Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Iran Closing In On Israel - Deal With Syria Could See New Military Base, N Korea Puts Army In 'Combat Mode', Fillon Formally Charged

Iran Closing In On Israel - Deal With Syria Could See New Military Base

Iran is on the verge of reaching a deal with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad to build a military base at the port of Latakia on the Mediterranean coast, an Israeli diplomatic official told the Hebrew news site Walla on Friday.

According to the report, this would be Assad's way of paying Iran back for the extensive military and financial support it has provided to the Assad regime since the outbreak of the ongoing war in Syria six years ago.

The Jewish state, the report said, views the establishment of an Iranian military presence on the Mediterranean Sea as an "extreme step" that would "foster instability in the region and promote terrorism against Israel." 

Among other things, according to Walla, it would bolster Iran-backed Hezbollah and increase the threat to the Israeli home front. Latakia is located less than 200 miles up the coast from Israel's northern port of Haifa.

After his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, "I made it clear that regarding Syria, while Israel is not opposed that there should be an agreement there, we strongly oppose the possibility that Iran and its proxies will be left with a military presence in Syria under such an agreement. 

Latakia, Syria is located less than 200 miles up the coast from Israel's northern port of Haifa and may become Iran's newest military base.

It's been at least 24 hours since any further sabers were rattled between China, US, South Korea, and North Korea (oh and Japan), but it according to DailyNK.comKim Jong Un has ordered the entire North Korean army into "combat mode" to tighten security and consolidate sentiment in response to military drills conducted by South Korea and the US, which began in early March.

A source in South Pyongan Province told Daily NK that following the order from Kim Jong Un, every last soldier-- even if away on business, on leave, off-base for training, or even those with a recent death in the family--were ordered back to their units. The authorities have ordered the military police in each region to summon all soldiers back to their bases.

"The 1st Corps was ordered to fully prepare for combat. In particular, they were instructed to move mechanized combat equipment to strategic areas, including artillery pieces and tanks that were housed underground,” he said.

"The Civilian Affairs Administrative Police Unit comprises soldiers located in the Panmunjom area and along the border with South Korea. With the new orders, they must stay in battle uniform at all times, and all cadres below the rank of the commander are prohibited from commuting from their homes. The atmosphere is very tense as the soldiers on watch-keeping duty are replaced by officers of higher ranks," a source in North Pyongan Province said.

"The authorities have told the troops to be ‘impervious to enemy provocation’ and the forward units are currently under a system of monitoring that requires immediate reporting. The Local Reserve Forces and the Worker-Peasant Red Guard (the largest civil defense force in North Korea) have been ordered to create fake base camps

For now, it seems North Korea, the chaotic South Korea, and Washington are unwilling to follow China's advice to ratchet down the rhetoric.

Having explored the various '-gates' that are hovering over French presidential candidate Francois Fillon this morning, it appears his vow to keep fighting may just be about to end. France's Canard Enchaine reports that Fillon has been formally charged today with misuse of public funds (over parliamentary jobs for his family).
Since announcing he would not be forced out, Fillon's support has risen but flatlined.

Canard Enchaine says on its official Twitter account that Fillon is charged and says the news will be reported in its Wednesday printed edition.

A fascinating exchange in which French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen informs a reporter that no one trusts the media highlights how incredibly disconnected from reality the establishment press really is.
The reporter tells Le Pen her advice that people “turn away from the traditional media, (and) go and find news on the Internet” is “dangerous”.
Le Pen looks bemused, asking, “why?”
The reporter responds by stating, “On the Internet, you can find conspiracy theories, all types of things, it’s not necessarily verified information.”
“Don’t you think that the traditional media have conspiracy theories?” replied Le Pen, adding, “I’ve read a ton of things about Russia intervening in the presidential campaign and other things like that – I mean there is at least as much fake news in the traditional media as on the Internet!”

The reporter then accuses her of ‘inciting’ people to “find information” on the Internet “about things that weren’t verified”.
“It could never be worse than what you guys are saying or what you write in the traditional newspapers,” responds Le Pen.
The reporter then accuses the National Front leader of acting like Trump in trying to undermine the media as a campaign tool.
“Madame, French people have no confidence in the media whatsoever, are you aware of that, or not?” asks Le Pen.
The exchange once again highlights how the mainstream media is completely out of touch with reality.

These people still think that they have absolute credibility when in reality trust in the establishment press is lower than at any time in recent history.
The latest polls show that Le Pen has pulled ahead of establishment candidate Emmanuel Macron with 26.5% of the vote compared with 25% for Macron.
The first round of the French presidential election takes place on April 23, with the second round to follow on May 7.
Le Pen is almost certain to pass the first stage, although she is widely expected to be defeated in the second round.
Then again, those making this forecast are the same people who got it spectacularly wrong on Brexit and Trump – and the same people who think the mainstream media is still trustworthy.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte clashed with his main rival anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders on Monday, as they laid out starkly opposing visions of their country's future in an election campaign now consumed by a diplomatic row with Turkey.
Two days before Wednesday's crucial general election, The Netherlands is mired in a war of words with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has provided fodder for Wilders and his uncompromising anti-immigration stance.
"You are being taken hostage by Erdogan. Close the Dutch borders," Wilders told Rutte, as tempers flared in the 30-minute head-to-head televised debate.
"That's a totally fake solution," Rutte shot back, "you want Nexit, you want The Netherlands out of Europe. You know what it will cost ... don't do it."
Wilders, who says he is on a mission against the "Islamisation" of the country, has promised to shut Dutch borders to Muslim immigrants, close mosques and ban sales of the Koran.
He also wants to follow the British and pull the country out of the European Union which it helped found.
The elections are being closely watched as a signal of the possible rise of far-right and populist parties in Europe, with key elections also planned this year in France and Germany.

After weeks of flirting at the top of the polls, Wilders has seen his ratings slip and may now come second with between 19 and 23 seats, polls suggest. But that would still leave him a difficult voice to ignore.
Rutte repeated his vow never to work with Wilders again, accusing him of causing problems for the country after the peroxide-haired MP triggered the collapse of an earlier coalition in 2012.
Telling Wilders he had become "radicalised" and was making "extreme statements" about Moroccan-Dutch citizens, Rutte insisted: "I will not cooperate with such a party. No, never, no."
But Wilders retorted that he was standing up against "the liars and the legislators" and urged Dutch voters "if you want to take the Netherlands back for ourselves, then chase this man away and put me in the prime minister's office."

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, of the centre-right Liberals, and anti-Islam anti-EU MP Geert Wilders clashed on Monday (13 March) over the EU in one of the few election debates featuring the pair of them, two days before polling day.
While Wilders said a Netherlands exit from the European Union would be “the best thing that could happen to us”, Rutte said a "Nexit" would cost 1.5 million jobs and create “chaos”.
PM Rutte repeated his message that there is still a “realistic chance” that Wilders' Party for Freedom will end up as the largest party on Wednesday.
“You want a Nexit, you want to take the Netherlands out of Europe,” Rutte told his opponent. “Don't do that. I hope you will not be able to form a government.”
Wilders said that after a Nexit, the Dutch would become the “master of our own country again”. 
He called Rutte's comments “scaremongering” and referred to a 2014 report that his party ordered, which said leaving the EU would lead to “a long-term benefit to the Dutch economy”.

The war of words between British prime minister Theresa May and Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon escalated further on Tuesday (14 March) following Scotland's call for an independence referendum before Brexit. 
In a speech to the House of Commons, May insisted that "the new relationship with the EU that we negotiate will work for the whole of the United Kingdom", suggesting that Scotland would have to exit the EU as well as the single market.
She said she has been listening to the Scottish government's proposals, but once again accused the Scottish government of playing politics and creating "uncertainty and division". 
She claimed that most people in Scotland do not want a second referendum and argued that "the most important single market for Scotland is the single market of the United Kingdom".
The ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) said in December that it was ready to choose independence from the UK to avoid the "devastating" consequences of leaving the single market. 
Sturgeon called on Monday for a second referendum in the autumn of 2018 or spring 2019, before Brexit negotiations end - in a move that caught Downing Street 10 off guard. 
May said on Tuesday that remaining a member of the single market would amount to staying in the EU, because then the UK would have to accept freedom of movement and the rule of the European Court of Justice.

No comments: