Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WORLD WAR III: Countdown to Armageddon - Obama Invokes NDAA, Declares the Threat From Iran "A National Emergency"; British Troops Arrive in Syria as Iran Sends 15,000 Elite Guards to Support Assad Regime; U.S. and International Forces Conduct "The Bold Alligator" Drill, Largest Amphibious Exercise in 10 Years; Foreign Media Including Reuters Set Up Bases in Tel Aviv in Preparation for Attack on Iran!

As the Assad regime continues to carry out a ferocious bombardment against the helpless civilians in Syria, foreign troops are quickly gathering on the country's border in what appears to be the initial stage that will ultimately lead towards a wider Middle East conflict, plunging the globe into World War III.

First foreign troops in Syria back Homs rebels.

British and Qatari special operations units are operating with rebel forces under cover in the Syrian city of Homs just 162 kilometers from Damascus, according to debkafile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources. The foreign troops are not engaged in direct combat with the Syrian forces bombarding different parts of Syria's third largest city of 1.2 million. They are tactical advisers, manage rebel communications lines and relay their requests for arms, ammo, fighters and logistical aid to outside suppliers, mostly in Turkey. This site is the first to report the presence of foreign military forces in any of the Syrian uprising's embattled areas.  Our sources report the two foreign contingents have set up four centers of operation - in the northern Homs district of Khaldiya, Bab Amro in the east, and Bab Derib and Rastan in the north. Each district is home to about a quarter of a million people. - Debka.
WATCH: Obama signs Executive Order on Iran.

Iran sending 15,000 elite troops to Syria to fight "rebellion".
A top Iranian military official is activily aiding the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in suppressing popular unrest throughout the country, a top member of the National Syrian Council said on Monday. According to the Syrian official, Kassam Salimani, commander of the Quds Force, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard special forces unit, has arrived in Syria recently and has taken up a spot in the war room which manages army maneuvers against opposition forces. The war room is also reportedly populated by Assad himself, as well as his brother Maher, brother-in-law Assaf Shaukat and cousin Rami Makhlouf, with the Syrian chief of staff's authority reportedly restricted and divided up between other military commanders. The Quds Force includes 15,000 elite soldiers who operated, among other locations, in Iraq during the war, and the specialty of which is engaging in unconventional warfare on foreign soil. Among other duties, the Quds Force is in charge of traning and funding Hezbollah. Salimani's presence in Syria serves as an indication of the kind of battle that Assad is planning against opposition forces, with the Syrian army reportedly planning to wage all out war against the rebel city of Homs. - Haaretz.

WATCH: Residents fear ground attacks on Homs.

As Iran races ahead with uranium enrichment deep underground, the US has launched military exercises 'applicable' to the Strait of Hormuz.
Western experts estimate Iran could assemble a nuclear weapon from six months to one year. The Bold Alligator drill includes 20,000 U.S. forces, plus hundreds of British, Dutch and French troops – as well as liaison officers from Italy, Spain, New Zealand and Australia. The drill includes a beach landing and air assault supported by 25 warships, and is intended to  “to revitalize, refine, and strengthen fundamental amphibious capabilities and reinforce the Navy and Marine Corps role as ‘fighters from the sea.’” U.S. Marines have spent a decade out of their native element in the deserts of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan, but with the Pentagon's restructuring and forward-focus on Asia, the Marines are returning to their roots. Admiral John Harvey, head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, described Bold Alligator as “the largest amphibious exercise conducted by the fleet in the last 10 years.” Bold Alligator began on Monday with its "D-Day" near Camp Lejune and is expected to last ten days. - Israel National News.
The foreign media is preparing an Israeli confrontation with Iran.
Although non-ongoing uncertainty in Israel around the nuclear confrontation with Iran , Globes "has learned that the foreign media feel that the great event - meaning going to happen. Learned that recently hired various agencies, including Agence Reuters , roofs of houses in Tel - Aviv, to prepare for the shooting attack on the city. Also, the world's television networks, more and less significant, senior producers sent to Israel to examine means of Helena, communications infrastructure, and protective measures in favor of big teams will come to Israel to cover the events. Between the agencies considering the deployment of these networks is currently FOX , NBC and CBS networks of American and European and Asian. One senior source said foreign broadcasters Globes ":" It would be illogical not to prepare for it, when we hear your defense minister expressed constantly on. This assessment is similar to that which was here before the days of the Gulf War, the early '90s. " - Globes. [Translated].
WATCH:  Israel Defense Forces prepares children for the coming war.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Tracking Developments at the Canary Islands - Scientists Monitoring the Birth of an Underwater Volcano off the Coast of El Hierro!

The formation of an underwater volcano off the coast of El Hierro, the southern-most Canary Island, offers scientists a unique opportunity to study this process. But for the people of this tiny scrap of Spanish territory, whose livelihood depends on fishing and tourism, it is a disaster.

Seawater coloured by lava and gas emissions from the eruption of an
underwater volcano off the coast of Hierro Island.
It all began in July 2011 when Spain's National Geographical Institute (IGN) noted a sudden increase in seismic activity. Then in October, an eruption occurred 2.4km from the coast at a depth of 300 metres, out to sea from La Restinga, at the island's southern tip. "It is one of the few opportunities to monitor the birth of a volcano, before it even starts erupting," says Maria-José Jurado, a geologist at Spain's National Research Council.

But the repercussions for residents are far from good. After being evacuated in October, they are now in a state of "socioeconomic collapse", says a Socialist (PSOE) member of parliament. "Since the evacuation ... we have been closed," says Sonia Lorenzo, owner of the local sub-aqua club. "And when the eruption finally stops we will have to wait several months before the wildlife reappears and we can resume diving." The waters off La Restinga attract visitors eager to see grouper, parrot and bird fish, moray eel and barracuda, as well as admiring the black coral and volcanic rock.

Authorities say fish have vanished from the area due to the release of sulphur and carbon dioxide, and the lack of oxygen. Fishing boats are staying in port, and visitors have vanished. Local B&Bs have closed and restaurants are deserted. In just over three months the crater has spewed out almost 145m cubic metres of volcanic matter, and the top of the cone is now only 130m below the surface. Scientists say the eruption is pumping nutrients into the environment, so sub-aquatic wildlife will gain the upper hand once the eruption stops. "The decline in seismic activity suggests that the volcano may have reached a certain level of maturity," says Jurado. "But there is no saying whether the eruption will stop tomorrow or in several years' time." - Guardian.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Earthquakes Continue in Southwest Iceland!

A series of minor earthquakes which hit off Reykjanes in southwest Iceland last night and appeared to have subsided around 10 am picked up intensity and continued until 2 pm. Currently, there is no notable seismic activity in the area.

Most of the quakes were between two and three points on the Richter scale, but a few exceeded three points, reports. According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office the series of earthquakes most likely occurred in connections with movements in the magma, possibly a magma intrusion. Such tremors are very common off Reykjanes and some of them may lead to volcanic eruptions. However, there are no indications that an eruption will follow the most recent series of earthquakes. - Iceland Review.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: 'Extinct' Seabird Rediscovered in Japan's Ogasawara Islands!

A rare species of seabird once considered extinct has been found in Japan's Ogasawara Islands, researchers have announced.

A group of researchers from the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, and other entities announced on Feb. 7 that a Bryan's shearwater was found in the Ogasawara Islands, about 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo. The 25-30-centimeter-long bird, believed extinct since it was last spotted on Midway Island near Hawaii in the early 1990s, was last captured on the same island in 1963. It is the first time in 60 years that a bird species once thought to have become extinct has been found since the rediscovery of albatross.

The research team has proposed giving the rediscovered shearwater a Japanese name, "Ogasawara Hime-mizunagidori," because the bird was mostly seen on the Ogasawara Islands, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. The Ministry of the Environment has begun preparations to have the species added to the red list of threatened species as early as fiscal 2012. Birds resembling Bryan's shearwaters have been found in the Ogasawara island chain since 1997, with one on Hahajima Island in 1997, one on Chichijima Island in 2005, three on an uninhabited island in 2006 and one on another uninhabited island in May 2011. These birds were tentatively named "Hime-mizunagidori" and were preserved as specimens.

The research team examined DNA samples from the six birds and determined that all of them are Bryan's shearwaters. "It is believed that several hundred shearwaters inhabit Ogasawara, including uninhabited islands where some of them were found last year. I assume their concrete rediscovery was delayed because of the rough seas during the winter -- thought to be their breeding season -- have kept researchers away from the area," said Kazuto Kawakami, chief researcher at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute. The research group will announce their finding in Hawaii on February 8. - MDN.

CELESTIAL CONVERGENCE: Monumental Solar System Changes - NASA Spacecraft Captures Huge Avalanche Near Mars' North Pole!

A NASA spacecraft has captured an avalanche of fine ice and dust thundering over a cliff near Mars's north pole.

It's not the first avalanche captured by the HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter - NASA first detected the phenomenon in 2008, believed to be caused by a thin 'crust' of frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) which forms during the Martian winter.

The HiRISE high resolution camera took the amazing photograph at 85 degrees north on the planet. The HiRISE camera is one of several hi-tech instruments on board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It's the largest camera ever carried into deep space. NASA's ground team says that the events are detectable by a cloud of fine material that erupts when avalanches collapse down slopes on the planet.

Some avalanches on Mars are caused by meteorite impacts, but others are thought to be the result of 'seasons' on the planet, which has winters, just like Earth. Planetary scientist Ingrid Daubar Spitale of the University of Arizona, who first noticed the avalanches in photos taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter said, 'It's great to see something so dynamic on Mars. A lot of what we see there hasn't changed for millions of years.' - Daily Mail.

DELUGE: Widespread Flooding Wrecks Havoc in Peru!

Floodwaters ruined crops and spilled into homes on Monday, as waters from the Chili River in Arequipa overflowed their banks in various parts of Peru.

Two weeks ago, eleven people died as flooding ravaged northern Peru.

Peru's Civil Defense office says on Monday that intense flooding across the North of the country has killed 11 people and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Experts at the Peruvian Meteorological and Hydrological Service in Lima are monitoring the data.             

[Teresa Garcia, Meteorologist]:
"The rainfall has caused the water level to rise. Where it has risen substantially, lots of communities have been affected. The increase in water levels has caused floods and overflowing in the area."             

Local authorities say almost 300 houses are destroyed, with more than 700 left uninhabitable.             

The official report estimates that some 30 thousand people across the country have been affected by the flooding to different degrees.             

Humanitarian aid has been gathered for distribution by local authorities, but as the rain continues to fall, there is a concern that more damage will follow. - NDTV.

WATCH: Floods hit Peru.

OUTBREAK: Freezing Cold Weather Causes Highly Contagious Winter Vomiting Bug to Spread Across Britain - 34 Hospitals Reported Outbreaks of Noruvirus Over Past Two Weeks!

The freezing weather has caused a national outbreak of the winter vomiting bug, it has emerged.

Health experts are worried that outbreaks of noruvirus, which causes violent sickness and diarrohea, could affect many more people if the icy conditions persist. Over the past fortnight, there have been reports of noruvirus at 34 hospitals, of which 19 half have been confirmed as the bug. The freezing weather has caused a national outbreak of the winter vomiting bug, it has emerged. Health experts are worried that outbreaks of noruvirus, which causes violent sickness and diarrohea, could affect many more people if the icy conditions persist. Over the past fortnight, there have been reports of noruvirus at 34 hospitals, of which 19 half have been confirmed as the bug.

'The numbers this year are so far a little lower than normal - but this could change in the weeks ahead if the icy conditions continue.' There have been a worrying 581 cases reported since the start of October, with 392 (67 per cent) leading to ward closures. Ms Brown said: 'The current figures are well within seasonal norms and actually down on the average between 2006 and 2010.' But with the chilly weather forecast to stay in place until the end of the month, people have been warned to be careful, as the bug can spread rapidly. Experts advised people to wash hands thoroughly and regularly, particularly after using the toilet and before eating. Noruvirus can be fatal, especially if contracted by those who are already unwell, so those who are sick should not visit friends and relatives in hospitals and care homes.

Most of the outbreaks have been in the North East and South West, followed by the West Midlands, where there were six. The South East has had four outbreaks, while there were three in the East Midlands, London and the North west and one in Yorkshire and Humberside. Last winter there were 1,164 outbreaks, of which 886 (76 per cent) led to ward closures and 716 (62 per cent) were laboratory confirmed as norovirus. The Met Office has warned Britain to brace itself for the coldest night of the winter so far tonight as temperatures threaten to plunge as low a -13C. If the mercury does dip that low, it would mean the coldest thermometer readings since the frost-bitten nightmare of December 2010. - Daily Mail.

Another cruise ship has been ordered back to port after the second consecutive outbreak of stomach illness the norovirus hit Princess Cruises, resulting in more than 3,000 passengers having their dream vacations cut short. The ship was ordered back to Port Everglades on Tuesday for special cleansing, ending its voyage two days early. Passengers will miss port calls in Aruba and Curacao. It is the second outbreak to hit a Princess ship in recent days and the third to hit the cruise ship industry in the last week. The vessel Ruby Princess sailed on Sunday from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades after being decontaminated. - Daily Mail.

MONSTER FROM THE DEEP: Lagarfljót's Worm - Amateur Footage Shows "Giant Serpent", Is This Iceland's Loch Ness Monster?!

Amateur footage has been published on the Internet purporting to show Iceland's equivalent to Scotland's Loch Ness Monster. The legendary monster is known as Lagarfljótsormurinn.

Does this footage prove the existence of Lagarfljót's Worm? Amateur cameraman
Hjörtur Kjerúlf captured the scene at the glacial river Jökulsá í Fljótsdal, east Iceland.
Iceland's equivalent to the Loch Ness monster has apparently been pictured on footage taken by an amateur cameraman. The video, taken by Hjörtur Kjerúlf at the glacial river Jökulsá í Fljótsdal, east Iceland, appears to show the serpent-like monster known as Lagarfljótsormurinn, or Lagarfljót's Worm. Belief in the existence of the worm, which is said to reside in the lake Lagarfljót, can be sourced back to at least 1345. Sightings of the beast are considered a bad omen. Legends say the monster began life as a tiny worm which a girl placed on a ring of gold to make the it grow, according to Iceland Review Online.  

But when the owner of the ring returned she found that instead of making the gold grow, the worm had grown into a giant snake. In her terror, she flung both into lake Lagarfljót, where the worm continued to grow and eventually became a fearsome dragon. Lagarfljót, is a freshwater, below-sea-level, glacial-fed lake which has very poor visibility as a result of siltation. The worm is believed to be at least 91m (300ft) long, with many humps. It has sometimes been reported outside the water, lying coiled up or slithering into the trees. Sometimes it is said to be as long as the lake itself, 30km (19 miles). Kjerúlf's video was first shown by the Icelandic national broadcaster, RÚV. Sceptics say it could show a torn fishing net which blew into the river and froze. As the ice thawed, it is thought, the net may have come loose and the 'worm' wound its way through the water. - Daily Mail.
WATCH: Iceland's Loch Ness Monster?

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Massive Whale Shark Reeled Into Harbor in Karachi, Pakistan - Giant 40-Foot Fish Found Unconscious in the Arabian Sea!

A 40-foot whale shark was brought into harbor in Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday, Feb. 7. after reportedly being found unconscious in the Arabian Sea about 10 days ago, the Express Tribune reports.

Fishermen used several cranes to lift the whale shark to dry land, where a crowd of onlookers gathered to see the massive creature. The whale shark carcass was later sold for 1.7 million rupees (nearly $19,000), ABC News reports. After a 2005 assessment, the International Union for Conversation of Nature and Natural Resources declared the global whale shark population was vulnerable, MSNBC observes. For many years, whale sharks have been highly sought after by harpoon fisheries in Southeast Asia, where people primarily used the fish for meat and oil. However, it is now illegal to hunt whale sharks in several countries, including India and the Philippines.
Habitat damage has proven to be another threat to the whale shark population, according to the Whale Shark Project, a conservation awareness group. Pollution and overfishing near reefs often leads to a reduced available food supply for the creatures. In an effort to help protect the animals, some businesses have turned to ecotourism to educate people about the sharks and their environment. However, some tourists said expeditions often felt more "commercial" than educational, according to a VERA Files report. Whale sharks are the world's largest fish, often growing to 40 feet or greater in length, National Geographic explains.

Typically found swimming in warm, tropical waters, whale sharks are generally docile creatures. Nevertheless, longtime fisherman Allan Amanse warns that getting too close to whale sharks might not be a good idea. "Whale sharks are really amazing animals. They are very gentle. But people should remember that they are wildlife animals and feeding them could pose more harm than good," Amanse is quoted as saying in a VERA Files article. - Huffington Post.

WATCH: Cranes struggle to 'fish' out dead shark from Karachi sea.

HIGH STRANGENESS: Extremely Weird and Unusual Cloud Formation Descends on Panama City Beach, Florida?!

Throughout the year, amazing photos of natural occurrences make their way to the Internet and even sometimes, make the headlines. That's the case for a recent photo of low-lying clouds.

A man flying a helicopter snapped the latest phenomenal photo making its rounds. The amazing shot shows low-lying clouds hugging buildings in a Panama City beach.

Dr. Greg Forbes of gave a detailed description of the clouds in a recent report, saying, "You see the clouds forming off shore, as the winds from south to north push them toward and then up over the high rises as the air rises and reaches its crest."

"And then sinks back down and lowers the relative humidity and the clouds dissipate," Forbes of explained.

The picture was snapped by a pilot named JR Hott who owns Panhandle Helicopter and later posted it to Facebook.

"I took and I thought it was really cool, so I put it on Facebook," Hott said, reported the Huffington Post. "We see it a few times a year, and it can happen in a minute."  - Long Island Press.

WATCH: Strange clouds form over Florida beach.