By Craig Pittman – “A year after the Deepwater Horizon disaster spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida beaches are relatively clean, the surf seems clear and the tourists are returning. But there are signs that the disaster is continuing to affect marine life in the gulf far from where humans can observe it.
Over the winter, anglers who had been working the gulf for decades began hauling in red snapper that didn’t look like anything they had seen before.
The fish had dark lesions on their skin, some the size of a 50-cent piece. On some of them, the lesions had eaten a hole straight through to the muscle tissue. Many had fins that were rotting away and discolored or even striped skin. Inside, they had enlarged livers, gallbladders, and bile ducts.
‘The fish have a bacterial infection and a parasite infection that’s consistent with a compromised immune system,’ said Jim Cowan, an oceanographer at Louisiana State University, who has been examining them. ‘There’s no doubt it’s associated with a chronic exposure to a toxin.’” Read more.
“It’s the fourth year of the global financial crisis, and the world economy is slowly picking up. But there are still great vulnerabilities and uncertainties. That’s the message world financial leaders are sending out from their spring meeting. World Bank President Robert Zoellick says the surge in food prices is the biggest threat to the world’s poor, pushing 44 million more people into poverty over the past year.”
Brotherhood Leaders Announce They’ll Implement Sharia, Set Off Storm; Coptic Church Suspends Dialogue
Isaiah 19:4, “‘I will hand the Egyptians over to the power of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them,’ declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.”
“Mahmoud Ezzat, the Muslim Brotherhood’s deputy Supreme Guide, said in a forum held in the Cairo district of Imbaba on Thursday that the group wants to establish an Islamic state after it achieves widespread popularity through its Freedom and Justice Party. Meanwhile, Brotherhood leader Saad al-Husseiny, said at the forum that the group aims to apply Islamic legislation and establish Islamic rule. His remarks rattled the leaders of several political parties, who said the statements, which were at odds with the concept of a civil state, would worry liberals.
The Coptic Orthodox Church decided to suspend its dialogue with the group after additional Brotherhood leaders said it was seeking to implement Islamic Sharia and declare Egypt an Islamic state, church sources said. The sources said the Brotherhood is trampling over the principles of equality and citizenship, and that its rhetoric changed after the 25 January revolution to adopt the language of the toppled regime.
Al-Masry Al-Youm has learned that as a result of the controversy, the church abandoned its intention to invite the group’s leaders to attend Easter celebrations.” Read more.
By Kerry Sheridan – “RACELAND, Louisiana (AFP) – Jamie Simon worked on a barge in the oily waters for six months following the BP spill last year, cooking for the cleanup workers, washing their clothes and tidying up after them.
One year later, the 32-year-old said she still suffers from a range of debilitating health problems, including racing heartbeat, vomiting, dizziness, ear infections, swollen throat, poor sight in one eye and memory loss.
She blames toxic elements in the crude oil and the dispersants sprayed to dissolve it after the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico about 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010.
‘I was exposed to those chemicals, which I questioned, and they told me it was just as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid and there was nothing for me to worry about,’ she said of the BP bosses at the job site.
The local doctor, Mike Robichaux, said he has seen as many as 60 patients like Simon in recent weeks…” Read more.
16-year-old Daniel Viflic died in the Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva after his condition seriously deteriorated last week.
The missile hit the bus traveling near Kibbutz Sa’ad just moments after it had dropped off the rest of the school children, wounding Viflic and the bus driver, who was moderately wounded by shrapnel wounds in his leg.” Read more.
The natural disasters, which began to savage cities including Guangzhou, Foshan, Dongguan and Zhongshan since 12 am Sunday, affected 506.7 hectares of farmland and caused about 50 million yuan ($7.65 million) in direct economic losses, the ministry said.” Read more.
A 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit north-eastern Australia on Saturday afternoon. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake took place at 3.30pm local time (0530 GMT) about 124 kilometres southeast of Townsville, Queensland. The quake was measured at a depth of 10 kilometres. Queensland was hit by another 5.4 magnitude quake on 16 March last.
Meanwhile, Christchurch in New Zealand has been hit by more aftershocks this afternoon, leaving several parts of the city without power. The strongest of the tremors measured 5.2 on the Richter Scale. The country’s second largest city was hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in February. 181 people were killed.
Elsewhere, Japan was rattled by a 5.9 magnitude aftershock on Saturday afternoon but there were no initial reports of damage and no risk of a tsunami.
Taiwan was hit by a quake measuring 5.8 on the Richter Scale. The quake struck 220km east of Keelung City. Tonga, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, also experienced a 5.7 magnitude earthquake last night.” Read more.
“Bartley Kives, Winnipeg Free Press – “WINNIPEG – The flood of 2011 is having disparate effects on urban and rural Manitoba, as cities and towns remain largely dry while agricultural producers are bracing for another year of losses.
But these two solitudes are more connected than many city dwellers realize. The fate of farms in southern Manitoba, one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, has implications far beyond the province’s borders.
Not only can a major flood affect the price of such staples as bread and cooking oil in Canada, it can exacerbate food-security concerns for people already struggling to feed themselves halfway around the world.
‘It’s amazing when you think about it,’ said Kreesta Doucette, executive director of Food Matters Manitoba, a non-profit organization that tries to raise awareness about food security.
‘We tend to feel we’re insulated from the food riots,’ she said, referring to recent events in India, Haiti and several African nations. ‘Most of the food we grow is exported around the world. We eat very little of what we produce.’” Read more.
By TOM BREEN and MIKE BAKER (AP) – “RALEIGH, N.C. – A furious storm system that kicked up tornadoes, flash floods and hail as big as softballs has claimed at least 35 lives on a rampage that began in Oklahoma days ago, then smashed across several Southern states as it reached a new and deadly pitch in North Carolina and Virginia.
Emergency crews searched for victims in hard-hit swaths of North Carolina, where 62 tornadoes were reported from the worst spring storm in two decades to hit the state. Ten people were confirmed dead in Bertie County, county manager Zee Lamb said. At least three deaths were reported in Virginia. Authorities warned the toll was likely to rise further Sunday as searchers probed shattered homes and businesses.
The storm claimed its first lives Thursday night in Oklahoma, then roared through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Seven people each were killed in Arkansas and Alabama, two people in Oklahoma and one person in Mississippi, authorities have said.” Read more.
There were 14 deaths in Bertie County, North Carolina, a rural area in the northeast part of the state, the weather service said Sunday. Although the weather service reported that number, local authorities said they were still working to determine the exact number of deaths.
“Reports are still incoming,” Mike Sprayberry, deputy director of the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management, told CNN.
The death toll across seven states includes 23 total in North Carolina; four in Virginia; seven in Alabama, two in Olkahoma, seven in Arkansas and one in Mississippi.” Read more.
Update 3: “From Thursday, April 14, 2011 to Saturday, April, 16, 2011, devastating tornadoes rampaged across communities of the southern United States. Cities and towns from Oklahoma to North Carolina were assaulted by the deadly twisters.
The tornado outbreak led to a total of 241 tornado reports in 14 states over the three-day period. This will likely rank this tornado outbreak among the largest in history.” Read more.