Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Way News - 6.1 magnitude earthquake leaves 22 dead in China

AP reports: "A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck China's southwestern Sichuan province Saturday, killing 22 people and injuring more than 100, state media said. Rescue teams were headed to the quake-hit area but heavy rains and the region's rugged terrain hampered their efforts, the official Xinhua News Agency said."

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My Way News - Bush's Mideast peace timeline looking unattainable

AP reports: "Of all the obstacles to peace, perhaps none is more formidable than Hamas' violent takeover of the Gaza Strip 14 months ago. The moderate Palestinians holding talks with Israel control only the West Bank, but say their future state must include both the West Bank and Gaza, two separate land masses located on opposite sides of Israel."

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My Way News - Pakistan jets kill 40 Taliban in new fighting
AP reports: "Fighter jets bombed Taliban hide-outs in Pakistan's troubled northwest while troops pushed into militant territory on the ground, killing at least 40 insurgents in a 24-hour siege, the army said Saturday."

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My Way News - Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans protest killings
AP reports: "Hundreds of thousands of frustrated Mexicans, many carrying pictures of kidnapped loved ones, marched across the country Saturday to demand government action against a relentless tide of killings, abductions and shootouts."

Comment: This is an extraordinary expression of anger and frustration by the people of Mexico against the corruption and violence that now defines daily life in that country. Let's hope that people power can inspire the leaders of Mexico to fight back against the drug cartels that threaten to take over the state.

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My Way News - UN: Georgians effectively blocked from homes
AP reports: "Russia supplies the EU with about a third of its oil and about two-fifths of its natural gas. In an article published Sunday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said European nations should adopt a united energy policy to avoid becoming too dependent on Russia."

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My Way News - India floods strand hundreds of thousands
AP reports: "About 1.2 million people have been left homeless and scores have been killed in the impoverished state of Bihar in the two weeks since the monsoon-swollen Kosi river in neighboring Nepal burst its banks, dramatically changing course and spilling billions of gallons of water into the plains of northern India."

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Column One: When history is not repeated - Jerusalem Post
This is an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post in which Caroline Glick suggests that, "the nature of Russia's regime, which propelled its decision to launch its war in Georgia, raises doubts about the viability of reaching an equilibrium of hostility with the West comparable to that which existed during the Cold War."

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Friday, August 29, 2008

UPI - Source: Israel ready to stop Iranian nukes

UPI reports: "The Jerusalem Post said that members of the Israeli government are moving forward with precautionary plans including the purchase of advanced warplanes and receiving permission to use U.S.-controlled Iraqi airspace."

Comment:
I think we have long passed the phase of signaling resolve to Iran in an effort to deter them. Iran has not been deterred. I think these rumors (and others circulating around the net) are worth taking very seriously.

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My Way News - Iran: new strides in uranium enrichment

AP reports: "Iran has increased the number of operating centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant to 4,000, a top official said Friday, pushing ahead with the nuclear program despite threats of new U.N. sanctions."

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My Way News - Many months needed to deploy Darfur peacekeepers
AP reports: "Deploying all 26,000 members of a peacekeeping force in conflict-wracked Darfur will take many more months because of growing insecurity and logistical difficulties, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report circulated Friday."

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My Way News - Georgia to cut diplomatic ties with Moscow
AP reports: "Georgia severed diplomatic ties with Moscow on Friday to protest the presence of Russian troops on its territory. Russia said the move would only make things worse."

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My Way News - Thai protest alliance not so happy with democracy
AP reports: "Thai police fired tear gas at thousands of right-wing protesters besieging their headquarters Friday, while demonstrators outside the capital disrupted air and rail service in a growing campaign to unseat the prime minister."

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My Way News - France: No EU sanctions against Russia imminent

AP reports: "The 27 European Union leaders are scheduled to hold a special summit in Brussels on Monday to discuss how to respond to the recent brief and bitter war between Russia and Georgia, and Russia's subsequent recognition of the independence of two breakaway regions of Georgia."

Comment: I think this will be important for you New Romers, an important test, will the EU step up and demonstrate resolve or will they opt for the safe diplomatic road?

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My Way News - Fears of isolation as investors flee Russia
AP reports: "Increasingly cut off from the global world, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev risks undoing many of the successes of the past 10 years, ranging from the country's robust economic growth to a growing sense of national prestige and purpose. Stock markets plunged, and Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said more than $7 billion was pulled out of the country in just two days, exposing the fragility of Russia's nine-year economic boom."

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My Way News - 87 salmonella cases reported across Quebec
AP reports: "A provincial health official says that an unusually high number of people have fallen ill with salmonella food poisoning across Quebec. [...] A recent salmonella outbreak in the United States sickened at least 1,440 people. "

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Dallas News - Crime fears drive Mexicans' increase of extreme security measures
The Dallas News reports: "Fearful Mexicans are injecting rice-sized security chips under their skin, strapping on $400 bulletproof vests under work shirts, and installing satellite trackers in their cars as an unchecked crime wave sweeps the nation."

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LA Times - Garden Grove man with West Nile virus dies
The LA Times reports, "A Garden Grove man has died after being infected with West Nile virus, the second death in Orange County from the mosquito-transmitted disease this month, the Health Care Agency disclosed Thursday."

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De Telegraaf - Aanval op Iran verwacht

De Telegraaf reports, "De Nederlandse inlichtingendienst AIVD heeft de afgelopen jaren een ultrageheime operatie laten uitvoeren in Iran met als doel infiltratie en sabotage van de wapenindustrie in de islamitische republiek."

Comment
: The gist of this Dutch report is that an attack on Iran is expected, the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD cancelled an espionage operation, either because they had completed the mission in Iran and passed their info to the CIA, or to get their people out of harms way.
HT: Daily Kos

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The AP: Asian alliance snubs Russian plea for support
AP reports: "China and several Central Asian nations rebuffed Russia's hopes of international support for its actions in Georgia, issuing a statement Thursday denouncing the use of force and calling for respect for every country's territorial integrity. [...] The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was created in 2001 to improve regional coordination on terrorism and border security."

Comment: A new alliance is growing in the East and it's leader is China, not Russia.

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AFP: Large quake off Canada's Vancouver Island
AFP reports: "A strong earthquake struck at sea Thursday off Canada's Pacific coast west of Vancouver Island, but was too small to generate a tsunami, Canadian and US officials reported. Initial government reports indicated it was a quake of 6.1-magnitude, but the US Geological Survey later downgraded it to 5.8."

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Cold War tension rises as Putin talks of Black Sea confrontation - Times Online
The Times Online reports: "A new Cold War between Russia and the West grew steadily closer yesterday after the Kremlin gave a warning about “direct confrontation” between American and Russian warships in the Black Sea."

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My Way News - Putin: US orchestrated conflict in Georgia
AP reports: "Putin, the former president and architect of an assertive foreign policy that has stoked East-West tension, suggested in an interview with CNN that there was an American presence amid the combat with a potential domestic U.S. political motive."

Comment: He's not really very familiar with American politics, is he? I mean, if that had been a politically inspired move, it would have happened in October, as in the proverbial "October surprise" that we have come to expect from incumbent administrations.

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My Way News - Italy museum defies pope anger over crucified frog
AP reports: "An art museum in northern Italy said Thursday it will continue displaying a sculpture portraying a green frog nailed to a cross that has angered Pope Benedict XVI and local officials."

Comment: I'm filing this under persecution because I think it's a kind of persecution when the universal symbol of Christianity is mocked in this manner. If this had been an Islamic symbol there would be rioting in the streets and death threats against the museum officials. The good people of Italy will probably react in a civilized manner, but they should react in some way that demonstrates this this is not acceptable in a Christian country. Can you imagine, the country in which St. Peter preached and Christians were thrown to the lions is now a country in which a museum feels no qualms about displaying such a depiction of the crucifixion?

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My Way News - After 1,500 years, pagans plan Acropolis prayer
AP reports: "A small group of pagans pledged Thursday to hold a protest prayer among the ruined Acropolis temples, more than 1,500 years after Christians stamped out worship of the ancient Greek gods. Group spokeswoman Doretta Peppa said the worshippers would pray Sunday to Athena..."

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My Way News - Tunisian courts convicts 19 Islamic militants
AP reports: "A Tunisian court convicted 19 Islamic militants on charges linked to plots to carry out attacks in the north African country or send fighters to Iraq, a defense lawyer said Thursday."

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My Way News - Fighting across Pakistan's tribal belt kills 8
AP reports: "More than 200 people have been killed in a cycle of bombings and clashes since longtime U.S. ally Pervez Musharraf quit as president and triggered a power struggle that caused the country's ruling coalition to collapse."

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My Way News - China, Iraq reach $3 bln oil service deal
AP reports: "China and Iraq have signed a $3 billion deal revising an earlier agreement for China's biggest oil company to help develop the Ahdab oil field, an official at the Iraq's Oil Ministry said Thursday."

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Way News - Syria, Iran warm to Russia as US tensions grow

AP reports: "Both Iran and Syria have long-standing ties with Russia, leading some to play down the recent moves as having little significance. Russia has sold Syria weapons systems in the past, including the advanced surface-to-air Strelets system, and its warships already had been calling on Syria's northern port of Tartous. Many of Iran's weapons systems also have long come from Russian suppliers."

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My Way News - Western nations warn Russia to `change course'
AP reports: "Western leaders warned the Kremlin on Wednesday to 'change course,' hoping to keep the conflict from growing into a new Cold War after tensions broadened to imperil a key nuclear pact and threaten U.S. meat and poultry trade with Russia."

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My Way News - Dead Sea Scrolls to be displayed on Internet
AP reports: "Scientists using American space technology have started a huge project to digitally photograph the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest known version of the Hebrew Bible, and post it on the Internet for all to see, Israeli authorities said Wednesday."

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My Way News - Jordan reaches out to militant Hamas
AP reports: "In an about-face, Jordan is reaching out to the Hamas militant group amid fears that a collapse of Mideast peacemaking would bring an influx of refugees. But the U.S. ally must walk a delicate line to avoid angering its American and Israeli friends."

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My Way News - G7 countries condemn Russia's actions in Georgia
AP reports: "The United States, Britain, France, Canada, Germany, Japan and Italy said Russia's decision to recognize the Georgian rebel territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states violated the territorial integrity of its small, Western-leaning neighbor."

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My Way News - Combat flares in 3rd area of Pakistan border belt
AP reports: "Pakistani troops drove off a Taliban attack on a fort and pounded another band of militants holed up in a health center, officials said Wednesday as fighting spread to a third area of the tribal belt along the Afghan border."

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My Way News - Dell unveils new PCs targeting emerging markets
AP reports: "Dell Inc. (DELL) unveiled four low-cost computer models for China, India and other emerging economies Wednesday in a new bid to tap the potential of high-growth markets outside the United States.[...] They are meant for small-business users and are to be sold in 20 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America."

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My Way News - Arctic sea ice drops to 2nd lowest level on record

AP reports: "More ominous signs Wednesday have scientists saying that a global warming 'tipping point' in the Arctic seems to be happening before their eyes: Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is at its second lowest level in about 30 years."

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L.I. Man, 75, Dies of West Nile Virus - NYTimes.com
The New York Times reports: "A 75-year-old Nassau County man died on Monday after contracting the West Nile virus, the Nassau County Health Department confirmed on Wednesday; it was the first fatality from the disease in the state this year."

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My Way News - Cells change identity in promising breakthrough
AP reports: "Scientists have transformed one type of cell into another in living mice, a big step toward the goal of growing replacement tissues to treat a variety of diseases."

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My Way News - In NYC, new HIV infections 3 times national rate
AP reports: "New data show New York City residents are contracting the virus that causes AIDS at three times the national rate."

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My Way News - Russian warns Moldova over separatist region
AP reports: "Russia's ambassador to Moldova said the country's leaders should avoid a 'bloody and catastrophic trend of events' in the separatist Trans-Dniester region and pointed to the example of Georgia."

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Way News - Russia threatens military response to US missiles

AP reports: "Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is warning his country may respond to a U.S. missile shield in Europe through military means."

Comment: It would appear that the newly assertive Russia will respond to the U.S. basing interceptor missiles in Europe with some kind of military move. What options might Russia consider? Russia could:

- sell weapons to Syria to put pressure on U.S. ally Israel
- openly side with Iran in the dispute over Iran's nuclear program, veto new sanctions
- continue to use energy as a tool to exert influence in Europe and the Caucasus
- restore ties to former Soviet client states not in NATO or EU
- stoke anti-American sentiment at all levels
- steal U.S. diplomatic thunder by taking a higher profile in Mideast peace talks, host international peace conference in Moscow
- declare new Cold War by selling weapons to Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan

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My Way News - Condoleezza Rice clings to Mideast peace hopes
AP reports: "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday there is hope for a Mideast peace deal but she offered no reason for optimism beyond the fact that the two sides are speaking."

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My Way News - Syria, Iran warm to Russia as US tensions grow

AP reports: "Syria's President Bashar Assad has publicly stepped up his outreach to old ally Russia in recent days, seeking aid to build up Syrian military forces and offering Moscow help in return - in an apparent effort to exploit a new Russian-American rift."

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My Way News - Israel shuts Gaza crossings because of rocket fire
AP reports: "Israel has ordered the Gaza Strip's border crossings closed after militants violated a cease-fire by launching two rockets."

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My Way News - Iran kicks off production of locally built sub
AP reports: "Iranian state TV says the country has launched production of a domestically built submarine capable of firing missiles and torpedoes."

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My Way News - Iran's supreme leader defends Ahmadinejad
AP reports: "Iran's top leader strongly backed the nation's embattled president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, praising him for 'standing up' to the West and urging him to plan for a second four-year term, state media reported Sunday."

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My Way News - Russia says Georgian attack negated UN resolutions
AP reports: "Russia's U.N. ambassador said Tuesday he doesn't think Russia's recognition of two separatist regions in Georgia will lead to a new Cold War though he predicted a difficult period ahead in relations with the West."

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My Way News - Hindu-Christian clashes kill 8 in eastern India
AP reports: "The violence comes after Hindu hard-liners set ablaze a Christian orphanage early Monday, killing a 21-year-old woman who was teaching children to use computers and seriously injuring a priest. The Vatican condemned the attack as 'a sin against God and humanity.'"

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My Way News - Russia recognizes independence of Georgian regions
AP reports: "Russia stunned the West on Tuesday by recognizing the independence claims of two Georgian breakaway regions, and U.S. warships plied the waters off of Georgia in a gambit the Kremlin saw as gunboat diplomacy."

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Monday, August 25, 2008

My Way News - China detains underground Catholic bishop: report
AP reports: "Security agents detained an elderly bishop of an underground Catholic church in northern China hours before the closing of the Olympic Games, a U.S.-based group said Monday."

Comment
: This is a rather sad ending to the period in which China enjoyed the international spotlight as host of the Olympics. Now that the spotlight is off, I wonder if we can still retain any hope that China will continue a liberal reforming trend that recognizes more human rights?

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My Way News - Russian lawmakers recognize Georgia separatists
AP reports: "Russia's parliament voted unanimously Monday to urge the president to recognize the independence of Georgia's two breakaway regions, stoking further tensions between Moscow and the small Caucasus nation's Western allies."

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My Way News - Russian general criticizes US Black Sea presence
AP reports: "In Europe, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he would convene a special meeting of European Union leaders over the crisis as Russia ignored Western accusations it has fallen short of its commitment to withdraw forces from its smaller neighbor."

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My Way News - Quake shakes Indonesia, tsunami alert issued

AP reports: "Indonesia's meteorological agency says a strong undersea earthquake has shaken west Java and has issued a tsunami alert. The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6, struck at a depth of roughly 12 miles in the Sunda Strait, about 155 miles northeast of the capital Jakarta, said Fauzi, a government geologist."

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My Way News - USGS: 6.3-magnitude earthquake hits Tibet

AP reports: "A 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook China's western region of Tibet Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage after the temblor, which struck Zhongba county, 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) west of Beijing, according to the official Xinhua News Agency."

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My Way News - Pakistan's post-Musharraf ruling coalition splits
AP reports: "The ruling coalition that just a week ago drove U.S. ally Pervez Musharraf from the presidency broke apart Monday, throwing Pakistan into political turmoil just as it faces an increasingly difficult fight against Islamic militants."

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My Way News - Sudanese troops in battle at Darfur refugee camp
AP reports: "Sudanese government forces attacked one of Darfur's largest refugee camps at dawn Monday, killing dozens of civilians, according to rebels and a witness in the camp."

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My Way News - Russia rolls into Georgia, rolls back the clock
AP reports: "The move stunned many in the U.S. and Europe. But it was the result, at least in part, of factors the West has never really understood: Russia's wounded pride over its loss of the Soviet empire, its fear of NATO expansion along its borders and its anger over being treated as a backwater in Europe rather than a global power."

Comment: This report gives a good overview of the latest developments with Russia, it explains why Russia is unhappy with the current international system and willing to take risks to improve their position.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

My Way News - Russian military pulls out of key Georgian areas

AP reports: "Columns of hulking, smoke-belching Russian tanks rolled out of key positions deep inside Georgia Friday as Moscow declared it had pulled its forces out following the worst confrontation between the Kremlin and the West since the Soviet collapse. But the United States, France and Britain protested the withdrawal was not complete."

Comment: As the Russia-Georgia War ends we find Russia in a much stronger position and the U.S., NATO and the EU much weaker. Russia demonstrated that it could do what it wanted to do and no one would oppose them. They could have stayed and occupied Georgia and the great military powers of Europe would not have intervened. This marks the official reemergence of Russia as a great power and it also marks a change in Russian relations with Israel (which helped train the Georgian military). We can now expect Russia to be much more assertive as a regional power, including in the Middle East, trending up towards the Ezekiel invasion.

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My Way News - Philippine peace on shaky ground after attacks
AP reports: "Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas angry over snags in the peace plan went on a rampage Aug. 18 in the southern hinterlands, shooting or hacking to death at least 37 people as they fled in panic from houses that had been set on fire."

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My Way News - Witnesses say militia controls key Somali port
AP reports: "Witnesses say a radical Islamic militia controls most of Somalia's third-largest city after three days of fighting in which dozens of people have died."

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My Way News - Al-Qaida claims responsibility for Algeria attacks
AP reports: "The North African branch of al-Qaida claimed responsibility Friday for devastating bombings in Algeria that killed up to 60 people this week, in a statement carried by an Arab TV news station. [...] Algeria's present al-Qaida offshoot is known as Al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa."

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My Way News - Suicide attack kills at least 6 police in Pakistan
AP reports: "A suicide car bombing at a police station in northwestern Pakistan killed at least six officers on Saturday - the latest in a string of such attacks claimed by Taliban militants, security officials said."

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My Way News - US: 30 militants killed in west Afghanistan clash
AP reports: "U.S.-led troops attacked a compound where Taliban leaders were meeting and killed 30 militants, American and Afghan military officials said Friday, but the Interior Ministry said a large number of civilians died. The U.S. said it would investigate."

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My Way News - Anti-India sentiment grows amid Kashmir unrest
AP reports: "They chanted 'Death to India!' and 'We want freedom!' while soldiers and police kept their distance, hoping to avoid a repeat of clashes that have killed at least 34 people in recent weeks."

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My Way News - Aide: Iraq's al-Sadr may stay in Iran for years
AP reports: "The decision to extend his stay could indicate the cleric, whose Mahdi Army militia battled U.S. and Iraqi forces for years, has decided his future lies in politics, not violence. [...] The decision to stay in Qom could also be part of a move by Iran to control Shiite resistance in Iraq. The U.S. military believes Iran arms and trains breakaway Mahdi Army cells, a claim the Iranians deny."

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My Way News - Jury: Confessed killer of Idaho boy can get death
AP reports: "The rampage was the culmination of years of planning, he said, and he originally intended to rape and kill until he was killed."

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My Way News - Jump in US measles cases linked to vaccine fears
AP reports: "Measles cases in the U.S. are at the highest level in more than a decade, with nearly half of those involving children whose parents rejected vaccination, health officials reported Thursday."

Comment: Do the right thing people, vaccinate your children. Don't fall for junk science and conspiracy theory.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Way News - Russians dig in but still promise Georgia pullout
AP reports: "Strains in relations between Russia and the West showed no improvement. NATO, Moscow's Cold War foe, said Russia had halted military cooperation with the alliance, underscoring the growing division in a Europe that had seemed destined for unity after the Soviet Union collapsed."

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My Way News - Foreign missionaries defy ban during Olympics
AP reports: "Christian groups who flouted a Chinese ban on foreign missionaries are calling their underground evangelizing during the Olympic Games a success."

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My Way News - Suicide bombers kill 67 at Pakistani arms factory
AP reports: "Suicide bombers killed 67 people at Pakistan's largest arms factory Thursday in one of the country's deadliest terror attacks, adding to turmoil from political squabbling that is threatening to tear apart the ruling coalition now that Pervez Musharraf has quit as president. [...] Last week, the Taliban declared 'open war' on the military over an offensive against militants in the Bajur region."

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My Way News - State media: 5.9-magnitude quake kills 1 in China
AP reports: "A 5.9-magnitude earthquake jolted southern China near the border with Myanmar Thursday, killing a woman - one day after another quake damaged homes in the same area, state media reported."

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My Way News - Taliban claim Pakistan suicide blasts that kill 46
AP reports: "A spokesman for Pakistani Taliban groups has claimed responsibility for the two suicide bombings at a government arms factory near the capital. Officials say the attacks in the garrison town of Wah have killed at least 46 people."

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My Way News - At top of Greenland, new worrisome cracks in ice

AP reports: "If it does worsen and other northern Greenland glaciers melt faster, then it could speed up sea level rise, already increasing because of melt in southern Greenland."

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Times Online - Fear of new Mid East 'Cold War' as Syria strengthens military alliance with Russia

This is an interesting and very serious development:
Mr Assad said that he would be discussing the deployment of Russian missiles on his territory. The Syrians are also interested in buying Russian weapons.

In return Moscow is expected to propose a revival of its Cold War era naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus, which would give the Russian Navy its first foothold in the Mediterranean for two decades. Damascus and Moscow were close allies during the Cold War but the Kremlin’s influence in the region waned after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yesterday’s rapprochement raised the possibility that Moscow intends to re-create a global anti-Western alliance with former Soviet bloc allies.
Russia is resuming it's place as a power in the Middle East, mounting a challenge to U.S. dominance in the region, and getting closer to the Ezekiel invasion. Syria is playing a very dangerous game, and if you believe the Bible, it's a game Damascus will lose.

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My Way News - Israel shuts Gaza crossings after rocket attack
AP reports: "Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers have been observing a truce since June. But Gaza militants have sporadically violated the deal by firing rockets and mortars into Israel."

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My Way News - Intel, Yahoo partnering on Internet TV concept
AP reports: "Depending on your point of view, the goal is to create a multitasker's dream or an information-overload nightmare: It would let people to do things like check their stock prices or peruse their photos all while watching TV."

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Way News - Rice to sign missile defense deal with Poland

AP reports: "The U.S. says the missile defense system is aimed at protecting the U.S. and Europe from future attacks from states like Iran. Moscow insists that it is a threat to Russia. After Warsaw and Washington announced the agreement on the deal last week, top Russian Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn warned that Poland is risking attack, and possibly a nuclear one, by deploying the American missile defense system..."

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My Way News - Russia moves toward pullback but shows strength
AP reports: "Russia took the first steps toward a troop pullback from Georgia on Tuesday but at the same time paraded blindfolded and bound Georgian prisoners on armored vehicles and seized four U.S. Humvees [...] The acts of force demonstrated anew that Russia, days after agreeing to a cease-fire with Georgia, remained in control in much of the country, and that the state of the Georgian military was far from stable."

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My Way News - NATO pulls its punches on penalty against Russia
AP reports: "NATO pulled its punches against Russia on Tuesday, suspending formal contacts as punishment for the Georgia invasion but bucking U.S. pressure for more severe penalties [...] there was no consensus for more robust expressions of backing for Georgia or displeasure with Moscow."

Comment: The most powerful military alliance on the planet looked at Russia's invasion of a Western leaning democratic country...and did nothing. NATO may have just consigned itself to the dustbin of history. Next up, the EU will formally meet to decide on their collective response. This is an opportunity for those who believe in the New Rome theory of Bible prophecy to find in these events a trend suggesting an assertive EU ready to meet this new challenge from Russia. There is little indication that the EU will step up, they are cowed by Russia's control of their energy, but we will keep watching.

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My Way News - Russia warns Ukraine not to interfere at navy base
AP reports: "Russia's foreign minister warned Ukrainian leaders Tuesday against trying to restrict the Kremlin's use of a Crimean naval base it leases from Ukraine, adding to tensions that have heated up since Russian troops invaded Georgia."

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My Way News - Afghan militants kill 10 French, strike at US base
AP reports: "Insurgents mounted two of the biggest attacks in years on Western forces in Afghanistan, killing 10 French soldiers in a mountain ambush and then sending a squad of suicide bombers in a failed assault early Tuesday on a U.S. base near the Pakistan border."

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Food price rises push 14m to the brink of starvation - Times Online
The Times Online reports: "Rapidly rising global food costs have contributed to the worst hunger crisis in East Africa for eight years, with at least 14 million people at risk of malnutrition, aid agencies said yesterday."

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My Way News - Indian teenager arrested in deadly iPod dispute
AP reports: "A 14-year-old school boy in eastern India has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a younger student who refused to hand over her iPod, police said Tuesday."

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Space War - Iran boosts range on warplanes
AFP reports: "Iran has upgraded its fighter jets to allow them to fly 3,000 kilometres without refuelling, Iran's air force commander said on Sunday, which would put arch-foe Israel easily within reach."

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Ethiopia's new famine: 'A ticking time bomb' - USATODAY.com

USA Today reports: "Ethiopia, perennially one of the world's hungriest nations, now faces what Oxfam, one of dozens of international aid organizations responding to the crisis, calls 'a toxic cocktail.' Its ingredients: drought that in some places killed the entire spring crop; global inflation that has doubled the price of food; armed rebellion in the Somali region that has disrupted food delivery; and assorted plagues, from insects to hailstones."

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My Way News - Russia claims pullback but forces move other way

AP reports: "Russia said Monday it had begun withdrawing from the conflict zone in Georgia, but it held fast to key positions and sent some of its troops in the opposite direction - closer to the Georgian capital."

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My Way News - Israel to free long-serving Palestinian prisoners
AP reports: "Israel said Monday it will free two of its most prominent Palestinian prisoners - a militant mastermind from the 1970s and a gunman elected to parliament while behind bars - among 199 inmates to be released as a goodwill gesture to embattled Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. [...] Hamas may well now feel pressured to harden its position to show weary Gaza residents that it can still obtain more from Israel through kidnapping its soldiers, rather than peaceful negotiations."

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My Way News - Polish support for missile deal soars
AP reports: "Moscow fiercely opposes the missile defense deal, claiming that the planned U.S. system will target Russia. The U.S. strongly denies that, saying the system is designed to protect against threats from countries like Iran, and would in any case be powerless against Russia's arsenal of missiles."

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My Way News - Nukes unlikely to be affected by Musharraf leaving
AP reports: "Experts say a 10-member committee, and not just the president, makes decisions on how to use them and only a complete meltdown in governance - still a distant prospect in Pakistan - could put the atomic bomb in the hands of extremists."

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My Way News - War reveals Russia's military might and weakness
AP reports: "Russia's lightning war against Georgia looks like a military triumph: An armada of Russian tanks easily crushed Georgia's modest army in a show of muscle intended to punish its U.S.-allied neighbor, scare others and reaffirm Moscow's influence on its former Soviet turf."

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My Way News - US, allies contemplating action against Russia
AP reports: "The New York Times, citing anonymous U.S. officials who were familiar with intelligence reports, reported Sunday that the Russian military moved missile launchers into South Ossetia on Friday."

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My Way News - Iran tests rocket for future launch of satellite
AP reports: "The country's fledgling space program, like its nuclear program, has provoked unease abroad. The same technology used to put satellites into space can also be used to deliver warheads."

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My Way News - Blood protects against long-gone killer 1918 flu
AP reports: "The 1918 flu killed about 50 million people worldwide and nearly everybody else was exposed to the virus, Crowe said. The specific 1918 virus was lost to the world for decades, until it was reconstructed about three years ago using genetic material from victims."

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The Associated Press: China confiscates Bibles from American Christians
AP reports: "A group of American Christians who had more than 300 Bibles confiscated by Chinese officials when they arrived in China is refusing to leave the airport until they get the books back, their leader said Monday."

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Friday, August 15, 2008

My Way News - AP Exclusive: Hit squads training in Iran

AP reports: "Iraqi Shiite assassination teams are being trained in at least four locations in Iran by Tehran's elite Quds force and Lebanese Hezbollah and are planning to return to Iraq in the next few months to kill specific Iraqi officials as well as U.S. and Iraqi troops, according to intelligence gleaned from captured militia fighters and other sources in Iraq."

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My Way News - Russia: Poland risks attack because of US missiles
AP reports: "A top Russian general said Friday that Poland's agreement to accept a U.S. missile interceptor base exposes the ex-communist nation to attack, possibly by nuclear weapons, the Interfax news agency reported."

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My Way News - West presses for end to Georgia conflict
AP reports: "Western leaders engaged in intense diplomacy Friday to persuade Russia to pull troops out of Georgia, but tensions soared after a top Russian general warned that Poland had exposed itself to attack by striking a missile defense deal with the United States."

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My Way News - Georgia president signs cease-fire with Russia
AP reports: "A reluctant Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said Friday he signed a cease-fire agreement with Russia and declared in the presence of the chief U.S. diplomat that the West had behaved in ways that invited the invasion."

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Way News - After war in Georgia, what does Russia want?

AP reports: "After the Soviet collapse, a weakened and impoverished Russia struggled to exert influence. In recent years it has relied on energy wealth to assert its will. Now its willingness to flex military muscle compels the West to pay greater heed."

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My Way News - US warns Russia on Georgia but readies concessions
AP reports: "The United States warned sternly Thursday of a long-term rupture with Russia if Moscow does not quickly abide by its promise to withdraw its fighting forces from Georgia. In contrast to the tough talk, Condoleezza Rice rushed to the former Soviet republic with a new cease-fire plan offering concessions to Moscow."

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My Way News - US, Poland agree to anti-missile defense deal
AP reports: "Poland and the United States struck a deal Thursday that will strengthen military ties and put an American missile interceptor base in Poland, a plan that has infuriated Moscow and sparked fears in Europe of a new arms race."

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My Way News - Ocean dead zones become a worldwide problem
AP reports: "Like a chronic disease spreading through the body, 'dead zones' with too little oxygen for life are expanding in the world's oceans. [...] The newest dead areas are being found in the Southern Hemisphere - South America, Africa, parts of Asia - Diaz said. Some of the increase is due to the discovery of low-oxygen areas that may have existed for years and are just being found, he said, but others are actually newly developed."

Comment: This is very serious because we can assume that fertilizer and other forms of industrial runoff are not going to decrease, especially in the developing world. Since this has never happened before, we don't know what the tipping point is, the point at which large areas of the oceans can't support life and the food chain collapses. It could be in 200 years, it could be in 100 years, or even 25 years, we just don't know.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

EU wants to step up involvement in Georgia - Yahoo! News

AP reports: "The emergency meeting in Brussels highlighted a rift within the 27-nation bloc between former Soviet satellite nations wanting tough action against Russia and western European members warning against antagonizing Moscow."

Comment: This is an obvious historic tipping point, the EU can choose to become much more assertive or continue to follow the U.S. lead. How the EU acts now will help decide the course of the bloc in the near-term. For all of you who believe in an ascendant Europe, watch carefully.

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Russian feint toward Tbilisi shows truce fragile - Yahoo! News
AP reports: "Fifty battered Russian army trucks and armored personnel carriers roared without warning down the highway toward the country's capital, making it clear that a day-old cease-fire would not keep Russia from moving freely through Georgia. [...] The message was hard to miss: The Russian military is still the landlord in swaths of Georgia, and its forces remain in easy striking distance of the country's capital."

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VOA News - Nigeria Battles New Bird Flu Strain
The Voice of America reports: "Animal health specialists warn a new strain of highly pathogenic bird flu in Nigeria - which has previously not been recorded in sub-Saharan Africa - increases the risk of avian influenza spreading to other countries in West Africa. [...] The World Health Organization says the H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed more than 240 out of the nearly 400 people known to have been infected since 2003. The disease has also forced the slaughter of some 300 million birds, worldwide."

Comment: I added that last paragraph of the report to highlight the numbers. Many reports on bird flu have been alarmist, focused more on the potential of the disease to become a pandemic. It's worth emphasizing that so few people have died globally compared to other infectious diseases. Still, there's no denying the pandemic potential.

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Poland, US ready for more missile defense talks - Yahoo! News
AP reports: "Polish and U.S. negotiators begin further talks Wednesday on a proposed U.S. missile defense system, a meeting where the fighting between Russia and Georgia was certain to loom large."

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Syria, Lebanon agree to establish diplomatic ties - Yahoo! News
AP reports: "Syria, however, only agreed to relations after its influence in Lebanon was guaranteed by the creation on Tuesday of a unity government in Beirut that gives Damascus-allied Hezbollah a strong say in Lebanese decision-making."

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Attacks on Georgia Web Sites May Not Be 'Cyberwar' - Yahoo! News
NewsFactor reports: "Security researchers are still trying to work out exactly who is responsible for the cyberwar tactics that have knocked many Georgian government Web sites offline. While Georgian officials blamed Russia, many security experts have pointed the finger at the Russian Business Network (RBN), a shadowy outfit -- that may no longer even exist -- which has previously provided network services for Russian criminal gangs."

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Facebook is online social networking king - Yahoo! News
AFP reports: "Ranks of social network users grew nine percent in North America but leapt 25 percent globally to 580.51 million people, according to comScore. The number of people using social networking websites climbed 66 percent in the Middle East-Africa region and 35 percent in Europe."

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NBC sees new media habits form with Olympic games - Yahoo! News
AP reports: "About half of the people who are using mobile phones to pull down video or information about the Olympics have been trying out that technology for the first time, NBC said on Wednesday."

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Ready the telescopes: partial lunar eclipse on Saturday - Yahoo! News
AFP reports: "People across the world will have the chance to see a partial eclipse of the Moon on Saturday. [...] This one will be best seen from most of Africa, Eastern Europe, central Asia, India and the Middle East."

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Way News - Georgian conflict shows Russia calling the shots

AP reports: "The overwhelming use of force caused alarm in other eastern European countries that aspire to NATO membership, like Ukraine, or have recently joined the alliance. Russia has threatened to target ballistic missiles at them if they allow the U.S. to base a missile defense system on their territory. After the attack on Georgia, the threat is likely to be taken more seriously."

Comment: And so we have a resurgent Russia, flush with energy wealth, investing again in military power, ready to assert itself on the world stage.

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My Way News - Russia calls halt to 5-day invasion of Georgia
AP reports: "Declaring 'the aggressor has been punished,' the Kremlin ordered a halt Tuesday to Russia's devastating assault on Georgia - five days of air and ground attacks that left homes in smoldering ruins and uprooted 100,000 people."

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My Way News - Georgian president backs cease-fire plan
AP reports: "The cease-fire plan brokered by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France calls for both Russian and Georgian troops to return to their positions before fighting erupted around the breakaway province of South Ossetia last week."

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My Way News - Taliban: 'Open war' in Pakistan as bomb kills 14
AP reports: "The Pakistani Taliban declared 'open war' Tuesday in response to military offensives in the northwest, saying it staged a bombing that destroyed an air force truck and killed up to 14 people, including a child."

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My Way News - US, allies weigh punishment for Russia
AP reports: "Scrambling to find ways to punish Russia for its invasion of pro-Western Georgia, the United States and its allies are considering expelling Moscow from an exclusive club of wealthy nations and have scrapped plans for an upcoming joint NATO-Russia military exercise, Bush administration officials said Tuesday."

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My Way News - Russian hackers continue attacks on Georgian sites
AP reports: "Attacks by Russian hackers against Georgian Web sites, including one hosted in the United States, continued Tuesday even as Russian President Dmitri Medvedev ordered a halt to hostilities against Georgia."

Comment
: Russia is attacking Georgian websites hosted in the U.S. and somehow this is not an issue?

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Monday, August 11, 2008

My Way News - At UN: Confirmation of Russia's Georgia advance
AP reports: "Georgia brought another last-ditch appeal Monday to the United Nations Security Council to stop Russia's advancing army, which U.N. officials confirmed has driven beyond Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia."

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My Way News - Eastern Europe anxious as Russia attacks Georgia
AP reports: "After fighting broke out last week in Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia, the presidents of Poland and the three Baltic states issued a joint statement calling Russia's policy 'imperialist and revisionist.' They also called on NATO and the European Union to stand up to Moscow."

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My Way News - Georgian president's Web site moves to Atlanta
AP reports: "The Web site of the president of Georgia, the small nation that is battling Russian forces over a breakaway enclave, was moved to a U.S. hosting facility this weekend after allegedly being attacked by Russian hackers. The original servers located in the country of Georgia were 'flooded and blocked by Russians' over the weekend, Nino Doijashvili, chief executive of Atlanta-based hosting company Tulip Systems Inc., said Monday."

Comment: This is ominous, Russia is conducting cyberwarfare against Georgia and now that Georgia has moved an official website to a server in the U.S. this means that U.S. cyberinfrastructure is now under attack by Russia.

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"Seculars Want Temple' - Israel News - Arutz Sheva

Israel News reports that there is secular support for rebuilding the Temple: "Asked whether he calls for the actual construction of the Temple, he said, 'There are many religious authorities, including Maimonides, who say that the Temple must be rebuilt, and so I think it should be done... As a first step, we must show that we control the Temple Mount... I call upon all of Israel to come to the Mount on [Tisha B'Av] and show that it belongs to the Jewish nation.'"

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PC World - Business Center: Delivering Aid in a Digital World
PC World reports that electronic payments may be a new way to offer famine assistance and overcomes some of the problems with traditional methods"
In times of famine or hardship, for example, the typical Western response is to send over plane-loads of food aid. Although this might seem like the most logical thing to do, often it overlooks the chief cause of famine. Lack of food generally comes below politics, political instability, access to resources and markets, and civil conflict in the famine equation. In other words, it's rarely about a simple lack of food. And flooding a country with food aid creates its own problems, from feeding the militia in conflict situations to destroying what's left of the local and national agricultural market systems.
Offering direct electronic payments over mobile phones would directly aid the neediest people, provided they have cell phones, which is something I would tend to think could be a problem in rural Africa.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Way News - Russia expands Georgia blitz, deploys ships

AP reports: "Russia and Georgia clashed on land and at sea Sunday despite a Georgian cease-fire offer and claim of withdrawal from the separatist province of South Ossetia, officials from both countries said."

Comment: Is this the start of Ezekiel's war in which the Gog Alliance invades Israel? No, I don't think it is. I think this is simply a matter of Georgia miscalculating Russia's resolve when they attempted to bring South Ossetia back into the told, a miscalculation they are now paying for. This war is still important prophetically because it's the continuation of a trend in which Russia is regaining some of its former power and prestige and seeking to expand its influence among the former Soviet republics.

Several potential outcomes will interest us in terms of the unfolding of Bible prophecy:

- If Russia is successful at annexing all or part of South Ossetia or even subjugating all of Georgia, it will be an important expansion of Russian power and a territorial expansion south, closer to Israel and the Middle East's oil fields.

- This drives the nail into the coffin of any hope of a peaceful integration of Russia into NATO and the EU, a hope many naive people had for the future of Europe. This war, if it expands, may provoke a crisis with NATO and the EU, and if it is resolved in a way that leaves those two organizations stronger and more able to exert their influence over the region, that will also be prophetically important if we imagine the EU as the sponsor of the covenant with many and NATO the future military guarantor of Israel's security.

- Finally, this war once again reveals the impotence of the U.N. and the failure of the post-WWII arrangement in the 21st Century. When the great powers that run the U.N. are the instigators of war and exercise their veto power to prevent others from meddling in their affairs, the system is broken. Perhaps this will be the catalyst for a new arrangement or will further set the stage for the EU or the Med Union to replace the U.N. on a regional and then global level.
For now, this is simply a minor war between a great power and very small state, but it has the potential to be an important conflict that sets Russia's path firmly away from the West and toward it's familiar role of rebel power seeking to challenge the status quo.

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My Way News - New violence in China's restive west kills 11
AP reports: "Assailants using homemade bombs attacked a shopping center and hotel and battled with police Sunday in a western Chinese city far from the Beijing Olympics where local Muslims have waged a sputtering rebellion against Chinese rule."

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My Way News - Poof! Scientists closer to invisibility cloak
AP reports: "Researchers have demonstrated for the first time they were able to cloak three-dimensional objects using artificially engineered materials that redirect light around the objects. Previously, they only have been able to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects."

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Telegraph - George W Bush speaks out for China's Christians
The Telegraph reports: "Mr Bush and his wife Laura visited Kuanjie Three-self Patriotic Church, part of the official, state-backed protestant church movement. Chinese authorities had rejected suggestions he might go to a 'house church', as gatherings of Christians who refuse to register with the government are called. However, Mr Bush made a strong statement of support for such worshippers, who are often heavily persecuted for their faith."

Comment: This is really nice to see, he deserves credit for promoting Christianity in China and indirectly calling attention to the persecution of house churches.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

My Way News - Georgia: In 'state of war' over South Ossetia
AP reports: "Russia and small, U.S.-allied Georgia headed toward a wider war Saturday as Russian tanks rumbled into the contested province of South Ossetia and Russian aircraft bombed a Georgian town, escalating a conflict that already has left hundreds dead."

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My Way News - Syria bars repeat visit by UN nuclear experts
AP reports: "Syria said Saturday it would bar U.N. nuclear investigators from revisiting a site bombed by Israeli jets on suspicion it was a secretly built atomic reactor. The move dealt a blow to International Atomic Energy Agency efforts to follow up on intelligence indicating Syria was hiding a nuclear program that could be used to make weapons."

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My Way News - Bush: No one should fear religious freedom
AP reports: "China allows worship only in officially approved churches such as the one Bush visited with his wife, so millions of people pray privately in house churches to avoid detection. The Chinese government has bristled at Bush's prodding as pointless meddling."

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ABC News: Ex-Traffic Cop Says He's Jesus
ABC reports: "Deep in the heart of Siberia's birch forests lies one of the largest and most remote religious communes of the planet. More than 5,000 people have left their families and their homes to move here and join the Church of the Last Testament, which has more than 10,000 followers worldwide. The church centers on one man. He is known simply as Vissarion, meaning 'he who gives new life,' or simply as the teacher, and he claims that he is Jesus Christ."

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CNN Breaking - Georgia's president declares state of war and calls for cease-fire with Russian forces over breakaway territory of South Ossetia.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

My Way News - South Ossetia fighting risks wider war

AP reports: "Russia dispatched an armored column into the breakaway enclave of South Ossetia on Friday after Georgia, a staunch U.S. ally, launched a surprise offensive to crush separatists. Witnesses said hundreds of civilians were killed. [...] The fighting, which devastated the capital of Tskhinvali, threatened to ignite a wider war between Georgia and Russia, and escalate tensions between Moscow and Washington."

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Georgia vs. Russia
This is some video posted on YouTube of the early coverage at the start of the conflcit between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia:

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The Rapture
Here is a video dramatization of the rapture. I think it's really well done. And for those of you who are not believers - what if?

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

My Way News - Tokyo hit by mild earthquake, no damage reports
AP reports: "A mild earthquake shook Tokyo on Friday, with no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Japan's Meteorological Agency said the earthquake struck the Tama area of western Tokyo at 1 p.m., with a preliminary magnitude of 4.5."

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My Way News - Chinese Islamic group issues new Olympic threat
AP reports: "A Chinese Islamic group that has threatened to attack the Beijing Olympics released a new video warning Muslims to avoid being on planes, trains and buses with Chinese at the games, a U.S. group that monitors militant organizations said Thursday."

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BBC NEWS - Flu pandemic tops risk register
BBC News reports: "A flu pandemic is the gravest threat to UK security, according to a new National Risk Register being published."

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My Way News - Scientists produce stem cells for 10 diseases
AP reports: "The new technique reprograms cells, giving them the chameleon-like qualities of embryonic stem cells, which can morph into all kinds of tissue, such as heart, nerve and brain. As with embryonic stem cells, the hope is to speed medical research."

Comment: It's great to see that they are getting away from having to use embryonic stem cells.

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‘Fakeproof’ e-passport is cloned in minutes - Times Online
The Times Online reports: "New microchipped passports designed to be foolproof against identity theft can be cloned and manipulated in minutes and accepted as genuine by the computer software recommended for use at international airports."

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

My Way News - Israel mulls military option for Iran nukes

AP reports: "Israel is building up its strike capabilities amid growing anxiety over Iran's nuclear ambitions and appears confident that a military attack would cripple Tehran's atomic program, even if it can't destroy it."

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My Way News - Suspected cholera outbreak in Philippines kills 21

AP reports: "A suspected cholera outbreak in a remote southern Philippine township has killed 21 people and sickened at least 50 others, the mayor and the Red Cross said Wednesday."

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My Way News - France: Iran reply on nuclear offer insufficient
AP reports: "France's Foreign Ministry said the Iranian reply does not provide any clarification to the central question of whether the country would agree to freeze its nuclear program."

Comment: I didn't expect Iran to offer a sincere reply, so I'm not surprised. The real question is, what will the big six powers do in the face of such endless delays and stalling tactics?

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My Way News - Strong earthquake jolts eastern Indonesia

AP reports: "The magnitude 5.7 quake struck at 6:41 a.m. just off the coast of Sumbawa island, about 620 miles east of the capital, Jakarta, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was relatively shallow with a depth of six miles."

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My Way News - Afghanistan accusing Pakistan of aiding insurgents
AP reports: "Afghanistan's spy agency alleged Wednesday that a Pakistani consulate official directed and funded terrorist activities carried out by a Taliban commander."

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My Way News - Mauritania leader ousted after political feuding
AP reports: "Army commanders ousted Mauritania's first freely elected president in two decades Wednesday after an increasingly bitter political fight over his ties to allies of a reviled former dictator and his overtures to Islamic radicals."

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My Way News - Venezuelans protest Chavez's new socialist push
AP reports: "Riot police used tear gas Wednesday to block hundreds of Venezuelans protesting the latest moves by President Hugo Chavez to concentrate his power. The demonstrators said a blacklist of opposition candidates and a series of socialist decrees are destroying what's left of their democracy."

Comment: Ah the benefits of a socialist workers paradise, so wonderful to behold. It's sad to see another tyrant rise in the long history of South America, they had enough of that in the 20th Century. As the people-power socialist tyrant turns his guns (or gas) on his own people, we can expect to see more social unrest in this major oil exporter.

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My Way News - Israel to release over 150 Palestinian prisoners
AP reports: "Israel's prime minister pledged to free more than 150 Palestinian prisoners in a meeting Wednesday with President Mahmoud Abbas, a gesture meant to energize their sluggish peace talks. The release could also boost the prestige of the embattled Palestinian leader, whose Fatah movement is engaged in a tense power struggle with the militant Islamic Hamas."

Comment: I think it's interesting that the mainstream media refers to the Palestinian civil war as a "tense power struggle." If this were any other country where the two political parties were also armed militias and they were shooting at each other, kidnapping each other, bombing each other, and seizing territory it would be called a civil war. The reality distortion field that so often creates a double-standard for Israel is also affecting coverage of the Palestinians. I suspect this is caused by the desire on the part of some in the Western media to romanticize the Palestinians as "freedom fighters" and so they can't be painted as warlike and engaged in armed conflict with each other, that wouldn't be politically correct.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My Way News - Pope Benedict tells China: open up to Christianity

AP reports: "Many of the country's estimated 12 million Catholics worship in congregations outside the state-approved church and often are arrested or harassed. 'It is important for this great country to open itself to the Gospel,' said Benedict, who has made the improvement of relations with China a priority of his papacy."

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My Way News - Olmert, Abbas to meet Wednesday in Jerusalem

AP reports: "A State Department spokesman said the Bush administration is still pursuing a wide-ranging deal between Israel and the Palestinians this year and is not ruling out another Mideast summit or U.S.-backed initiative before its term ends."

Comment: Unless I'm mistaken in the precedent that was set at Annapolis (giving each Quartet partner a chance to host a summit), the next international summit should take place in Moscow, Brussels or New York City.

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My Way News - Hamas warns of uprising against Fatah in West Bank
AP reports: "A senior Hamas official warned Tuesday the militant group that took over Gaza a year ago could also overrun the West Bank if it is provoked by rival Fatah."

Comment: The Palestinian civil war continues and the militia group with a political wing that wants to have peace talks with Israel is losing.

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My Way News - Official: Russian arms sales to set new record

AP reports: "Russian arms sales are set to reach a new post-Soviet record this year, a top official said Tuesday. Russia's weapons exports will exceed $8 billion this year [...] While China and India have been the leading customers, Russia recently also has struck big weapons deals with Venezuela, Algeria and Iran."

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My Way News - Taliban threaten suicide bombings in Pakistan
AP reports: "A Taliban spokesman on Tuesday warned Pakistan's government to end a military crackdown against insurgents in a restive northwestern mountain valley or face suicide bombings."

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My Way News - Strong earthquake hits western China; 1 killed

AP reports: "A strong aftershock struck a western Chinese region where a May earthquake killed almost 70,000 people, shaking buildings a few hours after the Olympic torch relay passed through the area Tuesday. One person was killed and 23 injured."

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My Way News - Iran offers response to nuclear incentives package
AP reports: "Iran responded to incentives aimed at defusing a dispute over the country's nuclear program on Tuesday, the State Department and an EU diplomat said, adding that the response will now be studied by the six nations that devised the package."

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My Way News - Violent storms spawn tornadoes in Chicago area
AP reports: "The National Weather Service confirmed that tornadoes touched down in the Chicago suburbs of Bloomingdale and Bolingbrook late Monday. A third tornado touched down in Griffith, Ind."

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My Way News - Booger is back: Woman receives 5 cloned puppies
AP reports: "Booger is back. An American woman received five puppies Tuesday that were cloned from her beloved late pitbull, becoming the inaugural customer of a South Korean company that says it is the world's first successful commercial canine cloning service."

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EUobserver - Libya says Mediterranean Union will divide Africa

The EUobserver reports: "Muammar Gaddafi was the only leader who refused to attend the launch of the Mediterranean union in Paris in July. Mr Sarkozy's plan brings together 43 states - the 27-member EU as well as Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Turkey, Israel, Albania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Monaco and Mauritania."

Comment: I wonder if Gaddafi will be so opposed to this that he will now begin to drift away from the West and fall into the Gog Alliance?

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Christians, Jews praying on Temple Mount 'seek religious war'


WND reports: "In an interview with Israel Today, Azzam Khatib, director of the Islamic Trust (or Waqf) that safeguards the mosques that sit atop the Temple Mount, said that Jews and Christians who try to pray at the ancient holy site are effectively declaring war."

Comment: These people are so blinded by hate it's difficult to believe that they will ever willingly consent to sharing the Temple Mount. Of course, they don't believe that any Jewish temples ever stood there and even object to people calling it the Temple Mount. I think there is a word for people so out of touch with reality.

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My Way News - Gaza clansmen exiled as Hamas grabs Fatah bastion
AP reports: "The defeat of the Hilles clan, one of Fatah's last high-profile bastions in Gaza, underscored Hamas' tight control in the coastal territory seized by its fighters in bloody fighting last year."

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My Way News - Iran tests 'new weapon' for use at sea
AP reports: "Iran announced Monday that it has tested a new weapon capable of sinking ships nearly 200 miles away, and reiterated threats to close a strategic waterway at the mouth of the Persian Gulf if attacked."

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My Way News - Putin calls for restoring position in Cuba
AP reports: "Russia opposes U.S. plans to put missile-defense elements in eastern Europe, saying the facilities are aimed at undermining Russia's missile potential. Russia has threatened an unspecified 'military technical' response if the plans go through."

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My Way News - Chicago tornado warning sounded; Wrigley cleared
AP reports: "A powerful storm led to tornado warnings in downtown Chicago and the evacuation of fans from the stands at Chicago's Wrigley Field on Monday night."

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Youths contribute to advancement of Third Temple - Israel Jewish Scene, Ynetnews
Ynetnews reports: "In the youth conference conducted by the Temple Institute in the Old City of Jerusalem, scheduled for Thursday, participants will discuss possible plans of action to further the building of the Temple."

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

My Way News - Ahmadinejad: Iran won't give up nuclear rights
AP reports: "Iran will not give up 'a single iota of its nuclear rights,' the country's president said Saturday, rebuffing an informal deadline to stop expanding uranium enrichment or face more sanctions."

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My Way News - Palestinian infighting in Gaza escalates, 9 killed
AP reports: "Hamas forces battled Fatah-linked fighters with mortars and machine guns in a crowded Gaza neighborhood Saturday, leaving at least nine dead in the worst Palestinian infighting in nine months."

Comment: I wonder if this is an old fashioned proxy war? Is the U.S. covertly supporting Fatah and Syria and Iran supporting Hamas? This could easily become the opening battle of a much larger war.

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My Way News - Obsolete coins cause chaos at Zimbabwe tills
AP reports: "The central bank, overwhelmed by stratospheric inflation, this week cut 10 zeros from the currency and reintroduced coins made obsolete in 2002 when they became worthless. A $1 coin now is worth 10 billion of the old dollars."

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My Way News - New HIV cases in US underestimated by 40 percent
AP reports: "The country had roughly 56,300 new HIV infections in 2006 - about a 40 percent increase from the 40,000 annual estimate used for the past dozen years. The new figure is due to a better blood test and new statistical methods, and not a worsening of the epidemic, officials said."

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Friday, August 01, 2008

EU awaits Iran nuclear reply - Reuters

Reuters reports: "Major powers asked Iran on July 19 to respond within two weeks to their offer to hold off from imposing more U.N. sanctions if Tehran froze expansion of its nuclear work. Iran has dismissed the idea of having a deadline to reply."

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My Way News - Hamas arrests more Fatah leaders in Gaza
AP reports: "The two Palestinian organizations have engaged in a bitter and often violent rivalry for several years, culminating in Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza one year ago. Fatah's power in Gaza was largely erased and it was left in control only of the West Bank."

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My Way News - India says ties with Pakistan lowest in 4 years
AP reports: "India's relations with Pakistan have hit their lowest point in years, India's foreign secretary said Friday, amid tensions over an attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul and clashes between the two sides in the disputed Kashmir region."

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My Way News - Pakistan vows to 'weed out' pro-Taliban agents
AP reports: "A Pakistani spokeswoman conceded Friday that the government needs to root out Taliban sympathizers from its main intelligence agency, but officials rejected allegations that the spies helped plan a bloody bombing at the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan."

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My Way News - IAEA approves deal for India's nuclear inspection
AP reports: "The deal with Washington would reverse more than three decades of U.S. policy that has barred the sale of nuclear fuel and technology to India, a country that has not signed international nonproliferation accords and has tested nuclear weapons."

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My Way News - 2 die in Pa. warehouse shooting; fired worker held
AP reports: "A worker recently fired for absenteeism showed up outside a book warehouse in suburban Philadelphia on Friday, fatally shooting a veteran employee and a temp before being arrested, authorities and the company said."

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My Way News - Wis. manhunt nabs suspect in deadly river ambush
AP reports: "A gunman suspected of opening fire on a group of young swimmers gathered along a riverbank was arrested Friday after he emerged from woods near the scene where three teenagers were slain and a fourth person was wounded."

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Space War - Libya Negotiates Weapons Deal With Russia
AFP reports: "Libya is negotiating with Moscow to buy Russian weapons and for the construction of a nuclear power station, the countries' prime ministers said on Thursday. [...] Tripoli was interested in buying Russian surface-to-air missiles, tanks, helicopters and fighter jets with a total value over two billion dollars (1.3 billion euros)."

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