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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

DHS PROTOTYPES WEARABLE NUCLEAR DETECTION DEVICES

The Homeland Security Department is trying to ramp up wearable devices that can detect nuclear radiation.
DHS has made a handful of awards for well-developed prototypes, of wearable products from companies including Leidos and Physical Sciences, Inc., according to a recent FBO posting.
Last year, DHS made a broad agency announcement soliciting proposals for so-called Wearable Intelligent Nuclear Detection, or WIND, technology. Employees would wear the products to ensure nuclear devices weren't secretly being transported in areas like marine vessels, metro systems, or other public areas, according to DHS.
DHS was specifically searching for "advanced technology demonstrations," which are for "mature prototype capable of providing reliable performance measurements in a challenging and realistic, albeit simulated, operational environment," the BAA said. Awards were for roughly $4 million to $5 million. READ MORE

Spectacular blood red moon photo captured over New York skyline

A photographer captured this stunning photo of a blood red moon over the New York skyline last night.
Jennifer Khordi took the breathtaking image at 840mm from 25 miles away in New Jersey (NJ), describing it as “one of the most amazing things I have ever seen”.
The semi-professional photographer, who is from NJ, shared a series of photos of the incredible moon rising behind the World Trade Center in Manhattan on Instagram and Facebook.
“It was just absolutely amazing to see this,” she told Caters.
“I plotted this shot and lined up with a lookout 25 miles from Manhattan.
“I think the best one is where the moon is directly behind the World Trade Center.
“I have always wanted to get this shot - for about two years now. I bought an extender just for it.”
She added: “The moon is a fickle beast!”
The photos have been a hit on social media, with Corinne Cavallo commenting: “These are so spectacular!!”
Mehdi Mudassir said: “Whenever I return to the US I would make it a point to photography the Manhattan skyline with you.”
While another fan wrote: “We were driving and saw this great red moon on the horizon .. wishing I had the 600mm to capture it. Great shot. All I had was my phone on the motorway.”

US to citizens: Get out of Gaza

The United States on Tuesday reiterated its recommendation that Americans in Gaza leave the territory controlled by Hamas, which Washington calls a terrorist group, "as soon as possible."
The warning comes in wake of a sudden Gaza attack on the border city of Sderot. Luckily, the rocket fired from Gaza landed between two buildings, injuring no one. The IDF returned fire on several Hamas military targets in response to the ceasefire breach.

Washington regularly updates warning notices to Americans traveling to and living in countries around the world.

In the case of Gaza, the State Department warned against "all travel" to the territory and "urges those present to depart as soon as possible when border crossings are open."
It had issued a similar warning in December 2015.

Since January, 14 rockets fired from Gaza have hit Israeli territory, the IDF said.

"Gaza is under the control of Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization. The security environment within Gaza and on its borders is dangerous and volatile," the State Department said in its warning Tuesday.

An AFP count notes that 34 Israelis have killed since October 1, 2015 in Israel due to Palestinian terrorism.

Turkey invades Syria

Turkey's army and international coalition forces on Wednesday started an operation to drive Islamic State jihadists out of a key Syrian border town, a statement from the Turkish prime minister's office said.

"The Turkish Armed Forces and the International Coalition Air Forces have launched a military operation aimed at clearing the district of Jarablus of the province of Aleppo from the terrorist organisation Daesh," it added, using an Arabic acronym for IS group.

The state-run news agency Anadolu said the operation began at around 4 am local time (0100 GMT).

Turkish F-16 jets dropped bombs on IS targets in Jarablus -- the first such assault since a November crisis with Russia sparked by the downing of one of Moscow's warplanes by the Turkish air force, the private NTV television reported.

Security sources quoted by Turkish television said a small contingent of special forces travelled a few kilometres into Syria to secure the area before a possible operation.

Broadcaster CNN-Turk reported that Turkish artillery hit 63 targets in Syria.

Several mortar rounds from IS-held Jarablus hit the Turkish border town of Karkamis on Tuesday, prompting the army to pound the jihadist positions on Syrian soil with artillery strikes. 

Netanyahu and Putin discuss Middle East peace

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu discussed the peace process in the Middle East and a range of regional problems in a phone call on Tuesday, the Kremlin said, according to the RussianSputnik news agency.

"The leaders exchanged opinions on Middle East peace process and urgent developments of the general situation in the region. They agreed to maintain Russian-Israeli contacts at various levels," the statement said.

The announcement of the phone call comes two days after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said that Putin had told him that he is ready to host direct talks between Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Netanyahu recently visited Russia for the fourth time in nine months. The trip was officially meant to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Russia, but was also used by both sides to shore up a rapidly strengthening alliance.

In late 2015 the two countries agreed on a joint mechanism to coordinate military operations in Syria, and in particular concerning the use of Syrian airspace.

The mechanism was agreed upon during a meeting between Netanyahu and Putin on the sidelines of the international climate conference.

On the ground: Operation 'Euphrates Shield' kicks into high gear

Turkey's army backed by international coalition air strikes on Wednesday launched an operation involving fighter jets and tanks to drive Islamic State jihadists out of a key Syrian border town.

The air and ground operation, the most ambitious launched by Turkey in the Syria conflict, is aimed at clearing jihadists from the town of Jarabulus, which lies directly opposite the Turkish town of Karkamis, the prime minister's office said.

The operation -- named "Euphrates Shield" -- began around 4:00 am local time (0100 GMT) with Turkish artillery pounding dozens of IS targets around Jarabulus.

Turkish F-16 fighter jets and coalition war planes also hit targets inside Syria while an AFP photographer then saw around a dozen Turkish tanks cross into Syria to support the operation. READ MORE

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

State Dept Warns: Iran Seeking to Capture U.S. Citizens

The State Department issued a warning on Monday urging U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to Iran, which has made the detention of Americans a priority.
The latest travel advisory, which emphasizes Iran’s desire to capture U.S. citizens, comes on the heels of a growing scandal over the Obama administration’s decision to pay Iran $400 million in cash on the same day that it freed several U.S. hostages.
The payment has been cast by lawmakers and others as a ransom payment and prompted concern among U.S. officials that Iran is making arresting Americans a priority.
The travel warning is meant to “highlight the risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans,” according to a State Department announcement on Monday. “Foreigners, in particular dual nationals of Iran and Western countries including the United States, continue to be detained or prevented from leaving Iran.”
“U.S. citizens traveling to Iran should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel,” the warning adds. “U.S. citizens residing in Iran should closely follow media reports, monitor local conditions, and evaluate the risks of remaining in the country.” READ MORE

What a Clinton Supreme Court Would Mean for America




People often ask me how I – a so-called conservative intellectual and author of “The Book of Virtues” - can support and vote for Donald Trump. I have many good reasons, but nothing on the home front is more important than the Supreme Court.
Our country can survive the occasional infelicities and improprieties of Donald Trump. But it cannot survive losing the Supreme Court to liberals and allowing them to wreck our sacred republic. It would reshape the country for decades.
If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, she will, without a doubt, appoint a dyed in the wool liberal to fill Antonin Scalia's seat, thereby giving liberals a strong five-person majority on the Court. It could get even worse if Justice Kennedy retires and Clinton replaces him with another liberal, giving them an unstoppable six seats on the Court.
We don't know exactly what a President Trump will do, but we do know that his list of eleven potential justices is very promising and a Vice President Mike Pence and a Republican Congress led by Speaker Paul Ryan will hold his feet to the fire for good appointments. On the other hand, we know exactly what Clinton will do.
Let's look briefly at what that will mean to us and our families. READ MORE

University To Students: You’re a Criminal If You Don’t Use Transgender Approved Language

West Virginia University (WVU) has told its 29,000 students that they are breaking federal law if don’t agree to use the pronouns — including ‘he’ or ‘she,’ ‘zir’ or ‘hir’ etc. — preferred by each person who claims to be transgender.

That policy means if a biological man — for example, famous transgender athlete Bruce Jenner — says he “identifies” his gender as female, then all other students must refer to the man as a “she,” or else be treated as a law-breaker.
WVU says using the wrong pronouns is a crime because the United States departments of justice and of education insist that transgender people are protected by decades-old sexual discrimination law.

The new claim is imposed in a university statement that defines the rights of the relatively few students who are confused about their gender. Because it is a list of “rights,” it doubles as as a list of diversity commandments for all normal students; READ MORE

Venezuela’s decline prompts exodus

Even without money and a stable job since his arrival in Colombia in early July, Eduardo — not his real name — has regained most of the weight he had lost at home inVenezuela.

The 44-year-old systems engineer used to make $18 a month in his home town of Barquisimeto, but that was not enough to feed himself and his son given the rampant inflation and chronic scarcities of food and medicine as Venezuela sinks deeper into its economic crisis.
Since fleeing to Bogotá, Eduardo, who declined to give his name as he is still an illegal immigrant, says he has been working “on this and that while a friend helps me out. At least I can find food here. Back in Venezuela we all lacked anything to eat”. READ MORE

Will Syria gas attacks probe condemn the Assad regime?

(AFP) - A yearlong investigation to determine who is behind deadly chemical attacks in Syria takes center stage at the United Nations this week when the panel presents its
much-awaited findings.

The Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) set up by the UN Security Council has been collecting evidence in nine cases of alleged noxious gas attacks on Syrian villages in 2014 and 2015.

Diplomats are hoping that the 24-member panel tasked with identifying those responsible will finally point the finger at President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

"I expect absolute clarity that there have been these chemical weapons attacks in Syria, and - to the extent that the evidence allows it - absolute clarity about who is responsible for each one," said British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft.

"We are very keen indeed to ensure full accountability. Whoever uses chemical weapons in Syria needs to be held accountable," he said. READ MORE

Liberman: multiculturalism and Army don't mix

Addressing soldiers at "Havat Hashomer" army base this morning (Tuesday), Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman described his vision for the IDF, emphasizing the importance of a citizens' army comprised of the Jewish People and, conversely, the unsustainable nature of a so-called "multicultural" army.

"Nobody is cancelling the 'melting pot' [of the Israeli Army]," Liberman said, responding to leftist criticism leveled against him after his recentcancellation of IDF volunteering with illegal infiltrators from Africa.

However, he qualified that the IDF cannot accommodate "any multiculturalism. We have seen the results of multiculturalism in Belgium," he said, presumably in reference to the correlation between increasing Muslim populations in Belgium - and Europe in general - and increasedterrorist activity.

"The condition for the existence of the Jewish People and Jewish State is a citizens' army. Goals such as multiculturalism and a professional army are unattainable. The IDF needs to stay within the greatest possible consensus. There were arguments about my approach, my vision, and I was surprised to see that the IDF was dealing with controversial issues."

Clarifying, he said, "I am talking about illegal infiltrators. First of all, they came here illegally. This is the most controversial issue in Israeli society today, and there is no way that the IDF can be mixed up with it."