Thursday, October 31, 2019

Massive Increase In Arctic Sea Ice Prompts Fears Of New Ice Age

Study Shows Massive Increase in Arctic Sea Ice, Prompting Fears of New Ice Age

Just when we human beings believe that we have our planet figured out, Mother Nature throws us curveballs like we’e never seen.

We must realize that, when we talk about the ailing planet and all of the damage that we’ve done to it, it’s a lot like having a toddler tell you that you shouldn’t eat that one cheeseburger; sure, there may be some accidentally sound advice in there, but the prognosis is coming from a place of vast inexperience.
The same seems to be true for climate change, at least in some circles.  It is very true that our consumption of plastic and oil-based fuels ins’t exactly the healthiest thing that we can engage in for the sake of our planet, but our version of science has been absent for billions of years’ worth of Earth’s existence.  The scope of our understanding is just not there.
Such was the case in the 1970’s, when scientists believed that carbon emissions would usher in a new Ice Age.  Today, despite mass belief in “global warming”, it appears as though fears of this possible Ice Age are returning, again thanks to “modern” science.

Upside-down “rivers” of warm ocean water may be one of the causes of Antarctica’s ice shelves breaking up, leading to a rise in sea levels. But a new study suggests an increase in sea ice may lead to a much more devastating change in the Earth’s climate — another ice age.
Using computer simulations, the research suggests that an increase in sea ice could significantly alter the circulation of the ocean, ultimately leading to a reverse greenhouse effect as carbon dioxide levels in the ocean increase and levels in the air decrease.
“One key question in the field is still what caused the Earth to periodically cycle in and out of ice ages,” University of Chicago professor and the study’s co-author, Malte Jansen, said in a statement. “We are pretty confident that the carbon balance between the atmosphere and ocean must have changed, but we don’t quite know how or why.”

Third Deadly Quake (6.5) In A Week Hits Philippines

Third deadly quake in weeks hits south Philippines

 A powerful earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Thursday, killing at least five people and sparking searches of seriously damaged buildings that had already been rattled by two previous deadly tremors in recent weeks. 
The 6.5 magnitude quake hit the island of Mindanao, the US Geological Survey said, causing locals to run to safety in the same area where a strong tremor killed eight people on Tuesday.
The powerful shaking caused serious damage to a condominium building in the major southern city of Davao, about 45 kilometres (28 miles) from the epicentre. 
Nine people were hurt at the building, and rescuers believed at least one was trapped in the rubble, a local disaster official said. 
Five people were killed in nearby Cotabato province, including a local official who was crushed to death, a police officer said. 
A hotel partially collapsed in another area, but a disaster official said the building had already been evacuated.
Locals have been left terrified by a string of powerful quakes, and hundreds of aftershocks since the first powerful tremor struck on October 16.
"I panicked and I rushed outside. I was afraid the building might collapse," said Beth Lancian, a restaurant cashier in Davao. "There's been an earthquake almost every week."
President Rodrigo Duterte was in his hometown of Davao when the shaking began, but his spokesman said he was unharmed. 
Some 12,000 people were already in shelters on Mindanao island before Thursday's quake hit, the government said, either because their homes have been destroyed or they were too afraid to return to their residences.
In the 6.6 magnitude quake on Tuesday, a teenage boy was crushed by a falling wall as he tried to escape his school in Magsaysay, the town spokesman told AFP. 
Rock and landslides unleashed by the violent shaking killed four others, while a collapsing wall crushed a man, authorities said.
Nearly 400 people were hurt, including some seven pupils and teachers hurt escaping their crumbling elementary school.
The area was still suffering the effects of a 6.4-magnitude quake that hit less than two weeks ago, killing at least five people and damaging dozens of buildings.

Rocket Fired Into Israel From Gaza

Gaza rocket fired at southern Israel, drawing IDF retaliation

Incoming rocket sirens sounded Thursday evening in southern Israeli communities, with the military confirming that one rocket had been launched from the Gaza Strip by Palestinian terrorists.
Reports said the rocket landed in an open field. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
The Iron Dome air defense system was activated and an interceptor projectile was launched, the army said in a statement.
The IDF said a tank and fighter jets subsequently launched retaliatory strikes on two posts in the northern Strip belonging to the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza. The Gaza-based Shehab news agency reported that Israeli security forces had fired at a jeep belonging to operatives in the border area, near Beit Lahia.
The rocket alarms were triggered in the communities of Be’eri and Alumim in the Eshkol region, just east of the Gaza Strip.
Residents of the communities reported hearing a loud explosion shortly after the rocket sirens began to blare.

Addicted To Outrage

Obama Tries To Put The Crazy Liberal Genie He Released, Back In The Bottle As Super "Woke" Cancel Culture Backfires Against Radical Liberals

By Susan Duclos

By now many have heard the terms "woke" and "cancel culture," where those that consider themselves "woke" think they are morally superior and have the right to demand others conform to their way of thinking which they believe is more enlightened than the rest of the "peasants," and they form online, or offline mobs," to boycott or "cancel" out those accused of wrong-think for not being "woke" enough, even when those being "canceled" are basically on the same side as those attempting to "cancel" them.

While we have seen the "get woke, go broke" phenomenon with Gillette jumping on the "woke" train by attacking their number one demographic of customers, men, by treating masculinity as "toxic," then seeing not an organized boycott but an independent grass roots movement where Americans just switched brands and cost them approximately $5 billion in losses. We saw Dick's Sporting Goods joint he social justice warrior crowd in their gun grabbing and gun control efforts, and they are still bleeding profits because of that "woke" decision. 

What we are seeing now is that the left is cannibalizing themselves as their "wokeness" are taking down their own allies.

The problem the perpetually outraged crowd that is seemingly addicted to outrage, is they eventually run out of things to be outraged about regarding the party they oppose and they then turn their rage onto their own allies for any perceived slight or wrong-think.

One memory that sticks in my head evidencing that, happened in June 2018, when radical far left liberal Twitter CEO, known for censoring conservatives on his platform, dared to post a screen shot showing he ate at Chick-Fil-A, and liberal social media users, led by media personalities harassed him until he was forced to apologize.

How dare him not be woke enough!!!!!!!!!!!??!!!!!!!!!

The fact is, perpetual outrage was always going to turn back against the "woke" crowd that started it.

NSJP 'Antisemitic Force' Active At U.S. Colleges

Despite terror ties, SJP 'antisemitic force' active at Harvard, Columbia

The National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) is an “antisemitic force on campus,” according to a new 96-page report about the organization. 

The document, published by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) in advance of NSJP’s annual conference being held November 1-3, tracks the history of the organization and highlights how NSJP “promotes antisemitic rhetoric” and is “associated [with] violence and terror, ideologically and politically.”
The study, titled “National Students for Justice in Palestine and the Promotion of Hate and Antisemitism on the University Campus: The Threat to Academic Freedom,” is authored by Charles Asher Small, David Patterson and Glen Feder.

“For centuries, the most violent antisemitic attacks on Jews, including expulsions and pogroms, were rationalized by a need to bring justice to other groups,” said ISGAP chairman Natan Sharansky. “Today, the new antisemitism is brought to the world of academia under the pretext of justice for Palestinians.”

In the report’s foreword, Sharansky says that demonization, delegitimization and double standards against Jews are now being applied to the Jewish collective in the State of Israel.

“All those who value both justice and academic freedom should be resistant to it,” he said.

The report cites dozens of incidents, mainly on social networks, in which traditional antisemitic tropes are used by NSJP local chapters.

In 2017, for example, Students Supporting Israel at City College in NY described on their Facebook page a reaction by SJP members to the visit of Dani Dayan, the Consul General of Israel in New York. According to the post, “Comparisons to Hitler and Nazis were hurled by students… Rather than listening to what the speaker had to say, they put their antisemitic hate on blast, demonizing the Jewish State of Israel and all who would support it.” 

Stony Brook University’s SJP also had multiple inflammatory posts, including one that noted, “Together we can create a domino effect to ensure Zionism is an extinct ideology.”

Small told The Jerusalem Post that within the Jewish community there is now widespread understanding that antisemitism is on the rise, aided by recent reports, such as one published this year by the Anti-Defamation League that found the US Jewish community experienced “near-historic levels of antisemitism in 2018.” He noted that on college campuses, as he believes his report proves, NSJP chapters are a big part of this problem.

Beyond traditional antisemitism, the report offers examples of how NSJP demonizes Israel, applies double standards to the Jewish state and even labels Jewish students and other Israel activists as racists, denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination. All these behaviors, ISGAP explains in the report, run contrary to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, as well.

NSJP at its annual conferences has hosted terrorists, including Rasmea Odeh as its keynote speaker in 2015. Odeh perpetrated a terrorist attack in 1969 at a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two Hebrew University students. She later immigrated to the United States but was caught and deported in 2017.

NSJP was founded in 2010 at a forum that was sponsored in part by the BDS National Committee, which is known to include multiple members who are designated as terror organizations by the United States. Its primary constituent, according to the report, is the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces (PNIF), a coalition of member groups such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. 

5G And Health Risks

Critical Health News About 5G Continues Being Censored By The Mainstream Media

While many in the independent media have been reporting upon the health risks that have come along with the fast-tracking of 5G into America, the topic has largely been avoided by the mainstream media, making this September story by Sharyl Attkisson at Fox Newsthat much more of an anomaly as it points out some absolutely critical health news from industry experts largely censored by the rest of the msm.
With what the wireless industry calls ‘4-G on steroids‘ already being rolled out across big US cities with promises of ‘faster than ever internet speeds‘ that will allow people to connect even more devices to their networks, their story took a fair and balanced approach to 5G, reporting that some are calling it ‘super cool‘ while also warning that many scientific experts believe 5G will deliver massive health problems to Americans.
Quoting the pre-eminent scientific expert on the subject, Professor Martin Pall, the Fox News story reported that Doctor Pall is so concerned about cell phone radiation and EMF and electrico-magnetic fields that he refuses to even hold a mobile phone. In fact, he doesn’t engage in any wireless communication. He says he uses a wired mouse on his wired computer, has a shield over the screen that reduces EMF, and even wears special EMF-resistant fabric.
Also reporting in their story that Dr. Pall’s concerns are backed up by dozens of peer-reviewed scientific studies,  with Dr. Pall’s own credentials including a Physics degree from Johns Hopkins University as well as a Ph.D. in biochemistry and genetics at the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Pall’s words of warning should be listened to closely by those who think that 5G will be harmless.:
“I’ve got both the life sciences and the physics,” says Pall. “It’s the way in which these two interact, which is crucial for understanding how EMF impact the cells of our bodies.”
According to Pall, scientific studies show EMF impacts all of the cells in our bodies and can produce “neuropsychiatric effects,” reproductive problems, anxiety, sleeplessness, headaches and oxidative stress, which he says is involved in essentially all chronic diseases.
“So I’m, I’m deeply concerned about the situation.”
Pall isn’t alone in his worries. Consumer groups and activists are speaking out across the U.S. and the world. At least three expert medical groups have linked certain kinds of EMFs to cancer, particularly childhood leukemia. They are: the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; a working group under the World Health Organization (the International Agency for Research on Cancer), and the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks— which studied cell phones in particular. 

The Deep State vs The People

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Deep State And It's Feeding The Anti-POTUS Mob

The prepared statement of the latest UkraineGate whistle-blower is well worth the read. It tells you all you need to know about why the Deep State apparatchiks are coming out of the woodwork in a massive assault on America's duly elected president.
  • They are deathly afraid Trump will begin to dismantle a far-flung Empire which has
  • ...wreaked havoc around the world, 
  • ...bled America's fiscal accounts dry, and  
  • ...fostered unspeakable prosperity among the beltway's legions of empire-supporting agencies, contractors, think tanks, foreign lobbies, NGO's and K-street racketeers.
Whether out of common sense, naiveté or just contrariness, the Donald has dared to question and disrupt the Empire's core policy on the Ukraine/Russia file. And that's apparently exactly why the whistleblower de jour, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, wrote his now ballyhooed memos.

He feared that Trump's appropriate desire to get to the bottom of the well-documented Ukrainian involvement in the Obama Administration's illegal spying on his 2016 presidential campaign would undermine the bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill for Washington's utterly wrong-headed Ukraine policy.
Stated more crudely, Washington overthrew the duly elected government of Ukraine in early 2014 because its leader was deemed too cozy with Moscow. And in the vanguard of that illegal meddling in the governance of a sovereign foreign state was Obama's state department led by neocon Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Washington's self-appointed roving proconsul John McCain and at length Vice-President Joe Biden.
Folks, Lt. Col. Vindman was not elected to nothin'. If he's a proud 20-year veteran of the US Army and diplomatic service as he claims, fine. But his job is to implement policy as decided by the elected representatives of the people, not to free lance in the cause of the Empire group-think in which he is obviously and hopelessly steeped.
So let's cut to the chase: The policy he feared the Donald might be jeopardizing by his pressure tactics with President Zelensky has been a travesty from start to finish. The Ukraine has no bearing on America's homeland security whatsoever, and the policies of its government vis a vis Russia or any of its other neighbors are none of Washington's cotton picking business.
You can't be more emphatic about the utter irrelevancy of Ukraine to America's homeland security. Even at the pre-coup peak in 2013 it had a miniscule GDP of $185 billion, which has since plunged by 30% to $130 billion. Even if Putin were foolish enough to annex the approximate 30 million Russian-hating Ukrainians outside of the Russian-speaking eastern Donbas region, which he surely is not, it wouldn't amount to a hill of beans in the strategic equation.

Here's the thing. The expansion of NATO to the very doorstep of Russia was the most colossal mistake of the post-cold war period. And the War Party's insistence that this should to taken all the way to the incorporation of Ukraine and Georgia----historic vassals of Russia---actually trespasses upon the very border of insanity.

Indeed, the father of containment and the intellectual architect of NATO in the late 1940s, the great George F. Kennan, hit the nail on the head when lightweight Clintonistas like Strobe Talbot and Madeleine Albright launched the NATO expansion process in the 1990s:
''I think it is the beginning of a new cold war,'' said Mr. Kennan from his Princeton home. ''I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. [NATO expansion] was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.''
''And Russia's democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we've just signed up to defend from Russia,'' said Mr. Kennan, who joined the State Department in 1926 and was U.S. Ambassador to Moscow in 1952. ''It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are -- but this is just wrong.''
So there's your Deep State at work. It isn't some kind of sinister conspiracy lurking deep in the shadows of the national security machinery.
To the contrary, it's right there in the broad daylight of the Imperial City. It is populated by hundreds of thousands of foot soldiers like Colonel Vindman who make a career of drinking the Cool Aid, collecting a pay check from the state and propagating the policies of Empire First---policies which are immoral, illegal, unaffordable and have absolutely nothing to do with protecting America's liberty, prosperity and security inside the great ocean moats, which once upon a time birthed a peace-loving Republic.
We have no illusions, of course, that the Donald is a peace-lover. He's self-evidently first and foremost a Donald-lover.
Still, what is underway in Washington---first with the RussiaGate hoax and now with UkraineGate and impeachment---is an extra-constitutional political lynching, and one that has turned Washington's desperate, mendacious Dem pols into complaisant handmaids of the Deep State.
So Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman isn't some kind of whistle-blowing hero. He's just another mindless cog in the wheel of Empire talking his own book and thereby abetting the political mob that is now threatening the very constitution he was sworn to uphold.

RealClear Investigations Suggests 'Whistleblower' Likely 33-Year-Old CIA Analyst Eric Ciaramella

The outlet reported that Ciaramella’s name has been raised privately in impeachment depositions, as well as at least one open hearing held by a House committee not involved in the impeachment inquiry.

RealClearInvestigations also reported that House Democrats this week blocked Republicans from asking questions about Ciaramella and “intend to redact his name from all deposition transcripts.”

It said Ciaramella is 33-years-old, a registered Democrat who began working at the White House during the Obama administration and previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan.
Ciaramella left the Trump administration’s National Security Council in mid-2017 over concerns about negative leaks to the media and then returned to the CIA, the outlet reported.
“He was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump,” a former NSC official told RealClearInvestigiations.

The outlet also reported that Ciaramella huddled for “guidance” with the staff of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), including former NSC colleagues who now work for Schiff.

A handful of former colleagues have compiled a roughly 40-page research dossier on Ciaramella, which has been circulating on Capitol Hill, the outlet reported.
“Everyone knows who he is. CNN knows. The Washington Post knows. The New York Times knows. Congress knows. The White House knows. Even the president knows who he is,” Fred Fleitz, former CIA analyst and NSC chief of staff, told RealClearInvestigations.
“They’re hiding him,” he added. “They’re hiding him because of his political bias.”

Ciaramella is reportedly a CIA officer specializing in Russia and Ukraine who was detailed over to the National Security Council in the summer of 2015, working under former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice. He also reportedly worked closely with Biden.

Israel's Air Defense Systems On Alert Amid Iran Attack Fears

All air defense systems on alert amid Iran attack fears

Israeli Air Force chief Amikam Norkin on Wednesday said the military’s multi-tiered network of air defense systems were “on alert” amid a general threat of attack by Iran.
In recent weeks, the military has begun to believe that Tehran intends to eventually retaliate against Israel’s regular airstrikes against its forces and proxies in the region.
The Israel Defense Forces believes this could take the form of a large-scale attack involving cruise missiles and attack drones, similar to the strike on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco petroleum facility that was attributed to Iran.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran intends to attack Israel from Yemen, which may make intercepting such a strike more difficult as the IDF’s intermediate and long-range air defenses are better positioned to shoot down incoming attacks from Israel’s north, rather than from the south.

“Even as we speak, Arrow, Patriot, David’s Sling and Iron Dome batteries are on alert,” Norkin said Wednesday night at a graduation ceremony for air defense officers.

The air defense chief was referring to each of the military’s air defense systems, from the Arrow and Patriot systems, which are designed to destroy incoming long-range missiles and aircraft, to the mid-range David’s Sling, and the Iron Dome system, which can shoot down short-range rockets and small drones.

“The challenge of air defense has become more complicated. Joining the threat of missiles and rockets are now attack drones and cruise missiles,” he said.
Unlike ballistic missiles, which usually fly through a high arc on the way to the target, cruise missiles and drones fly at low altitude, making them harder to detect and intercept.
Iran appears to have been building up its drone activities and attacks in recent months. In August, Israeli fighter jets carried out airstrikes in Syria to thwart a planned attack on Israel by Iran-backed fighters using armed drones, the IDF said at the time.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Turkey And Russia To Start Patrolling Together In Northern Syria

Turkey and Russia to start patrolling Kurdish areas in northern Syria together on Friday

Joint Turkish-Russian patrols will commence later this week as Kurdish forces continue leaving the 20-mile ‘safe zone’ along Syria’s border with Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
The joint patrols “start on Friday,” Erdogan said in a speech to lawmakers on Wednesday, referring to the deal he struck with Russian leader Vladimir Putin last week.
The purpose of the patrols is to maintain security within ‘safe zone’ along the Turkish-Syrian border. The Russian Defense Ministry previously said that the Kurdish forces, who Ankara considers to be terrorists, have left the area through a specially-organized ‘safety corridor.’ They have been replaced by Syrian government troops and Russian military police.
Erdogan said he received confirmation from Moscow that Kurdish paramilitaries had withdrawn from the border but, according to Turkish intelligence, in some instances that wasn’t the case. He warned that the Turkish Army will continue its push against the Kurds if they fail to retreat as promised or attack Turkish soldiers.

U.S.-China Relations In The Years Ahead: The Trade War Is A Sideshow

US-China Relations In The Years Ahead: The Trade War Is A Sideshow

As President Trump has said many times, we rebuilt China over the past 25 years. No truer words were spoken, but those days are over.
The United States now recognizes China as a strategic and economic rival.
– Vice President Mike Pence during a speech last week at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
The truth is that China is a strategic competitor at best that uses coercion and corruption as its tools of statecraft. (Applause.) 

We’ve reconvened “the Quad” – the security talks between Japan, Australia, India and the Untied States that had been dormant for nine years. This will prove very important in the efforts ahead, ensuring that China retains only its proper place in the world.

– Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a speech last week to the Heritage Foundation

I don’t take the U.S.-China trade war seriously, because I don’t expect a transformative deal to come of it. Specifically, I see the current trade charade as little more than a warmup to a far more serious, unpredictable and dangerous conflict between the U.S. and China in the years ahead.

Last December, in a piece titled Is U.S. Geopolitical Strategy Experiencing a Monumental Shift?, I explained how the U.S. was repositioning its foreign policy to focus on China, and how this would set off a long-lasting and enormously consequential feud between the dominant empire and the emerging power. The post concluded with the following thought:
I’ve now seen enough to seriously consider that we may be entering an entirely new geopolitical environment dominated by vastly increased tensions between the U.S. and China. If so, it will likely last a lot longer than you think as leaders in both China in the U.S. will be looking for a scapegoat as their crony, financialized economies struggle under unpayable debt and unimaginable levels of corruption.
First, I think Trump and his administration genuinely mean it when it comes to their desire to get China under control and stymie its geopolitical and economic rise. This has been clear from the very beginning, and continues to be expressed by top administration officials including by Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo in a set of speeches last week (here and here), which I encourage everyone to analyze independently.
In his speech, Pence harshly attacked virtually every aspect of Chinese society and referred to it an “authoritarian regime” on multiple occasions. This isn’t the sort of language U.S. officials tend to use when a breakthrough deal with a foreign nation is imminent, it’s the sort of language U.S. officials use when the country is at war, about to be at war, or is working on a regime change operation.

Russian Submarine Operation In North Atlantic: Largest Since Cold War

Extensive Russian submarine operation in North Atlantic: Norway

Russia has sent about 10 submarines into the North Atlantic in the largest such operation since the end of the Cold War, the Norwegian military said on Tuesday.

Since last week, the Russian submarines -- based on the Kola Peninsula in Russia's far north -- have been dispatched for manoeuvres in the Atlantic Ocean, according to information from the Norwegian Intelligence Service, first reported by broadcaster NRK and later confirmed to AFP.

"There's a lot of activity in the North Atlantic at the moment and Norway together with other Nato states are monitoring with air and surface capabilities," Brynjar Stordal, a spokesman for the Norwegian armed forces, told AFP.

This is the largest operation of its kind conducted by Russia "since the end of the Cold War by the number of assets operating at the same time," he added.

According to sources cited by NRK, the Russian submarines, which all left their base in submerged mode, are seeking to reach as far into the Atlantic as possible -- ideally waters west of Greenland -- without being detected.

The operation is planned to last about two months with the suspected goal "to show that they are able to threaten the east coast of the United States."

"Of course they're showing their capabilities both in numbers and as to what they can deploy at the same time," Stordal said.

On Saturday, Russian news agencies reported two nuclear submarines, the Nizhny Novgorod and Pskov, were preparing for "deep dives to test certain equipment and weapons" in the neutral waters of the Norwegian Sea.

"During these dives, which will last a week, their crews will practice tactical procedures and different techniques for deep manoeuvres," according to a statement from the Russian North Fleet, quoted by the agencies.

The Norwegian Sea has depths of several thousand meters, unlike the Barents Sea outside the Russian port of Murmansk which only has an average depth of about 200 metres.
According to Russian media the two submarines are so called Kondor-class -- or Sierra-class -- multi-purpose subs, which are equipped to launch cruise missiles and designed to detect and destroy enemy air and sea targets.

Russia fired a ballistic missile from its new submarine for the first time and hit a target thousands of miles away, Moscow has revealed. 
In a show of strength, Russia's defence ministry released footage of the Bulava missile being launched from the nuclear-powered submarine Prince Vladimir. 
The 'successful' test launch from the northern White Sea hit a target 3,500 miles away in Kamchatka on the country's Pacific coast, the Russian military said.  
The state-of-the-art submarine is expected to enter active service in December. 

The Knyaz Vladimir is the first upgraded 955A model to be produced in the Borei class of Russian nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. 
It will enter service with Russia's Northern Fleet at the end of this year once it has completed trials including weapons tests, the fleet's commander said. 
The Bulava - or Mace - is seen as a cornerstone of the Russian military triad comprising sea, land and air launched weapons.   
The launch was carried out with a dummy payload and reached a test site in the far east of Russia.     
As many as eight Russian nuclear-powered submarines sailed from their Kola Peninsula bases ahead of the test launch, reported Norwegian media.
On top of that, flight tests on Russia's new Sarmat ballistic missile are expected to begin early next year, according to Russian media. 
The hypersonic missile, also known as Satan-2, is due to be deployed in 2021 after Vladimir Putin hailed progress on its development.
Moscow says Satan-2 can evade the United States' defence shield and is capable of destroying an area the size of England and Wales - or Texas. 
The weapon is seen as a crucial part of Russia's ongoing push to modernise its nuclear arsenal.
The initial stage of testing is said to involve two missile launches with a 'mass-scale mock-up of the warhead' from an underground installation at the Plesetsk cosmodrome 650 miles north of Moscow.
The 'target' will be at the Kura training ground in Kamchatka on Russia's Pacific coast, newspaper Vedomosti reported.  
Following these, tests could be conducted from a location in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk where the 62nd Strategic Missile Forces missile division is deployed.
It is believed to be the first time since the Soviet era that advanced missile tests have been conducted from this site. 
The test launch comes amid growing fears of a new arms race between Moscow and Washington. 
Putin has frequently boasted about Moscow's hypersonic missiles, saying after a test last year that they were 'impossible to intercept'. 

Petrodollar Armageddon Approaches

Petrodollar Armageddon Approaches as One of the World’s Largest Oil & Gas Companies Dumps Greenback

Petrodollar Armageddon Approaches as One of the World’s Largest Oil & Gas Companies Dumps Greenback from Sputnik News
The US dollar currently enjoys the coveted status of the world’s de-facto reserve currency, with all oil purchased from the powerful cartel known as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) priced in greenbacks. However, some countries have recently attempted to challenge this state of affairs.
Russian energy giant Rosneft, the world’s eighth largest oil and gas company by total revenue, and the largest in terms of production volume and reserves, has completed the switch away from the dollar in favour of euros in export contracts, company CEO Igor Sechin has announced, speaking to participants at the Eurasian Economic Forum in Verona, Italy this week.
“We haven’t just started this work, but already competed it. All of our export contracts are already being implemented in euros and the potential for working with the European currency is very high,” Sechin said, The energy giant’s decision was “a forced measure in order to limit the company from the impact of the US sanctions,” the official explained.
Sechin also commented directly on the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency, saying he believed China had the potential to challenge the dollar in the near future.
“I think that the yuan will have the best chances of being used as a reserve currency due to the growth of the Chinese economy,” he said. According to the official, although the dollar is being used in over 60 percent of global trade today, including a whopping 90 percent of trade in oil and oil products, this picture will change over the next decade.

Russia, China & India to set up alternative to SWIFT payment system to connect 3 billion people from RT
Members of the BRICS trade bloc Russia, India, and China have decided to connect their financial messaging systems to bypass the SWIFT international money transfer network.
Russia’s financial messaging system SPFS will be linked with the Chinese cross-border interbank payment system CIPS. While India does not have a domestic financial messaging system yet, it plans to combine the Central Bank of Russia’s platform with a domestic service that is in development.
The new system is expected to work as a “gateway” model when messages on payments are transcoded in accordance with a certain financial system.
According to Izvestia, the parties involved will work on a single platform, without experiencing any difficulties with transactions.
Russia began development of SPFS in 2014 amid Washington’s threats to disconnect the country from SWIFT. The first transaction on the SPFS network involving a non-bank enterprise was made in December 2017.
“We have an opportunity to connect both foreign banks and foreign legal entities to the SPFS. Today, about 400 users are participating in the system. Agreements have already been concluded with eight foreign banks and 34 legal entities,” Alla Bakina, the director of the Bank of Russia’s national payment system, was cited as saying by Vesti.
Bakina explained that traffic through the system has been growing and currently accounts for around 15 percent of all internal traffic, up from 10-11 percent last year.