In in-depth overview Reuters tries to explain Israeli officials' silence on possible Iran strike. 'They've gone into lockdown mode now,' senior Western diplomat says. 'Whatever happens next, we won't find out until it happens'"The top of the government has gone into lockdown," one official said. "Nobody is saying anything publicly. That in itself tells you a lot about where things stand.""I think they have made a decision to attack," said one senior Israeli figure with close ties to the leadership. "It is going to happen. The window of opportunity is before the US presidential election in November. This way they will bounce the Americans into supporting them."
Syria's revolution has seen thousands killed as the regime of dictator Bashar Assad brutally clings to power. But the West's blind backing of the opposition forces has come under recent criticism. A number of Christian sources reported that the Sunni Muslim-dominated Syrian opposition has massacred and exiled huge numbers of Christians in the towns it controls.
In his Jerusalem Day speech on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared emphatically that he will never divide Jerusalem, a key Palestinian peace demand.Speaking at Ammunition Hill, site of a key battle for Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War, Netanyahu explained that, contrary to Palestinian claims, dividing Jerusalem will only lead to more conflict.
Gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns early Monday in intense street battles in the Lebanese capital, wounding six people as fears mounted that the conflict in neighboring Syria was bleeding across the border.The fighting appeared to be among the worst clashes in Beirut since 2008, erupting hours after an anti-Syrian cleric and his bodyguard were shot dead in northern Lebanon.Lebanon and Syria share a complex web of political and sectarian ties and rivalries, which are easily enflamed. Last week, clashes sparked by the Syrian crisis killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in the northern city of Tripoli.The revolt in Syria began 15 months ago, and there are fears the unrest will lead to a regional conflagration that could draw in neighboring countries.
More than a year after a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a massive nuclear disaster, experts are warning that Japan isn't out of the woods yet and the worst nuclear storm the world has ever seen could be just one earthquake away from reality.The troubled Reactor 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is at the centre of this potential catastrophe.
Reactor 4 -- and to a lesser extent Reactor 3 -- still hold large quantities of cooling waters surrounding spent nuclear fuel, all bound by a fragile concrete pool located 30 metres above the ground, and exposed to the elements.
A magnitude 7 or 7.5 earthquake would likely fracture that pool, and disaster would ensue, says Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear engineer with Fairewinds Energy Education who has visited the site.
The 1,535 spent fuel rods would become exposed to the air and would likely catch fire, with the most-recently added fuel rods igniting first.
The incredible heat generated from that blaze, Gundersen said, could then ignite the older fuel in the cooling pool, causing a massive oxygen-eating radiological fire that could not be extinguished with water."So the fear is the newest fuel could begin to burn and then we'd have a conflagration of the whole pool because it would become hotter and hotter. The health consequences of that are beyond where science has ever gone before," Gundersen told CTVNews.ca in an interview from his home in Vermont."The No. 4 pool is about 100 feet above ground, is structurally damaged and is exposed to the open elements," Alvarez said in his response. "If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cesium-137 released by the Chernobyl accident."