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North Sea exclusion zone set as gas surges from leak

Image
© Antoine Agasse/AFP/Getty Images file
A file picture taken on May 29, 2009 shows the Total Elgin-Franklin oil and gas platform in the North Sea 150 miles off Aberdeen on Scotalnd's east coast.
A cloud of explosive natural gas boiling out of a leaking drilling platform off the Scottish coast has led to the evacuation of hundreds of workers and the creation of a two-mile exclusion zone.

Coastguard officials ordered shipping to come no closer than two miles from the abandoned Elgin platform, located 150 miles off Aberdeen, and said there was a three-mile exclusion zone for low-flying aircraft such as helicopters, the BBC reported.

Energy firm Total UK, which operates the platform, said it did not know the source of the leak and was considering all options including drilling a relief well - a solution that could take six months.

"We have mobilised experts from elsewhere in the Total Group to offer additional assistance and help us deal with the incident," it said in a statement.

It evacuated 238 workers from the platform after the leak was spotted on Sunday, according to a report in The Scotsman. The report said Shell had reduced its workforce on two nearby offshore installations because of the drifting gas.

Airplane

JetBlue flight diverted, captain restrained

Image
© REUTERS/Joshua Lott
JetBlue Airways logo
A JetBlue flight to Las Vegas was diverted to Texas on Tuesday due to what the airline described as a "medical situation" involving the captain -- who one witness said had to be restrained after he pounded on the locked cockpit door.

The FBI said it responded to the scene in Amarillo, Texas, and was looking into the incident on Flight 191 from New York. JetBlue said the pilot-in-command elected to divert the flight from New York carrying 135 passengers due to "a medical situation involving the captain."

"Another captain, traveling off duty, entered the flight deck prior to landing at Amarillo, and took over the duties of the ill crew member once on the ground," the statement said.

The ill crew member was removed from the aircraft and taken to a local medical facility, JetBlue said. The plane, which took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, had been scheduled to land at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

Candle

Woman takes life while chatting on Facebook, no one calls police

A woman described her final moments of purposely inhaling poisonous fumes on Facebook to nine friends, some of whom begged her stop, reports the Associated Press. Some of those friends attempted to track her down on their own, according to the report.

None of them called the police however, or alerted anyone at all.

Claire Lin of Taipei, Taiwan died on March 18. "Too late. "My room is filled with fumes," read Lin's final post. "I just posted another picture. Even while I'm dying, I still want FB [Facebook]. Must be FB poison. Haha."

"Be calm, open the window, put out the charcoal fire, please, I beg you," one friend wrote Lin, who was found by her boyfriend the following morning. Lin's family only found out about the online conversation after her death. A sociologist quoted in the AP article ascribed the incident to isolation in the Internet age. But as with all such unfortunate stories, the reason is never this simple.

Light Saber

Thousands Protest Israeli Diplomat's Presence in Morocco

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Up to 100,000 people gathered in Rabat to raise awareness of Israel's slaughter of Palestinians
Organizers claim 100,000 people took part in Land Day rally in Rabat, protested participation of Israeli diplomat in EUROMED meeting. David Saranga taken out back door

Several days prior to the Global March to Jerusalem, thousands of Moroccans took part in a mass rally in Rabat "in support of Jerusalem." Israeli diplomat David Saranga, who was in the city for a conference, was taken out of the building through a side door as demonstrators protested his presence there, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday. Palestinian flags were flown and Israeli flags were burned during the march.


Bad Guys

Toulouse Patsy's Father Plans to Sue France Over Son's Death

'France is a big country that had the means to take my son alive,' Mohamed Benalel Merah claims

The Islamist gunman whose murder spree shocked France will be buried in his ancestral homeland Algeria, his father told AFP Monday, adding that he planned to sue France over his son's death.

"(God willing), I have decided to bury my son in Algeria," Mohamed Benalel Merah said, referring to his son Mohamed Merah, 23, who was shot dead by French police on Thursday in Toulouse at the end of a stand-off after his shooting attacks that killed seven.

"Mohamed has an Algerian passport and has been listed with the (Algerian) consulate in Toulouse since his birth," the elder Merah said.

Comment: Merah was not a murderer but one of several innocent persons used by psychopaths in power for political purposes. For the real story of what happened surrounding the Merah case and why the elder Merah has every right to be outraged, see these Sott exclusives:

Toulouse Attacks: The Official Story of the Death of Mohamed Merah is a Lie

Sarkozy's Backers To Use Toulouse Attacks To Steal French Election - UPDATE!


Bad Guys

Police Talk to More Girls Over Suspected Child Sex Ring

Police investigating a suspected child sex ring in Oxford said last night they are speaking to more girls as the investigation continues.

Det Insp Simon Morton, right, who is leading Operation Bullfinch, said: "More girls are talking to us - but that doesn't mean more victims have come forward."

Detectives and social workers seconded from Oxfordshire County Council are continuing to talk to suspected victims and their families after the arrest of 13 men on Thursday.

Mr Morton, who was due to retire this month, is staying on to continue leading the investigation.

Alarm Clock

Tibetan Lights Self on Fire at Anti-China Protest


Associated Press on WhoSay

New Delhi - A Tibetan exile lit himself on fire and ran shouting through a demonstration in the Indian capital Monday, just before a visit by China's president and following dozens of self-immolations done in China in protest of its rule over Tibet.

ndian police swept through the New Delhi protest a few hours later, detaining scores of Tibetans.

The man apparently had doused himself with something highly flammable and was engulfed in flames when he ran past the podium where speakers were criticizing China and President Hu Jintao's visit.

Fellow activists beat out the flames with Tibetan flags and poured water onto him. He was on fire perhaps less than two minutes, but some of his clothing had disintegrated and his skin was mottled with black, burned patches by the time he was driven to a hospital.

Info

Lawmakers Call TSA Airport Screeners Ineffective, Rude

TSA
© Associated Press
Is that a box cutter in your pocket or are you just happy to be at the airport?
US, Washington - House members of both parties say the agency in charge of airport and port anti-terrorist screening uses ineffective tactics and treats travelers rudely.

Officials of the Transportation Security Administration told a hearing Monday they had made significant improvements and are moving away from a one-size-fits-all screening system.

Lawmakers at the joint hearing of two committees said Americans are treated like prisoners and cattle, protected by faulty equipment, patted down because of their disabilities and made to follow different rules at different times.

They said the TSA paid rent to keep faulty equipment in warehouses, even rushing to haul it away as congressional investigators were arriving.

A TSA official said the agency is expanding a program for travelers to go through a fast line if they provide personal information in advance.

Briefcase

TSA Workers Evacuated Over Odor from Passenger's Bag

TSA
Four were brought to hospital complaining of eye and throat problems

US, Boston - Authorities say rodent repellant in a passenger's bag caused a noxious odor that sent four Transportation Security Administration workers at Boston's Logan International Airport to the hospital.

Authorities say 15 TSA workers were evacuated from a bag room at Terminal A shortly after the odor was noticed at about 8:20 a.m. on Monday. Four were brought to a hospital as a precaution complaining of eye and throat problems or headaches.

The all clear was given shortly after 10 a.m. after the chemical in the bag was determined to be camphor.

The bag's owners were questioned but not charged. Their names were not made public.

Police say the couple was en route to Beijing.

No passengers were affected.

Terminal A handles flights for Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines.

Source: The Associated Press

Pistol

Rabbit 'Shot' in Strange New Herman Cain Video

Herman Cain
US - Former presidential candidate Herman Cain released a video Monday involving the depiction of a rabbit that is shot by a firearm after being launched into the air.

The graphic scene is supposed to represent "small business under the current tax code," a young girl narrates.

The child places the rabbit into a basket, and special effects simulates the basket flinging the rabbit through the air.

Another character in the video then shoots the rabbit as it hurtles through space, while shrieking can be heard.

"Any questions?" asks the child. "Any questions?"

A scene in which Cain looks down across a valley wraps up the video.

"The rabbit is fine but our current tax code is killing small business!" according to text below the YouTube video.