Friday, August 31, 2012

Nuclear powers push world to brink of apocalypse

Nuclear powers push world to brink of apocalypse: Analyst
Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:27PM GMT
A political analyst has lashed out at the West’s campaign to halt Iran’s nuclear energy program, while the colossal nuclear stockpile of the global powers is pushing the world to the brink of a nuclear apocalypse.

“With over 2000 highly operational nuclear weapons already in the world, it seems ridiculously ironic to try to attribute global insecurity to Iranian nuclear energy program which the US, Israel and some western countries claim to include military purposes,” Dr. Ismail Salami said in an article published on the Press TV website.

The author noted that instead of focusing on Iran's peaceful nuclear energy program on merely political grounds, the international community should be concerned about “the states in possession of the myriad nuclear bombs across the world.”

Relying on figures released by the arms control website, Salami argued that despite western countries’ obsession over Iran's nuclear energy program, they themselves pose the most dire threat to global security as they possess the highest number of nuclear warheads, especially highly operational warheads.

By definition, the analyst noted, highly operational denotes nuclear warheads which “can be shot at any desired time.”

Quoting statistics published by the Arms Control Association, Salami further stated that while the United States possesses about 5,000 total warheads, 1,737 of which are operational, Russia, France, and UK alone possess a total of over 1,900 deployed strategic warheads which are ready to be fired at any moment.

“In addition to the aforementioned report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed in June that at the start of 2012, eight states - the United States, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel - possessed approximately 4,400 operational nuclear weapons. Nearly 2,000 of these are kept in a state of high operational alert. If all nuclear warheads are counted, these states together possess a total of approximately 19,000 nuclear weapons.”

Salami noted that even Israel possesses 80 highly operational nuclear warheads.

“Israel, which follows a policy of nuclear ambiguity, [is] … widely known to possess 300 to 400 nuclear warheads with 80 of them in high operational alert according to SIPRI, that is, they are ready to fire.”

The analyst stated that ignoring the above facts, a number of the so-called international bodies “lie through their teeth” about Iran’s nuclear energy program which Iranian leaders vehemently enunciate is meant for only civilian purposes, and have shut their eyes to the potentially apocalyptic horror these weapons can unleash in the hands that hold them.

“An inquisitive mind may ask: Why should Iran bear the brunt of nuclear crucifixion while there are already over 2000 highly operational nuclear bombs which are capable of plunging the world back into a state of the pre-creation cosmic blob?” Salami concluded.


Carbon Release from Collapsing Coastal Permafrost in Arctic Siberia

Carbon Release from Collapsing Coastal Permafrost in Arctic Siberia

Thermal collapse and erosion of old permafrost masses along the 20-30 m steep and desolate Arctic coastline. (Credit: Igor Semiletov)
ScienceDaily (Aug. 30, 2012) — In this week's issue of Nature a study led by Stockholm University, with collaborators from Russia, US, UK, Switzerland, Norway, Spain and Denmark, shows that an ancient and large carbon pool held in a less-studied form of permafrost ("Yedoma") is thaw-released along the approximately 7000-kilometer desolate coast of northernmost Siberian Arctic.
The team found that the tens-of-thousands year old Yedoma carbon is rapidly converted to CO2 and that ten times more Yedoma carbon is released to the Arctic Ocean than previously estimated. Thermal collapse of the carbon-rich, permafrost-covered coasts may accelerate with warming of the Arctic climate.
Release to the atmosphere of carbon dioxide from thawing permafrost in the Arctic is identified as a positive feedback mechanism to climate warming. About half of the carbon pool in soils globally is held in frozen surficial permafrost in the Arctic (twice as much as in atmospheric CO2); the region is experiencing twice the global average of climate warming.
"Coastal Yedoma is likely more vulnerable towards carbon release than other permafrost bodies as it is not only subject to thermal collapse from above but also to enhanced wave and wind erosion of the Yedoma-dominated coast brought on by sea-level rise and longer ice-free seasons," explains Örjan Gustafsson, professor of biogeochemistry at Stockholm University and co-leader of the team with Igor Semiletov of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The carbon-rich Ice-Complex permafrost structures (Yedoma) -- rising along this Arctic coast are relict soils from the latest Ice Age, covering ~1 million km2 (twice the area of Sweden). While satellite images reveal 1000s of kilometers of milky-cloudy waters along the Arctic coast, the Yedoma has remained understudied largely due to the region's inaccessibility.
Detailed chemical characterization of thaw-eroding Yedoma slopes of a disappearing island in SE Laptev Sea suggested rapid conversion of the old soils to carbon dioxide even before being washed into the sea. The compositional fingerprint of old organic carbon ( 7,000 to 10,000 years) found in marine bottom sediments revealed that erosional input from ancient coastal Yedoma was the dominant source of carbon, overwhelming input from marine sources and river-carried debris from inland vegetation and soils, on this, the World's largest coastal shelf sea.
While the present rate of carbon release from the NE Siberian coast is not substantially affecting the CO2 levels in the global atmosphere, the study, jointly lead-authored by Stockholm University PhD student Jorien Vonk (now at ETH-Zürich, Switzerland) and post-doc fellow Laura Sanchez (now at the Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences), demonstrates that the process is firmly underway.
This study adds to previous reports on extensive methane releases from collapsing subsea permafrost on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) published by the team. "In order to project the future trajectory of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it is important to study the interaction of a warming climate and releases from the enormous carbon pools held in coastal and subsea permafrost, as well as in methane hydrates, on the ESAS" says Gustafsson.

TSA Denies Ignoring Court Order Over Body Scanners

TSA Denies Ignoring Court Order Over Body Scanners
Posted By admin On August 31, 2012 @ 9:15 am In Featured Stories,Steve Watson Articles,Tile | 4 Comments
Steve Watson
Aug 31, 2012

TSA Denies Ignoring Court Order Over Body Scanners tsa body scanner
The TSA has denied that it is defying the law by ignoring a now more than one year old court order to conduct a public comment process with regards to its use of so called naked body scanners.
The machines have been systematically rolled out in airports throughout the nation over the last three years without public consultation. This act has been ruled by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to be a violation of federal law [2]. Earlier this month, the court finally ruled [3] that the TSA had until August 30th to to provide a reason why the agency has not held public hearings on guidelines for the body scanners.
That deadline expired yesterday and the TSA has responded.
In a court filing issued yesterday, the TSA claimed that there was “no basis whatsoever for (the) assertion that TSA has delayed implementing this court’s mandate [4].” (.pdf)
The agency again cited “staffing issues” as a reason for the delay, and claimed it cannot yet release documents pertaining to the rollout of the scanners and the decision that was taken in 2009 to make them the “primary” method of security in airports all over the country.
The TSA says it is awaiting approval from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Management and Budget in order to release the information to the court.
The agency also added that it expects to be able to begin public hearings on the scanners by the end of February 2013, a full 19 months after the original court order mandating it to do so, and almost four years after it rubber stamped the deployment of the machines.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which originally brought the case, had attempted on no less than THREE occasions over the past 12 months to get the court to enforce the law on the TSA.
In its petition, EPIC notes that the agency’s delay in acting poses risks to travelers, defies the Court’s authority, and is flat out unlawful.
The TSA had argued that it “should not have to stop every five minutes for comment and rulemaking”, and that it did not have the resources to do so in any case.
EPIC has previously argued in court that body scanners are “invasive, unlawful, and ineffective,” and that the TSA’s deployment of the devices violated the U.S. Constitution and several other federal statutes. The rights group is pursuing a case to completely suspend use of the scanners in airports.
EPIC has received support for its action against the TSA from The Competitive Enterprise Institute [5], which issued a brief [6]that argues that the TSA’s claims that it does not have the resources to comply with the public rulemaking process are entirely bogus:
“If the TSA is unable to manage its tremendous budget of nearly $8 billion in a manner that enables the agency to follow well-established laws, this Court is obligated to exercise its authority to compel the agency to follow duly enacted laws.” the brief reads.
“Curiously, the obstacles responsible for the TSA’s delayed rule-making here do not appear to have forestalled the agency’s aggressive deployment of AIT scanners in airports nationwide.” it continues.
“This course of conduct is hardly indicative of an agency so starved for resources that it cannot comply with a straightforward judicial mandate within one year. Moreover, the TSA’s purchase of hundreds of new scanners after this Court’s July 2011 decision in EPIC suggests the agency intends to continue doing as it pleases without regard to public input or duly enacted laws.”
The TSA responded Thursday, stating; “In preparing the proposed rule, TSA has addressed significant developments in AIT technology that have a major impact on the privacy concerns stressed in the EPIC petitioners’ lawsuit. In particular, TSA has addressed the development of Automated Target Recognition technology, which enhances privacy protection in the screening process.”
CEI and EPIC have also been joined in their calls by The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and The Cato Institute.
Jim Harper, the director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, recently issued a petition to the White House on the matter.
However, just as the petition was set to reach a total of 25,000 signatures, at which point the President is obligated to publicly respond, it was mysteriously pulled from the White House website [7], never to return. Officials claimed the site had gone down for “maintenance” and then claimed the petition had expired during that time.
The federal government has invested close to a billion dollars so far into a fleet of 800 scanners, and the TSA has outlined plans to buy nearly 1,000 more in the next two years.
The TSA is continuing to roll out more full body scanners in airports across the country despite the fact that a recent Congressional report [8]concluded that the agency “is wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars by inefficiently deploying screening equipment and technology to commercial airports.”
Another recently discovered Homeland Security report [9]noted that federal investigators have “identified vulnerabilities in the screening process” involving the scanners.
The reports provided a basis for renewed investigation of claims made in March by Engineer Jon Corbett who posted a video of himself demonstrating how the body scanners can easily be bypassed. [10]
The TSA initially responded to the revelations, describing Corbett as “some guy” who had launched a “crude attempt to allegedly show how to circumvent TSA screening procedures.”
The agency failed to even address the fact that Corbett had proven the body scanners could be easily defeated, and then it threatened journalists not to cover the story [11].
Corbett has continued his efforts to expose flaws in the body scanner program by interviewing TSA whistleblowers who have admitted that the scanners routinely fail [12]to pick up prohibited items such as knives, guns and powder designed to resemble explosive material. Corbett also recently testified in a congressional hearing on the scanners.
As we have previously noted, multiple [13] other security experts [14] have gone on record [15] saying that the scanners are ineffective.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ [16], and [1]. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

Article printed from Prison
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[2] violation of federal law:
[3] ruled:
[4] implementing this court’s mandate:
[5] The Competitive Enterprise Institute:
[6] a brief :
[7] mysteriously pulled from the White House website:
[8] Congressional report :
[9] Homeland Security report :
[10] body scanners can easily be bypassed.:
[11] threatened journalists not to cover the story:
[12] scanners routinely fail :
[13] multiple:
[14] security experts:
[15] gone on record:

Russia’s First Electric Car Debuts in Moscow

MOSCOW, Russia, August 30, 2012 (ENS) – Russia’s largest automaker AvtoVAZ unveiled its first electric car for journalists at the Moscow Auto Show on Wednesday.
AvtoVAZ said in a statement that the El Lada is “a first in the history” of the company. The new electric cars will be used as taxis in the mountainous Stavropol region of the Russian Caucasus, the company said.
The El Lada at the Moscow Auto Show is a concept car – the first work of Steve Mattin as the chief designer of AvtoVAZ. The style of the El Lada EV is based on the automaker’s petrol-powered Lada Kalina, a popular Russian model.
Russia EV
Russia’s first electric car, the El Lada made by AvtoVAZ (Photo courtesy AvtoVAZ)

The undisclosed electric powertrain enables the car to travel up to 93 miles on a charge. It has a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour (about 81 mph), the company says.
The El Lada’s battery takes eight hours to charge if plugged into a normal household outlet, according to the company.
The Russian auto giant said that low-volume production of the first electric car in its history, “has already begun.”
Last November AvtoVAZ Vice President for Technical Development Yevgeny Shmelyov said the company plans to produce 100 El Lada electric cars in 2012.
But there are obstacles to the operation of electric cars in Russia, according to the Autostat Analytic Agency – low winter temperatures in the most regions of the country, a lack of recharging infrastructure and a lack of component production. All the special components the El Lada are imported, the analytic agency said.
AvtoVAZ president Igor Komarov Wednesday expressed confidence in his company. “AvtoVAZ is different. We have successfully implemented a program of development from the stage of “survival” to the stage of “company moves to bring new products to market.”
“Today we demonstrate future styles of Lada,” said Komarov.
“AvtoVAZ is multibrand,” he said. “At the end of this year we will start assembling Nissan cars, and in 2013 – Renault.”
The public will get a first look at Russia’s electric car at the Moscow Auto Show in the Crocus Expo International Exhibition Center on August 31.

Environment News Service (

Iran's Khamenei Calls for 'Nuclear Free Middle East'

Iran's Khamenei Calls for 'Nuclear Free Middle East'

Supreme leader of Iran says nuclear weapons are "great sin" as Israel's Netanyahu calls meeting of Non-Alligned Movement a "disgrace"

- Common Dreams staff
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday reiterated the country's position that it has no desire for nuclear weapons, calling atomic weapons a "great sin" and renewing the call for a nuclear-free Middle East.
Iran's motto is "Nuclear energy for all and nuclear weapons for none," Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday. (Photo credit: AP) Speaking to leaders at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran, Khamenei said that Iran, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), would continue to defend its right to develop a peaceful nuclear program.
"I stress that the Islamic Republic has never been after nuclear weapons and that it will never give up the right of its people to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” Khamenei said.
“Iran considers the use of nuclear, chemical and similar weapons as a great and unforgivable sin," he continued. "We proposed the idea of ‘Middle East free of nuclear weapons’ and we are committed to it.”
Meanwhile, Israel Prime Minister Benjmain Netanyahu condemned the NAM conference, calling the meeting a "disgrace" and a "stain on humanity."
"Today, over 120 countries are in Tehran, saluting a regime that not only denies the Holocaust but pledges to annihilate the Jewish state, brutalizes its own people, colludes in the murder of thousands of innocent Syrians and leads millions in chanting 'Death to America, death to Israel'," Netanyahu said.
The Non-Aligned Movement is made up of 120 nations that seek not to be aligned with any major world power. 
There's no love lost between the Israeli and Iranian leadership in the midst of continued speculation that Israel is planning a military assault on Iran's nuclear infrastructure and as US and Israeli-backed international economic sanctions take a toll on Iran's ability to trade and operate in the global market.
Khamenei slammed the sanctions and took aim at the UN Security Council for what Iran sees as undemocratic processes at the United Nations.
"Our view is that the control room of the world should not be managed by the dictatorial will of a few Western countries," Khamenei said according to an English translation on his official website. "This is what is needed by all the countries that have been directly or indirectly harmed as a result of the transgression of a few bullying and hegemonic countries."
And: "The U.N. Security Council has an illogical, unjust and completely undemocratic structure and mechanism. This is a flagrant form of dictatorship, which is antiquated and obsolete and whose expiry date has passed. It is through abusing this improper mechanism that America and its accomplices have managed to disguise their bullying as noble concepts and impose it on the world.
"They protect the interests of the West in the name of 'human rights.' They interfere militarily in other countries in the name of 'democracy,'" he said. 
UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, who was in Tehran for the NAM summit, but did not attend Khamenei's speech, responded to the Ayatollah's most provocative comments against Israel with ire. As Agence France-Presse reports:
Ban "strongly objected" to the remarks in talks with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has called Israel a "cancerous tumor," and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has doubted its right to exist, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters from Tehran.
Ban traveled to the summit despite US and Israeli criticism of his attendance, along with 36 heads of state or government who Iran says have confirmed they will take part.
The NAM summit began earlier this week and was opened with a call similar to Khamenei's for a nuclear free movement to take hold in the region.
“We believe that the timetable for ultimate removal of nuclear weapons by 2025, which was proposed by NAM, will only be realized if we follow it up decisively,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told delegates at the opening ceremony on Sunday.