Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Five Possible Scenarios On How The Ukraine Crisis Will End

Where unrest has occurred in eastern Ukraine

How Will The Ukraine Crisis End? Five Possible Scenarios -- Tim Lister, CNN

(CNN) -- Ukraine's young government is running out of viable options for restoring its control of eastern regions and preserving the country's territorial integrity. Government and police buildings in more than a dozen places are still held by pro-Russian protesters, sometimes led by masked and well-armed men in uniform. The response from Kiev to this assault has been inconsistent and hesitant.

Amid a war of words between Washington and Moscow, the "agreement" reached in Geneva last week for resolving the crisis looks dead in the water. Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of bad faith, and on the ground there is a growing sense of stalemate, interrupted by episodes of violence that only harden views.

Just one month before the Ukrainian presidential election, constitutional reforms that might mollify the pro-Russian protesters are still being thrashed out.

Read more ....

My Comment: The best case scenario is one in which a political agreement is reached .... but no one is negotiating right now. I do not see a civil war or a Russian invasion happening .... if that happens it will be a disaster for everyone .... and no one wants that. What I see is the Ukraine government asserting some form of authority in the region .... but it is going to be tenuous at best. In such a situation I can easily foresee a low level insurgency developing .... something similar to the troubles in Northern Ireland is what comes to mind. In the end .... a political agreement will need to be reached .... but I just do not see it happening right now.

Russia Draws A Red Line On Ukraine



Moscow Will Respond To Attack On Russian Interests – Lavrov -- RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow will be forced to respond correspondingly to any actions undermining the interests of Russian citizens, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

“If we are attacked, we would certainly respond,” Lavrov said in an English-language interview with the RT news channel.

“If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I don’t see any other way but to respond in full accordance with international law. Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation,” the foreign minister said, adding that Russia is not engaged in any military activity that does not fall under international law.

Read more ....

More News On Russia Drawing A Red Line on Ukraine

Russia says it will respond if Ukraine interests attacked -- Reuters
Russia Warns Ukraine It Could See Repeat Of Georgia War -- NBC
Ukraine crisis: Russia 'to respond if its interests' attacked -- BBC
Moscow insists Kiev pull back troops from the east -- Global Post/AFP
Russia threatens Ukraine -- Global Times/AFP
Russia Threatens To Retaliate If Interests In Ukraine Attacked -- RTT News
Kiev orders military moves in eastern Ukraine; Russians threatens retaliation -- Washington Post
Ukraine: Sergei Lavrov warns Kyiv over Russian interests -- Euronews
Lavrov Says Russia Will Respond If Interests Attacked In Ukraine -- Radio Free Europe
Russia promises to strike back if attacked -- Xinhua
Moscow warns Kiev to pull back troops -- Al Jazeera

British, Dutch, And Danish Fighters Scramble To Confront Russian Bombers

Air incident: An RAF Typhoon was scrambled after a TU-95 flew near UK airspace. © MOD/Crown Copyright

RAF Fighter Jet Scrambled As Russian Bombers Approach Scottish Coast -- STV News

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that a RAF fighter jet was scrambled from a Scottish RAF base after a Russian bomber was detected in UK airspace.

A Typhoon fast attack jet was sent to investigate after radar operators detected two "unknown and unidentified" aircraft near the north of Scotland.

A spokesman for the MoD said: "The aircraft were identified as Russian but they did not enter UK sovereign airspace."

Read more ....

Update #1: RAF Jet Chases Russian Planes Away From UK -- SKY News
Update #2: Dutch Scramble Jets After Russian Bombers Approach -- AP

My Comment: The Europeans are not the only ones who are now confronting Russian bombers .... Japan scrambles fighters against Russian bombers for 6 days in row -- Global Post/AFP

President Obama And Sushi Diplomacy



Obama's Japan Visit Kicks Off With Dreams Of Sushi -- Christian Science Monitor

Before tackling weightier matters, Obama and Prime Minister Abe dined at a 10-seat restaurant where the world's top sushi chef decides the menu – and you don't want to know the cost.

Tokyo’s sushi restaurants have been the setting for countless business deals. But for two special guests at Sukiyabashi Jiro on Wednesday evening, mouthfuls of melt-in-the-mouth tuna, squid, and octopus were the culinary backdrop to discussing urgent matters of regional security.

Soon after Air Force One touched down here, Barack Obama found himself in Tokyo’s upmarket Ginza district, tucked behind the counter of arguably the world’s best sushi restaurant with his Japanese host, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Sukiyabashi Jiro’s modest size – it has just 10 seats – is inversely proportionate to its reputation.

Most Japanese, even those flush enough not to break into a cold sweat when presented with the bill, can only dream of eating there. The 19-piece special course, featuring a selection chosen by owner Jiro Ono, costs around $300, not including drinks.

Read more ....

Update: Obama Is Eating At The Legendary 'Jiro Dreams Of Sushi' Restaurant -- Business Insider

My Comment: OMG! I ate at this restaurant four years ago. My Japanese host and friend brought us there for dinner  .... and I had no idea on what I was going to experience. I remember it being a very small restaurant, and I had the 19-piece special course .... and each piece was fantastic. The sauce .... the rice .... the taste .... the saki .... the atmosphere .... everything was perfect. It was only later .... when I got back home .... that I learned how lucky I was.

President Obama Begins His 8-Day Asian Tour


Obama Arrives in Japan on 8-Day Asia Tour -- Voice of America

U.S. President Barack Obama has arrived in Japan for the start of a four-nation tour of Asia, where he will try to convince allies that Washington is committed to its "rebalancing" in the Pacific.

Security concerns over China's territorial claims and North Korea's nuclear program will be a major focus of Mr. Obama's trip, which include stops in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

The eight-day tour began in Tokyo with a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Japan is embroiled in a growing dispute with Beijing over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Read more ....

More News On President Obama Beginning His 8-Day Asian Tour

Obama begins Asia tour with reassurance to Japan -- CNN
Obama seeks to ease Asian allies' doubts during visit to Japan -- Reuters
Obama seeks to reassure partners on Asia trip -- Al Jazeera
Obama Arrives in Asia as Disasters Complicate Mission -- New York Times
U.S. President Obama arrives in Japan on 4-nation Asia trip -- Xinhua
Obama Visit to Japan to Set Tone for Four-Nation Asia Tour -- Bloomberg Businessweek
Q&A: Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun interviews President Obama -- Washington Post

My Comment: China is not impressed .... Obama Asia Tour Starts With Scathing Attack by China State Media -- NBC

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 -- News Updates April 23, 2014



BREAKING NEWS: Pieces Of Wreckage From MH370 May Have Washed Ashore In Western Australia, Including One Which Is 'Length Of A Car With Distinct Rivets In It' -- Daily Mail

* Material washed ashore six miles east of Augusta in Western Australia
* One of the objects is believed to be the length of a car with 'distinct rivets'
* The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is examining photographs
* Augusta is near Australia's southwestern tip about 190 miles from Perth
* Malaysian Airlines flight vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board

Three pieces of debris washed up off the coast of Western Australia are being investigated to see if they could be wreckage from missing Malaysian flight MH370.

One of the objects is believed to be the length of a car with 'distinct rivets'.

They were found by someone walking on the beach who notified police.

The search coordination centre said today that police secured the material that washed ashore six miles east of Augusta in Western Australia.

Read more ....

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 -- News Updates April 23, 2014

Possible Malaysian plane debris found on Australian coast -- Reuters
Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt -- Washington Post/AP
Cyclone curtails aerial search for MH370 -- Global Post/AFP
Australia, Malaysia vow to keep searching to solve plane mystery -- Reuters
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 hunt set to go deeper as "materials washed ashore" in Australia investigated -- CBS/AP
Australia says search for Malaysian jet likely to use more powerful sonar to delve deeper -- USA Today
Australia says cost not a concern in MH370 search -- Global Post/AFP
Missing MH370: Titanic Subs to Hunt for Malaysia Airlines Jet? -- NBC
Australia transport safety chief tells what's next in MH370 search -- CNN
MH370 search rethink if plane not found within days -- Sydney Morning Herald
MH370: How do underwater sonar subs work? -- Holly Yan and Tom Watkins, CNN
Search for MH370: Inside a black box investigation lab -- CNN
MH370: More than 45 days into the search, here come the lawyers -- Ed Payne, CNN

Turkey's PM Erdogan Offers Condolences To Armenians

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara April 22, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Umit Bektas

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Offers Condolences To Armenians -- Deutsche Welle

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered condolences to the grandchildren of Armenians killed during World War I. The unexpected statement was the first of its kind made by a Turkish leader.

Prime Minister Erdogan's conciliatory message was issued on the eve of the 99th anniversary of the deeply contested deaths.

Describing the events of 1915 as "inhumane" and as "our shared pain," Erdogan used more conciliatory language than has often been the case for Turkish leaders.

Turkish media described the statement, which was translated into several languages including Armenian, as unexpected.

The killings are considered by many as the first genocide of the 20th century and, after almost a century, the events still fuel bitter controversy.

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More News On Turkey's PM Erdogan Offering Condolences To Armenians

Turkey's Erdogan offers unexpected condolences for Armenian killings -- Reuters
Turkey Calls WWI Armenian Killings 'Shared Pain' -- AP
Turkey's PM offers condolences to Armenians -- Al Jazeera
Turkey's Erdogan says WWI massacre of Armenians 'shared pain' -- Global Post/AFP
Turkey's Erdogan Offers Condolences Over WWI Killings Of Armenians -- Radio Free Europe
'Shared pain': Turkish PM Erdogan in historic Armenian statement -- RT

My Comment: This is a small but significant first step.

Hamas And Fatah Reach A Reconciliation Agreement To Form A Unity Government



Hamas And Fatah Unveil Palestinian Reconciliation Deal -- BBC

Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have announced a reconciliation deal, saying they will seek to form a unity government in the coming weeks.

It comes as the peace talks between President Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel near collapse.

Hamas and Fatah split violently in 2007. Previous reconciliation agreements have never been implemented.

Israel's prime minister said Mr Abbas would have to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas.

"You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace; so far he hasn't done so," warned Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mr Abbas sent a delegation to Gaza for talks earlier this week.

Read more ....

More News On Hamas And Fatah Reaching A Reconciliation Agreement To Form A Unity Government

Palestinian factions to form unity government -- Al Jazeera
Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement -- Reuters
Abbas, rival Hamas give reconciliation another try -- AP
Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government -- France 24
Hamas and Fatah announce Palestinian unity deal -- The National
Palestinian Factions Announce Deal on Unity Government -- New York Times
PLO and Hamas agree landmark unity pact -- The Guardian
Palestinian Groups Agree on Unity Government, Officials Say -- Bloomberg

World News Briefs -- April 23, 2014

Masked pro-Russia militants stand guard outside a regional government building they seized in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, April 22, 2014

Kyiv Formally Ends Easter Truce; Offensive Will Resume -- Voice of America

Ukraine's government has formally ended an Easter truce and is relaunching the “active phase” of an “anti-terrorist operation” to eliminate armed pro-Russian separatist groups in the east, First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema said on Wednesday.

Yarema, who has a role in security matters, told reporters on the sidelines of a weekly cabinet meeting the new action was not yet underway, but added: “In the near future, appropriate measures will be taken and you will see results.”

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Homs emerges as turning point in shaping Syria’s future.

Palestinian factions agree on unity government, official says.

Abbas renews threat to dissolve Palestinian authority if peace talks fail.

Netanyahu tells Abbas to choose peace partner: Hamas or Israel.

Lebanon parliament fails to elect president.

Iran refuses to pull terrorist U.N. pick.

Turkey calls WWI Armenian killings 'shared pain'.

ASIA

Obama pledges Japan islands support as Asian tour begins.

US experts: 'little evidence' of N. Korea nuclear test during Obama visit.

Hole in Afghan budget stirs unease as West starts packing bags.

S. Korea ferry death toll nears 150, search for victims enters second week. South Korea ferry disaster: New arrests.

Children's corpses reveal desperate attempts to escape Korean ferry.

Malaysia approves international investigation into MH370.

Pirates raid oil tanker in Malacca Straits.

AFRICA

South Sudan rebels in ‘multiple attacks’.

White House 'horrified' by massacre of hundreds in South Sudan.

Bentiu massacre is game-changer in South Sudan conflict, says UN official.

Two policemen, militant killed in Egypt.

2 Somali lawmakers assassinated in Mogadishu.

A.N.C.’s stature wanes as disenchantment grows in South Africa.

'Dangerous yet beautiful': South Africa's fascination with the AK-47.

EUROPE

Ukraine calls for renewal of anti-terror measures. Ukraine ends 'Easter truce' with separatists.

Ukraine's leaders say have U.S. backing to take on 'aggressors'.

Kerry tells Russia of 'deep concern' over Ukraine: official.

Violence continues in Ukraine despite Geneva agreement – Lavrov. Ukraine crisis orchestrated by U.S., Russia's Lavrov says. Ukraine crisis: US runs the show in Kiev, says Sergei Lavrov.

Pro-Russian insurgents hold US journalist captive.

Russia to require gas prepayment if Kiev doesn't pay – Medvedev.

Austria says more sanctions on Russia would inflame tensions.

Greece hits milestone, opens way for debt relief.

Europe recovery shows signs of strengthening.

AMERICAS

Brazil protesters in Rio clashes over dancer's death.

Venezuela accuses 9 of financing violent protests.

Colombia court reinstates ousted Bogota mayor.

Hagel to visit Mexico, Guatemala to affirm U.S. commitment.

U.S. top court upholds Michigan ban on college affirmative action.

Stowaway spent 7 hours undetected before plane took off.

Oops! NYPD Twitter outreach is epic fail.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Lawsuit says FBI uses no-fly list in bid to recruit Muslim informants.

US defends support of attacks on Yemeni militants.

US aided anti-terror raids in Yemen.

Sudan again found liable for deadly attack on USS Cole.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Future of the internet debated at NetMundial in Brazil.

Global share rally peters out, euro lifted by PMI boost.

Huawei says reports of NSA spying won't impact growth.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- April 23, 2014

U.S. soldiers of the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiments of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Teams.

US Army Paratroopers Deploy To Poland, Baltics -- Voice of America

WASHINGTON — U.S. Army paratroopers begin joint exercises with their Polish counterparts Wednesday in Poland with additional companies deployed in the three Baltic States in what a Pentagon spokesman called a “tangible expression” of the U.S. commitment to Europe. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said the decision follows what he called Russia’s “aggression” in Ukraine and is a way to reassure U.S. allies and partners.

Kirby said a company of about 150 members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Italy, will be part of a “rotational” U.S. military presence in Eastern Europe in the wake of tensions over Ukraine.

Read more ....


Military And Intelligence News Briefs

Pentagon deploying troops to thwart Russia -- USA Today

4 US Army units heading to Eastern Europe -- Army Times

US sends 600 troops to Eastern Europe, warship USS Taylor enters Black Sea -- RT

NATO minesweepers set off on Baltic deployment -- AP

US warns Russia over Ukraine as Moscow announces military exercises -- The Guardian

Punishing Putin: Why Pentagon is cool to sanctions on Russian arms firm -- Anna Mulrine, Christian Science Monitor

Russia Holds Snap Military Drills in Caspian Sea: Report -- New York Times

Russia's military spending spree -- USA Today

China Goes Ballistic -- National Interest

China's military requires tightened secrecy -- Global Times/Xinhua

China military says faces 'complex' task keeping secrets -- Reuters

Pay Raise Helps Taiwan Make Progress Toward Volunteer Military -- Defense News/AFP

India to test AMD system and first subsonic cruise missile next week -- RT

Sweden's Goals Fuel Saab's Acquisitions -- Defense News

Australia to buy 58 new F-35 fighter jets -- BBC

Australia Lifts F-35 Order From 14 to 72 Fighters -- AP

Obama Moves to Resume Some U.S. Military Aid to Egypt -- Bloomberg

US to Deliver Apache Helicopters to Egypt, Relaxing Hold on Aid -- Voice of America

Russian Nuclear Inspectors Tour Demolished US Launch Facilities -- RIA Novosti

US reviewing plans for fewer troops in Afghanistan -- AP

Navy recovery vessel USNS Safeguard en route to South Korea -- Stars and Stripes

Lockheed says costly for Pentagon if it cancels MH-60 helicopters -- Reuters

Navy Seeks Feedback on UCLASS Program -- DoD Buzz

McConnell gets OK for new KC-46A tankers, prepares for $219M construction -- Stars and Stripes/The Wichita Eagle (MCT)

Navy to award contract for Marine One helicopter fleet in shadow of previous failure -- Washington Post

The Greening of the Pentagon Takes a Big Step Forward -- Fiscal Times

Army general disciplined over mishandling of sexual-assault case in Japan -- Washington Post

Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with ‘full-time’ robots -- Washington Times

Bionic man struts stuff at Pentagon, has history with Hagel -- Stars and Stripes

Military, Inc.: How Companies Use SEALs and Soldiers to Sell -- Bill Briggs, NBC

Less silent suffering: Veterans’ post-traumatic stress taken seriously -- Washington Times

Navy’s top enlisted chief sees room for improving morale -- Stars and Stripes

Intelligence budget should not be secret -- Cynthia Lummis and Peter Welch, CNN

Ukraine Formally Ends It's Truce With Pro-Russian Rebels

Ukrainian President Oleksander Turchynov visits a training base of the National Guard near Kiev. Mykhailo Markiv / Reuters

Ukraine Vows To 'Liquidate' Pro-Russian Rebels After Body Of 'Brutally Tortured' Politician Is Found In River -- Daily Mail

* Ukraine ends Easter truce after two bodies found near town of Slaviansk
* One was Vladimir Rybak, a member of president's Batkivshchyna party
* President said councillor in town of Horlivka was abducted by 'terrorists'
* He and another man tortured and dumped in river to drown, say police
* U.S. journalist for Vice News captured by Pro-Russia militia in Slaviansk
* Former Moscow foreign minister warns Ukraine is 'powder keg' which will explode with 'catastrophic consequences'
* U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says Russia must act to defuse the unrest
* Pentagon sends 600 troops to Poland and three Baltic states for exercises

Ukraine today ended its Easter truce and vowed to 'liquidate' pro-Russian armed rebels which have grabbed control of key buildings across the east of the country.

Kiev plans to renew its 'anti-terrorist operation' which began last week without scoring any major successes in dislodging the separatists.

'Security agencies are working to liquidate all the groups currently operating in Kramatorsk, Slaviansk and the other towns in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions,' said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema today.

Read more ....

More News On Ukraine Formally Ending It's Truce With Pro-Russian Rebels

Kyiv Formally Ends Easter Truce; Offensive Will Resume -- VOA
Ukraine's 'Anti-Terrorist' Operation Continues -- Novinite
Ukraine Resumes Move in East as U.S. Troops Plan Drills -- Bloomberg Businessweek
Ukrainian president calls for resumption of “anti-terrorist” operations in east -- Euronews
Ukraine's Turchynov Orders Resumption Of Military Operations In Eastern Ukraine After Politician Is Killed While Kerry Warns Of More Sanctions Against Russia -- IBTimes
Kiev Restarts Operation Against Protesters in Eastern Ukraine -- RIA Novosti
Tensions High in Ukraine After Kiev Calls Off Easter Truce -- Time

Russia Shows Off Their Military Bots

Мobile security robot Taifun-M. © OAO "Izhevskiy radiozavod"

Russia Shows Off World-Leading Security Bots for Missile Bases -- RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – The new Russian mobile security robot Taifun-M, designed to provide security at strategic missile facilities, has been shown on the Russian Vesti news program.

The combat robots, which have no foreign analogue, will be used to secure Yars and Topol-M missile sites and can be operated remotely by a secure wireless connection and in the future with an autonomous artificial intelligence system, the program reported Monday.

A spokesman for the Defense Ministry said last month several of the robots, which feature laser-targeting and a cannon, will be deployed at five sites by the end of the year, part of an upgrade of existing automated security systems.

Read more ....

My Comment: We are definitely at the dawn of a new age.

U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel Meets A Terminator Robot

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is briefed on the ATLAS ROBOT which is one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever built April 22, 2014, at the Pentagon by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency(DARPA) personnel demonstrating five technologies under development. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

Chuck Hagel Met A Life-Sized Robot Today. And No One Seems That Concerned --- Washington Post

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spent Tuesday at the Pentagon, checking out the five new innovations from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Among the exhibits were the latest in prosthetic limb technology -- demonstrated by a longtime friend of Hagel's who lost an arm in Vietnam -- and a hand-and-arm apparatus that responds to brain impulses.

Then there was the life-sized robot, developed as part of a challenge to DARPA to create a robot that could go into places too dangerous for humans. Here's how Stars and Stripes described the robot.

Read more ....

Update: Pentagon scientists show off life-size robot -- AFP

My Comment: Forget about Chuck Hagel and DARPA's newest robots .... when researching this story I came across this exciting news .... New 'Terminator' movie now filming in New Orleans -- al.com

Cartoon Pic

Picture Of The Day

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Cameron H. Depue scans the ocean from the back of an MV-22 Osprey aircraft after departing from the flight deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard, April, 21, 2014, to assist South Korea's search operations for the Sewol. Depue is a crew chief assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Henry Antenor

The Pentagon Wants To Control The Weather

Researchers a testing a method to stimulate rain and lightning using a high-powered laser beam. (Photo : REUTERS)

Pentagon-Sponsored Researchers Working On Controlling Weather With Super Lasers -- AllVoices

Vagaries of the weather is something humans have been resigned to since time immemorial. But, who would have ever thought that one day we would be able to manipulate it to do our bidding?

It appears now that technology will allow us to do just that. Pentagon-sponsored researchers are developing a brand new technique involving dual laser beam that will help us to control the weather.

Researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) believe their technique of sending incredibly high-powered lasers into the sky will induce clouds to drop rain and trigger thunderbolts.

Scientists have always known that water condensation and lighting cause huge amounts of static charged particles. But when these particles are stimulated, you actually have the ability to be the master himself — in a sense of course.

Read more ....

Update #1: Pentagon wants to play weather god: Laser beams developed to make rain and lightning -- Tech Times
Update #2: Pentagon-sponsored study opens door for super lasers, weather control -- RT

My Comment: The military and non-military applications are enormous.

Citizens Committee On Benghazi Claims The US Government Helped Arm al-Qaeda Militias In Libya

The Citizens Committee on Benghazi released its interim findings on April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pictured are (L-R) Clare Lopez, Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic, Admiral (Ret.) James 'Ace' Lyons, former CIA officer Wayne Simmons and civil rights attorney John Clarke

Benghazi Attack Could Have Been Prevented If US Hadn't 'Switched Sides In The War On Terror' And Allowed $500 MILLION Of Weapons To Reach Al-Qaeda Militants, Reveals Damning Report -- Daily Mail

* Citizens Committee on Benghazi claims the US government allowed arms to flow to al-Qaeda-linked militants who opposed Muammar Gaddafi
* Their rise to power, the group says, led to the Benghazi attack in 2012
* The group claims the strongman Gaddafi offered to abdicate his presidency, but the US refused to broker his peaceful exit
* The commission, part of the center-right Accuracy In Media group, concluded that the Benghazi attack was a failed kidnapping plot
* US Ambassador Chris Stevens was to be captured and traded for 'blind sheikh' Omar Abdel-Rahman, who hatched the 1993 WTC bombing plot

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn't been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.

'The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,' Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.

Read more ....

My Comment: The conclusions from this report are explosive. This is a report that was prepared by a group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers who took the time and effort to analyze and review the events that led to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in 2012. But no one in the U.S. media is covering this story. NO ONE!!!!

Portuguese Navy’s Drone Launch Ends In A Spectacular Failure



Video: Portuguese Navy’s Drone Launch Ends In Embarrassing Fail -- Metro

The Portuguese navy unveiled its new state-of-the-art surveillance drone this week, but things didn’t exactly go to plan.

It was launched in front of the nation’s media and Portugal’s defence minister at a Lisbon naval base, with disastrous results.

‘It will be highly effective in missions the navy has to fulfil,’ declared minister José Pedro Aguiar-Branco before the demonstration.

Read more ....

My Comment: Almost 1 million views and counting.

Hat Tip: Naval Open Source INTelligence

Why Did The White House Deliberately Leak A Photo Of An Ill Saudi King With A Breathing Tube

US President , Barack Obama and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

Sources: White House Deliberately Leaked Photo Of Ill Saudi King With Breathing Tube -- World Bulletin

WASHINGTON — The United States is said to have disclosed that Saudi King Abdullah was dying.

Diplomatic sources said the administration of President Barack Obama relayed a photograph that showed Abdullah with a breathing tube, Middle East Newsline reported.

The sources said the photograph was taken by White House personnel during Obama’s meeting with the Saudi king outside Riyad on March 28.\

“The Saudis specifically did not want any photograph that showed Abdullah with the tube,” a source said. “But there was a White House photographer that took the picture for what he said was history.”

Read more ....

My Comment: I do not know about this picture .... it is hard to see a tube. As to leaking the news that the Saudi King is sick .... that is a surprised because I do not see any benefit for the White House in doing it .... but that is exactly what they did.

The Militarizing Of The Arctic


Frosty Relations: Militarizing the Arctic -- World Policy Blog

The Arctic melt is uncovering more than just resources and trade routes – it is also opening up a whole new theatre of military operations.

Of all the world’s territorial disputes, the ones in the Arctic – and there are plenty – used to matter the least: the only prize at stake was frozen ocean, and most of the time it was too cold for military forces to operate there anyway. National boundaries were left to blur among the floes.

Suddenly those vague Arctic territories matter. The region is increasingly ice-free and the open ocean means rich fishing, undersea mineral and energy resources and new sea lanes. The Arctic, in other words, has become a valuable commodity.

Read more .....

My Comment: A good summary on who is doing what in the Arctic.

Russia Prepares To Defend It's Claims In The Arctic

The nuclear icebreaker Vaygach (RIA Novosti / Vadim Zhernov)

Russia To Create United Naval Base System For Ships, Subs In Arctic - Putin -- RT

A united system of naval bases for ships and next-generation submarines will be created in the Arctic to defend Russia’s interests in the region, President Vladimir Putin said.

He urged the government to provide full state funding for the socio-economic development of the Russian Arctic through 2017-20.

Putin said that a separate state agency should be created to implement Russian policy in the Arctic and to improve the quality of governance and decision-making in this area.

Read more ....

Update: Russia to Build Network of Modern Naval Bases in Arctic - Putin -- RIA Novosti

My Comment: As Russia allocates vessels and bases to implement their Arctic strategy .... the U.S. is still working on it's strategy.

The Chinese Navy Has A Big Weakness

Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 is pictured during a search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in the south Indian Ocean April 5, 2014, in this photo courtesy of China News Service. Credit: Reuters/CNSphoto

Search For MH370 Reveals A Military Vulnerability For China -- Reuters

(Reuters) - When Chinese naval supply vessel Qiandaohu entered Australia's Albany Port this month to replenish Chinese warships helping search for a missing Malaysian airliner, it highlighted a strategic headache for Beijing - its lack of offshore bases and friendly ports to call on.

China's deployment for the search - 18 warships, smaller coastguard vessels, a civilian cargo ship and an Antarctic icebreaker - has stretched the supply lines and logistics of its rapidly expanding navy, Chinese analysts and regional military attaches say.

China's naval planners know they will have to fill this strategic gap to meet Beijing's desire for a fully operational blue-water navy by 2050 - especially if access around Southeast Asia or beyond is needed in times of tension.

Read more ....

My Comment: Give them a few more years .... I am sure that this is a shortfall that the Chinese Navy knows about and will quickly correct.

China Releases A Slick Propaganda Video On It's Aircraft Carrier



Chinese Aircraft Carrier Gets Slick Propaganda Video -- Epoch Times

A state-run aviation company in China has produced a “Top Gun” style music video for the Chinese military’s’ first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.

The video, commissioned by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, includes the Tibetan singer Rongzhongerjia in a white suit, singing karaoke on top of the carrier as planes rocket off, presumably to do battle against China’s enemies. AVIC presides over 200 different companies, 23 of which are public, and it has total assets of over $46 billion.

According to Xinhua, the official news agency, the video was created to assist with the “realization of the great Chinese dream.” Xinhua said that the music video was made public on the eve of the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army Navy. That fell on April 23, 1949, the same year that the Chinese Communist Party declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Read more ....

My Comment: I am impressed. This is actually a well done propaganda video with an excellent soundtrack.

Is The US Military Training For A Possible Of US Dollar Collapse?



WNU Editor: If you have the time .... watch the 30-minute documentary, Meltdown America, and witness the harrowing tales of three ordinary people who lived through a crisis (Serbia, Argentina, and Zombabwe), and how their experiences warn of the turmoil that could soon reach the US.

Hat Tip: Zero Hedge

The Future Of The Internet Is To Be Debated Today

A National Security Agency (NSA) data gathering facility is seen in Bluffdale, about 25 miles (40 km) south of Salt Lake City, Utah, December 16, 2013. Jim Urquhart/Credit: Reuters

Brazil Conference Will Plot Internet's Future Post NSA Spying -- Reuters

(Reuters) - A global conference in Brazil on the future of the Internet in the wake of U.S. spying revelations might be much less anti-American than first thought after Washington said it was willing to loosen its control over the Web.

Bowing to the demands of Brazil and other nations following revelations last year of its massive electronic surveillance of Internet users, the United States has agreed to relinquish oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned of Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit group based in California that assigns Internet domain names or addresses.

"The focus has changed from a political reaction to the NSA allegations to one of more constructive criticism and talk about the future of the Internet," said William Beer, a cyber security expert based in Sao Paulo.

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My Comment: The idea that countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, and China will have a say on how the internet should function sends a chill up my spine.