Friday, March 9, 2012

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA - 9th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck South of Java, Indonesia at a depth of 75.6 km (47 miles), the quake hit at 21:27:09 UTC Friday 9th March 2012
The epicenter was 125 km (77 miles) SSE of Malang, Java, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

North Korea: China hands over 41 refugees, sealing their doom

An official close to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security has reported that a group of 41 North Korean refugees arrested in and around Shenyang last month and held for a spell in a detention center near Tumen have indeed all been repatriated.

However, a further group of ten reported by Donga Ilbo today as having been repatriated to North Korea via Dandong and now being held by the National Security Agency (NSA) in Shinuiju appear unrelated to the 41.

The anonymous official told the Daily NK today, “Tumen detention center has been undergoing expansion work since the start of March, so there are no defectors there. Some were already repatriated and the rest were transferred to Longjing camp.”

He added that those transferred to Longjing have been transferred to Hoiryeong NSA, saying, “When Tumen camp started to come under international scrutiny they used the pretext of construction to send them to Longjing then repatriate them to North Korea. All 41 of the defectors in Tumen have been repatriated.”

The 41 were confirmed as being at the camp until the morning of February 28th. However, internal sources suggest the repatriations may have started very soon after, despite China already facing serious international criticism at the time. more

Solar storm reveals sting in tail

Space weather forecasters say the solar storm that seemed to be more fizzle than fury got much stronger in recent hours.

It is now the most potent solar storm since 2004.

So far, no power outages or other technological disturbances have been reported from the solar storm that started on Tuesday.

It reached Earth on Thursday morning at mild levels.

But for several hours early on Friday morning it turned strong.

Scientists say that is because the magnetic orientation of the storm flipped.

And more is coming. The US government's Space Weather Prediction Center says the same area of the sun erupted again on Thursday night, with a milder storm expected in the early hours of Sunday morning. source

Elderly man found dead in Australian floodwaters as eastern states slowly drown

An elderly man has been found dead in floodwaters north of Bourke in New South Wales.

Police say farm workers at a property north of the town discovered a vehicle partially submerged in a causeway about 4:00pm (AEDT) yesterday.

The body of the 83-year-old Bourke man, who is understood to be a worker at the farm, was found about 20 metres away.

Police believe the man was swept away when he left his vehicle to get help.

A report is being prepared for the coroner.

Police and emergency services are reminding people not to drive, walk or ride through floodwaters as .

After weeks of flooding that has affected three quarters of the state, the Government has now declared a total of 46 natural disaster zones.

Conditions are easing at Narrandera, west of Wagga Wagga, although some nearby low-lying suburbs remain flooded.

Floodwaters continue to surround the northern Victorian town of Nathalia, while record floods have inundated 30 other towns across the state's north-east. source

'Retired' Osama bin Laden viewed death as a release from years of ill health, book claims

Osama bin Laden accepted that he may be betrayed by someone close to him and viewed death as a release from years of declining health, according to a new account of his life in Pakistan.

The research by Brigadier Shaukat Qadir, a retired Pakistani army officer, claims al-Qaeda forced bin Laden to "retire" from his position as "amir" – or chief – of the group and to live out his days in isolation from the movement he founded.

It paints a picture of the world's most wanted man living a secluded life in the town of Abbottabad, surrounded by squabbling wives as he gradually succumbed to dementia and failing health.

Brigadier Qadir, intrigued by conflicting accounts of the raid to kill bin Laden in May last year, has embarked on a personal quest to uncover the truth spending more than $5,000 (£3,200) of his own money.

He used his military connections to gain rare entry to the villa where the al-Qaeda leader died and to access transcripts of the interrogation of his youngest wife, currently in Pakistani custody.

Those military connections and his portrait of a terror mastermind ageing into irrelevance have led critics to suggest that his theory is all too convenient for a country deeply embarrassed by bin Laden's presence. more

BBC presenter Simon McCoy 'asleep' on desk (Likely because actors need power naps between shows, and there's no "noteworthy" news to study)

Millions of viewers were stunned this morning as they tuned into a BBC breakfast news bulletin - and found the presenter apparently asleep on his desk.

Simon McCoy, 50, was caught napping as cameras panned to the presenter ahead of his early broadcast.

He was seen clearly resting his head on his arms as he slumped over his desk moments before delivering a bulletin with co-host Martine Croxall.

As soon as he realised he was live on telly, McCoy looked stunned and bleary-eyed as he jumped up and tried to regain his composure.

But viewers took to Twitter to remark on the hilarious gaffe at 8:26am. One user, called Vikki B, said: "Did I just imagine that? £bbcnews cuts to the news desk and fella is asleep on the desk and jumps up in shock! Haha." more

Obama's achievements to date summarized in a skateboard stunt (Just teasing... *cough-cough*)

Tibet on alert after Nepal's bird flu outbreak‎

LHASA, March 9 (Xinhua) -- China's Tibet Autonomous Region has been placed into a state of alert after Nepal reported an outbreak of bird flu last month that has left at least 20,000 chickens dead, local authorities said Friday.

The regional bureau of entry-exit inspection and quarantine has carried out strict health checks in Zham Port on the China-Nepal border and banned the entry of animals and related products susceptible to bird flu, a bureau spokesman said.

Meanwhile, inspection and quarantine staff have been ordered to disinfect all vehicles from Nepal to prevent the spread of epidemic, the spokesman said.

In addition, local authorities have been watching the bird flu situation in Nepal and keeping close contact with Nepalese authorities, he added.

So far, no bird flu has been reported in the Tibetan areas around the Zham Port. Source

Over 50 percent of H5N1 patients die

Truong Phu Son, 22, the third H5N1 patient in Vietnam this year, on March 6, left the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases after two weeks of treatment.

On March 7, Dr. Tran Ngoc Huu, director of the HCM City Pasteur Institute, announced that a patient from the central highlands province of Dak Lak had been confirmed to catch type A/H5N1 flu.

The fourth H5N1 patient in Vietnam is a 32-year-old man from Dak Lak, who was hospitalized to the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases on March 5. Doctors made tests and confirmed that the patient has caught H5N1 flu.

It is reported that the patient’s family ate their ill chicken before he had symptoms of flu. The man bought medicines from a local drugstore to treat himself at home but he did not recover.

He was hospitalized to a hospital in Dak Lak but his state did not improve after five days of treatment. The patient was then transported to the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, director of the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said that the type of virus that the third patient, who left the hospital on March 6, caught is Clade 1, which is available in southern Vietnam.

Most of H5/N1 patients suffer from lung injuries and their lungs will not be able to recover completely, doctors say.

This type of flue appeared in Vietnam for the first time in 2004. So far, Vietnam has had 122 patients, 50 percent of them died.

So far this year, four patients have been recorded and two of them--both from southern Vietnam, died. Source

Wild Bird Deaths From HPAI in Bihar India

INDIA - The Government of India confirmed a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak in wild birds in India’s Bihar state.

The outbreaks were reported between February 18, 2012 and February 27, 2012.

Hundreds of crows have died in Bihar in the last one and a half months, particularly in Gaya, Banka, Nawada, Jamui, Bhagalpur, Munger and Aurangabad districts.

The High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal has confirmed H5N1 as responsible for wild birds’ deaths in Bihar. The laboratory report, posted on February 29, 2012, is available on the website of Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF).

In response to the HPAI outbreak in wild birds, the Bihar state government has directed all district civil surgeons to keep in touch with the district animal husbandry department and follow the advice of its director.

These outbreaks have not yet been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Source

The Truth about Syria and Western Lies

Pro-Assad Rally in Antakya, Turkey. A few miles from Syria.

Syrian forces kill 54 ahead of Annan peace mission according to opposition activists

(Reuters) - Syrian forces killed at least 54 people on Friday as they sought to quell demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad before a peace mission by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, opposition activists said.

Tank rounds and mortar bombs crashed into opposition districts in the rebellious central city of Homs, killing 17 people, activists said, while 24 were killed in the northern province of Idlib and more deaths were reported elsewhere.

"Thirty tanks entered my neighborhood at seven this morning and they are using their cannons to fire on houses," said Karam Abu Rabea, a resident in Homs's Karm al-Zeitoun neighborhood.

One focus of demonstrations was the anniversary of Kurdish unrest in Syria in 2004 when about 30 people were killed.

Many thousands of Kurds demonstrated in northeastern cities, YouTube footage showed, some carrying banners that read "Save the Syrian people". Other clips showed hundreds of protesters in the Assali district of Damascus, burning posters of Assad's father Hafez al-Assad and chanting "God damn your soul, Hafez".

Syria's state news agency SANA reported big pro-Assad demonstrations in Damascus and Hassaka in the northeast. Read More

Thousands rally in Libya against autonomy for east...Surely not another Arab Spring

(Reuters) - Thousands of people protested in Libya's two biggest cities on Friday in a show of opposition to moves from some in the oil-producing east to declare autonomy from central rule.

A group of civic leaders in the eastern city of Benghazi this week said they would run their own affairs, defying the government in Tripoli which is already struggling to assert its authority after Muammar Gaddafi was ousted last year.

At Friday prayers in Benghazi and Tripoli, clerics warned the autonomy plan could lead to the break up of Libya, and later crowds packed into squares in both cities to express their opposition to the idea.

"We want to be one country," said 18-year-old Taha, one of about 5,000 people taking part in the demonstration in Tripoli's Martyr's Square. "This is what we fought for ... We are going to stand as one man and say no to federalism."

In Benghazi's Tahrir square, between 3,000 and 4,000 people joined in the protest against the autonomy plan, which aims to recreate Libya's 1950s constitution when the country was divided into three semi-autonomous provinces.

The protests were some of the biggest in Libya in several months. Read More

no cheer for euro zone's first default

Israeli airstrike kills two in Gaza City

Mar. 9 - A vehicle bursts into flames after an Israeli airstrike on Gaza in response to rocket fire.


5.1 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 9th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck off the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 28.9 km (18 miles), the quake hit at 18:19:02 UTC Friday 9th March 2012
The epicenter was 134 km (83 miles) East of Choshi, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Judge set to take over Oakland's troubled cops

(Reuters) - After weeks of raucous street demonstrations, Oakland city leaders finally decided one chilly morning last fall to remove a downtown campsite that had become a national symbol of the Occupy movement. Protesters made makeshift gas masks and braced for a fight with the much-maligned Oakland Police Department.

But police cleared the camp without incident. A middle-aged white woman facing the brawny police cordon gave her reason for the calm on a placard she carried: "Judge Thelton Henderson is watching."

A veteran federal judge, Henderson has been struggling for nearly 10 years to implement police reforms in the gritty industrial city on California's San Francisco Bay.

Now, five decades after Henderson entered American civil rights lore as a young Department of Justice lawyer who lost his job for lending Martin Luther King Jr. his car, he appears to be laying the groundwork for the first-ever court takeover of an American police department in recent memory. Read More

"Sabu's" late nights online for the FBI

(Reuters) - One late-night visit by the FBI was all it took for the notorious hacker known as "Sabu" to switch sides and become a valued snitch.

Hector Xavier Monsegur cooperated immediately in June, helping investigators close a net around five other leaders of the international hacking group Anonymous, according to court documents made public on Thursday.

Monsegur sometimes stayed up all night, talking with co-conspirators to help the government build its case, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Pastore told a Manhattan federal court judge at a secret hearing days before Monsegur's August 15 guilty plea, the court papers showed.

Monsegur, 28, was arrested at his small apartment in a Manhattan housing complex on June 7, U.S. authorities said on Tuesday in announcing charges against him and five others. The precise time, 10:15 p.m., was revealed in Thursday's court papers.

"Since literally the day he was arrested, the defendant has been cooperating with the government proactively," Pastore told Judge Loretta Preska. Read More

Banks foreclose on churches in record numbers

(Reuters) - Banks are foreclosing on America's churches in record numbers as lenders increasingly lose patience with religious facilities that have defaulted on their mortgages, according to new data.

The surge in church foreclosures represents a new wave of distressed property seizures triggered by the 2008 financial crash, analysts say, with many banks no longer willing to grant struggling religious organizations forbearance.

Since 2010, 270 churches have been sold after defaulting on their loans, with 90 percent of those sales coming after a lender-triggered foreclosure, according to the real estate information company CoStar Group.

In 2011, 138 churches were sold by banks, an annual record, with no sign that these religious foreclosures are abating, according to CoStar. That compares to just 24 sales in 2008 and only a handful in the decade before.

The church foreclosures have hit all denominations across America, black and white, but with small to medium size houses of worship the worst. Most of these institutions have ended up being purchased by other churches. Read More

Pakistan Taliban demand release of bin Laden's widows, threaten attacks

(Reuters) - The Pakistan Taliban will attack government, police and military officials if three of the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's widows are not released from Pakistani custody, a spokesman for the militant group said on Friday.

Pakistan's government has charged bin Laden's three widows with illegally entering and staying in the country, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Thursday.

"If the family of Osama bin Laden is not released as soon as possible, we will attack the judges, the lawyers and the security officials involved in their trial," Ehsanullah Ehsan of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) told Reuters.

"We will carry out suicide bombings against security forces and the government across the country."

Malik did not specify which court was dealing with the case. The three women will have to stand trial, but it was not clear what punishment they face if convicted. Read More

Squatters living in Gadhafi mansion

Has Taliban received U.S. aid?

Lives of Fukushima nuclear workers

Failed Nigeria Rescue: How The Drama Unfolded



Eight members of a militant Islamist group were shot dead during a failed mission to rescue a British engineer and his Italian colleague they had taken hostage in Nigeria, Sky sources say.

More details are now emerging of the Special Forces operation during which Christopher McManus and Franco Lamolinara apparently died at the hands of Boko Haram kidnappers - who are said to have been backed by al Qaeda.

The attempt to free Mr McManus, who comes from northwest England, and Mr Lamolinara, saw UK Special Forces working with their Nigerian counterparts, who helped the British team get close to the target building. Read More

5.4 Magnitude Earthquake NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 9th Mar 2012

A magnitude 5.4 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 25.3 km (15.7 miles), the quake hit at 17:25:33 UTC Friday 9th March 2012
The epicenter was 41 km (25 miles) North from Mito, Honshu, Japan
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 9th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck off the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 44.4 km (27.6 miles), the quake hit at 17:16:14 UTC Friday 9th March 2012
The epicenter was 171 km (106 miles) East from Morioka, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warnings Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Iran strike: Israel weighs risk, benefit

Jerusalem (CNN) -- A threatened Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear program carries enormous risks for the Jewish state, including international isolation, retaliation at home and abroad, and steep economic costs.

And that's if it works.

While Israel has the most advanced military in the Middle East -- including a suspected-but-undeclared nuclear arsenal of its own -- Israeli analysts say there's no guarantee that a unilateral strike will roll back an Iranian program it sees as a threat to its survival.

Yet that's the choice observers say the Jewish state may soon face, and some argue the benefits would outweigh the costs military action would incur.

A successful raid would set back Iran's uranium enrichment effort by "several years," said Ephraim Kam, the deputy director at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies. Read More

Several tourists injured in fire at Grand Park Avenue Bangkok hotel

Cause of fire still unknown
Reports of one death are not yet confirmed
Fire located in popular tourist and residential district

SEVERAL tourists have been injured by a fire at a high-rise hotel in Bangkok's main tourist district.

Firefighters who rushed to the Grand Park Avenue Bangkok hotel shortly before 10pm local time on Thursday were able to get the small blaze under control, but smoke billowed into the upper floors, overcoming some guests with smoke inhalation.

Scores of people were evacuated, some by cranes, and rescue teams treated at least a dozen people with resuscitators. Reports in Thai media of at least one death were not confirmed.

Local district chief Wiparat Chaiyanukit told Spring News TV the fire started on the fourth floor of the 15-floor building and sent suffocating smoke to upper floors. She said the cause of the fire remained unknown and the building will be sealed off for investigators to find out. Read More

Spanish jet makes emergency landing in Amsterdam

Amsterdam: A Spanish passenger jet has safely made an emergency landing at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

Airport spokeswoman Nina Verweij says the plane, an Airbus A320 operated by Vueling airline, turned around shortly after departing for Bilbao. No injuries have been reported.

Verweij said she did not know the cause, or the number of passengers on board the plane, which can carry up to 220.

Local television station AT5 broadcast a telephone interview with a passenger still on the plane as it was taxiing toward a gateway at the airport. The passenger, identified as Theo Evers, said the pilot told passengers something was wrong with the plane's "hydraulic system" and to prepare for an emergency landing. Source

Plane makes emergency landing in Moruya‎ after one of the Engines Stops Working - Australia

A REX plane flying out of Merimbula made an emergency landing at Moruya airport after one of its engines stopped working mid-flight this morning.

REX flight ZL114 was delayed for half-an-hour before leaving Merimbula around 7am.

Ten minutes out of Moruya, an engine warning light came on, indicating a fire in the left engine.

Fire extinguishers were automatically released and the engine was shut down.

Passengers noticed the left-hand propeller stopped spinning, a slight jolt and clear slowing down.

The plane landed safely in Moruya – on one engine - a short time later and all passengers were told to disembark.

Rural Fire Service crews from Moruya and Broulee, and NSW Fire and Rescue crews attended, assessed the situation and left.

According to Moruya Fire and Rescue, a warning light indicated there was a fire in the engine.

However, the plane landed safely with no evidence of a fire. Read More

Cholera outbreak reported in four districts, Uganda

The Ministry of Health has warned of an outbreak of cholera epidemic in several districts of Uganda.

The acting director general of health services, Dr Dennis Lwamafa said a total of 280 cases had so far been reported in Kasese, Mbale, Bududa and Buliisa districts.

"The Ministry of Health informs the general public that there is an outbreak of cholera in some parts of the country," he said in a press statement.

He revealed that some districts had also reported an increase in the cases of other water-related diseases including typhoid and dysentery.

Lwamafa said the ministry was undertaking a number of measures to control the spread of the disease and the other water-related diseases ahead of the rainy seasons.

"Surveillance and epidemiological programmes continue in the affected and neighbouring districts to detect cases for early treatment. The National Medical Stores (NMS) has disbursed the necessary drugs to the affected districts in case more cases are reported," he said.

He urged the public to boil drinking water, ensure that food is cooked well and eaten still hot, and also wash hands with soap before eating food. Read More

Bezymianny volcano erupts again, Russia

Friday saw a new eruption of the Bezymianny volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East.

Earlier in the day, the volcano spewed ash up to 8 kilometers high, seismologists said, adding that the eruption does not pose a threat to population centers in the area.

One of the most active volcanoes in the world, Bezymianny is located 350 kilometers northeast of the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

During its most powerful eruption in 1956, the 2,800-meter volcano ejected about three cubic kilometers of volcanic debris in a very short time. Source

Alaska Volcanoes Pose Threat

Scientists have found that a remote Alaska’s volcano agitation has led to an explosion. Cleveland Volcano eruption that produced this ash cloud was reported on Wednesday. The news was reported after detections by distant seismic stations and infrasound array.

Cleveland is a 5,675-foot peak on an uninhabited island 940 miles southwest of Anchorage. The volcano despite being located at an uninhabited island, is still posing problems as it lies below a well-used air route. Rather, the other volcanoes that lie in the same belt are even a threat.

However, this time the ash cloud formed rose to a level that was less than 20,000 feet, hence putting forward no obligations in the air traffic of commercial jets. Anyhow, the exact size is yet to be determined but it is estimate that it was somewhat similar to the cloud formed at the same volcano in December.

At present, according to Steve McNutt, Seismologist, Alaska Volcano Observatory, for analysis and findings of the volcano they rely on satellite, as no on-site monitors have been planted. But at times, when the weather is poor it becomes difficult to retrieve images from the satellite and hence, proper information regarding volcano’s activity can’t be put forth. Read More

Global online pedophile network busted

Rome (CNN) -- Authorities from Italy to the United States arrested 10 people Thursday for allegedly capturing, viewing and disseminating images through an expansive international online pedophile network.

In addition to those 10 taken into custody in Italy, the United States, France and Portugal, 112 have been reported to law enforcement in those and other countries for "association with crime organizations (that were) producing and distributing pedophile material," the prosecutor's office in Florence, Italy, said in a news release.

Domenico Di Somma, an officer in Italy's national police force, the Carabinieri, said the 112 people were part of a larger social network community that included more than 700 people.

A call to a child abuse help line sparked the investigation more than a year ago, said Di Somma, with the prosecutor's office crediting the anti-pedophile advocacy group Telefono Arcobaleno with providing a series of detailed reports.

Since then, the probe -- dubbed Operation Nanny, according to the Italians, while Portugal's national police called it Operation Hot Line 1 -- has involved police in 28 countries, as well as international law enforcement groups such as Europol and Interpol. Read More

China inflation slows dramatically

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Inflation in China slowed dramatically in February, as temporary price hikes related to Lunar New Year faded.

Consumer prices rose 3.2% from a year ago, China's National Bureau of Statistics reported Friday -- a steep slowdown from a 4.5% inflation rate in January.

Heightened demand for goods and services during the Chinese New Year causes a temporary uptick in prices around that time. But prices usually fall back after the holiday, which ended in early February.

Food, which accounts for roughly a third of the government's official inflation measurement, tends to be one of the most volatile items for consumers.

Compared to a year earlier, food prices were up 6.2%, marking a significant improvement from last July when they were rising at a blistering 14.8% pace. Read More

Al Qaeda group threatens Yemeni troop executions

(CNN) -- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is threatening to kill the 73 Yemeni troops it is holding hostage if the government does not release al Qaeda prisoners.

In a statement issued late Thursday, the group advised family members of the hostages to push the government to cooperate, but a senior security official in the southern province of Abyan, where the troops are being held, said the government would not give in to the group's demands.

"We will work on freeing the soldiers being held by the militants, but only by reasonable means. The government will not set free any militants. This will only make the terror crisis even worse," said the security official, who is not authorized to talk to media.

The official said three of the troops have already been killed.

The threat comes as Yemen mourns the deaths of around 200 troops killed by al Qaeda this week in three Yemeni provinces. Read More

Emirates berates Airbus over superjumbo cracks

(Financial Times) -- Emirates Airline, the world's largest operator of Airbus's A380 superjumbo, has lambasted the aircraft maker and plans to seek compensation after complaining of widespread disruption to the carrier following the discovery of wing cracks on the jet.

Emirates is having to temporarily ground all of its 21 superjumbos -- six at any one time -- while the wing cracks are fixed.

Tim Clark, Emirates' president, told the Financial Times that the airline expected to lose up to $90m of revenue by the end of March because of the A380 groundings that began in January, adding the Dubai-based carrier would be seeking compensation from Airbus.

Airbus has suffered acute embarrassment and angered some of its customers following the discovery of two types of cracks on a L-shaped bracket that connects the A380 wing skin to its internal structure.

Regulators last month ordered airlines to carry out inspections of all A380s once they have completed 1,300 flights after concluding the cracks could compromise the aircraft's structural integrity. Read More

MAGDELENA LUCZAK AND MARIUSZ KREZOLEK CHARGED WITH MURDER OF FOUR-YEAR-OLD DANIEL PELKA IN COVENTRY

More to Follow...

Beached Dolphins Saved, Why are so many Beaching themselves this year?



Amazing footage has been published of beachgoers rushing to the rescue of 30 stranded dolphins in Brazil.

The video shows the dolphins swimming very close to the shore at Arraial do Cobo in the state of Rio de Janeiro before beaching themselves.

The animals' squeals and futile efforts to move from the sand soon drew a crowd who then raced into the surf to save them.

The dolphins were dragged by their tails back into deeper water so they could safely swim back into the Atlantic Ocean.

After all of the dolphins were saved the crowd cheered and burst into applause.

The video was posted online by a German tourist on March 5 and has been watched over one million times since. Source

Beau Isagba Jailed for 7 Years for the Attack on Student Ashraf Rossli during London Riots

A teenager has been jailed for seven years for an attack on Malaysian student Ashraf Rossli during the London riots.

Beau Isagba, 18, was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court a day after his birthday.

He was 17 at the time of the attack.

The student, Ashraf Rossli, 21, was smashed in the face as he tried to cycle through a crowd on a flyover in Barking last August.

Isagba punched Mr Rossli in the face so hard he later needed to have metal plates inserted in his jaw.

The judge imposed a 54-month sentence for Isagba's attack on Mr Rossli, and the
same term concurrently for his robbery of him.

But he said that was in addition to a total of 30 months for the other offences
he had committed. Read More

Alexander Bede Walsh a Paedophile Priest Jailed For 22 years

A Catholic paedophile priest who used his "revered" status to wage a campaign of abuse against vulnerable young boys has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Alexander Bede Walsh was convicted last month of 21 sexual offences, spanning a period of 18 years.

The offences took place between 1975 and 1993, during periods Walsh worked at an orphanage in Coleshill, Warwickshire, at a Catholic boarding school in Staffordshire, and at All Souls Church in Coventry.

Six of the victims had attended All Souls School in the city which was linked to the church.

Walsh told the jury part of his duties had been to visit families and take children swimming.

Walsh, who was ordained into the Roman Catholic church in 1979, claimed the victims were lying and were motivated by compensation.

After Walsh's conviction, Staffordshire Police Detective Constable Tim Bailey said: "He is supposed to be a man of the cloth but he has shown no compassion, no integrity and no humanity.

"He has forced grown men to come to court and relive childhood experiences of sexual abuse".

Walsh's crimes came to light when two victims independently contacted police in 2006.

Further complainants came forward between 2008 and 2011, and detectives believe there may be further victims. Read More

Heroin horror in India's villages



Bhangra music, home of the colorful turban and the exquisite golden temple.

It is a state in India where the population has prospered for many years. It has one of the lowest poverty rates in the country thanks to fertile farmland, abundant water supply and decent infrastructure. But the Punjab finds itself with a serious problem among its population -- drug addiction.

Addict Inderjeet Singh says at least half of the students in his school were taking drugs.

At 16 he says he was popping up to 10 prescription pills a day and washing them down with codeine cough syrup.

"When I take it I feel like I am wandering in heaven. I feel like a king of the whole world." Singh said.

At 20 he is in a drug rehab hospital where he prays, does yoga and learns candle making as he tries to kick the habit that was turning him into a zombie.

"I stopped recognizing even my parents," he said. Read More

Can bond deal save Greek economy?

London (CNN) -- What is the Greece debt deal?

Greece, the country at the center of the eurozone debt crisis, has pushed through a huge debt swap that saves it from a disorderly default and clears the way for it to receive its second bailout, worth €130 billion ($171.5 billion).

The country's massive pile of debt has threatened the stability of the 17-country eurozone during a crisis which has dragged on for almost two years. Friday's announcement that Greece has successfully pushed through the largest ever sovereign debt restructuring will give some breathing space as the bloc attempts to pull itself back from the brink.

The country has swapped existing bonds for new ones that are worth far less, effectively halving the country's €206 billion bill to private sector creditors. It should now be able to access funds to pay a €14.5 billion bill, due later this month.

The deal will take pressure off the country in the short term, but as it struggles to rein in huge debts, questions remain over its ability to remain in the eurozone. Read More

China in new push for Syria peace plan



(CNN) -- As violence raged in Syria on Friday, China and the United Nations kicked off diplomatic initiatives to end the government's nearly year-old bloody crackdown against opponents of its regime.


China is sending an envoy to the Middle East and Europe to push for a "fair solution" in Syria. This comes after China unveiled a peace plan calling for dialogue between President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition.

Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Ming will begin a four-day trip Saturday to meet with government officials in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and France, ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Friday, according to the Xinhau news agency.

"Zhang's visit is intended to further strengthen communication and negotiation with relevant parties on a political resolution for the Syrian issue," Liu said. Read More

New Fraud Probe Into Work Firm A4e

The Government has launched an investigation into an allegation of attempted fraud against the welfare to work company A4e.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has started its own audit after being told of the claim which relates to a Mandatory Work Activity contract with the firm.

A4e, a private company paid millions by the taxpayer to get the jobless back to work, is already facing a police investigation in relation to previous allegations.

The Department said in a statement: "As a result of this new allegation, DWP has immediately commenced its own independent audit of all our commercial relationships with A4e.

"We have required A4e to make available all documentation which our auditors may require and provide full access to interview any A4e employees. This is separate from the independent review of internal controls which A4e has previously announced."

A4e's chief executive was told about the probe at a meeting with a senior DWP official earlier on Friday where the company was warned about the potential consequences.

"If, at any point during the audit or thereafter, we find evidence of systemic fraud in DWP's contracts with A4e, we will not hesitate to immediately terminate our commercial relationship," the DWP spokesman said. Read More

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake PAGAN REGION, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS - 9th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the Pagan Region, Northern Mariana Islands at a depth of 224 km (139.2 miles), the quake hit at 12:46:43 UTC Friday 9th March 2012
The epicenter was 32 km (19 miles) WNW of Agrihan, Northern Mariana Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake VANUATU - 9th Mar 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Vanuatu at a depth of 35.1 km (21.8 miles), the quake hit at 11:47:03 UTC Friday 9th March 2012
The epicenter was 30 km (18 miles) ENE of Isangel, Tanna, Vanuatu
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Santa Susana Field Laboratory: High levels of cesium found at former nuclear lab outside LOS ANGELES

LOS ANGELES (Kyodo) -- High levels of radioactive cesium have been detected on the ground of a former nuclear facility in the suburbs of Los Angeles called the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, where an experimental nuclear reactor suffered fuel melting in 1959, according to U.S. government data obtained Thursday.

The data, provided to local residents in February as an interim report by the Environmental Protection Agency, which is examining the extent of contamination in the area, show that radioactive cesium measured up to about 7,300 becquerels per kilogram of soil, or nearly 1,000 times the benchmark used by the agency.

The area was decontaminated after the nuclear accident, and the U.S. Department of Energy, which was dealing with research there, declared in the 1980s that the land could now be used as farmland or for residential purposes.

The decision to conduct a detailed study was made in December 2010 after strong demands were lodged by local residents who have expressed health concerns for a long time.

The findings suggest that the Department of Energy had grossly underestimated the level of contamination in the area and have shown the difficulty of cleaning up soil contaminated with radioactive materials. Read More