Friday, May 29, 2009

My Way News - Scientists identify new lethal virus in Africa

AP reports: "Scientists have identified a lethal new virus in Africa that causes bleeding like the dreaded Ebola virus. The so-called 'Lujo' virus infected five people in Zambia and South Africa last fall. Four of them died, but a fifth survived, perhaps helped by a medicine recommended by the scientists."
My Way News - US officials: North Korea may launch new missiles
AP reports: "North Korea threatened to retaliate if punitive U.N. sanctions are imposed for its latest nuclear test, and U.S. officials said there are new signs Pyongyang may be planning more long-range missile launches. [...] the communist nation punctuated its barrage of rhetoric with yet another short-range missile launch on Friday - the sixth this week."
My Way News - Terrorist flees to Lebanon, FBI confirms
AP reports: "A master bomb maker who once targeted commercial airliners and was suspected of aiding the Iraq insurgency has fled to Lebanon, an FBI official has confirmed [...] The Palestinian terrorist is accused of bombings in the 1980s. He was indicted in the 1982 bombing of Pan Am Flight 830. The explosion killed a 16-year-old boy and wounded more than a dozen passengers as the plane headed to Honolulu from Tokyo."
Obama Announces Strategy Against Cyberattacks -
The New York Times reports: "Although the president did not discuss details of the expanding role for the military in offensive and pre-emptive cyberoperations, senior officials said Friday that the Pentagon planned to create a new cybercommand to organize and train for digital war, and to oversee offensive and defensive operations."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Way News - Israel on edge as US presses to halt settlements

AP reports: "Israel rejected on Thursday a U.S. demand to freeze all construction in West Bank Jewish settlements to encourage peace talks, deepening a dispute with the Obama administration that has the hard-line Israeli government increasingly on edge."

Comment: Israel continues to build settlements in Israel! Ok, seriously, good for the Netanyahu government, I hope they stand firm. Too bad their U.S. ally is not standing with them. This could well be a turning point in history, a prelude to the "covenant with many" period in which the world turns against Israel and Jerusalem becomes a burdensome stone to the nations that seek to move it. As an American, my fear is that we will offend the author and protector of our liberty in whose providential care our leaders (in the past at least) committed our country. Nations and empires rise and fall around the fulcrum of history that is Jerusalem and I have no doubt that if the U.S. actively sides with those seeking to destroy Israel we will suffer the judgment of the God of Israel. This judgment will be just because, well, we should know better. What form that judgment takes and how quickly it is manifest is not known, but given recent earthquake activity, I would not be surprised if the California "big one" hit in close proximity to an ignominious sell-out of Israel.
My Way News - Iran says it boosts uranium enrichment capability
AP reports: "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran has boosted its capacity to enrich uranium, another sign of anti-Western defiance by the leader seeking re-election in a vote next month."
My Way News - US, SKorea militaries gird for NKorean provocation
AP reports: "The U.S. and South Korea put their military forces on high alert after North Korea renounced the truce keeping the peace between the two Koreas since 1953 and threatened military action following nuclear and missile tests. [...] The two Koreas technically remain at war because they signed a truce, not a peace treaty, in 1953."
My Way News - Analysis: Somali infighting could help al-Qaida
AP reports: "As battles rage between Somalia's Western-backed government and Islamist insurgents, another conflict is being fought behind the scenes between competing versions of Islam. The winner may determine not only the future of the failed state, but whether al-Qaida establishes permanent bases in the strategically vital Horn of Africa."
My Way News - 7.1 earthquake topples homes, kills 6 in Honduras

AP reports: "A powerful earthquake toppled dozens of homes in Honduras and Belize early Thursday, killing at least six people and injuring 40 as terrified residents spilled from their homes across much of Central America. The magnitude-7.1 quake struck at 2:24 a.m. (4:24 a.m. EDT; 0824 GMT) off the Caribbean coast of Honduras, 80 miles (130 kilometers) northeast of the beach town of La Ceiba, according to the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

BBC NEWS - Alert level raised on North Korea
BBC News reports: "South Korean and US troops have gone on higher alert after North Korea announced it is scrapping the armistice in force on the peninsula."

SKorea troops on high alert amid NKorea threats -
The Washington Post reports: "South Korean and U.S. troops facing North Korea boosted their alert level Thursday to the highest category since 2006, after the communist regime threatened military strikes on allied troops in escalating tensions over its nuclear test."

Comment: It appears that the Korean War may be on the verge of resuming.
My Way News - Netanyahu calls on Arab states to normalize ties
AP reports: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday urged Arab countries to make immediate moves toward normalizing ties with Israel and said he would offer 'concrete' steps toward peace with the Palestinians."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Way News - N. Korea warns of military action against S. Korea
AP reports: "North Korea's military says it considers South Korea's participation in a U.S.-led program to intercept ships suspected of spreading weapons of mass destruction tantamount to a declaration of war against the North. [...] South Korea announced its participation in the anti-proliferation program Tuesday, one day after the North conducted a nuclear test."

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Way News - Strong quake shakes tall buildings in Mexico City
AP reports: "A strong earthquake swayed skyscrapers in Mexico City and rattled colonial buildings in neighboring Puebla state Friday, sending frightened people into the streets. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Way News - Netanyahu says all Jerusalem to remain Israeli

AP reports: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted Thursday that all of Jerusalem will always remain under Israeli sovereignty, taking a hard line on a key Israeli-Palestinian peace issue just hours after his forces removed an unauthorized settlement outpost in the West Bank. [...] Disputes over Jerusalem have torpedoed several peacemaking attempts. The main issue is control over a holy site, where the Al Aqsa Mosque compound sits atop the ruins of the biblical Jewish Temples."

Comment: Netanyahu has taken a very courageous stand, I hope he can hold out under the pressure he will encounter from within his own country and from the international community over the status of Jerusalem.
My Way News - Hezbollah's growing regional role piques Arabs
AP reports: "Arab governments are starting to see the fingerprints of Lebanon's Hezbollah all over the Middle East, adding to their growing alarm over Iran's power and a widening Sunni-Shiite rift. [...] Hezbollah got its start, funded by Iran, by fighting the Israeli army after its invasion of Lebanon in 1982. It now doubles as a political party with lawmakers in parliament and a guerrilla army with rockets in Lebanon's south to use against Israel."
My Way News - Gorbachev laments Russian rollback on democracy
AP reports: "Gorbachev accused Russia's current government of trying to consolidate its grip on power and stifle opposition voices, but avoided specific mention of President Dmitry Medvedev or his predecessor Vladimir Putin, who is now prime minister."
My Way News - Man gets life sentence for killing 3 teens in Wis.
AP reports: "A man who shot three teens to death at a popular swimming spot, hoping to ambush police officers coming to their aid, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole."
My Way News - NM mom charged with killing son on the playground
AP reports: "The police chief said Toribio told detectives that she suffocated her son in Alvarado Park before dawn on May 13 by putting her hand over his mouth and nose. She said she had second thoughts and performed CPR on the boy, resuscitating him, but reconsidered and smothered him again."
My Way News - 2 kids inside California home as parents killed
AP reports: "An intruder dressed in black and wearing a motorcycle helmet barged into a Southern California beach home and stabbed a pregnant woman and her husband to death as their two children were in other rooms, authorities said Thursday."
Global warming may be twice as bad as previously expected -
USA Today reports: "Global warming will be twice as severe as previous estimates indicate, according to a new study published this month in the Journal of Climate, a publication of the American Meteorological Society."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Way News - Iran tests missile with range that can hit Israel

AP reports: "Iran tested its longest-range solid-fuel missile Wednesday - a launch that displayed Tehran's reach and burnished the president's hardline reputation ahead of next month's election. [...] Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for Israel's elimination, and the Jewish state has not ruled out a military strike to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat."
My Way News - Pakistan army wrests town from Taliban, killing 80
AP reports: "Pakistani forces killed 80 militants and drove the Taliban from a major urban stronghold on Wednesday, the army said, as U.S. military planes brought aid for civilians fleeing fierce fighting in the northwest."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

ChineseKillWeapon - U.S. Naval Institute

The U.S. Naval Institute reports: "After years of conjecture, details have begun to emerge of a 'kill weapon' developed by the Chinese to target and destroy U.S. aircraft carriers. [...] The size of the missile enables it to carry a warhead big enough to inflict significant damage on a large vessel, providing the Chinese the capability of destroying a U.S. supercarrier in one strike."

Comment: This is a very troubling report from an authoritative source that suggests China is on the verge of challenging U.S. power in the Pacific. When taken together with Chinese financial leverage over the U.S. economy, this rumored new missile suggests that China could retake Taiwan and impose de facto control over the Pacific region without firing a shot.
My Way News - Abbas swears in new Hamas-free government

AP reports: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday swore in a new government comprised mainly of members of his Fatah Party, but without representation of his bitter rivals from the militant Islamic Hamas group."

Comment: The march of unreality continues in the Mideast. I'm all for ignoring Hamas, but it does point out the surreal nature of Palestinian politics. Hamas won national parliamentary elections, but Fatah is still the party in power, because they are the only party that actually wants peace with Israel and they have the backing of the international community. How can there be a two-state solution when the Palestinians are divided? Hamas, the Israel-rejecting party, rules in Gaza while Fatah rules in the West Bank and both claim to represent the Palestinians. The international community wants the two-state solution with a new Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank, and a part of Jerusalem. If they created that state today, the Gaza part would be an enemy state almost instantly at war with Israel. And this is what they want Israel to support. It's madness.
My Way News - Egypt announces 27th bird flu fatality
AP reports: "Egypt's official news agency says a 4-year-old girl has died of bird flu, making her the country's 27th death from the virus since 2006."
My Way News - Obama's stance on two-state solution heartens EU
AP reports: "The European Union on Tuesday welcomed President Barack Obama's appeal to Israel to commit to a two-state solution - Jewish and Palestinian nations living side by side - calling it the 'way forward' to peace in the Middle East."

Comment: This is not surprising, since the EU is is one of the members of the Quartet of Mideast peace partners, and it does not represent a change in policy. It does, however, increase the pressure on Netanyahu.
My Way News - Ethiopia denies its troops entered Somalia
AP reports: "Witnesses said Tuesday that Ethiopian troops had crossed the border into war-ravaged Somalia and appeared to be stationing themselves in a town at a strategic crossroads. Ethiopia denied the reports."
My Way News - Small aftershock rattles downtown Los Angeles
AP reports: "A small but widely felt aftershock jolted the Los Angeles region Tuesday, two days after a magnitude-4.7 earthquake struck. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries."
My Way News - Glaxo offers WHO 50 million pandemic vaccines
AP reports: "Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline said it has offered to donate 50 million doses of a pandemic vaccine to the World Health Organization in the event of a global flu outbreak, according to a company spokesman."
Display Plus - VeriChip completes development of new 8 millimeter RFID implantable microchip
Display Plus reports: "VeriChip ( ), a provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems for healthcare and patient-related needs, announced today it has completed the development of a new, smaller human-implantable RFID microchip measuring approximately 8 millimeters by 1 millimeter."
My Way News - Pakistan denies it is expanding nuclear arsenal
AP reports: "Pakistan denied Monday it was expanding its nuclear arsenal, a week after the top U.S. military officer said there was evidence it was doing so."
Commentary: Gulf war jitters -
UPI reports: "Gulf Cooperation Council members -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman -- are getting ready for what many now assume will be retaliation from Iran following Israeli bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities later this year."

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Way News - Obama prods Netanyahu, Iran in Mideast foray

AP reports: "With Netanyahu at his side, Obama said he had told the new Israeli leader during more than two-hours of talks that his government must move quickly to resume peace talks with the Palestinians and had insisted negotiations start from a previous agreement on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. [...] Netanyahu said he was ready to resume peace talks with the Palestinians immediately but he also said any agreement depended on their acceptance of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state."

Comment: This is encouraging, it appears that both Obama and Netanyahu kept to their positions and did not give any ground. Netanyahu did not use the phrase "two-state solution" and insisted that both Fatah and Hamas must recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state while turning attention to the threat posed by Iran. It remains to be seen what concessions Obama will ask of the Palestinians, but I would suggest that asking Hamas to disarm and/or disband would be consistent with the goal of a united Palestinian government living side by side in peace with Israel. Unless, of course, they want to try for a three-state solution.
My Way News - Latest quake highlights Los Angeles seismic danger
AP reports: "The quake, centered three miles east of Los Angeles International Airport, appeared to have ruptured a fault under the city that is capable of producing a damaging magnitude-7 temblor."
My Way News - Israeli intelligence issues Facebook warning
AP reports: "The Shin Bet security agency warned Israelis against answering unsolicited messages or sharing telephone numbers and other sensitive information over the Internet. [...] 'Terror organizations are using these sites to tempt Israelis to meet up in person in order to either abduct them, kill them or recruit them as spies,' the Shin Bet said."
My Way News - Scientists now trying to outflank HIV/AIDS virus
AP reports: "Unsuccessful at developing vaccines that the cause the body's natural immune system to battle the virus, researchers are testing inserting a gene into the muscle that can cause it to produce protective antibodies against HIV."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Strong quake rattles New Zealand region -
CNN reports: "A 6.7-magnitude earthquake rocked New Zealand's remote Kermadec Islands region Saturday afternoon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey."

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Way News - Syria: Israeli government not a good peace partner
AP reports: "The Turkish president said his country wants to help Arab states, including Syria, make peace with Israel, but the Jewish state should first accept previous agreements and commit to the establishment of a Palestinian state. 'Israel must accept all agreements. Annapolis and road map,' said Gul after meeting with Assad."
My Way News - Pope ends Holy Land pilgrimage with call for peace
AP reports: "After a weeklong struggle to get his message across through a din of Israeli criticism and Palestinian protest against Israel, Benedict delivered his strongest words yet on the Jewish state's right to exist and the Palestinians' right to a country of their own. 'Let it be universally recognized that the state of Israel has the right to exist, and to enjoy peace and security within internationally agreed borders,' Benedict said on the airport tarmac before boarding a plane to Rome."
My Way News - Pakistan readies assault on Taliban in Swat town
AP reports: "The Pakistan army readied a major assault to rid the main town in the Swat Valley of entrenched Taliban militants, who the military said were shaving their beards in order to mingle undetected with fleeing civilians."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Way News - In Iraq, an exodus of Christians
AP reports: "The number of Arab Christians has plummeted across the Mideast in recent years as increasing numbers seek to move to the West, saying they feel increasingly unwelcome in the Middle East and want a better life abroad."

Comment: We should pray for the church in the Middle East as they suffer from all forms of persecution, from physical, to emotional and psychological.
My Way News - Jordan king: Israel must accept Palestinian state
AP reports: "Jordan's king pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to immediately commit to the establishment of a Palestinian state, as he pursues a sweeping resolution of the Muslim world's conflicts with Israel."
My Way News - Russia offers to revive European arms-control deal
AP reports: "The 1990 treaty limits the number of tanks, aircraft and other heavy non-nuclear weapons that could be deployed west of the Ural Mountains - the edge of European Russia. A new revised version was signed in 1999, but NATO countries have not ratified it and in 2007 Russia suspended its participation."
My Way News - Thousands of civilians flee Sri Lanka war zone
AP reports: "Nearly 200,000 civilians have escaped the war zone in recent months and are being held in overwhelmed displacement camps. The government has called on the estimated 50,000 people still trapped by the fighting to follow their lead, saying that only their presence is preventing the military from wiping out the rebels."
My Way News - Researchers scale back forecast of sea level rise

AP reports: "The global sea level will only rise about 10 feet if the West Antarctic ice sheet collapses. While that may not sound so great to residents of coastal cities like New York or Los Angeles, it's only about half the previously predicted rise. [...] How fast this might happen was unclear, but an earlier study suggested the melting could take 500 years, which would mean a sea level rise of about a quarter-inch a year."
Reserved Relations with Israel: Obama's New Middle East Diplomacy - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Spiegel Online reports: "On Monday the Times of London quoted Jordan's King Abdullah as saying that the US is planning to promote a peace plan for the Middle East that involves a '57-state solution' in which the entire Muslim world would recognize Israel."

Comment: This news report details the many ways that the Obama policy on seeking Mideast peace is very different than the Bush policy and is pointed about saying the policy can be described as distancing the U.S. from Israel so as to be a better broker of peace. That idea is disturbing because of the moral relativism implied in brokering between the two sides - a democratic ally and armed factions attacking that ally - but the above quoted text is really the most important part to highlight for our purposes. A peace process most people normally associate with talks between just Israel and the Palestinians is being enlarged to encompass 57 countries. Yes, that many countries. Of course, the Bush plan at the Annapolis Conference also involved many countries, so perhaps it's not true that this represents a great change in number, but perhaps it does in vision, if the U.S. is on the verge of breaking faith with Israel. Of course, peace is always a noble goal, but not if it means capitulating to evil to achieve it. Any peace that forces Israel to accept the legitimacy of Hamas (which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel) would be a betrayal, and I, for one, sincerely hope that the U.S. does not intend to force Israel into such an ignoble peace. Sadly, the U.S. seems to be on that course.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Way News - In Bethlehem, Pope calls for Palestinian state
AP reports: "Pope Benedict XVI made a powerful plea Wednesday for a Palestinian state, mixing prayer and politics at Jesus' birthplace and expressing solidarity at a refugee camp with 'all the homeless Palestinians who long to be able to return to their birthplace.'"

Comment: That's unfortunate, he should have just stayed out of it.
My Way News - Swine flu fears evident as world's cases top 6,000
AP reports: "Another concern is that it will combine with the northern winter's seasonal H1N1 virus. While not unusually virulent, it was resistant to Tamiflu, and health officials worry it could make the new swine flu resistant to Tamiflu as well."
Brain scanning may be used in security checks - The Guardian:
The Guardian reports: "Details of the Humabio (Human Monitoring and Authentication using Biodynamic Indicators and Behaviourial Analysis) pilot projects have been published amid further evidence of biometric technologies penetrating everyday lives."

Comment: Biometric technology has really advanced quite a bit in the last few years. There's no telling what advances will occur in the near future. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Way News - Mubarak to Israel: Progress before recognition
AP reports: "Progress in peace negotiations must come before Arab recognition of Israel, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in an interview with Israel TV broadcast late Tuesday."

Comment: I think this means that they will make no concessions until Israel makes more concessions. I wonder what happened to the idea of reciprocity in negotiations? When will the Palestinians be asked to make concessions? The report also says that the president of Egypt has ruled out amending a proposed agreement to get rid of the so-called "right of return," the demand of Palestinians to settle in Israel. This seems rather absurd to me. Why should Palestinians want to live in Israel if they are going to get their own state? In the crazy world of Mideast politics the Palestinians are insisting on getting their own state as well as the right of their people to live inside Israel. Yes, their official negotiating line is "we want our own land (give us your land to make it ours), and we want to live on some of your land as well," and this position is dangerously close to being accepted.
My Way News - Muslim cleric unrepentant about upstaging pope
AP reports: "Tamimi took the podium just before the last speaker of the evening was about to come up. Speaking in Arabic, he welcomed the pope to Jerusalem, 'the eternal political, national and spiritual capital of Palestine.'"

Comment: Well, that's a shame, but I guess it's to be expected that the pope's PR trip will be used for the PR purposes of all sides. So, Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine? If we accept that Palestine was the name of the Jewish homeland in the pre-modern era, then yes, we can say that Jerusalem was an important Palestinian city under the Roman Empire, but the capital of the province of Palestine under the Roman Empire was Caesarea (well, one of them, but that gets complicated) and that the Jews remained the true Palestinians until the word Palestinian was co-opted by Arabs (primarily Egyptian and Jordanian nationals and their descendants) in the 20th Century who refused to accept the original UN mandated two-state solution or free citizenship in the new state of Israel after it was established and successfully defended from Arab attack. No one said that Egypt or Jordan could not repatriate their nationals after the war, they could have done that, but they chose not to. No one said that Lebanon had to keep Palestinian refugees in camps, they could have given them citizenship and given them freedom, they chose not to. The modern Palestinians were created by Arab states to make war against Israel, and then the international community sanctioned the idea of the Palestinians, elevating their status in the peace talks, just so Israel would have someone to negotiate with. So a people that never existed in history (no great kings, no great philosophers or poets, no historical battles hundreds of years ago) suddenly bursts onto the scene and declare that Jerusalem is their capital? Since when?
My Way News - Pakistan commandos dropped into Taliban stronghold
AP report: "Helicopters dropped Pakistani commandos into a Taliban stronghold in the Swat Valley on Tuesday, pressing ahead with an offensive the army said had killed more than 750 militants and driven around 800,000 people from their homes."

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Way News - Jordan king woos Syria in Mideast peace push
AP reports: "King Abdullah II held talks in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Assad on Monday, just days after the monarch spoke of a 'combined approach' to tackle the Mideast conflict that would involve not only Israel and the Palestinians, but Arab states as well."
My Way News - Group says Israel plan to cement hold on Jerusalem
AP reports: "Israel captured east Jerusalem, including the Old City, in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it, a move not recognized by the international community. Palestinians hope to make east Jerusalem the capital of their future state, and the conflicting claims to the city constitute perhaps the most intractable facet of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
My Way News - China marks 1st anniversary of devastating quake
AP reports: "Survivors of last year's devastating earthquake in China's Sichuan province trekked into the ruined town of Beichuan Tuesday for anniversary commemorations of the tragedy that left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing and 5 million homeless."
My Way News - Obama envoy: No sense of crisis on NKorea
AP reports: "President Barack Obama's top envoy for North Korea said Tuesday there is no sense of crisis in disarmament talks with the communist regime although it has quit negotiations and is threatening to expand its nuclear arsenal. [...] Pyongyang has quit the negotiations, booted U.S. and U.N. inspectors out of the country, and threatened to conduct more nuclear tests."
My Way News - Thousands flee Somalia's capital after fighting
AP reports: "Thousands fled their homes in Somalia's capital Monday after at least 35 were killed over the weekend in some of the worst fighting in weeks, while masked Islamic fighters were seen heading toward Mogadishu."
Report: Iran could have enough material for nuke in months -
CNN reports: "A U.S. Senate report released Thursday says some experts predict Iran could have enough material for a nuclear bomb in six months. The staff report of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says efforts so far to stop Iran's nuclear program have failed and that the real status of Iran's nuclear program is unknown."
My Way News - Hubble: From cosmic joke to cherished eye in space
AP reports: "For 19 years, Hubble has shown the epic violence of crashing galaxies, spied on the birth and death of stars, taught cosmic lessons, and even provided comic relief. In Hubble's photos, believers witness the hand of God, nonbelievers see astronomy in action, and artists discover galaxies worthy of galleries."

Friday, May 08, 2009

My Way News - Warning: Sunspot cycle beginning to rise
AP reports: "It's time for the sun to move into a busier period for sunspots, and while forecasters expect a relatively mild outbreak by historical standards, one major solar storm can cause havoc with satellites and electrical systems here. [...] A report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a storm as severe as one in 1859 occurred today, it could cause $1 trillion to $2 trillion in damage the first year and take four to 10 years to recover."
My Way News - Palestinians give cool reception to Netanyahu plan
AP reports: "Palestinian officials on Thursday gave a cool reception to a new Israeli plan to develop the West Bank economy, saying the initiative 'will make things worse' if it is not accompanied by negotiations aimed at reaching a final peace accord."
My Way News - US envoy in Syria tries to repair relations
AP reports: "An Obama envoy in Syria to try to repair strained relations assured the government in Damascus Thursday that the U.S. is committed to pursuing a comprehensive Middle East peace that would include the Syria-Israel track."
Is the globe warming or cooling? -
USA Today reports: "The scientists, David Easterling of the National Climatic Data Center and Michael Wehner of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, say that up-and-down temperatures year-to-year don't undermine the overwhelming evidence for global warming."

Comment: So, the world is getting cooler and certain times and also getting warmer over the long-term. I think I've got it.
My Way News - Top flu expert warns of a swine flu-bird flu mix
AP reports: "Scientists are unsure how likely this possibility is, but note that the new swine flu strain - a never-before-seen mixture of pig, human and bird viruses - has shown itself to be especially adept at snatching evolutionarily advantageous genetic material from other flu viruses."

Comment: Ok, fine, I was all prepared to ignore all the rest of the swine flu reporting unless and until it mutated, but merely one day after I decided to do that, they issue this warning that it could mutate along with another virulent strain into something even worse than both of them. I guess I'll have to keep paying attention to the swine flu...or whatever it's called now.
My Way News - More than 30,000 ordered to flee Calif. wildfire
AP reports: "Turning the horizon a lurid orange and raining embers on roofs as it advanced, a raging wildfire that has destroyed scores of homes in the hills menaced this celebrity enclave and other coastal towns Friday, and the number of people ordered to flee climbed to more than 30,000."

Thursday, May 07, 2009

My Way News - Experts: nearly 1 billion hungry people in world

AP reports: "The number of hungry people in the world could soon hit a record 1 billion, despite a recent drop in food prices, the U.N. food aid organization said Wednesday."

Comment: It's odd how they never actually use the word famine in that report. I guess it's not politically correct to talk about famine anymore. Famine has been replaced by "food security" which makes me think about how secure the food is, not about the people. Why would they want to take the focus off people?
My Way News - WHO: Up to 2 billion people might get swine flu
AP reports: "Up to 2 billion people could be infected by swine flu if the current outbreak turns into a pandemic lasting two years, the World Health Organization said Thursday."

Comment: Oh no, up to 2 billion people could catch a mild case of the flu! Let me know if it mutates, otherwise, I don't want to hear any more about it. Thanks.
My Way News - Experts: Mild swine flu could quickly turn deadly
AP reports: "In the world's most devastating global flu epidemic in 1918, the first wave of cases in the spring were mild. Then, the virus evolved and came back in the fall as a strain that proved truly deadly, flu experts say. So scientists today are watching to see if that could happen again."
My Way News - NKorea vows to bolster nuclear arsenal
AP reports: "North Korea vowed Friday to bolster its atomic arsenal in response to what it called Washington's 'hostile' policy, even as a special envoy for President Barack Obama traveled to the region in a bid to draw Pyongyang back to nuclear negotiations."
My Way News - Pakistan army fights, but can it win?
AP reports: "In Washington, a senior U.S. defense official said it was too early to gauge the success or scope of the Swat operation, but noted that most of the offensives in the tribal regions since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were not sustained."

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

My Way News - Blair: New Mideast peace plan unveiled in weeks

AP reports: "The Obama administration and international negotiators are drafting a new strategy for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and expect to unveil it within six weeks, international Mideast envoy Tony Blair said."

Comment: They seem to be moving toward pressuring Israel to make even more concessions to the Palestinians. I wonder what concessions they will ask of the Palestinians? Perhaps they should be asked, politely, to give up their arms? I mean, if they want peace, that is.
My Way News - Pakistan targets militant-held valley
AP reports: "Pakistan launched air and ground attacks against up to 7,000 Taliban militants entrenched in a northwestern valley Wednesday, killing dozens holed up at emerald mines and on forested hillsides following urgent U.S. demands to step up the fight against the insurgents."

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

My Way News - Iran, Syria back Palestinian militancy

AP reports: "The leaders of Iran and Syria reaffirmed their support for 'Palestinian resistance' on Tuesday, a defiant message to the U.S. and its Mideast allies who are uneasy over Washington's efforts to forge closer ties with the hard-line government in Tehran."

Comment: They are drawing a line in the sand. I hope the U.S. does not proceed with the delusional quest to force Israel into peace with the divided Palestinians.
My Way News - Hamas leader says group wants to resolve conflict
AP reports: "Hamas' top political leader, in a message to the Obama administration, said the militant group is determined to be part of a solution to the Palestinians' conflict with Israel.[...] But he refused to budge on key demands by the U.S. and Israel that Hamas recognize the Jewish state and renounce violence."

Comment: That appears hopeful, but I think we know what their true solution really is - a Palestinian state in place of Israel. Let's not force Israel to make peace with people who refuse to recognize that Israel has a right to exist.
My Way News - Georgia says it halts army mutiny to disrupt NATO
AP reports: "Georgia said hundreds of rebellious soldiers surrendered Tuesday after a brief mutiny, but officials backed away from initial claims that Russia supported the uprising as part of a coup plot."
My Way News - Thousands flee Pakistan valley as truce crumbles
AP reports: "The collapse of a 3-month-old truce with the Taliban means Pakistan will now have to fight to regain control of the Swat Valley, testing the ability of its stretched military and the resolve of civilian leaders who until recently were insisting the insurgents could be partners in peace. The government feared the refugee exodus could reach 500,000."
My Way News - Africa scrambles to prevent arrival of swine flu
AP reports: "African nations are scrambling to prevent swine flu from reaching a continent already struggling with the burden of AIDS and malaria, fearing an outbreak could wreak much more devastation than in North America or Europe."
My Way News - Iran leader visits Syria, will meet Hamas chief
AP reports: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will meet the heads of 10 hard-line Palestinian groups including Hamas on a visit to Syria's capital Tuesday, sending what one of the leaders said would be a message to the new right-wing Israeli government."

Monday, May 04, 2009

My Way News - Egypt's Christians see bias in pig slaughter
AP reports: "The Egyptian government is using swine flu as an excuse to get rid of tens of thousands of pigs raised by garbage collectors who live amid the refuse in Cairo slums. But the move has prompted accusations Monday that Muslims are attacking minority Christians, who breed the animals."

Comment: So there is this religious minority (that happens to be Christian) in a Muslim majority country that is fighting swine flu by killing all the pigs (even though you can't get swine flu from pigs or from eating pork), and it's the Christians who are primarily the pig farmers, and so they are suggesting that this action is inspired more by religious bigotry than science based health policy. It's really hard to imagine how this situation could be interpreted as anything other than a desire to harm the Christian minority.
My Way News - UN meeting to give impetus to Mideast peace
AP reports: "Russia has invited Security Council ministers to a meeting next week to give 'new impetus' to the Middle East peace process. Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who holds the council presidency this month, said Monday that 'the meeting will reaffirm the council's involvement in the search for a Middle East settlement.'"
My Way News - Israeli president: Iran threatens US, Europe
AP reports: "Israel's president charged Monday that Iran's nuclear program threatens the United States, Europe and Arab nations, as well as Israel."

Friday, May 01, 2009

Gates: Persuasion better tack against Iran's nuclear pursuits -

AP reports: "Gates said the better option would be for the U.S. and its allies to convince Iran that building a nuclear program would start an arms race that would leave Iran less secure."

Comment: Good luck using words to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons. I'm more than a little skeptical that it will work.
My Way News - Swine flu may be less potent than first feared
AP reports: "The swine flu outbreak that has alarmed the world for a week now appears less ominous, with the virus showing little staying power in the hardest-hit cities and scientists suggesting it lacks the genetic fortitude of past killer bugs."
My Way News - Turkey's prime minister reshuffles his Cabinet
AP reports: "Recep Tayyip Erdogan's surprise announcement is seen as an effort to rejuvenate support for his Islamic-rooted government, following local elections in March during which his party lost some ground."
My Way News - Couple arrested for sex on lawn at Windsor Castle
AP reports: "Queen Elizabeth II was at home at Windsor Castle, the sentries who guard her were on duty, and the large park surrounding the magnificent building was full of tourists on a Sunday afternoon [...] when an inebriated couple arrived from a nearby restaurant and began having sex on a grass bank outside the castle, according to witnesses."
My Way News - At least 18 dead in severe heat wave in India
AP reports: "At least 18 people have died in a scorching heat wave that has swept through more than a dozen Indian states, the weather department and officials said Friday. The highest temperature of about 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47.5 Celsius) was recorded Thursday at Khandua in the central Madhya Pradesh state."