LastGenReport: News From Rapture Ready 17 Mar 11 "U.S. Officials Alarmed By Japanese Handling of Nuclear Crisis"

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17 Mar 11

Gaza-bound truckload of arms seized by Egyptian forces
The Egyptian army has seized five vehicles carrying weapons into the country from Sudan. The arms were apparently headed for Gaza. Egyptian officials said the vehicles were intercepted on Sunday near the border with Sudan, following a shoot-out during which the truck drivers fled. The trucks had been carrying large quantities of mortars, rocket propelled grenades, rifles and explosives and were headed to Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip through smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border.  

Erdogan presents copy of Russia-Turkey treaty to Russian President
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev a copy of a treaty on friendship and fraternity between the two states and a stamp issued by Turkish authorities to mark 90 anniversary of the document. He recalled that on March 16, 1921 Soviet Russia recognized the Republic of Turkey and gave security guarantees of the joint borders. “The document is a turning point in our history. Our eastern borders were recognized under the Moscow agreement, “Erdogan told a press conference in Kremlin.  

Russia says ground military intervention in Libya may trigger war
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that any military intervention in Libya may trigger a war, RIA Novosti reported. "We realize what a ground military operation is. Ground intervention is likely to mark the start of war. Not a civil war, but a war with the international troops," Medvedev said, adding that such a serious issue should be thoroughly considered by the UN Security Council.  

How Advanced Is China's Military Development?
Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie told his visiting U.S. counterpart Robert Gates earlier this week that China's military technology is decades behind the world's most advanced armed forces and does not threaten any country. The comments came after Gates voiced concerns about the latest developments including the test flight of a stealth jet fighter and the nearing deployment of the "aircraft carrier killer" missile Dongfeng-21D. Is China's military technology really that far behind the U.S.?  

UN Poised To Vote On Libyan No-Fly Zone, As U.S. Urges Stronger Action
The United States, in a reversal of its previous position, now says the UN Security Council should consider more than a no-fly zone to protect civilians in Libya. The remarks by U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice come as the council prepares to vote as early as today on a draft resolution that would authorize an air-exclusion zone over the North African country. Rice's statements mark a significant shift in the position of Washington, which had earlier reacted cautiously to calls for a no-fly zone from France, Britain, and the Arab League.  

Food prices increase 3.9% in February, highest jump in 36 years
If grocery bills seem higher, you’re not imagining things. Thanks mostly to a sharp increase in fuel prices, the cost of food rose faster in February than in any month since November 1974 — not coincidentally, during a previous energy crisis:  

Magnitude 5.3 quake shakes Chile
A magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck 45 miles (72 km) north-northeast of the central Chilean port city of Valparaiso, the US Geological Survey said...  

Strong 6.5 magnitude quake strikes Vanuatu
SYDNEY — A strong 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Thursday, the US Geological Survey said, but no tsunami warning was issued.  

A Major Earthquake in North America Imminent?
...what I call a seismic window, this top seismic window in years is developing between the 19th and 26th of this month.  

What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk
So much for San Andreas: Reactors in East, Midwest, South have highest chance of damage...  

EPA proposes regulating mercury from coal plants
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed rules on Wednesday that would for the first time regulate toxic air emissions from coal-fired power plants, including limiting mercury, lead, arsenic and acid gas pollution. Environmental and medical groups praised the move, which came in response to a court-ordered deadline, saying the new regulations will remove toxins from the air that contribute to respiratory illnesses, birth defects and developmental problems in children.  

Tibetan monastery sealed off after self-immolation
A Tibetan Buddhist monastery in southwestern China remained sealed off by police on Thursday, local residents said, after a young monk set himself on fire and died, triggering protests there.  

Bahrain rounds up dissident leaders
Bahrain rounded up dissidents on Thursday as it came under mounting diplomatic pressure to end a bloody crackdown on Shiite-led protesters which has alarmed its ally the United States and infuriated Iran.  

Christians Speak Out Against Muslim Mistreatment in Mideast
American Christians are beginning to speak out against mistreatment of their Middle East brethren by the Muslim majority with whom they live. The “Chicago Initiative” – a one-day conference held March 12 near Chicago – was focused on raising media awareness of the issue.  

Iran: We successfully launched a spacecraft into orbit
Iran said Thursday that it had successfully launched a test spacecraft meant to sustain life in orbit. The state IRNA news agency said the capsule was carried by a rocket dubbed Kavoshgar 4 - or Explorer 4 - some120 kilometers into orbit on Tuesday before returning to earth.  

Palestinians attacked at West Bank settlement as tensions rise
Unknown assailants attacked Palestinian construction workers in the West Bank settlement of Shiloh on Thursday, in the wake of recent tensions over last week's deadly stabbing attack in Itamar, in which five family members were killed. According to preliminary eyewitness reports, six masked individuals approached two Palestinian construction workers, doused them with pepper spray, striking one of the workers with an iron bar.  

Obama in campaign mode: 'Delivered on change that we can believe in'
President Obama boldly proclaimed Wednesday that he had fulfilled his most daring but abstract 2008 campaign pledge: "Change we can believe in." Obama told a gathering of top donors and Democratic officials that, while his work is not finished, "we have made extraordinary progress over these last two years."  

Nasa to shoot lasers at space junk around Earth to prevent collisions with satellites
Nasa is considering using lasers to deflect space junk around Earth and stop it colliding with satellites. Lasers similar to those used for welding in car factories would be fired through telescopes to ‘nudge’ piles of rubbish left in orbit. The gentle movement would stop them from taking out communications satellites or hitting the International Space Station.  

U.S. radiation experts try to decipher reports from Japan
The Japanese government's radiation report for the country's 47 prefectures Wednesday had a notable omission: Fukushima, ground zero in Japan's nuclear crisis. Measurements from Ibaraki, just south of Fukushima, were also blanked out. Radiation experts in the USA say that the lack of information about radioactivity released from the smoldering reactors makes it impossible to gauge the current danger, project how bad a potential meltdown might be or calculate how much fallout might reach the USA.  

Geithner says Congress must raise debt limit
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday that there was no alternative except for Congress to raise the debt ceiling so that the government can keep borrowing. "Congress has to do it. There's no alternative," he said in response to questions at a House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee.  

U.S. Debt Jumped $72 Billion Same Day U.S. House Voted to Cut Spending $6 Billion
The national debt jumped by $72 billion on Tuesday even as the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution to fund the government for just three weeks that will cut $6 billion from government spending. If Congress were to cut $6 billion every three weeks for the next 36 weeks, it would manage to save between now and late November as much money as the Treasury added to the nation’s net debt during just the business hours of Tuesday, March 15.  

Scientists Project Path of Radiation Plume
A United Nations forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume coming from crippled Japanese reactors shows it churning across the Pacific, and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting Southern California late Friday. ...The projection, by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, an arm of the United Nations in Vienna, gives no information about actual radiation levels but only shows how a radioactive plume would probably move and disperse.  

U.S. Officials Alarmed By Japanese Handling of Nuclear Crisis
U.S. officials are alarmed at how the Japanese are handling the escalating nuclear reactor crisis and fear that if they do not get control of the plants within the next 24 to 48 hours they could have a situation that will be "deadly for decades." ..."They need to stop pulling out people—and step up with getting them back in the reactor to cool it. There is a recognition this is a suicide mission," the official said.  

Middle East unrest: Syria arrests Damascus protesters
At least 35 people have been arrested after they defied a ban on demonstrations and protested in the Syrian capital, reports say. About 150 people had gathered near the interior ministry, demanding the release of political prisoners. It follows Tuesday's "day of rage" when hundreds calling for democracy protested in Damascus and Aleppo.  

Malaysian Christian lawyer barred from Shariah courts
A Christian lawyer in Malaysia has failed in her attempt to be allowed to practise in the Muslim Shariah courts. Victoria Jayaseele Martin said she wanted to appear for non-Muslim clients fighting in such courts, to provide them with fairer representation. An increasing number of cases heard in the Islamic courts involve both Muslims and non-Muslims.  

US cyber war defences 'very thin', Pentagon warns
The US military lacks the people and resources to defend the country adequately from concerted cyber attacks, the head of the Pentagon's cyber command has warned. "We are very thin, and a crisis would quickly stress our cyber forces," Gen Keith Alexander told Congress. The US says government systems are attacked millions of times a day.  

Japan steps up cooling operation
Japan says it is stepping up efforts to cool overheating fuel at the tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Helicopters dumped tonnes of water to try to prevent a meltdown of fuel rods, but media reports said water cannon set to join the operation were withdrawn because of high radiation levels. Following the crisis, China suspended approval for new nuclear plants.  

EU commissioner: Japanese disaster in 'hands of God'
The nuclear crisis in Japan is now in the "hands of God", the EU's energy commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, has said, rattling financial markets. Speaking to the European Parliament's environment committee on Wednesday (16 March), Oettinger expressed surprise at the "incredible makeshift" methods being used by Japanese technicians to prevent further disaster at the Fukushima power plant.  

Battle for Benghazi looms, US talks of tough action
Libyan government soldiers battled rebels on the road to the insurgent stronghold of Benghazi on Thursday as the United States raised the possibility of air strikes to stop Muammar Gaddafi's forces. The army told people to leave opposition-held locations and arms dumps. But its advance on Benghazi -- and the prospect of a decisive battle in the insurrection -- was hampered by clashes around Ajbadiyah, a strategic town on the coastal highway.  





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