Japan conducts first submarine drill in disputed South China Sea

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Japan has carried out its first submarine drill in the South China Sea, a newspaper said Monday, a move that could provoke Beijing which claims most of the disputed waters.

Submarine Kuroshio on Thursday joined three Japanese warships in waters just southwest of the China-controlled Scarborough Shoal, the Asahi Shimbun said. Continue reading

Europe’s Old Demons Return

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Caption: PEGIDA supporters gather in Dresden, Germany, on October 12. (ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)

 

 

The refugee crisis is precipitating a transformative identity crisis in Europe. 

You have probably seen footage of helpless refugees pouring into Europe. It can bring you to tears to see photos of drowned toddlers, pregnant women traversing dangerous terrain, and thousands of underdressed, malnourished children.

But there is another important angle to this crisis that hasn’t received nearly enough consideration. This is the impact the refugee crisis is having and will increasingly have on Europe. Not just the immense financial cost, or the potential infiltration by Islamist terrorists, or the inevitable erosion of European culture. These consequences are significant. But something more fundamental, and more alarming, is unfolding.

Europe is experiencing a transformative identity crisis.

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5 Chinese Weapons of War Japan Should Fear

Why Tokyo should be concerned over Beijing’s rising military might.

Over the last several years Sino-Japanese relations have reached low after new low—all thanks to claims and counterclaims over the Senkaku islands (China refers to them as the Diaoyu islands). The relationship between the two countries, which had been tepid at best—quickly cooled beginning in 2010 as both sides jockeyed for position over the disputed islands.

The challenge posed by the People’s Liberation Army has shaken a complacent Japanese government, which had left its national security establishment virtually unchanged since the 1980s. A national security council similar to that in the United States has been formed, secrecy laws have been passed and Japan’s defenses are shifting southward. Here are a five weapon systems that Tokyo should worry about as tensions with Beijing continue to simmer:

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Particularly Close to Germany

Do you still question who runs Europe? Guess who’s back.

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) – With Jean-Claude Juncker, Germany will have a politician as President of the EU Commission, who has always been a close ally. Juncker says that “since his earliest youth,” he has “always felt particularly close” to Germany, an affinity that “grew even stronger” in later years. The former prime minister of Luxemburg is seen as former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s protégé and as the “mediator” in Germany’s interests, wherein he had also won France over to accept Germany’s standpoint on an economic and monetary union. The transition from the Barroso cabinet to that of Juncker will be coordinated by the German national, Martin Selmayr, who had previously been employed as cabinet director of the EU Commissioner for Justice, Viviane Reding, (Luxemburg) and was considered to “actually be the Commissioner of Justice.” He is also considered to become cabinet director of Juncker’s office as President of the Commission. Germans are at decisive posts on the Council of Ministers as well as in the European Parliament, for example as parliamentary group whips, and the German national, Martin Schulz is being considered for the next presidency of the parliament. An influential German journal commented the concentration of Germans at the leadership level of the EU’s bureaucracy with “The EU speaks German.” Continue reading

The eurozone crisis is just getting started

The project to impose political union is bringing economic ruin, making the legitimacy of the EU project ever more vulnerable

On the face of it, they seem worlds apart. Switzerland’s referendum vote against the free movement of labour, the ruling by the German Constitutional Court on the European Central Bank’s (ECB) attempts to save the euro, and the warning to Scotland that it won’t be allowed to keep the pound if it votes for independence – these might seem unrelated, but in truth they are all part of an increasingly explosive stand-off between the forces of national sovereignty on the one hand, and political and economic integration on the other. Continue reading

Germany and France’s interest in Africa

Germany’s effort to making a show of military force in Africa are aimed not just at crisis resolution in conflict areas but also at promoting and marketing German weaponry. However, this effort is not independent from the French rivalry factor.

When Germany achieved reunification in the 1990s, it began trying to play a more active role in the international arena. Germany’s interest in Africa has grown in recent years, in line with the continent’s increasing geo-economic and geopolitical importance. Germany’s participation in the international peace force in Afghanistan and the gradual German intervention in the crises in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa were signals of the transformation of German foreign policy. In the same way, it may be said that with the changes that came with the Arab Spring, German moves to assume a larger role in North Africa have gained speed. On this point, answers need to be found for some basic questions such as “what are the repercussions of Germany’s interest in Africa”, “how are the transformations in the Arab world affecting Germany’s policies in Africa?”, and “what impact will this interest have on relations with other countries such as France?” Continue reading

Risk of 1937 relapse as Fed gives up fight against deflation

The US Federal Reserve has jumped the gun. It has mishandled its exit strategy from quantitative easing, triggering a global bond rout that it did not anticipate, and is struggling to control.

It has set off an emerging market shock and risks “blowback” from a fresh spasm of the eurozone debt crisis, and it is letting all this happen at the same time, before the US economy is safely out of the woods.

It has violated its own counter-deflation strategy, tightening monetary policy even though core PCE inflation has fallen to the lowest levels in living memory and below levels deemed dangerous enough in the past to warrant a blast of emergency stimulus. It is doing so even though the revival of bank lending has faded.

The entire pivot by the Federal Open Market Committee is mystifying, almost amateurish, and risks repeating the errors made by the Bank of Japan a decade ago, and perhaps repeating a mini-1937 when the Fed lost its nerve and tipped the US economy into a second leg of the Great Depression. “It’s all about tighter policy,” was the lonely lament by St Louis Fed chief James Bullard. Continue reading

Protest against Potsdam

Germany, brilliantly shaping up a plan for its European conquest by adding national pride and support, one propaganda piece at a time:

AUGSBURG/MUNICH (Own report) – In the run-up to this weekend’s annual “Sudeten German Convention,” the Bavarian regional government has announced the introduction of a memorial day in commemoration of German resettlement. Beginning 2014, the second Sunday in September will annually be dedicated to the commemoration of the German victims of “flight, expulsion and deportation” as a result of the Second World War. The designation of this memorial day is one of the German political establishment’s measures, to seek to embed the notion that the resettlement was “an injustice” in the mindset of future generations. Based on this – historically erroneous – opinion, Germany can raise advantageous political claims vis à vis Eastern and Southeastern European countries. Besides the creation of a memorial day, Bavaria is also supporting, with 20 million Euros, the establishment of a “Sudeten German Museum” in Munich. The German Bundestag has earmarked another 10 million Euros to the project. An exposition, which could serve as the centerpiece of the museum, put the legitimacy of the founding of Czechoslovakia into question, using controversial quotes from Nazi sources. The Bavarian prime minister will be honored, with a Sudeten German Homeland Association award at Sunday’s events for his support of the “expellees.” Continue reading

What happened to the European dream?

The European Union no longer exists, at least not as we know it. And the question is not what will be the form of the new Union, but rather why this Europe, which was the focus of so many of our dreams no longer exists. The answer is simple: today, all of the pillars that served to build and justify the existence of the European Union have collapsed.

Chief among these was the memory of the Second World War. A survey of German secondary school students in the 14-16 age bracket, which was published a little over a year ago, showed that a third of these young people did not know who Hitler was, and 40 per cent were convinced that human rights had been respected to an equal degree by every German government since 1933. This in no way implies that there is a nostalgia for fascism in Germany. No, it simply means that we now have to contend with a generation that has nothing to do with this history. Today the conviction that the EU continues to derive legitimacy from its roots in the war is in an illusion. Continue reading

China Preparing To Impose Bretton Woods II Gold Standard

With continued volatility in the gold and silver markets, today acclaimed money manager Stephen Leeb told King World News the Chinese accumulated a remarkable 1,500 tons of gold last year, and they are preparing to demand a second Bretton Woods type meeting.  This is a stunning interview because it lays out how the bulls will win the gold war, and how China will force that victory.  Here is what Leeb had to say in this exclusive interview, which is his most powerful ever:  “The flow of power and gold is going from West to East.  China may have accumulated a staggering 1,500 tons of gold last year alone.  China’s growth is now picking up steam as well.  What is really stunning is how much the yuan has increased in terms of international transactions.” Continue reading

‘Tsunami bomb’ tested off New Zealand coast

The tests were carried out in waters around New Caledonia and Auckland during the Second World War and showed that the weapon was feasible and a series of 10 large offshore blasts could potentially create a 33-foot tsunami capable of inundating a small city. Continue reading