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Archive for March 15, 2010

Israel Restricts Access to Masjid Al Aqsa. Appeal for prayers as Unrest spreads.

March 15, 2010 1 comment

Elderly Muslims, being screened by Israeli Police out side Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Below 50 years of age are restricted to enter the mosque sicne last last Friday

Israel maintains West Bank lockdown (AFP) 15 March 2010, 11:34 AM JERUSALEM – Israeli police on Monday maintained restrictions on access to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound — Islam’s third holiest site — for the fourth day running amid tensions in Jerusalem.

Authorities fear renewed clashes could follow the formal reopening of a landmark synagogue in Jerusalem’s walled Old City, in mainly Arab east Jerusalem.

“Considering the risk of trouble, we maintain the state of alert and restrictions on access to the Temple Mount,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. Since Friday, men under the age of 50 are barred from entering the compound, as are non-Muslims.

The compound housing Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.  Read more…

Tropical Cyclone Tomas slams Fiji

March 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Trijectory of Cyclone Tomas. No official reports of damage yet.

Media Reports — Tropical Cyclone Tomas battered Fiji’s northern islands on Monday evening with gusts of up to 275 km/h (170 mph) and heavy rain, but weather officials had not received immediate reports of damage.

The Category 4 storm is the second-most destructive on a five-point scale. As it heads northeast, it is expected to sideswipe the main island, Viti Levu. The South Pacific nation’s capital, Suva, is on that island.

“The closest it will come is 200 km (124 miles) to the east of Suva,” said Alipate Waqaicelua, forecaster for the Nadi Tropical Cyclone Center.

Still, the storm inundated the capital with heavy rain and strong winds. Authorities imposed a nighttime curfew. Schools have been ordered closed till Thursday, and banks were shuttered till Tuesday, said resident Moses Waqavonovono.

“Squatter houses have been blown away in the gusting winds,” he said. “The stronger structures will take a hard hitting tomorrow.”