Thursday, June 6, 2013

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Mother Nature Strikes Back - 22 Signs That Global Weather Patterns Are Going ABSOLUTELY CRAZY!

June 06, 2013 - EARTHGlobal weather patterns seem to get stranger and stranger with each passing year.  Almost every day now, the news is telling us about some bizarre weather event that hasn’t happened “in 100 years” going on in some area of the globe.  All over the planet, we are seeing torrential rainfalls, unprecedented flooding, extreme drought, nightmarish wildfires, record setting tornadoes and very unusual blizzards.  Record high temperatures and record low temperatures are set so frequently now that nobody really seems to even notice anymore.  So exactly what in the world is going on here?  Why does our weather seem to be going absolutely crazy?  Perhaps even more important – can we expect our weather patterns to become even more erratic?  Some meteorologists are suggesting that these unusual weather events are just an “anomaly” and that things will get back to normal soon.  But what if they don’t?


Flooded engine: Roofs of submerged cars are seen in Deggendorf, Bavaria, after the
Danube river broke its banks earlier today.

I noted that natural disasters seem to be increasing in both frequency and severity in my recent article entitled “Are We Entering The Worst Period For Natural Disasters In U.S. History?“  But it isn’t just the ground under our feet that seems to be becoming more unstable.  The weather patterns that we all take for granted and that society depends upon seem to be rapidly changing.

The following are 22 signs that global weather patterns are going absolutely crazy…
1. Right now, central Europe is experiencing the worst flooding that it has seen in at least 70 years.
2. On Memorial Day weekend, a vicious winter storm dumped up to 36 inches of snow on parts of upstate New York.
3. Back in mid-May, on one single day some parts of the UK had a couple of inches of snow, some parts of the UK had a month’s worth of rainfall on a single day, and some parts of the UK were hammered by winds of up to 65 miles per hour.
4. The month of April was so cold across the northern United States that one meteorologist said that it was “like something out of the Twilight Zone“…
April has been a freakishly cold month across much of the northern USA, bringing misery to millions of sun-starved and winter-weary residents from the Rockies to the Midwest. “The weather map … looks like something out of The Twilight Zone,” Minneapolis meteorologist Paul Douglas of WeatherNation TV wrote on his blog last week. Record cold and snow has been reported in dozens of cities, with the worst of the chill in the Rockies, upper Midwest and northern Plains. Several baseball games have been snowed out in both Denver and Minneapolis. Cities such as Rapid City, S.D.; Duluth, Minn.; and Boulder, Colo., have all endured their snowiest month ever recorded. (In all three locations, weather records go back more than 100 years.) In fact, more than 1,100 snowfall records and 3,400 cold records have been set across the nation so far in April, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
5. This year Saskatchewan had the coolest spring that it has experienced in 100 years.
6. Moscow just experienced the snowiest winter that it has seen in 100 years.
7. Snow is falling in Russia in places where it should not be falling this time of the year.  On Sunday, residents of Kemerovo were stunned to see that a thin layer of snow had fallen on their city overnight.
8. This spring, there was a record amount of ice on the Baltic Sea due to very cold weather…
“Since record keeping began in the sixties, we’ve never encountered anything like this before,” ice breaker Ulf Gulldne told the local newspaper Örnsköldsviks Allehanda.
On March 29th, 176,000 square kilometers of the Baltic Sea was covered in ice, a record for the time of year. On a map, it means about half of the central and northern parts are frozen over. Far north, the ice is both thick and difficult to break through.
9. The city of Anchorage, Alaska set a record for the longest snow season that it has ever experienced this year.
10. In February, hail the size of “boulders” pounded one poor city in southern India
Hailstones the size of boulders have rained down on villages in southern India.
At least nine people were killed when the violent weather hit several villages in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The hailstorm which lasted for almost 20 minutes, destroyed crops, houses and live stock, causing devastating financial implications for residents.
Aftermath of the massive tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma.
Photo Credit: Business Insider.

11.
The tornado that touched down near Oklahoma City on Friday was the widest tornado ever recorded.  It was an EF5 tornado that was 2.6 miles wide at one point with winds of up to 295 miles an hour.
12. The tornado that did such devastating damage to Moore, Oklahoma recently was about 2 miles wide and it sat on the ground for an astounding 40 minutes.
13. During the month of February, Peru, Chile and Bolivia were all hit by unprecedented flooding.
14. At the end of May, more than a foot of rainfall in 24 hours caused nightmarish flooding in San Antonio, Texas.
15. A few weeks ago, unusual levels of rainfall caused the Mississippi River to rise to near record levels.
16. This year the state of Georgia experienced the wettest February ever recorded.
17. Chicago just had the wettest April ever recorded.
18. Scientists are projecting that the nightmarish drought that is taking place in the western half of the United States will “intensify” this year.
19. Overall, hundreds of thousands of trees died throughout the United States during 2012 due to horrible drought conditions.
20. This past January, part of Australia experienced record setting high temperatures that were absolutely unprecedented.  Keep in mind that the following temperatures are in Celsius…
Sydney endured its hottest ever day on Friday, with records smashed across the city and thousands of people suffering from the heat.  The mercury topped 45.8 at Sydney’s Observatory Hill at 2.55pm, breaking the previous record set in 1939 by half a degree. The city’s highest temperature was a scorching 46.5 degrees, recorded in Penrith at 2.15pm, while Camden, Richmond and Sydney Airport all reached 46.4 degrees.
21. Over the weekend, extremely dry conditions were making it difficult for firefighters to battle a very intense wildfire in California that had already burned more than 20,000 acres
By Sunday night, the Powerhouse Fire around the Angeles National Forest in Southern California engulfed about 22,400 acres, endangering some 1,000 homes in the Lake Elizabeth and Lake Hughes area.
Nearly 2,100 firefighters struggled to contain the fire, which more than tripled in size from Saturday to Sunday. Nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated and the blaze has already destroyed at least six homes by Sunday night.
22. About 30 percent of all honeybees are dying each year in the United States, and nobody seems to know exactly why this is happening.  If this continues, it threatens to absolutely cripple U.S. agriculture…
US honey bees have been dying by the tens of millions, with annual death rates of about 30 percent. With fewer bees to pollinate fruits and vegetables each year, ‘beemageddon’ may soon cause the collapse of the agriculture industry. Honey bees pollinate more than 100 US crops, including apples, zucchinis, avocados and plums, that are worth more than $200 billion a year. Since 2006, about 10 million bee hives at an average value of $200 each have been lost in what scientists call the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), according to a new report by the US Department of Agriculture.
We certainly don’t need any more bad news about our agriculture.  Global food supplies are currently at their lowest level in 40 years, and most people in the general public are absolutely clueless about what is going on. Unfortunately, our weather has not just been unusual for the past few months.  This is a trend that has been developing for quite some time. For example, the planet experienced some truly unusual weather last winter.  The following comes from a New York Times article from last January…
Around the world, extreme has become the new commonplace.
Especially lately. China is enduring its coldest winter in nearly 30 years. Brazil is in the grip of a dreadful heat spell. Eastern Russia is so freezing — minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and counting — that the traffic lights recently stopped working in the city of Yakutsk.
Bush fires are raging across Australia, fueled by a record-shattering heat wave. Pakistan was inundated by unexpected flooding in September. A vicious storm bringing rain, snow and floods just struck the Middle East. And in the United States, scientists confirmed this week what people could have figured out simply by going outside: last year was the hottest since records began.
Indeed, “extreme has become the new commonplace” as far as our weather is concerned.

So will our weather get back to “normal” soon or are even greater changes ahead?

And what in the world is causing all of this? - TAD.


EXTREME WEATHER: Fires, Tornadoes, Floods And Storms - Mother Nature Sends Extremes Across The United States!

June 06, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Tempestuous weather is striking the United States on four fronts. It seems as if Mother Nature is trying to throw much of the nation one extreme or another. Here's a roundup:




First tropical storm of the season?
An area of "disturbed weather" in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Yucatan Peninsula, could bring heavy rain and flooding to the Florida Peninsula and the Georgia and Carolina coasts by Thursday, CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said.

Morris says he'll be watching to see if the bad weather becomes the first tropical depression -- or even the first tropical storm -- of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.

At a minimum, the storms could cause a lot of rainfall and flooding on the Florida Peninsula, he said.

Fires
A 32,000-acre wildfire is burning some old-growth chaparral that lies in the western tip of the Mojave Desert in northern Los Angeles County.

Firefighters have brought the Powerhouse Fire 60% under control, said Ed Gilliland of the U.S. Forest Service.

Six homes have been destroyed, but conditions are safe enough to lift evacuation orders and allow people to return to the communities of Green Valley, Leona Valley, Elizabeth Lake and Lake Hughes, authorities said.

Higher humidity and lower temperatures should help firefighters, Gilliland said.

Added Morris: "They aren't expecting gusty winds in that area, so the conditions should be favorable for the firefighters to gain some ground there, which they have been."

In New Mexico, a wildfire is burning nearly uncontrollably in the mountains at Pecos. The Tres Lagunas Fire is only 7% contained and has charred 8,500 acres, authorities said, adding that crews are trying to protect structures in Holy Ghost Canyon.

Floods
The mighty Mississippi River is now at major flood stage in St. Louis, but the worst of it is over and waters will recede this week, Morris said.

The river has risen to more than 10 feet above flood stage.

Downriver, however, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, could face flooding as the surge moves downstream, Morris said.

But the city will be the last along the river to face such a threat, because the river begins to widen south of there, Morris said.

"We're expecting Cape Girardeau to reach major flood stage tonight and crest at the end of the week," Morris said Tuesday.

Crews in West Alton, Missouri -- a town just north of St. Louis where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers meet -- were reinforcing their levees with sandbags. The bridge to Alton, Illinois, was shut down after a temporary flood barricade failed.

On Tuesday, the Mississippi breached a 100- to 150-foot section of the levee close to the confluence, and authorities have notified 43 homes, said Rivers Pointe Fire Chief Rick Pender in West Alton. Water has reportedly traveled two miles inside the levee.

Tornado Alley
Still reeling from deadly twisters, Oklahoma faced a slight risk of thunderstorms Tuesday, but the good news is there's only a slight chance of an isolated tornado, Morris said. There is, however, a chance of large hail and damaging straight-line winds in northwest Oklahoma, he said.

"For most of the state, it's just a very slight risk of severe storms," Morris said.

There is also a slight risk of severe weather for the southern half of Kansas, far northern Texas and southeast Colorado.

Oklahoma's recent storms have killed 19 people, said Shanea Scully, administrative coordinator for the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

The tornado that struck El Reno, Oklahoma, on May 31 was declared to be the widest in history, at 2.6 miles, and its damage rating was raised to EF5, the most severe, the National Weather Service announced Tuesday. - CNN.





THE GREAT DELUGE: Major Stranding On The River Danube - Cruise-Liner Carrying 120 British Pensioners Marooned By Floods In Austria As Authorities Consider Emergency Airlifts; Danube Has Reached Highest Level In Over 500 Years As Widespread Flooding Covers Europe; 16 DEAD; 4 Others Missing; Mass Evacutions!

June 06, 2013 - EUROPE - Rescuers will attempt to evacuate than 120 British tourists today after six days of being trapped on a cruise liner stricken by heavy floods in Austria.  The holidaymakers - many of them pensioners - have been stranded since Saturday when torrential rains forced their cruise ship skipper to abandon attempts to dock in Vienna on the river Danube.  The water has begun to recede giving emergency services hope of a rescue for the first time.  


Emergency services will try to rescue the British tourists for the first time today and so far the stricken cruise liner has only been accessible by small boat.

Passengers are marooned on the stricken cruise liner after the Danube rose to unprecedented levels.

The boat is only accessible by small dinghies making it too dangerous to evacuate the 120 passengers.

However, they admit the attempt at 7pm today may not be successful if the water levels are too high.  The Danube has reached heights not seen for 500 years and jetties along the river have been swamped and dozens of ships abandoned. However, the Dutch-registered Filia Rheni cruiser is the only one that still has passengers onboard.  The skipper of the cruiser said it has so far been impossible to get the passengers or the 40 staff on board off the boat.  Captain Arie Hauvelman said: 'There is no need to panic.'  But local emergency services are standing by to evacuate the passengers if the ship gets swept away or hit by debris in the fast-moving flood current.  


Much of Europe has been hit by floods with some areas seeing the worst flooding for 400 years.

The Danube has flooded the motorways around the city of Deggendorf, Germany.

The Danube (right) reached levels not seen for 500 years as it passed through Passau in Germany (pictured).

It is currently tied to a pontoon until the waters recede.  Skipper Hauvelman said: 'The ship isn't easily damaged. It is made of iron, not plastic. I have experienced this situation before in my years as a ship captain.  'All passengers are safe. The ship is safe - there is no danger of it dislodging.  'There is enough food and drink on board and the passengers are in good spirits. Plans are in place to rescue the passengers in an emergency.  'It is just a matter of time. We hope that in one or two days the water levels will start to fall.  'I have been talking to the passengers and reassuring them.'  He said he has experienced similar situations at least a dozen times while travelling on major rivers such as the Rhine and Neckar.  The cruise liner is currently only accessible by small dinghy and the current is too strong to evacuate all passengers that way. 



The historical city of Passau was surrounded by rising water from the Danube river and the Inn river, left.

A tractor carries residents back to their home in the village of Niederalteich in Germany.

A man holds his head as he surveys the damage done to homes in Dresden after days of torrential rain.

The British passengers were already on board the cruise when the river reached unprecedented levels.  It rose too fast to safely evacuate.  The liner is one of about 30 moored along the river in Vienna until the water levels drop.  In Vienna, the Danube peaked Wednesday at levels above those of the 2002 floods that devastated Europe.  The city's extensive protection system held, however, although the highway to the airport was temporarily inundated.  The rescue attempt comes after dozens of village residents had to be airlifted to safety yesterday by helicopters after the Danube reached heights not seen in over 500 years in the German city of Passau.  


In Saxony, flood waters submerged a sports park and Stadium of Gera in Thuringia.

A house is flooded in Dresden heavy rain continues to flood Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.


It then surged downstream to crash through a levee in the southern village of Deggendorf.  Today, the river smashed through another levee, engulfing entire neighborhoods in the same village.  'We would have risked our lives had we stayed at home,' Deggendorf resident Hans Loefflmann said, adding that he and his wife had to leave all their valuables behind when the floods gushed into their house within minutes.  At least 16 people have died in the flooding of the Danube and Elbe rivers in central Europe this week and at least four others are missing.  Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated in the region, including over 700 in the eastern German city of Dresden, where the Elbe crested Thursday at 21 feet above normal levels.  The Danube is normally around 400 yards wide as it passes the city's imposing Hungarian parliament building.  


Docks for freighters and cruise ships in Vienna are completely under water leaving them stranded in the water.

Soldiers take a break after stacking sandbags to strengthen a dam on the city outskirts against the rising Mulde river in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany.

Rescue workers were stuck at the end of a street flooded by the Danube in Deggendorf, Germany.

Now its waters are lapping at the back steps of the neo-Gothic structure and cover large sections of the heavily used roads on both sides of the river.  Large parts of Germany are underwater and hundreds of volunteers in Germany prepared sandbags today in preparation for the imminent flood.  Residents and emergency crews worked through the night in Dresden and other cities to bolster riverbanks and build sandbag barriers as floodwaters that have already claimed 16 lives in Europe roared farther north through Germany.  The Elbe river was expected to crest today in Dresden, the capital of Saxony state that was devastated during the massive flooding in 2002.  This time, the famous historic city centre has so far largely escaped damage.  In the Saxony-Anhalt city of Bitterfeld, an attempt to blow open a levee to lower waters threatening the city along the Mulde river was unsuccessful.  Some 30,000 residents in nearby Halle were urged to evacuate.   The situation in the Bavarian town of Deggendorf remained critical, as another levee burst Thursday morning and the Danube engulfed entire neighborhoods. - Daily Mail.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For June 05, 2013 - Updates On Tolbachik, Kikai, Kerinci, Kelimutu And Pavlof!

June 06, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Tolbachik (Kamchatka): Activity continues with little changes, although the slow trend of decreasing seismic activity persists. A small lava lake 20 m across and weak strombolian activity were recently observed by Russian volcanologists who visited the site. Lava flows continue to be alimented and spread mainly to the SE.

Kikai (Ryukyu Islands): New activity seems to have started from Satsuma-Iwo-jima (Kikai) volcano. A steam / gas and possibly ash-containing plume has been observed on satellite images and a thermal anomaly was visible on recent MODIS satellite data. On yesterday morning's NASA Aqua satellite image, the plume from the volcano was about 70 km long to the SW. A thermal anomaly was visible already on images from 23 May.


Plume from Kikai on Aqua satellite image at 04h05 UTC (NASA, via Blog Culture Volcan)

Kikai south of Kyushu island it is the northernmost of the volcanic Ryukyu island chain that stretches between Japan and Taiwan.

Kerinci (Sumatra): An small eruption occurred last Sunday (2 June) at 8:43 am (local time), preceded by a rise in seismic activity reported by the local volcano observatory. An ash explosion produced a small rising 300-600 m and light ash fall at Gunung Tujuh about 20 km away. According to local news, the sudden eruption caused panik among inhabitants of Sungai Rumpun village and several evacuated their homes. Some climbers who were on the volcano at the time of the explosions returned unharmed.

The eruption was not signalled by VSI nor VAAC and originally only mentioned in some Indonesian media where it is not worth more than a brief note, given the large number of such events every year. Many more eruptions probably occur around the world without getting the attention of international media... [read more]

Kelimutu (Flores): VSI raised the alert level of the volcano on Flores, famous for its 3 differently colored crater lakes, from 1 to 2 ("normal" to "waspada", "watch") on a scaled of 1 to 4, after one of the 3 crater lakes turned from blue to white on 3 June. In addition, a strong smell of sulfur was noted by people from Pemo village a few kilometers south.

The main risk in case of an eruption would be phreatic explosions, ash falls, and the possibly catastrophic draining of the lake(s) potentially causing large lahars and floods threatening nearby communities near and inside the valleys radiating from the volcano.

Pavlof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): New ash emissions resumed at approximately 11:00 AKDT (19:00 UTC) this morning and were seen in satellite data and observed by pilots. The new ash plume was drifting SE at approx. 19,000 ft (6 km) a.s.l. altitude. AVO reported weak seismicity beginning at 10:57 AKDT and raised the Aviation Color Code to Orange.


Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for June 5.


- Volcano Discovery.




PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Many Residents In A London Are Horrified By Wild Invasion Of Bugs That Crawl Through Their Clothes And Hair - Results In Plague Of Bird-Cherry Ermine Caterpillars Covering A Street; Infestation Is Three Inches Deep In Places!

June 06, 2013 - ENGLAND - It started with a spooky, white material which began to randomly appear on trees.  Residents in a London suburban street were left completely baffled by its appearance.  But now, three weeks on, their confusion has turned to horror after discovering the material was in fact caterpillar nests.  It has resulted in a plague of bird cherry ermine caterpillars completely covering pavements, walls and cars in the street.


Plague: Residents in the south London street have had to pick the caterpillars out of their hair and clothes. This picture shows some of the caterpillars covering a car tyre.

Not happy: One resident in the street described the infestation as 'unpleasant, really unpleasant'.

Odd: A freak plague of caterpillars has invaded a suburban street in south London, covering trees and walls.

Invasion: Siblings Charlie and Ava Warren look at some of the caterpillars covering a tree. The infestation is three inches deep in places.

Covered: The caterpillar nests have completely overtaken the street, much to the frustration of local residents.

The infestation, which is three inches deep in places, has resulted in residents having to pick the animals out their hair and clothes.  Trisha Mole, who lives in Warfield Road, Hampton , said: 'You cannot help but feel they are doing damage to the trees.'   A neighbour added: 'The trees are completely infested. All the trees are dripping in this white chlorophyll web thing.  'We are picking the caterpillars out of our hair and the kids' hair. It's just not on.'  


Mess: As well as lining the trees, the nests have spread to the pavements.

The Bird-cherry ermine moth is harmless and found across Europe as well as many parts of Asia.

Huge: The size of some of the caterpillars can be seen in this picture.

Cautious: Richmond Council said there were no safe chemicals that could be used in a public area to permanently remove the caterpillars.

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: 'We all know that it is not harmful to us, it is just really unpleasant, really unpleasant..  'The council is more concerned about the caterpillars than the people.'  Richmond Council said there were no safe chemicals that could be used in a public area to permanently remove the caterpillars.  It said the caterpillar feeding stage lasted about four weeks.  A council spokesman said: 'The caterpillars are totally harmless to humans, they only feast on the tree but the trees recover quite quickly once the caterpillars pupate and the adults start to fly  'However, we are aware that they have caused the local residents distress and we are investigating what other methods could be used to remove them.'  Councillor Gareth Roberts said: 'Unfortunately, owing to the advanced stage of the infestation, I'm advised by council officers that even if they were to use the treatments they have at their disposal they would have little effect.  


WATCH: Close-up views of two other bird cherry ermine caterpillar webs.





'While I appreciate that this is probably of little immediate comfort I get the impression from officers that this is something of a freak occurrence and it is unlikely to recur next year, however I will ask our arboriculture team to monitor this street closely so they can act early in case it does.'

BIRD-CHERRY ERMINE MOTHS

The Bird-cherry Ermine moth is, unlike many other caterpillars that cause infestations, entirely harmless.

They can be found across the whole of Europe as well as northern and eastern Asia.

Ranging in size from 16 to 25mm long, the live on Bird-cherry trees and make an extensive web like nest.

They can eat an entire tree bare although many trees survive with reduced growth in the following growth seasons.

In 2011, 20 matures trees disappeared under a web of white silk in Birmingham when they experienced an infestation. - Daily Mail.



PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: MERS Coronavirus Spreads - New Saudi Death From The Virus As The United States Says Deadly SARS-Like Virus Could Affect National Security!

June 06, 2013 - SAUDI ARABIA - The Saudi health ministry on Thursday announced the death of one of its citizens in the eastern region of Al-Ahsaa after he contracted MERS, a SARS-like virus.


This undated image released by the British Health Protection Agency shows an electron microscope image of a coronavirus. (AP Photo/Health Protection Agency)

The ministry website said the latest death, announced on Wednesday, brings to 25 the number of people who have died from the virus since September, adding that 40 people are suffering from the disease in the kingdom.

The strain was renamed the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS, reflecting the fact that the bulk of the cases are in that region, mainly in Saudi Arabia.

On May 31, the World Health Organization said that the global death toll from the virus has risen to 30.

Previously known as nCoV-EMC novel coronavirus, the disease is a cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which sparked a world health scare in 2003 when it leapt from animals to humans in Asia and killed some 800 people.

Like SARS, MERS appears to cause an infection deep in the lungs, with patients suffering from a temperature, coughing and difficulty breathing.


The World Health Organization said that the global death toll from the virus has risen to 30 by the end of May.
(File Photo: AFP)

However, it differs from SARS in that it also causes rapid kidney failure.

Health officials have expressed concern about the high rate of fatalities compared to the number of cases, warning that the disease could spark a new global crisis if it acquires an ability to spread more easily. - Al Arabiya.


U.S. Says Deadly MERS Virus Could Affect National Security.
As Saudi and U.N. health authorities report new infections from a troubling new respiratory disease, there are concerns that the approaching Hajj – the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca – could increase the risk of spreading the virus as pilgrims return to their home countries.

Meanwhile the U.S. government, in a notice published in the Federal Register Wednesday, declared that the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV, or simply MERS) could potentially “affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad.”

Saudi Arabia is currently the undisputed center of the scare.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the majority of the 55 confirmed MERS cases – 40 infections, 24 deaths – have occurred in the kingdom, while two deaths each have been reported in Britain and Jordan and one death each in France and the United Arab Emirates. (The fatalities in Europe were linked to visits to the Middle East.)

Infections also have been reported in Qatar, Tunisia and Italy.

The notice published in the Federal Register Wednesday said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has determined that “there is a significant potential for a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad.”

That determination in turn allows the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to bypass standard processes and fast-track approval for products or drugs in relation to MERS, on the basis of an “emergency use application” (EUA).

The FDA may under the prescribed circumstances issue an EUA “authorizing (1) the emergency use of an unapproved drug, an unapproved or uncleared device, or an unlicensed biological product; or (2) an unapproved use of an approved drug, approved or cleared device, or licensed biological product,” the notice says.


This aerial image made from a helicopter shows Muslim pilgrims moving around the Kaaba, the black cube seen at center, inside the Grand Mosque, during the annual Hajj in the Saudi holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. The annual Islamic pilgrimage draws 2.5 million visitors each year, making it the largest yearly gathering of people in the world. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Saudi Arabia says more than two million Muslims – including roughly 20,000 from the United States – visit Mecca for the Hajj, which brings large numbers of people into close proximity in a confined geographical area over a five-day period. This year’s pilgrimage falls in mid-October.

As of Wednesday, the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) said it was not advising any “special screening at points of entry” as a result of the outbreak, “nor does it currently recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions.”

Updated guidelines for Hajj pilgrims, issued by the Saudi Embassy in Washington, make no mention of MERS in a section on health issues and vaccination requirements. Vaccinations that are required for adults include those for meningitis, seasonal flu, and the H1N1 flu virus.

The guidelines do include an unspecific warning: “Health experts advise the following groups to postpone their plans for Hajj and Umrah this year for their own safety: The elderly, the terminally ill, pregnant women, and children.” (The Umrah is a secondary type of pilgrimage to Mecca, one that can be taken any time of the year.)

In its health guidelines related to MERS, the Saudi health ministry has one reference to the pilgrimage, advising the wearing of face masks “in the overcrowded places during Hajj or Umrah.”

A Malaysian study published in the Journal of Travel Medicine in 2010 found that more than 60 percent of Malaysian pilgrims developed respiratory systems, including coughs, sore throats and fever, during the 2007 Hajj.

A French study, published in the same journal and examining French pilgrims at the 2009 Hajj, found that although almost 80 percent reported having worn face masks, their use “did not significantly reduce respiratory symptoms.”

The most recent fatality reported to WHO by Saudi health authorities is that of a 14 year-old girl. It was noted that she is not from an area in the east of the kingdom called Al-Ahsa, where a cluster of cases at one hospital since April accounted for 22 infections and 10 deaths.

According to the CDC, there have been no reports of anyone in the U.S. becoming infected with the virus, whose symptoms can include cause coughing, fever and pneumonia.
‘Alarming’


Much about the virus is unknown, including its origin (bats are a suspected host), how infections are occurring, the conditions under which it could spread from one person to another, and chances of mutation into a more easily-transmissible form.

Experts say it is distinct from, but similar to, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which was blamed for 774 deaths between late 2002 and mid-2003, more than 80 percent of them in mainland China and Hong Kong.

“Although the number of cases documented is limited, the morbidity and mortality of the infection is alarming, as is its uncanny resemblance – at least in its clinical features – to SARS,” the Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses said in a report in May, at a time when the number of confirmed MERS infections stood at 30.

“While a small minority of the known cases developed mild disease, most patients presented with a severe acute respiratory condition requiring hospitalization; the mortality rate is approximately 60 percent,” the CSG said. (The mortality rate currently is about 55 percent).

While WHO has not issued travel or screening advisories, it is encouraging vigilance, saying travelers returning from the Middle East who develop severe acute respiratory infections should be tested for MERS.

WHO is also advising clinicians that in patients whose immunity is compromised, MERS infection should be considered, even in cases of atypical symptoms, such as diarrhea. - CNS News.





TERMINATOR NOW: The Rise Of The Machines - United States Army's New Robotic Bird Drone Is So Stunningly Realistic, It Gets Attacked By Hawks!

June 06, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A robotic bird created for the U.S. Army for use as a miniature spy drone is so convincing that it has been attacked by hawks and eagles, according to researchers.


The Robo Raven was developed for the U.S. Army by the Maryland Robotics Center at the University of Maryland.

The Robo-Raven, as the solar-powered, remotely piloted surveillance aircraft is called, was designed and built at the University of Maryland’s Maryland Robotics Center — an interdisciplinary research establishment in the university’s A. James Clark School of Engineering. The center posted a video of a test flight this week.

The Robo-Raven “already attracts attention from birds in the area which tends to hide its presence,” said John Gerdes, a mechanical engineer with the Vehicle Technology Directorate at the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.


Hawk attacks the Robo Raven.

Seagulls, songbirds and sometimes crows tend to try to fly in formation with the robotic bird during testing, but birds of prey, such as falcons and hawks, take a much more aggressive approach, he said.
WATCH: The Robo Raven (UMD Robotics).



“Generally we don’t see them coming,” Mr. Gerdes said on the center’s website. “They will dive and attack by hitting the bird from above with their talons, then they typically fly away.”

The Robo-Raven’s wings flap completely independently of each other and “can be programmed to perform any desired motion,” enabling the bird to carry out aerobatic flight maneuvers, such as diving and rolling, never before possible. - Washington Times.







WAR DRUMS: Middle East Game-Changer - Pentagon Official Says Russian Warship May Be Carrying Advanced S-300 Air Defense Missile Weapon Systems To Syria!

June 06, 2013 - SYRIA - CNN has learned that U.S. intelligence agencies have identified three Russian amphibious warships in the eastern Mediterranean that are believed to be carrying weapons shipments that might be used to resupply the Syrian regime, according to a Pentagon official.




The official declined to be named due to the sensitive nature of the information.

The United States has been tracking the ships since they left Russian ports several days ago. U.S. satellites were able to see some indications of containers being loaded onto the ships. Although it's not confirmed, it's believed the ships may be carrying some components of the controversial Russian S-300 air defense missile system and other weapons for the regime.

The United States has been pressing the Russians for weeks to not deliver that system to Syria because of the threat it would pose by upgrading Syria's already robust air defense system. The United States believes it would give the Syrian government a much greater ability to target U.S., Israeli, NATO or other aircraft that may try to strike targets on the ground in the future.




The official said the United States did not see any military helicopters being loaded; it is believed the Syrians want to add the helicopters to their inventories.

The Russians have kept a regular naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean so they can move in and out of the port of Tartous, where they have facilities.

Several sensitive military assets are in the region this month as well. In the next two weeks, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower will also be in the region on a scheduled rotation as it returns to its home port on the East Coast. A U.S. Patriot missile battery and F-16s are heading to Jordan for a training exercise, though the Jordanians have asked for the Patriots to remain after the exercise concludes at the end of the month. - CNN.



ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - The Sea Lion Strandings Along California's Coast Pass 1,500 Mark?!

June 06, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Wildlife rehabilitation centers have rescued more than 1,550 sea lion pups along Calfornia's coast during this record year of strandings, but the number of new cases seems to be tapering off.


Three rehabilitated California sea lion pups, malnourished and dehydrated when they were rescued from San Diego County beaches between March 1 and March 28, are returned to the ocean at the Border Field State Park Beach, May 7, by SeaWorld San Diego, where they received treatment. The three followed six pups that headed into the ocean a few minutes earlier. — Howard Lipin

SeaWorld, a prime intake facility for these pups, has between 70 and 80 sea lions in its care these days. That's down from nearly 200 at the height of the crisis in March, spokesman Dave Koontz said. The marine-themed park's rehabilitation center is taking in about three to five pups per week, he said, down from more than 10 per day at the peak.

Since January, SeaWorld has rescued about 340 stranded pups, Koontz said. Most of these emaciated and dehydrated animals are found right at the coast, but a few have reached places such as a hotel, a resident's garage and the middle of a busy road.

In March, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared a "marine mammal unusual mortality event" for California, in response to stranding rates that were nearly three times higher than the historical average.

"The number of admits to rehab in recent weeks has definitely been much less than it was at the height of the event in March," said Sarah Wilken, marine mammal stranding coordinator for the agency. "But there are still a lot of animals in the centers that are in need of care."

At SeaWorld, stranded sea lions receive hydration and nutritional treatment, along with medical care, before being released back to the wild after a few weeks or months. About 10 percent to 15 percent of the pups treated at the park's rehab center this year have become stranded again and required a second rescue, Koontz said.

"Some of them just need a little bit more help," he said.

Scientists believe that population changes among squid and small fish - primary sources of food for sea lions - may have triggered the strandings as newly weaned pups struggled to find scarce prey. They're analyzing data about food supplies and certain diseases in their quest to pinpoint the leading cause of this year's unusual toll.

"There are some early indications, but the answers are going to be better in July, after this year's pups are born," Wilken said. "For the moment, everyone's grateful for the breather. But we're not yet saying that it's over." - U-T San Diego.





RATTLE & HUM: Loud Booms Heard Across America - Did You Hear A BIG BOOM In The Area Of Smyrna, Tennessee On Monday Night?!

June 06, 2013 - UNITED STATES - WGNS has received multiple phone calls and emails from residents in the area of Smyrna telling us that they heard a loud "BOOM" sound Monday night. The sound was heard around 8:30 in the evening.




WGNS checked with the Smyrna Police Department where we talked to Police Chief Kevin Arnold. Arnold told us, "We received several complaints last night about that. The Sheriff's Office also received complaints. From the log this morning it appears nothing was found."

We then headed to the Smyrna / Rutherford County Airport. There, we were told that no "BOOM" sounds involving airplanes were reported on Monday night. Several workers there told us they did not hear the "BOOM."

So that leaves us with the big question... What was that big "BOOM" sound that was heard Monday? It seems as if we cannot find the answer to that mystery. - WGNS.


WAR ON NATURE: Endangered Elephant Killings Rising In Indonesia - Poaching Cause Total Number Of Elephants To Cut In Half Since 1985!

June 06, 2013 - INDONESIA - Killings of endangered elephants are rising in Indonesia as authorities fail to stop poaching.


The lifeless remains of a elephant after he was killed by poachers.


Poisoning or shooting killed many of the 129 critically endangered elephants that have died on Indonesia's Sumatra island in less than a decade, highlighting weak enforcement of laws against poaching, an environmental group says.

WWF Indonesia said killings of Sumatran elephants are on the rise, with 29 either shot or poisoned last year, including 14 in Aceh province. The group said Tuesday that no one has been convicted or jailed in the deaths that were counted in Riau province since 2004.

The report came three days after two dead Sumatran elephants were found near a paper plantation in Riau, allegedly poisoned by poachers. Another elephant was killed last month near Tesso Nilo national park and its tusks were hacked off. An autopsy found a plastic detergent wrapper in its belly filled with poison.

The group said 59 percent of the dead elephants were definitely poisoned, 13 percent were suspected to have been poisoned, and 5 percent were killed by gunshots. Others died from illness or other causes, or the reason for their death was unknown.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the animals as "critically endangered" after their numbers dropped to between 2,400 and 2,800 from an estimated 5,000 in 1985. Environmentalists say the elephants could be extinct within three decades unless they are protected.

The decline is largely due to destruction of their habitat. Forests across Sumatra are being logged for timber, palm oil, and pulp and paper.

Sumatra has some of the most significant populations of Asian elephants outside of India and Sri Lanka and is also home to tigers, orangutans and rhinos.

"Effective action on the ground should be taken immediately to protect Sumatran elephants from extinction, especially in Riau," the report said. There are about 300 elephants left in Riau, which is part of Sumatra island.

Achmad Saeroji, head of the government conservation agency in Riau, denied the allegation of lax law enforcement, saying at least eight cases have been handled by authorities recently.

"We always investigate every case of elephants found dead," he said. "But it is hard to capture the perpetrators, either because of late reports or the fear of people to report the poachers, who work in a network."

Indonesia's elephants sometimes venture into populated areas searching for food. They destroy crops or attack humans, making them unpopular with villagers. Some are shot or poisoned with cyanide-laced fruit, while others are killed by poachers for their ivory. - News Daily.






EXTREME WEATHER: Severe And Persistent Drought - 'Drought Refugees' To Become Reality In USA As Western Half Of Nation Dries Up!

June 06, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The U.S. intelligence community and scores of scientists at home and abroad have warned that the world's supply of clean, potable water is fast disappearing, due mostly to climate change, overuse and pollution.




And while such water shortages are set to affect mostly poor, third-world countries the hardest, the U.S. itself is certainly not immune to shortages of water, the liquid that sustains every one of the 9 billion lives on planet Earth.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the western United States. According to a post at the TheEconomicCollapse blog site, scientists called the 20th century the wettest on record for the past 1,000 years, but "now things appear to be reverting to their normal historical patterns."

A new Dust Bowl?

From the site:

But we have built teeming cities in the desert such as Phoenix and Las Vegas that support millions of people. Cities all over the Southwest continue to grow even as the Colorado River, Lake Mead and the High Plains Aquifer system run dry. So what are we going to do when there isn't enough water to irrigate our crops or run through our water systems?

In the 1930s, in the throes of the Great Depression, much of the southern plains suffered through the "Dust Bowl" years. According to The History Channel, that was both a manmade and natural disaster:

Beginning with World War I, American wheat harvests flowed like gold as demand boomed. Lured by record wheat prices and promises by land developers that "rain follows the plow," farmers powered by new gasoline tractors over-plowed and over-grazed the southern Plains. When the drought and Great Depression hit in the early 1930s, the wheat market collapsed. Once the oceans of wheat, which replaced the sea of prairie grass that anchored the topsoil into place, dried up, the land was defenseless against the winds that buffeted the Plains.

The Dust Bowl years saw some migration of people out of the regions that were affected the most - but most (three-quarters) of the region's farmers stayed put. Today, however, "the family farm" has been replaced by urban-dwelling; serious water shortages near any major city would cause much worse migration than what occurred 80 years ago in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

What's more, there is evidence that such conditions are already threatening major metropolitan areas out west. From TheEconomicCollapse:

In the past couple of years we have seen giant dust storms known as "haboobs" roll through Phoenix, and six of the 10 worst years for wildfires ever recorded in the United States have all come since the year 2000. In fact, according to the Los Angeles Times, "the average number of fires larger than 1,000 acres in a year has nearly quadrupled in Arizona and Idaho and has doubled in every other Western state" since the 1970s.

Damning drought evidence

Scientists now say they expect the western U.S. to become even drier in the coming years. Sustained dry conditions will put additional stress on entire regional water sources. Eventually these sources will begin to run low on water. When that happens, make no mistake - major western urban regions will not withstand that.

More from National Geographic:

All over the Southwest, a wholesale change in the landscape is under way. Pinons and scrubbier, more drought-resistant junipers have long been partners in the low woodlands that clothe much of the region. But the pinons are dying off. From 2002 to 2004, 2.5 million acres turned to rust in the Four Corners region alone. The immediate cause of death was often bark beetles, which are also devastating other conifers. ... Bark beetles tend to attack trees that are already stressed or dying from drought. "They can smell it," says Craig Allen, a landscape ecologist at Bandelier National Monument in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico.

There is other evidence the west is drying up. See the full blog post here. - Natural News.





STORM ALERT: Tropical Storm Andrea Bearing Down On Florida's Gulf Coast And U.S. East Coast - Already Packing Sustained Winds Of 60 Miles (95 km) Per Hour; Storm Warnings In Effect!

June 06, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Tropical Storm Andrea took aim at Florida's northern Gulf Coast on Thursday and was forecast to cut across Georgia and up the U.S. Atlantic coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.


Andrea, the first tropical storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, is seen in this image taken by NASA's GOES East satellite on June 5, 2013. Credit: Reuters/NASA/Handout via Reuters


The season's first Atlantic tropical storm was churning in the Gulf of Mexico, centered about 160 miles west of Tampa, Florida, the center said. Moving north-northeast, Andrea was expected to make landfall later on Thursday over the Big Bend area, where the Florida Peninsula meets the Panhandle.

Andrea packed top sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (95 km per hour) and was not expected to strengthen before moving ashore, the hurricane center forecasters said.

Andrea posed no threat to U.S. energy interests in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical storm warnings were in effect for much of Florida's Gulf Coast and for the U.S. Atlantic Coast from northern Florida to Virginia, including the lower Chesapeake Bay.




"Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the Florida west coast within the warning area later today, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. These conditions will gradually spread northward along the United States East Coast during the next 24 to 36 hours," the forecasters said.

The forecasters warned of coastal flooding and said the storm could bring heavy rainfall to Florida and the southeastern United States, and possibly a few tornadoes in Florida.

There were a few scattered power outages in Florida but no widespread loss of service.




The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.

The U.S. government's top climate agency warned in an annual forecast last month that this year's season could be "extremely active" with 13 to 20 tropical storms, seven to 11 of which are expected to become hurricanes.

Three of the six hurricanes could become major at Category 3 or above, with winds of more than 110 mph, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. - Reuters.

WATCH: Tropical Storm Andrea takes aim at Florida and U.S. East Coast.







PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Southwest Of Koroni, Greece!

June 06, 2013 - GREECE - A Greece earthquake today 2013 has struck Koroni. The Greece earthquake today June 6, 2013 hit Koroni in the afternoon hours. No reports of damage have yet to be indicated by local news.


USGS earthquake location.


Officials tell news that a 5.2 magnitude Greece earthquake today struck at 2:53 pm local time. The quake however had a nominal depth. USGS indicates to news that the Greece earthquake began only six miles below sea level. As a result the quake could be felt on-land to the north.

The Greece earthquake was three miles south of Koroni. It was twenty-two miles south of Kalamata, thirty-six miles south of Sparata, and fifty-eight miles southwest of Tripolis. The quake also started one hundred thirty miles southwest of Athens.


USGS earthquake shakemap location.


Earlier this year a Turkey earthquake could be felt in Greece. The quake was twenty-nine miles west of Bozcaada. The quake was forty-two miles west of Ezine, Turkey and fifty miles west of Mitilini, Greece. USGS also indicated to news that the quake was fifty-five miles southwest of Canakkale, Turkey and roughly one hundred fifty miles northeast of Athens, Greece. The quake was centered west of Bozcaada. But the quake erupted with virtually no depth, beginning less than ten kilometers below the sea level, officials told news. - Lalate.



Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Mediterranean Region and Vicinity.
The Mediterranean region is seismically active due to the northward convergence (4-10 mm/yr) of the African plate with respect to the Eurasian plate along a complex plate boundary. This convergence began approximately 50 Ma and was associated with the closure of the Tethys Sea. The modern day remnant of the Tethys Sea is the Mediterranean Sea. The highest rates of seismicity in the Mediterranean region are found along the Hellenic subduction zone of southern Greece, along the North Anatolian Fault Zone of western Turkey and the Calabrian subduction zone of southern Italy. Local high rates of convergence at the Hellenic subduction zone (35mm/yr) are associated with back-arc spreading throughout Greece and western Turkey above the subducting Mediterranean oceanic crust. Crustal normal faulting throughout this region is a manifestation of extensional tectonics associated with the back-arc spreading. The region of the Marmara Sea is a transition zone between this extensional regime, to the west, and the strike-slip regime of the North Anatolian Fault Zone, to the east. The North Anatolian Fault accommodates much of the right-lateral horizontal motion (23-24 mm/yr) between the Anatolian micro-plate and Eurasian plate as the Anatolian micro-plate is being pushed westward to further accommodate closure of the Mediterranean basin caused by the collision of the African and Arabian plates in southeastern Turkey. Subduction of the Mediterranean Sea floor beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Calabrian subduction zone causes a significant zone of seismicity around Sicily and southern Italy. Active volcanoes are located above intermediate depth earthquakes in the Cyclades of the Aegean Sea and in southern Italy.


USGS earthquake tectonic plates for the region.


In the Mediterranean region there is a written record, several centuries long, documenting pre-instrumental seismicity (pre-20th century). Earthquakes have historically caused widespread damage across central and southern Greece, Cyprus, Sicily, Crete, the Nile Delta, Northern Libya, the Atlas Mountains of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The 1903 M8.2 Kythera earthquake and the 1926 M7.8 Rhodes earthquakes are the largest instrumentally recorded Mediterranean earthquakes, both of which are associated with subduction zone tectonics. Between 1939 and 1999 a series of devastating M7+ strike-slip earthquakes propagated westward along the North Anatolian Fault Zone, beginning with the 1939 M7.8 Erzincan earthquake on the eastern end of the North Anatolian Fault system. The 1999 M7.6 Izmit earthquake, located on the westward end of the fault, struck one of Turkey's most densely populated and industrialized urban areas killing, more than 17,000 people. Although seismicity rates are comparatively low along the northern margin of the African continent, large destructive earthquakes have been recorded and reported from Morocco in the western Mediterranean, to the Dead Sea in the eastern Mediterranean. The 1980 M7.3 El Asnam earthquake was one of Africa's largest and most destructive earthquakes within the 20th century.

Large earthquakes throughout the Mediterranean region have also been known to produce significant and damaging tsunamis. One of the more prominent historical earthquakes within the region is the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755, whose magnitude has been estimated from non-instrumental data to be about 8.0. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake is thought to have occurred within or near the Azores-Gibraltar transform fault, which defines the boundary between the African and Eurasian plates off the west coast of Morocco and Portugal. The earthquake is notable for both a large death toll of approximately 60,000 people and for generating a tsunami that swept up the Portuguese coast inundating coastal villages and Lisbon. An earthquake of approximately M8.0 near Sicily in 1693 generated a large tsunami wave that destroyed numerous towns along Sicily's east coast. The M7.2 December 28, 1908 Messina earthquake is the deadliest documented European earthquake. The combination of severe ground shaking and a local tsunami caused an estimated 60,000 to 120,000 fatalities. - USGS.




AGE OF OBAMA & BIG BROTHER NOW: Rise Of The Global Police State - The NSA, U.S. Spy Agency Collects Phone Records On Verizon Customers; Obama Administration Defends Phone Record Collection!

June 06, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The Obama administration on Thursday acknowledged that it is collecting a massive amount of telephone records from at least one carrier, reopening the debate over privacy even as it defended the practice as necessary to protect Americans against attack.


An employee holds out an iPhone for a customer at a Verizon store in Boston, Massachusetts February 10, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

The admission comes after the Guardian newspaper published a secret court order related to the records of millions of Verizon Communications customers on its website on Wednesday.

A senior administration official did not specifically confirm the report, but noted the published court order pertains only to data such as a telephone number or the length of a call, and not the subscribers' identities or the content of the telephone calls.

The order requires the government to turn over so-called "metadata" such as a list of numbers that called other U.S. or international numbers as well as other transactional information on the time and location of calls.

Such information is "a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats to the United States," the official said, speaking on the condition of not being named.

"It allows counter-terrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States," the official added.




The revelation raises fresh concerns about President Barack Obama's handling of privacy and free speech issues. His administration is already under fire for searching Associated Press journalists' calling records and the emails of a Fox television reporter as part of its inquiries into leaked government information.

Verizon has declined to comment. It remains unclear clear whether the practice extends to other carriers.

AT&T Inc had no comment. Representatives for other major carriers, including Sprint Nextel Corp and T-Mobile, could not be immediately reached or had no immediate comment.

BOSTON BOMBING

The three-month court order, dated April 25 and published by the Guardian on Wednesday, directs Verizon's Business Network Services Inc and Verizon Business Services units to hand over daily electronic data until July 19.

It was issued one week after U.S. law enforcement officials tracked down the two brothers suspected of carrying out the deadly Boston Marathon bombing. Investigators in that case had been looking into calls made from their phones and had been searching for one brother's laptop.

The order expressly compels Verizon to turn over both international calling records and domestic records, and refers to mobile and landline numbers, according to the Guardian's copy, which was labeled "top secret" and issued by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The four-page document does not lay out why the order was given or whether it was linked to any specific investigation.


(By Julie Jacobson – Associated Press)

Thursday's admission highlights U.S. intelligence officials' ongoing and controversial campaign of domestic surveillance launched under President George W. Bush's administration in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attack.

The 2001 U.S. Patriot Act allows the FBI to seek an order to obtain "any tangible thing," including business records, to gather intelligence.

The Obama administration official said that "all three branches of government are involved in reviewing and authorizing intelligence collection."

Still, some lawmakers have expressed growing concern with broad intelligence gathering methods.

The order can be seen at: r.reuters.com/kap68t. - Reuters.

WATCH: Verizon Treason - US seizes millions of phone records at FBI's request.