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Monitor The Strategic Trends

Global Government Introduction:

 

      The move toward a global government received a big boost this summer by the introduction of a proposal for an International Criminal Court. Over U.S. objections, the United Nations Diplomatic Conference voted 120 to 7 in favor of establishing an international criminal court to try individuals accused of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.


[READ THE FULL INTRODUCTION]

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behold a Black Horse

 Behold a Black

Horse

 

 

Price R 249.00 

 

 

 

Behold a Black Horse:

 Economic Upheaval and Famine

DVD

by Dr. Chuck Missler

 

 

The third of the “Five Horsemen of the Apocalypse” brings inflation and famine on an unprecedented scale.
•What is the real cause of inflation?
•What are the real causes of famine?

Most famines are the direct results of government’s deliberate decisions. Germany sank into the most severe hyperinflationary period in recorded history after printing 1.3 trillion marks: that translates to about 4 trillion in today’s dollars. Ironically, that is almost exactly the same amount of money the United States government has printed since 2008. What are the implications for us today?

How can one use Bayes’ Theorem in “reverse probability”? (Can you form a hypothesis based on experience, common sense and whatever data are available; then test the hypothesis not by what has happened before, but by what comes after?)

The theorem has proved its worth, such as in 2012 when it was used to successfully predict the outcome of the U.S. presidential election in all 50 states before the final vote counts were available.

Join Dr. Chuck Missler in the Executive Briefing Room of the River Lodge, New Zealand, as he explores the identity of the third of the Five Horsemen of Revelation.

This briefing pack contains 2 hours of teaching
 

Available in the following formats

 DVD:

•2 MP3 files

•1 PDF Notes file

 

 

 
 
 

http://www.spacewar.com/Superpowers.xml

 

China warns of damaged relations with the Pentagon

 
‎Tuesday, ‎May ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎9:56:30 AMGo to full article
Beijing (UPI) May 16, 2016 - China pushed back Monday against the Pentagon's latest assessment of its military, saying the annual report undermines strategic mutual trust between the two countries.

The Defense Department's annual congressional report on military and security developments in China, released Friday, notes that China has "demonstrated a willingness to tolerate higher levels of tension in the pursuit of its interests, especially in pursuit of its territorial claims in the East and South China Sea."

It also notes that while China seeks to avoid direct conflict with the United States, it employs "coercive tactics short of armed conflict" that include using law enforcement vessels to enforce maritime claims in ways that fall short of provoking outright conflict.

The Pentagon report also states that China continued in 2015 to use ships and aircraft to patrol near the contested Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu Islands in China, in an ongoing territorial dispute with Japan.

China paused its land reclamation efforts in the Spratly Islands in late 2015 after adding more than 3,200 acres of land to seven archipelago features in the South China Sea, the report states.

But a commentary piece published Monday on the website of China's state-run Xinhua news agency counters that the United States has no right to monitor the force development or military strategy of a sovereign country.

"China follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature," the commentary states. "Like any other country in the world, it has every legitimate reason to develop military forces to safeguard its sovereignty and peaceful development."

It also decries how the Pentagon report "smears China's legitimate activities in the East China Sea and South China Sea."

"It is Washington's pivot to Asia and its meddling in the waters of the Asia-Pacific that have stoked tensions in the South China Sea," the commentary states.

The Xinhua commentary also notes that China only spends about a quarter of what the United States forks out for defense.

"The great gap between the two countries' defense budgets easily reveals who is more likely to be a 'military threat,'" the commentary states.

 

 

Philippines' Duterte wants friendly ties with China

 
‎Tuesday, ‎May ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎9:56:30 AMGo to full article
Davao, Philippines (AFP) May 15, 2016 - Philippines' president-elect Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday he wanted friendly relations with China and confirmed he was open to direct talks over a territorial row that has badly damaged bilateral ties.

Duterte also announced that China's ambassador to Manila would be among the first three foreign envoys he planned to meet on Monday, after winning the May 9 presidential election in a landslide.

"Well ties have never been cold. But I would rather be friendly with everybody," Duterte told reporters in the southern city of Davao when asked whether he wanted closer ties with China than seen under current President Benigno Aquino.

Relations between China and the Philippines worsened sharply throughout Aquino's six-year term over conflicting claims to parts of the South China Sea, one of the world's most strategically important waterways.

China claims nearly all of the sea, even waters approaching the coasts of the Philippines, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations.

To enforce its claims, China has in recent years built contested reefs into artificial islands, some topped with military-capable airstrips.

In 2012 China also took control of Scarborough Shoal, a rich fishing area within the Philippines' economic exclusive zone.

The Aquino administration responded by signing a new defence pact with the United States and filing a legal challenge with a United Nations tribunal asking it to rule that the Chinese claims to most of the sea were invalid.

It also sought to raise the issue at multilateral events, such as summits of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

China reacted furiously to Aquino's tactics, demanding that the Philippines negotiate directly but also insisting that it would never give up any of the territory.

Aquino refused to hold direct talks, fearing the better resourced and more powerful China would have an advantage.

He also said there was no point in talking with China if it insisted there was nothing to negotiate.

Duterte, who will be sworn into office on June 30, said he planned to continue raising the issue in multilateral environments.

But he also repeated a campaign pledge to hold direct talks with China, if other negotiations failed.

"If the ship of negotiation is in still waters and there's no wind to push the sail, I might just decide to talk bilaterally with China," Duterte said.

Duterte, the longtime mayor of Davao, also said he would meet with the ambassadors of China, Japan and one other, in his hometown on Monday -- his first day of public appearances since winning the election.

It was unclear who the third ambassador would be, but Duterte did say no meeting had been scheduled with the US envoy.

 

 

China using 'coercive tactics' in maritime claims: Pentagon

 
‎Tuesday, ‎May ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎9:56:30 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) May 13, 2016 - China is using "coercive tactics" and fostering regional tensions as it expands its maritime presence in the South China Sea and elsewhere, but is avoiding triggering an armed conflict, the Pentagon said Friday.

In an annual report to Congress, the Defense Department outlined China's rapid military growth and described how it is assertively defending sovereignty claims across the contested East China Sea and South China Sea.

Last year for instance, China deployed coast guard and PLA Navy ships in the South China Sea to maintain a "near-continuous" presence there.

And in the East China Sea, Beijing deployed planes and maritime law-enforcement ships to patrol near a chain of islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.

"China is using coercive tactics... to advance their interests in ways that are calculated to fall below the threshold of provoking conflict," the report states.

When asked to describe China's coercive tactics, Abraham Denmark, a deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, told reporters that Chinese coast guard and fishing vessels sometimes act in an "unprofessional" manner.

They do so "in the vicinity of the military forces or fishing vessels of other countries in a way that's designed to attempt to establish a degree of control around disputed features," Denmark told reporters.

"These activities are designed to stay below the threshold of conflict, but gradually demonstrate and assert claims that other countries dispute," he added.

China claims nearly all of the strategically vital South China Sea, even waters close to Southeast Asian neighbors including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei, which have competing claims.

- 3,200 acres of new land -

Central to China's claims are its land-reclamation efforts that have seen tiny islets, reefs and other maritime features built into military facilities.

The Pentagon report included dramatic photos of these contentious islands, including the Fiery Cross Reef Outpost, located between the Philippines and Vietnam.

Since 2014, China has turned a sandy blip in the ocean into an island stretching more than two miles (three kilometers,) complete with a lengthy runway.

China's land reclamation efforts in an area known as the Spratly Islands have added 3,200 acres (1,295 hectares) of land to the seven features it occupies, the report states.

Beijing last year paused land-reclamation efforts and began focusing on "infrastructure development" of the islets.

The United States insists China's claims have no basis under international law, and the US military has conducted several "freedom of navigation" operations, where ships and planes pass close to the sites claimed by China.

Such missions have drawn howls of anger from Beijing, which accuses the United States of provocation and of increasing the risk of a military mishap.

The US Navy maintains a strong presence in the South China Sea, and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has twice in recent months pointedly visited US aircraft carriers deployed in the waterway.

"Recent land reclamation activity has little legal effect, but will support China's ability to sustain longer patrols in the South China Sea," the report notes.

- Rapidly evolving military -

China's ambitions extend far beyond its immediate region. In November, Beijing announced it was establishing a military facility in Djibouti.

This "likely reflects (a) more global outlook, as it will be utilized to sustain the PLA Navy's operations at greater distances from China," the report notes.

Additionally, China is "expanding its access to foreign ports to pre-position the necessary logistics support to regularize and sustain deployments in the 'far seas.'"

China has the second-largest military budget after the United States, and over the past two decades has increased spending annually.

In 2015, its official military budget was $144 billion, though the true number is thought to be even higher. The Pentagon's 2016 budget is about $585 billion.

Much of China's military money is going towards the development of its conventionally armed missile capability, "as well as ground- and air-launched land-attack cruise missiles, special operations forces, and cyber warfare capabilities to hold targets at risk throughout the region," the report states.

While critical of some of China's military tactics, the Pentagon said it hopes to continue building a "sustained and substantive" military-to-military relationship with China.

The United States "will continue to focus on enhancing risk-reduction measures that diminish the potential for incidents or miscalculation, and encourage China to contribute constructively to efforts to maintain peace and stability."

 

 

British 'barbarians' need manners lesson, says China paper in rudeness row

 
‎Tuesday, ‎May ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎9:56:30 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) May 12, 2016 - The British media is riddled with "barbarians" who would benefit from a lesson in manners from China's ancient civilisation, a state-run newspaper said Thursday after Queen Elizabeth II called some Chinese officials "very rude".

In a rare diplomatic gaffe, the British monarch was caught on camera at a Buckingham Palace garden party making unguarded comments about a state visit last year by President Xi Jinping that drummed up billions in Chinese investment.

The remarks made headlines worldwide on Wednesday but initially they were largely censored in China, blacked out of BBC World transmissions, according to the British broadcaster.

The Global Times newspaper, which is close to China's ruling Communist Party, blamed the British media for blowing the incident out of proportion and fawning over the footage as if it was "the most precious treasure".

"The West in modern times has risen to the top and created a brilliant civilisation, but their media is full of reckless 'gossip fiends' who bare their fangs and brandish their claws and are very narcissistic, retaining the bad manners of 'barbarians'," it said in an editorial.

"As they experience constant exposure to the 5,000 years of continuous Eastern civilisation, we believe they will make progress" when it comes to manners, it added in the Chinese-language piece, which was not published in English.

London and Beijing have both proclaimed a new "golden era" of relations between the former imperial power -- whose forces repeatedly invaded China in the 19th century -- and the rising Asian giant, now the world's second-largest economy.

Xi's trip in October saw a clutch of contracts announced, which Cameron said were worth almost $58 billion.

At the time the overseas edition of the People's Daily, the Communist Party's official mouthpiece, breathlessly portraying the visit as the start of a beautiful friendship.

But in her recorded comments the Queen commiserated with a police commander for her "bad luck" in having to oversee security for Xi and his wife.

Members of the Chinese delegation "were very rude to the ambassador", the monarch said, exclaiming: "Extraordinary!"

- 'Exposing itself' -

A columnist at Chinese website "Today's Headlines" recalled visible mutual discomfort during the three-day sojourn, describing it as "thought-provoking awkwardness" and adding it "primarily arose out of cultural and political differences".

On Chinese social media posters decried Britain's lack of awareness and understanding of Chinese ways, noting "an arrogance which makes them feel they needn't bother to learn".

"Every country's customs are different, OK - not all people must cater to you," wrote a commenter on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Others were ashamed.

"We're already embarrassed by talk about what our average people get up to abroad," said one. "Being embarrassed by our officials abroad is even worse."

The British monarch never expresses overtly political views in public and is known for her discretion, never granting an interview in her 64-year reign.

But her comments came as British Prime Minister David Cameron was recorded calling Nigeria and Afghanistan "possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world", heaping scrutiny on the tete-a-tetes of British leadership.

"Even among Western countries, Britain is most frequently 'caught with its pants down' and 'exposing itself'," the Global Times editorial said.

But it added that it would be "unthinkable" for British authorities to have deliberately leaked the royal footage, as "if they had deliberately done so, that would have been truly crude and rude".

The paper shrugged off the Queen's comments themselves as "not a big deal", stating: "Chinese diplomats surely also scoff at British bureaucrats in private."

rld/slb/iw

Weibo

 

 

Obama weighs lifting Vietnam arms embargo

 
‎Tuesday, ‎May ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎9:56:30 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) May 12, 2016 - The White House is considering lifting a decades-old arms embargo against Vietnam in time for President Barack Obama's visit to the booming Southeast Asian nation this month.

As both countries warily eye China's military build-up in the disputed South China Sea, officials said Obama is weighing an end to the Cold War-era ban on lethal weapons exports.

Obama begins his first visit to Vietnam on May 21, some 41 years after the North Vietnamese army and its Viet Cong allies marched into Saigon, humiliating the world's preeminent superpower.

Now the former foes -- who fought a murderous 19-year war that defined both nations and killed untold thousands -- are putting ideology aside and gradually building deeper trade, military and political ties.

Washington and Hanoi have been pushed together by Vietnam's increasingly vibrant 80-million-people-strong economy, Obama's "pivot to Asia" and a mutual desire to limit China's regional clout.

Under President Xi Jinping, Beijing has taken a more assertive stance on territorial claims in the South China Sea -- deploying materiel to the disputed Spratly Islands.

Recent military reforms announced by Xi dramatically increased navy spending.

With that, some inside the Obama administration argue that the time has come for the United States to help bolster Vietnam with the sale of advanced military equipment.

"It is a relatively easy argument for those who favor lifting the ban," said Christian Lewis of the Eurasia Group, a consultancy.

"The benefits of deepening strategic ties to Vietnam and simultaneously containing China exceed the perceived downside of supplying Vietnam military hardware," he added.

If the ban is lifted, most observers expect sales to start small -- in part to assuage concerns about human rights, and in part not to spook China too much.

Recent preparatory visits by US-based arms contractors to Vietnam focused on the sale of less controversial maritime surveillance and patrol hardware.

But in the medium term, the embargo would open the way for sales across the board.

"This is going to be a long term thing, but it has strategic importance because of the psychological shift," said Richard Fontaine, president of the Center for a New American Security.

Vietnamese military spending has increased dramatically in the last decade, by 130 percent since 2005, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

China and Vietnam share a checkered history of border disputes, invasions and conflict and anti-Chinese sentiment has helped frame Vietnamese national identity.

During the Cold War, Vietnam was closer to the Soviet Union than it was to its behemoth neighbor to the north.

Much of Vietnam's arsenal today is made up of aging Russia-built equipment.

But some in the US Congress still oppose lifting the arms embargo, voicing concern that weapons could be used to trample human rights.

Vietnam's ruling Communist Party retains a white knuckle grip political power and its cadres' economic interests.

Obama is expected to meet the country's de facto leader, party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong when he visits Hanoi, as well as Tran Dai Quang -- the former head of Vietnam's controversial domestic security force who became president after an April party Congress.

But the end of the ban seems likely. Senator John McCain, one of an estimated seven million American Vietnam War veterans, has publicly stated his support for sending arms.

- New era -

The White House would like the visit to turn a page on the war, focusing on a pending trans-Pacific trade deal and on changing American attitudes about Vietnam and Vietnamese attitudes about America.

"Vietnam has a dynamic economy and they have a rapidly growing middle class," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

But there are still doubts about how that TPP trade deal would be implemented, in a country where whole sectors are run like fiefdoms of senior party officials and competition is intra-party.

Vietnam is "a country that is trying to decide exactly how it's going to orient its economy in the decades ahead," Earnest acknowledged.

Still, Western diplomats spot an opportunity in Vietnam's eagerness to diversify trade partners outside China.

"We are looking at potentially transformative growth over the next decade, simply because footwear and garment manufacturers are going to be able to export to the United States," said Lewis.

 

 

Queen calls Chinese delegation 'very rude'

 
‎Tuesday, ‎May ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎9:56:30 AMGo to full article
London (AFP) May 11, 2016 - Queen Elizabeth II was caught on camera describing some Chinese officials as "very rude" in a rare diplomatic gaffe by the British monarch over a visit that drummed up billions in Chinese investment.

Her comments, aired on Wednesday, came just hours after Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday also made inadvertently public remarks, referring to Afghanistan and Nigeria as "most corrupt".

Dressed in a pink coat and hat with white gloves, the queen could be heard during a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday making unguarded comments about a Chinese state visit last year.

Police commander Lucy D'Orsi was introduced to the queen as the woman who oversaw security for the state visit of President Xi Jinping and his wife in October, to which the monarch replied: "Oh, bad luck".

The queen went on to say to D'Orsi that members of the Chinese delegation "were very rude to the ambassador" and exclaimed: "Extraordinary!"

The BBC said that the queen's comments were blanked out on BBC World transmissions in China.

The British monarch never expresses overtly political views in public and is known for her discretion, never granting an interview in her 64-year reign.

Her husband Prince Philip on the other hand is notorious for his gaffes and off-colour jokes.

He told a group of British students during a visit to China in 1986 that they would become "slitty-eyed" if they remained in the country.

Prince Charles has had a famously fraught relationship with China because of his friendship with the Dalai Lama and has yet to make an official visit to the country's mainland.

He referred to Chinese leaders as "appalling old waxworks" in a private journal entry about the Hong Kong handover ceremony in 1997.

- 'Stressful' visit -

London and Beijing both hailed Xi's visit as a high watermark in Chinese-British relations at the time.

A clutch of contracts said by Cameron to be worth almost PND 40 billion (51 billion euros, $58 billion) were announced during the visit.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Wednesday said the visit had been "very successful".

"Both sides have high level recognition of that," he said.

Foreign minister Philip Hammond, however, was quoted by British media as saying that the visit had been "a bit stressful".

Buckingham Palace said it would not comment on the queen's private conversations.

Rana Mitter, director of Oxford University's China Centre, said the comments were unlikely to hamper ties and "a significant pushback" from Britain on security for Xi's visit could have been expected.

"I think the Chinese are extremely pragmatic on these sorts of things. There is a perception that the UK is an important enough trading and political partners that this sort of incident isn't going to get in the way," he said.

"I suspect that Chinese officials are far more concerned about the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union than they are about the overheard comments of high-level figures," he said.

On Tuesday, Cameron was overheard at another Buckingham Palace event to mark the queen's birthday calling Nigeria and Afghanistan "possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world".

He was filmed making the remarks to the queen and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, ahead of an anti-corruption summit in London on Thursday where the Afghan and Nigerian presidents are expected.

"We've got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain," the prime minister said.

"Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world," he added.

Welby, who worked as an oil executive in West Africa before joining the church and who has also undertaken conflict resolution work in Nigeria, noted that "this particular president is actually not corrupt".

"He's really trying," Cameron agreed, and the queen noted to Welby: "He is trying, isn't he?"

It was not clear to whom they were referring, but Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani are both due to attend the summit.

In anti-bribery watchdog Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2015, Afghanistan ranks 166th and Nigeria 136th out of 168 countries and territories.

 

 

Georgia launches major drills with US, UK troops

 
‎Tuesday, ‎May ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎9:56:30 AMGo to full article
Vaziani, Georgia (AFP) May 11, 2016 - Georgia on Wednesday launched joint military exercises with the United States and Britain, angering Russia, which opposes the former Soviet state's desire to join NATO.

Some 500 Georgian, 650 US and 150 British troops are taking part in the drills, billed as the largest ever to be held in the Caucasus nation, which fought a brief war with Russia in 2008.

The US has sent some of its M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks across the Black Sea to Georgia for the "Noble Partner 2016" exercises, which will last until May 26 at the Vaziani training area outside the capital Tbilisi.

The exercises "represent a continuation of the right policy that we pursue towards NATO," Georgia's President Giorgi Margvelashvili said at the opening ceremony.

"Georgia will definitely become a member of NATO," he said. "Because that's necessary for a stable, more peaceful world."

The Pentagon's website said "Noble Partner emphasizes USAREUR's (US Army Europe) abilities to quickly move soldiers and equipment throughout Europe and operate together within a coalition in any potential future operation."

On Friday, Russia's foreign ministry denounced the exercises as a "provocative move" by NATO aimed at destabilising the Caucasus region.

Moscow accuses NATO of expanding its forces in the former Eastern Bloc in a bid to counter Russia.

The US-led alliance argues it is responding to the Kremlin's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Tuesday that "these exercises are not directed against anyone. There is no trace of provocation."

Georgia's bid to join NATO and the European Union have infuriated its former imperial master Moscow, which bitterly opposes the 28-nation alliance's expansion into former Soviet countries.

NATO leaders agreed at a 2008 summit in Bucharest that Georgia would one day join the military organisation, but have not yet put the country on a formal path to membership.

Speaking at the opening of a NATO training centre in Georgia last year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Tbilisi "already has the necessary tools to make progress towards membership."

 

 

US warship sails by South China Sea reef, irking Beijing

 
‎Tuesday, ‎May ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎9:56:30 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) May 10, 2016 - The US on Tuesday sailed a warship close to a disputed South China Sea reef Beijing has built up into an artificial island, officials said, prompting China to express "dissatisfaction and opposition".

Guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence navigated within 12 nautical miles of the Fiery Cross Reef, occupied by China and also claimed by Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines, the Pentagon said.

"This operation challenged attempts by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam to restrict navigation rights around the features they claim," Pentagon spokesman Commander Bill Urban said in a statement.

"Because the Philippines' maritime claims in relation to South China Sea features do not purport to restrict the exercise of navigation rights and freedoms under the law of the sea by the United States and others, they were not challenged during this operation," he added.

It is Washington's third "freedom of navigation" operation in the disputed waters launched in recent months after China built several artificial islands as it asserts claims to nearly all the sea.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang confirmed the operation on Tuesday, saying the warship "illegally entered waters near the relevant reefs of China's Nansha islands without the permission of the Chinese government".

Nansha is China's name for the Spratly Islands, where Fiery Cross Reef lies.

Authorities monitored the passage, Lu told a regular briefing.

"China hereby expresses dissatisfaction and opposition," Lu said, adding: "I want to stress that the action taken by the US has threatened (the) security, interests and sovereignty of China."

Beijing has significantly expanded Fiery Cross -- which is around 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from its island province of Hainan -- since 2014, building a 3,000-metre (10,000 foot) runway there.

It landed an air force plane on the reef last month and last week sent military singer Song Zuying to serenade hundreds of troops and construction workers there.

China claims nearly all of the strategically vital sea, even waters close to Southeast Asian neighbours including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei who have competing claims.

Washington regularly accuses Beijing of militarising the South China Sea, saying it has built runways and deployed missiles to islands there.

Beijing denies the accusations and says US patrols have ramped up tensions.

The sail-by comes ahead of a ruling by an international tribunal on a case brought by the Philippines over the issue.

"These excessive maritime claims are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention in that they purport to restrict the navigation rights that the United States and all states are entitled to exercise," Urban said.

 

 

Philippines' Duterte open to territory-row talks with China

 
‎Tuesday, ‎May ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎9:56:30 AMGo to full article
Davao, Philippines (AFP) May 10, 2016 - Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte is willing to talk with China over a highly sensitive territorial dispute in the South China Sea, his spokesman said Tuesday, in a significant reversal of the incumbent's stance.

Duterte, who won Monday's election in a landslide, is also willing to form partnerships with China to extract gas and oil deposits that are believed to be in the sea, as well as explore joint fishing management systems, Peter Lavina said.

"This is the difference between the current and the Duterte administrations, the mayor is open to bilateral talks with China," Lavina told reporters in Davao, the major southern city that Duterte has ruled as mayor for most of the past two decades.

China and the Philippines, under President Benigno Aquino, have endured steadily worsening relations in recent years as they sparred over joint claims to parts of the South China Sea, one of the world's most strategically important waterways.

China claims nearly all of the sea, even waters approaching the coasts of the Philippines, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations.

To enforce its claims, China has built contested reefs into artificial islands, some topped with military-capable airstrips.

China also in 2012 took control of Scarborough Shoal, a rich fishing area within the Philippines' economic exclusive zone.

The Philippines, with a tiny military compared with China, has responded by signing a new defence pact with the United States and filing a legal challenge with a United Nations tribunal asking it to rule the Chinese claims to most of the sea are invalid.

It has also sought to raise the issue at multilateral events such as summits of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

China has reacted furiously to Aquino's tactics, demanding that the Philippines negotiate directly but also insisting that it will never give up any of the territory.

Aquino has refused to hold direct talks, fearing the better resourced and more powerful China would have an advantage. He has also said there is no point in talking with China if it insists there is nothing to negotiate.

Lavina said Duterte would continue with the UN case. A verdict is expected soon after Duterte is sworn into office on June 30.

He also sought to downplay a Duterte comment on the campaign trail that he would use a jet ski to reach a disputed island occupied by China to stake the Philippine claim.

"He jokingly said that if we win that case and China will not respect, he will use a jet ski," Lavina said.

 

 

Ex-NATO heads, US defence chiefs fire Brexit warning

 
‎Tuesday, ‎May ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎9:56:30 AMGo to full article
London (AFP) May 10, 2016 - Britain leaving the EU would damage Western security and dangerously weaken Europe, five ex-NATO chiefs and a host of former US secretaries of state and defence warned on Tuesday.

The former NATO heads said a so-called Brexit would undermine the transatlantic military alliance and "give succour to the West's enemies", and would "undoubtably lead to a loss of British influence".

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, they said they were following the debate ahead of the June 23 referendum on Britain's EU membership "with growing concern".

"Given the scale and range of challenges to peace and stability we collectively face, the Euro-Atlantic community needs an active and engaged United Kingdom.

"Brexit would undoubtedly lead to a loss of British influence, undermine NATO and give succour to the West's enemies just when we need to stand shoulder to shoulder across the Euro-Atlantic community against common threats, including on our doorstep."

The signatories were Peter Carington, Javier Solana, George Robertson, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

In a letter to The Times newspaper, 13 former US secretaries of state and defence and national security advisors said Europe would be "dangerously weakened" if Britain pulled out of the EU.

"The world needs a strong and united Europe to work with the US," said the signatories, drawn from every White House administration over the last 40 years.

"We are concerned that should the UK choose to leave the European Union, the UK's place and influence in the world would be diminished and Europe would be dangerously weakened.

"The special relationship between our countries would not compensate for the loss of influence and clout that the UK would suffer if it was no longer part of the EU."

Signatories included former secretaries of state George Shultz and Madeleine Albright and former defence secretaries Frank Carlucci, William Perry, Bill Cohen, Bob Gates and Leon Panetta.

On a visit to London last month, US President Barack Obama said Britain being in the EU magnified its global influence, and outside the bloc it would go to the "back of the queue" when it came to signing trade deals.

Former British defence minister Liam Fox, who is campaigning for Britain to leave the EU, said the warnings were out of date.

"A lot of those people are from a very different era to the one we are in now," he told BBC television.

 

 

Germany to increase troops for first time since Cold War ended

 
‎Wednesday, ‎May ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎12:39:45 PMGo to full article
Berlin (AFP) May 10, 2016 - Germany is raising the number of its troops for the first time since 1990, ending a quarter of a century of successive cuts in the army since the end of the Cold War.

The Bundeswehr is expected to increase in the next seven years by 14,300 soldiers, while 4,400 civilian officers will also be added to the service, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said.

This boost in troop strength is "necessary given the current situation" of increasing tensions with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, as well as several foreign missions undertaken by the army, she said.

Germany is preparing to join efforts to bolster NATO's presence on its eastern flank bordering Russia, in a bid to reassure east European alliance members rattled by Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

The Bundeswehr has also deployed troops to Mali as part of a UN mission to monitor a peace deal between the government and northern rebels in the west African country.

It has also joined an international coalition battling IS jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

German soldiers totalled 178,000 last December, hovering close to the cap of 185,000 imposed since 2011.

The army has seen a significant reduction in troop numbers since Germany's reunification and after the Cold War.

In 1990, the number of soldiers reached 585,000.

Berlin's latest announcement also appeared to be an answer to a repeated call by the United States for NATO members to stump up more in defence spending.

US President Barack Obama made the plea in April during his visit to Germany, where he also berated Europe for having "sometimes been complacent about its own defence".

 

 

Nicaragua's list of ambitious projects

 
‎Wednesday, ‎May ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎12:39:45 PMGo to full article
Managua (AFP) May 8, 2016 - Over the last decade, Nicaragua has announced four major projects worth a total $57 billion -- nearly five times its gross domestic product.

However, the massive investments from companies in Brazil, China and Venezuela have not come to fruition because of financial problems.

- A canal to rival Panama's -

The headline project is a plan to slice a waterway across the narrow country, building a canal to link the Pacific and Atlantic oceans that would rival the lucrative, century-old one in nearby Panama.

In June 2013, Nicaragua authorized Chinese firm HKND to carry out the work, estimated at a staggering $50 billion, in exchange for a 50-year operating concession renewable for another 50 years.

But while excavation was supposed to begin late last year, the project has been delayed until the end of this year because of environmental studies.

- A huge refinery -

In 2007, Venezuela announced it would build within four years a massive, $6.5 billion refinery and petrochemical plant in Nicaragua able to supply half the needs of Central America.

Nine years later, there is little to show for it except some storage tanks.

Nicaraguan legislative approval came late, in 2012, and now Venezuela's economy is in ruins.

According to official figures, just $323 has been invested in the project so far, essentially to build the tanks.

- Brazilian hydroelectric plant -

In 2012, Nicaragua's parliament approved a Brazilian-financed hydroelectric plant powered by a dam across the southern Grande river to a cost of $1.1 billion.

Since then, the Nicaraguan government has acknowledged that lack of funds have forced delays.

- Russian projects -

Nicaragua is moving ahead to build ground stations that will form part of GLONASS, a Russian version of GPS. Financed by the Russian space agency, the facilities should be ready this year, the government has said.

The Central American country is also building a vaccine production center with $14 million in Russian financing.

 

 

NATO aims to 'destabilise' Caucasus with Georgia drills: Moscow

 
‎Wednesday, ‎May ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎12:39:45 PMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) May 6, 2016 - Russian foreign ministry on Friday accused NATO of seeking to destabilise the Caucasus region with upcoming joint exercises in Georgia, where US soldiers will train together with Georgian forces this month.

"We view this consistent 'development' of Georgian territory by NATO soldiers as a provocative move, aiming to deliberately destabilise the military-political situation in the Caucasus region," it said in a statement.

Moscow and Tbilisi fought a brief war in 2008 due to a dispute regarding South Ossetia, a separatist region of Georgia which is funded and backed by Russia.

After the war, Russia recognised South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway Georgian territory, as independent states and stationed permanent military bases there.

Georgia regards these regions as under occupation and accuses Russia of continuing to take over more area by moving South Ossetia fenceposts deeper into its territory.

The Russian foreign ministry accused Washington of "indulging Tbilisi's revanchist drive."

Moscow has accused NATO of seeking to counter it militarily in Eastern Europe with increased forces and drills, but the alliance argues it is responding to Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

The exercise in Georgia, called Noble Partner, will involve about 1,300 participants from US, Britain and Georgia and take place at the Vaziani base outside Tbilisi for two weeks this month, starting on May 11.

It involved the US shipping its M1A2 main battle tanks across the Black Sea to Georgia for the first time this week.

Georgia, an ex-Soviet mountainous country, has bid to join the alliance, infuriating its former imperial master Russia, which bitterly opposes NATO's expansion into former Soviet republics.

The country is not however on a formal path to eventual membership.

 

 

China to join US-led naval exercise: US official

 
‎Wednesday, ‎May ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎12:39:45 PMGo to full article
Shanghai (AFP) May 6, 2016 - China will take part in a regular US-led naval exercise starting next month, a top US commander said Friday, despite tensions over Beijing's territorial claims in the South China Sea.

The United States will host multinational naval drills called the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) -- billed as the world's largest -- off Hawaii in June and July.

Although the Chinese navy has previously joined the exercises, held every two years, the latest drill comes as the country more aggressively asserts its maritime claims in Asia, prompting the US to say in March that it was "reassessing" Beijing's participation.

But Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander of the US Seventh Fleet, told journalists in Shanghai on Friday: "The PLAN (People's Liberation Army Navy) will participate in an exercise, the largest exercise that we do, in a couple of months."

He was speaking after the arrival of his flagship the USS Blue Ridge in the commercial hub, just days after China denied a port call for a US aircraft carrier in its special administrative region of Hong Kong.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in April that China was still invited to the massive exercises.

"It was really good that we were able to have the PLAN participate in the last Rim of the Pacific, and they're participating also this summer," Aucoin said.

"It's a way to better understand one another, to work together closer, so that we can help one another, especially with things like humanitarian assistance, disaster relief."

China has just announced its own naval combat drills in the South China Sea with three vessels leaving port on Wednesday to join the exercises, according to state media.

It has also built up artificial islands on outcrops in the area.

The United States has sent ships and planes into the strategically vital waters in an attempt to counter what it has described as a threat to freedom of navigation.

Aucoin denied that the US presence in the region was raising tensions, saying the goal was to allow access to sea lanes in international waters, and urging China to cooperate to maintain peace and security.

"We're sailing and flying and operating in international waters," he said. "We do this to challenge excessive maritime claims, so it doesn't impede commerce."

 

 

Papal envoy preaches peace at Baltic NATO base

 
‎Wednesday, ‎May ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎12:39:45 PMGo to full article
Siauliai, Lithuania (AFP) May 7, 2016 - The most senior cardinal in the Vatican met NATO troops in Lithuania on Saturday, delivering a message of peace in the Baltic region amid tensions with Russia.

Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin met Portuguese troops at the northern Siauliai air base which hosts NATO's Baltic air police mission patrolling the alliance's frontier with Russia.

NATO jets at the base have been scrambled with increasing frequency to intercept Russian aircraft since tensions with the West soared after Moscow's 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.

"This visit is meant to be a meeting with persons who work here, and at the same time a sign of peace," the cardinal told reporters, speaking in English.

"There are so many conflicts, so many clashes between peoples and persons that really we need mercy as an instrument of pacification and understanding," he added.

Mercy is the official Vatican theme of Holy Year, which runs until the end of November.

Lithuania and fellow Baltic EU states Latvia and Estonia have been alarmed by Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and support for pro-Kremlin rebels in eastern Ukraine.

They have recently secured additional military resources from NATO, angering Moscow which accuses the US-led military alliance of trying to contain it ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Baltic states, who were under Soviet occupation during the Cold War, lack sufficient aircraft and allies have been guarding their skies since 2004 when the trio joined the defence alliance.

Portugal and Britain took over responsibility for providing air policing from May, offering four fighter jets each in Lithuania and Estonia.

Lithuania's foreign minister Linas Linkevicius, a vocal critic of Russia, said the cardinal's visit showed Vatican was attentive to regional security.

"It can be seen as a certain political signal taking into account the importance of this mission to the security of the Baltic states," the minister told AFP on Saturday.

Parolin on Saturday also met Lithuania's Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius and visited the Hill of Crosses, a famous Christian pilgrimage site.

The cardinal, who is second only to Pope Francis, will celebrate mass at the central square in the capital Vilnius on Sunday and will meet the Baltic state's President Dalia Grybauskaite on Monday.

Lithuania, where 77 percent of the three-million-strong population is Roman Catholic, has invited Pope Francis to visit the country in 2018 when it celebrates the centenary of its first restored statehood.

The country has restored its independence from Moscow twice -- in 1918 and 1990.

 

 

China is winning war of the worlds in giant Paris art show

 
‎Wednesday, ‎May ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎12:39:45 PMGo to full article
Paris (AFP) May 6, 2016 - Monumental modern art doesn't come much more spectacular than this.

The finishing touches were being put Friday to a breathtaking installation about power by Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping which has a 133-ton snake threatening a triumphal arch made from shipping containers topped with a giant Napoleon hat.

It is easy to see "Empires" -- which opens to the public Monday -- as a metaphor for China's massive economic muscle dethroning the old great powers of the West.

But the artist best known for putting scorpions, tarantulas and other creepie crawlies in a glass case and letting them fight it out in his controversial "Theatre of the World", told AFP "there are several levels" to his enormous new show.

"It is about history, art and philosophy too," he insisted, saying that he also wanted it to have a wow factor for "the general public".

Curator Jean de Loisy said it is one of the most spectacular works ever shown in France's annual Monumenta show, when an artist is given free rein of the vast domed Grand Palais in Paris.

"Nothing has changed the world more in the last two decades than the Internet and shipping containers. They are the motors of global capitalism," he said.

"This show has an ambition that you will not see in many places in the world," said De Loisy, who runs the Palais de Tokyo modern art museum in the French capital.

He said the show confronted people with the enormity of the forces shaping our world.

- 'How small we are' -

"The moment you walk in you are faced by a huge cliff of containers, stacked seven high, which shows how small we are in relation to global industrial power," the curator said.

He said Huang had created a "complete symbolic landscape" with the giant skeleton of a 254-metre-long (833-feet) snake wrapping itself around the containers, with its fanged head menacing Napoleon's bicorne hat, an exact, scaled-up replica of the one he wore at the Battle of Eylau in 1807 when he was at the peak of his power.

"It was the battle that most shook Napoleon because of the huge number of dead," said De Loisy. "In that moment you sense the vulnerability of his supremacy."

The five-metre-high hat faces Les Invalides where the general is buried, and also lines up with the seat of French presidential power, the Elysee palace.

But it is clearly slipping from the top of its arch of containers, the curator pointed out, under the threat from the snake -- which he said symbolises change and the crushing power of capitalism.

- Game of mahjong -

"The snake with its aggressive head is the power of industry on the march, of geo-economic forces... China has made the choice of global economic power while America has made the choice of military might," De Loisy said.

He said Huang makes no "moral judgements" about the system which sees "containers making the great fortunes of the world but also providing a hiding place for the most unfortunate, the migrants who are smuggled in them.

"This ambivalence is crucial," he said. "We can do no more about the forces shaping our world in his view than you can about tectonic plates bumping up against each other or a volcano erupting."

Huang had also arranged the containers in a nod to the traditional Chinese board game of mahjong, he said.

"He feels the relationship between the West and China is also comparable to that between (the game of) Go and chess, symbolised by Napoleon's hat -- which is why we don't understand each other well enough."

Huang left China for France at the time of the Tiananmen protests in 1989. "Empires" runs until June 18.

 

 

Top Chinese singer tours disputed South China Sea islands

 
‎Wednesday, ‎May ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎12:39:45 PMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) May 5, 2016 - One of China's top folk singers is rocking her away across disputed territory in the South China Sea, serenading hundreds of troops and construction workers stationed there, Chinese media reported Thursday.

Song Zuying, who has performed with the likes of Canadian superstar Celine Dion, is part of an all-singing, all-dancing People's Liberation Army (PLA) entertainment tour of the Spratly Islands, reports said.

Footage of the troupe's performance broadcast on Chinese state television was the first to show the progress of construction on Fiery Cross Reef, one of the artificial islands China has built on outcrops also claimed by the Philippines, according to the Global Times.

"Buildings, roads, and lighthouses are beginning to take shape", it said.

Pictures showed Song in uniform, microphone in hand, surrounded by hard-hatted workers on one side and military personnel on the other.

The singer, who is said to hold the rank of rear admiral in the PLA, often appears in the country's New Year gala, considered the most watched television programme in the world.

The Fiery Cross project was one of several by China that have raised tensions in the region, with Washington sending ships and planes into nearby waters and airspace in an attempt to counter what it has described as a threat to freedom of navigation.

Facilities on the island include runways capable of accommodating military aircraft, one of which landed on the reef in April, ostensibly to aid ailing construction staff.

China will shortly carry out annual naval combat drills in the area, Xinhua reported separately, as well as the eastern Indian Ocean and western Pacific, with three vessels leaving port on Wednesday to join the exercises.

The musical show by the 50 member troupe was the first of two in the Spratlys, according to an article in the state-owned China Youth Daily.

The performers arrived at the venue after a 40-hour trip aboard China's second-largest naval vessel, the Kunlun Shan, it said.

A construction worker at the event told the paper life on the reef "definitely isn't easy, but our nation remembers us", adding that the performance was "a type of respect to the workers, to us as individuals".

 

 

China warns Southeast Asia over maritime dispute

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎11:17:03 AMGo to full article
Singapore (AFP) April 28, 2016 - China urged Southeast Asian nations on Thursday to resolve territorial disputes through dialogue and repeated a warning of "negative consequences" if the Philippines wins an arbitration case in The Hague.

Four ASEAN member states -- the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei -- have rival claims with China to parts of the South China Sea and tensions have mounted in recent years since China transformed contested reefs into artificial islands that can support military facilities.

The Philippines has taken a case against China to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, where a ruling is due in the coming weeks, which many expect to go against China.

Any sort of arbitration goes against the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea signed between 10 nations from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China in 2002, said Chinese vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin.

"The arbitration is not by an international court, it's arbitration brought unilaterally by the Philippine government against China but China took the decision not to participate in proceedings."

Beijing has refused to take part in any of the Hague proceedings, which it calls illegal, and has said it will not recognise the ruling.

It maintains that the dispute should be resolved between individual claimant countries instead of through the ASEAN body, and has claimed in the past week that Brunei, Cambodia and Laos back its stance.

Liu was speaking to the media after an annual meeting in Singapore between ASEAN and Chinese senior foreign ministry officials.

The DOC, which was signed between China and ASEAN in 2002, states that signatories are to resolve disputes through dialogues and diplomatic means.

Calling the DOC the common basis for China and ASEAN to uphold peace and stability, Liu said it is necessary for peace and maritime cooperation in the region.

"Deviation from the DOC will lead to negative consequences," he said.

This year the Southeast Asian bloc marks its 25th year of diplomatic relations with China.

 

 

Japan warship visits Philippines as China sea row festers

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎11:17:03 AMGo to full article
Subic Bay, Philippines (AFP) April 26, 2016 - A Japanese warship sailed into a Philippine port near disputed South China Sea waters on Tuesday in another sign of deepening security ties between the World War II foes to counter Beijing.

Tensions in the South China Sea -- through which one-third of the world's oil passes -- have mounted in recent years since China transformed contested reefs into artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities.

The Japanese destroyer Ise docked in Subic Bay while on a "navigational training" mission, the ship's captain said.

It marked the second time in just over three weeks that Japanese naval vessels visited Subic, a former major US naval base that lies around 200 kilometres (125 miles) from a Chinese-controlled shoal.

"We want to deepen the relationship with the Philippines," Ise Captain Masaki Takada told reporters, who were given a tour of the vessel.

Takada declined to say whether the Ise had been in contact with Chinese naval vessels during its voyage.

The Philippines, a US security ally with a severely under-equipped military has been seeking to strengthen ties with Japan as tensions mount over the disputed waterway, almost all of which is claimed by China.

Aside from the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also have overlapping claims.

Japan has its own dispute with China in the East China Sea over uninhabited islands that it administers but that are also claimed by Beijing.

In February, Japan agreed to supply the Philippines with military hardware, which officials said may include anti-submarine reconnaissance aircraft and radar technology.

Ise's Philippine visit was the third by Japanese military vessels this year.

"This visit will further strengthen our relationship with them. We have a strong relationship with them already but we want to enhance that," Filipino Navy Captain Samuel Felix told reporters.

 

 

China to build on disputed Scarborough Shoal this year: report

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎11:17:03 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) April 25, 2016 - Beijing will start construction this year on a South China Sea islet within the Philippines' claimed exclusive economic zone as it seeks to project its power in the disputed waters, Hong Kong media reported Monday.

China will establish an outpost on Scarborough Shoal, 230 kilometres (143 miles) off the Philippine coast, the South China Morning Post newspaper cited an unnamed source close to the People's Liberation Army as saying.

Beijing claims nearly all the strategically vital sea, despite completing claims from several Southeast Asian neighbours, and in recent months has developed contested reefs into artificial islands, some topped with airstrips.

Manila claims Scarborough Shoal but says China took effective control of it in 2012, stationing patrol vessels in the area and shooing away Filipino fishermen, after a two-month stand-off with the Philippine Navy.

The SCMP cited the source as saying construction at the outpost would allow Beijing to "further perfect" its air coverage across the South China Sea, suggesting it plans to build an airstrip.

At a regular press briefing, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she was not aware of the report but the area was China's "inherent territory".

Beijing will "adopt the necessary measures to resolutely protect China's sovereignty and legitimate rights and interests", she said.

The report comes ahead of an international tribunal ruling, expected within months, on a case brought by the Philippines over the South China Sea.

It also follows an announcement by the US and the Philippines that they would launch joint naval patrols in the sea.

The construction plans were likely to be accelerated in light of the upcoming ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, the newspaper cited the source as saying.

"China should regain the initiative to do so because Washington is trying to contain Beijing by establishing a permanent military presence in the region," the source said.

Washington has sailed ships close to islands claimed by Beijing, accusing China of militarising the South China Sea and deploying missiles in the area.

Hua said the recent patrol flights in the area by the Philippines and the US were "deserving of suspicion", urging "some countries" active in the region to exercise restraint and "make cooperative efforts with China".

Beijing admits building military-capable airstrips and deploying unspecified weapons on some of the islands, but insists US patrols have ramped up tensions.

As well as China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have claims to parts of the sea, which are home to some of the world's most important shipping lanes and believed to sit atop vast oil reserves.

 

 

Obama calls on China to increase pressure on N.Korea

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎11:17:03 AMGo to full article
Hanover, Germany (AFP) April 24, 2016 - US President Barack Obama on Sunday urged China to increase pressure on North Korea after another "provocative" weapons test.

Speaking after a North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un hailed a submarine-launched ballistic missile test as an "eye-opening success," Obama said: "North Korea continues to engage in continuous provocative behaviour."

He added: "We have cultivated cooperation with the Chinese to put pressure on North Korea. Although it is not where we would completely like it to be."

The test is the latest in a series of nuclear and missile tests by the isolated country.

It was followed just hours later by a North Korean offer to impose a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing if the United States suspends annual military drills with South Korea.

But Obama said: "We don't take seriously a promise to simply halt until the next time they decide to do a test."

He said progress was only possible if North Korea showed a willingness to mothball its nuclear weapons programme.

The escalating tensions come as North gears up for a rare and much-hyped ruling party congress early next month -- the first in 36 years -- at which Kim is expected to take credit for pushing the country's nuclear and missile weapons programme to new heights.

Analysts and senior South Korean officials have suggested the regime may carry out a fifth nuclear test as a display of defiance and strength ahead of the congress.

 

 

Indonesian navy impounds Chinese trawler for illegal fishing

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎11:17:03 AMGo to full article
Jakarta (AFP) April 24, 2016 - Indonesian warships have detained a Chinese trawler allegedly operating illegally in Indonesian waters, just weeks after a confrontation between vessels from the two countries caused tensions, the navy said Sunday.

The trawler was intercepted by two navy ships on Friday after receiving information that a ship wanted by Interpol in Argentina had been spotted in Aceh, in the northwest of Sumatra, navy spokesman Edi Sucipto told AFP.

The boat has been taken to a naval base in Belawan, North Sumatra for investigation.

"We are currently questioning the crew to find out more about the case," Sucipto said, adding that one of them had a gunshot wound to his leg.

"It was not our officers who shot him, he was probably shot by the Argentinian authorities," he said.

The Chinese trawler was previously reported to have been fishing illegally in Argentine waters in late February.

Argentine forces in March opened fire on and a sank a Chinese boat illegally fishing in the South Atlantic after it attempted to ram a coast guard vessel.

Indonesia in 2014 launched a tough crackdown on illegal fishing which involves sinking foreign vessels caught fishing without a permit after impounding the boats and removing the crews.

Its foreign minister protested to Beijing after the Chinese coastguard last month stopped an Indonesian patrol boat from detaining a Chinese trawler.

Beijing also voiced concern last year after Indonesia destroyed an impounded Chinese fishing vessel.

 

 

Chinese state media name Xi 'commander in chief'

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎11:17:03 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) April 21, 2016 - Chinese state media unveiled a new title for President Xi Jinping calling him "commander in chief" of the country's new joint forces battle command centre, as he seeks to consolidate power over the military.

State-run Xinhua news agency and state broadcaster CCTV both carried reports in English and Chinese referring to Xi by the new description for the first time after he visited the command centre on Wednesday.

As well as president, Xi is general secretary of the Communist Party -- the position from which he derives his power -- and also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC).

Since taking office Xi has sought to increase his authority over the People's Liberation Army, which is technically the armed force of the Communist Party rather than the Chinese state.

Some of its top officers have been among those who have fallen in his much-publicised anti-corruption drive.

The military should be "absolutely loyal", he said during his visit, the official news agency Xinhua reported.

Under Xi, China has taken a more assertive foreign policy stance, rapidly building up artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea and regularly sailing vessels into waters around Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea, raising fears of clashes.

The military should be "resourceful in fighting, efficient in commanding and courageous and capable of winning wars", Xi said.

The joint command system should be efficient and active in both peace and war, Xinhua paraphrased him as adding.

Xi donned fatigues for the visit, although his garb did not carry any rank insignia. He has generally worn a plain black or dark green uniform for formal military occasions such as a giant parade in Beijing last year.

The command centre was established as part of a major reshuffle of China's military structure, which also included the creation of a Rocket Force to operate its missiles.

When the changes were unveiled in January Xi described them as "a major policy decision to realise the Chinese dream of a strong army", state media reported.

The military's four powerful headquarters -- general staff, political, logistics and armaments -- were reorganised into 15 agencies under the CMC, which Xi heads.

New "battle zones" were also established to focus on combat and joint operation command systems, replacing the former "military regions" which had separate command structures and significant administrative responsibilities.

Beijing has been building up its military for years, with regular double-digit increases in its official budget.

It has invested in an expanded fleet of submarines and its first indigenous aircraft carrier, as it seeks to build a navy capable of projecting power abroad.

Xi has announced plans to slash China's troop numbers by 300,000 to roughly two million to craft a more efficient fighting force.

 

 

Pentagon expresses 'displeasure' of Russian fighter incidents

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎11:17:03 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) April 21, 2016 - The Pentagon has expressed its "displeasure" to counterparts in Moscow after Russian warplanes repeatedly buzzed a US destroyer and flew close to an American spyplane, an official said Thursday amid calls for a tougher US response.

Russian aircraft whooshed past the USS Donald Cook last week, including a Russian Su-24 jet that flew 30 feet (nine meters) above the ship in what the Pentagon called a "simulated attack profile."

Sailors aboard the ship captured video of the flybys, bringing international attention to the seemingly dangerous moves.

"I can tell you we have open (military-to-military) channels and our displeasure with their conduct has been relayed to them," Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said.

"We are not at war with Russia, we have no reason to think that they are going to be attacking our ships. But that said, (the) commanding officer, with his inherent right of self-defense, has to make a split-second decision. We don't want him to miscalculate based upon their inappropriate behavior."

Also last week, a Russian Su-27 flew less than 50 feet (15 meters) from the wingtip of an RC-135 reconnaissance plane in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, pulling a barrel roll across the top of the aircraft.

Moscow has defended its actions as appropriate given how close US forces were operating to Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave in northern Europe.

"Could anyone possibly suppose that a destroyer fitted out with 2,500-kilometer-range (1,500 miles) cruise missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads, might be cruising in the waters off New York?" Alexander Grushko, Russia's ambassador to NATO, said on Wednesday, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

"This wasn't military activity proper but rather an attempt to exert pressure on Russia."

The incidents ruffled the feathers of US lawmakers, many of whom have piled condemnation on Russia for the maneuvers.

"This may sound a little tough, but should we make an announcement to the Russians that if they place the lives of our men and women on board Navy ships in danger, that we will take appropriate action?" Senator John McCain said Thursday at a nomination hearing for General Curtis Scaparrotti, who is slated to become the next leader of US troops in Europe.

"That should be known, yes," Scaparrotti responded.

Senator Joe Donnelly, who sits with McCain on the Senate Armed Services Committee, voiced similar concerns.

"Is there a point ... where we tell them in advance enough, the next time, it doesn't end well for you?" Donnelly said.

Scaparrotti said it was important to send a clear message and be prepared to back it up.

"We should engage them and make clear what is acceptable," he said. "Once we make that known, then we have to enforce it."

 

 

NATO-Russia talks end in 'profound disagreements'

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎11:17:03 AMGo to full article
Brussels (AFP) April 20, 2016 - NATO and Russia ran up against "profound disagreements" over Ukraine and other issues as their ambassadors met on Wednesday for the first time since 2014, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said.

The two sides agreed to keep communicating following the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, which has been on ice since the alliance cut practical ties with Moscow to protest the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in early 2014.

"I think we had a very frank, serious and actually good meeting," Stoltenberg told a news conference after the talks, adding that both sides had "listened to what each other has to say."

But former Norwegian prime minister Stoltenberg stressed that "NATO and Russia have profound and persistent disagreements".

He admitted they were far from any breakthrough on easing tensions over the simmering violence still gripping eastern Ukraine.

"There were profound disagreements related to the crisis with Ukraine," he said. "During the meeting it was reconfirmed we disagree on the facts, the narrative and the repsonsibilties for the crisis in and around Ukraine."

- 'Pressure on Russia' -

Relations have also worsened in recent months over Moscow's air campaign in Syria and tensions have flared in the past week after two incidents involving the US military and Russian planes in the Baltic Sea.

Russia's ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, insisted after the meeting with the 28 NATO ambassadors that it was the US-led alliance that was to blame for increasing military activities on Russia's flank.

"For us it is absolutely clear that without real steps on NATO's side to downgrade the military activity in areas adjacent to the Russian Federation, it will not be possible to engage in any meanifngul dialogue on confidence building measures," he told reporters.

Grushko also said Russian planes had buzzed the American missile destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea last week because it had sailed near Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave in northern Europe.

"This is about not the military activity but attempts to exercise military pressure on Russia," he said, comparing it to a hostile ship sailing close to the US coast or in the Gulf of Mexico.

The United States called the incident a "simulated attack" on the ship.

- 'Not business as usual' -

Stoltenberg said it was important to "keep channels of communication open" in both military and political terms, adding that it was necessary for "risk reduction".

"We all agree that it is in all our interest to keep channels for political dialogue open. It is both necessary and useful, especially in times of tensions as we experience now," the NATO chief added.

"However, this does not mean that we are back to business as usual."

Fears the two sides could become embroiled in violence have grown since Russia started a bombing campaign in Syria, particularly after alliance member Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet on its border in November.

Russia blames NATO for increasing the risk of conflict by building up its troops in eastern European countries, many of which have been lobbying for more Western support.

Ahead of the talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it was NATO that had frozen relations and that the alliance had "judged it necessary to contact us again".

"But, and we have made them understand this clearly, we cannot act as if it is 'business as usual," Lavrov said after talks with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault in Moscow on Tuesday.

Ayrault said the talks would "advance the sense of a common interest, which is peace and security".

Stoltenberg said that both NATO and Russia had at least agreed on the importance of the Minsk peace agreements, which were supposed to herald a broader settlement in Ukraine and return control of the eastern border with Russia to Kiev.

The deal has produced a tenuous calm in eastern Ukraine, parts of which are controlled by Moscow-backed rebels, but the truce has been threatened by a recent upsurge in clashes.

Crimea's future remains highly uncertain with Russian President Vladimir Putin insisting it will never be given up and NATO equally insistent it will never recognise its annexation.

 

 

Pentagon describes Russian jet's barrel roll over US spy plane

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎11:17:03 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) April 18, 2016 - The Pentagon on Monday described last week's "unsafe" manoeuver by a Russian fighter that flew close to a US spy plane, saying it had performed a barrel roll.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said a Russian Su-27 flew less than 50 feet (15 meters) from the wingtip of an RC-135 reconnaissance plane in international airspace over the Baltic Sea last Thursday.

It then "conducted a barrel roll from the left side of the aircraft, going over the top of the aircraft, and ended up on the right side of the aircraft," Davis said.

Thursday's "unsafe and unprofessional" incident came just days after Russian aircraft repeatedly buzzed the USS Donald Cook in a series of incidents decried by the US military.

In one case, a Russian Su-24 flew 30 feet (nine meters) above the war ship in a "simulated attack profile," according to the US military's European Command.

Ties between Russia and the West have plunged to their lowest point since the Cold War over Moscow's 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Kiev and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

It did not appear that the Russian jets were armed in any of the incidents, the Pentagon said.

 

 

Pentagon chief visits warship in South China Sea

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎11:17:03 AMGo to full article
Aboard The Uss John C. Stennis (AFP) April 15, 2016 - US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited a warship close to flashpoint waters of the South China Sea on Friday, as Beijing reacted defiantly to an American military build-up in the area.

Carter's trip to the USS John C. Stennis was the latest effort by the United States to show its commitment to maintaining security in the hotly contested waters, where China has rattled nerves by building artificial islands on islets and reefs claimed by some of its Southeast Asian neighbours.

"It is a message to the region that the US intends to continue to play a role in keeping peace and stability in this region," Carter told reporters aboard the warship, a nuclear-powered carrier that can carry about 75 planes and helicopters.

Before flying from Manila to visit the ship, Carter emphasised the United States would support the Philippines and other allies as they faced "coercion and intimidation".

"We will continue to stand up for our safety and freedoms, for those of our friends and allies, and for the values, principles, and rules-based order that has benefited so many for so long," Carter said at a closing ceremony for annual US-Philippine war games.

The roughly two-hour visit to the Stennis came after Carter announced on Thursday that the United States had launched joint naval patrols with the Philippines in the sea, as he spoke of growing concern about China's "land reclamation" and "militarisation" of the region.

He also said the United States would deploy hundreds of troops, as well as warplanes, to the Philippines.

China claims nearly all of the strategically vital sea, even waters close to its Southeast Asian neighbours, and has in recent years created the islands in an effort to assert what it insists are its sovereign rights.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims to parts of the sea, which is home to some of the world's most important shipping lanes and is believed to sit atop vast oil reserves.

China has constructed the islands on reefs in the Spratlys archipelago, which are close to the Philippines and Malaysia, as well as airstrips capable of accommodating military aircraft.

China in 2012 also took control of a rich fishing shoal just 220 kilometres (135 miles) from the main Philippine landmass. The shoal is 650 kilometres from China's nearest major landmass.

Carter visited the Stennis after making a short flight to the carrier from a military base on the southwestern Philippine island of Palawan, which is the closest landmass to the Spratlys.

During his time aboard the ship, Carter saw the launching and landing of F/A 18 "Hornet" fighter jets.

Rear Admiral Ron Boxall, commander of the carrier group with responsibility for the Stennis, said one or two Chinese vessels had been following the carrier but there had been no tensions.

"They have been operating very professionally," Boxall said.

- Chinese warning -

In Beijing, China reacted defiantly to Thursday's announcement of the joint patrols and US deployments to the Philippines, with its defence ministry warning the military would protect the nation's territory.

"US-Philippine joint patrols in the South China Sea promote regional militarisation and undermine regional peace and stability," said a Chinese defence ministry statement released late Thursday.

"The Chinese military will pay very close attention to related developments, and firmly safeguard China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests".

The 275 US troops and nine aircraft that Carter said would stay in the Philippines following the Balikatan war games are the first major deployments under a bilateral defence pact finalised in January.

The pact allows US forces to rotate soldiers and military hardware through the Philippines, an important part of American efforts to expand its military presence throughout the Asia-Pacific.

US forces will initially have access to five Philippine military bases, including two close to the hotspot areas of the South China Sea.

Philippine Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Thursday said he hoped the US efforts would "deter uncalled-for action by the Chinese".

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Friday blamed the United States' deploying extra forces to the Asia-Pacific for any rise in tensions in the region.

 

 

China lands first military plane on disputed reef: state media

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎6:42:24 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) April 18, 2016 - Beijing landed a military plane on a disputed South China Sea reef it has built up into an artificial island, officials said Monday, in the first confirmation of such a flight.

An air force plane landed on Fiery Cross reef in the Spratlys archipelago on Sunday to evacuate sick workers, a news report posted online by China's defence ministry said.

China claims nearly all of the strategically vital sea, even waters close to its Southeast Asian neighbours, and has created artificial islands in an effort to assert its claims.

It has significantly expanded Fiery Cross, which is also claimed by Vietnam and the Philippines, drawing international criticism.

In 2014, China began work on a 3,000-metre (10,000 foot) runway on the reef, which is around 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from its island province of Hainan.

Beijing in January carried out several of what it called civilian flights to Fiery Cross, enraging Hanoi.

"On the Chinese territory, this kind of thing is not surprising at all," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular briefing.

"It is a good tradition of the People's Liberation Army to provide a necessary assistance to Chinese people in need," he added.

This weekend's flight came just days after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter Friday visited a warship close to flashpoint waters, after announcing joint naval patrols with the Philippines.

On the day of Carter's trip, Beijing said that one of its top military officials had visited a South China Sea island.

Fan Changlong, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, observed building work, the defence ministry said, without giving a precise date or location for the visit.

Washington regularly accuses Beijing of militarising the South China Sea, saying it has built runways and deployed weapons to the islands.

Beijing denies the accusations and says US patrols have ramped up tensions.

As well as China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have overlapping claims to parts of the sea, which are home to some of the world's most important shipping lanes and believed to sit atop vast oil reserves.

 

 

Russia denies flight of jet that intercepted US Air Force plane 'unsafe'

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎6:42:24 AMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) April 17, 2016 - Russia's defence ministry denied Sunday that a Russian jet that intercepted a US Air Force plane earlier this week had acted unsafely, dismissing the Pentagon's criticism.

The Pentagon said Saturday that a Russian SU-27 had flown in an "unsafe and unprofessional" manner while intercepting a US Air Force reconnaissance plane above the Baltic Sea on April 14.

"The entire flight of the Russian plane was conducted in strict compliance with international rules on the use of air space," defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement. "There were no emergency situations."

Moscow said the SU-27 had been dispatched to identify an "aerial target travelling toward the Russian border at high speed."

The aircraft detected by Russia was an American RC-135 plane, which the Pentagon said was conducting a routine flight.

When the RC-135 established visual contact with the Russian jet, the American plane "changed its flight route away from the Russian border," Konashenkov said.

Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Seal said Saturday that the US aircraft had "at no time crossed into Russian territory."

The incident came shortly after Russian aircraft repeatedly buzzed the USS Donald Cook this past week, including an incident Tuesday in which a Russian Su-24 flew 30 feet (nine meters) above the war ship in a "simulated attack profile," according to the US military's European Command.

US Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the warship flyby earlier this week, saying it was "dangerous" and could have lead to a shoot-down.

Russia said that it had observed all safety regulations in its flights.

Ties between Russia and the West have plunged to their post-Cold War nadir over Moscow's 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Kiev and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Top Chinese finance official says Trump is 'irrational'
Washington (AFP) April 17, 2016 - Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei called Donald Trump an "irrational type" in an interview published Sunday, slamming the Republican presidential frontrunner's calls for a trade war with the Asian giant.

Lou told The Wall Street Journal that the United States "wouldn't be entitled to world leadership" if Trump's proposal to impose tariffs as high as 45 percent on Chinese imports was realized.

China is a frequent target of the brash New York real estate developer in his campaign for the White House. Trump has accused the world's second largest economy of manipulating its currency and said he would impose high tariffs and renegotiate trade deals to compel Beijing to "behave."

Lou, who was in Washington for International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings, is known for being an outspoken member of the Chinese leadership.

According to the Journal, almost any across-the-board tariff increase would violate World Trade Organization rules.

In such a situation, Lou was cited as saying, the United States wouldn't be entitled to its position as a world power.

In an election cycle in which both Republicans and Democrats have demonized China, Americans should realize that the two countries "are mutually dependent on each other," with much to lose in a trade war, Lou said.

"Our economic cycles are intertwined," he was quoted as saying. "We have more in common than sets us apart."

Lou is the most senior Chinese official to comment specifically on Trump, the Journal said.

Last month, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang noted that the US election was "lively and caught the eyes of many."

 

 

Russia 'more dangerous than IS' says Poland foreign minister

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎6:42:24 AMGo to full article
Bratislava (AFP) April 15, 2016 - Russia is more dangerous than the Islamic State group, Poland's Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told reporters Friday during a visit to Slovakia.

"By all evidence, Russia's activity is a sort of existential threat because this activity can destroy countries," said Waszczykowski, who was speaking in a debate on the future of NATO at the annual Globsec security forum in Bratislava.

"We also have non-existential threats like terrorism, like the great waves of migrants," he added, according to Poland's PAP news agency.

He described the Islamic State group as a very serious threat but added that "it is not an existential threat for Europe".

Waszczykowski also called for NATO to approve the deployment of troops on the alliance's eastern border at its upcoming July summit due to be held in Warsaw.

"This will be a symbol of the determination to defend the eastern flank. We can discuss the scale of this deployment," he said.

Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky said at the conference that strengthening the alliance's collective defence capability would be the main point on the agenda at the summer summit, while warning that Russia "should not be isolated".

He added that Russia was actively "testing the defensive capabilities of NATO in the Baltic region" where a number of countries have come under pressure, the Czech CTK news agency reported.

Russia will use rare talks with NATO next week to protest the alliance's "absolutely unjustified" military buildup in the Baltic states, Moscow's ambassador to Brussels said Friday, adding the alliance was using the Ukraine crisis as a pretext.

The Russian and NATO ambassadors will meet in Brussels on April 20 for their first formal talks in nearly two years to discuss security issues, including the crisis in Ukraine where Moscow is accused of backing pro-Russian rebels against the pro-Western government in Kiev.

Russia to tell NATO Baltic buildup 'absolutely unjustified'
Brussels (AFP) April 15, 2016 - Russia will use rare talks with NATO next week to protest the alliance's "absolutely unjustified" military buildup in the Baltic states, Moscow's ambassador to Brussels said Friday, adding the alliance was using the Ukraine crisis as a pretext.

Russia and NATO ambassadors will meet in Brussels on April 20 for their first formal talks in nearly two years to discuss security issues, including the crisis in Ukraine where Moscow is accused of backing pro-Russian rebels against the pro-Western government in Kiev.

"NATO decided under the pretext of the Ukrainian crisis to change this pattern" of behaviour toward Moscow, Russia's permanent representative to NATO, Alexander Grushko, told reporters in Brussels.

"And today we are having a military buildup in the Baltic area, which from our point of view is absolutely unjustified," Grushko said. "The shape of NATO-Russia relations is very bad."

He said ties have been difficult since NATO suspended any practical cooperation with Moscow to protest its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.

Eastern NATO members including the formerly Soviet-ruled Baltic states and Poland have since lobbied the alliance to increase its presence in the region.

NATO and Russia last met in June 2014 amid mutual recriminations over who was to blame for the crisis in Ukraine, but the meeting next week is seen as a thaw in ties.

NATO envoys and their Russian counterpart had met regularly until the Ukraine crisis threatened what many thought could be a return to the deep freeze stand-off of the Cold War.

"NATO decided to enlarge, moved closer to Russian borders," Grushko said.

"And then starting from 2014 NATO has been deploying additional forces, increasing its military activity on a rotational basis, adding equipment, creating permanent storage sites for military weaponry and equipment," he said.

The alliance has also been "increasing the number and the size of exercises which are taking place in the areas adjacent to the Russian Federation," he added.

"And of course that changes the military situation in the region," even though the Baltic Sea was for years the safest region, he said.

"There were no frozen conflicts, no big problems," Grushko said.

"NATO has to choose what kind of relationships it wants with Russia in the long term," he added.

"I don't see any possibility for a qualitative improvement of relations if NATO continues on its path of deterrence and relevant military planning," said the ambassador.

In response to Russia's intervention in Ukraine, NATO's 28 members have agreed a major military revamp and dispatched troops, plus extra ships and planes to reassure its eastern European allies that they do stand alone.

Russia meanwhile has stepped up air patrols, leading to a sharp increase in NATO interceptions as both sides test out the other.

 

 

 

 

 

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The History of the House of Rothschild

by Andrew Hitchcock

 

 

  • Hitchcock also wrote a history for the bankers:

 

 

  • One of our listeners added images and photos and turned this Rothschild document

into a PowerPoint presentation. It is very large; 67 megabytes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rothschilds have been in control of the world for a very long time, their tentacles reaching into many aspects of our daily lives, as is documented in the following timeline.  However, before you jump to the timeline, please read this invaluable introduction which will tell you who the Rothschilds are as oppose to who they claim to be.

The Rothschilds claim that they are Jewish, when in fact they are Khazars.  They are from a country called Khazaria, which occupied the land locked between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea which is now predominantly occupied by Georgia.  The reason the Rothschilds claim to be Jewish is that the Khazars under the instruction of the King, converted to the Jewish faith in 740 A.D., but of course that did not include converting their Asiatic Mongolian genes to the genes of the Jewish people.

You will find that approximately 90% of people in the world today who call themselves Jews are actually Khazars, or as they like to be known, Ashkenazi Jews.  These people knowingly lie to the world with their claims that the land of Israel is theirs by birthright, when in actual fact their real homeland is over 800 miles away in Georgia.

So, next time you hear an Israeli Prime Minister bleating about the so-called persecution of the Jews, consider this, every Prime Minister of Israel has been an Ashkenazi Jew.  Therefore when all these Prime Ministers have curried favour with the West for their re-establishment of a Jewish homeland, they have knowingly and deliberately lied to you, as they were never from that region, and they well know it, because it is they who call themselves Ashkenazi Jews.

The Book of Revelation, Chapter 2, Verse 9, states the following which would appear to be about these Ashkenazi Jews:

"I know thy works, and tribulation and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan."
The most wealthy bloodline in the world bar none and the leader of the Ashkenazi Jews in the world today is the Rothschild family.  As you will see in the timeline, the Rothschilds have obtained this position through lies, manipulation and murder.  Their bloodline also extends into the Royal Families of Europe, and the following family names:  Astor; Bundy; Collins; duPont; Freeman; Kennedy; Morgan; Oppenheimer; Rockefeller; Sassoon; Schiff; Taft; and Van Duyn.

However, these are not the only bloodlines to worry about.  You are probably aware of the centuries old pratice undertaken by many Ashkenazi Jews whereby they would change their name, in order for them to appear part of the dominant race of the country in which they lived, so as they could obtain influential positions in that country, which they would then exploit to serve their real masters elsewhere.  There is plenty of evidence to prove the Rothschilds continue that deceptive tradition.

Furthermore the Rothschilds are known to sire many children secretly that they can put into positions of power when required.  This started with the very first man who took the name Rothschild, who had a secret sixth son.  Finally, remember the world is a diverse place, I could if I wanted change my name to Rothschild, or any of the names listed above, and that would not make me part of this family anymore than converting to Judaism in 740 A.D. will make these Ashkenazis Jewish.

Please, therefore, do not automatically assume someone you see with the name Rothschild or any of the names listed above are part of the Rothschild criminal network.  Furthermore and most importantly, the majority of Ashkenazi Jews are innocent and not part of this network.  Check the facts out for yourself first, this article is designed to inform people who the enemy is, not single out people of a particular race or people with a particular surname, who may have nothing to do with this Rothschild criminal network.
 

1743: Mayer Amschel Bauer, an Ashkenazi Jew, is born in Frankfurt, Germany, the son of Moses Amschel Bauer, a money lender and the proprietor of a counting house.

 

Moses Amschel Bauer places a red sign above the entrance door to his counting house. This sign is a red hexagram (which geometrically and numerically translates into the number 666) which under Rothschild instruction will end up on the Israeli flag some two centuries later.

 

1753: Gutle Schnaper, an Ashkenazi Jew (future wife of Mayer Amschel Bauer), born to respected merchant, Wolf Salomon Schnaper.

1760: During this decade Mayer Amschel Bauer works for a bank owned by the Oppenheimers' in Hanover, Germany.  He is highly successful and becomes a junior partner. Whilst working at the bank he becomes acquainted with General von Estorff.

Following his father's death, Bauer returns to Frankfurt to take over his father's business. Bauer recognises the significance of the red hexagram and changes his name from Bauer to Rothschild, after the red hexagram or sign signifying 666 hanging over the entrance door ("Rot," is German for, "Red," "Schild," is German for, "Sign").

 

Now Mayer Amschel Rothschild, he discovers that General von Estorff is now attached to the court of Prince William IX of Hesse-Hanau, one of the richest royal houses in Europe, which gained its' wealth by the hiring out of Hessian soldiers to foreign countries for vast profits (a practice that continues today in the form of exporting, "peacekeeping," troops throughout the world).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The European Union (flag pictured) is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe".

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South Sudan must sustain efforts to protect human rights, says UN official

Conflict in Darfur
Date 2003–2009 /2010

 

Location Darfur, Sudan
Belligerents
Sudan JEM factions
Bandera Darfur.svg SLM (Minnawi faction)
Sudan LJM
Allegedly supported by:
 Chad
 Eritrea
Sudan Janjaweed
Sudan Sudanese Armed Forces
Sudan Sudanese Police
Foreign Mercenaries
African Union
 
United Nations
Commanders and leaders
Sudan Khalil Ibrahim
Sudan Ahmed Diraige
Bandera Darfur.svg Minni Minnawi
Sudan Abdul Wahid al Nur
Sudan Omar al-Bashir
Sudan Musa Hilal
Sudan Hamid Dawai
Sudan Ali Kushayb
Sudan Ahmed Haroun
Rodolphe Adada
United Nations
Martin Luther Agwai
Strength
NRF/JEM: Unknown N/A 9,065
Casualties and losses
unknown
  • 178,258-461,520 excess deaths
  • 2,850,000 Displaced (UN estimate)
  • 450,000 Displaced (Sudanese estimate)
unknown 51 peacekeepers killed

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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