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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SA'S BIG BLACKOUT

ONAIR 8223 0000 onair@fiveaa.com.au DOWNLOAD THE FIVEAA APP Enter your keywords SEARCH HOMESHOWSNEWSSPORTLIFESTYLEEVENTSWINVIDEO SHOW EXTREME STORM HITS SA Sep 28, 2016 SHARE Image | @ColinJamesTiser 4:43pm -- Reports the estimated time to restore power is 4am Thursday morning. 4:29pm -- Power is OUT across South Australia after an “upstream” problem with an interconnector after the last storm, SA Power Networks tells FIVEaa. SAPN’s Paul Roberts said: “The whole state is without supply. We’re not receiving any supply from the upstream transmission network… we believe there’s been some issue with the interconnector to Victoria, and has resulted in South Australia losing its power.” He said take extreme care -- “There wont be any traffic lights available.” Some intersections with battery backup appear to be still working. Paul Roberts said it would take hours for power to be restored. Adelaide Metro reports that the Seaford and Tonsley trains are not running during to the power outage – all others are operating as close to schedule as possible. It also advises that trams are not running buses are experiencing delays. 4:05 -- Power out across Adelaide. 3:43pm – Next wave of the super storm rolls in. The BOM has made a statement warning residents about a severe thunderstorm scheduled to hit Adelaide on Wednesday afternoon. “Heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and damaging wind gusts of 90-100 km/h are expected in the Adelaide Metropolitan and Mount Lofty Ranges districts. Large hailstones are not expected in these districts,” the BOM said. It also warned of severe thunderstorms likely to produce destructive wind gusts up to 140 km/h, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and large hailstones affecting Whyalla, Clare, Maitland, Hawker and Leigh Creek. 3:37pm -- Unbelievable video of Wednesday’s storm smashing Cleve, SA: 12.33pm -- Thousands of Adelaide homes without power. Thousands of homes are without power due to “storm activity” as strong winds and rain lash the state. More than 2,000 homes are out in Black Forest, Forestville, Glandore, Goodwood and Millswood. All current outages are available from the SA Power Networks website. 12.28pm -- By just after midday, Adelaide had recorded 3.6mm of rain. Whyalla – 13.6mm. Kadina – 10.4mm. 10.11am -- Menacing photo of thunderstorm hitting Woomera. The BOM posts an incredible photo of thunderstorm passing Woomera on its way across the Eyre Peninsula. EARLIER South Australians are preparing for one of the most extreme weather systems to hit the state in recent decades. Drenching rain and potentially storm-force winds are expected to lash large parts of SA on Wednesday and Thursday. Winds strengths not seen in more than 50 years are predicted, particularly in coastal areas, while up to 100 millimetres of rain is forecast for the Adelaide Hills. These winds should average about 90km/h at their peak, whipping up ocean waves of more than 10 metres. It comes from an unusually deep low pressure system forecast to move up over Kangaroo Island and into the Adelaide area on Wednesday evening. "This depth of low, this close to the coast, is very damaging," the Bureau of Metereology SA's director John Nairn said. "It's a very significant event for South Australia. It's very rare." State Emergency Services have distributed scores of sand bags across both metropolitan and regional areas in preparation for likely flooding. SES chief officer Chris Beattie said power lines will undoubtedly fall and there may be long outages for homes and businesses. -With AAP SA'S BIG BLACKOUT Sep 28, 2016 SA'S BIG BLACKOUT: * Severe winds and lightning caused major damage to energy infrastructure in SA's mid north including high-voltage transmission lines. * The damage caused generators across the power network to shut down with the interconnector with Victoria automatically cut to prevent further damage. * SA Power Networks reports outages to about 200,000 customers with services to be progressively restored, first in Adelaide and then country towns. * The blackout triggered widespread gridlock on Adelaide roads, with a spate of accidents and forcing police to direct traffic and to urge people to stay home. * Premier Jay Weatherill said some people could be without power for several hours as services were progressively restored. He urged locals to watch out for frail or elderly neighbours. * Hospitals and other emergency services were continuing to operate on back-up power. * The emergency came amid severe weather with an intense low pressure system the worst to blast SA for more than 50 years. * A flood watch remains in place for the Adelaide Hills and other parts of the state with up to 100mm of rain expected to fall across Wednesday and Thursday. BREAKING NEWS MH17 missile 'driven from Russia' Cronk, Taumalolo win Dally M medal SA's big blackout Aliir Aliir to miss AFL grand final Backpackers tax a shemozzle: Xenophon Former Aussie cricketer Max Walker dies ================================== Forecast issued at 5:40 am CST on Thursday 29 September 2016. Weather Situation An intense low 974 hPa near northwestern Kangaroo Island is tracking east to be near the southern Fleurieu Peninsula by mid morning, then near Bordertown by mid afternoon. A high pressure system will move in from the west on Friday and then move east of the State early Saturday, ahead of a trough moving over the west later Saturday and a cold front moving across the State on Sunday. Forecast for the rest of Thursday Cloudy. Very high (95%) chance of rain. Rain and showers heavy at times. The chance of a thunderstorm in the late morning and afternoon. Winds northwesterly 50 to 60 km/h tending westerly 45 to 65 km/h in the morning. Daytime maximum temperatures between 10 and 15. Sun protection 9:30am to 3:00pm, UV Index predicted to reach 6 [High] 7 day Town Forecasts Rain, possibly heavy. Windy. Port Pirie – 14 Rain, possibly heavy. Windy. Jamestown – 10 Rain, possibly heavy. Windy. Clare – 11 Rain, possibly heavy. Windy. Roseworthy – 14 Rain, possibly heavy. Windy. Snowtown – 14 Marketing Friday 30 September Cloudy. High (80%) chance of showers, most likely in the morning. Winds west to southwesterly 35 to 50 km/h decreasing to 15 to 20 km/h in the late evening. Overnight temperatures falling to between 4 and 7 with daytime temperatures reaching between 12 and 15. Saturday 1 October Mostly sunny. Winds westerly 15 to 20 km/h turning northerly 25 to 35 km/h during the day. Overnight temperatures falling to between 1 and 4 with daytime temperatures reaching the low 20s. Sunday 2 October Mostly sunny morning. High (70%) chance of showers, most likely in the afternoon and evening. Winds north to northwesterly 25 to 40 km/h tending northwest to southwesterly during the afternoon. Overnight temperatures falling to around 11 with daytime temperatures reaching the low to mid 20s. Adelaide’s in chaos -- but where’s Jay? Sep 29, 2016 David Penberthy | FIVEaa Adelaide’s in chaos -- but where’s Jay? https://shar.es/1xAmY2 David Penberthy has accused premier Jay Weatherill of a “backside covering exercise” on the morning after the state’s entire power supply went down. “From a crisis management perspective, he’s chosen to spend much of this morning talking to the national media,” Penbo said on Thursday’s FIVEaa breakfast. “He’s done Sky News, he’s spoken to Radio National…” “So much of this is about him wanting to scotch the perception nationally that South Australia is a basket case when it comes to its power industry.” Penbo said the state’s power supply could “no longer be accurately described as reliable”. “Our listeners needs and deserve the nuts and bolts logistical explanation from the premier as to what his government and all the relevant emergency services people are doing today. “So much of what he has been doing this morning has had nothing to do with talking directly to the people of South Australia.” ========================== IDS20364 Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, South Australia Minor Flood Warning for the Onkaparinga River Issued at 8:36 am CST on Thursday 29 September 2016 Flood Warning Number: 2 Minor flooding is occurring in the upper Onkaparinga River and is expected to continue during Thursday morning and into Thursday afternoon. River levels in the middle Onkaparinga River are rising, and are expected to exceed the minor flood level later Thursday morning. Rainfalls totals of up to 80 mm have been recorded in the 24 hours to 9AM Thursday in the Onkaparinga River catchment, resulting in river rises in the Onkaparinga River and its tributaries. A further 40 to 80 mm is expected in the Mount Lofty Ranges during Thursday into Friday which will result in further river rises and areas of flooding. Upper Onkaparinga River above Verdun: Minor flooding is occurring along the Upper Onkaparinga River above Verdun. The Onkaparinga River at Oakbank will remain above the minor flood level (2.10 m) during Thursday morning. Middle Onkaparinga River between Verdun and Mt Bold Reservoir: Minor flooding is expected along the Middle Onkaparinga River between Verdun and Mt Bold Reservoir. The Onkaparinga River at Verdun is expected to exceed the minor flood level (4.00 m) during Thursday morning. Flood Safety Advice: People are advised to keep away from fast flowing water and not drive through it. For emergency assistance please call the SES on 132 500. Next Issue: The next warning will be issued by 01:00 pm CST on Thursday 29 September 2016. Latest River Heights: Location Height of River (m) Tendency Date/Time of Observation Onkaparinga River at Charleston 2.29 Rising 08:30 AM THU 29/09/16 Onkaparinga River at Woodside 1.70 Rising 08:32 AM THU 29/09/16 Western Branch at Tiers Road 1.50 Steady 08:27 AM THU 29/09/16 Lenswood Creek at Swamp Road 1.40 Steady 08:33 AM THU 29/09/16 Onkaparinga River at Oakbank 2.55 Rising 08:34 AM THU 29/09/16 Onkaparinga River at Verdun 1.23 Rising 08:30 AM THU 29/09/16 Aldgate Creek at Aldgate 1.12 Steady 08:34 AM THU 29/09/16 Onkaparinga River at Clarendon Weir 10.82 Steady 08:30 AM THU 29/09/16 Onkaparinga River at Old Noarlunga 3.58 Rising 08:30 AM THU 29/09/16 This advice is also available by dialling 1300 659 215 . Warning, rainfall and river information are available at www.bom.gov.au/sa/flood. The latest weather forecast is available at www.bom.gov.au/sa/forecasts. ============================= Wed Sep 28, 2016 | 10:04am EDT Lightning storms knock out power to entire Australian state Visitors bring trouble to Norway's polar bears Artist couple creates "tchotchke heaven" mosaic house Cedar Rapids spared from major flooding Iowa braces for historic flooding Lightning strikes leave Australian state in the dark 00:44 By James Regan and Tom Westbrook | SYDNEY Severe storms and thousands of lightning strikes knocked out power to the entire state of South Australia on Wednesday, authorities said, leading to port closures and commuter chaos. South Australia is the country's fifth most populous state, with 1.7 million people and Adelaide as its capital, and is a major wine producer and traditional manufacturing hub. The Bureau of Meteorology said a vigorous cold front was moving across the state with an intense low pressure system due on Thursday. "We'll have gale force winds and large seas (across the south of the country); also heavy rain and thunderstorms, which will lead to renewed river rises," it said on its website. SA Power Networks said repairs to its transmission network were underway. left right 2/2 left right Police direct traffic in the central business district (CBD) of Adelaide after severe storms and thousands of lightning strikes knocked out power to the entire state of South Australia, September 28, 2016. AAP/David Mariuz/via REUTERS 1/2 left right 2/2 left right 1/2 "There were more than 21,000 lightning strikes recorded over a 12-hour period from midday yesterday on the West Coast, and as a result it is likely some damage has occurred to our distribution network," it said. The state had been brought to a standstill, with ports closed, trains and trams stopped, traffic lights out and long commuter delays, state agencies said. South Australia was relying on accessing power from Australia's populous east coast via a power interconnector with the neighboring state of Victoria when there was a failure on Wednesday. No power was flowing from Victoria into South Australia, said a spokesman for the Australian Energy Market Operator, which operates the power systems in southern and eastern Australia. When the state tried to compensate, it experienced what is known as a "voltage collapse", Simon Emms, executive manager of network services at network operator ElectraNet, told ABC Radio, due to storm damage to power lines. This led to a statewide outage. A spokeswoman for Electranet said power was being restored to some areas of Adelaide, but could not say when the lights would go on across the state. Also In Global Energy News Wall Street rallies as OPEC reaches output deal Exclusive: Airbus to create two new czars as reorganization takes shape "Now, clearly, questions will be raised," Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg told Sky News. "Serious questions will be raised that need to be answered as to how this extreme weather event could take out the whole of the electricity supply across a major state such as South Australia." The impact was wide-ranging, with traffic coming to a standstill in Adelaide while power supplies were disrupted to BHP Billiton's Olympic Dam copper-uranium mine, a huge mining operation more than 500 km (300 miles) to the northwest. A BHP spokesman said back-up power generation was being used to run critical infrastructure. (Writing by Jonathan Barrett; Editing by Nick Macfie) =================================

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Jordanian writer killed outside court before trial over ‘Islam-insulting’ cartoon

Sun Sep 25, 2016 | 7:34 AM EDT Jordanian writer shot dead outside court before trial over cartoon ‹ An ambulance transports the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar to a medical facility after he was shot dead in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed 6/6 An ambulance transports the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar to a medical facility after he was shot dead in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed Jordanian police stand guard in front of a hospital where the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, who was shot dead, was held in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed 1/6 Jordanian police stand guard in front of a hospital where the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, who was shot dead, was held in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed Jordanian police stand guard in front of a hospital where the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, who was shot dead, was held in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed 2/6 Jordanian police stand guard in front of a hospital where the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, who was shot dead, was held in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed An ambulance transports the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar to a medical facility, after he was shot, in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed 3/6 An ambulance transports the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar to a medical facility, after he was shot, in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed Jordanian police stand guard in front of a hospital where the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, who was shot dead, was held in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed 4/6 Jordanian police stand guard in front of a hospital where the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, who was shot dead, was held in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed An ambulance transports the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar to a medical facility after he was shot dead in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed 5/6 An ambulance transports the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar to a medical facility after he was shot dead in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed An ambulance transports the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar to a medical facility after he was shot dead in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed 6/6 An ambulance transports the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar to a medical facility after he was shot dead in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed Jordanian police stand guard in front of a hospital where the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, who was shot dead, was held in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed 1/6 Jordanian police stand guard in front of a hospital where the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, who was shot dead, was held in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed › Jordanian writer shot dead outside court before...X By Suleiman Al-Khalidi | AMMAN A gunman shot dead Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar on Sunday outside the court where he was to stand trial on charges of contempt of religion after sharing on social media a caricature seen as insulting Islam, witnesses and state media said. The gunman was arrested at the scene, state news agency Petra said. A security source said he was a 39-year-old Muslim preacher in a mosque in the capital. Hattar, a Christian and a anti-Islamist activist who was a supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was arrested last month after he shared a caricature that depicted a bearded man in heaven smoking in bed with women and asking God to bring him wine and cashews. In the cartoon, the man also asks God to clear his dishes and put a door on his tent and knock before entering. Many conservative Muslim Jordanians considered Hattar's move offensive and against their religion. The authorities said he violated the law by sharing the caricature. The state news agency quoted a security source as saying Hattar was killed by a man who fired three shots at him on the steps of the palace of justice in the Jordanian capital. ADVERTISEMENT . "The assailant was arrested and investigations are ongoing," Petra quoted the security source as saying. Two witnesses said the gunman was wearing a traditional Arab dishashada, worn by ultra conservative Sunni Salafis who adhere to a puritanical version of Islam and shun Western lifestyles. Some secular and liberal supporters of Hattar said his arrest last month was a breach of freedom of speech but other Jordanians thought the caricature's publication had crossed a red line in a Muslim country where it is a taboo to attack God or the Prophet. Hattar was charged with contempt of religion and sowing sectarian tensions. The country's highest official religious fatwa authority criticized Hattar for what it said was the "insult to the divine entity, Islam and religious symbols". Hattar had apologized on social media and said he did not mean to insult God but had shared the cartoon to mock fundamentalist Sunni radicals and what he said was their vision of God and heaven. He had accused his Islamist opponents of using the cartoon to settle scores with him. Hattar also supported restricting the rights and privileges of Jordanians of Palestinian descent. The Jordanian government condemned the attack. "The law will be strictly enforced on the culprit who did this criminal act and will hit with an iron fist anyone who tries to harm state of law," government spokesman Mohammad Momani said. The moderate Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group also warned against a flare up in religious and sectarian tensions in a country in which Jordanian Christians are a minority but wield wide political and economic influence. (Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Janet Lawrence and Louise Heavens ==================================== Published time: 25 Sep, 2016 12:06 Get short URL Jordanian police stand guard in front of a hospital where the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, who was shot dead, was held in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. © Muhammad Hamed Jordanian police stand guard in front of a hospital where the body of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, who was shot dead, was held in Amman, Jordan, September 25, 2016. © Muhammad Hamed / Reuters A prominent Jordanian Christian writer and staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad has been shot dead outside a court in central Amman which indicted him over sharing a cartoon online deemed “offensive” to Islam and Muslims. Nahed Hattar was assassinated in front the Palace of Justice, home to Jordan’s Supreme Court, in Amman on Sunday morning. He was shot three times in the head, according to the Petra news agency. Security officers of Public Security Department (PSD) who were on the scene arrested the gunman and seized his weapon, and took Hattar to a nearby hospital, where he apparently died. Security authorities said that the assassination is yet to be investigated, but Hattar’s background could possibly add fuel to sectarian strife in a country which evaded 2011 Arab Spring unrest and has a reputation of one of the most secular and pro-Western states throughout the Middle East. Earlier in August, Hattar was charged over sharing a cartoon on his Facebook page. The caricature depicted God in paradise, being treated as a servant by an Arabic-looking man, who is in bed with two women and asking for wine and cashews. The cartoon, created by an unknown author, sparked fury among many Muslims and was quickly deleted from the page. Later, Saed Hattar, a relative of the writer, said that the cartoon was shared to portray the true nature of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) extremists and had nothing to do with insulting other Muslims. Hattar himself tried to explain in one of his subsequent Facebook posts that the cartoon was to illustrate how Islamists perceive notions of God and Heaven. Read more Reuters/Eric Gaillard​Charlie Hebdo cartoonist: ‘I will no longer draw Mohammed’ “Those who became angry at the cartoon are the kind of people who did not get the point,” he wrote, according to the Jordan Times, adding that Islamists with an IS-like mindset are employing the cartoon to settle political scores. The explanation did not prove effective, with Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Mulki ordering an investigation. Hattar turned himself in to authorities and spent some time in Amman’s Marka prison pending a probe into inciting ‘sectarian strife and racism’, according to Petra news agency. Jordan is one of the closest allies of Washington in the region and participant of the US-led operation against IS. The tiny kingdom reined by the British-educated King Abdullah II founds itself in a troubled neighborhood, bordering war-torn Syria. Earlier this year, the king said the population has been “at the boiling point” due to the influx of hundreds of thousands refugees to his country. Jordan has been accepting refugees from Palestine and Iraq for decades and now asylum-seekers from Syria make up nearly 20 percent of the country’s population.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Hills homes with a European twist thanks to Samata Homes

Posted on September 1, 2016, featuring topics like Featured, AHM - Adelaide Hills, AHM-featured, AHM - Home & Garden . Sponsored New Mount Barker-based Samata Homes launches to deliver smart, simple build options for new home buyers. Our picturesque Adelaide Hills are often compared to the leafy hills and valleys of the European countryside, and now you can have the best of both worlds and the home to match, thanks to Samata Homes. With the design trends and houses of Europe in mind, Samata homes are not only stunning, they’re also affordable and high quality. With a minimalist aesthetic, their gorgeous 2.5 and 3 bedroom homes are ideal for first home buyers. While owning your own new home may sound like a dream, more often than not, waiting for it to be approved and built might not. Samata has solved this problem by pre-approving its designs for allotments in Mount Barker at Aston Hills estate. Not only does it make the building process shorter, it also means you can begin your build as soon as the contract is signed. No fuss and no extended wait times for your dream home to be built. We’d say that’s a win-win. Outside, Samata facades are sleek and strong with clean lines and statement features to create a lasting impression. The interiors are focused on spaciousness, with a conscious effort to incorporate the outdoor alfresco area of the home with the indoor living space. And you know it’s quality work, with renowned South Australian builder Rendition Group behind the construction. Rendition Group managing director Wayne Fazzalari says luxurious open spaces and modern home entertaining facilities have been out of reach for today’s first home buyers, but Samata has focused on maximising space and utilising ingenious European design features to deliver this need to first home buyers. “Like the homes designs of Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Stockholm, we’ve made use of every square metre to create a floorplan with a distinct feeling of generosity as soon as you step inside,” he says. Ssamata_Homes_Kitchen.jpeg He says a relaxed Hills lifestyle with the option to entertain family and friends is paramount in the development of their designs, leading to a very open-plan feel. “When you combine the open layout with higher ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows in the foyer and bedrooms, and horizontal strip windows in the living area to unlock clear views of the sky, the sense of openness and calmness is distinct.” Homes are currently on sale in Aston Hills in Mount Barker, priced from less than $315,000. But that isn’t even the best part; all properties come equipped with paving, driveway, floor coverings, landscaping and even DeLonghi appliances, so you can pretty well move right in. Mr Fazzalari says it’s these finishing touches combined with the lack of stamp duty when you build your own home that makes Samata an ideal choice for first home buyers. “While building is financially more viable, to date there’s been little within reach that combines the strong design aesthetic first home buyers seek,” he says. If you’re interested in building your own little piece of Europe in the Hills, head over to Aston Hills display village (corner Sims and Paech roads, Mount Barker). Open 1pm to 5pm Mondays, Wednesdays and weekends. For more information head to samatahomes.com.au, Facebook or Instagram.

Obama vetoes Sept. 11 Saudi bill, sets up showdown with Congress

Fri Sep 23, 2016 | 6:44 PM EDT Obama vetoes Sept. 11 Saudi bill, sets up showdown with Congress U.S. President Barack Obama walks to the the Oval Office of the White House upon his return to Washington from New York, U.S. September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas U.S. President Barack Obama walks to the the Oval Office of the White House upon his return to Washington from New York, U.S. September 21, 2016. Reuters/Yuri Gripas Patricia Zengerle and Roberta Rampton | WASHINGTON President Barack Obama on Friday vetoed legislation allowing families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, which could prompt Congress to overturn his decision with a rare veto override, the first of his presidency. Obama said the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act would hurt U.S. national security and harm important alliances, while shifting crucial terrorism-related issues from policy officials into the hands of the courts. The bill passed the Senate and House of Representatives in reaction to long-running suspicions, denied by Saudi Arabia, that hijackers of the four U.S. jetliners that attacked the United States in 2001 were backed by the Saudi government. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals. Obama said other countries could use the law, known as JASTA, as an excuse to sue U.S. diplomats, members of the military or companies - even for actions of foreign organizations that had received U.S. aid, equipment or training.
"Removing sovereign immunity in U.S. courts from foreign governments that are not designated as state sponsors of terrorism, based solely on allegations that such foreign governments' actions abroad had a connection to terrorism-related injuries on U.S. soil, threatens to undermine these longstanding principles that protect the United States, our forces, and our personnel," Obama said in a statement.
Senator Chuck Schumer, who co-wrote the legislation and has championed it, immediately made clear how difficult it will be for Obama to sustain the veto. Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, issued a statement within moments of receiving the veto, promising that it would be “swiftly and soundly overturned.” He represents New York, home of most of the Sept. 11 victims. Both the Democratic and Republican candidates for president, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, said they would have signed the bill into law if they were in the White House. SOME DOUBTS If two-thirds of the lawmakers in both the Senate and House vote to override, the law would stand, the first such override since he became president in 2009, and possibly the last. Obama leaves office in January. Friday's veto was the twelfth of his presidency. An override has been expected, despite some lawmakers saying they had doubts about the measure. In a letter seen by Reuters on Friday, Republican Representative Mac Thornberry, chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee, said he would oppose the override. "My primary concern is that this bill increases the risk posed to American military and intelligence personnel, diplomats and others serving our country around the world," Thornberry wrote in a letter encouraging his fellow Republicans to sustain the veto.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday he thought there were enough votes to override a veto, but had concerns. "I worry about trial lawyers trying to get rich off of this. And I do worry about the precedent," he told reporters.
The "9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism" group, which has pressed Congress to uphold the legislation, called Obama's veto explanation "unconvincing and unsupportable." The Saudi government has lobbied heavily to stop the bill, the European Union has formally opposed it and Gulf States have condemned it. Major U.S. corporations such as General Electric and Dow Chemical have also pressed lawmakers to reconsider. "The bill is not balanced, sets a dangerous precedent, and has real potential to destabilize vital bilateral relationships and the global economy," GE Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt said in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who supports the bill. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Grant McCool)

4 dead in shooting at mall in Washington state: media

/ 5 dead, manhunt for mall shooter underway in Burlington, Washington State Published time: 24 Sep, 2016 02:31 Edited time: 24 Sep, 2016 10:36 Get short URL © Google map A manhunt is still underway after SWAT teams swept the Cascade Mall and nearby areas in Burlington, WA, for an active shooter with a rifle. The gunman, believed to have acted alone, killed five people opening fire in the Macy's make-up store. In their latest briefing, police said that four female victims are confirmed dead, while one man was taken to hospital in a critical condition. Several hours later the man died of his wounds. "We're doing everything we can to find this person. Stay vigilant. If you see something, just like they say, say something," said Washington State Patrol spokesman Mark Francis as quoted by local Komo News TV. "Avoid the area. If you live close to the area, stay inside - lock your doors." A still from CCTV footage showing the suspect was also released. Francis tweeted the shooter was "armed with rifle." He reportedly entered a Macy's department store around 7pm. Police also confirmed they are looking for a "single shooter," while some reports on Twitter suggested the attacker could have an accomplice. Skagit County police and fire scanner audio described the suspect as appearing between 20 to 25 years old, with a "skinny build," black messy hair and wearing a black shirt. The motives of the shooter have not yet been revealed. The FBI has been investigating the attack as a potential act of terrorism, Reuters reported. A witness who was trapped in a fitting room at the time of the shooting says she heard the gunman yell out a woman's name while going after escaping shoppers, according to Skagit Breaking News. This is yet to be confirmed by officials. Earlier, it was reported that a person identifying as the shooter called into police, and crisis negotiators were being assembled, according to KIRO. But later police reported several calls from various people, all claiming to be the assailant. Besides the FBI and SWAT teams, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was summoned to the scene. Police evacuated the mall, which features several large retails stores, cafes and a cinema, then escorted emergency medical services inside to attend to those injured. All roads in and out of the area were closed, according to KIRO reporter Gary Horcher. By nightfall, evacuation orders were lifted and law enforcers said they were leaving. The operation however moved to the neighborhood, where the suspect was sighted. “I think it’s too early to call it terrorism, but it’s also too early to take that off the table," director of the Center for the Study of Extremism, Bryan Levin, told RT. "Although, a couple of things: the fact that the casualty level is relatively low for someone who’s armed like that suggests to me that this could also be some personal issue, such as a targeted killing. But in the very early hours of these type of events, you want to make sure you have everything on the table, in case the facts change, and you need those resources." "So, there’s certain operational reasons that one does not want to take the potentiality of terrorism off the table. But, unfortunately, most of these kinds of shootings are not terrorism-related,” Levin added. Popular In the Community Russia: Let's improve Baltic air safety! NATO: No thanks, we'll pass Brrrt ·20 Why is America so stupid, just work together with Russia, saves billions of dollars and thousands of lives. Let´s hope if Trump would be president he makes good relations with Russia. Charlotte protesters march on highway on 4th night of demonstrations Orange Dog ·9 We need this to be happening everyday in every city and every state. 'He doesn't have a gun!' Keith Scott's wife yells before he's shot, her video shows (VIDEO) Purple Ducky ·17 “Keith, don’t you do it!” Scott’s wife yells several times, before at least gunshots are heard. Don't do what? Pull a gun? Sat Sep 24, 2016 | 2:25 AM EDT Medics wait to gain access to the Cascade Mall after four people were shot dead in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. Sgt Mark Francis/Washington State Patrol/Handout via Reuters 2/2 Medics wait to gain access to the Cascade Mall after four people were shot dead in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. Sgt Mark Francis/Washington State Patrol/Handout via Reuters Medics wait to gain access to the Cascade Mall after four people were shot dead in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. Sgt Mark Francis/Washington State Patrol/Handout via Reuters 1/2 Medics wait to gain access to the Cascade Mall after four people were shot dead in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. Sgt Mark Francis/Washington State Patrol/Handout via Reuters Medics wait to gain access to the Cascade Mall after four people were shot dead in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. Sgt Mark Francis/Washington State Patrol/Handout via Reuters 2/2 Medics wait to gain access to the Cascade Mall after four people were shot dead in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. Sgt Mark Francis/Washington State Patrol/Handout via Reuters Medics wait to gain access to the Cascade Mall after four people were shot dead in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. Sgt Mark Francis/Washington State Patrol/Handout via Reuters 1/2 Medics wait to gain access to the Cascade Mall after four people were shot dead in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. Sgt Mark Francis/Washington State Patrol/Handout via Reuters › Three dead in shooting at mall in Washington state...X Three people were shot dead and two were wounded during a shooting at a mall on Friday in northwest Washington state where authorities were searching for the gunman, several media outlets reported. Authorities initially said on social media that four people were killed in the shooting, that occurred at about 7 p.m. local time Friday at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, about 65 miles (105 km) north of Seattle. ABC News and several local media outlets reported that three, not four, people were fatally wounded. Three women were shot dead, a man was critically injured and another woman suffered non-life threatening injuries, Washington State Patrol spokesman Mark Francis told the network. Harborview Medical Center in Seattle said in a statement that it was treating a man who was in critical condition from the shooting. A local CBS affiliate reported that a nearby high school football game was evacuated as a precaution. ADVERTISEMENT . Francis said on Twitter that police were actively searching for the shooter, who was described as a "Hispanic male wearing gray" and last seen walking toward a nearby highway away from the mall. "Tragedy has struck in Washington tonight. Our hearts are in Burlington," Governor Jay Inslee said on Twitter. Rescue workers were entering the mall to attend to the injured, Francis said in a Twitter post. The shooting comes less than a week after a man stabbed nine people at a mall in central Minnesota before being shot dead. The FBI is investigating that attack as a potential act of terrorism. NBC News reported that Washington State Patrol have said that there is no indication of terrorism in the shooting in Burlington. (Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Michael Perry, Sam Holmes and Jane Merriman)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Homes flooded, Roads closed across Adelaide

WINVIDEO SHOW HOMES FLOODED, ROADS CLOSED ACROSS ADELAIDE HILLS Sep 15, 2016 SHARE Montacute Rd | Image | @VandervegtRoy Police and emergency services have closed multiple roads throughout the Hills area, and are warning drivers to take care driving today and be aware of their surroundings. The following roads have been closed due to damage: North East Road, Chain of Ponds, from South Para Road to Gorge Road – there is significant damage to the road, and road closure signs in place Montacute Road, Montacute Strathalbyn Road near the Aldgate Hotel Waterfully Gully Road closed at Waterfall Gully Old Norton Summit Road, Horsnell Gully Homes and businesses are flooded and roads remain closed across the Adelaide Hills after a day of torrential rain and gale-force winds. Water levels in the Onkaparinga river have peaked while the Bremer and Angas rivers were expected to have peaked but further flooding was still possible downstream. Water continued to be released from the Mt Bold Reservoir causing problems around Clarendon. And a minor flood warning has also been issued for the upper Gawler River catchment, where totals of up to 34mm have been recorded. But the Bureau of Meteorology said the forecast was for more moderate conditions for Thursday with only showers and light winds. At the height of the drama on Wednesday students and staff from the Rapid Bay Primary School, south of Adelaide, had to be rescued after floodwaters surrounded the town and cut access to the school. Homes, shops and other buildings across the Mt Lofty Ranges were also flooded along with some in Adelaide's eastern suburbs, with the worst hit areas the town's of Bridgewater, Aldgate and Hahndorf. Several roads were closed after being cut by rising water or because of damage from mudslides and subsiding ground. The wild conditions were the result of an intense low pressure system which formed over South Australia, packing wind gusts of more than 90km/h and rainfall of more than 80mm. The State Emergency Service took more than 700 calls for help, most for water into properties or for trees across roads and buildings. The conditions also resulted in a series of power outages from Currency Creek, south of Adelaide, to Nuriootpa, in the Barossa Valley affecting thousands of properties. But by late on Wednesday only about 500 were still to have electricity supplies restored. -With AAP

Monday, September 12, 2016

Iran-Saudi war of words heats up ahead of hajj

Profile Mail Iran-Saudi war of words heats up ahead of hajj Eric Randolph and Ian Timberlake in Riyadh•September 7, 2016 Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the Saudi government was acting with US support to "shed blood in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Bahrain"View photos Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the Saudi government was acting with US support to "shed blood in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Bahrain" (AFP Photo/) More Tehran (AFP) - A bitter war of words between Iran and Saudi Arabia intensified Wednesday ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage from which Iranians have been excluded for the first time in decades. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blasted the "incompetence" of the Saudi royal family as he met with the families of victims of a deadly stampede during last year's hajj. "This incident proves once again that this cursed, evil family does not deserve to be in charge and manage the holy sites," Khamenei said. Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia were already at rock bottom before the regional rivals started trading caustic remarks ahead of the annual pilgrimage to Islam's holiest places in Saudi Arabia, which is due to start on Saturday. Iranians have been blocked from the event after talks on safety and logistics fell apart in May. "If the existing problems with the Saudi government were merely the issue of the hajj... maybe it would have been possible to find a way to resolve it," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said at a cabinet meeting. "Unfortunately, this government by committing crimes in the region and supporting terrorism in fact shed the blood of Muslims in Iraq, Syria and Yemen," Rouhani said. - 'Inappropriate and offensive' - The week began with a furious rebuke from Khamenei, published on his website, in which he accused the Saudi royals of "murder" over the deaths of nearly 2,300 pilgrims, including hundreds of Iranians, in last year's stampede. Saudi Arabia claims the death toll was only 769 -- despite data from more than 30 countries suggesting it was far higher -- and has refused to release the details of its investigation into the disaster. But the head of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council hit back on Wednesday, calling Khamenei's remarks "inappropriate and offensive... and a desperate attempt to politicise" the hajj. Saudi Arabia's most senior cleric, Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, also waded into the dispute, telling the Makkah daily on Tuesday: "We must understand these are not Muslims, they are children of Magi and their hostility towards Muslims is an old one." "Magi" is a reference to the Zoroastrian religion that was prevalent in Iran before Islam, and is sometimes used as an insult against Iranians. Jane Kinninmont, deputy head of the Middle East and North Africa programme at the Chatham House think tank in London, said the world needed to pay more attention to the "cold conflict" between Iran and Saudi Arabia. This week's verbal attacks "are an indication that the tensions that really ratcheted up earlier this year are still unresolved," she told AFP. "Particularly when it comes to the pilgrimage and religious discourse, then it has quite damaging effects on sectarian relations around the world." - A history of violence - The two dominant Middle Eastern powers follow different branches of Islam -- Shiite and Sunni -- and vie for regional dominance. Iran boycotted the hajj for three years between 1988 and 1990 after clashes between Iranian pilgrims and Saudi police in 1987 left around 400 people dead. Diplomatic ties were restored in 1991, but relations have deteriorated in recent years, particularly over the countries' support for opposing sides in the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars. In January, relations were severed again after Iranian demonstrators torched the Saudi embassy and a consulate following the kingdom's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric. Around 60,000 Iranians took part in last year's hajj, but the two sides could not reach an agreement on this year's pilgrimage. A former senior US foreign policy official, John Hannah, last month cited Gulf sources in an article for Foreign Policy magazine, saying that "the Saudis did in fact go out of their way to make Iranian attendance difficult." "(The) Saudis were insisting that the Iranians be kept in a closed camp, effectively barred from co-mingling and socialising with participants from other countries, often considered an essential element of the hajj experience," Hannah wrote. His claims could not be independently verified. Saudi Arabia says Tehran made "unacceptable" demands, including the right to organise demonstrations "that would cause chaos". Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef reiterated those concerns on Monday, saying Iran wanted to "politicise hajj and convert it into an occasion to violate the teachings of Islam, through shouting slogans and disturbing the security of pilgrims."