Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pestilence

My Way News - Government confirms first case of Ebola in US
My Way News reports: "Federal health officials on Tuesday confirmed the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S., a patient who recently traveled from Liberia to Dallas and a sign of the far-reaching impact of the out-of-control epidemic in West Africa. The unidentified patient was critically ill and has been in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital since Sunday, officials said."

Labels:

War

My Way News - Kurds claim advances in Iraq as Britain joins fray
My Way News reports: "In Britain's first airstrikes of the campaign, two Tornado jets hit a heavy weapons post and an armored vehicle being used by the militants to attack Kurdish forces in northwest Iraq, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said in London. In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said the U.S. and its coalition partners conducted 20 strikes in Iraq and Syria against fixed and mobile targets. So far, about 306 air attacks have been conducted — more than 230 in Iraq and the rest in Syria, he said."

Labels:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Nations in Distress

China faces tricky balance in Hong Kong's protests
My Way News reports: "Demonstrators demanding a greater say in choosing the financial center's leader, or chief executive, defied attempts over the weekend by riot police to end their sit-ins with blasts of tear gas and pepper spray, and on Monday fanned out to more neighborhoods of Hong Kong in a tense standoff. [...] Beijing's increasingly hard-line leadership, which has clamped down over the past year and a half on dissent and any calls for greater democracy, is highly unlikely to agree to any discussion about political reforms in Hong Kong. Nor does it want bloodshed. [...] The protests reflect disillusionment with mainland Chinese rule among Hong Kongers, especially the younger generation, who feel Beijing has failed to keep promises of greater democracy for the territory."

Hong Kong protesters set deadline for government
My Way News reports: "Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong set a Wednesday deadline for a response from the government to meet their demands for reforms after spending another night blocking streets in an unprecedented show of civil disobedience. [...] One day after police shocked the city by firing tear gas at the crowds, the protesters passed a peaceful night Monday singing as the blocked streets in several parts of Hong Kong. [...] Students and activists have been camped out since late Friday, demanding that Beijing grant democratic reforms to the former British colony."

Labels: ,

Rumors of War - Persia

Report: Iran builds surface-to-surface missile
My Way News reports: "A news agency in Iran is reporting that the Islamic Republic has built a new surface-to-surface cruise missile capable of being launched from an airplane. The report Sunday by the semi-official Fars news agency quotes Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the airspace department of the elite Revolutionary Guard, as saying that the missile has a range of 700 kilometers (435 miles). Hajizadeh said the missile can be launched from land-based pads, naval vessels, aircraft, helicopters and drones."

Labels: ,

Friday, September 26, 2014

War

My Way News -Britain joins fight against Islamic State group
My Way News reports: "Britain, Belgium and Denmark on Friday joined the U.S.-led coalition of nations that are launching airstrikes on the Islamic State group in Iraq, committing warplanes to the struggle against the extremists. [...] In May, Belgium was shaken when a gunman opened fire at a Jewish museum in Brussels, killing four people. The suspect, French citizen Mehdi Nemouche, has been identified as a returning Islamic fighter from Syria, and leaders in Belgium and other European countries have expressed their fears that other returnees from Syria and Iraq may cause further havoc."

Labels:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Global Government

My Way News - UN chief urges hope in world seeming to fall apart
My Way News reports: "The United Nations chief called for world leaders Wednesday to join an international campaign to ease the plight of nearly unprecedented numbers of refugees, the displaced and victims of violence in a world wracked by wars and the swift-spreading and deadly Ebola epidemic. [...] Speaker after speaker addressed a host of other issues from illegal immigration to promoting equality for women and reforming the powerful U.N. Security Council to reflect the 21st century, not the post-World War II world."

Labels:

War

My Way News - Obama at UN: Dismantle the IS 'network of death'
My Way News reports: "Confronted by the growing threat of Middle East militants, President Barack Obama implored world leaders at the United Nations Wednesday to rally behind his expanding military campaign to stamp out the violent Islamic State group and its 'network of death.' [...] There were more U.S. and coalition airstrikes Wednesday on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border. U.S. and allied planes and drones hit a dozen targets in Syria that included small-scale oil refineries that have been providing millions of dollars to the Islamic State, the U.S. Central Command said. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates took part in addition to U.S. aircraft."

Labels:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pestilence

My Way News - US warns that Ebola could infect 1.4 million
My Way News reports: "U.S. health officials Tuesday laid out worst-case and best-case scenarios for the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, warning that the number of infected people could explode to at least 1.4 million by mid-January — or peak well below that, if efforts to control the outbreak are ramped up."

Labels:

Rumors of War - Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Israel military shoots down Syrian aircraft
My Way News reports: "The Israeli military shot down a Syrian fighter jet that infiltrated its airspace over the Golan Heights on Tuesday morning — the first such downing in decades, heightening tensions in the volatile plateau. [...] Israel has avoided taking sides in the three-year civil war in Syria, though Israeli troops have responded to occasional mortar fire that has landed on the Israeli side of the Golan. [...] Israel and Syria are bitter enemies who have fought several wars."

Labels: ,

Monday, September 22, 2014

War

My Way News - Pentagon: US, partners begin airstrikes in Syria
My Way News reports: "The U.S. and five Arab countries launched airstrikes Monday night on Islamic State group targets in Syria, expanding a military campaign into a country whose three-year civil war has given the brutal militant group a safe haven. Using a mix of manned aircraft — fighter jets and bombers — plus Tomahawk cruise missiles, the strikes were part of the expanded military campaign that President Barack Obama authorized nearly two weeks ago in order to disrupt and destroy the Islamic State militants, who have slaughtered thousands of people, beheaded Westerners — including two American journalists — and captured large swaths of Syria and northern and western Iraq."

Comment: Although the U.S. has previously launched airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq this is the first real attack by coalition forces in Syria and represents an internationalization of the war effort. The alliance seems well coordinated at this point but it remains to be seen if anyone will step forward to offer ground troops since the U.S. has abstained (abdicated) that role.

Labels:

Pestilence

My Way News - WHO: 21,000 Ebola cases by November if no changes
My Way News reports: "New estimates from the World Health Organization warn the number of Ebola cases could hit 21,000 in six weeks unless efforts to curb the outbreak are ramped up. Since the first cases were reported six months ago, the tally of cases in West Africa has reached an estimated 5,800 illnesses. WHO officials say cases are continuing to increase exponentially and Ebola could sicken people for years to come without better control measures."

Comment: I don't think that is the proper use of the term "exponentially" but I take their meaning. If people were being infected with Ebola at an exponential rate (a constant rate of growth applied to a continuously growing base ), it would suggest the virus has mutated into something much more communicable. That has not happened...yet.

Labels:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Global Government

My Way News - G-20 says close to goal of $2 trillion in growth
My Way News reports: "Finance chiefs from the 20 largest economies said on Sunday they are close to reaching their goal of boosting world GDP by more than $2 trillion over the next five years, and will focus on infrastructure investment to help reach the target.[...] The G-20, which represents about 85 percent of the global economy, said an analysis of those initiatives show they should boost the combined gross domestic product of member countries by 1.8 percent above levels expected for the next five years — just short of the group's target of 2 percent."

Labels: ,

Pestilence

My Way News - Sierra Leone staggers in Ebola isolation effort
My Way News reports: "Some in Sierra Leone ran away from their homes Saturday and others clashed with health workers trying to bury dead Ebola victims as the country struggled through the second day of an unprecedented lockdown to combat the deadly disease. Despite these setbacks, officials said most of Sierra Leone's 6 million people were complying with orders to stay at home as nearly 30,000 volunteers and health care workers fanned out across the country to distribute soap and information on how to prevent Ebola."

Comment: An entire country on lockdown, what a concept!

Labels:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Rumors of War - King of the North

LA Times - U.S., Canadian fighter jets intercept Russian aircraft
The LA Times reports: "Eight Russian aircraft and refueling tankers were intercepted by U.S. and Canadian fighter jets off the coast of Alaska this week, officials said. [...] NORAD has intercepted more than 50 Russian long-range bombers in the area in the last five years. The area has become a hotbed for shipping traffic and other craft due to the rapid melting of the polar ice cap, causing a rush to reach mineral deposits and newly created shipping lanes."

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wars & Rumors of War

My Way News - Strong Senate vote for Obama on Syria rebel aid
My Way News reports: "In the heat of an election campaign, Congress cleared the way for the U.S. military to train and equip Syrian rebels for a war against Islamic State militants Thursday night, reluctant ratification of a new strategy that President Barack Obama outlined scarcely a week ago. The 78-22 Senate vote sent Obama legislation that also provides funding for the government after the end of the budget year on Sept. 30, eliminating any threat of a shutdown. The House approved the bill on Wednesday."

Comment: This is as close as the U.S. comes to a formal declaration of war these days. It's not really a declaration, it's a funding bill, but it amounts to the same thing.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wars & Rumors of War

My Way News - US military role in Iraq raises combat questions
My Way News reports: "The White House and the Pentagon are grappling with how to explain what American military forces are doing and could do in Iraq as they battle the Islamic State militants. Speaking at U.S. Central Command on Wednesday, President Barack Obama reiterated his pledge to keep American troops out of combat missions. But hours later, Vice President Joe Biden appeared to be less certain about ground troops."

My Way News - House grudgingly approves arms for Syrian rebels
My Way News reports: "The Republican-controlled House voted grudgingly Wednesday to give the administration authority to train and arm Syrian rebels as President Barack Obama emphasized anew that American forces "do not and will not have a combat mission" in the struggle against Islamic State militants in either Iraq or Syria."

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pestilence

My Way News - Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time?
My Way News reports: "President Barack Obama declared Tuesday that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa could threaten security around the world, and he ordered 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the region in emergency aid muscle for a crisis spiraling out of control."

Labels:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pestilence

My Way News - US to assign 3,000 from US military to fight Ebola
My Way News reports: "The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa's Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic."

Labels:

War & Rumors of War

My Way News - Kerry: US open to talks with Iran on Islamic State
My Way News reports: "As more than two dozen nations pledged Monday to help Iraq fight the Islamic State militants, the United States said it was open to talking to Iran about a role in resolving the crisis, despite Washington's earlier opposition to Tehran even attending the conference. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ruled out any military coordination with Iran, which in the end was not invited to Paris. [...] The meeting of foreign ministers from Asia, the Middle East and the West was a first step toward deciding who does what in a multilayered offensive against the Islamic State group. [...] As the conference began, two French jets took off over Iraq in France's first reconnaissance missions over the country in a sign of the larger battle ahead. Later, the United States, which has led airstrikes over Iraq since August, said it had taken the first step in its planned expanded fight against Islamic State militants, going to the aid of Iraqi security forces near Baghdad who were being attacked by enemy fighters."

Labels: ,

Friday, September 12, 2014

Signs in the Sun

My Way News - Scientists: Strong solar storm heading to Earth:
My Way News reports: "A strong solar flare is blasting its way to Earth, but the worst of its power looks like it will barely skim above the planet and not cause many problems. [...] It may cause slight disturbances in satellites and radio transmissions but nothing major."

Labels:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pestilence

My Way News - 4th Sierra Leonean doctor infected with Ebola
My Way News reports: "So far, only foreign health and aid workers have been evacuated abroad for treatment from Sierra Leone and Liberia. The worst Ebola outbreak in history also has hit Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal, and has been blamed for more than 2,200 deaths across West Africa."

Labels:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wars and Rumors of War

My Way News - Obama orders airstrikes in Syria for first time
My Way News reports: "Opening a new military front in the Middle East, President Barack Obama authorized U.S. airstrikes inside Syria for the first time Wednesday night, along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of "a steady, relentless effort" to root out Islamic State extremists and their spreading reign of terror."

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Rumors of War - Persia

My Way News - Israel fires missile in test of defense system
My Way News reports: "Israel said it fired a missile Tuesday over the Mediterranean Sea to test part of its missile defense system designed to intercept long-range rockets. [...] It is part of a multilayered system Israel is developing to protect itself from a range of missile threats, from short-range rockets fired in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon to longer-range threats, like a missile launch from Iran."

My Way News - Palestinian: Donors wary of funding Hamas-run Gaza
My Way News reports: "The deputy Palestinian prime minister said Tuesday that international donors are hesitant to fund the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip so long as Hamas remains in control there and the specter of future wars looms. [...] With Hamas still committed to Israel's destruction and with an arsenal of rockets still at its disposal, the donors are wary of rebuilding, Mustafa said. This summer's war was the third in less than six years."

Comment: And who funds Hamas while the West funds Fatah? Iran, of course.

Labels: ,

Monday, September 08, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Arab states back new UN appeal by Palestinians
My Way News reports: "Arab foreign ministers have backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's appeal to the United Nations to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 war and make way for an independent Palestinian state."

Comment: After all this, why should statehood still be on the table? The formula was, two states living side by side in peace. Until they demonstrate their peaceful intentions by disarming, why should anyone take them seriously?

Labels:

Pestilence

My Way News - Serious respiratory illness hits hundreds of kids
My Way News reports: "Hundreds of children in more than 10 states have been sickened by a severe respiratory illness that public health officials say may be caused by an uncommon virus similar to the germ that causes the common cold. Nearly 500 children have been treated at one hospital alone — Children's Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri — and some required intensive care, according to authorities."

Labels:

Friday, September 05, 2014

Wars & Rumors of War

My Way News - NATO creates 'spearhead' to deter Russia
My Way News reports: "NATO's creation of a rapid-reaction 'spearhead' force to protect Eastern Europe from Russian bullying reflects a cool-eyed calculation that Vladimir Putin and his generals won't risk head-to-head confrontation with the U.S. and its nuclear-capable Western European allies."

My Way News - NATO allies agree to take on Islamic State threat
My Way News reports: "The U.S. and nine key allies agreed Friday that the Islamic State group is a significant threat to NATO countries and that they will take on the militants by squeezing their financial resources and going after them with military might."

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Pestilence

My Way News - US to provide $75M to expand Ebola care centers
My Way News reports: "The American aid agency announced Thursday it would donate $75 million to fund 1,000 more beds in Ebola treatment centers in Liberia and buy 130,000 more protective suits for health care workers. West Africa's struggling health systems have buckled under the pressure of an Ebola outbreak that has already killed about 1,900 people. "

Labels:

Wars and Rumors of Wars

My Way News - US and UK seek partners to go after Islamic State
My Way News reports: "As leaders of the Western alliance gathered for a two-day summit, Obama and Cameron worked to begin forming a coalition of nations that could combat the extremists through military power, diplomatic pressure and economic penalties."

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Wars & Rumors of War

My Way News - World leaders eye united front against militants
My Way News reports: "World leaders, nervously eyeing a growing threat from Islamic State militants, will seek to build a united front this week against the violent extremist group and keep it from creeping beyond its borders."

My Way News - Obama calls Ukraine 'a moment of testing' for West
My Way News reports: "President Barack Obama on Wednesday harshly condemned Russian aggression in Ukraine as a threat to peace in Europe and pledged that NATO will protect allies who fear they will be Moscow's next target. Standing on Russia's doorstep, Obama declared 'this is a moment of testing' for the Western alliance to stand up to the Kremlin. [...] Obama's tough words set the stage for a pivotal summit of the 28-nation NATO alliance beginning Thursday in Wales."

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Pestilence

My Way News - Group says world is losing battle against Ebola
My Way News reports: "The international group Doctors Without Borders warned Tuesday that the world is losing the battle against Ebola and lamented that treatment centers in West Africa have been 'reduced to places where people go to die alone.' In separate remarks after a United Nations meeting on the crisis, the World Health Organization chief said everyone involved had underestimated the outbreak, which has now killed more than 1,500 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. "

Labels:

Rumors of War & King of the North

My Way News - Obama to Europe: NATO to oppose Russian aggression
My Way News reports: "Confronted by a Kremlin-backed military offensive in Ukraine, President Barack Obama and Western allies will approve plans this week to position at least 4,000 troops and military equipment in Eastern Europe, bolstering NATO's security commitments to nervous member states near the Russian border."

Labels: ,

Wars & Rumors of War

My Way News - Video purports to show beheading of US journalist
My Way News reports: "Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, "our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.""

My Way News - Report accuses Islamic State group of war crimes
My Way News reports: "An international rights group accused the extremist Islamic State group on Tuesday of systematic "ethnic cleansing" in northern Iraq targeting indigenous religious minorities, as well as conducting mass killings of men and abducting women."

Labels: ,

Mark of the Beast

Ecuador heralds digital currency plans
AP reports: "Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, the U.S. dollar."

Comment: It's always interesting when the world gets a new payment system, but this is a very new development, it will need lots of work to be implemented and become trusted by the people of Ecuador. Still, if it works, promoting digital currencies could be an attractive nationalist alternative to developing countries chafing at the restrictions placed on them by the current international financial system.

Labels: