Wednesday, March 31, 2010

BBC News - India launches 'biometric' census
BBC News reports: "India is launching a census in which every person over the age of 15 will be photographed and fingerprinted to create a biometric national database [...] The first 16-digit identity numbers are due to be issued starting in November."
My Way News - Iran's top nuclear negotiator heads to China
My Way News reports: "Iran's state media says the country's top nuclear negotiator is heading to China to discuss possible U.N. sanctions against Tehran over its disputed nuclear program. Iranian state television reported Wednesday that Saeed Jalili will travel to China Thursday for talks with senior Chinese officials 'concerning the nuclear program.'"
My Way News - Pentagon denies US test-fired Trident missile
My Way News reports: "The U.S. has been strengthening missile defenses in allied Arab nations in the Gulf to help counter any potential missile strike from Iran. Like its nuclear work, Iran's missile program is of top concern to Washington and Arab nations wary of Tehran's growing influence in the region."
My Way News - New England flooding drowns homes and dreams
My Way News reports: "Flooding on a scale rarely seen in New England forced hundreds of people from their homes Wednesday [...] Hardest hit by three days of record-breaking rain was Rhode Island, where the worst flooding in 200 years could persist for several more days and permanently close businesses already struggling in the weak economy."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

BBC News - US and France vow to push for new sanctions on Iran
BBC News reports: "The US and France have vowed to work together to push for new UN sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme [...] In a joint news conference with Mr Sarkozy at the White House, Mr Obama said he was not interested in waiting months for new sanctions."
My Way News - Vatican offers 3 reasons it's not liable for abuse
My Way News reports: "Court documents obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press show that Vatican lawyers plan to argue that the pope has immunity as head of state, that American bishops who oversaw abusive priests weren't employees of the Vatican, and that a 1962 document is not the 'smoking gun' that provides proof of a cover-up."

Comment: These excuses sound like lawyer code phrases for evading responsibility in any way possible, not the actions of a church willing to act with transparency and accountability. The priests weren't employees? What were they then? Maybe they were subcontractors? Or, how about freelancers? That's it, they were freelance priests temporarily and loosely affiliated with the church, but not really actually acting on behalf of, or in the employ of, an actual organized religion like the Catholic Church. Shame.
My Way News - 2 detained for dead babies found along China river
My Way News reports: "The bodies of 21 babies, some with hospital identification tags around their tiny ankles, washed ashore on a river in eastern China and two mortuary workers were detained for allegedly dumping them."
The face in the Shroud - Cosmic Log -
MSNBC reports: "Does the Shroud of Turin show the 'real face of Jesus'? That claim is impossible to judge, even though it serves the title of a documentary about the 3-D analysis of the Shroud of Turin premiering tonight on the History Channel. What can be said is that the centuries-old image wasn’t just painted freehand. Computer analysis of the imprint on the shroud suggests that it had to be left behind by someone draped in cloth."
My Way News - Geneva atom smasher sets collision record
My Way News reports: "The world's largest atom smasher conducted its first experiments at conditions nearing those after the Big Bang, breaking its own record for high-energy collisions with proton beams crashing into each other Tuesday at three times more force than ever before [...] The extra energy in Geneva is expected to reveal even more about the unanswered questions of particle physics, such as the existence of antimatter and the search for the Higgs boson, a hypothetical particle that scientists theorize gives mass to other particles and thus to other objects and creatures in the universe."

Comment: Other creatures in the universe? Either this news service needs better editors or the reporter knows something we don't about life in the universe.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Jerusalem Post - J’lem posters call for 3rd Temple
The Jerusalem Post reports: "While tensions continue to simmer around the Temple Mount after riots in and around the capital’s Old City earlier this month, a new campaign calling for the construction of the Third Temple atop the holy site has made its way to the sides of 200 Egged buses in the city, which now sport posters featuring a picture of a rebuilt temple on the Mount, and nothing else."
My Way News - On Passover, Israel concerned over world standing
My Way News reports: "The holiday begins Monday night with a traditional seder meal. Extended families typically gather and retell the story of the exodus. The biblical story recounts that God killed the first-born of Egypt after the pharaoh refused to release the children of Israel from bondage, but 'passed over' the houses of the Hebrews. After that divine blow, the pharaoh gave in and let the Hebrews go. They were then given the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai and wandered in the desert for 40 years before arriving in the Land of Israel, according to the Bible."

Comment: It's ironic that they celebrate this holy feast while at the same time supporting a national policy to give to others the land that God gave them.
My Way News - Geneva atom smasher set for record collisions
My Way News reports: "The world's largest atom smasher is ready to start a new era of science, colliding beams of protons to learn more about the make up of the universe and its smallest particles. [...] The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, plans to start trying Tuesday morning to use the powerful superconducting magnets to force the two beams to cross, creating collisions and showers of particles. They could be successful immediately, but such huge machines can be so tricky to run that it could take days."
My Way News - SKorean president orders military on alert
My Way News reports: "South Korea's president ordered the military on alert Tuesday for any moves by rival North Korea after the defense minister said last week's explosion and sinking of a South Korean ship may have been caused by a North Korean mine."

My Way News - NKorea accuses South of psychological warfare
My Way News reports: "North Korea warned the U.S. and South Korea on Monday of deadly consequences for engaging in 'psychological warfare' by allowing journalists into the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas [...] The two Koreas remain in a state of war because they have never signed a formal peace treaty."
My Way News - Christian militia accused of plotting to kill cops
My Way News reports: "Nine alleged members of a Christian militia group that was girding for battle with the Antichrist were charged Monday with plotting to kill a police officer and slaughter scores more by bombing the funeral - all in hopes of touching off an uprising against the U.S. government [...] The group quotes several Bible passages and declares: 'We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. ... Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment.'"

Comment: I guess they skipped over the "He who lives by the sword dies by the sword," part of Matthew 26:52. Sad that people can be so deluded and deceived.
My Way News - Twin suicide bombings kill 38 in Moscow subway
My Way News reports: "Terror returned to the heart of Russia, with two deadly suicide bombings on the Moscow subway at rush hour, including an attack at the station beneath the headquarters of the secret police [...] Russian police have killed several Islamic militant leaders in the North Caucasus recently, including one last week in the Kabardino-Balkariya region, which raised fears of retaliatory strikes and escalating bloodshed by the militants."

My Way News - US transit security beefed up after Moscow blast
My Way News reports: "U.S. transit agencies beefed up security as a precaution Monday after the double suicide bombing in Moscow's subway system, sending more police into stations and officers to conduct random inspections of rail yards."
My Way News - Christian pilgrims mark Palm Sunday in Jerusalem
My Way News reports: "Hundreds of Christians from around the world marched from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem to mark Palm Sunday, retracing the steps of Jesus 2,000 years ago. The pilgrims waved national and church flags and followed a white donkey, which according to Christian tradition was the way Jesus entered the holy city [...] According to the Bible, Palm Sunday marks the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem, greeted by cheering crowds bearing palm fronds. It marks the start of Holy Week, which concludes with Easter the following Sunday.
My Way News - Iran reaches out to neighbors in new year summit
My Way News reports: "Iran used an ancient new year celebration to reach out to Afghanistan, Iraq and other neighbors on Saturday, hosting them at a summit meeting that projected Iranian leadership in the strategic region straddling the Middle East and Central Asia [...] Afghan President Hamid Karzai was among those attending Saturday's events in Tehran. The other nations were Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Iraq, Turkey and Azerbaijan."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

CNN - Russian bombers 'intercepted in British airspace'
CNN reports: "Rare photos of Russian strategic bomber jets purportedly intercepted in British airspace show Moscow's war machine is becoming increasingly bold, analysts said Thursday as Russia denied any territorial violations [...] Experts say regardless of the exact flight paths, the increased sorties by Russian aircrafts in international airspace show Moscow is flexing its muscles as it re-emerges as a global military player."
My Way News - Israeli soldiers leave Gaza after fierce clash
My Way News reports: "Israel withdrew its troops from the Gaza Strip Saturday after some of the fiercest gunbattles with Palestinian militants in the Hamas-run territory since last year's military offensive. [...] Israel and Egypt sealed their borders with Gaza in 2007 after Hamas militants overran the coastal territory. Since then, Gaza has depended heavily on smuggled cash and goods. Egypt is building an underground barrier along its border with Gaza to try to cut off the smuggling."
My Way News - Medvedev: Iran sanctions may be needed
My Way News reports: "Mixed signals on the controversial issue continue to emanate from Moscow, with some officials highlighting the importance of a diplomatic solution to the stalemate while others suggest sanctions may now be the only way to prevent Iran joining the nuclear club [...] Russia and the United States [...] Both view a nuclear-armed Iran - whose leaders have said Israel should be wiped off the map - as a destabilizing factor in the Middle East and the wider world."
My Way News - NATO: Europe must upgrade defenses
My Way News reports: "Europe will be a 'paper tiger' in military terms unless it reverses the decline in its defensive capabilities, NATO's chief warned Saturday [...] shrinking defense budgets during the economic downturn are causing a growing discrepancy in military capabilities between the United States and Europe's NATO members, he said. Most European nations are not even meeting the minimal requirement of devoting 2 percent of their GDP to defense."
My Way News - US deaths double in Afghanistan as troops pour in
My Way News reports: "The number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan has roughly doubled in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year as Washington has added tens of thousands of additional soldiers to reverse the Taliban's momentum."

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Way News - SKorean naval ship sinks near NKorea; 46 missing
My Way News reports: "South Korean authorities stepped up searches for 46 sailors still missing Saturday, hours after a naval ship sank near a disputed sea border with North Korea [...] Friday's accident happened hours after North Korea's military threatened 'unpredictable strikes' against the U.S. and South Korea in anger over a report the two countries plan to prepare for possible instability in the totalitarian country. The two Koreas remain locked in a state of war because their three-year conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, in 1953."
My Way News - Former Cold War foes US, Russia to slash nukes
My Way News reports: "The U.S. and Russia sealed the first major nuclear weapons treaty in nearly two decades Friday, agreeing to slash the former Cold War rivals' warhead arsenals by nearly one-third and talking hopefully of eventually ridding a fearful world of nuclear arms altogether."
My Way News - Fierce fighting in Gaza Strip kills 3
My Way News reports: "Two Israeli soldiers and a Palestinian civilian were killed Friday as a gunbattle between troops and Palestinian militants widened into some of the fiercest fighting in the Gaza Strip since Israel's military offensive there last year. Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers confirmed their gunmen were involved in Friday's violence..."

My Way News - Tens of thousands protest Israel in Syria
My Way News reports: "Tens of thousands of Syrians and Palestinians have gathered in a Damascus square in a government-orchestrated 'march of anger' against Israeli settlements in east Jerusalem."

BBC News - Israeli PM says Jerusalem policy will not change
BBC News reports: "The Israeli prime minister says his policy on Jerusalem will not change - a sign that a row with the US over settlement building remains unresolved."
My Way News - EU seeks better trans-Atlantic ties
My Way News reports: "The EU called on the U.S. on Friday to upgrade trans-Atlantic relations, insisting that when it comes to crafting a new world order, Europe is a more significant ally than China and other emerging economies [...] Barroso said the U.S. and the 27-nation EU account for half of global economic output and 40 percent of world trade."

Comment: Imagine if you will a future in which the EU, the U.S. and Canada counter the rise of other powers by joining together into an Atlantic Union. Their militaries are already coordinated in NATO, so closer economic cooperation would complement the military cooperation that already exists. Usually, security coordination follows economic cooperation, so in a sense, they have already accomplished the hard part. Now, for the easy part. What, think it can't happen?
My Way News - Euro zone leaders: Greece plan to stabilize euro
My Way News reports: "Greece's 12.7 percent deficit for 2009 is four times over the EU limit, pointing to the euro zone's inability to restrict members' debt and deficits. Worries of a Greek default also highlighted the lack of a European only safety net for euro zone countries that can't pay their bills."
My Way News - Death of coral reefs could devastate nations
My Way News reports: "Coral reefs are part of the foundation of the ocean food chain. Nearly half the fish the world eats make their homes around them. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide - by some estimates, 1 billion across Asia alone - depend on them for their food and their livelihoods. If the reefs vanished, experts say, hunger, poverty and political instability could ensue."
My Way News - More than 25 hit in rash of Utah BB gun shootings
My Way News reports: "A rash of drive-by BB gun shootings in the suburbs around Salt Lake City has left police and more than two dozen victims wondering who is carrying out the apparently random attacks. People waiting at bus stops, a bicyclist riding home from work and pedestrians of all ages have been shot over the last two weeks, authorities said."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Way News - NKorea vows 'nuclear strikes' in latest threat
My Way News reports: "North Korea's military warned South Korea and the United States on Friday of 'unprecedented nuclear strikes' over a report the two countries plan to prepare for possible instability in the totalitarian country."
My Way News - Bin Laden threatens US over alleged 9/11 plotter
My Way News reports: "Osama bin Laden threatened in a new message released Thursday to kill any Americans al-Qaida captures if the U.S. executes the self-professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks or other al-Qaida suspects."
My Way News - Jordan: Israel playing with fire with settlements
My Way News reports: "Jordan's king warned Israel in a rare public rebuke that it is 'playing with fire' with its settlement policy, and said in comments published Thursday the Jewish state must decide whether it wants peace or war [...] He said Israel 'must decide if it wants conflict or peace,' adding that if it is indeed peace, then Israel must take "tangible actions" toward ending settlements and returning to negotiations with Palestinians."
BBC News - Deal reached over Greece debts at Brussels summit
BBC News reports: "All 16 eurozone countries have backed a financing plan to help debt-laden Greece, which will include IMF money [...] The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said the deal was significant 'not just for Greece, but for the stability of the eurozone'."
My Way News - Moderates forced out of top Islam Web site
My Way News reports: "The Qatari government has forced out the moderate leadership of a popular Islamic Web site and plans to reshape it into a more religiously conservative outlet, former employees of the site said Thursday."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Way News - Saudi: Israel's arrogance challenges the world
My Way News reports: "In a strongly worded statement carried by the official news agency, a government official asked the Quartet sponsoring peace talks, consisting the U.S., EU, Russia and the U.N., to take Israel to task for its recent announcements to expand Jewish housing in east Jerusalem."

My Way News - Israel approves new building in east Jerusalem
My Way News reports: "The Jerusalem municipality has approved 20 new apartments for Jews in an Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem, the city said Wednesday, in a move that could stir a new diplomatic crisis with the United States just as Israel's leader is in Washington on a fence-mending visit [...] Israel, which captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war, insists the city cannot be divided and says it has the right to build anywhere."
My Way News - Disputed isle in Bay of Bengal disappears into sea
My Way News reports: "For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have resolved the dispute for them: the island's gone."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

VOA - Site of Ancient Jewish Temple is Epicenter of Conflict
The Voice of America reports: "Palestinian leaders claim the rebuilding of the synagogue signals the start of an attack on the al-Aqsa Mosque, in the compound, to make way for construction of the Third Temple."
My Way News - Grandiose plan for east Jerusalem submitted
My Way News reports: "The Jerusalem city hall statement said the proposal has been given to the local planning commission for debate. That is the first of many steps of approval before construction could begin. The process could take years and could stall at any stage [...] Israel annexed east Jerusalem shortly after the 1967 war, but that has not been recognized by any other country."
My Way News - Arab League chief pushes for closer ties with Iran
My Way News reports: "The Arab League chief wants the 22-nation bloc to engage Iran directly over concerns about its growing influence and its nuclear activities, in a step that could undermine U.S. and Israeli efforts to isolate the country, diplomats said Tuesday [...] One of the diplomats, who has seen Moussa's document, said the League's chief hopes the inclusion of Turkey - an increasingly influential Sunni Muslim nation - will provide a powerful counterbalance to Shiite Iran."
My Way News - English not enough for top EU foreign policy chief
My Way News reports: "Across the 27 nations, the EU has 23 languages, and for many citizens attachment to their mother tongues is an important counterweight to Europe's increasing globalization and use of English as the predominant way to communicate. Many leaders in Europe still struggle with fluent mulilingualism despite the increasing cooperation across borders that the EU promotes."
My Way News - Austria: Priest resigns after admitting abuse
My Way News reports: "An Austrian diocese says a priest has resigned after admitting he abused a 17-year-old boy. The Graz-Seckau diocese says the priest stepped down of his own accord and that the abuse happened more than 20 years ago on a vacation."
My Way News - 8 children stabbed to death at Chinese school
My Way News reports: "A former medical worker allegedly stabbed to death eight young children and wounded five others Tuesday in a bloody rampage outside an elementary school in eastern China."
My Way News - Pakistan wants to question nuclear scientist
My Way News reports: "Government lawyer Ahmar Bilal Sufi filed the request after The Washington Post published stories in March based on an account allegedly written by Khan that said Iran had tried to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan in the late 1980s. The stories say Pakistan instead gave Iran bomb-related drawings and other nuclear technology."
My Way News - Study: Last Supper paintings supersize the food
My Way News reports: "The Bible says the Last Supper took place on a Passover evening but gives little detail on specific foods besides bread and wine. [...] For the study, he used paintings featured in the book 'Last Supper,' published in 2000 by Phaidon Press. They include perhaps the most famous portrayal of the meal, by Leonardo da Vinci. Computer technology allowed them to scan, rotate and calculate images regardless of their orientation in the paintings."

Comment: Since none of the paintings involved in this study realistically portray how people ate at the time (which is to say, reclining at a low table, not sitting upright in chairs at a high table as we do now) I would not be surprised to learn that they did not accurately portray the actual meal. Anyway, you can view some of the images used in the study here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Catastrophe in North Korea -Times Online
Times Online reports: "Of all the atrocities of modern history, famine is the least commemorated. It is an agonising mass death sentence imposed, invariably, by a non-democratic regime. With the possible exception of Mao’s China during the Great Leap Forward, no tyranny has acted with greater ruthlessness in perpetuating its people’s sufferings than North Korea. The Times reported this weekend that famine is an imminent prospect in the isolated prison-state. Hunger killed millions of North Koreans in the 1990s, and threatens to do so again."

Comment: This is an interesting report because it helps answer the question: Does famine happen in the modern world? It has, it does, and it is happening in North Korea.
My Way News - Pakistan police: Plot foiled on hotels, diplomats
My Way News reports: "Pakistani officials say two highly experienced Taliban militants have been arrested while planning to attack top hotels and kidnap diplomats in Pakistan. One of the men claims to have helped plan previous attacks [...] One of the arrested men, speaking to reporters at a police station, said their targets included five-star hotels and a club for Westerners."
BBC News - Netanyahu reaffirms 'right to build' in Jerusalem
BBC News reports: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asserted Israel's 'right to build' in Jerusalem, amid a row with the US over plans for new homes in the city. 'Jerusalem is not a settlement, it's our capital,' the Israeli prime minister said in Washington."
My Way News - Iceland's eruptions could have global consequences
My Way News reports: "Blasts of lava and ash shot out of a volcano in southern Iceland on Monday and small tremors rocked the ground, a surge in activity that raised fears of a larger explosion at the nearby Katla volcano [...] Iceland's Laki volcano erupted in 1783, freeing gases that turned into smog. The smog floated across the Jet Stream, changing weather patterns. Many died from gas poisoning in the British Isles. Crop production fell in western Europe. Famine spread. Some even linked the eruption, which helped fuel famine, to the French Revolution."
Israel National News - Rally to Demand Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount
Israel National News reports: "After days of waiting, organizers of a “freedom of worship” rally for Jews on the Temple Mount have finally received police approval. It will be held Tuesday evening in downtown Jerusalem [...] The organizers further demand to be able to celebrate this coming Passover holiday on the site of the Holy Temple by being allowed to offer the Paschal sacrifice."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

CNN - Child abuse scandal shatters Irish faith in Catholic Church
CNN reports: "For loyal Catholics, the most disappointing revelation, McGarry says, was 'to have it exposed that bishops behaved in contravention of canon [church] law -- as was the case -- in contravention of civil law -- as was the case -- but also, and above all, in contravention of moral law. It blew them out of the water.'"
My Way News - UN chief says Israeli settlements must be stopped
My Way News reports: "Visiting U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said Saturday that Israeli settlement building anywhere on occupied land is illegal and must be stopped, while a Palestinian teenager was killed in clashes with Israeli troops elsewhere in the West Bank."
My Way News - Tokyo marks 15th anniversary of subway gas attack
My Way News reports: "Tokyo subway workers observed a moment of silence Saturday to mark the 15th anniversary of a nerve gas attack by a religious cult, Japan's deadliest act of domestic terrorism [...] Before the attack, the Aum Shinrikyo cult had amassed an arsenal of chemical, biological and conventional weapons in anticipation of an apocalyptic showdown with the government. More than a dozen death sentences have been imposed on its members, but no one has been executed."
My Way News - Huge sandstorm covers Beijing, turns sky orange
My Way News reports: "China's expanding deserts now cover one-third of the country because of overgrazing, deforestation, urban sprawl and drought. The shifting sands have led to a sharp increase in sandstorms - the grit from which can travel as far as the western United States."
My Way News - Power cut to 60,000 as cyclone hits Australia
My Way News reports: "About 60,000 homes are without power, trees and signs have blown over and boats have been smashed on the rocks after a massive storm blew across the coast of northeastern Australia." - Greek debt crisis merely adds to the list of issues dividing the European Union
The Washington Post reports: "The sharp exchanges in recent weeks underscored a growing discord within the European Union, a region confronting a mounting array of economic and diplomatic problems that are putting the 27-nation alliance through its toughest test in years."
'Day of Wrath' brings Russians on to the streets against Vladimir Putin - The Observer
The Observer reports: "Thousands of people across Russia took to the streets yesterday demanding the resignation of Vladimir Putin, in the largest show of discontent since he came to power more than a decade ago."
CNN - Earthquake shakes Cuba; no reports of damage yet
CNN reports: "A 5.6-magnitude earthquake shook Cuba on Saturday. The quake struck at 1:08 p.m. (2:08 p.m. ET) 22 kilometers (14 miles) below the surface and was centered 44 km (27 miles) south-southwest of Guantanamo, the U.S. Geological Survey said."
My Way News - 12 wounded in Israeli missile strike in Gaza
My Way News reports: "Hamas officials say Israeli aircraft have fired five missiles at Gaza's defunct airport and nearby border tunnels, wounding at least 12 people. The Israeli military confirmed Friday's airstrikes, saying they targeted militant activities in response to recent rocket fire from Gaza."

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Way News - World diplomats urge resumption of Mideast talks
My Way News reports: "The so-called Quartet group of Mideast negotiators met in the Russian capital to set the stage for peace talks in which the United States would be a go-between [...] The Quartet group of peacemakers - the U.S., Russia, the United Nations and the European Union - is meant to represent an international consensus on the importance of pressing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and a commitment to establishing a Palestinian state as part of that process.

My Way News - Push on for Mideast talks despite Jerusalem flap
My Way News reports: "The status of Jerusalem is one of the toughest issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinians claim its eastern, historically Arab part as the capital of a future state while Netanyahu objects to partitioning the city, retreating from positions of previous Israeli governments. The international community does not recognize Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem after the 1967 Mideast war and views the Jewish neighborhoods there as settlements like those Israel has built in the West Bank." - Quartet host Russia: A new broker for Israel peace?
The Christian Science Monitor reports: "Amid a US-Israel flap, some see an opportunity for Middle East Quartet host Russia to become a bigger player in Israel peace talks. Moscow has strong ties with both Israelis and Palestinians."

Comment: So, reading between the lines, if the U.S. fails to secure an agreement, other countries are waiting in the wings. If the job of Mideast peace broker is next taken up by Russia, a precedent will be established to rotate the job among other members of the Quartet, suggesting a future role for the U.N. or the E.U. to take the lead. We will have to wait and see how this develops.
My Way News - Taliban lose control of Marjah but remain strong
My Way News reports: "Last month 10,000 U.S., NATO and Afghan forces wrested control of Marjah, a Helmand farming community about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Lashkar Gah, after years of Taliban rule [...] According to residents, the Taliban presence in Helmand province remains formidable, even with the loss of their base in Marjah.
My Way News - Member of Texas polygamist sect sentenced 75 years
My Way News reports: "The latest member of a polygamist group whose sprawling West Texas ranch was raided in 2008 has been sentenced to 75 years in prison for sexual assault of a child {...] Jessop is the fourth member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be tried since authorities raided and seized documents from the Yearning For Zion Ranch."
My Way News - Geneva atom smasher sets record for beam energy
My Way News reports: "Operators of the world's largest atom smasher on Friday ramped up their massive machine to three times the energy ever previously achieved, in the run-up to experiments probing the secrets of the universe [...] The next major development is expected in a few days when CERN starts colliding the beams in a new round of research to examine the tiniest particles and forces within the atom in hopes of finding out more about how matter is made up."
My Way News - WHO: Not sure if drug-resistant TB is worsening
My Way News reports: "In a new report on the global status of drug-resistant TB based on data from 2008, the agency says almost half of all people with the disease are in China and India, with both countries reporting about 100,000 new cases each."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Way News - Putin: Iran's new nuclear plant to start up soon
My Way News: "Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Iran's new Russian-built nuclear power plant will begin operating this summer, even as the United States called for Russia to delay the startup."

My Way News - US, Russia clash over startup of Iran nuke plant
My Way News reports: "The nuclear plant is an example of Russian-Iranian economic ties and technical cooperation, on terms that have long made the United States uncomfortable."
My Way News - US commander says security bolstered in Kandahar
My Way News reports: "Afghan, U.S. and NATO forces are planning a major operation later this year in Kandahar province, which is next to Helmand province where thousands of troops just seized the district of Marjah from insurgents."
My Way News - Gaza rocket kills Thai farm worker in Israel
My Way News reports: "Palestinian militants fired a rocket at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing a Thai farm worker, Israeli medics said, in the first death from such an attack since the Gaza offensive last year."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Way News - Clashes erupt in Jerusalem; US envoy cancels trip
My Way News reports: "Hundreds of Palestinians in east Jerusalem set tires and garbage bins ablaze on Tuesday and hurled rocks at Israeli riot police, who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas. The heaviest clashes in months broke out as an American envoy abruptly canceled a visit, deepening a U.S.-Israeli diplomatic feud."
My Way News - Ukraine to pass law scrapping NATO ambitions
My Way News reports: "Ukraine's new governing coalition in parliament said Tuesday it will pass a law against joining military alliances such as NATO, a move that is sure to please Russia while tilting Ukraine away from its previous pro-Western course [...] Moscow's effort in recent years to restore its own influence over Ukraine and other former Soviet states got a powerful boost with the election of Yanukovych, who has pledged to cooperate with Russia on key energy and military issues."
My Way News - Fiji cyclone damage overwhelming, leader says
My Way News reports: "The South Pacific island nation of Fiji has suffered overwhelming damage from a powerful cyclone that battered its shores for more than three days, the prime minister said Wednesday as relief operations were launched in the country's northern regions."
My Way News - Thai protesters to pour own blood at PM's house
My Way News reports: "Thai protesters seeking a change of government planned more shock tactics Wednesday, saying they would pour gallons (liters) of their own blood at the prime minister's house in an upscale neighborhood of the Thai capital [...] More than 100,000 demonstrators from all over the country gathered in Bangkok on Sunday, vowing to continue their protest until victory."
My Way News - China shows no sign of budging on Iran sanctions
My Way News reports: "China showed no sign Tuesday of throwing its support behind new sanctions against Iran following talks with Britain's foreign minister, who had hoped to persuade Beijing to join a growing international consensus for more stringent measures [...] With Russia appearing to move closer to supporting new sanctions, China - which depends on Iran for much of its energy needs - would be the only one of five veto-wielding permanent U.N. Security Council members opposed to the measures."

ABC News - California Shaken by 4.4 Magnitute Earthquake
ABC News reports: "An earthquake shook southern California early today, causing little damage but worrying residents who fear a massive disaster like those recently seen in Haiti and Chile [...] The quake was measured at a 4.4 magnitude, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was centered about one mile from Pico Rivera, Calif., and about 11 miles from the Los Angeles Civic Center."
VOA - Israel Confident Diplomatic Crisis With US Will Blow Over
Voice of America reports: "Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib [...] said the Palestinians want a guarantee from the United States that Israel will stop all kind of occupation activity, especially settlement expansion [...] the Palestinians are also demanding that all issues, including the status of Jerusalem, be part of the negotiations, which he said should be carried out according to a timeline."

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Way News - US wants Israel to cancel Jerusalem building plan
My Way News reports: "Washington, the officials added, also has demanded that Israel officially declare that talks with the Palestinians will deal with all the conflict's big issues, including final borders, the status of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees who lost their homes during the war that followed Israel's 1948 creation [...] At the emotional and religious center of the dispute is Jerusalem's Old City, with shrines holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims."
My Way News - Twitter working on Chinese registration page
My Way News reports: "Twitter is working on a way to allow Chinese users to sign up to the social networking site in their own language, a co-founder of the site said Monday night, but access to the popular site remains blocked in the country."

My Way News - Facebook opening operations office in India
My Way News reports: "Social networking site Facebook is opening an operations office in India, its first in Asia, to help manage rapid growth in the number of users. [...] The move is part of a push to create support centers across time zones, with round-the-clock, multilingual support, the company said."

The Associated Press: Strong earthquake rocks central Japan
My Way News reports: "A strong earthquake hit off the eastern coast of central Japan on Sunday, rattling buildings across a broad swath of the country, including the crowded Tokyo capital. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, and the government said there was no danger from tsunamis. The quake had an initial estimated magnitude of 6.6, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. It hit at 0808 GMT on Sunday, or 5:08 p.m. local time."
My Way News - Stubborn storm darkens, floods much of Northeast
My Way News reports: "Torrential rains and high winds pounded the Northeast for a third day Monday, taking a heavy toll on people and property in a region that only recently restored power or finished digging out from the last of several major winter storms."
My Way News - Culture clash: European art provokes Muslims
My Way News reports: "Denmark's Prophet Muhammad cartoons emerged from a discussion in 2005 about whether Islam was being treated with special sensitivity among Danish artists for fear of reprisals from extremists. Jyllands-Posten said the project was a way to challenge self-censorship and show that Muslims, too, must be ready to put up with mockery in a society based on democracy and free speech."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Way News - Muslims attack Coptic Christians in northern Egypt
My Way News reports: "Muslims attacked a community center and burned several homes belonging to Coptic Christians in northwestern Egypt over the weekend [...] the rioters were responding to a Friday prayer sermon at a nearby mosque calling for jihad against infidels, a reference to non-Muslims among extremists."

CNN - State Department criticizes Iran for persecuting religious minorities
CNN reports: "The State Department condemned Iran's persecution of religious minorities on Friday following the Iranian authorities' detention of Baha'is and Christians in recent months. [...] Iranians have also recently detained more than a dozen Christians, according to the State Department [...] Iran is an Islamic Republic where Shia Islam is the state religion."

Comment: Please join me in praying for persecuted Christians in Egypt and Iran. The deceived Western media like to portray Islam as a religion of peace but these people know the truth.
My Way News - China alleges diplomatic snub at Copenhagen summit
My Way News reports: "The dustup over Wen's Copenhagen appearance was part of a series of controversies portraying China as more aggressive and intransigent in its relations with the outside world. Having weathered the economic downturn better than many nations, Beijing is increasingly regarded as seeking to assert its influence and resist demands for reform."
My Way News - Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe
My Way News reports: "It often starts as a voice in the wilderness, but can swell into an entire nation's demand for truth. From Ireland to Germany, Europe's many victims of child abuse in the Roman Catholic church are finally breaking social taboos and confronting the clergy to face its demons."

Comment: Is it twilight for Christianity in Europe? Once one of the mightiest institutions, the Catholic Church is is buckling under the weight of it's own internal contradictions. Given the increasing pace of Islamification across the continent we can only hope that evangelical denominations step in to save Europe from a secular (or neo-pagan) future.
My Way News - Holocaust monument in Poland vandalized
My Way News reports: "Vandals sprayed anti-Semitic graffiti on Holocaust memorials at a former Nazi concentration camp in Poland, desecration that authorities discovered Saturday and are investigating. Words including 'Jude Raus' - German for 'Jew Out' - and 'Hitler Good!' in English" [...] The vandalism was discovered a day before a planned memorial march marking the 67th anniversary of the liquidation of Krakow's ghetto.
My Way News - Israeli troops, Palestinians clash near Jerusalem
My Way News reports: "Several dozen Palestinian women scuffled with Israeli troops on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Saturday [...] The women chanted 'Jerusalem is Arab, our eternal capital,' briefly planted a Palestinian flag on one of the crossing's metal gates and tried to push through it [...] As the women withdrew, Palestinian teens threw stones at soldiers who closed the crossing to traffic."
My Way News - Iran says it struck US-backed opposition groups
My Way News reports: "Iran said Saturday it has dismantled several U.S.-backed opposition networks that were gathering information on nuclear scientists and finding ways to circumvent controls on the Internet meant to deprive the opposition of its most crucial tool."
BBC News - Bogus TV report of Russian invasion panics Georgia
BBC News reports: "Momentary panic was sparked in Georgia after TV broadcasted the news that Russian tanks had invaded the capital and the country's president was dead."

Comment: It's rare to see a genuine rumor of war. This rumor sparked panic in the streets. Strange days indeed.

Friday, March 12, 2010

AFP: Clinton rebukes Israel over settler homes
AFP reports: "In a rare sharp rebuke, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chided Israel for plans to build new settler homes, saying it sent a 'deeply negative signal' about Israel's ties to its top ally."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Way News - Biden steers past spat over Israel settlement plan
My Way News reports: "Vice President Joe Biden attempted to soothe tensions with Israel on Thursday in a speech extolling the countries' close relationship, signaling the U.S. wants to move beyond an embarrassing diplomatic spat over settlements that tarnished his three-day visit."
My Way News - Strongly felt quakes shake Chile inauguration
My Way News reports: "Two strongly felt earthquakes have rocked central Chile as dignitaries arrive for the inauguration of President-elect Sebastian Pinera. The U.S. Geological Survey says the first quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 and the second registered at 7.2."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Way News - US-Israel row highlights quandary over settlements
My Way News reports: "An open diplomatic row during the visit of Vice President Joe Biden has shined a spotlight on the U.S. failure to rein in Israeli settlement ambitions and deepened Palestinian suspicions that the United States is too weak to broker a deal."

My Way News - Arab League calls for ending support for talks
My Way News reports: "The Arab League recommended on Wednesday to withdraw its support for indirect talks between Palestinians and Israelis due to recent announcements of new settlement building in east Jerusalem."

My Way News - East Jerusalem lies at core of conflict
My Way News reports: "Israel's plan to build 1,600 new apartments in contested east Jerusalem has thrown a spotlight on the city at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

My Way News - Biden condemns new Israeli settlement plan
My Way News reports: "Vice President Joe Biden condemned an Israeli plan to build hundreds of homes in disputed east Jerusalem on Tuesday - a disagreement that tarnished a high-profile visit that had been aimed at repairing ties with the Jewish state and kickstarting Mideast peace talks."

Comment: Oh no, Israel is still building in Israel! Look, just because the Palestinians "claim" land doesn't mean it's not longer Israeli land. That's the point of final status negotiations, to determine that kind of thing. Until there is an agreement, Israel should be free to build on all the land of Israel. Although the media is making a lot of this, as well the the promise of restarting peace talks, nothing has changed. And by that, I don't mean Israel's building program, I mean Iran's proxy fighters in Gaza and Lebanon ready to pounce if Mideast peace looks close to breaking out. Iran is the real enemy of peace in the Middle East, they are the obstacle, not Israel building a few new houses. I really wish Western media (and politicians) could keep things in perspective.

Monday, March 08, 2010

My Way News - Israelis, Palestinians to begin indirect talks
My Way News reports: "Israel and the Palestinians agreed to begin indirect, American-brokered talks, the U.S. Mideast envoy announced Monday - ending a 14-month deadlock in peacemaking and representing the Obama administration's first substantive diplomatic achievement here."
My Way News - Iran begins production of cruise missiles
My Way News reports: "Iran announced Sunday that it has started a new production line of highly accurate, short range cruise missiles, which would add a new element to the country's already imposing arsenal. [...] The minister said the missile can be fired from ground-based launchers as well as ships, but would eventually be modified to be fired from helicopters and submarines. [...] Iran also boasts an array of short and medium-range missiles capable of hitting targets in the region, including Israel, U.S. military bases in the region and much of Europe." - Turkey earthquake kills 51; scientists say earthquake frequency not rising
The Christian Science Monitor reports: "In yet another deadly rumbling of Earth’s crust, an earthquake in Turkey killed at least 51 people early Monday morning. But scientists are warning against drawing conclusions about increasingly frequent earthquakes."
Reuters - Niger facing famine, millions at risk: president
Reuters reports: "Millions of people are threatened by famine in Niger, the new military ruler said on Sunday in a message that contrasted starkly with his predecessor's reluctance to talk about food shortages."

Friday, March 05, 2010

My Way News - Violent clashes in Jerusalem, West Bank
My Way News reports: "At the Jerusalem shrine, home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, hundreds of Muslim worshippers emerging from prayers threw stones at policemen and Jews praying below at the Jewish shrine known as the Western Wall, according to Israeli police."

Comment: This is a misuse of the word "shrine" and maybe just a little condescending. The Western Wall of the Temple, a shrine? This report is a great example of modern journalism attempting to be impartial, to accord legitimacy to both sides, not realizing that when one side is irrational or at fault, the attempt to be impartial is actually biased by conferring moral legitimacy on those who lack it.

My Way News - Magnitude 6.5 earthquake shakes Indonesian Sumatra
My Way News reports: "A magnitude-6.5 undersea earthquake shook the western shore of Indonesia's Sumatra island on Friday, causing panic but no casualties or damage, an official said. The quake struck late at night 74 miles (119 kilometers) southeast of Pagai Selatan, an island off the western coast of Sumatra, Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency official Gian Ginanjar said. The quake struck 6 miles (10 kilometers) beneath the Indian Ocean bed. There was no tsunami potential, he said."
My Way News - Dutch anti-Islam politician creates stir in UK
My Way News reports: "Dutch anti-Islam maverick Geert Wilders took his cinematic assault on the Quran to Britain's House of Lords on Friday, sparking heated debate inside the building and angry protests outside. [...] 'I believe Islam is a violent and dangerous religion - but I have nothing against Muslims,' he told reporters. Nevertheless, he said he wanted a Europe-wide ban on Muslim immigrants because 'I believe they bring along a fascist ideology.' "

: I'm surprised he did not mention how intolerant Islam is to other religions. It seems to me that a Europe that prizes tolerance and religious diversity would be quick to take offense at that side of Islam. Still, I wish him well, I hope he is not too late to save European culture from the radical transformation that seems to be on the horizon.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

My Way News - Strong earthquake hits Taiwan; 64 people injured
My Way News reports: "A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Thursday, terrifying residents, disrupting communications and triggering at least one large fire. Sixty-four people were injured, the National Fire Agency said."
My Way News - Turkey recalls ambassador to US over genocide vote
My Way News reports: "Turkey says it is recalling its ambassador to the U.S. for consultations following a resolution declaring the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I genocide."
My Way News - 2 Pentagon police officers shot
My Way News: "The assault at the very threshold of the Pentagon - the U.S. capital's ground zero on Sept. 11, 2001 - came four months after a deadly attack on the Army's Fort Hood, Texas, post allegedly by a U.S. Army psychiatrist with radical Islamic leanings. In the immediate aftermath Thursday, investigators did not think terrorism was involved but were not ruling that out and did not discuss possible motives."
My Way News - Methane seen as growing climate risk
My Way News reports: "Historically, methane concentrations in the world's atmosphere have ranged between 0.3 and 0.4 parts per million in cool periods to 0.6 to 0.7 in warm periods. Current methane concentrations in the Arctic average about 1.85 parts per million, the scientists said, the highest in 400,000 years."

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

My Way News - Arab nations pave way for indirect Mideast talks
My Way News: "The indirect talks proposed by Washington are meant to break the impasse over the terms of resuming negotiations [...] Obama's Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, will shuttle between the sides. No date has been set for the indirect talks to begin, but expectations are for a quick resumption [...] the 'Quartet' of Mideast mediators - the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - meets in Moscow on March 19."

My Way News - Huge wave kills 2 on cruise ship in Mediterranean
My Way News reports: "A 26-foot wave smashed into a cruise ship carrying nearly 2,000 people in the Mediterranean on Wednesday, smashing glass windshields and killing two passengers, according to officials and news reports. Another six people suffered light injuries, the Greek coast guard said in a statement."

My Way News - Strong earthquake hits Taiwan, 1 injury reported
My Way News reports: "A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan on Thursday morning causing buildings to sway hundreds of miles (kilometers) to the north. Local news reports said at least one person was injured. The quake was centered in the county of Kaohsiung, and struck at a depth of about 3.1 miles (5 kilometers). Kaohsiung is about 249 miles (400 kilometers) south of the capital Taipei."

My Way News - Chile: Aftershock sets off brief panic
My Way News reports: "A strong aftershock to Chile's deadly earthquake provoked a brief panic in the city of Concepcion, but no tsunami warning was issued and no injuries or damage have been reported. Some residents started running for high ground when they felt the aftershock to Saturday's earthquake, which itself produced a deadly tsunami."
My Way News - EU, US concerned about Iran's nuclear activities
My Way News reports: "The U.S. and Europe say they share U.N. fears that Tehran may be secretly working on developing nuclear missiles, expressing support Wednesday for new sanctions if Tehran continues to defy Security Council demands. [...] The U.S., Britain and France support such new sanctions, and Russia [...] appears to be moving closer to that view. That leaves only permanent Security Council member China - which depends on Iran for much of its energy needs - opposed to new sanctions."

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

My Way News - NKorea vows to bolster nuclear deterrent
My Way News reports: "North Korea vowed Tuesday to strengthen its nuclear deterrent and its means of delivery - an apparent reference to missiles - days after threatening rival South Korea and U.S. forces with attack if they conduct military exercises as planned next week. [...] The North is believed have enough weaponized plutonium for at least half a dozen atomic bombs, and has been developing a long-range missile designed to strike the U.S. Experts say, however, it has not mastered the technology required to mount a nuclear warhead onto the missile." - Internet-savvy Chile taps Twitter
USA Today reports: "Since Saturday's quake, traditional media here have focused on hard news — death tolls, rescue efforts, government announcements and images of lootings — while social-networking tools such as Twitter, Facebook and some Google applications have been at the forefront of transmitting highly localized information."
My Way News - Chile earthquake may have shortened Earth's day
My Way News reports: "Earth's days may have gotten a little bit shorter since the massive earthquake in Chile, but don't feel bad if you haven't noticed. The difference would be only about one-millionth of a second."

My Way News - Northwest at risk of earthquake like one in Chile
My Way News reports: "The disaster in Chile has brought new attention to an undersea fault along the Pacific Northwest capable of producing the same type of mega earthquake and inflicting heavy damage on bustling cities like Seattle, Portland and Vancouver."

Monday, March 01, 2010

Haaretz - Police rush Temple Mount as riots spread to J'lem
Haaretz reports: "Four policemen were lightly wounded by Arab stone-throwers yesterday during riots that began on the Temple Mount but soon spread to the alleyways of Jerusalem's Old City. Eight rioters were arrested."
My Way News - Russia moves closer to Iran sanctions over nukes
My Way News reports: "Russia's president said Moscow was ready to consider new sanctions on Iran for its nuclear defiance on Monday and the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency warned that he cannot confirm that all of Tehran's atomic activities are peaceful. [...] China and Russia have in the past blocked Western attempts for a fourth set of sanctions, with Beijing traditionally following Moscow's lead. But because it depends on Iran for much of its energy needs, China may continue to resist pressure from the other four Council members."
My Way News - Hamas leader disowns son who spied for Israel
My Way News reports: "The elder Yousef, who helped found the militant Islamic group two decades ago, was humiliated last year when his eldest son announced he had converted to Christianity. Then the son told an Israeli newspaper last week that he had helped Israeli intelligence foil militant attacks and hunt down Hamas leaders - including his father."

Comment: I wonder which they consider the greater crime, helping Israel or becoming a Christian?