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Sri Lanka: Unexplained ‘Red Rain’ Falling From The Sky Prompts Investigation

11/17/2012 Leave a comment

By Ridma Dissanayake, Daily News – “Rare showers of red rain fell for over 15 minutes in Sewanagala, Monaragala and Manampitiya,Polonnaruwa yesterday morning hours of yesterday and day before yesterday. According to Meteorology Department sources red rain fell heavily in these areas and the reason has not been found yet.

Red rain in Sewanagala and Manampitiya left red frost on the ground. This is the first time red rain was witnessed in Sri Lanka. The Health Ministry Secretary informed Medical Research Institute (MRI) Director Dr Anil Samaranayake to conduct a study to ascertain the reasons for red rain by taking water samples from Monaragala and Polonnaruwa.

Increase in the acidity of the air and sand storms are the usual reasons for red rain. However, there are no sand storms in Sri Lanka. India had red rain last year and Indian scientists discovered a variety of micro organisms as a reason for the rains. Since the micro organisms had no DNA, they guessed it had to be a strange phenomenon.

The MRI is carrying out research to find the exact reason for red rain in Sri Lanka.” Source – Daily News.

Categories: Anything Else

Nigeria: Christian Family Burned To Death After Suspected Islamists Rampage Through Northern Christian Community

11/17/2012 Leave a comment

Christian Today – “Christian Solidarity Worldwide has expressed fears for Christians in northern Nigeria after a family was killed in Kaduna State this week.

The organisation reports that gunmen opened fire on the home of Yakubu Kayit in Madauchi-Zonkwa.

There were reportedly five family members in the house when the gunmen set it ablaze, killing everyone inside.

Pastor Bitrus Titus of Living Faith Church, Zonkwa, told CSW Nigeria that the sound of gun fire lasted for close to an hour last night.

He added that there was no intervention from security personnel and that the bodies were burnt beyond recognition.

The attack has shocked and angered the Christian community. Some young men took to the streets to protest the attack and demand that soldiers stationed nearby be removed from their post.

Reverend Yunusa Nmadu, chief executive of CSW Nigeria, met with protesters during a visit to the area on Thursday.

He said, ‘We are saddened by yet another attack on a predominately Christian community and urge the relevant security agents to live up to their responsibilities, especially since there has been a long standing threat that the community and others around would be attacked after the April 2011 presidential electoral violence in Kaduna State.

‘Our hearts go out to the relatives and friends of the family that has been affected.’

Andrew Johnston, Advocacy Director at Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said, ‘We send our heartfelt condolences to the relations and friends of the Kayit family. It is deeply worrying to hear that despite the long-standing nature of the threat against the area, the security services did not come to the aid of the victims, and this sustained, brutal attack was allowed to continue for almost an hour. We urge those responsible for security in this area to fulfil their mandate to protect innocent civilians from attack.'” Source – Christian Today.

Flashback: Boko Haram: Our Goal is to Eliminate Followers of Christ – “Terrorist organisation Boko Haram has issued a statement making clear that its goal is to eliminate followers of Christ from Nigeria and establish an Islamic state. ‘The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state … We are responsible for the suicide attack on a church in Jos and also another attack on another church in Biu,’ a spokesman for the group, Abul Qaqa, is said to have told reporters in the northeastern city of Maiduguri over the phone.” Read more.

Iran Set To Double Nuclear Fuel Capability, May Have Enough Uranium For Nuclear Bomb By March 2013

11/17/2012 3 comments

As Israel quickly runs out of time, it is looking more and more likely that 2013 will be the year that everything changes …

By JAY SOLOMON, The Wall Street Journel – “Iran has finished installing nearly 3,000 nuclear-fuel production machines at its underground military facility near the holy city of Qom, providing Tehran the capability to double its production of medium-enriched uranium in the coming months, a new report said.

These advances, outlined in a report on Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, could allow Tehran’s Islamist leaders to accumulate in as little as three to four months enough uranium enriched to 20% purity for one atomic weapon, according to nuclear experts.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cited this level of nuclear-fuel production by Tehran as the ‘red line’ for when the Jewish state might launch military strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran was likely to amass this stockpile of fissile material by next summer, Mr. Netanyahu estimated in a September speech at the U.N.

The installation of the nearly 3,000 centrifuge machines at Qom could allow it to reach this point much quicker, experts say, if the machines there and at a second nuclear-fuel site at the city of Natanz are utilized.

‘The number of centrifuges are steadily increasing, which diminishes the time for a breakout for a nuclear weapon in two ways,’ said Olli Heinonen, a former chief weapons inspector at the IAEA. ‘Iran’s inventories will increase as well as its pace of production.’ Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and denies it is pursuing bomb production.

Iran currently has a stockpile of 232 kilograms of 20% enriched uranium, or about 510 pounds, of which 96 kilograms has been detected for the production of fuel plates, according to the IAEA. Nuclear experts estimate that Iran would need 220 to 250 kilograms to produce one nuclear weapon.

They said Iran’s rate of quarterly production could grow to around 25 kilograms per month with the Qom facility fully operational.

To make a bomb, Iran would then need to convert this stockpile to weapons-grade levels, which is around 90% purity. It has the technology to do so, by reconfiguring centrifuges, in an additional few months, say experts.” Read more.

An Obama Nation: Seniors To Suffer As Obamacare’s $716 Billion In Cuts Drive Doctors Out Of Medicare

11/17/2012 1 comment

By Avik Roy, Forbes -“A new survey of physicians has found that 30 percent of doctors in Florida intend to place new or additional limits on accepting Medicare patients, with 27 percent altogether refusing to accept new Medicare patients, because of Obamacare’s impact on the fees that Medicare pays to providers of health-care services. In addition, Obamacare will deeply cut Medicare Advantage for 1.2 million Florida seniors who are enrolled in the program, and drive up the cost of private health coverage, especially for those who buy insurance on their own. Read on for more details…

Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion between 2013 and 2022 in order to pay for part of the law’s $1.9 trillion in new health-care spending for younger people over the same time frame. My co-blogger Robert Book and Michael Ramlet have published a paper for the University of Minnesota showing that Florida’s share of those Medicare cuts is $44.4 billion. This year, Florida has 3,527,830 Medicare enrollees, which means that these cuts amount to $12,584 for every senior in the state.

Robert Book published another paper, this time with former White House budget official James Capretta, detailing Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare Advantage on a state-by-state basis. Robert and Jim found that, in 2017, Obamacare will cut $3,203 in Medicare Advantage services for every Floridian enrolled in the program: a 21 percent cut. 34 percent of Florida’s seniors—1,198,943—are enrolled in Medicare Advantage…

Last month, the Physicians Foundation published one of the largest physician surveys ever conducted in the United States, with 13,575 respondents. They asked physicians a broad range of questions, including several about their views on Obamacare. 67 percent of Florida physicians said that the Affordable Care Act made them ‘less positive about the direction and future of healthcare in America.’ Only 12 percent said it made them feel more positive.

If Medicare fees decrease by ten percent or more—as the Affordable Care Act will require—30 percent of doctors in Florida say that they will place ‘new or additional limits’ on accepting Medicare patients. 27 percent say they’ll stop accepting Medicare patients altogether.” Read more.

How Obamacare’s $716 Billion in Cuts Will Drive Doctors Out of Medicare – “There are 600,000 physicians in America who care for the 48 million seniors on Medicare. Of the $716 billion that the Affordable Care Act cuts from the program over the next ten years, the largest chunk—$415 billion—comes from slashing Medicare’s reimbursement rates to hospitals, nursing homes, and doctors. This significant reduction in fees is driving many doctors to stop accepting new Medicare patients, making it harder for seniors to gain access to needed care.” Read more.

An Obama Nation: Tsunami Of Obamacare Regulations Forcing Drastic Measures Upon Restaurant Owners To Ensure Profitability

11/17/2012 1 comment

The examples below are a drop in the bucket. Many restaurant employees who voted for Obama are now beginning to develop a sour taste in the mouth. Elections have consequences …

By Kemberlee Kaye – “Business owners nationwide are making preparations for the upcoming Obamacare regulatory tsunami. Citing cumbersome regulations and costs, entrepreneurs are being forced to make very difficult decisions. The stories are becoming all too common. In order to keep their businesses afloat, companies are laying off workers, reducing their hours and in some cases, closing locations.

The problem is not industry specific either. Energy companies, technology companies, retail establishments and restaurants are all facing the economic challenges created by Obamacare. Following the re-election of President Obama, several restauranteurs have gone to the press to express their disastifaction with the President’s hallmark legislation.

Yesterday, Florida restaurant owner, John Metz explained that in preparation for the January 2014 regulatory onslaught, he will be forced to take drastic measures. Metz owns 40 Denny’s locations, several Dairy Queens and the Hurricane Grill & Wings franchise. In order to offset the cost of Obamacare, Metz is considering adding a 5% surcharge to all purchases, effectively passing the cost on to the consumer.

But the consumer would not be the only affected party. According the Huffington Post, Metz plans to meet with employees next month to explain, ‘that because of Obamacare, we are going to be cutting front-of-the-house employees to under 30 hours, effective immediately.’ Metz went on to say, ‘I think it’s a terrible thing. It’s ridiculous that the maximum hours we can give people is 28 hours a week instead of 40. It’s going to force my employees to go out and get a second job.'” Read more.

Zane Tankel, Applebee’s Franchisee, Says He Won’t Hire Because Of Obamacare – “‘We’ve calculated it will [cost] some millions of dollars across our system. So what does that say — that says we won’t build more restaurants. We won’t hire more people,’ Zane Tankel, chairman and CEO of Apple-Metro, told Fox Business Network on Thursday. Apple-Metro, which runs 40 Applebee’s restaurants, employs from 80 to 300 people at each of its locations. Obamacare mandates that businesses with more than 50 workers must offer an approved insurance plan or pay a penalty of $2,000 for each full-time worker over 30 workers.” Read more.

Papa John’s to Reduce Workers Hours Due to Obamacare – “Papa John’s workers will have their hours reduced due to Obamacare, Huffington Post reports Nov. 9. The pizza chain’s CEO, John Schnatter, said now that President Obama has been re-elected he plans to pass the expense of the nation’s new health care plan down to his workers — which means less hours… John Schnatter might be getting a lot of criticism for the prices raised on Papa John’s pizza and reducing his workers’ hours, but people can expect to see more of this in order to support Obamacare.” Read more.

Obamacare May Force Owner Of ‘Jim’s Restaurants’ To Fire Full-Time Employees – “‘Many of us are left out there hanging, so to speak, in a holding pattern, because we don’t know,’ said Jimmy Hasslocher, the owner of Jim’s Restaurants. His local chain has 1100 employees, which is enough to trigger mandatory health insurance for full-time employees — one of the rules in the Affordable Care Act. Hasslocher said there’s a slim profit margin in food sales, so something’s going to have to give. And it just may be his full-time employees.” Read more.

An Obama Nation: President’s ‘War On Coal’ Forces Mine To Lay Off Workers, 204 Coal-Fired Plants To Close By 2014

11/17/2012 2 comments

Look on the bright side. Thanks to Obama’s energy policies, more coal miners out of work means fewer kids will be getting a lump of coal in their stocking for Christmas …

By Geoff Liesik – “EAST CARBON, Carbon County — A Utah coal company owned by a vocal critic of President Barack Obama has laid off 102 miners.

The layoffs at the West Ridge Mine are effective immediately, according to UtahAmerican Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. They were announced in a short statement made public Thursday, two days after Obama won re-election.

The layoffs are necessary because of the president’s ‘war on coal,’ the statement said. The slogan is one used frequently during the election by Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, who was an ardent supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

In its statement, UtahAmerican Energy blames the Obama administration for instituting policies that will close down ‘204 American coal-fired power plants by 2014’ and for drastically reducing the market for coal.

‘There is nowhere to sell our coal, and when we can, the market prices are far lower,’ the statement said. ‘Without markets, there can be no coal mines and no coal jobs.'” Read more.

Flashback: Obama Planned to Bankrupt Coal Industry and Raise Energy Prices

An Obama Nation: US Poverty Rate Rises Sharply, Number Of Americans On Food Stamps Hits All-Time Record

11/17/2012 Leave a comment

“WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – As President Barack Obama is set to begin his second term, new statistics on America’s poverty rate indicate that nearly 50 million Americans, more than 16 percent of the population, are struggling to survive.

New figures released by the Census Bureau this week found a spike in poverty numbers last year, going from 49 million in 2010 to 49.7 million last year. The numbers may come as a surprise to Congress, which estimated in September that the poverty rate would drop to 46.2 million. One of the most startling findings showed that almost 20 percent of American children continue to live in poverty.

The Associated Press reports that the new figures are based on an updated formula devised by the Census Bureau to help give the government a better understanding for how to use safety-net programs.

The numbers found that Hispanics and people living in urban areas had a higher chance of struggling to make it financially. Poverty among full-time and part-time workers also saw a jump from its 2010 numbers.

Based on the formula implemented by the Census Bureau, California tops the list as the sate most likely to bring about poverty. The top five is rounded out by the District of Columbia, Arizona, Florida and Georgia.” Read more.

Report Hidden Until After Election Shows Record Surge In Americans Using Food Stamps – “The number of Americans relying on food stamps to stay fed has been steadily on the rise, hitting an all-time record this year, with more than 47.1 million Americans using government assistance to obtain food. The US Monthly Data report, released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), is normally issued at month’s end. But the most recent report, which shows the record-breaking surge in food stamp dependence, was published on November 9 – three days after the presidential election. About 15 percent of all Americans, or 47,102,780 people, are now enrolled in the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is the highest number on record, and surpasses the number of unemployed Americans who found jobs during the same time period.” Read more.

An Obama Nation: Medical Giant Stryker Cuts 1,170 Jobs Due To Obamacare

11/17/2012 Leave a comment

By Perry Chiaramonte – “Medical supply giant Stryker is the latest company to announce job cuts in anticipation of coming costs associated with ObamaCare, even though the man who inherited a fortune from the company’s founder is a fan.

The company will cut 1,170 jobs, or five percent of its worldwide workforce, despite the fact that the founder’s grandson was one of the largest contributors to President Obama’s re-election campaign. Medical tech scion Jon Stryker, whose net worth is currently estimated at $1.2 billion, contributed $2 million to the Priorities USA Action super PAC and has given $66,000 in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party. Stryker does not run the company.

A ‘medical device excise tax’ included in the mandate imposes a 2.3 percent levy on medical device manufacturers and suppliers, which critics say will raise prices on everything from pacemakers to prosthetics to stents. Companies will be required to pay the tax regardless if they have a profit or loss for the year. The tax is estimated to cost the medical device industry $20 billion.

House Republicans tried to have the tax repealed, drafting a bill called the Protect Medical Innovation Act, but the Democrat-controlled Senate has blocked the measure.

‘The targeted reductions and other restructuring activities are being initiated to provide efficiencies and realign resources in advance of the new Medical Device Excise Tax scheduled to begin in 2013, as well as to allow for continued investment in strategic areas and drive growth despite the ongoing challenging economic environment and market slowdown in elective procedures,’ Stryker spokeswoman Yin Becker told FoxNews.com. ‘The reductions and restructuring activities are expected to be substantially complete by the end of 2012.’

Executives for Stryker have placed the blame squarely on the coming tax ever since it gained more steam in Washington.” Read more.

Sun Unleashes Monster Eruption Of Super-Hot Plasma

11/17/2012 1 comment

By Tariq Malik – “The sun unleashed a monster eruption of super-hot plasma Friday (Nov. 16) in back-to-back solar storms captured on camera by a NASA spacecraft.

The giant sun eruption, called a solar prominence, occurred at 1 a.m. EST (0600 GMT), with another event flaring up four hours later. The prominences was so large, it expanded beyond the camera view of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which captured high-definition video of the solar eruption.

In the video, a colossal loop of glowing red plasma erupts from the lower left of the sun, arcing up and out of frame as it blasts away from the star.

‘The red-glowing looped material is plasma, a hot gas made of electrically charged hydrogen and helium,’ officials with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, which oversees the SDO mission, explained in a description. ‘The prominence plasma flows along a tangled and twisted structure of magnetic fields generated by the sun’s internal dynamo. An erupting prominence occurs when such a structure becomes unstable and bursts outward, releasing the plasma.’

Friday’s solar eruption does not appear to be aimed at Earth, so will likely have little effect on our planet. But that was not the case earlier this week when a powerful solar flare erupted on Monday (Nov. 12). That flare registered as an M6-class eruption, a moderate but still intense solar event.

On Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 13 and 14), space weather conditions sparked a geomagnetic storm that supercharged the Earth’s auroras, creating spectacular northern lights displays for observers at high latitudes.

When aimed directly at Earth, the most powerful solar flares and eruptions can pose a threat to satellites and astronauts in orbit, and also interfere with communication, navigation and power systems on the ground.

The sun is currently in the middle of an active phase of its 11-year solar weather cycle. The current cycle is called Solar Cycle 24 and is expected to peak in 2013.” Source – Space.com.

Categories: Cosmic Craziness
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