Saturday, March 23, 2013

Drought has India farmers drowning in debt

What happens if Cyprus collapses?

What happens if Cyprus' banks collapse? If its government goes broke? If it leaves the euro?

The European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the country's leaders are trying to find a deal to secure a €10 billion loan for Cyprus and stave off a failure of its banking system. The Cypriot parliament has already rejected one deal, which would have taxed all bank deposits in the country. The ECB has now put a ticking timer on this drama by declaring it would cut off emergency support to Cyprus' banks on Monday if no deal is found.

That's the worst case.

Even if a deal is found, the messy decision-making over the past week will have shaken confidence in Cyprus and the euro currency union itself. Here's what's at stake.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/03/23/cyprus-financial-crisis.html

Society of droids: Startling new research suggests humans are losing ability to process emotions

Amazing new research suggests that human beings have devolved emotionally during the last 100 years.

If the sad emotional decline continues, we'll be left with nothing but a bunch of automaton droids running around without a feeling sense.

Researchers at the University of Bristol have done an impressive analysis of literature published during the last 100 years. The data shows a very strong decline in emotionality overall, and highlights a distinct rise in fear since in the 1970's.

http://www.naturalnews.com/039608_emotions_literature_culture.html

UKIP 'only Westminster alternative'

Voters are turning to the UK Independence Party as it is the only party with alternative policies, its leader Nigel Farage has told activists.

At UKIP's spring conference, Mr Farage dismissed claims his party's success in recent by-elections was a protest vote.

He said people felt betrayed by a political class who were more interested in their own careers than national interest.

He also called for an "amicable" divorce from the European Union.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21908204

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA - 23rd March 2013

Magnitude
4.7
Date-Time
Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 16:58:01 UTC
Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 05:58:01 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
16.815°S, 173.427°W
Depth
24.9 km (15.5 miles)
Region
TONGA
Distances
102 km (63 miles) SSE of Hihifo, Tonga

Cyprus crisis: 'This is the darkest week in our history since the 1974 invasion'

As zero hour approaches, a small island population watches and waits, consumed with anxiety and simmering with resentment. "This is the darkest week in Cyprus since the 1974 invasion," said Hubert Faustmann, associate professor of history and politics at the University of Nicosia. "The island has been put on the Greek path. What lies ahead are further cuts, austerity measures, more bailouts, because it won't be able to repay the loans, endless misery and recession. It will take years to recover."

"I have never been so frightened in my life," said Maria Panayides, one of thousands of Cypriots who last week rushed to withdraw cash from ATMs.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/23/cyprus-crisis-russians-euro-europe-eu

Cyprus: 20% Robbery Tax On Bank Deposits Agreed

Politicians in Cyprus have agreed a new levy on the country's savers in order to secure a European bailout.

The measures include a 20% tax on savers with deposits over 100,000 euros at the country's largest bank, the Bank of Cyprus, which would see some individuals lose a fifth of their money.

A 4% tax on deposits over 100,000 euros will be levied at other banks.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068912/cyprus-20-percent-tax-on-bank-deposits-agreed

We won’t be next. We could be next-but-three

Don’t believe Cyprus couldn’t happen here. The best thing for politicians is to tell the truth and hang the consequences

In centuries past it was the habit of kings to commission portraits with an inconspicuous death’s-head placed somewhere within the composition. This was to remind viewers of the mortality even of monarchs. The leaders of European nations, including our own, should adapt the practice to modern times.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/matthewparris/article3721153.ece

Boris Berezovsky: Russian Oligarch Found Dead

Exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky has been found dead in a bath at his home, Sky sources have revealed.

It is believed the former billionaire, who had fallen out with the Kremlin, had taken his own life.

Berezovsky made his fortune in Russia in the 1990s when he bought up state assets which were being sold off cheaply.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068891/boris-berezovsky-russian-oligarch-found-dead

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA - 23rd March 2013

Magnitude M 4.5
Region NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
Date time 2013-03-23 16:45:54.2 UTC
Location 2.99 S ; 139.53 E
Depth 10 km
Distances
123 km W of Abepura, Indonesia / pop: 62,248 / local time: 01:45:54.2 2013-03-24

UK spends fortune on translations for immigrants

Nigel Farage at UKIP Spring Conference Exeter

UKIP Nigel Farage on Cyprus & press regulations - Spring Conference 2013

Bangladesh tornado toll climbs to 23

The death toll from a tornado that swept through some 25 villages in eastern Bangladesh, rose to 23 with rescuers finding three more bodies in debris, a day after the deadly storm which also left nearly 500 injured.

The storm which hit the area yesterday, left a trail of destruction in 20 villages of Brahmanbaria sadar, Bijoynagar and Akhaura upazilas.

"Three more bodies were found today. One of them was Yasmin, who is the mother of two young boys and was found inside the tank of a sanitary latrine," a local journalist at the site told PTI by phone.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bangladesh-tornado-toll-climbs-to-23/1092401/

Palestinians fed up with Obama's talk

Palestinians will only have found Barack Obama’s visit to Palestine and Israel disappointing if, before the visit, they had any hopes of the American president taking an interest in their cause. In the event, even if Obama was able to turn on his famous charm, he showed that his administration does not care about the Palestinians, because instead he is focused on Syria and Iran.

When meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Obama said that the United States is “deeply committed” to the creation of an “independent, sovereign state of Palestine”. He told Abbas that Israeli building activity in the colonies was not “constructive or appropriate for peace”.

But it was a disaster that Obama did not mention this to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when they met for two days with an unusual degree of personal friendship.

http://gulfnews.com/opinions/editorials/palestinians-fed-up-with-obama-s-talk-1.1161827

Greece Trikala prison: Bombs and Guns Used In Jailbreak to Free 11 Albanian Prisoners

Gunmen used "very heavy weapons" to attack a prison in Greece and free 11 inmates.

Two guards were injured as they attempted to fight off the six attackers, who turned the jail perimeter into a "battlefield".

Guns, grenades, a van and a pickup truck were used in the breakout at 8.30pm local time on Friday.

It kicked off a night-long standoff between police and the remaining prisoners at the facility near the town of Trikala, 200 miles northwest of Athens.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068845/greece-bombs-and-guns-used-in-jailbreak

Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend to find out on Monday if they will face a retrial for the murder of Meredith Kercher

Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are anxiously waiting to find out if their acquittal for the murder of a British student will be overturned by Italy's highest court.

Supreme Court judges will rule on Monday on whether there should be a retrial regarding the death of Meredith Kercher or if the case against them should be closed completely.

In 2011 Knox and Sollecito were cleared of the 2007 murder on appeal after they had initially been found guilty and sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297972/Amanda-Knox-boyfriend-Monday-face-retrial-murder-Meredith-Kercher.html

North Korea: 'Prepare to storm the heart of our enemies!' Kim Jong-Un's new nuclear threat as he orders Special Forces to get ready for war

North Korea ordered its foreign diplomats to sell drugs on the street in a desperate attempt to rake in hard currency, it has been claimed.

An incredible story in South Korean's Chosun Ilbo newspaper suggested embassy officials were sent abroad with 20 kilos of state-manufactured drugs, most likely methamphetemine, and told to raise at least $300,000.

According to a 'defector', the diplomats were told that by selling the drugs they would would be proving 'their loyalty and mark the birthday of nation founder Kim Il Sung on April 15'.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297962/North-Korea-ordered-foreign-diplomats-sell-drugs-street-desperate-attempt-rake-hard-currency.html

UK snowstorms, flooding expected to worsen

Assad pounds rebels after mosque Bombing

Cypriots anxious over austerity measures

Northern Irish police defuse car bomb near G8 venue

Northern Irish police defused a bomb in a car on Saturday close to where G8 leaders will meet at a summit in June and said that the device was likely to have been intended for a police station nearby.

Army bomb disposal experts defused the device after a security operation that lasted almost 36 hours in the county Fermanagh town of Enniskillen. The Group of Eight leaders meet just outside the town in three months' time.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/23/us-irish-bomb-idUSBRE92M06220130323

France says "with certainty" al Qaeda's Abou Zeid killed in Mali

France said on Saturday it could confirm "with certainty" that Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, one of al Qaeda's most feared commanders in Africa, had been killed in Mali in February as part of a French-led military offensive.

The death of Abou Zeid, accused of earning al Qaeda millions of dollars through the kidnappings of dozens of Western hostages, marks a serious blow to al Qaeda in the region and to Islamist rebels driven out of northern Mali's towns by the French-led campaign.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/23/us-france-mali-qaeda-idUSBRE92M05E20130323

Cyprus weighs big bank levy: They Now want to Steal 25% of anyone with 100.000 or more in the Bank!

Supporters of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party hold flares as they chant the national anthem, during a rally over the crisis in Cyprus, outside the German embassy in Athens March 22, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/John Kolesidis

Cyprus said on Saturday it was looking at seizing a quarter of the value of big deposits at its largest bank as it races to raise the funds for a bailout from the European Union and avert financial collapse.

Finance Minister Michael Sarris said "significant progress" had been made in talks in Nicosia with officials from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

He confirmed discussions were centered on a possible levy of around 25 percent on holdings of over 100,000 euros at Bank of Cyprus, and expressed hope that a package could be ready by the end of the day for approval by parliament.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/23/us-cyprus-parliament-idUSBRE92G03I20130323

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE ATACAMA, CHILE - 23rd March 2013

Magnitude ML 4.5
Region OFFSHORE ATACAMA, CHILE
Date time 2013-03-23 14:37:13.0 UTC
Location 28.04 S ; 71.17 W
Depth 53 km
Distances
71 km NW of Vallenar, Chile / pop: 44,895 / local time: 10:37:13.0 2013-03-23

Government Cover-up of Ammo Buys Implodes: Silence, secrecy and shoddy attempts at debunking the facts have led to Congressional scrutiny

The failure on behalf of the federal government to provide any explanation for why the Department of Homeland Security is arming to the teeth with high powered weapons and billions of hollow point bullets, as well as crude efforts by mainstream media mouthpieces to debunk the war-like preparations, have backfired massively, propelling the story to a viral status.

As we reported today, 15 Congressmen have written a letter to the DHS demanding to know why the federal agency is buying so many rounds of ammunition and whether the purchases are part of a deliberate attempt to restrict supply to the American people.

Big Sis has remained silent on the issue, refusing to answer questions from reporters and even from multiple elected representatives, about the ammo buys.

http://www.infowars.com/government-cover-up-of-ammo-buys-implodes/

Re-design? US requests $49 mn to renovate Gitmo instead of shutting down

Israeli Defence Force arrest 27 Palestinian children

Delaware Meteor

Cyprus Leaders Head To Brussels For Talks

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and party leaders will travel to Brussels today for talks with the EU on measures aimed at staving off bankruptcy for the island.

The delegation will depart at lunchtime and return to Cyprus late on Saturday or on Sunday, the official CNA news agency has reported.

The trip comes a day ahead of a deadline to adopt measures aimed at raising 5.8bn euros (£4.9bn) in order to secure a 10bn euro bailout.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068729/cyprus-leaders-head-to-brussels-for-talks

Luke Bresette, 10, Killed By Falling Airport Sign in Alabama

A 10-year-old boy was killed and several members of his family injured after an electronic information sign fell on top of them at an airport in Alabama.

Deputy Coroner Derrick Perryman said Luke Bresette was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Two of his siblings were being treated for injuries while their mother, Heather Bresette, was in a critical condition at University Hospital.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068837/us-boy-10-killed-by-falling-airport-sign

Experts Defuse Bomb Found In Northern Ireland

A bomb discovered and defused in a car in Northern Ireland was destined for a police station, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has confirmed.

The device was found in County Fermanagh, not far from the luxury Lough Erne golf resort where this June's G8 conference of world leaders will be held.

Sky's David Blevins said the device consisted of explosives packed into a beer keg rigged with timing devices.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068789/experts-defuse-bomb-found-in-northern-ireland

North Korea triumphs over America! Rogue state releases bizarre video showing how it 'captures' 150,000 U.S. troops while 'destroying' South Korea

Demarquis Elkins arrested with another teen for 'shooting dead 13-month-old toddler in his stroller as mother Begged them not to kill her Baby

Demarquis Elkins, 17, and a 14-year-old boy are being held on suspicion of first-degree murder after the toddler was shot dead in Brunswick, Georgia on Thursday. Sherry West, inset right, had been pushing her infant son Antonio, left, yards from their home when she was approached by the two boys who demanded money. When she said she had none the boys, shoved her away from her baby's stroller and shot him in the head before fleeing on foot.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297392/Sherry-West-tells-robbers-shot-sleeping-baby-Antonio-dead-Brunswick.html

Joe Biden runs up $1MILLION bill for just TWO NIGHTS in London and Paris (and the taxpayer picks up the tab)

Vice President Joe Biden spent more than $1 million for two nights in hotels in London and Paris, according to government documents. Biden and his hefty entourage spent the night at two five-star hotels in early February - one night at the Hyatt Regency London for a total of $459,338.65 and another night at the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand for $585,000.50

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297941/Outrage-Joe-Bidens-hotel-tab-runs-1MILLION-just-TWO-NIGHTS-London-Paris.html

Guantanamo Bay to get a $195million makeover - four years after Obama promised to close it

President Barack Obama famously promised in early 2009 to close the US military's detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba within 12 months. But new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is instead considering a proposal from his top commanders to spend $195.7 million renovating it and erecting a new prison building.

The new construction would include $49 to house high-value targets like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind the 9/11 terror attacks, whose initial detention and interrogation was handled by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The New York Times reported that it would likely replace Camp 7, the oft-rumored but never acknowledged installation for those 'special' detainees.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297620/Four-years-Obama-promised-close-Guantanamo-Bay-military-prison-195-million-dollars-renovations-new-construction.html

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake EAST OF THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS - 23rd March 2013

Magnitude
5.0
Date-Time
Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 13:14:02 UTC
Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 12:14:02 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
60.682°S, 19.490°W
Depth
10 km (6.2 miles)
Region
EAST OF THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS
Distances
434 km (269 miles) ESE of Bristol Island, Antarctica

Meteor streaks over East Coast: Millions of Americans witness fireball as yard-long rock enters Earth's atmosphere

A meteor has flown over the Eastern Seaboard with hundreds of Americans witnessing a bright fireball streaking across the heavens.

Bright enough to be classified as a fireball, it lit up the night sky over eastern North America on Friday, providing a spectacle witnessed in at least 13 states, Washington, D.C. and two Canadian provinces, the American Meteor Society said.

Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environmental Office said the flash appears to be 'a single meteor event.' He said it 'looks to be a fireball that moved roughly toward the southeast, going on visual reports.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297892/Meteor-streaks-Eastern-Seaboard-Millions-Americans-witness-fireball-yard-long-comet-enters-Earths-atmosphere-2013-Northeast-Fireball.html

FAA to shut down HUNDREDS of control towers at airports - leaving pilots to coordinate landings themselves

The planned shutdown of up to 238 air traffic control towers across the country under federal budget cuts will strip away an extra layer of safety during takeoffs and landings, leaving pilots to manage the most critical stages of flight on their own.

The towers slated to close are at smaller airports with lighter traffic, and all pilots are trained to land without help by communicating among themselves on a common radio frequency.

Airport directors and pilots, however, say there is little doubt the removal of that second pair of eyes on the ground increases risk and will slow the progress that has made the U.S. air system the safest in the world.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297757/FAA-shut-HUNDREDS-control-towers-airports-sequester-meaning-pilots-coordinate-landings-themselves.html

Vatican tweets story about Batman... and it wasn't even a mistake


A story about Batman is not the usual Twitter material of the Vatican.

So when a tweet appeared with the headline 'Holy switcheroo! Batman has grown bitter, more vengeful with the years,' it was somewhat legitimately assumed that their account had been hacked.

But two Vatican officials today said the site had not been hacked, and that the reason for the unusual posting was an 'internal system failure' due to a non-native English speaker posting the story on the website.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297692/Holy-smoke-Vatican-tweets-story-Batman--wasnt-mistake.html

Albrecht Muth 'beat his 91-year-old German socialite wife to death' has trial delayed after he goes on hunger strike claiming she was 'killed by Iran'

The trial of a German expat accused of killing his much-older socialite wife has ground to a standstill after he went on hunger strike in his mental asylum cell blaming Iranian hitmen for her murder.

It's the latest twist in the case against Albrecht Muth, a German expatriate whose behavior has ranged from odd to obstructive since he was charged with strangling and beating to death his 91-year-old wife, Viola Drath.

Muth, nearly a half-century younger than his late wife, has argued unsuccessfully for the right to wear what he said was an Iraqi military uniform in court.

He fired his public defenders - only to have them reappointed after he was deemed too physically weak to act as his own lawyer. He told the judge he'd follow his own rules and he's name-dropped Jesus, David Petraeus and others in court proceedings.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297485/Albrecht-Muth-trial-delayed-goes-hunger-strike-claiming-wife-Viola-Drath-killed-Iran.html

Half of the squatters in London are Romanian as MPs warn of thousands coming to UK next year

Nearly half of the squatters in London are Romanian, prompting fears of widespread vagrancy across the country when border restrictions are lifted next year.

Figures from the Met Police revealed that 41 Romanians have been prosecuted or cautioned for living illegally in homes in the capital since anti-squatting laws came into effect last September.

This represents 45 per cent of the total of 92 people caught breaking the law in London in the past six months.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297837/Half-squatters-London-Romanian-MPs-warn-thousands-coming-UK-year.html

Pure horsemeat was sold as 'diced beef' to shoppers on market stall

Pure horsemeat imported from Hungary was sold to British shoppers as 'diced beef', officials have confirmed.

Nearly half the meat had already been sold to the public before its true provenance was discovered.

The Food Standards Agency said that 100kg (220lb) of horsemeat was imported by Hungarian Food Ltd in Preston, Lancashire, and sold on its market stall in town and a shop in Liverpool.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297622/Horsemeat-scandal-Council-finds-100kg-horse-labelled-beef-sale-market-stall.html

Great white Breaks into Diving Cage

The 'single' mother-of-six on benefits, the £2.5million Belgravia mansion she wants you to pay for... And the mystery of her VERY elusive fashion boss husband

Stephanie Demouh, originally from west Africa, lived in the four bedroom house in Belgravia, near Sloane Square, for about three years with her family. She was moved after a cap on housing benefit. Pictured left is her former home, and (right) Belgravia.

In the real world, you would have to earn nearly £250,000 a year to qualify for a mortgage with the same eye-watering monthly repayments. But this story is not about the real world, where most of us live, otherwise you would not be reading about the case of Stephanie Demouh.

The magnificent townhouse I've described was her home for three years until she was recently forced to move out and downsize to more modest surroundings in Edgware, North London.

Did she lose a highly paid job? No, Miss Demouh, 38, a mother of six, didn't have a job in the first place. She is a student at Westminster University. Was her husband made redundant, perhaps? No, again. Apparently, the couple were living apart anyway. Might she have lost a family inheritance on the stock market, then? Definitely not.

By now, you must be wondering how Miss Demouh, who is British but was born in Togo, West Africa, could ever afford to live in Belgravia. The answer is, she couldn't.

Miss Demouh was a beneficiary of the controversial benefits gravy train known as the Local Housing Allowance, which allowed people to rent from private landlords and hand the bill to the state.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297796/The-single-mother-benefits-2-5million-Belgravia-mansion-wants-pay--And-mystery-VERY-elusive-fashion-boss-husband.html

EU students vanish without repaying millions in loans to study in British universities - and UK taxpayers are picking up the bill

Around one in five European students have disappeared without paying back millions of pounds in loans to study at British universities.

Twenty-two per cent of students from EU member states have not be 'traced' after graduating - leaving UK taxpayers to pick up the bill.

A study by the House of Commons library, reported by the Daily Telegraph, revealed that EU students were much less likely to repay their loans at all and more likely to go missing.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297951/EU-students-disappear-repaying-millions-loans-study-British-universities--UK-taxpayers-picking-bill.html

Troops impose uneasy calm on violence-torn Myanmar city

Hundreds of troops kept an uneasy calm in central Myanmar on Saturday after martial law was imposed to quell three days of bloody unrest between Buddhists and Muslims that is testing the country's nascent democracy.

The official death toll in the worst-affected town of Meikhtila stands at 11 dead, although local estimates put it as much as four times higher.

Burned corpses still lay uncollected by the roads on Saturday, said Reuters reporters in the city 540 km (336 miles) north of the commercial capital Yangon.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/23/us-myanmar-unrest-meikhtila-idUSBRE92M04820130323

Warren Rodwell is released in Pagadian City in the southern Philippines, 15 months after he was taken captive by rebels

Mali’s war: Far from over

Since French troops first arrived in Mali on January 11, 2013, I have spent all but one week of 2013 covering the conflict there. The first three weeks were probably the most intense I have ever worked in my life, and at times, the most frustrating. French troops hit the ground at a pace which far outstripped most journalists’ ability to cover events, and media restrictions forced journalists to focus on something other than fighting.

Many other journalists have lamented the stringent media restrictions, which at a certain point meant that when the French and Malian took control of Gao, most of the journalists were blocked at a Malian army checkpoint in Sevare, more than 600km (370 miles) southwest. But after the initial push resulting in the seizure of nearly all of Mali’s territory, the jihadist groups opted for a more insurgent-like approach, targeting the Malian army with suicide bombs and surprise attacks in Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal.

It is clear that this war is not like many others. After a month of complaining that we were not given access to the frontline, on one of the first few days I arrived in Gao, the frontline came to us.

http://blogs.reuters.com/photographers-blog/2013/03/22/malis-war-far-from-over/

Chicago announces mass closing of schools

Chicago will close 54 schools and 61 school buildings by the beginning of the next academic year in the country's third-largest public school district, a move that union leaders called the largest mass closing in the nation.

The district will shutter 53 elementary schools and one high school by August, primarily in Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods. The district, which has a $1 billion annual deficit, has said it needs to close underutilized schools to save money.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/22/us-usa-education-chicago-idUSBRE92K1CI20130322

Syria rebels seize base in embattled southern province

Rebels seized an air defense base near Syria's strategic southern international highway on Saturday, activists said, a gain that could bolster opposition fighters trying to secure supply routes to the capital Damascus.

Syria's southern provinces bordering Jordan and Israel have become an increasingly significant battleground as the embattled capital comes into play, with President Bashar al-Assad's forces and his loyalist militias hitting back hard to prevent rebel advances.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/23/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE92M03K20130323

In Moscow, new Chinese leader Xi warns against meddling

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against foreign interference in the affairs of other nations during a speech in Moscow on Saturday, sending a signal to the West and echoing a message often repeated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Permanent U.N. Security Council members with veto power, Russia and China have frequently teamed up diplomatically to blunt the influence of the United States and its NATO allies and have blocked three draft resolutions on Syria.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/23/us-china-russia-moscow-idUSBRE92M02F20130323

Fake vicar George Gordon stole £90,000 in European grants after gaining clerical title from U.S. website

To his 'parishioners' George Gordon appeared a genuine man of the cloth.

Calling himself 'The Reverend', he wore a dog collar and boasted of Cambridge University degrees.

The 52-year-old claimed he suffered from manic depression and cancer, and volunteered to help charities for victims of mental health problems.

In reality, he was a serial conman and convicted fraudster, who bought his clerical title online and was only dedicated to helping himself.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297723/Fake-vicar-stole-90-000-European-grants-gaining-clerical-title-U-S-website.html

Another blow for Osborne as top ratings agency puts UK's AAA credit score on review for downgrade days after austerity budget

George Osborne was last night warned that Britain faces another humiliating downgrade to its credit rating in the wake of the Budget.

Ratings agency Fitch said there was a ‘heightened probability’ that it will strip the UK of its top-level AAA status.

Rival agency Moody’s has already downgraded the Government’s once-cherished credit score as the Treasury struggles to deal with the country’s towering debts.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297685/Another-blow-Osborne-ratings-agency-puts-UKs-AAA-credit-score-review-downgrade-days-austerity-budget.html

Cypriot president 'warned friends to move money abroad' before financial crisis hit

Cypriot president Nikos Anastasiades 'warned' close friends of the financial crisis about to engulf his country so they could move their money abroad, it was claimed on Friday.

The respected Cypriot newspaper Filelftheros made the allegation which was picked up eagerly by German media.

Germans are angry at the way their country has been linked to the Nazis and Hitler by Cypriots angry at the defunct rescue deal which called for a levy on all savings.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297383/Cyprus-bailout-President-Nikos-Anastasiades-warned-friends-money-abroad.html

Take wads of cash... but watch out for muggers: Extraordinary Foreign Office advice for Cyprus-bound Britons

Thousands of British tourists heading to Cyprus for Easter have been told to take bundles of cash with them – and to make sure they are adequately protected against thieves.

The Foreign Office amended its advice as officials warned the island had just ‘hours’ to prevent financial collapse. With the banks closed, long queues at cashpoints and reports that retailers are starting to refuse payments by debit and credit card, official advice is now to take enough cash to ‘cover the duration of your stay, alongside appropriate security precautions against theft’.

For many families, this will mean taking thousands of euros in cash and being on constant guard against robbery.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297662/Tourists-told-bundles-cash-Cyprus-thousands-British-savers-warned-protection-nation-goes-under.html

Mohamed Salim, the African war criminal we can't kick out: Rant of 'murderer' staying on human rights grounds is being funded by tax payer

A war criminal who took part in attacks in which countless civilians were killed is living rent-free at taxpayers’ expense in a large house in the West Midlands.

Mohamed Salim, 27, claimed he was in a militia that ‘wiped out entire villages’ in his native Sudan.

But despite being found guilty of crimes against humanity last year, he was allowed to stay in Britain indefinitely under human rights law because sending him home might put his life in danger.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297840/ON-benefits-Birmingham-African-war-criminal-kick-Rant-murderer-staying-human-righgts-grounds-funded-tax-payer.html

Egyptians set fire to Muslim Brotherhood buses

Rio police evict Amazon natives from World Cup site

Cyprus bank bill splits good and bad assets

Universe is older than previously thought

Closer scrutiny of radiation left over from the creation of the universe shows the Big Bang took place about 13.8 billion years ago, 100 million years earlier than previous estimates, scientists said on Thursday.

The findings are among the first results from analysis of data collected by the European Space Agency's Planck spacecraft, which is providing the most detailed look to date at the remnant microwave radiation that permeates the universe.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/21/us-space-universe-idUSBRE92K15Q20130321

Brotherhood supporters, opponents clash in Egypt, 40 hurt

Several thousand opponents of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood clashed with supporters of the Islamist group near its headquarters in Cairo on Friday, and at least 40 people were wounded, authorities said.

Columns of riot police fired tear gas as the rival groups tussled in the streets around the Brotherhood headquarters. Protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and stones, a witness said.

Earlier in the day, Brotherhood supporters had arrived in the vicinity on buses, were showered with stones from the protesters and threw stones back.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/23/us-egypt-protests-idUSBRE92L0Q220130323

Cyprus closes in on EU bailout, U-turn on levy

Cyprus is expected to make a dramatic U-turn on Saturday to avert the imminent threat of financial meltdown, having signaled it is willing to tax big savers in its stricken banks to clinch a bailout from the European Union.

The island's partners in the 17-nation euro zone scheduled a meeting for Sunday in Brussels, in a strong sign they believe a solution is near.

As hundreds of demonstrators faced off with riot police outside parliament late into Friday night, lawmakers inside voted to nationalize pension funds, pool state assets for a bond issue and peel good assets from bad in stricken banks.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/23/us-cyprus-parliament-idUSBRE92G03I20130323

Pakistan Taliban threaten to send Musharraf to "hell" when he returns

Pakistan's Taliban have threatened to dispatch suicide bombers and snipers to kill former President Pervez Musharraf when he returns home from exile on Sunday to contest elections.

In a Taliban video obtained by Reuters, Adnan Rasheed, who took part in a previous attempt to assassinate Musharraf, warned: "The mujahideen of Islam have prepared a special squad to send Musharraf to hell. There are suicide bombers, snipers, a special assault unit and a close combat team."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/23/us-pakistan-musharraf-taliban-idUSBRE92M01P20130323

Tremors detected at Assumption Parish sinkhole

All work has been ceased at the Bayou Corne sinkhole after monitoring systems detected tremors Friday morning, officials said Friday.

According to the Assumption Parish Police Jury website, the Office of Conservation and the Assumption Parish Incident Command detected elevated subsurface activity in the area around a massive 13-acre sinkhole.

Seismic monitoring also detected water movement in the slurry as well as increased bubbling on the western side of the sinkhole.

Experts say a brine cavern drilled into the underground Napoleonville salt dome may have caused the sinkhole after it collapsed. 350 residents in a nearby town have been evacuated as a result of the slurry area.

http://www.nola.com/news/baton-rouge/index.ssf/2013/03/tremors_detected_at_assumption.html

Bees Attack Wichita Falls Residents & Rescue Crews

According to a local bee keeper they were Africanized bees that had set up in the wall of the house.

Around noon today something set them off that had them attacking everyone in sight, even some animals, and sending at least one person to the hospital.

Emergency crews blocked off Ireland Street around noon today but it was not because of fire.

It was because of bees.

"There could be 20, 30, 40 thousand in this one swarm in this wall. Actually it's a hive in this wall," says beekeeper David Potter.

http://texomashomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=257692

Tularemia suspected in beaver deaths in Urbana [Meadowbrook Park], State of Illinois

A beaver die-off at Urbana's Meadowbrook Park, thought to have been caused by tularemia, has emphasized the importance of keeping pets indoors or on a leash, for their own safety and that of wildlife.

It also has raised questions about the impact of drought, overpopulation and habitat destruction on wildlife. Officials say there are no reports of human illness.

What is known for sure is that seven of the beavers that thrived in and along McCullough Creek in the park died in the last year. The cause is less certain.

"There is no conclusive evidence," researcher Nohra Mateus-Pinilla said, "but it appears that the only thing that could have caused the die-off is an outbreak of tularemia."

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/environment/2013-03-17/environmental-almanac-tularemia-suspected-beaver-deaths.html

32 Burmese refugees killed in Thailand blaze

BANGKOK: As many as 32 Burmese refugees died yesterday in a raging fire at a camp in Thailand, officials said.
Mae Hong Son Gov. Naramol Palawat said the fire destroyed about 100 thatch huts at the Ban Mae Surin refugee camp.

She said the blaze was believed to have been started by a cooking accident. The fire was put out after about two hours, and those who lost their shelters are being temporarily housed in tents, she said.

A worker for the local emergency medical service said 32 people had died and two were severely injured and sent to a hospital in Chiang Mai, the nearest big city.

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445753

Tornado hits eastern Bangladesh, leaving 10 dead, about 500 injured

A tornado ripped through 20 villages in eastern Bangladesh on Friday, killing 10 people and injuring about 500 others, a report said.

The Prothom Alo newspaper said the 15-minute storm destroyed many homes and shops and uprooted large numbers of trees in Brahmanbaria district.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/tornado-hits-eastern-bangladesh-leaving-5-dead-more-than-100-injured/2013/03/22/a4f89d38-9306-11e2-8e33-9cc6c739d012_story.html

Spain: Eviction Orders Top 75,000 In 2012

Eviction procedures in Spanish courts for unpaid mortgages and rent hit a fresh record last year, averaging more than 200 per day.

Amid the sharp economic downturn and record unemployment, Spain's legal system executed 75,605 eviction orders in 2012, a 16.7% increase over the previous year.

According to the General Council of Judicial Power, 64,770 eviction orders were carried out in 2011.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068514/spain-eviction-orders-top-75000-in-2012

Kim De Gelder jailed for life for the Killing of two babies and a carer whilst dressed as Batman's nemesis The Joker

A Belgian man who stabbed two babies and a carer to death after he broke into a nursery dressed as Batman's nemesis The Joker has been jailed for life.

Kim De Gelder slashed babies, infants and their carers after he broke into the Fable Land nursery in Dendermonde, Belgium with his hair dyed red and his face painted white with black around his eyes.

He was found guilty of murdering the two babies - aged six and nine months - and a 54-year-old woman in January 2009, along with the attempted murder of 22 other people in the nursery.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068613/belgium-the-joker-baby-killer-jailed

David Viens Sentenced For Boiling Wife

A Los Angeles chef who told police he cooked his wife's body in boiling water has been jailed for between 15 years and life for second-degree murder.

Dawn Viens disappeared in 2009. Her body has never been found.

David Viens denied murdering the 39-year-old but in statements played during his trial he told police he had boiled her body down for four days to destroy evidence of her death.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068586/chef-david-viens-sentenced-for-boiling-wife

Huhne 'Moves To Comfortable Open Prison' after spending 7 Days in Jail

Former Cabinet minister Chris Huhne has reportedly been moved to a "comfortable" open jail after spending seven days in Wandsworth prison.

Huhne was jailed earlier this month after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice for asking his wife to take speeding points for him in 2003.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068693/huhne-moves-to-comfortable-open-prison

Matthew Mabey Arrested as 65-year-old England Fan In Coma After Italy Bar Fight

A 65-year-old man is in a coma in Italy after a brawl between England fans ahead of the World Cup qualifier against San Marino.

The victim was injured after he was punched in the face and hit his head against the pavement when he fell.

Police called to the scene have arrested another Briton, Matthew Mabey, 21, who is being held on suspicion of serious wounding.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068574/england-fan-in-coma-after-italy-bar-fight

Demarquis Elkins Charged as an Adult for killing Baby during Robbery

Two teenage boys have been arrested after a 13-month-old baby was shot dead as his mother pushed him in a buggy.

The two suspects - aged 14 and 17 - have been charged with murder over the death in the coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia, on Thursday.

The 17-year-old, identified as Demarquis Elkins, was charged as an adult, while the 14-year-old was not named because he is a minor.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068545/georgia-baby-buggy-shooting-two-arrested

Weather: Snow And Rain Continues To Batter UK - 2 Amber Warnings Issued

Britain is continuing to endure extreme winter storms as snow, rain, high winds and freezing temperatures affect large swathes of the country.

The severe weather, which has already claimed the life of one woman, has been extending south, affecting London and parts of Kent.

The Met Office has issued two amber warnings for snow, with Northern Ireland and Wales, parts of northwest and northeast England and the Midlands expecting to see up to 15cm of snowfall over the course of the day.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068709/weather-snow-and-rain-continues-to-batter-uk

Cyprus Bailout: MPs Stumble Towards Deal

The Cypriot parliament has approved a number of measures designed to restructure the economy and raise funds in order to secure an EU bailout.

MPs voted in favour of a "national solidarity fund" - which would nationalise pension funds, with bonds issued against future natural gas revenues - and capital controls to prevent a run on the island's troubled banks.

They also backed legislation to permit the restructuring of troubled banks to prevent their collapse.

The first of the package of measures were agreed shortly after it emerged Cyprus was reportedly considering a levy of 15% on all bank deposits over 100,000 euros as its attempt to secure a rescue for the economy.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068577/cyprus-bailout-mps-stumble-towards-deal

Nasa Confirms Meteor After 'Fireball' Reports

The US space agency says reports of a flash in the sky along much of the US East Coast appeared to be a "single meteor event".

Social media sites have been buzzing with reports of the flash that streaked across the sky.

It was spotted as far south as Florida and as far north as New England, reports said.

http://news.sky.com/story/1068697/nasa-confirms-meteor-after-fireball-reports

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE - 23rd March 2013

Magnitude
4.7
Date-Time
Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 05:56:03 UTC
Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 04:56:03 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
17.490°S, 13.904°W
Depth
10 km (6.2 miles)
Region
SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
Distances
889 km (552 miles) WSW of Jamestown, Saint Helena

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA - 23rd March 2013

Magnitude
4.5
Date-Time
Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 05:28:31 UTC
Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 06:28:31 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
18.732°S, 175.513°W
Depth
183.4 km (114.0 miles)
Region
TONGA
Distances
161 km (100 miles) W of Neiafu, Tonga

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS - 23rd March 2013

Magnitude
4.9
Date-Time
Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 04:28:34 UTC
Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 03:28:34 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
10.948°S, 165.815°E
Depth
20.1 km (12.5 miles)
Region
SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
Distances
25 km (15 miles) S of Lata, Solomon Islands

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake GUAM REGION - 23rd March 2013

Magnitude
4.9
Date-Time
Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 02:47:50 UTC
Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 12:47:50 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
12.357°N, 143.885°E
Depth
8.4 km (5.2 miles)
Region
GUAM REGION
Distances
155 km (96 miles) SW (217°) from HAGATNA, Guam

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS., ALASKA - 23rd March 2013

Magnitude
4.3
Date-Time
Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 00:55:08 UTC
Friday, March 22, 2013 at 03:55:08 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
52.507°N, 174.022°W
Depth
193.5 km (120.2 miles)
Region
ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS., ALASKA
Distances
37 km (22 miles) NNE of Atka, Alaska