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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 79955 times)
philliman
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3255 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 2:41pm »

Well, that's certainly quite a unique haircut. wink

Dead soldier Liam Tasker and Army dog return home

The body of a soldier who died along with his record breaking sniffer dog in Afghanistan last week has returned home to the UK.

Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, from Kirkcaldy in Fife, was shot dead while on patrol in Helmand province.

The ashes of the 26-year-old's dog Theo were flown home on the same plane.

L/Cpl Tasker, who was called a "rising star" by Army chiefs, was shot by Taliban snipers and Theo died of a seizure shortly after his master.

The soldier and his 22-month-old dog had made 14 finds in five months while on the frontline.

The pair's successes at uncovering so many explosions and weapons had resulted in their tour of Afghanistan being extended by a month.

Just three weeks ago, springer spaniel Theo was praised as a record breaking Army sniffer dog.

...

Read the rest here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-12696791

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3256 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 2:42pm »

Classified Docs Reveal UK Tried to Stop Worldwide UFO Investigation

When Britain released 8,500 pages of previously classified UFO files last week, one set of key documents quickly caught my attention and had a profound effect on me as it took me back in time 33 years.

The file includes many pages detailing the British government's attempt in 1978 to derail the country of Grenada's plan to convince the United Nations to form a special UFO study committee. The reason these documents resonated so strongly with me is because I'm the one who produced Grenada's UFO presentation at the U.N. all those years ago.

At the time, Grenada's prime minister, Sir Eric Gairy, was trying to generate U.N. interest in his UFO committee idea, but many member nations weren't paying a lot of attention to him. Meantime, after producing a documentary record album for CBS Inc. called "UFOs: The Credibility Factor," I wanted to take the early notion of UFO disclosure to the U.N.

So I met and made a deal with Gairy, under which his country would sponsor a credible presentation at the U.N. that I would produce, to include astronomer (and former UFO consultant to the Air Force) J. Allen Hynek, French astrophysicist Jacques Vallee, nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman and Army Lt. Col. Larry Coyne, who related his story of the night he and his helicopter crew had a terrifying close encounter with a UFO.

Little did I know, until just last week, that while I spent 1978 preparing for that U.N. event, the British government was essentially trying to stop the creation of the commission I was hoping to bring to life.

One 1978 document just released in the British National Archives addresses the United Kingdom's desire to oppose a UFO committee out of fear that it would ultimately cause the U.N. to fall into some sort of disrepute:

The British delegation does not think that the establishment of an agency for research into unidentified flying objects is appropriate to the functions of the United Nations. ...

Hopefully, a confrontation with the representatives of Grenada can be avoided, but the U.K. should not hesitate to make its views known as and when appropriate. ...

Foreign and Commonwealth Office ministers expressed the view that to set up any such body would reduce the credibility of the U.N.; accordingly, the U.K. delegation was instructed to oppose.

I wondered why Britain suggested that an international commission to study UFOs "would reduce the credibility of the U.N." With that question in mind, I called Nick Pope in London. For three of the 21 years he worked in the Ministry of Defense, he was chief of the British government's UFO Project.

"I think that was a very clever piece of PR, because what they were really doing was trying to scare the U.N. itself and say to the U.N.: 'You know, this might rebound on you,' " Pope told AOL News.

...

Read the rest here:
http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/07/classified-docs-reveal-uk-tried-to-stop-worldwide-ufo-investigat/
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3257 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 2:44pm »

Thanks for the articles Phil.

That photo made me laugh. He looks so angry. But he can't carry it off with that hair.

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« Reply #3258 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 2:45pm »

Forbes List

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« Reply #3259 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 4:13pm »

Geek Tyrant


Mondo Tees Movie Poster for CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND
10 March 2011
by Venkman

Here's another great Mondo Tees poster for Steven Speilberg's classic sci-fi film Close Encounters


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The posters come in a blue regular edition of 300 prints, and a red variant in an edition of 70 prints.
They are 24 x 36 hand-numbered screen prints created by Todd Slater. The poster goes on sale
Friday March 11th at a random time. Follow Mondo on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mondonews
to get the time of the posters release.



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http://geektyrant.com/news/2011/3/10/mondo-tees-movie-poster-for-close-encounters-of-the-third-ki.html#

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« Reply #3260 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 6:21pm »

New York Times

March 10, 2011
Saudi Police Open Fire at Protest, Witnesses Say
By NADA BAKRI

BEIRUT — Saudi police opened fire at a protest march in a restive, oil-rich province of the kingdom on Thursday, wounding at least three, according to witnesses there. The crackdown came a day before a planned “day of rage” throughout the country that officials have said they will not tolerate.

The clash with protesters in the heavily Shiite region underscored long-standing tensions in Saudi society: A sense among its Shiite minority that it is discriminated against by a government practicing a zealous form of Sunni orthodoxy. One resident in Qatif who watched the march, Abdulwahab al-Oraid, said he it was not clear why police opened fire at what appeared to be a peaceful demonstration that started with 100 people and later grew to about 300.

“There is a fear of Friday’s protests,” Mr. Oraid said. “We think this is a message, ‘Don’t protest in any Shiite areas on Friday.’"

Witnesses said bullets had been fired, but they were unclear if they were rubber or other bullets.

A video posted online, which was said to be from Qatif, in the country’s east, showed a group of young men chanting, “The people want the release of the prisoners,” and “Our protest is peaceful; Sunni and Shiites are bothers; we will never betray this country.” A few moments later, popping sounds are heard in the distance and protesters stop marching.

It was difficult to immediately confirm the details of the events in Qatif.

The kingdom has witnessed several small demonstrations in recent days and several protesters were arrested, according to human rights activists. Residents across the country said that the government has beefed up its security presence on the streets and closed access to major squares in big cities where protesters are expected to gather Friday. So far, 30,000 people have posted on a Facebook site dedicated to demonstrations, saying they would attend on Friday.

“Streets are packed with police vehicles,” said Mohamad al-Qahtani, a human rights activist in Riyadh. “I have never seen anything like this. It says that the regime fears its people.”

Residents in Riyadh reported that they have received text messages warning them against participating in Friday’s protest. But in Jeddah, in western Saudi Arabia, people said activists were distributing leaflets urging people to demonstrate.

The Day of Rage is modeled after other protests in recent weeks throughout the Middle East that have toppled two leaders, in Egypt and Tunisia.


Robert F. Worth contributed reporting from Washington.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/world/middleeast/11saudi.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #3261 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 6:31pm »

This story just won't die.


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Lady Gaga


LONDON | Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:40am EST

(Reuters)

Pop singer Lady Gaga has threatened to sue a specialist ice cream parlour in London for naming its breast milk ice cream "Baby Gaga," the shop's owner said on Wednesday.

Matt O'Connor, founder of The Icecreamists in London's Covent Garden, said he had received a letter from Lady Gaga's lawyers informing him that the singer planned to sue him over the name.

"She's threatening to bankrupt us and she's also threatening me personally, saying she'll seize my personal assets and property," he said.

Lady Gaga's London solicitors, Mishcon de Reya, said they would not comment.

O'Connor denied the flamboyant singer -- whose meat dress and other strange outfits have promoted her quirky image and delighted her fans -- had inspired the name he chose for the dessert made from breast milk blended with Madagascan vanilla pods and lemon zest.

"It's just the first noise a baby makes -- it's nothing to do with anyone else," he said, adding that he was working on a response to the letter.

London's Westminster Council briefly confiscated supplies of "Baby Gaga" ice cream last week on health concerns, but gave it the all-clear on Wednesday.

"We're pleased that the safety checks we've undertaken on the products have come back clear," Westminster Council's cabinet member for business Brian Connell said in a statement.

O'Connor told Reuters he was considering taking legal action against the council for reputational damage.

"They made the damaging assertion that breast milk ice cream isn't safe," he said, adding that it was an overreaction to the safest food in the world.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin; editing by Patricia Reaney)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/10/us-ladygaga-breastmilk-idUSTRE7286EQ20110310

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« Reply #3262 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 6:38pm »

on Mar 10th, 2011, 2:41pm, philliman wrote:
Dead soldier Liam Tasker and Army dog return home

The body of a soldier who died along with his record breaking sniffer dog in Afghanistan last week has returned home to the UK.

Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, from Kirkcaldy in Fife, was shot dead while on patrol in Helmand province.

The ashes of the 26-year-old's dog Theo were flown home on the same plane.

L/Cpl Tasker, who was called a "rising star" by Army chiefs, was shot by Taliban snipers and Theo died of a seizure shortly after his master.

The soldier and his 22-month-old dog had made 14 finds in five months while on the frontline.

The pair's successes at uncovering so many explosions and weapons had resulted in their tour of Afghanistan being extended by a month.

Just three weeks ago, springer spaniel Theo was praised as a record breaking Army sniffer dog.

...

Read the rest here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-12696791




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Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and Theo.
r.i.p.


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« Reply #3263 on: Mar 11th, 2011, 08:32am »

New York Times

March 11, 2011
Huge Quake and Tsunami Hit Japan
By MARTIN FACKLER and KEVIN DREW

TOKYO — An earthquake of 8.9. magnitude struck off the coast of Japan on Friday, the strongest ever recorded in the country. The quake churned up a devastating tsunami that swept over cities and farmland in the northern part of the country and threatened coastal areas throughout the Pacific and as far away the west coast of the United States and South America.

Walls of water whisked away houses and cars in northern Japan, where terrified residents fled the coast. Trains were shut down across central and northern Japan, including Tokyo, and air travel was severely disrupted. A ship carrying more than 100 people was swept away by the tsunami, Kyodo News reported.

The government evacuated thousands of residents near a nuclear plant about 170 miles northeast of Tokyo after a backup generator failed, compromising the cooling system, the Associated Press reported.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the disaster caused major damage across wide areas. Several hours after the quake, Kyodo News reported 59 deaths, but with rescue efforts just getting under way, the extent of injuries and damage is not yet known.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake reached a magnitude of 8.9, making it the most severe worldwide since an 8.8 quake off the coast of Chile a little more than a year ago. It was less powerful than the 9.1-magnitude quake that struck off Northern Sumatra in late 2004. That quake spawned a tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people around the Indian Ocean.

The survey said it was centered about 230 miles northeast of Tokyo and at a depth of about 17 miles.

The quake occurred at 2:46 p.m. Tokyo time and hit off the coast of Honshu, Japan’s most populous island. The quake was so powerful that buildings in central Tokyo, designed to withstand major earthquakes, swayed.

“This tremor was unlike any I’ve experienced previously, and I’ve lived here for eight years. It was a sustained rolling that made it impossible to stand, almost like vertigo,” said Matt Alt, an American writer and translator living in Tokyo.

President Obama said the United States was ready to help with any assistance. "Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan,” he said in a statement. He said he had instructed federal agencies to be prepared to assist Hawaii and any other areas in the United States affected by the tsunami.

Officials around the Pacific warned residents of coastal areas to prepare for a possible tsunami, but the initial reports were of minimal to no damage in the first places that the wave reached. Tsunami waves of about 30 centimeters, or about 2.5 feet, were reported in Halmahera, Indonesia, but did little harm. Russia, China and Indonesia canceled their warnings after a few hours.

Gauges at Midway Island in the Pacific registered a wave amplitude of about five feet, according to Gerard Fryer, a geophysicist with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. In Hawaii, where an evacuation of coastal areas was ordered, a surge of about four feet was reported. Waves of that size have the potential to be devastating, Mr. Fryer said, because

“there’s a tremendous amount of water” in them. But initial reports from Hawaii mentioned only minor damage.

Mr. Fryer said that concerns that the waves might wash over entire low-lying islands in the Pacific were unfounded. “Washing over islands is not going to happen,” he said. Still, he said, that communities on the West Coast of North America should take precautions.

Television images showed waves of more than 12 feet roaring inland in Japan. The tsunami drew a line of white fury across the ocean, heading toward the shoreline. Cars and trucks were still moving on highways as the water rushed toward them.

The floodwaters, thick with floating debris shoved inland, pushed aside heavy trucks as if they were toys, in some places carrying blazing buildings toward factories, fields, highways, bridges and homes. The spectacle was all the more remarkable for being carried live on television, even as the waves engulfed flat farmland that offered no resistance.

The force of the waves washed away cars on coastal roads and crashed into buildings along the shore. Television footage showed a tsunami wave bearing down on the Japanese coastline near the community of Sendai.

NHK television transmitted aerial images of columns of flame rising from an oil refinery and flood waters engulfing Sendai airport, where survivors clustered on the roof of the airport building. The runway was partially submerged. The refinery fire sent a plume of thick black smoke from blazing spherical storage tanks. A television commentator called the blaze an “inferno.”

The images showed survivors in a home surrounded by water, waving white sheets from the upper floors of buildings. News reports said the earthquake had forced the Tokyo subways to empty while airports were closed and many residents took to the streets, desperately trying to leave the city.

Initial television coverage from coastal areas showed very few people actually in the water. The initial impact of the wave seemed to have been enormous, tipping two huge cargo vessels on their sides at one port and tearing others from their moorings.

Smaller vessels, including what looked like commercial fishing trawlers, were carried inland, smashing into the superstructure of bridges as the waters surged. A senior Japanese official said foreign countries had offered to help and Japan was prepared to seek overseas assistance.

Japanese television showed major tsunami damage in northern Japan. Public broadcaster NHK reported that a large ship swept away by the tsunami rammed directly into a breakwater in Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture. Video footage also showed buildings on fire in the Odaiba district of Tokyo, The Associated Press reported.

“It just seemed to go on and on,” Katherine Wallace, who was in an office building in Tokyo when the quake struck, told the BBC.

A second major earthquake of 7.4 magnitude was reported as aftershocks shook the region. Japanese media reported mobile phone networks were not working.

Power blackouts were affecting about 2 million residents around Tokyo alone, the government said. Cell phone service was severely affected across central and northern Japan as residents rushed to call friends and relatives as aftershocks struck.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center extended a tsunami warning across most of the Pacific Ocean, and said the tsunami would threaten coastal areas of Russia, Taiwan, Hawaii, Indonesia, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and Australia later in the day. The agency, based in Hawaii, added the west coasts of the United States, Mexico, Central America and South America to the list of regions that were given tsunami alerts.

more after the jump
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/world/asia/12japan.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #3264 on: Mar 11th, 2011, 08:34am »

New York Times

March 11, 2011
Qaddafi Forces Bear Down on Strategic Town as Rebels Flee
By ANTHONY SHADID

RAS LANUF, Libya — The momentum seemed to have shifted decisively on Friday in an uprising that has shaken Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s four decades of rule, with rebel lines dramatically thinner after insurgents fell back from this strategic refinery town under a sustained land, air and sea assault by government forces.

By late morning on Friday, rebels in far smaller numbers than were seen before the government onslaught had regrouped at a refinery some 15 miles east of Ras Lanuf, and, for the first time, they tried to prevent photographers from taking pictures of their positions in what seemed an unusual display of anxiety about Colonel Qaddafi’s intentions.

The earlier fighting was a stark illustration of the asymmetry of the conflict, pitting protesters turned rebels against a military with far superior arms and organization and a willingness to prosecute a vicious counterattack against its own people.

“We withdrew yesterday. Why?” Ahmed Tajjouri, a 25-year-old fighter, said on Friday. “Because we don’t have air defenses, defenses against the sea. What are we going to do if the warplanes come? Tanks are coming, too, and we don’t have those either.”

The alarm spread through the rebel camp as one of Colonel Qaddafi’s sons, Seif al-Islam, issued an ominous warning in Tripoli: “We are coming.”

Reporters were unable to advance beyond the Ras Lanuf refinery toward the town itself. Some rebels said they had set up an outpost closer to the town, about six miles west of here, in what has been to some extent a see-saw conflict.

“The line is going to go back and forth,” said Mohammed Fawzi, a 24-year-old rebel fighter. It was not immediately clear if government troops would seek to press the advantage they clearly gained on Thursday by deploying greater force on wider fronts.

Usually ebullient rebels acknowledged withdrawing Thursday, even as the fledgling opposition leadership in Benghazi scored diplomatic gains with France’s recognition of it as the legitimate government and senior American officials’ promise to talk with its leaders.

Western nations took new steps to isolate the Qaddafi government, but the measures stopped well short of any sort of military intervention and seemed unlikely to be able to reverse the momentum.

The cautious response underscored what is at stake in a race against time in the most chaotic and unpredictable of the uprisings to shake the Arab world — whether the opposition can secure more international recognition and a no-flight zone to blunt Colonel Qaddafi’s offensive before rebel lines crumble in the coastal oil towns west of Benghazi.

“It’s tough these days,” said Mohammed al-Houni, a 25-year-old fighter at the front. “There is no comparison between our weapons and theirs. They’re trained, they’re organized. They got their training in Russia and I don’t know where. We’re not an army, we’re the people and even if we had weapons, we wouldn’t even know how to use them.”

Only days ago, rebels were boldly promising to march on Surt, Colonel Qaddafi’s hometown, then on to Tripoli, where opposition leaders predicted its residents would rise up. But the week has witnessed a series of setbacks, with a punishing government assault on Zawiyah, near the capital, and a reversal of fortunes in towns near Ras Lanuf, whose refinery makes it a strategic economic prize in a country blessed with vast oil reserves.

There was a growing sense among the opposition, echoed by leaders in opposition-held Benghazi and rebels on the front, that they could not single-handedly defeat Colonel Qaddafi’s forces.

“We can’t prevail unless there’s a no-fly zone,” said Anis Mabrouk, a 35-year-old fighter. “Give us the cover and we’ll go all the way to Tripoli and kill him.”

That seemed unlikely, though. Even without warplanes, Colonel Qaddafi’s government could still marshal far superior tanks, armor and artillery, along with the finances and organization to prosecute a counteroffensive. Given the disarray, some rebels took pride in their success in holding the lines at Ras Lanuf as long as they had. Soviet-made warplanes struck Brega, more than 100 miles from the front line on the road that resupplies the rebels, as well as several spots on the way to Ras Lanuf.

At noon, a rocket slammed into an unfinished mosque there, sending clouds of dust over dozens of worshipers and incensing fighters who condemned it as a sacrilege.

“God is greater than the bombs!” people recalled shouting after the rocket detonated. “God is greater than Muammar el-Qaddafi. God is greater than any criminal!”

From the minaret, the mosque’s loudspeaker, unsilenced by the attack, blared the words of the cleric. “When you side with God,” he intoned, “he will support you.”

At the same time, a bomb detonated just yards from the hospital, unleashing scenes of chaos. Fighters shot randomly — and ineffectually — into clear skies, sirens howled and two ambulances speeding from the hospital crashed into each other. Doctors and staff evacuated the hospital, leaving behind the body of a civilian who they said was shot in the head by snipers loyal to Colonel Qaddafi’s forces firing from the beach.

“We only die once,” Hweidi Trabulsi shouted, trying to rally his fellow fighters, dressed in a mishmash of berets, camouflage and track suits. But his pleas fell on deaf ears, as rebels scrambled to fall back to a makeshift checkpoint at the edge of town.

Scores of trucks fled down the coastal road, barreling past the largely deserted refinery and fighters praying on pieces of cardboard that read, “Fresh vegetables.” Shell casings fell off a pickup bed, as the vehicle lurched ahead. Passing it was a truck with a gun mounted in back, vainly camouflaged with a few branches of a eucalyptus tree.

“Everyone is targeted,” said Salem Langhi, an orthopedic surgeon helping with the evacuation. “We have no idea what they’re bombing. Chaotic? Yes, this is chaos.”

In Benghazi, Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga, the deputy leader of the Libyan National Council, a kind of government in waiting, said reports of Ras Lanuf’s fall were not accurate. An opposition spokesman, Essam Gheriani, said even if the reports were true, “It’s not a permanent setback.” He contended that the attack on the city was joined by Libyan Navy ships and commercial vessels carrying artillery. The reality of Ras Lanuf’s fate was more ambiguous. Even though rebels pulled back from the city, it did not appear that government forces had actually entered.

As each day passes, anger among the rebels grows at what they have described as inaction on the part of the international community and in particular, the United States.

“Obama and Qaddafi are the same!” one fighter, Mohamed Mgaref, shouted at a medical clinic about an hour from the front, as ambulances ferried some of the four dead and dozens wounded in the fighting. More scenes of chaos unfolded there. “Clear the way!” volunteers shouted as ambulances swerved into the clinic’s driveway. At each rumor of an airstrike, people fled for cover. “Spread out,” one man shouted at them.

In a rare piece of encouraging news for the opposition, France on Thursday became the first country to recognize the opposition leadership and said it would soon exchange ambassadors with the movement in Benghazi. The move put France ahead of the United States and other European powers seeking ways to support the opposition.

France’s stance was viewed as a savvy gesture to show commitment to the uprisings and wave of protests in the Middle East and North Africa after President Nicolas Sarkozy admitted Paris was slow to recognize the strength of the movements in Egypt and Tunisia. It might also position France favorably in future oil deals if the opposition movement somehow manages to expel Colonel Qaddafi and take control of the country.

Libyan officials denounced the move as “illegal and illegitimate.”

“All the options will be considered in our response,” Khalid Kaim, the deputy foreign minister, said in a news conference in Tripoli after the decision was announced, including Libya’s withdrawing recognition for France.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said that at least seven journalists in Libya were unaccounted for. The most recent to vanish was Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, a correspondent for The Guardian newspaper, whose disappearance was reported Thursday.

Mr. Abdul-Ahad was last known to be on the outskirts of Zawiyah, near Tripoli, scene of some of the heaviest fighting between rebels and Colonel Qaddafi’s forces.


Reporting was contributed by Kareem Fahim from Benghazi, David D. Kirkpatrick from Tripoli, Alan Cowell from Paris, and Steven Lee Myers from Washington.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/world/africa/12libya.html?ref=world

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« Reply #3265 on: Mar 11th, 2011, 08:37am »

Bellingham Herald

Mar, 11, 2011
Two Washington coastal counties begin limited tsunami evacuations
The Associated Press

MOCLIPS, Wash. -- Two coastal Washington counties worked on limited evacuations early Friday in advance of a tsunami expected after a massive earthquake in Japan, officials said.

The tsunami was expected to hit the Washington coast starting at about 7 a.m. with the largest wave - about 3.3 feet - expected at Moclips in Grays Harbor County, said Rob Harper, a state Emergency Management spokesman.

Waves were expected to be smaller around the larger coastal cities of Aberdeen and Hoquiam.

Residents around Moclips, Pacific Beach, Iron Springs and Taholah who live close to the ocean were asked to move to higher ground, the Grays Harbor Emergency Management agency said.

Harper says the Quinault Indians were looking at limited evacuations in the Taholah area. Farther north, members of the Makah and Hoh Indian tribes were coordinating their public safety efforts with Jefferson County.

In southwest Washington's Pacific County, Sheriff Scott Johnson said the county activated its reverse 911 system, phoning residents on the coast and in lowlying areas and asking them to move to higher ground.

An order evacuation was under way before dawn in Long Beach, Ilwaco and Ocean Park, Johnson said.

"We certainly don't want to cry wolf," he said. "We just have to hope we're doing the right thing based on our information. We don't want to be wrong and have people hurt or killed.

"In the last 25-30 years, this is the second time I've been involved in an evacuation for this reason," the sheriff added.

Buses stand ready to pick up nursing home residents from lowlying Pacific County areas if need be, Johnson said.

Harper warned that people need to stay off the coastal beaches for 12 hours since the tsunami will arrive in a succession of waves.

The size of the wave could also be amplified by the tide - low this morning but higher as the day goes on, Harper said.


http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/03/11/1910416/wash-coast-officials-alerted-to.html

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« Reply #3266 on: Mar 11th, 2011, 08:40am »

Wired Danger Room

No Moammar, No Fly: How to Stop Gadhafi’s Planes
By Spencer Ackerman
March 11, 2011 | 7:01 am
Categories: Rogue States


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photo US Air Force


Keep the surveillance planes flying. Fry the radar. While the sun hangs in the sky, let Libya’s pilots know they’re on borrowed time if they take off.

There’s a lot of talk about setting up a no-fly zone over Libya — especially now that Moammar Gadhafi used his planes to take the oil refinery city of Ras Lunuf back from the rebels, and especially now that the Director of National Intelligence proclaimed that Gadhafi would eventually beat back the opposition, unless there’s some serious outside support. But NATO stopped short of any such decision on Thursday. A raft of U.S. military leaders, from Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Adm. Michael Mullen to Gen. James Mattis of Central Command, have warned that a no-fly zone is neither a simple or antiseptic operation.

Air Force leaders and veterans of no-fly campaigns contacted by Danger Room agree with that caution. Keeping Gadhafi’s planes and helicopters out of the sky is no cakewalk, and the objectives are anything but clear. But they sketched out the following picture of what one might look like.

Blowing up Libya’s surface-to-air defenses is the first wave of a no-fly campaign, as Secretary Gates noted. But to do that, there’s an even more preliminary step: use the AWACS surveillance and command planes that NATO is now flying 24-7 to find Libya’s radars, command and control and missile stations. “I’m absolutely certain,” says retired Gen. Pete Piotrowski, a former Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, “that the intelligence community knows the location of the surface to air missiles and the radars,” thanks to the AWACS.

High-speed anti-radiation missiles, or HARMs, can then take out the radars — which would render the Libyans’ missiles dumb without having to take out every missile station. Bombing would take care of the Libyan command and control centers, too, once AWACS identifies them. And a blind Libyan air command can’t challenge NATO aircraft. “If you take out the command and control, [the Libyans] may get lucky,” says retired Maj. Gen. Irv Halter, who helped run Operation Northern Watch, the no-fly zone over northern Iraq, “but they’ll be looking through a soda straw.”

A trickier target will be the Libyan fleet of attack helicopters, which Marine Commandant James Amos identified as a crucial part of Gadhafi’s arsenal. While it’s possible that precision weaponry from the NATO aircraft thousands of feet above could take the copters out, military analyst Kori Schake of the Hoover Institution suggests using French and British carriers in the southern Mediterranean to launch helicopters of NATO’s own, plus “missiles and naval gunfire” to keep the copters grounded. (There’s also talk of cratering runways and helicopter staging areas, so the aircraft can’t get off of the ground.)

Halter notices something significant about the Libyan MiG and Mirage jets: They’re flying at about 15,000 feet, and only during the day. That tells him they’re worried about shoulder-fired and truck-launched missiles from the rebels beneath them, and their own pilots aren’t very accurate at night. Accordingly, that means any Combat Air Patrol to keep the Libyans out of the sky should cover the daylight hours — 14, 16 hours at most.

Piotrowski’s calculation is to run four Combat Air Patrols, or CAPs, of two aircraft each during that time: F-15s, F-16s, maybe with the F/A-18s from the Navy or Marines, equipped with air-to-air missiles to shoot down Libyan planes if necessary. (Retired Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula recently wrote that NATO should use F-22 Raptors, but Irving said the Raptor’s stealth capabilities weren’t necessary for Libya; besides, there aren’t any F-22s based in Europe.) From Irving’s perspective, an open-ended mission would require about 50 fighters — F-15s and -16s, plus British Tornadoes and French Mirages — with eight planes in the air at all times during the CAPs. He also advises keeping at least 10 and up to 20 KC-135 airborne tankers in the skies to allow for refueling — meaning those tankers won’t be helping planes over Afghanistan refuel.

Where would those planes fly from? In addition to keeping an aircraft carrier in the southern Mediterranean, pretty much everyone agrees that the ideal base to support a no-fly mission is Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, about 300 miles from Libya. It’s got “a good runway, a good taxiway that can act as an alternate/emergency runway, reasonable amounts of parking for large and small aircraft alike, and of course housing for the operations and maintenance crews for a Northern Watch-level of resources,” says retired Col. Rod Zastrow, another Northern Watch veteran.

Zastrow thinks Northern Watch, a mission that lasted over a decade, is particularly illustrative for Libya. “We would have roughly four F-15 aircraft flying what I would call ‘top cover’ and then a number of aircraft below or near us ready to engage any [surface-to-air missiles] that might pop up or to drop bombs on pop-up AAA [anti-aircraft artillery] or pre-approved targets as retribution for AAA fired on us on the current mission,” he recalls. Add up all the AWACS, other intelligence aircraft, refuelers and fighters, and by by 1999, the U.S. had 24 planes in the air “to cover maybe a three-hour window on a roughly every-other-day schedule.”

If all this seems like a large commitment, on an open-ended schedule, it should. All the debate over a no-fly zone hasn’t resolved just what the goal of the mission would be. Buying time for the rebels on the ground? Eventually taking out Gadhafi’s ground forces — which, after all, do the majority of the fighting? Staying until Gadhafi is overthrown? Also, what would the rules of engagement be? Anything that flies during the day dies? Just fighter aircraft, or would Libyan troop transport copters be fair game? And remember, as Irving reminds, “anything you use for this, you are choosing not to use them for something else.”

Piotrowski says the no-fly zone should only be imposed if NATO is planning to do other things to tip the military balance to Gadhafi’s enemies. Whether it’s equipping the rebels or getting a proxy Arab force to help them on the ground — Piotrowski balks at NATO planes providing close air support to the Libyan rebels — the fact that NATO will be intervening means it needs “something leading to the overthrow of Gadhafi.” All of a sudden, a no-fly zone — which, after all, is an act of war — doesn’t seem so antiseptic. No wonder NATO isn’t exactly jumping to set one up.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/03/no-moammar-no-fly/

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Telegraph

American great-great-grandmother named world's oldest living person

Besse Cooper, a great-great-grandmother from Georgia, USA has been officially recognised
as the world's oldest living person at 114 years and six months.


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Besse Cooper receives a kiss from her grandson Paul
Photo: AP



By Nick Collins
7:00AM GMT 11 Mar 2011

Since her birth in 1896 Mrs Cooper has seen 21 different presidents from Grover Cleveland to Barack Obama, and lived through two world wars and the great depression.

The hendecagenarian was officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest person on earth at a ceremony at her nursing home on Thursday.

Mrs Cooper was bestowed with the title after the death of Eunice G Sanborn of Jacksonville, Texas last month.

As one of eight siblings she led an active childhood, climbing trees and splashing through rivers in Sullivan County, Tennessee with her older brothers and it was that, along with good genes, that her son Sid believes is the secret of her longevity.

After moving to Georgia to teach in a school during the First World War, Mrs Cooper was married in the 1920s and remained with her husband for 40 years, though he died almost half a century ago.

The couple had four children, a dozen grandchildren and a number of great-grandchildren, one of whom has their own child.

Mrs Cooper lived alone until she was 105 and was unwilling to leave her house, but her son said her health had declined significantly in the past year and she can no longer see or hear well.

At her 113th birthday celebration in 2009, she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "I mind my business and I don't eat junk food."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8375207/American-great-great-grandmother-named-worlds-oldest-living-person.html

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