An undersea gold rush could be coming soon with the rising cost of minerals and advancements in technology opening the seafloor to mining – environmental concerns not withstanding.
The United Nations International Seabed Authority (ISA) last week published a study on what frameworks would be necessary to ensure that mining is done responsibly. Commercial mining operations could begin as soon as 2016, but ISA acknowledged that there will be “inevitable environmental damage” and identified a “Catch-22″ where firms have not demonstrated appropriate competency and skills but must first start mining to gain them. Continue reading
It won’t be long before the essential raw minerals and commodities of the planet’s Far North such as rare earths, oil and gas get gobbled up by the industrialists.
On Wednesday, the Arctic Council granted China, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore new Observer States status. Essentially, the six nations gained rightful entry to listen in on meetings of the council, as well as propose and finance policies. Continue reading
The USA continues its suicidal downgrades while the rest of the world upgrades, giving the Russians and Chinese the upper hand and likely first-strike capability.
President Barack Obama is set to announce a new round of strategic nuclear warhead reductions in the near future as part of a disarmament agenda that could reduce U.S. strategic warheads to as few as 1,000 weapons.
The next round of U.S.-Russian arms talks would follow Obama’s expected announcement that the United States’ arsenal of strategic warheads can be reduced unilaterally to around 1,000 warheads. That position is expected as part of the Pentagon’s long-delayed Nuclear Posture Review implementation study that Obama was expected to sign earlier this year.
Recent press reports have indicated that President Obama may make the cuts — fully one-third of the nation’s arsenal — by executive action and without Congressional authorization. Continue reading
A report by the United Nations Development’s Program’s Global Commission on HIV and the Law, funded in part by a grant from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, has a peculiar prescription for combating AIDS. It calls on governments around the world to legalize prostitution, including child prostitution, and drug use.
World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs observed: “This is insane. The ‘reasoning,’ if it can even be called that, is that by criminalizing prostitution, governments promote the spread of AIDS. The report actually claims that women make a rational choice to sell their bodies, based on economic considerations, and should not be discouraged from doing so. It also claims that age-of-consent laws violate the right of children to be similarly degraded and abused.” Continue reading
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Libyan weapons are spreading at “an alarming rate” to new territory in west Africa and the eastern Mediterranean including Syria and the Gaza Strip where they are fueling conflicts and increasing the arsenals of armed groups and terrorists, a U.N. panel said.
In a report to the U.N. Security Council circulated Tuesday, the panel said cases of illicit transfers from Libya in violation of a U.N. arms embargo that have been proven and are still under investigation involve more than 12 countries and include heavy and light weapons such as portable air defense systems, explosives, mines, and small arms and ammunition. Continue reading
North Korea upped the ante in its vitriolic rhetoric today, threatening to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the US and other “aggressors,” just hours ahead of the United Nations Security Council’s expected vote to implement harsh new sanctions against the regime.
According to North Korea’s state news agency, a foreign ministry official warned that ”Now that the US is set to light a fuse for a nuclear war, (our) revolutionary armed forces… will exercise the right to a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors,” writes Agence France-Presse. The official also said that a second Korean war is “unavoidable.” Continue reading
It’s been said that chemical weapons being used by Syria is the ‘red line’ and there’s no question now that they have been used. The next issue is to find out who used them. Should it be Syria in this case, we know where that road leads as it has been discussed here for some time before the media picked up on the possibility of usage. Such is the scenario when Assad realizes his last grip on power is about to be lost.
Israeli security officials believe chemical agents were in fact used near Aleppo by rebels or Assad forces. Young girl: My chest closed up. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t breathe
Syria’s state television said rebels fired a rocket carrying chemical agents that killed 25 people and wounded dozens. The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict, said 16 soldiers were among the dead.
Israeli security officials believe chemical agents were used near Aleppo, but on a relatively small scale. However, the officials could not say who was behind the chemical attack – the rebels or Assad’s regime. Continue reading
Western diplomats say Iranian weapons continue to pour into Syria from Iraq and from new arms supply routes via Turkey, Lebanon in effort to throw isolated government a crucial lifeline, end battlefield stalemate.
UNITED NATIONS – Iran has significantly stepped up military support to Syrian President Bashar Assad in recent months, solidifying its position alongside Russia as the government’s lifeline in an increasingly sectarian civil war, Western diplomats said. Continue reading
Russia’s UN Ambasador Vitaly Churkin then spoke of “a very new and dangerous phenomenon” of armed groups operating in the Golan area of separation. “It’s something which potentially can undermine security between Syria and Israel,” said Churkin, who is acting Security Council president for March. He pointed out that the UN peacekeeping force is unarmed and unable to cope with this new situation. Israel and Syria are technically in a state of war.
debkafile’s military and intelligence sources note that the exchange of warnings between Israel and Russia touched two sensitive nerves:
1. It occurred the day before definitive talks open in Moscow between the Syrian government and opposition. The Russians fear Israel might embark on military action in response to the round of shells fired from the Syrian Golan Saturday, and force a delay in the talks. The last time this happened, in late January, Israel reacted with a cross-border attack on Syrian military installations.
2. Saturday, too, debkafile exposed the no-man’s lands unfolding along Syria’s borderlands with Israel and Jordan following the withdrawal of the bulk of Syrian forces from these areas. Moscow fears additionally that Israel’s armed forces will seize strategic points in the abandoned territory to clear out armed bands of the pro-al Qaeda Jabhat al Nusra, which are believed responsible for the latest round of shelling into the Israeli Golan.
Full article: Russia and Israel each warn trouble building up on Golan border (DEBKAfile)
The Exhausted Nation
In 1998, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called America the “indispensable nation.” But now, 15 years later, it is primarily an exhausted one, a global power in decline that has its gaze turned toward the domestic front rather than Afghanistan or the Middle East.
This should come as no surprise. Since the end of the Cold War, US soldiers have spent almost twice as many months at war than they had in previous decades. The country has pumped a phenomenal amount of money into its military. Indeed, in 2011, it spent more on defense than the next 19 military powers combined. And, of course, this only contributed to its record mountain of $16 trillion (€11.8 trillion) in public debt. Continue reading
Although he didn’t mention Damascus by name, the reference is difficult to ignore. Isaiah 17:1, anyone?
VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict on Monday urged the international community to end what he called the endless slaughter in Syria before the entire country became a “a field of ruins.“
He made the appeal in particularly strong terms during a yearly “state of the world” address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican.
He said Syria, where the United Nations estimates that 60,000 people have been killed, was “torn apart by endless slaughter and (is) the scene of dreadful suffering among its civilian population”. Continue reading
Both the German public and the general public have been victim of a masterful public relations campaign, aided and abetted by an Anglo-Saxon mass media terribly ignorant of true history, which has convinced the world at large of two great lies—that Germany is now a model, peaceful democratic nation, and that it is simply not capable of raising a powerful military force to be a threat, yet again, to world peace.
Yet German power can no longer be hidden. Even certain German politicians are beginning to express concerns at the scope of the nation’s weapons industry. Continue reading