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Canada: Gas Pipeline Explodes in Remote Part of Northwestern Ontario; no injuries

A natural gas pipeline ruptured and exploded in northwestern Ontario, creating a fireball that made one resident feel like "the world was coming to an end."

Police said there were no injuries in the blast that occurred around midnight Saturday near Beardmore, Ont., about 170 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

The flames shot up "a couple hundred feet in the air" and were spotted by airplanes flying over the area, said Sgt. Greg Moore of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Darlene Enders and her family were among a number of residents forced to leave their homes while police investigated the blast.

"It seemed like the world was coming to an end," Enders said Sunday from her home in Beardmore.

"The sky lit right up _ it was like daylight _ and the house started vibrating," the 51-year-old said. "We were scared to go out and scared to stay in."

Residents of the small town gathered at a community centre and were allowed to return home within about an hour, Moore said.

Highway 11 through the area was closed until about 8 a.m. Sunday while emergency crews extinguished the flames and turned off the gas.

Pistol

Attacks in Mexico resort of Acapulco Kill 12 Taxi Drivers, Passengers Ahead of Tennis Tourney

Image
© The Associated Press / Bernardo de Niz
A Guadalajara state policeman stands next to a burnt-out bus on the outskirts of the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, Tuesday Feb. 1, 2011. Police are reporting gunmen set up at least 4 roadblocks and launched 2 grenade attacks in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara. No fatalities have been reported.
A spate of attacks on taxis in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco has left 12 taxi drivers or passengers dead, police said Sunday, just hours before the Mexican Open tennis tournament is scheduled to start.

Acapulco has been the scene of bloody drug cartel turf wars, and taxi drivers have often been targeted for extortion or recruited by the gangs to act as lookouts or transport drugs.

The organizers of the largest tennis tournament in Latin America said in a statement Sunday that the Mexican government has assured them that appropriate security measures have been taken for the event that starts Monday.

Police in Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located, said that four suspects had been detained in relation with some of the attacks. The suspects had guns, a grenade and a machete that police say may have been used to decapitate some of the victims.

The attacks began Friday, when five taxi drivers were found dead in or near their vehicles.

The slaughter continued Saturday, when a driver was found bound and shot to death near his taxi, and two others were found dead of bullet wounds inside their vehicles. One of the drivers had been beheaded.

Attention

Planet could be 'unrecognizable' by 2050, experts say

A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an "unrecognizable" world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, "with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia," said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000," said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

"By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable" if current trends continue, Clay said.

The swelling population will exacerbate problems, such as resource depletion, said John Casterline, director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University.

But incomes are also expected to rise over the next 40 years -- tripling globally and quintupling in developing nations -- and add more strain to global food supplies.

Bomb

Canada: Pipe Bomb Found in West Vancouver Park

Image
© CBC News
The RCMP bomb squad used a robot to detonate a pipe bomb in West Vancouver's Burley Park.
West Vancouver police are trying to determine who left a dangerous pipe bomb in a neighbourhood park on Saturday morning.

The device was found in Burley Park around 10 a.m. by resident Geoff Dunn, who noticed a suspicious package and called police.

"Black, plastic, PVC pipe capped off at both ends. Typical looking pipe bomb you see on TV or whatever," said Dunn.

Police closed off the small park, which is located just west of Taylor Way and south of the Upper Levels section of Highway 1. They also evacuated about 30 homes in the area and closed the eastbound lane of Highway 1 for about five blocks.

The RCMP explosives disposal unit was brought in to examine the bomb with a robot, and then blow it up using a controlled explosion.

Cpl. Fred Harding said investigators were then able to verify it was a real bomb and not a fake device.

"This was a weapon. It was designed to injure or maim. And we need to know more about who put this down," he said.

Stormtrooper

Libyan unrest spreads to Tripoli as Benghazi erupts

AFP

Bahraini anit-government protester

Tripoli - Libya's unrest spread to the capital Tripoli on Sunday after scores of protesters were killed in the second city Benghazi, which appeared to have slipped out of control of forces loyal to strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi has attempted to put down protests with a violent crackdown, triggering some of the worst bloodshed in the two months since unrest began sweeping across the Arab world.

In the first sign of serious unrest in the capital, thousands of protesters clashed with supporters of Gadaffi in Tripoli. Gunfire could be heard and police using tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Vader

Kadhafi's son warns of 'rivers of blood' in Libya

libyan protests
© AP

Tripoli - The son of Libya's strongman Moamer Kadhafi warned Monday the country would be destroyed by civil war if protests end his father's rule, in a speech broadcast as bursts of gunfire broke out in Tripoli.

Saif al-Islam Kadhafi offered reforms to end the violent uprising gripping the country, but he warned the protests were a foreign plot and would be crushed in a "bloodbath" if the government's offer was rejected.

The turbulence gripping the Arab world following the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia also spread to Morocco, where thousands rallied for change across the country.

Dollar

U.S. Charges Global Warming Company Was A Fraud

global warming fraud
© Unknown

CO2 Tech Ltd, a publicly traded company that lured investors with claims about products and services to fight global warming, was full of nothing but hot air, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday.

It said the U.S. Justice Department had filed criminal fraud charges against six men, including stock promoters and traders, involved in a so-called "pump-and-dump scheme" built around shares of the company, which was purportedly based in London but had no significant assets or operations.

Pump-and-dump is a form of stock fraud in which promoters "pump up" or artificially inflate a company's share price, usually through false or misleading press releases or other public statements, and then "dump" the stock at a profit.

People

Thousands Protest in Bolivia Over Rising Prices

boliva protest
© AP
Members of Bolivia's Central Workers union march to protest rising food costs in La Paz; the smoke is from small packages of dynamite set off by the protesters, Feb. 18, 2011

Thousands of people have rallied in La Paz, Bolivia to demand higher salaries as the cost of food and fuel increases.

Unions led Friday's demonstrators, who marched in the streets of the capital to protest the cost of living. Some of the protesters set off sticks of dynamite while taking part in the fifth day of protests in the Andean nation.

The protest comes one month after President Evo Morales said he planned to raise fuel prices eventually, despite rescinding a decree to do so. Morales has said the increase is necessary to level prices in the region so government subsidies do not pay for gasoline that is smuggled in from other countries.

Ambulance

Emergency: Bahraini Doctor Pleads For Help too Many Casualties to Count Hospitals Can't Cope

Bahraini troops shot at protesters near Pearl Roundabout and wounded many, a doctor of Salmaniya hospital said, a day after police forcibly cleared a protest camp from the traffic circle in Manama.


Dr. Ghassan said: "There are many casualties with head wounds."

The demonstrators made for Pearl Roundabout, where army troops who took it over after the police raid on Thursday opened fire.

The Bahraini military has opened machinegun fire on protesters who were trying to reach hospital, injuring hundreds, in what appears to be an attempted massacre, medics say.

The Army has prevented ambulances and medics from reaching those wounded amid massive pro-democracy protests in Bahrain, Dr. Ghasam, a resident at Salmaniyeh hospital in Manama, told Press TV on Friday.

He said that the protesters were marching to hospital in silence to visit those wounded in the previous rallies, when they were ambushed by troops waiting near the hospital.

"They did not even chant anti-government slogans, they wanted to visit those injured on Thursday," Dr. Ghasem said.

He maintained that the massacre was planned in advance.

"We need help! Our staff is entirely overwhelmed. They are shooting at people's heads. Not at the legs. People are having their brains blown out," Dr. Ghasam said.

He also compared the situation at the hospital to a war zone.

Che Guevara

China: Activists Arrested; Regime Fears Protests Like Those in Middle East

Police officers stand guard-China
© AFP
Police officers stand guard near a restaurant which was a planned protest site for 'Jasmine Revolution' in Beijing.
Beijing - Several top Chinese rights activists have disappeared into police custody as a web campaign urged angry citizens to mark the Middle East's "Jasmine Revolution" with protests, campaigners said Sunday.

Up to 15 leading Chinese rights lawyers and activists have disappeared since Saturday amid a nationwide police mobilisation, according to activists, while the government appeared to censor Internet postings calling for the demonstrations.

"We welcome... laid off workers and victims of forced evictions to participate in demonstrations, shout slogans and seek freedom, democracy and political reform to end 'one party rule'," one Internet posting said.

The postings, many of which appeared to have originated on overseas websites run by exiled Chinese political activists, called for protests in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and 10 other major Chinese cities.

Protesters were urged to shout slogans including "We want food to eat", "We want work", "We want housing", "We want justice", "Long live freedom", and "Long live democracy".