Posts Tagged With: Killed

Oregon’s Next Huge Earthquake: Not If, But When….


The clock is ticking on the next big earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, and experts fear it will be a monster

 

Following the deadly magnitude-9.0 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, Oregon legislators commissioned a study of the impact a similar quake could have on the state, according to the Associated Press.
The report, “Oregon Resilience Plan: Reducing Risk and Improving Recovery for the Next Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami,” was presented to legislators Thursday (March 14).
Within its pages is a chilling picture of death and destruction that would cripple the entire Pacific Northwest, from Northern California to British Columbia.
More than 10,000 people led. Bridges, dams, roadways and buildings — including Oregon’s State Capitol in Eugene — in a state of utter collapse. No water, electricity, natural gas, heat, telephokilne service or gasoline — in some cases, for months. Economic losses in excess of $30 billion.

The seismically active region has felt temblors before, most notably a massive earthquake and tsunami in January 1700 that wiped out entire forests in what is now Oregon and Washington and caused a deadly tsunami in Japan, thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean. [Waves of Destruction: History’s Biggest Tsunamis]
“This earthquake will hit us again,” Kent Yu, chair of the commission that developed the report, told Oregon legislators, according to the Daily Mail. “It’s just a matter of how soon.”
That titanic 1700 shaker was a megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia Fault, a seismic zone that stretches for almost 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) just off the Pacific Northwest coast. Based on current understanding of the fault’s seismic history, scientists estimate quakes occur along the line roughly every 240 years.
In other words, another big Cascadia Fault earthquake is “long overdue,” the International Science Times reports.
The report also noted that, geologically speaking, Japan and Oregon are mirror images of each other. There is, however, one important difference: Japan is much more prepared for earthquakes.
And Oregon is hardly the only region of North America overdue for a large earthquake: The Lake Tahoe region on the California-Nevada border is home to the West Tahoe Fault, which generally sees a quake every 3,000 to 4,000 years, and the most recent temblor occurred 4,500 years ago.
Elsewhere in California, the southern San Andreas Fault last produced a big temblor in 1690, and has been relatively quiet ever since. That isn’t good news, since a major earthquake usually occurs there every 180 years, according to recent research, and the fault line now has more than 300 years of pressure built up.
Whereas the West Coast is usually considered the most seismically active region of North America, the East Coast also has earthquakes, just not as often. Fault lines have recently been discovered near New York City, and the Indian Point nuclear power plant, about 24 miles (39 km) north of the city, straddles the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones.
In virtually all of these regions, preparation for earthquakes has been woefully inadequate, say many experts. Maree Wacker, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Oregon, laments the state of readiness: “Oregonians as individuals are underprepared,” Wacker told the Daily Mail.

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Detroit Man Says He Can Reveal Where Jimmy Hoffa Is Buried……


Tony Zerilli, alleged to be the underboss of Detroit’s biggest crime family, is breaking his silence on one of the greatest unsolved crimes in American history.
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A man who federal agents say is a main character in the infamous unsolved mystery about the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa is breaking his silence after decades of refusing to answer questions.

The reputed gangster says the union leader was buried in a field in suburban Detroit — about 20 miles north of the restaurant where he was last seen.

Eighty-five years old and barely able to walk, Tony Zerilli never thought this day would come.

“I’m dead broke. I got no money,” Zerilli told NBC 4 New York. “My quality of life is zero.”
It’s certainly not what you would expect to hear from a man who the feds say was once a high-ranking member of the Detroit La Cosa Nostra family.

“He actually had risen up at one point to the underboss – or second in command,” Andy Arena, former head of the FBI for New York and Detroit, said of Zerilli.

Former U.S. Attorney Keith Corbett, who prosecuted organized crime in Detroit for 20 years, says Detroit’s mafia families share blood relations in addition to their sworn bonds and that’s one reason the mystery of what happened to Hoffa has gone unsolved.

In July 1975, Hoffa told people he was going to meet two men at a restaurant in suburban Detroit. One was a suspected member of the Detroit mafia. The other was a Teamster boss from New Jersey. Hoffa, who’d been investigated for dealings with the mafia, was seen at the restaurant — and then never again.

“Organized crime was involved in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa,” Corbett said.

“I think the interesting thing about the Hoffa disappearance was that it was compartmentalized to only a few people, ” Arena said. “They kept that thing quiet.”

Quiet until now. Zerilli says he wants to set the record straight about his life — and what happened to Hoffa.

Zerilli denies ever being in the mafia or having anything to do with the disappearance of Hoffa.

“What happened to Hoffa had nothing to do with me in any way, shape or form,” Zerilli said.

Zerilli says he was crushed when Hoffa vanished. It was news he received while behind bars after he was convicted for being involved in illegal operations in Las Vegas casinos.

“They accused me while I was away,” Zerilli said of his time in prison. “If that’s not an alibi I don’t know what the hell an alibi is.”

“If I wasn’t away I don’t think it ever would’ve happened, that’s all I can tell you,” said Zerilli. “I would’ve done anything in the world to protect Jim Hoffa.”

Still, when Zerilli was released from prison, the feds were all over him — they demanded information about Hoffa’s disappearance. That didn’t do much good back then and even today Zerilli says he refuses to name names.

“I’m not a stool pigeon,” he said.

But the feds are convinced that Zerilli knows what happened.

“Clearly when he returned he would’ve been a person, based on his position in the hierarchy, who would have been able to learn the facts and circumstances surrounding the disappearance of James Earl Hoffa,” said Corbett.

Zerilli says he’s been frustrated over the decades to watch the FBI chase countless tips from publicity hounds seeking attention by saying they know Hoffa’s burial spot — rumors that have included locations around Detroit and the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

“All this speculation about where he is and he’s not,” Zerilli said. “They say he was in a meat grinder. It’s all baloney.”

The truth, Zerilli says, is that Hoffa never got very far from where he was last seen. He believes the union leader’s final resting place is about 20 miles north of the restaurant where he was last scene, in a field in northern Oakland County, Mich.

He was buried in a shallow grave and the plan was to move the body at another time, but Hoffa’s remains were never moved from the first spot where they were buried, Zerilli said.

“Once he was buried here he was buried and they let it go,” Zerilli said.

When told about Zerilli’s revelations, Corbett, a man who’d worked organized crime in Detroit for two decades, was flabbergasted.

“The bureau had a short list of people they wanted to talk to about that and I can’t think of anybody on that list who was more highly placed then Anthony Zerilli,” said Corbett. “This is certainly the most interesting and attractive lead that has come up since I’ve been involved with this — and I think the bureau would react the same way.”

For his part, Zerilli wants closure for himself and Hoffa’s family.

“I’d like to just prove to everybody that I’m not crazy,” Zerilli said. “And it means a lot to me. What happened, happened while I was in jail. And I feel very, very bad about it and it should never have happened to Jim Hoffa. He didn’t deserve what happened to him.

Zerilli also wants a payday. He’s working on a book and has a web site, hoffafound.com. He believes that he can make money if — and when — Hoffa’s body is found in that field. He’s waiting on the FBI to make the next move.

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ANCIENT PHARAOH’S THROAT WAS SLASHED……


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Ramesses III, Egypt’s last great pharaoh, had his throat slashed in a royal coup led by his son and one of his wives, according to new forensic analysis.

Computed tomography (CT) imaging revealed a serious wound in the throat of pharaoh’s mummy, just beneath the larynx.

Possibly caused by a sharp knife or a blade, the injury was about 2.75 inches wide and extended almost to the spine, cutting all the soft tissue on the front of the neck.

“Accordingly, all organs in this region, such as the trachea, oesophagus, and large blood vessels, were severed,” a team of Egyptian and European researchers led by Albert Zink, a paleopathologist at the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman of the European Academy of Bolzano in Italy, wrote in the current issue of the British Medical Journal.

“The extent and depth of the wound indicated that it could have caused the immediate death of Ramesses III,” they added.
The second Pharaoh of the 20th dynasty, Ramesses III ruled from about 1188 to 1155 B.C. He was the last significant king of the New Kingdom.

Ancient documents describe him as the “Great God” and a military leader who defended Egypt from repeated invasion of an ethnic group that the Egyptians called the Sea Peoples.

He was about 65 when he died, but the cause of his death has never been clear.
The researchers could see a Horus eye amulet embedded in Ramesses III’s wound. The charm symbolized royal power, protection, and good health.

“Most probably, the ancient Egyptian embalmers tried to restore the wound during mummification by inserting the amulet, generally used for healing purposes, and by covering the neck with a collar of thick linen layers,” the researchers said.
Ancient documents including the Judicial Papyrus of Turin clearly state that in 1155 B.C. members of Ramesses III’s harem attempted to murder him as part of a palace coup to change the line of succession.

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U.S. Relied on Firm Using Unarmed Guards for Diplomatic Security in Libya….


The State Department’s decision to hire Blue Mountain Group to guard the ill-fated U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, entrusted security tasks to a little-known British company instead of the large firms it usually uses in overseas danger zones.
The contract was largely based on expediency, U.S. officials have said, since no
one knew how long the temporary mission would remain in the Libyan city. The cradle of last year’s uprising that ended Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule, Benghazi has been plagued by rising violence in recent months.

Security practices at the diplomatic compound, where Blue Mountain guards patrolled with flashlights and batons instead of guns, have come under U.S. government scrutiny in the wake of the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Federal contract data shows that the Benghazi security contract, worth up to $783,284, was listed as a “miscellaneous” award, not as part of the large master State Department contract that covers protection for overseas embassies.

“Blue Mountain was virtually unknown to the circles that studied private security contractors working for the United States, before the events in Benghazi,” said Charles Tiefer, a commissioner at the Commission on Wartime Contracting, which studied U.S. contracting in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Several British government sources said that they were unfamiliar with Blue Mountain, which is based in Wales. They said British authorities used a different contractor for security protection in Libya.

Fred Burton, vice president of intelligence at the Stratfor consulting firm and a former U.S. diplomatic security agent, said he did not know Blue Mountain, but it likely got State Department work because it was already working in Libya.

“They may have been the path of least resistance,” he said.

Blue Mountain was able to work in Libya because it forged a business alliance with a local security firm, as required by Libyan regulations.

Eric Nordstrom, former regional security officer for the U.S. Embassy in Libya, testified at a congressional hearing last week that contracting out for security in the eastern Libyan city “was largely based on our concern of how long we would be in Benghazi. We were concerned that if we retained or brought on board full-time employees we would have to then find a position for them if that post ever went away.”

In describing the challenges of hiring private security at Benghazi, he added: “It’s my understanding that there was a very high turnover with those people.”

GUARDS OF BENGHAZI
Blue Mountain hired about 20 Libyan men – including some who say they had minimal training – to screen visitors and help patrol the mission at Benghazi, according to Reuters interviews.

Some of the guards sustained injuries and said they were ill-prepared to protect themselves or others when heavily armed militants last month stormed the rented villa that was serving as the mission.

They also described being hired by Blue Mountain after a casual recruiting and screening process.

State Department security officials had their own concerns about some of the guards at the mission months before the recent attack, according to emails obtained by Reuters this week. One guard who had been recently fired and another on the company’s payroll were suspected of throwing a homemade bomb into the U.S. compound in April. They were questioned but not charged.

The State Department has declined to comment on the company other than confirming it was the contractor in Benghazi. Blue Mountain did not respond to numerous emails and phone calls, and a person answering the phone at its office in Carmarthen, Wales, said the company would not discuss the issue.

Previously known as Pilgrim Elite, Blue Mountain says on its website that it offers security services and professional training and has operated in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.

The website once listed General Motors as a client, and a GM spokeswoman in Detroit told Reuters that Blue Mountain’s work for the company was “on a very limited basis and mostly in the UK.”

A Blue Mountain recruiter posted a notice on a security website in 2011 seeking employees with visas to work in Libya.

The State Department contract for “local guard” services in Benghazi took effect in March 2012. Several of Blue Mountain’s Libyan employees told Reuters that they had no prior security training or experience.
“I was never a revolutionary or a fighter, I have never picked up a weapon during the war or after it,” said Abdelaziz al-Majbiri, 28, who was shot in the legs during the Sept. 11 assault.

The Libyan commander in charge of the local guards at the mission was a former English teacher who said he heard about Blue Mountain from a neighbor. “I don’t have a background in security, I’ve never held a gun in my life,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity out of fear for his safety.

When hired, the commander said he was told “you have great English and get along with everyone and are punctual; we want you to be a guard commander.”

The unarmed guards were told to sound the alarm over the radio and then run for cover if there was an attack, a Libyan who acted as a supervisor for the Blue Mountain local guard team at the mission said during an interview with Reuters.

He also displayed a medal embossed with “Department of State” and a horseman carrying Libyan and U.S. flags. “They thanked us for our help and also gave us this medal as an appreciation,” he said.

Despite their inexperience, the Blue Mountain guards said they feared the Americans were not concerned enough about security.

“We used to tell the Americans who spoke to us on many occasions that we needed more support in security, because it felt thin on the ground. But they didn’t seem to be so worried, and (were) confident that no one will dare to come close to the consulate,” one guard said.
‘DOWN IN THE WEEDS’

Tiefer, who is also a government contracting law professor at the University of Baltimore, said the Benghazi contract paled in comparison to other State Department security awards.

“This is down in the weeds,” he said in a telephone interview.

Most State Department work goes to eight large private security firms with vast experience.

In the late summer of 2011, after Libyan rebels took control of Tripoli, Blue Mountain guards were seen working security at the Corinthia Hotel and its sister Palm City residential compound in the Libyan capital.

A United Press International report indicated that Blue Mountain and its local partner, Eclipse, also were competing for contracts guarding oil fields.

Blue Mountain and Eclipse parted ways in the spring over problems with Tripoli contracts, several sources familiar with the matter said.

The severed relationship may have prevented Blue Mountain from getting additional work in Libya, which required the local affiliation.

On a social network website earlier this year, a Blue Mountain official described the firm as “one of the few companies certified and legally allowed to work in Libya.”

Blue Mountain Chief Executive Officer Nigel Thomas, a former British special forces member, did not respond to emails or phone calls.

© 2012 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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