Sunday, December 21, 2014

WARNING: Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse expected

Space Weather Message Code: WARSUD Serial Number: 157 Issue Time: 2014 Dec 21 1833 UTC

Valid From: 2014 Dec 21 1848 UTC Valid To: 2014 Dec 21 1948 UTC IP Shock Passage Observed: 2014 Dec 21 1824 UTC

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at www.swpc.noaa.gov/noaa-scales-explanation

M6.6 - MOLUCCA SEA

Preliminary Earthquake Report

Magnitude 6.6 Date-Time21 Dec 2014 11:34:14 UTC21 Dec 2014 19:34:15 near epicenter21 Dec 2014 06:34:14 standard time in your timezone

Location2.126N 126.651EDepth54 km Distances157 km (97 mi) WNW of Tobelo, Indonesia168 km (104 mi) NNW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia168 km (104 mi) NNW of Ternate, Indonesia179 km (110 mi) ENE of Bitung, Indonesia1042 km (646 mi) WSW of Koror Town, Palau Location UncertaintyHorizontal: 7.3 km; Vertical 7.4 km ParametersNph = 103; Dmin = 169.6 km; Rmss = 1.13 seconds; Gp = 31°
Version =Event IDus c000t8vq

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Megachurch Pastor Rick Warren Joins Pope Francis in Support of Common Mission

Logo Aleteia

Founder of Saddleback Church draws ire of fellow Protestants for Rome-leaning views.

Kathy Schiffer
MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR (21)
December 19, 2014

US-Cuba Relations: Great Britain's Nuncio Describes Pope Francis' Winning Diplomacy (Exclusive Interview)

Pastor Rick Warren has called on non-Catholic Christians to join with Pope Francis and the Catholic Church in pursuit of their common goals.

Warren is founder and pastor of California's well-known Saddleback Church and author of best-selling books including The Purpose-Driven Life, which has sold 36 million copies, and The Purpose-Driven Church. 

Pastor Warren was among the speakers in November 2014 at Humanum, the Vatican's International Religious Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman.  Humanum brought together faith leaders from both Christian and non-Christian religions around the world, to examine and propose anew the beauty of the relationship between man and woman in marriage. 

In an interview with EWTN's Raymond Arroyo which aired after the conference, Warren called for adherents of various Christian denominations to unite with Roman Catholics and Pope Francis to work together on three shared goals, focusing on the sanctity of life, the sanctity of sex, and the sanctity of marriage.  He went on to defend Catholicism and to clarify some of the most common misconceptions about Catholic teaching, pertaining to Marian dogmas and prayer to the saints. 

Warren acknowledged that there are still real differences which separate Catholics from other Christian denominations.  He envisions Catholics and Protestants working together, not with a structural unity, but rather, with a unity of mission.  “If you love Jesus,” he said, “we're on the same team.”

Pastor Warren's remarks were polite and well reasoned, and were well received in the Catholic community.  To hear some conservative Christians tell the story, though, you'd think that Warren was devoid of reason and without a moral compass.  Evangelical Reformed apologist James White, director of Alpha and Omega Ministries and an avowed anti-Catholic, called on Warren to repent.  Matt Slick of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM), was openly critical, mistakenly claiming that Catholics had “added seven books” to the Bible.  Brian Houston of Hillsong Church expressed alarm about Warren's “subtle backslide into Catholicism” and claimed that his concern is shared by Christians nationwide.

Superpope to the World's Rescue?



Wednesday's historic deal between the United States and Cuba was noteworthy for a lot of reasons—and a fascinating one that's emerged has been the role of Pope Francis. It's been reported that the Pope sent personal letters to President Obama and President Raul Castro enjoining them to reconsider the situation; then, he invited US and Cuban officials to the Vatican in October to talk things out. In the days since the announcement—which His Holiness greeted with "warm congratulations"—the Vatican has enjoyed wide credit as one of the biggest influences in breaking the decades-old standoff.
But those surprised at Pope Francis' role in this negotiation shouldn't be: While many popes in the past have involved themselves in geopolitics, few have been as proactive—and as willing to move beyond rhetoric and into the actual work of diplomacy—as Francis. Vatican-watchers have characterized this pontiff as a bold statesman, unafraid to use his popularity and the reach of his office in the service of a particular brand of soft power diplomacy. Jim Yardley at the New York Timessummed it up well, writing, "What has changed under Francis—or has been restored—is a vision of diplomatic boldness, a willingness to take risks and insert the Vatican into diplomatic disputes."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Alert: X-Ray Flux exceeded M5

Space Weather Message Code: ALTXMF Serial Number: 247 Issue Time: 2014 Dec 20 0022 UTC

ALERT: X-Ray Flux exceeded M5 Threshold Reached: 2014 Dec 20 0020 UTC NOAA Scale: R2 - Moderate NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at www.swpc.noaa.gov/noaa-scales-explanation

Potential Impacts: Area of impact centered on sub-solar point on the sunlit side of Earth. Extent of blackout of HF (high frequency) radio communication dependent upon current X-ray Flux intensity.

For real-time information on affected area and expected duration please see http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/d-region-absorption-predictions-d-rap.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

M3.4 - ALABAMA

M3.4 - ALABAMA

Preliminary Earthquake ReportMagnitude3.4Date-Time17 Dec 2014 19:38:15 UTC17 Dec 2014 13:38:15 near epicenter17 Dec 2014 14:38:15 standard time in your timezoneLocation32.958N 88.016WDepth6 kmDistances17 km (10 mi) NW of Eutaw, Alabama50 km (31 mi) SW of Tuscaloosa, Alabama50 km (31 mi) SW of Northport, Alabama70 km (43 mi) SSE of Columbus, Mississippi173 km (107 mi) WNW of Montgomery, AlabamaLocation UncertaintyHorizontal: 3.0 km; Vertical 7.8 kmParametersNph = 15; Dmin = 27.5 km; Rmss = 0.80 seconds; Gp = 63°Version =Event IDus c000t7r4 ***This event supersedes event SE60063447.

ISIS kills more than 150 women, girls for refusing ‘Jihad marriage’

Al Arabiya News

The Iraqi Human Rights Ministry has declared that an ISIS terrorist known as Abu Anas Al-Libi, has killed more than 150 women and girls for refusing to comply with the "Jihad marriage" (Jihad el-Nikah) order enforced by the extremist group, Al Arabiya’s Jawad El-Hatab reported Tuesday.

Libi is not to be confused with the man carrying the same name currently undergoing trial in the U.S. on terrorism charges.

Libi reportedly executed a series of women, including some who were pregnant, in the Iraqi city of Al-Fallujah, the Ministry said in a communique.

ISIS has perpetrated extensive killing operations in the city, burying the victims in two mass graves in Al-Zaghareed area in the Joulan Quarter and Al-Saqlawiya area, the statement added.

The Ministry also said that ISIS militants turned the Al-Hadra Al-Muhamadiya mosque in Al-Fallujah into a big prison where hundreds of men and women are held.

Last Friday, ISIS had distributed leaflets allowing its fighters' the right to Jihad marriage, taking women hostage and marrying more than one woman even if the women were sisters or related as maternal and paternal aunts.

The leaflets also allows ISIS fighters to marry minors under 18 years of age.


Last Update: Wednesday, 17 December 2014 KSA 16:31 - GMT 13:31

EU parliament votes to recognise Palestinian statehood, in principle

EURO NEWS

The European Parliament adopted a resolution supporting Palestinian statehood in principle on Wednesday in a compromise motion that did not follow some European national legislatures in backing immediate recognition of a Palestinian state.

Following a deal among the main parties, the motion that was carried stated: “(The European Parliament) supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.”

Social Democrat, left-wing and Green members of the European Parliament had initially put forward motions for a symbolic vote on Wednesday to call on the EU’s 28 members to recognise Palestine statehood now without conditions.

This follows Sweden’s decision in October to recognise Palestine and non-binding votes since then by parliaments in Britain, France and Ireland in favour of their recognition that demonstrated growing European impatience with the stalled peace process.

Some European countries have grown increasingly vocal in expressing frustration with Israel, which since the collapse of the latest US-sponsored talks in April has pressed on with building settlements in territory the Palestinians want for their future state.

However, the centreright European People’s Party, the largest group in parliament, and the fourth largest group, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, said recognition should only form part of a negotiated agreement with Israel.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

The Muslim Mafia In America'sHeartland

Robert Spencer on the Muslim Brotherhood in the American Heartland
Below is the video of a talk given by Robert Spencer in April, 2014, at aGlobal Faith Institute event in Omaha, Nebraska. A brief note from Spencer accompanies the video:
Omaha is the site of the Tri-Faith Initiative, featuring Jews and Christians being dangerously naive about the Muslim Brotherhood ties of the Muslims with whom they are partnering. But because the initiative is backed by the daughter of one of the richest men on earth, few dare to take it on — with the notable exception of Dr. Mark Christian of the Global Faith Institute, an ex-Muslim who ran away from certain death for his apostasy to safe haven in America, as have many others who cherish their freedom and liberty — only to find the same oppressive force he fled following him to America’s heartland.”

Also don’t miss Dr. Mark Christian discuss Confronting the Muslim Brotherhood in the American Heartland on The Glazov Gang:



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Israel Just Found Another Massive Offshore Gas Field

Business Insider

Israel announced on Sunday the discovery of a major offshore gas field, the third to be located in its waters in the past five years, augmenting its newly acquired status as an energy power.
The new field, some 90 miles off Israel’s coast in the eastern Mediterranean, holds at least 3.2 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas, according to a 3D seismic survey.
Two larger fields, discovered in 2009 and 2010, have combined reserves of at least 33 trillion cubic feet. These fields are expected to serve the bulk of Israel’s gas needs for the coming century. Experts say that further exploration will likely uncover other sizeable fields in Israel’s deep offshore waters.
The gas discoveries will have a major impact on Israel’s economy and perhaps even on its relations with Arab neighbors. Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Egypt are all in urgent need of energy supplies and Israel would be the natural supplier. Israel’s proximity would make the gas significantly cheaper than gas they could acquire from any other source.
It would be difficult politically for Arab governments to import gas from the Jewish state given the current tensions in the area. However, American firms, which are consortium partners with Israeli firms in the gas exploration, have already begun to act as intermediaries between Israel and these potential customers.
Until five years ago, Israel was almost entirely dependent on the import of coal and other energy sources. Offshore natural gas has now become a major, and growing, element in electrical production in Israel and in its industrial sector.
The drilling of an exploration well in the newest field, named Royee, is expected to get underway in December 2015.
The sprouting of gas rigs in the waters off Israel’s coast also creates a major security problem. The sites constitute a potential target for missiles fired both by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Terrorist attacks in explosives-laden speedboats are another concern. The Israeli navy has been patrolling the gas fields. It recently asked Germany to sell it three missile boats to beef up security around the rigs. The boats’ missiles would be capable of intercepting incoming missiles.

Sydney Siege: The Criminal's Kissing Cousin of the Caliphate

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend.." even if he isn't a card-carrying member of the caliphate.

Sydney Siege: A Jihad of One

"As the holiday season approaches, both lone wolves and more coordinated extremists of varying operational capacities will be inspired by the deed of each failed mission that preceded them."

"...There, a lone Salafist extremist gunman with a criminal record, Man Haran Monis, was holding hostages for almost seventeen hours amidst tense negotiations."

"...Monis is apparently yet another lone wolf extremist, like numerous others who have hit targets in Europe, Canada and the United States. Monis' website proclaims he "is not a member of any organisation or party. However, he supports his Muslim brothers & sisters, he is against oppression, he promotes peace, he is against war and any western invasion of Muslim countries."

"...In March he was charged with sexual assault for a 2002 alleged attack on a then 27-year-old woman during a "spiritual healing" session. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, he held himself out to be an expert in astrology, numerology and black magic -- not exactly a traditional Islamic mix."

"...He is also on bail for being an accessory in the murder of his ex-wife, Noleen Hayson Pal, who was allegedly stabbed by his girlfriend. He is perhaps best known in Australia as the "hate sheikh" who was convicted in 2013 for writing incendiary harassing letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed while fighting overseas in Afghanistan."


Virginia Seismic Activity Continues to Increase


VA IRIS Transportable Array

Methane Is Found on Mars, Raising Hope of Life There Now

SAN FRANCISCO — Life on Mars? Today? The notion may not be so far-fetched after all.

A year after reporting that NASA’s Curiosity rover had found no evidence of methane gas on Mars, all but dashing hopes that organisms might be living there now, scientists reversed themselves on Tuesday.

Curiosity has now recorded a burst of methane that lasted at least two months.

For now, scientists have just two possible explanations for the methane. One is that it is the waste product of certain living microbes.

“It is one of the few hypotheses that we can propose that we must consider as we go forward,” said John P. Grotzinger, the mission’s project scientist.

The scientists also reported that for the first time, they confirmed the presence of carbon-based organic molecules in a rock sample. The so-called organics are not direct signs of life, past or present, but they lend weight to the possibility that Mars had the ingredients required for life, and may even still have them.

Some scientists think Gale Crater was once fully buried with sediment and that winds excavated most of it, leaving an 18,000-foot mountain in the middle. (The colors represent different elevations.) Curiosity Rover’s Quest for Clues on MarsDEC. 8, 2014

A panoramic view of the surface of Mars from the Curiosity rover. Mount Sharp can be seen in the distance.Mars Rover Finds Stronger Potential for LifeDEC. 8, 2014
“This is really a great moment for the mission,” Dr. Grotzinger told a news conference here at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Sleeper Cells and Dirty Bombs In America

SLEEPER CELLS IN AMERICA

"...Most likely a nuclear terrorist attack in a major U.S. city would come just as 9-11 came – unannounced and unanticipated. A sleeper cell like the 19 terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center and hit the Pentagon may be living with us right now, unseen, below the surface, ready to strike when the order is given. It is frightening to think that people who are living among us now as apparently ordinary citizens are secretly planning when, where and how to explode a nuclear weapon in one of our major cities."

"...In 2004 the FBI suggested that al-Qaida sleeper cells were believed to be operating in 40 states, awaiting orders and funding for new attacks on U.S. soil. The bureau believed that these agents were being funded “by millions of dollars solicited by an extensive network of bogus charities and foundations,” with the cells using “Muslim communities as cover and places to raise cash and recruit sympathizers.” U.S. law-enforcement authorities claimed to have satellite photos and communications intercepts that documented between 60 and 70 camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and in Pakistan. Still, finding sleeper-cell terrorists is very difficult, especially with the presumption of innocence and extensive legal rights and civil liberties granted suspects under U.S. law."

"...On Dec. 21, 2004, just four days before Christmas, the United States elevated the terror threat level to orange, and Department of Energy scientists were dispatched to Washington, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Baltimore in response to credible intelligence reports that al-Qaida was planning to launch a dirty-bomb attack in one of those cities. On the same day, the Department of Homeland Security sent out large fixed radiation detectors and hundreds of paper-size radiation detectors to police departments across the nation, including the cities of Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Houston, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Detroit.

Many sources are available to obtain the radioactive material needed to construct a dirty bomb. One good candidate is cesium-137, a highly radioactive substance that is commonly used in heavy industry. While uranium is at the top of the list of radioactive materials available in illicit trafficking, “cesium-137 is the second-most common with 53 seizures between 1993 and 1998, which contributed to 22.6 percent of all radioactive material seizures.” Authorities estimate that there are more than 8,000 sources of industrial radiation available today in America, involving a wide range of different chemicals and an equally wide range of applications from medical technology to food irradiation.

An analysis of half-life and radioactivity, as well as a realistic evaluation of how portable and dispersible a radioactive substance really is, leads to a conclusion that “only a small fraction of the existing millions of sources pose a high security risk.” Still, the challenge of protecting radioactive materials is huge, simply because there are tens of thousands of sites worldwide from which terrorists could steal or buy the radioactive materials they would need to make a dirty bomb.

Detonating radioactive material would cause fallout and contamination that would cause radiation sickness in many of those exposed. Serious illness, even death, could result, depending upon the amount and intensity of the radioactive material released and the health or susceptibility to radiation poisoning of those persons exposed to the hazard. Physical areas impacted by the dirty bomb would need to be quarantined and detoxified before they could be used again. The cleanup process could be long and expensive; some structures might be so toxic that destroying them might be the only solution.

A terrorist attack using a RED would produce chaos and fear; however, the number of actual casualties might be relatively small. We can imagine a coordinated attack where a group of terrorists planned simultaneous or near-simultaneous dirty-bomb explosions within one city, with the aim of shutting down the city, at least temporarily, and intensifying the shock-and-fear value of the attack by successfully pulling off multiple coordinated attacks.

Read more at WND.com

See also:

Signs of Ancient Mars Lakes and Quakes

Signs of Ancient Mars Lakes and Quakes Seen in New Map


Long ago, in the largest canyon system in our solar system, vibrations from "marsquakes" shook soft sediments that had accumulated in Martian lakes.
The shaken sediments formed features that now appear as a series of low hills apparent in a geological map based on NASA images. The map was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
This map of the western Candor Chasma canyon within Mars' Valles Marineris is the highest-resolution Martian geological map ever relased by USGS. It is derived from images taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which reveal details smaller than a desk.
"...hydrologic modeling indicates that spring-fed lakes likely occurred within the chasma (Andrews-Hanna and others, 2010). These recent findings point to a scenario in which the layered deposits accumulated as sequences of evaporites precipitating in hypersaline lakes, with contemporaneous trapping of eolian dust and sand, diagenesis, and iron-cycling, interspersed with periods of eolian and fluvial erosion (Murchie and others, 2009a). Water vapor released from these lakes may have also driven localized precipitation of snow and accumulation of layered deposits on the adjacent plateaus (Kite and others, 2011a,b). This scenario is in contrast to recent alternative interpretations that the layered deposits formed within the chasma through weathering of dust-rich ice deposits (Niles and Michalski, 2009; Michalski and Niles, 2012).


The NASA robotic explorer, 'Curiosity', has sent some interesting images from the Gale Crater. The rover landed on the planet in order to look for clues from the planet's past and has been sending interesting information and data.
The Curiosity rover took several photos of the Gale Crater earlier, which has a width of 96 mile and is about three to four billion years old. Previous photos indicate presence of water and life-forging molecules over there and now the photos taken by the rover indicates the presence of large, long-lasting bodies of water for the first time. This would also help explain the presence of Aeolis Mons, which is a mountain at the crater's center.
As per Pamela Conrad, a researcher from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, there's a lot to find out about Mars' past related to water from the color and layering of the rocks in the photos.

Red Planet shows signs of life

The Curiosity rover of US space agency NASA has revealed the data that suggests that the Gale Crater on Mars used to be a huge lake of water in the ancient times. The rover landed on the Martian surface in August 5, 2012. After navigating the surface of the Red planet for two years, the rover has finally made its way to Mount Sharp.
Now, the rover has revealed pictures and results that indicate that the Mountain sits inside of a crater; and within that crater it appears there are layers of sediment.
This suggests that over the billions of years since the crater formed, there was probably water and at one point maybe a very long time ago there was also life.

U.N. sending thousands of Muslims to America

WND.com

The federal government is preparing for another “surge” in refugees and this time they won’t be coming illegally from Central America.


The U.S. State Department announced this week that the first major contingent of Syrian refugees, 9,000 of them, have been hand-selected by the United Nations for resettlement into communities across the United States.

The announcement came Tuesday on the State Department’s website.

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WND reported in September that Syrians would make up the next big wave of Muslim refugees coming to the U.S., as resettlement agencies were lobbying for the U.S. to accept at least 75,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years.

Until now, the U.S. had accepted only 300 of the more than 3.2 million refugees created by the Syrian civil war in which ISIS, El Nusra and other Sunni Muslim jihadist rebels are locked in a protracted battle with the Shiite regime of Bashar al-Assad.

But the U.S. government has been the most active of all nations in accepting Islamic refugees from other war-torn countries, such as Iraq, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Now, the Syrians will be added to the mix. They are cleared for refugee status by the U.N. high commissioner on refugees (UNHCR), who assigns them to various countries. Once granted refugee status by the U.N. they are screened by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for any ties to terrorist organizations.

The State Department announcement makes it clear that the 9,000 refugees represent just the beginning of an extended program to accept more Syrians.

“The United States accepts the majority of all UNHCR referrals from around the world. Last year, we reached our goal of resettling nearly 70,000 refugees from nearly 70 countries. And we plan to lead in resettling Syrians as well,” the statement reads. “We are reviewing some 9,000 recent UNHCR referrals from Syria. We are receiving roughly a thousand new ones each month, and we expect admissions from Syria to surge in 2015 and beyond.”

The United States, with its commitment to accepting 70,000 displaced people a year, absorbs more refugees than all other countries combined. This number is understated, however, as once refugees get to the United States they are placed on a fast track to citizenship and are able to get their extended families to join them in the states under the government’s Refuge Family Reunification program.

The State Department works to place refugees in 180 cities across 49 states.

Click here to view the database containing all 180 cities accepting U.N. refugees for resettlement.

Despite the large numbers, the U.S. has come under criticism from aid groups for its pace in taking in refugees from the Syrian war, which is by far the largest refugee crisis of recent years, reported Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch.

U.S. officials say the resettlement program has moved slowly because the United Nations refugee agency, which they look to for referrals, didn’t begin making recommendations until late last year. And the United States takes 18 to 24 months on average to carefully vet each applicant to make sure he or she poses no security risk.

Muslim countries in the Middle East have so far not stepped up to permanently take in their Islamic brothers and sisters although the temporary refugee camps to which the Syrians have fled are in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.


15,000 join anti-Islam protest in eastern Germany

Gulf News.com

"...we don’t want Islamisation. We want to keep our country with our values. Is that so terrible? Does that make us Nazis? Is it a crime to be a patriot?”

“To call these people sick with fear, Islamophobic, is outrageous,” said an Austrian protester, Lana Gabriel, in her 40s. “They are not far-right. They just love the country and its traditions.”

Dresden, Germany: A record 15,000 people marched on Monday in eastern Germany against “asylum cheats” and the country’s “Islamisation” in the latest show of strength of a growing far-right populist movement.

Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier cautioned Germans against falling prey to xenophobic “rabble-rousing”, reacting to the nascent movement called “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident” or Pegida.

“The people are with us!,” the group’s founder lutz Bachmann shouted at the crowd, celebrating a 50-per cent rise in attendance since their last “Monday demonstration” in a series of rallies that started only in October.

“Everywhere now, in every news rag, on every senseless talk-show, they are debating, and the most important thing is: the politicians can no longer ignore us!” Bachmann told the mass of people, many waving the black-red-gold national flag.

“We have shown by taking another ‘little stroll’, and by growing in numbers, that we’re on the right path, and that slowly, very slowly, something is beginning to change in this country,” Bachmann bellowed to loud cheers.

Since the protests have rapidly grown in size and spawned smaller clones in half a dozen cities, a debate about immigration and refugees has gripped Germany, a country whose Nazi past makes expressions of xenophobia especially troubling.

Politicians have been stunned by the emergence in the city of Dresden of the nationalists who march against what they consider a broken immigration and asylum system and who vent deep anger at the political class and mainstream media.

The demonstrations have flared at a time when Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, has become the continent’s top destination for asylum seekers, and the world’s number two destination for migrants after the United States.

The influx of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and several African and Balkan countries has strained local governments, which have scrambled to house the newcomers in old schools, office blocks and army barracks.


One demonstrator, Michael Stuerzenberger, said he does not oppose asylum for refugees but asserted that “70 per cent of people claiming political asylum here are economic refugees. We don’t want to stay silent about this anymore.”

“We don’t want a flood of asylum seekers, we don’t want Islamisation. We want to keep our country with our values. Is that so terrible? Does that make us Nazis? Is it a crime to be a patriot?”

While several known neo-Nazis have been spotted in the Pegida crowds, the rallies have been dominated not by jackbooted men with sheared heads but by disenchanted citizens who voice a string of grievances.

“We are the people,” they chanted, co-opting the phrase famously shouted a quarter-century ago by East German pro-democracy protesters here in the lead-up to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the marches “bring shame” on the country, and that Germany is experiencing an “escalation of agitation against immigrants and refugees”, a trend he labelled “repugnant and abhorrent”.

The leader of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, warned that Pegida could split German society and that their use of the chant “we are the people” sought to divide “you, the bad Muslims, and us, the good Germans”.

Speaking with AFP, he also blamed politicians and the media for mainly speaking about Islam and Muslims “in the context of security, threats and danger” in recent years.

More than 1,200 police kept a close watch on the non-violent crowd and on about 6,000 counter-protesters nearby marching under the banners “Dresden Nazi-free” and “Dresden for All”, organised by civic, political and church groups.

Most protesters claimed they are not neo-Nazis, just patriots.

“To call these people sick with fear, Islamophobic, is outrageous,” said an Austrian protester, Lana Gabriel, in her 40s. “They are not far-right. They just love the country and its traditions.”

Several conservative politicians have argued the government must “listen” to the people’s concerns about immigration, while the small anti-euro AfD party has openly sympathised with Pegida, saying its message has struck a chord.

Polls suggest the Eurosceptic party has found a new campaign issue.

A survey for news website Zeit Online showed that nearly half of all Germans — 49 per cent — sympathised with Pegida’s stated concerns and 30 per cent indicated they “fully” backed the protests’ aims.

Almost three in four — 73 per cent — said they worried that “radical Islam” was gaining ground and 59 per cent said Germany accepted too many asylum seekers.

ISIS issues Fatwa justifying child rape, slavery

ISIS issues Fatwa justifying child rape
After causing an uproar with the taking of ethnic minority Yazidi women and girls as sex slaves in Iraq, the Islamic jihadist group ISIS issued a pamphlet justifying its actions by citing the Muslim holy book, the Quran, and authoritative Islamic scholars
ISIS, which began calling itself the Islamic State after establishing a caliphate in conquered areas of Syria and Iraq, published the pamphlet through its Research and Fatwa Department.
A translation of the pamphlet was published by the Middle East Media Institute’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor.
Titled “Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves,” it states Islam permits conquering Muslim soldiers to have sexual intercourse with non-Muslim slaves, including young girls, and also allows them to be beaten and traded.
One question posed in the pamphlet is whether or not it’s permissible to have intercourse with a female slave who has not reached puberty.
“It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse; however if she is not fit for intercourse, then it is enough to enjoy her without intercourse,” the ISIS pamphlet says.
In August, ISIS detained more than 5,000 Yazidi women in northern Iraq after slaughtering thousands of members of the religious sect, according to the United Nations.
Younger girls were separated from older women, then bussed to the city of Mosul and put in a large three-story house with hundreds of other young women, according to a witness who spoke to CNN in November. ISIS men came periodically and chose up to three and four girls at a time to take home with them.
“These women have been treated like cattle,” Nazand Begikhani, an adviser to the Kurdistan Regional Government, told CNN.

126 Killed in Islamic Attack on School

At least 126, most of them children, slaughtered as Taliban storm Pakistan school -CNN


Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- The Taliban stormed a military-run school in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday and gunned down at least 126 people, most of them children, in one of the country's deadliest attacks in recent weeks.
Hours after the attack, the Pakistani military was still exchanging gunfire with the militants inside the Army Public School and Degree College, in the violence-plagued city of Peshawar, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the country's capital, Islamabad.

Two explosions were also heard.

By 3 p.m. Tuesday, it was unclear how many of the hundreds of students were still inside the school.

The Pakistani military said it had pushed the attackers to four blocks of the school, and killed four.
The death toll has steadily risen, and officials fear it will climb higher. The number of injured was upwards of 100.

Most of those who died were between the ages of 12 and 16, said Pervez Khattak, chief minister of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where Peshawar is located.
Scaling the walls

In a telephone call to CNN, the Pakistan Taliban -- Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) -- said six suicide bombers scaled the walls of the school with orders to kill older students about 10 a.m.

The Taliban said "300 to 400 people are under the custody of the suicide bombers."

The military had earlier said most students and teachers had been evacuated.
Revenge attack

Mohammed Khurrassani, the TTP spokesman, told CNN the attack was revenge for the killing of hundreds of innocent tribesmen during repeated army operations in provinces including South Waziristan, North Waziristan and the Khyber Agency -- all restive regions along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.
For the past few months, the Pakistan military has been conducting a ground offensive aimed at clearing out militants in these areas. The campaign has displaced tens of thousands of people.

Monday, December 15, 2014

M2.1 - VIRGINIA-NORTH CAROLINA BORDER REGION

Preliminary Earthquake Report
Magnitude2.1
Date-Time
  • 15 Dec 2014 02:27:32 UTC
  • 14 Dec 2014 21:27:32 near epicenter
  • 14 Dec 2014 21:27:32 standard time in your timezone
Location36.065N 81.499W
Depth3 km
Distances
  • 17 km (10 mi) NNE of Lenoir, North Carolina
  • 23 km (14 mi) SE of Boone, North Carolina
  • 39 km (24 mi) NNW of Hickory, North Carolina
  • 39 km (24 mi) NNE of Morganton, North Carolina
  • 232 km (143 mi) N of Columbia, South Carolina
Location UncertaintyHorizontal: 2.4 km; Vertical 4.6 km
ParametersNph = 11; Dmin = 35.3 km; Rmss = 0.21 seconds; Gp = 89°
Version = 1
Event IDse 60020632
For updates, maps, and technical information, see: Event Page or USGS Earthquake Hazards Program
Southeast US Seismic Network
U.S. Geological Survey
University of Memphis

http://www.ceri.memphis.edu/seismic

See also:

Virginia's Increased Seismic Activity

M2.9 - NORTH CAROLINA

Preliminary Earthquake Report
Magnitude2.9
Date-Time
  • 15 Dec 2014 06:44:22 UTC
  • 15 Dec 2014 01:44:23 near epicenter
  • 15 Dec 2014 01:44:22 standard time in your timezone
Location35.979N 81.917W
Depth22 km
Distances
  • 12 km (7 mi) S of Newland, North Carolina
  • 33 km (20 mi) NW of Morganton, North Carolina
  • 34 km (21 mi) WNW of Lenoir, North Carolina
  • 34 km (21 mi) SW of Boone, North Carolina
  • 233 km (144 mi) NNW of Columbia, South Carolina
Location UncertaintyHorizontal: 1.6 km; Vertical 0.9 km
ParametersNph = 12; Dmin = 88.3 km; Rmss = 0.14 seconds; Gp = 237°
Version = 1
Event IDse 60063272
For updates, maps, and technical information, see: Event Page or USGS Earthquake Hazards Program
Southeast US Seismic Network
U.S. Geological Survey
University of Memphis

http://www.ceri.memphis.edu/seismic

Sydney Islamist Terrorist on Radar since 2007

IPT Shillman Fellow Pete Hoekstra On Fox Business: Sydney Islamist Terrorist been on Radar since 2007

by Pete Hoekstra
Interview on Fox Business Network
December 15, 2014


Varney: Former congressman Pete Hoekstra is here. He was the chair of the Intelligence Committee in the House of Representatives. So welcome to the program. Very good to have you with us.

Hoekstra: Thank you. Good to be here.

Varney: My take in the our take on this incident is the vulnerability of America. If that can happen in Sydney, Australia, shut the place down with one person taking hostages in a café for Islamic reasons, precisely the same thing could happen here on a larger scale right before Christmas. I'm saying we, our vulnerability, has been exposed. And you say?

Hoekstra: I think you're absolutely right. Remember this guy in Australia was someone that really had been on the radar screen since 2007. He was refused access to even see his own children. He wrote a letter to Prime Minister Abbott a year ago. He committed and pledged allegiance to ISIS and Baghdadi a month ago. So this is someone who is on the radar screen, someone that the Australian authorities knew a lot about, and he was still able to do something like this. Think about the lone wolf or the person that hasn't been identified and the damage that they could do either in Australia or right here in the United States.

Varney: Congressman, on the Intelligence Committee you must have come across quite a lot of information. I won't ask you to share that with us now, but presumably this same kind of thing, these same kind of characters, must be in America right now and the authorities must know about them. Can I say that?

Hoekstra: Oh I think that's absolutely right. We've seen the kinds of attacks here in the United States like Fort Hood, but there are others. There are Americans who have gone to Syria, who have gone to Iraq, who have fought with ISIS. We have to watch those individuals as they come back.

Varney: Congressman, can I interrupt for one second? You say we've got to watch those individuals. Are we allowed to do that? Does our Constitution permit us to single out people under suspicion, go after them, check their mail, check their emails, check their associations, follow their phone calls? Can we do that?

Hoekstra: Well on each one of those cases you have to see exactly how much evidence they have. Clearly if they're providing material support to terrorist organizations you would think that the day that they set foot back on United States soil they would be arrested. But with a lot of these individuals we don't have that much information on them. We know that they were over there. We suspect them of things and then they all become an individual case where we present the evidence, the background material to a court, to a judge, to see if we can actually get an opportunity to surveil them and get additional information. So each one of those will be an individual case and sometime it's very difficult to have enough information to actually prove that these people are a threat. It's hard.

Varney: In your experience sir, is this administration downplaying the threat of the lone wolf operative within the United States?

Hoekstra: Oh I think this administration has been downplaying the threat from radical jihadism on a global basis, both here in the United States and internationally. Take a look at where we are. They're now talking about 2016 before we can have any meaningful action against ISIS in Syria and in Iraq. ISIS now also controls territory in Libya which provides them an access to the soft underbelly of Europe. The threat under this administration from radical jihadism has grown, and we are probably now as vulnerable as any time since 9/11 2001.

Varney: Congressman Pete Hoekstra, I hate that to be the last word but we do appreciate you being with us. Thank you sir.

Hoekstra: Great. Thank you.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

91 Earthquakes, Magnitude 4.5 + Last Seven Days


Time
Mag
Place
1
2014-12-14T12:41:52.170Z
5.2
148km WNW of Havelu, Tonga
2
2014-12-14T07:14:07.290Z
5.1
121km NE of L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand
3
2014-12-14T05:25:19.170Z
4.6
107km ENE of Hasaki, Japan
4
2014-12-14T03:05:36.760Z
4.6
Reykjanes Ridge
5
2014-12-14T01:49:30.960Z
4.7
7km W of Ventaquemada, Colombia
6
2014-12-13T23:52:50.540Z
4.8
103km SSW of Puerto El Triunfo, El Salvador
7
2014-12-13T22:37:18.750Z
4.6
27km ESE of Asaita, Ethiopia
8
2014-12-13T21:51:46.210Z
4.5
116km ENE of Ndoi Island, Fiji
9
2014-12-13T19:46:58.070Z
4.6
72km SE of Iwaki, Japan
10
2014-12-13T19:25:00.780Z
5.1
Pacific-Antarctic Ridge
11
2014-12-13T17:50:22.170Z
4.6
188km NNW of Sola, Vanuatu
12
2014-12-13T15:01:46.140Z
5.2
26km ENE of Visokoi Island,
13
2014-12-13T12:46:44.590Z
5.1
Easter Island region
14
2014-12-13T10:19:28.870Z
4.6
80km WNW of Vallenar, Chile
15
2014-12-13T09:17:49.050Z
5
150km NW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia
16
2014-12-13T05:21:35.430Z
4.7
113km WNW of Hofn, Iceland
17
2014-12-13T04:59:59.620Z
5.1
Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge
18
2014-12-13T04:00:08.570Z
4.8
Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge
19
2014-12-13T02:34:22.690Z
4.5
115km WNW of Hofn, Iceland
20
2014-12-13T01:01:21.990Z
4.5
184km ESE of Sarangani, Philippines
21
2014-12-12T20:45:40.630Z
5.2
28km W of Do Gonbadan, Iran
22
2014-12-12T20:22:35.420Z
5.8
240km WNW of Pangai, Tonga
23
2014-12-12T12:35:29.480Z
5.3
90km WNW of Iquique, Chile
24
2014-12-12T12:31:51.270Z
5
133km ESE of Kuril'sk, Russia
25
2014-12-12T11:39:20.780Z
4.5
34km NNW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia
26
2014-12-12T08:02:07.340Z
5.2
180km WSW of Riverton, New Zealand
27
2014-12-12T06:05:06.530Z
5.2
Pacific-Antarctic Ridge
28
2014-12-12T05:41:55.020Z
4.6
39km N of Miyako, Japan
29
2014-12-12T00:41:26.710Z
4.5
143km W of Bengkulu, Indonesia
30
2014-12-11T22:27:44.970Z
5
38km SW of Ndoi Island, Fiji
31
2014-12-11T22:24:23.400Z
4.5
21km N of Lixourion, Greece
32
2014-12-11T19:39:43.670Z
4.5
225km W of Saumlaki, Indonesia
33
2014-12-11T18:16:50.670Z
5.1
110km E of Visokoi Island,
34
2014-12-11T16:15:28.280Z
4.5
130km S of Akureyri, Iceland
35
2014-12-11T15:46:32.820Z
4.8
120km W of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
36
2014-12-11T14:01:37.640Z
5.1
105km E of Visokoi Island,
37
2014-12-11T13:53:29.250Z
5.7
97km E of Visokoi Island,
38
2014-12-11T10:41:09.710Z
4.9
107km E of Visokoi Island,
39
2014-12-11T06:07:51.720Z
4.5
6km SE of Otsuki, Japan
40
2014-12-11T06:00:15.090Z
5
239km NNW of Tobelo, Indonesia
41
2014-12-11T01:20:41.990Z
4.8
60km SSW of Nueva Concepcion, Guatemala
42
2014-12-11T00:43:21.900Z
5.1
225km NNE of Fais, Micronesia
43
2014-12-10T22:10:36.800Z
4.8
120km W of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
44
2014-12-10T21:18:46.120Z
4.8
123km ENE of Bitung, Indonesia
45
2014-12-10T21:03:39.430Z
6.1
86km NE of Keelung, Taiwan
46
2014-12-10T20:27:54.510Z
5
57km N of Namuac, Philippines
47
2014-12-10T12:49:52.570Z
5
94km ENE of Neiafu, Tonga
48
2014-12-10T01:43:45.950Z
4.7
174km SSW of Ndoi Island, Fiji
49
2014-12-09T20:20:23.210Z
4.7
84km SSE of Kupang, Indonesia
50
2014-12-09T19:23:36.690Z
5.1
51km E of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands
51
2014-12-09T18:00:57.500Z
4.7
107km W of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
52
2014-12-09T18:00:07.760Z
4.8
111km WNW of Hofn, Iceland
53
2014-12-09T17:01:48.930Z
4.7
128km N of Lae, Papua New Guinea
54
2014-12-09T16:49:16.850Z
4.7
19km NNE of La Troncal, Ecuador
55
2014-12-09T15:44:46.990Z
4.5
82km SSW of Atocha, Bolivia
56
2014-12-09T14:16:01.920Z
4.6
44km NE of Taron, Papua New Guinea
57
2014-12-09T11:11:30.140Z
4.6
36km ESE of Oarai, Japan
58
2014-12-09T10:06:15.930Z
4.8
119km ESE of Vostok, Russia
59
2014-12-09T07:34:40.320Z
4.8
Central Mid-Atlantic Ridge
60
2014-12-09T05:18:29.190Z
5.1
Western Indian-Antarctic Ridge
61
2014-12-09T04:06:17.590Z
5.1
138km W of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
62
2014-12-09T03:09:23.740Z
5.9
132km E of Bitung, Indonesia
63
2014-12-09T02:33:34.400Z
5.6
128km W of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
64
2014-12-09T02:01:35.790Z
5.3
126km W of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
65
2014-12-09T01:39:00.760Z
4.7
15km S of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
66
2014-12-09T01:31:10.610Z
5.1
Southern East Pacific Rise
67
2014-12-09T01:09:26.080Z
4.7
147km NNW of Neiafu, Tonga
68
2014-12-09T00:07:04.070Z
4.5
103km WNW of Hofn, Iceland
69
2014-12-08T20:57:49.610Z
4.6
118km NNE of Vik, Iceland
70
2014-12-08T18:44:47.210Z
5.3
24km E of Punta de Burica, Panama
71
2014-12-08T15:08:55.730Z
5.2
24km W of Abepura, Indonesia
72
2014-12-08T13:15:04.970Z
5
101km WSW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
73
2014-12-08T12:51:26.900Z
5.5
228km WNW of Abepura, Indonesia
74
2014-12-08T09:52:04.340Z
5.6
139km ESE of Severo-Kuril'sk, Russia
75
2014-12-08T08:54:52.860Z
6.6
20km ESE of Punta de Burica, Panama
76
2014-12-08T07:35:51.430Z
5.4
140km ENE of Bitung, Indonesia
77
2014-12-08T04:41:58.840Z
4.6
115km NW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia
78
2014-12-08T04:00:22.580Z
4.7
62km SSW of Nueva Concepcion, Guatemala
79
2014-12-08T01:28:18.010Z
5.2
119km NNW of Ternate, Indonesia
80
2014-12-08T00:36:24.260Z
4.6
Kuril Islands
81
2014-12-07T22:23:13.410Z
4.7
57km SSW of Nueva Concepcion, Guatemala
82
2014-12-07T21:16:37.230Z
5.8
53km SSW of Nueva Concepcion, Guatemala
83
2014-12-07T21:04:04.250Z
4.8
5km NW of Marasheshty, Romania
84
2014-12-07T19:06:24.560Z
4.9
171km E of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
85
2014-12-07T17:55:35.340Z
5.1
157km W of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
86
2014-12-07T15:51:38.350Z
4.6
South of the Fiji Islands
87
2014-12-07T15:35:45.360Z
5
61km E of Micoud, Saint Lucia
88
2014-12-07T15:10:44.530Z
4.5
115km S of Akureyri, Iceland
89
2014-12-07T14:51:59.660Z
5.1
129km ESE of Kuril'sk, Russia
90
2014-12-07T14:19:29.700Z
5
115km W of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
91
2014-12-07T14:09:22.630Z
4.5
52km SSW of Nueva Concepcion, Guatemala








Source: USGS