Open Source Intelligence. Learn How to use it.
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Drones are becoming a big problem for armed forces worldwide. They’re small, difficult to detect, and operated by armies and terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. The drone threat isn’t just limited to the Middle East: in 2014, South Korean authorities found North Korean drones had overflown the Blue House—the official residence of South Korean President Park Geun-hye. This week at the Defence and Security Equipment Industry in London, German defense contractor Rheinmetall Defence Electronics showcased a new sea-based anti-drone laser system. The system, according to Chinese web site qq.com, features not one but four high energy lasers (HEL) mounted on turret, making it look like some kind of laser gatling gun. The principles behind the laser gatling aren’t exactly the same as a regular, bullet-spitting gatling gun. The four 20 kilowatt HELs are designed to be fired simultaneously, in a technique known as superimposition. All four fire at a target at once, and Rheinmetall’s technology combines them into a single powerful 80 kilowatt beam.
According to the company, using superimposition there’s not limit to the amount of energy that can be focused on a target—just add more lasers.
US Army Europe commander: “The Army is not big enough to do all the stuff it is required to do. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said America is down to 30,000 troops in Europe, about 10 percent of what was in place during the Cold War. Since Russia’s push into Ukraine, he and other leaders have tried to use that small force to demonstrate American resolve. “You have to make that 30,000 look like 300,000,” he said. That’s where Fort Carson comes in. The post’s 4th Infantry Division has had soldiers in Europe since February to run training exercises to bolster allies and demonstrate that the U.S. could respond quickly if there’s a crisis. The general said he has been impressed by Russian communications systems and radio jammers. “Their ability to intercept and jam communications is significant,” he said.
And Russia may be developing one key commodity that only Western nations have boasted in the past: smart sergeants. Hodges said intelligence gathered in Ukraine showed that Russian sergeants were using secure tactical radios, a sign that sergeants were leading troops in an Army where, in the past, enlisted leadership was virtually nonexistent. Growing Russian military prowess “makes it very tough for us to get into the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea,” he said. Countering Russia is difficult, though, as a cash-strapped Army continues to thin its ranks.
U.S. Fleet Cyber Command conducts ‘real world operations because they’re there, and we don’t have a choice’ while the Army’s Cyber Command is cautiously getting on its feet. For the Navy, often, there is no time for hacker simulations. “In a lot of cases, we’re doing real world operations because they’re there, and we don’t have a choice,” Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, commander of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, told Nextgov in a brief interview after she spoke at the conference . That said, the Navy is developing various exercises too.
For example, cyber mission forces teams and other maritime commanders plan how they might fight off an attack directed at a specific numbered fleet commander, she said. The branch encountered a teachable moment a few years ago, when, as the Wall Street Journal reported in 2013, Iran allegedly pierced the Navy Marine Corps Intranet. Insider threats have plagued military networks in recent years. There was, among other incidents, a Navy techie who went on a hacking spree at sea and a former Chinese military member, who downloaded Army files while working as a Pentagon contractor. According to the Justice Department, Nicholas Paul Knight was serving as a systems administrator in the nuclear reactor department aboard the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman when, in 2012 and 2013, he co-led a gang of hackers that breached the Navy’s Smart Web Move database. The registry held Social Security numbers, names, and dates of birth, for approximately 222,000 service members.
In 2013, Wei Chen, a one-time Chinese anti-aircraft unit member, allegedly plugged an unsanctioned personal thumb drive into Army computers connected to classified and unclassified networks. After downloading unauthorized material onto the flash drive, he tried to conceal his actions by deleting network logs on the server, according to U.S. authorities. At the time, Chen was serving as a system administrator for Camp Buehring, a U.S. Army base in Kuwait.
EUROZONE AND THE INVASION
An ISIS terrorist recruiter posing as an “asylum seeker” has been arrested by German police in a “refugee” center in Stuttgart. So reports German RTL television. At the same time, a German finance ministry spokesman has acknowledged the seizure of “boxes” of fake Syrian passports, destined for sale and distribution to the new refugees from Syria and elsewhere. Bulgarian police confiscated 10,000 fake Syrian passports on their way to Germany. Just a few days ago, Arutz Sheva quoted Matthew Henman of IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center as saying that terrorists sneaking into Europe disguised as refugees “is one of the most pressing security concerns facing security officials across Western Europe currently.” Possession of legal passports, and especially from Syria, is a vital part of claiming asylum as “war refugees.” Fake Syrian passports are being sold for about $1,500 each, the Clarion Project reports, and there seems to be no shortage of demand among the “refugees.”
A TOP Imam has called on muslim migrants to use the refugee crisis to breed with European citizens to ‘conquer their countries’. Sheikh Muhammad Ayed gave the speech at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
He claimed Europe was only welcoming refugees as they were a new source of labour. He claimed that Europe was facing democratic disaster and urged Muslims to have children with westerners in order to ‘trample them underfoot, Allah willing.” So what will the refugee single women do? Submit to polygamy? Latest figures, released by the EU’s official statistics body, Eurostat, show that by 2080, the number of people living in Germany will have slumped by 15 million. In Germany, the number of people in the 20-64 year old age bracket is predicted to fall by around 30 per cent by 2060.
New legislation, passed with a two-thirds majority, allows the army to take part in border controls, to restrict personal liberties and to use “coercive weapons designed to cause bodily harm, although in a non-lethal way, unless it cannot be avoided.”
“Similar to the police, the use of non-lethal firearms, rubber bullets, pyrotechnics, tear gas grenades, and net guns can be used,” it stipulates. Hungary’s parliament gave Monday the army and police sweeping new powers to keep migrants out as populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned that Europe was being “overrun”. “They are overrunning us. They’re not just banging on the door, they’re breaking the door down on top of us,” the right-wing Orban told lawmakers. “Our borders are in danger, our way of life built on respect for the law, Hungary and the whole of Europe is in danger,” the 52-year-old said in Budapest. “Europe hasn’t just left its doors open but has sent open invitation… Europe is rich but weak, this is the worst combination, Europe needs to be stronger to defend its borders.”
Give them benefits and they will come. Obama administration is preparing to announce a plan to admit more refugees over the next two years, but at this point the numbers being proposed are too small to relieve the crisis streaming out of Syria. Wednesday at the White House, the most senior national security officials will discuss raising the limit on the number of refugees from around the world allowed to enter the United States — from 70,000 this year to 85,000 next year and 100,000 in fiscal 2017, three administration officials told me. If members of the National Security Council Principals Committee agree on the plan, it will be sent to President Obama’s desk, and administration sources say he is likely to quickly approve it.
Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a second Republican attempt to pass a resolution disapproving of the Iran nuclear deal. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is hardly giving up the fight, moving to schedule a Thursday vote on rolling back sanctions on Iran until the Islamic Republic recognizes Israel’s right to exist and releases American prisoners being held in the country. That set includes The Washington Post’s Iran correspondent, Jason Rezaian. It’s a tactic aimed at forcing an up-or-down vote on the nuclear pact and getting Democrats directly on the record supporting what Republicans hope will be politically unpopular. The deadline for congressional action on the deal is Thursday — Sept. 17.
Some suggest the “nuclear option” — i.e. doing away with the filibuster — but even if advisable it would not get the Senate to 67 votes to override. And remember the House decided not to vote under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (instead taking a vote outside the Cardin-Corker legislative scheme) so there would be little point.
Operating on assumption sanctions will be lifted, Tehran increases support to proxies, while freezing out Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. Since the deal was signed, Iran has significantly increased its financial support for two of the largest terror groups in the region that have become political players, Hamas and Hezbollah. In the years before the deal was signed, the crippling sanctions limited this support, which had significantly diminished along with Iran’s economy. But Tehran’s belief that tens, or hundreds, of billions of dollars will flow into the country in the coming years as a result of sanctions relief has led to a decision to boost the cash flow to these terror organizations. This support, for example, has enabled Hezbollah to obtain highly developed new armaments, including advanced technologies that many militaries around the world would envy. Al-Rai, a Kuwaiti newspaper, reported Saturday that Hezbollah has received all the advanced weaponry that Syria has obtained from the Russians. The report cited a security source involved in the fighting in Zabadani, on the Syria-Lebanon border, where Hezbollah is fighting the al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State, and other groups. It is evidently the growing Iranian financial support that is enabling the Lebanese Shiite militia to purchase advanced weapons, including ones that were hitherto outside of its reach. The increased Iranian financial support for Hezbollah in the wake of the deal is not unrelated to other political developments in the region. The growing sense of security in Iran with regard to its political status has also been bolstered by a Russian decision to increase its involvement in Syria, and may be what drove Iran to send hundreds of members of its Revolutionary Guard Corps to play an active role in the Syria fighting. Iran, along with Hezbollah and Moscow, has decided to dispatch sizable forces to the Syrian front in the past few weeks to prevent the collapse of Bashar Assad’s regime. The Shiite-Russia axis has been anxiously watching the Islamic State creep toward Damascus in recent months, and saw the territory controlled by Assad, an important ally, diminished to the coastal region of Latakia south of the capital. The Iranians and Russians grasped that not only was Damascus endangered, but also access to the Alawite regions, from Homs to Damascus — thus the urgency for intervention, including with troops on the ground.
Iraqi government-backed militias carried out widespread destruction of homes and shops around the city of Tikrit in March and April 2015 in violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Militiamen deliberately destroyed several hundred civilian buildings with no apparent military reason after the withdrawal of the extremist armed group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, from the area. The 60-page report, “Ruinous Aftermath: Militia Abuses Following Iraq’s Recapture of Tikrit,” uses satellite imagery to corroborate accounts of witnesses that the damage to homes and shops in Tikrit, and the towns of al-Bu ‘Ajil, al-Alam, and al-Dur covered entire neighborhoods. After ISIS fled, Hizbollah Battalions and League of Righteous forces, two of the largely Shia pro-government militias, abducted more than 200 Sunni residents, including children, near al-Dur, south of Tikrit. At least 160 of those abducted remain unaccounted for. Sometimes you just can’t take the rape and pillage out of a culture where it’s a several thousand year tradition to rape and pillage. Shia militia ( controlled by Iran) are engaging in their purge of the Sunnis and reinforcing the hate between the sects.
Shia militias backed by the Iraqi government deliberately destroyed hundreds of homes and shops in Tikrit after retaking the city from Islamic State (IS) militants in March and April of 2015, according to a report released Sunday by Human Rights Watch.
The 60-page report uses satellite imagery to document the damage done to Tikrit and several nearby towns. The destruction was carried out with no apparent military reason after IS withdrew from the area, Human Rights Watch said.
IS seized Tikrit, which lies between Baghdad and Mosul and is famous for being Saddam Hussein’s hometown, in June 2014. Some residents told Human Rights Watch that they initially welcomed the militants after years of alienation by the government of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. But IS committed numerous human rights abuses during its occupation, forcing many people to flee the city and its surrounding areas.
ME – SYRIA, ETC
By blundering into the middle of the Syrian civil war, Putin has once again put himself at the center of global politics — just as he previously did in 2013 when he engineered the deal to remove Syrian chemical weapons that gave President Obama a way to climb down from his “red line” ultimatum.
Now, with Russian aircraft threatening to interfere with ongoing military operations by both the U.S. and Israel, Putin is further breaking down the West’s attempts to isolate him in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine. On Friday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter called his Russian counterpart and military-to-military links between the U.S. and Russia, which had been in deep freeze, have resumed. Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Moscow for talks with Putin about what Russia’s military role means for Israel.
Reluctant Russian Soldiers Oppose ‘Secret’ Syria Mission-Several Russian soldiers are seeking help from human rights advocates to oppose what they say are secret orders to send them to Syria, according to media reports that add to evidence of a Russian military buildup in the war-torn Middle East country. The Gazeta.ru news site on September 18 published a report containing interviews with four unnamed contract soldiers in the Black Sea port city of Novorossiisk who said a group of 20 of them had been specially recruited for deployment to Latakia, a Mediterranean coastal province held by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. “We don’t want to go to Syria, we don’t want to die there,” the report quoted a soldier identified only as Aleksei N. as saying. He and the others cited in the report are paid soldiers who serve under contracts, not conscripts. Would you rather be in pow exchange or the subject of a youtube video?
Russian forces developing two additional military facilities near Syria’s Mediterranean coast-taking place at a weapons storage facility and a military base north of Latakia, suggesting Russia is preparing to place troops at both locations. One of the facilities is adjacent to a surface-to-air missile site-(where Russian advisors have been)
Russian combat operations on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are likely to begin “soon,” three U.S. officials told The Daily Beast. And Russian drone flights to spot targets for potential airstrikes are already underway. That concession by U.S. officials of growing Russian influence marks a shift from previous statements by officials who said they weren’t sure whether Russia intended to use force in Syria and enter into the country’s long and brutal civil war. There already are early signs that Russia plans to target moderate forces that threaten the Assad regime, not the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which has been the focus of a year-long U.S.-led air campaign.
A mortar shell on Sunday landed in the grounds of the Russian Embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus, causing no casualties, Syrian state media reported. Syria’s state news agency SANA quoted an embassy source as saying that the shell fell in the embassy compound and that work was continuing as normal. The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the attack, saying there were no immediate reports about casualties. The Britain-based Observatory said the area in central Damascus where the embassy is located has repeatedly been attacked in the past. Sunday however was the first time the Russian Embassy was hit. Russia, a major ally and arms supplier to Damascus, played a key role in a deal struck last week by Moscow and Washington on Syria’s chemical weapons.
This is surprising since Israel will be blowing up weapons provided to Hezbollah by Iran. Russia to allow Israeli strikes on Syrian arms transfers, PM says After Kremlin meet, Netanyahu says ‘mechanism’ reached with Russian leader to prevent misunderstandings in Syrian fighting. srael and Russia agreed on a mechanism to avoid military confrontations between the two countries in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. My goal was to prevent misunderstandings between IDF forces and Russian forces. We have established a mechanism to prevent such misunderstandings. This is very important for Israel’s security,” Netanyahu told Israeli reporters during a telephone briefing from the Russian capital.
US-trained Division 30 rebels ‘betrayed US and hand weapons over to al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria’ Pentagon-trained rebels are reported to have betrayed US and handed weapons over to Jabhat al-Nusra immediately after entering Syria. Division 30 was the first faction whose fighters graduated from a US-led training programme in Turkey which aims to forge a force on the ground in Syria to fight against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil)- he new group from Division 30 that entered yesterday hands over all of its weapons to Jabhat al-Nusra after being granted safe passage. “They handed over a very large amount of ammunition and medium weaponry and a number of pick-ups.” You might think that Putin would hesitate to take such steps which strengthen the hands of radical Islamists, considering that Russia faces a serious threat of its own from jihadist groups. But obviously that is not much a concern to Putin, who is putting the imperative to preserve Assad — and the sheer joy of needling the United States and its allies — at the top of his foreign policy agenda. As long as Putin gets away with his mischief-making, we can expect more of the same in the future.
U.S. began its air campaign in Syria meant to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State group late Monday, but the Sunni extremist group is not the only U.S. enemy on the ground. Jabhat al-Nusra, one of al Qaeda’s branches in Syria, is also reportedly being hit by airstrikes from the U.S. and its allies in the region. At least 50 fighters for the group, also known as Nusra Front, were killed overnight, according to Reuters. Jabhat al-Nusra has played many roles in the more than three-year civil war that has rocked Syria. Originally, many of the fighters in the group were lumped in on the rebel side of the war with others fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad. As the situation on the ground became increasingly fractionalized, Jabhat al-Nusra began warring with the more “moderate rebels,” the Free Syrian Army. If that weren’t complicated enough, it then split from longtime partner and former al Qaeda affiliate, the militant group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIL or ISIS. Nusra Front has 10,000 fewer fighters than Islamic State. ISIS and the Nusra Front share family ties. Both groups descend from al Qaeda in Iraq, which sent militants to Syria to create Nusra Front in January 2012. The group quickly made gains across Syria and Lebanon working alongside ISIS. By the end of that year, the U.S. and several other Western countries had declared it a terrorist organization. In March 2013, al Qaeda released a statement stating it was no longer affiliated with ISIS, and that Jabhat al-Nusra would now be its official branch in Syria. By that point, clashes between the two groups had already resulted in the death of 3,000 people. The group ultimately split after a suggestion from the head of one of Syria’s most secretive militant groups, Khrorasan. But ISIS and the Nusra Front might have had a recent reconciliation. This summer, the Lebanese military reportedly arrested a Jabhat al-Nusra leader, Emad Jumaa, who said the militant groups were coordinating on attacks on the Lebanese border.
chief of staff of the US-trained Syrian rebel group Division 30 resigned from his position on social media on Saturday, days after a top military general told Congress that the US had successfully trained just “four or five” opposition soldiers.
Citing problems such as “slowness in the implementation of the training program of the 30th brigade,” “the lack of sufficient numbers of trainees,” and “the lack of seriousness in the implementation of the project to establish the 30th brigade,” Colonel Mohammad al-Daher announced his withdrawal from the program.
As it turns out, there’s still more evidence available to support the notion that Syria’s civil war was engineered by the Pentagon ( at behest of State Dept ). In his new book, Julian Assange highlights a cable from acting Deputy Chief of Mission in Syria William Roebuck who was stationed in Damascus from 2004-2006. It’s available in full from Wikileaks and below are what we believe to be the most notable excerpts, presented without further comment. PLAY ON SUNNI FEARS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis. Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business. Both the local Egyptian and Saudi missions here, (as well as prominent Syrian Sunni religious leaders), are giving increasing attention to the matter and we should coordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention on the issue.
— THE INNER CIRCLE: At the end of the day, the regime is dominated by the Asad family and to a lesser degree by Bashar Asad,s maternal family, the Makhlufs, with many family members believe to be increasingly corrupt. The family, and hangers on, as well as the larger Alawite sect, are not immune to feuds and anti-regime conspiracies, as was evident last year when intimates of various regime pillars (including the Makhloufs) approached us about post-Bashar possibilities. Corruption is a great divider and Bashar’s inner circle is subject to the usual feuds and squabbles related to graft and corruption. For example, it is generally known that Maher Asad is particularly corrupt and incorrigible. He has no scruples in his feuds with family members or others. There is also tremendous fear in the Alawite community about retribution if the Sunni majority ever regains power.
— Possible Action:
— ADDITIONAL DESIGNATIONS: Targeted sanctions against regime members and their intimates are generally welcomed by most elements of Syrian society. But the way designations are applied must exploit fissures and render the inner circle weaker rather than drive its members closer together. The designation of Shawkat caused him some personal irritation and was the subject of considerable discussion in the business community here. While the public reaction to corruption tends to be muted, continued reminders of corruption in the inner circle have resonance. We should look for ways to remind the public of our previous designations.
— THE KURDS: The most organized and daring political opposition and civil society groups are among the ethnic minority Kurds, concentrated in Syria,s northeast, as well as in communities in Damascus and Aleppo. This group has been willing to protest violently in its home territory when others would dare not. There are few threats that loom larger in Bashar,s mind than unrest with the Kurds. In what is a rare occurrence, our DATT was convoked by Syrian Military Intelligence in May of 2006 to protest what the Syrians believed were US efforts to provide military training and equipment to the Kurds in Syria.
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Chinese president’s Wednesday visit with tech executives in Seattle sets the tone for his trip to Washington later this week. White House has publicly criticized China in recent months for manipulating its currency, engaging in corporate espionage, proposing restrictions for U.S. tech firms that want to do business in the country, and being involved in a spate of cyberattacks that targeted American companies and government agencies. Despite this tension, however, President Obama will greet Chinese President Xi Jinping with a 21-gun salute and a formal state dinner when he visits Washington this week. And while Obama has a long list of grievances he will likely want to take up with Xi, the Chinese president is coming with his own agenda. Technology and cybernorms will be a focus of Xi’s state visit, which begins Tuesday in Seattle. There, Xi will commune with tech leaders—including the chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Facebook—becoming the fourth consecutive Chinese leader to travel to the Pacific Northwest tech hub. Calling the U.S.–China relationship “the most consequential in the world today,” National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Monday that ongoing engagement and negotiations are the only option. “I know that some people question why we host China at all. That is a dangerous and shortsighted view,” she said at an appearance at George Washington University. “If we sought to punish China by cancelling meetings or refusing to engage them, we would only be punishing ourselves.” She added, “If America chose to remove itself from China, we would only ensure that the Chinese are not challenged on the issues where we differ and are not encouraged to peacefully rise within the international system that we have done so much to build.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Seattle on Tuesday to kick off a week-long U.S. visit that will include meetings with U.S. business leaders, a black-tie state dinner at the White House hosted by President Barack Obama and an address at the United Nations. The Chinese President is due to tour Boeing’s widebody plant and nearby Microsoft Corp on Wednesday, and will later meet Warren Buffett, Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook and Amazon.com head Jeff Bezos, among 30 U.S. and Chinese business leaders at a roundtable discussion.
U.S. tech companies are seeking to expand access to the Chinese consumer market. Even if no formal agreements are reached, the presidential blessing “sends an important message to Chinese leadership” to help them, said Ed Lazowska, Bill and Melinda Gates chair of computer science at the University of Washington. No policy breakthroughs are likely during Xi’s U.S. trip, which ends with a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 28. End of the day a lot of US Corporations still see China as the golden land of massive profit and increase in stock holder value.
China’s economy isn’t as weak as it may look, according to a private survey from a New York-based research group that says it’s a myth the nation’s slowdown is intensifying. “No collapse is nigh” in the aftermath of the stock market plunge and currency devaluation, according to the third-quarter China Beige Book, published by CBB International and modeled on the survey compiled by the Federal Reserve on the U.S. economy. Capital expenditure rebounded slightly in the period and the services sector showed strength, the report said. “Perceptions of China may be more thoroughly divorced from facts on the ground than at any time in our nearly five years of surveying the economy,” CBB President Leland Miller wrote in the report. “Global sentiment on China has veered sharply bearish–too bearish. While we have long cautioned clients against relying on rosy official views of the Chinese economy, we believe sentiment has swung substantially too far in the opposite direction.” The report describes a mixed, rather than disastrous, picture of the world’s second-largest economy. Weakening exports, deepening factory-gate deflation and a manufacturing slowdown have highlighted the risk of this year’s expansion undershooting Premier Li Keqiang’s target for growth of about 7 percent. best situation for most economies is stable and low inflation-China appears to be enjoying exactly that, notwithstanding widespread fear of deflation.” The report also found that job growth inched up, company profits improved, and wage growth moderated mildly. Capital expenditure picked up for a second quarter following four quarters of broad decline, the authors wrote.
Britain to be China’s ‘bridge’ into western markets, says George Osborne. People’s Bank of China to begin issuing short-term renminbi denominated debt in London ‘in the near future’. Is Britain still selling US Treasuries? One of 53 agreements announced at the end of the UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue which was being held in the Chinese capital, where Mr Osborne’s passion for China has been strongly evident. “I have strongly supported China’s efforts to increase the international use of the reminbi,” said Mr Osborne. “And make no doubt about it, I want the UK to be the natural Western hub for renminbi trading.” China still on track to make yuan a reserve currency regardless what IMF says.
High-speed rail in NE China linking borders of North Korea and Russia starts operation ( China now the contender to be the leader for high speed rail – Japan is the leader) The high-speed railway from Changchun to Hunchun, eastern most city of China, officially opened to traffic on Sept. 20. It connects the borders of China, North Korea and Russia, Xinhua reports on Monday, quoting resources of China’s National Radio. The railway starts from Changchun, capital city of northeastern China’s Jilin province, and runs all the way to Hunchun in only three hours and five minutes. It is a major part of the rapid transportation network in northeastern region of China. It is also China’s gateway to North Korea and Russia in Northeast Asia and an important channel to the Sea of Japan.
SOUTH CHINA SEA
As military manoeuvres between the United States and China continue, it seems that the East Asian powerhouse is beating the United States in the so-called ‘gray zone’. This may be an obtuse concept to many people, but the term gray zone refers to the attempts of a nation to make military gains at the expense of a strategic competitor via somewhat covert tactics. Although these tactics may be aggressive, they are still ultimately intended to remain below the level that usually constitutes conventional military retaliation. China has utilized cost-exchange ratio as a weapon against the United States. China has implemented a fleet of fishing boats, which have been internationally manoeuvring in order to create the risk of a collision. This previously drove a US surveillance ship by the name of Impeccable out of the region in 2009. China repeated his tactic in 2013, compelling the US cruiser worship Cowpens to abandon its observation of a Chinese naval exercise. Additionally, the attempts of China to engage in gray zone activities should not be considered limited to the South China Sea. Cyber attacks can certainly be considered part of this effort, and the Chinese state has sponsored numerous such efforts since the concept of state-sponsored cyber warfare became a mainstream media focus point. Gray zone response evolving – It is certainly the case that cyber attacks could ultimately result in death and destruction, but although the scale of the cyber warfare can be considered comparable to traditional war, the reality is that governments are still developing responses and expectations to such stratagems. China has taken full advantage of this uncertainty and gray area, with the United States still developing its policy in this arena.
Over the last year, the world has watched as China has gone from one airfield in the South China Sea to potentially four. Facilities on Woody Island in the Paracels already gave China the ability to monitor the northern South China Sea. Earlier this year, the addition of an airfield on Fiery Cross Reef provided a more southerly runway capable of handling most if not all Chinese military aircraft. And in June, satellite photos indicated that China was preparing to lay down another runway at Subi Reef. New photos taken on September 3 show grading work at Subi, providing further evidence that runway construction there is planned. Meanwhile work at the Fiery Cross airfield is well advanced, with China recently laying down paint. Satellite photos taken on September 8 contain an unanticipated development, indicating that China may be preparing to construct another airstrip at Mischief Reef. These images show that a retaining wall has been built along the northwest side of the reef, creating a roughly 3,000-meter rectangular area. This is the only part of the feature where China has chosen to use a retaining wall to straighten what would otherwise be an irregular landmass; on the rest of Mischief its reclamation work has followed the natural geography of the underlying reef. A cement plant has been set up in that area, indicating that significant construction is planned. This all echoes preparatory work seen earlier at Fiery Cross and Subi, suggesting another runway could be in the works. An airstrip at Mischief would be of particular concern to the Philippines. The potential runway would be just 21 nautical miles from the BRP Sierra Madre, a World War II-era tank landing ship deliberately grounded by the Philippines in 1999 that is home to a contingent of Philippine marines at Second Thomas Shoal. China has maintained a constant coast guard presence around Second Thomas since 2013 and attempted to prevent resupply of the Sierra Madre in March 2014. The potential airfield at Mischief Reef would also be just 60 nautical miles from Reed Bank, where the Philippines hopes to drill for natural case deposits over China’s objections. Fiery Cross sits in the western half of the Spratlys and the airstrip there most directly presents a hurdle to operations by Vietnam, which occupies most of that part of the chain. Subi is at the northern end of the Spratlys, just 15 nautical miles from the Philippine airstrip at Thitu Island and less than 40 from Taiwan’s only holding on Itu Aba. A third airstrip on Mischief Reef, 100 nautical miles southeast of Subi, would complete the triangle, significantly boosting China’s air patrol and interdiction capabilities over the contested waters and features of the Spratlys,
One of the most powerful tools the Kremlin has in its secret arsenal of Special War is provocation, what they call provokatsiya. While Moscow cannot claim to have invented this technique, which has existed as long as there have been secret services, there’s no doubt that Russians have perfected the art and taken it to a whole new level of sophistication and deviousness. At times, it can become a strategy all on its own (not always, mind you, with edifying results). Provokatsiya simply means taking control of your enemies in secret and encouraging them to do things that discredit them and help you. You plant your own agents provocateurs and flip legitimate activists, turning them to your side. When you’re dealing with extremists to start with, getting them to do crazy, self-defeating things isn’t often difficult. In some cases, you simply create extremists and terrorists where they don’t exist. This is causing problems in order to solve them, and since the Tsarist period, Russian intelligence has been known to do just that. Provocation combined with propaganda can be powerfully effective in transmitting Big Lies about people, places, and even whole countries, especially in times of crisis. The Kremlin has been honing this unpleasant skill for more than a century. The next time you hear about violence in Ukraine – and, sadly, you certainly will – it’s good to remember that provokatsiya is real.
PILOTS in one of the two Russian supersonic bombers intercepted near UK skies last week had started the countdown to arm a nuclear bomb, sources revealed last night. The discovery was made after RAF specialists analyzed a four-second signal transmitted from one of the Tupolev Tu-160 bombers, known by Nato as “Blackjacks”, in the days following Thursday’s incursion. Analysts at RAF Boulmer, Britain’s Control and Reporting Centre, confirmed that the Russian bombers had begun the sequence to arm nuclear weapons while carrying out the incursion. It is not the first time they have done this and comparison with a similar signal transmitted by a TU-95 “Bear” bomber revealed Russian air crew had begun the countdown during an incursion last year, as well. The Sunday Express revealed that the bomber involved in the February 2014 incident had been carrying a submarine-busting nuclear depth charge designed to attack Britain’s Trident-carrying Vanguard submarines. “All I can say is that we now know it related to the first stage of arming a nuclear device,”
3 special-purpose Russian trains -first appearing in World War I, Russian military train technology protected the country throughout the entire 20th century. Armored trains, large-caliber artillery installations and rail-based missile systems continue to serve Russia also in the 21st century. RBTH looks at three of the most unusual special-purpose trains
1. The logistics train
Due to the absence of armor on the wagons, this train is not used in combat and operates only in the rear. The train’s facilities help satisfy the troops’ everyday sanitary needs: from washing uniforms to disinfecting soldiers. The logistics train is also equipped with all the modern communication devices that help staff officers carry out their functions: radio, telephone, telegraph, satellite and video conferencing technology. The presence of a 2MW electric power generator (the power capacity of a small factory) makes the train independent in terms of energy consumption. The logistics train was included in all the Center 2015 large-scale exercises that took place in September in the Central Military District.
2. The combat rail missile system
Combat rail missile systems are needed to respond to a nuclear strike in the event of an attack. The USSR had 12 specialized trains with 15P961 Molodets missile systems installed. Each train contained three strategic missiles with 10 Stilet warheads.
Combat rail missile systems were on combat duty from 1987 to 1994, after which, under the terms of the START II treaty, Russia pledged to liquidate all the RT-23 Molodets missiles. In 2013 the Russian government decided to revive the combat rail missile systems.
usual special-purpose trains.
3. Armored train
During the antiterrorist operation in the North Caucasus between 2002 and 2009 the military created an entire group of armored trains. Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov ordered the special trains to be removed for conservation, but current Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu decided to return the trains to service. The main objectives of the modern special armored trains are to protect civilian and military trains, as well as to prevent terrorist acts intended to sabotage railroad tracks, as the armored trains are transporting personnel. Currently, Russia has four armored trains – the Baikal, Terek, Amur and Don. They served in the late 1980s on the Soviet-Chinese border.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed the establishment of an air base in Belarus, the latest in a series of moves by Moscow to project Russian military power abroad. Putin said in a September 19 statement that he had agreed to a government proposal to sign a deal for the military air base and had ordered defense and Foreign Ministry officials to start talks on the issue with Belarus. The plan is not expected to face major obstacles. Russian defense officials have said the base would station Su-27 fighter jets.
Russia has been using an advanced form of hybrid warfare in Ukraine since early 2014 that relies heavily on an element of information warfare that the Russians call “reflexive control.” Reflexive control causes a stronger adversary voluntarily to choose the actions most advantageous to Russian objectives by shaping the adversary’s perceptions of the situation decisively. Moscow has used this technique skillfully to persuade the U.S. and its European allies to remain largely passive in the face of Russia’s efforts to disrupt and dismantle Ukraine through military and non-military means. The West must become alert to the use of reflexive control techniques and find ways to counter them if it is to succeed in an era of hybrid war. Reflexive control, and the Kremlin’s information warfare generally, is not the result of any theoretical innovation. All of the underlying concepts and most of the techniques were developed by the Soviet Union decades ago. Russian strategic theory today remains relatively unimaginative and highly dependent on the body of Soviet work with which Russia’s leaders are familiar. Russian information operations in Ukraine do not herald a new era of theoretical or doctrinal advances, although they aim, in part, to create precisely this impression. Russia’s information warfare is thus a significant challenge to the West, but not a particularly novel or insuperable one.
It relies, above all, on Russia’s ability to take advantage of pre-existing dispositions among its enemies to choose its preferred courses of action. The primary objective of the reflexive control techniques Moscow has employed in the Ukraine situation has been to persuade the West to do something its leaders mostly wanted to do in the first place, namely, remain on the sidelines as Russia dismantled Ukraine. These techniques would not have succeeded in the face of Western leaders determined to stop Russian aggression and punish or reverse Russian violations of international law.
The key elements of Russia’s reflexive control techniques in Ukraine have been:
• Denial and deception operations to conceal or obfuscate the presence of Russian forces in Ukraine, including sending in “little green men” in uniforms without insignia;
• Concealing Moscow’s goals and objectives in the conflict, which sows fear in some and allows others to persuade themselves that the Kremlin’s aims are limited and ultimately acceptable;
• Retaining superficially plausible legality for Russia’s actions by denying Moscow’s involvement in the conflict, requiring the international community to recognize Russia as an interested power rather than a party to the conflict, and pointing to supposedly-equivalent Western actions such as the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo in the 1990s and the invasion of Iraq in 2003;
• Simultaneously threatening the West with military power in the form of overflights of NATO and non-NATO countries’ airspace, threats of using Russia’s nuclear weapons, and exaggerated claims of Russia’s military prowess and success;
• The deployment of a vast and complex global effort to shape the narrative about the Ukraine conflict through formal and social media.
The results of these efforts have been mixed. Russia has kept the West from intervening materially in Ukraine, allowing itself the time to build and expand its own military involvement in the conflict. It has sowed discord within the NATO alliance and created tensions between potential adversaries about how to respond. It has not, however, fundamentally changed popular or elite attitudes about Russia’s actions in Ukraine, nor has it created an information environment favorable to Moscow.
German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets have started patrolling the airspace of the three Baltic States with full ammunition loads. The move is designed to “motivate” German pilots, the military say. German fighter jets are flying the Baltic skies fully armed “for the first time since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis,” the DPA news agency reports citing the German Air Force’s Inspector General Karl Müllner. He explained the move was not about “escalation,” but it is needed to ensure parity when encountering a potential enemy. The German military official did not elaborate on which Air Force might become the enemy. Müllner added that ammunition on board Eurofighters is also necessary to “motivate pilots” on missions in the Baltic skies. In September-December 2014, German fighters patrolled Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian airspace with empty magazines. Müllner said that was a political decision aimed at de-escalating tensions.
Fury after Saudi Arabia ‘chosen to head key UN human rights panel’ UN has been criticised for handing Saudi Arabia a key human rights role – despite the country having “arguably the worst record in the world” on freedoms for women, minorities and dissidents.
Critics labelled the appointment of Faisal bin Hassan Trad, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador at the UN in Geneva, “scandalous”, saying it meant “oil trumps human rights”. UN Watch, an independent campaigning NGO, revealed Mr Trad, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador at the UN in Geneva, was elected as chair of a panel of independent experts on the UN Human Rights Council. As head of a five-strong group of diplomats, the influential role would give Mr Trad the power to select applicants from around the world for scores of expert roles in countries where the UN has a mandate on human rights.
There would be no rights granted to gay people in the Kingdom, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.
In a post on its Twitter account, the ministry stated that it supports human rights principles proposed by international bodies as long as they are in line with Islamic law. It also slammed those questioning the Kingdom’s rights record.
It said that freedom of expression does not mean demeaning the beliefs of Muslims; and condemned those who continue to ridicule the Prophet, peace be upon him.
The ministry said it rejected terrorism and urged united international action to tackle all forms of extremism because these ideas violate the teachings of the world’s religions.
AQAP ( al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula formed in January 2009 through a union of the Saudi and Yemeni branches of al-Qaeda. Jihadist antecedents in the region date to the early 1990s, when thousands of mujahadeen returned to Yemen after fighting the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan.) AQAP forces have appeared on the streets as Resistance militias demand back pay from Saudi-led coalition and Hadi removes governor. After the war between the Resistance and the Houthis rebels ended in Aden, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters appeared in the Al-Tawahi district of the city. AQAP fighters were part of the Resistance during the war, and once the Houthis left they spread freely in the city with their slogans and weapons, sometimes setting up checkpoints, and facing no opposition from other Resistance groups.
Yasser Ameen, 33, a resident in Al-Tawahi district, said that the AQAP members appeared suddenly in the district after the Houthis left the city. “This is the first time that I see AQAP members walking in our city with their weapons,” he said to MEE, stating that no one in his neighbourhood knows where these fighters are from.
Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi landed in Aden on Tuesday, airport sources said, returning to the southern port city for the first time since he escaped to Saudi Arabia as Houthi fighters closed in six months ago. A government source said Hadi would spend the Eidul Azha holiday in Aden and then fly to New York to deliver a speech at the United Nations. Last week, Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and seven ministers returned to Aden to take up residence in the city. An alliance of Arab states — mostly Yemen’s wealthy Arabian Peninsula neighbours — intervened in the impoverished country’s civil war in March with the aim of restoring Hadi, and have helped drive the Iranian-allied Houthi forces back from Aden. Don’t get too cozy HADI
Reports indicate that Iran has dispatched a large number of paramilitary forces to assist the Houthis in their war, which has successfully displaced the existing government in Yemen. These include both Quds Force members and members of Lebanese Hezbollah according to these same reports. In March the BBC reported that Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani was being dispatched to Yemen citing sources close to Suleimani, although the network later retracted the report following Iran’s release of what it claimed were photographs of Suleimani attending worship services with the Supreme Leader that day. Iran’s involvement with Yemen’s war was confirmed by the Quds Force deputy commander, Brigadier General Esmail Qa’ani, although his remarks could indicate that the aid was being provided outside of Yemeni territory. “Those defending Yemen,” he said in reference to the Houthis, “have been trained under the flag of the Islamic Republic.” That could mean that they were trained within Iran itself, rather than at camps in Yemen.
“In a world where a phrase like “all lives matter” one can only think some pigs are more equal than other pigs even though the vocal pigs want equality at the expense of the silent pigs rights.” -BCP
34 commercial flights over New Jersey report lasers- alf of the incidents reported by the FAA were close to Newark Liberty International Airport, while the others occurred elsewhere in New Jersey — from Robbinsville, near the Pennsylvania border, to Ocean City, along the Atlantic Ocean in the southeast corner of the state. When aimed at an aircraft from the ground, the powerful beam of light from a handheld laser can travel more than a mile and illuminate a cockpit, disorienting and temporarily blinding pilots Those who have been subject to such attacks have described them as the equivalent of a camera flash going off in a pitch black car at night. So-called laser attacks aren’t unprecedented, but they are on the rise, as handheld lasers become more common and affordable. There were 3,894 such strikes reported in 2014, the FAA says. For comparison’s sake, there were only 283 in 2005. That works out to about 10.5 incidents a day. But that’s nationwide, so the 11 reported attacks over New Jersey alone in one night do seem to stand out. Problem is how easy it is to cause problems and the lasers can effect pilot eyesight at the right angle
volume of Arctic sea ice increased by around a third after an unusually cool summer in 2013. Researchers say the growth continued in 2014 and more than compensated for losses recorded in the three previous years. As it has done for 1000s of years – the NW passage is real except when Columbus sailed it was iced up
Something New I did not Know about Shark Attacks:
1. River mouths might not be the best place to swim
2. Avoid fishing boats
3. Mistaken identity
4. Don’t bleed or Urinate in water
If you find yourself in the middle of an attack, Don’t panic, Maintain eye contact, Stay big or get small. Don’t play dead, Cut off the angles, Slowly back away.
AFTER recent attacks in Tunisia, Europeans began worrying about extremists taking aim at them across the Mediterranean. But it seems more likely that the jihadist epidemic will turn south. The Sahel, an arid belt on the southern fringe of the Sahara desert that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, has already caught the fever from Algeria and Libya. More than a dozen sub-Saharan countries are now dealing with jihadism at home.
Buhari, pres of Nigeria, former army general but still sunni
Seeking help with Boko haram yet has made sympathetic comments about isis
Terence Stamp- says he now feels like an alien in his own country. ‘It’s very sad how few English people there are in London now,’ he tells me at a party in Mayfair, where he lamented what he seems to see as a lack of integration among some immigrants. ‘When I grew up in East London everyone seemed to speak English, and now you can barely get by speaking our own language.
Hollande said that the 19 countries using the euro need their own government complete with a budget and parliament to cooperate better and overcome the Greek crisis. What threatens us is not too much Europe, but a lack of it.” While the euro zone has a common currency, fiscal and economic policies remain mostly in the hands of each member state. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi made a plea this week for deeper cooperation between the euro members after political squabbles over Greece almost led to a rupture in the single currency
Deep fissures have reappeared between France and Germany over the handling of the Greek crisis with French authorities helping to craft the Greek proposal and pronouncing their work as satisfactory. Consciously or not, by playing this role France is now the principal defender of the monetary rule breakers—rules on budget deficits and debt that France itself has violated repeatedly. This posture stands in stark contrast to Germany’s deep desire to create unbreakable (or at least severely punishable) rules. France does this to counterbalance Germany’s economic and political dominance, meanwhile European solidarity continues to weaken by the hour. What a high economic and political price to pay for a monetary union.
State of Texas is setting up a gold-backed bank that will allow depositors to bypass the controversial Federal Reserve System and its fiat currency in banking and commerce, according to the state representative who authored the recently enacted law. Under the measure, passed overwhelmingly by lawmakers and signed in mid-June by Republican Governor Greg Abbott, Lone Star State officials will establish and operate the Texas Bullion Depository for anyone who would like to deposit and trade in precious metals. The implications are as big as Texas.
Gold will go back up and this will be a potential economic hub for many Americans.
government has made some efforts to stop illegal water pumping and sales, but to no avail. Despite what its name suggests, the mafia is not a unified, organized syndicate and thus cannot be eliminated by catching and punishing a few big players. Rather, it is loose, nimble, and adaptable; it routinely outsmarts the authorities whom it isn’t already bribing to allow it to do its work. The real answer to the tanker mafia is better infrastructure: a correction to several decades’ worth of inequitable development in which public utilities were built for the benefit of the elite, leaving millions of poor to fend for themselves. But the city’s long-neglected and corrupted water system, managed by an agency known as the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), is near the point of collapse. Projections for needed improvements indicate a dauntingly long and expensive process. It may be too late to cut the mafia off at the knees, much less provide millions of residents with the water they need to survive. Delhi thus offers a painful warning to other countries where water mafias have sprouted up: Bangladesh, Honduras, and Ecuador, to name just a few. “More than anyone else, the DJB and the Delhi government [have been] responsible for the rise of the water mafia,” says Dinesh Mohaniya, a member of the Delhi Legislative Assembly who represents Sangam Vihar, one of Delhi’s poorest neighborhoods, that is a hub for water tankers. “If they had supplied piped water to everyone, why would anyone pay the mafia?” A coming global issue – crumbling infrastructure and water shortages
U.S. Army is far more heavily engaged around the world than projected when it began slashing force size several years ago, and its commitments will be hard to maintain in the long run as troop numbers shrink. We need to be increasing and rearming!
7/8/15 -China and Russia are aligning their strategies to team up against the United States, according to a commentary by the Global Times – first is economic cooperation through mutually beneficial deals such as the recent 30-year, US$400 billion natural gas agreement signed in Beijing in May. It was a deal in the interests of both sides, as Russia needed an export partner for its energy resources, while China needed a supplier for its significant energy needs. China even forwarded part of the funds to Russia in advance to help Moscow better cope with the economic sanctions from the West after its annexation of the Ukranian territory of Crimea last year. second strategy is to jointly develop the Silk Road Economic Belt. Coupled with the Trans-Asian Railway, it is China and Russia’s hope of forming a China-Eurasia economic zone to the exclusion of the US, as both Beijing and Moscow know that an inability to exert its influence is what Washington fears the most. Thirdly, China and Russia are aiming for the New Development Bank to put pressure on US dollar by competing with the US-controlled World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Given that the five BRICS nations account for half of the world’s GDP, it is possible that they could soon threaten the status of the US dollar as the dominant global reserve currency.
BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has opened for operations in Shanghai, and will seek to deploy its $50 billion initial capital to fund infrastructure and sustainable development projects. Each BRICS member is expected to put an equal share into establishing the startup capital of $50 billion with a goal of it reaching $100 billion. Besides the creation of the $100 billion BRICS Development Bank, the member states also established a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 billion. Brazil, India and Russia will each contribute $18 billion to the CRA. South Africa is set to contribute $5 billion. China will be responsible for the largest share of the CRA after contributing $41 billion to the bank.
BRICS represents 42 percent of the world’s population and roughly 20 percent of the world’s economy based on GDP, and 30 percent of the world’s GDP based on PPP, a more accurate reading of the real economy. Total trade between the countries is $6.14 trillion, or nearly 17 percent of the world’s total.
Obama prepares to cut Putin’s cash flow if he doesn’t play ball over Ukraine-senior US officials have drawn up proposals to further close off credit in the West for Russia if the country does not end fighting in Eastern Ukraine. EU and US sanctions against Russia have included as targets Russian state banks, businesses, military and energy firms. The countries say that the sanctions will put pressure on Mr Putin to adhere to international agreements in relation to Ukraine
USING FAIRLY OPTIMISTIC ASSUMPTIONS, THE PORTUGUESE ECONOMY IS UNABLE TO GROW ENOUGH TO COVER THE INTEREST ON ITS GOVERNMENT DEBTS, LET ALONE AFFORD ANY PRINCIPAL REPAYMENTS! Portugal in debt even more than Greece so why Greece – Tsipras was looking for a eu stage and his anti-austerity mantra had to be put down.
As a result, government debt-to-GDP can only rise from here, especially as the government seems incapable of balancing the books. USING FAIRLY OPTIMISTIC ASSUMPTIONS, THE PORTUGUESE ECONOMY IS UNABLE TO GROW ENOUGH TO COVER THE INTEREST ON ITS GOVERNMENT DEBTS, LET ALONE AFFORD ANY PRINCIPAL REPAYMENTS! as a result, government debt-to-GDP can only rise from here, especially as the government seems incapable of balancing the books.
Greece’s capitulation to creditor demands in an effort to stay in the euro may serve as a reality check to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s allies in countries such as Spain as they make their own bids for power. Greece was made an example so Spain, Portugal, Italy and maybe even Austria wouldn’t try what Greece tried.
Monday marked the beginning of a new dawn for Greeks. Last week, PM Alexis Tsipras forced a set of draconian “reforms” through parliament and sacked political rivals, effectively legislating away the country’s sovereignty while condemning the Greek people to a fate of even tougher austerity and ensuring that despite rhetoric out of Athens, “normality” will not return to Greece for a very long time.
Greek banks reopened and as expected there were long lines. On the bright side, the queues were described as “orderly.
No debt write down but “reprofiling” – depressing and anticlimactic end to the Syriza “revolution” and, by extension, to “hope” in Greece. More austerity is now the law and Athens is once again completely beholden to the German purse string.
At least there are no tanks on the street
As the long-term ramifications of Greece’s financial bailout play out more fire-sales of Greek islands are expected.” Last year Greece introduced its first tax on real estate under pressure from creditors who wanted it to raise more cash to pay down debts. The tax made owning a private island suddenly unaffordable for some owners — the asset-rich, cash-poor problem
GREEK islands are on the verge of collapse because thousands of migrants and asylum seekers are living in horrifying conditions after flooding in over the past few days. About 5,000 people – mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq – have arrived on the island of Lesbos only to face horrendous conditions as they pack into a 700-capacity centre.
Desperate migrants are suffering from overcrowding, poor hygiene conditions and a lack of food on the island – which is just one of two in Greece set up to process asylum seekers.
Thousands of new arrivals have been forced to camp in the open with no access to water, shelter, toilets or medical care.
Authorities are attempting to distribute food but there is not enough to feed the swelling numbers arriving on the island every day from war-stricken countries.
Biggest threat to African peace and prosperity comes from a dangerous idea. More than a dozen sub-Saharan countries are now dealing with jihadism at home (see map). They include Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Jihadist attacks in many places are a daily or weekly occurrence. Weapons are widely available, often left over from secular civil wars. Tens of thousands have died. Shabab has lost both members and territory. But it is still lethally active. Once operating purely in Somalia, it now seeps across the border into Kenya.
In this endeavour it has found an unexpected (and unwitting) ally in government forces. In Kenya, as elsewhere, official brutality has been the best recruitment tool for extremists. Armies have locked up and tortured thousands without reason. Everyone knows a victim. More than 20 Muslim clerics have been killed along the Kenyan coast in the past two years.
Yet the more governments feel under threat, the freer the rein they give their generals. This dynamic not only stirs opposition but also turns “fragile states into brittle ones”,
LATIN AMERICA/MEXICO TO PATAGONIA
After the resumption of diplomatic relations with Cuba, U.S. businesses wanting to invest in the island are now waiting for a change in the regulations, especially the lifting of the embargo, something that depends on Congress and may take years.
July 18th marks 21 years since the largest terrorist attack in Argentina’s history: the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 individuals and wounded hundreds more. Evidence is mounting that Argentina’s president is seeking to whitewash Iran’s role in the attack.
Earlier this year, Argentina’s special prosecutor in the case, Alberto Nisman, met a suspicious death just one day before he was due to present evidence of a secret Iran-Argentina backchannel. Nisman had already implicated senior Iranian officials in the 1994 bombing. As a result of his investigation, INTERPOL had issued red notices (tantamount to international arrest warrants) for these Iranian officials.
But Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s government has taken a series of steps that appear aimed at covering up Iranian involvement. In the latest example, the Argentine government is trying to reverse a court decision that ruled an Iran-Argentina Memorandum of Understanding related to the AMIA attack (MOU) unconstitutional.
El Mencho AKA Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes- Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación-different from some who might want to be feared but aren’t trying to build a territorial dynasty – Kind of like ISIS and I have intel he is working with them- risen to commanding heights in the landscape of Mexican narcotrafficking, rivaling the power El Chapo once had
Pope Francis brings message of solidarity to South America
“The pope of the poor” chose to visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay specifically because they are among the poorest and most marginal nations of a region that claims 40 per cent of the world’s Catholics. Correa, for his part, echoed many of Francis’ own themes about the “perverse” global economic system that keeps the poor on the margins while the rich get richer, exploiting the Earth’s natural resources in the process.
“Holy Father, the global order isn’t only unjust, it’s immoral,” Correa said.
so we go with an overt dictatorship instead? Marxist is as Marxist does just like in the days of the Sandinistas
A handful of countries across Latin America congratulated Greece on its Sunday referendum in which voters rejected creditors’ austerity demands. Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, whose country defaulted on a mountain of debt more than a decade ago, called the vote a victory.
“Greece: decisive victory for democracy and dignity,” she wrote on Facebook Sunday, expressing Argentina’s “solidarity with the brave Greek people and their government. Evo Morales, Bolivia’s leftist president, congratulated Greece on Sunday, calling the referendum a defeat against “European imperialism.” Morales, a harsh critic of free-market economies, said the referendum was “the beginning of the liberation of the European people.” “I congratulate the great Greek people for the triumph of their ‘no vote’ over debt, which is a defeat inflicted on European imperialism,” he was quoted as saying by state-run news agency ABI.
Cuban President Raul Castro echoed the other leaders, congratulating Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Monday in Granma
An earth observation satellite jointly developed by China and Brazil was put into operation on Tuesday. The China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite-04 (CBERS-04) was sent into orbit on Dec. 7, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence. Tests on the satellite’s application and operational systems during orbit were found to meet the general requirements of the design.
The satellite was developed by China’s Academy of Space Technology and the National Institution of Space Research from Brazil. It can cover terrain the size of China in 26 days and provide images of medium solution.
Data from the satellite will be used in crop estimate, survey of geological disasters and other fields, and will be provided to African and Latin American countries for free
Chinese and Russian naval officials have concluded planning a large joint Sino-Russian maritime exercise to be held in late August, according to the Russian TASS wire service. The exercise will take place in the Sea of Japan and off the coast of Russia’s Primorsky territory – approximately 250 miles away from Japan — and include for the first time a joint amphibious assault drill. The 20 warships and support vessels from both navies will also be joined by carrier-based aircraft, Martov told TASS. Russia’s Pacific Fleet consists of around 70 vessels including four landing ships and five landing crafts. China is currently in the process of expanding its fleet of amphibious warfare ships with the construction and gradual induction of six new Type-071 Yuzhao-class vessels. Joint sea 2015
phase 2, which means the construction of facilities and capabilities on these islands. An artificial island the CCP is building on the Fiery Cross Reef has a 3,000 meter (10,000 feet) airstrip being laid. Rapp-Hooper said “You don’t need a 3,000 meter airstrip to land cargo planes. You need a 3,000 meter airstrip to land fighter planes.”
Adm. Scott Swift, who assumed command of the Pacific Fleet in May assured allies Friday that American forces are well equipped and ready to respond to any contingency in the South China Sea, where long-seething territorial disputes have set off widespread uncertainties. He praised Philippine efforts to hold exercises for military readiness with U.S. allies like Japan, which held search and rescue drills for the first time with the Philippine navy on board a Japanese Self-Defense Force P-3C Orion surveillance plane in the South China Sea last month. “Multilateralism has always increased stability,” he said. China condemned those military drills, although Japanese military officials said they were not held in areas of the South China Sea disputed by Beijing and other governments.
Gold fell 3.8 percent, or $43, to $1,087 an ounce in Asia on Monday in a few seconds. This happened due to a huge dump of five tonnes onto the Chinese markets, that’s about a fifth of a normal day’s trade, Business Insider reports.
“In Shanghai, close to five tonnes of gold was sold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange in a two-minute window just prior to 9:30am, in a market where the normal volume traded is 25 tonnes in an entire day,” ANZ Bank analyst Victor Thianpiriya.
He added that “further downside risks remain,” and that “other indicators also suggest the likelihood of an immediate rebound is low.” Just a drop in the bucket of chicom gold -0nly about 173.28 mm @ 34.656mm a ton.
China’s currency, the yuan, ascended to a higher global status in 2014, with the value of cross-border payments by the currency accounting for 23.6 percent of total cross-border payments, according to a report on the globalization of the yuan released by the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, on June 11. Data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication shows that the yuan became the second most used currency in trade finance—letters of credit and collections, the fifth most popular payment currency and the sixth most used foreign exchange currency in the world in December 2014. In an effort to make the yuan an international currency in a real sense, China is pressing ahead with financial reforms so that the yuan can become part of the basket of currencies determining the value of Special Drawing Right (SDR), an international reserve asset created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1969.
If anything, a deal that Saudi Arabia perceives as a rapprochement between its key ally and its archnemesis will only intensify the proxy war. The nuclear deal will only embolden both Iran and Saudi Arabia to ramp up their cold war. We have a sense of what the Iranians are capable of and what more they could do with cash from a nuclear deal. It’s less clear what the Saudis will do next — but however Riyadh reacts, you can be sure it will not limit itself to banning Persian carpets or sacking more university presidents.
so we are enabling more terrorism and you know its part of the deal? Susan Rice said “we should expect” that some of the money Iran gets under sanctions relief as a result of the nuclear deal “would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region. Rice added that Iran couldn’t send weapons to anyone because of the arms embargo but “they may be able to send money” to Bashar Assad or Houthi rebels in Yemen. She later argued, “They’re sending money now, while they’re under sanctions. There is nothing currently that is preventing them from sending money.” Although she conceded, “They will have more money, once they have verifiably given up their nuclear weapons capacity and any ability to reconstitute it.”
as stated, access to the sites was a bs ploy, top adviser to US President Barack Obama claimed Tuesday that the US had never sought co-called “anytime, anywhere” inspections of all suspect Iranian sites in the newly signed nuclear accord. His comments came in marked contrast to statements he made to Israeli television in April. “We never sought anytime/anywhere inspections,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told CNN’s Erin Burnett in a televised interview defending the new Iran nuclear deal. In the first place we will have anytime, anywhere access the nuclear facilities,” he said, referring to “the whole supply chain,” Rhodes said. He added, “If there is a suspicious site, for instance somewhere in a military base in Iran, and we want to seek access to that, we will be able to go to the IAEA and get that inspection because of the additional protocol of the IAEA that Iran will be joining and some of the additional transparency and inspections measures that are in the deal-RIGHT
US said on Tuesday it was disturbed by anti-U.S. hostility voiced by Iran’s top leader after a nuclear deal, as both countries’ top diplomats sought to calm opposition to the accord from hardliners at home. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday vowing to defy American policies in the region despite a deal with world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program was “very troubling. ” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, told supporters on Saturday that U.S. policies in the region were “180 degrees” opposed to Iran’s, in a Tehran speech punctuated by chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”
ranian cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, who was handpicked by the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader to deliver the prayers, delivered a message of hostility toward the United States in the first official remarks since a final nuclear deal was signed between Iran and world powers in Vienna last week. Message on the podium declared, “We will trample upon America” while the English phrase “We Defeat the United States” can be seen underneath. Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, said that the official remarks by Iranian officials and clerics are meant to mock the Obama administration.
Supreme Leader Ali “Khamenei is toying with Obama right now, humiliating him, but Obama is too self-absorbed to realize it,” Rubin said. “There’s a reason why Obama doesn’t want Congress to see the agreement,” Rubin added. “That is because to examine the agreement is to recognize that it’s more an unconditional surrender than an arms control agreement.”
Sanctions imposed on Quds Force and its commander Soleimani to be lifted 8 years into agreement implementation; hundreds of individuals, organizations, companies also removed from black list. One of the names on the list led to surprise and speculation – General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force since 1998, a unit responsible for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ operations outside of the country. The shadowy spymaster helped Shiite Iraqi militants kill American soldiers, came to the aid of Syrian President Bashar Assad and was accused by the Americans of orchestrating an attempt on the life of Saudi’s ambassador to Washington four years ago on US soil.
Passage of the U.N. resolution triggers a complex set of coordinated steps agreed by Iran during nearly two years of talks with the powers. U.N. Security Council on Monday backed Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers but the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards attacked the resolution, underlining powerful opposition to the deal. EU’s approval of the deal with the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany marked a first step toward lifting Europe’s economic sanctions against Tehran. The bloc hopes this will send a signal that the U.S. Congress will follow.
In a message mainly aimed at skeptical voices in Congress and strong resistance from Israel, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels stressed that there was no better option available.
“It is a balanced deal that means Iran won’t get an atomic bomb,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
Congress now has 60 days to decide whether to approve or reject the deal.
After Security Council endorses pact, Tehran claims prohibition on missile development not relevant to world body, adds atomic watchdog won’t want to inspect military sites.Iran said its ballistic missile program was not connected to the UN Security Council resolution adopted Monday, which endorses its July 14 nuclear accord with world powers. A statement from the Iranian Foreign Ministry also said that it was “certain” the International Atomic Energy Agency will not request to inspect its military sites. Under the terms of the nuclear deal, Iran is barred from developing ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Iran says it has built ballistic missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), capable of striking its arch-foe Israel.
But the Foreign Ministry said the UN’s resolution endorsing the deal did not have jurisdiction over its missile development.
Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan also said the nuclear deal does not limit Iran’s missile development, which he maintained Tehran would “resolutely” pursue- stating Tehran would not allow international inspectors to enter the Islamic Republic’s military sites, in comments that appear at odds with the terms of a landmark nuclear deal struck with world powers last week.
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration’s decision to take the Iran deal to the United Nations before the U.S. Congress votes on it. But the bottom line, the UN is going to vote on this before Congress gets to vote on this?” “Well, they have a right to do that, honestly. It is presumptuous of some people to say that France, Russia, China, Germany, Britain ought to do what the Congress tells them to do,” said Kerry. “They have a right to have a vote. But we prevailed on them to delay the implementation of that vote out of respect of our Congress.” WTF?
Anti-Islamic State fighters are not qualified for battle, according to Iraqi Sunni tribal commanders -training courses are short, simple and not sufficient to cope with Daesh [IS] and its vicious tactics,” Sheikh Rafiea Abdulkareem al-Fahdawi, the commander of Albu Fahad anti-IS Sunni tribal battalion More than 1,200 troops and 1,500 advisers from 11 nations have been training 21,500 Iraqi fighters and tribesmen in three six-week training courses that began in August 2014, a Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve’s
To liberate the areas controlled by Daesh, we need special training to deal with booby-trapped houses, earning sniping and monitoring skills,” Fahdawi said and added, “we need real and intense training.
senior military officer in Kashmir valley on Wednesday warned that the waving of ISIS flags in Kashmir was a matter of grave concern and the security establishment needed to take note of it at the highest level. The warning came a day after J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah dismissed the incident as “an act of some idiots”. (SAME RESPONSE AS MAYOR PORKER)
A protester waved an ISIS flag last week after Eid prayers in Srinagar, in the second such incident in recent times. In July too, a similar incident had occurred in the valley.
ISIS’s reclusive leader has empowered his inner circle of deputies as well as regional commanders in Syria and Iraq with wide-ranging authority, a plan to ensure that if he or other top figures are killed, the organization will quickly adapt and continue fighting, American and Iraqi intelligence officials say.
The officials say the leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delegates authority to his cabinet, or shura council, which includes ministers of war, finance, religious affairs and others. Leadership comes from two pools: veterans of Al Qaeda in Iraq who survived the insurgency against American forces with battle-tested militant skills, and former Baathist officers under Saddam Hussein with expertise in organization, intelligence and internal security. It is the merger of these two skill sets that has made the organization such a potent force, the officials say. Baghdadi is to a certain extent a religious figurehead designed to grant an aura of religious legitimacy and respectability to the group’s operations, while the real power brokers are a core of former military and intelligence officials,” said Matthew Henman, managing editor of IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center
execution designed to humiliate the local ISIS leader. And it seemed to be ripped right out of the screenplay for ‘Game of Thrones. In a scene of medieval brutality, a jihadi group fighting to control a strategically important Libyan port captured ISIS’s local commander there, paraded him through the streets amid the taunts of onlookers, and then walked him to a gallows, where he was hanged. The murdered ISIS chief is believed to be an Iraqi named Abu-Ali al-Anbari, who was reportedly hanged in Derna in mid-June. He may have been one of a number of veteran fighters who terrorism analysts said have traveled in recent months from the battlefields of Iraq and Syria to help ISIS. Killing al-Anbari in such a visible way would also send a potent message to ISIS top leaders. Best way to take’em out, let them kill each other but it will take way too long.
not what the brochure said it would be
For the men and boys who reach IS-controlled territory, they are recruited and trained to become jihadi fighters and sometimes to carry out suicide bombings. For women joining IS, Western freedoms are immediately withdrawn. Beheadings, amputations and flogging are common punishments and many live in fear of falling foul of IS’s extreme (some say “perverted”) interpretation of Islamic law.
Highly publicised atrocities and acts of destruction are deliberately staged to demonstrate the group’s ruthlessness and instill fear.
isis still concentrated n of Baghdad and close to it.
ISIS ppears to have manufactured rudimentary chemical warfare shells and attacked Kurdish positions in Iraq and Syria with them as many as three times in recent weeks, according to field investigators, Kurdish officials and a Western ordnance disposal technician who examined the incidents and recovered one of the shells.
The development, which the investigators said involved toxic industrial or agricultural chemicals repurposed as weapons, signaled a potential escalation of the group’s capabilities, though it was not entirely without precedent.
JIHAD IN US (and Europe)
gunman who killed five American troops in a Chattanooga shooting spree last week did online research for militant Islamist “guidance” on committing violence that he may have believed would wipe away in the afterlife his sins on earth including drug and alcohol abuse, an arrest and a lost job, officials said on Monday. Reuters news agency reported on Monday that some officials said Abdulazeez had been inspired by “general propaganda” by jihadists and not specifically by ISIS, al Qaeda or other militant groups Three months before the shooting, Abdulazeez was arrested on April 20 — a day celebrated annually by marijuana users — and charged with drunk driving. The arresting officer noted a smell of marijuana in the car. A seven-month trip to Jordan last year was an effort to “get him away from bad influences in the U.S.,” not part of a path to radicalization, the family told agents.
Intelligence and counter-terrorist experts point out that these acts of terror were the price that US army and intelligence agencies paid for relying on Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate (Dairat al-Mukhabarat al-Amman) as a source of penetration agents for fighting Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other radical Islamist organizations. US investigators reported Saturday that Abdulazeez had visited Jordan four times in the last 10 years, and during one of those visits traveled to Yemen. There is no chance that the killer – a naturalized American citizen whose real name may be Mohammed Youssuf Said – could have traveled to Yemen on a Jordanian passport “under the radar” of Jordanian intelligence, which may also have succeeded in recruiting him. And there is no way that Jordan’s GID would not have tipped off US intelligence and counter-terrorist authorities.
Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. Raymond Odierno told reporters that arming troops in those offices could cause more problems than it might solve. I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I’m not talking about where you end up attacking each other.” Instead, he said, it’s more about “accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries
Lebanese terror group continues to operate in Europe despite warnings from the EU. Recent Hezbollah plots were exposed as far afield as Peru and Thailand, but the latest plot was thwarted in Cyprus, where Hussein Bassam Abdallah, a dual Lebanese-Canadian citizen, stockpiled 8.2 tons of ammonium nitrate, a popular chemical explosive. New evidence reveals that Hezbollah’s military wing is still plotting attacks across Europe. EU banned part of Hezbollah and warned it to cease activities in Europe, and Hezbollah promptly called Brussels’ bluff.
ISIS Thursday sank an Egyptian Navy cruise and transport vessel off the Sinai shore of Rafah after setting in on fire. The Islamists said they used missiles, while the Egyptian army said the ship came under heavy fire from the shore. The vessel, able to carry 70 men and crew as well as freight, was used to transport police officers, soldiers and military supplies to the Egyptian forces fighting terrorists in northern Sinai. Witnesses report the ship must have carried ordnance because it exploded quickly and no survivors were seen in the water.
Iran and Hizballah have launched a three-part operation to destabilize the regime on Jordan as counteraction for the kingdom’s role as the principle base for the training of Syrian rebels by American CIA instructors. Jordan also hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees. Part I: Planting Iranian Al Qods Brigades agents for terror missions. Part II: Al Qods and Hizballah are recruiting Jordanian Palestinians and Muslim Brotherhood adherents for rowdy anti-government demonstrations against the kingdom. Part III: Syria’s contribution is to intensify the military pressure on its border with Jordan.
Abdel Karim Rubash, Deputy Commander of the elite Al Qods Brigades and, is the most senior Iranian general to fall in battle in the more than four years of the Syrian war. he who came up with the plan to bring Hizballah fighters over from Lebanon to strengthen the Syrian military effort against the insurgency. He was also responsible for organizing the movement of Iranian-supplied arms to Hizballah via Syria. Those convoys were bombed by the Israeli air force several times.
Gen. Rubash was the third Iranian general to die on the Syrian battlefield this year. A combined force of Syrian troops plus pro-Iranian Shiite militias imported for the campaign is closing in on the town. It has come within 6 km of Palmyra and is forcing the jihadis to fall back. Its success in recovering Palmyra, if accomplished, would represent the biggest Syrian-Iranian triumph in the war on ISIS.
A huge development since Turkey was an isis enabler. Preliminary evidence suggests an Islamic State suicide attack caused the blast that ripped through the Turkish border town of Suruc on Monday and killed at least 20 people
Hamas desperately trying to resupply its rocket building efforts. During Ramadan, despite the hunger, heat and financial hardship, the hundreds of workers digging tunnels under the Israeli border, inside the Gaza Strip and on the Egyptian border, kept on with their labor. That they worked at a slower pace was not because of the fast. Hundreds of Palestinians, members of Hamas, continued building the network, including new attack tunnels to reach Israel in the next war and smuggling tunnels to Sinai. The problem they have encountered over the past few weeks, causing a slowdown in the pace of digging, is a severe shortage of some of the materials critically important for the tunnel industry
Multiple intercepts of components from fuel to electrodes
Russian military satellite launched in March has made at least 11 close approaches to the rocket upper stage that released it into orbit, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Air Force.
Such maneuvering capability is consistent with, but not necessarily indicative of, an on-orbit anti-satellite weapon.
Controversy over that one sentence in amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution aimed at devolving some power to the regions is the latest step in the delicate, duplicitous, and dangerous dance between Ukraine and Russia in the twilight of the Donbas war.The sentence – particulars of local government in certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are to be determined by a special law
If Kiev were bold, it would countenance giving the occupied territories the independence that its separatist leaders say they want or have,” Motyl wrote recently.
“Think about it. If Kiev took the initiative, it could, in one fell swoop, establish clarity in its east. If the enclave were independent, all talk of ‘civil war,’ autonomy, and ‘economic blockades’ would cease, and the only issue would be the Russian war against Ukraine proper.” Best worst option for Kyiv would be to “freeze the conflict and let the enclave drift away.” Which, by kicking the can down the road a bit, might be exactly what Poroshenko is doing.
Kiev has pulled up to the front line a group of 70,000 soldiers, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko said on Saturday.
“As of now, over 70,000 Ukrainian military are along the line of engagement, and every day the number is growing,” he said. Since Kiev is not ready for any steps to demilitarise Donbass, the expanding of the military presence cannot at all prove Kiev’s aspirations for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Ukraine’s subversive hacker group CyberBerkut has published documents allegedly exposing dreadful situation with the Kiev’s troops attacking rebel forces in the East: war crimes, tremendous loss of lives and wholesale desertion of entrapped troops. The anti-government activists claim they have hacked personal computer of Ukraine’s Judge Advocate General and copied a number of classified documents. These documents are allegedly exposing some dark secrets of Kiev’s authorities regarding the real state of things in the zone of the so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation’ in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions of the country. Hacked documents claim at least 1,100 servicemen of the Ukrainian army have lost their lives over the period of the last two weeks. Many dozens Ukrainian soldiers gave up to rebel forces. Ukrainian army has lost over 100 tanks and the armored vehicles.
Saudi Arabia will launch a military offensive to gain momentum in Yemen and Syria before a nuclear deal leads to an economic recovery in Iran, which would enable Tehran to channel funds to its proxy forces in the region. Lifting sanctions over the next year could potentially leave Iran flush with more than $100 billion in unfrozen funds and new revenues – resources the Saudis say Tehran will use to expand its proxy wars. “An Iran without sanctions will pump billions of dollars to its proxies, which are destabilizing Yemen, Syria, and Iraq,” said Jasser al Jasser, managing editor of the pro-government Al Jazeerah daily. “Saudi Arabia will not allow Iran to take advantage of this deal.”
Prince Bandar bin Sultan told Lebanon’s Daily Star the deal would allow Iran to acquire a nuclear bomb and would “wreak havoc in the region.” Covered in The Times of London, the prince also told Daily Star, “Saudi Arabia and the Gulf powers are prepared to take military action without American support after the Iran nuclear deal” Prince also said that regional powers have lost faith in America: “People in my region now are relying on God’s will, and consolidating their local capabilities and analysis with everybody else except our oldest and most powerful ally”
Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two leading players in the Sunni/Shia divide and are competing for leadership of the Muslim world. The Sunni Islam Saudi Arabian monarchy fears that the Shia Islam Iranians will employ terrorists in an attempt topple the monarchy and the ruling House of Saud.
Saudi Arabia arrested 431 people as part of a crackdown on a cluster of cells linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group, the kingdom’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) said. Authorities also thwarted seven mosque attacks that had been planned by the suspects in the capital Riyadh as well as the Eastern Province, MOI Spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al Turki said in a press conference carried by Al Arabiya News Channel.
Among the arrested were Saudi nationals and suspects from nine other nationalities, he said adding that the cluster of cells was divided by tasks and target, he told reporters.
In one cell, made of five members, their task was to prep suicide bombers while another five-member cell had the mission to manufacture explosive belts.
Yemeni forces destroyed the Saudi army installation in the Jizan region, Yemeni TV channel al-Masirah reported on Sunday. Missile attacks were also launched on a Saudi base in the southwestern Najran region.
Houthi carried out a retaliatory missile attack on a military base in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border city of Najran.
Saudi Arabia has reportedly sent Special Forces into Yemen under the pretext of escorting some fugitive former Yemeni officials back into its war-torn southern neighbor, in another violation of Yemeni sovereignty. The forces, which numbered 50, accompanied the officials on their way from the Saudi capital, Riyadh, into the southwestern Yemeni province of Aden, the Bawabatii news website reported on Friday. The report said the forces, who have undergone special training over the past 48 hours, will continue to accompany the fugitive officials in Yemen.
Houthis losing (for now until Iran gets its $$) to sa backed al queda and other sunni elements.
Hadi (ex sunni pres hiding in SA) paid tribute to loyalist forces as they pushed an offensive against rebels in the country’s second city of Aden. Aden will be the key to Yemen’s salvation. From Aden we will regain (control) of all of Yemen,” said Hadi, praising the “resistance” of pro-government forces who are battling to oust the Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies from the southern city. –
SUBCON ASIA –INDIA AND WAKISTAN (typo intended)
Series of fierce clashes has erupted between Indian and Pakistani soldiers along the de facto border dividing the disputed region of Kashmir. Indian and Pakistani troops traded fire close to Poonch District in the Indian-administered region of Kashmir early Monday. Not far from where the ISIS flag sightings occurred. An unnamed Indian army spokesman accused Pakistani troops of opening fire on several posts along the Line of Control (LoC), which divides the Indian and Pakistani administered sides of Kashmir. In 2003, India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire along the LoC in Kashmir, and launched peace talks a year later. The process was, however, suspended after over 160 people lost their lives in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militants.
India told to broad minded about Chinese subs in Indian Ocean as India upgrades outposts.
United States and India should consider permanently expanding their annual naval exercise to include other like-minded partners as part of their joint cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, a U.S. defense official said earlier this week.
Exercise MALABAR, which initially began as a bilateral naval exercise between the United States and India back in 1992, has at times been expanded to include other partners as well. The 2007 iteration included Japan, Australia, and Singapore, while Tokyo also participated in 2009 and 2014. This year, Japan has been included but Australia has reportedly been left out
The future belongs to those who prepare for it today
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was apparently “high” with a small group of Afghan soldiers when they were picked up by nomads in 2009, according to a former CIA operative who was running a network of informants on the ground.
Several of the new infections with Duqu 2.0 took place in 2014 and 2015 in connection with the “P5+1” talks — the diplomatic negotiations underway since 2006 between Great Britain, the United States, China, France, Russia and Germany, aimed at reaching an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. Kaspersky says it apparently detected traces of Duqu 2.0 in three of the P5+1 meeting locations, which constantly changed.
Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab(who got hacked themselves) finds three hotels that hosted Iran talks were targeted by a virus believed used by Israeli spies Each was infiltrated by the virus before hosting high-stakes negotiations between Iran and world powers over curtailing Tehran’s nuclear program.
The spyware, the firm has now concluded, was an improved version of Duqu, a virus first identified by cybersecurity experts in 2011, according to a Kaspersky report and outside security experts. Current and former U.S. officials and many cybersecurity experts say they believe Duqu was designed to carry out Israel’s most sensitive
Even military and spooks
Here are five Chinese hacks that are worse than the breach at OPM based on a list of significant cyber incidents compiled by the Center for Strategic and International Studies:
1 February 2013. DHS says that between December 2011 and June 2012, cyber criminals targeted twenty-three gas pipeline companies and stole information that could be used for sabotage purposes. Forensic data suggests the probes originated in China.
2-March 2015. Canadian researchers say Chinese hackers attacked U.S. hosting site GitHub
October 2011. Networks of forty-eight companies in the chemical, defense, and other industries were penetrated for at least six months by a hacker looking for intellectual property. Some of the attacks are attributed to computers in Hebei, China.
4-January 2010. Google announced that a sophisticated attack had penetrated its networks, along with the networks of more than thirty other U.S. companies. The goal of the penetrations, which Google ascribed to China, was to collect technology, gain access to activist Gmail accounts and to Google’s Gaea password management system
5-February 2012. Media reports say that Chinese hackers stole classified information about the technologies onboard F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
Iran Steps Up Cyber Attacks Across the Globe Launching cyber attacks on Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and other nations
The second big crash every one forgets about including FED economists – increase rates , similar dynamics at the moment, stock drops 50% – FDR did not get us out of the recession
tighter money and reduced liquidity led to a sell-off in bonds, a rise in the short rate, and a sell-off in stocks. Following the second increase in reserves in March 1937, both the short-term rate and the bond yield spiked.
Fearful Greek savers pull money from banks and put it in cars
o protect his savings he bought a brand new Mercedes-Benz car, then took the advice of a financial consultant and invested the remainder in money market funds based in Luxembourg.
“I didn’t want to sit by and see my hard-earned money disappear in a bail-in,” he said, recalling a banking collapse in Cyprus in 2013, in which the government raised almost €8 billion by taxing bank deposits of more than €100,000 after imposing the eurozone’s first capital controls.
Many other Greeks appear to be taking similar precautions. Even as the economy has been sinking, new car registrations have soared this year as worried Greek depositors seek out alternative havens for their money. They rose 27.9 per cent in April on top of a 47.2 per cent increase in March.
Producing more millionaires faster . Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) is projected to overtake North America as the world’s richest region in 2016, with $57 trillion in private wealth. The region already overtook Europe to become the world’s second-wealthiest region this year with $47 trillion in private wealth.
Tsipras lashed out at Greece’s creditors on Tuesday, accusing them of trying to “humiliate” Greeks, as he defied a drumbeat of warnings that Europe is preparing for his country to leave the euro. Too much talk, not enough action. Greece is set to default on a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund on June 30 unless it receives fresh funds by then, possibly driving it toward the exit of the euro zone. Euro down, nyse down a bit
Outflows reached as much as 6 billion euros in May, Athens-based Kathimerini reported June 9, without saying where it got the information, Greek deposit outflows have accelerated before this weekend’s elections, two bankers familiar with the situation said, on concern the nation may move closer to abandoning the euro. Daily withdrawals have increased to the upper end of a 100 million-euro ($125 million) to 500 million-euro range this month, one banker said, asking not to be identified because the figures aren’t public. A second banker said the drawdown may have exceeded 700 million euros yesterday. An official for the Bank of Greece (TELL), the Athens-based central bank, declined to comment, according to Bloomberg report. Greek banks are under strain after individuals and companies withdrew about 72 billion euros since the nation triggered a region-wide sovereign-debt crisis in October 2009.
Before, Greece willing to have 2 pipelines – 1 Southern Gas Corridor, a project which, when complete, will allow the EU to tap into Caspian gas via a series of connecting pipelines running from Azerbaijan to Italy. The corridor is aimed at breaking Gazprom’s stranglehold in Europe.
2- Turkish stream – a “working meeting” between the Greek PM and Russian President Vladimir Putin is now scheduled for Friday in St. Petersburg: possibilities, including a multibillion euro advance on Greece’s Turkish Stream revenue and the arrangement of a loan from the BRICS bank. Note that this is a perfect time for Greece to explore the BRICS option. As we’ve noted on serveral occasions, Russia has invited Greece to join and reports indicate Athens could be eligible for a loan immediately and would be allowed to tender its paid in capital in installments to ease the financial burden of joining. Further, Russia will host this year’s BRICS summit in Ulfa on July 8-9 where the $100 billion bank will officially be launched along with a $100 billion currency reserve, meaning Greece could serve as a kind of pilot project for the new fund.
All of the above serve to underscore Angela Merkel’s insistence on going to extra mile to keep Greece in the euro even in the face of staunch opposition both from lawmakers and from the German finance ministry. In short, the Chancellor fears the geopolitical ramifications of a Grexit could, in the long run, prove more detrimental than the economic consequences, especially considering the situation in Ukraine.
European Union has been buttering up Turkmenistan, which has the fourth-largest known gas reserves, and Azerbaijan over the past year with the aim of shifting away from Russian gas. Problem is they think Greece will not run from Euro and Turkey will stay in Nato – double whammy.
Zimbabwe has offered a reminder of what really bad monetary policy can do. On June 11, its central bank said it would implement the government’s policy of eliminating the national currency by exchanging Zimbabwe dollars into U.S. dollars at a ratio of 35 quadrillion to one. Zimbabwe’s mirage-quadrillionaires are witnesses to its monetary disaster. Harare is the new Weimar. Just as Germany created money to pay for reparations after World War One, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe used newly created cash to spend well beyond the government’s means. The Zimbabwe example was frequently cited by opponents (LIKE ME) of central banks’ quantitative easing programmes after the 2008 financial crisis. Surely, they would say, this is the first step on the road to ruin.
Slovakia hospital is testing a man for the deadly MERS disease. All that mass migration from Libya to Yemen heading to Europe.
Xi Jinping’s total grip on power over China has brought down one of the most powerful men in the country’s modern history. Zhou Yongkang, 73, is the former head of China’s domestic spy organization. As of Thursday he has been sentenced to life in prison for accepting over $20 million in bribes for himself and his family, leaking confidential documents, and abusing power.
is china stopping the island building
China Dumps Record $120 Billion In US Treasurys In Two Month Via Belgium – most curious is that even with China liquidating such a massive amount of US paper into a very illiquid market, the yield on the 10Y did not blow out far more in the months of March or April. And the last question: who did China sell all this paper to – the FED?
5mm citizens to protect and billions of investment dollars at stake, China is rethinking its policy of keeping out of other countries’ affairs.
Chinese president’s state visit to Britain to usher in “golden era” for China-UK relations pay a state visit to Britain in October, which would become the most important event in China-UK relations this year and represent a milestone in bilateral ties. Wang also proposed that the two nations deepen global financial cooperation, jointly accelerate the internationalization of renminbi (RMB), join hands in establishing and governing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and step up coordination in global financial governance.
China this week carried out the fourth test of an ultra high-speed nuclear delivery vehicle that conducted what intelligence officials say were extreme maneuvers.
The test of the Wu-14 hypersonic strike vehicle was carried out Sunday, launched atop a ballistic missile fired from a test facility in western China.
It was the fourth successful test of the Wu-14 in the past 18 months and the frequency of tests is being viewed by U.S. intelligence analysts as an indicator of the high priority placed on developing the weapon by the Chinese.
In Push for Power, China Seeks Control Over Global Trade Chokepoints. Whoever controls the world’s shipping chokepoints controls the flow of oil and close to 90 percent of global trade. In its push to become a global naval power, the Chinese regime has sought power over nearly every one of these chokepoints through a string of new naval bases and a series of economic deals. -strait of Malacca, the Suez Canal, the Strait of Hormuz, the Panama Canal, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and the Turkish Straits.
Beijing has recently begun revealing its grand strategy for global power, move by careful move. Its two-step plan is designed to build a transcontinental infrastructure for the economic integration of the world island from within, while mobilizing military forces to surgically slice through Washington’s encircling containment. in a decade or two, should the need arise, China will be ready to surgically slice through Washington’s continental encirclement at a few strategic points without having to confront the full global might of the U.S. military, potentially rendering the vast American armada of carriers, cruisers, drones, fighters, and submarines redundant. If China succeeds in linking its rising industries to the vast natural resources of the Eurasian heartland the empire of the world would be in sight
Iran Backs Taliban With Cash and Arms
Shiite Tehran has quietly boosted ties with the Sunni militant group and is now recruiting and training its fighters. Resurgence of attacks in astan
Former US Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn said that Iran intends to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) with enough range to hit US soil as part of Tehran’s nuclear weapons program.
US diplomats are bracing for a tough road toward a final nuclear agreement with Iran and other world powers by the June 30 deadline, searching for compromise. The most challenging gap appears to be over Iran’s refusal to allow access – managed or otherwise – to its military sites, some of which are suspected of hosting its experimentation with nuclear weapons technology.
We don’t need training, we need weapons’ – the same type of weapons they had before that ISIS has now? However they do need land mine detection equipment.
President Barack Obama has said American forces being sent to a new operations center in the heart of the war against Islamic State will not engage in combat, but they will do almost everything but fight to support the beleaguered Iraqi forces. U.S. defense officials say the tasks of the troops going to Taqaddum air base will range from advising Iraqi commanders how to ensure soldiers have enough bullets to integrating air power into combat plans.
Navy plans to pull its aircraft carriers out of the Middle East temporarily this fall- one to two months after the USS Theodore Roosevelt and its strike group leaves the Middle East this fall. The USS Harry Truman and its escorts will take the Roosevelt’s place this winter
ISIL Starts Mass Killing of Captured Iraqi Soldiers in Mosul. ISIL had asked the soldiers to join the group and fight alongside the terrorists,” the sources said, claiming they were killed for their refusal to join the group. How very piratesque – and part or their mystique
ISIS has published a manual entitled “How to Survive in the West” which advises its followers to use the website of British advocacy agency Cage for tips regarding surveillance, raids and interrogations. manual includes tips for bomb making and committing fraud, and mentions the advocacy agency as a suggestion to turn to for legal aid, according to The Daily Mail.
State Department: We actually ‘do have a strategy’ against Islamic State, The ends are very clear, we’ve said this all along, the goal is to degrade and defeat [the Islamic State], to remove them as a threat in the region and frankly, around the world. The ways we are going to do that are through obviously airstrikes. We have to train and equip Iraqi Security forces; this is their fight on the ground. We have to stem the flow of foreign fighters, THE SAME ONE THAT HAS NOT BEEN WORKING
Yes Lebanon is now in play , Hezbollah will have to make a call. SIL is becoming prepared for staging a big operation in Tripoli on the first day of Ramadan against the Lebanese army; TOMORROW..ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence – I agree with this statement.
romance novel isis style –again the mystique women are drawn to join the IS due to perceptions that Sunni Islam is under attack, feelings of discrimination in the West, promise of adventure and empowerment. in order to be effective, counter-messaging, counseling and de-radicalization programs aimed at diminishing IS influence on these women should come directly from their family members and Muslim community leaders rather than Western governments. In other words – A REALITY CHECK
Men would pose as community workers and visit Sydney’s Bankstown Multicultural Youth Service (BMYS) to befriend and convert youths to the IS cause before facilitating their travel to the Middle East. You saw they had the black and white ISIS flag and writing yet they excused it by saying they were words from the Koran,
Foreign fighters are flocking to Iraq and Syria, as the militant group also recruits from areas under its control. Most recent estimate that I have is that ISIS is gaining about 1,000 foreign fighters a month.
Newly-surfaced video footage has corroborated widespread assertions that the Turkish government’s intelligence agency has been ensuring ISIL terrorists safe passage into Syria – mayb not for lonng
Kurdish fighters claimed Tuesday to have taken the strategic Syrian town of Tal Abyad from ISIS. town’s loss will probably cut off an important ISIS supply route. The strategic advance comes a day after the Kurdish YPG, or People’s Protection Units, captured the Syrian side of a Turkish border crossing at Akcakale.The town is close to the border with Turkey, about 310 miles (500 kilometers) northeast of Damascus, and lies on a main road to Raqqa, the city ISIS considers to be its capital. Kurdish fighters have already taken about 50 towns and villages from ISIS. This is huge, no major weapon resupply and ISIS is NOT INVINCIBLE.
China has just agreed on feasibility studies with Brazil and Peru for a 3,300-mile rail link connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Reuters reported recently, lanned railway would connect Brazil’s Atlantic coast and Peru’s Pacific coast and would “reduce the cost of shipping grain and minerals to Asia.” As of now, most of South America’s import to China has to pass through the Panama Canal, which has become very costly as prices have tripled over the last five years. But like the $50 billion canal a Chinese billionaire wants to build across Nicaragua or the 3 hectares of pristine Amazonian rainforest that Ecuador sold to China, all the promise for commerce comes at a price.
They helped bring in Chavez now…
Colombia’s Farc rebels have shot dead three police officers and cut off power to almost half a million people, the military has said. The twin attacks come despite continuing peace talks between the government and the left-wing group. The negotiations aim to end a more than 50-year long conflict that has left an estimated 220,000 people dead. Last month the Farc ended a unilateral ceasefire it called, ambushing and killing 11 soldiers.
Mexico deported 79 percent more people from Central America’s northern triangle in the first four months of 2015 than it did during the same period a year earlier, according to government statistics.
Recent Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York highlighted that back in 2010, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apparently ordered Israel’s defense establishment to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, or to prepare to do so- former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi of refusing Netanyahu’s orders during their respective tenures. were given an order to prepare the military for an imminent strike against Iran’s military installations and they refused
Morocco’s intelligence services on Thursday broke up an Islamic State-affiliated terrorist cell that planned a series of kidnappings and killings on Moroccan soil targeting tourists. Morocco is in play but not much in the news.
American-Russian deal that pressured President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to abandon his stockpile of chemical weapons two years ago was encouraged by an Israeli minister, according to a new memoir by a former Israeli ambassador to Washington.
1430 Tunnels in 18 months
Thousands flee Syria for Turkey, escaping aggression between rival military forces – UN refugee agency. Turkey had shut down border and ISIS actually corralled the refugees and herded them back. However, Turkey has now reopened the crossings after public outcry. latest data available, Turkey is host to 1,772,535 registered Syrian refugees – more than any other in the world – with about 259,000 living in 23 camps set up and managed by the Government.
Syria’s Druze minority have helped repel a rebel attack on an army base in the south, mobilizing to confront insurgents including al Qaeda’s Nusra Front who are trying to build on gains against President Bashar al-Assad. Druze in Israel have been lobbying for arms to be sent to Syria, a U.S. official has said. Lebanese Druze politicians aligned with the Syrian government have also called for the arming of their kin in Syria. But Walid Jumblatt, a Lebanese Druze leader who backs the uprising against Assad, has urged the Druze of Sweida to reconcile their differences with the Syrian opposition.
Turkish voters send a strong message. Turkey’s parliamentary election 6/8 was an electoral earthquake. The governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) saw its share of parliament drop dramatically: it won almost 50 percent of the votes in the 2011 general election and only 40.8 percent on Sunday. This election marks the end of current president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rise and the beginning of a more pluralistic chapter in Turkish politics. Read, for the moment no redux of the Ottoman empire
Problem is ISIS has a lot more like 7 x more it has captured from FSA factions. Lebanese and American officials gathered Wednesday to mark the delivery of more than 200 anti-tank missiles the United States says will help Lebanon’s army defend its borders against terrorists. The 200 US-made TOW-II missiles and launchers, valued more than $10 million, were delivered in late May as part of a joint US-Saudi effort to support Lebanon’s army
Russian President says God has blessed him with perfect judgment and he has a clean conscience. In a bizarre interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera to coincide with his private meeting at the Vatican with the Pope, Putin said he did not regret any decisions he had made in his life. “I will be quite frank with you. I cannot recollect anything of the kind,” he said when asked if he had any regrets.“By the grace of God, I have nothing to regret in my life.” Putin said God had “clearly” built his life “in a way that I won’t have anything to regret.”
B2 buzz Europe – not placed there because ..( op polar growl) The military denies that dispatching the Stealth B2s to England were in response to the Russian bombers. “These flights demonstrate the ability of U.S. bomber forces to provide a credible, flexible and always-ready capability to respond to a variety of potential threats and situations, both conventionally and strategically, when called upon to do so,” USSTRATCOM Public Affairs Current Operations Chief Lt. Col. Martin L. O’ Donnell.
Russian media is whipping up fear about a potential nuclear attack by the United States—and it’s all thanks to a prank video featuring confused people in San Diego. The video at the center of the nuclear fear-mongering features Americans allegedly signing a petition to annihilate Russia. Mark Dice, a conspiracy theorist and activist, produced the video. It shows him approaching passers-by in San Diego, asking them to support a plan by President Obama to nuke Russia in order to keep America the world’s leading superpower. Russians wondering how Californians can be so stupid and the stupidity validates their paranoia.
40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to its arsenal this year capable of “penetrating” any current missile defense systems.
We Build, They Build. We Stop, They Build.” Plenty of warning but no one at the mosque on pennsylvania cares
Putin rather sees threat in US missile defense system than weapons deployment in Europe. Russian president noted that if someone threatens Russia’s territory, it is to aim its weapons where the threat is coming from. So if the missile systems are for defense, why does Putin need to go offense?
Members of the Forza Italia party plan to come forth with the initiative that envisages the lifting of sanctions imposed on Russia by Italy, party leader Silvio Berlusconi
Putin, once critical of Stalin, now embraces Soviet dictator’s tactics. Putin’s embrace of Stalin’s power-play tactics is applauded by many Russians and other former Soviet citizens as the sort of decisive leadership they longed for while watching communism collapse around them. To the proponents of a reinvigorated Russia, reformist Mikhail Gorbachev and his successor, Boris Yeltsin, are seen as having submitted Russia to Western domination. A quirk of the Russian mind set –prediction is there will be no more credible elections as long as Putin chooses to stay in power- another parallel with Stalin’s lifetime sinecure as Soviet leader.
Not a single Russia-NATO cooperation program is functioning for the moment, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov told TASS on Tuesday. “None of the Russia-NATO programs that used to be at work are functioning at a working level,”
Moscow-based Steel Research Institute said previously that the Armata tank’s armour ensures protection against all modern tank shells, anti-tank guided missiles and grenade launchers with the calibre of 100 to 150 mm. “The armour of Armata ensures protection from all current and projected tank ammunition with 120-millimeter caliber,” an institute spokesman said.
However, it is unclear whether the May 30 incident between the RC-135 reconnaissance jet and a Russian Su-27 interceptor that flew too close was intentional or due to the pilot’s lack of flying experience –like 150’
Kingdom’s ambassador to London tells the Telegraph that ‘all options are on the table’ if talks fail to keep Iran in check. Since its creation 85 years ago, Saudi Arabia has acquired a reputation as a country that tries to avoid confrontation with its neighbours at all costs. During the long war between Iran and Iraq during the 1980s the Saudis desperately sought to preserve their neutrality, even if Riyadh’s sympathies lay with its fellow Sunni co-religionists in Iraq rather than the Shi’ite Muslim hardliners running Iran.
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has neither the charisma nor the sophisticated and integrated network bin Laden had in the Kingdom in 2002–06. Baghdadi’s plan, however, which he borrowed from the late chief of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is more clever, devilish, and dangerous: His goal is to ignite a sectarian civil war in Saudi Arabia by targeting the Shia community and provoking them to unleash their anger against the Saudi government. (Dozens of Saudi Shia have already started forming civil defense groups to better protect themselves against ISIS and other threats, an outcome that has made the Saudi authorities uneasy). Saudi king cannot rule effectively without the clerics, he does hold absolute power, as the country’s 1992 Basic Law of Government clearly stipulates. He also controls the country’s wealth and the armed forces and selects the leader of the country’s highest religious office—the grand mufti. With the political shake-up he recently orchestrated, there is no question that King Salman is the man in charge. Only way can only be achieved by further limiting the influence of uncompromising Wahhabi sheikhs, which the late king had tried to do.
Salman to be declared incompetent. He sees himself as the savior of the sunni – Iran will not stop.
Surge in beheadings is tied to assertion of power by new king – not to poverty, bureaucratic tinkering, or rule of law –now 100, still gunning for seat on human rights council.
Putin is determined to blow up the post-Cold War order in Europe and turn the former Soviet republics into Moscow’s vassals. The only way to stop him is to defeat him by means short of war with a nuclear-armed rogue state.
Putin win in Ukraine , will only be emboldened to act elsewhere Chatham House report recommends a series of steps to contain Putin, some of which are already in progress: turn Ukraine into a strong sovereign European state; get serious about backing Georgia and Moldova’s European aspirations; rearm and refocus NATO and boost the alliance’s credibility; systematically counter the Kremlin’s disinformation machine; and strip Russia of political leverage in energy markets.
Kiev’s decision to deploy S-300 air defense systems in the Odessa Region puts Russian aircraft, flying in and out of Transnistria, in danger of getting shot down. This, in turn, increases the chances of a military confrontation between Russia and the West, US global intelligence company Stratfor predicted.
F-22 to be stationed including more armor but nothing that will stop a bear charge
The most aggressive step by the Pentagon and NATO since the Cold War. Russia would have “no option” other than to strengthen its military forces on its Western border and possibly speed up the deployment of the short-range ballistic Iskander missile systems to Kaliningrad, a small piece of Russian territory detached from the rest of the country, and sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.
Today, Europe is not independent… The US is drawing us [the EU] into a crusade against Russia, which contradicts the interests of Europe,” said the former French Prime Minister Fillon while the chief economist at Bremer Landesbank adds that as a result of US policies “unmeasurable damage lies in an elevated geopolitical risk situation for the people in the EU. But not too long ago , they thought he was a global messiah
China Is Not Reclaiming Land in the South China Sea, Rather, China is slowly excising the maritime heart out of Southeast Asia.
The “status quo” in the South China Sea is a slippery concept that does little to advance a rules-based order. The od show doctrine should be no bar, beach or bikinis (or topless women) its not an island
Whether the H-6K strategic bomber, suspected to be in development, will replace all H-6 series bombers , H-6K will likely have a range of 2,500-3,000 kilometers, be able to travel at supersonic speeds and will have certain stealth capabilities to help it avoid detection beyond China’s borders. The bomber will likely be powered by a WS-18 engine and will carry CJ-20 cruise missiles.
China’s South China Sea plans will not ease tensions – U.S. State Department so why are we having training with them again? “China’s stated plans do not contribute to a reduction in tensions, support the emergence of diplomatic and peaceful solutions, or bolster China’s disputed maritime claims,” a State Department spokesperson said. China said earlier on Tuesday it will soon complete some of its land reclamation on the Spratly islands in the disputed South China Sea, indicating that Beijing is close to setting up new outposts in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia.
Vietnam is offering scores of patriotic citizens the holiday of a lifetime with a cruise to some of Asia’s most hotly contested islands, In a special $800 promotion offer, 180 Vietnamese will get to see parts of the disputed Spratly archipelago later this month and take part in night fishing, visit a lighthouse and enjoy local seafood. High-rollers will have VIP hotel rooms and can fly in on their private helicopters, according to the Ho Chi Minh City government’s website. See 300 species of coral creating wonderful reefs in sparkling colors, in ravishing, fantastic beauty,” it said. “Watch the sunrise over the ocean, and say goodbye to the sunset in the evening amid the immense sky and sea.”
China’s foreign ministry criticized the Philippine’s invitation to journalists to visit an island in the South China Sea, saying their attempt at occupation is futile.
China’s sole aircraft carrier conducted exercises on Friday, the navy said without specifying its location, amid escalating disputes over maritime territory with some of China’s Asian neighbors. The Liaoning, a Soviet-era ship bought from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted in China, has long been a symbol of China’s naval build-up. Successfully operating the 60,000-tonne Liaoning is the first step in what state media and some military experts believe will be the deployment of domestically built carriers by 2020
Aircraft of the Chinese naval forces joined a fleet to take part in a military drill in the western Pacific Ocean east of the Bashi Channel on Wednesday, a military spokesperson of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy told media.The ships and the aircraft carried out numerous exercises that imitated real combat conditions in waters east of the Bashi Channel, south of Taiwan, according to Chinese navy spokesperson Liang Yang.
US and China have signed a rare agreement to strengthen ties and develop a more productive military relationship. However, mistrust still remains, with Beijing saying progress can only be made if Washington respects China’s South China Sea ambitions. We have tried this and all China does it take the intel and upgrade and continue on with its plan – from their mindset – we are weak. This stops nothing for china
Still going on for decades , South Sudan: amid ‘intensifying’ crisis, UN and European Union mobilize $275 million in aid. More than 2 million people have been internally displaced and are vulnerable to attack, gender-based violence and forced recruitment to armed groups. An estimated 4.6 million people are facing severe food insecurity and the start of the rainy season is increasing people’s risk of water-borne diseases and malaria. ave more new South Sudanese refugees than when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed after decades of civil war,”
One good thing about yemen, deputy leader of al Qaeda, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, has been killed in a U.S. bombing in Yemen, the group and the White House said on Tuesday, removing the director of a string of attacks against the West and a man once seen as a successor to leader Ayman al-Zawahri. A close associate of Osama bin Laden in the years leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, Wuhayshi, a Yemeni in his late 30s, was named by Zawahri as al Qaeda’s effective number two in 2013. A $10 million price on his head offered by U.S. authorities
Saudi-led warplanes hit ‘jewel’ of Islamic culture in Sanaa-Saudi denies bombing neighborhood which has thousands of 11th century homes, killing five residents.
Stay Informed, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!