Monday, December 3, 2012

MASS UFO SIGHTINGS: The Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - The Latest UFO Sightings And Aerial Anomalies Around the World?!

December 03, 2012 - WORLDWIDE UFOs - Here are several of the latest unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen recently across the globe.

Worldwide - 1st to the 30th of November, 2012.

Santiago, Chile - 26th of November, 2012.

Florida, United States - 27th of November, 2012.

Mexico - 27th of November, 2012.

Surprise, Arizona, United States - 30th of November, 2012.

Santiago, Chile - 30th of November, 2012.

London, United Kingdom - 2nd of December, 2012.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Widespread Reports of Spectacular Multi-Colored Fireballs in the Skies Over the Earth!

December 03, 2012 - SKY - Here are several initial eye-witness reports of spectacular multi-colored fireballs from across the globe courtesy of the Lunar Meteor Hunters.


28 November 2012 - Benjamin Lipiecki, Brighton, Massachusetts, USA 2340.
Half a second duration, maybe a whole second. Saw it when looking Northeast as it traveled right to left at a very steep angel. The fireball started blue, then increased in size and changed to red. I was outside for several more minutes and did not hear any sound. Bright enough to see VERY clearly in a major urban area. The fireball at least appeared larger than the moon. Did not see any fragmentation, but the fireball did get very large and looked like it exploded or burnt out. Was unlike anything I've ever seen or expected to see in the night sky. At first I thought I must have been seeing things, but a friend of mine across town saw it too, and three or four people on twitter seem to also have seen it.
28 November 2012 - Rick Shaffer, Reading, MA, USA 23:40:00.
1-2 seconds duration - East-Northeast. Light green color, no sound. Bright as the moon, moving in opposite direction I was travelling in. It appeared very large and close.
28 November 2012 - Christopher Gillis, WOBURN, MA 2340 hrs.
2-3 seconds duration. I saw it in the Northeast sky. I was facing East in my backyard with no lights around, looking slightly downward, and this ENORMOUS blue/white streak fell earthward in a distinct arc while trailing white evanescent particles. Easily as bright as the full moon. There was fragmentation and the streak took up a third of the sky lengthwise. The ball of this object was the same size as the full moon, and at least as bright. I have seen dozens of meteorites in my life, and this was by far the biggest. Please contact me by email or phone, because this should be a major event. Hundreds of people in New England must have seen it.

29 November 2012 - Brendan, Snellville, GA 22:48 EST.
4 seconds duration - Observed falling almost straight down in the western sky. White colour. 10x brighter than Venus. It appeared to be like a bright oval, wobbling as it fell.
29 November 2012 - Teresa Cronon, Calhoun, GA 22:45 EST.
4 seconds duration - Facing South. It was traveling SE. Bright white w/ red fire following. Bright as the moon. It was the largest and closest meteor or fire ball that I have ever seen.
Bill Cooke of NASA confirms:
"Confirm bright event on November 30 at 03:35:50 UTC (November 29, 22:35:50 EST).Confirm slow and low event, seen in 4 cameras. Trajectory solution is as follows:

Start location: 86.267 W, 33.959 N at an altitude of 75.0 km
End location: 86.178 W, 33.757 N at an altitude of 37.5 km
Initial speed of 16.0 +/- 0.7 km/s
Decelerated to 9.2 km/s


29 November 2012 - Lukasz, RACIBORZ, POLAND 17:50:00.
6 seconds duration. I was facing SSE, it went from left to right (the meteor bearing was SW). There was no sound, it was bright white, with some green and a little blue. It looked like car headlights from about 200m away. 3-4 fragments fell off during its flight. It looked like it was going pretty slow (though I've never seen a meteor before). Its flight path was very flat, almost horizontal. It flew for 6 seconds and then suddenly disappeared (maybe hidden behind clouds).
The meteor over Hungary on 29 November 2012 has been categorized as a bolide by several local websites, with around 15 people reporting it HERE.

The bolide was seen in a central part of Hungary, over an area marked by Ocsa, Tokol, Oroshaza, Nyiregyhaza, Budapest, Jaszapati, Jaszbereny. All witnesses describe fragmentation into 3-4 parts. The color was reported as bright white (xenon), with some green and blue. A report says its size was equivalent to the moon. Weather conditions at this time included a full moon and clear sky in the region. The most popular Hungarian news site also reported the event HERE.

WATCH: Fireball over Hungary.


30 November 2012 - Joanne Nabiac, NSW, Australia 10.46pm.
4 seconds duration - Southwest direction. Bright green and small explosion noise. Same brightness as the moon. Super fast, looked like it had a tail but it was the glow behind it. I have never seen anything like this. The "poof" noise sounded far, far away.
30 November 2012 - Jacquelyn Linnett, SURFERS PARADISE, GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA. approx. 22.20AEST.
Approx.1 second duration - I was looking from the coastline, facing West. Seen from overhead high in sky, approx 45 degree azimuth, trajectory N to low SSW, 10 degree azimuth. Lime green [glow stick green colour], very bright [firework bright, but definitely not a firework, trajectory like a meteor]. No fragments seen. Round shape, no tail noticed, fast moving.
"LOUD HUM," AND "LIGHTS" OVER NARRAGANSETT BAY - 04th of December, 2012.


349792_GREAT Orion Telescopes Under $200
Rhode Island and Coast Guard officials say they haven't found anything after receiving reports about an explosion in Narragansett Bay. People on both sides of the bay in Barrington and Warwick and as far away as Somerset, Mass., reported hearing what sounded like an explosion at about 11:30 p.m. Monday. Some also reported seeing a light. Area police and firefighters tried to find the source of the noise and light during land and water searches, but officials say nothing was found.

Coast Guard crews and local officials also searched Monday night for a boat reported to be in distress, but didn't find anything. TV stations reported receiving reports of an explosion followed by a loud hum. A Coast Guard spokesman says the Conimicut lighthouse near Warwick emits a hum pattern. - South Coast Today.

UNUSUAL OBJECT IN THE SKY OVER MALTA - 04th of December, 2012.

Several readers contacted our website this evening to report an unusual object, possibly a comet, crossing low in the night sky. Edward Zammit, who lives in Mellieha, said that at about 8.45 he saw a comet in the sky crossing from north to the west of Malta. "It wasn't a shooting star, I saw it passing for about 15 seconds until is was hidden by nearby building," he said. Markatia Bugeja reported that she had just seen 'the most wonderful asteroid passing over Malta at enormous speed.' "I think it fell into the sea. It was a huge ball of fire with a long tail, it was amazing," she said, hoping that somebody had grabbed a picture. Robert Bonello, said he had seen what appeared to be a 'mega shooting star or meteorite with a yellow tail behind it...extremely fast, beautiful but scary. He asked if anyone could give an explanation. Christopher Azzopardi said he had seen a ball of fire flying overhead. He said he was not sure whether it was a meteor but it was big and fast. Marianna Petropoljac said she was in Sliema when she saw an object at about 9.05. "It appeared from the side of the tower and headed towards Valletta. We live on the 6 th floor and it looked quite large, like a bright reddish ball with a very short and thin tail. After about 15-20 sec it disappeared into the sky." A reader also reported sighting the unusual object from Pembroke. The police confirmed that they had received similar reports but had no further information. No unusual aircraft movements were reported. - Times of Malta.

SHADOW WARS: The Thin Red Line - President Obama Warns Assad Over Chemical Weapons in Syria!

December 03, 2012 - UNITED STATES - President Obama warned Syria on Monday that deploying chemical weapons is “totally unacceptable,” after what U.S. officials said were new intelligence reports that the Damascus government is preparing such munitions for possible use.  Obama told the government of President Bashar al-Assad that “there will be consequences, and you will be held accountable” if it used any part of its stockpile of chemical weapons, including sarin gas, the deadly nerve agent.

A U.S. intelligence official said “we have pretty good visibility” into Syria’s depots, and a second U.S. official said intelligence gathered in recent days has raised alarms. The second official said it was unclear whether the Assad government planned to move beyond the preparation stage to deploying the weapons.  After months of dogged, siegelike fighting, rebel forces have begun to make significant advances in Syria, raising questions about Assad’s durability and desperation.  The Obama administration has resisted any direct intervention in the conflict, but hard evidence that Syria had weaponized its chemical stocks could trigger the use of U.S. troops to secure the materials.

A senior American official, who like other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss contingency plans and intelligence, said some U.S. forces have begun to run drills so they are ready to seize chemical weapons in Syria if ordered.  Syria’s Foreign Ministry said the government planned no such escalation of the 20-month-old civil war. “Syria has stressed repeatedly that it will not use these types of weapons, if they were available, under any circumstances against its people,” the ministry said in a statement.  The White House had previously warned Syria about the use of chemical weapons, but Monday brought fresh statements from senior U.S. officials, beginning with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a visit to Prague.  “This is a red line for the United States,” Clinton said. “I'm not going to telegraph in any specifics what we would do in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people. But suffice to say we are certainly planning to take action.”  - Washington Post.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Russian Far East Holds Seismic Hazards That Could Threaten the Pacific Basin!

December 03, 2012 - RUSSIA - For decades, a source of powerful earthquakes and volcanic activity on the Pacific Rim was shrouded in secrecy, as the Soviet government kept outsiders away from what is now referred to as the Russian Far East. But research in the last 20 years has shown that the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kuril Islands are a seismic and volcanic hotbed, with a potential to trigger tsunamis that pose a risk to the rest of the Pacific Basin. The 2009 eruption of Sarychev Peak volcano in the Kuril Islands was captured in this photograph from the International Space Station.

The 2009 eruption of Sarychev Peak volcano in the Kuril Islands was captured in this photograph
from the International Space Station. © NASA.
A magnitude 9 earthquake in that region in 1952 caused significant damage elsewhere on the Pacific Rim, and even less-powerful quakes have had effects throughout the Pacific Basin. "There's not a large population in the Russian Far East, but it's obviously important to the people who live there. Thousands of people were killed in tsunamis because of the earthquake in 1952. And tsunamis don't stay home," said Jody Bourgeois, a University of Washington professor of Earth and space sciences. Bourgeois will discuss the seismic and volcanic threats in the Kamchatka-Kurils region Monday (Dec. 3) during the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. Earthquakes greater than magnitude 8 struck the central Kurils in 2006 and 2007, and both produced large local tsunamis, up to about 50 feet. Though the tsunamis that crossed the Pacific were much smaller, the one from the 2006 quake did more than $10 million in damage at Crescent City, Calif. In 2009, Sarychev Peak in the Kurils erupted spectacularly, disrupting air traffic over the North Pacific. Clearly, determining the frequency of such events is important to many people over a broad area, Bourgeois said. "Let's say you decide to build a nuclear power plant in Crescent City. You have to consider local events, but you also have to consider non-local events, worst-case scenarios, which includes tsunamis coming across the Pacific," she said. But that is only possible by understanding the nature of the hazards, and the historic record for earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions in Kamchatka and the Kurils is relatively short. In addition, because the region was closed off from much of the world for decades, much of the information has started becoming available only recently.

Much has been learned in the last 10 years in the examination of tsunami deposits and other evidence of prehistoric events, Bourgeois said, but more field work in the Kamchatka-Kurils subduction zone is required to get a clearer picture. "For hazard analysis, you should just assume that a subduction zone can produce a magnitude 9 earthquake," she said. So it is important to "pay attention to the prehistoric record" to know where, and how often, such major events occur. Bourgeois noted that in the last 25 years research in the Cascadia subduction zone off the coast of Washington, Oregon, northern California and British Columbia has demonstrated that the historic record does not provide a good characterization of the hazard. It was once assumed the risks in the Northwest were small, but the research has shown that, before there were any written records, Cascadia produced at least one magnitude 9 earthquake and a tsunami that struck Japan. Alaska's Aleutian Islands and the Komandorsky Islands, an extension of the Aleutians controlled by Russia, are another source of seismic and volcanic activity that need to be evaluated for their potential risk beyond what is known from the historical record. "The Aleutians are under-studied," Bourgeois said. "The work in the Russian Far East is kind of a template for the Aleutians." Ideally, a dedicated boat could ferry researchers to a number of islands in the Aleutian chain, similar to how Bourgeois and other scientists from the United States, Japan and Russia have carried out a detailed research project in the Kuril Islands in the last decade. "The problem is that during the (research) field season, boats are commonly in demand for fishing," she said. - University of Washington.

EXTREME WEATHER: Severe Drought Ongoing in the America Southeast!

December 03, 2012 - UNITED STATES - High pressure centered off the Carolina coastline will continue to keep the Southeast sunny, mild and dry through the weekend and into next week. Unfortunately, the pattern bringing this nice and enjoyable weather is not helping the ongoing drought across the region. While any rain would be welcome in the abnormally dry and drought areas of Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas, significant rainfall does not appear to be on the way in the near future.

Image courtesy of the U.S. Drought Monitor.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, "rainfall over the past two months has totaled less than 50 percent of normal (locally less than 25 percent of normal) from northern Florida and southern Alabama northeastward across much of Georgia into central portions of the Carolinas".  In fact, much of the area from Alabama to the central Carolinas has been in a significant deficit of rainfall since the beginning of September. The chart below shows just how dry it has been for a few select cities in the Southeast since the beginning of September.

Chart shows precipitation stats during the period from Sept. 1, 2012 through Nov. 30, 2012.
In the coming days which will take us through the weekend and into next week, several disturbances in the jet stream will pass through well to the north. Each of these storms will drag a weak cold front into the Southeast; however, it appears that each front will lose strength and moisture as it nears the region.  While some locations will have a little rainfall from these spotty storms, they will not be enough to put any significant dent in the ongoing drought.  Looking further into the misty distant future,'s winter forecast may give some hope to wetness for the Southeast.  The AccuWeather Long-Range Team is expecting the southern branch of the jet stream to be active at times this winter. The result of an active southern jet means that the region could be inline for several bouts of healthy rainfall. Any significant rain or snowfall could help put a dent in the drought conditions. - Accuweather.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Deadly Mysterious Bacteria "Superbug" Spreads Across America - CRE Kills 40 Percent of its Victims, Drug-Resistant, and it Can't be Stopped!

December 03, 2012 - UNITED STATES - The doctors tried one antibiotic after another, racing to stop the infection as it tore through the man’s body, but nothing worked. In a matter of days after the middle-aged patient arrived at University of Virginia Medical Center, the stubborn bacteria in his blood had fought off even what doctors consider “drugs of last resort.” “It was very alarming; it was the first time we’d seen that kind of resistance,” says Amy Mathers, one of the hospital’s infectious disease specialists.

University of Virginia Medical Center infectious disease specialist Dr. Amy Mathers was alarmed when a drug-resistant bacteria hit the hospital four years ago. At least seven patients died. Image: Gannett.
“We didn’t know what to offer the patient.” The man died three months later, but the bacteria wasn’t done. In the months that followed, it struck again and again in the same hospital, in various forms, as doctors raced to decipher the secret to its spread. The superbug that hit UVA four years ago -- and remains a threat -- belongs to a once-obscure family of drug-resistant bacteria that has stalked U.S. hospitals and nursing homes for over a decade. Now, it’s attacking in hundreds of those institutions, a USA TODAY examination shows, and it’s a fight the medical community is not positioned to win.

The bacteria, known as Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, are named for their ability to fight off carbapenem antibiotics -- the last line of defense in the medical community’s toolbox. And so far, they’ve emerged almost exclusively in health care facilities, picking off the weakest of patients. USA TODAY’s research shows there have been thousands of CRE cases throughout the country in recent years -- they show up as everything from pneumonia to intestinal and urinary tract infections. Yet even larger outbreaks like the UVA episode, in which seven patients died, have received little or no national attention until now. The bacteria’s ability to defeat even the most potent antibiotics has conjured fears of illnesses that can’t be stopped. Death rates among patients with CRE infections can be about 40 percent, far worse than other, better-known health care infections such as MRSA or C-Diff, which have plagued hospitals and nursing homes for decades. And there are growing concerns that CRE could make its way beyond health facilities and into the general community. - The North Western.

SHADOW WARS: Escalating Towards World War III: Iran Claims Seizure of U.S. Drone Over Persian Gulf!

December 03, 2012 - IRAN - Tehran has claimed it captured a US spy drone in the Persian Gulf after the unmanned aircraft entered Iranian airspace, Iran’s Press TV reported. The drone was identified as a US-made ScanEagle.

Insitu's ScanEagle, an autonomous aircraft system (AFP Photo / Jon Watson).
The drone was allegedly gathering intelligence on Iran, and was detected after flying over the Persian Gulf for the past two days. The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps Navy captured the drone after the aircraft violated Iranian airspace, naval chief Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said. "Such drones are usually sent [on a] mission from large warships," Fadavi told Fars news agency. The ScanEagle is manufactured by Boeing, and is four feet long with a 10-foot (3-meter) wingspan. The US has reportedly increased its number of spy drone missions into Iran over the past two months on concerns over Iran’s alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, the Wall Street Journal said.

The US has stepped up its use of state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) capable of recording multiple media formats from thousands of feet in the air. In a November 19 letter sent from Tehran and made available to the Journal, Iranian leaders appealed to the United Nations to complain about Washington’s drone spying. Amid these concerns, a US drone was detected near the Iranian city of Bushehr, and was tailed by Iranian fighter jets who attempted to shoot down the aircraft. And 11 months earlier, a spy drone operated by the US was intercepted mid-flight by Iran and grounded. Iranian engineers then allegedly dismantled and reverse-engineered the UAV. Iran later said that the drone was top-secret and equipped with stealth technology, and that Tehran had begun building its own version. - RT.

WATCH: Who's Lying - US denies Iran captured ScanEagle drone over Gulf?

STORM ALERT: New Storm Forecast to Slam Areas From Northern California to British Columbia!

December 03, 2012 - UNITED STATES - The latest in a long line of storms will slam areas from northern California to British Columbia Monday night into Tuesday with rain, snow and wind.  The heaviest rain will fall over northern coastal California to southern coastal Oregon once again, where local rainfall from this storm alone will reach between 4 and 8 inches.  The combination of this rain and prior rainfall over the past week will lead to new rounds of flash and urban flooding, mudslides, erosion and stream flooding.

According to Meteorologist Andy Mussoline, "Farther north, the rain will be more of a nuisance in the major cities of Seattle and Portland." The heaviest rain will also avoid San Francisco and Sacramento with this storm. Rainfall has been more gradual (on the order of 3 to 4 inches) in Seattle and Portland, when compared to areas in northern California (over a foot of rain) since the last weekend of November.  According to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark, "Snow levels will be very high over the northern Sierra Nevada and Cascades, generally above the passes with this storm." Farther north, the Coast Mountains in southern British Columbia will be buried with up to 60 centimeters (2 feet) of fresh snow. 

According to Canada Weather Expert Brett Anderson, "At Whistler/Blackcomb Ski Resort, B.C., nearly 5 feet of snow has already fallen since Monday, Nov. 25, 2012."  Rounds of rain and snow will continue in the Northwest into Wednesday. Snow levels will fall during the day Wednesday with accumulating snow likely at pass levels during the middle of the week.  Winds will be a concern throughout the coastal Northwest until the storm's cold front swings through later Tuesday. Most gusts originating from the south will range between 40 to 60 mph along much of the coast from northern California to southern British Columbia, including the Cascades and northern Sierra Nevada. However, peak gusts can reach as high as 80 mph on the immediate coast, ridges and gaps in the mountains.  Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani sums of the storms thus far along in "Intense Winds, Feet of Rain, Snow Slam West." - Accuweather.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Wombats in Australia Starving to Death - Yet Another Species Going Extinct!

December 03, 2012 - AUSTRALIA - While Australia's northern hairy-nosed wombat may be one of the world's most endangered mammals, its southern cousin has, by comparison, thrived. But now a food shortage - and an invasion of toxic plants - has killed thousands of southern wombats, prompting fears of a local extinction.  Nicknamed the "bulldozer of the bush" because of its stocky build and ability to survive in an arid landscape, the southern hairy-nosed wombat is in a parlous state in the Murrayland region of South Australia, one of its main population areas. Many animals are emaciated, and have also lost their coats, making them susceptible to skin diseases and sunburn.

Brigitte Stevens, who runs the Wombat Awareness Organisation, has been conducting food drops in the area. "We're up there four or five times a week, and we see hundreds of dead wombats every time," she said. "There's just nothing for them to eat. They're literally starving to death."  The principal cause, according to animal welfare groups and veterinary scientists, is that the native grasses which are the wombats' staple food have been pushed out by exotic plants such as onion and potato weed. The situation, created by poor land management, has been exacerbated by two years of above average rainfall during which the weeds have flourished. Not only do the weeds provide scant nutrition, but many of them are toxic and can cause liver disease.  Lucy Woolford, a veterinary pathologist at the University of Adelaide, says a number of young wombats are dying of liver failure. "But the main problem is nutritional stress, caused by severe habitat degradation. Over the last two years, we've seen far more sick and emaciated wombats than previously." 

One of three species of wombat - the third is the common wombat - the southern variety is found in the grassy plains and open woodland of southern Australia, particularly near the coast. They live mainly underground, in burrows, on farming properties that have been over-grazed by sheep and cattle in the past and recently de-stocked. "That has led to an imbalance in the eco-system, with the loss of native plants and overgrowth of weeds," Dr Woolford said. "The wombats are also having to compete with introduced rabbits and hares."  The southern hairy-nosed wombat is still well off, however, compared with the northern species, which crashed to a low of just 35 individuals in the 1980s. Intensive conservation efforts - including IVF techniques to boost their fertility and building a predator-proof fence around their sole remaining colony, in central Queensland - have boosted their numbers to 138. But the species still remains more endangered than the giant panda and Sumatran tiger.  As well as delivering food parcels, Ms Stevens and a fellow volunteer have been rescuing sick and malnourished wombats and taking them to their care and rehabilitation centre in the Adelaide Hills.

There the animals sleep in cots, beneath feather duvets, and are fed pureed sweet potato from a bottle.  Recently, Ms Stevens came across an adult female in a pitiful state. "She was just skin and bone, and she literally collapsed in my arms," she said. "She weighed only 6.3 kilos, and the vet said by rights she shouldn't be alive. But she's been putting on weight and coming back to health, and starting to get her hair back. We've named her Fate."  No one is sure how many southern wombats are left - they are notoriously difficult to count and no survey has been conducted since 1989. Ms Stevens says her group has a limited budget and can only provide a "Band Aid fix". "We're trying to cover such a huge area - half a million acres - and you're looking at 50,000 acres just covered in onion weed."  She also says that the wombats, far from being tough, are "very sensitive ... They get upset really easily and suck their thumbs." - Independent.

STORM DELUGE: Crashes, Flooding, and Power Outages as a 3rd Nasty Storm Rolls Into San Francisco Bay Area!

December 03, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Blasting out of the Pacific, the third and most powerful "Pineapple Express" storm of the week swept over the Bay Area Sunday morning, dumping heavy rain on a region already soaked to the roots and reeling from power outages and flooding. "It's a mess," said CHP Officer James Evans. "We've got flooding everywhere."

The triple whammy toppled trees and power lines, snarled traffic, caused accidents on slippery roadways and cut electrical power to about 297,000 customers in the region, including BART riders who were stranded on subway cars during a harrowing, one-hour outage early Sunday morning.  Measured by rainfall and wind, this was one of the most powerful storm events since October 2009, said Jan Null, a meteorologist with the Golden Gate Weather Services. Pineapple Express is a term for warm weather fronts that start in the southwest Pacific and head toward California. This one started north of Hawaii, Null said.  "It was a pretty significant series of storms," he said. The storms actually swept through over a five-day period from Wednesday to Sunday, allowing some time for drowning areas to drain out. "If we had no breaks, it could have been worse."  After the first two storms saturated Bay Area flatlands and hillsides late last week, the National Weather Service issued flash-flood warnings over the weekend for Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties, including Ben Lomond and Boulder Creek, after as much as one inch of rain per hour fell in the area.  And some of those predictions came true: On Sunday morning, authorities in Santa Cruz reported trees into power lines at several spots throughout the county. There were also two rock slides on Highway 17 -- the narrow, winding connecting road between San Jose and Santa Cruz.  The first slide was near Sugar Loaf Road and the second was reported at Glenwood Cutoff. Both required work but no major problems resulted.  Although the Santa Cruz Mountains sawthe most heavy rainfall, no part of the Bay Area was spared from the storms and the treacherous driving conditions they created.

Wild winds 
BART trains stopped running around 9:18 a.m. after a power outage at its main control center, said Bart police Lt. Randy Gregson. At that point, the transit agency could not communicate with or track its trains. Service resumed about an hour later but it was not clear what knocked out the power or why the backup system did not kick in. Service was knocked out again about 2 p.m. but restored within about 15 minutes, BART officials said.  At about the same time as the BART outage, three firefighters and a motorist they were helping on Highway 24 in Orinda were seriously injured when another driver lost control in the rain, slammed into a parked fire engine and rolled into the victims.  Paramedics took the firefighters to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, where they were in serious but stable condition, according to the Moraga-Orinda Fire District. Two of the firefighters will require surgery. The motorist they were helping suffered critical injuries.  In Palo Alto, Oregon Expressway was closed because of flooding at the Alma Street underpass. But the deluge spared areas of the city that flooded in February 1998, the last big El Niño year. While water levels in the four creeks passing through the city rose steadily Sunday morning, none -- including the narrow channel of San Francisquito Creek under the Chaucer Street bridge -- reached flood stage. However, residents in South Palo Alto braved cascading rain to rake mountains of leaves clogging storm drains. Ponds of water partly covered several streets and parking lots.  The third storm blew a big rig off its wheels in the eastbound lanes of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Winds may also have contributed to a fatal crash involving three cars on northbound Interstate 280 in Daly City. Authorities have identified the woman killed as 27-year-old Lauren Delos Reyes of Daly City.  In San Francisco, water reportedly flooded the tracks at Muni's Church Street station about 8:40 a.m. Sunday, and riders were shuttled from West Portal to Embarcadero until about 1 p.m. while water was pumped from the station.

Some good news 
PG&E, the main supplier of electricity in the area, reported that power had been restored to 96 percent of those affected since Wednesday. By Sunday night, about 20,900 customers, including 4,220 in the Bay Area, still had no power. The utility said it had 2,000 emergency workers in the field, but their work was slowed by rain blowing sideways into their faces and equipment. All power is expected to be restored Monday, according to PG&E.  The good news for a region officially still in a drought is that rainfall nudged slightly above average for the season that started July 1. For example, San Jose has had 3.91 inches of rain, which is above its average of 2.93 inches, said National Weather Service forecaster Diana Henderson. San Francisco has had a whopping 7.92 inches compared to an average of 4.68 inches.  For Monday, the National Weather Service station in Monterey forecast partly cloudy skies for most of the Bay Area, with light winds and daytime temperatures in the lower 60s.  The rest of the week should bring mostly cloudy skies and a chance of rain, but nothing like the triple-storm that just passed. The skies should clear up next weekend but high temperatures should remain in the mid-60s and drop into the upper 40s at night. - Mercury News.

WATCH: Rising waters in California.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Researchers Studying What's Killing Catfish Near Marco Island, Florida?!

December 03, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Florida wildlife researchers are trying to get to the bottom of what killed clusters of catfish in waters around Marco Island last week. Reports of the catfish kill surfaced before Thanksgiving along with uncharacteristic schools of catfish swimming erratically at the surface of Henderson Creek south of U.S. 41 East. "That was a big indication that something was strange," Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve spokeswoman Renee Wilson said.

Photo courtesy of Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Distressed catfish swim near
the surface in Rookery Bay possibly due to red tide which has been killing fish in the area.
Instead of being silvery gray, the fish were ghostly white and had reddened lips and fins, a sign that the fish were under some kind of stress, she said. Reserve workers sent off tissue samples from the dying fish to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the science arm of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in St. Petersburg, to be tested. Results could take weeks. Researchers wouldn't speculate about the cause of the Marco Island fish kill, one of about a thousand that get reported to the wildlife agency each year from around Florida. Theories range from red tide poisoning to a disease or virus. "We don't want to jump to a conclusion," said Theresa Cody, associate research scientist at the institute.

Collier County pollution monitors reported Friday that they have received isolated reports of dead catfish in upper Henderson Creek, in a back bay near Caxambas Pass on Marco Island and at the Port of the Island marina off U.S. 41 East. Wilson said Collier County took water samples from Henderson Creek, but they didn't show anything out of the ordinary or test positive for red tide, a bloom of microsopic algae that can emit a toxin that kills marine life and causes respiratory irritation in humans. Water samples collected Thursday from Barefoot Beach, Vanderbilt Beach, Seagate, the Naples Pier and South Marco Beach all tested negative for red tide, pollution monitors reported Friday. Satellite imagery still shows elevated to high levels of chlorophyll along the shore of southern Collier County, a possible indication of red tide. Offshore winds through the weekend should minimize effects at the beach, but the county still is warning people with asthma or emphysema to be cautious about going to the beach to avoid worsening their condition. Catfish are mostly bottom-dwellers, where red tide sometimes settles out. In 1996, an especially deadly red tide coincided with another catfish kill in Collier County. That fish kill was blamed on a virus. The Department of Health hasn't issued any warnings about eating catfish, and a spokeswoman couldn't be reached Friday for comment on the fish kill. - Naples News.

WATCH: Catfish kills, a marine mystery.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Crocodile "Kills" Nine Year-OId Boy in Australia, After Dragging Him Under, and Eight Year-Old Girl Gets Bitten by a Dolphin at Seaworld Theme Park in Florida!

December 03, 2012 - AUSTRALIA - The animal swam off with the youngster, who was originally believed to be 12-years-old, in his jaws and police are not optimistic the boy is still alive but are still continuing the search for him.

A 12-year-old boy in Australia is thought to have been killed after he was
snatched by a saltwater crocodile (Picture: Alamy).
The boy is from an Aboriginal region near Darwin and is believed to have been taken while he swam in a lagoon with a number of people. Police Superintendent Michael White said there was an attempt to save his life but it failed. ‘Initial reports suggest adults within the group tried to save the boy by spearing the animal, but the crocodile dragged the child out to deeper water,’ he said. A seven-year-old girl suffered the same fate within the last fortnight in the country's Northern Territory. Her remains were reportedly found in a crocodile that was shot dead near the area she disappeared in. Saltwater crocodiles are a present danger in the Northern Territory. Their protected status means there is a high number of the reptiles, which can reach 25ft in length and weigh upwards of a ton. - Metro.

An eight-year-old girl has had a lucky escape after a dolphin she was feeding bit her at a US theme park. Jillian Thomas was holding out fish to feed to dolphins at Orlando's SeaWorld when she got an unexpected surprise. While she was feeding the usually friendly mammals, a dolphin lunges at her and nips her hand. The girl, whose parents posted the video on YouTube to make other people aware of the dangers, suffered three small puncture wounds. Jillian's father, Jamie Thomas, told local media the family were angry at the theme park for not warning them of the dangers of dolphin feeding. "We felt powerless," he said. "We thought, look, we've got this video, let's make it public, and let's try to put some pressure on SeaWorld to make some changes." A SeaWorld statement said: "Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our guests, employees and animals. "Educators and animal care staff are always on-site at this area monitoring all interactions and are committed to guest safety." - SKY News.

WATCH: Dolphin Bites Girl At SeaWorld Theme Park.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: High Alert - 4,000 Wild Ducks Found Dead From Avian Flu in Krasnodar, Russia!

December 03, 2012 - RUSSIA - Around 4,000 wild ducks have been found dead in Russia's southern Krasnodar region, officials said on Friday, blaming H5 bird flu for the mass deaths.

AFP File Photo.
"This is the H5 virus, the strain is being confirmed," a spokeswoman for the Krasnodar region branch of Russian agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor told AFP.

The birds' remains were now being tested, she added. The dead birds have been found on lakes near the Black Sea resort town of Anapa.

The region has gone on high alert, with poultry and humans now being vaccinated.

"All of these are protective measures, it's better to be on the safe side," the spokeswoman added.  - Hurriyet Daily News.

2012: Doomsday or Golden Age - Russia Issues Mayan Apocalypse Warning As Troops Ordered To Norway Border?!

December 03, 2012 - RUSSIA - A chilling report written by newly appointed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu circulating in the Kremlin today states that the permanent deployment of the 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade by the Northern Fleet to the border of Norway last week is meant to insure that Russia is able to “seize and control” the Svalbard Global Seed Vault located on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen near the town of Longyearbyen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago in the event our world faces a “global apocalypse.”

According to one Western news source reporting on this unprecedented deployment of Russian military forces: “The 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade includes not only infantry units, but also coastal missile defense and artillery forces, air-mobile infantry, and light armor units. The Northern Fleet's naval infantry forces will also be placed under the 200th's tactical command giving it an amphibious assault capability. This last aspect is indicative that the general mission of the 200th is expeditionary warfare; projecting military power over border frontiers and across bodies of water behind border frontiers or on nearby islands.” The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an attempt to provide insurance against the loss of seeds in what are called genebanks, as well as provide a refuge for seeds in the case of large-scale regional or global crises. The seed vault is managed under terms spelled out in a tripartite agreement between the Norwegian government, the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT) and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen). Interesting to note is that Defense Minister Shoigu’s report seemingly conflicts with statements made this past week by chief Health Ministry official Gennady Onishenko, who warned that those who publicize about the 21 December Mayan apocalypse, that our world may be coming to an end on that date, would end up in court.

Doomsday Seed Vault.

Minister Onishenko’s stern warning came in response to the growing hysteria sweeping Russia regarding this event, a sentiment that was, also, echoed last week by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), who warned that 2012 Mayan apocalypse rumors “pose a real-life threat to frightened children and depressive teenagers.” NASA’s warning, it appears, comes at time that have seen suicides become the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the US surpassing those of auto accidents, according recent studies published by the American Journal of Public Health, and which fears of such an apocalyptic event happening would be sure to increase in already unsteady minds. Important to note about official Russian reactions/thoughts to the 21 December apocalypse date are that they are not centered around the Mayan calendar, but are, instead, focused solely on what is called chaos theory.”

Chaos theory is a field of study in mathematics, with applications in several disciplines including physics, engineering, economics, biology, and philosophy. Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, an effect which is popularly referred to as the butterfly effect.
American mathematician and chaos theory expert Ralph Abraham, PhD, has been exceptionally influential among Russia’s intellectually and scientifically elite, but even more so has been Abraham’s late protégé Terence McKenna (1946-2000) who developed a highly controversial computer program which purportedly produces a waveform known as Timewave Zero.”

The Timewave Zero theory was developed by McKenna as a replacement for science’s notion of time as a featureless and smooth surface. The idea of Timewave Zero theory is that time actually has a structure, a topology; it can be described in somewhat the same way that a stock market can be described. Time is actually a series of risings and falling fluctuations of “novelty” (defined as increase over time in the universe’s interconnectedness or organized complexity). According to McKenna, the universe has a teleological attractor at the end of time that increases interconnectedness (another word he often used to describe “novelty”), eventually reaching a singularity of infinite complexity in 2012, at which point anything and everything imaginable will occur simultaneously. McKenna’s Timewave Zero waveform, when placed over a timeline of human history, appears to show great periods of novelty corresponding with major shifts in humanity’s biology and sociocultural evolution: the life of Jesus, both World Wars, the life of Muhammad, etc. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the Timewave Zero program is that, in McKenna’s interpretation, the wave ends on a very specific date: 21 December 2012 – the same date the Mayan long-count calendar ends.

Interesting to note about McKenna’s research was that in the weeks prior to a major examination of his theories by Russian experts, a mysterious” fire destroyed his entire life’s work and research on 7 February 2007. Further to be added to this 21 December equation, and as we had previously reported on in our 23 November report, Russian intelligence services have, also, noted that this date could be when our world is about to experience a “technological singularity,” which is seen as an intellectual “event horizon,” beyond which events cannot be predicted or understood. - WhatDoesItMean.

WATCH: Terence McKenna Time Wave Theory.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Ice Age Now - Mass Gridlock in Russia; Moscow Blanketed by Major Early Snowfall; Thousands of Cars, Trucks and Drivers Stuck in Traffic For Three Days Over 118 Miles!

December 03, 2012 - RUSSIA -  Thousands of trucks, cars and drivers have been stuck, some for three days, in a traffic jam over a hundred miles long caused by heavy snow northwest of Moscow.

Russian state television channels showed field kitchens operating on the side of road set up by the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

Reports put the length of the traffic jam at about 118 miles with drivers having to sit put in temperatures of minus five degrees Celsius.

The M-10 highway links Moscow with Russia's second largest city St Petersburg, some 434 miles northwest from the capital, and stretches further to the border with Finland.

The days-long traffic jam on Russia's main highway underscored problems with inadequate infrastructure that persist more than two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, in which a focus on defence spending has meant skimping on everything from roads to housing and healthcare. - Telegraph.

WATCH: Mass gridlock in Moscow.

2012: Apocalypse or Golden Age - Survival Kits and Trips to Hell, Doomsday Hysteria Grips Russia, Ukraine and France!

December 03, 2012 - RUSSIA - Doomsday hysteria has gripped Russia and some of its neighbors. Travel agencies are selling tours to either heaven or hell and people are stocking up on food and fuel. Officials are publicly denying the apocalypse, hoping to calm the hype.  Those awaiting Doomsday have three weeks to finish their preparations before the date of the much publicized apocalypse allegedly predicted by Mayan calendar, that is going to happen on December 21, 2012. 

Pictures advertizing tickets to heaven sold for $15. Images taken from
Thousands of people across Russia keep stocking up their back rooms and balconies with food, fuel and other supplies they might need when disaster strikes. Some are even moving outside of cities because of the widely spread rumors that cities would be impossible to survive in after an apocalypse on Earth.  According to one of the most popular scenarios, on December 21 the sun is going to line up with the center of our Milky Way galaxy which will cause an entire blackout on Earth and a wave of different natural disasters.  Doomsday merchandize offered in Russia and Ukraine include survival kits. In the Siberian city of Tomsk such items for “meeting the end of the world” include ID cards, notepads, canned fish, a bottle of vodka, rope, a piece of soap, among other items. The packages are said to be popular among customers, more than 1,000 kits have been already sold, the company says.  Ukrainian entrepreneurs also offer a version of a doomsday kit. Just like Tomsk package, the Ukrainian one also includes alcohol: champagne for ladies and vodka for gentlemen. The rest of the kit consist of jack-knife, two-minute noodles, shampoo, soap, rope, matches and condoms.

An apocalypse kit is not the only way for the entrepreneurial minded to cash in on the end of the world hype.  One Ukrainian enterprise is selling tours to heaven and hell for December 21 promising full return of money in case of “not getting to heaven or hell.” A trip to heaven would cost about $15, while trip to the underworld is more expensive at around $18. The agency explains difference in price by saying that Hell should be more fun.  While Ukrainian trips are even said by the firm behind to be just for fun, some individuals in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod offered far more expensive doomsday fair – one being a salvation trip in an arc. An internet ad offered seats in the arc for just 80,000-150,000 rubles, which is approximately $2,600-5,000.  Bars and nightclubs are getting ready for apocalypse day in their own way announcing theme parties and inventing special cocktails like “Total Recall” – an extremely alcoholic drink that makes you “recall your entire life.”  But doomsday hysteria isn’t isolated to just the former soviet Republic.

In France authorities had to ban access to a mountain that doomsday theorists believe will be the only safe spot during the apocalypse on December 21.  At the birthplace of Mayan calendar, Mexico and Guatemala agencies offer tours “The end of the world with Maya” and “The world of Maya 2012.” Meanwhile, in Russia rapidly growing doomsday hype has sparked a negative reaction from authorities.  Russia`s Emergency Ministry is not expecting any global cataclysms in the near future, the head of EMERCOM Vladimir Puchkov said on Friday, adding that those worried are free to call the Ministry hotline to talk about their concerns.  Another senior official took a more emotional stance about doomsday speculations. Russia`s Chief Medical Officer of Health Gennady Onishenko lashed out at those publicizing the apocalypse warning that they would end up in court.  “This directly influences people`s health. When they depress you and say that in less than one month everything is going to end, there are many people, who believe this,” he said.  Russian State Duma deputies wrote an open letter urging media to stop speculating about the doomsday. The deputy head of the Duma committee on Science and Technology publicly promised that no apocalypse is happening on December 21.  “In our committee there are academics and scientists, and with all responsibility we state that there will be no doomsday. Who made that up and circulates this around?” he asked. - RT.

French village of Bugarach (AFP Photo/Pascal Pavani).
The village of Bugarach, at the feet of the French Pyrenees – believed to be the only place on the planet to be left standing after next month’s predicted apocalypse – has been closed for the occasion.  Local authorities decided to limit access to the peak beginning December 19, and through December 23.  New Age theories say Bugarach will be the only refuge where people will be able to escape the apocalypse, which they expect to fall on December 21 of this year.  Local residents and authorities still fear that pilgrims of the Mayan calendar will flood the area and disturb their way of life. A hundred policemen and firemen will control access to the village, which is nestled at the foot of a mountain, and is said to have “magical powers” and is believed to be a “gate between worlds.”  Authorities also banned mass parties at the area and are now considering introducing a no-fly zone around the peak.  Bugarach, with its serene nature, breathtaking landscapes and around 200 residents, became one of the most famous villages in France only a few years ago, when New Agers started promoting what was called an "ancient prophecy" and is probably just a rumor of doomsday on December 21, 2012.  The buzz around Bugarah started back in 2010 when the mayor of Bugarach, Jean-Pierre Delord, first came across the armageddon forecast online after being alerted by a fellow villager, The Guardian reports. As the rumors started spreading, media caught up with the news while more and more people started visiting the previously unpopular location.  The mayor raised the question of security and precautions needed to avoid a disturbance. Meanwhile, the locals still fear sect meetings, mass suicides, and the like. - RT.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Arnie Gundersen - The Radiation From Japan's Nuclear Disaster Zone Will Spread Worldwide For 300 Years!

December 03, 2012 - UNITED STATES - To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the first sustained nuclear chain reaction "A Mountain of Waste Seventy Years High" nuclear symposium was held at the University of Chicago December 1 and 2, 2012.

The first sustained nuclear chain reaction occurred 70-years ago at a squash court in Chicago on December 2, 1942.  Fairewinds Associates' chief engineer Arnie Gundersen was one of the symposium’s invited speakers.   According to Gundersen, the five problems with nuclear power in 1942 that remain true today are:
Secrecy controlled by the nuclear priesthood;
Financial subsidies that could have been spent elsewhere;
Waste heat discharged into rivers;
Decay heat that continues even after a nuclear plant shuts down;
 And, finally, high-level waste that must be sequestered for a quarter of a million years.
According to Gundersen, "When we talk Fukushima Daiichi, or the Fukushima Prefecture being contaminated, this is not a problem that is going to go away tomorrow... This is going to wash down and into the watersheds and then biologically be brought back up through the roots of the plant and redeposited onto the surface for 300 years... This is not a problem that goes away". - Fairewinds.

WATCH: A Mountain of Waste 70 Years High - Ending the Nuclear Age.

THE CELESTIAL CONVERGENCE: Signs in the Heavens - Planets Mercury, Venus and Saturn Align in the Morning Sky Over Egyptian Pyramids!

December 03, 2012 - SPACE - The upcoming Mercury-Venus-Saturn alignment, while not a real conjunction, is sure getting a lot of attention thanks to an inaccurate illustration on the Internet, depicting the three over the Pyramids of Giza. The planetary trio will be approximately equidistant and span an angle of 14 degrees (equal to 1 1/2 fists extended at arm’s length against the sky) on Monday morning December 3. They’ll also appear in virtually the same lineup the mornings before and after.

A more correct view of the planets and Giza pyramids on the morning of Dec.. 3.
From bottom to top: Mercury, Venus and Saturn. Illustration created with Stellarium

When astronomers refer to a conjunction of two or more celestial bodies, they usually mean the objects are lined up closest together north-south of one another. When due south and highest in the sky, two planets in conjunction are stacked on top of each other. There are also conjunctions in longitude, when two celestial objects are closest together east-west or side-by-side.  Since none of the three planets is in conjunction, the December 3 gathering is simply an interesting alignment. You’ll also notice from the diagram that for the next few mornings their configuration changes little. The word planet comes from the Greek aster planetes or “wandering star”. And that’s exactly what they do. Ancient peoples thought they were carried around the Earth on invisible crystalline spheres.

Mercury, Venus and Saturn – along with Spica, which is similar to Saturn in
brightness – will appear together in the southeastern sky at dawn. The maps
show the scene about one hour before sunrise. Maps created with Stellarium
Today we know the truth – each is on a orbital spiral at a different distance from the sun with a period that depends on that distance. Mercury is closest and spirals fastest at 88 days; distant Neptune requires 165 years. Planets are frequently in conjunction because they all follow the same path with the sky, often referred to as the ecliptic. It follows that if you’re all driving the same highway at different speeds, sooner or later two or more planets will pull up alongside each other.

The ecliptic is the path followed by the planets, moon and sun across
the sky. This narrow “highway” is a consequence of the planets
orbiting the sun in nearly the same flat plane.
From our perspective, they’ll appear close together in the sky.  And since the planetary highway is approximately circular like a racetrack when viewed from a two-dimensional angle, interesting gatherings or conjunctions happen repeatedly over the months and years.  So if you combine the planets’ varying speeds according to distance, their shared “roadway” and our changing perspective on them as Earth orbital spiral with the sun, you’ll understand why the current morning planet alignment will soon be broken.

Now, as it relates to the illustration, there are several inaccuracies in the picture you should know about.  First, let’s take the alignment itself. While it’s true the three planets will be nearly equally spaced across a 14-degree swath of sky next Monday, they’ll appear at a much steeper angle from Cairo than the photo/illustration shows. And they won’t queue up in a perfectly straight array either — notice that the “line” sags at Venus.  There’s also a little problem with the illustration’s perspective. After consulting a map, it was easy to determine the photo shows the pyramids as you face north. From this perspective, the smallest pyramid (Menkaure) lies to the left and tallest (Khufu) on the right. Unfortunately no planets are visible from this angle, because they’re all to the photographer’s back in the opposite quarter of sky. Whoops!

Inaccurate photo/ illustration of the supposed planetary alignment
over the 3 great pyramids of Giza circulating on the Internet.
For a completely accurate portrayal of the scene during the alignment, we’d need to walk over to the other side of the pyramids and re-shoot the picture facing southeast. From that vantage point, you’d see something much closer to the scene above.  As for a lineup like this occurring every 2,737 years, well, alignments happen all the time including those involving three bright planets. While this exact configuration may be rare, the alignment itself is not. That’s not to say that the event isn’t worthwhile to watch. Hey, I’d be happy to see three planets above the Pyramids of Giza, but better and brighter alignments occur all the time, like the similarly-spaced dawn trio of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter last August.  Whether you’re standing in front of pyramids or watching from your apartment lawn, I hope you’ll be able to watch the trio as they meet, greet and go their separate ways in the coming days. - Astrobob [Edited for clarity].

SHADOW WARS: Escalating Towards World War III - Unusual Activity at Syrian Chemical Site, Iranian Arms Flow Into Syria, Iranian Military Agents in North Korea Ahead of Ballistic Missile Test, U.S. Sending Hundreds of Spies Overseas, Iran Creates Cyber Headquarters, International Pressure Mounts Against Israel Over Settlement Plans, Al-Qaeda Establishes Critical Base in Libya and Egypt's Highest Court Joins Judicial Strike in Protest Against Morsi!

December 03, 2012 - MIDDLE EAST - Western intelligence officials have noticed new worrying signs of activity at chemical weapons sites in Syria, The New York Times reported on Saturday. The Syrian regime is "doing some things that suggest they intend to use the weapons," one American intelligence official told the Times, adding, "It's not just moving stuff around. These are different kind of activities." The officials were unsure of Syria's intentions regarding the work at the chemical sites, but said it is possible Damascus is preparing to use chemical weapons as a last-ditched effort to defeat rebels, according to the report. But the Syrians have yet to take the most crucial steps toward using their chemical weapons, or preparing them for firing in any way, the Times reported. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel would weigh military action if it suspects Syria's chemical weapons could fall into the hands of a terrorist organization. “We will do everything that is needed” to ensure Syria’s WMD stockpiles are not transferred, Netanyahu said at a meeting with EU ambassadors stationed in Israel in October. - JPost.

Unusual Activity at Syrian Chemical Weapons Sites Amid Rumors Assad is Dead or Fled.
Western intelligence officers were seeing new signs of activity at Syrian chemical weapons sites, they told the New York Times Sunday, Dec. 2. “It’s in some ways similar to what they’ve done before,” a senior U.S. intelligence official said. “But they’re doing some things that suggest they intend to use the weapons. It’s not just moving stuff around. These are different kind of activities.” debkafile’s Middle East sources add rumors were flying around the region Saturday night and Sunday morning that President Bashar Assad had been killed or fled Syria. Neither is confirmed. However, the rebels have in recent days made major strategic gains and begun to turn the tide of war against's Assad forces. The new rumors tie in with the suggestive movements of chemical weapons detected by Western intelligence without any indication of their likely target. Since the Syrian uprising erupted against his regime last year, Assad has often declared he would fight his enemies to the end and threatened that if his back was against the wall and life and regime were in jeopardy, he would rather set the entire Middle East on fire than surrender. - DEBKA.

Iranian Arms Flow Into Syria Remains Uninterrupted.
New evidence regarding Iranian arms transported into Syria has been discovered by western intelligence sources, the New York Times reported on Sunday. The sources claimed recent activity has also been observed around Syrian chemical weapon storage sites. According to the newspaper's sources it is still unknown whether Syrian President Bashar Assad plans to use unconventional weapon to remain in power, or whether the movements aim to warn the West against assisting the rebels fighting against his regime. The New York Times reported that US efforts to prevent such flow of arms into Syria have so far failed, due to Iraq allowing Iranian cargo planes that are Syria-bound to cross its airspace uninspected. - YNET News.

Israel Plans to "Kill" Iran's Missiles on Launchpad.
Israel is close to completing a missile defence shield that will destroy Iranian ballistic missiles in space or on their launchpads, a development that has sharply increased the odds of an attack on Iran's nuclear sites. Israel's Iron Dome rocket defence system successfully knocked out 421 rockets - an 84 per cent success rate - in a stunning demonstration of its capabilities during the conflict with Gaza last month. - The Australian.

Iranian Military Agents Reportedly in North Korea Ahead of Ballistic Missile Test.
A group of Iranian military operatives and missile technology experts are taking part in a test launch of a long-range ballistic missile in North Korea Sunday, Reuters reported. The Iranians have been active in North Korea since late October, the agency reported, citing a Western official quoted by the Kyodo News Agency of Japan. The group is reportedly based at a military base about 85 kilometers from the Chinese border and is assisting in missile and nuclear technology development for the North Korean military. Iran and North Korea signed a technology and science cooperation agreement in early September, and according to Reuters, US officials believe that Iran acquired ballistic missile parts from North Korea in 2010. On Saturday, Pyongyang announced plans to test-fire a long-range rocket sometime between December 10 and 22. It would be North Korea’s second launch attempt under leader Kim Jong Un, who took power following his father Kim Jong Il’s death nearly a year ago. Some analysts have expressed skepticism that North Korea has corrected whatever caused the embarrassing misfire of its last rocket eight months ago. That launch earned the country widespread international condemnation. - Times of Israel.

DIA Sending Hundreds More Spies Overseas.
The Pentagon will send hundreds of additional spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan to assemble an espionage network that rivals the CIA in size, U.S. officials said. The project is aimed at transforming the Defense Intelligence Agency, which has been dominated for the past decade by the demands of two wars, into a spy service focused on emerging threats and more closely aligned with the CIA and elite military commando units. When the expansion is complete, the DIA is expected to have as many as 1,600 “collectors” in positions around the world, an unprecedented total for an agency whose presence abroad numbered in the triple digits in recent years. The total includes military attachés and others who do not work undercover. But U.S. officials said the growth will be driven over a five-year period by the deployment of a new generation of clandestine operatives. They will be trained by the CIA and often work with the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, but they will get their spying assignments from the Department of Defense. Among the Pentagon’s top intelligence priorities, officials said, are Islamist militant groups in Africa, weapons transfers by North Korea and Iran, and military modernization underway in China. - Washington Post.

Iran Establishes Cyber Headquarters as Shadow War Continues, Several Nations Recalling Ambassadors.
The joint chiefs of staff of Iran’s armed forces have established a new ‘soft war’ headquarters to counter threats from Israel and the US, particularly in cyberspace, the Iranian media reported on Saturday. The Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces for Cultural Affairs and Defense, Brig.-Gen. Massoud Jazayeri said that Iran’s enemies were ‘very serious’ in their ‘soft war’ efforts against the Islamic Republic, according to Sepah News, the official public relations site of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). “Therefore, we too must develop an organized means to address the fight with the enemy in this arena,” Jazayeri said. - JPost.

International Pressure Mounts Against Israel Over Settlement Plans.
International criticism has been mounting against Israeli plans to build new settlements. The UK and France summoned their Israeli ambassadors to get clarification and show disapproval amid reports of recalls. Other countries also spoke out. International reaction against Israel has been heated. Britain is reportedly considering a strong reaction to Israel’s plans and has summoned Israeli ambassador for talks over planned settlements, asking for clarification on the issue. However, conflicting reports say that Britain has denied consideration for recalling its ambassador to Israel. British Foreign Office spokesperson told AFP that “the recent Israeli government decision to build 3,000 new housing units threatens the two-state solution and makes progress through negotiations harder to achieve.” France, which was the first major European country to announce support for Palestinian recognition at the UN, echoed the position of the UK. Paris sent a letter to the Israeli government, calling the settlement decision "a considerable obstacle to the two-state solution." France and Sweden also consulted their ambassadors to Israel to decide on measures to show their disapproval. These moves come amid speculation both countries could recall their ambassadors. But France has reportedly downplayed recalling its Israeli ambassador, arguing there other ways to show disapproval. The three European diplomats who spoke to Haaretz indicated that London and Paris were coordinating their moves against Israel. “This time it won’t just be a condemnation, there will be real action taken against Israel,” a senior European diplomat said. The action, whatever it may be, could be implemented in the next few days. “London is furious about the E1 decision,” one of the diplomats said.

According to the reports, Britain and France already informed the United States and other European countries, including Germany, of their intentions. International reaction was triggered after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the construction of thousands of new homes in Jewish settlements in the area known as E1, between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem – a step widely seen as retaliation for recognition of Palestine as non-member state by the United Nations. The new settlements would completely cut off Palestinians in East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, UN head Ban Ki-moon stated. "It would represent an almost fatal blow to remaining chances of securing a two-state solution.” Also Germany has joined in and asked Israel to refrain from proceeding with settlement building. "We appeal to the Israeli government to desist from this procedure," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said at a news conference. Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Bildt criticized Israel on his blog. "The Israeli government's plan is pure vengeance against the Palestinians following the UN vote.Israel's decisions to halt tax payment transfers and to extend illegal settlements around Jerusalem might dramatically escalate the situation," he said. In addition, Turkey strongly condemned Israel’s plans and demanded to stop construction. “Israel’s illegal settlement activities intentionally deprive conditions of lasting peace in the region,” said a statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry. The Russian Foreign Ministry has also issued a statement saying it is very concerned with Israel’s plans and is asking Israel “to reconsider its plans regarding the new settlements and transfer the money to Palestine,” referring to the tax revenues collected by Israel on behalf of Palestinians. During the weekend, Israel canceled the transfer of US$120 million collected in taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in an apparent response to the Palestinian UN-bid. - RT.

WATCH: UK, France slam Israel over settlements, summon ambassadors.

Al-Qaeda Establishing Critical Base in Libya.
The leaders of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the North African offshoot of the mainstream organisation, are making a concerted effort to link up with Ansar al-Sharia. The CIA believes Ansar al-Sharia was behind the September 11 attack on the US consulate in which four people died, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens. AQIM leaders are also attempting to establish ties with other Libyan Islamist groups in the hope of establishing an al-Qaeda fiefdom there similar to the one it has created in nearby Mali. Intelligence officials say that leaders of the AQIM movement have been travelling regularly to the desert town of Ghat in south-western Libya, close to the border with Niger. Their aim is to establish a foothold in Libya from which to launch attacks against Western targets, as well as gaining access to the large stockpiles of weapons – including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles – that were looted by Libyan rebels during the fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime at the end of last year. - Telegraph.

Egypt's Highest Court Joins Judicial Strike in Protest Against Islamist President's Decrees.
Egypt's highest court has joined a judicial rebellion against President Mohammed Morsi by declaring an open-ended strike on the day it was supposed to rule on the legitimacy of two key assemblies controlled by allies of the Islamist leader. The strike announced Sunday by the Supreme Constitutional Court and opposition plans to march on the presidential palace on Tuesday take the country's latest political crisis to a level not seen in the nearly two years of turmoil since Hosni Mubarak's ouster in a popular uprising. Judges from the country's highest appeals court and its sister lower court were already on an indefinite strike, joining colleagues from other tribunals who suspended work last week to protest what they saw as Morsi's assault on the judiciary. The last time Egypt had an all-out strike by the judiciary was in 1919, when judges joined an uprising against British colonial rule. - FOX News.