Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nine killed in Pakistan bombings

Cruise ship inches closer to Alabama

Suspicious of Avian Flu in Five Breeders Farms, Mexico

A possible outbreak of avian influenza H7N3 has been detected in five breeder farms located in the state of Guanajuato. The company has nearly one hundred breeder farms dispersed along the country which produce hatching eggs for producing chickens. This type of influenza is similar to the one detected in 2012 in other producers's laying farms in the neighboring state of Jalisco.

The company is working with the authorities to verify the outbreak; in case of positive confirmation, it will work with Mexican sanitary authorities in taking necessary action.

Revenge caused car explosion kills 7

Seven people died and 18 others were injured following Wednesday's fatal car explosion in Zhanjiang, a coastal city in south China's Guangdong province, the local government said Thursday.

A car carrying explosives blew up outside a home in the village of Litianshang in the city's Potou district at 1:50 p.m. Wednesday, said Liu Benquan, chief of the district's public security bureau.

The explosion killed five at the scene and two others died in the hospital on Thursday, he said.

Another 18 villagers were injured, including five who are now in intensive care.

2012 DA14 Asteroid To Skim Past Earth At 18,641mph

At eights times the speed of a bullet, an asteroid longer than four buses will fly closer to the Earth than any other on record.

Michael Le Vell Charged With Child Sex Offences

One of Coronation Street's longest-serving actors, Michael Le Vell, has been charged with a string of child sex offences.

Le Vell, who plays garage owner Kevin Webster in the ITV soap opera, is accused of 19 child sex offences, including child rape, and sexual activity with a child, Greater Manchester Police said.

Le Vell, 48, a father-of-two whose real name is Michael Turner, will appear in court charged with the offences on February 27.

5.8 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA - 15th February 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 03:02:23 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 04:02:23 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
19.719°S, 174.476°W
71.7 km (44.6 miles)
16 km (9 miles) WNW of Pangai, Tonga

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN BATU, INDONESIA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 23:58:00 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 06:58:00 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
0.411°S, 98.548°E
11.3 km (7.0 miles)
92 km (57 miles) NNW of Sikabaluan, Indonesia

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 23:35:43 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 10:35:43 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
44.540°N, 149.024°E
56 km (34.8 miles)
118 km (73 miles) SE of Kuril'sk, Russia

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN BATU, INDONESIA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 21:46:13 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 04:46:13 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
0.472°S, 98.615°E
34.2 km (21.3 miles)
82 km (50 miles) NNW of Sikabaluan, Indonesia

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHEASTERN SAKHA, RUSSIA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 20:26:15 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 07:26:15 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
67.621°N, 142.485°E
10 km (6.2 miles)
136 km (84 miles) WSW of Druzhina, Serbia

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 19:23:02 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 06:23:02 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
11.593°S, 165.891°E
35.9 km (22.3 miles)
96 km (59 miles) S of Lata, Solomon Islands

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake FLORES SEA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 18:57:21 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 02:57:21 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
7.470°S, 119.718°E
28.5 km (17.7 miles)
107 km (66 miles) NNW of Kampungbajo, Indonesia

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 18:22:39 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 04:22:39 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
36.423°N, 142.578°E
37 km (23.0 miles)
166 km (103 miles) ESE of Iwaki, Japan

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHEASTERN SAKHA, RUSSIA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 17:17:42 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 04:17:42 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
67.655°N, 142.451°E
15.9 km (9.9 miles)
135 km (83 miles) WSW of Druzhina, Serbia

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 17:03:37 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 07:03:37 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
16.085°S, 173.390°W
145.6 km (90.5 miles)
41 km (25 miles) ESE of Hihifo, Tonga

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN ALGERIA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 16:56:22 UTC
Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 05:56:22 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
22.832°N, 5.233°E
13.5 km (8.4 miles)
30 km (18 miles) W of Tamanrasset, Algeria

"If this is England, where are the English?" -- Your guys' thoughts?


Officials say burned remains found in a California mountain cabin have been positively identified as fugitive former police officer Christopher Dorner.

San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said Thursday that the identification was made through Dorner's dental records.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Karen and Jim Reynolds say they came face to face with fugitive Christopher Dorner, not on a snow-covered mountain trail, but inside their cabin-style condo.

During a 15-minute ordeal just a stone's throw from a command post authorities had set up in the massive manhunt for the ex-Los Angeles police officer, the couple said Dorner bound them and put pillowcases on their heads. At one point, he explained that he had been there for days.

Fun facts:

1) He's still listed as merely a suspect.

2) That manifesto he supposedly published? See all six versions -- yeah, six versions -- by clicking this link.

3) >50% of Americans likely don't understand what has just happened.

Greek Youth Unemployment Tops 60%

Optimism it seems is all that matters (or is all that is allowed) as we are battered by dismal data left, right, and center. Of course, a reflection on the markets tells any 'smart' person that it all must get better - or why would stocks or sovereigns, or EURUSD be where it is? However, the 6 out of 10 15-24 year olds in Greece (61.7% to be exact) would beg to differ with that view of the world (as their economy grinds to a halt) - and with Spain reaching new highs at 55.6% (as well as the Euro-zone over 24%), all the bureaucratic lip-service in the world won't stop the revolt that is coming we fear.

PETA Kills 89.4 Percent of Adoptable Dogs and Cats in its Care During 2012 (Despite admitting it would be easy for it to keep and shelter all of them, but it "takes away from the budget")

Today the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) released its yearly report on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) shameful animal care record at its so-called pet shelter in its Norfolk, VA headquarters. New records show PETA killed a staggering 89.4 percent of the adoptable pets in its care during 2012. Despite years of public outrage over its euthanasia program, the notorious animal rights group has continued killing adoptable dogs and cats at an average of over 30 pets per week.

According to records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA killed 1,647 cats and dogs last year while placing just 19 in adoptive homes. Since 1998, a total of 29,398 pets have died at the hands of PETA workers.

“For the 14th year in a row, PETA leaders have shown yet again they don’t care about the unlucky dogs and cats that come to its shelter for help,” said J. Justin Wilson, CCF Senior Research Analyst. “The animal rights group is talking out of both sides of its mouth – on one side preaching its animal liberation agenda, while on the other signing the death warrant of over 89 percent of pets in its care. It’s beyond hypocritical.”

Will North Korea use its nukes?

Experts predict that if North Korea continues to carry out nuclear tests, it will succeed in producing nuclear warheads that can be loaded onto ballistic missiles in four to five years. But they believe the chances are low that it will actually use them.

One researcher at a state-run think tank said, "We cannot completely rule out that North Korea will use nuclear weapons, but it will be as a threatening tool."

Yun Duk-min, a professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, said, "When North Korea has nuclear weapons in hand, it will be hard for South Korea to retaliate for military provocations" like the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan and shelling of Yeonpyeong Island. Yun added, "It is reasonable to think that no rational leader would use nuclear weapons. But the perception that the Kim Jong-un regime, which continues a third generation of hereditary rule, is not rational will amplify the threat felt by the outside world."

Given the wild-card status of the North Korean military, it is unclear who would control its nuclear weapons, and indeed whether there is a clear command structure in place.

Comments from Americans who can still think regarding Aaron Swartz's suicide and "copyright"

The following are comments from this article in the New York Times that basically says, "The fight against copyright tyranny is lost, and it's best to keep your job and the status quo in exchange for comfort." Here, intelligent Americans (and those from other countries) voice their opinions:

Velska, Europe

You write as though it's a good thing to be a jaded establishment guy, who just protects his/her precious job, so he can keep paying for his precious little car and house.

What kind of a life is that?

Freedom of information is a much, much bigger issue than my job, my livelihood, or even my life. I'm not sure whether Aaron realised that, when he started on the path he was on, but it inexorably leads to some sacrifices. The establishment, in whose interest it is to hoard, ration and hide information, will not succumb easily; they will not surrender their power just like that.

That is the important lesson. I've been fighting the establishment for over 30 years now, and I'm certainly a bit jaded, a bit cynical--towards these establishment types, who think that the most important thing in the world is their jobs.

I guess this article is why it is, that in order to have a genuine, functioning democracy, we should have a society with low inequality, and where your safety-net isn't full of huge family-sized holes. People, who are ignorant afraid for their lives are much easier to control than people, who are fairly independent, and well-educated. I guess that's why the hardcore U.S. establishment has been driving public education to the ground.



Matthias, "Everywhere"

I believe that this article somes up perfectly one of the biggest problems in this world, that people abandon their principles so as not to rock the boat or make life difficult for themselves. Understandable to a degree, but it will only ever be men and women of undying conviction who truly change this world for the better. Or so I believe. It takes courage to be unwaivering in what you believe in the face of adversity. Not all beliefs are correct nor are they all concerned with the common good, but I will follow someone who stands strong and represents the ideals I share, and I will always ignore a person who comprimises themself in the manner the author describes. He thinks that he learned a life lesson when it was suggested he would be fired, all he really did was get in line like a good little sheep. Some people are well aware of the consequences yet pursue that cause regardless, it is not always a case of one thinking they are protected because of their genius. That is all the author ultimately suggests, that Aaron believed he was a protected species, and that his actions came as a result of thinking he would never face any consequences. I would like to know what makes the author so sure of this? Maybe the author is just upset at himself for never being able to muster the conviction that Aaron did.


Mark, New York, NY

"I’ve seen far too many talented journalists, authors, musicians, artists, editors, agents and publishers lose their livelihoods in the name of free information."

What has that got to do with what Aaron Swartz was doing?

Unlike writers, musicians and editors, the academics who wrote the journal articles that Aaron was downloading received NOTHING in terms of money for their work, and you should know that, Mr. Winerip. What they received, or hoped to receive, was recognition in the academic world that might get them another academic posting or keep the one they had, publish-or-perish being an important part of life in academe.

In that regard, Aaron would only be helping the academic writers by making their work available to a larger audience.

If an academic wrote a book that became a runaway best-seller, or that s/he could force students to buy as required reading for a course, fine. But Aaron wasn't downloading books. He was downloading articles in obscure academic journals. There's no ASCAP-type royalties accruing to academics for those.

This has made me doubt your competence as a journalist, Mr. Winerip. The only beneficiaries of the existing racket are those who control the journals and charge extortionate sums for access -- extortionate because the cost of posting the articles has shrunk to close to zero because of the Internet. But the authors of the articles never received a dime for those articles.

North Korea 'Has 100 Mobile Missile Launch Platforms' (all aimed at South Korea and Japan)

North Korea has about 100 mobile launch platforms for ballistic missiles, which could pose the biggest threat to South Korea if the regime succeeds in miniaturizing nuclear warheads.

It would be hard to detect these heavy trucks and strike them because they keep moving around.

A government source in Seoul on Wednesday said South Korean and U.S. intelligence agencies believe that the North has some 100 of these platforms for medium-range ballistic missiles such as the Scud and Rodong, which have all of South Korea within range.

There are about 27 to 40 mobile launch platforms for the Scud missiles, which have a range between 300 and 1,000 km; 27 to 40 for the Rodong missiles with a range of 1,300 km, and 14 for the Musudan missiles with a range between 3,000 and 4,000 km.

The North has an estimated 640 Scud missiles and 150 to 250 Rodong missiles.

Missouri Democrats Introduce Legislation to Confiscate Firearms – Gives Gun Owners 90 Days to Turn in Weapons (Or what, punks?)

Missouri Democrats introduced an anti-gun bill which would turn law-abiding firearm owners into criminals. They will have 90 days to turn in their guns if the legislation is passed.

Dana Loesch Radio reported on the new legislation being pushed by Missouri Democrats:

Any person who, prior to the effective date of this law, was legally in possession of an assault weapon or large capacity magazine shall have ninety days from such effective date to do any of the following without being subject to prosecution.

Here’s part of the Democratic proposal in Missouri:

4. Any person who, prior to the effective date of this law, was legally in possession of an assault weapon or large capacity magazine shall have ninety days from such effective date to do any of the following without being subject to prosecution:

(1) Remove the assault weapon or large capacity magazine from the state of Missouri;

(2) Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable; or

(3) Surrender the assault weapon or large capacity magazine to the appropriate law enforcement agency for destruction, subject to specific agency regulations.

5. Unlawful manufacture, import, possession, purchase, sale, or transfer of an assault weapon or a large capacity magazine is a class C felony.

Israeli Analysis: Pyongyang nuke test may also be Iranian

Expert warns Tehran may be bypassing int'l inspections via North Korea, says Iranian scientists may have been present at test.

In addition to provoking the West, North Korea’s nuclear test on Tuesday may have also been carried out on behalf of Iran, and in the presence of Iranian atomic scientists, a security expert warned on Tuesday.

North Korea is making progress both in its nuclear weapons capabilities and its ICBM missile research, Dr. Alon Levkowitz, coordinator of Bar-Ilan University’s Asian Studies Program and a member of the BESA Center for Strategic Studies, told The Jerusalem Post.

Students Told to Stop ‘USA!’ Chant, Take Off American Flag Bandanas

Four California high-school students were reportedly suspended for chanting “U.S.A! U.S.A!” and wearing American flag bandanas during a basketball game. While their punishment has since been rescinded, school administrators said “the incident is far from over.”

Oxnard Union School District superintendent Gabe Soumakian told Fox News Radio that “we need to pursue this further” and “work with teachers and students and the community about the concept of cultural proficiency.” Soumakian and Camarillo High School principal Glenn Lipman felt that the students’ actions might have had racist undertones since the schools have large Hispanic student populations.

“We wanted to make sure [their actions weren't] racially motivated, and I told the kids I just want to be sensitive to the feelings of everybody,” Lipman said. “If we’re doing it for patriotism, that’s fine. But if we’re doing it for something else that’s racially motivated, I’m not going to allow that.”

But the students deny any racial element to their chants. “We’ve done it always,” one student said. “It’s something we do. It’s the same group of friends. We’re all very patriotic.” The four students gained support from their peers: More than 100 students gathered by the school’s flagpole the following morning to protest in patriotic clothing.

Horsemeat Scandal: Three Men Arrested

Three men have been arrested in relation to the horsemeat scandal, a spokesman for Dyfed-Powys Police have said.

The trio were arrested at plants in Aberystwyth and Todmorden, West Yorkshire, which were inspected on Tuesday by the Food Standards Agency.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman said: "Dyfed-Powys Police have today made arrests at both meat plants inspected by the Food Standards Agency on Tuesday.

"At Farmbox Meats near Aberystwyth, Dyfed-Powys Police have arrested two men aged 64 years and 42 years, and in a simultaneous operation police arrested a man, aged 63, at the Peter Boddy Slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

Extremists vandalise Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem

Lorry Smashes Into House, Trapping two people

A major rescue operation is under way after two people got trapped when a lorry smashed into a house.

Fire crews, police and paramedics are trying to free the man and woman in Fairlie, North Ayrshire.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said: "Large numbers of fire, police and ambulance personnel are in attendance, with specially trained personnel from all three services working closely together.

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 16:52:16 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 01:52:16 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
4.443°S, 135.239°E
31.6 km (19.6 miles)
121 km (75 miles) SSW of Nabire, Indonesia

Canada Runs for US President (Contains Expletives)

Matt's thoughts:
Hey, hey! Put down the rocks, guys. It's just a joke! Guys?

'Blade Runner' Pistorius is charged with murdering girlfriend

GM profit misses estimates; losses in Europe deepen

General Motors Co (GM.N) reported a weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, citing wider losses in Europe and lower vehicle prices plus higher costs in its core North American market.

But its shares rose slightly as the largest U.S. automaker also made an accounting change in the quarter, intended to signal confidence that it will continue to be profitable in coming years.

Moody's says any U.S. rating change depends on debt trajectory

Moody's Investors Service on Thursday said that any future changes to the U.S. sovereign credit rating will turn on the expected debt trajectory, with more budget measures needed to shrink key debt ratios.

If the United States does not see high growth rates, the debt-to-GDP ratio could suffer, Moody's said in a statement.

Scotland Avalanche: Two People Missing

One man has been rescued and two people are missing after an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands, police said.

The man has been airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and mountain rescue teams are continuing their search for the other two people.

A spokesman for the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary said they are expecting three casualties, and one has already arrived.

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHEASTERN SAKHA, RUSSIA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 15:08:35 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 02:08:35 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
67.572°N, 142.512°E
16.9 km (10.5 miles)
138 km (85 miles) WSW of Druzhina, Serbia

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHEASTERN SAKHA, RUSSIA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 13:44:29 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 12:44:29 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
67.867°N, 142.436°E
10 km (6.2 miles)
126 km (78 miles) WSW of Druzhina, Serbia

Canadian Parliament talks zombies in epidemic concern

Matt's thoughts: I'm glad they have enough time in their busy schedules to handle such serious issues. $100,000+ yearly salaries well deserved. It's not like people are freezing to death on the streets of Canada or facing poverty and hunger or anything.

'Don't worry about an invasion of Bulgarians — they're already here'

The Prime Minister may be thinking aloud about how to put Bulgarians and Romanians off coming to Britain when the last restrictions on them working here come to an end in December — David Cameron chaired a ministerial working group this week to find ways of deterring them — but as far as the Bulgarian Ambassador, Konstantin Dimitrov, is concerned, he needn’t bother.

“Is there going to be an influx from Bulgaria?” he said. “No. Most of the people who sought jobs in Britain have already done so. I’m not going to mention anyone by name, but some politicians have been guilty of unenlightened propaganda.”

6.9 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHEASTERN SAKHA, RUSSIA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 13:13:53 UTC
Friday, February 15, 2013 at 12:13:53 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
67.613°N, 142.601°E
9.9 km (6.2 miles)
132 km (82 miles) WSW of Druzhina, Serbia

David Cameron's immigration dilemma: Indian students good, Romanian brickies bad

Fact 1: David Cameron wants Indians to come to the UK, study and work. Britain is very warm and welcoming, he'll say next week in India.

Fact 2: David Cameron wants Romanians and Bulgarians not to come to the UK. Britain is cold, wet and hostile, he'll tell those countries at any opportunity.

The juxtaposition of those two messages is striking. It may well expose the Prime Minister to charges of inconsistency over immigration. That's potentially a serious problem, because a tough line on immigration is a cornerstone of the Conservatives' electoral plans, meant to keep the party's core vote solid.

3 dead in Antique mining pit landslide, Philippines

Four people were confirmed dead while 10 remained buried following a landslide at an open coal mining pit in Antique early Thursday, police said.

Superintendent Marloe Marfil, Antique provincial director-officer-in-charge, said 13 miners were initially said to have been buried following a landslide at Semirara Coal & Mining Corp., situated along Barangay (village) Semirara in Caluya, Antique around 12:50 a.m.

Three were immediately rescued, but four other male workers were later recovered dead.
The bodies were recovered between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Former Chief of CBI Denies UK Has Had Uncontrolled Immigration, Tell That to Those on Low to Middle Incomes Who Have Lost Their Jobs Mr Lambert

Yesterday morning I squeezed into a packed room to listen to the findings on 'Squeezed Britain', a report by the Resolution Foundation, who produced their 'state of the nation' report entitled, 'Life on low to middle income'.

Excellent stuff, all about the 9.8 million people who make up one third of Britain's workforce who they say has seen a real time fall of 2.4% in post-tax income between 2009-2011. They work in construction, manufacturing, education (not teaching) and healthcare, but at the lower end. They were traditionally called the 'working classes'. Although this term doesn't appear in the lexicon of the centre-left think tank world.

The interesting thing is that this backward slide in incomes started before so-called 'austerity' in 2003, under Labour.

Dig a little deeper into their slides and it shows some stark facts:

• Poverty is driven more by a single earner in a family;
• Lack of savings;
• Debt equals a quarter of their income in repayments;
• 37% of income goes on essentials - fuel, food, etc

Frenchman sets himself on fire and dies outside job center

Cyber Dragnet? 'Obama's Web security order a bypass to spying on civilians'

Mossad Muddle: 'Israel embarrassed as cover-up of 'Prisoner X' suicide fails'

Big brother not only watching: New spy software can 'predict future'

Israel blackmailing Palestinians into working as spies

Oscar Pistorius Charged with the Murder of his Girlfriend

Over 100 Tibetan self-immolate against Chinese rule

South Korea flexes missile power after North test

Christopher Dorner hostages: 'He said he wouldn't kill us'

A couple taken hostage by former policeman Christopher Dorner who was accused of murder, have spoken out about what happened.

Jim and Karen Reynolds found Dorner hiding in a condo they own in the small ski resort town of Big Bear Lake.

The couple said the fugitive held them at gunpoint, bound their hands and put pillow cases over their heads, before fleeing in their car.

Teenager killed in Bahrain anniversary protests

The Bahraini government has announced an investigation into the death of teenage boy during protests marking the second anniversary of a failed uprising.

Anti-government demonstrators have set up road blocks and clashed with members of the security forces.

Opposition groups have called for a general strike.

North Korea holds mass rally to celebrate nuclear test

Syrian rebels capture eastern town of al-Shaddadeh

Syrian rebels seized a town near the Iraqi border in the eastern oil producing province of Hasakah on Thursday, taking a main defensive position from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad on the road to the provincial capital, rebels said.

Omar Abu Laila, a spokesman for the eastern command of the rebel Free Syrian Army, said rebel units including fighters of the al Qaeda-linked Nusra front were now in control of al-Shaddadeh, 46 km (30 miles) south of Hasakah city, after overrunning state security and military intelligence compounds.

South Korea debuts cruise missiles....That should calm things down in the Region!

Irish debt deal offers little to forgotten generation

A hard-won bank debt deal has been hailed by the Irish government as an historic step towards recovery, but from the unemployment-scourged ghost estates of the midlands, the feted rebound feels more like a mirage.

The long-awaited deal, struck with the European Central Bank last week following talks that had preoccupied the nation for nearly two years, sliced billions off Dublin's funding needs and saw its borrowing costs fall to pre-crisis lows.

But for Moyagh Brophy, the agreement allowing Ireland far longer to repay a costly bank rescue adds up to very little when she can only speak to her husband via Skype each night after he joined a growing line of emigrants.

"What difference does it make? People are emigrating and the rest of us struggle by. The country's a mess," Brophy said.

Iranian official killed by Syrian Rebels as he was leaving Syria: embassy

An Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander in charge of Tehran's reconstruction assistance in Lebanon has been killed in Syria by rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad, Iranian officials and a rebel commander said.

He said the attack was carried out by rebel fighters near the Syrian town of Zabadani, a few miles (km) from the Lebanese border.

Euro zone economy falls deeper into recession

The euro zone slipped deeper into recession in the last three months of 2012 after its largest economies, Germany and France, shrank markedly at the end of the year.

It marked the currency bloc's first full year in which no quarter produced growth, extending back to 1995.

Economic output in the 17-country region fell by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said on Thursday, following a 0.1 percent drop in output in the third quarter.

Sam Woodhead Missing In Outback

An 18-year-old British backpacker, who was hoping to join the armed forces, is missing in the Australian Outback after setting out on a hike to "improve his fitness".

Police launched a land and air search for 18-year-old Sam Woodhead after he failed to return from his expedition on Tuesday evening.

He had set off from the Upshot Station homestead, about 130km (80 miles) from the far-flung Queensland town of Longreach, some 700km inland from the coast.

Officers fear for the man's safety due to his lack of familiarity with the property, which sprawls across 3,200 acres.

Man 'Sets Himself On Fire' At Rome Airport

Passengers have spoken of their shock after a man set himself alight at a Rome airport.

The 18-year-old man, from the Ivory Coast, doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire in front of dozens of travellers and workers at Fiumicino airport, 10 miles west of the Italian capital.

Police said he arrived at the departures area of the airport's terminal three with a deportation order and had been due to leave Italy.

Bute: Traces Of Horse Drug In Carcasses In UK

A potenitally dangerous horse painkiller has not been detected in Findus food products - but traces of the drug have been found in carcasses slaughtered at UK abattoirs, MPs have been told.

Agriculture Minister David Heath told the House of Commons that eight carcasses tested positive for traces of anti-inflammatory drug phenylbutazone, known as bute.

Three of those carcasses entered the food chain in France, Mr Heath said, but the other five had not.

Oscar Pistorius Charged With Girlfriend's Murder

Paralympic and Olympic star Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder after allegedly shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home in South Africa.

Her body was discovered at the athlete's home in the Silver Woods country estate in eastern Pretoria, South African police said.

Initial reports in the South African media suggested Pistorius' girlfriend was apparently shot as she woke him, trying to surprise him on Valentine's Day.

But police said the shooting was being treated as a murder investigation and that they were "very surprised" by the reports which they said did not come from them.

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN BATU, INDONESIA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 11:15:22 UTC
Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 06:15:22 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
0.498°S, 98.436°E
22.9 km (14.2 miles)
92 km (57 miles) NW of Sikabaluan, Indonesia

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake SALTA, ARGENTINA - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 08:40:15 UTC
Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 05:40:15 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
24.994°S, 68.300°W
96.6 km (60.0 miles)
148 km (91 miles) NW of Antofagasta de la Sierra, Argentina

Drone operators to be awarded distinction medals and honor will rank higher than the Bronze Star

Soldiers who operate drone strikes and fight war from behind computer consoles are to have their battlefield contributions honored after the Pentagon announced the first new combat-related medal to be created in decades.

The new blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for ‘extraordinary achievement’ related to military operations that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001.

Unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it and they may never set foot in the combat zone.

Jacob Samusenk vanished after taking out the trash at his suburban home two weeks ago

Jacob Samusenko went missing on January 29th shortly after returning to his family's Erie, Pennsylvania home from basketball practice. 'He was really tired and said he was taking trash out. The trash was taken out, so we know that was done, but nobody has seen him since,' the boy's relative Lyubov Rafferty said.

Flashmob in Delhi spreads safe-sex awareness

NO ONE will get $1.2m reward for leading cops to Dorner because he wasn't 'arrested or convicted'

Despite crucial tips that led authorities to find Christopher Dorner, it has been revealed that nobody will be able to claim the $1.2million reward in the case of the killer ex-cop.

The rogue former police officer is believed dead after he was cornered in a burning cabin in the San Bernardino National Forest on Tuesday after a furious gunbattle with law enforcement officers.

Likely beneficiaries of the reward would have been Jim and Karen Reynolds, who surprised Dorner, who had been staying in an upstairs room in their condo near Big Bear Lake.

Maurice Harris shot dead by two 'beasts' while protecting his 11-year-old daughter during home invasion

Police in Miami are on the hunt for two heavily armed gunmen who killed a hero father protecting his 11-year-old daughter during a home invasion.

Maurice Harris was shot dead when two men burst into his family's home on 43rd Street and Northwest 16th Avenue and attempted to force their way to his girl's room.

'We're calling these two men beasts. They stormed inside the house and they ambushed this family,' said Miami Police Detective Kenia Reyes. 'A little girl was just asleep, when she's surprised by the gunfire, when the father was just trying to protect her.'

Hague spells out counterterrorism plan

William Hague will say on Thursday that Britain needs to develop “justice and human rights partnerships” with states in the Middle East and Africa so that the UK is better placed to provide them with intelligence to counterterrorist threats.

The foreign secretary will use a speech in London to spell out how the UK wants to deepen intelligence co-operation with countries where jihadist threats to Britain are emerging. It is often hard for the UK’s intelligence agencies to share information with the relevant governments because they have poor human rights records.

A Cold War response to North Korea's latest challenge

As the dust settles from a third -- more effective and yet miniaturized -- North Korean nuclear test, the question rings out: What do they want? What are the intentions of Kim Jong Un, the newest, and youngest incarnation of the Dear Leader?

The timing is of course, everything. Setting the test for the day of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address is not random luck. It puts pressure exactly where pressure is wanted: in Washington.

As the White House doubtless received the news in the early hours of the morning, they would have been scrambling to find out what they do know. They will also have been fending off calls from the media along with more than a few concerned senators and congressmen. The message from the latter will no doubt have sounded something like the following, "What are you doing about this?"

The call will be to act, but how, what, and where? Doubtless the Obama team will be as stumped as the many agitated diplomats rushing around the United Nations Security Council.

David Cameron pledges to overhaul benefits system for immigrants....Again!

The Prime Minister said he wants to limit immigrants' access to British public services to ensure that the UK is “not a soft touch”.

Mr Cameron has said that he wants to reform the system allowing immigrants access to housing, the health service, the justice system and benefits.

His comments came amid a growing debate about the numbers of new migrants preparing to come to the UK next year.

Twenty nine million Bulgarians and Romanians will gain the right to live and work unrestricted in Britain in 2014 under European “freedom of movement” rules.

Zombie hoax blamed on lax passwords by U.S. broadcasters

A hacker infiltration of the U.S. emergency broadcast system on TV stations in at least four states came down to the fact that the stations had failed to change factory default passwords, broadcasters said on Wednesday.

The Monday attacks, which broadcast bogus warnings that the United States was under attack by zombies, prompted the government to order television stations to change passwords on the equipment that connects them to the nation's Emergency Alert System, or EAS.

Suicide bomber kills three police in Russian Caucasus

A suicide bomber killed three policemen and injured another six at a police security checkpoint early on Thursday, Russian investigators said, in the volatile North Caucasus region, where the Kremlin is fighting to staunch an Islamist insurgency.

The suicide bomber detonated explosives in an automobile as police tried to stop the car on its way into the city of Khasavyurt in the province of Dagestan, agencies reported. One person is still unaccounted for.

Ukraine Plane Crash: Five dead

Tear gas may have inflamed cabin in ex-cop manhunt ...The Police deny they purposely torched the building

German, French economies throw recovery into doubt

Europe's two largest economies, Germany and France, both shrunk markedly in the last three months of 2012, suggesting the euro zone has slipped deeper into recession and throwing a first quarter recovery for the bloc into doubt.
The German economy contracted by 0.6 percent on the quarter, official data showed on Thursday, marking its worst performance since the global financial crisis was raging in 2009.

France's 0.3 percent fall was also a touch worse than expectations.

Worryingly for Berlin, it was export performance -- the motor of its economy -- that did most of the damage.

Shoppers 'Duped' For Horsemeat Profits

Consumers have been "cynically and systematically duped" for profit over the horsemeat scandal, a report by influential MPs says.

The scathing finding comes as a YouGov poll for Sky News reveals that one in five people have changed the way they shop as a result of the widening meat contamination problem.

Oscar Pistorius Arrested 'For Killing Girlfriend'

Paralympic and Olympic star Oscar Pistorius has allegedly shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder.

A body was discovered at the athlete's home in the Silverwoods country estate in eastern Pretoria, South African police said.

A journalist in South Africa has told Sky News that Pistorius' girlfriend was allegedly shot as she woke him, trying to surprise him on Valentine's Day.

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS REGION - 14th February 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 06:30:29 UTC
Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 05:30:29 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
11.314°S, 165.719°E
10 km (6.2 miles)
66 km (41 miles) S of Lata, Solomon Islands

Evictees commit suicide as Spain debates reform

A retired couple in Spain killed themselves on Tuesday because they faced eviction, police said, as lawmakers considered legislation to save ruined homeowners from being thrown into the street.

In the latest in a series of suicides reportedly linked to evictions, the couple, aged 68 and 69, killed themselves in their home in Calvia on the island of Mallorca, a police spokesman who asked not to be named told AFP.

Hours later in Madrid, members of parliament agreed to debate a citizens' motion to protect poor homeowners from eviction -- a fate faced by hundreds of thousands in Spain.

British Teen Backpacker Missing In Outback

An 18-year-old British backpacker, who was hoping to join the armed forces, is missing in the Australian Outback after setting out on a hike to "improve his fitness".

Police launched a land and air search for the teenager after he failed to return from his expedition on Tuesday evening.

He had set off from the Upshot Station homestead, about 130km (80 miles) from the far-flung Queensland town of Longreach, some 700km inland from the coast.

Israel Admits 'Prisoner X' Secret Jailing

Israel has admitted for the first time that it secretly jailed a foreigner who later killed himself while in a high-security prison.

The confirmation came as Australia said it had known that one of its citizens - who came to be known as "Prisoner X" - was being held while he was still alive.

Prisoner X has widely been reported to be Ben Zygier, 34, a national of both Israel and Australia who worked for Israel's intelligence agency Mossad and was arrested in Israel in 2010 on serious but unspecified charges.

Israel's justice ministry broke its silence after an Australian Broadcasting Corporation report on the case sparked an outcry over media gagging orders.

Divided we fall: intolerance in Europe puts rights at risk

An Afghan migrant is stabbed in the heart on the streets of Athens. Black-shirted paramilitaries linked to Hungary’s third-largest political party march through a Roma neighbourhood shouting, “You will die here.” A neo-Nazi gang commits a string of murders of Turkish immigrants in Germany. An ideologue driven by hatred of “multiculturalism” kills 67 mostly young people on a Norwegian Island.

It may be comforting to see these incidents as isolated, disconnected or driven by local events. But the truth is more discomforting: hatred and intolerance are moving into the mainstream in Europe.

Intolerance in Europe manifests itself in support for extremist parties and violence and discrimination against minorities and migrants. Rather than tackling the problem head on, Europe’s leaders often downplay the problem or blame the victims. But concerted steps are needed to stop the violence and discrimination and curtail the corrosive influence of racist parties, without limiting freedoms of speech and association.

US banks warn over planned EU ‘Tobin tax’

Wall Street and US businesses have attacked a proposed eurozone financial transaction tax, claiming it overreaches borders, flouts international treaties and “breaks the bonds that bind our global economy”.

The European Commission will on Thursday unveil an ambitious plan for an international levy on financial trades to be collected by the eurozone’s biggest economies, raising an estimated €30bn-€35bn a year.

European Commission abdicates responsibility for horse meat scandal

EU believes it is up to member states to enforce food labelling regulations

EU commissioner Tonio Borg addressed reporters yesterday at lunchtime in Brussels for the first time since the horse meat scandal erupted last month.

Last night, he announced proposals to tackle the growing crisis, but as commissioner responsible for health and consumer policy, he has been noticeably absent over the last month.

Earlier yesterday, Borg reiterated the commission’s official position. There is no evidence the horse meat crisis is a health issue, hence the commission’s rapid alert system regarding food safety was not triggered.

While this may well be the case, the abdication of responsibility by the European Commission for the massive failures in the European food labelling system that have been revealed by the horse meat crisis, is remarkable.

Relative of UK patient suffering deadly SARS-like virus falls ill - proving it IS infectious

A new Sars-like illness is spreading between humans, experts warn.

So far there have been just three confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Britain - and only 11 in the world.

Initially scientists assumed it could only be caught from animals and was mainly confined to the Middle East.

A quarter of people with HIV have no idea they're infected - and are unwittingly passing it on

A quarter of people who are HIV positive have no idea they are infected - and pass on up to 75 per cent of new cases, research shows.

Straight men are the least likely to be tested, said Dr Ann Sullivan, from the Sexual Health Centre at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

That 25 per cent are believed to account for up to three quarters of passed on transmissions, putting others at risk.

'No limit' on student immigration from India as Prime Minister opens door to Asia in bid boost trade

David Cameron has pledged there will be ‘no limit’ to the number of students from India who can study in the UK and then stay on to find work.

The Prime Minister wants to develop a new ‘special relationship’ with the emerging superpower and said potential students simply needed ‘a basic English qualification and a place at a British university’.

Mr Cameron’s change of heart comes as he begins a campaign to win over voters of Indian origin.

Jon Venables Photo 'reveals new identity of Bulger's killer'

A photograph published on the internet may have exposed the new identity of one of James Bulger’s killers.

The image, uploaded to Twitter on Tuesday, the 20th anniversary of the murder, allegedly showed Jon Venables at a birthday party.

It has prompted an investigation by the Attorney General’s office over fears its publication broke laws protecting his anonymity.

NHS chief and the whistleblower paid £500,000 to keep quiet over second hospital scandal

Former United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust chief executive Gary Walker claims he was fired and paid £500,000 to keep quiet about the state of his hospital. Mr Walker sensationally broke his silence to reveal he was driven from his job after warning NHS boss Sir David Nicholson (pictured top) that patients were in danger as long as four years ago. His former trust, which manages three hospitals including Lincoln County Hospital, is now being investigated over fears that 500 patients may have died because of poor care.

Greek farmers clash with police

French military clear bomb factory in Malian town of Gao