Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, June 24, 2011

E. Coli sprayed by chemtrail over UK Population: BBC -- No really, this actually happened; could it happen again?

Reader contributed.

Is Deadly E-Coli Outbreak A Bio-Engineered Weapon after US Vowed Retaliation On Spain Over GMO's? Evidence mounts that the answer is: "Yes"

Reader contributed.

Fort Calhoun Meltdown Simulated on Egyptian Website

The Egyptian website featured in the clip linked below is a simulator for nuclear power plants. It lets you simulate disasters, to learn how to manage then.

The hair-trigger situation at the Fort Calhoun plant is what's currently being modeled, displaying the worst-case scenario,
featuring an Eastward-spreading radioactive plume:

There are rumors that all pre-1980 nuclear power plants are at risk from infection by the Stuxnet computer virus. This threat is allegedly what motivated Germany's Chancellor, Andrea Merkel to order a shutdown of all pre-1980 power plants and the complete abolition of nuclear energy in Germany by 2022.

Japan, Italy and Switzerland are also officially phasing out nuclear power, while Russia, India, the UK and the US plan to move ahead with their programs. The US still has no coherent policy for managing nuclear waste and spent fuel rods, which are more radioactive than unused fuel are generally stored on-site or aggregated at selected sites, such as the flooded Fort Calhoun facility, which stores not only several years' worth of it's own spent fuel rods but years' worth of spent fuel from other Nebraska nuclear power plants.

France, which relies almost solely on nuclear power for its electricity is now facing its own nuclear safety a crisis, due to wide-scale droughts in that country, putting their water-cooled fuel pools in peril of overheating - and - you know the drill. (read more)

Reader contributed.

Asteroid to buzz Earth at close range -- Details: 2011 MD 0.0010AU 0.0027AU Approach; 25th, 27th of June 2011

Reader contributed.

Fukushima radiation fallout blamed for 48% Increase in infant deaths in Philadelphia

Reader contributed.

Allied States increasingly divided over Libya due to continued NATO slaughter of Libyan civilians

Reader contributed.

Did oil prices tumble due to insider information release?

Reader contributed.

The Chicken Conspiracy by Luke Rudkowski -- You laugh, but then you find out these laws actually exist

Reader contributed.

Eurozone Crisis 'The Biggest Threat To UK'

Debt crises in eurozone countries pose the biggest current threat to the financial stability of the UK, a new regulator has warned.

The risk is "material and immediate", according to the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), which was set up in February to monitor the health of the UK's financial sector.

Newly knighted Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King, who chairs the FPC, said there was "no reason to be worried" about UK banks' direct lending to struggling eurozone nations.

But he warned that indirect exposure and a generalised loss of investor confidence could cause bigger problems for Britain.

"Experience has shown that contagion has spread through financial markets, especially when there is uncertainty about the precise location of exposure," Sir Mervyn said. (read more)

6 Shocking Ways Robots Are Already Becoming Human Read more: 6 Shocking Ways Robots Are Already Becoming Human

Original painting by a robot of a skyline.

Second original painting by the same robot of a flower.

Original musical composition by a robot.

We all know the inherent strengths of robots: They do not tire, they do not question and they do not hesitate to crush our babies with their powerful, uncaring metal claws. But we're also well aware of their weaknesses: They cannot feel, cannot emote, cannot create and, perhaps most tragically of all, they cannot love. That's how we're going to beat them, when the inevitable robot apocalypse descends upon us -- with our humanity. You just can't engineer a soul.

Except you totally can. Scientists have already gotten a running start at it with these six robots that are treading all over the formerly exclusive domain of mankind. (read more)

US warns Syrian over troop build-up on Turkish border

Syrian troops backed by tanks entered a border zone sending hundreds of people fleeing into Turkey as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of a possible escalation of the conflict.

Clinton said the troop build-up was "worrisome" as it could increase the chances of a border clash and spell fresh misery for refugees fleeing a crackdown following pro-democracy protests, which hit the 100-day mark on Thursday.

Syrian troops backed by tanks stormed the border village of Khirbet al-Joz, where many of the displaced had massed, an activist at the scene told AFP.

A resident of Guvecci in Turkey said he saw soldiers crossing a hill on the Syrian side less than a kilometre from the border after dawn.

About 600 people broke through barbed wire marking the frontier to seek haven in Turkey, advancing on a road a few kilometres (miles) from the village of Guvecci.

Several hundred more people were seen down the road and the authorities brought in minibuses to ferry the refugees to tent cities set up by the Turkish Red Crescent in Hatay border province.

A Turkish smuggler with relatives on the Syrian side told AFP tanks were on standby at Khirbet al-Joz, but plainclothes police were descending on farms outside the village, 500 metres (yards) from the frontier.

And a Syrian imam who arrived in Guvecci on Thursday told AFP that Syrian soldiers were blocking access to the border.

"The army took control of villages and are blocking roads," the cleric who identified himself as Rami said, adding that he fled with the help of a people smuggler after hearing gunfire.

"We are very concerned by the reports that the Syrian military has surrounded and targeted the village of Khirbet al-Joz, which is located roughly 500 metres from the Turkish border," Clinton told reporters in Washington.

"If true, that aggressive action will only exacerbate the already unstable refugee situation in Syria," she said. (read more)

Oil dives to 4-month low as emergency stocks unleashed

Oil tumbled 6 percent on Thursday to a four-month low after the world's top consumers released emergency oil reserves for the third time ever, a surprise intervention to aid the struggling global economy.

The International Energy Agency announced it would inject 60 million barrels of government-held stocks in the global market, immediately increasing world supply by some 2.5 percent for the next month and sending prices spiraling, with U.S. crude prices erasing all of the year's gains.

The move shocked traders who had been expecting the IEA to give top exporter Saudi Arabia more time to make up for the supply shortfall following OPEC's failed meeting on June 8, when other members blocked Gulf efforts to hike output.

"It comes after the Saudis said they would increase output so it suggests they think this might not be enough," said Helen Henton, head of commodity research for Standard Chartered Bank. "I think it will knock prices lower. I expect prices to be lower a month from now."

Goldman Sachs, whose oil price forecasts are closely watched by markets, said the release of the IEA oil could knock prices for Brent crude down by $10 to $12 a barrel. (read more)

Minot flood evacuations intensify as flood rages

Officials in Minot, N.D., say they've done all they can to protect sewer and water service from the flooding Souris River.

Mayor Curt Zimbelman said Thursday evening that dikes have been raised as much as possible around the city's sewer lift station and can't be raised any higher. Zimbelman says the city is confident the water plant is protected.

Officials expanded the city's evacuation zone earlier in the day to include about 400 more people, but say that advisory is voluntary. Some 10,000 people were evacuated earlier by order.

The Souris is trickling over dikes and levees in some parts of the city and stands several feet deep in some areas. But the highest water isn't expected until the weekend.

The flood outlook for North Dakota's fourth-largest city worsened Thursday, as accelerated releases from an upstream dam into the Souris River led officials to recommend more evacuations and close a major bridge.

As many as 10,000 residents were evacuated a day earlier from neighborhoods nearest the Souris, which cuts through the heart of Minot. It wasn't immediately clear how many more people were affected by Thursday's advisory.

National Guard Capt. Dan Murphy said officials were examining maps and planned to release more information at an afternoon news conference.

"The bottom line is they're just trying to get everybody out of the area where they think the property is going to be inundated," Murphy said. (read more)

Texas: Confederate Flag License Plate Sparks Debate

Would you buy a license plate with a Confederate flag on it? State officials are looking at possibly launching a new Texas state license plate honoring veterans of the War Between the States.

Mr. Hilary Shelton, with the NAACP in Washington, D.C., said that the Civil War may not be something we want to celebrate.

“When many look at that history, we think about it in terms of secession, that is we were seceding from the Union in the southern parts of the country,” explained Shelton. “Many would view that, quite frankly, as treason, because they meant to actually destroy the existing governmental structure. But when we dig deeper, the issue becomes even more offensive to many African Americans and those that sought freedom for those of darker skin in our country.”

“When you understand the Confederate history, and what it stood for,” said Dallas resident Mark Jones, “it’s directly slapping African Americans in the face.”

In terms of the Civil War, Shelton said that the Confederate flag was actually very un-American. “It was the flag that was flown during a war to actually tear the nation apart,” Shelton explained.

“I don’t think that this will unify us,” said Carrollton resident Carolina Arreola. “Our patriotism is to the Unites States flag.” (read more)

50 Strong Teen Mob Hits Walgreens in Chicago

The teenage robbery mobs are at it again on North Michigan Avenue.

Some 50 young people barged into a Walgreens at Michigan and Chicago on the Magnificent Mile on Tuesday afternoon. They took bottled drinks and sandwiches off the shelves, then ran off, CBS 2′s Suzanne Le Mignot.

A police report says authorities were able to nab three of the thieves.

Walgreens says the store is working with police, helping investigators with video from the store security camera. (read more)

With U.S. Horrific National Debt, Are You Prepared For The Coming Economic Collapse And The Next Great Depression?

Michael Synder writes: It really is hard to find the words to describe the true horror of the national debt. The U.S. government has been on the greatest debt binge in all of human history, and a day of reckoning is coming that is going to be so painful that it is going to shock America to the core. We have lived so far above our means for so long that none of us really has any concept of what "normal" is like anymore. The United States has enjoyed the greatest party in the history of the world, but now this decades-old party is ending and the bills are coming due. It was Dick Cheney who famously said that "deficits don't matter". Well, try telling that to the nation of Greece right about now. The horror that Greece is just beginning to experience is a preview of what is going to happen to us as well. Only when it happens to us it is going to be so much worse, because when we go down we are going to bring the entire global financial system down with us.

What we have done to future generations is beyond sickening. Previous generations entrusted to us the greatest economic machine in the history of the world and we destroyed it. Now we are leaving to our children and our grandchildren an economic future that has been totally wiped out and a national debt of more than 14 trillion dollars that we expect them to repay.

In Washington D.C. these days, there is a lot of talk about the debt ceiling. But whatever the politicians do, it is not going to solve our debt problems. If the debt ceiling does not get raised, we move the financial pain into the present. World financial markets would crash and that would be followed by a devastating economic nightmare.

If we do raise the debt ceiling, that will "kick the can down the road" a little bit farther. However, world financial markets will still crash eventually and our eventual economic nightmare will be even worse. (read more)

Bernanke's Darker Outlook Sparks Fear Of Currency Volatility

Investors are bracing for bigger currency swings after Federal Reserve officials signaled they won't do more to help the sluggish U.S. economy, judging from bets in the foreign-exchange derivatives market.

On Thursday, a gauge of expected volatility in the options market rose for many major and emerging-nation currencies. A widely-watched measure of bearish bets on the euro, called the "risk reversal," hit 2.75 from 2.55 a day earlier. That's near its 2.85 peak in late 2008 after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s collapse sparked a global economic crisis.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments on Wednesday "spooked the market," says Ashwath Venkataraman, global head of emerging-market foreign- exchange options at HSBC Holdings PLC in London. Bernanke indicated Fed officials aren't planning new steps to pump money into the financial system even though the U.S. recovery remains weak.

However, "Bernanke was just a trigger," Venkataraman says. "There was a lot of underlying weakness in the market and Bernanke's comments just happened to push things."

Currency markets gyrated Thursday. First, a barrage of bad news about the global economy, including disappointing reports from China, Europe and the U.S., combined with Bernanke's dour economic assessment and nerves over the ongoing Greek debt crisis to push investors out of stocks, oil and riskier currencies and into the perceived safety of the U.S. dollar. The big fear: Global economic growth will fade in the second half of the year just as inflation risks rise.

Expectations also dimmed that the Fed will pump more cash into the economy, a development that could end what has been a clear, one-way bet in currency markets over the past 12 months: an ever-falling dollar. (read more)

Here Are The 5 Worst Places To Be When The Dollar Collapses

The dollar collapse will be the single largest event in human history. This will be the first event that will touch every single living person in the world. All human activity is controlled by money.

Our wealth, our work, our food, our government, even our relationships are affected by money. No money in human history has had as much reach in both breadth and depth as the dollar. It is the de facto world currency. All other currency collapses will pale in comparison to this big one.

All other currency crises have been regional and there were other currencies for people to grasp on to. This collapse will be global and it will bring down not only the dollar but all other fiat currencies, as they are fundamentally no different. The collapse of currencies will lead to the collapse of ALL paper assets. The repercussions to this will have incredible results worldwide. (Read the Silver Bullet and the Silver Shield to protect yourself from this collapse.)

Thanks to the globalization and the giant vampire squids of the Anglo-American Empire,the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. It supports the global economy in settling foreign trade, most importantly the Petro Dollar trade. This money is recycled through the City of London (not to be confused with London) and New York. This fuels our corporate vampires that acquires and harvests the wealth of the world. (read more)

9 Out Of 10 Americans Don't Expect Raises To Compensate For Rising Price Of Goods, Survey Says

As the economic gloom settles in, American workers seem to be coming around to the conclusion that they may be facing a permanent midnight.

A new survey from American Pulse, released in June, shows that 9 out of 10 American workers are not expecting salary increases next year to compensate for the rising cost of basic necessities like fuel and food.

Faced with increasingly expensive purchases and stagnant salaries, 70 percent said they planned on changing their habits by buying only necessities going forward, according to the survey. Only 6.6 percent said they planned on changing nothing in their budgets. This is bad news, not just for the American worker, but for the economy as a whole: consumer spending accounts for roughly seventy percent of G.D.P.. If Americans are only spending on necessities, they won't be driving economic growth. In the first three months of the year, consumer spending expanded at a rate of just 2.2 percent — much slower growth than anticipated.

American Pulse's results join a host of other recent findings that together paint a grim portrait of Americans' expectations.

Nearly half of America thinks the U.S. is nearing a second Great Depression, according to a CNN opinion research poll, while a new Gallup poll showed economic confidence plummeting in June. A third poll indicated that workers are more dissatisfied than they were before the recession -- facing low prospects of advancement, nearly one in three of those surveyed said they they were seriously considering leaving their jobs. (read more)

Ignore the Noise, Pay Attention to 'Growthflation'

Folks, we talked a little yesterday about Growthflation—this once-in-a-lifetime global growth story that’s coupled with inflationary pressure on the demand side—and I wanted to pick up on that more today. I believe that if we tune out the day-to-day noise—Greece, the Fed press conference, the pullback in oil this morning—and take a macro view of the world, this is the scenario that will drive the markets higher for years to come. Let’s look at some more evidence, shall we?

Growth. Here in the U.S., we tend to be a bit myopic. We think the world ends at our shores. But for proof of a global growth story, let’s look at the World Bank’s GDP numbers in China and Brazil over the last decade (2009 was the most recent data available).

2000: $1.198T
2009: $4.99T

2000: $644.7B
2009: $1.594T

And guess who’s making money in these rapidly growing economies? U.S. multinational corporations, which are really global corporations that are U.S.-dollar denominated. A lot of those profits may not make it home due to our obscene corporate tax policy, but let’s not confuse that with lower earnings.

Inflation. John Cochrane, the brilliant University of Chicago economist, once said that when an economy that falls apart, like ours did in 2008, governments have to make a choice: either to grow, or to inflate. And because Inflation is the easier of the two paths, it’s the one they always choose. Last week’s numbers told us that the velocity of inflation had been tamed, but make no mistake: the inflation genie is absolutely out of the bottle.

The last time we saw this kind of growth simultaneous to this kind of inflationary pressure was coming out of the Great Depression. From 1932 to 1937, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) went from around 41 to over 194. I would have loved to have bought near the bottom of that market. Wouldn’t you? (Source)

5.6 Magnitude Earthquake HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION - 24th June 2011

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck Hokkaido, Japan Region at a depth of 44.2 km (27.5 miles), the quake hit at 17:39:25 UTC Friday 24th June 2011.
The epicenter was 159 km (98 miles) From Hakedate, Hokkaido, Japan
No tsunami watch, warning or advisory is in effect. No reports of Damage as yet.

The real life C-3PO: World's most advanced robot has muscles, tendons... and ability to correct its own mistakes - 24th June 2011

It looks like a stripped-down version of Star Wars character C-3PO.

But this robot is science fact not fiction - and one of the most advanced in the world.

Ecci, as it has been named, is the first ever robot to have 'muscles' and 'tendons', as well as the 'bones' they help move. All made of a specially developed plastic.

And most advanced of all, it also has a brain with the ability to correct its mistakes - a trait previously only seen in humans.

Developed by a team of scientists at the University of Zurich, Ecci, is short for Eccerobot. Ecce in Latin means Lo or Behold.

The robot uses a series of electric motors to move the joints the tendons are connected to.

And a computer built into the brain of Ecci allows him to learn from his mistakes.

If, for example, a movement is causing him to stumble or drop something – the information is studied and analysed to avoid making the same mistake next time.

The creation also has the same vision capacity of humans too, despite only having one cyclops style eye.

The scientists now hope their creation will usher in a whole new generation for robots - and could aid development of artificial limbs.

Rolf Pfeifer, who is director of the laboratory for artificial intelligence at the University said 'It opens up a lot of possibilities but in particular it will help us to understand better how the human moving apparatus works – a complicated task. Read More

Hacker v hacker: LulzSec's rival TeaMp0ison, (Team Poison), vows to expose group members true identities - 24th June 2011

A rival hacking group has threatened to name each of the members of LulzSec.

TeaMp0ison, (Team Poison) are racing against the police to expose the names of those involved with the group, who have already brought down Sony, Sega and the FBI.

LulzSec’s members use a range of pseudonyms to cover their tracks while exposing others. They include 'Sabu', the groups alleged leader, Nakomis and Topiary.

Now though, a member of Team Poison has claimed it will show their true identities.

In an interview with Fox News, Hex0010, a member of the group said: 'We're here to show the world that they're nothing but a bunch of script kiddies.

'We're going to let them do what they do. Then we're going to do what we do,’ he said. 'We're going to hit them hard.'

Hex, who refused to reveal his true name, claimed the next person to be identified would be from California. He would not reveal further details.

The claim come just days after police named the first alleged LulzSec member as Ryan Cleary, a 19-year-old from Essex who was arrested on Monday.

Cleary was later charged with a five offences and appeared in court yesterday.

The loner is said to be helping police with their probe into the organisation, with officers given three extra days to question him about offences in America. Read More

Tiny camera reveals the inside of a Mayan tomb that has been sealed for 1,500 years - 24th June 2011

A tiny, remote-controlled camera has been lowered into an early Mayan tomb that has been sealed for 1,500 years.

Extraordinary footage of the tomb at the Palenque archaeological site in southern Mexico revealed an apparently intact funeral chamber with red frescoes, pottery and pieces of a funerary shroud made of jade and mother of pearl.

It also showed a series of nine figures depicted in black on a vivid, blood-red background.

Archaeologists say the images from one of the earliest ruler's tombs found at Palenque will shed new light on the early years of the once-great city state.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History said archaeologists have known about the tomb since 1999, but have been unable to enter it because the pyramid standing above it is unstable and breaking into the chamber could damage the murals.

It said the floor appears to be covered with detritus and it is not immediately evident in the footage if the tomb contains recognisable remains. Read More


  • * The Mayan Civilisation is the general name given to several independent, loosely affiliated city states who shared a cultural heritage.
  • * They occupied central America, including the southern parts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
  • * It was an area of about 150,000 square miles - researchers tend to split the Maya into the Highland and Lowland Maya.
  • * The Maya are thought to have existed between 500 BC and AD 900.
  • * The various groups spoke nearly 30 closely related languages and dialects.

David Oakes 'shot dead ex-partner and daughter before turning gun on himself' appears before court with huge facial wound - 24th June 2011

A father accused of shooting dead his ex-partner and daughter before turning the gun on himself appeared in court today.

David Oakes, 50, is accused of murdering Christine Chambers, 38, and Shania, two, who were found dead in their home in Braintree, Essex.

The suspect - who apparently shot himself in the head - had a large facial wound and struggled to speak as he confirmed his name, date of birth and address.

He had been held under police guard in hospital since the incident and was charged this morning over the killings on June 6.

Miss Chambers’ daughter Chelsea, ten, apparently fled the home as her mother and half sister were killed.

Oakes, who was wearing a dark suit, did not enter a plea to the two counts of murder as he appeared before Colcester Magistrates' Court.

There was a large media presence as he arrived in the back of a Ford Galaxy police car.

The alleged killer had a 12inch synthetic foam bandage covering his left cheek with large black stitching holding it it place.

A smaller piece of foam bandage could be seen on the left of his chin.
His left eye was swollen slightly and appeared to be partially closed.

Oakes sat flanked by two police officers during the two-minute hearing.

The court was called to rise and Oakes climbed unsteadily to his feet, using his right hand to grip the left arm of the officer who was stood to his side.

A black tattooed snake could be seen on his left hand as six police officers stood at the back of the court room.

The clerk of the court asked Oakes to confirm his name and date of birth.
He said: 'You are charged with the murder of Christine Chambers and the murder of Shania Chambers contrary to common law.

He asked: 'Do you understand?' Oakes mumbled ‘Yes’.

The clerk continued: 'Are both parties ready for the case to be sent to the crown court?' Russell Halndane, for Oakes, said there would be no application for bail when the case reaches Chelmsford Crown Court. Read More

Mexican troops cross into the United States in armed truck convoy

A convoy of three military trucks loaded with Mexican soldiers crosses the border at Bridge Number Two clearly violating international law.

It happens as Customs and Border Protection inspectors try to figure out what to do.

A CBP spokesperson says they got on the phone with Mexican authorities after being alerted that the military trucks were heading their direction loaded down with soldiers and weapons.

Mexican leaders say the soldiers, who had just been deployed to Nuevo Laredo, didn't know the area, got lost and then made their way through Bridge Two.

It's important to note that CBP did not tell us about the potentially serious situation. It came from another law enforcement agency.

Some callers to our newsroom were upset inspectors allowed the Mexican military to get so close to all those inspection booths over at Bridge Number Two.

Some noted had it been Mexican drug lords they could have taken inspectors by surprise and easily crossed the international border deeper into the United States. (Source)

Tropical storm in Philippines kills 11, forces 40,000 out of homes

Heavy rains and high winds from Tropical Storm Meari lashed the Philippines Friday, killing at least 11 people and displacing 40,000 people, an emergency management agency said.

The storm has been menacing the Philippines since Tuesday, when 11 fishermen went missing along the coast of Luzon, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The storm was forecasted to move Saturday toward Basco, Batanes, the smallest of the Philippine provinces, the council said. By Sunday, the storm was expected to be 370 kilometers (229.9 miles) west northwest of Okinawa, Japan, the agency said.

Flash floods were reported in a number of Philippine communities, including Ligao City where one woman was reportedly washed away by floodwaters, the council said in a statement posted on its website.

A landslide struck in a rural area of Olongapo City, forcing the evacuation of three families, the council said.

Thirty international flights as well as 26 domestic flights were canceled because of the storm, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

About 32,000 families in 17 cities were displaced by the storm, the emergency management agency said. Another 10,143 families have been evacuated from their homes in advance of anticipated flooding, the agency said. (Source)

Syrian forces fire on protesters, 10 now reported killed

Security forces opened fire Friday as thousands of anti-government protesters took to Syria's streets in a weekly ritual of defiance and demands for President Bashar Assad's ouster, activists said. They said at least seven people, including a child, were killed in Damascus and elsewhere.

Four were killed in Barzeh, a Damascus district five kilometres from the city centre, said Syria-based human rights activist Mustafa Osso. He said they were felled by security forces' guns. But Syrian state television said gunmen, otherwise unidentified, had opened fire on security personnel and civilians, killing three civilians and wounding several security force members.

The other fatalities occurred in al-Kasweh, a suburb of the capital, Damascus, and in the central city of Homs, said Omar Idilbi of the Local Co-ordination Committees, which track the Syrian protests. Protests in several other provinces also came under fire but it was not immediately clear whether there were casualties, Idilbi said.

The committees said a 12-year-old boy, Rateb al-Orabi, was killed when security forces fired on protesters in the Shammas neighborhood in Homs. The reports could not be independently verified.

"Our revolution is strong! Assad has lost legitimacy!" protesters chanted in the Damascus suburb of Zabadani, according to video posted on YouTube. (read more)

Republicans walk out of debt talks with Joe Biden as debt ceiling crisis defies resolution

Republican negotiators have walked out of talks with US Vice-President Joe Biden on how to reduce the country's debt.

The US treasury department has warned the US risks default if Congress does not authorise more borrowing by August.

Mr Biden said it was now up to President Obama and leaders of the Republicans and Democrats in Congress to decide on the way forward.

The Republicans are resisting Democrat proposals for tax rises in any deal.

They say that such tax increases - amounting to as much as $400bn (£249bn) on corporations and the wealthy, according to the Washington Post - will stifle economic recovery.

The Democrats oppose Republican proposals for steep cuts to health and retirement programmes.

The two sides need to reach an agreement that will enable Congress to raise the $14.29tr (£8.7tr) debt ceiling before 2 August, or the US risks defaulting on its debt.

This could send the US back into recession and throw global markets into turmoil. (read more)

Type 2 diabetes in newly diagnosed 'can be reversed'

An extreme eight-week diet of 600 calories a day can reverse Type 2 diabetes in people newly diagnosed with the disease, says a Diabetologia study.

Newcastle University researchers found the low-calorie diet reduced fat levels in the pancreas and liver, which helped insulin production return to normal.

Seven out of 11 people studied were free of diabetes three months later, say findings published in the journal.

More research is needed to see whether the reversal is permanent, say experts.

Type 2 diabetes affects 2.5m people in the UK. It develops when not enough insulin is produced in the body or the insulin that is made by the body doesn't work properly.

When this happens, glucose - a type of sugar - builds up in the blood instead of being broken down into energy or fuel which the body needs.

The 11 participants in the study were all diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the previous four years.

They cut their food intake drastically for two months, eating only liquid diet drinks and non-starchy vegetables. (read more)

Fukushima: It's much worse than you think, according to Scientific experts

"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.

Japan's 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.

Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed.

"Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed," he said, "You probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively."

TEPCO has been spraying water on several of the reactors and fuel cores, but this has led to even greater problems, such as radiation being emitted into the air in steam and evaporated sea water - as well as generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive sea water that has to be disposed of.

"The problem is how to keep it cool," says Gundersen. "They are pouring in water and the question is what are they going to do with the waste that comes out of that system, because it is going to contain plutonium and uranium. Where do you put the water?"

Even though the plant is now shut down, fission products such as uranium continue to generate heat, and therefore require cooling.

"The fuels are now a molten blob at the bottom of the reactor," Gundersen added. "TEPCO announced they had a melt through. A melt down is when the fuel collapses to the bottom of the reactor, and a melt through means it has melted through some layers. That blob is incredibly radioactive, and now you have water on top of it. The water picks up enormous amounts of radiation, so you add more water and you are generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive water."

Independent scientists have been monitoring the locations of radioactive "hot spots" around Japan, and their findings are disconcerting.

"We have 20 nuclear cores exposed, the fuel pools have several cores each, that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl," said Gundersen. "The data I'm seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man's-land for Chernobyl. We are seeing square kilometres being found 60 to 70 kilometres away from the reactor. You can't clean all this up. We still have radioactive wild boar in Germany, 30 years after Chernobyl." (read more)

US Congress and Senate now at war over Libya conflict: Political chaos ensues

Reader contributed.

Working class pupils 'perform better in Slovenia than UK'

Poor children in Britain are more likely to be condemned to educational failure than in most other developed nations, new figures show.

In a damning indictment of Labour’s legacy, it emerged that deprived pupils in countries such as Estonia, Indonesia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Mexico and Slovenia perform better than those from Britain.

Data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development shows some 31 per cent of poor children internationally manage to exceed expectations for their social class in school tests.

But in Britain, the proportion slumps to just a quarter – placing the country below the global average and 39th out of 65 countries.

It suggests disadvantaged children in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have less chance of climbing the social ladder than in the majority of developed nations.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, said achievement among the poorest pupils was a “scandal” and suggested a £30billion rise in the schools budget under Labour failed to improve results. (read more)

Sicily Clocks Mysteriously JUMP 15-20 Minutes Forward

What are the social implications of economic collapse?

For the last few days, we’ve been having an important discussion about the magnitude of the economic challenges in the west; if you didn’t read yesterday’s letter, I really encourage you to do so before proceeding because it’s important to understand why the west has truly passed the point of no return.

Simply put, the United States and much of Europe are borrowing an extraordinary amount of money now just to pay interest on the money they’ve already borrowed. They cannot even self-fund their mandatory entitlement programs without going into the hole, and their options are limited:

Option 1: Continue borrowing, keep the party going.

As long as the government CAN do this, they WILL do this. Regardless of their intentions, though, more debt only worsens the situation, creating higher borrowing costs in the long run, and even more debt. As this happens, the pool of buyers begins to dry up, especially from overseas.

Option 2: Inflation

The more buyers stop purchasing Treasury securities, the more the Federal Reserve will mop up the excess liquidity. In doing so, the Fed essentially conjures up money and loans it to the government.

No matter what the government monkey statistics say, this is inflationary, plain and simple. The more money they print, the greater the level of inflation in the long-term. Meanwhile, as foreigners simultaneously reduce their US dollar holdings, this inflation will become more acutely felt in the US. (read more)

Amusing Ourselves To Death (Must Read)

Levi Bellfield Jailed For Life as Judge confirms: 'He will never be Released' - 24th June 2011

Levi Bellfield has been given a life sentence for the abduction and murder of teenager Milly Dowler - but the jury has been discharged before it could reach its decision on a second count of attempted kidnap.

The judge said Bellfield, who was already in prison for two other murders, will never be released.

Jurors had been deliberating whether Bellfield was responsible for trying to abduct 11-year-old Rachel Cowles the day before he snatched Milly in March 2002.

But they were discharged without reaching a verdict because the judge said there was too much publicity of the case which "should not have been placed before the jury".

The judge has said Bellfield will not be retried on the count of attempted kidnap.

Milly went missing as she was walking home from school after leaving Walton-on-Thames station in Surrey a day later.

The treatment of her parents during the trial has been described as "appalling" by the Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses.

Both Bob Dowler, 59, and his teacher wife Sally, 51, broke down while giving evidence when the defence probed into their lives and suggested their daughter may have run away because she was unhappy.

Louise Casey said of the Dowlers' experience in court: "We can not let this continue."

She said theirs was not an isolated case and warned that many people let crimes go unpunished because they do not feel able to report them or give evidence.

Focus has also been thrown on the original investigation by Surrey Police, which missed chances to catch Bellfield before he carried out other murders.

During the trial it emerged that police knocked on the door of Bellfield's flat in Collingwood Place, off Station Avenue, 11 times before they got an answer.

But by that time he had moved and officers did not try to trace him. Read More

1,200 people stranded at the Kamikochi highland resort of Nagano by mudslides, Japan - 24th June 2011

About 1,200 people including tourists and hotel employees stayed the night isolated in the Kamikochi highland resort of Nagano Prefecture in central Japan after massive mudslides shut off the only route to the area Thursday, prefectural officials said Friday.

Workers from the prefecture’s local office began a field inspection Friday morning to pave the way for removing mud which blocked two roads in the city of Matsumoto around 1 p.m. Thursday and has been left untouched due to risks of a second disaster, the officials said. Source

Japan’s suicide rates soar by up to 39 per cent in areas hit by the earthquake - 24th June 2011

The March 11 earthquake in Japan wreaked immediate devastation, but now there are concerns about the mental health of those that survived it, with suicide rates rapidly increasing in areas hit by the disaster.

One of the areas most affected by the 9.0-magnitude tremor was Miyagi Prefecture and there suicides are up by 39 per cent. Many survivors are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, with some having lost everything.

Japan already has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, with 31,690 killing themselves last year. Now officials fear that this year’s total will far exceed this.

One of the worst hit towns was Yamada. Public health official
Yuko Sasaki explained that one survivor there could not bare living without his family, who all perished.

She told The Japan Times: ‘One of them lost his wife and two children in the tsunami and could not bare the distress and guilt of surviving them.’

She added: ‘The situation has calmed down, but there is concern about the long-term psychological impact on residents, many of whom have lost everything.’

Her worries were echoed by a report produced by the Japanese government.

It said: ‘As well as grief, survivors also experience guilt because, although they tried to escape together, only some were saved. Then there is the shock of identifying bodies, for aid workers as well as victims, resulting in chronic depression or prolonged grief disorder.’

Some of the suicides recorded have been tied to the ongoing nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

One dairy farmer in Soma, which lies just 45km from Fukushima No.1 plant, hanged himself after a ban on milk from the area meant that he had to sell his herd of cows.

He left a note that read: ‘If only there wasn't a nuclear power plant. I have lost the energy to carry on working.’ Read More

David Adams with computer file of 22 dead baby pictures reached 'new level of depravity' Jailed for just 18 Months, Most likely out in 9 Months

A paedophile who kept pictures of dead babies on his computer was jailed for 18 months yesterday.

David Adams, 65, had the images from post-mortems in a file marked 'Dead Kids' within his huge cache of pornography.

Also on the computer at his home in Harlesden, North-West London, were thousands of images of young children being raped and tortured.

Prosecutor Peter Zinner told Southwark Crown Court that the sick images were a 'new benchmark of depravity'.

'The prosecution has never seen such appalling images for sexual gratification,' he said

More than 150,000 images were found in a police raid on Adams's home in 2009.

Of the stash, around 11,000 were judged by officers to be in the most serious category - including depicting rape and torture.

Twenty two images were taken from post-mortem examinations and showed the bodies of children up to two years old.

But the sentence given to means he could be released from jail in as little as nine months.

Children's campaigners say they will appeal against the sentence, saying it is far too low for such sickening crimes.

Shey Keenan of Phoenix Chief Associates told the Sun: 'This is in no way adequate for this monster.

'What an invasion of a child's body and a new low in wickedness.

We'll be appealing to the attorney general. He needs at least six years to even start addressing his behaviour.'

Adams admitted making indecent images of children.

The court also heard that the images of dead children were not overtly sexual - leading to some confusion among officers as to how to classify them. Read More

John Leonard Bennell, 27 Burglar 'knifed to death by homeowner' was on bail for another suspected burglary - 24th June 2011

A burglar stabbed to death after an attempted break-in was on police bail for another burglary, it has emerged.

Earlier this month, John Leonard Bennell, 27, from Hyde, Greater Manchester was arrested in Tamworth, by Staffordshire police on suspicion of burglary.

The development comes after Peter Flanagan, 59, was arrested on suspicion of murder yesterday following the incident in Ethel Avenue, Salford. He remains in police custody this morning.

Two other people were also arrested, Neil Flanagan, 27, son of Peter Flanagan, and a woman, 21, but both have been released without charge today.

Mr Bennell died from a stab wound to the chest following a 'disturbance' at the house.

Four men, wearing dark clothing and balaclavas, apparently tried to smash their way through the back door of the terraced house just before midnight on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old woman made a frantic 999 call for police to come to the property.

The victim was then carried away by accomplices as they fled, it is believed.

A second call alerted officers to the victim a short distance from the property and he was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police have made an appeal to the public to try to trace his three accomplices.

The incident comes after David Cameron promised stronger support for people protecting their property from burglars. Read More

11 missing, 50000 evacuated in Philippine floods‎ - 24th June 2011

Officials in the Philippines say 11 people are missing and nearly 50,000 residents have fled to evacuation centers after Tropical Storm Meari triggered flash floods and rough seas.

Among the missing are 10 fishermen on three boats lost at sea off eastern Catanduanes province. A 54-year-old woman was swept away by strong river current in eastern Albay province.

Administrator Benito Ramos of the Office of Civil Defense said Friday that heavy rains overnight left a wide swath of metropolitan Manila and the northern Philippines flooded. Some 5,000 of those forced to evacuate live near the capital, and thousands of commuters have been stranded.

Classes have been suspended, government offices shut, and dozens of flights canceled. Source

Swarm of bees found, possibly Africanized breed, State of Georgia - 23rd June 2011

Since last year southwest Georgian’s have become aware of the Africanized honey bee and how deadly it can be.

On Thursday, officials said they found a swarm of bees that could in fact be the hostile breed.

They said they found the bees huddled together on a curb at the corner of Madison and Flint Avenue.

“I was surprised to see that over there. You know they weren't even on a tree,” said Rosa Clinton.

Rosa Clinton said she watched as authorities examined the bees and took them away. She said they told her son the bees were harmless, but one of the officials who confiscated the insects said their behavior is similar to the Africanized honey bee.

“They’ll start a colony just about anywhere. It can be from a water meter box, to a flower pot that's turned upside down in the yard, to a bar-b-que gill,” said Lee County Assistant Fire Chief Paul Branch.

By looking at an Africanized honey bee and a European honey bee one wouldn't be able to tell there is a difference. Officials said their stings are pretty much the same but it's their temperament that makes a difference.

“The Africanized honey bee is known to go up to a quarter of a mile and they would attack in greater numbers than the European honey bee," said Paul Branch.

Paul Branch said it's the number of stings that makes the Africanized breed more deadly than their European relatives.

Although the bees are gone, folks in the neighborhood where they were found said they’re still concerned.

“All these trees and stuff around here and we've had problems with bees before,” said Rosa Clinton.

The bees will now be shipped off to Florida for testing to see if they are indeed Africanized honey bees.

Officials said if you come across a colony of bees, do not try and remove them. They said it's best to contact a local bee keeper for removal. Source

Neil Flanagan, 27, and 21-year-old woman Released as Father is Still held over Burglar Death - 24th June 2011

Two people arrested yesterday on suspicion of murdering a suspected burglar have been released without charge - but police are continuing to question a 59-year-old man.

Neil Flanagan, 27, and 21-year-old woman - believed to be his girlfriend - were arrested following the death of John Leonard Bennell in Salford just before midnight on Wednesday.

Peter Flanagan, who was also arrested on suspicion of murder and is reported to be the father of the released 27-year-old, remains in police custody.

Shortly before Mr Bennell, from Hyde, was found dead on Hospital Road, police were called to a nearby house - Ethel Avenue, Pendlebury - following reports of a burglary.

He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead and a post-mortem examination confirmed the cause of his death as being a stab wound to the chest.

Greater Manchester Police said four men wearing dark clothing and balaclavas tried to break into the house on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old woman made a frantic 999 call for police to come to the property, and the victim was stabbed at least once after a "disturbance" in the terraced house.

The victim was then apparently carried away by accomplices as they fled.

A second call alerted officers to the victim a short distance from the property and he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police have made an appeal to the public to try to trace his three accomplices.

A large area around the house in the Pendlebury area of Salford has been cordoned off by police tape as detectives continue their investigation.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan, Salford divisional commander for Greater Manchester Police, said: "Clearly this is a shocking incident and a man has lost his life. Read More

Arizona death prompts probe for European E.coli link - 24th June 2011

ATLANTA - US health officials are investigating whether the death of an Arizona resident could be linked to the recent E.coli outbreak in Europe.

If confirmed, the Arizona patient, who recently traveled to Germany, would be the first US citizen to die from the deadly bacteria that has killed 29 people in Europe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.

There have been five confirmed cases in the United States of patients who were sickened by the same strain of the bacteria that has swept Europe, the CDC said.

It is not yet known whether the Arizona patient was infected with E.coli, CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell told Reuters. The patient did, however, have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) — a type of kidney failure that has afflicted 823 people in Europe, she said.

The CDC is not saying whether the Arizona patient was a man or woman, Russell said.

“We’re working with the local health authorities to investigate” the Arizona case, she said.

The Robert Koch Institute announced June 10 that raw sprouts from a farm in Germany were the likely source of the outbreak, the CDC reported.

“Over the past few weeks, the number of cases (in Europe) associated with this outbreak has markedly decreased,” the agency said,. Source

Dead tourist found at Udon Thani hotel in Thailand had E. coli strain, tests show - 24th June 2011

Lab tests on samples from a foreigner found dead at an Udon Thani hotel have detected an E. coli strain, but confirmation is pending on whether it was a communicable type, Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Phaijit Warachit said yesterday.

Tests of the unnamed tourist's blood and urine detected a bacteria called Plesiomonas shigelloides, which is capable of causing diarrhoea. It is a type rarely found in humans, but more often in freshwater fish and clams. The cause of death will also be investigated through police forensic work, Phaijit said.

E. coli is a bacteria common in the intestinal ducts of human and cattle. It is helpful in digestion, but a strain spreading in Europe now is communicable and has caused deaths and sickness in many countries.

A policeman who inspected the tourist's room had diarrhoea and is now recovering.

His symptoms initially sparked fears of an outbreak since he had searched the tourist's body and touched his passport.

Phaijit said the unnamed officer was fine now and merely suffering from normal diarrhoea.

A total of 25 people, including hotel maids and staff and waiting staff at a restaurant where the tourist had a meal, have been put under surveillance after physical examination.

So far, none have shown symptoms of disease. Public health officials will monitor them until June 30.

The tourist, reportedly an elderly Western man, checked in at the unspecified hotel in Udon Thani some time before June 20, when he was found dead. Source

Four Russian sailors die of poisoning in Indonesia - 23rd June 2011

Four Russians serving on the Captain Kurbatsky ship died on Thursday of poisoning after drinking bootleg alcohol in Indonesian port city of Banjarmasin, Indonesian MetroTV channel reported.

According to the TV channel, another three Russians were hospitalized following a shipboard party when 30 crew members mixed bootleg Chinese alcohol with other drinks. One of the crew members died on the spot.

The police are investigating, the report said, but a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Jakarta said it had no information about the incident.

Authorities in South Kalimantan province are awaiting the results of the autopsies, MetroTV channel said.

In late May, a similar accident occurred in Turkey when four Russian tourists died and some 20 were hospitalized with severe alcohol poisoning in Bodrum after they return from a boat tour organized by a local company. Source

Chicken pox prompts quarantine in part of jail, Colorado - 23rd June 2011

A ward at the El Paso County jail has been placed under a modified quarantine after an inmate tested positive for chicken pox.

Sheriff's officials say the inmate was diagnosed Wednesday. Colorado Springs' KRDO-TV reports that nearly 90 inmates are housed in the ward. Movement in and out of the area will be limited.

The quarantine will be in place until July 13. It won't affect inmates who might be eligible for release and won't affect visitation.

The sheriff's office says no other inmates or staffers show any symptoms of the chicken pox virus. Source