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More than 300 people fall ill aboard cruise ship

Cruise ship Explorer of the seas
© AP
September 11, 2008: One of Royal Caribbean International's superliner cruise ships, Explorer of the Seas sits at Cape Liberty Cruise Port, the old Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, N.J.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating how more than 300 people have fallen ill on board a ship cruising the Caribbean.

The CDC said Saturday that health officials would board Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas Sunday, when it is scheduled to dock at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

In all, 281 passengers and 22 crew members have reportedly fallen ill during the voyage, with most reporting vomiting and diarrhea. The CDC said it was not immediately clear what had caused the apparent outbreak. In response, the agency said that the ship's crew had stepped up its cleaning and disinfecting actions, encouraged passengers to report possible new cases, and prepared for new crew members to join the voyage midway through the journey.

Miami: Almost 70 passengers aboard Royal Caribbean cruise fall ill with vomiting bug as ship is forced to return to port
Norovirus outbreak scares cruise ship passengers in New Zealand


Miami: Almost 70 passengers aboard Royal Caribbean cruise fall ill with vomiting bug as ship is forced to return to port

Cruise ship, The majesty of the seas
© Local 10
'Sick ship': The Majesty of the Seas returned Friday to Miami with almost 70 people having fallen ill to a suspected norovirus

A Royal Caribbean cruise ship returned to dock Friday with dozens sick from a suspected norovirus outbreak.

The Majesty of the Seas arrived in Miami after a four night trip to multiple ports of call and reported 68 people falling victim to the virus.

The cruise line said in a statement that 66 of 2,581 passengers and two of the 84 crew members became ill aboard the 'sick ship.'

'I spent like the whole night on the toilet,' passenger Frank Weinger told Local 10. 'It was terrible.'

Symptoms include diarrhea, throwing up, nausea, stomach pain, fever, headache and body aches, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Mr Weinger never saw Nassau, Bahamas, he noted.

The cruise line said he and his fellow sick passengers 'responded well to over-the-counter medication' and that 'an extensive and thorough sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal' would be undertaken before the ship's next voyage.


Norovirus outbreak scares cruise ship passengers in New Zealand

Diamond Princess cruise ship
© Unknown
Dozens of passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship caught a stomach bug on its last trip. The cruise ship arrived in Tauranga on Jan 15 and marked the end of a voyage that began in Australia.

Workers are frantically sanitising the ship before the next group of passengers comes aboard. The ship is scheduled to leave from Auckland on Jan 15. However, check-in time has been delayed for the thorough cleaning and decontamination.

About 60 people from among the 3,500 of the ship's passengers and crew fell ill after contracting norovirus. The virus is highly contagious with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and lethargy.

A passenger who asked not to be named told the Herald that he is seriously considering not going on his scheduled trip. He is due to leave for Sydney aboard the cruise ship for two weeks. The anonymous passenger said his partner is not in the best of health. They were looking forward to the spending time together in the cruise ship.

Eye 1

UK Police ordered to stop and search 15 a month - or face disciplinary action


Stop and search has always been controversial
Outrage as orders issued aimed at hitting targets not solving crimes

Officers in Britain's biggest police force face disciplinary action unless they stop and search at least 15 people a month, it has been claimed.

The Met also orders officers to arrest eight people a month, which has raised fears some officers may let other "things go" in pursuit of hitting their targets.

Yesterday one police source said: "If the public knew the police service had to arrest by numbers rather than crimes there would be a national outcry."

Stop and search is one of the most controversial powers in policing, with people from a black or minority ethnic background seven times more likely to be stopped than white people.

Britain's top cop, Bernard Hogan-Howe, recently claimed stop and search was only used where officers have "intelligence".

But our insider provided evidence that indicated Met officers are being told they have to use the power at least 15 times a month or face disciplinary action.

He said that officers were told to stop and search people at incidents they were called to to keep up their numbers.

Arrow Down

Thieves in New Hampshire raiding woodpiles for firewood

Janine Richardson couldn't believe it when she and her husband went to bring in some firewood to heat their home and it was all gone.

"We don't use oil at all," said Richardson. "We heat by wood solely so it was cold, it was cold that night, luckily we had little scraps around so we burnt that for the night."

Police in Candia New Hampshire says it's happened at least twice this month. Heavy piles of firewood have been stolen from people's property.

"I haven't seen that in this area," said Candia Police Chief Mike McGillen. "I can't recall having many investigations like this."

A cord of wood can be worth up to $250, and police are not sure if the wood is being stolen by people who want to sell it, or if they need the wood to keep warm.

Comment: With the extremes of cold weather worldwide and the shortages of propane and heating oil, this may become commonplace.
Propane shortage = Millions of cold Americans
U.S braces itself for coldest month of the century - More snow storms expected

No Entry

Tsunami of store closings expected to hit retail industry

© Getty Images
Get ready for the next era in retail - one that will be characterized by far fewer shops and smaller stores.

On Tuesday, Sears said that it will shutter its flagship store in downtown Chicago in April. It's the latest of about 300 store closures in the U.S. that Sears has made since 2010. The news follows announcements earlier this month of multiple store closings from major department stores J.C. Penney and Macy's.

Further signs of cuts in the industry came Wednesday, when Target said that it will eliminate 475 jobs worldwide, including some at its Minnesota headquarters, and not fill 700 empty positions.

Experts said these headlines are only the tip of the iceberg for the industry, which is set to undergo a multiyear period of shuttering stores and trimming square footage.

Shoppers will likely see an average decrease in overall retail square footage of between one-third and one-half within the next five to 10 years, as a shift to e-commerce brings with it fewer mall visits and a lesser need to keep inventory stocked in-store, said Michael Burden, a principal with Excess Space Retail Services.

Comment: While online shopping is no doubt having an effect on retail stores, the more probable reason is that the economy is headed into another downturn. Notice that it's the stores with lower prices that are having the most difficulties, yet high-end merchants are still doing well (as are the pathocratic elites). People without jobs cannot shop!
US economy losing 'up to a $1bn a week' after jobless benefits cut
Silent misery: Actual U.S. unemployment 37.2%, record number of households on food stamps in 2013
Stock Market Crash in 2014?


Wave of immolation: Bulgarians are setting themselves on fire in record numbers

bulgaria burn victim
© Jackson Fager
Donka and Georgi Kostov in the burn-victim unit of St. George hospital in Plovdiv, two weeks after Georgi’s suicide attempt.
It's not every day that you meet someone who has set himself on fire. One reason for this is because it's pretty much the most awful and insane thing imaginable. Another reason is that people who light themselves ablaze usually die soon afterward. Surprisingly, it's not always the burns that kill them. Often, flames will enter a self-immolator's lungs through his mouth, causing him to asphyxiate.

On a recent trip to Bulgaria, I met not one but two people who had survived suicide attempts by fire. "Solving problems with gasoline has become the new trend," Georgi Kostov told me in the burn-victim unit of St. George hospital in Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second-largest city. He was still in shock, so his wife, Donka, did most of the talking.

She explained how the couple were unemployed, in debt, and struggling to feed their children, when, two weeks before my visit, Georgi disappeared into his bedroom at their apartment in the industrial city of Dimitrovgrad. He came out doused in gasoline, convinced that the Mafia was outside his front door to collect on his debts and kill him. Standing in front of his family, he flicked on his lighter and burst into flames. Donka leapt onto him to put out the blaze while his sister threw water on him. They succeeded in saving Georgi, but his wife suffered third-degree burns all over her arms in the process. "He was so depressed," she said. "He didn't know how to make anyone notice our poverty. So he did this horrible thing."

Light Sabers

Violence in Ukraine: Rioters storm local admin building, beat police

Comment: For an issue that started with President Viktor Yanukovych refusing to sign an agreement with the EU and instead taking steps to move closer to Russia while getting cheap gas from them, it seems that the violence of the riots is over the top. People will not move to such extremes unless they have to endure unbearable life conditions - or are inspired by agents provocateurs. Therefore, either the support base of the opposition has grievances that have gone unreported, or the rioters are not really representing the people but have a different agenda.

Disturbing footage from Ukraine shows violence spiraling out of control during anti-government protests, with rioters attacking and capturing policemen standing their ground. The Interior Ministry has hinted at a tough response if the unrest continues.

Western media exploded with outrage at the abuse of a Ukrainian rioter who was stripped naked and mocked by the police for "particularly accurate" petrol bomb throwing. However, few outlets have highlighted the violence coming from those on the other side of the barricades.

On Saturday, protesters in the city of Vinnitsa occupied the city council building, breaking a feeble cordon of interior troops. A triumphant mob cheered and poured into the building as the doors flung open, only to find that more police were blocking the stairs to the upper floors.

Ukraine riots
© Reuters
Anti-government protesters hold flags on the balconies of the regional administration headquarters as they attempt to take over during a rally in the town of Vinnytsia, some 200 km (124 miles) southwest of Kiev January 25, 2014.

Comment: For some ideas and context, see:

'Revolution' in Ukraine - Cui bono? Warhawk John McCain addresses demonstrations

False flag attack unravelling? Ukraine opposition tied to reporter's attack says police

Ukraine's Prosecutor General warn protesters to halt "mass rioting", a crime against the state

Ukraine Violence Escalates: Kiev is a battlefield; Ultimatum issued to President

Fears of civil war as Ukraine protests turn radical and bloody


Propane shortage = Millions of cold Americans

© Times of India
A propane shortage is affecting millions of Americans this week as brutal cold exposes the vulnerabilities of a network responsible for heating homes, schools and businesses across wide swathes of the United States.

Prices of the fuel have rocketed to all-time highs in some regions, distributors are rationing supplies, and some schools have shut due to a lack of fuel during this year's second bout of Arctic weather.

The National Propane Gas Association said on Thursday the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri are worst hit and that it has heard that some retailers have run out of supplies.

Comment: If we add to the above equation - Propane shortage = Millions of cold Americans - the fact that the neighborhood police forces are becoming by the day more militarized and violent against the population, we get a very ugly picture of what can and does take place during periods of mass crisis in America.


Indonesian flood victims desperate for clean water and food


Huts along a river bank sit inundated by the flooded river in downtown Jakarta, Indonesia.
Indonesians in Jakarta are still reeling from the massive flooding brought on by the rainy season. While logistics and food supplies are being distributed to evacuation sites, some evacuees in small shelters claim they are being left out.

Indonesians in the capital city of Jakarta are still reeling from the massive flooding brought on by the rainy season.

Home to nine million people, the capital has already seen some 62,000 being displaced.

While logistics and food supplies are being distributed to evacuation sites, some evacuees who have sought refuge in small shelters are claiming they are being left out.

One flood victim, Tuti Mahyanti and her family have been staying at a shelter in East Jakarta for the past week.

Living in close proximity to a river and having to seek temporary shelter from the floods is not her first experience.

But it is an experience one can never get used to.

For now, her family of four have to contend with sleeping on a small carpet laid out on a carton.