Saturday, June 2, 2012

Firefighters Battle Columbus Refinery Fire‎, Ohio

Columbus firefighters are on the scene of a fire at a troubled Columbus oil refinery.

Firefighters were dispatched to Heartland Petroleum on the 4000 block of East 5th Avenue in Columbus at 6:43 a.m on a report of a fire.

According to firefighters on the scene, an equipment failure caused oil to leak.

Vapors from the leaking oil ignited, causing a fire, firefighters said.

According to Battalion Chief Michael Fowler, crews isolated the leaking line and allowed what was already in the line to burn off.

Hazmat crews are on the scene. Read More

844 evacuated after land sinks in southern China‎

BEIJING—More than 800 villagers have been evacuated after land sank in southern China's Guangxi province, which is known for its karst topography.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday that the land subsidence occurred near a middle school in Nanning city's Xixiangtang district after the school dug a well to ease a water shortage.

Xinhua says the sink hole is 1.5 meters (5 feet) deep and 2.5 meters (8 feet) wide and has caused one building to collapse, six to tilt and another to crack.

There were no reports of injuries, but 844 villagers were evacuated.

Sinkholes and land cracks have been common in China in recent years, partly because of intense construction and mining activities coupled with insufficient geological regulation. Source

Damage, but no serious injuries, as tornado strikes Hampton



The city was cleaning up this morning after a tornado swept through downtown Hampton on Friday evening and knocked out power to more than 5,000, damaged tents for the weekend's Blackbeard Pirate Festival and moved a yacht from the water at the Hampton Yacht Club into a parking lot.


With a wind speed of 98 miles-per-hour, the twister began around 8 p.m. as a waterspout touchdown on the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado traveled a 3.5-mile path from Chesapeake Avenue, through downtown Hampton and into the Chesapeake Bay.

Hundreds of homes were damaged in the Merrimac Shores and Wythe neighborhoods. Closer to downtown, homes, business and boats also sustained significant damage, according to the Weather Service.

The twister took Hampton residents by surprise. The city does not have warning sirens, according to Robin McCormick, the city's communications director. Read More

30 missing, hundreds stranded in Philippine storm

MANILA — Philippine emergency workers Saturday rescued 30 fishermen whose boat was left drifting in rough seas amid the country's first tropical storm of the year, which also left hundreds of travellers stranded.

The fishermen's motorboat ran out of petrol off the coast of the country's easternmost island of Catanduanes on Friday while negotiating big waves and heavy rains triggered by storm Mawar.

"They have been found and the immobilised boat is now being towed to shore," the office of the civil defence chief Benito Ramos said, adding that all fishermen were accounted for.

The storm blanketed large parts of the island of Luzon and central Visayas province with up to 25 millimetres (an inch) of rain an hour overnight, the state weather bureau said.

At least two domestic flights were cancelled while more than 500 people were stranded in ports after the coastguard prevented passenger ferries from sailing, disaster relief agencies said. Read More

Ghana Plane Crash, Ten Killed

A cargo plane has crashed at the international airport in Ghana's capital and then hit a bus, killing at least 10 people, an aviation official has said.

Witnesses said the jet smashed through the airport's perimeter fence and struck the vehicle that was full of passengers on a nearby street.

The badly mangled bus was next to the plane wreckage, and 10 bodies lay nearby, a witness said.

Some reports said the plane was trying to take-off when it overshot the runway and crashed. Others said the jet had been coming in to land.

Ambulances, police and military were at the scene of the incidentat the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, he added.

It was reported the plane belonged to Allied Cargo.

More information follows...

Cargo plane crashes during takeoff from airport in Ghana’s capital; unknown injuries

ACCRA, Ghana — A cargo plane attempting to take off from Ghana’s capital crashed Saturday night, slamming into a bus loaded with passengers on a nearby street, witnesses said. Police would not confirm if anyone had been injured.

The crash happened Saturday night in Accra at the Kotoka International Airport, which sits near newly built high-rise buildings, hotels and the country’s Defense Ministry. Witnesses said the plane first smashed through the fence that runs around the buildings before hitting the bus.

An official at the airport’s control tower declined to comment when reached Saturday night, saying no one was available to discuss the crash. Police officials also refused to immediately comment.

Witnesses said the plane was labeled as belonging to Allied Cargo. A telephone number for the company could not be immediately found. Source

Protests erupt in Egypt over Hosni Mubarak verdicts

Huge crowds have gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square to protest against the verdicts on Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak and his co-defendants.

Although Mubarak got life in prison for complicity in the killing of protesters in last year's uprising, the acquittal of key security officials sparked fury.

Egypt's ex-interior Minister Habib al-Adly was also sentenced to life.

But correspondents say a verdict that was meant to bring closure for Egypt is in danger of reopening old wounds.

Protests were also held in Egypt's second city Alexandria, as well as in Suez and Mansoura.

But the biggest demonstration is being held in central Cairo's Tahrir Square, the focus of last year's demonstrations that ultimately toppled Mubarak. Read More

Eurozone's Chaotic Conditions-News Analysis-06-01-2012

US-China financial relations-On the Edge with Max Keiser-06-01-2012

West after military intervention in Syria: Webster Tarpley

US to shift naval firepower to Asia-Pacific

Tawerghans cast doubt over Libya election

Victoria Grant 12 Year Old and Smarter than Anyone in the European Parliament except for Nigel Farage

Victoria Grant 12 Year Old and Smarter than Anyone in the European Parliament except for Nigel Farage

Victoria Grant: 'We're being robbed!' 12 Year old girl exposes Canada banking flaws

'US wants chaos within Islamic world'

India sticks with Iran when it comes to oil

Pakistan acquits men charged with aiding Times Square bomber

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Saturday acquitted four men who had been charged with helping a Pakistani-American man carry out a failed attempt to detonate a truck bomb in New York's Time Square, said their lawyer and family members.

The four were arrested in the wake of Faisal Shahzad's May 2010 attack, which fizzled when the explosives in his vehicle produced smoke but no blast. Shahzad has pleaded guilty and admitted to getting training from the Pakistani Taliban in the country's tribal region along the Afghan border. He was sentenced to life in prison in the U.S.

The attempted attack increased tension between Pakistan and the United States, which has long accused Islamabad of not doing enough to crack down on militants on its soil who pose a threat to the West.

Even though the men acquitted Saturday had been in custody for two years, very few details had emerged about their closed-door trial in an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi, next to the capital Islamabad.

Such trials rarely produce convictions in Pakistan because police often lack basic investigative skills, prosecutors lack training in terror cases and judges and witnesses are often subject to intimidation. Read More

Syria conflict: Russia's Vladimir Putin stands firm

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has resisted diplomatic pressure from Western nations to support tougher action against Syria's government.

Mr Putin, an ally of Syria, called for more time to be given to the peace plan of envoy Kofi Annan.

The US and UK have called on Moscow to strengthen its condemnation of the Syrian regime since last week's massacre in Houla, where 108 died.

Earlier, Moscow opposed a UN Human Rights Council resolution on Syria.

In an emergency session on Friday, the council condemned Syria over the Houla massacre and called for an investigation.

But Russia voted against the US-backed resolution, arguing that it was "unbalanced".

Meanwhile, a US government website published satellite images apparently showing a mass grave in the Houla area. Read More

US reaches out to Syria's allies in Russia

BEIRUT (AP) — Washington reached out to Syria's most important ally and protector Saturday, urging Russia to join a coordinated effort to resolve the deadly conflict as the violence spilled across the border into Lebanon, a senior State Department official said.

The international community has been frustrated by the failure of a U.N.-brokered peace plan to stop the bloodshed. Fears also have risen the violence could spread and provoke a regional conflagration.

Already clashes have broken out between pro- and anti-Syrian groups in northern Lebanon, with at least eight people killed late Friday and early Saturday, Lebanese security officials said.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton discussed the situation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a telephone call on Saturday, a senior State Department official said.
"They both agreed that we have to work together," said the official, who provided details of the private discussion on condition of anonymity. "Her message to him was that we have to start working together to help Syrians with a serious political transition strategy."

Clinton said U.S. and Russian officials should engage diplomatically to come up with ideas in Moscow, Washington, New York and "wherever we need to," according to the official."

Russia has refused to support any move that could lead to foreign intervention in Syria, Moscow's last significant ally in the Middle East. Russia, along with China, has twice used its veto power to shield Syria from U.N. sanctions. Read More

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NEW GUINEA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 2nd June 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck New Guinea, Papua New Guinea at a depth of 35.8 km (22.2 miles), the quake hit at 18:16:58 UTC Saturday 2nd June 2012
The epicenter was 135 km (83 miles) ENE of Tanahmerah, Papua, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Miami Cannibal Attack: Witness 911 Calls Released



Miami police have released the emergency call recordings of several people who rang to report a disturbing cannibal attack in which a homeless man had most of his face bitten off.

Ronald Poppo was set upon by Rudy Eugene in a nightmare incident beside a busy motorway.

Police were alerted to the scene by witnesses who saw Eugene, 31, ripping pieces of flesh from Mr Poppo's face. Read More

H5N1 Bird Flu: HONG Kong hospitals are on alert after a two-year-old boy was confirmed to have contracted bird flu

The boy was admitted to hospital a week ago with convulsions after arriving from the southern Chinese city of Guangdong.

The Centre for Health Protection said he had tested positive for the AH5 strain of bird flu.

More tests were being conducted to determine whether it is the deadly H5N1 sub-strain of the virus, which has been responsible for 356 deaths since 2003, according to the World Health Organisation.

The boy is being treated in isolation and is described as being in a stable condition.

Hong Kong saw the first modern outbreak of H5N1 bird flu infecting humans when six people died and 12 others were infected in 1997. Source

Seven killed in Syria-linked unrest in Lebanon's Tripoli

At least seven people have been killed and many injured in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli, in clashes linked to unrest across the border in Syria.

Supporters and opponents of the uprising against President Assad of Syria clashed with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades on Saturday evening.

Tensions in the northern port city have mounted since Syria's uprising began.

Recent months have seen increased clashes between armed Alawite groups and Sunni fighters in the city.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is an Alawite, while the supporters of the uprising against him are mainly Sunni.

In Syria itself, opposition activists reported yet more violence. Two civilians were killed - one during an army raid in the capital, Damascus, and another by gunfire in the city of Homs. Read More

Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy calls for eurozone 'centralised control' authority

Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister, has called for the eurozone to have a "centralised control" authority, which would be in charge of the budgets of all the nation states.

Mr Rajoy has become the latest European politician to calling for countries to, in effect, abandon their sovereignty in a last ditch attempt to save the beleaguered currency

Mr Rajoy said a new central authority was the answer to the European debt crisis and would go a long way in alleviating Spain's woes as it would send a clear signal to investors that the single currency is an irreversible project.

Speaking at an event in Sitges, in the north-eastern province of Catalonia, he said: "The European Union needs to reinforce its architecture. This entails moving towards more integration, transferring more sovereignty, especially in the fiscal field.

"And this means a compromise to create a new European fiscal authority which would guide the fiscal policy in the euro zone, harmonise the fiscal policy of member states and enable a centralised control of (public) finances." Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake MOLUCCA SEA - 2nd June 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck the Molucca Sea at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 13:50:27 UTC Saturday 2nd June 2012
The epicenter was 126 km (78.1 miles) Southwest of Ternate, Moluccas, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Mayor of Fukushima town proposes residents stay away at least 5 years

AIZUWAKAMATSU, Fukushima -- The mayor of a radiation-contaminated town near the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant told assembly members June 1 that residents should stay away from the town for at least five years so they can secure equal compensation payments.

Okuma Mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe is seeking assembly approval of a declaration that the town's evacuated residents will not return for a five-year period. After the rezoning of evacuation areas, 95 percent of the town's population of around 11,500 is expected to fall within zones that will remain off-limits for residents for at least five years, according to town officials. The other 5 percent could return, but realistically, the areas where their homes are situated would not be habitable.

As compensation payment methods and amounts differ between zones, the town government asked the national government to zone the entire town as being off-limits for five years. The national government responded that it would review its rezoning plan, but said that if town citizens returned at the same time, then it would pay them equal compensation. This led the mayor to propose that the town's residents not return for at least five years, which would allow them to receive the same amount of compensation.

The town government is considering extending an evacuation advisory for the whole town for five years under the Disaster Countermeasures Basic Act. Read More

JAEC handed nuclear policy meeting docs to pro-nuclear figures at secret meeting

The Cabinet Office's Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) delivered a list of issues to be discussed at a JAEC panel session on a new nuclear policy to pro-nuclear members during a secret meeting in February, it has been learned.

The discovery indicates that members in favor of atomic energy wielded their influence on the panel on Japan's nuclear energy policy. Earlier it was found that pro-atomic energy officials, including those representing the electric power industry, had exercised influence on a JAEC subcommittee on the nation's nuclear fuel cycle project.

The findings have proven that JAEC lied when it denied that pro-nuclear members who gathered at 23 secret meetings exercised any influence on the meeting on Japan's new overall nuclear energy policy.

On May 25, the day after the Mainichi Shimbun reported that pro-nuclear members of JAEC held secret meetings, JAEC put up a statement on its website saying that secret meetings were held to draft materials for a subcommittee on the nuclear fuel cycle project.

JAEC Chairman Shunsuke Kondo denied that the secret meetings had anything to do with the new nuclear policy panel he chairs. "The (secret) meetings were launched to facilitate work at the subcommittee. I proposed such sessions to subcommittee chairman Tatsujiro Suzuki," Kondo told a meeting of the panel to draft a new nuclear policy outline on May 29.

The list of issues on the agenda at the Feb. 28 meeting of the panel was titled, "Human resources and technological basis in nuclear power." Read More

Iran threatens to target U.S. bases if attacked

(Reuters) - Iran has warned the United States not to resort to military action against it, saying U.S. bases in the region were vulnerable to the Islamic Republic's missiles, state media reported on Saturday.

The comments by a senior Iranian military commander were an apparent response to U.S. officials who have said Washington was ready to use military force to stop what it suspects is Iran's goal to develop a nuclear weapons capability.

World powers held talks with Iran in Baghdad on May 23-24 in an attempt to find a diplomatic solution to their concerns over its nuclear program, which Tehran maintains is entirely peaceful. Another round was set for June 18-19 in Moscow.

"The politicians and the military men of the United States are well aware of the fact that all of their bases (in the region) are within the range of Iran's missiles and in any case ... are highly vulnerable," Press TV reported Brigadier-General Yahya Rahim Safavi as saying. Read More

France, Russia at odds over Syria

June 1 - French President Francois Hollande says ending the bloodshed in Syria will require the departure of President Bashar al-Assad. Deborah Gembara reports

Storms pound Maryland

June 2 - Strong storms rip through Maryland, region on alert for tornadoes. Julie Noce reports

Luka Rocco Magnotta Interview released

June 2 - Footage is released from an interview with the man suspected of dismembering a Chinese student in Canada. Julie Noce reports

Violent Arab ghetto shows Israel's underside

(Reuters) - "My friend is on the floor, dying, 11 holes in his body, and I only have 10 fingers," raps Tamer Nafar. "Don't close your eyes, blink if you can hear me."

Nafar isn't rapping about violence and crime in urban America, but murders, drugs, guns and gang warfare in his own Israeli slum.

The backstreets of Lod, a mixed Arab-Jewish city just 20 minutes from the tree-lined boulevards of Tel Aviv, reveal a seamy underside of Israel that few visitors get to see, tucked away behind Ben Gurion airport off the main highway to Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

"There's crime pollution in this city that hits everybody. Nobody has immunity," said Nafar, lead MC in the Arab group DAM.

Residents, police, government officials, academics and social workers agree conditions in the areas where Arabs live have reached a crisis point, with poor schools and infrastructure fuelling crime and drug abuse.

Arab residents and analysts say that Israel's government and the police have ignored the problem because it has stayed within the Arab community and the country's Jewish population is largely unaffected.

But awareness is growing, partly thanks to wider public appeals from the communities themselves. Read More

U.S. will put more warships in Asia: Panetta

(Reuters) - The United States will shift a majority of its warships to the Asia-Pacific region by 2020, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Saturday, giving the first details of a new U.S. military strategy.

Fleshing out details of a strategic pivot to Asia announced in January, Panetta said the United States would reposition its Navy fleet so 60 percent of its battleships would be assigned there, up from about 50 percent now, while maintaining six aircraft carriers in the region.

The U.S. defense secretary, speaking at an annual security forum in Singapore, also sought to dispel the notion that the shift, after more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, was designed to contain China's emergence as a global power.

He acknowledged differences between the world's two largest economies on a range of issues, including the South China Sea. Read More

Marijuana initiative could make or break Obama in Colorado

(Reuters) - Throughout his presidency, Barack Obama hasn't exactly been a friend to marijuana users.

Sure, he has acknowledged smoking pot as a young man, but he has disappointed marijuana advocates by opposing its legalization, regulation and taxation like alcohol.

And the Justice Department's occasional crackdown under his administration on medical marijuana dispensaries, which 17 states and the District of Columbia allow, has angered others.

So now, with Obama facing a stiff challenge from Republican Mitt Romney in the November 6 election, it's ironic that his chances of winning the key state of Colorado could hinge on marijuana legalization, supported by a growing number of Americans. Read More

Robert Bales Soldier who Slaughtered 17 Civilians is also Charged with Steroid Use

(CNN) -- In amended charges presented Friday, U.S. military authorities accused Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales of illicit steroid and alcohol use in addition to 16 counts of premeditated murder for allegedly gunning down villagers in Afghanistan earlier this year.

Bales' lawyer, John Henry Browne, responded to the changes by saying he is "so relieved" that military prosecutors "came out publicly with the steroid use."

"Steroid use is going to be an issue in this case, especially where Sgt. Bales got steroids and how he got steroids," Browne told CNN.

The U.S. military said that, in March, Bales left his outpost in Afghanistan in the middle of the night and single-handedly attacked two villages. The incident further riled relations between Washington and Kabul, intensifying the debate about whether to pull American troops ahead of their planned 2014 withdrawal.

Bales was taken into military custody soon thereafter, and subsequently charged with 17 counts of murder and six counts of assault and attempted murder. He is being held in a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Read More

Stocks hit as Dow erases 2012 gains

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Wall Street suffered its bloodiest day of the year Friday as U.S. stocks sank more than 2% following an ugly jobs report. The Dow erased all its gains for the year, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq moved into correction territory, down more than 10% from the year's highs.

The sell-off was broad, with all 30 Dow components ending in the red, and 97% of the S&P 500 closing lower.

As jittery investors fled stocks, they plowed into the safety of U.S. government debt, pushing the yields on the 10-year Treasury note and the 30-year Treasury bond to fresh record lows. Read More

China to restart nuclear power program

(Financial Times) -- Beijing has indicated that it will lift its year-long moratorium on new nuclear projects in a move that will breathe life into an industry plagued by uncertainty since the disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi reactor last year.

China's cabinet announced it had approved the 2020 nuclear strategy, finalised new safety standards and finished inspecting the country's existing nuclear plants. After the Japanese nuclear crisis China suspended approvals of new reactors while it conducted safety inspections and drafted new regulations.

As the world's largest energy user China is key to setting the direction of future global nuclear expansion. Beijing's latest announcement marks a major step towards the full resumption of its nuclear building programme, which accounts for 40 per cent of global reactors under construction today.

"This is the main hurdle," said Guo Shou, energy analyst at Barclays. "Approvals for new nuclear reactors are around the corner, they are going to come very, very soon." Read More

U.S. defense secretary announces new strategy with Asia

Singapore (CNN) -- As part of a "rebalancing" with Asia, the United States will enhance military-to-military cooperation with China while also boosting the capabilities of its allies in the region, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Saturday.

Panetta detailed the new defense strategy to a gathering of Asia's military leaders, saying the majority of U.S. warships would move to Asia.

"By 2020 the Navy will reposture its forces from today's roughly 50-50 split from the Pacific and Atlantic to a 60-40 split in those oceans," Panetta said.

"We will also invest -- invest in cyber, invest in space, invest in unmanned systems, invest in special forces operations," he said. "We will invest in the newest technologies. And we will invest in new technology to mobilize quickly, if necessary," Panetta said. Read More

U.S. Drone kills 2 in militant 'safe haven', Pakistan

(CNN) -- A suspected U.S. drone strike in Pakistan killed two militants in Pakistan's tribal region on Saturday, a local government official said.

The drone fired two missiles at a motorcycle the militants were riding, the official, Javed Marwat, told CNN.

The incident happened near the town of Wana in South Waziristan, one of the seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region. The area is thought to be a safe haven for militant groups fueling the insurgency across the border in Afghanistan.

It was the 19th drone strike in Pakistan this year.
U.S. officials rarely discuss the CIA's drone program in Pakistan, though privately they have said the covert strikes are legal and an effective tactic in the fight against extremists.

The Obama administration justified its use of unmanned drones to target suspected terrorists overseas in a rare public statement recently, with John Brennan, the president's top counter-terrorism adviser, saying the strikes are conducted "in full accordance with the law." Read More

Smith praises US presence in Asia-Pacific

Defence Minister Stephen Smith has spoken of "the positive impact" of the United States' presence in the Asia-Pacific, just hours after the Pentagon announced it is shifting more navy ships to the region.

At the annual Shangri-La Dialogue conference in Singapore on Saturday, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta detailed a five-year plan for 60 per cent of the fleet to be assigned to the Pacific by 2020, as part of a new strategy to increase the US presence in Asia.

The boost in naval presence could increase tensions with China, whose leaders have expressed unhappiness at any larger US presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

In April, Australia welcomed the first rotational deployment of 250 US marines to Darwin and northern Australia.

Eventually around 2500 will train in Australia, under the program of enhanced defence cooperation, as outlined by US President Barack Obama during a visit to Australia in November. Read More

Obama orders more cyber attacks

Rory Nelson Wagner: Bear eats convicted killer's corpse in Canada



(CNN) -- A bear ate the corpse of a convicted killer in a wooded area of Canada, according to authorities.


The mauled body of Rory Nelson Wagner, 53, was found in a rural area in southern British Columbia on Wednesday evening, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

Police believe Wagner was already dead in a 1986 Volkswagen Jetta when the black bear broke into the vehicle, ate some parts of him and dragged the rest of the body away.

"The driver's window of the vehicle was down and investigators noted numerous muddy animal prints and scratches on the car," police said.

Officials "discovered the body in the surrounding bush, about 120 meters from the vehicle," police said. Read More

Fitness First has announced it will sell 24 of its 97 Australian clubs as part of a restructure of the UK parent company

The company says it is part of a restructure that will lead to a brighter future for its customers.

The chain has new owners who are looking to offload the branches to remove a global debt of almost $900 million.

Australian managing director Pete Manuel says rival companies have already expressed interest in buying the gyms.

"We today have announced that we're doing a strategic review of our portfolio," Mr Manuel said.

"We've already had very strong interest in those 24 clubs.

"We are launching a process to sell starting today, and we will run that process for four weeks. Read More

Rough ride tipped for Aussie stocks

The Australian stock market faces a bleak start to the trading week on Monday after the crash in international indexes on Friday.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 275 points as traders flocked to the safety of bonds, forcing the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to a record low.

It was the Dow's sharpest one-day drop since November.

Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq composite index both fell more than three per cent, while European stock markets again slumped.

The Australian dollar sank to its lowest mark against the greenback in almost eight months, hitting 96.34 US cents before clawing back to trade close to 97 US cents mid-afternoon on Saturday.

Australian shares posted their worst month in May for two years, shedding about 7.3 per cent or around $100 billion. Read More

Chaotic scenes as Mubarak jailed for life



Cairo (CNN) -- Deposed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak was transferred to a prison near Cairo on Saturday to serve his life sentence, a prosecutor said, a final fall from grace for a man who ruled the nation with an iron fist for nearly three decades.

"Mubarak arrived to Tura prison by helicopter, and will be admitted to a hospital in prison," said Adel Saeed, a spokesman for the prosecutor. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said Mubarak refused to leave the helicopter on arrival at the prison.

Mubarak received a life sentence Saturday for his role in the killing of demonstrators during last year's protests calling for his ouster. About 840 people died and more than 6,000 others were injured in the 18-day uprising, according to Amnesty International.

His sentence sparked angry protests as victims' relatives and opponents disrupted proceedings inside the court. Others stood on chairs, raising fists in the air and chanting that the sentence was not enough. Read More

'Your first amendment rights can be terminated': Chicago cop caught on tape unfairly arresting journalist for filming in public

A Chicago police officer has been caught on tape unfairly arresting journalists who were filming on public property - despite this being a right under the First Amendment.

The case is the latest example of police denying citizens their right to film or take photos of public disputes, according to civil rights groups, something which was been on the rise since half of all Americans now carry smartphones with inbuilt cameras.

The footage shows an angry Chicago cop shouting 'your first amendment rights can be terminated' at an NBC News photographer who was taking pictures outside a public hospital, before handcuffing the man and leading him away.

The journalist was later released but the National Press Photographers Association says this is one of at least 70 unfair arrests documented since September, according to Msnbc. Read More

Donna Williams 'bludgeoned her abusive husband to death with a hammer and waited TWO WEEKS to call 911'

A woman who is accused of bludgeoning her abusive husband to death with a hammer did not call 911 for two weeks while his body lay in their blood-spattered bedroom.

Donna Williams, 51,from Vancouver, Washington, called 911 on Wednesday and told officers to come to the house.

They found the body of 55-year-old Mark Williams covered with bed sheets on a bed in the home, according to KLTV.

There were red stains all over the walls, and the bedding was stained with what appeared to be blood, police said in the court documents.

A sergeant said he had been struck several times in the head.

Williams was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and is being held on $750,000 bond.

Friends and neighbors of the couple said that the 51-year-old would often complain to them about being beaten by her husband. Read More

UN-ARAB LEAGUE ENVOY KOFI ANNAN SAYS "SPECTRE OF ALL-OUT WAR" IS INCREASING IN SYRIA

Blow for Obama as Dow Jones plummets 275 points to its LOWEST point all year after release of dismal May unemployment numbers

An disasterous U.S. jobs report that was released on Friday caused the Dow Jones industrial average to drop 275 points, marking the index's biggest loss since November of 2011 and possibly spelling trouble for President Barack Obama.

Nervous investors opted for safer investments such as bonds, dragging the yield on the benchmark ten-year Treasury note to a record low. Gold spiked $57 an ounce, and oil fell to its lowest since October of 2011.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq composite index both fell more than 2 per cent. The Nasdaq has dropped more than 10 per cent since its peak in what traders call a market correction. The S&P 500 is just a point above correction territory. Read More

Mitt Romney offloaded shares in stem-cell research company before announcing presidential bid


A new financial report from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney shows that his personal fortune remains near $250 million, even after a mass sell-off of stocks from his vast investment portfolio.

Romney's campaign said on Friday that his assets ranged between $190 million and $250 million and in the last two years the Republican candidate has shed stocks in companies that conflict with his stated political views.

In 2010, Romney offloaded shares in Fresenius Medical Care, a German company that has done work in stem cell research, which Romney has said he opposes as well as stocks in Komatsu and Schlumberger, firms that have been targeted in the past for doing business in Iran. Read More

U.S. companies developing human implants which would make surveillance easier

Barcodes and microchips could be found on nearly everything these days, but could humans be next?

American science fiction author Elizabeth Moon raised a few eyebrows last week when she revived the debate about whether it could be beneficial to place barcodes on babies at birth during an interview on a BBC radio program.

‘I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached — a barcode if you will — an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals,’ she said on a weekly show called The Forum, according to the New York Daily News.

According to Moon, aged 67, the tools that are currently used for the purposes of surveillance and identification, such as video cameras and DNA testing, are too slow and expensive.

Placing a barcode on each person at birth, in her opinion, would solve these problems.

While the technology is already in place, civil liberties advocates have decried past efforts to make ‘barcoding’ a reality, claiming that it would create an Orwellian society devoid of privacy where ‘Big Brother’ is always watching. Read More

U.S. government says Zombies are NOT real: Feds forced to deny existence of the undead after spate of bizarre flesh-munching attacks

Following several disturbing incidents involving cannibalism that have set the internet aflutter with rumours of an impending ‘Zombie Apocalypse,’ the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement on Friday saying that there is no cause to fear the walking dead.

‘CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms), agency spokesman David Daigle told the Huffington Post.

This is not the first time the CDC has addressed zombies. In the past, the government agency has released several tongue-in-cheek warnings about the undead.

Now, however, the CDC decided to weigh in on the zombie question in earnest following a vicious attack that happened in Miami on Saturday, when Rudy Eugene, aged 31, was shot and killed by police while devouring the face of a homeless man. Read More

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake VOLCANO ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 2nd June 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck the Volcano Islands, Japan Region at a depth of 79.1 km (49.2 miles), the quake hit at 09:02:44 UTC Saturday 2nd June 2012
The epicenter was 147 km (91 miles) SSE from Chichi-shima, Bonin Islands, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Mubarak Jailed For Life



Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison after a court convicted him of complicity in the murder of protesters during the uprising that forced him from power.

Around 850 protesters were killed, most shot to death, in Cairo and other major cities across the country when thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to demand Mubarak's downfall during last year's revolution.

Scuffles broke out in the Cairo courtroom after the verdict was announced.

Judge Ahmed Rifaat described Mubarak's era as "30 years of darkness" which only ended when Egyptians rose up to demand change.

"They peacefully demanded democracy from rulers who held tight grip on power," he said.

Outside the building, supporters and opponents of the former leader - the only autocrat toppled in the Arab Spring to be put in the dock - waved Egyptian flags and chanted slogans demanding "retribution".

Thousands of riot police surrounded the building to prevent protesters and relatives of those slain during the uprising against Mubarak from getting too close. Read More

Helen Johnston Rescued: British Hostage Safe, Afghanistan

A kidnapped British aid worker has been rescued in Afghanistan in what David Cameron has described as an "extradordinarily brave, breath-taking" operation by coalition forces.

Helen Johnston, 28, was freed along with three other hostages - Kenyan national Moragwe Oirer and two Afghan civilians - in an early morning raid.

They had been abducted on May 22 in the northeast province of Badakhshan.

The Prime Minister said he authorised the rescue on Friday afternoon due to increasing concerns over the safety of Ms Johnston and the other hostages.

The operation involved a number of British troops, helped by Isaf forces as well the Afghan government, and involved a "long route march" without being discovered.

Mr Cameron confirmed all four hostages are safe, no British troops were injured in the raid - and a number of Taliban and hostage-takers were killed. Read More

6.0 Magnitude Earthquake SALTA, ARGENTINA - 2nd June 2012

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck Salta, Argentina at a depth of 519.6 km (322.9 miles), the quake hit at 07:52:53 UTC Saturday 2nd June 2012
The epicenter was 8 km (4.8 miles) Southeast of Yacuiba, Bolivia
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

The eight space mysteries science CAN'T solve - from our inside-out sun to the 75% of the universe that has 'gone missing'

Scientists have revealed the eight biggest unanswered questions surrounding our universe.

They range from the mystery of dark matter, which makes up 73% of everything but has never been identified, to questions over why our Sun is so hot.

Formulated by the prestigious journal Science, have all been raised by the leading scientists in their field, each of whom also wrote an essay on the topic.

However, is some cases even the scientists admit some mysteries are unlikely to ever be solved.

‘Each mystery is sure to be solved largely through astronomical observations—if it is solved: In at least one case, experts aren't sure that a seemingly simple question will ever be answered,’ Robert Coontz of the journal explained.

The biggest mystery is that of dark matter, which scientists admit may never be solved.

‘Part of the mystery is that we have no clue whether we will be able to find an answer,’ says Simon White, an astrophysicist at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany. Read More

THE GREATEST UNSOLVED MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE - ACCORDING TO THE SCIENTISTS WHO CAN'T WORK THEM OUT

Dark Energy, which appears to make up 73% of everything that exists, and still it can’t be seen, or even measured. The energy is 'needed' to balance out the mathematics of the universe, but may not ever be able to be detected.

Dark Matter, which is closely linked to Dark Energy, is the term used to describe the ‘glue’ which holds everything in the universe together.

However, Adrian Cho, who wrote Science’s essay on the subject, believes that unlike dark energy, scientists stand a reasonably good chance of one day actually detecting a particle of the stuff.

Where are the missing baryons? Baryons are particles that make unormal matter, but for some reason when adding up dark energy, dark matter and then leaving the rest to baryons, researchers can’t come up with a number that equals 100% - hence the mystery

Why do stars explode? Many of the processes of star formation and solar system formation are known - but researchers admit they still don’t really understand what goes on in a star when it explodes, forming what is known as a supernova.

What re-ionized the universe? For a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang, electrons were stripped from atoms - we have no idea why.

What is the source of the most energetic cosmic rays? We’re bombarded with them every day, yet researchers can’t agree on where they come from. Our atmosphere shields us from most of the rays.

Why is our solar system so odd? Did our solar system form the way it did by following logical steps, or was it all just chaos and chance? Nobody really knows.

Why is the sun's corona so hot? Those that study the sun still really don’t know. The corona is the furthest layer from the sun's core, but it's still incredibly hot - and the reasons for this strange 'layering' of our nearest star are still a mystery.

Gedu Bibi who lured 13-year-old daughter's boyfriend to his death after he posted topless pictures of her on the internet is jailed for seven years

A woman who arranged for her 13-year-old daughter’s boyfriend to be killed after he posted topless pictures of her online wept yesterday as she was jailed for seven years.

Gedu Bibi, 47, was furious after discovering that Sumon Miah, 21, had brought shame on her family.

She lured him to their home, where he was hit over the head with a table leg ‘to teach him a lesson’, the Old Bailey heard.

Bibi then tried to frame her daughter, Shuhina Khanam, for the murder by wiping the table leg clean and thrusting it into the girl’s hands.

She ordered Shuhina to tell police she had hit Miah in self-defence after he lunged at her with a knife. Her 12-year-old son, Fhalak, was also made to back up the story.

Although the killer has never been found, Bibi’s lawyer yesterday suggested that it was her estranged husband, Angur Miah, to whom the victim was not related. Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 2nd June 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 14.3 km (8.9 miles), the quake hit at 07:50:18 UTC Saturday 2nd June 2012
The epicenter was 634 km (394 miles) WSW from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Charles Manson gang linked to death of man found with wrists slashed in supposed suicide in 1960s London

New evidence being investigated by police in Los Angeles may link the apparent suicide of a man in London to the notorious Charles Manson murder family.

There has been a lingering suspicion that 29-year-old Joel Pugh’s death in West London’s Talgarth Hotel in December 1969 could have been a hit ordered by one of history’s most evil mass killers.

Now detectives believe they have stumbled on a treasure trove of new clues that could shed more light on the 43-year-old mystery.

A US Bankruptcy Court in Texas this week granted a request by Los Angeles Police to review eight cassette tapes containing hours of conversation between Charles ‘Tex’ Watson – one of Manson’s most fervent followers – and his lawyer.

The recordings represent the first new clues in the case in decades and experts believe they could yield evidence supporting Manson’s boasts that his sick family killing spree claimed more than the nine known victims. Read More