Monday, April 14, 2014

BIG BROTHER NOW: The Rise Of The Global Police State - Google Patents Smart Contact Lenses With CAMERA Built In!

April 14, 2014 - TECHNOLOGY & SURVEILLANCE - Google has patented a smart contact lens that could see its Glass wearable computer fit inside a smart lens.




The firm has already developed a contact lens for diabetics analyses their tears, warning them if their glucose levels are low.

Now it has revealed plans for a lens with a camera built in - opening the possibility of its Glass system being shrunk down significantly, offering features such as 'superzoom' to wearers and even helping the blind see.

According to PatentBolt, the system could even be used to help the blind see.

'For example, a blind person wearing Google's contact lens with a built-in camera may be walking on a sidewalk and approaching an intersection,' it says.

'The analysis component of the contact lens can process the raw image data of the camera to determine processed image data indicating that the blind person is approaching intersection with a crosswalk and establish that there is a car approaching the intersection.'


Glass without the glass: Google patent contact lens camera.

The technology could eventually allow Google to shrink its Glass computer (pictured) into a contact lens.


HOW IT WORKS
The Google lens contains a control circuit, an image capture (camera) component and an image sensor.

The system can be wirelessly linked to a mobile phone for data access and to issue commands via audio, although it is unclear if the lens would be powered wirelessly or have a wired link to a battery.

The lens also has wireless capabilities allowing it to link to a smartphone, which can be used to process data and give the user audio commands.

Google also says the system will be able to detect faces, potentially allowing the blind to recognise people.

The firm has already developed a smart lens capable of measuring the glucose level of diabetics.

'You’ve probably heard that diabetes is a huge and growing problem—affecting one in every 19 people on the planet,' Google said in a blog post announcing the research.


Google is testing a prototype for a smart contact lens that we built to measure glucose in tears continuously
using a wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor.

How it works: The chip includes a sensor, chip and antenna to let wearers know
when their glucose levels are dangerously low.

The firm is already in discussion with the FDA over the project.

'But you may not be familiar with the daily struggle that many people with diabetes face as they try to keep their blood sugar levels under control.

'Uncontrolled blood sugar puts people at risk for a range of dangerous complications, some short-term and others longer term, including damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart.

'A friend of ours told us she worries about her mom, who once passed out from low blood sugar and drove her car off the road'

HOW IT WORKS - DIABETIC'S LENS
The smart contact lens can measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material.

Prototypes generate a reading once per second.

Google is also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds.

The project's co-founders,  Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, say they hope the technology could eventually become commonplace.

'We’re now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material,' they said.

'We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second.

 'We’re also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so we’re exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds.


How they are made: The process starts with a tiny chip, which is then mounted on a ring with the
antenna and sensor, and finally mounted onto the lens.

The technology is sandwiched in between two lenses


'It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype.

'We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.'

The firm is in discussions with the FDA, but says 'there’s still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use.

It hopes to work with other medical firms to develop the lenses and other smart health monitoring devices. - Daily Mail.



PLANETARY TREMORS: Global Seismic Uptick - Earthquake Swarm Continues To Shake Central Idaho; "The MOST VIGOROUS In Recent Memory"?!

April 14, 2014 - IDAHO, UNITED STATES - The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 4.6-magnitude earthquake occurred Monday afternoon 14.2 miles north of Challis. Early Monday morning, a magnitude 3.0 earthquake was measured 11 miles north northwest of the town.


 This intensity map from USGS shows where Monday afternoon's earthquake was felt.
Credit U.S. Geological Survey



Mike Stickney is the director of the Earthquake Studies Office at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. He says this swarm of earthquakes in central Idaho started on March 24. He says at least 12 have been greater than magnitude 3, and many smaller tremors have also been measured.

On April 10, a magnitude 4.1 quake was measured. On Saturday, a magnitude 4.9 earthquake shook the same remote area.

Stickney says swarms like this one can last for a few days up to several months, and there is no way of knowing how long the event will last. “This is certainly the most vigorous swarm in recent memory,” says Stickney, “[but] this isn’t something that’s unprecedented.”

A USGS intensity map shows light shaking was felt as far south the Wood River Valley, and some shaking was felt north and east into Montana.

“We really do not know if something bigger is coming,” says Stickney. “We certainly don’t have any reason to expect a larger earthquake to occur as part of this swarm. But at the same time we have no way of knowing that for certain.”

The largest earthquake ever recorded in Idaho was on October 28, 1983 when a 6.9 magnitude quake shook Borah Peak.

“The safest thing to do would be to assume that there could be another earthquake,” says Stickney. “I’d be surprised if there was a larger earthquake, but we really can’t rule out that possibility. Unlike the weather, we can’t predict earthquakes or see them coming.” - BSPR.



FIRE IN THE SKY: Latest Incidents Of Fireballs Over The United States - Meteor Fireball Lights Up Phoenix Skies; Meteor Seen Streaking Across The Skies Over Southwestern United States; And Blazing Fireball Spotted In The Skies Over Arizona!

April 14, 2014 - SPACE - The following constitutes the latest incidents of meteor fireballs seen in the skies over the United States:

Meteor Fireball Lights Up Phoenix Skies
Matt Larsen


The ABC15 newsroom was flooded with phone calls, emails, tweets and Facebook messages Saturday night after several people reported seeing what appeared to be a "fireball falling from the sky." Reports of a "green and red" flash of light came in from all over the Valley, from Chandler to Scottsdale to Buckeye, Ariz. - ABC15.



Meteor Seen Streaking Across The Skies Over Southwestern United States
Bill Cook, NASA

A meteor sighting prompted many viewers to call into the FOX 10 newsroom Saturday evening.

Bill Cooke with NASA's Meteoroid Environment's Office confirmed the object was a meteor that was seen just after 9 p.m. MST.

The meteor was caught on camera by NASA's meteor camera located at New Mexico State University.

Cooke estimates the magnitude of the meteor as a --9, and the size of the rock about one foot in diameter.

The video shows the moon on the left and then a bright object streaks upwards as it passes over the camera. - KSAZ.


Blazing Fireball Spotted In The Skies Over Arizona


Officials were searching areas near Globe and Superior after agencies received calls Saturday night about an orange fireball that shot through the air and crashed to the ground.

Officials with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office and the Arizona Department of Public Safety said the agencies had been getting numerous calls from people reporting they'd seen a glowing ball streak across the sky.

DPS said they were checking the areas near State Route 87, Anthem and the Four Peaks.

A spokeswoman with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said they had received reports of a fiery object being spotted east of the Superstition Mountains.


 WATCH:  Fireball over Arizona.

 


James, Sawtell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said meteors, commonly referred to as shooting stars, "can appear different colors and often appear bright and fiery. Sometimes they can appear very near when in reality they are hundreds of miles away."

Meteors are the "light phenomena which results when a meteoroid enters the earth's atmosphere and vaporizes," according to NASA. - AZ Central.



SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: The "Blood Moon" Is Here, Are We On The Cusp Of Something MONUMENTAL - Popular Televangelist Claims Four Blood Moons Are Sign Of "WORLD-SHAKING EVENT"?!

April 14, 2014 - SPACE - The heavens are putting on a celestial show next week — and one Christian pastor is convinced it’s a sign from God.


Four lunar eclipses are set to blaze in the sky starting on April 15. The eclipses will occur in roughly six-month
intervals until October 2015. The blood moons fall on Passover and during the Feast of Tabernacles.
AFP Photo / Hassan Ammar

Bestselling author and televangelist Pastor John Hagee claims the four blood moons that will soon appear in the skies over America are evidence of a future “world-shaking event.”

The blood moons are part of a tetrad, a set of complete and consecutive lunar eclipses that will begin on April 15 and continue in roughly six-month intervals until October 2015.

According to NASA, seeing four complete lunar eclipses in a row is very rare. The skies were tetrad-free from 1600 to 1900. But in the 21st century, there will be many.


 WATCH: NASA ScienceCast - A Tetrad of Lunar Eclipses.

 


What’s even stranger is that Americans have a front row seat.

"The most unique thing about the 2014-2015 tetrad is that all of them are visible for all or parts of the USA," NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak told CNN.

Hagee, founder of Texas’ Cornerstone Church, thinks this is no coincidence. For him, it's a sign of the end times.


Pastor John Hagee, 73, leads a flock of about 20,000 faithful at The Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.
The televangelist predicts something big will happen within the next year.

J. Michael Short/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The 73-year-old preacher has been preparing for the tetrad for years. He released a book about the blood moons last October and will go in depth about his speculations during a special TV event on April 15 on the Global Evangelism Television channel.

He points to Acts 2:19-20, which reads, “And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth beneath, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”

In sermons to his flock, Hagee said that each of the blood moons happens on a religiously significant day.

The April 15 event happens during Passover. On Oct. 8, the blood moon will occur during the Feast of Tabernacles. Another blood moon will occur during Passover on April 4, 2015. The last will happen on Sept. 28, 2015, another Feast ot the Tabernacles.

For proof of his theory, Hagee finds connections between past tetrads and important events in the life of the Jewish people.

In 1493, a tetrad occurred while the Jews were being expelled from Spain. Another tetrad occurred in 1949, soon after the state of Israel was founded. The last tetrad happened in 1967, during the Six-Day War between Arabs and Israelis.


WATCH:  Pastor John Hagee Discusses "Four Blood Moons" on CBN.

 


“Just as in biblical times, God is controlling the sun, the moon, and the stars to send our generation a signal that something big is about to happen. The question is: Are we watching and listening to His message?” Hagee writes in his book.

The pastor has sparked controversy in the past for comments he’s made about a wide range of topics — from homosexuality to Islam.

In 2008, Hagee was criticized for suggesting that Hurricane Katrina was a result of God’s wrath toward the city of New Orleans for planning a rally for gays and lesbians.

NASA is live-streaming the eclipse, which will begin at approximately 2 a.m. EDT on April 15. - NY Daily News.



THE THEATRE OF WAR: Obama Speaks With Putin As The Ukrainian Crisis Escalates - Putin Tells Obama To Use His Influence To Prevent Further Bloodshed In Ukraine; Russian Jet Passes Near U.S. Warship And Tests Multi-Warhead ICBM; U.S. Considers Offering Military Help To Ukraine; And Kiev Urges UN To Hold Joint "Anti-Terrorist Operation" As Crisis In Eastern Ukraine Spiral Into Chaos!

April 14, 2014 - UKRAINE/RUSSIA -  Russian President Vladimir Putin urged his American counterpart on Monday to use the White House’s influence on the Ukrainian government to prevent further “bloodshed” from occurring in the country.

Putin Tells Obama To Use His Influence To Prevent Further Bloodshed In Ukraine


United States President Barack Obama placed a phone call to Mr. Putin on Monday afternoon eastern time to discuss the ongoing and increasingly-tense situation in eastern Ukraine amid growing concerns surrounding the country’s future stability following the recent ousting of Pres. Viktor Yanukovych earlier this year and the turmoil that has continued to occur across the region ever since.

According to a statement released after the phone conversation by the Kremlin, Putin dismissed to the US president recent reports that peg Russia as being responsible for heated protests that have erupted in eastern Ukraine as of late, where pro-Russian activists have successfully managed to seize a number of local government buildings and police stations.

"In response to the president of the United States' expressed concern about Russia's supposed meddling in southeastern Ukraine, the president of Russia noted that such speculations are based on inaccurate information," the press statement read.

Putin stressed that protests in several south-east regions of Ukraine are a result of “the Kiev authorities’ unwillingness and inability to take into account the interests of the Russian and Russian-speaking population,” Kremlin press service statement said.

The Russian president called upon Obama to use all of the capabilities at his disposal, “to prevent the use of force and bloodshed,” and also reportedly denied that his government has had any involvement in the recent unrest during the call, according to the official statement.


Russia's President Vladimir Putin (AFP Photo / Alexey Nikolsky)

“The president noted that such speculation is based on unreliable information,” the Kremlin said.

Representatives for Russia, the US and Ukraine are expected to meet with colleagues from the EU later this week in Geneva to discuss the recent series of events and what could come next, but the Kremlin said that both Putin and Obama agreed during Monday’s phone call that diplomatic cooperation must continue ahead of that meeting, currently scheduled for April 17.

In the meantime, the Kremlin said that Putin suggested during Monday’s phone call that Ukraine begin focusing on a new constitution that “involves all political forces in the country, creating a federalized state and guaranteeing Ukraine's non-aligned status.”

Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told the Russian media earlier that day that the Kremlin has been receiving pleas for help from Ukrainians as a result of the events unfolding in the eastern part of the country.

“He is getting a lot of appeals addressed personally to him, asking him to intervene in one way or another. He is monitoring the situation in Ukraine with great concern,” Peskov stated.

On Sunday evening, Kiev threatened "full-scale" military force if protesters and paramilitaries refused to vacate the occupied government buildings by Monday morning, but that deadline came and went without action. Later, though, the US State Dept. and White House both weighed in on the matter and made conflicting statements about possibly supplying arms to Ukrainian forces. - RT.


Russian Jet Passes Near U.S. Warship
Guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook transits the Dardanelles while en route to the Black Sea April 10, 2014.     
Edward Guttierrez III/U.S. Navy

A Russian fighter jet made multiple, close-range passes near an American warship in the Black Sea for more than 90 minutes Saturday amid escalating tensions in the region, U.S. military officials said Monday.

In the first public account of the incident, the officials said the Russian Fencer made 12 passes, and flew within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook, a Navy destroyer, at about 500 feet above sea level.

The U.S. warship issued several radio queries and warnings using international emergency circuits, but the Russian aircraft did not respond.

"This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with international protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between our militaries," said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

The fighter appeared to be unarmed and never was in danger of coming in contact with the ship, said the officials. The passes, which occurred in the early evening there, ended without incident. A second Russian fighter jet flew at a higher altitude and was not a concern, said Warren.

A U.S. military official also said that a Russian Navy ship, a frigate, has been shadowing the U.S. warship, remaining within visual distance but not close enough to be unsafe. The official was not authorized to discuss the incident publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Warren said that he is not aware of any official communication or protests by the U.S. to the Russians about incident.

The USS Donald Cook has been conducting routine operations in international waters east of Romania. The ship, which carries helicopters, was deployed to the Black Sea on April 10, in the wake of the Russian military takeover of Ukraine's Crimea region and ongoing unrest there. U.S. military officials have said the deployment is part of an effort to reassure allies and partners in the region.

Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov on Monday called for the deployment of United Nations peacekeeping troops in the east of the country, where pro-Russian insurgents have occupied buildings in nearly 10 cities. The gunmen are demanding more autonomy from the central government and closer ties with Russia.

The West has accused Moscow of fomenting the unrest. And European Union foreign ministers are meeting in Luxembourg Monday to consider additional sanctions against Russian officials because of Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

The USS Donald Cook is now in port at Constanta, Romania.

Romanian President Traian Basescu visited the ship Monday and said a second U.S. Navy warship - a frigate from the Navy's Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea - is also heading to the Black Sea.

"My visit to the ship is symbolic, which first of all shows our respect to our NATO allies' reaction who have strengthened their presence in the Black Sea after Russia's annexation of Crimea," said Basescu, who is a former ship captain. He said the Russians "had created a circle of fire around the Black Sea."

The U.S. frigate, which has not yet been identified, is expected to arrive in the Black Sea in the next two weeks. According to a U.S. military official, the frigate is likely to replace the USS Donald Cook, which is expected to return to the Mediterranean Sea. - AP.


Russia Tests Multi-Warhead ICBM
Launch took place at the Kapustin Yar testing ground in the southern Astrakhan region.  © ITAR-TASS

Russia’s military carried out a flight test of a new multi-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile on Monday amid growing tensions with the United States over the crisis in Ukraine.

The SS-27 Mod 2 road-mobile ICBM was launched around 2:40 a.m. EST from Russia’s Plesetsk launch facility, located about 500 miles north of Moscow.

“The main purpose of the launch is to validate the reliability of a batch of this class of missiles made at the Votkinsk Plant,” Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Yegorov told state-run Interfax-AVN.

An unspecified number of simulated nuclear warheads landed at an impact range on the Kura test range on the Kamchatka Peninsula, in the Russian Far East, Yegorov said. The distance is around 3,500 miles.

The SS-27 Mod 2 is Russia’s newest ICBM and has been touted by Russian officials as designed specifically to defeat U.S. missile defenses.

Mark B. Schneider, a missile specialist with National Institute for Public Policy, said there is evidence indicating the Russians have violated the START arms treaty by developing the SS-27 Mod 2 with multiple warheads.

“The original missile that Russia called the Topol M Variant 2 and we call the SS-27 was a single warhead missile,” Schneider told the Free Beacon. “START prohibits increasing the declared number of warheads.”

The Russian ICBM, which Moscow calls the RS-24 Yars missile, will replace older Topol mobile ICBMs.

The United States currently has no comparable road-mobile ICBM. The mobility makes the missiles very difficult to detect and target.

The last flight test of the SS-27 Mod 2 was in December.

Russia currently has an estimated 80,000 troops deployed along with armored vehicles close to Ukraine’s eastern border.

A senior Obama administration official said last week that pro-Russian unrest, including the takeover of police stations in two eastern Ukrainian towns, appears to be the work of Russian agents seeking to foment unrest—something that could be used a pretext for a Russian military invasion.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia has asked the United States to explain the recent visit to Kiev by CIA Director John Brennan.


 Yars inter-continental ballistic missile (archive) © ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

“We want to understand what our western colleagues are doing in reality, particularly we want to understand what do the reports about an urgent visit of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency of the USA, Mr. Brennan, to Kiev means,” Lavrov said, according to state-owned Moscow Rossiya 24 TV. “No clear explanations have yet been given to us.”

A Russian presidential spokesman said President Vladimir Putin has received requests for Russia to intervene in Ukraine, following reports of domestic unrest.

“The Russian president is watching the development in these regions with great concern,” Dmitri Peskov, the spokesman, told reporters.

“Many appeals—addressed personally to Putin, asking to help in this or that way and asking to interfere in this or that way have been received,” Peskov said, according to Interfax.

The Obama administration is considering a Russian request to upgrade electronic intelligence gathering sensors used on aircraft that would overfly the United States as part of the Open Skies Treaty, according to the Weekly Standard.

The debate on granting the Russian request prompted a letter from House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) opposing the move.

“Given current world events, President Putin appears to be more than willing to disregard international norms of behavior in seeking geopolitical advantage. We should not now naively believe he will unilaterally adhere to the limitations of the Open Skies Treaty,” Rogers stated in a letter to President Obama sent Friday.

Senate Intelligence Committee members also are questioning whether the administration should permit the upgraded Russian spy flights.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Northern Command/North American Aerospace Defense Command, which monitors foreign missile launches, had no immediate comment. - Washington Free Beacon.


U.S. Considers Offering Military Help To Ukraine
AFP Photo / Dibyangshu Sarkar

An advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the United States may decide to send arms to eastern Ukraine as tensions continue to worsen there between pro-Russian protesters and supporters of the country’s interim government.

Reuters reported on Monday that US State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon — a senior diplomat and member of Sec. Kerry’s inner circle — said the possibility of providing arms to Ukrainian forces is indeed currently on the table.

"Obviously we are looking at that as an option ... but at this point I can't anticipate whether or not we are going to do that,” Reuters quoted Shannon as saying.

The counselor’s remarks come following yet another intense weekend in Ukraine, where government buildings, a military airport and other facilities in the east of the country were reportedly seized by armed pro-Russian protesters. Weeks after a similar standoff in the adjacent peninsula of Crimea led to the severing of ties with Ukraine and the subsequent approval of a referendum agreeing to join the Russian Federation, critics in the West are questioning whether or not Moscow has been involved in the latest series of events.

"From our point of view what we are seeing in a series of cities mimics what we saw in Crimea both in terms of the tactics and in terms of the people involved," the State Department’s Shannon told Reuters early this week. "From our point of view there is a very obvious Russian hand in all of this and we consider these actions to be destabilising and dangerous." William Hague, Britain’s foreign ministry, has made similar remarks as well.

But Vitaly Churkin — Russia’s envoy to the United Nations — has denounced rumors of his country playing any role in the unrest as false, and the Foreign Ministry has called allegations “irresponsible.”

Also on Monday this week, Moscow's envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said he was worried about the possibility that force would be used against pro-Russian demonstrators in Ukraine, and said he strongly believes “it might lead to a civil war.”


US Secretary of State John Kerry (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb)

“This is dangerous," Russian OSCE envoy Andrey Kelin told reporters.

Yet despite Shannon’s remark about possibly arming Ukrainian forces, others within the Obama administration have suggested that such might not be the case.

"We're not actively considering lethal aid but we are reviewing the kinds of assistance we can provide," White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Monday afternoon.

"We are looking at a variety of ways to demonstrate our strong support for Ukraine including diplomatically and economically," Carney continued, adding later that there is “no military solution to this crisis”

Last week, the regional NATO commander told reporters that American troops could be included among any forces that are mobilized throughout eastern Europe in the coming days as the organization attempts to ensure that allied partners are put at risk as tensions worsen there.

Oleksandr Turchynov, the acting president of Ukraine, has since asked for the UN to conduct a joint "anti-terrorist operation" in that region as activity intensifies, though Russia — one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council — is all but certain to veto such a request. - RT.


Kiev Urges UN To Hold Joint "Anti-Terrorist Operation" As Crisis In Eastern Ukraine Spiral Into Chaos
Pro-Russian protesters attend a rally in front of the seized office of the SBU state security service
in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine April 14, 2014. (Reuters / Shamil Zhumatov)

Ukraine’s coup-installed president, Aleksandr Turchinov, has proposed the conducting of a joint operation with UN peacekeeping forces, signing a decree immediately imposing a special anti-terrorist operation in the east of the country.

Turchinov said in a phone call with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, that Kiev’s new authorities would welcome the possibility that “if with your [UN] help, there is to be a joint anti-terrorist operation conducted in the east of the country…specialists and observers will be able to confirm the legitimacy and legality of our actions,” the press office of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party quoted Turchinov as saying.

On his part, Ban Ki-moon said that Kiev could rely fully on help from the UN as its partner.

Late Monday afternoon, Ukraine’s coup-appointed President Aleksandr Turchinov signed a decree to officially begin a “special anti-terrorist operation” in the east of the country, Ukraine’s presidential press-service said in a statement.

He ordered "that the National Security and Defence Council's decision of April 13, 2014 'On urgent measures to overcome the territorial threat and to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine' be put into effect". The order becomes effective from the day of publication.

Turchinov has appointed acting Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Andriy Parubiy, to oversee the operation.

Kiev announced an “anti-terrorist operation” against protesters in eastern Ukraine, where pro-autonomy rallies intensified last week.

The Donetsk region has been in turmoil since Sunday morning with anti-government protesters seizing several buildings and demonstrations raging in the city of Slavyansk.

On Sunday evening Kiev threatened "full-scale" military force if protesters and paramilitaries declined to vacate occupied government buildings by a Monday morning deadline.

Protesters ignored the ultimatum to leave by 9 am, and a Russian flag continued to fly over the besieged police HQs in Slavyansk.

On Monday the head of Donetsk region announced that a “special operation regime” was to be imposed in the region.

The “anti-terrorist operation” has been slammed by Russia, which requested the United Nations Security Council convene immediately to discuss Ukraine’s declaration of the operation.

Speaking from the city of Rostov-on-Don, ousted President Viktor Yanukovich called the planned military operation a "criminal order".

The operation announced by Kiev stipulates that the Ukrainian armed forces are to be involved. The Ukrainian army has not been involved despite the four months of upheaval and its capabilities in terms of handling internal problems are as of yet untested. - RT.



MONUMENTAL MASS ANIMAL/FISH/BIRDS/BEES DIE-OFF: Latest Incidents Across The Earth - 6 Dolphins, 1 Shark, 1 Whale And Multiple Turtles Wash Up Dead In Florida, United States; 112,000 Chickens Culled Due To Avian Flu In Kumamoto, Japan; 20,000 Fish Dead Due To Pollution In A River In Yuscaran, Honduras; Thousands Of Dead Fish Due To Algae In Devils Lake In Oregon, United States; 2 TONS Of Dead Fish Found Floating In The Piracicaba River In Brazil; 3 MILLION Bees Die Suddenly In Donghai County, China; More Dead Fish in Ogeechee River, Georgia, United States; Hundreds Of Dead Fish Appear In A Lagoon Near Cali, Colombia; 9 Blue Whales Found Dead Off The Coast Of Newfoundland, Canada; Mass Die-Off Of Bees Due To "Mystery Illness" In Ariege, France; Humpback Whale Washes Up Dead In Ponte Vedra, Florida, United States; Snowy Owls Dying And Having Trouble Migrating North Due To Prolonged Cold Weather; Dead Juvenile Pilot Whale Found ON Searsport Beach, Maine, United States; Dead Humpback Whale In Albany, Australia; Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Death Toll Tops 1,200 Since July 2013; And Recently Filmed Giant Oarfish Washes Up Dead On Mexican Beach!

April 14, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest incidents of mass animal, fish, bird and bees die-offs across the Earth:

6 Dolphins, 1 Shark, 1 Whale And Multiple Turtles Wash Up Dead In Florida, United States
Dead dolphin washes ashore. Ashley Hollander

here's something fishy going on in our local waters. No pun intended. According to The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: six dolphins, a shark, a humpback whale and multiple manatees/sea turtles have washed up in the last two weeks.

"We know the dolphins are related," marine biologist Nadia Gordon said. "As far as the shark and see turtles, I can't answer that."


Dead bird washes ashore along our local beaches.  Ashley Hollander

Dead turtle washes ashore along our local beaches. Ashley Hollander

Dead shark washes ashore. Ashley Hollander

The morbillivirus is believed to be the cause of the dolphin deaths. The disease has claimed the lives of 80 in Northeast Florida since July 2013. On a bigger scale, 1200 dolphins have been found dead from New York to Florida since July- up from the average 180 a year.

Biologists still have work to do, but they're hoping they get a lead soon.

"We're hoping it will die off soon and we won't have to worry about it anymore," Gordon said. - WTEV47.


112,000 Chickens Culled Due To Avian Flu In Kumamoto, Japan
Workers wearing protective suits cull chickens at a poultry farm in Taragi, Kumamoto Prefecture. KYODO

The agriculture ministry announced Sunday a suspected outbreak of bird flu that killed at least 1,100 chickens at a farm in Taragi, Kumamoto Prefecture, prompting the prefectural government to order the culling of 112,000 chickens kept there and at another nearby farm run by the same operator.

The ministry also ordered a ban on the shipping or moving of chickens and their eggs within a the 3-km radius of the two farms, and requested that reporters not approach the farms to prevent further spread of the suspected H5-type avian influenza outbreak.

In an apparent bid to ease public concerns, government officials noted in a statement that no cases of bird-to-human bird flu infection through eating chicken meat or eggs have been found in Japan.

According to the Kumamoto prefecutral government, the farmer, whose name is being withheld, first discovered 70 chickens dead on Friday, and another 200 on Saturday.

The farmer then reported the events to a local office of the prefectural government, which conducted a preliminary bird flu test Saturday on five live chickens and another five dead ones that found one live chicken and five dead chickens were positive for the H5-type of bird flu.

The prefectural government also conducted a DNA test Sunday on those samples that found two of the five dead birds positive for the same strain of the virus, prompting the central government to hold a Cabinet meeting and issue a warning to the public.

If confirmed, this would be the first bird flu outbreak in the country since one in the city of Chiba in March 2011, and the first-ever case at a chicken farm in Kumamoto Prefecture. - Japan Times.



20,000 Fish Dead Due To Pollution In A River In Yuscaran, Honduras
The need to extract gold searching the river stones Avocados forces many to risk their lives just to be able to eat.

A plague pollution left over 20 thousand fish floating due to liquid waste flowing into the river Avocados, for a month in riparian areas Yuscarán Township, Paradise.

The communities most affected are those basin below, as The Teñidero, El Rodeo, and Agua Fria Agua Viva where pollution has affected the entire aquatic system instead.

The unfortunate thing is that at the bottom are the poorest communities, where the population is dedicated to fish to eat and sell them.

In addition, others are dedicated to mine gold, but I almost do not get to the river for fear of the water causes them some skin disease.

The Environmental Unit encardado that jurisdiction, Gustavo Enrique Pavón, said the complaint with the Office of Environment and introduced himself and also Tegucigalpa sent water samples for tests and associated analyzes are made to carry out an investigation.

FUNGI IN SKIN

Residents are alarmed that are leaving them skin fungus, is also reported that cattle and calving is wrong to abort because they are taking contaminated water, reported Pavon.

Many people that they got to get the fish to eat and can not because the stench of death leagues feel about the high level of contamination, said.


Small alarmed because their cattle ranchers are aborting.

For the summer season always presents problems especially at Easter, are several years has been reported but so far no one does anything, he deplored.

Over 20 thousand fish, the species known as catfish, escarpments, shiners or bubuchas seen floating on the river banks where the buzzards a delicacy food are given.

POISONED

One of those affected, Rosa Carmina Cortes, said "the river water is poisoned, even the fruit trees are affected, such as mango, avocado and coconut, because it is too much pollution."

"We are alarmed because previous years dead fish were observed this season, but in 2014 this is an exaggeration.


The need to extract gold searching the river stones. Avocados forces many to risk their lives just to be able to eat.


Da regret that the most affected are low-income people, who are engaged in agriculture, fishing and gold mining, but now suffer from skin diseases and diarrhea.

Also, we now comes a difficult time because the source of drinking water is drying us, before we had the river where we were to bathe or stock up on water, but now God forbid if we take our children is only for the envenenemos.

DROUGHT

Each day the water lasts us less, sometimes lasting an hour and other hour and a half so we have to run to fill the stack, barrels and bottles, Cortes said.

"We need an in-depth investigation by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (Serna), and we suspect that liquid wastes come from distilling companies that are in the center of town.


Several blocks feels pestilence and the dirty water is observed dead fish of all sizes.

"We ask that they are required to install their own wells oxidation, not further damaging us, and we will not be able to try nor chacalines because until foam and dirty as wicks mop floating in the river, that's scary" he added.

Meanwhile, the municipal councilor of Yuscarán, Nelson Enrique Rodriguez, said the new corporation quoted one of the owners of companies and there was no positive response. "They have no desire to contribute to the population, who complains and no longer bear the abuse, because they are playing with the health of all" he said. - La Tribuna. [Translated]


Thousands Of Dead Fish Due To Algae In Devils Lake In Oregon, United States 
Clear to anybody who visited Devils Lake this week was the unnatural color created by an unprecedented
algae bloom that has gripped the waterway since mid-January. (Photo by Rick Beasley)

A day after 8,400 trout were stocked in Devils Lake, the man that grew them shook his head and leveled his camera at a shoreline littered with dead fish.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said David Welch, manager of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Salmon River Hatchery. “I’m shocked, and I don’t know what we can do about it. It makes you feel helpless.” - Newport News Times.


2 TONS Of Dead Fish Found Floating In The Piracicaba River In Brazil
Group that participated in boat tour caught fish mortality (Photo: Priscila Molinari Garcia)

The dead fish found in last Monday (7) by a group that walked boat in Rio Piracicaba may have been caused by low oxygen levels in the water, according to a statement on Wednesday (9) by the State Environmental Company of São Paulo (Cetesb). The deaths occurred on a stretch near the rural Tanquan neighborhood in Piracicaba (SP).

According estimated the Riverside Institute on Monday, two tonnes of dead fish species piaparas, piavas, catfish and even a painted were found.

According to Cetesb technicians were sent to the scene to investigate the case. "The team did not find a situation of killings, and recorded the presence of some individuals, who would have died, probably on the weekend," says the note from the company. Tests to verify the content of dissolved oxygen (DO) in water indicated indices between 2.2 milligrams per liter to 3.5 milligrams per liter.

"The level of dissolved oxygen ideal for fish survival is 5 milligrams per liter up," says the official statement Cetesb. Also according to the company, no changes that could indicate the release of pollutants capable of killing the species were observed. - Globo. [Translated]



3 MILLION Bees Die Suddenly In Donghai County, China
The spring season is the best time to spend chasing beekeeper's honey. Lianyungang Donghai County beekeeper Yang let his wife came with 180 boxes of bees Huaian Lianshui Fang Feng Xu Jixiang territory. Let him not think that just arrived Fangfeng place the next morning, he died mysteriously 110 boxes of bees, and even the queen could not escape unharmed. The police have been involved in the investigation.

Yesterday afternoon, on the way to the interview, the reporter saw a lot of beekeepers in the field set within Lianshui Xu Fang Feng. When a reporter asked whether the death of their bees phenomenon, these beekeepers told reporters, bee death is normal, but not a large area of ​​death. Xu set to spend time on the open space in front of the village authorities, the reporter saw the owner of 110 boxes of bees mysteriously died, 43-year-old beekeeper from Lianyungang Donghai County, Yang let.

"This year can be said to lose everything!" Wearing a beekeeper's hat peculiar let Yang told reporters that he and his wife had in Hubei Fang Feng, Xu set by a local friend, he and his wife the night at 5 at noon to catch motorists to come here. Two o'clock in the afternoon, he and his wife duo will lift off 180 boxes of bees. In this process, a village cadres, let them come here Fangfeng, after a friend coordination, which eventually agreed to cadres. "Because some people are afraid of bees, so please outsiders to help lift poor beehive." Yang lets say, the couple will settle all the hives after lift off, have begun to carry out their duties: honey bees out that his wife set up tents, while he himself began to dig in the hive box jelly, has been dug up at 10 o'clock, the couple will be too tired to rest in a temporary tent structures themselves. At night, he heard his own tent tethered dog kept barking, getting up with a flashlight to look around, I did not see suspicious circumstances. At 6:00 on the 6th and more, before he came to get hives and found the situation right.

"Usually an open beehive, always hear the familiar 'buzzing' sound can be opened that day, and what sound did not, I felt quite right, out of the nest box to look, I was petrified: The original should be packed lying In the above bees, even Para Para fell down! I put the beehive nest boxes are taken out, the bees have died of shabu to fall down, "20 years of beekeeping experience, let Yang told reporters He called his wife rushed to see other hives together, the result, a total of 180 beehives have 110 are the same situation. Carton around 30,000 bees, 110 boxes have more than 300 million bees have died, this scenario so that his wife suddenly collapsed to the ground. - DBW. [Translated]


More Dead Fish in Ogeechee River, Georgia, United States 
Just one year after the largest fish kill in Georgia history, more fish have been found dead along the Ogeechee River banks--prompting a swimming and fishing advisory in Bulloch and Effingham counties.

Nearly forty thousand fish died in the Ogeechee River last year.  A textiles company -- King America Finishing -- was found to be at least partly to blame.

Here is the breakdown:

King America was fined one million dollars for illegal dumping of several chemicals not allowed in its permit.

Those include formaldehyde and ammonia.

The dumping had been going on for five years.

Just after our story aired this Monday on news three at six a viewer called and said he had seen more dead fish at 301 landing.

The Ogeechee Riverkeeper spent most of yesterday searching the river, and found more.

Then Thursday, the DNR was out at Oliver Bridge near Statesboro collecting even more dead fish.

So far at least four species of fish, plus some crawfish, are dying.  They say this raises concern because, whatever is causing it, it's affecting many different kinds of life in the river.

DNR says there are a few things that could be causing this.

First, water levels are even lower than they were this time last year.

Combine that with warmer water temperatures and the lack of rain -- and it makes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

The Environmental Protection Division determined that the fish last year died of Columnaris, a bacterial disease caused by environmental stressors.

This of course comes as bad news for the Ogeechee Riverkeeper. Director, Dianna Wedincamp says she is not surprised.

"We've been saying over and over that this is going to happen. My prediction is that they will probably come up with the same old same old. They will say it's the Columnaris Disease or whatever, as long as they are not saying that it's coming from that discharge pipe. We will continue to tell the public that there is unpermitted discharge and we don't think is safe for the public to swim in."

DNR will continue to study the river up and downstream from that King America Finishing discharge pipe.  They will have crews working all day tomorrow and through the weekend, and the Riverkeeper plans to be out there as well.

Again, it's worth repeating -- and pass this along to your family and friends -- the Bulloch County Public Safety Division is issuing a swimming and fishing advisory.

Effingham County Emergency Management has also posted an advisory.

We contacted the EPD in Atlanta on Monday, and here is what it had to tell us:

Regular testing by King America Finishing and the company's contractor shows the river meets water quality standards, and there are no areas of concern.

-The EPD says it did its own special sampling on March 28, and found ammonia both upstream and downstream of the plant, but at low concentrations.

It says formaldehyde was not detected.

Meanwhile, for the first time since 2000, King America Finishing is up for a new permit.  A public hearing on that is set for Tuesday, June 12 at 7 pm at the Effingham County High School. - WSAV.


Hundreds Of Dead Fish Appear In A Lagoon Near Cali, Colombia
Still appear dead fish in lagoon of Charco Azul
A new fish kill occurs for three days in the lagoon of Charco Azul, east of Cali. Hundreds of bream, those marks, tilapia and shrimp were found dead, without explanation.

"Tuesday was a critical day. Fish peered to the surface, as if looking for oxygen," says Rubén Darío Obando, security guard of the lagoon.

Meanwhile, Albeiro Murillo, Attorney environmental facilitators of the lagoon, warns that "should not be falling housing sewage lagoon, this could cause the death of fish."

The director Wastewater Emcali Jose Ceron, said "these fish did not die on Tuesday. Environmental facilitators when cleaned the filter and removed the trash that taponaba, removed these fish already dead."

Ceron added that "monthly clean the filter and the tube facing the lagoon, but obstructs the community. Lack Les environmental culture". Amanda Manrique, fisher and resident of the sector for 35 years, said that "this is going on for six months and nobody does anything."

Moreover, John Preciado, a resident of Charco Azul, says that "in the evening you can see a green cream and where it appears, no dead fish."

Given this, Camilo Velez, head of water resources of Dangma hopes "that this week the CVC deliver the results of the biopsy of the dead and the fish pond sediment, to clarify what happens in this wetland." - Entorno Inteligente.


9 Blue Whales Found Dead Off The Coast Of Newfoundland, Canada
As many as nine blue whale carcasses are in heavy ice off Newfoundland's southwest coast, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has confirmed.

Blue whales are the largest animals in the world, each measuring the length of three school buses.

DFO researcher Jack Lawson said the deaths are a serious blow to an endangered population of about 250 animals.

"It's horrible and it's so disappointing for us, because the department is working hard to develop a recovery plan for the species," he told CBC.

"We are trying to monitor man-made threats like seismic or vessel strikes and that kind of thing, and then to have a natural event like this happen, you really have no control over it and it's pretty shocking."


WATCH: Blue whales dead in ice.



On Tuesday, CBC reported that a dead sperm whale washed ashore near Trepassey, on the island's Avalon Peninsula.

Lawson said if the wind changes direction, the whales can be left in the ice with nowhere to turn.

"It's like putting a lid back on a cup — it just traps the animals in there, and if it keeps pushing it can kill them."

Last week, Lawson flew over the dead whales. He hopes to get a closer look at them later in the spring season.

Lawson said there have been reports of whales trapped and dying in sea ice in the area dating back to the mid-19th century. - CBC.


Mass Die-Off Of Bees Due To "Mystery Illness" In Ariege, France
What harm mysterious since this winter hit hives Ariege, causing the loss of about 20 % of the colonies , some operators ? Russier for Nicole Bertrand and Théry , a couple of beekeepers installed since 1980 in the valley of the Barguillère , above Foix, this massacre recalls another : that occurred in 2008-2009. They then lost half of their hives . For them, no doubt , residues treatments administered to the animals by farmers to fight against bluetongue were then responsible for the mortality of pollinators.

"This year , we have a sense of reliving the same kind of disaster, they testify . That to start late November and early December 2013. There were carpets of dead bees . This is an incredible massacre in some places where there were forty beehives, there remains more than one. "

Cold valleys were particularly touch ... - Le Monde. [Translated]


Humpback Whale Washes Up Dead In Ponte Vedra, Florida, United States
Dead humpback whale beached at Ponte Vedra Beach. FWC

A humpback whale has washed ashore in Ponte Vedra Beach near Mickler's Landing.

According to Nadia Gordon with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the humpback whale is 31-feet long and badly decomposed.

A crew from FWC was collecting samples from the body Saturday afternoon, and plans to anchor the whale overnight in order to complete the autopsy Sunday.

Gordon said humpback whales wash ashore in northeast Florida about once every 1-2 years, so it is somewhat rare.

Friday in Jacksonville beach a dead dolphin washed ashore in Jacksonville Beach. - First Coast News.


Snowy Owls Dying And Having Trouble Migrating North Due To Prolonged Cold Weather


It is time for many bird species to begin their spring migrations and Snowy Owls are among the many species that migrate. Although most birds migrate without any trouble it seems that more and more snowy owls are being found dead along their migration paths. While most ornithologists believe the recently reported Snowy Owls deaths are not related and only accidents, many are still studying the dead birds to be sure.

When a Snowy Owl wearing a GPS tracking device was found dead near Martha's Vineyard, many people became concerned and wanted to know why this bird and so many others were dying. Tufts University veterinary center and Norman Smith, who is an expert on Snowy Owls, decided to find out what caused the bird's death. They named the bird Sandy Neck.

The team examined the bird and released a report with their findings. The report said,

"The necropsy at Tufts showed no trauma except for a minor deep bruise in her left pectoral, no food in the proventriculus (stomach) or gizzard, and no signs of disease or unusual parasites. As Gus (Ben David) noted, she was in otherwise excellent condition - great muscle mass and fat deposits. Nor was there any water in the respiratory system. Mark Pokras (a veterinarian and professor at Tufts) said if he had to guess, she got swamped, swam to shore and went down from hypothermia - but also couldn't rule out drowning."

"Interestingly, the tracking data shows she was hunkered down for many hours Friday afternoon along the beach between Sengekontacket Pond and the ocean, then around 5 a.m. Saturday headed north over the bay. It looks like by 5:40 a.m. she was in the water, and I assume the movement after that - south a bit, up and around the top of the Island and then back - reflects tide and current, not the owl. So she might not have drowned, but simply died of hypothermia in the water. Looks like she came ashore about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday." And was found the next day," said Smith.

In many states, the cold is lingering longer than usual and although there have been several warm spells in the last few weeks, it could still be dangerous for migratory birds to make long flights. If they get caught in cold weather during their migration, they may not know what to do to survive sudden cold spells. Smith and other experts believe this could be the reason so many Snowy Owls are dying during their migrations this year.

What do you think could be the cause? - Web Pro News.


Dead Juvenile Pilot Whale Found ON Searsport Beach, Maine, United States
Volunteer firefighters worked to move a dead juvenile pilot whale Friday morning. The whale, which weighed about 500
pounds and did not show signs of propeller damage, will be studied by researchers at Allied Whale in Bar Harbor.
Wayne Hamilton

Several Searsport volunteer firefighters responded to a plea Friday morning for a lift assist down at the town dock.

What they didn't know was that they'd be lifting a whale - a 500-pound dead pilot whale, to be precise.

"[They had] not a clue," Officer Mike Larrivee of the Searsport Police Department said. "They all showed up and said 'oh boy, what are we doing here?'"

The dead whale, believed to be a female, had been found Thursday at the beach at the end of Lobster Lane, just east of Moose Point State Park. A man walking his dogs found the animal and called to report it. Larrivee then got in touch with Allied Whale, the marine mammal research arm of the College of the Atlantic, which helps Searsport with seals or other marine mammals. But this was something different, he said.

"This is the first whale I've ever seen here, other than the ones on Bar Harbor whale watching trips," Larrivee said.

On Friday morning, Searsport harbor master Wayne Hamilton and Larrivee took a boat to the beach, and towed the whale very slowly by the tail fin back to the town dock, where they met Tom Fernald of Allied Whale. He brought a student with him to pick up the pilot whale, but they found they needed some help to get it onto the stretcher.

Enter the volunteer firefighters.

"The volunteer fire department was kind enough to help us pick up the animal," Fernald said later that afternoon. "They were just so helpful. This was a very fresh animal, in very good condition. It was terrible to see the animal dead, because it was in such good condition."

He said that it was unclear why the immature whale died. It did not appear to have propeller damage or other signs of human or boat interaction, Fernald said, and his students will do a necropsy on Monday to look for the cause of death.

"This will be an educational opportunity for us," he said.

Pilot whales are an offshore species of toothed whale common to the Gulf of Maine. They tend to live in large social groups and dine on mostly fish and squid. It's unusual to find one inshore in early spring, he said.

"Nobody's common this time of year. We don't see any cetaceans this time of year," Fernald said.

As part of the necropsy of the whale, his students will open up the animal to see whether they can find the cause of its death. Then they will flense its flesh down to the skeleton and bury that in a compost pile. Then, after a few months, the skeleton should be cleaned and ready to display or otherwise use.

"It's sad that it died," Larrivee said. "But it's great that the kids get to see this firsthand and learn from it." - Bangor Daily News.


Dead Humpback Whale In Albany, Australia
The carcass of a one-year-old humpback whale is removed from Middleton Beach. Stan Shaw

Authorities have warned beachgoers in Albany, on Western Australia's south coast, to exercise caution after sharks were attracted to the area by a whale carcass.

Middleton Beach was closed after the five-metre carcass, suspected to be a one-year-old humpback whale, was discovered this morning.

Heavy machinery was brought in to remove the dead whale from the popular swimming area.

Authorities believe it came ashore overnight whilst still alive, but died a few hours later.

Deon Utber from the Department of Parks and Wildlife said tissue samples from the whale would be taken for analysis.

"It was probably a calf returning from last season, it was obviously very malnourished," he said.

"A pod of humpback whales was seen out here this morning so this whale was probably from that pod.

"When this species becomes sick, they do come into the shore to die.

"The animal is taken off the beach, we take some samples and some measurements and it's then disposed of."

Multiple sharks spotted in popular swimming area

Multiple shark sightings and fears the whale carcass would attract more of the predators led to the closure of the beach.

One great white shark that had been tagged by the State Government's shark-monitoring network was detected in the area nine times in less than four hours.

The network, set up in 2009, involves the use of satellite-linked technology to track sharks fitted with acoustic transmitters off Perth and WA's south coast.

Signals are detected when a shark swims within 500 metres of an acoustic receiver and are tweeted by authorities to warn beachgoers.
Fisheries advise: tagged White shark detected at Ellen Cove, Albany receiver at 09:31:00 AM on 12-Apr-2014

- Surf Life Saving WA (@SLSWA) April 12, 2014
The program, due to expire in 2015, aims to gain a better understanding of when and why sharks visit particular locations.

Authorities have warned people to be cautious if they want to swim off the Albany coast for the next 48 hours. - ABC Australia.


Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Death Toll Tops 1,200 Since July 2013
Dead bottlenose dolphins at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center. University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center


The bottlenose dolphin die-off in the mid-Atlantic isn't over, a stranding expert told me this afternoon.

"It's still ongoing," said Blair Mase, NOAA Southeast region marine mammal stranding coordinator, who is based in Miami.

The migratory stock of dolphins is starting to move north and "we still have dolphins stranding at above-average rates" in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, she said.

In the Florida area, the strandings are "slowing down a little bit, which is good," she said.

According to NOAA Fisheries, the toll of dead bottlenose dolphins from New York to Florida has risen to 1,204 from July 1 to April 6.

That's preliminary data. And the death toll is 62 percent higher than during the last major die-off in 1987-88 and 6.7 times higher than the 2007 to 2012 norm for July 1 to April 6, according to calculations.

In the 1980s, it seemed like most of the dolphin strandings started to come to an end in the April-May time-frame, "so we're hoping that's going to be happening in this case but we don't know for sure" and surveillance will continue over the next few months, Mase said.




As the dolphins move north, experts have to "keep a close eye on North Carolina and Virginia to see what's going on there," she said. The last dolphin that tested positive in Florida was found in February, she said.

No dead bottlenose dolphins have been found in New Jersey lately, as far as she knows, NOAA Fisheries spokesman Maggie Mooney-Seus said in an email.

Mase said morbillivirus is still believed to be the main cause of the outbreak.

Cetacean morbillivirus is a measles-like illness, according to NOAA Fisheries. The investigation is ongoing and other factors that may have contributed to the die-off include other pathogens, biotoxins and expansion of the dolphins' range. - APP.



Recently Filmed Giant Oarfish Washes Up Dead On Mexican Beach
Rare: The giant Oarfish


The elusive 15ft oarfish was spotted swimming in shallow waters in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

A giant underwater creature which inspired stories of sea monsters has been filmed by a tourist - but sadly came to a fishy end.

The elusive 15ft oarfish was spotted swimming in shallow waters in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

Tour guides from Un-Cruise Adventures, who organised the expedition, were thrilled to get up close to the mysterious creature.

However, after briefly delighting onlookers with its appearance, the oarfish beached itself on nearby Isla San Francisco and died.
Oar might: Man lies next to giant fish

Lia Stamatiou, expedition leader for Un-Cruise Adventures said: "I learned about the oarfish as one of those fish you study but never see.

"Seeing it swim up to us on the beach I was completely stunned.

"It was one of the most surprising and beautiful animals I had ever seen, with fantastic iridescent blue skin and a vibrant red dorsal fin.

"The fish resisted attempts by our crew to orient and push it off the beach.

"Eventually it raked itself on the sand to the point of exhaustion, and the birds descended to finish the job." - Mirror.