Tuesday, January 5, 2016

PARADIGM SHIFT: The Age Of Obama, The Culture Of Death And The Control Of The White Man's Penis - Tearful President Obama Outlines Sweeping Measures To Curb Gun Deaths In The United States!

Shedding tears over the 2012 deaths of children in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, the president announced executive actions he will take on gun laws.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS on Publish Date January 5, 2016. Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times.

January 5, 2016 - UNITED STATES - As tears streamed down his face, President Obama on Tuesday condemned the gun violence that has reached across the United States and vowed to curb the bloodshed with or without Congress.

“In this room right here, there are a lot of stories. There’s a lot of heartache,” Mr. Obama said in the White House East Room, flanked by relatives of those struck down in mass shootings, including former Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. “There’s a lot of resilience, there’s a lot of strength, but there’s also a lot of pain.”

For all the emotion he showed, Mr. Obama nonetheless faces legal, political and logistical hurdles that are likely to blunt the effect of the plan he laid out.A number of the executive actions he plans are only suggested “guidance” for federal agencies, not binding regulations. They were framed mostly as clarifying and enforcing existing law, not expanding it. And many of those measures rely on hefty funding increases that a Republican-led Congress is almost certain to reject.

Among other measures, the plan aims to better define who should be licensed as a gun dealer and thus be required to conduct background checks on customers to weed out prohibited buyers.

Even the administration said it was impossible to gauge how big an effect the steps might have, how many new gun sales might be regulated or how many illegal guns might be taken off the streets.

“I don’t think anyone can credibly tell you yet what all this means,” Charles E. James Jr., a former federal gun crimes prosecutor who now represents gun industry clients, said of Mr. Obama’s plan.

WATCH: Obama tears up as he remembers Sandy Hook at executive action on gun control announcement.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch told reporters Monday that she could not say whether the new restrictions would have had any effect in a series of recent mass shootings, including last month’s attack in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 dead. But in the massacre of nine people at a South Carolina church in June, the man charged, Dylan Roof, was able to buy a .45-caliber handgun despite admitting to drug use. The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said at the time that a breakdown in the background check system had allowed Mr. Roof to buy the gun.Mr. Obama voiced irritation over the issue.“Each time this comes up,” Mr. Obama said in his speech, “we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying. I reject that thinking. We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.”

Nearly 21 million gun sales were processed through the background check system in 2014, but some industry analysts say as many as 40 percent more firearms could have been sold through private transactions not subject to background checks. Even the most hopeful advocates say the new plan would affect only thousands of sales.

Proposals that would have the biggest effect have long been shelved by even the most ardent gun control advocates who now see an assault weapons ban or mandatory gun buyback programs like ones in Australia in 1996 and 2003 as political fantasy.

Modest as the new measures may prove to be, the response was unrestrained. Republican presidential candidates and congressional leaders greeted them with peals of protests and angry claims of a “gun grab” that would violate Second Amendment rights. Gun control advocates hailed them as a breakthrough in what has often been a losing battle to toughen firearms restrictions.

The families of gun victims and gun control activists crowded into the White House and watched Mr. Obama break down as he recalled the young children gunned down by an assailant in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

“First graders,” the president said, his eyes drifting off and becoming red with tears. He wiped his face and paused to regain his composure: “Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad.”

By taking action, Mr. Obama is purposely stoking a furious political debate that has roiled Congress and spilled over into the presidential campaign. Vowing last year to “politicize” the gun issue after a mass shooting at an Oregon community college, Mr. Obama on Tuesday made good on that promise.

The National Rifle Association, targeted by Mr. Obama in his speech, mocked his tears.

“The American people do not need more emotional, condescending lectures that are completely devoid of facts,” said Chris W. Cox, the group’s top lobbyist.

Republican presidential candidates also raced to condemn Mr. Obama, with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas putting up a web page with a menacing, altered picture of the president in a commando outfit. A caption read “Obama Wants Your Guns” next to a fund-raising appeal.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin posted his opposition on Twitter as the president spoke, saying Mr. Obama’s “words and actions amount to a form of intimidation that undermines liberty.”But Mr. Obama’s allies were equally intense in their defense.Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, posted on Twitter from the East Room: “President wiping tears. So am I. One of the most moving things I’ve ever seen.”

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, posted a “thank you” to Mr. Obama for “taking a crucial step forward on gun violence.”

Mr. Obama’s plan is likely to face legal challenges from gun rights groups that accuse him of overstepping his executive authority. A number of critics said they suspected that the president’s push to “clarify” the definition of licensed gun dealers could force even the occasional gun seller to register their transactions.

Shortly before Mr. Obama’s remarks, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released guidance to gun sellers on the criteria that could qualify someone as a gun “dealer” who needs to be licensed and conduct background checks. Those criteria include having a website, using business cards or selling new guns in their original packages.

The 14-page pamphlet, posted on the agency’s website, offers examples to help guide sellers, such as “Bob,” who wants to sell a gun collection that he inherited (he would not need to be licensed) and “Sharon,” who sells guns at flea markets every weekend (she would need to be licensed).

sive options, such as establishing a defined threshold for the number of gun sales that would qualify someone as a dealer required to conduct background checks.

White House officials were mindful of the legal reversals sustained when the president tried to grant legal immigration status by executive action to five million immigrants in the country illegally, and they said they tried to make the gun plan as safe from legal attacks as possible.

“This is really pretty modest stuff,” said Ladd Everitt, the communications director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, an advocacy group.

Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum in Washington, who attended Mr. Obama’s speech, said many police organizations had been pushing for more background checks on firearm purchases. While he praised Mr. Obama for taking action, he said more needed to be done.

“If Congress doesn’t allow for legislation, I think he went as far as he could using the bully pulpit,” Mr. Wexler said.

With Congress unwilling to act, many gun control groups have turned to states for changes, with 18 states now imposing some form of background check. - NY Times.

EXTREME WEATHER: More Signs Of Magnetic Polar Migration - Lightning Strikes Kill 107 Cambodians In 2015; 42 PERCENT Increase Over 2014!

January 5, 2016 - CAMBODIA - Cambodian National Committee for Disaster Management, said 107 Cambodians, mostly rural dwellers, had been killed by lightning strikes in 2015, up 42.6 percent from the 75 deaths in 2014.

Keo Vy, Spokesman for the Management, said on Tuesday in Phnom Penh that besides the fatalities, thunderbolts had injured 77 others last year, up 35 per cent from the 57 injuries in a year earlier.

He said the casualties rose because torrential rains with thunder, lightning and strong wind had happened more often last year.

Vy said lightning strikes occur every year in Cambodia, particularly in rainy season from May through October.

He advised that to avoid the dangers from lightning strikes, people should stay in homes or shelters when there are strong rains. - Leadership.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Major Global Seismic Uptick - Hundreds More Earthquakes Shake Oklahoma In 2015!

Pages from a powerpoint presentation discussing the recent earthquake activity in Oklahoma are pictured at the Oklahoma Geological Survey at the University of Oklahoma
in Norman, Okla., Thursday, June 26, 2014. Earthquakes that have shaken Oklahoma communities in recent months have damaged homes, alarmed residents and prompted
lawmakers and regulators to investigate what's behind the temblors and what can be done to stop them.
© Sue Ogrocki / AP

January 5, 2016 - OKLAHOMA, UNITED STATES - Earthquakes in Oklahoma spiked in 2015, jumping more than 50 percent and setting another state record, according to Energy Wire.

The state was rocked by 881 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3 or greater last year, compared to 578 in 2014, according to data from the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

Quakes have been on the rise in Oklahoma following a boom in oil and gas activity — state officials have blamed the seismic activity on an increase in wastewater injections in drilling areas.

The technique that has helped Oklahoma become a bigger energy producer, hydraulic fracturing, involves blasting a combination of water, chemicals and sand underground to unlock the oil and natural gas trapped in shale deposits.

When the left over water from that process is pumped into some fault lines, state researchers have said, an increase in seismic activity can result.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission requires well operators to prove that their wells do not reach a certain depth that has been linked to greater earthquake activity, according to The Oklahoman.

Oil and gas industry representatives have pushed back against the link between wastewater disposal and earthquakes.

But there has been increased scrutiny in North Texas as well, where communities have also felt increasing intensity in quakes.

The Railroad Commission last year determined that the link between disposal wells and seismic activity were not clear, however. - San Antonio Express-News.

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues Relentlessly - Dozens Of Villages In Georgia Lose Power Following Heavy Snowfall!

Snowfall in Georgia

January 5, 2016 - GEORGIA - Heavy snow continues today in a number of cities and regions in both west and east Georgia (former Soviet Republic).

Snow depth in the western town of Zugdidi, Tsalenjikha, Kobuleti, Batumi reaches 50-70 cm (20-28 inches) in some areas and other nearby cities - 1 meter (39 inches).

The temperature dropped to minus 10.5 degrees, in mountainous areas - to minus 15-20 degrees Celsius. Also in Abkhazia the heavy snow knocked out power to dozens of villages of western Georgia.

Power teams are working almost around the clock to restore power and brigades of workers with heavy machinery are working to clear the highways.

In eastern Georgia, in particular the region of Kakheti, snow cover has reached 70-90 cm, de-energized several settlements and forced closure of some highways.

In Lagodekhi district a group of rescuers and local residents are searching for three hunters who went missing in a mountainous area.

Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for this link

- Ice Age Now.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Man Dies After House Explosion And Fire In Wolverhampton, UK - Second In Same Area Within A Week!

The explosion happened just streets away from the site of another house explosion last week.© ITV News Central

January 5, 2016 - UNITED KINGDOM - Man confirmed dead at scene as fire crews tackle blaze after explosion at property in Rylands Drive

A man has died after reports of an explosion at a house in Wolverhampton.

Fire crews were alerted at around 3.15pm on Tuesday afternoon after an explosion was reported at the property in Rylands Drive, in the Penn area of the city.

An ambulance crew, a paramedic area support officer, a senior paramedic officer, the West Midlands CARE Team and the Hazardous Area Response Team were in attendance. The Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford was also initially sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: "Wearing personal protective clothing and using breathing apparatus, the Hazardous Area Response Team entered the building with the fire service where they found the body of a man.

"He was confirmed dead at the scene." Four fire crews from Fallings Park, Tettenhall and Wednesbury were sent to tackle the blaze. Police and National Grid were also in attendance, though it was later confirmed that gas was not the cause of the blast.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Fire Service said: "It appears there was an explosion and a fire, mainly on the first floor and into the roof space.

"We can confirm that this incident was not a gas explosion. National Grid have ensured there is no gas near the premises."

Rylands Drive and nearby Mount Road were closed and members of the public were advised to avoid the area.

The incident happened only a few streets away from Penn Road, where a woman miraculously escaped with only cuts and bruises after her house was reduced to rubble by a gas explosion last week.

- Birmingham Mail.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Global Seismic Uptick - 34 Earthquakes Recorded In 2015 For Jammu And Kashmir, India!

January 5, 2016 - INDIA - Govt "ill-prepared" to deal with disasters

Jammu and Kashmir has recorded 34 earth quakes in 2015 which has brought to limelight the state"s vulnerabilities to natural disasters.

According to the Indian metrological department, most parts of Kashmir covering the districts of Srinagar, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Budgam, Anantnag and parts of Jammu region, Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar come under Seismic Zone V and are prone to earthquakes. While the rest part of the state comes under Seismic Zone IV.

In 2015, the frequent earth quakes some were measured above 7 magnitude on the Richter scale has proved that J&K is prone to earthquakes and there is a dire need of having well equipped agencies to deal with natural disasters.

According to the official figures of J&K meteorological department, 34 earthquakes hit J&K in 2015. Tremors were felt twice in February last while eight earth quakes were reported in March. Tremors jolted the state four times in April including a powerful earth quake on April 25 measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale. Tremors were felt twice and once in the month of May and June respectively. In July, the state recorded four earthquakes although of low intensity. Mild to moderate tremors were felt twice and thrice in the month of August and September respectively.

In October, two earth quakes were recorded including a powerful one on October 26 of 7.5 magnitude in which three people lost their lives and caused damage to scores of houses across the state. The figures reveal, earth quakes were recorded thrice in the month of November. In December also, tremors jolted J&K thrice including a power earthquake on 26 midnight of the month measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale in which two people died due to heart attack.

In this month too, the J&K was jolted by an earthquake on January 2 of magnitude 5.8. The frequent earth quakes have been scaring the people while government seems not interesting in taking measures how to deal with such disasters.

According to Director Meteorological Department Sonam Lotus, the frequent earth quakes in 2015 have proved that people and the government should be well prepared in dealing with such incidents.

Professor Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, who teaches Earth Sciences at Kashmir University says J&K falls in the seismic zone of IV and V and people should be well prepared to deal with such eventualities. "We can"t predict the timing, magnitude and place of an earthquake but we should be well prepared in dealing with any such natural disaster," Romshoo said. "There happens earthquake every day in Japan but they are well prepared and build earthquake resistant houses which we lack in the state."

He said the Earth Sciences department of Kashmir University with other institutes would soon carry out a programme to assess the vulnerability of Srinagar city to earthquakes.

In backdrop of repeated earthquakes in 2013 in Kishtwar district, an expert team headed by former vice-chancellor of Kashmir University Professor Talat Ahmad found that majority of the offices and schools were not in a position to resist the earth quake and could face damages due such tremors.

The expert team had told the government that buildings which are being constructed in the state are poorly designed and are highly vulnerable to earthquake.

In July this year, the state Cabinet approved state"s first-ever disaster management plan. The government had said the plan is aimed at reducing the state"s vulnerability to hazards and enhance human and institutional capabilities to cope with disasters and natural calamities in a more effective manner.

Sources said despite having passed five months, there has been no progress in implementation of the disaster management plan.

"No work has been started for its implementation and it has been confined to papers," an official of Revenue and Rehabilitation department said. "It shows the non-seriousness of the government in dealing with natural disasters."

Two battalions of auxiliary forces were converted into State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) in 2012. However, the SDRF is still ill-equipped and its forces are not in a position to deal with any emergency at the time of any natural calamity. Its men have also been assigned other duties like security.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Asgar Samoon admitted that SDRF lacks equipment and proper training to deal with natural calamities. He said the government was considering how to strengthen the SDRF in the state. - The North Lines.

Seismotectonics of the Himalaya and Vicinity

Seismicity in the Himalaya dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The surface expression of the plate boundary is marked by the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east and the east-west trending Himalaya Front in the north of India.

The India-Eurasia plate boundary is a diffuse boundary, which in the region near the north of India, lies within the limits of the Indus-Tsangpo (also called the Yarlung-Zangbo) Suture to the north and the Main Frontal Thrust to the south. The Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is located roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin. The narrow (less than 200km) Himalaya Front includes numerous east-west trending, parallel structures. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults. Examples of significant earthquakes, in this densely populated region, caused by reverse slip movement include the 1934 M8.1 Bihar, the 1905 M7.5 Kangra and the 2005 M7.6 Kashmir earthquakes. The latter two resulted in the highest death tolls for Himalaya earthquakes seen to date, together killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The largest instrumentally recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on 15th August 1950 in Assam, eastern India. This M8.6 right-lateral, strike-slip, earthquake was widely felt over a broad area of central Asia, causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The Tibetan Plateau is situated north of the Himalaya, stretching approximately 1000km north-south and 2500km east-west, and is geologically and tectonically complex with several sutures which are hundreds of kilometer-long and generally trend east-west. The Tibetan Plateau is cut by a number of large (greater than 1000km) east-west trending, left-lateral, strike-slip faults, including the long Kunlun, Haiyuan, and the Altyn Tagh. Right-lateral, strike-slip faults (comparable in size to the left-lateral faults), in this region include the Karakorum, Red River, and Sagaing. Secondary north-south trending normal faults also cut the Tibetan Plateau. Thrust faults are found towards the north and south of the Tibetan Plateau. Collectively, these faults accommodate crustal shortening associated with the ongoing collision of the India and Eurasia plates, with thrust faults accommodating north south compression, and normal and strike-slip accommodating east-west extension.

Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of south-eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the India plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range. Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes. The active, left-lateral, strike-slip Chaman fault is the fastest moving fault in the region. In 1505, a segment of the Chaman fault near Kabul, Afghanistan, ruptured causing widespread destruction. In the same region the more recent 30 May 1935, M7.6 Quetta earthquake, which occurred in the Sulaiman Range in Pakistan, killed between 30,000 and 60,000 people.

On the north-western side of the Tibetan Plateau, beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur at depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. The curved arc of deep earthquakes found in the Hindu Kush Pamir region indicates the presence of a lithospheric body at depth, thought to be remnants of a subducting slab. Cross-sections through the Hindu Kush region suggest a near vertical northerly-dipping subducting slab, whereas cross-sections through the nearby Pamir region to the east indicate a much shallower dipping, southerly subducting slab. Some models suggest the presence of two subduction zones; with the Indian plate being subducted beneath the Hindu Kush region and the Eurasian plate being subducted beneath the Pamir region. However, other models suggest that just one of the two plates is being subducted and that the slab has become contorted and overturned in places.

Shallow crustal earthquakes also occur in this region near the Main Pamir Thrust and other active Quaternary faults. The Main Pamir Thrust, north of the Pamir Mountains, is an active shortening structure. The northern portion of the Main Pamir Thrust produces many shallow earthquakes, whereas its western and eastern borders display a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms. On the 18 February 1911, the M7.4 Sarez earthquake ruptured in the Central Pamir Mountains, killing numerous people and triggering a landside, which blocked the Murghab River.

Further north, the Tian Shan is a seismically active intra-continental mountain belt, which extends 2500 km in an ENE-WNW orientation north of the Tarim Basin. This belt is defined by numerous east-west trending thrust faults, creating a compressional basin and range landscape. It is generally thought that regional stresses associated with the collision of the India and Eurasia plates are responsible for faulting in the region. The region has had three major earthquakes (greater than M7.6) at the start of the 20th Century, including the 1902 Atushi earthquake, which killed an estimated 5,000 people. The range is cut through in the west by the 700-km-long, northwest-southeast striking, Talas-Ferghana active right-lateral, strike-slip fault system. Though the system has produced no major earthquakes in the last 250 years, paleo-seismic studies indicate that it has the potential to produce M7.0+ earthquakes and it is thought to represent a significant hazard.

The northern portion of the Tibetan Plateau itself is largely dominated by the motion on three large left-lateral, strike-slip fault systems; the Altyn Tagh, Kunlun and Haiyuan. The Altyn Tagh fault is the longest of these strike slip faults and it is thought to accommodate a significant portion of plate convergence. However, this system has not experienced significant historical earthquakes, though paleoseismic studies show evidence of prehistoric M7.0-8.0 events. Thrust faults link with the Altyn Tagh at its eastern and western termini. The Kunlun Fault, south of the Altyn Tagh, is seismically active, producing large earthquakes such as the 8th November 1997, M7.6 Manyi earthquake and the 14th November 2001, M7.8 Kokoxili earthquake. The Haiyuan Fault, in the far north-east, generated the 16 December 1920, M7.8 earthquake that killed approximately 200,000 people and the 22 May 1927 M7.6 earthquake that killed 40,912.

The Longmen Shan thrust belt, along the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, is an important structural feature and forms a transitional zone between the complexly deformed Songpan-Garze Fold Belt and the relatively undeformed Sichuan Basin. On 12 May 2008, the thrust belt produced the reverse slip, M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, killing over 87,000 people and causing billions of US dollars in damages and landslides which dammed several rivers and lakes.

Southeast of the Tibetan Plateau are the right-lateral, strike-slip Red River and the left-lateral, strike-slip Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang fault systems. The Red River Fault experienced large scale, left-lateral ductile shear during the Tertiary period before changing to its present day right-lateral slip rate of approximately 5 mm/yr. This fault has produced several earthquakes greater than M6.0 including the 4 January 1970, M7.5 earthquake in Tonghai which killed over 10,000 people. Since the start of the 20th century, the Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang Fault system has generated several M7.0+ earthquakes including the M7.5 Luhuo earthquake which ruptured on the 22 April 1973. Some studies suggest that due to the high slip rate on this fault, future large earthquakes are highly possible along the 65km stretch between Daofu and Qianning and the 135km stretch that runs through Kangding.

Shallow earthquakes within the Indo-Burmese Arc, predominantly occur on a combination of strike-slip and reverse faults, including the Sagaing, Kabaw and Dauki faults. Between 1930 and 1956, six M7.0+ earthquakes occurred near the right-lateral Sagaing Fault, resulting in severe damage in Myanmar including the generation of landslides, liquefaction and the loss of 610 lives. Deep earthquakes (200km) have also been known to occur in this region, these are thought to be due to the subduction of the eastwards dipping, India plate, though whether subduction is currently active is debated. Within the pre-instrumental period, the large Shillong earthquake occurred on the 12 June 1897, causing widespread destruction.

For More Information

Earthquake Summary Poster


GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Glowing Bombs - Strong Explosion At Momotombo Volcano In Nicaragua! [VIDEOS]

The cone of Momotombo volcano covered by glowing bombs from this morning's eruption

January 5, 2016 - NICARAGUA - A strong explosion occurred this morning at 04:22 local time at the volcano, covering much of the summit cone with incandescent ejecta.

The lava flow effusion and continuous strombolian activity had stopped in early December, followed by only high-temperature degassing, sporadic minor explosions and the growth of what might have been a small lava dome.

A more intense phase of activity seems to have started yesterday. Early on 2 January, small ash emissions occurred, followed by more, still weak explosions in the early afternoon of yesterday.

The strong explosion this morning might have involved a small pyroclastic flow on the NE side of the volcano, reaching about 1.5-2 km length.

WATCH: Eruption at Momotombo.

Whether or not this activity is sign of a new batch of magma arriving at the vent, and leading up to more intense activity to come, or result of more superficial processes, e.g. surface pressure released beneath the recently emplaced lava occupying the summit is unclear.

No damages were reported to have occurred from this morning's explosion. - Volcano Discovery.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Dead Killer Whale Found On Tiree, Scotland; And Rare Ivory Gull From The Arctic Turns Up In Duluth, Minnesota?!

Dead killer whale found on Tiree.
© John Bowler, RSPB

January 5, 2016 - 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.

Dead killer whale found on Tiree, Scotland

One of the few remaining West Coast orcas has been found dead on Tiree in the Inner Hebrides.

The killer whale, known to researchers as Lulu, was discovered beached on the island on January 3.

Lulu was one of a pod of orcas that patrol the waters around the Hebrides and eastern Irish coast.

Scientists now believe there might be just eight animals remaining in the pod, the only resident orca community in British waters.

The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust said on Facebook: "We have some sad news to report: one of the West Coast community of killer whales known as Lulu was found dead yesterday on Tiree. Dr Andy Foote, a killer whale specialist, confirmed the photo-id match which was made using the distinctive eye and saddle patches which are unique to individuals.

"It is particularly sad to know that another one of these killer whales, unique to the British and Irish Isles has died. There may be as few as eight individuals remaining in this population."

No calves have been born since researchers first began tracking the West Coast orcas in the 1980s, with some biologists claiming pollution in the water has led to high rates of infant mortality.

The Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme is now hoping to conduct an examination to discover the cause of Lulu's death. - STV.

Rare Ivory gull from the Arctic turns up in Duluth, Minnesota

Ivory Gull in Duluth.
© Amar Ayyash

An Ivory Gull, resident of Arctic ice edges, has been seen for the past several days at Canal Park in Duluth.

This small gull is all white in breeding plumage, with black legs and feet.

The Duluth bird shows the random black marking of a bird in its first winter.

Ivory Gulls have been seen before in Minnesota, but rarely. Perhaps 2016 is opening with the year's highlight bird.

WATCH: Rare Ivory gull from the Arctic turns up in Duluth, Minnesota.

- Star Tribune.

GLOBAL FOOD & WATER CRISIS: "Crisis Of Unprecedented Proportions" - Zimbabwe To Increase Food Imports As Drought Hits Production Badly!

A Zimbabwean gathers cobs in a sack for milling at her village in Musana Bindura on September 2, 2015. Zimbabwe is facing food shortages, having been left
with only eight weeks of maize reserves.

January 5, 2016 - ZIMBABWE - Local millers say the country only has around 248,000 tonnes of maize left, enough to last 8 weeks.

Zimbabwe's Agriculture Minister Joseph Made says food imports will be stepped up following reports that the country is left with just two months' supply of grain.

Aid agencies warned earlier this year that 1.5 million Zimbabweans would go hungry after a drought hit maize production badly.

Local grain millers say the country only has around 248,000 tonnes of maize left, enough to last eight weeks.

The Herald says Agriculture Minister Joseph Made has admitted that grain stocks are low, but he couldn't give figures.

He's quoted as saying private sector imports of maize have been very limited, and it's up to the state to ensure there's enough food.

But with the government already battling to find money to pay civil servants, it's unclear where it'll find the extra funds.

Opposition politician David Coltart, writing on Facebook, said the country is facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions. - Eyewitness News.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: "Volcano Of Fire" - Guatemala's Fuego Volcano Spews Lava And Ash 7km Into The Skies After Furious Eruption! [VIDEO]

Increase in activity, strombolian explosions,reported at Guatemala’s Fuego volcano.

January 5, 2016 - GUATEMALA - Fuego volcano has again put on an incredible display of fire and smoke as it continued to light up the skies over Guatemala.

Here is its most recent eruption, when lava and ash shot 7 kilometers (4 miles) into the air. The truly dramatic volcanic activity took place on Sunday night.

Located some 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the capital, Guatemala City, the mountain, which literally means the Volcano of Fire in Spanish, has been occasionally erupting across 2015.

Fuego volcano is having it's first effusive eruption of the year. Here seen on today's Landsat 7 image

© RT

It has been especially active for at least a month now.

No evacuation was declared, but locals had been warned to be watchful and stay away.

WATCH: Spectacular Guatemala volcano eruption.

Guatemala's Volcanological Institute warned flights to avoid any contacts with the ash cloud.

In February 2015, Fuego volcano's eruption forced evacuation of nearly 100 residents and brief cancellation of several flights as Guatemala's main airport. - RT.

PLANETARY TREMORS: It's Shaking All Over - Magnitude 5.8 Earthquake Strikes Southern Japan; 4.5 Magnitude Earthquake Recorded In Limassol, Cyprus; 4.2 Magnitude Tremor Shakes Marlborough, New Zealand; 5.1 Magnitude Temblor Hits Banda Sea In Indonesia; Earthquake Recorded Near North Korean Nuclear Site; "Horrible Rumble" From 3.5 Magnitude Earthquake In Custer County, Nebraska!

USGS earthquake locations of 4.5 magnitude or higher over the last 7 days.

January 5, 2016 - EARTH
- The following constitutes several of the most noteworthy earthquakes to the planet over the last 24 hours, as we continue to monitor the global seismic uptick.

Magnitude 5.8 earthquake strikes southern Japan

USGS shakemap intensity.

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake occurred on Tuesday southeast of the Japanese island of Kyushu, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

According to the USGS, there is no tsunami threat.

The epicenter of the quake was located at sea at the depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to the agency.

In turn, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported that the tremors were felt across ten prefectures, including Kochi, Miyazaki, Hiroshima, Kagoshima and Okayama.

No information about the damage or casualties was immediately available.

Japan is one of the world's most seismically active countries.

In March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake started a tsunami that killed about 16,000 people in northeastern Japan and caused nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant which resulted in the largest nuclear catastrophe in the world since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. - Sputnik.

4.5 magnitude earthquake recorded in Limassol, Cyprus

USGS earthquake location.

An earthquake measuring 4.5 was recorded in the Limassol area on Tuesday morning, the Geological Survey Department said.

The epicentre of the earthquake was the sea area 50 km southwest of Limassol at a depth of 30 km.

The quake was recorded at 9.17 am. It lasted about five seconds with furniture and lighting shaking, according to a resident of Ypsonas, which is located 53 km northeast of the epicentre.

"The quake was rather short. It lasted only a couple of seconds. It was intense though; more of an up and down shake," a resident of Erimi near Limassol commented on twitter. - Cyprus Mail.

4.2 magnitude tremor shakes Marlborough, New Zealand

An earthquake 15km east of Seddon. © Geonet

An earthquake has struck east of Seddon.

The 4.2 magnitude tremor, just after 9am on Tuesday, was centred 15 kilometres east of Seddon at a depth of 37km, according to GeoNet.

It was felt widely across Marlborough and also in Nelson and Christchurch.

Facebook user Alysha Morgan, who lives in Seddon, said she ran for the door frame after the quake.

"Was quite violent here," Morgan said.

There were reports of the quake being felt in Picton and on Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds.

Facebook user Debbie Smart said the earthquake felt like someone hitting the side of the house.

Michelle Berghan, in Lake Grassmere, said she heard a lot of rattling but didn't feel any shaking. - Stuff.

5.1 earthquake hits Banda sea in Indonesia

The moderate earthquake took place at 1:28pm,6.3S 130.6E with Magnitude 5.1 and Depth 231km at Banda Sea.393km Southeast of Ambon,Indonesia.
1794km Southeast of Semporna,Sabah.
© Malaysian Meteorological Department.

A moderate earthquake, measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, occurred in the Banda Sea in Indonesia at 1.28pm today (Jan 5), according to the Meteorological Department.

It said in a statement that the epicentre of the quake was 393km southeast of Ambon, Indonesia, and 1,794km southeast of Semporna, Sabah.

The quake did not pose any tsunami threat, it added. - Borneo Post.

Earthquake recorded near North Korean nuclear site

A 5.1 magnitude earthquake has been recorded in North Korea, according to USGS, in the vicinity of a known nuclear site.

USGS shakemap intensity.

China Earthquake Administration also confirming North Korea quake (test), magnitude 4.9 and depth of 0km.

South Korea has convened an emergency meeting over fears of a possible nuclear test.

- RT.

'Horrible rumble' from 3.5 earthquake in Custer County, Nebraska

Rumbling through the Sandhills, an earthquake rattled folks across Custer County on Monday. That includes Shannon Cooksley, who was in her kitchen writing checks.

She said, "All of a sudden there was a shaking and a horrible rumble."

The Cooksley's picturesque Sandhills ranch was near the epicenter of an earthquake, with a magnitude of 3.5.

Cooksley said, "People in Broken Bow didn't know what was going on. I heard reports on the radio that maybe a plane had crashed at the airport or maybe a train had derailed."

Shannon and her husband Kevin Cooksley have seen a lot, as Kevin told NTV in July 2014.

"Weathering drought and natural disasters," he said.

But an earthquake is a first for their ranch, and their recently remodeled home a carpenter said was well-built, like a barn.

Shannon said, "To make it shake, it had to be fairly strong, or fairly close anyway."

State Geologist Matt Joeckel was watching the reports on the U.S Geological Survey website from his office at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

He said, "This is by any standard a weak earthquake, certainly strong enough to be felt because people have felt it, but not strong enough to do significant damage."

The state geologist says there's little to fear in Nebraska. Earthquakes happen every few years, with little damage.

From a scientific perspective, each quake helps them learn more, and unlock the secrets of seismic activity in the state.

Joeckel said, "These earthquakes that occur in the continental interior away from major mapped faults are a little bit mysterious."

He said the bedrock outcroppings that usually help them map faults just aren't there in Custer County.

But despite the unknowns, he said, "they don't have anything to be terribly afraid of."

The Cooksleys lease the land at the epicenter. Officials say there's no damage, and experts say there's no cause for alarm.

There's no oil or gas exploration and no reason to expect more in the area.

But the state geologist says small earthquakes will happen again in Nebraska.

Joeckel said, "Don't know when we'll have the next one, but likely within three years."

The state geologist says everyone needs to know what to do in an earthquake, because you don't know when you'll be traveling and one will strike.

Experts say get on the floor and cover your head and neck.

Once the shaking stops, assess the situation. If there's a clear path, exit the building you are in.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the key is to "Drop, Cover, and Hold on!"

Drop to the ground, cover your head, and hold on to a steady piece of furniture or interior wall.

Earlier story:

An earthquake rattled people in Custer County on Monday morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.5 struck just after 10:00 a.m. east-northeast of Broken Bow, near Weissert.

It struck at 10:04 a.m. and there are no damage reports, according to the National Weather Service office in North Platte.

Residents tell NTV it was felt in Broken Bow, Weissert, Westerville, Ansley, Berwyn, Comstock, Arnold, Merna, and Callaway. It was apparently felt in Valley County as well, in Ord and Arcadia.

Jody Slingsby reported she felt it in Westerville. On Facebook, she told NTV, "Thought the neighbor was driving his hay truck through the house!

Julie Wright told us, "Felt like a truck hit the house in Broken Bow!"

Brenda Crouch said it was not how she expected her Monday to go. On Facebook, she reported, "My house felt like someone lit a bomb under it and she shook! I'm in Ansley. Knocked out my phone line, and electrical for a couple of minutes. I thought there was something wrong with my furnace or gas line, so I called Source Gas and they came out and told me it was an earthquake."

The USGS says earthquakes are rare east of the Rocky Mountains. - Nevada TV.