"Am I therefore become your enemy,because I TELL YOU THE TRUTH...?"
(Galatians 4:16)

Friday, May 28, 2010

QUAKEWATCH:Pacaya Volcano Erupts Near Guatemala City:3 People Dead...

An American Airlines jet sits covered with ash from the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano on the runway at the International airport in Guatemala City May 28, 2010.
(REUTERS/Daniel LeClair)
A state of calamity is declared and thousands are evacuated as a volcano erupts near Guatemala's capital....
Raining Ash...
Journalist Killed by Falling Rocks...
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Geithner upbeat on "Global Regulation Plan"...

The US and Europe are in broad agreement on imposing more conservative rules on financial institutions, but such regulation should not be so drastic that it would “create headwinds to the economic recovery”, said Tim Geithner, US Treasury secretary, in Berlin on Thursday.On a whirlwind visit for talks in Germany and the UK on the global economy and the eurozone crisis, Mr Geithner stopped short of public criticism of European governments for excessive spending cuts. But he warned of the need for a balance between financial austerity, tougher regulation and continuing growth incentives ...

Israeli Heckler Calls Rahm Emanuel ‘Anti-Semite’

CBS News: "You are an anti-Semite, a hypocrite who hates Israel!" Ben-Gvir shouted. "You want Israel to return to the 1967 borders. Shame on you!"

Germany's 'Dr. Death' sells body parts...

After years of creating controversy with his "plasticised" dead bodies, a publicity-hungry German anatomist dubbed "Doctor Death" went one step further on Friday, offering body parts for sale.Gunther von Hagens said in a statement however that buyers of the human parts must be "qualified users such as doctors, professors, teaching institutes and hospitals."In a process invented by Hagens, the body parts are skinned and preserved with a synthetic resin, laying bare the naked muscles, nerves and tendons underneath....

South Korean Court:"Frozen human embryos 'not life forms'..."

South Korea's Constitutional Court has ruled that human embryos left over from fertility treatment are not life forms and can be used for research or destroyed, a court spokesman said Friday.In its ruling Thursday the court upheld an existing law allowing the use of leftover embryos for research. The law also allows fertility clinics to dispose of frozen embryos five years after fertilisation treatment is completed."The ruling means that human embryos that are in their early stage and are not implanted into a mother's womb cannot be seen as human life forms," the spokesman, Noh Hui-Beom, told AFP....

GOOGLE misses German WiFi deadline; risks fine after failing to hand over data...

Google has missed a deadline with regulators in Germany to hand over personal data it collected from WiFi networks as part of its StreetView scheme, as the internet group grapples with a legal dilemma over the request.The delay means Google could face a fine of hundreds of thousands of euros, and comes as Google faces increasing pressure from regulators globally for its unauthorised accumulation of 600GB of personal data.The data protection authority in Hamburg had asked Google to submit the original hard drives containing the “payload” data – such as e-mails or fragments of web pages being visited by individuals using unsecured wireless networks – by midnight on Wednesday...

Canada to Spend U$S1 Billion for G20 Security....

TORONTO – Canada's Conservative government says the nearly $1 billion it plans to spend on security at the G-8 and G-20 summits next month is worth it.Canada has budgeted up to $930 Canadian (US$885 million) for the summits. By comparison, the stated amount spent by Pittsburgh on security for last September's G-20 summit was US$12.4 million. London's stated amount for the G-20 last year was US$10.9 million.Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Thursday the cost is expensive but the security "worth it"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

QUAKEWATCH:7.2 MAG Hits VANUATU....

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 rattled the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu early Friday, briefly triggering a tsunami watch for the region...

13-Story Mosque to Be Built Near Ground Zero

Romanians protest wage and pension cuts

In one of the largest mass protests since the fall of communism, around 50,000 Romanians took to the streets of Bucharest on Wednesday.They are furious at drastic cuts to state wages and pensions proposed by the government to reduce the country’s ballooning budget deficit.“I am a pensioner after 40 years of working and they want to cut 15 per cent of our pensions. How will we live from now on?” asked one angry woman. Protesters say they should not have to pay for the government’s corruption. But the government says its hands are tied...

Google Street View 'single biggest breach of privacy in history'

Earlier this month, Google announced it had discovered that the roving cars it uses to create its online mapping services were inadvertently gathering data on people's website use over unsecured wireless networks.Google apologised, but the admission caused alarm across the globe. Germany's consumer protection said that Google had acted "illegally" and failed to show respect for the privacy of its citizens. The UK Information Commissioner has asked Google to delete information gathered on British citizens as soon as possible.Now Stephen Conroy, Australia's minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, has told a senate committee that Google deliberately decided to collect the private information...

Private Corporation Building Detention Camps Across America

The shadowy design firm that was behind the infamous Hardin Montana jail is pushing to build detention camps across America, with the latest proposal centering around a fifty acre, five hundred bed facility in Italy, Texas, part of a program that many Americans fear is based around a plan to intern political dissidents in the event of a national emergency.Private prison development firm Corplan Corrections, headed up by an individual called James Parkey, is working with underwriter Municipal Capitol Markets Group, along with prison “consultant” Richard Reyes from Innovative Government Strategies, an outfit that works with state and local government, to oversee multiple projects concentrated in different states including Arizona and Texas....

REDISTRIBUTION VICTORY:"Private Pay Plummets,Taxpayer Handouts Soar... "

Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year, a USA TODAY analysis of government data finds.
At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010...

AMERICA'S NATIONAL DEBT TOPS $13,000,000,000,000;DEBT PER TAXPAYER:$117,975;US DEBT TO GDP RATIO :90.3%...

US DEBT CLOCK.....

OBAMA TO SEND 1,200 TROOPS TO MEX BORDER...

WASHINGTON-Under pressure to take action, President Barack Obama on Tuesday ordered 1,200 National Guard troops to boost security along the U.S.-Mexico border, pre-empting Republican efforts to force a congressional vote to send the troops.Obama will also request $500 million for border protection and law enforcement activities, according to lawmakers and administration officials.The president's action comes as chances for comprehensive immigration reform, Obama's long-stated goal, look increasingly dim in this election year. Obama has been all but compelled to do something since Arizona's passage of a tough illegal-immigration law thrust the border problem into the public spotlight...

Woman sues after $24,000 Rolex goes missing at TSA checkpoint...

Imagine being ordered by airport security workers to put your very expensive watch on a scanning belt, over your objections. Then imagine going to retrieve it and it’s gone.A Baker County woman says that experience at Norfolk International Airport in Virginia last year cost her a $24,000 Rolex her husband saved up to buy her on her 50th birthday.Now she’s suing the U.S. Transportation Security Administration after the agency rejected her claim letter and her congressman unsuccessfully attempted to intervene.The lawsuit, filed in Jacksonville federal court this month, accuses TSA of negligence and bailment, a legal term that makes someone holding another’s property responsible if it is lost.“Basically they called me a liar. They treated me like crap,” said Paulene Showalter, 63, of Glen St. Mary. Showalter is secretary to Duval County Public Defender Matthew Shirk...
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Picture Left:(Provided by Pauline Showalter)

What to Eat on a $17,600 Date With the President...

So what does $92,000 an hour buy you in food? If you're President Barack Obama it gets you a plate full of hors d'oeuvres, a salad and ribs.Mr. Obama's 19-hour whirlwind Bay Area fundraising trip filled Sen. Barbara Boxer's wallet with $1.75 million and he used a $17,600 a person dinner at the Getty Mansion in San Francisco to bring in the big bucks.The president's 80 dinner guests were treated to an elaborate meal prepared by chef Jennifer Johnson, according to SF Gate, who got the scoop on the menu.Diners were treated to quail egg with caviar and salmon ceviche with jicama and avocado on a tortilla chip--as their starting hors d'oeuvres. Next they were served a spring onion-asparagus tartlet with Meyer lemon vinaigrette-dressed frisee salad...

Rham Emanuel Heckled in Israel...

JERUSALEM-Two ultranationalist Israeli activists have been arrested for shouting insults at White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.The two men approached Emanuel Thursday as he was touring Jerusalem's Old City with his family under heavy security.The protesters began shouting insults and slogans from afar, yelling, "Jerusalem is not for sale." They were referring to the White House pressure for Israel to halt construction in disputed east Jerusalem....

Things Obama Is Doing Instead of Going to Gulf: Duke Photo, Lunch with Bill, Vacation...

This morning, President Obama will meet with the NCAA men’s basketball champion Duke Blue Devils at the White House to honor their 2009-2010 championship season in the Rose Garden.Keeping up the sports theme, the president and the vice president will take a photo with the U.S. World Cup soccer team and former President Bill Clinton, who is chairing the 2018 World Cup bid, on the North Portico. The White House has previously announced that Vice President Biden and Jill Biden will attend the World Cup in South Africa next month.Afterward, the president will a private have lunch with President Clinton in the Private Dining Room....

Public opinion turning against Obama...

The American public is losing its patience with President Obama over his handling of the Gulf Coast oil spill.In the five weeks since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig sent hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, Obama had largely escaped political fallout. But as BP attempts yet again to seal the leak, a new USA Today/Gallup Poll finds a majority of Americans unhappy with Obama's handling of the spill. According to the poll, 53 percent rate Obama's handling "poor" or "very poor"; 43 percent believe Obama is doing a good job....

Dow Slides Below 10000...

Stocks turned negative late in the session and the euro tumbled as investors' worries about global growth resurfaced, overshadowing strong U.S. data.The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was up 135 at its morning high, ended down by 69.30 points at 9974.45, its first close below the 10000 mark since early February. Microsoft led the way lower, falling 4.1%.The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.7%. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% to 1067.93, hurt largely by a reversal in its financial category, which led the way higher in the morning but ended with a 0.7% decline....

RFID WATCH:"RFID chip implanted into man gets computer virus"

Researchers have found that implanted identity chips can pick up computer viruses.
Reading University’s Mark Gasson conducted an experiment to show how radio frequency identity (RFID) chips could become electronically infected.
He explained to Rory Cellan-Jones the risks involved with the new technology including its effects on medical implants such as pacemakers....

SOURCE

Flood of frogs shuts down major Greek highway

THESSALONIKI, Greece-Greek officials say a horde of frogs has forced the closure of a key northern highway for two hours. Thessaloniki traffic police chief Giorgos Thanoglou says "millions" of the amphibians covered the tarmac Wednesday near the town of Langadas, some 12 miles east of Thessaloniki. "There was a carpet of frogs," he said....

APPLE Overtakes MICROSOFT as biggest tech company...

Apple Inc shot past Microsoft Corp as the world's biggest tech company based on market value on Wednesday, the latest milestone in the resurgence of the maker of the iPhone, which nearly went out of business in the 1990s.Apple's shares rose as much 2.8 percent on Nasdaq on Wednesday, as Microsoft shares floundered, briefly pushing its market value above $229 billion, ahead of its longtime rival.
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Euro approaches 4-year low vs dollar...

NEW YORK-U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sought to support the battered euro on Wednesday, but the currency extended its decline on a report that China was reviewing its euro holdings. Geithner told Europeans that financial markets want to see euro zone countries put into action their $1 trillion standby package designed to stabilize the currency, and Berlusconi called on European partners to follow his lead and impose austerity to help solve the euro zone debt crisis...

Debt crisis is dark cloud over Europe

The eurozone’s debt crisis hangs like a dark cloud over Europe’s economic prospects. But it is not yet clear that the Continent’s slow recovery from its worst recession since the second world war will be blown off course.Convincing evidence has yet to emerge of Europe's main economies taking a turn for the worse as a result of the global financial storm created in its own backyard. Germany’s Bundesbank said on Wednesday that so far market turmoil had not affected Europe’s largest economy, which had grown “sharply” in the second quarter. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development revised up its forecasts for eurozone growth this year and next, although it highlighted risks to the global outlook...

China May Shield North Korea as Lee,US Seek Action...

May 27-Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is likely to resist pressure to acknowledge that North Korea torpedoed a South Korean warship when he flies to Seoul tomorrow to meet President Lee Myung Bak and Japan’s Yukio Hatoyama.China hasn’t followed South Korea, Japan and the U.S. in blaming North Korea for the March 26 sinking of the Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors. Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun yesterday repeated a call for “restraint” by both sides and said China had no “firsthand information” on the sinking.China wants to avoid a conflict on the Korean peninsula, and is concerned that taking South Korea’s side may provoke North Korea into further escalations and even lead to war, said Shen Dingli, vice dean of the Institute of International Affairs at Shanghai’s Fudan University.“North Korea is dying, and we can make things worse,” Shen said. “We have assumed North Korea is not a rational actor”...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque Approved 29-1...

Angry relatives of 9/11 victims last night clashed with supporters of a planned mosque near Ground Zero at a raucous community-board hearing in Manhattan.After four hours of public debate, members of Community Board 1 finally voted 29-1 in support of the project. Nine members abstained, arguing that they wanted to table the issue and vote at a later date.The board has no official say over whether the estimated $100 million mosque and community center gets built. But the panel's support, or lack of it, is considered important in influencing public opinion.Holding up photos of loved ones killed in the Twin Towers and carrying signs such as, "Honor 3,000, 9/11 -- No mosque!" opponents of the proposed Cordoba House on Park Place called the plan an insult to the terror-attack victims."That is a burial ground," said retired FDNY Deputy Chief Al Santora, referring to the fact that victims' remains were scattered for blocks.Santora's 23-year-old son, Christopher, was the youngest firefighter to die that day....

Lord Monckton wins global warming debate at Oxford Union

I’m waiting for actual photos of the event from the official photographer, but for now I’ll make do with what can be found on the Internet. For those who don’t know, the Oxford Union is the top of the food chain for scholarly debate. This is a significant win.Founded in 1823 at the University of Oxford, but maintaining a separate charter from the University, The Oxford Union is host to some of the most skillful debates in the world. Many eminent scholars and personalities have come and either debated or delivered speeches in the chamber. Monckton was invited as part of the formal Thursday debate....

Tony Blair to earn millions as climate change adviser

Tony Blair is set to earn millions of pounds advising an American businessman on how to make money from tackling climate change.The former prime minister will be paid at least £700,000 a year to act as a “strategic adviser” to Khosla Ventures, a venture capitalist firm founded by Indian billionaire Vinod Khosla.The Californian company bankrolls businesses hoping to profit from technology that helps reduce global warming and carbon emissions.Mr Blair secured the job thanks to his “influence” and high level international contacts, whom he will be expected to lean on to open doors...

Is North Korea on the Verge of Collapse...?

Despite the posturing of his regime, there are signs that Kim Jong-Il’s hold on North Korea may be slipping and international community must be ready.North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is considered an international pariah in most nations, but he was welcomed with open arms in China May 3-7. The visit underscored North Korea’s isolation: Kim’s last foreign visit in 2006 was also to China. Despite approving tough United Nations sanctions after Pyongyang’s second nuclear test, Beijing continues to provide energy and food assistance to the North that remains indispensible for the regime’s survival. Yet, even with China’s help, there are growing signs of economic and political volatility in the DPRK and the risks of instability—including regime collapse — cannot be ruled out....

South Korea loses track of North's subs

South Korea's military is trying to find four North Korean submarines that have disappeared from tracking screens in the East Sea.Tensions are running high on the Korean peninsula after Pyongyang was blamed for sinking a South Korean warship.South Korea's Yonhap news agency has quoted an unnamed military official as saying that four North Korean submarines have vanished from their screens.The 300-tonne Sang-O class submarines are part of Pyongyang's 40-strong fleet.They disappeared after leaving their base in the country's north-east two days ago....

Israel drill raises Mideast tensions...

At 11am on Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Israelis will hear a warning siren and dash to bunkers and safe rooms across the country. The army and rescue services will practise their response to a massive missile attack, marking the climax of an ambitious home-front exercise.Despite government assurances that the drill is a yearly routine, political leaders in Lebanon and Syria have accused Israel of warmongering....

Worst clash between Russia and Iran since Cold War...

TEHRAN/MOSCOW, May 26-Iran and Russia clashed on Wednesday over Kremlin support for draft U.N. sanctions against the Islamic Republic, in one of the worst rows between the two powers since the Cold War.The public clash indicates growing concern in Tehran after the United States said Russia and China, the closest thing Iran has to big-power allies, had agreed to a draft sanctions resolution to punish Iran over its nuclear programme....

The Next Rand Paul...?

NEW YORK-After the Kentucky Republican’s civil-rights act controversy, GOP leaders are anxiously eyeing which Tea Party upstart could cause the next earthquake. The Daily Beast on seven races to watch.Tea Party darling Rand Paul steamrolled his establishment-backed opponent in Kentucky’s GOP Senate primary last week—then steamrolled himself, making remarks about the federal government’s role in regulating private business sufficiently controversial that suddenly the entire Republican Party found itself having to pledge allegiance to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Paul implosion may be just a taste of things to come, in an election year sure to see more untested insurgents finding favor with an electorate ready to throw the bums—and the bums they support—out...
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Picture Left:Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul addresses a luncheon meeting of the Lions Club in Bowling Green, Ky., Tuesday, May 25, 2010.(AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

Ahmadinejad urges Obama to accept nuclear swap deal or lose chance of any future cooperation

KERMAN, Iran-Iran's president on Wednesday urged Barack Obama to accept a nuclear fuel swap deal, warning the U.S. leader will miss a historic opportunity for improved cooperation from Tehran if the offer is rejected.Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tehran's offer-submitted Monday to the U.N. nuclear watchdog-was inadequate and did not address international concerns about Iran's atomic ambitions....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stock Futures Drop as North Korea Orders Military to Prepare for Combat

U.S. stock futures fell, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index may slip to 2010’s lowest level, as bank borrowing costs rose and a report said North Korean leader Kim Jong Il ordered his military to prepare for combat.Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lost 1.8 percent as the rate banks say they pay for three-month loans in dollars increased to 0.536 percent, the highest since July 7, according to the British Bankers’ Association. Ford Motor Co. and Apple Inc. fell more than 2.5 percent on concern that Spain’s ailing banks signal a widening Europe debt crisis that may curb global growth....

Could US-Trained PA Military Turn Guns on Israel...?

During a military exercise with the IDF’s elite Kfir Brigade last week at the Tze'elim base in Israel’s south, GOC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi warned soldiers of potential challenges they may face in the near future.The Kfir brigade, created December 2005 to deal with unrest in Israel’s Judea and Samaria regions, trained extensively in urban warfare and simulated a scenario in which IDF soldiers were pitted against the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority’s new American-trained military.Mizrahi told soldiers that the PA security forces, trained in Jordan by United States Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, is a formidable potential enemy and that the IDF needs to know how to fight them if the need should arise...
By Avi Yellin

ISLAM WATCH:New Yorkers Plan to Fight Mosque Near Ground Zero

A growing rage is gripping New Yorkers over plans to build a 13-story mosque just two blocks away from the site of the worst terror attack ever perpetrated on U.S. soil.“What could be more insulting and humiliating than a monster mosque in the shadow of the World Trade Center buildings that were brought down by an Islamic jihad attack?” said Pam Geller, who heads a protest group called Stop the Islamicization of America. “Any decent American, Muslim or otherwise wouldn't dream of such an insult. It's a stab in the eye of America,” she told The Times.The group is calling for a massive protest on June 6...
by Hana Levi Julian

Alaska soldier ordered to remove Facebook video showing Iraqi children being taunted

ANCHORAGE, Alaska-An Alaska-based soldier is under investigation for a video on his Facebook page that taunts smiling Iraqi children by asking if they're gay, if they engage in certain sex acts and if they would grow up to be terrorists.The two young boys did not appear to understand the questions, which were in English, but smiled at the camera and at times flashed the "thumbs up" gestures during the 30-second clip.Spc. Robert A. Rodriguez, who is based at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, was ordered to remove the video from his site, Army spokesman Maj. Bill Coppernoll said Monday."The incident is currently under investigation, and the Army will take appropriate action based on the findings of the investigation," he said...
PS:This is simply disgusting...
As in the days of Noah...

Drones on the Border...?:Arizona governor asks president for unmanned aircraft to help secure the border,stop illegal immigration

Arizona Sheriff Wants Apology From Mexico for Its 'Threatening' Tourism Ad

An Arizona sheriff is calling on Mexican officials to apologize for what he says is a "threatening" advertisement. The ad shows a man wearing camouflage looking through binoculars with the words: "In Sonora we are looking for people from Arizona."The advertisement, which ran Friday in the Arizona Republic, caught the eye of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who posted the VisitMexico.com/GoToSonora.com spot on his Twitter page and asked citizens to call Mexican Tourism Board offices for clarification."Are they threatening us? Do they not want us to go to Mexico for tourism? It's mindboggling," Arpaio told FoxNews.com on Monday. "I don't think it was in good taste"...

Louisiana Fishermen Helping in Spill Cleanup Report Getting Sick

Some Louisiana fishermen affected by the massive oil spill in the Gulf-including some hired by BP to help in the cleanup-are reporting cases of debilitating headaches, burning eyes and nausea, and some industry and public officials are pointing the finger at chemical dispersants as the cause.Gary Burris, a fisherman who works along the Gulf Coast, said he has observed planes spraying dispersants into the water, a chemical rain meant to stop oil slicks from forming and break down the crude more quickly.Now Burris says that after breathing in the dispersants he grew ill and disoriented, confining himself to bed for days and ultimately going to a doctor for treatment and antibiotics."It filled my lungs with fluid," he said."I'm hurting-I'm sore from coughing"...
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Picture Left:May 5: The crew of a Basler BT-67 fixed wing aircraft releases dispersant over an oil discharge off the shore of Louisiana.(US Coast Guard)

North Korea severs all ties with rival South Korea

SEOUL, South Korea-North Korea declared Tuesday that it would sever all communication and relations with Seoul as punishment for blaming the North for the sinking of a South Korean warship two months ago.North Korea also announced it would expel all South Korean government officials working at a joint industrial park in the northern border town of Kaesong, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch monitored in Seoul late Tuesday....

Croatia hopes and strives for EU membership, but will Greek debt, euro crisis block it..?

ZAGREB, Croatia-A national hero delivered to a war crimes court. A former minister detained for graft. Cherished national shipyards on sale. A deal struck with a neighbor despite the risk of losing territory.Croatians feel their country has done its utmost to meet a long list of demands for entry into the European Union. But now that sense of satisfaction is tinged with concern that all those efforts have become irrelevant as EU officials, focused on Greek debt and the sinking euro, grow more wary of expansion."The leaders of the union today have more urgent concerns than to dream of enlargement," Jacques Rupnik, an expert from the Paris-based International Center for Study and Research, said in recent comments to the French daily, Le Monde....

Monday, May 24, 2010

Late spring snowstorm surprises Utahns

SALT LAKE CITY-Many Utahns woke up to a blanket of snow Monday morning. The wet and slushy weather caused a few problems throughout the day, but the late storm was mostly an inconvenience.The storm produced the latest spring snow ever recorded at Salt Lake City International Airport. It arrived late Sunday night and produced huge, heavy snowflakes as Salt Lake City commuters arrived for work Monday morning.Much of the snow on the valley roads either didn't stick or quickly melted away.The Wasatch Mountains got significant snow for this time of year. Nine inches were reported at Brighton.By late-morning, the most powerful parts of the storm had moved to the east.At the Salt Lake City airport, .2 inches fell. Before Monday, the latest measurable spring snow at the airport was May 18 when half an inch fell in 1977 and one inch fell in 1960...
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Video Courtesy of KSL.com

DROUGHT WATCH:"Mongolian Nomads Face Bitter Spring After Drought Kills Eight Million Animals"

A work-for-cash program, financed with a $1.5 million grant from the United Nations, pays herders to gather the carcasses and bury them in pits.
(Gilles Sabrie for the NewYork Times)
The New York Times: They call it the zud, a prolonged period of heavy snows and paralyzing cold that adds to the challenges of living on a treeless expanse nearly the size of Alaska. But this year’s zud followed a punishing summer drought that stunted the grass and left Munkhbat Lkhagvasuren’s herds emaciated and his family in debt after borrowing money for fodder....
--•The New York Times: Winter Leaves Mongolians a Harvest of Carcasses


100,000 told to flee as flood hits Polish capital:'This is a matter of life and death,' Warsaw's mayor warns as water rises

WARSAW, Poland - About 100,000 people have been told to flee Warsaw after the river that runs through Poland's capital burst its banks, officials said Monday.High waters have already killed 12 people throughout the country and caused the Vistula River to overflow its banks on Sunday. Floodwaters have softened walls running along the river, prompting authorities to close 220 schools and many nearby streets, NBC News reported. On Monday, water reached the second floors of some buildings....

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

US appoints first cyber warfare general

The US military has appointed its first senior general to direct cyber warfare-despite fears that the move marks another stage in the militarisation of cyberspace.
The newly promoted four-star general, Keith Alexander, takes charge of the Pentagon's ambitious and controversial new Cyber Command, designed to conduct virtual combat across the world's computer networks. He was appointed on Friday afternoon in a low-key ceremony at Fort Meade, in Maryland.The creation of America's most senior cyber warrior comes just days after the US air force disclosed that some 30,000 of its troops had been re-assigned from technical support "to the frontlines of cyber warfare".The creation of Cyber Command is in response to increasing anxiety over the vulnerability of the US's military and other networks to a cyber attack....
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Picture Left:Photograph: Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images

UN says case for saving species 'more powerful than climate change'

The economic case for global action to stop the destruction of the natural world is even more powerful than the argument for tackling climate change, a major report for the United Nations will declare this summer.The Stern report on climate change, which was prepared for the UK Treasury and published in 2007, famously claimed that the cost of limiting climate change would be around 1%-2% of annual global wealth, but the longer-term economic benefits would be 5-20 times that figure.The UN's biodiversity report – dubbed the Stern for Nature – is expected to say that the value of saving "natural goods and services", such as pollination, medicines, fertile soils, clean air and water, will be even higher – between 10 and 100 times the cost of saving the habitats and species which provide them...
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Picture Left:The Brasilian Nut Tree "Castanheira" is protected in Brasil, but plenty had been logged.(Photograph:Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace)

Pentagon’s Cyber Command Prepares War Against the American People

NSA Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander told the Senate Armed Services Committee in April that he would work to protect the privacy rights of Americans online. It was an interesting comment from a man who heads up an organization responsible for a massive program of illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001.

“NSA is the only place in the U.S. government that has the capabilities we need for defense of the private networks,” James A. Lewis, a senior fellow and cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the CIA’s favorite newspaper last year. “We need to find a way to use those capabilities without putting civil liberties at risk.” CSIS is an insider think tank dominated by the likes of Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft. Henry Kissinger and other freedom lovers...
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Launch of secret US space ship masks even more secret launch of new weapon

Somewhere above earth is America’s latest spaceship, a 30ft craft so classified that the Pentagon will not divulge its mission nor how much it cost to build.The mysterious X37B, launched successfully by the US Air Force from Cape Canaveral on Thursday, using an Atlas V rocket, looks like a mini-Space Shuttle — but its mission is top secret.It is officially described as an orbital test vehicle. However, one of its potential uses appears to be to launch a surge of small satellites during periods of high international tension. This would enable America to have eyes and ears orbiting above any potential troublespot in the world....
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BIG BROTHER WATCH:Surveillance Suspected as Spacecraft’s Main Role

A team of amateur sky watchers has pierced the veil of secrecy surrounding the debut flight of the nation’s first robotic spaceplane, finding clues that suggest the military craft is engaged in the development of spy satellites rather than space weapons, which some experts have suspected but the Pentagon strongly denies.Last month, the unmanned successor to the space shuttle blasted off from Florida on its debut mission but attracted little public notice because no one knew where it was going or what it was doing. The spaceship, known as the X-37B, was shrouded in operational secrecy, even as civilian specialists reported that it might go on mysterious errands for as long as nine months before zooming back to earth and touching down on a California runway.In interviews and statements, Pentagon leaders strongly denied that the winged plane had anything to do with space weapons, even while conceding that its ultimate goal was to aid terrestrial war fighters with a variety of ancillary missions.The secretive effort seeks “no offensive capabilities,” Gary E. Payton, under secretary of the Air Force for space programs, emphasized on Friday. “The program supports technology risk reduction, experimentation and operational concept development.”The secretive flight, civilian specialists said in recent weeks, probably centers at least partly on testing powerful sensors for a new generation of spy satellites...
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Picture Left:A rendering of the X-37B, the unmanned successor to the space shuttle that began its secret debut mission last month.(NASA/Boeing Phantom Works)

California Public Schools Let Communist China Supply School Curriculum

"Why suddenly...you allow...a foreign government, a hostile foreign government -- infiltrate our high school to brainwash our kids?"

SYRIA: Obama has failed in peace efforts;Lost influence in Mideast...

Syrian President Bashar Assad said Monday that the United States has lost its influence in the Middle East due to its failure to contribute to regional peace, in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. U.S. President Barack Obama "raised hopes" in the region, said Assad, but has failed to accomplish any significant peace maneuvers.Assad's comments came just before Obama was to meet with Lebanon Prime Minister Sa'ad al-Hariri to raise Washington's concerns about Syria arming Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon...

WARS and RUMOURS of WAR:U.S. military told to get ready in Korea standoff...

WASHINGTON - The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama "fully supports" the South Korean president and his response to the torpedo attack by North Korea that sank a South Korean naval ship.In a statement, the White House said Seoul can continue to count on the full backing of the United States and said U.S. military commanders had been told to work with their South Korean counterparts "to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression."The administration said it endorsed President Lee Myung-bak's demand that "North Korea immediately apologize and punish those responsible for the attack, and, most importantly, stop its belligerent and threatening behavior"...
Picture Left:South Korean soldiers check fences set up along the demilitarized zone between South and North Korea, in Yanggu, South Korea, on Monday.(Lee Sang-hak/AP)