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Shale's debt-fueled drilling boom is ending

Frack rig
© Unknown
Fracking rig in Appalachia
The financial struggles of the U.S. shale industry are becoming increasingly hard to ignore, but drillers in Appalachia are in particularly bad shape.

The Permian has recently seen job losses, and for the first time since 2016, the hottest shale basin in the world has seen job growth lag the broader Texas economy. The industry is cutting back amid heightened financial scrutiny from investors, as debt-fueled drilling has become increasingly hard to justify.

But E&P companies focused almost exclusively on gas, such as those in the Marcellus and Utica shales, are in even worse shape. An IEEFA analysis found that seven of the largest producers in Appalachia burned through about a half billion dollars in the third quarter.

No Entry

Cheeky conman erects fake Russia-Finland border, tricks illegal migrants into paying him to cross it

Barrier and a warning sign
© Global Look Press / Arco Images GmbH / Damschen, D.
A barrier and a warning sign are pictured somewhere at the legit Finnish-Russian border.
An industrious conman made a hefty sum of money from four illegal migrants for a walk in the forest, making them believe they were crossing the Russian border. The group, however, was later nabbed by legit Russian border guards.

Details of the bizarre affair were revealed to the media by the Border Service of the Federal Security Service on Tuesday. The incident occurred last week when the border guards apprehended a group of four illegal migrants from South Asia and their guide, also said to not be a Russian citizen.

Heart - Black

Israeli bulldozers kill man as they demolish homes of 50 Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli demolish Palestinian homes
© Getty
Israeli forces demolished the Palestinian homes early this morning
A Palestinian man was killed on Thursday after his car was hit by an Israeli military bulldozer as it demolished Palestinian homes in the town of Beit Kahil in the southern West Bank.

They belonged to four Palestinians who had been detained by Israel and accused of killing a 19-year-old former Israeli soldier in the Gush Etzion area of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in August. The PalTimes news organization shared images of the destroyed homes on their Twitter account.


Student Egor Zhukov given 3-year suspended sentence for spreading extremism online over Moscow protests

© REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
A university student and YouTube blogger will spend three years on probation after a Moscow court sentenced him for inciting "extremism" during the unauthorized opposition protests that rocked the Russian capital this summer.

Egor Zhukov has been found guilty of "publicly calling for extremism on the internet," the judge stated, as quoted Russian news agencies. He will also be barred from using "communication networks" for two years, the verdict says.

Ahead of the Friday hearing, prosecutors asked the court to sentence Zhukov, a popular YouTuber and political science student, to four years in prison.

He was released on the spot and was met by a cheering crowd of supporters waiting for the verdict outside the courthouse.


Sailor kills 2, wounds 1 before taking own life at Hawaii's Pearl Harbor base

us navy
© Global Look Press / US Navy
A U.S. Navy sailor shot and killed two civilian employees of the Defense Department and wounded a third before killing himself at Hawaii's Pearl Harbor military installation.

Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, said the shooting occurred near Dry Dock 2 in the Naval shipyard at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Chadwick said the male shooter "has tentatively been identified as an active-duty sailor assigned to USS Columbia," a nuclear-powered Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine.

Chadwick said the names of the shooter and his victims would not be released until next of kin had been notified. He said the wounded civilian is in stable condition at a local hospital.

A motive for the shootings has not been identified, and it is not known whether the victims were random or known to the shooter.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is home to nine Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, a guided missile cruiser and 15 attack submarines, plus the U.S. Air Force Pacific Command.

Comment: Coinciding with the shooting was a visit to the base by Indian Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria for the Pacific Air Force Chiefs Conference.
Bhadauria, who has led the Indian Air Force (IAF) since September, appears to be unhurt, Indian media reported citing a military spokesperson.

The IAF chief was at the Pearl Harbor airbase while the shooting took place at the naval base. The two facilities aren't adjacent to each other.


George Zimmerman files $100M lawsuit against Trayvon Martin's family and Florida prosecutors

george zimmerman
© Pool/Getty Images
George Zimmerman waits for his defense counsel to arrive in Seminole circuit court, on the 11th day of his murder trial in the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin, June 24, 2013 in Sanford, Fla.
George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Florida, neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012, and his lawyer have filed a $100 million lawsuit against prosecutors, Martin's family, their attorney and a book publisher over allegations that one of the trial's key witnesses was "an imposter."

Zimmerman's civil attorney Larry Klayman filed the multi-million lawsuit in Polk County Circuit Court in Florida.

Klayman alleges in the 36-page lawsuit, where Zimmerman is the sole plaintiff, that Martin's parents Sybrina Ford and Tracy Martin as well as their attorney Ben Crump falsely inserted Rachel Jeantel into the case after the Sanford Police Department closed the investigation in March 2012 as "self-defense."

The lawsuit claims then 18-year-old Jeantel was "an imposter and fake witness" and the catalyst to get Zimmerman arrested and charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was cleared of all charges after the weeks-long televised trial.

"Defendants, each and every one of them, as individuals and through their employment and agencies, have worked in concert to deprive Zimmerman of his constitutional and other related legal rights," according to the lawsuit.

Trayvon Martin was walking back to his father's house on Feb. 26, 2012, after purchasing Skittles and a beverage from a nearby 7-Eleven. The now 36-year-old Zimmerman, who is half white and Hispanic, testified at the murder trial that he was suspicious of 17-year-old Martin, who was walking in the Twin Lakes community wearing a hoodie and talking on a cellphone. Trayvon Martin was unarmed.

Jeantel testified during the June 2013 trial that she was on the phone with Trayvon Martin and he "complained" that "a man looked creepy" was watching him.


Suggestion of Death: Cancer takes toll as new Roundup trials near

© Josh Edelson/ Getty Images
An American flag waves in the wind at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco, California on May 17 where a trial against Monsanto took place. Alva and Alberta Pilliod, were awarded more than $2 billion in damages in their lawsuit against Monsanto, though the judge in the case lowered the damage award to $87 million.
For the last five years, Chris Stevick has helped his wife Elaine in her battle against a vicious type of cancer that the couple believes was caused by Elaine's repeated use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide around a California property the couple owned. Now the roles are reversed as Elaine must help Chris face his own cancer.

Chris Stevick, who often mixed Roundup for his wife and tested the sprayer used to dispense the weed killer, was diagnosed last month with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Unlike Elaine's aggressive type of NHL known as central nervous system lymphoma, Chris's cancer is a type that tends to grow slowly. He was diagnosed after a physical examination showed abnormalities in his blood and prompted further tests.

Comment: Read more from Carey Gillam about the RoundUp cancer connection: In addition to cancer, Roundup is linked to a host of other diseases and illnesses.


Two die, one injured in Lagos pipeline explosion

nigeria explosion
© Deji Lambo
Emergency workers attending to one of the two bodies currently recovered at the scene of Egbe-Idimu, Lagos, explosion.
Two yet-to-be-identified persons lost their lives on Thursday during the fire incident that razed some parts of the Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.

Another yet-to-be-identified victim, who was said to have sustained "70 degree burns," was taken to the Igando General Hospital, where doctors are reportedly battling to save his life.

The PUNCH gathered that the three victims were having a bath in a stream in the area to cleanse themselves spiritually when the fire started and subsequently burned two of them to death.

According to residents in the area, the pastor conducting the spiritual cleansing, upon sighting the fire, ran away and abandoned the victims.

Comment: See also:


Rape survivor set on fire by gang of men in India

Women activists
© Manish Swarup/AP
Women activists hold banners and participate in a protest demanding justice in the case of a veterinarian who was allegedly gang-raped and killed last week, in New Delhi.
An Indian woman has been set on fire on her way to a court hearing to testify against two men who had allegedly raped her.

The 23-year-old is in a critical condition in hospital with 70 per cent burns after she was set upon by five men in the city of Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. They dragged her to a field, doused her with petrol and set her alight.

It is the latest in a series of brutal attacks against women in India which have caused a wave of outrage across the country. Last week, a 26-year-old veterinary doctor in Hyderabad was gang-raped, then asphyxiated to death and her body burned and dumped. Days later, in the state of Bihar, a teenager was allegedly gang-raped and killed before her body was set on fire. In response, thousands have taken to the streets in protest this week, demanding better protection of women.

In Thursday's assault, two of the attackers were said by police to be the same men the victim filed rape charges against in March. The young woman was on her way to a hearing to testify against her alleged rapists when the five men grabbed her by the railway station. One of the accused was out on bail while the other had been on the run from police.

Comment: See also:


Spanish explosives experts defuse grenade at Madrid center for minors

explosive device

Image of the device that was defused at the center.
A team of explosives experts on Wednesday safely destroyed a training grenade after the weapon was thrown over the wall of a center for minors in the Hortaleza district of Madrid.

According to police sources, the device was military grade, and placed inside a plastic bag. "These artifacts carry a small explosive charge... but they do carry one," the same sources said. The migrant center has been the target of a number of attacks, the most serious of which was an attempt by 30 youths to enter the premises on October 30.

According to sources at the center, a security guard "found a grenade inside a trash can on the basketball court" at 11am on Wednesday. "The police were called in, and they stopped anyone from coming in or leaving." Images to which EL PAÍS has had access show an area inside the center that had been cordoned off.

The center while the explosives experts were at work.

By 12.15pm, the explosives experts had safely destroyed the device, having concluded that it was a type of grenade used by the Spanish army.

Comment: See also: