Stuxnet Shoots, It Scores!

Gee, sounds like the pump was continuously running well outside its design parameters while indicating normal operation on its control instrumentation, which is is exactly what Stuxnet was designed to do, run machinery beyond tolerance limits while spoofing the performance display readouts with fake data.

IAEA says Iran’s Bushehr delays were caused by pump

Iran was believed to have told the UN atomic watchdog that a broken pump had made it necessary to remove fuel from its first nuclear power reactor, independent experts familiar with the issue said on Monday.

The experts, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue, said it was a potentially serious problem likely to cause more delays for the Russian-built Bushehr plant, which has yet to start injecting power into Iran’s national grid.

“I think what happened is that the pump failed but it didn’t just fail, it broke up, so that … there are pieces of metal that are now circulated throughout the primary cooling system,” one of them said.

See also:
Breakage in Iranian Reactor Forced Fuel Removal: Russia
Iranian reactor stalled by damaged pump
New setback at Iran’s Bushehr plant
Iran blames broken pump for atom fuel removal-experts
Russia says why Iranian nuclear plant was unloaded
In setback, Iran to unload fuel from nuclear plant
Iran Pulls Fuel From Bushehr Plant Just Before Power Project Scheduled to Go Online
Iran removing nuclear fuel from plant
Iran to unload nuclear fuel from Bushehr plant
Bushehr plant fuel delayed
Bushehr reactor to be emptied
Iran: Removal of fuel rods has nothing to do with Stuxnet

Of course it’s just speculation and no one will actually admit that the pump disintegration was cased by Stuxnet. However, a pump like this would normally give some manner of warning to the operators that the pump was malfunctioning, this one didn’t, it continued to run until it “broke up”. Coincidentally, Stuxnet was designed to cause precisely this type of damage, with no warning, to industrial equipment. Believe it or not.

/in any case, with tiny pieces of metal strewn throughout the reactor’s cooling system and possibly contaminating the nuclear fuel rods, this mess is going to take quite some time to clean up and then it just might happen again

Weekly Watch List

NFLX
BIDU
CXO
ARUN
FFIV
SINA
ILMN
INFA
AAPL
JNPR
EW
CTSH
ORCL
PRGO

Additions:
PRGO

Subtractions:
ENDP
MELI

Last week, all the major indices turned lower. The Dow skidded 2.1%, the Nasdaq dropped 1.9%, the S&P 500 fell 1.7%, and the NYSE composite lost 1.5%. The IBD outlook rolled back over to “uptrend under pressure” due to some heavy institutional selling early in the week. Be prepared to play portfolio defense at a moment’s notice.

Since the current market uptrend is under pressure, it’s not advisable to make any new purchases until the uptrend resumes. However, if you must trade dangerously, there are four watch list stocks within a proper buy range this week, BIDU, INFA, AAPL, and CTSH.

All four stocks have found support at their ten week lines. BIDU, trading at $120.59, is in buy range up to $138.21. INFA, trading at $47.65, is in buy range up to $52.25. AAPL, trading at $348.16, is in buy range up to $383.14. CTSH, trading at $76.51, is in buy range up to $81.52.

/as usual, your mileage may vary, always do your own homework

Oman Circling The Drain

We can now add Oman to the ever growing list of teetering or toppled Muslim country governments that already includes; Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain, and Libya.

Oman clashes: Two killed during protests in Gulf state

Two people have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters in the Gulf state of Oman, witnesses and officials said.

Hundreds had gathered for a second day in the industrial city of Sohar to call for political reforms.

At least five people were said to have been wounded when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

Until now, Oman had mostly been spared the unrest which has affected other Arab states in recent months.

Demonstrations are also taking place in the southern town of Salalah, according to Reuters news agency.

See also:
Protests turn violent in Oman port
Deaths in Oman protests
Middle East unrest spreads to Oman
Oman shuffles cabinet amid protests
Oman police clash with protesters
Two Killed In Oman As Protesters Clash With Security Forces
Clashes Between Police, Protesters Kill 2 in Oman
Anti-Govt. Clashes Kill 2, Injures 5 in Oman
Protesters clash with police in Oman
Two dead as Oman police move to quell protests
Police station, state office burning in Oman town
Six killed in Oman protests on Sunday: government hospital
Factbox: Facts about Oman

Oman is yet another country in political turmoil that borders Saudi Arabia. If this unrest consumes Saudi Arabia, all world economic hell will break loose and you can expect to pay a lot more for a gallon of gas. Will the Saudis be able to keep the wave of regional ant-government rebellion from splashing across her borders?

/we probably won’t have to wait long to find out, youth groups and workers in that country now calling for a “day of rage” demonstration in the capital, Riyadh, on March 11th

North Ain’t Where You Thought It Was

In case you haven’t noticed already, your magnetic compass is now pretty much worthless, you may as well toss it in the trash. There goes all that Boy Scout orienteering training.

Magnetic north shifting its position

Magnetic north, the point at the top of the Earth that determines compass headings, is shifting its position about 64 kilometres a year. In geologic terms, it’s racing from the Arctic Ocean near Canada towards Russia.

As a result, everyone who uses a compass, even as a back-up to modern GPS navigation systems, needs to be aware of the shift, make adjustments or obtain updated charts to ensure they get where they intend to go, authorities say. That includes pilots, boaters and even hikers.

“You could end up a few miles off or a couple hundred miles off, depending how far you’re going,” said Matthew Brock, a technician with Lauderdale Speedometer and Compass, a Fort Lauderdale company that repairs compasses.

Although the magnetic shift has little effect on the average person and presents no danger to the Earth overall, it is costing the aviation and marine industries millions of dollars to upgrade navigational systems and charts.

See also:
Ordinary Compasses Thrown Off by Changes in Earth’s Magnetic Field
Natural change in earth’s magnetic field causes issues for some pilots
Randy Mann: Magnetic pole angles toward Russia
Pilots, boaters adjust to shift in magnetic north position
Magnetic north drift affects airports
Map: Shift in magnetic north
Headed north? It might not be where you think it is
Which Way Is Magnetic North?
Natural change in earth’s magnetic field causes issues for some pilots
Magnetic North Is on the Move. Time to Panic?

Of course, now we have GPS to do our navigating for us. But what happens when the batteries go dead or, in a worst case scenario, GPS is no longer available because the satellites have been destroyed or there’s been an EMP attack? There’s no reliable backup anymore, now that magnetic compasses are pretty much useless.

/how many people nowadays are trained in celestial navigation or sextant use?

Look What The FBI Dragged In

Oh boy, it’s yet another Muslim jihadi murderbot wannabe, raised and taught in the peaceful ways of Islam by our friends the Saudis.

Saudi national arrested in Texas on terror charge

A Saudi national living in Texas was arrested Wednesday for allegedly researching and acquiring chemicals to make a bomb, authorities said Thursday.

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, of Lubbock, Texas, allegedly researched several possible targets, including the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush. along with nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams.

. . .

In a personal journal found in Aldawsari’s apartment home, Aldawsari wrote the events of September 11, 2001, had produced a “big change” in his thinking and that he had been inspired by the speeches of Osama bin Laden, the affidavit said. He had excelled in high school in order to take advantage of scholarship opportunities offered by Saudi companies to get to the United States, he wrote, and had been planning to commit a terrorist attack in the United States for years, according to the affidavit.

Aldawsari allegedly wrote the scholarship “will help tremendously in providing me with the support I need for Jihad.” The entry continued: “And now, after mastering the English language, learning how to build explosives and continuous planning to target the infidel Americans, it is time for Jihad,” the affidavit says.

See also:
Saudi man charged with plotting terrorist attack
Saudi student in Texas arrested on suspicion of plotting terror attacks
FBI thwarts suspected bomb plot in Texas
Texas bomb plot: How the bust went down
Saudi Citizen in Texas Charged in Suspected Bombing Plot
FBI arrests terrorist suspect in Texas
Lubbock resident arrested on terrorism charges
George W. Bush may have been targeted by terrorist suspect
Saudi Man Arrested in Texas on Weapons Charge May Have Been Targeting Bush
Saudi Arrested On WMD Charge May Have Targeted Bush
Saudi college student Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari accused of plotting bomb attack on George W. Bush
Saudi Man Arrested In Texas On WMD Charge; Allegedly Had Bush’s Address
Saudi student in Texas accused of terror plot that targeted President Bush
Saudi charged in U.S. bomb plot, Bush possible target

But don’t worry, Aldawsari is just a “lone wolf”. Of course, the question is, how many “lone wolves” does it take to form a pack of wolves, an ongoing pattern, and a persistent national security threat? How many more of these “lone wolves” are out there, waiting for their turn at jihad?

/and remember, Islam is just as peaceful and righteous as any other of the world’s major religions, you know, except for that whole encouraging and inciting Muslims to murder infidels, for the sake of jihad, thing

Tell Me Something I Don’t Already Know

Well, surprise, surprise.

Gaddafi Ordered Lockerbie Bombing, Says Resigned Libyan Minister

Libya’s Justice Minister who quit the post in protest against the brutal repression of anti-government protests has alleged that Libyan leader Moammer Gaddafi ordered the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, who resigned on Monday, told Sweden’s Expressen daily that he had proof that the despot gave the order for the deadliest attack blamed on Gaddafi’s regime that claimed 270 lives.

See also:
LIBYA: Defected justice minister claims Kadafi ordered Lockerbie bombing, says Libyan leader’s days are numbered
Gaddafi ordered Lockerbie bombing, ex-minister claims
Gaddafi accused of ordering Lockerbie bombing
Libyan Justice Minister Accuses Gadhafi of Personally Ordering Pan Am 103 Bombing Over Lockerbie, Scotland
Did Gaddafi order Lockerbie bombing?
Yes or no: Was he really behind act of mass murder?
Gaddafi ‘ordered Lockerbie bombing’
Ex-minister claims Gaddafi personally ordered Pan Am terror bombing
Indict Gaddafi for the Lockerbie bombing
Former justice minister: Qaddafi ordered Lockerbie bombing
Report: Ex-minister says Gadhafi ordered Lockerbie
Report: Gadhafi ordered Lockerbie jet bombing
‘Gaddafi called for Lockerbie bombing and covered it up’
Kadhafi ordered Lockerbie bombing: ex-minister tells paper
Pan Am Flight 103

It’s just a matter of time now. Gaddafi is holed up in a section of Tripoli and he’s fast running out of friends with heavy weapons that haven’t already switched sides. There’s no way he gets out of this uprising alive. The sooner Gaddafi is dead, the better, let’s get this over with. And if the U.S. needed any more reason to pick sides in this revolt, besides the fact that Gaddafi is massacring civilians, this Gaddafi personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing confirmation should be impetus enough to get our ass off the sidelines of this conflict.

/at a minimum, we should be enforcing a no fly zone over Libya to prevent Gaddafi from using what’s left of his air power to bomb and rocket even more civilians

Persian Snakes Slither Through The Suez

You can bet your life savings that both these ships are packed to the gills with weapons destined for Hezbollah.

2 Iranian warships cross Suez Canal

Two Iranian battleships have crossed the Suez canal and entered the Mediterranean waters, Al Alam TV network has announced.

The warships are sailing toward a harbor in Syria’s coastal waters, the TV network stated.

Egypt had previously approved the passage of two Iranian warships through the Suez Canal.

The ships are the 33,000-ton refueling and support vessel Kharg and the 1,500-ton light patrol frigate Alvand.

The Kharg has a crew of 250 and can carry up to three helicopters. The Alvand is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

See also:
Iran Sends Two Naval Vessels Through Egypt’s Suez Canal
Iran Warships Complete Suez Canal Voyage Amid Israel Objection
Iran warships cross Suez canal
Iranian naval vessels sail through Suez Canal
Iranian warships travel through Suez Canal
As the Mideast Boils, Iran Stirs the Pot with Ships to the Suez
NATO ‘monitoring’ Iran warships in Mediterranean
Iranian naval ships arrive in Syria
Israel Calls Iranian Ships in Mediterranean ‘Provocation’
Iranian Suez transit was ‘provocation': Israel
Peres: Iranian warships a provocation, not a threat
Iran navy chief rebuffs criticism of warship visit
Iran hails warships’ mission in Mediterranean
Israeli Defense Minister on Iranian warships crossing Suez Canal
Iran Suez Transit Alarms Israel
US: Iran ships must follow international law
What does it really mean that Iran sent ships through the Suez Canal?
Iranian frigate Alvand

Even though the U.S. sank the Alvand’s sister ship, the frigate Sahand 23 years ago, during Operation Praying Mantis, unfortunately there’s not a whole lot we can do at this point besides watch the ships closely. Under international law, the Iranian ships are perfectly within their rights to pass through the Suez canal, even though it’s all but certain that the purpose is nefarious.

/and you can bet your ass that these ships are under constant observation and our satellites are collecting all sorts of high resolution imagery

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