Astronomers ‘dumbfounded’ by six-tailed asteroid /Scientists now able to alter human DNA/MOST powerful Solar flare of 2013/FUKUSHIMA: extremely dangerousFuel rods removal to start/NATO: biggest military exercise in a decade/Philippines Typhoon: strongest of this year and more signs of JESUS’ soon return

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Pope to meet Russian President Putin Nov 25

Pope Francis will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 25 in their first encounter since the pontiff was elected, the Vatican said on Thursday. Relations between Russia and the Vatican have been strained since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Russia accuses the Catholic Church of trying to poach believers from the Russian Orthodox Church, a charge the Vatican denies. The late Pope John Paul II held a historic meeting with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 but was never able to fulfill his dream of visiting Russia because of opposition from the Russian Orthodox Church. Reuters

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. to Allow Iran to Continue Enriching, Netanyahu Warns “Grievous Mistake”!

BREAKING NEWS – The United States has proposed a short-term nuclear agreement with Iran at a meeting in Geneva which would allow Tehran to continue enriching uranium at low levels, an aide briefed on the talks told the British Telegraph newspaper on Thursday. The goal is to freeze Iran’s nuclear program for perhaps six months in order to create a breathing space for a comprehensive agreement to be negotiated, according to the Telegraph. Western diplomats and U.S. officials have refused to disclose any details of a “first step agreement” with Iran at Thursday’s talks in Geneva. But a Senate aide, citing briefings from the White House, the State Department and sources in Geneva, said he understood that it would include four key points: More

 

Netanyahu Warns ‘Grievous Historic Error’ being Made at Geneva – A senior Iranian official claimed Thursday that a breakthrough had been made at nuclear talks in Geneva, and that Tehran’s proposed plan for resolving the impasse over its atomic program has been accepted by the six world powers. At roughly the same time, Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, warned that signing an interim deal with Iran would be a mistake of “historic proportions,” but that appears to be precisely the deal being hammered out. Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, said the so-called P5+1 powers had “accepted the framework of Iran’s proposal.” ”The aim of both sides is to sign the agreement,” he told Iranian journalists after the first session of talks, adding that further progress was expected at a scheduled meeting on Thursday evening. ”We hope we can all reach an agreement on a single text and that an agreement would be signed between two sides. We are currently working on this issue but it is too early to say if we will have a written agreement or it will be deferred to the next meeting or the next ones,” Araqchi said. “It’s too early to say whether a written agreement could be made in the next 48 hours.” More

 

Failure of peace talks may ignite third intifada: Kerry – US Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a grim warning to Israel on Thursday that failure to make peace with the Palestinians could trigger a new, bloody uprising. ”The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos,” Kerry said in a joint interview with Israel’s Channel 2 and the Palestinian Broadcasting Corp. ”I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?” the top US diplomat asked, using the Arabic word for uprising. The first intifada against the Israeli occupation ran from 1987 to 1993. It was followed by a second one from late 2000 to 2005 in which rights groups estimate some 3,000 Palestinian and 1,000 Israeli civilians and troops died. Kerry was speaking before he was due to return to Jerusalem on Friday for breakfast with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is on his seventh trip to Israel and the West Bank as he seeks to put the troubled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations back on track. More

Kerry says progress is being made in Mideast peace Drive – US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday he has made “significant progress” in marathon talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders amid fears Israeli settlements could derail the peace process. Kerry pledged that he “absolutely” believed a final agreement on all the most difficult issues could be reached but he did not rule out the possibility of first striking an interim deal. ”We made significant progress in our discussions about a couple of the areas of concern in the panorama of the concerns that exist,” Kerry told reporters in Amman after talks with King Abdullah II and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. He flew to Jordan after holding more than 10 hours of shuttle diplomacy between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Bethlehem in a bid to keep the negotiations on track. More
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have spotted a freakish asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust streaming from its body like spokes on a wheel, scientists said on Thursday. ”We were literally dumbfounded when we saw it,” astronomer David Jewitt with the University of California at Los Angeles, said in a statement. “It’s hard to believe we’re looking at an asteroid.” Asteroids normally have no tails. The asteroid, known as P/2013 P5, first appeared as a fuzzy point of light in a sky survey by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii in August. In September astronomers used the sharp-eyed orbiting Hubble telescope to zero in on the object, located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Not only is the asteroid sporting six tails, follow-up observations 13 days later showed it had changed shape. Scientists suspect pressure from photons, small particles of light or electromagnetic radiation, in sunlight is causing the asteroid to spin faster, disrupting its surface. Computer models show the dust plumes likely started rising off the asteroid’s surface in April 2012, according to Jessica Agarwal, with the Max Planck Institute in Lindau, Germany. ”P/2013 P5 might be losing dust as it rotates at high speed,” Agarwal said in a statement. “The sun then drags this dust into the distinct tails we’re seeing.” Astronomers intend to keep a lookout for signs the asteroid is breaking up, a process they suspect is common, but never before observed. ”This is just an amazing object to us, and almost certainly the first of many more to come,” Jewitt said. The research appears in this week’s issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. Yahoo News

 

Putin to Visit Egypt to Replace U.S Military Ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Egypt later this month, the Washington Free Beacon reports, in what is seen as an attempt to replace the US as the Nile state’s military provider. The visit, during which US officials predict Putin will announce a major arms deal, comes as US ties with both Egypt and Saudi Arabia are weakening, and may indicate a shifting of regional influence in Moscow’s favor. Tensions rose between the US and Egypt following US President Barack Obama’s partial freeze of Egyptian military aid last month. The move came on the heels of Obama’s perceived support of ousted President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Washington Free Beacon notes that Egypt is interested in acquiring Russian fighter jets and Tor anti-aircraft missiles, in addition to upgrades for its Soviet-era tanks, all of which are weapons systems the US has currently blocked. If the visit is successful, Russia will mend military relations with Egypt that were strong until 1977, when then-President Anwar Sadat broke ties in favor of US backing. The announced visit comes after initial reports of Egypt’s intention to seal a 15 billion dollar arms deal with Russia, which reportedly will include MiG-29 planes and other military equipment. Egypt expressed its interest after an Egyptian delegation visited Moscow last Thursday. Just before US Secretary of State John Kerry’s apparently unsuccessful conciliation visit to Cairo on Sunday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi stated that his country is looking for partners other than the US to meet its security needs. Kerry’s visit included a stop in Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to patch things up with the Gulf state which has expressed displeasure over Obama’s handling of Syria and the Iranian nuclear threat. Saudi Arabia reportedly will help finance Egypt’s Russian arms deal. Russia has been taking an increasingly active role asserting itself in the Middle East, replacing America according to some, as US alliances and influence in the region have faltered. According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov Thursday, Russia will be hosting representatives of both the Assad regime and the rebel forces in unofficial peace talks between the two sides. He added that both sides had agreed to the meetings. The development comes after US and western backed initiatives for a Geneva 2 Conference to discuss Syrian peace has fallen apart as the rebel forces have demanded that talks focus on Assad’s exit, while Assad insists on staying in power. Arutz Sheva

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Russian meteor shows 20,000,000 space rocks threaten Earth, scientists warn

The meteor that shocked Russia in February when it exploded in the skies above Chelyabinsk shows us that the danger from space rocks smashing into Earth is much bigger than previously thought, an international group of scientists has concluded. The 20-meter-wide meteor, which streaked across the sky and exploded into small pieces on Feb. 15, smashing windows, damaging buildings and damaging residents’ eyesight, could have caused much more damage if it had been more solid, three studies published in US journals Nature and Science on Wednesday found. After studying the area around the explosion and a wealth of video and other evidence over the last few months, NASA scientist Paul Chodas said the meteor blast showed that there were about 20 million space rocks whizzing around the solar system that could do serious damage to Earth – not the 3 million previously thought. That’s because it was considered that meteors had to be 30 meters and wider to cause huge devastation, but Chelyabinsk was actually a nearer miss than it seemed at the time, the scientists said. Hundreds of videos recorded by car dashboard cameras were analyzed, which helped a great deal to verify the exact trajectory, speed and the energy of the meteor explosion that shattered windows in more than 3,600 apartment blocks,  broke in doors and gates, in some cases collapsing roofs and knocking many pedestrians off their feet. More

SIGNS IN THE SUN – X3-Class solar flare produces rare ‘Magnetic Crochet’ on Earth

Solar flare causes rare ‘MAGNETIC CROCHET’: On Nov. 5th at 22:12 UT, the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR1890 erupted, producing a brief but intense X3-class solar flare. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash: Radiation from the flare caused a surge in the ionization of Earth’s upper atmosphere–and this led to a rare magnetic crochet. Alexander Avtanski observed the effect using a homemade magnetometer in San Jose, California. A magnetic crochet is a disturbance in Earth’s magnetic field caused by electrical currents flowing in air 60 km to 100 km above our heads. Unlike geomagnetic disturbances that arrive with CMEs days after a flare, a magnetic crochet occurs while the flare is in progress. They tend to occur during fast impulsive flares like this one. Extinction Protocol
INDONESIA – Mount Sinabung in Indonesia has erupted for the third time in as many months, spewing ash over 4 miles into the air and covering nearby villages in gray powder. The volcanic activity began on Sunday and more than 1200 people have been evacuated so far. The volcano surprised scientists in 2010 when it rumbled back to life after being dormant for centuries.  Sinabung is one of 120 active volcanoes in the country which is located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”  Extinction Protocol

New breed of poison-resistant ‘super rats’ spreading across the UK

LONDON – A new breed of poison-resistant “super rat” is spreading across the UK. The rats look like normal rats but cannot be killed by regular poison pellets and eat them ‘like feed.” The disease-carrying rats are taking over other rat populations, experts say. They have been spotted in Kent and Sussex in the southeast of the country and the West Country in the southwest, the International Business Times reports. The rats have also reportedly been sighted further north in Oxford and Berkshire, sparking fears that they are spreading. Pest controllers want to use more lethal poisons in order to stop the rats travelling further but are facing resistance from authorities. Richard Moseley from the British Pest Control Association said: “Normal rats are being killed off by poison, so these resistant species are taking their place – it’s only natural that their numbers are expanding. “But they’re being found further afield than previously anticipated. They eat poison like feed, you might as well be leaving out grain for them.” Dr. Dougie Clarke, from the University of Huddersfield, said even poisons used by pest control experts were not strong enough to kill them. “There are obviously health concerns and worries about the bacteria they carry, such as salmonella,” Dr Clarke said. “They carry a lot of diseases, including Weil’s, which has been linked to deaths. They also chew on electrical cables.” But pest controllers’ bids to use stronger poisons have so far been denied by the Health and Safety Executive because there are fears they will damage the environment and kill other wildlife.Extinction Protocol

TWRA cites snake-handling pastor, seizes snakes

An East Tennessee pastor who handles snakes as part of his faith has been cited by TWRA, and his venomous snakes have been confiscated. According to TWRA’s Matt Cameron, wildlife officers went to Andrew Hamblin’s home in LaFollette Thursday morning and asked him if he had any venomous snakes. Hamblin said he did, and they were at an undisclosed location. When the officers asked him if the snakes were at his church, the Tabernacle Church of God, he said yes. Hamblin took the officers to the church where they seized fifty of the reptiles. More

 

ECB Cuts Interest Rate To New Record Low as Economy continues to Spiral Downward

The European Central Bank cut its main interest rate on Thursday to a new record low of 0.25 percent, responding to a surprise drop in inflation by easing policy to support the euro zone’s weak economic recovery. The quarter-point cut was largely unexpected and highlights the ECB’s concern about the slowdown in euro zone inflation to 0.7 percent in October – a rate far below its target of just under 2 percent. The euro fell sharply after the decision to $1.3397 from $1.35 prior to the announcement. The ECB held the deposit rate it pays on bank deposits at 0.0 percent, but cut its marginal lending facility – or emergency borrowing rate – to 0.75 percent from 1.00 percent. The central bank had faced calls from Italy’s finance minister and France’s industry minister to ease policy in response to strength in the euro. Markets now turn their attention to ECB President Mario Draghi’s 1330 GMT news conference, at which he will explain the reasoning behind the Governing Council’s decision to cut rates. Huff Post
MINNEAPOLIS –  A pastor who works as a school bus driver during the week recently lost his job for praying with the children who ride his bus. George Nathaniel, 49, is the pastor of both the Elite Church of the First Born and Grace Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He has worked for the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District for the past two years, and was hired by Durham School Services, which provides the drivers for the district. As Nathaniel is a Christian, he says that he likes to give the opportunity for students to sing and pray to start off their day on a positive note. “We start out with a song,” he told the Star Tribune. “Then each person will pray if they want to pray. If they don’t want to pray, they don’t have to pray. Then I will pray and ask them if they want to join me in prayer. Just give them something constructive and positive to go to school with.” More
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned on Thursday against an agreement with Iran that stops short of getting it to halt its uranium enrichment, amid reports that just such a deal was in the works. ”Israel understands that there are proposals on the table in Geneva today that would ease the pressure on Iran for concessions that are not concessions at all. This proposal would allow Iran to retain the capabilities to make nuclear weapons,” he said  during a speech to the Jewish Agency.  ”This proposal will allow Iran to preserve its ability to build a nuclear weapon. Israel is completely opposed to these proposals.  I believe that adopting them would be a mistake of historic proportions and they should be completely rejected,” he said.  Netanyahu’s comments came as Iran and the P5+1, made up of the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, resumed negotiations in Geneva. ”The sanctions regime  brought the Iranian economy to the brink of the abyss, and the policies of the P5+1 can force Iran to completely dismantle  its nuclear weapons program, and that means stopping all enrichment,, and all work on the heavy water reactor and on plutonium,” he said. Netanyahu added that “anything less” would decrease the chances of reaching an agreement through peaceful means. “Israel always reserves the right to defend itself, by itself, against any threat,” he asserted. More

Obamacare Restrictions Lead Brooklyn Couple To Consider Divorce

New York –  From website crashes to long holds on calls, the issues involved with the unveiling of the Affordable Care Act are well documented. But now, could it be breaking couples up? CBS 2’s Don Champion spoke to one Brooklyn couple on Wednesday who said they may be forced to get a divorce to get health insurance. Nona Willis Aronowitz and Aaron Cassara’s love affair began at a party in 2008. “We kissed on a bean bag chair,” Aronowitz said. A year later, it grew into a marriage at City Hall in Manhattan. “It was really sudden,” Aronowitz said. “It was basically because he needed health insurance, and I had a job that would give that to him.” But four years later, there is now irony in the fact the couple could soon divorce for the same reason. “After Obamacare has rolled out, we realized that we would save thousands of dollars if we got divorced,” Aronowitz said. More

 

 

Kerry warns of violence if peace talks fail with Israel and Palestine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Thursday of a return to violence if faltering peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians ultimately fail. He also rejected suggestions that he scale back his ambition to forge a final settlement with an interim agreement and said he still believed it could be done by an April 2014 target date. Kerry has been shuffling this week between Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan in a frantic bid to get the peace negotiations back on track amid rising public anger among Palestinians over Israeli settlement activity and among Israelis over the release of Palestinian prisoners. ”What is the alternative to peace?” Kerry asked at a joint news conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. “Prolonged continued conflict. The absence of peace really means you have a sort of low-grade conflict, war.” ”As long as the aspirations of people are held down one way or another … as long as there is this conflict and if the conflict frustrates once again so that people cannot find a solution, the possibilities of violence” increase, he said. More

Scientists now able to alter human DNA.

dnsA breakthrough in genetics – described as “jaw-dropping” by one Nobel scientist – has created intense excitement among DNA experts around the world who believe the discovery will transform their ability to edit the genomes of all living organisms, including humans. The development has been hailed as a milestone in medical science because it promises to revolutionise the study and treatment of a range of diseases, from cancer and incurable viruses to inherited genetic disorders such as sickle-cell anaemia and Down syndrome. For the first time, scientists are able to engineer any part of the human genome with extreme precision using a revolutionary new technique called Crispr, which has been likened to editing the individual letters on any chosen page of an encyclopedia without creating spelling mistakes. The landmark development means it is now possible to make the most accurate and detailed alterations to any specific position on the DNA of the 23 pairs of human chromosomes without introducing unintended mutations or flaws, scientists said. More

Bitcoin boom: Virtual currency hits all-time high of $309

The value of Bitcoin virtual currency has increased 20-fold in the past year and hit an all-time high of $309.68 on Mt. Gox, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange. Growth sustainability is at risk as new ‘Silk Road’ makes it a target of the US government. Bitcoin’s extraordinary rise has garnered attention from investors from Cyprus to China wanting to get in on the soaring prices. But its success on the online ‘Silk Road’ has made it, along with drugs, a target for the US government.  The re-launch of the illegal online drug operator Silk Road could threaten the ‘Bitcoin boom’ as the FBI continues its crack down on Bitcoins used to barter for contraband products. On Wednesday an almost exact copy of the notorious internet marketplace Silk Road “has risen from the ashes”, the new clone site announced.  Government officials will be quick to try and nip operations of the reincarnated site in the bud; dubbed the ‘Black market reloaded’. Bitcoin took a 15 percent nosedive in value when the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) blocked the criminal internet platform. The dollar value of the virtual currency Bitcoin slumped from about $145 per coin to $123 after the FBI shutdown the ‘Silk Road’, and a future break-up could bring further instability to the currency. More

Fukushima plant readies for dangerous fuel rod removal

JAPAN – Nuclear engineers in Japan are preparing to move uranium and plutonium fuel rods at Fukushima, their most difficult and dangerous task since the plant’s runaway reactors were brought under control two years ago. Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) is expected this month to begin removing fuel rods from a pool inside a reactor building at the tsunami-hit plant, in a technically challenging operation that will test the utility’s expertise after months of setbacks and glitches. Experts say the operation is a tricky but essential step in the decades-long decommissioning and recovery after the worst atomic accident in a generation. But, they add, it pales in comparison with the much more complex task that awaits engineers in the future. They will have to remove the misshapen cores of three reactors that went into meltdown, probably relying on technology that has not yet been invented.More

Global markets jump as US Fed officials signal intention to keep economic stimulus in place

Stocks on Wall Street soared back towards all time highs after two US Federal Reserve officials said ongoing weakness in the economy justified keeping interest rates near zero for longer. In a paper, US Federal Reserve Division of Monetary Affairs chief William English said it could be helpful to wait until unemployment falls below 6.5 per cent before raising interest rates. A paper by a separate Fed official, David Wilcox, suggested ongoing weakness in the economy justified keeping interest rates near zero for longer. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.8 per cent higher at 15,747 and the benchmark S&P 500 Index added 0.4 per cent, to 1,770. But the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.2 per cent, to 3,932, dragged down by losses for electric carmaker Tesla after its profits disappointed investors. Europe markets mostly advanced, helped by better than expected profits for companies including the global bank ING. There was some mixed economic data pointing to strength in the UK and Germany, where industrial orders rose, but overall weakness in the eurozone. More

Michelle Obama: ‘We Want to Honor and Embrace All…Faith Traditions’

At a White House Diwali celebration on Tuesday afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama said that she and her husband wanted to celebrate all the faith and culture traditions ‘that make us who we are as Americans.” Even as she was saying this, there were 200 plaintiffs pursuing 77 lawsuits asking federal courts to protect their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion from a regulation issued by the administration under Obamacare that requires health insurance plans to cover sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion inducing drugs and devices. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty maintains a website that tracks the lawsuits. The plaintiffs range from the Hobby Lobby stores to the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. In September, the Department of Justice appealed the Hobby Lobby case to the Supreme Court, asking the court to force the family that owns Hobby Lobby to act against their Christian faith by making them buy insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices. More

DAYS OF LOT – Gay-rights activists turn to Fortune 500s to push LGBT laws

Gay-rights groups frustrated with the slow pace of Congress and energized by the recent gains in same-sex marriage laws have turned to the private sector for help in pushing their agenda, targeting the corporations with the biggest punch — the Fortune 500s. The aim is to get big business to help drive anti-discrimination legislation that offers workplace protections for sexual orientation or sexual identity into speedy law. So far, Dow Chemical Co., Marriott International and Procter & Gamble have all backed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, already sailing through the Senate with nonpartisan support, The Hill reported. But Republicans in the House are more hesitant — thus, the reach-out to corporate America. House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman, for instance, said ENDA would “increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs,” The Hill reported. But businesses are bucking that line of logic. “We believe that this strategy of businesses joining together to make the case has been a successful one to date,” said Bryan McCleary, Procter & Gamble’s spokesman, More

Philippines brace for Year’s Strongest “Super Typhoon”

MANILA  – Authorities in the Philippines grounded air and sea transport on Thursday and urged fishing boats to return to port, as an approaching super typhoon, the most powerful storm on earth this year, gathered speed. Typhoon Haiyan is expected to make landfall early on Friday between the central islands of Samar and Leyte. With center winds of 215 kph (133 mph) and gusts of up to 250 kph, the storm, rated as category five, the most severe, was moving west-northwest at 33 kph in the Pacific Ocean. President Benigno Aquino appealed to citizens to evacuate danger zones. “I am calling for community teamwork and cooperation,” he said on national television and radio. Aquino said 100 coastal areas face the threat of storm surges, bringing waves higher than 5 m to 6 m, and ordered action by local officials to limit damage and loss of lives. Thousands of residents were moved from coastlines, river banks, and mountain slopes to safer spots, while military transport vehicles were put on standby. Strong winds and heavy rain buffeted areas in the path of the storm, as the state weather bureau raised alert levels in more than 20 parts of the central Philippines. The coast guard suspended ferry operations, ordered a halt to fishing and warned deep-sea fishing boats to seek shelter or return to port. Carrier Cebu Pacific announced the suspension of more than 100 local flights. More

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS – Huge Fireball Reported Over LA, San Diego and Southern California

Meteors flew over Los Angeles, San Diego, and southern California on Wednesday night, prompting a flood of tweets and calls–and people in Arizona, Chicago, and Texas also reported seeing meteors. Thousands of people reported seeing a meteor via Twitter and other networks. “I saw it! Huge flash of light, followed by a streak of light for a few seconds, and then it was gone. Scary but beautiful,” Russ Haigis , a San Diego resident, told Epoch Times. “I saw the meteor it was huge and broke into three large pieces,” said another person via Twitter. “Looked like something burning up upon entry into atmosphere, big flareup,” said Mary Slosson. “Saw meteor in Newport Beach driving south on Pacific Coast Highway, giant blue fireball, white in center with long smoky tail, heading southwest then FLASH!” said another user on Twitter.

 

 

In addition, dozens of people have reported to the American Meteor Society, with reports from various areas of California–including Temecula, San Bernardino, and Chula Vista–as well as St. George, Utah; and Brenda and Phoenix in Arizona. “Most brilliant white object I’ve ever seen,” said John B. from Temecula, CA. “Looked as bright as burning phosphorus.” The National Weather Service said: “Lots of meteor sightings this evening. These are likely associated with the South Taurids [meteor shower].” The meteor shower is well-known for having a high percentage of fireballs–or exceptionally bright meteors–according to EarthSky. Meteors are bits of rocks and ice ejected from comets as they move in their orbits about the sun. Dr. Laura Danly, a curator at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, told CBS that what people saw was fireballs, or chunks of asteroids called meteroids. “They’re flying into the Earth’s atmosphere and they’re burning up,” she said. “It’s kind of like when astronauts return to the Earth’s atmosphere and there is all that heat during re-entry. Same idea. These rocks are literally burning up. And that’s what you’re seeing.” An astronomy professor at the University of California, Irvine added that the green light some people saw was oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. Epoch Times

 

Russia will arm two more regiments of the Strategic Missile Forces with Yars mobile ballistic missile systems by the end of 2013, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday. “We are facing an important task – to preserve the balance of the strategic deterrence system, which makes the maintenance and timely re-equipment of the strategic nuclear forces a key area of military development,” Shoigu said. The SMF has so far fully equipped two regiments of the Teikovo Missile Division in central Russia with Yars systems. The two regiments consist of a total of 18 missile systems and several mobile command posts, according to the Defense Ministry. Shoigu did not say where the new missiles will be deployed, but mentioned that they will be first tested in the Novosibirsk Missile Division, based in Siberia. More

Flash Mobs Ransack Sports Authority Stores.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Unbelievable surveillance video captured flash mobs dashing into store after store and running out with armloads and sometimes entire racks of sporting goods. It has happened at three different Sports Authority stores in the Chicago area. This past Monday in Burbank at just before 1 p.m., five individuals entered a Sports Authority and soon after they were off. Video shows them running out the door with rack after rack of apparel and an employee giving chase. On Saturday at a Sports Authority on Clark Street, a half dozen entered and stole several racks with lighting fast speed. The store chain sounded the siren, saying, “At Sports Authority, the comfort and safety of our employees and customers always remain our top priority.” More

Iran demands right to expand nuke program.

Despite a softening tone from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the regime’s illicit nuclear program, the Islamic Republic is hardening its position on the right to enrich uranium. An analysis by Fars News Agency, the Revolutionary Guards’ media outlet, said that Iran not only has the right to continue its nuclear program but to expand it dramatically to fulfill its needs. The recent analysis comes as the second round of talks between Iran and the world 5+1 powers is to take place on Nov. 7-8.  The regime’s supreme leader said on Sunday that he is not optimistic about those negotiations and called America the most hated power in the world. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also restated the regime’s view of Israel: “We have said since the very first day (of the Islamic Revolution), and we do say it now and we will say it in the future as well, that we believe the Zionist regime is an illegitimate and bastard regime.” More

 

Saudi nuclear weapons ‘on order’ from Pakistan

Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will, a variety of sources have told BBC Newsnight. While the kingdom’s quest has often been set in the context of countering Iran’s atomic programme, it is now possible that the Saudis might be able to deploy such devices more quickly than the Islamic republic. Earlier this year, a senior Nato decision maker told me that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery. Last month Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, told a conference in Sweden that if Iran got the bomb, “the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.” Since 2009, when King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warned visiting US special envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross that if Iran crossed the threshold, “we will get nuclear weapons”, the kingdom has sent the Americans numerous signals of its intentions. More

Shrimp Parasite Causing Mass Die-Off In Georgia, South Carolina As Black Gill Disease Spreads

CHARLESTON, S.C.,  – The size of wild shrimp hauls off the southern Atlantic coast have plunged in recent months as a parasite has made it harder for the creatures to breathe, according to state wildlife officials in Georgia and South Carolina. Experts said they believe black gill disease, caused by a tiny parasite, contributed to a die-off of white shrimp between August and October, typically the prime catch season. The disease does not kill shrimp directly but hurts their endurance and makes them more vulnerable to predators. ”It’s like the shrimp are smoking three packs of cigarettes a day, and now they’re having to go run a marathon,” said Mel Bell, director of South Carolina’s Office of Fisheries Management. ”Shrimpers are reporting to us that they dump the bag on the deck, and the shrimp are just dead.” South Carolina shrimpers hauled in 44,000 pounds of shrimp in September, less than 6 percent of the September, 2012 catch of more than 750,000 pounds, Bell said. The August take was down nearly 75 percent from the same month the previous year, he said. Georgia shrimpers have caught fewer than half the number they usually catch in August, September and October, said Patrick Geer, chief of marine fisheries for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Wild-caught shrimp generate $6 million to $8-million in annual revenue in South Carolina and about $12 million a year in Georgia, officials said.

 

Bell said the shrimp is safe to eat as long as it has not spoiled. The parasite is only on its gills, which come off when the head is removed for human consumption. A shrimp company operator in Florida said she had not seen black gill disease there this year. ”We have seen it in the past in Florida, but it’s when the shrimp in Georgia have moved down,” said Marilyn Solorzano, who operates Miss Marilyn Louise Shrimp Co. on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville. ”There haven’t been enough shrimp in Georgia this year to move down to Florida,” she said. Researchers in Georgia are studying the life cycle of the parasite that causes black gill disease in hopes of finding a way to combat it, Geer said. Officials blamed drought for earlier outbreaks in the last decade, but this year the U.S. Southeast saw record rainfall. Too much rain changed water salinity and upset the delicate balance of salt and fresh water in the creeks where shrimp grow up, Bell said. ”When the shrimp are stressed, they’re susceptible to being infected with the parasite,” he said. Wildlife agency officials in Georgia will meet with the state’s shrimp association this month to determine just how bad the crop has been. If data indicate a major decline, Georgia will apply for relief funds from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Geer said. South Carolina officials have not determined whether to seek disaster relief, Bell said. Tommy Edwards, a veteran shrimper in Charleston, said he is barely getting by. ”I’m not making any money,” said Edwards, 52. “Normally, we have enough money where we’re set for the winter and repairs and so forth, but we don’t have enough for a month’s worth of bills.”
Black gill disease tends to taper off as waters get colder in November, officials said. Huffington Post

The Supreme Court of the United States is set to hear oral argument today surrounding the issue of whether it is permissible for municipalities to present prayers predominantly in Jesus’ name, especially if area residents are largely Christian. As previously reported, the court accepted the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway in May of this year, a legal challenge that centers on the invocations that are offered at town hall meetings in Greece, New York, just outside of Rochester. The matter stems back to 2010, when local residents Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens sued the town, asserting that its preponderance of Christian prayers violate the Constitution. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the women noted that most of the invocations were in Jesus’ name or referenced the Holy Spirit. Galloway and Stephens contended that the prayers made them feel “marginalized” as they are not followers of the Christian faith. Galloway is Jewish and Stephens is an atheist. After some residents first complained to town officials about the matter, other faiths were incorporated into the meetings, including at one point, the Wiccan religion. However, as prayers continued to be in Jesus’ name more often than not since the town is largely comprised of Christian and Catholic churches, the women decided to take the matter to court. More

Big quake near Fukushima would ‘decimate Japan, lead to US West Coast evacuation’

The stricken nuclear plant at Fukushima in northern Japan is in such a delicate condition that a future earthquake could trigger a disaster that would decimate Japan and affect the entire West Coast of North America, a prominent scientist has warned. Speaking at a symposium on water ecology at the University of Alberta in Canada, prominent Japanese-Canadian scientist David Suzuki said that the Japanese government had been “lying through its teeth” about the true extent of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. He attributed the cover-up to the Japanese government’s collusion with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) that administers the plant. “Fukushima is the most terrifying situation that I can imagine,” Suzuki said, adding that another earthquake could trigger a potentially catastrophic, nuclear disaster.  “The fourth [reactor] has been so badly damaged that the fear is if there’s another earthquake of a 7 or above then that building will go and all hell breaks loose,” he said, adding that the chances of an earthquake measuring 7 or above in Japan over the next three years were over 95 percent. More

 

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