residents in northeastern Brazil struggle to survive as a severe drought kills livestock, scorches crops and leaves lakes dry. Deborah Lutterbeck reports

Suspected female assassin under arrest in Mexico

May 8 - Mexican police say female Zetas member confesses to 20 killings. Deborah Lutterbeck reports

Syria rebels kill 7, bomb explodes near U.N. monitors

(Reuters) - Syrian rebels killed at least seven pro-government militiamen in a Damascus suburb on Wednesday, activists said, and a large explosion hit a convoy accompanying United Nations ceasefire observers in the southern province of Deraa.

The Damascus attack with rocket-propelled grenades on a bus carrying the fighters through the suburb of Irbin prompted the army to seal off the area and respond with shelling, activist Mohammad Saeed said.

The sustained violence, nearly four weeks after a ceasefire deal was brokered by international mediator Kofi Annan, has led to warnings this week from the Red Cross, Arab League and Annan himself that Syria is slipping into civil war.

Annan's ceasefire deal was part of a wider plan aimed at ending 14 months of turmoil since protests erupted in March last year against President Bashar al-Assad. The demonstrations have now been overshadowed by an increasingly armed rebellion. Read More

Joran van der Sloot challenges extradition to U.S.

(CNN) -- Joran van der Sloot told a judge and prosecutor Tuesday that he would prefer to finish serving a 28-year murder sentence in Peru rather than be extradited to the United States to face charges related to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, his Peruvian lawyer said.

Representatives from the U.S. Embassy and the FBI attended the extradition hearing, which was not open to the public, Maximo Altez told InSession on Tru TV.

A conviction in the United States could affect van der Sloot's chances of being paroled in Peru, said Altez. He noted that a long-standing extradition treaty between the two countries means that van der Sloot will likely be extradited, despite his stated preference about remaining in Peru.

Peruvian judges in January sentenced the Dutchman to 28 years in prison for the murder in 2010 of Stephany Flores. He is also the prime suspect in the disappearance of Holloway. U.S. authorities want to try van der Sloot on charges of extortion and wire fraud in the Holloway case. Read More

Twitter hack breaches thousands of accounts

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A Twitter hacker on Monday revealed thousands of user names and passwords for the microblogging site, but here's the good news: Most of the compromised accounts appear to be spam.

Word of the breach began spreading Tuesday after hacking news and activist hub Airdemon posted a dispatch saying 55,000 accounts had been compromised. It linked to Pastebin pages containing the allegedly compromised user names and passwords.

A Twitter representative said the company is investigating. He also downplayed the extent of the potential breach, which hit a small sliver of Twitter's 140 million active users.

"It's worth noting that, so far, we've discovered that the list of alleged accounts and passwords found on Pastebin consists of more than 20,000 duplicates, many spam accounts that have already been suspended and many login credentials that do not appear to be linked (that is, the password and username are not actually associated with each other)," Twitter spokesman Robert Weeks said.

Still, Twitter is taking precautions. Read More

Gun parts found in boy's stuffed animals at Rhode Island airport



Washington (CNN) -- A man traveling with his 4-year-old son claims he didn't know that the three stuffed animals his little boy put on a conveyor belt at T. F. Green International Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, contained parts that could be assembled into a loaded handgun, the Transportation Security Administration says.

"It appears to be the result of a domestic dispute," said Rhode Island Airport Police Chief Leo Messier. An investigation by the airport police, state police and FBI determined there was no threat at any time to air safety, Messier said.

A TSA officer watched as a carry-on bag containing a stuffed teddy bear, a bunny rabbit and a Mickey Mouse toy went through a checkpoint X-ray machine Monday. The officer spotted the disassembled firearm components and ammunition concealed inside each of the stuffed animals, the TSA said. Read More

Libya: Former Rebels attack prime minister's office in pay protest

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Former rebels attacked the office of Libya's interim prime minister in central Tripoli on Tuesday in an apparent protest over outstanding payments promised by the government to ex-fighters, witnesses said.

The rebels circled the building in heavily armed pickup trucks, carrying weapons including anti-aircraft guns, and opened fire in the air and at the building, an official at the prime minister's office said.

The attackers, some dressed in army fatigues and others in civilian clothing, were from two towns in Libya's Western Mountains, said eyewitnesses and a member of the Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade, another group of former fighters.

Clashes ensued with guards from the prime minister's office, and fighters from the Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade were called in as reinforcements to protect the building, they said. Read More