Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the air force’s early morning strikes on Syrian military positions had targeted units involved in Tuesday’s attack on an IDF patrol.
“Last night, the IDF attacked targets in Syrian territory,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “These were targets of Syrian elements that not only facilitated, but also cooperated with, the attacks on our forces. Our policy is very clear: We attack those who attack us. We are also, to the best of our ability, interdicting the transfer of weapons by sea, air and land, and this activity will continue.”
In a sharply worded statement, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon confirmed that Israeli warplanes had bombed “several targets associated with the Syrian army and defense establishment that aided and abetted yesterday’s terror attack,” and issued a pointed warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom he blamed for the attack.
Israeli air strikes on Wednesday against Syrian military sites near the Golan Heights killed one person and wounded seven others, Syria's armed forces said, warning that the attacks endangered stability in the region.
An armed forces statement said the strikes targeted three sites near the town of Qunaitra
It is periodically necessary for Israel to take "aggressive action" so that the quiet in the north will be maintained, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday just hours after the IAF hit targets in Syria in response to Tuesday's attack on an IDF jeep on the Golan Heights.
The first suspect is, naturally, Hezbollah. Though the Syrian Golan Heights are not the Lebanese Shiite group’s expected launching ground for attacks on Israel, the organization is currently stationed at almost every point throughout Syria.
Hezbollah-affiliated media reported that the Syrian army is continuing to advance in the Yabroud region. It is conceivable that as these significant military achievements continue, Hezbollah will be able to allocate more resources in an attempt to draw blood from Israelis on the Golan Heights and the surrounding areas.
A Ukrainian serviceman was killed on Tuesday at a Ukrainian base that came under attack in Crimea’s main town Simferopol, the first death on the peninsula from a military clash since the region came under Russian control three weeks ago. As news spread of the death of the serviceman, in an assault on the base by unknown attackers, Ukraine’s pro-Western prime minister denounced it as a “war crime” and called for international talks to prevent an escalation of the conflict.
The probability that these were state-sponsored Russian or Crimean (now one in the same) forces is extremely high. The attackers were fully equipped, suggesting this wasn’t some band of rogue terrorists or rebels. The only full equipped personnel with their faces covered currently operating in Crimea are Russian troops.
If Ukraine’s prime minister is calling this act a “war crime,” then we can only assume that they now believe they are, in fact, in the midst of a war. And that may well be the case. If not today, then in coming days and weeks. In Crimea, Russia has mobilzed at least 80,000 troops, while the Ukranians have themselves sent 40,000 troops to defend the border in what neighboring Estonia has suggested will lead to an invasion by Russian troops.
What would you do if the Internet or the power grid went down for over a year? Our key infrastructure, including the Internet and the power grid, is far more vulnerable than most people would dare to imagine. These days, most people simply take for granted that the lights will always be on and that the Internet will always function properly. But what if all that changed someday in the blink of an eye? According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's latest report, all it would take to plunge the entire nation into darkness for more than a year would be to knock out a transformer manufacturer and just 9 of our 55,000 electrical substations on a really hot summer day. The reality of the matter is that our power grid is in desperate need of updating, and there is very little or no physical security at most of these substations. If terrorists, or saboteurs, or special operations forces wanted to take down our power grid, it would not be very difficult. And as you will read about later in this article, the Internet is extremely vulnerable as well.
When I read the following statement from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's latest report, I was absolutely floored...
"Destroy nine interconnection substations and a transformer manufacturer and the entire United States grid would be down for at least 18 months, probably longer."
FERC studied what it would take to collapse the entire electrical grid from coast to coast. What they found was quite unsettling...
In its modeling, FERC studied what would happen if various combinations of substations were crippled in the three electrical systems that serve the contiguous U.S. The agency concluded the systems could go darkif as few as nine locations were knocked out: four in the East, three in the West and two in Texas, people with knowledge of the analysis said.
The actual number of locations that would have to be knocked out to spawn a massive blackout would vary depending on available generation resources, energy demand, which is highest on hot days, and other factors, experts said. Because it is difficult to build new transmission routes, existing big substations are becoming more crucial to handling electricity.
Forget tapering. Forget Ukraine. The largest single risk to the world economy and financial markets right now is China.
What’s going on in China reminds me a lot of what I witnessed firsthand when I lived in South Korea in the 1990s, before that economy’s crash in 1998.
Just as China now, South Korea was an immature, state-controlled financial system funneling cheap money to well-connected and politically favored large enterprises.
Fuelled by a steady diet of cheap money, these companies kept adding capacity with no regard to profitability or return on capital. They simply focused on producing more stuff and expanding their size. They employed more people, and everyone was happy.
But, all the while, they were borrowing more and more money, until eventually they collapsed under the debt load when liquidity dried up.
Before Korea, the exact same thing happened in Japan, and a giant, unsustainable debt binge brought the “miracle economy” to its knees.
But the Korean and Japanese debt bubbles are nothing compared to what we see in China today.
Consider this: in the last five years, the Chinese created $16 TRILLION in credit that is now circulating in the economy… financing ghost cities and useless infrastructure projects.
Floor space per capita in China is now 30 square meters (about 320 sq. ft.) per person. Japan was at that level in 1988. And the economy burst the following year.
More astounding, this $16 trillion in credit is DOUBLE the $8 trillion in credit that China created in the previous 5,000+ years of its existence.
The Chinese government recognizes it has a problem. It realizes it can no longer keep the dam from breaking.