Monday, April 15, 2013

California: Brett Shaad diagnosed with meningitis is brain dead

A 33-year-old West Hollywood man who felt sickened by bacterial meningitis earlier this week has been declared brain dead amid warnings to sexually active gay men about the deadly strain of illness, officials said.

Brett Shaad was declared brain dead but remained on life support Friday afternoon, said Elizabeth Ashford, a spokeswoman for Shaad's family. She declined to release further details.

That corrected a statement made earlier in the day by West Hollywood Councilman John Duran who said Shaad had died and had been removed from life support.

Duran said later that friends who were in Shaad's hospital room since told him that he was declared brain dead.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/04/13/california-man-diagnosed-with-meningitis-is-brain-dead/

US Blasts Spark Security Review For London

Security for Baroness Thatcher's funeral and the London Marathon are both being reviewed following the blasts in Boston.

Britons are feared to be among those injured after the two explosions which ripped through the finishing line of the Boston Marathon.

The explosions struck six days before thousands of athletes and fun-runners will take part in the London Marathon next Sunday.

http://news.sky.com/story/1078625/us-blasts-spark-security-review-for-london

Security Boosted Across US After Boston Blasts

Security has been boosted across the US following the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

US Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the President's security detail has expanded the perimeter at the White House and closed the building to visitors "out of an abundance of caution".

Critical response teams have been deployed around New York City, and officials are increasing security at hotels and other prominent locations, according to chief NYPD spokesman Paul Brown.

http://news.sky.com/story/1078671/security-boosted-across-us-after-boston-blasts

Deadly Explosions Strike Boston Marathon, 3 Dead over 130 Injured

At least three people have been killed and more than 130 others hurt after two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, police have said.

The blasts ripped through the crowd, with one explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish.

Another happened a few seconds later, about 50-100 metres away. They took place about two hours after the men's winner had crossed the line.

http://news.sky.com/story/1078642/boston-marathon-explosions-leave-three-dead

Korean visiting Guam attacked by shark, drowned

A Korean tourist who went missing while visiting Guam was attacked by a shark before he drowned, according to findings from an autopsy.
Authorities identified the man as Nae Dok Kim, 40, Pacific Daily News reported Monday

He was last seen on the beach Saturday. Employees of Pacific Islands Club Guam had helped in the search, and lifeguards were asked to look out for any sight of him.

Two fishermen found his remains floating the next day about 20 feet offshore in Tumon Bay.

http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/travel/korean-visiting-guam-attacked-by-shark-drowned/nXMsR/

Chicago: 1 hospitalized after chemical spill, possible explosion at Southwest Side factory

One person was hospitalized Monday afternoon following a chemical spill and possible explosion at a Southwest Side factory, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

One person was taken from the scene, in the 4800 block of South St. Louis Avenue, in fair to serious condition to Holy Cross Hospital, the fire department reported.

A Level I HazMat — or hazardous materials — response was called about 12:50 p.m. for the spill at the factory, located in an industrial area of the Archer Heights neighborhood. The scene was secured by 1:35 p.m.

The spilled chemical was sodium hypochloride, the fire department reported. The chemical is widely used for its bleaching, disinfecting and oxidizing properties.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/19500486-418/1-hospitalized-after-chemical-spill-possible-explosion-at-southwest-side-factory.html

Ghana: 17 confirmed dead in collapsed mine

Seventeen persons have been confirmed dead after a reclaimed mine caved in at Kyekyewere near Dunkwa-on-Offin, in the Central Region at about 10a.m on Monday.

Sixteen bodies comprising two females and 14 males said to be between 18 and 50 years were retrieved from the collapsed pit.

But one of six persons who were rescued died on the way to hospital. The remaining five who are in critical condition are currently on admission at the Dunkwaw Government Hospital.

http://edition.myjoyonline.com/pages/news/201304/104462.php

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake ASSAM, INDIA - 16th April 2013

Magnitude
4.4
Date-Time
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 01:23:24 UTC
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 06:53:24 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
26.047°N, 91.943°E
Depth
49.2 km (30.6 miles)
Region
ASSAM, INDIA
Distances
17 km (10 miles) NNE of Nongpoh, India

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake SUMBA REGION, INDONESIA - 15th April 2013

Magnitude
4.2
Date-Time
Monday, April 15, 2013 at 23:03:22 UTC
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 07:03:22 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
9.615°S, 120.086°E
Depth
94.6 km (58.8 miles)
Region
SUMBA REGION, INDONESIA
Distances
11 km (6 miles) NE of Ngarangiakambera, Indonesia

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake FIJI REGION - 15th April 2013

Magnitude
5.1
Date-Time
Monday, April 15, 2013 at 22:57:03 UTC
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 10:57:03 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
15.946°S, 177.480°W
Depth
414.9 km (257.8 miles)
Region
FIJI REGION
Distances
196 km (121 miles) SSE of Sigave, Wallis and Futuna

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS REGION - 15th April 2013

Magnitude
4.7
Date-Time
Monday, April 15, 2013 at 22:44:03 UTC
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 09:44:03 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
11.702°S, 164.904°E
Depth
10.2 km (6.3 miles)
Region
SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS REGION
Distances
149 km (92 miles) SW of Lata, Solomon Islands

Boston Marathaon, the false flag attack? Did Boston police warn people to "be calm" prior to the bomb going off?

Eyewitness: Authorities Announced “Drill” Before Boston Explosions


An eyewitness to the two explosions at the Boston Marathon today said that a “drill” was repeatedly announced before the bombs exploded and that he “thought it was odd” bomb sniffing dogs were in place before the blast.

University of Mobile’s Cross Country Coach Ali Stevenson told Local 15 News, “They kept making announcements on the loud speaker that it was just a drill and there was nothing to worry about. “It seemed like there was some sort of threat, but they kept telling us it was just a drill.”

The news station also reports that Stevenson “thought it was odd there were bomb sniffing dogs at the start and finish lines.”

Stevenson then describes hearing the explosions as he ran away from the scene, having just completed the marathon.

If this report is accurate, it clearly suggests there could have been some degree of prior knowledge of the bombing, which killed two people and injured at least 23.

http://www.infowars.com/eyewitness-authorities-announced-drill-before-boston-explosions/

A BOMB HAS DETONATED IN OREGON, CRITICALLY INJURING TWO MEN WHO WERE TRYING TO BUILD IT

Two Ontario men are being treated for life-threatening injuries after they detonated a home-made bomb near a reservoir west of Vale, according to the Ontario Police Department. Police say the men detonated the explosive device about 10-miles west of Vale near the Bully Creek Reservoir sometime before 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Ontario Police Chief Mark Alexander says the men, ages 59 and 60, received "life-threatening and disfiguring" injuries in the blast. Authorities say a dog also received injuries. Police say the injured men were able to call for help, and a family member drove them to the Saint Alphonsus Hospital in Ontario where they were initially treated. http://www.ktvb.com/news/Ontario-men-injured-in-bomb-blast-203002551.html

Boston Marathon Bombing Live Coverage (New posts below)

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING SUSPECT ARRESTED

BOMBS BEING FOUND "EVERYWHERE", NEAR MARATHON AREA, BY BRIDGES; INFORMATION INCOMING

THIRD BOMB HAS DETONATED INSIDE JFK LIBRARY, BOSTON

FIRE HAS ERUPTED AT THE JFK LIBRARY: BOSTON

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE - 15th April 2013

Magnitude ML 4.6
Region ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE
Date time 2013-04-15 17:59:29.0 UTC
Location 23.91 S ; 67.57 W
Depth 217 km
Distances
128 km SE of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile / pop: 2,000 / local time: 13:59:29.0 2013-04-15

2 MORE BOMBS FOUND AT BOSTON MARATHON

Boston Marathon Explosion Video

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES - 15th April 2013

Magnitude M 4.4
Region MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
Date time 2013-04-15 17:16:30.2 UTC
Location 5.90 N ; 126.08 E
Depth 114 km
Distances
45 km E of Mangili, Philippines / pop: 3,020 / local time: 01:16:30.2 2013-04-16

"COMBAT PLANES DEPLOYED OVER BOSTON AIRSPACE": PENTAGON

ROADS AROUND WHITE HOUSE CLOSED, SECURITY BEEFED UP

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS - 15th April 2013

Magnitude
4.8
Date-Time
Monday, April 15, 2013 at 16:21:50 UTC
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 04:21:50 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
32.138°S, 179.302°W
Depth
66.8 km (41.5 miles)
Region
SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS
Distances
87 km (54 miles) SSW of L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand

12 DEAD NOW BEING REPORTED FOLLOWING BOSTON MARATHON EXPLOSION

BOSTON POLICE: 2 CONFIRMED DEAD, 22 INJURIED

BOSTON SUBWAY, HOTELS CLOSED, NEW YORK DEPLOYS COUNTER TERRORISM UNITS INTO STREETS

BOSTON AIRSPACE HAS BEEN CLOSED

THIRD EXPLOSION MAY HAVE TAKEN PLACE AT BOSTON MARATHON, INFORMATION INCOMING

BOSTON MARATHON: "AT LEAST THREE DEAD"

Boston Bombs

Boston Explosions: Lenox Hotel is being evacuated


Boston Marathon Explosions: Explosives K9 requested to the front of the Mandarin Hotel to investigate a possible device.


BROWNE SAYS NY POLICE DEPLOYING COUNTER-TERRORISM VEHICLES AROUND LANDMARKS IN MANHATTAN, INCLUDING PROMINENT HOTELS


PANIC AT BOSTON MARATHON: MORE EXPLOSIONS FEARED, SWAT AND ARMY MOVING IN

Boston Marathon racer: "Dead everywhere", gruesome scenes show blood,destruction, attempting to verify

Boston Marathon headquarters locked down after blasts heard, police now confirming unknown number of wounded


The hotel that serves as the headquarters for the Boston Marathon was locked down on Monday after a security incident near the finish line. Two blasts were heard by reporters in the media center.

A Boston Marathon spokesman told reporters that no one would be allowed in or out of the building.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/15/us-athletics-marathon-boston-blast-idUSBRE93E0ZF20130415

Multiple explosions (two) reported at Boston Marathon finishline

Boston Marathon explosion at finish line, information incoming

Head of Islamist militia survives attack in eastern Libya

Gunmen fired at a convoy of cars carrying the head of an Islamist militia in the eastern Libyan city of Derna, injuring one person, residents said on Monday.

Sufian al Qumu, head of the Ansar al-Sharia brigade in Derna, known as an Islamist stronghold, escaped unhurt with only slight injuries in the attack which happened in the area of Lathroun, about 30 km (18 miles) from Derna late on Sunday.

He is believed to have been a former Guantanamo detainee and to have been in charge of Ansar al-Sharia in Derna since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/15/us-libya-attack-idUSBRE93E0X520130415

'Euro dead, stop the surgery' - Alternative for Germany Party

Syrian Rebels: 'We are all with Osama Bin Laden'

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE - 15th April 2013

Magnitude ML 4.6
Region ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE
Date time 2013-04-15 17:59:29.0 UTC
Location 23.91 S ; 67.57 W
Depth 217 km
Distances
128 km SE of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile / pop: 2,000 / local time: 13:59:29.0 2013-04-15

Bulgarian nuclear plant shuts down reactor

Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear power plant said Monday it had shut down one of its two reactors following a problem in the cooling system, but insisted this had no impact on radioactivity levels.

The shutdown occurred late Sunday.

"The reason for the stoppage was a hydrogen leak in the cooling system of the turbo-generator, which is located in the conventional, non-radioactive section of the unit," the plant said in a statement.

It added that work was underway to fix the problem and get the unit up and running again.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130415/bulgarian-nuclear-plant-shuts-down-reactor

Dozens of protesters arrested at Paris rally against gay marriage

Dozens of protesters were arrested at a rally against same-sex marriage today, as left-wing lawmakers brought forward the deadline for the adoption of a law that will allow gays and lesbians to tie the knot.

About 70 people were detained after they tried to set up a camp outside the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, near the banks of the Seine. The government sped up the approval process with a decision to call a final vote on gay marriage legislation on next Tuesday, weeks earlier than initially planned, according to a source.

The Senate, the upper house of parliament, which like the National Assembly is under left-wing control, backed the Bill last week.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/dozens-of-protesters-arrested-at-paris-rally-against-gay-marriage-8574145.html

Pilot whale put down after Castle Beach stranding

A pilot whale has been put down after becoming stranded on a beach in Cornwall.

Wildlife experts said the animal, which was in a poor state when it was found, was too ill to survive.

The 4.1m (13ft) whale was discovered at Castle Beach, near Falmouth, just before midday.

Dave Jarvis, of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), said the animal was in such poor condition that if it was refloated it would sink and drown.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-22154155

47 anti-Trident protesters arrested outside naval base where nuclear weapons are stored

Beijing bird flu case asymptomatic

Bird flu was found in a 4-year-old Beijing boy who shows no symptoms of the infection, health authorities said, suggesting more people may be catching the H7N9 influenza virus than reported.

The first asymptomatic H7N9 case was discovered by health care workers searching for possible cases, the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau said in a statement on its website Monday.

The boy’s parents are poultry and fish sellers, and their neighbors across the street had bought chicken sold by the family of a 7-year-old girl whose H7N9 infection was reported two days ago. Her name has not been disclosed.

The boy, who also has not been named and is under medical observation, suggests that some H7N9 infections may be going unrecorded because of a lack of obvious symptoms. Almost all the 60 previous cases reported in eastern China were extremely serious, with complications extending to brain damage, multiple organ failure and muscle breakdown.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/04/16/asia-pacific/beijing-bird-flu-case-asymptomatic/#.UWwfu8pSOQI

China confirms 63 H7N9 cases, 14 deaths

During the 24-hour period ending 5 p.m. on Monday, China confirmed three new cases of H7N9 avian influenza, with one new death reported in Nanjing Municipality.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a daily update on H7N9 cases that so far the country has reported a total of 63 H7N9 cases, including 14 that ended in fatalities.

East China's Jiangsu Province reported one new infection case. A 60-year-old man surnamed Kong tested positive for H7N9 on Monday and is receiving treatment in a hospital in Suzhou. Three people who have had close contact with him have not exhibited any abnormal symptoms.

Another infection case was confirmed in neighboring Zhejiang Province on Monday, according to a statement issued by the provincial health department at 4 p.m. A 68-year-old woman surnamed Wang began exhibiting flu-like symptoms on April 3 and is now in a critical condition.

http://www.china.org.cn/china/2013-04/15/content_28539901.htm

Castle Beach Beached Whale: Rescuers In Race Against Time

Volunteers are working with coastguards and a marine vet to save what is understood to be a pilot whale which has become stranded on Castle Beach, Falmouth.

They have formed a human chain and are transferring buckets of water from the sea to keep it wet until it can be refloated during the next high tide, which is due just after 9pm.

A picture taken by marine photographer Clare Greenwood shows the whale draped in wet sheets approximately 20m (66ft) from the shore and surrounded by volunteers.

http://news.sky.com/story/1078445/beached-whale-rescuers-in-race-against-time

Lowestoft: Mother And Children Found Dead

The bodies of three young children have been found shortly after a woman, believed to be their mother, died in a suspected fall.

The children, aged three, two and 11 months, were discovered at a property in London Road South, Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Suffolk Police said they were led to the address after being called out to the death of the woman who died from head injuries at a car park in the town.

Police said it is believed the youngsters were the woman's children and they do not believe there is any threat to the wider community.

http://news.sky.com/story/1078521/lowestoft-mother-and-children-found-dead

L-R Brandon Doran, Connor Doran and Simon Evans Sentenced For Murdering Homeless Man just for the sake of it

Three teenagers who beat a homeless man to death following a dare have been sentenced.

Connor Doran, 17, his brother Brandon Doran, 14, and their friend Simon Evans, also 14, attacked Kevin Bennett as he slept rough outside a supermarket in Liverpool.

Connor Doran was sentenced to a minimum 12 years, Evans was ordered to serve at least eight years and Brandon Doran received six years for acting as look-out during the attack.

http://news.sky.com/story/1078432/teens-sentenced-for-murdering-homeless-man

Chinese Worry About Fallout After N.Korean Nuke Test

Some 77.1 percent of the Chinese who live near the border with North Korea are worried about environmental pollution in their regions after the North's nuclear test in February, according to a survey.

China's official Global Times on Saturday reported that the poll was carried out among 1,033 adults in border regions. Respondents were able to give multiple answers to questions.

One resident in Yanji, Jilin Province said, "Unlike in the first and second nuclear tests, we felt the apartment building shake during the third test. We're worried that there's a higher possibility of underground water and soil pollution."

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/04/15/2013041501086.html

Japan Claims Right to Pre-Emptive Strike on N.Korea


Former Japanese defense minister Shigeru Ishiba, who is considered a likely prime minister, on Sunday said Tokyo should have the ability to deliver a preemptive strike against its enemies.

The comments came amid mounting threats of a missile launch by North Korea and resurgent Chauvinist sentiment in Japan.

Ishiba, the second-highest-ranking member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said in a TV interview that preemptive strikes against enemy bases in order to prevent ballistic missile attacks "legally constitute self-defense."

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/04/15/2013041501034.html

South Korea holds anti-terror bomb drill amid tensions

On North Korea's big day, Kerry underlines conditions for talks

As North Koreans celebrated the birthday on Monday of their country's late founder, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the regime in Pyongyang to ditch its nuclear program and put a lid on its fiery threats if it wants to hold talks.

"The United States has made clear many times what the conditions are for our entering talks and they haven't changed," Kerry said during an interview with CNN's Jill Dougherty in Tokyo.

"The conditions have to be met where the North has to move towards denuclearization, indicate a seriousness in doing so by reducing these threats, stop the testing, and indicate it's actually prepared to negotiate," he said.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/15/world/asia/koreas-tensions/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

North Korea Brands US An 'Enemy' Of The State

North Korea has attacked the United States and rebuffed fresh calls from its only ally China to give up its nuclear programme.

As the sun set on Pyongyaang after a day of peaceful, nationwide colourful festivities celebrating the 101st anniversary of the birth of its founding father Kim Il Sung, the threat of a missile launch remained as its ambassador to China continued its aggressive rhetoric.

Ji Jae-ryong used the opening of an exhibition marking the event on Monday in Beijing to brand the US an "enemy" of the state and to boast of North Korea's might as a "nuclear state and military power".

"Currently, enemy powers such as the United States are exerting unprecedented military and political suppression on our country," he said.

http://news.sky.com/story/1078219/north-korea-brands-us-an-enemy-of-the-state

Tranche Trance: Greece struggles to satisfy lenders, youth flees country

Fire ball explodes, lights up Spanish skies

Antarctic summer ice melting 10 times faster: study

Munich court delays neo-Nazi trial after access row

A Munich court said on Monday it would postpone the start of the trial of a suspected neo-Nazi until May 6 after Germany's Constitutional Court ruled that it must provide better access to foreign media.

The trial of Beate Zschaepe over complicity in 10 racist murders had been due to start on April 17.

The Munich court had allocated 50 seats to all media on a first-come-first-served basis, but none went to Turkish journalists, despite the fact that 8 of the victims were ethnic Turks. This prompted a Turkish newspaper to lodge a complaint which the German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe upheld.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/15/us-germany-neonazi-idUSBRE93E0G320130415

Slovenia is not the next Cyprus & poses no risk - OECD....Famous last Words

Three teenagers who beat a homeless man to death following a dare have been sentenced in Liverpool.

http://news.sky.com/story/1078432/teens-sentenced-for-beating-homeless-man-to-death

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, ARGENTINA - 15th April 2013

Magnitude M 4.3
Region SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, ARGENTINA
Date time 2013-04-15 09:20:25.8 UTC
Location 27.56 S ; 63.30 W
Depth 587 km
Distances
43 km N of Suncho Corral, Argentina / pop: 6,087 / local time: 06:20:25.8 2013-04-15

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake JAVA, INDONESIA - 15th April 2013

Magnitude M 4.3
Region JAVA, INDONESIA
Date time 2013-04-15 08:19:10.2 UTC
Location 7.19 S ; 107.78 E
Depth 138 km
Distances
9 km S of Paseh, Indonesia / pop: 126,181 / local time: 15:19:10.2 2013-04-15

North Korea looks inward for founder's birthday, tensions ease

North Korea celebrated the anniversary of its founder's birth on Monday and abandoned its shrill threats of war against the United States and the South, easing tensions in a region that had seemed on the verge of conflict.

The North has threatened nuclear attacks on the United States, South Korea and Japan after new U.N. sanctions were imposed in response to its latest nuclear arms test in February.

Many Pyongyang watchers has expected a big military parade to showcase North Korea's armed forces on the "Day of the Sun", the date the North's founder Kim Il-Sung was born.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/15/us-korea-north-idUSBRE93D0DS20130415

Assad's forces break rebel blockade in north Syria

Syrian government troops have broken through a six-month rebel blockade in northern Syria and are now fighting to recapture a vital highway, opposition and state media said on Monday.

Rebels had kept the army bottled up in the Wadi al-Deif and Hamidiya military bases in Idlib province. But on Sunday, President Bashar al-Assad's forces outflanked the rebels and broke through, the pro-government al-Baath newspaper said.

The insurgents counter-attacked on Monday but their front has been weakened in recent weeks due to infighting and the deployment of forces to other battles, activists said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/15/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE93E0EO20130415

Gunmen Rob Britons On Caribbean Cruise

Some 55 passengers - including ten Britons - from a cruise ship have been robbed by "three" masked gunmen on a tour bus on the Caribbean island of St Lucia.

The gunmen held up the bus at the Botanical Gardens in Soufriere during a tour excursion on Friday, but no one was hurt. Jewellery and money was believed to have been stolen.

Two crew members from Celebrity Cruises' Eclipse vessel were also on the bus along with guests.

http://news.sky.com/story/1078297/gunmen-rob-britons-on-caribbean-cruise

Fired officer Ron King defends Trayvon Martin shooting target



Iraq: Up To 27 Killed In 18 Bomb Blasts

Terrorists set off 18 bombs around Iraq, killing up to 27 and injuring hundreds, as they attempted to derail elections.

The blasts came during morning rush hour on Monday amid tightened security ahead of the country's first polls since the US troop withdrawal in December 2011.

Reports varied as to the number killed with some saying 19 and others 27. Almost 200 people were said to have been injured.

Analysts said the blasts raised questions about the credibility of the April 20 vote, which is seen as a key test of Iraq's stability and its security forces' capabilities.

http://news.sky.com/story/1078291/iraq-bombings-up-to-27-killed-in-18-blasts

Child killer Mick Philpott 'quits prison mopping job after 35 minutes' as he's targeted by fellow inmates

Mick Philpott has quit his prison job after just 35 minutes, it was claimed yesterday.

The child killer was handed a £14-a-week cleaning role - his first job for a decade - at the high security Wakefield Prison, West Yorkshire.
But after complaining about the work, he left his mop and broom and stormed back to his cell.

Philpott has just started his life sentence after being convicted of six counts of manslaughter for killing his six children in a house fire he started deliberately.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2308920/Child-killer-Mick-Philpott-quits-prison-mopping-job-35-minutes-hes-targeted-fellow-inmates.html

Redoine Faid: 26 countries search for French gangster

U.S. drone strikes radicalize a new generation Pakistanis


The Sabaoon School for boys in northern Pakistan is anything but average.

Nestled amid the bucolic charm of the Swat Valley's fertile terraced fields and steeply rising crags it looks idyllic. But if you get up close, a harsher reality becomes clear.

Two army check-posts scrutinize visitors entering the sprawling site. Once inside, the high razor wire-topped walls around the classroom compounds create a feeling reminiscent of a prison.

The boys here, aged 8 to 18, were all militants at some point. Some are killers, some helped build and plant improvised explosive devices, and others were destined to be suicide bombers until they were captured or turned over to the Pakistani army. All of them are at the school to be de-radicalized.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/14/world/asia/pakistan-swat-valley-school/index.html?hpt=hp_c4

North Korea already won

World leaders are moving carefully and anxiously, trying to prevent a disaster in the Korean Peninsula.

This increasingly unpredictable round of saber-rattling is far from over, but so far the winner is the North Korean regime and the losers are the brutally oppressed North Korean people, joined by much of the rest of the world.

While we watch the drama from far away, it's worth noting just how far North Korean weapons programs -- not just the weapons themselves -- can reach.

U.S. intelligence officials differ on their estimates of the range and accuracy of North Korean missiles, nuclear-tipped or not. But the country's nuclear and missile technology has already found its way to the Middle East.

North Korea helped Syria develop a nuclear reactor. It has sold missile technology and weapons to anyone willing to pay, and it has developed close cooperation with Iran.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/13/opinion/ghitis-north-korea/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

Thousands Protest Monarchy in Spain

Demonstrators demand return to a republic, which was last established 82 years ago.

The marchers convened on Puerta del Sol, a central square in the capital. Waving thousands of red, gold and purple republican flags, the crowd chanted: "Tomorrow, Spain will be republican."

"Nobody elected the king," protester Veronica Ruiz told AFP. "We want a referendum. It would be the fair and democratic way to find out what the people want. "

The protest had been called to mark the anniversary of the country's Second Republic, proclaimed on April 14, 1931, and followed by 40 years of dictatorship under General Francisco Franco after a 1936-39 civil war.

Franco then transferred power to Prince Juan Carlos, and he became head of state in 1975.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9107160774

13 dead after Chinese internet café blaze spreads to hotel

A fire at an internet café spread to a hotel on the upper floors of a building in central China, killing 13 people and injuring 50 others.

Some of the hotel guests escaped and firefighters rescued others from the building in Xiangyang city in Hubei province.

The fire started just after 6:30am yesterday and was extinguished before 9am, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

It said 42 of the hotel's 50 rooms were occupied.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/13-dead-after-chinese-internet-caf-blaze-spreads-to-hotel-8572865.html

Scientists find Antarctic ice is melting faster

The summer ice melt in parts of Antarctica is at its highest level in 1,000 years, Australian and British researchers reported on Monday, adding new evidence of the impact of global warming on sensitive Antarctic glaciers and ice shelves.

Researchers from the Australian National University and the British Antarctic Survey found data taken from an ice core also shows the summer ice melt has been 10 times more intense over the past 50 years compared with 600 years ago.

"It's definitely evidence that the climate and the environment is changing in this part of Antarctica," lead researcher Nerilie Abram said.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/04/15/us-antarctica-ice-idUKBRE93E08D20130415

German 'Wise Men' push for wealth seizure to fund EMU bail-outs

Professors Lars Feld and Peter Bofinger said states in trouble must pay more for their own salvation, arguing that there is enough wealth in homes and private assets across the Mediterranean to cover bail-out costs. “The rich must give up part of their wealth over the next ten years,” said Prof Bofinger.

The two economist are members of Germany’s Council of Economic Experts or “Five Wise Men”, a body that advises the Chancellor on major issues. There is no formal plan to launch a wealth tax but the council is often used to fly kites for new policies.

Prof Bofinger told Spiegel Magazine that it was a mistake to target deposit holders in banks, the formula used in the EU-IMF Troika bail-out for Cyprus where those with savings above €100,000 at Laiki and Bank of Cyprus face huge losses. “The canny rich in southern Europe just shift their money to banks in Northern Europe to escape seizure,” he said.

Prof Feld said a new survey by the European Central Bank had revealed that people in the crisis countries are richer than the Germans themselves. “This shows that Germany has been right to take a tough line of euro rescue loans,” he said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9993691/German-Wise-Men-push-for-wealth-seizure-to-fund-EMU-bail-outs.html

Benefit payments cap rollout begins

A government-imposed cap on many benefit payments nationwide is beginning in four London boroughs.

Couples and lone parents in Haringey, Enfield, Croydon and Bromley will not receive more than £500 a week while a £350 limit applies to single people.

The cap is set to be imposed across England, Scotland and Wales between July and September.

Jobseeker's allowance, income support, child and housing benefit count towards it, but not disability benefits.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22148764

Six strangled, one decapitated in Mexican resort of Cancun

Six people were found strangled to death and one decapitated in the southern Mexican tourist resort of Cancun on Sunday, the state's deputy attorney general said, in the latest mass killing to strike the city in the last few weeks.

Police found the bodies of the five men and two women in a shack in the outskirts of Cancun, a major tourist destination on Mexico's Caribbean coast, that has largely escaped the drug-related violence that has racked Acapulco, a faded tourist destination on the Pacific coast.

"It looks like the victims were independent drug dealers without any links to any specific cartel," said Juan Ignacio Hernandez, deputy attorney general of Quintana Roo state.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/15/us-mexico-crime-cancun-idUSBRE93D0DM20130415

Rebels move in on Aleppo

Israel says November Gaza strike that killed 12 civilians lawful

Israel has said it will not open a criminal investigation into the death of 12 Palestinian civilians in a November air strike on a house in the Gaza Strip during its war with Hamas.

The November 18 attack on the three-storey home of the Dalu family was the bloodiest of the eight days of fighting between the Jewish state and Gaza's Islamist Hamas-led armed factions, in which around 170 Palestinians and six Israelis died.

Ten members of the Dalu family were killed, along with two neighbors. Human rights groups said the strike appeared to be unlawful.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/14/us-israel-palestinians-idUSBRE93D08U20130414

Canadians losing faith in "miracle economy"

Factory worker Nelson Claros has little time for talk of the Canadian economic miracle.

The 50-year-old was laid off last year from his job of 22 years at a bus-assembly plant northwest of Toronto, and has since applied for 130 jobs. His best offer: A job at $12 an hour, half his previous wage and not enough to pay his bills.

"Really there is a recession right now. They don't call it a recession, but the companies are closing, there are a lot of layoffs. How can this be a miracle economy?" he asked.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. Canada's recovery from a mild 2008-09 recession was quick and job-filled, and the country added nearly 900,000 jobs to take the jobless rate to 7.2 percent from 8.7 percent at the depths of the downturn.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/15/us-economy-canada-analysis-idUSBRE93E05P20130415

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 15th April 2013

Magnitude M 4.9
Region IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
Date time 2013-04-15 07:15:58.0 UTC
Location 32.02 N ; 140.01 E
Depth 129 km
Distances 408 km S of Tokyo, Japan / pop: 8,336,599 / local time: 16:15:58.0 2013-04-15


In Tokyo, Kerry defends U.S. strategic pivot to Asia

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry defended the re-orientation of U.S. foreign policy toward Asia on Monday as he ended a trip to the region dominated by concerns about North Korea's nuclear programs.

The "rebalancing" of the United States toward Asia has caused unease in Beijing, which has tended to focus on the military dimensions of the strategy and to view it as a way to contain China's rise.

On the final leg of a 10-day trip that included stops in Seoul and Beijing, Kerry sought to assuage Chinese concerns even as he offered reassurance to U.S. allies such as Japan and South Korea that the United States wasn't going anywhere.

"Some people might be skeptical of America's commitment to this region," Kerry told students at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. "My commitment to you is that as a Pacific nation that takes our Pacific partnership seriously, we will continue to build on our active and enduring presence."

The United States has beefed up its military presence in the region in recent weeks

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/15/us-japan-usa-kerry-idUSBRE93E06V20130415

Gaze turns to Arab Spring's forgotten corner

On the wall of a home in the Bahraini village of al-Aali, 20-year-old Hassan peered through a black balaclava to admire his latest artwork: a circle around the phrase F1 crossed out in red spray paint.

The sentiment is shared by many Bahraini Shi'ites - the majority in this Sunni-ruled kingdom - who say the Formula One Grand Prix race Bahrain will host April 19-21 should be canceled, as it was in 2011 when authorities crushed pro-democracy protests inspired by the 'Arab Spring'. Two years on daily clashes still erupt, largely unnoticed outside the region.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/15/us-bahrain-unrest-idUSBRE93D03W20130415