Tag Archives: threat

Why Is Trump Doubling Down on the Threat of War Against Iran?

Why Is Trump Doubling Down on the Threat of War Against Iran?Iran is in ferment and the Trump State Department is trying to up the pressure on Tehran.



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Weather whiplash to bring warmup, heavy rain and flood threat followed by Arctic blast to Northeast

Weather whiplash to bring warmup, heavy rain and flood threat followed by Arctic blast to NortheastAs the holidays approach and many may find themselves dreaming of a white Christmas, Mother Nature has a different idea up her sleeves. The weather pattern will soon be reversed in the northeastern United States, allowing wintry landscapes to transform into a sloppy, muddy mess instead.Forecasters are closely watching a storm system that is expected to take shape and track toward the Great Lakes early next week — and it will be the player that will help to flip the weather conditions in the East. As wintry weather and yet another snowstorm are predicted for portions of the Midwest, surging warm and moist air will race out ahead of the system.Temperatures are expected to rebound to the 30s over the northern tier to near 50 F in parts of Virginia as a southerly breeze develops on Sunday.On Monday, temperatures are forecast to surge into the 40s across the northern tier and the 50s and 60s across part of the mid-Atlantic region. The warm air combined with rain will dissolve the deep snow over part of the Northeast, potentially leading to flooding issues for some communities. Recent storms have buried parts of New York state and central and northern New England under as much as 1-3 feet of snow in the last couple of weeks. A car makes its way through a snowy landscape in Highland Falls, N.J., Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. The last of the snow is falling over parts of New Jersey after leaving behind power outages in the northwest part of the state. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) That snowcover contains a significant amount of locked-up moisture, called the snow-water equivalent.Within the existing snow on the ground, there is between 1 and 5 inches of water as of Thursday, Dec. 5.Many areas, including those places where deep snow is on the ground, may stay well above freezing Sunday night, which can allow the snow to soften up. This image was taken from the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (NOAA) Some of the deep snow may harmlessly melt from Sunday to early Monday before the storm and its soaking rain arrives, but there is a risk that surging temperatures, moist air and drenching rain may cause a rapid meltdown of the existing snowcover from later Monday into Tuesday.Instead of releasing the 1-5 inches of water by itself, another 1-2 inches of water may be added in depending on the intensity of the rainfall that occurs. "Since the ground is not frozen, some of the melting snow and rain will be absorbed by the soil and should avoid disastrous stream and river flooding," Dale Mohler, AccuWeather senior meteorologist, said.However, some quick rises on small streams are likely with minor flooding possible in low-lying areas that are prone to flooding during heavy rain or spring thaw events. Some of the rivers may surge to bank full as well."Even if only part of the snow melts and only a light amount of rain falls, piles of snow along streets and highways that are blocking storm drains can lead to urban flooding," Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist, said.Anderson said that property owners should make sure that runoff has easy access to storm drains ahead of the system's arrival to reduce the risk of flooding as a precaution."Even in some of the major cities along the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and New York City where there is no appreciable snow on the ground, enough rain can fall to cause travel delays and ponding on roads that drain poorly," Dave Bowers, AccuWeather forecaster, said.Ski resorts in the region that have gotten off to their earliest start in recent years will take a hit from the storm. Those seeking ideal ski conditions are encouraged to hit the slopes into Sunday, before the rainstorm arrives.Along with bringing a swath of heavy snow to part of the Upper Midwest, next week's storm is predicted to unleash Arctic air in its wake later Tuesday and Wednesday. Remaining areas of slush and standing water can freeze as temperatures plummet across the northeastern U.S. There is a chance that the cold air may catch up with the back end of the rain and cause a period of snow at the tail end of the storm at midweek.Since the storm will be weak rather than strong, it's possible that a secondary storm may develop along the push of frigid air, according to AccuWeather Chief Broadcast Meteorologist Bernie Rayno."I am pretty convinced that a storm is going to form along this boundary [between warmer air in place and colder air surging] into the Carolinas Tuesday night. Then, the question becomes does the storm goes out to sea and the cold front blasts out to sea? Or, does the storm have enough energy because of all of the energy associated with the jet stream that the storm strengthens? And, if it does, it won't go out to sea. It will come up the coast. If the storm does strengthen, you've got to worry about a snowstorm," Rayno said.The I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic and eastern New England could face snow if the latter and stronger scenario unfolds. If a weaker secondary storm develops, then it will likely push out to sea. If a secondary storm forms and it strengthens enough, it may bring snow to the Northeast. No indications are currently pointing to a big snowstorm developing and rather it could be more of a nuisance snowfall, according to Rayno.However, this type of weather pattern has yielded major snowstorms in the past, and meteorologists will have to keep a watchful eye on how all of the weather players come together, Rayno added.AccuWeather meteorologists are also tracking the potential for yet another significant storm toward the middle of the month, warning that it could be disruptive to the eastern U.S. Download the free AccuWeather app to check the forecast in your area. Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.



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Mexico Mormons live under threat of narco violence

Mexico Mormons live under threat of narco violenceMexico’s Mormons, who are mourning nine women and children killed in a massacre, have roots in the country going back to the late 1800s, but live under the constant threat of the criminal gangs they have dared to defy. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), or Mormon church, set up headquarters in Utah in 1847 when the territory was still Mexico. Fleeing persecution, Mormons began arriving in northern Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains in 1875.



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Threat or chance? Israel eyes Lebanon protests closely

Threat or chance? Israel eyes Lebanon protests closelyLooking down on Lebanon from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, soldiers wonder whether the political turmoil in the neighbouring country will weaken arch-enemy Hezbollah or make it more dangerous. “There, Hezbollah is very, very strong,” said Samuel Boujenah of the Israeli military, gazing at a valley where calm was recently shattered by clashes with the Iran-backed Shiite group.



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North Korea Keeps Showing the World Why Its Long-Range Artillery Is a Threat

North Korea Keeps Showing the World Why Its Long-Range Artillery Is a ThreatNorth Korea has deployed around 13,000 artillery pieces and rocket launchers along the demilitarized zone between it and South Korea. Much of Pyongyang’s artillery is in range of the Seoul Greater Metropolitan Area, which begins just 25 miles south of the DMZ.



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'A threat to democracy': William Barr's speech on religious freedom alarms liberal Catholics

'A threat to democracy': William Barr's speech on religious freedom alarms liberal CatholicsAttorney general’s recent address at Notre Dame is a ‘dog whistle’ to conservatives who have aligned themselves with TrumpWilliam Barr, US attorney general, speaks to students at the University of Notre Dame law school on 11 October. Photograph: Robert Franklin/Associated PressProminent liberal Catholics have warned the US attorney general’s devout Catholic faith poses a threat to the separation of church and state, after William Barr delivered a fiery speech on religious freedom in which he warned that “militant secularists” were behind a “campaign to destroy the traditional moral order”.The speech last Friday at the University of Notre Dame law school, in which Barr discussed his conservative faith and revealed how it affects his decision-making as the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer, has set off a fierce debate among Catholic intellectuals from across the political spectrum, as well as among Catholics inside the justice department.C Colt Anderson, a Roman Catholic theologian and professor of religion at Jesuit-run Fordham University, said in an interview that he was unaware until this week that Barr was a fellow Catholic. Now, after reading the speech, Anderson believes the attorney general, in revealing his devotion to an especially conservative branch of Catholicism, is a “threat to American democracy”.He described the speech as a “dog whistle” to ultra-conservative Catholics who, he says, have aligned themselves to Donald Trump in a campaign to limit the rights of LGBTQ Americans, immigrants and non-Christians, especially Muslims, and to criminalize almost all abortions. “The attorney general is taking positions that are essentially un-Democratic” because they demolish the wall between church and state, Anderson said.In the hallways of the justice department in Washington, there has been a similar furor among some Catholics employees who answer to Barr. “I was shocked by the speech and all this fire and brimstone,” said a senior department career official who considers himself a devout Catholic, speaking on condition that he not be identified for fear of losing his job.“At least it helps me understand why Barr has been so willing to put his own reputation on the line to defend Trump so fiercely in every battle,” beginning with the congressional investigation that is likely to end in the president’s impeachment, he said. “Trump is Barr’s imperfect vessel in serving a much higher cause: the gospel.”In the speech, delivered to an invitation-only crowd at Notre Dame, one of the nation’s largest and best known Catholic universities, the attorney general described threats to religious freedom.He warned that Catholicism and other mainstream religions were the target of “organized destruction” by “secularists and their allies among progressives who have marshalled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry and academia”.He insisted that “the traditional Judeo-Christian moral system” of the United States was under siege by “modern secularists” who were responsible for every sort of “social pathology”, including drug abuse, rising suicide rates and illegitimacy.Barr did not address the fact that many of the policies of the Trump administration are strongly opposed by the Vatican. Pope Francis has repeatedly pleaded for the United States to open its doors to more refugees, even as Barr has defended policies that turn away or imprison immigrants seeking refugee status at the US-Mexico border, even separating parents from their children.The reaction to Barr’s address came as another Trump cabinet member, secretary of state Mike Pompeo, was drawing fire from civil liberties groups over the state department’s decision this week to promote his recent speech titled Being a Christian Leader on the department’s online homepage.The speech by Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, was delivered on Friday, the same day as Barr’s speech, to a meeting of the American Association of Christian Counselors in Nashville.“It’s perfectly fine for secretary Pompeo to be a leader who is a Christian,” the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State said in a statement. But the decision to promote Pompeo’s speech on the department’s official website sends “the clear message that US public policy will be guided by his personal religious beliefs”.Barr’s speech at Notre Dame was a reminder of a fact often overlooked in analysis of Trump’s political base – that while the president enjoys the support of many high-profile right-wing Christian evangelical leaders, he has also surrounded himself with conservative Roman Catholics associated with organizations that some others in the faith consider extreme.One example: Barr and Patrick Cipollone, Trump’s White House counsel, have both served on the board of directors of a Washington-based organization staffed by priests from the secretive, ultra-orthodox Catholic sect Opus Dei.William Barr departs the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle in Washington DC. Photograph: Sarah Silbiger/ReutersBarr’s speech last week was hailed by many conservative religious commentators. “Barr took the gloves off, saying that religion is not jumping to its death; it’s being pushed,” wrote Ron Dreher at the American Conservative magazine.“As we religious conservatives think about how to vote in the election next fall, we should ponder the fact that under Donald Trump, as awful as he is in so many ways, a man of William Barr’s convictions is heading up the Department of Justice,” Dreher continued. “Thank God Bill Barr is there.”Liberal Catholics, on the other hand, said they were dumbfounded at Barr’s willingness to so publicly link his Catholicism to his work at the justice department.“This should put the fear of God into anybody who cares about freedom, democracy and the separation of religion and politics,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, a group that advocates for Catholics who support a woman’s right to abortion and other reproductive freedoms.Barr’s speech, he said, shows that “Christmas is coming very early” for conservative Catholics and other Christians who want to see an end to abortion rights.In his Notre Dame speech, Barr spoke of the need for the United States to recognize “natural law”, a concept in Catholic theology that has been cited by the Vatican in recent decades to try to outlaw artificial contraception and medical procedures such as in vitro fertilization.O’Brien said he worried that under Barr, who was sworn in last February, that the justice department could impose a de facto litmus test on federal judicial candidates, requiring them to commit themselves to “natural law”.Anderson, the Fordham theologian, said he was so alarmed by the tone of Barr’s speech that he was now concerned the attorney general intends to use his authority to put the United States on the path of increasingly authoritarian European nations like Poland, where democratically government leaders have cited their devout Catholicism to justify a crackdown on free speech and the purging of judges.That Barr is a devout, conservative Catholic is no surprise to anyone who has studied his writings and speeches. In a 1995 article in Catholic Lawyer magazine, Barr, who had previously served as attorney general under George H W Bush, warned that “we are living in an increasingly militant secular age” and that Catholic lawyers should “take the battlefield and enter the struggle” in support of laws “designed to restrain sexual immorality, obscenity or euthanasia”.The article denounced the “evil” of abortion and bemoaned the rise of the gay rights movement. “How can it be that the homosexual movement, at one or two percent of the population, gets treated with such solicitude while the Catholic population, which is over a quarter of the country, is given the back of the hand?” he wrote.But in his Senate confirmation hearings in January, Barr was asked few questions about his faith and how it might bear on his actions on the Justice Department.Barr was not questioned in any detail, for example, about his membership on the board of directors of the Catholic Information Center in Washington, the Opus Dei-linked group that offers as a meeting place for prominent Catholics in the capital.The center’s board has also included Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, the right-wing legal group tasked by Trump to help him pick federal judges, including members of the supreme court. Leo led campaigns to support of the supreme court nominations of John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh, all of them Catholics, who now serve on the court.A week later, Barr’s speech at Notre Dame remains the subject of “a lot of chatter” on campus, said professor David Campbell, chairman of the university’s political science department.Campbell said in an interview that he was reluctant to be drawn into the debate about Barr’s religious views, although he suggested that the attorney general was wrong in one of his central arguments: that so-called secularists, a term generally applied to people who want a strict separation between church and state, were a threat to the freedom of Catholics or others to worship as they please.In fact, Campbell, who is just about to publish a book on the subject, said that opinion polls and other reliable scientific research showed that Americans who describe themselves as secularists are “quite supportive of the free exercise of religion, particularly when it comes to minority religions”. The attorney general and other conservative Catholics might believe that secularists are some sort of threat to their religious freedom, Campbell said, “But, the truth is, it’s a myth.”



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Trudeau appears at rally in bulletproof vest after unspecified ‘security threat’

Trudeau appears at rally in bulletproof vest after unspecified ‘security threat’Justin Trudeau donned a bulletproof vest to speak at an election rally on Saturday night after an unspecified security threat.Accompanied by a heavy security detail, the Canadian prime minister took to the stage 90 minutes late to deliver his speech to about 2,000 supporters ahead of the 21 October vote.



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U.S. says deploying more forces to Saudi Arabia to counter Iran threat

U.S. says deploying more forces to Saudi Arabia to counter Iran threatThe United States announced the deployment of additional American military forces to Saudi Arabia on Friday to bolster the kingdom’s defenses after the Sept. 14 attack on its oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran. The large deployment, which was first reported by Reuters, includes fighter squadrons, an air expeditionary wing and air defense personnel, the Pentagon said. Together with the 200 forces to Saudi Arabia announced last month, the deployment totaled about 3,000 troops, it said.



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BEHOLD: Is China's DF-26 Missile a Real Threat to U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers?

BEHOLD: Is China's DF-26 Missile a Real Threat to U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers?Will Beijing's strategy work?



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IS threat to spread if Turkey invades northern Syria

IS threat to spread if Turkey invades northern SyriaA feared Turkish invasion of northeast Syria could spark a resurgence of the Islamic State group, analysts and Kurdish forces have warned, despite Ankara’s pledge to prevent the jihadists’ return. Ankara has threatened an offensive in Syria against Kurdish militias it considers terrorists and US forces on Monday pulled back from Turkish border areas, opening the way for an invasion President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said could come at any moment. An open assault would reverse years of successful Kurdish-led operations to defeat IS and allow some of its surviving leaders to come out of hiding, said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish militia that controls much of northeastern Syria.



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