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Sort Of Good News From Iran

The Associated Press reports: Moderate Wins Powerful Post In Iran

(AP) Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani was picked Tuesday as head of a powerful clerical body empowered with choosing or dismissing Iran’s supreme leader, state-run television reported.

Rafsanjani received 41 votes to become head of the Assembly of Experts, a body of 86 senior clerics charged with monitoring Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and choosing his successor.

The former president, who is considered more moderate than current hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, defeated Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, an extremist within the hard-line camp. Jannati received 30 votes, state TV said. [Read more →]

September 4, 2007   8 Comments

Schlock & Awe

Since annoying the people caught in his quagmire wasn’t enough: Bush attends APEC summit after brief Iraq visit. The city of Sydney, Australia is in full lock-down for three days for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation [APEC] forum.

Bush also is scheduled to meet with leaders from Japan, China, Russia and South Korea. Some have dubbed this year’s APEC the “China summit,” a reference to Beijing’s rising influence.

“Is this a China summit? The answer is absolutely not,” Bush said.

Yeah, right. Via Watertiger and Best of Both Worlds we find the press release from the office of the Governor-General of Australia, the Queen’s representative and ceremonial head of government, noting:

On Tuesday, 4 September 2007, at Defence Establishment Fairbairn, ACT, Their Excellencies the Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC and Mrs Marlena Jeffery attended the Ceremonial Arrival of the President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Hu Jintao.
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September 4, 2007   2 Comments

Hauptsturmfury Felix [Cat 5]-3

FelixUnfortunately Felix had the time and warm water to spin back up after the eyewall replacement.

Position: 14.3 N/83.2 W. [7PM EDT]
Movement: West [270°] near 16 mph.
Maximum sustained winds: 160 mph [Cat 5].
Gusts: 190mph
Minimum central pressure: 935 mb.
Hurricane Force Wind Radius: 30 miles.
Tropical Storm Force Wind Radius: 115 miles.

Came ashore near Punta Gorda, Nicaragua.

Two hurricanes and two Cat 5 storms, both hitting land as Cat 5s. The 2005 season had four Cat 5s, but this season joins 1960 & 1961 in second place with two.

Update from Dr. Jeff Masters:

A strengthening Hurricane Felix powered ashore as a Category 5 hurricane near the Nicaragua/Honduras border at 8am EDT this morning, bringing 160 mph winds and an 18-foot storm surge to this sparsely populated region. Felix weakened for a period yesterday as it became too tightly would to maintain its eyewall, but a new eyewall formed last night in time for Felix to regain Category 5 strength before landfall. This year marks the first time in recorded history that two Category 5 storms (Felix and Dean) have made landfall in the Atlantic basin in the same year. Since reliable record keeping began in 1944, there have been 27 Category 5 hurricanes in the Atlantic. Eight of these have occurred in the past five years.

September 4, 2007   4 Comments