Wednesday, March 27, 2013

North Korea severs all military hotlines with South Korea


North Korea on Wednesday severed a military hotline with South Korea used to ensure the safety of personnel commuting to and from the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex.

The move came as the South Korean government proposed inviting international investment to the Kaesong complex as part of efforts to build trust with North Korea.

The North's official KCNA news agency said Pyongyang sent a message to the Seoul at 11:20 a.m., quoting the head of the North Korean delegation to the cross-border military talks as saying, "I, upon authorization, inform the South side that the North-South military communications will be cut off and the members of the North side at the military communications liaison office in the zone under the control of the North and the South in the west coastal area will stop their activities from this moment."

That severs all military communication between Seoul and Pyongyang.

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/03/28/2013032800572.html

James Holmes 'Offers Guilty Plea'

Lawyers for suspected Colorado movie theatre shooter James Holmes say he would make a deal to avoid the death penalty.

http://news.sky.com/story/1070677/cinema-shootings-holmes-offers-guilty-plea

Guantanamo Hunger Strike Inmates 'Denied Water'

Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay on a hunger strike have claimed they are being denied access to drinking water.

According to an emergency court motion filed on Wednesday in Washington, Guantanamo guards have refused to give hunger strikers bottled drinking water, instead telling them to drink from the faucets in their cells.

The filing, based on complaints from a Yemeni prisoner, also claims temperatures have been kept "extremely frigid".

http://news.sky.com/story/1070602/guantanamo-hunger-strike-inmates-denied-water

Acropolis Bomb: Blast In Central Athens

A bomb has exploded near the Acropolis in central Athens causing damage but no injuries.

Apparently targeting the house of one of the country's shipping magnate, the blast close to Greece's most famous ancient monument occurred at about 8:30pm local time (1830 GMT), following a warning call to a Greek newspaper.

A police source told the AFP news agency: "An anonymous caller contacted a Greek daily at 8:10pm (1810 GMT) and said the bomb would explode at 8:30pm outside the home of shipowner (Nikos) Tsakos.

"The police evacuated the area and so far there are no reports of injuries."

http://news.sky.com/story/1070649/acropolis-bomb-blast-in-central-athens

Cyprus Cycle: 'Cash will continue to fly from peripheries to EU core'

CCTV: Earthquake shakes office building in Taiwan

Families of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom who were raped and tortured to death are banned from wearing photo buttons of the victims in the front row of courtroom during killer's retrial

A judge in Knoxville, Tennessee has ruled that if relatives of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom (top left) wear badges showing the faces of their murdered loved ones, they must sit 'two or three rows' behind suspect George Thomas (bottom left). If they do not wear the badges, they are permitted to sit in the front row, near the jury. They have previously had no issues with wearing the badges in court (pictured right).

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299984/Families-couple-tortured-death-banned-wearing-photo-buttons-loved-ones-row-court-room-murderers-retrial.html

Police to patrol university after fears of White Student Union vigilante squads roaming campus over 'black-on-white' attacks

Police say they will guard a university campus after a group calling itself the White Student Union promised its own patrols to curb what it sees as rising black-on-white crime.

The White Student Union at Maryland's Towson University has been drawing attention since one of its members defended segregation during a panel discussion earlier this month at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an influential forum in Republican Party politics.

The roughly 50-person union was formed to celebrate European-American culture, and members attend church and the shooting range together, said Matthew Heimbach, 21, the founder and self-professed commander.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299938/Police-guard-university-vigilantes-White-Student-union-pledge-patrol-campus-black-white-attacks.html

FOURTH sinkhole opens up in same Florida town where man was swallowed into the earth less than a month ago

A possible sinkhole has forced two families from their Florida duplex in the same area where another sinkhole opened under a man's bedroom, killing him less than a month ago.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue crews responded to a 911 call Tuesday evening and found that the Florida duplex in Seffner had buckled floors and cracked walls, but no sinkhole was visible, according to spokesman Ronnie Rivera.

Officials say the soil was soft around the home. They recommended that the residents spend the night somewhere else.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299976/FOURTH-sinkhole-reported-Florida-town-man-swallowed-up.html

Six TSA agents hospitalized after screener pepper-sprays co-workers while 'playing around' at JFK

An airport security worker who discovered a container of pepper spray at JFK sprayed five of his colleagues with the chemical as he was 'playing around' with the canister.

All six TSA screeners were taken to hospital, and security checks at JFK were said to have been held up for at least 15 minutes following the incident in Terminal 2.

Chris Yves Dabel is said to have told Port Authority officials he discovered the canister on the floor at a security checkpoint, and and 'thought it was a laser pointer'.

'They were playing around with it', a member of staff at the airport told the New York Post.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299979/Six-hospitalised-TSA-agent-playing-pepper-sprays-colleagues-JFK.html

Jared Lee Loughner: Secret police files reveal killer took cocaine and tried to control his dreams - but was 'polite and calm' after rampage that left six dead

The gunman that killed six people and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona two years ago was a drug user and believed he could control his actions in dreams, according to newly released records on the police investigation into the shooting.

The thousands of pages of records, which had previously been sealed, reveal that Jared Lee Loughner was behaving erratically and using cocaine and marijuana in the months leading up to the shooting.

Loughner's mother, Amy, described his run-ins with authorities, his drug use and his psychological state in interviews with police.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299814/Gabby-Giffords-Records-reveal-Tucson-shooter-polite-calm-rampage-drug-user-parents-confiscated-shotgun-erratic-behavior.html

Brussels accused of behaving like Oliver Twist with new demand for £1.4billion from Britain

Brussels was today accused of behaving like Oliver Twist after demanding even more mobey from the British taxpayer.

There was fury from ministers as the European Commission asked the UK to find an extra £1.4billion to cover a shortfall in this year’s budget.

All member states are being asked to stump up a total of £9billion to cover overspending on regional development projects.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300049/Can-MORE-Brussels-accused-behaving-like-Oliver-Twist-new-demand-1-4billion-Britain.html

'Food stamps' to be issued in Britain next week to tens of thousands of vulnerable people as part of benefits shake-up

Food stamps will be handed to the poorest and neediest when cash handouts are scrapped in favour of vouchers next week.

Many local authorities are expected to take part in the scheme under which vouchers will be issued to the most vulnerable, rather than cash grants or loans.

They will be issued to help tide people over in times of financial crisis, and recipients will be able to exchange the vouchers for food, nappies and other essentials, but not alcohol or cigarettes.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299931/Food-stamps-replace-cash-handouts-poor-vulnerable-benefits-shake-up.html

How well has ECB emerged from Cyprus crisis?

Massive Cyber attack 'Slows Down The Internet'

A dispute between a web-hosting company and a spam-prevention group has unleashed a cyberattack so concentrated it is reportedly slowing down the internet.

Spamhaus offers spam-blocking services by patrolling the web for prolific spammers and publishing server details of the worst offenders. It claims to block 50 billion junk emails every day.

Cyberbunker offers web-hosting services. The Dutch company has previously been accused of turning a blind eye when organisations host illegal content on their servers.

http://news.sky.com/story/1070564/massive-cyberattack-slows-down-the-internet

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS - 27th March 2013

Magnitude M 4.7
Region SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
Date time 2013-03-27 17:45:01.0 UTC
Location 26.31 S ; 177.43 W
Depth 207 km
Distances 999 km SE of Suva, Fiji / pop: 77,366 / local time: 05:45:01.0 2013-03-28



4.3 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 27th March 2013

Magnitude
4.3
Date-Time
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 16:39:10 UTC
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 11:39:10 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
1.423°N, 99.167°E
Depth
34.6 km (21.5 miles) (poorly constrained)
Region
NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
Distances
12 km (7 miles) WNW of Padangsidempuan, Indonesia

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN REGION - 27th March 2013

Magnitude ML 4.4
Region CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN REGION
Date time 2013-03-27 16:10:55.9 UTC
Location 27.78 N ; 18.24 W
Depth 10 km
Distances
87 km SW of Fuencaliente de la Palma, Spain / pop: 1,894 / local time: 16:10:55.9 2013-03-27

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN REGION - 27th March 2013

Magnitude ML 4.1
Region CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN REGION
Date time 2013-03-27 15:28:55.9 UTC
Location 27.73 N ; 18.30 W
Depth 12 km
Distances
95 km SW of Fuencaliente de la Palma, Spain / pop: 1,894 / local time: 15:28:55.9 2013-03-27

Cyprus: Banks deploy police and security ahead of reopening

Banks in Cyprus are in a "race against time" to be ready to reopen their doors tomorrow.

For nearly a fortnight banks have been closed after Cyprus was plunged into its biggest crisis since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

The terms of the EU bailout agreed in Brussels mean there has been a state of financial limbo and widespread confusion.

Cheques have not been banked, people have not received their wages and regular payments have not been processed.

http://news.sky.com/story/1070567/cyprus-banks-in-race-ahead-of-reopening

Mursi sees Egypt vote delayed by six months

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said on Wednesday parliamentary elections could be delayed until October, a postponement that would give his cash-strapped government breathing room to negotiate an IMF deal.

Mursi's original plan was for a four-stage election that would start in late April and put a parliament in place by July.

But the schedule was turned on its head this month when a court canceled the presidential decree setting the dates.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/27/us-egypt-election-idUSBRE92Q04I20130327

Malta not comparable to Cyprus: Maltese central bank

The governor of the Central Bank of Malta, Josef Bonnici, has warned against comparisons being made between Cyprus and Malta in the Cypriot banking crisis.

Malta's banking sector is about eight times the size of the country's gross domestic product, like Cyprus, but Bonnici, who is also a member of the European Central Bank's Governing Council, told Reuters that comparisons were misleading.

International banks in Malta that conduct hardly any business in the domestic economy hold the bulk of those assets, accounting for six times Malta's GDP.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/27/us-malta-cyprus-idUSBRE92Q0AX20130327

Abu Qatada Stays As Theresa May Loses Appeal AGAIN!

Home Secretary Theresa May has lost her appeal court challenge over a decision to block Abu Qatada's deportation.

Judges in the Court of Appeal refused to overturn a ruling made last November by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac).

Siac decided Qatada could not be sent to Jordan, where he was convicted of terror charges in his absence in 1999, because of the risk evidence obtained through torture could be used against him.

http://news.sky.com/story/1070407/abu-qatada-stays-as-theresa-may-loses-appeal

Never mind Cyprus – look to Germany for causes of the euro crisis

Over the course of the last week's tense negotiations over a Cyprus bailout deal, much of the commentary has focused on the role of Europe's finance ministers. But perhaps closer attention should be paid to Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank. On 14 March Draghi made a presentation to heads of state and government on the economic situation in the euro area. His intent was to show the real reasons for the crisis and the counter-measures needed. In this he succeeded – although not in the way he intended.

Draghi presented two graphs that encapsulate his central argument: productivity growth in the surplus countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands) was higher than in the deficit countries (France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain). But wage growth was much faster in the latter group. Structural reforms and wage moderation lead to success; structural rigidities and greedy trade unions lead to failure. QED.

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which reported the affair approvingly, the impact of Draghi's intervention was devastating. Fran├žois Hollande, the French president, who had earlier been calling for an end to austerity and for growth impulses, was, according to the newspaper, completely silenced after the ECB president had so clearly demonstrated, with incontrovertible evidence, what was wrong in Europe – or rather in certain countries in the eurozone – and what must be done.

Things are not as they seem, however. Draghi's presentation contains a simple but fatal error – or should that be misrepresentation? As the note to the graphs indicates, the productivity measure is expressed in real terms. In other words, it shows how much more output an average worker produced in 2012 compared with 2000. So far so good. However, the wage measure that he uses, compensation per employee, is expressed in nominal terms (even if, interestingly, this is not expressly indicated on the slides). In other words, the productivity measure includes inflation, but the wage measure does not.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/27/cyprus-germany-cause-eurozone-crisis

A case can be made that the presentation by the ECB president does indeed reveal the true nature of the crisis, albeit unintentionally. Senior economic policymakers in the European Union are either unaware of basic economic concepts or they are intentionally using misleading figures – to put it mildly – to force policymakers on to a course that suits their ideological preferences but which is inimical to the stability and recovery of the eurozone and, in this particular case, indeed, to their constitutional mandate.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/27/cyprus-germany-cause-eurozone-crisis

Cyprus bank crisis: Workers threaten Thursday strike

The financial crisis in Cyprus has worsened with workers threatening to strike just 24 hours before the banks are due to re-open.

Banks have already been closed for nearly two weeks but the workers' union has said its members are prepared to cause branch closures almost as soon as they resume for business on Thursday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21950913

FBI investigating 'suspicious' death aboard cruise ship

The FBI is investigating the mysterious death of a 64-year-old woman aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

The woman, whose name was not released, was from Midlothian, Virginia. She was found dead by her husband in their cabin Sunday, the cruise line said.
"As is our standard procedure, both the FBI and local law enforcement were notified," Royal Caribbean said.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/27/travel/mayland-cruise-death/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

Elephants slaughtered in Cameroon

Heavily armed poachers recently killed nearly 40 endangered forest elephants for their ivory in two national parks, officials in Cameroon said Tuesday, the latest in a string of slaughters of the animals in Central Africa.

"The carcasses are still fresh, indicating the killings took place probably only this month," ecologist Theophile Mbarga told CNN on Tuesday.

Very young -- even newborn -- elephants were among the carcasses found in Nki and Lobeke national parks. The toll could reach 50 after a thorough search is made, Mbarga added.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/26/world/africa/cameroon-elephant-poaching/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

When will banks reopen in Cyprus?

Pondering a nightmare: War in Korea

It's Asia's nightmare scenario: War breaking out on the Korean peninsula.

With Korea lying at the heart of Northeast Asia, the world's third largest zone of economic activity after Western Europe and North America, experts say global capital markets would suffer devastating collateral damage, but the catastrophic loss of human life -- and potential nuclear fallout -- would be far, far worse.

Fortunately, no analysts believe "Korean War II" is imminent; the armistice ending the 1950-53 conflict that buried millions continues to hold, despite North Korea's nullification in March. And with regime maintenance Pyongyang's paramount policy, few think it would risk an attack.

But Kim Jong Un's experience and rationality is being questioned following his recent missile and nuclear tests, his annulment of the armistice and his bellicose vitriol -- extreme even by Pyongyang standards.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/27/world/asia/south-north-korea-war-scenario/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

'Unique Cyprus model to spill further across Eurozone'

Chechen Jihadists in Syria Announce new Extremist Brigade

'We died when Obama indefinitely detained us' - Gitmo inmate

Bodyguard brawl video: Putin's, S. African security scuffle at BRICS summit

Syria: Jihadists Training Children in Hama

North Korea to cut all channels with South as "war may break out any time"

Reclusive North Korea is to cut the last channel of communications with the South because war could break out at "any moment", it said on Wednesday, days of after warning the United States and South Korea of nuclear attack.

The move is the latest in a series of bellicose threats from North Korea in response to new U.N. sanctions imposed after its third nuclear test in February and to "hostile" military drills under way joining the United States and South Korea.

The North has already stopped responding to calls on the hotline to the U.S. military that supervises the heavily armed Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the Red Cross line that has been used by the governments of both sides.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/27/us-korea-north-idUSBRE92Q07E20130327

Mark Kelly tried in vain to save sea lion being killed by his daughter's vicious dog - WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

Largest ever man-made earthquake? Experts link 5.6 Oklahoma quake which buckled a highway and destroyed 14 homes to oil drilling

A large earthquake, which rocked Oklahoma in 2011 and was felt across 17 states, was caused by oil-drilling, scientists said today.

The 5.6 magnitude quake injured two people, buckled a highway, destroyed 14 properties and was felt for hundreds of miles.

A team of scientists today ruled it was caused by deep injections of waste-water in the drilling of oil - counteracting the view of state seismologists who said it occurred naturally.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299736/Largest-man-earthquake-Experts-link-5-6-Oklahoma-quake-buckled-highway-destroyed-14-homes-oil-drilling.html

De'Marquise Elkins: Mother and Aunt Arrested charged with lying to police as detectives uncover potential murder weapon in pond

The mother and aunt of a teen suspected of shooting dead a baby in his stroller were arrested yesterday on charges that they lied to police, as detectives discovered a potential murder weapon in a nearby pond.

De'Marquise Elkins, 17, is jailed on murder charges after the senseless slaying of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago last Thursday. The teen's mother, 36-year-old Karimah Elkins, and his aunt, 33-year-old Katrina Elkins, were booked into Georgia's Glynn County jail on Tuesday morning.

After their arrests, both women gave police new information that helped lead investigators to a small saltwater pond where they found a handgun, Glynn County police Chief Matt Doering said. He said the gun was being tested to determine whether it could be matched to the shooting.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299734/Georgia-stroller-shooting-Mom-aunt-teen-shot-toddler-stroller-charged-lying-police-detectives-uncover-potential-murder-weapon-pond.html

Naked man fights man at Melbourne station

Naked man's rampage in Melbourne

The jihadist groups 'running the show' in Syria........ Why are our Governments backing and financing Terrorists?

The conflict began in March 2011 as a peaceful and legitimate protest against the ruling regime. Now, mounting evidence suggests that radical Islamist and jihadist groups, some with direct links to al-Qaeda, are increasingly in control of the opposition and "running the show" in key parts of the country, writes Channel 4 News researcher Kamal Kaddourah.

There are approximately 100,000 rebel fighters in Syria, and as many as half of those may be regarded as jihadists - fundamentalist fighters who believe that they are fighting a holy war. Many of the jihadists are believed to have been trained by al-Qaeda in Iraq.

http://www.channel4.com/news/syria-rebels-jihadist-nusra-war-assad-free-syria-army

North Korea says it’s cutting key military hotline with South Korea linking joint factory park

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/north-korea-says-its-cutting-key-military-hotline-with-south-korea-linking-joint-factory-park/2013/03/27/8df15874-96b1-11e2-8764-d42c128a01ef_story.html

What does he want? ..........a Medal?

French finance minister Pierre Moscovici has told daily newspaper Le Parisien he was the only one to defend small depositors in the all-night negotiations on Sunday. He said:

I have always advocated that depositors with less than €100,000 in their accounts are not taxed. It was the French position.

I was the only one to defend initially in the Eurogroup. After a detour, I was finally heard.

When I'm in these European meetings, I can assure you that I do not fall on my knees before Germany.

Taiwan earthquake kills one, injures 19

A strong earthquake killed one person and injured 19 others in Taiwan today as violent shock waves damaged buildings and triggered a blaze, emergency officials said.

The US Geological Survey measured the quake at magnitude 6.0 and said it struck at 10:03 am local time, 48 kilometres east of Nantou county in central Taiwan at a depth of 20.7 kilometres.

Taiwan's central weather bureau put the magnitude at 6.1, saying it was the largest quake this year and was felt across the island. Five aftershocks measured from 3.7-4.3 in magnitude occurred in two hours after the main tremor, it said.

The national fire agency said a 72-year-old woman at a temple in Nantou was struck by a wall that crumbled during the quake and died on the spot.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/strong-earthquake-kills-one-injures-19-in-taiwan/1094020/

Euro zone overestimates ability to curb contagion: Moody's

The euro zone's awkward handling of Cyprus's bailout has put extra pressure on the bloc's downgrade-threatened sovereign ratings and shows policymakers are overestimating their ability to contain the crisis, Moody's has warned.

Cyprus clinched a 10 billion euro bailout from international lenders this week, but its terms have broken with past taboos by seizing up to 40 percent of the cash held in the island's banks by wealthy individuals and firms.

Market analysts fear it could set a dangerous precedent for future rescue efforts and could make the region more prone to bank runs if depositors in other debt-strained countries think their money is no longer safe.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/27/us-moodys-ratings-cyprus-idUSBRE92Q06420130327

Michael and Kay Brewer Jailed For Pupil Sex Abuse....Could be FREE in just 3 years

A choirmaster who sexually assaulted a pupil at a music school more than 30 years ago has been jailed for six years.

Michael Brewer, a former National Youth Choir music director, and his ex-wife were found guilty on five counts of indecently assaulting his student Frances Andrade more than 30 years ago.

During the trial, Ms Andrade, 48, was found dead at her home less than a week after she gave evidence against Brewer at Manchester Crown Court. She had reportedly killed herself.

http://news.sky.com/story/1069896/choirmaster-and-ex-wife-jailed-for-sex-abuse

5.5 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION - 27th March 2013

Magnitude
5.5
Date-Time
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 06:42:46 UTC
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 04:42:46 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
57.290°S, 24.939°W
Depth
10 km (6.2 miles)
Region
SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
Distances
152 km (94 miles) ESE of Visokoi Island,

5.6 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION - 27th March 2013

Magnitude
5.6
Date-Time
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 05:59:41 UTC
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 03:59:41 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
57.357°S, 24.874°W
Depth
10 km (6.2 miles)
Region
SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
Distances
159 km (98 miles) ESE of Visokoi Island,

North Korea and the employment of visual propaganda: Matt's tips for truth seekers



With North Korea in the news a great deal these days, I thought it would be interesting to show the following clip. While upon first glance they may seem like regular scenes in the video, there are some special things to note.

When North Korea is shown on TV, especially in Western media, there is a cliche set of qualities, almost uniform across all media outlets:


-- Only show North Korean fields in the non-growing seasons to suggest starvation
-- Only show deforested mountains and the most industrialized urban areas to show poverty and desolation
-- Only show places without colour, preferably those brown, so that a mental association with mud and feces can be drawn

However, in this video you'll see:


-- Mountains full and green with trees
-- Almost endless farms tall with crops and bounty
-- Greens of all shades, and manifold rural scenes

So, why does this happen? North Korea is without a doubt a highly rural, socialist country, but why not show the complete picture?

I first discovered this strange portrayal of North Korea upon viewing American and European "documentaries" on the country, which usually consist of a group of journalists, packing preconceptions, visiting, making fun of how different things are, and then trashing the country in a narration slathered over top. I then started watching actual unedited tourist videos that individuals took on their own, and made the following interesting discoveries:

-- The infamous subway station in Pyongyang is always shown in media as darkly lit, unpopulated, and the escalator (the longest in the world) at a long angle that suggests an assembly line belt shuffling oppressing humans to and from their destinations. However tourist videos show a brightly lit, well used and incredibly beautiful subway station full of socialist art and highly functioning trains. Why would anyone want to diminish this?

-- Pyongyang itself is shown as dark, dreary, and industrial, mostly brown and grey. And yet, tourist videos show lights everywhere, multicoloured, even the odd theme park. True, there is an absence of stumbling groups of drunkards throwing up everywhere in the street at night like in the West, but I suppose no country is perfect.

-- North Korean people are shown as meek, dispirited and tyrannized in the media. But tourists can barely venture ten feet without a group of picnicking Koreans inviting them to dance, to share a drink, to share a laugh, to join in a festival, and so on. And these are Americans, the "sworn enemies".

Ponder what you see, and ask, is this true, is there another possible side? What starts in North Korea extends to the Middle East, and to the very places we live.

Leon Raymond Walls who 'went on stabbing spree in Pittsburgh Target store' is arrested as 16-year-old victim he 'used as a shield' recovers after surgery

Leon Raymond Walls, 41, has been charged with attempted homicide after the vicious attack, which ended with several customers wrestling a bloody kitchen knife out of his grasp and calling police. Witnesses said Walls grabbed Allison Meadows, 16, by her hair and repeatedly stabbed her with the knife in front of her family as they stood in line at an East Liberty store.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299160/Stabbings-Target-man-including-16-year-old-girl-getting-tail-whooped-bat-fists.html

Friends of Connecticut footballers accused in high school rape case are STILL bullying 13-year-old victims as they post grinning Instagram photo with Twitter hashtag demanding '#FreeEdgar'

In a frightening display of ignorance, 10 students at Torrington High School posed in an Instagram photo, right, in the school gymnasium making hand gestures which spell out '21,' the football jersey number of one of the accused, 18-year-old Edgar Gonzalez, pictured top left. Gonzalez' fans have also started the Twitter hashtag #FreeEdgar to post messages and pictures in defense of the alleged rapist, who remains in custody at New Haven Correctional Center and is due back in court on April 2. Fellow footballer Joan Toribio, bottom left, and an unidentified 17-year-old was also arrested in the ongoing case, which bares similarities to the recent Steubenville, Ohio rape case, and has made national headlines.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299645/Torrington-football-rape-Pals-footballers-accused-Connecticut-high-school-rape-case-STILL-defending-Twitter-hashtag-demanding-FreeEdgar.html

Kyle Kester stabbed and beaten to death in Mexico 'by a trio of locals he hired to work on his sprawling dream home'

Kyle Kester's parents had a bad feeling when their son informed them that he was moving to a rural part of Mexico where he was planning to build a sprawling home and live among the people whose culture he admired so much.

In February, Wini and Harley Kester's worst fear came true when they got a call saying that their 38-year-old son was stabbed to death inside his barely finished stucco estate for a truckload of pricey electronic equipment.

'He loved the people,' Harley Kester said of his son. 'He would still love them. I'm sure he would.'

The victim’s mother added that her son would’ve given his assailants his property had they asked for it, or offered them the opportunity to earn money and buy the gadgets themselves, the Minnesota Star Tribune reported.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299639/Kyle-Kester-case-Minnesota-man-stabbed-beaten-death-Mexico-trio-locals-hired-work-sprawling-dream-home.html

Croatia gets green light to become 28th country in the EU

The European Commission gave Croatia a clean bill of health yesterday, meaning the Baltic country will join the EU from July.

Marking the end of Zagreb’s decade-long effort to join mainstream Europe, European Union Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said Croatia had met expectations.

'Croatia has fulfilled all the conditions for joining ... I think it is an excellent example to other candidate countries,' Mr Fuele told a Croatian government session where he presented the final monitoring report.

Croatia will be the bloc’s first new member since Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299368/Croatia-given-green-light-join-EU--despite-warnings-corruption-organised-crime.html

House prices will INCREASE when Osborne's £130bn mortgage help scheme kicks in, economy watchdog warns

Government plans to kick-start mortgage lending in a bid to boost growth will simply drive up house prices, the Treasury watchdog warned yesterday.

Claims that the scheme to help first-time buyers and those trading up will lead to an increase in house building were dismissed by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Director Robert Chote said it will simply raise prices while planning restrictions hold back house building.
‘I suspect that more of it would have showed up in prices than in quantities,’ he said.

Chancellor George Osborne also faced claims from MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that his Help To Buy plans will simply fuel another house price bubble.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299333/Osbornes-130billion-mortgage-help-scheme-wont-boost-building-drive-house-prices-UP-economy-watchdog-warns.html

Medicines stockpiled in alert for biological war strike on the UK as experts warn that such weapons could be developed in British university laboratories

Medicine is being stockpiled in readiness for a biological attack on a city centre or train station by terrorists, security officials revealed yesterday.
The chilling prospect of biological warfare on our streets was included in a Home Office list of threats facing the UK.

Officials also warned of the possibility of a Mumbai-style firearms attack on a crowded place, and surface-to-air missiles being used to shoot down a passenger jet.

According to the document, handed to MPs, there are emerging fears about a ‘large-scale terrorist attack using biological agents’.

No further information was given about the nature of the threat - but biological warfare can involve the release of a deadly virus or bacteria, such as smallpox.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299661/Medicines-stockpiled-alert-biological-war-strike-UK-experts-warn-weapons-developed-British-university-laboratories.html

Would you let George Osborne own 20% of your home? HIs scheme may get you on the ladder - but if house prices go up, so does your debt

A toxic cocktail of the recession and banks’ reluctance to lend has meant the number of houses being bought and sold has plummeted since the boom years.

In November 2007, 100,179 homes were sold. Last year only 61,091 were bought in the same month last year.

House prices have dropped by 7 per cent across England and Wales in five years — and up to 25 per cent in some areas.

SO, WHAT HAS THE GOVERNMENT DONE?

Help to Buy scheme.

There are two parts to this. One offers loans to borrowers who want to buy a new property.

With this, a buyer with a 5 per cent deposit is able to borrow an additional 20 per cent from the Government. In exchange for this loan, the Government gets a 20 per cent stake in the property. This is called shared equity.

With the combined 25 per cent deposit buyers should be able to get a cheaper mortgage from a bank or building society.

Meanwhile, the Government cash is given as an equity loan which is interest-free for the first five years.

After this, a 1.75 per cent annual charge is added. This interest rate increases each year with inflation, plus an additional 1 percentage point.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2299518/Would-let-George-Osborne-20-home-The-Chancellors-scheme-ladder--house-prices-rise-does-debt.html

Suffering of the lambs: Thousands freeze to death in snow as forecasters warn of more to come

Newborn lambs are feared to have starved or been buried in snow drifts as the big freeze retains its icy grip on the country. Farmers said the heavy snowfall at the height of the lambing season has left them struggling through the worst spring weather in living memory. A volunteer rescued a lamb from the snow in Chorley, Lancashire, left, and a ewe nuzzles her newborn lamb in County Durham, right.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299239/UK-snow-weather-Thousands-freeze-death-snow-forecasters-warn-come.html

120,000 Romanians and Bulgarians have already moved to Britain: Census shows in some parts of the country one in ten are Eastern European

Nearly 120,000 Romanians and Bulgarians have already moved to Britain despite not yet being allowed to work freely in this country, official figures showed yesterday.

The data from the 2011 census showed that migration to Britain – at a rate equivalent to 30,000 a year – began as soon as the two countries joined the EU.

The disclosure is fresh evidence that a major movement of Romanian and Bulgarian citizens is likely when restrictions are lifted at the end of the year.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299630/Census-finds-120-000-Romanians-Bulgarians-moved-Britain-parts-country-Eastern-European.html

Syrian Rebels Hit Central Damascus Square With Mortar Shells

Mortar shells crashed into Umayyad Square in the center of Damascus, the Syrian capital, on Monday, killing at least one person, state news media reported, in some of the worst shelling in the heart of the city since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began two years ago.

Umayyad Square is a large open space at the center of a major downtown crossroads, less than a mile from the presidential palace. A year ago, it was the scene of a large demonstration in support of Mr. Assad.

Around the square are the state television offices, the army’s general staff headquarters, university buildings, the Sheraton hotel and the Damascus Opera House, which is a showpiece of the commitment to high culture that Mr. Assad liked to project and was where he made a rare public speech in January. Some state media said that as many as six people were killed and that dozens had been wounded.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/world/middleeast/mortars-hit-central-damascus-square-at-least-one-killed.html?_r=0

Measles epidemic spreading at alarming rate says expert

Health officials say a measles epidemic which began in Swansea is "spreading at an alarming rate across areas of Wales".

Public Health Wales say there are 432 cases in total, of which 116 have been reported in the last week alone and 51 people have been hospitalised.

It is urging parents to get their children inoculated.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-21948337

Biological attacks 'getting easier for terrorists'

Charles Farr, the Director of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, said that extremists have ever greater access to the information and technology required to create and spread germ agents or other biological weapons.

He spoke as an official assessment suggested that countering the threat to the UK from international terrorism is becoming harder and more expensive.

The Home Office has published an annual report on its Contest counter-terrorism strategy, which warned that Islamic terrorist threats are now spread more widely across the world, requiring “very significant resources” to combat.

The report showed that security officials and intelligence agencies believe that a priority for Britain is improving its ability to detect biological attacks, treat victims and decontaminate attack sites.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/9955007/Biological-attacks-getting-easier-for-terrorists.html

Sectarian riots spread in Myanmar

North Korea: War of words | 'Combat ready'

Who really killed Osama bin Laden?

In February, Esquire magazine published a lengthy profile of "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden." The story did not identify the killer by his real name, referring to him only as "the Shooter."

The Shooter told Esquire that the night bin Laden was killed he had encountered al Qaeda's leader face-to-face in the top-floor bedroom of the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where bin Laden had been hiding for more than five years.

The Shooter explained that when he found bin Laden in his bedroom the al Qaeda leader was standing up and had a gun "within reach" and it was only then that the Shooter fired the two shots into bin Laden's forehead that killed him. That account was in conflict with the account from another raid participant in a wildly successful book "No Easy Day."

Now, another member of the secretive SEAL Team 6, which executed the bin Laden raid, tells CNN the story of the Shooter as presented in Esquire is false. According to this serving SEAL Team 6 operator, the story is "complete B-S."

SEAL Team 6 operators are now in "serious lockdown" when it comes to "talking to anybody" about the bin Laden raid

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/26/world/bergen-who-killed-bin-laden/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

Car bomb hits Syrian capital as rebels press closer

A car bomb killed at least three people, wounded dozens and blew the windows out of buildings in northeastern Damascus on Tuesday as rebel fighters stepped up attacks in the Syrian capital, pro-government television stations said.

The al-Ikhbariya news channel said the explosion went off near a military supply office. Addounia TV gave a preliminary toll of three people killed.

Both attributed the blast to a suicide bomber in a car.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/27/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE92P0PF20130327

Assad forces recapture epicenter of armed rebellion

North Koreans voice support for Pyongyang's threats to target U.S

Constitution and extradition clash in Knox case

The possibility that American Amanda Knox could be convicted of murder and extradited to Italy for punishment could force U.S. courts to enter legal territory that is largely uncharted, legal experts said.

Italy's top court on Tuesday ordered the retrial of Knox, 25, for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

The move potentially pits a U.S. constitutional ban on double jeopardy, or being tried twice for the same offense after an acquittal, against international extradition agreements, experts said.

The issue hinges on whether a lower court decision overturning her conviction amounted to an acquittal, they said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/27/us-italy-knox-extradition-idUSBRE92Q01020130327

North Korea says ready for combat as sanctions tighten

North Korea repeated threats on Tuesday to target U.S. military bases as Washington and its allies tightened economic sanctions against the isolated country by targeting Pyongyang's main foreign exchange bank with new measures.

The rhetoric from North Korea - which has threatened the United States with nuclear war and rehearsed drone attacks on South Korea - and Washington's hardening reaction, drew more concern from China, Pyongyang's only major ally, which said the situation was "sensitive".

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/26/us-korea-north-combat-idUSBRE92P0V220130326

Cyprus readies capital controls to avert bank run

Cyprus is expected to complete capital control measures on Wednesday to prevent a run on the banks by depositors anxious about their savings after the country agreed a painful rescue package with international lenders.

Cypriots have taken to the streets of Nicosia in their thousands to protest at a bailout deal that they fear will push their country into an economic slump and cost many their jobs. European leaders said the deal averted a chaotic national bankruptcy that might have forced Cyprus out of the euro.

With banks due to reopen on Thursday, Finance Minister Michael Sarris said he expected the control measures to be ready by noon (5 a.m. EST) on Wednesday: "I think they will be within the realms of reason," he said, without going into details.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/26/us-cyprus-parliament-idUSBRE92G03I20130326

Cyprus: British Expats Facing Cash 'Nightmare'

Some British expats in Cyprus are facing a "financial nightmare" after the country's unprecedented EU bailout.

After nearly four decades of hard work in the UK Terry and Hazel Rose thought moving to Pyrgos in southern Cyprus would give them the perfect retirement.

They brought everything with them from Maidenhead in Berkshire and hold many assets including bank deposits over the 100,000 euros (£85,000) threshold.

They are likely to be subject to a levy between 30% and 40%.

http://news.sky.com/story/1070230/cyprus-british-expats-facing-cash-nightmare

Cyber Threat: Spies And Big Business Team Up

The UK has seen an unprecedented wave of cyber attacks against its leading companies, government ministries and telecommunications sector, according to a senior Government official.

In response, the Government is setting up an operations room in London staffed by computer security experts drawn from the intelligence services and private sector.

The "Fusion Cell", as it will be known, will include a giant screen showing where in the UK cyber attacks by foreign states and criminals are centred.

http://news.sky.com/story/1070111/cyber-threat-spies-and-big-business-team-up

Banks Facing £60bn Capital Shortfall

Britain's banks are expected to be told today they face a capital shortfall of up to £60bn as the Bank of England delivers its verdict on the strength of the sector.

The Bank's Financial Policy Committee (FPC) will reveal the scale of the balance sheet pressure in the banking industry and its decision on how to tackle the collective capital hole.

Banks are already braced for grim news after the FPC warned in November that the shortfall in capital needed as a cushion against future crises could be as high as £60bn in its worst-case scenario.

http://news.sky.com/story/1070251/banks-facing-60bn-capital-shortfall

Vial of Deadly Virus Lost in Texas, FBI Called in

he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has referred to the FBI the case of the laboratory where one of five vials of a deadly Venezuelan virus went missing, an official from the CDC told ABC News.

"CDC reported the incident to the FBI and we understand that the FBI will initiate an investigation concerning the reported incident," Dr. Rob Weyant, director of the CDC's Division of Select Agents and Toxins, told ABC News in an email. "Since the investigation is just underway, the agency will not comment further regarding details of this incident."

The FBI could not immediately confirm it was investigating the incident at the Galveston National Laboratory.

A lab spokesman said he did not think the FBI was investigating, but rather that the FBI was monitoring the lab's ongoing investigation.

http://www.akronnewsnow.com/lifestyle/health/item/80054-fbi-gets-case-of-missing-virus-at-texas-biolab

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake TAIWAN - 27th March 2013

Magnitude ML 4.3
Region TAIWAN
Date time 2013-03-27 03:30:01.9 UTC
Location 23.93 N ; 121.03 E
Depth 7 km
Distances
7 km SE of Buli, Taiwan / pop: 86,406 / local time: 11:30:01.9 2013-03-27


6.0 Magnitude Earthquake TAIWAN - 27th March 2013

Magnitude
6.0
Date-Time
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 02:03:20 UTC
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 10:03:20 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
23.840°N, 121.135°E
Depth
20.7 km (12.9 miles)
Region
TAIWAN
Distances
21 km (13 miles) SE of Buli, Taiwan

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION - 27th March 2013

Magnitude
5.0
Date-Time
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 01:25:45 UTC
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 10:25:45 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
45.375°N, 142.700°E
Depth
280.1 km (174.1 miles)
Region
HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
Distances
68 km (42 miles) E of Makubetsu, Japan

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake CAUCASUS REGION, RUSSIA - 26th March 2013

Magnitude
5.1
Date-Time
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 23:35:24 UTC
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 02:35:24 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
43.232°N, 41.654°E
Depth
10 km (6.2 miles)
Region
CAUCASUS REGION, RUSSIA
Distances
57 km (35 miles) ENE (65°) from Sokhumi, Georgia

3.4 Magnitude Earthquake NEVADA - 26th March 2013

Magnitude
3.4
Date-Time
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 20:01:19 UTC
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 01:01:19 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
37.336°N, 114.969°W
Depth
10.1 km (6.3 miles) (poorly constrained)
Region
NEVADA
Distances
17 km (11 miles) E (100°) from Alamo, NV