Wednesday, April 16, 2014

THE THEATRE OF WAR: High Alert As Ukraine Crisis Threatens To Plunge United States And Russia Towards World War III - Pro-Russian Separatists Take Armor, Humiliating Ukrainian Forces; Ukraine Troops Surrender In Slavyansk, Refusing To Shoot Own People; NATO To Deploy Ships, Intensify Baltic And Mediterranean Patrols; President Obama Urged To Resurrect Missile Shield For Eastern Europe!

April 16, 2014 - UKRAINE - Separatists flew the Russian flag on armored vehicles taken from the Ukrainian army on Wednesday, humiliating a Kiev government operation to recapture eastern towns controlled by pro-Moscow partisans.


A combat vehicle with pro-Russian gunman on top runs through downtown Slovyansk on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.
The troops on those vehicles wore green camouflage uniforms, had automatic weapons and grenade launchers and at
least one had the St. George ribbon attached to his uniform, which has become a symbol of the
pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)


Six armored personnel carriers were driven into the rebel-held town of Slaviansk to waves and shouts of "Russia! Russia!". It was not immediately clear whether they had been captured by rebels or handed over to them by Ukrainian deserters.

Another 15 armored troop carriers full of paratroops were surrounded and halted by a pro-Russian crowd at a town near an airbase. They were allowed to retreat only after the soldiers handed the firing pins from their rifles to a rebel commander.

The military setback leaves Kiev looking weak on the eve of a peace conference on Thursday, when its foreign minister will meet his Russian, U.S. and European counterparts in Geneva.

So far, the United States and European Union have imposed only targeted sanctions against a list of Russian and Ukrainian individuals and firms in retaliation for Moscow's seizure and rapid annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, completed last month.


  WATCH: Armored personnel carriers enter east Ukrainian cities.

 


The EU took a step towards imposing harsher sanctions on Wednesday by informing its member states of the likely impact of proposed measures on each of them. Countries have a week to respond before the European Commission starts drawing up plans.

As Secretary of State John Kerry flew into Geneva, a senior U.S. official noted that President Barack Obama had put the onus on Moscow to calm the crisis. "With regard to sanctions, the President has been very clear that if Russia does not take this opportunity to de-escalate, the costs are going to go up," the official told reporters.

Moscow has responded to the overthrow of its ally Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich in February by announcing its right to intervene militarily to protect Russian speakers across the former Soviet Union, a new doctrine that has overturned decades of post-Cold War diplomacy.

Russia has massed thousands of troops on near the Ukrainian frontier. A Reuters reporting team that visited the border area late last week and again on Wednesday said Russian military activity had increased markedly over the past few days, with more troops and vehicles on the roads.

The U.S. official said that the Geneva meeting aimed to calm the situation in largely Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine and discuss constitutional reforms to protect the rights of minorities in the country.

"The idea here is that they (Russian leaders) would stop aiding and abetting and supporting these separatists and that they would pull their troops back from the borders," he said.


A fighter jet flies above as Ukrainian soldiers sit on an armoured personnel carrier in Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine
April 16, 2014. Ukrainian government forces and separatist pro-Russian militia staged rival shows of force in eastern
Ukraine on Wednesday amid escalating rhetoric on the eve of crucial four-power talks in Geneva on the
former Soviet country's future. (REUTERS/Marko Djurica)


At one site in an open field in Russia's Belgorod region about 20 km (12 miles) from the frontier there were now 10 large army tents and about 20 military trucks, far more than last week, although a squadron of attack helicopters had left.

The Ukrainian government confirmed that six of its armored vehicles were now in the hands of separatists. Photos of their number markings showed they were among vehicles deployed earlier in the government's attempted "anti-terrorist" operation.

Kiev had sent the convoy of paratroops to capture an airfield, the start of an operation to reclaim towns held by separatists who have declared an independent "People's Republic" in the industrial Donbass region.


 WATCH: East Ukrainian people stand up for their rights amid Kiev's military crackdown.

 


The Ukrainian government and its Western allies believe Russian agents are coordinating the uprising. Moscow denies it is involved and says Kiev is precipitating civil war by sending troops to put down the revolt.

The Kiev government is seeking to reassert control without bloodshed, which it fears would precipitate a Russian invasion. Its operation is the first test of Kiev's under-funded army, which had until now played no role in six months of internal unrest. The government seems to have resorted to using troops after losing faith that police in the east would stay loyal.

OPERATION

The government troops began their operation on Tuesday, arriving by helicopter to take control of an airfield at Kramatorsk. They drove armored personnel carriers flying the Ukrainian flag into the town in the early morning.

But six of those vehicles later rumbled into Slaviansk, 15 km (9 miles) away, with Russian and separatist flags and armed men in motley combat fatigues on top. They stopped outside the separatist-occupied town hall.

Some Ukrainian troops were also taken to Slaviansk with the vehicles, although it was not immediately clear whether they had deserted or were coerced into coming. People in the town said some were sent home in buses.

One soldier guarding one of the vehicles said he was a member of Ukraine's 25th paratrooper division, the unit sent by Kiev to recapture Slaviansk and Kramatorsk.

"All the soldiers and the officers are here. We are all boys who won't shoot our own people," he said, adding that his men had had no food for four days until local residents fed them.


A column of combat vehicles with a Russian flag on the front one makes its way to the town of Kramatorsk on
Wednesday, April 16, 2014. An Associated Press reporter said he saw a column of combat vehicles in an eastern
Ukrainian city, occupied by pro-Russian insurgents and flying Russian flags. (AP Photo/ Evgeniy Maloletka)


The Defence Ministry in Kiev said the vehicles had been captured. "A column was blocked by a crowd of local people in Kramatorsk with members of a Russian diversionary-terrorist group among them," it said. "As a result, extremists seized the equipment."

Above Slaviansk, a Ukrainian jet fighter carried out several minutes of aerobatics over the town's main square.

Back in Kramatorsk, 15 vehicles from the Ukrainian military convoy sent to recapture the town were stuck near a railroad, blockaded by unarmed local residents. A Ukrainian officer said his men were not prepared to fire on fellow Ukrainians.

"I am a Ukrainian officer, that's the first thing. The other is that I will not shoot at my own people no matter what," said the officer who said he could not give his name as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

"I want things to be normal, people to go back home, not sit in some fields with weapons. I want children to see weapons only on TV ... I want us to live together as we were. And I want to be back home to my wife and child."

The crowd blockaded the troops until the commander of the unit, Colonel Oleksander Schvets, agreed to order his men to hand over the firing pins from their rifles to a separatist leader. The crowd then allowed the troops to drive back to their base in Dnipropetrovsk, a southern city.

The pro-Russian separatists began the uprising in the east by seizing government buildings in three cities on April 6, and have tightened their grip in recent days. Their armed paramilitaries now control buildings in about 10 towns and have seized hundreds of weapons. Two people were killed on Sunday in Slaviansk, including a Ukrainian state security agent shot dead.

Kiev calls the uprising a blatant repeat of the seizure of Crimea, where armed pro-Russian partisans also occupied buildings, declared independence and proclaimed themselves in charge of state bodies. The main difference so far is that Russian troops have not appeared overtly as they did in Crimea, where Moscow already had military bases.


 WATCH: Switching Sides - Ukrainian armored unit joins anti-govt protesters in east.




NATO says there are 40,000 Russian soldiers amassed on the frontier, forces which could capture eastern Ukraine in days.

Hopes are faint for any progress at the talks in Geneva on Thursday. As in the case of Crimea last month, diplomacy appears to have fallen far behind the pace of events on the ground, with pro-Russian partisans establishing control of territory before Western countries can muster a response.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to speak on Thursday at an annual question and answer session with citizens, which could signal how far he intends to go in Ukraine.

A triumphant speech he gave in March justifying the annexation of Crimea has been seen as a decisive moment in Russia's relations with the West, signaling Moscow no longer feels bound by customary rules governing the use of force.

BRINK OF CIVIL WAR

Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a telephone call late on Tuesday that Kiev had "embarked on an anti-constitutional course" by using the army. "The sharp escalation of the conflict puts the country, in effect, on the brink of civil war," the Kremlin quoted him as saying.

Washington and NATO have made clear they will not fight to protect Ukraine. Instead, NATO announced urgent new steps to reinforce the security of alliance members that border on it.

"You will see deployments at sea, in the air, on land, to take place immediately. That means within days," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a news conference after meeting of ambassadors from the 28-member alliance. - Yahoo.


NATO To Deploy Ships, Intensify Baltic & Mediterranean Patrols 'Due To Ukraine Crisis'
U.S. naval vessel "Monterey" leaves harbour to take part in Ukranian-NATO joint exercises in
the Black Sea port of Odessa June 15, 2011. (Reuters/Yevgeny Volokin)


NATO is strengthening its military presence in the Baltic and Mediterranean due to the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. The organization is to deploy ships and intensified aerial patrols in the region.

At a meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Brussels, NATO approved a number of measures to strengthen security in Eastern Europe in connection with the growing crisis in Ukraine.

“Our defense plans will be revised and strengthened,” said Anders Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO, to press in Brussels.

He added that NATO had not yet reached a decision about the possible deployment of troops in Eastern Europe.

“Today we agreed on a number of measures that can be implemented quickly. But more work needs to be done,” said Rasmussen. Elaborating on the measures that are to be taken, Rasmussen said that air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region and NATO ships would be deployed in the Baltic Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean.

“We all agree that a political solution is the only way forward,” Rasmussen told press. “We call on Russia to be part of the solution.”


US warship, USS Donald Cook, sails through the Bosporus in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 10, 2014,
en route to the Black Sea. (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic)

In addition, he accused Russia of destabilizing Ukraine and amassing its troops along the country’s borders. He called on Moscow to “make clear” it does not support the violent actions of armed militia and pro-Russian separatists.

NATO has already been stepping up its presence in the region. Several warships have been deployed in the Black Sea over the last few days. They include the US missile destroyer Donald Cook, which carries helicopters and a crew of 300 and two more attack vessels.

Moscow has repeatedly denied Western allegations that it has a hand in the ongoing unrest in the south-east of Ukraine and said reports of Russian interference in the region are based on dubious information.

Furthermore, President Vladimir Putin has said the recent escalation in the Ukrainian crisis has brought Russia’s neighbor to the brink of civil war.

Kiev’s coup-appointed government announced the beginning of an “anti-terrorist” operation in the south-east of Ukraine on Monday. The move comes in response to ongoing unrest and violent protests in the region, rejecting Kiev’s interim authorities. Some more extreme elements are even calling for a Crimea-style referendum and possible separation from Ukraine.

Following months of deadly protests, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted and replaced by a self-appointed government on February 22. Russia slammed the coup-appointed government as illegitimate and said it had violated the Ukrainian constitution by setting elections for May 25. - RT.


Obama Urged To Resurrect Missile Shield For Eastern Europe
Mike Pence in 2012. AP
Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., will deliver a speech today at the historic Hotel Adlon by Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate in which he will decry “Russian aggression” and call on President Obama to resurrect a planned missile-defense shield for Eastern Europe that Obama scrapped in 2009. Pence, who said he will make a decision on a potential 2016 presidential run in the coming months, is in Germany on a privately funded trade mission. But touting his decade on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Pence will strike a hawkish tone.

From the prepared remarks provided to Fox News First: “With Russian aggression on the rise, clearly conciliatory diplomacy has failed. While sanctions are of some value, in the interest of our alliance, I believe the United States and the EU must respond with deeds more than words to strengthen our economic and strategic defenses.”

Missile shield - “And, with continued instability in the Middle East, Iran’s ongoing effort to develop long-range missiles and nuclear technology, and Putin’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine, I believe we must take immediate steps to deploy a robust missile defense in Europe – especially Poland and the Czech Republic – to protect the interests of our NATO allies and the United States in the region.” - FOX News.



PLAGUES & PESTILENCS: "Rats The Size Of Cats Are Invading Our Cities" - TWO-FOOT LONG GIANT Rodents Which Are Immune To Poison Are Discovered Feeding From Bins In Britain!

April 16, 2014 - BRITAIN -  It is the size of a small cat and enough to strike fear into anyone who sees it – but it could become a common sight in cities around the country.


Huge rats are being caught across Britain (file picture)

A giant rat was caught in Liverpool and measured two feet long from its nose to its tail.

The menacing super rat was caught on an industrial estate by a pest controller from Whelan Services, one of the country's largest independent pest prevention companies.

Whelan Services has offices in London, Liverpool and Hampshire and all locations report a rise in the number of super rats spotted.

Pest control experts today warned that similar rats are likely to become more common in the UK as more households get careless about how they throw out their rubbish, and discard left-over fast food.

They also warn that the rodents are becoming increasingly resistant to poison.

Experts say the conventional blood-thinning poison used to kill the rats is not working as it used to.


Growing problem: Cities throughout the UK are seeing more super rats as the rodents gorge on food left out in bins.

Now pest controllers are calling on the government to tighten up its response to the monster-size vermin and asking the EU to approve stronger ‘third generation poison’ to kill them.

Merseyside pest controller Sean Whelan from Whelan Services told Mail Online: ‘We’re seeing an upsurge in rat call-outs, it’s gone up significantly by about 15 per cent over the past year.

‘It’s been very good for us. But I’m not entirely sure what’s causing it, it could be the weather, it’s been very cold and it’s been very wet.

‘They’re twice as large as they once were. It’s definitely not uncommon to see rats the size of a cat.

‘The problem is that they’re feeding more than they used to. They’re feeding off leftover junk food that we throw away.

‘If there is vermin, 99.9 per cent of the time it’s our fault. We’re basically feeding them and they get used to it. So they keep coming around us to get more food,' he added.

Mr Whelan said: ‘The rats that we’re seeing in the city used to be the ones roaming round  the countryside, in agriculture, out on farms, but they’ve migrated to towns – now they live in the city.

Mr Whelan said the 'monster rats' are in every town throughout the country but there has been an increase in sightings in Liverpool, Birmingham and London.


We found you: This huge rodent had to be removed by hand from the ceiling after the
trap failed to work due to its size in Dublin

During the 1960s onwards, rat poison was based on the blood-thinning agent warfarin. It worked by draining the blood from the rat and killing it.

Today, pest controllers use bromadiolone, but both are proving to be ineffective on some monster vermin.

‘We find that the rats are becoming resistant to poison,' Mr whelan said. 'We used to use Warafin when I first started out 23 years ago. It was the first generation of rat poisoning and used to work but doesn't do much now.

'We need new, stronger poisons as they've grown used to what we use.'

The pest controller explained that in an area between Winchester and Salisbury the poisons simply do not work at all, while rats in London have also developed a higher immunity.


RAT KILLERS NEED STRONGER POISON TO COPE WITH RISE IN SUPER VERMIN

• Rat poisons are controversial, due to secondary poisoning and risks to children, pets and wildlife.
• Rodents are difficult to kill with poisons because their feeding habits reflect their place as scavengers. Rats will eat a small bit of something and wait, and if they don't get sick, they continue.
•  An effective rodenticide must be tasteless and odorless in lethal concentrations, and have a delayed effect.
• There have been two generations of poisons given to rats.
• The first generation include: warfarin and coumatetralyl
• The second generation are: difenacoum, brodifacoum, flocoumafen and bromadiolone.
• But rats are growing increasingly resistant to both.
• Pest controllers are calling on the EU to approve a third generation of stronger poison to deal with the growing problem of super rats.

Mr Whelan is calling on the government to create a 'rat tsar' to tackle the problem.

He also wants the EU to approve the third generation of rat poison to help tackle the problem, but plans for stronger poison face stiff opposition from campaigners amid fears that it could be harmful to humans.

Wildlife campaigners have also raised concerns that it could wreak havoc on animal and birds.

However, pest control experts warn that there will be even more monster rats found if they are allowed to feast on food near junk food shops, restaurants and household bin areas outside blocks of flats.

Rats thrive in damp and soggy weather - of which the UK has seen plenty during the wettest year on record. Vermin are also swapping rural areas for the big city.

The government’s austerity measures have been blamed for making the problem far worse – after cuts to the budget for pest control.


Big rodent: The giant monster rat was found in a family residence in
Kingswood, south Dublin last week.

And rats can carry illnesses which can be passed to humans, including Weil’s disease, which has flu-like symptoms initially but can lead to jaundice and kidney failure.

Across the country, councils have reported a rise in the number of rats being reported. Birmingham has the highest number of call-outs with 5,100 in the past year.

Liverpool council has also reported a recent rise in the number of reports of rats – 2,008 last year compared with 1,860 in 2012.

In Birmingham the rat hotspots include Ladywood, Hodge Hill and Perry Barr.


One for supper: Jack Russell Max, owned by Royal Tunbridge Wells resident Mark Willmott, caught one
of the large rats whose numbers are increasing around the country.

City pest control officer Colin Watts said that one of the biggest he’s seen was 14 or 15 inches long but that was just the body, without the tail.

He claimed that it would have been over 2 foot with its tail and compared it to the size of a small cat.

And the problem is not just confined to Britain.

Other huge rodents have been caught recently in homes in Stockholm and Dublin, where one rat was trapped by pest control after terrorising an Irish family in south Dublin.

The Dublin-based 'monster vermin' had been terrorising Grace and Ian Walters’ home in Kingswood shortly after they moved into their new flat. - Daily Mail.



DELUGE: More Than 40 Feared Dead After Dar Floods In Tanzania - Many Houses Submerged Under Water; Widespread Damage To Infrastructure!

April 16, 2014 - TANZANIA - Some 41 people are feared dead as a result of floods caused by downpour that hit Dar es Salaam for about three days over the weekend, according to Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC) Saidi Meck Sadiki.


Houses submerged under water in the Jangwani area of Dar es Salaam on Saturday (April 12th), after
heavy rains that started Friday and continued through Sunday. 
Deodatus Balile / Sabahi


Mr Sadiki, who by virtue of his position is the Chairman of the Regional Defence and Security Committee, noted, however, that so far 25 people have been confirmed by police to have died as a result of the floods.

"In Ilala District, there are two people who have been reported missing while 11 have been confirmed dead while in Kinondoni, there are seven confirmed deaths and 14 were reportedly buried before corroboration by the police.

In Temeke, seven people perished. "I have directed the police to visit families of the 14 people reported dead to ensure that the said persons really died as a result of the floods as the search for other bodies continue," Mr Sadiki told this newspaper in a telephone interview.

If the bodies of the two people said to be missing are found and the police verify that the 14 that were buried died as a result of the floods, then the death toll will come to 41, he noted.


Pedestrians cross the flooded Old Bagamoyo Road in the
Mikocheni area of Dar es Salaam on April 12th.
Daniel Hayduk / AFP
The RC went on to issue a warning to residents who have been seen over the past two days returning to the flood-prone lowlying areas, urging them to think about their lives and property.

"There is an ongoing case in the courts filed by the residents, opposing eviction from the areas and thus there is nothing we can do for now.

They should, however, mind about themselves, their families and property, which are at risk," Mr Sadiki warned.

In another development, transport to upcountry regions resumed yesterday though on a slow pace, thanks to emergency repairs on the damaged infrastructure, particularly bridges that were wrecked by the heavy rains.

The affected bridges include the one over River Ruvu along the Morogoro- Dar es Salaam Highway, Mpiji along the Dar es Salaam-Bagamoyo Road as well as Mzinga along Kilwa Road that connects Dar es Salaam and the southern regions of Lindi and Mtwara and some parts of Coast Region.

As of yesterday morning, vehicles were allowed to pass through Ruvu and Mzinga while work was still going on at Mpiji, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Works.

Over 40 people are feared dead in the commercial capital of Tanzania,
Dar es Salaam, following flooding caused by three days of heavy rain
Photo: UN
"For the past three days, officials at the ministry as well as the Tanzania National Roads Agency were working around the clock to connect Dar es Salaam to other parts of the country after bridges were washed away with rains," the statement read in part.

It noted also that the Minister for Works, Dr John Magufuli, had suspended leave for all regional TANROADS managers and put off the agency's Workers' Council meeting that was scheduled to take place in Tanga earlier this week, so that all workers dedicate their time to the road and bridge repair work.

On Monday night, the minister visited the affected areas, including the Mkokozi Bridge that link Mji Mwema and Kongowe areas in the city, which was also affected.

Meanwhile, the Territorial Traffic Police Commander, Mr Mohamed Mpinga, confirmed to 'Daily News' that buses at the Ubungo Bus Terminal (UBT) were allowed to start carrying stranded passengers starting Tuesday morning.

"Vehicles are now crossing over Ruvu and Mzinga Bridges though slowly, it is only Mpiji Bridge that is impassable though efforts are still underway to repair it," the traffic police boss explained. - All Africa.



THE AGE OF PUTIN & CHILDHOOD'S END: Precursors To The End Of The Petrodollar And The Collapse Of The United States Corporation - "Unprecedented" MEGA Oil Field Discovered In Southern Russia; 300 MILLION Tons Of Oil And 90 BILLION Cubic Meters Of Gas!

April 16, 2014 - RUSSIA - A new oil field with roughly 300 million tons of oil and 90 billion cubic meters of gas has been discovered in the Astrakhan region of Russia.


AFP Photo/Fabio Bucciarelli

“The field’s reserves are unprecedented, this discovery confirms the high potential of the Astrakhan region in terms of these major discoveries,” Sergey Donskoy, Russia’s Natural Resources Minister said on Wednesday.

The field, called “Velikoe” (The Great) was discovered by the AFB Oil and Gas Company, which will likely seek out larger partners to develop it.

Two likely candidates are Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned and largest producer, and Lukoil, the country’s second biggest producer.

"According to experts, given the lack of large land deposits, project participation will likely come from all major industry players. The most probable partners are Rosneft and Lukoil, which already have projects in neighboring regions,” Uralsib Capital analyst Aleksey Kokin told mail.ru.




Kokin estimates the deposits could be worth nearly $1 billion.

Rosneft has projects in the neighboring Vanqor oil field, which has a capacity of 140 million tons.

The last major land hydrocarbon deposit discovery was the Vanqor field in 1988, which has over 500 million tons of oil in estimated reserves.

Another Astrakhan region field is Lukoil’s Filanovsky field, which has more than 150 million tons of recoverable oil in the Caspian Sea.

In 2012, the company opened the neighboring Tambov field, also located in the Astrakhan oil field, which is the world’s fifth largest. - RT.



PROTESTS & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: "They Clubbed Us Wildly, It Was Brutal" - Violent Clashes At Mass Eviction In Rome As Economic Crisis Bites In Italy!

April 16, 2014 - ROME, ITALY - Riot police dragged away some 350 squatter families from abandoned offices in Rome amid violent clashes on Wednesday -- the latest in a rising tide of forced evictions in Italy fueled by the economic crisis.


Protesters clash with police during the occupation of a building by associations that campaign for
housing rights on April 16, 2014 in Rome (AFP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli)

Several people were injured as police used truncheons to break through a large group of protesters outside the building, where squatters had barricaded themselves in and taken to the roof.

An AFP photographer saw between 100 and 150 officers then entering the building -- a former state-owned insurance agency -- and escorting the residents out, nine days after the occupation began.

The families were loaded into around 10 waiting police vans in the area south of the city centre, which was entirely closed off to traffic for the operation.

"They clubbed us wildly, it was brutal," Cristiano Armati, a member of the Coordinamento association which had helped occupy the building, told AFP by telephone from hospital.

"It doesn't end here though. The fight for housing rights will go on," said Armati, who said he was being treated for a broken elbow and cuts to the head.

Another protester injured in the clashes broke her leg and was seen being taken away in an ambulance.

Rome city council said around 90 properties in the city are currently occupied by squatters. The number of evictions in the capital is on the rise as families struggle to pay rent amid record-high unemployment.


Riot police and protesters clash as thousands of people protest against Italian government and
austerity measures in Rome, Italy, 12 April 2014. EFE/EPA/ANGELO CARCONI

Riot police and protesters clash as thousands of people protest against Italian government and
austerity measures in Rome, Italy, 12 April 2014. EFE/EPA/MASSIMO PERCOSSI

The council carried out 3,346 evictions in the first six months of 2013 -- a 10-percent increase from the first six months of 2012, according to the latest data.

A steady increase since 2008 "shows just how grave the impact of the economic crisis has been, dragging ever greater swaths of the population into the emergency housing phenomenon," a council official told AFP.

The squatters were a mix of Italians and immigrants, many of whom lost their jobs in the economic crisis.

"They broke in, throwing our belongings out of the window, dragging us along the floor and kicking those who resisted," one squatter, who did not want to be named, told La Repubblica daily.

The government last month launched a new housing plan that promised to double rent subsidies for low earners to 200 million euros ($280 million) for 2014 and 2015, but it also cracked down on squatters' rights.

Critics say the subsidies are not enough and insist the government should do more to free up empty properties.

An investigation by Italy's Panorama magazine last month put the number of lodgings currently lying empty in the Italian capital alone at 50,000 units.

Rome's council said it was cracking down on those abusing the system, seizing council properties from high-income earners, who pay an average of 79 euros ($109) a month for apartments in the city centre -- often despite owning yachts or secondary properties. - Yahoo.



GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: The Rise Of Cryptocurrencies And The Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - BTC China Launches Bitcoin ATM In Your Pocket; Mobile App Let Anyone Worldwide Buy And Sell Bitcoins In Different Major World Currencies!

April 16, 2014 - GLOBAL ECONOMY - Anyone in China with a smartphone can now act as a bitcoin ATM with BTC China’s new mobile app that lets users buy and sell bitcoins in different major world currencies. The mobile app has been launched along with a physical ATM.


A smartphone with a QR code is scanned on Hong Kong's first bitcoin ATM during a demonstration
at a bitcoin exchange in Hong Kong March 13, 2014. (Reuters/Bobby Yip)


The launch of the Picasso ATM coincides with the Chinese crackdown on financial institutions using bitcoin, and could boost BTC’s international customer base.

The web-based application will be in place of a physical ATM, and can be used to transfer the cryptocurrency into hard currency worldwide.

The physical ATM is located at the IC Coffee Shop in Shanghai’s Pudong Zhangjiang tech park. Here people can insert yuan into the machine in exchange for bitcoins, but cannot withdraw any cash.

Although there is no current ban on cryptocurrencies in China, the People’s Bank of China has warned financial institutions that they shouldn’t trade digital tender, like bitcoin.

The People's Bank of China (PBC) warned financial institutions in December they should be “on guard” against the cryptocurrency bitcoin because the risk of fraud and money laundering. However, on April 11 the governor of the People’s Bank of China said the government is not going to ban bitcoin.

Last week two bitcoin exchanges reported domestic Chinese banks received notice local lenders would shut down trading accounts.

As of April 16, BTC China is still up and operational, according to CEO Bobby Lee. In late February, the bitcoin world was shaken when Japan-based Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy, after millions of dollars in bitcoin went missing.

http://rt.com/business/bitkoin-bankruptcy-japan-exchange-179/

Individuals, using the new application, will be able to bypass local banks that are skeptical of bitcoin, but are still engaging with the currency “at their own risk”. In the eyes of the PBC it is not a real currency. Online retailers have also banned the anonymous currency.

Financial regulators worldwide are worried about bitcoin exchange, as the digital currency is often used to illegally purchase products like weapons and drugs.

There is no institutional backing of bitcoin- that is it isn’t insured by any governing body or physical commodity, like gold. - RT.



GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: Soaring Food Inflation Full Frontal - Beef, Pork And Shrimp Prices Soar To Record Highs; Bacon, Pork Prices Rise As Deadly Diarrhea Virus Wipes Out Michigan Pigs; And Fruit And Vegetable Prices Are Rising!

April 16, 2014 - GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS - Globally, food prices are near their historic peaks, and food price volatility is widely seen as the “new normal.” Here are few examples of how household staples are skyrocketing across the United States.

Bacon, Pork Prices Rise As Deadly Diarrhea Virus Wipes Out Michigan Pigs
istockphoto

Love your bacon, ham and baby-back ribs? Get used to forking over more dough for your pork.

A virus that kills piglets at an alarming rate has been found on 93 farms in Michigan, according to the state agriculture department.

Sam Hines, executive vice president of the Michigan Pork Producers Association, said porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) is not a human health concern, but is deadly to newborn pigs.

“This is not a food safety issue,” Hines told WWJ’s Marie Osborne. “Most hogs do acquire the virus but bigger animals can recover from it. Pigs that are less than a month old will have such a severe diarrhea that they dehydrate. There’s nearly 100 percent mortality with pigs less than three-weeks of age.”

Scientists think PED came from China, but they don’t know how it got into the U.S. or spread to more than half the country’s states since last spring. The federal government is looking into how such viruses might spread, while the pork industry has committed $1.7 million to research the virus.

Estimates of how many pigs have died vary. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently said the die-off has had a hand in shrinking the nation’s pig herd by 3 percent to about 63 million pigs. The virus thrives in cold weather, so the death toll in the U.S. has soared since December.

Hines said there’s currently no cure for PED, and scientists say it will probably get worse before we see any improvement.

“The researchers that are working on this tell us that this is one of the most infectious viruses that they’ve ever encountered,” he said.

Jennifer Holton, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said PED isn’t a disease farmers are required to report, but as of last week, agriculture officials knew of 93 farms in Michigan affected by it.

The effects of the virus already have driven up the price of pork, especially bacon.

“U.S. production is going to decline this year about seven percent and that will probably translate into 10 to 20 percent higher prices for pork,” Hines said.

PED has been found in 26 states outside of Michigan, where pork production pulls in a half-billion dollars a year. - CBS Detroit.


Attention Shoppers: Fruit And Vegetable Prices Are Rising


Grocery shoppers may soon need more green in their wallets to afford their next salad.

The cost of fresh produce is poised to jump in the coming months as a three-year drought in California shows few signs of abating, according to an Arizona State University study set to be released Wednesday.

The study found a head of lettuce could increase in price as much as 62 cents to $2.44; avocado prices could rise 35 cents to $1.60 each; and tomatoes could cost 45 cents more at $2.84 per pound. (The run-up in produce prices is in line with other projections showing that overall food cost gains are expected to accelerate this year.)

The latest projections were compiled by Timothy Richards, an agribusiness professor at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. He studied the drought’s effect on farmland and consumer purchasing trends to determine the eight fresh fruits and vegetables likely to see the largest price increases this spring and summer.

And the price increases may already be happening. Grocery prices rose by 0.5% for the second-straight month in March, according to the Labor Department’s consumer-price index, released Tuesday. It was the largest two-month gain in the food-at-home category since 2011. Fruit and vegetable prices rose 0.9% last month, after a 1.1% gain in February. Meat and dairy prices are also increasing. Meanwhile, overall consumer prices rose just 0.2% last month, as broader inflation in the economy remains tepid.

California is the largest domestic producer of each of the products Mr. Richards identified, ranging from grapes to peppers. And in the case of avocados, it’s the only state with a significant crop.

The drought has wiped out between 10% and 20% of California crops for the eight items, but the size of the expected price increases varies widely. Lettuce prices could jump as much as 34% and avocado prices could rise 28%, the largest projected increases.

“People are the least price-sensitive when it comes to those items, and they’re willing to pay what it takes to get them,” Mr. Richards said. “It’s hard to make a salad without lettuce.”

In basic economic terms, the drought reduces supply, which puts upward pressure on prices. But how high the price can rise is determined by consumers’ willingness to pay more against their ability to find a substitute.

Packaged salads, for example, would increase in price by only 13%, even though many of the ingredients in them are projected to increase in cost by a greater percentage. That’s because consumers view premade salads as a “luxury” good and would readily switch to lower-cost alternative if the price gets too high, Mr. Richards said. They could chop the lettuce themselves or buy frozen vegetables.

The impact could spread beyond the produce aisle. Items such as lettuce, tomatoes and peppers are commonly used in deli sandwiches and salsas, among other products. The drought could also cause those items to cost more.

Still, the run-up in prices is likely to be somewhat temporary, Mr. Richards said. When prices increase, farmers outside of California, including foreign suppliers, will be incentivized to ship more crops to the U.S. That will in turn put downward pressure on costs.

But with water-supply problems expected to persist for years, California farmers will have some difficult choices to make, he said. They’ll need to determine which crops should receive the limited amount of available water, and which should be allowed to fall away.

“We could be looking at future,” he said, “where California is no longer bread basket for the country.” - WSJ.


Soaring Food Inflation Full Frontal: Beef, Pork And Shrimp Prices Soar To Record Highs
We previously noted that both beef and pork (courtesy of the affectionately named Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus) prices have been reaching new all time highs on an almost daily basis. It is time to update the chart. Below we show what a world in which the Fed is constantly lamenting the lack of inflation looks like for beef prices...




... pork




... and shrimp.




Eggs too.


More from Bloomberg:
Prices for shrimp have jumped to a 14-year high in recent months, spurred by a disease that’s ravaging the crustacean’s population. At Noodles & Co., a chain with locations across the country, it costs 29 percent more to add the shellfish to pastas this year, and shrimp-heavy dishes at places like the Cheesecake Factory Inc. are going up as well.

Restaurant chains, already struggling with shaky U.S. consumer confidence, are taking a profit hit as prices climb. Even worse, the surge is happening during the season of Lent, when eateries rely on seafood to lure Christian diners who abstain from chicken, beef and pork on certain days.

“It’s coming at a tough time for the industry,” said Andrew Barish, a San Francisco-based analyst at Jefferies LLC. “With the Lenten season, what you’ll see out there is a lot of promotions with seafood, and usually shrimp is a big part of that.”

In March, shrimp prices jumped 61 percent from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The climb is mainly due to a bacterial disease known as early mortality syndrome. While the ailment has no effect on humans, it’s wreaking havoc on young shrimp farmed in Southeast Asia, shrinking supplies.

***

James Johnson, a Jewel-Osco supermarket shopper in Chicago, has noticed the price increase. He’s been cutting back on one of his favorite dishes -- shrimp and potato soup -- because of the cost.

“I haven’t made it in a while,” the 29-year-old said. “Shrimp looks expensive.”

***
At Noodles, it now costs $3.34 to add the shellfish to a meal of pasta or pad thai, compared with $2.59 last year.

“We still want to at least offer it as choice,” Chief Executive Officer Kevin Reddy said in a phone interview. As soon as the costs begin to normalize, we’ll return to the regular price.”
Ah yes, because retailers are always so willing to lower costs...

So for all those whose sustenance includes iPads and LCD TVs, or heaven forbid the pink slime known as fast food - you are in luck: the BLS' hedonic adjustments mean the rate of price increase in your daily consumption has rarely been lower. For everyone else: our condolences. - Zero Hedge.



ICE AGE NOW: The Snowiest Winter Ever In Detroit - Snowfall Breaks 133-Year-Old Record, Topples Power Lines, Creates Flooding Risk; 94.8 INCHES OF SNOW!

April 16, 2014 - DETROIT, UNITED STATES - A spring storm shattered seasonal snowfall records in Detroit and Flint, as melting snow and rising rivers from heavy rain threatened homes Tuesday.


A stop sign is covered in snow in Detroit, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. A spring storm left roads slippery across Michigan and shattered seasonal snowfall records in Detroit and Flint.  Paul Sancya/AP

The snow came after a weather roller coaster Monday, with rivers overflowing their banks and hundreds of thousands of people losing power. Mid-70s temperatures in some parts of the state tumbled below freezing by Tuesday morning.

By the time the snow ended Tuesday morning, 3.1 inches had fallen at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, pushing the seasonal total to 94.8 inches, and making it the snowiest winter on record, the weather service said. That exceeded the previous Detroit seasonal record of 93.6 inches from the winter of 1880-1881.

The state's largest utilities said crews are working to finish restoring power to about 35,000 homes and businesses without service following storms packing high winds that began on Saturday. Cleanup also continues from those storms, including at damaged schools in Kent County and the village of Byron.

In Flint, 1.3 inches fell as of Tuesday morning, pushing the seasonal total to 83.9 inches. That exceeded the previous Flint seasonal record of 82.9 inches from the winter of 1974-1975.

"Most people alive today have never experienced this," said Brian Tilley, a National Weather Service meteorologist in suburban Detroit. "It's probably the best way to sum it up, without getting carried away with superlatives."

Flood warnings are in effect along rivers in a wide swath of the Lower Peninsula. The Muskegon River in western Michigan was 3.3 feet over its banks at Evart in Osceola County on Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said, and earlier it was 2.8 feet over flood stage near Croton Dam in Newaygo County's Croton Township.

Water at Croton Dam, about 35 miles north of Grand Rapids, was expected to remain high through next week, the weather service said. Newaygo County's emergency services director on Monday told some downstream to evacuate.

The Muskegon River caused flooding in the Newaygo County community of Grant.


WATCH: Flooding along the Muskegon River.




Flooding also was reported along the Pere Marquette, Chippewa, Tittabawassee and White rivers. And forecasters are asking people to keep an eye out for rising water levels in the Escanaba River in the Upper Peninsula.

Newaygo, Mecosta, Midland, Osceola and Wexford counties have declared local state of emergencies, which enable them to execute operations plans, and administrate local aid and assistance, the state said.

Detroit-based DTE Energy Co. said about 28,000 of its 150,000 affected electricity customers were offline Tuesday morning, including 15,000 in Oakland County, 5,000 in Wayne County and 2,000 in Macomb County. Crews from Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin are assisting.

Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. says 7,000 of its more than 149,000 affected Consumers Energy customers were without service Tuesday morning. Outages include about 1,950 in Montcalm County, about 800 in Newaygo County and about 770 in Muskegon County.

"Mother Nature has provided a challenging combination of rains, high winds and even snow since Saturday night," Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy's vice president of energy delivery, said in statement. "However, we're confident that we soon will be finished restoring power to the communities we serve."

In addition to Consumers Energy workers and contractors, more than 100 line workers from Indiana and Ohio are assisting the utility. - CS Monitor.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Five Volcanoes Erupting At Once In Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula - Increasing Magma Production From The Tectonic Collision Between The Pacific And Okhotsk Plates!

April 16, 2014 - KAMCHATKA PENINSULA, RUSSIA - Remote. Cold. Rugged. Those three adjectives capture the essence of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. Another word—perhaps more applicable than anywhere else on Earth—is “fiery.”


Klyuchevskaya

Bezymianny

Karymsky

Kizimen

Shiveluch

Of the roughly 1,550 volcanoes that have erupted in the recent geologic past, 113 are found on Kamchatka. Forty Kamchatkan volcanoes are “active,” either erupting now or capable of erupting on short notice. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured activity at five of them during a single satellite pass on April 14, 2014.

From geographic north to south (and top to bottom on this page), the volcanoes are Shiveluch, Klyuchevskaya, Bezymianny, Kizimen, and Karymsky. The tallest of the group is Klyuchevskaya, a stratovolcano with a steep, symmetrical cone that reaches 4,750 meters (15,580 feet) above sea level. The most active is Karymsky, a 1,536-meter (5,039-foot) peak that has erupted regularly since 1996.

Plate tectonics is responsible for the many volcanoes on Kamchatka Peninsula. The Pacific Plate is slowly colliding with and sliding beneath the Okhotsk Plate. As rock from the Pacific Plate descends and encounters higher pressures and temperatures, it melts into magma. Over time, magma accumulates and migrates up toward the surface, causing volcanic eruptions.

Long before the discovery of plate tectonics, Kamchatka’s many volcanoes and eruptions were woven into a rich tapestry of myths and creation stories. According to Koryak folklore, the raven-like deity Kutkh created Kamchatka by dropping a giant feather on the Pacific Ocean. Each of the first generation of men became one of Kamchatka’s mountains at death; many of these mountains became volcanic because the men’s hearts burned so passionately for a beautiful woman that Kutkh had also created near the beginning of time.

In 2013, another NASA satellite collected imagery of Shiveluch, Bezymianny, Tolbachik, and Kizimen. - Earth Observatory.



ICE AGE NOW: Half Of The Great Lakes Still Covered In Ice - Could Have Monumental Repercussions For The North American Region!

April 16, 2014 - GREAT LAKES, NORTH AMERICA -  Over the winter, as polar vortices plunged the U.S. Midwest into weeks of unceasing cold, the icy covers of the Great Lakes started to make headlines. With almost 96 percent of Lake Superior's 32,000 miles encased in ice at the season's peak, tens of thousands of tourists flocked to the ice caves along the Wisconsin shoreline, suddenly accessible after four years of relatively warmer wintery conditions.


The Great Lakes at 80.3 percent ice cover, on February 19, 2014, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua Satellite. Jeff Schmaltz

The thing is, all of that ice takes a long time to melt. As of April 10, 48 percent of the five lakes' 90,000-plus square miles were still covered in ice, down from a high of 92.2 percent on March 6 (note that constituted the highest levels recorded since 1979, when ice covered 94.7 percent of the lakes). Last year, only 38.4 percent of the lakes froze over, while in 2012 just 12.9 percent did - part of a four-year stint of below-average iciness.

And as the Great Lakes slowly lose their historically large ice covers over the next few months, the domino effects could include lingering cold water, delayed seasonal shifts, and huge jumps in water levels.

Already, the impact of this icy blockade can be felt. On March 25, five days after the official beginning of spring, the Soo Locks separating Lake Superior from the lower Great Lakes opened for the season. But after a long and harsh winter, Lake Superior's nearly 32,000 square miles were still nearly entirely covered in ice. It would be another eleven days before the first commercial vessel fought its way across Lake Superior - with the aid of several dedicated ice breakers - and down through the locks.


The trip across Lake Superior to the Soo Locks, which usually takes 28 hours, took these first ships of the
season nine days. A third ship had to return to Duluth after being damaged by the ice.
Detroit District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Facebook

More than 200 million tons of cargo, mostly iron ore, coal, and grain, travel across the Great Lakes throughout the year. Even a little ice can make a big dent on this total. Only three shipments of coal were loaded up during March - 69 percent less, by volume, than last year. Shipments of iron ore from the northern reaches of Minnesota were so low that the U.S. Steel plant in Gary, Indiana, had to scale back production significantly in early April.

A sluggish start to the shipping season is just one of the cascading effects of the Midwest's cold and icy winter. Some are good, and will allow the region to recover from years of historically low water levels. Others, like this delayed shipping season, less so.

Like the shipping troubles, some of the more unexpected things the lakes and their ecosystems could face in the next few months are the direct result of the lingering ice and cold:
  • Throughout the winter, huge numbers of ducks that feed by diving below the water for fish ended up starving to death. Connie Adams, a biologist in New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, told the AP that the die-off was "unprecedented."
  • Next in line for concern are a huge number of the Lakes' fish species. Warming water temperature often biologically triggers migration to traditional spawning grounds, and experts expect that Northern Pike, lake sturgeon, steelhead, and rainbow trout could make moves far later this year. As Shedd Aquarium research scientist Solomon David told Michigan Radio, later egg laying could mean younger and far weaker fish come next winter, leading to an even longer impact.
Other changes will come about long after the ice melts, as water levels are predicted to rebound to levels not seen in the last few years. Seasonal shifts in water levels, with winter lows and summer highs, are normal. "If things stayed in sort of a balance, we would see all the lakes water levels going up and then going down. Every year: up, down; up, down," says Drew Gronewold, a scientist with NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. But, "when water levels change a lot over time, something is happening in one of those two parts of the season."

Over the last few years, the summer highs and winter lows have both been well below their long-term average, as climate change produced far more rapid rates of evaporation. In December 2012, the Michigan-Huron system set a new low, breaking a record that had stood since the 1960s, according to Keith Kompoltowicz, the chief of watershed hydrology for the Army Corps of Engineers' Detroit District.


A three-year look at water levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron, including a six-month forecast. The solid red
line marks recorded levels, the red vertical lines a range of six-month projections, and the blue
shows the long-term averages. The black bars indicate record highs and lows.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District

Though Kompoltowicz says the usual March and April rise in water levels is occurring later than usual this year, already the lakes are seeing water levels that they haven't had for several years. This past March marked the first time since April of 1998 that Lake Superior had reached its long-term average. And over the next few months, melting snow will feed the lakes and colder water could lower the rates of summer and fall evaporation. The amount of rain could either add to or subtract from this total. The Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration generally forecast water levels six months out, and predicted levels for this September, Kompoltowicz says, range from 10 to 13 inches higher than lake levels were a year ago.

Here's what higher lake levels could mean:
  • Shippers may be hurting now, but higher lake levels will allow them to load more cargo per boat later this year, according to the Chicago Tribune. These higher water lines also mean that those who manage the Great Lakes' harbors won't have to invest huge sums of money in dredging out the bottom. Ships will carry more, at less of a cost, once the ice melts.
  • Fluctuations in water levels could also help maintain the diversity of plant and animal species along many coastal wetlands, according to Kurt Kowalski, a wetland ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Great Lakes Science Center. Too many years of consistently low water allows certain species, often non-native plants, to take over.
  • And even far less large-scale ripple effects will matter. Scott Stevenson, the executive vice president of the company that manages Chicago's harbors, told the Tribune that higher water levels will allow them to rent out 100 expensive slips along the lakefront that shallow water took out of commission last year.
Though water level changes even over a several year period are normal, the rebound from record-low water levels is going to be a relief from the hand-wringing of the last few years. But it will likely be a temporary one. A hot summer with little precipitation could mute the effects of the icy winter. And, even if the lakes have more water this year, 2014 could be nothing more than a blip as climate change continues to wreak havoc. "We don't know, as this winter really exemplified, what's going to happen," Gronewold says. "If we're going to have three more severe winters, or flip back to three more winters like we've had the past few years." - The Atlantic Cities.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM ALERT: Imminent Eruption Of The Borah Peak Mountain - Volcanic “Red Alert” Issued For Idaho By EMERCOM Scientists In Russia?!

April 16, 2014 - IDAHO, UNITED STATES - A warning issued today by the Ministry of the Russian Federal for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM) has advised the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) that a “Red Alert” status level for the Borah Peak Mountain in Idaho (North America/United States) may be warranted in the coming weeks due to increased volcanic-seismic activity detected by both ground and satellite observations.


Volcanic “Red Alert” Issued For Idaho By EMERCOM Scientists
Borah Peak (also known as Mount Borah or Beauty Peak) is the highest mountain in the U.S. state of Idaho and one
of the most prominent peaks in the contiguous states. It is located in the central section of the Lost River Range,
within the Challis National Forest in eastern Custer County.

This is the second such warning issued by EMERCOM this year and follows their 24 January prediction that an earthquake and ensuing tsunami are expected to strike off the southwestern coast of Sakhalin Island, to the north of the epicenter of the 2 August 2007 6.2 magnitude earthquake in the town of Nevelsk that had, likewise, been successfully predicted by Russian scientists.

Volcanic “Red Alert” Issued For Idaho By EMERCOM Scientists
Important to note about EMERCOM predictions is that unlike their Western counterparts, Russian scientists suggest four new techniques for long-range prediction of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, which are universal and can be applied to all of the regions of the earth.

This type of forecasting has no psychic aspects to it at all, and is called “phase trajectory technique.” It concerns a simultaneous analysis of periodic and quasi-periodic space rhythms, which involve many factors that have a great effect on these terrible formations, including but not limited to lunar tides and solar cycles.

The “Red Alert” status for Borah Peak Mountain (the largest in Idaho), this report states, means that an eruption is forecast to be imminent with significant emission of ash into the atmosphere likely.

First arousing EMERCOM concerns about Borah Peak Mountain, this report continues, was the 4.8 magnitude earthquake which struck the Yellowstone Caldera (Supervolcano) on 30 March that was the largest trembler to hit this region in nearly 30 years and was preceded by a series of small earthquakes in central Idaho and accompanied by a near simultaneous 3.1 magnitude earthquake occurring near Borah Peak Mountain on the same date.


Volcanic “Red Alert” Issued For Idaho By EMERCOM Scientists
Idaho Seismicity Map - 1973 to March 2012. USGS


Prompting the EMERCOM warning about Borah Peak Mountain to WOVO, this report says, was yesterdays (12 April) 4.9 magnitude earthquake in central Idaho near the city of Challis, which on 28 October 1983 suffered a 6.9 magnitude earthquake which killed two children.

Critical to note about Borah Peak Mountain and central Idaho, this report says, is that it is a part of what is called the Internmountain Seismic Belt (ISB) [photo map 1st right] which extends from Southern California and connects many of the Western United States regions, most particularly the Yellowstone Caldera, and is overdue for a catastrophic volcanic eruption event.

As to how seismically violent this region is, EMERCOM in their report further notes, the 1983 Borah Peak Mountain earthquake ranks as one of the most powerful earthquakes in the 20th century in the lower 48 US States and produced a 21 mile long scarp that was raised at points as much as 14 feet and is still visible today.


Volcanic “Red Alert” Issued For Idaho By EMERCOM Scientists
Fracking is an engineering technique that injects liquid into a well at high pressure to create cracks in deep rock.
These cracks allow natural gas to flow more freely into the well.

Of greatest concern to EMERCOM scientists regarding Borah Peak Mountain volcanic activity, this report says, are the growing number of fracking operations currently being allowed in the ISB regions which are now at the very edge of the Yellowstone Caldera, including its two most seismically active States, Nevada and Idaho.

Most perplexing, this report says, are that these fracking operations in the ISB volcanic zone are being allowed to continue by the Obama regime in spite of their own experts findings and recommendations, especially from this past weeks report from their Midwestern region which, in part, states:
“Ohio geologists have found a probable connection between fracking and a sudden burst of mild earthquakes last month in a region that had never experienced a temblor until recently, according to a state report.

The quake report, which coincided with the state’s announcement of some of the nation’s strictest limits on fracking near faults, marked the strongest link to date between nerve-rattling shakes and hydraulic fracturing — the process of firing water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth to eject oil and natural gas out of ancient rock.

Last month, Ohio indefinitely shut down Hilcorp Energy’s fracking operation near the Pennsylvania border after five earthquakes, including one magnitude-3 temblor that awoke many Ohioans from their sleep.”


Volcanic “Red Alert” Issued For Idaho By EMERCOM Scientists


As to the space rhythms, lunar tides and solar cycle analysis prompting this “Red Alert” volcanic warning for Borah Peak Mountain, this EMERCOM report concludes, they are partly based upon the coming Blood Moon Tetrad Cycle due to begin this week on 15 April and conclude on 28 September 2015. - EU Times.