Archive for November, 2009

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
November 23, 2009, 10:58 PM (GMT+02:00)
Image: USS Chosin off Yemen faces Iranian flotilla

The Yemeni conflict is fast evolving from a Houthi insurgency against the Abdullah Salah regime in Sanaa to a broad regional conflagration drawing in Saudi Arabia and Egypt as major players and increasingly the United States, whose involvement is building up into a direct confrontation with the rebels’ sponsor, Iran.

DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that over the weekend, the Aegis class cruiser USS Chosin was designated the flagship of Combined Task Force 151 which is patrolling the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea.

Responding to this signal, Iran’s navy commander Adm. Habibollah Sayyari announced Monday, Nov. 23, that Ghadir-class submarines would be joining the four Iranian warships already in position opposite the Yemeni coast. He did not say how many subs were to be deployed.

(Another take on this project:)
FoxNews 19 Oct 09

Scientists claim the giant atom-smashing Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is being jinxed from the future to save the world.

Danish physicist Dr Holger Bech Nielsen and Dr Masao Ninomiya from Japan claim nature is trying to prevent the LHC from finding the elusive Higgs boson. Called the “God particle,” the theoretical boson could explain the origins of mass in the universe — if physicists could find it.

The scientists say their math proves nature will “ripple backward through time” to stop the LHC before it can create the God particle, like a time traveller who goes back in time to kill his grandfather. “One could even almost say that we have a model for God,” Dr Nielsen says in an unpublished essay. “He rather hates Higgs particles, and attempts to avoid them.”

BBC News Online 20 Nov 09

The Large Hadron Collider experiment has re-started after a 14-month hiatus while the machine was being repaired.

Engineers have made two stable proton beams circulate in opposite directions around the machine, which is in a tunnel beneath the French-Swiss border.

During the experiment, scientists will search for signs of the Higgs boson (Bette: so-called “God particle”), a sub-atomic particle that is crucial to our current understanding of physics. Although it is predicted to exist, scientists have never found it.

Dr Gillies said that if everything continued to go well, Cern might try to reach a record-breaking beam energy of 1.2 trillion electron volts this weekend. Only the Tevatron particle accelerator in Chicago, US, has approached this energy, operating at just under one trillion electron volts.

Three other international news reports caught my eye today (19 Nov 2009):

(1) DEBKA: China told President Obama “No” on sanctions to Iran to halt or slow down Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

(2) FARS: Iran and China are determined to strengthen ties between them in every possible way.

(3) Most interesting – DEBKA: UN inspectors’ October visit to Iran turned up dual-track progress in support of its nuclear weapons program.

Feverish activity was registered in the production of plutonium at Isfahan as an alternative to the Fordo enriched uranium plant near Qom which starts up in 2011.

The IAEA experts discovered 30 metric tons-IS of heavy water hidden in 600 tanks… Metric tons-IS measure the amount of energy a given quantity can release… the amount of heavy water discovered at Isfahan would be enough to make at least one plutonium bomb when the plutonium reactor under construction near the Arak heavy water facility is finished. Other than civilian uses, heavy water may be used to produce tritium, which intensifies the explosive force of nuclear warheads.

Jerusalem Post 19 Nov 09

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, is deploying more peacekeepers to Lebanon to join a UN mission monitoring a cease-fire between Israel and Hizbullah terrorists.

WSJ 19 Nov 09

Nationwide flight delays caused by FAA computer glitch, makes me wonder about hackers. This glitch only affects flight plans and a slower backup program is allowing flights to depart, albeit late. Suppose this is a test? It reminds me a lot of other major airport computer problems in the past, not to mention electric grid computer problems that took down whole regions of the United States. “Squirrels.” “Tree limbs.” Yeah, sure…

Curioser and curioser…

Posted: November 11, 2009 in Uncategorized

Al Qaeda may be fighting with Yemeni rebels against Saudi Arabia
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis
November 8, 2009, 12:12 PM (GMT+02:00)

It looks as though some Al Qaeda fighters have crossed the border into Jizan to fight the Saudi army alongside the Houthis. Riyadh is deeply concerned lest the pro-Iranian Yemeni revolt spill over… Al Qaeda could well ride into the kingdom (Saudi Arabia) on the Houthis’ backs.

In the last two weeks, Saudi airplanes have been pounding rebel positions in northern Yemen, and its warships (are) helping the Yemeni navy apprehend ships from Iran bringing the Houthis fresh arms supplies by the same method as Tehran arms supplies reach Hizballah and Hamas.

Aljazeera 11 Nov 09

yemensoldiersIran has said that it is ready to help restore security in Yemen, which is currently engaged in a deadly conflict with an armed Houthi opposition group.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Hossein Shobakshi, a columnist with the Arabic Asharq Alawsat newspaper, was critical of Iran’s offer to help.

“It is a very odd situation that Iran threatens anybody that interferes in Yemeni affairs. This is an internal issue between the Yemenis. Saudi Arabia is protecting its borders. What business does Iran have stating what it has stated?”

“But it falls in sync with what Iran has been doing, interfering in other countries’ affairs – we have seen it in Jordan, Sudan, Palestine, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq – creating pockets of influence and trying to control its puppets in every part of the Arab world.”

Caspian Sea meetings

Posted: November 4, 2009 in Uncategorized

Littoral States Start Discussions on Caspian Sea Legal Regime
Fars News Agency 4 Nov 09

caspianseamap02TEHRAN (FNA) Special work groups and representatives from the Caspian Sea littoral states started a new round of talks in Turkmenistan on Wednesday to decide on the legal status of the world’s largest lake, an Iranian diplomat announced on Wednesday.

Fars News Agency 4 Nov 09

iranchinaflagSpeaking in a round table meeting between IPIS experts and China’s Institute for International Studies here in Tehran on Wednesday, Mousavi described exchange of views between the Iranian and Chinese experts and researchers as important… head of the Chinese delegation Maj Gang referred to his country’s major role in international developments and added, “China is endeavoring to have a coordinating and stabilizing role and believes that all problems existing on the international scene can be resolved through talks and not through resort to force and power.”
(emphasis added)