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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 24-Apr-2013
24-Apr-13 World View -- Japan's Shinzo Abe threatens 'force' against China's ships

Web Log - April, 2013

24-Apr-13 World View -- Japan's Shinzo Abe threatens 'force' against China's ships

Israel accuses Syria of using chemical weapons, then retracts

This morning's key headlines from

France's embassy in Tripoli, Libya, attacked by car bomb

France's embassy in Tripoli on Tuesday after car bomb explosion (AFP)
France's embassy in Tripoli on Tuesday after car bomb explosion (AFP)

Two guards were wounded when a car bomb exploded early Tuesday morning in front of France's embassy in Tripoli, Libya. The explosion created a deep crater in the street, and destroyed two cars parked nearby, damaging nearby buildings. There were so few casualties because the blast occurred at 7:10 am local time, before most embassy personnel had arrived for work. There has been very little dependable security in Libya since the 2011 Nato war in Libya. The region of greatest insecurity has been around Benghazi, which has been hit by multiple bombings and assassinations. Four Americans, including ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed when heavily armed men overran the Benghazi mission on September 11th, setting fire to much of the compound and then attacking a nearby annex. The Benghazi attack remains highly controversial in Washington, since there's evidence that the Administration repeatedly lied and covered up the facts surrounding the attack. The Local/AFP (France) and CBS News

Israel accuses Syria of using chemical weapons, then retracts

Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, the head of research and analysis in Israeli military intelligence, told a security conference on Tuesday that the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons, including the lethal nerve agent sarin, multiple times:

"To the best of our professional understanding, the regime used lethal chemical weapons against the militants in a series of incidents over the past months, including the relatively famous incident of March 19. Shrunken pupils, foaming at the mouth and other signs indicate, in our view, that lethal chemical weapons were used."

However, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that he had spoken to Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who refused to confirm Brun's accusations.

The United States and the west are extremely reluctant to confirm the use of chemical weapons in Syria, since President Barack Obama has said that their use would cross a "red line," and require military intervention in Syria. AP and McClatchy

Twitter hoax causes a new Wall Street 'Flash Crash'

Graph of Tuesday's 'flash crash' (WSJ)
Graph of Tuesday's 'flash crash' (WSJ)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly crashed 150 points on Tuesday at 1:08 pm, when someone hacked into the Associated Press Twitter account and posted a phony story saying that explosions at the White House had injured President Barack Obama. AP immediately retracted the story, and things were back to "normal" by 1:15 pm. The rapid crash was caused by computer algorithms that scan all news stories and react within nanoseconds when certain keywords are recognized. Credit for the AP hack was claimed by a shadowy group called the "Syrian Electronic Army." CNBC and NBC News

Japan's Shinzo Abe threatens 'force' against China's ships

Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe made the most threatening statement so far in the dispute with China over the Senkaku / Diaoyu islands:

"We would take decisive action against any attempt to enter territorial waters and to land. We would never allow [a landing].

It would be natural for us to expel by force (the Chinese) if they were to make a landing."

China sent a fleet of eight warships to the waters around the islands, and forced boats carrying 80 Japanese nationalists to turn back.

Threats between Japan and China are back in the news again, after being eclipsed by other crises, including the Boston terror attack and the North Korean war threats. But tensions have remained very high. China refused to allow Japan to contribute humanitarian aid to victims of the recent earthquake in Sichuan province. And the Chinese are infuriated that 168 Japanese lawmakers on Tuesday visited the Yasukuni Shrine, which commemorates World War II war dead, including some who have been declared war criminals for atrocities committed against China. Japan Times and China Daily

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 24-Apr-13 World View -- Japan's Shinzo Abe threatens 'force' against China's ships thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (24-Apr-2013) Permanent Link
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