Sunday, January 18, 2015

PARADIGM SHIFT: Precursors To The End Of The Petrodollar And The Collapse Of The U.S. Corporation - Putin Strikes Back, As Russia Just Made A Bold Move To Keep Its Gas Leverage On Europe!

A look at all of the pipelines in the area, including the scrapped South Stream pipeline and the planned Black Sea pipeline.


January 18, 2015 - RUSSIA
- On Wednesday Russia's announced that it will shift all its natural gas flows to Europe via Turkey, instead of Ukraine, reports Bloomberg News.

"...the Turkish Stream is the only route along which 63 billion cubic metres of Russian gas can be supplied, which at present transit Ukraine. There is no other way," the head of Gazprom Alexei Miller said.

The European Union's energy chief said that this would hurt Russia's reputation as a supplier, and the European Commission's VP for energy union said that the decision makes no economic sense, according to Bloomberg.

However, the move makes sense when considering that Russia has been increasingly losing its control over the European gas market after changes in European policy and warmer winters.

Now Europe will be forced to link up to Russia's planned energy pipeline to Turkey — or it will lose Russian gas.

"Our European partners have been informed of this and now their task is to create the necessary gas transport infrastructure from the Greek and Turkish border," Miller added in a Gazprom statement.

It is unclear what the project will cost Russia (or Europe), although the new deal includes terms stating that Turkey will receive a 6% discount on gas imports for 2015.


Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses the media during a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Ankara December 1, 2014.

Kremlin-funded RT says Moscow will use funds and materials intended for the original South Stream project to build the new Black Sea pipeline.

Back in 2009 the European Union passed the Third Energy Package, which said Russia could not both own and control pipelines on the EU territory. (Russia filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization against the EU over this in April, after the first rounds of Western sanctions.)

Europe has also been putting taxpayers’ money into new inter-connectors between countries dependent on Russia gas imports.

What that means is that if Russia ever cut off gas to a European county, that could could still get gas from somewhere else because there were more gas pipeline connections.

This was a major strategic move by Europe because Russia has had a history of cutting off gas.

So now that Russia will be shifting natural gas flows through Turkey instead of through Ukraine, it appears that Europe will need to build the necessary gas transports to connect to Turkey and integrate the pipeline into the inter-connectors system.

The Economist also cites the following changes in Europe:
  • Lithuania started importing liquefied natural gas from Norway.
  • Ukraine is importing more gas from the West.
  • The EU has brokered a deal on debts and prices between Ukraine and Russia, which will keep gas going to Ukraine at least for the first quarter of 2015.
To cap things off, in December lack of funds forced Russia to cancel the South Stream pipeline to supply gas to Europe without crossing Ukraine.



Russia's Hegemonic Control Over Gas In The Past

Back in late November, Putin coolly noted that "winter is coming," and thus he was "sure the market will come into balance again in the first quarter or toward the middle of next year."

What he meant by that was that cold weather is great news for the Russian economy because Europeans would have to import more oil and natural gas.

"It is the power of colder weather that allows Russia, as the key supplier of energy to Europe, to apply leverage. That leverage can take the form of higher prices, restricted volumes, a combination of both, or negotiations that directly or indirectly affect these additional costs," Cumberland Advisors Chair David Kotok wrote in August.

Russia provided one-third of the natural gas that European countries relied on both for heating their homes and running industries. Because Russia played such a huge role in the gas market, it was able to command high prices.

But the European winter is pretty mild this year, The Economist notes, so "even if Russia did try to interrupt supplies, the effect would be modest."


Russia's Future Game Plan Outside Of Europe

Russia has been publically exploring energy (and military) relationships with countries outside of Europe — most notably China and India.

In May, Russia's Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) signed a historic 30-year contract to supply natural gas to China.




Putin met with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi near the end of 2014, and they agreed to several energy deals. Russia invited India to "work on projects" in the Arctic.

"Rosneft and Gazprom, our biggest companies, together with their Indian colleagues, are preparing projects for the development of Russian-Arctic [and] the expansion of liquefied gas," Putin said.  - Business Insider.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Latest Report Of Volcanic Eruptions, Activity, Unrest And Awakenings – January 18, 2015!

January 18, 2015 - EARTH - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.


Soputan volcano (N-Sulawesi, Indonesia): Ash eruption

Soputan's ash plume today.(Image: PVMBG / CVGHM)

An eruption occurred today, producing an ash plume rising to 5-6 km altitude. Darwin VAAC raised the alert level to red.

The event took place shortly after 11:30 am (local time) and was observed by from the volcano observatory. It had been preceded by a significant increase in seismicity during the past days since Wednesday.

According to the local report, a rock avalanche (but apparently no pyroclastic flow) traveled down the western side of the dome, reaching a length of approx. 500 m.


Colima volcano (Western Mexico): Moderate explosions

Explosion at Colima volcano this morning

Frequent small to moderate explosions occur at the volcano's summit lava dome.

Thanks to the new webcam from webcamsdemexico.com, this activity can now be followed more closely.


Kliuchevskoi volcano (Kamchatka) : Strombolian activity at summit crater, possible short lava flow

Strombolian activity at Klyuchevskoy at dusk (KVERT webcam)

Mild strombolian activity continues at the summit crater, producing small ash plumes that drift one after the other from the volcano.

A short lava flow might still be active on the southeast side, but this is not certain from available imagery.

The alert level remains aviation orange.


Aso volcano (Kyushu, Japan): Ash eruption

NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Mount Aso, a volcano on Japan’s Kyushu island, has been erupting sporadically for decades. Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program lists 38 separate eruptions since 1950, with the most recent beginning on December 8, 2014. All of these eruptions have occurred at Naka-dake, a cinder cone located within Aso’s massive caldera.

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this image of ash drifting south from Mount Aso on January 13, 2015. The lower image shows a broader view of the plume.

The summit crater of Naka-dake, accessible by toll road and cable car, is one of Kyushu’s most popular tourist destinations. However, the eruption is keeping tourists away, according to a report by the Asahi Shimbun. Many local tourism operations have seen the number of visitors drop by 20 to 30 percent, the newspaper reported.


Shiveluch volcano (Kamchatka, Russia): Explosion and ash emissions

Ash plume from an explosion at Shiveluch this morning

A moderately large explosion occurred this morning (evening in Kamchatka) at the volcano, producing a plume reaching approx. 6 km altitude.

Continued ash emissions followed the explosions for several hours.


Etna (Sicily, Italy): Unrest with tremors

Dilute ash emissions from Etna's NE crater on 15 Jan 2015 (Etnatrekking webcam Linguaglossa)

Unrest continues at the summit craters. After strombolian activity from the Central Crater (Voragine) had ceased around 13 Jan, weak ash emissions occurred from the North-East crater yesterday.

Tremor remains elevated.


Bardarbunga (Iceland): Still erupting after five months


Bardarbunga volcano continues to emit lava, almost five months after it began erupting.

The volcano has now produced a lava field around 85 square kilometres, making it Iceland's largest basaltic lava flow since 1784. According to Icelandic Met reports seismic activity in Bardarbuga continues to be strong with small earthquakes occurring daily in the area

WATCH: Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano is still erupting five months on.



- Volcano Discovery | NASA Earth Observatory | The Guardian.




GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Retail Industry Collapsing; Sony To Close All 14 Canadian Stores Within 2 Months!

Sony says it will close its 14 retail stores in Canada within the next six to eight weeks. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

January 18, 2015 - CANADA
- Sony is closing all 14 of its stores in Canada over the next six to eight weeks, the company announced in a statement today.

Approximately 90 jobs will be affected, a spokesman for Sony Canada told CBC News. Sony Canada is not saying why the stores are being closed.

According to information on the Sony Canada website, there are 14 official Sony retail locations in Canada:
  • Three in Alberta.
  • Three in the Greater Vancouver area.
  • Five in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • One in Ottawa.
  • One in Montreal.
  • One in Quebec City.
In a statement, Sony said it was encouraging its Canadian customers to buy Sony products at third-party retailers across the country, through its online store or by telephone.

The statement said Sony would support authorized Sony retailers, enabling them to continue selling its products and providing support for customers.

Sony said it will reach out to previous Sony store customers in order to provide details about warranties and technical support in the future.


Company in stormy waters

Sony was once a leader in consumer electronics, giving the world the Walkman personal music player, the PlayStation gaming console, and a slew of popular video camcorders. But the Japanese company has struggled of late, cutting fiscal forecasts time and again.

Most recently, Sony Entertainment was the victim of a cyberattack over the controversial film The Interview, in which hackers crippled the Hollywood studio's operations and posted confidential emails, financial data, and personal information online.

Sony is considering an exit from some of its core businesses in an attempt to reverse its fortunes, according to a recent report by Reuters. That report cited company sources who said Sony was considering selling off its TV and mobile segments in the face of stiff competition.

- CBC.




ICE AGE NOW: Mini-Ice Age 2015-2035 - Heavy Tropical Snowfall In Vietnam Caused Traffic Jam Over Many Kilometres In Several Provinces & Strange January Pacific Typhoon!



January 18, 2015 - ASIA
- Heavy snowfall caused a traffic jam that extended several kilometers in Sa Pa town in the northern province of Lao Cai.

Geographic coordinates of Sa Pa, Vietnam Latitude: 22°20′24″ N Longitude: 103°50′38″ E

Many roads, trees and vegetables gardens in Sa Pa Town and neighboring areas have been blanketed by (5 to 15cm (2 to 6 inches) thick snow. Tropical snowfall

In 2013 Snow covers the terraces, the artificial wonders for the first time in more than 50 years. Other years since 1971 have had snow flurries with no accumulation.


WATCH: Vietnam Snowfall & Strange January Pacific Typhoon.




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PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 5.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Remote Aleutian Island Area! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

January 18, 2015 - ALASKA
- An earthquake struck in a remote area of Alaska's Aleutian Island chain and there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-5.8 temblor occurred at 6:47 p.m. Friday and was centered about 65 miles beneath the in the Bering Sea seabed and about 1,300 miles southwest of Anchorage.

It was about 150 miles west of the populated island of Adak.

Though a quake of this magnitude is capable of causing damage, the Alaska Earthquake Center said it had no reports of it being felt or causing any problems. - AP.


USGS shakemap intensity

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of Alaska

The Aleutian arc extends approximately 3,000 km from the Gulf of Alaska in the east to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the west. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Aleutian Islands and the deep offshore Aleutian Trench.

The curvature of the arc results in a westward transition of relative plate motion from trench-normal (i.e., compressional) in the east to trench-parallel (i.e., translational) in the west, accompanied by westward variations in seismic activity, volcanism, and overriding plate composition. The Aleutian arc is generally divided into three regions: the western, central, and eastern Aleutians. Relative to a fixed North America plate, the Pacific plate is moving northwest at a rate that increases from roughly 60 mm/yr at the arc's eastern edge to 76 mm/yr near its western terminus. The eastern Aleutian arc extends from the Alaskan Peninsula in the east to the Fox Islands in the west. Motion along this section of the arc is characterized by arc-perpendicular convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thick continental lithosphere. This region exhibits intense volcanic activity and has a history of megathrust earthquakes.

The central Aleutian arc extends from the Andreanof Islands in the east to the Rat Islands in the west. Here, motion is characterized by westward-increasing oblique convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thin oceanic lithosphere. Along this portion of the arc, the Wadati-Benioff zone is well defined to depths of approximately 200 km. Despite the obliquity of convergence, active volcanism and megathrust earthquakes are also present along this margin.

The western Aleutians, stretching from the western end of the Rat Islands in the east to the Commander Islands, Russia, in the west, is tectonically different from the central and eastern portions of the arc. The increasing component of transform motion between the Pacific and North America plates is evidenced by diminishing active volcanism; the last active volcano is located on Buldir Island, in the far western portion of the Rat Island chain. Additionally, this portion of the subduction zone has not hosted large earthquakes or megathrust events in recorded history. Instead, the largest earthquakes in this region are generally shallow, predominantly strike-slip events with magnitudes between M5-6. Deeper earthquakes do occur, albeit rather scarcely and with small magnitudes (Magnitude less than 4), down to approximately 50 km.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Most of the seismicity along the Aleutian arc results from thrust faulting that occurs along the interface between the Pacific and North America plates, extending from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. Slip along this interface is responsible for generating devastating earthquakes. Deformation also occurs within the subducting slab in the form of intermediate-depth earthquakes that can reach depths of 250 km. Normal faulting events occur in the outer rise region of the Aleutian arc resulting from the bending of the oceanic Pacific plate as it enters the Aleutian trench. Additionally, deformation of the overriding North America plate generates shallow crustal earthquakes.

The Aleutian arc is a seismically active region, evidenced by the many moderate to large earthquakes occurring each year. Since 1900, this region has hosted twelve large earthquakes (Magnitude greater than 7.5) including the May 7, 1986 M8.0 Andreanof Islands, the June 10, 1996 M7.9 Andreanof Islands, and the November 17, 2003 M7.8 Rat Islands earthquakes. Six of these great earthquakes (M8.3 or larger) have occurred along the Aleutian arc that together have ruptured almost the entire shallow megathrust contact. The first of these major earthquakes occurred on August 17, 1906 near the island of Amchitka (M8.3) in the western Aleutian arc. However, unlike the other megathrust earthquakes along the arc, this event is thought to have been an intraplate event occurring in the shallow slab beneath the subduction zone interface.

The first megathrust event along the arc during the 20th century was the November 10, 1938 M8.6 Shumagin Island earthquake. This event ruptured an approximately 300 km long stretch of the arc from the southern end of Kodiak Island to the northern end of the Shumagin Islands and generated a small tsunami that was recorded as far south as Hawaii.

The April 1, 1946 M8.6 Unimak Island earthquake, located in the central Aleutian arc, was characterized by slow rupture followed by a devastating Pacific-wide tsunami that was observed as far south as the shores of Antarctica. Although damage from earthquake shaking was not severe locally, tsunami run-up heights were recorded as high as 42 m on Unimak Island and tsunami waves in Hilo, Hawaii also resulted in casualties. The slow rupture of this event has made it difficult to constrain the focal mechanism and depth of the earthquake, though it is thought to have been an interplate thrust earthquake.

The next megathrust earthquake occurred along the central portion of the Aleutian arc near the Andreanof Islands on March 9, 1957, with a magnitude of M8.6. The rupture length of this event was approximately 1200 km, making it the longest observed aftershock zone of all the historic Aleutian arc events. Although only limited seismic data from this event are still available, significant damage and tsunamis were observed on the islands of Adak and Unimak with tsunami heights of approximately 13 m.

The easternmost megathrust earthquake was the March 28, 1964 M9.2 Prince William Sound earthquake, currently the second largest recorded earthquake in the world. The event had a rupture length of roughly 700 km extending from Prince William Sound in the northeast to the southern end of Kodiak Island in the southwest. Extensive damage was recorded in Kenai, Moose Pass, and Kodiak but significant shaking was felt over a large region of Alaska, parts of western Yukon Territory, and British Columbia, Canada. Property damage was the largest in Anchorage, as a result of both the main shock shaking and the ensuing landslides. This megathrust earthquake also triggered a devastating tsunami that caused damage along the Gulf of Alaska, the West Coast of the United States, and in Hawaii.

The westernmost Aleutians megathrust earthquake followed a year later on February 4, 1965. This M8.7 Rat Islands earthquake was characterized by roughly 600 km of rupture. Although this event is quite large, damage was low owing to the region's remote and sparsely inhabited location. A relatively small tsunami was recorded throughout the Pacific Ocean with run-up heights up to 10.7 m on Shemya Island and flooding on Amchitka Island.

Although the Aleutian arc is highly active, seismicity is rather discontinuous, with two regions that have not experienced a large (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquake in the past century: the Commander Islands in the western Aleutians and the Shumagin Islands in the east. Due to the dominantly transform motion along the western arc, there is potential that the Commander Islands will rupture in a moderate to large strike-slip earthquake in the future. The Shumagin Islands region may also have high potential for hosting a large rupture in the future, though it has been suggested that little strain is being accumulated along this section of the subduction zone, and thus associated hazards may be reduced.

East of the Aleutian arc along the Gulf of Alaska, crustal earthquakes occur as a result transmitted deformation and stress associated with the northwestward convergence of the Pacific plate that collides a block of oceanic and continental material into the North America plate. In 2002, the Denali Fault ruptured in a sequence of earthquakes that commenced with the October 23 M6.7 Nenana Mountain right-lateral strike-slip earthquake and culminated with the November 3, M7.9 Denali earthquake which started as a thrust earthquake along a then unrecognized fault and continued with a larger right-lateral strike-slip event along the Denali and Totschunda Faults.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

- USGS.





EXTREME WEATHER: "These Trees Started Falling Like A Deck Of Cards" - Incredible Footage Shows SEVEN Trees Collapsing Onto A Highway In Australia During A Wild Storm!

The dash camera footage shows the moment the driver had to hit the brakes, while travelling along the Black Spur in Victoria's north-east

January 18, 2015 - AUSTRALIA
- Two drivers travelling along a Victorian highway have narrowly escaped being crushed by seven trees during a wild storm.

Posted under YouTube name Ron Cooper, the dash camera footage shows the moment he had to hit the brakes just inches away from where the first tree falls in front of his vehicle.

The driver was travelling on the Black Spur highway between the towns of Healesville and Narbethong - north-east of Melbourne, which spans for about 30 kilometres, on December 29 about 2.15pm.

The initial tree fall is followed by six others, stopping an oncoming car in its tracks who is also surprised by the sudden road blocks.

The uploader told the Herald Sun the gum tree was about 30 metres tall and was glad he made the decision to stop his vehicle rather than to speed up when he noticed the tree falling.


The incident happened on December 29 about 2.15pm when the first tree fell down, which was about 30 metres tall

About six more trees fell down after the initial one, stopping an oncoming car in its tracks

Wind speeds in the area the driver was travelling in got up to more than 80 km/h on December 29, according Bureau of Meteorology


'These trees started falling like a deck of cards,' he said.

'One more second - in fact even part of a second - would have put me either under the tree or into the tree.

'I'm always aware of what's around me and I think it paid off that day.'

In the lead up to the video, leaves and branches can been seen falling in the vehicle's way as the driver makes his way along the road at Watts River Bridge.


WATCH: Amazing footage shows strong winds topple trees in Australia.




He said he wanted to upload the video to YouTube to teach people about the dangers of driving during wild weather.

'One tree coming down is one thing but when you have like a dozen it's unheard of I think in one small area,' the driver said.

'I just want people worldwide - not just in Australia - to be aware of trees.'

On the video, the driver added the video served as 'a great educational video showing the dangers of traveling in the bush during periods of high wind'.

Wind speeds in the area the driver was travelling in got up to more than 80 km/h on December 29, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.  Daily Mail.




FIRE IN THE SKY: Unusual Celestial Phenomenon - "Nike Meteorite" Leaves Swoosh In The Skies Over Russia's Far East! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

Screenshot from youtube.com/user/akomarofff

January 18, 2015 - RUSSIA
- The residents of Russia’s Amur region woke up Sunday morning to notice an unusual celestial phenomenon – a shining object flying through the sky, leaving a white trail that some social media users compared to the Nike logo.

“[The trace of the alleged meteorite] looked like a trace of the plane, only bigger and much brighter,”
an eyewitness from the city of Belogorsk in the Amur region in Russia’s Far East told the local Amur.info website. The swoosh was seen near one of the military units in the city.









The object then exploded but the thunderclap-like sound was heard only eight minutes later, people said.

“The clap was loud… the trace of explosion was seen in the sky for at least two hours,"
one person said. "It was an absolutely white trail.”

However, the object didn’t cause any destruction, and even window framed didn’t rattle, witnesses said. They claimed the object was a meteorite, though local authorities haven’t confirmed it yet.


WATCH: Meteor-like object lights up the skies over Russia's Far East.






The object was also spotted from the city of Blagoveshchensk in the Amur Region, which is 115 kilometers from Belogorsk.

Social media users were actively commenting on the phenomena, sharing photos.

“It seems to me that Nike, Inc. was the sponsor of this meteorite, “
said Twitter user ‏@spartak737, referring to its resemblance to Nike's logo. - RT.



DISASTER PRECURSORS: Omen – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Mass Animal Die-Offs, Appearance Of Rare Creatures And Warnings From Mother Nature!

January 18, 2015 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.


Hundreds of thousands of blue jellyfish invade Surfer's Paradise, Australia

A giant swarm of blue jellyfish has invaded the pristine waters of the Gold Coast

A giant swarm of blue jellyfish has invaded the pristine waters of the Gold Coast, forming a spectacular display as the mass of creatures congregated in Queensland's iconic Surfer's Paradise.

Spotted just off Narrowneck, near the northern end of Surfer's Paradise beach, the school of jellyfish extended for 50 metres in circumference.

Photographer and lifesaver Grahame Long captured footage of the blue jellyfish as he patrolled the beach, about 400 metres offshore.

"I've seen plenty of jellyfish around before but this was certainly the thickest I've ever seen, Mr Long told The Gold Coast Bulletin.

'They were congregated in one area.'


Local media issued warnings for the correct treatment for stings, urging locals to avoid vinegar and urine

Local residents have reported sightings of the jellyfish for several weeks, after the swarm blew in just after Christmas.

One Twitter user labelled it a 'jellyfish explosion', while others found the idea of the swarm either 'terrifying' or 'incredible'.

Local media issued warnings for the correct treatment if swimmers were stung, urging locals to avoid vinegar and urine.


WATCH: There's something jellyfishy going on - Hundreds of thousands of Blue Blubbers invade iconic Surfer's Paradise.




'The protocol for non-serious cases is to seek assistance from lifeguards and treat the sting with warm water until the swelling goes down, then with ice,' said Gold Coast paramedic Gary Strong.

'We do not tell people to use boiling water as the last thing we want to create is a burn,' he told The Gold Coast Bulletin.

The mass has spread out in the past day, extending from Surfer's Paradise to the Gold Coast Seaway, with some locals still concerned about being prevented from swimming in the water.

The weather will reportedly maintain its heat over the weekend, reaching up to 32 degrees. - Daily Mail.


Man attacked by owl in Salem, Oregon

Great Horned Owl


Ron Jaecks of Salem was on his usual morning run in Bush's Pasture Park on Tuesday when he was attacked, or so he thought.

Jaecks was jogging near the baseball field about 5:15 a.m. Suddenly in the morning darkness his stocking cap was pulled from his head, and almost simultaneously he felt something puncture his scalp.

Jaecks thought he was dying.

"It was like a huge electric shock ran through my body, but also like I got hit in the head with a two-by-four all at the same time," Jaecks said. "Or maybe a strike of lightning."

Jaecks, 58, immediately began to run faster, trying to escape his assailant.

Running in circles and screaming, the general surgeon for Kaiser Permanente began to think that he was having a stroke or an aneurysm.

Jaecks took off in the direction of Mission Street in hopes of being seen by someone at Salem Hospital, not knowing exactly what had happened in the park.

But on his sprint toward safety, the attacker struck again, and this time Jaecks didn't have a hat on.

Jaecks felt the blunt force. He thought to look up and saw a large winged animal. He thought it was a massive bat.

Now realizing that an animal was responsible for the attacks, Jaecks went home and washed his scalp instead of heading into the hospital. He then made a phone call to his friend David Craig, a biology professor and animal behavior specialist at Willamette University.

"I called David and described what had happened," Jaecks said. "He immediately said it was either a barred owl or a great horned owl."

According to the Nature Conservancy, great horned owls are the most powerful of the common owls.

Fierce hunters with a wingspan of nearly 5 feet, they prefer to wait quietly before swooping down on their prey with the force of nearly 30 pounds. Their talons can grow anywhere from 4 to 8 inches long.

Great horned owls start nesting in January and raise their owlets during the winter. The owls are also known to attack anything they think could threaten their family.

According to Seattle radio station KPLU, parts of a Seattle park were closed following several reported attacks on people in 2012. - Statesman Journal.


Rare Arctic Ivory gull found in Ullapool, Scotland

They're more at home following polar bears around the Arctic but this young ivory gull has taken up residence at a fish farm near Ullapool.  © Matthew Ross


A rare Arctic visitor is getting folk all a flutter in Wester Ross.

A young ivory gull, generally found in the high Arctic, has been spotted at a fish farm near Ullapool.

They have only been reported in the UK as few as 100 times.

The bird was spotted by Wester Ross Salmon employee Matthew Ross when it landed at the fish farm at Ardmair Bay north of Ullapool. Matthew was unsure of the species of bird and sent pictures to a local wildlife tour operator to identify it.

The sighting has caused interest with bird watchers due to its rarity and there is speculation that it may be the same individual that was spotted at Uig Harbour in Skye at New Year and has possibly been blown to the mainland in the recent winds.

Inverness-based Alan Tissiman of RSPB Scotland said: "Ivory gulls are very rare visitors to the British Isles, invariably seen in the winter months after strong north westerly gales. They are usually found far to the north on the Arctic pack ice where they live all year round.

"They are scavengers, never happier than when they find a dead whale or seal to feed on! They are known to follow polar bears and other predators to feed on the remains of their kills.

"They are lovely-looking birds and I would imagine that this individual will have attracted a fair amount of interest from birdwatchers - though they may not wish to enquire too closely into its feeding habits!" - North Star.


100,000 turkeys killed due to avian flu in Aviel, Israel

Tent set up outside the coop seat Aviel (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development)

Case of bird flu was discovered today (Saturday) turkey coop Aviel seat near Pardes Hanna.
USDA officials arrived at the scene and ordered the destruction of 100 thousand chickens.

The decision was made after the ministry experts Video turkeys have the disease.
Coop where the virus is located in an isolated area and stated session destruction of poultry operation began, lasting for several days.

Death will be carried out by special foam dispersion, cause the immediate death and then buried in the ground in the area of ​​poultry coop.

Ministry of Agriculture said that the disease was discovered in the coop they act in accordance with the procedures in western countries and other coops tests will be within a radius of three kilometers.

The firm is known for two additional cots are that this is a radius smaller coops and possibly birds are destroyed.

He added that the Ministry of Agriculture is still unclear how the virus reached the coop and the matter is under review.  - YNET. [Translated]


314 turtles wash ashore dead along beaches in Chennai, India

The nesting season for Olive Ridley turtles is barely 20 days old and already 314 turtles have washed ashore dead on the city's beaches. Conservationists say the turtles die after getting stuck in trawlers' fishing nets.

On Saturday morning, 60 turtles were found dead on the stretch between Neelankarai beach and Alamparai village in Kancheepuram district, according to Tree Foundation that patrols the stretch every year during the nesting season. "The numbers are alarmingly high this year and we are just into the second week of the season that will continue till March-end," said Tree Foundation founder-chairperson Supraja Dharini. Tree Foundation volunteers buried the dead turtles near the shore later in the night.

Members and volunteers of the Students' Sea Turtle Conservation Network (SSTCN), a group that patrols the coastline from Neelankarai to Napier's Bridge, including Marina and Elliot's beaches, reported 70 dead turtles were washed ashore. SSTCN coordinator V Arun said, "Considering that only 5-6% of the dead turtles are washed ashore, the real death toll could be many times higher."

According to turtle conservation groups, most of the deaths are caused due to the failure in implementing the Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1983, which prohibits fishing trawlers from operating within 5 km of the shore.

"Female turtles on their way to the shore to lay eggs are trapped in fishing nets of mechanised boats, gill nets or ray fishing nets. Most fishermen who find dead turtles in their nets throw them back into the sea," said Dharini.

On Pattipulam beach, between Mamallapuram and Nemmeli, more than 20 dead turtles were found. Kodandapani, who found the carcasses, alerted the local turtle conservationist group.

"Most of the bodies were bloated. Eggs were falling out of a dead female turtle that had died after making it to the shore. I spotted dead turtles every 50 feet," said Kodandapani.

The state fisheries department now plans to conduct demonstrations of the Turtle Excluder Device (TED). "When fitted in fishing nets, it can facilitate escape of a captured turtle. Fishermen will be educated on using the device," said an official.

Turtles that need to breathe fresh air every 45 minutes die when trapped underwater in fishing nets.

The department, along with Tree Foundation, held a demonstration for Kasimedu fishermen on January 13, and another two-day session is planned on January 20 and 21.

On January 13, the fishermen agreed to not fish within 5 km of the shore and also promised to stay away from estuaries that teem with turtles during the season. - Times of India.