- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Papua New Guinea 5.7 and 5.2 in Columbia ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to: Paul Langley’s Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Kabul US embassy attack: live – Here.
- “SolyndraGate” – Obama Team Backed $535 Million Solyndra Aid as Auditor Warned on Finances.(Bloomberg).Solyndra LLC’s workers making solar-power panels in a California factory subsidized by U.S. taxpayers showed “the promise of clean energy isn’t just an article of faith,” President Barack Obama said on a visit to the company in May 2010. Two months before Obama’s visit, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP warned that Solyndra, the recipient of $535 million in federal loan guarantees, had financial troubles deep enough to “raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.” The Obama administration stood by Solyndra through the auditor’s warning, the abandonment of a planned initial public offering and a last-ditch refinancing where taxpayers took a back seat to new investors. That unwavering commitment has come under increasing scrutiny since the company’s travails culminated in its filing for bankruptcy protection on Sept. 6 and a raid on its headquarters by the Federal Bureau of Investigation two days later. “People including our government put blinders on and did not want to believe in the obvious,” Jonathan Dorsheimer, an analyst in Boston for Canaccord Genuity Inc. of Vancouver, said in an interview with Bloomberg Government. “The fact that the government chose Solyndra as their white horse is mind- boggling.Since then, Republicans have pointed to connections between Solyndra and billionaire George Kaiser, an Obama campaign fundraiser. The George Kaiser Family Foundation, a charitable organization based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, holds about 36.7 percent of the company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Kaiser made 16 visits to the president’s aides since 2009, according to White House visitor logs. “George Kaiser is not an investor in Solyndra and did not participate in any discussions with the U.S. government regarding the loan,” the foundation said in an e-mailed statement on Sept. 1. As Solyndra struggled to stay afloat, it worked to reassure lawmakers. The company spent $480,000 this year to lobby Congress, according to Senate records. Read the full story here.
- Cyprus: Exploratory drilling for gas to begin soon, Turkish warships next?(CNS).NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — U.S. firm Noble Energy will soon begin exploratory drilling to confirm oil and gas deposits beneath the sea bed off Cyprus’ southern coast despite Turkey’s attempts to prevent such a move, the island’s president said on Tuesday.Dimitris Christofias didn’t specify a date for the start of drilling which officials have said will begin early next month. Christofias he said surveys have so far shown a “very great possibility” of hydrocarbon deposits inside an 800,000-acre (1,250-square-mile) area that Cyprus has licensed Noble to explore.That area is close to large natural gas fields that Noble has recently discovered in Israeli waters.Christofias says decisions on how the hydrocarbons will be exploited will be made once drilling confirms their quantity and quality.Israeli energy company Delek, which is already working together with the Houston-based Noble Energy Inc., has already proposed a partnership with Cyprus to build a facility on the island for processing and exporting natural gas found in Israeli and Cypriot waters.Cyprus’ energy service director, Solon Kassinis told lawmakers last week that natural gas could be pumped via a Noble-built pipeline as early as 2014.Christofias said the Cyprus government has lodged complaints with the United Nations and the European Union against Turkey, which is threatening to deploy its naval forces to deter Cyprus’ gas exploration efforts.”The navy is for the protection of Turkish national interests,” Egemen Bagis, the Turkish minister in charge of EU affairs told CNN-Turk television in an interview on Tuesday.Christofias said Cyprus expects the international community’s “robust and effective reaction” in case Turkey commits an “unlawful act.”Turkey strongly opposes Cyprus’ offshore gas search, saying that it disregards the rights of breakaway Turkish Cypriots on the divided island. Cyprus was split into a Greek Cypriot south and a Turkish Cypriot north in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, but only the internationally recognized south enjoys membership benefits.”Turkey’s policy is impermissible and condemnable,” said Christofias. “These threats against Cyprus, to prevent drilling and to create a military incident, disturb international justice and create a climate of instability and tension in the already tense eastern Mediterranean.”Christofias said Turkish Cypriots could share in the wealth generated by any gas find as part of a reunified island. He said the potential bounty can work as an incentive for achieving a swift accord in U.N. sponsored peace talks, now in their third year.Positive confirmation of sizable gas find would be a boon for Cyprus that is dependent on fossil fuel imports and ease the strain from a financial crisis that has fanned concerns it could be forced to seek a bailout.Read the full story here.
- “HolderGate ” Issa: Eric Holder “So Inept He Is Dangerous”.(TheHill).Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said that Attorney General Eric Holder is so “inept that he is dangerous to have as the Attorney General” and that President Obama should consider removing him from office.Issa made the comments on the Laura Ingraham show while commenting about the controversial “Fast and Furious” gun-tracking program.“He doesn’t want to admit that it was felony-stupid,” Issa said of the operation, which was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which allowed assault-type weapons to be illegally purchased and smuggled across the border.The Department of Justice was monitoring the weapons, but they have turned up at crime scenes across Mexico. Two weapons that were sold under the program were found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December.Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson was removed from his position late last month as the result of an investigation pushed by Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. But Issa believes that Attorney General Holder either signed off on the operation or was “willfully ignorant.”“The only way the attorney general didn’t know is that he made sure he didn’t want to know,” Issa said.The congressman said the scandal was “dumber than Iran-Contra,” the program under which senior officials in the Reagan administration secretly sold arms to Iran to fund Nicaraguan rebels. Both arms sales to Iran and funding of the Contras was explicitly prohibited by law, and Reagan national security advisers Oliver North and John Poindexter were convicted of violating the law.“What we need is an admission that it was wrong . . . and then we need assurance that it won’t happen again,” Issa said.For his part, Holder has admitted that the Fast and Furious program “was clearly a flawed enforcement effort,” but denied that he or any of his aides had knowledge of the operation.“The notion that this reaches into the upper levels of the Justice Department is something that at this point I don’t think is supported by the facts and I think once we examine it and once the facts are revealed we’ll see that’s not the case,” Holder said last Wednesday.The Department of Justice has launched an internal investigation to look into the matter, in addition to the one led by Issa.Holder also defended the decision to transfer Melson into the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy, rather than fire him outright.“Ken has served this department well over the course of some three decades,” Holder said.Hmmmm…..A chip of the presidential block”?Read the full story here.
- Fogel family murderer gets 5 life sentences.(Ynet).The Samaria Military Court on Tuesday sentenced Hakim Awad, 18, who was convicted in the murder of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar last March, to five consecutive life sentences and another five years in prison – a total of 130 years behind bars. Hakim and his cousin Amjad brutally murdered Ehud Fogel, 36, Ruth Fogel, 35, 11-year-old Yoav, 4-year-old Elad and 2-month-old Hadas.During the court hearing, Awad claimed that Israeli security forces tied up and killed two men from his village. “I am 18 and in my teenage years. Not any young man of this age thinks about murder, only a Palestinian man whose land was taken. This is what the state does to me every day. When I want to leave my village I have to undergo a search which always involves beatings.” As he left the court he motioned the V sign for Victory with his fingers. The judges asked Awad, who confessed to the murder last month, to refrain from discussing politics and instead talk about himself. “I am a person like you, I have no mental condition, I never had a serious illness. My only illness is the Israeli occupation.” He replied negatively when asked if he regrets his actions.At one point during the hearing, one of the prosecutors presented a letter written by Yohai, Ruth Fogel’s brother as well as a letter from Elad’s nanny. “The children were murdered while screaming and fighting for their lives. It’s hard to imagine a situation where the person standing before you is wrestling with a 4-year-old or an 11-year-old who were murdered. The two-month-old baby’s only crime was that she cried. A helpless infant murdered by stabs to the head is a murder that is difficult to put into words.” The prosecutor said, “At the end of the day when one considers the murder and its consequences, a life sentence is still a light punishment. This event elevated the murder to an extreme level. It’s not an explosive where the terrorist does not know his victims. Here the hands of the murderers are covered in blood.” He called on the judges not to consider the fact that Awad was underage at the time of the murder and to disregard any arguments for rehabilitation. “The defendant, in his actions, distanced himself from human company and acted on an malicious and satanic ideology deserving of the punishment the prosecution is demanding,” he said. Defense Attorney Raed Erda claimed that the occupation was the cause of the murder. He noted that the Supreme Court had ruled that murders committed inside the territories are considered acts of war. “The prosecutor mentioned that the murder of a baby is a cruel and harsh act but all murders are harsh – no matter whether it’s of a baby, a young person or an adult. We’re all human beings and our blood is the same. No blood is more red than another.”Erda enraged the judges when he claimed that the defendant was as much a victim as the Fogel family was. “When you build a Jewish community among dozens of Arab communities and do not provide it with the necessary security you can expect this to happen. “Houses are being built on their lands, there’s no work, no education, the occupation is pushing people from all directions and a boy like the defendant goes out and does things like this without realizing their consequences.” Major Lieberman noted that the option of a death sentence was never considered, as Awad was underage when he committed the crime. He mentioned that Hakim’s accomplice, Amjad Awad, murdered three of the five victims with his bare hands and helped the defendant murder Elad and Ruth after he was unsuccessful in killing them himself. The trial of Amjad Awad is still ongoing and he has yet to be convicted. The judge noted that Hakim was a fully fledged partner to the crime and had hid the weapons after the act and tried to cover his marks.Read the full story here.
- Maryland Muslim Convert Hopes To ‘Chop Off Judges Head’ and ‘Kill the President’.(Vinienco).On Sept. 14 of last year, a federal judge received a one-page letter that read, in part, “BOOM see how easy this was, next time you wont be so lucky ERM Family ANTHRAX!!”According to the indictment, the letter also said: “I just hope Allah grants me the opportunity to be the one who chops off your head,” and the words “die die die!!!” followed by the sentence “If I ever get out I promise you I’m coming after you.”The letter wasn’t signed but the FBI quickly found Willie Ray Bryant’s prints on it. The 41-year-old was in prison in Cumberland; the judge had presided over one of his previous trials in state court. According to on-line records, the judge had overseen a case in which Bryant pleaded guilty to a handgun charge in 2001 and sentenced him to five years in prison.The FBI also said they found “the letter also bore imprints of letters and numbers appearing to partially match Bryant’s mother’s name and phone number,” according to federal prosecutors.The Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement:
“After the FBI determined the sender’s identity from Bryant’s fingerprints, a message was sent to Maryland Corrections officials to monitor Bryant’s use of the mail. Shortly thereafter, corrections officials intercepted a letter Bryant had addressed to President Obama excoriating the President for turning his back on Islam and threatening to kill the President. Bryant signed the letter and included his state prisoner number.”He faces 10 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 9.Read the full story here.
- Obama’s politicization of jobs bill.(Politico).By Keith Koffler. It’s hard to keep from laughing when President Barack Obama insists that Republicans put party and politics aside and pass his new “jobs” plan. The president’s own approach has been so nakedly political that it consigns his demand to absurdity.The proof that this is politics — and not policy — accumulates by the day.In what sector of fantasyland can legislation paid for with $467 billion in new taxes – as announced by the White House Monday – pass the GOP-controlled House? The president is practically begging Republicans to reject his initiative — so he can blame them next year for failing to take action to improve the economy.The problem for the White House is that George W. Bush’s presidency has begun to recede too far into the mists of time for Obama to continue blaming his predecessor for the current economic mess. He needs a new culprit — and he wants voters to finger congressional Republicans.The tax increase “pay for” is only the latest piece of evidence of Obama’s political intent. Exhibits A and B were presented into evidence even before Obama gave his speech Thursday to a Joint Session of Congress, where he announced the plan.Republicans can be forgiven for wondering why they are being asked to put aside politics even as Obama is jetting around to three of the most critical battleground states.If the idea is to pressure Republicans to pass the bill, why not just go to Texas?Obama’s Richmond appearance put him in House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s district, a clear political jab at the man who fought him over deficit reduction this summer – and whose support is critical if Obama were actually intent on passing new legislation.The Democratic National Committee is also using the jobs plan to campaign for the president. It has produced TV ads supposedly designed to pressure lawmakers to pass Obama’s legislation. But the spots don’t target specific lawmakers — and they’re running exclusively in swing states and Washington.The DNC has also thrown up a website describing the proposal and outlining how it will benefit key groups that Obama needs in 2012 — including women, Latinos, African-Americans and low income families.Both the DNC website and the campaign outreach include efforts to pad their email lists, a critical element of the reelection strategy.Obama Monday was already drawing fractious political lines, accusing Republicans of politicizing his proposal by citing an unnamed GOP aide, who was quoted saying it would be bad politically for Republicans to cooperate.That Obama would cling to the opinion of one unnamed Republican aide makes it clear the president is desperate for evidence showing that Republicans don’t want to work with him.The hypocrisy of demanding that Republicans avoid politics, while he wallows in it with such exuberance is stunning. It begs the question of whether Republicans can trust this president enough to work with him on anything.Hmmmm….”By their fruits you will know them”.Read the full story here.
- EPA regulation forces closure of Texas energy facilities, eliminates 500 jobs.(DailyCaller).Texas energy company Luminant announced on Monday new burdensome Environmental Protection Agency regulations are forcing it to close several facilities, which will result in about 500 job losses.The company will be idling — stopping the usage of — two energy generating units. It will also cease extracting lignite from three different Texas mines.The EPA regulation Luminant cites as too burdensome is the new Cross-State Air Pollution rule, which requires Texas power generators to make “dramatic reductions” in emissions beginning on January 1, 2012.“We have hundreds of employees who have spent their entire professional careers at Luminant and its predecessor companies,” Luminant CEO David Campbell said in a statement. “At every step of this process, we have tried to minimize these impacts, and it truly saddens me that we are being compelled to take the actions we’ve announced today. We have filed suit to try to avoid these consequences.”The company said it has been trying to meet the new standards, but won’t be able to do so without closing down several facilities and eliminating 500 jobs.As always, Luminant is committed to complying fully with EPA regulations,” Campbell said. “We have spent the last two months identifying all possible options to meet the requirements of this new rule, and we are launching a significant investment program to reduce emissions across our facilities.”“However, meeting this unrealistic deadline also forces us to take steps that will idle facilities and result in the loss of jobs,” Campbell adds.Hmmmm…….Obamanomics in action.Read the full story here.
- Gunmen ‘kill five children’ in attack on Pakistan bus.(BBC).Gunmen have ambushed a school bus near the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least five children, police say.The driver was also killed and 19 other children were wounded in the attack in Matani town about 20km (12 miles) south of Peshawar, police said. The area is close to Pakistan’s volatile tribal areas where Taliban militants are active.But so far no group has said it carried out the attack.Matani has been targeted before. In June, six people were killed in a bomb blast at a bus stop in the town.The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says that Matani has been the scene of a struggle between the Taliban and a local tribal volunteer force battling to prevent militants from entering the area. This is the first time a school bus has been targeted, our correspondent says. However, militants have attacked civilian targets to punish residents in the area for not supporting them.The bus is thought to belong to a private school in Matani and was taking children back to a village after lessons. One report said that those who were killed were aged between nine and 14.”First a rocket was fired but it didn’t hit. Then gunmen opened fire,” said Sahibzada Sajjad, police deputy superintendent in Peshawar.Police also said that it was not clear whether the gunmen had arrived by car or were on foot. They escaped from the scene after the shooting.Read the full story here.