The Islamic Adhan -The Emerging Icon of the 21st Century

No sound or image so captures the spirit of what Samuel Huntington of Harvard calls "The Clash of Civilizations" between Islam and the West as the adhan, the haunting daily call to prayer heard thoughout the Islamic captials of the world. The Daily Galaxy editorial staff views the adhan as the emerging icon of the 21st Century.

Mosqueslg_1    Adhan is called out by the muezzin from a minaret of a mosque five times a day summoning Muslims for fard (mandatory) salah (prayers). There is a second call known as iqama that summons the faithful to line up for the beginning of the prayers.

Click on this Google Video link and listen to the call to prayer from Mecca, the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad.

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Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?

Echelon_1   The National Security Agency's Echelon Network surveillance “towers,” known to the world’s intelligence elite as “radomes”—secret interception facilities, function like a giant celestial net, capturing billions of telephone conversations, e-mails, Internet downloads, satellite transmissions, and faxes.

The messages culled each day are searched by supercomputers housed at the Fort Meade Army compound near Chesapeake Bay, where they are scanned by electronic “dictionaries” that capture key words that have been programmed for top-secret review and action. These millions of messages are read in real time as they pour into the station, hour after hour, day after day, the computers searching for intelligence needles in the electronic haystack.

With the increasing intensity of global USA and British electronic and satellite surveillance of al Qaeda, the leadership of the global terrorist groups have gone "dark," an unintended consequence of successful surveillance by NSA and other intelligence sources. Terrorists have switched from using satellite phones and email to employing centuries-old hand-delivered messenger networks, cutouts at Internet cafes, and a vast network of honey stores that have existed throughout the Islamic world since biblical times to generate income and secretly move weapons, drugs, and agents.

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Record Himalayan Temperatures Underscore Climate Change Fears

Temperatures in rugged Tibet have hit record highs in recent days, China's state press said Sunday, as a scientific survey warned of the impact of global warming in the Himalayan region. Eight other places across the region also recorded record-breaking daily temperatures over the past few days, it added.

Himalayas_180_2   China's Tibet plateau, seen as a barometer of world climate conditions, is experiencing accelerating glacial melt and other ecological change, the leading People's Daily reported Friday.

The mountainous region's glaciers have been melting at an average rate of 131.4 square kilometers (50 square miles) per year over the past 30 years, the paper said, citing a recent geological study.

Researchers who conducted the survey said that even if global warming did not worsen, the area's glaciers would be reduced by nearly a third by 2050 and up to half by 2090, at the current rate.

The survey, conducted by the Remote Sensing Department of the China Aero Geophysical Survey, also found a rapidly rising snow line, shrinking wetlands, and increased desertification compared with 30 years ago, the paper said.

These problems will worsen as the glacial melt -- which has accelerated in recent years -- continues, further depleting the area's water resources, the researchers predicted.

The Tibet plateau, which includes the Chinese portion of the Himalayas, accounts for nearly one quarter of China's landmass, stretching from Tibet to the adjacent provinces of Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan.

A separate national assessment released last week on the impact of climate change said temperatures in China would rise significantly in coming decades, water shortages would worsen, and extreme weather events would intensify.