Archive for April, 2014


Benghazi attack could have been prevented if US hadn’t ‘switched sides in the War on Terror’ and allowed $500 MILLION of weapons to reach al-Qaeda militants, reveals damning report

  • Citizens Committee on Benghazi claims the US government allowed arms to flow to al-Qaeda-linked militants who opposed Muammar Gaddafi
  • Their rise to power, the group says, led to the Benghazi attack in 2012
  • The group claims the strongman Gaddafi offered to abdicate his presidency, but the US refused to broker his peaceful exit
  • The commission, part of the center-right Accuracy In Media group, concluded that the Benghazi attack was a failed kidnapping plot
  • US Ambassador Chris Stevens was to be captured and traded for ‘blind sheikh’ Omar Abdel-Rahman, who hatched the 1993 WTC bombing plot

By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.

‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.

She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.

‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..

‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’

The weapons were intended for Gaddafi but allowed by the U.S. to flow to his Islamist opposition.

 

The Citizens Committee on Benghazi released its interim findings on April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pictured are (L-R) Clare Lopez, Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic, Admiral (Ret.) James 'Ace' Lyons, former CIA officer Wayne Simmons and civil rights attorney John Clarke

The Citizens Committee on Benghazi released its interim findings on April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pictured are (L-R) Clare Lopez, Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic, Admiral (Ret.) James ‘Ace’ Lyons, former CIA officer Wayne Simmons and civil rights attorney John Clarke

 

On September 11, 2012 armed terror-linked militias attacked U.S. diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans and driving the United States out of that part of the country

On September 11, 2012 armed terror-linked militias attacked U.S. diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans and driving the United States out of that part of the country

 

‘The White House and senior Congressional members,’ the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, ‘deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’

‘Some look at it as treason,’ said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission’s research.

Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic, another commission member, told reporters Tuesday that those weapons are now ‘all in Syria.’

 

‘Gaddafi wasn’t a good guy, but he was being marginalized,’ Kubic recalled. ‘Gaddafi actually offered to abdicate’ shortly after the beginning of a 2011 rebellion.

‘But the U.S. ignored his calls for a truce,’ the commission wrote, ultimately backing the horse that would later help kill a U.S. ambassador.

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Wednesday, 23 April 2014 16:00

Lawmakers Unveil Plan to Liberate Western Lands and Evict Feds

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With the now-infamous federal abuses against the Bundy ranching family and its supporters in Nevada helping to awaken a sleeping giant, liberty-minded elected officials from Western states are coming together with citizens to take action in defense of the Constitution and the West. Their mission: to wrest control over the vast expanses of land and wealth in the region that are unconstitutionally claimed by the Washington, D.C.-based political and bureaucratic classes. Now, a new alliance of lawmakers and citizens has a concrete plan to make those goals a reality.

As The New American reported this week, more than 50 elected officials from nine Western states met on April 18 at the Utah Capitol for the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands. Among them were state House speakers, state senators, a U.S. senator, county commissioners, and more. The goal, multiple organizers and attendees explained, is to strip the federal government of the almost 50 percent of land in Western states that it claims to “own” in defiance of the U.S. Constitution and various agreements.

One of the lawmakers who participated, Washington State Rep. Matt Shea, a liberty-minded Republican who also stood with the Bundy family, says that lawmakers from Western states are determined to protect the Constitution and their constituents. “Legislators from across the West are saying enough is enough,” Rep. Shea told The New American after the summit in Salt Lake City. “We are banding together to fight federal overreach wherever it rears its ugly head, not just talk about it.”

To do that, last week, another alliance of lawmakers, citizens, businessman, ranchers, sheriffs, officials, and more came together and created the Coalition of Western States United Against Tyranny, or COWS for short. Already, the network has seen phenomenal growth, with more than 25 lawmakers joining up by April 22, Rep. Shea explained. “COWS has grown massively in just one week and legislators from all over the West are jumping on board,” he said, adding that he was “absolutely” optimistic about their prospects for success.

COWS advocates a five-step process to evict the self-styled federal landlords from the Western United States, Rep. Shea explained. In the short term, county governments should draw up management plans for the land in coordination with state and federal agencies. Already, federal law requires that U.S. bureaucracies work with local officials, though in practice, that rarely happens. At the same time, states should also introduce and pass legislation to prohibit any net loss of private land to government.

In the longer term, federally (mis)managed lands should be transferred over to state authorities, “because government closest to the people is best,” Rep. Shea continued. “The federal government cannot possibly know how best to manage land in the thousands of different locales like the people of those areas could,” the popular Republican lawmaker explained, echoing the sentiments of countless other policymakers and activists who say the federal government needs to be stripped of its vast, unconstitutional land holdings.

“Clearly,” Shea says, “the people of Western states would do a better job managing those lands.” In fact, among the most common complaints on the issue in the West is the fact that the feds have done a terrible job maintaining the land they purport to own — especially when compared with the areas managed by state and local governments, or even private citizens. The COWS lawmakers said an excellent, proven process for transferring federally managed lands into state control has been laid out by the American Lands Council and others.

Then there is the issue of keeping promises. As the Western territories were officially becoming states, like in the East, the federal government agreed to eventually transfer those lands. However, as with so many other promises made by the D.C.-based political class, so far, it has not been fulfilled. “The enabling acts of the Western States make it clear the federal government was meant to be a steward only until such time that the states could manage,” Rep. Shea explained.

 

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The New American

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 15:08

Democrat Says Worst of ObamaCare Yet to Come

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 Photo of Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.): AP Images

It is always noteworthy when a lawmaker breaks what seems to be the “Cardinal Rule” against speaking out against one’s own party, particularly when it regards the party’s signature accomplishment. The Obama administration cannot possibly be pleased with the assertions made by Representative Stephen Lynch (shown, D-Mass.) about the healthcare law, which stand in direct opposition to statements made by the president about the very same law.

On April 17, readers may recall, President Obama announced during a White House news conference that the healthcare law “is working.” Yet during an interview with the Boston Herald, Lynch did not hesitate to criticize the law when he said the worst of the Affordable Care Act has yet to be seen.

“There are parts of Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, that were postponed because they are unpalatable,” he told the Herald. “As these provisions come into effect, the administration thus far is saying, ‘Gee, we really can’t handle this right now so we’re going to delay it.’”

 

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File:Black garlic.jpgBlack garlic is a type of fermented garlic used as a food ingredient in Asian cuisine. It is made by fermenting whole bulbs of garlic at high temperature, a process that results in black cloves. The taste is sweet and syrupy with hints of balsamic.

Author  : Foodista

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Black Garlic and Sprouted Garlic Have Enhanced Health Benefits

April 21, 2014 | 159,564 views

By Dr. Mercola

Of all the foods Mother Nature provides, few foods offer more of a “botanical bonanza” for your health than garlic. Garlic is a bulbous root closely related to the onion, mentioned in historical documents dating back 5,000 years—before its fame wafted into the rest of the known world.

Speaking of wafting, garlic’s nickname “stinking rose” is well-deserved due to its undeniably pungent aroma that some find objectionable, but others find intoxicating.

Numerous studies show garlic’s amazing health potential in nearly every area of your body, from clogged arteries to gangrene to preventing insect bites and ear infections. There is even evidence that garlic is able to help slow your aging process. When it comes to this magical bulb, what’s not to love?

 

File:Purple Garlic.jpg

Purple Garlic  Author  :  Itzuvit 

 

Garlic Epitomizes a ‘Heart Healthy Food’

Like so many other complex plant foods, garlic contains a wide range of phytocompounds that act together to produce a wide variety of responses in your body. Garlic is rich in manganese, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins B6 and C, so it’s beneficial for your bones as well as your thyroid.

Garlic also helps your body cleanse itself of heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic.1 Green Med Info has also assembled a list of studies demonstrating garlic’s positive effects for more than 150 different diseases.2 In general, its benefits fall into four main categories:

  1. Reducing inflammation (reduces risk of osteoarthritis as mentioned in the video above)
  2. Boosting immune function (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties)
  3. Improving cardiovascular health and circulation (protects against clotting, retards plaque, improves lipids, and reduces blood pressure)
  4. Toxic to 14 kinds of cancer cells (including brain, lung, breast, and pancreatic)

The fact that garlic is so effective in fighting multiple types of cancer is probably related to its potent antioxidant effects. Garlic contains the precursors to allicin—a compound I’ll be discussing in detail shortly. Allicin is one of the most potent antioxidants from the plant kingdom.

In fact, researchers have determined that sulfenic acid, produced during the rapid decomposition of allicin, reacts with and neutralizes free radicals faster than any other known compound—it’s almost instantaneous when the two molecules meet. And as an anti-infective, garlic has been demonstrated to kill everything from candida to herpes, MRSA, drug-resistant tuberculosis, and even HIV.

 

File:Garlic Bulbs 2.jpg

Garlic Bulbs  Author  :  JJ Harrison       (jjharrison89@facebook.com)

 

Garlic’s Secret Weapon: Allicin

Researchers have found that allicin is an effective natural “antibiotic” that can eradicate even antibiotic-resistant bugs. An added benefit is that the bacteria appear incapable of developing a resistance to the compound. However, the garlic must be fresh because the active agent is destroyed in less than an hour after smashing the garlic clove.

Garlic technically does not contain allicin, but rather, it contains two agents in separate compartments of the clove that react to form the sulfur-rich compound allicin when the plant needs it: alliin and an enzyme called allinase. So, what makes them react?

Garlic has a robust defense system to protect itself from insects and fungi. It enzymatically produces allicin within seconds when it is injured. The crushing of its tissues causes a chemical reaction between the alliin and the allinase, and allicin is produced—nature’s “insecticide.” This is what makes garlic such a potent anti-infective, as well as what produces that pungent aroma when you cut into it.

But allicin is short-lived, lasting less than an hour. Therefore, cooking, aging, crushing, and otherwise processing garlic causes allicin to immediately break down into other compounds, so it’s difficult to get allicin up to biologically active levels in your body.3

Plus, an Army of Sulfur-Rich Phytochemicals

More than 100 different compounds have been identified in garlic, some of which come from the rapid breakdown of allicin itself. The absorption, metabolism, and biological effects of all these compounds are only partially understood. So, although garlic is known to possess a wealth of health benefits, we still do not know exactly which benefits come from which compounds, what compounds get into which tissues, etc.

As powerful as allicin is as an anti-infective, it only makes sense that garlic’s other health effects come from the synergism of those many OTHER compounds. This is a complicated topic, and if you want to explore it further, the Oregon State’s Linus Pauling Institute has a comprehensive article in their online Micronutrient Information Center.4

 

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“The government and the media say the radiation has been cleaned up, but it’s all lies,” said Miyakoji villager Kim Eunja, with her husband, Satoshi Mizuochi. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

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MIYAKOJI, Japan — Ever since they were forced to evacuate during the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant three years ago, Kim Eunja and her husband have refused to return to their hilltop home amid the majestic mountains of this rural village for fear of radiation.

But now they say they may have no choice. After a nearly $250 million radiation cleanup here, the central government this month declared Miyakoji the first community within a 12-mile evacuation zone around the plant to be reopened to residents. The decision will bring an end to the monthly stipends from the plant’s operator that have allowed Ms. Kim to relocate to an apartment in a city an hour away.

“The government and the media say the radiation has been cleaned up, but it’s all lies,” said Ms. Kim, 55, who is from South Korea, and who with her Japanese husband runs a small Korean restaurant outside Miyakoji. “I want to run away, but I cannot. We have no more money.”

She is not the only one. While the central government and national news media have trumpeted the reopening of Miyakoji as a happy milestone in Japan’s recovery from the devastating March 2011 accident, many residents tell a darker story. They insist their homes remain too dangerous or too damaged to inhabit and that they have not received enough financial compensation to allow them to start anew somewhere else.

Photo

Yoshikuni Munakata works to repair his home, which was abandoned for three years after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

They criticize the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, for failing to reimburse them for the value of their homes, usually their family’s largest financial asset. Depending on where they lived, they say they have received amounts from half the preaccident value to just $3,000, a tiny fraction of the original value of their homes.

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Japan’s government deceives evacuees to return before radiation readings disclosed

flag-japanRadiation study on evacuation zones kept undisclosed for 6 monthhttp://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/140416/radiation-study-evacuation-zones-kept-undisclosed-6-mo The  government kept undisclosed for six months a report on an individual radiation dose study in areas around the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, including a district recently released from an evacuation order.

The study, covering the city of Tamura and the villages of Kawauchi and Iitate, showed that the radiation level in many areas is still beyond 1 millisievert per year — a level the government is seeking to achieve at contaminated lands in the long term.

The government lifted an evacuation order imposed on the Miyakoji district in Tamura on April 1, but the content of the interim report, compiled in October, was not conveyed to the citizens or the local governments before the action was taken.

The government explained the content to local governments later, while the report was posted on the website of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Monday. It also plans to release a final report on Friday. A government team tasked with supporting people affected by the crisis said it did not initially plan to release the interim report but decided to make it public because of the “high attention among residents.”

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The Japan Times

Fukushima radiation report secret for six months

Dose study kept from returnees

Kyodo

The government kept a report about a study of individual radiation doses around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant — including an area recently released from an evacuation order — under wraps for six months.

The study, which covered the city of Tamura and the villages of Kawauchi and Iitate, showed that the radiation in many areas is still over 1 millisievert per year — a level the government is looking to achieve in the long term.

The government lifted an evacuation order on the Miyakoji district in Tamura on April 1, but the content of the interim report, compiled in October, was not conveyed to its citizens or local governments before the action was taken.

Skepticism about the government’s disclosure habits concerning radiation levels from the Fukushima crisis has been growing, and the latest incident is likely to amplify public health concerns.

The government explained the content to local governments later, and the report was posted on the website of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Monday. It also plans to release a final report on Friday.

A government team tasked with supporting people affected by the crisis said it did not initially plan to release the interim report but decided to make it public because of the “high attention among residents.”

 

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At least 12 dead in year’s worst tornado outbreak

Arkansas tornado

Tornado damage in Mayflower, Ark. (Courtesy of James Bryant / Associated Press / April 27, 2014)

The worst tornado outbreak of the year struck several small towns across the central U.S. on Sunday, killing at least 12 people, damaging or destroying scores of homes and businesses, and sparking a search effort in Arkansas that continued into the night.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe’s office confirmed that at least 11 people were killed when twisters struck near Little Rock. Another person was confirmed dead in Quapaw, Okla. Nearby Baxter Springs, Kan., was heavily damaged.

Smaller tornadoes were reported in Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi, but it was in central Arkansas where the some of the most dramatic rescue scenes were playing out. A tornado — or a series of tornadoes — appeared to scour a path dozens of miles long and possibly up to three-quarters of a mile wide.

Officials said the twister crossed Interstate 40, a crucial trucking artery out of Little Rock, while drivers were still on the road, then thrashed the town of Mayflower before continuing northeast to Vilonia and beyond. The National Weather Service reported that Arkansas Game and Fish Commission headquarters east of Mayflower had been destroyed.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Flooding

Afghans affected by flash floods search their belonging from flood water in Sheberghan, Afghanistan. Photograph: Sayed Mustafa/EPAAfghans affected by flash floods search their belonging from flood water in Sheberghan, Afghanistan. Photograph: Sayed Mustafa/EPAFloods in Afghanistan leave more than 100 dead

THE IRISH TIMES

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Flood Afghanistan Province of Jowzjan, [Northern and western regions] Damage level Details

 

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RSOE EDIS

Flood in Afghanistan on Friday, 25 April, 2014 at 15:33 (03:33 PM) UTC.

Description
At least 58 people have been killed and hundreds of villagers left stranded in devastating flash floods in northern Afghanistan, officials say. The governor of Jowzjan province warned that the number of victims was likely to rise. People have been left trapped on the roofs of their homes and rescue helicopters have been deployed. There are reports of flooding in other provinces in the north and west. “Thousands of homes have been destroyed and thousands are suffering”, Jowzjan’s governor Boymurod Qoyinli said. He said that more than 80 people are missing and that 3,000 homes have been destroyed. BBC Uzbek’s Navid Nazari, reporting from the flood-hit areas, was told by one woman that she was taken by surprise by the flash flood just after reading evening prayers. She lost two of her children. Heavy rain and storms on Thursday night created a perilous situation for villagers whose homes are largely built out of mud. Three remote districts in the province were particularly badly affected, the governor said. Our correspondent travelled on board one of the rescue helicopters deployed by the security forces. He described a landscape where dozens of homes had been destroyed, many more submerged and villagers crouched on the roofs of their homes.

 

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Flood in Afghanistan on Friday, 25 April, 2014 at 15:33 (03:33 PM) UTC.

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Updated: Friday, 25 April, 2014 at 17:35 UTC
Description
More than 100 people have been killed and thousands left homeless by flash floods in north and west Afghanistan, officials said on Friday, prompting desperate pleas for help from the impoverished provincial authorities. Thousands of homes have been engulfed by flood waters in four provinces after three days of heavy rain in what is traditionally a wet period at the start of spring. In the northern province of Jawzjan, police chief Faqer Mohammad Jawzjani said 55 bodies had been recovered, and that the number of dead would increase over the coming days. “Providing aid or help from the ground is impossible,” he said. “We have carried 1,500 people to safe areas of neighbouring districts by helicopter. We need emergency assistance from the central government and aid agencies.” The governor of neighbouring Faryab province said 33 people had died there and another 80 were missing. “Ten thousand families have been affected and more then 2,000 houses have been destroyed,” Mohammadullah Batazhn said. Another 13 people were killed in the provinces of Badghis and Sar-e Pol, local officials said.

 

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Flood in Afghanistan on Friday, 25 April, 2014 at 15:33 (03:33 PM) UTC.

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Updated: Sunday, 27 April, 2014 at 04:49 UTC
Description
The National Disaster Management Authority said on Saturday that 58 people were killed in Jowzjan province, 32 in Faryab, six in Sar-e-Pul and six others in Badghis. After days of torrential rain, floodwaters swept through villages, engulfing thousands of houses and leaving many people seeking safety on the roofs of their mud-brick houses. Officials in Faryab province said nearly 2000 houses were washed away and more than 8000 cattle were killed. Flooding often occurs during the spring rainy season in northern Afghanistan. Two weeks ago, a landslide triggered by heavy rains and a small earthquake swept through two villages in Takhar, another northern province, killing four people and destroying around 100 houses. Forty people died in August in flash floods in eastern and southeastern provinces and some parts of Kabul.

 

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Flood in Afghanistan on Friday, 25 April, 2014 at 15:33 (03:33 PM) UTC.

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Updated: Sunday, 27 April, 2014 at 11:08 UTC
Description
Flash floods in Northern Afghanistan have killed more than 180 people and displaced thousands after days of torrential rain, officials say. Authorities in one of the country’s hardest hit regions of Jawzjan said, the death toll was expected to rise further. “Rescue helicopters have evacuated some 200 people, but many people are still trapped on roofs of their homes and some are also missing,” Jawzjan provincial police chief Faqir Mohammad Jowzjani said. The head of the disaster relief committee in Jawzjan province, said more than 5,000 people had been displaced and there was shortage of medicine and water, after heavy rain and storms swept through two districts of the region on Thursday night. Mohammadullah Batash, the governor of Faryab, said the death toll in his province, which borders Turkmenistan, was expected to rise. The Afghan government has been scrambling to help survivors and search for stranded villagers by deploying army helicopters to reach affected areas. The floodwaters swept through villages and fields, engulfing thousands of homes and leaving many people seeking safety on the roofs of their mud-brick houses. Flooding often occurs during the spring rainy season in northern Afghanistan, with flimsy mud houses offering little protection against rising water level.

 

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Death toll in northern Afghanistan floods tops 100, officials say

Updated Sun 27 Apr 2014, 1:36pm AEST

The death toll from flash floods in northern Afghanistan has risen to more than 100 with many others still missing, officials say.

The national disaster management authority said that 58 people were killed in Jowzjan province, 32 in Faryab, six in Sar-e-Pul and six others in Badghis as floods struck a large swath of rural communities.

“Unfortunately, we have over 100 people killed and dozens of others missing due to flash floods in four northern provinces,” said Mohammad Sadeq Sediqqi, from the national disaster management authority.

OCHA, the United Nations humanitarian affairs office, said it had reports from provincial officials of 123 people killed, with Jowzjan province alone suffering 80 deaths and 6,000 displaced people.

It said clean water, medical supplies, food and shelter were needed immediately as relief efforts got under way after days of torrential rain.

The floodwaters swept through villages, engulfing thousands of homes and leaving many people seeking safety on the roofs of their mud-brick houses.

The Afghan defence ministry sent two helicopters to Jowzjan, where the aircraft rescued more than 1,000 people and carried them to higher ground.

 

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Space Weather.com

by Dr. Tony Phillips.

All Sky Fireball Network

Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth’s atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on Spaceweather.com.

On Apr. 25, 2014, the network reported 9 fireballs.
(9 sporadics)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point–Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

On Apr. 24, 2014, the network reported 19 fireballs.
(15 sporadics, 4 April Lyrids)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point–Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

Near Earth Asteroids

Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

On April 26, 2014 there were 1466 potentially hazardous asteroids.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:

Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2014 GG49
Apr 19
3.9 LD
31 m
2014 HP2
Apr 24
3.8 LD
15 m
2014 HU2
Apr 25
3.7 LD
22 m
2014 HM4
Apr 25
1.6 LD
18 m
2014 HW
Apr 27
2.1 LD
10 m
2007 HB15
Apr 28
6.7 LD
12 m
2014 HL2
Apr 28
8.8 LD
26 m
2014 HV2
Apr 29
1.4 LD
33 m
2010 JO33
May 17
4 LD
43 m
2005 UK1
May 20
36.7 LD
1.1 km
1997 WS22
May 21
47.1 LD
1.5 km
2002 JC
May 24
48.7 LD
1.4 km

Notes: LD means “Lunar Distance.” 1 LD = 384,401 km, the distance between Earth and the Moon. 1 LD also equals 0.00256 AU. MAG is the visual magnitude of the asteroid on the date of closest approach.

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 Space Weather. com

by Dr. Tony Phillips.

RADIO BLACKOUT:

An X-class solar flare on April 25th irradiated Earth’s upper atmosphere with extreme ultraviolet radiation. Waves of ionization rippled around the dayside of the planet, causing a widespread blackout of shortwave radio transmissions. Radio astronomer Dick Flagg recorded the event at his observatory at the Windward Community College on Oahu:

“This is a dynamic spectrum,” explains Flagg. “The vertical axis is frequency (MHz) and the horizontal axis is time (UTC).” All of the horizontal lines corresponding to terrestrial radio stations vanished in the aftermath of the flare.

The active region responsible for the flare rotated off the solar disk yesterday, so even if it flares again, another radio blackout is unlikely this weekend. NOAA forecasters estimate the odds of an X-flare on April 26th to be a scant 1%.

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Space .com

Sun Unleashes Major Solar Flare (Video)

An X1.3-class solar flare (far right) erupts from the surface of the sun on April 24, 2014 EDT  (April 25 GMT).

An X1.3-class solar flare (far right) erupts from the surface of the sun on April 24, 2014 EDT (April 25 GMT).
Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory

X-class flares top the scale with the most energy and potential to disrupt communications on Earth.

X-class flares top the scale with the most energy and potential to disrupt communications on Earth. See how solar flares compare to each other in this Space.com inforgraphic.
Credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor

 

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Abdel Fatah al-Sisi favourite in Egyptian election as nominations close

Interim government paints election as important step towards democracy but opponents have concerns about integrity of vote

Sisi supporters

Abdel Fatah al-Sisi supporters in Cairo. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Abdel Fatah al-Sisi moved one step closer to Egypt‘s presidency on Sunday as nominations closed, leaving the retired army chief and the leftist Hamdeen Sabahi as the only two high-profile candidates in the race.

Sisi is widely expected to easily win the election, which will take place on 26-27 May. He has more support than any other candidate, as well as an explicit mandate from the army, and he receives favourable coverage from most state and private media.

Egypt’s interim government, installed by Sisi last July, has portrayed the presidential race as a sign that the country is back on the road to democracy. “It is a very important step,” Egypt’s foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, told the Guardian, calling the electoral process “extremely free and fair”.

“Once we get it done, we will then move into the parliamentary elections which will help us finish the roadmap [to democracy] – and we look forward to rebuilding our future,” Fahmy said.

But among rights activists and opposition politicians there are concerns about the integrity of the poll. By the most conservative estimate at least 16,000 mainly Islamist dissidents have been arrested in an ongoing crackdown on dissent. At least three high-profile candidates from the 2012 presidential campaign have boycotted the race, complaining about the absence of free expression in Egypt, while the ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood was banned by court order this week from taking part.

A late challenger – the flamboyant football-club chairman Mortada Mansour – dropped out on Saturday citing a divine vision, after a brief and bizarre campaign in which he promised to rip up the Camp David accords and to force non-believers to practise atheism in their bathrooms.

Khaled Ali, a labour lawyer, the Islamist Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, and Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, all dropped out in recent weeks – with Aboul Fotouh highlighting the impossibility of campaigning in an environment where opposition is portrayed as treason.

Dozens of activists campaigning against Egypt’s new constitution in January were arrested while putting up campaign posters, and colleagues complained they were ignored by most media networks. Withdrawn candidates said they feared a similar scenario in the presidential poll.

When Sisi announced his intention to run for office last month, state television gave him a prime-time television slot to make a speech directly to camera. It was a privilege not afforded to Sabahi, who was allowed only a short state-made documentary about his career – a taste of what may be to come, analysts said.

“If we are talking about these elections really being fair and free, all the candidates should have access to equal representation within the media,” said HA Hellyer, Egypt analyst at the Royal United Services Institute. “And I just don’t think that’s going to happen unless things drastically change in the next four or five weeks.”

On Saturday a privately-owned channel announced that it would not air any shows by Egypt’s best-known political satirist Bassem Youssef, a prominent Sisi critic, until after the election – in order “to avoid influencing Egyptian voters’ orientation”.

 

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Egyptian presidential candidate reportedly vows to put Sisi on trial

Mideast Egypt Presidential Election

Egyptian presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi’s campaign denied remarks attributed to him in an audio recording in which a person with a voice that sounds like his says he would put former army chief Abdel Fattah Sisi on trial for the deaths of hundreds of protesters. (Ahmed Gomaa / Associated Press / April 22, 2014)

CAIRO — The only candidate running for president against Egypt’s former military chief, Abdel Fattah Sisi, has reportedly said that if elected he would put Sisi on trial in connection with the deaths of hundreds of protesters.

“I don’t treat Sisi as a criminal, but I plan to bring him to court …. When I do this, I aim to heal wounds without opening up new confrontations,” candidate Hamdeen Sabahi was quoted as saying by the Egyptian news outlet Youm7 on Friday.

Sabahi’s campaign denied the comments were his. But Youm7 posted an audio recording of a voice that sounded much like the candidate. According to Youm7, Sabahi was responding to a question over transitional justice in case he wins the presidency. He also said anyone proven responsible for demonstrators’ deaths since the 2011 uprising against autocrat Hosni Mubarak should be held accountable.

 

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Al Jazeera America

Leftist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi to challenge Sisi in Egypt election

Lobna Tarek/El Shorouk/AP

Sabahi has received several political endorsements but his chances of beating the powerful Sisi are slight

Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi officially submitted his bid Saturday to run for Egypt’s presidency, making him the second candidate for next month’s election alongside former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who is widely expected to win.

The election is due to take place on May 26-27.

Sabahi, who heads a political alliance called the Popular Current, created after the 2012 presidential elections, was a member of parliament during ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak’s years in office and came third in the election won by Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2012.

Sabahi submitted the required documents to the presidential election committee after gathering 31,100 signatures. The required number is 25,000.

A third candidate, controversial figure Mortada Mansour, announced Saturday that he would not run in the upcoming elections, after having declared his candidacy less than a week ago, Egyptian media reported.

 

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Egypt presidential candidate bows out, predicts Sisi victory

Egypt presidential candidate bows out, predicts Sisi victory

CAIRO — An Egyptian lawyer and TV personality who declared days ago that he was running for president pulled out of the race Saturday, and state media quoted him as saying he had received a sign from God that victory belonged to former army chief Abdel Fattah Sisi.

Mortada Mansour, known for his outspoken style and sometimes eccentric views, also took a parting swipe at the only Sisi opponent left in the race, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, the Ahram website reported.

Mansour, who had announced his candidacy last weekend, has called for the abrogation of the Camp David accords that led to peace between Egypt and Israel, has threatened to go to war with Ethiopia over water rights, and has urged a ban on Facebook and Twitter.

Sisi, leader of the popularly supported military coup that ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi nearly 10 months ago, is heavily favored to win the presidential poll, to be held May 26 and 27.

 

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