So what actually is causing this E.Coli outbreak in Europe?
Germany retracts link between E Coli outbreak and Spanish cucumbers
Germany has conceded it is unsure whether Spanish cucumbers are the source of the country's recent E coli outbreak, fanning a pan-European row as plummeting vegetable sales continue to hurt producers.Meanwhile the death toll continued to rise on Tuesday (31 May), with a Swedish woman succumbing to the bacteria after returning from a visit to Germany where 15 people have died. Officials in the northern German city of Hamburg said fresh tests carried out on Spanish cucumbers, initially cited as the most likely cause of the outbreak, may not be to blame after all. Roughly 1000 suspected cases of infection have been reported across Europe, including over 300 people who are seriously ill.
E.coli cases jump tp 1,500
A dramatic rise in the number of severe E.coli cases has been reported by German health officials as scientists struggled to deal with an outbreak that has confounded scientists and claimed an estimated 16 victims.
Germany's centre for disease control reported the number of people suffering life-threatening complications resulting from the infection rose from 373 on Tuesday to 470 on Wednesday. At the same time the centre recorded 365 new cases, bringing the total to around 1,500.
"The situation is deteriorating dramatically for our patients, and the worst thing is that we don't know what's causing it," Rolf Stahl, a kidney specialist working at the epicentre of the outbreak in Hamburg, told the German magazine Der Spiegel.
Dr. Robert Tauxe, a food-borne disease expert at the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, described the E.coli outbreak as "extraordinary" adding that "there has not been such an outbreak before that we know of in the history of public health"
The Hunt for the Source of Germany's E.Coli Outbreak
The eeriest thing of all, according to Rolf Stahl, is the way patients change. "Their awareness becomes blurred, they have problems finding words and they don't quite know where they are," says Stahl. And then there is this surprising aggressiveness. "We are dealing with a completely new clinical picture," he notes.
"But none of us doctors has ever experienced anything quite like this," he says. His staff has been working around the clock for the last week or so. "We decide at short notice who can go and get some sleep."
The bacterium that is currently terrifying the country is an enterohemorrhagic strain of the bacterium Escherichia coli (EHEC), a close relative of harmless intestinal bacteria, but one that produces the dangerous Shiga toxin. All it takes is about 100 bacteria -- which isn't much in the world of bacteria, which are normally counted by the millions -- to become infected.
2. Japan's Nuclear Radiation Crisis:
Land around Fukushima now radioactive dead zone; resembles target struck by atomic bomb
It's so bad now that soil samples taken from outside the 12-mile exclusion zone (the zone considered safe enough by the Japanese government for schoolchildren to attend school there) are higher than the 1.48 million becquerels a square meter limit that triggered evacuations outside Chernobyl in 1986.
In other words, the radiation level of the soil 12 miles from Fukushima is now higher than the levels considered too dangerous to live in near Chernobyl. This is all coming out in a new research report authored by Tomio Kawata, a fellow at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan. That same report also reveals that radiation from Fukushima has spread over 230 square miles.
One soil sample taking 25 kilometers away from Fukushima showed Cesium-137 exceeding 5 million becquerels per square meter. This level, of course, makes it uninhabitable by humans, yet both the Japanese and U.S. governments continue to downplay the whole event
High levels of strontium detected at Fukushima
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it has detected high levels of a radioactive substance that tends to accumulate in human bones.
The utility detected up to 480 becquerels of radioactive strontium 90 per kilogram of soil. That's about 100 times higher than the maximum reading recorded in Fukushima Prefecture following atmospheric nuclear tests carried out by foreign countries during the Cold War era.
3. The World's Financial Collapse
Suddenly Everyone Is Warning About The Next Financial Collapse
Are we about to see a repeat of 2008 (or something even worse)? Suddenly all kinds of people are coming out of the woodwork and warning that we could be on the verge of the next major financial collapse.
The truth is that global financial markets are even more vulnerable today than they were in 2008, and all over the globe we are seeing trouble signs. Conditions are certainly developing that could bring about a "perfect storm" and cause another global financial collapse.
Have you been watching what has been going on in Greece?
It's crazy. Without another bailout the Greek government will soon start defaulting on their debts.
There have been protests all over the country. Greek citizens have been pulling billions out of Greek banks as the country descends into chaos.
What about the U.S.?
Because of our exploding national debt and the reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve, faith in the U.S. dollar is dying. Even the United Nations is warning of a potential dollar collapse.
We are in big, big trouble.
This is about as good as things are going to get for the U.S. economy. Despite unprecedented efforts, the U.S. economy is still struggling mightily and our long-term economic problems are scarier than ever
Sadly, most Americans still believe that wonderful economic times are on the way. Most believe that this downturn is just temporary and that things will soon be better than ever.
4. Israel and the Middle East:
Netanyahu on Jerusalem Day: This city is ours!
As Israel marked the 44th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that Israel would never allow the city to be again divided.
"Forty-four years ago, IDF soldiers realized the prophets' vision and returned Jerusalem to its proper place," Netanyahu said, referring to the liberation of the eastern half of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War.
Gaza: America is the enemy of Allah
It has already been reported that while much of the Middle East was pleased with Osama bin Laden's assassination by American forces, the Palestinian Arabs stood out as the only regional group to oppose the elimination of the arch-terrorist.
Recent rallies in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip have revealed just how much Palestinian Islamists idolized bin Laden and how broad was his popularity on the "Palestinian street."
During the various rallies, the standard chants of the thousands of attendees have been: "Bin Laden Shattered Crosses" (speaking to their hatred of Christianity) and "America is the Enemy of Allah."
At one rally, Hamas leader Sheikh Munir Al-Aydi eulogized bin Laden by praising the latter's dedication to "lead the global jihad against America and its allies, the worshippers of the cross."
5. Cyber Wars
Cyber Attack on U.S. Electric Grid 'Gravest Short Term Threat' to National Security
ABC News' Huma Khan reports: The United States is ill-prepared to deal with a cyber attack on the nation’s electric grid, one of the biggest national security threats facing the country today, lawmakers warned.
"The sobering reality is this vulnerability, if left unaddressed, could have grave, societal-altering consequences,” Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee today. “We face a menace that may represent the gravest short term threat to the peace and security of the human family in the world today.”
When asked about the story today, Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said, “A response to a cyber incident or attack on the U.S. would not necessarily be a cyber response ... All appropriate actions would be on the table if we are attacked in cyber.”
6. The Coming Water Crisis
This is interesting. See the first story then followed by the second story and connect the dots:
20 former world leaders discuss looming water crisis
Twenty former heads of state, including former US president Bill Clinton, warned Tuesday of an impending "water crisis" and agreed to establish a panel that will tackle a worldwide leadership gap on the issue.
The group urged a new international water ethic and offered 21 recommendations for world water management.
At the top of the list: "placing water at the forefront of the global political agenda."
The retired leaders, among them ex-Mexican president Vicente Fox and former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda, said the panel would work to raise the issue's political prominence in order to avert looming problems with worldwide water supply.
Remember the book of Ezekiel, where God promised to restore the land of Israel, following the nation's return to their land - and that water would then be abundant again?
Israel's largest underground water source discovered near Jerusalem convention center
A cave discovered during excavation work by Israel Railways in Jerusalem contains the largest and most impressive underground water sources ever discovered in Israel, scholars say.
The cave was discovered near the International Convention Center in the capital during construction work on a station for the future high speed Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train line. Builders came across it while digging a service shaft at a depth of 75 meters - five meters from the planned bottom of the shaft.
According to an initial survey by Frumkin's team, the cave developed as water seeped in from the surface and dissolved the limestone. The resulting cavern is known as a karstic cave, named after the region in Slovenia where the phenomenon was first documented. The surveyors said that during their initial exploration, they found water flowing through the cave from northwest to southeast.
And last, but certainly not least - this surprising story emerged today. Its almost hard to believe in this day and age:
Life-sized replica or Noah's Ark to sail ip Thames for 2012 games... complete with animals
Make sure to open the link and view the pictures of this ark.
Like the Biblical original, it is 450ft long, 75ft wide and, when finished, will be packed with animals that enter two by two.
If all goes to plan, the modern-day Noah’s Ark will make its way up the Thames at the end of its maiden voyage next year, 4,000 years after the original is said to have set sail.
The vessel’s Dutch creator, Johan Huibers, has written to London Mayor Boris Johnson to ask for permission to moor it in the capital during the Olympic Games.
The 60-year-old construction company owner said he hopes his ark, telling the story of Noah and with live and model animals inside, will inspire schoolchildren.
'It is to tell people that there is a Bible and that, when you open it, there is a God,’ he said.
According to the Bible, God set out to punish the world for its wickedness with an all-consuming flood, sparing the blameless Noah and ordering him to build a vast lifeboat for his family and a pair of every animal.
Mr Huibers decided to build his 3,000ton vessel nearly 20 years ago after having a dream about a great flood swamping Holland which he saw as a signal to spread God’s message.
Despite his wife’s resistance, he finally started construction three years ago on the river at Dordrecht, near Rotterdam, using the exact dimensions of the ark which Noah is said to have built.