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Sunday, June 30, 2013

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

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5.4 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH AUSTRALIA - 9th June 2013

Magnitude Mw 5.4
Date time 2013-06-09 14:22:13.0 UTC
Location 26.02 S ; 132.05 E
Depth 2 km
317 km SW of Alice Springs, Australia / pop: 26,188 / local time: 23:52:13.0 2013-06-09

Saturday, June 8, 2013

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION - 8th June 2013

Magnitude mb 5.1
Date time 2013-06-08 15:39:01.0 UTC
Location 10.64 N ; 126.81 E
Depth 30 km
112 km E of Sulangan, Philippines / pop: 3,034 / local time: 23:39:01.0 2013-06-08

5.5 Magnitude Earthquake JUJUY, ARGENTINA - 8th June 2013

Magnitude mb 5.5
Date time 2013-06-08 12:25:07.0 UTC
Location 22.64 S ; 66.86 W
Depth 200 km
119 km W of Abra Pampa, Argentina / pop: 9,425 / local time: 09:25:07.0 2013-06-08

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION - 8th June 2013

Magnitude M 5.1
Date time 2013-06-08 07:37:05.1 UTC
Location 10.69 N ; 126.69 E
Depth 10 km
98 km E of Sulangan, Philippines / pop: 3,034 / local time: 15:37:05.1 2013-06-08

UK gathering secret intelligence via covert NSA operation

The UK's electronic eavesdropping and security agency, GCHQ, has been secretly gathering intelligence from the world's biggest internet companies through a covertly run operation set up by America's top spy agency, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

The documents show that GCHQ, based in Cheltenham, has had access to the system since at least June 2010, and generated 197 intelligence reports from it last year.

The US-run programme, called Prism, would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside the UK.

The use of Prism raises ethical and legal issues about such direct access to potentially millions of internet users, as well as questions about which British ministers knew of the programme.

Nelson Mandela In Hospital With Lung Infection

Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been readmitted to hospital with the recurrence of a lung infection.

The 94-year-old's health deteriorated at about 1.30am local time and he was taken to a hospital in Pretoria, where he is said to be in a "serious, but stable condition".

Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj told Sky News: "Some members of his family have been there with him all the time.

"It is a condition he has had over a long period of time ... and we hope this time it will also be treated successfully."

Night Stalker Richard Ramirez Dies On Death Row

The convicted serial killer known as the Night Stalker has died while awaiting execution, according to officials in California.

Richard Ramirez, 53, died on Friday morning, San Quentin State Prison spokesman Lieutenant Sam Robinson said.

He had been taken from the jail's death row to Marin General Hospital. The Department of Corrections said he died of liver failure.

5.4 Magnitude Earthquake PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION - 8th June 2013

Magnitude mb 5.4
Date time 2013-06-08 02:12:01.0 UTC
Location 10.61 N ; 126.75 E
Depth 60 km
107 km E of Sulangan, Philippines / pop: 3,034 / local time: 10:12:01.0 2013-06-08

5.6 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA - 7th June 2013

Magnitude M 5.6
Region TONGA
Date time 2013-06-07 23:55:57.8 UTC
Location 21.16 S ; 173.24 W
Depth 10 km
178 km E of ‘Ohonua, Tonga / pop: 1,241 / local time: 12:55:57.8 2013-06-08

Friday, June 7, 2013

June Coming Crisis 72-hour Helpathon!

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Santa Monica Shooting: Six Dead, Five Hurt

A gunman has been killed by police after a shooting spree that spread across a Southern California city and onto a college campus, leaving at least six people dead, authorities have said.

Santa Monica police chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said the rampage began just before noon on Friday when emergency calls reported shots fired and a house on fire.

Upon arriving at the scene, they found a home engulfed in flames, and the bodies of at least two men inside.

A woman was also found shot in the arm in a car outside the home and was taken to hospital.

5.8 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE - 7th June 2013

Magnitude Mw 5.8
Date time 2013-06-07 20:13:18.0 UTC
Location 43.84 S ; 16.40 W
Depth 33 km
Distances 3533 km SE of Montevideo, Uruguay / pop: 1,270,737 / local time: 17:13:18.0 2013-06-07
3723 km SE of Buenos Aires, Argentina / pop: 13,076,300 / local time: 17:13:18.0 2013-06-07
3869 km SW of Windhoek, Namibia / pop: 268,132 / local time: 21:13:18.0 2013-06-07

Isle Of Man TT Race Crash: 11 Spectators Hurt

Eleven spectators have been injured, one seriously, during a crash in the first lap of the senior Isle of Man TT motorcycle race.

Rider Jonathan Howarth, who was involved in this afternoon's smash, escaped unhurt.

The race was red flagged as emergency services rushed to the scene.

Organisers ACU Events Ltd said in a statement: "Eleven spectators have been taken to hospital with injuries ranging from slight to serious. None are believed to be life-threatening at this time.

5.8 Magnitude Earthquake TAIWAN REGION - 7th June 2013

Magnitude Mw 5.8
Date time 2013-06-07 16:38:04.0 UTC
Location 24.04 N ; 122.60 E
Depth 40 km
62 km SW of Yonakuni, Japan / pop: 1,684 / local time: 01:38:04.0 2013-06-08

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SAMAR, PHILIPPINES - 7th June 2013

Magnitude mb 4.9
Date time 2013-06-07 15:39:39.0 UTC
Location 12.15 N ; 125.98 E
Depth 80 km
54 km E of Dapdap, Philippines / pop: 2,223 / local time: 23:39:39.0 2013-06-07

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 7th June 2013

Magnitude mb 4.4
Date time 2013-06-07 14:42:59.0 UTC
Location 30.50 N ; 140.60 E
Depth 147 km
487 km S of Shimoda / pop: 26,704 / local time: 23:42:00.0 2013-06-07

5.9 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS - 7th June 2013

Magnitude Mw 5.9
Date time 2013-06-07 12:54:11.0 UTC
Location 23.94 S ; 179.04 E
Depth 570 km
Distances 644 km S of Suva, Fiji / pop: 77,366 / local time: 00:54:11.0 2013-06-08
1301 km E of Nouméa, New Caledonia / pop: 93,060 / local time: 23:54:11.0 2013-06-07
1964 km N of Wellington, New Zealand / pop: 381,900 / local time: 00:54:11.0 2013-06-08

Moscow Slams Western Support for Syria Opposition

MOSCOW, June 7 (RIA Novosti) - Western support for Syria’s armed opposition will only fuel violence in the war-torn country, Russia’s foreign minister insisted on Friday.

“We are disturbed by statements coming from leaders of the so-called Free Syrian Army as well as from some US representatives, to the effect that support for the armed opposition will continue in order to restore the military balance on the ground,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “That is a road to nowhere.”

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russia was disappointed by the European Union’s decision last week to end the embargo on arms supplies to Syria.

Supplying arms to the opposition is a continuation of “the vicious circle of violence,” Lavrov said.

Syria conflict: Army 'retakes Golan Heights crossing'

The Syrian army has taken control of a UN-monitored crossing in the Golan Heights that had been overrun by rebel forces, Israeli military sources say.

Tanks and armoured vehicles were used in the fighting at Quneitra, near Israeli-held territory.

Austria has said it will withdraw its peacekeepers from the Golan Heights because of the fighting.

It comes a day after Syrian troops backed by Lebanese Hezbollah militants retook the key town of Qusair.

US intelligence chief admits spying on foreigners through Google

Mr Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, released an unusual late-night statement in response to the leak of a secret court order which shows the US is storing information on millions of calls made by Americans each day.

Mr Clapper accused The Guardian of giving a "misleading impression" of how the programme worked and said he had ordered parts of it to be declassified so Americans would understand "the limits of this targeted counterterrorism programme and the principles that govern its use".

He insisted the programme was authorised under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and targeted only "non-US persons" outside the United States, admitting the US had accessed the servers of internet companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple to spy on foreigners.

Suicide bomber hits Iranian pilgrims in Iraq, 9 dead

A suicide bomber rammed his car into a bus carrying Iranian Shi'ite pilgrims in Iraq on Friday, killing at least nine people in an attack likely carried out by Sunni insurgents trying to ignite sectarian conflict.

Al Qaeda's local wing and other Sunni insurgents have unleashed a wave of attacks since the start of the year in an attempt to provoke the kind of Shi'ite against Sunni bloodshed that killed thousands in 2006-2007.

Police said during Friday's attack in Muqdadiya, 80 km northeast of Baghdad, the bomber targeted a group of Iranian pilgrims who often visit Iraq's Shi'ite shrines.

David Cameron To Attend Secretive Bilderberg Meeting

David Cameron is to attend a private meeting of the secretive Bilderberg group later on Friday, Downing Street has announced.

The international group of politicians, business leaders and academics is holding its annual conference behind closed doors at a luxury country hotel near Watford.

The Prime Minister has been invited in his role as head of government of the country hosting the conference, said Number 10.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "My understanding is that it is usual for Bilderberg to invite the head of government of the country where it is meeting.

Largest Humanitarian Appeal In History Issued

The United Nations has issued the largest humanitarian appeal in history for Syria after it is estimated that half of the population will need aid in 2013.

Syria, which is embroiled in civil war, needs up to $5bn (£3.2bn) this year - overshadowing the $2.2bn sought by the UN for Iraq in 2003.

The Syria conflict has now lasted 26 months and claimed more than 80,000 lives.

The appeal said $2.9bn is needed for 3.45m refugees and 6.8m citizens inside the country while $1.4bn is required for humanitarian needs.

Man bowls over toddler chasing home run ball

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake SERAM, INDONESIA - 7th June 2013

Magnitude M 4.7
Date time 2013-06-07 10:22:43.3 UTC
Location 2.89 S ; 129.60 E
Depth 46 km
90 km NE of Amahai / pop: 47,653 / local time: 19:22:00.0 2013-06-07

Dramatic scenes as SWAT teams close down part of LA in 'terror alert'... but don't worry, it's just a drill

SWAT team members engaged actors and police officers pretending to be terrorists during a live counter terrorism demonstration for the 2013 National Homeland Security Conference, on the streets of downtown L.A. on Thursday. Spectators gathered to watch as an actor pretended to detonate a suicide vest and SWAT team members and pretend terrorists shot at each other.

PRISM: Internet Giants 'Tapped Into' By US Security

The Obama administration's secret surveillance programme allegedly extends to the monitoring of Americans' activity on the web.

The US government is secretly tapping into the servers of nine internet giants as part of its anti-terror surveillance programme, according to a report in The Washington Post.

The companies include Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and FBI reportedly extract audio, video, photographs, emails, documents and connection logs to help analysts track users' movements and contacts.

It was not clear whether the programme, called PRISM, targets known suspects or broadly collects data from all Americans.

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS - 7th June 2013

Magnitude mb 4.8
Date time 2013-06-07 09:09:41.0 UTC
Location 22.97 S ; 177.18 W
Depth 114 km
283 km SW of Vaini, Tonga / pop: 2,976 / local time: 22:09:41.0 2013-06-07

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake VANUATU - 7th June 2013

Magnitude mb 5.0
Date time 2013-06-07 08:46:56.0 UTC
Location 15.69 S ; 167.97 E
Depth 192 km
75 km NE of Norsup, Vanuatu / pop: 2,998 / local time: 19:46:56.0 2013-06-07

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake CASPIAN SEA, OFFSHORE AZERBAIJAN - 7th June 2013

Magnitude mb 4.5
Date time 2013-06-07 08:33:02.0 UTC
Location 40.70 N ; 50.95 E
Depth 46 km
58 km NE of Artyom, Azerbaijan / pop: 13,435 / local time: 13:33:02.0 2013-06-07

Einstein's work leads to alien planet 2,000 light-years from Earth being discovered

One of Albert Einstein's stranger ideas has led to the identification of a new planet twice as heavy as Jupiter, orbiting a star some 2,000 light-years from Earth.

‘This is the first time that this aspect of Einstein's theory of relativity has been used to discover a planet,’ said Tsevi Mazeh, of Tel Aviv University.

The discovery made use of the beaming effect which occurs when light from the parent star brightens as its planet tugs closer to Earth, and dims as the planet pulls it away.

Islamist gang that wanted to start war with the EDL: Bomb attack would have sparked 'spiral of terror' with far-Right

(from top row left to right) Jewel Uddin, Mohammed Saud, Zohaib Ahmed, and (bottom row left to right)
Anzal Hussain, Mohammed Hasseen, Omar Khan. The six Islamic extremists will be sentenced today for planning a murderous attack on an English Defence League rally.The extremists wanted to 'execute a terrible vengeance' on the far-Right group for its 'blasphemous words and actions' against Islam.

Council fined £150,000 over loss of 76 unencrypted laptops containing personal data and bank accounts of 20,000 people

A council has been fined £150,000 for losing unencrypted laptops containing personal data and bank account details of more than 20,000 people.

Two computers were stolen from Glasgow City Council premises in a breach of the Data Protection Act.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which issued the fine, found that the building was insecure because it was being refurbished and there had previously been complaints about a lack of security.

Spin doctor for bank YOU bailed out is paid £1.3million: Details of extraordinary pay packet revealed in leaked memo

The chief spin doctor for bailed- out Lloyds Bank enjoys a pay package worth up to £1.3million, it was revealed yesterday.

Details of the extraordinary awards paid to the state-backed lender’s corporate affairs director Matt Young emerged in a leaked memo.

The full package – paid if he hits certain targets – is almost ten times the £142,000 salary paid to David Cameron.

The revelation is sure to embarrass Lloyds’ Portuguese boss Antonio Horta-Osorio, who counts Mr Young as one of his closest lieutenants.

How many more pervert teachers in our schools? Education department admits 'handful' of staff convicted of viewing child porn have escaped ban

More paedophiles have been cleared to work in classrooms by the Department for Education, it emerged yesterday.

Teachers convicted or cautioned for viewing child porn have been given permission to continue with their careers by senior officials.

It means thousands of children could be coming into contact with individuals with criminal records for the offence.

A DfE source confirmed the potential threat in schools the day after married father-of-four Geoffrey Bettley was revealed to have escaped a ban despite downloading almost 200 sickening images.

Racist train rant caught on video

Death from Above: US drone victims share their agony & grief

NSA Spying: Sweeping US data-mining program revealed

Turkish Autumn: 'The exact opposite of Arab Spring'

New Mexico man killed in Alaska plane crash

A 66-year-old New Mexico cruise ship passenger was killed when a small sightseeing plane in southeast Alaska crashed on the side of a steep mountain, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.

Thomas L. Rising of Santa Fe was among seven people aboard the Pacific Wings de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver that went down near the town of Petersburg on Tuesday. The other five passengers aboard the single-engine floatplane were members of the same family and also traveling on the same National Geographic cruise ship, according to Clint Johnson, head of the National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska regional office. He didn't know the family's hometown or age range.

Rabid raccoon found in Coventry; 13 people treated

Thirteen people are being treated for rabies exposure after a family found a baby raccoon and brought it inside its home, state officials in Rhode Island said Thursday.

The state Department of Environmental Management said the animal was picked up May 29, near the Scituate line. Coventry Animal Control said the raccoon was not injured, but was too young to be away from its mother. It later tested positive for rabies.

Gail Mastrati, a department spokeswoman, said 11 people from Rhode Island and two from Connecticut who came into contact with the animal are being treated for rabies exposure. Two of them are under 18.

Russia: Meningitis Outbreak in Rostov Kindergarten, 1 Child Dead

One child has died and nearly 80 others have been affected by an outbreak of acute respiratory infection, in some cases complicated by meningitis, in Rostov-on-Don.

Twenty-eight children from the Teremok kindergarten are currently in hospital, 11 with symptoms of pneumonia and nine with meningitis. One child died yesterday despite receiving medical treatment, ITAR-TASS reported Thursday.

A group of specialists from the Research and Development Institute for Childhood Infections will today fly to Rostov-on-Don, about 1,000 kilometers south of Moscow, to assist local pediatricians who are treating the children.

"All of the children have been examined by specialists from the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Medical University and bacteriological and virological blood tests have been carried out," the regional Health Ministry said, adding that there is no meningitis epidemic in the region.

Unified Command formalized for container leak response aboard ship in Valdez, Alaska

The Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, City of Valdez, and Gallagher Marine Services, LLC formally established a Unified Command on Wednesday in response to container oil leaks aboard the cargo ship BBC Arizona.

The Unified Command structure brings together representatives of all major organizations involved in an incident in order to coordinate an effective response while at the same time carrying out their own jurisdictional responsibilities. Under the Unified Command, various governmental agencies and non-governmental responders may blend together throughout the operation to create an integrated response team.

“Response to the ship’s container leaks has been a close collaboration between ADEC, the Port of Valdez, BBC Arizona representatives, and the Coast Guard since the start of the incident,” said Lt. Roberto Trevino, Federal On-scene Coordinator Representative. “Establishing a Unified Command allows those involved to build on established partnerships and provides a formal forum for all involved to make consensus, collaborative response decisions.”

Clement Meric Murder: Protests held in France after left-wing student beaten to death

PARIS, June 6 (Reuters) - Left-wingers protested in Paris on Thursday one day after a group of far-right militants beat a leftist student to death in a busy central Paris district.

Clement Meric, 19, a student at the prestigious Sciences Po university, was beaten up near St. Lazare station and taken to hospital with head injuries. He was declared dead on Thursday.

Several hundred people gathered near the site of the beating where they chanted left-wing slogans and friends made speeches paying tribute to Meric.

Another demonstration took place in the heart of the Latin Quarter, the capital's traditional student neighbourhood. Separate protests were held at Meric's university and in some other French cities.

Turkey burns with riots, but Erdogan's grip on power is as strong as ever

ISTANBUL AND ANTAKYA − Burcin Altensai, an architect from Istanbul, wandered around Gezi Park in Taksim Square on Monday afternoon, watching the tens of thousands thronging the area, doing folk dances and eating picnics on the grass, with a worried smile on her face. For the last year, Altensai has been a member of a small group of academics and environmental activists fighting the government’s plan to build on the park a shopping center in a faux-Ottoman building. Yes, of course she is happy that their tiny group spawned a national movement sweeping dozens of cities in Turkey, and calling upon democratically elected Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to change his authoritarian ways, but she is also sad.

“We had to tell Erdogan that you can’t force things on people,” she says. “But there has been so much needless violence, and I am worried there will be more.”

US intelligence chief denounces release of information....Note he mentions Phones and INTERNET records!

Disclosure of the massive surveillance of phone records and internet communications risks “long-lasting and irreversible harm” to US national security, the director of national intelligence says.

Late on Thursday night US time James Clapper issued a bullet-point defence of the surveillance programs disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post, saying they contained “numerous safeguards that protect privacy and civil liberties”. To correct the “misleading impression left in the article” – apparently a reference to the Guardian’s original story – Clapper said he approved the declassification of his defence of the National Security Agency’s collection of every phone record from millions of Verizon customers.

“There is a robust legal regime in place governing all activities conducted pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act” Clapper wrote, “which ensures that those activities comply with the Constitution and laws and appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties. The program at issue here is conducted under authority granted by Congress and is authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). By statute, the Court is empowered to determine the legality of the program."

U.S. Sneaks $1.3 billion military aid to Egypt despite rights concerns

Secretary of State John Kerry quietly acted last month to give Egypt $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid, deciding that this was in the national interest despite Egypt's failure to meet democracy standards.

Kerry made the decision well before an Egyptian court this week convicted 43 democracy workers, including 16 Americans, in what the United States regards as a politically motivated case against pro-democracy non-governmental organizations.

Rights groups believe Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi is retreating from democratic freedoms, notably in a new civil society law and in proposals for judicial reform that critics see as a way to purge judges perceived as hostile to the government.

Despite stating in a May 9 memo that "we are not satisfied with the extent of Egypt's progress and are pressing for a more inclusive democratic process and the strengthening of key democratic institutions," Kerry said the aid should go forward.

Internet giants deny granting government 'direct access' to servers...>Does anyone believe them?

Major tech companies including Apple Inc, Google and Facebook Inc on Thursday said they do not provide any government agency with "direct access" to their servers, contradicting a Washington Post report that they have granted such access under a classified data collection program.

The newspaper reported that the U.S. National Security Agency and the FBI are "tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies" through a secret program known as PRISM, and extracting massive amounts of data including audio, video, photographs, emails, documents and connection logs.

It named nine companies, including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft Corp and Google Inc, as having joined the secret program.

Andrea pummels parts of Cuba, Florida

Supporters welcome back Erdogan

Jordan threatens to expel Syrian envoy over missile comments

U.S. ally Jordan threatened on Thursday to expel Syria's ambassador after he warned the kingdom that Syrian missiles could be used against Patriot batteries due to be deployed soon along their border.

Foreign Minister Nasser Joudeh told state news agency Petra that Ambassador Bahjat Suleiman, a former general and intelligence chief who is a member of President Bashar al-Assad's minority Alawite sect's ruling inner circle, had violated diplomatic protocol.

"The Syrian ambassador has breached all norms and diplomatic practices by his behavior ... This is considered as a final warning to abide by the rules of diplomatic practice and to stop any meetings or statements that are deemed harmful to Jordan,' Joudeh said.

Austria to quit Golan force over Syria violence

Austria said on Thursday it would pull out of a U.N. force on the Golan Heights after battles between Syrian troops and rebels there, in a blow to a mission that has kept the Israeli-Syrian war front quiet for 40 years.

Israel, anxious for the international mission to remain in place, worried that the Golan could become a springboard for attacks on Israelis by Islamist militants fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"While appreciating Austria's longtime contribution and commitment to peacekeeping in the Middle East, we nevertheless regret this decision and hope that it will not be conducive to further escalation in the region," the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The island fighting for a new Greece

KASTELORIZO, Greece - When George Papandreou declared Greece was effectively bankrupt in April 2010, the former prime minister chose to do so standing by the sparkling harbor waters of Kastelorizo, a remote Aegean island. It has turned out to be a fitting backdrop.

This speck at the easternmost corner of Europe has become a symbol of Greece's struggle to confront old ills and build a better future. The country's economic crisis has spurred inhabitants of the island, population 350, to challenge the political elite that ruled Kastelorizo for 18 years.

In recent months complaints about widespread graft and poor infrastructure - flaws many observers say led to Greece's general collapse after decades of foreign-fed affluence - have boiled over. The island's mayor, Pavlos Panigyris, has been suspended by Greece's general secretary for the Aegean region, pending trial later this year on criminal charges of corruption brought by a public prosecutor.

China claims large cyber attacks by U.S.

Beijing has upped the ante on the US over accusations of cyber attacks by China, warning that it also has evidence against the US before a meeting between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping this week.

China Daily said cyber attacks from the US had been "as grave as the ones the US claims China has conducted", and quoted a senior cyber security official as calling on Washington not to openly press Beijing over cyber attacks.

The warning comes as Mr Obama is under pressure to do just that at his first presidential summit with Mr Xi at the Annenberg Estate in California on Friday.

French unemployment hits 15-year high

The unemployment rate in France continues to climb, hitting 10.4% in the first quarter of 2013. That's the highest level the country has seen since early 1998.

Including French territories and islands, the unemployment rate was 10.8%, according the latest unemployment estimates from France's national statistics agency, INSEE.

The French government has been struggling with a sluggish economy and rising unemployment for years.

Streets turn into rivers in Germany

Dresden prepares for Elbe to flood

The German city of Dresden waited anxiously Thursday to see if the swollen River Elbe, which has brought misery to thousands in the Czech Republic, would breach its flood defenses.

The river is expected to crest in Dresden late Thursday or early Friday. It is running at about 8.5 meters, compared with a normal average of 2 meters, and is likely to reach about 9 meters (30 feet) when the flow peaks.

Tropical Storm Andrea makes landfall

Tropical Storm Andrea is expected to drench the East Coast with heavy rains Friday as its strength weakens.

A broader swath of the East Coast -- including parts of 13 states, from Georgia to Maine -- is under flash-flood watches. Flash flood warnings extend from Florida through coastal communities north to Virginia.

The warning means a sudden deluge of rain could overwhelm sewers, and cause rivers and creeks to overrun their banks through the weekend.

2 U.N. peacekeepers injured in Syria as Israel starts moving Tanks along the border

Deteriorating security conditions near the Golan Heights headquarters for U.N. peacekeepers in the region has prompted Austria to say it will pull out its 370 troops, more than a third of the force assigned to help keep Israel and Syria at bay.

The announcement came amid fierce fighting over the Quneitra crossing, Syria's only access point to the Golan Heights. Rebel forces first captured but then lost control of the crossing in heavy fighting.

Syrian tanks crossed into a demilitarized zone near the crossing, Israel complained to the United Nations, and two U.N. peacekeepers were wounded when an errant mortar round fell on their border camp.

Columnist: U.S. is ending privacy

How NSA is spying on Millions of customers

Germany reels from record floods

'Appalling' refugee camps in Thailand

If it were not for the powerful stench and desperate shouts emanating from the wire cages, the men sitting in rows, each wearing a white skull cap, look like they could be at a prayer meeting.

But for the 276 Rohingya men sitting on the floor of two cells designed to hold just 15 people each, their situation is about as far away from a mosque as it gets -- that was the scene, vividly described and shown in an a report by British news network and CNN affiliate, Channel 4.

Appearing to have barely enough room to sit, some of the men reportedly had swollen feet and withered leg muscles from a lack of exercise and had not moved from the cage in five months.

Phone records 'beyond Orwellian' or useful?

Frightening government overreach or valuable law enforcement tool?

That's the question politicians in Washington, and millions of citizens around the United States, asked Thursday thanks to a jolting report suggesting the government has been collecting millions of Americans' phone records.

FBI Direct Robert Mueller will be asked about the matter -- revealed after a British newspaper, the Guardian, published a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court order that applied to phone data from Verizon -- when he appears next week before the House Judiciary Committee. The panel's chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, issued a statement Thursday saying he was "very concerned that the Department of Justice may have abused the intent of the law, and we will investigate."

Omar Hammami is a wanted terrorist with a $5 million bounty on his head - Parents despair for 'most wanted' son

Is government mining your e-mails?

Reports: U.S. spy agencies mined Internet data

America's top intelligence official on Thursday night challenged news reports claiming Facebook posts, Gmail messages and more have been intercepted for years in a vast data-mining operation, saying the reports "contain numerous inaccuracies."

The Guardian, a British newspaper, and the Washington Post reported Thursday that U.S. intelligence agencies had access to the central servers of nine of the country's biggest technology firms including Microsoft, Apple, Google, Yahoo and Facebook.

The Post reported the program -- called PRISM -- underwent "exponential growth" since its founding in 2007. In fact, the newspaper said the program has become the leading source of raw material for the National Security Agency, the secretive U.S. intelligence operation that monitors electronic communications.

Yet several tech giants whose servers were reportedly ensnared in the program denied any knowledge of it Thursday.

Mexico: Army Rescues 165 Kidnapped Migrants

The Mexican army has freed 165 migrants – including two pregnant women and 20 children – who were kidnapped and held for several weeks by a criminal gang.

The migrants, mostly from Central America, were trying to cross into the US from Tamaulipas state when they were captured for a ransom.

After an anonymous tip-off, the army found them being held at gunpoint in "precarious, unhealthy and overcrowded conditions" in a town on the border.

Ex-Military Recruited For Teaching Careers

From the Parade Ground to the playground, square bashing to square roots, the Government is trying to get former soldiers sailors, airmen and women and marines fast-tracked into the teaching profession.

The idea - pioneered in the US - is aimed at capitalising on the skills and values learned in the military and transferring them into the classroom.

The scheme being launched in the UK later is called Troops to Teachers and the real beneficiaries, according to the Department for Education, will be those ex-servicemen and women who do not already have a university education.

Teachers Face Ban Over Indecent Child Images......Why not Jail?

Anyone cautioned or prosecuted for offences involving indecent images of children in the future will be banned from teaching, the Department for Education has warned.

The announcement was made as Education Secretary Michael Gove comes under pressure to explain why his department approved a decision to allow a teacher who downloaded indecent images of children back into the classroom.

The move sparked widespread condemnation and Mr Gove has now been urged to appear in the Commons to tell MPs why Geoffrey Bettley, 36, was reinstated after police found nearly 200 child abuse images on his computer.

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION - 7th June 2013

Magnitude M 4.6
Date time 2013-06-07 07:38:32.0 UTC
Location 10.80 N ; 126.83 E
Depth 60 km
110 km E of Sulangan, Philippines / pop: 3,034 / local time: 15:38:32.0 2013-06-07

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake CRIMEA REGION, UKRAINE - 7th June 2013

Magnitude mb 4.3
Date time 2013-06-07 07:05:01.0 UTC
Location 44.76 N ; 36.26 E
Depth 40 km
56 km S of Pryozerne, Ukraine / pop: 3,013 / local time: 10:05:01.0 2013-06-07

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE VALPARAISO, CHILE - 7th June 2013

Magnitude mb 4.5
Date time 2013-06-07 06:28:14.0 UTC
Location 32.81 S ; 71.81 W
Depth 20 km
30 km NW of Valparaíso, Chile / pop: 282,448 / local time: 02:28:14.0 2013-06-07

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA - 7th June 2013

Magnitude mb 4.7
Date time 2013-06-07 05:27:28.0 UTC
Location 54.70 N ; 160.41 E
Depth 110 km
175 km SE of Esso, Russia / pop: 1,965 / local time: 18:27:28.0 2013-06-07

Obama administration defends massive phone record collection

North Korea says to reopen hotline with South, seeks weekend talks

North Korea said it would reopen a Red Cross hotline with South Korea on Friday and invited officials from Seoul to talks over the weekend, a further sign Pyongyang wants to improve ties after a barrage of threats to wage war earlier this year.

On Thursday, North Korea proposed talks to normalize commercial projects, including a joint industrial zone it shut down at the height of tensions in early April.

Turkish PM cheered in show of strength as protests go on

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told thousands of cheering supporters on Friday his authority came from the ballot box and urged them not to be drawn into violence, in a show of ruling party strength after a week of fierce anti-government protests.

Addressing crowds at Istanbul airport from an open-top bus after returning from a trip to North Africa, Erdogan called on his ruling party faithful to show restraint and distance themselves from "dirty games" and "lawless protests".

Turkey has been rocked by its worst political unrest for decades over the past week, as anti-government riots dented Erdogan's authority, sullied the country's image abroad and highlighted concerns about human rights and freedom of speech in the EU candidate nation.

Facebook denies providing government 'direct access' to servers

Facebook Inc said Thursday it does not provide any government agency with "direct access" to its servers, denying a central element of a Washington Post report.

The Post reported on Thursday that the U.S. National Security Agency and the FBI are "tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies" through a highly classified program known as PRISM, extracting audio, video, photographs, emails, documents and connection logs.

"We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers," Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan said in a statement. "When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law."

Yahoo Denial

Microsoft denial

Sure allot of denials flying around this morning ...

3.7 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - 7th June 2013

Magnitude Ml 3.7
Date time 2013-06-07 03:56:34.0 UTC
Location 40.21 N ; 121.12 W
Depth 1 km
14 km SE of Chester, United States / pop: 2,144 / local time: 20:56:34.0 2013-06-06

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION - 7th June 2013

Magnitude mb 4.9
Date time 2013-06-07 03:40:26.0 UTC
Location 55.59 S ; 26.65 W
Depth 40 km
Distances 3224 km SE of Montevideo, Uruguay / pop: 1,270,737 / local time: 00:40:26.0 2013-06-07

Abdelkader El Janabi and Alex Wilson-Fletcher Jailed for raping a teenage boy in the toilets of a Debenhams store

Abdelkader El Janabi, 55, and Alex Wilson-Fletcher, 42, abducted their 14-year-old victim in Manchester's Arndale Centre on a busy Saturday afternoon last summer.

They marched him to the toilets of a nearby Debenhams where they carried out a "sustained attack" on him.

Wilson-Fletcher, of Oldham Street, Manchester, and El Janabi, of Artillery Court, Ardwick, Manchester, were convicted by a jury of two counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault following a nine-day trial in April.

El Janabi, a former intelligence officer in Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime, was jailed for 15 years.

Bolivia 'Rapist' Buried Alive With Victim

A suspected rapist and murderer has been buried alive in the grave of his alleged victim by enraged villagers, according to reports.

Santos Ramos, 17, had been identified by Bolivian police as a possible culprit in the death of 35-year-old Leandra Arias Janco.

More than 200 residents took the law into their own hands, reportedly seizing the teenager during the woman's funeral earlier this week and burying him alongside his victim.

Selfridges 'Smash And Grab': Two Men Held

Two men have been arrested after passers-by reportedly pinned them down them after an audacious raid at Selfridges.

The robbery happened late on Thursday evening while customers were shopping in the world famous department store in London's Oxford Street.

Armed police were sent to the scene after a gang wielding axes smashed display cabinets to get at jewellery items, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

The two suspects were detained after coming off a moped as they tried to make a getaway from the store.

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake GULF OF CALIFORNIA - 7th June 2013

Magnitude mb 4.7
Date time 2013-06-07 03:17:55.0 UTC
Location 30.09 N ; 114.17 W
Depth 10 km
121 km SE of San Felipe, Mexico / pop: 15,386 / local time: 20:17:55.0 2013-06-06

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR - 7th June 2013

Magnitude mb 4.3
Date time 2013-06-07 02:24:38.0 UTC
Location 12.78 N ; 88.98 W
Depth 10 km
72 km SW of Puerto El Triunfo, El Salvador / pop: 19,074 / local time: 20:24:38.0 2013-06-06

Thursday, June 6, 2013

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake OFF COAST OF O'HIGGINS, CHILE - 6th June 2013

Magnitude mb 4.7
Date time 2013-06-06 21:20:31.0 UTC
Location 34.10 S ; 73.11 W
Depth 15 km
148 km SW of San Antonio, Chile / pop: 85,651 / local time: 17:20:31.0 2013-06-06

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake SUMBAWA REGION, INDONESIA - 6th June 2013

Magnitude M 4.6
Date time 2013-06-06 20:30:22.0 UTC
Location 8.87 S ; 118.31 E
Depth 156 km
63 km SW of Bima / pop: 66,970 / local time: 04:30:00.0 2013-06-07