1. Mysterious Animal Deaths Continue:
This story continues to be reported from around the world, still without any reasonable explanation:
Million dead fish swamp L.A. area marina
Sardines and other small fish in the hundreds of thousands washed up dead overnight in the harbor area of Redondo Beach, Calif., just south of Los Angeles, puzzling authorities and triggering a cleanup effort.
Dead finches found in Gramercy
It's the mystery hanging over this normally quiet enclave; how did these birds, that are native to Australia, end up here?
Qaddafi 'Flattens' Rebel-Held City; EU talks of new Sanctions
Muammar’s powerful army is bombing and shelling rebel-held cities, “flattening” Zawiyah and killing hundreds of fighters, while the European Union talks about placing new sanctions on the dictator.
With virtually the whole world against him, Qaddafi has taken the upper hand and turned what last week seemed to be certain defeat into a savage retaliation that has left most of the city of Zawiyah without utilities while dozens of bodies lay in the streets.
Libyans will take up arms against the West if attacked
Gaddafi says Western powers want to control Libyan oil; fighting shuts down major oil refinery as tanks close in on rebel stronghold city Zawiyah; Pentagon says US is considering military options on Libya.
3. Mark of the Beast Update:
In the Western world, government-mandated biometric IDs -- identification systems that identify individuals based on fingerprints, irises, and other unique physical traits -- are often regarded with suspicion, even hostility.
As Alan Gelb of the Center for Global Development, who has been researching biometric IDs, recently noted, some form of official identification is necessary almost everywhere in the world for everything from voting to securing credit to receiving health care.
Almost all the rights, protections, and entitlements of the state, in fact, depend on being able to prove that you are who you say you are.
A quick look at the progress which has already been made regarding this technology - from around the world:
In India, where less than half of the population is registered at birth, the government has begun a program to address the problem -- an ambitious national biometric ID program which when completed will be 10 times larger than any existing biometric database.
Its voluntary national ID card, which aims to sign up 600 million citizens by 2014, uses individuals' fingerprints, irises, and a photograph to guarantee that a unique number is assigned to each person
Costa Rica, Ghana, Lesotho, and Mexico have each adopted or are adopting biometric IDs to reduce corruption and make government services easier to access.
Biometrics Take on a New Style
That could change. Here on the outskirts of Milan, I.B.M. is working on a way to mesh retail and technology that, if successful, will produce a new market for its technology and place biometrics — automated ways of recognizing humans based on physical or behavioral traits — in the forefront of retail marketing.
Magnitude 7.3 quake rocks northeastern Japan
Large earthquake hits northeast Japan
5. The Middle East
PA Rejects Compromise on Jordan Valley Sovereignty
The Palestinian Authority has rejected another compromise, this time concerning an Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley.
Quickly responding to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s statements Tuesday that an Israeli military presence in the strategic area is Israel’s “insurance policy” against terrorism, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad stated, "There is no independent Palestinian state without the Jordan Valley.”
IDF Must Remain in Jordan Valley, Vows Netanyahu
The IDF will remain in the Jordan Valley to defend Israel, regardless of any future Palestinian Authority state, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday during a tour of military posts and bases in the area. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas responded by demanding sovereignty of the area, along with all of Judera and Samaria.
Jordan Valley is new peace process sticking point
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has for years been lobbying to secure international support for continued Israeli military control of the strategic Jordan Valley in any final status peace deal with the Palestinians.
“There is no Palestinian state without the Jordan Valley,” insisted Fayyad.
Fayyad felt compelled to speak up as Netanyahu has been escalating his calls for a continued Israeli presence along the Jordan Valley border in light of the regional unrest.
Hmmm....One has to wonder if this sets the stage for "international peace-keeping" forces there, as a compromise. Perhaps the EU? Food for thought.
Oil markets brace for Saudi 'rage' as global spare capacity wears thin
If this picture is broadly correct, spare capacity is already close to the wafer-thin levels that led to wild price moves in mid-2008.
The flow of Libyan oil has so far fallen by 1m bpd. This may not sound much against global supply of 88m, but oil prices are determined by levels of spare capacity once supply tightens.
Beyond a certain point, the price spiral can kick in with explosive force until the economic damage crushes demand.
Chris Skrebowski, editor of Petroleum Review, said the long-denied oil crunch is starting to bite. "We cling to the comfort blanket that spare capacity exists, but it is mostly fictional, or inoperable. If you take 2m bpd off the figure, the whole dynamic of global oil supply changes," he said.
Why Do Islamic Groups Fear Hearings on Islamic Radicalization?
Do $30 GPS Jammers Pose Threat to National Security?
(a thanks to Mr Caver for this one)
But if our GPS systems go down today, absolute chaos would ensue, according to this fascinating article in the New Scientist. Why? Because GPS technology permeates almost every aspect of our plugged-in lives. Consider what happened in San Diego a few years ago when the GPS signals were disrupted:
In the tower at the airport, air-traffic controllers peered at their monitors only to find that their system for tracking incoming planes was malfunctioning. At the Naval Medical Center, emergency pagers used for summoning doctors stopped working. Chaos threatened in the busy harbour, too, after the traffic-management system used for guiding boats failed. On the streets, people reaching for their cellphones found they had no signal and bank customers trying to withdraw cash from local ATMs were refused. Problems persisted for another 2 hours.
The culprit was a “GPS jammer,” a small plastic device which can be bought for as little as $30 online. This device can knock out GPS signals from miles away. As it turns out, a trucker on the New Jersey turnpike had installed a GPS jammer in his car to avoid paying a GPS-operated toll. He drove past the Newark airport twice a day, causing the havoc described above.
Hacker group vows 'cyberwar' on US government, business
A leader of the computer hackers group known as Anonymous is threatening new attacks on major U.S. corporations and government officials as part of at an escalating “cyberwar” against the citadels of American power.
“It’s a guerilla cyberwar — that’s what I call it,” said Barrett Brown, 29, who calls himself a senior strategist and “propagandist” for Anonymous. He added: “It’s sort of an unconventional, asymmetrical act of warfare that we’ve involved in. And we didn’t necessarily start it. I mean, this fire has been burning.”
Warning of 'Food Price Riots in the UK'
A senior economist at the worldwide bank HSBC has warned of civil unrest in Britain if food prices continue to soar.
Speaking on Jeff Randall Live, senior global economist Karen Ward cautioned that the UK could experience the kind of food riots seen in other countries.
The comments come as the United Nations warned the cost of food is now at the highest level for 21 years and set to rise further.
Food costs have gone up for eight months in a row, with the National Farmers Union forecasting the trend will continue for the rest of 2011.
That's about it...for now. The day is young however and my guess is that we'll see even more prophetic related signs before the day is over - which is completely expected in these last days.