Saturday, October 6, 2012

Let's get America slim again! (The Walrus Work Out)

We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists (Full Movie, Very Interesting)

Mass rally in Venice to call for independence from Italy

Two centuries after Napoleonic forces snuffed out the 1,000-year Venetian Republic, Venetians are once again aspiring to become an independent state.

Inspired by the nationalist aspirations of Scotland and Catalonia, pro-independence campaigners will hold a mass rally in the heart of the lagoon city on Saturday, calling for an urgent referendum to be held on the issue.

Indipendenza Veneta, a newly-founded pro-independence movement, says it expects several thousand people to turn up for the rally.

They will be ferried across the Grand Canal in gondolas to deliver a "declaration of independence" to the headquarters of the Veneto regional government.

It may sound fanciful, and it will be fiercely resisted by Rome, but activists want to carve out a new country in north-eastern Italy which would comprise Venice, the surrounding region of Veneto and parts of Lombardy, Trentino and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

The "Repubblica Veneta", as it would be known, would encompass about five million people. more

Patients starve and die of thirst on hospital wards: UK (and likely elsewhere)

Forty-three hospital patients starved to death last year and 111 died of thirst while being treated on wards, new figures disclose today.

Forty-three hospital patients starved to death last year and 111 died of thirst while being treated on wards, new figures disclose today.

The death toll was disclosed by the Government amid mounting concern over the dignity of patients on NHS wards.

They will also fuel concerns about care homes, as it was disclosed that eight people starved to death and 21 people died of thirst while in care.

Last night there were warnings that they must prompt action by the NHS and care home regulators to prevent further deaths among patients. more

Israel wages cyber battle over UAV, satellite-guided by Iran or Hizballah, Hamas calling up all its reserves: UPDATE

Israeli intelligence and air force waged a cyber battle Saturday, Oct. 6 with unidentified parties, most likely Hizballah or Iran, who sent a satellite-guided unmanned helicopter into Israeli air space through the Mediterranean. debkafile’s military sources report exclusively that for 30 minutes, as the helicopter flew over southern Israel, control swung back and forth between Israeli cyber operators and unknown agents.

The battle was finally resolved by an Israel decision to scramble four F-16 fighters to shoot the trespasser down, the while Israeli cyber experts tried to identify its satellite controller.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak released a statement saying that Israel takes a very grave view of the incursion and will weigh its response. more

Louise Owen, Jennifer Way and Femmetje Staring Dead after their car plunged into the water at a US shipyard

Police have identified three women whose bodies were recovered from a car that plunged into the water at a Rhode Island shipyard after the driver apparently missed a turn.

Officers said the victims are Louise Owen from Britain, Jennifer Way of Rhode Island, and Femmetje Staring from the Netherlands. All three were 39.

Their bodies were pulled from the car on Friday morning after it was found on its roof in four feet of water.

Police Lieutenant William Fitzgerald said the driver might have missed a turn because of the dark or the weather. A fog warning was in place at the time.

The car had fallen between six to 10 feet into the water.

Mr Fitzgerald said the car had been in the water for several hours when a fuel deliveryman spotted it. Source

Israeli air force shoots down drone aircraft

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli air force shot down a drone after it crossed into southern Israel on Saturday, the military said, but it remained unclear where the aircraft had come from.

The drone was first spotted above the Mediterranean Sea in the area of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip to the west of Israel, said military spokeswoman Avital Leibovich.

It was kept under surveillance and followed by Israeli air force jets before it was shot down above a forest in an unpopulated area near the border with the occupied West Bank.

Leibovich said it was shot down at about 10 a.m. (0700 GMT), after it traveled east some 35 miles across Israel's southern Negev desert.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised the interception as "sharp and effective".

"We view with great gravity the attempt to compromise Israeli air space and will consider our response in due course," Barak said in a statement.

Soldiers were searching the area for the remains of the drone, which security sources said most likely did not originate from the Gaza Strip. It was not immediately clear whether it was armed. Read More

From Lebanon?
IDF shoots down drone that penetrated deep into Israel, Army says unmanned aerial vehicle did not come from Palestinian territories, but may have come from Lebanon - Source

Police Union Warns 'War-Like' Detroit Unsafe For Visitors...No Change there then!

DETROIT (WWJ) – The men and women of the Detroit Police Department believe the city is too dangerous to enter, and they want citizens to know it.

Detroit Police Officer Association (DPOA) Attorney Donato Iorio said officers are holding the “Enter At Your Own Risk” rally at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in front of Comerica Park to remind the public that the officers are overworked, understaffed, and at times, fearful for their lives.

“Detroit is America’s most violent city, its homicide rate is the highest in the country and yet the Detroit Police Department is grossly understaffed,” Iorio told WWJ’s Kathryn Larson. “The DPOA believes that there is a war in Detroit, but there should be a war on crime, not a war on its officers.”

Iorio says the once 2,000 strong force is shrinking rapidly; since the start of summer, hundreds of officers have left the department.

“These are the men and women who we look to protect us… and police officers can’t protect you if they’re not there. Officers are leaving simply because they can’t afford to stay in Detroit and work 12 hour shifts for what they are getting paid… These police officers are beyond demoralized, these officers are leaving hand over fist because they can no longer afford to stay on the department and protect the public,” he said.

And that’s why Iorio cautions those who enter the city to be wary. Source

SNOOPDOGG PROMOTES TEN REASONS TO NOT VOTE FOR MITT ROMNEY.....No1. HE IS A WHITE N****!

Snoop Dogg highlighted a list of top ten reasons to not vote for Mitt Romney as well as why one should vote for President Obama. The politically incorrect list refers to Romney as a “white n****” who looks like he “says n****” all the time.”

Snoop Dogg, who recently changed his name to Snoop Lion, revealed the list, which is not his own, via Instagram. He took a photo of a notebook with the handwritten lists in two columns: “Why I’m Not Voting For Romney” and “Why I Am Voting For Obama.” [See list here]

The number one reason cited for not voting for Romney is because “He a white n****.” Likewise, Obama will receive his vote because “He a black n****.” Read More

Bin Laden movie made by Obama fundraiser Harvey Weinstein to be shown just TWO DAYS before election

A film dramatizing the death of Osama bin Laden is set to debut next month two days before the U.S. presidential election.

The movie produced by the production company of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein will air on November 4 before President Barack Obama faces Republican challenger Mitt Romney at the polls just two days later.

Weinstein is a prominent fundraiser for Obama’s re-election campaign, which has touted bin Laden’s death as an example of the president’s leadership.

The timing of the film's broadcast prompted suggestions that it was deliberately intended to show the president in a good light two days before the polls. Read More

Britain on high alert after 'voracious predator' from Eastern Europe spotted in UK waters

A dangerous shrimp that could decimate British waterways has been found in the UK.

The killer crustacean - branded a 'voracious predator' by the Environment Agency has been found in the Worcester and Birmingham canal following previous sighting in the River Severn.

It arrived in the UK from Eastern Europe, and feeds on fish, sparking fears it could dramatically change the UK's delicate marine ecosystem.

According to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the killer shrimp is 'a voracious predator' that 'kills a range of native species, including young fish, and can significantly alter ecosystems'.

Regarding its cousin, the Environment Agency says it is 'uncertain at this stage what its impact might be'. Read More

Channel Tunnel firefighters replaced by untrained security staff after dispute over pay

Professional fire-fighters who have fought blazes in the Channel Tunnel for the past 18 years are to be replaced by untrained security guards, it emerged today.

It follows a breakdown in contract talks between Eurotunnel, which manages the undersea link, and the Pas-de-Calais fire service (SDIS).

The company was trying to renegotiate a 2m pounds plus annual deal with SDIS but the French fire-fighters pulled out.

A Eurotunnel spokesman said they 'regretted' the SDIS decision, adding: 'We have never skimped on security and are looking for the best solutions to take over the SDIS work.'

The last major fire in the Channel Tunnel was on September 11, 2008, when a blaze broke out on Eurotunnel shuttle train carrying a number of lorries and drivers.

It lasted for 16 hours and reached temperatures of 1000 C, yet swift action by the Calais fire-fighters meant only 14 people out of 32 on the train suffered minor injuries, including smoke inhalation.

Repairs to the tunnel cost more than £50 million, with new emergency warning measures introduced afterwards. Read More

Islamic radical shot dead by anti-terrorism police in France after opening fire on offices in dawn raid

A suspected Islamic terrorist was shot dead by French police in front of his veiled wife and their young child today.

The man, in his 30s, was gunned down after firing a .357 Magnum revolver as armed officers swarmed into his house in the eastern city of Strasbourg.

Seven others, including another gunman in Paris, were arrested during a nationwide anti-terrorist operation.

All were suspected of being involved in an attack on a Jewish shop in which one person was slightly injured last month.

The extreme violence used by the authorities in the face of Muslim extremism was praised by President Francois Hollande who 'saluted the action of the police' and urged Interior Minister Manuel Valls to 'take all measures necessary to ensure vigilance.' Read More

Banking protest mural resembling Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda to be removed from East End

Azmel Hussain, pictured, is defending the artwork which has been painted on his property. He described the wall as showing world leaders playing monopoly on a table held up by tax payers

A mural depicting money-grabbing bankers will be removed following complaints that it resembles the anti-Semitic propaganda of Nazi Germany.

The provocative painting has appeared on a wall in the predominantly Muslim area of Brick Lane in East London, once a thriving Jewish community.

The mural, by international graffiti artist Mear One, shows moustachioed and hooked-nosed bankers huddled around a Monopoly board supported on the backs of the working class, seemingly drawing on long outdated Jewish stereotypes.

Now the artist has been accused of anti-Semitism, a claim he vehemently denies. Read More

Latest stories Mark Bridger Charged With April Jones' Murder

Mark Bridger has been charged with the murder and abduction of missing five-year-old April Jones.

The announcement was made ahead of a news conference led by Dyfed Powys Police and the Crown Prosecution Service in Aberystwyth.

Mr Bridger has also been charged with perverting the course of justice.

He will be held in custody until he appears in court at Aberystwyth Justice Centre on Monday.

Iwan Jenkins of the Crown Prosecution Service said: "Having carried out a detailed review of the evidence gathered so far by Dyfed Powys police I have come to the conclusion there is sufficient evidence to charge Mark Bridger with murder and it is in the public interest to do so."

The decision came just an hour before detectives reached the maximum 96 hours that they could hold Mr Bridger before charging or releasing him.

Searches are still continuing in and around the town of Machynlleth in mid Wales for the missing girl.

The primary school pupil was reported missing on Monday evening after she was seen getting into a vehicle near her home at around 7.30pm. Read more

Abu Hamza arrives in the United States to face terror charges

Abu Hamza, the notorious hook-handed radical cleric, arrived in the United States early on Saturday to face terror charges after he was extradited from Britain along with four other suspects.

The US attorney office in New York said Hamza was expected to face a judge in New York within 24 hours after civilian US jets flew him to America hours after he lost his long legal battle to stay in Britain.

He arrived at Westchester County Airport, New York State, at about 2.30am local time. Hamza was expected to be briefly presented before US Magistrate Judge Frank Maas on Saturday. On Tuesday morning he was expected to appear at a longer court session where charges would be read to him. Read More

Intervention in Disguise? 'Turkey running proxy war in Syria'

UK blows billions on drones as 1/5 of force faces dole call

Rebels to kill Iran's hostages if Syria rejects prisoner release

Riot police clashes video: Students protest school cuts in Italy

What else to cut in Greece?

Israeli police storm Al-Aqsa compound

Fresh Fire Exchange: 'Syria-Turkey flashpoint could create WW3'

Police fire tear gas at protesters in Tunisia's

Huge 50-car pile-up in Florida

Pain At The Pump: Gas Prices Continue To Rise



LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- Gas prices seem to be climbing by the second, setting unwanted records, angering drivers and even causing closures at some pumps.

Gas prices shot up 19.2 cents overnight Thursday. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in L.A. County was $4.58 on Friday, the highest figure since 2008.

In Orange County, the average is up 20 cents to $4.53, while in the Inland Empire, it's up to $4.48. In Ventura County, the average price per gallon is $4.54.

The price increases could continue for weeks and the average might even break the $5 mark, according to experts. Read More

Jobs Report Met with Skepticism

This morning's jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is being met with skepticism. The report found that, from August to September, the unemployment rate dropped from just above 8 percent to 7.8 percent.

In fact, when Labor Secretary Hilda Solis appeared on CNBC this morning, the first two questions for her were whether the books have been cooked: Read More

Tehran has floated a deal to end its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions being lifted, but officials are skeptical

Congo Fever: Man Dies In London Hospital

A 38-year-old man being treated for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has died.

The man had recently returned home to the UK and was being treated in complete isolation after being admitted to Gartnavel General Hospital's Brownlee Centre in Glasgow, less than three hours after arriving in Scotland.

He was then transferred to the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. Tests revealed he flew into Scotland from Dubai, though his journey originated in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

It was the first recorded case of the deadly disease in the UK. Other passengers who sat close to him on an aircraft are undergoing daily health checks.

The health board said two of them - one who remained in "close proximity" to the ill man during the flight - will be monitored on a daily basis for the next two weeks for any developments of relative symptoms.

The other two passengers do not require follow-up surveillance and the risk to all other passengers on the flight from Dubai is "extremely low", it added.

In a statement, the board said: "In total, therefore, we are currently following up two passengers from the flight with daily monitoring as a precaution for two weeks - two weeks is the maximum incubation period for the disease." Read More

FBI: Border shooting likely 'friendly fire'

(CNN) -- This week's fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and the wounding of another in Arizona was likely the result of friendly fire, the FBI said late Friday.

"While it is important to emphasize that the FBI's investigation is actively continuing, there are strong preliminary indications that the death of United States Border Patrol Agent Nicholas J. Ivie, 30, and the injury to a second agent was the result of an accidental shooting incident involving only the agents," James Turgal, special agent in charge of the FBI's Phoenix division, said in a statement.

"At the appropriate time further information will be provided, but while the investigation continues it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time," he said.

Earlier, a law enforcement official said investigators at the scene had not found shell casings except those believed to have been fired by the Border Patrol agents.

Investigators are awaiting results of ballistics tests, said the official, who was not authorized to speak for attribution about the investigation. Read More

U.S. official: 2 Tunisians questioned about deadly Benghazi attack on U.S. Consulate

(CNN) -- There is a connection between two Tunisians detained for questioning in Turkey and the attack on an American Consulate in Libya that left four dead, the U.S. defense chief said.

"We know there is some connection but, frankly, we really don't have all the specifics," Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told reporters Friday.

The Tunisians -- who had been on a watch list provided by the United States to Turkish authorities -- are being questioned at the request of the United States, said a U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation. They entered Turkey this week.

FBI investigators have not talked to the two Tunisians yet, but "that's the hope," said the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to release the information.

The official did not confirm or deny if the suspects entered Turkey using fake passports, as has been reported by Turkish media. Read More

Thousands rally for political change in Jordan

Amman, Jordan (CNN) -- Thousands of protesters gathered in downtown Amman, Jordan, Friday to demand political change. The demonstration came less than a day after King Abdullah II dissolved the country's parliament and called for early elections close to the new year. The peaceful rally called for constitutional reforms, with protesters complaining that the king has too much power. They demanded that representatives be able to run for election in a democratic system rather than be under his control. "Whoever (is) corrupted is the enemy of God," they chanted, waving Jordanian flags. Read More

South African company fires 12,000 striking miners

(CNN) -- South African mining giant Anglo-American Platinum said Friday that it has fired about 12,000 striking workers who declined to attend disciplinary hearings.

Workers at the company's Rustenburg, South Africa, mine have been on strike for three weeks.
The company called for disciplinary hearings for the strikers, and those who attended were informed of the outcomes Friday. Those who did not attend were fired, the company said.

"Despite the company's repeated calls for employees to return to work, we have continued to experience attendance levels of less than 20%. Currently four of the company's mining operations in the Rustenburg area have insufficient staff to operate and only essential services are being carried out at those mines," Anglo-American Platinum said in a statement.

Ronald Lamola, deputy president of the the ruling African National Congress (ANC) Youth League, criticized the move and said the parties could have reached an alternative solution.

"What they have done is extremely unreasonable and cannot be accepted," he said, stressing that many more than 12,000 people are dependent on those incomes. Read More

Faith groups launch campaign to counter controversial 'Defeat Jihad' ad

New York (CNN) -- Jewish and Christian groups have unveiled three separate ad campaigns to counter what they claim is hateful speech toward Muslims contained within an advertisement posted at some New York City subway stations.

The new ads tout religious tolerance and offer support to the Muslim community.

"Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors," reads one. "Support peace in word and deed," reads another.

The campaigns are in response to a controversial "Defeat Jihad" ad that is displayed in 10 of the city's more than 400 subway stations. It reads: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority initially rejected the ad, which was produced by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. But the authority's decision was overturned when a federal judge ruled that the ad is protected speech under the First Amendment.

Jihad -- Arabic for "struggle" -- is considered a religious duty for Muslims, although there are both benign and militant interpretations of what it means. Read More

EU braced for budget fight with UK.....That is if Cameron can find his backbone

(Financial Times) -- Brussels is bracing itself for a battle with David Cameron as fears grow that the British prime minister will block a proposed €1tn seven-year spending plan and push for a two-tier EU budget.

Mr Cameron is understood to be interested in Brussel's longer-term plan of a separate spending programme for the eurozone, with UK and European officials considering a compromise that would see the EU budget split in two -- marking a further acceleration towards a divided Europe.

"This idea is gaining momentum," said a British official. "It could mean restraint in the overall EU budget but still provide eurozone countries with more funding from Brussels to support restructuring measures."

European diplomats are growing increasingly concerned that Mr Cameron is serious about demanding a freeze in the budget at next month's budget summit, with one saying: "He'd be delighted to veto a deal -- he'll be greeted at home like a hero." Read More

Libyan troops surround pro-Gadhafi stronghold in wake of fighter's death

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Libyan troops are surrounding the city of Bani Walid, awaiting orders to enter what had been a stronghold for late dictator Moammar Gadhafi as those inside appeal to the international community for help.

Massoud al-Waer, a local official, told CNN late Friday that Bani Walid was under siege with no food or fuel able to get in, nor even fresh oxygen for its main hospital.

The standoff -- and possible military offensive -- stems from the death of a Libyan revolutionary fighter from Misrata credited with capturing Gadhafi last year.

Omran Shaaban and two other fighters were kidnapped near Bani Walid in July. He was released two months later, at which point he was in bad shape physically. After being transferred to a hospital France, Shaaban died September 24 of the aftereffects of gunshot wounds. Read More

North Korean soldier shoots comrades, defects to South

(CNN) -- A North Korean soldier on guard duty at the border dividing the two Koreas defected, telling authorities who received him in the South that he killed his superiors before fleeing across the Military Demarcation Line.

South Korean soldiers at their guard posts reported hearing gunfire before he crossed into the South shortly after noon local time, according to a news release from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Soldiers in the South took the defector in on their side of the border and brought him to a safe place for questioning then tightened security in the area.

The North Korean said that "while he was on guard duty, he killed his platoon and squad leaders and defected thereafter," the JCS said.

Defections over land through the heavily armed and fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) are rare, as most fleeing the communist North prefer the greater odds of success of crossing by sea.

"The last North Korean soldier who defected (over land) was in March 2010," said a spokesman from the defense ministry in Seoul.

But with his comrades dead and no longer capable of hindering him, it was easy for the soldier to flee south. Read More

$1 billion project to reach Earth's mantle

(CNN) -- Humans have reached the moon and are planning to return samples from Mars, but when it comes to exploring the land deep beneath our feet, we have only scratched the surface of our planet.

This may be about to change with a $1 billion mission to drill 6 km (3.7 miles) beneath the seafloor to reach the Earth's mantle -- a 3000 km-thick layer of slowly deforming rock between the crust and the core which makes up the majority of our planet -- and bring back the first ever fresh samples.

It could help answer some of our biggest questions about the origins and evolution of Earth itself, with almost all of the sea floor and continents that make up the Earth´s surface originating from the mantle.

Geologists involved in the project are already comparing it to the Apollo Moon missions in terms of the value of the samples it could yield.

However, in order to reach those samples, the team of international scientists must first find a way to grind their way through ultra-hard rocks with 10 km-long (6.2 miles) drill pipes -- a technical challenge that one of the project co-leaders Damon Teagle, from the UK's University of Southampton calls, "the most challenging endeavor in the history of Earth science." Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 6th October 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA at a depth of 36.1 km (22.4 miles), the quake hit at 09:27:40 UTC Saturday 6th October 2012
The epicenter was 179 km (111 miles) Southwest of Yanqi, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

More people affected with rare meningitis

Oct. 6 - The number of people affected with a rare form of meningitis has gone up. Julie Noce reports.

Pope Benedict's former butler convicted, sentenced to 18 months jail

(Reuters) - A Vatican court convicted Pope Benedict's former butler of stealing sensitive documents and sentenced him to 18 months in prison on Saturday, at the end of one of the most sensational trials in the recent history of the Holy See.

A Vatican spokesman said the pope, who reigns as a supreme monarch in the world's smallest city-state, would "most likely" pardon Paolo Gabriele, which would mean he would not have to serve his sentence.

The court delivered its verdict after two hours of deliberations and closing arguments by the prosecution and the defense.

Gabriele had admitted being the source of leaks of highly sensitive papers, including letters to the pope that alleged corruption in the Vatican's business dealings.

"What I feel most strongly inside myself is the conviction that I acted exclusively out of love, I would say a visceral love, for the Church of Christ and its visible representative," he said in an impassive voice during a final appeal to the court.

"If I have to repeat it, I am not a thief," he added. Read More

U.S., South Korea to forge joint response to North's missile force

(Reuters) - The United States and South Korea are set to announce this weekend a joint response to the perceived threat from North Korea's growing ballistic missile force, according to a State Department notice to U.S. lawmakers on Friday.

A senior U.S. congressional aide said he understood that the two countries have agreed to a watershed deal under which Seoul may develop missiles capable of hitting any part of the North from anywhere in the South.

The notice, obtained by Reuters, said the United States and South Korea had been discussing "counter-measures" as an alliance to the threat posed by the North's ballistic missile arsenal.

The South Korean government will make a public announcement of the outcome of the talks on Sunday, the notice said. The State Department and the South Korean embassy in Washington declined to comment. Read More

Turkey strikes back at Syria after Erdogan warning

(Reuters) - Turkey returned fire after a mortar bomb shot from Syria landed in a field in southern Turkey on Saturday, the day after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned Damascus Turkey would not shy away from war if provoked.

It was the fourth day of Turkish strikes in retaliation for mortar bombs and shelling by Syrian forces that killed five Turkish civilians further east on Wednesday.

The strikes and counter-strikes are the most serious cross-border violence in Syria's conflict, which began as a democracy uprising but has evolved into a civil war with sectarian overtones. They highlight how the crisis could destabilize the region.

NATO-member Turkey, once an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but now a leading voice in calls for him to quit, has nearly 100,000 Syrian refugees in camps on its territory and has allowed rebel leaders sanctuary. Its armed forces are far larger than Syria's. Read More

Foxconn denies China iPhone plant hit by strike

(Reuters) - Foxconn, the Taiwanese made-to-order electronics giant that assembles Apple Inc's products, denied reports that a plant in China was crippled by a strike, saying on Saturday that its production is on schedule at an important time for Apple.

The report of a strike issued by China Labor Watch, a New York-based advocacy group, came weeks after Apple kicked off its largest-ever global rollout for the new iPhone 5 smartphone. Apple is already struggling with tight availability of the phones in stores, analysts say.

The labor group said 3,000 to 4,000 workers went on strike at Foxconn's Zhengzhou complex in central China on Friday, angered by over-exacting quality controls as well as demands they work through the week-long National Day holiday, which began on Monday.

But Foxconn Technology Group, which has its headquarters in Taiwan, denied the report and said the plant suffered only two brief and small disputes several days earlier. Read More

Derek Blake tortured to death in sadistic claw hammer and boning knife attack that one of his killers compared to Resident Evil video game

Three people who subjected a vulnerable man to ‘sadistic’ levels of torture, similar to the horror series Resident Evil, have each been jailed for life for his murder.

Derek Blake, 44, was found dead in a bath full of water in a flat in his hometown of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on May 24.

A pathologist found he had suffered 104 separate injuries and had been subjected to a ‘painful and humiliating’ ordeal involving the use of a boning knife and claw hammer, Norwich Crown Court heard.

One of his killers later compared the alcohol-fuelled attack to Resident Evil, a graphic series of video games which has inspired five horror films.

The attack included pouring boiling water over Mr Blake, inflicting cuts and burns all over his body and torturing him with a pool cue.

The letter J had been carved into the side of his face.

Ricky Roys, 20, Andrew Brown, 42, and Helen Cooke, 19, all of St Nicholas Road, Great Yarmouth, pleaded guilty to the murder. Read More

William Herskowitz: New Yorker, Fired by Hotel in Israel, Kills Co-Worker

JERUSALEM — A New York man who was fired from a hotel in the Israeli resort city of Eilat on Thursday returned there on Friday morning and opened fire amid a crowd of tourists, then killed a kitchen worker before being shot to death by police officers, the authorities said.

The gunman, William Herskowitz, a 23-year-old potter from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., had arrived in Israel on Aug. 27 for a five-month program known as Masa that combines travel and Hebrew study with internships, in this case in hotels in Eilat, a Red Sea port. Yuval Arad, a spokesman for the program, said Mr. Herskowitz was told Thursday that he had to leave the program and decide by next week whether to return home or to remain in Israel with relatives.

“There was some problems with his attitude and with the hotel staff,” said Mr. Arad, declining to elaborate. Another official with the program, Ofer Gutman, told The Associated Press that Mr. Herskowitz was a “normal guy,” adding, “There was nothing that indicated what would happen in the end.” Read More

RIOT POLICE CLASH WITH STUDENTS IN ITALY

In Italy, students protesting against the country's austerity programme have clashed with riot police in Rome, Milan and Turin today.

Thousands of people took part carrying banners. One slogan read:

No to the Crisis and Austerity! Let's take back our Schools and Cities!

The demonstrations were focused on Mario Monti's recent cuts to local government spending and his freeze on public sector hiring, as well as cuts made by his predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi.

Scuffles broke out at several cities. AFP reports that four officers were lightly injured in Rome, and five students injured in Milan. Fifteen protesters were also briefly detained in Milan, it said. Read More @ 15:42

Athens: Social Meltdown

Athens: Social Meltdown from Ross Domoney on Vimeo.

Mass Protests planned as Angela Merkel heads to Greece

Angela Merkel is to visit Greece next week - her first visit since the eurozone crisis began.

The German government announced this morning that chancellor Merkel will fly to Athens on Tuesday for talks with prime minister Samaras. The pair will discuss the situation in Greece and across the eurozone.

Steffen Seibert, Merkel's spokesman, said:

It is a trip that, of course, happens [against] the backdrop of this very difficult situation that Greece is going through right now, the massive adjustment and reform measures that have shaped Greece for the last two years.

Seibert also suggested that Merkel would praise Samaras, rather than bury him with Germanic criticism:

We see that the reform efforts have increased under the Samaras government, and we want to support that.

Merkel is not exactly flavour of the month in Athens, and there must be a risk of protests when the chancellor arrives.

Some observers see trouble ahead... @11:05 Source

Pakistan: Imran Khan leads anti-drone march

Pakistani politician, Imran Khan, is leading a “peace march” into the dangerous FATA region of the country this weekend, in protest against US drone strikes in the area.

The former national cricket captain has echoed other critics who claim the strikes are counterproductive, as they kill civilians and encourage militancy, and called for them to be withdrawn.

“All we want is a change of strategy. A dialogue, a peace process starting, exactly what happened in Northern Ireland. No one wanted to talk to the IRA, but eventually there was a political settlement,” he said.

Dozens of British and American protesters also prepared to join the demonstration which starts in Islamabad on Saturday and finishes on Sunday in South Waziristan.

It is reported the Pakistani Taliban attacked Mr Khan, claiming the march serves only his political motives, and offered no guarantees safe passage for the marchers. Source

Turkey 'responds to fresh Syrian mortar fire'

Turkey has fired into Syria for a fourth day after a Syrian mortar landed near a Turkish village, reports say.

Turkish troops responded immediately after the mortar landed near the village of Guvecci in Hatay province, according to Turkey's Anadolu Agency.

Turkey has been firing into Syria since Syrian mortar fire killed five Turkish civilians on Wednesday.

It was the first time Turkey has taken military action across the border since the Syrian uprising began.

Early on Saturday, the Anadolu Agency said the Syrian mortar had landed over the border during intense fighting between government troops and rebels in Syria's Idlib province.

The rebels are fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government in an uprising that began in March last year. Read More

Warsaw street partially collapses

A street in central Warsaw has partially collapsed during the construction of a subway line, with builders pumping hundreds of tons of cement under it to keep nearby buildings upright.

A water pipeline leaked early today near a station being built on the Warsaw subway's second line.

A few dozen metres of asphalt sank and an office building and an apartment building nearby shifted slightly, forcing the evacuation of about 100 residents.

It is the second leak to hit the new subway line. In August, the construction of a station on the Vistula River was halted by an unexpected leak of ground water. Source

Hundreds of birds die as they smash into car, Austria

Hundreds of starlings died when a flock rammed a terrified motorist's car head on as he sped down a motorway in Sattledt, Austria.

The bizarre attack came as the huge swarm of birds were flying in quickly changing formation above the highway.

"My girlfriend said she saw the birds flying very low towards us. Suddenly they just flew straight into our car," said driver Andreas Chiste.

"It was like something from the movie, The Birds. It was as if they meant to hit them," added one fellow motorist.

Experts reckon the birds would have hit the Skoda with a combined impact of close to 90 mph.

"It was gruesome. They were stuck to the car and in the radiator grille and splattered all over the road," explained Andreas.

Wildlife experts say that starlings perform their extraordinary acrobatics as a way of avoiding predators, like birds of prey.

"They might simply have made a wrong turn as part of a pattern or seen their reflection in the windscreen and thought they were looking at another part of the flock," said one. Source

Nine people taken to hospital after chemical leak near Winchester

NINE people were taken to hospital after being harmed by fumes at a laboratory near Winchester.

The staff at a laboratory were injured in a major incident in Sparrowgrove, Otterbourne.

They suffered poisoning from hydrogen sulphide and were taken to hospital as a precaution.

It is thought the incident was sparked when a laboratory test went wrong at around 2.30pm on Wednesday.

The laboratory is operated by Eurofins Environmental Testing in a building rented from Southern Water.

A specialist ‘haz mat’ team from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were called in along with crews from Eastleigh, service headquarters, St Mary’s and Winchester.

The firefighters in protective clothing quickly determined that the gas had dispersed, said a spokesman today.

“The crews did a full survey and no gas was present. The ‘haz mat’ team was mobilised and it would have been treated as a potential chemical incident,” she said. Read More

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake GULF OF CALIFORNIA - 6th October 2012

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck the GULF OF CALIFORNIA at a depth of 10.1 km (6.3 miles), the quake hit at 08:49:17 UTC Saturday 6th October 2012
The epicenter was 135 km (84 miles) WSW from Eldorado, Sinaloa, Mexico
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake REVILLA GIGEDO ISLANDS REGION - 6th October 2012

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck the REVILLA GIGEDO ISLANDS REGION at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 08:35:37 UTC Saturday 6th October 2012
The epicenter was 214 km (132 miles) ENE of Socorro Island, Mexico
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS - 6th October 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS at a depth of 150 km (93 miles), the quake hit at 07:56:29 UTC Saturday 6th October 2012
The epicenter was 423 km (262 miles) North of Raoul Island, New Zealand
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 6th October 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION at a depth of 153.2 km (95.2 miles), the quake hit at 05:27:44 UTC Saturday 6th October 2012
The epicenter was 187 km (116 miles) South of Hachijo-jima, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE - 6th October 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck the NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE at a depth of 9.9 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 03:40:03 UTC Saturday 6th October 2012
The epicenter was 1812 km (1125 miles) ENE of Grande Anse, Guadeloupe
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE VALPARAISO, CHILE - 6th October 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck OFFSHORE VALPARAISO, CHILE at a depth of 12.3 km (7.6 miles), the quake hit at 03:18:15 UTC Saturday 6th October 2012
The epicenter was 91 km (56 miles) WNW of La Ligua, Chile
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SVALBARD REGION - 6th October 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the SVALBARD REGION at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 01:19:35 UTC Saturday 6th October 2012
The epicenter was 274 km (170 miles) Southwest of Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

TEMPERATURE DROP AIDS NEW SOUTH WALES BUSHFIRE BATTLE

Hundreds of firefighters and residents are battling to contain several bushfires on the New South Wales central coast.

Helicopters are being sent out to water bomb the blazes at Lobster Beach and Pretty Beach at Gosford.

The fires have so far burnt through 90 hectares of bushland, and authorities are still trying to bring them under control.

Brendan Doyle from the RFS says the change in weather overnight has helped firefighters with their back-burning operations.

"We've seen a drop in temperature overnight and that is supposed to be expected to remain throughout the weekend," he said.

"This has proved more favourable weather conditions for firefighters on the ground at both these fires and we're hopeful that these weather conditions will help with containment of both fires. Read More

UK Congo Fever: Two Airline Passengers Monitored

Health experts treating a man with a potentially deadly viral disease are monitoring two people who they say sat near him on a plane.

The 38-year-old patient remains in a critical condition after contracting Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) - a tick-borne condition which is fatal in around a third of cases.

It is the first recorded case of the disease in the UK, according to the Health Protection Agency.

The man was diagnosed with the infectious disease when he flew into Glasgow on Tuesday from a Dubai stopover. His journey originated in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Concerns have been raised for people who were sitting close to him on the journey.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it has identified and contacted four passengers who may have had contact with the patient.

The health board said two of those - one who remained in "close proximity" to the ill man during the flight - will be monitored on a daily basis for the next two weeks for any developments of relative symptoms.

The other two passengers do not require follow-up surveillance and the risk to all other passengers on the flight from Dubai is "extremely low", it added. Read More

French Anti-Terror Operation - 1 Man Shot Dead by the Police

One person has died after an anti-terrorist operation in the French city of Strasbourg, according to reports.

The man was shot and fatally wounded on Saturday in the northeast French city while he was being arrested, a source close to the inquiry said. According to initial reports, the man shot at police who returned fire.

According to a judicial source, the operation was part of the investigation into an incident on September 19 when "a minimally powerful explosive" was hurled into a Kosher grocery store in Sarcelles, in the Paris suburbs.

The incident left one person slightly injured but triggered strong reaction in the town's large Jewish community.

In the Strasbourg operation, three police officers were lightly wounded, protected by their bullet-proof vests and helmets, the judicial source added. Read More