Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Sunday, March 11, 2012

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 11th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska at a depth of 2 km (1.2 miles), the quake hit at 20:33:59 UTC Sunday 11th March 2012
The epicenter was 82 km (50.8 miles) Southeast of Atka, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

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Swine Flu (H1N1) Guatemala Kills 4 Infects 55 more

Infections with the influenza virus A (H1N1) recorded an increase in Guatemala, with 55 confirmed cases and four deaths.

In addition to the deaths of two adults in hospitals in the capital, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said two children died in late February in the central-eastern department of Zacapa.

They were part of seven children who had died of unknown causes, and further analysis determined that two of the cases died from the virus.

Health facilities handle up to 50,000 cases of acute respiratory infections and colds per week, said the director of the National Epidemiology Center, Francisco Ardon, quoted by the newspaper Prensa Libre.

Of the confirmed cases in the course of this year, symptoms in 493 persons made them suspicious of influenza and of those 55 were confirmed: 52 of type A and three of type B, the source added.

President Otto Perez Molina reiterated the instruction to the ministry of health to take all safety and prevention measures and ensure the availability of Tamiflu, a drug used against the A (H1N1) influenza. Read More

Obama: Afghan Killing Rampage Is 'Shocking'

President Barack Obama has called an incident in which an American soldier killed 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, "tragic and shocking".

In a written statement, Mr Obama said: "I offer my condolences to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives, and to the people of Afghanistan, who have endured too much violence and suffering.

"This incident is tragic and shocking, and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan." Read More

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 11th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck the Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska at a depth of 63.5 km (39.5 miles), the quake hit at 19:02:59 UTC Sunday 11th March 2012
The epicenter was 91 km (56 miles) Southeast of Atka, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 11th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck the Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska at a depth of 33.7 km (20.9 miles), the quake hit at 19:00:51 UTC Sunday 11th March 2012
The epicenter was 91 km (56 miles) SSW of Atka, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Palestinian seeking truce, Israel not in hurry

Two Palestinian parties say Egypt is playing a major role in efforts to end violence between terrorists, IDF; Hamas says its working with Palestinian factions to broker ceasefire.

While Hamas and the Palestinian Authority were actively trying to get Egypt on Sunday to broker a cease fire as the IAF hit targets in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian rockets continued to pound the south, Jerusalem was not fervently campaigning for a cease fire at this time.

A high-level Hamas delegation headed by Musa Abu Marzouk arrived in Cairo Sunday for talks with Egyptian officials on ways of ending the violence that erupted after IDF killed Zuheir al-Qeisi, commander of the Popular Resistance Committees, on Friday. As a result, the Palestinians have fired scores of rockets into southern Israel. Read More

Pensioner Trapped By Man Wielding Knife at a house in Sandwell, West Midlands

Police negotiators are trying to save an elderly woman trapped inside a property with a knife-wielding man.

Officers were called to the house in Sandwell, West Midlands, on Sunday morning after concerns for the woman's welfare were raised.

The incident is believed to be domestic-related and is still ongoing, with officers working to bring it to an end.

Chief Superintendent Phil Kay, from West Midlands Police, said: "Officers received an emergency call this morning regarding concerns for the welfare of a woman aged in her 80s, who lives at an address in Oldbury.

"Police made further inquiries which confirmed that a man aged in his 40s was also inside the property in Perry Hill Road and was armed with a knife. At this stage the incident is believed to be domestic-related.

"Specialist officers including force negotiators remain at the scene this evening as they continue to try and bring the situation to a peaceful and safe resolution."

More to follow...

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake TURKEY - 11th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck Turkey at a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles), the quake hit at 18:28:17 UTC Sunday 11th March 2012
The epicenter was 11 km (6.8 miles) Southeast of Özalp, Turkey
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake CARLSBERG RIDGE - 11th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck the Carlsberg Ridge at a depth of 10.1 km (6.3 miles), the quake hit at 18:11:09 UTC Sunday 11th March 2012
The epicenter was 935 km (581 miles) West from MALE, Maldives
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 11th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake has struck the Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska at a depth of 35.8 km (22.2 miles), the quake hit at 17:58:29 UTC Sunday 11th March 2012
The epicenter was 90 km (55 miles) Southeast of Atka, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Banks hit by new mis-selling scandal

Britain's leading banks are facing new allegations of mis-selling complex financial products to hundreds of small businesses despite them having little knowledge of what they were buying, a Sunday Telegraph investigation has revealed.

All of the UK's major banks, including Barclays and HSBC, as well as taxpayer-backed lenders Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, are facing legal action which could lead to billions of pounds of damages for small and medium-sized businesses.

The businesses claim the banks profited at their expense from pushing them to take out highly complex interest rate derivatives.

Many of the claimants spoken to by The Sunday Telegraph said they were not aware of the significant costs attached to the products that were supposed to protect loans from upward movements in interest rates.

When interest rates plunged after the 2008 financial crisis, businesses were left facing significant bills, with some of the derivatives costing business owners hundreds of thousands to millions of pounds.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that RBS was so concerned about the issue it launched an internal audit in January into its sale of interest rate derivatives to SME customers. It said this weekend that it was "satisfied" that sales "had been conducted in accordance" with its own its rules. Read More

Sarkozy threatens to pull France from Europe visa-free zone...UK has borders and it doesn't make a bit of Difference

PARIS — President Nicolas Sarkozy threatened in a key election rally Sunday to pull France out of Europe's 25-nation visa free zone unless the EU does more to keep out illegal immigrants.

Sarkozy, who this week said France had too many foreigners, made the threat at a mass meeting which he hopes will turn the tide against front-running Socialist Francois Hollande with just 42 days to go before election day.

The so-called Schengen passport-free zone must urgently be overhauled to fight the flow of illegal immigration, said the right-wing leader, returning to a constant theme in his bid for five more years at the Elysee palace.

To chants of "Nicolas, president!" from the tens of thousands in the flag-waving audience, Sarkozy said unchecked immigration would put extra strain on social safety nets for Europe's poorest.

"In the coming 12 months, (if) there is no serious progress towards this (reforming Schengen), France would then suspend its participation in the Schengen accords until negotiations conclude," he declared.

The Schengen area is home to 400 million Europeans who can cross borders without a passport.

Once inside the area, illegal immigrants can theoretically move freely between the participating states. Sarkozy accuses some EU states of having lax border controls that let in illegals who may later turn up in France. Read More

Syria crisis: Annan 'optimistic' after talks with Assad

UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan has said he is "optimistic" following a second round of talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

He said he had handed over "concrete proposals" to end the bloodshed, but acknowledged no deal was yet in place.

In talks on Saturday, Mr Assad rejected political dialogue while "armed terrorist groups" operated in Syria.

Mr Annan is trying to arrange a ceasefire and gain greater access for humanitarian aid agencies.

But many in the opposition will be sceptical that the Syrian leader will take any notice, the BBC's Jon Donnison reports from neighbouring Lebanon.

Activists say troops are continuing an assault on the city of Idlib where Free Syrian Army fighters are holed up.

The rebel fighters are vastly outgunned and fear a massive prolonged assault similar to that which took place in the city of Homs. Read More

Tornado Watch for Southwest and Northern Louisiana, East Texas and Coastal Waters FROM 1155 AM UNTIL 700 PM CDT.










U.S. embassy in Kabul warns of anti-American reprisals as Cover-up is Exposed by witnesses

(Reuters) - The U.S. embassy in Kabul warned on Sunday that anti-American reprisals are possible after Western forces went on a rampage in southern Kandahar province, killing at least 15 civilians. (9 Children, 3 woman and at least 2 men)

The embassy issued the warning in a text message to media. Source

Additional Update:

(Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned a shooting rampage by Western soldiers in southern Kandahar province on Sunday as "intentional murders" and demanded an explanation from the United States.

The victims of the shooting spree, which left up to 16 civilians dead, included nine children and three women, Karzai's office said in a statement. Source

Ahmadinejad: Iran doesn't fear bombs and warships

(Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has launched a fresh tirade against the West, saying the Islamic Republic does not fear military action, Iranian media reported on Sunday.

"The Iranian nation doesn't fear your bombs and warships and planes. Such weapons are worth nothing," the Fars News Agency quoted him as saying on a visit to the town of Karaj, to the west of Tehran.

"You say to Iran all options are on the table. Leave them there until they rot. The time of arrogance and colonialism has passed, and the era of your unreasonableness passes too."

On Tuesday, the P5+1 group of countries comprising the United States, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany accepted an offer from Tehran for fresh talks on its nuclear program.

The West has imposed tough sanctions to try to force Iran to open up its nuclear activities to international scrutiny amid suspicions it is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has denied any military development work but has not given international inspectors access to suspicious sites. Read More

Tears, smell of death at Congo mass funeral

(Reuters) - Families cried and held handkerchiefs over their faces to fight the smell of death as Congo Republic held a mass funeral for more than a hundred victims from last week's explosions at a weapons depot in the centre of the capital Brazzaville.

Nine trailer trucks filled with 145 identical wooden coffins arrived at a public convention center where thousands of men and women, including President Denis Sassou Nguesso and his wife, sat under tents and listened to a gospel choir.

"I lost my wife, who was struck by shrapnel while she was praying in church," said Jean Emmanuel Tsankou Damangui, 54, sitting on a plastic chair and wearing a dark suit. "She has left me alone with five children."

People laid wreaths of flowers near the coffins and the Archbishop of Brazzaville Monsignor Anatole Milandou urged those at the funeral not to give in to despair, "but to show hope, love and solidarity."

The national anthem was played by Congo's military band during the funeral services. The coffins were later transported to a cemetery less than 1 kilometer away and buried. Read More

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake VANUATU - 11th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Vanuatu at a depth of 289 km (179.1 miles), the quake hit at 16:08:09 UTC Sunday 11th March 2012
The epicenter was 91 km (56.4 miles) Northeast of PORT-VILA, Efate, Vanuatu
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Rogue U.S. Soldier Story a LIE according to Parents of the murdered Children in Southern Kandahar

(Reuters) - Western forces shot dead 16 civilians including nine children in southern Kandahar province on Sunday, Afghan officials said, in a rampage that witnesses said was carried out by American soldiers who were laughing and appeared drunk.

One Afghan father who said his children were killed in the shooting spree accused soldiers of later burning the bodies.

Witnesses told Reuters they saw a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar's Panjwayi district at around 2 am, enter homes and open fire.

The incident, one of the worst of its kind since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, is likely to deepen the divide between Washington and Kabul.

The U.S. embassy in Kabul said an American soldier had been detained over the shooting. It added that anti-U.S. reprisals were possible following the killings, which come just weeks after U.S. soldiers burned copies of the Koran at a NATO base, triggering widespread anti-Western protests.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the rampage as "intentional murders" and demanded an explanation from the United States. His office said the dead included nine children and three women.

An Afghan minister earlier told Reuters that a lone U.S. soldier had killed up to 16 people when he burst into homes in villages near his base in the middle of the night. Read More

Suspected car bomb attack at Nigeria church

(CNN) -- At least five people died and three were wounded when an apparent car bomb exploded near a church in central Nigeria, a witness told CNN.

The attack hit St. Finbar's Catholic Church in Jos, a city in central Nigeria, according to Mark Lipdo, program coordinator for the Stefanos Foundation, which aims to help persecuted Christians in Nigeria and elsewhere.

Lipdo did not witness the explosion but visited the site after the attack.

Images sent by Lipdo showed a charred crater in the pavement, a vehicle bumper in the road and smoke rising in the distance.

Official confirmation of the attack was not immediately available. Read More

Five 'Illegal workers' caught in raid on Theresa May's local curry house that she proudly opened

A curry house that Home Secretary Theresa May officially opened has been raided by her very own immigration officers.

Five suspected illegal workers from Bangladesh were detained at her local restaurant by the UK Borders Agency, which is under Mrs May's control.

The curry-loving minister is pictured on the website for the restaurant, Innovation in Maidenhead, enjoying a meal and cutting the ribbon at an official opening ceremony last year.

Mrs May may be regretting her love of spicy food - this is the second time a curry house she supports has been targeted for employing suspected illegal immigrants. Read More

British security alert after Chinese spies create false Facebook profile for top Nato chief to steal data......And people Continue to Think it's Safe

Internet spies triggered a security scare at Nato and in Britain after creating a fake Facebook account of its most senior commander to harvest personal details from his high-level friends.

Chinese hackers are thought to have been behind the plot, which saw a bogus page set up in the name of James Stavridis, Nato's Supreme Allied Commander.

Among those caught up in the scam included top brass in the British military and MoD officials, who unwittingly accepted false 'friend requests' from the account.

This, in turn, gave the hackers access to a mine of information, including e-mail addresses, names of family members, their movements and possibly even phone numbers, which could result in blackmail attempts.

It could also lead to the hackers trying to crack passwords on classified files as personal information may have been used on encrypted systems, it was reported by The Sunday Telegraph.

While it is highly unlikely any sensitive information would have been left on the social networking site by Nato staff, the incident is deeply embarrassing.

Nato was told of the account late last year and got it taken down by Facebook. Read More

Kristyn Dominy: Saved road rage driver who flipped her off just moments before from fiery car crash -- Karma is interesting, isn't it?

Local resident Kristyn Dominy risked her life to save that of another driver on W. Ozello Trail — even though the other driver had made a rude gesture at her just moments before.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Dominy, 22, was driving home on the windy path with her daughter when a Jeep sped past her, its driver behaving erratically and making crude hand motions at her.

“She did flip me off whenever she passed me,” Dominy told the paper about the events preceding the crash, which took place Monday night.

Not long after, Dominy spotted the car on fire, stuck in some trees just off the road.

“My first thought when I came around the corner and saw that her vehicle was on fire, I was thinking karma,” Dominy told the Tampa Bay Times. “But the same time, I could never — even though she flipped me off down the road — I could never just sit there and watch that happen.”

When she got closer, she allegedly saw the other driver on fire herself, struggling to save her own daughter from the crash. more

Israel: Iron Dome Foils 90 Percent of Missiles from Latest Gaza Bombardment

The Iron Dome system has intercepted 90 percent of missile attacks on urban centers during the latest rocket bombardment from Gaza.

The expensive systems were inaugurated last year amid controversy over its worth. A primitive Kassam rocket costs terrorists only a few hundred dollars while each Iron Dome anti-missile missile costs $50,000.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated Saturday night, “We will continue to improve home front defense including by means of additional Iron Dome systems, the effectiveness of which was shown again over the weekend."

The Iron Dome system intercepted about 90 percent of the rockets fired at Be’er Sheva, Ashdod and Ashkelon, including three on Sunday morning.

Despite the rocket barrage, Israel kept open the Erez Crossing for passengers and employees of international organizations operating in Gaza. Kerem Shalom was open for the delivery of 200 truckloads to Gaza residents. more

US Soldier 'Kills 16' Afghans In Their Homes

A rogue US soldier has shot dead 16 Afghan civilians - including nine children - in their homes after leaving a base in the middle of the night, Sky sources have said.

The Afghan victims also included women and elderly men.

Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs Asadullah Khalid, who is investigating the incident, said the soldier entered three homes, killing 11 people in the first one.

The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) coalition confirmed the incident but did not release the number of killed or injured.

Sky defence reporter Mark Stone said: "It appears to be an isolated incident and the soldier is believed to have been a staff sergeant.

"It really is not good at a time when the Americans and the coalition in general are trying to extract themselves from this very difficult war." Read More

Power plant roof collapses, 13 hurt, Bangladesh

The roof of an under-construction pump house at a proposed power plant site in Rajshahi collapsed yesterday afternoon, leaving at least nine workers injured.

Fire service officials said they did not find any worker trapped under the debris of the building.

The nine injured, admitted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, were rescued from the rubble of the broken down roof. Two of them were in critical condition. Four others took first aid.

The 50MW power plant at Katakhali under Poba upazila is being implemented by the Power Development Board (PDB) at a cost of Tk 317 crore. It was supposed to begin production in April as almost 80 percent work was done, officials have said.

The incident took place at 4:00pm when the construction workers were carrying out casting work of the roof with vibrator machines, said Enamul Haque, executive engineer of Rajshahi PDB.

He said around 60-70 people working at the time. But the number of injuries was few since the workers were either on the makeshift stairs or around the construction site.

The entire roof gave way and a number of workers could have been trapped under the debris, said Mahbubul Islam, a rescue officer of the Fire Service and Civil Defence. Read More

1 dead, 5 injured after avalanches in remote British Columbia's backcountry

VANCOUVER - One person is dead and five others have been injured following two avalanches in British Columbia's backcountry.

Coroner Barb McLintock said the fatality occurred Friday afternoon near Sparwood in southeast B.C. close to the Alberta border.

"Our understanding is there's one dead...," said McLintock.

There were unconfirmed media reports the victims were on snowmobiles.

The Canadian Avalanche Centre issued a warning Friday that the backcountry avalanche risk was high due to weak layers in the snowpack.

McLintock told The Canadian Press that search-and-rescue officials received a satellite phone call from a group of people in a remote area about 30 kilometres southeast of Sparwood, where cellphone coverage is non existent.

She said a coroner was dispatched to the scene just after 2 p.m..
Ben Mittelsteadt, a spokesman for the BC Ambulance Service, said paramedics had taken three people to hospital with minor injuries.

Dangerous weather conditions forced paramedics to wait until Saturday morning to airlift two others from nearby Fernie, he said.

The pair _ who are in stable condition _ were airlifted to hospital just before 7 a.m. local time then transferred to another facility in Cranbrook, about 90 kilometres west, he said.

Friday's fatality is the second avalanche-related death in B.C. this week. Read More

Jaipur Swine flu (H1N1): two dead, four fighting for life, India

It seems that the swine flu menace has hit Jaipur with 6 cases being reported in the last 10 days. An eight year old was the latest victim who tested positive for the influenza on Saturday. Out of the six cases two patients have passed away.

Minister of state for health Rajkumar Sharma said patients with symptoms of swine flu should not be ignored but should be given free medical treatment in government hospitals immediately.Sharma said strict action would be taken against doctors or department officials if they were found careless while treating such patients.

In light of the recent events the swine flu control room at Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital has been made functional again. According to the medical superintendent of SMS hospital, the reason for the resurgence of the virus is the abrupt change in weather and fluctuating temperatures.

Swine Influenza is a form of influenza that is common in pigs. Transmission from swine to humans is uncommon and normally just leads to formation of antibodies in humans; however people with regular exposure to pigs are a high risk group. Read More

Bird Flu Bangladesh: Call to disinfect markets ignored‎

Drive to clean Dhaka's kitchen markets has not started yet, despite health experts' serious call to disinfect those after H5N1 avian influenza lurched from poultry farms to slaughterhouses.

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has recently confirmed the presence of the virus commonly known as bird flu in the capital's different kitchen markets after three workers were reported positive with H5N1.

They informed the authorities concerned to start cleaning drive to wipe out the virus from the environment.

The detection also prompted health experts to call for a change in what they term 'dangerous' practice of selling and slaughtering poultry just anywhere in the market or open spaces without taking any sanitary measures.

Visiting different markets on Thursday and Friday, it is learnt that Dhaka City Corporation that collects tax from those markets do not disinfect the market.

Workers have been seen working in the filthy environment strewn with chicken giblets and wings in the blood and mud-strained floor.

Hemayet Uddin, a worker of Gulistan Kaptan Bazar market, said he had not seen anyone from City Corporation.

"We clean on our own," he said. Read More

Nearly 3000 Cattle Die On A Stranded Ship heading to Egypt

One of the worst live export tragedies is finally over leaving 2,750 cattle dead out of 5,600 on board a Brazilian ship headed to Egypt. The remaining animals are on land, after being stranded in the Red Sea for a week.

Animal welfare group, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) said the Gracia Del Mar was carrying 5,600 animals from Brazil to Egypt to be slaughtered for food. The ship first got into trouble after running into bad weather. Later the converted livestock ship had problems with its ventilation and food systems. The combination of these complications caused half the cattle on board to suffer and die.

Animals Australia called the incident, “one of the worst shipboard disasters the live export industry has seen in many years.” The animal rights group pleaded with the Australian government to send resources to help the surviving cattle. Read More

Experts Say Several Healthy Hawks Found Dead In NYC Parks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Experts have been trying to determine why seemingly healthy Hawks have been found dead throughout New York City parks.

Several hawks have died in the past couple of weeks alone, including a female which has nested in Riverside Park for years.

Mark Angelis often walks in Riverside Park and says he’s concerned.

“I love hawks,” he said. “They’re beautiful animals and if you look at their talons, they’re really exquisite.”

One hawk was found dead in Central Park and another last Sunday in the park right off Columbus Circle.

One theory is they may be eating rats which have been poisoned. Tests will be done to see if that’s the case. Source

Fish virus headed our way, Canada

Like something out of science fiction, a deadly, alien fish virus is set to invade Quebec waterways, threatening the province’s multi-billion-dollar recreational fishing industry.

The highly contagious and adaptable virus, viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), was first identified in the 1950s in farmed fish in Europe. By 2005, it had found its way into the Great Lakes, most likely from international vessels flushing their ballasts containing the virus into the lakes, say Ontario Natural Resources wildlife officials. Its spread was exacerbated by the transport and release of infected bait fish into uncontaminated waters by sports fishermen.

As it spread, the virus killed tens of thousands of fish. In 2005, 91 tonnes of freshwater drum were killed in Lake Ontario’s Bay of Quinte. In 2006, there were die-offs of yellow perch in Lake Erie and muskellunge in the St. Lawrence River. In 2007, large die-offs of bass occurred in the Finger Lakes region of western New York state. There have also been confirmed die-offs of salmon, musky and walleye (doré), as well as numerous minnow species. As the dead fish decompose, the virus is released and continues to spread.

Though devastating to the 50 species of fish it infects (causing haemorrhaging of internal organs and tissues, resulting in death), “the virus does not affect humans and fish carrying the VHS virus are safe to eat and handle,” according to Ontario Natural Resources. Read More

LSD 'helps alcoholics to give up drinking'...Is it wise Giving Drugs to someone With an Addictive Personality?

One dose of the hallucinogenic drug LSD could help alcoholics give up drinking, according to an analysis of studies performed in the 1960s.

A study, presented in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, looked at data from six trials and more than 500 patients.

It said there was a "significant beneficial effect" on alcohol abuse, which lasted several months after the drug was taken.

An expert said this was "as good as anything we've got".

LSD is a class A drug in the UK and is one of the most powerful hallucinogens ever identified. It appears to work by blocking a chemical in the brain, serotonin, which controls functions including perception, behaviour, hunger and mood. Read More

Half the world's sea birds are in decline, says report

The populations of almost half of the world's seabirds are thought to be in decline, according to a study published in Bird Conservation International.

It found that 28 per cent of species are in the highest categories of risk. Conservationists are particularly concerned for the albatross family.

Threats include commercial fishing and damage to breeding colonies caused by rats and other invasive species. Researchers say seabirds are an important indicator of the health of the oceans. Source

Threat of Greek default fades but bailout may not be last

BRUSSELS: The dark clouds hanging over the eurozone have receded along with the threat of a Greek default, but the latest bailout for Athens may not be the last.

After nine long months of negotiations, a large majority of Greece's private creditors agreed to a bond swap that will see them accept huge losses and wipe some 100 billion euros ($131 billion) off Athens' debt.

Eurozone finance ministers immediately unblocked part of a second aid package of 130 billion euros and were expected to give final approval to the entire programme at a Monday meeting.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde welcomed the debt deal as "an important step that will dramatically reduce Greece's medium-term financing needs and contribute to debt sustainability".

And US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that thanks to the measures taken by Europe to tamp down the debt crisis, the continent no longer posed major risks to the global economy.

"We are not out of the woods but we have taken an important big step," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said. Read More



More to Follow...

Medieval Castle Goes Up In Flames in Slovakia

A 14th-century castle in Slovakia has been gutted by a fire which broke out shortly after a group of tourists had left the historic building.

Local media has reported that the blaze at Krasna Horka castle, near Roznava town in the eastern Kosice region is not thought to be arson - and more likely started after grass caught fire.

Video footage shows the severity of the blaze. Read More

U.S. deeply skeptical about Syria military options

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama's administration is exploring options to halt the bloodshed in Syria but is deeply skeptical of military intervention out of fear it could worsen the humanitarian crisis, according to a White House official.

In a briefing with a small group of reporters on Friday, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, contrasted the situation in Syria with Libya, where a NATO campaign bolstered rebels who eventually toppled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi last year.

There was a "very viable" military option in Libya that involved stopping the advance of Gaddafi's forces and creating civilian protection zones, but those conditions do not exist in Syria, the official said.

"In Syria, it's a much more difficult environment because you basically have regime security forces that are in many respects intermingled with the population," the White House official said. Read More

Israeli army releases video of airstrike

Mar. 10 - The Israeli Army and Islamic Jihad both release videos showing firepower following two days of attacks that left 15 people dead in Gaza. Deborah Gembara reports

Thousands march in Bahrain

Mar. 11 - Tens of thousands of protesters march in Bahrain demanding democratic reforms.

Bus station blast kills at least five in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) -- The death toll has risen to six following an attack on a Kenyan bus station that left dozens wounded, the Red Cross said Sunday.

At least 68 people are undergoing treatment at a Nairobi hospital, according to the agency.

The explosions, which authorities believe are grenade attacks, occurred Saturday at a normally-crowded bus station in central Nairobi.

"We still need to complete investigations and we cannot immediately confirm who did this, but we highly suspect that it is Al-Shabaab or sympathizers of Al-Shabaab," said Charles Owino, the police deputy spokesman. "Eyewitnesses say that grenades were thrown from a vehicle and the suspected perpetrators fled from the scene."

There have been several instances of grenade attacks at bus stations and at a bar in Nairobi in recent months. Read More

Scores dead as Ethiopian forces clash with militants in Somalia

(CNN) -- Islamic militants ambushed Ethiopian forces in southern Somalia Saturday and hours-long fighting left scores of people dead.

The fierce firefights killed 86 Al-Shabaab fighters, said Diyad Abdi Kalil, a commander of the transitional government in Somalia's Gedo province. The militants ambushed the soldiers in the town of Yurkut, still under Somali control.

In recent weeks, Somali government forces, backed by their Ethiopian allies, have retaken southern towns controlled by Al-Shabaab, including strategically important Baidoa.

The gun battles lasted almost five hours, Kalil said, and erupted a day after the African Union announced that Ethiopia planned to withdraw its troops from Somalia by the end of April. Read More

Authorities find remains of 167 people in southern Mexico

(CNN) -- Authorities have found the remains of 167 people, believed to be at least 50 years old, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, officials said.

The remains were discovered inside a cave on the Nuevo Ojo de Agua ranch, and show no visible signs of violence, according to a statement from state prosecutors.

Studies will be done to determine the age, sex and cause of death of each person, it read. The prosecutors promised not to rule out "any line of investigation."

Though the remains are thought to be more than half a century old, the discovery is still sure to attract attention in a country where mass graves have been unearthed in recent years.

The bodies of 72 migrants from Central and South America were discovered at a ranch in northern Mexico in August 2010. In the same area, authorities found mass graves last year, containing the remains of nearly 200 people. They began finding the graves while investigating the kidnappings of bus passengers. Source

13-year-old boy killed in Gaza airstrike, Palestinians say

Gaza City (CNN) -- An Israeli airstrike killed a 13-year-old boy in Gaza on Sunday, Palestinian medical sources said, bringing the number of dead there to 17 in three days of strikes.

At least 35 have been injured in the attacks, which Israel says are a response to dozens of rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.

Palestinians named Sunday's victim as Ayuub Assilla and said he was the second victim who was not a militant.

He was killed near the Jabalia refugee camp, north of Gaza city.

On Saturday, a 51-year old man was killed on the back of a motorcycle.

Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said Israel makes its "best effort to target terrorists and not the civilian population," but added: "We will not accept the constant disruption of life in the south of Israel and I advise all heads of terror to think well about their actions.

He blamed Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs Gaza, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for the violence. Read More

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS - 11th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck South of the Fiji Islands at a depth of 103.6 km (64.4 miles), the quake hit at 11:10:54 UTC Sunday 11th March 2012
The epicenter was 431 km (268 miles) SSW from NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Annan to meet al-Assad again on plans

(CNN) -- After laying out plans aimed at halting the bloodshed in Syria, Kofi Annan, the special U.N. envoy to the country, will meet again with President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday in hopes of getting answers to his proposals.

In what he described as a candid and comprehensive discussion, Annan met with al-Assad on Saturday about a cease-fire, the release of detainees and allowing unfettered access to agencies like the Red Cross to deliver much needed aid, a U.N. statement said.

Annan, a former U.N. secretary-general, also proposed a start to an inclusive political dialogue that would "address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the people."

But while Annan waited for answers in Damascus, fresh violence erupted once again across the country. Read More

What Fukushima accident did to the ocean

(CNN) -- One year ago, a series of events began with an earthquake off the cost of Japan that culminated in the largest accidental release of radioactivity into the ocean in history.

We have to be careful and say "accidental" because in the late 1950s and early 1960s, 50 to 100 times more radioactivity was released worldwide as fallout from the intentional testing of nuclear weapons. The word "ocean" is also important, since Chernobyl in 1986 was hundreds of miles inland, so it had a smaller impact on the concentrations of radionuclides in the sea than was measured directly off Japan in 2011.

One year later, we have to ask, what do we know about Fukushima's impact on the ocean and levels of radioactive contaminants in water and fish?

In many ways we were fortunate that impacts were largely confined to the ocean. Certainly, the Japanese people continue to feel devastating effects of so large a release within their country, and many people may never be able to return to their homes. But in general the winds during the height of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were blowing offshore. As a result, more than three-quarters of the radioactivity fell on the ocean. This is important, as any that lands on soil remains in place, resulting in the potential for greater human exposure and increased chances of contamination to food supplies and property. Read More

U.S. soldier who opened fire on Afghan civilians Sunday has killed or wounded 15 people, Kandahar government says.

KABUL — A U.S. soldier was taken into custody in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, a few hours after he opened fire on Afghan civilians, killing 10, U.S. and Afghan officials said.

The shooting took place at approximately 3 a.m. as a lone soldier walked off a checkpoint in Kandahar Province’s Panjwai district and opened fire on civilians in two villages, Javed Faisal, the director of the provincial government’s media center, said in a phone interview.

Citing preliminary reports, Faisal said at least 10 people were killed and five were wounded. Provincial authorities said they were awaiting news from an investigative team sent to the villages before releasing a definitive death toll.

It is highly unusual for American soldiers to wander alone off base. Officials did not immediately say whether they know what prompted the shooting.

“We strongly condemn this incident,” Zaimai Ayoubi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said. “We have sent a delegation to investigate the scene.” Read More