France said it would temporarily close its embassies and schools in 20 countries on Friday after a French magazine published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, a move it fears will further inflame tensions over a film mocking the prophet.
"We have indeed decided as a precautionary measure to close our premises, embassies, consulates, cultural centers and schools," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said of the shut-down on Friday, prayer day across the Muslim world.
The French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday, a move criticized by the French authorities which sent riot police to protect the magazine's offices.In response, Muslim leaders criticized the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad as another Western insult to their faith and urged France's government to take firm action against it.
Mysterious Explosions Disable Iran's Newest Nuclear Facility At Fordow
“Every so often, the veil is lifted on the shadowy war of sabotage being waged against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Another of those moments arrived yesterday when Fereydoun Abbasi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, disclosed that his country’s most sensitive nuclear facility was targeted last month,” reports the London Telegraph. “On August 17, the power cables serving the Fordow Enrichment Plant were severed by an explosion, said Abbasi when he addressed the International Atomic Energy Agency. These power lines apparently run between Fordow and the nearby city of Qom.”
An Israeli news site reports: “Iran has accused the IAEA of reporting information that allowed ‘terrorists’ to cut electricity to centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear plant in mid-August. The Islamic Republic’s official news agency quoted Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), as saying, “We found a tiny explosive material placed inside the vacuum equipment of a centrifuge, aimed to damage the centrifuge. ‘Iran bought 200 vacuum items from overseas markets four years ago and the saboteurs waited until this equipment could be installed on the centrifuges.’ The Fordow nuclear plant is buried deep under concrete in the mountains of Iran, making it difficult if not impossible to destroy by an aerial attack. Assassinations of nuclear scientists, mysterious crashes of airplanes carrying physicists and generals, and cyber attacks have been carried out the past three years, presumably by agents working for Israel, to disturb Iran’s nuclear development.”
“Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday morning launched a large-scale surprise exercise in the north of country, on the orders of IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, amid rising chatter of a possible conflagration with Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah,” reports the Times of Israel. “The commander of the Artillery Corps, Brig. Gen. Roy Riftin, was overseeing the exercise, which involved standing troops from the Northern and Central commands, the Israeli Air Force, as well as reserve soldiers who simulated the emergency call-up routine.Toward the end of the day, forces from the Central Command were to be helicoptered to locations on the Golan Heights to take part in a live-fire exercise, according to the IDF Spokesman. The drill also comes amid growing concerns over the deteriorating situation in Syria and the fate of President Bashar Assad’s sizable chemical weapons stockpile. A similar surprise exercise was held by the IDF last year. Earlier this month the IDF held a large exercise in the neighboring Galilee region and Gantz also observed another, smaller exercise on the Golan Heights.”
BBC breaking News @ 9.30.
State run TV in Syria reports a helicopter has crashed near Damascus
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