Saturday, January 14, 2012

French, Saudi warplanes collide in Saudi Arabi: What were French warplanes doing there in the first place?

A French Mirage and a Saudi F-15 collided in the kingdom's northern region of Tabuk without causing casualties, state news agency SPA quoted a military official as saying on Saturday.

"During a joint exercise on air engagement a French Mirage aircraft belonging to the French armed forces collided with a Saudi armed forces' F-15," said the statement.

"The Saudi pilot and the two French pilots ejected safely, and were taken to the Northern Sector Command. Investigations are under way to determine the circumstances of the incident," the official told SPA.

"Investigations are ongoing to uncover the circumstances surrounding the accident," it added.

Last May a Saudi F-15 crashed in the kingdom's east and its pilot was killed. The aircraft had been on a "training mission" in the Eastern Province when it came down, the news agency said at the time. source

Qatari Leader: Send Arab Troops Into Syria

The leader of Qatar has said Arab troops should be sent to Syria to stop the regime's violent crackdown on protesters.

Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani's comments, made to CBS, are the first by an Arab leader calling for the deployment of troops inside Syria.

They come amid growing claims that a team of Arab League observers dispatched to the country to curb the bloodshed has failed in its mission.

Qatar, which once had close relations with Damascus, has been a harsh critic of the 10-month crackdown by President Bashar al Assad's government.

The wealthy and influential Gulf state withdrew its ambassador to Syria in the summer to protest against the killings.

The leading Qatar-based al Jazeera television has also been a strong supporter of the Arab uprisings, although some say the station remained largely silent during anti-government protests in the Gulf state of Bahrain. more

Middle East may destabilise because of "intensifying" Iran nuclear crisis, warns William Hague

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the Foreign Secretary expressed concerns that Iran's actions could spark a nuclear arms race, and called on the Iranian government to negotiate a peaceful resolution of the growing confrontation.

"We do have to confront this problem, because Iran has embarked on a course which threatens the whole region of the Middle East with nuclear proliferation," Mr Hague said.

"It is an intensifying problem that we have over their nuclear programme. And so there is a risk that this will become a greater crisis as 2012 goes on."

Mr Hague's comments came as the European Union prepares to agree an embargo on Iranian oil in eight days' time, in response to Iran's decision to step up its efforts to produce the materials for a nuclear weapon.

They followed last week's assassination of a fourth Iranian nuclear scientist in two years, blamed by Iran on Mossad, the Israeli security service; recent missile tests by Iran; and continuing threats by its clerical regime to close the narrow marine artery through which more than a third of the West's seaborne oil reserves pass. more

2 survivors found in hull of Costa Concordia

NOSTRADAMUS Predictions about 2012 - Documentary

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE COAST OF PAKISTAN - 14th Jan 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck off the Coast of Pakistan at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 18:45:51 UTC Saturday 14th January 2012
The epicenter was 309 km (192 miles) WSW of Karachi, Pakistan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time.

Italy Cruise Ship Disaster: People Leapt To Escape Ship



Passengers and crew on a luxury cruise ship which ran aground off the Italian coast have described how people jumped for their lives into the sea.

Some passengers likened scenes on the blacked-out, sinking vessel to those on the Titanic and said people ran from restaurants as cutlery smashed all around them.

Others toppled down stairs as the ship tilted violently to one side while survivors clambered up rope ladders into helicopters.

Fabio Costa, who worked in a shop on the vessel, said a number of people were jumping into the sea to swim ashore and described the "panic" aboard.

He said: "We were all working and all of a sudden we felt the boat hitting something and everything just started to fall, all the glasses broke and everybody started to panic and run.

"We could only feel that the boat had hit something, we had no idea how serious it was until we got out and we looked through the window and we saw the water getting closer and closer.

"Everything happened really, really fast and we saw the water coming in." Read More

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake UNIMAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA - 14th Jan 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck the Unimak Island Region, Alaska at a depth of 26.2 km (16.3 miles), the quake hit at 18:01:42 UTC Saturday 14th January 2012
The epicenter was 110 km (68 miles) ESE from Akutan, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time.

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA REGION, LEEWARD ISLANDS - 14th Jan 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the Antigua and Barbuda Region, Leeuward Islands at a depth of 30 km (18.6 miles), the quake hit at 16:45:06 UTC Saturday 14th January 2012
The epicenter was 23 km (14 miles) East of Codrington, Barbuda
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time.

Iran sends rare letter to U.S. Stating that they have Evidence that the Scientist Assassination was planned, guided and supported by the CIA

Iran said on Saturday it had evidence Washington was behind the latest killing of one of its nuclear scientists, state television reported, at a time when tensions over the country's nuclear program have escalated to their highest level ever.

In the fifth attack of its kind in two years, a magnetic bomb was attached to the door of 32-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan's car during the Wednesday morning rush-hour in the capital. His driver was also killed.

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton denied responsibility and Israeli President Shimon Peres said Israel had no role in the attack, to the best of his knowledge.

"We have reliable documents and evidence that this terrorist act was planned, guided and supported by the CIA," the Iranian foreign ministry said in a letter handed to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, state TV reported. The Swiss embassy represents U.S. interests in a country where Washington has no diplomatic ties.

The spokesman for Iran's Joint Armed Forces Staff, Massoud Jazayeri, said: "Our enemies, especially America , Britain and the Zionist regime (Israel), have to be held responsible for their actions." Read More

Merkel vows faster eurozone reform after S&P downgrades

European leaders promised on Saturday to speed up plans to strengthen spending rules and get a permanent bailout fund up and running as soon as possible, a day after U.S. agency S&P cut the ratings of several euro zone countries' creditworthiness.

In a conference call with reporters and analysts after downgrading nine of the euro zone's 17 countries, Standard & Poor's said it saw continued risks from the debt crisis that has overshadowed Europe for the past two years and said the single currency area was heading towards recession.

It also warned that France, which suffered a downgrade to AA+ from the top-notch AAA, was at risk of further cuts if a recession further inflates its debt and budget deficit.

"The policy response at the European level has in our view not kept up with the rising challenges in the euro zone," S&P credit analyst Moritz Kraemer said on the call, forecasting a 40 percent chance of euro zone gross domestic product contracting by up to 1.5 percent in 2012. Read More

5.8 Magnitude Earthquake BABUYAN ISLANDS REGION, PHILIPPINES - 14th Jan 2012

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake has struck the Babuyan Islands, Philippines at a depth of 25.5 km (15.8 miles), the quake hit at 16:36:22 UTC Saturday 14th January 2012
The epicenter was 126 km (78 miles) NNE of Laoag, Luzon, Philippines
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time.