Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Sunday, July 17, 2011

FEDS concerned about Yellowstone Earthquake Swarms -- Something The Coming Crisis has been warning about for... ever.

China floods cause landslide Gansu, at least 13 dead

U.S: 'Monsoon rain could flood Los Alamos with contaminants'

Hidden Bombs Hit Libyans and could haunt innocents for decades

The conflict in Libya between pro- and anti-Gaddafi forces will continue to take its toll on communities long after the war has ended as long as hidden bombs remain scattered across public areas.

Fifteen-year-old Misurata resident Mohammed lost most of his left hand and sustained shrapnel injuries to his abdomen in April after an unexploded ordnance found near his house detonated in his hands while he was playing.

"It was a rifle grenade that he brought home, and his brothers actually played with it for a couple of days, but on the third day when he picked it up, it exploded," photographer and communications manager with Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Sean Sutton told IPS.

"He was very lucky to survive but it was a deeply traumatic experience for him and his family," adds Sutton. "Children are of course the most vulnerable in this scenario, because they don’t know what’s safe and also they tend to play with these ordnances, which puts them at risk."

Cluster munitions or cluster bombs are air dropped or ground-launched explosive weapons that can eject up to 2,000 sub-munitions, or bomblets.

Unexploded ordnances (UXO) of cluster bomblets or sub-munitions are usually left behind after a strike and are designed to detonate at a later time, making their indiscriminate effects - of killing or maiming civilians - felt long after the attack has occurred. (more)

Fire rages in Jerusalem Forest, spreading toward oil refinery: Arson suspected

Firefighters are battling a large fire that broke out Sunday in the Jerusalem Forest and Mount Herzl area in the west of the city. The fire is approaching the Har Nof, Bayit Vagan neighborhoods and the Pi Glilot oil refinery.

Rescue teams have evacuated the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial nearby. One worker suffered from smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital.

The Fire Department spokesman said on Channel 10 that "large teams of firefighters have been deployed in the entire area, and curious onlookers should clear out. Firefighting planes are flying above us in an attempt to put out the fire."

On Saturday, a fire broke out near the Church of Capernaum on the northern shore of Lake Kinneret, causing significant damage to adjacent banana groves.

The fire began afternoon in a brush-field near Route 87. The blaze spread quickly to a parking lot near the church, with four cars catching fire and others damaged. The fire then moved on to a banana grove, causing serious destruction. (more)

Monsoon flooding in northeast India kills at least 1, afflicts 150,000 people

Heavy monsoon rains have led the mighty Brahmaputra River to overflow its banks and submerge scores of villages in India’s remote northeastern state of Assam.

District magistrate Anwaruddin Chowdhury says more than 150,000 people have been hit by floods in three districts of northern Assam.

Chowdhury said Sunday at least one person died after he was swept away by the strong current when he jumped in the river to try to rescue his cattle. (more)

Germany says buy-back of Greek bonds could save billions: O rly?

Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble told a German newspaper that Greece could cut 20 billion euros ($28 billion) of its massive debt burden by buying back its own bonds.

Eurozone countries must settle their debt crisis at an emergency summit this week to stop Greece from toppling into default and possibly dragging the currency bloc's bigger economies with it.

According to German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, Greece could slice 20 billion euros ($28 billion) of its massive debt burden by buying back its own bonds, current affairs weekly Der Spiegel reported.

The magazine, due out on Monday, July 18, said this was the scenario that Berlin thought most likely to win consensus in Europe.

According to the report, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) could lend the money to Greece so it could buy back bonds from private creditors at market prices.

Thanks to its AAA status with the ratings agency, the EFSF could easily raise the money required in the markets, and then lend it to Greece at favorable rates the debt-ridden country can no longer find on the open market.

Another German proposal would involve the exchange of existing Greek bonds for ones that mature over a longer period. (more)

Homes and roads flooded in Inverness and Perth, Scotland

Flooding has caused disruption across Scotland after almost 24 hours of heavy rain.

In the Highlands, homes in the Culloden, Balloch and Smithton areas near Inverness have been affected.

Police closed Murray Road and Murray Terrace in Smithton, and Barn Church Road, Culloden, and said the A96 Balloch junction was also "badly flooded".

There were also flash floods in Perth and Balerno in Edinburgh.

Northern Constabulary said other roads in the Highlands were affected by "significant surface water" and advised drivers to take alternative routes.

Highland Fire and Rescue service sent four pumps to the area.

Flooding in Glasgow also affected some train services. No high-level trains were operating to or from Queen Street and the service between Rutherglen and Partick was disrupted.

A weather warning remains in place, advising of further rain, heavy at times, in the Moray Firth basin and Highland area.

Tayside Fire and Rescue Service said it had received more than 40 calls in just over two hours as torrential rain hit the Perth area at about 1230 BST on Saturday.

In total, emergency agencies responded to about 500 calls for assistance, with work going on throughout the night. (more)

Gaddafi vows to remain in Libya as rebels advance: Your friendly-Sunday-Libya-never-ending-no-fly-zone-peaceful-mission-war update. Whew.

Libyan rebel forces on Sunday entered the oil town of Brega and fought street battles there with forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, a rebel spokesman said, in the biggest offensive in eastern Libya in weeks.

"The news coming from there is there is a street war going on between Gaddafi troops and the rebels, and 127 are wounded from our side," Abdulrahman Busm, an official in the rebel National Transitional Council, said by telephone.

Brega, about 750 km (465 miles) east of Tripoli, is the site of a strategic oil terminal. The attack could signal a new rebel push westwards from their main stronghold in the east of the country after weeks of stalemate.

NATO, which has been bombing Libya for nearly four months, said its warplanes had struck a military storage facility in Tajoura, an eastern suburb of Tripoli. It said the depot contained battle tanks and armoured personnel carriers.

Gaddafi is refusing to step down despite a five-month-old rebellion against his rule, a campaign of NATO air strikes, and the defections of members of his inner circle. (more)

Pregnant Filipina raped and robbed by three men in Saudi Arabia

Three Saudi men raped a Filipina who was in her late pregnancy before stealing her money and mobile phone and dumping her near a shopping mall, a newspaper in the Gulf Kingdom said on Sunday.

The unnamed woman was walking back home after having a medical check up at a hospital in the eastern town of Dammam when a car stopped by.

The driver told her he was working for the same company and offered her a lift to her house, Sabq Arabic language daily said.

“She believed him and got in…but she was surprised when she saw two other men in the back seat…she tried to get out but the driver sped away,” it said.

“They took her to a deserted place and raped her…they then stole her money and mobile phone before dumping her near a shopping mall.”

The paper quoted Philippine embassy officials as saying police have arrested the three and were waiting for the woman to recover from delivery to identify them. It said the woman delivered on Wednesday. (more)

Typhoon Ma-on heading northwest south of Japan

A very large, strong typhoon is over the Pacific Ocean south of Japan.

The Meteorological Agency says typhoon Ma-on was moving north-northwest off Japan's southernmost island of Okinotorishima at 20 kilometers per hour on Sunday afternoon.

The typhoon has a central atmospheric pressure of 935 hectopascals and winds of up to 180 kilometers per hour are blowing near its center. (source)

Thousands evacuated after stage collapses at Ottawa Bluesfest from "sudden tornado-force wind storms"

Thousands of people were evacuated from Ottawa’s Bluesfest on Sunday after the stage collapsed during a Cheap Trick concert.

Ottawa Fire Services confirmed Sunday evening that no one was trapped underneath the stage.

Although there were initial reports of injuries, the official Bluesfest statement released via Twitter just after 8 p.m. said, “There are no serious injuries on site.”

Several minutes later, Ottawa fire tweeted that the area underneath the crumbled stage had been searched a second time.

Concertgoer Pamela Cogan disputed the Bluesfest statement, saying a pole broke off the back of the stage and hit Cheap Trick’s driver.

“I held his head until I got him into the ambulance,” said Cogan, a respiratory therapist at the Ottawa Hospital who is also trained in first aid.

She said he suffered head and leg injuries and a cut on his stomach.

“I can’t understand how people on the stage weren’t hurt,” said Cogan, who said she was standing about three metres away when the storm hit.

The Sunday evening programming at the multi-day outdoor concert was cancelled after the violent storm.

Bluesfest videographer Alex Gebethner, 24, was on top of the tower in front of the main stage with a group of people, including Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, when the tornado-force winds hit around 7:20 p.m. Cheap Trick was about 20 minutes into their performance, but was able to get off the stage safely. (more)

Capocotta beach (near Rome) has eroded away to almost nothing by storms

The high cost and exclusive nature of Italy's best beaches cause regular disputes, but accelerating coastal erosion means some of them are disappearing altogether.

Italian actors, intellectuals and the titled rich setting off for the beach this summer have been shocked to find that one of their favourite spots has all but vanished, thanks to encroaching development and violent winter storms linked to climate change.

Traditionally, the cultural and political elites have soaked up the summer sun at Capocotta beach near Rome, which has a reputation for bohemian flamboyance and boasts Italy's only official nudist shoreline. But the golden dunes and beach huts have been swept away, leaving the literati fighting over a few inches of sand and how to rebuild.

"I realised something was happening three years ago when a beach kiosk from further down the sands floated past us in a storm," said Paolo Moscia, a lifeguard at the nudist section at Capocotta, which has drawn a mixture of gay bathers, ministers, musicians and hip film directors since Allen Ginsberg hung out there in the 1950s, and wild high-society drug parties gave birth to la dolce vita. (more)

New Zealand Beaches littered with dead birds after stormy weather

Beachgoers on the west coast of the lower North Island have been met with the sight of hundreds of dead birds, which perished after being blown ashore by stormy weather.

Peter McCallum, the manager of the Kapiti branch of the Wellington SPCA, said they were caring for about 250 exhausted broad-billed prions, the first influx of which came in on Monday.

Volunteers sent yesterday to Waikanae beach, north of Wellington, found hundreds of dead birds along the coast.

"They reported seeing numerous birds in the surf, in the surf line, and on the high tide mark. Literally hundreds of dead birds."

Mr McCallum had never seen anything like the number of dead birds in his 20 years in the area.

"I'm suspecting that there was a big feeding group in one particular area and they've just been caught up in this wind stream."

He said he expected to have more than 300 birds by today, and hoped about 70 per cent of those could be saved. (more)

Mount Lokon, Indonesia volcano erupts again creating more evacuees

he number of evacuated residents climbed to more than 5,200 Sunday as a volcano in a central Indonesian province erupted again.

Authorities worry that the latest eruption sent smoke so high into the sky that it could affect flights at nearby airports.

Mt. Lokon in the northern Sulawesi province first erupted Thursday night. Since then it has erupted several more times.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Indonesia is located on the "Ring of Fire," an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. (source)

'Ice Wars' heating up the Arctic

On a small, floating piece of ice in the Beaufort Sea, several hundred miles north of Alaska, a group of scientists are documenting what some dub an "Arctic meltdown."

According to climate scientists, the warming of the region is shrinking the polar ice cap at an alarming rate, reducing the permafrost layer and wreaking havoc on polar bears, arctic foxes and other indigenous wildlife in the region.

What is bad for the animals, though, has been good for commerce.

The recession of the sea ice and the reduction in permafrost -- combined with advances in technology -- have allowed access to oil, mineral and natural gas deposits that were previously trapped in the ice.

The abundance of these valuable resources and the opportunity to exploit them has created a gold rush-like scramble in the high north, with fierce competition to determine which countries have the right to access the riches of the Arctic.

This competition has brought in its wake a host of naval and military activities that the Arctic hasn't seen since the end of the Cold War. (more)

North Korea faces famine: 'Tell the world we are starving'

More than a decade after North Korea was struck by a famine that killed up to a million people, the country's poorest are once again facing starvation, reports Peter Foster in Yanji.

It was an ice-cold day in the North Korean border town of Musan when a small crowd gathered round what looked like a bundle of rags on the platform of the railway station.

"I went up to see what they were looking at," recalled 63-year-old Lee Sun Ok, a North Korean farmer who had come to the city to sell some small rice-cakes she had made to earn money. "And then I saw it was the body of an old man with a piece of cloth placed over his face.

"I asked if he had fallen down because he was sick, but the people shook their heads and said, 'No, he was just too hungry and died for lack of something to eat.'"

Mrs Lee's account is among shocking first hand testimony about the dramatically worsening living conditions in the secretive Stalinist state obtained by The Sunday Telegraph last week.

In almost 10 hours of interviews during clandestine meetings with The Sunday Telegraph just inside China, four North Koreans who recently risked their lives to flee across the tightly-guarded border from their homeland described the desperate plight of those left behind. (more)

US and EU financial collapse: We should have listened to Zhu Min years ago – don’t ignore him now

The “twin pillars” of the world economy continue to totter. Global investors, politicians and the financially-literate general public are wringing their hands about two previously “unthinkable” disasters – the US Congress “closing down” the government of the world’s largest economy and the break-up of the eurozone.

The “twin pillars” of the world economy continue to totter. Global investors, politicians and the financially-literate general public are wringing their hands about two previously “unthinkable” disasters – the US Congress “closing down” the government of the world’s largest economy and the break-up of the eurozone.

American lawmakers may do a deal this weekend, so managing to raise the US debt-ceiling prior to the August 2 deadline. Europe’s monetary union may, for now, be held together with a bucket-load of political fudge. If so, we would avoid both a US default and a “euroquake”, so averting another “Lehman moment”. I certainly hope we do.

The fact such catastrophic outcomes are even possible, though – that the mighty US could fail to pay its bills and Western Europe’s grand currency experiment could be washed away by a sovereign debt tsunami – means the world will never be the same. (more)

Germany says Greek debt hit 'unavoidable’

One of Angela Merkel’s key economic allies has opened the door to an agreement on Greece’s debt crisis by saying it is “unavoidable” that investors in the country’s ballooning debt will have to forfeit some repayments and interest.

Wolfgang Franz, the head of the German Chancellor’s council of economic advisers, said investors could swap Greek debt for discounted bonds issued and guaranteed by the European Financial Stability Facility.

It has also emerged that a Greek bond buyback financed by the European Financial Stability Facility could help reduce the country’s debt by €20bn (£17.5bn), Der Spiegel reported, citing calculations by the German finance ministry. The buyback is “one of a number of alternatives” that are being tested on behalf of finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, the magazine said

In an interview with the German magazine Focus, Mr Franz said banks and insurers would get AAA-rated securities in exchange for their Greek holdings and that the European Union would have to discuss making the same offer to Portugal and Ireland.

His comments come as European leaders are set to gather on Thursday for an emergency summit on Greece, as they try to resolve the worsening debt crisis threatening more eurozone countries.

European Council president Herman Van Rompuy has called the meeting in an attempt to prevent contagion from the debt crisis spreading to Italy and Spain. (more)

US debt talks threaten dollar's safe haven status

The US risks sending tremors through global financial markets and threaten safe haven nature of the dollar and US government bonds should politicians fail to make significant progress on critical trillion-dollar debt talks this week, experts have warned.

President Barack Obama and both the Democrats and Republicans in Congress are locked in fraught negotiations aimed at raising the country's $14.3trillion (£8.8trillion) debt ceiling, or the amount it can legally borrow.

Although the US Treasury has said it will no longer have the money to pay all its bills after August 2, many believe the talks need to deliver results over the next five days to then allow a further week to finalise details and get the agreement voted through Congress.

US government bond investors have so far remained sanguine, believing that American politicians would not risk the government's first default - other than a technical one caused by a procedural mistake in 1979 - in its history.

But as the deadline approaches without a deal, that's likely to change.

"There have been no signs of concern so far," said John Briggs, a bond analyst at Royal Bank of Scotland. "But as we get late into this week, if we don't see good signs then we'll see prices move." (more)

July Dollar Drive / Announcements - July 17, 2011 (New posts appear below until midnight)

Donate to The Coming Crisis

1. Hello again everyone. This summer's heat is getting insane! Despite all the bickering back and forth between different groups, are weather and climate going through massive changes after all? It sure feels like it! We hope you're all doing well.

2. We've added a new category called "Petitions and Protests". If you'd like to get your petition or protest out into the public and have it get more attention, be sure to send it in to us (along with the link to the petition page or protest page -- no files, please!). If you have no place to organize your protests, you are more than welcome to use our forum to do so. It's a lot safer than Facebook, and keeps you within The Coming Crisis community.

3. An update on the July Dollar Drive: so far, we haven't yet reached the 10% mark of this month's fundraiser, and just 13 very generous readers have donated. If you're looking to see where your money goes and what it's all about, just click on the giant picture above and it will take you to the page. We're asking for just a dollar from 5,000 of our readers, and every single bit of help goes a long way and is greatly appreciated.

That's it for this week, ladies and gentlemen. Stay cool, stay safe, and stay vigilant!

-- Matt & Lynsey

Karate Kid: Everything is Kung-Fu

"Do you know why you have no followers? Because you don't have the solution to the world's problems!"

*Huff, puff, kick-a-pebble*

"Pick up the jacket. Hey. Hey, you. PICK UP THE JACKET."

*Kung-fu follows*

"The solution lives in everything we do. How you fight is the solution. How you treat others is the solution. How you earn your paycheck is the solution. How you spend your paycheck is the solution. How you react to the beggar is the solution. How you respond to God is the solution. How you spend your time, effort and resources are the solutions. How you say yes or no is the solution. How you attach actions to your words is the solution. How you stop licking the 2nd amendment and start using it is the solution. The degree to which you are willing to help your fellow man is the solution. What you read, and what you do with what you read, is the solution. How you spend your life is the solution. How you spend others' lives is the solution. The thoughts you have in the next five minutes of your existence is the solution... Everything is the solution."

-- Matt

Your Share of Uncle Sam's Debt: $534,000

The gap between the money Washington takes into its coffers to pay its IOUs and what it actually owes on those IOUs is taking on Grand-Canyonesque proportions, with unfunded liabilities hovering around $62 trillion, according to a USA Today analysis.

Yes, trillions, and trillions. And that breaks down to a staggering $534,000 per U.S. household, USA Today's analysis finds. By the end of September, another $5,240 that has accumulated will push the Debt, Deficit, Congresshousehold share to nearly $540,000.

Last year, the government raised $1.5 trillion in new debt to cover budget deficits. Also last year, the government added $5.3 trillion to the amount it owes in new financial obligations.

Repeat such patterns year after year, and it's no wonder how these liabilities mount up. Most of those obligations are the result of programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

Add to the problem, more and more people are going to retire over the coming years and will expect the Medicare and Social Security services to which they feel entitled.

Furthermore, people are living longer, and medical costs are going up, which complicates the situation even more.

And on top of that, there are other public-sector IOUs out there that need to be considered along side of Social Security and Medicare, such as veteran and federal employee benefits.

In short, it's very hard to gauge the enormities of America's debts. (more)

Obama-Dalai talks gross interference in internal affairs: China

Hours after President Barack Obama had an audience with the Dalai Lama, China today summoned top US diplomat here to convey its "strong indignation" over the meeting, saying it amounted to "gross interference" in its internal affairs and damaged the bilateral ties. Obama's meeting with the Dalai "has grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, hurt the feelings of Chinese people and damaged the Sino-American relations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement, expressing "stern objection" over the US act. "We demand the US side to seriously consider China's stance, immediately adopt measures to wipe out the baneful impact, stop interfering in China's internal affairs and cease to connive and support anti-China separatist forces that seek 'Tibet independence'," he said. Ma said the issue regarding Tibet concerns exclusively to China's internal affairs. He charged that the Dalai Lama is in nature a political exile who has been engaging in secessionist activities in the name of religion.

"China objects firmly to any foreign leader's meeting with the Dalai Lama in any form and opposes to any country, or anyone, to interfere in China's internal affairs by using the Dalai Lama," he said. Earlier, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai summoned Robert S Wang, Charge d'Affaires of the US embassy here, to lodge solemn representations over Obama's meeting with Dalai Lama yesterday. Chinese Ambassador to the US, Zhang Yesui, also lodged representations with the American side in Washington, a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry here said. (source)

Australian mom probed for trying to sell kids... on eBay... and there were some bids!

An Australian woman is being investigated by police after she offered her children for sale on the Internet, local media reported on Sunday.

The woman placed an auction on eBay offering to sell two children, her son and daughter, both under the age of 10, to the highest bidder.

Several people placed bids on the auction, which has alarmed authorities.

Police has closed the auction and tracked the woman down, but she told detectives she was only joking.

Bill Muehlenberg from the Family Council of Victoria said it is no laughing matter.

"Plenty of children, certainly around this age, are struggling with issues of identity and self-worth and so on," he was quoted by the ABC News on Sunday.

"To know that your own parent has put you up on offer like a used CD is a bit of a concern and certainly could have some negative impacts on the children in question." (more)

GOP Senators Get Cold Feet Over Standoff: ‘Maybe The Debt Ceiling Was The Wrong Place To Pick A Fight’

As Republican attempts to hold the country hostage over raising the debt ceiling look increasingly likely to end in disaster, some GOP senators appear to be getting cold feet. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bob Corker (R-TN) have both indicated they are rethinking the wisdom of tying a debt ceiling increase to a drastic deficit reduction package now that the country is on the brink of economic disaster:

Maybe the debt ceiling was the wrong place to pick a fight, as it related to trying to get our country’s house in order,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Thursday. “Maybe that was the wrong place to do it.”

Speaking from the Senate floor, Corker said Republicans demanded linking the two issues because the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in more than 800 days. “I credit both sides for that,” he said. But now, the inability of the White House and Congress to agree to a spending deal — and ensure a timely debt ceiling increase — is “helping our great nation go into decline.” (more)

Jay Lacklen: Courting economic disaster

The fast approaching Congressional Debt Ceiling deadline is playing out as a slow motion train wreck, one that has perhaps a fair chance of becoming a full blown economic train wreck.

While there is blame on both political parties, I am again aghast at the current methods of the Republican Party I spent 30 years within.

Using the debt ceiling increase as a political hostage is profoundly irresponsible. While Republicans control only one House of Congress, they demand they be able to completely dictate the conditions of the debate. Ordinarily you need a voting majority to do this. By holding this debt vote hostage, they seek to extort their desires instead of winning them in a vote. One Republican Senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, has threatened to filibuster any vote to raise the ceiling so it will fail.

Republican rationales for this extraordinary and egregious maneuver fall flat. They characterize their actions as taking the credit card away from an overspending Federal government. Actually, raising the debt ceiling will pay for past spending, not cut off future spending.

And what produced this recent, outsized, debt that the debt ceiling increase will pay for, you ask? Why, two wars and an expensive drug bill, all funded off-budget, coupled with three federal tax cuts, all brought to us by the previous, Republican, administration. Yet, somehow the Republicans want us to believe the current administration ran up all these bills and must be corralled. (more)

Australia: Dog bites shark... and owners kill protected Dugong for dinner

Sharks are the undisputed kings of the shallows, voracious predators who, with one flash of a fin, can send crowds of paddlers fleeing for the safety of the shore.

But one plucky pooch showed a group of these fierce fish just how handy man's best friend can be when he rounds them up like a flock of timid lambs.

These incredible pictures show the moment a dog rounds on a group of sharks, and even dives under the water and gives one a nip. (more)

Obama: "I'll be 50 in a week" -- but that magical birth certificate says his birthday is in 3 weeks, so what's the deal?

Actually…he’ll be turning 50 in three weeks. His birthday is August 4, two days after the debt ceiling deadline. Senior moment?

He messed up Malia’s birthday, too, calling her 13 when she was at the time 12 and still days away from becoming a teenager. (source)

Marine life facing mass extinction, report says

Marine life is under severe threat from global warming, pollution and habitat loss, with a high risk of "major extinctions" according to a panel of experts.

These are the conclusions of a distinguished group of marine scientists who met at Oxford University, England, in April to discuss the impact of human activity on the world's oceans.

The meeting, led by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), examined the combined effects of pollution, acidification, ocean warming, over-fishing and depleting levels of oxygen in the water.

The panel found that oceanic conditions are similar to those of "previous major extinctions of species in Earth's history," and that we face losing marine species and entire marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs, within a single generation. (more)

Ocean carbon sinks feeling the heat -- and absorbing less CO2 than they should be

The ability of oceans to soak up atmospheric carbon dioxide is being hampered by climate change, according to a new scientific study.

A fresh analysis of existing observational data taken from locations across the North Atlantic Ocean recorded over a period of almost three decades (1981-2009) has revealed that global warming is having a negative impact on one of nature's most important carbon sinks.

"Warming in the past four to five years has started to reduce the amount of carbon that large areas of the (North Atlantic) Ocean is picking up," said Galen McKinley, lead author and assistant professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration global ocean temperatures have risen by 0.74 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century. (more)

Vet performs mouth-to-beak CPR on injured eagle

A Bend, Ore., veterinarian has performed life-saving CPR on an injured bald eagle that was under anesthesia during physical therapy.

KTVZ-TV reports Jeff Cooney performed the therapy, during which the bald eagle nicknamed Patriot stopped breathing. Cooney's "mouth to beak" resuscitation got the eagle breathing again.

The injured eagle was found by two women near Crane Prairie Reservoir in June. The eagle had suffered, among other injuries, a dislocated shoulder and paralyzed right leg.

Cooney says it's uncertain whether he will be able to return the bird to the wild. If the bird's foot doesn't improve in the next three weeks, Cooney says he could be forced to euthanize him. (source)

Dawn probe orbits asteroid Vesta

The Dawn probe has successfully entered orbit around the asteroid Vesta.

Nasa's robotic satellite sent data early on Sunday confirming it was circling the 530km-wide body.

The probe has taken four years to get to Vesta and will spend the next year studying the huge rock before moving on to the "dwarf planet" Ceres.

Asteroid Vesta looks like a punctured football, the result of a colossal collision sometime in its past that knocked off its south polar region.

"Today, we celebrate an incredible exploration milestone as a spacecraft enters orbit around an object in the main asteroid belt for the first time," Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.

"Dawn's study of the asteroid Vesta marks a major scientific accomplishment and also points the way to the future destinations where people will travel in the coming years. President Obama has directed Nasa to send astronauts to an asteroid by 2025, and Dawn is gathering crucial data that will inform that mission."

Vesta was discovered in 1807, the fourth asteroid to be identified in the great belt of rocky debris orbiting between Mars and Jupiter.

At the time, its great scale meant it was designated as another planet but it later lost this status as researchers learnt more about the diversity of objects in the Solar System. (more)

IMF says that huge Greek debt 'on knife edge'

Greece's enormous debts are sustainable but on a "knife's edge," according to the International Monetary Fund.

A 110bn-euro (£96bn) rescue package for Greece is being implemented but investors still fear a default.

Given the situation, Greece must stick to its reform programme, IMF Athens mission chief Poul Thomsen said.

His comments came as UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he was "incredibly worried" about the Greek debt crisis.

Greece under Prime Minister George Papandreou has passed several rounds of austerity measures, including tax increases, pay cuts, privatisations and public sector redundancies, to get aid from the IMF and the European Union.

Poul Thomsen, the IMF's mission chief to Athens, said that Greece must now implement these reforms.

"Policies must be applied as planned, or the sustainability of the debt will be placed in doubt," he told Greek newspaper Ethnos.

"The Greek debt is sustainable but it is, as we say, on a knife's edge." (more)

False Color Images of Saturn's Massive Lightning Storm: Is solar system underoing change?

A raging storm on Saturn, larger and stronger than any previously observed by NASA's two Voyager flybys or the currently operating Cassini orbiter, has now been captured in new false-color images. A mosaic of 84 pictures was taken by the latter probe's narrow-angle camera over a period of about five hours on February 26.

False, or representative, color helps scientists visualize data in wavelengths they cannot see. The colors used for Saturn's storm clouds represent different altitudes: blue indicates the highest, yellow and white are those at high altitudes, green shows intermediate layers, red and brown low altitude, and deep blue reveals a thin haze with no clouds below.

Lightning is generated at the base of the clouds. The storm generated more than 10 lightning flashes per second at its most intense, according to NASA. The still-active storm was first detected in early December and covers an area eight times the surface area of Earth. (more)

NATO forces struggle to find an endgame in Libya

As rebel forces carried their wounded back from a failed assault on the oil town of Brega amid rocket explosions and NATO helicopter fire here in eastern Libya on Friday, a more quiet battle, one with potentially larger consequences, was taking place much farther down the Mediterranean coast in the closed meeting rooms of Istanbul.

There, ministers from 30 countries, including Canada, met to offer official recognition and support to the rebel forces fighting dictator Moammar Gadhafi, but also to confront, in private, the far more serious and divisive problem that has emerged from the rebel heartland here in eastern Libya.

Five months after a protest movement to oust Colonel Gadhafi in February turned into an all-out war with military support from NATO, nobody has a clear idea how the war might be brought to an end – and few nations place much trust in the Libyan actors who are promising to end it. (more)

Breaking: U.S. defense secrets stolen in cyber attacks -- including war plans

U.N. report describes widespread violence in Sudan

A United Nations report details new allegations of violence, including perhaps mass graves, in the volatile border state of Southern Kordofan in Sudan.

Reported incidents include aerial attacks that killed civilians, attacks on churches, arbitrary arrests, abductions and house-to-house searches, said the report.

"The allegations contained in the report are extremely grave," said Philippe Bolopion of Human Rights Watch. "This report provides only a small window on what's happening in Southern Kordofan."

Reliable information about what is going on in the region is hard to come by. Due to the expiration of the mandate for the U.N. mission in Sudan, U.N. peacekeeping officials have no access to the affected areas.

"The Sudanese government is essentially kicking the U.N. out," Bolopion said. "This should raise a red flag."

Southern Kordofan, which remains a territory of the Sudanese government in the north, borders South Sudan. The report suggests that the Sudanese government has carried out extensive human rights violations in the territory that may qualify as war crimes. (more)

Japan: Fukushima Gas Leak from # 3 Reactor & Update

Surat: 4 rescued from flash floods

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN ITALY 17th July 2011

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck Northern Italy at 18:30:28 UTC Sunday 17th July 2011 at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles)
The epicenter was 54 km (34 miles) from Bologna, Italy

No reports of Damage or Injuries as yet.

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 17th July 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck New Britain Region, Papua New Guinea at 17:34:43 UTC Sunday 17th July 2011 at a depth of 35 km (21.7 miles)
The epicenter was 216 km ( 134 miles) ESE of Kimbe, New Britain, Papua New Guinea
No reports of Damage or Injuries as yet.
No Tsunami Alert.

Rapture predictor Harold Camping and President Barack Obama have much in common: Both preach a date-certain apocalypse - 17th July 2011

Camping, the Christian radio host, pinpointed the end of the world for last May 21. It didn't happen. Obama suggests a default of the federal government for Aug. 2, triggering a catastrophe that will collapse the financial markets, destroy individual wealth and leave seniors without their Social Security checks. That won't happen, either.

Failure to reach a deal on the debt ceiling will put the federal government in a world of hurt — it will lose its ability to borrow to pay for the 45 percent of federal government not covered by revenue.

But some money will keep coming in. And as the Bipartisan Policy Center notes, it's enough to avoid a government default and spare seniors from empty mailboxes.

From Aug. 3-31, according to the center's analysis, the government will collect $172.4 billion, and is budgeted to spend $306.7 billion. So choices will have to be made.

To avoid default, the first choice the Obama administration and Congress will absolutely make is to keep paying interest on the federal debt. That will consume $29 billion of the ongoing revenue.

After that, assume they'll preserve Social Security payments, taking another $49.2 billion, and Medicare/Medicaid, $50 billion.

That leaves $44.2 billion.

Washington could choose to keep paying unemployment benefits ($12.8 billion), keep paying its soldiers ($2.9 billion) and keep up the salaries of the one-third of the federal work force deemed essential ($4.5 billion) and still have about $24 billion left for any other programs it considers vital.

Of course, if the president and his team don't stop demagoguing about the debt ceiling, there well could be a financial panic that wrecks the economy, even without a default. Read More

Amy Ahonen missing after 'scary' man contacted her about her spare room on Craigslist - 17th July 2011

The family of a missing Colorado woman has asked investigators to find a man who contacted her through an ad she posted on Craigslist because they believe he could be connected to her disappearance.

Amy Ahonen was so scared by a man who replied to her ad looking for a roommate in Denver she immediately took it down, her sister said.

The 38-year-old was last seen at her Denver home on July 8.

Her car was found unlocked, with her belongings inside, on U.S. 6 between Golden and Interstate 70.

Amy Ahonen’s sister, Andrea Ahonen, said the man 'scared Amy' so much that she immediately took the ad down.

She also believes she did not mean to leave her car for long.

She said: 'It indicates to me she only meant to be away from that car for five minutes or less. We're from Detroit. We lock our doors.' Read More

Brazil to build nuclear submarines which will dramatically alter balance of power in South America - 17th July 2011

The Brazilian government has started work on a submarine programme which will include the construction of South America's first nuclear subs.

The move will boost Brazil's claim to be the strongest force in the region, and strengthen the country's military assertiveness.

This new-found power may harm Britain in the event of another flare-up over the Falklands, according to U.S. news agency Global Post, as Brazil thinks the islands should belong to Argentina.

The defence plan was announced in 2008, and will eventually involve the construction of five new submarines. Each will cost around $565 million.

The first, being built in collaboration with a French contractor, is due to come into service in 2016.

By the time the programme is complete, Brazil will have four extra conventional submarines as well as a nuclear-powered model. It would be only the seventh country in the world to build a nuclear sub. Read More

Olakunle Teniola Couldn't Swim: Why did he Jump into the water? and why did no one help him?

The body of a British student has been recovered from a lake in the Amazon rainforest.

Olakunle Teniola, 20, is believed to have jumped into the Acajatuba lake in Brazil - even though he did not know how to swim.

He went missing on Tuesday while working as a missionary near the city of Manaus.

His tutor at Coventry University, where he was studying for a BA in Youth Work, said he was 'popular with the students and staff.'

Kunle, as he was known to friends, was 'a very committed Christian', according to a university spokesman.

'His faith was everything to him,' a close friend added.

Fellow-student Benson Akinsola said that Kunle was very keen to spend his summer as a missionary. He said: 'When he heard about the charity's work, there was no doubt he was going to do it.'

At the time of his death, Kunle was travelling on a boat across the lake to a nearby village. Leaders of the trip invited those on board to have a swim in the middle of the lake.

Kunle jumped in with a friend, but only the friend emerged. A search operation involving the navy, local villagers and fishermen was quickly mounted, and his body was found a few days later.

Friends expressed surprise at Kunle's decision to jump in the lake. Mr Akinsola said, 'There's no way he would be going into the water, he is scared of the water.' Read More

Note: None of this sounds right, Olakunle Teniola was not alone on the boat, why would anyone with a fear of water jump into the middle of a lake?

Olakunle Teniola R.I.P.

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE - 17th July 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Central Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 16:37:24 UTC Sunday 17th July 2011 at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles)
The epicenter was 935 km (580 miles) ENE of Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco, Brazil

No reports of Damage or Injuries as yet.
No Tsunami Alert.

Chinese contestants cover themselves in insects for ‘bee bearding’ competition - 17th July 2011

Chinese farmer Wang Dalin will certainly 'bee' happy after winning this incredible competition.

The 42-year-old beekeeper was competing in a daring 'bee bearding' contest in Shaoyang, Hunan Province of China, against 20-year-old farmer Lv Kongjiang.

The pair competed by standing on a scale wearing only a pair of shorts.

They then used queen bees to attract other bees onto their bodies.

Mr Dalin was crowned the winner after attracting 26.86kg of bees onto his body in 60 minutes, according to local newspaper reports.

Mr Kongjiang managed to attract a slightly lower 22.9 kg.

The event attracted a large crowd of fascinated onlookers.

However, unlike the competitors, many of them took the more sensible option of wearing protective clothing. Source

Fukushima residents plea for international help after Japanese government abandons them (please share)

D-Fox -- Please contact us if you can read this.

To D-fox: if you're reading this, please contact us at It's important -- we believe.

Beautiful Crop Circle at Barbury Castle, UK 2nd July 2011

Spiral Crop Circles 13th July 2011 at Chaddenwick Hill and Windmill Hill, Wiltshire, UK

"Strange object" filmed in Asian skies: UFO? Soyuz launch? Hillary Clinton?

Tests for dozens as Hendra cases climb

THERE appear to be two more Hendra outbreaks in Queensland, including one near Brisbane's horse racing precinct.

Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed a horse at Hervey Bay, about 300 kilometres north of Brisbane, tested positive for the virus.

A horse at a Boondall hobby farm in northern Brisbane is also believed to have contracted the virus, which has influenza-like symptoms that can lead rapidly to death.
Advertisement: Story continues below

The property, not far from the city's Doomben and Ascot racing tracks, has been placed in quarantine.

The horse was put down on Friday and tested positive.

Biosecurity Queensland's chief vet, Rick Symons, said yesterday a second test would be needed to confirm the case.

''It is likely that it does have the Hendra virus,'' he said.

''But results are not always certain, so there'll be a second test,'' he said.

The Hervey Bay property was quarantined after a horse was put down on Thursday and test results yesterday confirmed it had the virus.

A second horse at the property was being tested to ascertain if it, too, had the virus. (more)

Robert James Barrow: One million child abuse images found on his computer

Up to one million indecent images of children - thought to be the largest ever seizure from one individual - were found at a London address, police said.

Some of the images discovered at the Plaistow home of Robert James Barrow, 57, were level five, the most serious.

One detective said his activities were "on an industrial scale".

At Southwark Crown Court on Friday Barrow admitted offences of making indecent images of children. He will be sentenced in September.

Det Insp Noel McHugh said: "This is the largest seizure of indecent images of children that the Met's Paedophile Unit has recovered from one individual."

He added: "This is not a victimless crime as each indecent image of a child possessed or distributed represents a child that has been abused in order that the image can exist."

Barrow is thought to have amassed the archive over a period of 15 years and to have shared them with others.

He pleaded guilty to offences under Section One of the Protection of Children Act 1978 which relate to the possession and making of indecent images. (more)

China sinking: Death toll rises to 13 in NW China ,trap hundreds/ Floods, landslides affect 1.57 million

Continuous downpours and mudslides have wreaked havoc in Southwest China's Sichuan province. Over 600 people have been relocated and about 70 homes have been destroyed.

Sichuan's Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze has been lashed by heavy rains since Tuesday. Floods and mudslides have affected six counties in Garze. In Yajiang County, about 15-hundred liquid gas cylinders, were washed into the Nyakchu River Tuesday night.

Rescue workers and villagers living downstream of the river have been mobilized to retrieve them. Flood damage also forced the closure of the National Highway 318. Repair work on the damaged transport link has begun.

With large machines and vehicles unable to enter the damaged area, repair work has largely fallen on laborers, who are trying to clear debris, so traffic to Yajiang County can resume. (more)

Heavy casualties reported in Libya fighting


Kansai Electric to shut down reactor: Japan's energy situation gets even worse

Kansai Electric Power Company says it will temporarily shut down a reactor at its nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture due to trouble in an emergency cooling system. The reactor is one of 19 currently operating in Japan.

Kansai Electric said pressure dropped inside a tank in a system that injects water into a reactor in the event of an emergency at around 11PM on Friday at the Ohi nuclear plant.

This made it impossible to inject water properly into the No.1 reactor.

The company said it will manually shut down the reactor to look into the cause of the problem, although pressure returned to normal in about one hour.

The utility plans to suspend the reactor's operation at around 9 PM on Saturday.

It says the trouble caused no leak of radioactive substances to the outside.

Kansai Electric has 11 nuclear reactors, of which 4 are now offline due to regular inspections. 2 more reactors will start undergoing regular inspections next week.

The firm says stoppage of the No.1 reactor would make this summer's limited power situation even tighter. (more)

Pakistan: Bus massacre kills all 10 on board

Gunmen ambushed a bus carrying Sunni muslims and killed all 10 passengers in a troubled north western tribal region of Pakistan, a government official said.

Seven people were killed on the spot and three died at a hospital in the Kurram region, said Mohammed Ali, a local government official.

At the time of the ambush, the bus was travelling in an area dominated by minority Shia Muslims, Mr Ali said. He said it was unclear who targeted the bus and officers were still investigating.

Kurram has witnessed attacks on Sunni and Shia muslims in recent years.

The Pakistan military has also launched offensives against local Taliban militants there, but violence has continued. (source)

Another Gold Boom in Sight: Chinese Inflation, Dollar Sell-off and Sovereign Debt Crisis Set Perfect Stage

The setting is perfect for another gold boom cycle to kick in, perhaps pushing the yellow metal into a super cycle. There are several factors aiding gold's further push into higher price records, greater investment worth and long-term reign as a de facto currency.

There are all sorts of classic factors supporting gold all the way, like the demand from China and India bursting at seams, continued worries for the US dollar and the worrisome prospect of sovereign default in some European countries.

There are also more potent short to medium-term factors positively influencing gold boom. Let's have a look:

First, the US debt talks are stagnating and until the issue is resolved there will be residual strength for gold as a safe haven investment.
Some analysts say if the Democrats and the Republicans reach an agreement on the debt ceiling talks, it may have a negative impact on gold prices. However, it is also pointed out that there will still be strong buy-back interest in the yellow metal as long-term gold investors will not waste an opportunity to consolidate their positions.

On the other hand, if the ceiling is not raised, it will result in the US debt downgrade. And that will be a perfect recipe for a gold boom, as the yellow metal will consolidate its position as the favored safe haven.

It is safe to assume that the Congress will indeed eventually raise the debt ceiling, as not doing so will lead to an unprecedented situation of the US Treasury running out of money. If the ceiling has been raised several times in the past, why not again? The end result is a winner deal for gold.

When the debt ceiling is raised, it will lead to more inflation, which will make gold even more attractive. (more)

Cholera epidemic has killed 76 in Dominican Republic thus far

Santo Domingo.– Cholera has killed a total of 76 people in the Dominican Republic since November with the five fatalities reported over the past week, the Public Health Ministry confirmed Friday.

According to official figures released by the ministry, the number of suspected cholera cases has risen to 10,760 after 1,014 new cases were registered in the past week.

Most new cases were reported in the southern province of Elias Piña and on the outskirts of Santo Domingo. The ministry said health authorities were also checking 182 deaths to decide whether or not they were caused by the epidemic. (source)

Stocks Stymied Without a US Debt Deal

U.S. stocks will be hard pressed to turn the tide of recent selling next week as political jousting over raising the United States' debt ceiling intensifies.

The benchmark S&P 500 index this week recorded its worst weekly loss in five weeks.

Investors, frustrated by the lack of progress in the debate between the Democrat-controlled White House and Senate and the Republican-majority House, could move into what are perceived as safer assets, such as cash.

While the wrangling over the debt ceiling takes center stage, earnings season will continue to heat up after a solid first week. According to Thomson Reuters data, 39 companies in the benchmark S&P 500 index [.SPX 1316.14 7.27 (+0.56%)] have posted results, with 74 percent reporting earnings that topped Wall Street estimates.

Companies in the index are forecast to show a 6.5 percent rise in profits over the second quarter of 2010 when all the reports are in.

For this week, the S&P 500 ended down 2.1 percent; the Dow fell 1.4 percent and the Nasdaq declined 2.5 percent.

The overhang from the debt ceiling [cnbc explains] issue could diminish the focus on earnings. (more)

Gun control punishes good citizens, not the wrongdoers

Man Arrested and Fined for Getting Too Close Filming Fort Calhoun

In the video below, a mean admits to being finned and arrested for getting too close to the Ft, Calhoun Nuclear Plant. OPPD has gone to extreme lengths to have the public kept at a distance from the facility.

The beginning of the video is on Fukushima updates, the last part of the video is where it becomes interesting.. Ft Calhoun updates from a LIVE human being! Funny we should need to put it that way, but then the mainstream media is what it is... not truthful. (watch video here)

"Unless it's reformed, Europe's project is doomed"

Europe is in a dire situation. If it doesn't address the underlying causes of the Greek crisis quickly, Europe's political project will face the same fate as communism and the US Confederacy, writes James K. Galbraith.

James K. Galbraith holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government-Business Relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin. His next book, Inequality and Instability, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

The collapse of the Soviet empire in 1989 and of the USSR in 1991 have become walled off in Western minds as events from an alien time and place.

But they should remind us that the architecture of human governments is not eternal. Communism was once a powerful threat to its capitalist rivals. But when circumstances change, the bright hopes of an age are prone to crash in disillusion.

Europe was a bright political project at the formation of the European Community and again when it expanded at the end of the Cold War. Its purpose was not so much power as peace: truly a noble vision.

But that noble project was built on an end-of-history economics, on frozen-in-time free-market notions and on dogmatic monetarism linked to arbitrary criteria for deficits and public debt.

In the wake of a global financial meltdown, these no longer serve. Unless they are abandoned soon, they will doom Europe as surely as communism doomed the empire of the East. (read more)

Reader contributed.