Monday, April 29, 2013

The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan: The United States?

I
t's like something out of a mob movie: Suitcases, backpacks, and sometimes plastic shopping bags packed full of cash, delivered discretely to a willing politician.

The purported money-exchangers: The Central Intelligence Agency and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai. According to a report in The New York Times, Karzai's office in Kabul has been on the receiving end of tens of millions of dollars from the U.S., and is still getting paid to this day.

Khalil Roman, Karzai's deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005, called it "ghost money," according to the Times. "The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan," one American official told the paper, "was the United States."

http://theweek.com/article/index/243401/the-biggest-source-of-corruption-in-afghanistan-the-united-states

Tsarnaev interacting, speaking in jail

The 'black widows' of Dagestan

CNN's Nic Robertson reports on Dagestan's "black widows" -- the wives of rebels killed by government forces who go on to kill.

China says detains 19, seizes weapons after Xinjiang unrest

Chinese police have detained 19 people and seized homemade explosives and weapons following a bloody clash between residents and officials which killed 21 people last week in the restive region of Xinjiang, state media reported.

The violence, in the heavily ethnic Uighur part of Xinjiang near the old Silk Road city of Kashgar, was the deadliest in the far western region since July 2009, when nearly 200 people were killed in riots in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi.

The government has labeled the violence in Kashgar's Maralbexi county as a "terrorist attack", though the exiled World Uyghur Congress has said the shooting and killing of a young Uighur by "Chinese armed personnel" prompted the Uighurs to retaliate.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/30/us-china-xinjiang-idUSBRE93T02S20130430

EU considers protecting savers against future bank collapses....Savers need to be Protected from the EU and their governments!

Depositors should be the very last to suffer losses when a bank collapses, according to a proposal being discussed by European Union countries and seen by Reuters, which would shield savers from the kind of losses they face in Cyprus.

The idea comes as member countries finalize a new draft law for the European Union that could make losses for larger savers a permanent feature of future banking crises. EU officials, however, are nervous that such a regime will panic savers, prompting them to withdraw money.

Before any such softening of provisions, however, EU diplomats will need to convince Germany, which remains skeptical about making such concessions, according to one official familiar with the talks.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/29/us-eu-banks-savers-idUSBRE93S0P120130429

UN investigators ready to deploy to Syria

Veteran spies still believe in North Korea

Park Hee-sung, a 78-year-old North Korean former agent who has been held in the enemy South for close to half a century, remains staunchly loyal to his homeland, the ruling Kim family and its Juche ideology of economic self-reliance.

A trim, neat man, Park is one of around two dozen North Korean operatives trapped in exile in affluent South Korea. He lives in a charity house in central Seoul with another former agent, 79-year-old Kim Young-sik, and dreams of the day he can return freely to the northern part of a unified Korea.

For Park and Kim, North Korea, which for several weeks has threatened the United States and South Korea with nuclear war, is no menace to world peace, rather a plucky nation that single-handedly stands up to American bullying.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/29/us-korea-north-spies-idUSBRE93S0XG20130429

Thermal scanners on standby at airports to anticipate H7N9 virus

A Health Ministry official said that the ministry had placed thermal scanners at all international airports in anticipation of an outbreak of the H7N9 virus, which recently hit mainland China as well as Taiwan.

“The equipment is ready, but there is an agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) for countries in Southeast Asia to not activate the scanners just yet,” said Tjandra Yoga Aditama, director
general for disease control and environmental health at the Health Ministry, on Monday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

According to 2009 data, there are 27 international airports in the archipelago.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/04/29/thermal-scanners-standby-airports-anticipate-h7n9-virus.html

Shanghai Reports 13th H7N9 Birth Flu Death, Tops Among Chinese Cities

Shanghai on Monday reported another H7N9 bird flu death, an 89-year-old man who was admitted to a city hospital on April 12, according to the state-published Shanghai Daily newspaper.

The latest fatality raises to 13 the number of H7N9-related deaths in the city, which is one of China’s most important international business hubs. Nationwide, 24 people have died, the paper said.

The total number of H7N9 cases in the mainland stands at 125, not including one illness in Taiwan. China’s government, which has territorial disputes with a number of Asian countries, also claims sovereignty over Taiwan’s 23 million people, and combines H7N9 case reporting from the two.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/russellflannery/2013/04/29/shanghai-reports-13th-h7n9-birth-flu-death-tops-among-chinese-cities/

Afghanistan Cargo Plane Crash: Seven Killed

A civilian cargo plane has crashed at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, killing all seven people on board.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the crash, but the US-led military coalition said the claim was false.

The coalition said the cause of the crash was being investigated by emergency crews that rushed to the site north of Kabul, but there was no sign of insurgent activity in the area at the time.

Captain Luca Carniel, a coalition spokesman, said the aircraft crashed from a low altitude shortly after take-off.

http://news.sky.com/story/1084693/afghanistan-cargo-plane-crash-seven-killed

Virgin Galactic Has First Rocket Test Flight

Virgin Galactic's passenger spacecraft has completed its first rocket-powered flight in a trial run described as historic by Sir Richard Branson.

SpaceShipTwo flew above California's Mojave Desert at an altitude of 56,000ft after being released from a carrier aircraft.

The rocket-powered portion of the flight lasted 10 minutes and the flight marks the start of the final stage of testing ahead of a full space flight, which is planned for the end of the year.

http://news.sky.com/story/1084733/virgin-galactic-has-first-rocket-test-flight

US To Probe Profits From Twitter Hack Hoax

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating the hacking of the Twitter account of the Associated Press (AP), which temporarily wiped $136bn (£88bn) from the New York Stock Exchange.

The study will examine whether anything "nefarious" took place in the markets before and after the chaos.

The hoax tweet was sent from the official AP account to two million followers which reported explosions in the White House and that President Obama had been injured.

The message was re-tweeted 3,000 times and the Dow Jones plummeted 150 points within three minutes.

http://news.sky.com/story/1084755/us-to-probe-profits-from-twitter-hack-hoax

Prisoners Lose Right To have a Television in their Cell

Inmates will no longer automatically receive perks such as television sets and the freedom to wear their own clothes, Justice secretary Chris Grayling will announce.

Violent and sexually explicit 18-rated movies will also be banned from jails in England and Wales under changes to the Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme.

The current scheme allows inmates to get privileges - such as a television set in their cell - simply by keeping out of trouble.

But the government wants inmates to take part in work and education programmes to earn the perks instead.

http://news.sky.com/story/1084740/prisoners-lose-right-to-watch-television

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWESTERN SIBERIA, RUSSIA - 30th April 2013

Magnitude
5.3
Date-Time
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 01:03:36 UTC
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 09:03:36 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
51.274°N, 92.390°E
Depth
16.7 km (10.4 miles)
Region
SOUTHWESTERN SIBERIA, RUSSIA
Distances
40 km (24 miles) SW of Shagonar, Russia

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake CELEBES SEA - 30th April 2013

Magnitude
4.6
Date-Time
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 00:07:25 UTC
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 08:07:25 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
4.233°N, 123.231°E
Depth
512.2 km (318.3 miles)
Region
CELEBES SEA
Distances
243 km (150 miles) SSW of Palimbang, Philippines

Ron Paul, the Hero: Police manhunt for Boston Marathon bombing suspect scarier than attack

Former Rep. Ron Paul said the law enforcement that swarmed around Boston in the days following the marathon bombings was scarier than the actual terrorist attack.

“The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city,” he said on the Lew Rockwell website, Politico reported. “This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself.”

The terror attacks on April 15 in Boston killed three and injured 264.

Mr. Paul, a former libertarian political candidate who served in Congress as a member of the Republican Party, said the door-to-door searches police conducted in Watertown for the bombing suspects were particularly alarming.

They reminded of a “military coup in a far off banana republic,” he said, Politico reported. “Force lockdown of a city. Militarized police riding tanks in the streets. Door-to-door armed searches without warrant. Families thrown out of their homes at gunpoint to be searched without probable cause. Businesses forced to close. Transport shut down.”

Mr. Paul reminded the surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was ultimately discovered by a civilian, and not due to police crackdown, Politico reported.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/29/ron-paul-police-manhunt-boston-marathon-bombing-su/

Syria: Al-Qaeda's battle for control of Assad's chemical weapons plant

Set amid the rolling plains outside Aleppo, the town of al-Safira looks just like another vicious battleground in Syria's civil war. On one side are lightly-armed rebels, on the other are government troops, and in between is a hotly-contested no-man's land of bombed-out homes and burned-out military vehicles.

The fight for al-Safira is no ordinary turf war, however, and the prize can be found behind the perimeter walls of the heavily-guarded military base on the edge of town. Inside what looks like a drab industrial estate is one of Syria's main facilities for producing chemical weapons - and among its products is sarin, the lethal nerve gas that the regime is now feared to be deploying in its bid to cling to power.

Last week, Washington said for the first time that it had evidence of Sarin being used in "small" amounts during combat operations in Syria, a move that President Barack Obama has long warned is a "red line" that President Bashar al-Assad must not cross.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10022753/Syria-Al-Qaedas-battle-for-control-of-Assads-chemical-weapons-plant.html

Russian Plane Shot At Over Syria (Sky news)

Two missiles have been fired at a Russian passenger plane flying over Syria, according to Russian media.

About 200 people were on board the charter aircraft at the time of the attack, the origin of which remains unknown, a source told the Interfax news agency.

An unnamed source is understood to have said: "Syrian [officials] informed us that on Monday morning, unidentified forces launched two ground-to-air missiles which exploded in the air very close to a civilian aircraft belonging to a Russian airline."

The source said the pilots managed to manoeuvre but it was only because they did so that lives were saved.

http://news.sky.com/story/1084647/reports-russian-plane-shot-at-over-syria

'Missiles fired at' Russian plane with 200 passengers onboard flying over Syria, plane has escaped attack (Working to verify)


Two missiles were fired at a Russian passenger plane flying over Syrian territory with 200 people onboard, an informed source in Moscow told Interfax news agency. The source of the attack remains unknown.

“Syrian [officials] informed us that on Monday morning, unidentified forces launched two ground-to-air missiles which exploded in the air very close to a civilian aircraft belonging to a Russian airline,” the source told the Russian agency.

The pilots managed to maneuver the plane in time however, “saving the lives of passengers.”

It is believed the aircraft was intentionally targeted in the attempted strike, “but it remains unclear whether the attackers knew whether it was Russian or not,” the source added.

The targeted plane belongs to Nordwind Airlines – a Russian charter air carrier, says the Ministry of Transport. It was en route to the city of Kazan, in Russia’s republic of Tatarstan, from Egypt's resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, reports RIA Novosti.

When the A-320 passenger plane was flying over Syria, “the crew spotted signs of combat activities which, they believed, could pose a threat to the safety of the plane,” states Russia’s Transport Ministry, citing the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia).

“No one was injured, and the plane was not damaged. The aircraft landed in Kazan as it had been planned,” the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism told RIA Novosti.

http://rt.com/news/rockets-russian-plane-syria-575/

Breezy Point is like a ghost town, especially at night with 2,400 families gone...and not a politician in Sight!

Residents of the seaside community are in defense mode with everything from insurance companies to electric companies as they try to rebuild their homes and their lives. In the meantime they ask where the politicians are who made so many promises when the cameras were present in the storm's aftermath.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/breezy-point-struggles-rebuild-months-sandy-article-1.1329752

WHO: Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus

As of 29 April 2013 (16:30CET), the National Health and Family Planning Commission, China notified WHO of an additional 17 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

Additionally, two patients earlier reported from Jiangsu province died.

To date, a total of 126 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus including 24 deaths have been reported to WHO. Contacts of the confirmed cases are being closely monitored.

The authorities in the affected locations continue to implement prevention and control measures.

http://www.who.int/csr/don/2013_04_29/en/index.html

Video: Aftermath of massive Prague blast

White van man who beat up cyclist is let off by police even though road-rage attack was caught on victim's helmetcam

Connor Hodgson: Council refuses to publish report on vicious teenager who almost killed 10-year-old girl so as not to cause HIM any distress

A council has refused to reveal a review's findings into the care of a teenager who left a ten-year-old girl for dead - because it would cause the attacker 'further distress'.

Stockton Borough Council has been accused of a 'cover up' because of its decision, which reviewed the care of Connor Hodgson, who lured the schoolgirl away from friends before beating her repeatedly, throttling her and leaving her on a river bank.

She was left covered in blood and beaten so badly part of her head had to be shaved and she needed stitches across her scalp.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316495/Stockton-Council-says-doesnt-want-cause-distress-vicious-teenager-killed-10-year-old-girl.html

Netanyahu says Iran hasn't crossed 'red-line'

He was referring to the line Netanyahu drew in his UN Assembly speech in September.

According to Yadlin, "by the summer, Iran will be able to decide to make a bomb within a month, two at most – a range which will make stopping it very difficult."

Netanyahu's statement was issued against the backdrop of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who said on Sunday in New York that the Iranian nuclear program has not progressed in years and that the extent of the threat has been exaggerated.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4373846,00.html

Israeli source has proof Syria used chem. weapons

Israel has clear evidence of Syrian President Bashar Assad's army using chemical weapons against rebels, a senior diplomatic source said Monday.

The official said the information is known to all intelligence agency, and that there is no doubt the Assad regime had used weapons of mass destruction against opposition forces fighting to topple him.

Israel should be more concerned with the possibility of the chemical weapons leaking to Hezbollah or other terrorist groups in Lebanon, the official said.

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Senior-official-Israel-has-proof-Syria-used-chem-weapons-311445

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake MAULE, CHILE - 29th April 2013

Magnitude ML 4.2
Region MAULE, CHILE
Date time 2013-04-29 14:27:24.0 UTC
Location 34.91 S ; 72.00 W
Depth 59 km
Distances
65 km NW of Talca, Chile / pop: 197,479 / local time: 10:27:24.0 2013-04-29


Prague explosion injures 55

An explosion ripped through a building in central Prague on Monday morning, injuring dozens of people and prompting evacuations of nearby buildings in the Czech capital, city fire officials said.

Czech news media gave conflicting reports of the building's location. State-run Czech Television reported that the blast happened at a building of a film school while classes were under way. Other reports said it was in a structure between two school buildings.

At least two people were unaccounted for, and authorities were working on stabilizing the building so rescuers could search for them in the rubble, fire department spokeswoman Pavlina Adamcova said.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/29/world/europe/czech-republic-explosion/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

One more bird flu death reported in Shanghai

The total number of fatalities from H7N9 bird flu in Shanghai has risen to 13 after the death of an 89-year-old man on Monday morning, local health authorities said.

The patient, surnamed Chen, died after 12 days of medical treatment failed, according to a statement from the Shanghai Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission on Monday afternoon.

Chen, a native of neighboring Jiangsu Province, tested positive for the flu on April 17 at the Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/health/2013-04/29/c_132349428.htm

North Korea holds back seven South Koreans at industrial zone

North Korea held back seven of 50 remaining South Koreans at the suspended jointly run factory zone north of the heavily armed border on Monday, citing last-minute checks on taxes and wages.

The North withdrew its 53,000 workers from the complex this month amid spiraling tension between the two Koreas. The North had prevented South Korean workers and supplies from getting in to the zone since April 3.

The two Koreas remain technically at war under a mere truce that ended hostilities in their 1950-53 conflict and North Korea, angry at U.N. sanctions and joint South Korean-U.S. military drills, had in recent weeks threatened both countries with nuclear attack.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/29/us-korea-north-kaesong-idUSBRE93S0EY20130429

La Salle High School Shooting, Ohio

One person was injured and another taken into custody on Monday after a shooting at a high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, sheriff's officials said.

Hamilton County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Knapp confirmed the shooting happened inside La Salle High School but would not say whether anyone involved was a student.

"The threat is over," he said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/29/us-usa-school-shooting-idUSBRE93S0HT20130429

Botswana President Ian Khama scratched by a cheetah (Media trying to turn story into a mauling)

Botswana's President Ian Khama has received two stitches in his face after being mauled by a cheetah, his spokesman has admitted.

The leader sustained the injury at a Botswana Defence Force barracks last week, according to government spokesman Jeff Ramsay.

"He was scratched by a Cheetah last week but not really attacked per se," Mr Ramsay said.

http://news.sky.com/story/1084415/cheetah-claws-botswana-president-ian-khama

'Triad Boss' Hacked To Death: Four Held

Four people have been arrested in Hong Kong after a man, thought to be a triad boss, was hacked to death outside a hospital.

The 30-year-old man, with the surname Tse, was struck multiple times with an axe and meat cleaver by two masked men, according to The Standard newspaper.

Reports said he had been nearly disembowelled.

The paper cited a police source as saying he was a senior member of the city's Wo Shing Wo triad society.

http://news.sky.com/story/1084420/triad-boss-hacked-to-death-four-held

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA - 29th April 2013

Magnitude
5.1
Date-Time
Monday, April 29, 2013 at 13:42:59 UTC
Monday, April 29, 2013 at 08:42:59 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
3.819°N, 95.855°E
Depth
46.4 km (28.8 miles)
Region
OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA
Distances
45 km (27 miles) SW of Meulaboh, Indonesia

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 29th April 2013

Magnitude
5.3
Date-Time
Monday, April 29, 2013 at 13:01:42 UTC
Monday, April 29, 2013 at 10:01:42 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
35.744°N, 140.940°E
Depth
17.8 km (11.1 miles)
Region
NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
Distances
9 km (5 miles) E of Hasaki, Japan

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake EAST CENTRAL PACIFIC OCEAN - 29th April 2013

Magnitude M 5.0
Region EAST CENTRAL PACIFIC OCEAN
Date time 2013-04-29 10:30:47.0 UTC
Location 5.60 N ; 98.91 W
Depth 10 km
Distances 1358 km SW of Guatemala City, Guatemala / pop: 994,938 / local time: 04:30:47.0 2013-04-29

Greece Votes In New Law To Axe 15,000 Jobs

A law that will allow the dismissal of 15,000 civil servants has been passed by the Greek parliament as part of austerity measures imposed by the country's international creditors.

After heated debate during an emergency session, 168 deputies voted for the bill late on Sunday, with 123 voting against and one abstaining.

The opposition proved powerless to stop cuts the government insisted were needed to keep the country afloat.

http://news.sky.com/story/1084277/greece-votes-in-new-law-to-axe-15000-jobs

Prague Explosion Leaves Dozens Injured

A powerful explosion in the centre of Prague has injured up to 40 people and left others buried under rubble, police have said.

The blast in a building on Divadelni Street, close to the National Theatre, was heard as far away as Prague Castle across the Vltava river.

It blew out the windows on many of the surrounding buildings.

http://news.sky.com/story/1084307/prague-explosion-leaves-dozens-injured

At least 100 on Guantanamo Bay hunger strike - lawyer

Prague Explosion: Blast Rocks Czech Capital, Injuring 13 many more buried

A powerful explosion in the centre of Prague has injured 13 people and left others buried under rubble, police say.

Spokesman Tomas Hulan said it is not immediately clear what caused the blast in Divadelni Street on Monday morning.

The street is covered with rubble from a damaged building and has been sealed off by police.

Windows in buildings located hundreds of metres from the blast were shattered, including some in the nearby National Theatre.

http://news.sky.com/story/1084307/people-trapped-after-blast-rocks-czech-capital

Rebels Burn, Shoot unarmed men trapped on Roof in Aleppo, Syria

Clash of the Titans: Franco-German ties crack as Hollande slams Merkel

Hong Kong tightens bird flu defenses

Officials wielding infrared thermometers are becoming more difficult to avoid at entry points from mainland China as Hong Kong strengthens its defenses against the H7N9 strain of bird flu.

Extra measures are being taken this week during an expected surge in visitors across the border for the three-day Labor Day break from Monday to Wednesday.

Up to 600 officials will be stationed at border crossings during the holiday, including more than 100 volunteers in addition to government staff, according to Hong Kong's food and health secretary, Ko Wing-man.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/29/world/asia/china-hong-kong-bird-flu/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

Portugal to challenge banks in court

Lisbon is to take court action against JPMorgan and Spain's Banco Santander over what it says were "toxic" derivatives sold to public sector companies.

The move is part of a government effort to stem potential losses of up to €3bn from complex hedging products.

The allegations in Portugal are similar to cases in Italy, where a court convicted banks of mis-selling derivatives, and the UK, where the "big four" banks have been ordered to review their selling of interest-rate swap contracts.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/29/business/portugal-challenge-banks-court/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

China H7N9: 8 Provinces and 2 Cities have become H7N9 Epidemic Areas

Vaccine Expert: H7N9 Can Spread Between Humans

An academic team in Mainland China
released its latest H7N9 virus investigation results.
They claim, "three of four gene mutations
have been identified;
if another mutation site is found, it would likely result
in an effective human-to-human transmission."
The media widely circulated their words,
triggering strong concerns by the public and experts.
However, a researcher told China's Central Television
(CCTV) that they had never mentioned "person-to-person transmission."
A vaccine expert of Disease Control Centre
analyzes the reason for this denial.

On April 27, media reported that research team led by
Li Lanjuan from the Chinese Academy of Engineering,
made two breakthroughs in the study of H7N9 virus.

Firstly, they discovered that wet market poultry was likely
the source for human infections with H7N9 virus.
Secondly, the virus is spreading to mammals,
and could eventually mutate to human-to-human spread.
The research was published in internationally renowned
medical journal The Lancet.

Leila Fowler, 8, stabbed to death by intruder in her home

California authorities are searching for an armed killer who's on the run after breaking into a home and repeatedly stabbed an eight-year-old girl to death.

Leila Fowler's 12-year-old brother was at their home with her in Valley Springs around noon on Saturday when he encountered the intruder, who immediately fled.

The terrified boy went to check on his sister and made the horrifying discovery.

He called 911 and she was later pronounced dead.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316111/Pictured-Girl-stabbed-death-intruder-home.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Government to offer cheaper energy bills to communities that don't oppose fracking in shocking Blackmail drive

As part of plans to push ahead with the controversial practice, where by shale gas is forced out of the ground by blasting water into rocks, the coalition is considering a range of sweeteners for local communities.

While the biggest incentive would be cheaper household energy bills, communities who agree to shale-gas extraction in their area could also be offered funding for new sports club or community centres and other local amenities, according to the Financial Times.

The proposals will form part of the Government's paper on "community benefits", which will aim to convince people in northwest and southeast England to drop opposition to fracking.

Environmentalists claim the hydraulic fracturing involved in the process causes earthquakes and contaminates drinking water.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/10024376/Government-to-offer-cheaper-energy-bills-to-communities-that-dont-oppose-fracking.html

Gaza rocket strikes Israel, causes no injuries: military

A rocket fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip struck southern Israel on Monday, causing no injuries or damage, an Israeli military spokeswoman said.

No group took responsibility for launching the rocket, which landed in an open field.

Israel carried out an air strike on a site belonging to a Palestinian militant group on Sunday in response to similar rocket fire.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/29/us-palestinians-israel-rocket-idUSBRE93S04M20130429

Two dead, 8 missing after cargo ships collide off Greece

Two people drowned and eight are missing after two cargo ships collided off southwestern Greece early on Monday, the Greek coastguard said.

The drowned and missing crew were from the Pirireis, sailing under a Cook Islands flag, which was in a collision with the ConSouth carrier about 75 nautical miles off the islet of Sapienza, a coastguard official said.

The ConSouth, sailing under an Antigua-Barbuda flag, was not seriously damaged and its crew of 16 is safe.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/29/us-greece-ship-collision-idUSBRE93S04I20130429

Little hope of more survivors as Bangladesh toll nears 400

Rescue officials in Bangladesh said on Monday they were unlikely to find more survivors in the rubble of a factory building that collapsed last week burying hundreds of garment workers in the country's worst industrial accident.

Heavy cranes were being used to lift huge concrete blocks from the wreckage of Rana Plaza, where 381 people are now confirmed to have been killed according to the latest official toll. The building housed factories making clothes for Western brands.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/29/us-bangladesh-building-idUSBRE93N06P20130429

Moody's says Italy may still eventually need bailout

Rating agency Moody's believes Italy may still eventually need to seek a bailout despite forming a new government and avoiding immediate crisis.

"We cannot yet rule out Italy will end up asking for help to the European Central Bank and the European Stability Mechanism," Dietmar Hornung, senior credit officer at Moody's, was cited as saying in Monday's told La Repubblica.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta's new Italian government was sworn in on Sunday and the premier will seek the backing of parliament in a confidence vote at 3 p.m. on Monday.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/29/us-moodys-italy-report-idUSBRE93S05O20130429

British Sailor Missing In Pacific Ocean

Rescuers are searching for a British sailor who is missing after falling from his vessel in the Pacific Ocean almost 500 miles from land.

The 35-year-old man, who has not been named, was conscious and wearing a life jacket when he fell overboard, but had not been found after more than 15 hours of searching, the US Coast Guard said.

Another British man, described as an inexperienced sailor, was hoisted from the ship by a rescue helicopter at 5am on Sunday.

http://news.sky.com/story/1084272/british-sailor-missing-in-pacific-ocean

Syrian Prime Minister Survives Rebel Bomb Attack

Syrian prime minister Wael Nader al Halqi was reportedly unhurt after a bomb blast targeted his convoy in Damascus.

State-run TV reported that the blast went off near a school in the capital's western neighbourhood of Mazzeh.

It said: "The terrorist explosion in al Mazzeh was an attempt to target the convoy of the prime minister.

"Doctor Wael al Halqi is well and not hurt at all."

http://news.sky.com/story/1084267/syrian-prime-minister-survives-bomb-attack

Grant Cameron, 25, Karl Williams, 26, and Suneet Jeerh, 25, Jailed for Four years in Dubai

Three British men, who say they were beaten by Dubai police and had guns held to their heads, have been sentenced to four years in prison for drug offences.

Grant Cameron, 25, Karl Williams, 26, and Suneet Jeerh, 25, were found guilty of possession of synthetic cannabis, known as spice.

The men, from London, were arrested last July while they were on holiday in the Gulf state.

http://news.sky.com/story/1084228/dubai-british-trio-jailed-for-four-years

Miranda Hebble while children died, inquest told

Miranda Hebble leaves the Coroner's Court this morning. Picture: Lee Griffith/The West Australian.

A young mother says she passed out for hours after placing her children in a shower and later found them dead in the water, an inquest has been told.

The Coroner's Court has today started an inquest into the deaths of Lochlan James Stevens, 2, and Malachi Isaac Stevens, 10 months, while at their Ellenbrook home with their mother in November 2008.

The brothers' cause of deaths has not been able to be confirmed, with the inquest aiming to clarify what caused or contributed to their deaths and how their mother, Miranda Hebble, could have been asleep or unconscious for about 10 hours while her children were in the shower.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/newshome/16923903/mum-slept-while-children-died-inquest-told/

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake NICARAGUA - 29th April 2013

Magnitude
4.3
Date-Time
Monday, April 29, 2013 at 05:39:00 UTC
Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:39:00 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location
12.468°N, 86.870°W
Depth
169.6 km (105.4 miles)
Region
NICARAGUA
Distances
3 km (1 miles) NNE of Leon, Nicaragua

'Guntucky': 'We're just average believers in the Second Amendment'

Boston Radical Routes: Why FBI ignored Russian warnings on Tsarnaevs?

Syria's neighbors cautious about U.S.-led intervention

Syria's neighbors, wary of stirring a conflict that could spill back over their borders, would be reluctant partners in a U.S.-led intervention but are ultimately likely to support limited military action if widespread use of chemical weapons is proven.

The White House disclosed U.S. intelligence on Thursday that Syria had likely used chemical weapons, a move President Barack Obama had said could trigger unspecified consequences, widely interpreted to include possible U.S. military action.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/29/us-syria-crisis-neighbours-idUSBRE93R05420130429

Texas hit by flash floods after seven inches of rain deluges roads and homes overnight

A number of severe thunderstorms have moved across much of the South, prompting warnings across several states.

The onslaught of storms have dumped more than seven inches in some areas and flood warnings were still in effect around Houston, Texas until Sunday morning.

According to local affiliates quarter-size hail and winds up to 60 mph were reported in South Texas.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316081/Texas-floods-seven-inches-rain-falls-storms-hit-South.html

Sarah Palin calls everyone at the White House Correspondents' dinner 'a**clowns' while the rest of America is 'working their a**es off'

Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin lashed out at D.C. journalists and politicos on Saturday, calling them all 'a**clowns' for partying at the annual White House Correspondents' dinner.

'That #WHCD was pathetic,' Palin, the former governor of Alaska, tweeted at 10:15 p.m. 'The rest of America is out there working our a**es off while these DC a**clowns throw themselves a #nerdprom.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316077/Sarah-Palin-calls-White-House-Correspondents-dinner-clowns-rest-America-working-es-off.html

'Terrorista#1' license plate of Boston bomber's friends held in custody was 'a joke about partying,' claims their lawyer who maintains their innocence

The 'Terrorista#1' license plate adorning a BMW driven by friends of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect is a joke about hard partying and does not imply a thirst for jihad, their lawyer has claimed.

Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, have been held in a Boston jail since April 20 on administrative immigration charges because their academic visas had expired.

The two men from Kazakhstan raised eyebrows when it was revealed that they had been driving around in a BMW with a license plate that read 'Terrorista#1'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316066/Dzhokhar-Tsarnaev-friends-Terrorista-1-license-plate-joke-partying.html

Huge dead shark washed up on a beach in Rhode Island

A 28-foot-long dead basking shark weighing several tons has washed ashore on a Rhode Island beach.

A homeowner in the Misquamicut beach area of Westerly reported the shark to police on Sunday morning.

The shark has been attracting curious onlookers today who took photos and touched it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316362/Huge-dead-shark-washed-beach-Rhode-Island.html

Mystery as record number of seal pups continue to wash up on California coast just hours from death

Marine biologists on the West Coast are struggling to understand the reason why an alarming number of sea lion pups are turning up near death along Southern California's coastline.

Some 1,400 young California sea lions were admitted to rehabilitation centers throughout the state since the beginning of the year, Sarah Wilkin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told Fox News.

That number is five times the normal rate of beached pups that typically appear between January and April, Wilkin said.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316375/Mystery-record-number-seal-pups-continue-wash-California-coast-just-hours-death.html

Congress insists on spending $436MILLION for new tanks - but the Army DOESN'T even want them

Built to dominate the enemy in combat, the Army's hulking Abrams tank is proving equally hard to beat in a budget battle.

Lawmakers from both parties have devoted nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer money over the past two years to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams.

But senior Army officials have said repeatedly, 'No thanks.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316117/Congress-insists-spending-436million-dollars-new-tanks--Army-DOESNT-want-them.html

Jessica Heeringa 'abducted' 15 minutes from end of night shift at gas station

The family of a missing mother made a heartfelt plea for information on Sunday as police reclassified her disappearance as an abduction.

Jessica Heeringa, 25, was finishing her night shift at an Exxon gas station in North Shores, Michigan, on Friday night when she apparently vanished, leaving her purse and keys behind.

ABC News reported that the mother of a three-year-old child made her last sale at 11 pm and authorities were alerted when a worried customer called about the unattended station at 11.15.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316271/Desperate-search-25-year-old-mom-abducted-15-minutes-end-night-shift-gas-station.html

Mount Etna sends lava and ash hundreds of feet into the air as the volcano erupts for thirteenth time this year

Mount Etna burst into life once more at the weekend as it shot lava, ash and smoke hundreds of feet into the air.

Residents had been warned about the imminent eruption as grey smoke has been seen rising from the volcano for days.

On Saturday, red hot lava was spat into the air as the volcano violently erupted once more.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316365/Mount-Etna-sends-lava-ash-hundreds-feet-air-volcano-erupts-thirteenth-time-year.html

Stuntman dies during world record attempt as he tried to cross river on a zip-wire attached to his hair

A stuntman died yesterday during a world record attempt as he tried to cross a river on a zip-wire attached only to his hair.

Sailendra Nath Roy, 50, was half way through the stunt when his ponytail became stuck in the wheeler of the rope and he was left hanging in mid-air for about 25 minutes.

Despite desperate attempts to free himself, it is believed Mr Roy then suffered a major cardiac arrest and died.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316371/Sailendra-Nath-Roy-dead-Stuntman-dies-world-record-attempt-tried-cross-river-zip-wire-attached-hair.html

Heather Abbott: CNN "amputee anchor" used to legitimize the Boston Bombings like Jeff Bauman?

Drug dealer who says tattoos would endanger his life in Iraq is given human right to stay in UK

An Iraqi drug dealer who claimed his life would be in danger at home because of his ‘Western’ tattoos has been granted a ‘human right’ to stay in Britain.

In the latest outrage under Labour’s Human Rights Act, Hesham Mohammed Ali won a tribunal appeal against moves to kick him out.

The 36-year-old former wrestling promoter based his case on his tattoos and the fact he is in a ‘genuine’ relationship with a British woman – despite having two children by different women with whom he now has no contact.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316026/Convicted-drug-dealer-abandoned-children-allowed-stay-Britain-girlfriend.html

Secret court in control of a £2billion fortune: It holds the assets of 16,000 vulnerable people - but pays them almost nothing in interest

The Court of Protection, which secretly controls £2billion of assets of thousands of elderly and mentally impaired people, has been criticised by MP John Hemming (pictured) as 'bordering on malpractice'. Allegations include claims that the billions of pounds it controls are being used to offset the national debt through an arm of the Treasury, while paying them a paltry interest.

Two missing after Peru hot air balloon falls in Pacific

Peruvian authorities say two people are missing after their hot air balloon fell into the Pacific Ocean.

Five women also on board were rescued, but the balloon's pilot and another man have not been found, officials said.

Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza criticised balloon owners Globos Peru SAC, saying none of the people on the flight were wearing life jackets.

Members of the Peruvian navy, air force and police are searching by sea and by air for the missing men.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22333856

Council of Europe, Confirms that Greece has legal right to ban the Golden Dawn party

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has welcomed a report by the commissioner of human rights of the Council of Europe, which affirmed that Greece has the legal right to ban the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

“This report is a strong milestone against growing racism, hate and intolerance in Greece and we welcome the report and call for its full implementation by the Greek authorities,” EJC President Moshe Kantor said. “Most importantly, it called for the possible prohibition of the neo-Nazi party because of activities associated with it. This is a necessary first for an official European institution and we hope the situation will be monitored very carefully.”

Commissioner Nils Muiznieks, who visited Greece from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1, said in a 32-page report that he was "seriously concerned" by the increase in hate crimes targeting immigrants in Greece.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/167290