Sunday, February 15, 2015

PARADIGM SHIFT: Precursors To The End Of False Zionism - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tell Jews To Flee Europe And United States Cuts Israel Out Iran Talks!

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

February 15, 2015 - ISRAEL
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged European Jews to move to Israel after a Jewish man was killed in an attack outside Copenhagen's main synagogue.
"Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe," Netanyahu said in a statement, repeating a similar call after attacks by jihadists in Paris last month when four Jews were among the dead.

Two police officers were also wounded in Sunday's attack in Copenhagen, one of two fatal shootings in the normally peaceful Danish capital on the weekend.

In the first attack on Saturday, a 55-year-old man was killed at a panel discussion about Islam and free speech attended by a Swedish cartoonist behind controversial caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

"Extremist Islamic terrorism has struck Europe again... Jews have been murdered again on European soil only because they were Jews," Netanyahu said in the statement.

The Israeli prime minister said his government was to adopt a $45 million (39.5 million euro) plan "to encourage the absorption of immigrants from France, Belgium and Ukraine".

"To the Jews of Europe and to the Jews of the world I say that Israel is waiting for you with open arms," Netanyahu said.

He had made a similar call after three days of bloodshed in Paris that started with the January 7 attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo where 12 people were gunned down, followed the next day by the shooting death of a policewoman just outside the city.

On January 9, the gunman who killed the policewoman took hostages at a kosher supermarket in Paris. He killed four Jewish hostages before police shot him dead when they raided the store.

The bodies of the four were later flown to Israel where they were buried.

Officials in Copenhagen described the weekend attacks as an act of terror and said the man believed to be behind the shootings was shot dead after opening fire on police at a rail station.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman sent condolences to Danish counterpart Martin Lidegaard over the attacks, telling him Israel "appreciates Denmark's cooperation in maintaining the security of Israelis and Jews in Denmark."

The foreign ministry quoted Lieberman as telling Lidegaard that Israel was "ready for any cooperation required on this issue".

The Palestinians also condemned the attack "in the strongest terms," with PLO official Saeb Erakat calling the Copenhagen attacks "absolutely unjustifiable."

"Terrorism knows no religion or nationality, and our opposition to such violence must be firmly united. We stand in solidarity with the Danish people," Erakat said in a statement. - Yahoo.

Report: US cuts Israel out of Iran talks

A Israeli report claims the US administration has stopped updating Israel about developments in nuclear negotiations between world power and Iran, allegedly in response to Prime Minister Netanyahu's decision to accept an invitation by Republicans to address Congress on the issue.

According to the report by Israel's Channel 2, US Undersecretary of State, Wendy Sherman, who is involved in the talks has announced she will no longer be updating Israelis about the talks. Susan Rice, US President Obama's National Security Advisor, has also reportedly announced she is cutting ties with her Israeli counterpart, Yossi Cohen, who serves as Netanyahu's National Security Advisor.

The White House denied the allegations in the Channel 2 report, saying they were "patently false. National Security Advisor Rice maintains regular contact with her Israeli counterpart National Security Advisor Cohen on the full range of issues of mutual concern to our nations, and will in fact meet with him later this week at the White House."

The State Department also denied any breakdown in communication between the Obama administration and Israel on the sensitive negotiations with Iran. "Secretary Kerry continues his conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu about this issue, as has always been the case.

US House Speaker John Boehner says the White House might have tried to quash his plan to have Israeli prime minister speak to Congress if it had gotten wind of the invitation. That helps explain why Boehner made the offer to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without letting the White House know in advance. Netanyahu's speech is set for March 3.

Some Democrats plan to skip it because they consider it a divisive stunt and a breach of protocol that suggests the US is taking sides in coming Israeli elections.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Boehner was asked by "Fox News Sunday" why he told Israel's ambassador to the United States not to mention the invitation to the White House in advance. Boehner says he "wanted to make sure that there was no interference."

“There’s a serious threat facing the world," he told Fox News. "And I believe Prime Minister Netanyahu is the perfect person to deliver the message of how serious this threat is.”

The statement makes clear that Boehner made the invitation without telling the Obama administration that he was in contact with Israeli ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer.

"There's no secret here in Washington about the animosity that this White House has for Prime Minister Netanyahu. I frankly didn't want them getting in the way and quashing what I thought was a real opportunity," he said.

The majority of Americans think Obama should meet with Netanyahu when the Israeli premier visits Washington next month to speak in front of joint session of Congress, according to a poll conducted by international internet-based market research firm YouGov and the Huffington Post.

In a survey of 1000 US adults interviewed from February 4-8, 2015, 49 percent said it was inappropriate for a member of Congress to invite a foreign leader to speak in the US without first consulting with the White House – 26 percent found that such an invite would be appropriate while 25 percent said they were unsure.

When the question specifically addressed the case of House Speaker Boehner inviting Netanyahu to address Congress without approval, and mention the White House calling the invitation a breach of protocol, 47 percent found the invitation inappropriate, 30 percent found it appropriate and 23 percent were unsure. - YNET News.

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

February 15, 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.

Warning signs for attacking, angry owls posted in Oregon

Screenshot from MSNBC video

Park operators in the City of Salem, Oregon are posting unique signs alerting people that an owl could swoop down and ruin their day. A barred owl has attacked four people in the park in recent months.

The park had previously posted flyers about the owl attacks, but in a segment on wacky politics in Oregon, the owl attacks became a segment on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show on February 5. Maddow suggested the city should post a vivid yellow warning sign using the iconic pedestrian stick figure bent forward at a run. Hovering above – and in fast pursuit – with claws extended like a bird of prey.

Park visitors being dive-bombed by owls. Four attacks in one month. What's causing it?

Salem officials liked the idea enough that park officials secured the rights, created 20 signs, and installed them around Bush’s Pasture Park.

"It's just making people aware that there's an owl there that for whatever reason swoops down and goes after people's hats,"
Mark Becktel, the parks and transportation services manager, told the AP.

Animal specialists said owls are nocturnal predators and prefer rodents and field mice, but a barred owl took an interest in runners who use a nearby jogging hill and began attacking them on their runs. So far there have been four victims, and the owl has been confirmed to be a barred owl.

Angry owl in Oregon park attacks fourth jogger

Salem, Ore. to post signs warning against owl attacks

The Oregon Statesman Journal ran an owl-naming contest and suggestions were voted upon by readers. The names included “Owlpachino,” “Hoodini,” “The D'cap-ee-taker” and “Rachel Madowl,” but the winner name was “Owlcapone,” scoring 177 likes.

David Craig, a biology professor and animal behavior specialist at Willamette University, said barred owls tend to be aggressive and territorial during mating season.

"When owls are nesting, they're really territorial,” Craig told KGW CBS Portland when the first attacks began. "Great horned owls as well as barred owls often swoop down on people, but a very small percentage get clawed and attacked like that." - RT.

Scorpion stings woman on plane, delaying flight at LAX

(Getty Images)

An Alaska Airlines flight en route to Portland had to return to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport Saturday night after a woman was stung by a scorpion, airline officials said.

Medical personnel responded to the woman, who was stung in the arm, according to Cole Cosgrove, a spokesman for the airline. Flight attendants killed the scorpion and searched overhead compartments for "any additional, unwanted arachnids."

The unidentified woman refused additional medical treatment but did not get back on the plane, Cosgrove told the Associated Press.

The flight took off at about 8:40 p.m., 50 minutes behind schedule. It landed safely in Portland late Saturday night.

It's unclear how the scorpion got on the flight, which originated in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Both the Oregon State men's basketball team (which lost to USC 68-55) and the Portland University women's basketball team (which lost to Loyola Marymount 77-73) were on the commercial flight.

"No one seemed frantic at all, not even the woman who was stung," Mike Parker, a sports announcer for Oregon State University, told CNN. "The flight attendants did a great job, as did the captain."

Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said the scorpion-sting victim was seated two rows in front of him on the plane.

“The woman was a real champ," Tinkle told ESPN. "She acted like it was a mosquito bite.”

It's not the first time a passenger aboard an Alaska Airlines flight was stung by a scorpion. In 2011, a similar incident occurred on a flight from Seattle to Anchorage.

"I felt it on my shirt-sleeve and brushed it off, I thought it was a little spider or something," Jeff Ellis told the Associated Press. "Then I felt it back on my elbow."

Flight attendants captured the scorpion, and doctors on the ground told 55-year-old to monitor himself for a possible allergic reaction until the flight landed.

"In the movies, scorpions kill people," he said. "I was just nervous, on edge, making sure that my heart was beating normal, that I wasn't sweating."

Ellis was treated and released. Airline officials said the scorpion probably crawled on board the plane during a stop in Austin, Texas.- Yahoo.

Bobcat kills 3 pets before capture in El Dorado Hills, California

Captured bobcat.

It was stalking around town, on the hunt for prey in a secluded El Dorado Hills neighborhood overrun with trees and brush. It's the kind of environment that makes it easy for a predator on the top of the food chain to hide out.

A 50-pound bobcat did some serious damage to the community, killing 3 pets in 2 days.

"Killed one of their cats, attacked another one of their cats and tried to eat it but the cat got away. Killed another neighbor's cat, then he called us," Jeffery Duke of Duke's Wildlife Control & Removal told FOX40.

WATCH: Bobcat captured after killing pets in El Dorado Hills.

That victim took to a community watch group, warning others after his pet was killed in his own yard. He also witnessed the same animal eating someone else's cat. It had no fear of humans and was capable of hopping fences. It took expertise to nab the wildcat.

"They are so hard to catch and so aware that the grass he is walking on has to be the same," Duke said.

It's the first time Duke's Wildlife Control has ever captured one.

"In this area where he was tracked down, there's plenty of food sources: deer, wild turkey, rodents, and pets that venture outdoors," Duke said. "Nothing you can do but keep your pets inside. They aren't coming in your house after you."

We've seen it time and time again as the drought worsens; wild animals venture closer to humans on the prowl for food.

Duke caught the bobcat, and by law, the animal had to be euthanized. - FOX40.

400 people killed in man-animal conflict in last 15 years in Uttarakhand, India


Man-animal conflict has played havoc with the lives of people in almost 14,000 villages which are located near forest areas. Figures point to the massive extent of damage, and the many lives lost. Since 2000, when the state was formed, around 400 people have died in attacks by animals. Of these, 241 were believed to have been killed by leopards alone. As for animal casualties, around 800 leopards, 90 tigers and 280 elephants have reportedly died in these encounters. However, the state forest department is yet to get its act in place. It cites shortage of staff and limited weaponry as the biggest stumbling blocks in ensuring proper patrolling of the forests.

Meanwhile, people living near the jungles are losing patience. Forest guards have been held captive, and leopards trapped in cages have been set afire. In fact, such is the state of panic that villagers live in constant fear that wild animals may attack them, or their cattle anytime. The forest department, in order to pacify the infuriated villagers, has been enlisting professional hunters. But this has hardly helped calm down tempers. In fact, last year itself, around 25 people were killed by leopards. Acknowledging the gravity of the problem, Dinesh Aggarwal, state forest minister said, "The increasing incidents of leopard attacks on humans in the state is a matter of serious concern. This is happening because both the prey base and the forest areas have shrunk to a great deal and the leopards have begun straying into human habitat for easy food."

In order to do some damage control, the forest department recently trained some of its staff in tranquilising and safely releasing the leopards responsible for human attacks into the forest. Other projects, officials, said, are also in the pipeline. DVS Khati, chief wildlife warden said, "Some basic but essential steps have to be taken to mitigate human-animal conflicts which include creating arrangement of sufficient street lights in the villages. The bushes, too, have to be cleared so that the leopards do not get cover to hide. People must not venture out in dark and be alone near the forest area. Even during day time, they should not go deep into the forest infested with leopards."

To resolve the problem of shortage of prey in the forests, he added, "The wildlife department will create enclosures in the hill areas where prey species such as cheetal, sambar, boar etc will be bred and then left into the forest area so that the leopards get sufficient food in the forest only and do not attack humans. However, it is a long term project which will take a few years to yield results." - The Times of India.

Hundreds of dead fish found floating in a lake in Bongouanou, Cote d'Ivoire (Africa)

Hundreds of dead fish floating on the surface of the lake Kaby located opposite the main market Bongouanou, sowing psychosis among the local population.

Residents fear indeed a pollution of the lake could cause an interruption in the supply of drinking water by the water distribution company in Côte d'Ivoire (SODECI).

The manager SODECI to Bongouanou, Felix Doh, admits poisoning of fish.

"Each year, after the first rain, a turnover of water causes the waste dumped by the people in the gutters that cause oxygen deficiency in the lake, causing the death carp, a very fragile fish species" he says.

Mr. Doh therefore appeal to the people so that they avoid dump trash in the gutters.

City Bongouanou suffered from frequent water shortages related to pollution of lakes in the city between 2010 and 2014.
- Abidjan. [Translated]

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: NASA Captures Birds-Eye View Of Two African Volcanoes - Researchers Say The Increased Lava And Seismic Activity Inside The Calderas Means Another Eruption Or Fissure Is Likely In The Near Future!

NASA captures a color image of two of Africa's most active volcanoes. Photo by NASA/Landsat/Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen

February 15, 2015 - CONGO, AFRICA
- Don't look down. NASA's Landsat 8 satellite has captured impressive color imagery of Africa's Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo volcanoes from a nauseating elevation of 440 miles above Earth's surface.

The images, captured by the observatory's Operational Land Imager, feature two smoke plumes rising and being blown to the southwest by the winds in the mountains of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Nyamuragira is one of Africa's most active volcanoes, and the new images -- captured Feb. 9 -- show that a small but vigorously bubbling lake of lava has formed in the volcano's caldera. Nyamuragira's caldera features walls that rise roughly 330 feet high. Scientists first confirmed the lava lake's presence last year via satellite images and helicopter flyovers.

NASA captures a color image of one of Africa's most active volcanoes. Photo by NASA/Landsat/Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen

In 1938, a large fissure atop Nyamuragira allowed lava from its lake to drain, flowing all the way to Lake Kivu, several dozen miles south. More recently, the volcano has erupted, spewing lava in 2010 and 2011. But it wasn't until last year that its caldera began to refill with lava.

To the south is Nyamuragira's twin, Nyiragongo, which boasts the largest lava lake on the planet. Nyiragongo is one of the world's few volcanoes to sustain a lava lake for several decades. While the piping hot lake of lava mostly just smolders, the volcano has erupted twice in the last century, each time with deadly consequences.

NASA captures a color image of one of Africa's most active volcanoes. Photo by NASA/Landsat/Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen

In 1977, lava raced down the volcano's slopes at more than 60 mph. The lava enveloped parts of several nearby villages, killing at least 70 people. In 2002, another erupting and subsequent lava flow killed 147 people (most from carbon dioxide asphyxiation) and forced thousands to evacuate from the nearby city of Goma.

Researchers say the increased lava and seismic activity inside the calderas means another eruption or fissure is likely in the near future. With Nyamuragira's lava lake continuing to grow, officials in the DRC are already considering evacuation plans for Goma. - UPI.

GLOBAL FOOD/WATER CRISIS: Sao Paulo, A Brazilian City Of 20 Million People To Cut Water Service To Just 2 DAYS PER WEEK - Humanity Plunging Towards Ecological Disaster!

February 15, 2015 - SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
- A last-ditch effort to avoid a complete collapse of one of the city's primary water sources, the city of Sao Paulo in Brazil, population 20 million, has proposed cutting off the water supply up to five days a week, allowing residents to access water only twice per week, or about eight times monthly.

As we reported back in December, Brazil's largest city is barely surviving the worst recorded drought to ever hit the region. With demand for water far exceeding supply, officials have been frantically working to develop a system that will preserve what little water remains while avoiding a complete breakdown of this large metropolitan region.

The "Sistema Cantareira," a series of five interconnected reservoirs that under normal conditions provides water for about 9 million of Sao Paulo's residents, is almost completely dry. According to the latest reports, the utility, which sits almost halfway between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, is down to a mere 5.1 percent of its total capacity of 264 billion gallons of water.

If nothing is done to conserve what little water remains, the entire system will more than likely be dry in a matter of months, and most likely weeks, leaving almost half of the city without water. Consequently, the government is proposing some drastic measures that it says are necessary to prevent a total collapse.

"The government of the state of Sao Paulo has admitted that it may be forced to impose 'drastic' and 'tough' water rationing in Greater Sao Paulo, with possible cuts to supply of up to five days," explains the Brazilian news source Folha de S.Paulo. "The government did not provide further details or specify when the plans will come into effect."

2014 rainfall levels lowest in recorded history; Carnival being cancelled in many cities

Sadly, Brazil is about halfway through its normal rainy season and still hasn't seen any considerable rainfall. According to International Business Times, 2014 rainfall levels are currently the lowest on record in the region, and the drought is showing no signs of relenting any time soon, say experts.

Even if precipitation were to suddenly come, it's unlikely that there would be enough to regenerate the reservoirs, which are teetering on the brink of total collapse. All the way around, it doesn't look good for the people of Sao Paulo, many of whom are having to cancel their festivities for the upcoming Carnival celebration, the country's most esteemed institution.

"Never in the history of our city has something like this happened," stated Antonio Penido, chief of staff and president of the Carnival Commission in the city of Oliveira, population 42,000, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal. "With broken hearts, we made the decision" to cancel this year's festivities.

GMO commodity crops like soy suffering "irreversible yield damage" due to drought

The situation in Rio, Brazil's other major metropolitan city, isn't much more optimistic. According to reports, the state's primary water supply is currently operating at zero capacity, though plans are being put in place to divert water from other sources to sustain the city until at least July.

Meanwhile, agriculture throughout the region is suffering tremendously, including massive genetically modified (GM) soybean plantations that are experiencing "irreversible yield damage," to quote the analysis group Oil World. Brazil's 2015 coffee harvest is also expected to be dismally low, further complicating the problem.

"I know we are heading to a collapse," stated Sao Paulo city councilman Gilberto Natalini, to reporters. Rather than celebrate Carnival this year, Natalini plans to complete a rainwater collection system on his home. - Natural News.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - HUNDREDS Of High Street Banks To Close Down In Towns Across Britain As Banks Abandon Their Promise To Stay Open; ALMOST 900 Branches Are Now At Risk Of Closure!

Closures: Barclays has outlined plans to close 90 branches across the UK by the end of the year
February 15, 2015 - BRITAIN - More than 500 bank branches are expected to disappear from Britain's High Street's this year forcing residents of many communities to travel miles to their nearest bank.

All the major lenders have ditched a commitment to keep open 'the last bank in town', putting almost 900 branches in smaller towns and villages at risk of closure.

Last night one MP described this as a 'bitter blow' for households' for many communities, with campaigners warning that the elderly and small businesses will be hardest hit.

Efforts by business secretary Vince Cable to force to banks resurrect this commitment have been rejected by the lenders, which claim that many branches are not busy enough to keep open as more customers switch online.

Instead Mr Cable has been trying to reach a compromise with lenders, including strict protocols for banks wanting to close a branch – including the requirement to ensure there are alternatives nearby.

Proposals, contained in a seven page document leaked at the weekend, include the requirement for banks to give customers three months' notice if they local branch is set to be closed.

But it states that 'decisions on branch closures are ultimately commercial decisions'.

Experts have warned the loss of the last bank in town pledge - which was introduced in 2008 – puts 878 branches around the country at risk.

In total more than 500 branches are expected to be shut during the course of the year. This would break the record of 479 set last year, which compared to just 195 in 2013.

Leaving town: NatWest has already shut or are about to shut 33 bank branches this year

Derek French from the Campaign for Community Banking said efforts by the coalition to beef up protection for customers 'have achieved very little'.

He said: 'It looks pretty bleak. The closure of branches across the country creates serious inconvenience for those who can least cope, such as elderly customers and hard pressed small businesses who rely heavily on their local bank'.

He added: 'This will also have a knock-on effect on local businesses on the High Street, who will also have less customers'.

Latest figures show that the 142 branches have either been closed by the major banks or are scheduled to do so by the end of March. Of these 52 are the last branch in town.

NatWest - part of state backed Royal Bank of Scotland - has been the biggest culprit, shutting 33 of these, with Barclays closing 15.

Barclays has also outlined plans to close another 90 branches by the end of the year.

Some 8,000 residents of Keynworth in Nottinghamshire will be left without a bank when NatWest closes its branch next month.

St Agnes in Cornwall will lose its last branch when Barclays pulls down the shutters for the last time on Friday.

Chris Leslie, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury said: 'Many neighbourhoods will have already lost pubs and Post Offices.

Sometimes their bank can be the last remaining lifeline to access savings and pay bills– particularly for those who don't want to do business over the internet.'

Shutting shop: In total more than 500 branches are expected to be shut during the course of the year

He added: 'The banks already have responsibility for harming lots of public services which have had their budgets cut because of the financial crash. For them to now be responsible for the death of the High Street would be another bitter blow.'

The bosses of all the major banks have justified the closure of branches by stressing the soaring popularity of digital banking – both online and on smart phones.

They have also argued it is not viable to keep certain branches open because so few customers use them.

RBS boss Ross McEwan last year described its busiest branch as the 7:01 from Reading to Paddington, with over 167,000 customers using its mobile banking app between 7am and 8am on their commute to work every day.

The issue rose up the political agenda last October when Lloyds became the last High Street lender to ditch a promise not to close a branch if it was the last branch in town.

It also announced plans to shut around 200 outlets over the next three years and open 50.

This prompted Mr Cable to write to bank bosses urging them to reinstate this commitment.

As part of the compromise agreement, banks are expected to offer more of their services – particularly for small business customers – via the Post Office's network of 11,500 branches.

A spokesman for the British Bankers' Association said: 'Closing a branch is not a decision that is taken lightly. The protocol that we are developing with the support of Government, consumer and business groups will ensure that provisions are put in place so that customers are still able to access banking services in their local area even if their nearest branch is closed.' - Daily Mail.

CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS & NEW WORLD DISORDER: Religious Warfare, Societal Collapse, And Civilizations Unraveling - ISIS Releases Murderous Video Claiming Execution Of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians On A Libyan Beach!

Islamic State militants have released a new graphic video showing what they claim are the executions of 21 Egyptian Copts kidnapped in Libya.
The video was published on the Twitter account of a website that supports the jihadists.

February 15, 2015 - CAIRO, EGYPT
- In a new propaganda video released Sunday by ISIS, the group claims to have beheaded over a dozen members of Egypt's Coptic Christian minority on a Libyan beach.

The video shows an apparent mass execution with jihadists in black standing behind each of the victims, who are all are dressed in orange jumpsuits with their hands cuffed behind them.

The five-minute video, released by the terror group's propaganda wing al-Hayat Media, includes a masked English-speaking jihadi who says, "The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden's body in, we swear to Allah, we will mix it with your blood."

The Copts – native Christians of Egypt – are shown in the video dressed in orange jumpsuits with their hands tied behind their backs, while being
walked along the seaside by jihadists dressed in black. The Egyptian men are then forced to kneel before being beheaded.

Then on cue, all the victims are pushed to the ground and beheaded.

Local media reports said the Libyan parliament confirmed Saturday the death of 21 kidnapped Egyptian Coptic Christian workers in Libya, after photos released by ISIS' English-language magazine Dabiq claimed their execution.

WATCH: ISIS posts video of purported mass beheading of Christians.

On Friday, Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said the fate of the 21 workers remained unknown, but the authorities were doing their best to communicate with all parties in Libya.

The Egyptian government has yet to confirm the killings. - CNN.

ICE AGE NOW: Heavy Snow, Dangerous Winds Slam New England YET AGAIN - Threatening White-Out Conditions; Blizzard Warning In Effect For Coastal Communities; Bone-Chilling Cold Of Minus -10 Degrees; Already 6 FEET OF SNOW!

A man shovels snow on Beacon Hill in Boston, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. A blizzard warning was in effect for coastal areas from Connecticut to Maine on
Saturday for a fourth major storm in less than a month, promising heavy snow and powerful winds to heap more misery on a region
that has already seen more than 6 feet of snow in some areas. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

February 15, 2015 - MASSACHUSETTS
- A storm brought a new round of wind-whipped snow to New England on Sunday, threatening white-out conditions in coastal areas and forcing people to contend with a fourth winter onslaught in less than a month.

A blizzard warning was in effect for coastal communities from Rhode Island to Maine into Monday; and a bone-chilling blast of cold, with lows of minus-10 degrees was in the Sunday night forecast in parts of the region.

With more than 6 feet of snow already standing in some areas from previous storms, crews struggled to keep snow-clogged roads clear as fresh snow blew in as soon as they passed.

Half a foot of snow had fallen across much of eastern Massachusetts by daybreak Sunday, with Ipswich recording 20 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Before it is all over, southern New England could get several more inches and coastal areas of New Hampshire and southern Maine could see up to 2 feet, weather forecasters said.

"The best thing people can do is stay home, stay indoors," said William Babcock, a weather service meteorologist.

A front end loader clears snow from the street near Fenway Park in Boston, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. Crews from around the region have worked urgently to
remove the massive amounts of snow that has clogged streets and triggered numerous roof collapses ahead of yet another
winter storm due to arrive on Saturday. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Gov. Charlie Baker in Massachusetts and Gov. Gina Raimondo in Rhode Island warned motorists to stay off the roads.

Baker said Sunday morning that high tide was not as severe as anticipated, with no reports of major flooding, but warned that winds gusting over 60 mph could bring power outages.

"There's a little bit of deja vu all over again in this," he said.

Transportation officials in the region had taken precautions. Nearly 400 Sunday flights were canceled at Boston's Logan International Airport, and none was scheduled Sunday morning. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority canceled all rail, bus and ferry service in the Boston area on Sunday.

Babcock said gusts could max out at 75 mph — hurricane territory — on Cape Cod. Officials warned of possible power outages, and north-facing or vulnerable coastal areas could suffer flooding and beach erosion, the weather service said.

Ahead of the storm, forces gathered to remove piles of snow and ready for the next round.

A man walks through falling snow on Boston Common in Boston, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. A blizzard warning was in effect for coastal areas from Connecticut to
Maine on Saturday for a fourth major storm in less than a month, promising heavy snow and powerful winds to heap more misery
on a region that has already seen more than 6 feet of snow in some areas. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Massachusetts called up hundreds of National Guard troops to assist with snow removal, and the Hanscom Air Force base outside Boston became a staging area for heavy equipment pouring in from eight other Northeast states to help in the effort.

Crews worked in Boston's Financial District to remove the massive amounts of snow that clogged streets and triggered numerous roof collapses.

In southern New Hampshire, employees at a tree service volunteered to clear snow from the roof of Londonderry South Elementary School. Dave Burl of Accurate Tree Service told WMUR-TV the roof was engineered to hold 44 pounds per square foot, and the weight was already approaching 30 pounds per square foot.

The bad weather spanned several states — winter storm warnings extended west into Michigan and Ohio, where whiteout conditions led to a pileup on the Ohio Turnpike that killed at least two people. Another storm-related crash on the New York Thruway south of Buffalo killed one person. - My Way News.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Massive Sinkhole Widens Even Further In Solikamsk, Russia - 285 Feet Wide By 246 Feet Deep!

Solikamsk sinkhole. © Getty

February 15, 2015 - SOLIKAMSK, RUSSIA - Flooding at a PAO Uralkali potash mine in Russia's Perm region has increased four-fold in the last two weeks, and a nearby sinkhole is almost 300 feet across.

The average brine inflow to the Solikamsk-2 mine increased from 200 cubic meters an hour to about 820 cubic meters an hour between Jan. 22 and Feb. 6, the world's largest potash miner said today in a statement.

A sinkhole that opened up east of the mine, swallowing local summer homes, has widened to 87 meters (285 feet) by 58 meters and is about 75 meters deep, it said.

Uralkali is monitoring the mine about 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) east of Moscow after salty water, which dissolves potash, began pouring into the site on Nov. 18. The company has said there's a high risk the mine will be completely flooded, forcing it to abandon a site that accounts for about 18 percent of its capacity.

"The announcement just confirms what was known anyway -- the mine is rather dead than alive and is likely to be fully flooded, with inflows seen intensifying in spring," said Raiffeisenbank analyst Konstantin Yuminov. Uralkali assumed the mine was lost when it forecast 2015 output of 10.5 million metric tons, announced in December, he said.

Uralkali is salvaging equipment from the mine shaft that isn't needed to deal with the flooding, it said. Three "Ural" continuous miners have already been dismantled and taken out.

Uralkali also said today that it is pumping brine from the inflow area in the eastern area of the mine field to the western part to prevent flooding in the area adjacent to the shaft. Construction of a brine diversion channel has been completed.

Uralkali is continuing work to strengthen barrier walls between the Solikamsk-1 and Solikamsk-2 mines and is backfilling the worked-out areas of the mine. - Bloomberg.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: "Much More Aggressive Than Others" - HIV Strain Leading To AIDS In THREE YEARS Discovered In Cuba!

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyte.
(Photo Credit: C. Goldsmith Content Providers: CDC/ C. Goldsmith, P. Feorino, E. L. Palmer, W. R. McManus)

February 15, 2015 - CUBA
- A “much more aggressive than others” strain of HIV have been discovered by an international team of researchers in patients in Cuba. It can progress to AIDS in just three years, sometimes even before patients realize they were infected.

The new strain was found by researchers at KU Leuven’s Laboratory for Clinical and Epidemiological Virology, based in Belgium.

They took blood results from 73 recently infected patients – 52 of them diagnosed with AIDS, and 22 patients, who progressed to the disease after a normal long period of being infected with HIV, that’s estimated to be in between 5 and 10 years.

The scientists thus discovered a new faster-progressing strain of HIV, that’s in fact a combination of three subtypes of the virus.

“Here we had a variant of HIV that we found only in the group that was progressing fast,”
Professor Anne-Mieke Vandamme, who led the research, told Voice of America. “Not in the other two groups. We focused in on this variant [and] tried to find out what was different. And we saw it was a recombinant of three different subtypes.”

The patients with the aggressive strain had more virus in their blood as well as more of RANTES – defensive molecules, that the immune system develops in response to HIV.

Recombinant virus strains originate when a person is infected by two different strains, whose DNA fuse to create a new form.

“Engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners increases the risk of contracting multiple strains of HIV,”
the report warns.

In November last year an aggressive strain of HIV was discovered in Africa by researchers of Sweden's Lund University. That strain of the virus was a fusion of the two most common HIV strains in Guinea-Bissau, AFP reported. It has so far only been found in West Africa. - RT.

WEATHER PHENOMENON: "Wow, That Is Really Strange" - Rare And Bizarre Cloud Formations Attract Multitudes In Grand Teton, Wyoming?!

This photo taken Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, and provided by the Grand Teton National Park shows, an unusual cloud formation across the summit of the Grand
Teton in this view from the park's headquarters campus at Moose, Wyo. (AP Photo/Grand Teton National Park, Jackie Skaggs)

February 15, 2015 - WYOMING, UNITED STATES
- A bizarre sheet of wispy clouds undulating over the Teton Range enchanted tourists and even veteran employees of Grand Teton National Park.

Drivers stopped along the park's main highway Thursday morning to gaze in awe and shoot photos of the rare phenomenon hovering over Grand Teton mountain. At 13,770 feet above sea level, the Grand Teton is the highest point in the Teton Range.

The shape-shifting clouds at times appeared like a billowing handkerchief or seagull with its beak touching the mountain's summit, park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said.

She first spotted them on her morning drive to work. "I had to make myself pay attention to the road because I was like, 'Wow, that is really strange,' " Skaggs said Friday.

The clouds persisted through the morning before finally dissipating in the afternoon.

They were lenticular clouds, a type that forms downwind of mountain ranges in certain conditions. Occasionally, lenticular clouds occur as perfectly symmetrical disks, appearing like giant flying saucers and prompting UFO reports.

These particular lenticular clouds resulted from an unusual combination of strong wind and moisture between 13,000 and 14,000 feet, said Riverton-based National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Jones, who got wind of the event from several weather spotters.

"We see these clouds get shaped both by the topography of the mountain and also the way the air will flow over the mountains," Jones said. "It was just in the right place at the right time." - Missoulian.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: The Ebola Outbreak - Sierra Leone Locks Down 700 Homes After Ebola Death!

Health workers put on personal protective equipment in the Kenama treatment center run by the Red Cross Society, in Sierra Leone, November 15, 2014.
(© AFP)

February 15, 2015 - SIERRA LEONE - Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone has put hundreds of homes in the capital, Freetown, under quarantine, following report of a new death from the killer epidemic.

"Some 700 homes have been quarantined for 21 days in the tourism and fishing community of Aberdeen in the west of the capital Freetown...after the death of a fisherman who was later diagnosed Ebola positive,” Obi Sesay, an official at National Ebola Response Center, said on Friday.

The mass quarantine came less than a month after Sierra Leone, one of the three worst Ebola-stricken West African countries, lifted travel bans.

On January 23, Sierra Leone resumed commercial activity, and eased movement due to a “steady downward trend” in new Ebola cases.

After the deadly epidemic began to wane, Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma expressed hope that “victory is in sight." But he also warned that it would be a premature victory unless all the three countries of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone would report no new case in 42 days.

The three countries have noted a stable decrease in new cases over the last few weeks.

According to the World Health Organization's Ebola situation report issued on February 11, a total of 22,894 cases have been diagnosed across the globe with 9,177 of them having died.

The Ebola epidemic has claimed roughly 9,160 lives in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea alone, the report shows.

According to the report, Sierra Leone, with 10,934 reported cases, precedes Liberia with 8,881 cases, and Guinea with 3,826 cases.

Ebola is a form of hemorrhagic fever, whose symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding. The virus spreads through direct contact with infected blood, feces, or sweat. It can also spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses. - Press TV.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Cyber Hacking - Hackers Steal $300 MILLION In Bank Heists Via Malware!

February 15, 2015 - UKRAINE
- In late 2013, an A.T.M. in Kiev started dispensing cash at seemingly random times of day. No one had put in a card or touched a button. Cameras showed that the piles of money had been swept up by customers who appeared lucky to be there at the right moment.

But when a Russian cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Lab, was called to Ukraine to investigate, it discovered that the errant machine was the least of the bank’s problems.

The bank’s internal computers, used by employees who process daily transfers and conduct bookkeeping, had been penetrated by malware that allowed cybercriminals to record their every move. The malicious software lurked for months, sending back video feeds and images that told a criminal group — including Russians, Chinese and Europeans — how the bank conducted its daily routines, according to the investigators.

Then the group impersonated bank officers, not only turning on various cash machines, but also transferring millions of dollars from banks in Russia, Japan, Switzerland, the United States and the Netherlands into dummy accounts set up in other countries.

 “The goal was to mimic their activities,” said Sergey Golovanov of Kaspersky, about how the thieves targeted bank employees.
Credit Raphael Satter/Associated Press

In a report to be published on Monday, and provided in advance to The New York Times, Kaspersky Lab says that the scope of this attack on more than 100 banks and other financial institutions in 30 nations could make it one of the largest bank thefts ever — and one conducted without the usual signs of robbery.

The Moscow-based firm says that because of nondisclosure agreements with the banks that were hit, it cannot name them. Officials at the White House and the F.B.I. have been briefed on the findings, but say that it will take time to confirm them and assess the losses.

Kaspersky Lab says it has seen evidence of $300 million in theft through clients, and believes the total could be triple that. But that projection is impossible to verify because the thefts were limited to $10 million a transaction, though some banks were hit several times. In many cases the hauls were more modest, presumably to avoid setting off alarms.

The majority of the targets were in Russia, but many were in Japan, the United States and Europe.

No bank has come forward acknowledging the theft, a common problem that President Obama alluded to on Friday when he attended the first White House summit meeting on cybersecurity and consumer protection at Stanford University. He urged passage of a law that would require public disclosure of any breach that compromised personal or financial information.

But the industry consortium that alerts banks to malicious activity, the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, said in a statement that “our members are aware of this activity. We have disseminated intelligence on this attack to the members,” and that “some briefings were also provided by law enforcement entities.”

 The American Bankers Association declined to comment, and an executive there, Douglas Johnson, said the group would let the financial services center’s statement serve as the only comment. Investigators at Interpol said their digital crimes specialists in Singapore were coordinating an investigation with law enforcement in affected countries. In the Netherlands, the Dutch High Tech Crime Unit, a division of the Dutch National Police that investigates some of the world’s most advanced financial cybercrime, has also been briefed.

The silence around the investigation appears motivated in part by the reluctance of banks to concede that their systems were so easily penetrated, and in part by the fact that the attacks appear to be continuing.

The managing director of the Kaspersky North America office in Boston, Chris Doggett, argued that the “Carbanak cybergang,” named for the malware it deployed, represents an increase in the sophistication of cyberattacks on financial firms.

“This is likely the most sophisticated attack the world has seen to date in terms of the tactics and methods that cybercriminals have used to remain covert,” Mr. Doggett said.

As in the recent attack on Sony Pictures, which Mr. Obama said again on Friday had been conducted by North Korea, the intruders in the bank thefts were enormously patient, placing surveillance software in the computers of system administrators and watching their moves for months. The evidence suggests this was not a nation state, but a specialized group of cybercriminals.

But the question remains how a fraud of this scale could have proceeded for nearly two years without banks, regulators or law enforcement catching on. Investigators say the answers may lie in the hackers’ technique.

In many ways, this hack began like any other. The cybercriminals sent their victims infected emails — a news clip or message that appeared to come from a colleague — as bait. When the bank employees clicked on the email, they inadvertently downloaded malicious code. That allowed the hackers to crawl across a bank’s network until they found employees who administered the cash transfer systems or remotely connected A.T.M.s.

Then, Kaspersky’s investigators said, the thieves installed a “RAT”— remote access tool — that could capture video and screenshots of the employees’ computers.

“The goal was to mimic their activities,” said Sergey Golovanov, who conducted the inquiry for Kaspersky Lab. “That way, everything would look like a normal, everyday transaction,” he said in a telephone interview from Russia.

The attackers took great pains to learn each bank’s particular system, while they set up fake accounts at banks in the United States and China that could serve as the destination for transfers. Two people briefed on the investigation said that the accounts were set up at J.P. Morgan Chase and the Agricultural Bank of China. Neither bank returned requests for comment.

Kaspersky Lab was founded in 1997 and has become one of Russia’s most recognized high-tech exports, but its market share in the United States has been hampered by its origins. Its founder, Eugene Kaspersky, studied cryptography at a high school that was co-sponsored by the K.G.B. and Russia’s Defense Ministry, and he worked for the Russian military before starting his firm.

When the time came to cash in on their activities — a period investigators say ranged from two to four months — the criminals pursued multiple routes. In some cases, they used online banking systems to transfer money to their accounts. In other cases, they ordered the banks’ A.T.M.s to dispense cash to terminals where one of their associates would be waiting.

But the largest sums were stolen by hacking into a bank’s accounting systems and briefly manipulating account balances. Using the access gained by impersonating the banking officers, the criminals first would inflate a balance — for example, an account with $1,000 would be altered to show $10,000. Then $9,000 would be transferred outside the bank. The actual account holder would not suspect a problem, and it would take the bank some time to figure out what had happened.

“We found that many banks only check the accounts every 10 hours or so,” Mr. Golovanov of Kaspersky Lab said. “So in the interim, you could change the numbers and transfer the money.”

The hackers’ success rate was impressive. One Kaspersky client lost $7.3 million through A.T.M. withdrawals alone, the firm says in its report. Another lost $10 million from the exploitation of its accounting system. In some cases, transfers were run through the system operated by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift, which banks use to transfer funds across borders. It has long been a target for hackers — and long been monitored by intelligence agencies.

Mr. Doggett likened most cyberthefts to “Bonnie and Clyde” operations, in which attackers break in, take whatever they can grab, and run. In this case, Mr. Doggett said, the heist was “much more ‘Ocean’s Eleven.’ ” - NY Times.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Astronomers Discover Rare Planet - Kepler -432b Is A Dense, Massive Celestial Body With Extreme Seasons!

Illustration of the orbit of Kepler-432b (inner, red) in comparison to the orbit of Mercury around the Sun (outer, orange). The red dot in the middle indicates the
position of the star around which the planet is orbiting. The size of the star is shown to scale, while the size of the planet has been magnified ten times for
illustration purposes. The orbit of Kepler-432b is highly elongated. As a consequence, the distance between the planet and the star as well
as the temperature on the planet change dramatically during a single orbit. Credit: Graphic Dr. Sabine Reffert

February 15, 2015 - SPACE
- Two research groups of Heidelberg astronomers have independently of each other discovered a rare planet. The celestial body, called Kepler-432b, is one of the most dense and massive planets known so far. The teams, one led by Mauricio Ortiz of the Centre for Astronomy of Heidelberg University (ZAH) and the other by Simona Ciceri of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, report that the planet has six times the mass of Jupiter, but about the same size. The shape and the size of its orbit are also unusual for a planet like Kepler-432b that is revolving around a giant star. In less than 200 million years, this "red giant" will most likely swallow up the planet.

The results of this research were published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

"The majority of known planets moving around giant stars have large and circular orbits. With its small and highly elongated orbit, Kepler-432b is a real 'maverick' among planets of this type," says Dr. Davide Gandolfi from the state observatory Königstuhl, which is part of the Centre for Astronomy. Dr. Gandolfi is a member of the research group that discovered the planet. He explains that the star around which Kepler-432b is orbiting has already exhausted the nuclear fuel in its core and is gradually expanding. Its radius is already four times that of our Sun and it will get even larger in the future. As the star is reddish in colour, astronomers call it a "red giant."

The orbit brings Kepler-432b incredibly close to its host star at some times and much farther away at others, thus creating enormous temperature differences over the course of the planet's year, which corresponds to 52 Earth days. "During the winter season, the temperature on Kepler-432b is roughly 500 degrees Celsius. In the short summer season, it can increase to nearly 1,000 degrees Celsius," states astronomer Dr. Sabine Reffert from the state observatory Königstuhl. Kepler-432b was previously identified as a transiting planet candidate by the NASA Kepler satellite mission. From the vantage point of Earth, a transiting planet passes in front of its host star, periodically dimming the received stellar light.

Both groups of researchers used the 2.2-metre telescope at Calar Alto Observatory in Andalucía, Spain to collect data. The group from the state observatory also observed Kepler-432b with the Nordic Optical Telescope on La Palma (Canary Islands). Thus, they were able to acquire the high-precision measurements needed to determine the planet's mass. "The discovery of Kepler-432b was possible only thanks to the flexible scheduling of observation time on the telescopes and the outstanding support provided by the technicians and telescope operators on the two sites," stresses Dr. Gandolfi.

"The days of Kepler-432b are numbered, though," adds Mauricio Ortiz, a PhD student at Heidelberg University who led one of the two studies of the planet. "In less than 200 million years, Kepler-432b will be swallowed by its continually expanding host star. This might be the reason why we do not find other planets like Kepler-432b -- astronomically speaking, their lives are extremely short." - Science Daily.

ICE AGE NOW: "Snow Hurricane" - Ferocious Blizzard As Powerful As A Category 2 Hurricane To Hammer U.S. Northeast, New England With Heavy Snow, Howling Winds And Pounding Waves; Residents Climb The "Alps Of MIT," Where Snow Piles 40 FEET HIGH; New York Braces For Coldest Day In TWO DECADES!

February 15, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- A ferocious blizzard — as powerful as a Category 2 hurricane — is forecast to hammer parts of the Northeast and New England with heavy snow, howling winds and pounding waves late Saturday into Sunday.

Snow 'hurricane' to lash New England this weekend

The storm's predicted barometric pressure, a measure of the storm's intensity, "is typically observed with a Category 2 hurricane," the National Weather Service in Boston said.

The heaviest snow will stretch from northeastern Massachusetts to coastal Maine with more than a foot expected, AccuWeather predicts. Wind gusts could approach 70 mph in some spots — strong enough to cause structural damage and widespread power outages, the weather service said.

Snow from the storm will add to what has already been a historic winter in Boston. The city has endured its snowiest February ever – 42.2 inches of snow so far this month, the weather service reported Friday.

"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," AccuWeather meteorologist Henry Margusity said.

A gust of wind whips up snow as a group of ice fishermen from Ashby, Mass., work to push their bob-house across frozen
Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith, N.H. on Feb. 5.
(Photo: Jim Cole, AP)

Blizzard warnings and watches have been posted for the entire east coast of New England from Cape Cod to Maine.

"Blizzard conditions could make traveling difficult if not impossible," the weather service warned. "Blowing and drifting snow combined with strong winds may create problems for uncleared roofs."

Thundersnow — heavy snow accompanied by lightning and thunder — is also possible, according to the weather service. Coastal flooding could affect parts of eastern Massachusetts because of the pounding surf. The Weather Channel has dubbed the system Winter Storm Neptune.

More than a foot of snow is likely in parts of eastern New England this weekend. (Photo: AccuWeather)

Storm 's Threat: Power Outages, Dangerous on the Way: 

This weekend’s New England blizzard will be the size and strength of a hurricane 

Recent storms have thrown the Boston-area transit system into disarray, and no decision on weekend service has been made yet. With area schools on break next week, some families have been leaving Logan Airport early to beat the storm.

Though New England will see the worst of the storm by far, light to locally moderate amounts of snow are also expected farther west, including Long Island, the New York City area, the Hudson Valley, central and western New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the Appalachians and Great Lakes, according to the Weather Channel

Any silver lining to all of this? Boston Red Sox pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring training in Florida next Friday, in a sure sign that warmer weather will be back — eventually. - USA Today.

Residents, students are climbing the ‘Alps of MIT’ - 40 FEET HIGH Snow Mound

A massive mound on MIT’s campus — meant to serve as a dumping ground for excess snow — has been transformed by residents and students into a prime place for skiing, sledding, and “mountain” climbing.

“I’m not sure who or what equipment was used to get it that high, but it’s definitely an awesome sight and unique this year,” said Dheera Venkatraman, a recent PhD graduate who spent a day scaling the massive pile of snow known as the “Alps of MIT” on Albany Street.

Venkatraman, who snapped photos of friends trudging up the sides of the mound just behind the Simmons residence hall, said he observed people sledding, skiing, and “just sliding down” the mini-slopes.

A school newsletter estimates the mound at five stories, sitting just below the residence hall, but towering over other buildings. Police think it’s closer to three stories, or 40 feet. There’s no official measurement.

“From the top, I could look down onto the roof of the nearby buildings,” said Venkatraman. “I love winter hiking in the White Mountains, and thought about going out there again with my snowshoes. But since I got busy with work I stayed back and climbed Mt. Cambridge instead.”

It’s huge, and proving irresistible to winter sports enthusiasts at MIT. Courtesy of Tom Gearty at MIT

Courtesy photo/Dheera Venkatraman

Carolyn Holz, a student working the front desk of Simmons Hall, said it has become a kind of “hill for outdoor activities,” especially on the days when classes were canceled due to snow.

“There’s been a few people on it. They have mostly been sledding, but I saw someone with downhill skis on it just the other day,” said Holz.

MIT Police Chief John DiFava said the institute used front-end loaders to build the pile from snow that has fallen around campus. Police have attempted to cordon off the mound, and hope students will stay clear of it with more snow on the way.

“You try and stray away from the punitive the best you can, and we understand it’s kids being kids,” he said. “That being said, it is fenced off, and hopefully students will respect that.” - Boston Globe.

NYC braces for coldest day in two decades

New Yorkers will need to bundle up this weekend. Photo: Reuters

The Big Apple will be more like the Big Icebox this weekend.

An arctic cold front packing dangerous winds of up to 60 mph could make it feel like it’s 20 below zero by Sunday — the coldest wind-chill factor since 1993’s “Storm of the Century,” forecasters warned.

“You better snuggle up,” AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Kines said, noting the arctic blast will blow through after another snowstorm slams the already hard-hit Northeast this weekend.

The blizzard to the north will skirt the city Saturday into early Sunday but could leave up to 3 inches of snow on the ground in the metro area.

Saturday’s high will be about 35 with a low of 17, but by Sunday morning conditions will be downright dangerous.

The thermometer will plummet to 6 degrees or lower.

“When the winds pick up Saturday night, that’s the signal” the front is crashing through, Kines said.

The wind will build as the thermometer drops, which means brave souls venturing outdoors Sunday morning should dress for the North Pole — with plenty of layers and no skin exposed.

“Sometimes we forget about our ears and our nose,” Kines said, urging people to bundle up outside.

The Bryant Park fountain stands frozen on Friday. Photo: Getty Images

But some New Yorkers said they would ride out the frigid temperatures indoors, and ward off the chill with some hot food or a bottle of booze.

“I’m going to go home, eat soup and stay warm. I just want to get home to the heat,” Eddie Girado of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, said while leaving work on the Upper West Side.

Hollye Hudson, another Brooklyn resident, said, “I’m probably just going to buy a bottle of wine and stay inside.”

Shavkat Yenileev declared: “I’m going to drink a lot. That’s all. It’s going to keep me warm. I live in Brighton Beach. All of Brighton Beach will be drunk!”

The relatively light snowfall in the city will still make roads treacherous as the gale-force winds kick up powder over bridges and highways.

The wind will continue into Monday, making temperatures again feel as low as minus-20 and blowing with enough force to bring down tree branches and power lines, AccuWeather warned.

Forecasters said the wind chills could be colder than in March 1993, when the so-called Storm of the Century, or ’93 Superstorm, swept across the East Coast from Alabama to Canada, killing more than 300 people before it headed out to sea. - NY Post.