Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Way News - Obama confronts nuke threat on N. Korea front line
My Way News reports: "The U.S. is threatening to cancel planned food aid to the North over its announcement that it will launch a long-range rocket next month, news that overshadows the gathering of world leaders committed to nuclear security that Obama will attend in Seoul."
My Way News - Russia issues new warnings over US missile defense
My Way News reports: "A U.S.-led NATO missile defense plan that Washington says is aimed at deflecting potential Iranian threats will break existing nuclear parity with Russia and prompt it to retaliate, President Dmitry Medvedev warned Friday."
My Way News - Europe faces jihadist threat
My Way News reports: "With France's deadly attacks, Islamic terror has apparently struck once more in the heart of Europe - and authorities say there's a dangerous twist: the emergence of homegrown extremists operating independent of any known networks, making them hard to track and stop [...] Merah traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan and had claimed to have trained with al-Qaida there [...] Merah told negotiators he killed to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children and to protest the French army's involvement in Afghanistan as well as France's law against the Islamic face veil."

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Way News - Tens of thousands in Syria call for fall of regime
My Way News reports: "Tens of thousands of Syrians braved tear gas and gunfire to protest across the country Friday, vowing to storm the capital Damascus to oust President Bashar Assad as the European Union ramped up pressure on the regime by imposing sanctions on his wife and other close relatives."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Way News - Clashes rage across Syria despite UN statement
My Way News reports: "Syrian troops shelled and raided opposition areas and clashed with rebel fighters around the country Thursday despite U.N. efforts to stop the bloodshed so aid could reach suffering civilians."

My Way News - Syria's Assad in firm control after a bloody year
My Way News reports: "Regime forces have retaken the major opposition strongholds, the rebels are low on money and guns, and the U.N. has ruled out any military intervention of the type that tipped the scales against Libya's Moammar Gadhafi. Relying on the scorched-earth tactics that have kept his family in power for more than 40 years, Assad is in no immediate danger of falling."
My Way News - Egypt's Brotherhood mulling run for president
My Way News reports: "The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful political group, said Wednesday it is considering running its own candidate in upcoming presidential elections, dropping its previous decision to avoid direct participation in the race."

Israel clears out its embassy in Egypt - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: Israel cleared out its embassy building in Egypt before sunrise Wednesday, six months after its offices were attacked and ransacked by protesters, according to Egyptian airport officials. The officials said that two Israeli military planes left Cairo, loaded with documents and equipment removed from the embassy. Israel's Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment.
CNET News - Want a vibrating tattoo that alerts you to a call? Nokia does
CNET News reports: "The mobile company has filed for a patent that would let it place haptic feedback technology onto a tattoo to alert customers to a new call [...] text message, or e-mail right from the tattoo. The application was filed last September and became public last week [...] the technology might also be applied to a visible image, sign, or badge."

Comment: This is an interesting development. It doesn't appear to have any commerce apps, but I'm sure if it's successful they may allow app makers to create new uses for the technology, something more in line with banking and/or identity verification perhaps?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Way News - Egypt's Coptic pope buried, Christians anxious
My Way News reports: "The Muslim Brotherhood, the nation's largest political group, and the ultraconservative Salafis won over 70 percent of parliament's seats between them in recent elections, giving them the kind of power that is likely to impact one way or another on the nation's 10 million Christians [...] Egyptian authorities deny any discrimination, but Christians say it happens in numerous and subtle ways."
My Way News - Islamists seek influence in Syria uprising
My Way News reports: "As Syria's uprising evolves into an armed insurgency, parts of the movement are taking on overt religious overtones. Islamic movements in and out of the country are vying to gain influence over the revolt in hopes of gathering power if Assad falls."

My Way News - UN chief: Syria unrest could have global impact
My Way News reports: "Because of Syria's close alliances with Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, there are deep concerns that the violence could spread beyond the country's borders, especially if other nations arm the rebels or send in their own troops. During a U.N. Security Council committee meeting Wednesday, the United States, Britain, and France accused Iran of smuggling weapons to Syria to help put down the uprising."
Leslie Kean: UFO Caught On Tape Over Santiago Air Base
The Huffington Post reports: "From different locations, spectators aimed video cameras and cell phones at groups of acrobatic and fighter jets performing an air show overhead. Nobody saw anything amiss. But afterward, an engineer from the adjacent Pillan aircraft factory noticed something bizarre while viewing his footage in slow motion. He turned it over to the government's well known Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena, or CEFAA, for analysis [...] officials collected seven videos of the El Bosque UFO taken from different vantage points. Bermudez commissioned scientists from many disciplines, aeronautical experts, and air force and army photogrametric technicians to subject the videos to intense scrutiny. They all came to the same conclusions."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Way News - 7.4 quake shakes Mexico, 100s of homes damaged
My Way News reports: "A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit southern Mexico on Tuesday, damaging some 800 homes near the epicenter and swaying tall buildings and spreading fear and panic hundreds of miles away in the capital of Mexico City."
My Way News - Weird weather: heat, twisters, 250K tons of snow
My Way News reports: "America's weather is stuck on extreme. Nearly 11 feet of snow has fallen on Anchorage, Alaska, this winter. That's almost a record, and it's forcing the city to haul away at least 250,000 tons of snow. Yet not much snow has dropped on the Lower 48 this year. The first three months of 2012 have seen twice the normal number of tornadoes. And 36 states set daily high temperature records Thursday. So far this month, the U.S. has set 1,757 daily high temperature records."

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Way News - Clashes rock Syrian capital amid insurgency fears
My Way News reports: "Syrian rebels battled regime forces Monday in a heavily protected, upscale area of Damascus, activists said, in a sign that the country's outgunned opposition is increasingly turning to insurgent tactics."
My Way News - Egypt Christians pay final respects to their pope
My Way News reports: "Authorities deny discriminating against them, but the Christians say discrimination is practiced in numerous and subtle ways. Christians, for example, rarely assume leadership jobs on the police force, particularly the security agencies. The Islamist-dominated parliament only has a handful of Christians, and there are never more than one or two Christians among 30-plus Cabinet ministers. As Egypt grew more religiously conservative over the past 40 years, the discrimination became more manifest in everyday life, particularly when Christians are in direct contact with government departments or for their children at state schools, where Islamists often dominate teaching staff."
My Way News - 'Looking to kill:' 4 slain at French Jewish school
My Way News reports: "A motorbike assailant opened fire with two handguns Monday in front of a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse, killing a rabbi, his two young sons and a girl. One witness described him as a man chasing small children and 'looking to kill.'"

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Way News - Pope of Egypt's Coptic Christian Church dies
My Way News reports: "His death comes as the country's estimated 10 million Christians are feeling more vulnerable than ever amid the rise of Islamic movements to political power after the toppling a year ago of President Hosni Mubarak. The months since have seen a string of attacks on the community, heightened anti-Christian rhetoric by ultraconservatives known as Salafis and fears that coming goverments will try to impose strict versions of Islamic law."
My Way News - Israeli foreign minister discusses Iran in Beijing
My Way News reports: "Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he told Chinese leaders Friday that Iran poses the gravest danger to world peace and stability [...] China is one of five permanent veto-wielding member of the U.N. Security Council and has generally sided with Russia in arguing against tougher action to force Iran into greater openness over its nuclear program [...] Lieberman's visit is part of commemorations of the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the sides, whose relations now include extensive cooperation in science and high-tech industries, as well as military technology."
My Way News - In Sweden, cash is king no more
My Way News reports: "Bills and coins represent only 3 percent of Sweden's economy, compared to an average of 9 percent in the eurozone and 7 percent in the U.S., according to the Bank for International Settlements, an umbrella organization for the world's central banks [...] Internet startups in Sweden and elsewhere are now hard at work developing payment and banking services for smartphones [...] Most experts don't expect cash to disappear anytime soon, but that its proportion of the economy will continue to decline as such payment options become available."
My Way News - AP Exclusive: How Somalia famine aid went astray
My Way News reports: "Some of the World Food Program supplies went to the black market, some to feed livestock. One warehouse full of rations was looted in its entirety by a Somali government official. And across the city, feeding sites handed out far less food than records indicate they should have."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

JPost - Iran pledges continued support to the Palestinians
The Jerusalem Post reports: "Iran pledged Thursday to continue supporting Hamas and the Palestinians. The pledge was made during a visit to Tehran by senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar, who held talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi."

My Way News - SWIFT financial service cuts ties with Iran
My Way News reports: "The SWIFT global financial transaction service said Thursday that it was cutting ties with Iranian banks that are subject to European Union sanctions aimed at discouraging the country from developing nuclear weapons. The action effectively enforces EU sanction because the world's financial transactions are impossible without using SWIFT, and it will go a long way toward isolating Iran financially."
My Way News - Taliban talks off; Karzai tells NATO to pull back
My Way News reports: "The American campaign in Afghanistan has suffered a double blow: The Taliban broke off talks with the U.S., and President Hamid Karzai said NATO should pull out of rural areas and speed up the transfer of security responsibilities to Afghan forces nationwide in the wake of the killing of 16 civilians."

My Way News - NATO soldier dies in attack in east Afghanistan
My Way News reports: "NATO says a member of its international force in Afghanistan has died in a roadside bomb attack. A coalition statement says the death occurred Thursday in eastern Afghanistan."
My Way News - Suit alleges dismissal for intelligent design
My Way News reports: "David Coppedge, who worked as a "team lead" on the Cassini mission exploring Saturn and its many moons, alleges that he was discriminated against because he engaged his co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and handed out DVDs on the idea while at work. Coppedge lost his 'team lead' title in 2009 and was let go last year after 15 years on the mission."

Comment: I'll reserve judgement on this one for now, as it's not really clear that this is a case of religious persecution. There are many reasons he could have been let go, especially in this age of budget cuts at government agencies. It will be interesting to follow the developments in the case to see what details emerge. - Bain Capital Tied to Surveillance Push in China
The New York Times reports: "Such surveillance systems are often used to combat crime and the manufacturer has no control over whether they are used for other purposes. But human rights advocates say in China they are also used to intimidate and monitor political and religious dissidents. 'There are video cameras all over our monastery, and their only purpose is to make us feel fear,' said Loksag, a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Gansu Province. He said the cameras helped the authorities identify and detain nearly 200 monks who participated in a protest at his monastery in 2008."

Comment: It's sad when companies born in American freedom export technology to repressive countries. It's even worse when that technology is used to persecute Christians and other minorities.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

JPost - Iran lauds Egypt house vote to expel Israel Envoy
The Jerusalem Post reports: "The text called for supporting Palestinian “resistance... in all its kind and forms” in the face of the Jewish state’s 'aggressive policies,' Egypt’s official MENA news agency reported. The statement – approved unanimously in the Islamist-dominated chamber – also called for pulling Egypt’s ambassador from Tel Aviv and for an immediate end to natural gas exports to Israel."
My Way News - Syria forces attack Daraa, opposition in disarray
My Way News reports: "Syrian forces fired mortars and heavy machine-guns Wednesday in an attack on the southern city where the anti-government uprising began, propelled by recent military victories over rebels as the opposition fell into disarray."

My Way News - Syrian rebels lack guns, money after key defeats
My Way News reports: "Two significant defeats at the hands of Syrian government troops have exposed the limitations of the country's rebel forces: They are low on cash, running out of weapons and facing a fiercely loyal military that will fight to the death."
My Way News - New figures: More of US at risk to sea level rise
My Way News reports: "Nearly 4 million people across the United States, from Los Angeles to much of the East Coast, live in homes more prone to flooding from rising seas fueled by global warming, according to a new method of looking at flood risk published in two scientific papers."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Reuters - Israelis see Iran mini-drill in Gaza flare-up
Reuters reports: "While Iron Dome is deployed against rockets from Gaza, Israel's answer to the bigger, ballistic missiles of Iran and Syria is Arrow II, an interceptor that works in a similar way but at far higher altitudes."

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Way News - Israeli plans for Iran go back years
My Way News reports: "For more than a decade, Israel has systematically built up its military specifically for a possible strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. It has sent its air force on long-distance training missions, procured American-made "bunker-busting" bombs and bolstered its missile defenses. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's threats to strike Iran, voiced last week during a high-profile visit to the White House, were not empty bluster. Although a unilateral Israeli attack would probably not destroy Iran's nuclear program, it appears capable, at least for now, of inflicting a serious blow."

Friday, March 09, 2012

My Way News - Israeli airstrike kills militant commander in Gaza
My Way News reports: An Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Friday killed the commander of the militant group behind the abduction of Gilad Schalit, an Israeli soldier who was held captive for more than five years and freed in a prisoner swap for more than 1,000 Palestinians [...] Palestinian militant groups fired dozens of rockets, some deep into Israeli territory, prompting Israel to issue warnings to its residents to stay indoors. The Israeli military pounded several rocket launching cells in Gaza. In all, 10 Palestinian militants were killed in Israeli airstrikes, and one Israeli citizen was seriously wounded by the Palestinian rocket fire."
My Way News - South Pacific nation of Vanuatu hit by large quake
My Way News reports: "The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 6.7 earthquake has hit the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. There are no reports of damage or injuries. The monitoring agency says the earthquake hit just after 6 p.m. local time and was centered 129 miles (208 kilometers) southeast of Port Vila, the capital. It hit at a depth of about 19 miles (31 kilometers)."

Thursday, March 08, 2012

My Way News - Israeli premier will not allow Iran nuclear bombs
My Way News reports: "An Israeli official claimed Thursday that new satellite images support Israel's contention that Tehran is developing an atomic bomb. Satellite pictures provided by unspecified member countries to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, appear to show trucks and earth-moving vehicles at Iran's Parchin military site. Diplomats said the images suggest the trucks could be carting away radioactive material created in nuclear testing."
Haaretz - Netanyahu asked Panetta to approve sale of bunker-busting bombs, U.S. official says
Haaretz reports: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested the United States approve the sale of advanced refueling aircraft as well as GBU-28 bunker-piercing bombs to Israel during a recent meeting with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, a top U.S. official said on Tuesday."

Haaretz - U.S. denies Obama promised bunker busters to Netanyahu
Haaretz reports: "President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not discuss in their meetings this week a reported Israeli request for advanced U.S. military technology that could be used against Iran, the White House said on Thursday."

Comment: Strategic ambiguity - keep everyone guessing.
My Way News - Dad-son talk, celebrity tweets key to viral video
My Way News reports: "The LRA began its attacks in Uganda in the 1980s, when Kony sought to overthrow the government. Since being pushed out of Uganda several years ago, the militia has terrorized villages in Congo, the Central Africa Republic and South Sudan [...] Attacks continue, with victims mutilated by machetes, their faces slashed into grotesque shapes. Women are raped and killed. Young girls are forced into sexual slavery."

Comment: Kony leads the Lord's Resistance Army, but not the Lord you are thinking of...more like a Dark Lord. The video campaign is impressive in the way it's mobilized people all over the world to care about these atrocities and to think they can do something about it.
My Way News - Solar storm not nearly as bad as could have been
My Way News reports: "And while this solar storm may have fizzled, others may be lining up in the cosmic shooting gallery in the coming, days month and year, the scientists agree."

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

My Way News - Biggest solar storm in years races toward Earth
My Way News reports: "Scientists say the storm, which started with a massive solar flare earlier in the week, is growing as it races outward from the sun, expanding like a giant soap bubble. When it strikes early Thursday, the particles will be moving at 4 million mph. [...] The storm is part of the sun's normal 11-year cycle, which is supposed to reach peak storminess next year. Solar storms don't harm people, but they do disrupt technology."
My Way News - Hamas unclear about role in Israel-Iran fighting
My Way News reports: "Gaza's ruling Hamas on Wednesday sent conflicting signals on whether it would stay on the sidelines if war breaks out between Israel and Iran. A Hamas spokesman said the group didn't have enough firepower the enter a regional war, while a senior official later reportedly threatened 'retaliation with utmost power.' [...] Hamas does not accept Israel's existence."

Comment: I take this to mean that they are keeping their options open.
My Way News - AP Exclusive: Iran may be cleaning up nuke work
My Way News reports: "Two of the diplomats said the crews at the Parchin military site may be trying to erase evidence of tests of a small experimental neutron device used to set off a nuclear explosion. A third diplomat could not confirm that but said any attempt to trigger a so-called neutron initiator could only be in the context of trying to develop nuclear arms."
My Way News - Most of the Chinese workers in Syria are back home
My Way News reports: "China says most of its workers have returned from Syria as conditions there worsen, although about 100 people are still there looking after projects [...] According to Chinese media reports, more than 5,000 Chinese were living in Syria a year ago."

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

My Way News - Security Council to resume nuclear talks with Iran
My Way News reports: "The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, who are demanding that Iran freeze all uranium enrichment, said Tuesday they have accepted an offer to resume talks with Tehran on the nuclear issue."

My Way News - World powers agree Iran nuclear talks can resume
My Way News reports: "The EU said Tuesday that world powers have agreed to a new round of talks with Iran over its nuclear program, and Iran gave permission for inspectors to visit a site suspected of secret atomic work."
My Way News - N. Korea has live-fire drills, protests over South's
My Way News reports: "North Korean troops brandished weapons given to them by new leader Kim Jong Un as they carried out live-fire drills near the disputed sea boundary with South Korea amid more anger from Pyongyang over joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises [...] The Korean peninsula remains in a technical state of war because the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War has never been converted to a peace treaty."

Monday, March 05, 2012

My Way News - Obama, Netanyahu talk unity, underline differences
My Way News reports: "Taking sharply different stands, President Barack Obama on Monday urged pressure and diplomacy to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized his nation's right to a pre-emptive attack. Even in proclaiming unity, neither leader gave ground on how to resolve the crisis [...] Israel has not yet decided whether to launch a unilateral strike on Iran, a point underscored in the White House meetings."

Comment: I'm a skeptic about the potential for sanctions and diplomacy to deter Iran from building a nuclear bomb. There have been sanctions on Iran in some form or another for many years now, years in which the nuclear program has accelerated. And as for diplomacy, what diplomacy? I've not seen any substantive diplomatic initiatives to engage Iran either from the U.S. or Israel. The only real effort was a scientific and technical plan to provide an internationally approved source of uranium sufficient for the peaceful purposes that Iran claims to be seeking. Iran rejected the deal. In other words, it's off the table. Since then there have been no diplomatic initiatives at the senior (non- technical) level that would suggest a credible plan is in place to "use diplomacy" to diffuse the crisis. In other words, there are no plans to send Hillary Clinton to Tehran to try a diplomatic track.

Our political leaders seem to underestimate the popular support within Iran for their nuclear program. According to informed observers, it's considered a point of national pride and enjoys a great deal of support from all sectors of the Iranian public. It's not a pet project of the president or the ayatollahs that they can quickly and quietly reverse in the face of scary sanctions.

I'm not sure if unilateral action by Israel is wise at this point. It's a question of timing as well as real doubts about how effective a military strike would be in stopping the Iranian program. What I am sure of, is that sanctions and diplomacy will not stop the Iranian nuclear program. It remains to be seen if the U.S. and Israel can work together to stop what both consider to be a significant threat.
My Way News - Riot police break up anti-Putin protest in Moscow
My Way News reports: "An attempt by Vladimir Putin's foes to protest his presidential election victory by occupying a Moscow square ended Monday with riot police quickly dispersing and detaining hundreds of demonstrators - a stark reminder of the challenges faced by Russia's opposition."

My Way News - Putin's return: Why It Matters
My Way News reports: "Yet although he was still effectively Russia's leader, his return to the presidency is more significant than simply switching titles [...] He could toughen Moscow's opposition to placing U.S. missile-shield systems in Europe, firm up Russia's resistance to international military intervention in foreign conflicts such as Syria and push for more Russian influence in former Soviet republics."

Comment: It matters because Putin is a man whose worldview was developed during the Cold War era and he sees the world in very conflictual and confrontational terms. His primary goal appears to be the renewal of Russian power in an attempt to reverse America's Cold War victory. He is a man with a grudge and a score to settle, and that makes him very dangerous.
My Way News - Philippine quake cracks buildings, sparks panic
My Way News reports: "A moderately strong earthquake cracked buildings and knocked televisions and glassware from tables Tuesday in a central Philippine province, injuring at least five people and sending others rushing outside in panic [...] the quake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 struck Tuesday morning and was centered just two miles (three kilometers) north of Masbate City on the island province of Masbate."

Saturday, March 03, 2012

My Way News - Palestinians to give Israelis deadline on talks
My Way News reports: "Palestinian officials said Saturday they plan to give a deadline to Israel to accept ground rules for negotiations, and suggested that a 'no' will allow them to shelve Mideast talks until it does [...] the Palestinians don't expect a positive Israeli response, but that the letter is meant to help explain to the world why the Palestinians would abandon negotiations."

Comment: In other words, they are not being sincere, it's just a stunt designed to promote their negotiating strategy. Somehow, I doubt that's the way our media will report it.
My Way News - Ahmadinejad rivals rack up parliament wins in Iran
My Way News reports: "Conservative rivals of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared on course Saturday to gain firm control of parliament after elections that could embolden Iran's nuclear defiance and give the ruling clerics a clear path to ensure a loyalist succeeds Ahmadinejad next year [...] Reformists were virtually absent from the ballot, showing the crushing force of crackdowns on the opposition."
My Way News - Storms demolish small towns in Ind., Ky.; 38 dead
My Way News reports: "Across the South and Midwest, survivors emerged Saturday to find blue sky and splinters where homes once stood, cars flung into buildings and communications crippled after dozens of tornadoes chainsawed through a region of millions, leveling small towns along the way [...] The National Weather Service said the four twisters to hit Kentucky were the worst in the region in 24 years. In Indiana, an EF-4 tornado - the second-highest on the Fujita scale that measures tornadic force - packing 175 mph winds hit the town of Henryville, and stayed on the ground for more than 50 miles."
My Way News - Egypt court rejects second Mickey cartoon lawsuit
My Way News reports: "Ibrahim said the state prosecutor's office filed a suit against a Christian teacher from the southern province of Assiut last month after a Muslim colleague claimed he had insulted the Prophet Muhammad. Ibrahim said the man was sentenced to six years in jail."
My Way News - Egypt lawmakers clash over writing constitution
My Way News reports: "The constitution debate centers on how much of a role conservative Islamists will have in writing the document and essentially how Islamic the country will be."

Friday, March 02, 2012

My Way News - Obama warns both Iran and Israel, "I don't bluff"
My Way News reports: "President Barack Obama delivered his most explicit threat yet that the United States will attack Iran if that's what it takes to prevent it from developing a nuclear bomb. At the same time, he warned Israelis they would only make a bad situation worse if they moved pre-emptively against Iranian nuclear facilities."
My Way News - EU: Syrian leadership will be held accountable
My Way News reports: "The European Union committed itself on Friday to document war crimes in Syria to set the stage for a 'day of reckoning' for the country's leadership, in the way that former Yugoslav leaders were tried for war crimes in the 1990s by a special U.N. tribunal [...] The EU leaders, however, urged Russia and China to rethink their alliances with Syria that led the two countries to twice veto U.N. resolutions condemning Assad's crackdown and calls for him to step down."

My Way News - Putin defends Russian stance on Syria
My Way News reports: "Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday accused the West of fueling the Syrian conflict by backing government opposition, but his foreign ministry said it will not protect Syria from military intervention [...] Syria is Russia's last remaining ally in the Middle East. Moscow has maintained close ties with Damascus since the Cold War, when Syria was led by the current leader's father, Hafez Assad."
My Way News - Pictures capture Japan's heartbreak after tsunami
My Way News reports: "It has been nearly one year since a monstrous earthquake triggered a tsunami that roared across Japan's coast on March 11, 2011, transforming once-pristine and thriving towns into waterlogged wastelands and sparking the world's worst nuclear crisis in a quarter-century. In the last 12 months, some progress has been made in rebuilding lives, but much remains unfinished."

It was one of the greatest disasters of the modern era and it's now returning to the headlines. This is but one of many reports on the anniversary of the tragedy.
My Way News - Storms wreck Ind. towns, kill 24 in 3 states
My Way News reports: "A coroner in southeastern Kentucky says four people have died in storms there, bringing the total number of weather deaths in the state for the day to at least nine. The powerful storms that stretched from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes have killed at least 24 people in all, including 14 in Indiana and one in Ohio [...] Forecasters at the Storm Prediction Center said the spate of storms was unusual."
My Way News - Spanish deficit tests Europe's fiscal treaty
My Way News reports: "The leaders of 25 European countries on Friday signed a new treaty designed to limit government overspending, but their good intentions were immediately put to the test when Spain said it would miss deficit targets this year to spare itself from austerity overload [...] Only Britain and the Czech Republic decided not to sign the agreement, a move that triggered concern over a rift in the 27-country European Union."
My Way News - Ratings agency Moody's downgrades Greece
My Way News reports: "The ratings agency Moody's downgraded Greece to the lowest rating on its bond scale late Friday, following a deal with private investors that would see them ultimately lose an estimated 70 percent of their holdings in Greek debt. Moody's lowered Greece's sovereign rating to C from Ca, arguing that the risk of default remains high even a bond-swap deal with banks and other private investors, due to be completed this month, is successful."
My Way News - FBI director: Cyber-threats will become top worry
My Way News reports: "The director of the FBI told an annual gathering of cyber-security professionals on Thursday that the agency needs the private sector to help combat what he believes is becoming the nation's No. 1 threat. FBI Director Robert Mueller reiterated his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in January that cyber-threats would surpass terrorism as the country's top concern."
My Way News - Poll: US belief in warming rises with thermometer
My Way News reports: "Climate scientists say daily local weather isn't evidence of climate change. But they also say long-term climate change is so dramatic that people recognize and experience it [...] While it is a misconception to think that every short-term extreme weather event - like a flood or drought - is caused by climate change, a warming world does make such events more frequent, Weaver said."
My Way News - Putin sure of his victory in presidential vote
My Way News reports: "Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has voiced full confidence that he will win Sunday's presidential election in Russia, bluntly dismissing opposition demands and maintaining his strong criticism of the United States."

Thursday, March 01, 2012

My Way News - No clear world voice on Iran nuke work
My Way News reports: "Comments by U.S. intelligence officials indicate that Washington still thinks the Islamic Republic stopped such secret work nine years ago. But Britain, France and Germany disagree, even though their officials are keen to show that they and the United States speak with one voice on the concerns that Iran may want to produce nuclear arms."

My Way News - Israeli leader to US to talk about Iran tensions
My Way News reports: "Israel's prime minister sets off this week on a U.S. visit clouded by a deepening rift with Washington, which is pressing Israel to hold off on any attack against Iran's suspect nuclear program. Although Israel says it hasn't decided whether to strike, it has signaled readiness to do so - a move that would have deep worldwide implications."

My Way News - Israel unveils sophisticated shelters in Tel Aviv
My Way News reports: "Underneath the plaza outside Israel's Habima national theater, Israel has put the finishing touches on a new gathering place that it hopes will never host a crowd: the country's most advanced public underground bomb shelter [...] Recent talk of conflict with Iran has given the safety measures extra relevance."
My Way News - Israeli: Syrian rebels want peace with Israel
My Way News reports: "An Israeli lawmaker says Syrian opposition leaders have told him they want peace with Israel after Syrian President Bashar Assad falls. Israel and Syria are bitter enemies. They have fought several major wars, and Syria backs violent anti-Israel groups."
My Way News - Israeli president to protect Christian sites
My Way News reports: "Israel's President Shimon Peres has promised the Roman Catholic Church that the country will step up efforts to combat the vandalism of Christian holy sites by suspected Jewish extremists."