random header image

Israel buys nuclear capable subs

">
Israel buys nuclear capable subs

Friday, August 25, 2006

Israel has purchased two more Dolphin class submarines which have the capacity to carry nuclear warheads. Israel already has three older nuclear weapons-capable Dolphin submarines but the new Dolphins have propulsion systems that allow them to remain submerged for longer periods of time, according to the Jerusalem Post, making it harder for them to be tracked by satellite. Experts view the purchase as a clear signal to Iran that Israel can retaliate if subjected to a nuclear attack.

“The Iranians would be very foolish if they attacked Israel,” said Paul Beaver, a British based defence analyst, speaking to the Washington Post. According to Beaver, the submarines would provide Israel with both first strike and second strike capability.

Israel already has land-based nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in the form of the Jericho I and II missiles.

German officials confirm that the contracts for the new submarines was signed July 6. The Jerusalem Post reports that they will be operational shortly.

Israel has never confirmed nor denied that it has nuclear weapons but is believed to have the world’s sixth largest stockpile of the devices, with most outside estimates putting their stockpile in the low hundreds. Israel’s possession of nuclear arms has often been a locus of bitter controversy in the Middle East, especially among countries who believe that the world community, and especially the United States, is hypocritical in its tolerance of Israeli nuclear arms while decrying the efforts of other Middle Eastern nations to develop their own nuclear capabilities.

Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post reports there is a growing mood among Israel’s defence establishment that the country will have to act independently to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons as the United States is unlikely to do so.

“America is stuck in Iraq and cannot go after Iran militarily right now,” according to an unnamed official quoted by the paper.

A report by the US House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee released on Wednesday asserts that if Iran arms itself with nuclear weapons, Israel would be pressed to respond militarily. “A nuclear armed Iran would likely exacerbate regional tensions. Israel would find it hard to live with a nuclear armed Iran and could take military action against Iranian nuclear facilities,” the report states. Iran has continually maintained that it seeks only to develop nuclear technology for the production of electrical power, though this has been disputed by many nations.

Wikinews interviews Jeremy Hanke, editor of MicroFilmmaker Magazine

">
Wikinews interviews Jeremy Hanke, editor of MicroFilmmaker Magazine

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wikinews held an exclusive interview with Jeremy Hanke, editor of MicroFilmmaker Magazine. The magazine, which is free to read online, was started as a resource for the low budget moviemaker and features book, independent film, equipment and software reviews as well as articles on film distribution, special effects and lighting.

He says that one of the goals of the magazine is to “connect low-budget filmmakers via a feeling of community, as many…..often compete so viciously against one another in film festivals for coveted “shots” with Hollywood, that they can quickly forget their similarities.”

When asked if films made on a shoestring budget can really compete with those made for millions of dollars, he replied, “no…yes…and absolutely. Allow me to explain.” And so he does in the interview below.

21 July London bombing suspect held

">
21 July London bombing suspect held

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Yasin Hassan Omar, 24 — suspected of the attempted attack on Warren Street Tube Station — has been arrested by police in Birmingham in a raid yesterday.

After being informed by a member of the public, police — supported by an army bomb disposal team from the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) — launched a dawn raid at 04:30 am BST on a ground floor flat in Heybarnes Road that Omar was apparently staying in alone. According to the British tabloid newspaper “The Daily Mirror”, Omar allegedly shouted at police to “Get back or I’ll take you with me”.

After a struggle ensued involving, it is believed, a rucksack that police feared was a bomb, Omar was shot in the bathroom by a 50,000-volt taser stun gun that temporarily disabled him. The rucksack was apparently thrown outside the window by police officers.

Around 100 homes were subsequently evacuated as a precautionary measure on the orders of the RLC bomb disposal team. The team then made a controlled explosion of the suspect package.

In a house in nearby Bankdale Road, three men, thought to be Somalis, were arrested and taken to a local police station.

Omar was later taken to Paddington Green, West London, the Metropolitan Police’s only high-security police station.

The flat in Birmingham remained guarded by police while forensic tests continued.

Elsewhere, three women were arrested in Blair House in Stockwell, London in connection with the investigations into the attempted attacks on 21 July.

Early this morning, nine people were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 in raids on two houses in Tooting, south London. None are believed to be the three remaining 21 July bombers at large.

Ahmadinejad sends letter to George W. Bush

">
Ahmadinejad sends letter to George W. Bush

Tuesday, May 9, 2006For the first time in three decades, direct and at least partially public diplomatic communication will commence between the United States (US) and Iran. Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham said that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sent a letter to the U.S. president George W. Bush proposing “new solutions for getting out of international problems and the current fragile situation of the world”.

Mr Gholam-Hossein Elham did not say whether the letter mentioned the nuclear dispute, one of the diplomatic problems currently straining relations between Iran and the USA. This information arrived one day after the Iranian parliament announced that it might retract from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if Western pressure over its programme was to increase.

Differing reports have been made as to whether or not the letter will be made public, and if so, when. In its online report of 8 May 2006, 09:25 GMT, the BBC quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi as saying that the contents of the letter would be made public once Bush had received it. The updated version of the report of 8 May 2006, 14:52 GMT, quotes Asefi as saying that the contents would be made public “at the right time”. An ABC report quoted Gholam-Hossein Elham as saying “it is not an open letter.”

Iran’s foreign affairs minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, delivered the letter to the United States’ interests section in the Swiss embassy in Tehran on Monday. The United States has not held diplomatic relations with Iran since the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said “this letter isn’t it. This letter is not the place that one would find an opening to engage on the nuclear issue or anything of the sort.”

“It isn’t addressing the issues that we’re dealing with in a concrete way,” she added.

John R. Bolton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, also read the letter, saying, “I think it is typical of Iran that when major decisions are about to be taken … that they have tried to throw sand in the eyes of the proponents of the action. That’s what this may be.”

The letter has since been put on an official Iranian website, and on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad said “the letter to US President George Bush carries the Iranian nation’s views and comments on international issues as well as suggestions for resolving the many problems facing humanity.”

News briefs:August 2, 2010

">
News briefs:August 2, 2010
Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
Produced By
Turtlestack
Recorded By
Turtlestack
Written By
Turtlestack
Listen To This Brief

Problems? See our media guide.

Ian Thorpe starts to recover from chest pains

">
Ian Thorpe starts to recover from chest pains

Friday, March 3, 2006

Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe is reported to be feeling much better after suffering from chest pain for some time.

The Olympic gold medalist was due to swim in the 100m and 200m freestyle and in three relays at the Commonwealth Games, but due to his complaints his fitness has been in doubt. He has been unable to take the drugs needed to overcome his pain as they are banned from the Games.

Thorpe told the media Thursday “It’s actually the best I’ve felt in a while; the antibiotics are starting to work.”

Brazil’s Minas state stops sales of Toyota Corolla

">
Brazil’s Minas state stops sales of Toyota Corolla
By BbGFjuyG | Posted in Uncategorized

Friday, April 23, 2010

Minas, one of the largest states of Brazil, has stopped the sale of the Toyota Corolla over safety concerns.

The move was made after nine Corolla customers reported that their cars automatically accelerated. The state public prosecutor’s office said in an online statement on Tuesday that the problem is blamed on accelerator pedals sticking underneath floor mats. Local government said the issue was “putting in danger the lives of occupants”.

According to the prosecutor’s office, sales of Corollas may resume when Toyota alters the floormats in its current models. Toyota has recalled over eight million vehicles worldwide due to acceleration problems.

Comments (0)

Thousands watch Boobs on Bikes parade in Auckland

">
Thousands watch Boobs on Bikes parade in Auckland
By BbGFjuyG | Posted in Uncategorized

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Thousands of spectators lined Queen St. in central Auckland, New Zealand to watch a parade of around 20 female porn stars riding topless on motorcycles. The girls, wearing studded knee-high leather boots and leather pants, braved a winter chill, nippy wind and objections by some city officials, in a shot at promoting an Auckland Erotica Expo happening later this week.

Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard described the parade as “morally repugnant.”

Comments (0)

More dog and cat food recalled in the United States

">
More dog and cat food recalled in the United States
By BbGFjuyG | Posted in Uncategorized

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Natural Balance Pet Foods has recalled some of its wet and dry food for cats and dogs after several owners said that their pets were becoming sick. The company urges owners to stop feeding their pets the food immediately.

The brands recalled include Venison & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food and Venison & Green Pea Dry Cat Food.

Last month, Menu Foods recalled all of its 60 million products of dry and wet dog and cat food after pets began to fall ill and in some cases died of kidney failure.

“Natural Balance, Pacoima, CA, is issuing a voluntary nationwide recall for all of its Venison dog products and the dry Venison cat food only, regardless of date codes. The recalled products include Venison and Brown Rice canned and bagged dog foods, Venison and Brown Rice dog treats, and Venison and Green Pea dry cat food. Recent laboratory results show that the products contain melamine. We believe the source of the melamine is a rice protein concentrate. Natural Balance has confirmed this morning that some production batches of these products may contain melamine,” said a press released issued by Natural Balance.

The FDA states that the “investigation remains open and active, and the agency continues to follow leads to get closer to the root cause of the problem and to ensure that all contaminated product is removed from the market.”

“The source of the melamine appears to be a rice protein concentrate, which was recently added to the dry venison formulas. Natural Balance does not use wheat gluten, which was associated with the previous melamine contamination,” said the press release.

Bags, cans and zip lock bags of the food are expected to be the most affected.

“The products are packaged in bags, cans and zip lock treat bags and sold in pet specialty stores and PetCo nationally. No other Natural Balance products are involved in this voluntary recall as none of our other formulas include the rice protein concentrate,” added the press release.

The company states that the food, Venison & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food and Venison & Green Pea Dry Cat Food, are the only brands affected by the recall.

Comments (0)

Amended USA Freedom Act draws questions from civil liberties groups

">
Amended USA Freedom Act draws questions from civil liberties groups
By BbGFjuyG | Posted in Uncategorized

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The USA Freedom Act, introduced in to the US House of Representatives as HR 3361 and to the US Senate as S. 1599, on Thursday passed out of House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and on to the House floor. Foreign Policy reported the bill was “the most aggressive NSA reform bill under consideration in Congress”, however, after amendment, the bill has been questioned for extending the Patriot Act and the reduction of reform to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The USA Freedom Act had the stated goal of ending the bulk collection of Americans’ metadata, ending the secret laws created by the FISA court, and introducing a “Special Advocate” to represent public and privacy matters before the FISA court.

In May 2014, the US House Judiciary Committee posted a “Manager’s Amendment” on its website. Title VII of the Amendment read “Section 102(b)(1) of the USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 (50 U.S.C. 1805 note) is amended by striking ‘June 1, 2015’ and inserting ‘December 31, 2017′”, extending the USA PATRIOT Act through the end of 2017. A number of organizations have taken stances against the Patriot Act, for example, the American Library Association became so concerned it urged its members to defend free speech and protect patrons’ privacy against the Act.

According to Deputy Attorney General James Cole, even if the Freedom Act becomes law, the NSA could continue its bulk collection of American’s phone records. He explained that “it’s going to depend on how the [FISA] court interprets any number of the provisions” contained within the legislation. Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties at Stanford Law School, stated:

The Administration and the intelligence community believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of the laws Congress passes, so long they can convince one of the judges appointed to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to agree. This isn’t the rule of law. This is a coup d’etat.

Cynthia Wong of Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed concern that “the bill does not address needed reforms to surveillance programs that affect millions of people outside US borders.” This being a key problem that plagues US surveillance activities according to HRW.

Mike Rogers, a defender of the NSA’s surveillance practices and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called the proposed amendments a “huge improvement”. On the other hand, USA Freedom Act co-author and Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy commented that he “remain concerned that the legislation approved today does not include some of the important reforms related to national security letters, a strong special advocate at the FISA Court, and greater transparency. I will continue to push for those reforms when the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the USA FREEDOM Act this summer.”

Comments (0)