[The Nation (Pak)] TRIPOLI : Libya on Monday denied claims from Cairo that Egyptian nationals were among those killed in a rocket attack on a house in Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... at the weekend.
Egypt's foreign ministry had said a rocket hit a house in the capital on Saturday, killing 23 people, including several Egyptians. 'There are 23 people dead after a Grad rocket fell on a house in Tripoli. Some of them are Egyptians, but we don't know how many,' ministry front man Badr Abdelatty told AFP.
But Libyan interior ministry front man Rami Kaal on Monday dismissed the claim. 'News reported in the press about this incident is completely wrong,' he said. State news agency Lana reported Kaal as saying that one Egyptian was injured in the attack, without specifying whether there were victims of other nationalities. Two weeks of festivities between rival Libyan militias battling for control of Tripoli's international airport have left more than 97 people dead and 400 maimed, the health ministry said.
The ministry's toll was based on casualty reports from eight public hospitals in the capital and its suburbs, and did not include those taken to medical facilities outside the city. Cairo has called on 'all Egyptian nationals in Tripoli and Benghazi to immediately leave and save themselves from this chaotic internal fighting'. The foreign ministry statement said they should seek 'safer areas in Libya or head to the Libya-Tunisia border'. There were an estimated 1.5 million Egyptians in Libya before Qadaffy's overthrow. About two-thirds left during the war but many returned in 2012.
WASHINGTON -- North Korea is stepping up efforts to expand a long-range rocket launch site on the country's west coast to enable it to handle bigger rockets with heavier payloads, and the project could be complete by next year, a U.S. think tank said Tuesday.
The website 38 North, run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, made the analysis in a report, based on satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, where the North successfully launched a long-range rocket in December 2012.
"As of July 2014, North Korea had increased the gantry height to over 50 meters, completed construction of a new wider road onto the pad to carry larger rockets, and was building a rail spur from the existing siding that would also carry larger rockets directly to the launch pad," the report said.
"These modifications could be completed by 2015," it added.
The report also said that the North carried out a series of tests this year on the first stage rocket motor of the KN-08 road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Satellite imagery shows the presence of first stage rocket motors and distressed vegetation along the edges of the flame path, it said.
The vegetation was just so upset...
"The rocket engine test program may wind down by the end of this year although a key consideration will be how successful the tests have been," the report said. "If the engine tests are concluded, the next stage in the development of the KN-08 road-mobile ICBM may be full-scale flight tests of the missile."
Satellite images also show "building activity in the hills in the northwest area of the test center," it said, adding that two domed structures were seen in the photos, though their purpose remains unclear.
The internal layout of the larger structure indicates that it may be an auditorium intended for use as a training center, an area for displaying satellite launch vehicle or missile hardware or a launch control center that might accommodate VIPs, clients or the media, it said.
SEOUL -- Three North Korean MiG-19 fighters have crashed this year, leading to the suspension of flight drills involving the aircraft, South Korea's military sources said Wednesday.
The supersonic MiG-19 aircraft is a Soviet second-generation fighter developed in 1953. Some 400 MiG variants are still in service in the communist North, accounting for about half of its fighters.
The others are those funny Russian biplanes...
"At least three of the MiG-19s crashed during training missions -- one earlier this year, the others last month and earlier this month -- apparently due to their aged fuselages," a source said, declining to be identified.
"In the latest case, the plane crashed right after taking off at the North's air base in Goksan, Pyongan Province, which led Pyongyang to stop drills involving the model," he added.
Other details about the accidents, including casualties, were not available.
It is "far from unusual for North Korea's fighters as well as military choppers to crash," another source said, noting frequent accidents "are partly behind its leader Fat Boy's Kim Jong-un's inspection tours to the air force units this year."
In May, the young leader of the communist country visited the Korean People's Army's Air and Anti-Air Force Unit 447, presumed to be located in South Pyongan Province.
"The series of visits to the air force units or events seems to be aimed at not only countering the annual joint Max Thunder air drills between South Korea and the United States in April, but to encourage airmen demoralized by crash accidents," the source added.
Sooo, the airframes have developed fatigue cracks, but they're trying to find a way to continue to use them. Once frame spars and such start cracking, that's pretty much it. Unless the Chinese have some low price knock off replacement parts. (And then you're at "we're using parts the Chinese didn't want to use".)
Kimmy needs to work on selling them to Iran (Great Martyrdom Opportunity!), and seeing what Vlad has on the markdown sales lot.
Posted by: ed in texas ||
North Korea threatened to launch a nuclear strike on the U.S. on Sunday marking the 61st anniversary of the armistice that halted the Korean War.
Hwang Pyong-so, chief of the North Korean military's politburo, was speaking at a meeting of representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Strategic Force at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang.
If the U.S. threatens the North's "sovereignty and survival with nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and means of nuclear strike," the North will "fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon, the sources of evil," as well as at U.S. "military bases across the Pacific and large U.S. cities," the official Rodong Sinmun quoted him on Monday as saying.
The North is not believed to have the means to make nuclear warheads for missiles.
Meanwhile, the North pointedly snubbed China, its traditional ally and another signatory to the armistice. At previous annual events marking the anniversary, the North habitually hailed its "blood ties" to China while thanking it for joining the Korean War.
Last year, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao visited the North and leader Fat Boy Kim Jong-un paid respects at a cemetery for Chinese soldiers in the North.
But this year, neither senior officials nor the media mentioned China at all. Pudgy Kim visited only a cemetery for North Korean soldiers this year.
The North is clearly peeved at China, not least over an oil embargo that has gone on for most of this year and forced some army officers to cycle to work.
[Iraq Sun] Islamic State, the al-Qaeda spin-off that seized wide swaths of Iraq almost unopposed last month, has released a video telling Iraqi soldiers who may still have some fight in them that they risk being rounded up en masse and executed.
Iraq's army unraveled when the Sunni snuffies staged a lightning advance through northern towns and cities, building on territory their comrades captured earlier in the west of the country, a major OPEC oil producer.
Thousands of soldiers fled, prompting Iraq's top holy man to call on compatriots to take up arms against the radical faction that has declared a medieval-style caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria and aims to march on the capital Baghdad.
Continued on Page 49
Dozens of displaced Gaza families flooded into a UN school early on Tuesday after Israel warned them to leave their homes, struggling to set up camp in a cramped, dirty courtyard.
They sleep next to the missiles...
Hundreds of homeless Gazans were already living there, with this school in the northern town of Jabaliya packed to overflowing.
Rubbish piled up outside the school walls, filling the air with a foul stench, as women used brooms and muddy water to clean up their new accommodation â€" festering classrooms packed with dirty mattresses and bedclothes.
In other words, like much of the rest of Gazoo...
â€śThe army simply told us: You must leave the area now. Those who donâ€™t are entirely responsible for their own lives,â€ť said Ghassan Abed, who fled his home in the nearby town of Beit Lahiya the night before.
The warning was sent by text message and automated voice calls to hundreds of thousands of people living in the northern areas of Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanun and Jabaliya, as well as to those living in Zeitun and Shejaiya to the south and east of Gaza City. Similar messages sent to other districts earlier this month sent more than 200,000 people fleeing for safety, UN figures show.
â€śThe messages said to go to Gaza City, but itâ€™s not that simple â€" weâ€™ve no relatives there and nowhere to stay,â€ť said the 46-year-old who is a Palestinian Authority policeman and father of six.
Abed said some 200 to 300 people from his street alone had simply packed up and left â€" terrified of getting swept up in violence that has killed more than 1,100 people, mostly civilians, and razed entire neighbourhoods across the tiny coastal territory.
â€śAlmost the whole of Beit Lahiya has come here. There are no rooms left. People are having to live in yards,â€ť said Samer Kilani, from Beit Hanun.
With several families to a classroom, the displaced have overflowed in corridors and out into the courtyard, where mothers hang blankets from awnings, trying to create some shade from the scorching sun.
â€śItâ€™s not a clean, healthy environment,â€ť said Abed. â€śThe kids are getting sick from lack of clean drinking water. Thereâ€™s only a small supply, so most people havenâ€™t washed for days.â€ť
And food supplies are becoming short.
Israelâ€™s army has blamed Hamas for civilian deaths, saying its fighters deliberately hide in residential areas, turning them into â€śhuman shieldsâ€ť.
The army admitted shelling a UN school in nearby Beit Hanun on Thursday, in an incident medics said killed 15 people. The military says the school was empty at the time, but Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA insists it was still being used as a shelter by hundreds of people.
UNRWA says it is currently sheltering 182,604 displaced Gazans who are staying in 83 of its schools, which sometimes have to be vacated for security reasons. And given the ongoing fighting, delivering food to the displaced can be â€śparticularly difficultâ€ť, agency spokesman Christopher Gunness said.
[IsraelTimes] An Israeli Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) champion who fights for the American Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to Israel on Sunday to join his IDF unit in the Gazoo Strip.
On Saturday night, Noad "Neo" Lahat, from Alfei Menashe, Israel, faced Steven Siler in a featherweight bout in San Jose, Caliphornia, an impregnable bastion of the Democratic Party,. The next morning, he was on a plane back to his native Israel to volunteer for reserve duty alongside his comrades in the Paratroopers Unit.
Lahat, 30, began to train and compete in the Bay Area after his army service. In March, he fought in a UFC match for the first time, against the Brazilian Godofredo Pepey, losing after he was knocked out by his opponent. His Saturday night match against Siler ended in a victory, but was overshadowed by Lahat's preoccupation with his family in Israel and his comrades in the Gazoo Strip.
After the fight, he announced that he would be going home to fight this time on his own turf.
"It was so hard," he said of the fight in a post-match interview with MMA Weekly. "In the last two months, I didn't even sleep for one full night. I was waking up every hour to check my phone, to see if I got messages, to see if my family called me, if my friends from the army called me."
Admitting that he hadn't slept for more than two hours straight in the weeks before the match, Lahat said he would go to the gym "dead tired," driven only by the knowledge that he had to train for the big fight.
"It was the worst fight camp I ever had, by far," he said. "The worst two months I ever had."
Though Lahat, who has been training since he was five years old, said the gym provided a welcome distraction from the news from home, he added that there was "no doubt" in his mind that he would fly back to Israel after the match to join his reserves unit.
"Just the thought of my grandma she's more than 80 years old and she has 15 seconds to run to get shelter. My grandma. And I'm here, safe? It's messed up, it shouldn't happen, I should be here helping them," he said.
Despite his family's entreaties that he should stay in Caliphornia, an impregnable bastion of the Democratic Party, and make them proud, as soon as his unit was called up to fight in Gazoo, Lahat decided to take the first plane out but not before winning his match against Siler.
Now, he plans to take on Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason,.
"Obviously, I'm in good shape," he quipped in his post-match interview, adding that he had taken extra precautions during the match to avoid sustaining injuries that would prevent him from fighting in Gazoo, such as broken bones.
[Jpost] Use of child labor not stopped by police in Gazoo, where children's "nimble bodies" help dig the tunnels that lead into Israel and Egypt.
Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, used children to help them dig numerous tunnels into Israel and Egypt, a 2012 paper written for the Journal of Paleostine Studies reported.
The paper, titled Gazoo's Tunnel Phenomenon: The Unintended Dynamics of Israel's Siege says that little had been done to stop the phenomenon of child labor during the digging of the tunnels by Hamas in Gazoo.
In December 2011, the paper's author Nicolas Pelham accompanied a police patrol in Gazoo and reported that "nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels, where, much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies."
He continued and said that "at least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas officials."
Given the paper was published in 2012, likely considerably more than "at least 160 children" were killed digging those subway-like tunnels.
Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge 21 days ago, IDF forces have uncovered 31 tunnels leading into Israel.
Lessee. Murderous child labor to build instruments of terror and aggressive war. Guess there'll be a wave of revulsion and criticism from the UN, Human Rights Watch, and sundry nitwits speaking in dramatic tones on NPR. What? OK.
Well then surely the large-scale, official, criminal, treaty- and conscience-violating human trafficking in young people, done for pay by violent criminal cartels, and leading to many deaths, disappearances, and abuses, and conducted by Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras will be savagely condemned and stopped?
It's almost as if the world is, literally, morally upside down now. Not a bit of hyperbole to that statement.
When the Left took the initiative to condemn the West for failing to achieve 'perfection' and the spewing of the lie that 'all cultures are equal', you end up with such moral inversions. The Left exempts itself from the standards of perfection they've demanded of others. One set of rules for me, another set of rules for thee.
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded â€" here and there, now and then â€" are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as â€śbad luck.â€ť - ROBERT HEINLEIN
Three Israeli defense contractors responsible for building the Â"Iron DomeÂ" missile shield currently protecting Israel from a barrage of rocket attacks were compromised by hackers and robbed of huge quantities of sensitive documents pertaining to the shield technology, KrebsOnSecurity has learned.
The never-before publicized intrusions, which occurred between 2011 and 2012, illustrate the continued challenges that defense contractors and other companies face in deterring organized cyber adversaries and preventing the theft of proprietary information.
According to Columbia, Md.-based threat intelligence firm Cyber Engineering Services Inc. (CyberESI), between Oct. 10, 2011 and August 13, 2012, attackers thought to be operating out of China hacked into the corporate networks of three top Israeli defense technology companies, including Elisra Group, Israel Aerospace Industries, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
By tapping into the secret communications infrastructure set up by the hackers, CyberESI determined that the attackers exfiltrated large amounts of data from the three companies. Most of the information was intellectual property pertaining to Arrow III missiles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), ballistic rockets, and other technical documents in the same fields of study.
Joseph Drissel, CyberESIÂ's founder and chief executive, said the nature of the exfiltrated data and the industry that these companies are involved in suggests that the Chinese hackers were looking for information related to IsraelÂ's all-weather air defense system called Iron Dome.
The Israeli government has credited Iron Dome with intercepting approximately one-fifth of the more than 2,000 rockets that Palestinian militants have fired at Israel during the current conflict. The U.S. Congress is currently wrangling over legislation that would send more than $350 million to Israel to further development and deployment of the missile shield technology. If approved, that funding boost would make nearly $1 billion from the United States over five years for Iron Dome production, according to The Washington Post.
Neither Elisra nor Rafael responded to requests for comment about the apparent security breaches. A spokesperson for Israel Aerospace Industries brushed off CyberESIÂ's finding, calling it Â"old news.Â" When pressed to provide links to any media coverage of such a breach, IAI was unable to locate or point to specific stories. The company declined to say whether it had alerted any of its U.S. industry partners about the breach, and it refused to answer any direct questions regarding the incident.
Et cetera, et cetera... shoulda been airgapped.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain ||
[IsraelTimes] It was an invasion of Israel by 13 heavily armed Death Eaters emerging near Kibbutz Sufa from a tunnel Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, dug from Gazoo that helped set off the current IDF ground operation in Gazoo and the night-vision technology used by the IDF detected the movement of the Death Eaters and allowed soldiers to foil the dangerous attack.
Now, that life-saving technology is available to local security officials and even individuals, says the Israeli vision-tech company Opgal. As news of the Hamas terror tunnels spreads, there has been a significant uptick in interest in Opgal's low-cost Android-based night-vision system, said company CEO Amit Mattatia. "While we haven't done a poll of why potential customers are considering buying one of our systems, there has been a definite and significant spike of interest in our technology since news of the thwarted tunnel attacks came out," he told The Times of Israel.
Karmiel-based Opgal's Therm-App mobile device consists of a low-cost night-vision camera mounted on an Android phone. The camera can display high-resolution images on the phone, enabling users to see in the dark about as clearly they would in the daytime. The system is capable of tracking vehicles up to 1,500 meters away, and people at a distance of up to 500 meters. The camera has interchangeable lenses and works in all weather conditions, allowing it to be used in a wide variety of security scenarios, such as in a factory or an outdoor night patrol, said Mattatia.
The device was introduced last month and priced at $1,600, but the price has been cut to $999 in an effort to introduce professionals to the system. Although the price cut is not connected to the war, the company is happy to be making an affordable security system that could be used in kibbutz and moshav villages in the south and elsewhere to enhance security, Mattatia said.
"This is the lowest-priced system of its kind anywhere and in fact is the only night-vision camera designed for use with Android phones, with all the advantages that provides," Mattatia said, noting the ability to record images and videos using the phone, uploading them to a computer for later analysis using other security apps, like face recognition software. The system comes with an SDK that can be used to create apps for security and other purposes.
"As the world's first night vision camera of its kind, Therm-App has received tremendous response from the market," said Mattatia. "We're very proud to be offering a system that can enhance the safety of Israelis in the south, giving them an extra layer of protection from terrorism."
[DAWN] Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Tuesday said Israel was acting like a "rabid dog" and "a wild wolf" in acts that are causing a human catastrophe and which must be resisted.
He accused Israel of committing "genocide" in Gazoo and called on the Islamic world to arm Paleostinians fighting "the Zionist regime".
"A people surrounded in a small place with closed borders, unsure of having water and electricity, this population faces an armed enemy," he said of three weeks of fighting in the Gazoo Strip that has killed more than 1,100 Paleostinians and 53 Israelis.
"The people resist unabated. This is a lesson for all."
Khamenei dismissed talk of a ceasefire in Gazoo, saying it was a ploy by the United States and European states to save Israel and said Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, should be re-armed, rather than disarmed as otherwise they will be "unable to defend themselves".
"The US president issued a fatwa that the resistance is disarmed so that they cannot respond to all those crimes (committed by Israel)," the supreme leader said, referring to a call by Barack Obama If you like your coverage you can keep it... for the "disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarisation of Gazoo".
"We say the opposite. The world and especially the Islamic world should arm ... the Paleostinian people," Khamenei said.
His comments follow rallies held across Iran on Friday in a show of support for Paleostinians and to protest against Israeli military action in Gazoo.
Something to remember the next time kidnapees are released. A taste:
[NYTimes] Kidnapping Europeans for ransom has become a global business for Al Qaeda, bankrolling its operations across the globe.
While European governments deny paying ransoms, an investigation by The New York Times ...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize... found that Al Qaeda and its direct affiliates have taken in at least $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008, of which $66 million was paid just last year.
In news releases and statements, the United States Treasury Department has cited ransom amounts that, taken together, put the total at around $165 million over the same period.
These payments were made almost exclusively by European governments, who funneled the money through a network of proxies, sometimes masking it as development aid, according to interviews conducted for this article with former hostages, negotiators, diplomats and government officials in 10 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The inner workings of the kidnapping business were also revealed in thousands of pages of internal Qaeda documents found by this news hound while on assignment for The News Agency that Dare Not be Named in northern Mali last year.
"Kidnapping for ransom has become today's most significant source of terrorist financing," said David S. Cohen, the Treasury Department's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a 2012 speech. "Each transaction encourages another transaction."
And business is booming: While in 2003 the kidnappers received around $200,000 per hostage, now they are netting up to $10 million, money that the second in command of Al Qaeda's central leadership recently described as accounting for as much as half of his operating revenue.
Recent events in the Ukraine and votes condemning Israel in the UN should signal a reassessment of our relations with the Europeans. Sadly, my sense is they've permitted themselves to be seriously compromised by both economics and demographics.
I just keep coming back to Justinian wasting the resources of the Eastern Roman Empire to rebuild the fallen Western Roman Empire (then under new 'German' management). That left the Eastern Empire with the barely the means to hold out, with a much truncated domain, against the first Muslim onslaught.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.