Thursday, December 13, 2012

Egypt needs to learn the art of compromise

The Egyptian opposition’s willingness to permit a referendum on the country’s constitution is a welcome and important course correction. The constitution is flawed, and President Mohamed Morsi’s tone-deaf decree placing him above judicial oversight — since repealed — was an enormous overreach.

But the referendum scheduled for Saturday is a sign that Egyptians of varying views are finally playing politics, not just planning protests. Washington should embrace this in its newfound role of providing guidance without interfering. In other words, it should be coach, not captain.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/egypts-partisans-need-to-learn-the-art-of-compromise/2012/12/13/f92ea640-4545-11e2-9648-a2c323a991d6_story.html

Western Intelligence on Syrian troops readying chemical weapons for use prompted Obama’s warning

Western intelligence agencies observed Syrian units making advanced preparations for the potential use of chemical weapons, including loading trucks with ready-to-use bombs and shells, prompting President Obama last week to warn Syria against using the banned munitions, according to Western and Middle Eastern officials.

Soldiers at one Syrian base were monitored mixing precursors for chemical weapons and taking other steps to ready the lethal munitions for battlefield use, the officials said. It was the first hard evidence that Syria was moving toward possible activation of its vast arsenal of chemical weapons, which includes nerve gas and other poisons.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/intelligence-on-syrian-troops-readying-chemical-weapons-for-potential-use-prompted-obamas-warning/2012/12/13/389dd7b4-44a2-11e2-8061-253bccfc7532_story.html

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE GUATEMALA - 14th December 2012

Magnitude
4.4
Date-Time
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 04:15:23 UTC
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 10:15:23 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
13.958°N, 92.035°W
Depth
45.6 km (28.3 miles)
Region
OFFSHORE GUATEMALA
Distances
39 km (24 miles) SSW of Champerico, Guatemala

Meteor hits Turkish City Ordu

Meteorite has fallen on the territory of Turkish city Ordu. According to Turkish media, the fall of the meteorite last night caused panic among the city's population. Ordu Mayor Orhan Duzgun said that he learned the fall of the meteorite only in the morning. "The fall of the meteorite was captured by an observation camera of one of the institutions of the city. Now its place is being specified. Thousands of meteorites fall every year on various parts of the earth. There is no reason to panic. According to preliminary data, the meteorite was small and fell to the coastal area of the city," said the mayor.

http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/?pageid=event_desc&edis_id=CO-20121213-37513-TUR

Plague on the Christmas cruise: Passengers 'angry and mutinous' after they are told to stay in their cabins as Norovirus strikes 400

It was billed as a luxurious cruise around the romantic and atmospheric traditional Christmas markets of northern Europe.

Instead hundreds of passengers have been left quarantined in their cabins after a severe outbreak of norovirus – the winter vomiting bug – swept through the P&O cruise liner Oriana.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2247398/Plague-Christmas-cruise-Passengers-told-stay-cabins-winter-vomiting-strikes-400.html

Sally Bercow Sued By Lord McAlpine For £50k

Sally Bercow, the wife of the Commons Speaker, is being sued for libel over a tweet which allegedly linked a former Conservative politician to false child abuse allegations.

Law firm Carter-Ruck confirmed it is representing the outspoken former Celebrity Big Brother contestant and ex-Labour council candidate against a £50,000 claim by Lord McAlpine.

http://news.sky.com/story/1025227/sally-bercow-sued-by-lord-mcalpine-for-50k

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE GUATEMALA - 14th December 2012

Magnitude
5.2
Date-Time
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 04:04:08 UTC
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 10:04:08 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
13.956°N, 91.741°W
Depth
45.6 km (28.3 miles)
Region
OFFSHORE GUATEMALA
Distances
42 km (26 miles) SSE of Champerico, Guatemala

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 14th December 2012

Magnitude
5.1
Date-Time
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 02:34:53 UTC
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 12:34:53 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
5.018°S, 152.944°E
Depth
52.5 km (32.6 miles)
Region
NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Distances
123 km (76 miles) SE (137°) from Rabaul, New Britain, PNG

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake MYANMAR - 14th December 2012

Magnitude
4.7
Date-Time
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 02:17:33 UTC
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 08:47:33 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
22.751°N, 95.903°E
Depth
23.5 km (14.6 miles)
Region
MYANMAR
Distances
86 km (53 miles) NNW (348°) from Mandalay, Myanmar

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 14th December 2012

Magnitude
4.9
Date-Time
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 01:22:05 UTC
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:22:05 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
37.429°N, 143.547°E
Depth
39.8 km (24.7 miles)
Region
OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
Distances
225 km (139 miles) E of Namie, Japan

5.7 Magnitude Earthquake EAST OF SEVERNAYA ZEMLYA - 13th December 2012

Magnitude
5.7
Date-Time
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 23:03:38 UTC
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 07:03:38 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
80.795°N, 121.451°E
Depth
9.9 km (6.2 miles)
Region
EAST OF SEVERNAYA ZEMLYA
Distances
1542 km (958 miles) NNE (21°) from Noril'sk, Russia

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake ALBANIA - 13th December 2012

Magnitude
4.5
Date-Time
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 21:39:26 UTC
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 10:39:26 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
41.111°N, 19.793°E
Depth
10.1 km (6.3 miles)
Region
ALBANIA
Distances
7 km (4 miles) NNE of Peqin, Albania

5.5 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR - 13th December 2012

Magnitude
5.5
Date-Time
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 21:26:40 UTC
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 03:26:40 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
13.140°N, 90.004°W
Depth
13 km (8.1 miles)
Region
OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR
Distances
49 km (30 miles) SSW of Acajutla, El Salvador

Ukranian Parliament Erupts In Huge Brawl

For North Korea, next step is a nuclear test

North Korea's next step after rattling the world by putting a satellite into orbit for the first time will likely be a nuclear test, the third conducted by the reclusive and unpredictable state.

A nuclear test would be the logical follow-up to Wednesday's successful rocket launch, analysts said. The North's 2009 test came on May 25, a month after a rocket launch.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/13/us-korea-north-rocket-idUSBRE8BB02K20121213

The country is “booming” for the upcoming Doomsdate

Unexplained booms were reported across the country last week. Most remain a mystery as to their source. They are reported at a time where people may be on edge regarding the upcoming Mayan Doomsdate. Mystery mongering sites have taken notice and associated them with a coming catastrophe.

Monday night, in Rhode Island.
House-rattling boom remains a mystery – Warwick Beacon.

On Monday night at approximately 11:20 p.m., reports of a loud boom flooded police stations and social media sites alike.

Sources from the Warwick Police Department said they received nearly 100 phone calls reporting a loud noise that some thought was an explosion. Some residents called to say it shook their homes.

On the other side of Narragansett Bay in Barrington, residents also reported the noise, and a few said a flash of light accompanied it.

The calls prompted an initial police and fire search of the areas, and then marine crews took to the waters between Conimicut and Bullocks Point to search for the source of the sound.

To add to the mystery, residents further reported a low, droning, humming noise coming from the water that began about an hour or so after the initial boom was heard, about the same time crews took to the water to comb for a source.

http://doubtfulnews.com/2012/12/the-country-is-booming-with-the-upcoming-doomsdate/

The banking union is the first part of Herman Van Rompuy's 'road-map' to a European superstate. Why is David Cameron backing it?

David Cameron is in Brussels today listening to Herman Van Rompuy set out his "road-map" to a European superstate. Overnight, the first plank of that programme was agreed by European finance ministers. Banks with balance sheets stretching over €30bn will now be directly regulated by the European Central Bank rather than by their domestic authority. Around 200 of the 6,000 deposit banks in the eurozone will be affected from March 2014, almost all of them French.

On one hand, this is another remarkable coup for France. The agreement effectively places responsibility for recapitalising the French banking system (c. 150 banks affected) on to the shoulders of the wider eurozone. Britain won an odd triumph, too. George Osborne insisted on a "double majority" vote on any decision made by the European Banking Authority, meaning that non-euro nations would get their own separate vote. Britain retains power, but not responsibility, in the new system.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/thomaspascoe/100021813/the-banking-union-is-the-first-part-of-herman-van-rompuys-road-map-to-a-european-superstate-why-is-david-cameron-backing-it/

Russia admits Syria's Assad may lose civil war

Russia, Syria's most important international ally, said for the first time that President Bashar al-Assad is increasingly losing control and the opposition may win the civil war.

The statement by Russia's deputy foreign minister comes as opposition groups make gains across the country and on the international stage.

World powers have remained deadlocked on how to end Syria's crisis, with the U.S., Europe and many Arab nations calling on Assad to stand down, while Russia, China and Iran continue to back him.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/12/13/syria-damascus-car-bomb.html

Dyson Allen Charged with the murders of 19-year-old Reece Smith, four-year-old twin girls Holly and Ella Smith, and Jordan Smith, aged two

Detectives investigating a house fire in which four young siblings died have charged a teenager with their murder.

Dyson Allen, 19, of no fixed address, will appear before Blackpool Magistrates Court on Friday charged with four counts of murder.

A major investigation was launched after the fire in the Lancashire town of Freckleton on January 7 this year.

http://news.sky.com/story/1025232/teenager-charged-over-four-fire-deaths

Geminid meteor shower: Tens Of Shooting Stars As Meteor Shower Peaks

Sky watchers will be looking up in the coming hours as a meteor shower reaches its peak, sprinkling the night sky with falling stars.

The shower is expected to peak at 11.30pm in the UK on Thursday, in what could be one of the best sky events of the year.

http://news.sky.com/story/1025210/tens-of-shooting-stars-as-meteor-shower-peaks

Rebel victory possible in Syria, but at unacceptable price - Russia

US held 200 teenagers as Afghan 'enemy combatants' - report

Eurozone finally releases rescue funds for Greece

Ernesto Duenez Jr. shot dead by officer James Moody

The video shows police officer James Moody shooting Ernesto Duenez Jr., 34, who he thought was armed, 13 times in 4.2 seconds - hitting him 11 times, including four times as he was on the ground. His family, including his wife who is seen weeping over her husband's body in the video, is fighting for Moody to be charged with murder.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2247514/Graphic-footage-police-officer-fatally-shooting-man-ELEVEN-times-outside-home-released-day-cop-cleared-wrongdoing.html

Titan's Nile: Nasa scientists spot 250 mile river valley flowing with liquid ethane on Saturn's largest moon

A 250 mile-long river valley flowing with liquid hydrocarbons has been spotted on Titan by scientists using Nasa's Cassini space probe.

It is the first time a river system this vast has been seen anywhere other than Earth, and Nasa are saying it appears like a miniature, extraterrestrial likeness of the our own planet's Nile River.

The river valley crosses Titan's north polar region and runs north into Ligeia Mare, one of the three great seas in the moon's high northern latitudes.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2247511/Titans-Nile-Nasa-scientists-spot-250-mile-river-valley-flowing-liquid-ethane-Saturns-largest-moon.html

Spain is accused of committing 'act of war' after its naval ships repeatedly enter waters off Gibraltar

Spain was accused of an 'act of war' today after its naval ships repeatedly entered the territorial waters of Gibraltar.

Bob Stewart, Tory MP for Beckenham, said the British Government needed to 'respond robustly to this aggravation' after Commons Leader Andrew Lansley said two Spanish naval vessels entered the waters of Gibraltar on Monday.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2247487/Spanish-accused-act-war-Gibraltar-naval-vessels-enter-waters-The-Rock.html

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake D'ENTRECASTEAUX ISLANDS REGION - 13th December 2012

Magnitude M 4.7
Region D'ENTRECASTEAUX ISLANDS REGION
Date time 2012-12-13 18:15:55.4 UTC
Location 9.81 S ; 154.76 E
Depth 10 km
Distances 408 km S Arawa

CIA 'tortured and sodomised' terror suspect, European court rules

CIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomising, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European court of human rights said in a historic judgment released on Thursday.

In a unanimous ruling, it also found Macedonia guilty of torturing, abusing, and secretly imprisoning Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese origin allegedly linked to terrorist organisations.

Masri was seized in Macedonia in December 2003 and handed over to a CIA "rendition team" at Skopje airport and secretly flown to Afghanistan.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/dec/13/cia-tortured-sodomised-terror-suspect

If approved, Egypt's new constitution would be a step back into the Mubarak era

THE choice looks simple. Over the coming week Egypt’s electorate of 51m will have the opportunity to vote yes or no to a new constitution. A healthy blast of political advertising floods airwaves, billboards and the internet. Yet this is no cheery exercise in democracy. Seldom has any nation confronted so momentous a question at a time of such polarisation.

Rival marches of supporters and opponents of President Muhammad Morsi, vicious street battles and sectarian taunting suggest that any outcome of the referendum will leave many Egyptians deeply embittered. The political tension is aggravated by economic woes. Trapped between his own haste to ram through the vote and a deadline for the IMF to approve a rescue package, Mr Morsi has undermined confidence in Egypt’s foundering economy by announcing, then abruptly rescinding, a set of sweeping tax rises.

http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21568394-if-approved-egypts-new-constitution-would-be-step-back-mubarak-era

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake COSTA RICA - 13th December 2012

Magnitude
4.9
Date-Time
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 17:20:27 UTC
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 11:20:27 AM at epicenter
Location
9.097°N, 84.069°W
Depth
34.5 km (21.4 miles)
Region
COSTA RICA
Distances
99 km (61 miles) S (180°) from SAN JOSE, Costa Rica

Royal Hoax Radio Staff 'Moved Into Safehouses'

Staff at a radio station behind a hoax call that led to the apparent suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha have been moved to safehouses, according to reports.

Managers at Sydney radio station 2Day FM have also recruited 24-hour bodyguards to protect employees.

http://news.sky.com/story/1024873/royal-hoax-radio-staff-moved-into-safehouses

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake COSTA RICA - 13th December 2012

Magnitude
5.0
Date-Time
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 17:16:22 UTC
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 11:16:22 AM at epicenter
Location
9.098°N, 84.066°W
Depth
37.3 km (23.2 miles)
Region
COSTA RICA
Distances
98 km (61 miles) S (180°) from SAN JOSE, Costa Rica

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake TARAPACA, CHILE - 13th December 2012

Magnitude
4.3
Date-Time
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 15:16:11 UTC
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 12:16:11 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
21.105°S, 68.858°W
Depth
140.4 km (87.2 miles)
Region
TARAPACA, CHILE
Distances
151 km (93 miles) N of Calama, Chile

Palestinians take to streets after teen killed by Israeli troops in West Bank

Thousands of Palestinians marched through the streets of Hebron on Thursday, chanting anti-Israel slogans and waving green Hamas flags during a funeral procession for a teenager killed by Israeli troops in this volatile West Bank city.

Dozens of youths clashed with Israeli soldiers throughout the day, throwing stones and bottles while troops responded with volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets. No serious injuries were reported.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/13/palestinians-take-to-streets-after-teen-killed-by-israeli-troops-in-west-bank/

Following indictment, opposition leaders call for Lieberman's resignation

Following Foreign Minister's Avigdor Lieberman's indictment of breach of trust, several political parties called for him to resign on Thursday.

The Labor Party stated that Lieberman's conduct, both legally and morally, "endangered and still endangers Israeli democracy and the rule of law."

Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich announced Thursday she would demand Lieberman's resignation if an indictment were served, even if only in the ambassador case. "Even if a decision would be made not to indict [Lieberman] in the main affair… and only indict in the seemingly small ambassador affair, we would demand Lieberman would resign immediately as required by law."

http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/following-indictment-opposition-leaders-call-for-lieberman-s-resignation-1.484730/following-indictment-opposition-leaders-call-for-lieberman-s-resignation-1.484730

Israeli foreign minister charged with breach of trust

Israel's powerful foreign minister was charged Thursday with breach of trust, but escaped more serious charges in a fraud and money-laundering case that could jeopardize his political career and upend the Israeli political system just a month before parliamentary elections.

The decision by Israel's attorney general capped an investigation into Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that stretched back more than a decade. Lieberman, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is expected to come under heavy pressure to resign.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i78_uT2lBR4TczNRm4i2q_Ei1aFA?docId=cfb766e3941b43bd888b3954c86c3986

Greece gets new EU aid, declares "Grexit" era dead

The euro zone agreed on Thursday to provide nearly 50 billion euros ($64 billion) in long-delayed aid to Athens, prompting its Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to declare an end to talk of a Greek exit from the single currency.

The deal averts a catastrophic default and secures Greece's survival in the euro zone after months of doubt and political turmoil. Athens had repeatedly missed fiscal targets agreed with the EU and the International Monetary Fund, and stalled structural economic reforms.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/13/us-eurozone-greece-idUSBRE8BC0UR20121213

Bomber strikes near Afghan base after Panetta visit

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden car near a NATO base in southern Afghanistan on Thursday soon after a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, killing two people and wounding 16, Afghan and NATO officials said.

His spokesman said there was no indication Panetta was the target. Panetta had visited Kandahar Air Base just hours before the attack, meeting U.S. troops before the Christmas holiday.

"The attack occurred after the Secretary returned to Kabul," spokesman George Little said.

Three foreign soldiers were among the wounded.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/13/us-afghanistan-bomb-idUSBRE8BC0UN20121213

Town In Chile Struck By 170 Earthquakes in 5 Weeks

More than 170 tremors have been felt in the coastal town of Navidad in quake-prone Chile in just five weeks.

The strongest - of 5.9 magnitude - struck during a funeral and sent panicked mourners fleeing into the street.

The town, with a population of 5,500, has become one of the shakiest spots on Earth.

http://news.sky.com/story/1024981/town-in-chile-struck-by-170-earthquakes

David Tait dies after falling from an apartment block in Hong Kong

Former international rugby player David Tait has died aged 25 after falling from an apartment block in Hong Kong.

His rugby career was cut short by injuries, and he then became a corporate finance manager for multinational firm KPMG.

It is the second tragedy to hit the family after his father Campbell Tait, a barrister and judge, was found hanged at his home in Sale in 2004.

http://news.sky.com/story/1024994/david-tait-ex-rugby-star-in-deadly-fall

Litvinenko 'Triple Spy': Russia 'Was Involved' In Death

Alexander Litvinenko was a triple agent working for MI6 and the Spanish secret service when he died, a coroner has heard.

Mr Litvinenko had been hired by MI6 for a number of years and was working with Spain to investigate the Russian mafia shortly before his death, a pre-inquest review was told.

He would regularly meet with an MI6 handler, named only as Martin, in central London and was paid by both the British and Spanish secret services into a joint bank account he held with his wife, the hearing was told.

http://news.sky.com/story/1025056/litvinenko-russia-was-involved-in-death

Syria fires Scuds to stop Al Qaeda arm seizing chemical arms at Al Safira


By the blacklisting Tuesday, Dec. 11, of the Jabhat al-Nusra group fighting in Syrian rebel ranks as “a foreign terrorist organization” and affiliate of al Qaeda in Iraq, Washington faces four quandaries:

1. The 10,000 fighters of this al Qaeda affiliate are the best-trained and most professional component of the Syrian rebel front;.

2. Jabhat al-Nusra fields 3,000 fighters out of the mostly Free Syrian Army’s 14,000 rebels fighting in and around Aleppo. They also constitute the assault force’s spearhead.

http://www.debka.com/article/22608/Assad-fires-Scuds-to-stop-Al-Qaeda-arm-seizing-chemical-arms-at-Al-Safira

Matt's thoughts:
When even a heavily pro-Israel site is admitting and presenting facts towards the case that outside groups, and not the "Syrian Freed Fighters" the media crams down our throats, are causing this trouble, there's a serious issue. The United States may be going one step too far this time.

Chinese airplane enters Japanese airspace over Senkakus for 1st time


More info:
http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2012/12/199160.html

Israeli forces, protesters cotinue to clash in Hebron

Dozens of Palestinians clashed with Israel Defense Forces and Border Guard officers in the West Bank city of Hebron. Large Palestinian police forces arrived at the scene to curb the protests and buffer between the Israeli forces and the rioters.

Earlier, Palestinian medical sources reported that three youths and a Palestinian woman required medical treatment for tear gas inhalation and were evacuated to the public hospital in the city.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4319544,00.html

Syrian coalition opposes US decision on Terrorist Group Nusra

Syria’s opposition leader, Moaz al-Khatib, called on the US on Wednesday to reconsider its decision to designate an extremist rebel group as a terrorist organisation, as more than 100 countries meeting in Morocco recognised his coalition as the legitimate representative of Syrians.

The Syrian National Coalition, the newly formed group that has sought to unite rebel forces, received a significant diplomatic boost at the Friends of Syria conference in Marrakesh, increasing the isolation of the regime of Bashar al-Assad and its supporters in Russia and China.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9fae06d2-4433-11e2-952a-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2EuDpY4Qq

Putin says US Congress's Magnitsky bill 'unfriendly'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he fails to understand why the US Congress passed a bill aimed at barring Russians allegedly involved in an anti-corruption lawyer's death from the US.

He suggested US domestic politics were behind the "unfriendly" bill and that US-Russian relations were at stake.

Russia promised earlier to retaliate by barring American human rights abusers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20712613

Justin Bieber: murder plot target, 2 Arrested

Superstar pop singer Justin Bieber was the target of a bizarre plot hatched by an imprisoned, Bieber-obsessed murderer who allegedly dispatched two New Mexico men to kill and castrate the teen hearthrob at his recent Madison Square Garden show, The Post reports.

One of those men was busted upstate on Nov. 20 — allegedly with pruning shears that were to be used to cut off Bieber’s manhood at a price of $2,500 for each testicle, according to court documents.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/12/13/justin-bieber-target-murder-castration-plot/

North Korean satellite is 'tumbling out of control', claim US officials

The satellite that North Korea claims it launched into orbit yesterday, amid allegations of long-range missile tests, is tumbling out of control, US officials have said.

Officials told NBC news said that the device is some kind of space vehicle, but that they haven't established what it is supposed to do.

According to officials the object, which was launched at 7.49 p.m. ET on Wednesday, has an unstable trajectory and could crash land back to earth.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/north-korean-satellite-is-tumbling-out-of-control-claim-us-officials-8412857.html

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 13th December 2012

Magnitude M 4.9
Region NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
Date time 2012-12-13 11:56:04.9 UTC
Location 35.57 N ; 140.23 E
Depth 48 km
Distances 9 km NW Oamishirasato, Honshu, Japan

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake AZORES ISLANDS REGION - 13th December 2012

Magnitude M 4.7
Region AZORES ISLANDS REGION
Date time 2012-12-13 11:31:01.4 UTC
Location 36.10 N ; 34.22 W
Depth 10 km
Distances 681 km SW Angra

£100billion and counting: What Britain has paid to Brussels in the last 40 years...What have we got for this?

Britain’s membership of the European Union has cost taxpayers almost £100billion since its formation.

As David Cameron travels to Brussels today for another EU summit, it emerged that from 1973 to this year Britain has paid £97billion in net payments.

The Prime Minister is likely to seize on the vast sum when he finally sets out his vision for the UK’s place in Europe in a major speech, now delayed until the New Year.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2247437/100billion-counting-What-Britain-paid-Brussels-40-years.html

Terror Ties: US supports Syrian rebels despite 'blacklisted' group

Police pepper spray Michigan union members in 'right to work' protest

Iran nuclear

Documents reveal US, Israel lies on Iran

Fears grow for Ukrainian reporter held hostage in Syria

The Ukrainian government has appealed for the release of a Ukrainian journalist abducted in Syria two months ago amid reports her life is in danger.

Anhar Kochneva, who was working as a freelancer for Russian and Ukrainian media, is believed to have been kidnapped near the city of Homs.

Several videos apparently released by her captors show her asking for her kidnappers' demands to be met.

Initially they called for a ransom of $50m (£31m; 38m euros) to be paid.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20709427

16 people killed in Damascus blast by Rebels, children included

At least 16 people including children were killed and scores of others injured when an explosion rocked the Syrian capital Damascus' suburb of Qatana Thursday morning, local media said.

Most of the victims were schoolchildren, Syrian official media said, adding that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Meanwhile, pro-government media placed the initial number of casualties at 22 killed and 150 injured.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-12/13/c_132039114.htm

Fracking is back: Controversial gas extraction process to resume in UK

The Government today gave the green light for “fracking” to resume across the UK – potentially allowing for gas exploration to take place across 60 per cent of the country.

Drilling to look for shale gas was put on hold 18 months ago after the process, which uses high-pressure liquid to split rock and extract gas, caused two small earthquakes in Blackpool.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/fracking-is-back-controversial-gas-extraction-process-to-resume-in-uk-8412382.html

Britain may cause EU "disintegration" Warns senior German lawmaker....Well let's hope he is Right!

A leading member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition accused Britain on Thursday of adopting an uncooperative attitude towards the European Union that could cause a "disintegration" of the bloc.

Rainer Bruederle, parliamentary leader of the Free Democrats (FDP) who share power with Merkel's conservatives, told German Radio he wanted Britain to stay in the EU but that he was getting increasingly frustrated with London.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/13/us-europe-britain-germany-idUSBRE8BC0E220121213

South Korea finds rocket debris

U.N. nuclear inspectors in Iran, no sign of Parchin visit

Inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog arrived in Tehran on Thursday to hold talks over Iran's disputed nuclear program but there was no sign they would gain access to the Parchin military complex as requested.

The Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) said "no plans were announced yet for inspectors to visit Iran's nuclear facilities or other sites", without giving a source.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/13/us-iran-nuclear-iaea-idUSBRE8BC09320121213

Russia says Syrian rebels might win; car bomb kills 16

Syrian rebels are gaining ground and might win, Russia's deputy foreign minister said on Thursday, in the starkest such admission from a major ally of President Bashar al-Assad.

"One must look the facts in the face," Russia's state-run RIA quoted Mikhail Bogdanov as saying. "Unfortunately, the victory of the Syrian opposition cannot be ruled out."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/13/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE8AJ1FK20121213

EU banking deal concludes hectic year; minefield ahead

The European Union reached a landmark deal on Thursday to make the European Central Bank the bloc's top banking supervisor, giving EU leaders greater confidence that they are gaining the upper hand over the euro zone's debt crisis.

EU finance ministers forged a deal on the single supervisor in the early hours of Thursday after marathon talks. Leaders will give their stamp of approval at a summit starting later in the day, their last of 2012, and also discuss closer fiscal ties for their troubled currency area.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/13/us-eu-summit-idUSBRE8BB1T720121213

'Bad Barbies' Gang Busted By New York Cops

A violent street gang, whose female factions go by names like "Bad Barbies" and "One Seven Hoes", has been dismantled by cops in New York City.

About 40 members of the Bronx-based Trinitarios gang were charged on Wednesday with multiple offences, ranging from murder and assault to racketeering and selling drugs.

Detectives are investigating a whopping nine murders and 24 attempted murders of mostly rival gang members in the Bronx and nearby Yonkers.

http://news.sky.com/story/1024846/bad-barbies-gang-busted-by-new-york-cops

Health Warning As Norovirus 'Hits 750,000'

More than 750,000 people are thought to have been struck down by an outbreak of norovirus in the UK - an increase of 72%.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) says there are likely to be a further 288 unreported sufferers for every one of the 2,630 confirmed cases of norovirus so far this season.

A spokesman for the HPA said the figures meant 757,440 people could be affected by the stomach bug, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

http://news.sky.com/story/1024825/health-warning-as-norovirus-hits-750000

Jacintha Saldanha 'Left Three Notes'

The nurse tricked by a radio prank call was found hanging from a wardrobe by a scarf, an inquest has heard.

Jacintha Saldanha died days after falling victim to the hoax that targeted the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated.

The opening of her inquest at Westminster Coroner's Court heard injuries were found on the nurse's wrists - and that she had also left three notes.

http://news.sky.com/story/1024873/royal-prank-call-nurse-left-three-notes

Fireball UFO over Sweden 11 December 2012

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE - 13th December 2012

Magnitude
4.7
Date-Time
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 10:02:43 UTC
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 07:02:43 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
23.427°N, 44.754°W
Depth
10.1 km (6.3 miles)
Region
NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
Distances
1880 km (1168 miles) ENE of Grande Anse, Guadeloupe

Revealed: U.S. plan for 'full nuclear response' against former Soviet Union and China (even if they weren't at fault) until policy was deemed 'dangerous' by LBJ

In the last month of his presidency, Lyndon B. Johnson changed the policy of 'Futherance,' which would have sparked catastrophic nuclear response on the former U.S.S.R. and China, newly released documents reveal. The document had allowed the U.S. to seek retaliation after attack, even if those countries had nothing to do with it. Johnson's cabinet labeled the change in Futherance 'essential' and labeled the previous plan as 'dangerous.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2247363/Revealed-U-S-plans-nuclear-response-Soviet-Union-China-retaliation-carried-initial-attack-accidental.html

'Why the World Didn't End Yesterday': Confident NASA release Mayan apocalypse video TEN DAYS early

Japanese serial killer Miyoko Sumida, 64, found dead in her cell after murdering six people to claim life insurance

A Japanese grandmother who allegedly orchestrated the murders of six members of her family so she could make money from insurance claims has killed herself.

Miyoko Sumida, 64, the primary suspect behind a series of mysterious deaths in Amagasaki, Japan, took her own life while she was in a holding cell, it was reported today.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2246996/Miyoko-Sumida-Japanese-woman-dead-cell-killed-SIX-members-family-insurance.html

'Teenager, 16, stockpiled explosives and was found with terrorist handbook'

A 16-year-old boy today appeared in court charged with terrorism offences including possessing explosives after he was allegedly found with books on how to make improvised bombs.

The teenager, who cannot been named for legal reasons, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London.

The boy, who was arrested at his home in Northamptonshire in February, is charged with possessing explosive substances, namely sulphur powder and potassium nitrate.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2247079/Teenager-16-stockpiled-explosives-terrorist-handbook.html

Bomb found in Bonn train station, Islamist extremist suspected

German authorities suspect Islamist extremists were responsible for planting an explosive device Monday beside a track at the main railway station in Bonn, a German intelligence official tells CNN.

The explosives were found after a 14-year-old reported the bag to police, according to the official, who said the device was "not sophisticated" in design.

The official said whoever left the bag remains at large. Initially, German police arrested two Bonn residents soon after recovering the explosive components, the official said. The official identified them as Omar D., who's long been on German security services' radar because of his alleged links to Islamist extremists, and Abdifatah W.

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/11/islamist-extremist-suspected-after-bomb-found-at-bonn-rail-station/?hpt=hp_t4

Massive bank cyberattack planned

Security firm McAfee on Thursday released a report warning that a massive cyberattack on 30 U.S. banks has been planned, with the goal of stealing millions of dollars from consumers' bank accounts.

RSA startled the security world with its announcement that a gang of cybercriminals had developed a sophisticated Trojan aimed at funneling money out of bank accounts from Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), Citibank (C, Fortune 500), Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500), eBay (EBAY, Fortune 500) subsidiary PayPal and dozens of other large banks. Known as "Project Blitzkrieg," the plan has been successfully tested on at least 300 guinea pig bank accounts in the United States, and the crime ring had plans to launch its attack in full force in the spring of 2013, according to McAfee, a unit of Intel (INTC, Fortune 500).

http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/13/technology/security/bank-cyberattack-blitzkrieg/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

Fracking campaigners fear government will give go-ahead to shale exploration

Campaigners have raised fears that the government is poised to give the green light to shale gas exploration in the UK in a decision due on Thursday.

Moves by the gas company Cuadrilla to exploit the unconventional gas in Lancashire were put on hold 18 months ago after the process of "fracking", which uses high-pressure liquid to split rock and extract gas, caused two small earthquakes.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/13/fracking-campaigners-government-shale-exploration

Daniel Jones heroin death: Pair charged with manslaughter

Two people have been charged with the manslaughter of a toddler who died from a heroin overdose in the West Midlands.

Daniel Jones, aged 23 months, died in a property in the Penn area of Wolverhampton in May.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-20708043

Japan protests after Chinese plane flies over disputed isles

Japan protested to China on Thursday after a Chinese government plane entered what Japan considers its airspace over disputed islets in the East China Sea, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

The incident prompted Japan's military to scramble eight F-15 fighter jets, the Defense Ministry said. Japanese officials later said the Chinese aircraft had left the area.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/13/us-china-japan-scramble-idUSBRE8BC07920121213

'It's called capitalism': Google boss says he is 'proud' of the company's multi-million pound tax avoidance scheme

The boss of Google last night said he was ‘very proud’ of the elaborate structure that helped the search giant slash more than £200million from its UK tax bill last year.

Taxpayers were left to fund the shortfall after Google contributed just £6million to government coffers – despite making sales of £2.6billion.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2247321/Its-called-ca.html

Rebel Bombs rock Damascus

British ship grounded on Spanish coast

EU inaction reminds Israel of Nazi camps, says Avigdor Lieberman

ISRAEL'S Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has criticised Europe, saying its treatment of the Jewish state was comparable to policies during the Holocaust.

Mr Lieberman said Europe had turned a blind eye to a speech by Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal this week, in which he said the Palestinians would not "cede an inch" of historic Palestine, which covers modern Israel.

"Once again, Europe has ignored calls for Israel's destruction," Mr Lieberman told Israeli public radio.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/gaza-conflict/eus-jewish-policylike-1930s-says-avigdor-lieberman/story-fnge5zl9-1226535046837

For North Korea, next step is a nuclear test

North Korea rattled the world on Wednesday by putting a satellite into orbit using the kind of technology that appears to demonstrate it can develop a missile capable of hitting the United States.

Its next step will likely be a nuclear test, which would be the third conducted by the reclusive and unpredictable state. Its 2009 test came on May 25, a month after a rocket launch.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/12/13/uk-korea-north-rocket-idUKBRE8BC05F20121213

Eurozone agrees on common bank regulator......Germany

Europe took its first big step towards banking union early on Thursday morning, as eurozone finance ministers agreed a plan to cede power to a common bank supervisor in Frankfurt.

After almost four months of fraught diplomacy that laid bare deep Franco-German divisions, finance ministers brokered terms for the European Central Bank to begin direct supervision of up to 200 eurozone lenders from early 2014.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/2946cbfe-44d4-11e2-8fd7-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2EuDpY4Qq

Australia: Hundreds of dead fish and Crabs found on beaches

IT could be some time before Fisheries authorities know what killed hundreds of fish and crabs in Safety Bay this week but early indications point to low oxygen levels.

Hundreds of fish including herring and flounder, blue manner crabs and eels were found dead over several days on the beach near Tern Island and the Bent Street boat ramp.

Many concerned readers contacted the Courier over the weekend after spotting the dead marine life.

http://www.inmycommunity.com.au/news-and-views/local-news/Hundreds-of-dead-fish-found-on-beaches/7637893/

Sweden: Mystery orb crash: 'It was like Armageddon'

Frightened residents in western Sweden reported seeing a bright, blue light racing across the night sky on Tuesday before an orange-coloured orb smashed into the ground in a mysterious phenomenon that has yet to be explained.

"It lit up the sky and flew over us, then we heard an explosion," witness Jessica Berg told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

"It was very weird. Uncomfortably weird."

http://www.thelocal.se/45012/20121212/#.UMlh6-TLS8A

Gas leak evacuates Little Miami High School students

More than 1,000 students were forced to evacuate Little Miami High School this morning due to a gas leak.

Warren County radio dispatchers said the evacuation of students from the Warren County high school to the junior high school that shares the school campus at 3001 East US 22-3 was “controlled chaos.”

The leak was discovered at approximately 11:30 a.m., when lunchroom workers in the kitchen of the high school smelled leaking gas. Melinda Briggs, spokeswoman for the schools, said a maintenance worker then discovered a pin-point leak in a gas line.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20121212/NEWS0102/312120117/Gas-leak-evacuates-Little-Miami-High-School-students?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7C&nclick_check=1

Bird flu alert in Indonesia

Indonesian authorities have stepped up bird flu monitoring after thousands of poultry have died on Java island in recent months, officials said Wednesday.

A strain of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus was believed to have caused the deaths among poultry in Jakarta and other areas, said Emil Agustiono, the head of the National Zoonosis Committee.

``We are investigating whether the source of the outbreak were imported poultry,'' he said. ``If it came from one source, it will be easier to contain.''

http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/325824/poultry-deaths-prompt-bird-flu-alert-in-indonesia

White Island volcanic alert level raised, New Zealand

The volcanic alert level at White Island has been raised to 2 and the aviation colour code to orange.

GNS Science volcanologists have noticed a spiny lava dome at White Island in an existing small crater formed as a result of eruptions in August.

"On Monday we were able to see a spiny lava dome that has grown in a crater formed by an eruption on August 5.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10853605