Friday, July 20, 2012

Is this 'The Joker'? Police probe adult website profile of Colorado 'gunman' posted online weeks before massacre that left 12 dead

Police are investigating an account on a sex cruising website which appears to have been set up by James Holmes, the grad school dropout who allegedly killed 12 people at a screening of the new Batman film on Thursday night.

The AdultFriendFinder page, which belongs to a 24-year-old user calling himself 'ClassicJimbo', features pictures of a man who looks like Holmes with dyed red hair.

He says he is looking for 'casual sex' or a 'fling' - and writes, 'Will you visit me in prison?'

Holmes was equipped with an 'arsenal' of more than 6,000 rounds which could have slaughtered thousands when he allegedly killed or injured 70 cinemagoers, according to the police chief in Aurora, Colorado. Read More

Latest stories Batman Movie Massacre: Weapons Bought Legally

The man suspected of shooting 12 people dead and wounding 70 during a screening of the new Batman movie in Colorado legally purchased four guns and 6,000 rounds of ammunition in the last 60 days, police have revealed.

More details about the bloody massacre at a cinema in Aurora, near Denver, – and the extent of the weaponry used - were outlined by officials at a news conference.

The gunman, who burst into a midnight screening of the firm and opened fire, was arrested shortly afterwards and has been identified as 24-year-old James Holmes, a loner who recently quit medical school.

Ten people were killed at the scene with another two dying later of their injuries.

Eleven people are still in a critical condition in hospital while only one of the dead has so far been identified.

Aurora police chief Dan Oates said Holmes had bought the four guns in local shops and the 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the internet.

All the weapons were purchased legally, he added. Read More

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 21st July 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN at a depth of 55.1 km (34.2 miles), the quake hit at 03:01:21 UTC Saturday 21st July 2012
The epicenter was 83 km (51 miles) ENE of Namie, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 21st July 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck the IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION at a depth of 19 km (11.8 miles), the quake hit at 02:58:42 UTC Saturday 21st July 2012
The epicenter was 218 km (135 miles) WNorth of Chichi-shima, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - 21st July 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck OFFSHORE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 01:52:00 UTC Saturday 21st July 2012
The epicenter was 108 km (67 miles) West from Petrolia, California
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 21st July 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA at a depth of 41.9 km (26 miles), the quake hit at 01:05:22 UTC Saturday 21st July 2012
The epicenter was 138 km (85 miles) ESE of Yining Xian, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE COAST OF OREGON - 21st July 2012

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck OFF THE COAST OF OREGON at a depth of 10.1 km (6.3 miles), the quake hit at 00:34:27 UTC Saturday 21st July 2012
The epicenter was 332 km (206 miles) WNW of Barview, Oregon
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

International Monetary Fund deliberately suppressed evidence that Europe was heading for a debt crisis

Peter Doyle, a senior economist in the IMF’s European department, also used the letter to attack the appointment of Christine Lagarde, the fund’s managing director.

The allegations are particularly embarrassing coming from someone who until last month was a senior official at the Washington-based institution and at a time when Europe’s debt crisis shows little sign of easing.

“The substantive difficulties in these crises, as with others, were identified well in advance but suppressed here (at the IMF),” Mr Doyle wrote in the letter to Shakour Shaalan, head of the IMF’s board of directors. The letter goes on to claim that “the failure of the fund to issue them (warnings) is a failing of the first order, even if such warnings may not have been heeded”.

The IMF, which has played a central role in the bail-outs of Greece, Portugal and Ireland, has recently tapped countries from the UK to China for another $500bn (£320bn) to be deployed in Europe, should the debt crisis escalate. Mr Doyle, whose 20-year career at the fund included spells in Sweden, Denmark and Israel, said its failure to give a warning has led to “suffering” in Greece and elsewhere and left it “playing catch-up and reactive roles in last-ditch efforts to save it (the euro)”. Read More

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA - 20th July 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 20:24:20 UTC Friday 20th July 2012
The epicenter was 222 km (137.6 miles) Northeast of Bitung, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

N.Korean Army Chief Ri Yong-Ho 'Refused to Go Quietly', resulting in purported gunbattle between North Korean soldiers: Is North Korea's military beginning to fracture?

A gunbattle broke out when the North Korean regime removed army chief Ri Yong-ho from office, leaving 20 to 30 soldiers dead, according to unconfirmed intelligence reports. Some intelligence analysts believe Ri, who has not been seen since his abrupt sacking earlier this week, was injured or killed in the confrontation.

According to government officials here, the gunbattle erupted when Vice Marshal Choe Ryong-hae, the director of the People's Army General Political Bureau, tried to detain Ri in the process of carrying out leader Kim Jong-un's order to sack him. Guards protecting Ri, who is a vice marshal, apparently opened fire. "We cannot rule out the possibility that Ri was injured or even killed in the firefight," said one source.

Choe is believed to be the right-hand man of Jang Song-taek, the uncle and patron of the young North Korean leader. He made his career in the Workers Party rather than the army. After being appointed director of the bureau, Choe repeatedly clashed with Ri, who came up as a field commander, prompting Choe to keep Ri under close watch and apparently triggering an internal probe targeting the army chief.

The military had grown tremendously in power under former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's "songun" or military-first doctrine, and military heavyweights like Ri who grew in stature during this period were considered threats to the young North Korean leader.

"The firefight has still not been 100 percent confirmed," said a government official here. "It may take some time for us to gain a clearer picture of what happened." source

Roadkill Experiment Shows That Six Percent of Drivers Are Sadistic Animal Killers



Our friend Mark Rober from NASA makes some awesome videos, but this science experiment must be his best yet. He basically showed that six percent of the drivers out there are sadistic animal killers.

This is what he did:

• He alternatively placed a rubber animal—and a leaf as a control object—on the shoulder of a road: a turtle, a snake, or a spider.

• He watched one thousand cars pass by and annotated the drivers' reaction.

The results are quite surprising.

He found out that 94 percent of drivers did what anyone in their sane mind would do: keep driving on their lane. Remember that the animals were on the road's shoulder, way outside their driving path. They didn't pose any danger whatsoever to the drivers' safety.

On the other hand, six percent went out of the driving lane to run over the animals. Think about that: sixty out of one thousand drivers actually went out of their way to kill a living thing that didn't represent any danger to their lives—and risking their own lives in the process, no less. Six percent were just cruel because they could be. For their own sadistic pleasure, I can only imagine. more

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake KODIAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA - 20th July 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck the KODIAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA at a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles), the quake hit at 18:54:12 UTC Friday 20th July 2012
The epicenter was 75 km (47 miles) Southeast from Akhiok, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake OFF WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 20th July 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck OFF WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA at a depth of 32.2 km (20 miles), the quake hit at 18:52:16 UTC Friday 20th July 2012
The epicenter was 434 km (269 miles) SSW from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Cholera Kills Two in Ekiti‎, Nigeria

Ado Ekiti — Two persons have died following the outbreak of cholera in Igbara Odo community, Ekiti South-West Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

The disease was said to have affected three persons including a pregnant woman, a boy and an elderly woman. It was gathered that the government deployed officials from the state's Ministry of Health to the community to begin sensitisation programme on how the people could maintain healthy environments.

It was further gathered that the state's Commissioner for Health, Professor Olusola Fasubaa, visited the community with a view to sensitising the people on the need to maintain a clean environment and healthy routine.

"There has been confirmed diarrhoea and vomiting cases in Igbara-Odo community in Ekiti South-West Local Government Area of the state, the cause of which has not been confirmed in the laboratory", he said.

Also speaking on the matter, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, said the first case was brought to the notice of the state government on July 14, but that it has not been confirmed in the laboratory. Read More

Helicopter crashes in Malaysian part of Borneo island; 3 passengers missing, pilot rescued

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A helicopter has crashed into a river in a Malaysian state on Borneo island, leaving three people missing.

A Malaysian fire department official says the chopper with four people on board went down in Sarawak state early Friday. The official, who declined to be named because he does not have the authority to speak to the media, says the German pilot was rescued by local fishermen.

Police could not be reached immediately for comment.

The Star newspaper said on its website that the pilot, 35-year-old Rko Steger, swam for four hours before he was rescued. It said a rescue team was dispatched to the area to find the three missing passengers, who were believed to be engineers. Source

Boy found positive for Enterovirus 71 in Philippines (Same Disease which killed over 64 Children in Cambodia)

MANILA (2nd Update, 2:18 p.m.) -- A one-year-old boy from Davao City has been found positive for the Enterovirus 71 (EV-71), the mysterious illness that killed dozens of children in Cambodia.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the screening and confirmatory tests done at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) revealed that of the eight suspected Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) patients, one was tested positive of the virus similar to the ones in Cambodia.

Ona clarified, however, that the boy has no history of travel outside the country.

"The virus is similar to Cambodia but this case is the mild one," Ona told reporters in a press conference Friday.

EV-71 causes diarrhea; rashes; and hand, foot and mouth disease; and is sometimes associated with severe central neurological disease. The virus, which was earlier tagged as a "mystery disease" in Cambodia, caused the deaths of 52 children there.

Based on the details of the case, the official said the boy had developed fever and rashes on his hands, soles of feet, mouth and buttocks last July 6.

He was brought for consultation at a local health facility but was subsequently sent home and has since recovered very well, Ona said. Read More

Tongariro volcano alert at new high‎

A "sudden rise" in volcanic activity at Mt Tongariro has prompted scientists to lift its volcanic alert status for the first time.

But local businesses and conservation authorities remain unconcerned as they seek to reassure visitors it is "business as usual" at National Park.

GNS Science this afternoon lifted Mt Tongariro's volcanic alert status from level zero to level one, and increased the aviation status from green to yellow.

It said a series of more than 20 "small" volcanic earthquakes had been recorded at Tongariro since July 13 - more than the average of two per year according to historic seismic data.

The quakes, below a magnitude of 2.5 and between 2-7km deep, were recorded in a cluster zone between Emerald Crater and Te Maari craters.

The sequence of earthquakes soon declined but restarted on Wednesday and increased in number yesterday and today.

GNS volcanologist Brad Scott said it was the first time the alert level had been lifted at Tongariro since the alert system was introduced. Read More

Congo fever has killed seven in state, India

AHMEDABAD: Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) has claimed seven lives in Gujarat. And according to the state government, about 18 people have been affected by CCHF.

Replying to a question from Vadodara City MLA Bhupendra Lakhawala, the government said that after an incubation period of one to three days following a tick bite, flu-like symptoms appear, which may resolve in a week. In up to 75 per cent of cases, however, signs of hemorrhage appear three to five days after the onset of the illness if it is not contained properly. Officials said that symptoms characterizing the initial stage of CCHF include mood instability, agitation, and mental confusion. Other signs are nosebleed, bloody urine vomiting, and black stools.

Liver becomes swollen and painful. Kidney failure and shock may occur, and sometimes acute respiratory distress syndrome is seen among CCHF patients. Recovery usually begins nine days after the appearance of symptoms. But in 30 per cent of cases, patients die in the second week of illness. Read More

Toxic algae found in five Indiana lakes‎ suspected of Killing Several Dogs

ANDREWS, Ind. (WANE)--A couple from Wabash suspects a toxic algae killed their dogs at Salamonie Reservoir . The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has discovered high levels of the blue-green algae in five different lakes across Indiana.

On Sunday, Larry and Marge Young were playing with their four family dogs at the Salamonie Reservoir. 24-hours later, two of their dogs were dead. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) found record levels of blue-green algae at the reservoir, but no one told the Youngs. There weren't even warning signs.

“[We] saw nothing. It just looks like it does today [Wednesday], just a deep green,” Larry Young said. “We saw nothing of foam or anything like that along the side of the lake.”

The problem isn’t only at the Salamonie Reservoir. Algae levels in Sand Lake at Chain O'Lakes were just high enough for officials to send out an alert. Three other lakes in the state have the same issue. But Salamonie's algae count was significantly concerning.

“We have not seen levels this high,” Cyndi Wagner with IDEM said. Read More

Algal bloom off west coast still killing fish, Ireland

The algal bloom identified off the west coast is continuing to kill fish and shellfish in significant concentrations from north Galway to north Donegal.

Up to 80 per cent of stock has been affected on some oyster farms in Donegal, and it is also having a negative impact on sea angling tourism, the Marine Institute has confirmed.

The bloom is caused by Karenia mikimotoi, a phytoplankton of the dinoflagellate group which caused a red tide in 2005 that killed wild fish and shellfish. Samples of this new bloom, first detected in May, are being collected for Marine Institute monitoring by the Irish Coast Guard search and rescue helicopters.

Marine Institute phytoplankton expert Joe Silke said the bloom was naturally occurring. It was not associated with pollution but contained a “toxic irritant” that damaged gills of shellfish, fish and invertebrates. Read More

3 killed, 31 injured as trains collide near Nashik, India

Nashik, Jul 19: At least 3 persons were killed and over 25 people were injured in a collision between a local train and Vidarbha Express near Khardi station near here on Mumbai-Kasara route on Thursday night.

The mishap took place after 11 bogeys of an EMU train from Kasara going to Kalyan derailed possibly due to landslide, Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal said in New Delhi.

The derailed EMU coaches blocked the adjacent track on which the Vidarbha Express, going from Mumbai to Gondia, came from the opposite direction and collided with EMU bogeys around 2130 hours, he said. The driver of the Vidarbha Express noticed the obstructions on the track and applied emergency brake and as a result two of its coaches S9 and S10 jumped off the line, causing the collision with the derailed coaches, he said.

A medical team has reached the accident site. Mittal said the Commissioner of Safety (Railways) would conduct an inquiry into the incident. Railway Minister Mukul Roy announced an exgratia of Rs five lakh for next of kin of the dead, Rs 1 lakh for seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for those who suffered simple injuries. Read More

Firefighters break into suspected Colorado shooter's apartment building

July 20 - Firefighters break through the window of an apartment in the building of a suspected gunman who killed at least 12 people and wounded many others when he opened fire on moviegoers at a showing of the new Batman film ''The Dark Knight Rises'' in Colorado.

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake FLORES REGION, INDONESIA - 20th July 2012

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck the FLORES REGION, INDONESIA at a depth of 33.5 km (20.8 miles), the quake hit at 18:14:53 UTC Friday 20th July 2012
The epicenter was 219 km (136 miles) WNW from DILI, East Timor
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Dozens of North Korean soldiers killed after turning on each other in fierce gun battle following removal of army chief

Dozens of North Korean soldiers are reported to have been killed in a fierce internal gun battle following the removal from office of army chief Ri Yong-Ho.

Bullets smashed into nearby buildings as government soldiers and personal guards of the popular military chief turned on each other in an unprecedented affray in the secretive Stalinist country.

Reports of the gun battle emerged in South Korea today as the North’s state television showed hundreds of uniformed soldiers literally dancing in the streets as they celebrated the elevation of Kim Jong-Un to the role of Supreme Leader and head of the nation’s military.

It has not been established whether Mr Ri was injured or killed in the gun battle, which has been totally ignored by state television.

Celebrations for Kim’s appointment as head of the military are the main focus of news from the capital, Pyongyang. Read More

David Ben Keyes as a 'person of interest': Signed 'death warrants' left at scene of three stabbings as police frantically search for serial killer

A desperate manhunt is underway in Los Angeles for a serial killer suspect who stabbed three homeless people and left typed and signed 'death warrants' at the scene, according to police.

The recent attacks occurred in Santa Monica, Hollywood and the city centre. Police have said the victims were a woman and two men in their 50s who survived the attacks.

All three people were stabbed in the back while they slept and police have named a David Ben Keyes as a 'person of interest' in the case and have launched a city wide appeal for information to find him.

The first incident occurred on July 4th when a 56-year-old homeless man was discovered bleeding with a large knife sticking out of his back near the intersection of 3rd and Main streets in Los Angeles.

The victim managed to crawl 100 yards to get help despite the weapon still being lodged between his shoulder blades. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake FLORES REGION, INDONESIA - 20th July 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the FLORES REGION, INDONESIA at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 17:44:57 UTC Friday 20th July 2012
The epicenter was 172 km (106.6 miles) Northwest of Kefamenanu, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN TURKEY - 20th July 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck EASTERN TURKEY at a depth of 2 km (1.2 miles), the quake hit at 16:20:17 UTC Friday 20th July 2012
The epicenter was 19 km (11.8 miles) North of Van, Turkey
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Dark Knight Rises massacre gunman who killed 12 in movie theater 'was reclusive drop-out PHD student, aged 24'

The man who the Dark Night screening shooting spree was a reclusive student who dropped out of his neuroscience PhD, it has been revealed.

James Holmes, 24, had been studying at the University of Colorado's medical campus in until June this year.

Neighbours at university housing in Denver described Holmes as a recluse who kept himself to himself.

One student said: 'No one knew him. No one.'

Holmes - who had been working towards his PhD for a year before dropping out in June - had one song blaring from his stereo in the hours before the massacre and left the music on repeat in his booby-trapped apartment as he departed to commit the massacre.

His shocked mother confirmed that he was behind the massacre, telling reporters 'you've got the right man.

Holmes kicked down a door to the packed theater in Aurora, dressed in black and wearing a gas mask and bullet-proof vest.

He threw a smoke grenade and waited for it to explode before opening fire with four guns - an assault rifle, a shotgun and two pistols - and firing randomly into the audience. Read More

Eurozone deal fails to ease concerns

Spain's financial woes have deepened despite eurozone finance ministers approving a deal to lend up to 100bn euros (£78bn) to bolster its banks.

The heavily-indebted Valencia region requested an undisclosed loan from a new rescue fund set up last Friday.

And the yield on Spanish 10-year bonds shot up a quarter percentage point to 7.28%, a rate regarded by analysts as unsustainable in the long run.

Meanwhile, Spain's Ibex stock index tumbled almost 6% .

The eurozone ministers agreed the loan in return for Spain restructuring and improving the governance and regulation of its banking sector.

But the exact size of the loan will probably only be disclosed in September, when Spain's government gets the results of an audit of its banks. Read More

Batman Paris premiere cancelled

The Paris premiere of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, has been cancelled following a shooting at a midnight screening in the US.

At least 12 people have been killed and dozens injured in the attack in Denver, Colorado on Thursday night.

Witnesses said a man wearing a gas mask opened fire as movie-goers watched the film.

In a statement film studio Warner Bros. said they were "deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident".

"We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time," the statement said.

As well as the cancellation of the red carpet premiere on the Champs-Elysees, the Hollywood Reporter reported that media interviews with the director, Christoper Nolan, and the film's cast have also been cancelled.

The Paris premiere was due to take place on Friday. Source

James Holmes Batman Premiere Killer: Suspect's Flat Booby-Trapped

The apartment of a man suspected of shooting dead 12 people during a midnight screening of the new Batman movie at a cinema in Denver is "booby-trapped", police have confirmed.

Emergency services are at the suspect's flat which contains explosives that appear to be "highly sophisticated", according to officers.

President Barack Obama called the killings "senseless, evil and beyond reason".

A gunman reportedly wearing a gas mask and body armour opened fire on filmgoers at the Century Aurora 16 Movie Theatre in a shopping centre in the suburb of Aurora.

Some reports said the attack happened after the trailers had just finished, while others claimed it took place 20-30 minutes into the start of the movie - The Dark Knight Rises.

Earlier, police had said at least 14 people were killed. Dozens of other people were injured in the tragedy.

Officers have said a suspect - named in US media reports as 24-year-old James Holmes - is in custody. He offered no resistance when he was detained, police said. Read More

Pussy Riot to remain in custody, Russia

A Russian court has ruled that three members of a punk band arrested after singing a protest song in Moscow's main Orthodox church will remain in custody.

The trio, part of a band called Pussy Riot, will now stay in pre-trial detention for a further six months, until 12 January 2013.

They are charged with hooliganism and could get seven years in prison.

The hearing is being held behind closed doors while supporters and opponents of Pussy Riot demonstrate outside.

Court spokeswoman Darya Lyakh said the next hearing in the trial would take place next week, on 23 July, when, according to Interfax, the court would name a date for the case to be heard.

The women were arrested in February after performing in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, shocking worshippers. Read More

5.6 Magnitude Earthquake FIJI REGION - 20th July 2012

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck the FIJI REGION at a depth of 612.6 km (380.7 miles), the quake hit at 14:03:12 UTC Friday 20th July 2012
The epicenter was 70 km (43 miles) Southwest of Ndoi Island, Fiji
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake GEORGIA (SAK'ART'VELO) - 20th July 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck GEORGIA (SAK'ART'VELO) at a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles), the quake hit at 13:51:11 UTC Friday 20th July 2012
The epicenter was 17 km (10 miles) Northeast of Java, Georgia
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Spain Bank Bailout Approved but Markets are not buying it as they continue to Sink

There has been a further deterioration in the euro debt crisis, with shares on both the Italian and Spanish markets falling sharply.

In Friday trading both market fell by as much as 3.5%.

The Spanish 10-year debt yield topped 7.22%, rising sharply after the 17-eurozone finance ministers approved a 100bn (£77.8bn) euro bank bailout deal.

The pound is now at a four-year high against the euro, which is bad for UK exporters but great for holidaymakers going to the Continent.

Meanwhile in southern Italy, prosecutors have opened a criminal probe into possible manipulation of Euribor, the benchmark euro-priced counterpart of scandal-hit Libor bank-to-bank lending rates.

And the misery caused by financial crisis could spark a "civil war" in the southern island of Sicily, according to the mayor of regional capital Palermo.

"Because of an explosive mix of despair felt by many families and the stranglehold of organised crime, a civil war could even break out," mayor Leoluca Orlando said.

"Sicily is the Greece of Italy," Mr Orlando, a member of the anti-corruption Italy of Values party and a staunch anti-Mafia champion, said. Read More

Denver Cinema Massacre: Baby among the Dead

A three-month-old baby is reportedly among those shot and at least 12 people are killed during a late-night screening of Batman.

A gunman reportedly wearing a gas mask and body armour has opened fire at a midnight showing of the new Batman film in Denver, killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens of others.

The trailers had just finished at the packed screening of The Dark Knight Rises when the attack happened at the Century Aurora 16 Movie Theatre in a mall in the suburb of Aurora, according to reports. Earlier, police had said at least 14 people were killed.

Police have said a suspect - named in US media reports as 24-year-old James Holmes - is in custody.

A six-year-old child is reportedly among the dead, while it is thought a three-month-old baby was injured.

Brenda Stuart, from 850 KOA Radio, told Sky News: "This started with a midnight showing of the new Dark Knight movie and the theatres were packed that were showing this movie.

"People inside tell us they thought it was part of the movie. They heard what they thought were firecrackers, loud bangs and all of a sudden they saw the bullets flying.

"Police officers are carting the injured to the hospital in their own cars, not waiting for the ambulances." Read More

Batman Premiere Paris cancelled due to the attack

Suzuki India workers riot, burn cars

Click To Kill: Online training for wannabe 'rebels'

The empire strikes hack: UK to fight cyber foes with their own weapon?

'It's all about Iran! Don't be duped by US & UK, "the great Humanitarians"

Spain clashes video: Violence erupts as million-plus protest in 80 cities

Spain protests: Over a million march against harsh austerity

CCTV: Narrow escape for driver as truck smashes scooter in China

Denver Batman shooting: Aerials of bomb disposal robot

Falcons attack postman in Texas

Tom Cruise at war with U.S. tabloids

Whooping cough cases approaching highest levels in half a century in U.S.

2012 might be a record year for whooping cough in the United States if midyear trends continue. Nearly 18,000 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so far this year - the highest rates in five years.

"That's more than twice as many as we had at the at the same time last year," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC. "We may need to go back to 1959 to find a year with as many cases reported by this time so far, " she said Thursday.

Pertussis is a highly contagious illness caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis. It easily spreads from person to person when people cough or sneeze. It starts out with symptoms very similar to a cold, but a week or two later, a violent cough develops. It's better known as whooping cough because of the "whooping" sound those infected make when they are violently coughing over and over again and try to inhale. Read More

Lightning strikes U.S. home Killing 2 People

(CNN) -- An elderly man and his granddaughter died after a bolt of lightning started a fire in a house in Louisville, Kentucky, on Thursday evening, officials said.

The lightning came from powerful storms that struck the area, causing auto accidents, flooding viaducts and stranding cars.

The 911 call from the people inside the house came in around 6:45 p.m., said Vince Luney, communications supervisor for EMA Metrosafe, a public safety agency. Amid a flurry of other emergency calls, firefighters were dispatched to the scene and arrived within minutes.

The elderly man was bedridden and his granddaughter was trying to get him out of the house, said Gregory Frederick, the Louisville fire chief. Read More

Batman Premiere Killer: 'Smoke, gunshots, blood' in cinema

U.S. clinic: Egypt ex-spy chief died of rare disease

(Reuters) - Egypt's former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman died from a rare disease affecting the heart and kidneys, according to the U.S. clinic where he was undergoing medical tests at the time.

Suleiman, who died at age 76 on Thursday, was fallen Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's last deputy and one of his most trusted advisers. He stepped briefly into the limelight when he was made vice president days before Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising last year.

"On Thursday, July 19, General Omar Suleiman ... passed away due to complications from amyloidosis, a disease that affects multiple organs including the heart and kidneys," the Cleveland Clinic said in a statement issued on Thursday night.

It said Suleiman had checked into the clinic on Monday and the disease was discovered after her underwent multiple tests. Read More

Thailand acts to prevent deadly virus

July 20 - Thailand health ministry raises awareness of hygiene practices in light of school closures due to an outbreak of hand, foot, and mouth disease. Sarah Charlton reports

Shafilea Ahmed murder trial: Father 'punched daughter'

The mother of Shafilea Ahmed has told a court she saw her husband attack their daughter on the night she disappeared.

Farzana Ahmed, 49, and her husband Iftikhar, 52, both deny murdering the 17-year-old at their Warrington home.

Describing the night of 11 September 2003, Mrs Ahmed told Chester Crown Court: "My husband was hitting Shafilea. He punched her twice".

Shafilea's body was found in Cumbria in February 2004.

'Done so much'
Questioned about her husband's behaviour on the night by Mukhtar Hussain QC, defending, Mrs Ahmed cried as she said she had "never seen him so angry".

She said Mr Ahmed had shouted at his daughter that they had "done so much for you and you're still messing around".

She added that she had tried to intervene but Mr Ahmed had "pushed me and also punched me".

"When I tried to stop him, he pushed me away. I said to him 'sit down, talk to her, what is the point of hitting her?'" Read More

Eurozone ministers approve bank bailout fro Spain

Eurozone finance ministers have approved a deal to lend up to 100bn euros (£78bn) to Spain so it can recapitalise its banks.

But the exact size of the loan will probably only be disclosed in September, when Spain's government gets the results of an audit of its banks.

Investors continue to worry about Spain's financial health, pushing its borrowing costs higher this week.

New data shows banks own 155.84bn euros of loans that might not be repaid.

The bank rescue plan, together with new austerity measures by Madrid, is aimed at avoiding a full-scale bailout of the Spanish government.

Eurozone ministers, taking part in a conference call, approved a memorandum of understanding with Spain. The aid will be fully disbursed by the end of 2013.

"We have formalised what we discussed in the past two Eurogroup meetings," Luxembourg's Finance Minister Luc Frieden said after the conference call.

"We have formally approved the memorandum that lays out the conditions under which Spain can be lent money for the recapitalisation of its banks. Read More

Syria crisis: Assad forces retake Midan and border crossing

• President Assad's forces have regained some control lost in the wake of Wednesday's assassination attack. The Free Syrian Army said it had withdrawn from the Midan area of Damascus, which the government said it now control. Syrian troops have also retaken a border crossing to Turkey where rebels were filmed tearing down a placard of Assad on Thursday.

• State TV announced that a fourth senior official has died after Wednesday's attack. Intelligence chief Hisham Bekhtyar, died from wounds, it said. Meanwhile, the funeral was held today for defence minister Dawoud Rajha.

• The UN's high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, has expressed grave concern, for those fleeing the violence in Syria. Thousands of Iraqis have been evacuated from Syria, and up to 30,000 Syrians have travelled to Lebanon in the last 48 hours.

• Syria has denied Russian suggestions that Assad is ready to stand down. The information ministry said the claim was "completely devoid of truth". Read More

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake JIANGSU, CHINA - 20th July 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck JIANGSU, CHINA at a depth of 13.9 km (8.6 miles), the quake hit at 12:11:52 UTC Friday 20th July 2012
The epicenter was 13 km (8 miles) ESE of Wangying, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake SALTA, ARGENTINA - 20th July 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck SALTA, ARGENTINA at a depth of 163.7 km (101.7 miles), the quake hit at 11:35:53 UTC Friday 20th July 2012
The epicenter was 67 km (41 miles) West of San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

'Assad To Quit' Claim Denied By Syria

Syrian President Bashar al Assad is ready to leave power in an "orderly way", the Russian ambassador to France has said.

The leader has accepted that he will have to leave power, Alexandre Orlov said on French radio.

Russia and Syria are allies, however the Syrian Information Ministry has dismissed the claims as 'baseless'.

Mr Orlov told the RFI network: "At the Geneva conference, there was a final communique that foresees a transition towards a more democratic system.

"This final communique was accepted by Assad. Assad nominated his representative to lead the negotiations with the opposition for this transition. That means he accepted to leave, but in an orderly way."

The claim came after Hizbollah's Al Manar television announced that Syrian intelligence chief Hisham Bekhtyar died of wounds following a bombing in Damascus on Wednesday.

The blast killed three other top security officials. Read More

Rebels Driven Out Of Key Damascus District

The Syrian army has launched an offensive against all rebel-controlled areas of Damascus.

Syrian rebels have already left the central Midan district after coming under heavy bombardment, opposition activists and rebel sources said.

The state broadcaster reported: "Our brave army forces have completely cleaned the area of the remaining mercenary terrorists."

Rebel commander Abu Omar insisted that the group's withdrawal was "tactical", and said they were still in the city.

A security source was reported as saying the counter-offensive would help to "guarantee the security of residents and allow them to return to their homes".

The assault comes after opposition fighters seized control of a number of Syria's key border crossings on Thursday after clashes with the army.

Rebels also attacked the main police station in the capital Damascus in another sign that the rebel movement is at its strongest since the 16-month uprising began. Read More

Jarod Barnett aged aged just NINE, falls to his death from ninth-floor bedroom window in suspected suicide

A nine-year-old boy fell to his death from his ninth-floor bedroom window in what police suspect was a suicide.

Jarod Barnett's body was found on Wednesday afternoon by neighbours, lying on a grass verge outside his apartment block in Detroit, Michigan.

According to police he had threatened suicide in the past and sources said he had recently been in trouble for shoplifting.

Michele McCray, a neighbour in the low-income Young Manor complex on Detroit's south side, raised the alarm at 5.30pm.

She told the Detroit Free Press: 'I heard a thump and then someone moaning 'I really didn't feel I should go over there.'

Instead she ran inside and called 911.

Police were the first to arrive on the scene, and declared Jarod dead.

Shockingly no ambulance was available to attend the scene, and his body had to be taken to the nearby Henry Ford Hospital in the back of a squad car.

Michigan State Representative Rashida Tlaib is outraged no ambulance could be spared, blaming city budget cuts that have left emergency services short on resources. Read More

Parents of one of missing Iowa girls have criminal pasts running meth-lab drug rings and have spent time in prison

New information has been uncovered about the criminal pasts of Misty and Daniel Morrissey, whose 10-year-old daughter Lyric Cook went missing along with her eight-year-old cousin Elizabeth Collins almost a week ago.

Court records from Black Hawk County, Iowa show that both parents have multiple drug convictions and Misty was sentenced to four years in federal prison for helping to run a methamphetamine drug ring.

Indeed, the couple have said that they have been questioned repeatedly by police investigating the disappearance of their daughter saying, 'You tell them the truth and they say, 'You're holding something back,' and you're not.'

The Evansdale couple have commented that the extensive nature of the police inquiry has made them feel like they were under investigation in the case of missing Lyric and Elizabeth.

'It made me feel like, 'Yeah, they're looking at me like a suspect,' said Morrissey to ABC News. Read More

Jennifer Jimenez Jailed for Life for the Murder of her six-year-old stepdaughter and the abuse of her stepson

A mother has been sentenced to life in prison with an additional 25 years on top after she was found guilty of the death of her six-year-old stepdaughter and the abuse of her stepson.

In September 2009, Jennifer Jimenez, 29, from Shawnee, Oklahoma, held Alexis Morris upside down by her ankles and slammed her head against the ground as she was crying and screaming.

In dramatic testimony, Jimenez's daughter, 12, described to the jury about the moment she walked in and witnessed the abuse.

Moments later, the six-year-old was found unconscious and not breathing.

She died later in hospital.

The extra 25 years was for abusing Alexis' brother Jordan. Read More

Bulgaria Suicide bus bomber who was carrying fake U.S. driving licence waited an hour for Israeli tourists to arrive

The suspected suicide bomber who killed himself and six others at Burgas airport waited an hour for his victims to arrive, Bulgarian authorities said last night.

Video surveillance footage showed the casually dressed bomber circling around a group of buses about to take Israeli tourists to a nearby resort before the attack.

DNA is now being examined after the U.S. driving licence the bomber was carrying turned out to be fake.

Israel has now accused Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants of being behind the attack at Burgas airport on the country's Black Sea coast.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said: 'The attack in Bulgaria was perpetrated by Hezbollah, Iran's leading terrorist proxy.'

No group has admitted responsibility for the attack so far, but Israel has said Iran is behind as series of attacks on its citizens in recent months.

Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov told reporters the bomber had looked like anyone else - 'a normal person with Bermuda shorts and a backpack'.

The bomber was said to be 36 years old and had been in the country for between four and seven days before the attack. Read More

Pedobear Lookalike Used in Nestle Advert

Nestle quickly pulled an image it posted to its Kit Kat Tumblr page due to its uncanny resemblance to a notorious internet meme.

The massive food company announced on its Facebook page earlier Thursday, saying: ‘Drum roll please… Kit Kat is now on Instagram.’

It showed a man in a bear costume using two giant Kit Kat bars as drumsticks. But the bear had an uncanny resemblance to Pedobear – a notorious meme that is used to symbolise pedophilia. Read More