Tuesday, August 30, 2011

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake WEST CHILE RISE - 30th August 2011

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck the West Chile Rise at a depth of 10.5 km (6.5 miles), the quake hit at 22:51:00 UTC Tuesday 30th August 2011.
The epicenter was 965 km ( 599 miles) West of Castro, Los Lagos, Chile
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS, RUSSIA - 30th August 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the Kuril Islands at a depth of 43.1 km (26.8 miles), the quake hit at 22:34:09 UTC Tuesday 30th August 2011.
The epicenter was 122 km ( 75 miles) SSW of Severo-Kuril'sk, Kuril Islands, Russia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN - 30th August 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the North Atlantic Ocean at a depth of 15.1 km (9.4 miles), the quake hit at 22:14:40 UTC Tuesday 30th August 2011.
The epicenter was 276 km ( 171 miles) East of Bridgetown, Barbados
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake VANUATU - 30th August 2011

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Vanuatu at a depth of 58.6 km (36.4 miles), the quake hit at 21:19:09 UTC Tuesday 30th August 2011.
The epicenter was 72 km ( 44 miles) SSW of Port-Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake BANDA SEA, INDONESIA - 30th August 2011

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Banda Sea, Indonesia at a depth of 517.4 km (321.5 miles), the quake hit at 20:17:34 UTC Tuesday 30th August 2011.
The epicenter was 181 km ( 112 miles) NNW of Dili, Timor-Leste
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Floods kill at least 25 in southwest Nigeria

At least 25 people were killed in flooding that hit the city of Ibadan in southwestern Nigeria over the weekend, the Nigerian Red Cross said Tuesday.

More victims could still be found in remote areas that rescue teams have not reached, the government's National Emergency Management Agency said in a statement released Monday.

Visiting the area, the agency's chief, Alhaji Muhammad Sidi, was shocked by the devastation and said the flooding was some of the worst the country had seen in recent times, the statement said.

The government is delivering aid to people displaced by the flooding in Ibadan and surrounding areas in Oyo state, the agency said.

Thousands of people have been displaced, and about 1,500 of them are being looked after in centers run by government officials and the Red Cross in the Ibadan area, Red Cross spokesman Umar Mairiga told CNN on Tuesday.

They are being given emergency food rations, as well as mattresses, blankets and rubber mats, Mairiga said. more

Arnie Gundersen: TEPCO Data Confirms Assertions of Significant Fuel Pool Failures

Pakistanis struggle in flood aftermath: Residents of remote Kohistan reel from flooding that left dozens dead



Dozens of people were killed in flooding triggered by monsoon rains in Kohistan, a remote area of Pakistan. Many are still missing.

An entire village was all but destroyed after days of heavy rain caused landslides and the nearby Kandi River burst its banks.

Military helicopters are in the area dropping much-needed aid and medical supplies, but this is not enough. more

Israeli officials: Palestinians in Gaza got anti-aircraft missiles from Libya

Palestinians in Gaza have acquired anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets from Libya during its six-month civil war, enlarging but not significantly improving their arsenal, Israeli officials said on Monday.

While the rebellion against Muammar Gadhafi has stirred concern abroad about the fate of Libya's ageing chemical weapons stockpiles, Israel has no indication Hamas or other Palestinian factions have sought these, the officials said.

Instead, Israeli officials have detected an inflow of SA-7 anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), said one official, describing an overland supply route that opened up between eastern Libya - after it fell to the rebels - and the Gaza Strip via Egypt.

"We've been seeing more SA-7s and RPGs coming across," said the official. "It's not a major qualitative enhancement for them." more

EU Chief warns over looming economic threat

Recent turmoil on financial markets is threatening economic recovery in the European Union, the bloc's leading economic official said today.

Recent turmoil on financial markets is threatening economic recovery in the European Union, the bloc's leading economic official said today.

The warning from EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn came after a turbulent summer for markets across the globe, as investors worried about a potential new recession in the United States, the eurozone's ability to resolve its debt crisis and the health of European banks.

"The financial markets and the real economy move now more in synchrony, which makes me seriously concerned about continued financial turbulence spilling over to and potentially harming the recovery of the real economy," Mr Rehn told European lawmakers. more

Homemade drug kills two teenagers in Spain

Spanish authorities have warned the country's youth against a homemade drug that has killed two people and put another two in hospital.

Two 18-year-olds died and a 20-year-old fell seriously ill after they were given a drug brewed from the leaf of the thorn apple plant at a rave in the Madrid commuter town of Getafe on 21 August.

Seeds and leaves from the thorn apple, which is also known as devil's trumpet or devil's weed, are hallucinogenic and dangerous – though scientists warn that the whole plant, including its flowers, can seriously damage health.

Side-effects include an increased pulse, muscular twitches, diarrhoea, convulsions, coma and death.

The thorn apple comes from the same family of plants as belladonna, otherwise known as deadly nightshade. more

Gulf of Mexico Seafood Safety according to the FDA and EPA

Parts of Britain suffer coldest summer for nearly two decades

Much of Britain suffered the coldest summer for almost two decades, Met Office statistics show.

As Britons return to work today after a soggy Bank Holiday weekend, official weather data reveals that average temperatures were significantly down on recent years.

The UK’s average temperature from June 1 to August 15 was only 57F (13.9C) – the lowest for 13 years.

For central England the average was 59F (15C), making it the coolest summer since 1993.

Helen Waite, a Met Office forecaster, said: “The average temperature for central England this summer has been just 15C – this sort of temperature is normally typical of September.

“Generally speaking, you would expect to see temperatures of at least 17C for this time of year.” source

CERN: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock, Not Man-Made Activities

If Michael Crichton had lived to write a follow-up to State of Fear, the plotline might well have gone like this: at a top secret, state of the art laboratory in Switzerland, scientists finally discover the true cause of “global warming”. It’s the sun, stupid. More specifically – as the Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark has long postulated – it’s the result of cosmic rays which act as a seed for cloud formation. The scientists working on the project are naturally euphoric: this is a major breakthrough which will not only overturn decades of misguided conjecture on so-called Man Made Global Warming but will spare the global economy trillions of dollars which might otherwise have been squandered on utterly pointless efforts to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions. However, these scientists have failed to realise just how many people – alarmist scientists, huckster politicians, rent-seeking landowners like (the late Michael Crichton’s brilliant and, of course, entirely fictional creation) the absurd, pompous Sir Reginald Leeds Bt, green activists, eco-fund managers, EU technocrats, MSM environmental correspondents – stand to gain from the Man Made “Climate Change” industry. Their discovery must be suppressed at all costs. So, one by one, the scientists on the cosmic ray project find themselves being bumped off, until only one man remains and must race against time to prove, etc, etc…

Except of course in the real world the second part wouldn’t happen. No one would need to go to the trouble of bumping off those pesky scientists with their awkward, annoying facts and their proper actual research. That’s because the MSM and the scientific “community” would find it perfectly easy to suppress the story anyway, without recourse to severed brake cables or ricin-impregnated hand-washes or staged “suicides”.

This is exactly what has happened with the latest revelations from CERN over its landmark CLOUD experiment, whose significance Lawrence Solomon explains here:

The science is now all-but-settled on global warming, convincing new evidence demonstrates, but Al Gore, the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers won’t be celebrating. The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth. more

No one has made more money from climate change hype than Gore

The governor of a state under assault by the EPA takes on the patron saint of climate change over whether "warmers" or "deniers" benefit financially from the debate. Meanwhile, the nation loses.

Is Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry a racist? According to the increasingly bombastic Al "expletive deleted" Gore, who was interviewed by Climate Reality Project collaborator Alex Bogusky on Ustream last Friday, Perry's global warming skepticism qualifies him as one.

Gore related how his "generation watched Bull Connor turning the hose on civil rights demonstrators" and that it was when racists could not answer the question of why blacks were inferior "with integrity" that "the change really started."

We shall overcome climate skeptics as well, he believes. "We have to win the conversation on climate," Gore said, just as the conversation on race was won.

After Gore equated climate change skepticism with racism, Bogusky prompted Gore: "Gov. Perry suggests that scientists have gotten together to foil the American public, or the global public." In fact, what Perry told an audience in New Hampshire was that our climate has been "changing ever since the earth was formed" due to largely natural forces and that "there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects." more

Mental illness rise linked to climate change

RATES of mental illnesses including depression and post-traumatic stress will increase as a result of climate change, a report to be released today says.

The paper, prepared for the Climate Institute, says loss of social cohesion in the wake of severe weather events related to climate change could be linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and substance abuse.

As many as one in five people reported ''emotional injury, stress and despair'' in the wake of these events.
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The report, A Climate of Suffering: The Real Cost of Living with Inaction on Climate Change, called the past 15 years a ''preview of life under unrestrained global warming''.

''While cyclones, drought, bushfires and floods are all a normal part of Australian life, there is no doubt our climate is changing,'' the report says. more

Chinese doctors to call for ‘cruel’ bear farms to be closed

China’s bear farms, where for decades bile has been extracted from the endangered animals in horrific conditions, have been condemned by eminent Chinese scientists.At a conference in London on Friday, the experts will say there is no justification for the farms because their latest research has shown that that herbal substitutes have greater health benefits than those claimed for bear bile which is used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The rare public criticism of ‘bile farms’ by traditional Chinese medicine experts will be led by Dr Yibin Feng, an associate professor and assistant director at the School of Chinese Medicine at the University of Hong Kong.

He will unveil new research showing that the bears’ suffering on the farms is “unnecessary” and will call for the farms to be closed down.

“Bears are being inhumanely treated and bear farming must end in the near future,” Dr Feng will tell the conference in Westminster.

“Our research provides evidence that other easily available animal bile and plants can be used as bear bile substitutes.” more

Surveillance photo shows uniformed officer in sex act: New Mexico



KOB Eyewitness News 4 has obtained surveillance pictures of a State Police officer having sex with a woman on the hood of a car in broad daylight.

State Police aren't saying anything about the photos, but KOB Eyewitness News 4 is pressing for answers.

Two weeks ago KOB reported a story about an officer caught on camera having sex while in full uniform, an act shown on security camera at the Santa Fe Canyon Ranch.

KOB has blurred out the woman's image, but you can see it's during daylight hours and the officer is still wearing his utility belt.

The Santa Fe Sheriff's office released the pictures to KOB after we filed a public records request. They say they also gave them to State Police over a week ago.

We got reaction from people who saw the photos.

"It's an inappropriate use of time," said Cate Campbell of Albuquerque.

"Inappropriate use of our tax money, I mean we pay these guys," added Jacob Powers.

Albert Loma said if charged and found guilty, the officer should be fired.

"With that kind of judgment you don't want him carrying a weapon," said Loma. "I think it's an embarrassment to the state patrol, they should be ashamed." more

China announces plans to boost secret detention powers

China wants to cement in law police powers to hold dissidents and other suspects of state security crimes in secret locations without telling their families, under draft legislation released on Tuesday that has been decried by rights advocates.

The critics said the proposed amendments to China's Criminal Procedure Code could embolden authorities to go further with the kind of shadowy detentions that swept up human rights lawyers, veteran protesters and the prominent artist-dissident, Ai Weiwei, earlier this year.

"If this was already law, then people like me, Ai Weiwei and many others could have been detained with even fewer problems and obstacles and with a firmer legal basis," said Jiang Tianyong, a lawyer in Beijing.

Jiang was detained for two months without any contact with his family earlier this year, when the government cracked down on dissent over fears that unrest in the Arab world could spill into China.

"This would be a big step backwards, but I wouldn't discount the strong possibility of it becoming law," added Jiang. "More people would face the risk of being disappeared." more

TSA: No Snakes On This Plane -- Miami International Airport intercepts man with snakes and turtles hidden in pants

Miami International Airport has led the way in the latest technology for airport security. One airport passenger learned this the hard way when he was trying to sneak seven exotic snakes onto a plane…in his pants.

The incident happened on August 25th when security were screening passengers with a millimeter wave advanced imaging technology machine. It was there when the TSA officials noticed a little big extra in the passenger’s pants.

Miami International Airport has led the way in the latest technology for airport security. One airport passenger learned this the hard way when he was trying to sneak seven exotic snakes onto a plane…in his pants.

The incident happened on August 25th when security were screening passengers with a millimeter wave advanced imaging technology machine. It was there when the TSA officials noticed a little big extra in the passenger’s pants. more

Killer Insects: Planthoppers Carry Disease Affecting Lakeland Trees

A tiny insect that may have caught a ride to Central Florida from Texas is killing thousands of palm trees in the area.

A disease carried in the vomit of planthopper insects is what kills the palms. So far, what's called Texas Phoenix Palm Decline has impacted about 20 percent of the 7,826 palms owned by the city of Lakeland. The city's palms are worth about $7 million.

The planthopper, about the size of the head of a pin, first pierces a leaf on a palm and then vomits, spreading the disease. Enzymes in the vomit breakdown the cells in the leaf so the insect can suck them up for nutrition.

The palm decline is caused by a phytoplasma, a small bacteria.

Some of the affected palms can be seen at Joker Marchant Stadium and on Memorial Boulevard. There are several species of Phoenix palms, including the Sylvester palm, the edible date palm and the Canary Island date palm.

The disease has also started to kill the sabal palm, the Florida state tree.

Charlie Reynolds, a gardening columnist for The Ledger, said it's a frightening disease that could ­damage the environment. more

NASA: Space station may be evacuated by late November

Astronauts may need to take the unprecedented step of temporarily abandoning the International Space Station if last week's Russian launch accident prevents new crews from flying there this fall.

Until officials figure out what went wrong with Russia's essential Soyuz rockets, there will be no way to launch any more astronauts before the current residents have to leave in mid-November.

The unsettling predicament comes just weeks after NASA's final space shuttle flight.

"We have plenty of options," NASA's space station program manager, Mike Suffredini, assured reporters Monday. "We'll focus on crew safety as we always do."

Abandoning the space station, even for a short period, would be an unpleasant last resort for the world's five space agencies that have spent decades working on the project. Astronauts have been living aboard the space station since 2000, and the goal is to keep it going until 2020.

Suffredini said flight controllers could keep a deserted space station operating indefinitely, as long as all major systems are working properly. The risk to the station goes up, however, if no one is on board to fix equipment breakdowns. more

Confidence in US Economy Drops to Lowest Level Since April 2009

Consumers' confidence in August dropped almost 15 points to the lowest level since April 2009 as worries about the economy fueled the wildest stock market swings since the financial meltdown in 2008.

At a time when Americans are growing increasing worried about a weak job market, higher costs for food and clothing and recent stock market turmoil, the falling confidence numbers raise new concerns about their willingness to spend and jumpstart the economy.

That's particularly important since consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

"Consumer confidence deteriorated sharply in August, as consumers grew significantly more pessimistic about the short-term outlook," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center in a statement.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index fell to 44.5, down from a revised 59.2 in July. The number was the lowest level since April 2009 when the reading was 40.8. It also is far below the 53.3 that analysts had expected. A reading above 90 indicates the economy is on solid footing; above 100 signals strong growth.

A number of factors contributed to the index's decline. The Conference Board Index—based on a random survey of consumers sent to 5,000 households from Aug. 1 to Aug. 18—captured the wildest week on Wall Street since the financial crisis in 2008. more

Leroy Luetscher impaled through eye with pruning shears... and lives... *and* keeps his eye

Leroy Luetscher was working in his back garden when he dropped a pair of pruning shears, which landed point-side down in the ground.

When Luetscher went to pick them up, he lost his balance and fell face-down on the handle. The handle penetrated his eye socket and went down into his neck, resting on the external carotid artery. Half the shears were left in his head, while the other half was sticking out.

An X-ray of Mr Luetscher's head showed the severity of the injury.

"You wouldn't believe your eyes," said doctor Julie Wynne.

Mr Luetscher was rushed to the hospital, where surgeons removed the shears and rebuilt his orbital floor with metal mesh, saving his eye.

Doctors say Mr Luetscher still has slight swelling in his eyelids and minor double vision but has otherwise recovered.

He has thanked the doctors at the University Medical Center for their remarkable work.

"I am so grateful to the doctors and staff at UMC," he said. more

Egyptian forces battle Jihad cells in Sinai 1,500 soldiers as well as tanks and armored vehicles

Large Egyptian army forces are battling Jihad operatives in the Sinai Peninsula Tuesday as Israel maintains its heightened alert on the tense southern border with Egypt.

Israel upped its military presence along the border, including the deployment of two navy war ships, following a terror warning that had been received indicating that a cell comprising of 10 operatives was in Sinai and was planning to attack Israeli targets. Earlier this month, terrorists killed eight Israelis after infiltrating the border from Sinai.

Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm quoted Egyptian security sources as saying that forces continue to raid terrorist strongholds in Sinai as part of a special operation on the event of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. The operation includes some 1,500 soldiers as well as tanks and armored vehicles. more

August: Deadliest month for U.S. in Afghanistan

Afghanistan — August has become the deadliest month for U.S. troops in the nearly 10-year-old war in Afghanistan, where international forces have started to go home and let Afghan forces take charge of securing their country.

A record 66 U.S. troops have died so far this month, eclipsing the 65 killed in July 2010, according to a tally by The Associated Press.

This month's death toll soared when 30 Americans — most of them elite Navy SEALs — were killed in a helicopter crash Aug. 6. They were aboard a Chinook shot down as it was flying in to help Army Rangers who had come under fire in Wardak province. It was the single deadliest incident of war being waged by Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces and insurgents. more

US Ambassador Robert Ford attacked in Syria



A video has emerged of U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford being assaulted by a pro-regime demonstrator on the streets of Damascus last week.

The assault took place before Ford's unapproved trip to the city of Jassem on Aug 23. Ford was present at a gathering of demonstrators who support the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad outside the Cham Palace Hotel in Damascus when one demonstrator ran up to Ford and tried to wrap him in a poster that featured Assad's face.

Ford's security intervened quickly and rushed Ford to his car. The incident was then replayed in a highly produced segment on a Syrian television station owned by Mohamed Hamsho, a businessman is the brother-in-law of the president's brother, Maher al-Assad. Hamsho was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department earlier this month for siding with the Assad regime during its brutal crackdown on protesters. more

"Postcards from Hell, 2011": Parts of the world we Westerns prefer to forget

Relatively speaking, the first months of 2011 have been full of good news for Somalia, the world's closest approximation of anarchy. For two full decades, the majority of the territory in this crescent-shaped country on the Horn of Africa has gone essentially ungoverned; an internationally recognized transitional government is fighting tooth and nail to control the capital. Yet after months of stalemate with Islamist insurgents, the momentum finally seems to be turning. Block by block, the national troops -- with the considerable help of an African Union-U.N. joint peacekeeping mission -- have made significant territorial gains in Mogadishu.

Yet Somalia is still in tatters. Out of a population of nearly 10 million, as many as 3 million are thought to need humanitarian assistance. Another 2 million have been uprooted in the conflict, and political infighting has paralyzed the nascent government. Neighboring Uganda has warned that the fractures stand to make matters worse, offering Islamist insurgent groups a chance to reorganize.

Perhaps the greatest fear looming over Somalia today is that it will become the next haven for al Qaeda fleeing Afghanistan. Somalia's Islamist rebels, who call themselves al-Shabab, have already pledged their allegiance to the global terrorist network. See entire photo essay here

US 'wasted $30bn on Afghanistan and Iraq' over decade

The US government has wasted $30bn (£18bn) in contracts in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last decade, according to a bi-partisan spending commission.

The commission on wartime contracting blamed an over-reliance on contractors, poor planning and fraud for the waste.

It had evidence of lax accountability and inadequate competition, it said.

Writing in the Washington Post, the report's authors warn that investments in the two countries could be wasted even after US involvement there ends.

Among the examples cited was a $40m prison for Iraq that the country did not want and was never completed.

US-funded projects in those two countries also risk going to waste because host governments are unable or unwilling to sustain them.

In one case, $300m was poured into a sophisticated power plant in Kabul which the Afghan government will not be able to run, and a programme worth $11.4bn of facilities for the Afghan national security forces is likely to be unsustainable. more

Kashmiri writers nix literary festival: "Why hold a festival in order to pretend that we're free?"

ndian-administered Kashmir's first major literature festival has been cancelled after local writers and artists said it would give the false impression that basic freedoms are allowed in the troubled region.

The Harud literary festival was scheduled for Sept. 24-26 in Srinagar, Kashmir's largest city and the main hub of opposition to Indian rule.

Festival organizers said the event would be apolitical and showcase "India's multicultural ethos." But local writers argued that years of intimidation have made residents unable to speak their minds.

The cancellation late Monday came as the region enjoys an unexpectedly peaceful summer after three years of violent anti-Indian protests and crackdowns.

Kashmiri writers Basharat Peer and Mirza Waheed, who have written books set in post-1989 Kashmir, when an armed rebellion and military crackdown began, were the first to refuse to participate in the event.

Several other authors and academics also questioned the reasons for holding the festival in the highly militarized area.

"Beyond the absurdity of asserting that art and literature have nothing to do with politics, our issue is precisely that people are not allowed to speak their minds in Kashmir. Indeed, that a political reality is denied, even criminalized, in the state," they said in a letter posted on the Internet. more

Black Death cause identified

A bacterial strain that is now extinct has been identified as the cause of the devastating Black Death plague in the 14th century.

The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30 to 50 million Europeans or about a third of Europe’s population between 1347 to 1351, after spreading there from China and the Middle East, making it one of the worst pandemics in human history.

Now, based on a DNA analysis conducted by researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., and the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, an international scientific team has concluded the pandemic was caused by a now-extinct strain of Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes bubonic plague.

The results were published Monday in an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The lead authors are Verena Schuenemann at the University of Tubingen in Germany and Kirsten Bos, a graduate student at McMaster University.

While some researchers have always thought Yersinia pestis could be responsible for the Black Death, others had argued that the virulence of the Black Death and the way it spread through populations was so different from the modern bubonic plague that it couldn't be caused by the same bacterium. There are still 2,000 cases of the plague worldwide each year. more

At least 50,000 killed in Libyan war, rebel commander says

At least 50,000 people, civilians and combatants, have been killed in Libya's six-month war to oust Moammar Gadhafi, a rebel military commander told CNN Tuesday.

The number was calculated by adding death tolls reported in battle zones and accounts from agencies such as the Red Cross, said Hisham Abu Hajer, the Tripoli Brigades coordinator.

The threat of more bloodshed loomed as reports of human rights violations surfaced and the leader of Libya's National Transitional Council issued an ultimatum Tuesday for tribal leaders in towns still under the control of loyalists: Surrender or face attack on Saturday, after Eid al-Fitr festivities have drawn to a close.

NTC head Mustafa Abdul Jalil told reporters that the rebels were in negotiations with the loyalists and hoped to "avoid more bloodshed and to avoid more destruction and damage," but would use force if the loyalists don't surrender. "It might have to be decided militarily; I hope this will not be the case," he said. more

Cannibal, 21, confesses to making meatballs with his victim and posting video clips of him cooking online - 30th Aug 2011

A cannibal has admitted to killing a man and then making sausages and meatballs from his corpse.

He was so proud of his culinary achievements, including rib dishes, that he posted short video clips on the Internet, according to police who removed the offensive footage.

The 21-year-old - who worked as a chef - confessed to police in the Russian city of Murmansk saying that he had a strong desire to eat human flesh.

He had used a gay dating website to lure his victim, aged 32, to his flat where he brutally knifed him to death before cutting off his head and feet.

Investigator Fedor Bludenov said yesterday: 'The defendant wanted to try eating at least ten people in the future.

'The accused stabbed the man a few times, and after having assured himself that his victim was dead, he cut up his body and ate him.'

The killer, named only as Ivan L, believed that the man would 'not be open with his contacts', and would not be found at his flat. Read More

U.S. scientists deliberately reinfected dying woman with syphilis as full horror of Guatemalan experiments is revealed - 30th Aug 2011

New details of unethical U.S. medical experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s have revealed that a dying woman was reinfected with syphilis.

The experiments nearly 70 years ago are already considered one of the darkest periods in U.S. medical research history.

Researchers who experimented on disabled American citizens and prison inmates in the name of medical advancement also infected a dying woman with syphilis in order to test whether penicillin could prevent infections.

New details released by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues revealed that soldiers, prostitutes, prisoners and mental patients were also among the 1,300 deliberately infected with the STD.

The commission revealed on Monday that only about 700 of those infected received some sort of treatment.

Of those infected, 83 people died, although it's not clear if the deaths were directly due to the experiments. Read More

Roman prostitutes were forced to kill their own children and bury them in mass graves at English 'brothel' - 30th Aug 2011

The babies of Roman prostitutes were regularly murdered by their mothers, archaeologists have found.

A farmer's field in Hambleden, Buckinghamshire, yielded the grisly secret after a mass grave containing the remains of 97 babies - who all died around the same age - was uncovered.

Following a close study of the plot, experts have decided it was the site of an ancient brothel and terrible infanticides took place there.

With little or no effective contraception available to the Romans, who also considered infanticide less shocking than it is today, they may have simply murdered the children as soon as they were born.

Archaeologists say locals may have systematically killed and buried the helpless youngsters on the site.

Measurements of their bones at the site in Hambleden show all the babies died at around 40 weeks gestation, suggesting very soon after birth. If they had died from natural causes, they would have been different ages. Read More

Black Death bug which killed 100million in 14th century plague still exists in modern day Britain - 30th Aug 2011

DNA taken from the skeletons of plague victims in medieval London has unearthed a shocking revelation – the Black Death is still present today.

Bodies of victims, who were buried in a mass ‘plague graves’ in the capital, show that part of the same sequence of genes still exists, hundreds of years later.

The Black Death claimed the lives of one-third of Europe's population in just five years from 1348 to 1353.

Scientists have now confirmed that Yersinia pestis which is known to cause cases of the plague today was also responsible for the brutally damaging bubonic plague which almost wiped out Europe.

Previously, tests which showed presence of the bacteria in medieval samples had been ignored because it was assumed they were contaminated and because the modern day bug spreads much more slowly and is far less deadly. Read More

THE KILLER PLAGUE

Filthy living conditions in 14th Britain have been blamed for allowing the Black Death to spread.

It remains one of the most destructive pandemics in history which peaked in Europe between 1348 and 1350.

Experts say it reduced the world's population from an estimated 450 million to almost 350 million in 1400.

In 1603 the killer plague returned and killed 38,000 Londoners.

German business chief calls for country to quit euro and join new currency with Austria, Holland and Finland - 30th Aug 2011

A top German business leader today called for his country to quit the euro and join richer northern neighbours in a currency block instead.

Hans-Olaf Henkel, the well-respected former head of the country’s main business federation, said his earlier support for the euro was ‘the biggest professional mistake I ever made’.

He called on Germany, Austria, Finland and the Netherlands to quit the euro – ditching struggling economies such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy - and set up a new currency of their own.

Such a move – perhaps the closest thing possible to the return of the Deutsche Mark - would be highly controversial as Germany is the area’s powerhouse economy and has so far insisted it will stand behind the euro.

But Mr Henkel said: ‘We need to focus on saving Europe, not the euro.’ Read More

HAARP, Hurricane Irene, and DC Earthquake connected? US Secretary of Defense certainly thinks it's a possibility...

New York City and Washington, DC experienced a rather powerful, shallow earthquake this afternoon, just as a category 1 hurricane is making its way towards the Eastern seaboard. While these two events seem to be completely separate, I have a feeling that they could be connected. Follow me down this rabbit hole, if you will, in a short exercise in conspiracy theory building.

In 1997, US Secretary of Defense William Cohen made the following statement at a well-attended conference on weapons of mass destruction, “Others (terrorists) are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves….So, there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations…It’s real, and that’s the reason why we have to intensify our own (counterterrorism) efforts.”

If you think about it, that’s actually a pretty ominous statement coming from a sitting Secretary of Defense!

And consider that if our government believed terrorists were engaging in these pursuits back in 1997, you can sure as well assume our government, for better or worse, is currently well along in pursuing these abilities as well.

Now, there is a gentleman named Richard C. Hoagland who knows something more about all of this. Hoagland is a scientific researcher with some clout. He was technical science adviser to Walter Cronkite during the Apollo missions, worked with Carl Sagan developing the message discs placed aboard Pioneer spacecraft and has had a close working relationship with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for many years. Hoagland’s own independent research group is called The Enterprise Mission.

Hoagland claims, among other things, that after scouring hundreds of hours of satellite radar images from a variety of sources, he has documented a phenomenon which he believes is evidence that someone or something is affecting the path and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. As sci-fi as that sounds, the evidence is quite compelling. more

In just in case anyone needs the US Secretary of Defense quotation verified, here is the actual link from the US Department of Defense's website:

http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=674

Special thanks to John from the PatrioticTruther Youtube channel for bringing this one to our attention.

Should governments invest more money in space programs?

A crashed Russian cargo ship and delays in the next manned space launch could mean that the International Space Station will be without a crew for the first time in 11 years.

Michael Suffredini, NASA's space station program manager, said at a news conference Monday that the next astronaut-staffed flight to the space station has been delayed from September to early November at the earliest.

Three members of the current crew of the station have been there since May 23 and are scheduled to return to Earth Sept. 8. The other three are scheduled to return on Nov. 16.

If an investigation into the crash of the Russian cargo ship further delays the launch of the next manned Russian Soyuz spacecraft, the ISS could be left without a crew. The ISS has been continuously staffed since Nov. 2, 2000.

With the retirement of the space shuttle fleet, the U.S. is without its own manned spaceflight capability. more

Canadians deluded about becoming debt-free (as are most citizens in the Western world)

If experience is any indication, many Canadians could find themselves in debt years longer than they originally expected, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted for CIBC by Harris-Decima, reveals that, on average, Canadians holding some form of debt today feel they will be debt-free by age 55.

But the poll also found that only about 35 per cent of Canadians currently in the 55- to 64-age group — or just over a third — are actually debt-free.

The findings appeared to hold true for all age groups polled.

For example, Canadians 25 to 34 on average told the pollsters they expected to be debt-free by age 44. However, the poll found that only 18 per cent of those now in the 45-to-54 age group were, in fact, debt-free. more

Man robs gas station to pay restaurant bill: Vancouver, Canada

A man who couldn't pay his bill at a North Vancouver restaurant told staff he was going to rob a nearby gas station to get the cash — then was arrested after doing the deed and returning to settle his tab.

North Vancouver RCMP said a man racked up a $38 bill at the Browns Social House restaurant Friday night and tried to leave without paying.

When approached by the staff as he tried to exit, the man said they should call the police because he was going to rob a nearby gas station to get the cash, Cpl. Richard De Jong said Monday in a release.

De Jong said that moments later the North Vancouver RCMP received a hold-up alarm from the neighbouring Esso gas station where the attendant said a man held a screwdriver to his neck and robbed the till.

The man then returned to the restaurant and paid his bill and police arrived moments later, placing him under arrest. more


Tropical storm Katia forms in Atlantic, racies towards North America

Tropical storm Katia has formed in the Atlantic and could reach hurricane intensity by late Wednesday or early Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center says.

Katia is located about 855 kilometres west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands and moving "quickly west-northwestward across the tropical Atlantic," the Miami-based centre said Tuesday.

The storm's maximum sustained winds were 65 km/h in the morning with higher gusts, and additional strengthening is forecast over the next 48 hours.

CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe said forecast models indicate the storm could reach hurricane status as it tracks just north of the Caribbean.

The name Katia replaces Katrina in the rotating storm roster because of the catastrophic damage from the 2005 storm that devastated New Orleans.

The new storm comes on the heels of Irene, which hit several U.S. states along the Eastern Seaboard as a hurricane before weakening into a tropical storm as it moved north. more

Quebec government targets stores with English names: Canada

The Quebec government is getting ready to launch a campaign this fall against big-box stores and their stubbornly English names.

The president of the agency that oversees the province's language laws says the sign issue will be very important in the next few months.

Louise Marchand says big-box stores are coming to Quebec more and more and using their English brand names.

The campaign will come 30 years after English was first forced from English signs in the province.

Although Bill 101 was passed in 1977, companies had until September 1981 to get rid of English on their signs.

Various court challenges followed over the years.

Currently, other languages are allowed on signs provided French is clearly predominant. source

Searchers hunt for Quebecer swept away by Irene as 60,000 remain without power: Canada

The post-tropical cyclone that was once Hurricane Irene tore a destructive path through Quebec and the Maritimes, leaving tens of thousands in darkness as police continued the search for a driver whose car was caught in raging flood waters north of Montreal.

The Sûreté du Québec was searching the Yamaska River for a man who was in his vehicle when it was swept away following the collapse of a culvert. Neither the motorist nor his car has been found, but two others escaped the collapse, which left a 30-metre-long hole about 100 kilometres northeast of Montreal.

Quebec police were also looking for an 81-year-old man who vanished Sunday after going for a walk near his cottage in Shawinigan, just as the remnants of the powerful storm were moving north towards Canada from the U.S.

Irene churned further northeast Monday to blast Atlantic Canada, after smacking southern Quebec on Sunday with heavy rain and howling winds. About 125 millimetres of rain fell on the province. Roads were flooded, trees snapped and power lines downed. more

India's economic growth slows

India's economy registered a slight slowdown in its growth in the first quarter (April to June) this fiscal year. GDP figures came in at 7.7% -- roughly in line with expectations, but lower than the 7.8% growth last quarter.

This is the slowest pace of economic growth in six financial quarters. Analysts largely attribute the slowdown to recent monetary tightening.

India's central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, has raised interest rates 11 times in the last 18 months in an attempt to curb double-digit inflation.

The rate hikes have led to a slowdown in domestic consumption, which is reflected in India's auto industry. Auto sales in India fell in July for the first time in nearly 3 years.

Chief economist D.K. Joshi of Indian research and ratings agency Crisil said the GDP figures were predictable.

He raised a red flag about the poor performance of the mining sector, saying it could lead to a slowdown in manufacturing. He also said a sharp fall in construction activity in India is a worry, as this sector employs a vast number of India's population. more

Charity Salima: Malawi's 'Florence Nightingale' saving babies and mothers -- over 4000 babies delivered!



For one retired midwife, seeing too many mothers die during childbirth led her to quit her job and take on the third highest infant mortality rates in the world.

She could be considered Malawi's own Florence Nightingale. Using the most basic equipment, Charity Salina has single handedly delivered more than 4,000 babies and recorded no deaths.

The nurse quit her research job at the University of North Carolina in the United States and with her pension and a $600 loan she opened a birth clinic in one of the most impoverished communities in Malawi.

It's a mission she is passionate about.

"You bring out a live baby and she cries (and) you think 'wow I've given life to this one!'" Salima said.

Salima set up her clinic in the poor urban township known as Area 23 just outside the capital Lilongwe after witnessing too many deaths during childbirth.

But the problem spans the country, with a lack of decent healthcare facilities being blamed for countless tragedies.

"Most of the people don't have transport to take them to the main hospital," she said. "Sometimes labor starts at night, there is no transport available -- what do you do?" more

'Blind' man Dennis Howard to sail around the world alone

Veteran sailor Dennis Howard is preparing for one of the most challenging journeys of his life -- a solo voyage around the world.

But on top of all the dangers associated with such a trip, including sleep deprivation, stormy seas and the threat of pirates, the 62-year-old American has an additional challenge to face.

Howard is legally blind.

"There's no question in my mind that I can do this," he said. "There is also no question in my mind that I absolutely have to take it seriously 24/7, I need to be vigilant."

After suffering a severe form of glaucoma, which causes damage to the optic nerves, Howard had his right eye removed and lost most of the vision in his left. more

Taiwan investigates organ transplants from HIV-positive donor

Taiwan's health department is investigating how the organs of an HIV-positive donor were cleared for transplant for five recipients at two hospitals.

Four patients at the National Taiwan University Hospital received the man's liver, kidneys and a lung; a fifth patient at National Cheng Kung University Hospital received his heart.

To restore confidence in organ transplants in Taiwan, Dr. Chiu Wen-Ta, minister of the health department, announced three task forces on Monday: an investigation team to find out what led to the incident and issue disciplinary actions; a victims' caregiving team to assist the patients and their families; and a medical consultant team to work with the hospital in monitoring the patients' health.

Taiwan Today, operated by the government information office, cited sources as saying the transplant team had misheard "reactive" as "nonreactive" in reference to the donor testing HIV-positive.

The sources, according to Taiwan Today, said the donor's family did not know of his HIV-positive status when they decided to donate his organs. more

Ai Weiwei will not be silenced

Weeks after muting his public criticisms, Ai Weiwei has broken his silence.

In an editorial about China's capital city, published on Newsweek's website on August 29, the country's most prominent contemporary artist and dissident describes Beijing as "a city of violence" and "a constant nightmare." He complained that "the worst thing about Beijing is that you can never trust the judicial system."

"Beijing is two cities," he opines. "One is of power and of money. The other city is one of desperation. I see people on public buses, and I see their eyes, and I see they hold no hope."

Ai, 54, was part of a team that helped design the Bird's Nest stadium for the Beijing Olympics. Later, however, he called for a boycott of the 2008 Summer Games because he said China was using them as propaganda.

In his essay Ai remains critical. "None of my art represents Beijing," he writes. "The Bird's Nest -- I never think about it. After the Olympics, the common folks don't talk about it because the Olympics did not bring joy to the people." more

Deadly Christian-Muslim clash in Nigeria: Christians beat, kill muslims and apparently even steal their children

Gangs of armed youths in the Nigerian city of Jos attacked Muslims as they gathered to celebrate the last day of Ramadan, killing a number of them and burning their cars, witnesses and the military said.

"The Muslim faithful went for their Eid prayers and on completion of the prayers they were trapped by the youths in that area," Brigadier General Hassan Umaru, commander of the military Special Task Force keeping security in Jos, told Reuters news agency on Monday.

"They burnt some cars, quite a number a of cars. The number of people killed, I can't give that yet. We are still checking with local hospital sources," he said.

The head of a search-and-rescue team for the Muslim community reported nine dead and 106 people wounded.

"Most of the wounds were from ... thrown missiles, machete cuts and from arrows. Twenty parents have so far reported their underage children missing," said Shitu Mohammed.

Witnesses said Christian youths set up road blocks and attacked Muslims as they gathered in Jos's Gada Biu and Rukuba areas, shooting a number of them dead.

Christians involved in the clashes spoke of revenge for a string of bombs that exploded in Jos on Christmas Eve last year that left at least 80 people dead. more

Gulf states criticised for food waste: Some see lavish and wasteful evening buffets as being at odds with the spirit of Ramadan



The Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan, which ends in the Gulf on Monday, is meant to be a month of spirituality and generosity towards the poor and needy.

But extravagant breaking-of-the-fast buffets in the region have been criticised for their excessive food wastage, among other things, as the Horn of Africa and other areas experience severe food shortages.

In Dubai alone, around 1,850 tonnes of left-overs were thrown out during Ramadan in 2010. That is enough to feed more than 40,000 people for a whole year. more

Is the African Union still backing Gaddafi?



After more than eight hours of deliberations, the African Union (AU) has decided not to throw its support behind the Libyan rebel administration. It is a decision that some see as proof of Muammar Gaddafi's lingering influence over the organisation he headed as recently as two years ago.

But just how significant is AU recognition - or the lack of it - for the National Transitional Council (NTC)? And why is the AU so reluctant to recognise the NTC? How will a post-Gaddafi Libya impact Africa? more

Pricing pollution: Australia, one of the world's biggest polluters, has unveiled a radical move to tackle climate change, but will it work?



Australia has unveiled one of the world's most ambitious schemes to tackle climate change.

From July 2012, Australia's biggest polluting companies will pay $24 a tonne for their carbon emissions, increasing 2.5 per cent a year until moving to a market-set price in 2015. The plan will create the largest emissions trading scheme after the European Union's.

Australia generates more carbon pollution per head than any other developed country. But the government faces a furious backlash over the scheme, which a large proportion of the population opposes. more

Challenges persist in South Sudan: Skirmishing, death, poverty and development



It is almost two months since South Sudan gained its independence. The focus in the country has now shifted from celebrations to politics.

President Salva Kiir has announced the names of the 29 ministers in the government and some parts of town have seen a lot of development in a short time. But reactions have been mixed.

Some people have raised concerns that the new cabinet still includes familiar faces from past administrations. While others are concerned that development of the country, one of the poorest in the world, needs to be more widespread. more

The gender struggle in India: As India evolves from a traditional to a modern society, what challenges are Indian women facing?



ndia has produced a female president, a prime minister, business tycoons and countless Bollywood starlets. But becoming a successful Indian woman depends on the caste you are born into and what part of the country you come from.

As India evolves from a traditional to a modern society, Indian women still face the challenges of living and working in a patriarchial system.

The Cafe travels to Mumbai to discuss gender inequality in India and whether the status of women is improving in the world's largest democracy. How far have Indian women progressed, and how much further will they still have to go? source

In Sri Lanka, a 'negative peace' prevails: Many men suspected of being Tamil Tiger fighters continue to be detained

Seriously injured in a shell attack, his Tamil Tiger comrades dead, Mano (pseudonym) tried to end his own life by biting on the cyanide pill that, like all hardened fighters, he wore around his neck. But an elderly woman nearby rushed to give him water and he survived. Alone, he languished on the sand for six days, surrounded by the bodies of his friends and the ruins of war.

"There wasn't anybody there, not a drop of water. I was just lying there in the sun," he said as he recalled the final days of the fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan military. "Then I heard voices and, 200m away, saw soldiers advancing. They took me away."

More than 11,000 people were detained by the Sri Lankan authorities at the end of the war on suspicion of being members of the Tamil Tigers, who fought a 26-year battle for an independent Tamil homeland. Some gave themselves up, but no detainees have access to lawyers and few are charged, their families left to find out for themselves the location of their loved ones. More than two-thirds have now been released, but amid a pervasive military presence many struggle to resume a normal life.

"A sense of impunity and that the worst can happen is still prevalent," said Jehan Perera, Executive Director of the National Peace Council in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. "There's been no break with the past." more

Home Owners To Hit Lowest Level Since 80s: UK

Home ownership will fall to its lowest level since the mid-1980s over the next decade, a new study has found.

The National Housing Federation said the number of property owners will drop to just 63.8% as house prices soar, compared to 72.5% in 2001.

The study says rising prices, the need for huge deposits and a tightening of lending criteria will force ownership numbers down.

It also predicts prices in the rental market will increase sharply as people struggle to own their own home.

The group, which represents housing associations in England, says a shortage of homes in the UK is also to blame. more

Obama To Unveil Gun Control Reforms In Near Future



Half a year after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), the Obama administration is set to release a series of reforms to the current gun law, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday.

The reforms, which are being crafted by the Department of Justice, come after a series of meetings with relevant stakeholders in the Second Amendment debate. But in a nod to the difficulties of getting legislation through a Republican-run House of Representatives, only executive orders or administrative actions -- and not an actual bill -- are expected to be handed to Congress.

Administration officials were coy on the specifics, from the reforms the Department of Justice would recommend or when it would actually make those recommendations.

"The president directed the Attorney General to form working groups with key stakeholders to identify common sense measures that would improve American safety and security while fully respecting Second Amendment rights," Carney said at Thursday's briefing. "That process is well underway at the Department of Justice with stakeholders on all sides working through these complex issues and we expect to have more specific announcements in the near future." more

Increase In Women Unemployed Since Government Budget Cuts in UK

Cuts in retail, cleaning and catering jobs have contributed to the rising number of unemployed women, new research has revealed.

A study carried out by analysts SSentif showed that 129,000 female retail workers were claiming jobseeker's allowance (JSA) last month compared with 94,000 a year ago - a jump of 27%.

The increase followed a spate of high street stores going into administration, as well as job cuts in the banking industry.

The number of women in the domestic and catering sectors who were claiming JSA in July increased by 16% compared with a year ago, the research showed.

Women working as care assistants in public firms and the private sector have also been badly affected, with an 18% increase in JSA claimants in those areas, said the report. more


Hurricane Irene photo gallery: 37 dead, damage in the billions of dollars