Sunday, June 24, 2012

Surveillance Drone Employed at Miami 'Urban Beach Week'

The police used a surveillance drone to keep tabs on Miami revelers over the Memorial Day weekend, but this hugely important story has been ignored by the media.

The national press was focused that week on covering the Miami Cannibal incident. By the way, the Miami Cannibal, Rudy Eugene, happened to attend the Urban Beach Week festivities where the drone was spotted.

Granted, there's been a lot of violence at previous Urban Beach Weeks, and the cops can't be everywhere at once. Nevertheless, there still should more of an outcry from the American public about the use of surveillance drones to watch average citizens. Americans are already being monitored by the zillions of closed-circuit cameras in malls, government buildings, and on the streets.

What's more, the small aircraft are operated remotely by military personnel —not the local police—so, whatever information is collected can go right into a federal database. Read More

Two trains collide in Oklahoma; 3 crewmembers missing

Smoke rises from the scene of a train collision Sunday near Goodwell, Okla. (Trudy Hart / Guymon Daily Herald)

Two trains collided Sunday near the Oklahoma Panhandle town of Goodwell, sparking a diesel fire and forcing the closure of a stretch of highway. Three people were missing.

The accident happened shortly after 10 a.m. on tracks about two miles east of Goodwell. A westbound train consisting of three locomotives and 80 rail cars collided with an eastbound intermodal train consisting of four locomotives and 108 rail cars, Union Pacific Railroad spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza told msnbc.com.
One conductor and one engineer were aboard each of the trains. The conductor of the westbound train escaped but the other three crewmembers were unaccounted for, Espinoza said.

The collision ignited a diesel fuel blaze that sent a huge plume of black smoke billowing into the air.

"Firefighters are on scene trying to put the fire out. We are doing everything we can to find the other three crew members," she said. Read More

Hundreds of Israelis clash with police in social justice protest

June 24 - Eighty-five Israelis are arrested in Tel Aviv as protesters smash bank windows and clash with police during demonstration over social injustice. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

Striking police in Bolivia reject latest government offer

June 24 - Striking police reject latest proposal from Bolivia government while top police officials order them back to work.

Greek PM to miss EU summit; hopes fade of major action

(Reuters) - Illness means both Greece's new prime minister and finance minister will miss an anxiously awaited summit of European leaders later this week and delayed a visit by the country's international lenders.

The news was a blow to Athens' attempts to ease the terms of its bailout in the teeth of German opposition, as well as an untimely complication for a summit that some hoped would take new steps to grapple with the region's debt crisis.

According to a document prepared for the June 28-29 meeting, European leaders will discuss specific steps towards a cross-border banking union, closer fiscal integration and the possibility of a debt redemption fund.

But Prime Minister Antonis Samaras underwent eye surgery on Saturday and Vassilis Rapanos is in hospital after suffering from nausea before he could be sworn in as finance minister.

Instead, Greece's foreign minister and outgoing finance minister will attend the meeting to ask for the terms of the 130 billion euro ($162.96 billion) bailout to be loosened. Read More

Tropical Storm Debby heads for Florida coast

(Reuters) - Tropical Storm Debby meandered slowly to the Florida coast on Sunday, bringing strong winds and waves that forced the closure of about a quarter of offshore oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico and spawning tornadoes that killed one person.

Debby, the first named storm of 2012 to enter the Gulf of Mexico, was centered about 115 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida and was nearly stationary, the National Hurricane Center said in its 7 p.m. CDT (0000 GMT) update.

Debby, no longer expected to gain hurricane strength, packed winds of 60 mph, the Miami-based center said.

Citing a "significant change in the forecast track," the NHC said Debby is expected to hit the Florida Panhandle near Panama City on Thursday as a tropical storm. "This forecast remains uncertain due to weak steering currents," the NHC said. Read More

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION - 25th June 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck the KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION at a depth of 189.8 km (117.9 miles), the quake hit at 03:09:05 UTC Monday 25th June 2012
The epicenter was 219 km (136 miles) North from Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Bird flu 'could mutate to cause deadly human pandemic'

The H5N1 bird flu virus could change into a form able to spread rapidly between humans, scientists have warned.

Researchers have identified five genetic changes that could allow the virus to start a deadly pandemic.

Writing in the journal Science, they say it would be theoretically possible for these changes to occur in nature.

A US agency has tried unsuccessfully to ban publication of parts of the research fearing it could be used by terrorists to create a bioweapon.

According to Prof Ron Fouchier from the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands, who led the research, publication of the work in full will give the wider scientific community the best possible chance to combat future flu pandemics.

"We hope to learn which viruses can cause pandemics and by knowing that we might be able to prevent them by enforcing strict eradication programmes," he told BBC News. Read More

North Korea slams US, South Korea use of flag in war drills

PYONGYANG, North Korea – North Korea is calling the use of its national flag in U.S.-South Korean military drills a "grave provocative act" and an insult.

An unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement late Sunday that Pyongyang will continue boosting its nuclear weapons program because of U.S. hostility.

The statement calls the program "an all-powerful treasured sword for preventing a war."

The drills Friday were the allies' biggest since the Korean War. A huge North Korean flag on a hill disappeared behind flames and smoke as South Korean jets and U.S. helicopters fired rockets. Read More

Lonesome George Dies

Lonesome George, the last remaining tortoise of his kind and a conservation icon, has died of unknown causes, the Galapagos National Park has confirmed.

He was thought to be about 100-years-old.

Lonesome George was found in 1972 and had become a symbol of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, which attracted some 180,000 visitors last year.

George was the last member of a species of giant tortoise from La Pinta, one of the smallest islands in the Galapagos. Read More

Obama's Key Health Reforms Hang In Balance

Barack Obama's signature achievement, a law reforming health care in America, hangs in the balance with a Supreme Court decision on its fate due this week.

The Affordable Care Act, known as 'Obamacare' to its opponents, had two central aims; to reduce rocketing health care costs and expand the number of people with health insurance.

Ron Pollak, from US health advocacy, says the fact that as many as 50 million Americans have no health insurance is extraordinary.

"We pay more for healthcare as a nation by far than any other country in the world and yet one sixth of our nation doesn't have health coverage," he said.

"In the western world how can you explain this?" Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake AZORES ISLANDS REGION - 25th June 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the AZORES ISLANDS REGION at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 00:05:30 UTC Monday 25th June 2012
The epicenter was 236 km (146 miles) NNW of Lagoa, Portugal
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN - 24th June 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck the HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN at a depth of 106.3 km (66.1 miles), the quake hit at 21:49:34 UTC Sunday 24th June 2012
The epicenter was 22 km (13 miles) Southwest of Ashkasham, Afghanistan
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake AZORES ISLANDS REGION - 24th June 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the AZORES ISLANDS REGION at a depth of 9.9 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 20:43:47 UTC Sunday 24th June 2012
The epicenter was 270 km (167 miles) Northeast of Santa Cruz das Flores, Portugal
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Japanese internment camps: If you think they'll never put you into camps, think again, because it has all happened before

Mombasa bar attack One person Killed several Wounded

NAIROBI — One person was killed and several others were wounded in a hand grenade attack on a bar in the Kenyan tourist hub of Mombasa on Sunday, police said.

"The attack occurred at about 10:00 pm. One person has died and we have several others injured," a police officer in Mombasa said.
The attack came a day after the US embassy in Kenya warned of the threat of an imminent attack in Mombasa, as Kenyan police arrested two Iranians on suspicion of planning bomb attacks.

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

"All US government travel to Mombasa is suspended until July 1." Read More

Turkey Finds Downed Jet As US Condemns Syria



The wreckage of a Turkish jet shot down by Syria has been located in Syrian waters, as the United States strongly condemned the "brazen and unacceptable act".

Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the search for two missing pilots was still under way, in coordination with the Syrian authorities.

He denied it was a "joint" operation.

After talking to Mr Davutoglu, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement: "We will work with Turkey and other partners to hold the Assad regime accountable.

"It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities' callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security." Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake AZORES ISLANDS REGION - 24th June 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck the AZORES ISLANDS REGION at a depth of 146 km (90.5 miles), the quake hit at 20:41:13 UTC Sunday 24th June 2012
The epicenter was 214 km (132.6 miles) Northwest of Angra, Azores, Portugal
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

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

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

Israel Keeps Killing-News Analysis-06-23-2012

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Syria on Air: One-sided media spin behind insurgency trench warfare

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN TURKEY - 24th June 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck EASTERN TURKEY at a depth of 13.7 km (8.5 miles), the quake hit at 20:07:23 UTC Sunday 24th June 2012
The epicenter was 34 km (21 miles) Northeast from Van, Turkey
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake AZORES ISLANDS REGION - 24th June 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck the AZORES ISLANDS REGION at a depth of 100 km (62 miles), the quake hit at 19:40:15 UTC Sunday 24th June 2012
The epicenter was 342 km (212 miles) Northwest of Angra, Azores, Portugal
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake AZORES ISLANDS REGION - 24th June 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck the AZORES ISLANDS REGION at a depth of 15 km (9.3 miles), the quake hit at 19:36:58 UTC Sunday 24th June 2012
The epicenter was 360 km (223.2 miles) Northwest of Angra, Azores, Portugal
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION - 24th June 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck the SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION at a depth of 127.4 km (79.2 miles), the quake hit at 19:28:05 UTC Sunday 24th June 2012
The epicenter was 160 km (99 miles) SSW from Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Clinical Notes: Bird Flu Grows Scarier‎

It would not take many genetic changes to turn bird flu into a catastrophic human killer, researchers confirmed. Also this week: pertuzumab boosts overall breast cancer survival, but by how much?

Bird Flu Could Easily Become Pandemic

Only a few mutations stand between current strains of H5N1 avian influenza and a virus that could easily pass between humans, potentially killing hundreds of millions of people, researchers said.

Published last week in Science, the research by Ron Fouchier, PhD, of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues -- as well as that of similar studies by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin Madison, and others -- had been temporarily suppressed while the authors, journal editors, and a government advisory board wrangled over whether the papers would tell terrorists how to craft a highly lethal bioweapon.

Kawaoka's group published their results in Nature last month.

Fouchier and colleagues determined that five mutations in a H5N1 bird flu isolate made it highly transmissible in mammals via airborne droplets.

Another group of researchers, also writing in Science last week, said they had found H5N1 Linkstrains in poultry that already carried two of the mutations identified by Fouchier's team, meaning that only three more were needed to create a potential worldwide catastrophe. Read More

South Africa Tornado Damages Homes, Kills Eight

A deadly tornado hit the town of Bethlehem in Free State South Africa on Saturday leaving at least eight people dead, many others injured and several buildings damaged or destroyed.

The tornado was reported by ER24's Bethlehem Branch when they arrived on the scene to assist the victims. ER24 is a private, national emergency medical care service that responds to emergency situations in South Africa, according to their web site.

In the town of Kessel, several people were injured when the tornado destroyed several informal settlements, according to Onweer-online.nl administrator Marga. As of Sunday afternoon, there was no further information available about the number of people injured. Read More

Bees attack Thai monks

Bangkok: Swarms of bees attacked a group of novice monks at a Buddhist temple in northern Thailand, causing 76 of them to be hospitalised, reports said Sunday.

Naren Chotirosnimitr, director of Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying 19 of the 53 monks admitted to hospital were in serious condition.

He said six of the monks arrived at the hospital in a coma, with their blood pressure at a dangerously low level.

Naren said bee attacks can be fatal if patients sustain multiple stings and are allergic. Source

Canada Floods: Evacuate when asked, minister urges BC residents

As a flood watch continues around B.C., residents were urged to "evacuate when emergency officials request it" by minister of justice and attorney general Shirley Bond Saturday.

“We understand how difficult it might be for families to leave their homes, but they are only asked to do that when there is an imminent potential safety risk. When an evacuation order is given, it is essential that everyone consider their safety and that of first responders and leave as requested," Bond said in a statement.

“Emergency management officials don’t want to see the forcible removal of anyone from a property – rather, we depend on individuals to heed the advice of public safety professionals, whose decisions and directions are made with the highest regard for the safety of you and your loved ones,” Bond said.

Swollen by melting snow and rain, the Fraser River has reached levels not seen for 40 years and has caused flooding from the province's interior to the Fraser Valley. Read More

China 5.5 Magnitude earthquake kills at least two, injures 100‎

BEIJING — An earthquake hit a mountainous area of southwest China on Sunday, killing at least four people and injuring more than 100, state media reported.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake had a magnitude of 5.5 and struck the border between the provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan just before 4:00 pm (0800 GMT), at a shallow depth of just 9.3 kilometres (5.8 miles).

The Chinese government put the magnitude of the quake at 5.7. It was followed two minutes later by an aftershock of 3.3, the China Earthquake Network Centre said.

The quake toppled houses and cut off communications with parts of Ninglang county in Yunnan, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The tremor killed three people in Ninglang while another one was reported dead in neighbouring Yanyuan county in Sichuan.

A total of 104 were injured in the quake with 20 in serious condition, Xinhua said, quoting local authorities. Read More

Around 100 school girls poisoned in northern Afghanistan

This comes as several school girls were poisoned in Takhar, Bamiya and Kabul provinces of Afghanistan

According to local authorities in northern Sar-e-Pul province, more than 100 school students were poisoned in this province and were taken to hospital for treatment purposes.

The officials further added the incident took place early Saturday morning at Hazrat Imam Zada Yahya high school and the main reason behind the poisoning of the students were unknown.

Provincial education chief Abdul Ghafoor Sar-e-Puli said an investigation has been started in this regard to find out the facts behind the incident.

This comes as several school girls were poisoned in Takhar, Bamiya and Kabul provinces of Afghanistan.

A number of suspects in this regard were recently detained by security forces in northern Takhar province, and the main motive behind the attack was to prevent Afghan families from sending their daughters to schools. Read More

Georgia sees more anthrax cases

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — At least 30 people in Georgia have contracted anthrax this year, prompting authorities to step up safety measures, medical officials said Friday.

Georgia's Center for Infectious Diseases said that by year's end the ex-Soviet nation is expected to roughly match last year's total of 59 cases. That would represent a marked increase from the 28 anthrax cases the Caucasus Mountains country had in 2010.

Naira Gogebashvili, a leading expert of a Tbilisi clinic treating infectious diseases, said some of the patients contracted anthrax due to violations of safety procedures regarding the burial of sick animals.

"They should be buried in specially allocated ground, not in accidental places as it often happens," she told The Associated Press.

One of the hospital's patients, Alexei Alaichev, a 58-year-old resident of the town of Tsalka in southern Georgia, contracted anthrax while cultivating a potato field. Read More

3.2 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - 24th June 2012

A magnitude 3.2 earthquake has struck NORTHERN CALIFORNIA at a depth of 2.4 km (1.5 miles), the quake hit at 18:45:28 UTC Sunday 24th June 2012
The epicenter was 5 km (3.1 miles) NNW from The Geysers, California
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

3.5 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN TEXAS - 24th June 2012

A magnitude 3.5 earthquake has struck NORTHERN TEXAS at a depth of 4.9 km (3 miles), the quake hit at 17:46:44 UTC Sunday 24th June 2012
The epicenter was 6 km (3.7 miles) Northeast from Keene, Texas
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Quest: Why survival of the eurozone depends on leaders spinning plates

London (CNN) -- I have often thought of European officials as the proverbial "plate spinners" from the circus. Those talented artists who balance spinning plates on sticks, ever increasing the number of sticks, rushing from one to the other, giving them a tug and pull to keep them moving, always aware that if they are too slow or too fast, one of the plates will crash to the ground.

That is exactly what we have in Europe today. Only the artists are European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso et al, while the plates are Greece, Spanish banks, Italian deficits, eurobonds and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Two weeks ago it was the Spanish banks which were wobbling -- but a quick tug and push worth €100 billion kept the plate moving. Before that it was the Irish referendum on the fiscal compact.....then it was the Greek election....and the artists now have to stand ready to renegotiate the bailout terms to give Greece breathing room (after giving a tug to the Merkel plate to prevent her falling off in pique). Read More

Stop asking for more help, Germany tells Greece

(Reuters) - Greece's new government should stop asking for more help and instead move quickly to enact reform measures agreed to in return for previous bailouts from its European partners, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Sunday.

Schaeuble told Bild am Sonntag in unusually blunt language that Greece has forfeited much of Europe's trust during the sovereign debt crisis, as reflected in an opinion poll covering the euro zone's four biggest nations and published in the paper.

"The most important task facing new prime minister (Antonis) Samaras is to enact the program agreed upon quickly and without further delay instead of asking how much more others can do for Greece," said Schaeuble, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel and Europe's most powerful finance minister. Read More

Syrian-Turkish tensions rise

June 24 - Tensions are on the rise after Syria shot down a Turkish jet over what Anakara says were international waters. Andrew Raven reports

Drought threatens North Korea food supplies

June 24 - Drought damages crops in western North Korea, raising fears of increased food shortages. Travis Brecher reports.

India rescue fails as trapped girl found dead

June 24 - A four-year-old girl who fell into a borewell in northern India on Wednesday (June 20) is pronounced dead after her body is finally recovered. Lindsey Parietti reports.

Dozens feared dead as flash floods sweep Northern Afghanistan

June 24- Dozens are feared dead as heavy floods destroy farmland in Takhar province in Afghanistan.

No evidence of White House cover-up in gun case: lawmaker

(Reuters) - The congressman heading an investigation into a botched gun-trafficking case said on Sunday he had no evidence the White House was involved in a cover-up about the operation or in providing misleading information to Congress.

However, Republican Representative Darrell Issa said documents the White House was shielding under an executive privilege claim would shed more light on how much high-level officials knew about a misleading February 4, 2011 letter to Congress denying that guns had been allowed to "walk" into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, have suggested that some sort of a cover-up of information explained why it took until December 2011 for the Justice Department to formally withdraw the letter about the case, which was named "Operation Fast and Furious."

The House is set to vote this week on contempt of Congress charges against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the top U.S. law enforcement official, for withholding access to some of those documents. Read More

Tropical Storm Debby threatens Louisiana coast

(Reuters) - Strong winds and heavy rain from Tropical Storm Debby reached the U.S. Gulf Coast on Sunday as the storm meandered toward the Louisiana coast with 60 mph winds, the U.S. National Hurricane Service said.

Debby, the first named storm of 2012 to enter the Gulf of Mexico, was centered about 190 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and was moving slowly northeast at around 6 mph at 10 a.m. CDT (11.00 a.m. EDT). The storm was expected to strengthen into a hurricane by Tuesday night, the Miami-based center said.

The NHC predicted that Debby will turn west and come ashore on the eastern Louisiana coast early Thursday as a weak Category 1 hurricane. The NHC's prior forecast predicted that Debby would continue west toward the Texas coast.

Debby has already disrupted about 8 percent of Gulf offshore oil and natural gas production as energy companies evacuated workers from offshore platforms in the path of the storm. Read More

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake JAVA, INDONESIA - 24th June 2012

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Maps/10/105_-5.gif A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck JAVA, INDONESIA at a depth of 66.7 km (41.4 miles), the quake hit at 15:40:12 UTC Sunday 24th June 2012
The epicenter was 35 km (21 miles) SSW of Panyaungan Timur, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time