Satellite launch center in Hainan mostly completed: report

China has largely completed construction of the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (WSLC) in the southern island province of Hainan, the nation’s fourth launch base and its first in a coastal area, which in the future will be able to launch missions for space stations, manned moon landings and Mars probes, People’s Daily Overseas Edition reports.

The WSLC, as the nation’s largest and most advanced launch site, will be able to launch the new, heavy Long March V rocket and other series under development, as well as launches for space station payloads and deep space exploration satellites. Continue reading

Swedish military releases photo of mysterious ‘foreign vessel’

Stockholm (AFP) – The Swedish military presented photographic evidence of a mysterious “foreign vessel” off the coast of Stockholm but rejected reports of being on the “hunt” for a damaged submarine.

Ever since the armed forces received a tip-off about a “man-made object” off the coast of Stockholm Friday, 200 men, several stealth ships, minesweepers and helicopters have been searching the sea around islands about 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of the Swedish capital.

“This is not ours, it’s a foreign vessel,” Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad told reporters, pointing to a grainy photo taken Sunday morning by a “source” — the third such sighting since Friday.

“He saw something that was on the surface and after he took the picture it disappeared again.” Continue reading

Is the oil crash a secret US war on Russia?

Lower oil prices, reflected in falling petrol prices at the pump, have been a boon for Western consumers. Are they also a potent US weapon against Russia and Iran?

That’s the conclusion drawn by New York Times columnist Thomas L Friedman, who says the US and Saudi Arabia, whether by accident or design, could be pumping Russia and Iran to brink of economic collapse.

Despite turmoil in many of the world’s oil-producing countries – Libya, Iraq, Nigeria and Syria – prices are hitting lows not seen in years, Friedman writes.

Rather than look at the causes, however, Friedman says to look at the result – budget shortfalls in Russia and Iran – and what it means.

Who benefits? He asks. The US wants its Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia to have more bite. Both the Saudis and the US are fighting a proxy war against Iran in Syria. Continue reading

Deadly Ukraine Crash: German Intelligence Claims Pro-Russian Separatists Downed MH17

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency says its review of the crash of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 in Ukrainian has concluded it was brought down by a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists near Donetsk.

After completing a detailed analysis, Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has concluded that pro-Russian rebels were responsible for the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 19 in eastern Ukraine while on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Continue reading

Media: Germany ‘working to build Ebola transport plane’

A German newspaper has reported that the government is developing a special aircraft designed to transport Ebola patients. At present, only the US has planes equipped for the task.

Citing government sources, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported that officials planned to develop several planes that were designed to safely carry such highly infectious patients. Continue reading

Russia Making Major Push Into Mideast Market

DUBAI — Following a decade of “near-absence” in the Middle East, Russia is once again asserting itself as it looks to sell arms to former Soviet-era clients while breaking into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market.

“Moscow’s policies again have become markedly more active,” said Dimitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. “During his presidency, Vladimir Putin made trips to the region and paid a visit to Tehran, the first one since Stalin’s wartime allied conference journey.

“However, Russia’s policies are not yet embedded within some overall strategy and are largely driven by a set of pragmatic considerations. Russia’s principal objectives are to advance its economic interests and to counter threats to Russia’s national security,” Trenin wrote in a paper for the Washington-based Century Foundation.

Yuri Baramin, a UAE-based Russian political and military analyst, said the Russian approach to the Middle East can be described as a “wait and see approach.”

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Everything Is Awesome!

The world is burning, but you wouldn’t know it judging by statements coming from the White House.

America has “rarely been stronger,” President Barack Obama said on May 28. He believes critics who challenge that assessment are either misreading history or are partisan ideologues. “Our economy remains the most dynamic on Earth, our businesses the most innovative,” he said. “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century past, and it will be true for the century to come” (emphasis added throughout).

Even as the world burns, this administration’s unrelenting response has been: Everything is awesome!

On July 14, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “I think that there have been a number of situations in which you’ve seen this administration intervene in a meaningful way that has substantially furthered American interests and substantially improved the tranquility of the global community.”

Not to be outdone, Secretary of State John Kerry said this about the administration on July 20: “The United States of America has never been more engaged in helping to lead in more places than we are now.” He said that with “every fundamental issue of conflict today, the United States is in the center leading and trying to find an effort to make peace where peace is very difficult.”

“I think the American people ought to be proud of what this president has done in terms of peaceful, diplomatic engagement,” Kerry said. “I think the president’s on the right track and I think we have the facts to prove it.”

That is an extraordinary assessment of America’s foreign policy. Actually, when you really do look at the facts—both of the disorder enveloping several hot spots around the world, and of how much America is contributing to these problems—then the fact that the secretary of state would view the situation with pride is downright scary. Continue reading

Sweden intensifies search for suspected submarine near Stockholm

More than 200 men, Swedish stealth ships, minesweepers and helicopters have been searching an area of the Baltic Sea about 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of the Swedish capital since Friday evening, following a tip-off from what the military called a “credible source”.

“I have decided to increase the number of units in the area — units with specialised sensors,” Commander Jonas Wikstroem told reporters at a press conference in Stockholm.

“We still judge that the information we received yesterday was very trustworthy,” he added, but declined to comment on what the military had discovered after more than 24 hours sweeping the sea around islands in Stockholm’s archipelago.

Swedish defence analysts cited by local media speculated that a foreign submarine may have been in the area to replace old spy equipment or to monitor a Swedish naval exercise. Continue reading

Russia to bolster military presence in former Soviet states

Air force chief announces plans for new air base in Belarus, as well as expansion of existing facilities in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The Moscow Times reports

The three nations are members of a loose Russia-dominated security alliance known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which has accelerated efforts to create a unified air defence network as the Ukraine crisis re-energises the West’s military powerhouse, Nato.

Even before the conflict in Ukraine, Russia under President Vladimir Putin had been making major efforts to re-establish its historical military presence in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Arctic and beyond. Negotiations with Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to establish bases for Russian strategic bombers are ongoing.

“By 2020… 47 airfields, including in Crimea in the Arctic, will be renovated under the state armaments programme,” Bondarev was quoted as saying by Interfax on Wednesday. By 2025, he added, the Russian air force will have restored and reopened over 100 military airbases.

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Preparing for War Against the US on All Fronts—A Net Assessment of Russia’s Defense and Foreign Policy Since the Start of 2014

In a series of recently published interviews, President Vladimir Putin (kremlin.ru, October 15), Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (Interfax, October 15) and national security council secretary Nikolai Patrushev (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, October 15) have outlined Moscow’s strategic vision of the world after the Ukrainian crisis, Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the Moscow-inspired proxy war in the southeastern Donbas region of Ukraine, and resulting punitive sanctions imposed by the West. The view from Moscow is uninviting—A new cold war with the West is in the making; Russia is under attack and will use all means at its disposal to resist, including the nuclear option. Putin accused Washington of deliberately provoking the Ukraine crisis by supporting extreme nationalists in Kyiv, which in turn ignited a civil war. “Now they [the United States] accuse us of causing this crisis,” exclaimed Putin, “It is madness to blackmail Russia; let them remember, a discord between major nuclear powers may undermine strategic stability” (kremlin.ru, October 15).

Under mounting Western pressure this year, Russian leaders have been repeatedly and unambiguously reminding the West of the ultimate weapon at Moscow’s disposal—nuclear mutual assured destruction. The Russian military is also rearming and conducting massive exercises, preparing for a possible global war. The consensus view in Moscow within the political, military and intelligence community is that relations with the United States are beyond repair and, quoting Medvedev, there is no possibility of any new US-Russian “reset.” Moscow has come to believe that there is no possibility of any genuine détente with Washington until 2020 at the earliest. Indeed, National Security Council Secretary Patrushev’s interview in the official government-published Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper has the title: “Second Cold War.” Patrushev openly describes the US as Russia’s eternal foe and accuses Washington of planning for many decades to fully isolate Moscow and deprive it of any influence in its former dominions in the post-Soviet space. Patrushev announced (which seems to be an officially held policy opinion) that the US is today fulfilling a strategic plan to marginalize and destroy Russia—a strategy that he says was initiated in the 1970s by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the then–United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. Continue reading

Vladimir Putin ups the ante with reminders Russia is a nuclear power

Soldiers march carrying flags displaying portraits of the Soviet state founder, Vladimir Lenin, at Red Square in Moscow in 2008.

 

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, was enjoying some friendly banter with his Russian counterpart when they stumbled on to a distinctly unfriendly subject: nuclear war.

It was a lunch break at an international summit, as Key related to me earlier this year: “So we’re having this joke exchange and one point I said to him: ‘How long would it take a missile to get out from Moscow to NZ?’ “

The Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, briefly consulted an aide, apparently without success, before turning back to the NZ leader. Key relates: “He said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll let you know before it happens’.”

And since that exchange, the humour has drained away. Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, has put his country’s 5000 nuclear warheads at the forefront. Three times in the past two months, he has raised the spectre of nuclear war as he confronts the West. Continue reading

Turkey could build ‘EU army’ if allowed membership

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reports that Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkύr said during a visit to Berlin that if Turkey becomes a member of the European Union, the EU would be able to establish an army of 60,000 soldiers.

Bozkύr said that the EU had always only been able to hold “soft power” due to the lack of a single European army, which Turkey could have helped form if it had been made a member before, daily Milliyet reported. Continue reading

Insiders Blame Rove for Covering Up Iraq’s Real WMD

There’s one man, some Republicans say, who kept the public from learning about the chemical shells littered around Iraq. He was Bush’s most important political adviser.

Starting in 2004, some members of the George W. Bush administration and Republican lawmakers began to find evidence of discarded chemical weapons in Iraq. But when the information was brought up with the White House, senior adviser Karl Rove told them to “let these sleeping dogs lie.”

The issue of Iraq’s WMD remnants was suddenly thrust back into the fore this week, with a blockbuster New York Times report accusing the Bush administration of covering up American troops’ chemically induced wounds.

To people familiar with the issue, both inside that administration and outside, the blame for the coverup falls on one particular set of shoulders: Rove’s.

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American Politics and Psychology

Perception of the truth about the real environment, especially an understanding of the human personality and its values, ceases to be a virtue during the so-called ‘happy’ times; thoughtful doubters are decried…. This, in turn, leads to an impoverishment of psychological knowledge, the capacity of differentiating the properties of human nature and personality, and the ability to mold minds creatively. The cult of power thus supplants those mental values so essential for maintaining law and order by peaceful means. A nation’s enrichment or involution regarding its psychological world view could be considered an indicator of whether its future will be good or bad. - Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology, p. 60

American politics is about the lies we tell ourselves, as a nation. Our politicians do not generally offer us a menu of solutions, but a menu of self-deceptions. They tell us how innovative we are, and how powerful we are, and how strong our union is. That we are dying, as a society, they do not tell us; for the family is dying, fatherhood is under attack, motherhood is under attack; and that coldest of all cold monsters, the state, is taking charge of everyone and everything. Hope and change, it is called. But everywhere, as the poem says, the “ceremony of innocence is drowned.”

In other essays I had suggested that conservatism has become the work of political undertakers whose job it is to make the corpse appear better than it did in life. Meanwhile, liberalism partakes of a neurotic venture – a void in search of a void, a weakness incapable of conviction or endurance yearning for order and authority precisely because it hasn’t any. It is this weakness which best characterizes our inner state, in political terms – as an emptiness of soul by way of a fabricated compassion for a suffering humanity. It is a fraud all around. And those who believe it are both perpetrators and victims. Continue reading

Obama defines US as “Muslim Country”

The condensed video clip can be found on the source link at the bottom of the article.

 

 

In an interview with French TV station, says number of Muslims residing in US justifies regarding it as a Muslim Country

A few days ago President Obama, in an interview he gave France’s Canal+ TV Channel, said that the American people need to be better educated about Islam, since US could and should be regarded as a Muslim country. He said that the number of Muslims residing in the US makes it “one of the biggest Muslim nations”.

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