Monday, May 21, 2012

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake MOLUCCA SEA - 22nd May 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck the Molucca Sea, Indonesia at a depth of 69.4 km (43.1 miles), the quake hit at 02:38:52 UTC Tuesday 22nd May 2012
The epicenter was 189 km (117 miles) NNW of Ternate, Moluccas, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake BULGARIA - 22nd May 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck Bulgaria at a depth of 9.3 km (5.8 miles), the quake hit at 02:13:29 UTC Tuesday 22nd May 2012
The epicenter was 24 km (14 miles) WSW of SOFIA, Bulgaria
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake BULGARIA - 22nd May 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Bulgaria at a depth of 8.5 km (5.3 miles), the quake hit at 01:30:50 UTC Tuesday 22nd May 2012
The epicenter was 24 km (14 miles) West of SOFIA, Bulgaria
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.6 Magnitude Earthquake BULGARIA - 22nd May 2012

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck Bulgaria at a depth of 9.4 km (5.8 miles), the quake hit at 00:00:33 UTC Tuesday 22nd May 2012
The epicenter was 24 km (14 miles) West of SOFIA, Bulgaria
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN BABAR, INDONESIA - 21st May 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Kepulauan Babar, Indonesia at a depth of 156.8 km (97.4 miles), the quake hit at 23:50:54 UTC Monday 21st May 2012
The epicenter was 193 km (119 miles) WNW of Saumlaki, Kepulauan Tanimbar, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued, No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF PANAMA - 21st May 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck South of Panama at a depth of 34.4 km (21.4 miles), the quake hit at 23:31:06 UTC Monday 21st May 2012
The epicenter was 148 km (91 miles) West of Quibdo, Colombia
No Tsunami Warning Issued, No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 21st May 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Southern Xinjiang, China at a depth of 9.8 km (6.1 miles), the quake hit at 21:38:34 UTC Monday 21st May 2012
The epicenter was 59 km (36 miles) South of Shache, Xinjiang, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

North Rowan High School teacher screams at students that they could get arrested for "disrespecting" Obama in fascist rant



The link to the video first showed up at WBTV on Tuesday of last week. It came from a man who said he was a former teacher in the Rowan Salisbury School System. He claimed that a student inside a classroom at North Rowan High School was being verbally abused in a debate over President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney:


This video is circulating the internet. It is about a North Rowan High School social studies teacher that is verbally abusing a student regarding a question about the President and Mitt Romney. Please watch and listen to the actions of the teacher in this video and bring this type of bullyingof students by the staff of RSS to light. As a former social studies teacher in the RSS system, I can tell you that this type of behavior is commonplace. This should not be allowed to be covered up by RSS, as they nearly always do. I do not know any of the individuals in this video and have no motive other than to bring this behavior to an end. Thank you.

The video was shot on the student's cell phone as it sits on a desk, staring up at the fluorescent light on the ceiling, capturing the often out of control conversation between the teacher and several students. When one student begins criticizing President Obama, the teacher seems to go on the defensive, telling the student at one point that he can be arrested for being critical of the President.

On Tuesday WBTV contacted the Rowan Salisbury School System about the video. Public Information Officer Rita Foil said she was not aware of it. The video was forwarded to Foil. On Thursday the video was discussed on WSTP Radio, generating several angry calls over the teacher's handling of the situation. An article in the Salisbury Post by Sarah Campbell brought more attention, and when the Post article was spotted by several on line news organizations, including the Drudge Report, the incident got national attention. more

Note: She was suspended. With pay. That's right: early vacation for her, all paid, for abusing her students and teaching them the First Amendment is essentially worthless.

"Virus Alert" on the Coming Crisis (New posts below until this evening)

UPDATE:

FIXED! You guys likely won't believe this, but it was an image of Kim Jong Un causing the warning to spring up. He causes trouble far and wide! (But mostly wide). Thanks for all your help in solving the problem, and for Lynsey's bloodhound nose for ultimately finding the culprit.

Some of you using the Chrome browser may have experienced a warning that says the Coming Crisis has been infected by a virus and that it's "dangerous to proceed". This warning is appearing because one of the news websites we post articles from has been infected, and whenever our website calls upon theirs for information, the Chrome Browser detects this communication and automatically sends out the warning.

Rest assured, however, that the CC is not infected with a virus, and that you are completely safe while browsing it. We have located the infected server and have verified that it is indeed where the warning message is coming from, and just for piece of mind will post two diagnostic links here that demonstrate the safety of our website:

Infected server's report (which shows the trouble):

http://safebrowsing.clients.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?client=Firefox&hl=en-US&site=http://res.heraldm.com/

Coming Crisis's report (which shows it's completely safe):

http://safebrowsing.clients.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?client=Firefox&hl=en-US&site=http://thecomingcrisis.blogspot.com

Simply click "proceed" when you encounter the warning on your Chrome browser. If you have any concerns or worries, feel free to get in touch with us. Note that Mac users are immune to all of this; only Windows users need adhere to this message.

Investors relieved they got shut out of Facebook IPO

(Reuters) - Curtis Arnold tried to buy Facebook Inc stock 10 times throughout the day on Friday through his online brokerage, E*Trade Financial Inc.

Each time, he tried to make the $25,000 purchase of shares, E*Trade's trading site either timed out or he received a message that said trading in the stock had halted, Arnold said.

"I finally got so frustrated that I quit," he said.

Now that the stock is trading 10 percent below its original $38-per-share price, Arnold, who is founder of credit card rating site Cardratings.com, said he is relieved.

"Seeing what the stock is doing now, I am glad that my order did not go through," he said. "It saved me a nice chunk of change."

Whether through trading glitches, or just an inability to get access to Facebook shares before the initial public offering, many investors who missed out on Friday, now say they are better off.

Over the past few weeks investors have been hammering their financial advisers trying to get access to the much-anticipated social media site's shares pre-IPO.

When advisers told some clients they were not able to get shares for them, the clients were extremely disappointed, advisers said.

Not so much now. Read More

NATO rogue arm of US war machine: Allen Roland

West-led UN turns blind eye to Bahrain crimes: Analyst

Syrian opposition to announce new leader

'Vicious spiral of decline: Germany leads Europe into a worse crisis'

Cameron says not enough done to resolve euro crisis

(Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that not enough had been done to decisively resolve the euro zone crisis.

Cameron, speaking during a NATO summit here, said he would be meeting later in the day to discuss the crisis with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Cameron stressed that British banks are well regulated and well capitalized. Source

Gas explosion in Gateshead: Three police officers and a gas engineer injured

Three police officers and a gas engineer have been taken to hospital after a gas explosion in Gateshead.

Police were called to a flat on Marian Court at about 17:30 BST where an elderly man was found and placed in the care of paramedics.

While officers were inside the property there appeared to have been an explosion, police said.

The officers and the engineer were taken to hospital for treatment. Neighbouring flats have been evacuated. Source

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN ITALY - 21st May 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Northern Italy at a depth of 8.8 km (5.5 miles), the quake hit at 16:37:31 UTC Sunday 20th May 2012
The epicenter was 42 km (26 miles) North from Bologna, Italy

Daniel 'The Madman' Elizondo has been arrested by in the suspicion that he is behind the massacre of 49 people who were found decapitated, Mexico

Mexican soldiers have arrested the leader of a drug cartel for the massacre of 49 people whose corpses were decapitated, dismembered and dumped on a highway last week.

Leader of the Zetas drug cartel Daniel Elizondo, also known as 'El Loco' or 'The Madman,' was detained in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, an army spokesman confirmed yesterday.

Alleged perpetrator Elizondo headed the Zetas trafficking operations in the town of Cadereyta, close to where the bodies were dumped.

The massacre is one of the worst atrocities committed in Mexico's drug war, which has raged since President Felipe Calderon took power in 2006 and launched a national offensive against the cartels.

Police found the corpses on the highway about 18 miles east of the city of Monterrey, Mexico on May 13. Read More

Ancient Methane unleashed from 150,000 seeps in Alaska and Greenland could have huge impact on world's climate

Retreating glaciers and thawing permafrost are unleashing 'seeps' of methane which could have a massive impact on global warming.

Using ground-based measurements and aerial surveys, researchers found 150,000 'methane seeps' - mostly along boundaries where glaciers and permafrost are melting.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas - and this effect makes the climate puzzle even more complex, says the report in Nature Geoscience.

As more glaciers and permafrost melt, the effect could become even MORE severe.

'Perennially-frozen ground and glaciers of the Arctic trap methane leaking from hydrocarbon reservoirs, restricting the flow to the atmosphere,' say the researchers.

Katey Walter Anthony and colleagues examined natural methane seeps in Alaska and Greenland, using ground-based measurements and aerial surveys.

They identified over 150, 000 seeps, the majority of which where found along boundaries of glacier and permafrost melt. Read More

Hannah Windsor Murder Probe after she was found Stabbed to death at secluded spot, 18 year old man is held on suspicion of murder

A teenage girl was stabbed to death after being attacked at a secluded beauty spot.

The body of 17-year-old Hannah Windsor was found hidden in undergrowth close to the historic Bidston Hill Observatory on the outskirts of Birkenhead, Wirral.

A post-mortem found she died as a result of multiple injuries.

It is understood police officers were alerted after a walker found items belonging to a woman including a handbag, clothing and keys in an area of woodland.

Hannah, from Birkenhead, had been reported missing by staff at the assisted accommodation where she lived.

They launched an extensive search and the body of the teenager was later found in a secluded spot near a footpath close to the historic Bidston Hill Observatory on the outskirts of Birkenhead, Wirral.

Detectives arrested an 18-year-old man in the nearby village of Moreton.

He has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody where he is being questioned by detectives. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS - 21st May 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the Kuril Islands at a depth of 83 km (51.6 miles), the quake hit at 15:57:10 UTC Monday 21st May 2012
The epicenter was 335 km (208 miles) Southwest from Severo-Kuril'sk, Kuril Islands, Russia
No Tsunami Warning Issued, No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

David Joyce a Disabled thief tries to sue getaway driver for injuries suffered during high speed escape from raid

A thief who sued his uncle after falling from their getaway van and suffering disabling injuries will not get a penny in damages, a top judge ruled today.

Mr Justice Cooke said a getaway driver could not owe a 'duty of care' or be liable for the injuries of his partner-in-crime if the heist went badly.

David Joyce, 23, of Richmond, west London, had been going for a multimillion pound payout after being confined to a wheelchair following the botched theft.

He and his uncle Edward O'Brien, of Camberwell, had stolen a pair of extendable ladders from a home in Addiscombe, south London in April 2009.

But the ladders had been too long to fit into their van so Joyce sat in the back holding onto them with the door open, the High Court heard.

The gardener and labourer had been hanging onto the back of O’Brien’s van when it turned sharply. He fell out and hit his head hard on the road, the court heard.

O'Brien then drove for another 150 metres, before he was seen by a witness dumping the stolen ladders in an alleyway and returning to his badly injured nephew.

Following the accident, Joyce sued his uncle for damages at the High Court. Read More

Selena Gomez Hacker 'Gareth Crosskey' Jailed for 12 Months

A British man who hacked into the Facebook account of Justin Bieber's girlfriend and threatened to publish their private emails has been jailed for 12 months.

Gareth Crosskey, 21, infiltrated the account of Selena Gomez after posing as her step-father, who has administration rights to the page.

Using a fake email account, the McDonald's worker managed to convince staff at the social networking site to reset the passwords on Gomez's account.

Crosskey then posted a video to YouTube demonstrating how he had hacked the page and went on to contact magazines OK and Hollywood Life offering to forward information about the star.

He was eventually traced to his home in West Sussex following a joint investigation involving the FBI and Metropolitan police's E-Crime Unit and costing more than £50,000.

Crosskey claimed he hacked into the account because he wanted to show Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg lapses in security at the company after his own account was hacked. Read More

Yemen: Ninety Killed In Suicide Bomb Attack



A suicide bomber has killed 90 people and wounded more than 200 in an attack on a battalion of soldiers in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, according to the Defence Ministry.

The bomber, who was dressed in military uniform, blew himself up in the middle of the battalion as they were rehearsing for a parade the following day.

Yemen's defence minister and chief of staff were present but neither was hurt. They had arrived just a few minutes earlier.

The parade was to mark the 22nd anniversary of the unification of north and south Yemen and was due to be attended by the country's president.

A military official said the soldiers were rehearsing in Sanaa's Sabeen Square where the government often holds large military events.

"There are (many) dead and the toll could rise," he added, speaking on condition of anonymity. Read More

UPDATE: AL QAEDA IN YEMEN SAYS DEFENCE MINISTER AND ARMY COMMANDERS WERE THE TARGET OF SUICIDE BOMBINGS IN SANAA

Elliot Turner Guilty of Murdering 17 Year Old Emily Longley

A wealthy jeweller's son has been found guilty of murdering his aspiring model girlfriend in a jealous rage.

Elliot Turner, 20, strangled 17-year-old Emily Longley in his bed after going "absolutely nuts".

The murder was the culmination of a month of anger and upset over his suspicions she was "twisting his heart" by seeing other men.

His parents Leigh, 54, and Anita, 51, helped cover up the crime by destroying a confession letter from their son.

Police bugged the couple's home and found they had taken away vital evidence after the killing at their home in Bournemouth, Dorset in May last year.

The pair were convicted by a majority of 10 to 2 of perverting the course of justice - a charge that Elliot Turner had admitted during the four-week trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Turner mouthed the word "f***" after the jury foreman gave the verdict following nine hours of deliberations. Read More

Beware the new computer virus spreading via chat messaging window on Facebook

A new computer virus is spreading via the chat window on Facebook.

The pop-up window, used for person-to-person chat, pops up with a message from a 'friend' which links to an innnocent looking website.

Clicking the link instantly infects your PC with the virus, labelled Steckt.Evl by discoverers Trend Micro.

The virus instantly disables and removes anti-virus software, then spreads itself by opening chat windows on the Facebook friends of the user.

'The worm propagates via instant messaging applications and social networking sites,' says security experts Trend Micro which uncovered the new threat.

'The instant message it sends is a link that downloads a copy of itself.'

Like many other new internet threats, the first thing the worm does is disable programs that might detect and destroy it.

It then actually deletes them, before going on to download further software which compromises the infected machine further. Read More

Marco Turrini throws 14-month-old daughter and son, four, to their deaths and then leaps from balcony himself in despair after losing his job, Italy

An Italian father threw his two children to their deaths from a balcony and then leaped himself while in despair about losing his advertising job.

Marco Turrini shoved his 14-month-old daughter and four-year-old son from his sixth-floor Brescia apartment after an apparent row with his wife Elena More.

The 41-year-old, who lost his job 18 months ago, is believed to have also tried to force his nurse wife towards the window but she fought him off.

He then jumped off and died on impact, while his son, Samuele, and infant daughter, Benedetta, initially survived but later died from their injuries.

A police spokesman said that Turrini's wife - the mother of the children - had been arguing with him seconds before the tragedy in the northern town.

Today Ms More is being treated for shock in hospital.

Turrini, who had no history of violence nor a criminal record, had grown increasingly depressed as he struggled to find a new job, neighbours told police. Read More

John Norrish Found Guilty of Rape and Jailed for 4 Years

A huntsman who raped a drunk woman after a black-tie ball was jailed for four years today.

Former huntsmaster John Norrish, 68, took advantage of the 33-year-old married mother when he offered to give her a lift home in the early hours of the morning.

Norrish, who has been married for 46 years and has two children, claimed she had already removed her knickers and lifted up her ball gown once they were in the vehicle.

But the victim, who was a stranger, denied his claims and said she had told him she did not want to have sex.

She told the court that she may have passed out in his car after downing 20 alcoholic drinks that night at the annual Tiverton Staghounds hunt ball last July at Chawleigh, Devon.

Exeter crown court heard Norrish raped her in the front seat of his 4x4 at around 2.30am.

A jury took more than eleven hours of deliberations before finding Norrish, 68, guilty of rape by a majority of ten to two. Read More

Shafilea Ahmed Murdered by her Parents, Because in their eyes she Shamed them

A couple murdered their teenage daughter because they believed her conduct was bringing shame on the family, a court has heard.

The decomposed remains 17-year-old Shafilea Ahmed were discovered in Cumbria in February 2004.

As her parents Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed went on trial for murder, prosecutor Andrew Edis QC told Chester Crown Court they had killed her because she refused to obey them.

Opening the case against the Ahmeds, Mr Edis told the jury of seven men and five women: "The defendants, having spent the best part of 12 months trying to really crush her, realised they were never going to be able to succeed and finally killed her because her conduct dishonoured the family, bringing shame on them."

Ahmed, 52, and his 49-year-old wife, deny murdering Shafilea at their home in Warrington in September 2003. Read More

'Nigel Farage Was Right!'.......And still is!

Facebook Shares Fall Below IPO Price

Facebook shares dropped below their debut price of $38 (£24) in trading on Monday raising concerns about the stock if its lead underwriter Morgan Stanley stops propping it up and investors who were hoping for a surge in price decide to pull out.

Shares in the social networking company lost more than a tenth of their value after ending their first day flat, despite an initial surge to $43 (£27).

The company has a host of high-profile investors, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and U2 frontman Bono, and more than 500 million shares exchanged hands on the stock's first day of trading.

There was some speculation after Facebook's stockmarket debut on Friday that its IPO partner, Morgan Stanley, was buying shares itself to keep their value above the opening price of $38.

A spokesman for Morgan Stanley would not confirm or deny this strategy when asked by the Wall Street Journal. Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake MOLUCCA SEA - 21st May 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck the Molucca Sea, Indonesia at a depth of 62 km (38.4 miles), the quake hit at 11:58:31 UTC Monday 21st May 2012
The epicenter was 219 km (135.7 miles) Northwest of Ternate, Mollucas, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued, No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Defense Ministry: 60 killed in Yemen suicide blast

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's defense ministry says the death toll in a suicide bombing at a military parade rehearsal in the capital Sanaa has risen to 60.

Military officials said Monday's bombing, which took place near Sanaa's presidential palace, is one of the deadliest attacks in the city in years.

They say the attacker was a soldier taking part in the drill, lining up with fellow troops at a main square in the capital.

At least 100 others were injured in the attack, they added.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. Read More

North Korea, Myanmar on different paths

Pyongyang remains isolated whereas Myanmar moves toward democracy

Until recently, both North Korea and Myanmar were labeled pariahs by the international community for their autocratic rule, human rights abuses and closed-door policy. But they are now on completely different paths.

Pyongyang remains isolated and sanctioned while sticking to its military adventurism despite criticism for undermining peace and security here and beyond, and failing to take due steps for its crumbling economy and starving people.

But the Southeast Asian state has recently made strides toward democracy, which the U.S., the EU and others have rewarded by relaxing long-standing economic sanctions. Read More

South Korea, Japan to sign defense pacts

South Korea and Japan are moving to lay the ground for closer military cooperation as the North Korea threat and regional instability grows.

The two countries are pushing to sign two military agreements by the end of the month, according to Seoul’s Ministry of National Defense.

Korea and Japan have been working together to form the General Security of Military Information Agreement and Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement since January last year, during Japanese Minister of Defense Toshimi Kitazawa’s visit.

Although the agreements are said to be relatively basic military pacts, their signing is expected to improve cooperation between Seoul and Tokyo while North Korea continues to influence stability in the region.

The two sides are said to have narrowed differences, and the agreements could be signed as early as late this month during Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin’s visit to Japan. Read More

The Coming Crisis summed up in a picture: Always question the status quo

A nuclear clash could starve the world

(CNN) -- Recent ballistic missile tests by India, Pakistan and North Korea -- which has ominously threatened to "reduce to ashes" the South Korean military "in minutes" -- are once again focusing the world's attention on the dangers of nuclear war.

This concern was dramatically underscored in a new report released at the Nobel Peace Laureates Summit in Chicago. Titled "Nuclear Famine: A Billion People at Risk" (PDF), the study shows that even a limited nuclear war, involving less than half of 1% of the world's nuclear arsenals, would cause climate disruption that could set off a global famine.

The study, prepared by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and its U.S. affiliate, Physicians for Social Responsibility, used a scenario of 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs exploded in a war between India and Pakistan. If there were such a war, the study estimated that 1 billion people, one-sixth of the human race, could starve over the following decade. Read More

Canada's final cost for its Libyan military intervention: $347,000,000 (Despite only $50m being estimated initially — What a waste.)

Defence Minister Peter MacKay is defending the government's accounting of the costs of Canada's military mission in Libya, following the release of new figures by the Department of National Defence that lay out the final cost of the deployment.

The department puts the incremental costs of the mission — costs the military says would not have been incurred if Canadian Forces had not been deployed — at just under $100 million.

And the total cost of the operation — a figure that includes everything from jet fuel to pilot salaries, including the salaries of military personnel — comes in at $347 million.

Last October, MacKay told CBC Radio's The House the Libyan mission had cost taxpayers less than $50 million.

"As of Oct. 13, the figures that I've received have us well below that, somewhere under $50 million," MacKay said. Read More

Gaddafi clung to a fading reality

As the uprising spread, the Libyan leader still banked on popular support, and wondered why his allies were defecting.



Muammar Gaddafi's public persona during the Libyan civil war was that of a confident, defiant leader - a man who (in a much-parodied speech) threatened to hunt his enemies from house to house, room to room, alley to alley.

But recordings of his private conversations with aides reveal a more measured, less self-assured tone. Sometimes he is frustrated with his inner circle, which slowly began to defect as the uprising dragged on. Other recordings show Gaddafi grasping for any leverage he can find - even bizarre plots, like trying to pressure the Spanish government by threatening to recognise the Basque separatist movement.

As the revolt spread, Gaddafi still clung to the hope that he had widespread popular support. By mid-March, Libyan expatriates living in London, Washington and other cities had staged anti-Gaddafi protests. But in a March 20 conversation with the prime minister, Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, the then-Libyan leader still seemed hopeful that he could mobilize a massive show of support. Read More

China's economy slows down further

Data for April shows sharper than expected declines in investment and industrial production.

China's economy is slowing down further, national figures suggest, with data for April showing sharper than expected declines in investment and industrial production.

A reading of the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday suggests more aggressive action may be needed to get the world's second-largest economy back on track, economists said.

In particular, industrial production rose 9.3 per cent from a year earlier in April, slowing from a nearly 12 per cent increase in March.
Link
However, the data also showed inflation eased to 3.4 per cent in April from 3.6 per cent the month before, giving the government greater leeway to ease policy to boost growth.

Single digits

"China’s economy is even weaker than thought, with industrial production growth back in single digits for the first time since the global financial crisis and electricity production flat lining," Alistair Thornton of IHS Global Insight said.

"We believe the government will step up efforts to stimulate the economy, even as genuine concerns remain regarding the very real possibility of over-stimulating," he said. Read More

'Goodbye to China, country of contradictions': Melissa Chan, Al Jazeera's China correspondent, kicked out of country (likely for not towing the line)

Earlier this week, I left China after five years as an Al Jazeera English correspondent following the decision by the government to revoke my press credentials. At a subsequent Foreign Ministry press briefing, spokesman Hong Lei did not provide a public explanation, only saying that "foreign journalists should abide by Chinese laws and regulations”. But I have not broken any laws. And I believe I have tried to cover China as honestly and equitably as one can. As I say goodbye to China, I think back to some of the issues and people we've covered.

I'd like to start with a good memory of China. It was late morning in the autumn of 2009, and our team was on our way to an interview out in the countryside north of Chongqing in central China. We'd driven through many villages before, but something about the bustle of this village compelled us to slow down our car and hop out for a look. Everyone seemed so happy. There was a festive atmosphere, as if it was Chinese New Year.

People were gathered outside their doors, chatting away after their breakfasts. A woman cooked noodles at a small stand, steam enveloping her face. One family sold new baby chicks on the street side, while another group hawked duck eggs. Someone drew up a wagon of hand-woven wicker baskets, and I bought one for 20 yuan (the equivalent of $3), strapped it to my shoulders, and wandered around with the rest of the crowd. Read More

Republic of Hunger: Every third malnourished child in the world is from India, yet the government stands idly by

Every third malnourished child in the world is from India, so what is the government doing to feed its millions?



More than 40 per cent of India's 61 million children are malnourished, prompting the prime minister to declare the problem a "national shame". Read More

The American Nightmare

Global credit markets face a 'perfect storm'

Companies across the world face a "perfect storm" as they have to raise more than £25 trillion ($40 trillion) to finance an upcoming "wall" of debt.

Businesses will need to secure as much as £28.5 trillion to refinance old borrowings and fund new spending, raising major questions over the ability of the world economy to avoid a recession, according to a report from Standard & Poor's.

British companies will have to find between pounds £220-£268 billion of new financing to fund their growth plans on top of refinancing hundreds of billions of pounds more of existing debt, according to the ratings agency.
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The scale of the refinancing required, as well as the amount of new debt companies must sell, could create what S&P described as a "perfect storm for credit markets".

The report continued: "Governments and banking regulators are now not as well placed to counter another perfect storm scenario, given that they have already expended so much of their fiscal and monetary arsenal to mitigate the problems arising in recent years." Read More

Turkey feels history’s weight in Syria

When the self-immolation of Mohammad Bouazizi in Sidi Bouzid led to an avalanche of protests in Tunisia in January 2011, nearly the entire Arab world began to rock with popular uprisings. Unforeseen protests by Arab youth seemed to catch diplomats, politicians and students of Middle East politics unprepared. The initial reaction of the pundits was that a long awaited wave of democratization appeared to have arrived.

Then, the initial euphoria began to subside as the events in Yemen and Libya turned into tribal warfare, and in Syria into sectarian civil war. Since we have no evidence in human history that tribalism leads to democracy, pundits began to wonder whether the Arab revolts were ushering in democracy, tribalism or yet another form of authoritarianism such as theocracy.

Indeed, Yemen had been experiencing anti-government protests before 2011. But with the revolt in Tunisia, the Yemeni uprisings gained greater relevance, followed by those in Bahrain, Egypt and Syria. Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco experienced minor stirrings, which were met with some reforms or, in Saudi Arabia, washed away with petrodollars. The Bahraini revolts were crushed by force with the military aid and intervention of Saudi Arabia and its Gulf partners. Formerly effervescent Lebanese, Palestinian, Iraqi and Algerian politics seemed not to have changed into anything more tumultuous. Read More