February 2, 2006

News for February 2, 2006

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Three Minor Earthquakes in Seattle Area (February 2, 2006) - At 3:28PM, a 1.3 magnitude earthquake struck just Northeast of Seattle, about 9 miles from Duvall, WA. Then at 5:47PM, another one struck just West of Everett, this time a 3.3 magnitude. Then at 6:13PM, another 1.0 earthquake struck in the same location as the 3.3. No damage was reported.


Police Beat and Injure Hundreds of Protesters including 3 Knesset Members - Terrorists govern in Ramallah and terrorists govern in Jerusalem. The illegitimate unelected government of Ehud Olmert sent out uniformed thugs to smash the heads of civilian protesters and expell them from their homes. A 15 year old boy lies in the hospital in a coma with a fractured skull, hundreds of protesters are severely wounded including three Knesset Members. Among them is former Brigadier General Effie Eitam who recieved the Medal of Honor during the Yom Kippur War.


Severe Thunderstorm Hits New Orleans (February 2, 2006) - A violent thunderstorm swept through neighborhoods hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, tearing off roofs, knocking down utility poles and collapsing at least one previously storm-damaged house early Thursday, authorities said. No serious injuries were reported. The storm ripped part of a roof off Louis Armstrong International Airport, then hit the suburb of Kenner and the hurricane-ravaged lakefront area of New Orleans where at least one house collapsed, police said. Authorities said a state police communications tower also fell across a roadway. At the airport, a piece of roof was torn off a concourse, and a jet way used to load passengers was torn off and slammed into another jet way, said airport spokeswoman Michelle Duffourc. The airport was left on emergency power, grounding passenger service. Although ground equipment at the airport was turned over by the high winds, no airplanes were damaged, Duffourc said. The National Weather Service had yet not determined whether a tornado had hit. The thunderstorm moved at more than 50 mph across the New Orleans region around 2:30 a.m.

2 tornadoes strike New Orleans

Last Updated Thu, 02 Feb 2006 11:26:46 EST (CBC News) - Several neighborhoods of New Orleans heavily damaged by hurricane Katrina suffered a new blow from nature early Thursday as a pair of tornadoes hit. The system of thunderstorms and funnel clouds moved across the Louisiana city in the early morning, cutting off power at Louis Armstrong International Airport, tearing off roofs and causing at least one house to collapse. This New Orleans home, damaged by Hurricane Katrina had been undergoing repairs when the new storm struck, Thursday Feb. 2. Emergency officials said nobody was seriously injured. Two tornadoes blew out windows, and toppled some utility poles and at least one radio tower when they struck at around 2:30 a.m. local time. One of the tornadoes made a direct hit on the airport. It flipped over luggage carts and pushed one jet walkway into another. Flights were grounded as staff tried to evaluate the damage by the light from emergency generators.


Bush: No new state unless Hamas recants (February 2, 2006) - There will be no Palestinian state if a Hamas-led government does not renounce its established aim to destroy Israel, President Bush declared today in an interview. In his first interview after last night’s State of the Union address, Bush told the Associated Press it was too early to tell what path Hamas might take after its landslide parliamentary election victory last week, but “conditions for peace and the conditions for a settlement will be up to Hamas to make the right decisions.” Bush was the first U.S. president to advocate a Palestinian state, independent from Israel. But he says his administration’s position is clear, “Hamas must renounce its desire to destroy Israel, it must recognize Israel’s right to exist and it must get rid of the armed wing of its party.” more...


Cracks Between Religious-Zionist Public and Army (February 2, 2006) - IDF Commander “disappointed” by Supreme Court; IDF officer arrested for leaking info of planned destruction in Amona; calls are repeated not to enlist in the IDF; soldiers request to leave army. The Military Police arrested a young 2nd Lieutenant last night on suspicion of having leaked Amona operational plans to anti-destruction protestors. He was interrogated, and if the suspicions are substantiated, he stands to be indicted by the Military Prosecution. O.C. Central Commander Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh - the yarmulke-wearing brother of former Health Minister Danny Naveh of the Likud - made statements irksome to both sides in the current dispute. Yesterday, he said the police “were close to being in danger of their lives” from the youths in Amona. This morning, it has been learned that during the destruction, he hinted at criticism of the Supreme Court. Arutz-7’s Haggai Huberman heard Naveh say, “I hoped and prayed - because I knew that we would reach a high level of violence - that the settlers would receive Supreme Court approval. Unfortunately, the Court decided otherwise.” Naveh was referring to the ruling of yesterday morning shortly before 10 AM. Six hours earlier, Justice Elyakim Rubenstein had issued an interim order, at the request of the Binyamin Regional Council, against the destruction. A three-justice panel convened at 8: 30 AM, and by a majority of Justices Edna Arbel and Ayala Procaccia against Rubenstein, rejected the request to delay the destruction by a week in order to afford another chance at finding a peaceful solution. Naveh said, “I tried up until the last second to reach an understanding, and even during the events themselves... This is not a success, but rather a failure on everyone’s part. It was clear to all that this would be violent.” more...


New weapon could mean the end of collateral damage (February 2, 2006) - The U.S. military has been developing a gunship that could literally obliterate enemy ground targets with a laser beam. The military plans to test the Advanced Tactical Laser, a laser weapon mounted on a C-130H air transport that could destroy any weapon system without collateral damage. The laser could have tremendous repercussions on the battlefield, particularly in urban warfare in such countries as Afghanistan and Iraq. “It’s the kind of tool that could bring about victory within minutes,” an official said. The applications of ATL could change military dynamics on the battlefield. Officials envision the laser being able to destroy or damage targets in an urban area with virtually no collateral damage. The range of ATL was expected to be 10 miles. The project has been headed by Boeing Missile Defense Systems in a project with the U.S. Air Force. Boeing has already taken delivery of the aircraft and plans to modify the platform for the ATL program. Officials said a C-130H transport that belonged to the U.S. Air Force’s 46th Test Wing was being modified to contain a high-energy chemical laser. The platform would also contain battle management and beam control subsystems. Under the program, Boeing would test the aircraft in July 2006. The aircraft would have all subsystems on board except the high-energy laser. Officials said a low-power surrogate laser would be used instead of the kilowatt-class, high-energy laser. At the same time, the high-energy laser would be completed in Albuquerque, N.M. Officials said the first ground tests of the laser would take place in the summer of 2006. more...


Iran’s message to the west: back off or we retaliate (February 2, 2006) - Iran’s foreign minister yesterday threatened immediate retaliation over a move to refer its nuclear weapons activities to the United Nations security council in comments which deepen his country’s confrontation with the international community. In an interview with the Guardian - his first with western media - Manouchehr Mottaki accused the US of manufacturing the crisis and insisted there was still time to avoid a collision. But he warned that any military action by the US or Israel against Iran would have “severe consequences” and would be countered “by all means” at Iran’s disposal. Reflecting a hardening Iranian position, he threatened to end snap UN inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities and all other voluntary cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog, if Iran is referred to the UN today or tomorrow. He also vowed that Iran will match any sanctions with measures of its own and warned that the west would quickly regret any resort to military action. The escalating crisis could further destabilise the Middle East by intensifying US and British difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan, and could spell an end to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which seeks to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Mr Mottaki, who was appointed by Iran’s hardline president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in September, said Iranian retaliation would come “simultaneously” with any decision on referral by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, which meets in emergency session in Vienna today. more...


Iran and the Jaws of a Trap (February 2, 2006) - Judging from the rather frantic behind-the-scenes efforts of Russia and China in Iran, they seem to appreciate that the Iranian leadership is in for a big and probably deadly surprise. The Bush administration has not only handled its Iran dossier much more skillfully than Iraq, but also managed to set up Iran for a war it can neither win nor fight to a draw. If the Iranian leaders think they can deter an attack because the US is bogged down in Iraq they are already between the jaws of a well-set trap. Though a Western war against Iran will be a big geopolitical defeat for Russia and China, they cannot but resign themselves to this outcome if they are unable to convince the Iranians to accept the Russian proposal - ie uranium enrichment in Russia. The Russians saw the writing on the wall when France, Germany and Britain began to march in lockstep with the United States. In particular, the widely but wrongly discounted nuclear belligerence of President Jacques Chirac last month implied that France was ready to accept the US use of nuclear weapons in a war against Iran if they saw fit to do so. more...


Mother Nature Opens Up Entire Weather Playbook (February 1, 2006) - SEATTLE - Sure, most of the focus around here lately has been on the big football game coming up in Detroit, but it seems Mother Nature opened up her entire weather playbook over western Washington Tuesday night. Every single weather element that can possibly happen around here -- did happen over a span of about 12 hours Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Run down the checklist with me:

Wind? Check This was the storm’s calling card, as it brought strong winds of 25-35 mph, gusting to 50-60 mph in some places. The winds knocked out power to about 10,000 Seattle City Light customers, mostly in the Alki, Lake City, Skyway and Tukwila areas, early Wednesday morning. Puget Sound Energy says it had about 20,000 outages Tuesday night -- mostly in Thurston and Whatcom Counties. Most of the service had been restored Wednesday morning. Other outages were reported along the coast and Olympic Peninsula. more...


Arctic Ocean Ice Crashes on Alaska Shores (January 26, 2006) - Ridges of Arctic Ocean sea ice were shoved onto a Barrow road in quantities not seen in nearly three decades. Two ice surges, known to Alaska Natives as ivus, stunned residents who had never seen large blocks of ice rammed ashore. “It just looked like a big old mountain of ice,” said L.A. Leavitt, 19, who left his nightshift job at the city early Tuesday to check out the ridges. Ivus are like frozen tsunamis and crash ashore violently. They have killed hunters and are among the Arctic’s most feared natural phenomena. Residents said the northernmost ivu, about 20 feet high and 100 feet long, contained car-size blocks and left coastal Stevenson Road with only one lane. more...


OPEC Issues Warning on Bush Oil Pledge (February 2, 2006) - The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Wednesday warned that President George W. Bush’s proposal to reduce US dependence on Middle Eastern oil could badly jeopardize needed investment in Gulf oil production and refining capacity. OPEC delegates and officials said the group planned to make this point in its as yet unpublished commentary in the cartel’s January bulletin next week. Meanwhile US crude oil prices staged a rebound on Thursday with March West Texas Intermediate rising 25 cents to $66.81 a barrel as tensions over Iran’s nuclear program continued to pre-occupy dealers. Speaking after President Bush’s Tuesday night State of the Union address, Edmund Daukoru, Nigeria’s energy minister and president of OPEC, said: “We do believe that energy issues cannot be handled in a unilateral way; we all have to work together towards global energy security.” Privately, OPEC officials were more direct in warnings about President Bush’s declared intention to reduce America’s dependence on Middle East oil by 75 per cent by 2025. But they emphasized OPEC would avoid a confrontational tone in its commentary. more...


Israel Halts Tax Payments to PA (February 2, 2006) - Israel has decided to suspend the payment of taxes and customs duties to the Palestinian Authority, a spokesman for acting PM Ehud Olmert has said. Ranaan Gissin told the BBC payments would cease because the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, had won last week’s parliamentary elections. The Oslo accords oblige Israel and the PA pay each other for various services. Palestinian Economy Minister Mazen Sunnuqrut has said such a move would be an “irresponsible and grave decision”. Mr. Sunnuqrut said the move amounted to collective punishment. “This is our money and Israel is not a donor country,” he told Reuters news agency. “Israel should immediately release the money because it belongs to the Palestinian people.” more...


We’re Cracking the Neural Code, the Brain’s Secret Language (February 1, 2006) - Chances are you have never heard of the neural code. And yet, from both a practical and philosophical perspective, the neural code is the most important remaining scientific mystery. Analogous to the machine code of a digital computer, the neural code is the software, set of rules, syntax, that transforms electrical pulses in the brain into perceptions, memories, decisions. A solution to the neural code could - in principle - give us almost unlimited power over our psyches, because we could monitor and manipulate brain cells with exquisite precision by speaking to them in their own private language. more...


Ex-Fatah fighter for Yasser Arafat asks forgiveness (February 1, 2006) - To Congregation Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv: “I wish to thank our brother Ari and the congregation of Tiferet Yeshua for inviting me. You permitted me to be here today and for me this is a historic opportunity. This is a very important opportunity for me personally and for all of us as believers in Yeshua. When I see Jews and Arabs sitting together my heart is filled with joy. Twelve years ago if I would have seen Arabs and Jews together my heart would have hardened and I would have started looking for an Uzi or Kalashnikov. But praise God, he gave me a new kind of weapon! I want to take this occasion now, my believing Arab brethren and also believing Messianic Jews, to stand before you in the name of my Palestinian people that I represent. First of all I ask forgiveness from the Jews for all the things I did against you in the past when I was part of the Fatah and serving Yasser Arafat. I also ask for forgiveness from my Arab brothers and sisters because when I didn’t fight the Jews I was looking for Christians in Jordan with the purpose of destroying their homes and killing the people inside them. I really ask for forgiveness from all of you. I thank our Lord Yeshua that he filled my heart with love and that he took out all the hate inside me. The real road to lasting peace is Yeshua the Messiah! Yeshua is the answer. He is the solution to this problem between us. The problem was created by Satan 4000 years ago as he separated Isaac and Ishmael and as he took advantage of the situation to keep us from each other. But 2000 years ago, Yeshua came and united us and I thank the Lord we are here, together today. For the last two years I have been trying to get into Gaza to preach the Gospel, but they have forbidden me to do so.” This year the Lord opened the gate without any previous arrangements. I arrived at the Erez Crossing and told them that I wish to enter to Gaza. more...