Friday, June 1, 2012

1000 in Nanchang, China Protest Boy's Death in Custody

'Beware a rerun of the Great Panic of 2008': Head of World Bank warns Europe is heading for 'danger zone' as world markets suffer bleakest day of the year so far

The head of the World Bank yesterday warned that financial markets face a rerun of the Great Panic of 2008.

On the bleakest day for the global economy this year, Robert Zoellick said crisis-torn Europe was heading for the ‘danger zone’.

Mr Zoellick, who stands down at the end of the month after five years in charge of the watchdog, said it was ‘far from clear that eurozone leaders have steeled themselves’ for the looming catastrophe amid fears of a Greek exit from the single currency and meltdown in Spain.

The flow of money into so-called ‘safe havens’ such as UK, German and US government debt turned into a stampede yesterday.

In Berlin the two-year government bond yield fell below zero for the first time, with the bizarre result that jittery international investors are now paying – rather than being paid – for lending to Germany.

There was a raft of dismal economic news from around the world, with manufacturing output falling in Britain and Europe, unemployment jumping in the eurozone and America, and fast-emerging economies such as Brazil and China showing signs of running out of steam.

The FTSE 100 index fell 60.67 points to a new 2012 low of 5260.19 in London and the pound tumbled against the US dollar to $1.5234 – a level not seen since January.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed more than 200 points in New York, wiping out all its gains this year. more


This Summer an 'Eerie Echo' of Pre-Lehman: Worldwide financial crash coming?

The summer of 2012 is looking like an “eerie” echo of 2008 but euro zone sovereign debt has replaced mortgages as the risky asset class that markets are anxious about, said Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank.

Banks are under stress and depositors have begun to “jog,” Zoellick wrote in an editorial in the Financial Times on Thursday.

“The European Central Bank, like the U.S. Federal Reserve in 2008, has sought to reassure markets by providing generous liquidity, but collateral quality is declining as the better pickings on bank balance sheets are used up,” he added.

To prevent investors from fleeing in panic, Europe must be ready with more than liquidity injections to contain the consequences of a possible Greek exit. “If Greece leaves the eurozone, the contagion is impossible to predict, just as Lehman (Brothers’ collapse) had unexpected consequences,” Zoellick said.

What is needed is a so-called “euro-sovereign” guarantee of bank deposits and other liabilities, as the guarantees of some national sovereigns are unlikely to be sufficient. more

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Judge revokes George Zimmerman's bond

The judge has revoked the bond of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman charged with shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman must report to Seminole County jail by Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

The state filed the motion on Friday just before a hearing in Sanford discussing the release of more evidence in the case against Zimmerman.

Prosecutors say Zimmerman misled the court on his finances during a bail hearing that allowed his release on $150,000 bond. Zimmerman's attorney said several days later that he had discovered his client had raised more than $200,000 from a website. That money wasn't disclosed at the bond hearing.

Judge Kenneth Lester heard the argument at the evidence hearing because he said the matter was "very serious."

State prosecutors said on Friday Zimmerman's wife, Shelley, knew about the PayPal money from his website and lied at the bond hearing when she said she didn't know of it. more

Alexis Tsipras called the bailout deal "automatic pilot to utter disaster"

ATHENS — Greece's radical leftist party Syriza laid out Friday a manifesto likely to leave the country's eurozone future hanging by a thread if it wins elections later this month.

A bailout deal with the EU and IMF in return for painful austerity cuts "is an automatic pilot to utter disaster," Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras said, vowing if elected to scrap the accord and to freeze repayments on Greece's debt mountain.

"We ask for the vote of the Greek people in order to annul it" so that it can be renegotiated, the 37-year-old told a packed auditorium in a run-down Athens neighbourhood.

Supporters interrupted him, chanting: "The time of the Left has come."

Syriza surprised Europe on May 6 by placing second in an inconclusive election that saw voters fed up with salary and pension cuts shift their loyalties to radical parties.

A series of opinion polls published Friday showed that neither Syriza nor its top rival, the conservative New Democracy party, would win an outright majority in new elections called for June 17 after the deadlock. Read More

Jun Lin Victim of Canadian Cannibal 'Luka Rocco Magnotta' is Chinese gay lover as police reveal 'murderer' is on the run in France...

The man believed to have been brutally slayed in a videotaped attack before his body parts were mailed to Canada's top political parties was his killer's gay lover, police have revealed.

Montreal Police Commander Ian Lafreniere identified the victim as 33-year-old Chinese student Jun Lin, who moved to Canada to study and had dated his suspected killer.

Authorities are now hunting for alleged attacker, low-budget porn star Luka Rocco Magnotta, in France, where he is believed to be posing as a woman.

The international search comes just days after Lin's maggot-riddled torso was found in a suitcase near to Magnotta's Montreal apartment block, and his hand and foot were mailed to two offices. Read More

TORNADO WATCH FOR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, E MARYLAND, NEN CAROLINA, SC PENNSYVANIA, N & E VIRGINIA AND COASTAL WATERS

TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 333
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
150 PM EDT FRI JUN 1 2012

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A

TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

EASTERN MARYLAND
NORTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA
SOUTH-CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA
NORTHERN AND EASTERN VIRGINIA
COASTAL WATERS

EFFECTIVE THIS FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 150 PM UNTIL 900

PM EDT.

TORNADOES...HAIL TO 1.5 INCHES IN DIAMETER...THUNDERSTORM WIND

GUSTS TO 70 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE
AREAS.

THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 60 STATUTE

MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 30 MILES NORTH NORTHWEST OF
WILMINGTON DELAWARE TO 35 MILES SOUTH SOUTHWEST OF SOUTH HILL
VIRGINIA. FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE
ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU3).

REMEMBER...A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR

TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...CONTINUE....
WW 332... Read More

TORNADO WARNING FOR... NORTHEASTERN AMHERST COUNTY IN CENTRAL VIRGINIA

TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BLACKSBURG VA
153 PM EDT FRI JUN 1 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BLACKSBURG HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN AMHERST COUNTY IN CENTRAL VIRGINIA

* UNTIL 230 PM EDT.

* AT 151 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR FORKS OF
BUFFALO...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 30 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
FORKS OF BUFFALO...
AMHERST...
CLIFFORD...
LOWESVILLE...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON DOPPLER RADAR...IT MEANS
THAT STRONG ROTATION HAS BEEN DETECTED IN THE STORM. A TORNADO MAY
ALREADY BE ON THE GROUND...OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SHORTLY. IF YOU
ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS DANGEROUS STORM...MOVE INDOORS AND TO THE
LOWEST LEVEL OF THE BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS. IF DRIVING...DO
NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER A HIGHWAY OVERPASS.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
STURDY SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE NEAREST
DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO...PLEASE RELAY YOUR SEVERE WEATHER REPORTS
TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BY CALLING TOLL FREE AT...1...8 6
6...2 1 5...4 3 2 4.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 900 PM EDT FRIDAY EVENING FOR
NORTHWESTERN NORTH CAROLINA AND SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA AND SOUTHEAST
WEST VIRGINIA. Source

Gleneagles Hotel: 100 people struck down by bug, Scotland

More than 100 people are thought to have been struck down by a vomiting and diarrhoea bug at a luxury hotel.

NHS Tayside said it was investigating suspected cases of norovirus at Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Perth and Kinross.

It said more than 100 people connected to the five-star resort had reported symptoms of the illness over the last week.

Environmental health officers from Perth and Kinross Council and NHS Tayside's health protection team are investigating.

The health board said: "Staff at the hotel are working closely with NHS Tayside and Perth and Kinross Council to implement all the recommended infection control measures.
"As always, anyone suffering from similar symptoms should be very careful with their hand hygiene and should remain at home until 48 hours after their symptoms have cleared up.

"If people are concerned about their health they should contact their own GP or NHS 24 on 08454 242424 in the out-of-hours period." Read More

Justin Bieber knocks himself out by walking into a glass wall

Teen sensation suffered concussion after an ill-advised confrontation with the wall.

Justin Bieber was left with a "bit of headache" last night (May 31) after he collided with a glass wall and suffered concussion.

The teen star, who was performing in Paris, ran into a pane of glass backstage midway through the gig in the French capital and, though he managed to make it through to the end of the set, he passed out backstage afterwards. Read More

World stock markets plunge as global crisis deepens

Stock markets hit to their lowest level in 2012 as poor US jobless figures and weak manufacturing data from Europe sparked renewed fears of a global slowdown.

World markets plunged to their lowest level this year as poor US jobless figures and weak manufacturing data from Europe sparked renewed fears of a global slowdown.

As traders sold off shares in favour of safer assets such as gold, the FTSE 100 in London fell 1.14% to close at 5260.19, its lowest level since 25 November last year. European markets also ended sharply lower, with Germany's Dax down nearly 3.5%, France's Cac down 2.2% and Spain's Ibex off by 0.4%. In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen more than 220 points - or 1.8% - by the time London closed. After overnight falls in Asia following signs of a slowdown in China, the MSCI world index hit its lowest level since December.

The day's economic data went from bad to worse, with the eurozone manufacturing sector suffering its worst month since June 2009 and its jobless rate hitting a record high of 11%. In the UK the manufacturing sector sufferered its second-biggest fall in 20 years, according to the latest purchasing managers' index. Read More

Dismal U.S. jobs report shocks markets

June 1 - The implications of a disappointing jobs report on the markets, elections and Fed policy.

Germany give Spain Permission to cut its deficit over a longer Period

(Reuters) - EU paymaster Germany softened its drive for austerity across the euro zone on Friday, agreeing to allow Spain more time to cut its deficit while its battles a deepening bank crisis, capital flight and recession.

Irish voters backed a European budget discipline treaty by a 60-40 percent vote in a referendum, a widely expected result that removed one political risk for the troubled currency area but left several bigger ones.

Investors stampeded to safe-haven U.S. and German government bonds amid growing worries over Spain's parlous finances and debt-stricken Greece's uncertain future in the single currency area, compounded by weak U.S. jobs data.

Asked about a European Commission call to grant Spain more time to reduce its deficit, a German Finance Ministry spokesman said Berlin understood Madrid's difficulties in trying to cut its shortfall to 3 percent of gross domestic product in 2013. Read More

ACTA dealt three heavy blows in Europe

Moscow Perfume store inferno: Fire rages near RT office

Bilderberg 2012: Protesters vs New World Order

'NATO uses Serbia's power vacuum to establish new reality in Kosovo'

Putin and Merkel: No to Syrian invasion & Euro collapse

Nottingham Riot: 14 Jailed for a total of more than 70 years

Fourteen people have been jailed for a total of more than 70 years for their part in a riot that saw petrol bombs thrown at a police station in Nottingham.

Three police officers and three community service officers were inside Canning Circus police station when it came under attack last August.

Judge Michael Stoke QC, Recorder of Nottingham, said: "There can be no doubt about it: this was a mob violence of an extreme nature.

"In short, a calculated defiance of the criminal law and a deliberate attack on the police.

"The numbers involved, far more numerous than those apprehended, must have caused real fear to decent citizens who witnesses these events or whose property sustained damage during the course of them."

Ten of the men sentenced were convicted of rioting while the other four, including 16-year-olds, were jailed for violent disorder.

Curtis Dejean, 19; Lance Francis, 25; Reiss Wilson, 21; Harrison McCalla, 21; Antany Edwards, 24; Ashton Alexander, 19; Ricardo Cotteral, 23; Callum Powell, 20; Shaudrie Robinson, 22; Gregory Coleman, Lucas Stapleton, both 18; and Bobby Muers, 18; along with 16-year-olds Kaiden Howell and Marcus Wynter, were all sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court. Read More

Danai Muhammadi and Farhad Mahmud Guilty Of Chatham Family Arson Deaths

Two men have been found guilty of murdering three generations of the same family in an arson attack at their home in Chatham, Kent.

Danai Muhammadi, 24, and Farhad Mahmud, 35, were convicted at Maidstone Crown Court.
Muhammadi's girlfriend Emma Smith, 21, was cleared of three counts of murder and two of attempted murder, but found guilty of three counts of manslaughter.

More follows...

Soviet rocket found water on the moon in 1976 - but the West ignored their discovery

In August 1976, a Soviet rocket landed on the moon, drilled six feet into the surface, extracted about half a pound of rock and flew back.

In the rocks that it brought back, water made up around 0.1%.

It was the first time any spacecraft had found conclusive evidence of water on the moon.

The American Apollo landings had brought back moon rocks, but the samples were thought to have been contaminated with water from Earth.

In 1976, the evidence of water was an earth-shattering discovery - but it was almost entirely ignored in the West.

The paper, published in the Soviet journal Geokhimiia, which had an English version, has never been cited by any Western scientist - despite the fact that in one small sample it found something that eluded the West's best efforts.

The Apollo missions brought back 300 kilos of moon rock to Earth.

Nasa's Clementine mission bounced radio waves off the surface of the moon in 1994, and found evidence of water. Read More

Tyrone Laidley, Nicholas Francisand Renardo Farrell Found guilty of shooting at police after 'luring' them to scene of firebombed pub during 2011 Riot

Three men have been found guilty of rioting, reckless arson and firearms possession after police were 'lured' to a pub fire and shot at during last summer’s riots.

Tyrone Laidley, 20, of Nechells, Birmingham, Nicholas Francis, 26, of Great Barr, Birmingham, and Renardo Farrell, 20, of Finchfield, Wolverhampton, were convicted by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court today, West Midlands Police said.

Jurors in the six-week trial were shown CCTV footage of a gunman - said by the prosecution to be Laidley - firing at a police helicopter as it tracked suspects during disturbances in Birmingham in the early hours of August 10.

Prosecutor Andrew Lockhart QC said the aircraft came under attack minutes after at least 12 shots were fired at officers called to a petrol bomb attack at the Bartons Arms in Aston.

Police were initially pelted with bricks, steel tubes and furniture before the shots were fired, the court heard. Read More

Just like the share price... Facebook goes down after being 'hacked by Anonymous'

Facebook experienced service outages for portions of its 900 million users tonight after the social networking site was apparently targeted by hacking group Anonymous.

Taking to Twitter to express their displeasure, Facebook users from the United States to Singapore reported being unable to log onto the website for around three hours from approximately 8 p.m till about 11 p.m EST.

The mass outages for the famously reliable social networking site capped off a topsy-turvy two weeks for founder Mark Zuckerberg after Facebook's stock closed at $29.60 per share on Thursday, down 22 percent from its offering price of $38.

Facebook admitted they experienced problems during the evening: 'Earlier today, some users briefly experienced issues loading the site. The issues have since been resolved and everyone should now have access to Facebook. We apologise for any inconvenience.'

However, hacking group Anonymous indicated via its Twitter account that it was behind the slowdown and when asked Facebook did not deny this. Read More

Baltic Sea 'UFO' Mystery: Team heads into the abyss to discover the origins of strange, 400-metre 'Millennium Falcon' object

Since June last year, the strange shape at the bottom of the Baltic Sea has caused so much speculation.

Sonar pictures showed a massive, metallic cylinder with a 60 metre diameter and a 400 metre-long tail resting about 300 feet below the Baltic Sea - and no-one knows what it is.

It must be man-made, or a sonar anomaly - the alternative, perhaps, is that it comes from a universe far, far, away, as its startling likeness to the Millennium Falcon ship from the Star Wars saga implies.

Hopefully an answer is forthcoming, with deep sea divers heading to the shape today to get to the bottom of the matter - and surely it will be an eerie descent as they await to discover the secrets of the deep.

Deep sea divers, using remote-controlled cameras, are now on their way to the side, ready to find out once and for all what is down there.

A Swedish company named Ocean Explorer discovered the unidentified sunken object using their sonar technology in a secret location in the Baltic Sea, between Sweden and Finland.

Because of a lack of funding and bad timing, they have were not able to pull a team together to see for themselves - just the strange, metallic outline, and a similar disk-shaped object about 200 metres away. Read More

Last month's solar flare created a mysterious pulse on Earth that seemed to 'answer' sun's blast

After an unusually long quiet period, the sun unleashed a solar flare on May 17 this year - but scientists are now puzzling over what happened on Earth.

Neutron monitors all round the world lit up in response to the blast for the first time in six years, despite the fact it was an M-Class, or moderate, flare.

The 'answering' pulse shouldn't have happened at all. Now scientists are trying to unravel what happened - and why our planet 'pulsed' in response.

James Ryan, an astrophysicist at the UNH Space Science Center said, ‘This solar flare was most unimpressive and the associated CME was only slightly more energetic. And looking at it optically, it was remarkably dim, it was, all things considered, a ninety-eight pound weakling of solar events.'

Scientists are now analysing the data using a satellite which scans an range of bizarre particles invisible to other spacecraft - PAMELA, a European spacecraft dedicated to watching rays from space. Read More

U.S. jobs figures worse than expected

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Businesses hired far fewer workers than expected in May, throwing into doubt the strength of the economic recovery.

Only 69,000 jobs were added last month, the weakest growth in a year. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2%, as people rejoined the labor force.

Economists surveyed by CNNMoney had expected to see employers add 150,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to remain at 8.1%.

Revisions from previous months also showed the economy gained 49,000 fewer jobs in March and April than originally thought.

Private companies sharply cut back on hiring last month, adding only a meager 82,000 jobs. Employment increased in health care, transportation and wholesale trade, but declined in construction. Employment was little changed in most other major industries. Read More

Annan 'Frustrated' As Syria Deadline Expires



Peace envoy Kofi Annan has spoken of his frustration after the deadline given to President Assad by the Free Syrian Army to comply with the United Nations' peace plan expired.

Amid mounting fears of a full civil war, Mr Annan told a press conference it was the role of the UN Security Council to decide what other measures should be implemented in the country.

"What is important is that we continue our efforts to find a solution that leads to a democratic transition in Syria, that fulfils the aspirations of the Syrian people," he said.

"I know we are all impatient, we are all frustrated by the violence, by the killings.

"So am I. I think perhaps I'm more frustrated that most of you, because I'm in the thick of things and would really want to see things move much faster than it has done."
Rebels had warned of violent retaliation if the regime failed to stop attacking towns and cities by 10am London time today. Read More

U.S. drawn into Yemen as violence rises

LONDON (Reuters)- U.S. policymakers might talk down "boots on the ground" in Yemen but with an estimated several hundred military advisers already deployed, Washington and its allies are already being drawn ever deeper into the country.

Western security and intelligence officials have long seen Yemen as central to their fight against Islamist militancy, viewing local franchise Al Qaeda on the Arabic Peninsula (AQAP) as the most dangerous single foreign group plotting attacks against the West. U.S. officials say the group was behind a thwarted airline attack plot last month, the latest of several such schemes.

But with a new Yemeni government seen providing the best chance in years to stabilize the chaotic country, there are growing signs of a wider strategy. U.S. and foreign involvement is increasing sharply, moving well beyond the long-running but now also intensifying campaign of drone strikes. Read More

China arrests security official on suspicion of spying for U.S.

(Reuters) - A Chinese state security official has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the United States, sources said, a case both countries have kept quiet for several months as they strive to prevent a fresh crisis in relations.

The official, an aide to a vice minister in China's security ministry, was arrested and detained early this year on allegations that he had passed information to the United States for several years on China's overseas espionage activities, said three sources, who all have direct knowledge of the matter.

The aide had been recruited by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and provided "political, economic and strategic intelligence", one source said, though it was unclear what level of information he had access to, or whether overseas Chinese spies were compromised by the intelligence he handed over.

The case could represent China's worst known breach of state intelligence in two decades and its revelation follows two other major public embarrassments for Chinese security, both involving U.S. diplomatic missions at a tense time for bilateral ties. Read More

Germany Likely to Press Russia on Syrian Crisis

BERLIN — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia arrived in Germany on Friday and is likely to face significant pressure from Chancellor Angela Merkel over Moscow’s continued backing of the Syrian government in its ever-bloodier, 14-month crackdown on armed dissent.

The visit came as part of Mr. Putin’s first trip abroad after reclaiming the Russian presidency.

After stops in Belarus and Germany, Mr. Putin planned to travel on to Paris to with France’s newly elected president, François Hollande, later on Friday. The visit to Berlin was not intended as an emergency summit on Syria but escalating violence there has thrust the issue to the top of the agenda.

Mr. Putin has emerged as the fulcrum in efforts by Western nations and Arab foes to force President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to step down. Russia’s government has refused to back any move toward outside intervention in Syria, its longtime partner and last significant foothold in the Middle East. Read More

5.4 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 1st June 2012

A magnitude 5.4 earthquake has struck Southern Xinjiang, China at a depth of 10.3 km (6.4 miles), the quake hit at 12:32:22 UTC Friday 1st June 2012
The epicenter was 73 km (45 miles) WNW of Kashi, Xinjiang, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Ireland Votes 'Yes' To Fiscal Stability Treaty

Ireland has voted 'yes' in a referendum on Europe's Fiscal Stability Treaty - committing the coalition government to stringent budgetary targets.

Rejection would have prevented Ireland from accessing the European Stability Mechanism - the European Union's 500bn euro bailout fund for struggling members.

There is every possibility the Republic will need another financial lifeline before it is able to return to international markets. Read More

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE COAST OF PAKISTAN - 1st June 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck off the Coast of Pakistan at a depth of 14.7 km (9.1 miles), the quake hit at 11:03:41 UTC Friday 1st June 2012
The epicenter was 216 km (134 miles) Southeast of Chabahar, Iran
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Hunt on for bear that attacked 74-year-old woman camping with husband in northern Arizona

PHOENIX — A bear attacked and injured a 74-year-old Arizona woman camping east of Payson in northern Arizona on Thursday, and now hounds and men are tracking the animal to put it down.

The Apache Junction woman had minor bruises and a cut to her face after the black bear ripped a hole in the tent where she, her husband and dog had been sleeping at a campground in the Tonto National Forest, said Jim Paxon, a spokesman with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The couple was able to scare off the large adult bear by making a lot of commotion.

“They are very, very lucky,” Paxon said. “Anytime a bear rips through a tent and enters it with humans in it, that’s a pretty big threat.” Read More

Firefighters Battle Chemical Blaze in Tennessee

Firefighters Battle Chemical Blaze: MyFoxMEMPHIS.com



Memphis, Tn - You couldn't blame Carol Britton for being despairingly speechless. You couldn't help but understand the relief Memphis firefighters felt once they learned the situation they faced could have been worse.


Just after noon on Thursday, firefighters quickly responded to a smoky blaze initially coming from the front of the Mid Continental Lab, a material testing company, at the corner of Jackson and Claybrook. The choking billows of ash and smoke were also accompanied by a piercing chemical smell which forced the 40 firefighters at the scene to don masks with oxygen tanks. After arriving on the scene, the contents of the lab, packets of radioactive material, immediately generated special concern.

Firefighter determined that Sysium 137, a low radioactive material, did burn up in the blaze. Due to the low quantities, they concluded it was low risk to personnel, but they pulled them out for safety sake. Read More

Australian protests demand release of WikiLeaks founder

Several hundred people rallied at demonstrations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and other Australian cities yesterday to protest the British Supreme Court ruling that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden on bogus sexual assault allegations. Assange has just 14 days to try and appeal the decision.

Protestors carried placards denouncing the court ruling and demanding that Assange be released from house arrest in Britain, which has lasted for over 540 days. He has not been charged with a single crime in Sweden, Britain or any other country. According to Stratfor emails, the US has a Grand Jury espionage indictment against Assange and will extradite the WikiLeaks founder on conspiracy or espionage charges after he arrives in Sweden.

Former Guantánamo Bay prisoner David Hicks addressed the Sydney protest and said that Assange “was a brave and selfless journalist who had acted in the spirit of freedom of speech and transparency,” but now faced torture and other illegal treatment if extradited to the US. “The message that is being sent to him and other journalists is ‘publish what we don’t want you to and we’ll destroy your life.’” Read More

Popocatepetl Volcano threatens millions in Mexico



Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano has blasted a tower of ash over nearby towns and villages prompting authorities to consider the possibility of evacuations.


Popocatepetl sits roughly halfway between Mexico City and the city of Puebla, meaning some 25 million people live within a 90-km (60-mile) radius of the volcano.

Over a month ago, the volcanic eruptions started growing larger. Source

Greek Euro Exit Risks Uncontrollable Contagion, SocGen Says

A Greek exit from the euro risks sparking uncontrollable contagion that may exhaust official funding sources, according to Societe Generale SA analysts.

Greece leaving the euro may lead markets to question the future of the currency shared by 17 nations, the bank said in a report today. Direct costs may reach 360 billion euros ($444 billion) or 3.8 percent of euro-area gross domestic product, the report showed.

“Although the direct costs of a Greek exit may be manageable, the reality is that such an event would demonstrate to financial markets that the single currency was not ’irrevocable,’” the report said. “The contagion from a Greek exit may therefore prove difficult to contain in an environment where both banks and sovereigns are already facing significant funding difficulties.”

“It is not hard to envisage a situation where the available official sources of funding are quickly exhausted,” according to the report, whose contributors include London-based economists James Nixon and Michala Marcussen and more than a dozen strategists. Read More

Demand for 'fair compensation' delays reclassification of Fukushima's evacuation zones

FUKUSHIMA -- The central government's efforts to reclassify evacuation areas around the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant under a new zoning system for decontamination and financial compensation has been significantly delayed as residents in the affected regions continue to demand "fair" compensation.

Under the reclassification that the government had earlier planned to implement on April 1, the 11 municipalities falling within the evacuation zones near the damaged nuclear plant would be divided into three new zones based on radiation levels.

Financial compensation for emotional distress for residents is proposed as follows: (1) a lump sum of 6 million yen per person for residents living in zones where return is restricted for a minimum of at least five years, (2) a lump sum of 2.4 million yen per person for residents in zones where return is expected to be possible in several years, and (3) 100,000 yen per person per month for residents in zones currently being prepared for the lifting of evacuation orders.

Compensation for land and homes would also vary by zones under the proposed scheme.

Two months have passed since the government initially planned to implement the reclassification scheme, and of the 11 concerned municipalities, only three -- the cities of Minamisoma and Tamura and the village of Kawauchi -- have agreed to the suggested conditions.

The prefectural town of Tomioka, where radiation levels are higher in its northern regions, would be divided into three zones under the plan. Tomioka officials have resisted the reclassification, stating that as long as villagers are not offered equal compensation across the board, the town will not accept the scheme. Read More

The battle for control in Yemen

May 31 - Yemeni troops clash with Islamist militants in a stronghold of an al-Qaeda-linked group as they fight to dislodge them in a U.S.-backed offensive. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

Syrian government blames rebels for massacre

June 1 - Both sides deny a massacre in Syria, Western officials push China, Russia to stop supporting regime. Julie Noce reports.

Luka Magnotta Interpol Warrant Issued

The man suspected of dismembering a murder victim then mailing the body parts to political parties in Canada, is now wanted by Interpol. Julie Noce reports.

Livestock truck crashes in Australia

June 1 - Livestock from a crashed truck rain down on highway motorists. Julie Noce reports

From a ferry, a Chinese fast-attack boat

(Reuters) - It looked like a textbook win-win deal when Australian high-speed ferry designer AMD Marine Consulting formed a joint venture in 1993 with the engineering arm of a state-owned Chinese shipbuilder.

The joint venture partner, Guangzhou Marine Engineering Corporation, a subsidiary of the giant China State Shipbuilding Corporation, gained access to state-of-the-art technology in wave-piercing, aluminum-hull designs.

For AMD, a Sydney-based private company, the payoff was a foothold in China's maritime market during a period of rapid growth.

The joint venture, Seabus International Co, began designing high-speed aluminum catamaran ferries and sea rescue vessels for China's inland and coastal waters, according to the company's website.

That's when a third winner emerged.

Attracted to the performance of these fast, stable and relatively cheap vessels, the Chinese military adopted the technology as it began replacing its aging missile boats that had been derived from an obsolete Soviet design.

The new fleet of missile boats are part of a naval buildup that back up China's claims to islets and reefs in the South China Sea, waters rich in oil and gas and which half the world's ship tonnage passes through each year. Read More

Syria on brink of sectarian civil war

(Reuters) - Syria is nearing full-blown sectarian civil war that would be catastrophic for the entire Middle East, Western nations said on Thursday, urging Russia to end its support for President Bashar al-Assad and put pressure on him to stop the bloodshed.

With anti-Assad rebels urging international envoy Kofi Annan to declare his peace plan dead, freeing them from any commitment to the tattered truce, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the prospect of spiraling violence presented "terrible" danger.

"A civil war in a country that would be driven by sectarian divides ... could then morph into a proxy war in the region because, remember, you have Iran deeply embedded in Syria," Clinton said during a trip to Copenhagen where she urged Moscow to increase pressure on Assad.

Russia, like China, has vetoed two Security Council resolutions calling for tougher action against Damascus, while stressing hopes that Annan's plan can spur a political solution. Washington called a reported shipment of Russian arms to Syria "reprehensible" although not illegal. Read More

Turmoil reigns, investors pay to hold German debt

With the euro zone debt signals flashing red again, record after record has tumbled across asset classes as investors scramble to find security for their cash.

The euro hit its lowest against the dollar in nearly two years at $1.2342 and 10- and 30-year German Bund yields hit all-time lows.

The German two-year bond yield fell below zero for the first time, meaning investors are paying for the right to hold that debt. Other "safe havens", Denmark and Switzerland said they were prepared to set negative interest rates to prevent their currencies spiraling.

Madrid's need to recapitalize its troubled banks and shore up its heavily indebted regions is the latest focus for turbulent markets, though IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde denied late on Thursday that the Fund was preparing financial assistance for Spain. Read More

China slowdown worsens as U.S. recovery falters

(Reuters) - China's slowdown worsened in May as its factories saw a further deterioration in demand at home and abroad, dealing a new blow to a global economy struggling with a sharp downturn in Europe and a faltering recovery in the United States.

The darkening outlook was underlined by data showing the fourth monthly decline this year in exports from South Korea, the first major economy to report May numbers, as shipments to the United States, Europe and China all fell.

Equities, the euro and growth-linked currencies all fell after Friday's gloomy data, which followed reports on Thursday showing India's growth at its weakest in nine years.

Manufacturing surveys from Europe later are not expected to offer much comfort, while investors' jitters over the key U.S. non-farm payrolls report, due at 1230 GMT, have been rising since a separate report on Thursday showed U.S. private employers created fewer jobs than expected last month.

"I don't think Friday's numbers are going to be any better. It's been a dismal week so far, and we haven't hit bottom," said Jim Ritterbusch, president at oil trading advisory firm Ritterbusch & Associates. Read More

uro-Area Unemployment Reaches Record 11%

Euro-area unemployment reached the highest on record as a deepening economic slump and budget cuts prompted companies from Spain to Italy to cut jobs.

The jobless rate in the 17-nation euro zone was at 11 percent in April and March, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s the highest since the data series started in 1995 and in line with the median forecast of 28 economists in a Bloomberg survey. The March figure was revised up to 11 percent from 10.9 percent.

Europe’s companies are under pressure to lower costs to protect earnings as the worsening fiscal crisis erodes exports and consumer spending. Euro-area economic confidence dropped more than economists forecast last month and Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA) said on May 30 that it may cut as many as 1,000 jobs at LSG Sky Chefs, the world’s largest inflight caterer, in a bid to lower costs through 2014. Read More

Putin heads to Berlin as Syria crisis escalates

BERLIN — Germany on Friday urged Russia to curb its support for Damascus, ahead of President Vladimir Putin's visit to Berlin and Paris that is set to be dominated by the escalating Syria crisis.

"In our view Russia should recognise that we are not working against Russian strategic interests when we want to stop the violence in Syria," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told Die Welt ahead of Putin's arrival.

Russia is coming under increasing pressure over its resistance to UN action on Syria, particularly since the massacre in the town of Houla last week that left 108 people dead, including women and children, and caused global outrage.

"Russia and its stance towards the Assad regime plays a key role in the Syrian crisis," Westerwelle added.

But he warned against military intervention in Syria, where activists estimate more than 13,000 people have been killed since President Bashar al-Assad's forces launched a brutal crackdown on opponents in March last year. Read More

Hillary Clinton tells Russia: It will be your fault if civil war breaks out in Syria

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, told Russia yesterday it will be responsible for unleashing a full-blown civil war in Syria unless it changes course and sides with Washington and other Western powers in pushing for President Bashar al-Assad to step down and facilitate a political transition.

The comments from Mrs Clinton, made in Copenhagen at the start of a Scandinavian tour, reflect a deepening conviction among top US policymakers that persuading President Vladimir Putin to cut Assad loose is about the only palatable option available in trying to tackle the Syrian crisis.

Finding some way forward is politically urgent for President Barack Obama, who, just five months from the US election, is being accused by Republicans of sitting on his hands. On a visit to Malaysia yesterday, Senator John McCain said it was "embarrassing that the United States of America refuses to show leadership and come to the aid of the Syrian people" and advocated arming the Syrian opposition. Read More