Archive for 10/16/2011

Australia: Mass Deaths of Racehorses Continue to Defy Scientific Explanation Despite Exhaustive Testing

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By Frank Robson – “When a stranger rang Debbie Lee and her partner, Steve Hogno, to ask if they’d like to race their beloved quarter horses at a country club resort, the pair thought their dreams were finally coming true.

‘We said, ‘Oh boy, we sure would!” Lee recalls. ‘The guy who rang said he even knew of a property near the resort where we could keep our horses, and Steve and I couldn’t wait to check it out.’

The caller was Ian Howard, part of a consortium planning to restore the long-closed Kooralbyn Valley Resort near Beaudesert in south-east Queensland and set up regular quarter horse sprint races. Late last month, after meeting Howard and inspecting the proposed agistment block – “It seemed like the perfect spot” – Lee and Hogno moved 25 horses from land they rented in Toowoomba to the Kooralbyn Valley property.

But less than a fortnight after the healthy young horses were released to roam their picturesque new 81-hectare home – with three dams and a running stream – they began dying at an unprecedented rate. By Wednesday, six days after the first mysterious deaths on the unoccupied property were reported to the RSPCA by passers-by, all but four of the quarter horses, uninsured, were dead. And despite exhaustive testing by Biosecurity Queensland, the mass deaths continue to defy scientific explanation.

The most likely cause is thought to be paralysis ticks (up to 50 were found on each dead or stricken animal), especially rampant after last summer’s flooding, combined with the fact the prized horses came from a tick-free area and had no immunity to tick toxin.

‘No one told us about this danger,’ a devastated Lee said this week. ‘Steve and I loved these horses; we’d never have taken them there if we’d known about the killer ticks – it would have been like sticking a child who’d never been exposed to colds and flu in with a bunch of sick people.”

But horse trainer Hogno is far from convinced ticks are the real culprits. Employed as a mining supervisor in a remote part of Western Australia, Hogno flew back to Brisbane last week to inspect the dead and dying horses.

‘With tick poisoning, the paralysis always works forward from the hindquarters and tail,’ the veteran horseman said. ‘But in all of these cases the paralysis started from the head. Also, no one has ever heard of a case where so many animals have died so suddenly. Tick deaths occur over quite a prolonged period, yet many of these horses were dead within an hour or two of going down.'” Read more.

Texas: ‘Red Tide’ Kills Thousands of Fish, Litters Shoreline ‘As Far as the Eye Can See’ from Port Aransas to Mansfield Channel

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) – “The red tide is growing stronger out on Padre Island and it’s wreaking havoc on wildlife. Thousands of dead fish, as far as the eye can see, now litter the waterline from Port Aransas to Mansfield Channel.

‘We’ve seen flounder, yellow tail, mullet, lady fish and a few sea robins,’ says fisherman Daniel McLain.

It’s a natural occurrence, typically happening each fall. This year, the problematic algae bloom is particularly strong and this weeks rain storms may have made the problem worse.

‘It’s kind of heartbreaking to see it like this, I guess it’s Mother Nature’s course,’ said McLain.

‘We are sampling for the algae itself, but also the dead fish to figure out how much amount of toxins it took to kill them,’ says Dr. Paul Zimba, the Director at the Center for Coastal Studies.

Researchers from Texas A&M Corpus Christi were out studying the natural phenomenon. They have a warning for people who like to walk their dogs on the beach, to not let them eat the dead fish. The toxic fish could actually end up killing your pet.” Source.

Red Tide at Mustang Island, TX

Russia’s Mount Shiveluch Erupting, Smoke and Ash Reach 10,000 Meters (6+ Miles), No-Fly Warnings Issued for Surrounding Area

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“Reports speak of a violent volcanic eruption of Mount Shiveluch on Russia’s Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula.

Smoke and ash from the volcano have climbed to 10 kilometres, sparking no-fly warnings for the surrounding area. Snow around the crater is rapidly melting, creating mudslides.

Shiveluch supports a caldera of 1.5 kilometres in diameter. Its current activity period started in 1980.” Source.

Activity is ongoing – “An explosive eruption is taking place at Russia’s Shiveluch volcano (sometimes called Sheveluch or Sopka Shiveluch), located in the far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, prompting no fly zones to be imposed in the region. Ash plumes have risen to 34,500 ft (10.5 km) while seismic activity is ongoing. The official Itar-Tass news agency reported on Monday that the highest-level warning has been issued for aviation.” Read more.

Categories: Natural Disasters

Japan: High Concentrations of Radioactive Cesium in Plankton Near Fukushima Raising Fears of Food Chain Contamination

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“High concentrations of radioactive cesium have been found in plankton from the sea near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Researchers from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology collected plankton in waters up to 60 kilometers from the coast of Iwaki City in July. They found 669 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in animal plankton from waters 3 kilometers offshore.

They say a wide range of fish feed on animal plankton and that the contamination could accumulate in the food chain and have a more serious impact when it gets into relatively large fish.

The research group’s leader, Professor Takashi Ishimaru, says the plankton were so heavily contaminated because sea currents continuously carried contaminated water southward from the nuclear plant. He says detailed studies are needed to determine how long the effect on fish will continue.” Source.

Citizens’ Testing Finds 20 Hot Spots Around Tokyo, Some Readings As High As Contaminated Areas Around Chernobyl – “TOKYO — Takeo Hayashida signed on with a citizens’ group to test for radiation near his son’s baseball field in Tokyo after government officials told him they had no plans to check for fallout from the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Like Japan’s central government, local officials said there was nothing to fear in the capital, 160 miles from the disaster zone. Then came the test result: the level of radioactive cesium in a patch of dirt just yards from where his 11-year-old son, Koshiro, played baseball was equal to those in some contaminated areas around Chernobyl.” Read more.

Radioactive Strontium Detected in Yokohama south of Tokyo – “Radioactive strontium exceeding normal quantities has been detected in sediment from atop an apartment building in Yokohama,  south of Tokyo, and radiation levels as high as 2.707 microsieverts per hour have been detected on a local sidewalk in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward, Japanese media reported. The strontium 90 was detected in Yokohama, some 250 kilometers from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, by a private agency that conducted the test upon the request of a resident. This is the first time strontium at a concentration of over 100 becquerels per kilogram has been found beyond 100 km from the Fukushima plant.” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters

Pakistan: The Existence of Christians Threatened Now More Than Ever Before, Persecution the Worse It Has Ever Been

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Matthew 24:22, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”

Colossians 3:12, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering …”

Acts 14:22b, “… we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

“During a visit to Pakistan, the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches has urged for the protection of religious minorities and the need for the state to take necessary measures against religious intolerance.

‘The Pakistani government should not turn a blind eye to the culture of violence perpetrated through the use and abuse of the blasphemy law, which intensify communal hatred, intolerance and persecution that can hit anybody in the country, and particularly the religious minorities,’ said the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, speaking at a press conference in Lahore, at the end of his three day visit.

Christians are among country’s religious minorities, alongside Hindus, Ahmadis, Parsees, Sikh and Baha’is, who are affected severely by the discriminatory laws – including the ambiguous blasphemy law 295 C, which has caused many lives, including of the minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian, this year.

During his stay in Pakistan, Dr Tveit met with church and ecumenical leaders and representatives of civil society organisations.

The church leaders shared with him how religious minorities especially Christians, ‘live in an atmosphere of insecurity. The existences of Christians have never been threatened as it is today, and the situation has gone worse in the past years,’ the WCC chief was told.” Read more.

Egypt: If Islamists Continue Persecuting Christians We May Soon Witness One of History’s Greatest Forced Emigrations

10/16/2011 Leave a comment

By LAWRENCE SOLOMON – “Egypt’s Arab Spring is leading to a mass exodus of its Coptic Christian community, with Canada a preferred destination – we’ve received about a sixth of the 100,000 who have fled Egypt in the past six months amid persecution by Islamic fundamentalists.

If history repeats itself, those numbers could become much larger – Egypt has 10 million to 18 million Copts and other Christians, the largest remaining Christian population in the Middle East by far. Should their persecution continue, the great majority could well flee in what would amount to one of history’s greatest forced emigrations.

Egypt’s Arab Spring is unfolding exactly as Copts feared. Hosni Mubarak, though seen as an unvarnished dictator in the West, was a protector to the Copts. He not only allowed them previously denied religious freedoms – everything from the right to repair their churches to live broadcasts of Easter services – but he also punished Islamists who persecuted them.

In the wave of unrest unleashed by the Arab Spring, that protection is now gone. Flagrant Copt-killing began with a church bombing during a New Year’s Eve mass that left more than 20 dead and dozens wounded, followed by another deadly attack during the Coptic Christmas on Jan. 7. But the exodus didn’t begin in earnest until March; that’s when a national referendum passed constitutional amendments that effectively stripped Christians of political rights while strengthening sharia laws involving amputations, stonings and crucifixions.

Since then, Islamists have been ratcheting up their incitement against Copts, calling them infidels and accusing them of being Western spies and traitors who are stockpiling arms in plots to secede from the country. This week, more than 20 Copts were killed in clashes with the army during a demonstration over an attack on a church.

As a result of their growing vulnerability, Christians are sorrowfully abandoning their homeland of almost 2,000 years. (Before the Arab invasion of the 7th century, Egypt was majority Christian.) ‘Copts are not emigrating abroad voluntarily, they are coerced into that by threats and intimidation,’ said Naguib Gabriel, director of the Cairo-based Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organizations.” Read more.

Egypt: Islamists Boast, ‘We Won’t Leave Any Christians in This Country’ – “A group of Muslims burnt down part of a church Friday – the Islamic Sabbath – in the village of Marinab, according to a report published in the daily Al Masry Al Youm. The village, situated close to the town of Edfu in the Aswan Governorate, is located some 800 kilometers south of Cairo. Security sources said Muslims rampaged through the village in what appeared to be a pogrom, clashing with the Christian residents and destroying their shops.” Read more.

India: Tea Vendor Who Was to Convert to Islam to Save Business May Not Have Converted Soon Enough

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Revelation 13:17, “… no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

“This Friday he was to officially convert to Islam. But Sunil Bhalegare, who wore skull cap to make a point on the alleged bias shown by the BJP-ruled Vadodara Municipal Corporation in removing encroachments, has gone missing.

A roadside tea vendor outside the General post office in Raopura area of the city, Bhalegare was under the impression that VMC’s anti-encroachment squad was targetting only vendors of a particular community.

So he wore a skull cap to protect his business and has now gone missing since Thursday.

He had claimed that Muslim vendors were spared by the encroachment removal squads.

When The Sunday Express team visited the spot where he was doing business till October 13, the place was deserted while other nearby vendors were doing business as usual.

His family says they will register a formal complaint with police if he did not return home by Sunday. They said they were not aware of his whereabouts.” Read more.

BP Disaster Still Unfolding: New Data Confirming Fears That Fish, Wildlife and Millions of Gulf Coast Residents May Be Seriously Impacted for Decades

10/16/2011 Leave a comment

By Rocky Kistner – “In the Gulf, new information is confirming fears that fish and wildlife — and millions of people on the Coast — are being seriously impacted by the 4.9 million barrels of BP oil spewed from the ocean deep last year.

A new report from the Waterkeeper Alliance shows the BP disaster is still unfolding. The report points to ongoing public health problems, long-term damages to the environment, and a growing need for environmental monitoring and restoration programs to fight decades of petroleum industry assaults and the growing impacts of climate change.

According to the Waterkeeper State of the Gulf report, the effects are just beginning:

The oil is not gone, and long-term impacts are still unknown. If past oil spills are used as a barometer we can fully expect the Gulf Coast to suffer continued environmental degradation for decades. Leading scientific studies are showing that three fourths of the oil is still lingering on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, creat­ing an unprecedented and unknown new environmental reality for the Gulf Coast. Oil is also still along the coastal areas in the form of tar balls, strings, and mats as well as in subsurface sandy beach areas. Our gov­ernmental and community leaders must work in concert to find long-term, sustainable solutions for recovery and restoration.

Although federal and state authorities continue to insist all is well with Gulf seafood, questions persist, especially among fishermen who are finding abnormalities in their catches. Experts also question whether FDA is adequately testing seafood and looking for certain toxic chemicals that are associated with crude. The Waterkeeper Alliance also has been sampling seafood in the Gulf and its findings have raised alarms in some circles that hazardous compounds are entering the seafood chain in increasing amounts.” Read more.

Shrimp Catches Are Down by 99% in Areas Hardest Hit by BP Oil Spill Disaster – “This year’s white shrimp harvest in the waters off Louisiana’s southeastern coast is significantly lower than in the past, forcing some people in the industry to look elsewhere for product and scale back operations while others blame the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. ‘I am talking to the guys, I am talking to the docks, and they are telling me that they are 80 percent off,’ said Clint Guidry, president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association. ‘We should have had a good year this year.’ … ‘Our Grand Isle beach is producing less than one percent of the shrimp it normally produces,’ he said. Many fishermen are blaming the lack of shrimp on the oil leak, said Guidry of the Louisiana Shrimp Association.” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters

Canary Islands: Red Alert at El Hierro Volcano As Eruption Bubbles Rise From the Sea

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“Villagers are mentioning ‘bubbles’ coming up in the spotted area in the sea. We expect to receive fastly images from the bubbles as the many camera teams with their superior equipment will certainly be able to shoot detailed video from an event which can be seen by the naked eye.

Ramon Ortiz, a technician from the CSIC (Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) is predicting that a new island is being formed at this moment and that the chance that it will happen now is evaluated as very probable, at least of the eruption process will continue a little longer.” Read more.

Spewing volcano forces Spain to close island port – “(AP) MADRID — Spanish authorities say activity by an underwater volcano has led them to close access to a port on El Hierro island. Ships have been ordered away from waters around La Restinga and aircraft have been banned from flying over the island’s southern tip. The port’s 600 residents were evacuated Tuesday after volcanic activity began. The regional government of the Canary Islands says scientists have detected airborne volcanic fragments called pyroclasts rising from the sea off La Restinga.” Read more.

Categories: Natural Disasters
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