Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sahara hostage siege turns Mali war global

Islamist fighters have opened an international front in Mali's civil war by taking dozens of Western hostages at a gas plant in the Algerian desert just as French troops launched an offensive against rebels in neighboring Mali.

Nearly 24 hours after gunmen stormed the natural gas pumping site and workers' housing before dawn on Wednesday, little was certain beyond a claim by a group calling itself the "Battalion of Blood" that it was holding 41 foreign nationals, including Americans, Japanese and Europeans, at Tigantourine, deep in the Sahara.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/17/us-sahara-crisis-idUSBRE90F1JJ20130117

Israeli army 'provoked Palestinian teenager and then shot him'

A Palestinian schoolboy killed by Israeli gunfire near the West Bank separation barrier had been reacting to insults shouted by soldiers with loudhailers before he was shot, eyewitnesses have said.

The claim contradicts an account given by the Israeli army, which says 16-year-old Samir Awad was shot after cutting through a section of the security fence as he tried "infiltrate into Israel".

The teenager died on Tuesday after being shot three times. He was hit from behind as he was running away from Israeli troops in the village of Boudrous, according to his family. Doctors at Ramallah Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, said he had suffered gunshot wounds to his neck, leg and torso.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9806820/Israeli-army-provoked-Palestinian-teenager-and-then-shot-him.html

Warning high street store closures will double

EXPERTS have warned there could soon be as many as 40,000 empty shops on Scotland's high streets as the collapse of major chains and retailers shows no sign of ending.

The decline of top brands continued with DVD rental store Blockbuster following HMV into administration, with the potential loss of 4190 jobs – 300 of them in Scotland. Last week camera chain Jessops closed its stores.

Now some retail analysts say the number of empty shops could double as chains and independent stores go out of business without fresh ventures to replace them.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/warning-high-street-store-closures-will-double.19934461

France, Germany and Italy: Terrorists in Mali must go

Europe's largest powers appeared Wednesday to be united in their goal of removing al Qaeda-linked militants from the West African nation of Mali, where Islamist rebels are fighting to overthrow Mali's government.

A quarter-million people have fled Mali -- twice the number who have fled fighting in Syria -- and stirred international fears that Mali will become Africa's next haven for terrorists.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/16/world/mali-unrest/

U.S., others ground Boeing Dreamliner indefinitely

Europe, Japan and India on Thursday joined the United States in grounding Boeing Co's 787, a day after a second incident involving battery failure caused one of the Dreamliner passenger jets to make an emergency landing.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Wednesday it would temporarily ground Boeing's newest commercial airliner and insisted airlines would have to demonstrate the lithium ion batteries were safe before they could resume flying. It gave no details on when that might happen.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/17/us-boeing-dreamliner-idUSBRE90F1N820130117

Algeria troops 'in face-off' with militant hostage-takers

Algerian troops have surrounded a gas facility in the east of the country where some 20 foreign workers are being held hostage by Islamist militants.

The kidnappers attacked and occupied the complex at In Amenas on Wednesday, after killing a Briton and an Algerian.

The captives include British, Japanese, US, French and Norwegian nationals.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21054521

Lassa fever kills three in Benue, Nigeria

AT least three persons, including a medical doctor, were said to have died of Lassa fever at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Orduen Abunku, who disclosed this to journalists in Makurdi yesterday, said the deceased were referred to the teaching hospital from another hospital, maintaining that clinical suspicion indicated that the ailment might be Lassa fever.

http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=110686:lassa-fever-kills-three-in-benue&catid=1:national&Itemid=559

Family Jailed In Egypt For Becoming Christian and changed their names

A mother and her seven children have been jailed for 15 years in Egypt for converting back to Christianity.

Nadia Mohamed Ali and her children Mohab, Maged, Sherif, Amira, Amir and Nancy were sentenced at the criminal court in Beni Suef, 70 miles south of Cairo.

Another seven people involved in the case were also sentenced to five years in prison, according to reports.

http://news.sky.com/story/1039122/family-jailed-in-egypt-for-becoming-christian

Manti Te'o 'DUPED' into thinking Twitter girlfriend was real in elaborate prank by cruel 'cast of characters' who made him believe she died nine months into their 'relationship'

The heart-breaking story of a college football star who helped his team battle to the championship game after his girlfriend died of leukaemia has been unveiled as a hoax.

The story of linebacker Manti Te'o captured national attention and has been described as "the inspiring story of the college football season".

http://news.sky.com/story/1039110/college-football-star-in-dead-girlfriend-hoax

Jordan Cobb Missing From Ferry: Police Find Body

Police searching for a missing teenager who leapt from a ferry on his way to a New Year's Eve party have found a body.

Jordan Cobb is believed to have jumped from the front of the vessel for a £100 bet.

The 16-year-old was travelling from Plymouth to a party in Torpoint, Cornwall, with a group of friends.

http://news.sky.com/story/1039085/teen-missing-from-ferry-police-find-body

Boeing Dreamliners Grounded By US and Japan

US federal officials have ordered American airlines to ground Boeing's 787 Dreamliners over safety fears after an emergency landing in Japan.

The decision by the Federal Aviation Administration follows the announcement by two Japanese airlines that they have grounded all of their 787s after a sixth problem with the aircraft in less than two weeks.

The planes will be grounded until the risk of possible battery fires is addressed, the US official has said.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038642/boeing-dreamliners-grounded-by-us-and-japan

Horse Meat Burgers: FSA Threatens Legal Action

The UK food watchdog is considering whether legal action should be taken against companies at the centre of the scandal over horse meat found in beef burgers.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it would consult relevant local authorities and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) before making a decision to take action.

http://news.sky.com/story/1039115/horse-meat-burgers-fsa-threatens-legal-action

Algeria: 'Several Brits Held Hostage, One Killed'

Several Britons have been taken hostage - and one UK national killed - in a terrorist attack at a gas field in Algeria, according to Sky sources.

An Islamist militant group has claimed to have kidnapped up to 41 foreign nationals - including seven Americans and an Irishman - in a dawn raid on the gas facility part-operated by BP, Algerian state oil company Sonatrach, and Norway's Statoil in Algeria.

It claims to have repelled an attempt by Algerian soldiers to enter the facility, forcing them to retreat after an exchange of gunfire.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038832/algeria-several-brits-held-hostage-one-killed

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN PERU - 17th January 2013

Magnitude
4.5
Date-Time
Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 02:04:37 UTC
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 09:04:37 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
15.021°S, 70.871°W
Depth
21.6 km (13.4 miles)
Region
SOUTHERN PERU
Distances
33 km (20 miles) WSW of Ayaviri, Peru

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION - 16th January 2013

Magnitude
4.7
Date-Time
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 23:32:47 UTC
Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 08:32:47 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
42.313°N, 144.706°E
Depth
25.7 km (16.0 miles)
Region
HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
Distances
78 km (48 miles) SSE of Kushiro, Japan

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake NEW GUINEA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 16th January 2013

Magnitude
4.2
Date-Time
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 23:25:03 UTC
Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 09:25:03 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
5.047°S, 144.715°E
Depth
87.1 km (54.1 miles)
Region
NEW GUINEA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Distances
101 km (63 miles) NNE (31°) from Mount Hagen, New Guinea, PNG

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA - 16th January 2013

Magnitude
4.6
Date-Time
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 22:41:35 UTC
Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 05:41:35 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
11.583°S, 112.464°E
Depth
10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Region
SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA
Distances
352 km (218 miles) S of Krajan Tambakrejo, Indonesia

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES - 16th January 2013

Magnitude
4.9
Date-Time
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 21:44:48 UTC
Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 05:44:48 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
6.514°N, 126.536°E
Depth
52 km (32.3 miles)
Region
MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
Distances
43 km (26 miles) ENE of Pondaguitan, Philippines

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 16th January 2013

Magnitude
4.7
Date-Time
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 21:22:40 UTC
Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 07:22:40 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
5.780°S, 149.041°E
Depth
149.8 km (93.1 miles)
Region
NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Distances
74 km (45 miles) NW of Kandrian, Papua New Guinea

Iran Navy to Deploy to Mediterranean

Iran will deploy a fleet of warships to the Mediterranean Sea, Navy chief Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Wednesday.

“The Navy’s 24th fleet of warships will patrol the north of the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, Bab-el-Mandeb, the Red Sea, Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea for three months and will even sail as far as southeastern Asian countries,” Sayyari was quoted by Press TV as saying.

http://en.rian.ru/military_news/20130116/178824364.html

US Police and Military Personnel: You have taken an oath to defend the constitution

In southern India, relatives sometimes quietly kill their elders

Michael headed for work at a textile mill, leaving his wife, children and infirm mother at home in this impoverished part of southern India. When he returned a few hours later, his mother's body was propped up in a chair surrounded by villagers and decorated with flowers, poisoned by his wife with a potion in a local form of mercy killing known as thalaikoothal.

Three decades later, he harbors no ill will toward his wife. "My mother had been sick and in pain for 20 days and wasn't eating properly," said Michael, 62, who like many southern Indians uses one name. "I was thinking of doing it myself. It was time, and there wasn't enough food to go around."

Even as India debates the morality and legality of euthanasia, three districts in the southern state of Tamil Nadu have been quietly carrying out a homegrown version for decades, or centuries, depending on whom you ask.

The practice in one small corner of India has declined under the spotlight after a high-profile 2010 case and growing opposition from elderly rights groups, but dozens, even hundreds, of cases of thalaikoothal, or "head pouring," occur quietly each year, people say.

"Some call it euthanasia," said Rajeshwar Devarakonda, social protection head at HelpAge India, a civic group focused on elderly care. "Others call it homicide."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-india-mercy-killings-20130116,0,4344946.story?page=1

Algeria Hostage Drama: Several Brits Involved

At least five British nationals are caught up in a terrorist attack at a gas field in Algeria where workers have been taken hostage, according to Sky sources.

An Islamist militant group has claimed to have kidnapped up to 41 foreign nationals - including seven Americans and an Irishman - in a dawn raid on the gas facility part-operated by BP, Algerian state oil company Sonatrach, and Norway's Statoil in Algeria.

They are said to be demanding the release of 100 Islamists held in Algeria, in exchange for those being held at the gas field.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038832/algeria-hostage-drama-several-brits-involved

US blames Assad regime for 'despicable' campus blasts

The United States on Wednesday condemned the "despicable attack" on university buildings in the Syrian city of Aleppo, blaming the regime for unleashing air strikes that killed at least 82 people.

"The United States is appalled and saddened by the Syrian regime's deadly attack yesterday on the University of Aleppo," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, adding most of the victims were students and refugees.

"According to eyewitnesses at the scene, regime planes launched aerial strikes on university facilities," she told journalists.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jypUz1XB30LJfxX589GoP_dcw-Pg?docId=CNG.e0843333a301cd62e11c5aa64af78d26.a81

Let's remember this University is in a government controlled area and was heavily guarded by security forces at the time of the attack.

That's not capitalism! That's fraud!

Pakistanis gather in front of Parliament to topple government

France's Kurds hope for peace as slain activists return to Turkey

Obama Taking 23 Actions Aimed at Gun Violence

Record two tonnes of ivory seized in Kenya following elephant poaching

White House slams 'repugnant' gun lobby ad calling President 'elitist hypocrite' for enjoying armed guards for HIS kids while opposing them in schools

The National Rifle Association has launched a preemptive attack against President Obama's unveiling of his gun control plan Wednesday with a new ad that calls him an 'elitist hypocrite.' The 30-second ad, released on a website for the NRA's new 'Stand and Fight' campaign, criticizes Obama for using Secret Service protection for his two daughters while he opposes the deployment of armed guards in schools.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2263348/New-NRA-ad-attacks-Obamas-use-Secret-Service-protection-daughters-calls-elitist-hypocrite-opposing-armed-guards-schools.html

America's flu epidemic: TWENTY children killed as death toll hits highest level since 2004

Flu has already killed 20 children in America this winter in the worst death toll since the government began keeping track in 2004, it was revealed today.

The deaths include a 6-year-old girl in Maine, a 15-year Michigan student who loved robotics, and six-foot-four Texas high school senior Max Schwolert, who grew sick in Wisconsin while visiting his grandparents for the holidays.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2263210/America-flu-epidemic-TWENTY-children-including-6-year-olds-healthy-high-school-athlete-killed.html

The hunt for Red October: The astonishing hacking ring that has infiltrated over 1,000 high level government computers around the world

A major cyber-attack that has been stealing information from high level government computers around the world since 2007 has been discovered.

Kaspersky Labs, which made the discovery, said in addition to diplomatic and governmental agencies of various countries across the world, Red October also targeted research institutions, energy and nuclear groups, and trade and aerospace targets.

The firm even said the malware was used to infiltrate smartphones of government workers to electronically steal information.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2263322/Operation-Red-October-revealed-The-astonishing-hacker-attack-infiltrated-55-000-high-level-government-computers.html

'Former USSR Republics and countries in Central Asia were targeted, although victims can be found everywhere, including Western Europe and North America', said Kaspersky Lab, an antivirus software firm which made the discovery.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2263322/Operation-Red-October-revealed-The-astonishing-hacker-attack-infiltrated-55-000-high-level-government-computers.html

World's strongest man-made whirlwind attract record crowds

A German car museum has visitors flocking to an unlikely attraction within its walls - the world’s strongest man-made tornado.

The Mercedes-Benz museum’s state-of-the-art fire safety system was created to effectively dispel smoke in case of a fire, but has tourists lined up to watch it go.

The ‘indoor storm’ is created by 144 jet motors which align the walls up to the ceiling, 112ft above the central atrium.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2263436/The-tornado-thats-causing-real-indoor-storm-Worlds-strongest-man-whirlwind-attract-record-crowds--just-safety-device.html




What is Germany scared of? Bundesbank to retrieve $200bn of gold reserves from central banks in Paris and New York

Germany is set to retrieve its gold reserves held abroad, in a move critics fear could trigger a contagion of mistrust among the world’s central banks.

The country’s Bundesbank is set to repatriate a large hoard from its holding in New York and all of its bullion from Paris, the German newspaper Handelsblatt has reported.

Germany's Bundesbank owns nearly 3,400 tonnes of gold – only the US has a bigger reserve.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-2263254/Bundesbank-retrieve-200bn-gold-Paris-New-York.html

'Cameron Can keep everyone happy' : Tantric sex, battling with leaks and Clegg in tears: Taiwanese animators ridicule Cameron ahead of Big Speech on Europe

EU clamps down on credit ratings agencies

Credit rating agencies will have to be more transparent about how they assess a country’s sovereign debt under changes agreed by MEPs on Wednesday.

The changes will force agencies to indicate when they publish assessments, publishing ratings only after close of business and at least an hour before EU trading desks open.

http://www.euronews.com/2013/01/16/eu-clamps-down-on-credit-ratings-agencies/

Merkel Says Mali Mission Protects Europe, Sends Transport Planes

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that security in northern Africa is also Europe’s security after her government offered two transport aircraft to assist the military operation combating insurgents in Mali.

The two Transall transport planes will fly African troops from the Economic Community of West African States to the Malian capital Bamako as French ground forces start operations to repel insurgents controlling northern Mali, Merkel told reporters today in Berlin.

“Germany views security in the region also as a part of its own security,” Merkel said after meeting with Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, chairman of Ecowas. “Terrorism in Mali, or northern Mali, isn’t only a threat for Africa, but also a threat for Europe.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-16/merkel-says-mali-mission-protects-europe-sends-transport-planes.html

White House petitions will now require 100000 signatures before response

The White House has quadrupled the number of signatures required to receive an official response to petitions submitted on its We the People website, after a surge in its popularity.

The Obama administration will now only be required to respond when a petition gathers 100,000 signatures, up from the previous 25,000.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/16/white-house-petitions-100000-signatures

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHEAST OF EASTER ISLAND - 16th January 2013

Magnitude
4.6
Date-Time
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 16:24:44 UTC
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 09:24:44 AM at epicenter
Location
35.901°S, 102.839°W
Depth
10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Region
SOUTHEAST OF EASTER ISLAND
Distances
2623 km (1630 miles) W (270°) from Valdivia, Chile

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 16th January 2013

Magnitude
4.6
Date-Time
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 15:52:49 UTC
Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 01:52:49 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
36.268°N, 142.881°E
Depth
10.4 km (6.5 miles) (poorly constrained)
Region
OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
Distances
193 km (119 miles) ENE of Hasaki, Japan

Russian mobster 'Grandpa Khasan' shot dead in Moscow

One of Russia's top crime bosses has been murdered in Moscow in a war between two mobs over lucrative construction projects, including ones for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

A sniper fired seven shots at Aslan Usoyan near a restaurant, the third attack on him since the late 1990s.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russian-mobster-grandpa-khasan-shot-dead-in-moscow-8454410.html

Syrian Terro....Rebels set off Coordinated car bombs kill 24 in northwest Syria

Three car bombs exploded within minutes of each other in northwest Syria on Wednesday, killing at least two dozen people in a coordinated assault on government positions, a monitoring group said.

Fighting has spread throughout much of Syria and upended civilian life in many areas as rebels have pushed to uproot President Bashar al-Assad's better-equipped forces and tip the balance of the 22-month-old conflict.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/uk-syria-crisis-idUKBRE90E0VF20130116

'Briton killed' and '40 BP workers held hostage' in Algeria attack

Algeria's official APS news agency cited provincial officials for news of the death, which came after an early morning attack by Islamists.

The militants say they are holding seven Americans and an unspecified number of British, Japanese and French amongst other nationalities, a spokesman is cited as saying by two Mauritanian news agencies - Agence Nouakchott information et Sahara Medias. A security source quoted by Algeria's El Watan newspaper quoted the same figure.

"A second person, a British national, died in the terrorist attack carried out early on Wednesday morning in Tigantourine," the APS news agency said, citing local officials.

Six other people have been wounded.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/algeria/9806305/Briton-killed-and-40-BP-workers-held-hostage-in-Algeria-attack.html

Obama's possible election dig against Netanyahu could backfire

President Obama's possible attempt to pay back Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu for praising his rival during the last election could be backfiring.

Obama, who was reportedly peeved by Netanyahu’s perceived endorsement of Mitt Romney leading up to November’s election, was recently quoted saying, “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.”

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/16/obama-election-dig-against-netanyahu-could-backfire/

City heavyweights back Cameron to demand an in/out referendum on membership of the EU

Senior City allies of George Osborne will tomorrow dramatically back David Cameron’s pledge to stage a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

In what is thought to be the start of a concerted campaign, MailOnline has learned that a group of leading business heavyweights will use a letter to a newspaper to demand voters are able to make an ‘informed decision’ about whether to sever ties with Brussels.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2263441/City-heavyweights-Cameron-demand-referendum-membership-EU.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Obama signed 23 executive actions

The president said he would announce 23 executive actions today, but said they are not a substitute for action in Congress. He said he is calling on federal lawmakers to pass several proposals "right away", including universal background checks for anyone trying to buy a gun.

Right now, some 40% of US gun purchases are done without background checks.

As part of his $500m (£311m) plan, Mr Obama also called on Congress to restore the expired ban on military-style assault weapons and to enact a 10-bullet limit on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038974/white-house-delivers-bold-gun-safety-proposals

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA - 16th January 2013

Magnitude M 4.6
Region NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
Date time 2013-01-16 14:14:18.6 UTC
Location 2.49 S ; 139.40 E
Depth 87 km
Distances 132 km W Aberpura, Indonesia

Bird flu hits 4 places in Pokhara, Nepal

Belongings being removed from a Cowseghari‚ Pokhara based chicken farm owned by a cooperative after the confirmation of Bird Flu (H5N1)

Bird flu (H5N1) has been confirmed at least four places in Pokhara, the sub-metropolitan city on Tuesday.

All the chicken, used materials in the farms of all four places have been destroyed during this evening after the Bird Flu confirmation.

Regional Director at the Western Regional Animal Health Directorate Dr. Bamsi Sharma said that the officials from the directorate culled over 2200 chickens, destroyed their wastes, grains and medicines from five sheds of all four Bird Flu hit farms.

http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Bird+flu+hits+4+places+in+Pokhara&NewsID=362075

Collapse of 8-story apartment building in Egypt's port city of Alexandria kills 22 people

An eight-story apartment building collapsed Wednesday in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, killing at least 22 people in the second deadly accident to hit the country in as many days.

The MENA state news agency said 11 people were also injured and that rescue teams were searching for survivors under the rubble. Military police from a nearby naval base had cordoned off the area to help the rescue operation. The collapse came a day after 19 police conscripts were killed when the last car of the train they were riding in jumped the tracks and smashed into another train just outside Cairo.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/killed+collapse+8story+apartment+tower+Egypts+port+city/7825539/story.html

European car market plunges to lowest since 1995

Demand for new cars in recession-bound Europe fell to a 17-year low in 2012, leaving mass market manufacturers little hope for this year as they try to cut costly excess factory capacity and aggressive discounting dents their margins.

Registrations data released on Wednesday also showed the biggest annual drop since a 16.9 percent downturn in 1993, highlighting the crisis for automakers in Europe. Consumers are fretting over austerity measures, job security and rising living costs, and those who want to buy new cars are struggling to secure credit.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/us-autos-europe-idUSBRE90F0PY20130116

Kentucky college shooting, 2 dead

Six bombers attack Afghan spy agency, kill two

Six suicide bombers launched a coordinated attack on Afghanistan's spy agency in Kabul on Wednesday, killing two people and wounding 30, Afghan officials said.

The attack started at around noon (0730 GMT) when a suicide attacker detonated a large car bomb near a gate of one of the National Directorate of Security's (NDS) buildings, the Kabul police chief's office said in a statement.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/us-afghanistan-blast-idUSBRE90F0D620130116

Somali Islamists say French hostage sentenced to death

Somali militants linked to al Qaeda said on Wednesday they had sentenced a French agent to death after a failed attempt by French armed forces to rescue him at the weekend.

It was unclear whether the rebels were saying they had already killed Denis Allex, held hostage in Somalia since 2009. France said it had heard nothing since the military raid to alter its belief that he was killed during the rescue operation.

Al Shabaab said in a statement their decision to kill Allex was unanimous and followed three years of what it called "exhaustive attempts at negotiations" over his release.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/us-somalia-hostage-idUSBRE90F0W220130116

Islamists attack Algerian gas field, kill, kidnap foreigners

Islamist militants attacked a gas production field in southern Algeria on Wednesday, kidnapping at least nine foreigners and killing two people including a French national during a dawn raid, local and company officials said.

The raid, claimed by an al Qaeda affiliate, came after Islamists had vowed to retaliate for France's military intervention in Mali, where its forces have been in action against al Qaeda-linked militants since last week.

The attack also raised fears that the French action could prompt further Islamist revenge attacks on Western targets in Africa, where al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb operates across borders in the Sahara desert, and in Europe.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/us-algeria-kidnap-idUSBRE90F0HB20130116

Qaeda-linked group claims to have 41 hostages, including 7 Americans, in raid on Algerian gas plant: Mauritanian media


France in Mali fights the unfinished Libyan War



Matt's thoughts:
Most important point in all of this? A significant number of fighters, if not the majority of them, are the Taureg, an ethnic group treated like crap by France and now Mali (much like the Algerians and others) that have joined into this fray for independence. If I were to venture a guess, there's probably next to know "Islamic terrorists" at all, although, it provides a good opportunity for Western/Israeli propagandists to strut their stuff.

Pete Barnes Killed when his Helicopter hit a Crane in London

The helicopter pilot who was killed when his helicopter hit a crane in central London has been named as Pete Barnes.

The helicopter smashed into a crane on St George Wharf Tower, in Vauxhall, amid heavy fog.

It cartwheeled out of the sky, smashed into two cars as it hit the ground and exploded into flames.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038710/helicopter-crash-in-vauxhall-pilot-named

Now Blockbuster Collapses

DVD rental chain Blockbuster has called in administrators - becoming the third major retailer to collapse this year - Sky's City Editor has revealed.

Mark Kleinman said Deloitte was in the process of being appointed administrators for the company, which has 528 stores across the UK, and employs 4,190 people.

Deloitte's Lee Manning said Blockbuster faced increasing competition from internet rivals and the shift to online streaming of movies and games.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038898/retail-crisis-now-blockbuster-collapses

Aaron Swartz Death: 'Threat of 30 years in jail for downloading PDFs - death sentence for a depressed person'

Nuclear Power Play: Iran sanctions rally public behind govt

China Getting Ready for War - A Bluff?

A few days ago, Japanese aircraft,
above the Diaoyu (Senkaku) Islands airspace,
confronted China's military aircraft for the first time.

It was as if a Sino-Japanese War
could break out at any moment.
China's General Staff Headquarters issued
"2013 military training instructions".
This requested the military and armed forces to
strengthen combat thoughts and good combat preparation.
Last year, Xi Jinping not only promised to enhance the
entire military situation but also revise awards payouts.
A combat bonus can be of several hundred million dollars.

But outsiders say that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
is currently not capable to go to war with Japan.

Brazil main destination for human trafickers

Dreamliner 787 Emergency landing: Dramatic footage shows evacuation in Japan

Iran, UN nuclear watchdog gear up for talks

US guns

ANA says instruments showed smoke on Dreamliner

Vauxhall helicopter crash situation 'changing every moment

Drones to fill US skies in coming years

Vauxhall helicopter crash: Dramatic video from the site

BP Gas Site Hit By 'Kidnap Terror': possible Revenge motive for French military action in Mali

At least eight foreigners, including an Irishman, have been kidnapped from a gas facility part-operated by BP in Algeria.

The Foreign Office confirmed a "terrorist" incident was ongoing soon after BP said it had reported a "security incident" to the UK authorities.

But the company was yet to confirm a link to reports that Islamist militants, said to be connected to al Qaeda, had seized a number of people in an attack that had a possible revenge motive for French military action in Mali.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038832/bp-gas-site-hit-by-kidnap-terror

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake D'ENTRECASTEAUX ISLANDS REGION - 16th January 2013

Magnitude
4.7
Date-Time
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 11:23:02 UTC
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 09:23:02 PM at epicenter
Location
9.679°S, 155.048°E
Depth
10 km (6.2 miles)
Region
D'ENTRECASTEAUX ISLANDS REGION
Distances
264 km (164 miles) ESE (105°) from Kulumadau, Woodlark Island, PNG

James Edward Satterfield Arrested for writing letter to judge's wife threatening to kill, cook and eat her children

A 58-year-old man is facing terrorism charges after sending a threatening letter to a superior court judge's wife saying that he would kill the couple's children and eat them.

James Edward Satterfield, 58, also made the chilling claim that he would 'cook them first to make them more palatable' according to the Cobb County, Georgia arrest warrant that was issued.

The letter, sent on December 20th to the home of Judge Reuben Green, states: 'Please give a copy of this letter to the police so that when you are slaughtered the public will know who were really responsible.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2262980/Man-arrested-writing-letter-judges-wife-threatening-kill-cook-eat-children.html

BP Admits Security Incident Amid Kidnap Claim

BP is setting up a helpline for relatives following reports five Japanese nationals and a French citizen were kidnapped from a facility part-operated by the company in Algeria.

The oil firm said it had reported a "security incident" to the UK authorities but was yet to confirm a link to reports that Islamist militants had seized six people.

In its statement BP said: "We can confirm that there has been a security incident this morning at the In Amenas gas field in the eastern central region of Algeria.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038832/bp-admits-security-incident-amid-kidnap-claim

Fort Bragg: Army will stop 'shooting, stabbing, and blowing up goats to train military medics' following new legislation

Thousands of goats who were used to train Army medics will now be spared, thanks to legislation that was passed at the beginning of 2013.

Goats at Fort Bragg were routinely shot, stabbed, and blown up to simulate injuries soldiers could receive in combat situations, according to animals rights’ activists.

As many as 3,600 goats were used in the program last year, government documents show.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2263114/Fort-Bragg-stop-using-goats-training-Army-medics--saving-300-goats-MONTH-shot-stabbed-blown-up.html

'Lance Armstrong should be sitting in front of a judge, not Oprah': Anger of former assistant whose life was 'made hell' by the disgraced champion

The former assistant who was once Armstrong's right-hand man today damns the disgraced cyclist as a ‘calculating individual’ who should be in jail - not sitting down with Oprah Winfrey.

Mike Anderson was so close to Armstrong he was dubbed 'husband number two' by the star's then wife. But the friendship imploded when Mr Anderson claimed he discovered Armstrong's drug-stash in a bathroom cabinet and evidence that he was avoiding random drug tests.

Speaking to MailOnline Mr Anderson said: ‘I have a pretty solid understanding of who Lance Armstrong is. He is a very calculating individual. Everything that he does is with forethought and for his own benefit.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2263075/Lance-Armstrong-judge-Oprah-says-assistant-Mike-Anderson.html

3.6 Magnitude Earthquake CENTRAL CALIFORNIA - 16th January 2013

Magnitude
3.6
Date-Time
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 11:25:40 UTC
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 03:25:40 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
35.488°N, 118.284°W
Depth
5 km (3.1 miles)
Region
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
Distances
18 km (11 miles) SSE (165°) from Weldon, CA

Europe: Tory MPs Demand Return Of Powers

EU FACT: Members of the European Commission and other Brussels EU officials are “immune from legal proceedings in respect of acts performed by them in their official capacity, including their words spoken or written.” Moreover, they “continue to enjoy this immunity after they have ceased to hold office.” (Chapter V, article 11; Chapter VII, article 19).

Tory MPs will today demand that David Cameron seizes back powers from Brussels, warning "the status quo is no longer an option".

A report called Manifesto for Change backed by Foreign Secretary William Hague calls for a "new and different relationship" with the European Union.

The Fresh Start group, which is said to have wide support in the party, has told the Government it "should not settle for anything less" than the complete repatriation of powers.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038702/europe-tory-mps-demand-return-of-powers

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake REYKJANES RIDGE - 16th January 2013

Magnitude M 4.2
Region REYKJANES RIDGE
Date time 2013-01-16 09:53:03.0 UTC
Location 60.99 N ; 28.09 W
Depth 10 km
Distances 464 km SW Hafnarfjörður, Iceland

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 16th January 2013

Magnitude mb 4.2
Region SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA
Date time 2013-01-16 06:47:10.1 UTC
Location 41.92 N ; 82.48 E
Depth 1 km
Distances 43 km NW Kuche, China

Panic as gunman opens fire in St. Louis business school shooting one man in the chest before turning the gun on himself

A part-time student strode into the office of a longtime administrator at a downtown St. Louis business school Tuesday and shot the man in the chest, creating panic in the school before turning the gun on himself, police said.

Both men were in surgery Tuesday afternoon at Saint Louis University Hospital. Police Chief Sam Dotson said he was optimistic both would survive, but a hospital spokesman declined to discuss their conditions.

Police did not identify either man, but Dotson said the administrator was a longtime employee in his late 40s.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2263083/Panic-gunman-opens-St-Louis-business-school-shooting-man-chest-turning-gun-himself.html

helicopter hits crane on new tower beside Thames and plunges into rush-hour traffic - Two dead - including pilot - and 11 injured

The helicopter - which left Gatwick Airport, Sussex, at 7:36am and was heading to Elstree, Hertfordshire, to collect an executive - was using the route of the River Thames and hit a crane at the top of the tower near Vauxhall Bridge in Vauxhall, central London, at 8am. The helicopter, which hit the under-construction St George Wharf Tower, was reported to have been carrying a pilot but no passengers. The aircraft struck the ground just 20 yards from Vauxhall station, which is a major commuting hub in the capital. Eleven people were injured - one critically - and two people died, including the pilot.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2263213/Helicopter-crash-Vauxhall-central-London-2-killed-2-injured-helicopter-hits-Thames-skyscraper.html

Syrian army on offensive in Aleppo after university blast

Syrian armed forces launched a renewed offensive in the northern city of Aleppo on Wednesday, state media said, a day after 87 people were killed in explosions at the city's university.

The state news agency SANA said the military had killed dozens of "terrorists" - a term Damascus uses for rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad - in the new fighting.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE90E0V820130116

Six bombers attack spy agency in Kabul, kill two

Six suicide bombers launched a coordinated attack on Afghanistan's spy agency in Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least two and wounding 22 others, Afghan officials said.

The attack started at around noon (0730 GMT) when the first assailant detonated a large car bomb near the entrance to the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Kabul police chief's office said in a statement.

Five others strapped with explosives and driving a minivan were shot dead as they tried to enter the NDS compound, it said.

Two NDS guards were killed by the first bomber and 22 others wounded, security and health officials said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/us-afghanistan-blast-idUSBRE90F0D620130116

French, Malian troops encircle Islamist rebels in central Mali

French ground troops and Malian army forces encircled Islamist fighters in the central Malian town of Diabaly on Wednesday, military sources said, as France prepared to launch its first ground assault on the rebels.

France, which has warned that Islamists' seizure of Mali's desert north last year represented a threat to the security of the West, moved a column of armored vehicles on Tuesday into position at the nearby town of Niono, some 300 km (190 miles) from the dusty riverside capital Bamako.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/us-mali-rebels-idUSBRE90D0FX20130116

London Helicopter Crash: Witnesses Talk Of Shock

Michael Krumstets and his flatmate were walking to work when "out of the blue, this happened".

He told Sky News: "We saw the helicopter hitting the crane at the top of the building and there was a loud crack, and then the helicopter started spinning out of control and incredibly towards us ... I mean directly towards us.

"We ran to the side of the road and it then crashed into the road just feet away from us and my flatmate fell over and I had to grab him but it was just awful.

"You see a helicopter hurtling out the sky towards you ... it's the last thing you expect on your way to work. And then it exploded.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038750/helicopter-crash-witnesses-talk-of-shock

helicopter smashes into a crane in central London, 2 Killed

Two people have been killed as a helicopter smashed into a crane in central London, crashing into two cars as it hit the ground.

Witnesses said the aircraft cartwheeled out of the sky after hitting the crane on St George Wharf Tower, in Vauxhall, amid heavy fog.

It then exploded into flames.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038710/two-die-as-helicopter-hits-crane-in-vauxhall

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN PERU - 16th January 2013

Magnitude
4.3
Date-Time
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 07:04:15 UTC
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 02:04:15 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
5.795°S, 76.876°W
Depth
26.7 km (16.6 miles)
Region
NORTHERN PERU
Distances
29 km (18 miles) NNE of Moyobamba, Peru

Panetta: US vows to support France's operation in Mali

The snowball squad: We'll ARREST you if you throw one, police warn children

You're picking your way carefully along an icy pavement when suddenly – thwack! – a snowball thrown by an unseen hand hits you on the back of the head.

As you stop to dry off, you look round for the pesky little brat who threw it, but there’s no one to be seen.

Irritating, of course, but hardly a matter for the police ... unless, that is, you live in County Durham.

The force there provoked derision yesterday after threatening to arrest children found throwing snowballs at cars or bystanders.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2262876/Police-Facebook-warn-youngsters-throw-snowballs-passers-homes.html

President Assad and his family 'are now living on a warship guarded by the Russians off Syrian coast'

Syrian president Bashar Assad and his family are living on a warship guarded by the Russian navy, according to reports.

The embattled dictator is said to have moved with his family and a select band of aides to the warship off Syria's coast.

The move, which is said to have come about after the president lost confidence in his own security detail, sees Assad travel by helicopter to Damascus to attend meetings in his presidential palace.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2263110/President-Assad-family-living-warship-guarded-Russians-Syrian-coast.html

Police recruits to be paid less than trainee McDonald's manager after reforms see starting salary cut by £4,000

Police reacted with anger yesterday after their starting salary was slashed to below that of a trainee manager at McDonald's.

Theresa May backed a package of controversial reforms which will see new recruits earn a minimum of £19,000-a-year – a cut of £4,000.

The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said the cut was 'ill-conceived and fails to reflect the dangers and demands inherent in the job'.

There was also widespread anger on social media sites used by officers. One wrote on Twitter: 'McDonalds starting salary £21.5k…'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2262696/Police-Pay-New-recruits-paid-trainee-McDonalds-manager-reforms-starting-salary-cut.html

Sunni Lawmaker in Iraq Is Killed in a Suicide Bombing

An Iraqi Parliament member who was also the leader of a local council of the Awakening movement, an American-backed group of Sunni militias that switched sides to fight against Al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Anbar Province on Tuesday, security and government officials said.

The lawmaker, Efan al-Essawi, who owned a construction company, had gone to inspect a road that it was building to connect Falluja with the main highway in Anbar, a trade route that leads west to Syria and Jordan. The region has been embroiled in strife since last month, when protests, led mostly by Sunnis, broke out against the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The demonstrations continued in Anbar on Tuesday.

Officials said that the suicide attacker, disguised as a worker, approached Mr. Essawi and blew himself up, killing Mr. Essawi and wounding one of his guards.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/world/middleeast/iraqi-lawmaker-and-sunni-leader-killed-in-suicide-bombing.html?_r=0

Delhi gang-rape protests to intensify today

The ongoing protests demanding stringent punishment for the culprits involved in the gang-rape of the 23-year-old student that had waned over the past couple of weeks are expected to regain momentum on Wednesday as it marks one month since the ghastly crime took place. Several groups including students, activists and informal groups which have been active on social media in mobilising campaign seeking justice for the gang-rape victim have called for a large-scale peaceful protest at Jantar Mantar and different other parts of the Capital.

Medical students, residents and nurses of Vardhman Mahavir Medical College (VMMC), All-India Institute of Medical Science and Maulana Azad Medical College will take out a peaceful candlelight march at 5-30 p.m. from VMMC to Prime Minister’s residence on Wednesday demanding safe public space for women.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-gangrape-protests-to-intensify-today/article4311897.ece

Israeli troops kill teenager near West Bank barrier

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian teenager Tuesday near Israel’s separation barrier in the West Bank, Palestinians said, in the latest of several fatal shootings in recent days near fences in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The shooting at Budrus, west of Ramallah, occurred when a group of high school students, out walking after first-semester final exams, approached the fence that runs outside the village, according to reports from the scene.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israeli-troops-kill-teen-near-west-bank-barrier-palestinians-say/2013/01/15/65b65254-5f3b-11e2-a389-ee565c81c565_story.html

Aaron Swartz's 'killed by the government': Father Robert Swartz

"He was killed by the government, and MIT betrayed all of its basic principles," Robert Swartz said at the memorial service in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Swartz, 26, was found dead in his New York apartment on Friday. He was facing a potentially lengthy prison sentence after being indicted in Boston in 2011 for allegedly gaining access to academic articles from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The charges carried a maximum penalty of decades in prison.

Robert Swartz said his son was "hounded by the government, and MIT refused him."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9804810/Aaron-Swartzs-father-says-he-was-killed-by-the-government.html

White House fury over Morsi description of Israelis as ‘blood-sucking descendants of apes and pigs’


The White House last night denounced remarks made by Egypt’s Islamist President in which he described Israelis as “descendants of apes and pigs”.

Footage of President Morsi’s video interview with the Lebanon-based Al-Quds channel was recorded in September 2010, but it has only just emerged — on the eve of a visit by a high-ranking American delegation to Cairo.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article3658597.ece

Leaked cable claims ‘compelling’ evidence of chemical weapons in Syria

There is “compelling” evidence that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against rebels in the city of Homs last month, according to a State Department cable leaked to US media.

Foreign Policy, an online magazine, reported that the leaked cable, signed by Scott Kilner, the US Consul General in Turkey, said there was evidence that President Assad’s military had used poison gas during fighting on December 23.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article3659004.ece

Syria's UN Ambassador Condemns Aleppo Terrorist Attack

Syria's ambassador to the United Nations has condemned as a "cowardly terrorist act" an attack at a university in Syria's biggest city, Aleppo.

Bashar Ja'afari said the explosions at Aleppo University on January 15 killed 82 students and wounded 162 more.

http://www.rferl.org/content/syria-aleppo-attack/24825050.html

Europe: Conservative group demands return of powers to UK

A group of Conservative backbench MPs is to publish a report later calling for a substantial return of powers to the UK from the European Union.

Fresh Start, which says it is backed by more than 100 Tory MPs, wants the UK to remain in the union, but with "significant revisions" to treaties.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has backed the report.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21037590

France launches ground offensive in Mali

French army tanks are heading from the Malian capital Bamako under the cover of darkness towards the north of the country, to target areas currently in the hands of militant islamists.

It is the first time ground troops have been deployed in the six-day operation.

French air strikes against militant strongholds in the north began last Friday and are continuing.

http://www.euronews.com/2013/01/16/france-launches-ground-offensive-in-mali/

Twin blasts at Syria's Aleppo University

Mali's Islamist groups united by war threat

A powerful southern offensive by Islamists in Mali last week, halted only by French air strikes, showed that a loose alliance of rebels from al Qaeda's North African wing and local groups has been united by the threat of foreign intervention.

When the coalition of Islamists swept across northern Mali last year, massacring army troops and carving up the vast desert zone, ties between Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and local groups Ansar Dine and MUJWA had looked opportunistic, and regional mediators believed they could prize them apart.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/15/us-mali-rebels-analysis-idUSBRE90E0WQ20130115

World Bank cuts outlook, recovery frustrates

A frustratingly slow economic recovery in developed nations is holding back the global economy, the World Bank said on Tuesday, as it sharply cut its outlook for world growth in 2013.

The World Bank forecast that global gross domestic product will inch up 2.4 percent this year, from 2.3 percent in 2012. In its last forecast in June, the bank projected global growth would reach 3.0 percent in 2013.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/us-worldbank-global-idUSBRE90E17G20130116

U.S. pushing for North Korean sanctions at U.N.

The United States is pushing hard for tough sanctions against North Korea, one of its top envoys for Asia said on Wednesday, although diplomats at the United Nations said it appeared unlikely that the North's ally, China, would support them.

Washington, along with South Korea, Japan and European Union states, want to punish North Korea for its December rocket launch with a United Nations Security Council resolution and tougher sanctions against Pyongyang.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/us-korea-north-sanctions-idUSBRE90F08Z20130116

Syrian Rebels Bomb University as exams begin, killing at least 83 and wounding Dozens More

Syrian security personnel and civilians gather at the site where two explosions rocked the University of Aleppo in Syria's second largest city, January 15, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/George Ourfalian

Each side in the 22-month-old conflict blamed the other for Tuesday's blasts at the University of Aleppo, located in a government-held area of Syria's most populous city.

Some activists in Aleppo said a government attack caused the explosions, while state television accused "terrorists" - a term they often use to describe the rebels - of firing two rockets at the school. A rebel fighter said the blasts appeared to have been caused by "ground-to-ground" missiles.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE90E0V820130116

South Carolina: Thousands of Dead Fish Wash Up On Pawleys Island

Thousands of dead fish washed up on the beach at the south end of Pawleys Island Tuesday afternoon.

The fish are menhaden, and the SC Department of Natural Resources have been notified of the incident.

http://www.wltx.com/news/article/216791/2/Thousands-of-Dead-Fish-Wash-Up-On-Pawleys-Island-

Hydrocarbon leak prompts Cormorant A evacuation (North Sea, [Cormorant Alpha Oil Platform])

A major evacuation of workers is under way from Taqa Bratani’s Cormorant Alpha platform in the UK northern North Sea following a leak involving oil and gas, Upstream can reveal.
Hydrocarbons were detected in one of the platform’s concrete legs at 4.15pm UK time on Monday.

It is understood that the main release of hydrocarbons into the platform leg involves crude oil but that associated gas from that crude has activated gas detector alarms.

The volumes of oil and gas involved are not yet known as the situation is understood to be ongoing.

http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article1314004.ece

Second Bullhead City resident tests positive for hepatitis

A second Bullhead City resident has confirmed they have tested positive with hepatitis C after allegedly contracting the infectious disease following a procedure performed by Dr. Terrance Kwiatkowski with the Ear & Sinus Center of the Southwest.

The 43-year-old man said he received not one but two letters informing him that he may have been exposed to the disease following the improper sterilization of an endoscopy instrument used to treat his deviated septum.

The patient, who was treated by Dr. Kwiotkowski over a period of three months beginning in January 2012, received the letters on November 30, 2012.

http://www.mohavedailynews.com/articles/2013/01/15/news/local/doc50f508e3a4439748819009.txt

Newtown: Obama To Unveil Gun Proposals

President Barack Obama will unveil "a package of concrete proposals" to curb gun violence, the White House has said.

Vice President Joe Biden, who Mr Obama directed to lead a panel tasked with creating the proposals, will join the president at the White House on Wednesday morning to announce the measures.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038520/newtown-obama-to-unveil-gun-proposals

Two people are killed and three injured after gunmen open fire at colleges in Kentucky and Missouri.

Two people have been shot dead at a community college in eastern Kentucky as a gunman injured himself and an administrator at another college in Missouri.

Authorities said a teenager was also wounded during the shooting in the car park at Hazard Community & Technical College in Kentucky.

Conor Duff, the college's evening coordinator, said the shootings took place around 4.30pm at the campus 90 miles south east of Lexington.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038587/two-dead-after-separate-college-shootings

'NRA Shooting Video' Game Branded Outrageous

The National Rifle Association has provoked controversy after apparently releasing a shooting video game aimed at children as young as four.

Critics say the sale of the iPhone and iPad app, NRA: Practice Range, weeks after the Sandy Hook school massacre is insensitive.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038594/nra-shooting-video-game-branded-outrageous

John McTiernan Facing Jail For Lying To FBI

Director John McTiernan, second left, with the cast of The Thomas Crown Affair

The director of Die Hard and Predator faces a year in jail after losing his bid to have the US Supreme Court review a guilty plea and prison sentence for perjury and lying to the FBI.

John McTiernan, who also directed The Hunt For Red October, could now start his prison sentence after months of appeals.

Prosecutors accused the 62-year-old of lying about hiring former private investigator Anthony Pellicano, who represented many Hollywood stars, to wiretap a film producer.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038638/die-hard-director-facing-jail-for-lying-to-fbi

New York Enacts Nation's Toughest Gun Controls

The New York state legislature has passed the toughest gun control law in the US and the first since the Newtown school shooting.

The bill calls for a tougher assault weapons ban and provisions to try to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill who make threats.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who pushed hard for the legislation, signed the bill within an hour of it being passed by the state assembly.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038599/new-york-enacts-nations-toughest-gun-controls