Sunday, May 27, 2012

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR - 27th May 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck offshore El Salvador at a depth of 75.1 km (46.7 miles), the quake hit at 21:52:52 UTC Sunday 27th May 2012
The epicenter was 61 km (37 miles) SSE of SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN XIZANG - 27th May 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Western Xizang at a depth of 27.5 km (17.1 miles), the quake hit at 20:50:21 UTC Sunday 27th May 2012
The epicenter was 178 km (110 miles) SSW of Lumaringbo, Xizang (Tibet), China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN ITALY - 27th May 2012

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck Northern Italy at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 20:25:43 UTC Sunday 27th May 2012
The epicenter was 7 km (4.3 miles) Northeast of San felice sul panaro, Italy
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Christine Lagarde IMF boss is in no position to preach

While Christine Lagarde might not care about how the Greeks deal with their financial disaster, I think she might be a little more contrite, since the IMF happily let it all happen (It's payback time: don't expect sympathy – Lagarde to Greeks, 26 May).

Obviously she and the rest of the IMF crew – and all those supposedly in charge of our financial systems – have no answers capable of addressing the scale of this problem. All they can offer involves crushing a nation's people into poverty for a generation, with who knows what long-term results. And, when Greece has been destroyed, Portugal, Spain, Italy and, who knows, France might follow. Will Lagarde shut up then?

The simple truth is that the IMF didn't see the disaster coming over the decade or more when it was happening, they did nothing to tackle the situation when it hit, and now they haven't a clue what to do except cut. Read More

EU's double standard toward Palestinian human rights issues-Remember Palestine

European Political Crisis-Double Standards-05-26-2012

Saudi woman: We have a Dream to be Free

The war Within: Blame traded over massacre in Syria's Houla

Make up or break up dither 'killing EU'

Why You Should Care: US missile shield in Europe

Oh, nein! Price at the pump puts Germany on road to Athens?

Naked woman & Guy Fawkes among 10,000 Canadian protesters

'Americans don't share global domination policies of their leaders'

Ireland Rally Crash: 2 Killed

Two people have been killed after a rally car went out of control on a rural Irish road and crashed into a crowd of about 30 spectators.

Seven others were injured after the vehicle smashed through a fence and into onlookers before coming to rest on its side.

It happened close to a house near the County Cavan town of Bailieborough, 50 miles (80km) northwest of Dublin, just minutes after the rally event began on Sunday morning.

A 29-year-old woman from Cork and a 50-year-old male photographer from Galway were declared dead at the scene.

The car's driver and navigator were among the seven injured, five of whom needed hospital treatment.

One witness, Matthew McMahon, said told Irish state broadcaster RTE: "I heard people screaming 'Red flag, red flag, stop the stage!' Then all hell broke loose basically. There were people crying, people white as ghosts."

Police Superintendent Gerry O'Brien said it was too early to say whether a mechanical failure or driver error caused the accident. Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE - 27th May 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Antofagasta, Chile at a depth of 122 km (75.8 miles), the quake hit at 20:01:43 UTC Sunday 27th May 2012
The epicenter was 96 km (59 miles) NNE of Calama, Antofagasta, Chile
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

D-FOX: Please contact us if you can read this.

To D-fox: if you're reading this, please contact us at thecomingcrisis@gmail.com. It's important -- we believe.

Woman Found with her throat slashed in an underpass in Berkshire, 28 year Old Man Arrested

A 28-year-old man was being questioned on suspicion of murder last night after a woman had her throat slashed in an underpass in Berkshire.

The 43-year-old’s body was discovered by two brothers yesterday morning in the Bullbrook area of Bracknell.

It is feared the victim may have been returning from an evening out in the nearby town centre when she was attacked.

Gardener Lee Paul-Ferris, 26, and his brother Glenn, who found the body, and called police, described a horrifying scene with blood spattered over a wide area.

Mr Paul-Ferris said the woman was dressed in evening wear and lying in a foetal position in the underpass.

He said: “There was blood everywhere, all around her body and all up the wall. She was lying chest down in the foetal position. I didn't want to get too close. Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake FIJI REGION - 27th May 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck the Fiji Region at a depth of 486.8 km (302.5 miles), the quake hit at 18:40:24 UTC Sunday 27th May 2012
The epicenter was 166 km (103 miles) SSW of Ndoi Island, Fiji
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

No strict sharia in Mali's independent north - MNLA rebels

(Reuters) - Malian rebels who declared an independent Islamic state in the country's north said on Sunday they would impose sharia but not in a strict form.

The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), which has fought to make Mali's northern Azawad region an autonomous state, on Saturday signed an agreement to merge with Islamist Ansar Dine rebels seeking to impose sharia across Mali.

A mix of rebels have occupied the northern two-thirds of Mali since a March 22 coup led to a collapse of army resistance. Western and African leaders fear the desert zone has become a haven for criminal and extremist groups, including al Qaeda. Read More

Nato disputes air strikes report

The US-led coalition has disputed reports that eight civilians, including children, were killed in a Nato airstrike in a remote part of eastern Afghanistan.

Afghan officials said an airstrike on Saturday night killed eight members of a family, but a senior Nato official said that so far, there is no evidence of any civilian casualties.

The killing of civilians by foreign forces has been a major irritant in Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai's relationship with his international partners.

He warned earlier this month that civilian casualties could undermine a strategic partnership with the US that is to govern long-term relations after most international troops withdraw by the end of 2014.

Mr Karzai appointed a delegation to travel to Paktia province and determine what happened.

The coalition also said it was working to find out more about the operation that foreign forces were conducting in the province. Read More

Iran Won't Halt Production of Higher Grade Uranium

TEHRAN — Iran will not halt its 20 percent enrichment of uranium, the country’s nuclear chief said Sunday on state television, backing away from an earlier offer that suggested Tehran might be prepared to cease production of the higher-grade nuclear material.

The official, Fereydoon Abbasi, also announced that Iran would start building two nuclear power plants in 2013, and he said that its only active nuclear reactor was near full production after a delay of many years.

He made clear that there would be no suspension of enrichment by Iran, a crucial demand of a handful of United Nations Security Council resolutions. “We have no reason to retreat from producing the 20 percent because we need 20 percent uranium just as much to meet our needs,” Mr. Abbasi said, according to Iranian state television. Read More

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN ITALY - 27th May 2012

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck Northern Italy at a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles), the quake hit at 18:18:45 UTC Sunday 27th May 2012
The epicenter was 6 km (3.7 miles) Northeast of San felice sul panaro, Italy
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake OAXACA, MEXICO - 27th May 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Oaxaca, Mexico at a depth of 71.6 km (44.5 miles), the quake hit at 18:05:50 UTC Sunday 27th May 2012
The epicenter was 34 km (21 miles) West of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND - 27th May 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the Kermadec Islands, New Zealand at a depth of 25.3 km (15.7 miles), the quake hit at 17:12:30 UTC Sunday 27th May 2012
The epicenter was 110 km (68 miles) South of Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Syrian government denies role in massacre of 90, including children

BEIRUT — Syrian authorities on Sunday denied responsibility for a weekend massacre in the central town of Houla that the United Nations said left about 90 people dead, more than a third of them children.

The killings — documented in grisly Internet images of battered children’s corpses and rows of fresh graves — have drawn international condemnation and raised new doubts about the peace plan developed by Kofi Annan, special envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League, who is due to visit Syria this week.

The Syrian government “categorically denies the government forces’ responsibility for the massacre,” Jihad Makdissi, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, told reporters in Damascus, the Syrian capital. Makdissi also denounced the “tsunami of lies” that he said wrongly pointed the finger at Syrian forces.

The spokesman blamed the killings on “terrorists,” Syrian officials' usual depiction of anti-government rebels, and said authorities had opened an inquiry into the deaths.

The spokesman's version of the events — that the conflict began Friday afternoon when armed men attacked security forces in Houla — is at odds with opposition accounts of a military onslaught against helpless civilians using tanks and artillery, weapons largely limited to the arsenal of the Syrian military.

A statement from the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency noted the “suspicious coincidence” between the attacks and the upcoming visit by Annan. Read More

James Hansen Is Correct About Catastrophic Projections For U.S. Drought If We Don’t Act Now

The response by NOAA’s Martin Hoerling to James Hansen’s recent op-ed does not reflect the scientific literature.

I’m traveling, so let me focus first on Hoerling’s incorrect statements — posted on this blog and DotEarth — about drought. As readers know, the journal Nature asked me to write a Comment piece on the threat posed by drought after they read one of my posts examining the latest science on prolonged drought and “Dust-Bowlification.”

The Nature article, which is basically a review of recent drought literature, is here (subs. req’d). Most of the text is here.

The research I did for that article — along with the comments of the expert reviewers I sent it to — is why I know Hoerling is quite wrong. Hoerling begins by quoting Hansen’s recent New York Times Op-Ed piece:

“Over the next several decades, the Western United States and the semi-arid region from North Dakota to Texas will develop semi-permanent drought, with rain, when it does come, occurring in extreme events with heavy flooding. Read More

What Makes Koch Industries ‘Big Oil’ And Why You Shouldn’t Believe The Claims Saying It Isn’t

The Obama campaign and the super PAC Priorities USA recently fired back at Americans for Prosperity, highlighting Mitt Romney’s ties to a funding source of $18.5 million in energy attack ads: Koch Industries.

Koch Industries has produced its own video claiming it doesn’t deserve the label of a secretive Big Oil corporation.

Shockingly, Factcheck.org and the Washington Post have taken up Koch’s argument. Factcheck.org wrote that despite Koch’s $100 billion revenue, the corporation’s diverse holdings mean “it is hardly in the league of the truly ‘big oil’companies.” The Washington Post Factchecker took the same angle.

While it’s true the most profitable U.S. corporations — ExxonMobil and Chevron — are larger than Koch, using this standard to claim the company isn’t Big Oil is incorrect. Let’s take a look at some key facts:
  • The Koch brothers’ net worth tops $50 billion and they have pledged to spend $60 million to defeat President Barack Obama, according to the Huffington Post.
  • The Koch PAC is the largest oil and gas contributor — donating more than even ExxonMobil — spending over $1 million in each of the last two cycles. This cycle, it has spent almost $750,000. Koch Industries sends 90 percent of these contributions to Republicans.
  • It’s the fourth-largest lobbyist in the oil and gas industry, spending $2,300,000 so far in 2012 and over $8 million in 2011.
  • Koch Industries emits over 300 million tons of greenhouse gases a year, based on the assumption that Koch emits the same amount of greenhouse pollution per billion dollars in revenue as Exxon and Chevron.
  • Flint Hills Resources, a Koch subsidiary, processes 300 million barrels of oil a year. This company is responsible for up to five percent of the U.S. 7-gigaton carbon footprint. Read More

The Wettest Drought On Record: Torrential Rain Can’t Bring Much Of England Out Of ‘Exceptional’ Dry Conditions

Even with the wettest April on record, some areas of England are still facing “exceptional” drought conditions. After two years of dry winters — including the fifth-driest March — the ground hasn’t been able to soak up the heavy rainfall that hit in April.

The situation in the country illustrates the cruel reality of “rollercoaster” extreme weather — a problem that will only be exacerbated by accumulating heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. Recent research also finds that the loss of Arctic ice favors extreme, prolonged weather events “such as drought, flooding, cold spells and heat waves.”

The rain has certainly helped some regions. But other parts of England were so dry, it could take months of record rainfall to bring groundwater levels back to normal. One aquifer close to London is 90 percent below normal levels for this time of year.

Experts in the country are explaining why the combination of extremely dry and extremely wet conditions make it harder to recover from drought. Climatewire reported on the problem:

“Heavy rain on parched ground is like pouring water on an old, dry sponge. Much of it will bounce off. The sponge needs to be wet in order to hold the water. Read More

What If The Fossil Fuel Industry Gets Its Way? A Look At The Year 2030

The fossil fuel industry is aggressively pushing its drill-everywhere-drill-anything agenda, which would open up every square inch of America to extraction. So what would happen if we gave the industry what it wants?

Today, the Center for American Progress released “America’s Future Under ‘Drill, Baby, Drill,’” describing where we may be in the year 2030 if we continue down the path of fossil fuel dependency that the American Petroleum Institute (API) advocates a report on the organization’s “vision,” also released today.

If you ask API, that vision means opening up significant portions of our oceans that are currently off-limits to drilling; turning large swaths of our pristine public lands into areas for extraction; and pushing shortcuts in the environmental and public health review process to speed up permits.

In short, Big Oil wants a free ride to “Drill Baby Drill” straight into our children’s future.

But at what cost? Read More

When Global Warming Hits Home (Literally)

In a recent PBS documentary, the mayor of Norfolk, Virginia, Paul Fraim, talks about how flooding has become a monthly occurrence in his town, and how global warming and sea level rise are as much a daily issue for him as education and fighting crime. In some parts of Norfolk, streets turn into rivers at high tide. Homes are flooded five out of six years. People lose their carpets, their appliances, their savings. And they can’t afford to move elsewhere.

Sea levels have risen 14 inches in Norfolk since 1930–almost double the global rate. Part of this alarming change is due to the natural sinking of the area’s soggy tidal lands, but part of it is due to the rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Like stranded polar bears in the North Pole, like disappearing island nations in the Pacific, waterlogged Norfolk is yet another symbol of global warming at work. And even though Norfolk is within spitting distance of our nation’s capital, Congress still hasn’t seemed to grasp the seriousness of the situation.

Turning a blind eye to the realities of global warming is a dangerous game. Scientists predict that sea levels will rise anywhere from 7 inches to 78 inches in the next 100 years (depending, in part, on how much we do to curb global warming pollution), which means that in a few generations, nearly five million people who currently live within 4 feet of high tide could be in the same boat as the residents of Norfolk.

New research shows that global warming will double the chance of a hundred-year flood occurring in many locations within the next 18 years. In some areas, the chance is tripled. Read More

China’s Solar Industry Should Be Held Accountable For Breaking Trade Laws

A simmering trade dispute between the U.S. and China will likely come to a head tomorrow when the U.S. Department of Commerce issues its determination on alleged trade violations by Chinese solar manufacturers. Surprisingly, the U.S. solar industry is not in agreement on the need to hold the Chinese accountable. It should be.

On one side are those who claim China has been illegally subsidizing and dumping its solar products in the U.S. market, forcing many American manufacturers into bankruptcy. These companies, mostly manufacturers of solar panels and related products, claim Chinese solar companies have benefited from government largesse in the form of free land and facilities, electricity and water, and low- or no-cost loans that keep prices for Chinese-made solar products artificially low. In addition, they claim these Chinese companies are illegally “dumping” their cheap solar panels into the American market, making it nearly impossible for U.S. manufacturers to compete.

On the other side are those, mostly solar installers, who have benefited from the ability to buy low-cost solar panels, which they claim has allowed them to do solar installations at a lower cost and therefore expand the use of solar power in America. Read More

Dept. Of Interior Finds 72 Percent Of Offshore Acreage Leased By The Oil Industry Is ‘Idle’

The Department of Interior released an updated analysis of fossil fuel leases today, finding that more than two thirds of offshore leases and half of onshore leases are sitting idle — “neither producing nor under active exploration.”

The report, “Oil and Gas Lease Utilization, Onshore and Offshore Updated Report to the President,” explained that oil and gas companies hold thousands of undeveloped leases. Despite holding these inactive leases, the oil industry continues to demand the opening of new, previously protected federal lands and waters areas to drilling.

The report found that:

More than 70 percent of the tens of millions of offshore acres currently under lease are inactive, neither producing nor currently subject to approved or pending exploration or development plans. Out of nearly 36 million acres leased offshore, only about 10 million acres are active – leaving nearly 72 percent of the offshore leased area idle. Read More

Volcano Crystals Hold Clues to Next Big Eruption

The Tungurahua Volcano spews incandescent rocks and lava on Dec. 4, 2011 as seen from the town of Runtun, Ecuador. Volcanos often erupt with little clear warning, and efforts to predict them rely on monitoring seismic activity, ground deformations, gas emissions and changes in water levels and chemistry, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Photographer: Pablo Coazzaglio/AFP/Getty Images

Crystals formed in the molten rock of a volcano may help predict the next eruption of Mount St. Helens or Mount Vesuvius as far as a year in advance, researchers said.

Drawing from data of the explosions of Mount St. Helens in 1980 through 1986 in Washington, scientists found that iron- and magnesium-rich crystals grew before an eruption, according to a study in the journal Science. The most rapid growth happened in the 12 months before the volcano exploded, the analysis showed.

Volcanos often erupt with little clear warning, and efforts to predict them rely on monitoring seismic activity, ground deformations, gas emissions and changes in water levels and chemistry, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The latest finding may help scientists better gauge the signs and give advance warning of a potentially fatal eruption. Read More

Islamists declare north Mali an independent state governed by sharia

Mali moved a step closer to being broken in two on Sunday when al-Qaeda-linked Islamists and Tuareg rebels declared the nation's north an independent country to be ruled according to sharia law.

The announcement, from Ansar Dine and the Tuareg MNLA group, came as the country's interim president remained in a Paris hotel recovering from an assault in his private office last week.

Diplomats and Mali's neighbours fear that the country, once a beacon for democratic stability in West Africa, is poised to plunge further into crisis following a coup two months ago.

The "declaration of independence" for the northern half of Mali, Africa's sixth-largest country, came late on Saturday.

Timbuktu, the history trading centre and seat of Tuareg learning, now lies in the disputed territory, to be known as Azawad, which is almost the size of France. Read More

Egypt candidates file appeals, charge vote fraud

CAIRO (AP) — Three top candidates in Egypt's presidential race filed appeals to the election commission ahead of the deadline Sunday, alleging violations in the first round vote that they say could change the outcome.

The appeals alleging fraud are likely to enflame an already explosive race.

Preliminary results from last week's election placed Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi and Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, as the two candidates entering a June 16-17 runoff. Thirteen candidates were on the ballot.

Shafiq, who placed second after Morsi, said votes cast for him in one province were not included in the ballot count.

Many voters reject both front-runners as polarizing extremists. Young, liberal secularists who led the popular rebellion that overthrew longtime leader Hosni Mubarak last year failed to place a candidate in the runoff. Read More

Iran claims it's planning two new nuclear power plants

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's nuclear chief says his country is planning to build at least two new nuclear power plants next to an existing facility that became operational with Russia's help last year.

Fereidoun Abbasi was quoted by state TV as saying Sunday that Iran is in the very early stages of planning the new 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plants and that it may begin construction within a year or two.

Iran has repeatedly said in recent years that it is planning to build more nuclear power plants but nothing has been offered to show that any work is under way.

Iran's first power plant went into operation last May at the southern coastal city of Bushehr.

The West suspect Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon program, a charge Iran denies. Source

US condemns Syria massacre and looks for Russian help to oust Assad

Hillary Clinton harshly condemns Syrian president as Obama reportedly plans to urge Putin to back a transition of power.

Secretary of state Hillary Clinton has said the perpetrators of the Houla massacre must be held to account, as she vowed greater international pressure to hound Syrian president Bashar al-Assad from power.

In a strongly worded statement condemning the attack – which left more 90 dead including 32 children – Clinton accused Assad and his cronies of ruling by "murder and fear" adding that the regime must "come to an end".

The comments came amid reports that President Barack Obama is preparing to push Russia to back the departure of Assad under a scheme modelled on the transition of power in Yemen. Read More

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE CHIAPAS, MEXICO - 27th May 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck offshore Chiapas, Mexico at a depth of 52.3 km (32.5 miles), the quake hit at 13:42:01 UTC Sunday 27th May 2012
The epicenter was 126 km (78 miles) WSW of Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS - 27th May 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the Kuril Islands at a depth of 53.9 km (33.5 miles), the quake hit at 12:34:41 UTC Sunday 27th May 2012
The epicenter was 281 km (174 miles) East of Kuril'sk, Kuril Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Man Drowns Rescuing Two Children In Sea

A man has drowned after rescuing two children playing in the sea at West Wittering Beach in West Sussex.

The 25-year-old went to the aid of the children who got into difficulty after playing with a rubber ring in the sea on Saturday.

Officers said the man - who was not related to the children - managed to get them to safety during the incident, which took place around midday.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "The male went to the assistance of two children playing in a rubber ring some five metres from the shoreline.

"He managed to get the children to safety but in doing so put himself in danger which sadly resulted in him drowning."

A Solent Coastguard spokesman said: "Their mother was understandably upset that this man had had this accident when he had tried to help them." Read More

Panetta: Obama Has Authority to Override Congress to Declare War

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the President has the authority to override Congress’ exclusive power to declare war, if some “vital interest” is at stake. Read More

Aboriginal group rejects NT intervention

Central Australian Aboriginal communities have joined their counterparts in Arnhem Land in threatening a revolt against the Gillard government's continuation of the Northern Territory intervention.

Labor's Stronger Futures draft laws are before the Senate and likely to pass with bipartisan support in mid-June.

The laws will continue the intervention policies for another 10 years and include jail terms for alcohol possession, as well as a controversial program that cuts parents' welfare payments if their children do not attend school.

The measures are widely opposed by NT Aboriginal communities, who say they were not properly consulted on the government's plans and that the laws are racist. Read More

Lifting the lid on the man behind 'Vatileaks'

The Catholic Church has been thrown into crisis by the arrest of one of those closest to Pope Benedict - his butler, Paolo Gabriele.

Gabriele has gone from serving the pontiff hot meals and helping him dress to being the subject of a formal investigation that has set the Italian media ablaze with intrigue and speculation.

The scandal involves the leaking of a string of documents to Italian media in January and February, including personal letters to the Pope.

The claims Gabriele leaked a paper trail of corruption, mismanagement and cronyism within Vatican ranks have rocked the tiny city-state's administrative foundations.

The documents form the cornerstone of the book His Holiness - an exposé into political bribes paid through the Vatican bank - and blame is now being levelled squarely at the 46-year-old layman.

But who is Gabriele, and what led him to spark the scandal that has already been dubbed 'Vatileaks'? Read More

Australian shares expected to open lower

The Australian sharemarket is expected to open slightly lower on Monday as worries about Europe continue to weigh on global markets.

Another flare-up in Europe's debt crisis knocked US markets lower on Friday as Spanish bank Bankia hoped for a major bailout.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.86 points to 1317.82. The Nasdaq composite fell 1.85 points to 2837.53.

AMP Capital Markets head of strategy Shane Oliver said Australian futures fell 13 points, or 0.3 per cent, as a result of the fall in US shares.

"The odds are we'll probably end up down slightly at the open," Mr Oliver said. Read More