Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shots fired at Fashion Island, Los Angeles; lockdown in effect

Shots were fired Saturday afternoon at the busy Fashion Island shopping mall, and police have taken one man into custody.

Newport Beach police said officers are searching the mall but have not yet found anyone who'd been injured.

The shopping mall was on lockdown, and many shoppers posted messages of Facebook and Twitter saying they were locked inside stores.

The mall was crowded with holiday shoppers when the reports of shots were first posted.

Shoppers who weren't locked in stores said they were getting to their cars to leave the mall.

Chicago: 10 shot, including 4 teens, Friday afternoon and night as America's shooting madness continues

Shootings across the city Friday afternoon and night wounded at least ten people, according to Chicago police, including four teens in three separate South and West side attacks.

Someone shot two boys, both 16, about 5:11 p.m. Friday afternoon in the 1700 block of East 71st Place in the South Shore neighborhood on the South Side. Both were taken to Comer Children's Hospital in stable condition with gunshot wounds to their legs.

Two other teens were wounded Friday afternoon -- a 15-year-old near North Avenue and Lorel Avenue in the Austin neighborhood and a 16-year-old near Western Avenue and Taylor Street in the Lawndale neighborhood.

A man in his 20s was in a car when someone shot him about 6:30 p.m in the 8300 block of South Maryland Avenue in the East Chatham neighborhood on the South Side, police said. He was shot in the bicep and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in serious condition.,0,912168.story

Catherine McCann: $10,000/month nursing home ignores an earful of maggots, in just one of a series of many similar issues set to get worse as society ages and people get greedier

A 92-year-old with Alzheimer’s was found with 57 maggots crawling in her ear while she was under the care of a nursing home costing around $10,000 a month.

The family of Catherine McCann are now suing the home for negligence and emotional distress.

Her 88-year-old husband John McCann spent his live savings paying for her to be looked after by the Lutheran Home for the Aged in Arlington Heights, Chicago.

"I was horrified, shocked. thought it was terrible," he said. "I’m paying all this money for that kind of care - no way. After giving them $270,000 of my hard earned money - my life savings I gave to them - and not even so much as a note or a call."

Anti-nuclear demo in Tokyo as safety meet starts

Russia breaks up anti-Putin rally, detains leaders

Newtown Massacre: Medical Examiner says School Victims Shot by Rifle

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake POLAND - 15th December 2012

Magnitude M 4.0
Date time 2012-12-15 21:34:55.0 UTC
Location 51.57 N ; 16.22 E
Depth 2 km
Distances 14 km NE Polkowice, Poland

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 21:23:44 UTC
Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 07:23:44 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
37.603°N, 143.784°E
34.1 km (21.2 miles)
235 km (146 miles) ESE of Ishinomaki, Japan

Medical examiner: Conn. school victims shot up close, multiple times

Immigrants Killed As Boat Capsizes Off Greece

Greek coastguards have retrieved the bodies of at least 18 immigrants who drowned in the northeast Aegean Sea after their boat capsized in choppy waters.

Their rubber raft had set off from Turkey's western shores, carrying its captain and 27 passengers, according to a survivor who was rescued near the island of Lesvos.

6.0 Magnitude Earthquake NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 19:30:03 UTC
Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 05:30:03 AM at epicenter
4.724°S, 152.964°E
55.8 km (34.7 miles)
103 km (64 miles) ESE (123°) from Rabaul, New Britain, PNG

2.7 Magnitude Earthquake YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 19:25:31 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 12:25:31 PM at epicenter
44.717°N, 109.994°W
3 km (1.9 miles) (poorly constrained)
34 km (21 miles) S (187°) from Cooke City-Silver Gate, MT

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 19:16:50 UTC
Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 02:16:50 AM at epicenter
3.505°S, 100.452°E
15.1 km (9.4 miles)
203 km (126 miles) W (278°) from Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake TARAPACA, CHILE - 15th December 2012

Magnitude ML 4.2
Date time 2012-12-15 18:55:14.0 UTC
Location 21.08 S ; 68.96 W
Depth 117 km
Distances 152 km NW Calama, Chile

Heavy snow blocks roads, cuts power in northern Ukraine

Heavy snowfall and strong wind blocked roads across northern Ukraine and left hundreds of villages without electricity, authorities said Tuesday.

The Emergencies Ministry said sleet, snow and powerful wind brought down power lines in some 200 villages in northern Ukraine.

With snow as thick as 50 cm in some areas, hundreds of cars were blocked on the snow-covered highways in the northern Kiev and Chernigov regions.

Leaking barge spilling fuel oil into New York waters

A barge with a leaking cargo tank spilled fuel oil into a New York City waterway on Saturday, officials said.

The barge was carrying 112,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil, but it was unclear how much oil spilled into the water, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.

The spill came from a Boston Marine Transport Inc barge due to a leak from its cargo tank, it said.

Chicago police: 10 shot, including 4 teens, Friday afternoon and night

Shootings across the city Friday afternoon and night wounded at least ten people, according to Chicago police, including four teens in three separate South and West side attacks.

Someone shot two boys, both 16, about 5:11 p.m. Friday afternoon in the 1700 block of East 71st Place in the South Shore neighborhood on the South Side. Both were taken to Comer Children's Hospital in stable condition with gunshot wounds to their legs.,0,912168.story

Adam Lanza 'fought' with four teachers at elementary school the day before massacre - three are now dead, the fourth wasn't at school yesterday

Reports have emerged that Adam Lanza had visited Sandy Hook Elementary the day before Friday's massacre during which he was involved in an altercation with four members of staff - three of whom are now dead. The fourth teacher wasn't at school yesterday and is currently being interviewed by investigators. Police have revealed that the shooter forced his way into the school where he murdered 26 people including Principal Dawn Hochsprung, top left, and school psychologist Mary Sherlach, bottom left, before turning the gun on himself.

Iran warns against Patriot stationing near Syria, "They are making plans for a world war"

Iran's army chief of staff warned NATO on Saturday that stationing Patriot anti-missile batteries on Turkey's border with Syria was setting the stage for world war.

General Hassan Firouzabadi, whose country has been a staunch supporter of President Bashar al-Assad throughout the 21-month uprising against his rule, called on the Western military alliance to reverse its decision to deploy the defense system.

"Each one of these Patriots is a black mark on the world map, and is meant to cause a world war," Firouzabadi said, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency. "They are making plans for a world war and this is very dangerous for the future of humanity and for the future of Europe itself."

Connecticut slaughter sparks public outcry for gun control across US

Street battles as Egypt votes on new sharia-based constitution

Beaten & Sodomized: CIA found guilty of torture by European Court

'Turkey looks through US eyes, sacrifices own interests'

Hillary Clinton Faints, Suffers Concussion

Golden Dawn: Anti-Neo-Nazi Protests In Athens

Activists from 20 countries have gathered in Athens to demonstrate against rising attacks by a neo-Nazi movement critics call the most dangerous in Europe.

The protest is backed by scores of civil rights groups, anti-racist movements and imposing intellectuals, including Nobel laureates Dario Fo and Bernard Kouchner.

It comes amid heightened shows of vigilantism and attacks on migrants by Golden Dawn, the once-tiny far-right group that catapulted onto Greece's tumultuous political scene last June after winning 18 seats in the country's 300-member parliament.

Anti Putin Protest: Protesters Held During Banned Moscow Rally

Riot police in Russia have detained four opposition leaders, preventing them from taking part in a banned rally against President Vladimir Putin.

The demonstrations in the capital Moscow marked the first anniversary of anti-Putin protests after parliamentary elections.

Ilya Yashin and Ksenia Sobchak were held on their way to the march, while Sergei Udaltsov and Alexei Navalny were among around 40 protesters who were reportedly detained in the central Lubyanka Square.

Up to 3,000 people gathered there, braving temperatures of -14C (7F).

North Korea aims to launch more rockets

Norovirus: Hospitals Shut Doors To Visitors

Hospitals across the country are closing their doors to visitors because of outbreaks of the winter vomiting bug norovirus.

Birmingham City Hospital has asked visitors to stay away after closing four wards while at Maidstone Hospital in Kent three wards have closed to new admissions and visitors have been banned from all wards.

The George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton has shut one ward, partially closed three wards and is turning away visitors. Five hospitals in Wales are also closed to visitors.

Police find 'good evidence' on motive for Connecticut school massacre

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recovering from concussion after fainting while ill

St Vincent's Hospital Shooting leaves three people wounded

Less than 24 hours after the horrific school shooting in Connecticut, a gunman opened fire inside an Alabama hospital early Saturday morning, leaving three injured.

A police officer has shot and killed the unnamed suspect accused of wounding another cop and two employees at St Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham.

Police Sgt. Johnny Williams told that the injuries to wounded officer and employees were not life-threatening.

NATO oil tanker goes up in flames after Afghan Taliban ambush... but instead of running away, locals grab as many petrol cans as they can carry and siphon off fuel

The tanker was ambushed on Saturday as it passed through Doshi district in Baghlan province, in the north of the country. A group of gunmen opened fire on the vehicle until it burst into flame and had to be abandoned. Although the attackers have not been formally identified, locals apparently said that they were Taliban militants who had targeted the tanker in an effort to disrupt NATO's ongoing efforts to reconstruct the country's infrastructure while cracking down on terrorist attacks.

Iran hysteria a cover for Israeli bomb - ex-Iranian diplomat

‘Israel’s nuclear bomb has nothing to do with Iran’

RT: Is Israel’s plausible nuclear stockpile a threat to Iran?

HM: I really do believe that neither Israel is an existential threat to Iran nor Iran is an existential threat to Israel. We’ve just had the Global Zero Summit [nuclear non-proliferation] conference. I told the conference that even today Israelis are always using the Iran issue to justify their nuclear bomb, saying that Iran is an existential threat for Israel. But in fact it is Israel that produced a nuclear bomb before the Islamic revolution [in Iran] when the Shah of Iran was the ally of Israel.

An Israeli nuclear bomb has nothing to do with Iran, because it was mastered and produced before the [Islamic] revolution [in Iran]. Now they are using the Islamic Revolution to justify [their nuclear bomb], but I would not buy this argument.

Syrian jets strike rebels around Damascus

Syrian warplanes bombed insurgents east of Damascus on Saturday and government forces pounded a town to the southwest, activists said, in a month-long and so far fruitless campaign to dislodge rebels around the capital.

Jets bombarded the Beit Sahm district on the road leading to the international airport and the army fired rockets at several rebel strongholds around Damascus, President Bashar al-Assad's bastion through 21 months of an increasingly bloody uprising.

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 13:03:27 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 07:03:27 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
13.204°N, 89.857°W
74.4 km (46.2 miles)
43 km (26 miles) S of Acajutla, El Salvador

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE COAST OF EL SALVADOR - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 12:43:29 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 06:43:29 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
12.134°N, 88.700°W
34.6 km (21.5 miles)
128 km (79 miles) S of Puerto El Triunfo, El Salvador

US-Iranian nuclear talks fail, Iran has plutonium for 24 Nagasaki-type bombs (assuming they're building them, that is)

The secret, one-on-one nuclear negotiations President Barack Obama launched with Iran have run into a blank wall. A senior Iranian team member, Mostafa Dolatyar, said Friday, Dec. 14 in New Delhi that the diplomatic process for solving the nuclear issue with Iran was in effect going nowhere, because the demand that Tehran halt its 20-percent enrichment of uranium “doesn’t make sense.”

He went on to say: “They [the world powers] have made certain connections with purely technical issues and something purely political. In so far as this is the mentality and this is the approach from 5 + 1 (the Six World Powers) - or whatever else you call it - definitely there is no end for this game.”

New milestone for China: Probe snaps close-ups of asteroid Toutatis

China's official news agency is reporting that the country's Chang'e 2 deep-space probe made an amazing flyby of the asteroid Toutatis this week, snapping a series of pictures as it passed just 2 miles away. The achievement signals China's entry into yet another exclusive space club.

Only four of the world's space efforts have managed close encounters with asteroids: NASA (with NEAR Shoemaker and Dawn, for example), the European Space Agency (with Rosetta), Japan (with Hayabusa) — and now China with Toutatis.

Kim Jong-un chosen as Time readers' Person of the Year with 5.6m votes

The US magazine was quick to clarify that the vote did not make Kim the official Time magazine Person of the Year. That person is chosen by the magazine's editors and is set to be revealed next week.

However the unofficial poll allowed readers around the world to weigh in, via the internet, on the people or things they believe have influenced global events the most in 2012.

Mohammed Morsi, the president of Egypt, received the most "no way" votes in the poll.

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake NORTH OF ANGUILLA, LEEWARD ISLANDS - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 11:02:12 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 07:02:12 AM at epicenter
19.534°N, 62.941°W
23.2 km (14.4 miles)
145 km (90 miles) N of Stoney Ground, Anguilla

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 10:55:25 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 08:55:25 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
37.602°N, 143.746°E
35.4 km (22.0 miles)
233 km (144 miles) ESE of Ishinomaki, Japan

Seismic Fears: UK govt allows super-polluting fracking technology

2nd Worst Massacre in US history: Dozens killed, most victims aged 5-10

Northern Irish flag protests echo troubled past

NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post

Arab Spring countries in turmoil two years on

Gun Control Demonstration Near White House

Dawn Hochsprung Killed as she tried to help her pupils when the shooting started

A headteacher and a school psychologist went to the aid of their pupils after hearing gunshots at a Connecticut school, according to reports.

Dawn Hochsprung and therapist Diane Day were in a meeting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Friday morning when the gunman, thought to be the son of a teacher at the school, began shooting at around 9.30am.

The pair leaped out of their seats after hearing gunshots and ran to see what was going on, according to Ms Day.

Looking like a Bond villain, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un puffs on a cigarette as he oversees the rocket launch that has terrified the world....This looks like another job for 007

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees the country's latest satellite rocket from a phone in his office while North Koreans gather en masse in the capital of Pyongyang today (inset) to celebrate. In South Korea analysts pull the battered missile shell out of the sea so military inspectors can analyse how advanced the technology inside is. It is eight months since Kim Jong Un was left humiliated after a rocket launch ended in failure. The launch's success, 14 years after North Korea's first attempt, shows more than a little of the gambling spirit in the third Kim to rule North Korea since it became a country in 1948.

Susan rice claims Hillary Clinton was 'too tired' to discuss Benghazi after Libya killings in departing snipe

Discussing her decision to withdraw herself from contention as Secretary of State, Susan Rice said pointedly that she only spoke publicly about Benghazi her boss Hillary Clinton had 'declined' to do so.

U.S. to send missiles and 400 troops to Turkey to protect against potential Syrian attack

The U.S. will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force meant to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attack, the Pentagon said Friday.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed a deployment order en route to Turkey from Afghanistan calling for 400 U.S. soldiers to operate two batteries of Patriots at undisclosed locations in Turkey, Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters flying with Panetta.

Germany and the Netherlands have already agreed to provide two batteries of the U.S.-built defense systems and send up to 400 German and 360 Dutch troops to man them, bringing the total number of Patriot batteries slated for Turkey to six.

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake JUJUY, ARGENTINA - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 08:53:35 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 05:53:35 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
23.976°S, 66.817°W
204.9 km (127.3 miles)
57 km (35 miles) WNW of San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina

Obama's top Sandy relief official says 'it may not make sense to rebuild' some areas leveled by superstorm

Housing and urban development secretary Shaun Donovan said in a news conference Thursday that while many communities will be rebuilt with additional safety precautions, he said that a ‘very small share’ of homes ‘may not make sense to rebuild at all.’

When the massive storm struck on October 29, it destroyed thousands of homes and cost billions of dollars in damage.

Donovan, who is running the long-term relief effort following the storm, said Thursday that it didn’t make sense for certain areas destroyed by Sandy to rebuild.

Rudi Dekkers who unwittingly trained 9/11 hijackers is accused of trafficking cocaine and heroin

The 56-year-old man who unwittingly provided flight training for the hijackers who flew planes into the World Trade Center on 9/11 is now facing charges for trafficking cocaine and heroin.

Rudi Dekkers, once the owner of the Florida flight school that trained hijackers Mohammed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, was arrested on Dec. 2 by Homeland Security agents after he was caught with a rolling suitcase full of cocaine and heroin, the Houston Chronicle reported.. The hijackers were Dekkers' students from July 1 until Dec. 24, 2000.

Dekkers was recently brought to the attention of an undercover agent through his association with 36-year-old Arturo Astorquiza, a man who was being investigated for allegedly leading an international drug trafficking organization.

Gunman 'shoots woman dead and then kills himself' in the lobby of the Excalibur hotel and casino on the Vegas Strip

A gunman is believed to have shot dead a female victim before he turned the gun on himself in the lobby of the Excalibur hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip on Friday night.

Police said a male victim died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The shooting occurred near the hotel's front desk shortly before 8:30pm.

The women injured in the shooting was transported to a local hospital and was listed in critical condition. She later died from her injuries.

Grace McDonnell and Ana Marquez-Greene, both aged just six Killed in Sandy Hook School Massacre

The two youngest named victims of the Newtown school massacre so far are two six year-old girls, Grace McDonnell and Ana Marquez-Greene.

Marquez-Greene and her older brother had attended Linden Christian School nearby, before moving with their parents to Newtown in July and enrolling at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the fall.
Both she and her brother were inside the school when the shooter opened fire, Sun News in Canada reports.

Marquez-Greene's father is Canadian jazz musician Jimmy Greene.

Russian hackers will launch blitzkrieg cyber-attacks on U.S. banks next spring, security experts warn

Victims: This map shows the locations of victims of the Project Blitzkrieg pilot campaign whose infected computers are reporting back to Romanian Control servers, according to McAfee Global Threat Intelligence

Experts have warned that hackers' plans to launch massive cyber-attacks on U.S. financial institutions are not just a possibility but a 'credible threat'.

According to a report released by internet security firm McAfee, the impending attack on banks - dubbed 'Project Blitzkrieg' - could result in millions of dollars of losses.

'McAfee Labs believes that Project Blitzkrieg is a credible threat to the financial industry and appears to be moving forward as planned,' the company said in a report published yesterday.

EU deal 'is first step towards joining Euro Army': Leaders agreed plans for greater defence corporation at Brussels summit

David Cameron was accused yesterday of signing Britain up to a blueprint for a Euro Army.

European leaders agreed plans for greater defence co-operation at a summit in Brussels that will force Britain to consult fellow EU nations over defence planning, with defence chiefs having to co-ordinate capabilities and procurement.

The plans appear to duplicate the role of the Nato alliance, which Tories have traditionally credited with sole responsibility for European defence.

The communique issued at the end of the summit also featured calls for a co-ordinated policy to boost development of defence technology across Europe.

Reardon Emanuel stabbed cannabis dealer to death less than two hours after starting community service......

Reardon Emanuel, 20, was jailed for 25 years today after stabbing his cannabis dealer O'Neil Irwin to death just hours after complete unpaid community service work.

Despite the high rate of re-offending, Ministers still want to see fewer locked up and give Criminals community service instead.

Ryan Lanza Wrongly named as the killer when his ID was reportedly found at the scene

Image: Ryan Lanza has not been named as a suspect but was taken away in handcuffs

Ryan Lanza was working at his desk at the Ernst and Young when he saw CNN reporting that he had killed 30 people at an elementary school in Connecticut.

It was the moment a stunned Ryan realized what his brother, Adam, might have done.

Lanza told his boss that: 'I need to go.' Then he walked out from Times Square office of the tax real-estate group, according to a co-worker who spoke to MailOnline on condition of anonymity.

Thirty minutes later, New York cops stormed in the office.

Between leaving the office and being taken in for questioning, Lanza defended himself in a series of bizarre Facebook posts after he was mistakenly named as the killer when his ID was reportedly found at the scene.

Connecticut governor: "Evil visited this community today"

Security tightens, rivals clash ahead of Egypt referendum

Police dispute report that alleged Connecticut gunman's brother found dead

New Jersey police disputed a report on Friday that a brother of the suspected Connecticut school gunman was found dead in a home in Hoboken, New Jersey.

CNN had reported that authorities searched the New Jersey home following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut by a heavily armed gunman who opened fire on school children and staff.

Police Captain James Fitzsimmons said no dead body connected to the shooting had been found in Hoboken.

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake NEW IRELAND REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 07:33:14 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 05:33:14 PM at epicenter
4.924°S, 153.378°E
58.2 km (36.2 miles)
154 km (96 miles) ESE (121°) from Rabaul, New Britain, PNG

'Europe isn't à la carte' – Hollande sounds warning to dent Cameron hopes for repatriation of powers

David Cameron's drive to win a "new settlement" for Britain in Europe suffered an immediate setback yesterday when France said the EU would not allow the UK to renegotiate its membership terms.

After Mr Cameron told fellow EU leaders Britain would demand a new deal in return for allowing euro members to forge closer union, he was slapped down by the Socialist President of France François Hollande, who declared that Europe was "for life".

Little sense of urgency among European leaders

Do EU leaders think they have the debt saga beaten? No. But pressure for urgent action to tackle the malaise is easing as some of the heat comes out of the crisis.

Thus we had the spectacle of European Council president Herman Van Rompuy presenting a long-term plan for the euro zone to the leaders on Thursday night, core strands of which they promptly shelved.

Never mind that it was the leaders themselves who asked for the blueprint in the first place. The summit conclusions noted that Van Rompuy had produced a specific, time-bound road map towards “genuine” economic and monetary union. The leaders settled on a road map for the next six months but no more than that.

Syria: Cameron secures EU pledge to review arms embargo

David Cameron has pressured the European Union into taking all measures to support Syria's opposition, including the arming of rebels early next year, after he warned that "inaction and indifference are not options".

The British Prime Minister told other European leaders at a Brussels summit on Friday morning that the EU could no longer stand by as Bashar al-Assad's regime stepped up its war against the Syrian people.

Fracking bosses 'left in dark' over cause of earth tremors near Blackpool

Pressure is mounting on the company leading Britain’s shale gas rush after it emerged that senior executives did not know that its fracking had triggered earth tremors near Blackpool.

Environmental campaigners said the revelation showed that Cuadrilla Resources could not be trusted to expand drilling across Britain and MPs said that it raised further questions about the company’s safety record.

NATO says Syrian Scuds hit "near" Turkey

NATO accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces of firing Scud missiles that landed near to the Turkish border, in explaining why it was sending anti-missile batteries and troops to the bloc's frontier.

The Syrian government, which finds itself under attack from rebels in the capital Damascus and by a diplomatic alliance of Arab and Western powers, denies firing such long-range, Soviet-built rockets and had no immediate comment on the latest charge.

Egyptians vote on Islamist-backed constitution

Egyptians are voting on a proposed constitution that has polarized their nation, with President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist supporters backing the charter, while liberals, moderate Muslims and Christians oppose it.

More than 26 million voters are scheduled to cast their ballots Saturday, while another 25 million will vote next week.

Connecticut school massacre: Search for answers begins

Residents of the small Connecticut community of Newtown were reeling on Saturday from one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, as police sought answers about what drove a 20-year-old gunman to slaughter 20 children at an elementary school.

The attacker, identified by law enforcement sources as Adam Lanza, who once attended Newtown High School, opened fire on Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which serves children aged 5 to 10. He ultimately killed at least 27 people, including himself.

Police said another adult was found dead at a related crime scene in the town, which many media accounts indicated may have been the shooter's mother, Nancy Lanza.

Indonesia Identifies New Strain of Bird Flu

Almost half of those who have died from avian flu have been in Indonesia. And, although it might seem as though bird flu has gone unnoticed, a new virulent strain has been found on the Indonesian island of Java.

In recent weeks, more than 300,000 ducks have died on the densely populated island of Java.

The government has since confirmed the deaths were caused by a new and highly pathogenic strain of H5N1, or bird flu.

Indonesia reports ninth human 'bird flu' death of 2012

A 4-year-old West Java boy is the latest case of human H5N1 avian influenza detected in 2012, according to a FluTrackers report Dec. 14.

According to the timeline from the Indonesian Ministry of Health, the boy is a resident of Kampung Nagreg, Gorowong Village, District Parung Panjang, Bogor regency, West Java.

The child exhibited symptoms of fever on Nov. 20, 2012, and on Dec. 1, 2012 the case was moved to Pustu. On Dec. 4, 2012 there was no change in the condition of the case when seen by a private doctor. On the morning of Dec. 5, 2012 the case went to a health centre and in the afternoon was referred to the Private RSIA for hospitalization.

Tornado rips off roofs in Otago, New Zealand

Two houses lost their roofs after a small twister struck in Cromwell.

Police said roofing iron and tiles were torn off two houses in the Central Otago town when the mini-tornado formed about 3pm today.

Mayan apocalypse: panic spreads as December 21 nears

Ahead of December 21, which marks the conclusion of the 5,125-year "Long Count" Mayan calendar, panic buying of candles and essentials has been reported in China and Russia, along with an explosion in sales of survival shelters in America. In France believers were preparing to converge on a mountain where they believe aliens will rescue them.

The precise manner of Armageddon remains vague, ranging from a catastrophic celestial collision between Earth and the mythical planet Nibiru, also known as Planet X, a disastrous crash with a comet, or the annihilation of civilisation by a giant solar storm.

In America Ron Hubbard, a manufacturer of hi-tech underground survival shelters, has seen his business explode.

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 05:46:15 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 02:46:15 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
36.797°N, 141.128°E
45.3 km (28.1 miles)
33 km (20 miles) E of Kitaibaraki, Japan

6.0 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 15th December 2012

Magnitude Mw 6.0
Date time 2012-12-15 04:49:32.0 UTC
Location 52.34 N ; 174.17 E
Depth 40 km
Distances 44 km (27 miles) SSW of Shemya Island, Alaska

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 04:27:02 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 01:27:02 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
37.349°N, 141.287°E
57.8 km (35.9 miles)
29 km (18 miles) ESE of Namie, Japan

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 02:53:19 UTC
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 08:53:19 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
13.095°N, 89.851°W
66 km (41.0 miles)
54 km (33 miles) S of Acajutla, El Salvador

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake FLORES REGION, INDONESIA - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 01:03:36 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 09:03:36 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
8.624°S, 120.417°E
126.4 km (78.5 miles)
4 km (2 miles) W of Wasogolo, Indonesia

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake UNIMAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA - 15th December 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 00:40:42 UTC
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 03:40:42 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
55.492°N, 163.590°W
170.3 km (105.8 miles)
64 km (39 miles) WNW of Cold Bay, Alaska

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake BANDA SEA - 14th December 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 22:37:24 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 07:37:24 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
6.229°S, 130.182°E
133.9 km (83.2 miles)
227 km (141 miles) NNW of Saumlaki, Indonesia

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake CRETE, GREECE - 14th December 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 22:00:40 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 12:00:40 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
34.320°N, 23.992°E
10 km (6.2 miles)
105 km (65 miles) SSE of Palaiochora, Greece

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 14th December 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 20:37:19 UTC
Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 05:37:19 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
38.626°N, 142.335°E
53.9 km (33.5 miles)
72 km (44 miles) SE of Ofunato, Japan

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR - 14th December 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 19:18:57 UTC
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 01:18:57 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
13.012°N, 89.983°W
69 km (42.9 miles)
66 km (41 miles) SSW of Acajutla, El Salvador

Norovirus Cruise: Second Ship Is Hit By Bug

A second cruise ship has been struck by a winter vomiting bug after passengers of a luxury liner described their festive trip of a lifetime as "a living nightmare".

P&O has issued a statement saying there are 10 current cases of the highly-contagious norovirus on the Azura, which has been on an 11-night tour of Iberia.

More than 3,000 people are on board and the ship is due to dock at Southampton tomorrow.

Adam Lanza Was Honours Student, Motive for Massacre unclear

The man suspected of killing 20 children and seven adults during a shooting rampage in Connecticut was an honours student who lived at home with his mother.

Adam Lanza killed his mother Nancy at their home before driving her car to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown armed with at least two handguns and a rifle.

The 20-year-old then carried out his massacre before taking his own life, according to law enforcement officials.

Duoduo in China drives scooters, skateboards and bicycles!

Korea's Growing Addiction Problem

Korea is becoming a society of addicts who are hooked on alcohol, gambling, online games or drugs, a group of experts warns.

Addiction Forum, which consists experts who treat people with dependencies, on Tuesday said there are 1.55 million alcoholics in Korea, 2.2 million gambling addicts, 2.33 million Internet addicts and 100,000 drug addicts, making up a total of 6.18 million people with dependencies.

That adds up to one in eight. The figures were compiled by analyzing research data from studies by universities and government agencies.

According to the World Health Organization, the alcoholism rate in Korea stood at 6.76 percent in 2010, 1.8 above the global average of 3.6 percent. In Japan, the rate was only 0.62 percent since people prefer beer, which contains less alcohol than the favorite Korean tipple soju.

Matt's Connecticut Shooting Questions

These are some questions I've been mulling over and that I can't seem to answer. Perhaps others can enter into the discussion and provide information we don't yet have (if it's in the form of a link, please email to us so we can post it).

Questions are as follows:

1. Who was Adam Lanza? Just like James Holmes, he had no Internet presence despite being a very young man, no Facebook, no anything. He just "appeared".

2. What was Adam's mental state? His brother says he was autistic, and even on medication. His classmates said he was quiet, yet did very well in school in a normal environment and even answered questions when called upon, contradictory to autism. He even had a girlfriend, apparently, who is now missing. Everyone said he was a great kid, just like they said with James Holmes. Why the sudden transition?

3. Who is Adam's girlfriend, and where is she? She mysteriously appeared in the story, then disappeared, and there have been no updates.

4. Who is the mysterious guy they pulled out of the woods? He apparently knew everything about the situation since he was screaming at parents that it wasn't him who shot their children. And yet, he was hanging around nearby, and in camo. What happened to him? Did he possess any weapons or gear?

5. Why are there no photos of Adam Lanza? So far just one has appeared on Drudge, seemingly from when he was very young.

6. How did Adam suddenly acquire the targeting ability to kill nearly 30 people using two handguns? Did he have prior training? Did he have a helper? Sources state 100 rounds were fired.

7. Why would Adam leave his best weapon, a Bushmaster assault rifle, in the car? He went in with two handguns, but left a far more devastating weapon behind. He could have still carried all three if he wanted too.

8. What happened to Adam's father? First he's dead, then suddenly he's making a statement to the media, or so we're told.

9. Who are/were Adam's parents precisely? What other associations and jobs did they have?

10. Where is the CCTV footage? The school stated it had just put in security protocols. Yet, there's no video, no audio, no camera phone footage, precisely like in the Congresswoman's shooting, like in the Aurora shooting, the Wisconsin shooting, and so on. Someone makes a face with ketchup on their hamburger and 30 people nearby snap it, yet these major events suddenly have no coverage despite huge crowds of people being nearby.

11. How could gunshots be heard blocks away from within a building? Witnesses describe hearing gunshots, and even approached the school to see if the children were alright.

12. What was Adam's end? "Suicide" still remains only a speculation. Was he engaged? Did the police kill him? Did he kill himself?

13. Why is there no media coverage of any of the bodies, or the body of the shooter? Had they not told his that many children perished, or that the shooter killed himself, or that individuals were taking to hospital, we wouldn't have even known. Is the number accurate?

14. Also strange and so far unexplained: "According to CBS News, the gunman got into an argument with people at the front office, possibly the principal, at about 9:30 a.m. People have to be buzzed in before entering the school and there is a camera to view whoever is entering the building." So how did he get in wearing body armour and carrying two handguns?

Add your questions and comments below and join the discussion. These events are becoming too frequent, and taking place in too mysterious a context, for people to just shrug them off with "gun control laws".

P.S. Did anyone else find it strange that a similar attack took place in China on the very same day?,0,5592318.story

Adam Lanza: A Gunman, Recalled as Intelligent and Shy, Who Left Few Footprints in Life

He carried a black briefcase to his 10th-grade honors English class, and sat near the door so he could readily slip in and out. When called upon, he was intelligent, but nervous and fidgety, spitting his words out, as if having to speak up were painful.

Pale, tall and scrawny, Adam Lanza walked through high school in Newtown, Conn., with his hands glued to his sides, the pens in the pocket of his short-sleeve, button-down shirts among the few things that his classmates recalled about him.

He did all he could to avoid attention, it seemed.

Until Friday.

The authorities said Mr. Lanza, 20, wearing combat gear, carried out one of the deadliest mass shootings in the nation’s history. He killed 20 children and six adults at the elementary school where his mother worked, they said. He then apparently turned his gun on himself. The police said he also earlier killed his mother.

Added thoughts:
Once again, it's nearly the same story with a different flavor as James Holmes. The more we look into this, the less sense it makes. Who was the guy they pulled out of the woods? What sort of "psychiatric treatment" did Adam receive? What else aren't we being told?