Wednesday, February 5, 2014

TERROR ALERT: Snipers Shot Up A Silicon Valley Power Station For 19 Minutes, Knocking Out 17 Transformers – The Worst-Ever Attack On United States Power Grid!

February 05, 2014 - SILICON VALLEY, UNITED STATES - This is scary.

Modern Sniper:Army

The Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Smith reports that a former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman is acknowledging for the first time that a group of snipers shot up a Silicon Valley substation for 19 minutes last year, knocking out 17 transformers before slipping away into the night.

The attack was "the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred" in the U.S., Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, told Smith.

A blackout was avoided thanks to quick-thinking utility workers, who rerouted power around the site and asked power plants in Silicon Valley to produce more electricity. But the substation was knocked out for a month.

The FBI says it doesn't believe a terrorist organization caused the attack but that it continues to investigate the incident.

Smith and colleague Tom McGinty assembled a detailed chronology of the attack that includes some amazing details, including more than 100 fingerprint-free shell casings similar to ones used by AK-47s that were found at the site and small piles of rocks that appeared to have been left by an advance scout to tell the attackers where to get the best shots.

A U.S. Navy investigation ordered by Wellinghoff determined "it was a targeting package just like they would put together for an attack," he said.

Other utility officials disagree with Wellinghoff's assessment, and say the electric grid remains highly resilient.

Click here to read the full story at

- Business Insider.

THE GREAT DELUGE: Europe Floods, Winter Storms Leave Damage Behind - Another System Arriving Soon!

February 05, 2014 - EUROPE - While the remnants of Winter Storm Leon brought flooding to the United Kingdom and other areas in northern Europe over the weekend, a winter storm from a separate system slammed the southern portion of the continent with heavy snowfall and power outages.

Children play in flood water blocking the main A361 at Burrow Bridge on Feb. 2, 2014
near Langport in Somerset, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Now, a third storm system has lashed the U.K., and Europe won't see improving conditions any time soon.

"In southeast Europe, low pressure in the upper atmosphere over the Mediterranean has been a persistent fixture due to a blocking area of high pressure in eastern Europe," said meteorologist Chris Dolce. "This type of pattern can lead to excessive rainfall and heavy mountain snow. Tuesday into Wednesday, another significant storm system will blast into western Europe with rain and gusty winds impacting locations from Ireland and U.K to France and Spain."

A BBC report stated a key railway line was damaged that connects Dowlish, Devon to Cornwall in extreme southwestern England. The sea wall was knocked out by heavy surf and the railway is now dangling in mid-air.

France has seen huge waves along the coast, as well as widespread flooding on land, reports the Daily Mail. Additionally, the Danube River was closed to river traffic due to the strong winds.

A resident uses a canoe as they paddle on flood water past houses flooded on the road leading to the
village of Muchelney which has been cut off by flooding on Jan. 7, 2014, near Langport in
Somerset, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

 The Muchelney humanitarian support boat operated by a crew from Devon and Somerset Fire and
Rescue Service arrives from the village still cut off by flood water on Feb. 2, 2014 near
Langport in Somerset, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

 The sun sets over flooded fields surrounding the River Tone that has burst its banks on the
Somerset Levels viewed from Windmill Hill, in Stoke-St-Gregory on Feb. 2, 2014 near
Langport in Somerset, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

In this photo taken Sunday Feb. 2, 2014, an emergency support worker wades through floodwater in
Thorney in Somerset, England. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Farmer Mike Curtis stands in his flooded back garden in the village of Muchelney which has been cut off by
flooding on Jan. 6, 2014, near Langport in Somerset, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Swans explore the Abbey Fields caravan park after the River Thames flooded on Jan. 8, 2014, in Chersey, England.
(Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Those large swells have attracted surfers from around the world to ride the waves along the west coast of France, CNN reports. Large waves have also attracted some of the best surfers to the west coast of Ireland, and though officials have warned against getting in the water, some surfers have been spotted in British waters as well.

In the United Kingdom, residents aren't clear of nasty weather yet. Sky News says high tides and large waves along the southern coast of England could create more problems for an already-soaked area. During this storm, hundreds of flood alerts have been issued across England and Wales by the Environment Agency.

Ten people had to be rescued in Wales when their bus was hit by a large wave crashing ashore, Sky News added. None of the passengers sustained injuries.

The Arno River in Pisa, Italy threatened to spill over its banks as severe flooding was brought on by heavy rain, the BBC reported. A nearly-100-foot-high medieval wall collapsed in the town of Volterra, located in the province of Pisa, according to the report.

Parts of Slovenia, Serbia and Croatia have seen widespread power outages and downed trees, according to a separate BBC report. Hundreds of people have been rescued from dangerous wintry conditions. - TWC.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Commuter Train Rips Apart Shuttle Bus On Crossing In Ukraine - 13 Dead And 5 Others Injured!

February 05, 2014 - UKRAINE - At least 13 people have died and five others were injured when a commuter train slammed into a shuttle bus in Sumy province in the northeastern part of the Ukraine, according to local officials.

Screenshot from Ruptly video

“The shuttle bus ignored the traffic lights and the sound signals and headed to the crossing. The train ripped it in two and dragged it for a long distance,” said the press-service of the province's prosecutor’s office.

A child was among the dead. The bus driver was transported to a local hospital along with the other injured parties. Earlier the local prosecutor’s office reported that seven people were injured.

The State Administration of Railway Transport of Ukraine said in a statement that the technical equipment at the railway crossing was working properly.

The crash occurred at about 3:30pm local time in the Belopolsky region of Sumy province.

A special investigative commission has taken off from the capital of Kiev.

Ukraine’s Deputy PM, Aleksandr Vilkul, has gone to the scene of the accident for an emergency meeting.

The commuter train was en route from Kharkov to Vorozhba, when the crash happened near the town of Sumy. The shuttle bus was en route from Hannovka settlement to Sumy, according to RIA Novosti.

The dead and injured haven’t been identified yet.

The president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich, has expressed his condolences to the families of the victims. He instructed the government to determine the cause of the tragedy and to take all necessary measures to prevent similar accidents in the future. - RT.

WATCH:  13 die as train and minibus collide.

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: Naked Man "High On Drugs" Shot Dead In Florida - After Biting Off The Face Of An 18-Year-Old In Random Street Attack?!

February 05, 2014 - FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - Authorities in South Florida say deputies shot a naked man after he attacked a retired police officer and bit another man on the face in Delray Beach.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw says the man died after the Tuesday night attack. He says it wasn't immediately clear whether he died from gunshot wounds or from a medical condition.

The man was walking on Military Trail when he attacked a retired New York City police officer. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound man then began chasing a man and a 10-year-old boy.

Bit and run: Authorities in South Florida say deputies shot a naked man after he attacked a retired
police officer and bit another man on the face in Delray Beach.

At some point he started fighting an 18-year-old, who defended himself with a box cutter.

The man then bit the 18-year-old on the face.

'He's obviously delirious on something,' Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said. 'He is a huge guy. He takes a fighting stance. They're trying to get him on the ground. He starts charging them. The Taser did not affect him.'

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw: He's obviously
delirious on something,' Bradshaw said. He is a huge guy.
He takes a fighting stance. They're trying to get him on the
ground. He starts charging them. The Taser did not affect him.'
A deluge of police cars arrived, and deputies shot the assailant with a Taser but it didn't faze him.

'The man then charged our deputy, and he discharged his firearm,' the spokesperson tells New Times. 'But he was not incapacitated. He was then Tased, but that also had no effect.'

'The people that he assaulted, starting with the retired NYPD guy, the people that he chased and then the 18-year-old, said this guy had like super human strength,' the sheriff said. 'But he's a big guy to start with. He's not fat, he looks like an NFL linebacker. And he basically was terrorizing people all up and down this street.'

'He takes a fighting stance. They're trying to get him on the ground. He starts charging them,' Bradshaw said.

That's when a sergeant fired three times, once to the torso and twice on the lower part of the body. The man was taken to Delray Medical Center, where he died.

Authorities say, though it wasn't clear whether it was the gunshots or the drugs that ultimately killed him. Deputies say they suspect the man was on some sort of narcotic and haven't identified him yet.

Chilling reminder: The case brings back memories of
Rudy Eugene, the man who was shot dead by police
as he ate the face of a homeless man in May 2012
The injured police officer and the teen were also taken to the hospital.

The sheriff said investigators are trying to figure out the man's identity and to get some background information on about him.

Bradshaw said the man was 'obviously on some kind of narcotics to act like this.'

'The deputies had to do what they had to do to disable this guy so he didn't get into this gated community and wreak havoc in there,' Bradshaw said.

The case has chilling similarities to that Rudy Eugene, a Miami cannibal who was shot dead by police in 2012 as he chewed off a homeless man's face.

The man, Rudy Eugene, was shot and killed by a Miami police officer. Witnesses said he had been swinging from a light pole minutes before the attack. Lab tests found only marijuana in his system.

His victim, Ronald Poppo, was attacked as he slept by a busy highway. He lost his left eye, his nose and most of the surrounding skin. - Daily Mail.

MASS FISH/BIRDS/ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Latest Incidents Across Asia - Thousands Of Fish Found Dead In A River In Indonesia; 1,112 Turtles Wash Ashore During January On Beaches In Andhra Pradesh, India; Hundreds Of Fish Found Dead In Bashan Park River, Singapore; Over 2.4 MILLION Chickens And Ducks Killed Due To Outbreak Of Avian Flu In South Korea; And 70 TONS Of Fish Have Died In South Cotabato, Philippines!

February 05, 2014 - ASIA - The following constitutes the latest incidents of mass animal, bird and fish die-offs across Asia:

Thousands Of Fish Found Dead In A River In Banyumas, Indonesia.
Photo: Antara News

The fish of various kinds along the river from the mouth of the River Serayu Klawing (Serayu Creeks) to Weir Motion Serayu, Banyumas, Central Java, on Sunday, was found dead on Sunday.

These conditions lead to dozens of local residents Serayu River flows down to the river to catch fish that have died and are still dying.

One of the villagers Tambaknegara, District Rawalo, Banyumas, Ranto (45) claimed capable of collecting various types of fish that float in Motion weir Serayu up as much as five pounds.

"The fish that I got in between throwing, Tawes, and baceman," he said.

Related to this, Section Head of Control and Usability Center business for Water Resources (BPSDA) Serayu-Citandu Arif Sugiarto said it directly to check Serayu along the river to the weir Slinga in Klawing, Purbalingga.

"We have not been able to ascertain the cause of death of thousands of fish in the river and Klawing Serayu. But clearly, the fish died after a flash flood in the river upstream Klawing," said Arief.

He suspected the fish died due to the flash floods brought silt in upstream river that empties into the river Klawing Serayu. - Antara News. [Translated]

1,112 Turtles Wash Ashore During January On Beaches In Andhra Pradesh, India.
At least 1,122 carcasses of Olive Ridley turtles were washed ashore on the beaches of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in January alone.

More than 145 dead turtles were found on the stretch between Marina Beach and Neelankarai, while 226 were found between Neelankarai and Marakkanam. In Andhra Pradesh, Nellore recorded 547 carcasses. Marine conservationists say there has been a sharp increase in the number of dead turtles found along the beaches of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

The main problem, according to marine experts, is fishing nets. The turtles normally come to nest on beaches on the east coast from January to March. "The female turtles dig nests and lay around 60 to 120 eggs at a time. The same turtles may nest two or three times and stay close to the shore during this time. As they stay close to the shore, many easily get entangled in the fishing nets," said Supraja Dharini, chairperson of TREE Foundation, a non-governmental organization that works for the protection of endangered marine species. The foundation conducted the study of the beaches.

Dharini said not a single day passed in January without phone calls from volunteers about carcasses on beaches. "The main reason for this tragedy is that the turtles get caught in the trawl fishing nets of mechanised boats, gill nets or ray fishing nets. Turtles need to come to the surface of the sea to breathe. Once they are trapped in the net, they remain underwater and drown," said Dharini.

Marine expert P Dhandapani said the injuries on the carcasses had to be investigated. "In many cases, turtles die after getting entangled in fishing nets. Since the rate of mortality is so high in this case, the injuries on the carcasses need to be investigated properly before reaching a conclusion," said Dhandapani, retired marine scientist, Zoological Survey of India.

Scientists estimate that only one in 1,000 hatchlings survives to adulthood. Creating awareness, according to Dhandapani, is not enough. "Everyone knows that many turtles die after getting trapped in fishing nets. But how do we stop this? The government must implement the suggestions made by marine scientists such as banning some types of fishing nets to prevent such deaths," he said. - Times of India.

Hundreds Of Fish Found Dead In Bashan Park River, Singapore.
Cleaners clearing shoals of dead fish found along the river at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. Photo: David EE

Cleaners clearing shoals of dead fish found along the river at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. Photo: David EE

Hundreds of dead fish were found floating in the river at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park by residents on Tuesday, causing a stench in the area that lingered till Wednesday afternoon.

About 400 fish were caught in clumps along the banks or on rocks by the three-kilometre long river, especially on the stretch close to Bishan Road. Many were decomposing under the hot sun.

National water agency PUB said that it was notified about the dead fish on Tuesday morning, and immediately sent contractors to clean up the river. The clean-up was completed by 3pm on Wednesday, the spokesman added.

WATCH:  Dead fish found in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio river.

PUB explained that lower levels of dissolved oxygen in the water caused by recent hot and dry weather could have killed the fish. It said that only two species of fish - tilapia and mayan cichlids - were found dead. - Straits Times.

Over 2.4 MILLION Chickens And Ducks Killed Due To Outbreak Of Avian Flu In South Korea.
Two new suspected bird flu cases were reported in South Korea Saturday, stoking concerns that the highly pathogenic poultry disease may be spreading in the country, the agriculture ministry said.

According to the ministry, the additional suspected cases were reported at a chicken farm in the southern port city of Busan, and a duck farm in Jincheon, 90 kilometers south of Seoul.

A virulent H5N8 strain of avian influenza has so far been confirmed in 27 cases in South Korea since it was first detected on Jan. 16 in Gochang, 300 kilometers south of Seoul.

More than 2.4 million chickens and ducks have so far been culled.

The government has pointed to migratory birds as the original source of bird flu after the H5N8 virus was identified in a group of wild ducks found dead Jan. 17 at a reservoir near a duck farm that reported the first outbreak of AI. The highly pathogenic strain of bird flu has since been identified in 13 other cases that involved wild birds.

Health officials said the H5N8 strain, unlike a few other strains of bird flu, poses no immediate threats to humans. No human infection of the strain has been reported, they said. - Yonhap News.

70 TONS Of Fish Have Died In Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Philippines.
Around P5.2-million worth of tilapia have been devastated as another fish kill hit anew portions of the critical Lake Sebu in South Cotabato in the last three weeks.

Rudy Muyco, Lake Sebu town’s lake warden, said Wednesday the continuing fish kill has already destroyed a total of 68.291 metric tons (MT) of fingerlings and adult tilapia from fish cages situated in the lake’s eastern and western section.

Citing the prevailing market prices, he valued the damage at P85 per kilo for the adult tilapia and P150 for the hybrid fingerlings.

As of Wednesday, he said the fish kill already affected around five hectares of fish cages and a total of 54 operators.

“The fish kill is still ongoing in some portions of the lake and the situation might get worse in the coming days due to the erratic weather condition,” he told MindaNews on the phone.

Muyco said the latest fish kill, which is the first this year, was caused anew by kamahong, a phenomenon that is mainly caused by the sudden rise in the water’s temperature.

He said several fish cage operators initially reported the problem in some portions of the lake last January 13 after the area’s weather condition suddenly changed due to a low pressure area that affected parts of Mindanao and Visayas.

Kamahong, which usually occurs during the rainy season, triggers the rise of sulfuric acid in the lake’s waters that eventually caused the massive fish kill, provincial fishery coordinator Rex Vargas earlier said.

“It occurs when cold rainwater, which is heavier than warm water, settles at the abyssal zone of the lake. This causes the upturn or upwelling of warm water carrying silts, sediments and gases such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, sulphur and methane gas produced by the decomposing organic matter such as fish feeds,” he explained.

Vargas said such situation results in the reduction of dissolved oxygen in the water, “forcing fishes to take in oxygen directly from the atmosphere and eventually die.”

In October last year, around 20 MT of harvestable tilapia and pangasius valued at around P1 million were devastated due to a fish kill that affected some 60 fish cages in the area.

In 2012, around 57 MT of tilapia were destroyed in two fish kills at the lake that were blamed on kamahong.

The initial fish kill in January 2012 ravaged some 48.55 MT of tilapia. It affected 48 fish-cage owners and left a total damage of P3.8 million based on tilapia’s market price of P80 per kilo.

In August that same year, an additional 8,000 kilograms of tilapia, valued at around P650,000, were destroyed in another fish kill that affected 14 fish cages at the lake.

Muyco said the municipal government is presently preparing for the scheduled dismantling starting next week of illegal fish cages along the lake as a strategy to prevent future fish kills.

“The lake is overcrowded. We need to significantly reduce the number of fish cages to its carrying capacity to resolve these problems,” he said.

Muyco said that based on their assessment, Lake Sebu currently hosts a total of 4,800 fish cages or around 1,800 more than its carrying capacity.

The municipal government of Lake Sebu and the provincial government of South Cotabato earlier issued a demolition order for all illegal fish cages at the lake.

Among the fish cages that were targeted for demolition were those that have no permits, sub-leased by their original owners and situated in the lake’s inlets and outlets.

Muyco said the two local governments earlier gave fish cage operators and owners until January 30 to demolish their illegal fish cages but it was extended to February 11.

“Around 65 fish cages have been so far demolished by their owners and this is continuing as we speak. By next week, we expect this number to reach around 1,000,” he added. - Minda News.

THE PRIEST CLASS OF THE MAGI: Precursors To The Fall Of The Vatican And The Collapse Of Christian Dominionism - Pope Francis Named By Eye-Witness As A Child Trafficker & In A Most Devastating Report, The United Nations Committee Blasts The Vatican For SYSTEMATICALLY Allowing Priests To Rape And Molest Tens Of Thousands Of Children Over Many Decades!

February 05, 2014 - VATICAN - A former civil servant in the Argentine military junta who is living in exile in Spain claims that Pope Francis engineered the kidnapping and trafficking of children of political prisoners during the Dirty War of the 1970′s.


The man bases his claim on his personal involvement in meetings between Bergoglio and senior junta members that secured the child trafficking networks using Catholic orphanages and religious bodies as covers.

A Spanish reporter who has interviewed the former civil servant states,

“This guy is genuine and has many names and dates, and notes from meetings. Apparently, Bergoglio was promised the top spot in the Argentine church if he cooperated with the junta. So it’s small wonder that as the Pope, he’s made it harder for honest catholics to report child abuse, considering his own complicity.”

In related news, a Vatican source claims that former Pope Benedict (Joseph Ratzinger) secured an agreement with Queen Elizabeth as head of the Church of England to conceal child rape in that body by adopting the provisions of the canon law “Crimen Sollicitationas”.

The agreement was made at Holyrood Castle in Edinburgh on September 16, 2010, during the Pope’s unprecedented visit to England that month, the first such visit in papal history.

The adoption of the notorious law by Queen Elizabeth was one of the conditions for the absorption of the Anglican church back into the Church of Rome. It compels all Anglican clergy to subvert the laws of their own countries by protecting child rapists in their ranks, silencing victims and not telling the police of the crime.

Pope Benedict resigned on February 11, 2013, followed in August by the equally unexpected resignation of Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who helped to broker the Holyrood Agreement.

The cancellation of Queen Elizabeth’s novel trip to the Vatican in March, 2013 soon after the appointment of Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis 1 was connected to the new Pope’s concerns that the Holyrood agreement might surface.

“Papa Francis was determined to keep the Holyrood deal secret at whatever cost because of his own ‘reform’ image and his plans to entrench Crimen even more completely in church law, which he did in his July 11 Apostolic Letter” states the Vatican source.

WATCH: Pope Francis named by eye-witness as child trafficker.

“One of his conditions for being made Pontiff was the dismissal of Bertone, who might link him to Holyrood. As a Jesuit, Il Papa knows you must feign one thing while doing another”.

In response to these latest revelations, the International Common Law Court of Justice in Brussels is actively proceeding with its next major case, in which its Prosecutors’ Office will seek the prosecution of Pope Francis, Jorge Bergoglio, on a charge of criminal conspiracy and aiding and abetting human trafficking.

The Court will issue its first Statement of Claim and Summonses no later than March 30, 2014.

The same Court issued a Legal Declaration on August 4, 2013, naming the Crown of England and the Roman Catholic Church as Transnational Criminal bodies under international law.

Further consequences of these facts will be disclosed this Friday, February 7 at a special press conference convened by ITCCS Field Secretary Kevin Annett, commencing at 11 am outside the Canadian consulate at 1251 Avenue of the Americas in New York City. - ITCCS.

In A Most Devastating Report, United Nations Committee Blasts The Vatican For SYSTEMATICALLY Allowing Priests To Rape And Molest Tens Of Thousands Of Children Over Many Decades!

The Vatican "systematically" adopted policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, a U.N. human rights committee said Wednesday, urging the Holy See to open its files on pedophiles and bishops who concealed their crimes.

In a devastating report hailed by abuse victims, the U.N. committee severely criticized the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion and said it should change its own canon law to ensure children's rights and their access to health care are guaranteed.

The Vatican promptly objected and its U.N. ambassador accused the committee of having betrayed the international body's own objectives by allowing itself to be swayed by pro-gay ideologues. He said it appeared the committee simply hadn't listened when the Holy See outlined all the measures it has taken to protect children.

The report, which took the Vatican by surprise in its harsh tone, puts renewed pressure on Pope Francis to move decisively on the abuse front and make good on pledges to create a Vatican commission to study sex abuse and recommend best practices to fight it. The commission was announced in December, but few details have been released since then.

The committee issued its recommendations after subjecting the Holy See to a daylong interrogation last month on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, the key U.N. treaty on child protection, which the Holy See ratified in 1990.

Critically, the committee rejected the Vatican's longstanding argument that it doesn't control bishops or their abusive priests, saying the Holy See was responsible for implementing the treaty not just in the Vatican City State but around the world "as the supreme power of the Catholic Church through individuals and institutions placed under its authority."

In its report, the committee blasted the "code of silence" that has long been used to keep victims quiet, saying the Holy See had "systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims." It called on the Holy See to provide compensation to victims and hold accountable not just the abusers, but also those who covered up their crimes.

"The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by, and the impunity of, the perpetrators," the report said.

It called for Francis' nascent abuse commission to conduct an independent investigation of all cases of priestly abuse and the way the Catholic hierarchy has responded over time, and urged the Holy See to establish clear rules for the mandatory reporting of abuse to police and to support laws that allow victims to report crimes even after the statute of limitations has expired.

No Catholic bishop has ever been sanctioned by the Vatican for sheltering an abusive priest, and only in 2010 did the Holy See direct bishops to report abusers to police where law enforcement requires it. Vatican officials have acknowledged that bishop accountability remains a major problem and have suggested that under Francis, things might begin to change.

Pope Francis listens to his speech being translated in several languages, during his weekly general
audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014.
(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Former Vatican Chief Prosecutor of Clerical Sexual Abuse Charles Scicluna, waits for the start of a questioning
over clerical sexual abuse of children at the headquarters of the office of the High Commissioner for
Human Rights, OHCHR, in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.
(AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini)

Teodoro Pulvirenti, an Italian who lives in New York, and an alleged victim of abuse by his priest in Italy
when he was a teenager, is interviewed in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The committee's recommendations are non-binding and there is no enforcement mechanism. Instead, the U.N. asked the Vatican to implement the recommendations and report back by 2017. The Vatican was 14 years late submitting its most recent report.

The committee is made up of independent experts, not other U.N. member states — the case on the larger and often politicized U.N. Human Rights Council, which also sits in Geneva. The Committee on the Rights of the Child is one of 10 U.N. bodies that monitor implementation of the core U.N. human rights treaties, and its 18 members include academics, sociologists and child development specialists from around the globe.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, who headed the Vatican delegation at the Jan. 16 session in Geneva, was clearly taken aback by the scathing tone of the report.

"It seems as if the document was prepared before the committee meeting, where the Vatican gave detailed responses on various points that weren't reported in this concluding document or seem to not have been taken into consideration," he told Vatican Radio.

While most attention has focused on child sex abuse, the committee's recommendations extended far beyond, into issues about discrimination against children and their rights to adequate health care, matters that touch on core church teaching about life and sexual morals.

The committee, for example, urged the Vatican to amend its canon law to identify circumstances where access to abortion can be permitted for children, such as to save the life of a young mother. It urged the Holy See to ensure that sex education, including access to information about contraception and preventing HIV, is mandatory in Catholic schools. It called for the Holy See to use its moral authority to condemn discrimination against homosexual children, or children raised by same-sex couples.

Church teaching holds that life begins at conception. The Vatican, which therefore opposes abortion and artificial contraception, calls for respect for gays, but considers homosexual acts to be "intrinsically disordered." The Vatican has a history of diplomatic confrontation with the United Nations over such issues.

Tomasi said the call to reconsider abortion ran against the U.N. treaty's own objectives to protect the life of children before and after birth, and he accused pro-gay rights and gay marriage advocacy groups of having "reinforced an ideological line" with the committee.

Benyam Mezmur, a committee member and Ethiopian academic on children's legal rights, rejected any such criticism and said the committee report was balanced and was aimed purely at ensuring the treaty was implemented.

"The Committee on the Rights of the Child is not in the business of saying 'Well said.' We are in the business of saying 'Well done.' We want to see concrete measures," he said in a phone interview from Geneva.

Austen Ivereigh, coordinator of Catholic Voices, a church advocacy group, said the report was a "shocking display of ignorance and high-handedness."

He said it failed to acknowledge the progress that has been made in recent years and that the Catholic Church in many places is now considered a leader in safeguarding children. And he noted that the committee seemed unable to grasp the distinction between the responsibilities and jurisdiction of the Holy See, and local churches on the ground.

"It takes no account of the particularities of the Holy See, treating it as if it were the HQ of a multinational corporation," he said in an email.

But victims groups hailed the report as a wake-up call to secular law enforcement officials to investigate abuse and any cover-ups, and prosecute church officials who are still protecting predator priests.

"This report gives hope to the hundreds of thousands of deeply wounded and still suffering clergy sex abuse victims across the world," said Barbara Blaine, president of the main U.S. victim's group SNAP. "Now it's up to secular officials to follow the U.N.'s lead and step in to safeguard the vulnerable because Catholic officials are either incapable or unwilling to do so." - Yahoo.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: "The Car Is Completely Full Of Earth" - 30-FOOT Sinkhole Swallows Up Volkswagon In Driveway In High Wycombe, England!

February 05, 2014 - ENGLAND - A family has told how their daughter could have been "buried alive" if she had been in her car when a 30ft (9m) sinkhole swallowed it up.

Zoe Smith noticed her car was missing on Sunday

Nobody was inside the VW Lupo when the ground on Main Road in Walter's Ash, High Wycombe, gave way on Sunday.

Liz Conran, who lives in the house with her husband Phil, said the car belonged to their daughter Zoe.

"She was in absolute hysterics," she said. "It didn't dawn on us what had happened until after about an hour."

The vehicle is still at the bottom of the 15ft (4.5m) diameter hole and covered in rubble.

It is thought the hole has been caused by a mixture of mining tunnels beneath the ground and heavy rain.

'I'm quite lucky'

The car is so far down that it cannot be seen from the house.

Describing the moment Zoe Smith realised her car was missing, she said: "I went to walk out the front door and obviously my car wasn't there and I thought 'Oh my that's a bit strange'.

"So I went back inside, looked out of the window thinking someone has stolen my car.

Phil Conran told how he heard a scream when his daughter realised her car had gone down the sinkhole

The family are staying away from their home until they find out if it is structurally safe to enter

"There was just a crater at which point I screamed the house down.

"I'm quite lucky I've got parents who are good in a crisis and said, 'It's okay, it's just a car and you weren't in it'."

Mrs Conran said she was "very worried" about their family home.

'Full of earth'

"We are expecting the house insurance people to instruct engineers to come and have a look.

"The police would not let us stay here last night so we stayed with our neighbours.

"We are not sure whether they will try and get the car out because heavy machinery on the driveway is not a good idea.

The family are staying away from their home until they find out if it is structurally safe to enter

"If my daughter had been in it at the time, she would have been buried alive. We are counting ourselves very lucky this morning."

Mr Conran said: "The initial shock was very quickly overtaken by relief.

"The car is completely full of earth, it could have been horrendous." - BBC.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Very Massive Inferno As Gas Train Derails In Russia - Hundreds Evacuated As The Fire Engulf 30 Garages Nearby!

February 05, 2014 - RUSSIA - Thirty-two carriages containing liquefied gas derailed in the Kirov Region, Central Russia, with a dozen bursting into flames. More than 700 local residents and workers from a nearby factory were evacuated from the fire zone.

Emergency workers at the site of the derailed train carrying liquefied gas (RIA Novosti)

The 72-car train derailed on Wednesday morning due to an outbreak of fire as a result of an overhead system failure. Eleven other carriages caught fire as a result.

The fire was localized after nearly six hours of firefighting. However, it spread to 30 garages near the railway line, and one warehouse was also engulfed. No deaths or injuries were reported, the Emergencies Ministry confirmed.

The accident caused serious problems with transport connections in the region. Arrivals were delayed and several train itineraries were changed. Railway traffic on the way from Balezino to Kotelnich has been halted.

Several hundred rescuers were involved in efforts to extinguish the fire after the derailment
of the train in the Kirov region (RIA Novosti)

Eleven railcars were set ablaze as a result of the incident (RIA Novosti)

The Emergencies Ministry has dismissed fears of ecological problems in the region resulting from the accident. The liquefied gas leakage has not reached nearby Vyatka River, said the head of regional department of EMERCOM, an organization engaged in humanitarian and rescue activity.

Experts have been taking water samples every 15 minutes, and no water pollution has been detected, hence there is no danger to people, he added.

WATCH:  Massive inferno as gas train derails in Russia, hundreds evacuated.

In September 2013, in Russia there were two railway accidents. On September 26, three propane-freight cars derailed in the Kostroma Region, though no gas leakage was detected and no one was injured.

On September 15, cars carrying coal derailed in the Zabaikalye Territory, with 300 meters of railway line damaged as a result. - RT.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Hundreds Of Cattle Dying Due To "Mystery Disease" In New South Wales, Australia?!

February 05, 2014 - AUSTRALIA - A mystery disease is killing cattle in western New South Wales, with losses so far in the hundreds.

A mystery disease is killing cattle in the west of New South Wales.

Hay district veterinarian, Colin Peake, says the illness was first detected in October last year.

A similar disease hit the Western Division in 2006 and again in 2009.

Two farms near Hay and one at Mossgiel have been affected.

Mr Peake says he is perplexed by the deaths with tests returning inconclusive results.

"There's a lot of diseases that have been ruled out, even lead poisoning has been ruled out," he said.

He says farmers should report any signs of the disease as soon as possible.

The fatal disease is most commonly affecting calves that are dying close to water, possibly because of fever.

Mr Peake says farmers have reported losses of more than half of their herds and symptoms include drooling and diarrhoea before dying.

"A lot of the cattle are either dead near a water course or water tanks or troughs," he said.

"I think they've got a fever or they're very hot, they're trying to get to somewhere where they can cool down."

Mr Peake says if the illness persists for more than two weeks it spreads to older cows.

Farmers should report any signs of the illness as it is more easily identified in sick cattle or shortly after death.

The Department of Primary Industries is investigating the disease and says it is developing a questionnaire to examine the extent of the disease. - ABC Australia.

EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: The Global Food Crisis - California Drought Worsens As The Two Largest River Basins Are At Near-Record Low Water Levels!

February 05, 2014 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - Cities and institutions across California are resorting to exceptional measures to deal with a worsening drought, from mandatory water restrictions in beachside Santa Cruz to voluntary cutbacks in Los Angeles.

Salmon Falls Bridge, normally submerged under water, is seen at Folsom Lake, currently at 17%
of its total capacity, in Folsom, California, U.S., on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014.

Santa Cruz, which relies on rainfall rather than mountain runoff or imported water, won’t permit residents to drain and refill swimming pools or hot tubs and has barred restaurants from serving water unless specifically requested.

The Metropolitan Water District, the Los Angeles-based utility for 19 million people in Southern California, is asking customers to voluntarily reduce water use by 20 percent. Hearst Castle, one of the state’s top tourist attractions, is getting about one-sixth of its usual water from mountain springs and is diverting resources from its outdoor swimming pools to irrigate 137 acres of gardens and grounds.

“People do know about this and are becoming convinced that there’s a statewide crisis,” said Tim Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies. “The biggest thing with calling it ‘mandatory’ is that it sounds worse than ‘voluntary.’ The people of California are well down that path already.”

About two-thirds of California is gripped by “severe” or “exceptional” drought, the most severe conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website. Nine percent of the state -- all in the San Joaquin Valley -- is considered exceptionally dry, according to the website, which is updated weekly. It’s the state’s most severe drought since at least 1977, according to Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District.

No Water

With California’s snowpack at just 12 percent of the average for this period, the state Water Resources Department said Jan. 31 that it was allocating no water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to local water agencies, the first time in state history. Snowmelt and rain feeding the delta makes it the single largest source for California’s 38 million residents and 25.4 million acres of farmland.

Even before the announcement, many California water agencies had asked consumers to cut use by 5 percent to 50 percent by not watering lawns with sprinklers overnight, sweeping rather than washing driveways and other pavement, taking shorter showers and flushing toilets less frequently. A few cities have already imposed mandatory restrictions, according to the Association of California Water Agencies, whose members supply 90 percent of the state’s water.

California Bottling Co. in Roseville has seen a surge in orders for bottled water from a global beverage company, said the company’s owner, Marc Thomas. The customer, his company’s largest, boosted orders to 200,000 cases, about 30 percent more than what it usually buys this time of year, Thomas said.

Water Orders

The customer, which Thomas declined to name, made similar increases for March and April in anticipation that the drought will increase what is already peak demand during spring and summer, he said.

“If you were to look at my warehouse right now, we are stocked to the gills,” Thomas said.

Thomas said he’s been told by a government official that a worst-case scenario for his company would be that he may have to pay a drought surcharge on some of the water he purchases from municipalities for bottling. If that happens, Thomas said he would pay the tax to meet his customers’ orders.

Santa Cruz, a community of 62,000 known for its boardwalk amusement park about 75 miles south of San Francisco, forbids residents from watering lawns and gardens between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and bars restaurants from serving water unless asked. The measures are expected to reduce consumption by 5 percent, according to the city’s website.

843 Violations
So far, 843 households and businesses have been cited for violations, said Eileen Cross, a city spokeswoman. Most have been warnings, with about two dozen fines assessed against violators, she said.

Santa Cruz is particularly vulnerable to shortages because it doesn’t tap the state Water Resources Department or other external sources, Cross said.

In the Sierra Nevada foothills, the Tuolomne Utilities District, which serves about 44,000 people, is enforcing restrictions intended to reduce water use by half, according to a statement. Residents can’t wash vehicles, driveways or sidewalks by hose, and aren’t allowed to water lawns between noon and 7 p.m.

Since the rainy season began in September, the district has received 3 inches of precipitation compared with 18 inches in a typical season, according to the statement.

165 Rooms

Hearst Castle, a 165-room National Landmark mansion built by publisher William Randolph Hearst during the mid-20th century, is receiving 47,000 gallons of water daily from its mountain springs, compared with a norm of 285,000 gallons, said Jim Allen, a spokesman for the state park that manages the property.

Park officials are no longer planting annual flowers and other plants and are diverting water from outdoor pools to irrigate the grounds, Allen said by telephone.

“We’re looking at more serious conservation measures,” he said. “We’re experiencing a severe drought situation.”

Few parts of Southern California, home to most of the state’s population, have been hit with mandatory conservation orders. The Metropolitan Water District, which supplies half of the state’s population, has about 2.4 million acre-feet of water in storage and another 600,000 acre-feet available for emergencies such as earthquakes, said Bob Muir, a spokesman. The district sells about 1.7 million acre-feet of water a year, according to a fact sheet. An acre-foot is the volume needed to cover an acre of land one foot deep with water.

“Despite the dry conditions, we don’t plan to implement water restrictions on our member agencies,” Muir said. - Bloomberg.

California’s Two Largest River Basins At Near-Record Low Water Levels
Image Credit: David McNew/Getty Images/

In response to Governor Jerry Brown’s recent proclamation of a drought emergency in California, a team of scientists from the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling (UCCHM) at the University of California, Irvine has updated research on the state’s two largest river basins — the source of most its water.

The updated evaluation showed that California’s Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins have reached near decade-low water holding levels.

The region investigated by the scientists also includes the Central Valley, the most prolific agriculture region in the country. The Central Valley depends completely on the surface and groundwater resources inside the river basins to fulfill its irrigation needs and to grow food for the nation.

Using NASA satellite data, the scientists discovered that as of November 2013, total water held in the river basins — a combination of all of the snow, surface area water, soil moisture content and groundwater, along with an integrated gauge of basin-wide water supply — had diminished to its lowest point in almost a decade. Satellite data for the record-dry 2013-2014 winter months were not yet available for the investigation.

The data show significantly steep water deficits between November 2011 and November 2013, the beginning phase of the current drought. The UC Irvine scientists estimated that the basins have already lost 2400 cubic miles of freshwater in each of the previous two years — comparable to almost all of California’s annual urban water use.

The scientists pointed out that snowpack, surface water and soil moisture in the river basins were all at their minimum points in virtually a decade, showing a developing threat to groundwater supplies in the Central Valley, and displaying the immediate need to handle them sustainably. Groundwater is usually considered a strategic reserve that supports short surface water supplies in times of drought.

By incorporating their satellite data from October 2003 through November 2013 of Central Valley groundwater storage shifts with long-term estimates of groundwater deficits from the US Geological Survey, the scientists noted that steep drops in groundwater storage are common during droughts, when Central Valley farmers are pushed to rely more heavily on groundwater to meet irrigation needs.

The advisory report emphasized that the rates of falling groundwater storage during drought typically outpaces rates of groundwater recovery during wet periods, and raised fears about the effect of long-term groundwater exhaustion on sustaining a dependable water supply in the existing, record-setting drought. The team’s 2011 study estimated that the Central Valley lost almost 4,800 cubic miles of groundwater during the 2006-2010 drought.

Traditionally, drought conditions and groundwater exhaustion in the Central Valley are accountable for widespread land subsidence, cutbacks in planted acreage, increased food costs and environmental damage.

If the drought continues, “Central Valley groundwater levels will fall to all-time lows,” said UCCHM Director and UC Irvine earth sciences professor Jay Famiglietti.

Report author Stephanie Castle, a UCCHM researcher, said California groundwater supplies should be more actively managed and added that “the path of groundwater use that we are on threatens the sustainability of future water supplies for all Californians.” - Red Orbit.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Thousands Of Dead Fish Found Near River Thames In Oxfordshire, England?!

February 05, 2014 - ENGLAND - Thousands of dead fish have been found near the River Thames in Goring, Oxfordshire.

Thousands of dead fish found in Oxfordshire (Picture: Environment Agency)

The recent bad weather and flooding has caused higher-than-usual river flows over an extended period of time, which has caused some fish to seek refuge in flooded fields and meadows.

A mixture of perch, roach, dace, ruffe and minnow fish were found on Goring farmland.

Fish become trapped in the long grass and suffocate (Picture: Environment Agency)

The Environmental Agency (EA) said the incident was down to the ‘severity and longevity’ of the floods.

Fish can easily become trapped in long grass and meadows and as a result many of them die due to suffocation as water quality deteriorates and levels drop.

EA Fisheries officer Tom Sherwood said when rivers burst their banks ‘fish find their way into reeds and ditches but there is no easy access back to the river’.

A flooding hotspot where dead fish are usually found (Picture: Environment Agency)

The 30m stretch of dead fish found in Goring is the first of its kind to be reported in the West Thames area during the recent floods.

Despite the large numbers of dead fish, Mr Sherwood said the incident would not affect fish levels in the river.

He said: ‘As much as we don’t like to see it, it’s not going to cause a cataclysmic decline.’ - Metro.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: The Stock Market In Japan Is COLLAPSING - Nikkei Falls By More Than 610 Points!

February 05, 2014 - JAPAN - Did you see what just happened in Japan?  The stock market of the 3rd largest economy on the planet is imploding. On Tuesday, the Nikkei fell by more than 610 points. If that sounds like a lot, that is because it is. The largest one day stock market decline in U.S. history is only 777 points. So far, the Dow is only down about 1000 points during this "correction", but the Nikkei is down more than 2,300 points. The Nikkei has dropped more than 14 percent since the peak of the market, and many analysts believe that this is only just the beginning.

Those who have been waiting for a full-blown stock market collapse may be about to get their wish.  Japan is absolutely drowning in debt, their central bank is printing money like crazy and the Japanese population is aging rapidly. As far as economic fundamentals go, there is very little good news as far as Japan is concerned. So will an Asian financial collapse precede the next great financial crisis in the United States?  That is what some have been predicting, and it starting to look increasingly likely.

What happened to the Nikkei early on Tuesday was absolutely breathtaking.  The following is how Bloomberg described the carnage...

At the end of January 2013, Japanese stocks trailed only Portugal for the biggest rally among developed markets. Now the Nikkei 225 Stock Average is leading declines, slumping 8.5 percent last month and today capping a 14 percent drop from its Dec. 30 peak.
Losses snowballed in Tokyo during a global retreat that has erased $2.9 trillion from equity values worldwide this year amid signs of slower growth in China and stimulus cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
As Bloomberg noted, much of the blame for the financial problems that we are seeing all over the planet right now is being placed on the Federal Reserve.

The Fed created this bubble by pumping trillions of fresh dollars into the global financial system, and now they are bursting this bubble by starting to cut off the flow of easy money.

This is something that I warned would happen when the Fed decided to taper, and now RBS is warning of a "market bloodbath" unless the Federal Reserve immediately stops tapering.

Most Americans simply do not realize that our financial markets no longer resemble a free market system.  Instead, they are highly manipulated and distorted by the central banks, and the trillions of dollars of "hot money" that the Fed has poured into the global financial system has infected virtually every financial market on Earth...

On Wall Street they call it "hot money"—that seemingly endless flow of cash that goes to the most profitable country du jour—but in the real economy it's gone cold.
That hot money has come mostly in the form of a low-yielding U.S. dollar, which investors have borrowed en masse to fund investments in other higher-yielding currencies across the globe. The so-called carry trade has helped fuel an investment bonanza across the world that has boosted risk assets thanks primarily to the U.S. Federal Reserve's easy-money policy.
But with the Fed tiptoeing away from what initially was an $85 billion-a-month infusion of liquidity, investors are beginning to prepare themselves for a world of rising rates in which the endless cash flow to emerging market economies begins to ebb, then cease.
We never fixed any of the fundamental problems that caused the last financial crisis.  Instead, the Fed seemed to think that the solution to any problem was just to create more money.

It was an incredibly stupid approach, and now our fundamental problems are worse than ever as Marc Faber recently noted...
Total credit as a percent of the global economy is now 30 percent higher than it was at the start of the economic crisis in 2007, we have had rapidly escalating household debt especially in emerging economies and resource economies like Canada and Australia and we have come to a point where household debt has become burdensome on the system—that is, where an economic slowdown follows.
So what comes next?

Well, unless the Fed or other central banks intervene, we are probably going to have even more carnage.

At least that is what Dennis Gartman, the editor and publisher of "The Gartman Letter", told CNBC on Tuesday...
I just think you're going to have a very severe, very substantive and really quite ugly correction that will probably make a lot of people wail and gnash their teeth before it's done.
Other analysts share his pessimism.  According to Doug Short, the vice president of research at Advisor Perspectives, the U.S. stock market "still looks 67% overvalued".

Most sobering of all is what Richard Russell is saying.  In his 60 years of writing about financial issues, he has never been "so filled with foreboding regarding what lies ahead"...
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t worried about the way things are going.  Frankly, I’m truly scared for myself, my family and the nation.  I have the sinking feeling that the stock market is on the edge of a crash.  If that happens, investor sentiment will turn quickly bearish.  And the bear market will start feeding on itself.  Ironically, the recent action occurred in the face of almost insane bullishness on the part of the crowd and on the part of investors.

Obviously smart heads and institutional money managers know that the US is semi dead in the water.  And all the talk about an improving economy is just wishes and hopes.  Bernanke’s dream of a flourishing new economy, improving without the need of the Fed’s help, is an idle dream.
I’ve been writing about the stock market for over 60 years and I can’t remember a time when I was so filled with foreboding regarding what lies ahead.  The primary trend of the market, like the tide of the ocean, is irresistible, and waits for no man.  What scares me the most in this current situation is that I see no clear island of safety.
You can read the rest of his very disturbing remarks right here.

U.S. stocks may not totally crash this week, this month or even this year, but without a doubt a day of reckoning is coming.  As a society, our total consumer, business and government debt is now equivalent to approximately 345 percent of GDP.

The only way that the game can continue is to keep pumping up the debt bubble even more.
Once the debt bubble stops expanding, it will start collapsing very rapidly.

Those that foolishly still have lots of money in the stock market better hope that the Federal Reserve decides to intervene in a major way very soon.

Because if they don't, there is a very good chance that we could indeed have a "market bloodbath" on our hands. - Activist Post.

ICE AGE NOW: "A Large-Scale Natural Disaster" - AMAZING Scenes As Severe Storm ENCASES Slovenian Town In Ice; A Quarter Of The Homes In The Dark After Heavy Snow And Ice Collapse Power Lines; Mass Evacuations! [PHOTOS]

February 05, 2014 - SLOVENIA - Parts of central Europe have been devastated by blizzards and freezing rain. A quarter of homes in Slovenia have been left without electricity after heavy snow and ice caused the collapse of power lines.

Ice covers a World War II monument in Pivka, Slovenia  Source: Reuters

The Slovenian government said that more than 40 per cent of the country's Alpine forests have been damaged. Defence Minister Roman Jakis said during an emergency government meeting that the country has been hit by "a large-scale natural disaster."

Serbian government minister Aleksandar Antic said that more than 5,000 people have been evacuated in the past few days. Authorities used a military helicopter, tanks and armoured vehicles to reach stranded people.

Here are some more pictures, courtesy of Reuters:

A man walks past ice-covered road signs in Postojna, Slovenia 

People walk past trees covered with ice in Postojna

Parked cars are encased in ice in Postojna

A man shovels snow next to an ice-covered car in Postojna

Icicles hang from power lines in Postojna

An ice-covered balcony is pictured in Postojna

In Postojna all cars are white

A worker cuts the top of a ice-covered tree in Postojna

A snowman encased in thick ice is seen in Prestranek, Slovenia

An ice-covered steam locomotive is seen in Postojna railway station

Ice-covered, downed, power lines are seen in Postojna railway station

A man standing on an ice-covered balcony in Pivka, Slovenia looks around his ice-covered neighbourhood

Members of the Slovenian army remove ice-covered fallen trees in Pivka

A man removes icicles from his roof in Prestranek, Slovenia
A power company worker repairs lines in ice-covered woods in Pivka, Slovenia
An elderly man loads firewood in a wheelbarrow in Prestranek, Slovenia
A woman and a child drag a sledge past a fallen electricity pole

Two men walk past ice covered trees in Postojna

In the southern Austrian province of Carinthia, bordering Slovenia, up to 3,000 homes were without electricity. Two rail routes connecting Austria with Italy were closed.

In southeastern Poland, some 20 villages were cut off by snow drifts. - IBT.