Mysterious Radioactive Cloud Hovering Over Europe Traced Back To Russia

Authorities traced the origins of a mysterious radioactive cloud that passed over some 28 countries in Europe recently. First discovered over Italy in early October, the cloud was found to have originated sometime in September near the border of Russia and Kazakhstan.

A report issued by France’s Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute (IRSN) detailed the findings. The radioactivity was discovered after monitors in Italy picked up on the ruthenium-106 isotope in the air.

“It’s somewhere in South Russia,” health director for the IRSN Jean-Christophe Gariel told NPR of the origins, noting that it was likely from between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains.

The area in question was known to have nuclear facilities, including one that converted nuclear fuel into weapons during the Cold War. The Mayak Production Association, a large nuclear reprocessing plant utilized during the Cold War, sits in the region and has had a number of accidents in the past.

“It’s a very low level of radioactivity,” Gariel said. “And it poses no problems for health and the environment in Europe.”

Even after the location of origin was discovered, authorities said questions remained about how the radioactive cloud appeared, as there was no apparent accident at any of the nuclear facilities. The radioactivity was not an “authorized release,” Gariel said, and likely did not come from an accident either. Instead, it was probably from “chemical reprocessing of old nuclear fuel or the production of isotopes used in medicine,” according to NPR.

And despite the low levels of radioactivity detected by monitors, findings suggested that those in close range of its origin would have needed to seek shelter to protect themselves from exposure, NPR reported.

“If it would have happened in France, we would have taken measures to protect the population in a radius of a few kilometers,” Gariel said.

Authorities also said the specific isotope located, Ruthenium-106, is not found in nature.

“It’s an unusual isotope,” said Anders Ringbom, research director of the Swedish Defense Research Agency. “I don’t think we have seen it since the Chernobyl accident.”


Iran-Iraq earthquake death toll surpasses 200, officials say

Iranian officials say at least sixty dead

The death toll continued to climb early Monday after a powerful earthquake shook the Iran-Iraq border region.

Iranian state media placed the tally at 207 dead and 1,686 injured in the mountainous region of Iran alone.

6:30 a.m.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency says the death toll in the powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake along the borders of Iran and Iraq has risen above 140.

IRNA also said over 860 people were injured in the quake that shook the region Sunday.

The report Monday morning said 141 had been killed in cities and towns in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah.

It said rescuers worked through the night and the operations will be accelerated during the day Monday.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja.

Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to quakes. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

___

3:20 a.m.

Iranian officials say the powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit the region along the border between Iran and Iraq on Sunday killed at least 61 people and injured 300 in Iran.

Iranian state TV also says that Iraqi officials have reported six deaths and 200 injuries inside Iraq, although there has not been any official confirmation from Iraq’s government. The TV report also says Iraqis reported more than 50 people injured in Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah province and about 150 were hurt in Khanaquin city

The U.S. Geological Survey saysdthe quake was centered 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja.

___

1:50 a.m.

An Iranian official says at least 30 people died in Iran when a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit near the Iran-Iraq border region. Deputy Gov. Mojtaba Nikkerdar of Iran’s Kermanshah province also says more than 200 people suffered injuries.

Iranian TV says Iraqi officials have reported at least six people dead on Iraq’s side of the border from Sunday’s quake. It says the officials also report more than 50 people were injured in Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah province and about 150 were hurt in Khanaquin city. There has been no official report from Iraq’s government.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was centered around 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja.

Iran’s semi-official Iranian ILNA news agency says at least 14 Iranian provinces were affected.

Iran Threatens Ballistic Missile Strikes on American Forces, Can Hit ‘All U.S. Bases’

breaking world news iran

A top Iranian military commander has threatened to launch ballistic missile attacks on U.S. forces in the region amid a public effort by the Islamic Republic to show off its advanced missile capabilities, according to U.S. officials and regional reports.

Iranian leaders disclosed that their advanced ballistic missile technology, which could be used as part of a nuclear weapons program, is sophisticated enough to strike U.S. forces up to nearly 1,300 miles, or 2,000 kilometers, away, which encompasses all U.S. bases in the region.

The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, announced on Tuesday that Iranian missiles can already “cover all U.S. bases in the region” and that Tehran has the capability to increase its missile power even further.

“Based on the policies specified by the Leader [Ayatollah Khamenei], the range of our missiles is limited to 2,000km, but we have the capability to increase the range,” IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said following an announcement by the country’s supreme leader that Iranian ballistic missile technology would be capped at this distance for the short term.

While pro-Iran activists cheered the announcement as a sign of moderation on Iran’s part, U.S officials and experts told the Washington Free Beacon that the distance cap on these missiles is effectively meaningless since the country’s current military technology is capable of striking U.S. forces, a position emphasized by Iranian military leaders.

“At present it [this distance] is sufficient because the Americans are in a 2,000 km radius from our country and their attacks will be responded,” Jafari was quoted as saying in Iran’s state-controlled press outlets.

U.S. military and administration officials told the Free Beacon the United States is cementing multiple plans to counter Iran’s ballistic missile threat and will continue to pursue these efforts despite Iranian threats of military violence.

“We have consistently maintained that we will work with our allies to change Iran’s malign and destabilizing activities,” one senior military official told the Free Beacon.

This includes the development and proliferation of ballistic missile technology, as well as Iran’s support for terrorism and Islamic extremism, according to Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Defense Department spokesperson.

The U.S. defense apparatus also is working to counter Iran’s support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, as well as the Islamic Republic’s “unrelenting hostility to Israel,” according to Rankine-Galloway.

U.S. defense officials remain concerned about Iran’s harassment of U.S. naval vessels in the region, “especially in the strategically vital Arabian Gulf,” according to the military official.

“In support of this strategy, DoD is reviewing the entire breadth of our security cooperation activities, force posture, and plans,” Rankine-Galloway said. “We are identifying new areas where we will work with allies to put pressure on the Iranian regime, neutralize its destabilizing influences, and constrain its aggressive power projection, particularly its support for terrorist groups and militants.”

A State Department official told the Free Beacon that Iran’s continued pursuit of ballistic missile technology violates United Nations Resolution 2231, which codifies the nuclear agreement and includes bans on Tehran’s development of such equipment.

“As we have said before, the Iranian regime’s program to develop ballistic missiles continues to be in defiance of UNSCR 2231 and has a destabilizing impact in the region,” the official said. “We call on the Iranian regime not to conduct any further ballistic missile launches and related activities.”

Congressional critics of the Iran deal continue to maintain the Obama administration misled lawmakers about the nature of restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, guaranteeing during negotiations over the landmark agreement that such activity would be fully halted.

“While we were told by Obama administration officials that the nuclear deal would lead to improved Iranian behavior, Iran’s behavior since reaping the massive amount of front-loaded financial benefits has only seemed to get worse,” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and chair of its National Security Subcommittee, told the Free Beacon.

“Recent threats about missile attacks demonstrate the need for Congress to proceed with additional secondary sanctions,” DeSantis said. “The present course is untenable and Iran’s threatening behavior is likely to increase in frequency.”

Iranian leaders continue to maintain the United States is in violation of the nuclear accord and have emphasized repeatedly that the deal is not open to renegotiation on any front.

“Iran doesn’t want, under any conditions, to negotiate with anyone on any paragraphs of the nuclear deal,” Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

New congressional efforts to sanction Iran for a range of activities, including its ballistic missile buildup, have been met with threats.

IRGC Commander Jafari vowed last month that any new effort to sanction Tehran would be viewed as a “U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal.”

“If the U.S. new sanctions act comes into action, the country [the U.S.] should transfer its regional bases to 2,000 km away, that is as far as the range of Iranian missiles,” Jafari said, emphasizing the threat to strike U.S. assets.

In Tuesday remarks, Jafari warned that new sanctions “will increase the Iranian nation’s determination to increase its defense and missile power and they [America] will see an increase in the range and precision-striking power of missiles.”

Saeed Ghasseminejad, an Iran expert and research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Free Beacon that those cheering Iran’s announcement that it is capping the distance its missiles can travel are being disingenuous, given that Iran can still hit any U.S. base in the region.

“The IRGC commander says at this time the current range is enough,” Ghasseminejad said. “He clarifies it by saying that there are enough Americans to target inside the 2000 km range that Iran does not need to go beyond it at this point.”

Any edict by Iran’s Supreme Leader “can easily change,” Ghasseminejad noted.

“Iran is working on its satellite program which is a cover to develop its ICBM program,” he added. “So at the same time that Iran is developing its intercontinental ballistic missile, the head of the terrorist organization, the IRGC, assures the world that Iran has no plan to go beyond 2000 km range even though it has the technical capability.”

“How gullible should one be to buy such assurance?” Ghasseminejad asked, noting that the amplified rhetoric from Iran is a sign the threat of new sanctions is a concern for Tehran.

 


Josh Groban tweets from near New York crash, shooting scene

Singer Josh Groban, pictured here at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala in 2017, recently tweeted from the scene of the New York crash incident.

While police responded to a report of gunfire in downtown Manhattan on Tuesday, singer Josh Groban was tweeting from the area after reportedly having to flee with his dog from the sound of gunshots.

The star posted a rather calm photo of his dog with the caption, “Two things get me through my week. My shrink, and meeting friends at the dog park.”

Live this Saturday ” Know How to Rightly Divide & Understand the New Testament”

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In Prayer, Chaplain Calls for ‘More Senators’ Willing to ‘Call Sin by Its Right Name’

Senate Chaplain Barry Black—known for his stirring prayers and speeches—delivered a powerful invocation calling for more politicians who, without regard for consequences, are willing to call out sin for what it is.

“Give us more senators who are true to duty as the needle to the pole,” Black prayed. “Give us more legislators who are not afraid to call sin by its right name. Lord, provide us with more patriots who will stand for right, regardless of the consequences.”

The prayer came just one day after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) announced that he won’t be running for re-election next year and took to the U.S. Senate floor to issue some strong rebukes of President Donald Trump and the current state of political affairs.

“Reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior [has become excused as simply] ‘telling it like it is’ when it is actually just reckless, outrageous and undignified,” Flake said during the now-viral address.

He called such behavior coming from the top of government — Trump and the executive branch —”dangerous to a democracy” a “corruption of the spirit” and “weakness.

 


Polish Archaeologists Unearth Mass Grave at Notorious Nazi Death Camp

Holocaust

Archaeologists in Poland uncovered a mass grave of around 300 prisoners at the site of the Nazi death camp Gross-Rosen located in southwestern Poland, and though it is believed to contain the remains of prisoners who died from starvation in the last days of the war, many of the corpses show bullet wounds.

The Gross-Rosen concentration camp was established in August 1940 and had about 125,000 prisoners, who were mostly Jewish. Overall some 40,000 people died at the camp, which was considered one of the most notorious Nazi labor camps. The camp was liberated in February 1945 by the Soviet Union.

“The discovery of human remains matches the account of one of the former prisoners of the camp, a Belgian man who was the camp doctor and was on the site during the last months before the liberation evacuation,” said Dr. Katarzyna Pawlak-Weiss, a historian studying the concentration camps set up by occupying German forces in Poland, Reuters reported.

“In his report, he mentioned 300 people buried here.”

Survivor reports from the camp indicate that the bodies of prisoners who died of illnesses and starvation in the last days of the camp’s operations were thrown into the pit. But archaeologists also found bullet wounds on the bones and will examine the remains further.

Archaeologists also are hoping to identify the prisoners. Unlike other concentration camps, such as Auschwitz that tattooed numbers on prisoners, Gross-Rosen used small metal plates with numbers sewn to prisoner uniforms. If the plates are found, historians may be able to use the numbers to figure out their names.

“After exhumation, the remains of the people we found in this pit will be transported to the Forensic Medicine Institute in Wroclaw where an inspection and autopsy will be performed. This will be done in order to determine their gender, age, health condition if this will be possible, and the cause of death,” said prosecutor Konrad Bieron from the Polish Institute of National Remembrance.


Sonoma fire suspect an illegal from Mexico; ICE director

Deported twice, released 4 times by sanctuary county

Sonoma Wine Country fire (Josh Adelson / AFP / Getty)

Editors note: Building a wall is like having a door on your house, maybe the wall should include California?

(Breitbart) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Tom Homan confirmed on Thursday that a man arrested in connection with setting a fire in Sonoma County Wine Country is an illegal alien from Mexico who has been twice returned to his “home country.”

Homan also confirmed that ICE has issued detainer requests for Jesus Fabian Gonzalez five times now in the past year alone, including the one issued on October 16 in relation to his most recent arrest on suspicion of arson. All of the arrests were made “by Sonoma County on various felony and misdemeanor charges,” according to Homan.

Sonoma County is considered a sanctuary jurisdiction and does not fully cooperate with federal immigration officials. That includes not honoring ICE detainer requests. “ICE was never notified of Mr. Gonzalez’ various releases,” Homan wrote in the statement regarding Gonzalez.

Homan’s public statement highlights the lack of cooperation from Sonoma County officials and the devastating wildfires that have ravaged the region:

Once again, a non-cooperative jurisdiction has left their community vulnerable to dangerous individuals and preventable crimes. ICE lodged a detainer against Jesus Gonzalez with Sonoma County jail officials on October 16, following his arrest on felony charges for maliciously setting fire to a property. This is especially troubling in light of the massive wildfires already devastating the region. Over the past year, ICE has lodged detainers against Mr. Gonzalez after four separate arrests by Sonoma County on various felony and misdemeanor charges. ICE was never notified of Mr. Gonzalez’ various releases. Additionally, Mr. Gonzales has been returned to his home country of Mexico on two separate occasions. The residents of Sonoma County, and the state of California, deserve better than policies that expose them to avoidable dangers. Non-cooperation policies – now enshrined in California state law – ensure only one thing: criminals who would otherwise be deported will be released and left free to reoffend as they please.

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed into law a bill that makes California a sanctuary state.

 

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Black Death Returns as Raging Plague Kills Dozens in Madagascar

I will punish him with pestilence and with bloodshed; and I will pour torrential rain, hailstones, and sulfurous fire upon him and his hordes and the many peoples with him.” Ezekiel 38:22 (The Israel Bible™)

“Danse Macabre” by Michael Wolgemut. In the Middle Ages, millions of Europeans were killed by bubonic plague.


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An outbreak of bubonic plague in  Madagascar is quickly becoming an epidemic, giving a grim look into how this dreaded disease, once known as the Black Death, killed off one-third of the entire world population.

Madagascar, a poor country in the Indian Ocean, suffers annual outbreaks of the plague with an estimated 400 cases every year. This current outbreak threatens to be much worse than the usual annual outbreak. In the past two months, at least 74 people died from the disease and over 800 more have been infected.

Usually, the plague is limited to rural areas that become infected when rats flee summer brush fires in the summer or floods in the winter. The plague develops in rats and is carried by fleas in their fur. But the majority of the cases reported this year have been in urban centers. In an urban environment, there is a greater risk of transmission and health officials fear that this outbreak may become a full-blown epidemic.

Another point of concern is that 70 percent of the victims recorded this year have been infected with the highly contagious pneumonic form of the disease, transferred through coughing. The pneumonic version of the plague can be fatal within 72 hours and is more dangerous than the bubonic form transferred by rats. Both forms can be treated with antibiotics, making early detection a priority. If untreated, the disease has 100 percent mortality rate. Of Madagascar’s 114 districts, 35 have reported cases of plague, including at least 10 cities.

This current epidemic is believed to have begun in late August when a 31-year-old man traveled from his home in Toamasina, a town on Madagascar’s east coast, to the central highlands town of Ankazobe, in a region where plague is endemic. He apparently contracted the disease in the rural region, developing symptoms on the journey home. He died undiagnosed soon after arriving. 31 people who came into contact with him became ill, four of whom died.

The government has responded with significant safety measures. Travellers at major transport hubs are subject to medical inspections, infected areas have been fumigated to kill fleas, public gatherings are banned, and schools and universities have been shut to combat the outbreak.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has delivered nearly 1.2 million doses of antibiotics and released $1.5 million in emergency funds. The Red Cross has released more than $1 million to deploy a treatment center and mobilized more than 1,000 volunteers to monitor people who have been in contact with infected patients.

A WHO official said: “The risk of the disease spreading is high at the national level because it is present in several towns and this is just the start of the outbreak.”

Experts said the risk of a global pandemic remains low, as most patients exhibit symptoms quickly and become too sick to travel. People infected with plague usually develop flu-like symptoms after an incubation period of three to seven days, according to WHO and typical symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, chills, head and body-aches and weakness, vomiting, and nausea.

Nonetheless, a 34-year-old man visited Madagascar two weeks ago and returned to the neighboring country of Seychelles three days later. He quickly developed symptoms of pneumonic plague and was treated at a local health center. Ten people who had contact with him developed symptoms and are being treated for the disease.

The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and peaking in Europe in the 14th century. The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30–60 percent of Europe’s total population.

Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/96518/black-death-madagascar-threatening-become-epidemic/#8oSOuMb3ZmojzWO6.99

Donald Trump: It’s time to say ‘Merry Christmas’ again

Donald Trump repeated his oft-promised return to traditional beliefs last week, vowing to instil ‘Merry Christmas’ back into American discourse.

Trump became the first sitting President to address the staunchly conservative Values Voters Summit on Friday, branded a ‘hate group’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center, as he ran through his achievements for conservative evangelicals.

Donald Trump became the first sitting President to address the highly conservative Values Voter SummitReuters

‘I pledged that in a Trump administration, our nation’s religious heritage would be cherished, protected and defended like you have never seen before,’ he said. ‘Above all else in America, we don’t worship government. We worship God.’

Echoing an argument conservatives regularly make for America’s Christian roots, Trump noted there are four references to a ‘creator’ in the Declaration of Independence, saying ‘our religious liberty is enshrined in the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights’.

He told a cheering crowd: ‘They don’t use the word “Christmas” because it’s not politically correct.

He said. ‘Well guess what? We’re saying “Merry Christmas” again.’

It is not the first time Trump has used the call to say ‘Merry Christmas’ as a reminder to his conservative evangelical base that he is on their side. As far back as 2015, he used the pledge in the run-up to the 2016 election.

@JenniferJJacobs: Trump: “Protect the 2nd amendment…And by the way we’re going to be saying Merry Christmas again.” Iowa crowd LOVES it.”

 

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