Sunday, May 13, 2012

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake KYUSHU, JAPAN - 14th May 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Kyushu, Japan at a depth of 8.4 km (5.2 miles), the quake hit at 03:36:44 UTC Monday 14th May 2012
The epicenter was 23 km (14 miles) Southeast from Miyazaki, Kyushu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

NATO supplies stranded in Pakistan

Yemeni military kills 24 suspected al Qaeda militants

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) -- Government troops in southern Yemen on Sunday attacked al Qaeda hideouts, killing two dozen suspected militants in the latest push to clear the area of the terror organization, local security officials said.

Four members of the military were also killed in the clashes, which began early in the morning in the Abyan districts of Zinjibar and Jaar, the officials said, while nine troops were wounded.

Government warplanes aided in the assault.

"We succeeded in taking over three strategic posts near Jaar and our forces will continue to go forward," said one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Al Qaeda fighters are evacuating areas previously under their control due to the intensive government bombardment," the official added.

Yemen's government has been fighting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula for years with mixed results. Read More

Peace negotiator, NATO troops killed in Afghanistan



Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- An Afghan official involved in setting up peace talks with the Taliban was gunned down in Kabul on Sunday as Afghanistan announced plans to take control of security over more of its territory.

Gunmen killed Moulavi Arsala Rahmani while he was on his way to work Sunday morning, the Afghan interior ministry said. Rahmani was a senator and Cabinet minister in the former Taliban government when the Islamic militia ruled most of the country, but in recent years had been a senior member of the High Peace Council.

Rahmani played a key role in efforts to bring Taliban leaders to the negotiation table. Authorities were searching for the attackers, the interior ministry said. Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the killing, praising Rahmani as a warrior-turned-politician "and a great pacifist."

"Enemies of Afghanistan must know that every Afghan wants peace and progress in their country and, thus Mawlavi Arsala was not alone in this journey," Karzai said in a statement. Read More

Acid leak shuts down half of Sydney port

A suspected chemical leak on a container ship has shut down half of Sydney's Port Botany container wharves.

The DP World section of the wharves was closed about 1am (AEST) on Monday, as soon as the California Senator mixed-container ship arrived.

Superintendent Paul Bailey of Fire and Rescue NSW said a leak was suspected on several 1000-litre drums containing nitric acid, a chemical used in mining.

"We're not sure how much has leaked into the container itself," he told AAP.

"We're removing the container from the ship. We're trying to get into the container."

Supt Bailey said the shutdown of the DP World section meant half of the port's operations would be closed, but Patrick Stevedores was unaffected.

He said the leak was suspected some days before the ship arrived at the port. Source

Scott Thompson Yahoo CEO Quits Following Resume Scandal

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson is out after it was found he padded his resume with an embellished college degree, ending his term at the company after just four months.

Yahoo confirmed Thompson "has left the company" in a statement posted late Sunday, after two news reports. Tech blog AllThingsD was the first to report the news, and the New York Times followed up with its own article.

Yahoo media chief Ross Levinsohn will be named interim CEO, the company said. Levinsohn had earlier been rumored as a successor to Carol Bartz, who was fired from Yahoo by phone in September. Instead, Thompson took the CEO role in January. Read More

Austerity blow for Merkel in German state election

(Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday in an election in Germany's most populous state, a result which could embolden the left opposition to step up attacks on her European austerity policies.

The election in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a western German state with a bigger population than the Netherlands and an economy the size of Turkey, was held 18 months before a national vote in which Merkel will be fighting for a third term.

While she remains popular at home because of the strength of the economy and her steady handling of the euro zone debt crisis, the sheer scale of the defeat in NRW leaves her vulnerable at a time when a backlash against her insistence on fiscal discipline is building across Europe.

According to first projections, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) won 38.9 percent of the vote and will have enough to form a stable majority with the Greens. Read More

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 14th May 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck the Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska at a depth of 26.7 km (16.6 miles), the quake hit at 02:45:22 UTC Monday 14th May 2012
The epicenter was 83 km (51 miles) Southwest of Atka, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR - 14th May 2012

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck offshore El Salvador at a depth of 35 km (21.7 miles), the quake hit at 01:11:28 UTC Monday 14th May 2012
The epicenter was 70 km (43 miles) WSW of Acajutla, El Salvador
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake PANAMA - 14th May 2012

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck Panama at a depth of 43.4 km (27 miles), the quake hit at 00:29:47 UTC Monday 14th May 2012
The epicenter was 39 km (24.2 miles) South of Santiago, Panama
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN - 14th May 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck the Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan at a depth of 106.9 km (66.4 miles), the quake hit at 00:12:22 UTC Monday 14th May 2012
The epicenter was 86 km (53 miles) South of Faizabad, Afghanistan
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN BABAR, INDONESIA - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Kepulauan Babar, Indonesia at a depth of 162.5 km (101 miles), the quake hit at 23:10:31 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 243 km (150 miles) WNW of Saumlaki, Kepulauan Tanimbar, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake FIJI REGION - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck the Fiji Region at a depth of 4.8 km (3 miles), the quake hit at 22:46:11 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 117 km (72 miles) ENE of Lambasa, Vanua Levu, Fiji
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Lee Richardson Killed In Crash during a race in Poland

The former Great Britain Speedway rider Lee Richardson has died after a crash during a race in Poland.

The 33-year-old was competingin the Polish League meeting for PGE Marma Rzeszow against Betard Sparta Wroclaw when he crashed into a safety fence.

The Lakeside Hammers captain was taken to a hospital in Wroclaw but died from his injuries.

A statement on the Hammers' website read: "All at the club are devastated at the loss of a great captain, man and more than anything else a wonderful father and husband.

"Our thoughts are with his family at this most sad of times and we know that all Hammers fans will share our total devastation at this tragic news." Read More

Forty-nine headless corpses found in Mexico

Suspected drug gang killers dumped 49 headless bodies on a highway near Mexico's northern city of Monterrey in one of the country's worst atrocities in recent years.

The mutilated corpses of 43 men and 6 women, whose hands and feet had also been cut off, were found in a pile on a highway in the municipality of Cadereyta Jimenez in the early hours of Sunday, officials from the state of Nuevo Leon said.

"What's complicating the identification of all the people was that they were all headless," said Jorge Domene, the Nuevo Leon government's spokesman for public security, who said the other body parts were missing.

Domene said the brutal Zetas drug gang claimed responsibility for the murders in a message found at the scene.

The massacre was the latest in a string of mass slayings that have convulsed Mexico in recent months, many of them in the north of the country, where the Zetas have waged a war against rival groups for control of smuggling routes. more

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EU leaders set for showdown on fate of euro as crisis deepens as German voters reject austerity in key poll

Angela Merkel and Fran├žois Hollande to have first face-to-face talks in Berlin after eurozone finance ministers meet in Brussels

Europe is braced for a crucial 48 hours of high-stakes summitry likely to decide whether Germany and France can strike a grand bargain aimed at dispelling growing pessimism over the chances of the single currency surviving in its current form.

While eurozone finance ministers are to meet on Mondayin Brussels, apparently at a loss over how to respond to political paralysis in Greece and a worsening crisis in Spain, all eyes are on Fran├žois Hollande, the new French leader, who is to go to Berlin for his first face-to-face meeting with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, as soon as he is sworn in as president on Tuesday .

Hollande, Europe's new champion of growth policies, lines up against Merkel, the dominant cheerleader of austerity as the solution to the crisis. The German leader, increasingly isolated if inherently strong in the European contest, suffered a big setback on Sunday night, with her Christian Democrats slumping to a crushing defeat in an election in the big German state of North-Rhine Westphalia, according to German TV exit polls.

Against a background of intense volatility, Europe was pulled in opposing directions by voters, protests, and political paralysis at the weekend, deepening uncertainty over its future shape and gnawing away at the prospects for the euro's survival as a 17-country union. Read More

Sixth child dies in suspicious Derby housefire

A sixth child dies in a suspicious fire that swept through a Derby home as police appeal to the distraught community for information.

Duwayne Philpott, 13, lost his fight for his life on Sunday when his parents agreed to end their vigil at his bedside in Birminghan's Children's Hospital and switch off his life support.

Parents Malread and Mick Philpott made the decision after doctors said their son would not survive.

"Duwayne suffered serious injuries in the fire," said Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill. "Mr and Mrs Philpot remain at their son's bedside."

St George's Roman Catholic Church held a service for the local community to offer their prayers in memory of his sibliings: Jade Philpott, 10, John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and Jayden, five, who died after the blaze at their house in Allenton, Derby, on Friday morning. Read More

Mexico Police Find Bodies Dumped In Bags

The bodies of 49 men and women - some of them mutilated - have been discovered in plastic bags on a highway in Mexico.

The remains were found near a major road, which connects the northern Mexican city of Monterrey to the US border, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Traffic along the stretch was brought to a standstill as federal and state police, joined by Mexican troops, sealed off the scene.

The identities of the victims were not yet known, but state security spokesman Jorge Domene said identification would be difficult because the bodies were found with their heads, hands and feet cut off.

The gruesome discovery appears to be the latest in a series of incidents where feuding drug gangs have left bodies scattered in public places as warnings to rivals. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska at a depth of 31.6 km (19.6 miles), the quake hit at 18:44:38 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 56 km (34 miles) WSW of Amatignak Island, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake SERAM, INDONESIA - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Seram, Indonesia at a depth of 121.9 km (75.7 miles), the quake hit at 18:24:49 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 69 km (42 miles) East of Ambon, Moluccas, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN IRAN - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Southern Iran at a depth of 40 km (24.8 miles), the quake hit at 18:21:18 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 62 km (38.4 miles) South of Gerash, Iran
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

F1 Williams fire: Personnel Injured

A number of Formula 1 personnel are being treated by medical staff at the Circuit de Catalunya for burns and smoke inhalation following a major fire in the Williams garage after the Spanish Grand Prix.

Shortly after a team photo was taken to celebrate Pastor Maldonado's victory, around 90 minutes after the end of the race, it is believed that fuel exploded while it was being prepared for transportation as part of the post-race procedure.

The explosion filled the garage with black smoke, which poured into the pits and paddock, and personnel from a number of teams as well as track officials moved quickly to put the blaze out.
A number of team members were caught up in the incident, with those suffering from burns and smoke inhalation being taken to the medical centre.

While there has been no official confirmation of the number of F1 personnel involved in the incident or the extent of their injuries, Williams, Force India and Caterham have confirmed that their staff members are being treated.

Williams has said that four of its crew are being looked at in the medical centre, although the extent of the injuries is unknown. Read More

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck the Iran-Iraq Border Region at a depth of 40.7 km (25.3 miles), the quake hit at 13:48:14 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 79 km (49 miles) WNW of Dezful, Iran
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Greece will run out of money soon, warns deputy prime minister

Greece's deputy prime minister has said the country will run out of money in six weeks unless it honours its bitterly-disputed EU bailout deal.

Speaking exclusively to The Sunday Telegraph, Theodoros Pangalos said he was "very much afraid of what is going to happen" after Greek voters rejected the deal in elections last Sunday.

"The majority of the people voted for a very strange mental construction," he said. "We want to be in the EU and the euro, but we don't want to pay anything for the past."

The main beneficiary of the election, the hard-Left Syriza coalition, came a startling second on a promise to tear up the deal, which promises EU loans to keep massively-indebted Greece afloat, but demands crippling spending cuts in return. Germany, the principal lender, has said it will stop payments if Greece breaks its promises on spending.

Mr Pangalos warned: "There is a school of thought that says the Germans are bluffing. They need Greece and will never throw us out of the eurozone. But what will happen, which is almost certain, is they will not give us the money to pay our debts.

"We will be in wild bankruptcy, out-of-control bankruptcy. The state will not be able to pay salaries and pensions. This is not recognised by the citizens. We have got until June before we run out of money. more

Greek coalition government talks turn ugly

Athens, Greece (CNN) -- Greek politicians traded insults and accusations Sunday following an effort by President Karolos Papoulias to broker a coalition government, increasing the possibility of new elections in the debt-stricken country.

Papoulias called together the leaders of the three biggest parties on Sunday, a week after indecisive elections and three failed attempts to form a government.

After the meeting, the leader of the radical leftist Syriza coalition said other parties wanted Syriza to be their "partners in crime," adding: "We can't do that."

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras suggested the two other largest parties, New Democracy and PASOK, were going to form a coalition with a smaller group, the Democratic Left.

But the Democratic Left issued a statement calling Tsipras's remarks "a disgrace," and accusing him of lying and slandering the smaller party. Read More

Yemen says US drone strikes have killed 11 al-Qaida militants in two days

Increasing pace of US strikes against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula comes as US expert warns of anti-western sentiment

Suspected US drones have killed 11 alleged al-Qaida militants in a strike in southern Yemen, local military authorities have said.

The first of the two attacks took place on Saturday near the border of Marib and Shabwa provinces southeast of the capital, Sana'a, killing six militants, including one Egyptian national, the Yemeni officials said. A second strike hit two cars in Marib, killing a further five al-Qaida-linked fighters.

The air strikes come a week after the US took out a top al-Qaida operative wanted over the 2000 bombing of USS Cole in a similar missile attack from an unmanned aircraft.

It also follows a warning just a few days ago from the former head of the CIA's counter-terrorism unit, Robert Grenier, over the excessive use of drones. He said the policy risks turning Yemen into the "Arabian equivalent of Waziristan" – a reference to the strife-torn Pakistani region.

There was no immediate confirmation from the US on whether Washington was behind Saturday's attacks. Read More

Palestinians: Netanyahu letter on peace a non-starter

(Reuters) - The formal response of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Palestinian grievances over frozen peace negotiations contains nothing that could revive the talks, Palestinian officials said on Sunday.

Netanyahu's reply on Saturday to a letter he received last month from Mahmoud Abbas rejected the Palestinian president's demand to halt Jewish settlement building in occupied territories and repeated a call for an unconditional return to talks that collapsed in 2010, according to the officials.

"The content of (Netanyahu's) letter did not represent grounds for returning to negotiations," Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization which reviewed the document, told Reuters.

Israel did not release details of Netanyahu's letter, which a senior aide carried to Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah. But Israeli officials said last week they did not expect Netanyahu to agree to Abbas's demand to stop settlement construction before reopening any talks.

After the right-wing Israeli premier's letter was delivered, his office issued a joint statement with the Palestinians saying both sides were "committed to achieving peace". Read More

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE VALPARAISO, CHILE - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck offshore Valparaiso, Chile at a depth of 14 km (9.2 miles), the quake hit at 12:42:50 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 39 km (24 miles) NNW of Valparaiso, Valparaiso, Chile
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

3.9 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 3.9 earthquake has struck Northern California at a depth of 3.5 km (2.2 miles), the quake hit at 12:38:52 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 3 km (1.8 miles) ESE from The Geysers, California
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 15.3 km (9.5 miles), the quake hit at 12:30:58 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 633 km (393 miles) WSW of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake FIJI REGION - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck the Fiji Region at a depth of 493.1 km (306.4 miles), the quake hit at 11:55:00 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 103 km (64 miles) ESE of Ndoi Island, Fiji
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the South Sandwich Islands Region at a depth of 140 km (87 miles), the quake hit at 11:29:40 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 18 km (11 miles) ENE of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

China, Japan, S. Korea Warn North to Stop Provocations

The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea say they will not tolerate further provocation from North Korea, amid fears that Pyongyang is preparing for a new nuclear test.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak made the remark Sunday after meeting in Beijing with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

North Korea's failed rocket launch last month led to sanctions from the U.N. Security Council. The launch drew immediate condemnation from the United States and its allies, who view it as a disguised ballistic missile test barred under U.N. resolutions.

The three leaders decided Sunday to start free-trade negotiations before the end of the year. They also signed an investment agreement.

China, Japan and South Korea are the three largest East Asian economies. Source

London 2012 Is Psychological Warfare

Suicide & Revolt: 'Some EU states ready for Euro Spring'

Turkish football Riots

Yunnan Bombing: Official Version Different to Witness Reports



On May10th, a bombing occurred at Qiaojia County in Yunnan.
4 dead and 16 injured are the latest official figures.
Yet non-official sources have a different story of the bombing.
Local authorities claimed the explosion was done by one man.
Deaths and wounded have no less than 20.
At least 6 deaths had been covered up.
But local residents and on-the-scene reporter said it was a
suicide bombing by a woman protesting at official demolition.
The woman's one-year-old son also became a victim.

Latest news released on Weibo says the female's husband
was killed by local authorities doing the official demolition.
The tragedy occurred when the wife claimed her husband's
ashes. The real death toll is far higher than officials reported.

Netizen 'Tian You' posting reveals that the husband of
a woman surnamed Li died a few days after he was arrested.
Later, notified by phone to go claim her husband's ash urn,
Mrs Li went there with her child and an explosive pack.
Among over 20 casualties, more than 6 people died, said the
posting. However, the truth was covered up by the authorities.

On May 11th, Chinese Communist party (CCP) media said
the bombing was done by a male named Zhao Deng.
The CCP also reported that Zhao died at the scene with
the death toll a total of four persons.

Now huge numbers of postings have flooded China's web
world, demanding the authorities tell the truth. Read More

Imprisoned for Defending Human Rights



After June 4th rights defender Huang Qi's release
from prison upon which he was diagnosed with terminal illness,
he continues to work hard everyday for the suffering
parents and students of the Sichuan earthquake.
On May 10th, two English reporters were forced by police
to leave while attempting to interview Huang Qi at China's Tianwang human rights center.
Huang Qi expressed that the two times he's been convicted,
Zhou Yongkang, the head of Political and Legislative Affairs Committee was involved.

Around 4pm on the 10th, founder of Tianwang Human Rights
Center, Huang QI, was sitting in his office, being interviewed by two reporters, a translator, and some petitioners.
Less than 1/10 into the interview, a few police and officials came
to check the English reporters credentials.
Rights defender Yan Wenhan, who was there at the time,
expressed that the police told English reporters that their interview was illegal.

Rights Defender Yan Wenhan: "They think these two reporters
did not go through the right procedures.
The first is their interview certificate; the second was that their
translator did not have relevant documents.
For these two reasons, the police considered their interview
to be illegal and required all interview contents to be deleted. Read More

Syria troops seize Sunni village, kill seven: activists

(Reuters) - Syrian troops backed by armored vehicles on Sunday shot dead seven civilians when they overran a rebellious Sunni Muslim village west of the city of Hama, burning houses and arresting dozens of people, an activists' organization said.

Four women were among those killed in the village of Tamanaa in al-Ghab, a lush plain in the rural epicenter of the 14-month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, said the Syrian Network for Human Rights, an opposition activists' group monitoring the crackdown.

"The village was subjected to collective punishment. Over half of its houses were burnt. Several people were executed when they were arrested. The rest were killed from bombardment," a statement from the organization said. Read More

Plane en route to Christian youth conference crashes in Kansas, 4 die

(CNN) -- A recent Oral Roberts University graduate was the only one of five people en route to a Christian youth conference to survive a plane crash in southeastern Kansas, officials said Saturday.

The twin-engine Cessna 401 went down Friday afternoon about nine miles west of Chanute, the Kansas Highway Patrol said on their website. The small aircraft landed in a field and skidded about 200 feet before hitting a treeline.

A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board on Saturday said the pilot had been in contact with air traffic controllers, but there was no distress call.

"There was an altitude change and that was the last transmission," said spokesman Peter Knudson.

The aircraft caught fire after the crash. Read More

Iranian president: Israel 'nothing more than a mosquito' to Iran

(CNN) -- Ahead of upcoming nuclear talks, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad downplayed the threat Israel poses to Iran, comparing it to an annoying bug.

"Israel is nothing more than a mosquito which cannot see the broad horizon of the Iranian nation," he said Saturday in northeastern Iran's Khorassan province, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

Ahmadinejad said "regional states" were being duped into buying billions in arms from "arrogant and imperial powers," driven in part by all the talk surrounding a potential war involving Iran and Israel, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Such military purchases, he said, are unnecessary because there is no war on the horizon between those two nations.

The Iranian president alluded to "rulers" who sold "their petrol" for $60 billion worth in arms, though he did not mention by name either the purchasing or selling country. Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a 20-year, $60 billion arms deal with the United States, including nearly $30 billion for F-15 fighter jets announced late last year. Read More

Brian J. Weiss shot five times in the head and killer turns gun on himself during Suspected 'Russian Mafia' meeting in New York hotel

A man shot in a New York hotel on Thursday was involved in a disreputable business and may have had links to the Russian mafia, according to police.

Shot five times in the head in front of four witnesses, Brian J. Weiss, 31, was a top official in a Florida dietary supplement company that has been the target of thousands of consumer complaints.

His killer, Gary L. Zalevsky, 47, was observed by video surveillance footage standing up during a meeting with Weiss and four others at the Hilton Garden Inn in Queens, shooting Weiss five times in the head and then turning the gun on himself.

The four surviving members of the meeting tried to leave the hotel without phoning 911, but the police of 106th Precinct rounded them up, although three of them immediately obtained lawyers.

'They are not speaking to us,' said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, according to a report in the New York Times. Read More

Public banned from reading details of Chinese cyber-attack on Google users

A federal appeals court has turned down a Freedom of Information Act request to disclose National Security Agency records about the 2010 cyberattack on Google users in China.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, which focuses on privacy and civil liberties, sought communications between Google and the NSA, which conducts worldwide electronic surveillance and protects the U.S. government from such spying.

But the NSA refused to confirm or deny whether it had any relationship with Google. The NSA argued that doing so could make U.S. government information systems vulnerable to attack.

A federal district court judge sided with the NSA last year, and on Friday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the ruling. Read More

'Hamas has infiltrated the U.S. government and the rules of war no longer apply': SECOND anti-Muslim class run by military officials revealed

A second anti-Islamic course being taught to U.S. military officers has been discovered following revelations that one class advocated ‘total war’ against Muslims.

Al Jazeera obtained the material from a course taught on a military base in Virginia which imply that the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has infiltrated the U.S government at the highest levels.

The slides seemingly warn officers of a link between Muslim Civil Liberties Advocacy Organisation (CAIR), and other American Muslim groups, with Hamas.

Both courses are voluntary and were put together by the same group, a nonprofit that offers classes and workshops to military and government officials.

One of the slides in the course, which was taught to senior military officers in north Virginia, says that the Geneva Conventions are ‘no longer relevant’ when fighting against Muslims, Al Jazeera reported. Read More

California's budget shortfall hits $16billion after DOUBLING in just four months

California's budget deficit has swelled to a projected $16billion - much larger than had been predicted just months ago - and will force severe cuts to schools and public safety if voters fail to approve tax increases in November, Gov. Jerry Brown said Saturday.

The shortfall has nearly doubled from its original figure of $9.2billion in January in part because of unexpectedly low tax collections and the economy growing slower than expected, the Democratic governor said.

The deficit has also risen because lawsuits and federal requirements have blocked billions of dollars in state cuts.

'This means we will have to go much farther and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year,' Brown said in an online video.

'But we can't fill this hole with cuts alone without doing severe damage to our schools. That's why I'm bypassing the gridlock and asking you, the people of California, to approve a plan that avoids cuts to schools and public safety,' he said. Read More

Hector Manuel Rodriguez and Jesse Brandon Davis charged with brutal killing of Florida teenagers whose bodies were 'burned beyond all recognition'

Two men have been charged with first-degree murder a month after two teenagers’ bodies were found engulfed in flames along a central Florida trail.

Jesse Brandon Davis and Hector Manuel Rodriguez made their first appearance before a judge on Saturday, but were denied bond.

Both men have been charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the deaths of 16-year-old Nicholas Presha and 18-year-old Jeremy Stewart in April, who were found badly burned on a popular biking trail in Winter Park, Florida.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said the felons were both ‘evil and dangerous criminals.’ He says that the teens were likely killed as they were trying to sell the men handguns.

Davis, who has a speckled history with the law, was arrested last month on unrelated charges. Rodriguez was arrested on Friday.

The latter has been convicted with felony theft, as well as misdemeanour theft and drug charges, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Investigators say they were robbed and shot to death. A passer-by later discovered their bodies engulfed in flames along a popular trail. Read More

Juan Garcia who 'beat two-year-old boy to death' for not eating his dinner turns himself in to police

A man accused of beating his girlfriend's 2-year-old boy to death because he wouldn't eat his dinner has turned himself in, police announced Friday.

Juan Garcia, 18, led Arizona police on a near three-month manhunt after fleeing his girlfriend's Phoenix home where the boy, Jorge Zamora-Rogel, was pronounced dead after found thoroughly beaten.

Garcia is being held at the Pima County Detention Center after turning himself near Lukeville border in southern Arizona.

He will be charged with first-degree murder, child abuse, aggravated assault and misdemeanor assault once expedited to Phoenix, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt Trent Crump told AZ Central.

Garcia had moved in to the home of the child's mother, Wendy Rogel-Pagasa, 18, only days before he killing her son, Jorge, in a fit of rage on February 24, police said. Read More

Economic meltdowns, global warming, and no end to Guantanamo: How the world is disappointed in Obama's performance (and his broken promises)

In a world weary of war and economic crises, and concerned about global climate change, the consensus is that President Obama has not lived up to the lofty expectations that surrounded his 2008 election and Nobel Peace Prize a year later.

Many in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America were also taken aback by his support for gay marriage, a taboo subject among religious conservatives.

In Europe, where more than 200,000 people thronged a Berlin rally in 2008 to hear Obama speak, there's disappointment that he hasn't kept his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, and perceptions that he's shunting blame for the financial crisis across the Atlantic.

In Mogadishu, a former teacher wishes he had sent more economic assistance and fewer armed drones to fix Somalia's problems. And many in the Middle East wonder what became of Obama's vow, in a landmark 2009 speech at the University of Cairo, to forge a closer relationship with the Muslim world. Read More

'Devil's Breath' chemical from Colombia can block free will, wipe memory and even kill

A drug that eliminates free will while leaving the victim completely articulate is currently being dealt on the streets of Colombia.

The drug is called scopolamine, but is colloquially known as ‘The Devil’s Breath,' and is derived from a particular type of tree common to South America.

Stories surrounding the drug are the stuff of urban legends, with some telling horror stories of how people were raped, forced to empty their bank accounts, and even coerced into giving up an organ.

VICE’s Ryan Duffy travelled to the country to find out more about the powerful drug. In two segments, he revealed the shocking culture of another Colombian drug world, interviewing those who deal the drug and those who have fallen victim to it.

Demencia Black, a drug dealer in the capital of Bogota, said the drug is frightening for the simplicity in which it can be administered.

He told Vice that Scopolamine can be blown in the face of a passer-by on the street, and within minutes, that person is under the drug’s effect – scopolamine is odourless and tasteless. Read More

Isabel Celis's brothers removed from father's care as it is revealed police spent $1m searching for six-year-old in three weeks

Child Protective Services removed the two older brothers of missing six-year-old Tuscon girl Isabel Celis from the care of their father Sergio on Friday after a consultation with police.

Julian and Sergio, aged 10 and 14 respectively, are now in the exclusive custody of their mother Becky, who does not live with their father.

Isabel was at her father's house on the night she disappeared last month.

'We just wanted CPS to come in and perform an assessment based on information from detectives,' Tuscon police lieutenant Fabian Pacheco told the Arizona Daily Star.

Police have declined to provide any further details as to what brought them to this decision. Read More

Yekaterina Pusepa pictured minutes after she 'stabbed lover with a kitchen knife in fight'

A woman was arrested for attempted murder after allegedly stabbing her boyfriend during a heated argument in the early hours of Friday morning.

Yekaterina Pusepa was led handcuffed from the grisly scene in tears, her white T-shirt, jeans and arms covered with the blood of her injured boyfriend, Alec Katsnelson.

She was pictured on the sidewalk outside her New York home sobbing as she was led away from the scene of the crime.

Several police officers were called after the couple's loud arguing disturbed neighbours in the middle of the night.

Pusepa wept in court on Saturday when she was charged with attempted murder and second-degree assault, but she did not speak during the hearing. Read More

Child, four, tumbles from car... and is saved after her father jumps from moving vehicle to scoop her to safety in China

Incredible footage has emerged of a driver leaping from his moving car to rescue his child who had fallen out onto a busy road junction.

The four-year-old girl can be clearly seen dropping out of the front door at the bustling crossroads in China and narrowly missing the back wheel.

A taxi driver following close behind has to slam on the brakes and manages to bring the vehicle to a sudden halt just yards from the terrified infant.

The unmanned car the father and daughter were traveling in is left to fly off the road and smash into a tree. Read More

John Goodman Jailed for 16 Years for killing promising student in drunken hit-and-run

The polo-playing millionaire who killed a young man in a DUI hit-and-run has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.

John Goodman was also fined $10,000 for his role in the death of 23-year-old Scott Wilson, who drowned when Goodman, 48, rammed into his car and sent it into a canal in February 2010.

Judge Jeffrey Colbath condemned Goodman's actions, saying: 'He left to try and save himself.'

The killer became notorious when he tried to adopt his 42-year-old girlfriend in an apparent attempt to protect his fortune from his victim's family in the event of a possible civil suit over Mr Wilson's death.

Last month he reached a settlement with the Wilson family and will pay out $46million in compensation to them. Read More

Michael Little arrested in New York over role in 'conspiracy to dodge millions in tax by hiding money overseas'

A British lawyer has been arrested for allegedly advising the family of a former top Fidelity Investments executive how to dodge U.S. taxes by hiding millions of dollars overseas.

Michael Little, 61, of Hampshire, was likely to remain incarcerated overnight after a judge in Manhattan ordered bail secured by at least $1million in cash or property on the charge of conspiracy to commit tax fraud.

He was ordered to slap on an electronic monitoring bracelet on Friday as his bail was set at $2million.

The German-born Little, who has a residence in Long Island City in New York, was arrested on Thursday night as he arrived at Kennedy International Airport on a flight from London, where he lives with his wife and children. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 27.8 km (17.3 miles), the quake hit at 09:18:57 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 352 km (218 miles) Southwest of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 13th May 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Southern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 77.5 km (48.2 miles), the quake hit at 09:10:22 UTC Sunday 13th May 2012
The epicenter was 24 km (14 miles) SSW of Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Australia 7th Best Country To Be A Mum

Australia is the seventh best country in the world to be a mum in.

According to the 13th annual State of the World’s Mothers report released by Save the Children this week, Norway is the best place to be a mother, while Niger is the worst.

The Mothers Index analyses health, education and economic conditions for women and children in 165 countries around the world each year. To adjudicate Australia seventh is sparkling testament to our strong health, welfare and education systems.

With things so good for Australian women bearing children, it’s no surprise that mums are taking to the start-up scene like never before.

According to a recent Kimberly-Clark survey, seven out of ten Australian women are thinking about starting a business after becoming a mother. Read More

Japan faces 'extinction' in 1000 years

Japanese researchers have unveiled a population clock that showed the nation's people could theoretically become extinct in 1000 years because of declining birth rates.

Academics in the northern city of Sendai said that Japan's population of children aged up to 14, which now stands at 16.6 million, is shrinking at the rate of one every 100 seconds.

Their extrapolations pointed to a Japan with no children left within a millennium.

"If the rate of decline continues, we will be able to celebrate the Children's Day public holiday on May 5, 3011 as there will be one child," said Hiroshi Yoshida, an economics professor at Tohoku University.

"But 100 seconds later there will be no children left," he said. "The overall trend is towards extinction, which started in 1975 when Japan's fertility rate fell below two."

Yoshida said he created the population clock to encourage "urgent" discussion of the issue. Read More

Doctors group says heterosexual marriage better for kids

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has distanced itself from a group of prominent doctors who say heterosexual marriage is better for children.

Around 150 medical practitioners from the group Doctors For The Family, including a member of Victoria's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, have signed a submission to the Senate inquiry into marriage equality, opposing same-sex marriage

The group says heterosexual marriage is healthier for children.

Doctors for the Family's convener Lachlan Dunjey told ABC News Radio the group is concerned about the health consequences for children of gay marriages.

"It's well proven that children who grow up with a mother and a father in a biological mother-and-father family do better than children who don't have the opportunity to grow up in that kind of family," he said. Read More