US: Up to 5,000 Blackbirds Fall Dead Out of The Sky, Autopsies Find No Poison

BEEBE, Ark. — Preliminary autopsies on 17 of the up to 5,000 blackbirds that fell on this town indicate they died of blunt trauma to their organs, the state’s top veterinarian told NBC News on Monday.

Their stomachs were empty, which rules out poison, Dr. George Badley said, and they died in midair, not on impact with the ground.

That evidence, and the fact that the red-winged blackbirds fly in close flocks, suggests they suffered some massive midair collision, he added. That lends weight to theories that they were startled by something.

Earlier Monday, the estimated number of dead birds was raised to between 4,000 and 5,000, up sharply from the initial estimate of 1,000.

Read moreUS: Up to 5,000 Blackbirds Fall Dead Out of The Sky, Autopsies Find No Poison

US: Up to 100,000 Fish Found Dead Along Arkansas River

State officials on Monday were investigating why 80,000 to 100,000 fish washed up dead on the shores of the Arkansas River last week.

“The fish deaths will take about a month” to determine a cause, Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, told msnbc.com.

Stephens also provided the estimate of 80,000 to 100,000 dead fish.

The fish were found Thursday by a tugboat operator along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River near the city of Ozark.

The mass kill occurred just one day before thousands of blackbirds dropped dead from the sky in Beebe, Ark., which is 125 miles away.

Officials said 95 percent of the fish that died were drum fish — indicating that the likely cause of death was disease as only one species was affected.

“If it was from a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish, not just drum fish,” Stephens added.

Read moreUS: Up to 100,000 Fish Found Dead Along Arkansas River

From Marijuana to ‘Sexting’: New Laws Set to Take Effect Jan. 1

In all, 45 states, the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico passed 31,005 new laws in 2010. Some of them will come into effect with the new year. Here is a sampling of some of the trends in lawmaking in 2010.

1. Marijuana

Starting Saturday, people caught in California with as much as an ounce of marijuana will be charged with an “infraction” – a penalty that is equivalent to a parking ticket. Previously, possession of an ounce of marijuana had been a misdemeanor, which unlike an infraction, can include jail time.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, synthetic marijuana, also known as K2, will be illegal.

2. Crime

Crime is always a focus of state lawmakers, but this year saw an emphasis on reining in the potentially harmful uses of new technologies and social media.

“The rise in social media-related regulations shows that private sector innovations are often followed by laws intended to limit the harmful effects of those innovations,” says Jessica Levinson, an analyst at the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles.

  • California’s SB 1411 will make online impersonation a standard misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Victims will be allowed to sue the imitator for damages and losses. Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts and Texas also have laws targeting electronic impersonation.
  • In Illinois, minors who distribute indecent photos of other minors electronically – known as “sexting” — may be taken into custody by law enforcement officers and are subject to adjudication or supervision, instead of being charged with child pornography, which is a harsher offense.
  • Also in Illinois, it’s now a crime to sexually exploit a child using a computer or Internet-based software. “The new law is aimed at catching sex offenders who use Internet chat rooms or online video cameras to engage in sex acts with a child,” says the NCSL’s website analysis.

    Read moreFrom Marijuana to ‘Sexting’: New Laws Set to Take Effect Jan. 1

Australia: Now Coastal Queensland Braces For 30-Ft Flood Waters

See also:

Australian Floods Affect Bigger Area Than France and Germany Combined (Video)

200,000 Australians Affected By Floods Covering Larger Area Than France And Germany



A play ground affected by flooded waters is seen in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia January 1, 2011.

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Floods that have inundated 22 Australian towns and forced more than 200,000 from their homes headed towards the northeast coast on New Year’s Day, forcing further evacuations and warnings of 30-ft flood waters.

Australia has endured its wettest spring on record, causing six river systems in tropical Queensland to flood, as soaring temperatures in the states of Victoria and South Australia sparked warnings of devastating bushfires.

The rain has flooded coal mines and hit farming hard, with many roads still impassable, and prompted warnings of the dangers of crocodiles and snakes in flooded homes.

The inland sea that stretches across Queensland is dotted with the roofs of flooded homes, islands of dry ground crowded with stranded livestock and small boats ferrying people and emergency supplies.

On Saturday, coastal areas were preparing for the worst. Evacuations were under way in the town of Rockhampton where the Fitzroy River, one of Australia’s largest river systems, was expected to flood.

The town’s airport was closed to commercial flights, while relief officials warned the floods would likely reach more than nine metres (30 ft) in height.

Read moreAustralia: Now Coastal Queensland Braces For 30-Ft Flood Waters

Australian Floods Affect Bigger Area Than France and Germany Combined (Video)


Added: 31. December 2010

Flooding across Australia’s northeast is continuing to cause chaos and shows no sign of abating.

The country’s now recorded its wettest spring, causing six major river systems in Queensland state to burst their banks.

An area bigger than France and Germany combined has been affected, with some 22 towns across the state inundated, leaving some 200,000 people stranded.

200,000 Australians Affected By Floods Covering Larger Area Than France And Germany

See also:

Australian floods send coal prices soaring (Telegraph)

Australian floodwaters rise as bushfire threat looms (The Guardian)


Some 200,000 Australians have been affected by flood waters covering an area larger than France and Germany combined.


An aerial image showing properties hit by floodwaters in Emerald, Queensland Photo: EPA

Military aircraft dropped supplies to towns cut off by floods as rising rivers inundated or isolated 22 towns in the state of Queensland.

Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister, visited flooded Bundaberg, and flew over Emerald, as she promised that families whose homes were damaged would be eligible for disaster relief payments. On Thursday, she pledged about £650,000 in federal aid to match a relief fund already set up by the state government.

The Queen meanwhile extended her “sincere sympathies” to those hit by the floods.

Officials say half of Queensland’s 715,305 square miles is affected, after being hit by as much as 24 inches of rain this month, causing swollen rivers to overflow.

Read more200,000 Australians Affected By Floods Covering Larger Area Than France And Germany

The Coldest Weather Britain Has Experienced In 300 Years

UK WEATHER: ARCTIC WASTELAND? NO, IT’S CUMBRIA

The mini icebergs were formed in the coldest weather Britain has experienced in 300 years

THESE children have seen nothing like it. They are standing amid ice floes in the sea off the North-west coast of England.

The mini icebergs were formed in the coldest weather Britain has experienced in 300 years. They cropped up at Solway Firth, Cumbria, in an area where the temperature stayed below minus 8C during the recent big freeze.

The biggest is around 20ft long and 3ft thick. A Met Office spokesman said yesterday that the floes were probably formed in the Cumbrian Hills.

He added: “They most probably tumbled off the hills where the water has frozen in rivers and streams and ended up in the sea where they float a bit like an ice cube in a gin and tonic.”

But amazed locals will have to make the most of the unusual Arctic picture because milder weather is set to melt them away.

Friday December 31,2010
By Daily Express reporter

Source: The Daily Express

See also:

Britain: Coldest Christmas Day EVER (-18C)

Naval Research Laboratory Charts Show Damaged Loop Current

Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory: ‘Gulf Coast Oil Spill’

Europe: Coldest Winter in 1,000 Years On Its Way, Connected To Gulf Stream Changes, Say Scientists

Life on this Earth Just Changed: The North Atlantic Current is Gone

Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico Has Stalled From BP Oil Disaster!

Global Cooling and the New World Order:

The Bilderberg group discussion agenda in 2010:

“The 58th Bilderberg Meeting will be held in Sitges, Spain 3 – 6 June 2010. The Conference will deal mainly with Financial Reform, Security, Cyber Technology, Energy, Pakistan, Afghanistan, World Food Problem, Global Cooling, Social Networking, Medical Science, EU-US relations.”

Global Cooling!

The Exploitation and Destruction of Mongolia

GOLDMAN PRIZEWINNER SHOOTS UP FOREIGN MINING FIRMS IN MONGOLIA

WESTERN DECEPTIONS AND THE EXTINCTION OF THE NOMADS

Predatory capitalism has invaded Mongolia — the savage western hordes overrunning the land — and but for the recent Hollywood movie spectacle Mongol [1] and colorful travel magazine articles no one in America hears much of anything about the place. Behind the bells and whistles promoting ‘democracy’, ‘conservation’, ‘human rights’, and a ‘free press’, Mongolia is under attack and the people suffering a world of hurt. The same companies destroying Mongolia are destroying Congo and Canada and everywhere else they appear. Meanwhile, three years after winning the Goldman Environmental Prize — the ‘Green Nobel’ — Mongol herder Tsetsegee Munkhbayar shot at foreign mining operations and thus he is denounced and shunned by the same foreigners who recognized him as a hero. This is a story about the killing of the earth, the killing of truth, the killing of hope — and the killing of the nomad’s way.

In early September 2010, a small band of Mongolian citizens armed with hunting rifles opened fire on gold mining equipment owned by two foreign mining firms operating illegally in northern Mongolia. One of the four armed activists was Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, a 2007 winner of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize — the ‘Green Nobel’ — awarded annually to pivotal environmentalists taking a stand around the globe.

“With unwavering passion,” reads the National Geographic Emerging Explorers profile of Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, “he inspired thousands of local villagers, held press conferences, organized town hall meetings, lobbied legislators, and led protest marches — mobilizing an unprecedented level of grassroots participation among citizens who previously felt they had no power to shape government policy.” [2]

Three years after winning the award — and a whole lot more illegal mining and pollution later — Munkhbayar’s little gang of four and their militant actions against the capitalist invasion remain in complete media whiteout in the western press: it’s as if the early September shootings never happened. While the civic activists face possible prosecution and extended jail terms — if not sudden unexplained death — rapacious mining companies further plunder and pollute the land.

The gang of four — Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, G. Bayaraa, D. Tumurbaatar and O. Sambuu-Yondon — are environmentalists from the United Movement of Mongolian Rivers and Lakes (UMMRL), a consortium of Mongolian groups organized to fight foreign extractive industries that have invaded the fledgling ‘democracy’. UMMRL was formed in June 4, 2009 after its predecessor, the Mongolian Nature Protection Coalition (MNPC), dissolved in the spring of 2008. Tsetsegee Munkhbayar — and many collaborators he works with — was pivotal to the creation of both MNPC and UMMRL.

Behind the story of Tsetsegee Munkhbayar is a story of greed, private profit, deception, betrayal, stealth and heartbreak. Just three years after becoming a global hero, Tsetsegee Munkhbayar is today shunned by the people who lobbied to make him a Goldman Award winner, and they have even branded him and his colleagues as terrorists.

“The shooters sent a powerful message,” reported EurasiaNet, the only foreign media outlet to report on the recent shooting action. “Puraam, a Chinese firm, and Centerra Gold, a Canadian-operated company, “aren’t welcome in the area, one of Mongolia’s only forested regions.” [3] Centerra is also operating in Kyrgyzstan, a former Russian republic where paramilitary government forces repressed public protests and shot hundreds of unarmed protesters in 2010. [4]

Centerra Gold and Puraam Mining are operating on 168 hectares of land and contaminating the headwaters of the Selenge, Mongolia’s largest river, and the source for Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake. The Gatsuur deposit, currently exploited by Centerra Gold, contains an estimated 1.3 million ounces of gold valued at tens of billions of dollars. Centerra’s Boroo gold mine began production in 2004 and yields an average of 180,000 ounces of gold annually.

The locals see very little from the gold taken from their lands. At least 70% of the population lives in absolute poverty. Alcoholism is a national epidemic. The social fabric is unraveling. Human trafficking is a big business. Everything is for sale, or already sold.

“[People] see the 1990s privatization rush and years of harsh weather as a kind of economic one-two punch. Twenty years after Mongolia peacefully threw off 70 years of communism, one-third of Mongolia’s 2.9 million people live below the poverty level of less than $2 a day; even white-collar workers like doctors and teachers can earn as little as $300 a month.” [5]


Mining operations devastate the sensitive Mongolian environment. Photo credit: unknown.

The mining companies arrived in Mongolia hand-in-hand with the international NGOs — euphemistically called ‘non-government’ organizations — and they promote the western imposed ideal of ‘privatization’. The unstated assumptions that came along with this are that freedom-loving westerners are uniquely qualified to teach Mongolians about democracy, human rights, good government and environmental stewardship. Tsetsegee Munkhbayar was patronized and promoted by this framework of foreign intervention.

“According to the promoters,” writes Dr. Joan Roelofs, “the precondition for such benefits is a ‘free market’ economy, or the adoption of ‘neoliberalism’, which entails the privatization of most government functions, deregulation of business, abolition of subsidies and welfare, and availability of all assets (land, TV stations, national newspapers, etc.) for purchase by any corporation, regardless of nationality. Freedom also means that foreigners can start any business anywhere…” [6]

Read moreThe Exploitation and Destruction of Mongolia

South Carolina: First Snow In Columbia Since 1887


Snow plows attempt to clear runways at Philadelphia International Airport as thousands of flights were cancelled across the East Coast

The white Christmas in the South was one for the record books. Columbia, South Carolina, had its first significant Christmas snow since weather records were first kept in 1887.

Atlanta had just over an inch of snow – the first measurable accumulation on Christmas Day since the 1880s.

Last updated at 8:29 PM on 27th December 2010

Full article here: Daily Mail

More:

Blizzards Batter US East Coast, Heaviest December Snowfall in Six Decades, Travel Comes to a Standstill, 4,000 Flights Cancelled, NYC Airports Shut

In the UK:

Britain: Coldest Christmas Day EVER (-18C)

Blizzards Batter US East Coast, Heaviest December Snowfall in Six Decades, Travel Comes to a Standstill, 4,000 Flights Cancelled, NYC Airports Shut

Travel comes to a standstill as blizzards batter US east coast (Guardian):

More than 3,000 flights cancelled, mostly from New York’s three main airports, stranding tens of thousands trying to return home after Christmas holiday.

Snow cancels 4,000 flights, shuts NYC airports (USA Today):

A strong Christmas-weekend blizzard paralyzed travel along much of the East Coast on Monday, halting flights at the three New York City airports for much of the day.

For those stranded, airport and airline officials warned it could take “days” before they could be accommodated on future flights


Snow Blankets U.S. East Coast


A bicycle is buried in snow in the early morning hours in Manhattan’s East Village. Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) — New York City’s major airports remained closed after the heaviest December snowfall in six decades left travelers in the Northeast struggling amid waist- high drifts and blinding winds.

Central Park had 20 inches (51 centimeters) of snow by 8 a.m., the most for the month since 1948, the National Weather Service said. Skies cleared by daybreak while the agency issued blizzard warnings for Boston and into Maine.

The storm forced airlines to cancel more than 6,000 flights since yesterday. John F. Kennedy International and New Jersey’s Newark Liberty will reopen at 6 p.m., and LaGuardia Airport’s resumption time is undetermined, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website.

“It is horrendous in the New York City area,” Tom Kines, a meteorologist at State College, Pennsylvania-based AccuWeather Inc., said by telephone. “This is about as bad as it gets. There may have been storms that equaled this, but it doesn’t get much worse than this. To get this much snow with the amount of wind that is accompanying it, that is devastating.”

Read moreBlizzards Batter US East Coast, Heaviest December Snowfall in Six Decades, Travel Comes to a Standstill, 4,000 Flights Cancelled, NYC Airports Shut