Saturday, May 18, 2013
Fifty-five people have died and 14 others were reported missing in the latest round of rain- and hailstorms that have swept south China, according to official statistics collected as of 8 pm Friday.
At 8 pm Friday, the National Committee for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs initiated emergency response for storms and flooding in Hunan Province that have already affected 1.59 million people and claimed three lives. The committee also dispatched 3,000 tents to affected areas.
The heavy rain has wreaked havoc on some 600 residential buildings and trapped more than 800 people and 100 cars.
Civil affairs and disaster reduction authorities in Hunan have also sent relief materials including tents, blankets and bottled water to the affected areas.
at 8:39 AM
The Iranians want to deter Israel and the Western nations from making such a decision by threats of mass casualties and devastation in the Israeli home front. Tehran plans to realize this threat with the use of Hezbollah and Syria's huge missile and rocket arsenal. Particularly important for the Iranians is Hezbollah's arsenal, which is protected from a ground invasion and is deployed in the heart of a supportive population in south Lebanon.
While Syria has a far larger amount of rockets and missiles, it is difficult to gauge how many of them will actually work when Iran will need them most. Therefore, Iran is looking to beef up Hezbollah's arsenal with as many accurate and devastating advanced long-term rockets as possible - rockets such as the Fateh-110, which are capable of reaching the Tel Aviv metropolitan area and even further south.
A significant amount of such rockets would allow Hezbollah to fire a relatively large number of them simultaneously. Assad does not possess any spare rockets or missiles to give Hezbollah so it may threaten Israel's cities. The Assad regime needs its missiles in the fight against Syrian citizens who are assisting the rebels.
However, Hezbollah would very much like to get its hands on Assad's Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles, which pose a major threat to Israeli Navy vessels and gas fields located up to 300 kilometers (186 miles) from the coast. According to the New York Times, Russia has apparently transferred to Syria recently an improved version of the missile, outfitted with an advanced guidance system that makes them more accurate than the older version.
The Russians are reading the map well and are aware that in the current situation Assad does not have the means to deter Israel from attacking Hezbollah-bound arms convoys.
at 8:03 AM
Friday, May 17, 2013
These missiles will allow Syria to thwart any attempt by international forces to reinforce Syrian rebels by imposing a naval embargo or no fly zone, Nick Brown the editor in chief of IHS Jane's International Defense Review told The New York Times.
“It enables the regime to deter foreign forces looking to supply the opposition from the sea, or from undertaking a more active role if a no-fly zone or shipping embargo were to be declared at some point,” Brown said, “It’s a real ship killer,” he added.
In a separate report on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal cited US and European officials as saying that Russia sent at least a dozen warships to its Tartus naval base in Syria, in a move partly meant to send a message to Israel and the West not to intervene militarily in the country.
at 6:38 AM
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Tornadoes ripped through north Texas on Wednesday night, killing at least six people and injuring more than 100 others, officials said.
The fatalities occurred when the storm struck a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood in the Granbury area, Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said. There were about 120 homes in the neighborhood and most of them were destroyed.
Fourteen people still missing and the death toll could rise, according to Deeds.
About 100 people were injured, said Matt Zavadsky, a spokesman for MedStar Mobile Healthcare.
There were reports of homes in Granbury being flattened with people inside, Hood County Judge Darrell Cockerham said.
In nearby Ellis County, a possible tornado knocked out power for many in the city of Ennis at about midnight, said Steve Howerton, city manager.
The National Weather Service warned that a mile-wide tornado reported by spotters had shifted its track and was moving "right at the city of Cleburne," a community of about 15,000 people in north Texas.
at 4:48 AM
Monday, May 13, 2013
“The question is why is the military having meetings with [anti-Christian activist Mikey Weinstein] and how is it he appears to have easy access to individuals such as [former Ambassador Joe] Wilson.”
That’s from Brig. Gen. Doug Lee, now chairman of the executive committee for the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
WND has reported how the Pentagon’s recent vow to punish Christian evangelism among military members, along with Weinstein’s assertion that such behavior is treasonous, has prompted a legal team to offer to defend any member of the armed services persecuted for expressions of faith.
The Liberty Institute has announced the launch of its Armed Forces Religious Liberty hotline – (972) 941-4543 – along with a petition to support Christian members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.
“The Pentagon released an appalling official statement that I didn’t believe at first, but unfortunately it’s true,” said Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the organization. “They are about to implement a new policy under which any members of the military ‘caught’ talking about their Christian faith will be subject to court martial or imprisonment!”
at 6:51 PM