Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Moderate 5.7 quake hits Japan; no injuries

Location of Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, JapanImage via WikipediaTokyo: A moderate 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit Japan's remote Volcano Islands on Monday, seismologists said, although there was no tsunami warning and no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake hit at 5:26 am (local time), 86 kilometres south-east of Iwo Jima, at a depth of 138 kilometres, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The southern chain consists of three small thinly populated volcanic islands. Iwo Jima, the largest, was converted into a military airfield during World War II and was the scene of a bloody battle between Japanese and US forces.

Around 20 percent of the world's most powerful earthquakes strike Japan, which sits on the "Ring of Fire" surrounding the Pacific Ocean.

Indonesia volcano erupts again

Merapi Volcano January 27, 2007.Image via WikipediaIndonesia's Mount Merapi volcano erupted again Friday, sending a plume about 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) above the mountaintop, an extreme weather chaser said.

Ash drifted to the south after the eruption about 10 a.m. local time, weather chaser James Reynolds said.

Residents started streaming down the mountain, heading for safer ground. Some were being evacuated after having already returned home following eruptions earlier in the week, observers from the Volcanology Agency near Merapi said.

No injuries or deaths were immediately reported Friday. The volcano killed at least 32 people when it exploded earlier in the week, medical officials said.

Rescue and recovery efforts continue to unfold, with the Indonesian government scrambling to help tens of thousands of residents displaced by the eruption.

Al-Shabaab executes 2 teenage girls

Flag of SomalilandImage via WikipediaMOGADISHU, Somalia, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Residents of a Somali town said they were forced to watch as al-Shabaab militants shot two teenage girls the group claimed were government spies.

A resident of Beledweyne in central Somalia who identified himself only as Ali told The Daily Telegraph the girls were shot in the back as they sat with their arms pinioned behind them in the central square.

"The group informed the population that a punishment was going to be carried out in public on two women they claimed had been found guilty of spying," Ali said. "I didn't know they were planning to shoot them.

Priests among 46 Christians killed in Iraq hostage drama

A church in Baghdad.Image via WikipediaGrieving Catholics in Baghdad marked All Saints Day in mourning on Monday for 46 Christians killed during a hostage drama with Al-Qaeda gunmen that ended in an assault by Iraqi forces backed by US troops.

Throughout the day mourners were seen carrying coffins out of the church and loading them onto vehicles for transfer to the mortuary. Most of the victims were to be buried on Tuesday.

The rescue drama on Sunday night, two months after US forces formally concluded combat operations in Iraq, ended with two priests among at least 46 slain worshippers.

Strong earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, not felt

Source: http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/c1187/Image via WikipediaA strong earthquake struck the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge on early Saturday morning, seismologists said on Sunday.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake at 5.18 a.m. local time (1518 GMT) on Saturday was centered on the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, a divergent tectonic plate boundary located on the seafloor of the South Pacific Ocean, separating the Pacific Plate from the Antarctic Plate. It struck about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) below the seabed, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

With New Zealand about 3,480 kilometers (2,160 miles) away to the southeast, no one could have felt the earthquake. It was also not strong enough to generate a tsunami.

Turkey declares Israel ‘central threat’

Middle east mapImage via WikipediaIsrael is seen as "a central threat to Turkey" in a policy paper written by Turkey's National Security Council.

At the same time, the security council removed Syria, Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia, as well as Iran, from the list of countries that pose a threat to Turkey, according to Turkish media outlets cited late Saturday by the Israeli media.

"The region's instability stems from Israeli actions and policy, which could lead to an arms race in the Middle East," the policy paper, known as The Red Book, reportedly said, according to Israel's Channel 10.

It was the first time that Israel was seen as a threat to Turkey since 1949, according to Channel 10.

Meanwhile, in light of the policy paper, Israel's tourism minister on Sunday called on Israelis to refrain from traveling to Turkey.

80 dead in Afghan military base attack

Armored bulldozer in Paktika Province, Afghani...Image via WikipediaEighty people were killed in clashes with NATO and Afghan forces in Paktika province, a spokesman for the province's governor said Saturday.

All the people killed were insurgents, according to Farid Mukhlis, the governor's spokesman.

Authorities said no NATO or Afghan troops, or civilians were killed in the clashes, which began at midnight Friday and
continued into Saturday morning.

The attack took place at a military base in Barmal district, the spokesman said.

Farewell briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee

Defense Attaché at the Israeli Embassy Maj. Ge...Image via WikipediaIn his farewell briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, Tuesday, Nov. 2, departing Israel Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin listed the threats to Israel as headed by Iran. But he warned that Syria is buying advanced Russian self-propelled air defense missiles with long-range optical and targeting ranges that would encumber the Israeli Air Force warplanes' freedom of action in an emergency.
"We used to calculate that in just 48 hours we could wipe out enemy anti-air systems. Now things have changed and we could be thrown back to [the "days of] "the Canal."
(DEBKAfile's military sources say "the Canal" is a shorthand reference to the War of Attrition Egypt waged against Israel after the 1967 War fighting with Russian-manned air defense missiles and Russian-piloted planes deployed on the Suez Canal to down Israeli warplanes. The late Air Force chief Ezer Weizman spoke of "the missile which bent the IAF's wing.")

19 Car Bombs by Islamic Terrorists

United States Army HMMWV attacked by a car bom...Image via WikipediaThe Iraqi capital was rocked late Tuesday, Nov. 2 by the most ferocious assault al Qaeda has ever carried out on a capital city

By evening, it had spread to Baghdad's environs after the death toll had climbed past 120 with more than 300 injured from 19 bomb car explosions in a dozen Shiite suburbs. Clearly visible in each was a pair of suicides detonating their explosives. 

Scores of roadside and sticky bombs were activated against cars at main intersections and smashed into army, police and emergency teams racing to the scenes of disaster.

The rattle of heavy automatic gunfire accompanied the sounds of explosions. Huge fires broke out amid the violence. Iraqi army commanders admitted the city had veered out of control and voiced fear that it was just the beginning of a broader al Qaeda onslaught which had already begun spreading.

As the public medical system collapsed, the army parked tanks and APCs on the bridges of the Tigris River which cuts through Baghdad.

Major earthquake hits E. Indonesia

Papua (province)Image via WikipediaJAKARTA, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- There were no immediate reports of injuries in a major earthquake that shook eastern Indonesia and the island of Papua Wednesday, officials said.

An official of Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency named only Apprilianto told China's Xinhua news agency the quake measured 6 on the Richter scale while the U.S. Geological Service reported it double that strength at 6.1.

Haitian cholera toll reported at 330

Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince as seen ...Image via WikipediaPORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The death toll from the cholera epidemic in Haiti hit 330 Friday, health officials said.

Gabriel Thimote, the minister of health, said Friday afternoon 25 of the deaths were reported in the previous 24 hours, Le Nouvelliste reported. He said 4,714 people had been hospitalized with the disease.
Jon Kim Andrus, deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization, told the BBC there may be many cases of cholera going unreported.

"We really don't know about communities where diarrhea cases are occurring but not reaching health centers," Andrus said. Health officials are concerned the disease might spread to the capital, Port-au-Prince, where 1.3 million people are still living in makeshift camps after the January earthquake

Former Revolutionary Guard: 'Iran Will Bomb Israel' - Inside Israel - CBN News - Christian News 24-7 - CBN.com

President Ahmadinejad at Natanz in April 2008Image via WikipediaA former member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard has warned that Iran would use nuclear weapons, not only against Israel, but against other Persian Gulf countries and also Europe.

He told Israel's National Radio that Iran's goal is to bring about total chaos in the world, so that the Islamic messianic figure "the Mahdi" will appear.Also, he said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tries to portray himself as a folk leader, but he's the most brutal dictator the world has ever seen. 

Five Civilians Killed By Taliban In Afghanistan

High fives in AfghanistanImage by The U.S. Army via FlickrAt least five Afghan civilians have been killed in an attack by Taliban militants in Southern Afghanistan, the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Wednesday.

According to a communique, the militants actually intended to target Nato troops but ended up attacking innocent civilians.

The incident took place at Nad Ali district of Helmand province during a meeting between Nato troops and local residents. After coming under attack, Nato soldiers retaliated using small arms and indirect fire.

Further Nato said the civilian deaths occurred when the attackers targeted a private compound "resulting in five Afghan civilians killed and nine wounded." It was also revealed that two of those killed and six injured in the attack were children.

A Nato medical team engaged in efforts to remove the injured to hospital also came under attack, the security alliance said.

Iran will bomb Israel, warns former Revolutionary Guard

President Ahmadinejad at Natanz in April 2008Image via WikipediaA former member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the elite military force that keeps the regime in power, has warned that if Iran succeeds in building nuclear weapons, its leaders will not hesitate to use them against Israel, the Persian Gulf states and even Europe.

Speaking to Israel National Radio, the man explained that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the nation’s spiritual dictators are committed to ushering in the chaos and havoc called for in the last hadith (Islamic commentaries on Mohammed’s teachings and actions). Out of that chaos, the hadith teaches that the Imam Mahdi, an Islamic messianic figure, will emerge.

Earthquake kills two in central Serbia

Center of KraljevoImage via WikipediaA moderate earthquake has hit central Serbia, killing two people and injuring at least 50 others.
The tremor had a magnitude of 5.3 and its epicentre was near the city of Kraljevo, some 150km (94 miles) south-west of the capital.

The quake struck at 0156 (0056 GMT), the US Geological Survey said. Eyewitnesses said buildings, including the local hospital, were slightly damaged during the quake and some homes were without water and electricity.
Serbia's interior minister said that the two people who died were a couple, killed when the roof of their house collapsed.

Ivica Dacic said material damage to the town of 70,000 people was considerable and that rescue teams and police had already been deployed to the area.

2 killed, 50 injured in earthquake in Serbia

The Balkan peninsula as defined by the Soča-Kr...Image via WikipediaA state of emergency was declared Wednesday in central Serbia after an earthquake rattled the region, killing at least two people and injuring 50.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the moderate quake with a 5.3 magnitude struck 125 kilometers (75 miles) south of the Serbian capital, Belgrade, at 01:56 a.m. (0056 GMT) Wednesday.

The hardest hit area was around the town of Kraljevo where the temblor destroyed or damaged buildings and left parts of the city without electricity, running water or telephone lines.

Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said a couple, both 68, died in a Kraljevo suburb when the roof and the first floor of their house collapsed. Fifty people were injured elsewhere in and around the town.

The earthquake -- the strongest in Serbia since 2000 -- was also felt in a wider area of the Balkan state, including Belgrade, where people were jolted from their beds, some fleeing their homes in panic. The quake also was felt in neighboring Romania, Croatia and Macedonia.

Friday, 5 November 2010

5.2 quake shakes Bicol

Provinces and regions of the Philippines.Image via WikipediaMANILA, Philippines — A moderate 5.2-magnitude earthquake shook Bicol Region on Thursday, but there were no immediate reports of damage to property or deaths, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

Phivolcs defined magnitude 5 to 6 earthquake as "moderate in strength" that is felt over wide areas and some of them cause small local damages near the epicenter.

The tremor originated 35 kilometers southwest of San Pascual in Burias Island on Monday.

Strong 6.0 earthquake hits Tonga

NUKU'ALOFA, TONGA - MARCH 18:  An undersea vol...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeA 6.0-magnitude earthquake rattled Tonga today, but there were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued.
The undersea earthquake struck at a depth of 33 kilometres, about 126 kilometres from the capital, Nuku'Alofa.

Officials at the country's national emergency office were not immediately available to comment.
Tonga, almost 2000 kilometres northeast of New Zealand, lies on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire", where continental plates collide, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activity.

Nine people died in Tonga in an earthquake-triggered tsunami in October last year that also killed 143 people in Samoa.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Missile assassination

Map of Gaza Strip, Stand December 2008 (SVG ve...Image via WikipediaA missile fired from an American warship in the Mediterranean hit the car in which Muhammad Jamal A-Namnam, 27, was driving in the heart of Gaza City Wednesday, Nov. 3 and killed him, DEBKAfile's exclusive counter-terror sources report. Namnam was an operational commander of the Army of Islam, Al-Qaeda's Palestinian cell in the Gaza Strip. He was on a mission on behalf of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – AQAP to plan, organize and execute the next wave of terrorist attacks on US targets after last week's air package bomb plot.

According to Debka sources, the Palestinian cell members were planning to infiltrate northern Sinai from the Gaza strip over the coming weekend and strike American personnel serving with the Multinational Force and Observers Organization. In a coordinated operation, Al Qaeda fighters hiding up in the mountains of central Sinai were to have attacked US Marines and Air Force troops stationed at the South Camp in Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh.  The twin attacks were scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 7, or the following day

Bomb madness in Iraq

Car bombings are a common form of attack in Ir...Image via WikipediaIn a massive terror attack, a car bomb and an additional ten bombs went off in Iraq Tuesday night in the biggest single terror atack since the U.S. began pulling out of Iraq and shifted responsibility for security to the Iraqi government. Estimates of casualties varied, but most sources said that at least 300 had been killed.

Witnesses said that the car bomb went off in a Shi'ite area of Baghdad, outside a coffee shop popular with the Shi'ite community