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US: 3 dead, 2 missing after massive Pennsylvania natural gas explosion

Three people including a 4-month-old child were dead and two were missing Thursday after a massive natural gas explosion demolished two row homes and set six others ablaze in eastern Pennsylvania.

Allentown fire Chief Robert Scheirer said a two-story row house exploded about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday. An elderly couple who lived in the home died. They were identified by their daughter-in-law as Beatrice Hall, 74, and her husband, William, 79, the Allentown Morning Call newspaper reported on its website.

The baby was not identified.

UGI Corp. said Thursday morning that one of its natural-gas pipelines likely exploded.


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Attention

Tamer Hosny, Egypt's Answer to Justin Timberlake, Attacked in Cairo's Tahrir Square

Tamer Hosny
© YouTube / Getty
Egyptian pop star Tamer Hosny was attacked in Tahrir Square Wednesday a week after he called for an end to the protests.
The Arab world's King of Pop - who had publicly dissed Egypt's pro-democracy protests - went to Tahrir Square Wednesday to apologize.

First he was run out with catcalls and punches and had to be saved by the army.

Then he started to cry.

"I want to die today," Tamer Hosny said, blubbering on the video burning up Twitter and YouTube. "I thought I was saving the people."

Stormtrooper

Ontario Woman Sues Over Strip-Search at U.S. Border

ambassador bridge
An angry and embarrassed Ontario woman who says she was strip-searched at the Ambassador Bridge without justification has sued two U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.

The Detroit Free Press says Loretta Van Beek of Stratford filed the suit in Detroit federal court against the unnamed agents. She says she was en route to her Georgia vacation home last March when one agent strip-searched and groped her while the other one watched.

Light Saber

'Nearly one million protesters descend on Cairo square'

Image
© AP Photo/Victoria Hazou
Young girls wave Egyptian flags atop an armored vehicle just outside Tahrir or Liberation Square in Cairo, Egypt.

Number of demonstrators climbing steadily, Al Jazeera reports, despite Egypt FM's warning that military could be forced into action if demonstrations continue; protesters have called for a second '1-million-strong rally' on Friday.

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian anti-government protesters stood their ground in Cairo's Tahrir Square for a 17th day on Thursday, despite Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit's warning that the military could intervene if demonstrations continue.

Hundreds had camped overnight in and around Cairo's Tahrir Square, within sight of the nearby parliament buildings. By late afternoon, Al-Jazeera reported that nearly one million demonstrators had gathered.

Passport

Canadian sues claiming abuse at U.S. border

Wayne County - A 46-year-old Canadian woman sued two unidentified female U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in U.S. District Court in Detroit on Wednesday, saying one of them strip-searched and groped her without justification as the other one watched at the Ambassador Bridge last March.

Loretta Van Beek of Stratford, Ontario, who said she travels to the U.S. regularly to vacation in Georgia, said agents sent her to secondary inspection because she failed to declare raspberries.

She said agents questioned her during a two-hour session, then ordered her to strip. She said one agent aggressively groped her breasts and genital area for an extended period of time while the other watched. Then they photographed and fingerprinted her and sent her back to Canada, the suit said.

Her lawyer, S. Thomas Wienner of Rochester, said she was traumatized by the incident and wants to find out whether there are other victims.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it couldn't comment on pending litigation.

Cult

Mayoral candidates go after Emanuel on taxes, slavery reparations

Image
© Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune
Miguel del Valle reaches over Rahm Emanuel to shake hands with William "Dock" Walls during the Chicago Defender-sponsored mayoral debate Wednesday at the DuSable Museum. All six candidates were at the debate, including Gery Chico, left, Carol Moseley Braun and Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins.
Debate is the first to feature all 6 hopefuls

Rahm Emanuel found himself criticized on issues ranging from taxes to reparations for slavery Wednesday night during the first forum featuring all six candidates for Chicago mayor.

The former White House chief of staff mostly ignored the barbs, especially those from Gery Chico, former Chicago school board president. He contended that Emanuel would burden taxpayers with a service tax Emanuel has proposed as part of a plan that would include a quarter-point cut in the city sales tax.

Two other candidates, William "Dock" Walls and Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, slammed Emanuel for his positions on tax increment financing districts and reparations.

Emanuel agreed with most candidates in supporting reparations for descendants of slavery, but said that all citizens need to keep in mind that the city has a significant budget deficit to tackle.

Propaganda

Wikileaks Propaganda Machine May Have Just Confirmed That Peak Oil Is Imminent

Oil Well
© Fast Company

It's getting more and more difficult to deny that an oil supply crunch is just a few years down the road, especially now that WikiLeaks has released cables revealing that Saudi Arabia's oil reserves have been exaggerated by as much as 40%, or 300 billion barrels. Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter.

Peak oil, or the point when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction has been reached and is about to enter terminal decline, is no longer the fringe theory it was just 10 years ago. Even Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, has admitted that oil supply may no longer keep up with demand by 2015. But the just-released cables, which detail a back-and-forth between the U.S. consul general and geologist Sadad al-Husseini, the former head of exploration at Saudi Aramco, confirms that the situation is serious.

Here's an excerpt from one cable:
"In a presentation, Abdallah al-Saif, current Aramco senior vice-president for exploration, reported that Aramco has 716bn barrels of total reserves, of which 51% are recoverable, and that in 20 years Aramco will have 900bn barrels of reserves.

"Al-Husseini disagrees with this analysis, believing Aramco's reserves are overstated by as much as 300bn barrels. In his view once 50% of original proven reserves has been reached...a steady output in decline will ensue and no amount of effort will be able to stop it. He believes that what will result is a plateau in total output that will last approximately 15 years followed by decreasing output."

Comment: In case it wasn't clear that Wikileaks was another psy-ops boosting the interests of the power elite, this recent 'revelation' on the threat of 'peak oil' shows another desperate attempt by the elite to keep the hundred year-old con game of petroleum scarcity afloat.

So despite the millions of barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico this year showing the planet is clearly (and literally) awash in liquid petroleum, here is a flashback describing the so-called 'scarcity' of oil in Saudi Arabia:

From ArabNews, Saudi Oil Is Secure and Plentiful, Say Officials:
WASHINGTON, 29 April 2004 - Officials from Saudi Arabia's oil industry and the international petroleum organizations shocked a gathering of foreign policy experts in Washington yesterday with an announcement that the Kingdom's previous estimate of 261 billion barrels of recoverable petroleum has now more than tripled, to 1.2 trillion barrels.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia's key oil and finance ministers assured the audience - which included US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan - that the Kingdom has the capability to quickly double its oil output and sustain such a production surge for as long as 50 years.
Also from a recent article in Financial Sense Editorials, Gulf Oil Spill 'Could Go Years' If Not Dealt With:
What the enormoity of the oil spill does is to also further discredit clearly the oil companies' myth of "peak oil" which claims that the world is at or near the "peak" of economical oil extraction. That myth, which has been propagated in recent years by circles close to former oilman and Bush Vice President, Dick Cheney, has been effectively used by the giant oil majors to justify far higher oil prices than would be politically possible otherwise, by claiming a non-existent petroleum scarcity crisis.
For more background on the 'peak oil' scam, check out this piece by Joe Quin from back in 2006:

Ruppert and Hopsicker Co-Opting the 9-11 Truth Movement Or Exposing the Big Con - Lies and Disinformation At The End Of Civilisation As We Know It


Newspaper

Engineers urge government to act now to climate-proof UK infrastructure

Image
© Christopher Thomond
Resurfacing the road network are among the recommendations from engineers on how to protect the UK's infrastructure from climate change.
Report sets out how transport, water, power and communications systems can be made more resilient to effects of climate change

Generating power from human waste and resurfacing the UK's road network are among the recommendations made by engineers in the most extensive study to date of how to protect the country's infrastructure from the worst effects of climate change.

Extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, heatwaves and more intense storms are expected to become more common as the world warms. This means vital infrastructure - including transport, sewage and water treatment, and electricity and communications networks - is vulnerable to severe damage. But the UK is unprepared for these effects, according to the leading professional bodies for engineers.

"We need to have a debate on this - it all depends on what politicians are prepared to do," said David Nickols, chair of the water panel at the Institution of Civil Engineers, and one of the authors of the report published today by the Royal Academy of Engineering and seven other professional engineering bodies, representing nearly half a million engineers.

The engineers said all of the country's infrastructure could be rendered more resilient to the probable effects of climate change, but this would require new regulations from the government.

Stormtrooper

Egypt army to shoot commanders?

egypt,protest

Protesters sit inside the tracks of Egyptian Army tanks both to prevent them from moving and to shield themselves from the rain, as a soldier, talks to one of them at the protest site opposite the Egyptian Museum near Liberation Square in downtown Cairo.

An Egyptian activist says several Egyptian army officers and soldiers have warned the military that they will no longer shoot protesters, instead they will shoot the commanders.

"I think some of them (the army personnel) might join protesters. We have heard some of the officers and soldiers saying if we receive an order to shoot people, we would shoot whoever issued the order," Wael Abbas, a member of the opposition Egypt Revolution Youth Movement, told Press TV in a phone interview on Thursday.

Egypt Revolution Youth Movement has been one of the active rights groups in 17 days of revolution which has rocked the North African country.

"I have no confirmation if the army is going to intervene in favor of the protesters or in favor of the regime," Abbas added.

Revolution has entered its 17th consecutive day in crisis-hit Egypt, despite massive crackdown on demonstrators in the past two days, which left more than a hundred people killed or wounded.

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters camped overnight in the streets in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, near parliament building, the site of a massive march on Wednesday.

The angry protesters blocked roads and railways connecting the northern part of the country to the south on Thursday.

Stormtrooper

Rachel Maddow Calls Out The Republicans On Their Big Government Agenda

On her MSNBC program, Rachel Maddow debunked the idea that all Republicans support small government. The reality is that all Republicans talk small government, but most want to take away liberties and grow government. Maddow said, "Republicans all say they are small government libertarian conservatives.But what they have done when they have power is authoritarian big government stuff."

Here is the video:


Maddow began with the three individual freedom killing abortion related bills that the House is currently working on, "Freedom, liberty, letting people do what they want! And then they arrived in Washington and immediately started working on putting government in charge of every single pregnancy in America. Even as they slowed the legislative calendar way down, stopped doing much of anything else, they advanced not one, not two, but three super radical bills to restrict abortion rights. One of those bills had a hearing in the House today. Another one has a hearing tomorrow."