Syrian forces in Damascus loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have fired at least four Scud missiles inside Syria, presumably at rebel groups, a U.S. official said Wednesday.
U.S. military satellites picked up and confirmed the infrared signature of the four short-range Scud missiles, which were launched from the Damascus area into northern Syria, according to an official who declined to be named, citing the sensitivity of the matter.
The missiles did not land on the Turkish side of the border but “came close,” the official said.
And as Syrian forces dabble with longer-range weapons with increased lethality, authorities say NATO is also preparing to send a Patriot missile defense system to neighboring Turkey after it made the request at a meeting in Brussels last week.
Everyone’s pockets are empty - from the Sudanese government to the Western nations who bankroll the world’s largest peacekeeping mission in Darfur - making peace in the troubled region even harder to achieve, experts say.
The United Nations plans to cut the number of African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) peacekeepers. This comes despite the fact that the United States recently expressed alarm over “the sharp deterioration in security” in Darfur.
The U.S. government statement followed several days of fighting in which at least 70 people were killed in late September in Hashaba, 70km (43 miles) north-west of the Darfuri capital El Fasher.
Law and order have collapsed in parts of the vast territory in Western Sudan. Banditry, tribal fighting and clashes between rebels and government forces continue. Rebels took up arms against the government in 2003, saying the central government had neglected the region.
Some 3.2 million people in Darfur receive humanitarian aid, 1.7 million of whom live in camps for the displaced.
“The world has become tired of the conflict without seeing any solutions in sight,”
Heh, there’s not much I can add to this one. ;)
A Redditor reports that this cute kid note was written by a Muslim student in elementary school. […]
The #121212concert for Sandy relief is underway, and the opening act was Bruce Springsteen who was joined by Jon Bon Jovi for a rendition of Born to Run. That’s the tip of the iceberg for this huge show.
Funds raised by the show are to go to the Robin Hood Relief Fund. 100% of the funds are supposed to go to disaster assistance (as per Billy Crystal in his opening monologue).
It’s expected that the show will be simulcast to an audience of 2 billion people.
I understand that some folks are reluctant to give to this charity, or to the American Red Cross, or other major charitable groups because they aggregate funds and don’t necessarily fund relief directly for those affected by this particular natural disaster. That’s their prerogative.
For those folks, here are a couple of local charities that are helping folks in the affected areas of the New York City metro area.
I’ve donated to the Staten Island Rotary, which is assisting folks on Staten Island and with which I have personal connections. Rotary organizations throughout the region have similar efforts underway.
If you’re not sure of a particular charity, always check out sites like Charity Navigator and the BBB to see whether the charities are making every effort to maximize your donations and not eating it up with overhead and extraneous expenses.
The patent application made waves immediately after it was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last August. Amazon filed for it in February 2010 and was granted it today, Engadget notes.
At its core, the patent details a system that uses your gadget’s built-in gyroscope, accelerometers, camera, and other onboard sensors to figure out if the device has gone airborne. If so, a system can keep the device from getting too badly damaged by changing its fall, and even deploying airbags to lessen the damage.
In practice this means a dropped device might even be able to survive a fall completely unscathed, except for people mistaking the entire episode for your extreme flatulence.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: a new WordPress release is available and chock-full of goodies to delight bloggers and developers alike. We’re calling this one “Elvin” in honor of drummer Elvin Jones, who played with John Coltrane in addition to many others.
If you’ve been around WordPress a while, the most dramatic new change you’ll notice is a completely re-imagined flow for uploading photos and creating galleries. Media has long been a friction point and we’ve listened hard and given a lot of thought into crafting this new system. 3.5 includes a new default theme, Twenty Twelve, which has a very clean mobile-first responsive design and works fantastic as a base for a CMS site. Finally we’ve spent a lot of time refreshing the styles of the dashboard, updating everything to be Retina-ready with beautiful high resolution graphics, a new color picker, and streamlining a couple of fewer-used sections of the admin.
Published on Dec 12, 2012
Why is the inclusion of creationism and “intelligent design” still a viable proposal for American biology curricula? What other secular policies are at risk of religious intrusion? NCSE board member Barbara Forrest dissects the issue with a panel of experts, including Barry Lynn, Chris Mooney, and John Shook. Where: Center for Inquiry, Washington, DC. When: 10/22/2011
The object that North Korea sent into space early Thursday appears to be “tumbling out of control” as it orbits the earth, U.S. officials told NBC News.
The officials said that it is indeed some kind of space vehicle but they still haven’t been able to determine exactly what the satellite is supposed to do.
In a statement, the White House said the rocket launch was a highly provocative act that threatens regional security and violates U.N. resolutions.
The United Nations Security Council on Thursday condemned the launch, calling it a “clear violation” of U.N. resolutions. A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he “deplores” the launch.
North Korea is banned from conducting missile and nuclear tests, under the terms of U.N. sanctions imposed after a series of nuclear weapons tests in 2006 and 2009.
Missile warning systems detected the launch at 7:49 p.m. ET Wednesday. North American Aerospace Defense Command officials said in a statement that the initial indications were that the first stage fell into the Yellow Sea and the second stage fell into the Philippine Sea. Japan’s NHK television network said the rocket’s second stage fell minutes after passing near the southern islands of Japan.
North Korea said Wednesday’s launch was an attempt to place a satellite into a pole-to-pole orbit. Pyongyang’s official KCNA news agency said that the rocket was fired from the Sohae Satellite Launch Center on the secretive country’s west coast, and that the Kwangmyongsong weather satellite went into orbit as planned.
But U.S. officials say the launch was a thinly veiled attempt to test a three-stage ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead as far as the West Coast.
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -
The face of Big 12 football changed dramatically on 12-12-12.
Texas Tech hired former Red Raider quarterback Kliff Kingsbury as its head football coach just days after Tommy Tuberville’s surprising departure for the University of Cincinnati.
Kingsbury, 33, played for the Red Raiders from 1998-2002 and finished his career with 39 school records, 13 Big 12 Conference records and 7 NCAA Division I-A records. He was only the third player in college football history to throw for over 10,000 yards, gain over 10,000 yards in total offense and complete over 1,000 passes.
Kingsbury is also a former NFL quarterback, having won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots as a back-up.
In January 2012, he took over the position of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Texas A&M University. The Aggies led the SEC in scoring and ranked third nationally in total offense with Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, who set the conference record for total offense with 4,600 yards.