Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Monday, January 21, 2013

Obama sets up tiny "free speech zone" along parade route (Isn't all of America a free speech zone?)

The first couple walked past the FBI building, before stepping back into the limousine before reaching Freedom Plaza.

Freedom Plaza is the site of one of the only authorized demonstration zones, where a strip of the plaza is designated a free speech zone.

Oh Canada... Our Bought & Sold Land

Australian professor predicts China-Japan war in 2013, US involvement to follow

Australian National University professor Hugh White, also a former Australian defense official, believes that the recent violation of Japanese airspace by Chinese planes and Japan’s election of a new, nationalist-leaning prime minister are sure signs that the two Asian superpowers are heading to war within the next year. In an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald, White writes that the tensions developing now between the two countries are the among the conditions that have led to war many times in history, even when conflict is in no one’s interest.

Referring to Japan and China’s worst dispute over the mutually claimed Senkaku / Diaoyu Islands, White says that escalating stand offs over something that is overall worthless is usually how wars are started. He adds that without a doubt he United States would be dragged into the conflict to support Japan, and there’s no guarantee the war would be short or simple. The professor defends his point against the idea that such an outcome – the world’s three richest countries, two with nuclear weapons, going to war in this day and age – by pointing out that one should not confuse what wars are started over with what causes them.

Russia to begin airlifting citizens from Syria

Russia is sending two planes to Lebanon to evacuate Russians from civil war-struck Syria, authorities said Monday, a move that appears to reflect Moscow’s increasing doubts about Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ability to stay in power.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said two of its planes were scheduled to fly to Beirut on Tuesday to carry more than 100 Russians from Syria.

Russia has been Assad’s main ally since the start of the conflict in the Arab state in March 2011, using its veto power at the United Nations Security Council to shield Damascus from international sanctions.

But it has recently begun to distance itself from the Syrian ruler, signaling it is resigned to him losing power. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia realizes the need for change in Syria.

The Fascist Plot to Overthrow FDR - Full Documentary (Fuzzy video quality, but incredibly interesting nonetheless)

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake CENTRAL ALASKA - 21st January 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 20:00:17 UTC
Monday, January 21, 2013 at 11:00:17 AM at epicenter
62.679°N, 149.502°W
56.6 km (35.2 miles)
41 km (26 miles) NE (46°) from Chase, AK

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN IRAN - 21st January 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 19:49:02 UTC
Monday, January 21, 2013 at 11:19:02 PM at epicenter
30.364°N, 57.470°E
31.9 km (19.8 miles)
38 km (24 miles) ENE (76°) from Kerman, Iran

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 21st January 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 19:46:57 UTC
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 04:46:57 AM at epicenter
35.832°N, 140.870°E
5.7 km (3.5 miles) (poorly constrained)
69 km (43 miles) SSE (150°) from Mito, Honshu, Japan

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES - 21st January 2013

Magnitude M 4.8
Date time 2013-01-21 19:27:27.0 UTC
Location 5.78 N ; 126.49 E
Depth 100 km
Distances 73 km SE Pundaguitan, Philippines

First Term: Obama Increased Debt $50,521 Per Household; More Than First 42 Presidents in 53 Terms Combined

During Barack Obama’s first term as president of the United States, the debt of the federal government increased by $5.8 trillion, which exceeds the combined debt accumulated under all presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton.

The new federal debt accumulated in Obama's first term equaled approximately $50,521 for each of household in the country.

On Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama was first inaugurated, the total debt of the federal government was $10,626,877,048,913.08, according to the U.S. Treasury. As of the close of business on Jan. 17, the last day reported by the Treasury before Obama’s second inauguration, the total debt of the federal government was $16,432,631,489,854.70.

Thus, from Obama’s first inauguration to his second, the federal government’s debt grew by $5,805,754,440,941.62.

Algeria hostage crisis: Most weapons used in attack came from Libya

Many of the Islamist terrorists shot their way into the In Amenas compound on Thursday using the AK104 model of Kalashnikov, which was typically used by Libyan rebels in the war against Muammar Gaddafi.

They brought F5 rockets that also surfaced in the Libyan war, said the security source.

The Islamists wore the same type of outfits that Qatar provided to Libyan National Transitional Council rebels by Qatar – yellow flak jackets with brown patches, known as "chocolate chip" camouflage. The garments are copies of ones worn by Americans in the Gulf war.

Iran may launch ‘living creatures’ into orbit

Iran is set to unveil a new “space observatory” that will serve as the centerpiece of its space program, and may launch “living creatures” into orbit “in the coming days,” according to state-run media reports.

The new space base will act as headquarters from which the Iranian military can monitor Tehran’s future “expeditionary space missions,” according to Iran’s defense minister, who was quoted Monday in Iran’s Fars News Agency.

Tehran will also unveil sometime between the end of January and early February “the latest home-made fighter jets,” Fars reported.

Prince Harry Killed Taliban In Afghanistan

Prince Harry has confirmed he killed Taliban insurgents during his latest tour of Afghanistan, saying: "We fire when we have to - take a life to save a life."

The third-in-line to the throne is on his way home after a five-month tour of the war-torn country as an Apache pilot gunner, where he said his unit took enemy fighters "out of the game".

'Mali intervention will last years' - ex-UK Ambassador

Goldman Sachs cashes in, world on brink of food crisis

Islamic militants cite 'French Crusade', pledge more terror attacks

Fresh India rape horror as girl, 15, dies after being set on fire by family of boy she accused of attacking her

India's rape crisis grew yet deeper today when it emerged a schoolgirl died two weeks after a boy who tried to rape her set her on fire - with the help of his parents.

The 15-year-old, from Jigna village in northeast India, was rushed to hospital after the January 6 attack with horrific burns to 80 per cent of her body.

Despite doctors battling for two weeks to keep her alive, she died of her injuries on Sunday.

Winter freeze claims 11th victim as postman suffers heart attack trying to dig his van out of snowdrift

A postman collapsed and died on his round as he battled to free his Royal Mail van after the vehicle became stuck in a deep snowdrift, it emerged today.

John Bircham, of Dulverton, Somerset, suffered a heart attack as he fought through the snow and icy conditions on Saturday, a Royal Mail source said. He became the 11th casualty of the nine-day winter freeze.

Exmoor was one of the worst hit areas by the snow and ice at the weekend - and drift caused huge problems, completely blocking main roads. Royal Mail manager Ian Frankum, his boss, said Mr Bircham had been a postman for 24 years and worked out of the Dulverton delivery office on Exmoor.

Britain offers more military support in battle against 'terrorist scourge' of Al Qaeda as Cameron invokes wartime spirit

Britain is to step up military support in the battle to defeat the ‘poisonous ideology’ of Al Qaeda in Africa in the wake of the Algeria hostage crisis.

David Cameron invoked a wartime spirit to call for ‘the same resolve and sense of purpose’ as previous generations showed to defeat the ideologies of Nazis and communism.

In a Commons statement the Prime Minister promised British special forces would be used to ‘find and dismantle the network’ that planned the brutal assault on the Algerian gas installation in In Amenas.

Firemen take revenge on teenagers by giving them a drenching with power hose...for throwing snowballs at them

Britain becomes Germany's biggest trade partner as Berlin-London pact deepens

Fresh data from the Bundesbank show that Anglo-German trade in goods and services soared to €153bn in the first nine months of 2012, with both exports and imports booming at double-digit rates.

It is one of the fastest growing trade relationships in the developed world. France lagged behind at €150bn as trade stagnated, with the US at €149bn and China at €115bn.

Black hole collision may have irradiated Earth in eighth century

A study last year found unusually high levels of the isotope carbon-14 in ancient rings of Japanese cedar trees and a corresponding spike in beryllium-10 in Antarctic ice.

The readings were traced back to a point in AD 774 or 775, suggesting that during that period the Earth was hit by an intense burst of radiation, but researchers were initially unable to determine its cause.

Now a separate team of astronomers have suggested it could have been due to the collision of two compact stellar remnants such as black holes, neutron stars or white dwarfs.

Taliban Kabul attack contained

Italy's Monti calls for "radical reforms" in campaign launch

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti launched his campaign for a second term on Sunday with a speech calling for deep-rooted reforms to kick start economic growth, four weeks ahead of a parliamentary election.

"Italy needs radical reforms. Radical reforms for those who are outside protected interest groups, and for young people who cannot find work because others are over-protected," the economist said at the launch of his campaign for the February 24-25 vote.

Mystery Canadian coordinated Algeria gas field attack, premier says

The Islamist attack on the sprawling desert gas complex in southern Algeria that triggered one of the worst hostage crises in years was conceived in Mali and coordinated by a mystery Canadian named only as Chedad, the Algerian prime minister said.

Five days after about 40 jihadist fighters raided the facility not far from the Libyan border and Algeria responded with a full-on military operation to kill or capture them, a picture of what happened is emerging.

Gunmen seize fuel tanker with 16 crew off Ivory Coast

Gunmen seized a Nigerian-owned, Panama-flagged tanker with 16 Nigerian crew off Ivory Coast's port of Abidjan as it prepared to unload 5,000 tonnes of fuel, port officials said on Monday.

Attacks on shipping are increasing in the Gulf of Guinea - second only to the waters around Somalia for piracy. But the ITRI incident was only the second of its kind in Ivorian waters.

The tanker, named the ITRI and owned by Lagos-based Brila Energy, was commandeered on Thursday, Abidjan's port authority said in a statement.

French troops take central Mali towns, rebels slip away

French and Malian armored columns rolled into the towns of Diabaly and Douentza in central Mali on Monday after the al Qaeda-linked rebels who had seized them melted into the bush to avoid air strikes.

France said the advance was a success in its campaign to oust Islamist fighters from Mali's vast desert, where they have held sway for 10 months, raising fears the area could become a launchpad for international attacks.

China rebukes Clinton for comments on disputed islets

China rebuked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday for her public backing of Japan's administration over a string of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea which are at the centre of a messy dispute between China and Japan.

Clinton, speaking after meeting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, repeated the long-standing U.S. position that Washington acknowledged the islands were under Japan's administration, raising China's ire.

5.4 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA - 21st January 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 18:32:26 UTC
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 03:32:26 AM at epicenter
4.445°S, 134.847°E
27.3 km (17.0 miles)
166 km (103 miles) NNE (25°) from Dobo, Aru Islands, Indonesia

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 21st January 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 16:34:19 UTC
Monday, January 21, 2013 at 07:34:19 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
53.135°N, 166.799°W
44.4 km (27.6 miles)
84 km (52 miles) SSW of Unalaska, Alaska

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake VANUATU - 21st January 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 16:32:47 UTC
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 03:32:47 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
20.498°S, 170.623°E
195.5 km (121.5 miles)
176 km (109 miles) SE of Isangel, Vanuatu

Eritrean troops lay siege to ministry

Eritrean soldiers with tanks laid siege to the information ministry on Monday and forced state media to call for political prisoners to be freed, a senior intelligence official said.

The renegade soldiers had not gone as far as to call for the overthrow of the government of one of Africa's most secretive states, long at odds with the United States and accused of human rights abuses.

Eritrea has been led by Isaias Afewerki, 66, for some two decades since it broke from bigger neighbor Ethiopia.

Obama looks "to finish what we started" in second term

Four years after making history by becoming the first African-American president, Barack Obama will kick off his second term on Monday with a scaled-back inauguration that reflects the tempered expectations for his next four years in office.

Lingering high unemployment, bitter political battles and a divisive re-election campaign have tempered the mood of optimism and hope that infused Obama's 2009 inauguration after he was swept into office on a mantle of hope and change.

Algeria: '37 Foreigners' Killed In Siege

Algeria's prime minister says 37 foreign hostages were killed during the four day gas plant crisis - with several executed with a bullet to the head.

Abdelmalek Sellal said at least one Canadian was among the gang of kidnappers also from Egypt, Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Tunisia and that the kidnappers crossed the border from northern Mali before swooping on the desert installation.

Atari Files For Bankruptcy

The 30-year-old firm was one of the original gaming pioneers, producing classic titles such as Pong, Asteroids and Centipede.

However Atari is likely to live on, as the move is designed to sever ties with its troubled French parent company and secure independent funding to develop more games for digital and mobile platforms.

Joe Biden's gaffe about being president: 'I'm Proud To Be President Of The United States'

Fish caught near crippled Japanese N-plant with 2,500 times the legal limit of radioactivity for human consumption

A fish caught close the the Fukushima nuclear plant is over 2,500 times the legal safe radiation limit for seafood, the plant's operator has revealed.

The company Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) caught the fish, dubbed 'Mike the Murasai' online, in the bay close to the Fukukshima Daiichi main reactor.

It was confirmed by Tepco to have amounts of radioactive cesium equal to 254,000 becquerels per kilogram, or 2540 times the limit of 100 becquerels/kg set for seafood by the government.

New £150million combat jet is banned from flying in bad weather because it could EXPLODE

It's considered to be the world's most sophisticated superfighter jet, but Britain's new £150million combat aircraft has been banned from flying in bad weather for fears it could explode.

Engineers working on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have found the jet's fuel tank could explode if hit by lightning.

Iran publicly hangs two robbers who boasted about machete attack on YouTube......WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

They were tried through YouTube and hanged by remote control as hundreds captured their agonising last moments on mobile phones.

But though the deaths of Alireza Mafiha and Mohammad Ali Sarvari had all the accoutrements of the 21st century, the essence of their executions was medieval.

The pair, executed for robbery, were paraded before a baying crowd of 300 in a public park at the centre of the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Burglar let off with CAUTION for raiding 113 homes as scale of soft justice reprimands is revealed

A burglar was let off with more than 100 cautions after raiding homes in south-east England.

The thief, who has not been identified, was issued 113 reprimands but escaped further punishment when he confessed in prison to the one-man looting spree.

The latest shocking example of ‘soft justice’ comes as new figures revealed 27,891 criminals received cautions - described as a 'slap on the wrist' - in 2011.

Bernadette Lucy Lee dies after collapsing in the snow just yards from her sister's house 'on the way home from night out without a winter coat'

A woman was found dead in the snow after walking home from a night out without winter clothing.

The body of 25-year-old Bernadette Lee was found by a dog walker in the snow in a residential street in Deal, Kent. Miss Lee was discovered in the garden of the house next door to her sister, who she was staying with.

She was today described as an 'angel' and a 'beautiful person' on a tribute site set up to honour her memory.

Egypt Enraged: Protesters tear-gassed outside police brutality trial

'US to borrow Chinese cash to arm military vs...... China'

Israeli soldiers headed to the polls on Sunday

US sentences Iranian scientist to jail

Bulgarian 'would-be assassin' thought he would be killed during attack

Footage of Oktay Enimehmedov aiming a handgun at the head of Ahmed Dogan, leader of the DPS, Bulgaria's Turkish minority party, before being tackled to the floor and subjected to a beating received global attention on Saturday.

Mr Dogan, who resigned as leader of the DPS after the incident, escaped unscathed.

At the time the attack was thought to be a failed assassination attempt but Bulgarian police have now said Mr Enimehmedov had wielded a gas pistol, which would have caused little or no injury if it had been fired.

Authorities investigating the actions of the 25-year old disclosed that he thought the stunt could end in his death. He left a letter in his flat addressed to his mother in which he said he might die and apologised for failing to complete his education.

Scientists warn of another Mount Tongariro eruption

Scientists are warning Mount Tongariro may erupt again as the Department of Conservation looks at re-opening the remainder of the iconic Tongariro Crossing next month.

GNS Science say emissions of steam and a gas plume have been a continuous feature of the mountain since the August 2012 eruption.

Scientist Tony Hurst said the volcano is still in an "active" state.

Hong Kong's growing waste mountain

Nestled among the granite peaks of eastern Hong Kong a new, man-made mountain is emerging.

It's the Tseung Kwan O landfill, a growing hillside of garbage that stretches over 50 hectares and will be up to 100 meters high when the site is full.

Bombed-out Syrian town still In shock

Snowstorms hit Europe

Cameron To Make Europe Speech On Wednesday

Prime Minister David Cameron will make his delayed speech outlining his vision for the UK's future in Europe on Wednesday morning.

Mr Cameron cancelled the much-anticipated speech last Thursday because of the Algeria gas plant hostage crisis. He had been due to speak in Amsterdam the following day.

"Wednesday morning in London fits best with the Prime Minister's schedule," a No10 spokesman said.

Two Die As Winter Weather Continues Grip On UK

A 25-year-old woman found collapsed in the snow could have died after falling in sub-zero temperatures after a night out, Kent police said.

A man also died following a crash in snowy conditions on the A12 near Kelvedon in Essex about 7pm on Sunday.

The woman was discovered by a man walking his dog in Church Meadows in Deal at 7.30am on Sunday morning

U.S. drone strike kills four Qaeda militants in Yemen: sources

A U.S. drone killed four suspected al Qaeda militants on Monday in a strike in central Yemen, tribal sources said, in the third such attack in three days.

The United States never comments on strikes by its pilotless aircraft, which it has used to track down militants in Yemen for years. The Yemeni government tolerates such strikes but usually does not comment on the U.S. role in specific incidents.

Algeria finds dead Canadian militants as siege toll rises

Algerian special forces have found the bodies of two Canadian Islamist fighters after a bloody siege at a desert gas plant, a security source said on Monday, as the death toll reached at least 80 after troops stormed the complex to end the hostage crisis.

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal is expected to give details later in the day about the siege near the town of In Amenas, which left American, British, French, Japanese, Norwegian, Filipino and Romanian workers dead or missing.

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS., ALASKA - 21st January 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 11:32:19 UTC
Monday, January 21, 2013 at 01:32:19 AM at epicenter
51.627°N, 178.341°W
7 km (4.3 miles)
120 km (75 miles) WSW (257°) from Adak, AK

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE COAST OF NICARAGUA - 21st January 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10:38:59 UTC
Monday, January 21, 2013 at 04:38:59 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
11.552°N, 87.358°W
48.4 km (30.1 miles)
95 km (59 miles) WSW of Masachapa, Nicaragua

German minister 'offers to quit' as party chief

Germany's economy minister and vice chancellor Philipp Roesler offered Monday to step down as head of the Free Democrats (FDP), junior partners in the ruling coalition, a party source said.

"He is ready to step aside," the source said, if his chief rival in the party, Rainer Bruederle, wants to lead the party into the September general election after a bitter defeat for the ruling centre-right in a regional vote in Lower Saxony on Sunday.

Roesler, who has led the party for nearly two years, has been under fire for months due to aenemic poll ratings and a failure to sharpen the FDP's profile against their partners, Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU).

French troops enter Mali town of Diabaly

A convoy of about 30 armoured vehicles carrying some 200 French and Malian soldiers moved into the town at about 9am (local and GMT), without meeting resistance.

French soldiers from the 21st Marine Infantry Regiment as well as parachutists and Malian troops entered the town after reconnaissance flights by Gazelle helicopters, said an AFP reporter with the soldiers.

They had set out at dawn from the town of Niono, which is 37 miles south of Diabaly in Malian government-held territory.

Packed Commuter Trains Collide In Austria

Two commuter trains have collided head-on in rush-hour traffic in the Austrian capital Vienna, leaving five people seriously hurt.

"At the moment there are five people seriously injured and several people with light injuries," emergency services spokeswoman Claudia Gigler said.

"The seriously injured were taken immediately to hospital," she added.

Corporation Tax Bill Shrinks At Top Companies

The tax take from Britain's biggest companies remained broadly flat last year at approximately £77bn but corporation tax accounted for a dwindling share of the total, a key report out tomorrow will say.

The annual study by The Hundred Group, whose members are the finance directors of companies principally drawn from the FTSE-100 index, will show that the overall tax contribution of its members accounted for roughly 14 per cent of total Government receipts.

Masked Mexican vigilantes take to the streets to protect their villages from the drug cartels

Tired of the scourge of organized crime, civilians in two rural towns in southwestern Mexico have taken matters into their own hands over the last two weeks.

Since the second week of January, around 800 masked and armed residents have set up vigilante groups who are manning checkpoints, imposing curfews and arresting alleged criminals.

This unofficial police force says they are providing security for the municipalities of Ayutla de los Libres and Teconoapa in Guerrero state, an area that has been hit hard by Mexico's drug violence.

Aaron Travis Beaird faked his own suicide after stealing $6million from his own family and members of his church

An insurance fraudster who made $6million ripping off his own family and members of his church before faking suicide is facing jail today.

Father-of-three Aaron Travis Beaird, 39, from Enumclaw, Washington, targeted mostly his friends and family in the con which lasted ten years, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reports

The life insurance salesman skimmed money from what clients paid him. He then doctored documents to back up his crime and redirected the companies correspondence to a PO Box he owned.

On being discovered he feigned his suicide

SECOND Massachusetts chemist accused in evidence tampering case that threatens to unravel THOUSANDS of drug convictions

A chemist at a state crime lab tampered with drug evidence, authorities said Sunday in Massachusetts, where another chemist at a different lab was accused last year of faking test results in a scandal that threw thousands of criminal cases into question.

Sonja Farak of Northampton, who works at a lab in Amherst in western Massachusetts, removed a substance from a case file that tested positive for cocaine and replaced it with one that did not test positive, state Attorney General Martha Coakley said.

Farak, 35, was arrested Saturday. She is also charged with possession of heroin and cocaine.

Twenty five burned bodies found in Algerian compound after bloody militant siege as two Americans remain unaccounted for

Algerian special forces say they have encountered about 25 badly burned bodies inside a gas plant - bringing the death toll up to 81 people one day after a bloody hostage siege ended there.

Bomb squads are now scouring the complex where Islamist militants took dozens of foreign workers hostage, working around explosive traps left behind by the attackers, who are all believed to be dead.

An official, who spoke condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said the bodies were badly disfigured and difficult to identify.

'The bodies could be either Algerian of foreign hostages,' he said.

PC Gareth Francis Murder: Third Man Arrested

A third man has been arrested and is being questioned over the murder of an off-duty policeman in Stockport in the early hours of Sunday.

Two other men were arrested on Sunday by officers investigating the death of PC Gareth Francis.

Austria Train Crash: 5 People Seriously Injured

Two commuter trains have collided head-on in rush-hour traffic in the Austrian capital Vienna, leaving five people seriously hurt.

Kabul police try to oust attackers from key building

Militants have attacked traffic police headquarters in the west of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Two explosions went off outside the office just before dawn, injuring some civilians and police, officials said.

Gunmen then attacked the building and Afghan forces are now trying to dislodge two militants holed up inside.

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake NEI MONGOL-LIAONING BORD., CHINA - 21st January 2013

Magnitude M 4.3
Date time 2013-01-21 08:10:42.8 UTC
Location 42.91 N ; 121.68 E
Depth 10 km
Distances 92 km SW Tongliao

Despite ceasefire, fighting goes on in northern Myanmar

Cameron leading Britain into minefield on EU

Prime Minister David Cameron is leading Britain into a minefield in seeking to renegotiate its terms of membership of the European Union. His gamble could easily end in a bust.

Cameron postponed a landmark speech on Europe, due to have been delivered in Amsterdam last Friday, because of a hostage crisis in Algeria, but he had already disclosed the thrust of his plan to try to change London's relationship with the EU.

Syrian opposition postpones forming government

Syrian opposition leaders meeting in Istanbul have postponed forming a transitional government, the Syrian National Coalition said on Monday, in a setback for efforts to fill a power vacuum in the war-torn country.

The talks launched on Saturday were the opposition's second bid to form a government, with its credibility at stake as the country slides into sectarian conflict between majority Sunni muslims and President Bashar al-Assad's minority Alawite sect.

A bitter defeat for Merkel months before German election

Image: Associated Press/dpa, Michael Kappeler

In an extremely tight German state election that seemed to produce few clearcut winners, there was no argument over who the biggest loser was -- Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Her Christian Democrats (CDU), led by rising star David McAllister, had convinced themselves over the past week that they were on the verge of a stunning come-from-behind victory in Lower Saxony, a major agricultural and industrial region that is Germany's closest approximation to a swing state.

But on Sunday, they came up agonizingly short, losing power to the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens, who together garnered just one more seat in the state assembly than the centre-right.

Algeria death hostage toll rises with report of Japanese deaths

The hostage death toll from a four-day siege at an Algerian gas plant deep in the Sahara has risen to almost 60, with at least nine Japanese nationals also reported killed in an attack claimed by a veteran Islamist fighter on behalf of al Qaeda.

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal is expected to give details at a Monday news conference about one of the worst international hostage crises in decades, which left American, British, French, Japanese, Norwegian and Romanian workers dead or missing.

Paul Marshallsea Wrestles Shark in Oz

An heroic British holidaymaker has wrestled a 2m (6ft) shark off the Australian coast to stop beachgoers being attacked.

Paul Marshallsea, 62, from Wales, was on a month's break with his family when the shark swam right up to swimmers and children paddling on the shore on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

A local TV crew, which was on the beach filming another story, captured the moment when Mr Marshallsea and another man ran into the water and grabbed the shark by its tail in an attempt to get it to swim away.

Revolutionary Japan is suddenly the centre of world affairs

So Japan may not slide into genteel oblivion after all. To the surprise of the Japanese people, their country is smack in the middle of two riveting dramas that threaten to upturn the global strategic landscape in short order.

Newspapers may soon have to re-open their Tokyo bureaux, shut down long ago when the investment bubble burst and one Lost Decade stretched into another.

We all watch with disbelief as China and Japan rattle sabres over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, so like the seemingly minor events that drew Europe's alliance systems into conflict from 1911 onwards.

Both graduated to fighter jets last week: Japan sending in F-15s; China deploying J-10s, and mobilising the East China Sea fleet for live ammo drills.

China's purpose is clear. It is testing the US security umbrella, and Washington's willingness to risk conflict to back Asian allies. There is a minority in Beijing who think America is a busted flush, a mistake made repeatedly by different powers over the last hundred years.

The possibility that the world's three largest economies could come to blows -- as feared by US defense secretary Leon Panetta -- is a sobering thought.

More here

Nehemiah Griego Kills his pastor father and family dead with military-style assault rifle' in bloody shooting rampage

A 15-year-old boy is accused of using an assault rifle to kill his pastor father and other family members in their home last night, police have said.

The suspect, who was identified as Nehemiah Griego, was arrested shortly after the shooting at the Albuquerque, New Mexico, home.

Inside, police found the five victims - a man, woman, two girls and a boy - who were each shot multiple times.

Cameron: Fight against Islamic terrorism in North Africa will last for decades

Britain and the West face a decades-long battle against Islamist terrorism in North Africa, a grim-faced David Cameron warned today.

The Prime Minister said the attack was a 'stark reminder' of the threat from the region, which he likened to that from Afghanistan and Pakistan - and vowed to use Britain's chairmanship of the G8 group of leading nations to shape the international response.

Government sources played down the prospect of British 'boots on the ground' in support of a French-led intervention against terrorists in Mali but said a new approach was needed to address Africa's 'huge, lawless, ungoverned spaces'.

Illegal immigrants pay £1,500 to be smuggled OUT of Britain: Fears gangs are helping foreign criminals flee the country

Illegal immigrants are paying criminal gangs £1,500 a time to smuggle them out of Britain, it emerged last night.

The foreign nationals – many of whom sneaked into the UK undetected in the first place – are put in the back of lorries and transported to France.

By avoiding contact with the authorities they can travel on to a European destination of their choice, rather than risk being sent back to their homeland thousands of miles away.

Pakistan prime minister investigator found dead

Officials said Kamran Faisal was found hanging from a ceiling fan in the government hostel where he lived with other colleagues from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

He was one of the officers pursuing allegations that Raja Pervez Ashraf received kickbacks during his time as water and power minister in 2010. The Supreme Court ordered Mr Ashraf's arrest this week but the head of NAB, refused saying there was insufficient evidence.

Police said Mr Faisal's death appeared to be suicide.

At least three killed, 12 wounded as Cairo protesters clash with police over killed resident

At least three people have been killed and 12 others injured in clashes between police and residents in Egypt. The violence began when a bystander was hit by a bullet fired by police chasing a suspected drug dealer in northern Cairo.

The clashes began Saturday night and continued into Sunday.

The bystander, who was identified as Mahrous Mohammed, was killed after being shot in the head as he sat on the balcony of his apartment.

Angry demonstrators used rooftops near the Second Police Station in the densely populated neighborhood of Shubra al-Kheima to fire guns and hurl rocks at officers. Police responded by firing tear gas.

The French intervention in Mali and Israel

Analysis: French activity in Mali will likely give Paris another reason to push hard on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Mali, for most Israelis, is far, far away, and the dramatic events unfolding there do not really have much of an impact on life here – especially in the heat of an election campaign.

With Likud Beytenu throwing mud at Bayit Yehudi, and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni trashing Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich, who has time to follow reports of the bold French intervention in Mali to stem Islamic jihadists from taking over the northern part of that country in western Africa? And yet we should take note, and not only because keeping al-Qaida affiliates from gaining a base anywhere on the globe is in Israel’s interests, as it is in the interest of the rest of the world. We should take note because the French activity there – fighting Muslims in another far-flung corner of the globe – will likely give Paris yet another reason, yet more motivation, to push hard on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Syrian Aide Asks Rebels to Give Up Weapons

As Syrian opposition leaders met in Turkey over the weekend to try to iron out their differences, Syria’s foreign minister invited rebels to join a national dialogue, promising that all those who lay down their arms and forswear foreign intervention will be part of a transitional government.

“I tell the young men who carried arms to change and reform — take part in the dialogue for a new Syria and you will be a partner in building it,” the foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, said in an interview broadcast on Syrian state television on Saturday. “Why carry arms?”

The minister’s offer went a significant step beyond what President Bashar al-Assad proposed in a speech on Jan. 6, when he called for a national dialogue but intimated that those who had taken up arms would be excluded.

France lifts doubt over Dutchman as new Eurogroup head

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Sunday that he expected Dutch counterpart Jeroen Dijsselbloem to be appointed Eurogroup chief, suggesting Paris had bowed to the inevitable despite reservations about him.

Just last week, Moscovici told a German newspaper he needed to know more about the Dutchman's agenda and suggested that the appointment might not be made before February at the earliest.

Protesters raid court, burn documents in Alexandria clashes

Center left ousts Merkel coalition in cliffhanger state vote

Germany's center-left opposition edged Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives from power in a regional vote in Lower Saxony on Sunday, reviving its flagging hopes of defeating her in September's national election.

The Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens won by a single seat after a close race for power in Germany's fourth most populous state. Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) lost ground but their Free Democrat (FDP) allies defied forecasts that they would be ejected from the state assembly in Hanover.

Triple suicide bomb attack targets Afghan government building

A coordinated attack involving at least three suicide bombers and a powerful car bomb took aim at the headquarters of the Kabul traffic department on Monday, followed by a clash between at least one insurgent and security forces, police said.

The attack took place just days after six suicide bombers attacked the Afghan spy agency in Kabul, killing two.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Monday's attack.

Dreamliner probe widens after excess battery voltage ruled out

U.S. safety investigators on Sunday ruled out excess voltage as the cause of a battery fire this month on a Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner jet operated by Japan Airlines Co (JAL) and said they were expanding the probe to look at the battery's charger and the jet's auxiliary power unit.

Last week, governments across the world grounded the Dreamliner while Boeing halted deliveries after a problem with a lithium-ion battery on a second 787 plane, flown by All Nippon Airways Co (ANA), forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing in western Japan.

Niger ambassador to Belgium Issaka Djibo and wife found dead

NIGER'S ambassador to Belgium and his wife have been found dead at their residence, apparently the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, the embassy says.

The bodies of Issaka Djibo, 61, and his wife, Fatouma, 50, were found in their bedroom by their daughter, alerted by an embassy employee who had not heard from the ambassador.

Initial findings suggested the couple died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty heater, the Belga news agency cited police as saying.

Angela Vane Charged with the murder of two year old toddler

A 40-year-old woman has been charged with the murder of a toddler whose body was found at a home in Modbury.

Angela Vane has been charged with killing the two-year-old and will appear before Torquay Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Officers were called to a property in the Devon village at around 8.20am on Saturday after the child's body was found by a member of the public.

Taliban Launches Suicide Attack In Kabul

Taliban insurgents have claimed responsibility for a co-ordinated attack on a police building in Kabul involving several suicide bombers and a car bomb.

A local police official said there was first a large explosion caused by a suicide car bomb. It was followed by several other blasts and gunfire.

"A group of terrorists, two or three or four, tried to enter the traffic police building," Kabul CID chief Mohammad Zahir said.

Algeria Crisis: Missing Brit Hostages Sought

David Cameron is to update MPs on the aftermath of the Algerian hostage crisis - as officials work to establish the fate of the final missing British workers.

Three Britons are now known to have died in a four-day siege at the BP gas plant and three more are believed to be dead. A UK resident is also thought to have died.

Egypt: Clashes Over Court Case Collapse

Hundreds of protesters have set fire to furniture and documents inside a court in Alexandria where six senior police officers accused of killing activists in Egypt's 2011 uprising were standing trial.

The violence broke out after the criminal court judge overseeing the trial said he was transferring the case to the city's appeals court.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs requested that the court consider the report of a fact-finding committee before proceeding with the defendants' hearings.