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Fusion Investigates: How Did America's Police Departments Lose Loads of Military-Issued Weapons?

"We uncovered a pattern of missing M14 and M16 assault rifles across the country, as well as instances of missing .45-caliber pistols, shotguns and 2 cases of missing Humvee vehicles."

Via: fusion.net/leadership/s...eapons-984250

FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 19: Police charge into the media work area with rifles at ready as they try to control demonstrators protesting the killing of teenager Michael Brown on August 19, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.
Updated 08/26/2014, 10:23AM

Haunting images of local police officials using military-issued equipment to quell protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have raised new concerns about the Pentagon's controversial program to equip local and state police departments with military surplus weaponry.

The program, now under White House review, has been plagued by messy bookkeeping, bureaucratic confusion and scores of missing weapons.

Fusion has learned that 184 state and local police departments have been suspended from the Pentagon's "1033 program" for missing weapons or failure to comply with other guidelines. We uncovered a pattern of missing M14 and M16 assault rifles across the country, as well as instances of missing .45-caliber pistols, shotguns and 2 cases of missing Humvee vehicles.

"[The program] is obviously very sloppy, and it's another reason that Congress needs to revisit this promptly," said Tim Lynch, director of the CATO Institute's project on criminal justice. "We don't know where these weapons are going, whether they are really lost, or whether there is corruption involved."

More troubling yet is the possibility that some of the missing weapons, which were given to local police departments as part of a decades' old government program to equip cops for the wars on terrorism and drugs, are actually being sold on the black market, Lynch said.

"That uncertainty is very unsettling," he told Fusion.

Since the program began in 1990, more than $4.3 billion in equipment and weapons has been transferred to more than 8,000 participating police departments, according to the Pentagon.

"Congress' intent with the program is to enhance public safety and improve homeland security by leveraging taxpayer investments in defense technology and equipment," a Pentagon spokeswoman told Fusion.

While local police departments say they have been suspended for losing track of weapons, the Pentagon says no police departments have been suspended for “use or operation of the allocated firearms.”

Jackson Police Department: Missing M14 Meridian Police Department: Four missing M14s Calhoun County Police Department: Missing M14 Vaiden Police Department: A .45 cal pistol was sold at a gun exchange Philadephia Police Department: Two missing M-14s Columbus Police Department: Three missing M-14s Mississippi Department of Public Safety: Missing M14 Tupelo Police Department: One missing 12 gauge shotgun and two missing flyer helmets Source: Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration

Fusion found that many of the suspensions occur in February, after police departments conduct their year-end weapons inventory. In Mississippi, the Meridian Police Department was suspended last February after their inventory showed four missing M14s, according to the state's Department of Finance and Administration. The same month in neighboring Arkansas, the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department was suspended from the Pentagon program after it discovered a missing M14 assault rifle and a night vision scope that was “damaged and destroyed” without prior approval, according to the state's Department of Career Education, which oversees the program.

The decentralized structure of the program makes it difficult — even for the Pentagon — to keep tabs on the standing of participating police departments, or the weapons they've been issued. Officials at the Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which runs the equipment-transfer program, were unable to provide specifics about why various police departments were suspended. And many state coordinators refused to speak to Fusion, or claimed they didn't have the information requested.

All military issued equipment transferred to local or state police departments is administered by a designated state agency that varies from state to state; in most states, the program is overseen by the department of public safety, but in some cases those responsibilities are designated to other departments, such as the department of career education in Arkansas. A governor-appointed state coordinator is charged with ensuring local police departments follow federal guidelines. The state coordinator oversees the annual inventory of weapons and reports to the federal government.

The state coordinator for California said he was "not authorized" to speak on behalf of the agency he runs, and instead deferred all questions to the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, which declined repeated requests for details on the 10 suspended programs in the state.

Some of California's local police departments were more forthcoming when reached directly. Huntington Beach Police Department said it was suspended from the program last year after losing an M16 assault rifle.

“It was discovered during an internal audit,” Huntington Beach Police Lieutenant Mitchell O'Brien told Fusion. “An investigation was inconclusive as to how that occurred.”

The Stockton Police Department, in northern California, said it was suspended from the Pentagon program in October after losing two M16s. And the Sutter County Sheriff's Office, also in northern California, acknowledged it was suspended from the program after reporting a missing M14 and two M15s.

In neighboring Arizona, state coordinator Matthew Van Camp spoke more openly about the program, while the local police departments remained tight-lipped. Van Camp told Fusion that there were numerous missing weapons from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department, mostly .45-caliber pistols and one rifle. It “would take some time to get actual numbers but I think it was 11 or 12," he said. The department was suspended in September 2012, according to Pentagon records. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Department did not respond to Fusion's requests for comment on the state coordinator's allegations.

In many cases when local police departments get suspended from the Pentagon program, they are cut off from receiving more equipment but still get to keep the weapons that they were already given. Fusion identified one instance where a suspended police department in Georgia was twice reprimanded by the state coordinator for separate cases of missing .45- caliber pistols, leading to their full termination from the Pentagon program. The Sparta Police Department was ordered to return all weapons due to "accountability of weapons" issues, according to the termination letter written by Georgia state coordinator Don Sherrod, and provided to Fusion by the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

Photo of the serial number of an M-14 rifle, which the Hall County Sheriff's Office of Georgia lost track of for ten months. The weapon was lost in May of 2013, and was subsequently found in July 2014. Image by Hall County Sheriff's Office.

The federal government is already investigating non-compliant police departments in some cases. The Office of the Inspector General is currently investigating the Ripley County Sheriff's Department of Missouri, which was suspended from the Pentagon program last February. Authorities would not release information about the nature of the investigation. "The investigation is ongoing and therefore no records are open to the public at this time," Mike O'Connell, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Public Safety, wrote to Fusion in an email.

Similarly, the Office of the Inspector General investigated seven Florida police departments for missing equipment earlier this year, but the all the equipment was located and the previously suspended departments are now in good standing, according to Ben Wolf, director of communications at the Florida Department of Management Services.

In addition to annual inventory, each state is visited bi-annually for a program compliance review to go over the "records, property, and usage" of its military-issued equipment, according to a Pentagon official.

For critics like Lynch, that's not enough.

“The case for giving military weaponry to these small police departments was already thin in the beginning,” he said. “Now that we're finding that there is insufficient accountability for tracking this equipment, then the case is beginning to fall apart.”

See more of our investigation's findings below. This is still a developing story. Specific information about the individual causes of suspension are still trickling in from various local sources across the country. We will continue reporting on this as we get more details.

Huntington Beach Police Department: Missing M16 Stockton Police Department: Two missing M-16 rifles Sutter County Sheriff's Office: One missing M14, one Missing M15 Sources: Huntington Beach PD, Stickton PD, Sutter County Sheriff's Office

Hancock County Sheriff's Department: Two .45 cal pistols missing Muscogee County Sheriff's Office: M-16 stolen during a burglary of an officer's home Sparta Police Department: .45 cal pistol stolen during a burglary of an officer's home in 2002. Another .45 caliber pistol went missing in January 2014. Department terminated from program. Tallapoosa Police Department: Unable to account for three .45 cal pistols issued to a now deceased officer. Lithonia Police Department: Missing M-14 rifle Hall County Sheriff's Office: Missing M-14 rifle. Weapon was found in ten months later. Georgia Department of Corrections: Sold a military-owned Humvee. It was later recovered and transferred to another department. Source: Georgia Department of Public Safety

Maricopa County Sheriff's Department: "11 or 12" weapons missing. Mostly .45 caliber pistols, and one rifle. Source: Matthew Van Camp, Arizona state coordinator for the 1033 program

Lawrence County Sheriff Department: Missing M14 rifle, and lost night vision scope. Judsonia Police Department: Two 12-gauge shotguns missing Woodruff Police Department: Three 12-gauge shotguns missing Palestine Police Department: Failed to report a stolen Humvee within 24 hours. Humvee was recovered shortly after. Independence County Sheriff's Department: Missing M16. Rifle was recovered shortly after. Source: Arkansas Department of Career Education

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Wed, August 27, 2014 - 8:02 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

REP SCOTT PETERS (D-SAN DIEGO) BASHES DEMAIO: 'GAY MAN RUNNING AS A REPUBLICAN'

DEMS NO BETTER THAN THE OTHER GUYS

Via: www.breitbart.com/Breitbart...Republican

Democratic San Diego Representative Scott Peters has been caught on camera making contemptuous and dismissive remarks about his openly gay Republican opponent Carl DeMaio. Peters also took a stab at Utah's Mia Love, who could become the first black female Republican elected to Congress.

While stumping at a Clairemont Democratic Club Meeting in San Diego this month, Peters said, according [to] video and quotes provided by Kyle Becker of the International Journal Review:

"And now he's saying, now he's saying, 'Well, I'm a gay man, I must be moderate. I'm pro-choice, I’m pro-environment. And I gotta tell ya, around the country, where people don't know him, they completely buy it. Carl DeMaio has gotten more—it's so unusual for them to see a gay man running as a Republican.

"Now, San Diego's a little different. We've been electing LGBT candidates since the '90s when Chris Kehoe got elected. Our district attorney is a lesbian Republican. 'Well who does she have lunch with?"

Peters' statement was followed with laughing agreement from the audience. He then went on to remark on the "novelty" associated with being a gay and even called out a member of his own party:

"And obviously, you know, the Speaker of the Assembly is our own Toni Atkins, who is also… So, we're pretty used to it, but around the country this thought that there would be any gay elected officials is very novel."

Atkins defended Peters in a statement offered by the Peters' campaign. She said, "Scott Peters has a long, impeccable record of standing with and fighting for the LGBT community. Any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous and an insult to those of us who know him. San Diegans don't buy it."

For someone who is so supportive of the LGBT community, Peters appears to have a history of slighting DeMaio for being gay. A few months back, Peter's campaign posted on its own website that DeMaio was a "Mary," which is a derogatory term for homosexual men. (Another left-wing group has also slighted DeMaio for his open sexuality.)

Peters then continued to take shots at DeMaio, again jabbing at his homosexuality:

"He's gotten stories in The Wall Street Journal, he's gotten stories in the National Journal, all puff pieces about how this great, new, moderate, gay Republican is coming out and running for office. And they're very psyched about it. And the Republicans in D.C., they love this."

Peters went on to state (incorrectly) that Republicans have zero African American Republicans in Congress:

"They think, 'Wow, this guy is gonna change our party' because all they need—they don’t have any out, gay members of Congress, the Republicans don't. They also don't have any African Americans. They're gonna get one and Mia Love in Utah is just a real right-wing person."

In addition to DeMaio, there are two other openly gay Republican candidates seeking election in 2014. They are Richard Tisei of Massachusetts and Dan Innis in New Hampshire.

Peters can be seen giving his anti-gay Republican rant here: www.youtube.com/watch
Sun, August 24, 2014 - 10:12 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

STATE OF PARANOIA: "Man [in CA] with Umbrella, Shelter in Place!"

VIa: www.breitbart.com/Breitbart...-On-Campus

SWAT TEAM SURROUNDS WHITE MALE CARRYING 'LARGE UMBRELLA' ON CAMPUS

On August 20, a possible gunman was reported on the campus of California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), and orders to "Shelter-In-Place" (S-I-P) were put out until a SWAT team finally surrounded their suspect, "a staff member carrying a large umbrella and carry bag."

NBC 7 said, "The first report came in as a man with a long gun" walking on campus.

After about 30 minutes of S-I-P, staff member Bill Craig realized he fit the description of the possible gunman and surrendered himself to police. A SWAT team surrounded Craig and determined he had no gun in his possession.

According to guns.com, Police released the following statement:

Earlier this morning there was a report to University Police of a possible gunman at CSUSM. The campus was immediately placed on lock down. Police performed a security sweep and determined that the suspect was not armed, but was a staff member carrying a large umbrella and carry bag. We are grateful for the quick response by our police officers to the perceived threat and to our campus community for their cooperation during the brief state of emergency.
Sun, August 24, 2014 - 9:56 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Unidentified Fighter Jets Strike Libya's Tripoli After Islamist Fighters Say Captured Airport

The genie is now out of the bottle...

Via: www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...99.html

Posted: 08/24/2014 7:02 am EDT Updated: 2 hours ago Print Article
By Heba al-Shibani

TRIPOLI, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Unidentified war planes attacked targets in Libya's capital Tripoli on Sunday, residents said, hours after forces from the city of Misrata said they had seized the main airport.

Tripoli residents heard jets followed by explosions at dawn but no more details were immediately available.

In recent weeks Libya has seen the worst fighting since the NATO-backed campaign to oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Renegade general Khalifa Haftar has declared war on Islamist-leaning forces, part of growing anarchy in the oil producer.

His forces claimed responsibility for air raids on Tripoli on Saturday and last Monday, targeting a group called Operation Dawn. But this group, consisting mainly of fighters from Misrata, said on Saturday that it had captured Tripoli's main airport from a rival faction from Zintan in western Libya.

In the campaign to overthrow Gaddafi, fighters from Zintan and Misrata were comrades-in-arms. But they later fell out and this year have turned parts of Tripoli into a battlefield.

Libya's neighbors and Western powers worry Libya will turn into a failed state as the weak government is unable to control armed factions.


GROWING DIVISIONS

Libya faces the prospect of two competing parliaments, after the claimed Misrata victory at Tripoli airport which Reuters could not immediately confirm.

In a challenge to the parliament elected on June 25, a spokesman for Operation Dawn called for the old General National Congress (GNC) to be reinstated. Misrata forces have rejected the new House of Representatives, where liberals and lawmakers campaigning for a federalist system have made a strong showing.

In a sign of deep divisions between Libya's regions and political factions the House of Representative declared the Operation Dawn as well as militant Islamists like the Ansar al-Sharia as "terrorist groups".

The House of Representatives, which has fled to Tobruk in the east with senior officials to escape fighting, asked renegade general Haftar to fight the Operation Dawn forces.

Haftar launched a campaign against Islamists in the eastern city of Benghazi in May and threw his weight behind the Zintan fighters.

His air defense commander, Sager al-Jouroushi, told Reuters on Saturday that his forces were responsible for the air strikes on Saturday and a similar attack on Monday.

Misrata forces have blamed the air strikes on Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, two countries which have cracked down on Islamists. Libya's government says it does not know who is behind the attacks.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi denied his country had conducted any air strikes or other military operation in Libya, state news agency MENA quoted him as saying.

Western and NATO officials have also denied any involvement.

Fighting also erupted between Haftar's troops and allied army special forces with Islamists in two Benghazi suburbs on Saturday, killing eight soldiers and wounding 35, medics said.

The violence has prompted the United Nations and foreign embassies in Libya to evacuate their staff and citizens, and foreign airlines have largely stopped flying to Libya.

Libya's central government lacks a functioning national army and relies on militia for public security. But while these forces receive state salaries and wear uniforms, they report in practice to their own commanders and towns. (Reporting by Heba al-Shibani, Ahmed Ellumami, Feras Bosalum, Ayman al-Warfalli and Ulf Laessing; Writing by Ulf Laessing in Cairo; Editing by Stephen Powell)
Sun, August 24, 2014 - 9:40 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

DISCLOSURE: 2 Swiss Banks to End 200-Year Secrecy and Publish Financials

Now, THIS is huge! Whose names will we start seeing come out of those reports?

Via: rt.com/business/18220...ecrecy-finance/
Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

Two Geneva-based banks that have kept their finance sheets shrouded in secrecy since 1796 will publish their earnings amid pressure from abroad.

Lomard Odier and Pictet, two of Switzerland’s largest independent private banks, will report financials in August, Bloomberg News reports, citing a source from Odier.

Lombard Odier, Geneva’s oldest wealth management firm, will report August 28, with Pictet also due to report by the end of the month.

Together the banks oversee about $630 billion in asset management, both private and institutional, according to Bloomberg.

Pichet is under investigation by the US Justice Department, along with a dozen other Swiss banks for helping Americans dodge taxes. Lombard Odier has voluntarily agreed to swap information with US authorities.

After much delay, last year Switzerland, the world’s largest offshore wealth center, signed an agreement to share financial data with tax authorities in the US and Europe.

In October 2013 a convention with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and agreed to exchange data with 60 member countries, including neighbors Germany and France looking to track down tax evaders.

The US has an especially tumultuous relationship with Switzerland over tax evasion, and has threatened billions in claims if the country didn’t make banking more transparent.

Switzerland’s oldest private bank, Wegelin & Co., shut its doors after it pled guilty to helping Americans hide more than $1.2 billion from the International Revenue Service (IRS).

In February 2014, Credit Suisse was accused by the US Senate of storing more than 12 billion Swiss francs for more than 22,000 American clients.

Pressure reached a peak in 2009 when Switzerland’s biggest lender UBS admitted to helping 52,000 American clients evade taxes.

Switzerland is home to more than $2 trillion in assets that are held in more than 300 private banks.
Sun, August 24, 2014 - 9:20 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

One by One...(2) MO Cop Suspended over Facebook Post Branding Ferguson Protesters ‘Rabid Dogs’

At this rate there won't be a police force in 'Ole Missery by year's end! Then what? Damned donut holes!

Via: rt.com/usa/182284-pol...ult-protesters/

rt.com/usa/182284-pol...ult-protesters/

​A police officer in a St. Louis suburb has been suspended over a series of Facebook posts, insulting Ferguson protesters, who have been rallying in condemnation of the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

Crowdfunding campaign for officer who shot unarmed teenager spurs controversy

The police department in Glendale, Missouri, announced in a Friday statement that it had suspended police officer, Matthew Pappert, due to “several very concerning and inappropriate posts on his personal Facebook page.”

“I'm sick of these protesters,” one of the posts says. “You are a burden on society and a blight on the community." The screenshots of an apparently deactivated account have been obtained by The Daily Caller.

"These protesters should have been put down like a rabid dog the first night," Pappert says in another post.

The Glendale police learnt of the posts on Friday morning and immediately launched an investigation into the matter, according to a statement by Police Chief Jeffrey Beaton, who specified the views expressed in the posts were not shared by the department.

"The matter is being taken very seriously and a thorough internal investigation will be conducted to determine why the posts were made," the statement added.

A press photographer, covering the Ferguson protests, recognized Pappert as one of the police officers summoned to the scene to handle the unrest. The journalist recalled Pappert threatening journalists with a night stick.

"He was ready to swing at us," the photographer told AFP.

Watchdog groups slam Ferguson police ‘harassment’ of reporters

Mathew Pappert is not the only police officer suspended amid the Ferguson protests.

Another St. Louis-area police officer, Dan Page, was also suspended on Friday over a controversial YouTube video. It was likely done two years ago, but got into the spotlight recently, after a CNN reporter Don Lemon, who complained of Page pushing him, brought it to the department’s attention.

"I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord savior, but I'm also a killer. I’ve killed a lot. And if I need to, I'll kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me, it's that simple,” Page says in an hour-long presentation, which also includes incendiary comments on minority groups, women, liberals and politicians.

The case of Page, a 35-year veteran of the police department, will now be reviewed by the internal affairs unit.

“With the comments on killing… that was obviously something that deeply disturbed me immediately,” St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

Earlier this week, a suburban St. Louis police officer, Ray Albers, was suspended indefinitely for threatening to kill protesters and journalists in Ferguson, Missouri. He was caught on camera while pointing a rifle in the crowd's direction during a demonstration this week.

18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer on August 9 in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb. Brown’s death sparked massive protests in the area. Many of those ended in clashes with police using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the rallying crowds.
Sun, August 24, 2014 - 9:11 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

AGe oF TeRRoR...

Via: www.zerohedge.com/news/2014...age-terror
Submitted by williambanzai7 on 08/23/2014 21:47 -0400
Sun, August 24, 2014 - 8:47 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Is Iceland's Bárðarbunga Volcano Erupting?

With Earth tectonics on high alert all around the globe ("beyond our wildest imaginings"), Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) still on target for its close approach to Mars (~19Oct2014); a series of inner planetary alignments (Mars-conj-Sat, Chi-Merc-Mars-Ura all at 16 degrees, etc.); our Sun's imminent, 22-year pole reversal now nearing completion; and whatever else is wrapping itself (read "being sucked") into our ever-spiraling, ever-expanding (NON-circular) solar system, perhaps it's time to seriously visit the "Electric Universe" model, for the sake of our own survival, maybe? Ahem: www.electricuniverse.info/Introduction

Via: www.vox.com/2014/8/23/60...nd/in/5824056

Is Iceland's volcano erupting? Scientists are still waiting to see.

Note: This post has been updated to reflect new developments and uncertainty about whether magma from the volcano has reached the surface.

A volcano on Iceland buried beneath a thick glacier may or may not be erupting — after a week of ominous rumbling in the region. But scientists now disagree on what, exactly, is happening.

Scientists initially thought there was a lava eruption — but now there are conflicting signals

Early on Saturday August 23, officials thought they had detected a small lava eruption near Iceland's Bárðarbunga volcano, which is buried underneath the massive Vatnajokull glacier in the center of the island. But later in the day, scientists disagreed as to whether magma had actually reached the surface or not.

Here was the initial announcement early on Saturday morning: "It is believed that a small subglacial lava-eruption has begun under the Dyngjujökull glacier," the Icelandic Meteorological Office said. "The aviation color code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red" (red means an eruption is either imminent or in progress).

By the evening, however, officials were less certain. "Presently there are no signs of ongoing volcanic activity," the IMO reported. "The aviation color code for the Bárðarbunga volcano remains red as an imminent eruption can not be excluded." Among other things, the IMO noted that overflights had not detected any changes on the glacier — and there wasn't the sort of flooding you'd expect if magma was melting the glacier:

Volcano status

(Icelandic Meteorological Office)

Some background: Since August 16, scientists have been tracking thousands of small earthquakes in the vicinity of Iceland's Bárðarbunga volcanic system, which is covered by the country's massive Vatnajokull glacier. The earthquakes were a sign that magma was on the move.

There's between 150 to 400 meters of ice above the eruption area.

Then, on August 23, scientists thought they'd detected "subglacial" eruption under the Dyngjujökull icecap in the northern part of the glacier. That would mean that lava is coming out of the volcano and beginning to melt the ice from below.

By evening, however, they were less sure. Overflights detected no signs of change on the glacier, and there no signs of floodwater draining from the glacier. Still, in light of the earthquake activity, the IMO couldn't rule out an imminent eruption and has kept the "red" code for Bárðarbunga.

The IMO estimates that the ice above the eruption area is between 150 and 400 meters thick, and that any magma from the ground could take up to 20 hours to break through — if it even does break through.

Whether an eruption occurs and how it evolves will depend on how much magma there is, and how forcefully it comes up. Subglacial eruptions can be quite dramatic, however: When magma melts through ice it can create giant steam explosions that sends clouds of ash high into the atmosphere. The last big subglacial eruption took place in 2011, at the nearby Grímsvötn volcano. That eruption broke through the ice, spewed ash 20 kilometers into the air — and disrupted air travel for days.

As such, Iceland's aviation sector is currently on high alert, though no flights have yet been canceled. If any ash does billow up into the air, it could potentially interrupt flights in the area. If there's a lot of ash, that could well spread towards Europe, although it's hard to say just yet.

On the upside, it's unlikely that any event would be as disruptive as the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland that grounded flights across Europe for six whole days. That's because airlines have changed their policies to allow planes to fly in areas with up to 4,000 micrograms of ash per cubic meter. So fewer planes get grounded during Iceland's periodic eruptions.

On the other hand, if the volcano ends up melting a lot of ice in the glacier, that could lead to flooding in Iceland — particularly in nearby areas. Authorities have been warning about the prospect of floods for days now.

(See here for our full rundown of why Iceland has so many volcanoes, what's been going on at Bárðarbunga and how an eruption might affect aviation.)

How to track the eruption

The Icelandic Met Office has been offering daily — and sometimes more than daily — updates on the volcano. There are also frequent English-language updates from the Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið.

Volcano obsessives can find all the different livestreams here.

On top of that, there are plenty of volcano experts on Twitter who are watching the eruption closely — including Dave McGarvie, Gisli Olafsson, and Erik Klemetti. Journalist Alexandra Witze has been tracking Icelandic volcanoes for a long time and is definitely worth following. And John Stevenson has done a lot of excellent work on the impacts of volcanic eruptions on aviation.
Sun, August 24, 2014 - 7:56 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Strong 6.0 Earthquake Rocks San Francisco Bay Area, Significant Damage in Napa

Via: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/...-usgs/

By Brandon Mercer - August 24, 2014 3:34 AM

AMERICAN CANYON (CBS SF) — A strong magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay Area early Sunday morning, centered in the Napa County town of American Canyon, injuring at least 70 people, severely damaging historic buildings in Downtown Napa, rupturing gas lines and water mains across Napa, Sonoma, and Solano Counties leading to multiple fires, plunging entire communities into darkness and buckling and cracking roadways on Highway 37 and State Routes 12 and 121.

At least 60 aftershocks were recorded following the earthquake, the largest quake to hit the Bay Area since the 6.9 magnitude quake hit Loma Prieta nearly 25 years ago. Initial reports had the earthquake measuring 6.1 magnitude. A significant aftershock of at least magnitude 5.0 is likely in the next seven days, with U.S. Geological Survey scientists forecasting a 54 percent chance. There is a 5 percent chance of another quake greater than 6.0.

Napa City Councilmember Peter Mott reports the library and the historic Chinese laundry building suffered significant damage, and bricks and glass are scattered across downtown sidewalks on Second and Third Streets. The old courthouse in Napa has significant damage to the brick as well.

At least four mobile homes in Napa burned to the ground, and six to eight others were damaged at the same mobile home park. The older homes sitting on blocks slipped off, rupturing gas lines, and sparking fires.

Water mains in residential areas are broken, but it’s not clear how bad the damage from flooding is.

At least 70 injuries were reported by hospitals around Napa because of broken glass and falling debris.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s automated economic loss software predicts losses above $100 million dollars.

All major Bay Area bridges have been inspected and concluded to be safe.

As the first major earthquake to hit the Bay Area in the age of smartphones and social media, photos and damage reports quickly surfaced moments after the quake.

The CHP closed State Road 37 from Sonoma Blvd to Fairgrounds because of possible roadway damage.

KCBS’ Todd Smoot reports a Safeway store in Sonoma has no power, and all employees evacuated the store while firefighters checked inside. The shaking was especially strong there because of the nature of the land being on alluvial gravel, sand and silt deposits.

Callers to KCBS Radio reported a significant shaking motion in the city of Napa, lasting for an extended time.

In Contra Costa County, the quake was felt as a long, rolling, shaking motion with several peaks of movement lasting for an extended time.

People as far away as the South Bay and Davis reported being woken up by the quake, which was centered 6.7 miles beneath Earth’s surface.

Within minutes, more than 600 people had commented on our initial Facebook post about the quake.

“EVERYONE in Petaluma is up and chatting on Facebook. We definitely felt it!” said Ann Popovic.

“(It) Scared me. I’m still scared. Lasted a really LONG time,” said Valerie Gunnell on Facebook.

“Woke up south San Jose,” said Brianne Laiwa.

“Now that was a real earthquake,” exclaimed San Francisco Sunset district resident Matt Wandell.

As you might imagine, the rumbling set off an explosion of tweets...
Sun, August 24, 2014 - 7:44 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

China’s Reaction: America Is a “Disgusting Thief Spying Over His Neighbor’s Fence”

Via: www.zerohedge.com/news/2014...r’s-fence”

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/23/2014 23:41 -0400

ubmitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man

China’s Reaction: America Is A "Disgusting Thief Spying Over His Neighbor’s Fence"

Only hours ago the US government announced that a Chinese fighter jet had intercepted an American military patrol plane over international waters east of China’s Hainan Island.

A Pentagon spokesman called China’s actions “unsafe and unprofessional”, and blasted such unprovoked aggression.

There was no mention as to why a US surveillance plane was just off the Chinese coast to begin with. They’re just playing the victim… and rather loudly at that.

Needless to say, the Chinese government has a slightly different story. I asked one of our Sovereign Man team members in mainland China to translate the following article from Sina News.

The first part of the article praises the pilot’s skill and boldness, as well as the efficiency and superiority of Chinese aviation technology.

The Jian-11B fighter, in fact, is 100% Chinese. There is no foreign engine or major component.

As for the rest of the article– I present it below with only one comment– it should be obvious to anyone paying attention that the US is no longer the world’s dominant superpower. It’s certainly obvious to the Chinese.

——–
From Sina News: mil.news.sina.com.cn/2014-08...098.html

Stop thief: China rejects the U.S. government calling our aircraft “dangerously close”

Sure enough, it is the American government who stamps its foot first after a similar event.

First the famous anti-China military scholar Bill Gertz played his “danger close” speech for the Washington Free Beacon.

And then the Pentagon also followed and said that it was a “dangerous intercept”. The White House called it “deeply worrying provocation”.

Adm. John Kirby, the Defense Department spokesman, said Washington protested to the Chinese military through diplomatic channels, and called the maneuvers “unsafe and unprofessional.”

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said it was “obviously a deeply concerning provocation and we have communicated directly to the Chinese government our objection to this type of action.”

Such remarks are laughable. As we all know, the United States is the world’s largest hegemonic force and biggest rogue country.

Their various reconnaissance aircraft have been wandering around foreign airspace for decades and watching the military secrets of other countries like a disgusting thief spying over his neighbor’s fence.

However, when the neighbor comes back with a big stick, the thief will turn tail and run away, blaming the neighbor.

When you show people weakness, they will bully you. When you show people strength, they will respect you.

We [the newspaper] believe the Chinese Air Force and Naval aviation should maintain a high level of vigilence and morale in southeast coastal region to prevent the further US action.

America has lost face and does not want to show the world they are sick. They have been lording over other countries for so long, and they will never let it go after they eat this loss.
Sun, August 24, 2014 - 7:40 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment
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