RALEIGH, N.C. -- A former American sailor convicted during the Cold War of leading a family spy ring for the Soviet Union has died in a prison hospital in North Carolina, officials said Friday. Retired Navy Warrant Officer John A. Walker Jr. died Thursday at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said. The cause of death was not immediately released. He was 77. Hopefully his death involved a great deal of pain and suffering.
[ARABNEWS] A medical team in Asir successfully removed a massive, two-kilogram hair lump from the stomach of a 20-year-old patient.
The team, headed by Dr. Antoine Nosta, operated at Muhayil General Hospital.
"The patient came to the emergency room at the hospital complaining of ongoing stomach pain and dramatic weight loss," said Saeed Al-Naqeer, Asir Health Department front man.
"The patient weighed a mere 20 kg upon examination and her health continued to deteriorate when she developed anemia and low protein levels."
"Doctors eventually noticed a large mass in her upper abdomen and discovered that the mass was a lump of hair," said Al-Naqeer. "Doctors spoke with the family, who said that the patient often pulls at her hair."
The patient is currently recovering and is said to be in good health.
[ARABNEWS] A thick grey swarm of locusts engulfed Madagascar's capital on Thursday, sending children scuttling and causing florists to burn tires in panic.
A bank of ravenous insects clouded the sky over Antananarivo, with countless thousands raining down dead on to the streets.
"We are going to give them to the chickens to eat, if the chickens don't die, we'll eat them," said 13-year-old Anthoni Razafimahatratra, enthusiastically scooping handfuls of insects into a plastic bag.
Locust swarms are common on this Indian Ocean island, with the hot and humid climate serving as an ideal breeding ground.
This most recent outbreak has affected an area the size of Japan and devastated rice and maize fields.
The swarms have multiplied uncontrollably in recent years, because of government inaction following a coup.
Teams from the UN and Madagascar's anti-locust agency have tried for several months to contain the swarms by spraying insecticide by airplanes and helicopters.
Experts said a recent heat wave allowed the locusts to leave their natural rural environment and head for the city.
"I am very surprised at the number of these crickets which invade the city. The state is not in control of the situation," said Jean Ramananarivo, a resident in the capital.
[Ynet] Riots broke out in Guinea's second-largest city Nzerekore over rumours that health workers had infected people with the deadly Ebola virus, a Red Thingy official and residents said on Friday.
A crowd of young men, some armed with clubs and pistols, set up barricades across the southern city on Thursday and threatened to attack the hospital before security forces moved in to restore order.
Gunshots were fired by the rioters and several people were maimed, said Youssouf Traore, president of the Guinean Red Thingy.
"A rumour, which was totally false, spread that we had sprayed the market in order to transmit the virus to locals," Traore said. "People revolted and resorted to violence, prompting soldiers to intervene."
Never letting a dead peasant go to waste, a Vermont writer with a teaching sinecure wants to first take your guns away because the 2nd Amendment was actually a political sop so that slave holding colonies would adopt the Constitution. I read somewhere years ago that it was a sop, but to every man who had served and fought in the Revolutionary War as well as those whose very existence relied upon a firearm. Ordinarily I would say, wow he really does care, except his solution is legislative mandated theft and murder, very popular these days but ultimately a line that better not be crossed.
News from Connecticut, where the next big confrontation with the government could take place after 2015: it turns out the bar association had been stampeded by the association's leadership into supporting Connecticut's draconian gun laws. The revolt in the ranks was so acute, can you guess what happened to the leadership?
Prices for pistol ammunition were mixed while prices for rifle ammunition were unchanged. Prices for used rifles were mixed while prices for used pistols were mostly lower.
.45 Caliber, 230 grain, From Last Week: Unchanged (3 Weeks)
Cheapest, 50 rounds (2 Box Limit): O.D. Green Supply, Tulammo, steel cased, .28 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 500 rounds: Browning Ammo and More, American Quality, reloaded, .29 per round (From Last Week: -.01 Each)
.40 Caliber Smith & Wesson, 180 grain, From Last Week: -.01 Each
Cheapest, 50 rounds: I.Q. Metals, HSM, FMJ, Factory Seconds, .24 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 500 rounds: I.Q. Metals, Store Brand, reloaded, .23 per round (From Last Week: +.01 Each)
9mm Parabellum, 115 grain From Last Week: Unchanged
Cheapest, 50 rounds: O.D. Green Supply, Fiocchi, Brass Cased, FMJ, .19 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 1,000 rounds: I.Q. Metals, HSM, Reloaded, FMJ, .19 per round (From Last Week: +.01 Each)
.357 Magnum, 158 grain, From Last Week: +.01 Each
Cheapest, 50 rounds: Goose Island Sales, GECO, FMJ, .39 per round
Cheapest Bulk: 250: LAX Ammunition, Store Brand, Reloaded, .34 per round (From Last Week: Unchanged (6 Weeks))
.223 Caliber/5.56mm 55 grain, From Last Week: Unchanged (4 Weeks)
Cheapest, 20 rounds: Cheaper Than Dirt, Tulammo, steel cased, .22 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 1,000 rounds: Bulf Ammo, Wolf WPA, steel cased, .24 per round (From Last Week: +.01 Each)
.308 NATO 145 grain, From Last Week: Unchanged
Cheapest, 20 rounds: Selway Armory, Brown Bear, steel cased, .45 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 500 rounds: SG Ammo, Silver Bear, steel cased, .45 per round (From Last Week: Unchanged (11 Weeks)(!))
7.62x39 AK 123 Grain, From Last Week: Unchanged (4 Weeks)
Cheapest, 20 rounds: Ammunition Depot, Wolf, steel case, .22 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 500 rounds: Cheaper Than Dirt, Brown Bear, steel case, .23 per round (From Last Week: Unchanged (4 Weeks))
.22 LR 40 Grain, From Last Week: Unchanged
Cheapest, 50 rounds (2 box limit): O.D. Green Supply, CCI Blazer, Brass, .07 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 500 rounds: Munire USA, Armacor Precision, .10 per round (From Last Week: Unchanged (4 weeks))
Guns for Private Sale
.223/5.56mm (AR Pattern Semiautomatic) Average Price: $545 Last Week Avg: $570 (-)
California (229, 222): Smith & Wesson M&P15: $400 (Same Gun) (!!)
Texas (304, 307): DPMS Sportical Carbine: $550
Pennsylvania (168, 157): Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport: $600
Virgina (204, 203): Anderson Arms: $575
Florida (402, 395): Bushmaster Carbon 15: $600
.308 NATO (AR-10 Pattern Semiautomatic) Average Price: $945 Last Week Avg: $955 (-)
California (49, 54): DPMS LR308: $875 (!)
Texas (45, 51): DPMS LAR308: $1,000 (Same Gun)
Pennsylvania (25, 25): Bushmaster ORC: $1,100 (Same Gun)
Virginia (45, 42): DPMS LR308: $900 (!) (Same Gun)
Florida (82, 84): Bushmaster ORC: $850 (!) (Same Gun)
[ARABNEWS] US and Ukrainian officials on Thursday accused Russia of being directly involved in the Ukraine conflict after pro-Kremlin rebels seized control of a key southeastern border town where fierce festivities had been raging.
"Yesterday Russian soldiers took control of the town of Novoazovsk," Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council wrote on Twitter, adding that a number of surrounding villages had also been seized.
US Ambassador to Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt also said "an increasing number of Russian troops are intervening directly in fighting on Ukrainian territory."
"Russia has also sent its newest air defense systems including the SA-22 into eastern Ukraine and is now directly involved in the fighting," Pyatt wrote on Twitter.
After weeks of government offensives that have seen troops push deep into the last rebel bastions in the industrial east of Ukraine, the tide has turned dramatically in the four-month conflict.
Kiev called on NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions... for help after a rebel counter-offensive from the southeast border with Russia appeared to smash through an army blockade around the separatist stronghold of Donetsk and threaten the government-held port city of Mariupol.
Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin ...Second and fourth President and sixth of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law, which occasionally results in somebody dropping dead from polonium poisoning. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile or dead... for having "deliberately unleashed a war in Europe" and called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting, a call echoed by Lithuania.
North Korea's government has approved plans by two Norwegian artists to open an art academy in the country. Henrik Placht and Morten Traavik traveled to North Korea together for the first time in August to develop the proposal and to look for potential sponsors. So far they have received financial support from the Prince Claus Fund.
The academy is to be called DMZ. It will primarily be an academy for North Korean students, but the plan is to open it up for international exchange programs.
Placht said, "One of the reasons for us going to North Korea is that we don't believe in sanctions and the boycott of art. Next year we are planning an exhibition and workshop in North Korea, in co-operation with the North Korean government, which will feature well-known international artists as well as North Korean artists."
The artists already have contacts in North Korea thanks to Traavik, who has produced several art projects in the country. In 2012, Traavik organised The Promised Land, a performance in Kirkenes, Norway, in which North Koreans holding flags instructed more than 200 Norwegian soldiers to create sequences of images using individual placards.
That same year, Traavik also produced the first Norwegian arts festival in North Korea, “Yes, we love this country”, named after the Norwegian national anthem. Meanwhile, earlier this year, he arranged for musicians from the Kum Song Music School to come to Bergen in western Norway to perform a Norwegian children's play.
Placht also has experience setting up academies in extreme political contexts. In 2002, he founded the International Academy of Art Palestine, where he was a project director until 2009. Placht said, "I will be able to draw on my experiences in Palestine when it comes to fundraising, curating and co-operating with the government. But I will also seek to create trust with North Korea so that they will have a natural ownership of the academy."
[Ynet] A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Pudge Jong-un ...the overweight, pouty-looking hereditary potentate of North Korea. Pudge appears to believe in his own divinity, but has yet to produce any loaves and fishes, so his subjects remain malnourished... has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper reported on Friday, citing an unidentified source.
Yun Tae Hyong, a senior representative of North Korea's Korea Daesong Bank, disappeared in Nakhodka, Russia, last week with $5 million, the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported.
The Daesong Bank is suspected by the U.S. government of being under the control of the North Korean government's Office 39, which is widely believed to finance illicit activities and was blacklisted by the US Treasury Department in 2010.
The newspaper said North Korea had asked Russian authorities for cooperation in efforts to capture Yun.
[Iran Press TV] Pro-Russia forces in southeastern Ukraine say they have tightened control over the strategic coastal town of Novoazovsk.
The Novoazovsk mayor said pro-Russia forces entered the southeastern town with dozens of tanks and armored vehicles on Wednesday after three days of heavy shelling in the area.
The takeover of Novoazovsk is seen as a major victory for pro-Moscow fighters in eastern Ukraine. The key resort town on the Azov Sea lies along the road linking Russia to Ukraine's port city of Mariupol and onto Crimea, which rejoined Russia in a popular referendum in March.
The news comes a day after the government in Kiev accused Moscow of sending Russian troops and tanks to back its supporters in the town.
On Friday, Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin ...Second and fourth President and sixth of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law, which occasionally results in somebody dropping dead from polonium poisoning. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile or dead... , denied the allegations. No, no! Certainly not! saying regular Russian troops are not fighting alongside pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.
Our "reaction can only be full disagreement," Peskov said, adding, "We have already denied these reports many times."
The pro-Russians say their next push will be toward Mariupol.
Pro-Moscow fighters have also released a video of four Ukrainian army soldiers and a Death Eater from pro-government Azov Battalion who are held captive in Novoazovsk.
Meanwhile, ...back at the Council of Boskone, Helmuth ordered the space pirate fleet to attack Zemblonia... a number of Ukrainian soldiers are reportedly trapped outside the town of Ilovaysk, some 50 kilometers east of Donetsk.
Pro-Russia forces say they will let the troops go only if they lay down their arms and pledge not to use them against the people of the east.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.