Thursday, October 11, 2012

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA - 12th October 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA at a depth of 20.7 km (12.9 miles), the quake hit at 01:34:51 UTC Friday 12th October 2012
The epicenter was 114 km (70 miles) NNW of Dobo, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA - 12th October 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA at a depth of 10.4 km (6.5 miles), the quake hit at 01:29:15 UTC Friday 12th October 2012
The epicenter was 95 km (59 miles) NNW of Dobo, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

6.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA - 12th October 2012

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake has struck NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA at a depth of 24.7 km (15.3 miles), the quake hit at 00:31:30 UTC Friday 12th October 2012
The epicenter was 103 km (64 miles) North of Dobo, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time


JAKARTA (Oct 12, 2012): A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua on Friday, the US Geological Survey said, with reports of minor damage to some houses on remote islands but no tsunami warning issued.

The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 9.31am (0131 GMT), was 247 kilometres (153 miles) southwest of Nabire in Papua and 108 kilometres north of Dobo in the Aru Islands, USGS said. It hit at a depth of 24 kilometres.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre website said there was no current warning or advisory in effect while social media reports said the quake was felt as far away as Darwin, in northern Australia.

"There is no tsunami potential. The quake was felt in towns of Nabire, Wamena in Papua and the city of Ambon in Maluku islands," Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency duty officer, Fauzi, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told AFP.

He added that the agency measured the quake at 7.0 magnitude. Read More

Magnitude 6.7 Earthquake - NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA

Earthquake Details

  • This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.
Magnitude6.7
Date-Time
Location 4.842°S, 134.085°E
Depth24.7 km (15.3 miles)
RegionNEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
Distances103 km (64 miles) N of Dobo, Indonesia
173 km (107 miles) ENE of Tual, Indonesia
225 km (139 miles) SW of Nabire, Indonesia
439 km (272 miles) S of Manokwari, Indonesia
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 12.8 km (8.0 miles); depth +/- 7.3 km (4.5 miles)
ParametersNST=142, Nph=145, Dmin=295 km, Rmss=1.08 sec, Gp= 29°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
Source
  • Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event IDusb000d4u2

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake PAKISTAN - 11th October 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck PAKISTAN at a depth of 24.3 km (15.1 miles), the quake hit at 23:54:30 UTC Thursday 11th October 2012
The epicenter was 18 km (11 miles) North of Bagh, Pakistan
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake CHUQUISACA, BOLIVIA - 11th October 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck CHUQUISACA, BOLIVIA at a depth of 596 km (370.4 miles), the quake hit at 22:58:57 UTC Thursday 11th October 2012
The epicenter was 29 km (18 miles) North of Monteagudo, Bolivia
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION - 11th October 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck the SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION at a depth of 34.9 km (21.7 miles), the quake hit at 22:03:45 UTC Thursday 11th October 2012
The epicenter was 100 km (62 miles) ENE of Visokoi Island
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Seven Royal Marines Held Over Afghan Murder

Seven Royal Marines have been arrested on suspicion of murder over an incident in Afghanistan last year.

The arrests by the Royal Military Police relate to a killing which happened after "an engagement with an insurgent", the Ministry of Defence said.

No civilians were involved.

The Ministry of Defence said: "The investigation will now be taken forward and dealt with by the Service Justice system.

"These arrests demonstrate the Department and the Armed Forces' determination to ensure UK personnel act in accordance with their Rules of Engagement and our standards.

"It would be inappropriate to make any further comment while the investigation is under way."

More follows...

Ashleigh Davis Sues Florida Police 'Who Beat Her'

A Florida woman is suing police who she claims knocked out her teeth and left her half-naked while she was being arrested.

Ashleigh Davis and a friend were detained on charges of being drunk and disorderly at Leesburg's BikeFest in April.

Images taken from a police video appears to show her topless on the floor, with her legs and arms cuffed, and surrounded by male officers.

"(They) handcuffed my hands to my feet and then took a tie and tied it around, then carried me like a suitcase and threw me on the back of a golf cart," Ms Davis told WFTV.

The 32-year-old from Ocala said her bikini top came off while she was being restrained and she was then led through the crowd before being taken to the Leesburg Police Department.

She said the abuse continued at the station. She is seen kicking and fighting with the officers and admits biting one and drawing blood in the struggle. Read More

Hizbollah Admits Sending Drone Over Israel

Hizbollah has confirmed it sent an Iranian-made drone which Israel shot down last weekend.

The leader of the militant group made the admission after Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Lebanese based group of sending the drone.

"We are acting with determination to protect our borders," Mr Netanyahu said during a visit to the frontier with Egypt.

"As we prevented last weekend an attempt by Hezbollah. We shall continue to act aggressively against all threats".

Israel says the drone was not carrying explosives and appeared to be on a reconnaissance mission. Read More

5.5 Magnitude Earthquake VALPARAISO, CHILE - 11th October 2012

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake has struck VALPARAISO, CHILE at a depth of 81.9 km (50.9 miles), the quake hit at 17:22:10 UTC Thursday 11th October 2012
The epicenter was 75 km (46 miles) NNE from SANTIAGO, Chile
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 11th October 2012

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA at a depth of 28.6 km (17.8 miles), the quake hit at 17:07:53 UTC Thursday 11th October 2012
The epicenter was 544 km (338 miles) Southwest from Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

IMF, Germany at odds on debt

Oct. 11 - Germany's finance minister shoots down an IMF suggestion that euro zone strugglers should get more time to meet budget targets as debt worries dominate the IMF and World Bank meeting in Tokyo

Barry Thew Jailed for Eight Months For Wearing Police Deaths T-Shirt

A man who wore a T-shirt emblazoned with anti-police comments just hours after the killings of two policewomen has been jailed for eight months.

Barry Thew, 39, was spotted in his home town of Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, wearing a T-shirt which carried the handwritten comments "One less pig; perfect justice" and "Killacopforfun.com haha".

Less than four hours earlier, PCs Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, had been shot dead in a gun and grenade attack as they responded to a reported burglary on the Hattersley estate in Mottram, Greater Manchester. Read More

Syrian Plane 'Carried Russian Munitions'

Turkey's Prime Minister says a Syrian plane forced to land in Ankara was carrying Russian-made munitions destined for Damascus.

Tayyip Erdogan has said a Syrian passenger plane from Moscow which was forced to land in Ankara was carrying Russian-made munitions.

It's believed the arms were destined for Syria's defence ministry.

The Airbus A320, which had 37 passengers on board, was escorted to Ankara airport by F-16 fighter jets where the Turkish authorities seized some of its cargo.

"We are determined to control weapons transfers to a regime that carries out such brutal massacres against civilians," said Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

None of the planes passengers were arrested, and all were allowed to travel on to Syria.

The Syrian authorities say the plane was carrying civilian electrical equipment and has described the interception as an act of piracy. Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake GULF OF CALIFORNIA - 11th October 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck the GULF OF CALIFORNIA at a depth of 11.5 km (7.1 miles), the quake hit at 15:13:17 UTC Thursday 11th October 2012
The epicenter was 59 km (36 miles) NNE from La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Spain keelhauled by Germany and AAA chicanery

As Gary Jenkins from Swordfish says this morning: Spain is junked if it does, and junked if it doesn’t.

A key reason for Standard & Poor’s two-notch downgrade of Spain to near junk last night is the refusal of premier Mariano Rajoy to bite the bullet on a rescue. His "hesitation" is "potentially raising the risks to Spain’s rating".

By contrast, Moody’s said earlier that it will cut Spain to junk if it DOES request a bail-out. What a marvellous mess.

Here is S&P’s rationale:

A severe and deepening economic recession that could lead to increasing social discontent and rising tensions between Spain’s central and regional governments;

A policy setting framework among the eurozone governments that in our opinion still lacks predictability. Our understanding from recent statements is that the Eurogroup’s commitment to break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns – as announced at a summit on June 29 – does not extend to enabling the European Stability Mechanism to recapitalise large ongoing European banks. Our previous assumption was that official loans to distressed Spanish financial institutions would eventually be mutualised. more

Astronomers Reveal Planet Is Made Of Diamond

A planet about 40 light years away and twice the size of Earth is made largely out of diamond, astronomers have said.

The rocky planet, called 55 Cancri e, is orbiting a sun-like star that is visible with the naked eye.

It is in the constellation of Cancer and is moving so fast that a year there lasts a mere 18 hours.

Discovered by a US-Franco research team, the planet’s radius is twice that of Earth's and its mass eight times greater. Temperatures on its surface reach 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit (1,648 Celsius).

"The surface of this planet is likely covered in graphite and diamond rather than water and granite," said Nikku Madhusudhan, the Yale researcher whose findings are due to be published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The study, with Olivier Mousis at the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie in Toulose, France, estimates that at least a third of the planet's mass could be diamond.

Diamond planets have been spotted before but this is the first time one has been seen orbiting a sun-like star and studied in such detail. Read More

Turkey's army on high state of readiness, first step for Syria no-fly zone

Turkish armed forces on full alert

War tensions over Syria continued to spiral early Thursday, Oct. 11, when Turkey’s armed forces were placed on a state of readiness and its chief of staff pledged stronger response to any hostile act by Syria, A high-placed US source confirmed to debkafile that Turkey had, by forcing a Syrian civilian Airbus A320 plane en route from Moscow to Damascus to land in Ankara and declaring Syrian airspace “unsafe,” taken the first step toward creating a no-fly zone over Syria.

Early Thursday, Moscow responded with a demand from Ankara for clarifications claiming that 17 Russians were aboard the intercepted flight. Turkey had reported 37 passengers on the plane without specifying their nationalities. The intercepted Airbus was released overnight after a part of its cargo, described as military in nature, was impounded.

In another sign that Syrian crisis was reaching a new and dangerous level, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta referred in Brussels, for the third time in 24 hours, to the threat of chemical warfare. He said US troops had set up a headquarters in Jordan to help monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria. debkafile had previously reported that similar headquarters were already present in Turkey and Israel.

Our sources note that, just as Turkish cross-border artillery exchanges with Syria since last week have been carving out, day by day, a 10-kilometer buffer strip on Syrian land, so too Ankara has begun the process of creating a no-fly zone in Syrian air space. more

BBC film crew is held at gunpoint after trying to sneak into Nevada's Area 51 military base with UFO conspiracy theorists

This is the moment a BBC film crew were held by security teams at the notoriously secretive Area 51 - where conspiracy theorists believe the American government is hiding a flying saucer.

Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell and UFO expert Darren Perks sneaked past the border at the site - and were forced to lie on the ground at gunpoint for three hours while the FBI checked their credentials.
It is the same 'documentary' team that caused outrage in Britain last week when they suggested that the 7/7 London bombings were part of a government conspiracy to boost support for the Iraq war.

The 'UFO: Conspiracy Road Trip' documentary, airing next Monday, will show how the BBC film crew were arrested at gunpoint.

They were forced to lie on the ground for three hours as guards surrounded them armed with M16 assault rifles.

The crew, 12 people in total, were investigating Area 51 in Nevada - where the U.S. military allegedly hold the bodies of aliens and the remnants of ships which crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.

As they crossed the border, military officers arrested them, confiscating their phones, wallets and identification.

Darren told the Mail Online: 'Basically the concept of the trip was to tour across California, Arizona and Nevada with comedian presenter Andrew Maxwell and four people who had an interest in the UFO phenomena.

'We went to Area 51 in Nevada firstly because it’s related to the UFO phenomena and secondly so we could do a night time sky watch to see if we could spot anything unusual. Read More

Greece's biggest company, drinks bottler Coca Cola Hellenic, has left the country and headed to Switzerland. (another EU Supporter Herr WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE?)

Image March 2012: Greek workers demonstrate against factory's closure.

11 October 2012: Greece's biggest company is leaving the country, drinks bottler Coca Cola Hellenic (HLBr.AT) said on Thursday in announcing it will move to Switzerland and list its shares in London, dealing a blow to the debt-crippled Greek economy.

The material impact on Greece may be limited - its Greek plants will go on working and CCH said the five percent of its business that the world's second-ranked Coke bottler has in Greece will be unaffected. But analysts quickly saw it as bad news for a nation struggling to compete inside the euro zone.

Coca Cola Hellenic, which already has secondary stock market listings in London and New York, said in a bourse filing in Athens that shareholders, most of whom are abroad, will exchange all their stock for shares in Coca Cola HBC AG, based in Switzerland. That stock will have its primary quote in London. Read More

EU: GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE POINTING OUT THE IMPORTANCE OF GERMAN....EUROPE

"There is no country in Europe which would give any thought to the question of abolishing the euro."

"I am convinced that we will be able to tell our friends and partners around the world that Europe is in the process of solving its problems and Europe is aware of its responsibility."

"We are convinced that in Germany and Europe it is of central importance ...that the public believes that there are reasons to trust the long-term foundations of our policies."

"Therefore, we believe that we will fulfill our international obligations with our policy of growth-friendly deficit reduction."

SCHAEUBLE ON IMF SUGGESTION GERMANY STIMULATE DOMESTIC DEMAND

"Such suggestions reveal not so great knowledge about Germany's situation. Domestic demand does rise in Germany."

"We are the growth engine of Europe and we believe it is not helpful when one creates an impression that there are solutions that would be easier."

"I don't believe in criticising others. That's cheap. It would be much more reasonable when others would solve their problems and Europeans theirs." Read More

IMF urges Europe to put brake on deep budget cuts

(Reuters) - The IMF on Thursday backed giving debt-burdened Greece and Spain more time to reduce their budget deficits, cautioning that cutting too far, too fast would do more harm than good.

But Germany pushed back and said back-tracking on debt-reduction goals would only hurt confidence, a stance that suggested some disagreement between the International Monetary Fund and Europe's largest creditor country.

"The IMF has time and again said that high public debt poses a problem," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters. "So when there is a certain medium-term goal, it doesn't build confidence when one starts by going in a different direction."

"When you want to climb a big mountain and you start climbing down then the mountain will get even higher." Read More

Mysterious Money Stealing Algorithm

'Turkey's interception of Syria-bound plane an act of war OKed by US'

'Four beaten when masked men boarded Syria-bound plane' - attendant

Nigel Farage: Cameron cons UK, hides massive budget black hole

'US sanctions on Iran aim at regime change by making civilians suffer'

Cuban missile crisis taken 'To the Brink'

Pressure on Madrid to accept latest bailout

Spain's government came under pressure on Wednesday night to accept rescue funds from Brussels after the credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the country to BBB-, just above junk status.

S&P said it had lowered the rating on Spain's debts two notches following a slump in its fortunes that meant its recession would be longer and unemployment higher than expected.

The agency also cited the increase in social unrest and the probable rise in tensions between central government and the regions.

"The downgrade reflects our view of mounting risks to Spain's public finances, due to rising economic and political pressures," said the ratings agency. "In our view, the capacity of Spain's political institutions (both domestic and multilateral) to deal with the severe challenges posed by the current economic and financial crisis is declining, and therefore, in accordance with our rating methodology, we have lowered the rating by two notches."

S&P attached a "negative outlook" to its rating, a warning of another possible downgrade in the medium term. Read More

The Foreclosure Wars Are Over….And The Fascists Have Won….(surprised?)

The announcement yesterday that Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi has dropped the remaining investigations into the foreclosure mills, the (sewer) service of process companies and the (forged) document production factories provides a clear opportunity to state what has long been obvious….

The Banks, Wall Street and The Financial Criminals Got Away With The Biggest Crime Spree In Mankind’s History.

The Banks, Wall Street and The Financial Criminals Got Away With The Biggest Crime Spree In Mankind’s History.

Now before I get too full into the diatribe here, let me digress a little bit and clarify that when I say, “Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi”, I mean that she is “Florida’s Attorney General” in name only. This elected official does not serve the interests of the citizens of the State of Florida anymore than the fascist in chief Rick Scott serves the interests of this abused citizenry. No, to be perfectly clear…and as two years of policy and initiatives demonstrate, the leadership of this state serve the interests of the corporate masters that have purchased what was nominally at least, “Government of The People, By The People, For The People.” Ha. I like to say things like that just to remember how quaint and na├»ve that sounds.

And since I’m digressing, let me deconstruct a little bit my increasingly persistent references to Fascism in our government today…especially as Fascism is demonstrated so clearly here in Florida. In my frequent references, I’m not exactly talking about Mussolini’s brutal, physical form of fascism…yet. I’m focused (for the present time at least) in the aspects of fascism that are manifested in the fusion of “our” government and the economy. And when I say “our” government , I mean that it is “our” government only in the nominal sense. Clearly “we” have no real ownership or control over the regime that dictates America’s national policy today….those interests being subsumed by the corporate interests that own and control every aspect of Amerikan life today. For now focus clearly on the subset of the definition of fascism which provides:

Fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer. Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Under fascism, the state, through official cartels, controlled all aspects of manufacturing, commerce, finance, and agriculture. Fascism embodied corporatism, in which political representation was based on trade and industry rather than on geography. Read More

Secret courts: what they don't want the British people to know

Yvonne Ridley on the 'secret courts bill' heading through the Lords, just as former ministers and MI6 officials face the prospect of public court appearances over torture allegations.

Liberties and freedoms enshrined in Magna Carta more than 800 years ago are under threat from the British government’s plans to deliver a bill that undermines the principle of open justice. This piece will look at the context in which theJustice and Security Bill, or 'secret courts bill’ as it is nicknamed, is being pushed through and the powerful resistance to the legislation.

The bill is passing through the House of Lords while the country still reels from the most recent Hillsborough inquiry, which exposed a wide-scale cover up involving the police, politicians, and members of the emergency services. It took more than two decades for the truth to surface after the deaths of 96 Liverpool football fans at the stadium in Sheffield, and during that period ordinary people and their communities were demonised by those placed in a position of trust. The toxic legacy of Hillsborough should be followed by more transparency, not more secrecy. Yet the Justice and Security Bill has the potential to make it far easier for such cover-ups to take place.

Furthermore, the bill is being proposed at a time when former ministers from the Blair government including Jack Straw as well as senior establishment figures in the Secret Intelligence Services and Whitehall face the unprecedented prospect of being questioned by Scotland Yard detectives investigating claims of British collusion in the US rendition and torture programme. Crucial evidence of the UK's role in at least two US-led renditions is detailed in a number of documents held by the Libyan security services, which came to light subsequent to the fall of the Gaddafi regime. Read More

''Uncle Sam Prepares To Unleash Up To 30,000 Drones Over America For "Public Safety"

The Federal Aviation Administration is working towards putting the finishing touches on rules and regulations for widespread domestic drone use, and the agency expects as many as 30,000 UAVs will be in America’s airspace by the decade’s end. 

As Russia Today notes, given that the department has already addressed the issue of acquiring drones to give the DHS a better eye of domestic doings, though, those law enforcement operations in question could very well transcend away from legitimate uses and quickly cause civil liberty concerns from coast-to-coast.

All drones will be equipped with Electro-Optical/Infra-Red sensors, as well as the technology to sniff out certain chemicals from thousands of feet above our heads. Have no fear though, since the "Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety" program is for your own protection, we are sure Janet Napolitano would suggest.


Don’t be surprised if you catch a federal fleet of sneaky spy drones soaring over your head in the near future, but don’t be too terrified — it’s all in the name of public safety.

The US Department of Homeland Security is asking the makers of small unmanned aerial vehicles to submit their crafts for consideration as the agency ramps up the construction of a full-fledged surveillance state across America. The DHS plans to soon conduct drone tests over the Fort Sill, Oklahoma US Army base, and they’re already soliciting spy planes from the private sector so they can select what kind of UAV to use.

According to a request for information published on the Federal Business Opportunities website recently, the DHS is determined to begin drone tests over the military base soon and is seeking submissions from drone makers that don’t mind making a few bucks by having their products put into the US airspace to conduct sweeping surveillance.

The Borders and Maritime Security Division of the DHS “will conduct flight testing and evaluation of airborne sensors and small unmanned aerial systems,” the request reads, and now invites vendors to submit drones to be tested “under a wide variety of simulated but realistic and relevant real-world operation scenarios.” Read More

Romney Foreign Policy Speech Promises Bigger Government and New Wars

As conservative journalists and television pundits praise Mitt Romney for “hammering” President Obama during his foreign policy speech Monday at the Virginia Military Institute, a closer reading reveals very little difference between the two major party candidates on issue that are important to constitutionalists.

In fact, going by the content of his address, a Romney presidency would see the continued growth of government and the expansion of the U.S. military’s role as international regime topplers. Neither prospect, of course, should please those looking for an alternative to the status quo and a return to the limited government and non-interventionist policy preferred by our founding fathers.

One of the most morally and monetarily destructive elements of the current administration’s foreign policy is the perpetuation of the preemptive war program initiated by the last Republican president, George W. Bush.

Since he was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, President Barack Obama not only continued combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but expanded the role of American “warfighters” in Libya, Egypt, Pakistan, and Yemen.

At The New American, we have dutifully chronicled the use of drones to search and destroy suspected militants in Pakistan and Yemen. Of course, at least three of the victims of the president’s death-by-drone program have been American citizens — including a 15-year-old boy. Read More

Monsanto Controls 'Whole Foods' and What You Eat!

Nigel Farage on the Rise of UKIP, the Fall of Europe, and the Parallels for the US

Chris Hedges: The Absurdity of American Empire [FULL INTERVIEW]

Walmart’s Black Friday ultimatum

Walmart workers are now threatening to walk out on the year's biggest shopping day

One day after Walmart employees in twelve states launched a major strike, today workers issued an ultimatum to the retail giant: Stop retaliating against workers trying to organize, or the year’s most important shopping day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, will see the biggest disruptions yet. The announcement comes as 200 workers – some of them currently striking – have converged in the Walmart’s Bentonville, Arkansas hometown outside the company’s annual investors meeting. It offers a new potential challenge to Walmart, and a new test for OUR Walmart, the labor-backed organization that’s pulled off the first two multi-store U.S. strikes in Walmart history.

If Walmart doesn’t address OUR Walmart’s demands, said striking worker Colby Harris, from Dallas, “We will make sure that Black Friday is memorable for them.” He said that would includes strikes, leafleting to customers, and “flash mobs.” Harris was joined on a press call announcing the deadline by leaders of the National Consumers League, the National Organization of Women, and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, three of the national organizations that have pledged support for the workers’ efforts. Absent a resolution, said NOW President Terri O’Neill, NOW members will join Walmart workers outside stores on Black Friday to ask customers “whether they really want to spend their dollars on a company that treats workers this way.” Read More

Virus-infected computer used in bomb threat had email log erased - Japan

The log of a bomb threat email sent from the virus-infected computer of a man who was arrested and later released was erased, say investigators, who suspect a third-party of trying to destroy evidence.

According to Osaka Prefectural Police and other sources, an email was sent to Japan Airlines on Aug. 1 stating that a bomb had been planted on a New York-bound flight. The threat resulted in the flight being turned around, and the email was tracked back to the computer of anime director Masaki Kitamura, 43. Police believe that someone used a virus that allowed remote control of the computer to pose as Kitamura and send the email, after which they deleted its log. The log of access to the Osaka Municipal Government homepage, where a warning of a murder spree was sent, was also erased.

Investigators suspect that Kitamura's computer was infected from free software that he downloaded from a site introduced on an Internet message board. The name of the virus file police restored from the computer was "iesys.exe," the same name as a file found on the computer of a 28-year-old man arrested and later released by Mie Prefectural Police over a separate threat. Source

Protests throughout Pakistan condemning Taliban attack

Oct. 10 - Hundreds gathered in Pakistan's major cities to express their outrage over the Taliban's attack on a teenage girl, an act many described as ''cowardly.'' Deborah Gembara reports

Investigaiton continues into Deadly meningitis outbreak

Oct. 11 - Officials continue to investigate what caused a deadly outbreak of meningitis in the US. Julie Noce reports.

Russia-Turkey tension rises over suspect cargo

(Reuters) - Moscow accused Ankara of endangering Russian lives on Thursday after Turkey forced a Syrian passenger plane to land and seized what it suspected was military equipment being ferried from Russia to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Damascus said the interception of the Syrian Air plane was an act of piracy, further heightening tensions between the neighbors after Turkey's chief of staff warned his troops would respond with greater force if shells from Syria continued to hit Turkish territory.

Military jets escorted the Damascus-bound Airbus A-320, which was carrying around 30 passengers from Moscow, into Ankara airport late on Wednesday after Turkey received intelligence that it was carrying "non-civilian cargo". Read More

Rating cut piles pressure on Spain to seek aid

(Reuters) - Spain faced renewed pressure to take the politically humiliating step of seeking sovereign aid on Thursday after a credit agency cut its rating to near junk, triggering a spike in its borrowing costs.

Standard and Poor's said the country's deepening recession was a factor limiting the government's options for dealing with its financial problems, adding that Madrid's reluctance to apply for aid was a potential drag on the new rating, which it placed on a negative outlook.

Another headache for the government came with data showing consumer prices rose at their fastest pace in 16 months in September, further depressing demand among cash-strapped consumers.

"In the short term we suspect that the noise and column inches generated by the S&P downgrade will be disproportionate to its impact," Citi said in a note.

"But the longer term impact could be very significant if the market sees the trajectory towards Spain's eventual exclusion from (investment grade) indices as inevitable." Read More

U.S. embassy employee Killed by Masked Gunmen in Yemen

(Reuters) - Masked gunmen shot dead a Yemeni man on his way to work at the U.S. embassy in Sanaa on Thursday, a security source said, the latest in a wave of assassinations in the Arab state where Washington is battling al Qaeda militants.

The attackers on a motorcycle opened fire on a car carrying Qassem Aqlan - who headed an embassy security team - in the center of Yemen's capital, the source told Reuters.

"This (assassination) operation has the fingerprints of al Qaeda which carried out similar operations before," said the source who asked not to be named.

The Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and other militant groups strengthened their grip on parts of the country during an uprising that ousted veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh in February.

There have been a number of assassinations attempts, some of them successful, on security officials and politicians since Yemen's army drove Islamist fighters out of several southern towns earlier this year. Read More

The One Most Important Question Survivalists Can Ask Themselves: Why Are You Trying to Survive?

With the news being what it is, the world has now come to the point at which a huge shake-up is undeniable – to anyone who has 2 cents worth of brain matter between their ears. So hordes are joining the stampede to become “survivalists”. The movement has even spurred the development of the “survival industry”, with commercials now being played on mainstream media stations for freeze-dried storage foods and solar generators.

There is an old saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do.” So if you are going to go the path of being a “survivalist”, first you’ll want to know where you are going – and why.

Plenty of alternative news outlets are trumpeting that “martial law” is soon to be implemented – and the facts they present in support can only lead to that conclusion. So everyone wants to survive martial law. But what is on the other side of the marital law? The reality is that martial law can’t go on forever, but what will society/government look like after it has been dismantled?

If 9/11 caused so much restriction – by law or by fiat – of travel, of personal dignity rights, of speech, of redress of grievances, what will the next event (planned by man or by the hand of The Almighty) bring? Will you take the chip to be given your ration of food? If you allow your children to stand naked to be viewed by pedophiles in order to shop in a mall or fly on a plane, will you say no to anything else demanded of you?

Another major story all over the Internet – alternative and mainstream outlets – is that virtually the entire world’s economy is about to collapse – again, a foregone conclusion. Not a matter of if, but when. Eventually, the creditors demand their due. So everyone wants to survive an economic collapse and the chaos that will bring. But what is on the other side of the collapse? Read More

How the world's richest man is making millions from 'Obamaphone' program that gives poor free cell phones

The richest man in the world, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, is making millions in profits from a government program that supplies poor Americans with free cell phones.

Mr Slim, who is worth an estimated $69billion, owns the parent company of both the service provider and phone producer which creates the phones used in the Lifeline program.

The government program was originally enacted under President Reagan's administration in an effort for poor Americans without access to phones to have a way to contact prospective employers, arrange for healthcare, and be in touch with their children's schools.

Republicans have since attacked the program, attributing the sizeable increase in phone recipients over the past four years to President Obama and decrying that it is an example of a wasteful government handout.

The renewed debate over the decades-old program was sparked by a video of a woman in the battleground state of Ohio who said that she and 'everybody in Cleveland, every minority, got an Obama phone. Keep Obama as president. He gave us a phone. He gonna do more.' Read More

'It's disrespectful': Father's hurt at Obama's form letter sent to him by UPS to offer condolences for son killed in Afghanistan

An anguished father says he was saddened to receive an 'impersonal’ form letter from the president regarding the death of his son in Afghanistan - as it is revealed that the White House has been sending the same exact letters to families of fallen troops for years.

Back in January, Tom Logan, of Willis, Texas, was ecstatic when it appeared that his son, USMC Cpl Joseph Logan, had come home on a surprise visit.

But the man at the door that day was not Joseph. He was a fellow Marine who had come to deliver the heartbreaking news that Mr Logan’s youngest son had been killed in action.

Cpl Logan was one of six Marines who were killed when a chopper went down in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province on January 19.

'He was a good kid,' Mr Logan told KPRC while fighting back tears, 'and he’s not going to come back anymore.'

But four months after his death, Mr Logan said he was saddened all over again when a UPS delivery truck brought a letter of condolence from President Obama.

Speaking to KPRC in Houston, Mr Logan called it a form letter that was 'impersonal' and 'disrespectful.' Read More


Image: Carbon copies: An investigation by KPRC found that the letters sent by the White House to the families of fallen troops are carbon copies of each other- except for names and ranks

'I was too polite': Obama comes up with ANOTHER excuse for his debate disaster

Barack Obama has come up with another excuse for his poor performance in last week's presidential debate - he now says he was 'too polite' towards Mitt Romney.

The President and his allies have suggested a number of explanations for his disappointing display, from Mr Romney's surprise shift to the political center to even the high altitude of Denver.

But this morning Mr Obama argued that his main problem was that he pulled his punches against the Republican candidate - and promised to be more aggressive in the two remaining debates.

'I think it's fair to say I was just too polite, because it's hard to sometimes just keep on saying, "What you're saying isn't true." It gets repetitive,' he told radio host Tom Joyner on Wednesday morning. Read More

The unique spiral in space spotted by the world's most expensive ground telescope

A unique spiral structure encircling a dying star has been captured by scientists for the first time.

The spectacular picture is one of the first to come from the world’s most expensive ground-based telescope which produces images ten times sharper than Hubble.

It was built to study molecular clouds like the one around the red giant R Sculptoris which is 780 light years from Earth.

At 16,000ft up in the Chilean Andes the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is also the highest such machine on Earth.

The Atacama desert was chosen for its dryness and clarity.

The feature in the gas around the old star has never been seen before and is probably caused by a hidden companion star orbiting it.

The data reveals the shell around the star - which shows up as the outer circular ring - as well as a very clear spiral structure in the inner material. Read More

Jeanne Rysiewicz vanishes from airport departure gate instead of boarding plane with family

The family of a 26-year-old woman who has not been seen since failing to board a plane with them 24 days ago have launched a frantic search.

Jeanne Rysiewicz was supposed to catch a plane from Fort Worth, Dallas to her home in Crown Point, Indiana on September 16 but never boarded behind her parents and sister.

Surveillance footage in the airport later revealed she had left alone and her cell phone and one of her bags were found outside the terminal.

Questions now remain over why the 'happy, bubbly' waitress, who was not on anti-depressants and has never run away, would vanish and fail to contact her friends or relatives in nearly a month.

Speaking to local news channels, her parents recounted their last moments together in a bid to understand her disappearance. Read More

Scallop War: French 'Pelt' British Fishermen

French fishermen have reportedly pelted British boats with rocks in a row over scallop fishing in the English Channel.

Around 40 French boats surrounded five British vessels in the Baie de Seine, 20 miles off the coast of Le Havre, Normandy.

British crew members claimed some of the boats tried to ram them, and that objects including rocks and flares were thrown during the clash.

The French Navy had to intervene and the row was finally diffused after a meeting between the French and the British.

A spokesman for the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), which manages the UK fishing fleet, said: "As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we contacted the French authorities and encouraged them to intervene.

"We are continuing high-level negotiations with our French counterparts to seek assurances that these issues will not recur."

British trawlers are allowed to fish for scallops all year round, whereas fishermen in France have their activities limited during a five-month period ending on October 1.

Monday's stand-off happened on the French side of the English Channel, although an international agreement allows British fishermen access to French waters. Read More

Jimmy Savile Had Keys To Broadmoor

Jimmy Savile had keys to a high-security hospital, where he worked as a volunteer and has been accused of carrying out abuse.

More follows...

US sources: US, Israel plan October Surprise. Others: Israel can do it alone

Four facts deserve attention with regard to a potential attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The first is that the Iranian-Israeli war is already at hand. Iran launched it by sending an unmanned drone into Israeli air space Saturday, Oct. 6, breaking new ground in belligerence with a cyber attack.

Israel countered by stationing Patriot missile interceptor batteries in Haifa and other parts of its northern region.

That Tehran initiated hostilities with a cyber attack on Israel cannot be wiped from the record any more than its score: two points, Iran; zero, Israel, whose air defenses proved no match against a large, slow-moving and cumbersome aerial vehicle loaded with electronic equipment.

As many experts have pointed out, Patriots are not designed for intercepting aircraft, only missiles. Their deployment therefore aims at defending the country from potential Iranian or Hizballah missile strikes from Lebanon or Syria - depending partly on the state of the Syrian war.

And indeed, Hamas and Jihad Islami spokesmen, when they assumed shared responsibility for the 55 Palestinian missiles and mortars fired against Israel Monday morning, Oct. 8, said quite openly that the rules of Gaza warfare had changed: IDF attacks on terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip, however limited in scope, would draw forth reprisals not only from that Palestinian-ruled territory but from Lebanon, they said. Read More

Turkey's army on high state of readiness, first step for Syria no-fly zone

War tensions over Syria continued to spiral early Thursday, Oct. 11, when Turkey’s armed forces were placed on a state of readiness and its chief of staff pledged stronger response to any hostile act by Syria, A high-placed US source confirmed to DEBKAfile that Turkey had, by forcing a Syrian civilian Airbus A320 plane en route from Moscow to Damascus to land in Ankara and declaring Syrian airspace “unsafe,” taken the first step toward creating a no-fly zone over Syria.

Early Thursday, Moscow responded with a demand from Ankara for clarifications claiming that 17 Russians were aboard the intercepted flight. Turkey had reported 37 passengers on the plane without specifying their nationalities. The intercepted Airbus was released overnight after a part of its cargo, described as military in nature, was impounded

In another sign that Syrian crisis was reaching a new and dangerous level, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta referred in Brussels, for the third time in 24 hours, to the threat of chemical warfare. He said US troops had set up a headquarters in Jordan to help monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria. DEBKAfile had previously reported that similar headquarters were already present in Turkey and Israel.

Our sources note that, just as Turkish cross-border artillery exchanges with Syria since last week have been carving out, day by day, a 10-kilometer buffer strip on Syrian land, so too Ankara has begun the process of creating a no-fly zone in Syrian air space. Read More

IMF chief: World economy uncertain

(CNN) -- The global economy is under a "veil of uncertainty" as economic issues grip the U.S., eurozone and developing markets such as China, the head of the International Monetary Fund said Thursday in Japan.

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, said that while "more difficult to analyze and pin down," elevated levels of uncertainty are resulting in slower growth. "We need action to lift the veil of uncertainty."

Moreover, the world banking system is still in danger four years after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers helped catalyze the 2008-2009 financial crisis and still haunted by an unregulated "shadow banking system" of hedge funds and non-regulated derivatives trading.

The global financial system is "on the road to being safer, but not yet safer," Lagarde said in an interview with CNN on the sidelines of the IMF meetings being held this week in Tokyo. "I think it's attributable to the fact that (the banking system) was so damaged to begin with -- it was such a massive shock to financial institutions that it actually took a while to measure the depth of the difficulty and the scope of the changes that have to take place. Read More

Syrian rebels say they're close to gaining cointrol of the town of Maaret Al-nouman

Flirting with extremism in Tunisia

Protesters “were piled into pickup trucks with their black flags,” recalled two Tunisian eyewitnesses, the co-founder of a humanitarian group and a college professor. Both requested anonymity for security reasons. “I knew something would go wrong,” shuddered one. Although no loss of American life resulted, last month’s organized attack on the United States embassy in Tunisia – in which four locals did die – was at least as portentous as the sack of the Libyan consulate.

Unlike residents of Benghazi, Tunis-dwellers did not turn out to challenge the commandeering of their public space by well-marshaled extremists. And, whether through immaturity or latent connivance, the attitude of the Tunisian government has been equivocal. Further incidents, such as the roughing up of an elected official a couple of weeks ago, suggest that the ruling Islamist Ennahda Party may be flirting with violence to help ensure its grip on power.

But if Ennahda hopes to retain the credibility at home and abroad that its outwardly moderate approach to the Tunisian transition has reaped so far, it must resist this temptation. It must make a firm commitment to the inviolable safety and neutrality of the political arena. A good first step would be for Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali to ask for the resignation of several key ministers and to replace them with more neutral and experienced figures. Read More

Justin Bieber 'Swatting' Prank's Latest Victim

A SWAT team is sent to pop star's house in Los Angeles after hoaxers claim a gunman is on the loose.

Armed police have been called to Justin Bieber's home in southern California after he was the latest celebrity to be targeted in a "swatting" prank.

An unknown person apparently dialled the US emergency number 911 claiming a man was waving a gun around in the grounds of the property in Calabasas.

A SWAT team was sent to the pop star's home, where they established that the call was fake.

Although no one at the house had reported an intruder, showbiz website TMZ said officers were let in to search the house where they found nothing.

It also claims two neighbouring homes were investigated.

Acting stars Aston Kutcher and Miley Cyrus have also been victims of swatting hoaxers. Read More

U.S. panel urges end to secret DNA testing

(Reuters) - They're called discreet DNA samples, and the Elk Grove, California, genetic-testing company easyDNA says it can handle many kinds, from toothpicks to tampons.

Blood stains from bandages and tampons? Ship them in a paper envelope for paternity, ancestry or health testing. EasyDNA also welcomes cigarette butts (two to four), dental floss ("do not touch the floss with your fingers"), razor clippings, gum, toothpicks, licked stamps and used tissues if the more standard cheek swab or tube of saliva isn't obtainable.

If the availability of such services seems like an invitation to mischief or worse - imagine a discarded tissue from a prospective employee being tested to determine whether she's at risk for an expensive disease, for instance - the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues agrees.

On Thursday it released a report on privacy concerns triggered by the advent of whole genome sequencing, determining someone's complete DNA make-up. Although sequencing "holds enormous promise for human health and medicine," commission chairwoman Amy Gutmann told reporters on Wednesday, there is a "potential for misuse of this very personal data." Read More