On Wednesday, November 9, 2011, FEMA, DHS and the FCC will conduct the first national test of the new Nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS). This nationwide test will start at 2 pm EST (11 am Pacific) and run across all time zones. The 3 minute test will run concurrently on all radio and TV stations and it’s longer than it used to be (previous messages of this type lasted from 30 seconds to 1 minute). The updating the phrase that follows that loud beeping sound, followed by "This is only a test, it is ONLY a test. If it had been a real emergency (etc.)" message may be benign, but it could also indicate worry about an upcoming danger. Could it be an incoming asteroid or war in the Middle East? An alien invasion? (And if that happens, we know what to do!)

At the same time that the NEAS test is taking place in the US, Exercise Pacific Wave 11 will be undertaken in the Pacific region. While the NEAS test will take only a few minutes, the Pacific Wave exercise will stretch over two days as countries throughout the region test their abilities to respond to a tsunami. President Obama and 20 other Asian-Pacific leaders, including President Hu Jintao of China, President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, and President Felipe Calderón of Mexico (among others) will be present at a conference on November 10 and 11.

Specialist William Colton Millay, a military policeman from Kentucky, was arrested on October 29 as the result of an ongoing FBI and Army Counterintelligence investigation. While military officials declined to explain the circumstances that led to Millay’s arrest, current affairs blogger "Prasutagus" claims that he was told by sources, apparently friends of Spc. Millay in Kentucky, that Millay had called his mother and others from Alaska and told them that a threat was imminent, and to "prepare for the end of the world." The NSA, which listens to communications by military personnel engaged in classified activities, dispatched an FBI team to Alaska to arrest Millay, but the Military Police refused to give him up, and are instead holding him under military rules.

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