Monday, June 11, 2012

The real North Korea? Has American propaganda convinced us that rat raced, neon drenched civilization is the only way?



Americans’ wealth dropped 40 percent: Are you angry yet?

The Great Recession wiped out nearly two decades of Americans’ wealth, according to government data released Monday, with middle-class families bearing the brunt of the decline.

The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged by 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on par with where they were in 1992.

The biggest drops occurred among middle-income Americans, whose wealth was inextricably linked to the housing market boom and bust. Meanwhile, the wealthiest families actually saw their median income rise slightly.

The data represents one of the most detailed looks so far how Americans’ finances have weathered the economic downturn. It underscores both the depth of the wounds of the financial crisis and how far many families remain from healing.

“It’s hard to overstate how serious the collapse in the economy was,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. “We were in freefall.”

The survey, conducted every three years, painted a portrait of consumers still under significant duress: Though Americans made progress in paying off their credit cards, the median value of family debt did not change between 2007 and 2010. The percentage of families saddled with debt greater than 40 percent of their income also stayed the same. More families reported being behind on their bills. more

Canadian protests: Maple Spring-News Analysis-06-10-2012

Lion bone trade fuels breeding business in Africa

Iran denies destroying Parchin buildings

Ilias Kasidarias sues rivals he attacked

McCain: Saudis supply arms to Syrian opposition, US should follow lead

Grexit 'domino effect' will kill single currency - 'Father of Euro' to RT

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN TURKEY - 11th June 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck WESTERN TURKEY at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 19:51:05 UTC Monday 11th June 2012
The epicenter was 29 km (17.9 miles) South of Fethiye, Turkey
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Two teenagers were 'taped to chairs, burned with cigarettes and forced to wear women's underwear before footage was posted on Facebook to punish them

Brandon Nettles (centre), his brother Nicholas (right) and Walter Worthan (left) are accused of beating and humiliating the boys, aged 16 and 17, at a St Louis house. They allegedly forced them to wear women's underwear and made them undress, shower and kiss each other.

Two teenagers accused of being gay were taped to chairs and subjected to a horrific bout of abuse which was filmed and posted to Facebook, it has been claimed.

The boys, aged 16 and 17, were allegedly forced to wear women's underwear and made to undress, shower and kiss each other by at least four attackers, prosecutors say.

They were also thrown down the stairs and beaten with fists and sticks at a house in Northwoods, St Louis, Missouri, on October 27 last year.

Nicholas Nettles, 20, and his 22-year-old brother Brandon have had their pre-trial hearings at St Louis County Court set for later this month. Walter Worthan, 21, faces trial in August.

Nicholas Nettles' lawyer Nick Zotos said: 'I think it's more bullying-hazing than anything else. Or humiliation.' Read More

Matthew Chillcott a Elementary school teacher among 38 men busted in child sex sting

An elementary school teacher from Orlando, Florida, was among the nearly 40 men who were arrested in a sting operation targeting adults who were allegedly planning to have sex with a child.

According to authorities, 43-year-old Matthew Chillcott, a fifth-grade teacher at Lawton Chiles Elementary School, has been chatting online with an undercover detective who he thought was a 14-year-old girl about having sex since January.

Chillcott was also a youth soccer coach in Orlando, which put him in daily contact with minors, Bay News 9 has reported.

The school year had ended in Orange County last week. There was no immediate word from local school officials about Chillcott's job status. Read More

Texas' Aryan Brotherhood: Posing with 'street-sweeper' shotguns and out of their minds on meth: Inside Look at their bizarre and brutal world

With a bandana covering his face, bare-chested Aryan Brotherhood general Steven Cooke points two pistols menacingly towards the camera.

Inside the warped, paranoid and bizarre world of the Texan gang, shootings and violence are frequent.

The general is accused of using one of the two stainless .45-caliber weapons to shoot an Aryan rival in the head.

In another image he brandishes a fearsome military-style assault rifle.

Although they are largely a danger only to each other, Texan authorities are clamping down on the paranoid band of brothers whose fears of one another are fuelled by their addiction to meth.

The photos of Cooke brandishing a firearm were found on a mobile phone seized by police.

34 members of the white supremacist group have been prosecuted for federal crimes and another 30 are locked up inside state prisons, Chron.com reported.

Texas is separated into five territories, each one with a general, like Steven Cooke, at its head.

The general commands a group of brothers – many of whom are currently behind bars. Read More

Jessica Tetter 'battered to death before being slung in a dumpster by her mother's former boyfriend'

A teenage girl was allegedly beaten and strangled to death by her mother's former boyfriend before being thrown into a dumpster.

The body of Jessica Tetter, 16, was found in Hammond, Indiana, the day after disappearing from her Illinois home last Wednesday.

Detectives yesterday charged 27-year-old John Hurt with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide.

Assistant Police Chief Dante Zorzi said Hurt was the ex-boyfriend of Tetter’s mother, although the Assistant State's Attorney Sylvie Manaster claimed he was her husband.

Tetter's mother said her daughter had stepped in during a row between the couple, who were said to have an 'on again, off again' relationship, last Wednesday, it was reported by The Chicago Tribune. Read More

Casey Anthony on the run again after her Florida hiding place is discovered by private investigators

Casey Anthony was forced to leave her South Florida hiding place and go on the run this weekend after her location was discovered by private investigators.

America's most hated mother began to fear for her safety and decided to leave the place she has been staying in since she was cleared of murdering her two-year-old daughter Caylee in July.

It was reported last week that she has been increasingly going out in public undetected because she is said to have put on so much weight she is virtually unrecognizable.

The private investigators who discovered where she has been hiding were said to have been hired by Zenaida Gonzalez, who is suing the 'tot mom' for defamation.

A source told RadarOnline: 'Casey absolutely flipped out when she found out that private investigators hired by Zenaida Gonzalez, discovered where she was.

'The private investigators were attempting to serve Casey with a subpoena to appear at the trial, which is expected to begin in January. Casey had been venturing out at night and the investigators had been tipped off by people who had seen her.

'Casey is a smart girl and quickly determined that she had been found and refused to leave the house or accept service of the subpoena. The P.I.s weren't stalking her or doing any surveillance, they just wanted to serve her and move on. Read More

Darlene Armstrong a disabled girl, 16, found starved down to 23lbs by her mom - four MONTHS after social services received first emergency call

A 16-year-old girl with cerebral palsy weighed only 23lbs and could not walk or talk when she was removed from her family home after being starved by her mother.

Darlene Armstrong measured just 3’10’’ tall when she was rushed to hospital in Chicago in March.

The severely disabled girl could have been rescued four months earlier if the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) had followed set procedures, an investigation by the Chicago Tribune revealed.

Darlene’s mother, Rosetta Harris, 50, pleaded guilty to endangering the life of a child.

The mother, who had no prior criminal record, was sentenced to 18 months of probation and ordered to undergo parenting classes. Read More

Naked man held near Orlando Bloom's Hollywood home after screaming he was 'high on drugs'

A naked man was tackled in the street by police after allegedly screaming that he was high on drugs near the homes of Hollywood's A-list celebrities.

Officers were called to an area close to Orlando Bloom and wife Miranda Kerr's mansion to find him lying face down in the road yesterday.

He dived head-first into the bushes as the police car approached.

Officers put on black gloves before pulling him out and tackling him to the floor.

The man, who has not been identified, was handcuffed with his hands behind his back and driven away. Read More

Nine injured in Ukrainian tram explosion after 'gunpowder carried by passenger ignites by accident' in Dnipropetrovsk

An explosion on a tram injured nine people in the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk today.

Travellers suffered burns as they went through one of the central streets of the city - not one of the European soccer championship host cities.

Interior Ministry spokesman Volodymyr Polishchuk said the blast was caused by gunpowder carried by one of the passengers which ignited by accident.

Registered hunters in Ukraine routinely buy gunpowder to assemble their own rounds.

He said: 'The gunpowder ignited for some unknown reason. Either it was very hot or the man dropped it on the floor.'

There had been initial fears it was a terrorist attacks, as it comes just six weeks after four separate bombs were detonated in a series of coordinated blasts in the city. Read More

Disease fears as raw sewage spills into the sea and forces closure of 20 beaches after storms, Kent

More than 20 beaches in Kent have been forced closed to swimmers after sewage spilled into the sea following heavy rain at the weekend and over night.

Thanet District Council has decided to close off the beaches fearing families and swimmers might be hit by disease.

The authority said there was a 'major discharge' of waste water into the sea because rain-swamped drains could not cope with the heavy rain.

They now fear that the situation could get worse with more heavy rain expected to fall across the area.

Red flags have been put up at the popular bathing beaches, many of which have recently won Blue Flag awards for cleanliness. Read More

People with rare natural ability to fight AIDS virus have potent 'killer' cells that recognise and destroy infection

It has long been known that a tiny minority of people infected with HIV have a natural ability to fight off the deadly AIDS virus. Scientists said they are now a step closer to understanding why.

In a study they said holds promise for an HIV vaccine, researchers from four countries reported the secret lies not in the number of infection-killing cells a person has, but in how well they work.

Only about one person in 300 has the ability to control the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) without drugs, using a strain of 'killer' cells called cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) cells, previous research has found.

Taking that discovery further, scientists from the United States, Canada, Japan and Germany reported that the strain has molecules called receptors that are better able to identify HIV-infected white blood cells for attack. Read More

Eight out of 10 Britons want referendum on Europe with half saying we should get vote immediately

A new Populus poll found half the population want an immediate say about whether or not Britain should retain European membership status, with 40 per cent of those questioned saying they thought the country should pull out of Europe straight away.

The survey, commissioned by The Times found that only 18 per cent of people thought there was no need for a referendum in the foreseeable future.

However, the poll also found there was considerable uncertainty among voters with nearly three out of ten (27 per cent) saying they ‘didn’t know’ if the UK should be 'part of the single market in a wider European Community'. Read More

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN TURKEY - 11th June 2012

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck WESTERN TURKEY at a depth of 12 km (7.4 miles), the quake hit at 17:35:38 UTC Monday 11th June 2012
The epicenter was 26 km (16.1 miles) South of Fethiye, Turkey
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Britain hit by floods after deluge of rain... and soggy South East had month's worth in 12 hours....Can I get the hosepipe out, yet?

More than a month's rain fell in just 12 hours and flood alerts remain in place with forecasters warning more wet weather is on the way.

The heavy rain continues to hit parts of England and Wales with 44 flood alerts in place and flood warnings issued for two West Sussex locations and another in Surrey

Yesterday the Met Office warned homeowners to brace themselves ahead of the the deluge, which began in earnest about 6pm last night and brought nearly three inches of rain by tea-time.

Earlier today it raised its warning level for London and the South East of England, including Bournemouth, to amber, the second highest level and in Shoreham 2.6ins fell in just 12 hours.

The atrocious conditions hit London, Hampshire, Kent, Surrey, West Sussex, Buckinghamshire, West Berkshire and the Isle of Wight. Forecasters have also said that the weather is unlikely to get much better over the next couple of weeks with more rain expected over the weekend. Read More

Jake Simkins dies 'in base jumping parachute accident on Greek island of Zante after he crashed into cliff face'

A British tourist died in a parachuting accident on the Greek island of Zante when he crashed into a cliff face and became stuck on the rocks, it has emerged.

The man, named by the Foreign Office as Jake Simkins, was stuck for three hours as emergency services tried to rescue him from the cliff face at Navagio beach after he base jumped with a parachute.

But he fell to his death, on Friday, before they arrived.

He is believed to be 42 and to have been on holiday in the town of Alikes with his seven-months pregnant girlfriend. Read More

Workers dangling from Calgary scaffolding saved: Canada


Two men dangling from ropes at the side of a Calgary highrise were rescued today by firefighters after one side of their swing stage collapsed.

Fire crews reached the first man just after 11 a.m. MT in a rescue basket.

Gathering crowds applauded as he was brought to the ground. He then walked himself to a stretcher and was brought inside the building.

Crews then successfully reached the second worker about 30 minutes later.

Both men were dangling eight to nine storeys above ground.

The extent of their injuries is unknown. more


Baghdad bombs strike Shi'ite pilgrims

June 11 - Two mortar bombs kill at least six people and wound 38 after detonating in a public square in Baghdad filled with Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims. Travis Brecher reports.

Would-be suicide bombers converted

June 11 - Afghanistan intelligence agency officials attempt to deradicalize young men from choosing to become suicide bombers. Julie Noce reports

Researchers develop chip-based human organs

June 10 - Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute are developing microchips comprising the cells and functionality of human organs. These organs-on-a-chip represent an advance that could prove revolutionary for pharmaceutical companies who spend billions of dollars testing new drugs in controversial - and often ineffective - animal trials. Ben Gruber reports

Russian police search Putin foes' homes

(Reuters) - Russian police searched opposition leaders' homes on Monday in morning raids intended to disrupt plans for a protest rally against President Vladimir Putin's rule and show he has lost patience with demonstrations that are undermining his authority.

The searches before Tuesday's rally were an aggressive turn after months of opposition rallies, signaling a tougher approach designed to crush dissent at the start of the former KGB spy's new six-year term as president.

Several leaders were also summoned for questioning on Tuesday about violence at a rally on the eve of Putin's May 7 inauguration, almost certainly stopping them from attending the first big planned protest since he returned to the Kremlin.

Armed police stood guard as investigators searched the apartments of anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, leftist leader Sergei Udaltsov and other opposition figures, rifling through rooms and seizing computer drives and disks. Read More

Flame code found in Stuxnet virus: expert

(Reuters) - A leading computer security firm has linked some of the software code in the powerful Flame virus to the Stuxnet cyber weapon, which reportedly was used by the United States and Israel to attack Iran's nuclear program.

Eugene Kaspersky, chief executive of Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, which uncovered Flame last month, said at the Reuters Global Media and Technology Summit on Monday his researchers have since found that part of the Flame program code is nearly identical to code found in a 2009 version of Stuxnet.

The new research could bolster the belief of many security experts that Stuxnet was part of a massive U.S.-led cyber program still active in the Middle East and perhaps other parts of the world.

Although Kaspersky did not say who he thought built Flame, news organizations, including Reuters and The New York Times, have reported the U.S. and Israel were behind Stuxnet -- which was uncovered in 2010 after it damaged centrifuges used to enrich uranium at a facility in Natanz, Iran. Read More

Fed's Williams says Europe presents global threat

(Reuters) - The European debt crisis poses a "significant" threat to financial stability and could undermine progress made in recent years to strengthen the global financial system, a top Federal Reserve official said on Monday.

"While the global financial system is stronger than it was three years ago, it remains vulnerable," San Francisco Fed President John Williams said in remarks prepared for delivery at a conference on Asian banking sponsored by his regional Fed bank.

"The European sovereign debt crisis threatens banks in that continent, and, by extension, elsewhere," he said in his opening remarks. "Clearly, it represents a significant threat to financial stability." Source

U.S. pulls negotiators from Pakistan, no supply deal

(Reuters) - The United States is withdrawing its team of negotiators from Pakistan without securing a long-sought deal with Islamabad to allow trucks to again supply NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The decision is the latest sign of troubled ties with Islamabad and was announced just days after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the United States was reaching the limits of its patience because of the safe havens Pakistan offered to insurgents.

Pakistan's envoy to the United States had warned that Panetta's comments last Thursday in Kabul were unhelpful to efforts to narrow the differences between the two countries and came at a critical moment in negotiations.

Pentagon spokesman George Little said the decision to withdraw the negotiating team was not imposed by Pakistan. He said the team of negotiators had been there for about six weeks and deserved a rest.

"I believe that some of the team left over the weekend and the remainder of the team will leave shortly," Little told reporters. "This was a U.S. decision." Read More

Wall Street down on Spanish aid terms, Greek elections

(Reuters) - Stocks fell on Monday, led lower by financial and material sectors, as a closer look at the euro zone aid package for Spanish banks disappointed investors and as market volatility rose ahead of the upcoming Greek elections.

Spain will be lent up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion) to help the country's battered banks. The size of the package was larger than expected, partially removing a cloud that has been hanging over financial markets.

Investors have been fearing that a banking crisis in the euro zone's fourth-largest economy could have compounded the currency bloc's troubles with Greece ahead of that country's June 17 elections, which many investors fear could lead to Greece leaving the euro zone.

"A closer look at the deal shows that this is strategic and tactical rather than a comprehensive ECB nuclear bailout option. Given the gravity of the European problem, not just Spain, people kind of waking up to the fact that this is something but not enough," said James Dailey, portfolio manager of TEAM Financial Asset Management. Read More

UK embassy convoy attacked in Libya

A British embassy convoy has been attacked in the east Libyan city of Benghazi.

The Foreign Office said all staff were accounted for after the incident.

A spokesman said: "We can confirm that there was an attack on a British embassy convoy in Benghazi this afternoon. All staff are accounted for. We are liaising closely with the Libyan authorities." Source

Is Spain's €100bn bailout just a 'sticking plaster' for eurozone crisis? Fears grow as bounce in the world markets fizzles out

A global market rally over a European bailout of Spanish banks faded today, as investors worried the country might have trouble paying the money back.

Finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro said they were willing to lend Spain up to €100billion after Madrid said it would need help to shore up banks felled by bad real estate loans.

Spain has not said exactly how much of that it will tap, but markets were initially cheered by the fact that it was finally owning up to needing help.

But early gains were largely lost, however, as analysts warned the deal would not spell the end of Europe's debt crisis.

Some worry that the Spanish government, which is responsible for paying the money back, will struggle with the extra debt. Read More

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake MORO GULF, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES - 11th June 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck MORO GULF, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES at a depth of 618.3 km (384.2 miles), the quake hit at 13:31:47 UTC Monday 11th June 2012
The epicenter was 75 km (46 miles) Southwest of Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Assad Regime Shells Rebel Strongholds In Homs



Violent clashes across Syria have continued, as government troops target key rebel positions in Homs.

The Syrian regime is directing the majority of attacks at the district of Khalidiya, reports Sky's foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall, who is in the city.

Footage appeared to show shelling in the city and although it cannot be independently verified, Marshall said the video "makes sense". Read More

Israel: Shock At 'Thank You Hitler' Graffiti

Israel’s holocaust memorial has been daubed with graffiti saying "Thank you Hitler", in a suspected attack by Jewish religious extremists.

The words were sprayed in Hebrew at the entrance to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, provoking outrage from the Israeli government.

"This is an escalation and an unprecedented crossing of red lines," Minister Yuli Edelstein said, describing the attack as a "spit in the face of Holocaust victims".

Other graffiti at the site said: "Only because of the Holocaust did we receive a state from the UN. If Hitler hadn’t existed, the Zionists would have created him" and "Wake up Jews, the cynical evil regime does not protect us it only endangers us". Read More

Germans protest against ACTA

Syrian TV broadcasts terrorist confessions

Thousands stage anti-US rally in Karachi

Violence erupts in Myanmar

'Israel gives up status quo in Syria caring about post-Assad time'

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION - 11th June 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION at a depth of 37.9 km (23.6 miles), the quake hit at 11:12:47 UTC Monday 11th June 2012
The epicenter was 222 km (138 miles) NNE from Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

'Western media hype war on Syria'‎

Syrian opposition chief Abdelbaset Sayda urges defections

The newly appointed head of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) has called on government officials in Damascus to defect.

Speaking in Istanbul, Abdelbaset Sayda reiterated the group's rejection of foreign intervention, unless it was sanctioned by the United Nations.

Meanwhile, violence has intensified in the province of Homs, with reports of blasts and machine-gun fire on Monday.

At least 35 people were killed there in bombardments on Sunday, activists said.

The BBC's Paul Danahar, who is in the city of Homs, says mortar rounds are being fired into the old part of town every couple of minutes. He says large black plume of smoke can be seen rising above the area.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has also reported violence elsewhere in Syria, ...Read More

Seven dead after Burma violence

Security forces patrolling a tense town in western Burma have collected bodies from the debris of homes burned down over the weekend in some of the country's deadliest sectarian bloodshed in years.

The Buddhist-Muslim violence, which has left at least seven people dead and hundreds of homes torched since Friday, poses one the biggest tests yet for Burma's new government as it struggles to reform the nation after generations of military rule.

The handling of the unrest will draw close scrutiny from Western powers, which have praised President Thein Sein's administration in recent months and rewarded it by easing years of harsh economic sanctions.

Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in the region late on Sunday and pleaded for an end to the "endless anarchic vengeance", warning that if the situation spun out of control, it could jeopardise the democratic reforms he has launched since taking office last year.

"We have not had any sleep for the last five days," said Ma Ohn May, a 42-year old textile shop owner in the coastal port of Sittwe, adding that residents were holed up and bracing for further ethnic clashes, though the area was calm on Monday. Read More

Syrian forces shell towns, clash with rebels

(Reuters) - Syrian forces shelled opposition strongholds in the central province of Homs and eastern Deir al-Zor on Monday and clashed with rebels in violence which killed 29 people across the country, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The British-based Observatory, which monitors Syria through a network of sources inside the country, said six members of the security forces were killed in fighting with rebels in the town of Al-Ashaara in Deir al-Zor.

A further five people, including an army defector, were killed in army shelling of the town, it said. Source

EU contradicts Rajoy and says Spain will be supervised

Spain faces supervision by international lenders after a bailout for its banks agreed at the weekend, EU and German officials said, contradicting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who had insisted the cash came without such strings.

Mr Rajoy said on Sunday that Madrid had scored a victory by securing aid from eurozone partners without having to submit to a full state rescue programme, saying Spain's rescue had "nothing to do" with the procedures imposed on Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

But EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that as in those other bailouts, a "troika" of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank would oversee the financial assistance.

"Of course there will be conditions," Mr Almunia told Spain's Cadena Ser radio. "Whoever gives money never gives it away for free." Read More

Flood And Rain Alerts Issued Across Britain

Flood alerts and severe weather warnings are in place across parts of England and Wales after up to two inches of rain fell overnight.

Rain clouds moved in from France causing heavy downpours over parts of London and surrounding counties.

It led to accidents and severe disruption on the M25 between the A3 and M3 junctions.
Basement flats on Littlehampton seafront in West Sussex were evacuated after some properties were flooded by water up to 4ft deep.

Flash flooding also led to the closure of the M1 in West Yorkshire overnight, although the sections affected later reopened.

The Environment Agency has issued one flood warning - meaning flooding is expected - for Charlwood in Surrey.

It has also issued 25 alerts of potential flooding across the South East, three in Wales, and seven in the Midlands and parts of northern England. Read More

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake POLAND - 11th June 2012

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck POLAND at a depth of 2 km (1.2 miles), the quake hit at 10:33:15 UTC Monday 11th June 2012
The epicenter was 7 km (4.3 miles) Northeast of Polkowice, Poland
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Colorado wildfire, sheriff says: Hundreds of homes in path of runaway Colorado wildfire



(CNN) -- Firefighters worked early Monday to try to get an upper hand on a runaway wildfire in northern Colorado that has chewed through more than 20,000 acres, forced hundreds to flee and destroyed homes.


At least 250 firefighters, along with air tankers and helicopters, worked to try to slow down the wildfire, dubbed the High Park fire, that authorities conceded there was little hope in stopping.

Crews have had some success safeguarding some homes and businesses, though Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said "hundreds of homes" need protecting, ceding some may not be able to be saved. Read More

Iraq mortar bombs target Shiite pilgrims, Killing 7

Baghdad (CNN) -- At least seven people were killed Sunday and 20 others wounded when mortar rounds landed on Shiite pilgrims in northwestern Baghdad's Kadhimiya Shiite neighborhood, police officials said.

Most of the dead and wounded were pilgrims, police said.

Thousands of Shiite pilgrims have begun walking to Kadhimya for the annual commemoration in a few days of the death of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim. Many will be traveling by foot or by car, some from across the country, especially southern Shiite provinces.

The shrine to al-Kadhim in Baghdad is one of Shiite Islam's holiest sites. Source

Bomb hits bus in Pakistan, killing six

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A bomb blast struck a bus in the restive Pakistani province of Balochistan on Monday, killing six people and wounding 50 others, a senior government official said.

The explosive device, planted on a motorbike parked by the side of the road, went off as the bus drove past, said Irfan Shah Gharsheen, an official from Mastung District in Balochistan, a southwestern province riven by sectarian tensions and militant violence.

The target of the attack was a convey of vehicles carrying Shiite Muslims, Gharsheen said. The explosion took place in the area of Gen in Mastung, 90 kilometers southeast of the provincial capital of Quetta.

Shiites have suffered frequent attacks in Balochistan in recent years. In March, gunmen riding motorbikes shot and killed five Shiites traveling in a van near Quetta. Read More