Because of the insatiable nature of the hunger for absolute power, no serious crisis will ever go to waste. Just ask the former White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama. Given the events that have transpired this week alone in Egypt, it seems that the Muslim Brotherhood is taking that advice to heart, leaving us to certainly wonder if — as the author below rightly asks — the new anti-Christian and anti-Israel leadership of Egypt would even be where they are today if America actually had an administration “grounded in reality, rather than one with an affinity for Islamists that defies logic.” Each day, that answer is becoming increasingly clear …
By Arnold Ahlert -”In less than a week, the Muslim Brotherhood has made great strides towards consolidating its power in Egypt. Last Wednesday, newly elected president Mohammed Morsi fired his intelligence chief and other top security officials, using the killing of 16 soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula as his rationale. On Sunday Morsi took his purge one step further, dismissing the entire military leadership in a move that shocked the nation. Whether the military ultimately accepts that decision remains to be seen. The dramatic political implications from the move, however, are not in question.
Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi, Military Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Sami Anan, along with three generals, Air Force Chief Rezza Abd al-Megid, Navy Commander Mahab Muhamed Mamish and Air Defense Chief Abd Al-Aziz Muhamed Seif were all sacked by Morsi. Tantawi and Anan will be retained as advisors, said Yasser Ali, Mr. Morsi’s spokesman. The Wall Street Journal speculated that the arrangement suggests both men were consulted in advance and willingly ceded power. Morsi awarded both men “Order of the Nile” medals, Egypt’s highest state honor. Morsi also appointed Mahmoud Mekki as his vice president. Mekki is a former judge who earned notoriety for challenging the power of the Hosni Mubarak regime.
Morsi also nullified a constitutional declaration issued by the military junta that severely limited his presidential authority, replacing it with one that gives him sweeping executive and legislative powers. The Journal contends that this new arrangement gives him more power than Hosni Mubarak enjoyed, while the New York Times speculates that such power could give Morsi a decisive role in the drafting of Egypt’s as yet unfinished new constitution.
If this move remains unchallenged, Morsi becomes the supreme commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces, president of the National Defense Council, and Egypt’s president.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was slow to officially weigh in on the apparent coup, but Egypt’s official news agency quoted an unnamed military official late Sunday as saying Read more…
Egyptian Cleric and Former General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood: ‘To Hell With Anyone Who Does Not Accept Islamic Rule’
Egyptian Cleric and Former General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood: “To hell with anyone who does not accept the Islamic rule that the people want. Why? … We are a people who talk about democracy and the rule of the people … They elected Dr. Morsi for the cultural enterprise that he declared, which is based upon Islam. … I don’t want to beat around the bush. I’m a straightforward man. When Morsi presented his cultural enterprise for the revival of Egypt, he did so from an Islamic perspective, not a secular one.”
Flashback: Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi Says Christians Must Convert To Islam, Pay ‘Jizya’, Or Leave - ‘Conquest Is Coming’ – “… Muhammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate, just declared that he will ‘achieve the Islamic conquest (fath) of Egypt for the second time, and make all Christians convert to Islam, or else pay the jizya,’ the additional Islamic tax, or financial tribute, required of non-Muslims, or financial tribute… ‘They need to know that conquest is coming, and Egypt will be Islamic …’” Read more.
Flashback: Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi Declares ‘Death In The Name Of Allah Is Our Goal’ – “Egypt’s Constitution should be based on the Koran and Sharia law, presidential candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist movement Mohamed Morsi said. ‘The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal,’ … Today Egypt is close as never before to the triumph of Islam at all the state levels, he said.” Read more.
Pukhtoonistan Gazette – “KARACHI: A mysterious disease has killed 68 cows during the last week in Cholistan.
The disease which starts in the form of a light fever leads to fits in the cattle following which they die.
According to locals of the area, due to a drought this year animals are being forced to drink dirty water. Speaking to Geo News Zoology expert Ali Raza said that dirty water leads to stomach and liver diseases.
Meanwhile MD Cholistan Development Authority said a committee has been formed to investigate the death of the cattle and a report is awaited.” Source – Pukhtoonistan Gazette.
New Zealand: Alarming Number Of Dead And Dying Seals Washing Up On New Plymouth Beaches, ‘We Don’t Know Why’
August is never a good month for seals as weeks of rough winter weather and lack of food take their toll on old and young alike.
But Conservation Department ranger Bryan Williams said more are dying this year than usual.
‘We don’t know why because they are all dying in different scenarios,’ Mr Williams said.
Some are young and starved, others are old and at the end of their life and others still are dropping dead in the water and floating into Port Taranaki.
Should anyone see a seal on the beach or on land they should keep well clear and give DOC a call, Mr Williams said.
‘And if they have a dog they should put it on a lead. For some reason seals and dogs don’t mix. Those little chihuahua-type dogs, a decent seal will chomp one of those in one mouthful.’
Mr Williams said it was common for seals to come ashore for as long as three days during winter months.
‘And when they do that they get weepy around the eyes. People think they are sick but this is normal.’
New Plymouth’s seal colony varies in number from 300 in the summer to 500 now.
As many as 12 seal pups are born in late December and January and it is around this time of year sightings of the infamous white pointer shark dubbed the ‘Taranaki Terror’ are some times made.
The female shark is thought to be as much as 6 metres long and was last seen in Taranaki waters two years ago.” Source – Taranaki Daily News Online.
Egypt Deploying Large Number Of Troops In Sinai Without Israel’s Prior Approval In Violation Of Peace Accord
“If your sword’s too short, add to its length by taking one step forward.” – Author Unknown …
By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz – “The Egyptian army has been deploying large anti-terrorist forces in parts of the Sinai peninsula without informing Israel in advance. The peace treaty between the two countries limits the Egyptian military presence in Sinai.
Some of the Egyptian forces in the peninsula were sent there with Israel’s consent, but Haaretz has learned that forces have also been deployed without Israel’s prior approval. Israeli government officials only learned about it after the fact. Although Israeli defense officials declined to comment on the matter, they did note that there has been good security cooperation between the two countries, adding that there is regular contact between the two sides.
The Egyptian troop movements come in response to the expanding power vacuum in Sinai. On August 5, militants took over an Egyptian border post in the peninsula, killing 16 soldiers and stealing two armored personnel carriers that then headed to the Israeli border. One of the APCs exploded in the Kerem Shalom border terminal linking Egypt, Gaza and Israel; the other drove two kilometers into Israeli territory before it was hit in an Israel Air Force strike.
According to the 1979 peace agreement negotiated at Camp David, Egypt is not allowed to introduce tanks into certain areas of Sinai, including the vicinity of Al-Arish, to which dozens of tanks have been transported over the past several days. The treaty also bars the use of fighter aircraft, including helicopters, but that was approved retroactively by the Israeli security cabinet.” Read more.
Egypt: Morsi ‘To Make Changes In Camp David Accords’ To Exercise Full Sovereignty Over Sinai Peninsula – “The excuse will undoubtedly be to rein in terrorism. But let’s not kid ourselves — this is just one step toward an all-out annulment of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel …” Read more.
Throughout the state, 381 people have been sickened since the start of the year, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
‘Texas is on track to have the most cases of West Nile illness since the disease first emerged in the state in 2002,’ it said in a statement.
The county incorporating Dallas, the ninth-largest city in the United States, has been the hardest hit, prompting the mayor to declare a local state of disaster.
‘The City of Dallas is experiencing a widespread outbreak of mosquito-borne West Nile virus and has caused and appears likely to continue to cause widespread and severe illness and loss of life,’ Mayor Michael Rawlings said in the proclamation of emergency that takes effect Wednesday.
The virus has claimed ten lives in the county so far, local health authorities said. State officials put the toll at nine…
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Tuesday 693 cases — both confirmed and probable — of the virus have been reported country-wide so far this year, including 26 deaths. Texas tops the list of both cases and fatalities.” Read more.
Terra Daily – ” North American freshwater fishes are going extinct at an alarming rate compared with other species, according to an article in the September issue of BioScience. The rate of extinctions increased noticeably after 1950, although it has leveled off in the past decade. The number of extinct species has grown by 25 percent since 1989.
The article, by Noel M. Burkhead of the US Geological Survey, examines North American freshwater fish extinctions from the end of the 19th Century to 2010, when there were 1213 species in the continent, or about 9 percent of the Earth’s freshwater fish diversity.
At least 57 North American species and subspecies, and 3 unique populations, have gone extinct since 1898, about 3.2 percent of the total. Freshwater species generally are known to suffer higher rates of extinction than terrestrial vertebrates.
Extinctions in fishes are mostly caused by loss of habitat and the introduction of nonindigenous species. In North America, there are more freshwater fish species in a typical drainage to the east of the Great Continental Divide than to the west, where a greater proportion of species have gone extinct or are found nowhere else.
Estimating the number of extinctions relies on scrutiny of historical records and careful estimation procedures, since the last populations of a species are often recognized as such only in hindsight-there is typically a lag of several years from the last observation of a species and its estimated year of extinction.
Estimates are complicated by the fact that, on average, 6.7 new species are discovered each year, and occasionally a species thought to have gone extinct is ‘rediscovered.’
Nonetheless, Burkhead concludes that between 53 and 86 species of North American freshwater fishes are likely to have gone extinct by 2050, and that the rate of extinction is now at least 877 times the background extinction rate over geological time.” Source – Terra Daily.
By Michael Snyder, ETF Daily News -”The worst drought in more than 50 years is having a devastating impact on the Mississippi River. The Mississippi has become very thin and very narrow, and if it keeps on dropping there is a very real possibility that all river traffic could get shut down. And considering the fact that approximately 60 percent of our grain (NYSEARCA:JJG), 22 percent of our oil (NYSEARCA:USO) and natural gas (NYSEARCA:UNG), and and one-fifth of our coal travel down the Mississippi River, that would be absolutely crippling for our economy. It has been estimated that if all Mississippi River traffic was stopped that it would cost the U.S. economy 300 million dollars a day. So far most of the media coverage of this historic drought has focused on the impact that it is having on farmers and ranchers, but the health of the Mississippi River is also absolutely crucial to the economic success of this nation, and right now the Mississippi is in incredibly bad shape. In some areas the river is already 20 feet below normal and the water is expected to continue to drop. If we have another 12 months of weather ahead of us similar to what we have seen over the last 12 months then the mighty Mississippi is going to be a complete and total disaster zone by this time next year.
Most Americans simply do not understand how vitally important the Mississippi River is to all of us. If the Mississippi River continues drying up to the point where commercial travel is no longer possible, it would be an absolutely devastating blow to the U.S. economy.
Unfortunately, vast stretches of the Mississippi are already dangerously low.” Read more.
Closing The Mighty Mississippi Will Affect People All Over The Country – “The Mississippi river is drying up and some shipping companies are worried that the drought of 1988 may be repeated, a time when the river dried up so much that barge traffic came to a standstill. In 1988 the shipping industry lost $1 billion, a number that would be far higher in 2012 and could be reached in as little as three days. Almost all of the rivers 2,500 miles are experiencing some type of low water level. Just outside of Memphis the river is 13 feet below normal depth while the National Weather Service says Vicksburg, Mississippi is 20 feet below normal levels… Closing the Mississippi will affect people all over the country, barges, tugboats and towboats ship petroleum, grain, fertilizer, sand, gravel, steel and other items that will raise in price if their means of transportation are severed for much of the United States. According to Time, ‘About 60% of the country’s grain exports and one-fifth of its coal is transported along the nation’s inland waterway system.’” Read more.