Saturday, August 31, 2013

Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Obama to seek congressional OK for Syria action
My Way News reports: "Short on support at home and allies abroad, President Barack Obama unexpectedly stepped back from a missile attack against Syria on Saturday and instead asked Congress to support a strike punishing Bashar Assad's regime for the alleged use of chemical weapons."

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Syrians stock up ahead of feared US-led attack
My Way News reports: "Syrians stocked up on bread, canned food and candles Friday as the U.S. and France prepared for a potential military strike against the Syrian government, which the West alleges used chemical weapons against civilians in its civil war. [...] Damascus shops and supermarkets were filled with people stocking up on food and other necessities ahead of the expected strikes, although there appeared to be no signs of panic or shortages. Residents complained, however, that prices have shot up because of the high demand."

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Jordan: No attack on Syria from our soil
My Way News reports: "Jordan will not be used as a launching pad for attacks on Syria and the kingdom favors a diplomatic solution to the crisis, a Jordanian government spokesman said Wednesday. A U.S.-led strike on Syria in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by President Bashar Assad's regime likely would involve cruise missile attacks from the sea, which would not need to cross or make use of Jordanian territory."

My Way News - UK Prime Minister Cameron loses Syria war vote
My Way News reports: "British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a vote endorsing military action against Syria by 13 votes Thursday, a stunning defeat that will almost guarantee that Britain plays no direct role in any U.S. attack on Bashar Assad's government."

My Way News - Ban Ki-moon pleads for time on Syria investigation
My Way News reports: "U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that U.N. experts seeking to collect evidence from an apparent chemical attack in Syria that killed hundreds of people will report to him as soon as they leave the country Saturday."

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Doomed Damascus

My Way News - US vows action in Syria even without UN backing
My Way News reports: "The U.S. says it will take action against the Syrian government for alleged use of chemical weapons even without the backing of allies or the United Nations. Britain added a hurdle to deliberations about a military strike on Wednesday when it went to the U.N. Security Council with a draft resolution that would authorize the use of military force against Syria. As expected, the five permanent members of the security council failed to reach an agreement as Russia reiterated its objections to international intervention in Syria."

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Pestilence

My Way News - 160 quarantined after plague death in Kyrgyzstan
My Way News reports: "Four people have been hospitalized and 160 quarantined after a 15-year-old boy who ate marmot meat died of the bubonic plague last week, the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health said Wednesday. [...] The disease swept across Europe in the Middle Ages, killing millions. These days, the disease is easily treated with antibiotics and can be cured if caught early."

My Way News - Saudi Arabia: 1 more death from new virus
My Way News reports: "Saudi Arabia says one more man has died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to 42 the number of deadly cases in the kingdom at the center of the outbreak. [...]  The new virus is related to SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which killed some 800 people in a global outbreak in 2003. It belongs to a family of viruses that most often causes the common cold."

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Gog Alliance

My Way News - Israel-Turkey relations sink to low
My Way News reports: "Israel and Turkey, located on opposite sides of Syria, long enjoyed vibrant trade, tourism and military cooperation. Just a few years ago, Turkey sponsored indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria. But relations began to decline after Erdogan became prime minister in 2003. The Islamist Turkish leader gradually distanced himself from the Jewish state as he raised his profile in the Muslim world."

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Momentum grows for military action against Syria
My Way News reports: "Momentum appeared to build Tuesday for Western military action against Syria, with the U.S. and France saying they are in position for a strike, while the government in Damascus vowed to use all possible measures to repel it. [...] If Obama decides to order an attack against Syria, it would most likely involve sea-launched cruise missile attacks on Syrian military and communications targets. The U.S. Navy has four destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea within range of targets inside Syria. The U.S. also has warplanes in the region."

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Covenant With Many

My Way News - Palestinians say round of talks halted after clash
My Way News reports: "Palestinian officials said they called off a planned round of peace talks Monday after Israeli soldiers killed three protesters during clashes following an arrest raid in the West Bank. [...] It was not known when talks will resume, but Palestinian officials said the break was expected to be brief."

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Kerry: Chemical arms use in Syria an 'obscenity'
My Way News reports: "Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday outlined the clearest justification yet for U.S. military action in Syria, saying there was "undeniable" evidence of a large-scale chemical weapons attack, with intelligence strongly signaling that Bashar Assad's regime was responsible. [..] The most likely U.S. military action would be to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles off U.S. warships in the Mediterranean. The Navy last week moved a fourth destroyer into the eastern Mediterranean."

My Way News - AP Interview: Official says Syria to defend itself
My Way News reports: "A senior Syrian official said Monday that his country will defend itself against any international attack and will not be an easy target as the U.S. and other countries heat up rhetoric in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack last week on a rebel-held neighborhood of the Syrian capital."

Reuters - Russia warns U.S. not to repeat in Syria past mistakes in region
Reuters reports: "Russia warned the United States on Sunday against repeating past mistakes, saying that any unilateral military action in Syria would undermine efforts for peace and have a devastating impact on the security situation in the Middle East.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Hagel says US still weighing response to Syria
My Way News reports: "U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Obama administration is still weighing the question of whether to use military force in Syria in response to a purported chemical weapons attack."

My Way News - Syria warns US not to intervene militarily
My Way News reports: "The Syrian government accused rebels of using chemical weapons Saturday and warned the United States not to launch any military action against Damascus over an alleged chemical attack last week, saying such a move would set the Middle East ablaze. [...] Syria is intertwined in alliances with Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas and Palestinian militant groups. The country also borders its longtime foe and U.S. ally Israel, making the fallout from military action unpredictable. [...] Meanwhile, U.S. naval units are moving closer to Syria as President Barack Obama considers a military response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Assad's government."

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Syria ally Russia urges cooperation with UN
My Way News reports: "The rebels hope the purported chemical attack will be a watershed moment, jolting Western powers into action in a conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people. In this line of thinking, previous purported uses of chemical weapons were too small to make a difference, while Wednesday's casualty toll, even if the lowest number is verified, will be far harder to ignore. That, coupled with the shocking images of dead children and survivors gasping for breath, has introduced a new dynamic into the debate about how the international community should respond."

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Jerusalem Security

My Way News - Israeli warplanes strike area near Beirut
My Way News reports: "Israeli warplanes struck a target south of Beirut early Friday, a day after militants fired four rockets into northern Israel, the Israeli military and a Palestinian official said. [...] On Thursday, militants in Lebanon fired four rockets into Israel, setting off air raid sirens and startling a nation already on edge over turmoil along its northern and southern borders."

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Persecution

My Way News - Group: Egypt's churches targeted in attacks
My Way News reports: "An international human rights group has chronicled attacks on 42 churches, dozens of Christian institutions and schools as well as homes and business owned by Christians amid an intimidation campaign believed to be waged by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi."

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Pestilence

My Way News - Myanmar facing 'urgent' drug-resistant TB threat
My Way News reports: "Tuberculosis is an age-old scourge and one of the world's most infectious killers affecting 12 million people, according to WHO. With 506 sufferers per 100,000 people, Myanmar's rate of regular TB is three times the global average. The normal strain of TB is easy to treat with a simple and cheap drug regimen. But when those medications are misused or mismanaged - often when patients skip pills - the bacteria can fight back and outsmart the drugs, creating resistance."

My Way News - Study: MERS virus match seen in Saudi Arabian bat
My Way News reports: "Scientists have found the mysterious MERS virus in a bat in Saudi Arabia. [...] The discovery reported Wednesday is considered an important development in the search for the origin of MERS, a deadly respiratory illness that is worrying health officials around the world. But it's likely that something else - perhaps another animal - is spreading the virus directly to humans, said Dr. Ziad Memish, Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister of Health and lead author of the report."

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jerusalem Security

My Way News - Israeli warplanes strike area near Beirut
My Way News reports: "The Israeli military and a Palestinian official say the Jewish state's air force struck a target south of Beirut. Friday's air raid came a day after militants fired four rockets from Lebanon into Israel. Three hit Israel and the fourth was intercepted."

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Rumors of War & Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Syrian official blames rebels for deadly attack
My Way News reports: "Syria's deputy prime minister told The Associated Press that foreign fighters and their international backers are to blame for a purported chemical weapons attack near Damascus that the opposition says killed at least 100 people, the deadliest such attack in Syria's civil war."

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Persecution

My Way News - Israel monastery defaced in apparent political act
My Way News reports: "In recent years, vandals have targeted mosques, churches, monasteries, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases to protest what they perceive as the Israeli government's pro-Palestinian policies in the West Bank. Vandals call the attacks the 'price tag' for the policies they oppose. What began as small-scale attacks against Palestinians and their crops in the West Bank in response to Palestinian militant attacks or Israeli measures against settlements have since evolved into hate crimes inside Israel proper."

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nations in Distress & Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Deadly attack in Syria renews chemical arms claim
My Way News reports: "The images showed lifeless children - wrapped in simple white cloths, their pale faces unmarked by any wound - lined up shoulder to shoulder in a vivid demonstration of an attack Wednesday in which activists say the Syrian regime killed at least 130 people with toxic gas."

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Global Community

My Way News - Facebook aims to get the world online
My Way News reports: "Food, water and the Internet? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to get all of the world's 7 billion people online through a partnership with some of the largest mobile technology companies. He says the Web is an essential part of life, and everyone deserves to be connected, whether they live in Norway, Nicaragua or Namibia."

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Israel negotiator predicts 'dramatic decisions'
My Way News reports: "Israel will make 'dramatic decisions' to reach a final peace agreement that will end the conflict with the Palestinians, Israel's chief negotiator said Tuesday while warning that hawks inside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition are making her job more difficult."

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Kings of the East

My Way News - Japan puts troops on display, says role to grow
My Way News reports: "Japan put its army on display Tuesday in an annual exercise at the foot of Mount Fuji intended to showcase the nation's ability to defend itself and to drum up support for plans to give Japanese troops a broader role at home and abroad. [...] This year's exercises involve 2,400 troops, 30 aircraft and 80 tanks and armored vehicles, which is fairly typical. They will continue for several days."

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Nations in Distress

My Way News - Flooding forces 20,000 Russians from their homes
My Way News reports: "The worst flooding in 120 years in Russia's Far East has already forced about 20,000 people from their homes and also made it necessary to airlift two captive brown bears to safety, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday."

My Way News - Death toll in China floods rises to 43:
My Way News reports: "A government news agency says the death toll in flooding in China's northeast and southeast has risen to 43 and landslides blocked a major train line."

AP - Floods cover more than half of Philippine capital
AP reports: "Flooding caused by some of the Philippines' heaviest rains on record submerged more than half the capital Tuesday, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response for a second day."

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Pestilence

My Way News - Dengue epidemic looms for Central American region
My Way News reports: "There have been 120,000 suspected cases of dengue reported across Central America so far in the season, which is roughly June to November, when the rains make it optimal for mosquito breeding. The number of cases already is about to surpass the total for all of 2012 in the seven countries from Guatemala to Panama. At least 39 people have died so far, more than the 32 for all of 2012."

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Believers Persecuted

My Way News - Egypt: Islamists hit Christian churches
My Way News reports: "In the four days since security forces cleared two sit-in camps by supporters of Egypt's ousted president, Islamists have attacked dozens of Coptic churches along with homes and businesses owned by the Christian minority.  [...] Nearly 40 churches have been looted and torched, while 23 others have been attacked and heavily damaged since Wednesday, when chaos erupted after Egypt's military-backed interim administration moved in to clear two camps packed with protesters calling for Morsi's reinstatement, killing scores of protesters and sparking deadly clashes nationwide."  

Comment: Please join me in praying for the church in Egypt, that they will have the faith and grace to persevere in the midst of such persecution.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Nations in Distress

My Way News - Egypt street battles leave at least 82 dead
My Way News reports: "Egypt's capital descended into chaos Friday as vigilantes at neighborhood checkpoints battled Muslim Brotherhood-led protesters denouncing the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi and a deadly crackdown. The fiercest street clashes Cairo has seen in more than two years of turmoil left at least 82 people dead, including 10 policemen."

My Way News - Beirut bomb ups fear of fallout from Syria war
My Way News reports: "Hezbollah's leader blamed Sunni extremists Friday for a car bombing that killed 22 people in a Shiite neighborhood south of Beirut, heightening fears that Lebanon will be dragged further into sectarian fallout from the war in neighboring Syria."

My Way News - Bombings around Iraq's capital kill 7 people
My Way News reports: "Officials in Iraq say two bombings around the capital, Baghdad, have killed seven people. [...] Violence has been rising across Iraq since a deadly crackdown by government forces on a Sunni protest camp in April."

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Rumors of War

My Way News - Pakistan says Indian troops wounded 6 civilians
My Way News reports: "The Pakistani military on Friday accused Indian troops of firing across the disputed Kashmir border and wounding six civilians, the latest in a series of alleged attacks that have sparked tension between the nuclear-armed rivals."

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Earthquakes

My Way News - Quakes shake central New Zealand, damaging homes
My Way News reports: "Strong earthquakes shook central New Zealand on Friday, damaging homes and roads and sending office workers scrambling for cover in the capital. No serious injuries were reported. A magnitude-6.5 temblor struck just after 2:30 p.m. near the small South Island town of Seddon, and at least six aftershocks were 5.0 magnitude or stronger."

My Way News - Earthquake shakes Mexican capital
My Way News reports: "A moderate earthquake shook Mexico's capital Friday but caused no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake in the Pacific Coast state of Guerrero had a preliminary magnitude of 5.4. The southern state's government said it had initiated security protocols but did not immediately report damage or injuries."

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Persecution

My Way News - Death toll soars to 638 in Egypt violence
My Way News reports: "Weeping relatives in search of loved ones uncovered the faces of the bloodied, unclaimed dead in a Cairo mosque near the smoldering epicenter of support for ousted President Mohammed Morsi, as the death toll soared past 600 Thursday from Egypt's deadliest day since the Arab Spring began. [...] Violence spread Thursday, with government buildings set afire near the pyramids, policemen gunned down and scores of Christian churches attacked."

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nations in Distress

My Way News - Hundreds reported killed as Egypt smashes protests
My Way News reports: "In Egypt's bloodiest day since the Arab Spring began, riot police Wednesday smashed two protest camps of supporters of the deposed Islamist president, touching off street violence that officials said killed nearly 300 people and forced the military-backed interim leaders to impose a state of emergency and curfew."

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Covenant With Many

My Way News - Israelis, Palestinians kick off peace talks
My Way News reports: "With tensions high and expectations low, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators kicked off their first substantive round of peace talks in nearly five years, huddling together at an undisclosed location Wednesday in search of an end to decades of conflict."

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Even worse odds than in 2008 for Mideast deal
My Way News reports: "The same negotiators, the same issues, a familiar venue: The sense of deja vu is overwhelming as Israelis and Palestinians start Wednesday on their third attempt in 13 years to draw a border between them. [...] The talks come after months of prodding by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who made six visits to the region since taking office in his bid to bring together Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."

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Jerusalem Security

My Way News - Israel army shoots down rocket near Egypt border
My Way News reports: "The Israeli military on Tuesday shot down a rocket launched from neighboring Egypt toward a popular Red Sea resort, and an al-Qaida-linked militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, fueling concerns that jihadist groups are trying to disrupt the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. It was the first time that Israel has deployed its 'Iron Dome' rocket defense system in Eilat, a normally placid resort near Egypt's Sinai peninsula that is popular with Israeli and European tourists. [...] Two militant websites posted a statement by an al-Qaida-linked group claiming responsibility for Tuesday's attack."

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Kings of the East

My Way News - India unveils home-built aircraft carrier
My Way News reports: "India has launched its first home-built aircraft carrier, marking another milestone in its efforts to bolster its maritime presence [...] India has steadily built up its naval capabilities in recent years, spurred by its rivalry with neighboring China. On Saturday, India activated an atomic reactor for an indigenously built nuclear submarine."

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Pestilence

My Way News - Experts find 1st hint MERS may be infecting camels
My Way News reports: "MERS is part of a family of coronaviruses that can cause the common cold as well as SARS, which sparked a global outbreak in 2003. Saudi Arabia health officials, in a letter this week to the New England Journal of Medicine, documented seven new infections of MERS in health workers, including some mild cases. [...] MERS can cause symptoms including fever, cough, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure. There is no known treatment or cure."

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Friday, August 09, 2013

Jerusalem Security

My Way News - Officials: Israeli drone strike kills 5 in Egypt
My Way News reports: "An Israeli drone strike killed five suspected Islamic militants and destroyed a rocket launcher in Egypt's largely lawless Sinai Peninsula on Friday, two senior Egyptian security officials said, describing a rare Israeli operation carried out in its Arab neighbor's territory. [...] Egypt's official MENA news agency said an explosion destroyed a rocket launcher set up near the border to launch attacks against Israel, and at least five Islamic militants were killed."

Comment: It's a welcome development to see Israel and Egypt cooperating again on security matters even if Egypt is reluctant to talk about it. Their interests in the Sinai coincide, so I would expect this to continue, unless, of course, the Islamists return to power.

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Nations in Distress

My Way News - Clashes at rallies backing ousted Egypt president
My Way News reports: "Tens of thousands of supporters of Egypt's ousted president marched Friday on the streets of Cairo and across the country, leading to clashes with opponents and security forces that injured dozens."

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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Persecution

My Way News - Egypt's coup puts fearful Christians in a corner
My Way News reports: "While Islamists are on the defensive in Cairo following the military coup that ousted President Mohammed Morsi, in Assiut and elsewhere in Egypt's deep south they are waging a stepped-up hate campaign, claiming the country's Christian minority somehow engineered Morsi's downfall. [...]  The hostility led a coalition of 16 Egyptian rights groups to warn on Wednesday of a wave of violence to come, and to demand that the post-coup authorities protect the Christians who are 10 percent of the population, and suffer chronic discrimination."

Comment: Please  join me in praying for the church in Egypt, that they will persevere with grace and faith, reacting with love and not fear or a desire for revenge.

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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Nations in Distress

My Way News - Tunisia unease grows as thousands protest leaders
My Way News reports: "Tens of thousands of Tunisians filled the streets of their capital to protest the government, deepening the sense of unease in a country once seen as a regional beacon for the transition to democracy."

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Pestilence

My Way News - Scientists plan controversial lab-made bird flu
My Way News reports: "Since it broke out in China in March, the H7N9 bird flu has infected more than 130 people and killed 43. Some of the world's leading flu researchers argue that genetically altering that virus in high-security labs is key to studying how it might mutate in the wild to become a bigger threat to people, maybe even the next pandemic."

My Way News - Evidence suggests new bird flu spread among people
My Way News reports: "Chinese scientists have found the strongest evidence yet that a new bird flu strain is sometimes able to spread from person to person, but they are emphasizing that the virus still does not transmit easily. The strain known as H7N9 was first reported by Chinese authorities in March. As of the end of May, there were 132 cases and 37 deaths in China and Taiwan linked to the virus."

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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Persecution

My Way News - Nigerian Islamist group accused of heinous crimes
My Way News reports: "The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says that after a preliminary investigation she believes that acts attributed to the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram are likely crimes against humanity. [...] Nigeria declared a state of emergency on May 14 to fight an Islamic uprising by militants in the northeast who want to impose Islamic law across a country divided almost equally between the predominantly Muslim north and mainly Christian south."

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Monday, August 05, 2013

Fearsome Events

My Way News - Deaths from heavy rains up to 53 in Pakistan
My Way News reports: "Heavy rains that caused flash floods and collapsed houses in different parts of Pakistan have killed 53 people over the past three days, a Pakistani official said Monday. Civil and military authorities have launched rescue and relief efforts to deal with the crisis, said Brig. Kamran Zia, a senior member of the National Disaster Management Authority. He said the deaths from the flooding span the entire country."

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Friday, August 02, 2013

Persecution

My Way News - Nigeria: Death toll in blasts in Christian area 27
My Way News reports: "A Christian leader says he carried three bodies from this week's multiple blasts in the northern Nigerian city of Kano to a military hospital, raising the toll to at least 27 dead. Tobias Itika of the Christian group Ohaeneze said Friday the three were not counted in a toll from two other hospitals. He said other victims were treated at an orthopedic hospital but he did not have an exact figure. Two other hospitals reported treating 20 wounded."

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Rumors of War / Persia

My Way News - Iran: Proposed new US sanctions blow to nuke talks
My Way News reports: "Iran's foreign ministry says possible new U.S. sanctions will not change Tehran's nuclear policy, but could complicate talks with world powers. Thursday's state TV report follows U.S. House passage of calls to tighten sanctions on Iran's oil sector, which already is under major pressures from Western economic measures seeking to rein in Iran's nuclear program. The U.S. plan now moves to the Senate. [...] Iran and world powers seek to resume talks after Sunday's swearing-in of moderate President Hasan Rouhani, who has urged for more international outreach."

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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Fearsome Events

My Way News - Bacon fries on pavement as heat wave grips China
My Way News reports: "The heat wave - the worst in at least 140 years in some parts - has left dozens of people dead and pushed thermometers above 40 degrees C (104 F) in at least 40 cities and counties, mostly in the south and east. Authorities for the first time have declared the heat a "level 2" weather emergency- a label normally invoked for typhoons and flooding. [...] Climate scientists usually caution that they can't attribute a single weather event like the Chinese heat wave to man-made global warming. But 'human-caused warming sure ups the odds of heat waves like this one,' said Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona. The Chinese heat wave 'gives a very real face to what global warming is all about,' he wrote in an email."

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Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Massive weapons depot blast in Syria kills 40
My Way News reports: "Rebels sent a wave of rockets slamming into regime strongholds in the central city of Homs on Thursday, triggering a succession of massive explosions in a weapons depot that killed at least 40 people and wounded dozens, an opposition group and residents said."

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