Archive | April, 2013

Israeli settler killed in West Bank

Israeli settler killed in West Bank

Posted on 30 April 2013 by GGS News

GGS NEWS : 01 May : An Israeli settler has been killed by a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank whilst waiting for a bus.

According to Israeli media, Evyatar Borovsky was at a bus stop near the Tapuah Junction in the Palestinian city of Nablus when he was stabbed. The Palestinian is then said to have grabbed the victim’s gun before shooting at border police who returned fire before arresting him. It marks the first time an Israeli has been killed by a Palestinian in the West Bank since 2011.

In Gaza, Palestinian emergency services have reported one death following an Israeli air strike. Haytham al-Misshal, who reportedly belonged to the Salafist jihadist group, was hit as he rode a motorbike

Israel claimed that Misshal had been involved in firing rockets at the city of Eilat .

It is the first such incident since a ceasefire following eight days of hostilities in November.

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The Day NASA’s Fermi Dodged a 1.5-ton Bullet

The Day NASA’s Fermi Dodged a 1.5-ton Bullet

Posted on 30 April 2013 by GGS News

GGS NEWS : NASA scientists don’t often learn that their spacecraft is at risk of crashing into another satellite. But when Julie McEnery, the project scientist for NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, checked her email on March 29, 2012, she found herself facing this precise situation.

While Fermi is in fine shape today, continuing its mission to map the highest-energy light in the universe, the story of how it sidestepped a potential disaster offers a glimpse at an underappreciated aspect of managing a space mission: orbital traffic control. s McEnery worked through her inbox, an automatically generated report arrived from NASA’s Robotic Conjunction Assessment Risk Analysis (CARA) team based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. On scanning the document, she discovered that Fermi was just one week away from an unusually close encounter with Cosmos 1805, a defunct spy satellite dating back to the Cold War.

The two objects, speeding around Earth at thousands of miles an hour in nearly perpendicular orbits, were expected to miss each other by a mere 700 feet.

“My immediate reaction was, ‘Whoa, this is different from anything we’ve seen before!'” McEnery recalled.

Although the forecast indicated a close call, satellite operators have learned the hard way that they can’t be too careful. The uncertainties in predicting spacecraft positions a week into the future can be much larger than the distances forecast for their closest approach.

This was most dramatically demonstrated on Feb. 10, 2009, when a study revealed that Cosmos 2251, a dead Russian communications satellite, would pass about 1,900 feet from the functioning Iridium 33 communications satellite later in the day. At the predicted time of closest approach, all contact with Iridium 33 was lost. Radar revealed clouds of debris traveling along the orbits of both spacecraft, confirming the first known satellite-to-satellite collision.

That crash generated thousands of fragments large enough to be tracked and many smaller pieces that evade detection. Much of the wreckage remains a hazard to operating spacecraft because only about 20 percent of the trackable pieces have reentered the atmosphere.

With a speed relative to Fermi of 27,000 mph, a direct hit by the 3,100-pound Cosmos 1805 would release as much energy as two and a half tons of high explosives, destroying both spacecraft.

Despite the apparent crowding in Earth orbit, there’s usually a vast amount of space between individual objects. Close approaches — also known as conjunctions — with fragments, rocket bodies and active payloads remain infrequent events. Moreover, few of the potential conjunctions identified a week into the future will actually materialize.

“It’s similar to forecasting rain at a specific time and place a week in advance,” said Goddard’s Eric Stoneking, the attitude control lead engineer for Fermi. “As the date approaches, uncertainties in the prediction decrease and the initial picture may change dramatically.”

Twice before, the Fermi team had been alerted to potential conjunctions, and on both occasions the threats evaporated. It was possible the Cosmos 1805 encounter would vanish as well, and the spacecraft’s observations could continue without interruption.

But the update on Friday, March 30, indicated otherwise. The satellites would occupy the same point in space within 30 milliseconds of each other.

“It was clear we had to be ready to move Fermi out of the way, and that’s when I alerted our Flight Dynamics Team that we were planning a maneuver,” McEnery said.

The only way to accomplish this was by firing thrusters designed to ensure that Fermi would never pose a threat to another satellite. Intended for use at the end of Fermi’s operating life, the thrusters were designed to take it out of orbit and allow it burn up in the atmosphere.

Because a failure of this system, such as a propellant leak or an explosion, could have ended Fermi’s mission prematurely, the thrusters had never been tested, adding a new source of anxiety for McEnery.

“You can’t help but be nervous thinking about highly flammable fluids heading down pipes they’d never flowed down before,” she said. “But having done this, we now know the system works as designed, and it gives us confidence should we need to maneuver again in the future.”

The Goddard CARA team determined how big a push Fermi would need to mitigate the threat. Working with the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, CARA scientists also checked that the projected new orbit wouldn’t put Fermi on course for a conjunction with another object. The Flight Operations Team selected possible times for the primary maneuver and, just in case, up to three additional ones.

Over the weekend, the radar and optical sensors of the U.S. Space Surveillance Network continued keeping tabs on Cosmos 1805 and every other artificial object larger than 4 inches across in Earth orbit. Of the 17,000 objects currently tracked, only about 7 percent are active satellites.

Once each day, JSpOC analyzes the updated orbits, looks for possible conjunctions a week or more into the future, and notifies the Goddard CARA team of any events involving NASA’s robotic missions. Another group at NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston performs the same function for all spacecraft carrying astronauts, including the International Space Station.

By Tuesday, April 3, the threat still had not receded and all plans were in place for firing Fermi’s thrusters.

Shortly after noon EDT, the spacecraft stopped scanning the sky and oriented itself along its direction of travel. It then parked its solar panels and tucked away its high-gain antenna to protect them from the thruster exhaust.

“The maneuver, which was performed by the spacecraft itself based on procedures we developed a long time ago, was very simple, just firing all thrusters for one second,” Stoneking explained. “There was a lot of suspense and tension leading up to it, but once it was over, we just sighed with relief that it all went well.”

By 1 p.m., Fermi was back to doing science. A few hours later, the various teams met to evaluate the results of the maneuver and determine if another would be required. When the two spacecraft reached their long-awaited conjunction the following day, they would miss by a comfortable margin of 6 miles, with no further actions needed.

“A huge weight was lifted,” McEnery said. “I felt like I’d lost 20 pounds.”

Last year, the Goddard CARA team participated in collision-avoidance maneuvers for seven other missions. A month before the Fermi conjunction came to light, Landsat 7 dodged pieces of Fengyun-1C, a Chinese weather satellite deliberately destroyed in 2007 as part of a military test. And in May and October, respectively, NASA’s Aura and CALIPSO Earth-observing satellites took steps to avoid fragments from Cosmos 2251.

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Giant Gas Cloud in System NGC 6240

Giant Gas Cloud in System NGC 6240

Posted on 30 April 2013 by GGS News

NASA,(GGS NEWS) : Scientists have used Chandra to make a detailed study of an enormous cloud of hot gas enveloping two large, colliding galaxies. This unusually large reservoir of gas contains as much mass as 10 billion Suns, spans about 300,000 light years, and radiates at a temperature of more than 7 million degrees.

This giant gas cloud, which scientists call a “halo,” is located in the system called NGC 6240. Astronomers have long known that NGC 6240 is the site of the merger of two large spiral galaxies similar in size to our own Milky Way. Each galaxy contains a supermassive black hole at its center. The black holes are spiraling toward one another, and may eventually merge to form a larger black hole.

Another consequence of the collision between the galaxies is that the gas contained in each individual galaxy has been violently stirred up. This caused a baby boom of new stars that has lasted for at least 200 million years. During this burst of stellar birth, some of the most massive stars raced through their evolution and exploded relatively quickly as supernovas.

The scientists involved with this study argue that this rush of supernova explosions dispersed relatively high amounts of important elements such as oxygen, neon, magnesium, and silicon into the hot gas of the newly combined galaxies. According to the researchers, the data suggest that this enriched gas has slowly expanded into and mixed with cooler gas that was already there.

During the extended baby boom, shorter bursts of star formation have occurred. For example, the most recent burst of star formation lasted for about five million years and occurred about 20 million years ago in Earth’s timeframe. However, the authors do not think that the hot gas was produced just by this shorter burst.

What does the future hold for observations of NGC 6240? Most likely the two spiral galaxies will form one young elliptical galaxy over the course of millions of years. It is unclear, however, how much of the hot gas can be retained by this newly formed galaxy, rather than lost to surrounding space. Regardless, the collision offers the opportunity to witness a relatively nearby version of an event that was common in the early Universe when galaxies were much closer together and merged more often.

In this new composite image of NGC 6240, the X-rays from Chandra that reveal the hot gas cloud are colored purple. These data have been combined with optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope, which shows long tidal tails from the merging galaxies, extending to the right and bottom of the image.

A paper describing these new results on NGC 6240 is available online and appeared in the March 10, 2013 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. The authors in this study were Emanuele Nardini (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, or CfA, Cambridge, MA and currently at Keele University, UK), Junfeng Wang (CfA and currently at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL), Pepi Fabbiano (CfA), Martin Elvis (CfA), Silvia Pellegrini (University of Bologna, Italy), Guido Risalti (INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Italy and CfA), Margarita Karovska (CfA), and Andreas Zezas (University of Crete, Greece and CfA).

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

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Victory for farmers snatched from jaws of Cong: Badal

Victory for farmers snatched from jaws of Cong: Badal

Posted on 30 April 2013 by GGS News

GGS NEWS : 01 May : In a bid to build consensus over immediate roll-back of wealth tax on agriculture land, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal met leaders of Janata Dal (United), Trinamool Congress (TMC) and AIADMK in Delhi on Monday seeking their support for the cause. Badal, accompanied by his deputy and SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal and MPs Harsimrat Badal and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, met JD-U President and NDA convener Sharad Yadav at the latter’s residence and sought his party’s support to mount pressure on the government to move an amendment to the Finance Bill, 2013 to withdraw the levy of wealth tax on agricultural land.
Badal sought specific exemption to agriculture land from wealth tax where respective courts have upheld levy of the tax on agriculture land. He expressed apprehensions about social unrest in the country if the proposal was passed and asked Yadav to save the peasantry from wealth tax, “which has sounded a death knell for all including farm labour, small and marginal traders directly or indirectly associated with agriculture”.
The Punjab Chief Minister also apprised TMC leader Sudeep Bandyopadhyay and AIADMK leader Thambidurai, who called on the former at the residence of Lok Sabha MP Harsimrat Badal, about the implications of wealth tax which would further destabilize the nation’s overall economic scenario in general and Punjab’s agrarian economy in particular.

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Bomb blast in south Afghanistan kills Nato troops

Bomb blast in south Afghanistan kills Nato troops

Posted on 30 April 2013 by GGS News

KABUL ,(GGS NEWS) 01 May : (Reuters) – A roadside bomb killed three members of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, the coalition said.
It is ISAF policy not to identify the nationality of soldiers killed on duty.
The Taliban on Sunday launched its spring offensive, saying it would take aim at foreign military bases and diplomatic areas.

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Kareena’s sexy holiday bikini tan!

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Kareena’s sexy holiday bikini tan!

Posted on 30 April 2013 by GGS News

 

GGS NEWS : Kareena attends Bharat and Doris Godambe’s makeup awards sans her hubby Saif Ali Khan  Showing off a sexy new tan, Kareena makes her way down the red carpet.Kareena attends Bharat and Doris Godambe’s makeup awards.

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Dhaka building collapse: Police clash with protesters

Dhaka building collapse: Police clash with protesters

Posted on 30 April 2013 by GGS News

Dhaka,(GGS NEWS) 01 May : Bangladeshi police have clashed with protesters demanding death penalty for the owner of a textile factory building that collapsed last week, leaving at least 390 people dead.

The protest took place on Tuesday near the factory building in the Savar district on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka.

According to reports, several were wounded after police fired rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators including garment workers.

The protesters also demanded better work environment in garment factories.

This comes after a court in Bangladesh granted police two weeks to interrogate the owner of the factory.

On Monday, rescue workers, who saved some 2,500 people, gave up hopes of finding any more survivors and used heavy machinery to cut through the wreckage of the eight-story structure.

Factory owner Mohammed Sohel Rana was apprehended on Sunday as he tried to flee to India. He will be interrogated on charges of negligence, illegal construction and forcing workers to keep on workers in an unsafe building.

Rana’s father, Abdul Khaleque, was also detained on suspicion of providing assistance to him to force people to work in the building.

Rana was brought to the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court on Monday and was later sent to an unknown detention facility after the magistrate granted a police request to detain him longer before filing formal charges.

The shoddily-constructed structure where low-cost garments were made for Western brands collapsed on April 24.

More than 3,000 people, mainly young women workers, were in the building at the time of the collapse.

The police have said that hundreds of people are still missing in the country’s worst ever industrial accident.

Many people are still surrounding the site of the incident in search of missing relatives.

Police officials say the factory owners had ignored warnings against allowing workers into the building after deep cracks were detected in the walls the day before the collapse.

Last November, more than 110 workers died in a blaze that engulfed a factory in an industrial suburb of Dhaka. Over 70 people were also killed when a garment factory building collapsed in the same area in 2005.

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Libya gunmen surround justice ministry in Tripoli

Libya gunmen surround justice ministry in Tripoli

Posted on 30 April 2013 by GGS News

Libya,(GGS NEWS) 01 May : Armed men in pick-up trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns and rocket-launchers protested on the road outside Libya’s justice ministry on Tuesday to press demands that former dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s aides be barred from senior government posts.

Tensions between the government and armed militia have been intensifying since authorities began a campaign to dislodge the gunmen from strongholds in the capital Tripoli to tackle lawlessness threatening democratic transition.

Prime Minister Ali Zeidan’s government and its armed forces are so weak that swathes of the oil-producing desert country are beyond their control. The militia, who played a pivotal role in the anti-Gaddafi revolt, have never left the capital.

Gunmen ringed the foreign ministry on Sunday and have targeted other state buildings, aiming to paralyze government until legislation is adopted banning those who served Gaddafi.

The legislation could blacklist several long-serving ministers, the congress chairman and Zeidan himself.

On Tuesday also, demonstrators marched to the General National Congress (GNC) building, or parliament, where they spray painted ‘down with the regime’ and ‘no to Zeidan’s government’ in red on the front of the building.

The unrest has forced the GNC to postpone its next sitting, scheduled for Tuesday, to Sunday to give lawmakers time to consider the legislation that protesters want, a spokesman said.

“This is definitely an attempt to impose their agenda on the political process. It’s not massively out of character – we have seen this before – but it is definitely a worrying trend,” said a Western diplomat in Tripoli.

The armed men, with about 20 pick-up trucks, including one at the gates with Grad missiles, forced the minister and his staff to leave the building, one of the gunmen told Reuters.

Late on Tuesday, the road to the foreign ministry remained blocked by four-wheel drive cars and pick-up trucks loaded with anti-aircraft guns. Protesters have also unsuccessfully tried to storm the interior ministry.

About 100 people gathered in Tripoli’s Martyrs Square on Tuesday to voice their support for the legislation, shouting, “Oh, martyrs, your blood will not go in vain”, referring to those who died fighting to topple Gaddafi.

“If they don’t pass the political isolation law, we will protest here and topple the government,” said Faisal Alaqsa.

Demonstrators carried wooden coffins wrapped in flags and photographs of those who had died in the 2011 revolution.

Only a few dozen people turned up at different square for a rival demonstration in support of the government.

The U.N. Support Mission in Libya said it was monitoring the siege of state institutions and urged Libyans to resolve their differences through dialogue and abide by principles of democracy and rule of law that had driven the uprising.

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Bomb tears through Damascus, killing 14 people

Bomb tears through Damascus, killing 14 people

Posted on 30 April 2013 by GGS News

BEIRUT ,(GGS NEWS) 01 May : – The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group said Tuesday that Syrian rebels will not be able to defeat President Bashar Assad’s regime militarily, strongly suggesting that Syria’s “real friends” including his Iranian-backed militant group would intervene on the government’s side if the need arises.

The powerful Shiite Muslim group is known to be backing Syrian regime fighters in Shiite villages near the Lebanon border against the mostly Sunni rebels fighting to topple Assad. But the comments by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah were the strongest indication yet that his group was ready to get more substantially involved to rescue Assad’s embattled regime.

“Syria has real friends in the region and in the world who will not allow Syria to fall in the hands of America or Israel or the Takfiris,” he said, referring to followers of an al-Qaida like extremist idology.

Hezbollah and Iran are close allies of Assad. Both have been accused by rebels of sending fighters to assist Syrian troops trying to crush the 2-year-old Syrian uprising as it morphed into a civil war.

Nasrallah said Tuesday that now there are now no Iranian forces in Syria, except for some experts who he said have been in Syria for decades. But he added: “What do you imagine would happen in the future if things deteriorate in a way that requires the intervention of the forces of resistance in this battle?”

Hezbollah has an arsenal that is the most powerful military force in Lebanon, stronger than the national army. Its growing involvement in the Syrian civil war is already raising tensions inside the divided country and has drawn threats from enraged Syrian rebels and militants.Nasrallah also said his fighters had a duty to protect the holy Shiite shrine of Sayida Zeinab, named for the granddaughter of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad’s, south of Damascus.

He said rebels were able to capture several villages around the shrine and gunmen were deployed hundreds of meters (yards) away from the shrine who have threatened to destroy it.

“If the shrine is destroyed things will get out of control,” Nasrallah said citing the 2006 bombing of the Shiite al-Askari shrine in the Iraqi city of Samarra. That attack was blamed on al-Qaida in Iraq and set off years of retaliatory bloodshed between Sunni and Shiite extremists that left thousands of Iraqis dead and pushed the country to the brink of civil war.

Nasrallah also said that accusations that the regime has used chemical weapons were an attempt to justify foreign intervention in Syria.

While there has been growing speculation about Hezbollah’s role in the conflict next door, the violence inside Syria has raged on, including in the capital, where a powerful bomb on Tuesday ripped through a bustling commercial district, killing at least 14 people.

The blast shattered store fronts, set cars ablaze and brought Syria’s civil war to the heart of Damascus for the second consecutive day.

On Monday, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi narrowly escaped an assassination attempt after a car bomb targeted his convoy as it drove through a posh Damascus neighbourhood. The bombings appear to be part of an accelerated campaign by opposition forces to hit Assad’s regime in the heavily defended capital.

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Six admit planning to bomb English Defence League rally

Six admit planning to bomb English Defence League rally

Posted on 30 April 2013 by GGS News

GGS NEWS : The plot, involving a nail bomb, a partially assembled pipe bomb, shotguns, swords and knives, failed because the rally in Dewsbury ended earlier than planned.

It was only uncovered after a car used by two of the men was found to be uninsured and was searched after being impounded.

At London’s Woolwich crown court, Jewel Uddin, Omar Mohammed Khan, Mohammed Hasseen, Anzal Hussain, Mohammed Saud and Zohaib Ahmed admitted preparing an act of terrorism between 1 May and 4 July last year.

Police and security services had no intelligence about the planned attack on 30 June 2012, but one of the plotters was under surveillance in relation to another terrorist plan.

Fireworks explosives
The nail bomb, containing 458 pieces of shrapnel, was an 18-inch rocket which had been powered by explosives taken from at least two large fireworks.

Police estimated there could have been up to 750 EDL marchers at the Dewsbury event, along with dozens of officers and passers-by.

The fanatics’ plan failed by chance, because they arrived at 4pm when the rally had dispersed by 2pm.

The planned attack was only uncovered because a traffic officer stopped Uddin and Khan on the M1 as they travelled back to their home town, Birmingham.

He made checks on their Renault Laguna, which came up as being uninsured, and the car was impounded.Weapons arsenal
It was only two days later that staff at the pound near Sheffield looked at the contents of the Renault and found the gang’s arsenal.

There were also 10 copies of a hate-filled note addressed to the enemies of Islam, the Queen and David Cameron.

It said: “This is a message to the enemies of Allah and his messenger. This is a message to the kafir (non-believer) female devil and self-proclaimed Queen Elizabeth and her accursed jubilee, fooling a nation of blind sheep to your self-proclaimed royalty and majesty.”

The document addressed the EDL directly, saying: “To the EDL (English Drunkards League). O enemies of Allah! We have heard and seen you openly insulting the final Messenger of Allah… you should know that for every action there is a reaction.

“Today is a day of retaliation (especially) for your blasphemy of Allah and his Messenger Muhammad. We love death more than you love life. The penalty for blasphemy of Allah and his Messenger Muhammad is death.”

CDs of speeches by radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki were also found.

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