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Archive for 11/04/2011

Israeli President on Military Strike Against Iran: The Time Has Come to Tell The Nations of the World ‘To Fulfill Their Promise and Their Responsibility’

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By Elad Benari – “President Shimon Peres hinted on Friday that Israel was closer than ever to taking military action to eliminate Iran’s nuclear program.

In a special interview he gave to Israel’s Channel2 News, Peres said that a military strike would probably solve the Iranian issue better than diplomatic methods would.

‘It seems Iran is moving closer to having a nuclear weapon,’ Peres said. ‘In the time that remains, we need to turn to the nations of the world and tell them that the time has come to fulfill their promise and their responsibility, which is about more than imposing sanctions.’

‘We must do what should be done to stop Iran, and there is a very long menu of options that I do not want to elaborate about,’ he added. ‘I want to remind of the urgent political and moral obligation (of other countries). It’s not just our problem, but also theirs.’” Read more.

US Military Official: Iran now top threat to the United States – “Iran is the biggest threat to the United States and its allies in the Middle East, surpassing al Qaeda, which is down but not out, a senior military official said on Friday. ‘The biggest threat to the United States and to our interests and to our friends, I might add, has come into focus and it’s Iran,’ said the official, addressing a forum in Washington.” Read more.

UN report to reveal evidence of Iran’s nuclear weapons program – “The U.N. atomic agency plans to reveal intelligence next week suggesting Iran made computer models of a nuclear warhead and other previously undisclosed details on alleged secret work by Tehran on nuclear arms, diplomats told The Associated Press on Friday. Other new confidential information the International Atomic Energy Agency plans to share with its 35 board members will include satellite imagery of what the IAEA believes is a large steel container used for nuclear arms-related high explosives tests, the diplomats said. The agency has previously listed activities it says indicate possible secret nuclear weapons work by Iran …” Read more.

‘Horrors to Come’: Why the Fukushima Disaster is Worse Than Chernobyl

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“This nation has recovered from worse natural – and manmade – catastrophes. But it is the triple meltdown and its aftermath at the Fukushima nuclear power plant 40km down the coast from Soma that has elevated Japan into unknown, and unknowable, terrain. Across the northeast, millions of people are living with its consequences and searching for a consensus on a safe radiation level that does not exist. Experts give bewilderingly different assessments of its dangers.

Some scientists say Fukushima is worse than the 1986 Chernobyl accident, with which it shares a maximum level-7 rating on the sliding scale of nuclear disasters. One of the most prominent of them is Dr Helen Caldicott, an Australian physician and long time anti-nuclear activist who warns of ‘horrors to come’ in Fukushima.

Chris Busby, a professor at the University of Ulster known for his alarmist views, generated controversy during a Japan visit last month when he said the disaster would result in more than 1 million deaths. ‘Fukushima is still boiling its radionuclides all over Japan,’ he said. ‘Chernobyl went up in one go. So Fukushima is worse.’

On the other side of the nuclear fence are the industry friendly scientists who insist that the crisis is under control and radiation levels are mostly safe. ‘I believe the government and Tokyo Electric Power [Tepco, the plant's operator] are doing their best,’ said Naoto Sekimura, vice-dean of the Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. Mr Sekimura initially advised residents near the plant that a radioactive disaster was ‘unlikely’ and that they should stay ‘calm’, an assessment he has since had to reverse.

Slowly, steadily, and often well behind the curve, the government has worsened its prognosis of the disaster. Last Friday, scientists affiliated with the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the plant had released 15,000 terabecquerels of cancer-causing Cesium, equivalent to about 168 times the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the event that ushered in the nuclear age. (Professor Busby says the release is at least 72,000 times worse than Hiroshima).” Read more.

French Report: Fukushima Pollution 20 Times Larger Than TEPCO Admits – 27,100 TBq of Radioactive Cesium Leaked Into Ocean – “French researchers say the amount of radioactive cesium that has leaked from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean is 20 times larger than the plant operator estimated. The French government’s nuclear research institute, IRSN, released its contamination report on Saturday. It calculates that 27.1 thousand terabecquerels of radioactive cesium 137 had leaked into the ocean as of the middle of July.” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters

Largest Sunspot in Years Observed on the Sun

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By Clara Moskowitz – “One of the largest sunspots in years has appeared on the sun, darkening part of its glowing face.

The massive sunspot, called AR1339, is about 50,000 miles long, and 25,000 miles wide, reports SpaceWeather.com. For comparison, Earth itself is only 8,000 miles wide.

The sunspot behemoth isn’t yet facing our planet, but was spotted Thursday, Nov. 3, by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) satellite. The spacecraft’s photos of the giant sunspot show the solar region as it comes into view on the northeastern edge, or limb, of the sun.

When it does turn our way in the days ahead, it should be an ‘easy target for backyard solar telescopes,’ according to SpaceWeather.com.

The sunspot is actually a group of nearby darkened spots on the sun, some of which are individually wider than planet Earth.

Sunspots appear when intense magnetic activity ramps up on the sun, blocking the flow of heat through the process of convection, which causes areas of the sun’s surface to cool down. These isolated areas then appear dimmer than the surrounding area, creating a dark spot.

The intense magnetic activity around sunspots can often cause solar flares, which are large releases of energy that can actually brighten up the sun. Flares are also accompanied by flows of charged particles out into space, called coronal mass ejections, which can wreak havoc on satellites and power grids on Earth if they head our way.

SpaceWeather.com warns that a huge sunspot like AR1339 comes with a large potential for solar flares. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts a 50 percent chance of medium-class M solar flares over the next 24 hours due to this sunspot.” Read more.

NASA detects X 2-class flare eruption on the Sun – “Earth-orbiting satellites have just detected an X2-class solar flare. The source is huge sunspot AR1339. If a CME occurred, chances are it is not earth-directed given the far eastern eruption site on the solar disk NOAA said. This turbulent region of the Sun will be facing Earth directly in about 5 days. A solar flare is a sudden brightening observed over the Sun surface or the solar limb, which is interpreted as a large energy release of up to 6 × 1025 joules of energy (about a sixth of the total energy output of the Sun each second). The flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona into space. These clouds typically reach Earth a day or two after the event. The term is also used to refer to similar phenomena in other stars, where the term stellar flare applies.” Source.

Categories: Cosmic Craziness

Indonesia: Trial Begins for 10 Islamic Militants Charged with Planning Attack Against Christian Church

11/04/2011 3 comments

“JAKARTA, Indonesia — Ten suspected militants have gone on trial for allegedly planning to bomb an Indonesian church before Easter mass and to film the inferno for broadcast.

They are also charged with sending mail bombs — none of them deadly — to several of the country’s moderate Muslims and police earlier this year.

The 10 defendants were each being tried separately at the West Jakarta District Court.

Authorities in April recovered explosives planted beneath a gas pipeline near 3,000-seat Christ Cathedral Church outside the capital.

Prosecutor Teguh Suhendro said Thursday that the 10 men, all in their 30s, had planned to use these in the foiled plot, and that defendant Imam Firdaus, a local TV journalist, allegedly planned to film the attack.” Source – Associated Press.

Nigeria: Islamic Gunmen Storm Church, Kill Two in Latest Militant Attack

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By Daniel Tovrov – “Gunmen attacked a church in Nigeria late Thursday, killing at least two people.

A riot broke out following the attack in the town of Zonkwa, in the central Kaduna state. Kaduna was the site of massive violence following Nigerian presidential elections in April. Around 300 were killed in the region, while upwards of 800 more were killed in northern states.

Kaduna is geographically and demographically located between Nigeria’s primarily Christian south and Muslim north.

The state elected its first Christian governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yokowa , who is part of President Goodluck Jonathnan’s People’s Democratic Party, in April.

Violence in Nigeria spiked after the elections and is primarily concentrated in the north, particular in the Borno state, home to the radical Islamic militant group Boko Haram.

Boko Haram’s name roughly translates into ‘western education is a sin,’ and the latest violence is part of an ongoing religious movement to make Nigeria a Muslim state under Sharia law.

Attacks are a regular and steady occurrence in some parts of the country. Last month, Nigerian MP Modu Bintube was killed by Boko Haram at his home in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, in what is probably the highest profile assassination in years.

Earlier in the month, the Islamic militants stormed the village of Ligyado in Zamfara State, reportedly going from house to house with AK-47 rifles, daggers, machetes and sticks, robbing and killing. Twenty-three people were killed, and the village was completely deserted after the attack.” Read more.

Jamie Glazov: ‘The West is Under Assault, We Are Under Attack … We Have to Call a Spade a Spade’

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Jamie Glazov of Front Page Magazine joins Michael Coren to discuss the assault on the West by Islam and its ally, the Left.

Cantaloupe Listeria Becomes Deadliest Ever Food Outbreak as Death Toll Reaches 29

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“The death toll from the listeria outbreak that’s been traced back to Colorado cantaloupes has now climbed to 29, making it the deadliest food-bourne illness outbreak ever recorded in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the increase in the total number of deaths earlier this week, and noted that the number of people infected has gone up to 139 in 28 states.

On Wednesday night, a CDC official confirmed that this latest food-borne illness outbreak was the deadliest on record, surpassing the one linked to listeria-tainted cheese that killed 28 people in Mexico in 1985.

‘There were 28 deaths (adults as well as infants) and 20 miscarriages and still-borns from Jalisco,’ the official said in an email.

‘No other outbreak in recent times, since we began collecting/recording data in 1973 comes close. Of course the system for collecting and tracking food-bourne disease is much more precise now.’

The outbreak began in August and stemmed from Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes sold by Jensen Farms near Holly, Colorado.

The cantaloupes were recalled Sept. 14, and no melons under the recall are still on store shelves.” Read more.

Categories: Pestilence

New York: Swarms Of Blood-Thirsty Underground Insects Invading, Terrorizing New York City Homeowners

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“NEW YORK (CBS 2) — An insect invasion is terrorizing New York City homeowners, making life miserable, even dangerous, for many families. Parents have been forced to take extreme measures to protect their children and their homes.

CBS 2’s Dave Carlin investigates the growing Upper West Side mosquito mystery.

These rare mosquitoes are extra blood-thirsty and active year-round. Carlin saw some of them in a lab after they were collected in the unlikeliest of places, Bernard Lagan’s home on West 84th Street.

‘They trapped 150 mosquitoes in the basement in a 24-hour period coming from underground and into the basement and up in to the house through the air vents and it’s the same story as the other brownstones on this block,’ Lagan told Carlin.

It’s an invasion that has almost every resident of 84th Street between Riverside and West End Avenue slapping, scratching and suffering.

‘They’re hungry. They’re hungry,’ said resident Susan Nicholson.

‘Three on this ear; one on his cheek; one on his neck,’ another woman said, illustrating the bites on one of her children. ‘And there are some on his arms going up his arm.’

Frustrated neighbors said after numerous complaints to the city and no concrete action, they feel abandoned. So like busy bees, they’re taking matters in to their own hands: covering cracks, vents and drains, both inside and out.” Read more.

Categories: Pestilence

Texas: Red Tide Kills Another 1.2 Million Fish Along Coast in Less Than Two Weeks

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“AUSTIN, Texas (AP)  The algae bloom known as red tide has killed 1.2 million more fish along the Texas coast in less than two weeks.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reported Monday that about 4.2 million fish have died since the red tide outbreak began in September. The agency on Oct. 20 estimated 3 million fish had been killed.

State health officials last week banned, until further notice, commercial and recreational harvesting of oysters, clams and mussels due to red tide. Tuesday would have been opening day for public harvest of oysters through April.

Experts say red tide, often present in the fall, is worse this year because of the Texas drought and recent excessive heat. The algae thrive in warm, salty water.

Red tide can cause respiratory problems in people.” Source – WTAW NewsTalk.

Study: Earthquakes Have Claimed More Than 780,000 Over Past Ten Years — 60% of All Disaster-Related Deaths

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“EARTHQUAKES claimed more than 780,000 lives in the past decade, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of all disaster-related deaths, according to a study published in The Lancet today.

‘In addition to these deaths, earthquakes have directly affected another two billion people in this period,’ it added.

The deadliest quake was the January 12 2010 7.0-magnitude event in Haiti which killed 316,000 people.

This was followed by the December 26 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, generated by a 9.1-magnitude tremor, in which 227,000 people died.

Third-ranked was the May 12 2008 7.9-magnitude quake in south-western China’s Sichuan province, which inflicted a death toll of 87,500.

The review study seeks to give emergency responders and policymakers a snapshot of the scale of earthquakes as a health priority, and to warn doctors about the kind of injuries they are likely to confront.

‘Massive earthquakes can result in casualty rates ranging from one to eight per cent of the at-risk population,’ it said.

‘The reported ratios of death-to-injury vary, but across many studies seems to be about 1-to-3.’

The death toll unfurls in waves, starting with immediate fatalities from falling buildings, which is followed several hours later as people die from catastrophic injuries to internal organs, says the investigation.

A third wave occurs in the days to weeks afterwards among people with sepsis and multiple organ failure.

Among survivors, the main injuries are crush-related damage to the kidneys, liver and spleen, followed by spinal damage, bone fractures and lacerations.” Read more.

Categories: Earthquakes

Syria: Arab League Plan Fails to Calm Violence as ’15,000 Strong’ Insurgent Army Gathers to Take on Assad

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By Ruth Sherlock – “The national ‘Syrian Free Army’ aims to be the ‘military wing of the Syrian people’s opposition to the regime’, its leader told The Daily Telegraph from a heavily guarded camp in eastern Turkey.

Confirmation of an armed force operating with the covert approval of the Turkish authorities follows evidence that attacks inside Syria are causing high levels of casualties in the security forces. It also shows the anger of Recep Tayipp Erdogan, the Turkish premier, with Mr Assad, a former ally whose failed promises of reform have caused a deep rift.

‘We are the future army of the new Syria. We are not in league with any particular sect, religion or political party. We believe in protecting all elements of Syrian society,’ the Army’s leader, Col Riad al-Assad, said.

Made up of defectors from the regime’s army, SFA fighters are conducting ‘high quality operations against government soldiers and security agents,’ Col Assad said.

Last week the SFA claimed responsibility for the killing of nine Syrian soldiers in battles in a town in central Syria. On Friday a further 17 regime soldiers were reported killed in violent clashes with defected former comrades in the city of Homs, a hotbed of resistance.

The violence has continued this week. There have been unconfirmed reports that nine members of the minority Alawite sect to which Mr Assad belongs were dragged off a bus and killed, while 15 members of the security forces were killed by deserters on Wednesday in two attacks, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.” Read more.

Arab League plan fails to calm Syria violence – “Syrian tank fire killed at least three people in the city of Homs early on Friday as security forces pursued a violent crackdown on protesters despite a government agreement with the Arab League to stop shooting and talk to its opponents. The latest deaths followed a bloody day in Homs, where activists said at least 22 people were killed as tanks shelled the Bab Amro district and troops and snipers fired elsewhere in the city, a hotbed of protests and an emerging insurgency.” Read more.

Leaders Admit Greece May Leave Euro, Could Trigger ‘Chain Reaction’ of Collapses in Europe, Britain Prepares for Worst

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“CANNES—It may well be remembered as the day the euro zone began to break apart.

At a late night news conference in Cannes on Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy shattered the bloc’s most sacred taboo, conceding openly for the first time that Greece might end up having to leave the tight-knit currency club it joined a decade ago.

The admission, after an intense two-hour meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on the eve of a G20 summit, sets the euro zone on a perilous course that could reverberate in Europe and beyond for decades.

Were Greece to leave the euro zone, a step that until now European officials have said is technically and legally impossible, the consequences would be devastating even though the country represents just 2.5 percent of the 17-nation currency area’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Just how devastating is difficult to say because the move would take Europe and the global financial system into uncharted territory.

But what does seem clear is that an exit would spark contagion to other peripheral countries as foreign investors pulled out en masse.” Read more.

Greece may leave euro, leaders admit – “The G20 is planning to increase the crisis-fighting firepower of the International Monetary Fund after the start of its summit was dominated by the first open admission from EU leaders that it might be necessary for Greece to leave the eurozone if the single currency is to survive. George Osborne said there was a “real sense of urgency” on a day that saw an emergency interest rate cut from the European Central Bank, backtracking from Greece over a referendum on its bailout conditions, and a recognition that the IMF may need extra resources to cope with a deteriorating global economy.” Read more.

Euro chaos: Britain prepares for worst – “Britain is drawing up plans to deal with the consequences of a possible collapse of the eurozone – including a fresh banking crisis – in the wake of the chaos in Greece. The opening of the G20 summit of the world’s most powerful economies in Cannes was overshadowed by the turmoil in Athens last night, as the Greek Prime Minister dramatically abandoned plans for a referendum on the European bailout deal in the face of furious opposition at home and abroad. But, amid growing fears that a Greek economic meltdown could spread through the rest of Europe, there are still concerns that the European plan brokered last week is not enough.” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters
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