Archive for September, 2013


Eretz Zen Eretz Zen

Published on Sep 30, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled to neighboring Jordan from their home country in light of the ongoing war in Syria. The distress in the hopelessly overcrowded refugee camps is great. Unscrupulous traffickers have recognized this and made ​​a business out of it. So-called ‘matchmakers’ sell Syrian refugee teenager girls to rich Wahhabis from Saudi Arabia.

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Source: RTL (Germany)

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breakingtheset

Published on Sep 30, 2013

Abby Martin gives props to world renowned journalist Seymour Hersh, for calling out the abysmal failure of the corporate media in the US, saying that the MSM should fire 90 percent of its reporters and that “not one word” of the bin laden death narrative is true.

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Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the ‘pathetic’ American media

Pulitzer Prize winner explains how to fix journalism, saying press should ‘fire 90% of editors and promote ones you can’t control’

Seymour Hersh

Seymour Hersh exposed the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. Photograph: Wally McNamee/Corbis

Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider.

It doesn’t take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist”.

He is angry about the timidity of journalists in America, their failure to challenge the White House and be an unpopular messenger of truth.

Don’t even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends “so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would” – or the death of Osama bin Laden. “Nothing’s been done about that story, it’s one big lie, not one word of it is true,” he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011.

Hersh is writing a book about national security and has devoted a chapter to the bin Laden killing. He says a recent report put out by an “independent” Pakistani commission about life in the Abottabad compound in which Bin Laden was holed up would not stand up to scrutiny. “The Pakistanis put out a report, don’t get me going on it. Let’s put it this way, it was done with considerable American input. It’s a bullshit report,” he says hinting of revelations to come in his book.

The Obama administration lies systematically, he claims, yet none of the leviathans of American media, the TV networks or big print titles, challenge him.

“It’s pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama],” he declares in an interview with the Guardian.

“It used to be when you were in a situation when something very dramatic happened, the president and the minions around the president had control of the narrative, you would pretty much know they would do the best they could to tell the story straight. Now that doesn’t happen any more. Now they take advantage of something like that and they work out how to re-elect the president.

He isn’t even sure if the recent revelations about the depth and breadth of surveillance by the National Security Agency will have a lasting effect.

Snowden changed the debate on surveillance

He is certain that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden “changed the whole nature of the debate” about surveillance. Hersh says he and other journalists had written about surveillance, but Snowden was significant because he provided documentary evidence – although he is sceptical about whether the revelations will change the US government’s policy.

“Duncan Campbell [the British investigative journalist who broke the Zircon cover-up story], James Bamford [US journalist] and Julian Assange and me and the New Yorker, we’ve all written the notion there’s constant surveillance, but he [Snowden] produced a document and that changed the whole nature of the debate, it’s real now,” Hersh says.

“Editors love documents. Chicken-shit editors who wouldn’t touch stories like that, they love documents, so he changed the whole ball game,” he adds, before qualifying his remarks.

“But I don’t know if it’s going to mean anything in the long [run] because the polls I see in America – the president can still say to voters ‘al-Qaida, al-Qaida’ and the public will vote two to one for this kind of surveillance, which is so idiotic,” he says.

Holding court to a packed audience at City University in London’s summer school on investigative journalism, 76-year-old Hersh is on full throttle, a whirlwind of amazing stories of how journalism used to be; how he exposed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, how he got the Abu Ghraib pictures of American soldiers brutalising Iraqi prisoners, and what he thinks of Edward Snowden.

Hope of redemption

Despite his concern about the timidity of journalism he believes the trade still offers hope of redemption.

“I have this sort of heuristic view that journalism, we possibly offer hope because the world is clearly run by total nincompoops more than ever … Not that journalism is always wonderful, it’s not, but at least we offer some way out, some integrity.”

His story of how he uncovered the My Lai atrocity is one of old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism and doggedness. Back in 1969, he got a tip about a 26-year-old platoon leader, William Calley, who had been charged by the army with alleged mass murder.

Instead of picking up the phone to a press officer, he got into his car and started looking for him in the army camp of Fort Benning in Georgia, where he heard he had been detained. From door to door he searched the vast compound, sometimes blagging his way, marching up to the reception, slamming his fist on the table and shouting: “Sergeant, I want Calley out now.”

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NBC NEWS

How a medical device tax has stirred the budget debate

House Republicans on Monday tried to use a defibrillator to jolt Congress into averting a government shutdown — or at least repeal a tax on the heart-starting device.

A tax on medical devices is a provision being debated in the fight over the new health care law as a government shutdown looms.  Hospitals around the country have spent millions of dollars to buy automated defibrillators such as this device.

Lilly Fowler / Fair Warning
A tax on medical devices is a provision being debated in the fight over the new health care law as a government shutdown looms. Hospitals around the country have spent millions of dollars to buy automated defibrillators such as this device.

A group of diehard opponents of the White House’s health care law, set to blow up the federal budget to try to slow or stop the new law, have apparently failed in their bid to float a possible compromise to head off a costly and disruptive government shutdown.

And it’s all been about a tax projected to raise annual revenues a tiny fraction of the federal budget.

(Read moreSenate rejects House bill, shutdown looms)

House Republicans have spent months pursuing a series of unsuccessful gambits aimed at thwarting the new law. One proposal survived and landed Monday in the House’s last-ditch, take-it-or-leave-it budget proposal — the repeal of a tiny corner of the new law that imposes a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices.

But by midday Monday, the Senate had stripped the provision from the bill aimed at keeping the federal government funded past midnight. House leaders had just hours to approve the “clean bill” — or let the measure die and force the government to begin furloughing workers.

Here’s what the tax — and the bid to repeal it — is all about:

House Republicans are just trying to stop Obamacare because it’s too expensive. The government’s broke. How can we afford it?

The only honest answer is: No one knows what the new health law will cost — or save the government. Much depends on how consumers, hospitals, health care providers, insurers and others respond to the incentives and penalties included in the law.

But the best guess from the Congressional Budget Office in a report requested by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is that the law will save the government roughly $109 billion through 2022.

In round numbers, the math goes like this: Expanding coverage will cost about $1.7 trillion over 10 years — including subsidies for low income households, expanded Medicare coverage and tax credits for employers.

That will be offset by $506 billion in penalties from companies and individuals who don’t sign up, along with other savings over the same decade. The law will also save the government some $711 billion in overall health care spending, mostly savings on Medicare. And a list of other taxes, fees and revenue raisers will bring in another $569 billion over 10 years, the CBO figures.

One of those revenue raisers is the $29 billion in estimated taxes on medical devices — or about $2.9 billion a year. The 2.3 percent tax, which the government began collecting in January, covers devices like pacemakers and CT scanners. (Consumer devices such as wheelchairs, eyeglasses or hearing aids aren’t taxed; equipment sold outside the U.S. is also excluded.).

So why pick on medical devices?

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NBC NEWS

Image: A jogger runs by as night falls on the U.S. Capitol on the eve of a potential government shutdown.

EPA

Shutdown begins as Congress remains deadlocked

With just over an hour till the midnight deadline of a government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid  says that the Senate will not “go to conference until we get a clean CR’

A federal government shutdown officially began Tuesday morning as a deadlocked Congress failed to reach an agreement on a short-term funding measure by a 12:01 a.m. deadline.

Government officials told agencies to begin executing plans for a shutdown – the first in 17 years — shortly before midnight Monday.

In a memo to executive branch officers sent less than half an hour before the deadline, Office of Management and Budget director Sylvia Burwell said there was no “clear indication” that Congress would reach an agreement to keep the government’s lights on.

“Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations,” she wrote. “We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations.”

“This is a sad day for America,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the Senate floor.

The shutdown is expected to place tens of thousands of federal workers on furlough, close national parks and monuments, and disrupt services like food assistance and IRS audits.  Services like benefit payments and national security operations would go on as usual, and – because of a bipartisan measure passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by the president late Monday – members of the military will continue to be paid.

As the clock ticked down to midnight, the House announced that it would try to shift decision-making to a bipartisan “conference” of lawmakers from both chambers, but Reid immediately rejected that plan.

“We will not go to conference with a gun to our head,” he said.

Due to the time needed for parliamentary procedure, it was clear that the House and Senate would not reach any agreement in time to avert the shutdown. The House was expected to be debating the conference request – and to again approve its already-rejected budget plan — until after 2 a.m. Tuesday. The Senate recessed until 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Less than an hour before the funding deadline, House Republicans were set to formally request a bicameral committee late Monday evening to hash out some middle ground between the Democratic Senate’s “clean” government funding bill and the GOP-led House’s proposal to delay a key part of Obamacare and nix health care subsidies for congressional staffers.

“It means we’re the reasonable, responsible actors trying to keep the process alive as the clock ticks past midnight, despite Washington Democrats’ refusal – thus far – to negotiate,” the GOP aide said.

After the plan was reported, Reid said the Senate wouldn’t “go to conference until we get a clean CR,” and accused Republicans of “playing games” at the eleventh hour.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., told reporters the conference plan was simply “a recipe for shutting down the government.”

All this comes after the Senate — for the second time Monday — rejected a House-passed measure that would have delayed a key provision of Obamacare while funding the government for an additional few weeks.

With just hours to go before the midnight deadline, the Senate swiftly nixed a House-passed government funding proposal late Monday, tossing the legislation back to the lower chamber with unusual speed as the nation careened towards a federal shutdown.

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CrossTalk: Justice Deficit

RT RT

Published on Sep 30, 2013

United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted procedural immunity in a case alleging that they planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law. Does this imply they did breach the law? Why does Obama want to shield the ex-President from prosecution? And why aren’t Bush & Co. held accountable for the Iraq disaster? CrossTalking with Inder Comar and Ed Krayewski.

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Why an Iraqi Single Mom Is Suing George W. Bush for War Crimes

Why an Iraqi single mom and a tech lawyer think they can prove the Iraq War was a “crime of aggression” under U.S. law.
Inder Comar and Sundus Shaker Saleh.

Sundus Shaker Saleh, pictured at right, with her lawyer, Inder Comar. Photo by Global Exchange.

George W. Bush keeps a low profile these days, making the rounds on the public speaking circuit, engaging in a bit of philanthropy here and there, occasionally sharing his dog paintings or offering an unsolicited opinion on the immigration debate or national security.

The case was filed on March 13, 2013, and the defendants have all been served notice to appear.

Given his role in the current media landscape, it may be easy to forget that just 10 years ago he led an invasion of a foreign country that many in the international community saw as criminal.

Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother of three, has not forgotten. The violence and chaos that engulfed Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 had tragic consequences for her family and ultimately forced her to flee her homeland for an uncertain future. She has left Iraq, but she is determined to make sure the world hears her story and that someone is held accountable.

Saleh is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit targeting six key members of the Bush Administration: George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Paul Wolfowitz. In Saleh v. Bush, she alleges that the Iraq War was not conducted in self-defense, did not have the appropriate authorization by the United Nations, and therefore constituted a “crime of aggression” under international law—a designation first set down in the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. The aim of the suit is simple: to achieve justice for Iraqis, and to show that no one, not even the president of the United States, is above the law.

The case is being brought to trial by Inder Comar of Comar Law, a firm based in San Francisco. The majority of cases Comar takes involve providing legal support to private companies, primarily for the tech industry. He is measured and deliberate, perhaps not the long haired, vaguely out-of-touch wearer of hemp suits some might picture when imagining a human rights lawyer pushing for prosecution of U.S. government officials.

This summer, Saleh met with Comar at her home in Amman, Jordan, to discuss the upcoming trial.

Saleh related her story through a translator to Comar, who had traveled halfway around the world to hear her story firsthand. Saleh was a gracious host, according to Comar, pointing out the paintings she’d crafted and beaming over her children. She was warm, open, and quick to laugh. Her story, however, was rife with darkness.

Prior to the arrival of U.S. forces, Saleh said, Iraq was safe. People slept with their doors open at night. There were no militias, no checkpoints, no threats. All of that came to a halt following the U.S.-led invasion. Airstrikes damaged or destroyed vital infrastructure including highways, bridges, and wastewater treatment facilities. Diseases like typhus became commonplace. The swift collapse of a functioning government created an environment ripe for internecine warfare. Saleh’s twin brothers were both shot by militia members, and she no longer felt safe in her own home. So in 2005, Saleh fled Iraq. She was not alone. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, over 2 million people left the country, and over 2.7 million were internally displaced, including up to 40 percent of the Iraqi middle class.

To seek legal redress, Comar Law is invoking the Alien Tort Statute, a law passed in 1789 that permits a non-U.S. national the ability to sue in federal court for injuries “committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” The case was filed on March 13, 2013, with the U.S. District Court in Northern Calif., and the defendants have all been served notice to appear. Just like any other legal proceeding, there will be a great deal of back and forth before the hearing, which is scheduled to take place sometime in early 2014.

A tough case to make

Paul Stephan teaches law at the University of Virginia and has served as a consultant to the Department of State on matters of international law. In his opinion, Comar’s lawsuit against Bush administration officials is unlikely to succeed.

Many judges would view the ramifications of the invasion of Iraq not as a matter of law, but of politics.

For one, Stephan says, it’s difficult to sue a U.S. employee acting under the “scope of employment.” The Westfall Act of 1988 permits the United States as an entity to substitute itself in for individuals who were acting in their “scope of employment” for the case at issue.

The Westfall Act was enacted by Congress to supersede the Supreme Court’s decision in Westfall v. Erwin, a case involving a government employee, William Erwin, who was burned by exposure to toxic soda ash at an Army depot and then sued the depot supervisors. The Court’s ruling slightly modified the interpretation of law to open up government employees to greater legal liability for their actions. Congress immediately responded with the Westfall Act, which granted “absolute immunity” to government employees for any actions taken within the scope of their employment.

Precedent suggests that Stephan may be right. The district court of the District of Columbia dismissed a case by the ACLU of Northern California against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and nine other senior military leaders in 2007 on the grounds that these employees were acting within the scope of their employment and were therefore immune from liability under the Westfall Act.

The suit, Ali v. Rumsfeld, was brought on behalf of nine men subjected to torture and abuse under Rumsfeld’s command, with the ACLU arguing that the Constitution and international law prohibit torture and require commanding officers to report violations of the law. The ACLU further claimed that direct orders from Rumsfeld, as well as reports from detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, proved that Rumsfeld and the nine other defendants were well aware of and condoned the ongoing torture.

The second issue that Stephan points out is that the crimes in question didn’t take place in the United States. That makes it unlikely the courts will recognize the validity of the claim.

Thirdly, there’s the “political question.” Courts aren’t open to ruling on matters of a political nature, Stephan says. This doctrine of U.S. Constitutional law has its roots in the case of Marbury v. Madison, in which Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall drew a dividing line between matters over which the courts would have jurisdiction and matters best left to the legislative and executive branches of government. Many judges would view the ramifications of the invasion of Iraq not as a matter of law, but of politics.

“If the expectation is that a federal court will declare that the invasion, although duly authorized by Congress, violated international law and thus violates U.S. law, I would respond that we walked up and down that hill with respect to Vietnam,” Stephan said. “No federal court ever has recognized such a claim.”

Taking a deeper look

But Comar is optimistic that these hurdles can be overcome. The issue of whether or not Bush, Cheney, and the others will be found to have acted in an official capacity isn’t open and shut.

“Ms. Saleh alleges that these defendants entered into government in order to execute a pre-existing plan to overthrow the Hussein regime.”

According to Comar, part of the planning for the invasion happened within the United States, before these officials took office. Multiple letters and position papers emanating from the nonprofit think tank Project for a New American Century, or PNAC, indicate a long-term interest in regime change in Iraq. An open letter written in 1998 to then-president Clinton signed by Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld called for the removal of Saddam Hussein using military power. PNAC was also responsible for drafting and guiding the passage of the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998, which authorized military support for opposition to Saddam Hussein.

Then, in 2000, Wolfowitz was a signatory to the 90-page report issued by PNAC titled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century,” which calls for, among other things, global domination through force of arms. The document tellingly hints at the larger geopolitical justification for war with Iraq, stating that “while the unresolved conflict in Iraq provides the immediate justification [for U.S. military presence], the need for a substantial American force presence in the [Persian] Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”

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Those documents suggest that, in order to show that these officials were acting in capacity as government employees, the United States needs to prove that the sum of their actions took place entirely within office. Since the officials participated in these actions before they took office, Comar claims, they clearly cannot have been acting in their scope of employment.

Then there’s the political question, which Comar concedes is an often-nebulous doctrine with no clear limits. But that doesn’t mean that the crime of aggression necessarily qualifies as a political question.

Though low-ranking soldiers were prosecuted for torture in Iraq, none of the policy architects were ever held accountable.

“The legality of a war under international law was exactly the type of legal question that the Nuremberg court adjudicated,” Comar says. “We believe that aggression as a tort is actionable under the Alien Tort Statute. It is not a generic international law claim but a bedrock norm of international behavior in the same manner as slavery, genocide or torture, which are all claims that can be made under the Alien Tort Statute.”

Comar is confident that the courts will hear the case but is clear-headed about the prospects for conviction. He says that failure to achieve a multimillion-dollar settlement would not mean failure overall. A trial requires the gathering of evidence and provides a record for posterity.

Furthermore, Comar says, the judiciary is likely the last place people like Sundus Shaker Saleh can turn. It is highly unlikely that any president would ever investigate a past administration in the way sought by the suit, since the executive isn’t keen to open the gates for further scrutiny into its actions. Indeed, the Obama administration has expanded many Bush programs, including the use of drone strikes and domestic surveillance.

Since neither the legislative nor the executive branch have attempted to investigate whether the Bush Administration officials are guilty of war crimes, the last remaining branch through which to seek redress is the judiciary. Pursuing the issue here, Comar believes, will force the issue back into the public sphere.

“Our law recognizes that the actions of every person in this country—even a president—is subject to judicial review before an impartial judge,” Comar says. He continues:

This is a concept that extends back to the Magna Carta, when English barons put restraints on their king in order to protect their rights and privileges. In this case, Ms. Saleh alleges that these defendants entered into government in order to execute a pre-existing plan to overthrow the Hussein regime—a plan that has now led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and U.S. servicemen and women, untold misery for millions, and chaos that continues to plague that country to the present day. This is the very behavior that was outlawed and declared criminal by the Nuremberg Tribunal.

It is unusual in the United States for high government officials to face legal consequences for their actions. Though low-ranking soldiers were prosecuted for torture in Iraq, none of the policy architects were ever held accountable.

Regardless of the resolution of Saleh v. Bush, the case sets an important precedent toward rebuilding a system of laws that apply equally to everyone, even if their alleged crimes were committed in the Oval Office.


Corey Hill wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas and practical actions. He is the membership and outreach coordinator at Global Exchange. Follow Corey on Twitter at @Newschill.


YES! Magazine. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

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RT RT

Published on Sep 30, 2013

The decision to resort to austerity has returned to bite the coalition government of Portugal, who’ve suffered defeat in local elections. The country is likely to see a third consecutive year of recession. And tax hikes and job cuts are forcing people to find new ways to survive, as Sara Firth reports.

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Surviving off food packages: Poverty-stricken Portuguese turn to charity

Published time: September 25, 2013

Local  Charity Food Programs Lisbon Portugal....RT..Video Capture 00.45 photo LocalCharityFoodProgramsLisbonPortugalRTVideoCapture0045_zps66d71808.jpg

Local  Charity Food Programs Lisbon Portugal….RT..Video Capture 00.45

As austerity continues to wreak havoc for families in Portugal, people are turning to volunteer charities to provide them with food parcels. Charities are now essential in the lives of increasingly deprived sectors of the population.
Local  Charity Food Programs Lisbon Portugal....RT..Video Capture 00.51 photo LocalCharityFoodProgramsLisbonPortugalRTVideoCapture0051_zpsfd5a6a6c.jpg
Local  Charity Food Programs Lisbon Portugal….RT..Video Capture 00.51

Re-Food, the brainchild of Hunter Hadler, supports families overwhelmed by bills and mortgages, collecting unsold food from participating local cafes and restaurants who would otherwise be throwing out perfectly good products at the end of the day.

“We have people who suddenly don’t have work and don’t have income – it’s a harder thing for them to take,” Hadler told RT’s Sara Firth.

Read More Here

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Jorge Reyes Jorge Reyes

Published on Sep 14, 2013

Attention!! (updated sept. 14, 2013) Download & Share before is remove!

Urgent Message from Anonymous to Mankind…

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article…

https://www.facebook.com/nuestrofutur…
https://www.facebook.com/MillionMaskM…
https://www.facebook.com/events/50502…
http://www.zeemaps.com/view?group=654…

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Anonymous launches video ahead of the Million Mask March

By Justin King

The collective behind the global protest that will occur on November 5th in over 150 countries launched a YouTube video today to raise awareness of the march.
Organizer of the Washington, D.C. event, John Fairhurst, explained that, as with many things within Anonymous, the event has taken on a life of its own. Saying that there are whole websites dedicated to the event, which he has no direct affiliation with. Anonymous is a leaderless collective that thrives on ideas, and once an idea is proposed and accepted, the originator of that idea steps back into the faceless crowd of supporters and joins everyone else that has elected to support the idea. The idea of a global march occurring simultaneously in cities around the world resonated within Anonymous. There are publicly organized protests occurring in over 50 U.S. cities and in almost every developed nation’s capital. The collective has established an event map to keep track of the different demonstration sites. Many countries where open protesting is prohibited have been organizing their events in secret and are not included on the map.
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Earth Watch Report  –  Earthquakes

 photo NewZealand-67magEQ9302013_zpseae26fc0.jpg

M 6.7 – 81km NE of L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

 2013-09-30 05:55:54 UTC

Earthquake location 30.956°S, 178.244°W

Event Time

  1. 2013-09-30 05:55:54 UTC
  2. 2013-09-29 17:55:54 UTC-12:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-09-30 00:55:54 UTC-05:00 system time

Location

30.956°S 178.244°W depth=34.8km (21.6mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 81km (50mi) NE of L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand
  2. 870km (541mi) NE of Whangarei, New Zealand
  3. 891km (554mi) NNE of Whakatane, New Zealand
  4. 906km (563mi) NE of Tauranga, New Zealand
  5. 1129km (702mi) SSW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga

Instrumental Intensity

ShakeMap Intensity Image

Tectonic Summary

Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate

The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults’ strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (>120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone generates many large earthquakes on the interface between the descending Pacific and overriding Australia plates, within the two plates themselves and, less frequently, near the outer rise of the Pacific plate east of the trench. Since 1900, 40 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded, mostly north of 30°S. However, it is unclear whether any of the few historic M8+ events that have occurred close to the plate boundary were underthrusting events on the plate interface, or were intraplate earthquakes. On September 29, 2009, one of the largest normal fault (outer rise) earthquakes ever recorded (M8.1) occurred south of Samoa, 40 km east of the Tonga trench, generating a tsunami that killed at least 180 people.

Across the North Fiji Basin and to the west of the Vanuatu Islands, the Australia plate again subducts eastwards beneath the Pacific, at the North New Hebrides trench. At the southern end of this trench, east of the Loyalty Islands, the plate boundary curves east into an oceanic transform-like structure analogous to the one north of Tonga.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 80 to 90 mm/yr along the North New Hebrides trench, but the Australia plate consumption rate is increased by extension in the back arc and in the North Fiji Basin. Back arc spreading occurs at a rate of 50 mm/yr along most of the subduction zone, except near ~15°S, where the D’Entrecasteaux ridge intersects the trench and causes localized compression of 50 mm/yr in the back arc. Therefore, the Australia plate subduction velocity ranges from 120 mm/yr at the southern end of the North New Hebrides trench, to 40 mm/yr at the D’Entrecasteaux ridge-trench intersection, to 170 mm/yr at the northern end of the trench.

Large earthquakes are common along the North New Hebrides trench and have mechanisms associated with subduction tectonics, though occasional strike slip earthquakes occur near the subduction of the D’Entrecasteaux ridge. Within the subduction zone 34 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900. On October 7, 2009, a large interplate thrust fault earthquake (M7.6) in the northern North New Hebrides subduction zone was followed 15 minutes later by an even larger interplate event (M7.8) 60 km to the north. It is likely that the first event triggered the second of the so-called earthquake “doublet”.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


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LearnHowToGarden LearnHowToGarden

Published on Apr 5, 2013

http://learn-how-to-garden.com

Thought I would share with you how to make a no dig potato bed. This type of bed is easily constructed and can save you so much time and effort as well as producing a brilliant crop.

Mark Abbott-Compton

Ten Minute Gardener

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Published on Sep 27, 2013

It will be interesting to see what another large quake might bring…Minus the casulties :(

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IndiaVision - An Informative Site on India

Pakistan gets three new islands

Thursday – Sep 26, 2013, 06:15pm (GMT+5.5)

New Delhi – Pakistan has just got three brand new islands — thanks to a major earthquake.

When the shock of the temblor subsided Tuesday, people living in the coastal town of Gwadar were stunned to see a new island in the sea.

That’s not all. Two other islands have come up along the Balochistan coast.

“The island near Gwadar is about 600 feet in diameter and has a height of about 30 feet,” Muhammad Moazzam Khan, technical advisor at WWF – Pakistan, told IANS over telephone.

He said “gas was coming out” of the island, which primarily consists of “stones and soft mud”.

The two islands near Ormara town are small.

Khan said the islands had a diameter of about “30-40 feet and a height of about 2-3 feet”.

“Gas is also coming out,” he said.

He said that while some islands which form suddenly “stay on”, others gradually fade away.

He explained that the islands were formed following the massive earthquake that rocked Balochistan province Tuesday.

The death toll in the 7.7-magnitude earthquake has reached 348, and a total of 20,000 houses were destroyed.

This is not the first time islands have formed off the Pakistan coast.

“In 1945, two big islands had formed near the coast. One was two kilometers long while the other was 1/2 km long,” said Khan.

By Rahul Dass

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