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Happening in America: Police Department Seizing Firearms From Families After the Original Owner Passes AwaySaturday, 15 November 2014 16:00 Written by Deputy Rider
World View: American-led air attacks are failing. Jihadis are close to taking Kobani, in Syria – and in Iraq western Baghdad is now under serious threat. America's plans to fight Islamic State are in ruins as the militant group's
fighters come close to capturing Kobani and have inflicted a heavy
defeat on the Iraqi army west of Baghdad.The US-led air attacks launched against Islamic State (also known as Isis) on 8 August in Iraq and 23 September in Syria have not worked. President Obama's plan to "degrade and destroy" Islamic State has not even begun to achieve success. In both Syria and Iraq, Isis is expanding its control rather than contracting.Isis reinforcements have been rushing towards Kobani in the past few days to ensure that they win a decisive victory over the Syrian Kurdish town's remaining defenders. The group is willing to take heavy casualties in street fighting and from air attacks in order to add to the string of victories it has won in the four months since its forces captured Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, on 10 June. Part of the strength of the fundamentalist movement is a sense that there is something inevitable and divinely inspired about its victories, whether it is against superior numbers in Mosul or US airpower at Kobani.In the face of a likely Isis victory at Kobani, senior US officials have been trying to explain away the failure to save the Syrian Kurds in the town, probably Isis's toughest opponents in Syria. "Our focus in Syria is in degrading the capacity of [Isis] at its core to project power, to command itself, to sustain itself, to resource itself," said US Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, in a typical piece of waffle designed to mask defeat. "The tragic reality is that in the course of doing that there are going to be places like Kobani where we may or may not be able to fight effectively."Unfortunately for the US, Kobani isn't the only place air strikes are failing to stop Isis. In an offensive in Iraq launched on 2 October but little reported in the outside world, Isis has captured almost all the cities and towns it did not already hold in Anbar province, a vast area in western Iraq that makes up a quarter of the country. It has captured Hit, Kubaisa and Ramadi, the provincial capital, which it had long fought for. Other cities, towns and bases on or close to the Euphrates River west of Baghdad fell in a few days, often after little resistance by the Iraqi Army which showed itself to be as dysfunctional as in the past, even when backed by US air strikes.
Citizen Four is the shocking doc about Edward Snowden made by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. Just screened tonight was the two hour film which will be released by the Weinstein Company this month. It doesn’t paint the Obama administration in a very good light as Snowden explains how the government has violated privacy rights on a massive scale.
Also the filmmakers clearly indicate that all roads lead to POTUS, a fairly serious accusation. There may be serious repercussions.
Then there’s the Hollywoodization of Snowden. The detail of how and why Snowden went about this is pretty surprising considering how the 29 year old former NSA employee says he wants his own privacy and not to be a celebrity. It’s instructive to see his evolution from eyeglass wearing nerd to contact lenses and moussed up hair sporting hero of his own thriller. It’s all very Tom Cruise. Even the beautiful girlfriend sets up housekeeping with him in Moscow. Nevertheless as the details of the NSA’s programs are revealed Snowden says, “This isn’t science fiction. It’s really happening.”
Increased SO2 emissions from Holuhraun eruption site can pose health risk and affect global climate changeTuesday, 30 September 2014 14:09 Written by Deputy Rider
Earth has split open between the Bardarbunga and Askja volcanoes in Iceland and spewed lava and hot gas. According to the University of Iceland, as of September 9, 2014, the new lava flow was 16 kilometers (10 miles) long and covered about 20 square kilometers (8 square miles).
Holuhraun has spewed more lava this month than any Icelandic volcano since the 19th century.