Friday, September 30, 2011

My Way News - With al-Awlaki dead, al-Qaida lacks Western voice
My Way News reports: "The killings of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and another American al-Qaida propagandist in a U.S. airstrike Friday wipe out the decisive factor that made the terrorist group's Yemen branch the most dangerous threat to the United States: its reach into the West."
My Way News - US condemns death sentence for Iranian pastor
My Way News reports: "The U.S. says Iran should release a pastor who's been sentenced to death for apostasy. White House press secretary Jay Carney says 32-year-old Yusuf Naderkhani, who turned to Christianity when he was 19, has done nothing more than stay devoted to his faith. Carney says Iran's attempt to force him to renounce that faith "crosses all bounds of decency" and breaches Iran's international obligations."
My Way News - Iran to Syria: Save regime and preserve alliance
My Way News reports: "Iran is in the unfamiliar role of nervous bystander in Syria - a foothold on Israel's border and a critical conduit to Tehran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza."
My Way News - Canadian Arctic nearly loses entire ice shelf
My Way News reports: "Two ice shelves that existed before Canada was settled by Europeans diminished significantly this summer, one nearly disappearing altogether, Canadian scientists say in new research. The loss is important as a marker of global warming, returning the Canadian Arctic to conditions that date back thousands of years, scientists say."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Way News - US-led coalition: Afghan insurgent attacks falling
My Way News reports: "International forces in Afghanistan released new data Thursday showing violence trending downward in their favor, only a day after the U.N. reported considerably more clashes and other attacks per month than last year."

Comment: So encouraging to hear that there's light at the end of the tunnel. But wait, what about that other report...
My Way News - Strong quake rocks northeast Japan
My Way News reports: "A strong earthquake has rocked northeastern Japan, which is still recovering from the devastating tsunami six months ago. The quake Thursday had a preliminary magnitude of 5.6. There were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued."
My Way News - NASA IDs 90 pct. of largest near-Earth asteroids
My Way News reports: "If you're worried about a killer asteroid wiping out Earth, NASA has some good news. The space agency said Thursday it has identified more than 90 percent of giant near-Earth asteroids, including ones as big as the one thought to have killed the dinosaurs eons ago. None poses a danger to the planet in the next several centuries."

Comment: I think it's that last 10% that could really ruin your day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

VOA - Israel Observes Rosh Hashanah in Uncertain Times
The Voice of America reports: "Israelis are observing Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the High Holy Days and a time of reflection and prayer. There are 10 days of repentance leading up to the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. The New Year comes at a time of political uncertainty in Israel, as the Palestinians seek recognition of an independent state at the United Nations." - Fearing Change, Syria’s Christians Back Assad
The New York Times reports: "Abu Elias sat beneath the towering stairs leading from the Convent of Our Lady of Saydnaya, a church high up in the mountains outside Damascus, where Christians have worshiped for 1,400 years [...] With the chaos growing, Christians visiting Saydnaya on a recent Sunday said they feared that a change of power could usher in a tyranny of the Sunni Muslim majority, depriving them of the semblance of protection the Assad family has provided for four decades." - Palestinian statehood bid kicked into committee by UN security council
The Guardian reports: "The UN security council has moved the issue of recognising a Palestinian state to a committee which could take weeks to reach a decision [...] The UN committee on new admissions, which is made up of the 15 members of the security council, will meet on Friday morning. It could vote immediately on the Palestinian request or agree to study the matter further."

Comment: Ok, so we have our answer, all of that drama is quietly deflated as a committee debates for weeks or months. The next move is Abbas'.
My Way News - Iran says it delivers new cruise missiles to navy
My Way News reports: "Iran said Wednesday it has begun large-scale production of a domestically-developed cruise missile designed for sea-based targets and capable of destroying warships [...] Vahidi said the missile, which has a range of 124 miles (200 kilometers), can travel at low altitudes and 'can sink giant warships.' The comments appeared to suggest that the new missile could potentially counter the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf."
My Way News - Violent incidents up 39 percent in Afghanistan
My Way News reports: "The statistics show that the intensity of the nearly decade-old war is growing, not abating, as the U.S. and other nations start to withdraw some forces with an eye toward pulling all combat troops out by the end of 2014."
My Way News - Philippines repairs after typhoon kills 21
My Way News reports: "Forecasters sounded alarms over a new storm headed for the Philippines Wednesday, even as workers repaired seawalls demolished by a typhoon that killed at least 21 people and left scores stranded in swamped communities."
My Way News - UN reports gains in fight against Somalia's famine
My Way News reports: "The U.N. on Wednesday said food assistance has reached nearly half the Somalis in need, though it warned cases of diarrhea and cholera could spike with the seasonal rains expected in October. Famine relief has gotten to about 1.85 million Somalis, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said."
My Way News - AP Interview: Arrests made against Nigeria sect
My Way News reports: "Security forces have arrested a top commander of a radical Muslim sect who is accused of orchestrating attacks in the country's northeast that have left police, clerics and others dead, a governor said Wednesday [...] Nigeria, a nation of 150 million people, is split largely between a Christian south and a Muslim north."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Washington Post - Christian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani faces potential execution
The Washington Post reports: "Just days after Iran released two Americans accused of spying, an Iranian court has upheld the apostasy conviction and execution sentence of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani [...] However, the judges, acting like terrorists with a hostage, demanded that he recant his faith in Christ before even taking evidence [...] If he does not recant his Christian faith, he could be executed at any time."

Comment: Please join me in praying for Pastor Nadarkhani, that he will remain unwavering in his faith and that he will show Christian love those who are persecuting him.
Christian Post - Heckler Calls Obama the Antichrist; Obama Proclaims "Jesus Is Lord"
The Christian Post reports: "The interruption took place immediately after Obama took the stage and the president was forced to stop talking for a moment [...] On his way out the door, the heckler proclaimed that Obama was the antichrist [...] Before he continued with his speech, Obama announced: 'First of all, I agree, Jesus Christ is the Lord. I believe in that.' The crowd immediately cheered with approval."

CNN - A movement to paint Obama as the Antichrist?
CNN reports: But Mooney observes that the White House pool report records the heckler as being much more blunt, yelling 'Barack Obama is the Antichrist!' The president interrupted his remarks at the fundraiser, held at Los Angeles' House of Blues, to respond to the heckler. 'First of all, I agree Jesus Christ is the Lord,' Obama said. 'I believe in that. I do have a question, though. I think the young man may have left his jacket...''"

Comment: So, Obama again professed his Christian faith in public. I doubt it will do much good, as so many refuse to hear it. Is he a Christian? Only God knows his heart. I'm inclined to give anyone the benefit of the doubt if they make a public profession of faith. Is he my kind of Christian? What kind of standard is that?. There are many kinds of Christians, many denominations, many dogmas. There are conservative Christians and liberal Christians and there's no doubt he is of the liberal variety. All of that is meaningless really. He has professed faith in Jesus and that should be enough. It should be enough, but of course, it's not, not for those who actually think an American president will be the antichrist.
My Way News - Israel approves 1,100 new homes in east Jerusalem
My Way News reports: "Israel granted the go-ahead on Tuesday for construction of 1,100 new Jewish housing units in east Jerusalem, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ruled out any freeze in settlement construction, raising already heightened tensions after last week's Palestinian move to seek U.N. membership."

Comment: Well this will throw world media into a fit of condemnation. Israel is building in Israel!
My Way News - US missile strike kills 3 in northwest Pakistan
My Way News reports: "An American drone fired two missiles at a house in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border Tuesday, killing three people, Pakistani intelligence officials said [...] The latest strike comes at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Islamabad [...] China has helped Pakistan bolster its defense."
My Way News - Decade after anthrax attacks, worry over stockpile
My Way News reports: "Ten years after the anthrax attacks brought home the reality of bioterrorism, the nation has a stockpile of some basic tools to fight back against a few of the threats that worry defense experts the most [...] There's enough smallpox vaccine for everyone, plus some of a specially formulated version safe for cancer patients and others with weak immune systems. There's an improved version of the decades-old anthrax vaccine used in 2001. There are a few treatments for the toxins produced by anthrax and botulism, and a smallpox treatment is due soon."

Comment: There, isn't it nice to read some good news for a change?

Monday, September 26, 2011

VOA - Security Council Reviews Palestinian UN Application
VOA reports: The U.N. Security Council on Monday took up the issue of the Palestinian bid for full U.N. membership. The meeting was mostly procedural and that the council is expected to meet again on the subject later this week.
My Way News - 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls go online
My Way News reports: The scrolls, considered by many to be the most significant archaeological find of the 20th century, are thought to have been written or collected by an ascetic Jewish sect that fled Jerusalem for the desert 2,000 years ago and settled at Qumran, on the banks of the Dead Sea. The hundreds of manuscripts that survived, partially or in full, in caves near the site, have shed light on the development of the Hebrew Bible and the origins of Christianity.
My Way News - Typhoon lashes Philippines, 1 dead, thousands flee
My Way News reports: A powerful typhoon slammed the northern Philippines Tuesday, unleashing floods, cutting power and halting work in the capital, Manila, where residents waded in waist-deep waters and strong winds toppled trees.
My Way News - Indonesia police identify suspected church bomber
My Way News reports: "Police say they have identified the person who blew himself up inside an Indonesian church and are awaiting confirmation from DNA tests. The bomber blew himself up after the Sunday service ended and wounded 30 people. The attack in the Central Java town of Solo comes amid concerns about escalating religious intolerance in the world's most populous Muslim nation."
My Way News - Attack on Kabul CIA office kills agency contractor
My Way News reports: "An Afghan working for the U.S. government killed a CIA contractor and wounded another American in an attack on the intelligence agency's office in Kabul, officials said Monday, making it the latest in a series of high-profile attacks this month on U.S. targets."
My Way News - The American "allergy" to global warming: Why?
My Way News reports: "The Arctic Ocean's summer ice cap has shrunk by half and is expected to essentially vanish by 2030 or 2040, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center reported Sept. 15. Ashore, meanwhile, the Arctic tundra's permafrost is thawing and releasing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. These changes will feed on themselves: Released methane leads to warmer skies, which will release more methane. Ice-free Arctic waters absorb more of the sun's heat than do reflective ice and snow, and so melt will beget melt. The frozen Arctic is a controller of Northern Hemisphere climate; an unfrozen one could upend age-old weather patterns across continents."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Way News - Palestinian leader rejects intl peace blueprint
My Way News reports: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas strongly suggested Saturday that he would reject a peacemaking blueprint put forward by international mediators, saying he would not agree to any proposal that disregarded Palestinian conditions for the resumption of peace talks."

Comment: What an extraordinary week of events centered on the epicenter of Bible prophecy - Israel and Jerusalem. As this week ends more pressure than ever is on Israel to make more compromises and give up more land to the Palestinians who say they want peace and yet keep firing off missiles at their peace-partner. Abbas' U.N. gambit means that the same international pressure that was focused on Abbas to prevent a U.N. vote is now on Israel to show some progress on the long-stalled peace talks. Progress, of course, defined as Israeli concessions.

The Security Council will meet next week to discuss the Palestinian request and we should have some early indication as to whether they intend to move quickly on the request or have a committee review the proposal for a few months or so. This will effectively table the matter for the short-term and it's at this point that the Palestinians will call out their rioters to create a spectacle for the media. They could also seek to keep the pressure on by taking the matter to the General Assembly and asking for a change in status, less than statehood but more than the observer status they have now.

In a very real sense the Palestinians are driving the process now and the U.S., Israel and the U.N. are merely reacting. An ever present danger is the volatile mix of increased expectations by the Palestinian people (who don't really understand the U.N. process - it's a bureaucracy after all) for real change and the desire of everyone else to maintain the status quo of the Quartet's negotiating process. The stage is set for public protests that can easily spin out of the control of the Palestinians who hope to stage manage them for the media.

Finally, how will Hamas react to the new political reality in which Abbas returns as a hero of his people? The long simmering civil war between Fatah and Hamas could get hot quickly if Hamas perceives they have been made irrelevant. Never mind the absurdity of a state in the midst of a civil war asking for recognition from the U.N. (because most of the world is willing to overlook that), the situation on the ground could get very dangerous for Israel if Hamas decides to launch rocket attacks from Gaza to undermine Abbas' peace efforts.

Most of the world focused on this last week as the crucial time for Mideast peace because of the drama at the U.N., but the real drama is just about to begin. Stay tuned.
My Way News - Putin to run for Russian presidency in 2012
My Way News reports: "Vladimir Putin's decision to reclaim the presidency next year sets up the possibility that he could rule Russia until 2024 and foreshadows a continuation of the strongman rule that many in the West have called a retreat from democracy."

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Way News - Palestinians submit UN statehood bid
My Way News reports: "The Palestinian leader took his people's quest for independence to the heart of world diplomacy Friday, seeking U.N. recognition of Palestine and sidestepping negotiations that have foundered for nearly two decades under the weight of inflexibility, violence and failure of will [...] He ignored any Palestinian culpability for the negotiations stalemate, deadly violence against Israel, and the internal rift that has produced dueling governments in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as Jewish links to the Holy Land [...] The Security Council will meet on Monday to take up the matter."

BBC News - Israeli-Palestinian talks must resume - Mideast Quartet
BBC News reports: The Quartet of Middle East negotiators has urged Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace talks within one month and aim for a deal by the end of 2012.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yahoo! News - Palestinian crisis looms over U.N. meeting
Yahoo! News reports: "Diplomats scrambled on Thursday to head off a clash over Palestinian plans to seek full U.N. recognition with little visible sign of progress and a deadline less than 24 hours away [...] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is ready to submit his application to the U.N. Security Council on Friday despite pressure from U.S. President Barack Obama to forgo the U.N. option and resume direct talks with Israel."
Yahoo! News - Sparks fly as U.S., Pakistan spar over Afghan bloodshed
Yahoo! News reports: "The top U.S. military officer accused Pakistani intelligence on Thursday of backing violence against U.S. targets including the American Embassy in Afghanistan, a stunning remark that fueled a war of words and seemed certain to deepen tensions in South Asia."
My Way News - Iran displays missiles on anniversary of Iraq war
My Way News reports: "Iran is marking the 31st anniversary of the start of the Iraq-Iran war with a military parade and a display of the country's steadily growing arsenal of short and medium range ballistic missiles [...] The missile, with more than 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) in range, could pose a threat to Israel and U.S.-allied Arab nations, including some that are home to American military bases."
My Way News - Remote India villages reached; quake toll hits 106
My Way News reports: "Rescuers on Thursday finally reached some of the villages in India's remote northeast that were cut off by a powerful earthquake in the Himalayan region last weekend, as the death toll in the disaster climbed past 100."
My Way News - Global leaders struggle to calm recession fears
My Way News reports: "Finance officials of the Group of 20 major economies issued a statement late Thursday saying they were committed to a strong and coordinated response to renewed challenges coming from the European debt crisis and weak economic growth in the United States and other countries."
My Way News - AP: BP oil not degrading on Gulf floor, study says
My Way News reports: "The study concluded that mats of oil - not weathered tar, which is harder and contains fewer hydrocarbons - are still submerged on the seabed and could pose a long-term risk to coastal ecosystems."
My Way News - US 'no' on Taiwan arms seen as sign of China clout
My Way News reports: "A U.S. decision not to sell Taiwan new F-16 fighter jets is being seen by many U.S. allies in Asia as a sign of China's growing clout [...] they still see Washington's refusal to make the F-16 sale - privately confirmed by congressional aides Sunday and then made public Wednesday - as showing a new deference to Chinese interests."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Haaretz - Obama to Abbas: U.S. will veto Palestinians at UN
Haaretz reports: U.S. President Barack Obama told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday that UN action would not achieve a Palestinian state and the United States would veto any Security Council move to recognize Palestinian statehood, the White House said.

DEBKAfile - No big UN showdown on Palestinian state this week. West Bank flare-up close
DEBKAfile reports: Accounts of the big diplomatic showdown facing the United Nations when the Palestinian bid for statehood is filed Friday, Sept. 23 have been blown up and overdramatized . Neither the Security Council nor the UN General Assembly will be making any immediate decisions this week and US President Barack Obama will not be called on as yet to veto the Palestinian application. Therefore the dispute over which side can muster the magic majority of nine members is premature.

Yahoo! News - Palestinians to push U.N. bid despite Obama
Yahoo! News reports: U.S. President Barack Obama told the United Nations on Wednesday there was no short cut to Middle East peace but Palestinians said they would press on with a request for U.N. recognition of their nascent state.
Haaretz Daily Newspaper - Turkey's Erdogan calls Israel's offshore gas drilling 'madness'
Haaretz reports: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described offshore gas drilling by estranged ally Israel and Cyprus as "madness" on Wednesday, raising the stakes in a confrontation over potentially huge deposits in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Way News - Obama aims to salvage Mideast crisis aversion plan
My Way News reports: "The U.S. and its allies changed tactics Tuesday on how to avert a crisis over a Palestinian statehood bid, as the White House announced that President Barack Obama would meet Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. At the same time, U.S. officials conceded they could not stop Abbas from officially launching his case for the Security Council's approval of the statehood effort. But they hoped to contain the fallout by urging Abbas not to push for an actual vote in the Council, where the U.S. has promised a veto, to give international peacemakers time to produce a statement that would be the basis for resumed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations."

Comment: Let's be honest, either way, it's not good for Israel. If the Palestinians move forward it will galvanize world opinion against Israel and make the situation on the ground much more problematic. If the Palestinians back down in favor of the Quartet's latest peace plan, it means Israel faces much more intense pressure to reach a quick deal, and that means more land for peace. After Gaza, does anyone really think the Palestinians want land for peaceful purposes? Developments are moving quickly, keep watching!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Yahoo! News - Clinton: Still hope for a Palestinian compromise
Yahoo! News reports: "The Obama administration insisted Monday there was still time to avert a divisive showdown over Palestinian statehood, ignoring President Mahmoud Abbas' defiant pledge to take his government's case to the United Nations and reaching out to Western allies in the hopes of a last-ditch compromise."

Comment: This looks like it could be an epic week for Mideast peace developments. Stay tuned!
My Way News - Yemen protesters storm elite military base; 50 die
My Way News reports: "Thousands of protesters backed by military defectors seized a base of the elite Republican Guards on Monday, weakening the control of Yemen's embattled president over this poor, fractured Arab nation. His forces fired on unarmed demonstrators elsewhere in the capital, killing scores, wounding hundreds and sparking international condemnation."
Wired News - Cash Advanced: Google Wallet Is Tomorrow’s Billfold
Wired News reports: "Google’s newest offering replaces an accessory we’ve carried since man first stripped hide from beasts: Our wallet. Google Wallet is a service that eliminates the traditional notion of the leather carrying case, allowing you to store digital versions of your credit cards on your smartphone. Basically, Wallet lets you use your phone to pay for purchases at physical point-of-sale machines."

Comment: This looks like a great advance in mobile-commerce, just don't lose your phone.
Yahoo! News - 4 earthquakes rock Guatemala, 1 confirmed dead
Yahoo! News reports: "Four earthquakes struck the southeastern part of Guatemala in less than two hours Monday afternoon, causing at least one death as some walls collapsed, authorities said. At least three people were reported missing."

VOA - Indian Quake Kills 7, Injures 22 in Tibet
The Voice of America reports: "Chinese state media say at least seven people were killed and 22 injured in southern Tibet by a powerful earthquake that struck in the Indian state of Sikkim." - More than 6,000 struck with dengue fever in Pakistan reports: "Dengue fever has killed 25 people and affected more than 6,000 over the past two months in Lahore, Pakistan, a health department spokesman said Monday."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Way News - Magnitude-6.6 quake shakes Japan
My Way News reports: "A magnitude-6.6 earthquake shook the east coast of Japan off Honshu early Saturday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. No tsunami warning was issued, and no damage or casualties were immediately reported."

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Way News - Palestinian leader will ask for full UN membership
My Way News reports: "The Palestinian president said Friday he would ask the U.N. Security Council next week to endorse his people's decades-long quest for statehood but emphasized that he did not seek to isolate or delegitimize Israel."

China paper warns US against Palestinian UN veto - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "A Chinese state-run newspaper on Friday warned of a spike in tensions in the Middle East if the United States vetoed the Palestinian bid for membership of the United Nations next week."
My Way News - Israel calls Egypt envoy over treaty revision talk
My Way News reports: The Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned the Egyptian ambassador for a talk Friday after Egypt's prime minister said his country's 1979 peace treaty with Israel could be amended, a ministry spokesman said. The spokesman, Paul Hirschson, would not give details of the conversation.
My Way News - Hand-drawn St. John's Bible completed, on display
My Way News reports: "The Benedictine monks at St. John's Abbey and St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., commissioned the Bible in 1998 to celebrate the beginning of a new millennium [...] the St. John's Bible, believed to be the only handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in the more than 500 years since the invention of the printing press."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Way News - Defying US, Palestinians press forward with UN bid
My Way News reports: "In a direct challenge to the United States, the Palestinians said Thursday they will ask the Security Council next week to accept them as a full member of the United Nations, even though Washington has promised to veto the measure."
My Way News - Magnitude-7.2 quake shakes Fiji
My Way News reports: "A magnitude-7.2 earthquake rattled Fiji in the Pacific Ocean on Friday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. No tsunami warning was issued, and no damage or casualties were immediately reported."

The Washington Post - Earthquakes hit California, Cuba and Japan
The Washington Post reports: "As if we haven’t been shaken and stirred enough lately, three separate earthquakes hit California, Cuba and Japan on Wednesday night and Thursday morning."
My Way News - Arctic sea ice shrinks to second lowest level
My Way News reports: "Arctic sea ice melted this summer to the second lowest level since record-keeping began more than 50 years ago, scientists reported Thursday, mostly blaming global warming."
My Way News - Mysterious light over Southwest likely a fireball
My Way News reports: "A brilliant light seen darting across the Southwest night sky was most likely a piece of asteroid that entered Earth's atmosphere, a NASA scientist said Thursday. Scores of people from Southern California to Arizona reported to local authorities and media outlets Wednesday that they saw the light hurtle quickly from west to east at around 7:45 p.m. PDT. Many described the light as bluish-green and others as yellow and orange. Some captured video of the object."
My Way News - Uh-oh: Scientists say film "Contagion" is for real
My Way News reports: "A new virus jumping from animals to humans? Nothing fictional about that. Global spread of a disease in a few days? In this age of jet travel, absolutely. A societal meltdown if things get bad? Plan on it."
My Way News - UK tightens rules on arresting foreigners: Britain's universal jurisdiction law allows British courts to prosecute foreigners accused of crimes against humanity, no matter where the alleged crimes were committed [...] But the liberal application of the principle in Britain had led to criticism, particularly among supporters of Israel who felt pro-Palestinian groups were using it to harass the Jewish state."

Comment: Good on them. It's really about time they ended an absurdly imperialist law. Imagine saying that British law could be applied to anyone at any time, anywhere in the world and then enforced not by an officer of the law but by political activists.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Diplomatic flurry ahead of Palestinian UN bid - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "A high-level U.S. team kicked off a new round of shuttle diplomacy on Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to contain the diplomatic fallout from the Palestinian statehood push, but the odds of a breakthrough appeared slim as the Palestinians pledged to go ahead with mass rallies to draw world attention to their bid."

Jordan prefers talks for Palestinian state - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "Jordan's foreign minister says his country supports a Palestinian drive for recognition at the U.N. but prefers negotiations toward creation of a Palestinian state."

Israel warns against Palestinian UN bid - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "Hardline Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned Wednesday there will be "harsh and grave consequences" if the Palestinians persist with their plan to seek UN membership as a state."

DEBKAfile - Palestinians back off UN Security Council statehood bid
DEBKAfile reports: "The tempest which Israel had tensely anticipated for September in the wake of a Palestinian bid for unilateral UN recognition of their state looks like fizzling out before it begins as a result of a massive US campaign to avert it, backed by Saudi Arabia, Europe and Egypt. Early Wednesday, Sept. 14, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided crucially not to submit his application to the UN Security Council."

US ready to fight Palestinian UN bid to bitter end - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "The United States has decided to fight to the bitter end to convince the Palestinians to abandon their bid for UN membership, despite the rather small chance that the battle will succeed."

Comment: Things seem very much up in the air at this point (get it?) but it's clear that the U.S. has signaled they will veto a Palestinian statehood bid in the Security Council and are doing everything they can behind the scenes to prevent the PA from trying to do an end-run around the Quartet's official peace process. Still, I wonder if they are taking into account the extreme anti-Israel bias that much of the members of the General Assembly have? Even if the PA stands down and avoids taking it to the Security Council, they can still stir up a lot of anti-Israel passion in the General Assembly by going for an upgrade in their status. Even if it's short of statehood, I wonder if they would call it a win and paint the U.S. and Israel as the bad guys?
Israel News, Ynetnews - Iran tests new smart bombs
Ynetnews reports: "Iran's fleet of fighter jets has been equipped with new anti-missile capability, allowing them to 'detect and intercept all incoming missiles,' the state-run Fars news agency reported on Wednesday."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reuters - Russia resists Syria sanctions, Assad forces kill 22
Reuters reports: "Russia has rejected Western calls for wider sanctions on Syria over its violent crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad, in which the United Nations said 2,600 people have been killed."
Reuters - Taliban attack across Kabul, target U.S. Embassy
Reuters reports: "Taliban fighters fired rockets at the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul on Tuesday and attacked police in three other areas in the biggest assault the insurgent group has mounted on the Afghan capital."
Reuters - Dangerous TB spreading at alarming rate in Europe-WHO
Reuters reports: "Multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis (TB) are spreading at an alarming rate in Europe and will kill thousands unless health authorities halt the pandemic, the World Health Organisation(WHO) said on Wednesday."
Reuters - Arabs to push for Palestinian statehood bid
Yahoo News reports: "Arab states will push for a fully-fledged Palestinian state at the United Nations next week, the Qatari prime minister said on Monday, despite a U.S. threat to block such a move."

Reuters - U.S. envoys Hale, Ross to head back to Mideast
Reuters reports: "Senior U.S. envoys will visit the Middle East this week to try to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and avert a Palestinian bid for U.N. membership, the United States said on Tuesday."

My Way News - Palestinians' UN gambit could spur changes
My Way News reports: The path to full membership seems blocked because it goes through the Security Council, the powerful 15-member body where the United States - still urging the Palestinians to back down - promises a veto. But the General Assembly, meeting next week in New York, seems likely to recognize Palestine as a nonmember observer state. This status, identical to that of the Vatican, requires only a simple majority of its 193 members.
Reuters - Turkey's Erdogan hailed as a new champion for Arabs
Reuters reports: "The hero's greeting may well have surpassed Erdogan's own expectations as he set out on a tour of Arab countries aimed at asserting Turkey's role as a leader in a turbulent region. Much of his new found popularity, especially with the Arab public, is probably due to his confrontation with Israel."

Reuters - Turkey warns may launch ground raid in Northern Iraq
Reuters reports: "Turkey warned on Tuesday that it was preparing a possible ground operation against Kurdish separatist militants in northern Iraq, depending on the result of talks with Iraq."

Comment: There has been a profound change in the leadership in Ankara and yet they still turn to the time-worn Arab strategy of boosting their standing by bashing Israel. It would be comical if it weren't so deadly serious.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Arabs to push for Palestinian statehood bid - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "Arab states will push for a fully-fledged Palestinian state at the United Nations next week, the Qatari prime minister said on Monday, despite a U.S. threat to block such a move [...] The Palestinians currently hold U.N. 'observer' status. Full member status would require approval in the Security Council, where Israel's ally the United States had said it would veto any such resolution."
Turkey says flotilla raid was 'cause for war' - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "Turkey's prime minister said Monday that Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last year was 'cause for war' but added that his country showed "patience" and refrained from taking any action."

DEBKAfile - Turkish frigates to confront Israeli vessels, disable their weapons
DEBKAfile reports: "As Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was set to start a visit to Egypt, Turkish naval sources reported: 'If Turkish warships encounter an Israeli military ship outside Israel's 12-mile territorial waters, they will advance up to 100 meters from the ship and disable its weapon system.' The threat bluntly applied to Israel's naval enforcement of its UN-approved blockade of the Gaza Strip."

Comment: I'm getting tired of Turkey, just who do they think they are? What did they think would happen when they allowed their people to attempt to run the blockade? If one country sets up a naval blockade and another country (supposedly an ally) funds and supports the blockade runners, who exactly is the villain and who is the victim? Turkey is painting Israel as the villain but you know, you can turn it around. I think Israel should demand an apology from Turkey for not being an supportive ally. This is taking us further down the road of Turkey turning to the enemy camp.
Israel: Decade after 9/11, Iran must not get nukes - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "Israel's prime minister says a decade after the Sept. 11 attacks, Iran's nuclear program must be stopped and that the possibility of extremists getting atomic weapons is a real threat. Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at a memorial Sunday marking the anniversary of the attacks in the U.S."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Way News - Looking back and ahead, America remembers 9/11
My Way News reports: "In New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, across the United States and the world, people carried out rituals now as familiar as they are heartbreaking: American flags unfurled at the new World Trade Center tower and the Eiffel Tower, and tears shed at the base of the Pentagon and a base in Iraq [...] The world offered gestures large and small. The Colosseum in Rome, rarely lit up, glowed in solidarity. Pope Benedict XVI encouraged people to resist 'temptation toward hatred' and focus on justice and peace. Taps sounded in Belgium and in Bagram, Afghanistan. In Madrid, they planted 10 American oak trees in a park, led by a prince."

Friday, September 09, 2011

Egyptians break into Israel Embassy in Cairo - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "A group of about 30 protesters broke into the Israeli Embassy in Cairo Friday and dumped hundreds of documents out of the windows after a day of demonstrations outside the building in which crowds swinging sledge hammers and using their bare hands tore apart the embassy's security wall [...] Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February, calls have grown in Egypt for ending the historic 1979 peace treaty with Israel, a pact that has never had the support of ordinary Egyptians."

Israeli envoy leaves after Cairo embassy attack - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "Israel flew its ambassador home on Saturday after Egyptians stormed the building housing the Israeli mission in Cairo, plunging Egypt's ruling army deeper into its toughest diplomatic crisis since taking over from Hosni Mubarak."

Comment: It's really sad what's happened to Egypt. A pillar of regional stability has turned into a wild card and is coming close to becoming yet another failed state deranged by hatred of Israel. Whatever the "Arab Spring" represents, it's not progress.
Analysis: Turkey to complicate life for Israel, but avoid war - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the stakes with Israel on Thursday, saying he would dispatch the navy to escort any future flotillas to Gaza and prevent a repeat of an Israeli raid last year that killed nine Turks."

US tells Israel, Turkey to 'cool it' amid tensions - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "The Obama administration on Friday bluntly told U.S. allies Israel and Turkey to "cool it" as tensions between the two rose over aid flotillas to Gaza. Amid concern over a possible naval confrontation in the Mediterranean, the State Department said both sides should exercise restraint and avoid any provocations."
Magnitude-6.4 quake strikes off of Vancouver - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck Friday off the coast of British Columbia, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake struck 12:41 p.m. PDT (1941 GMT) at a depth of 14.3 miles (23 kilometers) about 173 miles (279 kilometers) west of Vancouver, the USGS said. The quake was initially reported to have a magnitude of 6.7 but was later downgraded by the USGS."

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Palestinians officially launch statehood campaign - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "The Palestinians on Thursday officially launched their campaign to join the United Nations as a full member state, saying they would stage a series of peaceful events in the run-up to the annual gathering of the U.N. General Assembly later this month."

Comment: It's difficult to see how the Quartet can spin this as anything but a monumental repudiation of their negotiating strategy. The Palestinians are attempting to do an end-run around the established peace process and it remains to be seen whether the U.S. and the rest of the Quartet team of Mideast peacemakers will let them get away with it. That most of the countries in the world are against Israel is a given, but thankfully, Israel has never entrusted their security to the goodwill of others. The real question is: Can Israel still count on friends?
WND - Russian plan: Squeeze U.S. out of picture
World Net Daily reports: "Working with his counterparts in Belarus and Kazakhstan, Putin wants to turn the group into a "Eurasian economic union" by 2013 with the prospect of either a common currency or a plan allowing currencies to be used interchangeably in economic transactions [...] Russia and its customs union members even have adopted portions of the EU's body of laws in which analysts say that copying an existing model saves work and eases the task of creating a free-trade zone with the EU."

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Palestinians resist US pressure on statehood bid - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "The Palestinians on Tuesday said they would not give in to American pressure to drop their bid for statehood at the United Nations, taking a tough position ahead of a meeting with a senior U.S. delegation."

Comment: I wonder how many more missiles they will fire off from Gaza to demonstrate their peaceful intentions? Of course, none of that will matter at the United Nations, where member states long ago bought into the narrative about the "poor oppressed Palestinians."
Turkey ups naval presence amid tension with Israel - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "Turkey said on Tuesday it was freezing defense trade with Israel and stepping up naval patrols in the eastern Mediterranean, a sign of growing tension between the two major U.S. allies in the Middle East. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's threat to send warships into waters where Israel's navy operates raises the risk of a naval confrontation between the two powers."

Comment: Turkey has been taken over by an Islamist government that is almost as anti-Israel as Iran. Is it any wonder they will join the Gog alliance in the future? Sure, that's a future fulfillment of Bible prophecy, but it's quite startling to see it happening right now. Turkey is out of control and I wonder if there is anyone in the West (in NATO or in the White House) willing to call them out?
Powerful quake hits western Indonesia - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: A powerful earthquake jolted the western Indonesian island of Sumatra, killing a 12-year-old boy and sending people streaming from their houses and hotels in panic. Hundreds of patients from at least one hospital had to be evacuated, some in wheelchairs or with infusion drips still attached to their arms. The U.S. Geological Survey said the 6.6-magnitude quake was centered 60 miles (100 kilometers) southwest of the city of Medan at a depth of 62 miles (110 kilometers).
US counts the cost of nine months of unprecedented weather extremes -
The Guardian reports: "Ever since a massive blizzard causing $2bn of damage paralysed cities from Chicago to the north-east in January, nearly every month has been marked by a $1b -weather catastrophe. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration (Noaa), there have been 10 major disasters already this year, leaving more than 700 people dead and property damage of over $35bn."

Comment: It doesn't just seem like it's been one disaster after another, it really has been.