Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Landslide kills 14 in Ecuador

A landslide swept into a village in northern Ecuador, burying homes and killing at least 14 people, authorities said Wednesday.

"There were 14 people killed in a landslide in Tabete" civil defense reported on Twitter, of the town near the Colombian border.

After days of heavy rain, the landslide buried homes in tonnes of earth and debris in the town located in Esmeraldas province, said Mayor Ernesto Estupinan of nearby Esmeraldas city.

Naperville flood damage reports top 1,000

Naperville received 1,021 reports of flood damage this week as it gathered information from residents and businesses that will be used to apply for federal aid, according to city officials.

Anyone with damage from last week's storms had until 10 a.m. today to make a report to the city that will be forwarded to county, state and ultimately federal officials.

Those officials will be touring areas damaged by the flood on April 29.,0,3913304.story

EPA building evacuated after chlorine gas leak

A chlorine gas leak on Wednesday prompted an evacuation of employees and contractors from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s campus at Research Triangle Park.

The leak occurred during decontamination research, the agency reported.

Thirty-one contractors and five federal employees were evacuated from a building at about 11:30 a.m., according to an e-mail from the agency. All employees were accounted for, and no one was hurt.

Pakistan: Torrential rains claim 6 lives in Balochistan

Torrential rains and subsequent flash floods wreaked havoc in parts of Balochistan on Wednesday and killed 6 people, including women and children in district Pasni and Turbat.

According to details, torrential rains resulted in massive flash floods in district Pasni, Mastung and Turbat. As many as 6 people were carried by rain water in coastal district of Pasni. The Levis sources said that dead bodies of the two were recovered and one of them was rescued alive whereas 3 people are still missing.

Meanwhile, the heavy floods caused by torrential downpours set afloat 4 vehicles. Resultantly, three women and a child were killed. The women and children who lost their lives belonged to Buleda. Similarly, the walls of various homes collapsed in Ghana area of the district.

Syria: Minaret Of Famous Mosque Destroyed

The minaret of a landmark 12th century mosque has collapsed in the clashes between Syrian rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad.

The minaret was in the heart of Aleppo's Old City, a United Nations world heritage site, and stood in the Umayyad Mosque.

Fighting has ravaged the Old City's stone-vaulted alleyways for months and much of the historic Sunni mosque has been greatly damaged.

Syria's state news agency SANA said rebels from the al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra group had blown it up, while anti-government activists said a Syrian army tank fired a shell that destroyed the once-soaring stone tower.

Freddie Starr Rearrested By Savile Police over additional claims

Freddie Starr has been rearrested by police investigating the Jimmy Savile scandal over new sexual offence allegations.

The comedian answered bail and was arrested for a second time over additional claims.

Scotland Yard said a man in his sixties had been "further arrested on suspicion of sexual offences in connection with further allegations made to Operation Yewtree".

Bangladesh: Building Collapse Leaves 145 Dead

At least 145 people have died after an eight-storey building collapsed on the outskirts of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka.

Another 700 are reported to have been injured in the building's collapse, which involved several clothing factories.

"The toll will rise as conditions of some injured were critical," said Hiralal Roy, a senior emergency ward doctor at the nearby Enam hospital.

Tens of thousands of people gathered at the site, some of them weeping survivors, some searching for family members, with up to 1,000 people still reported to be trapped inside the building.

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake KYUSHU, JAPAN - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 23:47:21 UTC
Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 08:47:21 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
32.908°N, 131.505°E
66.1 km (41.1 miles)
11 km (6 miles) SE of Takedamachi, Japan

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN SICHUAN, CHINA - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 22:10:31 UTC
Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 06:10:31 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
28.378°N, 104.972°E
12 km (7.5 miles)
22 km (13 miles) SSE of Changning, China

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN GREECE - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 20:12:36 UTC
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 11:12:36 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
36.760°N, 22.916°E
9.8 km (6.1 miles)
2 km (1 miles) WSW of Sykea, Greece

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 19:58:12 UTC
Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 07:58:12 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
48.606°N, 152.048°E
179.9 km (111.8 miles)
234 km (145 miles) E of Vostok, Russia

3.3 Magnitude Earthquake OKLAHOMA - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 18:04:22 UTC
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 01:04:22 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
35.690°N, 97.089°W
5 km (3.1 miles) (poorly constrained)
10 km (6 miles) ENE of Luther, Oklahoma

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake KYRGYZSTAN - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 17:08:38 UTC
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 11:08:38 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
39.577°N, 73.413°E
14.1 km (8.8 miles)
21 km (13 miles) SE of Sary-Tash, Kyrgyzstan

Schiff: 2/3 of America to Lose Everything Because of This Crisis

A record breaking stock market is distorting a frightening reality: The U.S. is being eaten alive by a horrific cancer that will ultimately destroy the economy and impoverish the vast majority of its citizens.

That's according to Peter Schiff, the best-selling author and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, who delivered his harsh warning to investors in a recent interview on Fox Business.

"I think we are heading for a worse economic crisis than we had in 2007," Schiff said. "You're going to have a collapse in the dollar...a huge spike in interest rates... and our whole economy, which is built on the foundation of cheap money, is going to topple when you pull the rug out from under it."

Schiff says that, despite "phony" signs of an economic recovery, the cancer destroying America stems from a lethal concoction of our $16 trillion federal debt and the Fed's never ending money printing.

Currently, Bernanke and company is buying $1 trillion of Treasury and mortgage bonds a year. That's about $85 billion per month against a budget deficit that is about the same level.

According to Schiff, these numbers are unsustainable. And the Fed has no credible "exit strategy."

Eventually interest rates will rise... and when they do, Schiff says, stocks will tank and bonds dip to nothing. Massive new tax hikes will be imposed and programs and entitlements will be cut to the bone.

"The crisis is imminent," Schiff said. "I don't think Obama is going to finish his second term without the bottom dropping out. And stock market investors are oblivious to the problems."

North Korea spotted constructing anti-tank traps along DMZ with "war in mind"

Controversy has followed claims by a Chinese broadcaster that the construction of tank traps in North Korea suggests that the North has “war” in mind.

Beijing TV (BTV) made the claim on the 23rd, saying that North Korea is setting up the tank traps made of logs and concrete in the vicinity of the demilitarized zone to protect against invasion from South Korea.

The report showed footage of soldiers installing large pillars alongside the road, saying that the intent was to stop the northward entry of opposition forces in the event of war.

“The installation of tank traps is not something that we ordinarily see,” it claimed. “It looks like the North Korean soldiers have war in mind.”

Added info:
This is not the first observance in recent times of North Korea preparing itself for either an attack from South Korea, or against repercussions that may take place as the result of one of its "provocations".

Koko the Gorilla Cries Over the Loss of a Kitten: Proof Enough that All Creatures Have Feelings, and that Humans Must Rethink Their Ways

NY Police: "We need more cameras"

The city’s security “Ring of Steel’’ must be widened, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday.

Touring the Police Department’s Lower Manhattan Security Initiative — a center where scores of workers scour constant images from 4,000 cameras around town — Kelly said he wants to “increase significantly’’ the amount of surveillance-video equipment feeding into the site.

“We have roughly 4,000 cameras that are monitored in this center,’’ he said, referring to a surveillance system that also includes images from private security cameras.

“I’d like to see that increase significantly and to other boroughs,’’ he said of the coverage. “We’re mostly focused in Manhattan here.”

The commissioner, accompanied by Mayor Bloomberg to the site at 55 Broadway, said he had “no reason to believe” that the Boston bombers also planned to hit New York City.

But “are we vulnerable here to something similar to what happened in Boston? Absolutely,’’ Kelly said.

“There are no guarantees,’’ he said. “No question about it. What we are trying to do [with the influx of crime-fighting technology] is move the odds in our favor.”

UFO attack at Naval Base?

'Sick' Boston Marathon bombing game which shows dead and injured runners lying on the street hits the internet

Sean Collier memorial service: Slain Uni Police Officer Remembered

A memorial service is being held for Sean Collier - a university police officer killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

Up to 10,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology students, faculty and staff as well as law enforcement officials from across the US gathered at Wednesday's service at Briggs Field to pay solemn tribute to the fallen campus officer.

Vice President Joe Biden also joined members of Mr Collier's family at the event which is not open to the public.

German SPD says EU can't ditch austerity

Germany's opposition Social Democrats (SPD) do not believe the time for debt and deficit reduction in Europe is over yet, but see a need to focus more on growth to combat unemployment in southern Europe, a top SPD politician told Reuters.

As Europe debates whether it can stand more of the austerity led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom the SPD aims to oust in an election in September, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he did not think the European Commission was ready to call the dogs off.

The SPD parliamentary leader, asked in an interview on Wednesday about suggestions the European Union should loosen the fiscal reins on the euro zone, said structural reform, reducing debt and "a minimum of growth" were complementary aims.

Syria crisis: EU says 500 Europeans have joined fight

• The EU's anti-terrorist chief Gilles de Kerchove estimates that around 500 Europeans are now fighting with rebel forces in Syria against Bashar al-Assad's regime. In an interview with the BBC he said: "Not all of them are radical when they leave, but most likely many of them will be radicalised there, will be trained. And as we've seen this might lead to a serious threat when they get back."

Syria: We would not use chemical arms, even against Israel

After IDF official accuses Syria of using chemical weapons against rebels, Syrian information minister says even if Assad regime does have chemical arms, leadership won't use them "for moral reasons."

Damascus will not use chemical weapons against its own citizens, or in the event of war with its neighbor Israel, Syria's Information Minister was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

A senior Israeli intelligence officer said on Tuesday that Syrian government forces had used chemical weapons against rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

Meteorite crashes through roof in Connecticut, scientist says

A Yale scientist says a rock that crashed through the roof of a home in Wolcott was a meteorite.

Police say resident Larry Bech called them Saturday morning to report that his home had been damaged by a falling rock the night before.

Authorities suspected the object was a piece of runway from a nearby airport.

But Stefan Nicolescu, the collections manager for the Mineralogy Division at the Yale Peabody Museum, examined the rock and tells WVIT-TV it is a meteorite.

Arizona man arrested after dramatic chase

A man is arrested on suspicion of trying to rob a check-cashing store following a dramatic car chase in the U.S. state of Arizona.

Bangladesh factory collapse kills nearly 100

A block housing garment factories and shops collapsed in Bangladesh on Wednesday, killing nearly 100 people and injuring more than a thousand, officials said.

Firefighters and troops dug frantically through the rubble at the eight-storey Rana Plaza building in Savar, 30 km (20 miles) outside Dhaka. Television showed young women workers, some apparently semi-conscious, being pulled out.

One fireman told Reuters about 2,000 people were in the building when the upper floors slammed down onto those below.

Illinois Shooting: Five people shot dead in Illinois town, mayor says

Five people are dead and one injured as a result of a shooting in the tiny southern Illinois town of Manchester, the mayor confirmed in a television interview on Wednesday.

"We got five confirmed fatalities, one wounded and in the hospital, and the shooter's been apprehended," Mayor Ronald Drake said in an interview on the St. Louis Fox television station.

Drake could provide no names or other details about the victims. He said his pager went off at about 4:45 a.m. local time this morning, alerting him to an emergency with "multiple victims."

Syria expects more financial aid from Russia, Iran

Syria hopes to clinch more financial aid from its allies Russia and Iran soon, but still has enough foreign reserves to pursue its war on rebels trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad, the central bank governor said.

Speaking at the bank's headquarters, hit by a car bomb on April 8, Adeeb Mayaleh said: "We are expecting much more support from friendly countries... Yes, financial support from Iran and Russia and it could also be from other friendly countries.

"Discussions are going on. We are in the process of putting the final touches on the subject of financial aid in a clear way," he told Reuters in an interview, without specifying how much money Iran and Russia would provide.

H7N9: Taiwan Reports First Case Of Lethal Bird Flu

Taiwan has reported the first case of bird flu outside the Chinese mainland.

The news comes as international experts probing China's deadly H7N9 bird flu virus said it is "one of the most lethal influenza viruses" seen so far.

China has confirmed 108 cases and 22 deaths since the first infections were announced on March 31 and Taiwan has now confirmed its first infection in a man who had recently returned from working in eastern China where most cases have been reported.

"This is definitely one of the most lethal influenza viruses we have seen so far," said Keiji Fukuda, one of the leading flu experts for the World Health Organisation which has led a team on a week-long visit to China to study the virus.

Mr Fukuda told a news conference that the latest strain was more easily transmissible than the more common H5N1 strain of bird flu

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake VANUATU - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 14:08:57 UTC
Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 01:08:57 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
18.723°S, 169.222°E
233.2 km (144.9 miles)
92 km (57 miles) N of Isangel, Vanuatu

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake SOLOMON ISLANDS - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 14:07:01 UTC
Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 01:07:01 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
10.199°S, 161.416°E
72.1 km (44.8 miles)
64 km (39 miles) WNW of Kirakira, Solomon Islands

H7N9: New bird flu strain "one of most lethal": WHO

A new bird flu strain that has killed 22 people in China is "one of the most lethal" of its kind and transmits more easily to humans than another strain that has killed hundreds since 2003, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on Wednesday.

The H7N9 flu has infected 108 people in China since it was first detected in March, according to the Geneva-based WHO.

Although it is not clear exactly how people are being infected, experts say they see no evidence so far of the most worrisome scenario - sustained transmission between people.

An international team of scientists led by the WHO and the Chinese government conducted a five-day investigation in China, but said they were no closer to determining whether the virus might become transmissible between people.

"The situation remains complex and difficult and evolving," said Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's assistant director-general for health security.

"When we look at influenza viruses, this is an unusually dangerous virus for humans," he said at a briefing.

Afghanistan quake kills at least four, wounds 69

An earthquake centered in Afghanistan's east killed at least four people and injured almost 70, after wet weather weakened the country's traditional mud-brick homes, officials said on Wednesday.

The 5.7 magnitude quake was felt as far away as the Indian capital of New Delhi, the latest in a string of tremors to shake Asia this month.

The quake was 40 miles deep with an epicenter 11 km (seven miles) from Mehtar Lam, the capital of Afghanistan's eastern province of Laghman, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's website.

China calls Japan-U.S. island drill "provocative"

China said on Wednesday that "provocative actions" would not sway it from defending its territory, after Japan confirmed it would conduct military drills with the United States amid tension between Beijing and Tokyo over disputed islands.

Japan said on Tuesday that the joint drill, scheduled for June off California, involved the recapture of an isolated island but was not aimed at scenarios involving a specific country, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported.

China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said "foreign pressure" could not sway China from protecting its territorial sovereignty in the East China Sea.

China: 21 Dead In 'Terrorist Gang' Clashes

Twenty-one people are reported to have died in what Chinese authorities describe as violent clashes between the authorities and "a terrorist gang".

Among the dead in the north western region of Xinjiang were 15 police officers and local government officials, the Xinjiang government propaganda office said in a news release, adding that six assailants were killed on the spot and another eight captured alive.

"Initial investigations show this was a gang plotting to carry out terrorist acts and the case is now being further cracked open," the statement said.

Bulletproof Whiteboards: Schools Get 'Shields'

Bulletproof whiteboards are being introduced in some US schools in what is being seen as adding a last-resort layer of safety for teachers and students against shootings.

The schools include one where there was an attack a decade ago in which two students were killed.

The 18-by-20in (46-51cms) boards use a material apparently stronger than police-issue bulletproof vests and can be used as a shield in an emergency.

May: Qatada Fight Could Last 'Many Months'......Try years!

Abu Qatada could finally be kicked out of Britain thanks to a new treaty agreed with Jordan but it could take "many months", Theresa May has told MPs.

The Home Secretary revealed in a Commons statement that she had secured "fair trial guarantees" for the radical cleric from the Jordanian government.

She declared they gave Britain "every chance" of ejecting the terror suspect, who has dodged deportation for years, once the treaty has been fully ratified.

But she warned the terror suspect would not be "on a plane within days" because he could still launch a series of appeals against any new decision.

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 11:23:18 UTC
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 10:23:18 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
11.823°S, 165.181°E
10 km (6.2 miles)
141 km (87 miles) SSW of Lata, Solomon Islands

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 10:56:45 UTC
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 02:56:45 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
53.757°N, 165.238°W
40 km (24.9 miles)
54 km (33 miles) SE of Akutan, Alaska

Bangladesh: Dozens Dead After Building Fall

At least 70 people have died after an eight-storey building collapsed on the outskirts of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka.

Another 700 are reported to have been injured in the building's collapse which involved several garment factories.

"The toll will rise as conditions of some injured were critical," said Hiralal Roy, a senior emergency ward doctor at the nearby Enam hospital.

5.7 Magnitude Earthquake HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 09:25:30 UTC
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 01:55:30 PM at epicenter
34.570°N, 70.228°E
65.1 km (40.5 miles)
26 km (16 miles) NW (307°) from Jalalabad, Afghanistan

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake BIO-BIO, CHILE - 24th April 2013

Magnitude ML 4.6
Date time 2013-04-24 08:58:12.0 UTC
Location 36.51 S ; 72.47 W
Depth 80 km
29 km NW of Bulnes, Chile / pop: 12,715 / local time: 04:58:12.0 2013-04-24

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake COSTA RICA - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 07:35:34 UTC
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 01:35:34 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
10.092°N, 83.226°W
28.7 km (17.8 miles)
25 km (16 miles) WNW (294°) from Limon, Costa Rica

Godfrey Bloom presents "the voice of the European Parliament"

Netanyahu can't confirm Syria chemical weapons use: Kerry

Chile forest fire rips through dozens of homes

'US miscalculated provocation of N. Korea, stepping back'

China-US Squabble: Beijing slams 'woeful' US human rights record

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Parents Face Questioning

US diplomats have travelled to Russia's Dagestan region to interview the parents of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

A delegation from the American embassy in Moscow has made the journey to the North Caucasus area to interview the pair, Anzor and Zubeidat Tsarnaev.

An embassy official said the trip was in line with the co-operation between the FBI and Russian authorities over the investigation into the deadly bombings allegedly carried out by brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON): First glimpse of 'comet of the century'

The Hubble Space Telescope has given astronomers their clearest view yet of Comet ISON, which experts believe could light up the sky in a breathtaking display later this year.

The image of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) was photographed on April 10, when the comet was slightly closer than Jupiter’s orbit at a distance of 386 million miles from the Sun, and 394 million miles from Earth.

Experts believe it will get dramatically brighter as it swings around the sun in late November, with some claiming the comet could shine brighter than Venus or even the full moon.

Bizarre whirlpool appears in Latvian river sucking everything in its path into watery vortex

Marvell Edmonson swept to his death after he was 'forced to cross river in hazing ritual' for group called 'Men of Honor'

Marvell Edmonson, left, was swept to his death three days ago, after seven male students were pulled down the Appomattox River as part of an initiation ritual. Four men have been charged in his death, including Cory Baytop, top right, Eriq Benson, middle right, and James Mackey, bottom right. Edmonson's body was recovered on Monday, while fellow freshman Jauwan M. Holmes, also 19, remained missing. Police divers were searching the river for his body.

Los Angeles pays $4.2million to mother and daughter mistakenly shot by cops in Chris Dorner manhunt

The city of Los Angeles reached a $4.2million settlement with a mother and daughter who were shot and wounded when police mistakenly opened fire on them while hunting for disgruntled ex-cop Christopher Dorner.

The money will be split evenly, with $2.1million going to each woman, said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the city attorney's office.

The payout, which will help the victims cover legal fees, medical bills and emotional damages, must still be approved by the Los Angeles City Council.

Randolph Maidens 'shot dead his orthodontist wife in their country club home while their daughter, 2, was inside'

Randolph Maidens, 42, allegedly shot dead his wife at their home in Brentwood, Tennessee before leaving his daughter with her body and eluding authorities for 12 hours. Authorities found the body of Rachael Maidens (pictured) after they responded to a welfare check at the home and launched a massive manhunt for Maidens. He was seen trying to get into the back door of his home the following morning. Their daughter was unharmed and is now with relatives.

Russia 'warned FBI about Boston bomber 'MULTIPLE' times but 'feds were more interested in al Qaeda than Chechens'

Authorities in Russia warned the FBI ‘multiple times’ about Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, though the ethnic Chechen could have slipped through the cracks because he was not linked to al Qaeda, it was revealed Tuesday by U.S. Senators who were briefed on the terrorist attacks.

The federal agency looked into the eldest brother in 2011 after the Russian government contacted them, warning that Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have deveoped radical Islamic ties following a prolonged trip to Russia, including Muslim-predominant Dagestan.

However, after its initial search and interviews with him and his family members, the FBI closed the case, and has come under intense scrutiny for doing so.

Sunil Tripathi: Body found in search for Sunil Tripathi, a week after being FALSELY accused of being the Boston Marathon bomber

Police found the body of a man in the Providence River and they think it is 'very possible' that it is missing student Sunil Tripathi who was wrongly accused of being one of the Boston Marathon bombers.

Tripathi, 22, was a Brown University student and has been missing since the middle of March.

Authorities will not know for sure if it is the missing student until Wednesday, but police lieutenant Joseph Donnelly told The Boston Globe that 'it's very, very possible' that it is Tripathi.

China to build second, larger carrier: report

China will build a second, larger aircraft carrier capable of carrying more fighter jets, the official Xinhua news service reported late Tuesday, quoting a senior officer with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

The report comes after Chinese officials denied foreign media reports in September 2012 that China was building a second carrier in Shanghai.

"China will have more than one aircraft carrier ... The next aircraft carrier we need will be larger and carry more fighters," Xinhua quoted Song Xue, deputy chief of staff of the PLA Navy, as saying at a ceremony with foreign military attaches.

Israeli spy says Syria used chemical arms, U.S. unconvinced

Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons - probably nerve gas - in their fight against rebels trying to force out President Bashar al-Assad, the Israeli military's top intelligence analyst said on Tuesday.

The assessment met with skepticism from the United States, which has declared any use of chemical weapons in Syria's two-year-old civil war a "red line" that could trigger intervention.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the latter "was not in a position to confirm" the briefing given by Itai Brun, a military intelligence brigadier-general, at a Tel Aviv conference.

Canada train plot suspects in court; to fight charges

Two men charged with an alleged al Qaeda-backed plot to derail a Canadian passenger train made their first court appearances on Tuesday, and the lawyer for one said his client would fight the charges vigorously.

Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto and Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal face charges that include conspiring with each other "to murder unknown persons ... for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group."

They were arrested on Monday in separate raids after what police said was a joint Canada-U.S. investigation that started in the middle of last year after a tip from a member of the Muslim community.

Officers detained Jaser at his home, a semi-detached house in a north Toronto neighborhood, and arrested Esseghaier at a McDonald's restaurant at Montreal's main train station.

Tsarnaev's name was on classified watch lists

The name of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was listed on the U.S. government's highly classified central database of people it views as potential terrorists. But the list is so vast that this did not mean authorities automatically kept close tabs on him, sources close to the bombing investigation said on Tuesday.

Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a police shootout early Friday, while his younger brother Dzhokhar, 19, was captured later that day. Prosecutors say the brothers, ethnic Chechens who had been living in the United States for more than a decade, planted two bombs that exploded near the finish line of the marathon on April 15, killing three people and wounding more than 200.

Italy president set to announce choice for prime minister

Italy's president Giorgio Napolitano is set to announce on Wednesday his choice of prime minister to form a new government and pull the euro zone's third largest economy out of a two-month political rut.

The new coalition government, which could take office in a matter of days, would be backed primarily by the rivals on the center-left and center-right, the same parties that had refused to cut a deal since national elections in late February.

The person in pole position to receive the mandate is former Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, although the mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi and center-left deputy leader Enrico Letta have also emerged as possible candidates.

Chinese Hacking Suspects 'Back In Business'

A group of Chinese hackers suspected of being behind a cyber-attack on the New York Times earlier this year may be restarting their campaign.

BAE Systems, the defence contractor, says it has unearthed evidence that indicates the group is active for the first time since February, when the hackers were accused of being linked to a Chinese military unit in Shanghai.

Although the connection has not been proven, the hacking group went immediately quiet on the day the allegation was made. Now analysts believe the hackers are ready to strike again.

Boston Bombings: Suspect 'Brainwashed'

The family of Boston bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev have claimed he fell under the influence of a Muslim convert and was steered towards a strict strain of Islam in the years before the attacks.

After befriending the man, known to the Tsarnaev family only as Misha, Tamerlan gave up boxing and stopped studying music, his family said.

He became vocal about his opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and read websites claiming that the CIA was behind the 9/11 terror attacks and Jews controlled the world.

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 06:21:19 UTC
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 03:21:19 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
32.372°N, 139.076°E
223.7 km (139.0 miles)
103 km (64 miles) SW of Hachijo-jima, Japan

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN IRAN - 24th April 2013

Magnitude mb 4.7
Date time 2013-04-24 06:05:03.0 UTC
Location 28.91 N ; 51.51 E
Depth 30 km
48 km SE of Borāzjān, Iran / pop: 86,059 / local time: 10:35:03.0 2013-04-24

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake PAPUA, INDONESIA - 24th April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 05:01:49 UTC
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 02:01:49 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
4.856°S, 139.454°E
50.3 km (31.3 miles)
163 km (101 miles) NW of Tanahmerah, Indonesia

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN IRAN - 24th April 2013

Magnitude ML 4.0
Date time 2013-04-24 03:51:14.3 UTC
Location 27.90 N ; 55.00 E
Depth 36 km
88 km E of Gerāsh, Iran / pop: 25,316 / local time: 08:21:14.3 2013-04-24

Seoul, South Korea: Purposefully designed so that apartment buildings act as "human wall" against incoming artillery bombardments, mazes for invading troops, and portals from which to launch counter-strikes

First-time visitors to South Korea will be amazed by the dense maze of high-rise apartments shooting up in and around Seoul. The bewildering sensory overload that some of our readers may have experienced (and still live with) may be partially explained when finding out that the very apartment serves more than one purpose of providing roof over one’s head – absorbing shells and delaying the advancing North Korean army to be precise. It is often very easy to forget how militarized South Korea is. Yet many South Koreans complain about the tiny coffin-space of an apartment they live in.

Is this the end of austerity? Top EU official warns cuts have lost 'political and social support' as it is revealed even Germany is suffering from downturn....Well we wouldn't want Germany to suffer

Europe's punishing austerity policies could soon be coming to an end after a top EU official suggested that the pace of spending cuts should be slowed.

Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, said that austerity had 'reached its limits' and worried that the programme had lost 'political and social support'.

The dramatic U-turn came after new economic figures suggested that Germany was facing an economic slowdown and Angela Merkel warned that Brussels might soon be dictating national budgets. (Brussels can only dictate to the other countries, but not Germany...Why is that?)

DNA tests on six-inch skeleton of 'alien-looking' creature with over-sized head prove it was actually human claim scientists in new documentary

Ten years after the mummified remains of a six-inch supposed ‘space alien’ were first discovered they have been confirmed as ‘human’ by scientists in a new documentary film Sirius.

Since the remains of the small humanoid - known as the 'Atacama Humanoid' and nicknamed Ata - were discovered in Chile's Atacama Desert 10 years ago there has been much speculation about its origins.

Theories have included that the bones were those of an aborted fetus, or a monkey, or even an alien that had crash-landed on earth.

Paedophile Stelios Kimpriktzis with HIV jailed for having unprotected sex with young boy WINS legal battle to allow him to work in places where children are present

Top judges say there is nothing they can do to stop a 'predatory paedophile' with HIV - jailed for having unprotected sex with a young boy - from working in many jobs where he could encounter children.

Stelios Kimpriktzis, 38, groomed his underage victim online and lured him to woods where he persuaded him to have sex. He concealed his illness.

The former shopworker, of Ivy Leigh, Liverpool, was jailed for three years at Chester Crown Court after he was convicted of two counts of sexual activity with a child, one of meeting a child after sexual grooming and one of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm in April 2006.

Guantanamo prisoner 'near death'

The term enemy combatant has become a familiar one since 9/11, after it was used for detainees who were sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Dozens of prisoners at that detention camp are currently on their tenth week of a hunger strike.

American authorities there say that 84 – half of the prisoners – are not eating.

Carlos Warner, a public defender who represents 11 of the detainees, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday that multiple sources tell him that the number is actually 130 of the 166 prisoners; he is afraid many of them will die soon.

“And let's remember, 86 of these men have been cleared for release,” Warner told Amanpour. “They've been accused of nothing. They are not only innocent, but the government has agreed they're not dangerous to release.”

Spain: 2 men held for 'al Qaeda links'

Spanish police arrested two suspected terrorists with apparent links to an al Qaeda-affiliated group Tuesday but said they had no indication of an imminent attack.

The Interior Ministry identified the suspects as Nou Mediouni, 23, from Algeria, who was arrested in the north-central city of Zaragoza, and Hassan El Jaaouani, 52, from Morocco, who was detained in the southeastern city of Murcia.

Spanish police worked with their counterparts in France and Morocco to carry out the latest arrests, an Interior Ministry statement said.

Bogus tweet: White House attack

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev says Iraq, Afghanistan drove Boston bombings

The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has cited the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as motivating factors behind last week's attack, a U.S. government official said Tuesday.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been able to communicate with investigators in a limited fashion from his hospital bed and told them that neither he nor his brother Tamerlan, now dead, had any contact with terrorist groups overseas. The official cautioned that the interviews were preliminary, however, and that Tsarnaev's account needs to be checked out.

The 19-year-old has told investigators the brothers were self-radicalized via the Internet. Investigators also are looking into whether the online English-language magazine Inspire, put out by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was used for instruction on how to make the bombs, but another source cautioned that other outlets could have provided that information.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible Second child dies after parents choose prayer over doctors

A Philadelphia couple who turned to prayer instead of doctors has lost a second child — violating their probation.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible were serving 10 years probation after the 2009 death of their 2-year-old son — who died from pneumonia — when their 8-month-old son died after suffering for days with diarrhea and breathing problems.

The Schaibles belong to a fundamentalist church that believes in faith-healing. Their refusal to take their infant to the doctor violated a key condition of their probation: to seek medical care for their remaining children, Philadelphia Judge Benjamin Lerner said in a hearing.

Charges may be filed once the baby’s cause of death has been determined. The Schaibles pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for the death of their first son.

Attacks on Egypt's oppostion on the rise

Rights groups say attacks on opposition activists and critical media in Egypt are on the rise. In parliamet, the Islamist regime is quickly trying to pass legislation that will further limit citizens' freedom of speech.

It is dangerous to speak out openly against the Egyptian leadership. A wrong word against President Morsi or the Islamists backing him can be enough to end up on trial with charges of insulting the President or Islam.

Since Morsi took office, there have been some 600 complaints filed against people working in the media, according to the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR). The Muslim Brotherhood and the president frequently accuse media figures of instigating unrest in the population.

Homeless China quake survivors face fragile future

Tens of thousands of homeless survivors of China’s devastating quake are living in makeshift tents or on the streets, facing shortages of food and supplies as well as an uncertain future.

Saturday’s disaster has left at least 193 dead, 25 missing and more than 12,000 injured, and forced the evacuation of some 245,000 people in Sichuan province in China’s mountainous southwest, according to Chinese and UN data.

Along Chonglu Road, which cuts through the heart of the worst-affected area in Sichuan’s Lushan county, hundreds of tents have been erected in front of piles of debris that were once orderly rows of homes.

Many of the displaced headed for the relative safety of Lushan’s densely populated centre, spending their nights outdoors in sleeping bags on the grassy mounds surrounding Lushan People’s Hospital.

Space debris collisions expected to rise

Unless space debris is actively tackled, some satellite orbits will become extremely hazardous over the next 200 years, a new study suggests.

The research found that catastrophic collisions would likely occur every five to nine years at the altitudes used principally to observe the Earth.

And the scientists who did the work say their results are optimistic - the real outcome would probably be far worse.

To date, there have been just a handful of major collisions in the space age.

Abu Qatada statement from Theresa May expected

Theresa May will make a statement to MPs later about the fight to deport Abu Qatada, after the Appeal Court refused to refer his case to the Supreme Court.

Mrs May wanted the UK's top court to reverse a lower court's ruling that he could face an unfair trial if deported to Jordan to face terror charges.

The home secretary has met the PM and the justice secretary to discuss the next move in the cleric's case.

Mrs May will now seek permission for a direct appeal to the Supreme Court.

Kidnapped Syrian bishops' whereabouts remain unclear

Confusion surrounds the whereabouts of two Orthodox bishops kidnapped in Syria on Monday, but who were said to have been freed on Tuesday.

There were reports that the two men, Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji, were back in the city of Aleppo.

But other sources with links to the bishops have told the BBC this is not so and their families are still worried about their whereabouts.

They had been returning from the Turkish border when they were seized.

IDF official: Assad regime is using chemical weapons.......But have no Proof!

The regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad is using chemical weapons, Brig.-Gen. Itai Baron, head of the Research Division at Military Intelligence, stated on Tuesday.

Speaking at a conference held by the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Baron said that Assad has access to an enormous arsenal of chemical weapons, and that some of those deadly arms have already been put to use, including the probable use of poisonous Sarin gas.

“We believe the regime has, and is using chemical weapons,” Baron said.