Friday, August 17, 2012

New Crop Circle 15th Aug 2012 at Wappenbury, Nr Royal Leamington Spa. Warwickshire, UK

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake TAIWAN - 17th August 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck TAIWAN at a depth of 22.2 km (13.8 miles), the quake hit at 20:20:01 UTC Friday 17th August 2012
The epicenter was 73 km (45 miles) South of Hualian, Taiwan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Belgium shuts two nuclear reactors amid safety concerns

Belgium’s nuclear regulator has questioned the safety of the Electrabel-operated Doel 3 reactor due to cracks in the pressure vessels that have already forced the shutdown of a similar unit at the Tihange nuclear plant.

Belgium has halted the 1,006-megawatt Doel 3 reactor until at least the end of August after the discovery of suspected cracks in the pressure vessel. But it is possible that the reactor could be shut down for good.

Willy De Roovere, who heads the FANC regulator agency, said it was always hard for a company to meet a requirement to prove a nuclear plant is safe.

He told a news conference that Electrabel, the Belgian unit of France’s GDF Suez, would have to show that "in a period of the remaining lifetime there is no single risk, there is no risk at all that cracks can go [on to produce leaks]."

A spokeswoman for Electrabel said, as quoted by Reuters: "Is it safe or not to continue the production of Doel 3? That's what we will have to prove to the FANC."

The vessel in question was built by now-defunct Dutch company Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij, which also constructed the pressure vessel for another Belgian unit, Tihange 2, as well as parts for nuclear plants throughout Europe and in the Americas.

The Belgian agency BELGA reported that Tihange 2 was halted yesterday, as it has the same pressure vessel as Doel. Read More

'Real Arab Spring in Bahrain which West ignores'

'Free Pussy Riot' protest around the world

RT.com hit by DDoS attack, AntiLeaks claims responsibility

The RT.com website went down for hours worldwide on Friday after a massive DDoS attack, with the hacker group calling itself AntiLeaks claiming responsibility

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake OAXACA, MEXICO - 17th August 2012

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck OAXACA, MEXICO at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 19:19:30 UTC Friday 17th August 2012
The epicenter was 76 km (47 miles) ENE from Tlacolula, Oaxaca, Mexico
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

DARPA's Soft Robot: Now You See It, Now You Don't

'US gives Israel green light for crimes'

Wildfires, Heat Threaten Southwest France

French authorities are fighting wildfires, keeping an eye on isolated elderly populations and advising people to drink fluids as temperatures soar in the country.

Heat wave warnings were issued for a swath of central and southern France, from Burgundy to the Pyrenees. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 40 C (104 F) in some areas.

The government is determined to avoid a repeat of the summer of 2003, when about 15,000 people died during a heat wave.

Wildfires raged around Lacanau in the southwest on Thursday. Patrick Stefanini, prefect for the Aquitaine region, said in remarks shown on French television that they were brought under control Friday morning. Read More

Texas will spray for West Nile virus despite fears of insecticide risks

Aerial spraying to combat the West Nile virus will continue tonight across north Texas despite the concerns of residents worried about potential health risks posed by the insecticide.

Dallas is the center of the worst West Nile outbreak in the US this year, which prompted local officials to declare a state of emergency on Wednesday and dispatch two airplanes to spray the city and surrounding areas last night.

The planes left Dallas' Executive Airport as planned at 10pm last night but were only able to spray about 52,000 acres, just over half their target, because of rain.

"We'll look at our weather patterns tonight and see if we can add to the remaining block. We have two planes coming in today. If we have good weather, we can get 124,000 acres every three-and-a-half hours with two planes, so four planes would give us right at a quarter of a million acres. So, weather permitting, we'll try to get that," Dallas County judge Clay Jenkins told WFAA.com.

The area could be sprayed again in the coming days once the effectiveness of this week's efforts to reduce the mosquito population have been assessed. Read More

Firebomb thrown into taxi wounds 6 Palestinians

JERUSALEM (AP) — Six Palestinians have been wounded in a suspected firebomb attack by Jewish extremists in the West Bank, The Israeli military said.

The six were traveling in a taxi Thursday night when the firebomb was allegedly thrown into the car. The military suspects Jewish extremists to be behind the attack.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the firebombing, saying Israel "will do everything to catch those responsible and bring them to justice."

Extremist Israeli settlers often attack Palestinians and their property as part of a campaign they call the "price tag," which is meant to retaliate for either army action against settlers or Palestinian attacks. Several more firebombs were hurled earlier Thursday toward settler vehicles in the West Bank.

The Israeli military says it is still searching for the culprits. Read More

No place for Israel in Middle East, says Iran's Ahmadinejad

DUBAI- Many thousands of Iranians shouted “Death to America, death to Israel” during state-organized protests on Friday and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told them there was no place for the Jewish state in a future Middle East.

Iran, penalized by tough Western sanctions, faces the threat of an Israeli or U.S. military strike on its disputed nuclear facilities. With popular uprisings reshaping the region, the Islamic Republic is also trying to prevent the overthrow of its closest Arab ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“You want a new Middle East? We do too, but in the new Middle East ... there will be no trace of the American presence and the Zionists,” Ahmadinejad told worshippers at Tehran University in an event broadcast live on state television.

The Iranian leader, whose own authority is under challenge from hardliners as well as reformers, was restating Tehran’s familiar goals as the Middle East undergoes a very different upheaval from the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed Shah and brought Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to power.

“Saving the existence of the Zionist regime (Israel) is a joint commitment by most arrogant Western governments,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech to mark the annual Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day decreed by Khomeini and held on the last Friday of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan. Read More

US warns nationals of risk of attacks in Lebanon

BEIRUT — The United States warned Friday that its nationals face increased threats in Lebanon, where security fears have mounted after a spate of mass kidnappings linked to the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

The US statement came after several countries in the oil-rich Gulf ordered their nationals to leave Lebanon because of threats against them, particularly Saudis and Qataris whose governments back the rebellion in Syria.

"The US embassy has received reports of an increased possibility of attacks against US citizens in Lebanon," the embassy said in a statement.

"Possible threats include kidnapping, the potential for an upsurge in violence, the escalation of family or neighbourhood disputes, as well as US citizens being the target of terrorist attacks in Lebanon."

The embassy also announced the suspension of the State Department's flagship Fulbright and English Language Fellow programmes in Lebanon, cutting short research projects and teaching grants for US university students and educators in Lebanon.

"Embassy personnel remain under strict travel restrictions, and all US citizens are urged to take additional security precautions," it said. Read More

Death toll from E-Coli O157 bacteria poisoning rises to 6, Japan

SAPPORO -- The E. coli O157 food poisoning outbreak in Hokkaido has claimed the lives of three elderly women, raising the death toll from the dangerous bacteria poisoning to six, local health officials said Aug. 16.

The Hokkaido Prefectural Government and the City of Sapporo said that two women in their 90s within the jurisdiction of the Ebetsu health center as well as a Sapporo woman in her 80s died.

The Sapporo government said the death of a 4-year-old girl on Aug. 11 was due to E. coli 0157 infection, and DNA tests matched the bacteria to that discovered in pickled Chinese cabbage, found to be the source of the mass food poisoning. The pickles were produced by Iwai Shokuhin, a food company in Sapporo's Nishi Ward.

The Ebetsu health center said the two women in their 90s were residents of the same facility for the elderly and consumed the cabbage at breakfast on Aug. 1. The woman in Sapporo also lived in a home for the elderly, where she ate the cabbage on Aug. 1.

The 4-year-old girl's grandfather, 63, told the Mainichi Shimbun and other news organizations on Aug. 16 that she lived with her parents and her 6-year-old brother and often ate pickled vegetables.

She fell ill in the evening of Aug. 5 and was taken to a nearby hospital the following day, her grandfather said, adding that she was then taken to another hospital on Aug. 7, where she was diagnosed as having no toxic bacteria. Read More

Wastewater leaked at Oi nuclear plant, safety agency says no danger

TSURUGA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Around two tons of alkaline wastewater leaked Thursday evening from the seawater desalination system at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and the utility said Friday.

The water leak at the plant's Nos. 3 and 4 reactors has already stopped and has not affected the safety of the reactors and the surrounding environment, they said.

It is believed that the wastewater accumulated in a drainage tank and spilled out as its outflow into the sea was interrupted due to a malfunction in the measuring gauge of the tank, according to them.

The two reactors were restarted last month despite lingering public concerns over the nuclear safety in the wake of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi complex. Source

Greece avoids default ............... for now

EW YORK (CNNMoney) -- It looks like Greece will be able to make its latest bond payment next week, thanks to some creative financing.

The Greek government sold over €4 billion worth of three month bills on Tuesday, which analysts say will be used to repay €3.2 billion in bonds held by the European Central Bank that mature on August 20.

Greek banks were the main buyers at Tuesday's auction, because most outside investors are still unwilling to lend money to Athens.

However, since the ECB decided in July to stop accepting Greek government bonds as collateral, Greek banks have been dependent on the Greek central bank for emergency liquidity. The banks are widely believed to have used central bank money to buy the bills. Read More

Lebanon fearful of Syria contagion

Pussy Riot members sentenced to two years

Aug. 17 - A Russian judge sentences three women from the punk band Pussy Riot to two years in jail for staging an anti-Kremlin protest in an Orthodox church. Deborah Lutterbeck reports

Securing Syria chemical weapons Discussed by America and its allies

(Reuters) - The United States and its allies are discussing a worst-case scenario that could require tens of thousands of ground troops to go into Syria to secure chemical and biological weapons sites following the fall of President Bashar al-Assad's government, according to U.S. and diplomatic officials.

These secret discussions assume that all of Assad's security forces disintegrate, leaving chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria vulnerable to pillaging. The scenario also assumes these sites could not be secured or destroyed solely through aerial bombings, given health and environmental risks.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to explain the sensitive discussions, said the United States still had no plans to put boots on the ground in Syria. President Barack Obama's administration has, in fact, so far refused to provide lethal support to the rebels fighting to oust Assad's regime and the Pentagon has played down the possibility of implementing a no-fly zone anytime soon. Read More

U.S. faces stiff opposition to oil release plans

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama faced stiff resistance to the possibility of releasing emergency oil reserves to damp down prices on Friday, with key Asian allies and the head of the West's energy agency saying there was no cause for action.

A day after Reuters reported that the White House was "dusting off" plans for potentially tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the executive director of the International Energy Agency, Maria van der Hoeven, was blunt in her assessment: "There is no reason for a release."

The IEA "bases our actions on data and reality. The market is sufficiently supplied," she told reporters after a speech in Houston. She said she had not discussed a potential release with members of the Paris-based IEA, which is charged with coordinating use of the world's government-held stocks.

Key members of the IEA offered varied views, reflecting a divide between those who have tended to favor a more liberal use of the world's government-held stocks as a means to influence prices, and aid economic growth, and those who believe they should be strictly reserved for supply emergencies. Read More

South Africa "Hill of Horror": self-defense or massacre?

(Reuters) - In a loping, crouching run, striking South African miners advance towards a line of police in helmets and flak-jackets who are pointing automatic rifles at them. The police open fire.

In less than a minute, the men, some of whom police say conducted witchcraft rituals they believed would protect them from bullets, crumple and fall in a hail of gunfire that kicks up clouds of yellow dust.

Television footage starkly captures the moment of the police shootings at a dusty platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg on Thursday that killed at least 34 protesting workers and tore a gash in the soul of post-apartheid South Africa.

The sight of protesters falling dead before guns fired by government security forces strikes a jarringly painful chord in a nation ruled by Africa's oldest liberation movement, the African National Congress.

Its proud anti-apartheid image has long been nurtured by memories of fallen martyrs and massacres committed by police and troops under white-minority rule that ended 18 years ago. Read More

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake FLORES REGION, INDONESIA - 17th August 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck FLORES REGION, INDONESIA at a depth of 158 km (97.9 miles), the quake hit at 16:30:11 UTC Friday 17th August 2012
The epicenter was 84 km (52 miles) West of Ruteng, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake BOUGAINVILLE REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 11th August 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck BOUGAINVILLE REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA at a depth of 54.5 km (33.9 miles), the quake hit at 16:09:33 UTC Friday 17th August 2012
The epicenter was 128 km (78 miles) WSW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake ICELAND REGION - 17th August 2012

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck the ICELAND REGION at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 15:48:05 UTC Friday 17th August 2012
The epicenter was 87 km (53.9 miles) South of Grindavík, Iceland
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Migratory birds facing drought, fires, and food shortage



With summer winding down, millions of migratory birds are on the move. But his year, things are a bit different, especially for tiny hummingbirds. Drought and climate change have shifted the landscape dramatically.

Some hummingbird species fly 2,000 miles during migration. And with a heart rate of up to 1,200 beats per minutes, they often need to eat five times their body weight, every day.

This year's migration is complicated by the lack of natural wildflowers, which have been hit hard by drought and forest fires.

So birds that are looking about for their usual food sources are heading elsewhere. Large numbers of birds are swarming feeding stations set up in gardens and backyards in drought areas out West.

It is standing room only at many feeders -- and that has hummingbird fans buzzing.

"I'm speechless, really," said one woman who has set up feeders for the hummingbirds, "to just sit here and be so close that I can see them." more

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 17th August 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN at a depth of 57.6 km (35.8 miles), the quake hit at 15:43:21 UTC Friday 17th August 2012
The epicenter was 83 km (51 miles) ESE of Hasaki, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Syrian rebel commander warns the West: Give us more help or we will side with Al Qaeda......As if they haven't sided yet

A Syrian rebel commander has issued a chilling warning to Western leaders - either help us topple Bashar Assad, or we will forge an alliance with Al Qaeda.

Abu Ammar, who is currently fighting troops loyal to Bashar Assad in the flashpoint northern city of Aleppo, warned that his forces are struggling to cope.

He said: 'We don't want Al-Qaeda here, but if nobody else helps us, we will make an alliance with them.

'And you can bet if Al-Qaeda comes here, they will brainwash the people.
'If Al-Qaeda enters Aleppo, the city will become their base within three months.' Read More

Hubble spots dual clusters of massive stars on a collision course

Astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have spotted two clusters of massive stars that may be in the early stages of merging.

The clusters are 170,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy to our Milky Way.

What at first was thought to be only one cluster in the core of the massive star-forming region 30 Doradus (also known as the Tarantula Nebula) has been found to be a composite of two clusters that differ in age by about one million years.

The entire 30 Doradus complex has been an active star-forming region for 25 million years, and it is currently unknown how much longer this region can continue creating new stars.

Smaller systems that merge into larger ones could help to explain the origin of some of the largest known star clusters.

Elena Sabbi of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore and her team began looking at the area while searching for runaway stars, fast-moving stars that have been ejected from their stellar nurseries where they first formed. Read More

Gitmo prisoners rewarded with kittens?

What’s fluffy, has four paws and just might be the latest tool in the war against terror? A kitten!

We’ve heard of prisoners who cooperate with authorities being rewarded with cigarettes, better food, perhaps an upgrade in digs. But in Guantanamo Bay, we’re told that the military brass have added pet cats to the list of perks accorded particularly helpful detainees.

At least that’s what one detainee’s attorney thinks. Carlos Warner, a lawyer representing Muhammed Rahim, an Afghan who was a translator for Osama bin Laden, gave the Loop a brief letter from his client. That note, which was just declassified, consisted of one line: “Dear Mr. Warner — Majid Khan has a cat.”

Khan, an alleged member of Al Qaeda who has agreed to testify against one of the chief planners of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is considered a “high-value”detainee and was held by the CIA in a secret prison for several years before his transfer to Guantanamo.

Warner says the cat-as-reward is just an example of problems plaguing the system used to prosecute detainees, complaining that the military has shut down talks with detainees’ representatives. “I promise that the solution is not providing kittens to those who cooperate,” he told us. “The solution requires an open dialogue with those of us who have close relationships with the detained.”

Khan’s attorney, Wells Dixon, said he could not confirm or deny anything about his client’s conditions in confinement — including whether or not he had a pet cat. And, not surprisingly, a Defense Department spokesman for the facility similarly couldn’t tell the Loop much. “It could be true,” he said. “But it might not. I just can’t confirm or deny.” more



Swedish police red-faced after 'nation's most dangerous serial killer' revealed as a compulsive liar who made up confessions to 30 murders

Swedish police have come under fire after revelations that the nation’s most dangerous serial killer is a compulsive liar who made up confessions to 30 murders.

Seen as exceptional crime solvers thanks to the fictional Swedish detective Inspector Wallander, Swedish police have been left red-faced after a book about notorious serial killer Thomas Quick claims he simply made up his confessions and police took his word.

Quick was jailed in 1990 for armed robbery and during his compulsory psychotherapy sessions he confessed to murders in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. He has been convicted of eight murders between 1976 and 1885 and confessed to another 25.

Investigative journalist and author Hannes Råstam claims that Quick, 62, collected details about unsolved murders across Scandinavia from a Stockholm library while on day release and began confessing to crimes.

With his research Quick was able to describe details such as murder weapons, details about victims’ clothes and their appearance. According to Råstam, the police who were eager to close the unsolved murder files took his confessions as fact. Read More

Kariem McFarlin Arrested when he logged onto iTunes with one of the Apple founder's personal iPads

A burglar who broke into Steve Jobs' house was caught two weeks after the crime thanks to the technology in one of the late Apple founder's own inventions.

Kariem McFarlin might never have been caught if he hadn't logged onto iTunes on one of Jobs' personal iPads.

McFarlin was arrested August 2 after he found a key to Jobs' Palo Alto, California, mansion and let himself inside -- and then made off with $60,000 in Apple hardware and luxury goods.

Investigators say they were tipped off about McFarlin when one of the stolen devices connected to Apple servers.

Officers used the data from the iPad's AT&T wireless connection to track McFarlin back to his house.

When they served a search warrant, detectives discovered the stolen loot. McFarlin later admitted to breaking into the house.
The home of the late tech pioneer, who died of cancer last fall, was burglarized on July 17 but details of the crime were only recently last weekend. Read More

Syria’s neighbors braced for chemical attack (or is such an "attack" generated propaganda?)

The US and its allies are discussing a worst-case scenario that could require up to 60,000 ground troops to go into Syria to secure chemical and biological weapons sites following the fall of the Assad government, an unnamed American source said Thursday night, Aug.16.

This scenario postulates the disintegration of his security forces, he said, leaving chemical and biological weapons sites vulnerable to pillaging. It assumes the sites could not be destroyed by aerial bombings in view of health and environmental hazards.

“There is no imminent plan to deploy ground forces,” the source insisted. This is just a worst-case scenario.

DEBKAfile’s military sources find in this disclosure a bid to psychologically prepare the world for the prospect of chemical warfare, as the dialogue between Bashar Assad and his neighbors gains in violence.

The American special forces deployed on the Jordanian-Syrian border and in bases in Israel and Turkey clearly perceive a chemical-biological weapon threat. Military and medical preparations are being quietly put in place. Reconnaissance teams from potentially targeted countries have infiltrated Syria. They are on the lookout for any chemical missiles being moved into firing positions, although it is taken into account that Assad may be shifting decoys and that not all the real launchings can be stopped.

The Syrian ruler may also decide to transfer chemical explosives to Hizballah in Lebanon. Israel is on record as warning it would prevent this.

Medical preparations are also in place. The US and France are flying special military hospital facilities trained in the treatment of chemical weapon injuries to Turkey and Jordan.

Israeli hospitals are on war alert and have begun opening fortified emergency wards and making them ready for patients.

Court rules 'friends' can share your Facebook profile with the government

A suspected Bronx gang member has learned the hard way last week that oversharing the details of his highly questionable street life on Facebook was a bad idea.

In a ruling handed down on August 10, U.S. District Judge William Pauley III wrote that accused gangster Melvin Colon cannot rely on the Fourth Amendment to suppress Facebook evidence that led to his indictment because users on the popular social media site cannot control what other people do with the information they post.

Colon, 20, had argued that federal investigators violated his privacy by looking through his profile after one of his Facebook friends turned on him and agreed to give law enforcement officials access to his private messages, according to Gigaom.

After taking a peek at his page, federal investigators discovered that Colon has not been shy about sharing details of his alleged gang life with the world, including posting messages about violent acts and threats to rival gang members.

The government used these tidbits to obtain a search warrant for the rest of Colon’s Facebook account as part of a larger investigation into crack-dealing and murder in The Bronx. Read More

Revealed: The 26 'kingpin' corporations that paid their CEOs more than they paid in taxes... and for most the public paid THEM a refund



Twenty-six big US companies paid their CEOs more last year than they paid the federal government in tax, according to a study released Thursday by a liberal-leaning think tank.

The study, by the Institute for Policy Studies, said the companies, including AT&T, Boeing and Citigroup, paid their CEOs an average of $20.4 million last year while paying little or no federal tax on ample profits, according to regulatory filings.

Astonishingly, nearly all of the the companies received a net tax refunds of up to $1billion. Others had a tax bill of $0.

On average, the 26 companies generated net income of more than $1 billion in the US, the study said.

The study blasted tax rules allowing unlimited deductions for CEO 'performance-based' pay, like many stock options. It said the five biggest performance payers among the 26 companies took $232 million of these deductions last year.

Among the 'kingpins' it criticized was CEO James McNerney Jr of Boeing. It said he got $18.4 million in pay last year while his company received a tax refund of $605 million. Read More

Drugs charges against fugitive doctor dropped - because of too MUCH evidence

Charges have been dropped against a fugitive doctor involved in the nation's largest prosecution of Internet pharmacies because there's too much evidence - more than 400,000 documents and two terabytes of electronic data that federal authorities say is expensive to maintain.

In a move which will raise eyebrows, the nine-year investigation against Armando Angulo who was indicted in 2007 for an illegal multimillion dollar internet drugs scheme has ended.

A federal judge in Iowa dismissed the charge last week at the request of prosecutors, who want to throw out the many records collected over their nine-year investigation to free up space.

The Miami doctor fled to his native Panama after coming under investigation in 2004, and Panamanian authorities say they do not extradite their own citizens.

Given the unlikelihood of capturing Angulo and the inconvenience of maintaining so much evidence, prosecutors gave up the long pursuit. Read More

Walter Meyerle on trial for nearly 200 twisted Child sex abuse crimes

An accused serial molesting tattoo artist is facing 150 years behind bars for trying to force a 17-year-old to have sex with her mother's boyfriend and allegedly committing nearly 200 other sex crimes against children as young as four.

Walter Meyerle, 35, of Falls Township, Pennsylvania, is on trial for the catalogue of twisted abuse, allegedly committed against 15 children from 1998 to 2011.

Evidence presented in court on Thursday accuses the man of trying to make the unnamed Croydon 17-year-old take photos of classmates in her school locker room as well as threatening to send her mother nude photos he had made her take of herself if she didn't do as he said. Read More

Raymond Roth Arrested again for bombarding estranged wife with chilling phone calls'

Raymond Roth, 47, the man who is believed to have faked his own drowning to claim the life insurance policy, was arrested again for calling his estranged wife after being released from jail.

Evana Roth filed a restraining order against her husband after he reappeared following a massive search at Jones Beach, where he was last seen entering the water for a swim on July 28.

Police spent thousands of dollars searching for him, only to find him driving on a South Carolina highway. He was arrested and released on $100,000 bail, ordered not to make contact with Mrs Roth.

He disobeyed the court order, allegedly phoning Mrs Roth repeatedly from an anonymous number and whispering 'You know who this is' to his terrified wife. Roth's attorney claims the man was just looking to discuss the sale of their house.

'It's like having a ghost call,' Leonard Leeds, Mrs Roth's attorney told the MailOnline.

'She was horrified. She's terrified. Obviously, this is somebody unpredictable. You think you're married one day and the next day that person is a total stranger.'

Roth surrendered to police at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, Long Island, yesterday. Read More

National Guard joins firefighters in Idaho as hundreds of residents are forced to flee their homes from wild fires

The Idaho National Guard has joined firefighters battling wildfires raging across the state, which have forced the evacuation of 400 homes and burned over 100 square miles in the past two weeks.

Hot, dry windy weather throughout the West, has caused fire season to start early this year and forecasters have warned that these conditions are set to continue.

One blaze, which started when a utility vehicle caught fire, is now just four miles from the resort town of Featherville, in mountains around 100 miles northeast of Boise.

Nearly 1,000 firefighters have gathered there for a last-ditch effort to keep the flames at bay but many resident have already fled. Read More

Linda Van Der Linden and Her Children found stabbed to death in their beds by officers who went to tell them about husband's head-on car crash suicide

A mother and her two young sons have been found stabbed to death in their suburban Detroit home by police officers who went there to notify her of her husband's fatal car crash in Indiana.

Michael Van Der Linden, 38, died and killed another motorist when he drove the wrong way down Interstate 94 near Michigan City just after 1.30 a.m. on Thursday.

When police went to his Bellevue, Michigan home to tell his wife Linda, they found her dead body along with those of her two sons, Matthew, four, and Julien, seven, in separate bedrooms.

Police said they are investigating whether the father, who had a history of depression, killed his family before purposefully crashing into oncoming traffic 120 miles from his home.

When officers visited the Van Der Linden home, in an affluent Detroit neighbourhood, they found the front door ajar and, when no one answered, went inside.

The two young boys and mother, 34, were found stabbed in their chests in their beds, police said.
LaPorte County Medical Examiner John Sullivan told WSBT it appears Van Der Linden stabbed his wife and children and then fled, eventually crashing near Michigan City. Read More

Linda Van Der Linden and Her Children found stabbed to death in their beds by officers who went to tell them about husband's head-on car crash suicide

A mother and her two young sons have been found stabbed to death in their suburban Detroit home by police officers who went there to notify her of her husband's fatal car crash in Indiana.

Michael Van Der Linden, 38, died and killed another motorist when he drove the wrong way down Interstate 94 near Michigan City just after 1.30 a.m. on Thursday.

When police went to his Bellevue, Michigan home to tell his wife Linda, they found her dead body along with those of her two sons, Matthew, four, and Julien, seven, in separate bedrooms.

Police said they are investigating whether the father, who had a history of depression, killed his family before purposefully crashing into oncoming traffic 120 miles from his home.

When officers visited the Van Der Linden home, in an affluent Detroit neighbourhood, they found the front door ajar and, when no one answered, went inside.

The two young boys and mother, 34, were found stabbed in their chests in their beds, police said.
LaPorte County Medical Examiner John Sullivan told WSBT it appears Van Der Linden stabbed his wife and children and then fled, eventually crashing near Michigan City. Read More

Reena Mae Williams Body Found in canal day after she wandered from her home

The body of a missing three-year-old girl was found on Wednesday in a canal near her home, authorities said.

Reena Mae Williams wandered from her Wisconsin home around 7pm on Tuesday, prompting a massive investigation which involved more than 500 people.

Her body was found on Wednesday around 5pm. An autopsy is underway to find out how she died.

Deputies say the family dog returned wet about an hour after she disappeared, which led deputies to believe she was in the canal.

The investigation remains open, but no criminal intent is believed at play.

Jenna Danish, the girl's mother, told KARE 11 that Reena was playing with dogs when she disappeared on Tuesday evening.

'I just want to thank everyone for helping out for the generous offers to try to locate my daughter,' she said on Wednesday. 'I appreciate everything this community has done in the area.' Read More

Pussy Riot Jailed for 2 Years

Three members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot have each been jailed for two years for performing an anti-Putin protest in Moscow's biggest church.

President Vladimir Putin's opponents said the trial in Moscow was part of a wider crackdown by him to crush their protest movement.

Music stars including Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney and Bjork had called for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, to be released.

The judge said the three defendants, two of whom have young children, committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred and offending religious believers.

Prosecutors wanted them jailed for three years, down from a possible maximum seven-year term, and Mr Putin himself said he hoped the sentencing was not "too severe". Read More

Antonio Rodriguez dubbed the 'Kensington strangler' gets three life sentences for killing three women

A man dubbed the 'Kensington strangler' will serve three life sentences after being convicted of raping and killing three women.

Antonio Rodriguez, 23, who has a history of mental illness, strangled three prostitutes during sex in what a judge described as 'a horrific case'.

The spate of grisly murders gripped Kensington, Philadelphia, U.S. in late 2010.

'This is just a horrific case,' Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart said after finding Rodriguez guilty of three counts of first degree murder.

'You not only violated these young women while they were living, but you violated them when they were dead.'

Rodriguez killed Elaine Goldberg, 21, Casey Mahoney, 27 and Nicole Piacentini, 35, during November and December 2010.

The killer said in statements following his arrest in January 2011 that he had met his victims, who were working as prostitutes, while walking the streets of Kensington. He had sex with them in secluded areas where the murders took place. Read More

Army suicides among active-duty soldiers more than DOUBLED in July to reach record high

As many as 38 U.S. service members killed themselves in July, making it the worst month for suicides among both active- and non-active-duty soldiers since the Army began releasing statistics in 2009.

Of all the soldiers who took their own lives last month, 26 were currently serving in the military, according to Lt. Col. Lisa Garcia, an Army spokeswoman.

The Marine Corps had eight suicides in July, up from six in June. The July figure was its highest monthly total of 2012 and pushed its total for the year so far to 32 - equal to the Marines' total for all of 2011.

The Air Force said it had six in July, compared with two in June. The Navy had four in July but its June figure was not immediately available. In total, there were 24 suicides among service members in June.

The Army's suicide numbers have been higher than the other services, in part because it is substantially larger than the Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. The Army also has had more members in combat over the past decade. It was the main ground force in Iraq and has a preponderance of the U.S. troops today in Afghanistan. Read More

Camper at Yosemite National Park DIES after contracting rare disease transmitted by mice

A man died and a woman became seriously ill after contracting a rare rodent-borne disease that might have been linked to their stay at a popular lodging area in Yosemite National Park, officials said Thursday.

The man was the first person to die from hantavirus pulmonary syndrome contracted in the park, though two others were stricken in a more remote area in 2000 and 2010, officials said.

Testing by the Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health showed the virus was present in fecal matter from deer mice trapped near Curry Village, an historic, family friendly area of cabins.

'There's no way to tell for sure, but state health officials feel they may have contracted it here in Curry Village,' park spokesman Scott Gediman said.

The woman was expected to survive. Read More

Louisiana sinkhole expands to 526-feet and swallows a BOAT (but the two clean-up workers in it were rescued just in time)

A ginormous 400-foot deep sinkhole in Louisiana is expanding and today swallowed a boat.

Two clean-up workers who were in the boat had to be rescued before they too disappeared into the watery mass, which today grew by another 50ft, authorities said.

The vessel was tied to a tree on the south west side of the site as the workers cleaned up diesel in the sinkhole.

The piece of land where the tree was standing sunk into the growing pool of water, pulling the boat in with it.

The workers were rescued by air boat and did not suffer any injuries but all clean up operations at the site have now been suspended until further notice due to concerns over safety.

'Early this morning they started the clean up operation of the diesel,' said John Boudreaux, director of Office of Emergency Preparedness for Assumption Parish. Read More

Ecuador Call To Condemn UK Over Assange

Ecuador will file a motion to the Organisation of American States calling for the condemnation of UK threats to enter its embassy.

More follows...

Sandusky faces MORE charges as prosecutors reveal they have a 'great deal' more damaging evidence

Prosecutors in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case claim to have a 'great deal' more 'highly incriminating' evidence that could lead to further charges being brought against the shamed former Penn State football coach.

A transcript from a behind-closed-doors meeting held in June between prosecutors, investigators and defence attorneys, suggests the state is in possession of additional testimony from a string of unnamed victims.

The meeting was held following the leaking of a recording of Sandusky's adopted son Matt Sandusky, telling prosecutors that his father had acted inappropriately with him.

According to ABC news, Frank Fina, Pennsylvania's deputy attorney general, told the meeting that they had testimony as well as investigative reports, which were not brought up in trial and should remain secret because of the ongoing investigation.

According to transcripts Mr Fina said: 'I can't imagine defense counsel would disagree with me on this - it's not in the interest of Mr. Sandusky to have, you know, additional incriminating information being revealed in public.

'I'm talking about incriminating information beyond that which was presented during the trial.
'There's a great deal of that in the discovery. Evidence that, for a variety of reasons, the commonwealth did not utilize but was highly incriminating of Mr. Sandusky.' Read More

Wade Michael Page: Cops investigating possible links between Wisconsin massacre and unsolved murder of two elderly Sikhs

Nearly two weeks after a gunman killed six people in a horrific Sikh temple shooting, authorities are exploring possible links between the massacre and another pair of murders - more than 2,000 miles away.

Authorities are looking into the possibility that the shooting rampage at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin may be connected to the unsolved killing of two Sikhs in Elk Grove, California, last year.

Surinder Singh and Gurmej Atwal, friends who were both from Punjab, India, were walking together in Elk Grove on March 4 when they were shot by an unknown gunman.

Cops are looking for a gold or tan pickup truck in connection to the killings, and a reward for any information leading to a conviction in the case has reached $57,301.

While leads and other tips continue to pour in, police say they are no closer to identifying a suspect or making an arrest in what was classified as a possible hate crime. Read More

Rebecca Weiss's Husband Questioned by police amid claims he was having an affair and refused to search for her

Police are now questioning the husband of the California woman, who disappeared on Saturday while free diving in the ocean, amid claims he was cheating on his wife.

Police have been searching for Rebecca Weiss, 50, after she did not return home from a diving expedition off the coast of Rancho Palos Verdes in California.

But investigators say unusual circumstances related to her disappearance have led them to reclassify the case from a missing person investigation to a homicide.

Homicide detectives are interviewing her husband, Alan Weiss, in person for the first time, as the search efforts continue. They had previously only spoken to him over the phone and say he has been cooperating so far with the investigation.

Police interest in the husband comes after the mother of the missing businesswoman said her daughter suspected he was having an affair.

Alan Weiss, 60, reported his wife missing on Saturday evening after he found her personal belongings on the beach and her car parked nearby after she failed to return from a diving trip.
He was the last person to see her alive. Read More

Seconds from death: Dramatic moment dozens of motorists rescue woman and her disabled sister from burning car

Passing motorists who saw smoke billowing from a stand of pine trees along southern Mississippi's Interstate 10 rescued a woman and her disabled sister trapped inside a wrecked, burning sport utility vehicle.

Fifteen to 20 motorists, including a photographer for The Associated Press, came to the aid of the women on Thursday afternoon in Hancock County.

Photographer Gerald Herbert said the rescuers pulled the disabled woman from the wreck first, but getting the driver out was difficult.

'No one had fire extinguishers,' Herbert said. 'We were all sure she was going to perish. The sounds of her screams and the sight of the fire inching closer to her, that was the most horrible and helpless feeling I've ever felt in my life.'

As flames spread in the SUV and the driver screamed in panic, those who'd stopped flagged down motorists in a desperate search for fire extinguishers, water - anything that could be used to douse the flames while others tried to find a way to extricate the driver.

Using extinguishers provided by passing truckers, the rescuers were able to control the fire as they worked to free her. Read More

Paul Ryan DID ask for millions of dollars in Obama stimulus cash - after TWICE denying it..Oh Come on you didn't expect the truth from a Politician?

Paul Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, has admitted that he sought millions of dollars in federal government economic stimulus cash after twice denying he had done so.

The embarrassing reversal was the first major campaign trail mistake made by the Wisconsin congressman and came as a new poll showed that he had put his home state into play for Mitt Romney, who is now leading President Barack Obama there.

Ryan said that he had forgotten that his office had sent letters, which were signed by him, to the US Energy and Labour departments asking for money from the stimulus programme on behalf of two Wisconsin companies.

'They should have been handled differently, and I take responsibility for that,' Ryan said in a written statement released after an Ohio TV interview on Thursday in which he had once again denied requesting stimulus funds.

The denial in an interview with Cincinnati's WCPO-TV contradicted letters he wrote in 2009 to Steven Chu , Energy Secretary, and Hilda Solis, Labour Secretary.

Federal records show that one of the two companies, the non-profit Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation, later raked in $20.3million from the Energy Department to help homes and businesses improve energy efficiency. Read More

Is this the world's most dangerous marketplace?

This is a market where you have to keep your wits about you - because eight times a day a train comes crashing through.

Just seconds before it is a bustling open-air marketplace like any other with stallholders and shoppers haggling over the price of the produce on sale.

Maeklong Market is in Samut Songkhram, Thailand, around 37 miles west of Bangkok. Read More

Mac on... the WikiLeaks siege fiasco


Christian Bakkerud Died in 78mph roundabout crash

A former racing driver and close friend of Lewis Hamilton died following an horrific 78mph crash at a roundabout following a night out drinking with friends.

Christian Bakkerud, a 26-year-old Dane, suffered fatal head injuries when his silver Audi RS6 ‘beast of a car’ was hurled through the air and torn to pieces.

The car smashed into a barrier before somersaulting through the air and landing on top of a metre high wall which ripped the suspension away.

It finally came to rest on top of a railing which bent what was left of the car in half, Westminster Coroner’s Court heard.

Mr Bakkerud had competed in the British Formula Three and Hamilton wore his initials on his helmet after his death as a tribute.

PC Peter Traylor told the court that Mr Bakkerud’s car left behind a scene of devastation with car parts littering the road.

He added: ‘When you look at the car itself, it is capable of 150mph. In January 2010 it was described at Audi’s single most powerful car. Read More

Costa Concordia: Domnica Cemortan seeks US lawyer as she wants six figure compensation not the £11,000 Offered

The blonde tour rep suspected of distracting the captain of the Costa Concordia before it crashed into rocks is to sue the cruise ship's owners in America for six-figure compensation claiming she is now almost penniless.

Domnica Cemortan, 25, has revealed she has taken her case to a US lawyer because she is unhappy about an offer of around £11,000 for the sinking in which 32 died.

The Moldovan - who had worked on board the ship but was a passenger on its final journey - expects legal action to begin within weeks.

When the crash happened in January off Italy she was Captain Francesco Schettino's personal guest on the bridge, having earlier dined with him. Her luggage was found in his cabin.

She was interviewed as a witness by the Italian probe into the sinking and has admitted she shared a passionate kiss with him shortly before the disaster.

She said she expects she 'would have ended up in bed' with him but for the crash yet strongly denies any culpability for the horror, insisting instead she is a victim who deserves far higher compensation. Read More