Sunday, February 1, 2015

MONUMENTAL DELUGE: Widespread Flooding – The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Sea Level Rise, And Catastrophic Storms!

February 1, 2015 - EARTH - The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms.

Flash flooding hits Greece and Albania forcing evacuations

Huge waves hit a promenade at Floisvos suburb, west of Athens, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015.  © Yorgos Karahalis/AP

Flash floods caused by heavy rains have hit northwestern Greece and southern Albania, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of villagers Sunday and destroying a famous 18th-century stone bridge.

No casualties were reported in either country.

Heavy rains began Saturday in the northwestern Greek province of Epirus, prompting authorities to evacuate four villages and several isolated farmhouses close to the city of Arta.

By Sunday, at least four rivers had overflowed their banks, three of them near Arta and another closer to Greece's border with Albania. The Plaka Bridge near Arta also collapsed.

View of a flooded house in southern Gjirokastra city, 180 kilometers (110 miles) south of captial Tirana, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. Heavy rain and snow have swollen
rivers, flooding thousands of hectares (acres), hundreds of homes and blocking many roads in southern Albania, which borders Greece.  © AP

"The greatest problems are in the Arta area. But we have floods throughout Epirus, and problems from high winds and some flooding throughout Greece," a fire brigade spokeswoman told The Associated Press.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was at the Fire Brigade's emergency command center in Athens, where he urged government experts to go to the flooded areas and inspect the roads and monuments at risk there. Tsipras said he was "very sad" to hear about the Plaka Bridge.

In southern Albania, heavy rain and snow caused rivers to flood thousands of hectares (acres), hundreds of homes and many roads.

Police and army troops evacuated scores of flooded families and their livestock in the districts of Vlore, Fier, Gjirokaster and Berat, some 100-180 kilometers (60-110 miles) south of capital of Tirana, the Interior Ministry said Sunday.

Many areas in southern Albania had no power or water. Police urged residents to cancel travel plans and more intense rain was forecast to hit over the next few days. - CHRON.

Floods and mudslides strike Peruvian Amazon

Large parts of the Peruvian Amazon are under water after torrential rains caused rivers to burst their banks.

More than 3,000 families have been affected and a state of emergency has been declared.

Laura Westbrook reports.

WATCH: Floods and mudslides in Peruvian Amazon.

- BBC.

EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: "Fairly Rare Event" - Swaying Highway Lamps Were "Vortex-Shedding" In The Wind In Lofthouse, England!

UK weather conditions left lampposts swaying violently in gale force winds

February 1, 2015 - ENGLAND
- Britain's Highways Agency said the violent swaying of lamp posts in a video taken by a motorist driving in high winds was an example of "vortex-shedding."

Bob Hill posted a video on YouTube showing lamp posts swaying violently in the wind while he was driving Wednesday on M62 near Lofthouse, England.

The Highways Agency posted a comment explaining why the posts were swaying while other tall objects in the background, including other lamp posts, didn't move at all.

"This video shows 'vortex-shedding' -- when the natural frequency of a lamp column matches the speed of the wind. It only happens at certain wind speeds and is a fairly rare event," the comment read.

WATCH: Swinging lampposts.

- UPI.

DISASTER PRECURSORS: Omen – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Mass Animal Die-Offs, Appearance Of Rare Creatures And Warnings From Mother Nature!

February 1, 2015 - 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.

150 turtles found dead along beaches in Baja California, Mexico 

The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) detected the death of 150 specimens of sea turtle deaths during a tour conducted by Scammon Lagoon, located in Black Guerrero, Baja California Sur.

The agency reported that the probable cause of death of marine turtles of the species Chelonia midas agassizii was hypothermic, at the low temperatures recorded in the region by the cold front of the season.

In an area of ​​20 kilometers in the area known as the Auction of the lagoon area Profepa inspectors conducted the count and up information about the condition of the bodies and sought a possible source of contamination or evidence to determine the cause of death.

In a statement, explained that the turtles were found in an advanced state of decomposition, ie swollen, blown dry, so it was impossible to take samples for laboratory analysis.

It was observed that none had any kind of laceration or wound on the body, and most turtles were whole and some dismembered by scavengers such as coyotes.

According to the observed, marine specimens were several dead days as a sea turtle without life tends to submerge a period of approximately three to five days, until it begins the decomposition process, since the accumulated gases cause buoyancy body.

Subsequently, the tides throw the bodies blown to the beaches, where they are affected by scavengers and inclement weather conditions that preclude sampling to ensure their proper analysis.

The Profepa reported that this contingency in Scammon Lagoon, add three events mortality of marine species so far this year.

He recalled that on January 13, 14 corpses of gray whales were found plague that according to specialists of the Mexican Society of Marine Mammalogy (SOMEMMA) is not an extraordinary event with respect to records of previous years, so it was concluded that death was within a normal range for the area.

The same day another incident occurred in the area of ​​marshes Scammon Lagoon, where 16 turtles brown turtle species were observed; The cause of death was attributed to hypothermia due to low temperatures.

The Profepa stated that the hypothesis of deaths from cold is based on that sea turtles are ectothermic, ie, need heat from their environment and energy to perform basic daily activities such as moving from one place to another and digest their food.

A study by specialists on the causes of death of the loggerhead on the west coast of Baja California Sur refers to the death by paralyzing cold, whereby the juvenile and subadult turtles are likely to die by continuous and prolonged exposure to low temperature.

This can be commonly present in the water during the morning and can cause death especially migratory specimens.

The Profepa noted that the information collected in the field was made available to researchers from the Center for Biological Research of the Northwest (CIBNOR) to know precisely the causes of death of sea turtles in Scammon. Finally, he noted that in Mexico nest seven of the eight species of marine turtles: white or green turtle, brown, hawksbill, olive ridley, loggerhead, olive ridley and leatherback; all are in the category of "endangered" in the Mexican Official Standard NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010. - Pulso. [Translated]

Female killer whale found dead on beach in County Waterford, Ireland

A Killer Whale washed ashore at Saleens Beach, Tramore, Co Waterford. © Patrick Browne

Marine biologists are working to remove the body of a killer whale which washed up on a beach near Tramore in Waterford on Friday morning.

The five metre whale was spotted by a passerby who alerted members of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

It is believed the predatory mammal may have died of malnutrition and was dead before it washed up on shore.

"It's probably a youngish female, but its teeth are worn down which is kind of surprising. Looking at the teeth you'd think it's a very old animal," said Andrew Malcolm of the IWDG.

"When you see the teeth as worn down as that you would speculate that it could be malnourished, and that it wasn't getting enough to eat.

"It doesn't look particularly malnourished to me compared to some I've seen washed up, but we won't be able to tell for sure until after the postmortem," he added.

The large size of the creature means that it will have to be removed from the beach on a phased basis.

Members of the marine biology unit at Galway Mayo IT are currently working on extracting vital organs and blubber from the stricken animal. It is hoped its skeleton can be preserved and mounted in the local area following the postmortem.

"The cutting up of the animal would be done on the beach. If it was a smaller animal they'd probably stick it on a trailer and take it back, but because it's such a big animal stranded on the beach means that it will have to be done on-site," said Mr Malcolm.

Sightings of orca whales in Irish waters are rare and just 15 carcasses have been recovered from these shores over the course of the last century.
The last such record was at Tullaghan Bay, Co Mayo in 2010.

The whale's location has perplexed some, given that virtually all killer whale sightings occur along the west and south west coast. Indeed, the last sighting in the Dunmore East area was recorded four decades ago, according to Mr Malcolm.

He says that although a pod of nine whales regularly visits the waters off Ireland's west coast it is not thought the Tramore whale belongs to that group.

Saleen beach has been busy since the discovery was made with people visiting the site to look at the deceased animal.

"It's pretty mad down here, there's just a constant stream of people coming, taking selfies of themselves with the whale," said Mr Malcolm.

He also cautioned against any physical contact with the whale's remains, as it is not yet certain as to whether it died of some kind of contractible illness or disease.

Members of the IWDG are on site to protect the scene from vandals.

This follows the carving of names and initials into the body of a sperm whale which washed up in nearby Dungarvan two years ago. - The Irish Times.

Cougar attacks pipeline worker near Grande Prairie, Canada

Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers are currently investigating a cougar attack involving a pipeline worker south of Grande Prairie Friday.

According to Dan Laville, an Alberta Justice and Solicitor General spokesperson, at around 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30, a cougar attacked a male pipeline worker, approximately 90 kilometres south of Grande Prairie.

Laville says a co-worker came to the victim's aid and was able to stop to the attack. The workers called 9-1-1. RCMP officers responded to the call and shot a cougar near the scene of the attack.

The Fish and Wildlife officers that are investigating the incident are using DNA analysis to confirm the cougar shot is the same animal involved in the attack.

Both workers sustained injuries and Laville says the injuries did not appear to be life threatening. - Daily Herald Tribune.

Feral dogs kill 5-yr-old in Bareilly, India: Third fatality in a month of 10 attacks

In what is becoming a serious menace, wild dogs attacked and killed a child on Saturday afternoon in Baheri tehsil, making him the third fatality of such an attack in almost a month. Over 10 children have also been injured in wild dog attacks in the past month. Ironically, while the attacks are continuing, district authorities continue to quibble over jurisdiction issues.

According to reports, daily wage labourer Anis Ahmed and his 15-year-old son Mujammil, residents of Lakhanpur village of Baheri, had gone to work at a local brick kiln. After some time, Anis went to his fields. When Mujammil did not join him after a long time, Anis went out to search for him.

That was when he saw Mujammil being attacked by a pack of dogs near the brick kiln. He somehow managed to chase away the dogs by attacking them with a spade but was not able to save his son, who was declared brought dead at a hospital.

What's more, barely four hours after Mujammil was attacked, a group of dogs caught hold of 12-year-old Harish while he was playing in the fields in Jam Antarampur village, around three kilometres away from Lakhanpur. The injured boy was saved by locals and admitted to a private hospital where he was given anti-rabies injection by the doctors.

Though the incidents of attacks have increased in the last few weeks, the district authorities have not been able to figure out which department will take action against these dogs yet.

The forest department has reiterated that stray dogs do not come under their jurisdiction and they cannot take any action against them. Forest officials said they have advised villagers to kill the dogs in case of attacks.

In the past month, three children have been killed and more than 10 children have been injured in attacks by ferocious dogs. The attacks have been reported from some 15 villages located near the Kicha and Babul rivers in Baheri tehsil. The rising attacks have created panic among locals in the region but district administration and forest department have not yet taken any concrete steps to tackle this menace.

The forest department has been claiming that these are stray dogs which have become feral after eating animal flesh, blood and bones, which are mostly discarded from slaughterhouses. They claimed that they cannot act against the dogs as the issue does not come under their jurisdiction. "Three forest department teams in Baheri are informing the locals that they can kill stray dogs to protect themselves," said Dharam Singh, divisional forest officer (DFO), Bareilly. On being asked why the forest teams are not catching these ferocious dogs, Singh said, "Catching dogs is not a solution as they would trouble the locals wherever they will be released again."

The team of forest department, which was set up on Wednesday, has not yet sighted any dogs. "Our team stays in the area from morning to evening. They cannot stay there round the clock due to shortage of manpower in the forest department," added DFO.

On being asked what steps are being taken to tackle the problem, Pramod Kumar Yadav, circle officer, Baheri, said, "I am on leave and will join office from Monday. I will take action along with the help of the district administration."

Explaining the reason behind rising attacks by stray dogs on children, Dr Abhijit Pawde, veterinary scientist at Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) said, "Dogs are much more hungry in winters as compared to other seasons. They have started attacking children as they probably are not able to feed on their regular meat. At times in rural areas, children pelt stones at dogs when the dogs are having their food, who in turn attack them." - Times of India.

Elephants attack tourists' car in Thailand

A dramatic video has been posted online of a group of elephants charging towards a car in Thailand.

In the footage, captured by a Thai tour guide near Nakhon Ratchasima province late last month, a family of three elephants appear from trees at the side of the road and begin charging.

Who knew elephants could move so fast? Certainly not the tourists who seemed very calm until the huge animal was bearing down on them.

Tourists inside the car can be heard speaking in German and urging the driver to move quickly.

According to the filmer, the elephant was trying to defend its calf from the cars that were on their territory.

WATCH: Elephants charge tourists' car in Thailand.


 - Daily Telegraph.

3-year-old child attacked by family dog in Kaikohe, New Zealand

A child has been injured in a dog attack in Kaikohe.

The child was attacked by the family pet and rushed by family members to Kaikohe's St John Ambulance station on Tuesday evening.

A 3-year-old child has been injured in a dog attack at a Kaikohe home.

Police and animal control were called to the Tui St address.

St John Far North manager Ben Lockie said the child, whose injuries were described as moderate, was taken to Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa and from there to Whangarei Hospital.

Far North District Council field compliance manager Barry Webb said the dog, a registered American bulldog, was chained up and police were at the scene when the animal control officer arrived.

"It is now in the council pound while we await the family's return. We will then have an opportunity to get statements and discuss with them where we go to next," he said.   - NZ Herald.

Gull from northern oceans turns up for the first time in Odisha, India

Black-legged kittiwake

A black-legged kittiwake, a gull which is found in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans, has been sighted in Odisha for the first time. A team of Wild Orissa recorded the bird on Balasore coast last week.

Rissa Tridractyla, as the species is known, was spotted by bird expert Nanda Kishore Bhujabal and photographer Chinmaya Bhujabal in a water tank in the coastal district during a survey.

The team members observed the lone bird closely and took its photographs for analysis. The winged visitor had a white head and body; its back was grey and wings tipped with solid black. It had black legs and a bill which had dull greenish yellow colourations. Its distinct black legs and dull greenish yellow bill was what made it different from other gull species found in Odisha.

"Since this species is not mentioned in any bird manuals on India, it was a bit difficult to confirm its identification," said Nanda Kishore. While its physical features did not match with any gull species found in Odisha, literature available were examined and institutions were consulted which led to the conclusion that it was a Black-legged Kittiwake.

A cliff-nesting gull, named for its loud nasal 'kitti-wake' call, the bird is also seen on islands off the northern Russia and Norway, Canada, Greenland, western and northern Europe. Unlike most other gulls, the Black-legged Kittiwake spends most of the year far out at sea, usually out of sight of land.

According to Chinmaya, the bird was quite still rare in comparison to other species of the gull family. It was first recorded in India in Morjim, Goa in 2005 January. Subsequently, it has been sighted at Kadalundi, Alibaug, Maharashtra, Majuli Island, Assam and Chavakkad, Kerala. The state of Odisha now joins a very selected states in the country which have reported this species.

The new finding, Wild Orissa said, is significant for bird migration and ecology.  - The New Indian Express.

60,000 fish dead due to pollution in a canal in Leicestershire, England

Pollution kills 60,000 fish in canal

Up to 60,000 fish have died in a massive pollution incident on a five mile stretch of the Grand Union Canal.

They were poisoned by a suspected leak of farm slurry from waterside land somewhere between Kilby Bridge and Kibworth.

But action by the Canal and River Trust and the Environment Agency and Natural England has saved more than 100,000 fish.

They were alerted nearly four weeks ago after large numbers of dead fish were seen floating in the water.
 They closed the polluted section of the canal and started pumping air into the water.

They removed surviving fish northwards along the canal towards Bumblebee Lock, near Kilby Bridge.

A spokeswoman for the Canal and River Trust said: “In total we think about 50 to 60,000 fish died.

“ Thankfully we did manage to save more fish that we think have died. The numbers for this are in the region of about 100,000 fish.”
The trust’s acting waterway manager Neil Owen said: “It is going to take time for the fish stocks to recover but hopefully over time the fish relocated further along the canal will make their way back to this stretch of canal.”

Environment Agency incident commander

John Dronfield said: “While the incident resulted in thousands of fish deaths, the outcome could have been far worse.

“I’m pleased to announce that the vast majority of fish were saved and the Site of Special Scientific Interest on the Kilby-Foxton Canal was protected.”
The canal was closed to boats for three weeks and three days as the water was aerated to remedy some of the damage caused. Thousands of fish were plucked from the polluted stretch and moved to safer areas.

Fresh water was then pumped into the affected area from the river Sence and from further upstream in order to dilute the pollution until the water quality was back to normal.

He said an Environment Agency investigation team was seeking to identify and take action against any individual or business that contributed to the pollution. - Leicester Mercury.

ICE AGE NOW: Heavy Snowfall Hits Slovakia - Closes Down Bratislava International Airport, Caused Traffic Disruption And Road Closures Countrywide!

February 1, 2015 - SLOVAKIA
- An official in Slovakia says heavy snow has forced the closure of the international airport in the capital.

Veronika Sevcikova, spokeswoman for Bratislava's M. R. Stefanik Airport, says all outgoing flights have been canceled, while the incoming flights have been diverted to airports in neighboring Austria and Hungary.

Sevcikova says one incoming flights have been diverted to Linz, Austria, and three others to Budapest, Hungary.

She says it is not clear when the airport might be reopened.

The snow has caused traffic disruption and road closures all across the country Friday.
- Yahoo.

WATCH: Heavy snowfall hits Bratislava.

PARADIGM SHIFT: An Unprecedented "Chance For A New Start" - Croatia Writes Off Debts Of 60,000 POOREST CITIZENS!

February 1, 2015 - CROATIA - Croatian government have gotten creditors on board a plan to erase the debts of some 60,000 poorest citizens. The “fresh start” scheme targets less than 1 percent of the entire debt, but is hoped to boost the economy in the long-term.

The unorthodox measure was voted for by the government on January 15 and comes into force on Monday. To be eligible to participate debtors must have no savings or property, have a debt no greater than about $5,100 and live on welfare or an income of no higher than $138 per month.

"We assess that this measure will be applicable to some 60,000 citizens,"
Deputy Prime Minister Milanka Opacic said as he was introducing the bailout. "Thus they will be given a chance for a new start without a burden of debt."

Village of Bobodol, near Knin, in central Croatia (Reuters / Antonio Bronic)

Some $31 million worth of bad debts are expected to be written off by creditors who have signed up to the government’s scheme. Those include several banks, telecommunication companies, major utilities, several major cities and municipalities as well as the government’s own tax agency. None will be refunded for their losses.

The program would return access to bank accounts to about 20 percent of the 317,000 Croatians, whose accounts were frozen in July last year due to debts. The entire population of the small Mediterranean nation is 4.4 million.

"This is the first time that any (Croatian) government is trying to solve this difficult problem and we are proud of it,"
Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic told a cabinet session.

In addition to debt erasing Milanovic’s government is considering other measures to help its debt-stricken citizens amid the economic recession, which has been plaguing the country for six years in a row. Zagreb wants to follow the example of Bulgaria and fix a favorable exchange rate for mortgage loans taken in Swiss francs.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic (Reuters / Charles Platiau)

The Swiss currency was popular among lenders due to its long-running stability, and mortgage loans denominated in francs were popular in many Eastern European nations. But the economic turmoil in the Eurozone put pressure on the Swiss franc, which was pegged against the euro since 2011, when market volatility made investors rush to the Swiss safe-haven currency.

The pegging ended in mid-January, sending the franc’s value up 20 percent against other currencies. This led to franc-denominated debts costing much more for foreign borrowers.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Hungary Viktor Orban (RIA Novosti / Aleksey Nikolskyi)

Hungary was lucky to dodge the damage due to a program launched by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban in 2011, which forced a conversion of franc-denominated mortgages into the Hungarian national currency at a fixed rate. Banks operating in the country took the hit, but now the Hungarian government is celebrating saving its citizens from a hard fall.

Poland and Romania are considering a similar move, while Croatia has amendments to its Credit Institutions Act already floating in the legislature. - RT.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Massive Fire From A Brooklyn Storage Facility - Sends Huge Smoke Plumes Across New York City! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

February 1, 2015 - NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Huge smoke plumes from a six-alarm fire at a Brooklyn storage facility were pouring into Manhattan on Saturday as New York City firefighters battled the blaze amid high winds and freezing temperatures.

"It's a tough fire, and the weather is taking a toll on the firefighters," said Michael Parrella, a FDNY spokesman. "It's still very active."

Some 200 people including firefighters and emergency medical workers were on the scene. No injuries had been reported at the facility that houses mostly paper goods, Parrella said.

The initial call about the blaze came in at 6:28 a.m. Authorities plan to investigate its cause once the fire is under control. The area around the flames is closed to traffic.

Whipping wind is carrying large plumes of smoke over Brooklyn and across the East River into Manhattan.

WATCH: Firefighters are racing to contain a fire that has engulfed a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York.

"I smelled this burning smell and I looked up and saw all of this smoke billowing," Heather Schmidt, 33, told the New York Post.

Several residents wrapped scarves tightly around their faces to fend off the soot and smoke. - USA Today.

HUMAN DEVOLUTION: New World Disorder, Terrorism And False Flag Events - Islamic Militants Claims Beheading Of Japanese Hostage Kenji Goto!

People walk past television screens displaying a news program, about an Islamic State video showing Japanese captive Kenji Goto, on a street in Tokyo
(Reuters / Yuya Shino)

February 1, 2015 - MIDDLE EAST - Islamic State militants have beheaded captive Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, after Tokyo’s negotiations with IS reached a “deadlock.” The gruesome video of the execution appears to be genuine, Japan said, vowing justice for those responsible.

The horrifying video shows a hooded man standing over another man – apparently Goto – with a knife held to his throat. It then shows footage of a body with a head placed on it.

Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said the video appears to be genuine. The comment comes after a meeting of ministers, where Tokyo police representatives said the footage had a “high degree of credibility.”

Earlier on Saturday, Yasuhide Nakayama – the head of Tokyo’s emergency response team in the Jordanian capital of Amman – told journalists that there had been no progress in attempts to negotiate the release of Goto and Maaz al-Kassasbeh, a first lieutenant in the Jordanian Air Force.

In the clip, the man – who calls himself Jihadist John and speaks in English with a British accent – addresses the Japanese government, blaming Tokyo for the slaughter. He said that Japan started an “unwinnable war,” and threatened its government with more violence.

People holding placards take part in a vigil in front of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, January 30, 2015.(Reuters / Toru Hanai)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has condemned the “inhumane and contemptible act of terrorism,” promising to “never forgive these terrorists.”

"Japan will work with the international community to bring those responsible for this crime to justice,"
Abe added in brief statement to journalists.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has also condemned the atrocity, saying he "cannot help feeling strong indignation that an inhuman and despicable act of terrorism like this has been committed again."

Jordan on Sunday condemned the killing of Goto. The IS demanded the release of a female terrorist from a Jordanian prison in exchange for the hostage. Jordan was involved in negotiations with the jihadists.

"The Jordanian government strongly condemns the execution of the second Japanese hostage by the terrorist organisation Daesh,"
Jordan's government spokesman told state media, using a pejorative Arabic acronym for the group.

The government in Amman reiterated that it was still offering to swap a Jordanian pilot for an Iraqi prisoner connected to the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, the United States is “standing together with a broad coalition of allies and partners” and will continue taking “decisive action to degrade and ultimately destroy [the Islamic State]," President Obama promised.

"The United States condemns the heinous murder of Japanese citizen,"
Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

Previously, Tokyo agreed with the militants on an exchange of Goto for Sajida al-Rishawi, the Iraqi woman who killed 60 people in a 2005 Jordan bombing. A Jordanian government spokesman has also said that Amman is prepared to free Rishawi if its pilot is freed in return. Al-Kasasbeh was captured by the Islamic State in late December after his plane came down during an air raid by the US-led coalition.

Goto was captured by IS militants in October 2014 when he returned to Syria to search for his friend, Japanese national Haruna Yukawa. The latter was taken hostage by extremists in August.

On January 20, the militants published a video on several jihadist websites showing the two Asian men wearing orange fatigues and standing on their knees, while a masked man in black holds a knife. In the video, the militant group demands a $200 million ransom to be paid for the hostages' lives within 72 hours – the same amount of money that Japan had pledged to pay to the US-led campaign against IS.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he will stand by his country’s commitment not to pay ransoms, adding that “this policy is unshakable and we won’t change it.”

As the 72 hours expired, IS released a video where Goto shows a picture of the beheaded body of his fellow captive on January 24. In the message addressed to the Japanese government, Goto said that the jihadist group now wants the release of Iraqi suicide bomber Rishawi. - RT.

ICE AGE NOW: Winter Storm Linus Spreading Snow From The U.S. Midwest To Northeast; Blizzard Warning For Chicago - Widespread Accumulations Of Snowfall, Up To 18 INCHES; "Travel Is Highly Discouraged"!


February 1, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Winter Storm Linus will continue to spread snow across a wide swath of the Midwest as we head through Sunday. Snow will also push into parts of the interior Northeast during the day.

Blizzard warnings have been issued for northeast Illinois and two counties in far southeast Wisconsin. This blizzard warning includes Chicago and is in effect from early Sunday afternoon to midnight local time.

WATCH: As Winter Storm Linus moves from the Midwest into the Northeast, some areas could see more than a foot of snow. 

Elsewhere, winter storm warnings are in effect for a very large stretch of the Midwest into the Northeast, and they include parts of Iowa, northern Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio as well as Pennsylvania, New York, and portions of New England.

Needless to say, travel is highly discouraged thoughout these areas as the storm spreads east through Monday.

Winter Storm Linus Blanketing Chicago's Streets (Annie Hauser)

Winter Storm Linus Blanketing Chicago's Streets (Annie Hauser)

Winter Storm Linus Blanketing Chicago's Streets (Annie Hauser)



Plane at a terminal in O'Hare Airport (Twitter/LykinsBrian)

Snow and Ice Forecast

Moderate to heavy snow accumulations are expected in both the Midwest and Northeast into Monday. Some small pockets of freezing rain and sleet are also possible.


  • Chicago could see a storm total of around a foot from Linus. Avoid travel as visibility will be poor with winds gusting up to 40 mph.
  • Detroit, Cleveland and Fort Wayne, Indiana will also see snow totals either side of a foot.
  • The heaviest totals in the Northeast will be aligned along a west-to-east corridor from northern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York into central and southern New England. Widespread accumulations of 8 to 12 inches are expected with some areas seeing up to 18 inches.
  • Boston will likely see around a foot of snow with winds gusting up to 35 mph. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are possible Monday morning.
  • New York City is in the transition zone of precipitation types from Winter Storm Linus, making for a difficult forecast. Snow may accumulate 3 to 5 inches Sunday night before changing to a mixture of sleet, freezing rain or possibly even plain rain near the immediate coast. Regardless of the precipitation type, the Monday morning commute will be greatly impacted by the snowy and icy conditions. Precipitation will change back to light snow before ending late Monday. Also, temperatures will crash below freezing late Monday, which could result in a flash freeze of any surfaces that are wet.
  • Buffalo, New York, Albany, New York and Worcester, Massachusetts are a few of the other cities in the Northeast where up to a foot of snow is possible.

Current Radar

Current Winter Weather Alerts

48-Hour Snowfall Forecast

Sunday's Forecast

Monday's Forecast

City Timing Forecast

Snow Timing

Sunday - Snow will continue through the day from southern Minnesota southward into northern Missouri and eastward into Pennsylvania and western New York. This will greatly affect travel either side of I-80 in the Midwest.

Sunday night -
Snow continues from southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois into lower Michigan and northern Ohio. Conditions will also deteriorate in the Northeast as snow develops overnight, including New York and Boston.

Monday, Groundhog Day -
Snow will persist in parts of the Northeast through much of the day, with accumulating snow likely for the morning commute along the I-95 corridor near Boston. Moderate to heavy snow will also impact I-90 from Massachusetts through New York Monday morning. Snow may continue in eastern New England into Monday evening.

Of course, as always, there is uncertainty regarding the exact track of the surface low, which will ultimately determine who sees the most snow from this Groundhog event.

- Weather.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Two Planes Collide In Mid-Air In Alaska - 2 Pilots Injured; NTSB Investigating?!

February 1, 2015 - ALASKA, UNITED STATES
- At least two people are injured in a collision involving two planes, about seven miles off of Knik Goose Bay Road in Mat-Su Valley, officials say.

One person is on the way to the hospital and another is still in the process of being removed from the wreckage according to Deputy Micheal Keenan of Central Emergency Services.

Ian Gregor, spokesperson for Federal Aviation Administration told Channel 2 News that a "single-engine Piper PA18" was one of the planes involved in the collision. The circumstances behind the collision are unknown.

Todd Clark, a resident in the area, told Channel 2 News that he saw the planes collide and went out to help.

Alaska State Troopers received reports of the plane collision at around 1:05 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, AST spokesperson Megan Peters wrote in an email.

WATCH: Alaska Wildlife Trooper plane involved in mid-air collision in Mat-Su Valley.

The National Transportation Safety Board has assigned three investigators to the case, said chief investigator Clint Johnson. Johnson told Channel 2 News that the crash site is "about seven miles off of Knik Goose Bay Road."

A 2011 mid-air collision in Talkeetna left a family of four dead when the two pilots were on different radio frequencies and were not communicating with each other. - KTUU.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Did You See It - Meteor-Fireball May Have Passed Over Humboldt Before Crashing Into Sonoma County In California?!

File photo.

- Multiple North Coast residents from Valley Ford to Santa Rosa and Fort Bragg reported seeing what they described as a meteor streaking northwest across the sky toward the ocean on Saturday afternoon.

Emergency dispatchers began receiving calls just before 1 p.m., said Sgt. Cecile Focha, spokeswoman for the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. The initial report was of an airplane crash, which turned out to be unfounded. Units from Valley Ford Fire, Bodega Bay Fire and Gold Ridge Fire and the Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter, Henry 1, were dispatched to an area 4 miles west of Valley Ford, but found no evidence of a meteor or other debris.

“Everyone responded as if it was a plane crash,” Focha said. “There was no evidence of where the object landed. Something got lobbed at the earth.”

Witnesses described seeing a glowing fireball streaking across the sky for about 10 seconds. Some said it burned bright white. Others said it changed color from red to blue to green.

“It was amazing,” said Mark Morelli of Santa Rosa, who saw it while driving down Guerneville Road. “The tip was bright green and it had a really long tail.”

Barbara and Nick Makris were walking on their ranch just north of Bodega Bay when they saw the light streak northwest out over the Pacific.

“It looked like a tadpole,” Barbra Makris said. “We watched it for about 10 seconds, then it extinguished. It was pretty exciting.”

Firefighters combed grassy fields and farms in the rolling hills near Valley Ford searching for any debris that may have sparked a blaze, Valley Ford Fire Chief Matt Epstein said.

“We never did find anything that came in contact with the earth,” he said. “Once we realized it was not a crash, our biggest concern was if anything hit a structure or started a fire.”

Many who reported seeing the object were on or near the coast, although it was observed at least as far inland as Rohnert Park. Jason Selvage was watching a youth baseball game in Rohnert Park when he saw the light in the sky.

“It looked like a firework exploding,” he said. “It was really cool to see.”

While most witnesses said they saw the object in the afternoon, others reported seeing a bright light in the sky just before dawn. The timing corresponded with a NASA satellite launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County at 6:22 a.m.

Alan Buis, a spokesman with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, said the morning launch would have been visible on the North Coast, but added that the afternoon event likely is unrelated.

“The launch was visible over a wide swath of coastal California,” he said.

Buis said meteor sightings are not uncommon.

No new events had been posted by Saturday evening on the website of the American Meteor Society, an organization of amateur and professional meteor scientists. The group says it receives daily reports about fireballs in the sky. The organization received 10 reports of a fireball over California last week. - The Press Democrat.

The Lost Coast Outpost received a report of a “meteor that…streaked east to west over bear river ridge” about quarter to 1 p.m. For fun we searched to see if there were any other reports. To our surprise, we discovered a report in the the Sonoma County Press Democrat. It said,
… emergency dispatchers have received multiple reports of an object falling from the sky and crashing in a field west of Valley Ford.

The first reporting party, who called dispatchers around 1 p.m. Saturday, said they had seen what looked like an airplane crash west of Valley Ford Road. At least two other callers reported seeing a bright flash of light and said what fell may have been a meteor, dispatchers said.

Units from Valley Ford Fire, Bodega Bay Fire, Gold Ridge Fire and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s helicopter, Henry 1, were dispatched by have not yet located the object.
Our local emergency dispatch center did not receive any reports. But, the US National Weather Service out of Eureka said they had gotten a report around 11:30 a.m. of something bright in the sky over Humboldt Hill but nothing around 1 p.m.

We’re curious. Did any of you see something odd?

2:16 p.m.:
A woman who witnessed the possible meteor described coming into Ferndale and seeing a bright light going fast and low along the hill line. She said it was headed east to west and appeared to disappear over the ocean. She said she saw it for four or five seconds —a bright light with a tail on it that dissolved in a “poof of smoke.”

If you’ve witnessed this event, you can report it here. - Kym Kemp.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Huge Sinkhole Opens Up In Riverbed, India - Measures 15 Feet Deep By 31 Feet Wide!

February 1, 2015 - INDIA
- A 15 feet deep and 31 feet wide sinkhole has formed in the Chitravathi riverbed near Lakshumpalli in Yellanur mandal of Anantapur district, confirming fears that groundwater in the area has been exploited to alarming levels.

The groundwater department, after a thorough study, noticed that cavities of limestone deposits beneath the riverbed had become brittle due to pumping of groundwater by drilling borewells even at depths of 800 feet.

The sinkhole formed near Lakshumpalli on Thursday with a loud sound and residents of surrounding villagers feared that it was an earthquake. The Yellanur mandal, near Pulivendula of Kadapa district, depends on the Chitravathi river's water.

With poor rainfall for the last 12 years in it's upstream, the river hasn't even been flowing at its minimum level in Yellanur mandal. Farmers thus have been dependant on borewells that they have been digging near the riverbed, leading to over exploitation of groundwater.

The groundwater department had also listed Lakshumpalli and surrounding villages in the danger zone. Anantapur deputy director of groundwater K. Purushotham Reddy said, "A borewell closer to the gorge found that the water table had fallen to a depth of 185ft. But the layer beneath has deposits of limestone along with water cavities. They became brittle due to pumping water thorough the borewells that resulted in the gorge."

The official stressed on the need for alternative sources of water through diversion of Tungabhadra High Level Main Canal water into the Pulivendula Branch Canal which could improve the situation.

Sreenivasulu Naidu, a farmer from the village recalled a similar incident that had been reported at Kothapalli village. "The government should take minimum measures by allocating additional quota for the area through HLMC that would recharge groundwater sources," he said. In-charge collector B. Lakshmi Kantham has sought a detailed report from the concerned departments. - Deccan Chronicle.

FUK-U-SHIMA: West Coast Orcas Experiencing 100% Infant Mortality Rate - As Radiation From Fukushima Drifts Across The Pacific Ocean!

February 1, 2015 - PACIFIC OCEAN
- Marine biologists and other researchers are voicing serious concerns regarding the high mortality rate among orcas (killer whales) observed over the past couple of years.

No one has yet proven that there is a direct link between the 100 percent mortality rate seen among orca infants and the effects of the radiation contamination of the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima reactor leak in Japan, but it certainly can't be ruled out as a possibility.

It is rather interesting that the incidence of orca deaths -- not just of infants, but full-grown specimens as well -- has risen sharply since the accident occurred in 2011 and as the radiation has made its way across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast of North America.

Scientists have also noticed odd behavior among orcas recently. Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, senior marine mammal scientist at the Vancouver Aquarium, has been "sounding the alarm" over the unprecedented mortality rate and the changes in behavior seen in orca pods off the coast of Canada and Alaska.

Dr. Barrett-Lennard says that he and other scientists have noticed that the mammals have become strangely quiet over the past two summers. When teams went out to study the pods and record their vocalizations as part of their normal research routine, they were surprised at how little the cetaceans were communicating with each other:

They weren't vocalizing, and that was quite a striking change after years and years of being very familiar with how noisy they are and how easy to find acoustically.

He believes that "something is likely wrong with the ocean environment," as paraphrased by, and that more research is needed to understand the reasons behind the high death rates and the behavioral changes recently observed by the scientists.

Aside from the 100 percent mortality rate among orca infants, many of the matriarchs are dying as well, leading some to speculate that the species may become extinct -- possibly within the next 20 years.

The recent discovery of a carcass off the coast of British Columbia -- that of a 19-year-old orca female, which was believed to be in the late stages of pregnancy, is just one example of the recent orca deaths that have scientists and conservationists worried.

Ken Balcomb, executive director of the Center For Whale Research in Friday Harbor, Washington, said:

Her death doesn't bode well for the southern resident population and certainly not for that matriline. Her mother died young. Her aunt had two sons and she's probably post-reproductive. She hasn't had any babies in the last 12 years. So there's no future.

Balcomb also remarked:

We haven't had any survivals in babies for a couple of years. We have had stillborns and newborns die and a number of whales that appear to be pregnant but didn't ultimately produce any calves. It's like zero survival in birth rate here.

Howard Garrett of Orca Network is another who is expressing deep concerns about the orca population living in the waters near Vancouver and Washington state:

Our hopes are just so fragile already. There was a calf born in early September that lived less than a month and that was the first calf in two years. The last calf that survived was August 2012. There should be two or three births at least per year just to hold steady. We like to see four or five per year. Instead, there have been seven mortalities and no births.

As mentioned above, there is no proven link between the Fukushima radiation leak and the high mortality rate among West Coast orcas, and many other sea animals, as of yet, and more research is needed to determine exactly what is killing the killer whales. And at this point, radiation poisoning can certainly not be ruled out. - Natural News.

ICE AGE NOW: -40C In Siberia - Town Buried In Ice; Residents Turn To Social Media For Help; State Of Emergency Declared! [APOCALYPTIC PHOTOS + VIDEO]

Russia's Dudinka Arctic port.(Reuters / Denis Sinyakov)

February 1, 2015 - SIBERIA
- Apocalyptic images of the Siberian town of Dudinka, where a powerful storm has left residents without water or electricity, have reemerged on social media. Users are pleading for help from local authorities.

WATCH: Russian streets turned into huge frozen block after water pipes burst during storm.

Harsh winds disabled power lines, cutting off the hot water supply to the town's 22,000 residents in mid-January. With temperatures plunging to around -40C and water from pipes frozen on the streets, a state of emergency has been declared in the small northern town.

Although according to local media reports, the boiler was fixed on January 14, residents complained they still had no heating in their homes. Turning to Twitter, they sent out images of their icebound town and cars wrapped in meter-thick ice, adding the message "Dudinka is freezing."

A week after the accident giant icicles still could be seen hanging from frost-covered residential buildings, with people having to use fitness centers in order to take a shower, the Siberian Times reported.

Hot water is provided to local residents from a power plant where it is centrally heated and then piped into homes.

Power and heating has been reportedly restored to schools and kindergartens, but a number of homes are still plunged in dark despair in Krasnoyarsk Krai, a territory in the middle of Siberia that borders the Arctic Ocean. - RT.