Saturday, June 7, 2014

DISASTER PRECURSORS: The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior - TONS AND TONS Of Dead Fish Found In A Lake And River In Gunzenhausen, Germany; Masses Of Dead Fish Wash Up Again In Galveston, Texas, United States; Hundreds Of Dead Fish Wash Up On A Beach In New Jersey, Unted States; Over 2.4 MILLION Bees Found Mysteriously Dead In A Caidian District, China; 7 MILLION Piglets Dead During The Past Year From Disease In The United States; Thousands Of Dead Fish Wash Up In Xiamen, China; Massive Die-Off Of Fish In A Lake In Valkeakoski, Finland; Hundreds Of Dead Fish Line The Banks Of The Saluda River In South Carolina, United States; Mass Die-Off Of Fish Found In A Lagoon In San Juan, Puerto Rico; Hundreds Of Birds Die Suddenly Due To Avian Flu In Ponorogo, Indonesia; Thousands Of Dead Fish Found In A River In Uttoxeter, England; And Die-Off Of Bees Found Near Hives In Ontario, Canada! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

June 07, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

TONS Of Dead Fish Found In A Lake And River In Gunzenhausen, Germany
First, the small white fish died, but now even large fish have been found dead. Erwin Schwab

A mass death of fish in the About Head West on Altmuehlsee troubled sport fishermen and authorities. It is feared that the problem with the announced increase in temperature exacerbated the weekend. Already, up to six tonnes of bream, perch and pike but also have been found dead in the river.

The sports fishermen of Absberger fishing club are completely dissolved, because they feel the effects of fish dying immediately. Erwin Schwab Frickenfelden is fishing overseer of the association. He complained that the authorities "to watch for six weeks and do nothing." The focus of his criticism is the Water Authority Ansbach: "It could do something, but does not matter."

It is about the section of the Altmühl About Head west from the outlet of the lake in Altmühltherme Schlungenhof up to the inflow into the tunnel. In this approximately three-kilometer area Schwab and his fishermen friends have first determined the death of small white fish, in the last two weeks but also large fish are spotted lying dead in the water, and was taken from the waters. "There are now Zander of up to 90 centimeters long while," said Erwin Schwab excited. Chance of pike were also among the dead fish.

The sports fishermen of ASV Absberg every day on the spot. You have the waters leased from the three mill owners who had received awarded as part of the Lakes construction by the State of the fishing rights. 300 meters before the tunnel inlet Schwab took pictures to document the extent of the fish kill. He was there when the fishermen 85 dead walleye fished out of the over head at the level of Lüther factory ten days ago.

Having Mayor Karl-Heinz Fitz informed, concerted action has started last Saturday, at the fire department, the police, the Water Authority and the Fisheries Association of Middle Franconia were involved. The firemen were rolling with their pumps to the water, thus improves its oxygen content. The result was obvious lean, because the oxygen content has measurably improved only slightly.

The fish are starved

Thomas Liepold, the manager of the Water Management Office at Altmuehlsee in Schlungenhof has registered a light fish kills in over head in the spring of 2013. At that time, mainly Gyster, six to eight inches large bream, died. The instantaneous death does not take the officer to be taken lightly, but really satisfied with the already finished inspection of fish by the fishing association, it can not be. While it was found no virus, but it is noticed that the fish had no food in the stomach, and are therefore simply starved. - Nord Bayern.  [Translated]

Masses Of Dead Fish Wash Up Again In Galveston, Texas, United States
Photo: Alana Larson

It's happened again. More dead fish have washed up in Galveston County.

On Friday, we learned of more dead fish near the Kemah Bridge at Todville Road in Seabrook. This come nearly two weeks after fish first washed ashore near the same spot.

At the time, Texas Parks and Wildlife says the shad or bait fish are likely showing up dead because of oxygen depletion.

When the fish washed ashore the last time, within a couple of days, they had decomposed and were for the most part gone. - ABC13

Hundreds Of Dead Fish Wash Up On A Beach In New Jersey, Unted States
Fish kill in Cape May Point, New Jersey on June 6, 2014. (credit: Jo Armstrong)

Officials are investigating what caused hundreds of fish to wash ashore along the beach of a Jersey shore town.
According to State environmental officials, hundreds of fish washed up Friday morning in Cape May Point.

According to Larry Hajna of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, at this point, there is no reason to believe that the dead fish are washing up as the result of any environmental issue.

A preliminary investigation points to a broken fishing boat net that released the fish into the ocean in the southern portion of the peninsula.

Fish kill in Cape May Point, New Jersey on June 6, 2014. (credit: Jo Armstrong)

At this point, DEP officials said there are no plans to clean up the fish or gather them from the water. They said whatever is left on the shore will be washed back out with the tide.

There is no word on how far out to sea the fishing boat was.

The discovery is not impacting beach operations.

The investigation is ongoing.

WATCH: Hundreds Of Dead Fish Wash Ashore In North Cape May.

- CBS.

2.4 MILLION Bees Found Mysteriously Dead In A Caidian District, China
Pictured:  beekeeper checking his hives.

Yesterday morning, reporters in Caidian Yu Yin Zhen Yang Village, the two groups met outside the room beekeepers yellow soldiers arrayed hundreds of beehives, concrete floor next to the dead bee dense, weed also visible piles of dead bees . Huang Bing, he raised 130 boxes of Italian bees, four months after the canola flower to collect nectar Xiantao, before January return Yuxian, arrived in early June to prepare Dawu, take honey from the bars, only to depart yet Italian bees large number of deaths. About a week ago, there is sporadic Italian bees died Huangbing Gang started yet did not care, then more dead more Italian bees, now he had been dead for eighty percent of Italian bees.

Huang Bing surrounding beekeepers have encountered the same problem. Yang Village thirty-four mile away from the old Village Yonganzhen Caidian, Zhu Yuan beekeeping for more than ten years.朱玉安 said, each box there are about 28,000 Italian bees began to emerge from the week before dead bees, and has now lost Qi Cheng. He said, according to the loss of 20,000 per case basis, he lost up to 2.4 million Italian bees. "If we can arrive Dawu bullion flowers, 120 boxes of honey bees can collect 6000 pounds!" Zhu Yuan sad to say, his family lost several million.

According to statistics, around the damaged beekeepers reached 13, reaching more than 1,000 beehives box, all yearn to find out why beekeepers Italian bees dead.

Yesterday afternoon, the Bureau of Animal Husbandry Caidian technology promotion stations 周科长 interview with reporters, said that after receiving the reflected beekeepers, Huazhong Agricultural University has invited experts on-site investigation, experts believe that the suspected pesticide poisoning. He also said that if you want to find out the cause of death, to the dead bees to the Fujian Institute of Animal dissection laboratory.

Beekeepers say the recent few flowering plants and vegetables, wild flowers can not play pesticides, only a large area planted near cabbage flower, suspect with this. Caidian technology promotion stations 周科长 Animal Husbandry Bureau, said there are beekeepers believe that excessive pesticide cabbage flowers can be reflected to the District Agricultural Bureau. - Ifeng. [Translated]

7 MILLION Piglets Dead During The Past Year From Disease In The United States

There are hundreds of things to see, do, and talk about at the World Pork Expo this week in Des Moines, Iowa. But one subject eventually surfaces in virtually every conversation: Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, or PED. The nasty nature of this new disease has everyone talking.  A year ago at WPX, PED was a blip that had most pork producer’s attention, but no one could foresee just how quickly it would spread to infect half of all the sows in the U.S. And no one knew how destructive it would be in pig farrowing houses. Painfully, now we know. Here are some of the highlights and comments from numerous seminars and conversations about PED on just the first day of WPX 2014.  7,000,000 dead piglets. PED infects the sows, who typically pass the virus to their piglets through manure and none-to-nose contact. If the sows have had no previous exposure, they are unable to impart immunity to pigs through their colostrum. The virus unabatedly destroys the lining of the pigs gut, causing severe diarrhea and dehydration. For newborn piglets, that’s almost always deadly. Howard Hill, president of the National Pork Producer’s Council, says incidence estimates from Minnesota are that half of the U.S. sow herd has been infected in the last year alone. With 6,000,000 sows, that means 3,000,000 have had PED. While some sows lose 100% of their piglets, others survive, and on average the loss is 2.7 pigs per sow her year. Multiply that out, and the loss to PED is about 7,000,000 piglets, or 10% of the pig crop in the past year. About 1,300,000 pigs died from PED in January 2014 alone. “We can make up for some of the loss by better performance of the ones that survive, or less of other diseases,” says Hill. “And we can feed the survivors to heavier weights to make up for some of the tonnage loss.” 

Good news! It’s slowing down. There is good news about PED, and this might be the best example. There have been fewer reported occurrences of the disease in recent weeks. Like many viral diseases, incidence is always higher in the winter months – viruses thrive on cold. “The fact that number of cases is declining now is good news,” says Tom Burkgren, a veterinarian with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. “What we don’t know is if it will pick back up again when we get back to cold weather. On some farms, just when you think you got through a PED outbreak and can relax, mortality goes back up again 8-9 weeks later. We’ve got some herds that have been fighting a PED infection since January.” We know that getting immunity in an entire sow herd is important, he continues. “We’ve seen herds where the pigs from one sow will be OK, but the crate right next to her will have 30% loss of pigs. We have to get all the sows immune, and do good clean-up between farrowing groups. We may have to clean the farrowing pens better, and let a farrowing room dry out and sit empty longer between groups of sows.”  Vaccines coming. There is one on the market, and more are in development and could be available by fall of 2014, says Burkgren. They are still in testing stage, and they are showing moderate success. But they are not the total or final answer. The best answer now is controlled exposure of sows to the live virus to build herd immunity, then controlled traffic onto each farm and barn, and excellent biosecurity measures.  Like nothing before. Burkgren says one estimate he has seen shows just how concentrated and virulent the PED virus is: If you took one gram of PED-infected pig feces (about the size of the eraser on a pencil) and diluted it in 24,000 gallons of water, then gave that water to pigs, it would still make them sick. “We haven’t seen anything like this one before,” he says. Still, he says, there is no food safety issue or human health issue associated with PED. 

China connection?

The best guess is that this virus somehow found its way to North America from China. “We can only speculate about this,” says NPPC chief veterinarian Liz Wagstrom. “But the genetic makeup of the virus is of Chinese origin. There is just so much traffic from China with all the trade we do with them, it’s easy to see how it could happen.” There are two strains of PED seen in the U.S., and neither evolved here, she says.  How much is it costing us? If PED kills 7,000,000 baby pigs, the loss is the margin those pigs would have profited over variable costs, says Dale Polson, a veterinarian for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. If you put that number at as little as $50 per pig, the industry loss is at least $350,000,000.  How it feels to a farmer. Jay Gruber is the production manager for Northwind Pork in Indiana. Northwind has three sow farms totaling 6,500 sows, and all three have been through PED since last November. “With the first farm, I got a call on a Sunday afternoon that the pigs in one farrowing room had loose stools,” says Gruber. “By the very next day, it was in 20 rooms. For about two weeks, we lost just about every pig born. If they were one or two days old, they died within a day or two from the dehydration. The older pigs lingered longer, and some of them lived through it. ”

By the end of two weeks, Gruber had exposed sows in gestation to the virus, and those sows were able to pass immunity to the pigs. The losses slowed, then stopped. On the second and third Northwind farms to contract PED, Gruber says they had learned how to control exposure and get immunity in the sows, and pig losses were not nearly as severe. “With each outbreak, we got better,” he says. “I think the lesson from us is that you can contract PED, and get through it.”   Many unknowns. There was a report recently that a farm in Indiana re-broke with a bout of PED, after it was thought that all sows had acquired immunity in the first outbreak. But we really don’t know enough about PED to say for sure what is happening on PED farms, says Dane Goede, a University of Minnesota veterinary graduate student who studies the incidence of the disease. “I can’t say that I’m surprised that PED would come back a second time on a farm,” he says. “We don’t know enough to say if it is a re-break on that farm, or maybe the first break never really went away. This disease hits each farm differently. On some, immunity builds and PED goes away. On others, it lingers. At this point, we just don’t know what makes the difference.” - Agriculture.

Thousands Of Dead Fish Wash Up In Xiamen, China

Ms. Apricot seawall near the gates set to work from the start on Saturday, she found the gate of a dead fish inside the waters. "Listen to others, on Friday morning when he saw a lot of fish like dying, ups and downs, and later into the evening began to appear a large dead fish float to the surface of all." Ms. Yu said. The next day (Sunday), she saw the water is packed full of dead fish, and later was sailing to salvage.

Incident waters inside the gate, next to Xiamen Park Bo Yuan, the waters in the middle pulled two nets. Ms. introduction, when dead fish fishing boat is mainly outside the network, and from Na Liangdao network to the gate of this area is not cleaned up. Yesterday afternoon, the Herald reporter just went to the shore, it smelled very heavy stench. "These days it rained, so the taste is a little faded a little, it is stinking badly before Otherwise, we can not even open the window to work here." Ms. Yu said.

At this point, the water has almost no large tracts of dead fish, but near the shore of a corner, or the distribution of dense piece. These fish heads all look about the same size, there are twenty or thirty centimeters long, death after exposure, have all yellow smelly. Rough estimate, there are thousands of dead fish floating on the water. To this, Ms. deliberately hit 110, "but there is no one came to clean up." - SOHU. [Translated]

Massive Die-Off Of Fish In A Lake In Valkeakoski, Finland
Dead fish on the north end of Tykölänjärven 05/06/2014 Photo: Pirkanmaa Centre for Economic Development

Tampere Region Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for the attention of the fish came on Wednesday, the death is lower. The dead fish are ELY-center release, the same area as last time, ie the northern part of the lake, which Tykölänjärvi drops of malt in water.

Pirkanmaa Centre for Economic Development has been taking Tykölänjärvestä new samples on Thursday morning.

The earlier death of the fish samples taken from the results is not clear of anything that could explain the causes of death of fish. Water lake found only small amounts of DEET mosquito repellent, or a an active substance.

Concentration, however, was so small that it is not enough to kill the fish. The new results of the sampling will be completed early next week.

Water quality fish deaths within poor

Preceding the aftermath of the death of fish in the northern part of the lake water quality is poor and oxygen near the end. Elsewhere in the lake last week, water samples taken, the situation is normal.

Typically, the fish avoid areas with poor oxygen situation.

- In order to fish deaths, improve the water quality in the region, rainfall should become really abundant. Tykölänjärveen drops to only a few small stream, and longer lasting drought due to water exchange is very weak, says Ms Heidi Heino to the ELY Centre Bulletin. - YLE.  [Translated]

Hundreds Of Dead Fish Line The Banks Of The Saluda River In South Carolina, United States
An egret rest on the rocks on the Saluda River.  Photo: C. ALUKA BERRY

People walking along or paddling on the Saluda River on Wednesday were greeted by hundreds of dead blueback herring, the result of a rare early season fish kill.

The cause and the number of fish killed weren’t entirely clear Wednesday afternoon.

One possible cause: A large school of herring might have been sucked into the Lake Murray dam’s hydroelectric turbines and flushed into the river, according to Ross Self, chief of fisheries for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

S.C. Electric and Gas, which manages the lake and the hydro plant, also tested the dam spillway early Wednesday. Congaree Riverkeeper Bill Stangler says the timing of the kill and the spillway test makes that a likely cause.

Whichever the case, the cause seems to be related to operation of the dam or spillway, not to the water quality issues that often result in late summer fish kills, Stangler said. - The State.

Mass Die-Off Of Fish Found In A Lagoon In San Juan, Puerto Rico
Many fishermen felt that they could avoid killing
fish by deep cleaning the Caño Martín Peña.
(francisco.rodriguez @
Fishermen from the village of Harriers Association in the Cantera Peninsula in San Juan, were met with a sea of ​​dead fish scene have seen in the past. Some thought it was an isolated event, but now the event is repeated two to three times a year.

The Laguna San José has become the ultimate destination of thousands of fish who apparently die from lack of oxygen due to high pollution. Fishermen say that it is solid waste discharges and an accumulation of trash that has changed the topography of the shore.

"It looked like a garden of white flowers on the lagoon. The (last) Friday began ... They continued down to the stream and continued to accumulate on the shore. Die from lack of oxygen, "said the fisherman José A. Matos Peace, 67 years old and a resident of Barrio Obrero.

Many fishermen felt that they could avoid killing fish by deep cleaning the Caño Martín Peña. Among the dead fish had bream, snook, tarpon and other species.

"In recent years there has occurred a more ongoing basis. This is due to contamination, "said the fisherman Felix Bravo, 24, a resident of the community especially Boston Braves. - El Nuevodia. [Translated]

Hundreds Of Birds Die Suddenly Due To Avian Flu In Ponorogo, Indonesia
Spraying - One of the chicken breeders in Dusun Align, Valley Village, Sub Babadan, Ponorogo regency
began to implement penyeprotan disinfectant at cages chicken is widely
ION prevent bird flu attack, on Wednesday (06/04/2014).

The case of the discovery of dozens of chickens died suddenly in Hamlet Ngijo, Valley Village, District Babadan, Ponorogo began to spread to a number of other sub-district. If previously only in District Babadan directly adjacent to the District Dolopo, Madison County, this time extends to Lengkong Village, District Sukorejo, as well as in JL Jola - Joli, District Ponogoro.

However, so far only is manual handling and sporadic. Besides quarantined, spraying in the chicken coop, and given vitamins for healthy chickens belonging to avoid contracting the H5N1 virus or Avian Influenza (AI) it.

If earlier, dozens of chickens died suddenly in Hamlet Ngijo, this time started to expand into Hamlet Jajar, Valley Village, District Babadan. In fact, the sudden death of chickens have already reached hundreds of tails.

One chicken farmer, Sunarto (35) Hamlet Jajar, Valley Village, District Babadan said since the last few days, it's almost a hundred village chickens died suddenly. - Tribun News.  [Translated]

Thousands Of Dead Fish Found In A River In Uttoxeter, England

Thousands of fish have been found dead in a river near Uttoxeter and an environmental investigation is now underway to confirm the cause.

Angler Glen Pointon posted a tweet with a picture showing several dead fish on a riverbank near the River Tean.

He said: “It’s one of the saddest moments in fishing I have ever seen, a river I often fish called the river Tean, a tributary of the Dove has been polluted over the last 24 hours and killed every single bit of life in the river.

“Thousands of trout fry, grayling, huge trout, stone loach, bull heads are lying in their thousands all over the bed of the river. The Environmental Agency are there now. Gutted is not the word.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We are currently dealing with a fish kill on the River Tean.

“The incident was reported to us yesterday evening and our officers attended the scene shortly after.

“Today we are continuing to investigate the cause, checking and taking samples on the river upstream and downstream of where the incident occurred.

“We are still assessing how many fish have died but early estimates are in excess of 1000.” - Uttoxeter News

Die-Off Of Bees Found Near Hives In Ontario, Canada
Beekeeper Amsey McEown shows off a colony of bees as he prepares to ship hundreds of hives to New Brunswick from
an apiary near Aylmer, Ontario on Monday June 2, 2014. DeVries says only 10 to 20 percent of the pollen collecting
worker bees have been returning to their colonies. CRAIG GLOVER/The London Free Press/QMI Agency

They mistrust each other’s science. They couldn’t be more different in strategies or budgets.  But beekeepers, farmers and seed-sellers alike agree on this one thing: this could be the do-or-die year for a controversial corn-seed coating that’s been banned in Europe and is under close scrutiny by Canadian regulators. 

Apiarists say neonicotinoids — a class of pesticides similar to nicotine applied to seeds to keep specific insects from destroying key crops — are poisoning bees.  The seed and chemical companies (the ownership of both is intertwined) say neonics are stringently tested and it’s not their products killing bees.  The only thin strand connecting the two sides is the conviction that any repeat of last year’s bee deaths in Ontario could lead to runaway public backlash and a federal crackdown on neonics.  Federal regulator Pest Management Regulatory Agency has already mandated tougher rules for this planting season in an effort to stanch bee losses. It’s also planning an interim report for 2015, even as the European Union has already banned use of neonics. 

“This is a critical year. We understand that there’s a lot of public concern,” says Paul Thiel, vice-president in charge of innovation and public affairs at Bayer CropScience Canada that produces both the seed treatment and a new lubricant to keep neonic dust from getting into the air and soil.  “It’s an important year that we can demonstrate that modern agriculture and modern beekeeping can co-exist without one having undue impact on the other,” Thiel said.  That might already be too late because hives near cornfields have already been damaged, says Albert DeVries, whose beekeeping partner is Chris Hiemstra and co-owner of about 1,500 hives (about 4.5 million bees) near Aylmer.  Neither beekeepers nor chemical companies are keen on hearing the other group’s advice about how to manage their businesses, DeVries says.  “We are David up against Goliath,” DeVries notes. “But David did win.” - Chatham Daily News

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Volcano Report For June 7, 2014 - Peru's Ubinas Volcano Is Likely To Continue Its Eruptive Activity Next Week; Continuing Strombolian Activity At Italy's Mount Etna Volcano; Large Hot Lahars From Santiaguito Volcano Threaten Volcano Observatory In Guatemala; And Possible New Eruption At Kamchatka's Zhupanovsky Volcano! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

June 07, 2014 - GLOBAL VOLCANISM - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Ubinas (Peru): Peru's most active volcano is likely to continue its eruptive activity next week with ash emissions and occasional eruptions, government officials have said.

Ubinas volcano, in south-eastern Peru's Moquegua region. Photo: ANDINA/Difusión.

The ongoing process of the Ubinos volcano, in south-eastern region of Moquegua, is characterized by major plume of ashes as well as by volcanic gases and explosive activity. The above former activity is expected to generate harmful effects on farming and livestock raising activities in the area, the country's Geological, Mining and Metallurgical Institute (Ingemmet) said.

Likewise, the Peruvian agency announced an overall decrease in the volcano's daily seismic energy and a sharp decline in the number of explosions, lowering from more than 40 to 1 or 2 a day.

The monitoring agency said the Ubinas began erupting with new intensity this week, thus starting a continuous stream of massive volcanic rocks which are being spewed out over 1.2 miles.In view of this situation, Ingemmet decided to continue its orange alert, the second-highest alert level, and to keep prompting inhabitants of the towns of Querapi and Tonohaya to fleet their homes.

According to the monitoring activity hourly, Ubinas' current conditions is the eruptive process would be similar to that recorded over the last five centuries, which is low to moderate eruption.

Etna (Italy): No particular changes have occurred recently. Very sporadic and weak strombolian explosions continue at the summit vent of the New SE crater.

Strombolian explosion at Etna's NSEC past night (Radiostudio7 webcam)

Bocca Nuova also continues to produce sporadic ash emissions.

Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): A volcanic ash plume at 7,000 ft (2.1 km) altitude was observed this morning extending 20 nautical miles to the NW. (VAAC Darwin)

Santiaguito (Guatemala): The tropical storm Boris that has been hitting the country over the past days continues to produce heavy rainfalls that in turn cause large mud flows.

Location of the volcano observatory at Santiaguito (Image: Culture Volcan / Google Earth)

The large collapse of parts of the lava dome on 9 May has left significant amounts of hot debris at the foot of the volcano, in particular in the upper river bed of the Nima 1. These deposits are now being remobilized and descend the river beds as boiling hot mud flows that contain boulders, tree parts and other debris of up to several meters in size and are extremely destructive.

CONRED has issued warnings to avoid all areas near river beds and deltas.

The videos below were shot at Castillo Armas Bridge, located 20 miles away.

WATCH: The mudslide had time to mix with colder waters of the river, but the flow still steams due to the hot masses that were incorporated into the lahar:


Another consequence of the current lahars was that INSIVUMEH staff was forced to evacuate the Santiaguito Volcano Observatory, even though it is located approx. 100 m away and 10 m above the river bed. INSIVUMEH describes that the building was threatened by mud waves 5-9 m height, and that boulders of 5 meters in diameter could be seen carried by the flow.

Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka):  A possible new eruption could have occurred yesterday at the volcano, but it could not be confirmed so far. Based on a pilot report KVERT and VAAC Tokyo alerted about a possible ash plume rising from the volcano at estimated 6 km altitude. The alert status of the volcano was raised from green to yellow.

If the report is true, it would be the second eruption of the volcano within a relatively short time, the last being from 24 Nov past year. However, no volcanic ash plume could be detected on satellite imagery so far and it could well be a false eruption report.

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for June 7, 2014.

- Volcano Discovery | Andina

EVANGELII GAUDIUM: Priest Class Of The Magi's Deftly Orchestrated Blueprint To Maintain Power And Evangelical Relevance In Transition To The Age Of Aquarius - Pope Sacks Board Of Vatican's Financial Watchdog; Vatican Signs Deals On Financial Intelligence With Britain And France; And Islamic Prayers To Be Held At The Vatican For The FIRST TIME IN HISTORY!

June 07, 2014 - VATICAN - The following constitutes the latest moves by the Priest Class of the Magi, as Pope Francis continues the Vatican's Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), the orchestrated and radical mission of deceptive religious evangelization of the modern world, the veneered Magna Carta to maintain global world power in the furtherance of the white supremacy paradigm in the Aquarian Age.

Pope Sacks Board Of Vatican's Financial Watchdog
Getty Images

Pope Francis sacked the five-man board of the Vatican's financial watchdog on Thursday - all Italians - in the latest move to break with an old guard associated with a murky past under his predecessor.
The Vatican said the pope named four experts from Switzerland, Singapore, the United States and Italy to replace them on the board of the Financial Information Authority (AIF), the Holy See's internal regulatory office. The new board includes a woman for the first time.

All five outgoing members were Italians who had been expected to serve five-year terms ending in 2016 and were laymen associated with the Vatican's discredited financial old guard.

Reformers inside the Vatican had been pushing for the pope, who already has taken a series of steps to clean up Vatican finances, to appoint professionals with an international background to work with Rene Bruelhart, a Swiss lawyer who heads the AIF and who has been pushing for change.

Vatican sources said Bruelhart, Liechtenstein's former top anti-money laundering expert, was chafing under the old board and wanted Francis to appoint global professionals like him.

"Bruelhart wanted a board he could work with and it seems the pope has come down on his side and sent the old boy network packing," said a Vatican source familiar with the situation.

The new board of the AIF includes Marc Odendall, who administers and advises philanthropic organisations in Switzerland, and Juan C. Zarate, a Harvard law professor and senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank based in Washington D.C.

The other two board members are Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay, former managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and senior advisor to that country's president, and Maria Bianca Farina, the head of two Italian insurance companies.

Francis, who was elected in March 2013 after the resignation of former Pope Benedict, in February set up a new Secretariat for the Economy reporting directly to him and appointed an outsider, Australian Cardinal George Pell, to head it.

In January he removed Cardinal Attilio Nicora, a prelate who played a senior role in Vatican finances for more than a decade, as president of the AIF and replaced him with an archbishop with a track record of reform within the Vatican bureaucracy.

He also replaced four of the five cardinals in the commission that supervises the Vatican's troubled bank, known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR).

Since the arrival of Bruelhart in 2012, the AIF has been spearheading reforms to bring the Vatican in line with international standards on financial transparency and money laundering. But Vatican sources say he has encountered resistance from an old, entrenched guard.

A report last December by Moneyval, a monitoring committee of the Council of Europe, said the Vatican had enacted significant reforms but must still exercise more oversight over its bank.

Francis, who has said Vatican finances must be transparent in order for the Church to have credibility, decided against closing the IOR on condition that reforms, including closing accounts by people not entitled to have them, continued.

Only Vatican employees, religious institutions, orders of priests and nuns and Catholic charities are allowed to have accounts at the bank. But investigators have found that a number were being used by outsiders or that legitimate account holders were handling money for third parties.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a former senior Vatican accountant who had close ties to the IOR, is currently on trial accused of plotting to smuggle millions of dollars into Italy from Switzerland in a scheme to help rich friends avoid taxes.

Scarano has also been indicted on separate charges of laundering millions of euros through the IOR. Paolo Cipriani and Massimo Tulli, the IOR's director and deputy director, who resigned last July after Scarano's arrest, have been ordered to stand trial on charges of violating anti-money laundering norms. - CNBC.

Vatican Signs Deals On Financial Intelligence With Britain And France
Voice of Russia/Ekaterina Sinitsyna-Santoni

The Vatican announced on Saturday that its financial crimes watchdog had signed cooperation deals with Britain, France and four other nations - Malta, Poland, Romania and Peru. A statement said that under the agreements, the Financial Intelligence Authority agreed to "exchange of financial information to fight money laundering and combat terrorist financing".

Similar deals are already in place with nine other countries, including Italy, Germany and the United States. Last year, the AIF was admitted into the Egmont Group, a worldwide association of financial regulators. In recent years, the Vatican has acted on international pressure to clean up its act in financial matters.

Its bank, the Institute for Religious Works, had for decades been accused of being a money laundering hub for criminals and tax evaders. Earlier in the week, Pope Francis overhauled the membership of the five-member panel that oversees the AIF. He replaced five veteran Italian counsellors with a more international ensemble, comprising four non-Italians.

Juan C Zarate, a Harvard Law School professor and a former US government official under president George W Bush, was among the new appointees. He served as deputy national security advisor from 2005 to 2009. Last month, Francis pledged "honesty and transparency" in Vatican economic affairs, adding that allegations of misconduct against former secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone were being reviewed.

Bertone, who was the second-highest in command during the papacy of Benedicy XVI, is suspected of leaning on the IOR to bail out a media firm owned by a friend, in a trade that reportedly caused a 15-million-euro (20.5-million-dollar) loss to the bank. - VOR.

Islamic Prayers To Be Held At The Vatican For The First Time In History
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) welcomes Pope Francis upon Francis' arrival to
the West Bank town of Bethlehem, May 25, 2014. (Reuters)

For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Francis issued the invitation to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit last week to Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas, Peres, and Francis will be joined by Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious leaders, a statement released by Peres’s spokesperson said, according to the Times of Israel.

Holy See officials on Friday said the evening prayers would be a “pause in politics” and had no political aim other than to rekindle the desire for Israeli-Palestinian peace at the political and popular level, according to the Associated Press.

Low expectations

The Vatican will broadcast a live feed of the event to viewers across the world.

However, expectations for the event should be kept low, according to Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the custodian of Catholic Church property in the Holy Land.

[No-one should think] “peace will suddenly break out on Monday, or that peace is any closer,” AP reported him as saying.

On Friday, the Pope met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and discussed ways of promoting peace and stability in Asia the Vatican said in a statement. - Al Arabiya.

GREAT DELUGE: Flash Flooding Hits Northern Afghanistan - Killing Over 50 People!

June 07, 2014 - AFGHANISTAN - Flash floods have killed more than 50 people in northern Afghanistan, washing away hundreds of houses and forcing thousands to flee, provincial authorities said on Saturday.


"Heavy torrential rains followed by flash floods have killed more than 50 people in Guzargah-e-Nur district of Baghlan province," Mahmood Haqmal, spokesman for the provincial governor, told AFP.

"We have recovered more than 50 bodies from the rubble, including the bodies of women and children, but many others are still missing," Haqmal said.

It was an initial death toll, he said, warning it could rise.

Guzargah-e-Nur district governor Noor Mohammad Guzar told AFP the death toll was 66.

"Yesterday's floods have destroyed four villages, and washed away 2,000 residential houses, agricultural fields and also killed thousands of cattle," Guzar added.

Last month a landslide triggered by heavy rains buried a village in a remote area of northeast Badakhshan province killing at least 300 people.

The May 2 disaster in left hundreds of families homeless in Argu district of the mountainous province which borders Tajikistan, China and Pakistan.

The floods and landslides follow recent severe flooding in other parts of northern Afghanistan, with 159 people dead and 71,000 people affected by floods in Jowzjan, Faryab and Sar-e-Pul provinces.

Flooding and landslides often occur during the spring rainy season in northern Afghanistan, with flimsy mud houses offering little protection against rising water levels and torrents of mud.   - VOR.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - That Giant Sucking Sound Is Russia Yanking Its Money From United States Banks; BILLIONS Withdrawn In Response To Western Sanctions!

June 07, 2014 - GLOBAL ECONOMY US Banks enjoyed more or less steadily climbing, or rather soaring, deposits by Russian institutions and individuals, having tripled in just two years to $21.6 billion by February, according to the US Treasury.

It may seem a bit counterintuitive that in times of ZIRP anyone would put any money in any US banks, and it may seem even more counterintuitive that Russians who have other opportunities with their money would voluntarily subject themselves to the Fed’s financial repression.

But from the Russian point of view, earning near-zero interest on their deposits in the US and losing money slowly to inflation must have seemed preferable to what they thought might happen to their money in Mother Russia. Money that isn’t nailed down has been fleeing Russia for years, even if it ends up in places like Cyprus where much of it sank into the cesspool of corruption that were the Cypriot banks, which finally collapsed and took that Russian money down with them. By comparison, the US must have seemed like a decent place to stash some liquid billions.

But in March, the Ukrainian debacle burst into the foreground with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, which wasn’t very well received in the West.
The US and European governments rallied to the cause, and after vociferously clamoring for a sanction spiral, they actually imposed some sanctions, ineffectual or not, that included blacklisting some Russian oligarchs and their moolah.

So in March, without waiting for the sanction spiral to kick in, Russians yanked their moolah out of US banks.
Deposits by Russians in US banks suddenly plunged from $21.6 billion to $8.4 billion. They yanked out 61% of their deposits in just one month! They'd learned their lesson in Cyprus the hard way: get your money out while you still can before it gets confiscated.

They certainly didn’t wait long to move the bulk of their money to other jurisdictions, those they believe perhaps erroneously to be beyond the reach of the long and sinewy arm of the US government.

Will Russians bring their deposits in US banks to zero? The Treasury will publish the April numbers in a few weeks, but zero seems unlikely because they’ll need some pocket money to operate in the US.

Is this Russian run on American banks going to cause the collapse of the US financial system? Or at least of a bank? Or at the very least make that bank shudder at its foundations? Um.... These $21.6 billion in deposits represent about 1% of the nearly $2 trillion in foreign non-negotiable deposits at US banks and an even more minuscule share of domestic deposits, some of which end up parked at the Fed as excess reserves. Heck, the Fed, in its infinite wisdom, printed $4 trillion over the last five years, so that measly $21.6 billion isn’t even a rounding error on that scale.

Not that these sanctions are working all that well.
Despite moves by the West to isolate Russia, ExxonMobil, BP, Total, and other oil majors are doubling down in Russia; they just signed mega-contracts with state-owned Russian oil companies – sanctions be damned. Read.... Exxon, BP Defy Obama; Extend Partnership with Russia - Zero Hedge.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy - CDC Confirms 4th United States Case Of Mad Cow Disease After Texas Man Dies!

June 07, 2014 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - Mad cow disease -- the fourth confirmed case in the U.S. -- is responsible for the death of a Texas man, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

A fourth case of mad cow disease has been confirmed in the U.S. The disease is believed to come from eating beef
from cows infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. (Brendon Dlouhy / Edmonton Sun / Associated Press)

The variant CJD, as it’s medically known, was confirmed by experts after a sample of the man’s brain tissue was analyzed.

No specifics on the victim or when he died were released.

“The history of this fourth patient, including extensive travel to Europe and the Middle East, supports the likelihood that infection occurred outside the United States,” the CDC said in a statement.

The disease is a rare, degenerative fatal brain disorder in humans that is believed to be caused by eating the meat of cows with the disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy, according to the CDC.

The disease in humans is more prevalent in Europe. The majority are in Britain, which has had 177 confirmed cases since the disease was discovered there in 1996, and France, with 27, the CDC reports. - LA Times.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Extreme Weather Anomalies - Following Record-Breaking Late May Heatwave, Hail, Record Rainfall And Landslides Destroy Crops, Damage Thousands Of Homes In Northeast China; Death Toll Rises To 27!

June 07, 2014 - CHINA -  Alerts were raised for southern and north-eastern China Saturday after the death toll reached 27 with two missing from this week's heavy rains.

East News/Shen shi - Imaginechina/FOTOLINK

Ten people died in the southern province of Guizhou and nine in the south-western city of Chongqing. Neighboring Sichuan province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region suffered three deaths each.

The National Meteorological Center warned students taking college entrance exams to leave home early to make sure they arrive on time, as up to 80 millimeters of rain was expected over the weekend in certain regions.

Hail, floods and landslides wreaked havoc across southern areas. The weather bureau also expanded its warnings to include northern provinces of Liaoning and Jilin, as well as the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

The National Commission for Disaster Reduction announced that 239,000 people had been relocated and 116,000 were in urgent need of basic living necessities.

The picturesque Guangxi region was hit hardest, with thousands of residents facing water and power outages. Luzhai county suffered its highest rainfall in 30 years - 326 millimeters in 31 hours - Xinhua news agency said.

Primary schools cancelled classes in Fengshan county, where 480 students had to be evacuated after flooding reached up to 1.8 meters deep, Xinhua said.

The storms toppled more than 9,700 houses, damaged 55,000 homes and destroyed 19,400 hectares of crops, it said. - VOR.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - 25 FOOT DEEP Sinkhole Threatens To Swallow Up Muskingum County Homes In Ohio! [PHOTO+VIDEO]

June 07, 2014 - OHIO, UNITED STATES - A sinkhole that threatens to swallow someone's home in a former mining area doesn't come along that often, an Ohio Department of Natural Resources official says.

Mine subsidence caused this sinkhole in Muskingum County. Authorities will try to pull Mike Lane’s home
to safety today. Meanwhile, Lane and his family aren’t allowed into the home to retrieve belongings.

Barbara J. Perenic | Dispatch

But when it does, it's a doozy.

The department, which regulates mining and abandoned mines, has workers at the scene of a 25-foot-deep, half-acre-wide sinkhole that has opened on a small country lane near White Cottage in Muskingum County.

A state-hired contractor will try again today to carefully pull Mike Lane's mobile home back along Stiers Lane before it slides into the sinkhole that opened on Wednesday. The effort was aborted yesterday because the ground was too wet from recent rains.

WATCH: Raw Video - Sinkhole in Muskingum County.

The home was close to sliding into the hole yesterday, as Lane looked on in disbelief and frustration. His home is one of about eight along the lane.

Subsidence problems are one of the remnants of Ohio's mining heritage. Subsidence is an ongoing issue for the department, whose Division of Mineral Resources Management administers the Abandoned Mine Lands Program.

Because more than 600,000 acres in eastern Ohio have been mined for coal, mine subsidence is a challenge. In the last 35 years, Ohio has spent tens of millions of dollars in state and federal money to shore up land left unstable by old mines.

The department is now using an emergency grant from the federal government to put Lane, his wife and their four children in a Zanesville hotel and to pay for the relocation of their mobile home.

Others along Stiers Lane are staying put, however, despite the state's recommendation that they leave.

The problem is that the length of Stiers Lane is over an abandoned limestone mine that shut down in the early 1980s when the company went bankrupt, said ODNR spokesman Mark Bruce, who said that sinkholes, like the one threatening to consume Lane's home, are rare.

Lane, 32, who does not have homeowners insurance, was prohibited from entering his home at 5265 Stiers Lane yesterday for safety reasons, so he could not retrieve any of the family's belongings.

State mining officials have been concerned about mine subsidence in the area since a sinkhole opened behind Lane's mobile home in March. Since then, the state has spent up to $40,000 filling that sinkhole with gravel and other material, Bruce said.

Lane sent his wife and kids to stay with his in-laws in Zanesville after the first sinkhole opened. He stayed behind to keep an eye on the mobile home until the second sinkhole opened and state officials denied him access for his own safety.

"Everything's in there," Lane said yesterday. "That property is done, basically, and I ain't got two dimes to rub together to go anywhere." Lane is unemployed.

Lane's mother, Darlene Lane, who also lives on Stiers Lane, said Muskingum County deputy sheriffs came out Wednesday evening and urged them to leave as a precaution. She and other neighbors said they were staying for now.

Darlene said her father, James Landerman, had purchased all of the Stiers Lane property in 1962 and sold it to various family members. She said they were unaware of any mine-subsidence dangers.

Mike and Darlene Lane wonder whether the state was at fault for not performing proper reclamation work after the limestone mine closed.

Bruce said that since it was an underground mine, not a surface mine, there was no reclamation work to be done. The state was unaware of any problems until the first sinkhole opened, he said.

The entire mine is under an estimated 300 acres, mostly owned by American Electric Power, which could have subsidence problems, Bruce said.

Now, the state is trying to determine whether the subsidence problems along Stiers Lane can be fixed

"These homes are over the mine, so the potential for something to happen exists," Bruce said. " We are working diligently on that long-term solution." - The Columbus Dispatch.

FIRE IN THE SKY: The Latest Fireball Sightings - Fireball Seen Over Ontario, Canada As "Bright As The Moon" And "Huge" Fireball Seen Over At Least 5 American States, Likely Meteorites Fell In Wyoming! [MAPS]

June 07, 2014 - SPACE - The following constitutes the edited initial meteor reports from the Lunar Meteorites Hunters of two of the latest incidents of fireball sightings across North America.

Fireball Seen Over Ontario, Canada As "Bright As The Moon"
Lunar Meteorites Hunters/Google Earth

Initial Meteor Sighting Report

June 6, 2014 - Edsel Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Time was 10:05pm. It lasted for 3-4 seconds. It was light yellow and bright as the Moon. Yes, it had one large piece and one small piece trailing behind it.

June 6, 2014 - Donald Johnston Georgetown, Ontario, Canada. Time was 10:30pm. It lasted 2-4 seconds and was moving slightly southwest to slightly northeast. The object was blue/white/amber and brighter thand the Moon. It broke apart and then stop emitting light before horizon.

June 6, 2014 - Doug Stoney Creek, Canada. Time was 10:05. It lasted for about 1second. The object was moving south to north. It had a bright lime green popsicle colour. There was a faint sound accompanying its flight. It seemed as if it went down into Lake Ontario, about 10 miles north of me about a third of the way across the lake to Toronto. It was about 10 times the size of an airplane at that distance.

"Huge" Fireball Seen Over At Least 5 American States, Likely Meteorites Fell In Wyoming
Lunar Meteorites Hunters/Google Earth

Initial Report

June 5, 2014 - Matt Bellvue, Colorado.   Time was 9:21pm MST. It lasted between 8-10pm? Object was moving south to north, I was facing east. It moved right to left. The color was white, with a  red hue at peak. It was brighter than Venus. It left a large trail but no fragments were observed, from its very flat trajectory. Tried for photo, but it moved too quickly.

June 5, 2014 - Ben Weeks Livermore, Colorado. The time was about 9:22 pm MST. The fireball lasted 3 seconds? It was moving east to west and I was looking north. It was a huge, falling star. The largest I have ever seen by far, maybe ten percent of the size of the full Moon, relative to my perspective. I am in northeast Colorado, 30 miles from Wyoming. It was north of me, traveling east to west. It was very, very bright. The size were nothing like I have ever seen and I am over 50 years old. To be specific, large object had what appeared to be green fire, swirling around it.  There was no fragmentation. It was an incredible sighting. I will never forget it.

June 5, 2014 - Chris Perry Loveland. The time was around 10:24pm MT. It lasted 5-7 seconds and was moving right to left in northerly direction. The object appeared to be pink/blue. There was no sound. It was as bright as the Moon. No fragmentation was observed.

June 5, 2014  - Dane Andersen Sioux Falls, SD. The time was about 10:00pm. The flight was about 15 seconds. The object was moving in a southeast to northwest direction. I was facing the west. It had a sparkling tail and made no sound. I would say that it was about as bright as the Moon. This is my first supposed meteor sighting and I was awestruck. I haven't seen anything quite like it before, with its particular size, speed, distance, and appearance.

- Lunar Meteorites Hunters.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: MERS Contagion - Pilgrims Pour Into Saudi Arabia Undeterred By MERS Fears; WHO Experts Find Hospital Breaches Worsened MERS Outbreak In The United Arab Emirates; Two Utah Residents Tracked After Coming In Contact With The Virus!

June 07, 2014 - MIDDLE EAST - Muslim pilgrims from around the world are pouring into the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, undeterred by the spread of the MERS virus which has killed 284 people in the kingdom.

Pilgrims Pour Into Saudi Arabia Undeterred By MERS Fears

The mysterious Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is considered a deadlier but less transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that appeared in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.

MERS first appeared in Saudi Arabia in April 2012, and the kingdom remains the worst-hit country, accounting for the bulk of a global death toll.

But the faithful who dream of visiting the holy shrines in Mecca and Medina at least once in their lives continue to pour into Mecca to perform the lesser umrah pilgrimage. "We have received warnings by authorities in our country about MERS and were informed of the importance of taking precautions," said 45-year-old Abdullah, a pilgrim from Malaysia

Wearing a mask, Abdullah said he applies disinfectants as he enters the Grand Mosque in Mecca. "God will protect me," he said.

More pilgrims are expected to arrive with the approach of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which starts late in June, and sees hundreds of thousands descend on Mecca for umrah.

But numbers will rocket when pilgrims arrive for hajj, the largest annual religious gathering worldwide, which takes place this year in October.

Local authorities in Mecca are distributing leaflets and brochures containing advice on hygiene and measures to prevent the risk of infection by the coronavirus.

Tunisian pilgrim, Safia Bin Mohammed shrugged off the fears of MERS.

"I am not afraid of the coronavirus," she said, pointing out that it is not always easy to get a visa to perform pilgrimage.

"It was not easy to come here, so I couldn't have postponed my pilgrimage," said the 56-year-old woman, insisting she was "complying with the medical precautions."

 (AFP Photo/STR)

 (AFP Photo/STR)

In a preemptive measure to avoid a potential importation of the virus, Tunisian authorities have advised nationals to postpone their plans for pilgrimage this year.

The virus has been imported to more than a dozen other countries.

All of those cases relate to people who became ill while in the Middle East, with some involving pilgrims travelling to the Muslim holy sites in western Saudi Arabia.

Last year, five million pilgrims visited the kingdom for umrah and hajj.

This year, the number of umrah pilgrims has reached 4.8 million since the start of the lunar Muslim calendar in October, according to official statistics.

Fears mounted in April when several cases of infection were registered in the western city of Jeddah after MERS had been largely confined to Eastern Province, where it first appeared in April 2012.

The port city of Jeddah, which lies 80 kilometres (51 miles) north of Mecca, is the main entry point for pilgrims.

But Saudi Arabia's hajj ministry has not yet taken any special measures related to MERS.

The World Health Organisation has also so far not advised special screening at points of entry, nor does it currently recommend any travel or trade restrictions, including for the pilgrimage.

- Camel to human jump -

There is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission of MERS, according to WHO.

MERS has now killed 284 people out of 691 infected in Saudi Arabia since it first appeared.

"We are complying with the instructions of the health authorities. The situation seems normal," said Murshed Ahmed, a Bangladeshi leading a group of 23 pilgrims from his country.

"The coronavirus has no impact on the umrah season," said Saad al-Qurashi, a Saudi who works for an agency specialised in religious tourism.

But the head of a similar agency, speaking on condition of anonymity, seemed more cautious.

 AFP Photo/STR)

A Saudi wears a mouth and nose mask as he works near camels at his farm on May 12, 2014 outside Riyadh
(AFP Photo/Fayez Nureldine)

"The hotel occupancy rate remains averagely normal for this time of the year, but we never know how the situation will evolve in Ramadan," he said.

Like SARS, MERS appears to cause a lung infection, with patients suffering coughing, breathing difficulties and a temperature. But MERS differs in that it causes rapid kidney failure.

Previous research has suggested that the virus has been quite common in camels for at least the past 20 years.

Researchers said Wednesday they have found the first direct evidence that MERS jumps directly from camels to humans. - Yahoo.

WHO Experts Find Hospital Breaches Worsened MERS Outbreak In The United Arab Emirates
The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus is seen in an undated transmission electron
micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Credit: Reuters/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Handout 

Lapses in hospital infection control measures exacerbated an outbreak of a deadly new viral disease which has infected more than 60 people and killed at least 10 in the United Arab Emirates, health investigators said on Friday.

Reporting the findings of a five-day mission to the UAE, experts from the World Health Organisation said, however, that they found no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission of new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

"The recent upsurge of cases in Abu Dhabi appears to have been caused by a combination of factors, including a breach in infection prevention and control measures in health care settings, active surveillance and increase in community acquired cases," they said in a statement.

First reported in humans in 2012, MERS causes severe and often fatal respiratory illness, with symptoms similar to those seen during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. Its around 40 percent death rate and reports of clusters of human-to-human transmission have raised concerns it may blow up into a pandemic.

So far, it has infected more than 800 people around the world, killing at least 310 of them. The vast majority of cases have been in Saudi Arabia, but there have also been sporadic cases and clusters across the Middle East and in Europe, Asia and the United States.

At the heart of the outbreak, Saudi Arabia has been criticised for its handling of MERS, which public health experts say could have been under control by now if officials and scientists there had collaborated more on studies into how the virus operates and where it is coming from..

In response, the Saudi health ministry says it has put in place new measures for better data gathering, reporting and transparency, including standardisation of testing and improved guidelines for labelling and storing samples.

Reporting on the UAE's handling of the problem, the WHO praised authorities there, saying they had been "following up diligently" on MERS cases, including conducting repeated tests to check when cases have been cleared of the virus.

"This data will make an important contribution to the risk assessment and to guide the health response internationally," said Peter Ben Embarek, who led the WHO delegation.

A six-strong team from the WHO and the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network were invited by the UAE to investigate MERS after an upsurge in cases there in April.

The team met experts from Health Authority Abu Dhabi, Dubai Health Authority and the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, and visited the hospital to which two-thirds of the country's cases had been be traced, it said, without giving its name or location.

"We are impressed by the amount of data and information generated during the investigation of MERS cases by UAE to help better understand MERS- CoV," Ben Embarek said.

"This knowledge is of utmost importance to the rest of the world to better discover the source of the virus and the routes of transmissions from animals to humans."

The Geneva-based U.N. health agency urged UAE health authorities to continue investigating MERS, including the source of infection, and to share new information as it is available.

"There is an ongoing need to share experiences and knowledge from all countries that have cases of MERS-CoV to better understand this emerging disease, including the role of animals in the spread of the MERS-CoV," it said. - Reuters.

Two Utah Residents Tracked After Coming In Contact With The Virus

Health officials confirm they have been tracking two Utahns who came in contact with the deadly MERS virus as they traveled.

The two Utahns live in Davis County, said Salt Lake County Health Director Gary Edwards, and they traveled on the same flights as a patient with Middle East Respiratory Virus (MERS) coming back from Saudi Arabia. They didn't find out until after their flight was over that their health could be compromised, he added.

“There have been three cases in the United States," Edwards said. "Two of those individuals flew; had multiple legs coming from Saudi Arabia coming back to the United States. There have been a few individuals who were on those flights.”

The first two cases in the U.S. were brought back by health care workers who were in Saudi Arabia. The first case of MERS in the U.S. was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on May 2, 2014, the CDC website said. The third person to get MERS, in the middle of May, came in contact with one of the original MERS patients.

Salt Lake and Davis County health officials were asked by the CDC to investigate them as they try to track how MERS operates. The two people in Utah have not shown any symptoms, which means they don't have the virus, Edwards said.

“What we learned from these few examples is that it apparently does not spread easily person to person," he said. "There has to be much closer contact, such as health care, or family members who are providing care.”

There is no cure for MERS and it is not known how long the threat will last. It first showed up in Saudi Arabia in 2012, the CDC reported. Symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath.

The virus kills about a third of those it infects. - KSL.

GREAT DELUGE: Massive Flooding And Landslides In Southern China - Eight Killed; Over 3,000 Homes Damaged; 80,000 Evacuated; Over ONE MILLION Affected! [STUNNING VIDEO]

June 07, 2014 - CHINA - At least eight persons were killed and over 3,000 homes damaged in heavy rains in southern China, flood control officials said today.

In the worst-hit Shiqian county in Guizhou Province, six people were killed and another one is reportedly missing after torrential downpour lashed for two days.

Deluge hit 33 counties in Guizhou, affecting one million people, more than 80,000 of whom were evacuated.

More than 3,000 homes were damaged. Power, water and communication services were also affected due to the rains.

WATCH: Deadly downpours deluge China, landslide destroys school site.


Thousands of tents, quilts and clothes have been sent to the affected areas, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Luzhai County in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region reported 345 millimetres of rain both yesterday and today causing landslides and floods. One person was killed in a house collapse.

In Sichuan Province, a 70-year-old villager in Tongjiang County, died after being hit by a mountain torrent on Monday.

At least 37 people died and six others remain unaccounted for in heavy floods last month. - Business Standard.

Russia, China To Combat Floods Together – Russian Emergency Ministry
Russia’s Minister of Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov.  © RIA Novosti. Alexei Nikolsky

Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations and China’s Ministry of Water Resources are to carry out joint operations aimed at combating floods under an inter-departmental memorandum on cooperation signed by the heads of the two ministries early Friday.

“Cooperation between our agencies is advancing successfully. We cooperate in efforts aimed at the elimination of emergency situations. The memorandum will allow us to facilitate all the procedures of mutual support and assistance and information exchange, while solving a wide range of issues on securing the safety of both Russian and Chinese citizens,” Russia’s Minister of Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov said.

Puchkov also came up with a proposal to set up a special working group tasked with the expansion and implementation of new technologies. “Of course, it would be very interesting to create a joint working group that could discuss projects focused, not only on the elaboration, but also implementation of new technologies. These could be modern approaches to bank protection and construction of engineering structures,” the minister specified.

Chinese Minister Chen Lei in turn stressed that China was ready to cooperate in this sphere. “I am ready to implement all the given directions of cooperation and enhance our business partnership with your colleagues, in particular in combating floods,” Lei said.

In late July 2013, southern regions in Russia’s Far East and northeastern China were hit by floods caused by steady rains. In August-September of 2013, Russia’s Amur, Jewish Autonomous and Khabarovsky regions were devastated by major floods.

Puchkov said that Russia would provide China with data related to the condition of riverbeds following a complex expedition conducted by the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations on the Zeya and the Amur rivers on June 9-16. - RIA Novosti.