Gas pipeline explodes in Russia killing three, suspicion of sabotage

Gas Explosion

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Russian pipe that takes gas to Europe explodes in enormous fireball killing three in latest blaze to hit infrastructure amid suspicions saboteurs are at work in the country
  • The huge explosion hit major Russian pipe line 560 miles from Ukraine border
  • Videos showed fireball burning in the Chuvashia republic as cause is unclear
  • Reports said three gas workers were killed and another is in a ‘serious’ condition

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Two Russian air bases hit by mysterious explosion in a possible attack by Ukraine

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Explosions rocked two Russian airbases far from the frontlines on Monday as Kyiv appeared to launch a pre-emptive strike on the bombers that the Kremlin has used to try to cripple the Ukrainian electrical grid.
  • The attack, if confirmed, would be an unprecedented operation deep inside Russia
  • Russian media reports… an explosion at the Engels-2 airbase, and the Dyagilevo military airbase near Ryazan, a city less than 150 miles from Moscow
  • If confirmed as a Ukrainian operation, the strike on the Engels airbase would be the most daring attack behind Russian lines to date. The airbase is a crucial site for Russian air force operations against Ukraine and for the country’s strategic nuclear forces. It has a nuclear weapons storage bunker with warheads that can be deployed on Russia’s long-range strategic bombers.
  • Satellite images published by Der Spiegel last week showed 20 strategic bombers parked on the runway at the Engels airbase in preparation for another strike on Ukraine. Satellite imagery released by Maxar showed that those bombers remained parked on the runway through Sunday.
  • A Ukrainian official offered a cryptic appraisal of Monday’s explosions… “If it was, they would know: if something is launched into other countries’ airspace, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return to departure point.”

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Moscow fires 81 missiles at Kyiv after key bridge blown up heading to Russian controlled Crimea

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Explosions rock central Kyiv in apparent missile strikes
  • Russia launched fresh hell across Ukraine on Monday with deadly missile strikes on several cities, including the capital, Kyiv — a horrifying escalation that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky insisted was an effort to wipe his country “off the face of the Earth.”
  • At least 81 cruise missiles were fired at eight regions by midmorning, only around half of which were shot down, according to Ukraine’s defense ministry.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin later said the strikes were a justified response to Kyiv’s “terrorist attacks,” including the huge blast that destroyed part of a key bridge to the Moscow-controlled Crimean Peninsula early Saturday.

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Georgia Guidestones and what they say

Psalm 33 : 10,11 “The Lord frustrates the counsel of the nations; He restrains the purposes of the people.11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the purposes of His heart to all generations.”

Important Takeaways:

  • The Georgia Guidestones demolished after explosion ‘destroyed’ portion, GBI says
  • The origin of the monument is ambiguous. They were allegedly commissioned by a person under the name R.C. Christian, established in 1980 and have become a roadside attraction for travelers. It’s sometimes referred to as “America’s Stonehenge” for its unknown origins.
  • What do the Georgia Guidestones say?
  • The English portion of the inscription reads:
    • “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
    • Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
    • Unite humanity with a living new language.
    • Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
    • Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
    • Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
    • Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
    • Balance personal rights with social duties.
    • Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
    • Be not a cancer on the Earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.”

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Shearer’s Foods processing plant explosion injures 7

Revelation 8:7 “ The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”

Important Takeaways:

  • 7 Injured in Explosion as Fire Engulfs Food Plant; Smoke Visible for Miles
  • Multiple workers are hospitalized following an explosion at a food processing facility that has nearby residents on alert for possible evacuation.
  • The explosion occurred Tuesday evening at Shearer’s Foods in Hermiston, a city in agriculturally rich eastern Oregon. No deaths have been reported from the blast, but the extent of the damage to the plant and its future were not clear. City officials are concerned what the fire could mean for the community and local economy.
  • The public has been asked to avoid the area as authorities respond to the ongoing incident.

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Blast heard in Kabul as U.S. forces destroy munitions -Taliban

(Reuters) – A large explosion was heard in Kabul late on Thursday as the U.S. military destroyed ammunition, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Thursday.

Two witnesses in an area some 3-4 kilometers from the airport said earlier they had heard a huge explosion, hours after an Islamic State suicide attack killed dozens of people trying to board evacuation flights.

(Reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Car bomb hits near Kabul ‘Green Zone’; six dead including attackers

KABUL (Reuters) -A car bomb blast followed by sporadic gunfire hit Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Tuesday near the heavily fortified “Green Zone,” leaving three civilians and three attackers dead, security officials said amid an upturn in violence by Taliban militants.

At least seven other people were wounded, said health ministry spokesperson Ghulam Dastagir Nazari. An interior ministry spokesperson said security forces’ operations ended with the death of all attackers.

A senior security official said the blast appeared to have been caused by a car bomb and the target was the acting defense minister’s home and the adjoining residence of a member of parliament.

The attack – in the heart of one of Kabul’s most secure areas – came during an escalation in violence by the Taliban. Attacks have risen sharply since President Joe Biden announced U.S. troops would leave by September even as the Taliban intensified its attacks on major cities.

Three unidentified gunmen were killed at Tuesday’s attack site which is home to Afghan officials, lawmakers and prominent residents.

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

Minutes after the blast, hundreds of civilians in Kabul came out on to the streets and chanted Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest) to express their support for Afghan government forces and opposition to the Taliban.

The night-time march spilled across the city with mostly men and some women joining in the demonstrations, carrying candles and Afghan flags to signal united opposition to the hardline Islamist group.

“The whole world can choose to be silent about what is going on in Afghanistan but we can’t and won’t stay quiet anymore…we will stand side by side with our security forces until our last breath,” said a demonstrator in Kabul on condition of anonymity.

The country’s first Vice President Amrullah Saleh said the demonstrations were “historic moments” of “emotions and patriotism.”

“Allah o Akbar, death to Talib terrorists & their backer,” he said in a tweet at a time when Afghan forces flushed out militants in the overnight operations.

Last week, residents in the western province of Herat braved the streets despite nearby fighting to protest against the Taliban. Other cities quickly organized to join from their homes in the evenings, as a message of support for embattled security forces.

After Tuesday’s bomb attack, acting Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi said no harm was caused to him and his family members but some of his security guards were injured.

A Kabul police spokesperson said at least 30 civilians had been rescued from the blast site. The city’s Emergency Hospital said in a tweet it had so far received 11 people wounded in the attack.

Afghan forces appealed to residents of the southern city of Lashkar Gah to leave their homes and stay away from areas where the Taliban were taking control, as they intend to launch operations against the group where its fighters were travelling freely.

The loss of Lashkar Gah would be a huge strategic defeat for the government, which has pledged to defend strategic centers after losing much of the rural parts to the Taliban in recent months.

The Taliban said their fighters killed a district governor of central Maidan Wardak province on Tuesday, the latest in a series of killings by the insurgent group aimed at eliminating senior government officials and social activists.

(Reporting by Kabul bureau, Editing by Nick Tattersall, William Maclean and Alistair Bell)

Blast in German industrial park kills one, four others missing

BERLIN (Reuters) -An explosion in a German industrial park on Tuesday killed at least one person and injured 31 others, setting off a fierce blaze that sent a pall of smoke over the western city of Leverkusen. Four people were still missing.

Emergency services took three hours to extinguish the fire at the Chempark site, home to chemicals companies Bayer and Lanxess, that flared up after the blast at 9:40 a.m. (0740 GMT), park operator Currenta said.

“We are deeply shaken by the tragic death of one colleague,” said Chempark chief Lars Friedrich, adding that a search was underway for the four missing people.

Police said five of the 31 injured people were affected seriously enough to need intensive care.

“This is a tragic moment for the city of Leverkusen,” said Uwe Richrath, mayor of the city, which lies north of Cologne.

The area and surrounding roads were sealed off for much of the day.

Police told residents living nearby to stay indoors and shut doors and windows in case there were toxic fumes. Currenta said locals should also turn off air conditioning systems while it measured the air around the site for possible toxic gases.

Chempark’s Friedrich said it was not clear what had caused the explosion, which led to a fire starting in a tank containing solvents.

“Solvents were burned during the incident, and we do not know precisely what substances were released,” Friedrich added. “We are examining this with authorities, taking samples.”

Sirens and emergency alerts on the German civil protection agency’s mobile phone app warned citizens of “extreme danger.”

Leverkusen is less than 50 km (30 miles) from a region hit last week by catastrophic floods that killed at least 180 people.

More than 30 companies operate at the Chempark site in Leverkusen, including Covestro, Bayer, Lanxess and Arlanxeo, according to its website.

Bayer and Lanxess in 2019 sold Chempark operator Currenta to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets for an enterprise value of 3.5 billion euros ($4.12 billion).

($1 = 0.8492 euros)

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan, Madeline Chambers, Caroline Copley; Editing by William Maclean, Edmund Blair and Gareth Jones)

Taliban warn Turkey against ‘reprehensible’ plan to run Kabul airport

KABUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – The Taliban warned Turkey on Tuesday against plans to keep some troops in Afghanistan to run and guard Kabul’s main airport after the withdrawal of foreign soldiers, calling the strategy “reprehensible” and warning of “consequences”.

Ankara, which has offered to run and guard the airport in the capital after NATO withdraws, has been in talks with the United States on financial, political and logistical support.

Turkey has repeated that the airport must stay open to preserve diplomatic missions in Afghanistan, where a blast rocked Kabul on Tuesday and clashes have intensified across the country.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan condemns this reprehensible decision,” the Taliban said in a statement, referring to Turkey’s plan.

“If Turkish officials fail to reconsider their decision and continue the occupation of our country, the Islamic Emirate… will take a stand against them.”

In that case, the militant group added, the responsibility for consequences would fall on the shoulders of those who interfere.

The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan with an iron fist from 1996 to 2001, have been fighting for 20 years to topple the Western-backed government in Kabul and reimpose Islamic rule.

Emboldened by the departure of foreign forces by a September target, they are making a fresh push to surround cities and gain territory.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Monday evening that Turkey agreed to some points with U.S. counterparts on running the airport and work towards a deal continues.

“The airport needs to remain open, be operated. All countries say this. If the airport does not operate, the countries will have to withdraw their diplomatic missions there,” he said.

Talks now involving ministries should be complete by the time U.S. forces leave, a senior Turkish official told Reuters. “We still think there will be an agreement on the airport. We want to side with the Afghan people,” the official said.

Police said a blast rocked a busy area of Kabul on Tuesday, killing four people and wounding five. It was not clear who was behind the explosion or the target.

Clashes were continuing in the southern province of Kandahar, said Attaullah Atta, a provincial council member, with the Taliban being pushed back after a bid to break into a city prison.

Hundreds of families had fled the violence, he added.

Mohammad Daoud Farhad, director of Kandahar’s provincial hospital, said it had received eight dead and more than 30 people, mostly civilians, wounded in clashes in the past 24 hours.

Early on Tuesday, Afghan security forces had retreated from the district of Alingar in the eastern province of Laghman, a local government official said on condition of anonymity.

A ceasefire pact with the Taliban in the district fell through in May.

On Monday, the Taliban circled the central city of Ghazni and made attacks overnight in their latest offensive on a provincial capital, a local security official said, only to be pushed back by Afghan forces.

(Reporting by Afghanistan bureau, and Orhan Coskun and Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Daren Butler and Nick Macfie)

Manhattan subway bomber sentenced to life in prison

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) -A Bangladeshi man convicted of setting off a pipe bomb during rush hour in New York City’s busiest subway station, Times Square, was sentenced on Thursday to life plus 30 years in prison.

Akayed Ullah, 31, of Brooklyn, had claimed he wanted to kill only himself and was not acting on behalf of Islamic State when he detonated his homemade bomb on Dec. 11, 2017.

No one died and four people were injured in the explosion, which led to the temporary closure of the station and the adjacent Port Authority Bus Terminal during the morning rush. Ullah was burned in what prosecutors called a “lone wolf” attack.

U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Sullivan, who imposed the sentence, told Ullah he had committed a “truly barbaric and heinous crime” without regard for the humanity of those in his way.

“They were just people on the way to work, or school,” Sullivan said. “People who maybe had finished the night shift. … To you, these people were expendable.”

Ullah, who is married and has a 3-year-old son, had faced a mandatory minimum 35-year term.

He told Sullivan he did not condone violence, and apologized to New York City, law enforcement and the United States.

“What I did on December 11, it was wrong,” Ullah said. “I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, I’m deeply sorry.”

Prosecutors said Ullah was angry with then-President Donald Trump and with U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, and that Islamic State propaganda inspired him to kill, maim and terrorize as many commuters as possible.

“Akayed Ullah’s message of hatred clearly backfired,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement.

At the time of the attack, Ullah had a green card, allowing him to live in the United States.

He lived with his mother, sister and two brothers in Brooklyn, while his wife and then-infant son lived in Bangladesh.

Ullah’s lawyer Amy Gallicchio, a federal public defender, called him a “deeply troubled soul” who had been attracted on the internet to the “distorted and radical messages” of extremism.

“He is not an evil man,” Gallicchio said, a sentiment the judge also expressed. “He is not a monster.”

But federal prosecutor Rebekah Donaleski questioned why Ullah chose Times Square to set off the bomb if suicide was his goal.

The bomb materials had come from a nearby construction site where Ullah worked as an electrician.

“It is important to send a message that when you attack New York City, there will be no leniency,” Donaleski said.

Ullah was convicted in November 2018. Sullivan presided over Ullah’s case when he was a federal district judge.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by Jonathan Oatis)