Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pirate Bay 'seeks asylum' in North Korea



The Pirate Bay has been hunted in many countries around the world. Not for illegal activities but being persecuted for beliefs of freedom of information. Today, a new chapter is written in the history of the movement, as well as the history of the internets.

A week ago we could reveal that The Pirate Bay was accessed via Norway and Catalonya. The move was to ensure that these countries and regions will get attention to the issues at hand. Today we can reveal that we have been invited by the leader of the republic of Korea, to fight our battles from their network.

This is truly an ironic situation. We have been fighting for a free world, and our opponents are mostly huge corporations from the United States of America, a place where freedom and freedom of speech is said to be held high. At the same time, companies from that country is chasing a competitor from other countries, bribing police and lawmakers, threatening political parties and physically hunting people from our crew. And to our help comes a government famous in our part of the world for locking people up for their thoughts and forbidding access to information.

Malaysia soldiers attack armed Filipino clan in Borneo

Malaysian soldiers have launched an assault on armed members of a Filipino clan who have killed eight policemen on the island of Borneo in recent days.

The troops are backed by fighter jets, with reports of several explosions near Lahad Datu, where the group of some 180 Filipinos are holed up.

The operation to oust the clan began at 07:00 (23:00 GMT on Monday), the Malaysian government said.

Seven army battalions were deployed to the area on Monday to reinforce police.

China boosts defence spending by 10.7%

China will increase its official defence budget by 10.7 per cent this year, continuing a nearly unbroken run of double-digit hikes over the past two decades.

Spending is set to grow to Rmb720.168bn ($116bn) in 2013, according to the government’s draft budget submitted to the National People’s Congress, the country’s rubber stamp parliament, on Tuesday morning.

Scramble For Arctic Resources 'Bad' For South

An increase in mineral and oil exploration in the Arctic north could prove ominous for the future preservation of the southern polar region of Antarctica, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Antarctica is currently protected by an international agreement that bans mining and drilling, but also by nature - its remoteness and extreme weather conditions mean that it would be extremely expensive and risky to mount any significant commercial exploration.

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 5th March 2013

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 at 03:58:34 UTC
Tuesday, March 05, 2013 at 01:58:34 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
5.238°S, 152.553°E
58.8 km (36.5 miles)
100 km (62 miles) SSW of Taron, PNG

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 5th March 2013

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 at 02:09:00 UTC
Tuesday, March 05, 2013 at 09:09:00 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
5.430°S, 104.755°E
21.3 km (13.2 miles)
12 km (7 miles) S of Pulaupanggung, Indonesia

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS., ALASKA - 4th March 2013

Monday, March 04, 2013 at 20:57:07 UTC
Monday, March 04, 2013 at 10:57:07 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
51.561°N, 175.315°W
29.8 km (18.5 miles)
99 km (61 miles) ESE of Adak, Alaska

Julio Acevedo Wanted for the NY Hit and Run Deaths

Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21, died in the crash in Brooklyn but their baby initially survived after doctors performed an emergency caesarean section on the mother.

However, Isaac Abraham, a spokesman for the family's Orthodox Jewish community, said the child died on Monday morning.

Police are searching for the suspected driver, 44-year-old Julio Acevedo. The authorities claim he was travelling in a BMW at 60mph (97 kph) when he collided with a car hired to take the couple to hospital.

Huge Sinkholes Around the World in Recent Years (Photo Gallery)

Zhu Chenghu: Chinese general who threatened nuclear strike on U.S. visits Washington this week

A Chinese general who once threatened to use nuclear weapons against hundreds of U.S. cities will visit the Pentagon this week as part of a U.S.-China military exchange program.

Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu, who is head of China’s National Defense University, will take part in a “familiarization exchange,” Maj. Catherine Wilkinson, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told the Free Beacon.

“The delegation will visit Hawaii and D.C.,” she said. “A military delegation from the U.S. Pacific Command will visit China later this year for a reciprocal exchange.”

'Medieval & Sinister': Stripped of UK passport = killed by drone?

'RIP Iberia': Anti-UK nationalism in Spain over merger layoffs

Volcano erupts in Russia's Far East

Kerry On Tour: 'Spread democracy or glaring hypocrisy?'

Nurse Refuses to Do CPR on Dying Calif. Woman

Thousands turn out for Egyptians killed in Port Said clashes

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS - 4th March 2013

Monday, March 04, 2013 at 20:56:35 UTC
Tuesday, March 05, 2013 at 07:56:35 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
50.767°N, 157.302°E
45.4 km (28.2 miles)
83 km (51 miles) E of Severo-Kuril'sk, Russia

Casey Anthony pleads poverty as she breaks cover for first time since being cleared of killing Caylee to appear at bankruptcy hearing

Casey Anthony today admitted that she has no job, no money and no buyers for her story as she appeared in public for the first time since she was cleared of killing her toddler daughter nearly two years ago. Speaking at a bankruptcy hearing in Tampa, Florida the 26-year-old said she is not receiving any money in book and TV deals, and is living on the kindness of her former lawyer and strangers.

Asteroid 2013 EC, the same size as the one that exploded above Russia passes within 246,000 miles of Earth

Earth has had another close encounter with an asteroid.

Asteroid 2013 EC is between 10 to 17 metres wide - roughly the same size as the one which exploded above Russia's Ural mountains last month, injuring 1,000 people.

It was discovered on March 2, and passed between the moon and sun 246,000 miles away in the early hours of this morning.

Spanish unemployment hits FIVE MILLION: Record rise leaves an incredible one quarter of the population unemployed

Unemployment in Spain has hit a record high of five million people after a rise in the jobless total.'

The Labor Ministry said that the number of people registered as unemployed in February had jumped by 59,444 compared with January taking the total to 5.04million.

In Europe's fourth largest economy, 26 per cent of the population were unemployed at the end of the fourth quarter, the highest level since 1975.

Britain risks becoming 'a safe haven for Europe's criminals', Clegg warns Cameron in row over clawing justice powers back from Brussels....Has someone forgot to tell him, UK is already a safe haven for foreign criminals?

Britain risks becoming a 'safe haven for Europe's criminals' if it withdraws from cross-border police powers, Nick Clegg warned today.

The Deputy Prime Minister is demanding Britain remain signed up to the European Arrest Warrant or he will veto Tory demands to opt out of more than 100 other justice measures.

The stand-off risks a major Coalition row as both parties seek to appeal to their grassroots in the wake of the Eastleigh by-election.
Home Secretary Theresa May has a list of 130 criminal justice measures the Government wants to take back from Brussels.

Germany rejects Romania and Bulgaria's bid to roam Europe without passport amid fears of 'immigrant invasion'

Germany will veto Romania and Bulgaria's bid to join the Schengen passport-free zone if the Eastern European countries push for membership this week.

Interior minister Hans-Peter Friedrich warned both nations that if they insist on entry into the scheme 'Germany will veto it and they will fail.'

The countries are expected to apply to join the group in a meeting on Thursday, but their bid has been undermined by fears non-Europeans could bribe their way in to the countries and then travel elsewhere in the EU with ease.

Romania says British ministers have agreed secret deal to ensure migrants receive benefits despite coalition claims of a crackdown

British ministers have promised benefits for Romanian migrants will be protected, it has emerged as the row over who receives state handouts intensifies.

The UK government is understood to be drawing up emergency plans to curb the benefits which can be claimed by new arrivals.

Healthcare, housing and child benefit could be limited to only those people who have lived in Britain for more than a year.

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHWEST OF KURIL ISLANDS - 4th March 2013

Magnitude mb 4.8
Date time 2013-03-04 19:12:54.0 UTC
Location 46.33 N ; 148.88 E
Depth 100 km
Distances 420 km NE Shibetsu (pop 21,744 ; local time 04:12:54.1 2013-03-05)

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS - 4th March 2013

Magnitude mb 4.5
Date time 2013-03-04 19:09:24.0 UTC
Location 24.09 S ; 179.67 E
Depth 598 km
Distance 619 km SW Nuku'alofa (pop 23,611 ; local time 08:09:24.1 2013-03-05)

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake JUJUY, ARGENTINA - 4th March 2013

Magnitude ML 4.5
Date time 2013-03-04 17:19:34.0 UTC
Location 23.88 S ; 66.80 W
Depth 192 km
Distances 156 km W Jujuy, Argentina

Plane Prepares for Emergency Crash-Landing At Parks Airport

CAHOKIA, IL (KTVI) – 12:50PM Update: The pilot of the plane says he is not sure if he wants to land at Parks Airport and is circling the area. The plane is circling to burn off fuel

A plane heading into Parks Airport in Cahokia, Illinois is preparing for a crash landing.

Live Feed

Texas family of 4 killed in New Mexico plane crash

Authorities say a Texas family of two adults and two children were killed when their single-engine airplane crashed during takeoff in northern New Mexico.

It happened Sunday in Angel Fire and involved a plane owned by a company in Scottsville, Texas.

Two killed as plane crashes into residential area in French Alps: Young girl found alive in wreckage

A small passenger jet crashed in a residential area in the French Alps shortly after takeoff on Monday, killing two people on board and severely injuring a young girl passenger, a local official said.

Firefighters found the girl in the wreckage, alive but suffering from multiple fractures. No one was reported injured on the ground.

DR Congo 'plane crash' in Goma

A plane has crashed in Goma, the main city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, witnesses say.

There are no confirmed casualty figures so far.

However, the plane came down in a residential area, killing dozens of people, AFP news agency quotes police sources saying.

DR Congo has a poor air safety record, with 74 people killed in a crash at the airport in the central city of Kisangani two years ago.

Syrian Soldiers In Iraq Killed In Ambush

At least 42 Syrian soldiers and a number of Iraqis have been killed after they were attacked by unidentified gunmen

The Syrians had sought refuge in northern Iraq during clashes with rebels close to the border earlier in the week.

Iraqi authorities moved them from Nineveh province to the capital Baghdad, but were transporting them back to the Syrian border through Anbar province when the attack took place.

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS REGION - 4th March 2013

Monday, March 04, 2013 at 16:13:25 UTC
Tuesday, March 05, 2013 at 03:13:25 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
12.839°S, 169.174°E
645.9 km (401.4 miles) set by location program
210 km (130 miles) ENE of Sola, Vanuatu

Israel Locust Alert: 'Great Damage' In Egypt

An enormous swarm of locusts has descended on Egypt, with authorities in Israel worried they could spread across the border.

Millions of insects have already devastated agricultural land near the Egyptian capital Cairo by stripping crops.

Fears of a similar wave of destruction in Israel prompted the country's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to set up an emergency hotline.

Civil Servants Vote For Pay Strike

Civil servants have voted in favour of industrial action over pay, pensions and working conditions, leaving the Government facing the prospect of a strike.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union backed walkouts by 61% and other forms of industrial action by four to one. Turnout was 28%.

The union's leadership will now discuss a programme of strikes and protests, with a decision expected on Wednesday.

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 4th March 2013

Monday, March 04, 2013 at 16:10:03 UTC
Monday, March 04, 2013 at 11:10:03 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
2.188°N, 98.822°E
132.1 km (82.1 miles)
21 km (13 miles) E of Onan Ganjang, Indonesia

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS REGION - 4th March 2013

Monday, March 04, 2013 at 16:07:08 UTC
Tuesday, March 05, 2013 at 03:07:08 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
12.804°S, 169.156°E
642 km (398.9 miles) set by location program
211 km (131 miles) NE of Sola, Vanuatu

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE COAST OF NICARAGUA - 4th March 2013

Monday, March 04, 2013 at 14:16:33 UTC
Monday, March 04, 2013 at 08:16:33 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
12.287°N, 88.188°W
62.9 km (39.1 miles)
94 km (58 miles) WSW of Jiquilillo, Nicaragua

Locust alert in Middle East as plague descends on Egypt and creates panic in Israel

As swarms of locust devour Egyptian crops, the Middle East is bracing for the destructive bugs to migrate their way ahead of the Passover holiday.

A swarm of an estimated 30million insects has been devastating crops in Egypt, fuelling apocalyptic fears because of the infestation’s proximity to the Bible story of Passover in which a swarm of locusts, the eighth of ten plagues, is imposed on Egyptians by God for enslaving and abusing ancient Hebrews.

Israel’s Agriculture Ministry set up an emergency hotline today and urged residents to be vigilant in reporting sightings of the insects to prevent an outbreak.

Matt's thoughts:
Corresponding bible verses go in the comments, guys.
You know the drill.

Obama's DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks to Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile

The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.

Although I’ve seen and read several online blurbs about this vehicle of late, I decided to dig slightly deeper and discover more about the vehicle itself.

The new DHS sanctioned ‘Street Sweeper’ (my own slang due to the gun ports) is built by Navistar Defense (, a division within the Navistar organization. Under the Navistar umbrella are several other companies including International Trucks, IC Bus (they make school buses), Monaco RV (recreational vehicles), WorkHorse (they make chassis), MaxxForce (diesel engines), and Navistar Financial (the money arm of the company).

Matt's thoughts:
Not actually "tanks" technically, but that's not the point.
These things are heavily armoured and used to suppress the population.
If you've ever seen "District 9" the movie, you'll know what I mean.
South Africa loved them during Apartheid times.

Wealth Inequality in America (Must watch)

Propaganda bustin':

What does all this mean, exactly?
Is there a middle ground that works?

Pope Photo Burnt: Church Launches Probe

Church chiefs have launched an investigation after an Italian priest set fire to a photograph of former Pope Benedict XVI in front of dozens of stunned worshippers.

Father Andrea Maggi, 67, ignited the picture during a sermon, saying that Benedict had "abandoned" the Catholic Church.

He then went on to compare him to Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino, who has been accused of fleeing his post and leaving passengers on the stranded cruise ship.

Nachman and Raizy Glauber's Baby Dies after After New York Hit And Run Birth

A baby delivered by doctors after his parents were killed in a hit and run car crash in New York has died, a community spokesman has confirmed.

Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21, died in the crash in Brooklyn but their baby initially survived after doctors performed an emergency caesarean section on the mother.

Isaac Abraham, a spokesman for the family's Orthodox Jewish community, said the child died on Monday morning.

Nicola Edgington Jailed For Life For Grandmother Murder

A woman has been jailed for a minimum of 37 years for murdering a stranger in a knife attack in the street.

Nicola Edgington had killed her mother six years earlier, but was released to live in the community.

She was found guilty at the Old Bailey last month of murdering Sally Hodkin, 58, and attempting to murder Kerry Clark, 22.

'Bradford Batman' Hands Suspect In To Police....At least someone is willing to do the Police's job

A suspect wanted in Bradford has been handed in to police by a man dressed as the Caped Crusader.

A police spokesman said: "The person who brought the wanted man into the station was dressed in a full Batman outfit.

"His identity, however; remains unknown."

Deadly blizzard slams northern Japan

Death toll climbs in Kenya machete attacks

Euro zone sentiment falls in March after Italy election deadlock

Euro zone sentiment fell sharply in March, halting a six-month rise after an inconclusive election in Italy, the region's third- largest economy, rattled investors, Sentix said on Monday.

Investor morale in Germany, however, showed further modest improvement in March, highlighting the contrast in fortunes between the euro zone's largest economy and its ailing, debt-ridden southern periphery.

The euro fell to a session low and not far from a 2-1/2 month trough after the Sentix data release, which increased the possibility of the European Central Bank lowering interest rates in the near term.

Syrian rebels storm police academy

Italian worries, growth fears send shares, euro lower

European shares, the euro and oil all edged lower on Monday as political stalemate in Italy and the U.S. and China's plans for tighter controls on its property sector exacerbated worries about the global growth outlook.

The lack of progress in forming a new government in Rome over the weekend put the focus on Italy where the main share index tumbled 1.24 percent .FTMIB and Italian 10-year bond yields gained six basis points to 4.85 percent.

Prospect of new Italy vote heightens

Italy appeared to be inching toward another round of elections on Monday after centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani issued an ultimatum to 5-Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo to support a temporary government or "we'll all go home".

Appearing on RAI state television late on Sunday, Bersani ruled out another technocrat government like the last one, led by Mario Monti. Last week's vote left no one with a working majority in parliament, making an alliance with a rival the only solution to forming a government.

"Now (Grillo) must say what he wants, otherwise we all go home, including him," Bersani said.

At least 15 killed on Kenya coast on election day

At least 15 people were killed in attacks by machete-wielding gangs on Monday as Kenyans queued to vote in a presidential election they hope will rebuild the nation's image after a disputed 2007 poll unleashed weeks of tribal bloodshed.

Just hours before the start of voting and with long queues across the east African country, at least nine security officers in Kenya's restive coastal region were hacked to death, and six attackers were also killed, regional police chief Aggrey Adoli said. The total toll had earlier been put at 17.

3.5 Magnitude Earthquake OKLAHOMA - 4th March 2013

Monday, March 04, 2013 at 10:22:54 UTC
Monday, March 04, 2013 at 04:22:54 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
34.180°N, 96.662°W
4.9 km (3.0 miles)
6 km (3 miles) SSE of Tishomingo, Oklahoma

Nachman and Raizy Glauber's Baby Dies after After New York Hit And Run Birth

A baby delivered by doctors after his parents were killed in a hit and run car crash in New York has died, a community spokesman has confirmed.

Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21, died in the crash in Brooklyn but their baby initially survived after doctors performed an emergency caesarean section on the mother.

Isaac Abraham, a spokesman for the family's Orthodox Jewish community, said the child died on Monday morning.

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake TAIWAN - 4th March 2013

Magnitude ML 4.6
Date time 2013-03-04 08:42:24.1 UTC
Location 23.00 N ; 121.38 E
Depth 18 km
Distances 24 km E Kuanshan, Taiwan (pop 10,245 ; local time 16:42:24.1 2013-03-04)

Extreme UK Weather Prompts Call For Action

The extremes of weather that Britain has experienced over the past year highlight the urgent need to plan for a changing climate, the head of the Environment Agency has warned.

Analysis by the Government agency reveals that one in every five days last year saw flooding in England and Wales, while one in four days were spent in drought.

There was flooding on 78 days of the year, and for 95 days there was official drought declared for some areas, figures from the EA show.

'US govt deluded that it can control Muslim Brotherhood'

Trained Elite: US-educated leaders influence world without military

'US aid to Israel could dodge sequester to compensate Pentagon cuts'

Polar Nights & Northern Lights

Anti-Islam protesters clash with UK cops in Manchester

Bridge collapses in Kolkata: Three severely injured

India Dramatic crash: Trucks runs over woman on scooter

Bomb kills at least 45 in Shiite area of Karachi

Florida Sinkhole: Home destroyed where Florida man disappeared

Nigel Farage - If Germany Said, 'We've Had Enough', It Would Be the End of the Euro

Israel continues indiscriminate arrest of palestinian protesters

Polls open in Kenya elections after police gunned down

US spying on its own people

2,000 illegal immigrants facing deportation RELEASED because of looming budget cuts.....Starting to Sound like Europe

The Homeland Security Department released from its jails more than 2,000 illegal immigrants facing deportation in recent weeks due to looming budget cuts and planned to release 3,000 more during March, The Associated Press has learned.

The newly disclosed figures, cited in internal budget documents reviewed by the AP, are significantly higher than the 'few hundred' illegal immigrants the Obama administration acknowledged this week had been released under the budget-savings process.

The government documents show that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement released roughly 1,000 illegal immigrants from its jails around the U.S. each week since at least Feb. 15.

Officer Rodney Smith in emergency surgery after he was stabbed in the neck at the Empire State Plaza, NY

A New York state trooper was stabbed in the neck with a large steak knife today by a homeless man while in the state Capitol complex, officials said.

The officer, identified as Rodney Smith, a 15-year-old veteran of the department, was knifed at the Empire State Plaza in Albany around 4:50 p.m.

The bloodshed took place in an underground concourse that connects multiple buildings for the state Capitol.

Rooster Killing in a North Carolina cemetery

Three women from Colorado vanish after appearing on modelling sites as women's groups link them to prostitution and drugs

Three young Colorado women who recently disappeared are the latest to vanish with ties to social networking sites for models. Kelsie Schelling, Kara Nichols, and Raven Furlong were all aspiring models with online profiles. The National Women's Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation says it has linked 14 cases to the sites.

Gregg Lohman seriously hurt as he survives tragic crash that killed six members of the same family

Gregg Lohman, 36, (pictured top) of Goodlettsville, Tennessee, suffered serious injuries in the wreck on Saturday. He remained in serious condition at University of Louisville Hospital on Sunday. On her Facebook page, Pickler (below) said Lohman wasn't just a drummer, 'he is family'. Six people from rural Wisconsin were killed when a tractor-trailer rear-ended their Ford Expedition on Saturday in the northbound lanes near Glendale, Kentucky.

Race-riot breaks out among 400 inmates in Arizona prison injuring 19 people

An enormous prison brawl involving 400 inmates broke out today at the Whetstone Unit of Arizona State Prison Complex in Tucson.
The riot involved 300 white and Mexican inmates fighting against 100 Africa-American prisoners and started around 9.45 a.m. in the unit which houses 1,250.

At least 17 inmates were injured during the free-for-all and two prison staffers suffered minor injuries - The extent of the inmates' injuries wasn't immediately available.

John Kerry releases $250m in US aid to Egypt as reward for political reforms...How many protesters were killed last Month?

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday rewarded Egypt for president Mohammed Morsi's pledges of political and economic reforms by releasing $250m in American aid to support the country's "future as a democracy".

Yet Kerry also served notice that the Obama administration will keep close watch on how Morsi, who came to power in June as Egypt's first freely elected president, honors his commitment and that additional assistance would depend on it.

Triple dip recession fears raise chance of Bank of England action

Having sat on its hands since last summer, the Bank of England is coming round to the view that it may need to do more to stop Britain's stuttering economy lurching back into reverse.

A growing number of economists reckon another 25 billion pounds of government bond buying is in the offing, possibly as soon as this week's meeting of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee which ends on Thursday.

A Reuters poll of economists taken Feb 26-28 showed a 40 percent chance of the bank opting for more so-called quantitative easing this week and a 60 percent chance before the year is out.

Dog helps missing 3-year-old survive cold frosty night

Secret bakery feeds people of Aleppo

EU needs "who lost Italy" debate on austerity

European policymakers should be asking themselves "who lost Italy" after a grassroots revolt against austerity, unemployment and the political elite caused an electoral earthquake in the euro zone's number three economy.

Instead, most are insisting that their policy mix to fight the currency area's debt crisis is right, even though the latest EU forecasts have pushed any prospect of meaningful economic recovery in southern Europe back into the middle distance.

A surge in support for anti-euro populist Beppe Grillo and the surprise resurrection of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on an anti-austerity platform in last week's election have plunged Rome into political deadlock.

French military chief says "probable" al Qaeda commander Abou Zeid killed,.....He Suddenly doesn't sound so sure

Al Qaeda's senior field commander in the Sahara, Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, has probably been killed in Mali, the head of France's joint chiefs of staff said on Monday.

Edouard Guillaud's remarks are the first indication from the French government that Abou Zeid died in fighting in the rugged north of Mali.

Asked on Europe 1 radio whether he had been killed, Guillaud said: "It is probable but only probable. We don't have any certainty for the moment (but) it would be good news."

Obama renews offer to cut social safety nets

President Barack Obama raised anew the issue of cutting entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security as a way out of damaging budget cuts, a White House official said on Sunday, as both sides in Washington tried to limit a fiscal crisis that may soon hit millions of Americans.

Signaling he might be ready to explore a compromise to end automatic spending cuts that began late Friday, Obama mentioned reforming these entitlement programs in calls with lawmakers from both parties on Saturday afternoon.

Kenya: Four Police Killed As Key Vote Starts

Violence has broken out in Kenya's coastal and northern regions as polls open in an election billed as the country's most important in 50 years.

At least four police officers were killed in a pre-dawn attack in Mombasa, local media reports said.

The ambush appears to have been launched by the Mombasa Revolutionary Council, a separatist group that previously threatened to boycott the polls and stands accused of orchestrating sporadic attacks against police officers in the past.

Al Sweady Inquiry Into Iraq War Abuse Claims

An inquiry into whether British soldiers committed war crimes during the Iraq War will finally begin in public today, more than three years after it was first ordered.

The Al Sweady Inquiry will be the largest of its kind to date. It will focus on the events of May 14, 2004 and what happened in the hours after.

On that day, British soldiers from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders were ambushed while on patrol in southern Iraq by the Mahdi Army.

Miners Sacked For Underground Harlem Shake

Up to 15 miners have reportedly been sacked for performing the internet dance craze the Harlem Shake whilst working underground in an Australian gold mine.

The West Australian newspaper reported the miners lost their six-figure salaries over the stunt in the Agnew gold mine last week.

A dismissal letter cited by the paper said mine owner Barminco considered the stunt a safety issue.

Japan: Family Killed As Car Is Buried In Snow

A family has been killed after their car was buried in a snowstorm in the main northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Four other deaths linked to the weekend's snowfall have been reported.

Kazuyo Miyashita and her three children died at a hospital on Saturday night of carbon-monoxide poisoning after their vehicle got buried in the snow.

Her daughters were 17 and 14, and her son was 11.

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN - 4th March 2013

Monday, March 04, 2013 at 05:35:00 UTC
Monday, March 04, 2013 at 10:05:00 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
36.603°N, 70.782°E
193.3 km (120.1 miles)
29 km (18 miles) S of Jarm, Afghanistan

"Proof Gun Control Is 100% B.S."

'Hey, Obama, call me, I don't want to do war': Message given to Dennis Rodman to pass on from North Korea's Kim Jong Un

Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un doesn't want war with the United States. He just wants President Barack Obama to call him.

Rodman, the highest-profile American to meet Kim since Kim took power in December 2011, says Obama and Kim share a love of basketball, so 'let's start there.'

Rodman is just back from a visit to North Korea with the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and camera crews for the upcoming HBO series 'VICE,' during which he spent two days with Kim.

Ashton's £240m EU ministry is attacked as wasteful and clueless in damning report

The EU's new £420million-a-year foreign ministry has been lambasted as wasteful and clueless in a damning report from legal experts.

The European External Action Service, led by Baroness Ashton, is accused of confusion, poor management, a lack of elementary knowledge of diplomacy, and squandering money by duplica­ting functions.

It found that Baroness Ashton's travel commitments mean she is spread too thinly in the job and does not have proper access to her staff.

Russian police raid Pussy Riot play in Moscow as part of 'anti-Western campaign'

Russian police raided a play featuring the trial of the three members of punk collective Pussy Riot, in what a government critic said was part of an anti-Western campaign promoted by President Putin.

Moscow officers interrupted the performance in central Moscow, and cautioned the Swiss director for violating visa rules, earlier today.

The play features the recent trials of three members of Pussy Riot for staging a profanity-laced protest in Moscow's main cathedral last February.

British wages falling faster than the rest of Europe: Pay drops by 3.2% in two years

Wages in Britain have fallen faster than almost everywhere else in Europe, analysis shows.

Private sector pay dropped 3.2 per cent between autumn 2010 and autumn last year after taking account of inflation, it found. Only the Netherlands, Cyprus and Greece fared worse.

The analysis by the House of Commons Library for the Labour Party used UK figures and those of EU statistics arm Eurostat.

President's sibling is accused of attacking two of his TWELVE wives and seducing a schoolgirl. Now he's using his White House links to launch his own bid for power

Roy Abong'o Malik Obama (pictured top left now and as best man at Barack Obama's wedding to Michelle in 1992) is following his famous sibling into politics, standing for the position of governor of Siaya County in Kenya. But female members of his extended family accuse him of being a wife-beater and philanderer, who seduced the newest of his estimated 12 wives while she was a 17-year-old schoolgirl - a crime in a country where the legal age of consent is 18.

Floods kill at least eight in Ecuador

Elegant Damascus, besieged by both sides

In a city lived in for seven millennia, it may take more than two years of civil war to put a full stop to the genteel round of dinner parties and walks in the park for the affluent folk of downtown Damascus.

But from out in the grim suburbs, rebels incensed at their prosperous neighbors' passivity lob in more bombs and President Bashar al-Assad's forces make their presence ever more heavily felt around his stronghold, disrupting comfortable old routines and setting fear gnawing at Damascenes' cocoon of civilization.

In tough times, Czechs long for Communism

Before the fall of communism, Vaclav Sloup trained the soldiers who caught thousands trying to flee across Czechoslovakia's fortified border to West Germany.

Today, he helps power a Czech communist party that has surged to second place in polls, tapping anger over poverty and graft. But rivals' rejection of any alliance with a party they see tainted by trappings of the Cold War era threatens to hamper future formation of governments able to manage a frail economy.

When communism collapsed in 1989, the once-dominant party was slow to yield up the reformist wing that emerged in other east European countries. While statues of Lenin have vanished, party lawmakers still greet one another with "comrade" and maintain hardline foreign policy views such as leaving NATO.

Italian election lessons for wider Europe

A week ago I was outside polling stations in Rome asking people how they voted.

Many were coy. Others openly said they had voted for Beppe Grillo.

These were ordinary, thoughtful people. They had not been emotionally swayed by a firebrand speech in a piazza. Neither did they appear unstable.

They had made a clear calculation: that Italy's political system needed tearing up and cleaning out. They cast their vote for Mr Grillo's movement because they had lost faith in the old political caste.

In Brussels, there was silence or the knee-jerk rant against populists or clowns.

What there was not was an understanding of the desire for fundamental change, or of the growing despair that Europe is not working.

Portugal protests against austerity

Protesters have taken to the streets in Portugal to rally against government-imposed austerity measures and tax hikes.

Students and teachers gathered in front of the education ministry in the capital, Lisbon, to protest against education cuts.