July 30, 2005

News for July 30, 2005

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A Wake Up Call (July 30, 2005) - “There is no use in giving concessions. The more you concede, the more generous you are, the more it is seen as weakness and they will attack you again to get more concessions.” - former Muslim extremist, Tawfik Hamid. The recent bombings in Egypt echoed the attacks that have taken place in the United States, Britain, Spain, Iraq, Israel and elsewhere at the hands of Islamic terrorists. With each new act of horror and destruction we are faced with a series of heart-wrenching questions: Why do terrorists target vacationing families and commuters on their way to work? What is their motivation? What can be done to stop them? After September 11, 2001 a number of persons spoke out and blamed the terror attacks on America’s foreign policy. America was attacked because of its support for Israel, they said. On July 7, 2005, four suicide bombers succeeded in killing dozens of people in London, and Britain’s foreign policy was blamed. Britain was attacked because of its support of America in Iraq, they said. This weekend, hundreds of people were killed and injured in Egypt. Why Egypt? What did they do wrong? The answer is simple, but nonetheless chilling. The 88 people who died in Sharm el-Sheikh were tourists and unwitting Egyptians, not politicians or soldiers. They were murdered by men who believed that blowing up Westerners would further their cause. It is a cause for which these men were willing to take the lives of hundreds of innocent Russian school children, to blow up unsuspecting Spanish commuters on their way to work, and to murder old men and nursing mothers. more...


Chechen Warlord Basayev Admits to Being Terrorist, Promises More Attacks - Shamil Basayev, the top military commander of the Chechen rebels has admitted in a televised interview that he is a terrorist and promised to make each Russian feel the impact of war in Chechnya, the Associated Press agency reports. Basayev, linked to a dozen deadly attacks on civilians, said he was plotting more. “I’m making plans. We’re always looking for new ways,” he said on ABC News’ “Nightline”. The Kremlin denounced the network’s decision to run the interview, which was conducted by well-known Russian journalist Andrei Babitsky. more...


India Monsoon Death Toll Nears 750 - Hundreds of angry demonstrators blocked traffic for hours Saturday to demand restoration of drinking water and electricity and clearing of rotting animal carcasses after this week’s monsoon rains in western India. Officials said the death toll could reach 1,000. Rescuers found more than 100 bodies in the debris of collapsed homes Saturday, bringing the official death toll from the devastating floods in Bombay and the surrounding Maharashtra state to 853. They fear more bodies are buried in remote areas, and the death toll could increase by 100 to 150, said Chief Secretary Prem Kumar, the state’s top bureaucrat. more...


Bin Laden Brothers Tip-Off Two NASA Research Scientists In 1987 About U.S. Government Plans To Cause 9/11; Now Third Person Comes Forward To Verify Scientists’ Incredible Story Greg Szymanski (July 30, 2005) - Rene Welch cut “a deal with the devil,” a deal she recently broke when she went public about her two 1987 encounters with Saudi royals, including two of the bin Laden brothers who claimed the U.S. government was actively involved in pre-arranging 9/11. Welch’s incredible story, first made public in May, has already been verified by one other former NASA scientist. But this week another person present at the meeting also came forward to verify Welch’s story. The meetings with the Saudis took place in Sedona and Pleasant Valley, Arizona, and lasted more than eight hours each time, the bin Ladens revealing in 1987 detailed plans how the U.S. government was planning to attack the World Trade Center, kicking off a global catastrophe, including a massive war in the Middle East. more...


Strong earthquake rattles Tokyo (July 30, 2005) - A strong earthquake registering 5.1 on the Richter scale rattled Tokyo, shaking buildings in the heart of the capital, officials said. The quake with a depth of 50 kilometers (30 miles) struck at 7:15 pm (1015 GMT) on Thursday in Ibaraki prefecture northeast of Tokyo, said the meteorological agency, adding there was no risk of tsunami waves.


Earthquake rattles Montana, other states (July 30, 2005) - Eight aftershocks rumbled through southwestern Montana early Tuesday in the wake of an earthquake late Monday measuring a magnitude 5.6 that rattled windows, buildings and nerves, but caused no serious damage. The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake and its aftershocks were centered about 13 miles northeast of Dillon, although residents across a wide swath of Montana, Idaho and Washington reported feeling the main temblor at about 10:10 p.m. Reports came in from as far away as Seattle, 490 miles to the west; and Hardin, 246 miles to the east; Troy, more than 248 miles to the north; and Bonners Ferry, Idaho, 303 miles to the south. Some residents reported two distinct tremors, several seconds apart, lasting about eight to 10 seconds in all.  more...


Earthquake measuring 5.6 strikes at 67 kilometers depth in Fox Island (July 30, 2005) - An earthquake measuring 5.6 struck the Aleutian Islands on Friday. The American national earthquake information centre recorded the tremor at about 15:00 Sakhalin time (08:00 Moscow time). The epicenter was at the depth of 67 kilometers in Fox Island. The nearest residential area, the settlement of Nikolski on Alaska, is 35 kilometers from the epicenter. There were no reports about victims or destruction.


3.7 Earthquake Rattles Richfield (July 30, 2005) - A minor earthquake of three-point-seven magnitude shook central Utah this afternoon. Seismologist Relu Burlacu at the University of Utah Seismograph Stations says the epicenter of the shock was one mile north-northwest of Richfield and was felt locally. It occurred at 2:46 p-m. Sevier County sheriff’s office dispatch supervisor Alicia Gleave says there were no immediate reports of damage. Burlacu says an aftershock of magnitude two-point-five occurred two minutes later. The Richfield area and nearby parts of the Sevier Valley have experienced eight quakes of magnitude five or greater in historical times, including damaging earthquakes in 1901 and 1921.


Earthquake recorded in Armenia, no victims (July 30, 2005) - An earthquake measuring 4.0-5.0 on the 12-point scale struck Armenia overnight. There were no victims or destruction, the national seismologic service told Itar-Tass. The tremours were recorded at 01:10 Moscow time. The epicenter was just seven kilometres west of the capital Yerevan of more than a million people.


Moderate Earthquake Detected In Sumatra (July 30, 2005) - A moderate earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale was detected in northwest Sumatra, 801km southwest of Penang at 4.34am Saturday. The Malaysian Meteorological Services Department said in a statement the tremors might not be felt on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.


Israel building triple wall on Gaza border (July 30, 2005) - Israel is building a triple fence on the border with Gaza to curb infiltration by militants after its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in August. Israeli military sources said Friday that two walls will be built parallel to an existing electronic fence. The project will cost $220 million. The walls will be about 23 feet high in certain points and will be equipped with cameras, sensors and barbed wire. Observation towers and military outposts will also be set up near the walls. Israel is boosting border defenses ahead of its military absence in Gaza after the dismantling of Jewish settlements in the strip.


Large New World Discovered Beyond Neptune sister story (July 30, 2005) - A newfound object in our solar system’s outskirts may be larger than any known world after Pluto, scientists said today. It also has a moon. Designated as 2003 EL61, the main object in the two-body system is 32 percent as massive as Pluto and is estimated to be about 70 percent of Pluto’s diameter. Other news reports that the object could be twice as big as Pluto are false, according to two astronomers who found the object in separate studies and another expert who has analyzed the data. If the mass is only one-third that of Pluto, then theory holds that it can’t be larger than Pluto, according to Brian Marsden of the Minor Planet Center, which serves as a clearinghouse for data on all newfound objects in the solar system. Marsden, who was not involved in the discovery but has reviewed the data, told SPACE.com that the mass estimate is very firm, within 1 or 2 percent. “I don’t think it is bigger than Pluto,” he said. more...


Israel’s 2005 Disengagement Initiative: Numbers to Know (July 30, 2005) - If there is anything that reveals in numbers the heart-wrenching facts and figures of the upcoming evacuation of the Israelis from Gush Katif, it is this carefully researched report by Jennifer Packer from the Israel project: “In May 1967, the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon - with backing from several other Arab countries - amassed on Israel’s borders in a bid to wipe out Israel. In response, Israel launched a pre-emptive attack and unexpectedly gained control over land including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Israel later gave up about 90 percent of the territory it captured when, to make peace with Egypt, Israel evacuated the Sinai Peninsula. After numerous fruitless bids to find a partner for peace with the Palestinians, in August 2005 Israel will carry out its disengagement initiative. Israel will hand over all of Gaza and part of the West Bank to the Palestinians, making it the first country in modern history to give up land acquired in a defensive war. more...


Poll: Most Palestinians credit terror for Israeli withdrawal (July 30, 2005) - Most Palestinians think the Islamic insurgency forced Israel’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip, according to a new poll. The survey reported that a majority of Palestinians credit strikes by Hamas and Islamic Jihad for the decision by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank and evict their 10,000 Jewish residents. Forty percent of respondents agreed that “pressure caused by Palestinian resistance” led to the Israeli withdrawal decision. Another 34 percent said Israel regarded its presence in the Gaza Strip as a “security and economic inexpediency.” Twenty-two percent of respondents did not cite the Palestinian war as a reason for the Israeli withdrawal. Instead, they said the pullout decision stemmed from international pressure on Israel. About 40 percent expressed support for continued attacks on Israel after the Gaza withdrawal. Fifty-two percent opposed the insurgency campaign and 8.4 percent said they were undecided. more...


A Revived Roman Empire?1 in 4 Muslims would not warn police of terrorism(July 30, 2005) - Estimating how many potential terrorists reside in one’s country is a highly inexact business, but there’s a striking correlation between a British government report recently leaked to London’s Times and a new opinion survey commissioned by the Daily Telegraph. Drawing on unidentified “intelligence,” the government report finds as many as 16,000 “British Muslims actively engaged in terrorist activity.” Then, using standard survey research methods, the reputable YouGov polling firm interviewed 526 Muslim adults across Great Britain online during July 15-22, weighing the data to reflect the British Muslim population’s age, gender, and countries of origin. The survey found that 1 percent of them, or “about 16,000 individuals, declare themselves willing, possibly even eager, to embrace violence” in the effort to bring an end to “decadent and immoral” Western society. Should their ranks really be so thick, such a huge number of potential terrorists could cause an unprecedented security crisis for Britain, with all the attendant economic, social, political, and cultural ramifications one can imagine. The YouGov survey contains many other statistics that should interest, if not shock, Britons and other Westerners. more...


PC (USA) Task Force Report: Unity Over Purity? - Pastor Parker T. Williamson, editor-in-chief of the Presbyterian Layman, says the group of 20 who made up the task force was doomed from the start because it consists mostly of liberals. Williamson says the task force believes it is modeling the inclusive church. “They took an interesting tack,” he states. “What they finally concluded was -- ‘There’s no way we’re going to be able to come out with one statement on anything like Jesus Christ, the authority of scripture, or homosexual relations. So instead of doing that, let’s just see if we can learn to love each other.’ So for four years they’ve had this big love-in.” According to Williamson, because the reports include “fuzzy language” and “vague wording,” both orthodox and liberal Presbyterians will use it to justify their positions. more...


‘CyberBug’ can drop in and quietly gather intelligence (July 30, 2005) - A U.S. company has begun marketing a stealth micro-unmanned aerial vehicle that can blend in with its surroundings. The micro-UAV, dubbed CyberBug, weighs less than a kilogram and was designed for both military and security surveillance. The battery-powered UAV can fly undetected into a hostile environment, land on rocks or trees and relay video images and voice. The platform was developed by Proxity Digital Networks, based in West Palm Beach, Fla. Proxity’s subsidiary, Cyber Aerospace, has marketed the platform to the U.S. military, law enforcement and state and federal agencies. Executives said the company also plans to market CyberBug abroad, Middle East Newsline reported. more...


PA Announces Plans For Gaza (July 28, 2005) - The Palestinian Authority (PA) has announced a long list of plans for the day after the planned expulsion of Jews from Gaza: a new road to Judea and Samaria, an airport, and a new industrial area at Erez. Several projects announced on July 27 by the PA are in direct opposition to the Sharon government’s proclamations that it will not allow a road linking Judea and Samaria to Gaza, operation of an airport, and an international force along the border with Egypt. PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala) announced on July 27 plans for a new road, although Israel has said it will allow only a non-stop rail link and an underground road between Gaza and Judea and Samaria. Israel has said it agrees to operation of a seaport in Gaza but is not prepared to permit the reopening of the Gaza airport, which the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bombed after the outbreak of the five-year-old Oslo war. Mohamed Dahlan, a PA minister who is regarded as the de facto PA leader in Gaza, stated that the PA is going ahead with efforts to establish the airport. Abu Ala said he has raised the issue with the Quartet (United States, European Union (EU), Russia, and United Nations).

Abu Ala also stated that its security forces would cooperate with Egypt and a third-party, presumably the EU, to deal with customs and prevention of smuggling across the international border. Israel has objected to an international force in the area.

Abu Ala announced that the PA will take full control of all of Gaza after the planned IDF withdrawal. He contradicted previous statements by PA chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) that 5,000 additional PA policemen would move from Judea and Samaria to Gaza. Abu Ala maintained that there already are about 5,000 PA police in Gaza who have been trained to maintain order and that additional forces are not needed.

“We have prepared the necessary forces to deal with the disengagement. The withdrawal must succeed so that it could be the first step toward liberating the West Bank and Jerusalem,” according to Qureia.

The PA also announced that it is setting up special courts to decide the ownership of the 21 Jewish towns that Israel is abandoning. Abu Ala said the PA would take control of the towns as well as the former Erez industrial area, which it wants to reestablish. “There is no problem in allowing Israeli investment in the industrial area, but they will be subject to the laws of the PA,” he said.

One sign of PA intentions of exercising power came on July 27 with the execution of a 32-year-old man convicted of murder and theft in 2001. Abu Mazen approved the execution despite criticism by human rights groups.