Saturday, May 26, 2012

6.0 Magnitude Earthquake BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 26th May 2012

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck the Bonin Islands, Japan Region at a depth of 472.6 km (293.7 miles), the quake hit at 21:48:09 UTC Saturday 26th May 2012
The epicenter was 201 km (124 miles) West of Chichi-shima, Bonin Islands, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE - 26th May 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Antofagasta, Chile at a depth of 68.6 km (42.6 miles), the quake hit at 20:41:50 UTC Saturday 26th May 2012
The epicenter was 136 km (84 miles) Southeast of Antofagasta, Antofagasta, Chile
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Revealed: Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don't want the U.S. government spying on you (and they include 'pork', 'cloud' and 'Mexico')

The Department of Homeland Security has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor social networking sites and online media for signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.

The intriguing the list includes obvious choices such as 'attack', 'Al Qaeda', 'terrorism' and 'dirty bomb' alongside dozens of seemingly innocent words like 'pork', 'cloud', 'team' and 'Mexico'.

Released under a freedom of information request, the information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats.

The words are included in the department's 2011 'Analyst's Desktop Binder' used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify 'media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities'. Read More

MIND YOUR LANGUAGE: THE LIST OF KEYWORDS IN FULL

War of words between US & China over human rights situation

Montreal Mayhem: 'Protests grow beyond just student issue'

Sydney Opera House 'crumbling' in Spectacular Show

West's demands from Iran, never-ending, ever increasing:

Michael Easton's Body found in crocodile-infested river in India

The body of the second of two British men who died during a trip on a crocodile-infested river in India has been found.

The body of Michael Easton, a 62-year-old senior research scientist for Shell from Holland Park, west London, was discovered today by rescuers after disappearing during an excursion on the Cauvery River, near Bangalore.

Mr Eaton's friend Ian Turton, 45, a project manager from York, was dragged from the river at 6am local time Thursday, following a three-day search involving helicopters and swimmers.

Both men had been living and working in Bangalore for several years.

They had set off on a two day rafting trip on the Cauvery River near Bangalore on Saturday morning and had planned to paddle from Tamil Nadu to the bordering state of Karnataka.

They had asked a taxi driver to pick them up on Sunday evening and the alarm was raised when they failed to show up at the designated time. Read More

Egypt election: Hamdin Sabbahi seeks recount

The candidate who is said to have come third - missing out on a run-off - in Egypt's historic election has demanded a recount, citing many "violations".

Hamdin Sabbahi, from the leftist al-Karamah party, said conscripts had voted illegally.

Mr Sabbahi missed out on the second round by 700,000 votes, according to unofficial results from state media.

Next month's run-off will be between candidates from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Mubarak-era regime.

The Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Mursi, has a slight lead on former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, with a reported 25.3% of votes against 24.9%.

Mr Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, pledged there would be "no going back" to pre-revolutionary Egypt. Read More

A Power Vacuum Is Killing the Euro Zone

AS problems mount in the euro zone, it’s increasingly evident that we’ve been witnessing an institutional failure of monumental proportions.

What is to be done about Greece? Simply keeping it in the euro zone won’t help much, even if it’s possible. The continuing crisis has sapped confidence in banks not only in Greece, but also in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland, though to varying degrees. Unless there are explicit guarantees to these banks soon, the market will likely take a further turn for the worse.

An absence of guarantees could prompt a broader chain reaction of capital flight and bank collapses across several countries.

The basic problem is that many people won’t keep their euros in a Greek bank, and perhaps not in a Spanish bank, either, when those euros can be moved to Germany or some other haven. Read More

Tornado touchdown confirmed near Montreal, F1 causes "significant damage"

Environment Canada has confirmed an F-1 tornado touched down northwest of Montreal Friday night.

Meterologist René Héroux from Environment Canada said the tornado touched down in St-Benoît-de-Mirabel. Damage at the scene suggests winds reached up to 150 km/h, he said.

Trees were uprooted, roofs damaged and windows shattered as the severe storm rattled through southern Quebec Friday night.

The Mirabel area, northwest of Montreal, was hit the hardest.

A 200-year-old church collapsed in the storm, while pieces of metal from a farm’s silo were ripped off and dropped half a kilometre away.

The high winds toppled hydro poles, leaving many residents without power.

At the height of the storm, 30,000 Hydro-Québec customers were without power. Thirty-four crews were out throughout the night and, by 7 a.m. ET, power had been restored to all but 2,000 homes and businesses.

By noon, that number had been reduced to around 700. Marie-Noël Lacroix of Hydro Quebec said they expected all power to be restored by the end of the day.

Mirabel Mayor Hubert Meilleur told Radio-Canada the damage could reach several millions of dollars. more

Lonneshia Shafaye Appling: An example of what a frighteningly large portion of America has become -- Selfish, theiving, hurtful, and obtusely defiant

The Georgia woman, 26, was so determined to shoplift beer, bacon, cheese, and chicken wings from a Piggly Wiggly that she punched, spit at, and pepper-sprayed store workers who confronted her as she tried to flee the supermarket Wednesday afternoon, according to cops.

Appling, pictured in the adjacent mug shot, allegedly hid items worth $88.27 in a canvas bag. She “attempted to check out, only putting one item on the counter,” according to a worker quoted in an Athens-Clarke County Police Department report.

When a Piggly Wiggly employee--who had been tipped to the pilfering by a shopper--asked Appling about the concealed items, she tried to exit the store. After worker Jonathan Orr tried to stop Appling, she “pulled out some pepper spray and sprayed him in the face.”

Appling kept spraying as several workers tried to keep her from fleeing. The 340-pound Appling also allegedly punched Orr in the face and spit on the 28-year-old employee. As she successfully bolted from the Athens store, Appling “was dropping beer cans out of her purse.” more

Note: This new mentality knows no colour or creed. It is a disease that affects many among us, and ultimately harms us all. What will be done to stop it?

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 26th May 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck the Bonin Islands, Japan Region at a depth of 483.5 km (300.4 miles), the quake hit at 20:00:26 UTC Saturday 26th May 2012
The epicenter was 188 km (116 miles) West of Chichi-shima, Bonin Islands, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 26th May 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Southern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 66.6 km (41.4 miles), the quake hit at 17:18:02 UTC Saturday 26th May 2012
The epicenter was 154 km (95 miles) Southeast of Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

UN Confirms Dozens Of Children Killed In Syria Massacre



A total of 32 children under the age of 10 are among 92 people confirmed killed in fighting in the western area of Houla.


It is the bloodiest loss of life since a ceasefire brokered by the United Nations and the Arab League was put into effect across the country last month.

Confirming the killings, the head of the UN observer mission to Syria, General Robert Mood, in Damascus, told Sky News: "Whichever way you look at this, whoever started and whoever responded and whoever contributed, to this deplorable act of violence should be held responsible.

"This indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force is unacceptable and I would also say unforgivable." Read More

US Drone Strike Kills Another 3 Suspected Militants in Pakistan

Security officials in northwest Pakistan say a U.S. drone strike has killed at least three suspected militants.

Authorities say the missile strike Saturday happened in Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region, a known hide-out for Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants.

Drone strikes have become an increasingly contentious issue between Washington and Islamabad. Relations between the them plunged into crisis after U.S. air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November, resulting in Pakistan shutting its Afghan border to NATO supplies.

Pakistan has demanded the U.S. apologize for the November air strike. Washington has refused. Read More

Dead silence then Nasdaq chaos burns Facebook investors

May 25 - How a breakdown in communication and technology by the Nasdaq affected market makers and retail investors in Facebook's IPO. Reuters' Jennifer Merritt and Jed Horowitz on their latest reporting

Florida brush fire chaos

May 26 - A major highway in central Florida was closed for several hours as a bush fire raged nearby. Paul Chapman reports.

Hurricane Bud: First hurricane of season fizzles to storm

May 26 - Hurricane Bud, the first of the official hurricane season, is downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves inland in Mexico. Jessica Gray reports.

Brother of blind Chinese activist returns home: lawyer

(Reuters) - The brother of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng who was reported to have gone missing has returned to his village in northeastern China, a lawyer said on Saturday.

The short disappearance of Chen Guangfu had sparked concerns he was the latest target of government reprisals against the family of the activist, who escaped from his village in late April after 19 months of detention at home.

Shandong-based lawyer Liu Weiguo told Reuters Chen Guangfu had returned to Dongshigu village. Liu earlier said the activist was "very worried" about his brother's disappearance and was contacting friends to look for him.

"Brother Fu is now home," Liu said, adding he had received a text message from Chen Guangfu on Saturday night. Read More

Four men, five weeks and a plan for Europe

(Reuters) - European Union leaders have given the bloc's four most powerful officials a little over a month to come up with a clearer template for euro zone integration, a pitch to persuade voters and markets that the euro has staying power.

The four -- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy -- have no less a task ahead than spelling out where Europe is actually going.

"We have reached a point in which the process of European integration needs a courageous leap of political imagination in order to survive," Draghi said on Thursday in the aftermath of an EU summit that was long on the need for unity and growth, but short on both details and agreement. Read More

Iran has enough uranium for 5 bombs: expert

(Reuters) - Iran has significantly stepped up its output of low-enriched uranium and total production in the last five years would be enough for at least five nuclear weapons if refined much further, a U.S. security institute said.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a think-tank which tracks Iran's nuclear program closely, based the analysis on data in the latest report by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which was issued on Friday.

Progress in Iran's nuclear activities is closely watched by the West and Israel as it could determine how long it could take Tehran to build atomic bombs, if it decided to do so. Iran denies any plan to and says its aims are entirely peaceful.

During talks in Baghdad this week, six world powers failed to convince Iran to scale back its uranium enrichment program. They will meet again in Moscow next month to try to defuse a decade-old standoff that has raised fears of a new war in the Middle East that could disrupt oil supplies. Read More

Norway's Prison System: Welcome to the world's nicest prison



Bastoy, Norway (CNN) -- Jan Petter Vala, who is serving a prison sentence for murder, has hands the size of dinner plates and shoulders like those of an ox. In an alcoholic rage, he used his brutish strength to strangle his girlfriend to death a few years ago.


On a recent Thursday, however, at this summer-camp-like island prison in southern Norway, where convicts hold keys to their rooms and there are no armed guards or fences, Vala used those same enormous hands to help bring life into the world.

The 42-year-old murderer stood watch while an oversize cow gave birth to a wobbly, long-legged, brown-and-white calf. He cried as the baby was born, he said, and wiped slime off of the newborn's face so she could gulp her first breath.

Afterward, Vala called his own mother to share the good news.

"I told my family that I'm going to be a dad," he said, beaming with pride. Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 26th May 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Southern Xinjiang, China at a depth of 1 km (0.6 miles), the quake hit at 15:21:25 UTC Saturday 26th May 2012
The epicenter was 167 km (103.5 miles) Northeast from Kashi, Xinjiang, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Spain to inject €19b into Bankia

Madrid (Financial Times) -- Spain will make an emergency €19bn investment in Bankia, the stricken savings bank, in a bold bid to restore confidence in the stability of the country's financial sector.

Madrid's biggest bank nationalisation will take the total amount of state aid pumped into Bankia to €23.5bn, and will give the government as much as 90 per cent control of Spain's second-largest bank by domestic deposits.

The Spanish government has been battling for weeks to reassure financial markets that it can contain the difficulties at its weaker banks, which lent aggressively during the property bubble and are saddled with about €180bn of bad developer loans. Read More

Finland shooting spree: 2 Dead, 8 Injured

(CNN) -- An 18-year-old man was arrested early Saturday in Finland over a shooting spree that left two people dead and eight wounded, police told CNN's Finnish affiliate MTV3.

Regional chief inspector Timo Leppälä told the channel the police were alerted to a shooting incident in front of a restaurant on Uusimaa Street shortly before 2 a.m. local time.

Officers responded within a minute and heard gunfire, Leppälä said.

About four hours later, police got word that a man wearing camouflage clothing had been spotted near the center of the southern Finnish town of Hyvinkaa, Leppälä told MTV3.

Police were able to take the man calmly into custody at 7:45 a.m. local time, he said.

The suspect is a local man, Leppälä said, and a gun and other materials are now in the hands of police. Read More

'Disillusion' in Egypt election

Free Syrian Army appeals for Airstrikes against regime

(CNN) -- Syrian opposition activists begged for international help Saturday after they said regime forces devastated a town and killed 88 people, mostly children, in a single day.

"This barbaric act was preceded by the regime's mortar shelling," which left entire families dead in the town of Houla, said the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists.

The group said Saturday that more bodies were found near the reported massacre site.

Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a sobering report on the Syrian crisis, detailing "continuing reports of a stepped-up security crackdown by the authorities that has led to massive violations of humans rights ... including arbitrary arrests, torture, enforced disappearance and summary execution of activists, opponents and defectors." Read More

Tornado damages 17 homes in North Port‎, Florida

Although Jimmy Jones’ home was damaged in Thursday evening’s tornado, he called a roofing company to secure his neighbor’s roof after parts of it flew off. The two families had only a few moments’ warning before the twister ripped through their Highland Ridge neighborhood near South Biscayne Drive and North Port Boulevard, damaging 17 homes.

Around 6:30 p.m., Jones called 911 to say it looked like a funnel cloud was forming down the street from his home.

“I got off the phone and the funnel came toward my home. I told my wife and daughter to get in the tub,” he said Thursday night. “It was so loud it sounded like a freight train was rushing through the neighborhood. It was very scary.”

Seconds later, parts of his fence became projectiles, embedded in the exterior wall of his home.

According to city Emergency Management Coordinator Richard Berman, a EF0 tornado with winds of 80 mph, about 150 yards wide, touched down in Holiday Park, hit a four-block radius around Gabo Road, then passed through the area by the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club.

Within two minutes, the tornado had damaged roofs and ripped apart pool cages, fences, tree limbs and sheds, then burst through Highland Ridge Park, knocking over wooden benches, toppling a tree behind the Boys & Girls Club and twisting metal bleachers at the North Port Bike Park. The roof of a manufactured home at Holiday Park also reportedly was damaged. Read More

Landslide kills 6 gold miners in Indonesia

An official says a landslide on Indonesia's main island of Java has killed at least six gold miners.

Six other workers at the illegal mine are still missing after the landslide in West Java's district of Bogor.

Disaster management agency official Budi Aksomo said Friday several days of rain caused the landslide at the mountainous site Thursday.

He added that eight miners were found alive.

Rescuers are still evacuating the bodies from the scene and searching for the missing miners.

Seasonal downpours often cause landslides and flash floods in Indonesia, an archipelego nation where millions of people live on mountains or near fertile flood plains. Source