Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Washington DC has no count of jobs growth from stimulus, despite having spent $885 million of YOUR money

Despite receiving more than $885 million in federal economic stimulus funds since 2009, the D.C. government — whose residents face one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation — cannot say how many jobs it actually created for those who live in the District.

Most of the money has been spent, and data suggest that overall regional job growth did occur as a result of the massive infusion of capital. But a review by The Washington Times of figures provided by D.C. officials shows that the city spent hundreds of millions of dollars without being able to demonstrate any significant improvement in the city’s jobs outlook.

If anything, the employment picture has worsened in the District. At the end of 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city’s unemployment rate was 10.4 percent, ahead of only three states: Nevada (12.6 percent), California (11.1 percent) and Rhode Island (10.8 percent).

That figure contrasts sharply with a 5.5 percent unemployment rate in the metropolitan D.C. area, which includes parts of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Read More

More Than 15% Obese in Nearly All U.S. Metro Areas

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Adult obesity rates were higher than 15% in all but three of the 190 metropolitan areas that Gallup and Healthways surveyed in 2011. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, residents were the most likely to be obese, at 38.8%, while people living in Boulder, Colo., were the least likely, at 12.1%.

Nationwide, 26.1% of American adults were obese in 2011. The average obesity rate in the 10 metro areas with the highest obesity rates in 2011 was 34.8%, compared with 15.9% in the 10 metro areas where rates were lowest. Boulder, Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., and Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo., are the only three metro areas that achieved the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's nationwide goal of lowering obesity rates to 15%.

Gallup tracks U.S. obesity levels as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, using Americans' self-reported height and weight to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI) scores. BMI scores of 30 or higher are considered obese. Read More

Pro-Ron Paul super PAC rethinks spending

The main super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is reassessing its heavy financial support of the Texas congressman following his disappointing Super Tuesday performance, an official confirmed to POLITICO.

“Yes, we are reassessing our efforts, but we have always felt that we are a part of a larger movement rather than just a single election,” Endorse Liberty super PAC leader Abe Niederhauser said. “We will continue to support Dr. Paul, but ultimately, we support an idea.

We will support candidates who uphold the principles of liberty. We may also get involved in some of the Senate and House races.”

If Endorse Liberty scales back funding, the move could be yet another blow to Paul, who has yet to win a single presidential primary or caucus contest. Read More

Would you take a course about the coming zombie apocalypse?

While college students in the morning can sometimes resemble a shambling horde of the undead, one course at Michigan State University hopes to use that imagery to a positive educational effect.

Instructor Glen Stutzky is launching a course titled Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: Catastrophes and Human Behaviour at MSU's School of Social Work. The class will look at "the nature, scope and impact of catastrophic events on individuals, families, societies, civilizations and the Earth itself," according to the course description.

The online course looks at catastrophic events in human history including the Great Plague in the 14th century and the Shensi, China earthquake in 1556, which killed more than a million people. Read More

Lottery Winner on Food Stamps...

Anger over Sweden's 'secret' Saudi arms plant

Opposition condemns government after broadcaster reveals documents said to show links between Swedish firm and Riyadh.

Sweden has been secretly helping Saudi Arabia plan the construction of an arms factory to produce anti-tank missiles, the Swedish national broadcaster has reported.

The Swedish Defence Research Agency (known by its Swedish acronym FOI) has co-operated with Saudi Arabia since 2005, though construction on "Project Simoom" has yet to begin, Swedish Radio reported on Tuesday, citing hundreds of classified documents and interviews with key players.

Denying the existence of the project, Jan-Olof Lind, the FOI director general, told the radio station: "We do not have a project agreement with that country."

While Sweden has sold weapons to Saudi Arabia in the past, classified government documents show that the current project "pushes the boundaries of what is possible for a Swedish authority", the radio reported.

"The fact that an authority such as FOI is involved in the planning of a weapons factory for a government in a dictatorship such as Saudi Arabia is quite unique," the radio said.

Asked specifically if there has been a Project Simoom with Saudi Arabia, Lind replied: "No. And I do not wish to comment on discussions that may or may not have occurred between Sweden and Saudi Arabia. These discussions are classified." Read More

Triple trouble in Europe, US and China brings out the bears

Graham Secker from Morgan Stanley said it is rare for global stocks, oil prices and government bonds to rise in lockstep, and such exuberance becomes a "very reliable sell signal for stocks" once speculators join the party.

Equity long positions on NASDAQ have reached 1.5 standard deviations and long bets on oil are at an extreme of 1.9, according to data from the Commodity Futures Exchange Commission. This is occurring at a time when yields on 10-year US Treasuries are still at 1.96pc, signalling depression, deflation, or both.

The historical relationship between bonds and equities has completely broken down over the past six months. "You can't have a sustained period where equities are going up, while bond yields are flat or trending down," said Mr Secker.

One or the other must give, and bears have no doubt which it will be. Fund manager John Hussman said the market is replicating the "extreme" conditions seen at danger moments in 1972-1973, 1987 and 2007-2008. His warning indicators include a rise in the S&P 500 index by more than 8pc above its 52-week moving average, a "Shiller price/earnings ratio" above 18, and bearish sentiment below 27pc. Read More

Ugandan Warlord Video Takes Web By Surprise

A video campaign to bring an accused Ugandan war criminal to justice has taken the world by surprise after receiving over 25 million web hits.

Joseph Kony, the fugitive head of the Lord's Resistance Army rebels, is accused of abducting thousands of children and forcing them to become either soldiers or sex slaves.

The video claims his rebel group is behind atrocities across four African countries - Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

On Wednesday, the hashtag #stopkony, was among the top trending topics on Twitter.

The campaign that has inspired the recent interest was launched by the charity group Invisible Children with an emotional 30-minute video which has been viewed more than 25 million times on YouTube and attracted more than 150,000 comments. Read More

University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre Shooting: 2 Killed

At least two people have been killed and seven others wounded after an armed man opened fire in the psychiatric unit of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre.

The gunman, who has not yet been identified, was reported to be one of the dead.

"Police have told us there were nine total victims... two of whom have been confirmed dead," the hospital said on Twitter.

"According to police, one of two confirmed dead... is believed to be the shooter."

An unidentified official said a University of Pittsburgh police officer shot the gunman, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Local media also reported that one of the injured was a police officer.

Armed police moved into the clinic shortly after 2pm local time, and both the University of Pittsburgh and adjacent medical centre were placed on lockdown while police searched for the shooter.

Classes are on break this week at the university, however employees were at work as usual.

A message was sent to employees at 2.08pm local time saying that several people had been injured and that a lock-down at the clinic, known as Western Psych, was "recommended until further notice".

"If safe to do so, tell others of this message," it said. Read More

Hostages Die in Failed Rescue Bid in Nigeria

Two hostages - a Briton and an Italian - have been killed by terrorists in northern Nigeria in an attempted rescue operation.

The effort to free Chris McManus, from northwest England, and his colleague Franco Lamolinara was launched by British special forces and the Nigerian army.

Sky sources said there were no fatalities on the British and Nigerian forces' side but there were several fatalities among the hostage-takers.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the pair appeared to have died at the hands of their captors, either before or during the course of the rescue bid.

Sky sources said it is believed there was a fight and during the assault the UK and Nigerian forces could not get to Mr McManus and Mr Lamolinara in time.

"It strongly appears that the hostage-takers shot the hostages," the sources said. Read More

Syria: UN Envoy Warns Against Arming Rebels

The United Nation's special envoy to Syria has warned against any further militarisation of the country's crisis - amid a groundswell of international support for arming anti-Assad activists.

Instead, Kofi Annan called for more diplomatic efforts, saying he would try to urge the opposition and Syrian President Bashar al Assad to seek a political solution.

"I believe further militarisation will make the situation worse," Mr Annan said after talks in Cairo with Arab League secretary general Nabil al Arabi.

"We have to be careful that we don't introduce a medicine that is worse than the disease.

"We don't have to go very far in the region to find an example of what I am talking about and I think we should be very careful when we raise these issues."

He did not name the example, although he was secretary general of the UN when US-led troops invaded Iraq, Syria's neighbour, in 2003. Read More

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 9th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck off the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 34.9 km (21.7 miles), the quake hit at 03:38:29 UTC Friday 9th March 2012
The epicenter was 281 km (174 miles) ESE of Hachinohe, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 9th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 33.7 km (20.9 miles), the quake hit at 02:24:46 UTC Friday 9th March 2012
The epicenter was 58 km (36 miles) SSE of Iwaki, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE COAST OF NORTHERN PERU - 9th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck off the Coast of Northern Peru at a depth of 32 km (19.9 miles), the quake hit at 02:03:32 UTC Friday 9th March 2012
The epicenter was 144 km (89 miles) WSW of Trujillo, Peru
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake MINDORO, PHILIPPINES - 9th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Mindoro, Philippines at a depth of 211.5 km (131.4 miles), the quake hit at 02:01:02 UTC Friday 9th March 2012
The epicenter was 40 km (24 miles) West of Batangas, Luzon, Philippines
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA - 9th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck the Kepulauan Mentawai Region, Indonesia at a depth of 37.9 km (23.6 miles), the quake hit at 01:38:36 UTC Friday 9th March 2012
The epicenter was 222 km (137 miles) West of Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

6.0 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 8th Mar 2012

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck Southern Xinjiang, China at a depth of 35.5 km (22.1 miles), the quake hit at 22:50:08 UTC Thursday 8th March 2012
The epicenter was 214 km (132 miles) SSE of Aksu, Xinjiang, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Note: USGS has this earthquake downgraded to a 5.8 Magnitude, Most of the stations measure this earthquake at 6.0 or Higher with a minority further from the epicenter measuring this earthquake slightly lower.

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 8th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck off the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 20:59:29 UTC Thursday 8th March 2012
The epicenter was 271 km (168 miles) East of Kamaishi, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SERAM, INDONESIA - 8th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Seram, Indonesia at a depth of 23 km (14.2 miles), the quake hit at 20:36:59 UTC Thursday 8th March 2012
The epicenter was 80 km (49.6 miles) Northeast of Amahai, Seram, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake MINDORO, PHILIPPINES - 8th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck Mindoro, Philippines at a depth of 78.5 km (48.8 miles), the quake hit at 20:03:20 UTC Thursday 8th March 2012
The epicenter was 73 km (45 miles) WSW of Batangas, Luzon, Philippines
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Greece debt swap down to the wire

Greece is on the cusp of what could be a real make or break moment.

The nation's private sector creditors have until the end of the day to decide whether or not to accept a proposed restructuring of Greek government bonds.

There have been signs that a significant number of bondholders will volunteer for the debt swap, which Greece needs to avoid a default.

The terms of the restructuring are not attractive for bondholders. They have been "invited" to voluntarily take part in a writedown and debt swap that could result in losses of up to 75%.

For Greece, and the eurozone, the stakes are potentially huge.

The agreement on private sector involvement, as it is known, is the final hurdle Greece must clear to meet all the conditions of its second €130 billion bailout program from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

An announcement is expected to be published around 1 a.m. ET Friday on the official government website for the exchange. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos is expected to update the cabinet about the latest developments sometime Thursday. more

War drums from Iran and Israel drown out rich past

The saber-rattling between Iran and Israel conjures fears of mass casualties and a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Israel has threatened to attack Iran to stop it from obtaining nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and has threatened to strike first against enemies who threaten its national interests.

The tough talk makes it easy to forget that Israel and Iran have not always been enemies. The Jews of Israel and Persians of Iran have had a rich and nuanced relationship dating back thousands of years.

They have enjoyed an "overwhelmingly positive connection" for centuries, said Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council and author of "Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States."

In fact, Israeli Jews grow up reading a Bible story about the Persian leader Cyrus the Great, who is said to have liberated Jews and allowed them to return from exile to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, said David Menashri, an Israeli expert on Israeli-Iranian relations. more

Dear Spammers...

We have the entire website monitored 24/7, so trying to sneak in your company's name or product into the comments of our articles simply will never work: the comment entry is deleted before it ever appears, and is also never cached. It's basically erased from existence without a single pair of eyes being set upon it. We even study profile pages to make sure that comments aren't misleading others to a page that leads to commercial interests, rather than contributing to the discussion.

When it comes to sniffing out, we're good.

That said, if you feel that our website is worth spamming, why not consider actually advertising on it? We receive millions of page views a year and growing, and reach a broad international audience. There's no need for you to sneak around to no avail when you are more than welcome to contact us directly. We'd be more than happy to hear from you and listen to any proposals you might have. Honest!

Take care, and remember: we're watching you... *ominous music*

Solar storm has minor impact on Earth

WASHINGTON - A solar storm that shook the Earth’s magnetic field on Thursday spared satellite and power systems as it delivered a glancing blow, although it could still intensify until early Friday, U.S. space weather experts said.

The geomagnetic storm surging from the sun was initially expected to be strong enough to disrupt power grids, airplane traffic and space-based satellite navigation systems. But U.S. government scientists on Thursday downgraded their prediction on the intensity of the storm - a big cloud of charged particles spawned by two solar flares.

“At this point, it has been oriented in such a way that the net effect on the earth’s magnetic field has been minimized,” said Joseph Kunches, a space weather specialist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Kunches said there were still some communication disruptions in the polar regions of the Earth that led airlines to reroute flights on Wednesday to avoid problems. The storm was not likely to be strong enough to disrupt GPS systems, he added.

Like hurricanes, solar storms have a rating system, with G1 being less severe and G5 being more intense. Scientists initially expected a G3 storm, but on Thursday said it turned out to be a “minor” G1 disturbance. Read More

Vietnam reports 4th bird flu infection

Vietnam’s fourth bird flu (H5N1) patient of the year, and the first in the Central Highlands region, is being treated at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, the hospital’s deputy director Le Manh Hung told Thanh Nien Wednesday.

The 32-year-old male patient, known as N.D.T, from Dak Lak Province, was admitted to the hospital on Monday with high fever, fatigue and respiratory problems.

He was put on a breathing machine and kept in quarantine.

His family said they had previously slaughtered and eatend a sick home-raised chicken more than 10 days ago. T. then developed a cough and high fever.

The chicken's flock also died, the family said.

T. was treated with medicine at home for the first three days after falling sick. After being admitted to Dak Lak Hospital, his condition did not improve.

He was then transferred to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases where tests showed he was positive with the H5N1 virus

Vietnam has so far this year reported four bird flu infections, two of which are fatal, after 20 months’ absence. Read More

Bird flu in 6 city markets in Bangladesh

The H5N1 strain of bird flu has affected six poultry markets in the capital recently.

Over the last 15 days, three workers from one of the markets have been diagnosed with the flu. However, they have recovered.

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) made the detections.

The markets are among the 16 poultry markets which the two research organisations keep under constant surveillance. Their latest finding was on Wednesday, IEDCR sources say.

Also on Wednesday, the Department of Livestock Services in a meeting has decided to form 10 committees comprising personnel from it and also the health ministry, police and Bangladesh Ansar to monitor all poultry markets dividing the city in 10 zones.

Musaddique Hossain, a director of the livestock services, said they had issued letters to all the stakeholders in poultry trading and processing, asking them to comply with the Animal Disease Act, 2008 that prohibits selling sick fowls.

Each committee will take steps including checking movement of ill or dead fowls, compelling poultry workers to use gloves and masks and treating bloods, faeces and feathers properly, he said. Read More

Boaters warned of whales in San Francisco Bay‎

Boaters are being warned to steer clear of a mother gray whale and calf that wandered off course into San Francisco Bay during spring migration.

The whales were seen surfacing Wednesday off San Francisco's Crissy Field at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Federal wildlife officials say witnesses observed one incident where a small boat sped toward the whales, forcing the pair to get out of the way.

Farallones Marine Sanctuary spokeswoman Mary Jane Schramm says boaters who harass whales could face civil and criminal penalties.

Thousands of gray whales migrate each spring from calving grounds off the coast of Mexico to their feeding grounds in Alaskan waters.

Several whales typically find their way into the bay each year. Schramm says gray whales typically swim closest to shore. Source

A new patient zero? Researchers may have spotted animal-to-human immunodeficiency virus transfer

A group of scientists working in Ivory Coast may have discovered a case of infection of a human with a novel variety of an animal immunodeficiency virus, in circumstances that suggest it was a direct infection from an animal. The research was presented at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle.

There are a number of other explanations for the appearance of a never previously observed variety of HIV-2 in a blood sample collected from an eight-year-old boy, but the researchers suspect that their finding may illustrate that animal-to-human immunodeficiency virus infections continue to occur sporadically.

HIV-2 is not a particularly pathogenic virus in the majority of patients who acquire it; many people never develop clinical symptoms and it remains to be seen whether this variety is transmissible or will be a single ‘dead end’ infection – or indeed whether it is a viable virus at all.

HIV-2 is a separate immunodeficiency virus from HIV-1. Its animal host is the sooty mangabey monkey, which is native to a swathe of forest in west Africa stretching from Senegal to Ivory Coast. Sabina Locatelli of Montpellier University in France reminded the conference that there are eight known subspecies of HIV-2 (A to H), each representing a separate transfer of sooty mangabey monkey virus (SIVsmm) to humans: we know this because human HIV-2 species are as genetically distinct from each other as monkey varieties are, and are more similar to related monkey strains than to unrelated human ones. Only two HIV-2 strains, A and B, have given rise to more than single infections, and the nearest monkey precursors to five out of the eight strains, including A and B, have been found in the Taï National Park in southwest Ivory Coast. Read More

African Horse Sickness Hits Swaziland‎

Three horses from Swaziland are dead after contracting African horse sickness (AHS), according to a report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Swaziland is located in Southwest Africa.

African horse sickness is a fatal viral disease spread by Culicoides--tiny, blood-sucking insects--that can affect horses, mules, and donkeys, as well as dogs and camels. Horses are most susceptible to AHS, with a 75-90% mortality rate. A vaccine is available, but no effective treatment methods exist for infected horses. For survivors, recovery is slow.

According to information received by the OIE from Dr. Roland Xolani Dlamini, director of Veterinary and Livestock Services at the Swaziland Ministry of Agriculture, on March 3, four cases of AHS have been diagnosed (either via clinical signs or necropsy) at one farm in Matsapha; three of the four died as a result of the disease. Surviving affected horses are being treated, mainly via supportive care, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antibiotics, the report said. Read More

Hundreds of fish at Luton Hoo lakes killed by sewage

A hotel's fish lakes, which form part of the River Lea in Bedfordshire, have been decimated by sewage from a blocked sewer in Luton.

Thames Water and the Environment Agency (EA) are investigating the "significant" pollution at Luton Hoo, a private estate owned by Elite Hotels.

Sewage had flowed into the 40-acre lakes, starving the fish of oxygen.

The EA said it had stopped pollution at its source and had tried to prevent it flowing downstream into the river.

Luton Hoo estate manager Richard Biffen said he had been concerned about a "horrendous" smell at the north lake on 28 February.

Tests showed that oxygen levels were lower than the required 40% and an investigation found the cause was a blocked sewer, which is being cleared by Thames Water. Read More

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION - 8th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck the Iran-Iraq Border Region at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 18:21:48 UTC Thursday 8th March 2012
The epicenter was 48 km (29.8 miles) West of Darrehshahr, Iran
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Martian dust devil 2,600-feet tall caught on camera

Link A towering dust devil reaching half a mile in height has been pictured swirling across the surface of Mars by Nasa.

The Agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured the image with its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on February 16 this year as it passed over the Amazonis Planitia region of the planet.

Despite the atmosphere on Mars being desperately thin – one per cent of Earth’s pressure – the planet's winds are strong enough to produce dramatic events and in the area observed, paths of many previous whirlwinds, or dust devils, are visible as streaks on the dusty surface. Read More

Karl Henderson sues prison chiefs over 'abusive' cards from victim's son because it's against his HUMAN RIGHTS....Death Penalty Anyone?

A convicted murderer is suing his prison for £50,000 because his victim's son sent him greetings cards - claiming it is a breach of his human rights.

Karl Henderson, 40, was jailed for 30 years for shooting dead a suspected drug dealer with a shotgun in 1996.

But in the years since, the, killer - once described by a judge as 'thoroughly evil' - has received a series of Christmas and birthday messages from the victim's son.

He claims jail chiefs should have intercepted the cards before they reached his cell, complaining that he needed anti-depressants after they kept arriving, even after he moved prisons.

But despite promises from wardens that they would stop, Henderson, who is serving time at Long Lartin high security jail, in Worcestershire, still received six more. Read More

Note: I am sick to death hearing about killers, child abusers, terrorists receiving payouts, which we have to Pay....Why do the most evil in society get better treatment and handouts than our Pensioners.

Take away their human rights, they sure didn't think of the human rights of their victims and still don't.

If the EU wants so many human rights for the criminals, then let them build a huge play park for them in Brussels and be done with it.

Abby Lee Miller NOT FIT to be AROUND Children, and WHY are the Authorities not putting a stop to this?

Girls as young as EIGHT wear nude bikinis and dance burlesque routines
Ms Miller, who has never been a professional dancer, is seen instructing the girls to act like 'I'm hot, I'm mean, you can't have me, you can't afford me'


Dance Moms hits a new low: Girls young as EIGHT wear nude bikinis and dance burlesque in front of their mothers -- Child exploitation now a sport

Lifetime's Dance Moms has hit new lows by asking its child contestants - the youngest of whom is just eight-years-old - to dress in nude bikinis and perform a burlesque routine on stage.

The raunchy dance moves are usually the domain of striptease experts, the X-rated acts brimming with nudity, nipple tassels and sexually explicit poses.

But a clip from this week's show sees dance teacher Abby Lee Miller dressing the children in tan bikinis to give the audience the impression of full nudity, before asking them to act as if a man 'cant' afford' them.

Upon announcing the suggestive routine - 'the audience should think that you are nude', reveals Ms Miler - the show's infamously competitive moms and their daughters are clearly shocked, as shown in the preview at Jezebel.

A wide-eyed eight-year-old Mackenzie tells the camera: 'I don't want to be naked on stage.'

Blonde-haired mother Christi is unequivocal: 'No-one ever wants to hear the word nude associated with their ten-year-old. Ever.' more

X-37B Revealed: How America's secret space plane has been in orbit for over a year - and no one knows what it's doing

The U.S Air Force’s highly secret unmanned space plane was supposed to stay in space for nine months, but it’s now been there for a year and three days – and no one knows what it’s doing.

The experimental craft has been circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour and was due to land in California in December.

However the mission of the X-37B orbital test vehicle was extended – for unknown reasons.

The plane resembles a mini space shuttle and is the second to fly in space.

The first one landed last December at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California after more than seven months in orbit.

The 29-foot, solar-powered craft had an original mission of 270 days.

The Air Force said the second mission was to further test the technology but the ultimate purpose has largely remained a mystery. Read More

Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara killed in failed rescue attempt to free him from captors in Nigeria

A British and Italian hostage have been killed after a botched rescue attempt to free the pair from Al Qaeda kidnappers.

Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara had been held since May last year after being captured in northern Nigeria.

Their kidnappers are believed to have killed the hostage as a special force team - including British troops - moved in to free them.

Eight members of the Special Boat Service, supported by between eight to 12 Royal Marine commandos, carried out the operation.

Their deaths were confirmed by David Cameron who phoned Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti to tell him the news.

The pair had been working in Nigeria when they were taken last year.

They were seen pleading for their lives in a number of videos released by their captors. Source

Severe hail storm destroys harvest in eastern Sicily

(AGI) Siracusa - A severe hail storm has severely damaged fruit and vegetable before they were harvested on the part of Sicily on the area of Ionian Sea in the areas of Lentini, Carlentini, Francofonte, Villasmundo and Augusta.

In a few short hours the downpour destroyed farmers' remaining hopes of being able to face difficult market conditions.

There were large accumulations of hail, up to 30 cm deep. The damage to agriculture was so severe that the Confagricoltura of Siracusa has asked that a state of disaster be declared for farmers affected by this exceptional weather event. . . Source

Colour poisoning mars Holi in Mumbai; 144 hospitalised, Mostly Children

Holi celebrations in Mumbai on Thursday (March 8) were marred when over 140 people, mostly children, suffered colour poisoning and many were hospitalised following allergic reaction in Dharavi area.

"Altogether 144 cases of colour poisoning came to the hospital and over 50 people who have been affected the most, have been admitted," a hospital source said.

The incident occurred in Shastrinagar area of Dharavi this afternoon when Holi celebrations were in full swing. Several people developed allergic reaction to the colours and were rushed to the Lokmanya Tilak municipal general hospital at Sion.

"The affected persons complained of giddiness and vomiting," a hospital official said.

Some cases were serious on admission but are now stable after treatment, he added.

Those hospitalised include children aged 9-10 years. Read More

Landslide in southern China kills 7

GUANGZHOU - A landslide triggered by rainstorm killed seven people in South China's Guangdong province Tuesday evening, local authorities said Wednesday.

The landslide occurred at 7:35 pm on Tuesday at a farm in the village of Likeng in Qingxin county, burying eight people, including six adults and two children, a county spokesman said.
Rescuers managed to pull out an adult alive from mud but seven others died, after a ten-hour rescue work.

Also on Wednesday, the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and National Disaster Reduction Committee (NDRC) said 7 people were dead or missing in natural disasters last month, which affected a total of 15.17 million people.

According to a joint statement issued by the MCA and the NDRC, natural disasters resulted in direct economic losses of 4.55 billion yuan ($719.9 million) during the month and 9,000 people had to be relocated.

More than 1.2 million hectares of crops were affected by inclement weather, the statement said, adding that 38,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Drought was the month's most serious natural phenomena, with extremely low temperatures, heavy snowfall, earthquakes, hail storms, sandstorms, landslides and forest fires also wreaking havoc in some areas, the statement said.

However, the damage inflicted by the disasters was less serious than in previous years, the statement said. Source