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Oct. 23, 2017- US Preparing to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert


 1coverThe Last Chronicles of Planet Earth October 5, 2017 Edition written by Frank DiMora

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Headline: Israel launches retaliatory strikes on Syrian artillery positions

The IDF hit three Syrian regime artillery positions Saturday following five projectiles that were launched towards Israel earlier in the morning. Three of the five projectiles landed in open territory in Israel’s northern Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. “Even if this is spillover, this is an exceptional event and the continuation of such events will only exacerbate Israel’s response,” the army said in a statement, adding that “the IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the sovereignty Of the state of Israel and her citizens. The Syrian regime is responsible for all that is happening on its territory.” Syria’s SANA state news agency reported that the Israeli shelling came after rebels launched mortar shells “upon the instructions of the Israeli entity” which gave the IDF a “pretext to carry out its aggression.” The Syrian army added the shelling caused material damage and warned of “dangerous repercussions of such hostile acts” adding it holds Israel “fully responsible for the outcomes of that aggression, regardless of the flimsy pretexts.”
Oct. 21, 2017

Headline: Lieberman: Golan shelling was not erratic, but ordered by Nasrallah

The five shells that exploded on the Israeli Golan Friday – far from spilling over from Syrian warfare – were fired deliberately on the direct orders of Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah, unbeknownst to Bashar Assad. This charge was leveled by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman at a meeting of his Yisrael Beteinu faction Monday in Jerusalem. The shells were fired by a local cell orchestrated by Hizballah, he said. Nasrallah ordered the action to take place without notifying Assad and his government.  “Straight up, this was no stray fire, but a deliberate HIzballah attack on Israel, aimed at dragging us into the quagmire.” Assad and the Russian forces operating in Syria had better rein Hizballah in – or better still, “throw [Hizballah] out of Syria as quickly as possible.”
Oct. 23, 2017

Headline: Hamas leader’s visit to Iran defies Israeli condition on Palestinian unity

A top Hamas official defiantly rejected Israel’s conditions for recognizing Hamas-Palestinian Authority unity, noting that the very act he was committing — an official visit to Iran — went against the conditions. “Our presence in Iran is the practical denial of the third precondition — cutting ties with Iran,” said Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy chief of the terrorist organization controlling the Gaza Strip, according to Reuters, which quoted Iranian news wires. The Trump administration has encouraged the unity talks — while also embracing Israel’s conditions — seeing the Palestinian Authority’s return to control in Gaza as key to advancing peace talks. US President Donald Trump’s top negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, decried Arouri’s defiance in posts Monday on Twitter. “Hamas, which has only brought ruin and misery to Palestinians, now begs Iran for help and again vows to destroy Israel,” Greenblatt said. “Palestinians deserve so much better than this. We must find a better path forward toward peace and prosperity.”
Oct. 23, 2017


Saudi Arabia

Headline: 8 killed in south Yemen attack on military base

Three Yemeni soldiers and five assailants were killed in an attack on a military base in the southern province of Abyan on Monday, a security source said. A car rigged with explosives carrying five men pulled up to a military base in the district of Mudiya in Abyan, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity. Four men wearing explosive belts ran out of the car and toward the base, and were all shot dead. The vehicle then exploded outside of the base, killing the driver and three soldiers from a UAE-backed contingent in the Yemeni army.
Oct. 23, 2017


Headline: Militants kill Egyptian security forces in desert shoot-out

More than 50 Egyptian security personnel have died during a clash with suspected Islamist militants. The militants opened fire on the group during a raid on their hideout near the Bahariya oasis in the Western Desert, the interior ministry said. Security forces are understood to have gone into the desert following a tip-off about a possible hideout. Fifteen militants also died in the attack.A security source quoted by local news outlets said their convoy came under attack by militants using rocket-propelled grenades and explosive devices. The situation was reportedly made worse for the security forces by the attackers’ familiarity with the area, while the commanding officer was unable to call for land and air reinforcements due to poor telecommunications in the desert. In total, 53 members of the security service died, sources told the BBC.
Oct. 21, 2017


Headline: US-Backed Forces Take Syria’s Largest Oil Field From IS

Headline: Kurds win Syrian oil under secret US-Russian deal – prize for Raqqa

The U.S.-led coalition said allied fighters captured Syria’s largest oil field from the Islamic State group on Sunday, marking a major advance against the extremists in an area coveted by pro-government forces. With IS in retreat, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian government have been in a race to secure parts of the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province along the border with Iraq. The SDF, with air support from the U.S.-led coalition, said Sunday it captured the Al-Omar field in a “swift and wide military operation.” It said some militants have taken cover in oil company houses nearby, where clashes are underway. The U.S.-led coalition confirmed the SDF had retaken the oil field. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said pro-government forces retreated from the area around Al-Omar field after coming under heavy fire from IS. The SDF said government forces are three kilometers (two miles) away from the fields.
Oct. 23, 2017


Headline: Iraq builds up forces near Kurdish oil export pipeline

Iraqi forces are deploying tanks and artillery near a Kurdish-held area of northern Iraq where a section of a Kurdish oil export pipeline is located, as well as land crossings to Turkey and Syria, security sources said on Monday. The buildup is taking place northwest of Mosul, an official from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) security council said. A Iraqi government security advisor said taking control of the land crossings was part of measures planned by Baghdad.
Oct. 23, 2017,7340,L-5032719,00.html

Headline: ‘Interference’: Iraq PM’s office rejects Tillerson’s call for Iran-backed militias to ‘go home’

In a tight-lipped statement, Baghdad rejected a call by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for Iran-backed Shia militias to “go home” after the demise of Islamic State in Iraq. Earlier on Sunday, Rex Tillerson said at a rare meeting with top Iraqi and Saudi Arabian officials that Iraq’s Shiite militias – also known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) – and their Iranian advisers need to leave Iraq as the struggle against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) is nearing an end. But Baghdad seems reluctant to go along with Washington’s request, judging by a polite but robust remark made on Monday by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office. “No party has the right to interfere in Iraqi matters,” the statement posted on Facebook reads. It added that many PMU members were native Iraqis who made “enormous sacrifices to defend their country and the Iraqi people.”
Oct. 23, 2017



Headline: Iraq PM to visit Turkey on Wednesday, discuss Northern Iraq referendum: Turkish sources

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will visit Turkey on Wednesday to discuss potential joint steps against northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government following last month’s independence referendum, Turkish prime ministry sources said. Abadi and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim would also discuss issues of regional security, stability and peace, the sources said on Monday. Last week, Turkey said it would close its air space to Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region and work to hand control of the main border crossing into the region to the central Iraqi government.
Oct. 23, 2017


Headline: Afghan suicide mosque attacks kill scores of worshippers

Some 60 people have been killed in two separate attacks on mosques in Afghanistan, officials say. A gunman entered a Shia Muslim mosque in Kabul before opening fire and detonating an explosive, killing at least 39 worshippers. An attack on a Sunni Muslim mosque in Ghor province killed 20 people. So-called Islamic State (IS) said it carried out the attack on Kabul’s Imam Zaman mosque, but provided no evidence for the claim. The group has previously targeted Shia mosques across Afghanistan. The new attacks bring to at least 176 the number of people killed in bomb attacks across the country this week.
Oct. 21, 2017


Headline: Report suggests Qatar transferring ISIS militants from Iraq and Syria to Libya

ISIS militants have allegedly begun to regroup in south Libya with Qatar’s help after the Gulf state was accused of transferring hundreds of fighters from Syria and Iraq to Libya, a UAE-based newspaper reported on Saturday. Military sources told Alittihad newspaper that the move is an effort to turn the south into a hotbed for extremists after ISIS took severe blows in Syria and Iraq. According to Libyan military officials speaking to the newspaper, ISIS fighters began to leave fighting areas through Turkey and are headed to Libya. The newspaper added that Doha, which is accused by the anti-terror quartet of supporting terrorist groups including groups in Libya that suffer from political divisions, is behind this activity.
Oct. 23, 2017


Headline: 13 Killed in Nigeria Suicide Bombing

A suicide bomber has killed 13 other people in the restive northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Sunday. The Sunday evening attack also injured five people. Two subsequent suicide bombings injured more than a dozen others. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but officials suspect Boko Haram the militant group is behind the violence. Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people during in its eight-year insurgency against the Nigerian government in a bid to create a strict Islamic state in the majority Muslim north. Maiduguri, the capital of the state of Borno, is the birthplace of Boko Haram.
Oct. 22, 2017

Headline: Catalonia warns of civil disobedience as Madrid readies direct rule

Headline: Amid Catalonia standoff, 2 Italy regions vote for more independence

Catalonia said on Monday it was confident all officials including police would defy attempts by Madrid to enforce direct rule on the region, in an escalating dispute that has raised fears of unrest among Spain’s European allies. The Spanish government has invoked special constitutional powers to fire the regional government and force a new election to counter an independence drive that has rattled the economy. A vote in the Senate to implement direct rule is due on Friday. But the leaders of the secessionist campaign said a disputed referendum on Oct. 1 gave them the mandate to claim independence from the rest of Spain. “It’s not that we will refuse (orders). It is not a personal decision. It is a seven million-person decision,” Catalonia’s foreign affairs chief Raul Romeva told BBC radio.
Oct. 23, 2017


Headline: US Preparing to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert

The U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991. That means the long-dormant concrete pads at the ends of this base’s 11,000-foot runway — dubbed the “Christmas tree” for their angular markings — could once again find several B-52s parked on them, laden with nuclear weapons and set to take off at a moment’s notice. “This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared,” Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff, said in an interview during his six-day tour of Barksdale and other U.S. Air Force bases that support the nuclear mission. “I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward.”
Oct. 22, 2017


Headline: Keepers warn of ‘bee-mageddon’ after France authorises controversial insecticide

French bee keepers are up in arms over the authorisation of an insecticide they warn could sound the death knell of their already decimated bee population. Bee hives have been hit in Europe, North America and elsewhere by a mysterious phenomenon called “colony collapse disorder”. The blight has been blamed on mites, a virus or fungus, pesticides, or a combination of factors. With the honey harvest in France down to just 10,000 tons this year – three times less than in the 1990s – the country’s national apiculture union, UNAF, slammed what it called the “scandalous” authorisation of sulfaoxaflor, which attacks the central nervous system of insects.
Oct. 20, 2017


Headline: 5 dead after Typhoon Lan hits Japan

Typhoon Lan traveled out to sea early Monday after hitting Japan’s east coast, killing at least five people. The powerful storm brought 100 mph winds as it struck Shizuoka Prefecture and dumped more than 30 inches of rain in 48 hours, beginning Sunday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. A gust of 164.5 mph was recorded in Okayama province.More than 200,000 people were ordered to evacuate by the country’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency, with 2.2 million more homes under advisory to evacuate. The typhoon, which struck Taiwan before turning north toward Japan, was the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane, according to the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale.
Oct. 23, 2017

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