pestilences/BAHRAIN turmoil/ Syria /earthquakes and more sign of the times


Syria: Cameron and Obama agree to military strike over chemical weapons


The US president sealed the deal in a 40-minute phone call to the Prime Minister at his holiday retreat in Cornwall

David Cameron and Barack Obama last night agreed to take military action against Syria, the Sunday People has reported.

The US president sealed the deal in a 40-minute phone call to the Prime Minister at his holiday retreat in Cornwall.

The two leaders agreed that Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad was responsible for using chemical weapons against children.

Mr Obama and Mr Cameron will discuss the military options in the next few days.

They include missile strikes, ­disabling the Syrian air force or ­enforcing a no-fly zone across the country. A No.10 source said: “The significant use of chemical weapons would merit a serious response.


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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — An official says suspected Islamist extremists killed at least 44 villagers in continuing attacks in an Islamic uprising in northeast Nigeria.

The official of the National Emergency Management Agency says the attackers hit Dumba village in Borno state before dawn Tuesday and slit their victims’ throats — a new strategy since gunfire attracts security forces.

He said the attackers gouged out the eyes of some victims who survived. The official spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to give information to reporters.

Dumba is near the fishing village of Baga where security forces in March gunned down 187 civilians in retaliation for an attack by extremists.

It is difficult to get information from the area under a state of emergency, with cellphone and Internet service cut.

Borno is one of three northeastern states under a state of emergency declared May 14 to crack down on the Boko Haram terrorist network.

Since 2010, more than 1,700 people have been killed in attacks by Islamic insurgents, according to an Associated Press count.

Hundreds of American Troops and CIA Operatives Have Entered Syria

According to our information, the regime’s opponents, supervised by Jordanian, Israeli and American commandos moving towards Damascus since mid-August. This attack could explain the possible use of the Syrian president to chemical weapons.

According to information obtained by Le Figaro , the first trained in guerrilla warfare by the Americans in Jordan Syrian troops reportedly entered into action since mid-August in southern Syria, in the region of Deraa. A first group of 300 men, probably supported by Israeli and Jordanian commandos, as well as men of the CIA, had crossed the border on August 17. A second would have joined the 19. According to military sources, the Americans, who do not want to put troops on the Syrian soil or arming rebels in part controlled by radical Islamists form quietly for several months in a training camp set up at the border Jordanian- Syrian fighters ASL, the Free Syrian Army, handpicked. continue


Louisiana boy, 8, shoots 90-year-old relative after playing video game, police say

Louisiana authorities say an 8-year-old boy intentionally shot and killed a 90-year-old woman who was his caregiver after watching a video game with violent themes.

East Feliciana Parish sheriff’s deputies did not provide a motive, but they said the boy was playing the video game “Grand Theft Auto IV” — a realistic game that’s been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people — just minutes before the fatal shooting. The game is rated “M” for mature audiences and recommended for ages 17 and older. continue



Russia’s Far East braces for peak of floods, builds 9-meter-high dams


The level of the Amur River in Russia’s flood-ravaged Far East hit 7.2 meters as it rose more in the past 24 hours. Over 50,000 people have been affected by the disaster called the most severe in 120 years – but meteorologists warn worse is yet to come.

In less than a week the level of the Amur River is predicted to reach 7.8 meters. In the worst case scenario, by September 2-3 it might measure over 8 meters with the maximum predicted level now at 8.8 meters.

The authorities have ordered to increase the amounts of water-stopping dams in the area to boost safety.

“Forecasters are expecting the floods to peak on Sunday. But that doesn’t mean that as soon as it reaches its peak it will start to fall. It will stay around for a while,” Denis Ilyinov from the emergency services in Khabarovsk said.

The Emergency Ministry is transferring experts from all over the country to the Far East in order to help deal with the situation.

Volunteers have already started vaccinating the local population against dysentery as a preventative measure. continue


Disease watch: New Chinese bird flu may be worse than H7N9 virus

August 24, 2013 – CHINA – A virus called H7N7 has been discovered in chickens in China, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. A team of Hong Kong researchers found the virus in about 25 percent of the fowl sampled, many of which also had the H7N9 virus. By testing the H7N7 virus on ferrets, the researchers found that it can be transmitted to mammals. “If (we) let this H7N7 continue circulating in chickens, I am sure that human infection cases will occur,” study co-author Guan Yi at the University of Hong Kong told AFP. “This virus could cause more severe infection than … H7N9, based on our animal experiments.” H7N7 appears to have developed alongside H7N9, which has killed 44 of more than 130 people infected in China. “We think it is scary for humans,” Guan added. “Our entire human population almost has no antibodies against the H7 subtype of influenza virus. Thus, if it causes pandemic outbreak, it will kill many people.” The scientists believe a better surveillance system is needed to monitor for dangerous viruses like H7N9 that may be emerging. “This is a very different influenza ecosystem from other countries,” Guan said, according to Nature. –The Epoch Times

New high-radiation spots found at quake-hit Fukushima plant

August 24, 2013 – JAPAN – The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said on Thursday new spots of high radiation had been found near storage tanks holding highly contaminated water, raising fear of fresh leaks as the disaster goes from bad to worse. The announcement comes after Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) said this week contaminated water with dangerously high levels of radiation was leaking from a storage tank. A tsunami crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi power plant north of Tokyo on March 11, 2011, causing fuel-rod meltdowns at three reactors, radioactive contamination of air, sea and food and triggering the evacuation of 160,000 people. It was the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986 and no one seems to know how to bring the crisis to an end. In an inspection carried out following the revelation of the leakage, high radiation readings – 100 millisieverts per hour and 70 millisieverts per hour – were recorded at the bottom of two tanks in a different part of the plant, Tepco said. Although no puddles were found nearby and there were no noticeable changes in water levels in the tanks, the possibility of stored water having leaked out cannot be ruled out, a Tokyo Electric spokesman said. The confirmed leakage prompted Japan’s nuclear watchdog to say it feared the disaster was “in some respect” beyond Tepco’s ability to cope. The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday it viewed the situation at Fukushima “seriously” and was ready to help if called upon. China said it was “shocked” to hear contaminated water was still leaking from the plant, and urged Japan to provide information “in a timely, thorough and accurate way.” –Reuters


Thousands of Bahrainis took to the streets in a march for democratic reform outside the capital Manama, 10 days after a police crackdown on a similar demonstration organized online by activists inspired by the Egyptian protests. The protesters marched west of the capital on Friday, protesting against the stringent new laws that prohibit public dissent. This, however, was a sanctioned march and no trouble or scuffles with police were seen this time around.  “Down with Hamad”, the crowd chanted as it walked with national red-and-white flags and banners that called for King Hamad bin Isaa al-Khalifa and Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa to go.  King Hamad has been in power since 1999.  One protester, a 38-year-old secretary, Hayat al-Abbar, told Reuters that “we are here…because we want freedom. We are used to oppression and tear gas and beatings,” he said, as others walked shouting that they “will never forget those who sacrificed their lives.”  RT



In light of new reports that the Syrian government used nerve gas against it’s own citizens, killing at least 213 and as many as 1,300, President Obama is  considering military options to respond to an action he previously warned the Assad government was crossing a ‘red line’.  U.S. naval forces are moving closer as the president emphasized that a quick intervention in the Syrian civil war was problematic, given the international considerations that should precede a military strike. The White House said the president would meet Saturday with his national security team to consider possible next steps by the United States.  More


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