Sunday, June 10, 2012

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: The Euro Zone Crisis - New Reports of Bank Holiday in Italy!

BNI depositors are unable to make withdrawals / payments, payments of utility bills, mortgage payments, taxes says Peter Giordano, Adiconsum: “Grave of the Bank of Italy’s attitude that takes action without considering the impact on depositors, and especially on single-income families and pensioners.”

Adiconsum Bank of Italy asks for an urgent meeting and the lifting of the moratorium. The Bank of Italy authorized the suspension of payments by Bank Network Investments SpA (BNI) without communicating anything to the depositors. Very serious and unacceptable – says Peter Jordan, Secretary General Adiconsum – the attitude of the Bank of Italy SpA in each BNI, because highly prejudicial to the interests of customers.

Bank of Italy, in fact, after extending the receivership of the bank, thus giving the impression of an imminent rescue, then gave the green light for compulsory winding up, without giving any prior notice to the depositors, leaving them in no condition to perform any type of operation, even basic ones for daily survival, such as withdrawals / payments, utilities payments, rates, taxes. We must unfortunately note that offensive measures as those adopted to customers BNI – Giordano complaint – not an isolated case. Decisions without taking into account the heavy impact, particularly on savers in possession of a single bank account on which accrediting salary or pension, are not new to Bank of Italy, and also affected depositors of Banca MB.  - Investment Watch.

SOLAR WATCH: Uptick in Activity on the Sun - Sunspot Region AR1499 Produces Two M-Class Solar Flares, Brings "Unsettled Conditions" to Earth's Magnetic Field! UPDATE: Chance of Geomagnetic Storms - New Sunspot AR1504 is Crackling With Impulsive M-Class Solar Flares!

According to Space Weather,  two new sunspots rotated into view off the southeast limb but so far look to be fairly stable. Elsewhere, sunspot growth appears to be taking place within region 1499 in the northern hemisphere.

New sunspot AR1504.
M-FLARES: A fast-growing active region near AR1499 is crackling with impulsive M-class solar flares, including two on June 9th (1132 UT and 1650 UT). This development could signal an uptick in solar activity. In Falmouth, Maine, amateur astronomer John Stetson photographed the ongoing activity around sunspot AR1499. "These solar active regions are producing M-class and C-class flares that are easy to see through my H-alpha telescope," says Stetson. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of more M-class flare today, although this is probably an underestimate considering the rapid pace of development of magnetic fields near AR1499.

A moderate solar flare reaching M1.9 was detected around the new sunspot rotating into view in the southeast qudrant. The event started at 11:20, peaked at 11:32 and ended at 11:35 on Saturday, June 9, 2012 UTC. A second moderate solare flare reaching M1.8 peaked at 16:53 UTC (June 9, 2012).  This second one also comes from the new sunspot rotating into view in the southeast qudrant. SWPC is predictiong 25% chance for M-class solar flares and 0.1% chance for X-class flares. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet levels on  June 09. The CME from June 06 is expected to arrive on Sunday, June 10, bringing unsettled conditions with a chance for an isolated active period through  June 11.
Solar flare alerts: text, voice. Stay tuned. - Space Weather.
UPDATE: Chance of Geomagnetic Storms - New Sunspot 1504 is Crackling With Impulsive M-Class Solar Flares!
CHANCE OF MAGNETIC STORMS: NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of polar geomagnetic storms during the next 48 hours as a pair of CMEs pass by Earth, possibly delivering glancing blows to our magnetic field. Magnetic storm alerts: text, voice.

M-FLARES: New sunspot AR1504 is crackling with impulsive M-class solar flares. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the extreme UV flash from one of them, an M2-class flare on June 10th at 0645 UT.  So far none of the blasts have been Earth directed, but geoeffective eruptions are possible in the days ahead as AR1504 turns toward Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of more M-flares today. Stay tuned.Solar flare alerts: text, voice. - Space Weather.
WATCH: Sunspot 1504 Crackling With M-Flares June 9-10.

EXTREME WEATHER: Staggering 280 Lightning Strikes Spark 36 Wildfires Across Alaska - Monumental 8,675 Total Strikes This Summer!

With lightning strikes peaking in June, it's no wonder that the first month of summer is typically Alaska's most active wildfires. This June is no exception.

According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center (AICC) Situation Report for Friday, in the last week six new fires have added to the already 30 actively burning throuout the state.

The newest fires are all the result of lightning strikes. The center estimates some 280 lightning strikes have been spotted in the last week, bringing the total 2012 summer strikes to 8,675.

Fire personnel are fighting the Otter Creek fire near the Northwest Alaska village of Kiana, the largest in the state. Smokejumpers have been deployed and air attacks are in progress. The fire is 25 percent contained, but continues to grow.

For more on statewide fire activity click here. And to view pictures of KTUU's coverage of active fires, click here. - Alaska Dispatch.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Hail Storms Like You've Never Seen Before - The Jaw-Dropping Pictures of Devastating Storm in Colorado and Wyoming That Smashed Cars and Blocked Roads!

These amazing pictures show the devastation caused by massive hail storms which have swept through Colorado and Wyoming this week.  Destructive hailstones coated the ground so thickly that the landscape appeared to be covered in snow, KOAA reported. 

Stunned residents took to Facebook and Twitter to share their photos of the bizarre weather, which blocked roads and left some cars almost totally submerged.  One picture in particular tugged at many heartstrings when it was posted by KDVR - a touching snapshot of a dog which sought shelter from the torrential downpour in a trash can.  The hail downpour was part of a powerful storm system that rolled through parts of Colorado and Wyoming on Thursday, packing heavy rains, high winds and hail.  The storms followed a round of nasty late spring weather that pummeled the region.  Preliminary reports show Colorado was hit by 10 tornadoes during the past two days.  The storms came at the peak time for such severe weather in the state. Severe thunderstorms normally become less common later in the month and in early July until summer monsoons start developing. 

At least seven homes were damaged in Elbert County on the plains southeast of Denver.  County officials said two homes lost roofs and others had broken windows but the total damage was still being assessed.  Laura Van Why said she and her husband Dennis, their 2-year-old son and two dogs hid under the stairs of their basement while the storm passed near Kiowa, Colorado.  'It felt like forever,' Mrs Van Why said. 'It was like, "Black out the windows."'  Forecaster Jerry Claycomb, from the National Weather Service in Cheyenne, said the same factors created the storms in both states.  A low-pressure system stalled over northern Colorado and against the Laramie Range mountains southeast of Casper. That pulled up low-level moisture from the Gulf of Mexico from the southeast.  High-level westerly winds combined with low-level southeasterly winds to create what Mr Claycomb called 'shear,' which he said amounts to a turning in the atmosphere.  'It created these super cell thunderstorms over us, and those super cells created some tornadoes,' he said. - Daily Mail.
Click HERE for more pictures from this powerful storm system.

WATCH: "Once every 100 year" storm hammers Colorado.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Six Injured as 5.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Southwest Turkey - Tremor Was Also Felt in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece!

An earthquake of magnitude 5.8 shook southwest Turkey on Sunday and at least six people were injured after jumping from their balconies or windows in panic, observatory data showed and local media reported. 

The quake struck off the coast of the Mediterranean province of Mugla, a popular destination for foreign tourists. A few buildings were damaged, the province's Deputy Governor Necmi Kurt told NTV news channel.  Six or seven people were being treated for injuries in hospital, the channel said, citing local health officials, but no one died. There were no immediate reports that tourists were among the injured.  Earthquakes are a daily occurrence in Turkey, which is crisscrossed by geological fault lines.

In October last year, more than 600 people died in the eastern province of Van after a quake of 7.2 magnitude and powerful aftershocks.  The latest earthquake struck at 3:44 p.m. (1244 GMT) in the Mediterranean Sea, at a depth of nearly 25 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its website.  Residents in the tourism hub town of Fethiye, in Mugla province, told NTV the quake lasted about 30 seconds. Many people remained outside as aftershocks rocked the area.  The earthquake was felt in several Turkish provinces as well as in the city of Izmir, about 330 km north of Fethiye, and northern Cyprus, NTV said. The Greek island of Rhodes also shook, officials there told Reuters.  It was the largest in a series of about 40 small quakes off Turkey's Aegean and Mediterranean coasts in the last 24 hours, Istanbul's Kandilli observatory said.  In 1999, two massive earthquakes killed about 20,000 people in the country's densely populated northwest. - Reuters.
Click HERE for additional Details, Summary, Maps and Scientific & Technical information from the USGS.

THE GREAT DELUGE: "Unprecedented" Flooding and Wet Weather Submerge Wales - One Month's Rain Fell in Just 24 Hours; Mass Stranding and Evacuations!

Residents of a Welsh village were being evacuated today as water began to break through a nearby reservoir's dam, raising fears of flooding.  About 600 people from Pennal, near Machynlleth, Powys, were being moved to a local leisure centre after experts found a crack in a stone wall at the reservoir, thought to have been caused by a landslide.  The Environment Agency has warned that northern parts of England could be affected by flooding later today, with southern areas facing disruption tonight and tomorrow.  About 1,000 residents and holidaymakers had to be evacuated yesterday as unprecedented 'torrents of water' caused the flooding of homes and caravan parks in mid Wales. 

North Wales Police said the operation in Pennal was a precautionary measure as a small amount of water had escaped from the reservoir.  Superintendent Andy Jenks-Gilbert said: 'Should the wall be completely breached, the contents of the reservoir will go into the river which flows through the village of Pennal, which is around half a mile from the reservoir.  'Police officers are evacuating residents in the area and would ask visitors and locals to avoid the village at this current time.'  Residents and holidaymakers were waiting to hear whether they could return to their homes after flood water swept through West Wales yesterday.  A large-scale rescue operation was carried out in Aberystwyth and surrounding areas, after heavy rainfall sent water several feet deep surging through communities in the early hours of Saturday morning.  Some 150 people were rescued and evacuated to the centres as caravan parks and villages near Aberystwyth were inundated after twice as much rain fell in 24 hours than normally falls in the area in the whole of June.  The Environment Agency advised people to be alert for disruption from possible flooding across parts of northern England later today and southern England tonight and tomorrow. 

A spokesman said that prolonged and heavy rain is forecast over parts of central-southern and south eastern England overnight and during tomorrow, bringing the possibility of river and surface water flooding.  Because of the complex weather, there is still some uncertainty as to the locations most at risk, but the situation will continue to be closely monitored.  In preparation for this further wet weather, Environment Agency officers are out monitoring river levels, checking defences, and removing any blockages that may increase the risk of flooding.  Care should be taken as driving conditions may be hazardous, and people should listen to traffic reports for advice and for any disruption locally, the spokesman said.  Clean-up operations at the Riverside caravan park, north of Aberystwyth, were continuing this afternoon.  At one part of the site, a large mound of rubble and chippings has formed - with gas canisters and a child's bike among the debris.  Several balconies to a number of holiday homes have also been damaged, with many occupants on site wearing wellington boots as they begin work.  Among them was Burton-on-Trent mother Claire Brabbin, 41, who said: 'We travelled down this morning after watching the coverage of the floods on the news.  'When we opened the door to our holiday home it was heartbreaking. It is covered inside in mud and dirt. We've been coming here for 10 years and never ever experienced anything like it - Daily Mail.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES: A Giant Wall Cloud Crashes New Jersey High School Graduation - The Huge Storm Produced Lightning, Loud Booms of Thunder, High Winds, Large Hail and Scary Clouds!

Cameras jumped from students to a tornado-lookalike cloud during a New Jersey high school graduation on Thursday. A severe storm producing dangerous lightning, loud booms of thunder, high winds, large hail and scary clouds cut the graduation ceremony at Absegami High School in Atlantic County, N.J., short during the evening hours.

Funnel cloud during Absegami graduation, Atlantic City (Credit: HockeyFanDan/Twitter).
Hundreds darted for shelter, but not before many got soaked by rain and hit by large hailstones. But the hail was not the scariest part to many of the witnesses at the graduation; the scary, tornado-lookalike cloud stole the show. Many thought that the cloud was a funnel cloud, which is defined as a rotating column of air (visible due to condensation) that does not reach the ground. Funnel clouds that reach all the way to the ground are tornadoes. A public statement released by the National Weather Service at 6:50 p.m. ET Thursday, read: "A FUNNEL CLOUD WAS REPORTED IN GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP. HOWEVER SOME PICTURES SHOW THIS COULD HAVE BEEN A DEVELOPING WALL CLOUD." meteorologists were skeptical of it being a funnel cloud as well, since there was no apparent rotation in the cloud. It appears that the cloud was a result of condensation that occurred as humid air was rapidly lifted into the storm.

Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity described what he thinks the cloud is after analyzing video, radar and observations. He stated the cloud is the result of "an updraft along the gust front that causes clouds to form in a shape that resembles a funnel. As the air rises along the slope of the gust front, mixing occurs which causes clouds to form under the base of the storm which can resemble a funnel cloud or wall cloud." Some other AccuWeather meteorologists feel that it is possible that the cloud was a non-rotating wall cloud, which is a lowered cloud from a thunderstorm. The National Weather Service defines a wall cloud as "a localized, persistent, often abrupt lowering from a rain-free base. Wall clouds can range from a fraction of a mile up to nearly five miles in diameter, and normally are found on the south or southwest (inflow) side of the thunderstorm." When a wall cloud rotates, it is often a sign of a well-developed thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado
. - Accu Weather.
WATCH: Stunning wall cloud crashes high school graduation ceremony.

GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: Persistent Drought Conditions - 3 California Counties Declared Agricultural Disasters!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Alameda, Marin and Tehama counties in California as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by drought that occurred from Oct. 1, 2011, and continues.

“Assistance at this point and time is critically important for producers in California, especially in helping them keep their farmland healthy for the remainder of the year,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I realize that during this time of disaster, federal assistance will be needed until conditions improve and farmers strive to recover from their losses.” Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in California also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:
San Joaquin
Santa Clara

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas May 31, 2012, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity. USDA also has made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Emergency Conservation Program; Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at

GLOBAL ECONOMIC CONTAGION: Spain Gets Bailout, Euro Zone Agrees to Lend up to 100 Billion Euros - "We're Talking About One of the Greatest Financial Rescue Operations the World Has Ever Seen"!

Sweden's prime minister says there is widespread European agreement that Spain needs to ask for outside help to try to prop up its ailing economy and that "there is talk" of a bailout package of up to (EURO)80 billion ($99.74 billion).  Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country is not part of the eurozone, spoke with national broadcaster Swedish Radio ahead of an emergency conference call between European finance ministers Saturday.  He said the situation in the southern European country "is serious" and "that in reality we're talking about one of the greatest financial rescue operations the world has seen."

Euro zone finance ministers agreed on Saturday to lend Spain up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion) to shore up its teetering banks and Madrid said it would specify precisely how much it needs once independent audits report in just over a week.  After a 2-1/2-hour conference call of the 17 finance ministers, which several sources described as heated, the Eurogroup and Madrid said the amount of the bailout would be sufficiently large to banish any doubts.  "The loan amount must cover estimated capital requirements with an additional safety margin, estimated as summing up to 100 billion euros in total," a Eurogroup statement said.  Spain said it wanted aid for its banks but would not specify the precise amount until two independent consultancies - Oliver Wyman and Roland Berger - deliver their assessment of the banking sector's capital needs some time before June 21.  "The Spanish government declares its intention to request European financing for the recapitalisation of the Spanish banks that need it," Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told a news conference in Madrid.  He said the amounts needed would be manageable, and that the funds requested would amply cover any needs. A bailout for Spain's banks, beset by bad debts since a property bubble burst, would make it the fourth country to seek assistance since Europe's debt crisis began. With the rescue of Greece, Ireland, Portugal and now Spain, the EU and IMF have now committed around 500 billion euros to finance European bailouts.

Officials said there had been a heated debate over the International Monetary Fund's role in Spain's bank rescue, which Madrid wanted kept to a minimum. It will not provide any of the money.  In the end it was agreed that the IMF would help monitor reforms in Spain's banking sector, while EU institutions would ensure Spain stuck to its broader economic commitments.  "We invite the IMF to support the implementation and monitoring of the financial assistance with regular reporting," the Eurogroup statement said.  Sources involved in the talks said there had also been pressure applied on Madrid to make a precise request right away, but Spain had resisted.  Euro zone policymakers are eager to shore up Spain's position before June 17 elections in Greece which could push Athens closer to a euro zone exit and unleash a wave of contagion. Spain's auditors could report back after that date.  Nonetheless, analysts said financial markets may be calmed by the announcement when they reopen on Monday.  "The figure of up to 100 billion is more encouraging and pretty realistic; it's an attempt to cap the problem," said Edmund Shing, European head of equity strategy at Barclays.  "The issue, however, is there is still a lack of detail about where the money's coming from, which is crucial. The market will treat it with some caution until they see how it will be funded."  The Eurogroup said the funds could come from either from the euro zone's temporary rescue fund, the EFSF, or the permanent mechanism, the ESM, which is due to start next month. Finland said that if money came from the EFSF, it would want collateral.  EU sources said there was a preference to channel money to Spain through the ESM, rather than the EFSF. Under the ESM, an approval rate of 90 percent or less is needed to trigger aid, and the fund also has more flexibility in how it operates.  "That's why it's so important that the ESM ... be ratified quickly," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said. 

The Spanish government has already spent 15 billion euros bailing out small regional savings banks that lent recklessly to property developers.  Spain's biggest failed bank, Bankia, will cost 23.5 billion euros to rescue and its shareholders have been wiped out.  "Whatever the formula being used, we need to say two things: first the innocent should not suffer for the guilty, second public money should come back to public coffers," said Socialist opposition chief Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba after speaking with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Saturday morning. The race to resolve the banks' troubles comes after Fitch Ratings cut Madrid's sovereign credit rating by three notches to BBB, highlighting the Spanish banking sector's exposure to bad property loans and to contagion from Greece's debt crisis.  It said the cost to the Spanish state of recapitalising banks stricken by the bursting of a real estate bubble, recession and mass unemployment could be between 60-100 billion euros ($75-$125 billion). The higher figure would be in a stress scenario equivalent to Ireland's bank crash.  Italy could yet get dragged in too. Its industry minister, Corrado Passera, said the economic situation in Italy had improved since the end of 2011, but remained critical. - Huffington Post.
WATCH: Spain to receive largest Euro Zone bailout.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Hundreds of Birds Found Dead in Melbourne's East?!

The Department of Sustainability and Environment has urged people not to feed native birds after hundreds were found dead in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

File Photo.
The suspected cause was bacterial bowel infection necrotic enteritis. DSE biodiversity incident planning officer Kirsty Greengrass said the infection was easily spread.

“The disease is spread through droppings from sick birds and a single sick bird can easily pass it on to healthy birds congregating at feed sites,” Ms Greengrass said.

Birds have enough natural food available. Dead birds should be disposed of by using a plastic bag as a glove, then double bagged and put in the bin. Birds should not be buried because dogs or cats may dig them up. - Maroondah Leader.

MYSTERY: The Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - The Latest UFO Sightings And Aerial Anomalies Around the World?!

Here are several of the latest unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen recently across the globe.

California, United States - 9th of June, 2012.

Island of Pag, Croatia - June, 2012.

Near the Sun - 3rd of June, 2012.

Rome, Italy - 3rd of June, 2012.

Barnet, London, England - 9th of June, 2012.

Lake Erie, Ohio, United States - 22nd of September, 2011.