Archive for 10/06/2011

Insider: Iran Will Be Site of ‘Next Chernobyl Tragedy’ and a ‘Total Calamity for the World’

10/06/2011 Leave a comment

“(NewsCore) – The first Iranian nuclear power station is inherently unsafe and will probably cause a ‘tragic disaster for humankind,’ according to a document apparently written by an Iranian whistleblower.

There is a ‘great likelihood’ that the Bushehr reactor could generate the next nuclear catastrophe after Chernobyl or Fukushima, says the document, which has been passed to The (London) Times by a reputable source and is attributed to a former member of the legal department of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

It claims that Bushehr, which began operating last month after 35 years of intermittent construction, was built by ‘second-class engineers’ who bolted together Russian and German technologies from different eras; that it sits in one of the world’s most seismically active areas but could not withstand a major earthquake; and that it has ‘no serious training program’ for staff or a contingency plan for accidents.

The document’s authenticity cannot be confirmed, but nuclear experts see no reason to doubt it. It also echoes fears in the nuclear industry about the safety of a secretive project to which few outsiders have been granted access.

Iran is the only country with a nuclear power plant that has not joined the Convention on Nuclear Safety, which obliges signatories to observe international safety standards and share information.

Sami Alfaraj, head of the Kuwait Centre for Strategic Studies and an adviser to the Kuwaiti government, says an accident at Bushehr would be a ‘total calamity for the world,’ in which nuclear contamination would spew across a wide region.” Read more.

The Great Palestinian Lie

10/06/2011 Leave a comment

Truth is always a great thing to listen to …

Pat Condell – “… This is not about territory, and it certainly isn’t about justice or human rights, because Arab societies don’t know the meaning of those words. It’s about Jew-hatred, as mandated by the Qur’an and as preached in the mosques and taught to the children in Arab countries day in and day out, generation after poisoned generation.  The Arabs don’t hate Jews because of Israel, they hate Israel because of Jews…

The world needs to stop pretending that Palestine is about ‘justice’ and ‘human rights’ and have the moral courage to call this thing what it is, to put a stop to this charade, this endless dance around a non-existent negotiating table.  We need to do the Arabs a huge favor and tell them the truth they so badly need to hear: that their hatred is the cause of their misery.  They’ve become prisoners of it.  It has come to define their very identity, and until they can find the way to remove this ugly stain from their hearts they’ll always be chained to it, and they and their children will never be free …”


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Egypt: Attacks Against Christian Churches Are Part of a Plan to Expel Egypt’s Christians

10/06/2011 2 comments

“Cairo (AsiaNews) – Recent attacks against Coptic churches in Merinab (Aswan) and Elmadmar (Sohag) are part of a strategy promoted by Saudi Arabia to use its petrodollars to bring the country under a radical Islamic regime, sources in Cairo told AsiaNews. The latter are fearful of a mass exodus by Egypt’s minority Christians.

On Sunday in Merinab (Aswan, Upper Egypt), more than 3,000 Muslims, incited by their local imam, set fire to the local Coptic church after they accused Christians of building it without a permit.

On Monday, a group of Muslims in Elmadmar, (Sohag province, Upper Egypt) tried to tear down Saint Mary Church, but were repulsed by police sent to rescue the Christian community. However, none of the attackers were arrested.

Today, about 500 Christians demonstrated in front of the Governatorate building in Bani Suef (Aswan) demanding the reconstruction of the church of Merinab and the governor’s resignation.

Sources say Egypt’s military is powerless against attacks by Salafis who use money and promises to turn people in the poorest regions of the country against Christians.” Read more.

Egypt: Islamists Boast, ‘We Won’t Leave Any Christians in This Country’ – “A group of Muslims burnt down part of a church Friday – the Islamic Sabbath – in the village of Marinab, according to a report published in the daily Al Masry Al Youm. The village, situated close to the town of Edfu in the Aswan Governorate, is located some 800 kilometers south of Cairo. Security sources said Muslims rampaged through the village in what appeared to be a pogrom, clashing with the Christian residents and destroying their shops.” Read more.

Report: 100,000 Christians Have Left Egypt Since March Due to Escalating Intimidation and Attacks From Islamists – “The Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organizations (EUHRO) published a report today on emigration of Christians from Egypt, saying that nearly 100,000 Christians have emigrated since March 2011. The report, which was sent to the Egyptian cabinet and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), warned that this emigration has been prompted by the escalating intimidation and attacks on Christians by Islamists.” Read more.

Pakistan: Muslims Kill Christian After Church Buys Land for Orphanage in Punjab

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By Jibran Khan – “Lahore (AsiaNews) – Safdar Masih, a Pakistani Christian living in Mian Channu, a town in Khanewal District (Punjab), was murdered Wednesday night over a land dispute. A dozen people were injured. According to sources, a local Church had bought the land to build an orphanage, but an influential local feudal lord, Muhammad Ali Durrani, tried to claim the land.

Local residents say the rich Muslim backs the land mafia and tried to take the land bought by the Church. On Monday, local residents submitted an application at the local police station against Durrani and his associates, but police tried to pressure them and threatened them to withdraw their complaint.

On Wednesday, arriving by car, armed men attacked locals, murdered Safdar Masih, and injured over a dozen other residents including children. They also took over the land. Police did not register a First Information Report (FIR) about the anti-Christian attack.” Read more.

Egypt: Another Church Attacked By Muslims, Demand It Be Closed

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“(AINA) — On Monday, October 3, Muslims surrounded St. Mary’s Church in the Upper Egyptian village of Elmadmar, Tema district, Sohag province, in an effort to demolish it. The Muslims blocked the road to the church and hurled bricks at the building. Church personnel contacted the authorities. ‘For the first time, security came and in big numbers,’ said activist George Bouchra.

None of the assailants were arrested.

According to the priest of the church, Muslims came early before 8 AM and held banners with ‘No to the Church’ and demanded that no prayers be held. He described the assailants as young people under the leadership of some village Muslims, ‘whom I know by name.’

The Muslims insisted that it was never a church but a house that was turned into a church. This was refuted by the priest, who said the church was built eight years ago, to be used as a church and belongs to the Coptic Diocese. ‘It has state security approval to operate, but its license is still pending.’ The church was used once a month and a mass has been held every Saturday for five months. Muslims claim that we hold a mass every day at 4 PM, and we ring the church bell, which the church does not have, besides singing hymns, which they claim disturbs them.'” Read more.

Massive Increase of Radical Islamism Spreads Throughout Indonesia, Including ‘Top-Quality’ Universities

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“JAKARTA, Indonesia – The suicide bombing of a church in Central Java on Sept. 25 pointed not only to a new level of attacks on religious minorities in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country but to a political bent that accommodates Islamist extremism.

‘Radicalization of Islamic teachings and understanding is a problem in Indonesia,’ admitted Dr. H. Nasaruddin Umar, director general of Islamic Community Guidance under the Ministry of Religious Affairs. ‘There’s a need to re-explain the concept of jihad.’

Pino Damayanto, aka Ahmad Yosepa Hayat, who blew himself up wounding over 20 members of the Sepenuh Injil Bethel Church (Bethel Full Gospel Church) in Solo on Sept. 25, apparently believed it was his religious duty to kill ‘the enemies of Islam,’ according to his understanding of ‘jihad.'” Read more.

Indonesia: Radical Islam infiltrating top universities says counter-terror agency – “Radicalism has found its way into several of Indonesia’s top universities, according to the national counter-terrorism Agency (BNPT) says. ‘We are seeing a massive increase in radicalism. It is penetrating some top-quality and favourite universities such as [the University of Indonesia] and [the Bandung Institute of Technology],’ BNPT chief Ansyaad Mbai said Tuesday.” Read more.

Indonesia arrests Muslim militant suspected of plotting suicide attacks at church – “Indonesia’s anti-terrorism squad has arrested one of the country’s most wanted Muslim militants for allegedly plotting suicide attacks. Local police chief Lt. Col. Lufti Martadian said Sunday that Beni Asri was captured without a fight on Friday near his parents’ house in Solok of West Sumatra province.” Read more.

Indonesia: Islamic movement protests against shoppings malls – “Members of the Indonesia’s Islamic Student Assocation (HMI) clashed with riot police during a rally in front of the Kediri Regional Representatives Council (DPD) office on Thursday. ‘Open the gates or we’ll break them down,’ protesters yelled. The students were rallying against the mushrooming of modern shopping and karaoke centers in Kediri. The malls, they said, had caused the demise of other smaller shops.” Read more.

UNESCO Committee Supports Palestinian Statehood Bid

10/06/2011 Leave a comment

Update 10/31/2011: UNESCO Grants Full Membership to Palestinians

By John Irish – “PARIS – Palestinians moved a step closer to full membership of the UN cultural agency on Wednesday when its board decided to let 193 member countries vote on admission this month.

The latest move in a Palestinian quest for statehood recognition drew a swift rebuke from the United States and Israel, which both argue that the way to create Palestine is through negotiations, and a cool response from France.

In September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas formally applied to the UN Security Council for full membership of the United Nations, ignoring a U.S. warning that it would veto the move, as well as threats from members of the U.S. Congress to restrict American aid to the Palestinians.

At UNESCO, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 40 representatives of the 58-member board voted in favor of putting the matter to a vote, with four — the United States, Germany, Romania and Latvia — voting against and 14 abstaining, a source at the agency told Reuters.

That set the scene for a membership vote at UNESCO’s General Conference, a meeting that runs from Oct. 25 to Nov. 10 and involves all 193 members of the agency, based in Paris.

It also raised questions about whether Washington might be required by U.S. law to cut off funding for the agency if it were to accept the Palestinians as a member. The United States pays 22% of UNESCO’s dues, the State Department said.


U.S. ambassador to UNESCO David Killion issued a statement urging all delegations to join the United States in voting ‘no’ while in Washington U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland sharply criticized the Palestinian effort.

‘This is not going to create a state for them,’ she said at her daily briefing. ‘It is going to make things harder … It further exacerbates the environment of tension.'” Read more.

Actor-in-Chief: President Obama Steps Into a Pro-Israel Role to Woo Jewish Votes, But If Re-elected … – “The Obama administration told the Palestinian Authority it cannot significantly help advance a Palestinian state until after the 2012 presidential elections, a top PA official told WND. The official, however, said the U.S. will press for a Palestinian state quickly if President Obama is re-elected… ‘after the reelection, the U.S. said the schedule will be short to reach a Palestinian state.’” Read more.

Categories: Anything Else

Japan: The Mounting Human Costs of Japan’s Nuclear Disaster as Wind Spreads Radioactive Particles Over Wide Areas

10/06/2011 Leave a comment

“CREST the hill into the village of Iitate, and the reading on a radiation dosimeter surges eightfold—even with the car windows shut. ‘Don’t worry, I’ve been coming here for months and I’m still alive,’ chuckles Chohei Sato, chief of the village council, as he rolls down the window and inhales cheerfully. He pulls off the road, gets out of the car and buries the dosimeter in the grass. The reading doubles again.

Iitate is located 45km (28 miles) from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant hit by a tsunami on March 11th this year. In the mountains above the town, the forests are turning the colour of autumn. But their beauty is deceptive. Every time a gust of wind blows, Mr Sato says it shakes invisible particles of radioactive caesium off the trees and showers them over the village. Radiation levels in the hills are so high that villagers dare not go near them. Mr Sato cannot bury his father’s bones, which he keeps in an urn in his abandoned farmhouse, because of the dangers of going up the hill to the graveyard.

Iitate had the misfortune to be caught by a wind that carried radioactive particles (including plutonium) much farther than anybody initially expected after the nuclear disaster. Almost all the 6,000 residents have been evacuated, albeit belatedly, because it took the government months to decide that some villages outside a 30km radius of the plant warranted special attention. Now it offers an extreme example of how difficult it will be to recover from the disaster.

That is mainly because of the enormous spread of radiation. Recently the government said it needed to clear about 2,419 square kilometres of contaminated soil—an area larger than greater Tokyo—that received an annual radiation dose of at least five millisieverts, or over 0.5 microsieverts an hour. That covered an area far beyond the official 30km restriction zone (see map). Besides pressure- hosing urban areas, this would involve removing about 5cm of topsoil from local farms as well as all the dead leaves in caesium-laden forests.” Read more.

Actual Fukushima worker warns to get out of Japan before Spring comes – “Children have already started to have thyroid problems ‘even though they evacuated’. It was assumed to take 5 years but the symptoms are showing up much faster than we ever thought. Now it’s known that most part of the plume is stuck to the trees or soil in the mountains, where you can hardly decontaminate. Last night, the actual Fukushima worker Happy20790 tweeted these below: ‘Speaking of the pine, the pollen next year is very ‘serious’ … radiation will spread around again even though they decontaminate.'” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters

Bank of England Governor: The World is Facing the Worst Financial Crisis in History, A ‘Titanic’ Disaster for Pensioners, Savers and Workers Approaching Retirement

10/06/2011 Leave a comment

By James Kirkup – “Sir Mervyn King was speaking after the decision by the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee to put £75billion of newly created money into the economy in a desperate effort to stave off a new credit crisis and a UK recession.

Economists said the Bank’s decision to resume its quantitative easing [QE], or asset purchase programme, showed it was increasingly fearful for the economy, and predicted more such moves ahead.

Sir Mervyn said the Bank had been driven by growing signs of a global economic disaster.

‘This is the most serious financial crisis we’ve seen, at least since the 1930s, if not ever. We’re having to deal with very unusual circumstances, but to act calmly to this and to do the right thing.’

Announcing its decision, the Bank said that the eurozone debt crisis was creating ‘severe strains in bank funding markets and financial markets’.

The Monetary Policy Committee [MPC] also said that the inflation-driven ‘squeeze on households’ real incomes’ and the Government’s programme of spending cuts will ‘continue to weigh on domestic spending’ for some time to come.

The ‘deterioration in the outlook’ meant more QE was justified, the Bank said.

Financial experts said the committee’s actions would be a ‘Titanic’ disaster for pensioners, savers and workers approaching retirement. Sir Mervyn suggested that was a price worth paying to save the economy from recession.

Under QE, the Bank electronically creates new money which it then uses to buy assets such as government bonds, or gilts, from banks. In theory, the banks then use the cash they gain to increase their lending to businesses and individuals.

By increasing the demand for gilts, QE pushes down the interest rate yields paid to holders of these and other bonds. Critics of the policy say it pushes up inflation and drives down sterling.

The National Association of Pension Funds yesterday called for urgent talks with ministers to address the negative impact of lower gilt yields on pension funds. Joanne Segars, its chief executive, said QE makes it more expensive for employers to provide pensions and will weaken the funding of schemes as their deficits increase. ‘All this will put additional pressure on employers at a time when they are facing a bleak economic situation,’ she said.” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters

Fireball & Space Junk Light Up Alabama Sky in Cosmic Double Play

10/06/2011 Leave a comment

By Tariq Malik – “A NASA camera that scans the night sky for meteors caught a stunning double feature when it spotted a fiery meteor breaking apart while a piece of an old Russian rocket zoomed overhead.

The space light show occurred Friday (Sept. 30) over NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., at about 8:37 p.m. EDT (0037 GMT). A wide-field meteor camera, one of many in a network NASA uses to track fireballs, recorded the ‘spectacular meteor breaking up in Earth’s atmosphere,’ according to a blog post by meteor scientist Bill Cooke,head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office at the Marshall center.

A NASA video of the meteor’s fireball posted today (Oct. 5) shows the event. But the camera also recorded an extra surprise.

‘Also visible is a star-like object moving slowly toward the upper middle of the field of view — the upper stage of the Zenit booster that launched the Russian Cosmos 2219 intelligence satellite back in 1992,’ Cooke wrote. ‘Orbiting 500 miles above Earth, this empty rocket body can get bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye.'” Read more.

Categories: Cosmic Craziness

Outburst of Draconid Meteor Shower Set For The Middle East, North Africa and Parts of Europe on October 8th

10/06/2011 2 comments

“On October 8th Earth is going to plow through a stream of dust from Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, and the result could be an outburst of Draconid meteors.

‘We’re predicting as many as 750 meteors per hour,’ says Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. ‘The timing of the shower favors observers in the Middle East, north Africa and parts of Europe.’

Every 6.6 years Comet Giacobini-Zinner swings through the inner solar system. With each visit, it lays down a narrow filament of dust, over time forming a network of filaments that Earth encounters every year in early October.

‘Most years, we pass through gaps between filaments, maybe just grazing one or two as we go by,’ says Cooke. ‘Occasionally, though, we hit one nearly head on–and the fireworks begin.’

2011 could be such a year. Forecasters at NASA and elsewhere agree that Earth is heading for three or more filaments on October 8th. Multiple encounters should produce a series of variable outbursts beginning around 1600 Universal Time (noon EDT) with the strongest activity between 1900 and 2100 UT (3:00 pm – 5:00 pm EDT).

Forecasters aren’t sure how strong the display will be, mainly because the comet had a close encounter with Jupiter in the late 1880s. At that time, the giant planet’s gravitational pull altered the comet’s orbit and introduced some uncertainty into the location of filaments it has shed since then. Competing models place the filaments in slightly different spots; as a result, estimated meteor rates range from dozens to hundreds per hour.” Read more.

Categories: Cosmic Craziness

Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake Rattles Argentina

10/06/2011 Leave a comment

“A magnitude-6.2 earthquake hit at a relatively shallow depth in northwestern Argentina Thursday, emptying schools and houses as people sought safety outside.

In the provinces of Jujuy and Salta, people tweeted that it was the strongest quake they’d felt in years, cracking windows and toppling furniture. But there were no immediate reports of serious damage or injury.

The quake struck at 8:12 a.m. (8:12 a.m. EDT; 1112 GMT) and was centered not far from capitals of Jujuy and Salta, at an estimated depth of 5.9 miles (9.5 kilometers). Some of the strongest shaking was felt in San Pedro, a small town about 40 miles (63 kilometers) from the epicenter.” Source.

Categories: Earthquakes
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