My selection of stories posted by Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time. Luis writes:
In Normandy most political world leaders were gathered to signal the 70th anniversary of Operation Overlord. In Iraq a large scale military operation lead by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levantin (ISIL) was under way, that in spite of the screaming irony of the date, more resembles Fall Gelb. A highly mobile force of unknown numbers stormed several cities almost simultaneously: Mosul, Baiji, Tikrit, Samarra, Ramadi, to which added bombings in Baghdad and other cities in the south. A front line of almost 400 km was open.
The usual western media branding of “terrorism” or “sectarian violence” no longer applies to the actions of ISIL in Iraq. A force capable of withstanding and win an urban battle in a city of over 1 million inhabitants is not a terrorist group, not even a guerilla, it is an army, fighting a conventional war. In a week it took two entire provinces of the country: Nineveh and Saladin, amounting to an area the size of Latvia and home to almost 2.5 million folk. Although accurate information is scant, ISIL should now be in control of at least 15% of Iraq’s petroleum exports. At the time of this writing ISIL is still expanding its attacks into at least the provinces of Diyala and Sulaymaniyah.
There’s lots more and the usual blowout down the page…..
Sunni extremists seized government buildings in Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. The fighters of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) overwhelmed the defense of government troops and police and completely controlled the western part of the city on the fourth day of fighting, Egyptian media reported.
Iraq is facing a return to its darkest days of civil war after al-Qaeda-linked militants seized a vast swathe of the country’s northern region in a lightning advance which took them to within striking distance of Baghdad.
Militants launched a major attack on the Iraqi city of Samarra Thursday and occupied several neighbourhoods, sparking house-to-house fighting and helicopter strikes in which dozens of people were reportedly killed.
Armed fighters believed to be part of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant have seized the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh and freed hundreds of prisoners, government officials say.
Overnight, hundreds of fighters launched an assault on the provincial capital Mosul, 350km north of Baghdad, engaging in combat with troops and police, the officials said on Tuesday.
Militants from an al Qaeda splinter group who seized Iraq’s second biggest city of Mosul this week have advanced into the oil refinery town of Baiji, setting the court house and police station on fire, security sources said on Wednesday.
They said around 250 guards at the refinery had agreed to withdraw to another town after the militants sent a delegation of local tribal chiefs to persuade them to pull out.
Kurds in Kirjuk: Kirkuk Under Kurdish Peshmerga Control
The multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk, home to one of Iraq’s largest oil fields, was taken over by Kurdish Peshmerga forces after Iraqi government troops left the city ahead of a possible attack by radical Islamic insurgents who have already seized two major Iraqi cities.
Iran in Bagdhad?!: Iraq Isis Invasion: Iran’s Republican Guards Rushed to Defence of Baghdad
Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have been deployed to Iraq, to help government troops defend the capital city of Baghdad from the escalating threat of ISIS insurgents, Iranian security sources have confirmed.
Sunni militant group ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams, has already seized several areas in the northern part of the country.
OPEC and the call on Saudi: World Needs Record Saudi Oil Supply as OPEC Convenes
OPEC ministers say they will almost certainly leave their oil-production ceiling unchanged when the group meets this week. What really matters for markets is whether Saudi Arabia will respond to global supply shortfalls by pumping a record amount of crude.
Blackouts in India: North faces heat as power generation trips
States in north India are in the grip of a severe electricity shortage. Angry residents are thronging the streets in protests against the scheduled as well as unscheduled power cuts that last up to 12 hours in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The onset of a scorching summer, coal shortage and financially bleeding power distribution companies, or discoms, are being touted as the reasons behind the plight of these states.
Vanadium to the rescue: Vanadium: The metal that may soon be powering your neighbourhood
Hawaii has a problem, one that the whole world is likely to face in the next 10 years. And the solution could be a metal that you’ve probably never heard of – vanadium.
Hawaii’s problem is too much sunshine – or rather, too much solar power feeding into its electricity grid.
Solar technology improves: Exotic, Highly-Efficient Solar Cells May Soon Get Cheaper
A new way to make the most efficient and powerful types of solar cells could help solar power compete with fossil fuels.
Putin going soft?: Russia’s Gazprom extends deadline for Ukraine gas payments
Ukraine now has until 0800 UTC on June 16 to pay the billions of US dollars it owes to Gazprom, the Russian state-owned gas firm announced Wednesday.
After that deadline, Russian gas would only flow to Ukraine in exchange for prepayment, Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller said.
The UK’s National Grid is offering contracts to energy users and generators to act as ‘balancing tools’ for the UK’s electricity system ahead of a looming capacity crunch expected for the coming winters.
Angola to follow North Sea?: Oil exports from Angola fall again in March
Angola’s oil exports fell once again in March to the lowest level in the last three years, according to a report from Portuguese bank BPI on African economies, published on the bank’s website.
Europe slits wrists again: EU-Moscow row over South Stream gas pipeline
Russia has accused the European Union of imposing “creeping” economic sanctions following Bulgaria’s decision to halt construction of a gas pipeline.
The South Stream pipeline, financed by Russia’s state gas giant Gazprom, would ship gas to western Europe via the Balkans, thus avoiding Ukraine.
Gruniad ignores nuclear power: The inevitable demise of the fossil fuel empire
Rocketing production costs, proliferating write-downs, stranded assets pave the way for renewable renaissance
Hot air slashed again: Scotland says it’s well on its way to cut emissions by as much as 80 percent
The Scottish government said Tuesday it’s reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25 percent since 1990 and is on pace to hit 42 percent by 2020.
Tides batter toys: There Is One Problem With Harnessing Britain’s Tides
If building wind farms at sea is difficult and expensive, installing turbines beneath the waves is far more so. Currents batter them; salt corrodes them. Yet Britain’s coasts have become a playground for engineers and entrepreneurs intent on producing electricity from the tides. Their efforts are beginning to generate a buzz.
The last week on Master Resource:
Territorialism: ‘Energy Independence’: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
As some apparently inexplicable behaviour illustrates (say, being a die-hard fan of the Chicago Cubs), humans are profoundly territorial creatures. According to evolutionary psychologists, this is because for approximately 90% of their time on this planet, modern humans belonged to small groups that were constantly fighting each other over the possession of land and resources. Deep down, most people’s behaviour is not all that different from that observed on Animal Planet’s Meerkat Manor…
Bleeding the many: Wind’s PTC: The Opposition Mounts (117 groups and counting)
Concentrated benefits/diffused costs. The cronies, rent-seeking profits calculated, lobby government in the capitals. Most of the rest of us, just paying a fraction of a penny for their many dollars, stay home. That’s how government grows and bad public-policy rationales get going.
Free markets work: Tom Tanton Interview (Part I)
“I view my 40+ year career as progressions on a common theme; understanding (and promoting) the role of free markets and technology innovation one to the other, both to improve humankind’s’ lot.” – See more at: http://www.masterresource.org/#sthash.w3x5H23b.dpuf
Free markets work again: Tom Tanton Interview (Part II)
“Generally, I’d like to be remembered for helping to form a better connection and awareness between innovation and free markets and the tremendous improvements modern energy brings to people. That’s the essence of my progressive nature, so maybe I haven’t strayed to far from my early liberal bent, just on the best ways to achieve good results. Be clear on results versus intentions.”