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Irans Secret Nuclear Ambitions Not So Secret

Photo by Hamed SaberIran continues to ignore the sanctions imposed by the U.N. along with help from China in gaining illegal materials that will aid the nation in building long range missiles capable of carrying nuclear missiles.

The shipment to Iran from China of the high-tech material was intercepted by the United Arab Emirates and contained 66,000 pounds of tungsten copper used for making advanced missile guidance systems. UAE also intercepted shipments of specialized aluminum sheets that can be used to make ballistic missiles and titanium sheets that can be used in long-range missiles all heading to Iran from China.

Communications of Iranian front companies set up by the country have also been intercepted and it appears that China, was not the only country helping Iran. One focus of the inquiries is the role of Italy, including the Rome branch of Iran's Bank Sepah and Italy's Banca Intesa Sanpaolo Spa. Banca Intesa said it is cooperating in the inquiries.

The actions of the banks, companies and individuals involved are being investigated by U.S. officials. Last week, Lloyds TSB of London agreed to pay $350 million to settle U.S. sanctions-busting charges with Mr. Morgenthau's office and the Justice Department. The bank admitted it violated U.S. law but said the practice has ceased.




Earthquake Detectors Created

Researchers from two California Universities have found a way to utilized the tiny accelerometers that are used in laptops to detect falls in a revolutionary way.

They discovered they can use these sensors to detect earthquakes, and they have created the world's largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network.

Interested in participating in the network? You can go to their site to download the Quake-Catcher software onto your laptop and it will convert your computer into a sensor when not in use.

The systems largest success happened last July when computers detected the 5.4 quake in Los Angeles.



Earthquake Swarm At Yellowstone Comes To An End...For Now.

The Swarm of Earthquakes that started December 26, 2008, beneath Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park has stopped for now. Similar large earthquake swarms have occurred in the past at Yellowstone, without triggering steam explosions or volcanic activity.

A series of more than 900 seismic events was most intense on December 27, 2008. The sequence included sixteen events of magnitude 3 to 3.9 and approximately 70 of magnitude 2 to 3 (as of Sunday afternoon, Jan. 4, 2009). Visitors and National Park Service employees in the Yellowstone Lake area reported feeling the largest of these earthquakes.

Listen to a podcast interview with Dr. Jacob Lowenstern, USGS Scientist-In-Charge at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, about how scientists monitor volcano and earthquake activity at:

To view up-to-date volcano monitoring information at Yellowstone National Park, visit the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Web site.


Earthquake May Cause Anderson Dam To Collapse

A new study shows that Anderson Dam could collapse in a major earthquake. It is also the largest dam located Santa Clara County holding 90,000 acre-feet of water when full, which is more than the other nine reservoirs in the county combined.

The new study points to an area of the dam's foundation that contains sand and gravel, which could liquefy in a big quake. Most of the dams foundation was scraped down to bedrock when the dam was built in 1950.

Though the dam which sits on the Calaveras Fault was designed to with stand earthquakes when it was built it was not designed to withstand what is being called the maximum credible earthquake.

According to the study the dam would likely not collapse suddenly or completely but, if completely full, could slump and begin to erode away from the top, giving people a day or so to evacuate, according to Dave Hook, an engineering unit manager for dam safety with the water district.

In the worst case, a complete failure of Anderson Dam could send a wall of water 35 feet high into downtown Morgan Hill within 14 minutes, and eight feet deep into San Jose within three hours, under state emergency scenarios.

More studies are being conducted on the dam since the new findings have been discovered and are being watched carefully by local officials.


Small Earthquake Hits Near San Jose, CA. This Morning

A small 3.4 earthquake hit this morning in the Bay Area, about 8:25 AM and was in an area about 8 miles north of Alum Rock.

No reports of injuries or damage at this time.




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