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Archive for May, 2012

‘The Worst Crisis We Have Ever Lived Through’: Spain Faces ‘Total Emergency’ As Global Markets Tumble

05/30/2012 Leave a comment

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph – ““We’re in a situation of total emergency, the worst crisis we have ever lived through” said ex-premier Felipe Gonzalez, the country’s elder statesman.

The warning came as the yields on Spanish 10-year bonds spiked to 6.7pc, pushing the ‘risk premium’ over German Bunds to a post-euro high of 540 basis points. The IBEX index of stocks in Madrid fell 2.6pc, the lowest since the dotcom bust in 2003.

Chaos over the €23.5bn rescue of crippled lender Bankia has led to the abrupt resignation of central bank governor Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, who testified to the senate that he had been muzzled to avoid enflaming events as confidence in the country drains away.

Markets are on tenterhooks as Spanish yields test levels that forced the European Central Bank to respond last November with its €1 trillion liquidity blitz. ‘Nobody is short Spanish debt right now because they are expecting ECB intervention,’ said Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS. ‘If it doesn’t come — if we take out 6.8pc — we’re going to see a hyberbolic sell-off,’ he said.

Italy felt the full brunt of contagion from Spain on Wednesday, with 10-year yileds back near 6pc. The euro fell to a 2-year low of $1.239 against the dollar. Crude oil and metal prices plummeted and save-haven flight pushed rates on 2-year German debt to zero. Gilt yields fell to 1.64pc, the lowest in history.” Read more.

World markets tumble back into the red as fears grow Spain will need an EU bailout – “World markets tumbled back into the red today as fears grew Spain will need an EU bailout. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 1 per cent on doubts the nation will be able to afford to recapitalise its fourth biggest lender Bankia. There are also increasing worries that other Spanish banks will also need bailing out. The FTSE 100 Index was nearly 2 per cent or 96.8 points lower at 5295.3 as Spain saw the yield on its 10-year bonds rise to a record euro-era high of 6.68 per cent at one stage. This is close to the 7 per cent level that pushed Greece, Ireland and Portugal into taking a bailout in a sign that investors had little faith in the country’s ability to deal with its debts. Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG Index, said: ‘Investor confidence wanes by the day, and it could only be a matter of time before the Spanish government is forced to ask for financial aid.'” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters

Study: Global Warming Sceptics Are Better Informed About Science Than Global Warming Advocates

05/30/2012 Leave a comment

By Rob Waugh – “Climate change sceptics are often derided as uninformed – but a new study proves that the opposite is the case.

Sceptical individuals are slightly MORE science literate than ‘believers’ in climate change.

The difference isn’t huge, according to a survey of 1500 U.S. adults.

57% of sceptics are ‘science literate’ according to tests asking basic science and maths questions, versus 56% of believers.

Dan Kahan, Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School said, ‘Political controversy over climate change cannot be attributed to the public’s limited ability to comprehend science.’ he said.

Researchers measured ‘science literacy’ with test items developed by the National Science Foundation.

The questions were simple questions such as ‘Electrons are smaller than atoms, true or false?’

They also measured their subjects’ ‘numeracy’—that is, their ability to understand quantitative information.

The controversy comes down, in effect, to a conflict over values – and informed individuals are better at fitting the scientific facts, and gaps in our knowledge, to whatever they happen to believe in.” Read more.

Lost photos prove Greenland’s ice was melting FASTER 80 years ago than today – “A stash of 80-year-old photo plates in a Danish basement has proved that Greenland’s ice was melting even faster then that it is now. In the thirties, Greenland’s ice was melting rapidly, then there was a cooling period in the middle part of the twentieth century, and now it is melting again, accelerating in the 2000s. Images of ice shelves from the pre-satellite era are extremely rare, so it’s often difficult to assess the scale and speed of Arctic ice melting today. Researchers at the National Survey and Cadastre of Denmark had been storing the glass plates since explorer Knud Rasmussen’s expedition to the southeast coast of Greenland in the early 1930s. In this week’s online edition of Nature Geoscience, Ohio State University researchers and colleagues in Denmark describe how they analyzed ice loss in the region by comparing the images on the plates to aerial photographs and satellite images taken from World War II to today. Taken together, the imagery shows that glaciers in the region were melting even faster in the 1930s than they are today …” Read more.

Categories: Anything Else

West Michigan Puzzled Over Mysterious Booms, ‘I’ve Never Seen Anything Like This’

05/30/2012 Leave a comment

WWMT – “WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – People are buzzing over what could have possibly caused a loud boom and violent shaking last night and this morning throughout West Michigan.

The reports came in from people in Calhoun, Branch and Kalamazoo Counties.

People from all over say they felt and heard it, but Newschannel Three has only heard of one case of actual damage happening during the same time.

John Nieuwenhuis, who lives in Oshtemo, says that he felt and heard the explosion, which shook his entire house.

‘Where the two trees are parallel and something completely scrapped both trees off at the same height and laid them to the west,’ said Nieuwenhuis.

Nieuwenhuis called the fire department but after extensively searching, they couldn’t find the source of an explosion.

‘I’ve never seen anything like this, we cut down trees, we log trees and what could have taken this down I have no idea,’ said Nieuwenhuis.

Newschannel Three tried to search into what might have caused the explosions but, it was a clear night and there was no earthquake activity reported anywhere in the Midwest.

Air Traffic Control in Kalamazoo says no planes were in the area that might have broken the sound barrier.” Source – WWMT.com.

Categories: Anything Else

The ‘New AIDS Of The Americas’: Experts Warn Of Deadly Insect-Borne Disease That Can Cause Victims’ Hearts To Explode

05/30/2012 Leave a comment

By Daily Mail Reporter – “A little-known life-threatening illness caused by blood sucking insects has been labelled the ‘new AIDS of the Americas’ by experts.

The parasitic illness called Chagas Disease has similarities to the early spread of HIV, according to a new study.

Similar to AIDS, Chagas is difficult to detect and it can take years for symptoms to emerge, according to experts writing in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

An estimated 10 million people worldwide are infected with most sufferers in Bolivia, Mexico, Columbia and Central America, as well as approximately 30,000 people in the U.S., reported the New York Times.

The disease – once largely contained to Latin America – has spread into the U.S due to increases in travel and immigration.

Due to the severity of the illness, the amount of people infected and the ability of prevention, Chagas is considered one of the Neglected Parasitic Infections, a group of five parasitic diseases that have been targeted by CDC for public health action.

Chagas commonly affects people in poverty-stricken areas and most U.S. cases are found in immigrants.

If caught early enough, the disease can be prevented with an intense 3-month drug treatment.

However, because of the lengthy incubation period and costly medication, Chagas is often left untreated.

Also known as the American trypanosomiasis, the disease spreads easily either through blood transfusions or, less commonly, from mother to child.

All blood banks in the U.S. and Latin America screen for traces of the disease.

Most blood banks in the U.S began screening for it in 2007.” Read more.

Categories: Pestilence

Seattle: Convert To Islam Tried To Run Marines Off Highway

05/30/2012 2 comments

By Mike Carter – “An ex-con with possible ties to the alleged Islamist terrorists has pleaded guilty in state court to charges that he tried to run two Marine recruiters off Interstate 5.

Michael Dale McCright, who was known on the Internet as ‘Mikhail Jihad,’ pleaded guilty to charges of felony harrassment and attempted malicious mischief. A plea agreement reached with the King County Prosecutor’s Office spared him a possible life prison term under the state’s ‘three-strikes’ law. McCright has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for first-degree robbery in 2006, assault in 2005.

When the 28-year-old McCright was arrested, investigators said he had a phone that had been used to call Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif. Abdul-Latif and another man were arrested in an FBI-Seattle police sting in June 2011 after allegedly plotting to kill federal employees and military recruits at the Military Entrance Processing Station on East Marginal Way over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

According to the charges against McCright, two Marine sergeants — one in uniform and the other in civilian clothes — were driving north near Northgate on July 12, 2011, when a small blue car came up behind them.

Marine Staff Sgt. Ryan Picklesimer described the driver as a ‘bearded white male wearing a tightfitting, white knit hat.’ The driver slowed, apparently to look at the government plate on Picklesimer’s car, then came alongside and saw the sergeant in his uniform.

‘Picklesimer reported, ‘His eyes widened and he appeared to become angry,’’ and then swerved at the sergeant’s car, forcing Picklesimer to take evasive action to avoid being hit, the charges allege. The sergeant was able to get the car’s license number, and he gave it to police.

McCright, of Lynnwood, admitted last week in King County Superior Court that he had tried to run the car off the road. The crimes carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Prosecutors say they will seek a 54-month sentence when McCright is sentenced [on] June 22.

Abdul-Latif is being prosecuted in federal court. His trial is set for October.” Source – The Seattle Times.

‘A New Wave Of Persecution’: Former Revolutionary Guard Member Describes The Crackdown On Christians In Iran

05/30/2012 2 comments

Mohabat News – “CBN — According to the Daily Caller, the regime has ordered Iranian intelligence to infiltrate church groups in major Iranian cities.

Agents are identifying pastors and other Christians, targeting them for arrest and torture in prison.

Former member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Reza Kahlili, verified the crackdown. He said Iran’s ayatollahs are frustrated with the large number of Muslims who are now embracing Christianity…

Q: Reza Thanks for joining us. What can you tell us about this latest crackdown? How extensive is it?

A: It’s been an order to the Iranian intelligence apparatus  specifically the guard’s intelligence to monitor the activities of Iranians for converting to Christianity, to suppress them, make arrests, terrify them and finally to torture them. And according to a source within the guard’s intelligence, they have tens of thousands of files for Iranians for converting to Christianity. This is a big concern for the government. They don’t know how to handle it. In one city, just the city of Shiraz with over one million population, according to the source, they have thirty thousand files of Iranians who they have confirmed that they have converted to Christianity. But the source says that tens of thousands more are unknown to the intelligence apparatus.

Q: How is this recent effort different from the ongoing attacks that Christians have faced from the Iranian government over the years?

Well, let me make one thing clear. Before the Islamic revolution, many in Iran, the youth, the elderly, though they did not adhere to the Islamic rules or practice Islam, they respected Islam. But today, that respect is visibly gone and they oppose the religion and what it prescribes. They are very outspoken about it.  People are joining the move to convert to the Christianity.

Q: Give us some examples; can you say specifically what is happening against the Christians there?

A: Well, according to this source, who himself was in the intelligence unit, and he saw and he witnessed some of the tortures being done. What they do they raid homes where teachings are taking place, they arrest them, they are taken and sometimes they beat their wives in front of their eyes to break them down, to force them to come before television and make false confessions. The source says that one of those arrested, a male, after three months in total darkness, and then he was all of a sudden brought to the courtyard, where he immediately lost his eye-sights. So, it is unimaginable what they do with the Christian converts.” Read more.

Flashback: Iranian Authorities Demand Christian Church To Hand Over Names Of All Its Members – “In addition to the increased restrictions against Iranian Christian converts, the Ministry of Intelligence has now ordered the leaders of the central AOG church in Tehran to compile a list of the names and National ID numbers of its members and submit it to the security authorities. According to Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, reports from Tehran indicate that leaders of the central AOG church of Tehran asked their congregation in Sunday May 6 service to voluntarily present them with a list of their names and National ID numbers so that they submit the list to the officials. This reveals the identity of Christian converts and enables security authorities to record detailed information about the Christians.” Read more.

Nigeria: Islamic Extremists Causing Widespread Alarm, Killing Many More Christians Than What’s Being Reported

05/30/2012 Leave a comment

Romans 8:35-39, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [Shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Sura 48:29, “Mohammed is [Allah's] apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers ..."

Sura 48:29, “Mohammed is [Allah’s] apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers …”

Compass Direct News – “JOS, Nigeria, May 29 (CDN) — In Nigeria’s Plateau state, Christian leaders said more Christians have died at the hands of Muslim extremists than the 35 that the military reported thus far in May.

A Compass reporter was among a group of journalists that came under attack from Islamic extremists this month. In three local government areas in Plateau state, armed Fulani herdsmen attacked 15 Christian villages, killing and maiming Christians, destroying homes and leaving more than 1,000 villagers displaced, sources said.

The villages – Jwol, Foron, Tahoss, Bangai, Sopp, Werem, Danjol, Rinyam, Rim, Kak, Gwamrim, Gwom, Fang, Lwa and Riyas – are located in the local government areas of Barkin Ladi, Bokkos, and Riyom.

Villagers said the attackers were Muslim Fulani herdsmen likely supplied and instigated by Islamic extremist groups. Sources told Compass that Muslim gunmen invaded Rinyam village on May 9 at about 12:30 a.m. and shot seven Christians in their homes, though increasingly assailants are using only machetes and knives to avoid notice by soldiers charged with keeping order.

‘Seven people were shot dead, including two children,’ said Daniel Dem, an area legislator in the Plateau State House of Assembly. ‘Three were severely injured. They are now receiving medical attention at the Vom Christian Hospital.’

In Rim village, Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed one Christian, Bulus Dakumbi, and injured two others, now receiving treatment at Vom Christian Hospital.

At Gwarim village, Muslim gunmen killed five Christians: Dinnatu Danbwarang, 48; Simi Joseph, 26; Rose Dalyop, 25; Jafates Samuel, 4; and Christiana Samuel, 7.

At Wereng village near Kuru Station, three members of a Christian family were killed when Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked the village: Philip Francis Pam, 37; his wife Simi Francis, 28; and their only daughter, who was a few months old. Christian residents told Compass that the Muslim killers entered the family’s bedroom at 10 p.m. as they slept and murdered them.” Read more.

Nigeria extremists cause widespread alarm – “In brutally poor neighborhoods and mansions alike, this city choked by military checkpoints seethes with rumors, paranoia and conspiracy theories. Even academics like to assert a favorite: The homegrown Islamic extremist movement that is terrorizing northern Nigeria is a CIA creation. Others are convinced that the extremist group known as Boko Haram is a plot by the southern-led Nigerian government to create an eternal crisis in the north. How else to explain Boko Haram’s transformation from a group of radicals stashing homemade weapons to an organization that has half the country on military alert and U.S. lawmakers warning of threats to American interests? But outsiders have a more chilling explanation: The group has capitalized on ties to a neighboring Al Qaeda offshoot and access to large amounts of explosives, ammunition and weapons, some of which may be flowing out of Libya since the fall of Moammar Kadafi’s regime. That has not only made the group a danger to the Nigerian government, which appears uncertain how to deal with an increasingly bloody insurgency here in the mostly Muslim north, but has also raised the specter of a broader holy war.” Read more.

Saudi Arabians Demand The ‘Strongest Possible Punishment’ For McDonald’s After Finding Toy That ‘Insults Muhammad’

05/29/2012 2 comments

I’m surprised they didn’t complain about the the funny-looking “X” symbol on the Power Ranger’s face. Yet. …

By Raymond Ibrahim – “Saudi Arabians are angry at a McDonald’s toy which they say mocks their prophet Muhammad. According to a report appearing today (5/27/12) on the Arabic news website, Kermalkom.com, the McDonald’s fast food restaurant ‘abused the Prophet Muhammad by placing his name at the base of a toy that is being distributed as part of the Happy Meal, a toy which steps on the name ‘Muhammad.”

The toy consists of a blue superhero figurine (apparently a Power Ranger Samurai). It stands on one leg, and, when the lever is pressed, it pounds on the base with the other leg. According to the Saudis, the designs that appear all around the base, where the figurine stomps its foot, is really the name ‘Muhammad’ written several times in circles (click here for pictures).

The toy had been distributed a few days before Saudi children and their parents began to take note of the name. Soon thereafter, Saudi Muslims launched several campaigns against McDonald’s in ‘response to the savage attacks on the noble Prophet,’ under banners like ‘Help your Prophet!’ and ‘Together in support of the Prophet.’

Saudis, ‘demanding the strongest possible punishment for the restaurant’ and insisting that ‘they will not be silent until this is realized,’ further complained how such an obvious insult could pass the supervision of the management at McDonald’s.

In response, ‘Saudi McDonald’s’ has withdrawn the toy from all its restaurants, ‘in order to safeguard against any accusations or misunderstandings.'” Read more.

Russian Radio Host Slash-Attacked For Criticizing Islam Over The Air, ‘You Are Allah’s Enemy!’

05/29/2012 Leave a comment

Russia Today – “A radio host has been hospitalized after being cut 15 times by an unidentified criminal. Two weeks ago the journalist ventured to criticize the founder of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed, on air.

­Sergey Aslanyan, 46, was brought to Moscow’s hospital with numerous non-penetrating knife wounds to the chest, neck and arm.

According to the police report, on late Monday evening an unknown man called to Aslanyan’s flat over the building intercom and called him outside for a talk. When the journalist stepped out of the entranceway he was knocked over the head with a heavy object, after which the assailant brought the knife into play.

Aslanyan claimed that the attacker was shouting ‘you are Allah’s enemy!’ while slashing at the victim.

Police say the abuser was a slim man of about 30, while according to some witnesses there were several attackers.

As of now the journalist is conscious and his condition is stable. His relatives and friends are free to visit him in his flat, which is guarded by police. Investigators say they do not have a primary lead, but hope to identify the perpetrator using porch surveillance camera data.

Still, Izvestia newspaper made a guess that the attack could be linked to recent statements made by the journalist in a radio show. While discussing religion in general he made some “from zero to hero” remarks towards the Prophet Mohammed.

‘The Prophet Mohammed, as we know, was not a religious figure. He was a businessman, but after getting considerable financial support built plans as to how to get to the top,’ Aslanyan disclosed. He also said that the Prophet ‘rewrote the Bible’ so that ‘now everyone would know the Prophet Mohammed was not a market shopkeeper, but an outstanding political figure.’

According to Aslanyan, the idea of Islam was a ‘business project from the very beginning,’ and turned out to be successful due to ‘handsome financing.’ Besides that, the journalist, who was an external expert at this radio show, speculated that the Prophet had some sort of sexual disorder.

Reportedly, the journalist later apologized on air for the harsh statements he had made, but that did not change public opinion much.

Such statements could not but stir the Muslim community. There was a widespread angry reaction on the Islamic internet forums.” Read more.

No Holds Barred: Pat Condell On Saudi Arabia

05/29/2012 Leave a comment

“Its presence on this planet is a stain on all humanity.” The thinking man’s favorite atheist lambasts the “Whore of Babylon” without even knowing it …

Caution: Language may be offensive to some:

Categories: Anything Else

Egypt: ‘Protesters’ Set Fire To Islamist Opponent Candidate’s Office As Islamists Blame Christians For Voting Against Muslim Brotherhood

05/29/2012 Leave a comment

By Richard Spencer, The Telegraph – “The flames at Ahmed Shafiq’s offices are believed to have been started by the same young revolutionaries who overthrew Mr Mubarak and who have warned that they would not accept any of his former henchman as their president.

Mr Shafiq, a former air force general, essentially took day-to-day control of the Egyptian government last year as anti-Mubarak crowds gathered in Tahrir Square.

No one was was reported hurt after the demonstrators vandalised the Cairo offices and set them on fire.

‘There will be violence if Shafiq wins,’ Mohammed al-Daramali, of a group calling itself The Coalition to Rescue the Revolution, said at the weekend.

‘Shafiq’s place is prison, not the presidential chair.’

Mr Shafiq has said he will honour the revolution, but has refused to distance himself from his previous description of Mr Mubarak as his ‘role model’.

The army is braced for protests after the vote on June 16-17 and there is a high likelihood of trouble in the run-up. On Saturday, a verdict is due in Mr Mubarak’s trial on charges of murder and corruption, with anger likely to meet anything less than a heavy sentence.

In the final tally announced yesterday, Mohammed Mursi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood front party, the Freedom and Justice Party, won 24.8 per cent of the votes, slightly ahead of Mr Shafiq with 23.7 per cent.” Read more.

Islamists in Egypt Blame Christians for Voting Against Muslim Brotherhood Candidate – “The official results of the first round of the Egyptian presidential elections were announced today, the run-off will be between Mohamed Morsy, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, and Air Marshal Ahmad Shafik, Mubarak’s last PM, who served for less than one month during the revolution and before Mubarak was ousted. This results, which were expected since Friday, has enraged many Egyptians who feel that they are left with two options, each worst than the other, namely either going back to the Mubarak regime represented by Shafik or the Islamists who will drag Egypt into being another Afghanistan or Iran. Nasserist candidate Hamdeed Sabahy, favored by a great number of youth — especially those who participated in the 25 January Revolution, came in third. Many Islamists, fearing Shafik if he comes to power, especially after vowing to bring back order and security within one month of his election, are blaming Copts for voting for Shafik and bringing him to second place. Copts have been accused of being ‘traitors’ and ‘anti-revolutionary’ for voting to bring back the old regime.” Read more.

At Least 15 Dead, Buildings Crumble After 5.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Northern Italy

05/29/2012 Leave a comment

Associated Press – “MIRANDOLA, Italy – A magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck northern Italy on Tuesday, killing at least 15 people as factories, warehouses and a church collapsed in the same region still struggling to recover from another deadly tremor nine days ago.

In a hastily called news conference, Premier Mario Monti pledged the government will do `’all that it must and all that is possible in the briefest period to guarantee the resumption of normal life in this area that is so special, so important and so productive for Italy.”

The region around Bologna is among the country’s most productive. Italy is in the midst of another recession and struggling to tame its massive debt as the European debt crisis worsens.

The quake hit just after 9:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) and was centered 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of the city of Bologna, according to the U.S. Geological Survey — the same area where a 6.0-magnitude temblor killed seven people on May 20.

The quake was felt from Piedmont in northwestern Italy to Venice in the northeast and as far north as Austria. It was followed by many aftershocks, some registering more than 5.0 in magnitude.” Read more.

Categories: Earthquakes
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