Saturday, August 4, 2012

UFO Expedition Camps World's Oldest Lake (Lake Belial)

Intruders release rare animals from Tasmania zoo, owner says



CNN) -- Dozens of animals, some of them rare, remained missing from Tasmania's only accredited zoo Saturday, two days after someone released the creatures into the wild, the zoo's co-owner said.


The intruder or intruders also killed about a dozen birds, including a Tasmanian swift parrot, said Rochelle Penney, who co-owns Tasmania Zoo with her father, Richard Warren.
The Australian government lists the bird as endangered.

Fewer than 1,000 of the birds remain in the wild, according to the Australian Parks and Wildlife Service. The death will affect the zoo's work to increase the bird's numbers, Penney said.

"It's very upsetting," she said.

The incident happened Thursday night. Warren found an enclosure door open when he arrived at work the next morning, Penney said.

"Then it went from there door after door," Penney said.

The entrances of about 30 enclosures had been flung open, she said.

The zoo sprang in to action to limit the damage. Read More

Suicide bomber kills 18 in southern Yemen village

(Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed at least 18 tribal fighters when he blew himself up in the midst of a funeral in a village in Yemen's southern province of Abyan on Saturday, officials and residents said.

The bomber targeted tribesmen who sided with the Yemeni army during an offensive against Islamist militants that the government hailed as a major victory in June. Source

Oklahoma crews battle expanding wildfires in torrid conditions

(Reuters) - Fire crews toiled in triple-digit heat around drought-stricken Oklahoma on Saturday to contain at least 15 blazes that have destroyed more than 120 structures and left a small town smoldering.

Authorities said they were investigating whether the fire that devastated the town of Luther was deliberately set.

Governor Mary Fallin on Saturday toured Luther, where 56 structures were destroyed, and described it as "total devastation." She said she had met with families who had little time to save anything but photos and pets.

"A lot of people were at work and didn't realize how quickly the fire was moving," Fallin told Reuters in a telephone interview. "It's emotional. For the children, it's very emotional to lose their possessions."

Luther, which has about 600 residents, is about 25 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. The fire, fanned by southerly winds that pushed it across a highway into town, left Luther town without electricity or water.

The Oklahoma County sheriff's department said it was investigating the cause of the blaze after receiving a 911 call from a man who reported seeing another man toss a lighted newspaper from a pickup truck window on Friday afternoon. Read More

German politicians concerned about bigger role for ESM

(Reuters) - Politicians in Germany's ruling centre-right coalition have expressed renewed concerns about an increased role for the euro zone's permanent bailout fund, which is at the centre of a court case after the German parliament approved it in basic form.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told Germany's weekly Focus magazine he was opposed both to broadening the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the euro zone's permanent bailout mechanism, and to stepping up purchases of European sovereign bonds.

"I can't imagine the Bundestag lower house of parliament would give a majority to a policy of unlimited joint liability for Germany. As an MP I certainly couldn't agree to that," he said in an advance copy of the article due to appear on Sunday.

The European Central Bank indicated on Thursday it may again start buying government bonds to reduce crippling Spanish and Italian borrowing costs, but any move would not come before September - and only if governments activated the euro zone's bail-out funds to join the ECB in buying bonds. Read More

'Russia sends military warning to US on Syria'

Sea Turtles recover from oil spill

Al Jazeera's correspondent reports from Syria's Aleppo

UK cannot stop Assange flight to Ecuador

'West turned Assad into Gaddafi-like bogeyman'

Selective Unemployment: US slows immigration to save American jobs

'US created the monster of China'

Thousands of Israelis turn up for anti-govt demo

NASA robot Curiosity to land on Mars

CDC issues fair warning about New Strain of pig flu

ATLANTA (AP) -- It's the season for state and county fairs, and health officials are reminding fairgoers to be careful around pigs because of a new flu spreading from the animals to people.

Officials say 29 human cases of the new strain of swine flu have been confirmed in the U.S. in the last year, most of them children.

Ten of the 12 cases confirmed this week were linked to the Butler County Fair in southwest Ohio, which ended last weekend.

Pigs get the flu, too, and can spread it to people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking sporadic cases since last year, when the new strain was first seen in people. A concern: the new strain has a gene from the 2009 pandemic strain that might let it spread more easily than pig viruses normally do.

So far, that seems to be the case for pigs to people, but it hasn't been spreading easily from person to person - which is the greater concern. Read More

Iran 'successfully' fires missile capable of hitting targets 185 miles away

(CNN) -- Iran has "successfully" test fired its newest version of the Fateh-110 missile, state media reported Saturday, touting the accomplishment despite international concerns about Tehran's growing military capabilities.

Footage from state-run Press TV showed a missile on a rocket launcher in a desert area being fired into the air, before seemingly falling somewhere over the horizon. Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said that the test launch of the missile -- a "fourth generation" of the Fateh-110 -- was a success, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

"Iran is among few ... countries capable of producing such missiles," the minister said in the IRNA report.

The latest Fateh-110 version -- which was tested two years after Iran successfully tested the previous model -- is capable of traveling 300 kilometers (185 miles) and "can target spots without any diversion," IRNA reported. The defense ministry plans to have all home-made missiles with "this new capability," said Vahidi. Read More

10 Teachers Die of Food Poisoning, Others Hospitalised in Katsina‎, Nigeria

TEN secondary school teachers at the weekend died of food poisoning, and several others hospitalised in Katsina.

Investigations by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) showed that the incident occurred at a workshop organised by the state Ministry of Education for some 650 teachers at Government Day Secondary School (GDSS), Kofar Yan'daka, Katsina. It was gathered that soon after taking their lunch, supplied by a popular corporate caterer on the fateful day, some of the teachers were vomiting and afflicted by diarrhoea, as a result of which they were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Katsina and the Police Clinic for medication.

Ten of the affected teachers were said to have died as a result of the infection. When contacted, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Alhaji Khalil Musa, said: "I cannot comment on the issue now, because it is yet to be reported to the state government. I don't want to pre-empt the government on the issue."

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Abubakar Ibrahim, who confirmed the incident, said that only one teacher died, while 19 others were hospitalised.

He said that 12 of the affected teachers had already been discharged from the hospitals, while seven others were still on admission at the Federal Medical Centre and Katsina Police Clinic. Read More

Locusts Plague invade farms in Turkana‎, Kenya

Agro-pastoralists farmers in Loima District in Turkana County have suffered huge losses on their farms from massive locust invasion in the region.

The farmers at Kang’ilita Irrigation Schemes in Loima district have decried the invasion as a major setback to their economic sustainability despite their recent devoted engagements into farming.

They said raised fear of low crop yields in the coming harvesting season as a result of the unprecedented invasion.

Ms Pauline Nakali, a farmer, said that her farm has been extensively damaged by the locust pest and could hardly think of ways to regain the loss.

“We are experiencing big loss of crops to locust invasion and that we expect low yield this season since our farms have been destroyed by the pest,” Ms Nakali said.

She appealed to the government and donor partners to intervene and salvage the situation before it goes out of hand.

But the Rift Valley Director of Agriculture Leonard Nyambuya told farmers that the Ministry of Agriculture and the development partner Food Agriculture Organizations (FAO) would send experts to tackle the pest.

Mr Nyambuya said the ministry and the donor partner will provide insecticide to fight the pest.

He said experts from the directorate of crop and pest in the ministry will supply appropriate chemicals and insecticides to get rid of the pests. Read More

Heavy rains create havoc in U'Khand, Chardham Yatra suspended‎, India

Dehra Dun, Aug 4 :Three jawans of fire services were among six persons killed as torrential rains continued to pound Uttarakhand today triggering landslides and flash floods which flattened homes and stranded hundreds of pilgrims with the Chardham Yatra coming to a grinding halt.

The Garhwal region bore the brunt of nature’s fury with the government sounding a high alert in the state after the met department’s warning of very heavy rains.

Two children were killed in a house collapse at Kararnprayag area of Chamoli district early today, said sources in the Disaster Management and Mitigation Centre (DMMC) here.

Another child was washed away in the flash floods at Pokhri area of the district where landslides continue to hit blocking highways leading to Badrinath. Hundreds of Badrinath pilgrims were stranded at various places at Patalganga, Lambagar and Birahi due to fresh landslips.

In Uttarkashi district, flash floods hit several low lying areas creating havoc in the district.

At least three jawans of the fire brigade department were killed at Gangori area even as Chardham yatra to Gangotri and Yamunotri remained suspended for the second day today. In Gangori area of Uttarkashi, Bhagirathi is flowing above the danger level with people being evacuated to safer areas.

Nearly 30 homes were washed away in the floods with the Gangori bridge also collapsing. Read More

Santa Fe River flash flood: Storms cause flooding, power outage‎, Santa Fe, New Mexico



Public Service Company of New Mexico said nearly 3,000 customers on Santa Fe’s south side were without electric power for more than two hours Friday evening after lightning struck the local power grid.


Spokesman Frederick Bermudez said he couldn’t pinpoint where the lightning hit but said it knocked out power from 5:35 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. to 2,916 homes, businesses and institutions in an area bounded by St. Michael’s Drive on the north, Old Galisteo Road on the south, Old Pecos Trail on the east and Entrada de Santiago on the west.

Much of Santa Fe was pounded by heavy rain with lightning and sudden high winds late Friday afternoon, suddenly swelling the Santa Fe River and other areas with swift flows of storm water.

A driver on St. Michael’s Drive reported seeing thin funnel cloud on the horizon at about 5:45 p.m. “It was probably a dust devil, but we’ve been seeing that a lot this year,” said Brian Guyer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque. “We’ve had some strong winds in Santa Fe today.” Read More

10 people test positive for cholera in Nepali capital‎

KATHMANDU, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 people admitted to the Sukraraj Tropical and Disease Control Hospital in Nepali capital Kathmandu have tested positive for cholera. The hospital laboratory said Vibrio Cholera belonging to 01 Ogawa stereotype was detected in all the patients.

Doctors at hospital attributed the spread of cholera and diarrhea infection in Kathmandu to contaminated water, according to Saturday's Republica daily.

"Most of the patients who came to the hospital said that they had drunk water supplied by Kathmandu Upatyaka Kahanepani Limited without boiling or treatment," Tulsha Adhikari, a nursing staff said. She said whole families had been infected and some were brought to the hospital by their neighbors as all family members were sick. Source

Hundreds of families evacuated in Kullu as flash flood strikes Beas tributary, India

MANALI: Hundreds of people residing near Beas river have been evacuated to safe places after flash flood caused by torrential rain over Dhundi peaks at south portal of Rohtang tunnel flooded the Seri rivulet, a tributary to Beas river, on Friday at 8pm.

People living close to river between Palchan and Kullu are being evacuated and traffic on national highway has been stopped. Till last report received from Palchan (near Dhundi) at 10.30pm, level of the river was rising continuously and police were evacuating the people from Bahang village, 6km from Manali. According to police, there is no report of any casualty.

Sandeep Kumar, a resident of Bahang village, said people are trying to save the household accessories amid chaotic atmosphere and conditions have become even worse after power failure. "Everything was normal till late evening but the situation changed suddenly after 8pm when river water, mixed with sludge, started engulfing its banks. People are risking their lives to remove the household stuffs," he said. Read More

Jellyfish swarms in danger of clogging Ise thermal power plants, Japan

Large numbers of jellyfish have been swarming near nine thermal power plants on Ise Bay. Chubu Electric Power Co. estimates that there are close to 24,000 tons of the sea creatures swimming around the area, twice the usual level and the second-most recorded in the past decade.

Measures are being taken to ensure the jellyfish don't clog the power plants' water intakes and disrupt their operations.

Chubu Electric launched a research project in 1999 to predict the number of jellyfish in Ise Bay. They discovered that most jellyfish larvae transform into polyps in three major areas: near the port of Nagoya; along the coast of the Chita Peninsula from Tokoname to Morozaki, Minamichita, in Aichi Prefecture; and along the coast of the Shima Peninsula from Matsusaka to Toba in Mie Prefecture.

Every winter, the research group collects samples of polyps and compares them with past results to predict how many larvae will develop into adult jellyfish in the following year. Last winter's findings indicated the number this year would be 1.5 to 1.8 times higher than usual.

"We don't know the reason why the number is so high this year, but we need to monitor the situation closely," said Minoru Hamada, 46, an assistant project manager in Chubu Electric's technology development department.

If jellyfish block the water intake, a power plant can't draw enough water from the sea to cool the steam used to turn the turbine, and the plant has to reduce its electricity output. Read More

Tia Sharp Missing: Last seen leaving her grandmother's house in south east London at lunchtime on Friday

Police are appealing for the public's help in tracing a 12-year-old girl who went missing in south London on Friday afternoon.

Tia Sharp was last seen leaving her grandmother's home in New Addington at around midday.

She said that she was going to the Whitgift Centre in Croydon town centre. Tia has not been seen since.

The child is described as white, slim build, 4ft 5in tall and wears glasses.

When she was last seen, she had a yellow bandeau top on over a white bra with visible cross straps, light grey leopard skinned leggings and black and pink Nike high top trainers, police said.

They added: " It is totally out of character for Tia to go missing. We believe she had a small amount of cash with her but no Zip card (Oyster) and she did not have her mobile phone. Tia is known to frequent the Croydon, Mitcham and Wimbledon areas."

Anyone who has seen Tia or knows of her whereabouts should call Merton Police on phone number 101, quoting reference 12MIS025216. Read More

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake BANDA SEA - 4th August 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the BANDA SEA at a depth of 410.2 km (259.9 miles), the quake hit at 19:31:34 UTC Saturday 4th August 2012
The epicenter was 237 km (147 miles) Northeast of Dili, East Timor
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake MENDOZA, ARGENTINA - 4th August 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck MENDOZA, ARGENTINA at a depth of 101 km (62.2 miles), the quake hit at 19:05:36 UTC Saturday 4th August 2012
The epicenter was 68 km (42 miles) Southwest of Zonda, Argentina
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Syrian Rebels Don't use Kids in Syrian War........

(Reuters) - Syrian artillery, planes and a helicopter gunship pounded rebel positions in Aleppo on Saturday, witnesses said, as President Bashar al-Assad's forces tried to break through the insurgents' frontline in Syria's largest city.

Syrian forces clashed with rebels around Aleppo's television and radio station, activists said, and a local rebel commander said his fighters were preparing for a "strong offensive" by government forces on the city.

In the capital Damascus, troops backed by armor stormed the last opposition bastion on Friday in a drive to crush a rebel offensive that coincided with a bombing that killed four of Assad's senior security officials. The onslaught continued on Saturday as jets bombarded the city, a resident said. Read More


West Nile virus on the rise in the U.S., health officials say



(CNN) -- The United States is experiencing its biggest spike in West Nile virus since 2004, with 241 cases of the disease reported nationwide this year so far, including four deaths, health officials said.


Of the 42 states that have reported infections in people, birds or mosquitoes, 80% of them have been in Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma, the CDC said in a statement. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also listed a breakdown of infections by state.

"It is not clear why we are seeing more activity than in recent years," said Marc Fischer, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC. "Regardless of the reasons for the increase, people should be aware of the West Nile virus activity in their area and take action to protect themselves and their family."

The virus is transmitted through infected mosquitoes. Read More

Syrian Rebels try to seize TV station

Nuclear Facility In US which was Breached by 3 Pensioners is guarded by a subsidiary of G4S called WSI Oak Ridge

There were more red faces at G4S after the UK-run security firm heavily criticised for its London 2012 preparations allowed three anti-nuclear protesters – including an 82-year-old nun – to breach a facility in the US used for storing enriched uranium.

The incursion – slammed as “outrageous” by one congressional investigator – was made at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, according to The Independent.

The paper reports that the complex is guarded by a subsidiary of G4S called WSI Oak Ridge.

But its ability to safeguard the highly sensitive group of buildings was left in grave doubt after anti-nuclear activists named as Megan Rice, 82, Michael Wallis, 63 and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57 - from Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance - spent two hours inside the grounds, even reaching the outer door of the uranium enrichment storage house.

"It is unbelievable this could happen," Peter Stockton, a former congressional investigator and security consultant to the federal government told The Independent. Read More

Clinton warns Kenya on cost of election unrest

* More than 1,200 killed in bloody 2007 vote

* Kenyan president, prime minister were main rivals then

* Clinton says violence cost Kenyan economy about $1 bln

* Kenyan judiciary revamped to mediate poll disputes

By Andrew Quinn

NAIROBI, Aug 4 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Kenya on Saturday to hold free and fair elections and be a role model for Africa, underlining the need to avoid the bloodshed and economic loss suffered during the last vote five years ago.

The general election next March will be the first since a disputed poll in 2007 that set off a politically based ethnic slaughter in which more than 1,200 people were killed.

"We urge that the nation come together and prepare for elections which will be a real model for the entire world," Clinton told reporters in Nairobi.

She met President Mwai Kibaki, who is barred by law from seeking a third term, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who leads in opinion polls in the race to replace him.

The two were the main rivals in the disputed presidential poll, when then opposition leader Odinga accused Kibaki of stealing the vote. Read More