- While authorities are still holding on 250 fatalities, other sources are talking about at least 300 and the number may be even higher as many bodies have been buried without legally registering them, a doctor working in an emergency team said. Muslims are burying their people very soon after they are passed away and this may be the reason that families in remote villages are acting swiftly as they are used to do in normal life. Many villages have also been completely isolated from the rest of the region and with no authorities at hand it sounds normal that people behave like this.Update 12/08 – 14:40 UTC :
- According to the latest reports, 60 villages have suffered damages ranging between 50 to 80 percent.
- People close to the emergency services in East Azebaijan are now talking about 5000 injured (source ISNA)
- Many world leaders (Putin, Erdogan, etc) have condoled Iran for the cruel earthquake
- 6 villages have been completely destroyed. The roads to four villages in the region have been cut.
- A reduced number of people are still under the rubble
- A gas conduit has cracked in Ahar
- The earthquakes were also felt in the neighboring provinces of West Azerbaijan, Zanjan, Ardebil, and Gilan.
- The earthquakes were also felt in the neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan
- 15 tons of food is send to East Azebaijan from the province of West Azerbaijan
- Ardebil hospitals have been used to treat the wounded people from the hardest hit areas
- A donation bank account has been opned by the authorities. Iranians have been asked to donate
- Damage has been reported in no less than 237 villages!
- Yesterday and today have been declared “mourning days” in East Azerbaijan
- Another set of pictures from the damaged areas
- Iranian red crescent is not accepting international aid at this moment. Iranians are very skilled in earthquake emergency anddue to the current political circumstances are even more reluctant in accepting foreign aid. This may not surprise as also the Turkish government refused aid from abroad during the first days of the Van earthquake. The behavior may however change soon and mostly aid is accepted from friendly nations.
- We have not seen them yet, but tens of SAR dogs have been allocated to the earthquake zone.
Bureaucratic changes to the government protocols governing cabinet meetings and votes approved on Sunday have nothing at all to do with "fateful decisions" being discussed in the media, cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser said Sunday.
With that comment Hauser tried to deflate speculation that the new protocol, a 51-page document that has been some three years in the making, was designed to expand Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's executive power on the eve of a possible attack on Iran.
Among the changes introduced are the following:
· The prime minister can choose to participate in ministerial committee meetings, and when he does so he will be considered a member of the committee, unless decided otherwise.
· The prime minister has the prerogative to set the agenda and call meetings of the security cabinet.
· The prime minister will now have the prerogative to set the order of cabinet votes
· The prime minister can, if he so decides, determine that for a particular vote only ministers present in the debate can vote, unless an absent minister designated beforehand a deputy to represent him.Labor leader Shelly Yechimovich on Sunday lambasted the proposed changes, calling them an unprecedented, dangerous step that concentrates government power in the hands of one person.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants the Cabinet to agree to give him more power to streamline the decision-making process, and the possibility of a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities may the reason behind the request.The changes, if approved, would be the first changes in Cabinet operations since the re-establishment of Israel in 1948.Many of the changes would impose more order in setting the Cabinet agenda and in voting procedures for Cabinet ministers in absentia, while other proposals would give the Prime Minister more clout in trying to win Cabinet approval on issues.
If the changes are approved, he would be able to rearrange telephone votes within 12 hours and even shorten the time, if necessary. Presumably, this measure would allow him to win immediate agreement for a military attack on Iran.
Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has sacked the entire leadership of the country's defense establishment.
Among the officials and officers fired are Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, and Chief of Staff Sami Anan.Morsi appointed Abdul-Fatah al-Sessi as Defense Minister and Lieutenant-General Sidki Sayed Ahmed as Army Chief of Staff. A judge named Mahmoud Mekki was appointed vice president. Morsi also ordered the retirement of the commanders of the navy, air defense and air force. The retired navy commander, Lieutenant-General Mohan Mameesh, was named as chairman of the Suez Canal.The Muslim Brotherhood's Morsi appears to be wasting no time in consolidating his hold over power at the expense of the military, which many hoped would be a moderating power over him.Channel 2's Middle East analyst Ehud Yaari said that the move places the Muslim Brotherhood solidly at the helm of power in Egypt.
An Islamic Jihad official told Iran that a popular uprising in Jordan would break the last part of Israel's security chain."
Abu Sharif stressed that the recent popular uprisings in the region have harmed the interests of Israel, according to the Iran’s controlled Fars News Agency."These developments (popular uprisings) in the region are in the interest of the regional nations and against the interests of the Zionist regime and have disturbed the power balance between the supporters and opponents of the Zionist regime," Abu Sharif said.He cited the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 as the first of several events "inflicted great damage on Israel." Abu Sharif continued, “The deterioration of relations between Turkey and Israel was the second blow at the regime and Mubarak's fall in Egypt was another blow.
"If the regional changes reach Jordan, the Israeli regime will lose the last part of itssecurity chain."
Jordan and Egypt are Israel’s only neighbors with whom diplomatic relations have been established.
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer said on Friday that the financial system is preparing for an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and for a possible downturn in the economy which may result.
It is possible to describe situations of widespread war which would be very difficult to deal with. We are preparing for a major crisis and for security situation which is much worse.”
Fischer warned that there may soon be a global financial crisis, similar to the one in 2008, saying, “If Greece leaves the eurozone and it snowballs, we will be in deep trouble, because there will be a global financial crisis like in 2008. This will cause us problems which we can deal with if we are in the best condition possible.”
The U.S. cable networks won't be covering this one tonight (not accurately, anyway), but Trapwire is making the rounds on social media today—it reportedly became a Trending hashtag on Twitter earlier in the day.
Trapwire is the name of a program revealed in the latest Wikileaks bonanza—it is the mother of all leaks, by the way. Trapwire would make something like disclosure of UFO contact or imminent failure of a major U.S. bank fairly boring news by comparison.
And someone out there seems to be quite disappointed that word is getting out so swiftly; the Wikileaks web site is reportedly sustaining 10GB worth of DDoS attacks each second, which is massive.
Anyway, here's what Trapwire is, according to Russian-state owned media network RT (apologies for citing "foreign media"... if we had a free press, I'd be citing something published here by an American media conglomerate): "Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology—and have installed it across the U.S. under the radar of most Americans, according to emails hacked by Anonymous.Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It’s part of a program called TrapWire and it's the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America’s intelligence community.So: those spooky new "circular" dark globe cameras installed in your neighborhood park, town, or city—they aren't just passively monitoring. They're plugged into Trapwire and they are potentially monitoring every single person via facial recognition.So we have a widespread network of surveillance cameras across America monitoring us and reporting suspicious activity back to a centralized analysis center, mixed in with the ability to imprison people via military force on the basis of suspicious activity alone. I don't see how that could possibly go wrong. Nope, not at all. We all know the government, and algorithmic computer programs, never make mistakes.Here's what is also so disturbing about this whole NDAA business, according to Tangerine Bolen's piece in the Guardian: "This past week's hearing was even more terrifying. Government attorneys again, in this hearing, presented no evidence to support their position and brought forth no witnesses. Most incredibly, Obama's attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA's section 1021 – the provision that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial – has not been applied by the U.S. government anywhere in the world after Judge Forrest's injunction.In other words, they were telling a U.S. federal judge that they could not, or would not, state whether Obama's government had complied with the legal injunction that she had laid down before them. To this, Judge Forrest responded that if the provision had indeed been applied, the United States government would be in contempt of court."