More than half of the United States hosts areas considered natural disaster sites by the US Department of Agriculture following a ravaging dry spell that has left more than 1,000 counties in 26 different states destroyed. The USDA says droughts and fires are to blame for their recent labeling of much of the US as being in a state of natural disaster. Among those effected by damage, reports Bloomberg News, are around one-third of the country’s farmers, which contributes in making this declaration the largest ever of its kind by the Department of Agriculture. “Agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack tells the country this week in an official statement. “We need to be cognizant of the fact that drought and weather conditions have severely impacted farmers around the country.” States that contain the 1,016 counties considered natural disaster sites include California, Texas, Illinois, Florida and Hawaii, to name a few. More than half of the Midwest region — the heartland of America’s agriculture community — is currently experiencing moderate to extreme droughts.
USDA: America experiencing biggest disaster in history %u2014 RT
USDA: America experiencing biggest disaster in history - RT
Retired Chinese diplomat Sha Zukang has called on the US, Japan and China to avoid a major conflict in the Asia-Pacific region over "those two tiny rocks" in the East China Sea.
The former Chinese ambassador to the UN was referring to the tensions after China announced a new Air Defense Identification Zone over the disputed islands in the East China Sea, the China Times reported.
Washington and its ally in the region Tokyo both strongly criticized Beijing' decision.
"If China started a war with Japan, it would be much larger than both the Sino-Japanese War and World War II," Sha told China' outlet the Global Times.
CHINA - A 30-year-old man was confirmed to have been infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus in east China's Zhejiang province, local health authorities said Friday.
The patient, surnamed Yu, is a native of Anji county, Zhejiang. He is being treated at the First Hospital affiliated with the Medical College of Zhejiang University, said the provincial health department.
He is in critical condition with a fever of 39.5 degrees Celsius, said Liang Weifeng, a doctor with the hospital.
Not limiting their activities to the earthly realm, American and British spies have infiltrated the fantasy worlds of World of Warcraft and Second Life, conducting surveillance and scooping up data in the online games played by millions of people across the globe, according to newly disclosed classified documents.
Fearing that terrorist or criminal networks could use the games to communicate secretly, move money or plot attacks, the documents show, intelligence operatives have entered terrain populated by digital avatars that include elves, gnomes and supermodels.
The spies have created make-believe characters to snoop and to try to recruit informers, while also collecting data and contents of communications between players, according to the documents, disclosed by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. Because militants often rely on features common to video games - fake identities, voice and text chats, a way to conduct financial transactions - American and British intelligence agencies worried that they might be operating there, according to the papers.
21 November, 2013 - 23:15 aprilholloway
We have already survived numerous 'end of days' predictions, with the Mayan prophecy being the most recent, but the predictions of doom and gloom are not over yet. According to Norse mythology and Viking legend, the apocalypse is less than 100 days away.
Legend has it that the Norse God, Heimdallr, would blow the mythical Gjallerhorn to warn of the Viking apocalypse, also known as 'Ragnarok', which translates to 'Doom of the Gods'. It is claimed that the so-called end of the world is due to arrive on 22nd February, 2014, although it appears that this date is a bit of a publicity stunt by the Jorvik Viking Centre to celebrate their 30th Viking festival.
Norse mythology says that the god Odin will be killed by the wolf Fenrir and all of the other "creator" gods will fall. The world will then be born again and will be repopulated by two humans.
During the world' end, the sun' beams will become black and the weather will become treacherous. The wolf Skoll would devour the sun, and his brother Hati would eat the moon, causing stars to vanish from the sky and the Earth to be thrown into eternal darkness. According to one of the prophetic poems: "Brothers will fight and kill each other, sisters' children will defile kinship. It is harsh in the world, whoredom rife - an axe age, a sword age - shields are riven - a wind age, a wolf age - before the world goes headlong. No man will have mercy on another."
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Sunday that extending unemployment benefits would only wind up hurting jobless Americans in the long run.
Paul said on "Fox News Sunday" a proposal in Congress to extend payments past 26 weeks would backfire because it would label recipients as risky long-term unemployed.
The US Air Force has secretly developed a new stealth drone for long-range reconnaissance missions that could be operational by 2015, according to a report.