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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Florida Cops Tase Man For Trying to Put Out Fire On His Own House

After a Florida man picked up a garden hose to try to extinguish a fire that engulfed his neighbor’s house in flames, he was brutally tasered by police in front of his two children.

After laying in a puddle while the electricity surged through his body, 42-year-old Daniel Jensen is now emotionally distraught from the experience. He recounted the incident to a WTSP News reporter with tears in his eyes and a cracking voice.

“It was horrible. I was laying in a puddle of water being electrocuted,” he said. “And here’s the people trying to protect us. And I’m trying to protect my family and neighbors and they’re the ones that are bringing harm to me. I don’t understand it.”

Jensen and his wife, residents of Pinellas Park, woke up from a nap at 6 p.m. on Nov. 8 to the sound of an immense fire engulfing their neighbor’s house. Grabbing his fire extinguisher, the husband and father of two ran outside in his underwear and sprayed it at the flames that were engulfing the home. The flames had already reached the fence that separated the two houses and the wind was blowing them towards the corner of Jensen’s home.

Once the fire extinguisher was empty, the panicked man, concerned about his family inside the house, grabbed a garden hose to continue his attempt at extinguishing the fire. The police were there, but firefighters had not yet arrived at the scene.

“I was calling for my daughter. I was getting no response,” he said. “So I came out, grabbed the hose and started to spray her room… until I heard she was out. [The police] kept telling me just let it go, that’s what insurance is for. That wasn’t acceptable to me.”

The police ordered Jensen to stop using the garden hose. When the man continued, they drew a stun gun and tased him, leaving marks on his back where the wires shot electrical currents through his body. Jensen received no verbal warning or threat before he found himself on the ground.

“As I went to grab the hose, I heard an officer [say] to him, hit him, take him down, tase him,” he recalled. “I didn’t know that they were talking to me or about me. I was concerned about putting water on the fire and the next thing I knew, I was being tased.”

The teary-eyed man remembers lying in a puddle of water while being stunned.

“I thought [the police] were here to help me. Instead, they hurt me,” he said.

The police claim they could have charged Jensen with obstruction for ignoring their commands to stop using the garden hose. But they themselves may soon be facing a lawsuit. Florida law requires that a Taser can only be used if all other methods to stop a person fail. The law also requires police to give the subject a verbal warning before using the weapon.

“They can’t just taser anyone,” Jensen’s lawyer Heidi Imhof told the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s an unarmed person on his private property trying to fight a fire.”


WAR HAS BEEN DECLARED - Hamas Announces It Is Now In "Open War" With Israel

As expected, the escalation out of Gaza has been fast and furious with Al Arabiya reporting that the Hamas response to the operation that Israel has code named "Operation Pillar Of Cloud", which an IDF spokesperson has clarified Israel is ready to escalate into a ground operation into Gaza if needed, is that "Hamas is now in open war" with Israel. Moments later the organization Islamic Jihad has unsurprisingly, chimed in: "Israel has declared war on Gaza and they will bear the responsibility for the consequences." Stay tuned folks cause this may get very messy quickly. Now if only the US military wasn't currently the functional equivalent of a grotesque reality gong show.

This photo is straight from the IDF, which may be engaged in live tweeting a war for the first time in history:
 Some recent updates courtesy of Enduring America:

Israel/Palestine Describing Gaza as a "forward Iranian base", IDF spokesman Yoav Mordechai claims that Israel has struck 20 underground rocket launchers belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in an airstrike.

Israel/Palestine. Islamic Jihad responds unsuprisingly strongly to Israel's attacks today. Reuters reports the organisation as saying:

Israel has declared war on Gaza and they will bear the responsibility for the consequences.

Israel/Syria. Earlier today, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu toured the occupied Golan Heights region. The Jerusalem Post reports that Barak told journalists that nearly all of the Syrian villages along the Israeli border are in the hands of rebels. Barak added that the IDF was closely monitoring "the painful crumbling of the Assad regime".

Since Sunday, Israel has twice fired into Syria, claiming that it is responding to shells which have struck territory in the occupied Golan Heights. On Monday, the IDF claimed it had made "direct hits" on Syrian targets. Barak said today that the IDF is working to stop any Syrian fire crossing the border into Israel, "while making more wide-scale preparations for all developments". He continued:

It's very difficult to estimate what will be in Syria in the future, and we need to be alert and ready here, like in other areas.

We are determined to defend our land and our borders. We made that clear to the other side.

Israel-Palestine.. Citing Palestinian sources, Hareetz reports that Hamas military wing chief in Rafah, Raed al-Atar, has also been killed in IDF strike.

The Jerusalem Post also reports al-Atar's death, citing Israel Radio.

Israel-Palestine. Charlotte Alfred, a journalist working for Ma'an News, an independent Palestinian news organization, has sent me the following comment.

Multiple airstrikes are ongoing across the Gaza Strip. Ahmad al-Jabari is Hamas' most senior military leader. This is the most serious assassination of a Palestinian figure in years. Qassam [the military wing of Hamas] are furious. Just hours earlier [Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh] was expressing defiance that Israel's assassination threats will amount to nothing.

Rockets -- not much reported right now but they will come

There are already reports of rocket attacks against Israel - here are the last 3 updates from the IDF's own liveblog, though the last update was about an hour ago:

4:30 PM: A rocket fired from Gaza hits the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.
6:00 AM: A rocket fired from Gaza hits southern Israel.
2:10 AM: In response to rocket fire from Gaza, the Israeli Air Force targeted a weapon storage facility in the central Gaza Strip, as well as two launching sites in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israel-Palestine. An Israel Defense Forces spokesman has put out s statement on the assassination of Hamas's head of military operations Ahmed Jabari in central Gaza. Yoav Mordechai said, "The first aim of this operation is to bring back quiet to southern Israel, and the second target is to strike at terror organizations."

Mordechai described Jabari as a man with "a lot of blood on his hands", as he raised the prospect of more operation. Over the past 48 hours, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz reportedly approved a series of steps following border clashes and the exchanges of Israeli airstrikes and rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel.

"All options are open," Mordechai said. "We are very determined to strike at terror organizations."


Major Israeli Strikes on Gaza Kill Military Chief for Hamas - International reaction...

An Israeli air strike on a car in Gaza City has killed Hamas military commander Ahmad Jabari and his bodyguard, the Hamas interior ministry says.

Five other Palestinians died in a wave of air strikes on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, it said.
"The Israeli occupation has carried out more than 20 air strikes on targets and headquarters of the police and security in the Gaza Strip. So far, six people have been killed, including commander Ahmad Jabari," interior ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan said.

Below are reactions from across the world on the assassination and the subsequent air strikes.

 United Nations 

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on Israel and Hamas fighters to prevent an escalation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip, and urged both sides to ensure civilians will be protected, a UN spokesman said.

"The Secretary-General calls for an immediate de-escalation of tensions," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said, adding that it was a reiteration of Ban's already-stated position.

"Both sides should do everything to avoid further escalation and they must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of civilians at all times," he told reporters.


Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr condemned the Israeli air strikes that killed Jabari and called for an "immediate stop" to attacks on the Palestinian territory.

Amr, in a statement, warned Israel against any "escalation and its possible negative effects on regional stability".

President Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement, meanwhile, urged Arabs to boycott Israel, while the movement's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) warned that Egypt would no longer stand by as Palestinians come under attack.

The FJP said the air strikes that killed Jabari in Gaza required "swift Arab and international action to stop the massacres".

Israel "must take into account the changes in the Arab region and especially Egypt," it said. Egypt "will not allow the Palestinians to be subjected to Israeli aggression, as in the past".

Morsi, a vociferous supporter of the Palestinians before his election triumph in June, had been expected to lift a blockage of the Gaza Strip which borders Egypt, but his government has backed off from his pledges.

The Brotherhood, which has close ties with Hamas, called for an "economic boycott" and a public awareness campaign "to support the choice of resistance".


Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani condemned the attacks in the Gaza Strip and said they should not go unpunished.

"I condemn in the name of Qatar... This filthy crime must not pass without a punishment," he told journalists after a meeting in the Saudi capital between Gulf Co-operation Council Foreign Ministers and their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss Syria.

"The UN Security Council must shoulder its responsibilities in preserving peace and security in the world."

 United Kingdom 

Britain called for restraint, saying that further violence was in no one's interests.

"We are aware of reports of the death of the senior Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari," the Foreign Office said in a message posted on Twitter.

"We continue to call on all sides to exercise restraint to prevent a dangerous escalation that would be in no one's interests."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague had warned at an EU-Arab League meeting in Cairo on Tuesday that the world was "in danger of sleep walking into a serious crisis" if there was no progress on the stalled Middle East peace process.
 United States 

The United States threw its weight behind Israel after it launched a barrage of air strikes on the Gaza Strip, and condemned Palestinian militant rocket attacks on southern Israel.

"We support Israel's right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties," US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.

"We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence," he added.

"There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel," Toner said in his statement, calling on them "to stop these cowardly acts immediately."

"Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that is counterproductive to the Palestinian cause," he added.

"Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza or to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination."


2 Rare Tornadoes Strike Japan

Two massive tornadoes swept through the western region of Japan on Wednesday. No injuries or damages were reported. Tornadoes are relatively rare in Japan and the agency has issued further warnings of strong winds, lightning and tornadoes. 


Strong 6.1 Magnitude Quake Hits Central-North Chile, No Tsunami Warning Issued

SANTIAGO - A strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit central-north Chile on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, causing buildings to sway in capital Santiago but causing no damage.

The USGS said the quake struck on the coast, 54 miles (88 km) north of Coquimbo, at 4:02 p.m. (1902 GMT). It was initially reported as a magnitude 6.0 quake.

Chile's state emergency office, Onemi, said there were no reports of injuries, disruptions to basic services or infrastructure damage as a result of the tremor.

The navy said the quake did not meet the conditions needed to trigger a tsunami.

World No.1 copper producer Codelco said its operations were normal, and no mines in the metal-producing country reported damages.

Seismically active Chile was battered in February 2010 by an 8.8 magnitude quake and ensuing tsunami, which caused billions in damage and killed hundreds.


Geomagnetic Storm in Progress (November 14, 2012)

Aurora display seen on November 13, 2012 over Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (Credit: Ray Mckenzie via SpaceWeather Aurora Gallery)
Geomagnetic storm conditions are currently in progress in the wake of CME passage. A prolonged period of southward interplanetary magnetic field brought G2 (Moderate) Geomagnetic Storm conditions early on November 14 (UTC), evening hours November 13 (EST) according to report by NOAA/SWPC. G2 level conditions can cause power grid fluctuations and voltage alarms at high-latitude power systems, and even transformer damage in case of long-duration storms. Corrective actions to orientation for spacecrafts may be required by ground control and possible changes in drag can affect orbit predictions. HF radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes, and aurora could be seen as low as New York and Idaho. Planetary K index reached Kp=6 levels (G2) and now is showing Kp=5 value (G1).

Space Weather Message Code: ALTK06
Serial Number: 300
Issue Time: 2012 Nov 14 0600 UTC
ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 6

Threshold Reached: 2012 Nov 14 0600 UTC
Synoptic Period: 0300-0600 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G2 – Moderate
 This conditions may persist for a few more hours. Currently, geomagnetic storm conditions are at G1 (Minor) levelwhich can cause weak power grid fluctuations and minor impact on satellite operations. Migratory animals are affected at this and higher levels and aurora is commonly visible at high latitudes. The Bz component turned negative around 23:00 UTC on November 13, and has since had values between -10 and -20 nT. Protons have a slight chance of reaching alert threshold for the next 48 hours.

Current extent and position of the Auroral Oval at the north and south pole. (POES Aurora)
 Quiet to unsettled levels are expected today and tomorrow due to effects from a negative polarity coronal hole high-speed stream. On November 16 conditions are expected to return to mostly quiet levels.

Solar activity has been at high levels for the past 24 hours. Sunspot 1613, located in the southeast quadrant, has developed a Delta magnetic configuration and produced multiple M-class flares with associated CMEs. Three M-Class solar flares were observed in the last 36 hours, with largest registered as M6.0 at 02:04 UTC. At the moment, at least two minor CMEs are visible in Lasco C2 imagery. Luckily, it appears they’re directed to the south and east and not towards Earth.

Sunspots 1613 and 1614 are closely monitored for further flare activity. Region 1613 now has two small delta configurations with strong magnetic gradients. The region is bright in H-alpha and further growth seems likely. Regions 1610 and 1611 have Beta Gamma magnetic configurations. NOAA/SWPC forecasters estimate 65% chance of M-class and 15% chance of X-class solar flare in the next 24 hours.

Visible sunspots on SDO’s AIA 304 image


Solar wind
speed: 413.4 km/sec
density: 4.3 protons/cm3

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 144 sfu

Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 5 storm
24-hr max: Kp= 6 storm

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal8.9 nT
Bz6.4 nT south