Saturday, August 31, 2013

WORLD WAR III: Obama Has Ordered Limited Military Strike On Syria, But Seeks Congressional Approval - Putin Stands Firm In Opposition To Military Intervention, Urges Restraint, Calling For The U.S. To Present Its Evidence Of Chemical Weapons Usage By Assad!

August 31, 2013 - UNITED STATES - President Barack Obama said on Saturday he has decided he should order a limited military strike against Syria, but in a move laden with political and diplomatic implications, he agreed in an about-face to solicit authorization for the mission from Congress.

Mr. Obama's announcement in a Rose Garden statement brought an unusually sudden halt to a military mobilization that for days had appeared on the cusp of a bombardment of Syria as punishment for its alleged use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21 that killed more than 1,400 people—including more than 400 children.
It also marked a jarring shift as president for Mr. Obama, whose senior aides have been saying that he would not seek congressional authorization and that he had the legal right to order the start of military strikes.

Mr. Obama said legislative leaders have agreed to hold a debate and a vote on the issue as soon as Congress returns, which currently is scheduled to be Sept. 9. Leaders in the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority, considered calling the chamber back to session before then.

The move places the president's Syria policy on an unknown course, subjecting it to a certain showdown on Capitol Hill where lawmakers are deeply divided on the issue and even more so over Mr. Obama himself.

By agreeing to a congressional debate, Mr. Obama faces some amount of risk that he will be handed a defeat by legislators, like that suffered by British Prime Minister David Cameron over Syria this past week.

By assuming that risk, Mr. Obama also faces the possibility of some consternation from U.S. allies, who have been pressed by the administration for support for its aims in Syria.

In Israel, President Obama's decision to postpone military action until after congressional approval was received with skepticism. Analysts on Israeli television blasted the president for making the U.S. appear weak in the region. An Israeli official warned that U.S. hesitation could embolden Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"There is concern that this will be seen in the region as the U.S. president hesitating to enforce his red lines and that that will send the wrong messages to other regional powers," said an Israeli official.

Senior Israeli officials have publicly backed U.S. intervention and Israel provided intelligence to Washington to support its case.

Mr. Obama will encounter world reaction when he leaves this week on a trip to Sweden and then to a meeting in Russia of the Group of 20 leading nations, where Syria is expected to be a major topic and where he could briefly meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and opponent of U.S. military action.

In Damascus's first official response to Mr. Obama's remarks, Deputy Prime Minister Kadri Jamil said in spite of the apparent halt to the military buildup, Syrian forces would remain on a high state of alert, and he said that Syria would retaliate against any attack.

Mr. Jamil said in the interview from Damascus with the Lebanon-based news channel Al-Mayadeen that Mr. Obama's reversal would damage U.S. prestige worldwide, calling it a "muddied political position."

U.S. ambassadors had fanned out across the Middle East as they tried to prod Arab leaders for backing. Ambassadors have shared with Middle Eastern allies the administration's case for intervening, including intelligence about intercepted communications which the U.S. says shows the Assad regime directed the chemical weapons attack.

The Arab League took the step of moving up a planned meeting by two days, agreeing to gather on Sunday as they considered the possibility of new U.S. military action in their region.

However, the delay also could provide time to assemble the international support and to cement a military alliance on Syria with France, which has signaled it is willing to join the U.S. Mr. Obama on Saturday spoke by telephone with French President Francois Hollande.

Regardless of the potential consequences, Mr. Obama said he looked forward to discussing the Syria crisis with Congress and brushed off a growing body of criticism over his handling of the 2 ½-year-old civil war.

"I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets," Mr. Obama said, appearing alongside Vice President Joe Biden. "While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective. We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual."

Mr. Obama did not respond to a question about whether he would order military action even if Congress voted it down.

He said pursuing congressional approval will not diminish the effectiveness of U.S. action, which he said would be of "limited duration and scope."

WATCH: Obama seeks congressional approval for Syria strike.

Not acting in Syria could lead to an escalation of chemical-weapons use and increase national security threats to the U.S., he argued, and embolden others to resort to the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. Obama's shift came as he faced mounting pressure from members of both parties to seek congressional authorization for military action, a procedure he advocated as a presidential candidate. More than 180 lawmakers signed letters urging him to do so in the case of Syria. Some lawmakers have said they oppose a military response, while others—including House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), have demanded more information about any U.S. mission in advance of a presidential order.

Mr. Obama sent a letter to Congress Saturday night with proposed legislation that would grant him authorization to use U.S. military force in Syria "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) voiced his support for military action in Syria and said the Senate will vote on a resolution by the end of the week of Sept. 9.

WATCH: Putin to (Nobel Peace Prize Winner) Obama - 'Think about future Syria victims'.

WATCH: Putin - Claims that Assad used chemical weapons 'utter nonsense'.

But the request is unlikely to satisfy some critics of Mr. Obama's Syria policy who argue any military mission should include the removal of Mr. Assad, which the president has advocated for the past year. One of the challenges for Mr. Obama as he sells his plan to Americans is to explain how this military action fits into his administration's broader policy on the Syrian conflict. The White House has advocated a political rather than a military solution to the civil war, but now says it cannot allow the specific use of chemical weapons to go unanswered.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) welcomed Mr. Obama's decision Saturday. "The president's role as commander-in-chief is always strengthened when he enjoys the expressed support of the Congress," Mr. McConnell said in a statement.

Others, however, called the move a decided step back from a strenuous response to Syria.

"President Obama is abdicating his responsibility as commander-in-chief and undermining the authority of future presidents," said Rep. Pete King (R., N.Y.). "The president doesn't need 535 members of Congress to enforce his own red line."

The legislative effort is likely to consume a great deal of political energy and throws the issue open to debate over the scope and goals of the U.S. action. The Obama administration wants to conduct a limited military campaign to "deter and degrade" the country's chemical weapons capabilities.

GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said they can't support such strikes because it won't significantly change momentum on the battlefield, where the Assad forces are locked in a standoff with rebels.

WATCH: 'Obama plays tough but has no plan B, no strategy for Syria'.

To work through such questions, Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) said the House should go back into session immediately.

Some GOP lawmakers questioned whether the White House was still resolved to act.

"I hope this is not a case of them having second thoughts and using Congress as a foil," said Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Mr. Corker said he sought and received assurances from the White House that the president was fully committed to pursuing the military options.

Mr. Boehner applauded the move to seek congressional authorization, but said a House vote would take place the week of Sept. 9. "We are glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in Syria in response to serious, substantive questions being raised," he said.

Top administration officials already were seeking to smooth over congressional concerns about a new military operation in the Middle East by briefing lawmakers on the underlying intelligence and strike planning.

Republican members of the House were notified Saturday in an email that administration officials delivered classified intelligence to the Capitol late Friday night for House members to review. Administration officials are also briefing Senate Democrats and Republicans Saturday afternoon about Syria, congressional officials said. - WSJ.

MASS MAMMAL DIE-OFF: Five Dead Whales Found Beached Along Southeast Coast Of Brazil Since March?!

August 31, 2013 - BRAZIL - A Humpback whale species was found dead Beach Depth of Ipiranga, Linhares, Northern Spirit , on Tuesday. The 35-ton mammal was an adult male and was 14.5 meters long.

Since March 18, there have been five recorded cases of stranded whales along the coast of the State, all in a state of decomposition. An expert explains that such cases are common this time of year. The whale will be buried on the beach by the city.

According to biologist Erick Berger, whales migrate to the coast and are more vulnerable to accidents that can cause death. "They come here to breed and the females give birth to the puppies.

And coming here, they are more susceptible to impacts with vessels, the water closest to the mainland are already more polluted. All this can influence the cause of their death, "he said.

On Sept. 18, some twelve miles from the site where the whale was found today, another humpback also ran aground.

WATCH: whale die-off in Brazil.

She was 12 feet long and was found by local residents. After that day, according to the Institute Orca, four other whales stranded on beaches of the Holy Spirit.

The two whales found in Linhares will be buried in the same beach. All service will be made by the city. - Globo. [Translated]

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Sinkhole Scare Closes Florida School!

August 31, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Students won't be at Cambridge Christian School in Tampa Thursday or Friday, but engineers will.

Two areas near the school's athletic field started caving in this week and classes were closed as a precaution.

"The hole was examined, filled in with dirt, and then monitored for the next several days," explained Head of School Tim Euler.

Another hole was discovered nearby Wednesday. - WCSH.

WATCH: Sinkhole scare closes Florida school.

GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: Exceptional Drought - Residents In Drought-Stricken Southwestern United States Tears Up Their Lawns To Help Reduce Water Waste!

August 31, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Much of the western United States is still experiencing severe to exceptional drought, and some communities have been for years. Some cities in the Southwest are making changes to their landscape to help reduce water waste.

Replacing grass lawns with stones and drought-resistant, native plants (also called "hardscaping")
can drastically cut the amount of water a home or business uses. Photo by Alex Kokoulin.

Cities across California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Nevada are encouraging residents to replace their grass lawns and spray irrigation systems with native plants, rocks or drip irrigation systems.

Toby Bickmore, conservation services administrator for the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), explained that they began an in-depth study of several hundred properties in the valley with turf yards in the late 1990s to see the kind of water usage they required. A few years later, they researched another area of the state and received similar results: Every square foot of grass that was removed, about 55 gallons of water could be saved each year.

In Nevada, new building codes designed in 2005 restrict turf placement; none in the front yards of new construction and limited amounts of grass allowed in backyards. For structures built before the new code, residents were given the option to receive a rebate for every square foot of grass they removed.

"There have been millions of square feet rebated since we began the program in 2000," Bickmore said. "From all different types of properties: single-family homes, multi-family homes, commercial residences, even golf courses."

The SNWA rebates customers $1.50 for each square foot of grass they remove and replace with natural desert landscaping. After 5,000 square feet, the rebate reduces to a dollar per square foot.

Bickmore said that their estimates put 165 million square feet of turf rebated to date, with a savings of about 9 billion gallons of water are being saved every year.

Along with rebated lawns that are replaced, SNWA also encourages homes to switch from spray irrigation systems to drip irrigation systems.

"It's the difference between using gallons of water per hour instead of per minute," Bickmore said.

SoCal Water$mart has adopted a similar program for Southern California residents, starting rebates at 30 cents per removed square foot of grass. They specify that soil must have 2 to 3 inches of covering to prevent erosion, and encourage property owners to use a "California Friendly®" garden in place of the turf, which includes drought-tolerate and native plants.

Water shortages are often a problem for Southern California. The Association of California Water Agencies state, "Three years of drought coupled with environmental restrictions on pumping in the Delta have created some of the worst water shortages" in recent memory.

There is some concern that turf replacement has some negative consequences, however. Moisture-rich grass takes sun energy for growth and evaporation. With dark stones in place of the turf, urban areas may be more susceptible to the heat island effect, which is when cities remain 10 to 12 degrees warmer at night than their rural neighbors due to more buildings, asphalt and other heat retainers.

"Grassy surfaces kept moist will be significantly cooler on a sunny day when compared to artificial turf, gravel and pavement," Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. - AccuWeather.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Eighty Sea Turtles Wash Up Dead On The Coast Of Guatemala?!

August 31, 2013 - GUATEMALA - An assortment of marine animals and birds reside along the black volcanic sand beaches of Guatemala's Pacific coast, but lately both residents and visitors on the southeast beaches of the country have observed a tragic event - the stranding of dead sea turtles.

Among the stranded sea turtles were leatherbacks, a critically endangered species. © Michael Patrick O'Neill/Alamy

Eighty dead sea turtles have been recorded since the first week of July on the beaches of La Barrona, Las Lisas, Chapeton and Hawaii according to a statement released by the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association (ARCAS), a Guatemalan non-profit organization formed by citizens in 1989.

"The entire coast has historically been a significant nesting area for olive ridley and leatherback sea turtles," Colum Muccio, ARCAS administrative director, told While not known to nest in Guatemala, east pacific green turtles forage in estuaries and mangrove waterways along the Pacific coast.

Tucked between Mexico and El Salvador, the 250 kilometers of coast is divided by 14 river mouths and peppered with beautiful mangrove wetlands and lagoons. In 1993, ARCAS initiated conservation activities in the Hawaii area with hopes of counteracting threats to leatherback and olive ridley sea turtle populations. The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is currently listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, while the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) is listed as Vulnerable.

"We manage two of the 24 hatcheries on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, and carry out research and advocacy for sea turtle conservation," Muccio said.

According to the statement, nearby residents are worried because sea turtles are a valuable resource. Not only do the sea turtles draw tourists to the coast, but, despite their endangered status, the eggs are also a source of income.

"Sea turtle conservation efforts in Guatemala rely on the use of hatcheries, which are managed as part of a quasi-legal egg harvest," Muccio said. "Villagers are permitted to collect eggs that are deposited on Guatemalan beaches on the condition that 20 percent of each clutch is donated to a nearby hatchery."

The system was initiated in the mid 1980s to promote the sustainable use of sea turtle eggs, Muccio continued. The operating hatcheries along the Pacific coastline function at various levels based on financial resources of the administering organization.

Muccio states many hatcheries are underfunded, short-staffed and operating with limited scientific knowledge. Several hatcheries do not carry out beach monitoring or research activities, contributing to the deficit in accurate nesting and stranding data.

"Many projects are lacking in the key elements necessary for the present community-based conservation system to function successfully," Muccio said.

In addition to egg harvesting, one of the main threats to sea turtles on the Pacific coast of Guatemala is fisheries by-catch. The statement notes that the appearance of dead turtles on the beach coincides with the presence of shrimp trawlers in waters off these beaches.

"I don't think it's a coincidence that when shrimp trawlers appear in the ocean that we begin having stranded turtles," Muccio said.

Although Guatemalan trawlers are required to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs), Muccio said that enforcement is difficult and fines are very light.

"We are currently working on instituting a ban on bottom trawling," said Muccio. "This has recently been done in Belize, Costa Rica and Ecuador and El Salvador doesn't allow them closer than 3 miles from shore."

Leading marine turtle conservationists and researchers presented a petition to the government of Guatemala expressing their concern. According to the statement, the petition requests that the government take action to counter the mortality of sea turtles, including the monitoring of shrimp trawlers to establish the impact on marine turtle populations.

"Sea turtles are also very much part of the identity of the local culture and local communities often take pride in their hatcheries and their contributions to save the sea turtle," Muccio said. - Guardian.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Floods Cause Sinkhole, Worries Michigan Town's Home Owners!

August 31, 2013 - UNITED STATES - After Wednesday's floods tore a hole in Burchfield Street, the city brought in a contractor Friday to take a look inside the pipes.

A sink hole the size of an SUV sits down the street from Lori Fruk's home. Friday caution tape, road closure signs and city workers surrounded the site, as workers investigated the flood.

"We hope they find answers and find them soon because we can't keep wondering," said Fruk.

On Friday, a Kalamazoo company came to Burchfield to check out the pipes. They started in one end of the street and worked their way to the sinkhole to look for any damage that might have been done to the pipes.

All workers could tell 6 News Friday, was that there was a problem with the pipe's flow.

"It hit a record for the maximum amount of rainfall on any given day in the month of August since 1869," said Chad Gamble, the director of public service in Lansing.

However, Burchfield residents have faced flooding problems before. Two years ago floods damaged Fruk's home, causing $40,000 worth of repairs. Fruk is still not back in her home.

WATCH: Floods Cause Sinkhole, Worries Homeowners.

"We just have been trying for two years for answers and being that the issue keeps happening, keeps getting worse, we just want a home, a safe home," says Fruk.

Gamble says he proposed a plan to city council when the first flood hit in 2011. It would buy out the homeowners and cost the city about $400,000. The only other solution is to increase Burchfield's storm sewer size, costing Lansing tens of millions of dollars.

"We just want a safe place to lay our head and not have to worry, whether it's here, whether it's somewhere else. Just let us be able to sleep at night," said Fruk.

 Gamble says the issue will be addressed again at Wednesday's public meeting. - WLNS.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Underground Explosion Blows Manhole Covers Into The Air In Downtown Detroit - No Reports Of Injuries!

August 31, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The City of Detroit's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says there has been an explosion at an underground electrical substation at Washington and Grand River.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

DTE says the problem originated with a underground cable and the situation is ongoing. They are working to resolve the problem.

The scene is near the Rosa Parks Transit Center. Officials are asking people to avoid the area.

The blast launched manhole covers into the air in an alley in the area of Washington Boulevard and State Street. Windows in the alley were blown out by the explosion.

The Detroit Fire Department responded to the situation, but has since cleared the area. DTE crews remain on the scene.

There are no reports of injuries. - WXYZ.


MASS FISH DIE-OFF: "I Have Never Come Across The Same Situation" - MILLIONS Of Fish Suddenly Die In A Reservoir In Henan, China?!

August 31, 2013 - CHINA - Called the North "artificial Dongting Lake", Asia's largest artificial reservoir of the plain one night more than 1 million kilograms of dead fish! Xinhua reported in zhumadian of Henan province in the reservoir area of suya Lake and Lake, full of anti-belly farmed fish a few days ago, more rapid decay due to hot weather, diffuse disgusting stench in the entire area, fishermen lost an estimated more than a million dollars.

File photo.

Reports said, the official reported, or because the waters suddenly due to low dissolved oxygen. Questions only on the surface, the real causes were suspected of serious contamination of the quality-related, all of which require thorough investigation.

"The color red water into the cages, fish began floating head, floating up in no time. "Luo Xinhua area fishermen recalled their farms more than more than 50,000 kg such as grass, small yellow croaker, died suddenly on Saturday night, his fish for decades I have never come across the same situation. "The fish has one to two kilograms, according to the wholesale price also sell for between 10 and 20 dollars. "Reports that he estimated losses amounting to more than 600,000 dollars, and South region alone, there are more than 1 million kilograms of fish were killed, suffered heavy losses in the northern area, many farmers to lose.

Reports said suya Lake Reservoir Authority said there are still some serious rotting fish could not be picked up, reservoirs and Lakes seriously polluted. Too many quayside fish because of the number of processing time and begins crawling with maggots and foul-smelling smoke, standards of hygiene are abysmal, the municipal government requires farmers to dead fish unified deep processing in case of bad bacteria spreading.

Official notification according to monitoring results analysis, the oxygen content in water fish survival standards of six parts one to three parts was estimated to be large fish kill main cause. According to reports, but industry insiders questioned other facts, trionyx Loach, fish in the Lake, even if no water in the Lake, Loach drilling mud to survive, while turtles fish can never climbed ashore when the oxygen in the water, not all die. Bureau of Agriculture of fish hypoxia death only on the surface, has invited Provincial Academy of fishery Sciences experts to help investigate.

Suya Lake "artificial Dongting" reputation, is Asia's largest artificial reservoirs in the Plains, an area of more than 4,700 square kilometers, amounted to more than 30 species of fish produced in years. - UDN. [Translated]

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Deadly Bus Crash In Kenya - 41 Killed In Another Episode From A Series Of Fatal Bus Crashes That Have Shocked The Nation?!

August 31, 2013 - KENYA - The wrenched and twisted wreck was, in itself, shocking enough: A passenger bus in Kenya crashed through a barrier at a sharp curve on Thursday, flipping over, tearing off the roof and killing 41 people, according to the Kenya Red Cross.

The wreckage of a bus that drove off a road Thursday near Narok, Kenya.
Dai Kurokawa/European Pressphoto Agency

But perhaps the worst tragedy was how predictable the accident was.

Last week, two car crashes occurred at the same curve where the bus went off the road, leaving at least 10 people dead, according to local news reports. Another deadly accident in nearby Narok, at the junction for the popular safari destination Maasai Mara, killed two more people later in the day on Thursday.

But in particular, a series of fatal bus crashes have shocked the nation — including a school bus accident last month that killed 20 people and a bus crash in February that killed at least 35 people — underscoring the serious issue of traffic safety here.

President Uhuru Kenyatta vowed Thursday to take action on road safety in Kenya. “We must all begin taking responsibility and to protect the lives of Kenyans on our roads,” he said.

The problem goes well beyond Kenya. According to the World Health Organization, Africa is the deadliest region for road traffic deaths, with 24.1 fatalities per 100,000 people. That is more than twice the rate in Europe, where the figure is 10.3 deaths per 100,000, in spite of the fact that Europe has vastly more cars, trucks and buses.

“The African region has 2 percent of the world’s registered vehicles but a disproportionate 16 percent of the world’s road traffic deaths,” said Tami Toroyan, a technical officer in the department of violence and injury prevention at the World Health Organization in Geneva.

Rural roads tend to be unlit, and vehicles are frequently overcrowded. Accidents are common and often deadly, with drivers speeding and executing dangerous passing maneuvers on narrow two-lane stretches. Roads without sidewalks or shoulders are plentiful, posing significant dangers to pedestrians and cyclists.

Kenya has already taken steps as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies road-safety initiative, founding a National Transport and Safety Authority this year to tackle the problem. Significant hurdles remain and many deadly accidents appear to go unreported.

In the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety this year, the official figure for road traffic deaths in Kenya was around 3,000. But the organization estimated that the actual figure was much higher, at nearly 8,500 deaths. One-third of all fatalities are passengers, many of them killed “in unsafe forms of public transportation,” the World Health Organization said.

Thursday’s accident happened about a two-hour drive west of Nairobi around 2 a.m. The bus was traveling from Nairobi to Homa Bay on Lake Victoria when it drove off the road.

A 5-year-old who was hurt waited to be treated at a hospital.
Dai Kurokawa/European Pressphoto Agency

Traffic Commandant Samuel Kimaru told Standard Media in Kenya that the driver had crashed straight into the guardrail. “From our investigations, the driver did not even attempt to brake or negotiate the corner,” Mr. Kimaru was quoted as saying. “He seemed to have slept.” The driver was believed to be alive, and the authorities were trying to find him.

Photographs from the scene of the accident showed that the top of the bus had been shorn off and was lying by the side of the road. Passenger seats in the base of the bus were wrenched and twisted around.

Francis Kimemia, secretary to the cabinet of Kenya, offered his condolences on his Twitter account. “Drivers and passengers alike should also have collective responsibility,” he said. “If a passenger isn’t happy with something,” he added, “report, it’s your life.”

Writing in a column in the newspaper The Daily Nation this month, the prominent journalist Charles Onyango-Obbo called for tighter regulation of buses.

“The problem is that the bus lobbies in the region are too powerful and politicians are either afraid of them, or are in their pockets,” Mr. Onyango-Obbo wrote.

The headline of the article read: “If you didn’t know, Kenya’s most deadly hangman lives in a bus.” - NY Times.

WORLD WAR III: All Out War In The Middle East - Iran Vows "Immediate Destruction" Of Israel If Syria Is Attacked; And Promises "Thousands Of Missiles" To Rain On Israel!

August 31, 2013 - IRAN - Iran is threatening to launch a massive missile strike against Israel if the United States attacks Syria for using chemical weapons against its own people, which could touch off a full-blown war in the region.

“The day of reckoning is near,” according to Hossein Shariatmadari, the chief editor of Keyhan newspaper, an outlet controlled by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

An Op-Ed penned by Shariatmadari Tuesday warned that the impending confrontation between the West and Syria would “provide the long-awaited opportunity for revenge against Israel and America.”

The editor recalled the U.S.-led attack on Baghdad on March 20, 2003, and President George W. Bush’s boast to reporters seven days later that the “Iraq war is over.” But when the last U.S. soldiers were leaving Iraq in December 2011, nearly 4,500 Americans had been killed and the war had cost America trillions of dollars.

Shariatmadari said that Washington, instead of open war against Syria, has been waging a proxy war against the Assad regime with the help of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt. He said now it is ready to directly confront Syria militarily, one of the members of the Resistance Front along with Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. However, despite Syrian rebels receiving financial and military support from those Middle East countries, not only has the Assad regime not been overthrown but it has opened a “new chapter for the Resistance where it formed the forces of ‘defense of Homeland,’ a force similar to the Basij militias (in Iran).”

Iran has long drawn a red line around the Assad regime. And Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon, Israel’s neighbor, are armed with thousands of missiles. The three members of the Resistance Front have a joint war room.

“Because of the failure of the intended proxy war, America and some Arab and European countries are preparing to attack Syria on the false claims that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons,” the editor said. “However, America can certainly start the war but it won’t be the one to end it.”

Shariatmadari said that Israel is the “Achilles’ heel of America and its European allies and without a doubt with the start of an attack on Syria, thousands of missiles will rain down all over the occupied lands (Israel), which will destroy its critical facilities as it was obvious that its missile defense system (the Iron Dome) could not prevent missiles reaching Tel Aviv.”

He also warned Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and others who support attacking Syria that they themselves will come under attack from Syria.

“Muslims should welcome the news of an attack on Syria as it will provide the long-awaited opportunity for revenge, which should destroy the enemies of Islam,” Shariatmadari concluded.

Seyed Reza Taghavai, the head of Iran’s Policy Council of Friday Prayers, hinted that Khamenei is guiding the events in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza despite Iran publicly saying that it has nothing to do with them, Fars News Agency reported Monday. “People stand tall because of (Khamenei’s) guidance and in Syria where it has resisted against the unbelievers,” he said.

Abu Hajer, the commander of Zolfaghar Battalion fighting in Syria to protect the Assad regime.

Abu Hajer posing under Assad

bu Hajer, the commander of Zolfaghar Battalion visiting the holy site in the city of Mashhad in Iran.

Meanwhile, the Islamic regime’s reporting agency published images of commanders of the Zolfaghar Battalion fighting in Syria. It said that the Zolfaghar and Abolfazle Abass battalions are mostly made up of Iraqi and Lebanese Shiites in fighting the Syrian rebels.

The agency published the images of Zolfaghar’s commander, Abu Hajer, visiting the holy site in the city of Mashhad in Iran.

Iran’s Quds Forces have long trained Shiites to fight alongside Assad’s forces in Syria. Many of these fighters enter Syria through Iraq.

Last week an alleged chemical weapons attack targeted the outskirts of Damascus, which so far has taken the lives of more than a thousand civilians. The attack was later confirmed by the United States and European countries, who called for a response. The Obama administration has hinted in recent days that there will be a military response to using chemical weapons, which Secretary of State John Kerry called “a moral obscenity.”

WATCH: Iran vows 'immediate destruction' of Israel if Syria attacked.

Meanwhile, Foreign Policy magazine reported today that U.S. eavesdropping confirmed the existence of the chemical attack.

“Last Wednesday, in the hours after a horrific chemical attack east of Damascus, an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense exchanged panicked phone calls with the leader of a chemical weapons unit, demanding answers for a nerve agent strike that killed more than 1,000 people,” the magazine reported.

“Those conversations were overheard by U.S. intelligence services,” Foreign Policy said in a statement. “That is the major reason why American officials now say they’re certain that the attacks were the work of the Bashar al-Assad regime – and why the U.S. military is likely to attack that regime in a matter of days.” - WND.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Alaska’s Mount Veniaminof Volcano Erupts - Paroxysm With Lava Fountains And Ash Emissions Up To 20,000 Feet Altitude!

August 31, 2013 - ALASKA - An Alaska volcano that has been intermittently oozing lava and releasing small bursts of ash and steam since June has erupted with new ferocity, sending clouds of ash more than 4 km into the sky, scientists said.

The latest eruptions from the 2507m Veniaminof Volcano, on the Alaska Peninsula nearly 800 km southwest of Anchorage, marked some of the strongest unrest detected at the site this Northern Hemisphere summer and may intensify, the Alaska Volcano Observatory warned.

ERUPTION: An aerial view of the eruption at Mount Veniaminof's intracaldera cone on the Alaska Peninsula.
Game McGimsey/Alaska Volcano Observatory/U.S. Geological Survey

But the eruptions were not believed to be linked to a large, 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck on Friday in waters off the remote Alaska island of Adak, nearly 1400km southwest of Veniaminof in the Aleutians chain, said John Power, the observatory's scientist in charge.

''The plate tectonics are the same, but there's no direct relationship between the volcano and the earthquake,'' he said. The quake was felt strongly on Adak, a former U.S. Navy station now home to a commercial fishing and maritime service center, and was followed by numerous aftershocks, the city manager said.

Shaking also was felt in Atka, a tiny native Aleut village 100km northeast of the quake's center. But there were no initial reports of injuries or severe damage.

Large quakes and volcanic eruptions are fairly common in southwestern Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, which lie in one of the most seismically active parts of the United States. Ash spewed from Veniaminof has already dusted the nearby village of Perryville, a fishing town with 112 residents, and light ash was expected to fall in other communities, according to the volcano observatory, jointly run by the state and federal governments and the University of Alaska, at Fairbanks.

The new ash clouds, rising 15,000 to 20,000 feet into air, were higher than those produced earlier this summer, but air traffic was not reported to have been affected, said Allen Kenitzer, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

Veniaminof, one of three Alaska volcanoes that have been restless this summer, began its latest eruptive episode in mid-June. But until now, ash clouds have been very small, mostly limited to the area around the peak's summit. Since June, hot gas and lava have melting the snow and ice at the volcano's upper reaches, leaving bare rock exposed.Earlier this year, eruptions at another volcano in the same region, Pavlof, disrupted regional air flights, but scientists determined in early August that its eruptive phase had ended. - Stuff.

An Alaska volcano that has been intermittently oozing lava and releasing small bursts of ash and steam since June erupted with new ferocity, sending clouds of ash more than three miles (4.8 km) into the air, scientists said.

The latest eruptions from the 8,225-foot (2,507-metre) Veniaminof Volcano, on the Alaska Peninsula nearly 500 miles (805 km) southwest of Anchorage, marked some of the most intense activity detected at the site this summer and may intensify, the Alaska Volcano Observatory warned.

However, the eruptions were not believed to be linked to a large, 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck on Friday in waters off the remote Alaska island of Adak, nearly 800 miles southwest of Veniaminof in the Aleutians chain, said John Power, the observatory’s chief scientist.

“The plate tectonics are the same, but there is no direct relationship between the volcano and the earthquake,” he said. - InSerbia.

A strong eruptive phase (paroxysm) with lava fountains and associated ash emissions reaching 15-20,000 ft (4.5-6 km) altitude occurred yesterday.

Ash plume rising from Veniaminof earlier today (Perryville webcam, FAA).

This episode of activity, accompanied by elevated levels of continuous tremor, has so far been the strongest since the start of the eruption on 10 June.
At present, activity has decreased again, but it is possible that similar or even stronger eruptive episodes continue to occur in the near future. - Volcano Discovery.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Tons Of Dead Fish Wash Up From The Baltic Sea On Beaches In Germany?!

August 31, 2013 - BALTIC COAST - As this week between Heiligendamm on the Baltic Sea beach and Graal-Müritz drives several tons of dead fish, mainly bream and roach, which belong rather to fresh water, the experts was clear that this is due to a break-saline and oxygen-poor water. The fish had demonstrated neither disease nor external injuries.

Dead herring: Last winter there an estimated 10,000 tonnes of fish found dead in Iceland.

Christopher Zimmerman, deputy head of the Rostock Thünen-Institute for Baltic Sea Fisheries, explains the phenomenon: The salinity of the Baltic Sea is not very high. He is also determined by the North Sea. The autumn and winter storms play a major role. First sweeps east of the Baltic Sea, as it is empty, then the west wind brings saline water from the North Sea. The salty water is less than the less salinity.

But where the freshwater fish come from?

First, it is also rich in oxygen. But then when plankton layers on the lake, the algal mats around, die and sink into the depths, the bacteria decompose the plankton - and need oxygen. Now, if this salty, but now even low-oxygen layers are swirled to the surface, which is threatening for many marine animals.

So something seems to be happening on the Mecklenburg Baltic Sea coast now. Ablandiger wind has driven away the upper layers of the sea, the lower saline and oxygen-poor came from about 20 meters to the surface. But where the freshwater fish come from? Zimmermann explains it so that many of them are staying in places where fresh water meets sea water, such as in the Warnow estuary.

"Of course the salt water does not flow very far up the creeks, in the case of the Warnow in Rostock, at best, to the port city." In fact, there have been the end of last week, such a revolution by offshore wind. Sign was that the water temperature dropped within 48 hours from 21 to 17 degrees.

They could not run away fast enough

But not the temperature drop was fatal to the fish, but the oxygen depletion of the cold water from the deeper layers. They could not run away fast enough, as Zimmermann explained. "A cod has about as there is no problem, he just swims away." That many fish die at such times, come again and again again and can also happen anywhere on the Baltic Sea, provided offshore wind and offshore. Recently there had been in the Bay of Lübeck, a mussel die. "This is still well remembered because it stunk mightily," says Zimmermann.

The water changes are also seen in the occurrence of jellyfish, usually present at the dividing line between the deeper salt water and the layers above. Also, they are then stirred up and brought to the surface. In fact, many jellyfish were observed in the last days of Rostock. - Faz. [Translated]

FIRE IN THE SKY: Huge Fireball Flies Across The Sky Over San Luis Potosi In Mexico!

August 31, 2013 - MEXICO - The following videos were all recorded on the same day and point out a huge meteor rocketing in the sky in the region of San Luis Potosi in Mexico.

This huge fireball traveled in Earth's atmosphere on the 21st of August 2013, leaving behind a trail of smoke.

WATCH: Fireball over Mexico.

- Strange Sounds.

WORLD WAR III: As The World Considers Intervention Into Syria, More Alleged Atrocities Are Reported - United Nations Inspectors Leave For The Hague With Samples Of Chemical Weapons!

August 31, 2013 - SYRIA - Children in the Syrian province of Aleppo earlier this week suffered napalm-like burns after an incendiary agent was dropped on their school by what rebels say was a government jet. At least 10 people were killed, and dozens more were injured.

Horrific injuries: Many of the victims suffered burns covering more than 50 percent of their bodies. Even
children like this terribly burned, shaking 15-year-old may count themselves lucky.

A humanitarian doctor who treated the children after the Monday incident described the scene as “apocalyptic. As they all started to arrive, it felt like I was living a horror film,” said the volunteer doctor, who asked only to be identified by her first name, Roula. “As they were coming in, because of their burns, they were radiating so much heat. The hospital got so, so hot.”

Roula said her first thought after seeing the “petrified” children covered in unidentified white matter was that there had been another chemical attack — something she and others have feared ever since an Aug. 21 massacre in Damascus was determined by the U.S. and other nations to have involved chemical weapons.

Bombing horror: A BBC Panorama team has released footage showing the aftermath of a 'napalm-like'
bomb dropped on a school playground in Syria.

“We didn’t actually have much information at the beginning. All we knew was that these severely burnt children were all coming in droves,” she said. Those who survived have burns on 50 percent to 80 percent of their bodies. It’s still unclear what agent was used in Monday’s attack, although Syrian rebels say the regime dropped a chemical agent of some sort.

A BBC team filming inside Syria captured disturbing video images of the aftermath of the incident showing shaking children pleading for help as their skin burned. Syrian opposition activists say a school was attacked Monday with a substance they compared to Napalm, saying the only injuries recorded were burns across 50 to 80 percent of victims’ bodies.

Distressed: Survivors of the attack were taken to a basic hospital and treated
on the floor, where they writhed in pain.

NBC’s Richard Engel reports. A girl who witnessed the attack told NBC News’ Richard Engel that the plane attacked the school twice. “As we were going inside the classroom, it hit again. I didn’t hear anything. We just saw people burning,” said the student, who was not identified. “My classmates were burning. It felt like Judgment Day.”

The patients were not limited to schoolchildren, according to Roula, speaking to NBC News from London days after the attack. The first case she received was a 7-month-old brought in by his father. The infant was covered in full-body burns, and his dad had head burns. “He described that a missile had hit his home,” Roula said.

WATCH: Syrian jet drops napalm-like bomb on Aleppo school.

“At that point, I thought it was an isolated case, and literally two minutes later, we received five more cases, and within 10 minutes, we had 15, and then a few minutes later, we had 30.” The attack happened late in the afternoon, she said, when the children were finishing up their school day. One victim in particular — a 16-year-old girl — stood out.

“She took a deep breath and asked me, ‘’Do you think my face is going to be mutilated?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. I hope not.’ She said:’All I was trying to do was study for my exams. I was just trying to do my baccalaureate because I want to be like you. I want to be a doctor.’” - NBC News.

UN Inspectors To Leave For The Hague With Samples From Syria.
UN chemical investigation team, which has now completed its work in Syria.

UN inspectors tasked to probe alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria would leave the Syrian capital of Damascus for The Hague on Saturday with samples they collected from the suspected site of Aug. 21 attacks for lab analysis, a UN spokesman said on August 30. “They will be leaving Damascus and leaving Syria tomorrow,” Martin Nesirky told a daily news briefing here. “They will be returning to The Hague.”

The UN inspectors had gathered in the Dutch city before entering Syria for their mission earlier this month. According to Nesirky, the inspectors have completed collecting samples, including medical samples from field hospitals and environmental samples from the alleged gas attack site outside Damascus, and interviewed victims for more evidence.

“The samples that they have collected will be taken to be analyzed in designated locations and the intention is, of course, to expedite the analysis of that sampling that has been taken,” said the spokesman. “But we have to be very clear here that before that mission can draw any conclusions about this incident, the evaluation of all information including the analysis of all samples must be completed.”

The “team is doing its utmost to expedite the process of analysis,” he said. “They will be compiling a preliminary report first on the basis of the sample analysis,” said Nesirky, adding that later they will compile a final report on their investigation results.

Chemical probe: The UN investigation team had been gathering evidence
on the attack near Damascus last month.

The UN fact-finding group, created by UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in March at the request of the Syrian government, will try to establish only whether chemical weapons were used, but not who used them.

“As soon as the analysis of the samples is completed, a report will be given to the secretary-general and the secretary-general will share that report result with all (UN) member states and of course the Security Council,” said Nesirky.

Responding to reporters’ questions, Nesirky ruled out any link between the withdrawal of the UN inspectors and possible Western strikes on Syria. He noted that there are currently 1,000 UN national and international staff working in Syria, “10 times the size of the UN inspectors.”

The UN chief cut short a European visit and returned to the UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday night to await a preliminary report from the Syria inspectors. Ban, who had urged Western powers to give peace and diplomacy a chance amid increasing threats of military action on Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons, also met with representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

WATCH: UN inspectors out of Syria.

Ban will also meet with Angela Kane, the UN disarmament chief, here on Saturday, Nesirky said. Kane, who was sent to Damascus by the secretary-general to negotiate an inquiry into the alleged chemical weapons attacks on Aug. 21, left Syria on Friday and is on her way back to New York. However, the head of the UN inspectors, Swedish scientist Dr. Ake Salstrom, “will be remaining in Europe to oversee the (sample) analysis,” said Nesirky. - Global Times.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Unusual Event - Over 1,000 Dead Fish Found In A Stream In La Bresse, France?!

August 31, 2013 - FRANCE - Yesterday morning, the National Office for Water and Aquatic Environments (Onema) and the police went to the edge of the bridge Saichy in La Bresse, more precisely at the bedside Chajoux stream that flows into the Moselotte.

The collection of dead trout is ongoing analyzes to determine the cause of the carnage also.
Dead trout: Authorities suspect pollution. Analyzes are ongoing. La Bresse

They found the presence of a significant amount of dead fish on the banks and in the river.
Samples were made by the police to determine the cause of the carnage.

Because mortality of wildlife is visible over six kilometers.

More than a thousand heads of all species. Dead fish have even been spotted in the Moselotte the center of La Bresse, swept away by the current.

The alert was given Wednesday morning by a fisherman who had found nothing suspicious yesterday, but noticed the presence of dead trout amount upon arrival.

He alerted the authorities, who immediately have attempted to identify a potential source of pollution, which proves chemical.

Nothing could be ascertained during these first steps.

Ongoing analyzes are likely to provide more answers to the investigators of the community brigades Saulxures-sur-Moselotte.
However, time is needed. The Federation of Fisheries decided to complain. - Vosgesmatin. [Translated]

Friday, August 30, 2013

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful 7.0 Earthquake Rocks Alaska's Aleutian Islands - At Least Three Dozen Aftershocks Continue To Rattle The Remote Island Region After Initial Quake!

August 30, 2013 - ALASKA - Several aftershocks rattled a remote Aleutian Island region off Alaska in the hours after a major 7.0 temblor struck with a jet-like rumble that shook homes and sent residents scrambling for cover.

At least three dozen aftershocks, including one reaching magnitude 6.1 in strength, struck after the major quake Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

"I heard it coming," said Kathleen Nevzoroff, who was sitting at her computer in the tiny Aleutians village of Adak when the 7.0 temblor struck at 8:25 a.m. local time, getting stronger and stronger. "I ran to my doors and opened them and my chimes were all ringing."

USGS earthquake location.

There were no reports of damage or injuries from the earthquake, which occurred in a seismically active region. It was strongly felt in Atka, an Aleut community of 64 people, and the larger Aleutian town of Adak, where 320 people live.

The earthquake and the aftershocks didn't trigger any tsunami warnings, but Michael Burgy with the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, said the center is monitoring for potential tsunamis caused by landslides, either on land or under water.

The Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the primary earthquake was centered 67 miles southwest of Adak, about 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage. Shaking lasted up to one minute.

The 6.1 aftershock struck in the same general area at 10:39 p.m. Friday. Police and town officials in Adak didn't immediately answer telephone calls for comment Friday night.

"We do expect aftershocks to occur in the next few days," USGS geophysicist Jessica Turner said. She said there had been a least 30 so far measuring at least magnitude 2.5.

She said the USGS hasn't had any reports of damage from the quakes, but added that the major one and some larger aftershocks have been felt.

The 7.0 quake occurred offshore in the subduction zone where plates of the Earth's crust grind and dive. By contrast, California's most famous fault line, the San Andreas, is a strike-slip fault. Quakes along strike-slip faults tend to move horizontally.

USGS earthquake aftershock locations.

In Adak, city clerk Debra Sharrah was upstairs in her two-story townhome getting ready for work when she heard a noise.

"I thought it was my dog running up the stairs," she said. "It kept making noise and then it got louder. So then all of a sudden the rumbling started."

The four-plex of townhomes was shaking and swaying as Sharrah and her dog, Pico, dashed out the door. It seemed like the building moved for a long time, but the only thing disturbed in her home was a stepstool that fell over.

"Nothing fell off my walls, and the wine glasses didn't go out of the hutch or anything," said Sharrah, who moved to the island community from Montana's Glacier National Park area almost two years ago.

In Atka, Nevzoroff manages the village store and expected to find goods had flown off the shelves. But nothing was amiss.

"Everything seems to be okay," she said.

The communities are located in a sparsely populated region and both played roles in World War II.

Atka residents were displaced during the war, relocating to Southeast Alaska so the U.S. government could demolish the village to prevent the Japanese from seizing it as they had other Aleutian communities. After the war, the U.S. Navy rebuilt the community and residents returned. Today, the community is a cluster of solidly built utilitarian buildings scattered over rolling hills that turned emerald green in warmer months.

Adak, 110 miles to the west, had been home to U.S. military installations that allowed forces to wage a successful offense against the Japanese after they seized the Aleutian Islands of Kiska and Attu. After the war. Adak was transformed into a Naval air station that served as a submarine surveillance center during the Cold War. Later, the facilities were acquired by the Aleut Corp. — a regional native corporation — in a federal land-transfer agreement. It became a city in 2001 and today retains its military appearance. - ABC News.

Tectonic Summary
The August 30, 2013 M 7.0 earthquake southeast of Adak, Alaska, occurred as the result of thrust faulting on or near the subduction zone interface between the Pacific and North America plates. At the location of this event, the Pacific plate moves towards the northwest with respect to North America at a rate of approximately 73 mm/yr, beginning its descent into the mantle at the Aleutian trench approximately 130 km south of the August 30 earthquake. The depth and mechanism of this earthquake are consistent with it occurring along the megathrust interface between these two plates.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

The Aleutians Arc is familiar with large earthquakes –two-dozen events of M 6.5 or larger have occurred over the last century within 250 km of the August 30 earthquake. The largest of these was an Mw 8.6 earthquake in March of 1957, whose hypocenter was located just 15 km south of the August 30 earthquake. Aftershocks associated with the 1957 event extended for more than 1000 km along the arc, roughly from the International Dateline in the west to Unimak Island in the east. The 1957 earthquake also resulted in a large tsunami that was observed throughout the Pacific Basin, and caused damage locally along the Aleutian Arc and in Hawaii. Other large nearby events include the May 1986 Mw 8.0 earthquake 40 km to the southeast, and the June 1996 Mw 7.9 earthquake 150 km to the west. Neither of these more recent events are known to have caused fatalities or significant damage.

Seismotectonics of Alaska
The Aleutian arc extends approximately 3,000 km from the Gulf of Alaska in the east to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the west. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Aleutian Islands and the deep offshore Aleutian Trench.

The curvature of the arc results in a westward transition of relative plate motion from trench-normal (i.e., compressional) in the east to trench-parallel (i.e., translational) in the west, accompanied by westward variations in seismic activity, volcanism, and overriding plate composition. The Aleutian arc is generally divided into three regions: the western, central, and eastern Aleutians. Relative to a fixed North America plate, the Pacific plate is moving northwest at a rate that increases from roughly 60 mm/yr at the arc's eastern edge to 76 mm/yr near its western terminus. The eastern Aleutian arc extends from the Alaskan Peninsula in the east to the Fox Islands in the west. Motion along this section of the arc is characterized by arc-perpendicular convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thick continental lithosphere. This region exhibits intense volcanic activity and has a history of megathrust earthquakes.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The central Aleutian arc extends from the Andreanof Islands in the east to the Rat Islands in the west. Here, motion is characterized by westward-increasing oblique convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thin oceanic lithosphere. Along this portion of the arc, the Wadati-Benioff zone is well defined to depths of approximately 200 km. Despite the obliquity of convergence, active volcanism and megathrust earthquakes are also present along this margin.

The western Aleutians, stretching from the western end of the Rat Islands in the east to the Commander Islands, Russia, in the west, is tectonically different from the central and eastern portions of the arc. The increasing component of transform motion between the Pacific and North America plates is evidenced by diminishing active volcanism; the last active volcano is located on Buldir Island, in the far western portion of the Rat Island chain. Additionally, this portion of the subduction zone has not hosted large earthquakes or megathrust events in recorded history. Instead, the largest earthquakes in this region are generally shallow, predominantly strike-slip events with magnitudes between M5-6. Deeper earthquakes do occur, albeit rather scarcely and with small magnitudes (Magnitude less than 4), down to approximately 50 km.

Most of the seismicity along the Aleutian arc results from thrust faulting that occurs along the interface between the Pacific and North America plates, extending from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. Slip along this interface is responsible for generating devastating earthquakes. Deformation also occurs within the subducting slab in the form of intermediate-depth earthquakes that can reach depths of 250 km. Normal faulting events occur in the outer rise region of the Aleutian arc resulting from the bending of the oceanic Pacific plate as it enters the Aleutian trench. Additionally, deformation of the overriding North America plate generates shallow crustal earthquakes.

The Aleutian arc is a seismically active region, evidenced by the many moderate to large earthquakes occurring each year. Since 1900, this region has hosted twelve large earthquakes (Magnitude greater than 7.5) including the May 7, 1986 M8.0 Andreanof Islands, the June 10, 1996 M7.9 Andreanof Islands, and the November 17, 2003 M7.8 Rat Islands earthquakes. Six of these great earthquakes (M8.3 or larger) have occurred along the Aleutian arc that together have ruptured almost the entire shallow megathrust contact. The first of these major earthquakes occurred on August 17, 1906 near the island of Amchitka (M8.3) in the western Aleutian arc. However, unlike the other megathrust earthquakes along the arc, this event is thought to have been an intraplate event occurring in the shallow slab beneath the subduction zone interface.

The first megathrust event along the arc during the 20th century was the November 10, 1938 M8.6 Shumagin Island earthquake. This event ruptured an approximately 300 km long stretch of the arc from the southern end of Kodiak Island to the northern end of the Shumagin Islands and generated a small tsunami that was recorded as far south as Hawaii.

The April 1, 1946 M8.6 Unimak Island earthquake, located in the central Aleutian arc, was characterized by slow rupture followed by a devastating Pacific-wide tsunami that was observed as far south as the shores of Antarctica. Although damage from earthquake shaking was not severe locally, tsunami run-up heights were recorded as high as 42 m on Unimak Island and tsunami waves in Hilo, Hawaii also resulted in casualties. The slow rupture of this event has made it difficult to constrain the focal mechanism and depth of the earthquake, though it is thought to have been an interplate thrust earthquake.

The next megathrust earthquake occurred along the central portion of the Aleutian arc near the Andreanof Islands on March 9, 1957, with a magnitude of M8.6. The rupture length of this event was approximately 1200 km, making it the longest observed aftershock zone of all the historic Aleutian arc events. Although only limited seismic data from this event are still available, significant damage and tsunamis were observed on the islands of Adak and Unimak with tsunami heights of approximately 13 m.

The easternmost megathrust earthquake was the March 28, 1964 M9.2 Prince William Sound earthquake, currently the second largest recorded earthquake in the world. The event had a rupture length of roughly 700 km extending from Prince William Sound in the northeast to the southern end of Kodiak Island in the southwest. Extensive damage was recorded in Kenai, Moose Pass, and Kodiak but significant shaking was felt over a large region of Alaska, parts of western Yukon Territory, and British Columbia, Canada. Property damage was the largest in Anchorage, as a result of both the main shock shaking and the ensuing landslides. This megathrust earthquake also triggered a devastating tsunami that caused damage along the Gulf of Alaska, the West Coast of the United States, and in Hawaii.

The westernmost Aleutians megathrust earthquake followed a year later on February 4, 1965. This M8.7 Rat Islands earthquake was characterized by roughly 600 km of rupture. Although this event is quite large, damage was low owing to the region's remote and sparsely inhabited location. A relatively small tsunami was recorded throughout the Pacific Ocean with run-up heights up to 10.7 m on Shemya Island and flooding on Amchitka Island.

Although the Aleutian arc is highly active, seismicity is rather discontinuous, with two regions that have not experienced a large (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquake in the past century: the Commander Islands in the western Aleutians and the Shumagin Islands in the east. Due to the dominantly transform motion along the western arc, there is potential that the Commander Islands will rupture in a moderate to large strike-slip earthquake in the future. The Shumagin Islands region may also have high potential for hosting a large rupture in the future, though it has been suggested that little strain is being accumulated along this section of the subduction zone, and thus associated hazards may be reduced.

East of the Aleutian arc along the Gulf of Alaska, crustal earthquakes occur as a result transmitted deformation and stress associated with the northwestward convergence of the Pacific plate that collides a block of oceanic and continental material into the North America plate. In 2002, the Denali Fault ruptured in a sequence of earthquakes that commenced with the October 23 M6.7 Nenana Mountain right-lateral strike-slip earthquake and culminated with the November 3, M7.9 Denali earthquake which started as a thrust earthquake along a then unrecognized fault and continued with a larger right-lateral strike-slip event along the Denali and Totschunda Faults. - USGS.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Meteor That Exploded Over Chelyabinsk, Russia May Have Skimmed The Sun!

August 30, 2013 - SPACE - The meteor that injured over 1,500 people when it exploded and showered debris over Russia in February may have had a close shave with the Sun earlier, researchers said Tuesday.

A study of its composition showed the space rock had undergone "intensive melting" before entering Earth's atmosphere and streaking over the central Russia's Chelyabinsk region in a blinding fireball, they said in a statement.

This "almost certainly" points to a near-miss with the Sun, or a collision with another body in the solar system - possibly a planet or asteroid, said study co-author Victor Sharygin from the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Geology and Mineralogy.

The findings were presented at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Florence, Italy.

The meteor is estimated to have been 17 metres (56 feet) wide before exploding with the equivalent force of 30 times that of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.

Its shockwave blew out windows and damaged buildings across five Russian regions.

The meteor's fragments lie scattered over a large area around Chelyabinsk - the largest piece is believed to lie at the bottom of Chebarkul Lake from where scientists are trying to raise it. - Raw Story.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For August 30, 2013 - Updates On El Hierro, Manam, Ijen, Dukono, Fuego, Ambrym, Veniaminof, Popocatépetl, Santa María, Santiaguito, Pacaya And Momotombo!

August 30, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

El Hierro (Canary Islands, Spain): Small earthquakes (mostly below magnitude 2) continue to occur frequently (10-20 per day), mostly under the central part of the island.

Location of quakes during the past 2 weeks (IGN)

Right now, this activity seems to be picking up, but it is too early to see if this evolves into another swarm.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): Explosions occurred this morning, producing ash plumes rising to 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude, VAAC Darwin reported.

Ijen (East Java, Indonesia): CVGHM reported that during 1 July-25 August diffuse white plumes rose 100-150 m above Ijen's crater, the lake water was light green, and seismicity decreased... [read more]

Dukono (Halmahera): VAAC Darwin reported an ash plume from the volcano at 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude yesterday morning. This might have originated from a larger than usual explosion.

The rarely visited volcano is one of Indonesia's almost permanently active volcanoes and often has strombolian to vulcanian activity.

Ambrym (Vanuatu): A large SO2 plume is drifting NW from the volcano, where at least two lava lakes in the Benbow and Marum craters remain active.

SO2 plume from Ambrym volcano (NOAA).

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): The eruption at the intracaldera cone of Veniaminof Volcano continues. The seismicity over the past 24 hours has been characterized by discreet episodic bursts of tremor, likely associated with lava effusion and minor ash emission.

Current seismic recording from Veniaminof (VNHG station, AVO)

Satellite images of the volcano over the past 24 hours have shown prominent thermal signals at the intracaldera cone, although views of the volcano have been infrequent due to cloud cover. (AVO daily update)

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity remains low with few (less than 1 per hour) weak emissions of steam and gas.

SO2 plume from Popocatépetl yesterday (NOAA).

Abundant SO2 output and glow at the summit indicate continuing lava extrusion.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): INSIVUMEH reports strong rockfall activity from the steep-sided lava flows, suggesting that several of them are being alimented at the moment. Strong degassing produces a steam column rising up to about 1 km above the dome.

Pacaya (Guatemala): Weak strombolian activity and the effusion of lava flows continues.

Pacaya volcano last evening (INSIVUMEH).

The activity can be seen from the capital and the coast.

Fuego (Guatemala): The lava flows were no longer active yesterday morning. Activity consisted in weak to moderate strombolian explosions with incandescent material projected to up to 150 m above the crater, and ash plumes of a few 100 m height.

Momotombo (Nicaragua): A swarm of quakes including a shallow magnitude 3.8 felt earthquake occurred yesterday morning (16:38 GMT) at 3.5 km depth under the NW flank of the volcano.

Location of yesterday's earthquake under Momotombo volcano, Nicaragua.

There are no reports of other unusual activity at the volcano.

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for August 30, 2013.

- Volcano Discovery.