Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Way News - Huge quake hits Chile; tsunami threatens Pacific
My Way News reports: "One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded struck Chile on Saturday, toppling homes, collapsing bridges and plunging trucks into the fractured earth. A tsunami set off by the magnitude-8.8 quake threatened every nation around the Pacific Ocean - roughly a quarter of the globe."

Friday, February 26, 2010

BBC News - Powerful earthquake strikes off Japan island of Okinawa
BBC News reports: "A powerful earthquake has struck in the Pacific Ocean, about 80km (50 miles) off the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. [...] The Japan Meteorological Agency gave the strength as 6.9 while the US Geological Survey put it at 7.3."
BBC News - Turkey ex-generals charged over 'plot'
BBC News reports: "Two retired Turkish generals have been charged over an alleged plot in 2003 to overthrow the government, reports say."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Iran, Syria mock U.S. policy; Ahmadinejad speaks of Israel's 'annihilation' -
The Washington Post reports: "The presidents of Iran and Syria on Thursday ridiculed U.S. policy in the region and pledged to create a Middle East 'without Zionists,' combining a slap at recent U.S. overtures and a threat to Israel with an endorsement of one of the region's defining alliances."

Iran vows to stand by Hezbollah against Israel -
The Washington Post reports: "Iran's president on Thursday said that if the Israelis launch a new war against Lebanon's Hezbollah, the militant group should retaliate strong enough to 'close their case once and for all.' [...] Iran is a key supporter of Hezbollah, believed to funnel it weapons and millions of dollars in funding, though Tehran denies arming the Shiite group. Hezbollah, also closely allied to Syria, boasts a heavy arsenal of rockets capable of reaching deep inside Israel."

Comment: As Iran's proxy war against Israel continues, these two reports note the role of Hezbollah and Syria in serving Tehran's plans.
BBC News - Plot thickens in Turkey 'coup plan'
BBC News reports: "The charges filed against 20 senior military officers in Turkey this week mark the most serious development to date in a series of alleged plots against the government by members of the armed forces."
My Way News - China warns US over future Taiwan arms sales
My Way News reports: "China warned the U.S. on Thursday against any future arms sales to Taiwan and reaffirmed its decision to suspend military exchanges over Washington's plan to sell $6.4 billion in military hardware to the island [...] China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has vowed to conquer it by force if necessary."
My Way News - Israeli PM tries to ease 'heritage site' tensions
My Way News reports: "Israel's prime minister tried Thursday to calm tensions over the addition of [...] the Cave of Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in nearby Bethlehem to its list of national heritage sites."
My Way News - China faces balancing act in Iran nuclear issue
My Way News reports: "Renewed calls for sanctions against Iran for its nuclear ambitions have forced China to engage in a tough balancing act between appeasing its close trading partner and supporting international efforts to isolate Tehran. The arrival of an Israeli government delegation in Beijing on Thursday underscored the important role China plays as one of the five U.N. Security Council members that could veto sanctions for Iran."

Comment: This report does a good job of explaining why China is reluctant to go along with tougher sanctions on Iran.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Way News - Archaeologist sees proof for Bible in ancient wall: "An Israeli archaeologist said Monday that ancient fortifications recently excavated in Jerusalem date back 3,000 years to the time of King Solomon and support the biblical narrative about the era. [...] According to the Old Testament, it was Solomon who built the first Jewish Temple on the site. That temple was destroyed by Babylonians, rebuilt, renovated by King Herod 2,000 years ago and then destroyed again by Roman legions in 70 A.D. The compound now houses two important Islamic buildings, the golden-capped Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque."

Comment: The Palestinians built their mosque on top of the old Jewish buildings, it was an act of spite, a malicious act against another religion. I can't respect that.
My Way News - Al-Qaida leader in Yemen threatens new US attacks
My Way News reports: "A senior operative of the al-Qaida network in Yemen - the group that claimed responsibility for the failed Christmas Day attack on an American passenger jet over Detroit - has threatened more attacks on the United States."
My Way News - Poor but networked: UN says cell phone use surging
My Way News reports: "More than half of the people in the developing world are now cell phone subscribers, a U.N. report said Tuesday, highlighting strong global growth in telecommunications. There were an estimated 4.6 billion mobile phone subscriptions at the end of last year, compared with about 1 billion in 2002, the International Telecommunication Union said in a report. In developing nations, 57 percent of people were signed up."
My Way News - Iran to build enrichment sites inside mountains
My Way News reports: "Iran said Monday it plans to build two new uranium enrichment facilities deep inside mountains to protect them from attack, a new challenge to Western powers trying to curb Tehran's nuclear program for fear it is aimed at making weapons."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

BBC News - Turkey army issues warning after 'coup plot' arrests
BBC News reports: "Turkey's army has warned of a 'serious' situation after 40 senior military figures were arrested over an alleged plot to topple the government. [...] Many Turks regard the cases as the latest stage in an ongoing power struggle between Turkey's secular nationalist establishment and the governing AK Party."

Comment: I'm praying for the secularists. How's that for an ironic statement? They are the last bulwark against a rising tide of Islamic sentiment that will send Turkey into the enemy camp, destined to join in the Gog invasion of Israel.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Way News - Iran marks revolution with crackdown on protests
My Way News reports: "The Iranian security forces unleashed a crushing sweep against opposition protesters on Thursday as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution to defy the West and boast his country was now a 'nuclear state.'"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

BBC News - Sat-nav devices face big errors as solar activity rises
BBC News reports: "Researchers say the Sun is awakening after a period of low activity, which does not bode well for a world ever more dependent on satellite navigation."
My Way News - Pro-Russian leader consolidating power in Ukraine
My Way News reports: "A preliminary count of Ukraine's weekend presidential vote shows Russian-leaning candidate Viktor Yanukovych narrowly beating Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the blond-braided heroine of the Orange Revolution. [...] some Ukrainians fear Yanukovych's rule could mean a shift to a Russian-style system with tighter control of the political opposition and media, along with deepening energy reliance on Moscow."
My Way News - Marines test Taliban defenses before Afghan attack
My Way News reports: "U.S. Marines fired smoke rounds Wednesday and armored vehicles maneuvered close to Taliban positions to test insurgent defenses ahead of an anticipated attack on the biggest militant-controlled town in southern Afghanistan."
My Way News - India to test missile with 3,100-mile range
My Way News reports: "India will test a new nuclear-capable missile with a range of more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) in a year's time, the country's top military scientist said Wednesday. [...] The plan for a longer range missile underscores India's ambition to assert itself as a global power."
BBC News - Google users in Iran report problems, as rallies loom
My Way News reports: "Google says its e-mail traffic in Iran has dropped sharply, amid reports access is being restricted for the Islamic Revolution's anniversary."
Small Earthquake Hits Near Chicago -
The New York Times reports: "A small earthquake in northern Illinois set off car alarms, knocked books off the shelves and jolted scores of people awake at 4 a.m. Wednesday, but otherwise caused no serious damage, officials said."

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

My Way News - Russian military calls US missile defense a threat
My Way News reports: "U.S. missile defense plans are a threat to Russian national security and have slowed down progress on a new arms control treaty with Washington, Russia's top military officer said Tuesday."
My Way News - Gates wants Iran sanctions in 'weeks, not months'
My Way News reports: "U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to see the United Nations slap sanctions on Iran in 'weeks, not months.' Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters Tuesday that Gates 'clearly thinks time is of the essence.'"
My Way News - US poised to seize Afghan town as Taliban dig in
My Way News reports: "U.S. and Afghan forces pushed Tuesday to the edge of the southern Afghan town of Marjah, poised to seize the major Taliban supply and drug-smuggling stronghold in hopes of building public support by providing aid and services once the insurgents are gone [...] It will be the first major offensive since President Barack Obama announced last December that he was sending 30,000 reinforcements to Afghanistan, and will serve as a significant test of the new U.S. strategy for turning back the Taliban."
BBC News - Could Greece be expelled from the eurozone?
BBC News reports: "In a working paper published on the European Central Bank's website, Phoebus Athanassiou writes about the possibility of secession from the European Union and from Economic and Monetary Union - the process which created the euro."

Monday, February 08, 2010

My Way News - Iran moves closer to nuke warhead capacity
My Way News reports: "Iran pressed ahead Monday with plans that will increase its ability to make nuclear weapons as it formally informed the U.N. nuclear agency of its intention to enrich uranium to higher levels."

BBC News - West pushes for 'strong sanctions' against Iran
BBC News reports: "Pressure is building in the West for new international sanctions against Iran, following its announcement that it will step up uranium enrichment."

BBC News - China warns against Iran nuclear programme sanctions
BBC News reports: "China has said talks of fresh sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme would 'complicate the situation' and could derail diplomatic efforts."

Comment: China fails to realize that diplomatic efforts without the threat of sanctions or military force are just empty words.
My Way News - NATO says Afghans to play big role in offensive
My Way News reports: "Thousands of Afghan soldiers and police will join U.S. and NATO troops in an upcoming offensive in southern Afghanistan, playing their biggest role in any joint operation of the Afghan war. The pending attack on the Taliban-held town of Marjah in Helmand province will be a crucial test for the NATO strategy of transferring more responsibility to the Afghans so foreign troops can go home."

My Way News - Britain hits grim milestone before major attack
My Way News reports: "Three British soldiers have died in southern Afghanistan, officials announced Monday, raising Britain's death toll in the conflict to 256 - breaking the number of Britons lost in the Falklands war of 1982."
My Way News - Hubble sees Pluto changing color, ice sheet cover
My Way News reports: "Spurned Pluto is changing its looks, donning more rouge in its complexion and altering its iceball surface here and there. Color astronomers surprised. Newly released Hubble Space Telescope photos show the distant one-time planet - demoted to 'dwarf planet' status in 2006 - is changing color and its ice sheets are shifting."

Saturday, February 06, 2010

CNN - Report: Iran opens two missile plants

CNN reports: "The inauguration of the production lines for the anti-helicopter Qaem missile, and the anti-armor Toofan-5 (Hurricane) missile, came three days after Iran test-launched a rocket capable of carrying a satellite, a launch deemed a 'provocative act' by Washington."

My Way News - Western officials dismiss Iranian nuclear proposal
My Way News reports: "Iran's claims to be close to an agreement on its nuclear program have yet to be backed up by any concrete actions, top Western officials said Saturday, and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said it may be time to take a 'different tack' with Tehran."

Comment: Iran is making progress in developing their military even as they continue their yes-no-wait act over their nuclear program and Russia and China continue to provide diplomatic cover for their game. The sad truth that the U.S., Great Britain, France and Germany will have to ultimately face is that Russia, China and Iran can keep this up as long as it takes for Iran to go nuclear. It's a great strategy, but it leads to one very bad outcome...a nuclear armed Iran.

Friday, February 05, 2010

My Way News - Chinese FM urges patience in Iran nuclear talks
My Way News reports: "China's foreign minister on Friday urged the world to be patient and keep up diplomatic efforts with Iran [...] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad earlier this week suggested he would at last agree to export a significant amount of uranium for processing. [...] Iran's moves appeared timed in part to defuse pressure by the U.S., Britain and France for more sanctions against Iran. U.N. Security Council members China and Russia are not convinced."
My Way News - NATO putting more optimistic face on Afghan war
My Way News reports: "NATO and U.S. officials are putting a more optimistic face on the eight-year-old Afghanistan war, suggesting that tens of thousands more foreign troops can finally turn the corner against a growing Taliban insurgency."
My Way News - Medvedev signs Russia's military doctrine
My Way News reports: "Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed the country's new military doctrine regulating the stance the country takes in conflict situations. [...] Russia's conventional military forces are in dilapidated shape, increasing Moscow's dependence on its Cold War-era nuclear arsenals."
My Way News - India offers to resume stalled talks with Pakistan
My Way News reports: "India offered Thursday to resume high-level peace talks with Pakistan, an overture that reflected a significant warming between the nuclear-armed countries one year after the deadly siege on Mumbai."

Thursday, February 04, 2010

My Way News - Israel warns Syria it would lose future war
My Way News reports: "Israel's outspoken foreign minister harshly warned Syria Thursday against drawing the Jewish state into another war, saying the Syrian army would be defeated and its regime would collapse in a future conflict."

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Iran Unveils New Satellite Capabilities -
The Wall Street Journal reports: "Iran test-fired a new satellite rocket and unveiled a series of what it said were homegrown advances in its space program, a push that worries Western officials because of possible crossover applications in Iran's weapons program. [...] Many of the technologies used in satellite development can be applicable to missile-delivery systems."
Iran's offer on nuclear deal: genuine or diplomatic wedge? / The Christian Science Monitor -
The Christian Science Monitor reports: "US, French, and German officials responded with suspicion to Iran’s new interest in a proposal to move its stockpile of enriched uranium outside the country for further processing. [...] But a declaration by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday that Iran is ready to accept some export scheme for its uranium was received favorably by Russia, and it prompted Chinese officials to call for further negotiations with Tehran."
My Way News - Egypt Christians call for right to build churches
My Way News reports: "Egyptian activists have protested in front of parliament and called for legislation giving Christians equal rights as Muslims to build houses of worship. [...] Ten percent of Egypt's 80 million are Copts, who complain of being denied equal citizenship rights. Clashes do occasionally erupt."
My Way News - Netanyahu: Peace talks could resume in weeks

My Way News reports: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he had reason to believe that long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians could resume in a matter of weeks. [...] After nightfall Wednesday, Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a rocket into Israel. Police said it caused no casualties or damage. Israel routinely responds to rocket attacks with airstrikes at tunnels used to smuggle weapons and explosives from Egypt into Gaza."

Comment: I'm not sure what warrants any optimism about the peace process, given the Palestinian peace gesture mentioned in this report, but you never know what kinds of discussions have gone on behind the scenes. Times will tell.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010 - Senators Warned of Terrorist Attack on U.S. by July
The New York Times reports: "America’s top intelligence official told lawmakers on Tuesday that he was 'highly certain' that Al Qaeda or one of its affiliates would attempt a large-scale attack on American soil within the next six months."

Comment: I guess it's time to change the color of the terror alert level. Add to those fears another set of fears about what Iran will do once new sanctions are imposed and, well, the next few months could be a very dangerous time.

My Way News - Iran: US missile system to sow Gulf division
My Way News reports: "Iran on Tuesday warned its Arab neighbors in the Persian Gulf that the U.S. is trying to drive a wedge between them by ramping up its missile defense systems in the region."

My Way News - Iran denies link to weapons seized in Thailand
My Way News reports: "Iran denied on Tuesday claims by Thailand that a planeload of North Korean weapons seized there in December was headed to Iran. 'There is no link between the aircraft and our country,' Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters. He said Iran had no need to import such arms due to its own weapons industry, which includes rockets, tanks, jet fighters, light submarines and missiles." - U.S. Speeding Up Missile Defenses in Persian Gulf
The New York Times reports: "The Obama administration is accelerating the deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf, placing special ships off the Iranian coast and antimissile systems in at least four Arab countries, according to administration and military officials."

Monday, February 01, 2010

My Way News - Al-Qaida offers to arm and train Nigerian Muslims
My Way News reports: "The leader of North Africa's al-Qaida branch offered training and weapons to Nigeria's Muslims to fight the Christians there following an outbreak of sectarian violence."