Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Coronavirus: Should I worry about new virus?

When the head of the World Health Organization says a new virus is her "greatest concern right now," people worldwide may wonder whether they should be concerned.

This new coronavirus, which experts recently named MERS-CoV or Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, first surfaced in Saudi Arabia in March 2012.

It's in the same family of viruses as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome - coronavirus) as well as the common cold -- but the new virus is not SARS.

H7N9 bird flu and swine flu can 'combine and mutate'

The H7N9 bird flu virus may combine with the swine flu and mutate into a new virus strain, a University of Hong Kong research team warns.

The team's study, reported by the South China Morning Post yesterday, confirmed that the bird flu could be transmitted through the air and suggested it might already be spreading among humans.

"It is possible that this virus can evolve further to form the basis of a future pandemic threat," said Maria Zhu Huachen, an assistant professor of research at HKU's school of public health.

The team, which officially announced their findings yesterday, discovered that both ferrets and pigs could contract H7N9.

Sixth rabies case reported for Orange County

A raccoon attack on the Orange County side of Durham’s Eno River Trail on May 24 led to a dog’s injury and yet another rabies case.

It was the sixth reported rabies case for the county in 2013.

A resident was walking her dog when she heard a noise from under a nearby tree and a raccoon “aggressively approached,” according to the Orange County Animal Services Department. The dog defended itself, but the raccoon hurt the dog.

Student dies from infectious meningitis in North Hungary

A secondary-school student has died in infectious meningitis in Vac, N Hungary, the chief medical officer of Budapest and Pest county confirmed to MTI on Tuesday.

The girl, who was treated with symptoms of rhinitis, died on Saturday in the morning, Zsuzsanna Homor said.

Microbiological examinations have revealed that her death had been caused by the neisseria meningitidis bacterium, the pathogen of infectious meningitis.

Alaska Town Floods As Ice Jam Clogs River

A remote Alaska town is being evacuated after a 30-mile ice jam on Alaska's Yukon River caused a rapid flood that has filled buildings with seven feet of water.

The floodwaters in Galena continued to rise on Wednesday, lifting homes there off their foundations and threatening to breach a barrier that protects the tiny airport.

Most of the town's 500 residents have left the area. National Weather Service hydrologist Ed Plumb said the ice jam was starting to show some signs of breaking up, as water began surging through gaps on Wednesday.

Syria: Chemical Weapons Claims By Britain

Britain has given the United Nations new information about alleged chemical weapons use by the Syrian government.

If confirmed, the attacks would heap further pressure on Western countries supporting Syrian rebels to intervene in the conflict.

Britain's UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the UK sent a letter to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon last week with information about the three alleged attacks, asking that they be included an ongoing UN investigation.

Christian Barnes Arrested Over Disneyland Explosion

Police have arrested a Disneyland employee on suspicion of placing a dry ice bomb in a bin at the California theme park.

Anaheim police sergeant Bob Dunn said detectives arrested 22-year-old Christian Barnes of Long Beach on suspicion of possessing a destructive device.

The small blast on Tuesday evening in the Mickey's Toontown section of the park, wheree children can visit the homes of Mickey Mouse and other characters, was caused by dry ice placed inside a bottle and left in a trash bin, according to police.

NY Mayor Bloomberg Sent 'Ricin-Laced' Letters

Police say two anonymous letters sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have tested positive for traces of the deadly poison ricin.

The threatening letters were opened on Friday in New York at the city's mail facility, and on Sunday in Washington DC at the headquarters of a nonprofit organisation Mr Bloomberg supports, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Both were addressed to Mr Bloomberg and contained threats related to the gun control debate.

Police say preliminary testing indicated the presence of ricin.

Food Banks: Half A Million Britons 'Reliant On Food Banks'

More than half a million people in the UK are now reliant on food banks, a new report has found.

Factors behind the increase on those using emergency help include rising food prices, unemployment and energy costs, the research by Church Action On Poverty and Oxfam said.

But up to half of those seeking help were doing so as a direct result of having benefit payments delayed, reduced or withdrawn, their report said.

Robert Bales To Plead Guilty over Afghan Massacre

A US soldier charged with murdering 16 Afghans, including several women and children, after slipping away from his base is to plead guilty in order to avoid execution.

Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales will plead guilty to charges of premeditated murder on June 5 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where he has been awaiting court martial, according to lawyer John Henry Browne.

The plea deal must be approved by the judge in the case and the commanding general.

Nichole Cable Charged With Murder After 'Bungled Kidnap'

A man has been charged with murdering a girl after staging her kidnapping and rescue so he could look like a hero.

Nichole Cable, 15, went missing on Sunday, May 12, and her body was found in a wooded area of Old Town in Penobscot County, Maine, a week later

A police affidavit has accused Kyle Dube of setting up a fake Facebook account to lure Nichole out of her house in Glenburn.

Mammoth Blood Find Boosts Bid To Clone Beast

Russian scientists have discovered blood inside the carcass of a prehistoric woolly mammoth.

The rare find, which was made during an expedition to a remote island in the Arctic Ocean, could boost the chances of successfully cloning the animal.

Semyon Grigoryev, the head of the expedition, said the female mammoth died at the age of about 60 some 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, and that it was the first time an old female had been found.

But what was more surprising was that the carcass was so well preserved that it still had blood and muscle tissue.

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake TAIWAN - 30th May 2013

Magnitude ML 4.6
Date time 2013-05-30 03:14:43.3 UTC
Location 23.90 N ; 121.71 E
Depth 42 km
13 km SE of Hualian, Taiwan / pop: 350,468 / local time: 11:14:43.3 2013-05-30

5.4 Magnitude Earthquake LUZON, PHILIPPINES - 30th May 2013

Magnitude mb 5.4
Date time 2013-05-30 02:24:20.0 UTC
Location 17.76 N ; 120.85 E
Depth 40 km
29 km NE of Calaba, Philippines / pop: 2,482 / local time: 10:24:20.0 2013-05-30

Michael Adebowale officially charged with Woolwich murder

Michael Adebowale has been charged with the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, who was hacked to death in a street attack last week.

The Metropolitan Police said it had charged the 22-year-old following his release from hospital after authorisation from the Crown Prosecution Service late on Wednesday evening.

He had been questioned by officers during the day.

Adebowale is charged with the murder of the soldier, who died of multiple incised wounds, as well as possession of a 9.4mm KNIL Model 91 Revolver firearm.

He will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court later.

Adebowale was injured when he and his alleged co-accomplice Michael Adebolajo, 28, were shot by officers at the scene of the attack in south east London.

"This man is now charged with serious criminal offences and he has the right to a fair trial," said Sue Hemming, head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division.

"It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice this trial."

Adebolajo remains in hospital in a stable condition.


Forebodings were voiced Wednesday, May 29, by senior Israeli military officers in the face of the widening military intervention in the Syria civil war by Russia, Iran, Hizballah and latterly Iraq too. They have made Syria’s civil war the platform for a Russian contest against the West and a ladder up which Iran and its proxy Hizballah are climbing to top Middle East regional power spot.

Russia, Iran and Hizballah are winning the contest by default against an unresisting US-led West and a hesitant Israel.

A senior IDF officer acknowledged on Wednesday, May 29, that Israel’s government and military leaders are at a loss on how to proceed. They have yet to recover from the calamitous miscalculation that Bashar Assad’s days were numbered to which they clung stubbornly for almost eighteen months.

Even today, some spokesmen refer to a “disintegrating Syria,” thereby losing sight of the major strategic and military changes overtaking the country that are entirely to Israel’s detriment as well as eroding its options against a nuclear Iran.

At a time that the US and Israel should be using their heaviest military guns to slow Iran’s race for a nuclear bomb, Tehran with Moscow's backing has brought its military assets up close to Israel’s borders in Syria and Lebanon and openly threatens to use them.

Buddhist mobs attack Muslim homes in Myanmar, one dead, in unprovoked rage due to surge of "Nationalism"

Security forces struggled to control Buddhist mobs who burned Muslim homes on Wednesday for a second day in the northern Myanmar city of Lashio in a dangerous widening of ultra-nationalist Buddhist violence.

Scores of young men and boys on motorbikes and on foot marauded through the city of 130,000 people, some singing nationalist songs, a day after a mosque and religious school were torched.

One person was killed and four were wounded in fighting, Ye Htut, spokesman for President Thein Sein, said in a Facebook post. Police fired guns to disperse the crowds, he said.

The violence in this city in a mountainous region near Myanmar's northeastern border with China, about 700 km (430 miles) from the commercial capital Yangon, shows how far anti-Muslim anger is spreading in the Buddhist-dominated country.

Matt's thoughts:
*Patiently awaits the "Commonsense 101:..." comment regarding Buddhist violence and hatred*

Gitmo-UK? British 'secret prison' holds up to 90 Afghans without charges

Syrian opposition Refuse Peace talks Again!

The Syrian opposition said on Wednesday it would only take part in planned international peace talks if a deadline was set for a settlement that forces President Bashar al-Assad to leave power.

In its first official reaction to the Geneva conference being prepared by the United States and Russia, the opposition coalition adopted a declaration calling for "binding international guarantees" for any resolution of Syria's two-year-old conflict.

The statement, issued after seven days of meetings driven by internal dispute, demanded "the removal of the head of the regime and the security and military command".

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA - 29th May 2013

Magnitude M 4.8
Date time 2013-05-29 18:21:56.0 UTC
Location 55.55 N ; 162.85 E
Depth 100 km
264 km E of Esso, Russia / pop: 1,965 / local time: 07:21:56.0 2013-05-30

European Stocks Fall Broadly

European stocks fell Wednesday as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development issued a gloomy forecast for economic growth and investors worried that the U.S. Federal Reserve will soon scale back its stimulus effort.

The benchmark Stoxx 600 index fell 1.9% to 302.50. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index lost 2% to 6627.17, shedding 135 points only a day after a 108-point rise. Germany's DAX retreated 1.7% to 8336.58, and France's CAC-40 shed 1.9% to 3974.12.

The OECD said it expects economic output in the euro zone to contract 0.6% this year, deeper than the 0.1% contraction forecast in November.

JCPenney's 'Hitler' Tea Kettle Sells Out Online

Updated, May 29, 1 p.m. You’ll have to visit JC Penney stores in person to buy the tea kettle that resembles former German Chancellor and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

Over Memorial Day weekend, a user on social news site Reddit noticed something odd: a tea kettle that looked like Hitler. The Michael Graves Design Bells and Whistles Stainless Steel Tea Kettle ($40) recently showed up on a JC Penney billboard near Culver City, Calif. (If you don’t see the leader of the Third Reich, it’s all about the negative space created by the kettle’s Hitler-hair handle, like seeing the arrow in the FedEx logo.) By Tuesday morning, the kettle had gone viral. By Tuesday afternoon, it was sold out on JC Penney’s site.

Brussels steps up pressure on Hollande

Brussels has cranked up the rising pressure on President François Hollande to take bold action to revive the French economy, calling for new pension and labour market reforms.

“Our message to France is a very demanding message of putting a great accent on structural reforms that are needed. I think there is a growing consensus in France for those reforms,” said José Manuel Barroso, head of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body.

The commission’s list of recommendations for Paris, which it expects to be delivered in return for allowing France two extra years to meet its budget deficit targets, covered all the hard issues the socialist government faces: cutting public spending; restoring badly diminished competitiveness, opening up restricted markets, reforming the tax regime and loosening tight labour market regulations.

Germany's Merkel rules out sending weapons to Syria

Lawyers accuse British forces of illegally detaining Afghans

4.5 Magnitude Earthquake MOLUCCA SEA - 29th May 2013

Magnitude M 4.5
Date time 2013-05-29 17:45:53.0 UTC
Location 0.79 N ; 126.82 E
Depth 60 km
64 km W of Ternate / pop: 101,731 / local time: 02:45:00.0 2013-05-30

Nebrasca: EF-2 Tornado Hits Edgar, Damages Homes, Power Lines

Residents of the south-central town of Edgar spent Tuesday surveying and cleaning up the damage caused by a tornado that hit around 7:30 Monday night.

The tornado, which has been given a preliminary rating of EF-2, had heavy rains, hail, and winds estimated at 60 miles per hour. It left the town without electricity, forcing residents to wait until Tuesday morning to see the full extent of the damage.

One of the hardest hit residents was Lynne Howard. The more than 100-year-old barn where her grandparents first met at a dance is now no more than a pile of rubble.

Apologies Of An Economic Hitman - English Subtitles for spanish parts

Maryland Train Derailment Fire Under Control

France seeking motive of 'radical' who stabbed soldier

Lynch Law: Deadly justice meted out in Egypt in broad daylight

Russia to send S300 missiles to Syria to 'deter intervention & hotheads'

Bleak Future? UK youth lost to austerity fears never finding jobs

Sweatshop Heat: Cambodia workers battle brands amid string of tragedies

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake PRINCE EDWARD ISLANDS REGION - 29th May 2013

Magnitude mb 5.2
Date time 2013-05-29 14:47:31.0 UTC
Location 46.97 S ; 33.47 E
Depth 2 km
Distances 2027 km S of Maseru, Lesotho / pop: 118,355 / local time: 16:47:31.0 2013-05-29

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake WESTERN TURKEY - 29th May 2013

Magnitude ML 4.0
Date time 2013-05-29 14:43:32.0 UTC
Location 39.13 N ; 29.10 E
Depth 7 km
11 km NE of Simav, Turkey / pop: 34,909 / local time: 17:43:32.0 2013-05-29

Buddhist mobs attack Muslim homes for second day in Myanmar; one dead

Buddhist mobs armed with sticks and machetes burned Muslim homes on Wednesday for a second day in the northern Myanmar city of Lashio, contradicting claims in state media that soldiers and police had restored calm.

A Reuters reporter saw scores of young men and boys on motorbikes and on foot marauding through the city of 130,000 people in a mountainous region about 700 km (430 miles) from the commercial capital Yangon.

One person was killed and four were wounded in fighting that began at about 2 p.m., Ye Htut, spokesman for President Thein Sein, said in a Facebook post. Police fired their guns to disperse the crowd, he said.

Three soldiers killed in attack in Libya's Benghazi

Unknown assailants threw an explosive device at a military checkpoint in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi early on Wednesday, killing three soldiers and injuring three others, security officials said.

The attack was the latest in a wave of violence against security forces in the city, the cradle of the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi.

Nearly two years after he was ousted, the Tripoli government is still struggling to impose its authority on a country awash with weapons and where lawless militias do as they please.

Wall Street extends losses on Fed uncertainty

Stocks extended their losses on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 and Dow briefly dropping 1 percent as investors continued to question the longevity of the Federal Reserve's stimulus program.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 151.41 points, or 0.98 percent, at 15,257.98. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was down 16.68 points, or 1.00 percent, at 1,643.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 31.40 points, or 0.90 percent, at 3,457.49.

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL, CALIFORNIA - 29th May 2013

Magnitude Ml 4.9
Date time 2013-05-29 14:38:02.0 UTC
Location 34.41 N ; 119.92 W
Depth 1 km
5 km W of Isla Vista, United States / pop: 23,096 / local time: 07:38:02.0 2013-05-29

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake IRAN-PAKISTAN BORDER REGION - 29th May 2013

Magnitude ML 4.1
Date time 2013-05-29 14:01:26.2 UTC
Location 28.27 N ; 62.74 E
Depth 80 km
149 km E of Khāsh, Iran / pop: 69,603 / local time: 18:31:26.2 2013-05-29

U.S. also fighting youth unemployment war - Hormats

Dry ice likely led to evacuation at California's Disneyland

What sounded like a small explosion on Tuesday in a trash can at Disneyland in California appears to have come from dry ice in a plastic bottle and may have been a prank, police said.

Walt Disney Co evacuated a section of the theme park called Mickey's Toontown but allowed visitors to return within hours, Anaheim police spokesman Sergeant Bob Dunn said.

"What we found was indicative of dry ice," Dunn said. He added that a plastic bottle believed to have contained the material was located.

Nigerian pirates extend reach off West Africa

As the afternoon sun glinted off the waters in Ivory Coast's port of Abidjan, a team of gendarmes set out in a leaky wooden pirogue with no weapons and nothing more than mobile phones for communication.

Their mission: to hold the front line against piracy in the world's new hotspot for maritime crime, the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of West Africa.

"This is how we work every day," grumbled one man as their outboard motor sputtered out, setting them adrift amid bobbing plastic bottles. "We don't even have life vests."

EU shifts focus to economic reforms in quest for growth...Cuts will continue!

Euro zone countries must focus on reforming their labor and services markets and can slow the pace of debt-cutting, the European Commission said on Wednesday, marking a shift away from austerity.

The change of emphasis comes as the euro zone struggles to escape a second consecutive year of recession and record high unemployment brought on by the collapse of investor confidence during three years of debt crisis.

The EU's executive warned urgent action was required but said spending cuts would still have to be made.

Russia faults U.S. over 'odious' Syria rights resolution

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced as "odious" a U.S.-backed draft resolution condemning the Syrian government before a debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council on Wednesday and said it would undermine peace efforts.

Lavrov said U.S. support for the draft resolution, which would condemn "widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights" by Syrian authorities and affiliated militias, ran counter to U.S.-Russian efforts to convene a peace conference.

"The U.S. delegation (at the council in Geneva) is very actively promoting this extremely unwholesome initiative," Lavrov told a news conference after talks with Latin American counterparts in Moscow.

WHO has been informed of a total of 132 #H7N9 laboratory-confirmed cases, incl. 37 deaths

Sheffield House Explosion: Homes Damaged

One home was completely destroyed and nearby properties suffered significant damage after a suspected gas explosion.

Police were called to Dundas Road in Tinsley, Sheffield, following reports of a blast at around 9:10am.

Emergency services were at the scene while residents were evacuated.

Several roads have also been affected - Dundas Road, St Lawrence Road, Town Street and Norborough Road.

EDL 'Contact Details Leaked' By Anonymous

The English Defence League has told Sky News it will not give in to "intimidation" after purported contact details of its senior members were posted online by campaigners.

Under what was called Operation EDL, a list of what were said to be mobile phone numbers for top named EDL figures were published by activists claiming to be from hacking protest group Anonymous.

Also online were addresses of what were claimed to be donors to the group and what was purported to be details about past convictions of some of the people listed.

Georgia Williams Disappearance: Man Held

Police searching for a missing 17-year-old girl have arrested a man on suspicion of kidnap.

Georgia Williams has not been seen since she left her home in Wellington, Shropshire, at around 7.30pm on Sunday.

She is described as white, 5ft 3in tall and of slim-build with red hair.

Detectives believe she was in the company of a 22-year-old man who was arrested this morning in Glasgow.

Pakistan Taliban Number Two Killed By Drone

The Pakistani Taliban's second-in-command Wali-ur-Rehman has been killed in a drone air strike, security officials have said.

The US remotely controlled aircraft attacked the militant commander in the mountainous North Waziristan region, security officials told the Reuters news agency.

Seven people, including the deputy commander, died in the first such attack since Pakistan's May 11 general election in which US drone strikes were a major issue.

"This is a huge blow to militants and a win in the fight against insurgents," one security official told Reuters.

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake VANUATU - 29th May 2013

Magnitude M 4.7
Date time 2013-05-29 11:25:31.4 UTC
Location 17.79 S ; 168.15 E
Depth 10 km
207 km SE of Norsup, Vanuatu / pop: 2,998 / local time: 22:25:31.4 2013-05-29

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake CELEBES SEA - 29th May 2013

Magnitude M 4.2
Date time 2013-05-29 08:23:54.7 UTC
Location 3.77 N ; 122.45 E
Depth 579 km
Distances 842 km E of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei / pop: 64,409 / local time: 16:23:54.7 2013-05-29
363 km N of Gorontalo, Indonesia / pop: 144,195 / local time: 16:23:54.7 2013-05-29
349 km S of Zamboanga, Philippines / pop: 457,623 / local time: 16:23:54.7 2013-05-29
257 km S of Tabiauan, Philippines / pop: 2,312 / local time: 16:23:54.7 2013-05-29

Goat goes on the rampage, attacking anyone who goes near it in Brazil

H7N9: Doctors fear bird flu strain which has killed 36 in China has become resistance to antiviral drugs

A strain of bird flu which has killed 36 people in China can mutate to become resistant to antiviral drugs, say Chinese researchers.

Shanghai doctors treating 14 sufferers of the H7N9 virus found that it had become resistant to Tamiflu in three of the patients.

Researchers at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre said that while the drug reduced levels of the virus in 11 of the patients, genetic testing of bird flu in the three who did not respond to treatment showed it was able to effectively mutate to resist Tamiflu.

Langs De Leeuw: Dutch comedy show sparks outrage after actors waving 'blood-soaked' knives make fun of soldier Lee Rigby's murder

A controversial Dutch television show has screened a comedy sketch about the brutal butchering of soldier Lee Rigby.

Langs De Leeuw, which last week showed the host sucking milk directly from a young mother's breasts, appeared to make light of the gruesome murder in Woolwich in a spoof Eurovision Song Contest sketch.

The sketch showed two men who had been dressed to resemble Drummer Rigby's alleged killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale - waving bloody knives and cleavers at the cameras.

Sharp-eyed UFO fan (with an excitable imagination) claims to spot a LIZARD on Mars in footage from Curiosity Rover

A science blogger with a keen sense of vision claims to have spotted a lizard meandering around Mars.

The unknown spotter is from Japan and alerted the website, UFO Sightings Daily, of the unusual sight.

The rather unbelievable and completely unsubstantiated claim has caused some excitable conspiracy theorists to fear that the NASA could be planting life on the planet for scientific testing.

Just when you thought the EU couldn't sink any lower: Livestock to be fed larvae reared on cow and pig excrement in EU trial to meet rising demands for meat

It is hardly the most appetising of prospects, but it could just be the only viable way to satisfy the ever-increasing global demand for meat.

A plan to feed animals with protein-rich maggots which have been reared on cow and pig excrement, is currently being trialled by the EU.

Soya beans which are normally used in feed for animals such as chickens, pigs and fish, are in great demand so scientists and farmers have been searching for a cheap and viable alternatives.

The EU plan would see flies bred on an industrial scale using readily-available animal and vegetable waste, with the maggots, or larvae, which they create then being used for feed.

No calm for "hypersensitive" markets

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake ATACAMA, CHILE - 29th May 2013

Magnitude M 4.4
Date time 2013-05-29 07:41:37.8 UTC
Location 26.08 S ; 69.00 W
Depth 139 km
109 km E of Diego de Almagro, Chile / pop: 18,137 / local time: 03:41:37.8 2013-05-29

Israel to seize land to build road for colonists

Ramallah: The Israeli military has announced that it will expropriate whatever land it needed in Bethlehem and Hebron to build a road for colonists, claiming that the move will protect them from stone throwers.

Palestinians have labelled it as a lie and a pretext to seize fertile lands and permanently rob farmers of their fertile land and their livelihood.

Israeli military Etzion Sector Commander Colonel Yaniv Alaluf held a meeting with the residents of the colony of Efrat, announcing that a new road is to be built in Gush Atzion in an attempt to protect drivers from incidents of stone hurling.

“The road construction is expected to be completed in a year,” he said.

China's top paper says EU solar probe "bean counting"

China's top newspaper condemned a plan by the European Union to levy hefty duties on its solar panel exports on Wednesday as "bean counting" being driven by EU bodies as a selfish way of pushing their own agendas.

The European Commission, the EU's executive, accuses China of flooding Europe with cheap solar panels sold at below the cost of production, and it intends to impose duties.

That has prompted energetic lobbying from Beijing against the move and divisions have emerged in Europe on the issue, foreshadowing a bruising internal battle over how to respond to China's trade practices.

Syria crisis: rebels condemn opposition coalition

Rebels on the ground in Syria have launched a blistering attack on the Syrian opposition coalition outside the country.

A statement issued by the Revolutionary Movement in Syria said the coalition had failed to represent the Syrian revolution.

The criticism comes amid Russian and US efforts to arrange a conference on Syria in June.

An emergency UN debate on Syria is also due in Geneva on Wednesday.

Mosque, Orphanage Burned in New Myanmar Violence

Sectarian violence has spread to a new region of Myanmar, with a rampaging mob torching a mosque and a Muslim orphanage in a northeastern town after rumors spread that a Muslim man had set fire to a Buddhist woman, authorities said Wednesday.

There were no reported fatalities from the rioting Tuesday evening in the remote town of Lashio near China's border, state media reported. The full extent of the damage was unclear, with no immediate reports of how many people may have been injured.

Deadly violence between Buddhists and Muslims has occurred since last year in other parts of Myanmar, first in a western region and then in central towns. The new flare-up will reinforce doubts that President Thein Sein's government can or will act to contain the violence, but authorities moved quickly to condemn the latest outbreak in a statement that called for calm.

Asteroid 1998 QE2 to sail past Earth 9x larger than cruise ship

On May 31, 2013, asteroid 1998 QE2 will sail serenely past Earth, getting no closer than about 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers), or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon.

And while QE2 is not of much interest to those astronomers and scientists on the lookout for hazardous asteroids, it is of interest to those who dabble in radar astronomy and have a 230-foot (70-meter) - or larger - radar telescope at their disposal.

'Snooper's charter' would not have prevented Woolwich attack, says MI5

A Conservative-backed plan to allow police and the security services unprecedented access to people’s internet communications would not have helped prevent the murder of Lee Rigby, M15 officers have indicated.

Senior security sources have told The Independent that attempts to cite last Wednesday’s killing as a reason to push forward with the controversial “snooper’s charter” was a “cheap argument”.

The remarks will be seen as a rebuke to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, who suggested at the weekend that the Draft Communications Bill was “essential for the intelligence agencies” to combat the threat of terrorism.

White House was aware of McCain's trip to Syria in advance

The Obama administration said on Tuesday it knew in advance of Republican Senator John McCain's trip to Syria, a visit that raised anew the question of whether the United States will intervene in a civil war that has raged for over two years.

But U.S. officials had little to say about the trip by McCain, an outspoken advocate for U.S. military aid to the rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly shied away from U.S. involvement in the conflict, which has claimed 80,000 lives, although he has kept all options on the table. The Obama administration has sent food and medical supplies to Assad's opponents.

Thai court rules troops responsible for Italian reporter's death

An Italian photo-journalist who was shot dead in Bangkok while taking pictures of a military crackdown on an anti-government protest in 2010 was killed by a bullet fired by a soldier, a Thai court ruled on Wednesday.

Fabio Polenghi, 48, was killed on the morning of May 19 when troops moved in to disperse "red shirt" supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who had been camped in the center of the capital for weeks, demanding an early election.

"The court ruled that orders given by Prime Minister Abhisit and Deputy Prime Minister Suthep that day led to Fabio's death," Karom Ponthaklang, a lawyer for the journalist's family, told reporters.

China army to conduct first "digital" exercise

China will next month conduct its first "digital" technology military exercise, state media said on Wednesday, against growing concern in Washington and elsewhere about Chinese hacking attacks.

A brief report by the official Xinhua news agency said the exercise, in north China's remote Inner Mongolia region, will "test new types of combat forces including units using digital technology amid efforts to adjust to informationalized war".

"It will be the first time a People's Liberation Army exercise has focused on combat forces including digitalized units, special operations forces, army aviation and electronic counter forces," the brief English-language report added.

U.S. condemns Russian plan to send air defense missiles to Syria

Cruise cancelled after fire onboard ship

Tension mounts in South China Sea

A wrecked navy transport ship perched on a remote coral reef could be the next flashpoint in the South China Sea, where China and five other claimants bitterly dispute territory.

The Philippines is accusing China of encroachment after three Chinese ships, including a naval frigate, converged just 5 nautical miles from an old transport ship that Manila ran aground on a reef in 1999 to mark its territory.

Philippine officials say they fear the Chinese ships will block supplies to about a dozen Filipino marines stationed in abject conditions on the rusting ship, raising tensions over one of Asia's biggest security issues.

U.S. launches first drone strike in Pakistan since election

A U.S. drone strike killed seven people in Pakistan's North Waziristan region on Wednesday, security officials said, the first such attack since a May 11 general election in which the use of the unmanned aircraft was a major issue.

U.S. President Barack Obama recently indicated he was scaling back the drone strike program, winning cautious approval from Pakistan, a key ally in the U.S. fight on militancy.

A Pakistani Foreign Ministry official condemned all such strikes.

Suicide bombers attack peaceful province in Afghan north

Taliban suicide bombers, some dressed as police, killed a policeman in a rare attack on a governor's compound in Afghanistan's fiercely anti-Taliban Panjshir valley on Wednesday, a stark indication of their broadening reach.

The attack was the first of its kind in the Panjshir since October 2011. The Panjshir was an important rallying area for anti-Taliban forces that toppled the Islamist group's government in late 2001.

Two attackers blew themselves up at the entrance of the fortified compound in the pre-dawn assault, which was followed by a 30-minute gun battle during which another three militants were shot dead, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.



The heavy fog which blanketed most of Sydney this morning has lifted, but delays are continuing for passengers at airports around Australia.

At Sydney Airport around 20 flights had to be diverted to land at other Australian airports, causing extensive delays at the domestic terminal.

At the international terminal some flights were cancelled altogether and there is a heavy backlog of delayed passengers.

Air Services Australia says they are working quickly to get things moving.


Dorothy Sterling, 80, and Dorothy Wu, 85, were probably the first to die.

Their nurse, Roger Dean, set fire to an empty bed in their Quakers Hill nursing home room and then left them to perish, knowing they were incapable of moving unaided.

Then he destroyed evidence that he had stolen prescription drugs from the home and told a chaplain, "Things like this make me lose my faith in God".

On the first day of his Supreme Court trial on Monday, Dean, 37, pleaded guilty to the murders of 11 elderly residents who died as a result of the fires he lit at the home on November 18, 2011.

He also admitted to causing grievous bodily harm to a further eight residents who were injured in the blaze, described by paramedics and firefighters as one of the worst scenes they had ever come across.

Paris Soldier Stabbing: Suspect Arrested

French police have made an arrest after a soldier was stabbed in Paris last week.

The incident happened on Saturday evening and French officials claim it may have been inspired by the Woolwich attack.

"The suspected perpetrator of the attack on a soldier ... in La Defense (business district) was arrested this morning," Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement.

The statement said the suspect was arrested in the Yvelines, to the west of Paris.

North Wales Earthquake: Shaking of buildings was reported as far away as Counties Carlow, Kildare and Wicklow in Ireland

The British Geological Survey has reported that a 3.8 magnitude earthquake has rattled the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales.

The epicentre is being reported to be near Tudweiliog, about six miles west of Pwllheli, in Gwynedd.

It occurred at 4.16am just off the coast at a depth of 8km.

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA - 29th May 2013

Magnitude mb 4.9
Date time 2013-05-29 04:35:18.0 UTC
Location 5.15 S ; 102.08 E
Depth 30 km
150 km S of Bengkulu, Indonesia / pop: 309,712 / local time: 11:35:18.0 2013-05-29

Freight train derails, catches fire near Baltimore

Germany fears revolution if Europe scraps welfare model

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned on Tuesday that failure to win the battle against youth unemployment could tear Europe apart, and dropping the continent's welfare model in favor of tougher U.S. standards would spark a revolution.

Germany, along with France, Spain and Italy, backed urgent action to rescue a generation of young Europeans who fear they will not find jobs, with youth unemployment in the EU standing at nearly one in four, more than twice the adult rate.

"We need to be more successful in our fight against youth unemployment, otherwise we will lose the battle for Europe's unity," Germany's Schaeuble said.

Liberty Reserve's website cited anti-money laundering policy

Older versions of the website for Liberty Reserve, a company U.S. authorities claim was a money transfer hub for criminal gangs trafficking in drugs and child pornography, expressly said the firm "will not do business with anyone suspected of, or directly involved in money laundering."

U.S. prosecutors in an indictment unsealed on Tuesday said that is precisely what the Costa Rican-based Liberty Reserve was doing.

The website for Liberty Reserve has now been seized by the United States Global Illicit Financial Team and prominently displays logos for the Department of Justice, the Department of Treasury and the Secret Service.

Deadly attack on Pakistan polio workers

Gunmen fired on two female health workers administering polio vaccines in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, killing one and wounding the other.

The shooting on the outskirts of Peshawar was the latest in a series of deadly attacks against those giving out the vaccine.

Two men on a motorbike opened fire on the two women while they were going house to house in the village of Bedh Der, said local police official Shafi Ullah.

One woman died at the scene; the other was critically injured, Ullah said.

Unions: Invest trillion euros to combat 'failed' austerity

The "failed" policies of austerity must be rejected and focus instead turn to job creation, international union representatives said during a meeting of global leaders in Paris Tuesday.

Members of the International Trade Union Confederation, speaking at the Organisation for Economic and Cooperation and Development (OECD) Forum, said the world needed to shift its focus as harsh austerity measures had been unable to pull troubled nations such as those in the eurozone out of recession.

Richard Trumka, of the AFL-CIO union in the U.S., said austerity had "totally and utterly failed," destroying millions of jobs, driving economies into recession and choking recovery.

Russia to ship weapons to Syria

Who: SARS-like virus 'threat to world'

A new SARS-like virus recently found in humans is "a threat to the entire world," according to the director-general of the United Nations' World Health Organization.

The so-called novel coronavirus "is not a problem that any single affected country can keep to itself or manage all by itself," Margaret Chan said Monday in her closing remarks at the 66th World Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

The world needs to pull together its resources to properly tackle the virus which, Chan said, is her "greatest concern" at present.

U.S. vulnerable to cyberspies?

Inside China's 'cancer villages'

U.S.: 'China cyberattacks' have not put weapons at risk

American defense officials Tuesday pushed back against the notion that China has used cyberespionage to obtain extensive design information on advanced American weapons.

"Suggestions that cyberintrusions have somehow led to the erosion of our capabilities or technological edge are incorrect," said Pentagon press secretary George Little. "We maintain full confidence in our weapons platforms."

The Pentagon was responding to a list of weapons systems whose secrets had been compromised by Chinese cyberespionage, which the Washington Post says was in a confidential report by the Defense Science Board.

Italy: Envelope containing 'anthrax' mailed to Berlusconi paper

An envelope containing suspected anthrax spores was mailed to the Milan offices of Il Giornale newspaper owned by ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's family, the daily said.

A secretary who opened the envelope was sent for tests for possible anthrax exposure at a local hospital, Il Giornale said on its website.

The whitish-grey powder inside the envelope was due to undergo laboratory analysis later on Monday, the paper said.

Africa: Unknown disease kills over 100 children in Benin

COTONOU, May 28 (Xinhua) -- More than 100 people, mostly children aged between four to 17, have died in the past four weeks from a disease yet to be scientifically identified in Benin.

The worst-hit area is Dekin of the Dangbo commune, which is situated 50 km southeast of Cotonou, a local private television station reported on Monday.

"In the last four weeks, Dekin has reported over 100 deaths which have been caused by a disease that causes the victims to vomit blood and have strange snoring," the television explained.

Outbreak of swineflu kills 17 in Venezuela

17 people have been killed by an outbreak of swineflu in Venezuela and another 250 people are infected.

H1N1, often referred to as swine flu, was a flu strain that swept around in the world in a 2009/2010 pandemic.

Most of the cases were in border states near Colombia.

Bird Flu Nepal: OIE Reports Nine HPAI Outbreaks in Six Provinces Across Nepal

The Nepalese veterinary authorities have reported nine further outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) at various farms located in Seti, Mechi, Bagmati, Lumbini, Narayani and Gandaki, affecting broilers, backyard chickens, egg layers, ducks and a house crow (Corvus splendens) also known as Corvidae.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received follow-up report no. 8, stating that out of 122334 susceptible birds, 42653 cases and deaths were reported. The remaining 79681 birds were destroyed. The house crow was also reportedly found dead.

According to the OIE, the birds showed respiratory distress, nervous signs and all affected birds died. Cleaning and disinfection activities in the infected premises are completed. Intensive surveillance activities are ongoing throughout the country.

National Guard called to evacuate flooded Alaska town

A massive ice jam on the Yukon River sent a flood of water into Galena, Alaska, inundating most of the town and forcing the evacuation of nearly the entire population.

“I think the majority of the folks have been evacuated from the village,” Dave Streubel, National Weather Service hydrologist, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday afternoon as floodwaters approached the last lifeline to the isolated village -- the airport.

Water was backed up 40 to 50 miles behind the large ice jam at a sharp bend in the river known as Bishop Point, 15 miles downriver from Galena, and most of the town was flooded, Streubel said.

“Pretty much the entire village is under water, except for an area around the old Air Force runway, which the Air Force had built a dike around, and the water is up to 6 inches [from] going over the dike and flooding the runway,” he said.,0,2891601.story

Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station: Nuclear Reactor in forced shutdown

SHIPPINGPORT — A reactor at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station was shut down Tuesday morning in a rare forced outage caused by a malfunctioning generator.

A spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirmed that Unit 2 was taken offline by plant operator FirstEnergy because of vibrations in the main generator. The vibrations resulted from parts in the main generator stator, a stationary part of the rotary system used in an electric generator, that had either broken or become loose, said Neil Sheehan of the NRC.

“Remember that these machines rotate at 1,800 rpm and will have some wear from actual mechanical vibrations, as well as from repeated heating and cooling cycles,” he said.

Fresh tremors in Bhaderwah, building collapses

BHADERWAH, May 28: Fresh tremors last midnight shook Bhaderwah belt of Doda district causing more cracks in various buildings and one three-storey building collapsed at Sadar Bazaar.

However, no causality or injuries were reported in the house collapse as occupants were in their relative’s house. The owner of the collapsed building has been identified as Jahangir Choudhary son of Zaffarullah Choudhary of Haveli Mohalla, Bhaderwah.

The loss is estimated to be at around Rs 10 lakh and belongings worth of thousands were also destroyed. The rear side of the house completely collapsed included 10 rooms and 4 shops. Luckily there were no injuries to the occupants as they were out in the home due to cracks in the house.

Hailstorm in Mexico kills 7, injures 4

A hailstorm in Tepeji, Mexico, left seven people dead, four injured and 300 homes damaged, officials said.

The storm struck the downtown area for about an hour on Sunday, officials said. The hailstorm softened a hill, causing an avalanche that fell onto a taxi carrying five people and a van with two occupants.

The travelers were killed, El Universal reported.

Mayor Fernando Miranda said that homes and schools suffered structural damage and that floodwater in many areas was six-feet deep.

30 checked after Brisbane chemical spill

PARAMEDICS have checked 30 people after a chemical spill at a Brisbane industrial estate.

Two people had to be decontaminated as they were exposed to the fluid, but there were no reports of serious injuries.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Community Safety was unable to tell AAP what the chemical was.

Tom Scurr Attacked: Police Seek Man

Police are searching for a man who left Hollyoaks actor Tom Scurr with a broken cheek bone and fractured eye socket after an unprovoked attack.

The man approached Scurr and his friend James Conway in the early hours of Saturday in London's Leicester Square on May 11 before punching him in the face.

The actor has pleaded for information from the public which may help Westminster Police's investigation.

Venezuela: US Embassy Staff Shot At Strip Club

Two US embassy employees have been shot at a strip club in Venezuela's capital, police and US State Department officials said.

"Medical staff inform us that their injuries are not life-threatening," US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters in Washington.

Mr Ventrell was not specific about where in Caracas the two men were when they were injured, but noted that they were at "some sort of social spot or somewhere outside of the embassy grounds".

Divine truth: Alan John Miller Claims To Be Jesus Reborn

A man claiming to be Jesus is gaining followers and causing concern amongst cult experts in Australia.

Former IT specialist Alan John Miller, or AJ as he prefers to be known, runs a religious movement known as the Divine Truth from his home near the small town of Kingaroy in the state of Queensland.

Mr Miller claims that not only is he Christ, but his partner, Australian Mary Luck, is in fact Mary Magdalene, who according to the Bible was present at the crucifixion.

Baltimore Train Explodes After Derailing

A cargo train has burst into flames after colliding with a truck and derailing outside Baltimore, Maryland.

Thick black smoke was seen rising above the scene after a massive explosion, which could be heard throughout the city.

Several nearby buildings have collapsed, according to Baltimore County Police and Fire Department, and people were urged to evacuate a 20 block radius around the site despite fire officials confirming the train's cargo was not toxic.

Global Cyber Money Scam Worth $6bn Busted

The operators of the digital currency exchange Liberty Reserve have been accused of helping an international band of criminals launder more than $6bn (£3.9bn) in illicit funds.

US prosecutors allege the funds are linked to everything from child pornography to software for hacking into banks.

An indictment unsealed on Tuesday said Liberty Reserve had more than a million users worldwide, and virtually all of its business was related to criminal activity.

Attorney Preet Bharara has called the case perhaps "the largest international money laundering case ever brought by the United States".