Just one day after the G8 Summit ended in the failure of Western leaders to overcome Russian resistance to a resolution mandating President Bashar Assad’s ouster, Moscow announced Wednesday June 19, the dispatch to Syria of two warships carrying 600 Russian marines. They were coming, said the official statement, "to protect the Russian citizens there." Russian Deputy Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Gradusov added that an air force umbrella would be provided the Russian expeditionary force if needed.
The Russian Interfax news agency identified the warships heading for Syrian shores as the Nikolai Filchenkov Large Landing Ship and the Vice Admiral Kulakov, a Udaloy 1 class destroyer, each carrying 300 marines. Aboard the former are also 20 tanks and 15 armored troop carriers or military trucks, while the Kulakov is designed mainly for anti-submarine warfare.
Asked if the Russian aircraft were intended as air cover for the Russian warships coming to Syria, he declined to answer, saying said only "They will act on orders."
The Moscow communiqué does not say when the Russian forces are scheduled to reach port in Syria or in which part of the country they are to operate. Our military sources say their impending presence in the war zone and the possibility of Western-supplied weapons in Syrian rebel hands causing Russian casualties are enough to contribute three more perilous dimensions to the Syrian conflict:
1. The harming of Russian soldiers would give Moscow an excuse to pile on more military reinforcements in Syria;
2. Russian air power is on its way to Syrian airspace before any decision is taken in the West about imposing a US-led no-fly zone over Syria;
3. The presence of Russian military personnel in Syria would pour more fuel on the already highly incendiary diplomatic and military tensions between Washington and Moscow over this conflict.
Mortar shells have struck Israel several times over the past year as fighting in the Syrian conflict has spilled over into Israel, though they largely tailed off during June. The rockets and small arms fire are usually assumed to be errant strikes, but Syria recently boasted that it had retaliated against Israel for reported air strikes against Damascus weapons sites last month.
Amid fears of a new pandemic more deadly than Sars, 80 officials and doctors, including two from Britain, gathered in Cairo yesterday to examine ways of tackling Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, dubbed MERS.
The coronavirus is casting a shadow over the annual Muslim pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, where four new deaths were announced on Monday.
The three-day meeting called by the World Health Organisation will look at developing guidelines for Ramadan. In October, more than two million people are expected to attend the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
"Everyone is very aware of the fact that Ramadan begins next month and that there will be a large, large movement of people in a small crowded spaces," said Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the WHO. "So the more we know about this virus before that starts the better."
There are also concerns that tourists could bring the virus back to their home countries. It appears to have an incubation period of up to 12 days and a fatality rate of 60 per cent.
Cases have also been found in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and Jordan. Most were patients transferred home from the Middle East for treatment or people who had travelled to the region and became ill after they returned.
Dr Jon Bible, a clinical scientist, who treated one of the three British cases last year, said: “You don’t want to have this.”
Sufferers, he said, “are very close to death at all times. They are in respiratory distress at all times, it’s like a very serious pneumonia”.
His patient at St Thomas’s Hospital survived after several months of artificial respiration and even now has breathing difficulties.
An international team of doctors who investigated nearly two dozen cases in eastern Saudi Arabia found the virus has some striking similarities to SARS, which killed 800 people around the world as it spread a global health panic in 2003.
Unlike SARS, though, scientists remain baffled about the source of the new virus, which was first reported in April 2012.
The symptoms of both are similar, with an initial fever and cough that may last for a few days before overpowering pneumonia develops.
"To me, this felt a lot like SARS did," said Trish Perl, a senior hospital epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, who was part of the team. Their report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
What is of particular concern is the high fatality rate of the virus. It has caused death in about 60 percent of patients so far, with 75 percent of cases in men and most in people with serious health conditions. There are currently no known treatments.
Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, previously called MERS a “threat to the entire world”.
Is there a US amnesty disaster? Certainly NAFTA and CAFTA have drained US industrial vitality. But the easiest way to understand what is going on is to reduce the relationships between the US and Mexico to the simplest variables. The problem is that government owns too much real estate and thus makes the rules for immigration that should be conducted within the ambit of private interests.
Instead of "government" owning land, which is then actually controlled by people who stand behind government, private businesses and individuals should be able to buy what they wish. If people then want to emigrate or immigrate, then those owning the land and the businesses would be responsible for them.
That's not what we have today. Instead, we have shadowy globalist controllers standing behind both the Mexican and US governments. And as a result we have binding trade treaties that sap US industries while building up Mexico.
We have a movement toward what is called the North American Union. While this union is denied by the mainstream media, it is obviously moving ahead. Rubio seems to know it. In fact, his reluctant appearance at the head of this immigration bill is probably part of the larger plan. Rubio has perhaps struck some kind of personal agreement with GOP wheeler-dealers.
Both countries need to be "evened out" before a union like the European Union can be effectively emplaced. Canada will need to be dealt with, as well. The immigration bill is part of it. So is the drug war, which is effectively breaking down Mexico's civil institutions.
Conclusion: The biggest hurdle standing in the way of an NAU is getting Mexican, Canadian and US citizens to conform to the demands of a single citizenship. The current immigration package is likely aimed at doing that.