Archive for 07/18/2011

2010 the Worst Year to Date for the Christian Community in Iraq

07/18/2011 Leave a comment

“Baghdad (AsiaNews) – The year 2010 was the worst year to date for the Christian community in Iraq, it has been revealed by the organization for human rights in Iraq, Hammurabi. Many Christians were forced to leave the country in fear of killings and violence of all kinds. The death toll among Christians over the past seven years, according to Hammurabi exceeds 822 people. 629 of them were murdered for being part of the Christian minority. Others were involved in 126 attacks of various kinds and many others have been victims of military operations undertaken by U.S. and Iraqi forces. 13% of victims are women. Among the Christian victims of 2010 there are 33 children, 25 elderly and 14 religious. In 2010 Hammurabi recorded 92 cases of Christians killed and 47 wounded, 68 in Baghdad, 23 in Mosul and one in Erbil.

The director of Hammurabi, named after the Code of Hammurabi, one of the oldest known collections of laws in human history, William Warda, said that constant monitoring and documentation show that all the Christian Churches in Iraq – Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syrians, Armenians – have suffered heavy losses in the number of their faithful, all over the country. The decline is particularly strong in Baghdad and Mosul, where Christians are concentrated in greater numbers. Warda said that in one year there were more than 90 Christians killed and 280 wounded, and two churches have been the target of attacks in Baghdad.” Read more.

Will the U.S. withdrawal sound a death knell for Iraq’s minorities? – “The campaign of violence against Iraq’s ethno-religious minorities sends a clear message: leave or die. Last October, an Al Qaeda linked terrorist faction held an entire Assyrian Catholic congregation hostage in Baghdad and executed priests and worshippers during Sunday mass. In response to these attacks and the international scrutiny that followed, a rightfully ashamed Prime Minister Maliki issued condolences and promised to protect religious minority groups. Yet, while this small gesture was important, it unfortunately has not tempered the level of violence that is sparking a mass exodus to Syria, Jordan and the West and a massive internal migration of thousands of Iraqi Christians. Despite Maliki’s promise of protection, local terrorist campaigns continue to make minority communities fear for their futures.” Read more.

Ex-CIA Official Robert Baer: ‘Israel Plans to Strike Iran in September’

07/18/2011 5 comments

“Israel may mount a strike against Iran in the fall, longtime CIA officer Robert Baer, who spent 21 years in the Middle East, told a Los Angeles radio station Saturday.

Baer ventured such a move will drag the United States into another major war and endangering US military and civilian personnel throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Baer spoke on the provocative KPFK Los Angeles show Background Briefing, hosted by Ian Masters.

Baer didn’t name sources for his prediction of an Israeli attack, but the few he did cite are all Israeli security figures who have publically warned that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was adamant to strike Iran, such as former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan.

Baer said that ‘There is almost near certainty that Netanyahu is planning an attack (on Iran)… and it will probably be in September before the vote on a Palestinian state. And he’s also hoping to draw the United States into the conflict,’ he explained.” Read more.

‘Syria increasing arms shipments to Hezbollah’ – “Damascus is increasing shipments of advanced missiles and other weapons to Hezbollah amid continuing unrest in Syria, The Times of London reported Friday quoting Western intelligence officials. The officials said Syria provided Hezbollah with eight Scud D missiles that have a range of 700 kilometers. The missiles ‘are accurate to within tens of meters and bring all of Israel, Jordan and large parts of Turkey within Hezbollah’s range,’ the officials were quoted by the newspaper as saying.” Read more.

Major increase in weapons and explosives smuggled into Gaza since Egyptian revolution – “Military Intelligence estimates Hamas and Islamic Jihad have obtained more than 10,000 rockets and missiles – including a large stockpile of Iranian Fajr-5 rockets that can reach Tel Aviv – close to what Hezbollah had on the eve of the Second Lebanon War in 2006. A year ago, the terror groups were believed to have just a few thousands rockets, but the revolution in Egypt has completely altered the balance of power between Israel and Gaza…  one of the first results of the revolution was the interim government’s decision to stop construction of a steel barrier that Egypt had been building along its border with Gaza in an effort to curb smuggling. Instead, since the revolution, the IDF believes Hamas has smuggled in three times the amount of explosives it brought into Gaza in all of 2010.” Read more.

Scientists and Researchers Concerned About Unusual Seismic Activity in Yellowstone Following Earthquake Swarms

07/18/2011 1 comment

Reporter: “The mountain west region and Yellowstone in particular are no strangers to earthquakes, but what scientists say is unusual is to see the kind of energy that they’re seeing for this extended period of time.”

U of U Researcher: “We haven’t had this energetic or intensive swarm in many years. Well over a decade.  So it’s not normal,  it’s unusual… We don’t know why this happened now.  We normally get a thousand to 2 thousand earthquakes a year in Yellowstone.  The fact that we got 250 or so in three days makes — we made up a lot of that energy release in a short period of time…”

Indonesia: Double Eruption at Lokon Volcano

07/18/2011 Leave a comment

“An Indonesian volcano erupted twice on Monday following its biggest eruption in weeks over the weekend, a government volcanologist said, forcing people to remain in safety shelters.

‘The two eruptions happened within ten minutes which sent a column of ash and smoke up to 600 meters into the air,’ government vulcanologist Freddy Korompis said from a monitoring post.

The 1,580-meter-tall Mount Lokon experienced its biggest eruption on Sunday with huge clouds of ash propelled 3,500 meters into the sky.

More than 5,200 people have been evacuated to temporary shelters since the volcano erupted on Thursday and its alert status was placed on the highest level.

It last erupted in 1991, killing a Swiss tourist.” Read more.

Categories: Natural Disasters
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