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We'll meet again:
The tender farewell kisses of soldiers and their sweethearts at New York's Penn Station before they shipped out to the battlefields of WWII
Lovers torn apart by the fighting during World War II were photographed saying their goodbyes as they faced an unknown future.
LIFE magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured the tender moments soldiers spent with their beloveds before boarding their trains at New York's Pennsylvania Station to serve their country in the global conflict in 1943.
The black and white photographs originally ran in the Valentine's Day issue of LIFE magazine in 1944, as the nation anxiously waited for the return of their loved ones.
Now 69 years after the collection was first unveiled, LIFE.com has republished the romantic photographs by the photojournalist, most noted for his picture of the sailor who kissed a nurse on V-J Day in Times Square in 1945.
'Each goodbye is a drama complete in itself, which Eisenstaedt’s pictures movingly tell,' the original magazine article from 1944 read.
'Sometimes the girl stands with arms around the boys’ waist, hands tightly clasped behind. Another fits her head into the curve of his cheek while tears fall onto his coat. Now and then the boy will take her face between his hands and speak reassuringly. Or if the wait is long they may just stand quietly, not saying anything.'
'The common denominator of all these goodbyes is sadness and tenderness, and complete oblivion for the moment to anything but their own individual heartaches.'
Embrace: A soldier lovingly pulls his sweetheart close as they share a final moment together before he boards his train
Off again: This sailor kisses his girl as he embarks on yet another overseas assignment
Unknowns: This distraught woman clings tightly to her lover, fearing for the future as he answers the call of duty
Tears: With a gentle touch, this man comforts the woman he leaves behind to wait for him during the war
One moment more: This couple calmly wait in their final moments together before their sad separation
Until we meet again: This sailor, pictured in 1941, kisses his girl goodbye as he returns to his post after the shocking Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7
KISS ME GOODBYE
Couples display differing strategies to win a kissing contest in Hefei, Anhui province, China, on February 18, 2012. In the contest, men must hold their partners off the ground while kissing, trying to last as long as possible. (Reuters/Stringer)
Veterinarian Livia Pereira kisses paralyzed lion Ariel who she is caring for in her home in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 13, 2011. An Internet and Facebook campaign was launched in Brazil to obtain funds needed to treat the lion that had been paralyzed for the past year. The campaign was launched by Raquel Borges, the owner of Ariel, a three-year-old, 310 pound (140 kilogram) lion that was unable to use his four legs due to a degenerative disease affecting his medulla. Ariel was unable to recover, and passed away a couple of weeks after this photo was taken. (AP Photo/Andre Penner) #
Paraguay's President Fernando Lugo (seated) is visited by Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as he undergoes medical examinations in a hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on January 27, 2012. Both Lugo and Lula are undergoing treatment for cancer. (Reuters/Ricardo Stuckert-Instituto Lula) #
A Syrian woman kisses a photo of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a pro-Syrian regime protest in front of the Russian embassy in Damascus, Syria, on March 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman) #
Baby Cin gets a first kiss from his mother Miran shortly after being born at Avista Adventist hospital in Louisville, Colorado near Denver at 2:41 a.m. local time October 31, 2011. (Reuters/Rick Wilking) #
Pearl Harbor survivor James Cook smiles after getting a kiss on the cheek from a member of the Andrews Sisters-styled group "The Victory Belles" at a ceremony observing the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, on December 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) #
April 4, 2012 – WASHIGTON - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Tuesday that a nuclear-armed Iran or a conflict over its ambitions would both destabilize the region as she pressed Tehran to make progress in key talks. As Israel voices growing impatience over Iran, Clinton credited US sanctions with inflicting pressure on the Islamic republic but warned of the “very difficult situation that the world faces’ moving forward. “There is no clear path. We know that a nuclear-armed Iran would be incredibly destabilizing to the region and beyond. A conflict arising out of their program would also be very destabilizing,” Clinton said. “There is no way to balance this. You have two very difficult paths here,” Clinton told a dinner in Norfolk, Virginia; on a day trip to visit the only NATO command in the United States. Clinton, who traveled over the weekend to Turkey and Saudi Arabia, voiced concern that a nuclear Iran would trigger an arms race in the region. “We’re going to be looking for a way to try to convey the legitimate fears that people in the region have about what comes next. Because if Iran were ever to get a nuclear weapon, the countries in the region are going to buy their way to one as well,” Clinton said. The United States has been threatening sanctions to press other countries to stop buying Iranian oil, the country’s chief money-maker, as Israel voices fears that the Islamic republic is developing a nuclear bomb. Iranian officials insist that sensitive nuclear work is for peaceful purposes. Iran is expected to resume talks shortly with six powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — in the first such negotiations in more than one year. –Yahoo News
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April 4, 2012 – COLOMBIA - Nevado del Ruiz seems to be getting closer to a new eruption. INGEOMINAS reports that during the last week, there has been a significant increase in the activity of the volcano, which can be summarized as follows: From March 27, there have been phases of volcanic tremor pulses related probably to deep magma movements. Since the last week, there were seismic signals interpreted with rock fracturing, i.e. dike intrusions, located west of the active crater. Similar seismic activity was observed prior to the eruptions in November 1985 and September 1989, although this time it is less energetic. On March 29 at 10:54 local time, for a period of 25 minutes, there were over 135 earthquakes located south of Arenas crater at a depth of about 4 km. From 04:00 am local time on 31 March, there has been a significant increase in seismicity of events associated with fluid movements and fracturing of rock located in the active crater. SO2 emissions continue at high levels. According to the diagnosis made so far, INGEOMINAS expects an eruption in the coming weeks, but smaller in size than those in November 1985 and September 1989. –Volcano Discovery
April 4, 2012 – IRAN - The United States would not be safe from retaliation if Iran is attacked by Washington; the Iran newspaper quoted a senior Revolutionary Guards commander on Tuesday as saying. “In the face of any attack, we will have a crushing response. In that case, we will not only act in the boundaries of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, no place in America will be safe from our attacks,” Massoud Jazayeri was quoted as saying by the daily. Iran would not strike any country first, he said. Tehran is locked in a dispute with the West over its nuclear program. Israel and the United States have threatened military action against Iran unless it abandons activities which the West suspects are intended to develop nuclear weapons. Further talks between Iran and world powers are expected to take place this month in an attempt to reach a compromise. The most recent talks failed in January 2011 after Iran refused to suspend its sensitive uranium enrichment work, as demanded by several U.N. resolutions. Tehran says its nuclear work is peaceful and it has the right to develop its program under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. “America, the Zionists and reactionary Arabs should pay attention that we will seriously confront them wherever the Islamic Republic’s interests are threatened,” Jazayeri said, according to Iran daily. Iranian officials have warned that the Islamic Republic’s response to any military strike would be painful and has said it could close the oil shipping thoroughfare the Strait of Hormuz. –Reuters
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April 3, 2012 – DALLAS, Tx. – At least two “large and extremely dangerous” tornadoes ripped across the Dallas-Forth Worth area this afternoon, collapsing roofs, tearing down power lines and tossing trailers around like toys, the National Weather Service says. Several other developing twisters were reported as violent storms moved north through the metropolitan area. The weather service says “considerable damage” has been reported near Cleburne, south of Fort Worth, and Lancaster, south of Dallas. Local television footage shows overturned and smashed semi-trailers on the ground in the southern portion of Dallas County. Dallas Police spokeswoman Sherri Jeffrey says twisters also have caused damage in the city limits. A tornado watch — meaning that conditions are ripe for tornadoes to continue to form — was in place for 33 counties in north-central and northeastern Texas until 8 p.m. CDT, the National Weather Service reported. –On Deadline
Tractor-trailers tossed in the wind by torndoes in North Texas, April 3, 2012 – (c) WFAA News
April 3, 2012 – NORTH KOREA - The Pentagon recently activated its global missile shield in anticipation of North Korea’s launch of a long-range missile, according to defense officials. The measures include stepped-up electronic monitoring, deployment of missile interceptor ships, and activation of radar networks to areas near the Korean peninsula and western Pacific. Three interceptor ships near Japan and the Philippines, as well as U.S.-based interceptors, are ready to shoot down the North Korean missile if space-, land-, and sea-based sensors determine its flight path is targeted at the United States or U.S. allies, said officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. The Obama administration will regard any launch by North Korea as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions regardless of whether the North Koreans claim the rocket test is for space launch purposes, the officials said. The technology and rocketry used for a space launch is nearly identical to that used with ballistic missiles that carry a warhead, they said. Also, because the payload or warhead of the test launch cannot be determined prior to launch, the Obama administration decided to activate the missile defense system. According to U.S. officials, current intelligence assessments indicate the North Korean missile will be launched from a base called Tongchang-ri, located on a west coast peninsula north of Pyongyang between April 12 and April 15. The missile’s first stage could impact in the Yellow Sea near South Korea and the second stage could land east of the Philippines in the Pacific. Satellite images published Monday show preparations for the launch are continuing. Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. April Cunningham would not say if missile defenses were activated for the upcoming test. However, Cunningham said, “North Korea’s announcement that it plans to conduct a long-range missile launch at any time would be in direct violation of its international obligations.” -WFB
April 3, 2012 – TOKYO - After a winter of record snow and avalanches — not to mention last year’s record strong quake, mega-tsunami, and series of powerful typhoons — Japan is once again being battered by the elements. This time, it’s wind. A low-pressure system that landed on Japan’s main island of Honshu Tuesday has brought typhoon-force winds and rain, even snow. In anticipation of the worst of the storm, the Japan Meteorological Agency called an unusual emergency press conference Monday and issued a strong wind warning for Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures. As of mid-day Tuesday, 203 flights were already grounded nationwide and the final game in the nationwide high school spring baseball tournament in Osaka had also been postponed. An 82-year-old woman supposedly died in Ishikawa prefecture after the wind toppled her on the street, according to local media reports. The JMA expected the worst to hit just in time for the evening rush home and winds that could reach almost 63 miles per hour across the country. The agency has already recorded wind speeds of 73.6 mph in the city of Uzen, near Nagasaki, as of this morning. While this storm is described as packing a “typhoon-like” punch, it’s not a typhoon. Typhoons are fueled by warm water from the tropics, known as “tropical cyclones.” The high wind hitting Japan this week is caused by differences in air temperatures, not water. The JMA was warning of waves as high as 32 feet along the northern Pacific coast, snow, and avalanches. The extreme conditions will continue as the weather system passes over Japan over the next four days. This is the second windstorm to hit Tokyo in less than a week. Winds in Japan’s capital were as strong as 64 mph over the weekend as a low pressure system hit Japan’s main island of Honshu causing delays on major train lines. –WSJ
April 3, 2012 – CANARY ISLANDS - IRIN volcano 24 hour monitoring network of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) recorded two earthquakes of 1.7 and 2.7 magnitudes on the Richter scale this Sunday on the island of El Hierro. The largest of the earthquakes, recorded at 22.03 hours, occurred southwest of the town of El Pinar. This event was located at sea 15 kilometers deep. The second quake also occurred southwest of El Pinar at 20.36 hours, to 13 km depth and epicenter in the sea. Since last March 24, the island of El Hierro has been nine earthquakes, including this Sunday, between 1.5 and 2.7 °. Of these, were substantial enough to be felt by the population. Sunday’s tremors were located west of Frontier and southwest of El Pinar, and were 10 and 29 kilometers deep. –La Opinion.es (translated)
April 3, 2012 – PITTSBURG, Okla. – A magnitude 4.0 earthquake shook southeast Oklahoma at 2:33 a.m. Tuesday. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was centered in the town of Pittsburg, about 16 miles south-southwest of McAlester and 109 miles east-southeast of Oklahoma City. McAlester police says so far no damage or injuries have been reported. 2NEWS viewers in Tulsa reported feeling the temblor. The USGS says residents in Muskogee, Norman, Broken Arrow, Atoka and Shawnee also reported feeling tremors. On Nov. 5, 2011, a record 5.6 magnitude tremor shook the Sooner state, the strongest quake on record in Oklahoma. The USGS reported that tremors from the quake, centered in Lincoln County, were felt in most of Oklahoma as well as eastern and central Kansas, most of Missouri and Arkansas, north Texas and southeast Nebraska. Aftershocks were felt for weeks. -KJRH
April 2, 2012 – FRANCE - A “thud” and even “three booms” were heard in the sky near Bigouden Wednesday night, March 23rd. The phenomenon remains unexplained and apparently was repeated on the night of the 24th from north to south of Finistere. There were reports also in Côtes d’Armor and Morbihan. But where do these sounds come from? “It sounded like a thud of a child stamping his feet on the wall of the neighbor,” one witness said. Testimonials are legions Bigouden. But not only. Combrit Chateauneuf-du-Faou through Briec, Quimper, Plogastel-Saint-Germain, Pont l’Abbé, Tréméoc, Cockles, Plobannalec-Lesconil or Clohars-Fouesnant, many people on Wednesday to 21h, were intrigued by the phenomenon. Some alluded that “their houses were shaken three times.’ We’re talking about “three strong rumblings” that “have rattled houses” and even awakened some. Some people, meanwhile, heard what they described as “muffled explosions” while others are convinced that this was from “an earthquake.” But neither a reported earthquake, nor aerial maneuver by aircraft can explain the mystery. Contacted, the central office Seismological French (BCSF) states that nothing abnormal registered in this area. And for its size, Chateauneuf-du-Faou Clohars-Fouesnant, the blasts and aftershocks felt “like the equivalent of a magnitude 3 earthquake in force.” In 2005, Bigoudens remember, an earthquake on the fault of south Armorican which had a magnitude 3 on the Richter scale caused the same feelings. What then of these explosions heard and felt? An air-borne cause? Regional Centre of Western navigation, it is shown have no record this kind of phenomenon. Moreover, some also said they heard a helicopter. Proceeded by “three booms” recalling it sounded like “thunder.” One thinks of an aircraft. When questioned, the communications department of the Brest Maritime Prefecture said that there was no Navy operation in the region and even less involving helicopters. An official from the Joint Staff of the area of defense and security northwest (OGZDS), said there were no operations or “supersonic flights.” Bizarre; especially considering in March of 2003, three earthquakes also hit the Bigouden and that phenomenon also remains unexplained. –Le Télégramme (translated)
April 2, 2012 – NEW ZEALAND – Canterbury police are lauding a drop in most types of offending in the past year, but sexual violence is on the rise. The number of sexual assault and related offences reported to Canterbury police increased by 16.4 per cent last year, from 318 offences in 2010 to 370 in 2011. Sexual-violence offending also rose nationally, with 3466 offences reported across the country, an increase of 14.9 per cent on the previous year. Canterbury district commander Superintendent Gary Knowles said the increase was “disturbing” and did not match other types of offending, which had all decreased in 2011. Much of the increase could be because more people were reporting this type of crime. “The more people come forward the better,’ he said. Knowles had put staff on the job of analyzing the figures, particularly the “why, where and how” of sexual violence. More police were also being put on frontline duties, which he hoped would help reduce offending. Te Puna Oranga manager Tania Mataki, who works with victims of sexual abuse and their families, said sexual violence appeared to have increased after the Canterbury earthquakes. “We’ve seen a lot of changes in people’s behaviors – a lot more drinking, a lot more drug abuse, access to [pornography on] the internet. Wherever alcohol is involved there are behaviors that will escalate,’ she said. Usually sexual offending was committed by someone known to the victim and many people since the quakes had been forced to share accommodation or resources. Some of the cases were historical, but some related to offences committed after the February 22, 2011, earthquake, when many families left their damaged homes and moved in with others, or had others move in with them, Mataki said. –Stuff.nz
April 2, 2012 – NEW ZEALAND – A spectacular, bright meteor that left a long trail in the sky has stunned witnesses in Wellington and Christchurch tonight. The WeatherWatch website has been inundated with reports of the fireball, which witnesses say rushed across the sky at about 6.30 pm. A Nelson resident described it as an “unbelievable”’ green, orange and white ball flying past at “super speed,” leaving behind a massive trail that lasted for nearly 10 minutes before dissipating. A Hanmer Springs resident said they heard “a loud boom”’ about two minutes after it streaked past. “Not sure if hit the ground or sonic boom, perhaps the latter, very exciting! Much more exciting than putting the washing out.” A Wellingtonian said the meteor was “full on magnesium bright and flaming”, while another said it was “almost fluorescent and very intense.” A Cantabrian said the whole family were excited by the meteor, which came low to the horizon with two bright flashes and trails of smoke. “Like an arc welder torch, it seemed very close and low to us, was waiting for the bang it seemed so close and bright, but obviously moving at tremendous speed. I have never seen anything like this!” Police central communications shift inspector Ken Climo said some of his staff had seen the event and described it as “quite spectacular.” The Rescue Coordination Centre described it as a contrail, he said. –NZ Herald
contribution by Carla B.
April 2, 2012 – MEXICO – A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 (6.0 downgraedd USGS) struck southern Mexico on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake’s epicenter was about 17 miles (27 kilometers) from Ometepec, Guerrero. It was about 7.6 miles (12 kilometers) deep, the USGS said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Officials described the quake as an aftershock of the 7.4-magnitude temblor which struck in the same area on March 20, damaging hundreds of homes. There have been 280 aftershocks since that quake, Mexico’s National Seismological Survey reported. Residents felt Monday’s quake in Mexico City, hundreds of miles from the epicenter. There were no initial reports of major damage in the capital, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter. The USGS describes Mexico as one of the most seismically active areas of the world. The country sees an average of seven earthquakes daily with a magnitude greater than 3.0, according to Mexico’s National Seismological Service. -CNN
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April 2, 2012 – EUROPE – Unemployment in the euro zone reached its highest level in almost 15 years in February, with more than 17 million people out of work, and economists said they expected job office queues to grow even longer later this year. Joblessness in the 17-nation currency zone rose to 10.8 percent – in line with a Reuters poll of economists – and 0.1 points worse than in January, Eurostat said on Monday. Economists are divided over the wisdom of European governments’ drive to bring down fiscal deficits so aggressively as economic troubles hit tax revenues, consumers’ spending power and business confidence which collapsed late last year. February’s unemployment level – last hit in June 1997 – marked the 10th straight monthly rise and contrasts sharply with the United States where the economy has been adding jobs since late last year. “We expect it to go higher, to reach 11 percent by the end of the year,” said Raphael Brun-Aguerre, an economist at JP Morgan in London. “You have public sector job cuts, income going down, weak consumption. The economic growth outlook is negative and is going to worsen unemployment.” Separate data released on Monday showed manufacturing activity in the euro zone shrank for an eighth successive month in March, providing further evidence for Brussels’ forecast that euro zone output will shrink 0.3 percent this year. The European Commission, which along with Berlin is a driving force behind the EU’s debt reduction strategy, said joblessness showed countries must enact difficult reforms. Public resistance is rising in Italy to Prime Minister Mario Monti’s labor market reforms, while Spain’s premier, Mariano Rajoy, faced his first general strike last week. “This is why, more than ever, it is important to carry out structural reforms in countries where the growth potential remains low and where we don’t see the creation of new and better jobs,” Amadeu Altafaj, the spokesman for the EU’s top economic official Olli Rehn, told reporters. Despite the economic vista, the European Central Bank is expected to hold interest rates at 1 percent at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, as rising oil prices keep inflation above its 2 percent target. “With inflation remaining stubbornly high throughout the euro zone, there is very little hope of a consumer recovery,” said Jennifer McKeown, an economist at Capital Markets. –
A wax figure of British actor Robert Pattinson at Madame Tussauds in London is kissed by Hayley Wales. Ladies wore wedding outfits and posed with the waxwork to celebrate the upcoming film "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1" in which Pattinson's character, Edward, marries Kristen Stewart's character, Bella, on November 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Jonathan Short) #
A couple shares a moment before performing on the first day of Carnival celebrations in Salvador, Brazil, on February 16, 2012. (Mario Tama/Getty Images) #
Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic kisses a dolphin at Dolphin Bay at Atlantis, The Palm, on February 26, 2012, ahead of the Dubai Tennis Championships. (Reuters) #
Singer Fergie blows a kiss to photographers during the premiere of "New Year's Eve" at the Grauman's Chinese theater in Hollywood, California, on December 5, 2011. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni) #
Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta (left), assigned to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill, kisses her partner Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell, following the ship's return to homeport after a three-month deployment in the Caribbean, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on December 21, 2011. History was made on a Virginia Beach pier on Wednesday when the two women sailors, one just home from 80 days at sea, became what was believed to be the first same-sex couple to share the Navy's traditional first kiss. (Reuters/U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Mann) #
Sgt. Brandon Morgan, right, is embraced by his partner Dalan Wells in a helicopter hangar at a Marine base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, upon returning from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan in this February 22, 2012 photo. The photograph, made some five months after the repeal of the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy prohibiting gay servicemen from openly acknowledging their sexuality, is among the first showing a gay active duty serviceman in uniform kissing his partner at a homecoming. (AP Photo/David Lewis)
The kiss Katy Perry shared on stage with a U.S. marine during Fleet Week no doubt sent her fans - and the man himself - wild.
But the moment shared between the pop star, 27, and Marine Lance Corporal Thomas Smith, 20, in Brooklyn, New York, last week is being heralded by many as an iconic modern interpretation of the photograph it was based upon.
A young couple kisses in the fountain during the celebration of International Women's Day, at Revolution Square in Mexico City, on March 8, 2012. (Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images) #
From left to right, the members of Kiss, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer and Paul Stanley appear onstage, announcing "The Tour", an upcoming Motley Crüe / KISS co-headlining tour at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, in Los Angeles, California, on March 20, 2012. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images) #
Thai couples kiss during a competition for the "World's Longest Continuous Kiss" in Pattaya, on February 12, 2012. Seven couples took part in the kissing marathon in the hope of breaking the Guinness world record, also hoping to receive prizes totaling more than 200,000 Thai baht ($6,666 USD) and a diamond ring. (Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP/Getty Images) #
A woman kisses a fish after catching it during an ice fishing competition at the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival on January 7, 2012 in Hwacheon-gun, South Korea. The annual Hwacheon Sancheoneo (Mountain Trout) Ice Festival attracts millions of visitors annually who gather to try their luck at ice fishing with traditional lures or with bare hands. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images) #
Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, right, kisses actress Salma Hayek, left, while promoting the animted film "Puss in Boots" in Madrid, Spain, on November 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza) #
Vladimir Stojanovic kisses a wooden cross that he managed to catch after it was thrown by a priest in the waters of Nisava river during Epiphany celebrations in Nis, south-eastern Serbia, on January 19, 2012. (Reuters/Stoyan Nenov) #
Jigmy Tamang, 6, an injured boy kisses his mother as he awaits medical treatment in a civil hospital in Gangtok, India, on September 20, 2011. Thousands of survivors of a Himalayan earthquake that killed many people and shook parts of India, Nepal and China crowded had crowded into shelters and relatives' homes or stayed out in the open for fear of aftershocks. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath) #
Same-sex couple Lori Campbell (left) and Maja Roble kiss after exchanging rings and commitment vows outside the East Los Angeles County Recorder's Office during a news event for National Freedom to Marry Week in Los Angeles, California, on February 14, 2012. (Reuters/David McNew) #
A soldier from the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division kisses a family member during a homecoming ceremony at Fort Hood, Texas, on December 21, 2011. The 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division was the last U.S. military unit to depart Iraq. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson) #
So Yeon Ryu, of South Korea, kisses the championship trophy after a playoff win over compatriot Kee Kyung Seo at the Women's U.S. Open golf tournament at the Broadmoor Golf Club in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on July 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) #
Justin Blackmon #81 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrates by kissing his girlfriend and cheerleader Mariel Dunlap after the Cowboys won 41-38 in overtime against the Stanford Cardinal during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on January 2, 2012. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images) #
An Afghan child kisses his brother's gravestone in a cemetery in Kabul, Afghanistan, on December 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid) #
Jane Cosar hugs her guide dog Cubbe in Lima, Peru, on October 6, 2011. Cosar is a blind lawyer and former congressional candidate who fights for the rights of blind people using guide dogs in Peru, where shops, banks, buses and others do not allow the blind to enter with their guide dogs. (Reuters/Mariana Bazo) #
A woman kisses a girl looking at tributes at the 't Stekske primary school in Lommel, Belgium, on March 16, 2012. The memorial was for the victims of the March 13 bus crash near the town of Sierre in southern Switzerland. Twenty-eight people died in the accident, including 22 children from two schools in Lommel and Heverlee, returning to Belgium from a skiing holiday. (Yorick Jansens/AFP/Getty Images) #
A worshiper kisses a pillar of the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, during Orthodox Christmas in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on January 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #
Laney High School's Raheem Newton, left, kisses the forehead of assistant coach Shilo Robinson after Laney defeated Manchester 67- 53 in the Boys AA state championship high school basketball game in Macon, Georgia, on March 10, 2012. (AP Photo/David Goldman) #
Participants kiss in the streets of Zurich during the 20th Street Parade, an annual dance music parade, on August 13, 2011. (Reuters/Valentin Flauraud) #
Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, subs in the Gulf: the Israeli military encirclement of Iran – prelude?
March 30, 2012 – ISRAEL - Last week, it was announced by Info Live that the Israelis were using military bases in Kurdistan to launch surveillance flights into Iran. Now, the three-way tension between the United States, Israel, and Iran became tenser this week with a widely cited report that Israel is developing a “secret staging ground” in Iran’s neighbor to the north – Azerbaijan – for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Quoting unnamed senior US diplomats and military intelligence officials, a lengthy article in Foreign Policy magazine asserts that “Israel has recently been granted access to airbases on Iran’s northern border. The Israelis have bought an airfield,” a senior administration official is quoted as saying, “and the airfield is called Azerbaijan.” Why would US officials be talking about this? Likely to slow down any rush to war in an already volatile region, some speculate. “I think this leak today is part of the administration’s campaign against an Israeli attack,” former US diplomat John Bolton said Thursday on Fox News. “Clearly, this is an administration-orchestrated leak,” Mr. Bolton said, adding, “It’s just unprecedented to reveal this kind of information about one of your own allies.” The challenge for Israel in planning such a strike is the long distance to potential targets – some 2,000 miles round-trip – for its F-15 and F-16 fighters. Planning for such strikes always involves tradeoffs between fuel and bombs. Bases in nearby Azerbaijan (including abandoned former Soviet airfields) could be used for landing and refueling after any strike, allowing Israeli jets to carry more ordnance. Such airfields also could be a staging point for search-and-rescue helicopters that might be necessary to recover downed Israeli pilots. They also could be used to launch drone aircraft for bomb damage assessment once any strike is concluded. Israel and Azerbaijan have developed an economic military relationship over the years. Israel buys oil from Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan recently agreed to buy $1.6 billion in military hardware from Israel, including drones, antiaircraft, and missile-defense systems. This week’s report of a possible basing agreement with Israel does nothing to improve the relationship between neighbors Azerbaijan and Iran. -CSM
March 30, 2012 – TECH WORLD – Robot designs have been inspired by cheetahs (for speed), dogs (to carry things) and even humans. Boston Dynamics, which gave us all three, has now turned to the lowly flea for inspiration, making a robot that can jump 30 feet into the air and land safely. It’scalled the Sand Flea. Real fleas jump using the strength of their feet, and can go hundreds of times the distance of their own body length. The robotic version uses compressed gas and can’t go quite so high, but jumping to the roof of a two-story building is still pretty impressive. It has four large wheels so it can tackle rough terrain. Boston Dynamics says the robot uses a stabilization system to keep itself righted when it flies through the air. The Sand Flea carries a camera to give a controller up to 215 yards away a view of the surroundings. And it can even swim. The robot is small, about 11 pounds, and has enough compressed gas for up to 25 jumps. The Sand Flea — along with the throwable Scout XT robot — is headed to Afghanistan, where it will be tested in real-world conditions. Afghanistan is becoming a hotbed of robotic soldiering, as thousands have already been deployed there. The numbers are even higher when one considers the unmanned aerial vehicles used. Land-bound robots do things like bomb disposal and reconnaissance, reducing the risk to the troops in the field. –Discovery News
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March 30, 2012 – TECH WORLD – The American surveillance state is becoming increasingly advanced, expansive and capable of processing huge amounts of data at blinding speeds. Now Behavioral Recognition Systems, Inc., also known as BRS Labs, has developed an artificial intelligence-based system which supposedly can automatically recognize human behavior. Technology which seems similar on the surface already exists and is being used on surveillance platforms like the “Intellistreets” street lights. These street lights, which are outfitted with a great deal of surveillance equipment, are reportedly capable of monitoring activity and telling the difference between certain behaviors while also being able to tell the difference between humans and animals. This technology could be used to enforce curfews, track the movement of individuals, and supposedly spot fights and other crimes. However, BRS Labs’ technology, which was awarded U.S. patent number 8,131,012 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to Government Security News, seems to blow that older system out of the water. This is because previous technologies relied on specific rules put in place by human operators, whereas the new system relies on “reason-based video surveillance behavior recognition software.” This patent is actually part of over 60 related U.S. patents which are currently either pending approval, in process or already granted, all of which are part of the “AISight 3.0” video surveillance software system. –Activist Post
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March 29, 2012 – JAVA, Indonesia – Our expedition leader Doni just returned from a visit to Semeru and reports that on 27 March, he and our group observed frequent explosions every few minutes, with many powerful enough to eject glowing bombs to produce small glowing avalanches down on the southern flank of the volcano. Semeru, the highest volcano on Java, and one of its most active, lies at the southern end of a volcanic massif extending north to the Tengger caldera. Semeru, a favourite mountain trekking destination, has been in almost continuous eruption since 1967. It is known for its regular ash explosions that typically occur at intervals of 10-30 minutes. –Volcano Discovery
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March 29, 2012 – MONTSERRAT - For the first time in two years, the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) monitoring the Soufriere Hills volcano noted unusual activity, with increased seismicity, accompanied by ash fall. Acting Director of MVO Roderick Stuart said the change, which was noted on Friday, is a break from a long state of pause, thus a reminder the volcano is still very active and residents there must always be cautious and aware. Stuart reported, “Last Friday we had the first sort of activity in the volcano in over two years. It generated some ash and because it was the first activity we had in two years, it was almost a precautionary measure that we closed daytime access to Zone C just in case this activity started something bigger,” Stuart told Observer Media. The authority also noted increased steam venting activity on the volcano and a new steam vent (fumarole) that appeared on the northwestern face of the lava dome behind Gages Mountain. Audible roaring associated with the venting were intermittently heard from the Observatory, 5.75 km northwest of the volcano. The seismic network recorded nine rock falls, 105 volcano-tectonic (VT) and four hybrid earthquakes. Additionally, two swarms of VT earthquakes occurred. Earthquakes in the second swarm were described as markedly larger than those in the first. Consequently Zone C on the volcanic risk map was closed until Tuesday when there was a decrease in volcanic tectonic earthquakes below the volcano. –Antiqua Observer
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March 29, 2012 – WASHINGTON – The explosion would destroy everything within one-half mile. An intense flash would blind drivers on the Beltway miles away. A radioactive cloud would drift toward Baltimore. But there’s a surprising conclusion: Just a bit farther from the intersection of 16th and K streets northwest, the blast’s chosen epicenter, the explosion would be survivable. A U.S. government study explores what would happen if terrorists got their hands on enough nuclear material to explode a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb, about 5,000 times more powerful than the truck bomb that destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. The study didn’t say why it chose the intersection it did as the epicenter for its nuclear bomb. But it did say Washington, D.C., wouldn’t disappear. “It’s not the end of the world,” said Randy Larsen, a retired Air Force colonel and founding director of the Institute for Homeland Security. “It’s not a Cold War scenario.” The biggest difference between the disaster the government studied and the nightmares of incoming ballistic missiles from the former Soviet Union is the size of the explosion. Cold War-era fears imagined massive hydrogen bombs detonated in the sky, not a smaller device exploding on the street. –Detroit FP
(c) CNN 2012
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March 29, 2012 – SPAIN - Over 500 firefighters backed by planes and helicopters battled 15 wildfires Wednesday in Spain’s northern Cantabria region amid hot dry conditions that fuelled them, the regional government said. Eight water-dropping aircraft were deployed to fight the largest blaze near the town of Corrales de Buelna, a statement said. The region has suffered over 150 wildfires since Friday which have burned over 650 hectares (1,600 acres). “Today was a day of high temperatures, of weak winds that changed direction frequently and low air humidity. No change in weather conditions is expected over the coming days,” the statement said. Spain is struggling through its driest winter since the 1940s, according to the national weather office. Crops have dried up and the familiar summer fires have come months early. –Terra Daily
March 29, 2012 – ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The alert level for a remote Alaska volcano has been raised again after scientists found another lava dome has formed in the crater in the last week. The Alaska Volcano Observatory on Wednesday increased the level for Cleveland Volcano, a 5,675-foot peak on uninhabited Chuginadak Island about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage. The status was raised earlier this year when the center detected two small, likely ash-poor eruptions through March 13, but lowered the alert level last week after 10 days of inactivity. Scientists can’t actively monitor the volcano because there is no real-time seismic monitoring network on the volcano in the Aleutian Islands. Authorities say sudden eruptions could occur at any time, and ash clouds 20,000 feet above sea level are possible. –San Diego 6
March 29, 2012 – EAST JAVA - A moderate earthquake measuring 5.1 in the Richter scale hit Indonesia’s East Java province at 06:09 local time on Thursday (2309 GMT on Wednesday), the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said here. The tremor was centered at 129 kilometers southwest Jember city and at depth of 15 kilometers under seabed. The agency did not release a tsunami warning. –Philstar
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March 29, 2012 – IRAN - Iran’s “workshops” for making nuclear centrifuges and components for the devices are widely dispersed and hidden, adding to the difficulties of a potential military strike by Israel, according to a new report by U.S. congressional researchers. A senior official surmised that Iran could recover from a military strike on its centrifuge facilities within six months. Neither Israel nor the U.S. is certain of the locations of all such facilities, analysts for the Congressional Research Service wrote in the report obtained Wednesday. The analysts cited interviews with current and former U.S. government officials familiar with the issue who weren’t identified. Qatar says no U.S. strike on Iran from its soil Israel’s capability to halt or set back Iran’s nuclear program through a military strike has been central to the debate over whether Israel should undertake such a mission alone. While U.S. President Barack Obama has urged more time for economic sanctions to work, Israeli officials led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak say it may soon be too late to prevent Iran from developing the capability to develop a nuclear weapon. The likelihood of dispersed facilities complicates any assessment of a potential raid’s success, making it “unclear what the ultimate effect of a strike would be on the likelihood of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons,” the report found. A U.S. official said in April 2011 that there “could be lots of workshops’ in Iran,” the authors said. Last month, a former U.S. government official with “direct experience” in the issue told the researchers that “Iran’s centrifuge production is widely distributed and that the number of workshops has probably multiplied ‘many times’ since 2005 because of an increase in Iranian contractors and subcontractors working on the program.” –Jerusalem Post
March 28, 2012 – INDONESIA - An active lava dome is growing inside the summit crater of Krakatau volcano. Our tour expedition leader Andi just returned from a visit and reports that the dome is now about 100 m wide, and has 2 main active vents that eject jets of incandescent gas. At night, the glow from the dome is clearly visible from Rakata and Sertung islands, and a continuous intense solfatara plume is rising about 500 m above the summit. Andi and our group observed also that there are now more and larger fumarole fields on the southern part of the cone. According to our observations and the opinion of local scientists, this area is inflated due to the pushing of the lava dome. The seismic recordings from the observatory of Krakatau also show an increase in activity. On 26 March, there were 138 volcanic-tectonic (A-type) earthquakes and 300 long-period (B-type) quakes alone. The question is how long the lava dome remains quiet and purely effusive in style. Explosive, also larger vulcanian-type ones, activity could occur any time. –Volcano Discovery
March 28, 2012 – Costa Rica – Two large steam and gas emissions were spotted Tuesday morning atop the Turrialba Volcano in the province of Cartago, east of San José, authorities from the National Seismological Network (RSN) at the University of Costa Rica said. Turrialba residents said the two gas columns measure nearly 1 km in height and are moving towards the north face of the volcano. “These gases are mostly water vapor, 90 percent, and the rest are volcanic gases,” Raúl Mora Amador, the RSN’s lead volcanologist explained. One of the gas trails comes from the main crater, and the other rises from the east wall of the volcano, he added. RSN geologists this Wednesday will conduct a flyover sponsored by the National Emergency Commission to perform regular measurements of temperature and observe changes at the top. On Thursday, RSN experts will visit the zone. Access to the Turrialba Volcano National Park has been closed to visitors since last January, when spewing gas and ash alarmed locals and tourists. –Tico Times
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March 27, 2012 – ANOTHER CME FROM SUNSPOT AR1429: Transiting the farside of the sun, never-say-die sunspot AR1429 erupted during the late hours of March 26th, producing its 11th major CME. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) photographed the cloud flying over the sun’s eastern limb. According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CMEwill hit two spacecraft, STEREO-B and Spitzer, on March 28th. Earth is not in the line of fire. This event shows that AR1429, the source of several strong geomagnetic storms in early March, is still active. It will begin turning back towards our planet about a week from now. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% to 45% chance of strong geomagnetic storms around the poles on March 28-29 in response to an incoming solar wind stream. –Space Weather
courtesy of Solar Ham
March 27, 2012 – ECUADOR – Tungurahua volcano’s activity has been increasing, Ecuador’s Instituto Geofísico reports. Throughout the morning of March 26, a constant column of steam and ash was rising from the summit crater, reaching up to 3 km height and drifting towards the northeast, where ash fall occurred. Ash fall was significant in the San Francisco and Black River areas, and mild in Baños, the Ventanas en Runtún, Juive, Pondoa, Puntzán and Cusúa sectors. Occasional roaring explosion sounds were heard from small to moderate explosive events. Seismic activity remains characterized by volcanic tremor episodes lasting several minutes, interspersed with tremor bursts and long-period events, which are related to fluid movements within the volcano. –Volcano Discovery
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March 27, 2012 – JAPAN - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 struck northern Japan on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There was no risk of a tsunami. No injuries or damage were immediately reported. The epicenter was off the coast of Iwate, which was a region that was heavily damaged by last year’s massive quake and tsunami. –ABC7
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March 26, 2012 – GUATEMALA - Guatemalan volcanoes Santiaguito and Fuego increased their activity in the last hours and the authorities recommended on Monday took all the necessary precautions with the surrounding air traffic. The dispersion of ash in various directions and changes in wind pattern led to the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (Insivumeh) to warn about the civil aviation. An Insivumeh report that Santiaguito volcano recorded 33 explosions in 24 hours, with a range of up to 800 meters above the crater, leaving ashes scattered in the southwest and southeast. Santiaguito volcano is located in Quetzaltenango district, and its height is 2,550 meters above sea level. The Insivumeh reported white and blue plume up to 100 meters above the crater, with displacement to the southwest, in the case of Fuego volcano, whose height is 3,763 meters above sea level and is located between the departments of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango and Escuintla (center south). –Prensa Latina
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March 26, 2012 – SPACE – Two tiny asteroids zipped close by Earth today (March 26), passing between our planet and the orbit of the moon, but posed no threat of impacting our world, NASA scientists say. The two space rocks flew by Earth in rapid fire; one zoomed by early in the day while the second buzzed the planet at 1:09 p.m. EDT (1709 GMT), according to astronomers with NASA’s Asteroid Watch program. “Both are very small (under 10 meters) and pose no risk,” the scientists wrote in a Twitter update. The first object, called asteroid 2012 FP35, came within 96,000 miles (154,000 km) of the Earth when it passed by earlier today, the scientists wrote. Asteroid 2012 FP35 is just under 30 feet (9 meters) wide, making it about the size of a tour bus. The second asteroid is dubbed 2012 FS35 and crept even closer to Earth, coming within 36,000 miles (58,000 km) when it whipped by the planet. Asteroid 2012 FS35 is even smaller than its predecessor; at nearly 10 feet (3 meters) wide, it’s only the size of a small car. The paths of both asteroids brought them well inside the orbit of the moon, which typically circles Earth at a distance of about 238,000 miles (382,900 km). Asteroid 2012 FP35 — the farther of the two space rocks — passed within 0.4 lunar distances to Earth, while asteroid 2012 FS35 came within 0.17 lunar distances, NASA scientists said. The two asteroids were first detected over the weekend and quickly dismissed as potential impact threats to Earth. Their small size means they would likely not survive the fiery trip through Earth’s atmosphere to reach the surface. –Space.com
March 26, 2012 – MEXICO - A 6.0 magnitude earthquake erupted along a boundary of the Pacific and Cosco tectonic plates at a depth of 9.9 km (6.1 miles) known as the Northeast Pacific Rise. The earthquake erupted after the region was shaken by double 5.0+ foreshocks. The epicenter of the 6.0 earthquake was 862 km (535 miles) SSW of Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico. The region is still reeling from the effects of the 7.4 earthquake which struck Oaxaca Mexico on March 20. The red squares on the tectonic plate map (above) reflect the earthquakes that have struck tectonic plate boundaries over the last 24 hours. It is a clear indication that seismic stresses continue to mount along some of these high-risk regions. –The Extinction Protocol
March 26, 2012 – SEOUL – South Korea has warned it might shoot down a North Korean rocket if it passes over its territory, as worries about what Washington calls a long-range missile test overshadowed an international nuclear security summit. “We are studying measures such as tracking and shooting down [parts] of a North Korean missile in case they stray out of their normal trajectory” and violate South Korean territory, said Yoon Won-shik, a spokesman at the South’s defence ministry. He called the launch “a very reckless, provocative act” that undermines peace on the Korean peninsula. Yoon said North Korea had moved the main body of the rocket into a building at a site near the village of Tongchang-ri in North Phyongan province and that it was making preparations for a launch. The South Korean and U.S. military were closely monitoring the situation, he added. Nearly 60 world leaders have gathered in Seoul to talk about ways to keep nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists. But North Korea has dominated attention since announcing this month it would send a satellite into space aboard a long-range rocket. North Korea calls the launch part of its peaceful space program and says a new southerly flight path is meant to avoid other countries; previous rockets have been fired over Japan. Washington and Seoul, however, say the multistage rocket is meant to test delivery systems for long-range missiles that could be mounted with nuclear weapons. Barack Obama and his South Korean counterpart, Lee Myung-bak, urged North Korea in a joint news conference on Sunday to immediately halt its launch plans, warning they would deal sternly with any provocation. Obama said the move would jeopardise a deal settled last month in which the US would ship food aid to the North in exchange for a nuclear freeze. The launch preparations come as North Koreans and new leader Kim Jong-un mark 100 days since the death of Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, and prepare to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late Kim Il-sung, the North Korean founder, on 15 April. –Guardian
Patriot missiles to be deployed in Tokyo: Japan is to deploy surface-to-air missiles in central Tokyo in readiness for North Korea’s planned rocket launch, its defense minister said today. The deployment of an anti-missile battery in the densely packed capital city would be in addition to facilities on the southern island chain of Okinawa Naoki Tanaka told lawmakers. “We are working on procedures to deploy the Patriot in the Tokyo metropolitan area, acting on precedent,” Tanaka told upper house members, referring to the PAC-3 surface-to-air missile defense system. “We are also preparing to deploy the Patriot in the Nansei (southwestern) islands including Okinawa,’ as the second stage of North Korea’s rocket is expected to fly over Japan’s southernmost island chain, Tanaka added. The nuclear-armed North has announced it will launch a rocket in mid-April to put a satellite into orbit, a move the United States, South Korea and other nations see as a pretext for a long-range missile test banned by the UN. Tanaka said on Friday he was readying Japan’s missile defense systems to shoot down the rocket if it looked set to fall on the country, a move similar to measures Japan took in 2009 before Pyongyang’s last long-range rocket launch. –Indian Express
Storm clouds of nuclear war gathering on horizon: Iran threatens ‘total annihilation’ of Israel if it attacks
March 26, 2012 – IRAN - A senior Iranian cleric says the Israeli threats of a military strike on Iran are mere “psychological warfare” as Tel Aviv fully understands any such venture would lead to its “total annihilation.” “There has been some talk in the media for some time of a military move [against Iran] by the Zionist regime [of Israel] in particular; these menacing murmurs are nothing but psychological warfare,” Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami said on Monday. Last year during a period, foreign media created hype about a war [against Tehran] and anyone who paid attention to these media felt the US would attack Iran the following day,” he said. The senior Iranian cleric, who is a member of the presiding board of the Assembly of Experts, said Israeli officials know that a military offensive against Iran would mean the complete annihilation of the Zionist regime. “We are not aggressors but our response to aggressors will be devastatingly crushing.” Ayatollah Khatami further referred to the failed Israeli invasion of Lebanon during the 33-Day war in 2006 as evidence that Tel Aviv stands no chance against a more powerful and better equipped Iran. “They could not even endure resist against Hezbollah weapons, with a maximum range of 70 kilometers, and [were forced to] raise their hands in surrender after 33 days. So how will they ever withstand Iranian missile might?” The US, Israel and some of their allies have accused Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran has refuted the allegations over its nuclear energy program, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Tehran is entitled to the peaceful use of nuclear technology. The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence indicating that its nuclear energy program has been diverted towards nuclear weapons production. –Press TV
Obama issues warnings to North Korea and Iran to turn from path of potential conflict
World may not be able to figure out if Iran has a bomb warns intelligence official: American officials are adamant. The U.S. will respond – possibly with military force – if Iran crosses a red line and decides to actually make nuclear weapons. But will the U.S. know with a degree of certainty that a line has been crossed? The decision itself to push ahead really comes down to one person, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Clapper told a Senate hearing recently that any decision would be based on ‘the supreme leader’s world view and the extent to which he thinks that would benefit the state of Iran or, conversely, not benefit.” Clapper was referring to Ayatollah Ali Khameini, the supreme leader of Iran. “It’s Khameini, period, full stop, end of sentence,’ agreed Kenneth Pollack, an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution. But trying to read one person’s mind is no easy thing, observed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently, noting how Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was misread by U.S. intelligence. “People sometimes say and do things that are at variance with what one might expect,’ the secretary of state said. “It’s still quite bewildering to me why Saddam Hussein wanted everyone to believe that he had chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons of mass destruction when apparently he did not.” Ephraim Asculai, a retired Israeli nuclear scientist, said there are three ways the world will know if Iran has decided to break out and make a dash to nuclear weapons: Iran tells everyone, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discovers it, or the intelligence community figures it out. But he is not terribly confident any intelligence service – whether it’s the United States’ or Israel’s or some other nations– will discover it. “Depending on the intelligence community – this is not very good,” Asculai said. –CNN blog
This leads to the inevitable risks of miscalulation or pre-emption on the part of Israel or Iran in a ‘kill or be killed scenario’ where fear is more inclined to push the button and unleash these weapons than facts. We should all be preparing for some potentially dark days ahead. -The Extinction Protocol
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March 26, 2012 – Santiago de Chile – Chilean authorities maintain state of alert in the Araucania region, due to increased seismic activity at Llaima volcano, one of the most active in the country and in South America. The regional governor, Andres Molina, confirmed that a yellow alert continues to be in effect for the communities of Melipeuco, Cunco, Vilcún, Curacautín and Lonquimay, because there are clear signs of “out-gassing in the inner perimeter” of the Llaima. Molina said that on Monday will meet the emergency committee to assess the status of the volcano, then it is found that in recent weeks the number quakes have tripled within the massif, which is located in the Andes, about 600 kilometers south of this capital. In geology, a massif is a section of a planet’s crust that is demarcated by faults or flexures. The regional authority also noted that access was restricted in a radius of four kilometers around the volcano, especially in the tourist area of Conguillío Park, where last weekend, authorities evacuated over a hundred people. According to records provided by the expert technicians Fernando Gil, Volcano Observatory of the Southern Andes, one cannot rule out an eruption and although volcanic activity cannot be perceived by the inhabitants of the towns that are on yellow alert. The Llaima, more than three thousand meters in elevation, is located 76 kilometers northeast of the city of Temuco, capital of the region of La Araucania. The Llaima volcano last erupted in 2009. On March 25, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck northeast of the region at a depth of about 35 km (21 miles) and this may further acerbate the volcanic belt of this region of Chile. –Prensa Latina (translated)
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March 26, 2012 – VIRGINA – Once again, an aftershock from last summer’s earthquake prompted operators at North Anna Power Station in Louisa County to report an “unusual event” to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Richard Zuercher, a spokesman for Dominion power, says a report is filed with the NRC if the tremor is felt in the control room. An inspection was done after the magnitude-3.1 aftershock hit at 11:21 p.m. Sunday, and no damage was discovered. Unit 1 is shut down for refueling; Unit 2 continues to operate at full power. The last unusual event declared after a magnitude 3.2 aftershock in January. There have been dozens of aftershocks in excess of magnitude 2.0, since the 5.8-magnitude earthquake last Aug. 23. The plant sits about 11 miles from the epicenter near Mineral. -Fredricksburg
March 26, 2012 – VENICE, IT – So Venice is sinking. New research by U.S. scientists suggests it is sinking more than five times faster than experts in Venice believe. It’s quite obvious to the naked eye (or rather, to the naked ankle when it floods) that parts of Venice are flooding more and more often. But the question remains — how long will it take before it turns from floating jewel to a playground for divers? The answer comes from a new research by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, expected to be published on Wednesday: Venice is still sinking, and sinking at a rate of up to two millimeters per year (0.08 inches). There’s more. Not only is the city being reclaimed by the waters that made it famous, it now looks like it’s actually heading out to sea, as if the glorious capital of the former Maritime Venetian Republic is tired of being a tourist attraction and wants to die in the Adriatic. According to measurements taken over 10 years, Venice is also tilting a bit, about a millimeter or two eastward per year. While this doesn’t mean that you should buy a ticket right away in order to see Venice before it disappears, it raises concern that not enough is being done to save it. A complex system of moving dams around Venice that took decades and millions of dollars to build is nearing completion. The new research could well call into question whether these major works will actually be enough to save the “Floating City.” One of the biggest experts on the state of Venice, Luigi Tosi, of Italy’s National Research Center, pointed out that Venice’s “sinking” was actually a combination of land subsidence and sea level rise. He said the Scripps researchers’ results “tell us nothing new.” “We have published a paper back in 1992 that arrived to the same conclusions,” he said. -MSNBC
March 26, 2012 – INDONESIA – According to the regional VAAC, the Batu Tara volcano has erupted and is emitting a dense ash cloud. The aviation alert-status for the region has been raised to orange. Batu Tara volcano is located 50 km north of Pulau Lembata in the Flores Sea. The crater is in the middle of the island with dimensions of 900 m x 700 m. The uninhabited island of Batu Tara is the steep-sided summit of an active stratovolcano and has a small summit crater which is open to the east. The base of the island lies about 3,000 meters below sea level. Batu Tara is the northern-most active volcano in the Adonara Pantar sector of the Sunda arc. This is at the boundary of the collision of the north moving Australia tectonic plate, and the Sunda-Banda arc. Batu Tara volcano is located 230 km above the Benioff zone in a region where the arc crust is relatively young and thin. Rocks from Batu Tara contain crystals that formed in different magmas. Batu Tara last eruption was in 2010. –The Extinction Protocol
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March 26, 2012 – FRANCE – A mountain looming over a French commune with a population of just 200 is being touted as a modern Noah’s Ark when doomsday arrives – supposedly less than nine months from now. A rapidly increasing stream of New Age believers – or esoterics, as locals call them – have descended in their camper van-loads on the usually picturesque and tranquil Pyrenean village of Bugarach. They believe that when apocalypse strikes on 21 December this year, the aliens waiting in their spacecraft inside Pic de Bugarach will save all the humans nearby and beam them off to the next age. As the cataclysmic date – which, according to eschatological beliefs and predicted astrological alignments, concludes a 5,125-year cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar – nears, the goings-on around the peak have become more bizarre and ritualistic. For decades, there has been a belief that Pic de Bugarach, which, at 1,230 meters, is the highest in the Corbières mountain range, possesses an eerie power. Often called the “upside-down mountain” – geologists think that it exploded after its formation and the top landed the wrong way up – it is thought to have inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Since the 1960s, it has attracted New Agers, who insist that it emits special magnetic waves. Upwards of 100,000 people are thought to be planning a trip to the mountain, 30 miles west of Perpignan, in time for 21 December, and opportunistic entrepreneurs are shamelessly cashing in on the phenomenon. While American travel agents have been offering special, one-way deals to witness the end of the world, a neighboring village, Saint-Paul de Fenouillet, has produced a wine to celebrate the occasion. Jean-Pierre Delord, the perplexed mayor of Bugarach, has flagged up the situation to the French authorities, requesting they scramble the army to the tiny village for fear of a mass suicide. –Independent
March 26, 2012 – MEXICO - The National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred) reported that in the last 24 hours the Popocatepetl volcano registered 33 exhalations of low intensity, accompanied by emissions of water vapor and gas. The body of the Ministry of the Interior (Interior Ministry) explained that on Saturday one of these incidents occurred at 22:29, 23:21 and 23:56 hours on Sunday while they were at 5:14, 5:41 and 8:32 hours. In a statement, adding that Cenapred at 08:42 hours, an earthquake of low magnitude was followed by 96 minutes of spasmodic tremor segments, while the other parameters concerning the volcano remain unchanged. On Saturday night, there were numerous reports of incandescence material seen glowing in the mouth of the crater, though clouds made visibility poor for portions of the evening. The volcanic alert remains at phase two and yellow. Moderate exhalations are likely, some with ash emissions, sporadic bursts of low to moderate probability of emission of incandescent fragments short and a mild glow of the volcano in the crater may also be likely. The Cenapred recommended maintaining the safety radius of 12 kilometers. -Cronica (translated)
Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Volcanic Eruption, Volcano Watch | 5 Comments
March 25, 2012 – CHILE – A magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit central Chile on Sunday, 64 miles (103 kim) west north west of the town of Talca, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake was at a depth of 6.2 miles (10 km). Magnitude 7.0 earthquakes or greater are capable of causing widespread and heavy damage. The epicenter of the earthquake was 219 km (136 miles) from Santiago, Chile- near the vicinity of a moderate 5.1 magnitude earthquake that struck the region on yesterday. Seismic tension has been mounting over some of the world’s most dangerous subduction regions in recent weeks and stress eruptions may not be over yet. This is the second 7.0 + magnitude earthquake to strike the world in 5 days, provided the USGS doesn’t downgraded the earthquake. On March 20, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the western coast of Oaxaca, Mexico. Chile in on the front-line of the Nazca plate, one of the most dangerous subductive plate boundaries in the world. A 9.5, the strongest earthquake ever recorded in modern history, devastated Chile in 1960. –The Extinction Protocol
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March 25, 2012 – HONOLULU – Many people from the Big Island to Oahu felt a magnitude 4.9 earthquake Saturday morning. The quake struck a little after 10:45 a.m., centered just west of Honomu in East Hawaii, at a depth of 27 miles. There are no reports of major damage or injuries. Scientists say the earthquake was too small to generate a tsunami and the weight of the Big Island settling is the likely cause. Geologists at the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory say there have been no aftershocks so far, and there’s been no change in the ongoing eruption at Kilauea Volcano. -KITV
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March 24, 2012 – ASIA – A North Korea missile launch could send the missile over the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell is reported to have asked the three countries to condemn the launch. North Korea says the rocket will take a new southern trajectory instead of a previous route east over Japan. Japan is readying anti-missile defenses around the southern islands of Okinawa, which could be under the flight path. North Korea says the rocket is intended to put a satellite in space, but the U.S. and others say the launch is a cover for a long-range missile test – a potential delivery system for nuclear weapons. The launch is expected to dominate a security summit on Monday in the South Korean capital Seoul, which will be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama. Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald said Mr. Campbell had briefed Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr on Friday on the rocket’s southward trajectory. “If the missile test proceeds as North Korea has indicated, our judgment is that it will impact in an area roughly between Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines,” the paper quoted Mr. Campbell as saying. “We have never seen this trajectory before. We have weighed into each of these countries and asked them to make clear that such a test is provocative and this plan should be discontinued.” North Korea’s last rocket launch in 2009 triggered UN sanctions BBC Asia analyst Charles Scanlon says Pyongyang appears to be trying to soften the political impact of its planned rocket launch. It has chosen a new southerly route mainly over open sea, avoiding what is regarded as a more provocative easterly trajectory over the main Japanese island. North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency said: “A safe flight orbit has been chosen so that carrier rocket debris to be generated during the flight would not have any impact on neighboring countries.” North Korea has shown a growing mastery of ballistic technology during its three previous long range tests. However, experts say that none has succeeded in reaching orbit, and debris has fallen to earth at various stages during the launches. –BBC
March 24, 2012 – MALTA - A magnitude 3.2 earthquake was registered in Libyan waters at 10.28 am yesterday, and felt in Gozo. According to the University of Malta Seismic Monitoring and Research Unit, its epicenter was 177km southwest of Malta. Other seismic activity was recorded in Crete, on Thursday. The Italian website Meteoweb.eu, also reported the tremor, although the information it gave was different to that officially issued. It said the earthquake’s epicentre was in Gozo and that it had a magnitude of 2.9 on the Richter Scale. According to the same website, the tremor was felt in Gozo. No damage was caused. The last significant seismic activity in Malta, was recorded over the weekend of 23 and 24 April, last year. A series of five earth tremors, with the first occurring at around midnight, were felt in various localities in Malta and people reported objects moving on the shelves. The tremors had a magnitude of between 2.5 and 4.0. –The Independent
March 24, 2012 – CHICAGO – Tornadoes touched down in a half-dozen states on Friday, killing one woman whose mobile home was flipped by a twister and causing damage to homes and businesses, authorities said. The 60-year-old woman died in Jefferson County, Illinois, when a suspected tornado flipped her mobile home and blew it across a road into a farm field, said county coroner Eddie Joe Marks. There was at least one other person injured in the county, located in the southern tip of Illinois. “A young boy had just stepped into his home when the storm hit. He got away with minor scrapes and bruises but went to the hospital,” Marks said. The tornadoes appeared to be smaller and touched down only briefly as compared to a deadly tornado outbreak in the region early this month, authorities said. A few homes sustained damage from a suspected tornado in Fern Creek, Kentucky, a town southeast of Louisville, emergency management official Monica French said. In Alabama, a suspected tornado damaged three homes and some chicken houses in the town of Troy, emergency management spokeswoman Yasamie August said. Georgia, Indiana, and Missouri also had tornadoes touch down, with no reports of injuries. “There have been a lot of tornado reports but they’ve all been brief touchdowns or rope-like tornadoes, not large tornadoes,” said Steve Weiss of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Tornadoes have caused 55 U.S. deaths so far this year, most of them on February 29 and March 2 when swarms of tornadoes wreaked havoc across the Midwest and the South. Tornadoes were blamed for 550 deaths in the United States last year, the deadliest year in nearly a century, according to the Weather Service. The storm front bringing rain and severe weather to the nation’s midsection broke a spell of record-breaking, summer-like temperatures. Among the southern Illinois towns in the severe weather zone that was pelted by hail on Friday was Harrisburg, where seven people were killed when a powerful tornado February 29 flattened part of the town. –Chicago Tribune
March 24, 2012 – CHILE - A moderate earthquake of 5.3 magnitude (5.1 USGS) on the Richter scale struck near Santiago on Saturday morning in the central area of the country, according to the Seismological Service of the University of Chile. The epicenter of the quake, which occurred at 4:28 am was located 43 kilometers northeast of the town of Casablanca, on the border regions of Valparaiso and Santiago, at a depth of 68.9 kilometers. It was in the capital and the fifth region where the earthquake was felt more strongly. According to reports received by the National Bureau of Emegencia (Onemi), the quake reached an intensity of V degrees on the Mercalli scale in Santiago, the Andes, Talagante, Tiltil, Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Quintero, San Antonio, San Felipe, and German Village. V grades also recorded in Los Vilos, in the Coquimbo Region. In the Region of O’Higgins, meanwhile, the earthquake was felt with a force of IV degrees in Rancagua and III degrees on Christmas, Pichilemu, San Fernando and Santa Cruz. In the El Maule reached II degrees in Curicó and Order. It reached in the Fourth Region II degrees in La Serena. The Onemi received no reports of damage or injured as a result of the earthquake. –El Mostrador (translated)
March 24, 2012 – SAUDI ARABIA – A tremor has hit three villages in Sabya governorate in Jizan region – Mashlaha, Al-Hayja and Al-Wajeeh. The Director General of the National Center for Earthquakes and Volcanoes Hani Zahrani said the earthquake, which measured 3.1 on the Richter scale and was felt in Al-Kudmi took place 80 km from Jizan. He insisted it was ordinary and did not cause any damage or casualties. The area in which the tremor occurred is seismically active and is regularly hit by tremors of different intensities. The Director of Civil Defense in Jizan region Brig. Hassan Bin Ali Al-Qufaili said “there are plans readied by the Directorate of Civil Defense to deal with damage that occurs because of earthquakes. These plans include coordination with authorities affiliated to Civil Defense. The plans will be implemented in case damage occurs, God forbid.” The Acting Spokesman of the Directorate of Civil Defense in Jizan region, First Lt. Musslih Al-Ghamdi revealed that the Command and Control Center in the Civil Defense received a report from the National Center for Earthquakes and Volcanoes on the occurrence of an earthquake northeast of Jizan measuring 3.05 on the Richter scale at 1.19 AM Wednesday. He said: “Some of the residents of Al-Kudmi felt the earthquake. Immediately, Civil Defense teams were dispatched to inspect the location. Thanks to Allah, there was no damage to property or any casualties.’ A resident of Al-Kudmi Muhammad Al-Najmi told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that he and his family were asleep when they heard a terrifying explosion at 1:00 A.M. followed by an earthquake. Expatriate Abdul Qader said: “When the earthquake hit the area, some of the furniture toppled. Fortunately, no cracks occurred in the building. Some citizens came rushing out of their homes for fear that they might collapse especially since these homes are not strongly built.” –Saudi Gazette
March 23, 2012 – MONTSERRAT - A “noticeable” increase in seismic activity at the Soufirere Hills Volcano has resulted in the closure of the Zone C area near the volcano, which had been reopened for daytime entry in December. Dr Paul Cole, director of the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, told a radio station Friday that it was a precautionary measure as authorities continue to monitor the volcano. “Following two volcano-tectonic swarms on the March 22 and 23, 2012 involving 49 and 54 events respectively, mild ash venting began at Soufriere Hills Volcano at around 8:00am local time on March 23,” the MVO said in a statement. “The venting was sourced from the floor of the Feb. 11, 2010 collapse scar, immediately south of the old English’s crater wall and to the west of the long-lived hottest fumarole previously identified.” The Zone C area, which is comprised of Cork Hill, Weekes, Foxes Bay, Richmond Hill, Delvins and extends 500 meters out to sea is part of the island’s exclusion zone. It reopened in December 2011, after the hazard level in the area was lowered. The level will likely not be lowered, however, despite the area’s closure. According to the statement, the ash venting was “clearly pulsatory,” and sent ash 6,000 feet above sea level. It sent black jets of ash rising a few hundred meters above the floor of the collapse scar. The activity was described as “phreatic,” meaning activity formed when superheated rock meets groundwater, causing the rocks to fragment and generate ash. “[Volcano-tectonic] earthquakes are related to fracturing rocks probably as a result of increases in pressure,” the statement said. “It is likely that these increases and the resulting earthquakes are related to uprising magma below the volcano.” Similar types of activity have apparently occurred at the volcano up to several months prior to magma extrusion, both in 2005 and 2008. –Caribbean Journal
March 23, 2012 – CHICAGO – The United States and parts of Canada have come out of winter to find a lingering ridge of high pressure inducing summer-like conditions. The map above shows surface temperature anomalies during March 13-19 compared to averages for those dates over the last 10 years. More than 1,054 locations set new daily high temperatures records and 627 saw new record lows. “Records are not only being broken across the country, they’re being broken in unusual ways,’ reports NASA’s Adam Voiland. “Chicago, for example, saw temperatures above 26.6° Celsius (80° Fahrenheit) every day between March 14-18, breaking records on all five days. For context, the National Weather Service noted that Chicago typically averages only one day in the eighties each in April. And only once in 140 years of weather observations has April produced as many 80°Fahrenheit days as this March,” Volland wrote. “Meanwhile, Climate Central reported that in Rochester, Minnesota, the overnight low temperature on March 18 was 16.6° Celsius (62° Fahrenheit), a temperature so high it beat the record high of 15.5°Celsius (60° Fahrenheit) for the same date,” Volland added. –Discovery News
March 23, 2012 – JAPAN – The Japanese parliament has approved a resolution condemning North Korea’s planned missile launch, and the country is also preparing contingencies should the missile veer off course and pose a threat to Japan. Speaking in Tokyo Friday, Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka said the Japanese military will be prepared for any eventuality. Tanaka says he is ordering officials to prepare deployment of PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles and Aegis destroyers carrying a state-of-the-art anti-missile system that could attempt to shoot down the rocket. Pyongyang says it will place an earth observation satellite into a polar orbit in mid-April to honor the 100th birth anniversary of its late founder and perennial president, Kim Il Sung. Members of the international community say the launch is a pretext for a long-range missile test, which North Korea is forbidden from conducting under U.N. sanctions. South Korean and Japanese diplomats met in Seoul to share their responses to the upcoming launch. Japan’s nuclear envoy, Shinsuke Sugiyama, says Tokyo and Seoul are also in contact with other capitals. “We agreed we should keep coordinating our positions and comparing notes between ROK [South Korea] and Japan, and also including those in Washington, and of course we should be ready to talk to the Chinese, which I will do, and Russians too as a member of the six-party talks,” said Sugiyama. The six-party talks were intended to negotiate an end to North Korea’s nuclear programs. But in 2009 Pyongyang announced it would “never again” participate after the U.N. Security Council moved to condemn North Korea for a failed launch that year. -VOA
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March 23, 2012 – ISRAEL - Discussions between Iran and the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program will begin on April 13, senior U.S. and EU officials informed Israel on Tuesday. The talks are likely to take place in Geneva. Officials in Jerusalem estimate that Israel will allow at least three months for discussions, until the oil embargo on Iran comes into full effect in the beginning of July. Meanwhile, former Mossad head Meir Dagan said he believes Israel will be aware when Iran moves to the stage of nuclear weapon production – for example, enriching uranium to a degree of 90 percent. Dagan said that at that stage, Israel would have to attack the Iranian nuclear sites if the international community did not stop its program. Speaking at an event in a Haifa hospital, Dagan said that currently Israel must not attack Iran, and that a strike on its nuclear facilities should be the last resort. Dagan said he believed the Israeli Air Force has the capability to significantly damage Iran’s nuclear sites, yet warned that such a strike will have serious repercussions. He added that in case of an Israeli attack, hundreds of missiles will be launched at Israel, together with barrages from Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iranian-linked organizations in Gaza. President Barack Obama made a direct appeal on Tuesday to the Iranian people, saying there was “no reason for the United States and Iran to be divided from one another.” In a video message marking the Persian new year, known as Nowruz, Obama said the U.S. seeks a dialogue with the Iranian people in order hear their views and understand their aspirations. And he sharply rebuked the Iranian government for setting up an “electronic curtain” around its people that the U.S. says blocks access to much of the outside world. –Haaretz
According to one report, gas prices in the U.S. would rise to as much as $8 a gallon if there was a war with Iran and the Strait of Hormuz was blocked in the conflict. -The Hill
Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Drumbeat of War, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Economic upheaval, social unrest, terrorism, Financial System Collapse, New weapons of war, New World Order -Dystopia- War, Prophecies referenced | 4 Comments
March 23, 2012 – ARMENIA – The number of earthquakes has recently increased in Armenia and the region. The National Seismic Protection Service (NSPS) of Armenia on Wednesday registered a magnitude-3 tremor, whose epicenter was 13 kilometers southeast of Martuni city. Thirteen earthquakes measuring 3 magnitude or higher have occurred in the region. In an interview with Armenian News-NEWS.am Ashkhen Tovmasyan, representative of the National Seismic Protection Service, said According to her, seismic risks are growing with urban development and with population growth. Risk increases in Armenia when new buildings are built and population grows, if there was no urban development there would be no risks. As Ashkhen Tovmasyan mentioned, currently there are no serious anomaly indicating earthquakes, so there is no need to worry about any earthquake. There are often all the indicators of an earthquake but no quake happens. The expert advised to build buildings in safe places and avoid blocking the main entrances. –News.am
March 23, 2012 – ISRAEL – An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale shook the Dead Sea area and was felt as far away as Jerusalem on Thursday morning. The quake struck at 6:17 a.m. with an epicenter near Masada, according to the Seismological Institute. There were no reports of injuries or damage from the tremor. MK Zeev Bielski (Kadima), the head of a Knesset subcommittee for Home Front preparedness, used the event to lament the country’s lack of readiness for an earthquake, Maariv reported. Not enough of the country’s buildings have been quake-proofed, as is called for under National Master Plan 38, he said. “NMP 38 is not being implemented and there is a sense of complacency in the government over anything concerning an earthquake,” Bielski said. “This is a matter that should be at the top of national priorities. We need to learn from other countries that invested budgetary and other resources to protect the home front, and not wake up one day and discover we are too late.” Two weeks ago another 3.7 quake rattled the Galilee in the north of the country causing alarm but no injuries or damage. The epicenter for that quake was just over the border in southern Lebanon. In February, a 3.1 earthquake struck the Tiberias area, also without injury or damage. –Times of Israel
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March 23, 2012 – AUSTRALIA - A magnitude 6.1 earthquake (5.6 USGS), the biggest in the country for 15 years, has rattled Far North South Australia. The earthquake’s epicenter was recorded at shallow depth near Ernabella, 415km North West of Coober Pedy and about 320km south west of Alice Springs, just before 8pm. Geoscience Australia reported the quake could have been felt by people up to 500km away and damage experienced within a 40km radius of the epicenter. Geoscience Australia seismologist David Jepsen said the quake was the biggest in Australia in 15 years. “There are a number of Aboriginal communities near the epicenter and they would have felt the earthquake strongly,” he said. “It is possible there could be some minor damage up there. One of these in a major city would be a different story. “People as far north as Alice Springs and as far south as Coober Pedy and Oodnadatta could have felt this.”An SA Police spokesman said there had been no reports of damage or injuries. Dr. Jepsen said a 4.3 magnitude earthquake struck near the same location about a week ago. The earthquake was the most powerful in Australia since a 6.3 magnitude quake off Collier Bay, on Western Australia’s north coast, on August 10, 1997. It is the second largest quake to be recorded in South Australia. The biggest was a 6.5 magnitude jolt near Beachport in the South East in 1897, which caused chaos at the nearby town of Kingston and was felt in Adelaide. A magnitude 3.3 quake rumbled through Adelaide on October 19 last year. –Herald Sun
March 23, 2012 – ARKANSAS - Remember New Year’s Eve 2010 when thousands of birds mysteriously dropped from the sky over Beebe, Arkansas? Well, the mystery has been solved. Last May, a crew from the National Geographic Channel dropped by the NewsChannel5 Weather Office. They wanted to see what important information we had found regarding the bird deaths over Beebe. Indeed, my research indicated a unique radar signature several thousand feet above the birds just as the mass deaths were occurring. With the help of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a unique weather phenomenon was blamed for startling the birds and causing the mayhem that resulted in the demise of thousands of birds that night. On Thursday, an all-new National Geographic Special will debut explaining the Beebe event as well as several other mass animal deaths that occurred last winter. The show, “Omens of the Apocalypse,” airs on the National Geographic Channel at 10 p.m. Results from preliminary testing released today by the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission Veterinary Diagnostic Lab show that red-winged blackbirds died from massive body trauma. The trauma was mainly in the front breast tissue of each bird. Officials say the birds suffered internal bleeding and blood clots in the body cavity. The veterinarians also examined the major organs and found them healthy, normal and not effected by disease. The gizzards and stomachs of the birds were empty. According to the report, “Further tests will be done to rule out other causes, but the birds suffered from acute physical trauma leading to internal hemorrhage and death. There was no sign of any chronic or infectious disease.” What caused the trauma is not yet known. Meteorologists reported a heavy thunderstorm over Beebe earlier in the day. It is possible that the birds were sucked into the updraft of the storm and then either struck by lightning or pummeled by hail within the storm. Fireworks were also being launched around the town just before the birds began falling. Since blackbirds have poor night vision, they may have suffered extreme anxiety and become disoriented. –News Net 5
Statue of the famous moment a sailor kissed a stranger in Times Square at the end of World War II to be installed in San Diego on Valentine's Day
The most famous kiss in America will soon be memorialized along the the California coast. A statue depicting the infamous couple kissing in Times Square to celebrate the end of World War II will be installed in San Diego on Valentine's Day. The 25-foot bronze statue weighs 15,000 pounds and will be placed along the Port of San Diego, near the USS Midway Museum.
Joy: The historic black and white photograph was captured on V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day) on August 14, 1945 by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt
Modern day: The 25-foot high statute, Unconditional Surrender, weighs 15,000 pounds and will be installed at the Greatest Generation Walk at the Port of San Diego, near the USS Midway Museum
Sculptor J. Seward Johnson Jr. created the giant piece of artwork inspired by the pose, naming it Unconditional Surrender.
The historic black and white photograph was captured on V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day) on August 14, 1945 by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt. Sailor, George Mendonsa, has been identified as the man in the photo who planted a wet one on Greta Friedman, a dental assistant, in Midtown Manhattan as the nation celebrated the end of the conflict.
The picture was published by LIFE magazine and has become a symbol of the nation's joy at seeing an end to the devastating fighting that claimed the lives of more than 400,000 Americans.
Mr Johnson created the sculpture to keep the famous pose alive.
Smooch: Sailor, George Mendonsa, was the sailor (left) who planted a wet one on the woman in Times Square. He has been confirmed (right) as the official kisser
Just a kiss: Greta Friedman (left) had no idea who the man was who kissed her on that historic day in 1945. She has been officially identified (right) as the recipient of the infamous kiss
He has since produced several replicas of Unconditional Surrender, one was placed in Times Square, one in Pearl Harbor and one was commissioned to stand in Sarasota, Fla.
The San Diego version of the piece was installed in 2007 and was intended to be a temporary display.
But the community decided to commission a permanent version. The USS Midway Museum raised around $1 million to pay for the statue, in a fundraising effort called 'save the kiss.'
The statue was transported, uncovered, from the sculptor's home in Hamilton, New Jersey on a flatbed truck to San Diego.
San Diego is home to the largest U.S. Navy base, with a population of 20,000 military personnel and 6,000 civilians.
Its installation will be completed by Valentine's Day and the community will mark its official unveiling in a ceremony on Saturday.
Couples who were married during World War II are expected to gather to renew their vows at the Navy Pier that sits next to the statue.
Admirer: A little boy poses by the top of the temporary statue, that previously stood in San Diego since 2007
Goodbye: The temporary statue was dismantled to make way for the bronze permanent version of the pose
The picture has become a source of controversy because Mr Mendonsa was drunk at the time and grabbed the woman at random to kiss.
'Suddenly, I was grabbed by a sailor. It wasn't that much of a kiss,' Friedman recalled, in a interview for the Veterans History Project in 2005.
'I felt that he was very strong. He was just holding me tight. I'm not sure about the kiss...it was just somebody celebrating. It wasn't a romantic event,' she continued.
Some have questioned if the public should be celebrating a non-consensual act of intimacy but she seemed to conclude that the man was just swept away in the emotion of the moment. It 'was very symbolic at the end of a bad period...it was a wonderful coincidence a man in a sailor's uniform and a woman in a white dress... and a great photographer at the right time,' she said. Mr Mendonsa was engaged to another woman at the time and had taken his fiancée to a show at Radio City Music Hall. It is thought that his inebriated state had inspired the dalliance and despite it all, his fiancée did end up marrying him.
Lights of Broadway: A version of Unconditional Surrender was installed in Times Square, New York - where the infamous kiss actually took place back in 1945
The on-stage kiss was a recreation of the famous moment captured by German-born photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt in New York's Times Square in 1945. It was snapped on the day that Japan surrendered to the U.S. which effectively ended World War II.
Iconic: A kiss shared between Katy Perry and a U.S. marine (above), that aimed to recreate a famous photograph from 1945, has become iconic in its own right. The image above was captured by another marine
Original: The first photograph (above), taken on the day that World War II effectively ended, was snapped in Times Square. It depicts a U.S. sailor and a nurse enjoying an unplanned moment fueled by sheer joy
The new photograph was taken by fellow marine Corporal Jeffrey Drew at the singer's special concert for a group of U.S. sailors at Brooklyn's Pier 9 last Wednesday night.
The sailors had just stepped off ships that had docked in Brooklyn last week for Fleet Week.
The original black and white photograph had been taken on V-J Day, which was August 14, 1945 (not September 2 as it is now celebrated) during a spontaneous event that took over Times Square after Harry S. Truman, the U.S. President at the time, announced that Japan had surrendered.
The photo, which is often referred to as The Kiss, was published in Life magazine a week after it was snapped.
Since the photographer's death in 1995, rights to the original photograph have been transferred to the J. Paul Getty Museum in California as part of its Life Pictures archive.
Although a nurse named Edith Shain, who has since passed away, had claimed she was the woman in the white dress in the photograph, some disagree.
Passion: The pop star performed at a special concert in Brooklyn, New York, that welcomed U.S. marines to Fleet Week. She had invited Marine Lance Corporal Thomas Smith on stage during her hit track Part of Me
The sailor's identity remains unclear also.
The recent kiss is not the first popular culture reference to have been made to the famous photograph.
In 2005, a life-size sculpture of the kissing couple titled Unconditional Surrender was unveiled at Times Square during a 60th anniversary event.
The bronze sculpture was created by American artist John Seward Johnson II.
The artist also created a 25ft tall version of the sculpture that has been on display at various locations across the U.S. including San Diego.
Lucky: The marine impressed the singer by attempting to climb onto the stage. She then invited him to join her
Achievement: The 20-year-old man fist-pumped the air after he locked lips with the mega star
The Simpsons also nodded to the famous photograph during an episode titled Bart The General.
The episode showed Lisa Simpson being kissed by a school mate who was dressed as a marine. Unlike the actual moment, the cartoon character slapped the sailor in the face after the pair locked lips.
As for the most recent photograph, Marine Lance Corporal Thomas Smith, who comes from Waterford Township in Michigan, had been invited on stage by Ms Perry after he had impressed her by trying to get onto the stage himself.
She had brought the handsome man in uniform to the platform, stealing his hat in the process.
Wiggling her hips, she coyly asked the crowd: 'Does it look good on me?'
Tribute: The photograph has been referenced countless times such as in an episode of The Simpsons titled Bart The General (left) as well as an exhibition in New York's Times Square in 2005 (right)
The singer then asked the rowdy sailors whether they were familiar with Alfred Eisenstaedt's photograph.
She then turned to the marine and asked: 'Do you know what I am talking about? You want to do it? You promise you are not going to drop me? You're not gonna drop me? If you drop me, I am going to sick all my friends on you,' she said pointing to the rowdy crowd of uniformed men.
Counting to three, Katy instructed the man to kiss her on the lips.
Dipping her back, he then eagerly locked lips with the brunette bombshell.
After the pair came up for air, he then fist-pumped in the air as fellow marines cheered him on.