Saturday, February 14, 2015

CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS & NEW WORLD DISORDER: Societal Collapse And Civilizations Unraveling In Copenhagen, Denmark - One Civilian Killed And 3 Police Officers Injured After Shooting At A Cafe; And One Person Shot In The Head, Two Police Injured At Synagogue!

An armed security officer runs down a street near a venue after shots were fired where an event titled "Art, blasphemy and the freedom of expression"
was being held in Copenhagen, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. Kenneth Meyer / AP Photo

February 14, 2015 - COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
- A gunman opened fire on a Copenhagen cultural center, killing one man and wounding three police officers in what authorities called a terror attack against a free speech event featuring an artist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.

After searching for the gunman for hours, police reported another shooting near a synagogue in downtown Copenhagen after midnight Sunday. One person was shot in the head and two police officers were shot in the arms and legs, police said, adding it wasn’t clear whether the two incidents were linked. The gunman fled on foot.

WATCH: Copenhagen synagogue shooting - 1 shot in head, 2 police injured, gunman at large.

Sebastian Zepeda, a 19-year-old visitor from London, said he didn’t want to leave his hotel room after hearing of the first shooting and was text messaging with his mother when the second shooting happened on the street below.
“I was on my bed and I heard gunshots. And my heart raced,” Zepeda said. “All of a sudden the road was packed with police.”
The earlier shooting came a month after extremists killed 12 people at a satirical newspaper in Paris that had sparked Muslim outrage with its depictions of Muhammad.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the first shooting, which took place shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday. Danish police said the gunman used an automatic weapon to shoot through the windows of the Krudttoenden cultural center, which TV footage showed were riddled with bullet holes. The gunman then fled in a carjacked Volkswagen Polo that was found later a few kilometers (miles) away, police said.

WATCH: Deadly attack at free speech meeting at a cafe with cartoonist who depicted Muhammed.

They said the victim was a man about 40 who was inside the cultural center. He has not yet been identified. Two of the wounded officers belonged to the Danish security service PET, which said the circumstances surrounding the shooting “indicate that we are talking about a terror attack.”

Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who has faced numerous death threats for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad, was one of the main speakers at Saturday’s panel discussion, titled “Art, blasphemy and freedom of expression.” He was whisked away by his bodyguards unharmed as the shooting began.

Vilks, 68, later told The Associated Press he believed he was the intended target of the shooting.
“What other motive could there be? It’s possible it was inspired by Charlie Hebdo,” he said, referring to the Jan. 7 attack by Islamic extremists on the French newspaper.
“At first there was panic. People crawled down under tables,” Vilks said. “My bodyguards quickly pulled me away.”

The cultural center had a lecture hall as well as a cafe. Vilks said no one in the hall was wounded.

Alleged gunman in shooting that killed 1 civilian,
injured 3 police 

“We were well isolated in there. It would have been much worse if this happened during the break, when people walk out,” Vilks said.

He said he deplored the death and the injuries but was unfazed as to what it meant for his own safety.
“I’m not shaken at all by this incident. Not the least,” he told AP by phone.

Police initially said there were two gunmen but later said they believed there was only one shooter. They described him as 25 to 30 years old with an athletic build and carrying a black automatic weapon. They released a blurred photograph of the suspect wearing dark clothes and a scarf covering part of his face.
“I saw a masked man running past,” said Helle Merete Brix, one of the event’s organizers. “I clearly consider this as an attack on Lars Vilks.”
Niels Ivar Larsen, one of the speakers at the event, told the TV2 channel he heard someone shouting and firing automatic weapons. “Police returned the fire and I hid behind the bar. I felt surreal, like in a movie,” Larsen said.

Visiting the scene of the first shooting, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt called it a “political attack and therefore an act of terror.”

Police spokesman Joergen Skov said it was possible the gunman had planned the “same scenario” as in the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

François Zimeray, the French ambassador to Denmark who was at the event to speak about the Charlie Hebdo attack, tweeted that he was “still alive.” Police said he was not wounded.

French President Francois Hollande called the Copenhagen shooting “deplorable” and said Thorning-Schmidt would have the “full solidarity of France in this trial.” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was arriving Sunday in Copenhagen.

Conflicting reports in local media said there were two attackers in the synagogue, with one of them possibly arrested in
the ongoing police operation. Police helicopters have been circling above the city’s central streets.

Police arrest one, However police say it's unrelated to manhunt, at least 1 shooter still at large.

Leaders across Europe condemned the violence and expressed support for Denmark. Sweden’s security service said it was sharing information with its Danish counterpart, while U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said U.S. officials were ready to help with the investigation and have been in touch with their Danish counterparts.

Vilks has faced several attempted attacks and death threats after he depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a dog in 2007. A Pennsylvania woman last year got a 10-year prison term for a plot to kill Vilks. In 2010, two brothers tried to burn down his house in southern Sweden and were imprisoned for attempted arson.

Vilks told the AP after the Paris terror attacks that, due to increased security concerns, even fewer organizations were inviting him to give lectures.

The depiction of the prophet is deemed insulting to many followers of Islam. According to mainstream Islamic tradition, any physical depiction of the Prophet Muhammad – even a respectful one – is considered blasphemous.

While many Muslims have expressed disgust at the deadly assault on the Charlie Hebdo employees, many were also deeply offended by its cartoons lampooning Muhammad. - Global News.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Increasing Effects Of Magnetic Polar Migration - Two Men Survive Plane Crash On Layton Golf Course, Utah; And Two Killed After Experimental Plane Crashes In Weld County, Colorado!

February 14, 2015 - UNITED STATES - The Weld County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that two people died in a small plane that crashed Wednesday afternoon and two people were extricated from a single-engine Cessna airplane after it crashed on a Layton golf course Saturday morning.

2 men survive plane crash on Layton golf course

Image courtesy Layton City Fire Department.

Out of all the places to be on a beautiful Saturday morning, Dustin Volk wishes he wasn't inside.

Volk is the golf pro at Valley View Golf Course, 2501 E. Gentile Street. Being inside handling operations and paperwork is part of his normal, everyday job. But at about 10:30 a.m., "normal" stopped.

"Customers just came running in and said a plane crashed on the practice green," Volk said.

He went outside, saw a small airplane upside down near a sand bunker on the practice chipping green, and ran to see if those inside were OK.

"The one guy we helped get out, the passenger, he seemed to be pretty OK. The pilot was a little bit more in pain and kind of pinned," Volk said. "He had blood coming from his head. We got him unbuckled and waited for the ambulance."

Emergency crews with the Layton Fire Department took the passenger to the hospital in fair condition. The pilot was treated at the scene, released, and explained to emergency crews what happened.

"They left the Woods Cross airport this morning and flew to Logan. They had breakfast there and then started flying back," said Doug Bitton, with the Layton Fire Department. "Around 5,000 feet, they experienced difficulty."

For some reason, the engine stopped working. A witness hiking near Weber Canyon told crews he heard the plane sputtering.

Image courtesy Layton City Fire Department.

Image courtesy Layton City Fire Department.

Witnesses at the golf course said they didn't hear anything until the plane clipped trees near the driving range and crashed.

"So far, what we can tell is that it wasn't a mechanical problem. Our airplanes are sound, They're fine. It was most likely pilot error," said Jason Clark, who owns Bountiful Flight — the company that owns the single engine Cessna plane that crashed.

Clark said he rented the plane to the pilot, did a pre-check on it, and wants people to know the crash had nothing to do with his flight school or his flight instructors.

"We've never had an accident in the past. We never had an incident of any kind. We do more inspections on these airplanes than are even required for the FAA. We go over and above what we need to do to make sure these airplanes are safe," Clark said.

He thinks the plane ran out of gas, but he's waiting for the investigation to know for sure.

No matter what happened, though, it's amazing nobody was seriously hurt; those inside the plane and outside.

"It could have been really bad. One customer said just 5 minutes earlier, he was in the bunker hitting shots out to the chipping green," Volk said.

The FAA and the NTSB were handling the investigation Saturday. - KSL.

2 Killed After Experimental Plane Crashes In Weld County

A single-engine propeller plane crashed in a field near Kersey Wednesday afternoon, killing both people aboard.(Photo: KUSA)

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that two people died in a small plane that crashed Wednesday afternoon.

The plane went down near Weld County Roads 50 and 53 south of Kersey around 2:30 p.m.

Copter4 flew over the crash about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and showed a huge black mark several yards long on the ground. Wreckage was scattered all around that black mark.

The crash sparked a small grass fire that was immediately put out.

Authorities said the two people who were killed were the only people on board when the plane went down.

What caused the plane to go down is being investigated. Investigators were seen taking pictures of the wreckage in the field.

The Associated Press reported that Allen Kenitzer, a regional spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the aircraft is a three-seat experimental Wheeler Express. It’s registered out of Aurora.

It is unknown where the plane was going or from where it took off.

The names of those on board have not been released. - CBS.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Sinkhole Injures Two In Surprise, Arizona!

A sinkhole in Surprise injured two when their car fell into it Friday afternoon, according to officials. © Surprise Police Department

February 14, 2015 - ARIZONA, UNITED STATES
- A sinkhole in Surprise sent two people to the hospital Friday and forced an overnight road closure, authorities said.

The sinkhole on 163rd Avenue about a 1/2 mile north of Grand Avenue was about as wide as a lane of traffic.
Attempts to repair the damage were underway Friday afternoon.

Two people received minor injuries when the vehicle they were in entered the sinkhole, according to a Surprise Fire Department official.

WATCH: Sinkhole in Arizona.

The pair were taken to Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City for treatment.

Traffic was initially moving through the area with restrictions.

Officials closed 163rd Avenue overnight and the road was expected to be off limits to traffic at least through this morning.

It wasn't clear when repairs would be complete and the road restrictions would be cleared. - The Arizona Republic.

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

February 14, 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.

Nearly 200 pilot whales stranded on New Zealand beach

© Screenshot from AP video

One hundred and ninety-eight pilot whales have been stranded on a 6-kilometer beach in New Zealand, and their only hope is a rescue effort with the rising tide, local conservation officials reported.

Farewell Spit of the Golden Bay, on New Zealand's South Island, is a renowned trap for marine mammals, with at least eight strandings in the past decade, and over 50 whales found there near their death bed on Friday, while nearly 200 got trapped in shallow water, Radio New Zealand reported.

"Re-floating stranded whales is a difficult and potentially dangerous job, so it's important we have the right people on the ground tonight trying to get these whales back to safety," the Department of Conservation's (DoC) manager Andrew Lamason said in a statement. "Community group Project Jonah has 140 volunteers in the Golden Bay area who are trained to do this and we're working alongside them."

WATCH: Whales stranded on New Zealand beach.

The help from general public could be needed Saturday, to help keep the whales cool and wet while waiting for the next tide to ease the rescue efforts by the team of staff and volunteers.

"They're in reasonable condition most of them, their skin is looking pretty good, and there's not that many have died, relatively," DoC spokesperson Mike Ogle said, as cited by local media.

Pilot whales, the most common species of whale in New Zealand waters, though inhabiting oceans almost worldwide, reach up to six meters in length. They are highly social creatures, and are also among the most frequently found stranded in groups.

Several hypotheses exist to explain such stranding in groups. Some scientists dwell on geomagnetic anomalies leading to navigation faults, while others believe that the whales may follow sick or young members of the group. - RT.

Update: Over 100 pilot whales now dead following New Zealand stranding

Scientists are unclear why pilot whales strand themselves in large groups. © AFP

More than 100 pilot whales that stranded on a New Zealand beach have died, conservation officials said on Saturday, voicing grave fears for more than 90 others from the pod.

The whales beached themselves on Friday at Farewell Spit at the northern tip of the South Island, with dozens of rescuers racing to re-float the marine mammals on the evening high tide.

But Department of Conservation (DOC) spokesman Andrew Lamason said the whales had swam aground again overnight after being shepherded out to deep water.

"We've now got 103 that are confirmed dead and we're trying to keep the rest alive," he told AFP.

"There's about 150 volunteers trying to make them as comfortable as possible, they're putting sheets on them and water over them.

"But we're preparing ourselves for a pretty bad outcome, each time they re-strand their health goes down quite dramatically."

Lamason said the incident was distressing for all involved.

"There's a lot of young ones out there that have already passed away. It's been quite an emotional time for our staff," he said. "The whales also go through a lot of physical and emotional trauma."

He said another attempt at refloating would be made at high tide late Saturday, but if that failed then euthanasia would be discussed.

Farewell Spit beach, about 150 kilometres (95 miles) west of the tourist town of Nelson, has been the scene of mass pilot whale strandings in the past.

There have been at least eight in the past decade, including two within the space of a week in January last year, although the latest stranding is one of the largest.

"It seems to happen each summer," Lamason said. "It's highly likely it's the geography, potentially they're coming in here hunting for fish and becoming disorientated and dying.

"It could be that some of the pods are sick and that brings them up onto the beach, we don't really know."

Pilot whales grow up to six metres (20 feet) long and are the most common species of whale in New Zealand waters. - Yahoo.

Dozens of dead birds found around Lake Rotorua in New Zealand

WORRY: Ngongotaha residents Steve Wynn (left) and Grahame Haggart with one of the dead ducks found on the shores of Lake Rotorua.
Photo / Stephen Parker

Ngongotaha residents have been burying dead ducks found on the shores of Lake Rotorua, and experts say the birds are likely to have died of botulism.

Steve Wynn and his neighbour, Grahame Haggart, found the dead and sick birds behind their lakefront properties on Tuesday. Mr Wynn reported it to the Rotorua Lakes Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the issue is now being investigated by Fish & Game Eastern Region office.

"I first picked up two dead and four crook ones and took them into the SPCA. Only one from the SPCA has survived," Mr Wynn said. "I've been further around near the [Ngongotaha] stream mouth with a wheel barrow and collected 19 [ducks] all up and a couple of seagulls. I buried them in the neighbour's offal pit.

"This happened three years ago but nowhere near this extent. It only lasted 24 hours. It's not really nice seeing this. One of the ones that died, we had been seeing it since it was a chick [duckling] - it was a light candy colour and, all through winter, it would come up to the door."

Mr Haggart said he was concerned for the health of others who might use the waterways.

"Kids often come down to the jetty and swim and people fish for trout, catch them, smoke them and eat it. There should at least be signs up warning people to stay away from the water," he said.

He thought the low water level of the lake might also be contributing to the deaths.

"I've lived here 15 years and this is the lowest I've seen the lake. It's down a good [metre].

"You can't launch boats at the jetty because it's too shallow."

Fish & Game regional manager Andy Garrick said they had two or three reports of the issue so far but would continue to investigate.

He didn't believe there were any health risks to people.

"It's very likely to be botulism. The warm conditions are favourable for it and it often affects game birds such as mallards. Most years we have small outbreaks but it is typical in a dry summer where the stagnant water is lying around in calm conditions.

"We usually have isolated or localised incidents so we hope it's not going grow into anything."

Mr Garrick did not recommend people to swim in water with dead ducks around and encouraged them to wear gloves if they were handling the birds. If birds were sick the best treatment was to put them in the shade somewhere where they had access to fresh, clean water. If they were going to survive, they generally came right in two to three days.

SPCA Rotorua office manager Nadine Brown said the duck they had treated this week was to be released last night."If someone finds a sick duck it is better to call us rather than bring them in and we can discuss the problem over the phone," she said.  - NZ Herald.

Boy mauled by two pit bulls at home in Jacksonville, North Carolina

North Carolina child mauled by 2 pit bulls

A 7-year-old Onslow County boy was mauled by two pit bulls on Wednesday afternoon.

According to WITN, Sheriff Hans Miller said the youngster had serious injuries to his face and was immediately transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington.

Miller said both dog were pit bulls. One of the dogs was killed by deputies and another was captured by animal control officers.

The owner of the dogs was not home when deputies arrived.

There is no word on if the owner will face charges or what led up to the attack. - MYFOX8.

One person killed and four injured in wild boar attack in India

Wild boar
One person was killed and at least four others were injured, two of them seriously, when a rogue wild boar went on a rampage and attacked a group of farm labourers in Odisha's Kendrapara district, a forest official said today.

The incident occurred yesterday in Hatabanapur village when the farm labourers were engaged in rabi crop cultivation, he said.

The village where the incident took place is away from forest areas and animals had not strayed into it in the past.

As the people tried to chase away the animal it turned violent and attacked the farm workers, said Divisional Forest Officer, Cuttack Territorial Forest Division, Sudarshan Behera.

"Such act of trespassing and consequent attack on humans by wild boar was never witnessed in Kendrapara and Derabish areas. It is quite perplexing to find the intrusion of these animals in places which are bereft of forest cover", he said.

Bhitarkanika's mangrove forest cover is an ideal habitat for wild boars. But there is remote possibility of boars straying into these thickly populated pockets from far away Bhitarkanika.

There are reports of wild boars inhabiting in Asiagada forest near Lalitgiri Buddhist monastery in Jajpur district. The rogue wild boar might have strayed from there, Behera said.

Forest personnel have begun maintaining night watch and vigil in the village and villagers have been advised to avoid movement during the night, forest department officers said.  - Business Standard.

2 dead manatees found in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Dead manatee removed.

Two manatees were found dead Wednesday in separate Fort Lauderdale waterways.

The badly decomposed body of a nearly 6-foot-6 female manatee was hoisted from a waterway off 10th Street and Andrews Avenue; another dead manatee was pulled from a canal just west of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, said Liz Barraco, a spokeswoman with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The commission first received a call Tuesday night about the dead female manatee but was unable to recover the remains until Wednesday morning.

"She was pretty badly decomposed, so it was clear she had been deceased for some time," Barraco said.

A necropsy was performed but because of the condition of the body, biologists have been unable to determine a cause of death, Barraco said.

Reports of a second dead manatee came in around noon, Barraco said. Officials removed the body of a nearly 10-foot male manatee from a canal near a Florida Power & Light cooling lake.

Biologists will perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death, Barraco said.

"We have no evidence to believe these two incidents are linked," Barraco said. "It is hard to say how long they have been dead and if or if not this is normal."

Barraco urges boaters to be aware of manatee zones and to follow all guidelines.

"Manatees are endangered, and people should be aware they're out there," she said. - Sun Sentinel.

Elephant kills 2 people in West Bengal, India

Charging elephant. © Satish Hanumantha Rao

A wild elephant killed a man and injured two others on Friday morning in Barhulia of Dhupguri's Gadong gram panchayat. Locals said the elephant had entered the village to feed on the paddy fields. They said Bipin Roy died on the spot while the two injured have been admitted at the Dhupguri hospital, says a HS report.

A PTI report, however, put the death toll at two. Quoting Divisional Forest Officer Sunita Ghatak, it said one of the injured persons died on the way to hospital. "Bipin Roy (55) died on the spot at Barothalia when the elephant coming from Khuttimari forest lifted him and threw him on the ground. Two others who came to his rescue were also attacked by the elephant," she said. The elephant also killed five goats when being chased into the jungle by the locals, officials said.  - The Echo of India.

Boy bitten by his father's police dog has leg amputated, Hesperia, California

Hunter Mastaler, 4, lost part of his leg after getting attacked by his dad’s police dog

A 4-year-old Southern California boy who was bitten by his father's police dog had to have his leg amputated below the knee, and the canine probably will be euthanized, police said Thursday.

Hunter Mastaler remained hospitalized four days after the Belgian shepherd dog clamped onto his left leg in the backyard of the family's Hesperia home.

Neighbors knocked over a fence and pried the dog's jaws open to free the boy.

Hunter will remain hospitalized for another week, Rialto police Capt. Randy De Anda said. With a prosthetic he could be able to run again within six months, he said.

The 7-year-old dog, Jango, was assigned to the Rialto police force, and Hunter's father, Michael Mastaler, had been his handler for about two years, De Anda said.

On Sunday afternoon, Mastaler returned from a two-day trip to Big Bear where he had run a boot camp for at-risk youth, De Anda said.

Jango had been left in a large backyard kennel during the trip and Mastaler let him out into the backyard before going into the house, where his son was playing video games.

Mastaler's wife had gone shopping with their 18-month-old son and Mastaler went upstairs to change "for about two minutes" when Hunter opened a sliding glass door and screen and went into the yard, De Anda said.

For an unknown reason, Jango went into "bite mode" and clamped onto the boy as he was trained to do in some criminal situations, De Anda said.

The boy's screams alerted neighbors who called 911 and rushed to help.

Jeff Houlemard smashed into a gate, knocking down the fence, to rescue the boy.

"I kicked the dog, but it still didn't let him go, so I whipped him around and pulled the mouth open," Houlemard said.

His son and another teenager pulled the boy to safety.

De Anda said Houlemard then picked up the dog, slammed it to the ground and pinned it "in a bear-hug" until Hunter's father came outside and put the dog in the kennel.

"The attack was probably going on for at least two minutes before he was pulled out," Houlemard said.

Houlemard's wife, Shannon, tried to keep the boy calm by singing his ABCs and 123s with him, she told the San Bernardino Sun.

"I was just trying to keep his mind off what just had happened," she said.

The dog was placed in quarantine for 10 days and it is likely that, following an investigation, he will be euthanized, De Anda said.

Jango had no history of aggression, received regular training and his record as a patrol, SWAT and narcotics dog was "impeccable," De Anda said.

"We don't know what prompted the bite,"
he said.

The department's four police dogs are always supposed to be under direct supervision of their handlers, and the department is investigating to make sure there were no policy violations, De Anda said.

The boy's father has been at the hospital since Sunday, De Anda said. "He is devastated," the captain said.

Hunter, however, appeared to be in good spirts, he added. - ABC News.

Hundreds of dead fish found in a river in Santa Catarina, Brazil

100 kg of dead fish have been identified in Rio Cerro (Photo: Rogério Tallini / Radio Jaragua Am)

The Jaraguaense Environmental Foundation (Fujama) found on Wednesday (11) that over 100 kg of dead fish float in Rio Cerro, in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina in the North.
It said water samples were collected to identify the cause of the destruction. The report should be out in 10 days.

The complaint was made by residents of Rio Cerro neighborhood Tuesday night (10).
Earlier on Wednesday, technicians went to the place and gathered three different sample types River. In the spring of water, wastewater industries and homes in the area were collected.

As Fujama, the dead fish were not removed from the water as the river passes through an arterial runoff process, where animals do not accumulate in the margins.
The Rio Cerro makes confluence with the Rio Jaragua.

Dead species are mapped minnows, tilapia, catfish, Mandim and yams.
All fish are freshwater natural.

The agency also reported that this is not the first time that schools are found dead in the river.
In 2005, a ton of animals was intoxicated and died. At the time, Fujama could not identify what caused the contamination. - Globo. [Translated]

Wild elephant kills farmer near Magadi, India

Elephant kills farmer
 A 45-year-old farmer was killed by a wild elephant in the family's agricultural field at Attingere in the taluk on Sunday night.

The victim was identified as Panchalingaiah, son of Sanjeevaiah.

On Monday night, Roopa, Panchalingaiah's daughter, went to the field to give him tea. She was shocked to find her father's body lying 200 feet away. She then returned to the village to inform her family about the incident.

It is said Panchalingaiah was sleeping in the ragi field, when the elephant came there in search of food and started eating the ragi crop.

The shocked farmer cried out for help. This scared the elephant and it pulled him for some distance and threw him down. The farmer died on the spot. Panchalingaiah is survived by his wife and three daughters.

The village residents, along with members of the Raitha Sangha, staged a roadblock on the Ramanagar-Magadi Road and demanded that the authorities concerned take steps to curb the elephant menace. They also set fire to tyres. This disrupted traffic for sometime. They said elephants had killed five farmers in recent times and had destroyed crops grown on several acres of land. - Deccan Herald.

Mass fish deaths in Lake Nasser in Sudan

The mass death of fish in Lake Nasser, south of Wadi Halfa, on the border between Sudan and Egypt, has sparked fears that mercury and cyanide might have leaked into the lake.

During the past two days, large numbers of fish were found dead in the Nubian lake, as it is locally called. A delegation from the area has taken samples for examination to Khartoum.

A source from the Ministry of Environment told Dabanga that the Ministry is concerned about mercury and cyanide employed by prospectors in the area to separate gold particles from ore, in quantities that exceed the global rate limit."

He explained that the Environment Ministry has appealed to the EU to fund research on the quality of drinking water in the mining and oil-producing areas in Sudan.

According to the Mining Facts Organisation, "mercury was once used throughout the world in gold processing. This process has since been replaced by more efficient and less environmentally damaging techniques, such as cyanide leaching in large-scale and industrial mining.

"In developing nations, mercury pollution is increasingly a result of illegal or artisanal mining, and is an ongoing and growing concern."Cyanide has been used to separate gold and silver particles from ore for more than 120 years. With proper management, cyanide can be used safely and without harming the environment, despite its toxicity." - All Africa.

200 TONS of rock lobsters dead due to 'harmful algae' off coast of South Africa

Red tide

Harmful algae off the coast of South Africa has killed more than 200 metric tons of West Coast Rock Lobster, according to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The algae, known as red tide for the color it creates in the water, killed 80 tons of the crustacean on Wednesday at Eland Bay, north of Cape Town, the department said in an e-mailed statement. The total loss is equivalent to more than 10 percent of the allowable catch this season.

The bloom was detected on Feb. 3 off South Africa's west coast and killed about 30 tons of lobsters on Feb. 9 and another 70 tons on Tuesday, the department said. - Africa Trade Magazine.

Tens of tons of dead fish 'is a mystery' in Lake Singkarak, Indonesia

A number of citizens of Saniangbaka, Solok, separating the dead fish. Photos: The Express/JPNN

Communities around the Lake Singkarak, West Sumatra still shrouded in puzzles. Up to four days pascamatinya tens of tons fish floating keramba belongs to, has not been known to cause.

The citizens began to distracted by the pungent stench of fish carcasses. However, there is also a community of harvesting the fish with a reason, it is still good to be cooked.

Since the demise of the keramba pumice, fish every morning society Nagari Singkarak and Nagari Saniangbaka, district X Koto Singkarak, Solok Regency, always get thousands of fish carcasses on the shores of the Lake. Many of the people who harvest the fish carcasses with reason not smelling.

On the other hand, a part owner of keramba as if resigned to the situation. There are fish floating dead, let there also are trying to harvest the fish still dizzy. "If it can be sold very cheap, around Rp 8,000 to Rp 10,000 per kilo," said Octavian, one of the owners of keramba in Singkarak, told The Express, Friday (13/2).

Octavian says, as a result of this accident, about 105 kerambanya full of dead fish, suddenly contained. "Fish that looks dead today, it still remains that yesterday," said Octavian who claimed damages to hundreds of million dollars of it.

The Regent of Solok, Syamsu Rahim confirmed the calamities that befell the fish farmers in this Lake Singkarak should immediately actionable and not taken lightly.

According to Syamsu Rahim, from research done Solok Regency, the Fisheries Agency, the deaths of thousands of fish keramba it were not for the influence of fish food that accumulate at the bottom of the Lake. "This should not be regarded as mere accidents and natural disasters. The results while the dead fish is due to environmental factors that slums, "said Syamsu Rahim.

In addition, he continued, the dead fish is also thought to be due to the sulfur cycle 5 annual Lake Singkarak. But to make sure the cause, Syamsu Rahim has ordered related service carry samples of dead fish and contaminated lake water for checked into the laboratory.

"This concerns the livelihood of the community. We will soon find a solution and the anticipation of this incident so that it doesn't happen again, "stated Syamsu Rahim. - JPNN. [Translated]

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Jolts Off Taiwan - Delays Train System! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location

February 14, 2015 - TAIWAN
- An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale jolted southern Taiwan on Saturday morning, delaying trains that affected nearly 3,000 passengers.

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake wobbled areas off Taitung in eastern Taiwan at 4:06 a.m. Saturday (Beijing Time), according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

The epicenter was monitored at 22.6 degrees north latitude and 121.5 degrees east longitude, or sea areas 33.6 km east of Taitung. The quake struck at a depth of 18.4 km, the center said.

USGS shakemap intensity

There have been no casualties in the first earthquake above the 6.0-magnitude that hit Taiwan this year but railways operator said later at least 36 train services have been delayed as of 9:30 a.m. due to the earthquake.

All railway facilities were checked before normal operations resumed, which led to delays of up to 45 minutes, the railways company said, adding there will be no compensation for the passengers because the delays were caused by a natural disaster.

Taiwan's earthquake monitoring department said that the quake can be felt to different extent in all cities felt to varied intensities. An unnamed tourist near the Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan told Xinhua that the bed was shaking for about half a minute. The quake was not clearly felt in Taipei.  - Shanghai Daily.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Philippine Sea and Vicinity

The Philippine Sea plate is bordered by the larger Pacific and Eurasia plates and the smaller Sunda plate. The Philippine Sea plate is unusual in that its borders are nearly all zones of plate convergence. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, south of Japan, beneath the Izu-Bonin and Mariana island arcs, which extend more than 3,000 km along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This subduction zone is characterized by rapid plate convergence and high-level seismicity extending to depths of over 600 km. In spite of this extensive zone of plate convergence, the plate interface has been associated with few great (M>8.0) ‘megathrust’ earthquakes. This low seismic energy release is thought to result from weak coupling along the plate interface (Scholz and Campos, 1995). These convergent plate margins are also associated with unusual zones of back-arc extension (along with resulting seismic activity) that decouple the volcanic island arcs from the remainder of the Philippine Sea Plate (Karig et al., 1978; Klaus et al., 1992).

South of the Mariana arc, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath the Yap Islands along the Yap trench. The long zone of Pacific plate subduction at the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea Plate is responsible for the generation of the deep Izu-Bonin, Mariana, and Yap trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of circum-pacific island arcs. Similarly, the northwestern margin of the Philippine Sea plate is subducting beneath the Eurasia plate along a convergent zone, extending from southern Honshu to the northeastern coast of Taiwan, manifested by the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto (Ryukyu) trench. The Ryukyu Subduction Zone is associated with a similar zone of back-arc extension, the Okinawa Trough. At Taiwan, the plate boundary is characterized by a zone of arc-continent collision, whereby the northern end of the Luzon island arc is colliding with the buoyant crust of the Eurasia continental margin offshore China.

USGS plate tectonics for the region

Along its western margin, the Philippine Sea plate is associated with a zone of oblique convergence with the Sunda Plate. This highly active convergent plate boundary extends along both sides the Philippine Islands, from Luzon in the north to the Celebes Islands in the south. The tectonic setting of the Philippines is unusual in several respects: it is characterized by opposite-facing subduction systems on its east and west sides; the archipelago is cut by a major transform fault, the Philippine Fault; and the arc complex itself is marked by active volcanism, faulting, and high seismic activity. Subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate occurs at the eastern margin of the archipelago along the Philippine Trench and its northern extension, the East Luzon Trough. The East Luzon Trough is thought to be an unusual example of a subduction zone in the process of formation, as the Philippine Trench system gradually extends northward (Hamburger et al., 1983). On the west side of Luzon, the Sunda Plate subducts eastward along a series of trenches, including the Manila Trench in the north, the smaller less well-developed Negros Trench in the central Philippines, and the Sulu and Cotabato trenches in the south (Cardwell et al., 1980). At its northern and southern terminations, subduction at the Manila Trench is interrupted by arc-continent collision, between the northern Philippine arc and the Eurasian continental margin at Taiwan and between the Sulu-Borneo Block and Luzon at the island of Mindoro. The Philippine fault, which extends over 1,200 km within the Philippine arc, is seismically active. The fault has been associated with major historical earthquakes, including the destructive M7.6 Luzon earthquake of 1990 (Yoshida and Abe, 1992). A number of other active intra-arc fault systems are associated with high seismic activity, including the Cotabato Fault and the Verde Passage-Sibuyan Sea Fault (Galgana et al., 2007).

Relative plate motion vectors near the Philippines (about 80 mm/yr) is oblique to the plate boundary along the two plate margins of central Luzon, where it is partitioned into orthogonal plate convergence along the trenches and nearly pure translational motion along the Philippine Fault (Barrier et al., 1991). Profiles B and C reveal evidence of opposing inclined seismic zones at intermediate depths (roughly 70-300 km) and complex tectonics at the surface along the Philippine Fault.

Several relevant tectonic elements, plate boundaries and active volcanoes, provide a context for the seismicity presented on the main map. The plate boundaries are most accurate along the axis of the trenches and more diffuse or speculative in the South China Sea and Lesser Sunda Islands. The active volcanic arcs (Siebert and Simkin, 2002) follow the Izu, Volcano, Mariana, and Ryukyu island chains and the main Philippine islands parallel to the Manila, Negros, Cotabato, and Philippine trenches.

Seismic activity along the boundaries of the Philippine Sea Plate (Allen et al., 2009) has produced 7 great (M>8.0) earthquakes and 250 large (M>7) events. Among the most destructive events were the 1923 Kanto, the 1948 Fukui and the 1995 Kobe (Japan) earthquakes (99,000, 5,100, and 6,400 casualties, respectively), the 1935 and the 1999 Chi-Chi (Taiwan) earthquakes (3,300 and 2,500 casualties, respectively), and the 1976 M7.6 Moro Gulf and 1990 M7.6 Luzon (Philippines) earthquakes (7,100 and 2,400 casualties, respectively). There have also been a number of tsunami-generating events in the region, including the Moro Gulf earthquake, whose tsunami resulted in more than 5000 deaths.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Mega-Drought - U.S. Southwest Faces Worst Water Shortage In 1,000 YEARS!

The future of Southwestern farming? ©

February 14, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- "The 21st-century projections make the [previous] mega-droughts seem like quaint walks through the Garden of Eden,"
said Jason Smerdon, who was a co-author of the paper, which was published in the journal Science Advances and is also a climate scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Ben Cook, from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, also helped to write the paper added that Americans may have to get used to droughts as a way of life. "These mega-droughts during the 1100s and 1200s persisted for 20, 30, 40, 50 years at a time, and they were droughts that no one in the history of the United States has ever experienced," he said in a press release. "The droughts that people do know about like the 1930s 'dustbowl' or the 1950s drought, or even the ongoing drought in California, and the southwest today - these are all naturally occurring droughts that are expected to last only a few years or perhaps a decade. Imagine instead the current California drought going on for another 20 years," Cook added.

To aid their research, the scientists used data which they retrieved from tree rings. They were able to determine how much precipitation had fallen and how much moisture was in the ground as the rings were wider during wetter years. "The surprising thing to us was really how consistent the response was over these regions, nearly regardless of what model we used or what soil moisture metric we looked at," Cook said in the press release.

Progressing drought regions of Southwest USA. ©

It has long been accepted by scientists that the southwest and the Great Plains will become arid during the second half of the 21st century as a consequence of climate change. However, this process is being accelerated due to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Precipitation levels can be misleading the authors of the report said. Rainfall levels could remain the same as non-drought years, but an increase in temperature means more water is evaporated.

California saw record amounts of rainfall in December 2014, though this has not been enough to fill up water supplies across the state. Crucially, snowfall amounts have been low, which has made it difficult to replenish reservoirs and underground aquifers. NASA says satellite images show the Sierra Nevada range snowpack is half the amount of past estimates.

According to the United States Geological Survey, California uses around 2.5 trillion gallons of water per year, which equates to around 181 gallons per person, per day. However, NASA says 11 trillion more gallons needs to enter the water supply to help elevate the current water shortages the population is experiencing.

In his Jan. 17, 2014, Emergency Drought Proclamation, Governor Brown called for Californians to voluntarily reduce their water use by 20 percent. The trend of increasing reductions and specific local data shows that many California communities have met and even exceeded the call to conserve.

Agriculture and wine vineyards have been major contributors to the lowered levels of the aquifers.

"All the things we were hoping wouldn't happen five to 10 years ago are happening and I don't think we have sounded the alarm fast enough," said Stephanie Castle, a researcher at the University of California-Irvine, told Slate. The problem is only likely to get worse in the southwest due to increasing demands for water, which will put an increased strain on low underground water supplies.

Since the turn of the millennium, parts of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas have all experienced drought like conditions for 11 of those years. According to NASA, as many as 64 million people have been affected by a lack of water. This could have a knock-on effect of not just inconveniencing people's lives through the introduction of water rationing and hosepipe bans, but could also affect key economic areas such as farming and agriculture in the Great Plains.

"Human populations in this region, and their associated water resources demands, have been increasing rapidly in recent decades, and these trends are expected to continue for years to come. Future droughts will occur in a significantly warmer world with higher temperatures than recent historical events, conditions that are likely to be a major added stress on both natural ecosystems and agriculture," the report concluded.

A report published in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences stated that average annual temperature is expected to increase by up to 5 percent by 2100, with a corresponding increase in water reduction of 30 percent.

"I was honestly surprised at just how dry the future is likely to be," said another co-author Toby Ault, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University. "I look at these future mega-droughts like a slow moving natural disaster. We have to put mega-droughts into the same category as other natural disasters that can be dealt with through risk management." - RT.

ICE AGE NOW: Record Setting Snowfall And Brutal Cold Hits New Hampshire - Forces Town Of Alton To Cancel Ice Carnival!

Pedestrians make their way along a snow covered street during a winter snow storm in Cambridge, Massachusetts in this file photo taken on February 9, 2015. 
© Reuters/Brian Snyder

- Following a series of record-setting snowfalls, New England on Friday got a new metric for how severe its winter has been: The town of Alton, New Hampshire called off its annual ice carnival due to a forecast calling for more snow and brutal cold.

"It'll be zero degrees and blowing snow, and that's not a good time for everybody," said Roger Sample, who owns a construction business in the town on the shores of New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee and serves as the carnival's chairman.

The carnival, which Sample said has been held for more than two decades, typically draws about 1,000 visitors out onto the frozen lake's Alton Bay for games and rides, as well as to see small planes that land on the ice.

Alton Winter Carnival Director Roger Sample, left, and Alton Bay Seaplane Base and Ice Runway Manager Paul LaRochelle stand
on the ice of Alton Bay Thursday morning. © DAN SEUFERT/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT

The ice was also a bit slushy following a recent ice-fishing competition, which added to Sample's concern.National Weather Service forecasts call for Alton, located about 90 miles (145 km) north of Boston to see about 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) of snow from a forecast weekend winter storm. Overnight temperatures could dip as low as 6 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (minus-21 C).

Conditions could be worse for Boston, which has received about 6 feet (1.8 meters) of snow from a trio of powerful storms over the past three weeks and is bracing for as much as 14 inches (36 cm) of snow from a storm due to hit on Saturday and last into Sunday.

"More than likely, we're probably going to go to a blizzard warning in eastern Massachusetts and particularly Cape Cod where they could see winds of 70 miles per hour (113 kph)," said Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts. - Reuters.

HIGH STRANGENESS: Weather Anomalies Or Pollution - Mystery Blue Snow Fallout In Chelyabinsk Alarms Residents?!

© Dmitry Kudryonok

February 14, 2015 - CHELYABINSK, RUSSIA
- Residents of Chelyabinsk - the Russian Urals city hit by a meteorite explosion back in 2013 - have sounded alarm over a strange bluish snow that covered the city streets.

"As the sun rose today, everyone noticed the blue rooftops, blue parking lots...we started panicking a bit", local resident Dmitry told RT via phone. The fallout was spotted in an industrial zone on the outskirts of the city.

According to Dmitry, the strange snow smelt somewhat like iron, but was not giving the locals much trouble and even brightened up the area's gloomy surroundings.

© Dmitry Kudryonok

© Dmitry Kudryonok

However, not everyone was amused, with some bewildered locals speculating that the snow was contaminated by toxic materials.

Correspondent with local news portal Telefact, Alexandra Artamonova, said she could "feel a sweet taste in the mouth" while merely standing near a pile of blue snow. She added that people have been complaining of a sore throat after passing near the contaminated area.
Local media trumpeted the people's concerns Thursday. Neither the Emergencies ministry nor the Ministry of Ecology have responded to the case, media claimed.

Nevertheless, later on Thursday LifeNews claimed to have solved the mystery saying that the blue snow should not cause any concern. It turned out to be that a local factory making dye for Easter eggs had a minor "spill". The Viteks Company assured that the colorant does not pose any health risks. - RT.

ICE AGE NOW: Ice Breaker Rushes To Free Stranded Vessel Stuck In Thick Ice During Antarctic SUMMER - Ice Buildup Is Expected To Continue According To Weather Forecast!

Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star opens a channel through the ice.  © AP

February 14, 2015 - ANTARTICA
- Australian 207-foot ship, the Antarctic Chieftain, hit ice up to 10 feet thick and suffered propeller damage near the Ross Sea

A rescue vessel is rushing to free a damaged Australian fishing ship with 27 people aboard which has become trapped in thick Antarctic ice.

The 207-foot ship, the Antarctic Chieftain, suffered propeller damage after hitting a chunk of ice on February 7 in an isolated region near the Ross Sea, south-east of New Zealand. The ship, which is used for harvesting Patagonian toothfish, became stranded in ice floes up to 10 feet thick and lacked the power to break free.

Les Scott, managing director of Tasmanian-based Australian Longline, which owns the ship, said an underwater video inspection showed three of the four propeller blade tips were damaged. None of the crew has been injured.

Antarctic Chieftain

"In view of current ice charts and weather forecast, it is expected that ice will continue to build up, placing unacceptable risk to both crew and vessel safety," Mr Scott told Fairfax Media.

The US Coast Guard said the icebreaker Polar Star has diverted to rescue the Australian vessel and break through the ice. The Polar Star was some 300 nautical miles away and was due to reach the stranded vessel by Friday or Saturday. It will need to cut through thick ice floes and heavy snow and winds up to 35 miles per hour.

"The considerable geographic distances and extreme environmental conditions make this a complex rescue mission," said Captain Matthew Walker, commanding officer of the Polar Star.

A New Zealand fishing vessel, The Janus, is also headed to the area and will assist with towing.

The Polar Star last year was one of several ships deployed to break out the trapped Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy, which eventually freed itself after its passengers were airlifted to safety. - Telegraph.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits The North Atlantic Ocean - The Largest One In 58 YEARS!

USGS earthquake location.

February 14, 2015 - ATLANTIC OCEAN
- A 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the mid North Atlantic on Friday — the largest one in 58 years.

It happened along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge around 3:30 p.m. NT.

USGS earthquake location.

The quake was closer to Greenland and Ireland than Newfoundland. It happened about 1,400 kilometres from Iceland, 1,500 kilometres from Ireland, and about 1,700 kilometres from the island.

There have been five recorded earthquakes in that area in the last century.

USGS shakemap intensity.

Prior to Friday's quake, the largest on record was a 7.0-magnitude quake in 1967.

None of the earthquakes in that area are known to have caused any damage or tsunamis. - CBC.

Tectonic Summary

The February 13, 2015 M 7.1 Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge earthquake occurred as the result of right-lateral strike-slip faulting on or near a transform fault forming part of the North America:Eurasia plate boundary.  At the latitude of this earthquake, the North America plate moves approximately westward at a rate of 21 mm/yr with respect to Eurasia.

The preliminary location and mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with its occurrence on the Charlie-Gibbs Transform (the seismically active section of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone), though more detailed analyses of the event will be required to definitively determine the causative structure.

Moderate-to-large earthquakes in this region of the north Atlantic are not uncommon – over the past century, five other earthquakes of M 6.3-7.0 have occurred within 250 km of the February 13, 2015 event, likely along the same fracture zone. The largest of these was a M 7.0 event on the same day in 1967, 58 years before today’s M 7.1 earthquake. Because of their strike-slip mechanisms and locations in the remote north Atlantic, none of these historic events are known to have caused damage. - USGS.

EXTREME WEATHER: Valentine's Weekend Blizzard To Rage In The U.S. Northeast - Bitter Cold, Powerful Winds, Whiteout Conditions Possible!

February 14, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- A storm moving through the Northeast during the Valentine's Day weekend will develop into a blizzard with snow, fierce wind and bitterly cold air.

While the first of two clipper storms this week will stay weak until swinging east of New England, the second clipper storm rolling in this weekend will strengthen significantly.

People on weekend ski trips or partaking in other travel from the Great Lakes to New England will run the risk of getting stuck in the storm and the frigid air moving in.

According to Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, "The storm could bring life-threatening conditions, especially in New England with very low temperatures and strong winds combining with snow to bring blizzard conditions."

Initially, light snow will move across the Midwest Friday night into Saturday. However, winds will increase after the snow begins as bitterly cold arctic air arrives and AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures plunge below zero F.

The snow and increasing wind will move into the central Appalachians during the day Saturday and will reach the Interstate-95 corridor in the mid-Atlantic and southern New England Saturday afternoon and evening.

As the storm reaches the Atlantic Ocean Saturday night, it will strengthen.

The storm has the potential to bring a moderate to heavy snowfall from the upper part of the mid-Atlantic to southern and central New England Saturday night into Sunday.

Officials and people with travel plans from New York City to Boston and Albany, New York, should monitor the progress of this storm and prepare for disruptions to daily activities.

Lesser snow or a couple of snow showers will occur farther south in the mid-Atlantic. will continue to provide updates on the storm and expected snowfall through this weekend.

Even where a small amount of snow falls, there will be extensive blowing and drifting of the snow on the ground as the storm progresses and in its wake.

Roads may get snow covered and very slippery in some areas. The frigid air moving in will render most inexpensive ice-melting compounds ineffective. Areas of slush and standing water will freeze.

Strong winds in the absence of heavy snow can be enough to cause significant airline delays. Gusts topping 45 mph are possible from Chicago and Detroit to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

According to Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, "Bands of intense lake-effect snow will develop close behind the storm, especially downwind of lakes Michigan, Huron and Ontario."

Travel could be difficult and dangerous along portions of the I-80/90 corridor in Pennsylvania, New York state, New Jersey and the Midwest due to areas of snow, strong crosswinds and bitterly cold air.

Whiteout conditions are possible in parts of northern Indiana, Michigan, southwestern Ontario and upstate New York.

Some lake-effect snow will also occur off Lake Erie even though this shallow water body is mostly frozen over. - AccuWeather.