Over Easy

(Picture courtesy of mhaithaca at flickr.com.)

The world outside the U.S., which on Thursday this post explores, has extended its reach to the skies over us, as N.Korea achieved a successful launch of a satellite that now orbits it.  Now there are reports it may return shortly and is out of control, tumbling.

According to U.S. defense officials, the object which was launched at 7.49 p.m. ET on Wednesday in opposition of international opinion has adopted an unstable trajectory and could crash land to the surface with potentially dangerous consequences.

We have little idea what the actual aims of this satellite are, as the insular regime in that country lets out little information.  Western nations had previously generally condemned the launch through the U.N. ‘and ordered the North not to conduct any launches using ballistic missile technology’.

North Korean space officials said the satellite would be used to study crops and weather patterns.

The defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said it usually took about two weeks to determine whether a satellite worked successfully after liftoff. He cited data from the North American Aerospace Defence Command.

You may want to stay somewhere that has a very solid roof overhead.

The many elements that overthrew Mubarak are now struggling to set up a regime that will not repeat the suppression they had thought to overthrow.  An upcoming vote on the constitution has produced a confrontation between secular and religious parties.

“Secularists are divided among themselves and poorly organised on the ground, and they have not developed a message with widespread popular appeal,” Marina Ottaway, a Middle East scholar at the Carnegie Institute for International Peace, wrote on Tuesday. “Under these circumstances, Islamist forces want to accelerate the return to formal democratic politics, because they can win. Secular forces cannot afford to play that game.”

Khaled Dawoud, a spokesman for the National Salvation Front associated with Mohamed ElBaradei’s Constitution Party, claimed that his party had maintained offices throughout the country which were first established in 2010, when ElBaradei returned to Egypt from his job as the UN’s nuclear watchdog chief. They have been collecting signatures to petition successive governments for constitutional reforms ever since.

Putting those offices to use on a “no” campaign is another matter, one Dawoud and others in the Front have not seemed to prioritise. Their push, publicly at least, is to put enough of their supporters on the street, reject negotiations, and hope Morsi backs down.

The U.S. recognizes Syria’s opposition as the legitimate government, joining much of the rest of the world in doing so.

American recognition of the Syrian National Council will pave the way for greater non-military aid and assistance. The need for that assistance is dire. The Syrian Red Crescent estimates that some 2-1/2 million people – about 10 per cent of the country’s population – have been driven from their homes by the fighting. More than 42,000 people have died since the uprising began, and half a million have fled the country.

Threats of chemical warfare continue to pose extreme need to protect the endangered population of the country. ‘A second fear is that the regime would try to rally support by using chemical or biological weapons against Israel or another neighbouring state.’

That new Nobel prize winner, the EU, forged an agreement for central banking that would take over threatened banks, and gives the UK some voice in the matter although it is not a member.

The EU had already agreed that the ECB would act as chief supervisor of eurozone banks.

But the deal gives the ECB powers to close down eurozone banks that do not follow rules. It also paves the way for the EU’s main rescue fund to come to the direct aid of struggling banks.

(snip)

While banking union is the immediate focus, the report also proposes “contractual” arrangements between eurozone governments and the Commission, to prevent governments delaying, or reneging on, important economic reforms.

Controls would be more stringent on the less successful financial institutions in nations lacking a strong banking system.

Britain has taken a leap into the trashing of its territory by allowing fracking to proceed in Lancashire as environmentalists object.

They say fracking will generate much more opposition in the UK than it has in the US as it involves turning green fields into industrial sites.

They also worry that an abundance of domestic gas will tempt politicians to abandon targets for cutting greenhouse gases, which are rising inexorably globally to the alarm of scientists.

Lighting up the tap water should prove exciting to the farming communities there as it has in Dish, TX.  Evidence of potential the perpetrators of fracking produce has been shown to be suspect, but damages are irreversible.

This is a basic overview of those foreign events we see less of than we should in the normal news scene.   In tribute to Southern Dragon for his dedication to keeping our eyes open and minds working:

Never.give.up.