Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The $100bn Facebook question: Will capitalism survive 'value abundance'?

Open-source software, shared innovation and crowd-sourced manufacturing threaten capitalism as we know it.

Chiang Mai, Thailand - Does Facebook exploit its users? And where is the $100bn in the company's estimated value coming from?

This is not a new debate. It resurfaces regularly in the blogosphere and academic circles, ever since Tiziana Terranova coined the term "Free Labour" to indicate a new form of capitalist exploitation of unpaid labour - firstly referring to the viewers of classic broadcast media, and now to the new generation of social media participants on sites such as Facebook. The argument can be summarised very succinctly by the catch phrase: "If it's free, then you are the product being sold."

This term was recently relaunched in an article by University of Essex academics Christopher Land and Steffen Böhm, entitled "They are exploiting us! Why we all work for Facebook for free". In this mini-essay, they make a very strong claim that "we can certainly position the users of Facebook as labourers. If labour is understood as 'value producing activity', then updating your status, liking a website, or 'friending' someone, creates Facebook's basic commodity."

This line of argument is misleading, however, because it conflates two types of value creation that were already recognised as distinct by 18th century political economists. The distinction is between use value and exchange value. For thousands of years, under conditions of non-capitalist production, the majority of the working population directly produced "use value" - either for themselves as subsistence farmers, or as tributes to the managerial class of the day. It is only under capitalism that a majority of the working population produces "exchange value" by selling their labour to firms. The difference between what we are paid and what the market pays for the products we are making is the "surplus value".

But Facebook users are not workers producing commodities for a wage, and Facebook is not selling these commodities on a market to create surplus value. Read More

Yuan diplomacy

The US used 'dollar diplomacy' to gain influence in Latin America; now the Chinese are beating the US at its own game.

Boston, MA - When no one was looking, China became the largest source of finance for Latin American governments. Indeed, in the past few weeks Chinese government-sponsored banks have extended $1bn to Ecuador and are discussing another $1bn to the Inter-American Development Bank.

This presents a great opportunity for Latin America, but also brings new risk. If the region can seize upon the new opportunities that come with Chinese finance they could come closer to their development goals, and pose a real challenge to the way Western-backed development banks do business. Read More

The 'human problem' with travelling to another star

The largest obstacle in manned interstellar travel may not actually technological, but human.

Bristol, United Kingdom - Fifty years after the first man in space, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, and the first orbital spaceflight, US astronaut John Glenn, many are asking: "What's next for mankind in space?" In five decades of incredible discovery, we've sent man to the Moon and now have a handful of spacemen living on the International Space Station, orbiting 200 miles over our heads. Our technological prowess seems to know no bounds and we have the ability to mount a deep-space manned mission right now.

But for many, the advances aren't happening fast enough - shouldn't we have a base on the moon by now? That was, after all, the logical step after the Kennedy administration set the task to race the Soviets to the lunar surface in the 1960's. Why haven't we sent a man to Mars yet? It seems puzzling that the majority of robotic missions we send to the Red Planet have a component intended to reconnoiter for a "future" manned mission that never seems to come.

It may seem a shame, then, that we know we can live in space, we know that we send robotic probes to any corner of our Solar System, and yet since the trailblazing Apollo Era of the late 60s and early 70s, no human has ventured beyond low-Earth orbit. Perhaps our evolution into a true space faring species will take longer than a few decades; or even centuries? Let's just hope we don't destroy ourselves through war or ecological decimation before our stellar dreams become a reality. Read More

Chaotic scenes at Maldives parliament

Supporters of former leader prevent president from opening parliament, as police clash with protesters outside building.

Supporters of fomer Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed have clashed with police and stopped the country's new leader from opening parliament, three weeks after he says he was forced to resign in a coup.

Opposition legislators prevented Mohamed Waheed from addressing the assembly in the capital Male on Thursday by removing seats reserved for the president and the speaker.

Outside the building, supporters of Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party blocked roads leading to parliament, prompting clashes with police who attempted to push them aside with shields.

Police said 14 officers were wounded, four of them seriously, in clashes with opposition demonstrators around the parliament. At least 34 people were arrested, according to the AFP news agency.

'Determined to speak'

According to the constitution, the president of the country must address parliament and officially open a new session after a change in leadership.

A spokesman for Waheed said he was "determined to speak but the situation is still not conducive". Read More

How drone war became the American way of life

US reliance on drones is outsourcing war to things that cannot protest or vote, and to whom there is no "home front".

New York, NY - In the American mind, if Apple made weapons, they would undoubtedly be drones, those remotely piloted planes getting such great press here. They have generally been greeted as if they were the sleekest of iPhones armed with missiles.

When the first American drone assassins burst onto the global stage early in the last decade, they caught most of us by surprise, especially because they seemed to come out of nowhere or from some wild sci-fi novel. Ever since, they've been touted in the media as the shiniest presents under the American Christmas tree of war, the perfect weapons to solve our problems when it comes to evildoers lurking in the global badlands.

And can you blame Americans for their love affair with the drone? Who wouldn't be wowed by the most technologically advanced, futuristic, no-pain-all-gain weapon around?

Here's the thing, though: put drones in a more familiar context, skip the awestruck commentary, and they should have been eerily familiar. If, for instance, they were car factories, they would seem so much less exotic to us. Read More

El Salvador's brutal civil war: What we still don't know

Twenty years after peace accords were signed, many aspects of El Salvador's long civil war remain murky.

Scranton, PA - From 1980 to 1992, civil war ravaged the Central American state of El Salvador, claiming the lives of approximately 75,000 Salvadorans.

For three days this February, scholars from around the world gathered in El Salvador to assess the state of our knowledge of that country's civil war, 20 years after peace accords were signed that ended the conflict.

The seminar - "History, Society and Memories: the armed conflict on the 20th anniversary of the Peace Accords" - was organised by the Unit of Investigations about the Salvadoran Civil War (UIGCS) of the Universidad de El Salvador. In the largest meeting of researchers on the civil war in El Salvador, participants from Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico, France, Germany, Holland and the United States joined local academics in sharing what we have learned about the 12-year-long war.

According to Jorge Juárez of UIGCS, the seminar's goal was to "make known to the public a version [of the war's history] without passions, without ideology, that presents the simple truth of the facts".

What happened?

The two primary actors in the El Salvador civil war were a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group, called the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), and the government of El Salvador. However, like most civil wars, the conflict was much more complicated than this. Read More

Ecuador tribe under threat from oil drilling

Sarayaku people fear loss of their culture if government boosts oil production in Amazon.

Israel Divided Over Future Attack On Iran

Computer-generated image shows nuclear attack on Israel

An apocalyptic vision of Israel coming under nuclear attack has been portrayed in a video, which its creator warned could become reality if Iran's atomic programme is not halted soon.

The date is February 2013 and a huge mushroom cloud rises from a nuclear explosion as war planes streak across the skies.

The short video, complete with disaster movie special effects, has already had 100,000 hits on YouTube where it has been posted under the title "Israel's Last Day".

It is the work of amateur Israeli filmmaker Ronen Barany who said: "It took Hitler five or six years to wipe out six million Jews.

"Ahmadinejad will do it in five or six minutes with one or two bombs. That's why I want to wake up the world."

The debate over the threat posed by Iran has dominated public debate in the Jewish state for years.

But in recent months the talk of a possible pre-emptive military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities has reached fever pitch, leading some Israelis to plan for the consequences of the predicted retaliation by Iran and its allies. Read More

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS - 5th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the Kuril Islands, Russia at a depth of 55.1 km (34.2 miles), the quake hit at 03:33:19 UTC Monday 5th March 2012
The epicenter was 471 km (292 miles) ENE of Kuril'sk, Kuril Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN ALGERIA - 5th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Northern Algeria at a depth of 40 km (24.8 miles), the quake hit at 02:45:29 UTC Monday 5th March 2012
The epicenter was 53 km (32 miles) WNW of Chlef, Algeria
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWESTERN SIBERIA, RUSSIA - 4th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Southwestern Siberia, Russia at a depth of 14.9 km (9.3 miles), the quake hit at 23:33:41 UTC Sunday 4th March 2012
The epicenter was 107 km (66 miles) East of Kyzyl, Russia
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.5 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 4th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake has struck Southern Sumatra, Indonesia at a depth of 59.9 km (37.2 miles), the quake hit at 23:17:05 UTC Sunday 4th March 2012
The epicenter was 74 km (45 miles) SSE of Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Angel Babcock: Toddler found after storm hurt, alone in Indiana field dies

The 14-month Indiana toddler who was found hurt and alone in a southern Indiana field after violent storms ravaged the area died Sunday evening at the Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, WDRB reported.

Angel Babcock, the sole survivor of her immediate family, died of traumatic brain injury she suffered when a tornado demolished her family’s home in New Pekin, Ind., the report said.

The toddler was discovered in Salem, Ind., following Friday's string of deadly tornadoes, The Courier-Journal reported.

The storms claimed the lives of the toddler's mother Moriah Brough, 20, father Joseph Babcock, 21, two-month-old sister Kendall Babcock and two-year-old brother Jaydon Babcock, the newspaper reported.

She had been in critical condition at Kosair Children's Hospital. Chief nursing officer Cis Gruebbel made the announcement about her death.

Her grandfather, Jack Brough, had told the Courier-Journal of Louisville earlier that she had suffered head injuries and that the weekend was a critical time for her.

The girl's death brings the overall toll from the storms to 39 across five states. source

Angel Babcock: Tornado-surviving toddler in hospital after family dies

A toddler who was ripped from her home in New Pekin, Ind., and flung into a field by a tornado that killed her entire immediate family in southern Indiana remained in critical condition Sunday, hospital staff said.

Angel Babcock, 20 months old, lost her parents, two-month-old sister and three-year-old brother in the storm that swept through Clark County on Friday.

The toddler was found lying under a pile of debris in a field, said hospital staff. The family lived in a trailer home nine kilometres away in Salem.

She was taken first to Indiana’s St. Vincent Salem Hospital before being flown about 55 kilometres southeast to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Ky. There are reports she suffered severe head injuries and is on life support.

Members of her extended family are with her at the hospital. more

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Russian Opposition Planning Protests

Bird flu scare in Surat, India

SURAT: The death of about 300 chickens in a poultry farm at Navapur in Maharashtra created panic in Surat and other areas in south Gujarat. The memories of bird flu outbreak in 2006 came rushing to the minds of local people. Some people claimed that after 700 chickens died of some disease, they were dumped outside the farm. Navapur in Nandurbar district is largest supplier of eggs in the region.

On Wednesday last, the dead birds had been dumped in a well near the poultry farm. The dead chickens were 12 to 16-week-old. However, the district administration when contacted claimed that there was no sign of bird flu. They said the birds may have died due to panic created by a dog.

"The initial findings of a veterinary team have revealed that the deaths of the birds were not due to bird flu. We were informed by the poultry owner that the birds had died due to panic after a dog entered the farm and killed a few of them. The postmortem report is yet to come. The samples collected from the dead birds have not been examined yet by the laboratories," said A T Kumbhar, district collector, Nandurbar. Read More

Al Qaeda militants overrun Yemen army base, 61 dead

SANAA, Yemen — Al Qaeda militants overran an army base in southern Yemen on Sunday, capturing heavy weapons and turning them on soldiers in intense clashes that left 61 dead, a military official said.

The battle near the town of Zinjibar in the southern province of Abyan killed 36 government troops and 25 of the militants, he said. A medical official confirmed the death toll. Scores were wounded from both sides, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The official said the fighting was taking place west of Abyan's provincial capital of Zinjibar. Militants seized control of the town in May, taking advantage of political turmoil linked to the uprising against then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Saleh stepped down last month in a U.S.-backed power transfer deal that Washington hoped would allow Yemen's new leaders to move against al Qaeda. But the fighting highlights the difficulties faced by his successor Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in combatting the militant movement and restoring state authority in the lawless south.

The military officials said the militants were able to seize armoured vehicles, artillery pieces, assault rifles and rockets from the stores of an army base they attacked. Some of the heavy weapons were later used against the troops, causing most of the casualties. Read More

Witnesses describe apocalyptic scenes after Congo blast

BRAZZAVILLE — Stunned residents of Congo's capital surveyed damage caused by deadly blasts at a weapons depot Sunday that levelled homes, destroyed military barracks and blew out windows in a neighbouring city.

"I experienced the apocalypse," said Jeanette Nuongui, the soul survivor from a family home that was destroyed in one of the blasts that rocked Brazzaville.

"It is by the grace of God I am here. My mother died, my father, my two brothers and my two sisters also. There's nothing left," she added.

At least 100 people, possibly many more, were killed and hundreds more wounded when a weapons depot caught fire, triggering a series of at least five explosions.

Firefighters were finding it hard to fight blazes because of ongoing blasts, officials said, with a military barracks and the area around the munitions depot devastated.

"It was the first explosion that blew everything up," said Victorien-Constant Obani, a soldier whose house was located opposite the barracks. His wife was injured in the arm.

"What happened here was more than a typhoon, more than a civil war," Obani said. "My house was destroyed, I don't know what I am going to do." Read More

Paul McBride the Lawyer who was targeted in a bomb plot has been Found Dead In Pakistan Hotel

A lawyer who was targeted alongside Celtic manager Neil Lennon in a bomb plot has died in a hotel in Pakistan.

A spokesman for the family of Paul McBride QC - who two men are accused of conspiring to murder - said he died in his sleep.

A statement issued by Jack Irvine on their behalf said: "Paul died in his sleep last night in a hotel in Pakistan and at this time we would ask you to respect the privacy of his family.

"There will be no further statement in the meantime."

Two men are currently on trial at the High Court in Glasgow accused of conspiring to murder Mr McBride, Mr Lennon and former MSP Trish Godman by sending improvised explosive devices to them between March 1 and April 15 last year. Read More

Putin 'Wins Election' Amid Fraud Claims

Vladimir Putin looks on course to become Russia's president again after winning nearly 60% of the vote in the country's election, according to exit polls.

The prime minister, 59, is set to secure a new six-year term in the Kremlin despite rivals claiming that voting was marred by fraud.

Exit polls predicted the former KGB spy would win around 59% of votes - enough to avoid a run-off against the second-placed candidate.

More than 100,000 people rallied outside the Kremlin walls in central Moscow to celebrate Mr Putin's expected victory, police said.

His nearest rival, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, is thought to have taken about 17%-18% of votes. Read More

Syria Reconstruction Videos (why are the flooding youtube with this)

Syria - reconstruction - 20120218 - al-Mazzeh, Damascus - The Shooting On A Funeral - part 1.

Syria - reconstruction - 20120222 - Baba Amr, Homs City - Day 19.

Syria - reconstruction - 2011.05.20 - al-Mastoumeh, Idlib

Syria - 20120202 - Al Abrar - Damascus - Very intense gunfire.
This video is a reconstruction

Note: This group has uploaded 720 videos in the past 48 Hours seemingly from a previous channel.

They have many videos which clearly state reconstruction, do they have time to make reconstructions? or do they not fully understand the meaning of the word.

Obama warns against "loose talk" of war on Iran

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama warned on Sunday against "loose talk" of a war with Iran ahead of a crucial meeting in which he will urge Israel's prime minister to avoid a premature strike on the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities.

On the eve of his talks with Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama used a speech to the pro-Israel U.S. lobbying group AIPAC to pledge his staunch support for the Jewish state and to argue that international sanctions on Iran must given more time to work.

"I firmly believe that an opportunity remains for diplomacy - backed by pressure - to succeed," Obama told a crowd of 13,000 at the AIPAC policy conference.

Obama said the "bluster" about a military strike was counterproductive because it has been driving up global oil prices, boosting demand for Iranian oil and helping to offset the impact of sanctions on its economy.

"I would ask that we all remember the weightiness of these issues, the stakes involved for Israel, for America, and for the world. Already, there is too much loose talk of war," Obama said. Read More

Syrian rebels fight back in Homs...I thought all the Rebels Left?

Mar 4 - Amateur video purports to show Syrian rebels celebrating an attack on a military vehicle in Homs, as aid workers hope to deliver vital aid to the stricken city. Travis Brecher reports

Hundreds dead in Congo Republic blasts

Mar 4 - Around 200 people have been killed and many more injured in a series of explosions in Brazzaville, the capital of Congo Republic. Lindsey Parietti reports

Race Attack: 'You get what you deserve, white boy': Boy, 13, doused in gasoline and set alight in racially-motivated attack

Police are investigating a possible race hate attack after a 13-year-old boy was doused in gasoline and set on fire.

The teenager, who suffered first degree burns to his face and hands, is white and his two attackers black.

His mother Melissa Coon said the attackers told her son 'This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy'.

Police in Kansas City said they are investigating the alleged assault as a possible hate crime.

Investigators said the assault took place as the teen walked home from East High School. Read More

The "Risk" of Terrorism

Sperm whale is found dead on a Lincolnshire beach

A massive sperm whale carcass is causing a stink after washing up on a Lincolnshire beach.

Crowds of interested people gathered to see the 35ft (10.7m) whale today, which was first spotted near the bottom of Skegness Pier yesterday.

But they were repelled by the repugnant smell of the animal, which has large gashes across its back and may have been dead for several days.

East Lindsey District Council said it will cover the 30-tonne carcass with sand until they work out how to dispose of it.

Emma Burgess, from the council, said: 'Obviously as it is decomposing, the smell is getting worse. Read More

As Google acts, the question is: have we lost our privacy to the internet?

The rise of the internet, from obscurity to ubiquity in the course of a few decades, has had profound effects on our society and on us as individuals. No one could have predicted how significant it would become, and no one can predict with any certainty how it will develop.

This is true of the underlying technologies, but it is equally and, arguably more importantly, true of the changes that the internet has on how we communicate and interact with each other. It has brought us an overwhelming range of benefits, providing a universal tool to communicate, to organise our lives and to access entertainment.

What concerns me most is that this tool brings with it risks that we simply haven't grasped. Social networks encourage us to share every aspect of our lives with our friends, but, by providing that service, those networks see everything that we share, and use that information to categorise, profile and predict us. These services aren't "free" – we pay for them with our personal data, and the profits are huge.

It could be argued, and often is by the heads of large technology companies, that privacy is dead and that the benefits of social networks and similar services easily outweigh the perceived loss of privacy. I would argue that we do not yet fully understand the power of the data we have shared, and that by unwittingly giving this information to Google, Facebook and others we are shaping the future of our society in ways we cannot predict. Read More

Yemen fighting kills 30 troops, 14 militants

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Intense clashes erupted on Sunday between Yemeni soldiers and al-Qaida fighters in the southern province of Abyan, killing at least 30 government troops and 14 of the militants, military officials said.

The officials said the fighting was taking place west of Abyan's provincial capital of Zinjibar, held by militants since May.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The violence in Abyan highlights the challenges facing Yemen after a year of political turmoil that has allowed al-Qaida to seize several towns in the lawless south and withstand repeated army offensives to retake them.

A Defense Ministry statement said the fighting began when militants detonated "booby trapped vehicles" at an army base in the region of Koud near Zinjibar. The statement suggested that the base was overrun by the militants before army forces regrouped and took it back.

It said there were casualties on both sides but gave no figures. Read More

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE - 4th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck Antofagasta, Chile at a depth of 44.1 km (27.4 miles), the quake hit at 16:27:21 UTC Sunday 4th March 2012
The epicenter was 149 km (93 miles) Northwest from Calama, Chile
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS, RUSSIA - 4th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the Kuril Islands, Russia at a depth of 66.8 km (41.5 miles), the quake hit at 16:26:23 UTC Sunday 4th March 2012
The epicenter was 162 km (100 miles) SSW of Severo-Kuril'sk, Kuril Islands, Russia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA REGION - 4th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck the Tonga Region at a depth of 1 km (0.6 miles Poorly Constrained), the quake hit at 16:05:13 UTC Sunday 4th March 2012
The epicenter was 124 km (77 miles) SSE of NUKU`ALOFA, Tonga
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWESTERN SIBERIA, RUSSIA - 4th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Southwestern Siberia, Russia at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 15:59:03 UTC Sunday 4th March 2012
The epicenter was 119 km (74 miles) East of Kyzyl, Russia
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Whites barred from FDNY exam workshop (but that's all right)

Controversy Over FDNY Exam Workshop:

A chaotic scene unfolded outside Middle School 72 in Jamaica, Queens, on Wednesday night as several men who wanted to attend a tutorial workshop for the upcoming FDNY entrance exam were turned away.

These men said it was because they were white. The Workshop was being hosted by the Vulcan Society, a fraternal organization of black firefighters, which apparently only let in people who got a special e-mail.

Fox 5 spoke to a few people who were turned away. They didn't want to be identified, but they said it appeared that only African-American hopefuls were admitted to the event. more

Syrian forces extend attacks on opposition

(CNN) -- Relentless Syrian forces took aim at the city of Rastan on Sunday, hitting it with 15 rockets in 15 minutes, opposition activists said.

The government attack killed three people and injured dozens -- mostly children, according to Rastan opposition activists.

The opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said 15 people were killed Sunday, including seven in Homs, three in Damascus, one in Aleppo, one in Daraa, one in Deir Ezzor, one in Idlib, and one in Hama. The Syrian Network for Human Rights, another opposition group, also reported deaths in several cities.

The savage nightmare in the Syrian city of Homs will only intensify after government forces stormed the embattled neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs, opposition activists said Sunday.

"The news coming from the families who fled after the entry of the Assad military forces is that there are more horrors, more killings and surely more massacres," said Rania Kisar, a Chicago-based member of the Syrian Revolution General Commission.

Osamah, the group's media director in Hama, reported arrests, rape and torture in Baba Amr by President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

"That's why the Assad regime refuses to allow the Red Cross and the Red Crescent to enter the neighborhood," said Osamah, who did not want to use his last name for safety reasons.

After days of attempts -- and even getting permission from Syrian authorities at one point -- the International Committee of the Red Cross has been denied entry Baba Amr.

But on Sunday, aid workers from the ICRC and the Syrian Red Crescent started distributing food and supplies in Abel, a village 3 kilometers from Homs, an ICRC spokeswoman said.

"The plan is to continue to the Inshaat and al-Tawzee neighborhoods, both in Homs, to the displaced families and people who fled Baba Amr," Carla Haddad Mardini said Sunday. "We hope to enter Baba Amr today but nothing is confirmed."

New videos that have surfaced from Homs suggest a fresh wave of killings by the Syrian military after the fall of Baba Amr.

Opposition activists provided CNN with the videos, purportedly showing the bodies of 17 civilians that were discovered Wednesday in villages near Baba Amr following a government assault.

Much of the footage is too graphic to broadcast, but an analysis of the videos showed at least 12 bodies. Read More

Yemen suicide attack kills 7 soldiers: officials

(Reuters) - Suicide bombers linked to al Qaeda killed at least seven soldiers in coordinated attacks on military outposts in southern Yemen Sunday, officials and residents said, part of an escalation of violence since a presidential vote two weeks ago.

The attacks underscore the challenges facing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as he tries to restore stability to Yemen after a year of protests against his predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh, that pushed the country to the brink of civil war.

Residents and local officials said a vehicle containing explosives blew up at a military position held by coastal guards at the western entrance of Zinjibar, capital of the Abyan province.

Another vehicle was detonated at an artillery position at the southern entrance of Zinjibar, killing and wounding an unknown number of people.

Medical sources said at least seven had been killed and 12 were injured. Residents and local officials put the death toll at 15. Read More

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake LUZON, PHILIPPINES - 4th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck Luzon, Philippines at a depth of 152.5 km (94.8 miles), the quake hit at 14:26:19 UTC Sunday 4th March 2012
The epicenter was 55 km (34 miles) Southwest of MANILA, Philippines
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake SALTA, ARGENTINA - 4th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Salta, Argentina at a depth of 155.3 km (96.5 miles), the quake hit at 13:18:49 UTC Sunday 4th March 2012
The epicenter was 68 km (42 miles) West of San Antonio de los Cobres, Salta, Argentina
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Congo-Brazzaville arms depot explosions leave hundreds dead

Series of large explosions kills at least 200 people in Brazzaville and shatters windows across the Congo river in Kinshasa.

At least 200 people have been killed and many more injured in a series of explosions in the capital of Congo-Brazzaville, according to a senior presidency official.

"According to sources at the central hospital we're talking of around 200 dead and many injured," said Betu Bangana, the head of protocol in the president's office in Brazzaville.

The blasts took place on Sunday after a fire started in an arms depot at a military base.

Panic spread from Brazzaville across the Congo river to Kinshasa, where windows were shattered by the force of the blasts. The river separates the former French colony of Congo-Brazzaville from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Both governments called for calm and there was no immediate suspicion of anything but an accident. Congo-Brazzaville is one of sub-Saharan Africa's top oil producers. Read More

Syria Homs, Bab Omar "Leaked Video"- The So Called Doctor Kaled Abo Saleh lies against Syria

Note: Can anyone confirm what he is saying?

Republic of Congo : Explosions in the capital leaves at least 150 Dead

A series of explosions that occurred at a military base in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, left 150 dead so far, according to diplomatic sources.

Witnesses said an ammunition depot caught fire and several nearby buildings collapsed. It was reported that residents fled to the east of the city. The explosions were heard several kilometers away, even in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. Source

Note: This above report could not be confirmed, most reports speak of Anonymity as no Authorization has been given to the media.

Strong explosions shook the Sunday morning the capital of the Republic of Congo, Brazzaville rocking homes and causing the same effect on the opposite bank of the Congo River where is the capital of neighboring country. A senior military said an arsenal exploded in Brazzaville.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give statements to the media. He did not elaborate.

Witnesses said the blasts began at dawn on Sunday and came from the north of Brazzaville, in West Africa. Witnesses said the impact of the explosions caused the doors to open in the city. Failed to get more information from the authorities or witnesses, partly because the telephone system was saturated.

Explosions were also heard in Kinshasa, the capital of neighboring Congo. Read More Update Sky News: At least 150 people have died in the Republic of Congo after a munitions depot caught fire and caused several large explosions, a European diplomat has said.

The disaster happened at the Mpila military barracks in the east of the Congolese capital, Brazzaville, and sent a huge plume of smoke above the city.

"We count at least 150 dead in the military hospitals and around 1,500 injured, some of them seriously," the diplomat said.

Betu Bangana, head of protocol in the president's office, said "lots of buildings have been destroyed" Read More