Who the Watcher's are Watching
Asteroid 2012 DA14 Will Barely Miss the Earth on February 15
The asteroid, dubbed 2012DA14, will barely miss the Earth on February 15, 2013 according to NASA. The asteroid will pass the earth so close that it will enter inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites.
The space agency will use its Goldstone radar in California's Mojave Desert to track the asteroid from Feb. 16 to Feb. 20.
Asteroid 2012 DA14 will be closest to Earth on Feb. 15, at about 11:24 p.m. PST (2 p.m. EST and 1924 UT), when it will be at a distance of about 27,700 kilometers (17,200 miles) above Earth's surface. Even though 2012 DA14 is coming extremely close, it will still just appear as a point of light in the biggest of optical telescopes, because of its small size.
“The asteroid will travel rapidly from the southern evening sky into the northern morning sky with its closest Earth approach occurring about 19:26 UTC … About 4 minutes after its Earth close approach, there is a good chance it will pass into the Earth’s shadow for about 18 minutes or so before reappearing from the eclipse,” the agency noted in a statement released on Wednesday. “When traveling rapidly into the northern morning sky, 2012 DA14 will quickly fade in brightness.”
"This is a record-setting close approach," Don Yeomans, the head of NASA's asteroid-tracking program, said in a statement. -Source
US Social Security Card to Contain Biometrics?
Social security card change could be imminent in the USA. For many years the country's social security card has been a source of criticism due to woeful security measures. Now, two leaders of the US Senate’s group looking at immigration reform, have said would endorse the idea of a biometric social security card for all Americans seeking employment.
In a joint appearance Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the goal would be to stamp out illegal immigration by making it harder to forge a Social Security card and easier for employers to verify the legal status of their workers.
Schumer has reportedly said that card would be used only for employment and not as a general identification. However, he did acknowledge that there were differing opinions within the Senate’s working group and no decision had been made to include it in a bill. Clearly such a card could end up being used as an ID card - in the same way as the current document is used in many walks of life as an identity tool. So there may be an uphill battle. -Source
Prince Charles 'Concerned' About Allowing Royals to Marry Catholics
Prince Charles expressed concerns over a bill that seeks to change the rules surrounding the Royal line of succession in Britain, saying that allowing royal members to marry Roman Catholics might undermine the Church of England.
The British monarch, who is currently in line to inherit the throne from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, has stated that the bill was "rushed" and that it might have "unintended consequences," CBC reported. Only Protestants have been able to serve as king or queen since the signing of the Act of Settlement, passed in 1701.
The bill allows girls who were born before their brothers to keep their place in line to the throne, but it also removed a 300-year-old ban on royals from marrying Roman Catholics. The official British monarch serves as head of the Church of England, but Roman Catholic doctrine dictates that children from such a union would have to be raised in the Catholic tradition, which would constitute a conflict of interest. -Source
Assad's Forces Try to Beat Back Rebels Near Damascus
War planes fired rockets around Jobar, Qaboun and Barzeh neighbourhoods, the sources said. Heavy fighting was taking place at the Hermalleh junction on the ring road just south of Jobar, which had been seized by the rebels.
Rebel fighters based in the eastern Ghouta region broke through government defensive lines on Wednesday, capturing parts of the road and entering Jobar, 2 km (one mile) from security bases in the heart of the city.
President Bashar al-Assad, struggling to contain a revolt in which 60,000 people have been killed since March 2011, has lost control of large parts of Syria but his forces, backed by air power, have so far kept rebels away from central Damascus. Captain Islam Alloush of the Liwa al-Islam rebel unit said his fighters did not plan to stay on the road. Their control of surrounding areas already rendered the road useless as an army supply line. -Source