Friday, June 1, 2012

THE END OF DAYS, GLOBAL FINANCIAL MESS: World on Recession Watch - Stocks Tank After Bleak Jobs Report and Record Eurozone Unemployment Data, All 2012 Gains Are Erased!

Global financial markets appear to be on recession watch already. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 200 points on Friday, giving up all of its gains for the year. It has shed nearly 9 percent since the start of May. Crude-oil prices are down 24 percent since February. The bond market is essentially warning of the End Of Days, with 10-year Treasury yields tumbling below 1.5 percent for the first time in recorded history.

U.S. stocks plunged on Friday after a troublingly weak jobs report added to fears about a global economic slowdown and sent the Dow into negative territory for the year.  The report was the latest in a string of bearish data, and came alongside signs of slowing in China's economy. The benchmark S&P, hovering around its 200-day moving average, posted its biggest daily decline since December and was on track for its fourth weekly loss of the last five.  The Labor Department said employers created a paltry 69,000 jobs last month, the weakest in a year, while the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent. Economists polled by Reuters had expected non-farm payrolls to increase 150,000.  China's economy showed signs of a broadening slowdown as its official purchasing managers' index fell to 50.4 in May from April's 13-month high of 53.3, signaling a deeper-than-forecast deterioration in demand at home and abroad.  "Risks are elevated when you see numbers like this, especially when coupled with weak data from overseas," said Brad Sorensen, director of market and sector analysis at Charles Schwab in Denver. "There's a concern the global economy is slowing."

Data released later in the session was less bleak. U.S. construction spending rose 0.3 percent in April as private residential construction increased at the fastest pace in six months.  The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity slipped to 53.5 from 54.8 in April, just missing expectations for 53.9, but the new orders gauge improved to its highest level in over a year.  The Dow Jones industrial average was down 212.26 points, or 1.71 percent, at 12,181.19. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 25.16 points, or 1.92 percent, at 1,285.17. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 60.98 points, or 2.16 percent, at 2,766.36.  The benchmark S&P index moved closer to its 200-day moving average at 1,284.75, a significant technical level which could trigger more selling if breached.  In Europe, Markit's Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 45.1 in May from 45.9 in April.  Investor concern has been rising about the stability of Spain's banking system and the euro zone as a whole, at the same time U.S. data has shown tepid economic growth. 

The worries sent the benchmark S&P 500 index down 6.3 percent in May and investors fleeing to safe-haven government securities.  Banking shares dropped on Friday, with JPMorgan Chase & Co down 3.2 percent to $32.10 and Bank of America Corp down 4.1 percent to $7.05. The KBW bank index declined 4.1 percent.  More than four-fifths of stocks traded on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq were lower while all 10 S&P sectors fell. Gold prices climbed more than 3 percent, creating one of the few bright spots on Wall Street. Newmont Mining surged 7.7 percent to $50.80 while Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold rose 1 percent to $32.37.  Homebuilders were among the weakest of the day, comprising the top three percentage decliners on the S&P 500. Pulte Group Inc plunged 11 percent to $8.34 while D.R. Horton Inc lost 9.2 percent to $15.08 and Lennar Corp was off 8.3 percent at $25.03. - Huffington Post.
WATCH: Dow's Gains for 2012 Disappear.

ELECTRIC UNIVERSE: "Answering Pulse" - Scientists Are Puzzled by Mysterious Pulse From Earth That Responded to a Solar Flare From the Sun?!

After an unusually long quiet period, the sun unleashed a solar flare on May 17 this year - but scientists are now puzzling over what happened on Earth.  Neutron monitors all round the world lit up in response to the blast for the first time in six years, despite the fact it was an M-Class, or moderate, flare.  The 'answering' pulse shouldn't have happened at all.

Now scientists are trying to unravel what happened - and why our planet 'pulsed' in response.  James Ryan, an astrophysicist at the UNH Space Science Center said, ‘This solar flare was most unimpressive and the associated CME was only slightly more energetic. And looking at it optically, it was remarkably dim, it was, all things considered, a ninety-eight pound weakling of solar events.'  Scientists are now analysing the data using a satellite which scans an range of bizarre particles invisible to other spacecraft - PAMELA, a European spacecraft dedicated to watching rays from space. 

Launched in 2006 and dedicated to studying cosmic rays, just two weeks before the most recent blast from the Sun PAMELA was retasked to focus on solar physics due to the Sun’s ever-increasing activity.  For decades, there has been strong debate as to what complex processes produce the extremely energetic particles that are registered on the ground; is it the shockwave in front of a CME or do the particles come from the solar flare itself?  The most recent event will allow the study of the evolution of the flare from low to high energies without interruption.  ‘The PAMELA satellite provides us with a bridge that has never existed before,’ says Ryan, ‘a bridge between solar energetic particles measured by other spacecraft and those made on the ground by neutron monitors, like the one we’ve operated here in Durham for decades. Spanning that gap has opened up new opportunities.’ - Daily Mail.
WATCH: Monster Sunspot 1476 Produces Massive CME - Shock Wave Blow to Earth!

WORLD WAR III: The Countdown to Armageddon - President Obama Ordered Wave of Cyber Attacks Against Iran; Tehran Claims to Have Beaten "Flame" Computer Virus!

President Obama has ordered a wave of "increasingly sophisticated attacks" against Iran and its nuclear program, according to reports.

The New York Times said on Friday that Obama accelerated the attacks against Iran's nuclear facilities, adding that the program was code-named 'Olympic Games'. The Times said that even after the Stuxnet worm - a computer virus targeting Iran's Natanz nuclear research plant - went public after a programming error Obama continued to ramp up the attacks. According to the report the final variation of the Stuxnet attack took out 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges used in Iran to purify uranium. The Times spent 18 months interviewing American, European and Israeli officials about the program, who gave different accounts of how successful it had been. The US government has never admitted using so-called cyberweapons, but the Times piece suggests officials are now able to "cripple" infrastructure in a way previously only bombs and troops could achieve. - Huffington Post.
Meanwhile, Ali Hakim Javadi, Iran's deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology, told the official IRNA news agency that Iranian experts have already produced an antivirus capable of identifying and removing "Flame" from computers.
Iran's government-run Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center has said the Flame virus was focused on espionage.  Javadi did not say whether any Iranian government bodies or industries were affected by the virus.  "This is no longer about stealing card data or passwords, the stakes are so much higher, and security procedures must follow suit," said James Todd, an expert in virus attacks at specialist firm, FireEye.  "The next big trend in IT security was always going to be cyber-espionage, given the potentially huge rewards for the taking. This is particularly true if hackers can infiltrate information relating to policy, patents, intellectual property and R&D plans." Iran did not release any details of the tool to combat the most complex cyber attack. Its computer emergency response and co-ordination centre said the programme had identified and removed the malicious software.  Since Iran's nuclear facilities and oil ministry have been the target of past virus attacks, Tehran has accused the US and Israel of trying to sabotage its technological progress. - Telegraph.
WATCH: Stuxnet x20 - Massive cyber spy virus 'Flame' hits Iran.

EXTRATERRESTRIAL & UFO MEMES: National UFO Alert - Five American States Report 190 May UFO Sighting Cases!

The National UFO ALERT Rating System has been updated June 1, 2012, with California, Texas, Missouri, Arizona and New York moving to a UFO Alert 3 as the highest reporting states during the month of May 2012, filed with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).

California was the leading high-reporting state in May with 71 cases, down from 77 cases filed in April. Those states in a UFO Alert 4 category with 13 or more reports include: Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Oregon, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana and Washington. All other states move to a UFO Alert 5 category with lower numbers of UFO activity. The Watch States - with 10 or more cases - are Colorado, Kansas and Minnesota. MUFON released May statistics June 1, where the total number of reported UFO sightings is listed by state. The UFO Examiner uses these statistics to rate states. The entire country was moved back to the lowest alert level - UFO Alert 5. California takes the lead with 71 cases; Texas, 36; Missouri, 31; Arizona, 27; and New York, 25 cases.  Those states with 13 or more reports, the next reporting tier level, are a UFO Alert 4 status: Michigan, 24; Florida, 24; Pennsylvania, 23; Ohio, 23; Georgia, 19; Oregon, 16; Kentucky, 16; Virginia, 15; North Carolina, 15; Illinois, 14; Indiana, 14; and Washington, 13.  Our Watch States this month are - with 10 reports or more: Colorado, 11 cases; Kansas, 11 cases; and Minnesota, 10 cases. 

The sphere remains the most-reported UFO shape with 195 May reports. Other shape reports include: Circle, 128; star-like, 122; triangle, 78; fireball, 70; oval, 65; unknown, 52; other, 50; disc, 46; cylinder, 32; square/rectangular, 27; flash, 27; cigar, 25; diamond, 20; boomerang, 19; egg, 13; bullet-missile, 12; blimp, 10; chevron, 8; cone, 5; Saturn-like, 5; teardrop, 5; and cross, 4.  The object's distance from the witness includes: Less than 100 feet, 60 cases; 101 to 500 feet, 71cases; 501 feet to one mile, 163 cases; over one mile, 163 cases; unknown, 207; and no value stated, 16.  In addition, there were "17 landings, hovering, or takeoffs reported and 0 entities observed."  The most interesting UFO reports do not necessarily come from high reporting states - but those states with higher numbers do account for some of the most interesting evidence to study. While UFO sightings seem to pop up randomly around the country, this list is meant to offer a small insight into where Americans are filing reports.
- Roger Marsh/National UFO Examiner.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Alaskan-Aleutian Subduction Zone - Giant Earthquakes Off Alaska Pose Big US Tsunami Risk!

The risk of a deadly tsunami ravaging the United States is now leading scientists to investigate hazards posed by giant earthquakes off the Alaskan coast. Scientists are concentrating on the Alaskan-Aleutian subduction zone, where the tectonic plate underlying the Pacific Ocean is diving underneath the continental plate underlying North America. Tsunamis can be caused by earthquakes, especially large ones, and the second-largest recorded earthquake in history was a magnitude 9.2 at this zone in 1964. "It concerns us a lot that we might have deadly waves aimed at U.S. shores," said geophysicist David Scholl, an emeritus scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey at Menlo Park, Calif., who discussed the work in Eos, a publication from the American Geophysical Union.

This map shows Alaska's great earthquakes.
The fear is that a tsunami caused by a major earthquake along this zone could race across the Pacific Ocean and devastate highly populated areas of the U.S. West Coast, as well as Hawaii. "We've been focusing on tsunami risks since 2004, when the Banda-Aceh earthquake and tsunami led to a loss of about 250,000 lives, and then the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake and tsunami claimed another 20,000 or so people and caused a nuclear disaster," Scholl told OurAmazingPlanet. "Tsunamis show us that you may have an earthquake in one part of the world that visits damage on areas thousands of miles away." For instance, a tsunami in 1946 generated by a magnitude 8.6 temblor on the Alaskan-Aleutian subduction zone near Unimak Pass, Alaska, caused significant damage along the West Coast, claimed 150 lives in Hawaii, and inundated shorelines as far away as the South Pacific islands and Antarctica. "These waves can travel at 500 mph (700 kph)," Scholl said. "From the Aleutians, a tsunami could get to Hawaii in four or five hours, two or three hours to get to Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and the California coast. And they don't lose much energy as they go. The waves aren't horribly high as they travel over the deep ocean, only a meter (3 feet) or so, but when they get to the coast, in shallow waters they grow in height to dozens of meters, and in places like Long Beach harbor in California, they'd cause rapid currents that can tear up the harbor area."

It remains uncertain where the next tsunami generated along this zone might occur. It appears unlikely that a quake as large as the magnitude 9.2 event in 1964 will happen again soon — the interval for such major quakes is about 900 years. However, the areas between the Shumagin and Fox Islands on the zone may cause trouble, Scholl said. In addition, the last time the Semidi Islands section of the zone experienced a great earthquake was in 1938, a magnitude 8.2 event, and enough time has passed for strain to build up for another major temblor. Indeed, satellite analysis of the area suggests the shallower portion of this section is accumulating strain at a high rate. Research is under way to examine the ancient history of tsunamis on several of the Aleutian Islands by looking at layers of sediment there. The hope is to yield insights on how often tsunamis recur there and to link these deadly waves to specific earthquakes to better model the potential deadliness of tsunamis based on the magnitudes and locations of the earthquakes that cause them. Such research is key to building effective defenses against tsunamis. "When it came to the Fukushima disaster in Japan, they designed a sea wall to handle a tsunami, but they ended up lowballing how high the wave would be," Scholl said. "You have to know how bad tsunamis have been to know what to prepare for."
- MSNBC.

HIGH STRANGENESS: Unprecedented Wave of Railway Suicides Hits France - 12 Deaths in Just 4 Days Spark "Grave Concern"?!

The French returned from a national holiday on Tuesday to news of 12 railway suicides in just four days, sparking “grave concern” from rail authorities, who said they have almost no way of preventing potential copycat incidents.

Twelve people committed suicide on French railways between Saturday and Monday, causing lengthy delays for travellers and concern for railway authorities who say there is almost nothing they can do to prevent people from taking their own lives by jumping in front of trains.  Coupled with a technical problem late on Sunday, some 30,000 passengers were reportedly affected. The 12 people killed took their lives in separate incidents across the country between late Friday and early Monday. Information released by the police detailed a miserable chain of events.  One of the victims was a 34-year-old man who leapt to his death with his 19-month-old baby, who also died. The police said that the man was suffering “a relationship breakdown” and had written to his parents to explain his actions. In a separate case, the victim lay across the tracks of an oncoming train from Lille.  France’s state railway, SNCF, described the weekend as a “dark period”. “We’ve never seen so many suicides in such a short period of time,” SNCF spokesperson Michel Pronost told French radio Europe 1 on Monday morning. “This is a trauma for the drivers, the passengers and the railway workers.

Everyone will be wondering why such a thing happened at a time like this [the French were celebrating a three-day bank holiday weekend from Saturday to Monday].”  On Sunday night some 10,500 Paris-bound travellers were affected, forcing the Parisian authorities to put in place an emergency operation to assist thousands arriving into the capital in the early hours of the morning with food supplies and heavy taxi reinforcements (the metro does not operate during the night). The majority of French web users who commented on the suicides seemed more concerned by the traffic delays than the deaths themselves, which were described as “selfish” by many online commentators. The “worrying progression” of suicides as described by Pronost sparked concerns that the victims may have somehow been linked. Michelle Funk, a mental health researcher from the World Health Organisation (WHO), told FRANCE 24 that it was “very unusual indeed” to have so many of the same kind of suicides over such a short period. “It might even suggest that there may have been some form of communication between the victims,” she said. “At such a high rate, it’s something that would need assessing”. - France 24/7.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.2 Magnitude Quake Hits Near Coast of Papua, Indonesia!

A strong earthquake has hit eastern Indonesia. There are no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency says the 6.2 magnitude quake struck at 3.56 local time (06.56 GMT) on Friday in the eastern province of Papua Barat on Papua island. It struck about 18 kilometres under the earth's surface and was centred about 72 kilometres south-east of the town of Tambraw.
File photo - People look at walls damaged by a strong earthquake at a prison in Aceh province in Indonesia.
The US Geological Survey says the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.8. Indonesia has frequent earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. - IOL.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: It Begins - Global Markets Plunge After Dismal U.S. Jobs Data Suggest World Economy Slowing Sharply!

Fears of a sharp slowdown in the world's two largest economies, the U.S. and China, and concerns over the stability of Europe's currency union combined to batter global financial markets on Friday.  A dismal U.S. jobs report topped off a brutal week that included a report showing China's manufacturing sector — the backbone for the country's economy for years — is stagnating. Financial turmoil continued in Europe, where fears simmered that Greece might leave the 17-country eurozone or Spain might need a bailout that its

European partners can scarcely afford.  A government report showed U.S. employers created just 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year, while the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in April, the first increase in 11 months.  U.S. consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the economy and a fifth of world demand, so the health of the labor market is crucial for the global economy.  "May's employment report clearly suggests that US labor market conditions are deteriorating again," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. He said the figures were so bad they would prompt speculation that the Federal Reserve might offer new stimulus to the U.S. economy.  In Europe, Germany's DAX tumbled 3.4 percent to close at 6,050.29, while France's CAC-40 lost 2.2 percent to 2,950.47 and Britain's FTSE 100 fell 1.1 percent to 5,260.19.  On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 1.7 percent to 12,181.57 and the S&P 500 dropped 1.9 percent to 1,285.28. 

The sell-off started earlier in Asia, where indexes also closed lower, after a survey showed China's manufacturing activity had almost stopped growing in May.  "The (Chinese) data is so bad, and so clearly points to slowdown of growth momentum, that it will likely help convince policy makers that the economy needs more stimulus," Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior economist at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong, said in an email.  A similar survey on Europe's manufacturing sector was even more downbeat, falling to 45.1 points, with the measure for Germany — which had grown steadily throughout the past two years' debt crisis — hitting a 35-month low of 45.2.  Analysts said the figures suggested the region would experience an even deeper economic downturn than previously forecast. The rising impact on strong economies like Germany might also make them more reluctant to provide bailouts for weaker countries.  Meanwhile, Europe's debt crisis continued unabated, with the government borrowing rates of Spain and Italy rising as top financial experts clamored for European leaders to take action.  The head of the European Central Bank earlier this week told European Union leaders that the euro currency union is unsustainable in its current form. Along with the European Commission in Brussels, he supported the creation of a central banking union that might offer deposit insurance across the 17-country eurozone and even bail out banks directly, bypassing national governments. 

As fears of its break up grew in May, the euro fell nearly 7 percent during the month but recovered 0.3 percent on Friday to $1.2397 after hitting a new two-year low earlier in the day.  The likelihood of Greece leaving the euro grew since May 6, when parties opposed to the terms of the country's financial rescue won at the polls. New elections are planned for next month.  This week, Spain became the new focus of the crisis after its borrowing rates soared to nearly 7 percent, a level that is considered unsustainable for a country to continue funding itself by selling bonds to investors. Greece, Portugal and Ireland were forced to ask for financial aid after their rates went over 7 percent.  The economic outlook is more likely to worsen than improve. According to the latest official figures, unemployment in the eurozone remained at a record high of 11 percent in April, though it worsened in struggling countries like Spain, Portugal and Greece. Youth unemployment in Spain hit 51.5 percent.  Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed 1.2 percent lower at 8,440.25 and South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.5 percent to 1,835.51. - Star Tribune.

EARTH CHANGES: The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins Today - 3 More Tropical System Landfalls Forecast in the U.S.!

Following the rare late-May landfall of Beryl, there are indications that the East Coast will remain vulnerable with the northern Gulf Coast also at risk during the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season.  June 1 marks the official start to the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season, although the atmosphere jumped the gun with Alberto and Beryl forming off the Southeast coast in May.

Astronaut, Ron Garan, snapped this photo of Hurricane Irene from
aboard the International Space Station on Aug. 22, 2011.
NOAA averages are based on data from 1981-2010.
According to the National Hurricane Center, this is the first time since 1908 that two tropical cyclones developed before June 1. Beryl is the strongest pre-June tropical cyclone to make landfall in the United States.  Despite the early start to the season, the AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team still believes that 2012 will be a near-normal hurricane season with 12 named storms, five named hurricanes and two major hurricanes. Three landfalls, in addition to Beryl, are forecast in the U.S. with the potential for one with major impact.  "Many of the [previous] seasons that had May or even April storms had one big impact storm affecting the U.S. Betsy in 1965 and well known Agnes of 1972 are good examples," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski explained.

The most likely places in the U.S. to be impacted by storms this season are the East Coast, including Florida, and the northern Gulf coast.  Kottlowski stated that analogue years (past years with similar weather patterns) for this hurricane season all had multiple landfalls over the northern Gulf coast, particularly between Lake Charles, La., and Apalachicola, Fla.  "Keep in mind that many landfalling hurricanes do not just impact the region of landfall. Impacts can cover a large area far removed from landfall... usually flooding rain," Kottlowski warned to people who live outside of the areas at highest risk for landfall this season. - Accu Weather.

BIGFOOT: Myths, Folklore & Legends - High School Students Capture Video Footage of the Ape-Like Cryptid in the Idaho Wilderness!

A group of high school students may have come close to Bigfoot during a class project in the Idaho wilderness. 

Frame 352 from the Patterson-Gimlin film, alleged by Roger Patterson  and Robert Gimlin
to show a bigfoot, and by some others to show a man in an ape suit.
A dark, mysterious creature was caught on tape for a few seconds near Mink Creek before it retreated into the treeline.  “It just didn’t look human-like. I don’t know what that is, it’s not a bear, it’s not a moose or anything. It was big and bulky and black,” said the student who captured the video. He spoke to ABC News’ Idaho affiliate but did not want want to be identified on camera.

The students climbed to where they saw the potential Sasquatch and photographed the large footprints it left in the dirt.  “I’m not going to say yes it was a Bigfoot or no it wasn’t, because I don’t know., and nobody knows,” the student told the news station.  The Animal Planet show “Finding Bigfoot”  plans to visit Pocatello, Idaho in June to investigate claims that Bigfoot could be in the area. - ABC News.
WATCH: Bigfoot Spotted In Idaho?

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Tropical Storm Beryl is the Strongest Cyclone in 100 Years For the Month of May!

Tropical Storm Beryl became the strongest cyclone on record in one hundred years for the month of May when it took aim at Florida’s northeast coast Memorial Day weekend.

Beryl made landfall in Florida early Monday near Jacksonville Beach around 12:10 a.m. ET with near-hurricane-strength winds of 70 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. As tweeted by everyone’s favorite stormrider,  Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel: the last time a tropical cyclone hit the United States with such intensity during May, was when a hurricane struck the Outer Banks of North Carolina on May 29, 1908. It had sustained winds of 75-mph. Beryl total rainfall has reached 3.59 inches in Jacksonville and 3.31 inches in Keystone Heights.

Gainesville has picked up 1.82 inches of rain thus far with 2.24 inches at Daytona Beach. One of the higher gusts in St. Johns County of 59 mph was recorded at St. Augustine Beach’s buoy at 3:15 p.m. Sunday at the storm’s approach.  Other buoy recordings: Mayport, Florida: 47 mph, gusting to 62 mph (11:10 pm Sunday night); Buck Island, St. Johns River: wind gust of 73 mph (10:35 pm Sunday night); Huguenot Park: 54 mph, gusting to 63 mph; Jacksonville Naval Air Station: 37 mph, gusting to 48 mph; and Brunswick, GA: 31 mph, gusting to 45 mph. - Examiner.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC CONTAGION: The U.S. Jobs Report Disaster - Only 69,000 New Jobs; Fewest This Year; Previous Gains Revised Down; Unemployment Up!

The U.S. economy suddenly looks a lot weaker.  U.S. employers created only 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year, and the unemployment rate ticked up.  The dismal jobs data will fan fears that the economy is sputtering. It also puts President Barack Obama on the defensive five months before his re-election bid. And it could lead the Federal Reserve to take further steps to help the economy.

The Labor Department also said Friday that the economy created far fewer jobs in the previous two months than first thought. It revised those figures down to show 49,000 fewer jobs created. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in April, the first increase in 11 months.  The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 160 points in the first half hour of trading.  The yield on the benchmark on the 10-year Treasury note plunged to 1.46 percent, the lowest on record. It suggested that investors are flocking to the safety of U.S. government bonds.  The price of gold, which was trading at about $1,550 an ounce before the report, shot up $30. Investors have seen gold as a safe place to put their money during turbulent economic times.  Josh Feinman, global chief economist with DB Advisors, said Friday's report raises the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will do more – perhaps start another round of bond purchases to further lower long-term interest rates.  Still, he noted that the rate on 10-year Treasury notes is already at a record low 1.46 percent.

"How much lower can long-term rates go?" Feinman said.  The economy is averaging just 73,000 jobs a month over the past two months – roughly a third of 226,000 jobs created per month in the January-March quarter.  Slower growth in the United States comes at a perilous time for the global economy.  Europe's financial crisis is flaring again. And nearly half the 17 countries in the eurozone are in recession. China, the world's second-largest economy, is also showing signs of weakness. Its manufacturing sector is decelerating, a reflection of lackluster demand for its products from Europe, the U.S. and the rest of the world.  But while China is acting to increase growth and European countries are weighing similar steps, U.S. leaders have been focused more on reducing government debt.  Mitt Romney, Obama's Republican challenger, who's made the economy the heart of his campaign, seized on the report. He called it "devastating news" and said the tepid job numbers, along with slowing economic growth reported earlier this week, "stand as a harsh indictment of the president's handling of the economy."  No president since the Great Depression has sought re-election with unemployment as high as 8.2 percent, and past incumbents have lost when the unemployment rate was on the rise. - Huffington Post.
WATCH: Scary Jobs Reports - GDP Signal Sluggish Growth.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Popocatepetl Volcano's Violent Eruption Continues - Threatens Millions in Mexico; Authorities Considering Mass Evacuations!

Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano has blasted a tower of ash over nearby towns and villages prompting authorities to consider the possibility of evacuations. Popocatepetl sits roughly halfway between Mexico City and the city of Puebla, meaning some 25 million people live within a 90-km (60-mile) radius of the volcano. Over a month ago, the volcanic eruptions started growing larger. - BBC.
WATCH: Volcano threatens millions in Mexico.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC CONTAGION: The Euro Zone Crisis - Euro Zone Unemployment Reaches Record High, Climbing to 11% in April, as Meltdown Continues!

The 17-nation eurozone's unemployment rate reached the highest level since the creation of the common currency 13 years ago, climbing to 11% in April as employers slashed 110,000 jobs. The unemployment rate in the broader 27-nation area that makes up the European Union rose to 10.3% in April, as employers trimmed 102,000 jobs from their payrolls. That was highest EU unemployment rate on records that go back to 2000.

There were 24.7 million unemployed in the EU in April, of whom 17.4 million were in the eurozone. Both figures are far above the 12.5 million unemployed in the United States, which has a population about 6% less than the eurozone. The U.S. Labor Department is due to issue its May jobs report later Friday. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney forecast that employers added 150,000 jobs in the month, even in the face of 12,000 job cuts at various levels of government. The unemployment rate is forecast to remain at 8.1%. While the unemployment rate in the United States has been falling steadily over the last seven months, it's been climbing across Europe. The unemployment rate for March for the 17 nations that use the euro was also raised to 11% in Friday's jobs report from the initial reading of 10.9%, while the March reading for the EU was 10.2%. The ongoing European sovereign debt crisis is getting most of the blame for the employer job cuts. It has cut into lending by banks, reduced government employment as part of austerity plans to deal with rising debt, and led to private-sector job losses due to decreased customer demand.
Both the EU and eurozone suffered from zero economic growth in the first quarter as both teetered on the brink of a recession. Eleven nations have suffered a decline in their GDP for at least the last two quarters, which is the common definition of a recession. The worst unemployment problems were in Spain, where the jobless rate hit 24.3%. Greek unemployment hit 21.7% in February, the most recent month for which figures are available. Greece is at risk defaulting on its sovereign debt, especially if a European bailout deal collapses as a result of elections now set for June 17. Such a move could force it out of the eurozone. Spain is dealing with a crisis in its banking system and could need a European bailout of its own. The unemployment problem is especially severe for young workers across Europe, as 22.4% of those age 24 or younger were jobless in the EU in April. More than half of the young workers without jobs in Spain and Greece. - CNNMoney.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Tracking the Kilauea Volcano - Big Pressure Surge Returns Lava to Coastal Plain!

Following a week-long deflation, pressure returned to Kīlauea in full force, evidenced by an 8-microradian inflation at the summit! Correspondingly, the summit lava lake has returned to the previous record height of ~60m/200ft below Halema‘uma‘u crater floor, with exceptionally bright glow visible from the Jaggar Overlook over the past two nights! In the past, similar high lava stands have caused an increases in rim collapse and rarely, lava sprays visible from the museum!

An ‘ā‘ā lava channel descends the pali onto the coastal plain on this USGS-HVO Mobile Cam 2
screen capture on the morning of May 31, 2012.
Lava has also repressurized the tube system from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō towards the coast, with initial on-the-ground reports of a huge new flow branch around the 425m/1400ft elevation above the pali, perhaps 1km/0.5mi closer to Kalapana. Lava also appears to be vigorously reoccupying the recent lava tubes, breaching them in many places above and on the pali. HVO's "Mobile 2" webcam this morning showed a long open lava channel descending the pali onto the coastal plain in a similar location to recent flows, below where Jack's Lava House used to stand, and other reports have hinted that the previous eastern flow branch on the lower pali has reactivated as well. The essence: too much lava to fit underground, and leaking out wherever possible! Lava viewing outlook is fantastic for the next few days, with the new flow-front accessible by the now-typical 11km/7mi round-trip hike across the coastal plain, but also a good chance of activity which can be seen from a distance from either the County viewing area in Kalapana or the end of the Chain of Craters Rd in the National Park.

Related to the pressure surge, Kīlauea's south flank has also reactivated by means of a "slow earthquake" or "slow slip event", accompanied by many smaller earthquakes south of the summit (with 4 earthquakes greater than magnitude 3 in the past 2 days). The most recent similar event on February 1, 2010 recorded 3cm/1.2in of surface seaward movement within 2 days -- nearly half of a typical yearly total of 7cm/2.8in! HVO's Tuesday report hints that this movement preceded the onset of inflation, but it's still unclear from public data to what degree it was a consequence of a long deflation or a precursor to this relatively big inflation. In either case, the volcano can be very dynamic as the south flank continues to adjust, and we still await its stabilization and a return to the recent equilibrium. Stay tuned for continuing updates, or come join us to see these changes in person! - Volcano Discovery.

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: Gruesome Horror - Maryland Student Ate Roommate's Brain And Heart, Cops Say?!

In yet another horrifying incident of human flesh-eating this week, a student in Maryland allegedly admitted to devouring his roommate's brain and heart.  Alexander Kinyua, a 21-year-old Morgan State University student, admitted to murdering his roommate Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, who was reported missing last Friday, cops told the Baltimore Sun. 

Alexander Kinyua allegedly admitted to killing his roommate, then eating his heart and portions of his brain.
Kinyua's father called police late Tuesday night when Kinyua's brother reportedly found human remains -- a head and two hands -- in a metal tin in the basement. The brother and father left the room for a short time, but when they came back, the body parts had been moved and Kinyua was washing out the tin, the paper reported.  Officers searched the house and arrested Kinyua. The man allegedly confessed a shocking revelation: not only had he killed Agyei-Kodie by cutting him up with a knife and then dismembered him, he ingested parts of the victim's brain and all of his heart.

He then allegedly dropped most of the remains in a Dumpster behind a church in Joppatowne.  It's yet unclear what Kinyua's motive may have been, but he was charged with first-degree murder on Wednesday. In another incident on May 20, he was charged with first-degree assault when he allegedly beat a fellow student randomly with a baseball bat and then fled into the woods.  The gruesome case comes on the heels of a similar attack in Miami on Saturday, in which Rudy Eugene, 31, was killed by cops while in the process of chewing off most of a homeless man's face.  Ronald Poppo, 65, is alive, but the bizarre flesh-eating attack left doctors with a literal puzzle in how to put his face back together. - Huffington Post.