Monday, September 3, 2012

Syria says no dialogue with opposition until rebels crushed

BEIRUT — The Syrian regime said Monday there will be no dialogue with the opposition before the army crushes the rebels, the latest sign that President Bashar Assad is determined to solve the crisis on the battlefield even if many more of his people have to pay with their lives.

The statement comes a day after activists reported that August was the bloodiest month since the uprising began in March 2011.

"There will be no dialogue with the opposition prior to the Syrian army's imposition of security and stability in all parts of the country," Information Minister Omran al-Zoebi told reporters at a news conference in Damascus.

The opposition has long rejected any talks with the regime until Assad is removed from power. Read More

Clinton's robust plan for South China Sea

HILLARY Clinton has called upon China and the ASEAN nations to agree on a "robust code of conduct" for managing South China Sea territorial disputes in time for the East Asia Summit in November.

The US Secretary of State said she would be pushing that argument when she arrives in Beijing later today for talks with President Hu Jintao and Vice President Xi Jinping, Mr Hu's heir presumptive as president and general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.

Ms Clinton will leave Jakarta following a meeting with Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Her call for resolution of the South China Sea code of conduct will fall on stony ground in Beijing.

China continues to insist on dealing with its claims over most of the resource rich and strategically critical sea individually with the overlapping Southeast Asian claimants.

It has resisted either an ASEAN mediated resolution or active US involvement in the issue. Read More

Report reveals US steps to restrain Iran to forestall Israeli attack

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Obama administration is taking a range of steps short of war to force Iran to take more seriously negotiations over its disputed nuclear program, in hopes of forestalling an Israeli attack, a U.S. newspaper reported Monday.

These steps include planned naval exercises and new anti- missile systems in the Persian Gulf, and a more forceful clamping down on Iranian oil revenue, the New York Times reported in a front-page story.

President Barack Obama is also considering making warnings about what might bring about American military action against Tehran, as well as covert activities that have been previously considered and rejected, it said.

The U.S. and over 25 other countries will hold the largest scale mine-sweeping exercise on Sept. 16-27 in the Persian Gulf, in a show of unity and a defensive step to prevent Iran from attempting to block oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz.

The U.S. is also racing to complete a new radar system in Qatar in the coming months that would combine with radars already in place in Israel and Turkey to form a broad arc of anti-missile coverage, the report said.

Washington is considering launching further cyber operation like the cyber attack code-named "Olympic Games" that infected Iran's nuclear centrifuges, in a bid to slow down the Iranian nuclear program. Read More

Nasrallah says Iran could strike US bases if Israel attacks

"The response will be very great," Hezbollah leader says, but adds he doesn't believe J'em will launch a strike soon.

Iran could strike US bases in the Middle East in response to any Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities, the leader of Lebanon's Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah said on Monday.

"A decision has been taken to respond and the response will be very great," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview with the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen television.

"The response will not be just inside the Israeli entity - American bases in the whole region could be Iranian targets," he said, citing information he said was from Iranian officials. "If Israel targets Iran, America bears responsibility."

But Nasrallah said there were divisions in Israel over attacking Iran's nuclear facilities, which the West says could be part of a nuclear weapons program - a charge which Tehran denies. Read More

More Violence Erupts On Streets Of Belfast

Petrol bombs, stones, bottles and fireworks have been hurled at police after "serious disorder" broke out in north Belfast for a second night.

Police fired six baton rounds and used four water cannons at rioters after they came under attack in the Carlisle Circus area of the city.

Sporadic outbreaks of violence erupted in lower Antrim Road and Denmark Street, where a van was hijacked and pushed towards police lines.

Nine officers were injured, with three requiring hospital treatment, according to the Northern Ireland Police Federation.

Federation chairman Terry Spence praised the "bravery and courage" of the frontline officers, saying it was "in stark contrast to that of the cowardly thugs responsible for trying to murder them". Read More

5.4 Magnitude Earthquake PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION - 4th September 2012

A magnitude 5.4 earthquake has struck the PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION at a depth of 35.3 km (21.9 miles), the quake hit at 00:50:53 UTC Tuesday 4th September 2012
The epicenter was 93 km (57 miles) ENE of San Isidro, Philippines
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake KODIAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA - 4th September 2012

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck the KODIAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA at a depth of 59 km (36.7 miles), the quake hit at 00:11:31 UTC Tuesday 4th September 2012
The epicenter was 56 km (35 miles) Northwest from Aleneva, Alaska
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.6 Magnitude Earthquake MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES - 3rd September 2012

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES at a depth of 9.8 km (6.1 miles), the quake hit at 19:44:22 UTC Monday 3rd September 2012
The epicenter was 2 km (1.2 miles) Southwest of Mailag, Philippines
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Newsmax Column Suggests "Military Coup Against Obama"

Here is the full text of John L. Perry's column on Newsmax which suggests that a military coup to "resolve the Obama problem" is becoming more possible and is not "unrealistic." Perry also writes that a coup, while not "ideal," may be preferable to "Obama's radical ideal" -- and would "restore and defend the Constitution." Newsmax has since removed the column from its website.


Obama Risks a Domestic Military Intervention

By: John L. Perry

There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the "Obama problem." Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.

America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it. So, view the following through military eyes:

# Officers swear to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Unlike enlisted personnel, they do not swear to "obey the orders of the president of the United States."

# Top military officers can see the Constitution they are sworn to defend being trampled as American institutions and enterprises are nationalized.

# They can see that Americans are increasingly alarmed that this nation, under President Barack Obama, may not even be recognizable as America by the 2012 election, in which he will surely seek continuation in office.

# They can see that the economy -- ravaged by deficits, taxes, unemployment, and impending inflation -- is financially reliant on foreign lender governments.

# They can see this president waging undeclared war on the intelligence community, without whose rigorous and independent functions the armed services are rendered blind in an ever-more hostile world overseas and at home.

# They can see the dismantling of defenses against missiles targeted at this nation by avowed enemies, even as America's troop strength is allowed to sag.

# They can see the horror of major warfare erupting simultaneously in two, and possibly three, far-flung theaters before America can react in time.

# They can see the nation's safety and their own military establishments and honor placed in jeopardy as never before.

So, if you are one of those observant military professionals, what do you do?

Wait until this president bungles into losing the war in Afghanistan, and Pakistan's arsenal of nuclear bombs falls into the hands of militant Islam?

Wait until Israel is forced to launch air strikes on Iran's nuclear-bomb plants, and the Middle East explodes, destabilizing or subjugating the Free World?

What happens if the generals Obama sent to win the Afghan war are told by this president (who now says, "I'm not interested in victory") that they will be denied troops they must have to win? Do they follow orders they cannot carry out, consistent with their oath of duty? Do they resign en masse?

Or do they soldier on, hoping the 2010 congressional elections will reverse the situation? Do they dare gamble the national survival on such political whims?

Anyone who imagines that those thoughts are not weighing heavily on the intellect and conscience of America's military leadership is lost in a fool's fog.

Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a "family intervention," with some form of limited, shared responsibility?

Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.

Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.

Unthinkable? Then think up an alternative, non-violent solution to the Obama problem. Just don't shrug and say, "We can always worry about that later."

In the 2008 election, that was the wistful, self-indulgent, indifferent reliance on abnegation of personal responsibility that has sunk the nation into this morass. source

Video Shows TSA’s Bizarre New Security Policy: Now Testing Your Drinks Your Purchased in the Airport (Please have your papers ready)



The footage shows TSA agents walking around a departure lounge asking to test passengers’ drinks for explosive residue with a swab they hold over the liquid.

“Now remember that this is inside the terminal, well beyond the security check and purchased inside the terminal…just people waiting to get on the plane,” writes the You Tube user who uploaded the video.

“My wife and son came back from a coffee shop just around the corner, then we were approached. I asked them what they were doing. One of the TSA ladies said that they were checking for explosive chemicals (as we are drinking them). I said “really – inside the terminal? You have got to be kidding me.” I asked them if they wanted to swab us all. She responded with something like, ‘yes sometimes we need to do that’. I then asked if she wanted a urine sample…nonetheless, the TSA is way out of control,” he adds, joking that the TSA’s next move could be to visit people’s homes before they even leave for the airport (they’re already in the parking lot demanding to search people who aren’t even flying!)

As we have previously highlighted, the drinks policy was recently introduced with virtually no explanation from the TSA whatsoever. The much vaunted 2006 liquid bomb plot on which this nonsense is all based completely collapsed in court and was revealed to be farcical at best.

Experts have savaged rules relating to liquids being carried through security as pointless and unnecessary and yet they still remain in place six years later, with ludicrous cases routinely popping up of mothers having to drink their own breast milk or even pump it into empty bottles. more

Chinese scientists unveil mind-controlled drone

Chinese researchers have unveiled a system that allows users to control drones with their thoughts. The technology was designed to help handicapped people, but could have ample applications in other fields as well.

A video posted to YouTube by researchers at Zhejiang University shows how the system, called Flybuddy2, works. And it appears that you don’t have to be a nuclear scientist to build one. All you need is an EEG headset with a Bluetooth connection to a laptop – plus a quadrotor Parrot AR Drone linked to the computer.

“The computer can receive EEG signals via Bluetooth and convert them to specific commands to control the AR drones through WiFi,” a presenter explains.

To get the drone to raise or to land, a user would need to “think left” hard. “Think left lightly” if you want to rotate clockwise and “right” if you want it to lurch forward. Give it a lift in the air by thinking “push.” And imagine clenching it if you want to bring it back down to earth.

But moving around is not the only task it can do. Remember how they tell you to avoid blinking when taking photos? Well here it’s the opposite: blinking is the command that tells the drone to photograph its environs. more

Moody’s cuts EU outlook to ‘negative’

Moody’s ratings agency has downgraded its outlook on the Aaa rating of the European Union from ‘stable’ to ‘negative,’ linking the decision to a recent outlook downgrade of the bloc’s major economies.

"The negative outlook on the EU's long-term ratings reflects the negative outlook on the Aaa ratings of the member states with large contributions to the EU budget: Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands, which together account for around 45 per cent of the EU's budget revenue," Moody’s said in a statement on Monday.

The agency also cut its outlook on the provisional (P)Aaa rating of the EU's medium-term note (MTN) program from ‘stable’ to ‘negative.’

The outlook downgrade comes after the agency changed to negative its outlook for Germany and Holland's Aaa ratings on July 23. Moody’s explained that it was reasonable to assume that the EU's creditworthiness should move in line with the creditworthiness of its strongest key member states. The outlook on France and the UK are also negative. more

North Korea staging "unusually intense" civil defense drills

The North Korean authorities organized unusually intense civil defense training exercises last month, coinciding with both the U.S.-South Korea combined ‘Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG)’ exercises and the retroactively declared 52nd anniversary of the birth of the ‘revolutionary military-first leadership’ on the 25th.

Usually when South Korea hosts the annual UFG with the U.S., North Korea responds with anti-invasion rallies, mock blackouts and air defense training drills, then on the last two days of the designated period members of the Worker and Peasant Red Guard and Local Reserve Forces are required to go on exercises.

However, this year the whole undertaking was done in an atmosphere of even stricter compliance than normal, according to a local source. Symbolically, the source noted that Worker and Peasant Red Guards usually use pistols during such training events, but this time they received automatic rifles from arms stores.

Kim Jong Eun spent a great deal of time last month visiting military bases, and on more than one occasion ordered units to be ready to counter any hint of aggressive intent on the part of the enemy. Thus, it is no surprise that the authorities moved to step up training and combat readiness education.

The source told Daily NK, “The ‘center’ (presumed to be the National Defense Commission and/or Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces) handed down an order, ‘On preparing for the emergency mobilization of the entire military and all people’. In accordance, even in the provinces, the people were mobilized in a state of high tension for evacuation, anti-aircraft and live fire training exercises.” more

9/11: Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out (It's that time of year, again)

Watch 9/11: Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out on PBS. See more from KBDI.

Rebel Double bombing strikes heart of Syrian military

South Africa strikes spread to gold mine

India & China to bring two largest armies closer

Selective Sanctions: UK safeguard for Mubarak regime money?

'Bailout Alcoholism: Govts sucked Eurozone resources dry'

Red Bull Heir Arrested in Hit-and-run which caused the Death of a Police Officer

US Vote 2012: Can we, really?

Great white shark washes up on New England beach

Obama now identified as significantly responsible for sub-prime mortgage lending crisis

President Barack Obama was a pioneering contributor to the national subprime real estate bubble, and roughly half of the 186 African-American clients in his landmark 1995 mortgage discrimination lawsuit against Citibank have since gone bankrupt or received foreclosure notices.

As few as 19 of those 186 clients still own homes with clean credit ratings, following a decade in which Obama and other progressives pushed banks to provide mortgages to poor African Americans.

The startling failure rate among Obama’s private sector clients was discovered during The Daily Caller’s review of previously unpublished court information from the lawsuit that a young Obama helmed as the lead plaintiff’s attorney.

Since the mortgage bubble burst, some of his former clients are calling for a policy reversal.

“If you see some people don’t make enough money to afford the mortgage, why would you give them a loan?” asked Obama client John Buchanan. “There should be some type of regulation against giving people loans they can’t afford.”

Banks “were too eager to lend to many who didn’t qualify,” said Don Byas, another client who saw banks lurch from caution to bubble-inflating recklessness. more


AU and Somali troops seize port of Marka from Islamists

LA wildfire disrupts Labor Day

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Firefighters, air tankers and helicopters replaced hikers and campers in the recreation-rich San Gabriel Canyon on Monday after a wildfire forced authorities to close the area for Labor Day.

Authorities evacuated the canyon Sunday after the fire broke out in Angeles National Forest, an urban recreation area near Los Angeles that's popular with hikers, campers and off-road vehicle enthusiasts.

About 50 residents and 1,000 campers were evacuated, CNN affiliate KABC reported.

Between 10,000 and 12,000 people use the area during an average holiday weekend, according to Inciweb, the government fire-tracking website.

Structures in Camp Williams, a camping and recreational vehicle resort, are in danger from the fire even though it is burning to the northeast toward a wilderness area, Inciweb said. Read More

U.S. drone strike kills civilians in Yemen, officials say

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) -- A U.S. drone strike targeting al Qaeda suspects in Yemen killed 13 civilians, including three women, three security officials in the restive Middle Eastern country said.

"This was one of the very few times when our target was completely missed. It was a mistake, but we hope it will not hurt our anti-terror efforts in the region," a senior Yemeni Defense Ministry official told CNN. The official asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The United States typically does not comment on reports it has used unmanned aircraft to target terror suspects, but is widely believed to be doing so in Yemen, a key battleground against al Qaeda.

Families of the victims closed main roads and vowed to retaliate. Hundreds of angry armed gunmen joined them and gave the government a 48-hour deadline to explain the killings, which took place on Sunday. Read More

Spanish region asks for $1.25B

6.4 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA - 3rd September 2012

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake has struck SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA at a depth of 8.8 km (5.5 miles), the quake hit at 18:23:04 UTC Monday 3rd September 2012
The epicenter was 278 km (173 miles) SSW from Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Flood threats plague U.S. after Isaac

Slidell, Louisiana (CNN) -- Nearly a week after Hurricane Isaac slammed into the Gulf Coast, the effects of the storm were still being felt Monday: From the thousands forced into shelters by flooding to the tens of thousands still living without power in sweltering conditions.

Evacuation orders, most voluntary, remained in place in a number of parishes as authorities grappled with new threats posed by rain swollen rivers and lakes.

In St. Tammany Parish, north of Lake Ponchartrain, authorities were grappling with two potential threats -- one from a weakened lock on a canal and the other from the rain swollen Pearl River.

Parish officials warned people to stay away from the area, even as a mandatory evacuation was lifted after authorities opened the lock to relieve pressure. Read More

South African Miners in Fresh Clashes

Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN) -- Four people were wounded, one critically, when violence erupted Monday between protesters and security officers outside a South African mine, police said.

The outbreak at the Modder East gold mine in Springs, South Africa, follows a deadly clash between police and striking workers at a different mine on August 16. In that incident, at the Lonmin PLC platinum mine in Marikana, 34 people died.

On Monday, a judge released 47 of the 270 miners detained in that incident.

Monday's clash at Gold One's Modder East Mine occurred after former employees staged a protest outside the mine's gates, Johannesburg police Capt. Pinky Tsinyane said.

Protesters threw rocks at vehicles trying to enter the mine complex about 24 miles (38 kilometers) east of Johannesburg and refused orders to disperse, Gold One said in a statement. Officers intervened with rubber bullets and tear gas, Gold One said. Read More