Friday, August 28, 2015

Nations in Distress

My Way News - Lebanon interior minister worried about protest
My Way News reports: "Two rallies in the capital, Beirut, last weekend drew up to 20,000 people, and dozens were hurt in clashes between protesters and security forces at the time. Another huge protest is planned for Saturday. The protests have been driven by anger over garbage piling up on the streets of Beirut, following the closure of a main landfill. The government's failure to resolve the crisis has evolved into wider protests against a political class that has dominated Lebanon since the end of the country's civil war in 1990 and is widely seen as dysfunctional."

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Global Community

My Way News - For the first time, 1 billion people used Facebook in a day
My Way News reports: "For the first time, a billion people used Facebook in a single day on Monday. CEO Mark Zuckerberg marked the occasion with a post on his Facebook page, saying that one out of seven people on Earth logged in to the social network to connect with their friends and family."

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Pestilence

My Way News - Utah man dies from plague in 4th fatal case in US this year
My Way News reports: "A Utah man in his 70s has died after contracting the plague, bringing to four the number of deaths from the disease reported in the United States this year, health officials said Thursday. [...] Human cases of plague often occur in areas where wild rodent populations are near campsites and homes. Transmission between people is rare."

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Rumors of War - Kings of the East

My Way News - China's Xi staying the course despite sliding economy
My Way News reports: "Having accumulated more power than any Chinese leader in 20 years, President Xi Jinping is expected to stay the course in hopes that the market will correct itself and the economy returns to an even keel. The longer that takes, the greater the risks for the Communist Party, which has managed to keep a tight grip on power in part because of its ability to deliver economic growth. [...] A slowing economy may now compel them to seek non-economic sources of party-state legitimacy [...] that potentially raises the possibility of even greater levels of nationalism and xenophobia, tendencies percolating in Chinese society that break out into periodic spasms of violence and rage, especially directed toward traditional antagonist Japan."

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Wickedness Increases

My Way News - Fired reporter kills 2 former co-workers on live TV
My Way News reports: "He planned it all so carefully — a choreographed execution of two former colleagues, broadcast live to a horrified television audience. Hours later, he shared his own recording of the killing worldwide on social media [...] Wednesday's on-air murders reverberated far from central Virginia because that's just what the killer wanted — not just to avenge perceived wrongs, but to gain maximum, viral exposure."

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Future Fear - Fearsome Events

My Way News - Drought-plagued California readies for El Nino storms
My Way News reports: "While drought-plagued California is eager for rain, the forecast of a potentially Godzilla-like El Nino event has communities clearing out debris basins, urging residents to stock up on emergency supplies and even talking about how a deluge could affect the 50th Super Bowl."

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Nations in Distress

My Way News - Surge of migrants walking through Balkans hits Hungary
My Way News reports: "Nearly 10,000 migrants, including many women with babies and small children, have crossed into Serbia over the past few days and then headed up north toward European Union-member Hungary. Once inside the 28-nation EU, they seek to reach more prosperous Western European nations such as Germany, The Netherlands or Sweden. The so-called Balkan corridor for migrants is becoming increasingly popular as migrants seek to avoid the dangerous boat crossings in the Mediterranean from North Africa to Italy."

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Rumors of War

My Way News - South Korea turns off propaganda as Koreas reach deal
My Way News reports: "After 40-plus-hours of talks, North and South Korea on Tuesday pulled back from the brink with an accord that allows both sides to save face and, for the moment, avert the bloodshed they've been threatening each other with for weeks."

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Wars - Rumors of War - King of the North

My Way News - Ukraine vows to increase troops to fend off rebel attacks
My Way News reports: "Ukraine's president vowed to increase troop numbers to fend off attacks by Russia-backed separatist rebels and warned his countrymen that there is still the threat of a 'large-scale invasion,' in an impassioned speech to mark Independence Day on Monday."

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Pestilence

My Way News - With many Ebola survivors ailing, doctors evaluate situation
Pestilence: "Lingering health problems afflicting many of the roughly 13,000 Ebola survivors have galvanized global and local health officials to find out how widespread the ailments are, and how to remedy them. The World Health Organization calls it an emergency within an emergency."

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

War

My Way News - Official: Islamic State ambushes, kills up to 50 Iraq troops
My Way News reports: "Islamic State militants killed up to 50 soldiers in two separate ambushes in Iraq's turbulent Anbar province west of the capital, Baghdad, a top provincial official said Saturday. [...] The Islamic State group controls much of the vast Anbar province, including Ramadi and the city of Fallujah."

Comment: What a tragedy. I can't imagine how vexing it must be for Iraq War vets to see those cities fall to the Islamic State.

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Nations in Distress

My Way News - Sinking currencies point to jitters about emerging economies
My Way News reports: "The damage spans the globe. Thailand's baht. Kazakhstan's tenge. South Africa's rand. Peru's nuevo sol. In emerging markets worldwide, currencies are plunging over fears that developing economies are on the verge of a crippling fall. Success stories until recently, emerging economies are seen as casualties now — of slower growth in China, plunging prices for commodities like oil and iron ore, the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates and homegrown threats."

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Rumors of War - War

My Way News - S. Korea, US brace for N. Korea deadline as tension mounts
My Way News reports: "With U.S. and South Korean fighter jets taking to the skies in a show of force, the two Koreas prepared for a possible military clash Saturday as the North's deadline loomed for Seoul to dismantle loudspeakers broadcasting anti-North Korean propaganda across their border. North Korea has declared its frontline troops are in full war readiness and prepared to go to battle if Seoul doesn't back down."

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Rumors of War - Iran

My Way News - 6 killed in Syria after Israel retaliates for rocket attack
My Way News reports: "Israeli airstrikes in southern Syria killed six people and wounded seven, Syrian state TV reported Friday, in retaliation for a rocket attack on Israel the previous day that Israeli officials blamed on militants backed by Iran."

My Way News - Israeli former minister: 3 plans to hit Iran were blocked:
My Way News reports: "Israel's former defense minister, Ehud Barak, says three separate plans on Israel striking Iranian nuclear facilities were blocked in recent years, first by Israel's military chief and later by two ministers. [...] The report comes amid Israel's lobbying against the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that would see Tehran's nuclear program rolled back in return for sanctions' relief."

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Persecution

My Way News - UNESCO chief: IS systematically destroying heritage sites
My Way News reports: "On Friday, witnesses said the militants bulldozed St. Elian Monastery which houses a 5th century tomb and served as a major pilgrimage site. [...] A Catholic priest, the Rev. Jacques Mourad, who had lived at the monastery, was kidnapped in May and remains missing.  [...] Mourad sheltered both Muslim and Christian Syrians fleeing the fighting elsewhere in Homs province. Activists said that shortly after capturing Qaryatain, the Islamic State group abducted 230 residents, including dozens of Christians. Activists said some Christians were released, but the fate of the others is still unknown."

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Fearsome Events - Future Fear

My Way News - Feeling the heat: Earth in July was hottest month on record
My Way News reports: "Earth just keeps getting hotter. July was the planet's warmest month on record, smashing old marks, U.S. weather officials said. And it's almost a dead certain lock that this year will beat last year as the warmest year on record, they said. [...] Nine of the 10 hottest months on record have happened since 2005, according to NOAA. Twenty-two of the 25 hottest months on record have occurred after the year 2000. The other three were in 1998 and 1997. This shows that despite what climate change doubters say, there is no pause in warming since 1998, Blunden said."

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Nations in Distress

My Way News - US stocks tumble on global slowdown fears
My Way News reports: "Growing concerns about a slowdown in China shook markets around the world on Friday, driving the U.S. stock market to its biggest drop in nearly four years. The rout started in Asia and quickly spread to Europe, battering major markets in Germany and France. In the U.S., the selling started early and never let up. [...] Traders have been worried about slowing growth in China and its potential impact on the U.S."

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Rumors of War - War

My Way News - NKorea warns of war after exchange of fire with South
My Way News reports: "North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday declared his frontline troops in a 'quasi-state of war' and ordered them to prepare for battle a day after South Korea fired dozens of artillery rounds across the rivals' border in response to what the South said were several rounds of North Korean artillery launched at the South. [...] The Koreas' mine-strewn DMZ is a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula still technically in a state of war. About 28,500 U.S. soldiers are deployed in South Korea to deter potential aggression from North Korea."

Comment: Hopefully this will fizzle out as all the other past flare-ups have, but there is always the danger of miscalculation. Of all the conflict flashpoints in the world, the Korean border remains the most volatile and one that can go from zero to catastrophe in minutes. 

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Signs in the Heavens

CNET - NASA says chill out, there's no doomsday asteroid next month
CNET reports: "Depending on what corners of the Internet you hang out in, you may be in rank fear of the End of Times brought about by an unavoidable asteroid sent to hurtle itself into the Earth's belly, creating an apocalyptic scenario for a good chunk of humanity. If that's the case, you can now rest easy. Don't worry. NASA is here to soothe you. There is no killer asteroid on the way."

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Pestilence

My Way News - Antibiotic-resistant 'superbug' found at California hospital
My Way News reports: "A Los Angeles-area hospital said Wednesday that some of its patients contracted an antibiotic-resistant 'superbug' that has been linked to a type of medical scope and infected dozens of people around the country. [...] A dozen infections were reported earlier this year at Cedars-Sinai and UCLA's Ronald Reagan medical centers in Los Angeles. Three patients died."

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rumors of War - Iran

My Way News - AP Exclusive: UN to let Iran inspect alleged nuke work site
My Way News reports: "Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press. [...] The agreement in question diverges from normal procedures by allowing Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence of activities it has consistently denied — trying to develop nuclear weapons. [...] That wording suggests that — beyond being barred from physically visiting the site — the agency won't get photo or video information from areas Iran says are off-limits because they have military significance. While the document says the IAEA 'will ensure the technical authenticity' of Iran's inspection, it does not say how."

Comment: Could the negotiators have been any more gullible? They are going to trust Iran to inspect a site and report back to the U.N. agency with the results? I can only imagine the conclusion of the inspection report: We conducted the most intrusive and thorough inspections and found nothing amiss.  

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Rumors of War - Nations in Distress

My Way News - Man in yellow shirt is focus of Bangkok bombing probe:
My Way News reports: "Thailand has seen many violent attacks in recent years, particularly in a more-than-decade-long insurgency by Muslim separatists that has left more than 5,000 dead in the country's deep south. Those attacks have never extended to the capital, however. Bangkok has seen politically charged violence in the past decade; the deadliest, in 2010, killed more than 90 over two months and was centered on the same intersection where Monday's bomb went off. But none of those attacks included a bomb that seemed intended to produce mass casualties."

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