ATTENTION: 20,000 surface to air and anti tank missiles missing in Libya

Approximately 20,000 portable surface-to-air missile and Russian made anti-tank missiles as well as rifle and anti aircraft ammunition have gone missing in Libya. A couple of those weapons are explained in the graphic above. (Click on to enlarge).

After a 6 month civil war that ended Qaddafi’s 42-year rule and sent him into hiding allowed the regime’s extensive armories to be fully exposed and available to looters, former rebel fighters or anyone with a truck to carry weapons away.

Weapons that could be used to knock down military planes, helicopters or drones as well as cause destruction and damage to innocent civilians.

With the US govt unsure as to who is leading the rebels in Libya and Defense Secretary Robert Gates stating that its “very possible that Al Qaeda is leading the rebellion” and the significance impact of Hamas and Hezbollah in the area makes this matter gravely serious not only for America’s security but also for Israel’s security.

Today, the White House released a press statement saying it will boost efforts to find and destroy the weapons stockpile and last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Libya’s new leaders to secure the chemical weapons and convention weapons supply.

Yet at the same time, visits by The Associated Press to weapons caches around Tripoli (the capital of Libya) show that many remain poorly guarded and have already been heavily looted.

AP reported that 12 rebels wandered around one site where a large hangar was strewn with the boxes of missing weapons. Rebels at another site were leaving with a load of tank shells they said they were taking to a safe place for storage. They acknowledged, however, that they’d found the site unguarded.

At one unguarded site, Bouckaert said he found 100,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. Elsewhere, he found weapons caches hidden under fruit trees.

On a positive note,  the U.N. chief weapons watchdog said Wednesday that Libya’s remaining chemical weapon stockpiles are believed to be secure but we must remain ever viligent.

Let’s pray that we find them and confiscate the weapons before they are used against us and/or our allies.

Copyright (c) September 28, 2011. All rights reserved.


EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Air strikes in Tripoli, Libya. US fighter jet crashes.

Finally, EPA makes itself useful and sets standards for mercury at coal fired power plants.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed the first ever national standards for mercury and other air pollutants emitted from coal fired power plants.

Air pollutants like mercury, arsenic, chromium and nickel have been linked to instances of cancer and can affect infant brain development.

According to the EPA, this new standard would prevent 17,000 premature deaths and 11,000 heart attacks. The standards would also prevent 120,000 cases of childhood asthma.

The EPA said the standards are cost-effective, asserting that for every $1 spent, the public will see $13 in benefits.

The public will have 60 days to comment on the proposed standards.

Environmentalists and clean air advocates praised the standards Wednesday.

“This is the single biggest step for public health protection that the EPA will take this year,” Clean Air Watch President Frank O’Donnell said in a statement. “Thousands of Americans will live longer and many millions will breathe easier as a result. Not only that, but fish will be safer to eat as toxic mercury is reduced from water bodies.”

While this is great news, I have to wonder what the economic impact would be? I am assuming that electricity and power would increase due to the  excess regulation but how much is yet to be seen.

Copyright (c) March 16, 2011. All rights reserved.

BREAKING NEWS: 4 reactor blasts in Japan, changing winds and US nuclear threat.

A fire, explosions and other damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant following a massive earthquake and tsunami on Friday have triggered Japan’s worst nuclear crisis since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Conditions at a Japanese nuclear power plant, crippled by Friday’s earthquake and associated tsunamis, deteriorated further Monday night, with a Japanese nuclear safety official saying that the water inside the waste fuel storage pool for a damaged reactor may be boiling.

Unit 4 was not operating at the time of the tsunami, but its backup power systems failed afterward, preventing cooling systems from working properly.

3 reactors already have been wrecked by explosions and nuclear officials confirmed that temperatures in 2 other reactors that had been shut down for inspections were also rising.

The temperature of the water in the spent fuel storage pool for Unit 4 was 183 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, when it was last measured.

Hidehiko Nishiyama told reporters that “we cannot deny the possibility of water boiling” in the spent fuel storage pool at the facility.

If the water boils, it could evaporate, exposing the rods. The fuel rods are encased in safety containers meant to prevent them from resuming nuclear reactions, nuclear officials said.

Yet,  they acknowledged that there could have been damage to the containers. They also confirmed that the walls of the storage pool building were damaged.

Additionally, there are reports that the core of the Unit 2 reactor was left exposed on March 14 and might have partially melted through its containment vessel. The current status of Unit 2 remained unclear.

According to the officials, 50 workers remained at the Fukushima plant to continue the frantic effort to cool down the reactors. Operations to use seawater to cool Units 1 and 3 were ongoing.

Workers were struggling to prevent meltdowns of 3 reactors at the site when the 4th reactor blew. There are 6 nuclear reactors in all.

The fire that followed is believed to be the source of elevated radiation readings at the site earlier in the day.

It has also been reported that there are two 8-square-yard holes on the northern wall of the Unit 4 reactor, which was on fire earlier.

The water level inside could not be immediately determined.

Nuclear threat

The Unit 4 reactor at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant caught fire earlier Tuesday (Monday evening/night in the US) and is believed to have caused a release of dangerous levels of radioactivity in the immediate area.

Elevated radioactivity readings in surrounding regions were not high enough to pose a health threat, the government said.

Yet, Japan officials were giving 230,000 units of iodine — which can counter radiation’s effects on the thyroid–  to adults and children as well as scanning for radioactivity.

Japanese officials later said the fire, in Unit 4 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, had been extinguished.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other officials warned there was danger of more leaks and told people living within 19 miles of the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex to stay indoors to avoid exposure that could make people sick.

“Please do not go outside. Please stay indoors. Please close windows and make your homes airtight,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told residents in the danger zone.

“These are figures that potentially affect health. There is no mistake about that,” he said.

At approximately 0700 local (Japan) time, sensitive instrumentation on USS George Washington pier-side in Yokosuka, detected low levels of radioactivity from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Naval Forces in Japan is recommending limited precautionary measures for personnel on Fleet Activities Yokosuka and Naval Air Facility Atsugi, including: limiting outdoor activities and securing external ventilation systems as much as practical.

This combined evacuation and stay-indoors orders affect as many as 220,000 people.

After effects of spewed radiation also affected crew members of the USS Ronald Reagan,  which  encountered a radioactive cloud when sailing through the Pacific to assist Japan in relief efforts.

Crew members received a month’s worth of radiation in about an hour, stated U.S. Military officials.

200 people in Japan have been found to be contaminated with radiation. 17 of them were US military. It is said to be at a low level in which can be scrubbed off.

Earlier fears in Japan were tailored around the prevailing winds and the chance of blowing a cloud of radioactive particles deeper into the country were tempered later Tuesday by the World Meteorological Organization’s forecast of a change in wind direction.

Now Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States are in the spotlight.

In the US, government officials on the West Coast are stating that these explosions are not of a concern at this time.

However; isnt that what the govt always says in an attempt to avert a panic situation?

In the meantime, I suggest all West Coast Americans STAY CALM and continue with daily operations while look into getting iodine tablets and stay alert on the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake and wind/ocean patterns.

Stay tuned to Heart of America for the latest and greatest.

Copyright (c) March 15, 2011. All rights reserved.

Libya: Rebels flee Ras Lanuf, signaling a shift in momentum

Loyalists of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi forced rebel fighters to flee the strategic oil town of Ras Lanuf Thursday after being assaulted by land, sea and air.

The city mosque was hit by an air strike, and the hospital was evacuated in the afternoon after several attacks nearby.

Commercial and military ships hit the town with artillery and rockets, adding a third dimension to the usual mix of ground and air attacks that have become a part of the daily menu of fighting along the east-west highway between Bin Jawwad and Ras Lanuf.

At least one air strike was aimed at a rebel checkpoint on the edge of Brega, about a hundred miles east of Ras Lanuf, suggesting that the pro-Qaddafi forces may be ranging further east.

At the Red Crescent Hospital outside of Brega, which was receiving the dead and wounded from today’s battle following the closure of the Ras Lanuf hospital, four were reported dead and approximately 20 wounded.

The battle for control over Libya has pitted a well-armed, organized and often ruthless military against a group of protesters.

“I’m not a soldier, I’m a student,” said a protester in Ras Lanuf, brandishing his gun, his eyes intense and his voice quivering.

He had just retreated from the east-west highway after a heavy assault by government troops. “I’ve never held a gun before and Qaddafi is killing us from the sea, from the air.”

When the protesters captured Ras Lanuf a week ago, it was seen as a major victory for the opposition. Now, it appears the tide may be turning.

Qaddafi’s son, Seif al-Islam vowed Thursday to retake the eastern half of the country, which has been held by rebel forces for the past few weeks

He told a crowd of supporters in Tripoli: “I have two words to our brothers and sisters in the east: We’re coming” acting as if the Eastern population is held prisoner by the opposition.

Qaddafi troops earlier claimed victory over Zawiya, a town about 30 miles from Tripoli that had been held by rebels.

The town was the scene of intense fighting on Wednesday, with the town’s central square reportedly changing hands several times as rebels tried to hold off an onslaught by Qaddafi tanks and snipers. By the end of the day, government forces claimed to have gained the upper hand.

“Qaddafi is in this for the long haul,” James Clapper said, as reported in the BBC. “I don’t think he has any intention, despite some of the press speculation to the contrary, of leaving. From all evidence that we have… he appears to be hunkering down for the duration.”

American and other intelligence officials claim that Qaddafi has tens of billions of dollars in cash hidden away in Tripoli that will enable him to continue his fight against the rebels.

The money, which is controlled by Qaddafi, enables the leader to pay his troops, mercenaries and political supporters as the uprising continues for a third week.

The EU showed signs of confusion and disunity Thursday over how to handle the Libya crisis, the Independent reports.

As the EU tried to present a unified front, France chose to break out on its own and become the first nation to recognize the rebels’ national council as the country’s “legitimate representative.” Way to go, France.

“France is playing the role of breaking the ice for the European Union. This is the first nail in the coffin of Qaddafi. I expect Europe and Italy to follow as they consume the majority of Libyan oil.” stated, Heart of America’s Executive Editor, Denise Haywald.

Divisions also emerged over a decision to implement a no fly zone over Libya. Some European countries and the United States have expressed hesitation over being drawn into what could become a civil war.

“We do not want to get sucked into a war in North Africa,” said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

I cant say I blame the hesitation as placing sanctions and removing military and embassy operations is one but instituting a no fly zone which can only be done by controlling the Libyan air space, is quite another.

Copyright (c) March 10, 2011. All rights reserved.

EPA faces deadline of March 16 to propose cleanup from coal fired power plants.

According to the American Lung Association, coal-burning power plants must be cleaned up urgently to protect public health.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is facing a deadline of March 16 to propose cleanup for toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Those most in danger are the young from infants through teenagers, seniors, pregnant women, and those with asthma, lung diseases, heart disease and diabetes.

In their report, “Toxic Air: The Case for Cleaning Up Coal-fired Power Plants,” the group describes the mix of toxic air pollutants that come from the plants.

The process of burning coal releases chemicals into the atmosphere that threaten not only the air Americans breathe, but the water they drink, the soil they live on and the food they eat.

EPA classifies many of these chemicals as “hazardous air pollutants” or “air toxics,” a category that means they are known or reasonably expected to harm human health or the environment or both.

Hazardous air pollutants from coal-fired power plants include:

• Acid gases, such as hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride;
• Benzene, toluene and other compounds;
• Dioxins and furans;
• Formaldehyde;
• Lead, arsenic, and other metals;
• Mercury;
• Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH); and
• Radioactive materials, like radium and uranium

These emissions can make breathing difficult and can worsen asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis and other lung diseases. These pollutants can cause heart attacks and strokes, lung cancer and other cancers, birth defects and premature death.

Coal-fired plants and oil-fired plants that produce 25 megawatts or more of electricity for sale to the grid will be required to install “maximum achievable control technology” under the new rule.

New plants will be required to have the same level of technology as the best-controlled similar plants.

Existing plants will be required to install controls that are at least as stringent as the top 12 percent of plants in that category.

The EPA will propose these new requirements on or before March 16, 2011. The courts have required the EPA to issue the final rules by November 16, 2011.

The new regulations are expected to take effect three years from the date EPA makes them final.

Please call the White House(1-202-456-1111) and urge the President to take action in adopting these requirements as we cannot overlook air quality standards as clean air is imperative for our very existence.

Copyright (c) March 9, 2011. All rights reserved.