Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CBS News - "Electronic tattoo" moving out of sci-fi realm
CBS News reports: "The National Science Foundation today released a video giving the latest news from researchers trying to develop flexible electronics that can be placed on the skin or embedded in the body. The hope is that these devices can be used to diagnose or provide care to patients. The group is testing prototype circuits that can detect muscle, heart, and brain activity with a skin-attached temporary 'tattoo.' These devices, made from small curly wires embedded in flexible membranes, perform as well as rigid electrodes, according to the NSF."

Comment
: This is an interesting development. This tech is a bit different than the RFID tattoo we noted a few years ago, but it's still an interesting combination of useful technology with a skin (or below skin) based application.

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My Way News - Iran claims it has produced laser-guided shells
My Way News reports: "Iran's state TV is reporting the country has produced laser-guided artillery shells, capable of hitting moving targets with high accuracy. The Monday report quoting Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi also says that the shell was an 'intelligent' munition with the capability to identify its own targets."

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My Way News - Iran said greater threat, while al-Qaida declines
My Way News reports: "Top U.S. intelligence officials on Tuesday asserted that Iran has the means to build a nuclear weapon but has not yet decided to follow through, in contrast to Israel's insistence that time is running out to stop Iran from developing such a weapon."

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My Way News - 25 EU nations to sign treaty to stop overspending
My Way News reports: "All European Union countries except Britain and the Czech Republic agreed Monday to sign a new treaty designed to stop overspending in the eurozone and put an end to the bloc's crippling debt crisis, while EU leaders also pledged to stimulate growth and employment."

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My Way News - Nigeria sect leader threatens new attacks
My Way News reports: "Boko Haram wants to implement strict Shariah law and avenge the deaths of Muslims killed in religious and ethnic violence across Nigeria [...] The sect also began specifically targeting Christians living in the north at the start of the year, exploiting already existing tensions between the two religions in a nation where religious and ethnic rioting has killed thousands in recent years."

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My Way News - India defies sanctions, won't cut Iran oil imports
My Way News reports: "India has joined China in saying it will not cut back on oil imports from Iran, despite stiff new U.S. and European sanctions designed to pressure Tehran over its nuclear program [...] India and China together accounted for 34 percent of Iran's oil exports from January to September of 2011 - slightly more than Europe, according to International Energy Agency data."

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Monday, January 30, 2012

My Way News - Israel sees narrowing window for attack on Iran
My Way News reports: "Officials are quietly conceding that new international sanctions targeting Iran's suspect nuclear program, while welcome, are further constraining Israel's ability to take military action - just as a window of opportunity is closing because Tehran is moving more of its installations underground. The officials say that Israel must act by the summer if it wants to effectively attack Iran's program."

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My Way News - Syrian troops push back in fight on Damascus edges
My Way News reports: "Syrian forces pushed dissident troops back from the edge of Damascus in heavy fighting Monday, escalating efforts to take back control of the capital's eastern doorstep ahead of key U.N. talks over a draft resolution demanding that President Bashar Assad step aside [...] Western and Arab countries stepped up pressure on Assad's ally Russia to overcome its opposition to the resolution."

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My Way News - Macedonia Muslims urge restraint over carnival
My Way News reports: "On Saturday, some protesters attacked buses and defaced a Macedonian flag and replaced it with a green flag to represent Islam. On the same day, a church was attacked by unknown perpetrators in the nearby village of Labunista."

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My Way News - Britain ranks top risks posed by climate change
My Way News reports: "Coastlines, working patterns, and even the country's most famous meal are under threat from climate change, Britain said Thursday in its first-ever national assessment of the likely risks. The 2.8 million pound ($4.4 million) study sets out the most pressing problems expected to affect the United Kingdom as a result of climate change, from rising sea levels to more frequent summer droughts."

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Friday, January 27, 2012

My Way News - Children among 74 dead in 2 days of Syrian turmoil
My Way News reports: "Two days of bloody turmoil in Syria killed at least 74 people, including small children, as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad shelled residential buildings and fired on crowds in a dramatic escalation of violence, activists said Friday [...] The U.N. Security Council met in a closed-door session to discuss the crisis, which diplomats said was a step toward a possible U.N. resolution against the Damascus regime."

Comment: It will never happen, Russia will veto it, and all the while sell weapons to Damascus.

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My Way News - Israel proposes West Bank barrier as border
My Way News reports: "Israel is proposing to essentially turn its West Bank separation barrier into the border with a future state of Palestine, two Palestinian officials said Friday, based on their interpretation of principles Israel presented in talks this week."

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Way News - Russia to keep blocking UN sanctions on Syria
My Way News reports: "Russia is standing firm on blocking any U.N. sanctions against Syria, its longtime ally and a significant arms customer, saying that any resolution by the world body must exclude the possibility of international military involvement such as in Libya [...] Russia has been a strong ally of Syria since Soviet times, when Syria was led by the president's father, Hafez Assad. It has supplied Syria with aircraft, missiles, tanks and other heavy weapons. The 27-nation EU, in contrast, has imposed an arms embargo against Syria."

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My Way News - AP Interview: Saudi warns of Mideast nuclear race
My Way News reports: "An influential member of the Saudi royal family warned Wednesday that unless the Middle East becomes a nuclear weapon-free zone, a nuclear arms race is inevitable and could include his own country, Iraq, Egypt and even Turkey [...] actually establishing a WMD-free zone will take negotiations in which all the underlying issues in the region, from the establishment of a Palestinian state to the future of the Golan Heights, 'will have to be dealt with to make the zone workable.'"

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Way News - Palestinian leader: Talks with Israel over
My Way News reports: "Visiting EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is scheduled to meet separately over the next two days with Abbas and Netanyahu to try to salvage the exploratory talks. Two officials involved in the contacts said she is trying to put together a package of Israeli incentives that would keep the Palestinians from walking away."

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My Way News - Islamists, liberals square off in Egypt's Tahrir
My Way News reports: "Hundreds of thousands thronged major squares across Egypt on Wednesday, marking the first anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak with rallies that laid bare the divisions that have replaced the unity of last year's revolt [...] Elections held over the past two months gave the [Muslim] Brotherhood just under half the seats in the new parliament that convened Monday, and the ultraconservative Salafis snapped up another quarter. Liberals and left-leaning groups credited with leading the protests that ousted Mubarak garnered less than 10 percent."

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My Way News - MSF: 15,000 Congo AIDS victims likely will die
My Way News reports: "Some 15,000 AIDS victims in Congo likely will die waiting for lifesaving drugs in the next three years, Doctors Without Borders warned Wednesday in a report describing "horrific" health care access."

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New Scientist - FBI releases plans to monitor social networks
New Scientist reports: "The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has quietly released details of plans to continuously monitor the global output of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, offering a rare glimpse into an activity that the FBI and other government agencies are reluctant to discuss publicly. The plans show that the bureau believes it can use information pulled from social media sites to better respond to crises, and maybe even to foresee them."

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My Way News - Study: Major quake could hit Tokyo within years
My Way News reports: "A new study is warning that the Tokyo region has a 70 percent chance of being hit directly by a powerful magnitude-7 earthquake within four years. The study by University of Tokyo seismologists bases the estimate on an increase in earthquake activity in the Tokyo region since last year's March 11 disaster, when a magnitude-9 quake and subsequent tsunami about 140 miles (230 kilometers) northeast of the capital left nearly 20,000 people dead or missing."

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My Way News - Clashes between Tibetans, gov't spread in China
My Way News reports: "Deadly clashes between ethnic Tibetans and Chinese security forces have spread to a second area in southwestern China, the government and an overseas activist group said Wednesday."

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Way News - West displays Gulf military power to defiant Iran
My Way News reports: "Military power near the strategic Strait of Hormuz could be bolstered by additional British forces, the country's defense secretary said Tuesday, as a defiant Iran shrugged off Europe's oil embargo and moved ahead with plans to hold naval exercises alongside the oil tanker shipping lanes it has threatened to block."

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My Way News - Solar storm sparks dazzling northern lights
My Way News reports: "A storm from the broiling sun turned the chilly northernmost skies of Earth into an ever-changing and awe-provoking art show of northern lights on Tuesday. Even experienced stargazers were stunned by the intensity of the aurora borealis that swept across the night sky in northern Scandinavia after the biggest solar flare in six years."

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Space War - US to press Russia on reported Syria jet deal
AFP reports: "In Moscow, the Kommersant business daily reported that Syria had signed a $550-million (425-million-euro) contract to purchase 36 Yak-130 advanced training/light attack planes from Russia."

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Monday, January 23, 2012

USATODAY.com - Strongest solar storm since 2005 hitting Earth
USA Today reports: The sun is bombarding Earth with radiation from the biggest solar storm in more than six years with more to come from the fast-moving eruption. The solar flare occurred at about 11 p.m. EST Sunday and will hit Earth with three different effects at three different times. The biggest issue is radiation, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado.

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My Way News - EU formally adopts Iran oil embargo
My Way News reports: "European Union nations have formally adopted an oil embargo against Iran as part of sanctions over its nuclear program [...] Diplomats say the measures, adopted by the EU's 27 foreign ministers, include an immediate embargo on new contracts for crude oil and petroleum products while existing ones are allowed to run until July."

My Way News - Israel welcomes EU sanctions on Iran
My Way News reports: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is welcoming a decision by the European Union to impose an oil embargo on Iran as part of wider sanctions over Iran's nuclear program. Netanyahu called the embargo 'a step in the right direction.' He was speaking at a Monday meeting of his Likud Party."

My Way News - Iran steps up threats to shutter Strait of Hormuz
My Way News reports: "Two Iranian lawmakers on Monday stepped up threats their country would shutter the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's crude flows, in retaliation for oil sanctions on Tehran."

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Yahoo! News - AIDS killed 28,000 in China in 2011, study says
Yahoo! News reports: "AIDS killed 28,000 people in China last year, and another 48,000 new infections from the HIV virus were discovered in the country, according to an official report on Saturday."

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My Way News - Scientists pause research with lab-bred bird flu
My Way News reports: "Scientists who created easier-to-spread versions of the deadly bird flu said Friday they're temporarily halting more research, as international specialists debate what should happen next [...] The U.S. government funded the work but last month urged the teams not to publicly reveal the exact formula so that would-be bioterrorists couldn't copy it. Critics also worried a lab accident might allow the strains to escape."

Comment: Score one for common sense.

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My Way News - Coordinated sect attack kills 143 in north Nigeria
My Way News reports: "A coordinated attack by a radical Islamist sect in north Nigeria's largest city killed at least 143 people, a hospital official said Saturday, representing the extremist group's deadliest assault since beginning its campaign of terror in Africa's most populous nation."

Comment: Although this report doesn't mention it, this is the same group that bombed churches in Nigeria on Christmas Day.

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The Economist - India’s UID scheme: Reform by numbers
The Economist reports: "FOR a country that fails to meet its most basic challenges — feeding the hungry, piping clean water, fixing roads—it seems incredible that India is rapidly building the world’s biggest, most advanced, biometric database of personal identities. Launched in 2010, under a genial ex-tycoon, Nandan Nilekani, the 'unique identity' (UID) scheme is supposed to roll out trustworthy, unduplicated identity numbers based on biometric and other data."

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My Way News - Britain OKs television ads for abortion clinics
My Way News reports: "Britain's broadcast advertising body has given the go-ahead for private abortion clinics to advertise their services on television, angering those who say that the move desensitizes the public to the practice."

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Friday, January 20, 2012

My Way News - Sarkozy urges much tougher sanctions on Iran
My Way News reports: "French President Nicolas Sarkozy is urging stronger, more decisive sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. France wants the entire European Union to impose an embargo on Iranian oil and freeze the international assets of Iran's central bank to force it to halt the suspected development of nuclear arms."

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

IPS - Mayans Demand Voice in "Doomsday Tourism" Boom
IPS reports: "The indigenous people of southeast Mexico are demanding to be included in the official programmes planned for 2012 [...] The surge of global interest in Mayan civilisation in 2012 is fuelled by interpretations that the Maya calendar predicted great catastrophes for Dec. 21, 2012, bringing an end to civilisation as we know it. But leaders and representatives of these indigenous people deny this prophecy."

Comment: So the Mexican government is promoting a series of cultural events designed to capitalize on world interest in the Mayans and indigenous groups are being left out. I think they should take their revenge by sending representatives to the media to explain what happens when a calendar ends...another one begins.

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My Way News - US military chief in Israel to discuss Iran nukes
My Way News reports: "The top U.S. general, visiting Israel at a delicate and dangerous moment in the global standoff with Tehran, is expected to press for restraint amid fears that the Jewish state is nearing a decision to attack Iran's nuclear program."

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My Way News - Strong earthquake strikes off New Zealand
My Way News reports: "A strong earthquake has struck off the coast of New Zealand's South Island, but there are no reports of damage or injuries and no tsunami warning has been issued. The 6.1-magnitude quake struck Thursday 126 miles (203 kilometers) west of New Zealand's southernmost city, Invercargill, at a depth of 11 miles (18 kilometers)."

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Washington Times - Coptic Christians in Egypt fear Islamists' rise
The Washington Times reports: "The isolated village of Abo Korkas lies 150 miles south of Cairo, amid untouched patches of fertile green land, and likely looks little different from the way it did nearly 2,000 years ago, when Christianity blossomed here under Roman rule [...] Behind the quiet and quaint facade of Abo Korkas, Christian residents who live amid a labyrinth of dirt roads say they are worried."

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My Way News - Slow response to East Africa famine 'cost lives'
My Way News reports: "Thousands of people died needlessly and millions of dollars were wasted because the international community did not respond fast enough to early signs of famine in East Africa, aid agencies said Wednesday, while warning of a new hunger crisis in West Africa."

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My Way News - Vietnam, Cambodia report bird flu deaths
My Way News reports: "Vietnam on Thursday confirmed its first human death from bird flu in nearly two years, a day after neighboring Cambodia also logged its first fatality this year as new cases of the H5N1 virus are reported in Asia and the Middle East."

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

AFP- China's Wen vows to promote Mideast peace
AFP reports: "China's prime minister vowed on Monday to keep promoting peace in energy-rich Middle East and North Africa through the United Nations, at a time of high tension between the West and major oil producer Iran."

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JPost - Soldiers in uniform now allowed on Temple Mount
The Jerusalem Post reports: "For the first time in a decade, soldiers in uniform will be allowed to access the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site. Due to the sensitive nature of the area, which also holds the Dome of the Rock and al-Aksa Mosque, soldiers had been prohibited from entering the area in uniform."

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My Way News - IMF seeks up to $500 billion in new funds
My Way News reports: "The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday that it's aiming to increase its financial firepower by around $500 billion so it can give out new loans to help mitigate a worsening financial crisis [...] How the IMF's fund-raising goal will be reached is set to be discussed at a meeting of finance ministers of the Group of 20 leading economies in Mexico next month."

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My Way News - Islamic extremism remains Norway's biggest threat
My Way News reports: Islamic extremism remains Norway's biggest terror threat, but the danger of lone wolf attacks has also increased in the aftermath of a massacre by a homegrown anti-Muslim extremist, Norwegian security service PST said Tuesday.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Way News - Gulf states show rising confidence to rattle Iran
My Way News reports: "The Iranians have watched as frustrated bystanders while the leader of its most influential ally, China, began a tour of Gulf Arab states with talks in Tehran's top regional rival Saudi Arabia. Two other major Iranian oil customers - South Korea and Japan - also had high-level delegations in the Gulf to discuss supply guarantees if they fall in line with U.S.-led pressures to cut back on Iranian imports."

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My Way News - Hackers disrupt Israel airline, stock market sites
My Way News reports: "A hacker network that claims to be based in Saudi Arabia paralyzed the websites of Israel's stock exchange and national airline on Monday, escalating an international cyber war that has jolted this security-obsessed country."

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My Way News - India reports new TB strain resistant to all drugs
My Way News reports: "Indian doctors have reported the country's first cases of 'totally drug-resistant tuberculosis,' a long-feared and virtually untreatable form of the killer lung disease [...] The airborne disease is mainly transmitted through close personal contact and isn't nearly as contagious as the flu."

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Huff Post - Shelly Yachimovich: A Biometric Tower of Babel
From Huff Post op-eds: "The fundamental question here is the mere right of a state to hold such a database, providing itself with not only unrestrained power over offenders, but also over every human. Going down a slippery slope, this database could become a tracking device in an unbearable and easy way. First against criminals, then against protestors, and so on. This is Orwell's 1984. A gateway towards a totalitarian state, in which one's basic freedoms are crushed and it is potentially being traced without knowing."

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Friday, January 13, 2012

My Way News - Anti-US chants as slain Iran nuclear expert buried
My Way News reports: "Thousands of mourners chanted 'Death to Israel' and 'Death to America' on Friday during the funeral of a slain nuclear expert whom Iranian officials accuse the two nations of killing in a bomb blast this week as part of a secret operation to stop Iran's nuclear program [...] The independent news website, irannuc.ir, quoted an unidentified security official as saying Iran is preparing a covert counteroffensive against the West in retaliation for the bomb blast. It suggested the retaliation could include assassinations abroad."

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My Way News - Sect leader challenges Nigeria president in video
My Way News reports: "The leader of a radical Islamist sect has challenged the authority of Nigeria's president in an online video, promising more attacks in a nation increasingly overcome by unrest and divided by religion [...] It also exploits the widening mistrust those living in Nigeria's Muslim north feel for a weak federal government run by a Christian president, who has sparked a nationwide strike and protests after removing subsidies that kept gasoline prices low."

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yahoo! News - U.S. military moves carriers, denies Iran link
Yahoo! News reports: "The U.S. military said on Wednesday that a new aircraft carrier strike group had arrived in the Arabian Sea and that another was on its way to the region, but denied any link to recent tensions with Iran and portrayed the movements as routine."

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Window for Palestinian state 'rapidly closing': EU
Yahoo! News reports: "A European Union report obtained by AFP on Thursday says that booming Israeli settlement in the West Bank and limits on Palestinian movement and building are eroding chances of a Palestinian state [...] EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's spokesperson said the report was aimed at helping peace efforts."

Comment: Yes, I'm sure that's right. Israel's construction efforts are certainly much more dangerous than missiles fired from Gaza. After all, people get hurt is construction accidents, missiles almost never kill anyone. Yes, Israel is at fault, it's all their fault. I'm so glad the EU is so even-handed in their assessment of peace prospects.

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Yahoo! News - Turkey: Russian ship carrying arms reached Syria
Yahoo! News reports: "A Russian ship, allegedly carrying tons of weapons, made a dash for Syria after Cypriot officials allowed it to leave their waters, Turkish officials said Thursday. The ship had made an unscheduled stop in Cyprus Tuesday, technically violating an EU embargo on arms shipments to Syria, which has killed thousands in a crackdown on dissent."

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My Way News - Czech govt OKs landmark religious compensation law
My Way News reports: "It all harks back to 1948, when the Communists seized power in the small central European nation then named Czechoslovakia. The Communists confiscated all the property owned by churches and persecuted many priests. Churches were allowed to function only under the state's strict control and supervision and priests' salaries were paid by the state. At least 65 Catholic priests, monks and nuns were executed or killed in prisons while others were driven to suicide by the harsh conditions, according to Stanislava Vodickova of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes."

Comment: This is worth a read, it describes persecution of Christians by Communists, not just in Czechoslovakia but all of Eastern Europe and the old Soviet Union.

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My Way News - Moderate earthquake hits northern Iran
My Way News reports: "Iran says a moderate earthquake has rattled a town in north Iran on the Caspian Sea. The semiofficial Fars news agency says the quake hit Sari in the densely populated Mazandaran province, about 165 miles (265 kilometers) northeast of Tehran, around 20:44 local time (17:14 GMT) Wednesday."

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Way News - Russian ship stopped carrying arms bound for Syria
My Way News reports: "A Russian ship that made an unscheduled stop in Cyprus while carrying tons of arms to Syria was technically violating an EU embargo on such shipments, say Cypriot officials."

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My Way News - US fires 1st drone in Pakistan in 6 weeks; 4 dead
My Way News reports: "An American drone strike killed four Islamist militants in Pakistan, the first such attack since errant U.S airstrikes in November killed two dozen Pakistan troops and pushed strained ties between the two nations close to collapse, Pakistani intelligence officials said Wednesday [..] The late-night missile launch broke the longest pause between strikes since the drone program began in earnest in 2009."

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My Way News - Pentagon: No assurances against Pakistan coup
My Way News reports: "Amid near-open conflict between Pakistan's civilian and military leadership, the Pentagon has neither sought nor received assurances that the Pakistani army won't stage a coup, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday."

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My Way News - Blast kills Iran nuclear expert amid 'covert war'
My Way News reports: "The attack - which instantly killed the scientist and fatally wounded his driver on Wednesday - was at least the fourth targeted hit against a member of Iran's nuclear brain trust in two years. Tehran quickly blamed Israeli-linked agents backed by the U.S. and Britain [...] Russia strongly warned the West on Wednesday against any attack on Iran, saying it would upset global security."

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Way News - Israel: Disagreements emerge in peace efforts
My Way News reports: "Disagreements have already emerged in nascent negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, an Israeli official said Tuesday, but he said his government remains committed to a year-end target to reaching a final peace deal [...] The talks are taking place under the auspices of the international 'Quartet' of Mideast peace mediators. The Quartet hopes to broker a peace deal by the end of this year."

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My Way News - Iran's roar shows widening sway of military
My Way News reports: In the high desert along Iran's Afghan border this week, soldiers from the powerful Revolutionary Guard practiced ambush tactics in subzero temperatures. Next month, the Guard's warships are expected to resume battle drills near Gulf shipping lanes that carry much of the world's oil. Iran looks like a country preparing for war.

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My Way News - Japan arrests woman who lived with cult fugitive
My Way News reports: "A woman claiming to have lived with a senior member of the doomsday cult behind the 1995 nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subways turned herself in and was arrested Tuesday for helping him evade police for nearly 17 years [...] Hirata was one of the last three wanted cult members. Nearly 200 members of the cult have been convicted in the gas attack and dozens of other crimes [...] The cult, renamed Aleph, once had 10,000 members in Japan and claimed another 30,000 in Russia. It still has hundreds of members."

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Monday, January 09, 2012

CBS News - Nigerian church attacked by radical Muslim sect
CBS News reports: "Members of a radical Muslim sect attacked a church in northeast Nigeria during a worship service, part of a series of assaults that killed at least 13 people, authorities said Saturday [...] The group claimed responsibility for attacks that killed at least 42 people in a Christmas Day strikes that included the bombing of a Catholic church near Abuja."

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My Way News - Hamas PM: No ceding ground in struggle with Israel
My Way News reports: "Hamas' prime minister in Gaza says the anti-Israeli militant group will never give up its arms, its territory or its claims on Jerusalem on behalf of the Palestinians. Ismail Haniyeh spoke to a cheering crowd of 5,000 in the Tunisian capital Sunday."

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My Way News - Clarification: Russia-Bhagavad Gita story
My Way News reports: "In a Dec. 28 story, The Associated Press reported that books distributed by the Scientology movement were among the texts that Russia had put on its Federal List of Extremist Materials, which bans them from distribution in the country. A Russian court ruled in June that certain Scientology texts were extremist and would be placed on the list, but the decision has not yet taken effect due to a still-pending appeal by the Scientologists."

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My Way News - China slams new Asian slant in US defense strategy
My Way News reports: "China on Monday slammed the United States' new Asian-focused defense strategy, saying its accusations of a lack of openness in Beijing's military policy were "groundless and untrustworthy." The strategy unveiled Thursday shifts the U.S. military focus away from Iraq and Afghanistan and makes a renewed commitment to assert America's position in the Asia-Pacific region."

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My Way News - Merkel, Sarkozy stress growth a priority in crisis
My Way News reports: "The German and French leaders stressed Monday that boosting economic growth in the 17-nation eurozone is a priority, a recognition that the focus on austerity cuts is unlikely to get Europe out of its debt crisis. Some analysts fear excessive austerity measures will take a heavy toll on weakening economic growth and push the eurozone into recession this year, in turn hindering the region's deficit-cutting efforts."

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My Way News - PayPal tests in-store payment system at Home Depot
My Way News reports: EBay's PayPal service is testing out a payments system in brick-and-mortar Home Depot stores [...] To pay using PayPal, customers will be able to enter their phone number and a pin code, or use a special PayPal card."

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My Way News - Egypt's Christians celebrate Christmas amid fears
My Way News reports: "Egypt's Christians on Saturday celebrated their first Christmas since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, amid tight security and a display of national unity to allay fears of the growing power of Islamists. The Coptic Orthodox celebration follows an escalation in violence against the minority, an estimated 10 percent of Egypt's 85 million people, over the past year. Many Christians blamed a series of street clashes, assaults on churches, and other attacks on radical Islamists who have become increasingly bold after Mubarak's downfall."

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My Way News - Report: Iran begins uranium enrichment at new site
My Way News reports: "Iran has begun uranium enrichment at a new underground site well protected from possible airstrikes, a leading hardline newspaper reported Sunday [...] Iran is under U.N. sanctions for refusing to stop uranium enrichment - which can produce both nuclear fuel and fissile warhead material - and other suspected activities that the international community fears could be used to make atomic arms."

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Friday, January 06, 2012

My Way News - Asian economies look to keep Iranian oil flowing
My Way News reports: "China, the biggest buyer of Iran's oil, has publicly rejected U.S. sanctions aimed at Tehran's energy industry while American allies Japan and South Korea are scrambling to find a compromise to keep critical supplies flowing [...] The sanctions approved by President Barack Obama on New Year's Eve have higlighted the importance of Iranian oil supplies to East Asia's energy-hungry economies [...] China buys nearly one-third of Iran's 2.2 million barrels a day in exports. Analysts say China would have a tough time replacing that supply."

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Thursday, January 05, 2012

My Way News - Gaza premier plays down talks with Israel
My Way News reports: "The prime minister of the Gaza government said Thursday the first meeting between Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators in more than a year was 'a futile gesture' that will lead nowhere."

Comment: Can it be that the news media is waking up to the fact that many Palestinians are not in favor of the peace process?

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My Way News - Israel and US to stage major defense drill
My Way News reports: "The Israeli military is gearing up together with U.S. forces for a major missile defense exercise, the Israeli military announced Thursday, as tension between Iran and the international community escalates. The drill is called "Austere Challenge 12" and is designed to improve defense systems and cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli forces. It follows a 10-day Iranian naval exercise near the strategic Strait of Hormuz."

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

My Way News - China: Bird flu death not from human-human spread
My Way News reports: "The strain of H5H1 bird flu that killed a Chinese man cannot spread among people, a health agency said Monday, appealing for calm after the country's first reported case of the disease in humans in 18 months."

My Way News - WHO: Bird flu research raises safety questions
My Way News reports: "The World Health Organization is warning that dangerous scientific information could fall into the wrong hands after U.S. government-funded researchers engineered a form of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus more easily transmissible between humans."

Comment: So, a mix of good news / bad news on the pestilence front. Bird flu in China has not mutated into a strain easily transmitted between humans, but scientists have impatiently preempted nature and created the blueprint to create such a strain. What could go wrong?

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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Yahoo! News - Israel, Palestinians hold "positive" talks
Yahoo News reports: "Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held a "positive" first face-to-face meeting in more than 15 months on Tuesday and agreed to meet again on Friday, but cautioned that full-blown talks were still some way off."

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My Way News - Iran defiant amid appeals for European sanctions
My Way News reports: "Iran closed out naval war games in the Gulf on Tuesday much the way they began last month: striking a tone of military defiance while Western powers rallied behind tougher oil and financial sanctions as a crippling tool against Tehran's nuclear program."

My Way News - Iran warns US carrier: Don't come back to Gulf
My Way News reports: Iran's army chief on Tuesday warned an American aircraft carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf in Tehran's latest tough rhetoric over the strategic waterway, part of a feud with the United States over new sanctions that has sparked a jump in oil prices.

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Yahoo! News - German Volcano Could Devastate Europe
Yahoo! News reports: "The Daily Mail stirs up some Euro anxiety with a headline today 'Is a super-volcano just 390 miles from London about to erupt?' The story talks about the little known Laacher See volcano in northwestern Germany. It last erupted about 12,000 years ago and the Daily Mail believes it is due to erupt again."

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Monday, January 02, 2012

MSNBC - Islam terror group tells Christians: Leave north Nigeria or be attacked
MSNBC reports: Christians have been warned by a militant Islamist group to leave northern Nigeria or be attacked, according to media reports. Abul Qaqa, a purported spokesman for Boko Haram, said the terror group was “giving a three-day ultimatum to the southerners living in the northern part of Nigeria to move away”, the English language Vanguard newspaper reported. The group has been linked to many attacks on Christians, most notably the bombings on Christmas Day killed 49 people, most of them at a Catholic church as services were ending."

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