Posts Tagged With: India

Ancient Egypt City Aligned With Sun on King’s Birthday…..Alexander the Great..

The Egyptian city of Alexandria, home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, may have been built to align with the rising sun on the day of Alexander the Great’s birth, a new study finds.
The Macedonian king, who commanded an empire that stretched from Greece to Egypt to the Indus River in what is now India, founded the city of Alexandria in 331 B.C. The town would later become hugely prosperous, home to Cleopatra, the magnificent Royal Library of Alexandria and the 450-foot-tall (140 meters) Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the wonders of the ancient world. Today, more than 4 million people live in modern Alexandria.
Ancient Alexandria was planned around a main east-west thoroughfare called Canopic Road, said Giulio Magli, an archaeoastronomer at the Politecnico of Milan. A study of the ancient route reveals it is not laid out according to topography; for example, it doesn’t run quite parallel to the coastline. But on the birthday of Alexander the Great, the rising sun of the fourth century rose “in almost perfect alignment with the road,” Magli said.
The results, he added, could help researchers in the hunt for the elusive tomb of Alexander. Ancient texts hold that the king’s body was placed in a gold casket in a gold sarcophagus, later replaced with glass. The tomb, located somewhere in Alexandria, has been lost for nearly 2,000 years.
Building by the stars
Magli and his colleague Luisa Ferro used computer software to simulate the sun’s position in the fourth century B.C. (Because Earth’s orbit isn’t perfect, there is some variation in the sun’s path through the sky over centuries.) Alexander the Great was born on July 20, 356 B.C. by the Julian calendar, which is slightly different than the modern, Gregorian calendar, because it does not have leap years to account for partial days in the Earth’s orbit around the sun. On that day in the fourth century B.C., the researchers found, the sun rose at a spot less than half a degree off of the road’s route.
“With a slight displacement of the day, the phenomenon is still enjoyable in our times,” Magli told LiveScience.
A second star would have added to the effect, Magli said. The “King’s Star” Regulus, which is found on the head of the lion in the constellation Leo, also rose in near-perfect alignment with Canopic Road and became visible after a period of conjunction with the sun near July 20. Earth’s orbit has changed enough that this Regulus phenomenon no longer happens, Magli said.
Sun as a symbol
Architecture-by-astronomy was common in the ancient world, Magli said. The Great Pyramid of Giza, for example, is aligned with amazing precision along the compass points, which would have required the use of the stars as reference points. The Egyptians, whom Alexander conquered, had long associated the sun god Ra with their pharaohs.
“Aligning the city [of Alexandria] to the sun in the day of birth of Alexander was a way to embody in the architectural project an explicit reference to his power,” Magli said. The King’s Star would have only added to the mystique, he said.
The researchers reported their work online Oct. 9 in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology. They are now examining other cities founded by Alexander and later rulers to see if the solar pattern holds. The hope, Magli said, is that an understanding of Alexandria’s astronomical layout will give researchers a better idea of where Alexander’s tomb might be.

Categories: Lost Treasure, Strange News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Immigrant Population at an All-Time High……

The number of immigrants both legal and illegal in the United States hit a new record of 40 million in 2010, a 28 percent increase from 2000, a wide-ranging new report reveals.
And the number of immigrants plus their children born in this country now stands at around 50 million, accounting for about one-sixth of the U.S. population, according to Steven A. Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies. His report — “Immigrants in the United States, 2010: A Profile of America’s Foreign-Born Population” — is based on U.S. Census Bureau data from 2010 and 2011.

“One of the most important findings is that immigration has dramatically increased the size of the nation’s low-income population,” Camarota writes, adding that even immigrants who have been in the country for 20 years are much more likely to live in poverty, lack health insurance, and take advantage of welfare benefits than are native-born Americans.
The all-time high of 40 million immigrants is up sharply from 9.6 million in 1970, although the immigrant share of the population, 12.9 percent, is lower than it was in 1910 — 14.7 percent.
New immigration both legal and illegal plus births to immigrants added 22.5 million residents over the last decade, accounting for 80 percent of the total U.S. population growth.
The Center estimates that 28 percent of immigrants are in the country illegally.
Camarota also points out that between 12 million and 15 million new immigrants, legal and illegal, are expected to settle in the United States in the next 20 years.
Other findings of the Center’s study include:
In March 2011, 68 percent of immigrants aged 18 to 65 held a job, the same as for natives.
In 2010, 23 percent of immigrants and their U.S.-born children under age 18 lived in poverty, compared to 13.5 percent of natives and their children.
Among countries accounting for the most immigrants in the United States, poverty is highest for those from Mexico (35 percent), Honduras (34 percent), and Guatemala (31 percent), and lowest for Germany (7 percent) and India (6 percent).
36 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one major welfare program in 2010, primarily food assistance and Medicaid, compared to 23 percent of native households.
29 percent of immigrants and their American-born children lacked health insurance that year, compared to 13.8 percent for natives.
10.4 million students from immigrant households are in public schools, and 78 percent of them speak a language other than English at home.
Self-employment is highest among immigrants from Korea and Canada and lowest among those from Haiti and Honduras.
Of adult immigrants aged 25 to 65, 28 percent have not completed high school, compared to 7 percent of natives.
Immigrants account for 27.2 percent of the population in California, 22.2 percent in New York, and 21 percent in New Jersey, but just 1.2 percent in West Virginia.
The state showing the largest increase in immigrant population from 2000 to 2010 was Alabama, up 92.1 percent, followed by South Carolina (88.4 percent), and Tennessee (81.8 percent). New York was lowest (11.1 percent). Remarkably, the immigrant population in North Carolina rose a whopping 524 percent from 1990 to 2010.
Of those immigrants in the United States in 2010, the greatest number came from Mexico, 11.7 million, followed by China/Hong Kong/Taiwan (2.1 million), India (1.78 million), Philippines (1.77 million), and Vietnam (1.2 million).

Categories: Politics, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Russian sub runs undected in Gulf of Mexico….

Russia-US-India: A US news outlet reported that a Russian Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks. The stealth underwater incursion in the Gulf took place at the same time Russian strategic bombers made incursions into restricted U.S. airspace near Alaska and California in June and July. Its presence only was confirmed after it left the region.

Comment: The US Navy prudently has made no comment on the story. There is nothing to be gained by providing any information to the Russians that corroborates or refutes the news item. The information cannot be corroborated in open source materials.

Akula-class submarines are quiet, by reputation. The Russians have flown strategic bomber missions against the US this summer. This is the first news item to suggest the bomber flights occurred during a submarine operation in the Gulf of Mexico. The coincidence remains unconfirmed, but plausible.

What is more interesting to NightWatch is the Indian Navy is leasing an Akula-class submarine from Russia, with significant Russian assistance. If the Russians can sneak into the Gulf of Mexico – sort of doubtful – imagine what the Indians can do with a similar submarine in the South China Sea or the Bohai Gulf.

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KGS NightWatch…..


For the night of 5 August 2012

Philippines: Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on 3 August that the Philippines plans to enhance its maritime security capabilities by acquiring two naval missile frigates and several aircraft from Italy.

Comment: The Chinese have started an arms race in Southeast Asia. No single country is strong enough to stand up to China, but collectively, with US Naval back-up, the Chinese are no match for the Southeast Asians and have not been for millennia. China’s reach to claim all of the South China Sea exceeds its grasp. That will become more apparent over time.

India: The Indian Space Research Organization this weekend announced that India planned to send a spacecraft to Mars in 2013. The estimated price of the mission was announced at $80 million.

The announcement generated significant backlash that the Indian educated elite were out of touch with the 30% of Indians who earned less than $.50 a day, India’s latest poverty level.

Comment: India and China are in a sort-of space race. China has the lead because it recently placed a female astronaut in space. What is less well known is that Indian scientists working at NASA have been important contributors to the current NASA mission to Mars. While the Chinese are going to the Moon; the Indians are heading for Mars.

The Indian leaders are experiencing the age old argument about how best to allocate limited resources. Every space-faring nation encounters the same argument. The Indians decided that $80 million spent on scientific innovation was a better investment for India’s future – and probably easier– than trying to spread that $80 million among 300 million poor.

Pakistan: A Pakistani military court convicted five military officers, including Brigadier Ali Khan, for maintaining links to a banned organization. The Brigadier is the most senior of the five and received a sentence of five years in prison. The others received sentences of 18 months to three years.

The army did not name the banned organization, but officials have in the past identified it as Hizb ut-Tahrir – a British-based Islamist group that is banned in Pakistan.

Brigadier Khan was arrested following the killing of Osama bin Laden in May last year. He initially was charged with conspiring to overthrow the civilian government of Pakistan.

Khan has been highly critical of the Pakistan Army command over its relationship with the US, according to press analysts. In his statement to the court, he said he was being victimized for speaking out against officers whom he said had let bin Laden live in Pakistan for five years – and then allowed US forces to kill him.

During the court-martial proceedings witnesses – mostly army officers – told the court Brigadier Khan wanted to bring about an “Islamic revolution”. They said he was working with Hizb ut-Tahrir to establish a caliphate in Pakistan.

The group does not advocate violence but has been accused of links to militants.

Comment: Khan’s major mistake was in being too open in his advocacy of a caliphate in Pakistan and in being too critical of the chain of command.

The significance of this item is the rank of Khan and the obvious breakdown in the Army’s notoriously rigid chain of command, especially for flag rank officers. Pakistani Brigadiers never criticize their seniors because it jeopardizes their post-Army job prospects.

It is well established by Pakistani media outlets that enlisted and field grade officer ranks of the Pakistan Army are staunchly pro-Islamist, anti-American, and anti-the civilian government.

The conviction of a flag-rank officer for the same tendencies is extraordinary and certainly intended as an object lesson. It confirms that Islamist field grade officers from the last decade, during the Musharraf era, are now reaching flag ranks and they are not like the foreign trained officers of earlier eras. That suggests that in one or two promotion cycles, the flag ranks in Pakistan will contain an expanding cohort of Islamist flag officers.

Afghanistan: The Afghan parliament voted 4 August to dismiss the Interior and Defense Ministers because of their inability to apply force to stop ongoing cross-border shelling from Pakistan.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on 5 August that he accepted parliament’s decision to dismiss Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Bismullah Mohammadi.

Comment: The charges against the two men are primarily about incompetence in border defense, but the consequences of the dismissals primarily will degrade the management of the counter-uprising fight.

Nothing is ever as it seems on the surface. This looks like a pro-Taliban vote by the parliament that boxed Karzai, catching him and the Allies by surprise.

Saudi Arabia-Iran: For the record. King Abdallah has invited President Ahmadi-Nejad to attend a summit later this month in Saudi Arabia. There are no additional details.

Syria: For the record. Ahmad Talas, head of the contracts department at the Syrian Interior Ministry, has defected, the Daraa military council said on 3 August, Al Arabiya reported. Talas is believed to have information about weapon contracts. The Syrian Military Academy’s Defense College head Muhammad Husayn al-Hajj has also defected, the military council said.

Comment: The defections seem to signify a shrinking of the government’s base, meaning that Sunnis are leaving and only the Alawites, Christians and other minorities will remain. Every defection, however, always carries a personal story, so it is difficult to draw larger conclusons from individual defections.

Syria-Iran: An armed opposition group abducted 48 Iranian pilgrims from a bus in Damascus on 4 August. The incident has received international media coverage as a sign of government weakness.

The kidnappers insisted the pilgrims were Iranian Revolutionary Guards on a reconnaissance mission and had permits for carrying arms, though none were produced.

In fact, a man who described himself as the deputy commander of the Free Syrian Army said the kidnapping was by a rogue group, acting without authority.

Comment: This kidnapping was amateurish and did harm to the opposition. Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu and his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani, spoke separately with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on 5 August and agreed to help secure the release of the 48 Iranian pilgrims who were kidnapped in Damascus.

Russia-Syria: For the record. On Friday, various news services, citing anonymous Russian officials, reported that Moscow is sending three large landing ships carrying up to 120 marines each to Russia’s naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartus. Later in the day, Russian officials denied the ships would call at Tartus.

Syria and Russia have agreed on Russian energy resources to be supplied to Syria in the near future, Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil said on 3 August. Syria will export crude oil to Russia in return for gasoline and diesel, Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil said. Syria is currently producing about 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil.

Comment: Russian actions indicate the Moscow leadership does not consider the situation hopeless.

Egypt-Sinai-Israel: Islamist gunmen killed 16 Egyptian policemen, wounded seven others and seized two Egyptian security vehicles in the assault on a Sinai police station near the border with Israel on Sunday. Israeli aircraft destroyed the vehicles, where the gunmen used to try to storm the fortified border.

Egyptian state television and Israeli military officials said an Islamist militant group was responsible for the assault. An Egyptian security source said the Rafah border crossing with Gaza had been closed “indefinitely” after the attack.

Comment: This was the first security emergency for Egyptian President Mursi. The Israelis handled it far better than the Egyptians. Since the overthrow of Mubarak, Arab terrorists in Sinai have become increasingly uncontrolled. This was their boldest operation and most overtly political.

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