Tuesday, April 21, 2015

FUK-U-SHIMA: Pumps At Fukushima Plant Halted - TEPCO Says Toxic Water Leaking Into The Pacific Ocean!

Reuters / Kimimasa Mayama

April 21, 2015 - JAPAN
- All the eight water transfer pumps at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power station have been shut down due to a power outage, leading to a leak of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, the plant’s operator said.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) reported a power outage on Tuesday, according to Kyodo news agency. It follows the line of the toxic leaks that were reported in February, when at one point around 100 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from one the plant’s tanks.


The February report prompted TEPCO to launch a pumping process at the site; this began just last Friday.

The pumps were confirmed to be working Monday afternoon, but at 8:45am on Tuesday they were found stopped.


General aerial view of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture (Reuters / Kyodo)

The incident and the amount of water already leaked are being checked, according to the company. The pumps are used to transfer tainted water from a drainage channel to a channel that leads to an artificial bay in front of the station, enclosed by a fence.

Earlier this year, TEPCO stated that last May’s water samples from the drainage channel contained radioactive materials. The concentration exceeded the legal limit, which is estimated at just 30 becquerels of radioactive strontium-90 per liter.

Overall, in the period between May 2011 and August 2013, according to a series of statements from the company, groundwater leaks ended up in as many as 20 trillion becquerels of cesium-137, 10 trillion becquerels of strontium-90 and 40 trillion becquerels of tritium reaching the sea.


#ICYMI Drone captures TONNES of #nuclear waste being stored at #Fukushima http://ow.ly/LSRUm 

The Fukushima Daiichi plant tragedy with nuclear meltdown of three of the plant’s six nuclear reactors was caused by an earthquake-triggered tsunami in March 2011.


TEPCO’s efforts to manage the release of the radioactive material have been slammed by the global community due to its suppression policy. This year the company was revealed to have been concealing reports of dangerously high radiation levels at the plant since September. - RT.






WEATHER PHENOMENON: "I Didn't Realize How Rare It Was,... It Was Beautiful" - QUADRUPLE RAINBOWS Spotted On Long Island, New York! [PHOTOS]

Quadruple rainbow appears over Glen Cove on Apr. 21, 2015. (credit: Twitter/@amanda_curtis)

April 21, 2015 - NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Stormy, rainy weather across the Tri-State area Monday into Tuesday brought about a magnificent sight this morning.

Double and even quadruple rainbows could be seen on Long Island as well as a rainbow arching over a NYPD Highway Patrol precinct.

Amanda Curtis snapped a picture of the phenomenon as she was waiting for a train.









“I didn’t realize how rare it was, I just knew it was beautiful,” Curtis told 1010 WINS. “My train was coming, but I just took out my phone, snapped a quick photo and ran after my train.”

What are you seeing in your area? Tweet us your photos to @CBSNewYork or post them to our Facebook page.

And let’s not forget the infamous double rainbow YouTube cameo.


WATCH: Yosemite Mountain double rainbow.




If you need us, we’ll be looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. - CBS.




OMEN: Portents, Symbolism, Signs, Disaster Precursors And Animal Behavior - 5-LEGGED Lamb Born In Wales?! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

Photo: Bethan Davies

April 21, 2015 - WALES
- In defiance of all natural odds, a healthy, bouncing, lamb has been born at a farm in Wales - with five legs.

The chipper little lamb, named by the farmer as Jake in reference to the song 'Jake the Peg', can be seen walking happily around his pen in a video uploaded to YouTube after his birth on April 17.


Photo: Bethan Davies

Photo: Bethan Davies

The farmer, Bethan Davies, who runs Rhiwlas Farm in Wales, told the BBC the lamb was thriving and had total control of his extra leg.

"He seems really happy, he's feeding well and bouncing around like a normal lamb. He is doing really well."

"We have never had anything like this before, apparently it's really rare," she added.


WATCH: Jake, the 5-legged lamb.





However, this isn't the first time a five-legged lamb has grazed on British land.

In 2013 a sheep with five legs named Quinto was born in Morpeth, Northumberland. Quinto's arrival on April 2 was initially treated with skepticism, as farm hands thought it was an April Fool's prank.

After surgery to remove the extra appendage, she went on to give birth to two lambs in 2015, neither of which suffered their mother's rare condition.

There have also been reports of five-legged lambs born in the US, France and China over the past 10 years.


- RT.




SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Ceres' Bright Spots Are Back - NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Captures New Images Of Mystery Features, And Scientists STILL Don't Know What They Are?!

In this close up view, the two different spots can clearly be seen. Several theories currently exist for what they might be,
with the favoured being salt flats or ice - both reflecting sunlight
April 21, 2015 - SPACE - The Dawn spacecraft has captured amazing new images of the mystery bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres, which continue to baffle scientists.

In particular, the images show the brightest spot and its companion standing out against the darker surroundings.

But experts are still at a loss to explain the composition and source of the bright spots.

These latest images were taken on 14 and 15 April from a distance of 14,000 miles (22,000km) from the north pole of Ceres.

As the spacecraft gets closer to the dwarf planet and moves around it, more and more of the surface is coming into view.

The two brightest spots seen in a crater are known as ‘spot 5’.

The scale in the image is about 1.3 miles (2.1km) per pixel, almost 70 per cent better than previous images.


Nasa scientists in California have revealed new images of the dwarf planet Ceres. They reveal new views of the two brightest spots in a crater (shown).
However, scientists are still not able to explain what they are. Dawn will begin its first science orbit around Ceres on 23 April

These latest images (close up view of the bright spots in the crater on the right) were taken on 14 and 15 April from
a distance of 14,000 miles (22,000km) from the north pole of Ceres



But the origin of the bright spots remains a mystery for now - with theories ranging from exposed ice to volcanoes.

Salt flats or ice seem to be the predominant theories at the moment, with the bright spots appearing to reflect incoming sunlight towards the spacecraft’s cameras.

Until Dawn gets closer, though, it’s unlikely the mystery will be resolved.

‘It’s too early to say what they are,’ Dr Marc Rayman, Dawn's mission director and chief engineer, told MailOnline.


This animation, made using new images taken by Dawn, shows how the bright spots become visible when
they pass the 'terminator' - the line where the planet is split between sunlight and darkness. Credit: Nasa

‘Some people have offered they might be ice, but I don’t consider that necessarily the most likely explanation.’

Dr Rayman says he favours the theory that they could be ‘salty deposits', left over from perhaps saltwater’ on the surface.

But one thing that can be ruled out is that they are their own sources of light. Dr Rayman is certain they are simply reflecting sunlight.

‘They’re mysterious but not bizarre,’ he said.

WHAT ARE THE BRIGHT SPOTS?

Several theories are currently being touted for what these mysterious bright white spots are on Ceres.

The Hubble Space Telescope has found more than 10 on the surface, but Ceres has found that the two most prominent - ‘spot 5’ - are in a crater about 57 miles (92km) wide.

One theory is that they are salt flats that are reflecting sunlight, left on the surface by saltwater.

Another theory is that they are regions of ice, again reflecting sunlight.

Ceres is thought to have plenty of ice beneath its surface, which could be exposed when a asteroid or comet strikes the surface. The fact these bright spots are in a crater - where such an impact occurred - supports this theory.

Another possibility is that they are cryovolcanoes - volcanoes that are shooting out water or ice.

However, the lack of a raised area around the spots consistent with a volcano suggests this might not be correct.

And they could even be water vapour ejecting from a liquid reservoir under the ground, although again current observations - namely a lack of additional material near the spots - suggests this is not the case.

Dawn continues to get closer to the dwarf planet and on 23 April it will descend to a circular orbit 8,400 miles (13,500km) above the surface.

It will then begin its first mapping phase of the dwarf planet in this so-called science orbit, travelling from pole to pole to image the entire surface.


Nasa's Dawn spacecraft (artist's illustration shown) made its way to Ceres after leaving the asteroid Vesta in 2012. There is high interest in the mission because
Ceres is seen as being a record of the early solar system, and may also have shifting ice on its surface

Three more science orbits are planned, with the spacecraft mapping the comet in increasing detail.

Up until December it will periodically descend lower and lower until it reaches an altitude of just 225 miles (260km) above the surface, with images 100 times better than those taken so far.

This is lower than the orbital height of the ISS around Earth – and will allow Dawn to snap glorious images of Ceres’ surface, including its mysterious bright spots.


WATCH: NASA captures cratered surface of Ceres in motion.



THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD OF CERES

Ceres is 590 miles (950 km) across and was discovered in 1801.

It is the closest dwarf planet to the sun and is located in the asteroid belt, making it the only dwarf planet in the inner solar system.

Ceres is the smallest of the bodies currently classified as a 'dwarf planet'.

It lies less than three times as far as Earth from the sun - close enough to feel the warmth of the star, allowing ice to melt and reform.

Nasa's Dawn spacecraft made its way to Ceres after leaving the asteroid Vesta in 2012.

There is high interest in the mission because Ceres is seen as being a record of the early solar system, and may also have shifting ice on its surface.

‘The approach imaging campaign has completed successfully by giving us a preliminary, tantalising view of the world Dawn is about to start exploring in detail. It has allowed us to start asking some new and intriguing questions,' said Dr Rayman said in a statement.


Dawn is continuing to get closer to the dwarf planet Ceres (position in the solar system shown left), and on 23 April it will descend to a circular orbit 8,400 miles
(13,500km) above the surface - its first science orbit. Three more are planned by the end of the year (orbital paths shown right)

Dawn became the first spacecraft to orbit a dwarf planet on 6 March, having left the giant asteroid Vesta in 2012.

Both Vesta and Ceres are in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and were on their way to forming planets before their development was interrupted - likely by the gravity of Jupiter. - Daily Mail.






PARADIGM SHIFT: The Rise Of The BRICS - China Invests $46 BILLION In Pakistan For New Silk Road, Connecting The World's Largest Economy To Europe, The Middle East And Asia!



April 21, 2015 - CHINA
- For much of the half-century since China and Pakistan forged close ties, the relationship has been one based on mutual military and security needs. They both, for example, had India as an adversary. But now China is rolling out its largest infrastructure development project in Pakistan through a flurry of investment deals worth $46 billion, building on Beijing’s vision of a new Silk Road connecting the world’s largest economy to different parts of Europe, the Middle East and other parts of Asia.

The deals were signed in Islamabad on Monday amid extravagant displays of pomp and ceremony. As Chinese President Xi Jinping flew over the capital for his first visit to Pakistan, a flock of Pakistani jets guided his plane to its descent. On the tarmac, Pakistan’s entire civilian and military leadership were arrayed to greet him. The road leading into Islamabad was festooned with Pakistani and Chinese flags, and signs with Xi’s image dangled from lampposts.

For Pakistan, the Chinese plans promise a much-needed boost to the country’s creaky infrastructure. They include, for example, a slew of power projects for a country where some areas suffer up to 18 hours without electricity each day. Other plans involve a network of roads and railway lines for an economy that is estimated to lose up to 6 percent of its gross domestic product because of poor transport links. The Arabian Sea port of Gawadar will be developed, and a highway linking the Arabian Sea to the western provinces of China is to be the central artery of what planners call a Pakistan-China economic corridor.

“This will put China much more center stage politically in Pakistan than ever before,” said Andrew Small, the author of the book “The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics.” Traditionally, he said, “The economic dimension of the relationship has been thin.” With the exception of a few road projects, the numbers — including bilateral trade figures — have been quite small when compared with the rest of the region. “Now they are adding a serious economic dynamic to a relationship that has always been a security-based relationship,” added Small, who is a transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund think tank in Washington, D.C.

Security remains a key component. During their speeches, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Xi both emphasized China’s support for Pakistan’s ongoing counterterrorism efforts. For the Chinese, Small said, counterterrorism is central to the relationship and to bringing stability to their western periphery. “It’s about stability in Pakistan itself, Afghanistan in the wider picture and safe havens in Pakistan’s tribal areas that have served as training bases and sources of ideological inspiration for militants from China’s Xinjiang province,” he said. The far-western province Xinjiang is home to China’s Muslim Uighur minority, many of whom complain of cultural and economic repression by the government in Beijing and the country’s ethnic Han majority.

For several years, the Chinese have been discreetly lending their voice to a chorus of Western alarm about the presence of insurgent fighters along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, particularly in North Waziristan, where the Pakistani army is finally conducting a military offensive.

Taming radicalism will be crucial to seeing the infrastructure development take place. For example, many of the projects are contingent on security in Pakistan’s restive southwestern province of Baluchistan. A Baluch separatist insurgency has flickered there for the past decade, involving the sabotage of gas supplies — which the Baluch believe are rightfully theirs — to the rest of the country. The Chinese have studied the risks for some time and see the planned projects as a long-term means of addressing the problem. “The Chinese are willing to press ahead despite these risks,” Small said. Although the plans could be derailed by security problems, he added, they could help stabilize the country economically and politically.

One of the projects in Baluchistan is an Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, which had been shelved under the threat of U.S. sanctions but is now being revived — with the Chinese willing to finance it — as Tehran looks poised to finally emerge from pariahdom. At the same time, Pakistan is negotiating a deal for the import of 3,000 megawatts of electricity from Iranian gas power plants based, a Pakistani government minister told Al Jazeera.

As China assumes a larger political role in Pakistan, it wants to act as a moderating influence. It wants Islamabad to improve relations not just with Iran through energy links and with Kabul through talks on a postwar political settlement in Afghanistan but also with the one regional capital with which they have both gone to war: New Delhi.

“The Chinese still see the Pakistanis as playing a counterbalancing role,” Small said, referring to how Pakistan has played a subsidiary role in the India-China rivalry. “But they want Pakistan to be stable and at peace with major powers.”

The United States wants this as well. But the big contrast with the U.S.-Pakistan relationship lies in domestic popular support. A Pew Research Center survey conducted last year showed that 78 percent of Pakistanis view China favorably, the highest figure for any country polled. A mere 14 percent said they view the U.S. favorably. Analysts put the vast difference down to the fact that the Chinese sit primly aloof from domestic politics and aren’t militarily involved in Pakistan. The infrastructure projects are likely to cement China’s popularity because they involve investment rather than aid and the results will be concrete, visible developments rather than scattered through myriad donor projects.

The Chinese do not want to displace the U.S. as a player in Pakistan. Beijing will still want Islamabad to turn to Washington for economic assistance and arms procurement. Pakistan has just put in an order this month for 15 new AH-1Z Viper helicopters from the U.S. worth $1 billion to replace its ailing fleet. Even when Islamabad’s relationship with Washington nosedived to its lowest point after the 2011 U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, Beijing encouraged Islamabad to rebuild its relationship with the U.S.

The investment program will be rolled out slowly, in stages. For the Chinese, it is a means of countering slowing growth at home by recycling its trade surpluses through Pakistan, with companies in China’s interior hopefully benefiting from the new infrastructure projects. The Chinese have turned to their own banks to finance the plan and have insisted that Pakistan provide some of the financing as a way of having a stake in the project.

It will be up to the Pakistanis to get the projects up and running within the next couple of years and to stabilize the security situation to ensure that happens. The Chinese have a lot riding on these deals, and the Pakistanis have raised their expectations. “There’s an urgency in measuring up to those expectations,” says Mosharraf Zaidi, a policy analyst and former adviser to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry. “This is the one relationship that if Pakistan fails to deliver, it will render itself friendless.” - Al Jazeera.




GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Increased Activity At Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano - 24 Exhalations Of Low Intensity Registered, With Steam And Gas; 6 Explosions With Ash And Harmonic Tremors! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]



April 21, 2015 - MEXICO
- In the last 24 hours the monitoring system of Popocatepetl volcano registered 20 exhalations of low intensity, some of which accompany steam and gas as well as six explosions accompanied by emission with small amounts of ash and 59 minutes harmonic tremor Low amplitude. During yesterday afternoon it was observed the volcano with a small constant emission of steam and gas toward the northeast at an altitude of 500m above the crater.

During the night we observed slight incandescence in the crater from early hours of today until time of this report can observe a constant emission of steam and gas at a height of 200 m above the crater.

Today, at 10:52 hrs an explosion that reached a height of 3000 m above the crater eastward and moderate ash content as well as the emission of incandescent fragments were recorded at a distance of 500 m crater on the east slope.

On Friday, April 10th, with the help of the Federal Police, an overflight of the volcano was made. Meteorological conditions were adequate for the pertinent observations. It was confirmed that the activity between March 24 and April 5 resulted in the emplacement of a new dome filling the inner crater. This new dome has a diameter calculated at 250 m, with a thickness of 30 m. A series of concentric fractures on its surface, and its central portion has collapsed, showing that, after emplacement, the dome has deflated considerably.







It is probable that in the next few days or weeks this dome will be destroyed in one or several explosions, with magnitudes similar to those that occurred at the end of February and beginning of March this year. Because of this, CENAPRED emphasizes that people should not go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the danger caused by ballistic fragments.

Continuous monitoring of the activity is maintained. The Ministry of Health, the Secretary of National Defense, Federal Police and the Civil Protection Units of the States of Morelos, Puebla, Mexico, Tlaxcala and Mexico City are all vigilant of the volcano.

 WATCH: Spectacular explosion at Popocatepetl volcano.





The Traffic Alert Volcanic of Popocatepetl is located in Yellow Phase 2.

CENAPRED emphasizes that people should not go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the danger caused by ballistic fragments.

This type of activity is included within the scenarios Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

The scenarios foreseen for this phase are:

1. Explosive activity of low to intermediate level.

2. Ash fall in nearby towns.

3. Possibility of short range pyroclastic flows and mudflows .

Special emphasis is placed on the following recommendations:

1. Continue the safety radius of 12 km, so staying in that area is not allowed.

2. Keep the controlled traffic between Santiago Xalitzintla and San Pedro Nexapa through Paso de Cortés.

3. Civil Protection authorities, keep your preventive procedures, in accordance with their operational plans.

4. People, be alert to the official information disseminated.

In case of ashfall, address the following recommendations:

• Cover nose and mouth with a wet handkerchief or face mask.

• Clean eyes and throat with pure water.

• Avoid contact lenses to reduce eye irritation.

• Close windows or cover them up, and stay indoors as much as possible.

Popocatepetl Volcano monitoring is performed continuously 24 hours a day. Any change in activity will be reported in due course. - CENAPRED.



WEATHER ANOMALIES: Extreme Earth Changes In Russia - Freak April Blizzard Takes Moscow By Surprise; Unexpected Cyclone And Snowstorm As Summer Nears; Stormy Winds Rages In Siberia Causing Massive Devastation And Deadly Fires?! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

RIA Novosti/Ramil Sitdikov
April 21, 2015 - MOSCOW, RUSSIA - Polar bears at the Moscow Zoo were in heaven, but millions of residents in the Russian capital certainly were not as a snowstorm – yes a snowstorm in the middle of April - brought gasps and groans from city dwellers.

Winter fur coats were hastily unpacked, while those who had been putting off changing their winter tires – probably through laziness – were blessing their good fortune.

Muscovites took to social media to make their feelings known, with sarcasm certainly coming to the fore. Some were questioning that global warming had by-passed Moscow, while others just let pictures do the talking.


Photo: #Moscow , April 20. That’s one heck of a #spring , ya know! #snow #russia #winter #снег #весна... http://tmblr.co/Zw4zlx1ivVn12

What Global Warming does about Moscow: snow in April. Is it really global warming? :-)  http://twitrpix.com/da91p

The text says: "- Gandalf! - Yes, my friend... - Maybe we'd better go by Metro"

Snow in Moscow.

#winter come bk in #Moscow ! -3! Bloody cold lol :D #April #snow #unbelievable

Despite being closer to summer, rather than spring and let alone Winter, Moscow was hit by a weather anomaly. An unexpected cyclone brought a front of cold weather to Central Russia.

Meteorologists say the unseasonal chill is likely to last until the weekend. However, they expect the temperature to return to ‘normal’ at the start of next week.


Building roof blown away in single blast of wind caught on dashcam (VIDEO)

A still from Youtube video

The entire roof of a two-storey building was lifted into the sky with a single gust of wind in Siberia’s, Zabaykalsky Kray. Stormy winds have been raging over the past week, causing massive devastation and deadly fires.

The flying roof episode was caught on the dashcam of a passing car in the city of Chita, in the south east of Siberia. The gust was measured at 24 meters per second (54 miles per hour).

Luckily, the building was uninhabited as it is used to house a taxicab fleet. No injuries or damage were reported, according to the press service of the local emergency ministry department.


WATCH: Wind and wildfire damage in Russia.






The roofless building is now one of more than 1,300 houses destroyed in the region by fire or the elements. The devastating blazes, which have already claimed the lives of over 800 people, have now spread to neighboring Mongolia.

An area of just over 100,000 hectares has been affected, despite around 3,000 fire fighters doing their best to try and tackle the blazes. They have used planes and helicopters to attempt to put out the fires and have managed to save five settlements.

The fire fighters have been trying to use a controlled burning technique, which deliberately burns out a certain part of the forest, to prevent the wildfires from advancing even further. Reports say that settlements in the region are not under any threat from the fires at present. 


Terrifying footage of cars battling through hellish Russian wildfire (VIDEO)

A scary video emerged online of the wildfire in eastern Siberia now trapping residents, as they try to flee in their cars. The blaze surrounds the vehicles and what looks like volcanic ash rains down on them.

The grassland fire in Zabaykalskiy region, Russia, bordering Mongolia, has been raging since March 19, displacing people from over 1,200 dwellings in 20 separate towns and villages. Over the course of the Wednesday night and into early Thursday, the number of dead has doubled from 15 to 30, with nearly 500 people injured.


WATCH: Welcome to the Gates of Hell - Dashcam footage of terrifying wildfire in Russia.




There are a furthre two people missing, according to officials.

The latest reports from the national forestry service indicate that over the space of one night the fire advanced to engulf over 1,500 square kilometers (930 miles), with 140 separate forest fires in progress. By contrast, the figure was half that on Wednesday.

A total of 22 districts in the Zabaykalskiy region have been affected, with some 93 fires there alone affecting natural reserves, according to local authorities.

All emergency situation procedures are still in place.
- RT News.



SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: "Supervoid" - Monumentally Massive Anomalous Object Is The Single Largest Structure EVER DISCOVERED In The Universe; Over 1.8 BILLION Light-Years Across; TOO BIG To Fit Into Current Models?!

Reuters/NASA

April 21, 2015 - SPACE
- Astronomers have discovered a curious empty section of space which is missing around 10,000 galaxies.

The ‘supervoid’, which is 1.8 billion light-years across, is the largest known structure ever discovered in the universe but scientists are baffled about what it is and why it is so barren.

It sits in a region of space which is much colder than other parts of the universe and although it is not a vacuum, it seems to have around 20 per cent less matter than other regions.

The Cold Spot area resides in the constellation Eridanus in the southern galactic hemisphere. The insets show the environment
of this anomalous patch of the sky
 Photo: ESA Planck Collaboration

Although the Big Bang theory allows for areas that are cooler and hotter, the size of the void does not fit with predicted models. Simply put, it is too big to exist.
István Szapudi, of University of Hawaii at Manoa, described the object as possibly “the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity”.
It was picked up using Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) telescope located on Haleakala, Maui, and Nasa’s Wide Field Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite.
 
The latest study suggests that the ‘supervoid’ may be draining energy from light travelling through, which is why the area around it is so cold.

Getting through such a big hole takes hundreds of millions of years, even at the speed of light, and photons of light slow down as they cross because the universe – and therefore the void - is continually expanding.

However the scientists claim that the void can only account for around 10 per cent the temperature drop in the cold spot.

“It just pushed the explanation one layer deeper,” said Dr Roberto Trotta, a cosmologist at Imperial College London.

A strange empty hole has been found in the universe

The supervoid is only about 3 billion light-years away from Earth, a relatively short distance in the cosmic scheme of things.

“Supervoids are not entirely empty, they’re under-dense,” said András Kovács, a co-author at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest.

“This is the greatest supervoid ever discovered. Given the combination of size and emptiness, our supervoid is still a very rare event. We can only expect a few supervoids this big in the observable universe.”

The researchers have published their findings in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

- Telegraph.



FUK-U-SHIMA: Worst May Not Be Over From Fukushima - "Effects Of Radiation Have Become Much More Severe"; "Enormous Decline" Seen In Animal Species; "Striking Drop-Off,... Really Dramatic Impacts" Due To Nuclear Disaster; "Strange Green Glow" Seen Inside Reactor; "Yellow, Blue-Green And Other Colors Could Be Seen" Radiation Dose Hits RECORD HIGH Near 50 Sieverts Per Hour; 15 Seconds Of Video Removed Just Before Levels Spiked 1,000 PERCENT!



April 21, 2015 - JAPAN
- Dwindling bird populations in Fukushima… as several recent papers from University of South Carolina biologist Tim Mousseau and colleagues show, the avian situation there is just getting worse… They recently published a paper in the Journal of Ornithology showing results from the first three years… Many populations were found to have diminished in number as a result of the accident, with several species suffering dramatic declines… What might be most disheartening to the researchers involved, and bird-lovers in general, is how the situation is progressing in Fukushima.

Despite the decline in background radiation in the area over these past four years, the deleterious effects of the accident on birds are actually increasing. - Apr 15, 2015 (emphasis added) - University of South Carolina.


“The declines have been really dramatic… now we see this really striking drop-off in numbers of birds as well as numbers of species of birds. So both the biodiversity and the abundance are showing dramatic impacts in these areas with higher radiation levels, even as the levels are declining.” - Dr. Tim Mousseau, USC biologist.


Near site of Fukushima disaster, birds still in peril… birds are becoming a rarity around the damaged nuclear site… “There are dramatic reductions in the number of birds”… Mousseau told CBS News. “In terms of barn swallows in Fukushima, there had been hundreds if not thousands in many of these towns where we were working. Now we are seeing a few dozen of them left. It’s just an enormous decline.”… Around Fukushima, Mousseau predicts the worst may not be over “So now we see this really striking drop-off in numbers of birds as well as numbers of species of birds. So both the biodiversity and the abundance are showing dramatic impacts in these areas with higher radiation levels, even as the levels are declining.” Mousseau said the reason comes down to the long-term impact of the radiation. “It takes multiple generations for the effects of mutations to be expressed…”. - Apr 16, 2015 - CBS News.


Cumulative effects of radioactivity from Fukushima on the abundance and biodiversity of birds… overall abundance and  diversity of species on average decreased with increasing levels of background radiation… the relationship became more strongly negative across years… Although there has been great public interest concerning the ecological, genetic and potential health consequences of the Fukushima radiological disaster, basic research to date has been surprisingly limited… Recent seminal studies of butterflies exposed to radioactive contaminants associated with the Fukushima disaster found strong evidence for increased mutation rates, developmental abnormalities and population effects as a direct consequence of exposure to radionuclides Murase et al. (2015) made an equally compelling case for radiation having a negative impact on reproductive performance in the decline of Japanese goshawks. - March 2015 - Journal of Ornithology, A. Møller, I. Nishiumi and T. Mousseau.


Many species occur both at Chernobyl and Fukushima, allowing a test of similarity in the effect of radiation on abundance….among the 14 species occurring at both sites [the] slope of the relationship between abundance and radiation for the 14 common species was… much stronger at Fukushima… [Since 2011] the effects of radiation on abundance became much more severe. - 2015 - Environmental Indicators (Journal), A. Møller and T. Mousseau.

Watch the researchers bird counting in Fukushima at a “very hot and quiet site”



Tepco to Abandon Second Robot Inside Fukushima Reactor… it has decided not to try to retrieve a second robot… citing radiation damage [It] has now joined a previous robot which the utility also decided to leave there earlier this month… Tepco said one of the cameras used to monitor the second robot was damaged by the radiation. They decided to leave it inside to avoid the risk of it becoming stuck in a passageway…. - Apr 20, 2015 (emphasis added) - Wall St Journal.


The [first] robot was sent inside the vessel on April 10th but stopped working after advancing just 10 meters… TEPCO sent a second robot to retrieve the first robot. But the probe’s camera malfunctioned due to radiation exposure. The utility decided to abandon both robot probes.

Compare today’s media reports with Tepco’s most recent ‘prompt report’ on the second robot’s mission: “Radiation, Temperature Found Lower than Expected — Results so far indicate that the radiation dose was about 4.7 to 9.7Sv/h, less than a tenth of what was expected. That means the second robot can stay inside for about two to three days, rather than about 10 hours as originally planned.” - Apr 20, 2015 - NHK.


[Tepco] said Monday it has given up attempts to recover a second shape-shifting robot… The electronics of the camera were apparently damaged by the high radiation in the PCV, the utility said. When powered up, the camera is designed to work for 10 hours in the intense radiation, but Tepco was unable to switch it on Saturday.

Also note the figures Tepco reported for the radiation dose (4.7 to 9.4 Sv/h). The company’s latest video shows the radiation dose spike to 48.2 Sv/h, by far the highest ever reported inside the Unit 1 containment vessel. Unfortunately, 16 seconds of the video was removed just as levels spiked from  3.7 Sv/h to 44.4 Sv/h.. - Apr 20, 2015 - Jiji Press.




Second robot captures glow inside stricken Fukushima plant
— A second robotic probe… has captured images of a strange green glow. - Apr 20, 2015 - CNN.


WATCH: Strange green glow at Fukushima.




Rust or peeling paint on a steel floor was visible in video footage taken by the second robot probe sent into one of the reactors. - Apr 19, 2015 - Asahi Shimbun.


Yellow, blue-green and other colors could be seen on the floor. We have not been able to specify whether the colors were the effects of the robot’s lights or paint from equipment that melted…” said a TEPCO official. - Apr 18, 2015 - Yomiuri Shimbun.


WATCH: RAW Footage - TEPCO abandon two robots.




Watch: NHK broadcast | Tepco footage


Compile by: ENE News.




PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Huge Bird Flu Outbreak Confirmed At Iowa Farm - Over 5.3 MILLION Chickens To Be Slaughtered!

Reuters/Randall Hill

April 21, 2015 - IOWA, UNITED STATES
- More than 5 million hens will be euthanized at an Iowa egg-laying facility after the majority of them were found to be contaminated with a lethal strain of avian influenza, or bird flu. It is the worst outbreak yet to be recorded in the US.

This is the second time a bird flu epidemic has been reported in Iowa, which provides almost 20 percent of all eggs that are consumed in the United States.

The facility involved can house up to 5.3 million hens, though there are conflicting accounts about how many birds are currently at the farm. Reuters reports that 3.8 million hens are at the facility and will be culled, while the local Des Moines Register says there are 5.3 million birds to be destroyed.

Iowa is home to more than 58 million egg-laying hens, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Officials didn’t identify the facility in question, however Reuters states it is Sunrise Farms, an affiliate of Sonstegard Foods Company.

"We went to great lengths to prevent our birds from contracting AI (avian influenza), but despite [our] best efforts we [can] now confirm many of our birds are testing positive," Sonstegard said in a statement to the news outlet.

Around 2.6 million hens have already been killed, either by the disease or by officials trying to keep it from spreading further, the Des Moines Register stated. If the problem is not addressed quickly, bird flu is capable of destroying an entire flock in less than 48 hours.

The authorities have not pinpointed the source of the bird flu, which is believed to have spread from hen to hen via bird droppings. There is a theory it could have originated from wild birds traveling through the Mississippi flyway, a migratory path that stretches from the Mississippi River up to Canada’s Mackenzie River.

The crisis is serious enough that Wisconsin, which has also reported a bird flu outbreak, has declared a state of emergency.

"We must act quickly and efficiently to contain the outbreak and protect domestic poultry," Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) said in a statement. "It is important to note, however, there is no threat to humans with the avian flu outbreak."

Randy Gordon of the Iowa Poultry Association also reiterated that “the food supply is safe” to the Wall Street Journal. Officials said human infections of bird flu have not been reported.

"Anybody that has a poultry operation — whether large or small, whether you've got hundreds of birds or one bird — this should be a wake-up call," Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Poultry Association, told the Des Moines Register. - RT.



EXTREME WEATHER: Severe Storms Throughout Southern United States - Sprout EF-1 Tornadoes And Drop Large Hail!

An Ohio woman died when a tree smashed into her car Saturday afternoon (cincinatti.com).  

April 21, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Severe thunderstorms moved into the South Sunday, causing damage across several states. Several tornadoes were also spotted in the area.

Alabama

There have been several reports of tornadoes in Alabama today, including a confirmed category EF-1 tornado that touched down in Russell County just west of Oswichee along AL-165. That tornado, which moved Northeast to the Georgia state line, traveled approximately 3.5 miles.

Another tornado was reportedly spotted in Henry County, in southeastern Alabama, around 9:30 a.m. Sunday, though it has not been confirmed by the National Weather Service. NWS did say that numerous rail cars were overturned due to the storm.

In Leesburg, winds blew a tree onto a home, causing the family inside to sustain minor injuries.

The NWS also reports that strong winds damaged agricultural buildings at Pleasant Valley High School located in Calhoun, Alabama.

Winds have knocked down trees in other parts of the state. In southern Alabama, at least 5,000 people have lost power, according to Alabama Power. In Madison, wind gusts up to 56 mph were reported, and in Huntsville, a large tree fell on a home.



Hail is seen in Roswell, Ga. on Monday, April 20, 2015. (@brandyk80/instagram) 

Large #hail reported in Hot Springs, #Arkansas #arwx RT @isaac_schaff: @weatherchannel hot springs AR weather for you

Severe storms packing damaging winds downed numerous trees and powerlines throughout the town of Aiken, South Carolina, located east of Augusta, Ga. 
© Caleb Connor

Dark clouds roll over Roswell, Ga. (@missneetb/instagram) 

Dark clouds roll over Miami, Fla. on Monday, April 20, 2015. (@themrbarbie/instagram) 

Tree damage near Leesburg, Alabama. (Twitter/Porsche Warren) 

Storm damage in Alabama. (Twitter/taylorc15_)  

Large hail pummeled the state, prompting numerous reports of damage to roofs and vehicles in Caddo Gap. Golf ball sized hail was reported to cover the ground on Twin Bridges Road.

Florida

Damaging winds felled trees in Walton County, Florida.

Georgia

Slippery conditions made for dangerous driving in the Atlanta metro area Sunday morning, leading to a handful of major crashes on I-75 and a few injuries, according to WSBRadio. Drivers spun off the highway and one hit a tree. No word on the number of injuries.

WSB says that thousands of people are without power in Cobb County, Georgia:

In Waynesboro, high winds overturned a 20 foot motorhome and damaged numerous trees.



South Carolina

Severe storms packing damaging winds downed numerous trees and powerlines throughout the town of Aiken, which is located east of Augusta, Georgia. One tree fell on a house on Arcturus Drive, damaging the roof and carport as well as other homes located on that particular street.

In Saint Matthews, which is located in Calhoun County, emergency managers reported a mobile home that was wiped out along Ott Sisters Road near I-26.

Ohio

A woman in the Bond Hill area of Cincinnati died after a tree fell onto her car, the Cincinnati Fire Department has confirmed. About half an inch of rain fell today. The Fire Department said that rain, coupled with rain that has fallen recently, could have caused the four-foot tree to uproot. Reading Road, where the accident occured, was closed due to allow for the investigation.  - The Weather Channel.




INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Plane Crashes And Burns At Lakeland, Florida - Pilot Taken To Hospital With Injuries!


April 21, 2015 - FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
- A small plane crashed into a boat that was parked on the ground and caught fire Monday afternoon.

About 3 p.m., the Polk sheriff got the report of the crash in the 3900 block of Pipkin Creek Road.

First responders arrived and found the pilot -- Richard Simile, 55, of Auburn, Ala. -- had walked away from the crash.






Simile said he was headed west when the plane lost power and he crashed. The plane caught fire upon crashing.

He was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

The Lakeland Fire Department says the crash happened in a residential area at Pipkin Creek and Village Road.

The fire department says the scene is under control.

The Federal Aviation Administration is on scene and investigating the crash. - WTSP.