BERLIN/DAMASCUS/MOSCOW (Own report) – The director of the Catholic relief organization, Caritas-Lebanon, has voiced strong criticism of the West’s policy on Syria. The West, together with its Middle Eastern allies, should finally stop equipping Syrian insurgents with military hardware, Paul Karam, Director of the Caritas-Lebanon declared. It must also stop the constant flow of citizens from European countries coming to join the Salafist terrorist militias in Syria – at the expense of the tormented civilian population. Dmitri Trenin, the foreign policy expert of the Moscow Carnegie Center, explains why the West continues to try to overthrow the Assad government, in spite of a growing demand to put an end to the reign of terror of the “Islamic State.” According to Trenin, in the course of the Syrian War, Russia succeeded in inflicting serious political setbacks on the West. The West, for its part, is doing its utmost in the Syrian War to crush Russia’s influence in the Middle East. In Germany, the call for western military intervention in Syria is again being voiced. Continue reading
China has taken another step towards challenging US supremacy in the space race after successfully testing a “non-destructive” anti-satellite missile on July 23, reports the Chinese-language website of the Voice of Russia, the Russian government’s international radio broadcasting service.
According to China’s official Xinhua news agency, the country’s Ministry of National Defense announced a successful missile intercept test that “achieved the preset goal,” which sources from the US State Department confirmed with “high confidence” was an anti-satellite missile that aims to destroy targets through impact and does not cause an explosion. Continue reading
AS the outbreak of the deadly west African Ebola disease worsens, a doctor treating infected aptients has revealed many are refusing treatment over its links to witchcraft and sorcery.
Doctor Benjamin Black, 32, a volunteer with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Sierra Leone, told the UK Telegraph that some of those in infected areas were not seeking medical treatment as they thought the disease was the work of sorcerers.
“There is a section of population here who simply don’t believe Ebola is real, they think it is witchcraft and so they don’t come to the treatment centres,” he told the UK Telegraph.
The medical charity said the crisis gripping Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone could spread to other continents and warns there is no overarching strategy to handle the world’s worst-ever outbreak of the disease.
Amid rising fears that the deadly virus could spread to the US, there are already plans to subject even healthy Americans into forced quarantine in the event of an Ebola pandemic. Continue reading
Damning evidence has emerged of US President Barack Obama’s dismissal of Israel’s position in favor of supporting the position of Hamas and its allies during ceasefire talks.
A “senior US official” leaked an audio recording of a telephone conversation between Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Channel One. In it the 35-minute conversation, which took place on Sunday, the US President appears downright hostile at points, and even cuts off Netanyahu in the middle of his protestations over a one-sided truce proposal which would have seen Hamas receive all its key demands, but that Israel ultimately rejected.
The following is an excerpt of the conversation, published in Hebrew by Channel One:
Obama: I demand that Israel agrees to an immediate, unilateral ceasefire and halt all offensive activities – particularly airstrikes. Continue reading
Mexico City (AFP) – The leaders of China, Russia and Japan all descended on Latin America in recent weeks, jostling with the United States to increase their influence, invest and tap into resource-rich markets.
The latest arrival was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who on Monday was in Trinidad and Tobago, the second stop on a five-country tour that began on Friday in Mexico.
Abe’s visit began just as Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his tour, which included stops in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba. Xi signed more than 100 trade agreements on the trip.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was in the region for a week from July 11, stopping in Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua and Cuba. Continue reading
Early one morning in April last year, someone accessed an underground vault just south of San Jose, California, and cut through fiber-optic cables there. The incident blacked out phone, Internet and 911 service for thousands of people in Silicon Valley.
Such incidents, often caused by vandals, seem fairly common, but exactly how often do they occur? Since 2007, the U.S. telecom infrastructure has been targeted by more than a thousand malicious acts that resulted in severe outages, according to data obtained by IDG from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Freedom of Information Act.
The reports themselves are confidential for national security and commercial reasons, but aggregate data provided by the FCC shows there were 1,248 incidents resulting in major outages over the last seven years. Continue reading
U.S. Census Bureau foreign trade data show that exports rose 17 percent from March through May _ the most recent months for which the data is available _ compared with the previous three months, before sanctions were imposed. The value of exports has risen in each consecutive month this year, an unusual trend in a trade relationship that historically fluctuates on a monthly basis.
Russian markets account for less than 1 percent of U.S. exports, but what the U.S. sells to Russia is largely high-tech and expensive goods, including technology and equipment for the energy sector, which faces the threat of targeted sanctions.
Robert Kahn, a senior fellow in international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the rise in exports was evidence that Russian companies were stockpiling goods with the expectation that future sanctions would prevent U.S. companies from selling to their country. Continue reading
China-based hackers stole plans for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system in 2011 and 2012, according to an investigation by a Maryland-based cyber security firm first reported by independent journalist Brian Krebs.
The hackers also stole plans related to other missile interceptors, including the Arrow 3, which was designed by Boeing and other U.S.-based companies.
According to Krebs, “the attacks bore all of the hallmarks of the ‘Comment Crew,’ a prolific and state-sponsored hacking group associated with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and credited with stealing terabytes of data from defense contractors and U.S. corporations.” The hackers gained access to the systems of three Israeli companies working on missile defense. Maryland-based Cyber Engineering Services could prove that 700 documents were stolen in the breach although it’s likely that the actual number is higher. Continue reading
ASPEN, Colo.—China’s advanced cruise and ballistic missiles pose a significant threat in future conflict with the United States, the chief of naval operations (CNO) warned last week.
Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the CNO, also said during a security conference Friday that China is building a second aircraft carrier that could be deployed in the not too distant future.
Asked what Chinese weapons systems he is most concerned about if the United States went to war with China, Greenert noted Beijing’s growing arsenal of cruise and ballistic missiles.
“They have an extraordinary selection of cruise missiles, and a ballistic missile force that they developed,” Greenert told the Aspen Security Forum.
If the conflict were close to China, the missile forces would pose the most serious threat, he said.
“If it’s in their backyard, I’m a little worried about their ballistic missile [force] because of its reach,” Greenert said. Continue reading
The Obama administration has accused Russia of violating a 1987 nuclear missile treaty by testing a ground-launched cruise missile and says the U.S. is prepared for immediate high-level dialogue with Moscow over the matter.
An administration official told Fox News in a statement that the violation “is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now.” The New York Times first reported the accusation.
President Obama informed Russian President Vladimir Putin in a letter Monday of the U.S.’ determination that Russia broke the agreement. The official said the U.S. is prepared to engage in “senior-level bilateral dialogue immediately” with Russia with the goal of assuring Washington that Moscow will return to compliance with the treaty. Continue reading
Seoul (AFP) – A top-ranking North Korean military official has threatened a nuclear strike on the White House and Pentagon after accusing Washington of raising military tensions on the Korean peninsula.
The threat came from Hwang Pyong-So, director of the military’s General Political Bureau, during a speech to a large military rally in Pyongyang Sunday on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. Continue reading
SAN ANTONIO – Photos showing dozens of members of the militia groups on the U.S.-Mexico border carrying semi-automatic rifles and wearing masks, camouflage and tactical gear provide one of the first glimpses into the group’s activities on the border.
Members of the militia groups, who say they have 10 active “teams” along the state’s southern border, are seen at campsites, walking along the Rio Grande River, pointing rifles and pistols out of frame and flipping off the camera in the photos obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.
A spokesperson for the group provided the photos under the condition that members’ faces be blurred because of fear of being identified by “cartel and gang members.” Continue reading
BERLIN(Own report) – German businesses are demanding that the government intensify its support for tapping the “continent of opportunity, Africa” in competition with China and other BRICS countries. Parallel to the West’s waning global influence, German businesses are loosing ground on the African continent. This is why German enterprises are pushing for increasing Hermes trade credit insurances, double taxation treaties, and generally “stronger political support for the German industry in Africa.” A building industry federation is explicitly demanding that future allocations of development funds be tied to orders for German/European firms. The German government has indicated its readiness to implement these policies. The KfW Development Bank and other public-sector banks are already seeking ways to support the German industry’s expansion efforts by expanding credit transactions. Continue reading
In the end, they will side with Russia. Not only because of legal issues or political issues such as the Snowden ‘scandal’, but because they have historically leaned pro-Russian despite the last 70 years of strong relations with the United States. The current Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is heavily Russian influenced as she grew up in the Soviet controlled eastern portion of Germany and voluntarily participated in the DDR — and held leadership positions. She was groomed to be pro-Russian. Her predecessor, Gerhardt Schröder, strengthened business ties between nations during his tenure, plus he now works for Gazprom, a state-owned (KGB/FSB) Russian gas company — and knows exactly who and what entity he works for.
It doesn’t take a genius to see where this is going as leaves don’t fall far from the tree. The espionage ‘scandal’ is only an excuse — because it’s quite clear every nation spies on another, including allies — to do what Germany has long wanted to do: Kick NATO and the Western powers out and rule the European continent on its own.
NATO being shown the door is only one crisis away and a Russian invasion of Ukraine could prove that. NATO, the protectorate of Europe against Soviet aggression, is unprepared to fend off a Russian attack and will sit idly by while anger stirs against its intentional complacency. That would be the nail in the coffin for the West and a boost for Germany’s Fourth Reich to take the military lead, as it’s slowly pushing for now.
Germany is to scupper a free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada because the clauses giving legal protection to investors would give them too much power, according to a report in a leading Germany newspaper.
The Canada deal is considered a template for the United States-EU free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is still under negotiation. If Germany rejects the Canada agreement, then the American deal looks likely to fail, too.
A senior European Commission official in Brussels told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung: “The free trade treaty with Canada is a test for the agreement with the United States.” If the one with Canada is rejected, “then the one with the United States is also dead.” Continue reading
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu entangled himself Saturday and Sunday, July 26-27, in the net he had cast to blur the effect of the unanimous decision by the security-political cabinet of Friday to turn down the ceasefire proposals proposed by US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The two diplomats and their partners, a brace of European ministers and Qatar and Turkey, who met in Paris to concoct a peace framework for Gaza, were privately dubbed by wags in Jerusalem the “Save Hamas Squad.”
Netanyahu tried to present the flat cabinet “no” to the ceasefire as a “no, maybe.”
His purpose was to leave an opening for the US and UN to ginger up their pro-Hamas framework for ending hostilities in the Gaza Strip by incorporating elements that Israel’s security needs half way. If that was done, Israel, he indicated, would be amenable to joining lengthy ceasefire accords with Hamas, or even making unilateral halts in violence. Continue reading