Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, April 18, 2013

China says investigating human-to-human spread of bird flu

China is investigating the possibility of human-to-human transmission of a new strain of bird flu that has killed 17 people and is examining "family clusters" of people infected with the virus, a top health official was quoted as saying.

Authorities have slaughtered thousands of birds and closed some live poultry markets to slow the rate of human infection. But many aspects of this new variety of bird flu remain a mystery, particularly whether the H7N9 strain is being transmitted between people.

United Nations says Syria conflict a humanitarian catastrophe

Syrian families have been burned in their homes, people bombed waiting for bread, children tortured, raped and murdered and cities reduced to rubble in Syria's two-year-old war that has sparked a humanitarian catastrophe, the United Nations said on Thursday.

The bleak assessment by top U.N. humanitarian officials motivated the Security Council, which has been deadlocked over how to deal with the crisis since it began, to reach agreement on a non-binding statement demanding an end to the escalating violence and condemning human rights abuses by all sides.

Gunshots heard on Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus: school website

Gunshots were heard near a building on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, the school said on its website on Thursday.

The shots "were reported near Building 32 ... which is currently surrounded by responding agencies," according to a statement on the MIT website for emergency information.

The university's Twitter page also warned students of an "active shooter incident" and told them to "stay indoors and away from the area."

Boston Marathon bombing Suspects Revealed

Pakistan police arrest former president Musharraf, present him in court: TV

5.7 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS - 19th April 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 03:15:54 UTC
Friday, April 19, 2013 at 03:15:54 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
45.700°N, 151.231°E
120.3 km (74.8 miles)
266 km (165 miles) ENE (78°) from Kuril'sk, Kuril Islands

Sandra Layne Jailed Over Grandson's Shooting Murder

A 75-year-old woman will serve at least 22 years in prison for shooting her teenage grandson dead at their home outside Detroit.

At her sentencing on Thursday Sandra Layne said she was "sorry" for the murder of 17-year-old Jonathan Hoffman.

Layne was given a minimum sentence of 20 years as well as a mandatory two-year prison sentence for using a gun in the killing.

Protesters Call For Bahrain F1 'Day Of Rage'

The tiny Gulf state has stepped up security before the race which the opposition wants boycotted as it continues with its pro-democracy campaign.

Members of the Shi'ite opposition has planned more protests today to coincide with practice sessions in the run-up to Sunday's race.

On Thursday night, thousands demonstrated in several areas in yet another day of protests.

"No Formula on Bahrain's occupied land," chanted the protesters. "No, no blood Formula."

Aisling Brady McCarthy Denies Baby Murder

An Irish nanny, who is accused of beating a one-year-old girl who later died, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Aisling Brady McCarthy is also facing charges of assaulting Rehma Sabir on her first birthday, at the baby's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts earlier this year.

The nanny, who has been living in America illegally since 2002, had the charges upgraded on Thursday and will appear in court again on May 9.

Texas Plant Explosion: Search For Survivors

Rescue teams are searching the rubble of homes for survivors after a massive explosion ripped though a nearby fertiliser plant in Texas.

Up to 15 people were feared to have been killed and more than 160 others were injured in the blast in the small town of West, near Waco.

The Dallas Fire-Rescue department has confirmed one of its firefighters, 52-year-old Captain Kenny Harris, was killed as he helped fight the initial blaze.

Police have warned of a "very volatile situation" because of ammonium nitrate found at the plant. The chemical compound is commonly used a fertiliser but can also be used in explosives.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Shooting: Police Officer Shot

A police officer has "suffered life-threatening injuries" after being shot at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Gunman on loose at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston

One of Boston's largest universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has warned students a gunman is on campus, with reports of an officer down.

At 10:48pm local time, the university's emergency information website sent a message to students.

"Gunshots were reported near Building 32 (Stata) which is currently surrounded by responding agencies," the warning read.

"The area is cordoned off. Please stay clear of area until further notice. Unknown if injuries have occurred.

"Although the situation is considered active and extremely dangerous, an investigation is underway. Updates will be provided at this site when more information becomes available."

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Shooting: Police Officer Shot

A police officer has "suffered life-threatening injuries" after being shot at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Boston Bombers: 'Extremely Dangerous': Hunt For Bomb Suspects

The FBI has released pictures and video of two suspects in the deadly Boston marathon bombings.

CCTV footage and photographs show a pair of men investigators describe as "armed and extremely dangerous".

They are seen in the images carrying bulky backpacks as they walk the route of Monday's race in the heart of the city.

3.0 Magnitude Earthquake UTAH - 19th April 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 03:16:20 UTC
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 09:16:20 PM at epicenter
41.229°N, 111.678°W
16.5 km (10.3 miles) (poorly constrained)
9 km (5 miles) ESE (113°) from Huntsville, UT

7.2 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS - 19th April 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 03:05:53 UTC
Friday, April 19, 2013 at 03:05:53 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
46.182°N, 150.796°E
122.3 km (76.0 miles)
250 km (155 miles) ENE of Kuril'sk, Russia

ISSUED AT 0317Z 19 APR 2013






ORIGIN TIME - 0305Z 19 APR 2013



4.6 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 23:08:07 UTC
Friday, April 19, 2013 at 08:08:07 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
39.912°N, 142.748°E
44.1 km (27.4 miles)
74 km (45 miles) ENE of Miyako, Japan

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 22:38:40 UTC
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 06:38:40 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
21.804°S, 68.255°W
106.6 km (66.2 miles)
102 km (63 miles) NE of Calama, Chile

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 21:26:36 UTC
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 02:26:36 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
34.334°S, 109.178°W
10.3 km (6.4 miles)
796 km (494 miles) S of Hanga Roa, Chile

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake PRINCE EDWARD ISLANDS REGION - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 21:20:18 UTC
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 11:20:18 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
46.148°S, 34.714°E
10 km (6.2 miles)
247 km (153 miles) WNW of Marion Island, Prince Edward Islands

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake BOUGAINVILLE REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 21:00:20 UTC
Friday, April 19, 2013 at 07:00:20 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
6.513°S, 154.336°E
97.3 km (60.5 miles)
128 km (79 miles) W of Panguna, Papua New Guinea

Napolitano: They're not actually "suspects" ...uh huh

Hoping the public will provide crucial clues, the FBI today released video and photos of two men who are suspected in Monday’s deadly Boston Marathon terror bombings.

“Somebody out there knows these individuals as friends, neighbors, co-workers, or family members,” said Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office. “Though it may be difficult, the nation is counting on those with information to come forward and provide it to us.”

He said the two men — shown strolling down a sidewalk behind marathon spectators and mingling in the crowd — are considered “extremely armed and dangerous.”

DesLauriers described the two men as Suspect No. 1 and Suspect No. 2. Suspect No. 1 was wearing a dark hat. Suspect No. 2 was wearing a white hat.

DesLauriers said Suspect No. 2 was observed planting a bomb, leaving it in place shortly before it went off.

“Within minutes,” he said at a news conference at a Boston hotel.

Hagel: US can support Israel if it strikes Iran, Key Senate committee calls on US to back Israeli action against nuclear program; Pentagon requests $400m. more for Iron Dome

NEW YORK – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the House subcommittee on defense appropriations on Tuesday that the US has “the military capability” to back any Israeli action against Iran should President Barack Obama decide to do so.

Hagel was testifying on the Pentagon’s budget before the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee when he was asked about US military support in the event of an Israeli strike on Iran.

He replied that the decision to provide such support rested with Obama, but insisted, “We have the military capability, and we have the ability to provide the president with what’s required to protect the interests of this country and our allies.”

The Pentagon was “able to support whatever policy decisions the president makes,” he said.

Boston Bombings Bring Americans Closer to Living on Edge (Welcome to the war)

Paranoia and fear can ride hard on the ill winds of evil. And yet, with the passing of each tragic event, Americans say they are more angry than afraid, vowing to defy the randomness of violence.

Just as the country was beginning to process the bombings at the Boston Marathon came reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that letters laced with the poison ricin had been sent to President Barack Obama and a senator, as congressional offices were temporarily evacuated because of suspicious packages.

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Paranoia and fear can ride hard on the ill winds of evil. And yet, with the passing of each tragic event, Americans say they are more angry than afraid, vowing to defy the randomness of violence. Just as the country was beginning to process the bombings at the Boston Marathon came reports from the that letters laced with the poison ricin had been sent to President Barack Obama and a senator, as congressional offices were temporarily evacuated because of suspicious packages. Beyond Washington, police were searching an abandoned U- Haul van near city hall in Oklahoma City, the federal courthouse was emptied because of a bomb threat in Boston and officials in Atlanta were investigating a report of a suspicious package north of downtown.

FBI releases video of 2 Boston bombing suspects

The FBI on Thursday released surveillance video showing two potential suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing and is asking for the public's help in identifying them.

FBI Agent Richard DesLauriers said the photos came from surveillance cameras near the explosion sites. He said one the suspects is believed to have planted the devices near the finish line of the race. He says both suspects are considered armed and extremely dangerous. "Do not take any action on your own," he warned.

The photos of the suspects can be seen online on Any tips regarding the suspects can be called into the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

FBI Releases Images of Suspects in Boston Marathon Bombing

The FBI today released images of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing they still consider to be "armed and extremely dangerous."

At a press conference, FBI special agent in charge Richard DesLauriers referred to the two men as Suspect 1 and Suspect 2 and said Suspect 2 was spotted dropping a bag before a bomb exploded at the second bomb site. The two men appear to be "associated," DesLauriers said.

DesLauriers asked the public for their help identifying the suspects, but asked the public not to approach them.

Though the men are considered armed and dangerous, the FBI said they still do not believe there is an imminent danger in the area.

South Korea: "Experts Urge Evacuation from Kaesong"

North Korea experts say it is high time to evacuate some 200 South Korean staff who remain at the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex. The North on Wednesday refused to let in supplies of food and other necessities for the South Koreans.

Kim Hee-sang of the Korea Institute for National Security Affairs said, "It may be impossible for North Korea to seal off the complex completely, but it can really harass South Korean workers there." He urged the government to evacuate the South Koreans there or risk them being taken hostage.

Kim said evacuating the remaining staff could lead to a quicker resolution to the crisis by showing the North that Seoul is not afraid to shut down the industrial park if necessary.

Biden: 'The President Is Already Lining Up Some Additional Executive Actions' for Guns

Joe Biden says the president of the United States is preparing to take "executive actions" to deal with guns.

BuzzFeed reports:

Vice President Biden told White House allies in the gun control fight Thursday that President Obama will be announcing new executive actions on gun violence in the days after the Senate voted down a gun violence bill.

On a conference call with "stakeholders," Biden told gun control advocates that the fight is not over and that eventual action on gun control will come. Press were not invited to the conference call; a participant provided BuzzFeed with access.

"Look I know you're going to say that I'm just being an optimist and I'm trying to put a good face on this. But you know I've been around here a long time and we've already done, because of you, some really good things," Biden said. "Number one, the president is already lining up some additional executive actions he's going to be taking later this week."

After the Newtown shootings, Obama took a number of executive actions to expand research into gun violence and other areas favored by the gun control community. He took the actions without Congressional approval, leading to outrage by some conservatives.

One Million Irish Starve to Death: Tribunal Convened this Weekend (If only we could look back upon all such important issues)

About the Irish Famine:
FACT: 1845-1852 an estimated One million die of starvation related deaths and is one of the most catastrophic famines in history (also known as the Great Hunger).
FACT: Spawned the immigration of 2.5 million Irish to the United States and accounts for more than half of all US immigration in the 1840’s.
FACT: According to the United States’ 2010 census, more than 34.7 million Americans considered themselves to be of Irish ancestry, making Irish Americans the country's second-largest ethnic group.

About the Irish Famine Tribunal
When: Saturday, April 20th and Sunday, April 21st

Where: Fordham University Law School, McNally Auditorium, 140 W. 62nd Street, New York City, NY.

What: Irish Famine Tribunal will examine the British government’s responsibility for the tragedy which claimed as many as a million Irish lives. Internationally renowned judges, lawyers, historians, authors and researchers to participate.

The Irish Famine Tribunal will be the first comprehensive examination of the famine from a legal perspective. It will examine the responsibility of the British government, under international law, for the tragic consequences of this period. Teams of prosecution and defense lawyers will present their respective cases before an international panel of judges.

Tribunal participants, supported by expert witnesses drawn from academia and contemporary famine relief organizations, will examine the issues from a variety of perspectives. This approach will allow for a fresh interrogation of the evidence, thus providing new insights into the causes and consequences of the tragedy and the culpability of government officials during the famine.

Teams of prosecution and defense lawyers will present their respective cases before an international panel of judges.

Who’s Involved:
· Justice John Ingraham, renowned New York State Supreme Court Justice who has presided over many high profile criminal trials;
· Judge William Schabas, a deeply respected Professor of International Law at Middlesex University in London; and
· Judge Adrian Hardiman, accomplished Irish Supreme Court Justice.
Other Notable Patrons:
· Film producer and director Terry George (Director of Hotel Rwanda).
· Actors
o Stephen Rea,
o Malachy McCourt and
o Fionnula Flanagan.
· Professor Charles Rice of Notre Dame Law School.
· Dr. John Lahey, President of Quinnipiac University.

Media is welcome to cover all or portions of the program.

Saturday, April 20, 2013
09:00 - 10:00 AM Media Interviews Available
09:30 - 10:00 AM Registration
10:00 - 10:30 AM Welcome and Introduction by Moderator Jim Cullen
10:30 - 11:15 AM Opening Statements from the Prosecution and the Defense
11:15 - 12:45 PM Prosecution Case-in-Chief & and Defense Case-in-Chief
12:45 - 02:15 PM Lunch
2:15 - 2:45 PM Prosecution Reply & Defense Reply to Cases-in-Chief
2:45 - 3:15 PM Closing Arguments
3:15 - 4:15 PM Question & Answer Session
4:15 - 4:30 PM Closing Remarks
4:30 – 5:30 PM Media Interviews Available

Sunday, April 21, 2013
10:00 - 11:00 AM Media Interviews Available
10:30 - 11:00 AM Registration
11:00 - 11:15 AM Introduction and Welcome by Moderator Robert Ballagh
11:15 - 12:45 PM Speakers: Tim Pat Coogan, John Kelly, Ruan O’Donnell
12:45 - 02:15 PM Lunch
02:15 - 03:45 PM Roundtable Discussion including Audience Q & A
03:45 - 04:00 PM Closing Remarks
4:00 – 5:00 PM Media Interviews Available

This event is sponsored by the Irish Famine Tribunal Committee and the Brehon Law Society.

ACLU: Detroit Police Dumping Homeless Outside City

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan says Detroit police are removing homeless people from the popular Greektown entertainment district downtown and dropping them off miles away — sometimes outside the city.

Following a year-long investigation, the ACLU filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department and sent a letter to Detroit police demanding an end to what they call a “disturbing practice.”

“DPD’s practice of essentially kidnapping homeless people and abandoning them miles away from the neighborhoods they know – with no means for a safe return — is inhumane, callous and illegal,” said Sarah Mehta, ACLU of Michigan staff attorney. “The city’s desire to hide painful reminders of our economic struggles cannot justify discriminating against the poor, banishing them from their city, and endangering their lives. A person who has lost his home has not lost his right to be treated with dignity.”

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake HONDURAS - 18th April 2013

Magnitude M 4.7
Date time 2013-04-18 17:59:51.0 UTC
Location 15.57 N ; 87.16 W
Depth 10 km
3 km S of San Antonio, Honduras / pop: 1,151 / local time: 11:59:51.0 2013-04-18

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake HONDURAS - 18th April 2013

Magnitude M 4.2
Date time 2013-04-18 17:25:56.6 UTC
Location 15.51 N ; 87.37 W
Depth 10 km
14 km SW of Arizona, Honduras / pop: 4,444 / local time: 11:25:56.6 2013-04-18

The Florida county where police post 'sexual predator' road signs outside homes of convicted rapists and child molesters

The sheriff of Bradford County, Florida, decided the reflective signs, which have each offender's name, should be planted on the roadways outside the houses of convicted sexual predators to ward off children. The department already sends out notifications on Facebook and sends officers to warn neighbors door-to-door when a sexual predator moves in.

Stomach Bug Rips Through Delaware County School Affecting More Than 100 Students

What appears to be a bad stomach bug is ripping through a small school in Wayne.

A little more than 120 children and three teachers were out sick Thursday at Saint Katharine of Siena School in Wayne. That’s out of the 444 students and 35 teachers who attend and teach at the kindergarten through 8th grade school.

Principal Bud Tosti said he called in the Pennsylvania Department of Health to help the school figure out what is causing students and teachers to come down with symptoms, which include stomach aches, vomiting and diarrhea.

Dungeness B power station in Kent: Nuclear power station has been leaking radioactive waste 'for months', says Environment Agency

A nuclear power station in Kent has been leaking radioactive waste, which can increase the risk of developing cancer, for months according to the Environment Agency.

Routine tests on boreholes drilled close to the Dungeness B plant found traces of tritium measuring more than seven times the agreed level.

But plant owners EDF Energy have reassured residents that it is unlikely that contaminated water has seeped into the local domestic supply.

'I didn't do anything!' High school track runner forced to deny involvement in Boston Marathon bombings after a picture of him and his coach is widely circulated

A Moroccan teenager has been forced to deny today that he was linked to the Boston bombing after photos of him carrying a bag and accompanied by a man with a backpack near the finish line were published in the media.

The picture of the 17-year-old was widely circulated in the days following the Monday blasts along with allegations that he was being sought by the FBI.

ABC News spoke to the brother of the 17-year-old track star and confirmed that he went to the police on Wednesday to clear his name.

The boy's younger brother said that their mother was 'sick and upset' that he had been connected to the fatal attack.

How Influenza Pandemics Occur

Chinese Government Suspects Human-to-Human Transmission of H7N9 Bird Flu

As the Chinese government openly begins to speculate about the possibility of human-to-human transmission of the H7N9 bird flu strain, an international team of experts, including some from the World Health Organization, have been deployed to investigate the disease in the country.

If true, the development would quickly raise concerns of the disease outbreak leading to a pandemic. Flu experts have long warned once a particularly deadly strain of the flu, as H7N9 appears to be – it has killed 17 of the 87 people it has infected – becomes transmissible between humans, it can quickly spread.

The World Health Organization has said some of those who have contracted the virus have had "no history of contact with poultry," and the state-run China Daily newspaper says a boy in Shanghai may have caught the disease from his brother.

"Further investigations are still under way to figure out whether the family cluster involved human-to-human transmission," Feng Zijian, of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the newspaper.

Chinese Vet Says Authorities Concealed H7N9 Poultry Epidemic

Since late last year, the Chinese Communist Party has been covering up the worst bird flu outbreak in poultry for over 10 years, according to a senior veterinarian, who has worked with poultry farmers for several decades.

Using the alias Lin Huatai, the vet said in an exclusive interview that the new virus has been spreading through poultry since late November, from eastern China to the southwest.

According to Lin, bird flus with low avian pathogenicity are common in China, whereas highly virulent ones usually strike localized areas. He said the epidemic happened in chickens in Henan, Shanxi, and Shaanxi provinces, and ducks in Sichuan Province. “Shaanxi previously had more than 20 million chickens, but now there are only 7 to 8 million,” Lin said, adding that it has been over a decade since he saw so many chickens dying like this.

The outbreak may have originated in Shijiazhuang in northern Hebei Province last April and May, when 80 percent of poultry died, creating huge losses for farmers, but “no media reported on it,” Lin said.

Lin said: “Bird flu among poultry has contaminated the environment, turning the air into a reservoir for the virus, and that is how H7N9 started infecting people in Shanghai.”

H7N9 silently spreads in humans and birds

The novel H7N9 avian flu virus that is currently circulating in certain regions in China has bewildered public health officials within and outside the country.

To start with, H7N9 is a product of reassortment of three avian influenza virus strains that “infect only birds.” Reassortment happens when gene swapping takes place between two or more viruses present at the same time in a host.

The influenza, which was initially restricted to Shanghai and neighbouring regions, has now reached Beijing — two people have so far been infected with the virus.

Only about 40 per cent of the 77 infected people had contact with poultry

17 girl students mysteriously poisoned in northern Afghan town

Over a dozen students of a girl school were mysteriously poisoned in Takhar province 245 km north of Kabul on Thursday, a local official said.

"Seventeen students of Bibi Hajira Girl School in Taluqan city the capital of Takhar province were mysteriously poisoned and have been taken to hospital today," Gul Agha Nazari, deputy to Education Department of Takhar province told Xinhua.

He also said that investigation has been initiated to find the fact behind the incident.

Morning after reveals smoldering ruins in Texas

Hawaii: Rock excavation blasts planned for Big Island on Thursday

WAIMEA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Some residents on the Big Island will hear loud explosions and wailing sirens on Thursday as crews conduct work on a rock excavation project in the Lalamilo subdivision in Waimea.

The blasts will be part of a project that the Department of Hawaiian Homelands broke ground on late in 2012.

Residents and nearby businesses will receive five minute and one minute warning sirens before each blast, and an all-clear sound will be given afterwards.

Keiser Report: Gold Theft in America

Afghanistan expects record opium harvest despite US crop kill rhetoric

Assad says West will pay for 'supporting' Qaeda

UKIP Nigel Farage - Margaret Thatcher knew the EU was Power without Limits

US deploys 200 troops to Jordan-Syria border 'to curb violence'

H7N9: 4-year-old bird flu 'carrier' worries China

Doctors say the discovery of a 4-year-old carrier of the H7N9 bird flu virus who shows no symptoms of the potentially lethal virus is a worrying development that could make the spread of the infection more difficult to monitor.

The Beijing Municipal Health Bureau said the boy was detected from a group of close contacts of the first infection in Beijing and the laboratory results showed the boy was an asymptomatic carrier of the disease.

The boy emerged after authorities screened 24 poultry owners in Naidong Village, Cuigezhuang County in Chaoyang District, taking throat swabs of those in contact with the group.

China confirms 82 H7N9 cases, 17 deaths

From 8 p.m. Tuesday to 5 p.m. Wednesday, China confirmed five new cases of human H7N9 avian influenza infection, including one in Shanghai and four in Zhejiang Province.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission said in its daily update on H7N9 cases that a total of 82 H7N9 cases have been reported in China, including 17 that have ended in death.

Of the total, five H7N9 patients have been discharged from hospitals after receiving treatment, and the other 60 patients are being treated in designated hospitals, according to the commission.

Emergency declared at U.S. nuclear plant after lightning strike — “Venting of Unit 1 primary containment” — ‘Normal’ radiation levels reported — NRC mobilizes response center - State of Illinois, Seneca [LaSalle Nuclear Power Plant]

LaSalle News Tribune: Exelon Generation’s La Salle County Generating Station declared an Unusual Event at 3:11 p.m. today, after both units automatically shut down when power from the switchyard into the site was interrupted during a severe thunderstorm. [...] Technical experts are working to restore power to the switchyard. [...] LaSalle Generating Station is located about 75 miles southwest of Chicago [...]

Morris Daily Herald: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region III staff is monitoring the La Salle nuclear power plant after a lightning strike knocked out offsite power to both Units 1 and 2. The NRC has mobilized its Incident Response Center in Region III, located in Lisle, Ill., and is monitoring the events along with the resident inspector onsite. [...] An Unusual Event is the lowest levels of the NRC’s four level emergency classification system. [...]

NRC: Event Notification Report for April 18, 2013: “In addition to information [previously provided], LaSalle Unit 2 received a high drywell pressure signal [1.77 psig] due to loss of containment cooling from the loss of power. [...] There is no evidence of reactor coolant leakage.

Spain needs more time for fiscal consolidation: IMF's Lagarde

Spain needs more time for fiscal consolidation, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said on Thursday, as the European Union is considering whether to grant Madrid additional time to cut its budget deficit.

"We believe, considering the situation of the country and the efforts that had been undertaken, the 25 percent unemployment rate at the moment, (that) it's clearly needed to do fiscal consolidation but we don't see the need to do upfront, heavy duty fiscal consolidation as was initially planned," Lagarde said.

"Spain needs more time and needs to be able to adjust into its fiscal consolidation efforts after it has done already," she told a news conference.

Survivors sought in Texas blast

Rescue teams searched the charred rubble of homes in a small Texas city on Thursday for survivors of a fiery explosion at a nearby fertilizer plant that killed as many as 15 people, injured more than 160 and destroyed dozens of buildings.

Three to four volunteer firefighters were among the missing following the blast on Wednesday night, said Sgt. William Patrick Swanton of the Waco, Texas, police department.

Firefighters had been fighting a fire at the West Fertilizer Co for about 20 minutes before the 8 p.m. blast rocked West, a town of 2,700 people about 20 miles north of Waco.

Chicago Sinkhole Sinkhole Swallows Up Three Cars

A rainstorm pummelling the Chicago area has ripped open a sinkhole large enough to swallow three cars.

One driver was so badly injured he had to be taken to hospital.

Chicago Police Department spokesman Mike Sullivan said the gaping hole opened up in a street on the city's South Side, near Lake Michigan.

Pakistan's Musharraf flees court after judges order his arrest

Former President Pervez Musharraf fled a courtroom on Thursday after judges ordered his arrest to answer allegations he committed treason in 2007, an ignominious retreat for a man who once dominated Pakistan and had hoped to revive his political fortunes.

Pakistani television broadcast footage of Musharraf dashing from Islamabad High Court in a black SUV as several lawyers made half-hearted attempts to pursue his vehicle - a scene that would have been unthinkable when Musharraf was at the height of his powers.

It was another blow to his hopes of resurrecting his political career after election officers barred him from standing at next month's general elections, in part due to the various legal challenges he faces. The bid had garnered widespread popular scorn.

Iran dismisses Israel threat at Ahmadinejad's last army parade

Israeli threats to attack Iran's nuclear sites are the harmless barking of a dog, Iran's military said on Thursday, marking the last Army Day ceremony of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidency with trademark acerbic rhetoric against the Jewish state.

Ahmadinejad, who steps down at elections in June after eight years at the helm of the Islamic Republic's government, has used the podium at previous Army Day parades to lash out at the United States and its allies.

On Thursday Ahmadinejad confined himself to praise of the country's armed forces, and it was Iran's ground forces commander Ataollah Salehi spoke up against Iran's sworn foe.

Italian parliament fails to elect state president

Italy's parliament failed to elect a new state president in its first vote on Thursday, with deep splits in the center left torpedoing a quick victory for its official candidate Franco Marini.

Marini, a former Senate speaker, won 521 votes, well below the required two-thirds majority of 672 of the 1,007 electors, comprising members of both houses of parliament and regional representatives.

A second ballot will be held later on Thursday and two votes a day will continue through the weekend if necessary.

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWESTERN RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 14:08:36 UTC
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 11:08:36 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
24.936°N, 123.342°E
16.9 km (10.5 miles)
62 km (38 miles) NNE of Yonakuni, Japan

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 13:03:14 UTC
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 09:03:14 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
3.661°N, 126.903°E
32.4 km (20.1 miles)
246 km (152 miles) NNW of Tobelo, Indonesia

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake GUATEMALA - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 12:37:04 UTC
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 06:37:04 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
15.450°N, 91.727°W
174.9 km (108.7 miles)
2 km (1 miles) SW of Santiago Chimaltenango, Guatemala

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake BANDA SEA - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 12:19:06 UTC
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 09:19:06 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
5.970°S, 130.575°E
127.7 km (79.4 miles)
233 km (144 miles) NNW of Saumlaki, Indonesia

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF BALI, INDONESIA - 18th April 2013

Magnitude M 4.4
Date time 2013-04-18 11:48:49.1 UTC
Location 9.65 S ; 114.05 E
Depth 10 km
138 km S of Muncar, Indonesia / pop: 64,537 / local time: 18:48:49.1 2013-04-18

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHWESTERN IRAN - 18th April 2013

Magnitude ML 4.0
Date time 2013-04-18 10:44:42.0 UTC
Location 38.36 N ; 45.33 E
Depth 2 km
39 km SE of Khvoy, Iran / pop: 175,370 / local time: 15:14:42.0 2013-04-18

Greece: Migrants Shot Following Pay Dispute

Some 20 strawberry pickers from Bangladesh have been shot and wounded in Greece after their foreman opened fire following a dispute about their pay.

The shooting occurred close to the village of Manolada, near the Ionian Sea and about 260km (161 miles) west of Athens.

Police Captain Haralambos Sfetsos said the Greek foreman responded with a shotgun after around 200 workers, who were demanding six months of unpaid wages, "moved threateningly" towards him and two colleagues.

Fake Willy Wonka Chocolate Bar Warning For UK

Chocolate lovers around the country are being conned by fake Wonka chocolate bars containing useless golden tickets.

Trading standards officers say "massive profits" are being made from the bogus chocolate - which takes advantage of the famous promotion in Roald Dahl's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

In the book and film adaptations starring Johnny Depp and Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, children who found a rare golden ticket inside the wrapper won a trip to the eccentric chocolatier's factory.

Opemipo Jaji Convicted Of Raping 11-Year-Old Girl

A teenager has been found guilty of raping an 11-year-old girl as she made her way home from school in a "vicious and horrific" attack.

Opemipo Jaji, 18, subjected his victim to a three-hour ordeal and threatened to stab her when she tried to escape.

He followed the youngster from a bus stop in November 2012 and first forced her into a housing estate before sexually assaulting her.

Texas Explosion: Looters Target Town

Between five and 15 people are believed to have been killed after an explosion ripped through a fertiliser plant in Texas.

More than half of the town has been evacuated and people are still being pulled from damaged buildings following the blast in West, near Waco.

It comes as looters began targeting parts of the town, and police warned those with no need to be in the area to stay away.

Texas Explosion but Empty town?

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHWESTERN IRAN - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 10:39:39 UTC
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 02:09:39 PM at epicenter
38.435°N, 45.456°E
10 km (6.2 miles)
38 km (24 miles) ESE (106°) from Khvoy, Iran

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWESTERN RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 08:37:12 UTC
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 05:37:12 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
24.650°N, 123.047°E
44 km (27.3 miles)
20 km (12 miles) NNE of Yonakuni, Japan

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWESTERN RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 08:19:57 UTC
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 05:19:57 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
24.855°N, 123.312°E
36.9 km (22.9 miles)
52 km (32 miles) NE of Yonakuni, Japan

German parliament backs Cyprus bailout

Germany's lower house of parliament voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to grant Cyprus a 10 billion euro bailout that is designed to avert bankruptcy for the tiny Mediterranean island nation and keep it in the euro zone.

Of the 602 lawmakers in the Bundestag chamber, 487 backed the rescue, under which Cyprus has agreed to impose major losses on depositors, shutter its second largest bank and raise its corporate tax rate.

Separately, German parliamentarians also backed seven-year loan extensions for bailout victims Portugal and Ireland.

This is only a drill…

North Hills Hospital is proud to be hosting one of the largest emergency preparedness drills ever held in the state of Texas this week. We will be partnering with the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council (NCTTRAC) and first responders from throughout North Texas to test our equipment and processes so that when a real disaster happens, we’re all ready to respond.

This drill is even timelier in the wake of the bombings at Monday’s Boston Marathon. Our prayers go out to the victims involved, and we are proud of the first responders – EMS, fire, police, race workers, and hospital staff - who so bravely cared for the injured.

Address: North Hills Hospital
4401 Booth Calloway Rd
Richland Hills, TX 76180

If you live near
North Hills Hospital, you will see a lot of activity in our parking lots over the next three days as the NCTTRAC sets up a mobile 140-bed hospital, along with dozens of ambulances, several AMBUS (multi-patient ambulances), and helicopters. This is only a drill and will simulate a hospital evacuation, something that might be necessary in the event of a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or prolonged power failure.

Seven-year-old girl who is amazingly immune to bird flu virus which has killed 16 people waves goodbye to quarantine

A seven-year-old girl who became Beijing’s first human case of the new strain of bird flu has been discharged from hospital today.

A daughter of poultry traders, she was the first confirmed case of H7N9 virus in the Chinese capital, but has made a full recovery, state authorities said.

The new strain of avian flu has claimed 16 lives since the outbreak two weeks ago, with the 78th human case of H7N9 virus confirmed in China today.

It's insane that we're fleeced by the energy giants AND help them avoid tax!

The energy companies are as avaricious, selfish and remote as were the big banks before the crash. Arguably, they are even worse.

Without any apparent restraint from the Government — or are they encouraged? — they have continued to increase their prices during an economic downturn. According to the industry regulator Ofgem, the profits of the big six energy suppliers will reach £100 per household over the next 12 months.

While much of the rest of the country is mired in recession, it’s boom-time for the energy giants. They have increased their profit margins from 3.3 per cent in 2011 to 7 per cent a mere two years later.

During this time of falling incomes, an average dual-fuel domestic bill — for gas and electricity — has risen from £1,095 to £1,352.

Rolands Brize a Deranged arsonist who dragged student, 23, under a bridge and tried to rape her came to UK after being released from Latvian mental hospital

A dangerous arsonist left a mental institution in Latvia and travelled to Britain where he carried out a sex attack on a student.

Rolands Brize, 25, dragged his terrified victim under a bridge where he tried to rape her as she walked home from a nightclub, a court heard.

Police responding to a 999 call from the 23-year-old found Brize still trying to attack her.

Web sleuths scour thousands of marathon blast pictures to try to identify anyone they think the FBI should be investigating

Web users have turned into detectives in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy, looking through hundreds of photos to find the person or group behind Monday's carnage. As authorities conduct their exhaustive investigation of the moments leading up to the double bombing near the finish line, Reddit and 4Chan users are doing one of their own - pointing out people they think the FBI should be talking to.

Texas fertilizer plant explosion: Scores feared dead as blast rips through fertiliser plant in Texas reducing town to a 'war zone' and sending toxic plume into the sky

Up to 70 are feared dead and scores more are injured after a huge explosion ripped through a fertilizer plant near the town of West, Texas last night, left and centre. Dozens of homes and buildings have been destroyed and several are still ablaze after the horrific blast next to an old peoples' home, right, at about 7.50pm local time, just before 1am in Britain. Fire crews are desperately battling to rescue people still thought to be trapped and a number of firefighters are reported missing. A towering plume of smoke was visible for miles around, inset right, after the explosion 20 miles north of Waco. Texas Department of Public Safety D.L. Wilson said during a press conference at midnight that it will be some time before authorities know the full extent of the loss of life and damage.

EU Says Serbia, Kosovo Have Hours Left for Deal as Report Nears

Serbia and Kosovo ended another round of European Union-mediated talks without an accord and have “some hours left” to reach a compromise before EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton presents a report.

The difference between positions held by Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Hashim Thaci, met nine times in six months with no result, “are narrow and very shallow,” Ashton said in a statement e-mailed by her office.

“As we prepare for the General Affairs Council on Monday where I will make my report, we have some hours left,” Ashton said. “I hope in that time, that both delegations will reflect on whether they can take the final steps necessary to finish this agreement and to move their people forward into the future.”

Israel ready to act on Syria weapons, warns Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told the BBC that Israel has a right to prevent weapons from falling into the wrong hands in Syria.

He said that if terrorists seized weapons such as anti-aircraft and chemical weapons they could be "game changers" in the region.

US panel praises Ma; warns about China

A panel of top US experts on Taiwan has praised President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) cross-strait policies, but warned that contingency plans were needed in case China should suddenly turn aggressive.

“Ma and Taiwan may not be ready for political talks, but the other side is sure interested in moving in that direction,” former US deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia Randall Schriver said.

He said that in relations with China, Ma’s plan was to deal with easy issues first and “the hard stuff” later.

United Arab Emirates arrests 'al-Qaeda terror suspects'

Seven members of a local al-Qaeda cell are arrested over alleged plans to attack targets in the United Arab Emirates, officials tell state media.

The group was planning actions which compromised the Gulf nation's security, according to state news agency WAM.

An unidentified source told the agency the cell recruited people, promoted al-Qaeda and provided finances and logistical support to the organisation.

All seven members are believed to be Arab nationals.

Astronomers are surprised to find a young galaxy producing new stars

Astronomers have discovered an extremely distant galaxy that is expanding by more than 2000 new stars each year.

Using the European Space Agency's Herschel space observatory they have seen images of the galaxy as it was when the Universe was less than a billion years old.

This is the most active that astronomers have seen such a young galaxy and since this discovery they are re-thinking some fundamental ideas about how galaxies form and evolve over time.

The newly discovered galaxy, known as HFLS3, appears as a faint red smudge in images from the observatory's Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey (HerMES). In reality, this represents the activities of a star-building factory, which is transforming gas and dust into new stars.

Assad says West will pay for backing al Qaeda in Syria

President Bashar al-Assad accused the West on Wednesday of supporting al Qaeda militants in Syria's civil war and warned they would turn against their backers and strike "in the heart of Europe and the United States".

Assad also launched his strongest criticism yet of neighboring Jordan for allowing thousands of fighters to cross the border to join a conflict he insisted his forces would win and save Syria from destruction.

"We have no choice but victory. If we don't win, Syria will be finished and I don't think this is a choice for any citizen in Syria," the defiant president said in a television interview.

Hundreds believed injured in TX explosion

Americans fear random violence Committed by Fellow Americans more than foreign terrorism: poll

Most Americans see the biggest threat to public safety coming from random acts of violence committed by other Americans, rather than foreign terrorism, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken in the two days since the Boston Marathon bombing.

The poll suggested that Americans have been left on edge following a string of attacks, at a Colorado movie theater, at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, at a Connecticut elementary school and now at the Boston Marathon, all since July.

Asked which events pose the biggest threat to the safety of average Americans, 56 percent of respondents said random acts of violence, such as mass shootings, committed by Americans; 32 percent said foreign terrorism committed by non-Americans; and 13 percent said politically or religiously motivated domestic terrorism committed by Americans.

North Korea demands end of sanctions if U.S. wants dialogue

North Korea offered the United States and South Korea a list of conditions for talks, including the lifting of U.N. sanctions, signaling a possible end to weeks of warlike hostility on the Korean peninsula.

In a statement issued on Thursday, North Korea's top military body also said the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula would begin when the United States removed nuclear weapons that the isolated state says Washington has deployed in the region.

The move was likely a sop to the North's only major backer, China, which has signaled its growing unease over the escalation of threats.

More than 12,000 birds crashed in Utah’s west desert Monday

The number of eared grebes rescued — and killed — after their Monday crash-landings at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground was far higher than originally estimated.

Wildlife biologists and volunteers spent Monday and Tuesday gathering 12,800 water birds, carrying the 7,828 surviving birds by pickup trucks to ponds in the region.

The birds were migrating back to the Great Salt Lake for the summer, but apparently became disoriented by snow and fog and mistook wet roads and parking lots for water. Built for water, with legs far to the back of their bodies, they can lift off from the ground only with great difficulty.

An estimated 100 birds were taken to rehabilitation facilities, Dugway spokeswoman Paula Thomas said.

Musharraf Arrest ordered by Pakistani Court

A Pakistani court has ordered the arrest of former president Pervez Musharraf in a case dating back to his 1999-2008 period in office.

The retired general immediately left the court premises in Islamabad, driving away in a jeep escorted by his bodyguards.

Mr Musharraf returned to Pakistan last month after nearly four years of self-imposed exile to contest a general election on May 11 - despite the possibility of arrest on various charges and death threats from the Pakistani Taliban.

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 18th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 05:19:05 UTC
Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 03:19:05 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
6.175°S, 149.276°E
27.2 km (16.9 miles)
30 km (18 miles) W of Kandrian, Papua New Guinea