Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Italy parties seek way out of election stalemate

Italy's stunned political parties searched for a way forward on Tuesday after an inconclusive election gave none of them a parliamentary majority and threatened prolonged instability and a renewal of the European financial crisis.;

The results, notably the dramatic surge of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of comic Beppe Grillo, left the center-left bloc with a majority in the lower house but without the numbers to control the upper chamber, the Senate.

Belfast: Rocket Launcher And Warhead Found

A rocket launcher and a warhead have been discovered by police investigating dissident republicans in West Belfast, police said.

Officers found the weapons, which were intended to kill, while searching a house in Hawthorn Street, said a spokesman from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

The spokesman said: "These weapon systems are clearly intended to kill and we should be in no doubt that the recovery of these items has saved lives."

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN AFGHANISTAN - 27th February 2013

Magnitude ML 4.6
Date time 2013-02-27 03:55:16.8 UTC
Location 34.49 N ; 61.79 E
Depth 10 km
Distances 17 km N Zendejan, Afghanistan

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake GULF OF ALASKA - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 22:33:45 UTC
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 01:33:45 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
59.620°N, 142.683°W
1 km (~0.6 mile) set by location program
168 km (104 miles) W (274°) from Yakutat, AK

WHALE WARS: Sea Shepherd and Nisshin Maru (massive whaling ship) collide in the high seas, Japanese vessels attempt to crush the Bob Barker, but fail

Immortal Technique On Fire with Alex Jones

China launches stealth frigate amid ocean tensions

China has launched the first ship in a new class of stealth missile frigates, state media reported Tuesday, amid ongoing tensions with neighboring countries over Beijing's maritime claims.

The People's Liberation Army Navy is building a total of 20 Type 056 Jiangdao class frigates to replace older models and bolster its ability to conduct patrols and escort ships and submarines in waters it claims in the South China and East China seas.

The first in the class, No. 582, was formally delivered to the navy on Monday in Shanghai, which is home to one of the country's largest complexes of naval shipyards, according to the official Xinhua News Agency and the navy's official website.

Iran is developing a second path to a nuclear weapons capability by operating a plant that could produce plutonium, satellite images show for the first time

The Telegraph can disclose details of activity at a heavily-guarded Iranian facility from which international inspectors have been barred for 18 months.

The images, taken earlier this month, show that Iran has activated the Arak heavy-water production plant.

Heavy water is needed to operate a nuclear reactor that can produce plutonium, which could then be used to make a bomb.

The images show signs of activity at the Arak plant, including a cloud of steam that indicates heavy-water production.

More here

Oakland Neighbors Policing Their Own Streets As They Lose Faith In Cops

Oakland’s crime problems have gotten so bad that some people aren’t even bothering to call the cops anymore; instead, they’re trying to solve and prevent crimes themselves.

KPIX 5 cameras caught up with a half dozen neighbors in East Oakland’s Arcadia Park neighborhood Monday as they walked the streets on the lookout for crime. The vigilance has never seemed more necessary than now; 25 homes in the neighborhood have been burglarized over the last two months alone.

In a neighborhood that has started to feel like the wild west, people have even started posting “wanted” signs.

Guntersville, Alabama: City Wants Power to “Disarm Individuals” During Crisis

Guntersville (Ala.) Mayor Leigh Dollar is working with city officials to pass an ordinance that would give police the power to “disarm individuals” during a disaster, a chilling example of how the second amendment is being assaulted via the back door.

The new rule would allow authorities to confiscate guns of “unruly” people during an extreme weather event such as the April 2011 tornadoes or any other emergency.

“The ordinance states officers could disarm individuals, if necessary, reports ABC 31. “Dollar says the proposal is just way to give officers more authority to protect themselves.”

Dollar denied that the ordinance would be used to take away constitutional rights, but residents questioned why authorities would need to pass a new ordinance given that police already have the power to arrest citizens who are being “unruly,” whether armed or not.

5.4 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA, RUSSIA - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 21:43:48 UTC
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 09:43:48 AM at epicenter
53.012°N, 158.045°E
133.8 km (83.1 miles)
40 km (25 miles) W (270°) from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 20:44:57 UTC
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 05:44:57 AM at epicenter
26.615°N, 129.143°E
28.2 km (17.5 miles)
155 km (96 miles) ENE (71°) from Naha, Okinawa, Japan

3.6 Magnitude Earthquake GREATER LOS ANGELES AREA, CALIFORNIA - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 20:18:49 UTC
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 12:18:49 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
34.021°N, 117.220°W
16.5 km (10.3 miles)
4 km (3 miles) SE (137°) from Loma Linda, CA

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake FIJI REGION - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 19:57:55 UTC
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 07:57:55 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
21.442°S, 179.318°W
611.2 km (379.8 miles)
108 km (67 miles) SW of Ndoi Island, Fiji

Stuxnet used against Iran in 2007: researchers

Researchers at Symantec Corp (SYMC.O) have uncovered a version of the Stuxnet computer virus that was used to attack Iran's nuclear program in November 2007, two years earlier than previously thought.

Planning for the cyber weapon, the first publicly known example of a virus being used to attack industrial machinery, began at least as early as 2005, according to an 18-page report that the security software company published on Tuesday.

Stuxnet, which is widely believed to have been developed by the United States and Israel, was uncovered in 2010 after it was used to attack a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, Iran. That facility has been the subject of intense scrutiny by the United States, Israel and allies, who charge that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb.

French army reaches out to Mali civilians

Russian Meteor: Scientists Reconstruct Meteor's Journey To Earth

Darth Vader, Imperial troopers storm Ukraine's Justice Ministry

Beached pilot whales in southern Chile

Three ships crash in Southern Ocean: A whaling ship, a Sea Shepherd boat and an oil tanker collide

Car on roof: Car crashes and flips upside down on to roof in Houston, Texas

Syria conflict: Helicopter shot down near Aleppo

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 17:31:19 UTC
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 02:31:19 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
40.017°N, 142.385°E
56 km (34.8 miles)
56 km (34 miles) NE of Miyako, Japan

Aerial photos reveal the apocalyptic devastation of Europe in weeks following VE Day

These photographs from 1945 show how the landscape of Germany was scarred with bomb craters and ruined buildings, with huge refugee camps set up across the countryside. The astonishing images are the product of the Allied 'trolley missions', attempts to catalogue the damage done by British bombers over the previous six years. The missions were initially restricted to Allied-controlled areas, as they began before the official end of the War, but soon extended out to Eastern Europe.

Elizabeth Jones is jailed for making her ELEVENTH false rape claim, against an innocent man 'who she decided she didn't like anymore'

Elizabeth Jones, 22, (pictured) made her first malicious allegation to police in 2004 when she was aged just 13, Southampton Crown Court (right) was told. Police said that the young woman had accused at least one individual just because she did not like them, putting innocent men through a 'terrible emotional experience'. Jones' latest victim was arrested and quizzed for nine hours before being released without charge because CCTV footage disproved her claims she was forcibly taken to a property and raped.

Litvinenko lawyer accuses UK of coverup to help Russia ties

The lawyer for the family of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, who was murdered in London in 2006, accused Britain and Russia on Tuesday of colluding to try to shut down an inquiry into his death for the sake of lucrative trade deals.

Litvinenko, who had been granted British citizenship and had become a vocal critic of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, died after someone slipped polonium-210, a rare radioactive isotope, into his cup of tea at a plush London hotel.

At a pre-inquest hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, lawyers for Litvinenko's widow said Britain was now trying to keep secret details of his work for its MI6 intelligence service, and material which showed Russia was behind his death.

[18:42:52] lynsey: European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso: I hope we are not going to follow the temptation to give in to populism because of the results in one specific member state.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has appealed to EU leaders not to give in to populism after Italian voters roundly rejected the austerity policies pursued by outgoing prime minister Mario Monti.

Oh.. he went onto say...... The fact Italian voters had turned Monti out of office did not mean his policies, or those advocated by the European Union, were wrong.

Shall we start taking bets on how long it will take for the EU to replace the Government of Italy Again, if they don't like the election outcome? 

Deadliest balloon crash in decades kills 19

The view from above southern Egypt is stunning, a contrast of beige desert valley giving way to green farmland, including fields of sugar cane. Tourists soak in the sight by hiring hot air balloons that have large baskets to carry passengers hundreds of feet above the countryside.

Tuesday morning, as one of the balloons prepared to land, an explosion pierced the air, followed by a spreading billow of smoke.

"My first thought was that it was sugar cane that was burning," said Christopher Michel, a photographer who was a passenger in another balloon at the time.

Rocket explodes in Israel, first attack from Gaza since truce

Afghans hold anti-U.S. rally following abuse claims

More than five hundred men marched through the capital of Afghanistan's restive Wardak province on Tuesday in an outburst of anger against U.S. special forces accused of overseeing torture and killings in the area.

Shouting "Death to America", "Death to Obama" and "Death to special forces", the protesters called for the immediate withdrawal of the American soldiers and threatened to join the Taliban if their demand was not met.

A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced on Sunday that all U.S. special forces must leave Wardak province within two weeks following the accusations that Afghans working for them had tortured and killed innocent people.

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake DOMINICAN REPUBLIC REGION - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 17:07:34 UTC
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 01:07:34 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
19.250°N, 67.965°W
8 km (5.0 miles)
105 km (65 miles) NE (48°) from Hig├╝ey, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake TONGA - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 15:57:31 UTC
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 04:57:31 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
21.644°S, 174.435°W
44.1 km (27.4 miles)
79 km (49 miles) ESE of `Ohonua, Tonga

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake JAVA, INDONESIA - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 14:06:03 UTC
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 09:06:03 PM at epicenter
7.035°S, 107.233°E
143.3 km (89.0 miles)
38 km (24 miles) WSW (256°) from Bandung, Java, Indonesia

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake TURKMENISTAN - 26th February 2013

Magnitude mb 4.7
Date time 2013-02-26 13:54:39.0 UTC
Location 39.66 N ; 54.83 E
Depth 10 km
Distances 44 km NE Balkanabat

Spain's banks cling to harsh mortgage laws

For more than a century, Spanish law has determined that if a person borrows money to buy a home, they can only be freed of the debt when it is repaid. Even in death, the debt is not canceled. As the country enters another year of recession, calls are mounting for the system to be relaxed. But the banks worry this would damage their access to funds.'

Take Francisco Lema, an unemployed 36-year-old builder, who dropped off his 8-year-old daughter at school on February 8 and returned to the family's rented fourth-floor flat in the Andalusian city of Cordoba.

Police Allowed 'Rapist' To Go Free And Kill

A maverick Scotland Yard rape squad allowed a rape suspect to go unquestioned and free to later kill his two children, it has emerged.

A woman who alleged Jean Say, 62, had raped her was persuaded to retract her complaint by untrained officers under pressure to hit crime targets, said the Independent Police Complaints Commission watchdog.

Say later slashed the throats of his two children, aged 10 and eight, when they went to stay with him for a weekend two years ago.

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 12:46:13 UTC
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 09:46:13 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
38.654°N, 142.151°E
42.1 km (26.2 miles)
60 km (37 miles) SE of Ofunato, Japan

Revoe Community Primary School Revoe Community Primary School

A headteacher and five staff have been suspended as an investigation is launched into "pupil wellbeing" at their Blackpool school.

The suspensions at Revoe Community Primary School came after a member of council staff raised concerns following a routine visit.

Blackpool Council confirmed the allegations are not of a sexual nature.

Cllr Sarah Riding, cabinet member for education and schools, said temporary staff had been hired and parents were being informed of the situation.


GHENT, Belgium (AFP) - A nursery killer who carried out murders disguised as Batman villain 'The Joker' told a court on Monday he was left "no choice" but to stab to death two toddlers and their minder at a Belgian creche -- despite saying he knew murder was wrong.

"I was aware that you should not (kill) but I did not see any other choice," Kim De Gelder told the court in Ghent, which is considering whether the 24-year-old can be held responsible for his knife rampage.

"I was pushed towards this choice, perhaps from outside. It came directly," De Gelder said in reply to lengthy questioning by the presiding judge.

De Gelder is charged with killing the two infants and their 54-year-old carer in an attack on the Fable Land nursery in the town of Dendermonde in January 2009, as well as the attempted murder of 22 others at the creche -- including 16 babies and toddlers.

Elisa Lam Death: LA Hotel Guests Drink, Brush Teeth and Bathe in Naked Corpse-Contaminated Water for Weeks

Elisa Lam Death: the Dark History of LA's Cecil Hotel

Ever since the decomposing body of 21-year-old Elisa Lam was found in the water tank of the Cecil Hotel, Los Angeles, a number of stories about the hotel's murky past have surfaced.

The 600-room hotel, which was built in downtown LA in the 1920s, has a long history of suicides, murders and unsolved deaths.

Richard Schave and his wife Kim Cooper, who are street guides in LA and specialise in crime scenes, told CNN many tales of the murderers, suicides and victims who have stayed at the Cecil.

Serial killers Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger stayed in the Cecil, but many more people have died after checking in.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Cecil was known as a suicide hotspot, as people leapt to their deaths from the top floor.


Tropical Cyclone Rusty is continuing to intensify as it tracks directly towards the stretch of coast in Western Australia known as 'cyclone alley'.

At last report, the category two system was 250 kilometres north of Port Hedland and nearly stationary.

It is is still more than a day away from making landfall along the Pilbara coast but by then it is expected to have intensified to a category four system.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Mike Bergin says its slow moving nature will result in very heavy rainfall with dangerous and destructive winds.

"At the moment we're facing the evolution of an extremely dangerous event," he said.


People living on the New South Wales south coast have told of their terror as ferocious winds cut a swathe of destruction through the seaside town of Kiama.

The freak winds hit at around 3:00am on Sunday, affecting a narrow area between Kiama and Jamberoo.

About 170 houses in Kiama have been damaged. Three have so far have been declared uninhabitable with another five still being assessed by structural engineers.

One resident Therese Coogan says it sounded like a train going through her bedroom as she hid in her wardrobe, and she has never experienced anything like it.


Western Sydney could be in for minor flooding after Warragamba Dam spilled over following a weekend of heavy rain.

A State Emergency Service (SES) spokeswoman says the spillover occurred about 3.30am (AEDT) and could cause flooding in local areas.

"Penrith could be affected and the Richmond areas today on the Hawkesbury Nepean River," she said.

Minor flooding could disrupt local ferry services and close low roads and bridges.

Sea Sheherd releases dramatic new video

Euro Zone Summit: Mistake to think crisis over

Met Police rape unit 'encouraged' victims to retract cases

Victims of rape were "encouraged" by police to retract allegations to boost detection rates, a report has said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said a south London sex crime unit had its own "standard operating procedure" to cut the number of rapes officially recorded as crimes.

The IPCC said the Southwark Sapphire squad's approach of "failing to believe victims" was "wholly inappropriate".

Israel 'torture' victim's funeral focuses anger

SAAER, West Bank: As the men carrying her husband's body drew closer and the sounds of anguish from the thousands of mourners outside grew louder, Dalal Jaradat, three months pregnant with their third child, rested her head on her two-year-old son's and wept.

Arafat Jaradat, 30, was arrested on February 18 on suspicion of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. He died on Saturday in Israel's Megiddo Prison after days of interrogation by Israel's internal security service, Shin Bet.

A handful of masked gunmen, believed to be from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades - an armed wing of the Fatah movement - fired into the air at his funeral, vowing to ensure his death was not in vain. Some media reports indicated that Mr Jaradat was a member of the brigades.

Senior Palestinian Authority officials say the autopsy revealed his body showed signs of torture, including broken ribs and injuries to his neck, spine, arms and legs.

'US resort to terror, stopped trying to win hearts & minds of Afghan people'

'Manning shouldn't serve even one day in prison'

'Israel wants Iran regime change via US, nukes just excuse'

Second Round of Heavy Snow Pounds Plains

Turks condemn government's support for Syrian militants

Egypt Balloon Crash Kills 18 Foreign Tourists

Italy needs reform, not meddling

Obama using fake Twitter messages in fight over gun control

A Texas Republican on Monday said President Obama's gun control campaign is a fraud based on fake messages over Twitter.

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) accused Obama of trying to make support for his position look stronger than it really is by flooding Twitter with messages from people who don't exist.

"Obama's anti-gun campaign is a fraud," Stockman said. "Obama's supporters are panicking and willing to do anything to create the appearance of popular support, even if it means trying to defraud Congress," he added. "I call upon the president to denounce this phony spam campaign."

CDC bioterror labs are repeatedly failing to secure stores of anthrax and the plague

Multiple studies report that laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not secure samples of life-threatening diseases like anthrax and the plague.

The two deadly viruses are just a pair of the fatal diseases that are at risk because the security checks in place at the CDC are flawed.

USA Today reported that private government audits 'repeatedly' cite the labs as having gaping holes in their security protocols.

'false prophet' Richard Beasley 'killed three men after luring them with hoax Craigslist ad'

A self-proclaimed street preacher accused of killing three men who answered a Craigslist ad for a non-existent job, preyed on people who were down on their luck, a prosecutor said yesterday.

In opening statements, special prosecutor Emily Pelphrey, of the Ohio Attorney General's office, called Richard Beasley a 'false prophet' who took advantage of his victims by giving them 'a message of hope and change and a new start in life.'

Beasley, 53, is charged with the murder of three men, two of whom were apparently lured by the Craigslist ad.

Simon Morris Jailed for 8 Years for attack on teen

An actor who claimed he was sleepwalking when he assaulted a teenage girl was jailed yesterday.
Simon Morris, 42, said he had ‘sexsomnia’ and did not remember attacking the 15-year-old.

But a jury decided his defence was all an act, and yesterday Judge Daniel Williams sentenced him to eight years for rape.

Evidence for ET may come from dying stars: Signs of life are easier to detect in planets orbiting white dwarfs, research claims

Traces of extraterrestrial life are most likely to be first detected on planets orbiting dying stars, according to new research.

A theoretical study of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarf stars found we could detect oxygen in the atmosphere of one much more easily than on those orbiting a star like our own Sun.

Large quantities of oxygen in the atmosphere of a distant planet would signal the likely presence of life there.

This is based on the fact that if all life on Earth was to die out, our atmosphere would become devoid of oxygen, as it relies on plant life to replenish the supply through photosynthesis.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien the Archbishop who resigned his seat was a long-standing friend of Jimmy Savile

Cardinal Keith O'Brien was among many high-powered supporters of Savile who did not know about the entertainer's sexual abuse of children. He met the former DJ and charity fundraiser in the 1970s when O'Brien was a priest in Kilsyth, north Lanarkshire, and worked with a friend of Savile's mother. They were pictured together (right) in Edinburgh in 2007 as the pair unveiled a £375,000 vehicle for the disabled.

Valley Of The Kings hot air balloon explodes at 1,000ft killing 19 tourists

The balloon came down in a ball of flames this morning near Luxor, close to the famous Valley of the Kings. Eyewitnesses said there was a fire and an explosion and that the craft then plunged from the sky and crashed into sugar cane fields. At least one Briton is among 18 tourists feared dead and two other Britons are reported to be in a critical condition - an employee at the company operating the balloon said they survived by jumping from the burning basket before it hit the ground. Pictured left, the balloon take-off point 40 minutes before the crash and right, the craft on a previous Egyptian tourist trip. Pictured top right and centre, rescue workers examine the burnt-out frame.

France: we will not negotiate with Nigerian terrorists

France says it will not negotiate with gunmen who took a family of seven hostage last week, despite threats to kill the three adults and four children.

The family were seized in the north of Cameroon, near Nigeria's border, by a group claiming to be from Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram.

In a video posted online, the captors say the family will be killed unless Muslim militants detained in Nigeria and Cameroon are released.

Abbas warns Israel: Don't play with Palestinian lives

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr condemned on Monday what he defined as Israel's inhumane treatment of Palestinian prisoners that led to the death of detainee Arafat Jaradat. In a statement issued by Egypt's foreign minister, Amr warned that Israeli policy could lead to loss of control and tensions not just in the West Bank but the entire region.

Jaradat died in Israel's Megiddo Prison on Saturday. Over 10,000 Palestinians attended a funeral procession for him near Hebron on Monday, where no disturbances were reported.

The foreign minister expressed his condolences to Jaradat's family and called on the international community to intervene and exert pressure on Israel to put a stop to Israel's inhumane policy regarding Palestinian prisoners.

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake CENTRAL ALASKA - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 09:32:18 UTC
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 12:32:18 AM at epicenter
64.107°N, 149.287°W
141.6 km (88.0 miles)
15 km (9 miles) WNW (289°) from Ferry, AK

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake UNIMAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 09:11:53 UTC
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 12:11:53 AM at epicenter
53.724°N, 163.516°W
16.8 km (10.4 miles)
126 km (78 miles) S of False Pass, Alaska

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWESTERN RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 08:57:04 UTC
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 05:57:04 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
24.279°N, 123.477°E
40.6 km (25.2 miles)
52 km (32 miles) ESE of Yonakuni, Japan

Blizzard blasts parts of US

Rocket explodes in Israel, first attack from Gaza since truce

A rocket exploded in southern Israel on Tuesday in the first such attack by militants in the Hamas Islamist ruled Gaza Strip since a truce ended a week of cross-border fighting in November, Israeli police said.

The rocket caused some damage to a road near the city of Ashkelon but no injuries, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

"An explosion was heard in the Ashkelon region experts searched areas experts and found one rocket that struck, damaging a road but causing no injuries," Rosenfeld said.

Markets Dive Amid Italian Election Stalemate

Results in crucial elections in Italy show no clear winner, raising the possibility of a political crisis in the debt-laden country.

The uncertainty prompted big falls on world markets with the Italian MIB plunging 5% on opening while the FTSE 100 in London lost 1.4%, the DAX in Germany was 2.1% down, the Spanish IBEX was 3.4% lower and the CAC in Paris also bled value of more than 2.5%.

Hot Air Balloon Crash : 19 Dead

A hot air balloon has crashed near the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor, killing 19 foreign tourists.

The balloon was carrying 21 people at the time and was flying at a height of 1000 feet over Qurna, in Luxor's West Bank.

An Egyptian security official says there was a fire and an explosion on-board the balloon, which fell to the ground and crashed into sugar cane fields.

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake VANUATU - 26th February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 07:02:20 UTC
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 06:02:20 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
13.318°S, 167.240°E
227.5 km (141.4 miles)
70 km (43 miles) NNW of Sola, Vanuatu

Deadly hurricane-force blizzards rage across the Midwest and the Plains trapping motorists and leaving thousands without power

Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma are scrambling for salt and sand after being pummeled once again by winter storms. Hundreds of motorists are stranded in Texas. 'This storm has the potential to be more dangerous than last week's storm,' said Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.

White House denies claims that a $500,000 donation 'buys' face time with the president

The White House defended itself today after suggestions that high-dollar donors to President Obama’s new non-profit advocacy group would ‘buy’ face time with the Commander-In-Chief.

Organizing for Action, which is set up to be a social welfare organization, will allow large donations not unlike Super-PAC contributions, to be given to aid Mr Obama in carrying out second-term goals such as climate change and gun control.

There have been reports that those who contributed more than $500,000 to his cause would be invited to quarterly meetings with the president in a pay-to-play.

Alan Clune: Rapist with HIV who sparked nationwide manhunt after going on the run walks free from court because of his ill health

A convicted rapist with HIV who sparked a nationwide manhunt after going on the run has been spared jail - because of his ill health.

As a registered sex offender drifter Alan Clune, 32, was required to tell police where he lived after he was released from jail.

He went on the run after moving out of a house in Lancashire he shared with his partner without telling police.

Senior officers said he posed a risk to members of the public and he was at large for 10 days before being found 300 miles from home in London.

Wall Street trips and falls on cloudy Italian election

Stocks on Monday suffered their biggest drop since November after a strong showing in Italian elections by groups opposed to the country's economic reforms triggered worry that Europe's debt problems could once again destabilize the global economy.

The decline marks the biggest percentage drop for the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index since November7, and drove the S&P down to its lowest close since January 18. The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX or VIX, Wall Street's favorite barometer of fear, surged 34 percent, its biggest jump since August 18, 2011.

Italy exit polls show center left ahead of Berlusconi coalition

Accused UK cardinal resigns, cites health reasons

Nigerian Islamists threaten to kill kidnapped French family

IKEA says it has stopped selling Swedish meatballs in 13 countries and that they are investigating how horsemeat turned up in their product

China to expand fleet, military reach

China is expanding its long-neglected fleet of supply ships and heavy-lift aircraft, bolstering its military prowess in support of missions to enforce claims over disputed territory and to defend Chinese interests abroad.

These transport workhorses are unlikely to arouse the same regional unease as the steady rollout of high performance fighters, long-range missiles or potent warships, but they are a crucial element of the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) three-decade military build-up, defense analysts say.

EU leaders give Kiev until May to prove it wants to look West

EU leaders on Monday gave visiting Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich until May to show his nation had made progress towards political reform if it is serious about clinching a free trade deal which would move it away from Moscow's orbit.

Both the European Union and Ukraine are keen to cut their dependency on gas giant Russia, but Ukraine has yet to make a clear choice between closer EU ties or tighter links with Moscow.

Syria rebels to meet Kerry, dismiss Damascus offer

Syria's opposition has cancelled a planned boycott of an international conference on the two-year conflict after appeals from Britain and the US, but rejected an offer of talks from Damascus.

US secretary of state John Kerry and British foreign secretary William Hague convinced the opposition to revoke its boycott on a Friends of Syria conference in Rome on Thursday after an appeal at a joint press conference in London.

Italy election: Deadlock after protest vote

Italy's parliamentary elections have ended in stalemate and the possibility of a hung parliament.

With all domestic votes counted, Pier Luigi Bersani's centre-left has narrowly won the lower house but ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right is challenging for control of the Senate.

Control of both houses is needed to govern and a Berlusconi official said the election was "too close to call".

A protest movement led by comedian Beppe Grillo won a quarter of the vote.