Friday, May 26, 2017

France: Macron, President Of The Elites





France: Macron, President of the Elites and Islamists



Emmanuel Macron -- whose victory in the French presidential election on May 7, 2017 was declared decisive -- was presented as a centrist, a newcomer in politics with strong ties to the business world, and a man who could bring a new impetus to a stagnant country.
The reality, however, is quite different.

His victory was actually not "decisive". Although he received a high percentage of the votes cast (66%), the number of voters who cast a blank ballot or decided to abstain was the highest everin a French presidential election.

Although his opponent, Marine Le Pen, tried to dissociate herself from the anti-Semitism of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, she was treated as a walking horror by almost all politicians and journalists during the entire campaign. That she nevertheless drew 34% of the votes was a sign of the depth of the anger and frustration that has been engulfing the French people. More than half of those who chose Macron were apparently voting against Marine Le Pen, rather than for Macron.

Macron, who won by default, suffers from a deep lack of legitimacy. He was elected because he was the last man standing, and because the moderate right's candidate, François Fillon, was sabotaged by a demolition operation carried out by the media and by a political use of justice. Significantly, the legal prosecution of Fillon stopped immediately after he was defeated.

Macron is not a centrist: he was discreetly supported throughout the campaign by most of the Socialist Party's leaders and by the outgoing Socialist President, François Hollande. The day after the election, during a V-E Day ceremony, Hollande could not hide his joy. A few days later, on May 14, when he handed the office of the president over to Macron, Hollande said that what was happening was not an "alternative" but a "continuity". All Macron's team-members were socialists or leftists. Macron's leading political strategist, Ismael Emelien, had worked for the campaign that led to the election of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

Macron's entire program is socialist. Proposals for additional public expenditures abound. "Climate change" is defined as "the key issue for the future of the world". The proposed changes to the Labor Code and the tax system are largely cosmetic and seem intended more to give an illusion of change than to bring about real change. While Macron does not reject a market economy, he thinks that it must be placed at the service of "social justice", and that the government's role is to "guide", to "protect", "to help" -- not to guarantee freedom to choose. Significantly, the economists who participated in the elaboration of Macron's program are those who had drawn up Hollande's economic program in 2012.
Even if he is young, Macron is not a newcomer to politics and does not embody renewal. He not only worked with Hollande for five years, but those who shaped his political ascent have long careers behind them: Jacques Attali was President François Mitterand's adviser in the 1980s ; Alain Minc worked with all French Presidents since Valery Giscard d'Estaing was elected in 1974, and Jean-Pierre Jouyet was the cabinet director for Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in the late 1990s. Just after the election, three documentaries were broadcast on French television explaining in detail how Macron's campaign was organized. Macron is the pure product of what analysts described as the "French nomenklatura" -- an arrogant élite, composed of senior officials, political power-holders and the businessmen working in close collaboration with them.

Macron can only be described as close to the business world if one understands how things work in France. The French economy is a mixed system where it is almost impossible to succeed financially without having close relations with political leaders who can grant favors and subsidies, and either authorize, prohibit or facilitate contracts or hinder them.

During the years he spent at Hollande's side, Macron helped various French businessmen. They thanked him by massively contributing to his campaign. It would be surprising if they do not expect a "return on investment". The operation that allowed Macron's election could be described in business language as a takeover. Almost all French private media outlets belong to those who supported Macron and were part of the takeover.

Macron is not supposed to bring any new impetus to business, but to ensure and consolidate the power of those who placed him where he is. Their goal is to create a large, single, center-left, technocratic political party that will crush the old political parties and that will be installed in a position of hegemony. The party's slogan, "En Marche!" ("On the Move!"), was established to go forward in that direction; the old political parties have been almost destroyed. The official Socialist Party is dying. The main center-right party, The Republicans, is in disarray. One of its leaders, Edouard Philippe, was appointed Macron's Prime Minister. Another, Bruno Le Maire, is now Finance and Economy minister: he will have to apply quite a different policy from those defined by his original party. The rightist National Front and the radical left will be treated as receptacles of anger: everything will be done so that they stay marginalized.
Another goal is to entrust ever more power to the technocratic unaccountable, untransparent and undemocratic institutions of the European Union: it is a goal Emmanuel Macron never stopped emphasizing. On May 7, as soon as the election result was known, the leaders of the European Union showed their enthusiasm. The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, spoke of "a signal of hope for Europe". On May 15, immediately after the inauguration, Macron went to Berlin, met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and said that he hoped for a rapid "strengthening of the Union". Macron says he wants the creation of an EU Ministry of Finance, whose decisions would have binding force for all member states.






A deliberate side-effect of Macron's policies will be population change. Like many European leaders, Emmanuel Macron seems convinced that the remedy for the demographic deficit and the aging of ethnic European populations is more immigration. On September 6, 2015, he stated that "immigration is an opportunity for all of us". On February 12, 2017, he said, "I will propose to the Algerian government the creation of a Franco-Algerian Bureau of Youth, to encourage mobility between the two shores of the Mediterranean". A few weeks later, he declared that "the duty of Europe is to offer asylum to all those who seek its protection" and that "France must take its fair share of refugees".
Almost all refugees arriving in France are Muslims. France already has the greatest percentage of Muslims in Europe. Macron wants Islam to have more room in France. His position concerning other religions is not known. His position on Islam is clear:


"Today, Muslims of France are poorly treated ... Tomorrow, a new structure will make it possible to relaunch the work sites of the Muslim religion in France: the construction and the improvement of worthy places of worship will take place where their presence is necessary, and the training of imams of France will be organized."


The French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood congratulated Macron on on his victory. It published an official communiqué saying: "Muslims think that the new President of the Republic will allow the reconciliation of France with itself and will allow us to go farther, together."
Macron's prime minister, Edouard Philippe, has close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and favored their installation in the city of which he is the mayor, Le Havre. Richard Ferrand -- a Socialist MP, the secretary-general of En Marche! since its inception, and now Minister for the Cohesion of Territories -- has been financially contributing to the anti-Israel BDS movement and to "pro-Palestinian" organizations for years. Gerard Collomb, the Socialist Mayor of Lyon, and now Interior Minister, financed the French Institute of Muslim Civilization that will open its doors in December 2017.
In a recent article, Yves Mamou noted that Macron is not "an open promoter of Islamism in France" and could be defined as a "useful idiot."
In another recent article, Bruce Bawer wondered how the French could have chosen Emmanuel Macron. His answer was that "the mainstream media have played a role". Evidently, also, "some people do not want to know the truth," even when the truth is in front of their eyes.

"Some people are accustomed to the idea that there are people above them in the hierarchy whose job is to think about, and take care of the big things while they, the citizens, the mice, take care of their own little lives".

A majority of the French did not choose Macron but apparently accept that there are people above them. Those who do not accept this fact so easily are many, but in minority, and they are likely to become a smaller minority. Macron is counting on their resignation. It is not certain, however, that the millions of people who voted for Marine Le Pen, despite her extremely problematic closeness to Russia and the harsh campaign against her, or those who voted for the leftist candidates, will so easily give up. It is also not certain -- thanks to willful blindness and appeasement -- that Islamists will mellow, or that jihadist attacks will stop.

Macron said he was "dismayed" over Manchester Arena terror attack. He added that he was "filled with dread". He did not express the necessity of confronting the danger. The French have every reason to be nervous.





Macron Vows To 'Change A Lot Of Things' In The World, Iran Has 3rd Underground Missile Factory, Is The Pope To Visit Israel To Push For Peace?




Macron seeks 'more efficient, fairer' EU



The new French president, Emmanuel Macron, made his debut on the international scene in Brussels on Thursday (25 May) vowing to "change a lot of things" in the world and calling for a "more efficient and fairer" EU.

Ahead of a Nato summit, Macron met with Belgian prime minister Charles Michel, had lunch with US president Donald Trump and met European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.
From a robust handshake with Trump to a paternalistic embrace from Juncker, Macron held discussions that focused on the fight against terrorism, climate policies, trade, and social issues.

"I am happy to be able, together, to change a lot of things," he said at his meeting with Trump, which he later described as being "extremely direct and frank".
At a later joint press conference, Macron was greeted by Juncker as "an ally to the European Commission".
He replied that he would be an ally to “what makes Europe stronger, more intelligible to the citizens, more efficient, and fairer".

Macron and Juncker were meeting for the first time since Macron was elected and since Juncker said just after that the EU had a "particular problem" with France spending too much.



Earlier this week, the Commission said France needed to do more to reduce its deficit and to reform its labour market.

"France is characterised by weak competitiveness and high and increasing public debt, in a context of low productivity growth," the Commission said in its economic recommendations to France.
The EU executive said that without fresh measures, France would still not respect its deficit targets this year and that the deficit would increase next year.
It added that so far, France had relied "primarily" on elements that are "outside [its] control", such as global growth and low interest rates, instead of doing its own reforms.
Macron, who has pledged to work closer with Germany to "relaunch" the EU, will have to find a balance between his ambitions and what his partners expect from him.
So far, he has been welcomed with "encouragement and benevolence," Charles de Marcilly from the Robert Schuman Foundation, a think tank in Brussels, told EUobserver.
He said that while EU leaders recognised the "necessity that France plays again a leading role with Germany", Macron's France "must show what it can do".

"Is this France's true come-back as the EU locomotive?" he asked, adding that Macron would need results to strengthen his position.







The semi-official news outlet quoted a senior commander of the elite Revolutionary Guard in their report.
The development is likely to fuel tensions with the United States in a week when President Donald Trump, on his first foreign trip, has called Iran a sponsor of militant groups and a threat to countries across the Middle East.
"Iran's third underground factory has been built by the Guards in recent years ... We will continue to further develop our missile capabilities forcefully," Fars quoted Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Guard’s airspace division, as saying.
Since taking office in January, Trump has imposed new sanctions on Iran in response to its recent missile launches, putting Tehran "on notice".
Iran has reacted defiantly. Newly re-elected pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday: "Iran does not need the permission of the United States to conduct missile tests".
Iran's Sunni Muslim Gulf neighbors and its arch-enemy Israel have expressed concerns over Tehran's ballistic missile program, seeing it as a threat to regional security.






With each passing day since the Manchester suicide bombing, as more details come to light of the terrorist Salman Abedi’s links with a broad ISIS network, it is becoming increasingly clear that the government of British Prime Minister Theresa May, as well as the British secret services, face their biggest security and intelligence crisis in the war on terror.

Their actions on Thursday, May 25, showed that Britain’s political and security authorities were doing their best to avoid being questioned about who deserves blame for allowing the attack, which claimed the lives of 22 people and injured more than 60. One such maneuver was to try and point the finger at President Donald Trump’s administration after photos showing debris from the bomb were leaked to US media from the investigation.

This was followed by expressions of outrage and reports that Britain was halting its intelligence sharing with the US. It was subsequently explained that it was only the Manchester police which had stopped transferring intelligence to their US counterparts, while other sharing continued. President Donald Trump said later the leaks were “deeply troubling” and asked the US Justice Department and other agencies to launch a full investigation.

These events were peripheral to the real question of how 22-year-old Salman Abadi, who had once been on an intelligence watch list, had been able to operate unnoticed by the security authorities, build several bombs, bring one of them to the intended  target - a pop concert at the Manchester Arena - and detonate it without being stopped.

British media Thursday reported police certainty that a terror network operated within Manchester and that Abedi was nothing more than a “mule” whose entire role was to carry the explosive device and detonate it.


But a statement on Wednesday by French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb that Abedi had travelled to Syria to meet with ISIS figures, and leaks on Thursday from German intelligence that the bomber flew from Turkey to the city of Dusseldorf four days before the attack, showed Abedi in a much more central role in a terror network that spanned a number of countries in Europe and the Middle East.

Dusseldorf was also the home of Tunisian terrorist Anis Amri, who carried out the December 2016 truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin that left 12 dead and 48 wounded.
In that context, the next question is: How did the bomber’s name come to disappear from the terrorist watch list that prevents suspects from boarding international flights?
There is also the question of how the security services failed to notice the ability of the bomber or his network to build a new generation of small but powerful explosives capable of causing massive slaughter.

One of the main reasons the British were so angry over the leaks was that it demonstrated how easy it was to build such bombs as the one used in Manchester, There is no need to manufacture them at secret venues in faraway Yemen, or smuggle them in pieces aboard planes. They can be built in the kitchens of rented apartments in Western Europe’s main cities, as in the case of the Manchester bomb.    
  
Even worse, if Abadi was trained to build bombs, many other members of his network may have received the same training.

The big holes exposed in Britain’s counterterror system undoubtedly beset other European countries laboring to contend with the Islamic terror threat.

The tragedy at Manchester Arena dominated the NATO 28-member summit taking place in Brussels Thursday. There was a minute’s silence for the victims, many of them children, and all-round condemnation by leaders who have no notion when the Islamist terror hammer will descend on their own people.










Israeli and Vatican officials have launched talks to discuss the possibility of Pope Francis paying a visit to Israel and the wider region in a bid to push peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

A Vatican delegation is expected in Israel next month and is looking at three possible dates for a potential visit this coming fall, Channel 10 reported Thursday, citing unnamed Vatican sources.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Vatican.

The report came a day after the pope met with US President Donald Trump in Rome. Trump on Tuesday wrapped up a Middle East visit that included Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Saudi Arabia.

In Israel, Trump indicated that he wants to pursue the “ultimate deal” and would like to help facilitate peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. He has tasked his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former real estate lawyer Jason Greenblatt with charting a course forward. Greenblatt stayed on after the trip and has been holding follow-up meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

After his “fantastic” meeting with the pope on Wednesday, the US president vowed to pursue peace around the world.
The pontiff has repeatedly called on Israelis and Palestinians to seek a peace deal, most recently in January.







The head of a private investigative team in Washington, D.C., trying to solve the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich insists that officials with the Metropolitan Police Department – in collusion with the mayor – are withholding key evidence from the public and obstructing the investigation for political purposes.

Jack Burkman, the head of the Profiling Project investigative team, said police are no longer cooperating with anyone, and he believes they’ve completely stopped the investigation into Rich’s murder.


“The police have shut down all full operations,” Burkman told WND. “The police are not cooperating with us or anyone, which is sad. This has become a very systematic and deliberate effort by the D.C. police and the mayor to end the Seth Rich investigation.”

As WND reported, a manager at Lou’s City Bar, the last known location where Rich was seen before his murder, claims police never interviewed the bar’s staff or requested evidence, such as footage from security cameras.
Burkman – who is also a Republican lobbyist and has offered a $105,000 reward of his personal money for information leading to the arrest of Rich’s killers – said police initially cooperated with his team. But now he claims they’re not cooperating with any parties involved.

Furthermore, Burkman insists the police are withholding important evidence crucial to finding Rich’s murderer.
“We believe there is additional security footage that we need to see,” Burkman said. “There is other video that the police have that we need to see. We need ballistics from them – we need a lot from them. We think the police are now deliberately concealing an awful lot of stuff in an effort to shut this investigation down. I have been very patient and favorable to the D.C. police, but it’s time to shine the light on what they’re doing.”

Burkman said he believes there is a political motive behind the suspension of the investigation, and he claims law-enforcement authorities are colluding with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
“I very strongly believe that the D.C. police and the D.C. mayor, for her own political reasons, want this ended,” he said. “This is going to become an issue in the mayor’s race, and this is really going to hurt her politics. This is a real black eye. This is becoming a real big thing – it’s on its way to becoming an O.J., and it could derail the mayor’s re-election.”
WND requested a comment from the mayor’s office, but at publication no one had responded.
After Burkman and his team conducted thorough research and reviewed the only video police released of the shooting, he said, it became clear to him that the shooting wasn’t motivated by a robbery.
“We’ve done investigations that really prove this was not a robbery,” Burkman said. “I took one look at that video, and I knew that the police story that this was a robbery gone awry was nonsense. I mean, my God, he was shot twice in the back and nothing was taken. The police hypothesis is just ridiculous! It’s beyond silly.”

Burkman said the Democratic National Committee has also stopped cooperating with his team, and he believes the DNC wants to shut down all investigations.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the DNC wants this thing shut down,” Burkman charged. “They’re not comfortable with it at all. They’re probably in debt to the D.C. police on this. They want this whole thing suffocated.”























Thursday, May 25, 2017

Abbas Top Adviser: There Is No Regional Peace Plan, Manchester Bomb Maker At Large - Could Strike Again, China Warns U.S. To Leave Disputed Waters, Signs Of Military Action In N Korea




Abbas's top diplomatic adviser: There is no regional peace plan 


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s top diplomatic adviser on Thursday poured cold water on swirling media reports regarding a US-led regional peace process that would see Arab states partially thawing their relations with Israel as a first step toward restarting peace talks.

“There is no regional peace process or anything like it,” Majdi al-Khalidi told The Times of Israel. “No one is talking about it with us, or with anyone.”

The latest report, on Thursday in the Hebrew-language daily Israel Hayom, quoted an unnamed senior Palestinian official revealing ostensible details of what US President Donald Trump conveyed to Abbas when the two men met in Bethlehem earlier this week.

According to that report, Trump’s approach appears to fall in line with that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been promoting a so-called “outside-in” approach that would see ties normalized between Israel and moderate Arab states as a way to promote peace with the Palestinians.

By contrast, Palestinian leadership has insisted on the time-honored formula, first laid down in a 2002 Saudi-led peace initiative, that sees a peace treaty between Israelis and Palestinians as a prerequisite for normalization with the entire Arab and Muslim world.

Khalidi stressed on Thursday that the PA had in no way changed its stance.
“First the two-state solution must exist and be implemented. And once the Palestinians will have their own state beside the State of Israel, then the Arab peace initiative can be implemented,” he said in a phone interview.








The person who made the bomb that blew up Manchester Arena is still at large and could strike again at any time.
Intelligence services now believe that Salman Abedi who detonated the nail bomb in the foyer of the venue was a ‘mule’ using a device made by someone else.
The bomb was a major step up from the crude but lethal attacks using vehicles at Westminster this year and in atrocities in Nice and Berlin in 2016.
There are fears that whoever made the Manchester Arena bomb is on the run and could carry out one last attack.
A police source told the M.E.N.: "They don't waste bomb makers. The reason we have gone to critical is because he is still out there and the fear is that he will strike again before they get caught."
On Tuesday night Prime Minister Theresa May increased the UK terror threat level from severe to critical.
Earlier today armed forces carried out a raid at an address in Granby Row near Piccadilly Station. The operation was part of the investigation into the bombing.
Fire crews were on standby during the raid. It is not clear whether their presence indicated that the swoop was connected to the search for the bomb maker or bomb-making equipment.
ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attack.
As part of their inquiries police are trying to establish who Abedi met before he went to the Arena - and how he travelled there. Much of this is expected to have been caught on CCTV.
Abedi had returned to his home city of Manchester after vsiting Libya - the original home of his parents.








The Chinese Navy has warned a US warship to leave, as it sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea “without permission.” Beijing says that the latest US move disrupts the peace process in the region. 
After the USS Dewey guided missile destroyer entered waters near the disputed land “without permission from the Chinese government,” the country’s navy “warned it to leave,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a news conference on Thursday, as cited by AFP.
China slammed the recent US patrol, saying that it “undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests.” Beijing urged Washington to “correct this mistake” and refrain from further provocations that can undermine the “peace and security of the region” as well as bilateral cooperation between the US and China.
“Stop taking further provocative actions that hurt China’s sovereignty and maritime interests, so as to avoid hurting peace and security of the region and long term cooperation between the two countries,” Lu Kang stated. He added that these patrols can “cause unexpected air and sea accidents,” Reuters reports.









On March 8, we wrote an analysis that said North Korea appeared to be crossing a red line set forth by the United States. And now, there are signs that military action on the Korean Peninsula is increasingly likely.
It’s no secret that the USS Carl Vinson has been near the peninsula for a few weeks. But now the USS Ronald Reagan, which is based near-theater in Japan, has joined it. The USS Nimitz, which is based in Washington state, is back in port, having recently completed a training exercise, as is the USS Theodore Roosevelt, farther south in San Diego. The U.S. Navy has said that the Roosevelt would deploy again soon, though it neglected to mention a destination. Dispatching three carrier groups is sensible, if not necessary, for military action against North Korea, but it’s not actually clear what role the Navy would play in the mission.


But the mission itself is clear: If it were to attack North Korea, the United States would try to destroy its nuclear facilities and eliminate the southern artillery batteries aimed at Seoul. And it would do so primarily through the air.
In fact, the United States already has some 100 F-16 fighter aircraft in South Korea. They have been conducting exercises in South Korean airspace regularly for some time — notable insofar as these kinds of exercises often take place before an attack. Such was the case before Operation Desert Storm.


Airstrikes by F-16s alone, however, are a foreboding prospect. North Korea has ample surface-to-air missiles, and it would be dangerous to send non-stealth aircraft such as the F-16 over target sets without first suppressing its air defenses and command and control centers. It would also imperil Seoul, which would quickly bear the brunt of North Korea’s response to U.S. military action. But here, too, the United States is prepared. Strikes would likely be carried out in part by stealth bombers from Andersen Air Force Base, which is located nearby in Guam. (As it happens, the Guam Chamber of Commerce will soon be briefed on civil defense, terrorist threats and North Korea, according to a report published May 22. Tellingly, no attempt was made to hide the preparations, nor was any concern paid to how North Korea might respond.) The United States could, moreover, deploy the F-35 stealth aircraft it has had stationed in Japan since January. This way, the United States could attack artillery targets, and therefore mitigate the damage against Seoul, before it attacked air defense targets. The F-16s in theater are equipped with weapons systems that are designed to target anti-aircraft capabilities, so they would extend their strikes to destroy air defenses, opening the door for non-stealth defense aircraft.

It’s unclear whether the United States would deploy ground forces; doing so would almost certainly incur U.S. causalities. If the air campaign against North Korea failed to destroy its intended targets, Washington would have to consider sending in special operations forces.

Any attack would begin by striking North Korean command centers, including political command centers. With this in mind, the North Koreans have probably developed a system by which command would be delegated to the field in the event top commanders were killed.

We also don’t know how exactly North Korea would counter an attack. Its leaders are well prepared, even seemingly cocky in their behavior, which has all but dared Washington to attack. Either they are bluffing or they have viable options for a counterattack. Maybe they have a robust offensive capability. Maybe they can destroy U.S. ships and aircraft. Maybe they are further along in their nuclear program than the U.S. thought. Maybe their ballistic missiles can reach Guam.

U.S. Warship Challenges China's Territorial Waters, U.S. To Increase Sanctions On Iran, EMP And Gog




US warship challenges China’s territorial water claims in ‘freedom of navigation’ sail-by



The USS Dewey guided missile destroyer has reportedly sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, apparently challenging Beijing’s sovereignty claims over disputed island chain.
The US warship passed near Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands on Wednesday under the “Freedom of Navigation” principle, according to Wall Street Journal and Reuters sources.
If indeed the USS Dewey sailed within 12 nautical miles of the disputed land, then Washington seemingly violated China's territorial claims. Territorial waters are defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as a belt of coastal waters extending 12 nautical miles from the coast.

Wednesday’s freedom of navigation sail was the United States’ first since October and the first since Donald Trump took office in January.
In a statement to The Japan Times, the Pentagon refused to confirm or deny the report. The Wall Street Journal also failed to get a definitive answer from the Pentagon.
“We operate in the Asia-Pacific region on a daily basis, including in the South China Sea,” Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told the publication in a statement.
“We operate in accordance with international law,” he added, emphasizing the patrols are “not about any one country, or any one body of water.”
While the Pentagon is reluctant to confirm the reports, photos posted on Commander – the US’ Third Fleet Facebook page – appeared to show the US vessel sailing the disputed waters. “USS Dewey (DDG 105) transits the South China Sea before a replenishment-at-sea with USNS Pecos (T-AO-197),” the picture post reads.

Earlier this month, US Navy Commander Gary Ross revealed that Washington is looking to continue its Freedom of Navigation operations in the disputed South China Sea region under Trump’s administration.
“We are continuing with regular FONOPs (Freedom of Navigation operations), as we have routinely done in the past and will continue to do in the future,” Ross was quoted as saying.

Beijing has laid claim to nearly all of the resource-rich South China Sea, through which some $5 trillion worth of trade passes each year. The Spratly Islands, or Spratlys, comprising more than 750 islets, atolls, and reefs, have also been caught up in the multinational dispute, with the claimants having their own national names for the archipelago.









A US Navy guided-missile destroyer conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea designed to challenge Beijing’s maritime claims, media reported citing unnamed officials.
It was the first such patrol since October and the first one conducted under President Donald Trump, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.


A freedom of navigation patrol, by definition, must take place within 12 nautical miles of territorial waters, the report explained.


The report added, however, that a Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the operation, claiming the United States operates in accordance with international law.










US Treasury chief Steve Mnuchin said the Trump administration was exploring ways to increase financial pressure on Iran, Syria and North Korea Thursday, days after President Donald Trump launched a blistering verbal offensive against Tehran during a trip to the Middle East.

Mnuchin told the House Ways and Means Committee that the administration was looking into revoking licenses for aircraft manufacturers to sell parts and planes to Iran, which had been a key component of sanctions relief under the 2015 nuclear deal.


“We will use everything within our power to put additional sanctions on Iran, Syria and North Korea to protect American lives,” Mnuchin said, according to Reuters. “I can assure you that’s a big focus of mine and I discuss it with the president.”

Mnuchin also praised sanctions as having been an important tool in bringing Iran to the negotiating table. While Trump has called the nuclear deal a disaster, his administration has not moved to scrap it.



However last month Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the administration has undertaken a full review of the agreement to evaluate whether continued sanctions relief is in the national interest. Tillerson noted that Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terrorism and that Trump had ordered the review with that in mind.

Trump has repeatedly bashed Iran during speeches over the last week, accusing it of “reckless pursuit of conflict and terror,” in Saudi Arabia, and vowing to keep it from getting a nuclear weapon while visiting Israel.
“The United States is firmly committed to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and halting their support of terrorists and militias,” he told Israeli leaders in Jerusalem on Tuesday.









It’s a frightening thing to consider. For the most technologically endowed nation to ever exist on planet Earth, it would be a nightmare of almost unimaginable proportion. I’m referring to an attack on the U.S. by EMP –electromagnetic pulse—about which there continues to be much chatter in the cybersphere. Most feared is a nuclear blast that could interact with the ionosphere, the shell of electrons and electrically charged particles surrounding Earth, to create a series of electromagnetic pulses that could reach across the North American continent, according to the scientists who study such matters.

In such an apocalyptic scenario, an American enemy would explode a nuclear weapon a certain number of miles above a central point above the continent. This would cause everything that is controlled by electronic circuitry to fail, bringing society and culture as we have known them to an instantaneous conclusion. All modern transportation would be stopped, with planes falling from the air. Car engines and circuitry would cease to function. From the sophisticated technologies of the hospitals, banks, and electric power-generating plants to the electronically powered, smallest conveniences such as coffeemakers, all would be instantly fried, and we would be sent back to the 1850s in a millisecond, according to the experts.

Disregarding such an enemy for the moment, the experts tell us we face the possibility of an EMP attack from the cosmos. Now, there’s something to truly be concerned about!

Solar flares are the real danger, according to the scientists involved in study of this sort of EMP assault. These coronal mass ejections are enormous sun eruptions of super-hot plasma that spews charged particles across the solar system. They do the same sort of damage that the nuclear weapon EMPs might do, as I understand it.
The Earth is in a period of high likelihood for these types of coronal mass ejections, according to the scientists—authorities on such things. Although Congress has been given ways to help prepare for damage such EMP events can do, there has apparently been little interest from that quarter in making preemptive preparation. We remember the same sorts of fears and warnings about the year 2000–Y2K–event. In that instance billions of dollars were thrown into fixing the feared problems.
Now, however, unlike in the case of the Y2K scare, for example, the mainstream media seems to have all but ignored the EMP concerns. Even peripheral media cable networks and other such media have remained silence. Only the blogosphere is alive with details of the possibility of impending doom.
My own thought is that the Lord is and has always been in complete control of the fate of individuals, nations, and the entire Earth–which He created. That’s why there hasn’t been all-out warfare–nuclear war. That’s why there hasn’t been an EMP event that sets us back to the 1850s or so…
However, there is a prophetic thought that has nagged for a long time. That’s all it is–a thought.
Salem Kirban wrote the novel 666 in the 1960s. He portrayed the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog attack as being waged totally like the Scripture depicts. There were only horses, bucklers, shields, etc., as they stormed like a cloud to cover the land as the Gog forces raged toward Jerusalem. All modern weaponry had been rendered useless–I can’t remember why or how.
An EMP event from Earth’s sun could apparently make Mr. Kirban’s novel truly prophetic, if all we’ve been told about EMP is correct.
The way things are shaping in that region of the world should alert us that maybe we don’t have too long to wait to find out about how Bible prophecy plays out.










Fear of earthquakes is part of life in California.
But people experience this anxiety in different ways. For some, the fear prompts them to take steps to protect themselves: strapping down heavy furniture, securing kitchen cabinets and retrofitting homes and apartments.
For others, the fear prompts denial — a willful ignorance of the dangers for years until the ground starts shaking.
Seismologist Lucy Jones has spent her career trying to understand public attitudes about earthquakes, with a focus on moving people past paralysis and denial.
Jones said the way experts like her used to talk about earthquakes wasn’t very effective. They tended to focus on the probability of a major earthquake striking in the next 30 years — the length of a typical home mortgage. They also took pains to say what they didn’t know, which she now believes allowed the public to tune out and hope for the best.
Now she is making a dramatically different point. She said that in a keynote speech to international scientists in Japan on May 21, she emphasized that a devastating earthquake will definitely happen, and that there is much the public can do to protect themselves.
Denial may getting a bit harder these days. Over the last several years, a few California cities have taken dramatic steps to require retrofits of thousands of vulnerable buildings. And next year, scientists and the U.S. Geological Survey are expected to unveil the first limited public phase of an earthquake early-warning system that would eventually offer seconds and perhaps more than a minute of warning through smartphones and computers.





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

After Manchester Jihad Massacre, UK Troops To Be Deployed To Britain's Streets, BBC Anchor: 'Europe Has To Get Used To Bombings'






“UK to deploy troops after attack, risk now ‘critical’: May,” Reuters, May 23, 2017:
Britain’s armed forces will be deployed to boost security, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday, as the country raised its terror threat to the highest level of “critical” after a suicide attack in Manchester that killed 22 people, including children.
May said members of the armed forces would be positioned at key sites to free up police for patrols and military personnel might be deployed at public events such as concerts and sports events as a further attack was seen as potentially imminent.
May said the independent body which sets the threat level had recommended it be raised from “severe” after a man named by police as Salman Abedi set off an improvised bomb on Monday night as crowds streamed out of a concert….








Troops are to be deployed onto Britain's streets amid fears a further terror attack 'may be imminent', the Prime Minister has announced.
Theresa May revealed the move this evening, less than 24 hours after the bomb attack at a teen concert in Manchester, which left 22 dead and 59 injured.
The Prime Minister confirmed the identity of the Manchester suicide bomber as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, a Mancunian of Libyan descent.
But intelligence agencies fear he may not have acted alone - leaving open the possibility of an active Islamist terror cell on the loose.
Britain's Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre last night raised the terror threat level to 'critical', its highest level. 
The threat level has only been raised to 'critical' twice since the system was introduced on August 1, 2006. 
Security services are trying to establish whether Salman worked alone or was part of a wider network that helped him with the bomb. 
A school friend told The Times that Abedi had returned to Libya in the past week. 
The friend said: 'He went to Libya three weeks ago and came back recently, like days ago.'

On Monday evening he placed a suitcase on the ground in the foyer of the Manchester Arena moments before it detonated, according to CCTV footage recovered by detectives.  


'The joint terrorist analysis centre has concluded that the threat level should be increased for the time being from severe to critical.
'This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack is imminent.'  
It means armed soldiers will patrol key sites across the country, at sporting fixtures and musical events.

Undercover SAS troopers will join regular soldiers in Operation Temperer. 









A very sad but awfully truthful 30-second reality check from a female BBC host speaking on MSNBC...



"Europe is getting used to attacks like this...we have to because we are never going to be able to totally wipe this out... as ISIS gets squeezed in Syria and Iraq we're going to see more of these kinds of attacks taking place in Europe... and Europe is starting to get used to that..."







And as the following poll from YouGov shows ,up 14 percentage points on July 2010, an almost unanimous 90 percent said that they thought it was fairly or very likely.








Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber responsible for the Manchester Arena bombing Monday night which left 22 people dead and dozens injured, was reportedly the son of Libyan immigrants and was apparently radicalised while living in one of the country’s most heavily Muslim areas — an area that had terror-related problems before.

The Telegraph reported that Abedi was the son of Libyan refugees who fled the regime of dictator Muammar Gadaffi. Gadaffi was killed by rebels in 2011 and the Telegraph cited reports that Abedi’s family had returned to Libya — but Abedi remained.
Police raided Abedi’s house in Fallowfield, South Manchester Tuesday. Fallowfield is the home of a large student population, being a short bus ride away from the main Manchester University campus, and just three miles from Manchester’s city center. 
South Manchester as a whole has a large Muslim population, often gathered in very small areas and raising questions about the risks that a lack of assimilation can bring.








A high-level North Korean detector has ominously claimed that the DPRK military has hundreds and hundreds of attack drones capable of carrying biological and chemical agents to attack Seoul within a single hour.

The individual was interviewed by Japanese newspaper Sekai Nippo under the alias Jin-myeong Han. A former diplomat to Vietnam, he defected from the DPRK in 2015. 

While an enormous amount of attention has been paid to North Korean missile tests, which have greatly increased in frequency and visibility in the past few months, Han argues that the threat of drones from Pyongyang could be just as urgent.

According to Han, the DPRK has been developing their drone delivery system since the 1990's. Han, who claims to have once served in the North Korean air force, said that he helped develop radio communication for the attack drones.

"My guess is that [North Korea] has 300 to 400 drones," he said. They are stored underground and frequently moved between sites to avoid detection by foreign reconnaissance satellites.






Following the toppling of at least five statues of the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez, angry mobs startled the ruling regime by burning down Chávez's childhood home, set up as a shrine to his socialist revolution by his supporters.
It surely takes the anger and bitterness in the streets to another level.  We no longer hear much in the way of restraining voices for nonviolence in that socialist hellhole.  The mob has taken over, and the monuments are beginning to topple.

It's a sign of a growing civil war, in fact, and like most such events, it could be very bloody.  In the midst of the largely nonviolent Velvet Revolutions of Eastern Europe in 1989, the sorry end of the region's worst dictator, Nicolae Ceauşescu, was the exception – dragged from his palace hideaway to some wall by angry rebel troops and summarily shot as crowds cheered.


The growing attacks on the symbols of the Chavista regime may well extend to attacks on the rulers of the Chavista regime.  It's the direction it's headed, and by their actions, the Chavistas show that they know it.








Lawyers for a Russian tech mogul suing online news site BuzzFeed for defamation will seek within the next two weeks to take sworn testimony from its editor and several reporters.

The suit stems from BuzzFeed’s decision to become the first news operation to post online a former British spy’s dossier about Russia’s alleged scheme to help Donald Trump win the presidency last fall.

A federal judge in Miami on Monday rejected BuzzFeed’s bid to move the case to New York. In a phone interview Tuesday, attorney Val Gurvits, representing a Russian web hosting company and its owner who were named in the dossier, said he would take steps to obtain depositions from BuzzFeed employees.

At least four BuzzFeed reporters would likely be questioned, Gurvits said, with the goal of determining “what steps, if any, BuzzFeed took to verify the facts” about his client, Aleksej Gubarev.
Gubarev is a venture capitalist who owns Florida-based Webzilla Inc., Cyprus-based XBT and other tech companies that collectively are involved in web hosting, online storage and Internet services.