Japan wants a massive trade deal without the US — but these countries stand in its way

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next to a map of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership participating countries. [TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP / Getty Images]

 

  • Negotiators from the 11 remaining TPP countries are holding talks this week on how to ink a deal without Washington, but internal divisions are a key obstacle
  • Vietnam and Malaysia, in particular, are looking to re-open discussions on certain provisions, complicating Japan’s desire to cement an agreement

As the 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership countries continue talks without Washington this week, certain member states now need convincing to stay on board with the massive trade deal. Continue reading

They Want to Put Nano-Chips into Currency So they can track every note

 

Believe it or not, Australia has a Black Economy Taskforce that hunts down citizens in every possible way. They look at where they send their kids to school and then inquire at the school who pays the bills and how. They are using technology to hack people’s phones of anyone suspected of hiding money to get all their messages and emails as well as where they call overseas. Their own website says: Continue reading

China’s Latest Threat Is an Invisible Sub Built for “Research Purposes”

As noted in a previous article, China is ticking all the boxes on its path to war.

 

 

China has a new plan of attack in the South China Sea: espionage.

This morning, Beijing declared its new “invisible sub” primed and ready for its first official post-trial phase “research” mission. The sub is called the Jiaolong – named for a mythical sea creature – and its alleged purpose is to collect deep-sea samples of sediment, rock, and water for scientific research.

But the difficult-to-see, deep-water probe is now headed from the South China Sea to the East China Sea – a route that has raised some eyebrows among defense analysts and maritime law experts.

Here’s why they’re so skeptical about the Jiaolong’s deep-sea movements, with some even wondering if China’s true intent has less to do with scientific research and more to do with spying on its competition in nearby Pacific waters…

Continue reading

Pentagon report highlights Chinese submarine buildup

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier is seen during its launch ceremony in Dalian. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

 

The large-scale buildup of China’s naval forces is the most visible part of a major rearmament campaign that has been under way for more than a decade. But Chinese development of modern and increasingly quiet submarines poses one of the more serious strategic challenges for the United States and other nations concerned about Beijing’s growing hegemony in Asia.

The increasing size of the People’s Liberation Army Navy fleet of surface vessels captures most international attention, based on the sheer numbers and advanced weapons on an array of new warships. Continue reading

US Air Force Grounds F-35s at Arizona Base

An F-35A Lightning II on static display at Luke AFB, Arizona, in April 2016. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Christopher Boitz)

 

Base officials halted local flights after five pilots experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation.

The U.S. Air Force has grounded 55 of its F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Arizona’s Luke Air Force base following five incidents in which pilots experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation.

The pilots “reported physiological incidents while flying” but a backup oxygen system turned on, allowing them to land safely, Capt. Mark Graff, an Air Force spokesman at the Pentagon, said in an email Friday afternoon.

Continue reading

Sharia Down Under

A mosque minaret in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cole Bennetts/Getty Images)

 

  • Sharia law, the president at the time of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils ludicrously argued, far from discriminating against women, “guarantees women’s rights that are not recognised in mainstream Australian courts”.
  • The Australian Federal Police investigated 69 incidents of forced or under-age marriage in the 2015-16 financial year, up from 33 the previous year. While there are no official numbers, it is estimated that there are 83,000 women and girls in Australia who may have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM).
  • The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which has spent the past four years probing numerous religious organizations, has made no inquiries into Islam. The commission has held 6,500 one-on-one private interview sessions with survivors or witnesses making allegations of child sexual abuse within institutions, but only three sessions in relation to Islamic institutions.

What legacy did Australia’s former Grand Mufti, Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali — named “Muslim Man of the Year” in 2005 and the country’s most senior, longest-serving (1988-2007) Muslim cleric — leave behind? Continue reading

Out of control U.S. intel leakers go from shaming President Trump to shaming U.S.

The New York Times released detailed crime scene information, and photographs from the terror attack carried out by Salman Abedi.

 

“Furious” UK investigators have stopped sharing intelligence gathered from the Manchester bombing with the United States after U.S. law enforcement sources leaked key details and photographs from the investigation to domestic journalists.

Just as angry was U.S. President Donald Trump. In a presidential statement issued while Trump was at NATO HQ, he called the Manchester leaks “deeply troubling,” vowed to “get to the bottom” of them and demanded a full investigation by U.S. agencies. Continue reading

World Leaders Gather in Beijing While the US Sinks into Irrelevancy

The United States is fractured and permanently scarred with very little diplomatic room to maneuver, and as the article states, doesn’t even know it. We’re looking at a new world shaping up within the next 10 years… a new world without the United States having a voice in its affairs. This is an unprecedented new chapter in world history that the old order doesn’t recover from. If you’re an American, get used to second or third-rate living standards and all the problems that come with it.

To add clarification: President Trump has a great chance in saving America from ruin, and let’s hope he will. Where he has almost zero chance is in saving it’s standing in the world. An alternative world structure has already been built and members are being filtered in. The ‘on button’ is waiting to be pushed. All that needs to happen is an event, such as global economic collapse, that sets America back and simultaneously provides the new world structure a window of opportunity to spring into first place.

 

World Leaders Gather in Beijing While the US Sinks into Irrelevancy

 

While vaudevillian comedy-like shouting matches broke out in the West Wing of the White House between President Donald Trump and his senior advisers and between the White House press secretary and various presidential aides, world leaders gathered in Beijing to discuss the creation of modern-day land and maritime «silk roads» to improve the economic conditions of nations around the world. Nothing more could have illustrated the massive divide between the concerns of many of the nations of the world and those of the United States, which is rapidly descending into second-rate power status, along with its NATO allies Britain, France, and Germany. Continue reading

South Africans trapped ‘like frogs in boiling water’ as racial violence escalates

Protesters from Ennerdale, a suburb in the south of Johannesburg, burn tyres and barricade streets around the suburb during a violent protest over a lack of service delivery in the area on May 9, 2017. Picture: Tadeu Andre/AFP

 

HELESTI Daye-Fourie never leaves her house after dark. The risk of being carjacked and shot standing in her own driveway is too high.

Every day after picking up her eight-year-old son from school, the Johannesburg mum-of-two takes a different route home, eyes on the rear-view mirror. Her 20-month-old toddler sits in his car seat behind her, where he can easily be grabbed at a moment’s notice.

That’s because Ms Day-Fourie doesn’t want her son, in the event of an attack, to be trapped by his seatbelt, dragged along outside of the car and killed — as happened to a four-year-old boy whose parents and sister were forced out of their car by three armed men in nearby Boksburg, just 30 minutes away.

In Centurion, an hour’s drive away, a two-year-old was shot in the head during an attempted carjacking earlier this year. Continue reading

Trump’s stealth North Korea move sidelines China, could be game-changer

President Donald Trump and China’s Xi JInping in Florida.

 

Just how the shape of the new global strategic architecture will settle out as the framework for the 21st Century is still open to challenge, but the key dynamic — the initial door to that new world — is now being opened by a deliberately-orchestrated U.S.-North Korea confrontation.

What is emerging beyond this door is an overarching strategic alternative to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) démarche of “One Belt, One Road” dominance of the Eurasian and Indo-Pacific geopolitical space, and an alternative, or balance, to the PRC’s reach into Africa and the Americas.

The confrontation between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-Un is very much just between those two leaders, with the People’s Republic of China somewhat marginalized. Beijing is now fighting to find a path into this equation. Continue reading

‘Zero recovery’ for Great Barrier Reef corals in back-to-back bleaching

An aerial view of bleaching in the Cairns-Townsville region of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef AFP/Ed ROBERTS

 

Researchers said last month they were detecting another round of mass bleaching this year after a severe event in 2016, and their fears were confirmed after aerial surveys of the entire 2,300km long bio-diverse reef.

Last year, the northern areas of the World Heritage-listed reef were hardest hit, with the middle-third now experiencing the worst effects.

“Bleached corals are not necessarily dead corals, but in the severe central region we anticipate high levels of coral loss,” said James Kerry, a marine biologist at James Cook University. Continue reading

Australian arrested over Islamic State missile-design plot

Forensic experts collect evidence from a house in the Guildford area of Sydney as part of Australia’s largest ever counter-terrorism raid on September 18, 2014. (AFP/Saeed Khan)

 

Suspect was allegedly working to provide jihadists with long-range guided missile capabilities

The 42-year-old electrician was working alone and there was no domestic-related terror threat, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said. Continue reading

WW3 FEARS: Beijing to send extra aircraft carrier to South China Sea over Trump hostility

Aircraft carrier

Beijing already has one aircraft carrier stationed at the islands [Reuters]

 

BEIJING remains braced for a war with the US and its new President Donald Trump as it announced a second aircraft carrier is to be based in the South China Sea.

The chance of conflict has rapidly escalated, with security experts warning Mr Trump had no chance of taking the islands.

And China’s state media has already announced it will “step up preparedness for possible military conflict with US”. Continue reading

Obama’s unprecedented crusade to discredit his successor has strategic consequences

Poison pills and landmines that sabotage the incoming Trump administration left by the exiting Obama administration will continue until the very last second. Yet, there have been already many laid that will keep sprouting up for at least the next four years, depending on Trump having a second term.

President Barack Obama. / Pete Souza / White House

The outgoing U.S. Barack Obama Administration and its supporters embarked on a campaign to traduce and challenge the incoming Administration of President Donald J. Trump in the hope that it would find it difficult to govern effectively.

This may be unprecedented in U.S. history, and could, to the degree that it succeeds, have an impact on U.S. strategic capabilities, actions, and alliances going forward.

No departing U.S. president had gone to such lengths to use the pulpit of the Presidency to discredit an incoming President or presidential candidate as the lengths to which went Obama with Trump. The result was, even by January 2017 — before Mr. Trump was sworn into office — to deliberately inflict damage on the strategic credibility and influence of the United States of America going forward. Continue reading

US admiral announces F-22 deployment to Australia and warns of South China Sea confrontation

The United States will begin operating Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor multirole fighters from northern Australia in 2017, Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command, said in Sydney on 14 December. Continue reading