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POLLOCK PINES, Calif.
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,
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
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.
More 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
"That would open up a
whole new area for it to burn in," Tolmachoff
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
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.
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. (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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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."
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.
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.
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
will continue our efforts to support Ukraine, including by providing
financial assistance to improve their command, control and communication
capabilities," said the Prime Minister.
British announcement was welcomed by the various NATO nations that border
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
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.
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.
are certainly not going to align themselves with Syrian President Assad
in their fight to destroy the Islamic State.
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.
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.
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
our statesmen will have to get a bit harder when difficult & bitter
decisions to protect peace loving people have to be made.
joint naval exercises set
– 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.
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
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.
US contingent is bigger because although it is not yet definite, I think
two US Navy ships will be arriving,” Domingo said.
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.
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.
warfare simulation, amphibious operations and maritime security planning,
and command post exercise will be convened in Palawan.
will have an actual training on amphibious operations in Palawan,”
and Clark areas will be used to slate non-combatant evacuation operations
(NEO), while mechanized assault operation will be conducted at the NETC
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.
clarified that PHIBLEX 15 has no intentions of sending a deceptive
message to China amid the West Philippine Sea territorial dispute.
insisted that the Bilateral exercise between the Philippines and the
United States Marines is only for “training purposes.”
would like to train amphibious units to contribute to the national
maneuver force,” Domingo added.
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.
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.
& AFP troops working together.
not check out