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Friday, January 18, 2013

The Meaning of Prayer

Our freedom has been sold

Obama's Gun Control Push While Fraudster Bankers Go Unprosecuted

Tel Shiloh Archaeological Dig Pitcher Suggests Biblical City In Israel Burned To Ground

A pitcher found during an Israeli archaeological dig may shed light on a biblical mystery that has gone unsolved for thousands of years.

The broken clay pitcher, discovered in a bed of ashes in the Tel Shiloh dig site in the West Bank, suggests that the ancient city -- once the de facto capital city and spiritual center of ancient Israel -- was burned to the ground, the Tazpit News Agency reports.

The ashes found attest to a devastating fire the occurred at the site. The dating of the clay pitcher, 1,050 BCE, correlates with the dating of the events depicted in Book of Samuel.

As the Oxford Biblical Studies archive notes, the city of Shiloh was a religious sanctuary around the 12th century B.C.E., until it was captured by the Philistines. The Ark of the Covenant, containing the Ten Commandments, was also kept in Shiloh during this time.

The Book of Samuel writes of this battle between the Israelites and the Philistines, but has never explained how exactly the city was destroyed, according to the Tazpit News Agency.

Archeological research has been conducted at Shiloh by the Archaeological Staff Officer for Judea and Samaria as well as the Binyamin local authority, Arutz Sheva previously reported.

Past finds at the site have indicated that after the disastrous loss to the Philistines, the area was inhabited until 722 B.C.E., when Assyria defeated the Kingdom of Israel.

Israel has announced numerous archeological finds in the past few years. In May, it was announced that evidence seemed to support the existence of Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus.

Hufftington Post

Russia Starts Second Borey-Class Sub Test

Yury Dolgoruky Strategic Nuclear Submarine

MOSCOW, January 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russian submarine-builder Sevmash has begun moored tests of the third Borey-class (Project 955) ballistic missile submarine Vladimir Monomakh, the shipyard said on Friday.

"The fourth-generation missile submarine Vladimir Monomakh has been submerged in the water and started moored tests," Sevmash said.

Shipyard sea trials will start in the summer of this year, Sevmash said.

Vladimir Monomakh will be the third and last Project 955 boat, armed with 16 Bulava ballistic missiles. The fourth and subsequent boats will be Project 955A vessels with 20 missiles. The fourth boat, Knyaz Vladimir, is under construction.

Vladimir Monomakh has also been built with the incorporation of the latest acoustic signature reduction techniques, Sevmash said.

The Russian Navy accepted into service the first boat of the class, Yury Dolgoruky, on January 10. The second in the class, Alexander Nevsky, is currently undertaking sea trials and is due to enter service this year.

RIA Novosti

You only think you know what's coming.. EXO-VATICANA (Pt 5)

On November 28th, 2012, during the third season of “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura” the TruTV program looked into “human-animal hybrid experiments that supposedly have gone beyond the Petri dish with rumors that a real-life ‘Planet of the Apes’ is being created.” [i]

The producers had contacted one of the authors of the upcoming book Exo-Vaticana (Tom) late in 2011 with a request for help. They wanted to know whether scientists had secretly crossed the Rubicon with regard to human-animal genetic experiments. Though Tom spent numerous hours as a consultant providing documentation and expert witnesses, he turned down repeated requests to be part of Season 3: Episode 4 “Manimal,” described on Ventura’s website this way: “Science has made major breakthroughs in drug research and transplant technology by experimenting on ‘chimeras’– human/animal embryo hybrids. But these seemingly noble goals may be covering up a much more nefarious purpose – to create half human, half ape super soldiers, paving the way for a real life Planet of the Apes showdown.” (The producers actually offered on three separate occasions to fly Tom to set locations in the United States to meet with Jesse Ventura and the film crew, but he turned them down for reasons that will be revealed later. Conversely, though Tom declined their repeated invitation to be on the show, he did set them up with Professor William B. Hurlbut, Consulting Professor for the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University Medical Center and a member of the U.S. President’s Council on Bioethics who will be featured with both of the authors of Exo-Vaticana and over a dozen experts in an upcoming documentary expose on Transhumanism, tentatively scheduled for release in 2013). Among the scores of research papers, DARPA budget line items, suspect locations where human-animal experimentation ethics may have passed the curtain of acceptability, and media reports that Tom forwarded to the producers was a Reuters news article dated November 9, 2009, titled “Scientists Want Debate on Animals with Human Genes,” which hinted at just how far scientists have come and how far they intend to go with human and animal hybridization. The news piece started out, “A mouse that can speak? A monkey with Down’s Syndrome? Dogs with human hands or feet? British scientists want to know if such experiments are acceptable,” [ii]then continued with revelations that scientists inside Britain were comfortable now with up to 50/50 animal-human integration. The article implied that not all the research currently under design is kept at the embryonic level, and that fully mature monstrosities (like the creature in the 2010 movie Splice) are quietly under study.

Scene from the movie “Splice”

It didn’t take long to surmise if the Reuters article was simply speculating or if indeed there were scientists already experimenting with human-animal creations beyond the embryonic stage. In July, 2011, Britain’s Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) admitted in a 148 page report how such science is advancing so quickly and being conducted in so many laboratories around the world without appropriate oversight that an international regulatory commission is urgently needed to oversee the creation of these part-human part-animal part-synthetic chimeras. Interestingly, the AMS did not call for a prohibition of the science, but rather an international supervisory body under which the science can fully and officially proceed. In the précis of their analysis they considered “research that involves the introduction of human DNA sequence into animals, or the mixing of human and animal cells or tissues, to createentities we refer to as ‘animals containing human material’” (ACHM). [iii] They then confessed: “Such approaches are long-established, and thousands of different ACHM have been used in biomedical research, yet they have received relatively little public discussion.” [iv] What type beings did Britain’s leading scientists know of or suspect as now secretly under study? From the summary of their paper we find:
Extensive modification of the brain of an animal, by implantation of human derived cells, which might result in altered cognitive capacity approaching human ‘consciousness’ or ‘sentience’ or ‘humanlike’ behavioural capabilities.
Situations where functional human gametes (eggs, sperm) might develop from precursor cell-types in an animal; and where fertilisation between human and animal gametes might then occur [yes folks, we are talking here about animals that can conceive from human sperm and give birth to human-animals].
Cellular or genetic modifications which could result in animals with aspects of humanlike appearance (skin type, limb or facial structure) or characteristics, such as speech [in other words, Nephilim]. [v]

Only one day after the Academy of Medical Sciences circulated this report, the popular UK Mail Online published a story detailing how in just one instance alone (of potentially tens of thousands):

Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories. The hybrids have been produced secretively over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases. The revelation comes just a day after a committee of scientists warned of a nightmare ‘Planet of the Apes’ scenario in which work on human-animal creations goes too far. [vi]

While such chimeras are supposedly destroyed at the embryonic level, experts involved in the field who were interviewed by Reuters admitted “some scientists in some places want to push boundaries.” [vii] In other words, there are most likely Splice-like creatures in laboratory settings now, locations that these scientists have left unmentioned. Martin Bobrow, professor of medical genetics at Cambridge University hinted why this is the case: “There is a whole raft of new scientific techniques that will make it not only easier but also more important to be able to do these cross-species experiments” [emphasis added]. [viii] One place where researchers may have already considered this research to be so “important” that it justifies pushing those “boundaries” the British scientists alluded to, is the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University in Georgia (originally located in Orange Park, Florida). It is one of eight national primate research centers funded by the National Institutes of Health, both of which have shown interest in combining animal and human genetics to create a new species. The Discovery Channel on March 27, 1998 (in an episode of Unsolved History) discussed a report by Dr. Gordon Gallup, a psychologist from the University at Albany, on the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in which he confessed “a human-chimp hybrid was successfully engendered and born [at the center] but was destroyed by the scientists soon after.” [ix]This should come as no surprise, as Emory’s professors including Rabbi Michael Broyde have argued very recently that Jewish law would support animalized humans so long as the technology produces superior people. In an October 7, 2011 article on the University’s website, Broyde says:

Genetic engineering (GE), in which the traits of different individuals, or animals, are combined, already has resulted in amazing combinations... Jewish law would support similar intentional human-human chimerism, in which the embryonic material of two fetuses is mixed, or human-animal chimerism, in which the cells of a human are mixed with cells of another mammal…. processes and technologies that result in healthy, or healthier, children are intrinsically good and should be embraced, not feared. [x]

Professor Broyde is correct in stating that genetically altering “the traits of different individuals… has resulted in amazing combinations.” In fact, the first known genetically altered humans were born over a decade ago as a result of an experimental program at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St Barnabas in New Jersey. An article at that time explained part of the research, saying, “The babies were born to women who had problems conceiving. Extra genes from a female donor were inserted into their eggs before they were fertilized in an attempt to enable them to conceive. Genetic fingerprint tests on two one-year-old children confirm that they have inherited DNA from three adults—two women and one man.” [xi] Concerning these experiments, Dr. Joseph Mercola points out something very important:

Today, these children are in their early teens, and while the original study claims that this was “the first case of human germline genetic modification resulting in normal healthy children,” later reports put such claims of absolute success in dispute [meaning not all the genetically engineered kids were necessarily healthy]. Still, back in 2001, the authors seemed to think they had it all under control, stating:

“These are the first reported cases of germline mtDNA genetic modification which have led to the inheritance of two mtDNA populations in the children resulting from ooplasmic transplantation. These mtDNA fingerprints demonstrate that the transferred mitochondria can be replicated and maintained in the offspring, therefore being a genetic modification without potentially altering mitochondrial function.”

Dr. Mercola continues: “It’s relevant to understand that these children have inherited extra genes—that of two women and one man—and will be able to pass this extra set of genetic traits to their own offspring. One of the most shocking considerations here is that this was done—repeatedly—even though no one knows what the ramifications of having the genetic traits of three parents might be for the individual, or for their subsequent offspring. Based on what I’ve learned about the genetic engineering of plants, I’m inclined to say the ramifications could potentially be vast, dire, and completely unexpected.” [xii]

For those inclined to believe the astonishing report above was an isolated incident, British scientists repeated the same experiments in 2008, and in 2012 the Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) conducted similar research aimed at producing genetically engineered super babies. [xiii] Yet regardless how many times this and other forms of human genetic tinkering have been secretly conducted outside public or congressional review (historical precedence suggests many, many times), it is important to understand how germline genetic engineering as was used in this one example where thirty genetically modified children were created reflects the very modus operandi that fallen angels used with Nephilim—to introduce heritable modifications to the human genotype thatgive birth literally worldwide to changes in the gene pool through natural propagation. Dr. Mercola’s concerns are thus highly appropriate in that current GE models on humans carry the same potential as when “all flesh” was corrupted in the Old Testament and had to be destroyed by God. As a result, germline engineering is considered by some conservative bioethicists to be the most dangerous of human-enhancement technology, as it has the power to truly reassemble the very nature of humanity into posthuman, altering an embryo’s every cell and leading to transferable modifications extending to all succeeding generations. Debate over germline engineering is therefore most critical, because as changes to “downline” genetic offspring are set in motion, the genotype and phenotype (nature, physical makeup, and behavior) of mankind will be altered with no hope of reversal, thereby permanently reshaping humanity’s future. In spite of that, according to “ethicists” like Oxford University Professor Julian Savulescu, not only do we have “a moral obligation” to engineer such people, but embryos that do not meet certain genetic improvements in the future should not be allowed to live. [xiv] Dr. Richard Seed, a physicist in Chicago went further, warning anybody that has plans of standing in the way of this dream that they had better rethink their oposition: “We are going to become Gods, period. If you don’t like it, get off. You don’t have to contribute, you don’t have to participate, but if you are going to interfere with me becoming a God, you’re going to have trouble. There’ll be warfare.” [xv] Professors Seed and Savulescu are not alone in their strong beliefs. Dr. Gregory Stock, a respected proponent of germline technology argues that man not only has a moral responsibility to “improve” the human genotype, but powerful new technology now at our disposal for transcending existing biological limitations is making the schemes of transhumanists inevitable if not imminent. “We have spent billions to unravel our biology, not out of idle curiosity, but in the hope of bettering our lives. We are not about to turn away from this,” he says. Elsewhere, Stock does admit, however, that this could lead to “clusters of genetically enhanced superhumans who will dominate if not enslave us.” [xvi]

Thus from the “Human-Ape Army” plans of Ilya Ivanov under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin [xvii] to the early part of the twentieth century where Adolf Hitler instructed Josef Mengele to perform horrific experiments on live human beings in concentration camps to test their genetic theories, to the U.S. where up until the 1970s more than sixty thousand Americans were sterilized after being deemed of inferior genetic stock, the dream of one day advancing the next step in human evolution through engineering homo-superior has always had its champions. The difference until lately has been the Frankensteinian visionaries lacked biotechnological skills and the public’s will to enable “large-scale genetic and neurological engineering of ourselves.”[xviii] Today, that has changed, the technology has arrived, and the will to birth a new form of man has at least entered its fledgling state if not secretly advanced altogether. Even the recent Olympics underscored this science, pointing out the specter of clandestinely modified humans. Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen’s superhuman-like performance led John Leonard, the director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, to describe the 16-year-old’s world-setting feat as ‘suspicious’, ‘disturbing’ and ‘unbelievable’. Authorities who tested Ye Shiwen for drug abuse should have also checked to see ‘if there is something unusual going on in terms of genetic manipulation,’ he said. [xix] Dr Ted Friedmann, chair of the genetics panel of the World Anti-Doping Agency, agreed, saying he ‘would not be surprised at all’ if genetic enhancements were not now being secretly used on humans. [xx]

In other words, Aldous Huxley’s dystopian ‘Brave New World’ is already slipping in under most of the public’s radar. Human pre-natal diagnosis, screening foetal genomes, and designer children were just the first cracks in the dam holding back incremental changes due the human genetic reservoir this century, and experts are now admitting it. This includes theAcademy of Medical Sciences mentioned earlier, the same astute science body that more recently joined the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society to produce a narrower joint study in 2012 titled: “Human enhancement and the future of work” wherein they documented the alarming trend aimed at augmenting humans both cognitively and physically. In this new study, the collaborative team characterized serious concerns over the burgeoning “hybrid age” as having already started and in which the arrival of a new form of man is upon the horizon. What new breeds of hominid do they foresee? An example from page 26 of their work highlights how people could be engineered to have serpentine qualities:

Participants discussed how these kinds of techniques may in the future aid research into the extension of the range of human vision to include additional wavelengths. Examples exist in animals, such as snakes that can detect infrared wavelengths, which might provide a source of research for developing approaches that can be used in humans. Potential applications could be envisaged in the military, but also in other employment, from night watchmen, safety inspectors, gamekeepers, etc, including the possibility of enhanced vision at night. [xxi]

To assure tomorrow’s snake people not only see in the dark but are appropriately plugged into the end-times grid they will serve, the looming reptilian-humans will also have Borg-like “physical and digital enhancements such as cybernetic implants and advanced machine-interfacing technologies” according to the study. [xxii]

Whenever these authors speak on the subject of transhumanism and the looming “human enhancement” era, people are surprised to learn the many ways in which the United States government has committed taxpayer money to institutions such as the Case Law School (Cleveland, Ohio) for developing the actual guidelines that will be used for setting government and public policy around the next step in human evolution through genetic alteration. Maxwell Mehlman, the professor of bioethics at the Case School of Medicine, received nearly a million dollars not long ago to lead a team of law professors, physicians, and bioethicists over a two-year project “to develop standards for tests on human subjects in research that involves the use of genetic technologies to enhance ‘normal’ individuals.”[xxiii] Following the initial study, Mehlman began traveling the United States offering two university lectures: “Directed Evolution: Public Policy and Human Enhancement” and “Transhumanism and the Future of Democracy.” These talks are designed to inform and persuade college students on the need for society to comprehend how emerging fields of science have already set in motion what some are calling “the Hybrid Age,” a time when what it means to be human will be forever changed.

It’s revealing that many of these technocrats admit being influenced by the works of men like Friedrich Nietzsche (from whom the phrase “God is dead” derives) and Goethe, the author of Faust. Nietzsche was the originator of the Übermensch or “Overman” that Adolf Hitler dreamed of engineering, and the “entity” that man according to Nietzsche will eventually evolve into. Like the ancient Watchers before them, transhumanists dream of giving life to Nietzsche’s Übermensch by remanufacturing men with animals, plants, and other synthetic life-forms through, among other things, the use of recombinantdna technology, germline engineering, and transgenics, in which the genetic structure of one species is altered by the transfer of genes from another. While in the United States, George W. Bush once called for legislation to “prohibit…creating human-animal hybrids, and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos,” [xxiv]the prospect of animalized humans “is a subject of serious discussion in certain scientific circles,” writes senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, Joseph Infranco. “We are well beyond the science fiction of H. G. Wells’ tormented hybrids in the Island of Doctor Moreau; we are in a time where scientists are seriously contemplating the creation of human-animal hybrids.”[xxv] The former chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics, Leon Kass, may have said it best in the introduction to his book, Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenges of Bioethics:

Human nature itself lies on the operating table, ready for alteration, for eugenic and psychic “enhancement,” for wholesale redesign. In leading laboratories, academic and industrial, new creators are confidently amassing their powers and quietly honing their skills, while on the street their evangelists [transhumanists] are zealously prophesying a posthuman future. For anyone who cares about preserving our humanity, the time has come for paying attention.[xxvi]


USS Ohio docks in S. Korea to flex muscle to China?

By Yu Runze, Sina English

When Sino-Japanese relations is still strained amid the Diaoyu Islands dispute, the Ohio-class guided missile submarine USS Ohio, the lead boat of her class of nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarines, sneaked into Busan, port of South Korea.

The nuclear-powered missile submarine’s arrival in Far East obviously has something to do with the on-going Diaoyu Islands dispute, the voice of Russia commented.

The Ohio-class guided missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) arrived in Busan, S Korea, Oct. 24, for a visit as part of its deployment to the West Pacific, US navy website announced on October 25.

With a crew of approximately 160, Ohio will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

After Ohio docked in Busan, it shows the control cabin, the crew restroom as well as the weapon bay with the Mark 48 torpedo and the midget submarine on deck, which is a clear sign of showing off force.

Command Master Chief Paul J. Davenport also boasts of the capacity of Ohio and his crew.

"They have worked every day non-stop for two months to position our boat at the ready for any mission, anywhere, at any time,” he said.

The media coverage said that the submarine visit to the sensitive area means extraordinary, especially when China and Japan are at odds over the islands dispute.

The arrival of Ohio in South Korea implies that the most powerful underwater striking platform is in the waters near China, military experts said.

The 170-meter-long, 13-meter-wide submarine with a displacement of over 16,764 metric tons, could submerge to 240 meters under water. The 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles onboard could play an important role in wartime, as they could strike strategic targets, including nuclear and missile bases and facilities, air bases, command posts, and special warfare forces.

Earlier this month, a fast-attack nuclear-powered U.S. submarine arrived in Subic Bay for a routine port call on October 4.

Soon afterwards, the U.S. and Philippine officials confirmed that Subic Bay, once home to the 7th Fleet and the site of the United States' largest overseas naval base, is to host US personnel on a semi-permanent basis.

Military expert pointed out that US navy back to Subic Bay is mainly to deter China as the bay lies near the South China Sea.


Israel to begin using advanced missile detection system

The Air Defense Formation’s new system will operate more precisely than the current systems – detecting 99% of incoming missiles, while minimizing false alarms

Two months after the end of operation Pillar of Defense, the Air Defense Formation continues to advance its capabilities in defending Israel against missile threats. In one such development, the existing missile detection systems will soon be replaced with a newer version incorporating innovative changes.

The new system will allow a detection of 99% of the rockets and missiles launched towards Israel and will scan the attacked area in detail, resulting in fewer false alarms interrupting citizens’ daily life.

“This new, advanced system is a great advancement. It will be better suited to all levels of operations and detection issues,” stated Maj. Ofir Walfish, commander of the IAF center that is responsible for the detection of rockets and missiles fired toward Israel. “It’s a control system managed by sensors and it was invented by the defense industries and the IAF. It will soon replace the older system.”

One of the new system’s main improvements is the ability to create a more precise evaluation of the area under attack within Israel. This will allow earlier alerts that will be activated in specific zones, thus minimizing the disruption of citizens’ lives. “We are working around the clock in order to give the most accurate alerts and are happy about this advancement, as it will allow us to do our jobs more effectively,” said Maj. Walfish.

New Advanced Missile Detection Release date 16.01.2013Next article Previous article Exclusive Report: A new system allowing advanced detection of missile attacks in Israeli territory will soon be joining the IAF. This promises a more exact scan of the area under attack and less false alarms

Two months after the ending of operation Pillar of Defense, the Aerial Defense Formation continues to focus on advancing its capabilities in facing missile threats. Alarm detection systems located at the Main Ballistic Center will be replaced with a newer version that encompasses innovative changes.

The system will allow a detection of 99% of the rockets and missiles launched towards Israel and will specifically scan the attacked area. With the help of this new system, fewer false alarms will go off and interrupt citizens’ day to day life.

“This new advanced system is a great advancement; it will give better solution to all levels of operations and detection issues”, promises Major Offir, Commander of the Main Ballistic Picture Center. “It’s a control system managed by sensors and it was invented by the IAF and the Industries. It will replace the older system very soon”.

One of the main system improvements is the ability to have a more precise evaluation of the area under attack within Israel. This will allow earlier alerts that will be activated in specific zones. Thus minimizing disruption of citizens’ lives in vain. “We are working around the clock in order to give the most accurate alerts and are happy about this advancement, as it will allow us to do our jobs in a better way”, adds Major Ofir.

Read more: http://www.defencetalk.com/israel-to-begin-using-advanced-missile-detection-system-46399/#ixzz2IKlfQV90

US ex-commander: We can't stop Iran's nuclear program

Admiral William Fallon, former head of U.S. Central Command, warns that an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would take weeks, and would only set Tehran back a few years • IAEA inspectors in talks with Iran for second day over disputed nuclear program.
Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

Admiral William Fallon testifies before Congress during his nomination hearing in January 2007. [Archive]

| Photo credit: Reuters

A former U.S. military commander warned on Wednesday that a U.S. military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities would take weeks to execute, and would likely only delay Iran's development of nuclear weapons by a few years rather than preventing Tehran from obtaining nuclear capability, Agence France-Presse has reported.

Admiral William Fallon, the former head of the U.S. Central Command (which covers the Middle East) said that Iran was a big concern for the U.S. and for Israel, but voiced hope that the nuclear issue could be resolved through diplomatic efforts.

"If the U.S. were to put a full-fledged strike campaign in there, that would probably take several weeks, it could put this program back for several years," AFP quoted Fallon as saying at the American Security Project.

Iran's suspected nuclear facilities are not a "pinpoint target," but are instead dispersed and largely underground, he said.

"The bottom line is, it's not going to be a one-time shot. It's not going to be like '81 or even 2007," Fallon said, referring to reported Israeli strikes on an Iraqi nuclear reactor and Syrian nuclear facility respectively. According to Fallon, bombing Iran's current facilities would take weeks.

Meanwhile, senior U.N. nuclear inspectors continued talks with Iran for a second day on Thursday, hoping to reach a long-sought agreement to unblock an investigation into suspected weapons research in the Islamic state.

It was not clear whether the extension of the meeting in Tehran meant that headway had been made toward nailing down a framework deal giving the U.N. nuclear watchdog access to sites, officials and documents for its long-stalled inquiry.

The International Atomic Energy Agency's first priority was to visit the Parchin military base southeast of Tehran, where it suspected explosives tests relevant for production of nuclear weapons that may have taken place, perhaps a decade ago, accusations that Tehran has denied.

Iran has denied Western accusations that it is seeking to develop a weapons capability, saying its nuclear program is aimed only at power generation.

The Vienna-based IAEA and Iran separately announced the continuation of their discussions that began on Wednesday. They gave no details.

The IAEA, whose mission is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, has been trying for a year to negotiate a so-called structured approach with Tehran on how to conduct the investigation.

"The continuation of the discussions ... has been planned for Thursday," the official IRNA news agency quoted a statement issued by Iran's supreme national security council as saying.

The Iranian report added, without giving details: "The IAEA negotiating team which arrived in Tehran on Tuesday night, held several rounds (of talks) with the Iranian team today."

In Vienna, IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said: "The talks will continue on Thursday."

World powers were monitoring the IAEA-Iran talks for any signs as to whether Tehran, facing intensifying sanctions pressure, may be prepared to finally start tackling mounting international concerns about its nuclear activity.

The six powers — the United States, France, Germany, China, Russia and Britain — and Iran may resume their separate negotiations later in January to try to reach a broader diplomatic settlement. They last met in June.

After their previous meeting, in mid-December, both Iran and the IAEA said progress was made and the U.N. agency said it expected to finalize the deal in this week's talks. But Western diplomats later said some key sticking points remained.

Western diplomats have said that Iran has worked for the past year to remove any incriminating evidence from Parchin, but IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said late last year a visit would still be useful.

Before leaving Vienna, IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts said his team was ready to visit Parchin immediately if access were granted.

Tehran said a framework accord with the IAEA should be reached before any visit to Parchin is allowed. It said the site is a conventional military facility and has dismissed accusations of ongoing "sanitization" there.

Western diplomats voiced skepticism in the run-up to Wednesday's talks that a breakthrough was in the offing. Even if there were a deal, they said, it would be unclear how it would be implemented in practice.

But analysts and diplomats still saw a window of opportunity for world powers to make a renewed diplomatic push to find an overall negotiated solution to the dispute after U.S. President Barack Obama won re-election in November.

The six powers wanted Iran to scale back its uranium enrichment program and cooperate fully with the IAEA. Iran wanted the West to first lift the sanctions that were hurting its economy.

Israel Hayom

UK snow: Schools and transport hit by disruption

More than 3,000 schools have been closed in England and Wales as a band of heavy snow affects most of the UK.

Transport is disrupted with flights at Heathrow, Bristol and Southampton airports cancelled and hazardous conditions reported on many roads.

Heavy snow is falling in Wales, where a rare Met Office red warning for severe disruption has been issued.

There is an amber warning for Northern Ireland and most of England, with snow also due in parts of Scotland.

There have been widespread school closures in England with over500 in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and 300 in Norfolk, while 300 schools and colleges have been closed in Gloucestershire. In Wales, 1,200 schools have been closed.

In other developments:

Many major roads are being affected by snow, with parts of the M4 and M50 closed for a time. There are hazardous conditions on the M5,the BBC travel centre reports
10,000 households in parts of south Wales are being affected by power cuts
Around 179 flights have been cancelled at London's Heathrow Airport and its northern runway was closed for 45 minutes for snow to be cleared. Birmingham Airport is closed until 14:45 GMT, while there are also delays and cancellations at London City and Leeds/Bradford airports
British Airways has cancelled over 60 flights. It has offered those travelling on Friday and over the weekend the chance to change their flights free of charge to a later date
Eurostar cancelled four journeys between London and Brussels
The East Coast train company has lifted ticket restrictions for all journeys on its trains which arrive in, or depart from, King's Cross station in London after 10:00 GMT on Friday
Rail services have also been affected with some operators running altered timetables. South West Trains has published a revised timetable, while Southern Railways said it planned to operate a "less frequent service" between London and the south coast
In London, contingency plans for Tube services have been put in place