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Alligator Captured Near Los Angeles Lake

For months, the city's most famous reptile eluded paparazzi and faithful fans who gathered at the edge of a park lake to catch a glimpse of the celebrity alligator.

But when "Reggie" decided to come out, the gator did it in true Hollywood style: Swarmed by fans and photographers as it sunned by the water, the reptile was whisked away with a police escort as TV helicopters gave chase and broadcast live footage of the cagey critter's freeway journey to the zoo.

"We were petting him, talking to him," said City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, whose district includes the park. "I feel like I know him because I've invested a lot of time and energy in him."

Cloud Lightning

Storms, Flooding Kill 5 in Central Texas

Two days of heavy storms and flooding had killed five people in central Texas by Friday, and bad weather was expected to continue pounding the Plains over the holiday weekend.

A man remained missing in Texas after his sport utility vehicle was swept away in a swollen creek, officials said. Several other people were rescued, and Gov. Rick Perry activated search and rescue teams.

Question

Swarm of bees forces passenger plane to land



©Reuters

A passenger plane was forced to land after flying into a swarm of British bees Thursday.

The Palmair Boeing 737, with 90 passengers on board, had to return to Bournemouth Airport in southern England shortly after take-off following an engine surge.

Comment: There have been an unusually high number of bee-related stories appearing in the media over the past few months. Here's an SOTT Focus piece which focuses on this bizarre topic:

To Bee or not to Bee


Red Flag

4.7-magnitude earthquake shakes Big Island

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.7 struck beneath the Kilauea volcano's east rift zone Thursday and was followed by several smaller aftershocks on the Big Island of Hawaii.

USA

Minor earthquake shakes Midlands - South Carolina

A minor earthquake shook parts of Richland County on Thursday, emergency management officials said.

Earthquake sensors in South Carolina pegged the quake at a magnitude 2.4, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Question

Professor Helps Develop Techniques To Reduce Threat Against Honeybees

Although scientists around the country are investigating several possible causes, including pesticides, viruses, genetically modified crops and even cell phones, Amrine said he is certain that at least 70 percent of the CCD is caused by tiny mites, roughly the size of a sesame seed, and the pathogens they carry.

Amrine, an entomologist in WVU's Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, and one of the nation's foremost acarologists (mite specialist), bases that estimate on the research he has been doing on the bees since 1996.

Snowman

At Least 13 Dead In South African Cold Snap

At least 13 people have died from the effect of freezing weather in South Africa's Eastern Cape province, the police disaster management coordinator for the district told AFP on Wednesday. "I can confirm that 13 people died in Eastern Cape region from the effect of snow and chilly weather," Captain John Folbein said in a telephone interview. The heaviest snowfalls in 20 years blocked major highways in South Africa on Tuesday, as a severe cold snap tightened its grip on the country.

©AFP
The Tiffindell resort in the Eastern Cape after a heavy snowfall. The heaviest snowfalls for 20 years have blocked major highways as a severe cold snap tightens its grip on South Africa.

Cloud Lightning

21 Dead in China Flooding

BEIJING - Heavy rainstorms in southwest China triggered flash floods and mudslides that killed 21 people and left 11 missing, state media said Friday.

Better Earth

5.6 Earthquake in Gulf of Mexico

Magnitude 5.6
Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 19:09:15 (UTC)
Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 1:09:15 PM = local time at epicenter
Location 22.025°N, 96.267°W
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Region GULF OF MEXICO

©USGS

Bomb

6.0 Magnitude Earthquake In Gulf Of Mexico

The U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center is reporting a 6.0 magnitude earthquake has occurred in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 250 miles WSW of Anna Maria, Florida. Tremors were reportedly felt in the Tampa Bay Area and as far north as Georgia. The quake occurred at the epicenter at approximately 10:56 a.m. Sunday morning. The quake was updated from 5.8 magnitude.