Friday, December 4, 2015

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful And Shallow Magnitude 7.1 Earthquake Hits Southeast Indian Ridge - No Tsunami Warning!

USGS earthquake location.

December 4, 2015 - INDIAN OCEAN - A powerful and shallow earthquake registered as magnitude 7.1 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hit the Southeast Indian Ridge at 22:24 UTC on December 4, 2015.

The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is also reporting magnitude 7.1 at a depth of 10 km. Australia Geoscience is reporting M7.2 at a depth of 0 km.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 1,020 km (634 miles) northeast of Heard Island, Heard Island and McDonald Islands and 2,961 km (1 840 miles) southwest of Busselton, Australia.


USGS earthquake location.

There are no people living within 100 km (62 miles) radius.

USGS issued green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.


USGS shakemap intensity.

According to NOAA's National Weather Service no tsunami warnings, advisories or watches are in effect.



 

FIRE IN THE SKY: Mega-Asteroid 2003 SD220 To Skim Past Earth Just Before Christmas - It Is So BIG, It Could Trigger EARTHQUAKES; On NASA's "High Priority" List!

2003 SD220 is one of the biggest near Earth asteroids to pass this year. Getty

December 4, 2015 - SPACE - The 1.5-miles wide mega space rock known as 2003 SD220 is on a NASA list of "high priority" asteroids for close observation because of the potential threat to the planet.

A direct hit from the gigantic asteroid would be enough to destroy a whole continent or worse.

NASA and other astronomers have a list of 17 high-priority near-Earth asteroids which have been or will be monitored by radar as they get close to the planet in 2015.

Of these, a group of ten, including 2003 SD220, could be even bigger than astronomers have already calculated as so little is known about them.

A smaller group of six, also including 2003 SD220, are also considered potentially hazardous to Earth due to their sizes and orbits.

This is because they could be darker than initially thought and could therefore have some of their bulk obscured by the darkness of space.

News of the close pass comes after it was reported yesterday that conspiracy theories believe a mysterious planet called Planet X or Nibiru, said to be four times the size of Jupiter will pass the Earth this month, but wipe out life due to its immense gravitational force ripping up continents and showering us with comets.

There is no science to back any of that up.

But news of 2003 SD220's approach is likely to fuel this conspiracy.

According to the Idea Girl Severe Storm Predictions Warnings website 2003 SD220 could have enough gravitational pull on Earth to trigger earthquakes or volcanoes.

And conspiracy site Godlikeproductions.com published a list of five asteroids of 0.6miles across or above, that are passing from now until Janauray 2 with the remark: "Look at these big Asteroids all of them are coming this Christmas.


If an asteroid of 1.5 miles struck it could destroy a whole continent. Getty

"Something is pushing them towards earth."

But there is no scientific support for either of these theories.

A team made up of NASA and staff from the Arecibo observatory in Peurto Rico are preparing to carry out specialist radar observations of 2003 SD220 as it nears us from mid December.

A NASA report seen by Express.co.uk explained the importance of carrying out radar observations on the celestial object.

It said: "We propose radar imaging, physical characterisation, and orbit refinement of our 17 highest-priority NEAs for the calendar year 2015 using 294 hours.

"Radar is arguably the most powerful Earth-based technique for post-discovery physical and dynamical characterisation of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs).

"Over the long term, our observations will help answer fundamental questions regarding the origin of the diversity in asteroid morphologies, the importance of spin-up mechanisms and collisional influences, the interior structure and thermal properties of asteroids, and the variety of dynamical states."

Previous radar observations have "led to numerous important discoveries", including multiple-asteroid systems and the "change in spin rate of asteroids due to thermal torques".

The report added: "Radar is particularly effective at detecting satellites around near earth asteroids having discovered two-thirds of all known binaries and all the known or suspected triple systems."


A NASA map showing 2003 SD220's path and that of Earth. NASA

Radar observations allow scientists to get much more accurate measurements and creates 3D models of them and their trajectories.

Although 2003 SD220 is expected to pass at a cosmically close 6.7 million miles, one of the biggest concerns with these largely unknown asteroids is the potential for Yarkovsky drift.

This is a radiative effect that subtly changes the orbits of asteroids, which could potentially make them come closer or even hit Earth.

The report added: "Radar-derived shape models enable us to obtain astrometry with superb accuracy on the order of a few tens of meters.

"This level of precision over multiple apparitions has led to two detections.

of Yarkovsky drift, and indirect mass measurements for those asteroids.

"In general, radar astrometry allows substantial improvement in the knowledge of asteroid trajectories, which is of particular interest for mission planning, resource exploitation, and impact assessment of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs), owing to its precision and its orthogonality to optical astrometry.

"Little is known about the remaining 10 high-priority targets other than the absolute magnitudes and their heliocentric orbits that make six of them potentially hazardous to Earth.

"Radar will provide the first detailed physical characterisations of these objects including sizes, shapes, surface features, spin-state estimates, reflective properties, and near-surface roughnesses."


An artist impression of the mythical Nibiru planet. Getty

In 2018 2003 SD220 will make another close pass.

The report said: "Many are not re-observable at the same strength for several decades meaning this is our best chance to characterise them, while, on the other hand, observing 2010 NY65 and 2003 SD220 now will help us prepare for their close approaches in the next few years."

According to NASA a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) has a such an orbit it "has the potential to make close approaches to the Earth and a size large enough to cause significant regional damage in the event of impact."

The PHA section of NASA's website said: "These objects are monitored by NASA with contributions from others including amateurs.

"The reason they can become hazardous is that their trajectory can variate due to gravitational fields from Planets or Stars, or other objects."

So there are genuine scientific concerns about this asteroid.

However, NASA says "the chance of a potentially hazardous event due to these objects is about once in 10,000 years."

Following widespread, and inaccurate conspiracy theories that a major asteroid would hit Earth this September, NASA put out a statement saying it knows of no large asteroid that is on collision course with us for several hundred years. - Express.



NEW WORLD DISORDER: Terrorism, False Flag Distractions, Societal Collapse, Wars And Civilizations Unraveling Ahead Of The Black Celestial Event - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Describes Mass Shooting In California As A Terrorist Attack, Says "We’re In The Middle Of The NEXT WORLD WAR"; As FBI Investigates The Shooting As "ACT OF TERRORISM" And One Of The Shooters Pledged ALLEGIANCE TO To ISIS Before Attack!

Ssul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

December 4, 2015 - NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie clearly described the shooting in California as a terrorist attack, asserting that the fight against the Islamic State is the next World War.

“Now there’s many people today that who are still trying to speculate about what happened in San Bernardino yesterday,” he said. “Let me tell you as a former prosecutor – from the time I began to watch the events unfold last night, I am convinced that was a terrorist attack.”

Christie made his remarks during a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition forum and criticized President Obama for refusing to identify the attack as terrorism, instead urging everyone to wait for the facts to come in.

“The president continues to wring his hands and say ‘we’ll see’ but those folks, dressed in tactical gear, with semi-automatic weapons came there to do something,” he said.


Rescue crews tend to the injured in the intersection outside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino


He also defended the idea of condemning “radical Islam” as the enemy.

“Radical Islam isn’t a criticism of Islam. It’s a criticism of radicalism,” he said.

He warned all Americans to be aware of the threat facing the country from organizations like the Islamic State.

“We need to come to grips with the idea that we are in the next World War,” he said. - Breitbart.


FBI investigates San Bernardino shooting as 'act of terrorism'

The San Bernardino, California shooting that left 14 dead and 21 injured is being investigated as terrorism, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed. There is no evidence so far the suspects belonged to a terror cell, though.


“As of today, based on the information and the facts as we know them, we are investigating these horrific acts as an act of terrorism,” David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI field office in Los Angeles, told reporters Friday.

The investigation has developed "indications of radicalization" and "potential inspiration by foreign terrorist groups," said FBI Director James Comey, adding that there is "no indication so far" that the suspects belonged to a network, group, or a terrorist cell.

"There is a lot of evidence in this case that doesn't quite make sense," so the FBI is trying to be "very thoughtful to understand it and to make sense of it," Comey said.

Identified as Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, the two attackers who opened fire at the Inland Regional Center on Wednesday morning were killed in a shoot-out with police about four hours later.

"There is a number of pieces of evidence that has essentially pushed us off the cliff to say that we are now saying we are investigating this as an act of terrorism," Bowdich said at the press conference in San Bernardino.

While the suspects scrubbed their social media accounts and destroyed their cell phones, computers and other electronics prior to the attack, the Bureau is hoping to piece together enough digital information to lead them to the motive.

“We found two cell phones in a nearby trash can. Those cell phones were actually crushed,” Bowdich said, adding that the FBI is working to retrieve the data from the devices. “We do hope that the digital fingerprints that were left by these two individuals will take us towards their motivation. That evidence is incredibly important.”

Any data recovered from the couple’s phones and computers would be the “potential golden nugget,” Bowdich said.

The FBI is still looking for exact motivation of the attackers and for any accomplices that may or may not be in the US. Bowdich refused to speculate whether Farook and Malik were planning to attack a second location, but acknowledged “it’s certainly a possibility” the Bureau is looking at.


Farook was not under active surveillance or investigation, by the Bureau, Bowdich confirmed.

“We know they were in telephonic conversations with people here in the US," he said "I am not aware of all the overseas connections yet. We’re working with our foreign partners on that.”

After providing a phone number for the public to leave tips about the case, Bowdich asked for time to collect and analyze all the evidence and data.

“Remember, folks, we're in day three, and we're barely two full days into this,” he told reporters.

Concerning the Facebook post in which Malik reportedly made a pledge of allegiance to Islamic State, Bowdich said the FBI was “continuing to look into that.” Hesaid the FBI was aware of the post and the pledge of allegiance, but that they have not been authenticated as of yet.

Asked if Malik may have radicalized her husband, Bowdich said he did not know. "Being a husband myself, we’re all influenced to an extent,” he added.


To a reporter who asked if this was the first time Islamic State has attacked the US, Bowdich replied, “I think you’re taking a leap, we’re not there.”

He had not heard that IS (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) had taken credit for Wednesday's attacks, but said he was not surprised that they would.

“It only helps them to attach themselves to an attack like this,” Bowdich said.

He asked the public to go on about its everyday business, and not let Wednesday’s events cause a “mass hysteria.”

Bowdich's comments were echoed later in the day by his boss, FBI director James Comey.

"What we hope you'll do is not let fear become disabling," Comey said, urging Americans to channel it into an awareness of their surroundings, and report things that seem suspicious to the authorities.


WATCH: One of San Bernardino shooters pledged allegiance to ISIS before attack - reports.

 

- RT.





PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: "Phantom Menace" - CDC Says Dangerous, Hard-To-Detect And Antibiotic-Resistant Superbug Is Becoming More Common In The United States!


December 4, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- A dangerous, hard-to-detect superbug is on the rise, according to a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The bacterium, which scientists dubbed the “phantom menace,” is antibiotic-resistant.

The superbug belongs to the family of bacteria known as Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), which are dangerous because of their high mortality rates – killing up to 50 percent of infected patients in some instances – and resistance to antibiotics, the CDC said in a report released Thursday.

Officials named CRE as one of the country's most urgent public health threats.

This CRE carries a plasmid – a mobile piece of DNA – with an enzyme that can break down certain antibiotics, which it can transfer to other bacteria in the body, the Washington Post reported, citing the CDC.

Interestingly enough, the “phantom menace” earned its name because it is actually less resistant to antibiotics than more common types of CRE.

This made the superbug less of a target of scientific testing, allowing it to keep a low profile until now.

There was only one case of the superbug strain in 2010, but the number of infected shot up to 11 per year in 2013.

The CDC reported at least 43 total patients contracted the “phantom menace” strain in 19 states between June 2010 and August 2015.

"This is a tricky drug-resistant bacteria, and it isn't easily found," CDC Director Thomas Frieden said in an interview with the Post.

"What we're seeing is an assault by the microbes on the last bastion of antibiotics."

The number of cases is small but rising, Frieden said, warning that what has been detected so far could just be the "tip of the iceberg." - RT.



 

EXTREME WEATHER: Wildfire Rages In Southern Australia - At Least 2 People Killed, Others Injured; Many Homes And Vehicles Damaged; EXTRAORDINARY LOSSES Of Livestock And Wildlife!

Two people are confirmed dead as a major bushfire continues to burn in remote rural areas of South Australia.

December 4, 2015 - AUSTRALIA
- A clock frozen in time in the local bowls club destroyed by fire in the mid-north town of Wasleys in South Australia.

Firefighters spent yesterday searching burnt-out cars and homes after the blaze raged across a 40km front.

The Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, took to Twitter to offer condolences to the families affected and thanked the hundreds of firefighters deployed in the area.

"We also know that there have been extraordinary losses of livestock and wildlife", the ABC quoted Weatherill as saying.

The South Australian deaths come after a blaze in the Esperence area of WA last week claimed the lives of three tourists and a local farmer.

"We can't be entirely sure we have identified every single person within the fire ground", Mr Weatherill said.

Country Fire Service chief office Greg Nettleton said crews had contained about 60 per cent of the fire perimeter which measured about 210 kilometres.

George Hooker has captured the moment he drove into a raging South Australian bushfire.

He said it was important that people in and around the fire zone didn't become complacent to avoid further deaths or injuries.

Meanwhile in NSW, a total fire ban is in place due to very hot conditions and a watch and act alert is now in place for a fire burning at Turlinjah in the state's south.

An expert on fire management at Melbourne University, Professor Kevin Tolhurst, said Australia was "one of the best prepared nations in the world for fires - but that is still pretty poor".

"There's been complete destruction of some of these vehicles".

"Until we get really substantial rainfall across the state, we're in a risky fire situation for the summer", he said.

"I cannot believe it, I still cannot fathom that she is gone", she said.

It was heading our way but it didn't get there.

Janet Hughes, 56, from Hamley Bridge also died as the fire swept across the lower northern region of the state, north of Adelaide, while 19 people have been injured.

That blaze, sparked by lightning around Esperance, 750km southeast of Perth, was finally brought under control late on Wednesday after tearing through nearly 130,000ha of bush land and farmland.

Another 42 homes have been damaged while crop and stock losses are expected to be significant. - The Oceanside Post.



 

WEATHER PHENOMENON: Signs In The Heavens - Mysterious Finger-Like Clouds Photographed Over Denmark?!

Is this a hand in the sky of Denmark? © Ole Wisler

December 4, 2015 - DENMARK - Some mysterious clouds looking like fingers appeared in the sky of Denmark on December 1, 2015.

And looking at these impressive but weird pictures, you understand why residents from Kolding were mind-blown.


Edward Scissorhands? © Morten Schmidt

So what are these mysterious clouds over Kolding?  © Tristan Thomsen



- Strange Sounds.



 

EXTREME WEATHER: Deadly Lightning Strikes - Kills 5 In Uttar Pradesh, India And 2 In Sri Lanka!

File photo.

December 4, 2015 - ASIA
- Five persons, including a woman, were killed and three injured after being struck by lightning in Banda, Kaushambi and Rae Bareli districts of Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Thursday.

Three persons, including a woman, were killed after being struck by lightning in two villages of Banda, the officials said.

Bhola Devi (60) was killed and her relative Chunia received burns in lightning strike while working in their agriculture field at Ahar village under Baberu police station area on Wednesday , while Raju (12) and Lavlesh (19) were killed in Rampurwa village.

A 40-year-old farmer, Jagatpal Raidas, died on spot when lightning struck him on Wednesday. He was working in his field at Malak Pinjari village in Manjhanpur area of Kaushambi when the incident occurred, they said.

Similarly, in Rae Bareli, Rajjan, Amritlal and Suni Kumar were working in field at Sikandarpur village in Jagatpur area y when lightning struck them. While 22-year-old Rajjan died on the spot, the other two were admitted to hospital, where their condition was stated to be stable. - The Hindu.


Two people were killed and two others injured after being struck by lightning in Siyambalanduwa, police said.

The deceased, aged 30, are residents of Kongaspitiya.

Their bodies are lying at the Siyambalanduwa hospital mortuary.

Siyambalanduwa Police are investigating. - Daily News.



FIRE IN THE SKY: Early Geminid Fireball Photographed Over Tucson, Arizona - The Shower Peaks On The Night Of December 13!

Early Geminid fireball – caught December 2, 2015 at 10:34 p.m. from the Tucson, Arizona foothills. © Eliot Herman

December 4, 2015 - ARIZONA, UNITED STATES
- Geminids meteors are beginning to fly. The shower peaks on the night of December 13.

Our friend Eliot Herman - who has a very cool set-up for capturing meteors - sent us this photo.

It appears to be an early Geminid meteor, and not just any meteor but a fireball, or exceptionally bright meteor.

We're still many days away from the peak of this shower on the night of December 13 (morning of December 14), 2015. But the shower should be gearing up around now. Eliot wrote:
Fisheyes curve, or distort, so one needs to be a bit careful about projecting back [to the radiant point], but it looks like the right place.
He's talking about the fact that meteors in annual showers, like the Geminids, all appear to stream in our sky from a single point, called the radiant point.

You don't have to be looking at the radiant point to see the meteor shower, but - to see the greatest number of meteors - it's better if the radiant point is above the horizon, and best if it's high in the sky.

For the Geminids, the highest point in the sky is around 2 a.m. local time. That's the time on your clock no matter where you are on Earth.

Thanks, Eliot!

- EarthSky.



 

DAWN OF THE AGE OF AQUARIUS: Obama, Paradigm Shift, Symbolism, And Precursors To The End Of Christian Dominionism, The White Supremacy Paradigm And The Piscean Age Of Belief - Pope Francis Declares That Christian Fundamentalism Is A Sickness; Euro-Parliament President Says Christians Are No Longer Safe In Europe; Influence Of Churches, Once Dominant, Now Waning In The U.S. South!

Reuters

December 4, 2015 - THE NEW AGE - Is a belief in the strict, literal interpretation of the Bible “a sickness”?  Pope Francis appears to think so.  Just a few days ago, multiple reporters heard Francis describe fundamentalism as “a sickness that is in all religions” – including Christianity. 

Pope Francis Declares That Christian Fundamentalism ‘Is A Sickness’

But precisely what is fundamentalism?  If you go to Google, it is defined as “a form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture.”  So does Pope Francis really intend to “combat” those that believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible?

I know that this may sound really bizarre to many of you.  But apparently the Pope really said these things.  The following is an excerpt from an article that has been posted on Life Site News
Fundamentalism is a sickness that is in all religions,” Francis said, as reported by the National Catholic Reporter’s Vatican correspondent, Joshua McElwee, and similarly by other journalists on the plane.  “We Catholics have some — and not some, many — who believe in the absolute truth and go ahead dirtying the other with calumny, with disinformation, and doing evil.”

“They do evil,” said the pope. “I say this because it is my church.”

We have to combat it,” he said. “Religious fundamentalism is not religious, because it lacks God. It is idolatry, like the idolatry of money.”
But the Pope didn’t stop there.

He went on to blame Christians for starting many wars
“Like everything, there are religious people with values and those without,” he said. “But how many wars … have Christians made? The sacking of Rome was not done by Muslims, eh?”


Pope Francis

During his papacy, Francis has made it a point to reach out to leaders from all sorts of different religions.

But apparently his “tolerance” does not extend to those that believe that the Bible is actually true.  And this is not the first time that he has said something like this.  Last year, he publicly stated that there is not any room for “fundamentalism” in Christianity…
Following his first visit to the Middle East as pope last month, the pontiff criticized fundamentalism in Christianity, Islam and Judaism as a form of violence.

“A fundamentalist group, even if it kills no one, even it strikes no one, is violent. The mental structure of fundamentalism is violence in the name of God.”
Sadly, these comments have not gotten the international attention that they deserve.

If the Pope really does not believe that the Bible is literally true, that would explain a lot.  For example, the Bible tells us that we are to reject other gods, but earlier in his papacy Francis authorized “Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran” at the Vatican for the first time ever…
For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Francis issued the invitation to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit last week to Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas, Peres, and Francis will be joined by Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious leaders, a statement released by Peres’s spokesperson said, according to the Times of Israel.
Pope Francis also apparently believes that Christians and Muslims worship the exact same God. - TMIN.


Euro-Parliament Prez: Christians ‘Not Safe In Our Continent’

In a high-level meeting on religious persecution in Brussels, the President of the European Parliament (EP) said that Europe cannot afford to continue ignoring the fate of Christians, who are “clearly the most persecuted group” in the world.

In Wednesday’s meeting, EP President Martin Schulz said that the persecution of Christians is “undervalued” and does not receive enough attention, which has also meant that it “hasn’t been properly addressed.”

Schulz’s concerns were echoed by EP Vice President Antonio Tajani, who warned that Europe sometimes “falls into the temptation of thinking we can ignore this task,” referring to the protection Christians throughout the world who suffer persecution.

Speakers cited the work of Open Doors, a human rights organization that monitors the persecution of Christians, noting that 150 million Christians worldwide suffer torture, rape and arbitrary imprisonment. Christians in Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea and Nigeria are among those hardest hit.

The Open Doors report for 2015 found that “Islamic extremism is by far the most significant persecution engine” of Christians in the world today and that “40 of the 50 countries on the World Watch List are affected by this kind of persecution.”

For Islamists, Tajani said, Christians are the new “crusaders” of Europe, and because of Islamic persecution in the Middle East more than 70 percent of Christians have fled Iraq since 2003, with another 700 thousand Christians who have been forced to leave their home in Syria since the outbreak of civil war.

“Each month 200 churches and places of worship in the world are attacked and destroyed. Every day and in every region of the world, there are new cases of persecution against Christians,” said Tajani.

“No religious community is as subject to hatred, violence and systematic aggression as the Christians,” he said.

Tajani suggested that where radicalized religion is the problem, religion can also be the solution. “In the name of religion, we have an obligation to condemn all those who show contempt for life and kill in the name of God,” he said. “Whoever shoots in the name of God, shoot against God.”

Another speaker, auxiliary bishop Jean Kockerols of Brussels, said that the idea that Christians are intruders in certain Muslim-dominated countries must be debunked, since the Christian presence in the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent “dates back to centuries before the spread of the Koran.”

“The West must break the silence on the persecution of Christians in the world,” said Tajani, and Europe must promote “a model of society in opposition to religious radicalism and brutal and criminal projects, such as creating an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria and then extending its tentacles into to Libya.”

“It should shake us up,” said Schulz, “that on our continent, Christians are not safe.” - Breitbart.


Influence Of Churches, Once Dominant, Now Waning In South


This photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, shows owner Dee Walker talking to a customer at The Fermenter’s Market at The Rex, a craft beer and wine shop now open on
Sunday after voters in Sylacauga, Ala., decided to legalize alcohol sales on Sunday. The change is part of a broad pattern across the South as churches lose
their grip on a region where they could long set community standards. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

Prayers said and the closing hymn sung, tea-drinking churchgoers fill Marble City Grill for Sunday lunch. But hard on their heels comes the afternoon crowd: craft beer-drinking, NFL-watching football fans.

Such a scene would have been impossible just months ago because Sunday alcohol sales were long illegal in Sylacauga, hometown of both the actor who played TV's Gomer Pyle and the white marble used to construct the U.S. Supreme Court building. While the central Alabama city of 12,700 has only one hospital, four public schools and 21 red lights, the chamber of commerce directory lists 78 churches.

Yet few were surprised when residents voted overwhelmingly in September to legalize Sunday alcohol sales. Churches lacked either the heart or influence to stop it.

That shift is part of a broad pattern across the South: Churches are losing their grip on a region where they could long set community standards with a pulpit-pounding sermon or, more subtly, a sideward glance toward someone walking into a liquor store.

In metro Atlanta, youth sports teams regularly practice and play games on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights - times that were strictly off-limits a generation ago because they conflicted with church worship services. In Mississippi, dozens of businesses display anti-discrimination stickers distributed by a gay rights group rather than worry about a church-based backlash.

"It doesn't matter who wants to buy a house," said real estate agent Diana Britt, who drives around Jackson, Mississippi, in a work vehicle decorated with one of the stickers. "If they want to buy a house, I'll sell them a house."

Church-based crusaders against gambling also are on a losing streak as all but two Southern states, Alabama and Mississippi, have lotteries. And, perhaps most tellingly, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center showed 19 percent of Southerners don't identify with any organized religion. That's fewer "nones" than in other regions, but the number is up 6 percentage points in the South since 2007.

The South is still the Bible Belt, and that same Pew survey found that church affiliation remains stronger in the states of the old Confederacy than anywhere else in the United States. Seventy-six percent of Southerners call themselves Christians, and political advertisements often show candidates in or near church. Religious conservatives remain a powerful force in many Southern statehouses.

Still, the same South that often holds itself apart from the rest of the country is becoming more like other U.S. regions when it comes to organized religion, said Jessica Martinez, a senior researcher in religion and public life at Pew.

And while race divides many things in the South, the trend is evident among blacks, whites and Hispanic adults, she said.

"We've seen this sort of broader shift throughout the country as a whole with fewer people identifying as being part of the religious base," she said. "In the South you see a pattern very similar to what we are seeing in other regions."

Thomas Fuller, a religion professor at Baptist-affiliated Samford University near Birmingham, said there's no single reason churches are losing the cultural wallop they once packed. Migration into the region and the Internet are but two factors chipping away at a society that seemed much more isolated just a generation ago, he said.

"The South is not nearly as homogeneous, is far more diverse culturally now than it's ever been," said Fuller. "In a way you're a little hard-pressed now to talk about Southern culture in a singular fashion. It's not nearly as one-dimensional anymore or easy to describe."

In Sylacauga, 45 miles southeast of Birmingham, Mayor Doug Murphree said the push for Sunday alcohol sales was linked to attracting new businesses.

"We're not really trying to promote drinking in Sylacauga. But if you look at a big chain restaurant like Ruby Tuesday or O'Charley's, they're open on Sunday and a big part of their business is alcohol," said the mayor.

Murphree, who attends a Baptist church, said he met with members of the local ministerial association before the citywide vote to explain the city's economic situation and the need for Sunday alcohol sales. Pastors listened, and by and large they didn't preach against it.

"They said they were not going to try to block us," he said.

So now, Marble City Grill can sell alcohol after 1 p.m. on Sunday just two blocks up North Broadway Avenue from the white-columned First Baptist Church of Sylacauga.

"Things have changed," said Julie Smith, who owns the restaurant with her husband. "We've been open 10 years and at first we had people who wouldn't come because we sold alcohol. They come now."

Around corner from the restaurant, Dee Walker said he's attracting a larger crowd every Sunday afternoon at his craft beer and wine shop, The Fermenter's Market at The Rex, named for the old hotel in which it is located.

Walker grew up in neighboring Clay County, the last dry county in Alabama, and recalls the petition drives and fire-and-brimstone sermons anytime someone mentioned legalizing alcohol sales. Southern churches no longer have that kind of influence in many places, Walker said.

"You've got some diminishing populations when it comes to the religious opposition," said Walker, standing behind a bar with 36 taps for craft beer. Walker said his customers include church deacons and elders; a Baptist layman quoted Scripture while drinking a hoppy brown ale on a recent weekday afternoon.

Joe Godfrey, a Southern Baptist minister and head of a group that calls itself "Alabama's Moral Compass," recalls a time when churches were the center of Southern society.

"I can remember when schools looking to schedule an event would call the local churches to see if they had anything ... that might conflict with the school's tentative plans. If so, the school would find a different date to hold their event. That is no longer true," said Godfrey, executive director of Alabama Citizens Action Program.

"Today, churches try to find a time to schedule their events when ball teams, schools and civic clubs are not already planning something else," said Godfrey. "Instead of being the 'hub' of the community, churches today are simply one 'spoke' in the wheel of people's lives."

Fuller, the religion professor, said the loss of influence isn't all bad for Southern churches. The idea of churches controlling Southern society is giving way to individuals searching for a deeper faith, he said.

"The fact that you didn't drink, cuss or chew or go with girls who do, didn't dance, didn't do this or that, was far more a litmus test of one's faith and devotion to Christ in a previous day and in many instances in a way that, I think, produced a superficial sort of religion in many respects," he said. "I think there has been some growth and development in outlook." - AP.


 

NEW WORLD DISORDER: Terrorism, False Flag Distractions, Societal Collapse, Wars And Civilizations Unraveling Ahead Of The Black Celestial Event - Former Defense Secretary Warns United States Is Pushing Towards Nuclear Apocalypse!

© East News/ USA/Science Photo Library

December 4, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- The United States is on the brink of a new nuclear arms race that will elevate the risk of nuclear apocalypse to Cold War levels, former Secretary of Defense William Perry warned on Thursday.

Perry, who from 1994 to 1997 served as Pentagon chief under President Bill Clinton, delivered his remarks at an event hosted by the Defense Writers Group

"We're now at the precipice, maybe I should say the brink, of a new nuclear arms race," he said. "This arms race will be at least as expensive as the arms race we had during the Cold War, which is a lot of money."

The Pentagon is starting a major overhaul of its nuclear triad, made up of bomber, submarine and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) nuclear options. Perry called for the breaking of the triad by dismantling the ICBM stockpile.

ICBMs, he said, "aren't necessary … they're not needed. Any reasonable definition of deterrence will not require that third leg."

In an August assessment, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments projects that it will cost more than $700 billion over the next 25 years to recapitalize the nuclear triad.

Perry said spending that money is foolish considering the United States is both short of cash for other programs and capable of a robust nuclear deterrence already, Defense News reported.

The risk of nuclear war is exacerbated by the deterioration of the relationship between Moscow and Washington that had been formed after the fall of the Soviet Union. Without clear military-to-military communication between those two nations, the risk of an accidental conflict increases, Perry said.

"Today – probably I would not have said this 10 years ago – but today we now face the kind of dangers of a nuclear event like we had during the Cold War, an accidental war," he said. I see an imperative: to stop this damn nuclear arms race from accelerating again."

- Sputnik News.


WATCH: We're back to Cold War relations and geopolitics in security in Europe - OSCE Sec-Gen.




 

SOLAR WATCH: The Sun Could Spew Out Huge Superflares And Put Life On Earth In Danger - The Energy From The Flares Could Be Equivalent To A BILLION MEGATON BOMB, Destroying Communication And Energy Systems!


December 4, 2015 - THE SUN
- The Sun could unleash huge superflares that would destroy much of the things we rely on for life on Earth, scientists have warned.

Huge flares of energy with the power of a billion one megaton nuclear bombs could destroy our communication and energy systems, they have said.

Scientists made the warning after seeing a huge superflare erupt from another star that looks alarmingly like our own Sun.

Occasionally, flares and other solar weather upset communications systems on Earth. But the effects are usually relatively limited, and can be recovered from. But the new study suggests that any potential superflare could cause

Flares happen when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released, causing a massive outburst of radiation.

Lead scientist Chloe Pugh, from the University of Warwick, said: "If the Sun were to produce a superflare it would be disastrous for life on Earth; our GPS and radio communication systems could be severely disrupted and there could be large-scale power blackouts as a result of strong electrical currents being induced in power grids."

She added: "Fortunately the conditions needed for a superflare are extremely unlikely to occur on the Sun, based on previous observations of solar activity."

The superflare studied by the team occurred on the binary star KIC9655129.

Using data from the American space agency Nasa's Kepler space telescope, the scientists determined that it had wave properties identical to those seen in solar flares.

Co-author Dr Anne-Marie Broomhall, also from the University of Warwick, said: "This result is ... an indication that the same physical processes are involved in both solar flares and stellar superflares. The latter finding supports the hypothesis that the Sun is able to produce a potentially devastating superflare."

The research is reported in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. - Independent.


 

GLOBAL AWAKENING: Embracing Of Mother Nature And Detaching From European Vampirism - Putin Wants Russia To Become The World's Biggest Exporter Of Non-GMO Foods!


December 4, 2015 - RUSSIA
- Russia could become the world's largest supplier of ecologically clean and high-quality organic food, said President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

He also called on the country to become completely self-sufficient in food production by 2020.

"We are not only able to feed ourselves taking into account our lands, water resources – Russia is able to become the largest world supplier of healthy, ecologically clean and high-quality food which the Western producers have long lost, especially given the fact that demand for such products in the world market is steadily growing," said Putin, addressing the Russian Parliament on Thursday.

According to the President, Russia is now an exporter, not an importer of food.

"Ten years ago, we imported almost half of the food from abroad, and were dependent on imports. Now Russia is among the exporters.

Last year, Russian exports of agricultural products amounted to almost $20 billion - a quarter more than the revenue from the sale of arms, or one-third the revenue coming from gas exports," he said.




Putin said that all this makes Russia fully capable of supplying the domestic market with home-grown food by 2020.

In September, the Kremlin decided against producing food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Russia imposed an embargo on the supply of products from the EU and the United States as a response to Western sanctions.

After Turkey shot down Russian Su-24 bomber, Russian authorities decided to ban the import of fruit, vegetables and poultry from Turkey. The ban will take effect from January 1. - RT.


WEATHER ANOMALIES: "A Big Milestone" - Florida Marks Record Of 10 Years With A Major Hurricane?!

National Hurricane Center says Sunshine State has been lucky

December 4, 2015 - FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
- The state of Florida is marking a big milestone with the official end of the 2015 hurricane season — 10 years without a major hurricane making landfall in the state.

The hurricane-free streak is a new record for the state.

Experts say Floridians shouldn't count on the streak continuing.

Michael Brennan, of the National Hurricane Center, says that the Sunshine State has been exceptionally lucky and residents should always be prepared for the possibility of a storm hitting the state.

"In 205, there were 11 named storms, four of which were hurricanes, and two of those were major hurricanes," News 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges said. - Click Orlando.



 

HUMAN DEVOLUTION: European Vampirism - More Than 11,000 Norwegians Register To Hunt... 16 Wolves; A Ratio Of 723 Hunters Per Wolf!


December 4, 2015 - NORWAY - Around 30 wild wolves are thought to call Norway home, but that hasn't stopped the nation from allowing hunters to kill more than half of them.

The move has been met with extreme interest: a total of 11,571 people applied for licenses to shoot 16 wolves.

The overwhelming demand from outdoor sportsmen has amounted to a ratio of 723 hunters per wolf.

Wolves have proven to be the most popular animals to hunt in the 2015-16 season, which began October 1 and ends March 31. The numbers are an increase from the 2013-14 season, when 10,000 people were registered, according to the Norwegian Association for Fishing and Hunting.




The Norwegian brown bear was the second most popular animal with hunters, as 10,930 people registered to kill just 18 of the animals. In the third place was the wolverine, with 10,820 hunters registered to shoot 141 of the furry mammals, Norway’s NRK reported.

Norway has a long tradition of hunting, with 200,000 registered hunters. The country's authorities issue licenses to keep predator populations under control and to protect livestock.

However, it is believed that the population of some animals – wolves in particular – is kept low by illegal hunting.




The controversy surrounding the country's hunting laws came to the forefront in February, when Norwegian politician Sandra Borch posted a photo of herself wearing a coat made of wolf's fur on Twitter. The move sparked anger from animal rights activists online.

"She's doing this very clearly to provoke, but I'm pretty sure it does not change the attitude of large sections of the population in Norway who say 'no' to the hunting of wolves and who are critical of the fur industry,” said Siri Martinsen, leader of the animal rights organization NOAH, as quoted by The Local.

“I knew there would be reactions, but I wanted to show that I do not care,” Borch told the newspaper VG. - RT.



SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Civilizations Unraveling - 16 Killed In Molotov Cocktail Attack On Cairo Nightclub In Egypt!


December 4, 2015 - CAIRO, EGYPT - An apparent firebombing of a nightclub in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, has claimed at least 16 lives, security officials report. Earlier reports said 18 people had been killed.

The attackers tossed multiple Molotov cocktails inside the establishment located at a hotel in the Agouza area near the center of Cairo in the early morning assault, starting a fire, Egyptian media reported.


WATCH: Cairo Molotov attack kills 16 and wounds five.




The Cairo Post newspaper says three masked assailants reportedly carried out the attack.

Six people were injured, according to preliminary estimates.

Cairo police are searching for the perpetrators as a rescue operation continues. An official told Reuters that one of the suspects was an employee of the restaurant that was attacked.


Pictures of the restaurant where 16 were killed following a Molotov cocktail attack in Cairo Egypt

Ahram Online said an initial investigation had revealed no terrorism link to the attack, citing an anonymous source familiar with law enforcement agencies.

The restaurant/nightclub is in the basement of the hotel building, with few escape routes. The firebombing turned it into a death trap for patrons and employees. The victims burned to death or died from smoke inhalation.

Security remains an issue in Egypt as Islamist militants conduct attacks mostly targeting security troops after the military deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood following 2013 mass protests. - RT.

 

TERMINATOR NOW: The Rise Of The Machines - The Vatican Expresses Serious Concern Over "Killer Robots"!

Photo credit: www.shutterstock.com.

December 4, 2015 - THE VATICAN
- No longer relegated to mere science-fiction, robots – built to kill people – play an increasing role in fighting terrorism alongside other new weapons of war.

But what's resulting in a mounting headache for the United Nations in terms of checks and sanctions is actually something that the Church can and should speak into, say Catholic leaders, including the Vatican.

With the nickname “killer robots,” fully autonomous weapons are designed with the ability to choose and engage targets without human involvement. Drones, a prototype for this kind of artillery, are already in use by multiple countries across the globe including the United States, Russia, China and the U.K.

At the UN's Geneva “Convention on Inhumane Weapons” in early November, Tony D'Costa, general secretary of the Irish section of the International Catholic Peace Movement Pax Christi, spoke out that the presence of the Church was necessary at the gathering.

“Why is it important to take part in it from a Catholic perspective? It goes without saying that we have to be present here, in order to change the world for the better and to translate the hope and the values of the Gospel into reality,” D'Costa said.

In its contribution to the dialogue in Geneva, representatives from the Holy See highlighted the questionable aspects of a specific document called the “Agreement on Explosive Remnants of War,” also known as “Protocol 5.”

“Given an ethical responsibility and the effort to provide for a peaceful and stable future world order, all participants share the responsibility to protect every single person on grounds of his or her own dignity,” said. Monsignor Richard Gyhra, chief secretary of the Holy See's UN embassy.

“This applies irrespective of the wording of the agreement – be it weak or strong.”

The aim of November's UN meeting was to prohibit or restrict the use of weapons, by which soldiers suffer unnecessarily or unjustifiably and which may harm civilians in a random manner.

For his part, Tony D'Costa stressed that “humane killing” was a contradiction in itself. “Killing is never human. The Gospel teaches us that as well. Instead of killing, we should love and promote each other,” he said.

“However, during the course of time war has developed into a means to resolve conflicts in the world and to dominate people, which is completely wrong according to our Christian perspective.”

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the permanent observer of the Holy See at the UN in Geneva, warned during his testimony that respect for and compliance with international humanitarian law are increasingly ignored.

“The principles of the law have at best become a mesmerizing litany,” he said. “Great principles are not able to ensure justice and peace. When they prove to be ineffective, we simply criticize their
application.”

“However, a practical implementation of international humanitarian law is the essential minimum needed against the inhumanity of armed conflicts.”

The most urgent issue up for discussion at the event was the proposed preventive ban on fully autonomous weapons, which were described as especially dangerous due to their ability to select targets and attack them without any human intervention.

“We would never want to leave those two issues to a machine,” added Mary Wareham of the international advocacy group “Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.”

“They should always remain under reasonable and appropriate or effective human control,” Warehem said during her intervention. “So what we expect from this debate is to get closer to a solution in this matter.”

According to Steve Goose of the organization “Human Rights Watch,” the robots in question “are more than just weapons. They constitute a new kind of warfare, too. Excluding the human element completely from the decision-making process is something that has happened never before.”

Speaking to Pax Press Agency, Tony D'Costa warned that killer robots run the risk of pushing humanity ever further from the bounds of an ethical and just society.

“They will throw us far away from it,” he said. “That’s very dangerous, since the principle of humanity of our fundamental moral norms is what holds us together despite all human limitations.”

After November's gathering in Geneva, the UN has agreed to a further, one-week diplomatic meeting in April 2016. - Patheos.


 

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: E.coli Scare Spreads To 155,000 Products Containing Celery In The United States - 19 People Sick Across Seven States!


December 4, 2015 - UNITED STATES - E. coli found in Costco chicken salads made 19 people sick, and once the culprit ingredient was identified, seven other major chain stores became involved.

Now over 155,000 products containing celery are being recalled, and more E. coli cases are predicted. Stores such as 7-Eleven, Albertsons, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Starbucks, Target, and Walmart are some of the chains now involved in the recall that began at Costco.

They all carry various products containing celery distributed by Taylor Farms Pacific, and so are conducting recalls “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the Food and Drug Administration.




The celery grower who sold the leafy green to Taylor Farms has yet to be identified. Taylor Farms, based in Tracy, California, buys from hundreds of growers.

E. coli has appeared in 19 people in California, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Utah, Virginia and Washington, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The FDA is advising anyone who bought chicken salads at Costco on or before November 20 to throw it away.




A strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli known as O157:H7 was found first on an onion in the salad mix; then it was determined that celery was the source. O157:H7 causes kidney failure, which has already been observed in two people. Three other people were also hospitalized.

Symptoms of E. coli sickness are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. E. coli can live in the gut for up to a week before these symptoms appear, giving health officials sufficient reason to worry about more reported cases to come.

News of this outbreak also comes after a November E. coli outbreak at Chipotle spread to six states and poisoned some 45 people. - RT.



 

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - 4-Year-Old Boy Mauled To Death By 4 Pit Bull Terriers In Detroit; And Pack Of Wolfhounds Maul Woman In New Zealand, "There Were Pieces Of Flesh Everywhere,... It Was Like A Shark Attack"?!

Savage: Four dogs manage to crawl under the fence of a yard in this Detroit neighborhood and maul to death a four-year-old boy walking by with his mother.
Three dogs were killed by police, this one was taken into custody

December 4, 2015 - EARTH - The following constitutes two of latest reports of animal attacks on humans.


4-year-old boy mauled to death by 4 pit bull terriers in Detroit

A 4-year-old boy died after being mauled by multiple dogs Wednesday in the 15500 block of Baylis Street in Detroit.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner completed the autopsy Thursday, stating the cause of death to be from "multiple puncture wounds."

Xavier Strickland, 4, was walking down the street with his mother, Dolly Strickland, when the neighbor's dogs attacked. Witnesses told Local 4 the dogs dragged the toddler under a fence. They were headed to Thurgood Marshall Elementary School to volunteer.

Yolanda Samuels heard the mother's calls for help and called 911.

"The dog had grabbed the baby and pulled the baby underneath the fence," Samuels said. "When I saw them carrying her baby, all I could do was just grab my baby and say, "Oh, my God. He's lifeless."


WATCH: Heartbroken mother speaks after child mauled to death by pit bulls.




Officers rushed Xavier to the hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

"My life is just torment right now because he's gone," said Dolly Strickland. They bit me first, and I laid on top of my son and was getting ready to run and the big one snatched him from me."

Police shot two of the dogs and were able to capture the others. However, there could be more dogs on the loose.

"The dog that was on top of my son, he had to keep shooting it," said Dolly Strickland. "He shot all of them, the ones that he could."

There were four dogs behind the fence -- a father, a mother and her pups. Police said all of them participated in the mauling.

"The viciousness of these animals, the fact that they removed this child from the mother's grasp and as the mother attempted to fight these dogs off, the dogs took the child and dragged the child to the location behind the fence," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Craig said this case was so ugly that even his officers, who are used to seeing things most do not want to, were severely shaken.

"This is no different than when our officers are dealing with armed suspects," he said.

The chief said counselors will be brought in for the officers. - Click on Detroit.



Pack of Wolfhounds maul woman in New Zealand: 'There were pieces of flesh everywhere - it was like a shark attack'

Irish wolfhounds were developed from war hounds and are strong enough to kill a wolf.

A Dunedin woman required surgery after a dog attack so horrific it was "more like a shark attack".

The woman, who did not want to be identified, was delivering the Otago Daily Times in Walter St, in The Glen, about 6.30am yesterday when she was attacked by as many as three Irish wolfhounds.

Her partner said the attack was so frenzied it left "blood everywhere and pieces of flesh everywhere".

The woman would require multiple operations, including plastic surgery, and it was not yet known if she would walk again, as one of her calf muscles was "virtually all gone", said the man, who did not wish to be identified.

"It's that extreme - it's more like a shark attack," he said.





He was delivering newspapers nearby and had been left shaken and angry after the attack on his partner.

"There are these three dogs controlled by one guy, which is crazy because they are the size of a small horse," he said.

"[She] fell to the ground in fright and rolled down a big bank and the dogs just took to her, just tearing chunks off.

"It has made me really, really angry."

Two of the dogs were voluntarily euthanised by their owner and the Dunedin City Council's animal services department was investigating the extent of the third dog's role in the attack, the Dunedin District Council said.

"The dog owner was shaken and distressed by the incident," the council said.

"No further decision will be made [on the third dog's fate] until the DCC officers have spoken to the victim."

Senior Sergeant Craig Brown said the woman's injuries were among the worst he had seen from a dog attack.

"They are pretty severe," he said. "They are very nasty wounds."

The victim's partner said she was lucky to survive the attack, as the dogs had made attempts to attack her face and throat, leading to defensive wounds on her arms.

"She's not coping well mentally or physically," he said. "She's very, very traumatised."

Her recovery would take months and would affect her ability to work her three jobs.

"None of her jobs involve sitting down, so she is traumatised by the thought of that [losing income] as well," he said.

He thanked the members of the public who came to her aid immediately after the attack, saying they "were great" and applied first-aid.

A Dunedin Hospital spokeswoman said the woman was progressing well after surgery.

Council communications and marketing manager Graham McKerracher said statistics on attacks involving Irish wolfhounds were not immediately available yesterday.

But the breed was not registered as a menacing or aggressive breed and there were limited numbers of them in New Zealand. - The New Zealand Herald.




 

FUK-U-SHIMA: Radiation From Fukushima Spreads Off United States Coast - Monitor!


December 4, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Radiation leaked by the damaged Japanese nuclear power plant in Fukushima has been found at an increasing number of sites off the US West Coast, a group monitoring the contamination says. One sample collected west of San Francisco displayed the highest level to date.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was crippled during the March 2011 quake and tsunami, releasing high amounts of radiation-poisoned water into the environment. Ken Buesseler, a marine radiochemist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), was among the first scientists who started monitoring radiation leaks in the wake of the disaster.

The latest finds from Buesseler and his team include 110 new samples of seawater collected in the Pacific and reported on the Our Radioactive Ocean website. The scientists confirmed that radiation from Fukushima is present in previously unidentified locations, although the levels are currently too low to threaten human or aquatic life.

The highest level was detected in a sample collected about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco is 50 times higher than other samples collected along the West Coast so far, but it is still more than 500 times below the US government safety limits for drinking water.

“Despite the fact that the levels of contamination off our shores remain well below government-established safety limits for human health or to marine life, the changing values underscore the need to more closely monitor contamination levels across the Pacific,” Buesseler told phys.org.

On the bright side, the radiation may serve as a marker for scientists studying ocean currents and mixing in coastal and offshore waters, he added.

The group detected isotopes of cesium in seawater samples. One isotope, Cesium-137, which has trace presence across the Pacific, is the legacy of nuclear weapon tests of the mid-20th century, but was also released from Fukushima. Compared to Cesium-137’s 30-year half-life, Cesium-134 is short-lived, with a half-life of two years. This isotope serves as a “fingerprint” of the disaster, allowing scientists to calculate the amount of radiation by comparing the levels of the two isotopes in a sample. - RT.


 

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Extreme Weather Events Continue In India - Deadly Freak Storm Hits Uttar Pradesh, Plunging State Capital Into Darkness!

It was the first time in over a decade that the city witnessed zero visibility on a December afternoon.  © Facebook

December 4, 2015 - INDIA
- Several parts of Uttar Pradesh experienced freak weather on Tuesday afternoon after being hit by sudden dust storm and heavy rainfall.

Lightning claimed seven lives in the state. While a woman and her minor sister died in Auraiyya district, three people perished in Mathura, one in Mainpuri and one in Etah.

Lucknow and Kanpur were plunged into darkness, followed by storm and heavy rain. Allahabad, Agra and some other areas witnessed storm and rain but the intensity was less in comparison to Lucknow and Kanpur.


WATCH: Dust storm covers Lucknow in darkness.




Several trees were also uprooted and there were reports of some people receiving injuries.

Waterlogging and power cuts added to the people's woes.

Met department director JP Gupta said the weather had changed significantly due to an upper cyclonic air circulation over Madhya Pradesh which had shifted towards UP.

Several Lucknow residents took to social media to post updates about the storm. "Never seen such a phenomenon. I had heard about Kaali Aandhi (black storm). Saw it today. Ajeeb lag raha hai....," a resident posted on Facebook. - Hindustan Times.


 

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Climate Chaos - Biggest Ever Recorded El Nino Sweeping The Globe!



December 4, 2015 - EARTH - The current extreme El Niño is now the strongest ever recorded, smashing the previous record from 1997-8. Already wreaking havoc on weather around the world, the new figures mean those effects will probably get worse. Climate change could be to blame and is known to be making the extreme impacts of El Niño on weather more likely.

The 1997-8 El Niño killed 20,000 people and caused almost $97 billion of damage as floods, droughts, fires, cyclones and mudslides ravaged the world.

Now the current El Niño has surpassed the 1997-8 El Niño on a key measure, according to the latest figures released by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency.

El Niño occurs when warm water that has piled up around Australia and Indonesia spills out east across the Pacific Ocean towards the Americas, taking the rain with it.

A key measure of its intensity is the warmth of water in the central Pacific. In 1997, at its peak on 26 November, it was 2.8 °C above average. According to the latest measurements, it reached 2.8 °C on 4 November this year, and went on to hit 3.1 °C on 18 November - the highest temperatures ever seen in this region.


© NOAA


"The El Niño community is closely watching the evolution [of this El Niño] and whether the current event will surpass the 1997-8 event," says Axel Timmerman at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. "Monthly and weeklycentral Pacific temperature anomalies clearly show that this current event has surpassed it."

The temperatures in the central Pacific have the biggest impact on the global atmospheric circulation, and therefore the biggest impacts on global weather, says Timmerman, who has been warning that this El Niño is likely to be a record-breaker.

The event hasn't broken temperature records across the entire eastern Pacific, but in the central eastern Pacific. "It's shifted into an area where most likely the atmosphere will respond even more," Timmerman says.

Timmerman and others showed in 2013 that El Niños have been stronger in the last few decades than in any period over the past four centuries. It is unknown whether that's because of climate change, but Timmerman and colleagues have also shown that extreme impacts from El Niño's will double in frequency this century as a result of climate change.

In similar findings, Scott Power at the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia and colleagues showed that climate change will amplify the way that El Niño redistributes rainfall, making droughts and floods worse.

Record breaker

El Niño has been implicated in a host of extreme weather events across the globe. Combined with global warming, it's partly responsible for 2015 being the hottest year on record. In India, more than 2000 people died in a heatwave caused by a delayed monsoon - an effect of El Niño.

Now the region is experiencing unusually heavy rains as the monsoon has finally arrived - also an expected impact of El Niño. "Southern India is having a lot of rain as it goes into winter, having come out of the dry monsoon. This is only so during extreme El Niño, so it is a confirmation that the El Niño is huge," says Wenju Cai at Australia's government scientific research body, CSIRO in Melbourne.

El Niño is also probably making record-breaking illegal fires in Indonesia worse, by reducing rainfall there.




And in some Pacific Islands, water levels have dropped so much that coral reefs are exposed, in a phenomenon known as Taimasa, Samoan for "smelly reef". New Scientist has receved photographs from Guam showing this dramatic effect (see photos above and below), only seen during extreme El Niño events. Across the globe, the El Niño has also begun a mass coral bleaching.




Australia has dodged some of the worst effects of El Niño, as the Indian Ocean Dipole - an oscillation of sea temperatures in the Indian Ocean - which was amplifying El Niño, has eased off. And because of the location of the warmest water, some regions like Peru and Ecuador are also likely to experience fewer impacts.

But overall, Timmerman suspects that the impacts of this record-breaking El Niño will be record-breaking too.

Many of the effects are yet to come. For example, whether it will bring rains to California and relieve the drought - or even whether it will go too far and cause floods - isn't yet known. Timmerman says the models are predicting a higher chance of rain for California.

And once the El Niño is over, it might not be time for celebration, since it's likely to be followed by a strong La Niña, which will bring roughly opposite effects to the world's weather. La Nina's are also expected to be about twice as common as a result of climate change this century.

Image credits, from top: NOAA/Science Photo Library; Laurie Raymond/University of Guam

- New Scientist.