Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Monday, August 22, 2011

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 22nd August 2011

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck near Fox Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska at a depth of 57.4 km ( 35.7 miles), the quake hit at 22:24:53 UTC Monday 22nd August 2011.
The epicenter was 57 km (35.7 miles) ENE of Yunaska Island, Alaska
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time.

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake FIJI REGION - 22nd August 2011

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck near the Fiji Region at a depth of 629.6 km ( 391.2 miles), the quake hit at 22:18:50 UTC Monday 22nd August 2011.
The epicenter was 280 km (173 miles) NNE of Ndoi Island, Fiji
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time.

Not so fast: Saif al-Islam Gadhafi is free! What other lies are the "rebels" spreading?

As Libyan rebels fought to consolidate their hold on Tripoli on Monday and early Tuesday, reports emerged that two sons of Libya's longtime leader were free despite earlier reports that rebels had captured them.

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, appeared to reporters in a convoy of armored Land Cruisers in Tripoli on Tuesday morning, more than a day after rebels claimed they had captured him. Hours earlier, Libya's ambassador to the United States said that one of Moammar Gadhafi's other sons, Mohammed Gadhafi, had escaped.

Fighting continued Monday between rebels and forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli, the latest installment of battles in a months-long uprising in Libya. Here are the latest developments:

[Updated at 10:20 p.m. ET, 4:20 a.m. Tuesday in Libya] CNN's Matthew Chance talks about his encounter with Saif al-Islam Gadhafi a few hours ago (above). more

South Sudan clashes kill 600, with 26,000 cattle "stolen": U.N. calls for talks

The U.N. on Monday called for reconciliation in the newly-established Republic of South Sudan after fighting reportedly left at least 600 dead and at least 26,000 cattle stolen.

The Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General, Hilde F. Johnson urged restraint Monday after fighting between the Murle and Lou Nuer communities in Jonglei State, killed at least 600 and left more than 750 wounded.

Clashes broke out early Thursday morning and lasted through the day, South Sudan authorities reported. The U.N. on Friday dispatched an assessment and verification team to two of the conflict areas.

The team found 28 casualties at one site and 30 at another along with a number of huts burned to the ground, said Aleem Siddique, spokesman for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

The violence occurred when members of the Murle tribe attacked villages of the Lou Nuer, Siddique said. more

2 rockets land in Israel despite truce

A tentative cease-fire between the different militant factions in Gaza and Israel remained in place Monday, though two rockets fired from Gaza exploded in southern Israel on Monday evening.

No casualties were reported after the rockets exploded south of the city of Ashkelon, an Israeli police spokesman said.

The rocket fire happened despite a truce between various militant factions in Gaza and Israel.

A Hamas official said Sunday that the different factions had agreed to join a truce which, according to them, went into effect on Sunday at 9 p.m. local time. The Popular Resistance Committee, which refused to join the cease-fire Sunday, said in a news conference on Monday that "they have agreed to a temporary cease-fire for the sake of our people".

Since 9 p.m. hours on Sunday around 14 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, the last one landing at 8 a.m., according to the Israel Defense Forces. As of 8 a.m. local time the Israeli military reports no rockets. more

Suspected drone strike kills 4 in northwest Pakistan, officials say

A suspected U.S. drone strike killed four suspected militants in northwestern Pakistan on Monday night, Pakistani intelligence officials told CNN.

The unmanned Predator drone fired two missiles at a vehicle driving on a main road in North Waziristan, one of seven districts in Pakistan's mostly ungoverned tribal region along the Afghan border, the two officials said. The officials asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

North Waziristan is the home base of the Pakistani Taliban and described by Washington as a safe haven for militant groups fueling the insurgency across the border in Afghanistan.

The attack occurred roughly an hour after locals ended their daily fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Based on a count by CNN's Islamabad bureau, Monday's drone strike was the 48th this year, compared to 111 last year. source

US Social Security disability on verge of insolvency

Laid-off workers and aging baby boomers are flooding Social Security's disability program with benefit claims, pushing the financially strapped system toward the brink of insolvency.

Applications are up nearly 50 percent over a decade ago as people with disabilities lose their jobs and can't find new ones in an economy that has shed nearly 7 million jobs.

The stampede for benefits is adding to a growing backlog of applicants — many wait two years or more before their cases are resolved — and worsening the financial problems of a program that's been running in the red for years.

New congressional estimates say the trust fund that supports Social Security disability will run out of money by 2017, leaving the program unable to pay full benefits, unless Congress acts. About two decades later, Social Security's much larger retirement fund is projected to run dry, too, leaving it unable to pay full benefits as well.

Much of the focus in Washington has been on fixing Social Security's retirement system. Proposals range from raising the retirement age to means-testing benefits for wealthy retirees. But the disability system is in much worse shape and its problems defy easy solutions. more

George Will Smacks Down Keynesian Call for ‘Hoover Dam Moment’

US Air Force raids local gun store in Las Vegas (Isn't that the police's job?)

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV)- We're learning more on why the U.S. Air Force raided a local gun store Friday. They say it wasn't guns they were looking for.

An official from the Air Force is speaking to Action News about that raid. New information clarifies that this may have been an inside job, and the penalties could turn out to be very severe.

It was an afternoon that rocked businesses near Dean Martin and Flamingo. Local and federal law enforcement agencies swarmed in and served search warrants on Citadel Gun and Safe.

New information gives us an insight on the massive raid that up until now, authorities were tight lipped about. Turns out it was the Air Force Office of Special Investigations that led the raid.

"They went in there and did in fact find stolen air force military property that was stolen from Nellis Air Force Base," says Linda Card with the Air Force OSI. more

Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion From Federal Reserve

Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits.

By 2008, the housing market’s collapse forced those companies to take more than six times as much, $669 billion, in emergency loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The loans dwarfed the $160 billion in public bailouts the top 10 got from the U.S. Treasury, yet until now the full amounts have remained secret.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley (MS), got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup took $99.5 billion and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress.

“These are all whopping numbers,” said Robert Litan, a former Justice Department official who in the 1990s served on a commission probing the causes of the savings and loan crisis. “You’re talking about the aristocracy of American finance going down the tubes without the federal money.” more

Greeks act to avert bank failure

Greece’s four largest banks agreed to take up a €50m convertible bond to help recapitalise Proton Bank, a small lender, the central bank announced this weekend, in what is being seen as an attempt to avert a run on the country’s fragile banking system.

The deal came ahead of an expected announcement this week that several Athens lenders plan to seek emergency liquidity assistance from the Greek central bank, senior bankers said.

Greek banks no longer have sufficient high-quality collateral to seek funding from the European Central Bank after recent sovereign downgrades. But they are eligible for liquidity allocated by the Bank of Greece in agreement with the Frankfurt-based ECB and are expected to seek it this week.

All four big lenders – National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, EFG Eurobank and Piraeus Bank – face a looming liquidity crunch as about €10bn of government deposits are set to be withdrawn from local banks to pay off debt maturing in the next few weeks. more

GE uranium enrichment plans raise fears: report

US conglomerate General Electric is seeking permission to build a $1 billion plant for uranium enrichment by laser, a process which has raised proliferation fears, The New York Times said Sunday.

After testing the enrichment process for two years, GE has asked the US government to approve its plans for a massive facility in North Carolina that could produce reactor fuel by the ton, the report said, citing GE officials.

"We are currently optimizing the design," Christopher Monetta, president of Global Laser Enrichment, a subsidiary operated by GE and Japan's Hitachi, said in an interview with the newspaper.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to deliver its decision on whether to issue a commercial license for the complex by next year, the report said.

Uranium enrichment can be used to produce both the fuel for a nuclear reactor and the fissile material for an atomic warhead. New technologies are seen as potentially dangerous as they make it easier to build a bomb. more

South Dakota schools cut costs with 4-day school week

When the nearly 300 students of the Irene-Wakonda School District returned to school this week, they found a lot of old friends, teachers and familiar routines awaiting them. But one thing was missing: Friday classes.

This district in the rolling farmland of southeastern South Dakota is among the latest to adopt a four-day school week as the best option for reducing costs and dealing with state budget cuts to education.

"It got down to monetary reasons more than anything else," Superintendent Larry Johnke said. The $50,000 savings will preserve a vocational education program that otherwise would have been scrapped.

The four-school week is an increasingly visible example of the impact of state budget problems on rural education. This fall, fully one-fourth of South Dakota's districts will have moved to some form of the abbreviated schedule. Only Colorado and Wyoming have a larger proportion of schools using a shortened week. According to one study, more than 120 school districts in 20 states, most in the west, now use four-day weeks. more

Volkswagen to unveil single-seat electric car: Are we finally getting the hint that oil isn't forever?

Volkswagen is poised to unveil a single-seat, ultra-frugal, zero-emission electric car. The German carmaker also plans to offer a “full-service package” for customers of its electric cars by selling them power from renewable sources, Jürgen Leohold, head of research, told the Financial Times.

VW’s one-seat concept or experimental car will showcase the carmaker’s ambition to build vehicles that generate no carbon dioxide, even on a “well-to-wheel” calculation that takes into account the carbon dioxide generated by power plants.

“It’s a new kind of mobility – a new vehicle concept,” Mr Leohold said. “Also, it’s physics. If you limit a car to one person, you can make it smaller, less weight, you need less energy to transport the person, and then obviously … it can be better on CO2 and fuel efficiency”.

Mr Leohold said that the single-seater concept car, to be unveiled within weeks, was designed for limited purposes, such as commuting, and that most drivers would want a larger vehicle for longer trips.

He declined to reveal the car’s range, top speed or other details ahead of its unveiling. more

Fabian J. Torres tosses molotov cocktail into crowd at supermarket

A 24-year-old Sleepy Hollow man threw a Molotov cocktail into a crowd Sunday afternoon at an Algonquin grocery store, police said.

One man was injured at Joe Caputo & Sons Fruit Market, 100 S. Randall Road, according to the Daily Herald.

Suspect Fabian J. Torres arrived at the store at about 12:15 p.m. Sunday, police told the suburban publication. Torres then ran down an aisle and threw the homemade Molotov cocktail near the deli department, police said.

He was chased down by shopper Thom Petrowski, 40, from Crystal Lake. An off-duty Carpentersville police officer helped Petrowski subdue the man until police arrived.

Petrowski said he was standing at the deli counter with about 30 other people when he saw a flame go over his head. He chased Torres into the parking lot. more

Shane C. Golitko stabbed 76-year-old scout leader to death while he was out leading children through wilderness

A 76-year-old man has been stabbed to death while leading Boy Scouts on a hiking trip in northern Indiana, and a suspect who battered his mother and killed a dog at their home nearby is under arrest, police said.

The assistant scout leader, Arthur L. Anderson, had stopped to identify a tree on the Nickel Plate Trail in Bunker Hill Sunday afternoon when an attacker approached him from behind and stabbed him in the neck, Indiana State Police said in a statement. Witnesses told police the attack was unprovoked.

Anderson, of Kokomo, Ind., "was doing probably the most innocent thing he could do, leading a group of Boy Scouts," Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum said. "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time." more

Russia in talks to build more nuclear plants in Iran: report

Russia has put forward "proposals" to build new nuclear power plants in Iran after the completion of the Bushehr project, local media reported Sunday quoting the Islamic republic's atomic chief.

"We have held negotiations with the Russians regarding the construction of new nuclear power plants. They have put forward some proposals," Fereydoon Abbasi Davani was quoted as saying by Resalat newspaper.

"The exchange of ideas and proposals will continue until a clear result is reached," Abbasi Davani added.

Russia has built Iran's only nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr against the backdrop of a series of delays, with Tehran hoping to link the facility to the national grid in late August.

Abbasi Davani meanwhile insisted that any future deals with Moscow would be clinched "in a manner that would safeguard the interests of both parties."

He did not give details about the number of future power plants or their locations.

He also did not specify whether the proposals were made during talks with Russian officials earlier this week in Tehran on how to resume negotiations between Iran and world powers on the country's controversial nuclear programme. more

21 Signs That The New Reality For Many Baby Boomers Will Be To Work As Wage Slaves Until They Drop Dead

All over America tonight, millions of elderly Americans are wondering if their money is going to run out before it is time for them to die. Those that are now past retirement age are not going to be rioting in the streets, but that doesn't mean that large numbers of them are not deeply suffering. There are millions of elderly Americans that are leading lives of "quiet desperation" as they try to get by on meager fixed incomes. Many are surviving on Ramen noodles, oatmeal, peanut butter or whatever other cheap food they can find in the stores. There are some that are so short on cash that they will not turn on the heat in their homes until things get really desperate. As health care costs soar, millions of elderly Americans find themselves deep in debt and facing huge medical bills that they cannot possibly pay. A lot of older Americans would go back to work if they could, but jobs are scarce and very few companies seem to even want to consider hiring them. Right now caring for all of the Americans that have already retired is turning out to be an overwhelming challenge, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. On January 1st, 2011 the very first Baby Boomers turned 65. A massive tsunami of retirees is coming, and America is not ready for it. more

Jobs: Worse than you think

The U.S. labor force is shrinking, as more Americans are giving up hope.

Last month, only 58.1% of Americans age 16 and over were employed, a significant drop from before the recession and the lowest since 1983.

That's especially worrisome to economists, who say a steady increase in those dropping out of the work force and not being counted in the unemployment rate is disguising just how bad the labor market really is.

"People are dropping out of labor force for all types of reasons," said Robert Brusca of FAO Economics. "And it's not a good trend. A good part of the wealth of a nation has to do with the proportion of population that works."

Some economists say that the employment-population ratio, or "e-pop," is a more accurate snapshot of the labor market than the unemployment rate, which fell to 9.1% last month from 10.1% in October 2009.

"When we have a time when the labor force is not growing normally, e-pop provides the cleanest assessment of what is going on in the labor market," said Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist with the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank. "What you see is from '07 to '09 -- it fell off a cliff, and it hasn't recovered since then." more

"Financial crisis likely to repeat itself"

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in 2010 that that the Wall Street meltdown “was the worst financial crisis in global history;” that 12 of the 13 most important financial institutions in the United States were close to failure “within a week or two.”

A similar crisis during the Great Depression led FDR to pass The Banking Act of 1933 — Glass-Steagall — to regulate financial institutions.

In the 1980s, Savings and Loans were exempted from many of those regulations. With no one watching, many then reduced their underwriting standards, making risky loans and speculating with other people’s money. As a result, over 700 S&Ls failed between 1985 and 1992. The “pro-market” Reagan administration responded by bailing out the S&Ls — at a cost of $160 billion — demonstrating that Washington would insulate the financial sector from risk.

Undeterred by the disastrous S&L deregulation, Congress passed Gramm-Leach-Bliley in 1999 — a law engineered by Republican Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee — that repealed the Glass-Steagall regulations governing Wall Street investment firms. A year later, Gramm steered the Commodity Futures Modernization Act through a lame-duck Congress with one day’s notice. It prohibited the executive branch from regulating derivatives, instruments that Warren Buffett called “financial weapons of mass destruction.” more

An Empire in Decline: Is The Debt Crisis Just a "Prelude to War"?

Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (1780-1831), the German military strategist once said that 'War is the continuation of politics by other means.' Given the political dead-end the West seems to be on, his maxim may once again prove all too true.

Western governments appear powerless to confront the current crisis and the looming threat of a depression, with all of the serious consequences that implies. The colossal debt of nations and bleak prospects for growth are creating a panic situation on financial markets around the world. A crash is not a figment of the imagination. The one in 1929 paved the way for the rise of fascism and the Second World War.

It is futile to expect a paradigm shift from the established order. Since the sub-prime crisis in 2008, there has been much talk of market regulation. The noble ideas that accompanied the latest international joint financial agreement have been quickly abandoned. The leaders of Western states, starting with the president of the United States, have failed to develop a clear and convincing way to discuss economic policy options, let alone take strong measures. Markets are stronger than states. It is they that are ultimately the masters - and they impose their own logic. more

How dangerous is firing a gun into the air?

Libyan rebels have celebrated their advance into Tripoli by firing guns in the air. How hazardous is this?

It is, unarguably, an emphatic way to display one's jubilation.

Shooting an automatic weapon into the sky to signal an occasion one welcomes is a popular practice in much of the world, as the footage of Libyan anti-Gaddafi forces seizing the main square of the capital city has demonstrated.

But it is a potentially fatal activity, which regularly results in the deaths of bystanders.

"These bullets go a long way up when they're fired," says ballistics expert David Dyson. "But you don't know where they're going to land - there's always a chance of them causing serious harm or death."

Examples of fatalities due to celebratory gunfire abound.

Three people in the Philippines died due to stray bullets fired to welcome the arrival of the new year 2011.

In 2010 a Turkish bridegroom killed three relatives when he fired an AK-47 at his own wedding. In the same year, Jordan's King Abdullah II ordered his country's authorities to clamp down on the practice after two people were killed and 13 more injured in one incident. more

In Pictures: Violence in Israel and Gaza

"Trojan asteroids": What other objects are out there that we have yet to discover?

UK bid for US-style police reveals despair: Cameron's plans of emulating US policing models face harsh criticism

For those working to curb the expansion of imprisonment and policing here in the US, David Cameron's recent plans to import US policing models, theories, and actual technicians are of grave concern, even if they are totally unsurprising. States have a long history of sharing policing methodology and technology, and tough-on-crime talk on "gangs" and "mobs" are well-worn scripts for governments, especially when they have their backs to the wall.

The UK and the US have a long history of sharing policing techniques, particularly of marginalised communities, but as is the case throughout the world - in the US, England, Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere - no matter how sophisticated or tough the strategy, states cannot police their way out of social and economic crisis.

Cameron's reaction to recent uprisings of the marginalised and disenfranchised in England has been to declare "all-out war on gangs and gang culture" and has called for widening the use of US suppression models of policing. This includes actually importing so-called "super-cop" William Bratton himself. Known for his police chief duties in the US cities of New York, Boston and Los Angeles, Bratton has been a central character in the development and implementation of "zero-tolerance" policing in the US. While politicians in England have apparently nixed the possibility of Bratton actually heading up London's Metropolitan Police Service, Bratton is poised still to play a significant advisory role in UK policing. On the table seems to be a widening of zero-tolerance policies, as well as the expansion of controversial civil gang injunctions and concomitant "gang-enhanced" punishments. more

Is any economy safe? As people across the world see the value of their investments plummet, we ask what has caused the markets to panic

People around the world have seen the value of their investments plummet.

Was the decision to downgrade the US economy from a triple A rating the catalyst or is it the Eurozone's debt crisis and fears of another recession that caused the markets to panic?

Are global economies running out of options to rescue their economies and what is next for stocks, the dollar and the global economy? more

Europe's financial wasteland: Without a strong commitment to the integrity of the eurozone, more European banks will likely fail

"April is the cruellest month," wrote TS Eliot at the beginning of his great poem, "The Waste Land". But, if Eliot had been a professional investor who had observed European financial markets over the last few years, I am quite certain that his choice would have been August.

In August 2007, the decision by BNP Paribas to close two of its hedge funds exposed to the subprime sector precipitated a liquidity crisis for all European banks during that summer. This year, BNP's great rival, Société Générale, has been in the spotlight. Its stock fell by more than 14 per cent in one day in mid-August, plumbing depths not seen for two and a half years. Rumours have swirled about a possible downgrade of France's sovereign debt, accompanied by speculation about the consequences for French banks.

Since the French, of all continental Europeans, most respect the convention that no useful work should be done in the month of August, this is harsh treatment for their bankers. They have not been slow to claim that they are being singled out unfairly.

They have a point. France is not the epicentre of the eurozone crisis. There is much - too much - competition for that position. Greece was an early favourite in the race to claim the title, but faced a stiff challenge for a time from Ireland. Portugal made a sprint towards the front, but is now falling back a little, with Spain and Italy moving up. France likes to think that it is at the back of the field, strolling leisurely in lockstep with Germany. more

Nile River row: Could it turn violent?

The giggles started when the seventh journalist in a row said that his question was for Egypt’s water and irrigation minister, Mohamed Nasreddin Allam.

The non-Egyptian media gave him a bit of a hammering at last week’s talks in Addis Ababa for the nine countries that the Nile passes through.

Allam bared his teeth when a Kenyan journalist accused him of hiding behind “colonial-era treaties” giving his country the brunt of the river’s vital waters whether that hurt the poorer upstream countries or not.

“You obviously don’t know enough about this subject to be asking questions about it,” he snapped before later apologising to her with a kiss on the cheek. more

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Four Russian 'mini-garchs' at exclusive private college gang-raped fellow pupil, 18, and filmed attack on iPhone - 22nd Aug 2011

Four wealthy Russians who used an iPhone to film themselves gang-raping a student at an exclusive private college were facing jail today.

The group had been in Britain for just two weeks when they carried out the horrific two-and-a-half hour attack on the Malaysian teenager at the £30,000-per-year college.

The Russians, aged between 19 and 23, gave a sickening running commentary - and even filmed themselves boasting about what they were going to do to her the day before.

The prosecution fear that she may have had her drinks spiked as she was too drunk to consent.

Oleg Ivanov, 23, Norayr Davtyan, 22, Armen Simonyan, 19, and 23-year-old Gregory Melnikov all denied rape but were unanimously convicted by a jury at Woolwich Crown Court today.

Davtyan described the girl as a 'machine' and in the witness box referred to her as a 'sl**'.

The court heard that Ivanov expressed 'pity' for the victim, when they noticed she was crying but was talked out of it by his friend Davtyan. Read More

6.0 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWEST OF SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 22nd August 2011

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck Southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 31.3 km ( 19.4 miles), the quake hit at 20:12:20 UTC Monday 22nd August 2011.
The epicenter was 176 km (110 miles) Southwest of T._Telukbetung, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time.

Dramatic video captures moment hero cop collapses after being shot in neck in stand-off with gunman - 22nd Aug 2011

A dramatic video shows the moment when a police officer ran to safety and collapsed after being shot in the neck by a suspect.

Two cops were responding to a call from neighbours claiming a man was brandishing a gun outside a house in El Cajon, California, on Sunday.

The suspect fired several shots when the officers arrived and one of them was hit in the head before he was pulled to safety by the other.

The suspect, who was then thought to have set the house on fire, was believed to have been found dead inside the home on Monday morning.

The officer, who has not been named, is in a critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery in hospital, reported the Los Angeles times. Read More

Strong Hail and Rainstorm Hits Northeast China lasting 30 Minutes and Causing extensive damage - 22nd Aug 2011

A severe hailstorm pounded Shenyang City in northeast China on Sunday evening, followed by a heavy rainstorm.

The hailstorm lasted about 30 minutes and caused extensive damage to homes and vehicles. One resident reported seeing huge hailstones.

"I was having supper at the time. When I heard the noise I came outside, only to find my car badly damaged. I didn't dare to get any closer to check it until the hailstorm was over. The hail stones were as big as a rice bowl.”

The hailstorm was followed by several hours of rain.

"I have to park my car under a bridge. And now the inside of my car is flooded.”

Traffic lights and street lamps lost power in Shenyang and more than 20 flights were delayed due to the storm. Source

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake VANUATU - 22nd August 2011

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Vanuatu at a depth of 37.1 km ( 23.1 miles), the quake hit at 17:39:38 UTC Monday 22nd August 2011.
The epicenter was 68 km (42 miles) SSW of Port-Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time.

Melanie Cole, 40, Jailed for life for Battering 91 year old to death for £20 - six years after being cleared of another murder - 22nd Aug 2011

A mother-of-three who battered a helpless 91-year-old man to death with a bottle of French wine has been jailed for life - six years after she was cleared of another murder.

Melanie Cole, 49, brutally attacked frail William Reilly in his bedroom for pension money, which may have been as little as £20, that he kept in his pocket.

The widower suffered multiple skull and facial fractures after being clubbed over the head with the bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape and a bottle of orange curacao liqueur.

He was found by his eldest son James covered in blood at their Tottenham home on December 29 last year.

The retired builder, a father-of-three who was registered blind and almost completely deaf, died a week later in hospital.

Cole, who was accused of murdering her landlord in 2003, was convicted of murder at the Old Bailey after a two-week trial.

She must serve a minimum term of 30 years.

Judge David Paget told her: It may be that you will never be released and may die in prison.

'You battered to death a 91-year-old man in his home in order to get money from him for drink or drugs.

'It may have been only £20. What is truly shocking is the brutality of what you did.' Read More

Official Warning as Hurricane Irene hits Puerto Rico and has U.S. mainland in its sights - 22nd Aug 2011

'If you’re in south Florida, now is the time to get prepared,' the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency warned on Monday.

National Hurricane Centre spokesman Dennis Feltgen urged south Florida residents to monitor the storm carefully, to double check their supplies of food and fuel and to review their hurricane plans.

Forecasters say because of its track, the mountains of Hispaniola will probably do little to weaken the storm that is projected to hit the U.S. mainland on Thursday or Friday.

Irene is the first hurricane of the Atlantic storm season.

The heavily-populated south east Florida coast is in the direct line of numerous forecast cones.

However, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) stressed Irene’s path still remains uncertain and it could make landfall anywhere from the Florida Keys to the Carolinas.

Stacy Stewart, a senior hurricane specialist at the NHC, said late Monday morning: 'Irene has become much better organized during the past six hours despite its interaction with the mountainous terrain of Puerto Rico, and a ragged eye has become apparent in imagery from the Federal Aviation Administration terminal Doppler weather radar.' Read More

Icelandic current could 'save' North America and Europe from climate change - 22nd Aug 2011

A newly-discovered deep, cold current flowing off Iceland's coast may mean the North Atlantic is less sensitive to climate change than previously thought.

The North Icelandic Jet feeds the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation - or AMOC - a giant pattern known as the 'great ocean conveyor belt', which regulates North American and European climates.

Scientists had previously believed that most of the cold water that formed that deep south-flowing stream came from off the Greenland coast and was made up of fresh glacier-melt water.

However, the North Icelandic Jet appears to contribute more to the deeper part of the AMOC than the Greenland current does, according to scientists.

The 'conveyor belt' current was introduced in the Al Gore environmental film An Inconvenient Truth, and carries warm surface water from the tropical Atlantic toward the Arctic. Read More

Libya: Col Gaddafi could flee to Venezuela or Cuba

Colonel Gaddafi could flee to a country not signed up to the International Criminal Court such as Venezuela or Cuba, South African sources say.

The Brother Leader is alive and remains in Libya, one senior government source said. But he added that plans are on the table to spirit him out of the country to allow breathing space for a peace process led by the National Transitional Council which has now claimed control of most of the capital Tripoli.

Despite official denials, South Africa will play a key role in negotiations about Gaddafi's fate. It is not only one of most influential countries in the African Union, but its President Jacob Zuma was appointed the AU's chief mediator in the crisis and has visited Col Gaddafi twice since hostilities began in February.

A South African air force plane remains on standby in Tunisia and, the source said, the South Africans are ready to seek safe passage for Gaddafi with the help of neighbouring countries Tunisia or Algeria if he decided to leave.

"We are not going to walk away from this," the source told The Daily Telegraph. "It's larger than the question of Gaddafi the person. It's a question of the unity of the Libyans and the maximum chance being created for that process to happen."

Mate Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa's foreign minister, has rejected reports that South Africa itself might be a venue for Gaddafi in exile. more

Dominican Republic braced for Hurricane Irene

Tropical Storm Irene has turned into a hurricane - the first of the Atlantic hurricane season - over Puerto Rico.

It has now passed the US territory and is next set to hit the Dominican Republic. It may also affect the northern coast of Haiti.

In Puerto Rico, Irene cut power to more than a million people, downing trees and flooding streets, the AP news agency reports.

Irene may hit Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas in the US later in the week.

In Puerto Rico, there were no reports of deaths or major injuries, but its governor has declared a state of emergency and asked people to stay indoors.

Irene has maximum sustained winds of 80mph (130km/h), said the National Hurricane Center in Miami. That puts it just above the official strength of a hurricane.

At 13:00 GMT, it was centred about 90 miles (140km) west-north-west of San Juan, Puerto Rico, about 75 miles (125km) east-north-east of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, and moving west-north-west at around 14mph (22km/h).

A hurricane warning is in effect for the north coast of the Dominican Republic. A hurricane watch is in effect for the northern coast of Haiti and the central Bahamas.

All of Haiti is under a tropical storm warning. more

North Korea seizes South's Mount Kumgang resort assets: More conflict between the Koreas?

North Korea says it is seizing assets at a tourist site jointly operated with South Korea.

It has given South Koreans 72 hours to leave the resort at Mount Kumgang, which lies just inside North Korea.

The resort used to be a symbol of co-operation between the two Koreas and a key source of hard currency for Pyongyang.

But joint operations were suspended in 2008 after a South Korean tourist was shot dead by a North Korean soldier.

Since then, ties between the two Koreas have deteriorated.

Tensions remain high over the sinking of a South Korean warship in March 2010 and the shelling by North Korea of a South Korean border island in November. more

Apple's iPhone gets Japanese earthquake alert

Japanese iPhone users will get the option to receive earthquake alerts under the next version of Apple's iOS operating system.

9to5Mac reports that the feature will be added to the device's notification centre in iOS 5, which is expected to be released in September.

Japan has a sophisticated early warning system which collects readings from more than 1,000 seismic sensors.

More than 16,000 people died in the 2011 quake and subsequent tsunami.

Earthquake warnings are typically issued through radio, television and text message under the Area Mail Disaster Information Service.

For SMS, the system works by sending out a mass cell broadcast (SMS-CB) to all handsets in a designated area.

3G cellphones are compelled by Japanese law to include SMS-CB technology. However, many foreign-made phones do not currently support it.

The message accompanying Apple's new feature reads: "The earthquake early warning/alert. When the setting is on, your battery life may be reduced." more

Humpback whale rescued near Kitimat, B.C.: Canada

A young humpback whale is enjoying freedom after being set free from a British Columbia fisherman's gill net near Kitimat.

On Thursday, two humpback researchers in Ursula Channel near Gil Island noticed a net caught over the mammal's head. They called for help and tracked the animal overnight.

On Friday, the Hartley Bay First Nation and fisheries officials joined the researchers and scrambled to set the animal free.

Paul Cottrell, a spokesman for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, was part of the rescue effort.
A humpback whale was cut free from gill netting on Friday in Ursula Channel, between Gil Island and Kitimat, B.C.A humpback whale was cut free from gill netting on Friday in Ursula Channel, between Gil Island and Kitimat, B.C. (DFO)

"The animal was very entangled in a large gill net, probably at least 100 feet with 50 corks and lead line, and it was wrapped right around the head, so the animal was likely not able to feed," Cottrell said.

"This was a juvenile animal, about 25 to 30 feet, and travelling slowly and definitely encumbered by all this gear," he said.

It took the rescue crew at least seven hours to cut the whale free. more

Notorious gangs of British Columbia: Canada

About 120 criminal gangs operate in British Columbia. Some are notorious for their illegal activities and have become well-known to the public, but many others do their best to maintain a low profile and don't even have names.

The best-known gangs are not necessarily the most dangerous or most powerful, Supt. Pat Fogarty said in an interview. He's the police officer in charge of the Organized Crime Branch of B.C.'s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, which keeps tabs on the activities of gangs and their members and gets them behind bars when necessary.

Membership can be fluid and there are various levels of gang affiliation. Criminals may move between gangs, and gangs themselves come and go. It makes headlines when groups feud and the violence spills into the public streets, but gang members often collaborate as well.

The drug trade is their major area of operation for most criminal gangs, but they go where the money is.

"This is business to them," Fogarty told CBC News.

Gangs have been operating for over a century in Vancouver, according to the Vancouver police department, but "have become far more prevalent and visible in the last few decades." Some of the higher-profile groups active on Canada's west coast today are offshoots of international criminal organizations, while others are home-grown. more

Chemo drug shortage may start impacting patients (Yes, for the better)

New Brunswick physicians may come under increased pressure on how they treat patients if a drug shortage continues much longer, according to a cancer specialist.

Health Canada issued a warning last week that some drugs used to treat cancer, infections and other ailments in hospitals could be in short supply.

The list includes 17 drugs used to treat leukemia, breast and ovarian cancer and other tumors and sarcomas.

Dr. Eshwar Kumar, the chief executive officer of the New Brunswick Cancer Network, said a shortage of drugs will ultimately put pressure on the treating physicians to come up with alternative options in order to give patients the best care.

"It will raise some anxieties. If this continues indefinitely we might have to see how best we can manage," Kumar said. more

Rebels apparently regrouping for fresh Tripoli assault: Libya

The 42-year rule of Moammar Gadhafi appeared on the verge of collapse Monday, with rebel supporters making it to the same Tripoli square where regime loyalists had congregated for month.

But in a possible indication that the fight is not over, celebrations in Tripoli's Green Square gave way to tension Monday morning after rebels told CNN that they'd heard Gadhafi army forces were heading their way. CNN could not confirm any movement of Gadhafi forces.

Here are some of the latest developments of the fighting in Tripoli, the latest installment of battles in a months-long uprising in Libya.

[Updated at 10:25 a.m. ET, 4:25 p.m. in Libya] A senior State Department official tells CNN that, up until the last minutes before the rebel offensive on Tripoli began, senior Libyan officials close to Moammar Gadhafi were trying to reach out to the U.S. in a desperate attempt to stop the “inevitable.”

In a telephone interview from Cairo Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said that, until Saturday night, six officials with whom the U.S. had previous contact were still trying to reach out to the Obama administration but were taking a “defiant” approach, saying they were ready to negotiate but it would not be about Gadhafi leaving. more

Kim Kardashian's $10 million wedding: They frolic while YOU starve

Arab League blasts Israel for Egyptian deaths: "Expression of regret for deaths is not enough" (Hear the drums beating?)

Representatives of Arab League states have condemned "the Israeli attack on the Egyptian forces" saying that Israel bears "full responsibility for this crime".
Permanent members of the league issued the statement blasting Israel on Sunday after holding an urgent meeting in the Egyptian capital of Cairo to discuss what it called "dangerous Israeli aggression" on the Gaza Strip.

Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh reported from Egypt: "Although it is a low-level meeting, it comes as part of the apparent intensified diplomatic pressure on Israel."

Earlier on Sunday, Egypt's cabinet said a statement of "regret" from the Israeli defence minister for the deaths of the five policemen was not enough. But it stopped short of saying if it would recall its ambassador to Israel.

"The Israeli statement was positive on the surface, but it was not in keeping with the magnitude of the incident and the state of Egyptian anger toward Israeli actions," the official MENA news agency quoted a cabinet statement as saying on Sunday.

MENA said the cabinet insisted on a timetable for an Israeli offer of a joint investigation into the deaths on Thursday as Israeli troops pursued fighters who carried out attacks earlier in the Negev that killed eight.

"Egypt affirms its solicitude for maintaining peace with Israel, but Israel must also assume responsibility for protecting this peace," it said.

The reaction came as thousands of Egyptians protested late on Saturday outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo, housed in the top floor of a high-rise building. more

China's $3.2 trillion headache: renminbi needs to appreciate if China hopes to resolve its huge current-account surpluses

While the downgrade of Unites States government debt by Standard & Poor's shocked global financial markets, China has more reason to worry than most: the bulk of its $3.2tn in official foreign reserves - more than 60 per cent - is denominated in dollars, including $1.1tn in US Treasury bonds.

So long as the US government does not default, whatever losses China may experience from the downgrade will be small. To be sure, the dollar's value will fall, imposing a balance-sheet loss on the Peoples' Bank of China (PBC, the central bank). But a falling dollar would make it cheaper for Chinese consumers and companies to buy US goods. If prices are stable in the US, as is the case now, the gains from buying US goods should exactly offset the PBC's balance-sheet losses.

The downgrade could, moreover, force the US Treasury to raise the interest rate on new bonds, in which case China would stand to gain. But S&P's downgrade was a poor decision, taken at the wrong time. If the United States' debts had truly become less trustworthy, they would have been even more dubious before the agreement reached on August 2 by Congress and President Barack Obama to raise the government's debt ceiling.

That agreement allowed the world to hope that the US economy would embark on a more predictable path to recovery. The downgrade has undermined that hope. Some people even predict a double-dip recession. If that happens, the chance of an actual US default would be much higher than it is today.

These new worries are raising alarm bells in China. Diversification away from dollar assets is the advice of the day. But this is no easy task, particularly in the short term. If the PBC started to buy non-dollar assets in large quantities, it would invariably need to convert some current dollar assets into another currency, which would inevitably drive up that currency's value, thus increasing the PBC's costs. more

Biofuel production: A threat to livelihoods

Biofuels are an alternative energy source that can drive local development by generating jobs, know-how and technology. But they can also cause social damage, as locals fear in the case of industrial-scale exploitation of babassu palm trees, which grow abundantly in the wild in central and northern Brazil.

Some 400,000 women and their families living on the eastern edge of the Amazon jungle depend on the babassu palm (Orbignya phalerata) for a livelihood. The women are known as quebradeiras ["breakers"] because they collect and break the coconuts.

These subsistence-level households sell the coconut kernels, from which the oil is extracted and used as vegetable oil and in the soap and cosmetic industries, for cash. They also use the starch-rich fruit to produce a kind of flour, and the rest of the coconut is used for animal feed and charcoal.

The traditional quebradeira communities also use the leaves of the tall babassu palm tree for roof thatch, woven house walls, and basket-making, while the trunks can be used as building materials.

The Interstate Movement of Babassu Coconut Quebradeiras (MIQCB) has warned of the threats to the members' livelihood from the pig iron and ceramics industries, which use the coconut shells and husks to make charcoal on a larger-scale, and pose unfair competition by hiring poorly-paid coconut breakers, said MIQCB adviser Luciene Figueiredo. more

Pakistan's military operations in Kashmir

Kashmir has been the major source of conflict between India and Pakistan since the departure of the British from the region in 1947. Both countries have fought open and covert wars on this thorny issue over the past 60 years.

The problem started right after independence in August 1947, when Maharaja Hari Singh, the Hindu Dogra ruler of the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir, decided to join India after failing to maintain independence. Pakistan's nascent political leadership then decided to reverse the decision by force. However, lacking effective military power, it decided to use Pushtun tribesmen from the North West Frontier Province.

Many British officers were, at the time, serving with the Pakistan army - at various levels, including almost the entire top brass. The political leadership naively thought that such a major operation could be kept secret from senior officers. It assigned junior Pakistani officers to run the operation, bypassing the normal military chain of command. An assorted lot of civilians, serving Pakistani officers and former Indian National Army (INA) officers cashiered by the British were given the leading role. more

Syria's Assad warns against foreign intervention

President Bashar al-Assad has warned against foreign military intervention in his country, in an appearance on Syrian television.

In an interview broadcast live on Sunday, Assad said: "Any action against Syria will have greater consequences [on those who carry it out], greater than they can tolerate".

"First, because of Syria's geopolitical location and second [because of] Syrian capabilities. They know part of it but they do not know the other parts and they will not be able to afford the results," he said.

No country has yet proposed military action against Syria, but the US and EU last week called on Assad to step down.

Assad said those calls were not even worthy of a response, adding that he was appointed by the Syrian people, not by the West.

Assad also spoke about political reforms, saying local elections were to be held within months, to be followed by parliamentary polls.

"The expected time for having the parliamentary election is February 2012," he said. more

Gaza-Israel violence continues despite truce

Cross-border exchanges of air strikes and rocket attacks between Israel and the Gaza Strip have continued for a third day, despite Palestinian factions having agreed to an informal ceasefire on launching rockets into Israel.

The agreement was reached "on condition that Israel halts its attacks", a Hamas official told the AFP news agency late on Sunday night.

Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, told Al Jazeera that the Israeli government was not commenting on reports of a truce.

The ceasefire calls came hours after the Arab League condemned the Israeli raids on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during an "urgent meeting" in Cairo. The bloc called on the international community "to put pressure on Israeli occupation authorities ... to halt this brutal assault".

The meeting came a day after Israeli ministers held their own emergency session on Saturday night to discuss the violence, after an Israeli man was killed that evening by a rocket strike in the southern city of Beersheva.

Shortly after announcement of the informal accord, two rockets from Gaza fell near the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, Israeli officials said.

The explosions were followed by fresh Israeli air strikes against Jabaliya in northern Gaza and Khan Younis refugee camp in the strip's south, Gaza residents said. more

Iraqi civilians 'killed' in Turkey air strike

Seven Iraqis have been killed in a Turkish air strike, a part of Ankara's bombing campaign against Kurdish separatist fighters in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish zone, officials said.

A rocket from a Turkish plane hit a civilian lorry, killing all seven passengers on Sunday near Qalat Dizah, a town located northeast of the city of Sulaimaniya, Hasan Abdullah, the town mayor, said.

"The rocket has badly damaged the car ... We could not recognise the bodies, their ages, their identities or even their sex," Abdullah said.

Ankara has not confirmed Sunday's strike, which would be the first daylight attack.

Turkey launched a bombing campaign on Wednesday targeting suspected rebel positions across the border in Iraq, after some 40 soldiers were killed since July in stepped-up attacks by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in southeastern Turkey.

The PKK, which the US and the European Union consider a terrorist organisation, is fighting for autonomy in the region.

Turkey's military has said the jets are targeting PKK sites only - including shelters, anti-aircraft gun positions and ammunition depots - showing "the necessary" care not to harm civilians. more

Battle for Somali capital Mogadishu rages on

t has been more than two weeks since al-Shabab fighters pulled out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

But fighting has not stopped. The only difference is that the battle between the armed group and government forces backed by African Union troops has moved to the outskirts of the city. more

Human scars of Sri Lankan war neglected

Two years after the end of Sri Lanka's civil war, the north's roads, railways and homes are being rebuilt. But little attention has been placed on helping a population suffering from the trauma of being caught in the middle of decades of fighting.

Mental health workers have told Al Jazeera that not only is the treatment of post-traumatic stress not a priority for the government, but that in some cases the military has refused to allow counsellors in to reach affected people. more

Chilean Miners: Still Trapped?

One year ago the world watched as 33 Chilean miners were stranded hundreds of metres underground for more than two months.

Television channels from around the world focused on every move and statement the miners made as technology allowed pictures from 700 metres under the ground to be beamed into living rooms everywhere.

After their dramatic rescue they all became immediate celebrities. But since then most of the 33 miners have been unemployed and have found it hard to cope with life once the spotlights have faded.

Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman covered the mining crisis and the dramatic rescue and takes us back to meet some of the same characters she met at the time to see how the tragedy and the subsequent adulation that followed the rescue have impacted the lives of many of the miners and their families.

She also asks if the Chilean government has kept its promise to improve mining safety standards in the country. In an exclusive interview, Chile's minister of mining acknowledges that much more needs to be done to improve safety conditions in the country's copper mines. source

"What's gone wrong in England?"

England's streets are calm again. But there's still plenty of interesting debate going on as to the causes of the riots that swept across London, Birmingham, Manchester and several other towns, and have now resulted in well over 2,000 arrests.

Here are three thought provoking articles. The first is by Lara Pawson on Pambazuka News.

And here's one from the Daily Telegraph, by Peter Oborne.

To a perhaps surprising degree, Lara Pawson and Peter Oborne are in agreement. They are both saying there is a moral crisis in England. But whereas, I would suggest, Lara is saying that the British class system is intrinsically corrupt (and the product of a cruel and exploitative history), Peter is saying that this is a country that has recently lost its way.

Typically, British critics on the left have blamed the riots on poverty, whilst those on the right talk about a criminal culture of irresponsibility in our cities. This article, in The Economist, tries to steer the middle ground

Finally, who were the rioters? There's been a lot of coverage in England of the handful of arrests of well-educated, middle-class people who took part. But detailed analysis here by The Guardian shows that less than 10 per cent have jobs or are in full-time education. source

India: As anti-corruption fast continues, some question effectiveness

An anti-corruption fast by activist activist Anna Hazare entered its sixth day Sunday, galvanizing thousands of supporters frustrated with rampant graft throughout India, though some observers said Hazare's methods amount to dictating terms to democratic institutions.

"The youth are our national power. ... And what I find significant in this 'revolution' is that the youth are standing behind it," Hazare told a crowd Sunday at the open-air venue of his hunger strike to demand a Lokpal, or citizen ombudsman with sweeping powers, to try to stem graft and corruption.

"I am now feeling confident that not only a Lokpal will be created but corruption too will be eradicated completely," Hazare said.

In a dramatic comment, Hazare, a former soldier, said public gatherings were superior to the elected parliament as he made a rare appeal for sit-ins outside the homes of lawmakers until they agree to his version of the Lokpal bill that the government has not accepted in full.

"I request the citizens of this country to hold sit-ins at the homes of parliamentarians from their areas to make them give a written commitment for the Lokpal," he said. more

British Families 'Worse Off Now Than During Recession'

British families have less money to spend now than they did at the height of the recession, according to new figures.

In this photo illustration a woman takes cash from her purse during shopping November 27, 2008 in Manchester, England.

The study shows the average family has less cash to spend on everyday items, are earning lower salaries and are more in debt.

Markit's Household Finance Index, which measures consumer spending in Britain, showed that more families were using their savings to supplement rising living costs.

Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit said: "Recent events have made a week seem a long time in economics and August's survey is the first sign that the slew of downbeat headlines has knocked consumer sentiment.'' more

Turkish strike against Kurdish targets kills 7, local official says

A Turkish airstrike killed seven family members Sunday morning in a Kurdish village in northern Iraq, a local official said.

Qalat Diza mayor Hassan Abdullah said the strike hit two parents and their five children as they rode in a truck.

The village, Kortek, is located in Qalat Diza -- about 180 kilometers northeast of Sulaimaniya along the Turkey-Iraq border.

The deaths are the latest casualties reported as Turkish warplanes continue to carry out airstrikes against suspected Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq. The Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq has expressed concern about the Turkish cross-border raids.

Turkish military officials could not be reached for comment on the incident.

On Friday, the Turkish military said warplanes and artillery pounded more than 100 targets in rugged mountains of northern Iraq where fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) have long been active. The Turkish armed forces periodically target what Ankara calls PKK "safe havens" and "attack bases" in the region. more

WHO AM I? Another smartly dressed man on a Kent Beach without ID, Injuries or Memory

He was clean, tidy and didn't seem to be sleeping rough.

But when this man walked into a hospital carrying sunglasses, a walking stick and cigarettes no-one was more confused than he was.

That's because not only had he forgotten his own name, he didn't know where he was from or who any of his relatives were.

All he knew was that he woke up on a beach in Deal, Kent - and couldn't remember anything else.

Police trying to find out who he is have so far drawn a blank and in a bid to solve the mystery have now issued this picture of him.

Officers said the man walked into the minor injury unit in Victoria Hospital at Deal last Thursday, suffering head pains and amnesia.

He was later transferred to the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, but didn't have any obvious injuries.

The man is described as having an English accent and is in his late 50s to early 60s.

He is well-built and was wearing black Wrangler jeans, a white T-shirt and patterned sweatshirt at the time.

He also had a navy blue walker's coat on and was wearing beige walking boots.

Officers don't think he has been reported missing and his details have been circulated to police forces nationwide in an effort to identify him.

A Kent Police spokesman said: 'The man says he doesn't have any memory of himself, his family, home or any other personal details.

'He claims he woke up on the beach at Deal on August 17 and asked for directions to the hospital. However, he doesn't have any obvious injuries.'

The case is bound to draw comparisons to the discovery of another mystery man, dubbed the Piano Man, also in Kent in 2005. Read More

  • In February last year, the identity of a smartly-dressed man found unconscious on Brighton beach in East Sussex was solved when his fiancee stepped forward. Also no ID or Memory in this case.

Libyan state TV off the air after rebels storm HQ as Gaddafi's forces stage a last stand - 22nd Aug 2011

Libyan state TV went off air today as rebels armed with AK47s stormed the country's broadcaster and Colonel Gaddafi cowered in hiding.

Rebels said that they ambushed the concrete building in Tripoli and killed the soldiers that had been guarding it.

It was one of the most significant gains on a joyous but ultimately frustrating day for the rebels as they were unable to claim total victory over their dictator of 42 years.

The station has been used to broadcast propaganda messages from Gaddafi since the unrest began on February 17 and the loss of the station is a major blow for the leader.

'The revolutionaries stormed the television building ... after killing the soldiers surrounding it. It is now under their control,' the spokesman said. He was speaking after television screens airing the Jamahiriyah station went blank.

The BBC Monitoring service confirmed that TV screens across the country had gone blank earlier this afternoon.

The development came as Gaddafi went into hiding after rebels seized control of almost all of Tripoli last night in the most successful 24 hours of the entire conflict. Read More