Tag Archive: Jefferson County


Earthquakes

EMSC Maule, Chile
Mar 25 22:37 PM
7.0 47.0 MAP

USGS Maule, Chile
Mar 25 22:37 PM
7.1 34.8 MAP

GEOFON Near Coast Of Central Chile
Mar 25 22:37 PM
6.9 10.0 MAP

USGS Offshore Maule, Chile
Mar 25 22:37 PM
7.2 10.0 MAP

EMSC Vanuatu
Mar 25 20:45 PM
4.8 124.0 MAP

GEOFON Vanuatu Islands
Mar 25 20:45 PM
4.9 38.0 MAP

USGS Vanuatu
Mar 25 20:45 PM
4.9 10.2 MAP

EMSC Costa Rica
Mar 25 18:33 PM
4.6 44.0 MAP

USGS Nicaragua
Mar 25 18:33 PM
4.6 39.3 MAP

EMSC Molucca Sea
Mar 25 17:07 PM
4.7 80.0 MAP

USGS Molucca Sea
Mar 25 17:07 PM
4.6 45.4 MAP

GEOFON Northern Molucca Sea
Mar 25 17:07 PM
4.8 10.0 MAP

GEOFON Off East Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Mar 25 14:50 PM
4.8 10.0 MAP

USGS Off The East Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Mar 25 14:50 PM
4.7 10.0 MAP

GEOFON Fiji Islands Region
Mar 25 14:18 PM
4.7 562.0 MAP

USGS Fiji Region
Mar 25 14:18 PM
4.6 566.8 MAP

EMSC Fiji Region
Mar 25 13:59 PM
5.1 515.0 MAP

USGS Fiji Region
Mar 25 13:59 PM
5.1 507.5 MAP

GEOFON Fiji Islands Region
Mar 25 13:59 PM
5.0 493.0 MAP

EMSC Kuril Islands
Mar 25 13:41 PM
4.8 80.0 MAP

USGS Kuril Islands
Mar 25 13:41 PM
4.9 84.7 MAP

GEOFON Kuril Islands
Mar 25 13:40 PM
5.1 10.0 MAP

USGS Near The East Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Mar 25 13:22 PM
5.2 60.5 MAP

EMSC Near East Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Mar 25 13:22 PM
5.3 56.0 MAP

GEOFON Near East Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Mar 25 13:22 PM
5.1 10.0 MAP

GEOFON Afghanistan-tajikistan Border Region
Mar 25 12:38 PM
4.7 107.0 MAP

EMSC Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan
Mar 25 12:38 PM
4.6 100.0 MAP

USGS Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan
Mar 25 12:38 PM
4.6 101.4 MAP

USGS Near The East Coast Of Honshu, Japan
Mar 25 12:22 PM
4.7 42.2 MAP

EMSC Fiji
Mar 25 11:27 AM
4.7 24.0 MAP

USGS Fiji
Mar 25 11:27 AM
4.7 24.3 MAP

EMSC South Sandwich Islands Region
Mar 25 10:26 AM
5.1 60.0 MAP

USGS South Sandwich Islands Region
Mar 25 10:26 AM
5.2 29.6 MAP

GEOFON South Sandwich Islands Region
Mar 25 10:26 AM
5.3 10.0 MAP

EMSC Luzon, Philippines
Mar 25 10:23 AM
4.7 30.0 MAP

USGS Luzon, Philippines
Mar 25 10:23 AM
4.6 30.9 MAP

EMSC Western Xizang
Mar 25 10:06 AM
4.7 20.0 MAP

EMSC Fiji Region
Mar 25 06:43 AM
4.7 263.0 MAP

USGS Fiji Region
Mar 25 06:43 AM
4.6 247.5 MAP

EMSC Off Coast Of Costa Rica
Mar 25 06:30 AM
4.6 45.0 MAP

USGS Off The Coast Of Costa Rica
Mar 25 06:30 AM
4.6 44.8 MAP

EMSC Greece
Mar 25 04:46 AM
4.8 10.0 MAP

USGS Greece
Mar 25 04:46 AM
4.8 10.0 MAP

EMSC Central East Pacific Rise
Mar 25 03:59 AM
4.8 10.0 MAP

USGS Central East Pacific Rise
Mar 25 03:59 AM
4.8 10.1 MAP

EMSC Oaxaca, Mexico
Mar 25 01:55 AM
4.7 49.0 MAP

USGS Oaxaca, Mexico
Mar 25 01:55 AM
4.7 20.7 MAP

GEOFON Oaxaca, Mexico
Mar 25 01:55 AM
4.6 10.0 MAP

EMSC Oaxaca, Mexico
Mar 25 01:46 AM
4.6 40.0 MAP

USGS Oaxaca, Mexico
Mar 25 01:46 AM
4.6 20.1 MAP

EMSC Pacific-antarctic Ridge
Mar 25 01:05 AM
5.2 33.0 MAP

USGS Pacific-antarctic Ridge
Mar 25 01:05 AM
5.1 10.1 MAP

GEOFON Pacific Antarctic Ridge
Mar 25 01:05 AM
5.7 10.0 MAP

 

 

A MAGNITUDE 7.2 earthquake struck central Chile today (yesterday local time), about 250 kilometres southwest of Santiago, according to the US Geological Survey.

Its epicenter was located near the city of Talca, about 215km south-southwest of Santiago, at a depth of nearly 30 kilometres, the preliminary report said.

Chilean authorities initially ordered people living in coastal areas between Concon and Lebu to evacuate after the quake, but later canceled the order.

Local authorities said one person was injured when they had a traffic accident during the earthquake in the Bio Bio region. Their condition was not immediately known.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no widespread tsunami threat from the earthquake, but warned that earthquakes measuring more than 7.0 magnitude could cause local tsunamis and that local authorities should be prepared.

The Maule coastal region in central Chile where the quake occurred has been periodically shaken by powerful aftershocks since an 8.8 magnitude quake February 27, 2010 that claimed more than 500 lives and billions of dollars in damage, AFP reported.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/magnitude-72-earthquake-strikes-chile/story-e6frf7jx-1226310014552

Large 7.2 Quake Hits Chile –

Tsunami Warning Issued

by Mitch Battros – Earth Changes Media

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck central Chile prompting an evacuation of coastal areas for fear of a tsunami and causing scenes of panic in an area devastated by a massive quake two years ago.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or significant damage, officials in Chile said; but authorities ordered the evacuation of the central coast of Chile — the same area devastated in 2010, when officials were criticized for waiting too long to allow residents to escape a tsunami.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said “a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected.” Government spokesman Andres Chadwick said the Office of National Emergencies had issued the evacuation order as a precaution due to “observation of a certain intake of the sea.”

Recent solar activity may have contributed to this event. Watch for continued extreme weather events over the next 72 hours. This includes earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

http://www.earthchangesmedia.com/amember/plugins/protect/new_rewrite/login.php?v=-any&url=/secure/3247.326/article-9162532527.php

‘Widely felt’ earthquake rattles Hawaiian Islands

 

HILO (AP) – An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.9 rattled a wide area of Hawaii on Saturday but caused no significant damage or injuries, officials said.

The quake was “widely felt” throughout the islands, said Dale Grant, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. The agency’s website received more than 600 responses on its “Did You Feel It?” link within an hour after the tremor.

Among those responses were more than 40 Maui residents who reported feeling the quake in Kahului, Wailuku, Kihei, Makawao, Paia, Kula and Hana.

The quake hit a little before 11:00 a.m., less than a mile from the tiny community of Honomu, about 10 miles northwest of Hilo, the USGS reported.

People as far away as Honolulu, about 200 miles to the northwest, reported feeling the quake. A dispatcher at the Hawaii Police Department said authorities received a “couple of calls” about the shake but did not get any requests for officers to respond.

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/559473/-Widely-felt–earthquake-rattles-Hawaiian-Islands.html?nav=5031

 

Volcanic Activity

 

MEXICO

 

The National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred) reported that in the last 24 hours the Popocatepetl volcano registered 33 exhalations of low intensity, accompanied by emissions of water vapor and gas. The body of the Ministry of the Interior (Interior Ministry) explained that on Saturday one of these incidents occurred at 22:29, 23:21 and 23:56 hours on Sunday while they were at 5:14, 5:41 and 8:32 hours. In a statement, adding that Cenapred at 08:42 hours, an earthquake of low magnitude was followed by 96 minutes of spasmodic tremor segments, while the other parameters concerning the volcano remain unchanged. On Saturday night, there were numerous reports of incandescence material seen glowing in the mouth of the crater, though clouds made visibility poor for portions of the evening. The volcanic alert remains at phase two and yellow. Moderate exhalations are likely, some with ash emissions, sporadic bursts of low to moderate probability of emission of incandescent fragments short and a mild glow of the volcano in the crater may also be likely. The Cenapred recommended maintaining the safety radius of 12 kilometers.-Cronica

http://www.cronica.com.mx/nota.php?id_nota=648293

 

http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/intensification-of-activity-at-mexicos-popocatepetl-volcano-33-emission-events-in-24-hours/

 

‘Widely felt’ earthquake rattles Hawaiian Islands

 

HILO (AP) – An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.9 rattled a wide area of Hawaii on Saturday but caused no significant damage or injuries, officials said.

The quake was “widely felt” throughout the islands, said Dale Grant, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. The agency’s website received more than 600 responses on its “Did You Feel It?” link within an hour after the tremor.

Among those responses were more than 40 Maui residents who reported feeling the quake in Kahului, Wailuku, Kihei, Makawao, Paia, Kula and Hana.

The quake hit a little before 11:00 a.m., less than a mile from the tiny community of Honomu, about 10 miles northwest of Hilo, the USGS reported.

People as far away as Honolulu, about 200 miles to the northwest, reported feeling the quake. A dispatcher at the Hawaii Police Department said authorities received a “couple of calls” about the shake but did not get any requests for officers to respond.

Earthquakes are common in the area, according to the USGS, which added that none of the recent quakes has had any noticeable impact on the continuing eruption of Kilauea Volcano.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a statement saying no tsunami was expected to be generated from the earthquake.

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/559473/-Widely-felt–earthquake-rattles-Hawaiian-Islands.html?nav=5031

 

Storms, Flooding, Landslides

 

Early storms fuel awareness as spring begins

 

The Associated Press

PADUCAH, Ky. — Recent destructive storms in Kentucky may help the public be more aware of the potential threat of severe weather as spring begins.

National Weather Service meteorologist Christine Wielgos told The Paducah Sun ( http://bit.ly/FQpaa9) that bad storms make people more aware of risks posed by the weather.

She said she doesn’t believe frequent alerts about possible severe storms desensitize people.

“People are more aware of risks because of some bad storms happening here and in their backyards,” Wielgos said. “The storms’ intensity and frequency are increasing, and people know it.”

McCracken County emergency management director Paul Carter said he thought awareness of storm danger had increased in western Kentucky since a tornado hit in 2011 in nearby Joplin, Mo., and killed 160 people.

“There were lessons learned,” Carter said. “We try to stay off the sirens to avoid complacency. We want to make sure there is an acute threat before we start setting off the sirens around the county. So far, that has been very successful.”

Carter said bad weather is always a possibility – twisters were spotted last week in western McCracken County and there was widespread damage in 2007 when high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through the area.

He said when bad weather strikes, people should “use common sense. If there is a possibility of a bad storm, pay attention to all media and rely on warnings.”

Wielgos recommended that residents get weather radios and that will give them warnings for counties to the west. Storms most often move from west to east in the area, she said.

Brad Jackson, a Radio Shack manager at Kentucky Oaks Mall, says weather radios are selling better this year than they before spring last year.

“Any time there’s bad weather, weather radios become the No. 1 purchase,” Jackson said. “Maybe we’re selling more this year compared to last because last spring wasn’t as turbulent. We’re definitely selling more weather-related supplies like batteries, flashlights, car chargers for phones. People want to be safe, and after the ice storm two years ago, maybe more people are taking precautions.”

http://www.kentucky.com/2012/03/24/2124234/early-storms-fuel-awareness-of.html#storylink=cpy

 

Storms in US kill 31, death toll could rise

 

HENRYVILLE, Indiana: A string of violent storms from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes scratched away small towns and cut off rural communities as an early season tornado outbreak killed more than 30 people, and the death toll rose as daylight broke on Saturday’s search for survivors.

Massive thunderstorms, predicted by forecasters for days, threw off dozens of tornadoes, hitting the states of Kentucky and Indiana particularly hard. Twisters that crushed entire blocks of homes knocked out cellphones and landlines alike, ripped power lines from broken poles and tossed cars, school buses and tractor-trailers onto roadways made impassable by debris.

Weather that put millions of people at risk Friday killed 31, but both the scale of the devastation and the breadth of the storms made an immediate assessment of the havoc’s full extent all but impossible.

In Kentucky, the National Guard and state police headed out to search wreckage for an unknown number of missing. In Indiana, authorities searched dark county roads connecting rural communities that officials said “are completely gone.”

Susie Renner, 54, said she saw two tornadoes barreling down on the town of Henryville, Kentucky, within minutes of each other. The first was brown from being filled with debris; the second was black.

“I’m a storm chaser,” Renner said, “and I have never been this frightened before.”

Friday’s outbreak came two days after an earlier round of storms killed 13 people in the Midwest and South, and forecasters at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center had said the day would be one of a handful this year that warranted its highest risk level.

By 10 p.m., the weather service had issued 269 tornado warnings. Only 189 warnings were issued in all of February.

A total of 14 people were reported killed in Indiana. Tony Williams, owner of the Chelsea General Store in the town of Chelsea said a child and mother were huddled in a basement when the storm hit and sucked the 4-year-old out her hands. The mother survived, but her 70-year-old grandparents were upstairs; both died.

Two people also died further north in the town of Holton, where it appeared a tornado cut a diagonal swath down the town’s tiny main drag, demolishing a cinderblock gas station in one spot and leaving a tiny white church intact down the road. Officials also confirmed seven other deaths.

The death toll rose to at least 14 in Kentucky. In West Liberty, Stephen Burton heard the twister coming and pulled his 23-year-old daughter to safety, just before the tornado destroyed the second story of the family’s home.

“I just held onto her and I felt like I was getting sand-blasted on my back,” Burton said.

Kentucky State Police in Morehead said three people were dead in West Liberty and at least 75 were injured.

“All of the downtown area was just devastated,” he said. Samu said West Liberty’s hospital was damaged in the storm and some patients were being transferred to area hospitals.

Officials were having difficulty getting into the area to confirm the damage.

“We can’t even get into some of these counties,” said Kentucky Emergency Management spokesman Buddy Rogers. “The power is out, phones are out, roads are blocked and now it’s dark, which complicates things.”

http://arabnews.com/world/article582542.ece

More Storms Slam Louisville Friday Afternoon

A line of storms that moved through the Louisville area brought strong winds that caused damaged to homes and knocked out power to about 12,000 homes and businesses.

A line of storms that moved through the Louisville area brought strong winds that caused damaged to homes and knocked out power to about 12,000 homes and businesses.

The National Weather Service is investigating whether a tornado touched down Friday afternoon south of Louisville
Louisville Gas & Electric reported power out in multiple areas around Jefferson County.

Multiple television stations in Louisville showed damage to homes, including parts of roofs torn away, but officials reported no injuries.

Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman said students were delayed being dismissed while tornado warnings were in effect.

Oldham County elementary school students were being held at their schools.

The Shelby County schools released students 15 minutes late. The district said parents could expect students to arrive home 30 to 40 minutes late.

http://www.wbko.com/news/headlines/More_Storms_Slam_Louisville_Friday_Afternoon_144078346.html

 

Twenty Killed in Ecuador Floods

 

Heavy rains in Ecuador trigger floods that killed 20 people and forced thousands from homes. (Video: Reuters)

http://www.marketwatch.com/video/asset/twenty-killed-in-ecuador-floods/C693F20A-BA65-4A92-86C4-2E394D002F03

 

Storms cause flooding but end drought

 

After enduring wildfires and drought conditions last year, rainfall in March has put north Louisiana on the path toward one of the wettest on record for the month.

The National Weather Service said this March is the 12th wettest on record in more than 100 years and may rise higher in the rankings before the month ends. This week brought heavy rainfall, causing some areas to flood. Among them was Natchitoches Parish, which suffered from high water levels, flooding and severe storm damage.

“The rain we have had since about November has effectively eliminated the drought,” said Keith Stellman with the National Weather Service. “Most of the water is back for now.”

Stellman said north Louisiana received more than 8 inches of rain this month, just a quarter of an inch shy of the record. The surplus rain may make the early summer months cooler, he said, and hopefully, keep another drought at bay.

The excess water may bode well for the summer months, but it has caused the Red River to rise and become more treacherous.

All of the public boat ramps in the Caddo-Bossier area were closed this week, according to the Red River Waterway Commission, but the river is still open to boat traffic.

“It’s not a safe place out there,” Ken Guidry, with the commission, said adding the ramps will remain closed for an undetermined amount of time.

The river is treacherous at the moment and the “pool stage” is over 14 ½ feet above sea level, he said. The river is expected to crest Monday, but that may change if more rain falls in the areas that drain into the Red River, Guidry said.

“We’re going to monitor the situation, stay tuned to forecasts and see how many flood reservoirs release up river before we make an assessment,” Guidry said.

There was no way to tell how long the river will remain so high, Guidry said, but it may rise even further if another storm breaks next week.

“We’re expecting it to be warm and dry early next week,” said Stellman, “but we may enter a wet cycle again after the weekend.”

He said Monday and Tuesday look to be dry with temperatures in the upper 80s, with the chance of rain increasing as the week progresses. There is a 20 to 30 percent chance of rain Wednesday and Thursday followed by a possible pattern change Friday that may mean even more rain, Stellman said.

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20120324/NEWS01/203240347/Storms-cause-flooding-end-drought

 

Extreme Temperatures / Droughts

 

Experts: Drought effects will linger after rains

 

By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI

HOUSTON

The economic impact of a historic drought that has parched Texas and other parts of the Southwest will be felt for years, with ripple effects spreading nationwide as agriculture damage adds to increases in food prices, experts told a Texas legislative committee on Thursday.

Texas had an estimated $7.6 billion in agriculture losses last year, the driest in its history. Crops failed, ranchers sold or slaughtered cattle they couldn’t afford to feed leading to the largest reduction in the state’s herd since the Dust Bowl, municipalities spent millions on stop-gap measures to ensure they didn’t run out of water and at least one community began trucking water into residents.

Food prices are expected to rise because Texas is third in the nation when it comes to agricultural production and the leading producer of beef.

But of even greater concern is the long-term, with experts warning Texas’ climate is getting hotter and drier. This drought, some believe, is only a preview of what the future holds….

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-03/D9TLOBG80.htm

Stubborn drought expected to tax Mexico for years

 

(Reuters) – A severe drought in Mexico that has cost farmers more than a billion dollars in crop losses alone and set back the national cattle herd for years, is just a foretaste of the drier future facing Latin America’s second largest economy.

As water tankers race across northern Mexico to reach far-flung towns, and crops wither in the fields, the government has allotted 34 billion pesos ($2.65 billion) in emergency aid to confront the worst drought ever recorded in the country.

The water shortage wiped out millions of acres of farmland this winter, caused 15 billion pesos ($1.18 billion) in lost harvests, killed 60,000 head of cattle and weakened 2 million more livestock, pushing food prices higher in Mexico.

The overall cost to the economy is still being gauged but Mexico’s drought-stung winter has been evolving for years and is expected to worsen as the effect of global climate change takes hold, according to the government.

“Droughts are cyclical – we know that – but they are growing more frequent and severe due to climate change,” said Elvira Quesada, the Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources.

According to Mexico’s AMSDA agricultural association, poor weather destroyed some 7.5 million acres (3 million hectares) of cultivable land in 2011 – an area about the size of Belgium. The federal agriculture ministry puts the figure at about half that.

That helped push Mexico’s food imports up 35 percent last year, a trend likely to persist through the 2012-13 crop cycle.

“There was talk of drought when I got here sixteen years ago,” said Ignacio Becerra, a priest working in the rugged town of Carichi in Chihuahua state, which has suffered massive water shortages. “This year, not even corn or beans came up.”

“Watering holes that never ran dry are empty. Without rain this situation is going to get even more serious,” he said…..

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/21/us-mexico-drought-idUSBRE82K1E520120321

Drought, high temps have DNR fire crews on alert

 

FOREST LAKE, Minn. – Our warm weather has been great to get out and enjoy but the heat and lack of snow this winter puts us at high risk for fires this spring.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) keeps a close eye on the weather and sets levels for fire dangers.

A lot has changed in a few days. A majority of the state went from a low fire risk on Wednesday to a high risk on Saturday.

Grass fire season has ignited a month early for firefighters from the DNR Carlos Avery Fire Base.

Smoke-chasers, as the firefighters call themselves, checked for hot spots Saturday after a grass fire charred 20 acres in rural Linwood on Friday.

The DNR used a helicopter to help contain the blaze which was started mistakenly by a homeowner…..

http://www.kare11.com/news/article/968171/391/Drought-high-temps-have-DNR-fire-crews-on-alert

 

Storm doesn’t ease Arizona drought

 

Spring arrived Monday night in the wake of a cold storm that added a late layer of snow across Arizona’s high country and ended a three-month rainless streak in Phoenix.

The moisture was a welcome coda to an otherwise drier-than-average winter, but it won’t do much to ease drought conditions that have deepened over the state in recent months.

“We’re calling it a drop in the bucket at this point in the season,” said Dino DeSimone, water-supply specialist at the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the federal agency that tracks snow and runoff. “It certainly will help. It will improve conditions in general, but the soil moisture has been so depleted, it won’t have a significant impact.”

The effects, if any, on fire danger are not yet known. The added moisture could delay the start of the season. But wildfire forecasters were already predicting above-average risks through June, so without more rain or snow, forest and range conditions could dry up again in a hurry.

The storm delivered its chilly punch in winter’s final days, exiting almost in sync with the official start of spring on Monday at 10:14 p.m. Arizona time. It was spring’s earliest arrival in more than a century, in part because this is a leap year…..

http://tucsoncitizen.com/arizona-news/2012/03/19/storm-doesnt-ease-arizona-drought/

 

Drought to send food prices soaring (Britain)

 

Soaring fruit and vegetable prices are set to pile more misery on hard-pressed shoppers this summer as London’s worst drought since 1976 spreads to much of the rest of the country.

The warning comes ahead of the publication of a major “call for action” from the Environment Agency tomorrow that will trigger hosepipe bans in London and across the South East from April 5.

A report from the agency is expected to say that the entire south eastern half of the country – from Yorkshire to Somerset – is at severe risk of drought after two dry winters in a row.

Planting of crops is already down by a fifth on normal because of restrictions on farmers’ water use.

The potato harvest is most vulnerable as it is a particularly “thirsty” crop, according to the National Farmers Union, but carrots, onions, lettuce and peas are also threatened…..

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/london/drought-to-send-food-prices-soaring-7562420.html

European Crops Damaged by Winter Freeze Now Face Drought

 

European wheat and rapeseed crops are at risk of drought that may further hurt yields after freezing weather last month destroyed some fields, analysts and forecasters said.

France, Spain, England and northern Italy got less rain than normal since the start of January, European Union weather data show. They will probably stay drier and warmer than usual in the next 30 days, said Joel Burgio, an agricultural meteorologist at Telvent DTN.

The 27-nation EU typically grows about 20 percent of the world’s soft wheat. A cold wave in February may have lopped 5 million metric tons off this year’s harvest, and a lack of rain might further harm EU output, according to Alexandre Marie, an analyst at French farm adviser Offre et Demande Agricole.

“The situation in Europe is alarming,” Marie said by phone yesterday from Bourges, west of Paris. “That will remain a factor of support for the market in coming weeks.”

Paris-traded milling wheat for November delivery was priced above the grain for December delivery in Chicago for the first time in the contracts’ lifetime on Feb. 7. Buyers now need to pay $261.86 a ton for French wheat, $12.77 a ton more than for soft red winter wheat.

“We’re already starting to see a market reaction,” Marie said. European wheat has gained on U.S. grain because of concern about frost damage to the crop, and drought is an additional risk, he said…..

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-03-22/european-crops-damaged-by-winter-freeze-now-face-drought

 

Drought: first desalination opens in mainland Britain as water bosses warn of price rises

 

More than one million people will be supplied with water from Britain’s first large-scale desalination plant this summer to help cope with what is expected to be a widespread drought.

Within weeks, the new £270million plant in east London will begin supplying homes with seawater that has been turned into drinking water.

More than 20million people are facing hosepipe bans after seven water companies announced restrictions earlier this week. Householders could be fined up to £1,000 for filling a paddling pool or washing their car.

Water companies yesterday faced calls to invest in reducing leaks instead of imposing water restrictions on home owners. According to official figures, the companies are losing 3.4billion litres of water a year to leaks, equivalent to 25 per cent of all water used. Thames Water admitted that its last hosepipe ban, imposed in 2006, resulted in just a 5 per cent drop in water use…..

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9141282/Drought-first-desalination-opens-in-mainland-Britain-as-water-bosses-warn-of-price-rises.html

 

Aid agencies warn of impending catastrophe in Niger

 

THE British aid agency Oxfam says millions of dollars are needed urgently to stop a hunger crisis in Niger turning into a catastrophe.

It says some 1.9 million people are at severe risk and that number could rise to 3.5 million next month. More than six million of the population of 17 million need immediate help.

“All signs point to an impending catastrophe” and “the world cannot allow this to happen,” Oxfam’s Niger director Samuel Braimah said

He said Oxfam has received only €2.9 million ($A3.69 million) of the €15 million it needs to help.

Oxfam blamed a lethal mix of drought, erratic rains, high food prices, entrenched poverty and regional conflict that has brought tens of thousands of refugees to Niger.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/aid-agencies-warn-of-impending-catastrophe-in-niger/story-e6frf7jx-1226310192409

 

Solar Activity

 

Solar Flares Likely Knocked Military Satellites Offline
Solar storms earlier this month may have caused military satellites to reboot

 

By Jason Koebler

Despite being made to withstand radiation emitted from solar flares, a storm caused by the sun earlier this month may have temporarily knocked American military satellites offline, according to General William Shelton, head of the Air Force’s Space Command.

The energy particles associated with two solar storms March 9 and 10 may have caused what are called “single event upsets” on military satellites. “The timing is such that we say this was likely due to [solar radiation],” Shelton told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast Thursday. Although it’s impossible to tell exactly what caused the events—essentially a temporary reboot of satellite instrumentation software—solar storms are known to wreak havoc on satellites.

“We’re very concerned about solar activity,” he said. Military satellites are “hardened [to withstand radiation], but maybe in some cases, not every part is as hard as we would like it to be.”

That’s because building a satellite to withstand solar storms is costly, which is why NASA says commercial satellites are often most vulnerable. Yihua Zheng, head of NASA’s Space Weather Services at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., says each satellite is built to withstand a different level of radiation, and that there’s a “cost-benefit analysis” to radiation hardening during a satellite’s development. Most mission-critical military satellites are built to sustain short bursts of solar radiation. Satellites “can reset and come back online.” But if the solar storm is lengthy, the damage could be severe enough that the satellite’s software won’t be able to reboot.

“Most of the satellites are built for this,” she says. “They should be OK.”

In recent years, the military has become more reliant on satellites operated by the Air Force’s Space Command, Shelton said. “Space capability is integral to everything [the military does],” he said, “from GPS targeting and communications to incoming missile warnings for our troops overseas.”

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/03/22/solar-flares-likely-knocked-military-satellites-offline

 

2MIN News Mar23: US Tremors/Serious Weather, Solar Activity

 

 

400 Chernobyls: Solar Flares, Electromagnetic Pulses and Nuclear Armageddon

 

By Matthew Stein, Truthout | News Analysis

There are nearly 450 nuclear reactors in the world, with hundreds more being planned or under construction. There are 104 of these reactors in the United States and 195 in Europe. Imagine what havoc it would wreak on our civilization and the planet’s ecosystems if we were to suddenly witness not just one or two nuclear meltdowns, but 400 or more! How likely is it that our world might experience an event that could ultimately cause hundreds of reactors to fail and melt down at approximately the same time? I venture to say that, unless we take significant protective measures, this apocalyptic scenario is not only possible, but probable.

Consider the ongoing problems caused by three reactor core meltdowns, explosions and breached containment vessels at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi facility and the subsequent health and environmental issues. Consider the millions of innocent victims who have already died or continue to suffer from horrific radiation-related health problems (“Chernobyl AIDS,” epidemic cancers, chronic fatigue, etcetera) resulting from the Chernobyl reactor explosions, fires and fallout. If just two serious nuclear disasters, spaced 25 years apart, could cause such horrendous environmental catastrophes, it is hard to imagine how we could ever hope to recover from hundreds of similar nuclear incidents occurring simultaneously across the planet. Since more than one-third of all Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant, this is a serious issue that should be given top priority.[1]……

http://truth-out.org/news/item/7301-400-chernobyls-solar-flares-electromagnetic-pulses-and-nuclear-armageddon

 

2MIN News March25: Quakes, Planets, The Sun

 

Stories of Interest

 

Hippies head for Noah’s Ark: Queue here for rescue aboard alien spaceship

Thousands of New Agers descend on mountain they see as haven from December’s apocalypse

A mountain looming over a French commune with a population of just 200 is being touted as a modern Noah’s Ark when doomsday arrives – supposedly less than nine months from now.

A rapidly increasing stream of New Age believers – or esoterics, as locals call them – have descended in their camper van-loads on the usually picturesque and tranquil Pyrenean village of Bugarach. They believe that when apocalypse strikes on 21 December this year, the aliens waiting in their spacecraft inside Pic de Bugarach will save all the humans near by and beam them off to the next age.

As the cataclysmic date – which, according to eschatological beliefs and predicted astrological alignments, concludes a 5,125-year cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar – nears, the goings-on around the peak have become more bizarre and ritualistic.

For decades, there has been a belief that Pic de Bugarach, which, at 1,230 metres, is the highest in the Corbières mountain range, possesses an eery power. Often called the “upside-down mountain” – geologists think that it exploded after its formation and the top landed the wrong way up – it is thought to have inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Since the 1960s, it has attracted New Agers, who insist that it emits special magnetic waves……

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/hippies-head-for-noahs-ark-queue-here-for-rescue-aboard-alien-spaceship-7584492.html

Earthquakes

 

EMSC Oaxaca, Mexico
Mar 23 23:47 PM
4.7 33.0 MAP

GEOFON Near Coast Of Guerrero, Mexico
Mar 23 23:47 PM
4.6 14.0 MAP

USGS Oaxaca, Mexico
Mar 23 23:47 PM
4.6 10.1 MAP

EMSC Offshore Guerrero, Mexico
Mar 23 23:37 PM
4.6 10.0 MAP

USGS Offshore Guerrero, Mexico
Mar 23 23:37 PM
4.6 10.0 MAP

GEOFON Off Coast Of Guerrero, Mexico
Mar 23 23:37 PM
4.4 10.0 MAP

EMSC South Sandwich Islands Region
Mar 23 21:30 PM
4.8 55.0 MAP

USGS South Sandwich Islands Region
Mar 23 21:30 PM
4.8 54.7 MAP

EMSC Oaxaca, Mexico
Mar 23 17:19 PM
4.4 20.0 MAP

USGS Oaxaca, Mexico
Mar 23 17:19 PM
4.4 20.0 MAP

USGS Oaxaca, Mexico
Mar 23 17:13 PM
4.6 20.5 MAP

EMSC Oaxaca, Mexico
Mar 23 17:13 PM
4.6 20.0 MAP

EMSC Eastern Turkey
Mar 23 15:43 PM
4.4 6.0 MAP

EMSC Vanuatu
Mar 23 15:34 PM
5.0 10.0 MAP

USGS Vanuatu
Mar 23 15:34 PM
4.9 10.0 MAP

USGS Vanuatu
Mar 23 15:04 PM
4.9 49.4 MAP

GEOFON Vanuatu Islands
Mar 23 15:04 PM
4.8 10.0 MAP

EMSC Vanuatu
Mar 23 15:04 PM
5.0 10.0 MAP

GEOFON Tonga Islands
Mar 23 14:35 PM
5.0 133.0 MAP

EMSC Tonga
Mar 23 14:35 PM
4.9 122.0 MAP

USGS Tonga
Mar 23 14:35 PM
4.8 119.5 MAP

EMSC San Juan, Argentina
Mar 23 09:25 AM
4.4 102.0 MAP

USGS San Juan, Argentina
Mar 23 09:25 AM
4.4 101.9 MAP

GEOFON South Australia
Mar 23 09:25 AM
5.3 10.0 MAP

USGS South Australia
Mar 23 09:25 AM
5.6 10.7 MAP

EMSC South Australia
Mar 23 09:25 AM
5.5 2.0 MAP

EMSC Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan
Mar 23 07:48 AM

USGS Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan
Mar 23 07:48 AM
4.5 217.5 MAP

USGS Solomon Islands
Mar 23 07:02 AM
4.7 136.9 MAP

EMSC Solomon Islands
Mar 23 07:02 AM
4.8 111.0 MAP

Magnitude-4.9 earthquake jolts islands
No tsunami generated from Saturday morning

HONOLULU

Many people from the Big Island to Oahu felt a magnitude 4.9 earthquake Saturday morning.

The quake struck a little after 10:45 a.m., centered just west of Honomu in East Hawaii, at a depth of 27 miles.

There are no reports of major damage or injuries.

Scientists say the earthquake was too small to generate a tsunami and the weight of the Big Island settling is the likely cause.

Geologists at the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory say there have been no aftershocks so far, and there’s been no change in the ongoing eruption at Kilauea Volcano.

http://www.kitv.com/news/hawaii/Magnitude-4-9-earthquake-jolts-islands/-/8905354/9695582/-/13hxyhb/-/

Earthquake felt in Gozo

 

A magnitude 3.2 earthquake was registered in Libyan waters at 10.28am yesterday, and felt in Gozo.

According to the University of Malta Seismic Monitoring and Research Unit, its epicentre was 177km southwest of Malta. Other seismic activity was recorded in Crete, on Thursday.

The Italian website Meteoweb.eu, also reported the tremor, although the information it gave was different to that officially issued. It said the earthquake’s epicentre was in Gozo and that it had a magnitude of 2.9 on the Richter Scale.

According to the same website, the tremor was felt in Gozo. No damage was caused.

The last significant seismic activity in Malta, was recorded over the weekend of 23 and 24 April, last year.

A series of five earth tremors, with the first occurring at around midnight, were felt in various localities in Malta and people reported objects moving on the shelves.

The tremors had a magnitude of between 2.5 and 4.0.

The location of yesterday’s earthquake may be viewed on the website http://www.phys.um.edu.mt/seismic, where residents may also fill in the online questionnaire if they felt any shaking.

http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=141674

 

Tornadoes cause one death, damage in half dozen states

 

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Tornadoes touched down in a half-dozen states on Friday, killing one woman whose mobile home was flipped by a twister and causing damage to homes and businesses, authorities said.

The 60-year-old woman died in Jefferson County, Illinois, when a suspected tornado flipped her mobile home and blew it across a road into a farm field, said county coroner Eddie Joe Marks.
There was at least one other person injured in the county, located in the southern tip of Illinois.

“A young boy had just stepped into his home when the storm hit. He got away with minor scrapes and bruises but went to the hospital,” Marks said.

The tornadoes appeared to be smaller and touched down only briefly as compared to a deadly tornado outbreak in the region early this month, authorities said.

A few homes sustained damage from a suspected tornado in Fern Creek, Kentucky, a town southeast of Louisville, emergency management official Monica French said.

In Alabama, a suspected tornado damaged three homes and some chicken houses in the town of Troy, emergency management spokeswoman Yasamie August said.

Georgia, Indiana, and Missouri also had tornadoes touch down, with no reports of injuries.

“There have been a lot of tornado reports but they’ve all been brief touchdowns or rope-like tornadoes, not large tornadoes,” said Steve Weiss of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Tornadoes have caused 55 U.S. deaths so far this year, most of them on February 29 and March 2 when swarms of tornadoes wreaked havoc across the Midwest and the South.

Tornadoes were blamed for 550 deaths in the United States last year, the deadliest year in nearly a century, according to the Weather Service.

The storm front bringing rain and severe weather to the nation’s midsection broke a spell of record-breaking, summer-like temperatures.

Among the southern Illinois towns in the severe weather zone that was pelted by hail on Friday was Harrisburg, where seven people were killed when a powerful tornado February 29 flattened part of the town.

(Reporting By Andrew Stern; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Greg McCune)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-weather-tornadoesbre82m17h-20120323,0,6553615.story

 

Moderate 5.1 earthquake rumbles along the outskirts of Santiago, Chile

by The Extinction Protocol

March 23, 2012 – CHILE – A moderate earthquake of 5.3 magnitude (5.1 USGS) on the Richter scale near Santiago on Saturday morning in the central area of the country, according to the Seismological Service of the University of Chile. The epicenter of the quake, which occurred at 4:28 am was located 43 kilometers northeast of the town of Casablanca, on the border regions of Valparaiso and Santiago, at a depth of 68.9 kilometers. It was in the capital and the fifth region where the earthquake was felt more strongly. According to reports received by the National Bureau of Emegencia (Onemi), the quake reached an intensity of V degrees on the Mercalli scale in Santiago, the Andes, Talagante, Tiltil, Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Quintero, San Antonio, San Felipe, and German Village. V grades also recorded in Los Vilos, in the Coquimbo Region. In the Region of O’Higgins, meanwhile, the earthquake was felt with a force of IV degrees in Rancagua and III degrees on Christmas, Pichilemu, San Fernando and Santa Cruz. In the El Maule reached II degrees in Curicó and Order. It reached in the Fourth Region II degrees in La Serena. The Onemi received no reports of damage or injured as a result of the earthquake. –El Mostrador (translated)

http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/moderate-5-1-earthquake-rumbles-along-the-outskirts-of-santiago-chile/

 

 

Storms, Flooding, Landslides

 

Early storms fuel awareness as spring begins

 

The Associated Press

PADUCAH, Ky. — Recent destructive storms in Kentucky may help the public be more aware of the potential threat of severe weather as spring begins.

National Weather Service meteorologist Christine Wielgos told The Paducah Sun ( http://bit.ly/FQpaa9) that bad storms make people more aware of risks posed by the weather.

She said she doesn’t believe frequent alerts about possible severe storms desensitize people.

“People are more aware of risks because of some bad storms happening here and in their backyards,” Wielgos said. “The storms’ intensity and frequency are increasing, and people know it.”

McCracken County emergency management director Paul Carter said he thought awareness of storm danger had increased in western Kentucky since a tornado hit in 2011 in nearby Joplin, Mo., and killed 160 people.

“There were lessons learned,” Carter said. “We try to stay off the sirens to avoid complacency. We want to make sure there is an acute threat before we start setting off the sirens around the county. So far, that has been very successful.”

Carter said bad weather is always a possibility – twisters were spotted last week in western McCracken County and there was widespread damage in 2007 when high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through the area.

He said when bad weather strikes, people should “use common sense. If there is a possibility of a bad storm, pay attention to all media and rely on warnings.”

Wielgos recommended that residents get weather radios and that will give them warnings for counties to the west. Storms most often move from west to east in the area, she said.

Brad Jackson, a Radio Shack manager at Kentucky Oaks Mall, says weather radios are selling better this year than they before spring last year.

“Any time there’s bad weather, weather radios become the No. 1 purchase,” Jackson said. “Maybe we’re selling more this year compared to last because last spring wasn’t as turbulent. We’re definitely selling more weather-related supplies like batteries, flashlights, car chargers for phones. People want to be safe, and after the ice storm two years ago, maybe more people are taking precautions.”

http://www.kentucky.com/2012/03/24/2124234/early-storms-fuel-awareness-of.html#storylink=cpy

 

Storms in US kill 31, death toll could rise

 

HENRYVILLE, Indiana: A string of violent storms from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes scratched away small towns and cut off rural communities as an early season tornado outbreak killed more than 30 people, and the death toll rose as daylight broke on Saturday’s search for survivors.

Massive thunderstorms, predicted by forecasters for days, threw off dozens of tornadoes, hitting the states of Kentucky and Indiana particularly hard. Twisters that crushed entire blocks of homes knocked out cellphones and landlines alike, ripped power lines from broken poles and tossed cars, school buses and tractor-trailers onto roadways made impassable by debris.

Weather that put millions of people at risk Friday killed 31, but both the scale of the devastation and the breadth of the storms made an immediate assessment of the havoc’s full extent all but impossible.

In Kentucky, the National Guard and state police headed out to search wreckage for an unknown number of missing. In Indiana, authorities searched dark county roads connecting rural communities that officials said “are completely gone.”

Susie Renner, 54, said she saw two tornadoes barreling down on the town of Henryville, Kentucky, within minutes of each other. The first was brown from being filled with debris; the second was black.

“I’m a storm chaser,” Renner said, “and I have never been this frightened before.”

Friday’s outbreak came two days after an earlier round of storms killed 13 people in the Midwest and South, and forecasters at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center had said the day would be one of a handful this year that warranted its highest risk level.

By 10 p.m., the weather service had issued 269 tornado warnings. Only 189 warnings were issued in all of February.

A total of 14 people were reported killed in Indiana. Tony Williams, owner of the Chelsea General Store in the town of Chelsea said a child and mother were huddled in a basement when the storm hit and sucked the 4-year-old out her hands. The mother survived, but her 70-year-old grandparents were upstairs; both died.

Two people also died further north in the town of Holton, where it appeared a tornado cut a diagonal swath down the town’s tiny main drag, demolishing a cinderblock gas station in one spot and leaving a tiny white church intact down the road. Officials also confirmed seven other deaths.

The death toll rose to at least 14 in Kentucky. In West Liberty, Stephen Burton heard the twister coming and pulled his 23-year-old daughter to safety, just before the tornado destroyed the second story of the family’s home.

“I just held onto her and I felt like I was getting sand-blasted on my back,” Burton said.

Kentucky State Police in Morehead said three people were dead in West Liberty and at least 75 were injured.

“All of the downtown area was just devastated,” he said. Samu said West Liberty’s hospital was damaged in the storm and some patients were being transferred to area hospitals.

Officials were having difficulty getting into the area to confirm the damage.

“We can’t even get into some of these counties,” said Kentucky Emergency Management spokesman Buddy Rogers. “The power is out, phones are out, roads are blocked and now it’s dark, which complicates things.”

http://arabnews.com/world/article582542.ece

 

More Storms Slam Louisville Friday Afternoon

 

A line of storms that moved through the Louisville area brought strong winds that caused damaged to homes and knocked out power to about 12,000 homes and businesses.

A line of storms that moved through the Louisville area brought strong winds that caused damaged to homes and knocked out power to about 12,000 homes and businesses.

The National Weather Service is investigating whether a tornado touched down Friday afternoon south of Louisville
Louisville Gas & Electric reported power out in multiple areas around Jefferson County.

Multiple television stations in Louisville showed damage to homes, including parts of roofs torn away, but officials reported no injuries.

Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman said students were delayed being dismissed while tornado warnings were in effect.

Oldham County elementary school students were being held at their schools.

The Shelby County schools released students 15 minutes late. The district said parents could expect students to arrive home 30 to 40 minutes late.

http://www.wbko.com/news/headlines/More_Storms_Slam_Louisville_Friday_Afternoon_144078346.html

 

Twenty Killed in Ecuador Floods

 

Heavy rains in Ecuador trigger floods that killed 20 people and forced thousands from homes. (Video: Reuters)

http://www.marketwatch.com/video/asset/twenty-killed-in-ecuador-floods/C693F20A-BA65-4A92-86C4-2E394D002F03

 

 

Solar Activity

 

Solar Flares Likely Knocked Military Satellites Offline
Solar storms earlier this month may have caused military satellites to reboot

 

By Jason Koebler

Despite being made to withstand radiation emitted from solar flares, a storm caused by the sun earlier this month may have temporarily knocked American military satellites offline, according to General William Shelton, head of the Air Force’s Space Command.

The energy particles associated with two solar storms March 9 and 10 may have caused what are called “single event upsets” on military satellites. “The timing is such that we say this was likely due to [solar radiation],” Shelton told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast Thursday. Although it’s impossible to tell exactly what caused the events—essentially a temporary reboot of satellite instrumentation software—solar storms are known to wreak havoc on satellites.

“We’re very concerned about solar activity,” he said. Military satellites are “hardened [to withstand radiation], but maybe in some cases, not every part is as hard as we would like it to be.”

That’s because building a satellite to withstand solar storms is costly, which is why NASA says commercial satellites are often most vulnerable. Yihua Zheng, head of NASA’s Space Weather Services at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., says each satellite is built to withstand a different level of radiation, and that there’s a “cost-benefit analysis” to radiation hardening during a satellite’s development. Most mission-critical military satellites are built to sustain short bursts of solar radiation. Satellites “can reset and come back online.” But if the solar storm is lengthy, the damage could be severe enough that the satellite’s software won’t be able to reboot.

“Most of the satellites are built for this,” she says. “They should be OK.”

In recent years, the military has become more reliant on satellites operated by the Air Force’s Space Command, Shelton said. “Space capability is integral to everything [the military does],” he said, “from GPS targeting and communications to incoming missile warnings for our troops overseas.”

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/03/22/solar-flares-likely-knocked-military-satellites-offline

 

2MIN News Mar23: US Tremors/Serious Weather, Solar Activity

 

400 Chernobyls: Solar Flares, Electromagnetic Pulses and Nuclear Armageddon

 

By Matthew Stein, Truthout | News Analysis

There are nearly 450 nuclear reactors in the world, with hundreds more being planned or under construction. There are 104 of these reactors in the United States and 195 in Europe. Imagine what havoc it would wreak on our civilization and the planet’s ecosystems if we were to suddenly witness not just one or two nuclear meltdowns, but 400 or more! How likely is it that our world might experience an event that could ultimately cause hundreds of reactors to fail and melt down at approximately the same time? I venture to say that, unless we take significant protective measures, this apocalyptic scenario is not only possible, but probable.

Consider the ongoing problems caused by three reactor core meltdowns, explosions and breached containment vessels at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi facility and the subsequent health and environmental issues. Consider the millions of innocent victims who have already died or continue to suffer from horrific radiation-related health problems (“Chernobyl AIDS,” epidemic cancers, chronic fatigue, etcetera) resulting from the Chernobyl reactor explosions, fires and fallout. If just two serious nuclear disasters, spaced 25 years apart, could cause such horrendous environmental catastrophes, it is hard to imagine how we could ever hope to recover from hundreds of similar nuclear incidents occurring simultaneously across the planet. Since more than one-third of all Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant, this is a serious issue that should be given top priority.[1]……

http://truth-out.org/news/item/7301-400-chernobyls-solar-flares-electromagnetic-pulses-and-nuclear-armageddon

 

 

 

Politics and Legislation

The Hill: Obama shifts healthcare defense

By Sam Baker

The Obama administration has shifted its legal arguments as it prepares to defend the president’s healthcare law before the Supreme Court.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216361-obama-shifts-healthcare-defense

The Hill: Republican bill would enroll seniors in same health plans as lawmakers

By Julian Pecquet

A group of Senate Republicans has introduced legislation that would end traditional Medicare and sign seniors up for the same private healthcare plans received by members of Congress.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/medicare/216303-gop-medicare-bill-would-enroll-seniors-into-lawmakers-plans

Washington elites queue up to see nine justices on hot seat

By Janet Adamy and Jess Bravin

The hottest ticket in the capital is for a spot inside the Supreme Court to watch three days of arguments challenging the 2010 health-care law that begin here a week from Monday.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303863404577283631472580966.html?mod=ITP_AHED

Tape A Cop, Face A Felony Charge

Well, now the news is that in Chicago the police will continue to
enforce, arrest, and prosecute citizens under this law as long as
it remains on the books.

Coming to Chicago in May is an upcoming NATO summit and it is
expected to bring with it huge numbers felonious camera carrying
members of the public, and you can bet the police will have their
own cameras trained on them.

Supreme Court rules out television cameras for healthcare arguments

By Sam Baker

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected calls to allow television cameras into its chambers during arguments over President Obama’s healthcare law.??

The court said it would release same-day audio recordings of the arguments, scheduled for March 26-28. It cited the “extraordinary public interest” in the case, which could lead to President Obama’s signature domestic achievement being struck down in the midst of the campaign season.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/legal-challenges/216447-supreme-court-no-cameras-in-healthcare-case

GOP Super PAC Men Seek to Overturn Donation Limits

Michael Beckel, News Report:

McCutcheon is a 44-year-old general contractor in Alabama. He’s the owner, founder and president of Coalmont Electrical Development. He’s a member of the Republican Party who admits he may have a bit of a libertarian streak. And he’s also the treasurer of a super PAC called the “Conservative Action Fund.” That’s a group that spent more than $43,000 opposing House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) in Tuesday’s GOP primary in Alabama, although it has mostly targeted Democrats with its attacks.

http://www.nationofchange.org/gop-super-pac-men-seek-overturn-donation-limits-1331907498

Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Use of the Patriot Act

For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming if the public – or even others in Congress – knew about it. On Thursday, two of those senators – Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado – went further. They said a top-secret intelligence operation that is based on that secret legal theory is not as crucial to national security as executive branch officials have maintained. The senators, who also said that Americans would be “stunned” to know what the government thought the Patriot Act allowed it to do, made their remarks in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. after a Justice Department official last month told a judge that disclosing anything about the program “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/us/politics/democratic-senators-warn-about-use-of-patriot-act.html?_r=1

Economy

UK could lose coveted AAA rating, warns Fitch

Britain’s hopes of retaining its prized triple-A credit rating were dealt a blow last night after Fitch said the country was more likely than not to be downgraded.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9144551/UK-could-lose-coveted-AAA-rating-warns-Fitch.html

The Global Economy is Now More Vulnerable to Oil Prices than Ever

This paper examines the impact of oil price changes on global economic growth. Unlike some recent studies, this paper finds that oil price rises have had significant negative impacts on world economic growth. A time-series analysis of the data from 1971 to 2010 finds that an increase in real oil price by 10 dollars is associated with a reduction of world economic growth rate by between 0.4 and 1% in the following year. As oil prices approach historical highs, the global economy may be vulnerable to another oil price shock.

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/The-Global-Economy-is-Now-More-Vulnerable-to-Oil-Prices-than-Ever.html

Gold “Vulnerable” as U.S. Treasury Bond Market Sell-Off Worsens

The WHOLESALE-MARKET gold price twice rose within a few cents of $1650 per ounce in London Thursday morning, adding 0.9% from yesterday’s fresh 8-week low as industrial commodities ticked lower again.

The price of silver bullion rallied 2.3% to $32.40 per ounce, but remained over 5% down for the week so far, being “very much influenced” by the gold price according to one Swiss precious-metals dealer.

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33621.html

Europe’s Economic Crisis: Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Belgium Following Greece

It isn’t over until it is over. Of course, we are referring to Europe and its version of 1984. We find it profound that the bankers, politicians and bureaucrats of Europe can do what they have done with a straight face. Investor had a haircut shoved down their throats and the ECB, the European Central Bank and the IMF were exempt.

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33614.html

Retail sales suggest consumers shrugging off gas prices

Dave Prokupek doesn’t like the high price of gasoline either. But business is good enough at Smashburger that the chain where Prokupek is CEO opened its 150th restaurant Wednesday, and plans to open up to 75 this year, even though eating out is theoretically the first thing gas-strapped consumers would trim.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2012-03-14/gas-prices-consumer-spending/53536216/1

S&P 500 ends best week since December with quiet day

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 closed out its best week in three months with a slim gain on Friday as investors continued to propel equities near four-year highs.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/p-ends-over-1-400-024934926.html;_ylt=ApQL0mCH094ssRZYbqrtjyiiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQzcjhzN29wBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIEp1bWJvdHJvbiBMaXRlBHBrZwM4NmU2MDcwOC1mNmVhLTNkMDUtYWUzZC0yMjI0OWUzZjI0MjIEcG9zAzEEc2VjA2p1bWJvdHJvbgR2ZXIDZTc4ODAwZDAtNmYxMi0xMWUxLTk2NmItNzIxM2Q2ZDI2ZmJl;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

Jobless claims fall, manufacturing holds up

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Economic growth showed signs of becoming more self-sustaining as the number of Americans claiming new jobless benefits fell back to a four-year low last week and manufacturing activity in the Northeast picked up this month.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/jobless-claims-fall-manufacturing-holds-025406890.html;_ylt=AvsoQHMJwEqo4vsQWGfhQHqiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0NWxhc2xjBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yeSBSaWdodARwa2cDYTFkNjVjNjktNjY3Ny0zY2RmLTg4MzQtYjdkODNjY2NkZTQ0BHBvcwMxBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzk4YWNmOGMwLTZmMTMtMTFlMS1iNWZmLWZmOTYwOTBjZDY4OA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

Secret “Occult Economy” Coming Out of the Shadows?

During December 2011 and January 2012, I wrote two articles dealing with the announcement of two different lawsuits being filed in U.S. District Courts regarding astronomical amounts of money in the forms of U.S. Bonds, Federal Reserve Notes, foreign government-issued bonds, and other financial instruments.

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/secret-occult-economy-coming-out-of.html

Appropriators warn legislative agencies of further funding cuts

By Debbie Siegelbaum

Members of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on The Legislative Branch are warning congressional agencies that the current atmosphere of economic austerity will likely not abate any time soon.

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/216321-senate-appropriators-warn-legislative-agencies-of-further-funding-cuts

CBO finds Obama budget adds $3.5T to deficits

By Erik Wasson

President Obama’s 2013 budget would add $3.5 trillion to annual deficits through 2022, according to a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

It also would raise the deficit next year by $365 billion, according to the non-partisan office.

The CBO estimate is in sharp contrast to the White House claims last month that the Obama budget would reduce deficits by $3.2 trillion over the next decade.?

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/216397-obama-budget-adds-35-trillion-in-deficits-cbo-finds

Fourth straight monthly fall in FDI

Foreign direct investment (FDI) shrank in February from a year earlier, the fourth straight fall, while investment from Europe witnessed a sharp decline, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Experts were not optimistic about the inflow of foreign investment into China as the European debt crisis continues and domestic economic growth slows down.

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-03/16/content_14847086.htm

The View From Muppetland

Veena Trehan, Op-Ed:

Banks relentless search for profits has racked up immense “collateral damage”. Investment banks have injured individuals and institutions of every stripe. Institutions include the country Greece whose books Goldman cooked; Jefferson County, Alabama, and many European cities devastated by risky derivatives; colleges like the University of Virginia and Harvard who have held cut-rate sales on private equity; and pension funds and others who sued for fraudulent trades.

http://www.nationofchange.org/view-muppetland-1331903343

Four Whistleblowers Who Sounded the Alarm on Banks’ Mortgage Shenanigans

Cora Currier, News Analysis:

“Buried in the sweeping mortgage settlement with banks, for which final documents were filed this week, are five whistleblower cases that shed light on the litany of foreclosure abuses by the banks. According to one suit, Bank of America allegedly passed bad loans on to the Federal Housing Administration. According to another, the bank allegedly denied qualified homeowners access to HAMP, the government’s loan modification program.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/four-whistleblowers-who-sounded-alarm-banks-mortgage-shenanigans-1331912410

Wars and Rumors of War

Azerbaijan arrests 22 of their own citizens for allegedly being Iranian spies

The Azerbaijani government has announced the arrest of 22 of their own citizens who they claim are Iranian spies.

The tensions between Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan have only increased over recent months and this latest announcement is, without a doubt, not going to make anything less heated.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Azerbaijan_arrests_22_of_their_own_citizens_for_allegedly_being_Iranian_spies/18467/0/38/38/Y/M.html

GOP senator dismisses ‘CliffsNotes’ explanation for killing citizens abroad

By Jordy Yager

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Thursday demanded that the White House hand over documents that detail the administration’s legal case for killing U.S. citizens abroad who are believed to be terrorist threats.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/216263-gop-senator-dismisses-holders-cliffs-notes-explanation-for-killing-citizens-abroad

Obama: Window for diplomacy in Iran shrinking

US President says administration will do “everything we can” for diplomatic solution, but urges Tehran to negotiate.

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=261878

U.K’s Cameron: No justification for Israeli attack on Iran

In interview to NBC’s Brian Williams, British Prime Minister says Iran could maintain a civilian nuclear project if it did away with the military aspects of its program.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-k-s-cameron-no-justification-for-israeli-attack-on-iran-1.419068

US admits Israel is arming and training terrorist groups to create terrorism

Uploaded by 91177info on Feb 9, 2012

So much for this War on Terror! It is actually War OF Terror. This is proof THEY are creating terror directly and indirectly. This was shown live on US television !!

Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.
The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

The attacks, which have  U.S. Embassy in Tehran since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.

Currency Wars: Iran’s banks to be blocked from global banking system

Swift, the body that handles global banking transactions, says it will cut Iran’s banks out of the system on Saturday to enforce sanctions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17390456

78 Percent of Americans Oppose Invading Syria

Strong Opposition Also Seen to Arming Rebels

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/03/15/78-percent-of-americans-oppose-invading-syria/

Environmental

Proposed UN Environmental Constitution For The World Would Establish An Incredibly Repressive System Of Global Governance

Most people have no idea that the United Nations has been drafting an environmental constitution for the world that is intended to supersede all existing national laws. This document has a working title of “Draft International Covenant on Environment and Development” and you can read the entire thing right here. Work on this proposed world environmental constitution has been going on since 1995, and the fourth edition was issued to UN member states on September 22nd, 2010. This document is intended to become a permanent binding treaty and it would establish an incredibly repressive system of global governance.

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/proposed-un-environmental-constitution-for-the-world-would-establish-an-incredibly-repressive-system-of-global-governance

Activism

Occupy-Monsanto to Wear Bio-Hazmat Suits as They Protest a Genetically Modified Congress

News Report: The GCU will arrive at the metro station wearing bio-hazmat suits to assess whether Members of Congress and their staff have been victims of genetic crimes. The GCU will hold a banner that reads, “Congress is Genetically Modified,” as they circulate on Capitol Hill sidewalks. This day of action is part of a larger international call to ‘Occupy Monsanto’ taking place all over the globe including Spain, Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and at least 28 cities throughout the US.

http://www.nationofchange.org/occupy-monsanto-wear-bio-hazmat-suits-they-protest-genetically-modified-congress-1331912438

The American Spring: A Time for Occupy to Blossom

Kevin Zeese, News Report:

The weekend of March 31st and April 1st includes a two day “Bail Out America” direct action training organized by the Backbone Campaign which will provide information on strategies and tactics and developing creative actions that advance the causes of Occupy.

http://www.nationofchange.org/american-spring-time-occupy-blossom-1331906460

Cyber Space

House Dems demand meeting with Apple over privacy policy for iPhone, iPad apps

By Brendan Sasso

Two prominent House Democrats demanded a briefing with Apple over its privacy policies for mobile device applications in a letter to CEO Tim Cook on Thursday.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/216299-house-democrats-demand-meeting-with-apple-over-privacy

LulzSec-linked STRATFOR hacker appears in court

The Chicago-based hacker who took credit for a devastating computer attack on intelligence company Stratfor made his first appearance in a New York federal courtroom, after his March 5 arrest. Hammond, 27, faces federal charges of conspiracy to commit computer hacking, computer hacking and access device fraud… Hammond chuckled when his attorney, Liz Fink, asked a prosecutor if today was the Ides of March and said, “Et tu Brutus?” a possible reference to the betrayal Hammond might have felt at learning he and other hackers were undone by LulzSec leader-turned government informant [traitor] Hector Xavier Monsegur, known online as “Sabu.” Monsegur’s FBI handler was present but declined to comment after the proceeding.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/15/lulzsec-linked-hacker-who-threatened-to-burn-white-house-appears-in-court/

Radiation

4 more steam tubes fail in tests at troubled San Onofre nuclear plant’s Unit 3 reactor

Four more tubes that carry radioactive water at a Southern California nuclear power plant failed pressure tests, prompting new safety concerns, officials disclosed Friday. The four tubes in a massive steam generator failed Thursday in the Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre coastal plant in northern San Diego County, Southern California Edison said. Three other tubes failed earlier tests, the company said Wednesday, bringing the total to seven.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/4-more-steam-tubes-fail-in-tests-at-troubled-southern-calif-nuclear-plant-unit-3-reactor/2012/03/16/gIQAhcoHGS_story.html

Heavy tube wear a mystery at Calif. nuclear

Forty-five days after a radioactive water leak prompted a Southern California utility to shut down a nuclear reactor, investigators Friday sought to pinpoint why tubing in the plant eroded at an alarming rate while the prospect of an extended repair job raised questions about summertime power supply. Tests on massive steam generators at the troubled Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which was shut down as a precaution after the leak on Jan. 31, revealed seven alloy tubes that carry radioactive water are in danger of rupturing under high pressure. Traces of radiation escaped during the January leak.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/16/2697689/4-more-tubes-fail-in-tests-at.html

UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding, report shows

As many as 12 of Britain’s 19 civil nuclear sites are at risk of flooding and coastal erosion because of climate change global warming, according to an unpublished government analysis obtained by the Guardian. Nine of the sites have been assessed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as being vulnerable now, while others are in danger from rising sea levels and storms in the future. The sites include all of the eight proposed for new nuclear power stations around the coast, as well as numerous radioactive waste stores, operating reactors and defunct nuclear facilities.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/07/uk-nuclear-risk-flooding

Misc

The Obama Flag: Who Decided That It Was Okay To Replace The Stars On The American Flag With The Face Of Barack Obama?

Democrat Party headquarters in Lake County, Florida has been flying an American flag with a face of Barack Obama on it. Yes, you read that correctly. The “Obama flag” features a huge picture of the face of Barack Obama in the area where the stars are usually located. To many Americans today, the American flag may be “just a piece of cloth”, but when I was young I was taught that one must never desecrate the American flag. The American flag is our highest national symbol. Millions of Americans have fought and died defending freedom and liberty under that banner. To see a photo of Barack Obama plastered on it is an absolute disgrace. Sadly, there are lots of these flags floating around. In fact, you can buy them online for $12.95. Down in Florida, the chairwoman of the Lake County Democratic Party took down the “Obama flag” after a group of veterans protested, but she also said that she is not promising that she will not put it back up and that she is going to consult an attorney about all of this.

Needless to say, a lot of veterans had steam coming out of their ears when they heard about the Obama flag. Korean war veteran Don Van Beck said that he was absolutely furious when he saw what they had done to the American flag….

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-obama-flag-who-decided-that-it-was-okay-to-replace-the-stars-on-the-american-flag-with-the-face-of-barack-obama

GRIME WAVE

It’s a dirty job: Police nationwide take on soaring Tide detergent theft

Law enforcement officials across the country are puzzled over a crime wave targeting an unlikely item: Tide laundry detergent.

Theft of Tide detergent has become so rampant that authorities from New York to Oregon are keeping tabs on the soap spree, and some cities are setting up special task forces to stop it. And retailers like CVS are taking special security precautions to lock down the liquid.

http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/03/12/031212-news-tide-theft-1-4/

McCain sees another Solyndra in Navy biofuels spending

By Carlo Munoz

The Navy’s push to develop biofuels to run its fleet of planes and warships could devolve into a “Solyndra situation” for the Pentagon, a top Republican senator said today.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/army/216261-mccain-warns-navy-biofuels-plan-could-become-another-solyndra

Department of Agriculture to offer beef without ‘pink slime’ to schools

By Mike Lillis

Facing increasing pressure over its embrace of “pink slime,” the Obama administration announced Thursday that it will offer schools ground beef absent the controversial product.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/216299-house-democrats-demand-meeting-with-apple-over-privacy

Norway Military Plane Lost During Exercise
C-130 presumed crashed; 5 missing

AP) – A Norwegian military transport plane with five people on board went missing today during an exercise and was feared to have crashed in northern Sweden, officials said. The C-130 was heading from Evenes in northern Norway to the Swedish city of Kiruna where it was supposed to pick up personnel. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane when it was about 50 miles west of Kiruna, a Norwegian military spokesman said.

http://www.newser.com/story/141930/norway-military-plane-lost-during-exercise.html

Lawyer wants WikiLeaks case dropped

A lawyer for an army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of pages of classified information has asked a military judge to dismiss the charges, arguing the government bungled the handover of documents to the defence. The request came during a pre-trial hearing for Private Bradley Manning at a military courtroom at Fort Meade, Maryland. Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, asked that charges against his client be dismissed because the government has “hopelessly” messed up the document turnover in the nearly two years Manning has been held.

http://www.theage.com.au/world/lawyer-wants-wikileaks-case-dropped-20120316-1vaky.html

State Dept. moves to fire author of book critical of Iraq reconstruction effort

Peter Van Buren, a foreign service officer who wrote an unflattering book about his year leading two reconstruction [sic] teams in Iraq, was stripped of his security clearance, banned from State Department headquarters for a time and transferred to a telework job that consists of copying Internet addresses into a file. Now the State Department is moving to fire him based on eight charges, ranging from linking on his blog to documents on the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks to disclosing classified information. Van Buren called the termination notice he received Friday the coup de grace in a series of blows he received since his book, “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People” was published last fall.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/post/state-dept-moves-to-fire-peter-van-buren-author-of-book-critical-of-iraq-reconstruction-effort/2012/01/31/gIQAiXNSCS_blog.html

CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher

More and more personal and household devices are connecting to the internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through them. Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an “Internet of Things” – that is, wired devices – at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. “‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus enthused, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.” All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you’re a “person of interest” to the spy community.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/petraeus-tv-remote/

HAZMAT situation: ‘Non-emergency significant event’ declared at Los Alamos –DP Road open after HAZMAT situation on Los Alamos property

With sirens blaring, emergency management vehicles raced down DP Road Wednesday, responding to a Hazmat situation at Enclosure 12 in TA-21. For two hours, DP Road was closed as the LANL Hazmat team, Los Alamos Fire and Police Department and FEMA assessed the situation. Most of DP Road was reopened around 1:45 p.m. as LAPD decreased its perimeter. Capt. Randy Foster said the initial call came into dispatch at 11:53 a.m. The road was closed east of 272 DP Road until the all-clear from the LANL Hazmat teams came in Wednesday evening. The situation has been categorized as a “non-emergency significant event” by the laboratory… Police said a voluntary evacuation was taking place on DP Road. Police said for those who are working on DP Road to remain inside if they chose to stay. Businesses along DP Road still were waiting for an all-clear signal as of 7:30 p.m. An automated 911 call was received at the Los Alamos Monitor at 1:05 p.m. advising all people on DP Road to shelter in place until the all-clear signal is sounded.

http://www.legitgov.org/HAZMAT-situation-Non-emergency-significant-event-declared-Los-Alamos

Whistleblower details unreported mercury spill at Hill AFB

A whistleblower’s claim that a 2007 spill of more than 60 pounds of mercury was not properly reported or cleaned up at this military base, where more than 24,000 military personnel and civilians work and live, has prompted a federal criminal investigation. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has backed that claim, concluding after an investigation in September and October that the base violated permits because it failed to report the spill and cleanup, improperly stored the cleaned-up material, improperly labeled storage containers that were also not in good condition and failed to inspect containers storing the hazardous waste.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=960&sid=19583627http://www.ksl.com/?nid=960&sid=19583627&title=whistleblower-details-unreported-mercury-spill-at-hill-afb

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1

‘Media – West proxy to fuel Syria conflict’

Uploaded by RussiaToday on Mar 14, 2012

Syria’s turmoil has been laid bare on our TV screens for more than a year, but some networks are being accused of affecting rather than reflecting the conflict. Maria Finoshina reports now, on how there’s more to the coverage on the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera TV channel, than meets the eye.