DIIA NEWS…………………………………Pope Francis is denouncing extremists around the world who in his words are "perverting" religion to justify violence. On arriving in Albania's capital on Sunday, the pope said, "Let no one consider themselves to be the `armor' of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression...............SANAA, Yemen — Yemen’s prime minister resigned Sunday, the state news agency reported, following days of violence that left more than 140 dead and prompted thousands to flee their homes. The official SABA news agency gave no details on the move by Mohammed Salem Bassindwa, and it was not immediately clear if his resignation had been accepted by the president.............KUCUK KENDIRCILER, Turkey -- The number of refugees seeking shelter in Turkey from the Islamic State group's advance across northern Syria has hit 100,000 in less than a week, an official said Sunday.........................."ALEX SALMON - FIRST MINISTER OF SCOTLAND RESIGNS AS SCOTTISH PEOPLE VOTE NO TO INDEPENDENCE WISHING TO REMAIN PART OF THE UNITED KINGSDOM...........55% NO 45% YES ............THE RESULT WILL SECURE FASLANE AS THE ROYAL NAVY'S PRIMARY BASE FOR NUCLEAR SUBMARINES…………THE SNP INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT WOULD HAVE DEMANDED THEIR REMOVAL HAD THEY WON............THE NO VOTE VICTORY WILL SAFEGUARD THOUSANDS OF MILITARY & CIVILIAN JOBS LINKED TO THE ARMED SERVICES & SHIPYARDS.............THE POUND ROSE AGAINST THE DOLLAR ON INTERNATIONAL MARKETS DURING THE NIGHT AND SHARES ALSO ROSE.............FRANCE LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKES AGAINST ISIS...............The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has recently warned that Antarctic Sea Ice will increase again this year, presently recorded at 7.6 million sq miles; and it shows no sign of stopping. This is in great contrast with what is happening in the Arctic region where the ice continues to melt. While the minimum level is not the lowest it has ever been, it is still the 6th lowest in history and it also shows no sign of stopping; and even a slow trickle of this statistic could quickly change the state of the region...............MORE TO FOLLOW FROM DIIA NEWS DESK

 

 

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POLLOCK PINES, Calif.

California Wildfires

 

 

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Thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes in northern California after a wildfire burning out of control doubled in size in just 12 hours.

 

 

As an expanding wildfire in Northern California kept nearly 3,000 people from their homes, teams sought to find out how many structured had already been lost to the huge blaze, authorities said.

 

While officials confirmed that several structures have been damaged or destroyed in the King Fire, dangerous conditions have so far prevented them from determining an exact number or how many of them were homes, fire spokesman Mike McMillian said.

 

 

The fire some 60 miles east of Sacramento grew to more than 128 square miles Saturday, and gathering thunderstorms could either help or harm the firefight with moisture or wind, authorities said. The blaze began one week ago, and a man accused of starting the blaze is being held on $10 million bail. It is just 10 percent contained.

 

 

Fire-fighters putting out flamesMore than 5,000 firefighters — from as far as Florida and Alaska — are helping California crews battle the blaze that has not only consumed grass and brush, but swaths of extremely dry tall timber.

 

 

"That's what makes it difficult for a direct attack," McMillian said. "The main fuel that is burning is the tall timber. We're making some progress, but it is slow going in some areas as we're trying to construct more contingency and control lines."

 

 

About 100 evacuees have been allowed to return home, but some 2,700 remain under evacuation orders, Cal Fire said in a statement.

Also of concern are possible wind gusts of up to 30 mph that could push the fire, which has spread from the north to the south, state fire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff said.

"That would open up a whole new area for it to burn in," Tolmachoff said.

 

 

The fire has spread to the Tahoe National Forest northwest of Lake Tahoe, McMillian said. Also, the fire is threatening a key University of California, Berkeley research station that his home to scores of experiments on trees, plants and other wildlife.

 

 

Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, pleaded not guilty to an arson charge Friday in El Dorado County Superior Court.

 

 

Authorities have not said what evidence they have linking Huntsman to the fire, by far one of the largest of about a dozen fires burning statewide.

 

 

Meanwhile, a wildfire in the town of Weed near the Oregon border was fully contained Saturday after burning 479 acres and destroying 143 homes. Another wildfire that destroyed 37 homes near Yosemite National Park was 93 percent contained.



 

 

U.S., Canadian jets intercept 8 Russian aircraft

 

A CF-18 Hornet from Canada's 4 Wing Cold Lake, far left, flies next to a Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber on Sept. 5, 2007.

A CF-18 Hornet from Canada's 4 Wing Cold Lake, far left, flies next to a Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber on Sept. 5, 2007. (Canada National Defence Forces)



COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — Two F-22 fighter jets intercepted six Russian military airplanes that neared the western coast of Alaska, military officials said Friday.

 

Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said the U.S. jets intercepted the planes about 55 nautical miles from the Alaskan coast at about 7 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday.

 

The Russian planes were identified as two IL-78 refueling tankers, two Mig-31 fighter jets and two Bear long-range bombers. They looped south and returned to their base in Russia after the U.S. jets were scrambled.

 

At about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets intercepted two of the long-range bombers about 40 nautical miles off the Canadian coastline in the Beaufort Sea.

 

In both cases, the Russian planes entered the Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends about 200 miles from the coastline. They did not enter sovereign airspace of the United States or Canada.

 

Jazdyk said the fighter jets were scrambled "basically to let those aircraft know that we see them, and in case of a threat, to let them know we are there to protect our sovereign airspace."

 

In the past five years, jets under NORAD's command have intercepted more than 50 Russian bombers approaching North American airspace.

 

NORAD is a binational American and Canadian command responsible for air defense in North America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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With current problems in Ukraine, the surge of the Islamic State and threatening maritime disputes and other conflict scenarios emerging, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron used the recent NATO meeting in Newport/ Cardiff – where 61 Heads of State, including the US President attended -  to announce that both HMS Queen Elizabeth & HMS Prince of Wales will now enter service with the Royal Navy to ensure the UK has 24/7 365 day aircraft carrier coverage.

 

The new carriers, the largest ships ever ordered for the Royal Navy, are considered to be the most sophisticated platforms in the world. Following months of argument of how they can be best fitted out with defense systems and further discussion on the type of aircraft that will operate from them – it has now been agreed that both vessels will now be fitted with the latest combat systems and will carry 2.5 billion pounds worth of F35B fighter aircraft.

 

The Royal Navy was always going to get the first carrier but a final decision on the second had not been expected until after next year’s general election. As the entire project has cost £6.2 billion (without the cost of the aircraft), it was thought that the second carrier would be mothballed or sold on to save on defense budgets. This announcement confirms Britain’s intention of keeping to or exceeding NATO’s defense spending targets for each member country.

 

Mr Cameron told a press conference at the end of the Nato summit: "Our brand new aircraft carrier – HMS Queen Elizabeth – was named by Her Majesty in July and has now left her dry dock and is being fitted with her combat systems.

 

"She will be the mightiest ship the Royal Navy has ever put to sea, able to protect and project our interests across the globe for decades to come.

 

"And today I can announce that the second carrier – HMS Prince Of Wales – will also be brought into service. This will ensure that we will always have one carrier available, 100 per cent of the time.

 

"They are an investment in British security, British prosperity and our place in the world, transforming our ability to project power globally whether independently or with our allies."

 

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, the First Sea Lord, previously upped the pressure on the Government by arguing Britain's credibility "hinges on a carrier being available when the need arises".

 

"Hope is not a reliable method of ensuring capability availability when a crisis erupts," he said. "That is why we need the effects of a UK carrier. It's the wrong moment to find out that nothing happens when you push the carrier button. So to ensure continuous carrier availability, that means having two carriers, not one."

 

Sir George said the cost was "a modest extra premium", for "an effective, a credible, an available, insurance policy".



On the final day of the NATO alliance summit in South Wales, the Prime Minister also confirmed the UK would be the first member state to take charge of a 4,000-strong new rapid-reaction Nato "spearhead" force when it becomes operational at the end of next year.

 

The UK will provide the largest contingent with a 1,000-strong battle group and headquarters for the force (based Poland) which will be on standby to deploy troops within two to five days in the event of a new crisis.

 

Mr Cameron also said that Britain would be deploying 3,500 military personnel on a series of Nato exercises running to the end of 2015 intended to ensure a persistent alliance presence in the region while providing further financial assistance to the government in Kiev.

 

"We will continue our efforts to support Ukraine, including by providing financial assistance to improve their command, control and communication capabilities," said the Prime Minister.

 

The British announcement was welcomed by the various NATO nations that border Russia.

 

The UK & US also agreed with allies to examine how best to combat the ISIS (Islamic State) in Iraq, the problems in Syria and the threat to all nations.

 

It is obvious that after years of conflict in Iraq, both the US & UK lost thousands of servicemen & women, that ‘boots on the ground’ was never going to be an option.

 

The well equipped and heavily US/UK financed Iraqi Army simply ran away when left on their own to tackle the IS advance. Both Obama & Cameron agree that they are not going to waste more lives of US, UK & Allied servicemen & women trying to sort the problem out.

 

They are certainly not going to align themselves with Syrian President Assad in their fight to destroy the Islamic State.

 

There is a case that airstrikes, drone strikes might be stepped up but if that happens – those actions will be to assist the Kurds, who have turned out to be not only a continued ally of the West but the only reliable & effective fighting force on the ground that are taking on ISIS. Support for the Kurds will therefore continue.

 

Meanwhile, a greater problem exists for the US, UK, EU, Australia and others that must find a way of stopping the radicalization of young Muslim men & women who leave their homes to fight for the Islamic State. Then, they also have to work out an effective way of keeping track on those who return home and might cause terror on the streets of their birth.

 

Some suggest taking their nationality away: others call for them to be immediately jailed. Human rights groups and lawmakers point out that some of these ideas under international law are illegal but then when all is said and done – ISIS members have no regard for human rights, human dignity, religious freedom or anything else. They have one goal – spread their twisted ideology worldwide: murder, execute and rape their way to victory.

 

Perhaps our statesmen will have to get a bit harder when difficult & bitter decisions to protect peace loving people have to be made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US-PHILIPPINES 

joint naval exercises set

 

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MANILA – At least 2,700 Filipino and American troops will partake in a large-scale military exercise to be held in various areas within the Philippines beginning Sept. 29.

 

Philippine Navy (PN) Public Affairs Office Chief Lt. Cmdr. Marineth Domingo said on Tuesday, Sept. 9 that the Amphibious Landing Exercise 2015 (PHIBLEX 2015) will last until October 10. The Bilateral Exercise will include more than 2,000 US Marine Corps and US Navy personnel.

 

The Philippines, in turn, will have 700 personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and a platoon from the Philippine army for the Field Artillery. Furthermore, the Air Force sect will be providing personnel and platform for the simulated close air support operations.

 

“The US contingent is bigger because although it is not yet definite, I think two US Navy ships will be arriving,” Domingo said.

 

She clarified that though this year’s PHIBLEX is certainly a new and “bigger one”, it will still be patterned with the previous Balikatan and the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) that were also held in Luzon.

 

The PHIBLEX 15 training will beheld in different areas including Palawan, Marine Base Ternate in Cavite, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) in San Antonio, Zambales; Clark Field in Pampanga, Subic and Crow Valley in Tarlac.

 

http://manilatimes.net/enginex/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/110414_balikatan05.jpg

 

Tactical warfare simulation, amphibious operations and maritime security planning, and command post exercise will be convened in Palawan.

 

“They will have an actual training on amphibious operations in Palawan,” Domingo said.

 

Subic and Clark areas will be used to slate non-combatant evacuation operations (NEO), while mechanized assault operation will be conducted at the NETC in Zambales.

 

Additional to the major exercises are small arms and artillery fire training, ship-to-shore movement and combined arms training, and civil-military operations, including various humanitarian and civic assistance projects.

 

Domingo clarified that PHIBLEX 15 has no intentions of sending a deceptive message to China amid the West Philippine Sea territorial dispute.

 

She insisted that the Bilateral exercise between the Philippines and the United States Marines is only for “training purposes.”

 

“We would like to train amphibious units to contribute to the national maneuver force,” Domingo added.

 

The activity, according to Philippine Navy, has a sole objective of enhancing the cooperation between the two Armed Forces and security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

 

“It is to improve interoperability and combat readiness if the participating forces, the Philippines and the US forces and of course enhance security cooperation in the region,” Domingo said.

 

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US & AFP troops working together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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