Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Clashes in Ramallah

July 1 - Clashes erupt between Palestinian security forces and protesters angry over the government's attempt to invite an Israeli official to Ramallah.

Libyan tribal clashes: 47 dead in three days

Libyan militia storm election office in Benghazi as violence spreads

East of country demands more representation, while southern tribe threatens to boycott first nationwide vote since 1960s

Libyan protesters and militiamen stormed the headquarters of the election commission in the eastern city of Benghazi on Sunday, setting voting slips on fire, a militia commander said, a week before the country holds its first general election in nearly five decades.

In southern Libya, a leader of the Tabu tribe threatened to boycott the election if the government does not withdraw its forces and tanks from the desert city of Kufra where clashes have killed dozens.

The violence and calls for boycotts threaten to tarnish the process of electing a 200-member assembly to form a government and oversee writing of a constitution. Read More

U.N. drops Saudi dissident from al Qaeda blacklist

(Reuters) - A U.N. Security Council committee is removing Saudi dissident Saad al-Faqih from the United Nations' al Qaeda sanctions list, despite strong objections from Saudi Arabia, a U.N. diplomat said on Sunday.

The London-based Faqih was added to the list in December 2004, days after the U.S. Treasury Department hit him with sanctions for suspected links to the late Osama bin Laden's militant network, which was responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

The decision to de-list Faqih came after the 15-nation Security Council's sanctions committee failed to reach a consensus to override the U.N.'s al Qaeda-sanctions-list ombudsman, who had recommended removing Faqih from the U.N. blacklist, the diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Reuters reported on Saturday that the removal of Faqih from the U.N. blacklist appeared imminent. Read More

Eastern U.S. hit by heat wave, power outages

(Reuters) - Blistering heat blanketed much of the eastern United States for the third straight day on Sunday, after violent storms killed at least 13 people and knocked out power to more than 3 million customers.

Emergencies were declared in Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C., on Saturday because of damage from the storms that unleashed hurricane-force winds across and a 500-mile (800-km) stretch of the mid-Atlantic region.

The storms' rampage came as sweltering temperatures topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in several southern cities, including Atlanta, where the mercury hit an all-time record of 106 degrees F (41 C), according to

Over two dozen cities across 10 states set or tied all-time record high temperatures on Friday and Saturday, including Columbia, South Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

The heat wave continued Sunday for millions of people from the Plains to the mid-Atlantic. Read More

Tension rises along Turkey-Syria border

Turkey reports scrambling jets after detecting Syrian helicopters, in the latest example of how the nations' shared frontier has become a potential tinderbox.

BEIRUT — Turkey said Sunday that it had scrambled fighter jets along its increasingly tense border with Syria after Syrian helicopters were detected close to the two nations' long frontier.

Authorities said no armed confrontation and no violation of Turkish territory took place, according to Turkish news reports. But the incidents on Saturday underscored how the more than 500-mile border has gone from being a hub of free-flowing commerce to a potential tinderbox for a regional military conflict.

The border is experiencing the spillover effect of the almost 16-month civil conflict that has transformed wide swaths of long-stable Syria into battle zones.

The Syrian strife has also frayed relations between the once-close allies.

The Turkish side of the border has become a haven for weapons shipments and rebel fighters seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once friendly with Assad, now calls the Syrian president a "bloody dictator" and has demanded that he step down, as have the United States and other Western and Arab allies of Turkey.

Syria, in turn, has accused Turkey of facilitating arms flows to "terrorists," Syria's label for anti-Assad rebels. Turkey denies the charge. Read More

Islamist Militants in Mali Continue to Destroy Shrines

BAMAKO, Mali (Reuters) — Ignoring international calls to halt their attacks, Islamist militants in Timbuktu continued to smash the mausoleums of Sufi saints on Sunday, witnesses said.

The hard-line Salafi group Ansar Dine, which supports a puritanical version of Islamic law, consider the centuries-old Sufi shrines in Timbuktu to be idolatrous. About 30 militants armed with assault rifles and pickaxes destroyed three mausoleums on Saturday and three more on Sunday, witnesses said. The group said it planned to destroy all 16 of the city’s main shrines.

The United Nations’s cultural agency Unesco recently put Timbuktu on its list of endangered world heritage sites, fearing damage to landmarks and cultural treasures in the wake of a coup in March. But the militants have ignored its call to halt the attacks.

“We are subject to religion and not to international opinion,” said an Ansar Dine spokesman, Oumar Ould Hamaha. “Building on graves is contrary to Islam.”

Sufi shrines have also been attacked by hard-line Salafis in Egypt and Libya in the past year. Read More

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake ATACAMA, CHILE - 1st July 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck ATACAMA, CHILE at a depth of 40.3 km (25 miles), the quake hit at 23:39:09 UTC Sunday 1st July 2012
The epicenter was 152 km (95 miles) SSW from Copiapo, Chile
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF THE MARIANA ISLANDS - 1st July 2012

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck SOUTH OF THE MARIANA ISLANDS at a depth of 35 km (21.7 miles), the quake hit at 23:17:14 UTC Sunday 1st July 2012
The epicenter was 242 km (150 miles) Southwest of Merizo Village, Guam
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake FIJI REGION - 1st July 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the FIJI REGION at a depth of 574.7 km (357.1 miles), the quake hit at 23:02:32 UTC Sunday 1st July 2012
The epicenter was 275 km (170 miles) ESE of Lambasa, Fiji
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHEASTERN IRAN - 1st July 2012

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck NORTHEASTERN IRAN at a depth of 8 km (5 miles), the quake hit at 22:18:17 UTC Sunday 1st July 2012
The epicenter was 76 km (42.4 miles) West of Taybad, Iran
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN SICHUAN, CHINA - 1st July 2012

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck EASTERN SICHUAN, CHINA at a depth of 22.3 km (13.9 miles), the quake hit at 22:18:01 UTC Sunday 1st July 2012
The epicenter was 24 km (14 miles) West of Fengyi, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHEASTERN IRAN - 1st July 2012

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck NORTHEASTERN IRAN at a depth of 23.1 km (14.4 miles), the quake hit at 22:01:27 UTC Sunday 1st July 2012
The epicenter was 86 km (53 miles) WSW of Taybad, Iran
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

4.2 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA - 1st July 2012

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake has struck NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA at a depth of 23.2 km (14.4 miles), the quake hit at 21:48:11 UTC Sunday 1st July 2012
The epicenter was 98 km (60 miles) South of Dushanzi, China
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

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Real Patriotism: Hu Jintao Bends Over to Pick Up National Flag at G20 Summit

The G20 Summit opened on June 18th at Los Cabos, Mexico. When it came time for the leaders to pose for their group photograph, the organizing party used national flags to indicate each of their positions. After the pictures were taken and the leaders began to clear out, the various flags were trampled upon left and right. However, China’s Chairman, Hu Jintao, bent over at the waist to pick up his little flag sticker, and folded it up with care. This scene has evoked hot discussion online.

Over 7000 comments were left on this QQ photo feature alone with Chinese netizen discussion far and wide across the Chinese internet on discussion forums, social networks, and microblogs, with many Chinese netizens moved and touched by what they felt was a simple, sincere, and what could’ve been easily unnoticed and overlooked display of a government leader’s respect and reverence for not just a nation’s flag but a symbol of the country and its people. more

A Chinese reader's comment: "What the Chairman represents is not a person, but a country. A strong country. A country that has an immense impact on the rest of the world. The moment you bent over, it demonstrated a kind of spirit, the spirit of a people. At the same time, you are also an old man, one who should be surrounded by sons and grandsons, enjoying the happiness of family……Thank you for your dedication! I salute you…"

Thought: How does it feel for a Chinese leader to teach America the meaning of patriotism? After all, look who Chairman Jintao was next to when it happened.

Mexico: Avian Flu AH7N3 Strain Kills ONE MILLION Birds‎

Mexico, Jun 30 (Prensa Latina) Around one million birds have died or were culled at 111 poultry farms and 15 farms in Jalisco, Mexico, where the National Health and Quality Agribusiness Service (Senasica) detected in ten such facilities the AH7N3 strain of avian flu.

The Senasica said it issued license to import a vaccine from Asia to be distributed at the disease-hit states where the birds are being buried with due prophylaxis (quarantine, cull and vaccination) to contain the spread and get rid of the virus.

FAO also issued a call to check the outbreak since the bird flu virus is very aggressive, adding that its presence now enters Mexico in the WHO watch list though Mexican authorities claim the strain is not a threat to human poultry consumption. Source

German authorities have launched nationwide raids on an ultra-conservative religious group

Shocking Images Follow Super Derecho in United States

Armed Angels: Children dragged into grown-up war in Syria by Rebels

Missiles, bombs, drones & battleships: London ready for Olympics?

Russia: Huge tornado filmed on Sochi shoreline

Euro bailouts cause deadly conditions

'Removing Assad will add to Syria chaos'

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE COAST OF TARAPACA, CHILE - 1st July 2012

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck OFF THE COAST OF TARAPACA, CHILE at a depth of 33.3 km (20.7 miles), the quake hit at 17:44:59 UTC Sunday 1st July 2012
The epicenter was 130 km (80 miles) WSW of Iquique, Chile
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Bedforshire Air show Crash: Pilot Killed

The pilot of a vintage aircraft, that crashed during a display at an airshow in Bedfordshire, has died.

His plane came down at Old Warden Aerodrome, near Biggleswade, during the event attended by more than 600 people.

The man, said to be in his 40s, was taken to hospital but later died. Organisers cancelled the show.

Ian Bowskill and Eric Coyle were at the event when the crash happened. Source

Turkey scrambles fighter jets to border with Syria

Turkey scrambled fighter jets to its border today after Syrian helicopters flew too close to the frontier.

A military statement said F-16 jets were scrambled, and sent to the border after the helicopters flew in the area on at least three occasions.

The military did not report that any direct confrontation had taken place.

The jets were scrambled days after Turkey said it would treat any Syrian military unit approaching its border as a direct threat in response to the downing of a Turkish reconnaissance plane by Syrian forces on June 22.

Turkey has also reinforced its border with anti-aircraft guns and other weapons. Read More

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4.6 Magnitude Earthquake ERITREA - ETHIOPIA REGION - 1st July 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck ERITREA - ETHIOPIA REGION at a depth of 23 km (14.2 miles), the quake hit at 16:19:16 UTC Sunday 1st July 2012
The epicenter was 96 km (59.4 miles) South of Edd, Ethiopia
No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Iran to test long-range missiles and new ‘radar-buster’ in 3-day drill from Monday

Iran announced Sunday that it will test-fire long-range missiles during a three-day missile exercise from Monday.

The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Aerospace Force said that “Great Prophet 7″ war games would include the test-firing of long-range, medium-range, and short-range missiles at target bases modeled after those of foreign armies, Iranian media reported.

Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh also said Iran has produced an anti-radar missile called “Arm” that can hit any source of radar. He said the weapon could travel at several times the speed of sound, had an estimated range of 300 kilometers, and could “damage” missile shields in Turkey and Gulf countries.

Iran’s Shihab-3 missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) and can reach Israel and southern Europe.

Hajizadeh said that the annual missile training drill would be held in Iran’s eastern Sistan-Baluchestan province and aims to bolster combat readiness against hypothetical enemies. more

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake NIAS REGION, INDONESIA - 1st July 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the NIAS REGION, INDONESIA at a depth of 35.7 km (22.2 miles), the quake hit at 12:51:14 UTC Sunday 1st July 2012
The epicenter was 162 km (100 miles) SSE of Sinabang, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Assad's forces on offensive; Moscow defends him again

(Reuters) - Syrian forces swept through the corpse-strewn streets of nearly-deserted opposition districts on the outskirts of the capital on Sunday, as the conflict enters a new phase of heavier fighting near Bashar al-Assad's seat of power.

Government troops also bombed and shelled other towns across the country, a day after Russian diplomats rode again to Assad's rescue, blocking language at a meeting of world powers that would have called on the president to leave power. Read More

Cooling system for Fukushima Daiichi No. 4 reactor fuel pool shuts down

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The cooling system for the spent fuel pool at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant's No. 4 reactor automatically shut down Saturday, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The utility known as TEPCO has been unable to activate a backup cooling system for the pool, officials of the plant operator said later in the day, adding it is unlikely the temperature will rise rapidly.

TEPCO believes a part of power unit of the system's heat exchanger is causing the problem and the company will try to get the system running again on Sunday.

The water temperature of the pool was 31 C when the cooling system shut down around 6.25 a.m., and was rising 0.26 C per hour by late Saturday afternoon, according to the utility.

If TEPCO continues to be unable to cool the pool, the temperature could reach 65 C, the upper limit designated in the safety regulations, by Tuesday morning. No leakage of water with radioactive materials has been found, TEPCO said. Read More

Small amount of Radioactive cesium detected in Fukushima children's urine

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A small amount of radioactive cesium was found in the urine samples from 141 infants and young children living in Fukushima Prefecture, where the crippled nuclear power plant is located, among 2,022 of those surveyed, a Japanese research group said Saturday.

Three urine samples contained more than 10 becquerels of cesium per kilogram, including a case with 17.5 becquerels. Ten becquerels or less of cesium was found in the samples of the other 138, the Yokohama-based Isotope Research Institute said.

The urine samples also contained about an average 64 becquerels of radioactive potassium.

"The level of cesium is lower than that of potassium, and it definitely has no effect on the human body," said Hideaki Karaki, honorary professor of food safety at the University of Tokyo. "But we still need to know how cesium was taken into those infants' bodies."

The research institute said those children with over 10 becquerels of cesium were eating home-grown vegetables.

The survey, conducted from last November to January, covered infants and children up to age 7. Read More

Antinuclear protesters block road to Oi plant ahead of restart, Japan

TSURUGA (Kyodo) - A group of about 100 antinuclar protesters on Saturday blocked a road outside the front gate of the Oi nuclear plant in western Japan, ahead of the planned reactivation of a reactor there on Sunday.

The protesters, part of 650 people who took part in a rally against the reactivation, sought to block the entrance to the plant in Fukui Prefecture with more than a dozen vehicles in an attempt to prevent workers from entering the facility.

The group is set to remain at the site until Sunday night when the process of reactivating the No.3 reactor is scheduled to begin. The plant operator, Kansai Electric Co., Said the protest will not affect the reactivation process.

Earlier Saturday, the 650 protesters presented an official of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency with a petition addressed to senior vice industry minister Seishu Makino, who is expected to stay near the plant for about a week to monitor the reactivation process until the reactor reaches its full output capacity. The petition urged the immediate halt to the reactivation process.

The Oi plant on the Sea of ​​Japan coast is the first to come back online since all commercial reactors in Japan ceased operating amid concern about their safety following last year's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster. Source