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Updated: 2014-10-03T00:00:49.218-07:00

 



Wildfire rages near Maple Cree, Canada

2012-03-14T10:42:31.596-07:00

(image) Fire crews are making headway on a raging grass fire near Maple Creek, in southwest Saskatchewan, officials say.

The wild fire is burning north of the Trans-Canada Highway and led to the evacuation of at least two farmyards.

Late Tuesday night, local fire chief Keith Stork told CBC News the western edge of the fire was under control and crews were able to stop the fire from advancing east. It was stopped about five kilometres north of the Trans-Canada, near Highway 21.

The fire blazed through several farmyards, although there were no reports of injuries.

Stork said crews were tending to flare-ups and expected to be working through the night.

"We're getting lots of flare ups," Stork said. "We still have winds gusting up ... so what we're getting is these fingers burning out from the burnt spots." Read More



'Three suspected typhoid cases in Malabuyoc town', Philippines

2012-03-14T10:42:31.596-07:00

AFTER the outbreak in Tuburan, the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) admitted there are three suspected typhoid fever cases in Malabuyoc District Hospital.Dr. Cristina Giango, IPHO head, said the patients showed signs and symptoms of typhoid fever.She asked the Rural Health Unit (RHU) in the town to check where these patients came from to determine if there are other similar cases in the area.But Giango said they had yet to confirm if the cases in Alegria town were indeed typhoid fever.At least 11 suspected victims ages between 5 and 18 and mostly children from barangays Legaspi and Poblacion of Alegria were brought to a local hospital after showing signs of typhoid fever.But Giango said she has not received reports from the municipal health office confirming that these were cases of typhoid fever.In Tuburan, cases have gone down as of yesterday.Giango said that there were only four patients admitted yesterday and 10 were treated at the out-patient department.There are now 46 patients confined in Tuburan District Hospital. Read More[...]



Heat wave sets record high in Sioux City, Iowa

2012-03-14T10:42:31.596-07:00

SIOUX CITY -- A Midwestern heat wave fueled Tuesday's record-high 80-degree weather, breaking a record set in 1946.National Weather Service Meteorologist Chris Jansen said the warmest March 13 on record in Sioux City was 72 degrees in 1946.The warm weather is expected to last through early next week, and there is a chance additional daily records may be broken during that time, Jansen said.Jansen advised against packing away the winter gear though."You can't rule out more snow. It's still winter and April is still going to be here," Jansen said.The good weather does bring its dangers.A hazardous weather outlook was in place Tuesday for the region due to the extreme risk of grass fires. Additional hazardous weather outlooks for grass fires may be issued throughout the next week due to the warm, dry weather.Residents are advised against outdoor burning when there is an elevated risk of grass fires. Read More[...]



New strain of hemorrhagic fever virus found on Jeju Island‎, South Korea

2012-03-14T10:42:31.596-07:00

(image) A new strain of epidemic hemorrhagic fever has been found on Jeju Island, the first time that the infectious disease has broken out on a Korean island.

A team of researchers led by Song Jin-won, a microbiology professor at the College of Medicine of Korea University in Seoul, said Tuesday that a new strain of hantavirus that causes epidemic hemorrhagic fever was found in Jeju.

The team caught 51 "lesser white-toothed shrews" in the province and examined their liver and lung tissue from October 2006 through September 2010. Through genetic analyses, the researchers found viruses belonging to the hantavirus genus from eight mice. The new virus was named the “Jeju” virus." Also discovered the “Imjin” virus, a kind of hantavirus from "Manchurian musk-shrews" living in the Imjin River near the inter-Korean border in 2009. The Jeju virus is a new variety.

These viruses live in the bodies of field mice such as lesser white-toothed shrews and black-striped field mice, come out through excrement, and float in the air. Humans develop epidemic hemorrhagic fever by inhaling them. Read More



Peru: dengue fever cases double in Cajamarca

2012-03-14T10:42:31.596-07:00

(image) Health officials in the northern highlands region of Cajamarca report a doubling of dengue fever cases so far this year compared to the same period in 2011.

According the news source, Peru21, the Diresa (Health Department) reported Tuesday nearly 1,200 cases of dengue. During the same time frame last year, the number of cases reported was 587.

In addition, there have been two fatalities this year, a 26-year-old woman and a six-year-old child.

Alberto Sanchez, general doctor of Jaen’s hospital, the province most affected, said the dengue virus in the area was of the more aggressive American/Asian genotype. He also notes that since February the disease intensified.

In addition to Jaen province, Tembladera, Cutervo, and San Ignacio regions are also strongly hit by the dengue outbreak. Source



Obama warns China against 'skirting the rules'

2012-03-14T10:42:31.597-07:00

(image) WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama warned China Tuesday that it would not be allowed to gain a competitive advantage in world trade by "skirting the rules."

Making an election-year pitch to American workers, and businesses as well, Obama announced Washington has brought a new trade case against Beijing. The goal is to pressure China, a rising Asian economic power, to end its restrictions on exports of key materials used to manufacture hybrid car batteries, flat screen televisions and other high tech-goods.

"If China would simply let the market work on its own, we'd have no objection," Obama said during remarks at the White House. "But their policies currently are preventing that from happening. And they go against the very rules that China agreed to follow."

The U.S., working in conjunction with the European Union and Japan, asked the World Trade Organization Tuesday to facilitate talks with China over its curtailment of exports of what's known as rare earth minerals. Obama cast the fresh action against China as part of a broader push to level the playing field for U.S. companies. Read More



High cesium levels detected in mud at Fukushima dam lake

2012-03-14T10:42:31.597-07:00

(image) Mud at the bottom of a dam lake near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is heavily contaminated with radioactive cesium, government research has shown.

Tsukuba University professor Yuichi Onda, commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to conduct the survey, released the findings at a symposium on March 13.

Onda's team detected radioactive cesium of some 3 million becquerels per square meter at the bottom of the Horai Dam lake, about 60 kilometers west-northwest of the nuclear plant, along the Abukuma River in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture. The level was 10 times higher than those of nearby reservoirs, and was roughly equivalent to soil contamination levels in the 20-kilometer radius exclusion zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant.

From July to August last year, Onda took samples from the 20-centimeter-deep mud on the bottom of the dam lake, dried them and compared them with mud samples from four nearby reservoirs registering contamination in the 200,000 to 400,000 becquerels per square meter range. Cesium from the crippled power station is believed to have condensed in the mud on the bottom of the Horai Dam after flowing into the river with soil and rainwater. Read More



Allyson McConnell drowned her two young sons in a bathtub and left them in the water to "rot"

2012-03-14T10:42:31.597-07:00

(image) Australian mother Allyson McConnell drowned her two young sons in a bathtub and left them in the water to "rot", the boys' father has told a Canadian court.

Curtis McConnell wept on Tuesday as he recalled frantically searching the family's home in Millet, Alberta, in February 2010 after receiving a call from police that his wife had jumped off a freeway overpass in an apparent suicide bid.

Mr McConnell said he rushed to the home and searched the bedrooms for his sons, 10-month-old Jayden and two-year-old Connor, but could not find them.

He then discovered a locked bathroom, used a knife to unlock it and found the lifeless bodies in the bathtub.

"I just dropped to my knees and I reached into the water and the water was so cold ...," Mr McConnell testified, according to the Edmonton Journal. Read More



Old TV tubes converted into radiation-shielding material, Japan

2012-03-14T10:42:31.597-07:00

(image) Tubes from old television sets can be recycled into radiation-proof materials suitable for use at temporary storage sites for contaminated soil and waste, two Japanese companies have found.

Shimizu Corp., a general contractor in Tokyo, and R Japan Corp., a manufacturer of eco-friendly products in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, developed concrete and waterproof materials, respectively, using television tubes ground into a form that can help shield against radiation.

The method takes advantage of the fact that cathode-ray tube (CRT) glass in television sets contains lead, which can shield against radiation. It is expected to be utilized at temporary storage sites for radioactive soil and waste.

While a 50-centimeter-thick chunk of concrete can lower the doses of penetrating radiation to a hundredth of the original amount, Shimizu Corp. found that the doses can be even lowered to one two-hundredth by replacing most of the crushed stone used in the concrete with ground television tubes. The strength of the two types of concrete was almost the same. Read More



Radioactive materials may have sunk 30 cm into ground

2012-03-14T10:42:31.597-07:00

(image) TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Radioactive materials released from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant into the atmosphere were found 5 centimeters beneath the ground three months after the breakout of the nuclear crisis last March, but are now believed to have sunk 10 to 30 cm deep, a study by a research institution showed Wednesday.

The hazardous materials must have seeped into the land with rain, according to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

"Further delay in decontamination works will make the radioactive materials sink into the ground deeper, and it will impose more burdens on those involved in the decontamination," said Haruo Sato, researcher at the agency's Horonobe Underground Research Center in Hokkaido.

A group of researchers of the agency examined the penetration of four radioactive materials, including cesium 137, at 11 points in Nihonmatsu, Kawamata and Namie in Fukushima Prefecture, which are within a radius 20 to 60-kilometers from the Fukushima complex, in June. Read More



Moon exploration robots tested on sand dunes in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan

2012-03-14T10:42:31.598-07:00

(image) HAMAMATSU, Shizuoka -- The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has conducted tests of prototype moon exploration robots here, that were designed by several institutions to become part of Japan's next-generation lunar exploratory equipment.

On March 13, the agency conducted test runs on a total of eight robot prototypes at the Nakatajima sand dunes in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, a vast undulated land area somewhat resembling the moon's surface.

The eight robot prototypes were made by various research institutions, including Tohoku University, the Aichi University of Technology, Osaka University and Tokyu Construction, which are competing in JAXA's Lunar Robotics Challenge for designing robots to explore the moon's surface.

During the experimental run, the agency tested the robots' drivability and collected various data related to their performance.

Seeking to capitalize on their success with the SELENE (Selenological and Engineering Explorer), a lunar orbiter better known by its nickname Kaguya, JAXA is now looking into the development of next-generation moon exploratory equipment.

The Kaguya probe, after successfully orbiting the moon for approximately a year and nine months from September 2007, ended its mission and was crashed onto the lunar surface in June 2009. Read More



Strong quakes rattle Tokyo, northeast Japan

2012-03-14T10:42:31.598-07:00

TOKYO (AP) -- A series of earthquakes rattled Tokyo and northeast Japan late Wednesday evening but caused no apparent damage or injury in the same region hit by last year's devastating tsunami.The strongest tremor, off Hokkaido, had a magnitude of 6.8 and caused tidal changes that prompted some communities to issue evacuation orders or tsunami advisories to residents nearest the coast.A swelling of 20 centimeters was observed in the port of Hachinohe in Aomori, northern Japan, about one hour later. Smaller changes were reported in several locations in Hokkaido and Aomori Prefecture.The Japan Meteorological Agency lifted all tsunami advisories about an hour and half later.The earthquake felt in Tokyo was magnitude 6.1 and centered just off the coast of Chiba, east of Tokyo, at a rather shallow 10 kilometers below the sea surface. Read More[...]



Robert E. Underwood a Army Colonel arrested for 'paying a hitman $150,000 to kill his ex-wife and threatening to blow up state capital '

2012-03-14T10:42:31.598-07:00

(image) An Army officer in Washington state threatened to blow up the state capitol, personally kill his girlfriend, and hired a hit man for $150,000 to kill his estranged wife and his superior officer.

Lt. Col. Robert E. Underwood, who was arrested Monday night and pleaded not guilty to felony harassment charges, was stationed at the same base as the soldier who made headlines over the weekend for allegedly killing 16 Afghan civilians in a shooting spree.

Underwood threatened to kill girlfriend Serena Kiptoo after she confronted him about a naked photograph of his daughter on his laptop computer.

Court documents say that he then told her that he'd paid a hit man $150,000 to kill both his wife and superior officer. Read More



Raymond Scott aka Shakespeare Thief Found Dead In Prison

2012-03-14T10:42:31.598-07:00

(image) A serial thief who tried to make £2m by selling a stolen copy of a rare first collection of Shakespeare plays has been found dead in prison.

The body of 55-year-old Raymond Scott was found in his cell at Northumberland prison, on Wednesday morning after a lock down.

It is understood his throat was cut, but prison authorities are not believed to be treating the death as suspicious.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: "HMP Northumberland prisoner Raymond Scott was pronounced dead at approximately 8.40am on Wednesday March 14 after being found unconscious in his cell.

"As with all deaths in custody, the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation."

Scott was jailed for eight years for handling a stolen copy of a rare first collection of Shakespeare's plays.

The 17th century folio had been taken from a display cabinet at Durham University in 1998.

Regarded as one of the most important printed works in the English language, fewer than 250 copies of the collection survive.

They were first printed in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare's death. Read More



'Car Bomb' As Panetta Lands In Afghanistan

2012-03-14T10:42:31.598-07:00

A suspected car bomb attack has taken place at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, Sky Sources have revealed.The explosion came as US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta flew into Camp Bastion. It is believed that Mr Panetta was still landing or had landed at the time of the alleged attack, but it is not clear if he was a target.Sky's Stuart Ramsay said the explosion was caused when a vehicle drove on to the runway either during or after the landing.Sky Sources have been told the explosion was caused by the driver of the vehicle. An investigation has now been launched into the driver's identity.The driver, who appears to have survived the attack, has been taken into custody and is being treated for burns.It was not clear whether Mr Panetta was a specific target or not. Sky Sources said the explosion did appear to be an "attack of some description".The base was put on immediate lockdown after the explosion this morning - but Mr Panetta is understood to be in Kabul this afternoon and in talks with the government. Read More[...]



4.6 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN- 14th Mar 2012

2012-03-14T10:42:31.598-07:00

(image) A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 7.7 km (4.8 miles), the quake hit at 14:54:19 UTC Wednesday 14th March 2012
The epicenter was 231 km (143 miles) South of Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time



4.6 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN- 14th Mar 2012

2012-03-14T10:42:31.599-07:00

(image) A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 8.7 km (5.4 miles), the quake hit at 14:04:09 UTC Wednesday 14th March 2012
The epicenter was 226 km (140 miles) South of Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time



Danielle Yvonne Slaughter killed her 6-year-old daughter with scissors, because she used 'evil words'

2012-03-14T10:42:31.599-07:00

(image) A mom who killed her daughter in a brutal scissor attack wanted to clear an ‘evil presence’ from her Nevada home, police said.

Danielle Yvonne Slaughter, 27, was found by police on Sunday, naked and bloody, running through Las Vegas, according to court documents released Tuesday.

She told officers the blood on her hands was the ‘lamb of god’ and asked 'Did I kill my daughter?' Is she dead?’

Police went to Slaughter’s house, where her six-year-old daughter, Kayla Franks, was found dead.

The mom told police she had been having trouble sleeping since she began taking slimming pill Hydroxycut four days earlier, a drug which was temporarily withdrawn from the market in 2009 over liver damage fears. Read More



Man And Woman Arrested Over Toddler's Death at a property on Kilbourne Road, Belper, Derbyshire

2012-03-14T10:42:31.599-07:00

(image) Two people have been arrested on suspicion of murdering a two-year-old boy.

The child died after falling ill at a property on Kilbourne Road, Belper, Derbyshire, at 10.45am on Tuesday.

Police say he was taken to hospital but died a short time later.

Officers have cordoned off a former convenience store and flat above it. Both properties are for sale.

A 41-year-old man and a woman, 32, are being questioned over the boy's death, which is being treated as suspicious.

It is not yet known what caused the toddler's death.

A post-mortem examination was carried out on Tuesday night but detectives are waiting for the results of toxicology tests.

Neighbour Robert Egan told Sky News: "He was a lovely little lad, full of beans, we were all shocked when the paramedics turned up yesterday and the police interviewed us last night". Source



COMING CRISIS ALERT: Swarm of quakes strike Japan and Pacific region, with potential for more -- March 14, 2012

2012-03-14T10:42:31.599-07:00

A swarm of quakes has struck in the Pacific region, particularly off Japan. The first of the Japanese quakes was measured as a 7.0 mag, but was later reduced to a 6.8. However, many stations in the area reported the quake as a 8.0 or 8.1 magnitude event. The second major quake was a 7.x+, but for reasons unknown, was removed from USGS servers (it still exists on Japanese monitoring sites, leading us to believe that it did, in fact, occur just seconds after the initial quake).

We are issuing an alert out of concern that this swarm may lead to another major earthquake event in the Pacific, or near Japan. During the 3/11 event, a similar swarm with two major quakes was the precursor to the 9.0 magnitude event and the subsequent tsunami that killed 20,000 individuals. Japanese scientists have also expressed concern as of late that Japan may indeed be gearing up for another major seismic event, Tokyo in particular.

Emergency instructions:

1. In the event of an Earthquake get outside of any buildings immediately. Watch for falling debris or wires, and head to designated emergency zones.

2. Do not, we repeat, do not return to your homes in coastal areas once the quake has subsided. Wait at least several hours, or better yet, for official instructions indicated that it is safe for you to return. Keep alert for any tsunami warnings.

3. In the event of a tsunami warning, run for higher ground. Do not stop to collect things. Do not stop to see if others are coming. Do not pause to think. You literally will have just minutes to head for higher ground in the event of a tsunami.

3. Stay close to a radio or television for further official instructions or information.

Stay tuned to the Coming Crisis for updates on this situation.



Brooklyn Bridge closed for three hours after crane on tugboat scrapes off underside sheeting

2012-03-14T10:42:31.600-07:00

(image) Brooklyn Bridge was dramatically closed for three hours last night after a crane on top of a tugboat scraped 20ft of protective sheeting from its underside.

Firefighters and police raced to the New York landmark at 8pm as the canvas sheeting, in place for two years to catch paint chips from a long-standing paint job, collapsed into the river below.

Traffic was banned from using the bridge as Department of Transportation investigated. It re-opened shortly after 11.30pm.

One teenager who saw the accident told NY1.com. 'It sounded like a building collapsing.

'I heard the bottom of the bridge, it got ripped by the crane as it was going by. I saw debris falling from the bridge and everything,' Read More



Mysterious Foam Causing Hog Farms to Explode - February 8, 2012

2012-03-14T10:42:31.600-07:00

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Syrian army using 30 types of torture says Amnesty ... As Assad's troops plant landmines along border to stop refugees fleeing

2012-03-14T10:42:31.600-07:00

(image) Syrian forces are carrying out more than 30 types of torture on prisoners, a report claims.

Amnesty International said civilians held by security forces in the crackdown on anti-government protests were being horrifically abused.

The torture methods include crucifixion-type beatings, electric shocks and rape, according to a report based on accounts from Syrians who had fled to Jordan.

It said the testimonies were ‘further evidence that torture and other ill-treatment in Syria form part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population’.

At least 276 people had died in custody, Amnesty International said.

Yesterday troops killed dozens near the city of Idlib, activists claimed.

Troops have planted landmines along routes used by people trying to flee President Bashar Assad's regime, it has been claimed. Read More



5.0 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN- 14th Mar 2012

2012-03-14T10:42:31.600-07:00

(image) A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck Hokkaido, Japan Region at a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles), the quake hit at 13:43:12 UTC Wednesday 14th March 2012
The epicenter was 221 km (137 miles) South of Kushiro, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time



Butler 'injected millionaire socialite with deadly virus and told her she would die if she didn't hand over $8.5million for antidote'

2012-03-14T10:42:31.600-07:00

(image) The butler accused of holding millionaire socialite Anne Bass hostage for 12 hours in her Connecticut estate and injecting her with a 'deadly virus' is to face trial today.

Masked assailants convinced the philanthropist that she would die from the injection and demanded that she pay $8.5 million for an antidote.

The men said Bass and her boyfriend, artist Julian Lethbridge, had 20 hours to produce the cash and it was only after the men reconsidered and fled the house, that the victims learned that the substance was harmless, likely an ink.

A trial is starting in U.S. District Court this week for Emanuel Nicolescu, a former head butler at the Bass estate, who is the only person arrested in the crime. Nicolescu, 31, has pleaded not guilty to charges including attempted extortion. His attorney declined comment. Read More