Saturday, June 23, 2012

UFOs Sighted During China's Shenzhou 9 Launch

Military strike would be the end of Israel: Iranian general

A high-ranking Iranian general said on Saturday Israeli military action against Iran’s nuclear program would lead to the collapse of the Jewish state, Fars news agency reported.

Last week’s round of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers in Moscow failed to secure a breakthrough, heightening fears Israel might take unilateral military action to curb Iran’s nuclear activities.

The two sides agreed to a follow-up meeting of technical experts on July 3, saving the process from outright failure.

“They cannot do the slightest harm to the (Iranian) revolution and the system,” Brigadier General Mostafa Izadi, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, told Fars.

“If the Zionist regime takes any (military) actions against Iran, it would result in the end of its labors,” he added.

“If they act logically, such threats amount to a psychological war but if they want to act illogically, it is they who will be destroyed.” more

Mall roof collapse injures at least 4 in N. Ontario, Canada

Part of the roof of a shopping mall in Elliot Lake, Ont., has collapsed, injuring at least four people and apparently sending cars crashing to a concourse below.

East Algoma OPP said they received an emergency call at 2:19 p.m. ET on Saturday. The incident occurred at the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, which is about 150 kilometres west of Sudbury.

In an interview with CBC News, Elliot Lake Mayor RIck Hamilton said four people were rushed to hospital, though none of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening.

He was not able to confirm whether there were any fatalities.

The part of the roof that caved in served as a parking area for customers and mall staff.

Joe Drazil, a Zellers employee at the mall, said cars appeared to have fallen through a gaping hole near the escalators. more

Note: Is it just me, or is North American infrastructure and construction in severe decline? We hear about incidents such as this one almost daily now. Is this a sign of societal decay?

China farmland facing drought crisis

June 23 - Much of the country's grain-producing farmland is suffering from drought that is not expected to let up anytime soon. Andrew Raven reports

Eight Czechs killed, dozens injured in Croatia bus crash.

June 23 - At least eight Czech citizens are killed and 43 injured after a tour bus overturns on a motorway in Croatia.

No warm welcome for Paraguay's new president


(CNN) -- Don't worry if you did not hear the news about Paraguay impeaching its president.

After all, it happened so fast that even Paraguay's neighbors are figuring out how to react.

Paraguay, the small South American nation known as an "island surrounded by land," often goes unnoticed outside of South America. But there is an absorbing story behind the impeachment of Fernando Lugo that has turned into a regional crisis that is still unfolding.

The impeachment procedures appear to have been carried out in accordance with the Paraguayan Constitution, but some Latin American presidents are calling it a coup d'etat and refuse to recognize the new president, Federico Franco. Read More

Storms Bring Flood Chaos To Northern England



Torrential rain has brought flooding to large swathes of northern England, closing roads and businesses and forcing hundreds of people to leave their homes as more than a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

Clean-up operations are under way after water gushed through towns in Lancashire, Cumbria and West Yorkshire as nearby rivers burst their banks.

The Environment Agency said flood warnings were issued to more than 7,000 properties and more than 11,000 homes and businesses were protected by flood defences, with heavy rain and high winds expected to last until Sunday.

A spokesman said: "A month's rain has fallen over parts of north west and north east England in the last 24 hours and with further rain expected we would urge the public to remain vigilant. Read More

UN Appeals For Restraint After Jet Shot Down


The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Turkey and Syria to exercise restraint after a Turkish military plane was shot down by Syrian forces.

Damascus said it took the action because the aircraft had violated its airspace but Ankara threatened retaliatory action as it searched for its two missing pilots.

However, both sides signalled they do not want to escalate the situation, as Mr Ban urged the two countries to use diplomatic channels to handle the aftermath of Friday's incident.

Syria has admitted opening fire on the F-4 Phantom jet over the Mediterranean, raising tensions between the neighbours. Read More

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake CYPRUS REGION - 23rd June 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck the CYPRUS REGION at a depth of 25.4 km (15.8 miles), the quake hit at 18:47:15 UTC Saturday 23rd June 2012
The epicenter was 126 km (78 miles) Southwest from Alanya, Turkey
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake FIJI REGION - 23rd June 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck the FIJI REGION at a depth of 597.3 km (371.3 miles), the quake hit at 18:37:18 UTC Saturday 23rd June 2012
The epicenter was 90 km (55 miles) Southwest of Ndoi Island, Fiji
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake GREECE - 23rd June 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck GREECE at a depth of 51.7 km (32.1 miles), the quake hit at 17:52:30 UTC Saturday 23rd June 2012
The epicenter was 13 km (8 miles) Southwest of Aigion, Greece
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA - 23rd June 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA at a depth of 85 km (52.7 miles), the quake hit at 14:42:28 UTC Saturday 23rd June 2012
The epicenter was 166 km (102.9 miles) Northwest of San juan, Argentina
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 23rd June 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA at a depth of 23.6 km (14.7 miles), the quake hit at 10:51:38 UTC Saturday 23rd June 2012
The epicenter was 98 km (60 miles) SSW of Taron, Papua New Guinea
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Croatia Motorway Bus Crash killing at Least 8 Tourist

At least eight Czech tourists have been killed in a bus crash in Croatia.

Another 44 were injured when the vehicle hit the central barrier of a motorway, overturned and landed on the other side of the road.

The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday on the highway linking the capital Zagreb and the coastal town of Split, near the Krpani tunnel.

Eyewitnesses were reported as saying the bus started "swaying" moments before the crash.

Most of the injured were taken to hospital in the nearby town of Gospic, while three of the most seriously hurt, including two children, were flown by helicopter to Zagreb.
The cause of the crash is being investigated. Source

Germans "plot to take control of Europe" (Third time's a charm)


GERMANY is plotting a European power grab using the economic ­crisis as a smokescreen.

A group of 10 EU foreign ministers and officials – none from Britain – has held talks in Berlin this week on exploiting eurozone debt problems to create a superstate.

A European army, an IMF-style monetary fund and a finance minister for the whole EU were among radical suggestions put forward.

The group aims to set the scene for a summit in Brussels next week of EU leaders – and to encourage further thinking about how “political union” might be achieved.

Tuesday’s meeting of the 10-nation “reflection group”, including France, Italy, Spain and Austria as well as non eurozone EU members Poland and Denmark, underlined how many influential figures on the Continent wish to see a United States of Europe – and was immediately seen by some as a plan for Berlin domination.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who chaired the talks, urged: “We should take advantage of the crisis to take a historic step towards more integration.” more

Colorado firefighters hampered by winds, heat -- and meteors

Firefighters in Colorado have battled the odds in trying to contain a blaze that has burned uncontrolled across 100 square miles of forest -- encountering precarious winds, heat and fatigue.

On Wednesday, they contended with a new force: meteors.

Authorities grounded firefighting aircraft as a precautionary measure after several reported meteor sightings near the High Park fire area they were trying to contain.

Chaffee County Sheriff W. Peter Palmer told the Los Angeles Times that his office received four reports of meteors striking the ground.

"People heard a boom; they saw things flying through the air, things like that," he said. "The local fire chief went looking for smoke to see if the impacts started another fire. That’s the last thing we need." more

US warns of attack threat in Kenyan port city

NAIROBI, June 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. embassy in Kenya has warned of an imminent threat of an attack on the Kenyan port city of Mombasa and asked all its government workers to leave the coastal town, which has been hit by a series of attacks.

The embassy said in a statement dated June 22 on its website that it had also suspended travel for its government officials to Mombasa, a tourist destination popular with foreigners, until July 1.

Mombasa, the capital Nairobi and other parts of Kenya have suffered a series of grenade attacks since Kenya sent troops into Somalia last year to pursue al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab insurgents it blames for a surge in violence and kidnappings threatening tourism in east Africa's biggest economy.

"This is to alert all U.S. citizens in Kenya, or planning to travel to Kenya in the near future, that the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi has received information of an imminent threat of a terrorist attack in Mombasa," the embassy statement said.

"All U.S. government travel to Mombasa is suspended until July 1, 2012. All U.S. government personnel are required to leave Mombasa." Read More

Turkish warplane downed by Syria 'may have crossed border'

Turkey's President, Abdullah Gul, has said the Turkish fighter jet shot down by Syria's air defence forces on Friday may have violated Syrian airspace.

Mr Gul said it was routine for warplanes flying at high speed to cross borders for short distances.

Syria has said it engaged the aircraft in its airspace "according to the laws that govern such situations", and that it crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.

The Turkish and Syrian navies are searching for the two crew members.

"It is routine for jet fighters to sometimes fly in and out over (national) borders ... when you consider their speed over the sea," Mr Gul told official Anatolia news agency.

"These are not ill-intentioned things but happen beyond control due to the jets' speed," he said. Read More

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 23rd June 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck the ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA at a depth of 57.2 km (35.5 miles), the quake hit at 07:43:48 UTC Saturday 23rd June 2012
The epicenter was 91 km (57 miles) WSW from Adak, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA - 23rd June 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA at a depth of 122 km (75.6 miles), the quake hit at 07:42:46 UTC Saturday 23rd June 2012
The epicenter was 227 km (140.7 miles) Northeast of Los Palos, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Angela Merkel defies Latin Europe and the IMF on bond rescue

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has shot down calls for full mobilisation of the eurozone's bail-out funds to halt the raging bond crisis in Spain and Italy, ignoring unprecedented pleas for action from the International Monetary Fund.

"Each country wants to help but if I am going to call on taxpayers in Germany, I must have guarantees that all is under control. Responsibility and control go hand in hand," she said after a crucial summit of the eurozone's Big Four powers in Rome.

Mrs Merkel -- or La Signora No in Italy -- doused hopes of a break-through on proposals by the "Latin Bloc" leaders of Italy, France, and Spain to deploy the funds (EFSF and ESM) to cap the bond yields of "virtuous" countries vulnerable to contagion, or to recapitalize banks directly to take the strain off sovereign states.

"If I give money striaght to Spanish banks, I can't control what they do. That is how the treaties are written," she said, before racing off to Danzig to tonight for Euro 2012 quarter final between Greece and German..

Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, warned before the summit that the eurozone is under "acute stress" and at risk of a downward spiral. Read More

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE - 23rd June 2012

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE at a depth of 48 km (29.7 miles), the quake hit at 06:39:32 UTC Saturday 23rd June 2012
The epicenter was 51 km (31.6 miles) West of Santa Cruz, Chile
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Jiang Xiaoshan a football Fan in China dies after eleven nights of football

A Chinese football fan has died after going without sleep for eleven nights as he watched every single match of the Euro 2012 competition.

26-year old Jiang Xiaoshan died of exhaustion on Tuesday morning after reportedly staying up each night with friends to catch every kick of the European football competition, and then going to work the next day.

Following the final match of Group C, when Ireland took on Italy, Xiaoshan reportedly went back to his Changsha home at 5am, took a shower, and never woke up from the slumber he fell into.

While friends were shocked at the news of his death because he lived a 'relatively healthy life', sources revealed the effects of alcohol and tobacco, combined with chronic exhaustion, caused the weakening of his immune system that eventually led to his death. Read More

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake SALTA, ARGENTINA - 23rd June 2012

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck SALTA, ARGENTINA at a depth of 238 km (147.5 miles), the quake hit at 05:02:51 UTC Saturday 23rd June 2012
The epicenter was 194 km (120.2 miles) West of Jujuy, Argentina
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Egyptian Brotherhood rejects army rule

June 22 - Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Morsy calls on ruling military to release election results. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

Utah wildfire forces residents to evacuate

June 22 - Local media reports that more than 1,300 residents are evacuated as the Dump Wildfire continues to rage across northern Utah. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

Banks to the rescue, sort of

June 22 - Summary of business headlines: Bank stocks rally with investors not disheartened by a Moody's downgrade, but Wall Street was down for the week; Profits sink at Carnival; Darden forecast lacks heat; South America gets airline powerhouse. Conway G. Gittens reports

Israel bombs Hamas security targets in Gaza: officials

(Reuters) - Israel launched air raids early on Saturday against three Hamas security targets in the Gaza Strip, wounding at least 17 people, Hamas medical officials said.

Israel had no immediate comment on the strikes, which occurred as Gaza militants fired rockets at Israel, causing no casualties, suggesting the raids were in retribution for the shootings.

The officials in Gaza said Israel attacked security targets in Gaza City and also in northern and southern parts of the crowded coastal territory.

The violence threatened to unravel an already shaky three-day-old Egyptian-brokered truce called on fighting that erupted on Monday after a raid across Egypt's Sinai border into Israel in which an Israeli man and two of the gunmen were killed.

Israel responded to that attack, blamed on pro al-Qaeda Salafist militants, with punishing air raids in Islamist-ruled Gaza, which also borders on Egypt.

Ten Palestinians, many of them militants but also a 14-year-old boy, have been killed in these raids. Read More

Protest in Tahrir Square as Egypt waits for president

(Reuters) - Egyptians packed Tahrir Square in Cairo through the night on Saturday, waving flags and chanting for the end of military rule as they waited to know the name of the first president they have been free to choose.

After a week of drama, in which the Muslim Brotherhood's hopes of victory in the presidential election were soured by the army dissolving the Islamist-led parliament and decreeing tight limits on the new head of state's powers, there was anxiety on the streets, but also some hope a compromise could be found.

With the electoral commission still not promising to give a result of last weekend's presidential run-off before Sunday, senior figures on the ruling military council and among their old enemies in the Brotherhood told Reuters they had already held talks about future constitutional arrangements this week. Read More

Syrian government accuses rebels of mass killing, Annan appeals for Iran involvement in talks

BEIRUT - An online video showed more than a dozen bloodied corpses, some of them piled atop each other and in military uniforms, dumped beside a road in northern Syria in what the government Friday called a mass killing by rebel forces.

The circumstances of the deaths were not immediately clear, with the state-run news agency saying at least 25 men were killed. In the video — which The Associated Press could not independently verify — the narrator said the victims were members of the "shabiha," or pro-regime gunmen.

If confirmed, the video is yet another sign of the brutality of the Syrian conflict, which began in March 2011. As the fighting grinds on, Syria is descending into a civil war where gunmen prowl the streets and gruesome massacres are growing increasingly common.

The government has used heavy weapons and unleashed snipers and loyalist fighters, but rebels, too, have been accused of bloody attacks. Read More

Annan presses for unity on Syria, including Iran

GENEVA, June 22 (Reuters) - Iran must be part of any solution to end the crisis in Syria and pave the way for a political transition, but time is running out because world powers are failing to agree on the next steps, international mediator Kofi Annan warned on Friday.

Iran, an ally and neighbour of Syria, is the subject of a standoff between the United States and Russia, which differ not only on resolving Syria, but also on Iran's nuclear programme.

Annan wants the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and governments with influence on Syria's government or the opposition to agree on recommendations for next steps at a meeting that has been pencilled in for June 30 in Geneva.

But Iran's involvement is opposed by the United States, Britain and France, but Annan said it should be at the table.

"We are discussing the composition and other aspects of the meeting, but I have made it quite clear that I believe Iran should be part of the solution," Annan told a news conference in Geneva.

In response to Annan's remarks, the U.S. State Department repeated its opposition to Iran taking part, saying Tehran was playing a "destructive" role in Syria. Read More

Iran: Our nuke facilities still under attack by US, Israelis 'and MI6'

The Iranian government has warned of yet another cyberattack against its nuclear facilities.

Iranian state television reports that the discovery of the assault followed the breakdown on Tuesday of international talks related to Iran's controversial nuclear programme, which Western governments allege is aimed at manufacturing nuclear weapons.

Iran's Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi was quick to point the finger of blame towards the US, the UK and Israel over the attack.

"Based on obtained information, America and the Zionist regime (Israel) along with the MI6 planned an operation to launch a massive cyber attack against Iran's facilities following the meeting between Iran and the P5+1 in Moscow," Mosleh fumed to Iranian government mouthpiece Press TV (via Reuters).

"They still seek to carry out the plan, but we have taken necessary measures," he added, without going into details about the assault. Read More

Russia's FM warns against issuing ultimatums to Iran over its nuclear program

MOSCOW — Russia’s foreign minister said Friday that Iran shouldn’t face threats over its nuclear program and that a quick settlement of the standoff over it isn’t realistic.

Sergey Lavrov said the latest round of talks in Moscow this week between six world powers and Iran has been “quite useful,” even though there was no breakthrough. He said talks must continue without “any artificial deadlines or ultimatums.”

Iran insists its uranium enrichment program serves only civilian purposes, but the U.S., Israel and others suspect it’s a cover for building nuclear weapons. Israel has accused Iran of stretching out the talks to move closer to the ability to make an atomic bomb, and it has threatened to attack the Islamic Republic as a last resort.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is expected to face a strong Israeli demand to take a tougher line on Iran when he visits the Jewish state next week. Read More

Egypt's army in control of vast business empire

Out in the desert to the east of the capital, Cairo, the Egyptian military has just finished building a massive new sports centre.

The resort is complete with a hotel and other facilities, including an impressive five-lane motorway, a flyover and a tunnel to ease potential traffic congestion on the way to a vast new suburb called "New Cairo", where the rich and powerful, including members of the ruling military council (Scaf), have luxurious villas.

The centrepiece is a stadium called "30 June", the date Scaf is supposed to hand over power to a civilian head of state.

The road leading up to the compound is decked with banners reading "the army and the people are one hand".

Once a popular slogan at the height of the uprising that toppled Mubarak last year, it has since been replaced with "down, down with military rule" in Tahrir Square. Read More

Evacuations As Floods Hit Northern England



Scores of flood warnings have been issued across northern England, amid torrential downpours and mounting fears of evacuations.

Water gushed through some towns in Lancashire and West Yorkshire as nearby rivers burst their banks, with heavy rain and high winds expected to last until Sunday.

A total of 92 flood warnings have been issued for the North East and North West, with another 47 flood alerts.

Environment Agency spokeswoman Kate Marks said: "A month's rain is predicted to fall in the North West in the next 24 hours. Read More

Kepler-36: The little planet circled by a giant planet four times the size of Earth – at a fifth of the distance of the moon

Few night-time sights offer more drama than the full Moon rising over the horizon.

Now imagine that instead of the Moon, a gas giant planet spanning three times more sky loomed over the molten landscape of a lava world.

This alien vista exists in the newly discovered two-planet system of Kepler-36.

The new-found system contains two planets circling a sub-giant star, which is much like the Sun except several billion years older.

The inner world, Kepler-36b, is a rocky planet 1.5 times the size of Earth and weighing 4.5 times as much. It orbits about every 14 days at an average distance of less than 11million miles.

The outer world, Kepler-36c, is a gaseous planet 3.7 times the size of Earth and weighing 8 times as much. This 'hot Neptune' orbits once each 16 days at a distance of 12 million miles.

The two planets experience a conjunction every 97 days on average. At that time, they are separated by less than 5 Earth-Moon distances. Read More

Do you know this boy? Federal agents ask for public's help to find at-risk mystery teen

Federal agents have launched an 'extraordinary' appeal for the public's help in identifying a mystery teenage boy who appears in an online video - and who they believe is in serious danger.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations unit has released two stills from the video and say the boy - between 13 and 19 - is in a 'dangerous environment' with several other children and at least one adult.

But the agents remain tight-lipped on the exact circumstances of the boy - refusing to say whether he has been kidnapped, is the victim of a human trafficking ring or is at risk from paedophiles.

In the pictures, the teen is appears to be in a basement and aged between 13 and 19.

He is wearing a Minnesota Twins baseball T-shirt. This is one of the few leads the agency has.

ICE believes that the recording was made within the last 18 months or two years, based on the design of the boy's T-shirt.

'We have reason to believe that this person may now live, or may have lived at one time, in either Minnesota or western Wisconsin,' ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer told CNN.

'It is entirely possible this young man is not currently in Minnesota or Wisconsin, but has either a friend or relative in the area, or recently moved from one of those states,' he said.

It looks like he may be talking to another person - possibly an older person - off camera.

'We believe there's an adult involved in all of this,' said Mr Neudauer.

It is thought that the teen is particularly at risk because he is unable to ask for help from the police. Read More

Anthony Giancola 'fatally stabbed two people and injured 9 others'

A former middle school principal who lost his job over a drug arrest went on a rampage Friday, stabbing several people - killing at least two - and then drove his car into a crowded porch, authorities said.

Anthony Giancola, 45, apparently told his mother before the carnage that he was ‘going to kill all the drug dealers,’ Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.

Then, covered in blood, Giancola again phoned his mother saying that she’d be very proud of him because he just killed 10 drug dealers, according to Sheriff Gualtieri.

Authorities said there were 11 victims in all around Lealman, Florida, and that several are being treated at area hospitals for injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening.

Sheriff Gualtieri said Giancola told his mother in the morning that he was 'going to kill all the drug dealers,’ and told her that she’d be proud of him for killing ’10 drug dealers,' according to WTSP.

The horrific crime spree began shortly before 11 a.m. in the small city of Lealman in Pinellas County, about 20 miles west of Tampa. Read More

2.6 Magnitude Earthquake WASATCH FRONT URBAN CORRIDOR, UTAH - 23rd June 2012

A magnitude 2.6 earthquake has struck WASATCH FRONT URBAN CORRIDOR, UTAH at a depth of 18.4 km (11.4 miles), the quake hit at 04:53:36 UTC Saturday 23rd June 2012
The epicenter was 1 km (0.6 miles) North from Sunset, Utah
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Kenny Markiewicz, 8, survives after he is swept a MILE underground through drain tunnel during Minnesota floods

An eight-year-old boy has miraculously survived being swept into a drain tunnel filled with surging water and travelling a mile underground - before popping up in a creek in a nearby neighbourhood.

Kenny Markiewicz, who only suffered scrapes and bruises in the freak accident, was playing with his cousin in Proctor, Minnesota - eight miles from Duluth, which has suffered record rainfall this week.

They went outside to play in the street, which was not severely flooded, and went over to 'a mud puddle, a big one', Kenny told ABC News.

'He just was going across by the puddle and, apparently, there was a culvert or a pipe there and he fell in,' his mother, Amber, said. 'We heard my niece scream and we opened the door, ran down the hill and dialed 911.' Read More

6.1 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 23rd June 2012

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake has struck NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA at a depth of 93 km (57.66 miles), the quake hit at 04:34:53 UTC Saturday 23rd June 2012
The epicenter was 107 km (67 miles) Southwest from Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

£475,000 and 300 tonnes of CO2 to send Eurocrats to Earth Summit in Rio... and they STILL can't decide on anything

The shameful cost to both the taxpayer and the environment of sending just five Eurocrats to the Earth Summit in Rio, has been revealed.

The European Commission today said it cost £475,000 to send the delegates, including Commission President José Manuel Barroso, along with an entourage of over 60 to the Rio+20 conference.

The meeting, which ends today in the Brazilian city which hosted the first Earth Summit 20 years ago, has thus far made almost no progress, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg describing the outcome as 'insipid'.

The high financial costs were revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question submitted by London Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis. Read More

Wayne Bishop strolled out of prison four months early yesterday

With a smirk, Wayne Bishop strolled out of prison four months early yesterday.

But this time there was no welcoming committee for the father who once used his children as a get out of jail card by claiming it was his ‘human right’ to look after them.

Within weeks of being granted that opportunity by the Appeal Court, he squandered it by attacking a man in a supermarket and was put back behind bars.

Yesterday his disgrace was complete when he was freed again . . . but it became clear that this time his children don’t want him back.

Indeed, Bishop, 34, is considered a threat to their welfare.

Members of his immediate family have warned him to stay away, saying he only ever cared about the children because of the five benefits cheques he received every week for looking after them.

Last year, in a judgment which provoked outrage, judges decided to release Bishop from an eight-month sentence for burglary and dangerous driving because of his ‘human right’ to care for the children. Read More

EU Coffee Ban

Michael Parr admits disembowelling and murdering child rapist Mitchell Harrison in prison cell attack

Attack: Michael Parr, right, pleaded guilty in Newcastle Crown Court yesterday to murdering Mitchell Harrison, left, at Frankland Prison in Durham last year

A prisoner has admitted disembowelling and murdering a child rapist during a brutal attack at a top-security jail.

Mitchell Harrison, 23, was serving an indefinite sentence at Frankland Prison, Durham, for raping a 13-year-old girl when he was brutally killed last October.

He was attacked with makeshift weapons, thought to be razor blades melted into toothbrush handles.

His bloodied body was found in his cell by warders.

Speaking shortly after his murder, a source close to the prison said: ‘To all intents and purposes he had been disembowelled. There was blood everywhere.'

Michael Parr, 32, pleaded guilty to murder during a brief hearing at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday via videolink from prison. Read More

Joyce Trail stole £1.4million from NHS by pretending she had fitted dentures to dead patients'

A dentist conned the NHS out of £1.4million with thousands of false claims – including fitting false teeth on patients who were actually dead, a court heard.

Joyce Trail filed more than 7,000 invoices for work she had never done and used the money to travel around the world.

In fact the 50-year-old had not even met most of the patients and many were dead, it was claimed.

Trail is alleged to have obtained patients’ names and addresses by contacting care homes to advertise her services.

She then included these details on invoices submitted to the NHS, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Miranda Moore QC, prosecuting, said investigators ‘smelt a rat’ after trawling through the dentist’s files at her surgery in Handsworth, Birmingham.

She said Trail’s American Express credit card bill was ‘vast’ compared to what she could legitimately have been earning at the practice. Read More

Philpott Funeral: Six little coffins, six stolen lives, Parents remain in Custody Charged with their murders

There were six smiling faces before horror and tragedy struck. Now there were six little coffins, six stolen lives.

One by one, the bodies of five young brothers and their ten-year-old sister were laid to rest yesterday exactly six weeks after an arson attack at their home.

Scores of neighbours, friends and relatives stood in silence as a cortege of horse-drawn carriages made its solemn procession through streets cleared of traffic along the route to the children's funeral. Read More

Thousands of EU students who attended British universities owe us £75m in taxpayer-funded loans

Thousands of European students who attended British universities are failing to repay taxpayer-backed loans worth £75million.

Of 8,700 graduates who have moved abroad, just 800 are currently making repayments.

The whereabouts of a further 9,900 EU students are unknown. Officials are waiting for them to provide their financial details.

The revelations follow the release of official figures, which also show how total outstanding student debt owed by British and EU graduates has ballooned to £40.2billion.

The figure has nearly doubled in four years – and will spiral even more sharply from September, when the upper limit for tuition fees is raised from just over £3,000 to £9,000 a year.

Students from EU member states have been eligible for special low-interest loans from British taxpayers to cover tuition fees since 2006, but cannot claim maintenance loans. Read More

European leaders push ahead with plans but drop demands for all nations to be included .........For Now!

Britain will be spared a swingeing new tax on City transactions as European leaders confirmed they will press ahead with plans for a single currency superstate.

Eurozone leaders vowed to plough on with the Robin Hood tax plans alone yesterday as they declared that a Brussels summit next week will be a ‘defining moment’ in EU history.

Nine countries yesterday vowed to impose new taxes on financial deals – which Britain thinks will cripple economic growth – but demands for all 27 EU nations to be included were dropped.

In a sign that next week’s summit will usher in new measures to set up a eurozone superstate, Germany, France, Italy and Spain all agreed it will lead to a ‘clear medium and long-term vision for greater integration’.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the meeting in Rome: ‘The lesson from the crisis is not less Europe but more Europe.’ Spanish PM Mariana Rajoy said the leaders had agreed on the need for ‘a political, banking and fiscal union’.

Italian prime minister Mario Monti warned that leaders may have just one week to save the euro with Spanish banks teetering on the brink of collapse. Read More

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake NEVADA - 23rd June 2012

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck NEVADA at a depth of 11.2 km (7 miles), the quake hit at 03:51:56 UTC Saturday 23rd June 2012
The epicenter was 9 km (6 miles) NNW from Incline Village-Crystal Bay, Nevada
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time