ww3 watch/Temple Mount dispute/Pakistan’s latest earthquake so strong it formed a new Island and more sign of the times



Obama says US ready to use military force in Middle East

President Barack Obama addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York, Sept. 24, 2013.
US President Barack Obama has repeated his call for military action against Syria, once again accusing the Syrian government of using chemical weapons in an attack last month. ”On August 21, the regime used chemical weapons in an attack that killed 1,000 people,” Obama said during his speech at the 68th UN General Assembly on Tuesday.  ”It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack,” he added.  The US president also threatened to use military force against Syria if needed.  “The United States of America is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure these core interests in the region. We will confront external aggression against our allies and partners, as we did in the Gulf War,” he said. Obama noted “an agreement on chemical weapons should energize a larger diplomatic effort” in Syria, referring to a deal that would put Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile under international control.  More

TROUBLE IN PARADISE – Rouhani declines to meet Obama at U.N General Assembly

Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani are pictured. | AP Photos
President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will not meet at the United Nations on Tuesday, senior administration officials said. The White House had offered to have “an encounter” between the two leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, but Iranian officials ultimately declined. “The Iranians have an internal dynamic that they have to manage and the relationship with the United States is clearly quite different than the relationship that Iran has with other Western nations,” a senior administration official said  U.S. and Iranian officials had been discussing the possibility of an Obama-Rouhani meeting for days, an official said. Ultimately, though, “it was clear that it was too complicated for them.” Rouhani skipped a lunch at the United Nations that offered him and Obama the most likely chance of an informal meeting, as both leaders signal willingness to engage in new talks. More

U.S. military’s battlefield network vulnerable to hackers

**FILE** A U.S. soldier talks on the phone as Afghan children wait to receive Afghan National Army's humanitarian aid in the Andar district of Ghazni province, west of Kabul, Afghanistan on June 22, 2007. (Associated Press)
The Pentagon’s main battlefield intelligence network in Afghanistan is vulnerable to hackers — both the enemy or a leaker — and the U.S. command in Kabul will cut off from the military’s classified data files unless the Army fixes the defects in 60 days, according to an official memo obtained by The Washington Times. The memo says the Army’s Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) flunked a readiness test and does not confirm the source of outside Internet addresses entering the classified database.  The Sept. 5 warning notice from the U.S. command in Kabul is another blow to the intelligence network, commonly called “D-Sigs.” It already had suffered a wave of bad news, such as soldiers panning its performance as unreliable and the Pentagon’s top tester judging it as not operationally effective. The warning comes as the U.S. military is on heightened alert against unlawful entry into classified computer networks, not only by the enemy but also by “friendlies” such as Army PvtBradley Manning and former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. Both illegally downloaded reams of classified data that got widespread dissemination in the news media and, officials say, greatly damaged America’s security. Some in Congress have pushed to cut off D-Sigs funds and urged the Army to buy off-the-shelf commercial products they say can do a better job in a war where intelligence is crucial to finding an insurgents who operate among civilians. More


On the heels of the house vote to defund Obamacare Friday, the speechwriter and senior communications adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) tweeted her enthusiasm that the GOP could take things all the way: Democrat Official Allan Brauer to Obamacare Foe: May Your Children All Die from Debilitating, Painful and Incurable DiseasesThen Allan Brauer, the elected communications chair for the Democratic Party of Sacramento (Calif.) County, took issue with Carpenter’s sentiments: The Blaze

Democrat Official Allan Brauer to Obamacare Foe: May Your Children All Die from Debilitating, Painful and Incurable Diseases

Netanyahu instructs Israeli delegates to walk out during Rouhani’s UNGA speech

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the Israeli delegates to boycott Iranian President Hassan Rohani during his address Tuesday at the UN General Assembly in New York. Netanyahu’s office said that the prime minister had instructed the Israeli envoy to behave as they had during last year’s and walk out of the assembly during the Rouhani’s speech.  ”Despite Iran’s charm offensive, the government’s policy in Tehran toward Israel has not changed,” Netanyahu said. Netanyahu added that Iran’s diplomatic overtures to the West over its disputed nuclear program were aimed at allowing Tehran to continue to pursue atomic weapons. ”Iran thinks that soothing words and token actions will enable it to continue on its path to the bomb,” Netanyahu said after US President Barack Obama said at the United Nations that Washington was ready to engage diplomatically with Iran over its nuclear program. He said Israel would welcome a diplomatic solution that dismantled Iran’s capacity to develop nuclear weapons. More

Obama at UN: ‘End Occupation of West Bank’

United States President Barack Obama lauded Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders in a speech Tuesday at the United Nations. Obama spoke in support of the ongoing Israel-PA peace talks, and said he was glad to see what he termed “a growing recognition within Israel that the occupation of the West Bank is tearing at the democratic fabric of the Jewish state.” Young Arabs in Ramallah are “understandably cynical” regarding the talks and “frustrated by their families enduring the daily indignity of occupation,” he said. The “West Bank” is the term American and other international leaders use to refer to Judea and Samaria (Shomron). The territories were settled by both Jews and Arabs until 1948, when Jordan won control of the area in a war with the fledgling Jewish state and expelled its Jewish residents. Israel won the territory back 19 years later, in 1967, and an estimated 600,000 Israeli Jews currently live in the region. Estimates of the number of Palestinian Authority Arabs in the region range from 1.5 million to 2.4 million. The PA has claimed the area as Arab territory, to be used to establish a PA-led Arab state of “Palestine.” PA leaders term Jews living in the region “settlers” and insist that all Jews be forced to leave. Allowing the PA to create the Arab state it seeks is the only way to peace,Obama declared. “Friends of Israel, including the United States, must recognize that Israel’s security… depends on the realization of a Palestinian state,” he said. “Arab states – and those who have supported the Palestinians – must realize that stability will only be served through a two-state solution with a secure Israel,” he added. ”Already, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have demonstrated a willingness to take significant political risks,” Obama said. “President Abbas has put aside efforts to short-cut the pursuit of peace and come to the negotiating table. Prime Minister Netanyahu has released Palestinian prisoners, and reaffirmed his commitment to a Palestinian state.” More

7.7 magnitude earthquake creates new island off the coast of Pakistan- death toll likely to rise

Earthchange event: The 7.7 magnitude oblique-strike-slip earthquake was so powerful, it raised new land out of the Arabian sea.
September 24, 2013 – PAKISTAN – A massive, 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck south-central Pakistan on Tuesday afternoon local time. The USGS warns that there will high casualties and economic losses, requiring international response. Seismologists have also confirmed that the quake raised a new island, about 30-40 feet high, off the coast. The island is about half a mile off the coast of Gwadar, in the Arabian Sea. Already, reports the International Herald Tribune, crowds have gathered to see the mountainous, rocky island. Some are claiming it is 100 feet high. It’s not unusual for earthquakes of this magnitude to change the coastline, or even deform the shape of the planet. In 2010, an 8.8 magnitude quake in Chile created new coastlines in that country and changed the shape of the Earth enough to shorten our days by a fraction of a second. Today in Pakistan, estimates of damages are still coming in, and it may be days before we know the full extent of the losses because the quake struck in many regions that are remote. The nearest city to the epicenter is Arawan, where damage is said to be extensive, with houses collapsing and people trapped inside. So far, death tolls hover around 40, but that number is expected to rise as emergency services reach more of the affected areas. The populations near the epicenter may be sparse, but according to the USGS, the problem is that they are extremely vulnerable.
Most homes are made of materials like unreinforced brick masonry, which crumble quickly in quakes and can be deadly. Karachi is another nearby city, with millions of residents, whose homes may have also been affected. People as far away as New Delhi report feeling the quake. The USGS also offers a quick scientific summary of the nature of the quake: The September 24, 2013 M7.7 earthquake in south-central Pakistan occurred as the result of oblique-strike-slip type motion at shallow crustal depths. The location and mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with rupture within the Eurasia plate above the Makran subduction zone. The event occurred within the transition zone between northward subduction of the Arabia plate beneath the Eurasia plate and northward collision of the India plate with the Eurasia plate. The epicenter of the event is 69km north of Awaran, Pakistan, and 270km north of Karachi, Pakistan (population 11.6 million). Right now, as emergency groups gather more information, the best thing we can do is wait to find out more. But it’s very likely that humanitarian aid will be needed, and as soon as we know more we’ll offer an update. –I09

Yellowstone rattled by three ‘unusual’ earthquake swarms

September 24, 2013 – JACKSON, Wyo.  — Until recently, Bob Smith had never witnessed two simultaneous earthquake swarms in his 53 years of monitoring seismic activity in and around the Yellowstone Caldera. Now, Smith, a University of Utah geophysics professor, has seen three swarms at once. “It’s very remarkable,” Smith said. “How does one swarm relate to another? Can one swarm trigger another and vice versa?” Because concurrent swarms have never been detected in the past, the answers aren’t in yet, Smith said. The geophysicist said he “wouldn’t doubt” if at least two of the events were related. Temblors from the three quake swarms mostly hit in three areas: Lewis Lake, the Lower Geyser Basin and the northwest part of Norris Geyser Basin. The largest earthquake shook the ground near Old Faithful Geyser on Sept. 15. The epicenter of the magnitude 3.6 quake, the largest in Yellowstone in about a year, was just 6 miles to the north of Old Faithful. “Generally speaking it needs to be 3.0 or higher for individuals to feel it,” Yellowstone National Park spokesman Al Nash said. Yellowstone’s recent earthquake swarms started on Sept. 10 and were shaking until about 11:30 a.m. Sept. 16. “A total of 130 earthquakes of magnitude 0.6 to 3.6 have occurred in these three areas, however, most have occurred in the Lower Geyser Basin,” a University of Utah statement said.
“Notably much of seismicity in Yellowstone occurs as swarms.” Including smaller events that have not been verified, there were many more quakes, Smith said. The recent swarms produced roughly four quakes that were large enough to feel. The first, a magnitude 3.5, struck Sept. 13 about 17 miles northeast of West Yellowstone, Mont. Then, in the early hours Sept. 15, two quakes, a magnitude 3.2 and magnitude 3.4, were detected in quick succession at 5:10 and 5:11 a.m., about 15 miles southeast of West Yellowstone. The magnitude 3.6 that marked the peak of the swarm struck nearby about 4 1/2 hours later. “They weren’t big earthquakes,” Smith said, “but they were felt.” About half a dozen earthquakes are felt in Yellowstone in an average year, he said. “This is pretty unusual, to be honest,” Smith said. None of the recent quakes, Nash said, were strong enough to cause damage or throw off the cycle of the Old Faithful geyser’s eruptions. “We know that a significant enough earthquake in the region has potential to alter geyser activity,” the spokesman said. “A strong enough earthquake, like the one that occurred out at Hebgen Lake in 1959, did change the interval of Old Faithful eruptions.” That quake, a 7.3 to 7.5 on the Richter magnitude scale, caused nearly 300 features on the Yellowstone landscape to erupt, 160 of which had no previous record of geysers. Smith traced the three recent earthquake swarms to the Hebgen Lake quake. “We think that much of the seismicity is still aftershocks from that event in 1959. It can go on for hundreds of years.” –Guardian LV

Powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake strikes southern Pakistan: 46 confirmed fatalities

Pakistan Sept 24
September 24, 2013 – PAKISTAN – A powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit southwestern Pakistan today, the US Geological Survey said, with tremors felt as far away as the Indian capital New Delhi. The quake struck at 4:29 pm local time (1659 IST) around 100 kilometers southwest of the city of Khuzdar in Baluchistan province, at a depth of 15 kilometers. USGS originally measured the earthquake at magnitude 7.4 and 29 kilometers deep but later revised their figure. Pakistan’s meteorological office gave the magnitude as 7.7. The area of the epicenter is sparsely populated, but the USGS issued a red alert for the quake, warning that heavy casualties were likely, based on past data. A senior Pakistani meteorologist, Muhammad Riaz, told Dunya TV station it was a “major” earthquake and “heavy destruction” was likely. Minor tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi, while office workers in the city of Ahmedabad near the border with Pakistan ran out of buildings and into the street. Mumtaz Baluch, senior local administration official in Awaran district, 350 kilometers southwest of Quetta, told AFP: “There are reports of houses being collapsed in the district due to earthquake. We also have initial information about injuries to people as a result of the collapse of houses but there are no reports of any deaths. We have dispatched our teams to the affected area to ascertain the losses.”
Intense shaking: In April a 7.8-magnitude quake centered in southeast Iran, close to the border with Baluchistan, killed 41 people and affected more than 12,000 on the Pakistan side of the border. People working in offices Karachi rushed out of their building and sat on the footpaths along the roads or stood away from the buildings. “My work table jerked a bit and again and I impulsively rushed outside,” Noor Jabeen, a 28-year woman working for an insurance company said while breathing heavily. “It was not so intense but it was terrible,” said Owais Khan, who works for a provincial government office. “Whenever I feel jolts it reminds me of the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir,” said Amjad Ali, 45, IT official standing on the road said. A 7.6 magnitude quake in 2005 centred in Kashmir, killed at least 73,000 people and left several million homeless in one of the worst natural disasters to hit Pakistan. –NDTV 
Fatalities confirmed: A powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake rocked southern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing 46 people and damaging several houses near the epicenter in Balochistan province. The tremors that lasted almost a minute caused widespread panic in cities of Sindh province like Karachi and Hyderabad. People rushed out of their offices and homes in Karachi, the country’s largest city, and other parts of Sindh and Balochistan provinces. Two persons were killed and several houses and shops were damaged in Awaran area of Khuzdar district in Balochistan, located near the epicentre, media reports said. An emergency was declared in hospitals in Awaran. Reports said the quake was also felt in towns and cities like Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. National Seismic Monitoring Centre Director Zahid Rafi told PTI that the tremors were of “great intensity” in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, and in some remote areas of the province. The tremors could have caused damage and casualties, he said. “The affected areas include Jaffarabad, Noskhi, Kalat, Windar, Naseerabad, Phunjgur and Mastung,” Rafi said. “The shockwaves were strong enough to even be felt in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Khairpur and Larkana,” he said. There were chances of aftershocks in these areas, Rafi said. People in Karachi rushed out in panic on I I Chundrigar Road, the main thoroughfare in the financial district, when tremors were first felt in the city. “I could feel the chair I was sitting on moving and shaking and there were shouts of ‘earthquake, earthquake’ and we all rushed out of our building,” said banker Sameera. Residents of Clifton, Defence, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Bahadurabad too ran out of their homes and offices after feeling the jolts. Samaa news channel reported that the quake had caused damage in some parts of Balochistan, where mobile phone networks had gone down. Administration officials confirmed that they had declared an emergency in some areas and called in rescue workers, the channel reported. – The Hindu

Pakistan’s worst-ever attack on beleaguered Christians prompts warning by bishop for Christians to leave the country

Pakistani Christians mourn 85 killed in suicide bombings at Peshawar church. Attacks on Christians in Muslim countries are rising.
September 24, 2013 – PAKISTAN – With its Mughalesque features, gleaming white dome and minaret-like towers, the All Saints’ church in Peshawar has been a symbol of interfaith harmony ever since it was built in 1883. As in a mosque, worshippers remove their shoes before entering the historic building, where biblical quotations are emblazoned on the walls in English, Hebrew and Persian scripts. Some of the congregation was bare-footed, as they filed out of the Anglican church on Sunday morning straight into the blast zone of one of two suicide bombers from a Taliban faction that has vowed to kill non-Muslims until the U.S. cancels its lethal drone strikes in the country. A day later and a blood-soaked jumble of shoes still lies in a pile on the right-hand side of the tall wooden doors where female worshippers usually congregate. According to a tally based on information from local officials, 85 people were killed and more than 100 injured, although one doctor who arrived at the scene moments after the blast believes that even more died but their bodies were recovered by relatives before they could be accounted for. Whatever the number, it was Pakistan’s worst attack on Christians, sparking impassioned, country-wide protests. Christians are a tiny and politically weak minority in Muslim-majority Pakistan who suffer from prejudice and sporadic bouts of mob violence. But Sunday was the first time that bombs had been used to such deadly effect on worshippers. It bore the hallmarks of similar attacks by sectarian terror groups whose attacks have caused huge casualties among Shia communities. And Sunday’s atrocity was claimed by the Jundullah branch of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a group that has orchestrated attacks against Shias. On Monday, the TTP’s main spokesman denied any involvement.
Tragedy and grief: In the streets and lanes of Peshawar’s old city, where All Saints’ is located a short distance from one of the historic gates of the city walls, all of the tightly-knit Christian community knows or is related to one of the dead. “He had made a promise to God that when he got better he would go to church,” said Joel Fakhar, the 20-year-old son of a man called Khalid who returned to the church after months of serious illness had kept him away. Their 52-year-old father had been looking forward to it, particularly the period after the service when the congregation spills out into the enclosed courtyard to chat. “He was looking forward to seeing his friends,” said Joel. On Monday the bodies had all been removed from the area where hundreds of worshippers milled around in the moments before the blasts, but dark, blood-soaked patches remained. The walls of the church and surrounding buildings were pockmarked by shrapnel, the windows blown in. “It’s not safe for Christians in this country,” said Mano Rumalshah, the bishop emeritus of Peshawar, who was standing in the courtyard, comforting sobbing parishioners who clasped his white robes. “Everyone is ignoring the growing danger to Christians in Muslim-majority countries. The European countries don’t give a damn about us.” Others echoed the bishop’s warning, saying that Christians would only be safe if they left Pakistan. But others vowed to remain and show they were not afraid. On Sunday the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, said during a visit to London that the government would be “unable to proceed further” with talks following the Peshawar attack. –Guardian

Worst watershed stresses may become the new normal

September 24, 2013 – ARIZONA – Nearly one in 10 U.S. watersheds is “stressed,” with demand for water exceeding natural supply, according to a new analysis of surface water in the United States. What’s more, the lowest water flow seasons of recent years-times of great stress on rivers, streams, and sectors that use their waters-are likely to become typical as climates continue to warm. “By midcentury, we expect to see less reliable surface water supplies in several regions of the United States,” said the study’s lead author, Kristen Averyt, associate director for science at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. “This is likely to create growing challenges for agriculture, electrical suppliers and municipalities, as there may be more demand for water and less to go around.” Averyt and her colleagues evaluated supplies and demands on freshwater resources for each of the 2,103 watersheds in the continental United States, using a large suite of existing data sets. They identified times of extreme water stress between 1999 and 2007, and they estimated future surface water stress-using existing climate projections-for every watershed. In the paper, published online in Environmental Research Letters on Sept. 17, the authors also diagnosed the reasons contributing to stress.
Across the United States, the team found that water supplies are already stressed (i.e., demands for water outstrip natural supplies) in 193 of the 2,103 watersheds examined. In addition, the researchers reported: The U.S. West is particularly vulnerable to water stress, for two reasons: 1) the differences between average demand and average supply are relatively small, so slight shifts in either supplies or demands can trigger stress, and 2) Western water users have long relied on imported and stored water to supplement natural supplies, in order to meet demands. In most parts of the country, agriculture requires the most water, and contributes most to water stress. In Southern California, thirsty cities are the greatest stress on the surface water system. In scattered locations, the cooling water needs of electric power plants represent the biggest demand on water. “A single power plant has the potential to stress surface supplies in a local area,” said co-author James Meldrum, a researcher in the Western Water Assessment, a program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and CIRES. It’s critical to understand how various sectors contribute to the stress on a water system, Meldrum said, because effective remedies depend on accurate diagnosis. Agricultural and municipal demands are spread among many users, for example, allowing flexible changes in water use and efficiency of use. “But because power plant decisions are so capital intensive, they tend to be locked in for a long time,” Meldrum said. “With the potential for increasing water stress in the next few decades across parts of the United States, power plants-and our access to electricity -may be put at risk when water is not adequately considered in planning.” –SD

Oregonians warned to prepare for ‘big one’ – roads cut off for 5 years, no electricity for 3 months, no gas for 6 months

September 22, 2013 – OREGON – Sitting on a major fault line, Oregon is “like an eight-and-a-half-month pregnancy, due any time now” for a major earthquake, a geologist with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management told an overflow crowd Friday in Medford. “We’re in the zone, and we’d darn well better get ourselves ready for it,” said Althea Rizzo, geology hazard coordinator for OEM. “A lot of you may have moved here from California to escape them, but the fact is, Oregon is earthquake country.” About half the hands went up when Rizzo asked how many had been through a California earthquake. Rizzo said there’s a 37 percent chance the Big One will happen in the next 50 years. A major earthquake would cripple transportation on Interstate 5 as bridges and overpasses collapse from two to four minutes of ground shaking, possible very severe, with stressful aftershocks for weeks. “It’s going to shake here,” she said. “Single-family homes will bounce off their foundations. Landslides will cause transportation between I-5 and (Highway) 101 on the coast to be cut off for three to five years.” A big quake will cause liquefaction, in which the ground, if saturated with water, will “turn to pudding,” causing hardware, such as sewer systems, septic lines and gas tanks, to rise up out of the earth. Lines from Washington state gasoline refineries cross 15 rivers, leaving them vulnerable to quake tremors, she says. Most of these were built in the mid-20th century, with no thought to making them quake-resistant, she says, adding that they would be offline for at least six months. Electrical power would be down from one to three months until transformers and the electrical grid get going again, she says.
A region’s markets have food enough for only three days, so families should store at least three weeks of nonperishable food — tuna, beans, freeze-dried items — and other vital commodities, such as toilet paper. Rizzo advocates planning on the household, regional and statewide levels before the inevitable quake emanates from the “big, bad, ugly” Cascadia Subduction Zone, which runs 600 miles from about Eureka, Calif., to the north end of Vancouver Island. The North American tectonic plate, on which the Rogue Valley rests, is moving southwesterly a couple of inches a year, overriding oceanic plates and building up tension. When the tension is released, she said, it causes far-reaching land quakes and lifts an enormous amount of sea water, which will slam the Oregon Coast with tsunamis. Partial quakes happen on an average of every 240 years. The last one was in 1700, so it’s been 213 years. Quakes of the entire length of the zone come every 500 to 600 years and governments should expect those to be 9.0 or more on the Richter scale — tremendously devastating. They cannot be predicted, Rizzo said. Another blow to Oregon would come if vital utilities and transportation were cut off for so long that major businesses left the state and took jobs and money with them. A dozen years ago, Oregon authorized $2 billion in bonds to bolster infrastructure in schools, community colleges and emergency services, but the recession, she said, took that off-track. Rizzo urged several hundred local residents to spread the word to family and friends to take first-aid and Community Emergency Response Team training, store supplies and get to know your neighbors and people who have training and tools. Communities must assess risks to buildings, roads, power, water and sewer lines, she said, adding that people should learn to “drop, cover and hold” and practice getting to safe places in their homes. Wall art should be screwed down, big furniture, water heater and bookcases secured, and heavy items kept close to the floor, not up high where they could fall on people. “You need to practice this over and over because when it’s happening you’re not going to be able to think,” she said. –Mail Tribune

BREAKING NEWS: 61 civilians, 5 terrorists dead in Nairobi siege – Kenyan president

Kenyan soldiers clear on September 24, 2013 the top floor balcony and interior of the Westgate mall in Nairobi.(AFP Photo / Carl De Souza)
BREAKING NEWS: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the siege in Nairobi’s Westgate shopping center is over. A total of 61 civilians were killed in the attack, while five terrorist attackers were killed and another 11 are now in custody, the president said. More

UPDATE: Massive Quake kills 45 in Pakistan, creates new island in sea

A major earthquake hit a remote part of western Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 45 people and prompting a new island to rise from the sea just off the country’s southern coast. Tremors were felt as far away as the Indian capital of New Delhi, hundreds of miles (kilometers) to the east, where buildings shook, as well as the sprawling port city of Karachi in Pakistan. The United States Geological Survey said the 7.8 magnitude quake struck 145 miles southeast of Dalbandin in Pakistan’s quake-prone province of Baluchistan, which borders Iran. The earthquake was so powerful that it caused the seabed to rise and create a small, mountain-like island about 600 meters (yards) off Pakistan’s Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea. Television channels showed images of a stretch of rocky terrain rising above the sea level, with a crowd of bewildered people gathering on the shore to witness the rare phenomenon. Officials said scores of mud houses were destroyed by aftershocks in the thinly populated mountainous area near the quake epicenter in Baluchistan, a huge barren province of deserts and rugged mountains. Abdul Qadoos, deputy speaker of the Baluchistan assembly, told Reuters that at least 30 percent of houses in the impoverished Awaran district had caved in. The local deputy commissioner in Awaran, Abdul Rasheed Gogazai, and the spokesman of Pakistan’s Frontier Corps involved in the rescue effort said at least 45 people had been killed. In the regional capital of Quetta, officials said some areas appeared to be badly damaged but it was hard to assess the impact quickly because the locations were so remote. Chief secretary Babar Yaqoob said earlier that 25 people had been injured and that the death toll was expected to increase as many people appeared to be trapped inside their collapsed homes. Local television reported that helicopters carrying relief supplies had been dispatched to the affected area. The army said it had deployed 200 troops to help deal with the disaster. Reuters

After cat paws and human toes, Apple 5S owners are now using their NIPPLES to unlock the device’s fingerprint scanner

First it was the paw of a cat, then it was a man's toe and now the latest body part being used to unlock Apple's iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner is a nipple.
First it was the paw of a cat, then it was a man’s toe. Now, the latest body part being used to unlock Apple’s iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner is a nipple.  A number of videos have appeared online that appear to show male and female nipples being pressed onto the phone’s TouchID sensor.  The capacitive sensor can be used with any skin part, as long as a heartbeat and body temperature can be detected, to unlock the device.  One owner of the new iPhone 5S said: ‘I’m glad Apple’s scanner recognises nipples – it just goes to show how ridiculous the premise is in the first place. ’Now if anyone tries to mug me, they’ll have to cut one of my nipples off if they want to use my phone, and I’m not telling them which one.’ The latest Apple handset comes with technology which means they can be accessed by placing the owner’s finger on the control button. It lets owners register up to five different prints to  unlock the phone and pay for apps.  Last week, technology site, TechCrunch, wanted to test the new Touch ID feature using a cat’s paw. After a few false starts, the paw was recognised as one of the owner’s five chosen keys and was able to access the phone’s content. The user was also able to use the heel of his palm and his wrist in the experiment which is described as ‘a broadening of the definition of what counts as a ‘fingerprint’.  Though different parts of the body were able to be registered and then recognised as keys, when trying to fool the phone’s software by using the opposite hand than registered access was denied.  The experiment pointed out however that no other animals could be used to unlock the phone as cats have unique fingerprint like paws. More

AND EVIL SHALL WAX WORSE: Pennsylvania haunted house offering ‘Naked and Scared’ challenge

Will Naked and Scared participants just end up naked and scarred?
Would you run through a haunted house completely naked? If the answer is yes, you might want to head to Shocktoberfest for “Naked and Scared”, inspired by the Discovery Channel series, “Naked and Afraid.” For $20, participants can experience the Unknown Haunted House completely naked or “prude”, meaning that they are allowed to wear underwear if they so choose. More

BREAKING NEWS: Maine Man Allegedly Involved In Kenya Terrorist Attack

1305302_10151901259755407_441895480_n (1)BREAKING NEWS: PORTLAND (WGME) — A report obtained by CBS 13 News says one of the men suspected of taking people hostage at a mall in Kenya is from Maine. The report from a German magazine lists a man from Maine as one of 14 al-Shabab members who killed 68 people at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, and taking others hostage. As of 5:30 p.m. Sunday, most of the hostages had been freed. CBS 13 is working to confirm this report. Al-Shabab is a militant Somali group linked to Al-Qaeda. They have claimed responsibility for the attack that started Saturday at the upscale mall in Nairobi. The German report sources a now-suspended Twitter account that claims to belong to al-Shabab. Sen. Angus King released a statement Sunday night saying, “It appears that a terrorist group based in Somalia has claimed responsibility for the horrendous killings this weekend in Kenya.” ”According to news reports, this group has made attempts over the past several years to recruit from Somali refugee communities around the world, including England, Sweden, Russia, and the Middle East as well as in the US, in Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, Arizona and Maine.” ”Any such activity in Maine is of especial concern to me and I will be working with Homeland Security, the FBI and my colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee to gather the facts of this situation and help guide the appropriate response.” More

Death toll from Mexico storms climbs to 123

The death toll has risen to 123 from the deadly storms that flooded much of Mexico, causing major destruction to both houses and land across the nation. The country’s Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong announced the new figure on Monday while visiting the heavily-damaged resort city of Acapulco, located on the Pacific coast. Chong added that some 59,000 people have been evacuated from their homes due to the devastation caused by last week’s Hurricane Manuel and Tropical Storm Ingrid. A number of mudslides and flooding have destroyed tens of thousands of homes and wrecked highways and bridges in all but five of Mexico’s 31 states. The twin storms caused destruction in various degress to a total of 1.5 million homes across Mexico. The worst hit region is the southern state of Guerrero, one of the country’s poorest areas, where dozens of people are still missing and feared dead after a mudslide buried 40 homes in the village of La Pintada. More

Police close Temple Mount amid fears of clashes

Illustrative photo of Israeli riot police leaving the Temple Mount after clashes in 2011 (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
Jerusalem police closed the Temple Mount to non-Muslim visitors Tuesday morning, citing security concerns — a surprise announcement that caused masses of holiday pilgrims and tourists to be turned away at the site. “Security assessments were made, due to the fact that there was general intelligence that there would be disturbances on the Temple Mount, and therefore, for security reasons, we’ve closed the Temple Mount to visitors for the moment,” Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the Times of Israel.  Rosenfeld said the closure applied to “visitors, Christians and Jews” but that Muslims still had access. A new security assessment would be made Tuesday afternoon, he said. Hundreds were turned away, including several buses of school children visiting for the Sukkot holiday, Israel National News reported. MK Shuli Muallem of the Jewish Home party was among those turned away. More

PROPHECY WATCH: Israel likely to stand alone against Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at United Nations headquarters in New York City. Friday, Sept. 23, 2011(photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash90)
This year’s United Nations General Assembly enters a critical phase Tuesday, with a speech by President Barack Obama and the first appearance on the world stage of Iran’s new president, Hasan Rouhani, who is expected to attempt to convince the West of the Islamic Republic’s peaceful intentions. As diplomacy takes center stage in New York, the US and Great Britain appear willing to thaw ties with the Islamist regime following a charm offensive by Rouhani, who in recent days has been keen to show his regime’s ostensible readiness to compromise in the nuclear standoff with the West.  Israel stands alone in its rejection of Rouhani’s overtures, arguing that Rouhani merely put a friendlier face on a rogue regime still bent on acquiring nuclear weapons. “Iran’s negotiation strategy is entirely consistent with Rouhani’s policy of ‘smile and enrich,’” stated an internal Israeli government document which surfaced Tuesday. More

Somali terror group has 20 American members, prone to strike outside Somalia

The Somali terror group that stormed a Kenyan mall, killing more than 60 people, has a larger U.S. contingent than any other al Qaeda offshoot, said U.S. officials, and is now more prone to mount deadly attacks on targets outside Somalia. Al Shabaab’s attacks on foreign targets include an attempt to kill a U.S. congressman visiting Mogadishu in 2009. Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., was uninjured in the mortar attack. Via Twitter, al Shabaab has claimed that six of the jihadis holding hostages at Nairobi’s Westgate mall are Americans, and provided names for what it said were individuals from Minneapolis, Kansas City, Maine, Illinois and Arizona. Senior officials said that U.S. law enforcement has run the list of U.S. persons named on Twitter as involved in the Kenya mall attack against the list of U.S. persons  known to be affiliated with Al Shabaab. They have found no match at this time. More

Gunmen who stormed Kenya mall reportedly spoke English, were from different countries

The death toll released by the government stood at 62 civilians, with more than 175 injured. It was the deadliest attack in Kenya since the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. An earlier figure of 69 deaths, provided by the Kenyan Red Cross, was revised downward. Sixty-three people were missing, according to the Red Cross, suggesting that the militants still held hostages inside the mall. Kenyan officials said 10 bodies had been pulled out of the mall over the previous 24 hours, but they did not give details. Al-Shabab has said the carnage was in retaliation for Kenya sending troops to fight in Somalia, where they remain a key defense for the Western-backed Mogadishu government against the militia. Lenku, the Interior Ministry official, said that “almost all of the hostages have been evacuated,” and officials said three of the estimated 10 to 15 militants were killed in the standoff. Ten people in Kenya have been detained in connection with the investigation, officials said. More

Ball of light spotted over Texas this weekend was likely fireball meteor

If you saw a bright green ball of light in the night sky over North Texas this weekend, you weren’t alone. The American Meteor Society has received 55 reports of sightings since the likely meteor appeared about 9 p.m. Saturday. Locally there were accounts from Fort Worth to Dallas to Waxahachie, and also as far south as San Antonio and north to Meridian, Okla. An observer from Fort Worth described the light as “bright blue green-like lightning with what appeared to be a fire-like tail glowing red orange.” The viewer said the light was “extremely close and lit up neighboring rooftops.” One viewer from Waxahachie likened it to an explosion. “After it exploded, the meteor got brighter and didn’t burn out until it was close to the horizon,” the person said. The object was likely a fireball, which is a bright meteor, according to the society’s website. (Or could it have been something else?) Although several thousand meteors of fireball magnitude happen in the Earth’s atmosphere every day, a vast majority occur over the ocean and in uninhabited regions, according to the AMS website. Many fireballs are masked by daylight, and those that happen at night stand a small chance of being noticed because of the relatively low number of potential witnesses. There were also six reports on another fireball sighting spotted around Austin and San Angelo around 5:56 a.m. Monday. Dallas news

PAul Begley

HArvest ARmy


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