US admiral says Navy forces are prepared to confront Iran 12 Feb 2012 The top U.S. Navy official in the Gulf said Sunday he takes Iran's military capabilities seriously but insists his forces are prepared to confront any Iranian [?] aggression in the region. Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander of the 5th Fleet, told reporters at the naval force's Bahrain headquarters that the Navy has "built a wide range of potential options to give the president" and is "ready today" to confront any hostile action by Tehran. "We've developed very precise and lethal weapons that are very effective, and we're prepared," Fox said. "We're just ready for any contingency."
Computer hacker Gary McKinnon's treatment 'barbaric' 11 Feb 2012 The mother of computer hacker Gary McKinnon has delivered letters and poems to Downing Street to mark the 10th anniversary of her son's arrest. Mr McKinnon, who has Asperger's syndrome, is accused of hacking US military computer systems in 2002. Janis Sharp said the treatment of her son, who admits hacking into military computers but claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs, was "barbaric".
Tepco Says Fukushima Reactor Temperature Breaches Safety Limit --TEPCO: 'We think the thermometer may be faulty.' 13 Feb 2012 Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the temperature in one of the damaged reactors at its Fukushima nuclear station rose to levels above safety limits even as it injected increased amounts of cooling water. One of three thermometers indicated the temperature at the bottom of the No. 2 reactor pressure vessel rose to 89.2 degrees Celsius (192.56 Fahrenheit) as of 8:00 a.m. today, higher than the 80 degrees limit, Naohiro Omura, a spokesman for the utility, said by phone today.
Fukushima reactor heats up again 13 Feb 2012 The operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant has begun injecting more water into one of the reactors, after the core temperature rose above Japan's safety limit. A gauge inside Fukushima's reactor number two showed the temperature rising to 82 degrees Celsius over the weekend, its highest level since the reactor was put into a state of cold shutdown two months ago. Responding to the increase, operator TEPCO began injecting 15 tonnes of water an hour into the reactor in a bid to get the temperature down.
Japan OKs fresh support for Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tepco 13 Feb 2012 Japan's trade minister approved nearly $9 billion in additional support for Tokyo Electric Power Co to help compensate victims of the Fukushima nuclear crisis on Monday, but said the government would not go ahead with a plan to inject tax money into utility unless it got adequate management say. Aside from the added 690 billion yen ($8.9 billion) in compensation support from a state-backed fund, the government has been planning to inject about 1 trillion yen in taxpayers' money into the utility, also known as Tepco, in what would be one of the world's biggest bailouts outside the banking sector. [This is *insane.* Where are the riots?]
Mission accomplished! Now, on to Iran and Syria so US corpora-terrorists can continue to make a killing on the killing: Iraq begins pumping oil to new Gulf terminal 12 Feb 2012 Iraq began pumping oil on Sunday to the first of five floating terminals in the Gulf in a move that will increase its export capacity by 850,000 barrels per day. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki symbolically opened the valve of a pipeline that runs from Iraq's southern oil fields to the port of Faw, 535 kilometres (332 miles) south of Baghdad, and then on to the terminal. Iraq launched a programme in 2007 to increase its oil export output.
Gunmen assassinate provincial judge in Nangarhar 12 Feb 2012 According to local authorities in eastern Afghanistan, an Afghan judge was killed along with his niece in eastern Nangarhar province. Khogyani district chief Haji Mohammad Hassan said the incident took place on Saturday evening at Barbahar area while Mr. Basir and his wife and his children were on their way to his father-in-law's house. Mr. Hassan added that Basir was killed during the incident and that his wife along with his four children were injured and another family member was injured during the incident.
Karachi rally condemns US policies 12 Feb 2012 Thousands have staged a demonstration in Pakistan's most populous city of Karachi to condemn the US policies and its non-UN-sanctioned assassination drone strikes in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt. Sunday's rally was arranged by Defense of Pakistan Council, an alliance of 40 religious and political parties. Speakers at the protest delivered hard-hitting speeches, urging the Pakistani government to cease its cooperation with Washington's so-called war on terror.
Greek Parliament Passes Austerity Plan as Riots Rage 13 Feb 2012 After violent protests left dozens of buildings aflame in Athens, the Greek Parliament voted early on Monday to approve a package of harsh austerity measures demanded by the country's foreign lenders in exchange for new loans to keep Greece from defaulting on its debt. The vote on the austerity measures was 199 in favor and 74 opposed, with 27 abstentions or blank ballots. The new austerity measures include, among others, a 22 percent cut in the benchmark minimum wage and 150,000 government layoffs by 2015 - a bitter prospect in a country ravaged by five years of recession and with unemployment at 21 percent and rising.
Rioters Set Fire to Buildings as Greek Parliament Votes on Cuts 12 Feb 2012 Rioters set fire to buildings and battled police in downtown Athens as the Greek Parliament prepared to vote on Prime Minister Lucas Papademos's austerity package. Protesters set fire to a Starbucks Corp. cafe, a bank and a movie theater as well as other stores in downtown Athens, a fire department spokesman said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in line with official policy. Demonstrators, rallying against austerity measures including job cuts, tore up marble in front of parliament that they hurled with fire-bombs at police guarding the chamber.
Buildings set ablaze as Greek MPs debate austerity plan 12 Feb 2012 Protests have spread in central Athens, amid anger over austerity measures being debated by parliament. Protesters threw stones and petrol bombs, and several buildings were set on fire; police fired tear gas. A number of people were injured. The BBC's Mark Lowen in Athens says the violent protests, which have been common in recent months, are surprisingly large. Several historic buildings, including cafes and cinemas, were in flames. Syntagma Square - in the heart of Athens - is cloaked in a hail of tear gas, our correspondent adds.
Anonymous invites CIA, others to its weekend party 11 Feb 2012 Anonymous is having a busy weekend. The loose-knit hacking collective, which last week scored a coup against the FBI, claimed yesterday to have taken down the CIA's Web site, in what appeared to be a distributed denial of service attack (one of the group's specialties, such relatively unsophisticated attacks paralyze Web servers with waves of data requests). The group also posted information it said was pilfered from police and government servers in Alabama, and, as blog RT reported, took down the Mexican Senate and Interior Ministry Web sites... Anonymous embarrassed the FBI a week ago Friday by posting on YouTube a recording of a conference call between the bureau and U.K. law enforcement over Anonymous and other online activist groups.
Air NZ flu flight scare 'an overreaction' --The Ministry of Health and Auckland Regional Public Health Service have refused to release information on the incident. 13 Feb 2012 Passengers are downplaying a health scare that sparked a major response from officials at Auckland International Airport today. Auckland hospitals were on standby and medical staff were called on to assess the health of 73 passengers reportedly suffering flu-like symptoms who were on board the Air New Zealand flight that landed in Auckland at 9.20am. Authorities feared passengers had arrived carrying the H3N2 flu virus that is currently sweeping Japan.
Air New Zealand plane quarantined in Auckland after 73 passengers fall ill --TVNZ reported none of the passengers have been allowed to leave the plane. Two crews are on board and wearing protective gear. 13 Feb 2012 An Air New Zealand plane has been quarantined after landing at Auckland Airport carrying children with flu-like symptoms, TVNZ reported. The Boeing 777-200 landed in Auckland this morning local time, with 274 passengers from Narita International Airport outside Tokyo. A group of 73 passengers, including children, were suffering from the flu-like symptoms.
Man Found Fatally Shot Near Lincoln Memorial 12 Feb 2012 Police in Washington, D.C., were investigating Sunday after a man was found fatally shot near the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall. It was not immediately known if the man's death was a homicide, WTOP-TV reported. His body was found in West Potomac Park, near the Lincoln Memorial, at around 8:00am Sunday when US Park Police officers responded to reports of a shooting in the area.