Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chinese Woman Catches Child From 10th Floor Fall, Destroys Arm with Multiple Fractures (But the little one is ok!)

Yay! Ow. Read the entire story in its gloriously broken but heroically delivered English by clicking here. It seems the selfless ones are not yet extinct. By the way, this is our second hero story of the day, making today a great day on the Coming Crisis.

Storms leave 3.9 million without power in eastern U.S.

(Reuters) - About 3.9 million homes and businesses were without power on Saturday amid a record heat wave in the eastern United States after deadly thunderstorms downed power lines from Indiana to New Jersey.

Statewide emergencies were declared in Washington D.C., Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia because of damage from overnight storms, which brought hurricane-force winds along a 500-mile stretch. At least nine people were killed.

Forecasters predicted more severe thunderstorms partnered with renewed heat on Saturday.

Restoring power in some areas could take up to a week. Utilities in Ohio and Virginia described damage as catastrophic.

"It's going to be a while before some folks get power, and with the heat, that's our big concern," said Bob Spieldenner, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN XIZANG-INDIA BORDER REGION - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the EASTERN XIZANG-INDIA BORDER REGION at a depth of 33.4 km (20.8 miles), the quake hit at 19:43:24 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 81 km (50 miles) NNE of Tezu, India
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Banking Scandal Is Like A Raging Forest Fire

As public anger mounts over rigged lending rates, David Cameron must avoid appearing too chummy with rich bankers.

The banking scandal is like a forest fire: ferocious, unpredicted and unpredictable.

It presents politicians with short-term opportunities, and long-term headaches.

And, as the scale of the corruption becomes apparent to the public, so too does the urgency of the political response.

While the suggestion that banks might have rigged lending rates during the £200bn bailout four years ago, so as to defraud the taxpayer, will further fuel voters' rage.

Treasury Select Committee member - Conservative MP and former banker Andrea Leadsom - says this should be investigated by the Bank of England.

She will, though, have a chance to put the charge herself to the Barclays boss Bob Diamond, when he appears before the committee on Wednesday. Read More

UN special envoy Kofi Annan says it is up to the people of Syria to come to a political agreement.

World powers meeting to discuss the conflict in Syria have agreed a unity government should be formed including members of the current regime as well as the opposition.

The so-called "action group" on Syria was meeting in Geneva, Switzerland amid ongoing bloody violence between the Syrian security forces and rebels aiming to end President Bashar al Assad's rule.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the plan agreed by the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Britain, the US, China, Russia and France - as well as Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar paved the way for a post-Assad government.

"Assad will still have to go," she told reporters.

"What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power."

But the compromise does allow the president and his supporters to be part of the desired transition of power.

UN special envoy Kofi Annan said: "It is for the people of Syria to come to a political agreement. Read More

Bradley Reid: Heroic little boy keeps grandfather alive in woods overnight

A Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L., man has credited his six-year-old grandson with saving his life when he was seriously injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident earlier this month.

On June 23, Walter Small, 59, and his grandson Bradley Reid were riding on Small's all-terrain vehicle near their cabin in Red Cliff, just west of Grand Falls-Windsor.

A rear tire on Small's four-wheeler got caught in a rut, and the ATV tipped Small and Bradley toward a patch of alder bushes. Small managed to push his grandson free of the ATV, but Small got trapped under the vehicle with his lower leg badly injured and snarled in the machinery.

The six-year-old tried to lift the ATV off Small, and tried to dig him out from underneath the vehicle with his bare hands, to no avail. As evening fell, Bradley tried to walk to get help for his grandfather, but he was too far away from the main road.

"'I'll get you out somehow, Poppy,' he said," recounted Small. "'It's too far, I'm afraid,' he said, 'I'll sit by you and listen.'" more

Recommendation: Read this story!

Merkel favours closer ties with Washington

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that Germany and the United States would benefit from having a closer relationship -- if they can first manage to overcome their differences.

"We could better develop our economies, stimulate growth, more jobs, if we didn't have so many obstacles in our talks," Merkel said in her weekly video podcast.

The chancellor was speaking on the 60th anniversary of Germany's Atlantic Bridge association, which aims to promote trade, military and educational relations between Washington and Berlin.

The organisation called for "a greater collaboration" between the two countries in the field of technology.

The relationship between the two countries was "a pillar of German politics and will remain so in the future," said Merkel.

"Politically we have a close relationship. We have a great responsibility to the world. We fight for human rights together." Read More

3 states declare emergencies as heat, storms bring misery to millions



(CNN) -- First came the heat, then killer storms, followed by more summer sizzle.

Millions of people across nine states were reeling without power Saturday to deal with thermostat-popping temperatures after fierce thunderstorms pounded parts of the Midwest and mid-Atlantic.

At least eight people were killed and three states -- Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio -- declared a state of emergency.

Governors cautioned people to stay cool as temperatures climbed again and to stay out of the way of emergency crews working to clear debris and restore power.

"Last night's thunderstorms caused the broadest non-hurricane related power outage in Virginia history." said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

"This is not a one-day situation; it is a multi-day challenge," he said. Read More

Merkel seen as big loser in euro zone showdown

BERLIN/PARIS, June 30 (Reuters) - Angela Merkel was portrayed across Europe as the big loser of a euro zone showdown in Brussels after the German chancellor was forced to accept the crisis-fighting measures championed by countries struggling with their debts.

Newspapers in Spain, Italy and France on Saturday toasted the triumph of their leaders - Mario Monti, Mariano Rajoy and Francois Hollande - in pushing Merkel into a U-turn that would long have been unthinkable.

Even German newspapers said Merkel had been made to accept demands for the euro zone rescue fund to be able to inject aid directly into stricken banks from next year and intervene on bond markets to support troubled member states.

"There's no doubt about it - the chancellor was blindsided at the euro summit," wrote influential columnist Nikolaus Blome of Bild, a daily with 12 million readers. Read More

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHEAST OF THE LOYALTY ISLANDS - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck SOUTHEAST OF THE LOYALTY ISLANDS at a depth of 96 km (59.7 miles), the quake hit at 16:24:37 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 111 km (68 miles) WNW of Ile Hunter, New Caledonia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS at a depth of 34.9 km (21.7 miles), the quake hit at 15:26:32 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 250 km (155 miles) SSE of L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN BABAR, INDONESIA - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck KEPULAUAN BABAR, INDONESIA at a depth of 133.6 km (83 miles), the quake hit at 11:42:27 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 181 km (112 miles) WNW of Saumlaki, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA at a depth of 16.2 km (10.1 miles), the quake hit at 10:08:59 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 91 km (56 miles) South of Dushanzi, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Assorted 2012 disasters to date in one video (as a reminder)

Google Exercises Gun Control?

With Google being the major presence on the internet and now seemingly having ties to the government and doing their bidding in providing information and even censoring web sites, it should come as no surprise that Google is now in the business of gun control. That’s right, Google Shopping is now controlling guns, ammunition and gun accessories from showing up in their search. They are censoring perfectly legal products.

A weapon’s parts and accessories vendor, Hamlund Tactical received a notice from Google outlining what they expected from their customer. The notice said:

Dear Merchant,

We’re writing to let you know about some upcoming changes to the product listings you submit to Google. As we recently announced, we are starting to transition our shopping experience to a commercial model that builds on Product Listing Ads. This new shopping experience is called Google Shopping. As part of this transition, we’ll begin to enforce a set of new policies for Google Shopping in the coming weeks. A new list of the allowed, restricted, and prohibited products on Google Shopping is available on our new policy page – http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/ApI7UWRj6OCZpd.

Based on a review of the products you’re currently submitting, it appears that some of the content in your Merchant Center account, HamLund Tactical, will be affected by these policy changes. In particular we found that your products may violate the following policies:

Weapons

When we make this change, Google will disapprove all of the products identified as being in violation of policies. We ask that you make any necessary changes to your feeds and/or site to comply, so that your products can continue to appear on Google Shopping. more

We were betrayed by our 'trusted adviser': 28,000 small firms fell victim to another cynical bank fiddle

Britain's banking giants were yesterday found guilty of a systematic exploitation of up to 28,000 small businesses which has left many facing bankruptcy.

On another day of shame for the banks, the Financial Services Authority accused the big four – Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Lloyds – of ‘serious failings’.

Since 2001, the banks have ruthlessly mis-sold complex loan deals to entrepreneurs who did not understand what they were doing, the City regulator said.

Many small businesses who wanted to take out a loan were told they could only get one if they also took out an ‘interest rate swap agreement’.

They were told it would protect them against interest rate fluctuations. If the rate rose, the bank would compensate them. But, when the base rate fell to an historic low of 0.5 per cent, they had to pay compensation to the bank. This landed the firms with crippling costs they could never have budgeted for.

The FSA said the banks’ behaviour triggered ‘a difficult and distressing experience with many people’s livelihoods affected’ which has had a ‘severe impact’.

Business Secretary Vince Cable last night told Channel 4 News that his department believes as many as 100,000 small companies may have been mis-sold the complex financial products. Read More

RBS boss Stephen Hester forgoes bonus as grovelling letter reveals IT glitch that caused misery for thousands originated in Edinburgh and NOT India

Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester gave up his bonus yesterday as the computer meltdown which has caused misery for millions entered its 11th day.

Mr Hester admitted he did not deserve a bonus for this year, which could be worth as much as £2.4million, adding that bankers should be ‘servants of the customer’ rather than behaving like ‘masters of the universe’.

It is the second year in a row he has been forced to give up his bonus.

Hester also confirmed the state-backed bank is one of the lenders being investigated by the Financial Services Authority for rigging crucial interest rates, after Barclays was fined £290million by US and UK regulators.

It has been reported that RBS could be in line for a fine of £150million, although the bank yesterday dismissed this as speculation. Read More

Andrew Oberle Fighting for his Life after being Attacked by two chimpanzee at the South African reserve where he was studying their behaviour

Stacey Johns a friend of Oberle's on Facebook, was hit in the head by a rock launched by Cozy. 'Cozy may hit people in the head with rocks but it's not his fault' Oberle wrote on the site

A University of Texas graduate student was left fighting for his life on Thursday after two chimpanzees pounced on him at the South African reserve where he was studying their behaviour, dragging him along the ground for more than a mile.

The mother of 26-year-old Andrew Oberle said that her son had been passionate about chimps since watching a documentary about famous naturalist Jane Goodall in seventh grade.

Mary Flint added that her son knew the risks involved in working with apes, and said that the attack would probably not stop him carrying out further research.

In a case that mirrors that of Charla Nash, a Connecticut woman, who in 2009 had her face ripped off by a 200-pound chimp, Mr Oberle suffered a ‘frenzied’ attack, in which he was bitten multiple times.

The beasts, named Mickey and Amadeus, grabbed him by his feet and yanked him down the road, under a fence and into their enclosure at the Jane Goodall Institute Chimp Eden near Nelspruit, South Africa, where paramedics were forced to wait for armed escorts before they could go in and treat him. Read More

US plays down Turkish troop moves near Syria border

WASHINGTON — US defense chiefs said Friday that Turkey was showing restraint after Syria shot down one of its aircraft and played down Ankara moving troops to the border.

The US military's top officer General Martin Dempsey said his Turkish counterpart, General Necdet Ozel, was "taking a very measured approach to the incident."

Dempsey, who told reporters he had spoken recently with Ozel, acknowledged there was a "risk of escalation" after Syria's "hostile act."

But both Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told a news conference the deployment of Turkish tanks, troops and missile batteries did not signal an imminent war between Turkey and Syria.

Dempsey said "the movement, the internal movement of their ground forces, I wouldn't suggest -- I wouldn't read that as provocative in any way.

"But you'd probably have to ask the Turks. I've asked them and they are not seeking to be provocative." Read More

Michael Marin Suicide In The Courtroom after Guilty Verdict

Has God Particle finally been found? Scientists prepare to announce new results

The hunt for the God Particle could be close to completion as scientists prepare to reveal the latest results from the Large Hadron Collider ahead of a major conference next week.

Scientists from Cern will announce on Wednesday whether the tantalising "hints" of the Higgs Boson which they presented in December have been strengthened or grown weaker over the past six months.

Although the results may not be strong enough to declare an official discovery, they are rumoured to show very similar signals to those announced last year which back up the previous findings.

Independent experts said a replication of the same results would leave little doubt that the "hints" were genuine, indicating that the sought after particle, or something resembling it, exists.

Finding the Higgs Boson would provide the last piece of evidence for the Standard Model, the most widely accepted explanation of how the Universe works.

The particle, first proposed in theory by British physicist Peter Higgs in 1964, would prove the existence of the Higgs Field, an invisible force which gives particles their mass and prevents them from whizzing through the universe at the speed of light. Read More

Javaid Ali who fought off crossbow thugs dies in hospital after stabbing in shop

POLICE have launched a murder inquiry after a hero grocer who was stabbed in his shop died from his injuries.

Javaid Ali, 48, spent two weeks fighting for his life after the attack in his store in Green Road, Paisley, on June 15.

The attack came two years after he fought off raiders armed with a knife and a crossbow.

The father-of-three died in the town’s Royal Alexandria Hospital yesterday.

Detective Chief Inspector Duncan Sloan is leading the murder hunt. Read More

Russia-US split casts shadow over Syria Geneva talks

An international conference is set to open in Geneva to try and salvage a peace plan for Syria brokered by the UN-Arab League's envoy Kofi Annan.

Earlier, Russia said there was a "very good chance" of finding common ground.

But a US official said areas of "difficulty and difference" remained with Moscow, which sees Syria as its closest ally in the Middle East.

Some 15,800 people have died in the 16-month anti-government uprising in Syria, rights groups say.

Violence has continued, despite a nominal ceasefire brokered by Mr Annan.

More than 180 people were killed on Friday, rights groups said, after Syrian forces shelled a suburb of the capital Damascus and the restive central city of Homs.

One Syrian human rights group said about 4,700 of the 15,800 killed since the uprising began had died since mid-April, when the ceasefire was supposed to enter into force. Read More

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE at a depth of 116.8 km (72.6 miles), the quake hit at 08:27:09 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 33 km (22 miles) Northeast of Calama, Chile
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Olympic Missile Tenants Get Court Date

Protesters at sites chosen to host surface-to-air missiles during Games allowed to put their case.

Council tenants who have launched legal proceedings over the possibility of surface-to-air missiles being stationed on the roof of their tower block during the Olympics are to have their day in court.

Solicitors instructed by the residents' association at the Fred Wigg Tower in Leytonstone, east London, said that the case will be heard on July 9.

They lodged papers for the action at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday and have heard that they can make their case before a judge.

The association, Harrow Community Support, is seeking an injunction preventing the ground-based air defence system being deployed above the heads of families living in the block's 117 flats.

Martin Howe, senior partner with solicitors firm Howe and Co, said: "We are seeking to injunct the deployment and to have a declaration that the decision making was unlawful because the residents were not consulted.

"A judge has decided that there is something to be considered, and ordered the Ministry of Defence to file a defence by 4.30pm next Tuesday, with an expedited hearing listed for Monday July 9. It is down for a half day hearing."

Ministry of Defence officials are considering deploying the weapons across six sites in the capital if there is a security scare during the Games. Read More

Colorado Wildfire: Major Disaster

President Barack Obama has promised federal aid for Colorado after the most destructive wildfire in the state's history killed at least two people, destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 to be evacuated.

The US leader said it was a "major disaster" as he saw for himself the damage caused by the huge blaze that has raged since Tuesday near the base of the Pikes Peak mountaintop.

During a three-hour visit to Colorado Springs, he first witnessed the devastation from the air on board Air Force One and then toured neighbourhoods ravaged by the so-called Waldo Canyon Fire.

He met firefighters and local officials and visited an emergency shelter operated by the American Red Cross, where he told volunteers "you guys are making us proud".

As he walked along a street full of burned-out houses, the president told reporters: "This has been a devastating early fire season for Colorado. This community, obviously, is heartbroken by the loss of homes."

Mr Obama announced that federal money would be made available to local agencies and individuals affected by the fire. Read More

Syria: Leaders Seek To End Diplomatic Impasse

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague will join US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a specially convened conference in Switzerland to try to break the diplomatic deadlock over Syria.

Geneva will host a so-called 'action group' meeting today, which has been called by the UN specially envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan.

The ambition is to try to establish a roadmap and communique to deliver political transition in Syria.

It is a big ambition given that Syria's President Bashar al Assad does not seem to be listening to the outside world.

The big sticking point is whether Russia will agree to anything that could be interpreted as interfering in who runs Syria.

But it is not thought the invitations to the conference would even have gone out unless there was a clear indication the Russians would sign up to some kind of communique that would move things forward.

The countries invited to attend are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Britain, America, China, Russia and France.

Also there there will be the foreign ministers of Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar, as they have current rotating responsibilities with the Arab League.

There had been talk of both Iran and Saudi Arabia, as big regional powers, being invited. Read More

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA at a depth of 10.2 km (6.3 miles), the quake hit at 07:35:56 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 101 km (62 miles) South of Dushanzi, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE COAST OF CHIAPAS, MEXICO - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake has struck OFF THE COAST OF CHIAPAS, MEXICO at a depth of 35.1 km (21.8 miles), the quake hit at 07:33:28 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 123 km (76 miles) Southwest of Tres Picos, Mexico
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN at a depth of 77.2 km (48 miles), the quake hit at 07:11:48 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 46 km (28 miles) ESE of Ishinomaki, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Tony McLernon Arrested for the Murder of Pregnant Eystna Blunnie

A man has been charged with the murder of a heavily pregnant woman and the killing of her unborn baby girl.

Tony McLernon, 23, has been accused of killing 20-year-old Eystna Blunnie, who was found fatally injured in a street in Harlow, Essex in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

He also faces a charge of child destruction after it emerged that Ms Blunnie was heavily pregnant at the time of her death.

Ms Blunnie from Harlow, Essex, was found with severe head and facial injuries on a busy road less than a quarter of a mile from her family home.

She was taken to Princess Alexandra hospital in Harlow at 3am on Wednesday but died of multiple head and facial injuries. Read More

Al Amin Dhalla jailed for Min six years after leading campaign of harassment against ex-girlfriend is Described as a 'narcissistic psychopath'

A twisted city worker who terrorised his ex-girlfriend's family - stalking them with a crossbow and setting fire to their home - has been jailed indefinitely.

Al Amin Dhalla, 42, described as a 'narcissistic psychopath', mounted a chilling hate campaign after being dumped by 35-year-old doctor Alison Hewitt, from Brighton, East Sussex.

At one point the police were so concerned for her family's safety that they had to be airlifted from their holiday home on Lundy Island off the Devon coast.

The pair met through an elite online dating agency for professionals and had moved in together a few months later.

But their relationship soured after airlifted Dr Hewitt’s mother, Pamela Hewitt, and stepfather, David Gray voiced concern over lies they had uncovered about his past. Read More

Soft-touch Britain, the asylum seeker capital of Europe: We let in more than anyone else last year

Britain granted asylum to more people than any other European Union country last year, official figures revealed yesterday.

Some 14,360 immigrants were given asylum within the UK in 2011, compared with 13,045 in the second highest country, Germany, and 10,740 in third placed France.

The figure was the third successive rise in successful claims in the UK and an increase of 41 per cent since 2008.

Critics said the data confirmed that Britain is a soft touch when it comes to granting asylum.

Britain also approved more than a third of asylum applications last year, while France accepted fewer than one in seven claims and Germany around one in five. Read More

Cameron says he DOESN'T want a referendum on Britain's EU membership as Eurozone agree bank bailout

David Cameron yesterday ruled out an in/out referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, despite growing demands for one from his own MPs.

Speaking after a marathon Brussels summit that saw European leaders take a significant step towards the creation of a superstate, the Prime Minister mounted his strongest defence yet of Britain’s membership of the EU.

He acknowledged that the creation of a powerful new fiscal union would have ‘consequences for Britain’ and suggested that some renegotiation of our relationship with the EU may be needed in the future. But he explicitly ruled out the in/out referendum demanded by many of his MPs. Read More

Bankers are Above the Law: MPs demand judicial inquiry and police action as rage grows over bank corruption scandal

The ‘shoddy and deceitful’ behaviour of banks should be probed at a public inquiry, David Cameron was told.

Following an extraordinary week of scandal and disgrace, senior politicians and church leaders called for a financial equivalent of Lord Leveson’s Press inquiry.

Labour leader Ed Miliband wants the Prime Minister to set up a judicial investigation into the banking world that would lead to a standards board and code of conduct.

Revelations that traders conspired for years to rig key interest rates have created a widespread feeling that only a truth and reconciliation inquiry can restore trust in an industry vital for economic recovery.

To make matters worse, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland were censured yesterday for selling risky and inappropriate insurance to thousands of small firms.

The Financial Services Authority said the big four missold hard-to-understand interest rate swaps to thousands of businesses, leading some of them to go bust. Read More

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck OFFSHORE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA at a depth of 23.9 km (14.9 miles), the quake hit at 01:53:55 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 77 km (48 miles) WNW from Ferndale, California
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA at a depth of 15 km (9.3 miles), the quake hit at 00:46:49 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 98 km (60 miles) South of Dushanzi, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS at a depth of 33.6 km (20.9 miles), the quake hit at 00:14:47 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 322 km (200 miles) Southeast of L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 30th June 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck the BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 00:09:05 UTC Saturday 30th June 2012
The epicenter was 168 km (104 miles) South of Chichi-shima, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

China 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake and Mudslides Caused by Heavy Rain Kill at Least 50 People Leaving many more Injured

Mudslides caused by heavy rains have killed 50 and left another 42 missing, China's civil affairs ministry said.

The national agency said that storms have ravaged 11 provinces and regions - mainly in south China - since June 20 and triggered the deadly mudslides.

About 440,000 people have been relocated and that tens of thousands of homes are severely damaged, the ministry added.

The death toll continues to rise. The state-run China News Service reported today that four people were killed and another 37 missing from a severe mudslide in south western China's Sichuan province.

Mudslides are common in China's mountainous areas. Critics point to deforestation for soil erosion that has made China prone to mudslides after strong rainfall.

In the far-west of China, a strong earthquake shook buildings and cutting off electricity in the remote mountainous area and injuring at least 17 people.

The US Geological Survey measured the quake, which hit China's Xinjiang region, at magnitude-6.3, while China's Earthquake Networks Centre put it at 6.6.

The Xinjiang regional government reported no deaths but said 17 people were injured. China's state-run Xinhua News Agency said most of the victims were tourists. Read More

Iran: There will be war – and we'll win

Just days after the breakdown of talks with the West over Iran’s nuclear program, the deputy chief commander of the Revolutionary Guards announced that there soon will be war – and that Allah will ensure his forces are victorious.

The last round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) ended in Moscow last week without any agreement on Iran’s illicit nuclear program.

Gen. Hossein Salami, in a televised interview, boasted that, “Iran has complete control of all the enemy’s interests around the world and is on a path to reach equivalency with world powers.” The commander emphasized that Iran’s nuclear program is irreversible, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Salami said war is inevitable, and the Iranian forces are ready.

“The current sanctions will only help Iran with its progress, and the Iranian ballistic missiles can target the enemy’s moving carriers with 100 percent accuracy,” he warned the West. “The Guards’ operational plan includes a radius of deterrence in the region in which all interests of the enemy have been identified, and in case of war, those interests will be attacked.”

Guards’ commanders have stated previously that all U.S. bases in the region are targeted with missiles and will be attacked should America strike Iran. more

Friday, June 29, 2012

Strange Sound Reported in San Diego, as "Sonic Rumble" Extends All the Way to Los Angeles

Residents from Chula Vista to Oceanside are reporting a large rumble around 12:45 p.m. Friday.

Some people describe it as sounding like a door slamming while others said it was strong enough to rattle windows.

A check of the U.S. Geological Survey website shows no earthquake activity.

One San Diego resident mentioned the sound via Twitter "Uh... La Jolla just shook. Or at least my street did. Big boom too."

Carlos Ortega, of Solana Beach, wrote to us, "An earthquake shook here at 1244pm. Shook windows and walls for a good 5 seconds."

Mercy Ramirez wanted NBC 7 San Diego to know, "We're in Bonita, our our office shook for about 5 seconds, was this an earthquake? We're on the third floor and everything shook."

NBC 7 San Diego's Dagmar Midcap was in Del Mar at the time and described it as a "Sonic 'rumble'". more


4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS - 29th June 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS at a depth of 17.7 km (11 miles), the quake hit at 22:37:04 UTC Friday 29th June 2012
The epicenter was 458 km (285 miles) South from Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS - 29th June 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS at a depth of 49.8 km (30.9 miles), the quake hit at 22:02:16 UTC Friday 29th June 2012
The epicenter was 331 km (205 miles) Southwest of L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

The doomsday cult of 9-to-5 depression


One of the enduring mysteries of the Aum Shinrikyo atrocities of the 1990s is the ease with which the cult attracted members. The arrest this month of the last two fugitives allegedly involved in Aum's fatal 1995 sarin gas assault on the Tokyo subway system recalls the whole ghastly episode, together with its unsolved riddles. What would draw sane, relatively prosperous, in many cases highly intelligent people to the incoherent blend of pseudo-philosophy, pseudo-enlightenment and pseudo-mysticism that elevated robbery, murder and terrorism into acts of religious devotion?

Even now, with cult founder Shoko Asahara and 12 leading disciples on death row, the cult, reconstituted as Aleph, continues to attract adherents. Why?

Probably no definitive answer is possible, and this certainly is not an attempt at one. But the business magazine Shukan Toyo Keizai provides a clue, though without making the connection. Its June 16 edition devotes 50 pages to an issue it fears is getting out of hand: depression.

It is actually a followup report, for last June it was on a similar track. It said then that at least 60 percent of Japan's workforce suffers from stress. The causes are various: overwork, unrewarding work, loneliness, relationships gone wrong, financial trouble, a degraded environment, unnatural lifestyles, and nature itself in the form of earthquakes, tsunami and global warming.

This month's return to the topic opens with another alarming statistic: 24 percent of Japanese are likely in the course of a lifetime to suffer some form of mental illness, depression in particular. Last year the health ministry added depression to its list of Japan's most dangerous diseases: cancer, brain hemorrhage, heart disease and diabetes. more

Heaven Sutton: 7-year-old girl gunned down on front lawn while selling lemonade

One day after a 7-year-old girl was gunned down as her mother watched while she sold lemonade in front of her West Side home, a ministers’ group is trying to persuade people to turn over the killer.

“It’s a sad day in Chicago,” said the Rev. Ira Acree of the Leaders Network ministry, which put up the $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunman who killed Heaven Sutton, 7, while she was with her mother and other family members outside of their home in the 1700 block of North Luna Avenue in the North Austin neighborhood.

Acree was no less indignant than Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who said to the unknown killer Thursday, “How dare you?”

“She’s an innocent seven-year-old,” Acree said, saying the girl had to try to dodge bullets as if she were in Afghanistan or the Wild West of the 1800s. “It’s horrific.” more

6.3 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 29th June 2012

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake has struck NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA at a depth of 9.8 km (6.1 miles), the quake hit at 21:07:32 UTC Friday 29th June 2012
The epicenter was 99 km (61 miles) South of Dushanzi, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

More to follow

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS - 29th June 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS at a depth of 31.5 km (19.6 miles), the quake hit at 20:03:41 UTC Friday 29th June 2012
The epicenter was 148 km (91 miles) SSE of Lata, Solomon Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

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John Massey Arrested following his Escape from Pentonville prison on Wednesday

Convicted murderer John Massey, who escaped from Pentonville prison on Wednesday, has been recaptured.

Massey, 64, used a makeshift rope, thought to be made from bed sheets, to escape over a wall from the north London jail on Wednesday evening.

Scotland Yard said he was arrested at about 5.15pm on Friday in Faversham, Kent.

Massey was sentenced to life imprisonment for shooting a bouncer with a sawn-off shotgun at a pub in Hackney, east London, in 1975, after his friend had been attacked.

It was the third time he has given guards the slip.

One of Britain's longest-serving prisoners, he escaped from Pentonville, a category B jail, at about 6.30pm on Wednesday.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "John Massey has this afternoon, Friday June 29, been arrested by detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service specialist crime and operations command.

"He has been taken into custody at a north London police station." Read More

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 29th June 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck the FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA at a depth of 46.5 km (28.9 miles), the quake hit at 18:07:14 UTC Friday 29th June 2012
The epicenter was 41 km (25 miles) SSW of Amukta Island, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

White House claims ObamaCare fine a 'penalty,' despite court calling it a 'tax'

First it was a penalty. Then it was a tax. Now it's a penalty again.

The war of words over what to call the fine attached to the federal health care overhaul's most controversial provision continued Friday, as the White House took issue with the Supreme Court's argument -- even though that argument alone spared President Obama's law.

The five-justice majority argued that, while the fine imposed by the law for not buying health insurance would otherwise be unconstitutional, the fine is actually legal under Congress' authority to tax.

Ergo, the fine is officially a "tax" in the eyes of the court. The law stands.

But in a case of biting the hand that feeds, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday the fine is still just a "penalty."

Calling it a "tax" causes obvious political problems for the White House. Obama fought that label vigorously when selling the bill in 2009. Read More

Russia and US disagree over political exit ahead of Geneva talks

Kofi Annan predicts 'appropriate outcome' for weekend talks, but difficulties remain over possible departure of Bashar al-Assad

Russia and the US remained locked in negotiation on Friday over proposals for a political exit to the Syrian crisis as violence and protests raged across the country on the eve of a key international conference.

Kofi Annan, envoy for the UN and Arab League, predicted an "appropriate outcome" for Saturday's talks in Geneva. But disagreements between Moscow and the west over the possible departure of President Bashar al-Assad and continuing carnage on the ground underlined how hard it will be to make progress.

Opposition activists reported government forces attacking the Damascus suburb of Douma, scene of what the Syrian Revolution Coordination Committee called a "brutal massacre" of 60 people. Video posted online showed corpses in white burial shrouds lined up in a street. Read More

Mohamed Morsi has vowed to free the blind sheikh jailed in the US for a plot to blow up New York City landmarks

During rousing speech in Tahrir Square, Egypt's president-elect promises to work to free Omar Abdel-Rahman

Egypt's president-elect Mohamed Morsi has vowed to free the blind sheikh jailed in the US for a plot to blow up New York City landmarks.

In his first public speech, addressing tens of thousands of people in Tahrir Square, Morsi promised to work to free Omar Abdel-Rahman, the spiritual leader of men convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

He also promised to free detained Egyptian protesters facing military tribunals.

Morsi earlier read the oath of office and defied the country's military rulers by saying: "I fear no one but God."

He has been speaking on the eve of his official swearing-in ceremony, which had been scheduled to take place in front of a high court. But many protesters called on him to take the oath in the square to defy the ruling generals who took power after Hosni Mubarak's ouster.

"There is no power above people power," Morsi said to wild cheers from the crowd, many of whom were supporters of the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood. Read More

European Council: European political integration can't wait until 2022, We are already out of Time

"In adopting the proposals on growth from the European Commission, who, until now, was having trouble getting them approved, the 27 Member States made a good decision. The proposals rest largely on the use of existing funds for financing new investments," said Joseph Daul after the European Council summit.

The chairman of the EPP group said that without in any way calling into question the fiscal consolidation efforts made by Member States, the European Council was right to give its green light to measures such as a mechanism to allow the direct recapitalisation of banks via the stability funds, an increase in capital for the EIB, launching project bonds and reallocating structural funds that have, as yet, not been used.

"These measures are useful, but they in no way change the landscape. They provide breathing space, but they are no replacement for measures indispensable to creating growth and jobs - namely, reinforcing the competitiveness of European companies and, especially, budgetary, fiscal and social integration, ie. European political integration," stated the Chairman of the most influential political group in the European Parliament.

"We cannot wait ten years, that is until 2022, to achieve this political integration, as suggested in the document put forward by the European Council. Member States must understand: we are already out of time." Read More

Bulgarian PM Opposes Greater Political Integration within EU

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov believes that a greater political integration within the European Union is not necessary at the moment.

"Nobody is ready for it right now. After all, it is the political parties that participate in elections. The political parties form their programs and the voters in the respective countries vote based on that. In this case, we won't have 27 countries competing in elections in Brussels so that the priorities they say they have could be actually there," Borisov told the Bulgarian National Radio on Thursday.

The Bulgarian Prime Minister stated that the EU should focus on coping with finances, pointing out that 22 member states are currently under excessive deficit proceedings.

According to Borisov, only four EU member states comply with the Maastricht criteria – Bulgaria, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. He made a blunder by saying that "none of them are in the Eurozone," apparently forgetting that Finland has been in the Eurozone since 1999.

Borisov is to take part in Thursday's European Council meeting in Brussels. Source