At least [six] ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates broadcasted warnings Tuesday that they had lost control of their steering under unclear circumstances as authorities reported “an incident” was underway in the area.
British sources believe one of the vessels, the Asphalt Princess, has been hijacked and are “working on the assumption Iranian military or proxies boarded the vessel”, the Times newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Two maritime sources also added they believe that Iranian-backed forces seized one of the oil tankers in the Gulf off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. A spokesperson of the U.K. Foreign Office said it was urgently investigating “an incident on a vessel off the UAE coast.”
Earlier, Britain’s maritime trade agency reported that a “potential hijack” was unfolding off the coast of the United Arab Emirates’ Fujairah region, without giving details on the vessel or vessels involved.
The Times defense editor tweeted: “British sources believe Asphalt Princess has been hijacked. They are working on the assumption Iranian military or proxies have boarded vessel.”
Two of the vessels — an oil tanker called the Golden Brilliant and an asphalt carrier called the Kamdhenu — reported via their Automatic Identification System trackers that they were “not under command,” according to MarineTraffic.com. That typically means a vessel has lost power and can no longer steer.
Iran’s foreign ministry said reports of the incidents near the UAE coast on Tuesday were “suspicious” and warned against any effort to create a “false atmosphere” against Tehran.
“The reports on the occurrence of successive security incidents for ships in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman is completely suspicious,” a ministry website quoted spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh as saying.
“(Khatibzadeh) warned of any effort to create a false atmosphere for special political purposes,” it added.
An Oman Royal Air Force Airbus C-295MPA, a maritime patrol aircraft, was flying over the area where the ships were, according to data from FlightRadar24.com.
The U.S. military’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet and the British Defense Ministry did not immediately return calls for comment. The Emirati government did not immediately acknowledge the incident.
In another development related to maritime traffic in the region, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised a “collective response” to an Iranian drone attack on an Israeli-managed tanker transiting through international waters near Oman last week.
The United States was confident that the attack last Friday was carried out by Iran, Blinken said on Tuesday. However, the secretary of state said that the attack was one in a series of actions taken by Iran over many months, and that he was not sure it was “anything new or augurs anything one way or another for the new government.”
Iranian-backed forces have taken control of a tanker in the Gulf of Oman, reports said late Tuesday in an incident British authorities described as “a potential hijack.”
The report came after at least six ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates broadcast warnings Tuesday that they had lost control of their steering under unclear circumstances. It wasn’t immediately clear what was happening off the coast of Fujairah in the Gulf of Oman.
According to the Reuters news agency, which quoted two security maritime sources, Iranian-backed forces were believed to have seized one of the tankers.
Shipping authority Lloyd’s List and maritime intelligence firm Dryad Global both identified the vessel involved as Panama-flagged asphalt tanker Asphalt Princess. The vessel’s owner, listed as Emirati free zone-based Glory International, could not immediately be reached for comment late Tuesday.
The ship was heading towards Iran under the control of armed men, Lloyd’s List said.
Abolfazl Shekarchi, Iran’s senior armed forces spokesman, denounced reports of maritime incidents and hijacking in the Gulf area as “a kind of psychological warfare and setting the stage for new bouts of adventurism,” Reuters reported, citing the Fars News Agency said.
The incident comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers and as commercial shipping in the region has found itself caught in the crosshairs. Most recently, the US, the UK and Israel have blamed Iran for a drone attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman that killed two people. Iran has denied involvement.
Earlier Tuesday, the six vessels announced around the same time via their Automatic Identification System trackers that they were “not under command,” according to MarineTraffic.com. That typically means a vessel has lost power and can no longer steer.
New York City will require proof of vaccination for various indoor venues, including restaurants, gyms and performances, as a condition of entry.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the mandate Tuesday morning. As part of the new program, New York City is launching a health pass called the “Key to NYC Pass” for both employees and patrons to present verification of vaccination at restaurants, concert halls, and a number of other recreational facilities.
“If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” de Blasio said at the Tuesday press conference.
The policy, effective later this month, models the health pass system already implemented in parts of Europe, which allows vaccinated individuals special access to certain indoor settings. In France, the mandate triggered protests across the country calling for freedom from invasive government intervention. While France’s version requires proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result, NYC’s system does not allow an option for testing.
The mayor’s directive comes after he urged residents to resume mask-wearing regardless of vaccination status per the CDC’s guidance reversal. The CDC’s update recommends that even vaccinated individuals start wearing masks again in regions of the country with high transmissibility rates, namely the South and Midwest. New York City does not currently qualify under that definition.
The mayor already required city workers to get the shot by a September deadline or present mandatory weekly test results in order to remain employed. He has been intensifying efforts to vaccinate the NYC population, moving from persuading and incentivizing those who have abstained with information and monetary awards to coercive mandates that bar the unvaccinated from participating in society.
"We think it is so important to make clear that if you are vaccinated, you get to benefit in all sorts of ways,” the mayor said Monday during an interview on NY1. “You get to live a better life. Besides your health in general, you get to participate in many, many things. And if you’re unvaccinated, they are going to be fewer and fewer things that you’re able to do.”
There’s something remarkable happening in France right now, and it’s starting to feel a little “Louis XVI-ish.”
If you’re not familiar with the French Revolution (May 5, 1789 – November 9, 1799), it was an incredible period of sweeping political and societal change in France.
And while there were many different circumstances and reasons which sparked the revolution, it really boiled down to three main crisis points: social, political, and economic. And one of the most formidable groups spearheading the push for reform were the peasants — or as we’d call them today, the “working class.”
French peasants were furious over rapid population growth, harvest failures, physiocratic calls for modernization of agriculture — basically “agricultural economists” seeking to revamp farming – -as well as the rising cost of dues paid out to the Lords who owned the land.
These issues were the driving force behind the peasants’ desire to demolish feudalism in France.
In short, the monarchy had gotten far too big for its britches, and the working class said, “enough,” and grabbed their pitchforks and took to the streets… and the rest is history.
There was far more to it than that, but you get the picture.
And as it always does, history repeats its self… and once again, the French working class is back in the streets, with symbolic pitch-forks in hand, protesting a government that’s gotten far too big for its britches.
This time around, the French working class is furious over President Emmanuel Macron’s tyrannical Covid vaccine push.
Macron is basically telling people, you either take the jab or you lose any shot at a normal life.
Threats like that didn’t sit well with the hard-working people of France, and they came out to protest — hundreds of thousands of people.
However, what’s happening in France goes even deeper than vaccines — many of the people who are protesting are also experiencing mounting poverty, and a country that’s been overrun with refugees — this is true especially in cities like Marseilles, whose citizens have a natural inherent distrust of authority and government — they’re like the “Rebel South” in the US.
When you put the entire picture together, you can start to see those “Louis XVI” vibes I mentioned earlier, right?
The images coming out of France are stunning and for those of us in the United States, who feel we’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from this happening in our country, it’s inspiring to see brave citizens stand up and fight back against tyranny.