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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

 

 

 

NATO head says more defence spending 'essential' to US ties

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎16, ‎2017, ‏‎5:49:52 AMGo to full article
Brussels (AFP) March 13, 2017 - NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Monday told allies to boost defence spending, as demanded by US President Donald Trump, if they want to preserve crucial transatlantic defence ties.

"This is essential for the continued strength of the transatlantic bond on which our alliance is founded," Stoltenberg said in NATO's 2016 annual report.

"For almost 70 years the unique partnership between Europe and North America has ensured peace and prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic," he said.

"That is an achievement we can never take for granted."

Trump caused dismay in Europe when he said on the campaign trail that NATO was "obsolete," and failing to meet the challenge posed by Islamic terror groups.

His administration has repeatedly pressed the allies to meet a pledge to spend two percent of GDP annually on defence by 2024.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, NATO allies cut defence spending only to find themselves caught out by Russia's intervention in Ukraine and its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

NATO leaders, pressed by then US president Barack Obama, agreed the two percent target in 2014 and reaffirmed it at a 2016 Warsaw summit to counter a more assertive Russia.

The NATO annual report said only five countries met the two percent target -- the United States, Britain, Greece, Poland and Estonia -- while Washington still accounted for nearly 70 percent of combined alliance defence spending.

Overall, the US-led alliance reversed the downturn in 2015 and last year, defence spending rose 3.8 percent or $10 billion (9.3 billion euros), it noted.

"In 2017, we must redouble our efforts to sustain the positive momentum and speed up national efforts to keep our pledge," Stoltenberg said in the report.

Meeting the two percent target has caused some soul-searching in Europe over what the wider impact will be.

Critics cite the example of Germany, currently on 1.2 percent of GDP but an increase to 2.0 percent would put Berlin's defence budget on a par with Russia's at around 65 billion euros.

Trump has also called for a $54 billion hike in US defence expenditure, currently at more than $600 billion, winning broad support but also criticism that the money could be better spent elsewhere.

 

 

Moscow apparently has forces at base in Egypt: US official

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎16, ‎2017, ‏‎5:49:52 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) March 14, 2017 - Moscow has apparently deployed military forces to a base in western Egypt, a US official said Tuesday, a sign Russia could be increasing its involvement in nearby Libya.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Russia appears to have deployed special operations forces to an air base at Sid Barrani, which is located about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the Libyan border.

The official said the American military is monitoring the situation closely.

A Western diplomat, who also requested anonymity, confirmed reports that Russian forces are now at a western Egypt army "facility."

The move comes after forces of eastern Libya's military strongman Khalifa Haftar this month conceded the loss of a key oil export terminal they seized last year in ongoing fighting for the country's resource wealth.

The capture of Ras Lanuf and the other three eastern oil ports in September enabled Haftar to keep up his challenge to the authority of the UN-backed government in Tripoli and demand a major role in a replacement administration.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied special forces were in Sidi Barrani.

"There are no Russian special forces units in Sidi Barrani in Egypt," the ministry said in a statement.

"This is not the first time such leaks from anonymous sources in the Western media have excited the public."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had "no information" on any Russian troops being sent to Egypt, and he also denied Moscow had interest in deepening its activity in Libya.

Still, he added that Russia is interested in Libya's stabilization so the country "does not become a breeding ground for terrorist recruits."

Following the ouster and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, an array of rivals has been vying for control of Libya.

Adding to the chaos, the Islamic State group also established a presence in the North African country, though US-backed local forces expelled the jihadists from Sirte, the coastal city they once held.

 

 

Chinese ships allowed to survey Philippine territory: Duterte

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎16, ‎2017, ‏‎5:49:52 AMGo to full article
Manila (AFP) March 13, 2017 - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he had agreed to allow Chinese surveillance ships into Filipino waters, contradicting his defence minister who described their presence as "very concerning".

Duterte also told reporters he did not want to have a "fight" with China over Benham Rise -- waters recognised by the United Nation as indisputably Philippine territory -- partly because he wanted Chinese economic help.

"They have no incursion because we have an agreement," Duterte told reporters when asked about the reported presence of Chinese surveillance ships at Benham Rise.

"Some people are just blowing it up. We previously agreed. It was a research ship. We were advised of it way ahead."

Duterte's comments came after his defence secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, said last week that Chinese surveillance ships had been seen in Benham Rise, which is believed to sit atop lucrative oil and gas deposits.

"The very concerning thing is they have several service ships plying this area, staying in one area sometimes for a month as if doing nothing. But we believe they are actually surveying the seabed," Lorenzana said.

"I have ordered the Navy that if they see this service ship this year, to start to accost them and drive them away."

Lorenzana said China may be "looking for a place to put submarines".

Duterte emphasised Monday the Philippines was set to enjoy billions of dollars in Chinese investments and grants, following his decision not to argue with China over another territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

"Let us not fight about ownership or sovereignty at this time because things are going great for my country," Duterte said in reference to China.

Benham Rise is an underwater landmass 250 kilometres (155 miles) off the east coast of the main island of Luzon.

In 2012, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved the Philippines' undisputed territorial claim to Benham Rise.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said last week that although the UN had ruled in the Philippines' favour, this did not mean Benham Rise was part of its territory.

China and the Philippines have had a long-running dispute over competing claims in the South China Sea. Parts of that strategically vital waterway are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino, had forcefully challenged China in diplomatic and legal circles over the South China Sea dispute, leading to a sharp deterioration in bilateral relations.

Duterte, who took office last year, has reversed that policy, preferring instead to placate China in return for hoped-for billions of dollars worth of investments and grants.

 

 

Japan, US navies drill in East China Sea

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎16, ‎2017, ‏‎5:49:52 AMGo to full article
Tokyo (AFP) March 10, 2017 - The US and Japanese navies said Friday they completed a four-day joint exercise in the East China Sea, as tension intensifies in the region following North Korea's missile tests.

The training, characterised by Japanese media essentially as a show-of-force exercise, coincided with renewed tensions in the region after North Korea's latest ballistic missile launches earlier this week.

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and the guided missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer from the US Navy joined the Japanese destroyers Sazanami and Samidare in the East China Sea to "increase proficiency in basic maritime skills and improve response capabilities," the US Navy said in a statement.

Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force, the country's navy, said in a separate statement that the exercises focused on "tactical training", without elaborating

But Japan's conservative Sankei Shimbun newspaper said the drill was aimed at issuing a warning against nuclear-armed North Korea by "exhibiting the strength and deterrent power of the Japan-US alliance."

The joint drill commenced a day after North Korea launched four ballistic missiles on Monday, with three landing provocatively close to Japan, which the US is obligated to defend under a security treaty.

Pyongyang has claimed the launch was a training exercise for a strike on US bases in Japan and supervised by leader Kim Jong-Un.

Seoul and Washington are separately carrying out annual joint military exercises in South Korea.

The Japan-US training was also meant to display their joint presence in the East China Sea, where Japan and China are locked in a long-running dispute over uninhabited islets, the Sankei said.

In Japan they are known as the Senkakus, while China claims then as the Diaoyus.

Successive US administrations have assured Japan that the islands fall under their security treaty, meaning if they are attacked the US will defend them.

The Carl Vinson was expected to join the South Korea-US drills after the exercise with Japan, the Sankei said.

The two sets of exercises come as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is set to visit South Korea, Japan and China next week for his first trip to the region since he became President Donald Trump's top diplomat.

The US Pacific Command said Monday that the Americans had begun deploying the THAAD anti-system to South Korea, which is designed to defend the US ally from a North Korean attack.

The deployment has outraged Pyongyang ally China, which strongly opposes it as a challenge to its security ambitions in the region.

China responded that it was "firmly opposed" to the deployment and vowed to "resolutely take necessary measures" to defend its security interests.

China has argued that the deployment would further destabilise the situation on the Korean peninsula.

 

 

Tensions stoked up in the Balkans

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎16, ‎2017, ‏‎5:49:52 AMGo to full article
Sarajevo (AFP) March 12, 2017 - The devastating wars in the Balkans ended almost two decades ago but tensions have spiked throughout the region, where a battle for influence is playing out between Russia and the West.

Here are the key issues at stake:

- Montenegro's NATO accession -

Montenegro's veteran leader Milo Djukanovic has officially transferred power to his successor Dusko Markovic, but the goal remains the same: to join NATO this year.

The pro-Western path is, however, disputed -- and even triggered violent protests in 2015 in the small country of 620,000 people, who are predominantly Orthodox Slavs.

Djukanovic accused Moscow of being behind the anti-NATO rallies and the demands for a referendum on the issue.

Many fear that demonstrations could resume in the spring when parliament is expected to convene to ratify NATO accession, a move that Russia has deemed a "provocation".

In a dramatic twist, a group of Serbian nationals were arrested on the eve of Montenegro's October 16 election, accused of plotting a coup and the assassination of Djukanovic.

A Montenegro prosecutor has accused "Russian state bodies" of involvement in the conspiracy -- a claim strongly denied by Moscow -- and the suspects include two pro-Russian lawmakers, plus two Russians on the run.

- Bosnia's unity -

Having held a referendum last year on Bosnian Serbs' right to celebrate their own controversial "national holiday", their leader Milorad Dodik regularly talks about a vote on the secession of Bosnia's Serb-run entity, Republika Srpska.

Once a darling of the west, Dodik now laces his speeches with ultranationalist Serb rhetoric, appears with his ally Russian President Vladimir Putin and expresses fear over an alleged increase in Islamism among Bosnia's Muslims.

He is sceptical about the longevity of Bosnia, calling it "a place that nobody desires".

For Bosnian Muslims -- and the West -- a referendum on secession would be a red line in the deeply-divided country, coming more than 20 years after the inter-ethnic war that claimed 100,000 lives.

An expert in blowing hot and cold, Dodik assures that he will stay away from any "irrational" decision. "But we will not give up that idea," he insists.

- The Kosovo issue -

A former Serbian province and the scene of a 1998-1999 war that claimed 13,000 lives, Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence in 2008.

While its sovereignty is now recognised by more than 100 countries, Belgrade and its ally Moscow remain firmly against the move. The Serbian constitution includes Kosovo as its southern province.

Belgrade and Pristina have made tangible progress in improving ties in negotiations brokered by the European Union. A telecommunications deal, for example, allows Kosovo to have its own country code.

But in the last several months talks have stalled. Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, who make up around 90 percent of the population, are reluctant to allow an association giving greater autonomy to Kosovo's Serb minority, as agreed with Belgrade.

In January, Belgrade sent a propagandist train towards Kosovo, painted in the colours of the Serbian flag and bearing the message "Kosovo is Serbia" in multiple languages, sparking a war of words between political leaders.

The arrest in France of Kosovo's former rebel commander and ex-premier Ramush Haradinaj, on a Serbian arrest warrant for war crimes, has also strained ties.

- A new cold war? -

EU President Donald Tusk said this week that "tensions and divisions have got out of hand" in the Western Balkans, "partly due to unhealthy external influences which have been destabilising several countries for some time".

For Milos Solaja, a professor of international relations in the northern Bosnian town of Banja Luka, Russia is "strengthening its position" while NATO wants to "be as close as possible to Russian borders".

On a visit in January to Sarajevo, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was "very closely" monitoring the "increased" influence of Russia in the Balkans.

But NATO remains the dominant regional force: Moscow can only count on the support of Serbs. Croatia, Albania, Bulgaria and Romania already belong to the western military bloc, and NATO-led troops have been deployed in Kosovo since the end of the war.

When Montenegro joins, NATO will cover the entire Adriatic coast. That "will bury Russia's dream, going back to tsarist era," of access to Mediterranean, says former Bosnian diplomat Hajrudin Somun.

 

 

Chinese survey ships entering Philippine territory: Manila

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎16, ‎2017, ‏‎5:49:52 AMGo to full article
Manila (AFP) March 9, 2017 - Chinese survey ships have been entering waters recognised by the United Nations as Philippine territory, Manila's defence secretary said Thursday, in a move he described as "very concerning".

Delfin Lorenzana said the ships were seen last year near Benham Rise -- a Philippine territory 250 kilometres (155 miles) off the east coast of the main island of Luzon -- as well as Reed Bank in the South China Sea, which is claimed by both Manila and Beijing.

"I have ordered the navy that if they see this service ship this year, to start to accost them and drive them away" from Benham Rise, Lorenzana said.

"The very concerning thing is they have several service ships plying this area, staying in one area sometimes for a month as if doing nothing. But we believe they are actually surveying the seabed," he told journalists.

Lorenzana's statement comes as President Rodrigo Duterte seeks warmer relations with Beijing, after ties soured under the previous administration because of conflicting claims in the South China Sea.

Asked why the ships might be surveying in Benham Rise, Lorenzana said he received information the vessels were "looking for a place to put submarines".

Benham Rise is an underwater landmass believed to be potentially rich in mineral and natural gas deposits.

In 2012, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved the Philippines' undisputed territorial claim to Benham Rise.

The Philippines and China, along with Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, have conflicting claims to the South China Sea.

China claims almost all of the vital sealane, including the Reed Bank, which is about 148 kilometres (92 miles) off the Philippine island of Palawan and which Manila considers as its territory.

Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino, had pressed the Philippines' claims leading to tensions with China.

But Duterte, who took office last year, has focused on boosting relations with Beijing, downplaying the territorial conflict while seeking financial and military aid.

 

 

China slams US election 'farce' in annual rights report

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎16, ‎2017, ‏‎5:49:52 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) March 9, 2017 - Beijing on Thursday accused American politicians of corruption and hypocrisy in its yearly rebuttal to US criticisms of China's human rights record, saving an extra heaping of invective for the country's divisive presidential race.

"In 2016, money politics and power-for-money deals controlled the presidential election, which was full of lies and farces. There were no guarantees of political rights," Beijing's report said.

"Waves of boycotts and protests fully exposed the hypocritical nature of US democracy," it added, without mentioning restrictions on freedom of speech in China.

The report was issued by China's cabinet in response to the US State Department's annual survey of human rights in 199 countries released Friday. Beijing does not release rights reports on other countries.

Human rights are a longstanding source of tensions between China and the US, which imposed sanctions after the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing left hundreds, by some estimates more than 1,000, dead.

Unlike the US, China does not have a democratic multi-party system. The Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly imprisoned those who openly challenge its right to rule or have protested publicly.

However, Beijing's report highlighted recent cases of police violence and racial discrimination in America to argue that the US is in no position to take the moral high ground.

The report relied heavily on coverage by US media outlets such as the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

Meanwhile, Beijing is highly sensitive about critical coverage of its political system in the international press, with multiple journalists being denied authorisation to stay in China in recent years.

The US State Department's own report accused China of "repression and coercion" of civil society groups. It also noted encroachment on residents' liberties in the semi-autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

 

 

Putin, Erdogan hail mended ties

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎16, ‎2017, ‏‎5:49:52 AMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) March 10, 2017 - Russia's President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday announced the "normalisation" of ties between their nations, damaged by Ankara downing one of Moscow's warplanes in 2015.

"We can state with confidence that our countries have returned to the path of a true multi-tiered cooperation between partners," Putin told a press conference after the two strongmen met at the Kremlin.

Relations between Moscow and Ankara hit rock bottom after Turkey's shooting down of a Russian warplane over the Syrian border in November 2015, which Putin then labelled a "stab in the back".

The two have reconciled since, notably cooperating on Syria and backing a ceasefire in December which significantly reduced violence in the war-wracked country.

"In the last few months, the steps we have taken together have meant we have closed the gap in normalising bilateral relations," said Erdogan.

"I believe the normalisation process has ended. We don't want to utter this phrase any longer," he said, adding he expected Russia to "completely lift the sanctions" imposed after the plane's downing.

The two leaders also signed a new economic cooperation plan and agreed to create an investment fund worth up to $1 billion (935 million euros), said Putin.

The Russian leader hailed the joint efforts on Syria, crediting the coordinated actions of Russia, Turkey and Iran for "considerably lowering the level of violence."

He said Russia and Turkey will "continue cooperation in the fight against terrorist groups, especially ISIL", using an alternative acronym for the Islamic State (IS) group.

"Be it in Syria or in Iraq, in both countries our main objective is territorial integrity," said Erdogan.

Earlier this week, top generals of Turkish, Russian and US militaries met in a bid to step up coordination in Syria and avoid clashes.

Turkey initially had threatened to strike former IS bastion Manbij unless the US-backed Kurdish militia pulled back from the city, but later retracted the claim.

Erdogan said Friday that Ankara wants to cooperate with US-backed coalition and Russian forces there.

 

 

China's premier rules out Taiwan, Hong Kong independence

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎16, ‎2017, ‏‎5:49:52 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) March 5, 2017 - China will firmly oppose Taiwan "separatism", Premier Li Keqiang declared Sunday, following tension with US President Donald Trump over the island, and said Hong Kong independence moves would "lead nowhere".

"We will resolutely oppose and contain separatist activities for Taiwan independence," Li said in a speech opening the annual session of China's rubber-stamp National People's Congress.

"We will never tolerate any activity, in any form or name, which attempts to separate Taiwan from the motherland."

Trump raised eyebrows following his November election victory with a protocol-busting telephone conversation with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen.

He later threw doubt on the "One China" policy -- a tacit acknowledgement of China's claim to the self-ruled island -- suggesting that the decades-old diplomatic formulation was up for negotiation, which drew protests from China.

Li, however, extended the usual cautious olive branch across the Taiwan Strait, saying China would continue efforts to increase linkages with the island, which have included rising cross-strait investment, daily direct flights and increased tourism between the two territories.

"People on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should keep in mind the greater interests of the nation", and work towards the "reunification of China".

In Hong Kong, fears have grown that Beijing is increasingly interfering in the governance of the semi-autonomous financial hub, sparking calls by some activists for self-determination or even independence.

Such calls have riled Beijing, and Li shut down any hope of Hong Kong independence.

"The notion of Hong Kong independence will lead nowhere," he said.

Li's annual report to the highly choreographed congress is akin to a state-of-the-nation address highlighting key government priorities for the year, which are then typically parroted in subsequent delegate meetings.

The 10-day NPC session runs until March 15.

 

 

Putin pardons woman jailed over 'treasonous' text message

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎16, ‎2017, ‏‎5:49:52 AMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) March 7, 2017 - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday issued a rare pardon to a woman sentenced to seven years in jail for treason over a text message about movements of military equipment.

Shopkeeper Oxana Sevastidi, 46, was convicted in March 2016 over an SMS sent eight years earlier about a train carrying hardware towards neighbouring Georgia, months before Russia fought a brief war with the country.

The lengthy sentence sparked an outcry from rights activists, and Putin at his annual news conference in December last year called her sentence "quite a harsh approach."

The official pardon published by the Kremlin said it is motivated by "principles of humanity" and enters into force in five days' time.

Sevastidi, from the Black Sea city of Sochi, told Meduza news site in December that she photographed military equipment transported on a train in April 2008, months before the August conflict.

Sevastidi said she exchanged messages with a Georgian acquaintance about this.

"I just sent a text message," she told Meduza.

Sevastidi was detained by the FSB security service in January 2015 and convicted after a trial held behind closed doors in the southern city of Krasnodar.

Sevastidi's imprisonment only became public in 2016 after a team of rights lawyers took up her cause, believing she was wrongly convicted.

Russian rights group Memorial in February declared her a political prisoner, saying she was jailed for talking about what she saw on the street.

Her lawyer Yevgeny Smirnov hailed the pardon but insisted she would battle on until her conviction was quashed.

The Supreme Court is set to rule on her case on March 15, Smirnov told Interfax news agency. She is currently in Moscow's Lefortovo jail.

In a similar case, a woman in a small town outside Moscow was arrested in 2015 after calling the Ukrainian embassy to say soldiers had left a nearby base and could be heading to the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Russia denies military intervention.

The woman was held in jail for two months but was freed and had treason charges against her dropped after a public outcry.

 

 

Germany unsure on NATO defence spending target

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎2, ‎2017, ‏‎11:25:55 AMGo to full article
Tallinn (AFP) March 1, 2017 - Germany on Wednesday agreed that it needs to invest more in defence but questioned whether Europe would accept Berlin raising its spending by tens of billions of euros to the NATO target of two percent of national output.

"Germany needs to do more, no question about it," German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in Tallinn alongside his Estonian counterpart Sven Mikser.

"But we also have to consider whether Europe wants a Germany that invests 60 billion euros ($63 billion) a year in the German army," he told reporters.

"This would be defence supremacy in Europe and I think our neighbours would not like to see that," said Gabriel, whose country currently spends 1.2 percent of its gross domestic product on defence.

The new US administration of President Donald Trump has put pressure on its allies in the NATO military alliance to make "real progress" on defence spending.

"I think it is correct that Europe accepts that these times when the US took on the primary burden of our defence are behind us," Gabriel said in the Estonian capital.

He noted that "Europe's GDP is the same as that of the US. So there is no reason to demand more of the US than of Europe."

In 2014, the alliance -- originally founded in response to the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe -- agreed to return defence spending to its commitment of 2.0 percent of GDP in the wake of Russian intervention in Ukraine and upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa.

So far, of the 28 NATO member countries, only the United States, Britain, Poland, Greece and Estonia have met the two percent target.

This year, Tallinn plans to spend 2.2 percent of GDP on defence in the face of a more assertive Russia.

Gabriel however said defence spending alone cannot guarantee global security today.

"Most wars and developments in the refugee crisis that we are currently facing can't be solved with more spending on equipment but with protecting people from famine, poverty and war," he said.

 

 

Rebels shut down Ukraine firm in trade war

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎2, ‎2017, ‏‎11:25:55 AMGo to full article
Kiev (AFP) March 1, 2017 - Russian-backed rebels on Wednesday halted the operations of the first Ukrainian company after an ultimatum expired to end a trade blockade between the two foes.

Protesting Ukrainian war veterans and opposition lawmakers have blocked rail freight traffic between government and rebel territory since January to stop the insurgents from receiving the cash they get in trading with Kiev.

The situation has riled Ukraine's pro-Western government as it has cut off access to a specific type of coal produced only in the east that it requires.

But the activists accuse the authorities in Kiev of allowing the trade to indirectly fund rebels in a 34-month war that has claimed more than 10,000 lives and continues to grind on.

The insurgents on Monday warned they would start taking over Ukranian-owned companies that still operate in their part of the war zone if the rail strike was not ended by Wednesday.

The first person to suffer from the threat was Ukraine's richest man. Rinat Akhmetov is a billionaire whose empire include the telephone provider Ukrtelecom.

Akhmetov's holding company SCM said on Wednesday that Ukrtelecom's office in the industrial eastern regions controlled by the militias had been seized.

"As of Wednesday, Ukrtelecom announces the forced interruption of services in the part of the Donetsk region not under Kiev's control," it said in a statement.

"This is due to the interference by unidentified people of the network's operations and the takeover of our office by armed people."

Insurgent leader Alexander Zakharchenko said that the plan to take over enterprises was "going according to plan".

"Since midnight we are introducing (our own) control," he was quoted as saying by the rebels' news agency.

"Everything will be finished by the evening."

Neighbouring rebels in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic said they had seized three Akhmetov-owned coal mines this week.

Their operations continued but the mines' takeover may create serious problems for the tycoon and coal-dependent Ukraine.

The dispute has only added to Kiev's numerous headaches.

Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that "the consequences of the blockage are ruinous to the government of our state".

Groysman said the government had devised a plan of how trade with the east could be put back on track.

But he provided no specifics about how he intended to end the blockade.

 

 

Russia and UK hold high-level military talks in Moscow

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎2, ‎2017, ‏‎11:25:55 AMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) Feb 28, 2017 - Senior Russian and British military officials held rare talks in Moscow on Tuesday aimed at avoiding clashes and lowering tensions that have spiked to their highest levels since the Cold War.

Russia's deputy chief of staff Alexander Zhuravlyov and his British counterpart, vice chief of staff Gordon Messenger, "discussed the state and prospects for re-establishing military cooperation", the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.

Ties between Russia and Britain have frayed in the wake of Moscow's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine and its military intervention in Syria.

The statement said the talks focused on "possible steps to lower tensions, develop mutual trust and prevent incidents during military activities".

Britain's Ministry of Defence called the meeting "an important opportunity in terms of managing risk and avoiding miscalculation."

"They discussed military issues including opportunities to reduce risks in the conduct of our respective defence activity," it said in a statement.

Russia is carrying out a bombing campaign in Syria to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, while Britain is part of a US-led coalition targeting the Islamic State group.

Moscow and the coalition have a "deconfliction" system in place to avoid mid-air collisions or clashes over Syria, but they do not coordinate their strikes.

Britain has been one of the strongest opponents of Russian aggression in Ukraine and has sent troops to eastern Europe to bolster NATO's presence in the region.

Officials in London have also been on edge as British jets have repeatedly been scrambled in response to a reported increase in Russian manoeuvres near Britain.

 

 

Wary US and China pledge respect at first Trump-era meet

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎2, ‎2017, ‏‎11:25:55 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Feb 28, 2017 - China's top diplomat wrapped up his first set of meetings in President Donald Trump's Washington on Tuesday satisfied that no breakdown in ties is imminent.

The newly elected US president initially caused consternation in Beijing by flirting with Taiwan, calling into question US support for the One China policy and threatening a trade war.

But he has since walked back his comments on One China, and Washington and Beijing are in talks about a Trump visit to build ties with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Both the State Department and the Chinese embassy said State Councilor Yang Jiechi, China's top foreign affairs official, had had a successful visit.

He was greeted by Trump on Monday after talks with senior White House officials and sat down with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday.

Afterward, the Chinese embassy issued a statement saying Tillerson had expressed a willingness to set a "positive tone" in relations between the two powers.

And it said China is willing to join the United States in upholding the principle of "non-conflict and mutual respect" in relation to each other's "core interests."

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Yang had invited Tillerson to visit Beijing and that the US envoy hoped to take him up "in the near future."

The pair "discussed the importance of improving and maintaining a mutually beneficial economic relationship between the two largest economies in the world."

Toner said Tillerson also raised US concerns about North Korea. Washington hopes Beijing will help it rein in Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

 

 

Erdogan says paper to pay 'price' over controversial report

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎2, ‎2017, ‏‎11:25:55 AMGo to full article
Istanbul (AFP) Feb 28, 2017 - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned that a Turkish newspaper would pay a "price" after a contentious report over alleged tensions between his government and the army.

Istanbul prosecutors launched an investigation into the Hurriyet front page story on Saturday which suggested that the army was not satisfied with the recent actions by the government.

The story listed seven grievances including the lifting of a historic ban on female officers wearing the Islamic headscarf in the officially secular country.

"Let me put it very clearly, what's done here, the headline they have used is insolent," Erdogan told reporters at an Istanbul airport before leaving for Pakistan on an official visit.

Erdogan said nobody had the right to set the army against the government and warned: "Whoever tries to set us against one another will pay a price."

"No offence but I don't find such an approach forgivable at a time when we need unity, fraternity and solidarity more than ever," he added.

Erdogan said he discussed the issue with Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar on Monday.

The government increased control over the armed forces in the wake of an attempted coup in July last year blamed on followers of preacher Fethullah Gulen.

The Hurriyet newspaper, the flagship daily of Dogan Media Group -- the Turkish media giant which owns television channels Kanal D and CNN-Turk -- is a mainstream daily but houses pro-government columnists as well.

- 'Coup mongering'-

The story headlined "the army headquarters are uneasy", based on military sources, carried the byline of Hurriyet's Ankara bureau chief Hande Firat.

Firat, one of Turkey's most prominent journalists, was fiercely condemned by pro-government media for "coup mongering".

Ironically, Firat played a crucial role in defeating the July 15 coup when she spoke to Erdogan live on her CNN-Turk show by FaceTime on the night of the putsch.

Erdogan used the interview to rally his supporters, calling them into the streets to resist the attempted power-grab.

An Istanbul prosecutor's office on Monday launched an investigation into whether there was a pro-coup faction within the military that was trying to block the government's actions, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The army on Tuesday dismissed "baseless and intentional criticism" in the Hurriyet story, which it said was a "distortion" aimed at harming the armed forces at a time when it is fighting terror at home and in Syria.

Appearing on CNN-Turk, Firat said the critics had not read her story properly, adding that Hurriyet had sought comment from the military chief of staff.

"We, as Hurriyet newspaper and Dogan Group, will continue to defend democracy," she said.

Erdogan defended the lifting of the headscarf ban in the army and said women would enjoy their freedom.

"In the following process our victimised, oppressed sisters will take their place in all institutions" from the judiciary to the education sector, he said.

 

 

Russia wants to form new Collective Security Bloc that replaces NATO

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎2, ‎2017, ‏‎11:25:55 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Feb 28, 2017 - United States President Donald Trump was correct in his assessment that the North Atlantic Alliance is outdated, Associate Professor in International Politics at the Universiteit Antwerpen Tom Sauer asserted, saying that the bloc should be replaced by a new security organization that will encompass countries in Europe and Asia.

"NATO should be transformed or even be replaced by a new Eurasian-Atlantic collective security organization that includes Russia. That will also be in the interest of Ukraine and the Baltic states," the analyst wrote for the National Interest.

"The newly built headquarters for NATO in Brussels, which will be inaugurated in the presence of President Trump at the end of May, is large enough to fit them all."

Sauer referred to NATO's ongoing enlargement as "the biggest mistake" the bloc has made. He also noted that Western countries should have asked Russia to become a part of "the Euro-Atlantic security architecture on an equal basis" following the end of the Cold War.

This is something that Russian officials and experts have also advocated. On February 18, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov mentioned a common security space in his speech at the Munich Security Conference.

Russia "has always been sincere in advocating work based on equal footing in order to create a common space of security, good-neighborliness and development from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The tensions of recent years between North America, Europe and Russia are unnatural; I would even say they go against nature," he said.

Sauer maintained that any defense alliance, including NATO, is "temporary" in its nature since they are created to pursue certain goals and are dissolved once the needed objectives are achieved.

"It is indeed bizarre that NATO is still alive," he observed. "The implosion of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR itself should, indeed, have led to the demise of NATO."

Many have pointed out that the North Atlantic Alliance stepped into uncharted territory following the end of the Cold War, looking for enemies, both real and imagined, largely outside of its sphere of influence to find a new basis for its existence.

The analyst mentioned proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, so-called rogue and failed states, as well as ethnic conflicts and terrorism as some of the main threats that the bloc has focused on in the last two and half decades. However, the alliance has apparently been ill-prepared to deal with these challenges.

"NATO's post-Cold War track record is dismal, which is not surprising, given the nature of the beast. Apart from the Balkans, which are more or less stable (although tensions are flaring up again these days), the NATO military interventions in Afghanistan and Libya are a complete failure. ... Again, this should not come as a surprise, because collective defense organizations are not meant for carrying out peace-building operations."

The analyst also pointed out that NATO has tried to deal with "collective security tasks" that are supposed to be addressed by organizations like the United Nations or the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). As a result they have been "sidetracked."

"Collective security organizations regulate the use of force amongst its member states, and they are - in contrast to collective defense organizations - not meant to serve against an external enemy," the analyst explained.

President Trump appears to understand that NATO is not the best solution to the emerging challenges. Sauer suggested that although Washington will remain committed to the bloc, the current US administration will pay less attention to it. If true, this will create a unique opportunity for Europe to invest into its own security.

"Now, for the first time ever, we have an American president who calls NATO obsolete. European leaders should now get their act together and agree with this assessment," he said. "There has never been a better external opportunity to strengthen European foreign, security and defense policy. In a world without NATO, the Europeans have no escape from taking up more responsibilities."

Source: Sputnik News

 

 

Trump eyes jump in defense spending

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎2, ‎2017, ‏‎11:25:55 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Feb 27, 2017 - President Donald Trump announced Monday he would ask Congress for a nearly 10 percent increase in defense spending and a large reduction in foreign aid, as he offered a taste of his upcoming budget.

Previewing measures designed to back up campaign promises with dollars and cents, Trump promised a fiscal plan focused on "public safety and national security."

An administration official said Trump's plan would include a $54 billion increase in defense spending and a corresponding decrease in non-military programs.

"Most federal agencies will see a reduction as a result," the official said. There will be a "large reduction in foreign aid," he added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Trump has put security threats front and center of his administration and insisted a blunt, muscular response is the only remedy.

He has promised to build a wall on the Mexican border, deport unauthorized immigrants and wipe jihadists off the "face of the earth."

His budget proposal -- which will be picked over and must ultimately be approved by Congress -- doubles down on that ethos.

It would substantially increase US defense spending -- already by far the highest in the world -- although there were no details about how the extra funds would be spent.

- 'Keeping Americans safe' -

Trump claimed his budget "follows through on my promise on keeping Americans safe."

"It will include a historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it," Trump said.

Republican Senator John McCain argued that the increase was less significant than Trump suggested, representing a three percent increase over projections for fiscal year 2018.

"We can and must do better," he said.

But others raised questions about the impact of planned cuts at the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Foreign aid accounts for less than one percent of US federal spending, and reducing it would not be enough to make up for a big rise in defense spending.

"It is a fairly small part of the discretionary budget, but it is still consistent with what the President said," Trump budget tsar Mick Mulvaney said.

"We are taking his words and turning them into policies and dollars."

Jonathan Katz, who until recently was deputy assistant administrator of USAID, told AFP that Trump's proposed cuts could damage US interests and weight on the world stage.

Foreign assistance offers "great value for money" and makes a "huge contribution to security, the economy and over all safety of Americans" he said.

Katz, now with the German Marshall Fund, said foreign assistance is vital for everything from preventing pandemics to developing economies that eventually become trade partners.

"If there are no resources to address an Ebola outbreak, how does that help the wellbeing of Americans?"

"Having the resources also gives the United States a seat at the table," he added.

Mark Toner, the acting State Department spokesman, said the agency would work with the White House to review budget priorities.

"The department remains committed to a US foreign policy that advances the security and prosperity of the American people," he said.

Trump's comments come a day before he addresses a joint session of Congress -- a crucial agenda-setting moment for new presidents.

His initial budget outline did not include proposals for mandatory spending or tax proposals, which make up the bulk of government outlays and receipts.

The budget is a keystone statement of Trump's priorities for the coming years.

The nearly $4 trillion annual federal budget is a declaration of intent that puts the president's policy goals down in black and white.

It also separates affordable campaign promises from the fanciful and is the final arbitrator after turf wars between departments and powerful interest groups.

Trump has promised to cut waste and duplication in federal spending.

US president after US president has made similar promises upon coming to office, before delving into a text that runs in the thousands of pages and tossing the plan into the thicket of Congress.

Trump has oodles of campaign promises to pay for, but faces a national debt set to hit $20 trillion on his watch and a deficit at 3.1 percent of GDP and rising.

Trump's promises -- from building a wall on the Mexican border to stepping up the deportation of undocumented immigrants -- carry an estimated price tag of $5.3 trillion, according to the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

 

 

Trump promises massive buildup of entire US military

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎2, ‎2017, ‏‎11:25:55 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Feb 24, 2017 - President Donald Trump on Friday promised a historic buildup of America's already vast military, but said he hoped he would never need to use it.

We are "putting in a massive budget request for our beloved military and we will be substantially upgrading all of our military," Trump told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) just outside Washington,

"Offensive. Defensive. Everything. Bigger and better and stronger than ever before. And hopefully we'll never have to use it," he added.

Trump last month signed an executive order to begin increasing the size of the US armed forces, promising new aircraft, naval ships and more resources for the Pentagon.

The order provided few specifics but Trump made clear during last year's campaign and in recent weeks that he wants to enlarge the ranks of the military and expand its fleets of aircraft and ships.

Top brass from across the armed services in recent weeks have decried staffing and equipment shortcomings that pose a threat to morale and operational readiness.

"Nobody's going to mess with us, folks. Nobody. It will be one of the greatest military buildups in American history," Trump said.

While campaigning, Trump frequently lamented what he described as a depleted US military and complained America no longer wins wars.

"Nobody will dare question our military might again," he told the conservative conference.

"We believe in peace through strength. And that's what we will have."

The US military is already by far the world's most powerful and most expensive. It has bases spanning the globe, an annual budget of more than $600 billion and about 1.3 million active duty troops.

Military spending accounts for about 3.3 percent of America's GDP and Republicans are eager to spend billions more, though for now it is unclear where the extra cash would come from, especially if the Trump administration cuts taxes.

Lockheed Martin to relocate Fleet Ballistic Missile program
Sunnyvale, Calif. (UPI) Feb 24, 2017 - Lockheed Martin plans to relocate its Fleet Ballistic Missile program in a move the company says will cut costs for its customers.

The move will take place over the course of eight years. Approximately 650 positions from Lockheed Martin's Space Systems facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., will relocate to other company facilities in Florida and Colorado.

"We value the deep expertise of our employees, and we're working diligently to shape a transition that leverages the knowledge of this team," Lockheed Martin Space Systems executive vice president Rick Ambrose said in a press release.

"Reshaping our Fleet Ballistic Missile program will help us take full advantage of our engineering and manufacturing facilities and centralize key skills, saving costs for the Navy on this critical national security program."

Lockheed Martin officials went on to add current Space Systems employees will be given the opportunity to retain their positions.

"As our business evolves, we're adapting to ensure we deliver the innovation, affordability and performance our customers demand," general manager Mathew Joyce said.

"We've laid out a long-term strategy that will achieve that evolution and position us for the future, while offering our employees time to plan and prepare for the transition."

The Fleet Ballistic Missile program is an effort by Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy for the production of the Trident II D5 submarine-launched missile. Lockheed Martin developed and produced the missile in addition to its supporting equipment.

 

 

US Air Force general urges better communication with Russia in Syria

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎2, ‎2017, ‏‎11:25:55 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Feb 24, 2017 - The US-led coalition bombing the Islamic State group in Syria needs better communication with the Russian military and other regional players, a top US Air Force general said Friday.

General Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle, who heads the Air Combat Command, said air space is getting increasingly congested as IS loses territory and efforts against the group focus on smaller areas.

"By definition, as we take battle space away from ISIS, that creates more conflict potential between us and the other players in the theater," Carlisle told reporters in Washington.

After Russia began bombing in Syria in late 2015 to prop up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the US-led coalition and Moscow established a "deconfliction" hot line designed to prevent midair mishaps.

The line has proven imperfect, however, with delays and miscommunications causing problems on the ground on at least one occasion.

"Increased deconfliction discussions, increased dialogue, has got to happen because it's going to become more and more complex as time goes on," he said.

Carlisle's comments come after Lieutenant General Jeffrey Harrigian told reporters in Baghdad this week that the coalition and Russia need to loop senior officers into communications.

Currently, the hot line is manned by a US colonel and his Russian equivalent.

Last week, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joe Dunford and his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimov discussed military relations between the two countries.

The two sides undertook "efforts to improve operational safety of military activities in order to decrease the prospects for crisis and avoid the risk of unintended incidents," the Pentagon said in a statement.

President Donald Trump had indicated he was open to greater military cooperation with Russia in the IS fight, but senior US military leaders have been quick to steer him from that goal.

In addition to Russia, the coalition and the Syrian regime, Turkey is also flying warplanes over Syria and on Friday, Iraq conducted an anti-IS strike inside Syria.

Separately, Carlisle updated reporters on the progress of the Air Force's version of the F-35 stealth fighter.

He said it would likely be deployed to Europe "in the spring to summer time" this year.

The Air Force also has plans to send it to the Pacific and the Middle East in the "not too distant future."

 

 

Sri Lanka slams lawyers over 'Snowden refugee' claims

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎2, ‎2017, ‏‎11:25:55 AMGo to full article
Colombo (AFP) Feb 26, 2017 - Sri Lankan police Sunday formally denied hunting nationals who sheltered fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and said their claims to the contrary could have been made to bolster asylum applications.

Police said they had no interest in the two Sri Lankan men, both asylum-seekers, who in 2013 had helped the former US National Security Agency contractor evade authorities in Hong Kong.

Snowden's Sri Lankan former hosts, Supun Thilina Kellapatha and ex-soldier Ajith Pushpakumara, told reporters in Hong Kong on Thursday that they were "scared and nervous" about Sri Lankan police agents' activities allegedly targeting them in Hong Kong.

"We confirm these allegations are frivolous, unfounded and baseless," Sri Lankan police said in a statement.

It said only one Sri Lankan police officer had travelled to Hong Kong last year, between November and December for five days to attend Interpol training on cyber crime.

The statement did not name the attorneys for the two Sri Lankan asylum-seekers, but said it had come across instances of lawyers making false allegations against law enforcement to strengthen their clients' asylum claims.

"We have come across lawyers representing asylum seekers who are in the habit of making utter false allegations against officers... with the ulterior motive of supporting (asylum) claims of their clients," the statement said.

Accompanying the asylum-seekers on Thursday, their lawyer Robert Tibbo and pro-democracy lawmakers James To and Charles Mok said they believed Sri Lankan police agents had targeted the pair.

The city's 11,000 marginalised would-be refugees spend years in limbo, hoping the government will support their asylum claims.

But with fewer than one percent of cases successfully substantiated by city authorities, most refugees live in fear of deportation.

The Sri Lankan families want to go to Canada, which has a track record of taking in refugees.

 

 

China continues 'steady pattern' of S.China Sea militarization: experts

 
‎Monday, ‎February ‎27, ‎2017, ‏‎6:17:14 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Feb 23, 2017 - Recent satellite imagery appears to show China is completing structures intended to house surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) on a series of artificial islands in the South China Sea, a Washington think-tank said Thursday.

According to images published by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, the structures are being installed on Fiery Cross Reef, Mischief Reef and Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands.

The AMTI, which is part of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said China appears to have begun construction on the buildings between late September and early November 2016.

"This indicates they are not reactions to the political cycle in Washington, but rather part of a steady pattern of Chinese militarization," the group wrote.

China has already installed HQ-9 SAMs on Woody Island, but these are only covered by camouflage netting, AMTI said.

The new structures would provide the SAMs with better protection from seawater and the elements.

Beijing has created seven islets in the Spratly Islands in recent years, built up from smaller land protuberances and reefs.

Although Beijing insists it does not wish to militarize the contested waters of the South China Sea, ongoing satellite imagery has shown the installation of military equipment and longer runways.

In December, AMTI released images showing a series of hexagonal structures in place on each of the seven islets -- apparently housing large anti-aircraft guns and close-in weapons systems.

 

 

Turkey lifts ban on Islamic headscarf in military

 
‎Monday, ‎February ‎27, ‎2017, ‏‎6:17:14 PMGo to full article
Istanbul (AFP) Feb 22, 2017 - Turkey on Wednesday said it was lifting a historic ban on female officers wearing the Islamic headscarf in the officially secular country's armed forces.

The military was the final Turkish institution where women were prohibited from wearing the headscarf, after reforms by the Islamic-rooted government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that has allowed it to be worn in education, politics and the police.

The move, ordered by the defence ministry, applies to female officers working in the general staff and command headquarters and branches, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

"The problem with preventing the wearing of the headscarf has now been completely removed in Turkey," Defence Minister Fikri Isik was quoted as saying by Anadolu.

"Those who wish can perform their duties while wearing the headscarf. The gendarmerie and the police lifted this restriction and now the army has."

According to the reform, women may wear the headscarf underneath their cap or beret so long as it is the same colour as their uniform and does not cover their faces.

The reform, announced just under two months before Turkey votes in a crucial referendum on expanding Erdogan's powers, will come into force once it is published in the official gazette.

It will also apply to female cadets, but it was not immediately clear if it applies to women on combat missions.

The ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), co-founded by Erdogan, has long pressed for the removal of restrictions on women wearing the headscarf.

Speaking to Turkish reporters at his offices in Ankara, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said he believed the removal of the ban was "very positive", pro-government daily Yeni Safak said.

- Army last holdout -

The military has usually been seen as the strongest bastion of secular Turkey and had been traditionally hostile to any perceived Islamisation of state institutions.

But its political power has ebbed after the government increased control over the armed forces following a failed military coup in July, blamed on followers of US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

Turkey lifted a ban on the wearing of the Muslim headscarf, known as the hijab, on university campuses in 2010.

It allowed female students to wear the headscarf in state institutions from 2013 and in high schools in 2014.

Female MPs meanwhile began to wear headscarves in parliament from October 2013 when four female AKP lawmakers wore the hijab in a session, in contrast to the scenes in 1999 when a headscarf-wearing MP from the now defunct Virtue Party was heckled out of the chamber.

Famously, the choosing of AKP co-founder Abdullah Gul as president in 2007 caused a political crisis as his wife wears the hijab -- a controversy unthinkable when Erdogan took the top office in 2014. His wife Emine also wears the headscarf.

And in the latest key reform before the army's move, Turkey in August allowed policewomen to wear the headscarf as part of their uniform.

At the time of controversy over lifting the ban in the police forces, pro-government media pointed out that several Western states had already granted female officers permission to wear the garment.

The military was until now seen as the last holdout on the issue, although civilians employed by the armed forces have been able to wear the hijab since last year.

There had been signs that the landmark reform was in the offing when press reports said that a woman, Merve Gurbuz, was undergoing training that could make her Turkey's first hijab-wearing fighter pilot.

Highlighting the sensitivity of the issue, Turkish media seized heavily on recent reports that US actress Lindsay Lohan -- who has met Erdogan and shown interest in Islam -- was asked to take off her headscarf at London's Heathrow Airport.

Erdogan's critics have long accused the president of eating away at the secular pillars of modern Turkey as set up by its founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk when he established the Turkish republic in 1923.

The government rejects the suggestions, saying it allows freedom of worship for all Turkish citizens whatever their beliefs.

 

 

Poland ousts 90 percent of top brass in defence overhaul

 
‎Monday, ‎February ‎27, ‎2017, ‏‎6:17:14 PMGo to full article
Warsaw (AFP) Feb 22, 2017 - About 90 percent of Poland's top military brass have been replaced in an overhaul launched by the rightwing government, the defence ministry said Wednesday.

Several leading generals had already resigned over the past year as Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz pushes to consolidate the government's control of the armed forces.

Macierewicz has also said he wants to stamp out all traces of the communist era, by blocking promotions of servicemen who joined before the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, especially those who attended military schools in the Soviet Union.

The defence ministry did not say how many generals had left the army, which now stands at 106,000 soldiers, up from 96,000 in 2015.

Opposition parties have criticised the departures of key four-star commanders in the army's general staff, at a time of heightened tension with Russia.

NATO has started deploying troops in Poland and the Baltic states following Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Last month, General Mieczyslaw Gocul, chief of staff of the Polish armed forces, resigned and was replaced by Lieutenant-General Leszek Surawski.

Gocul's departure had followed that of General Miroslaw Rozanski, who had shifted chains of command in the army, air force, navy and special forces to improve the general staff's strategic planning.

The move was said to have infuriated the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has vowed deep reforms of the judiciary, state media and other institutions.

Major General Jaroslaw Mika has taken up Rozanski's position.

 

 

Trump security advisor McMaster: tank battle hero of the Gulf War

 
‎Monday, ‎February ‎27, ‎2017, ‏‎6:17:14 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Feb 22, 2017 - Lieutenant General HR McMaster is best known for his pointedly titled book "Dereliction of Duty," which blames the jumbled views and weak fighting commitment of US political and military leaders for failure in the Vietnam War.

Named Monday to be President Donald Trump's national security advisor, Herbert Raymond McMaster will now become partly responsible for US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, two conflicts that have stretched out much longer than Vietnam.

But first, McMaster will have to take a firm hold of the White House national security team, after Trump forced out his predecessor Michael Flynn just weeks into the job.

The 54-year-old West Point graduate and former tank commander might be able to do just that.

Flynn -- fired for not being truthful with the vice president over discussions with Russia's US ambassador -- commanded little respect with his former colleagues at the Department of Defense.

By comparison, McMaster is a Pentagon star, both battle-tested and a scholar in military science who sees the world in a new and dangerous geopolitical battle between China, Russia and the United States.

That battle "has elevated the risk of a major international military crisis to maybe the highest level in the last 70 years," McMaster said in a speech on global challenges last year at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Unlike his new boss Trump, McMaster sees Russia as a particularly insidious threat.

Moscow, he said, aims "to collapse the post-World War II, certainly the post-Cold War, security, economic and political order in Europe, and replace that order with something that is more sympathetic to Russian interests."

- 'Shoot first' -

McMaster gained fame and a Silver Star in 1991 when his hugely outnumbered unit of nine tanks wiped out dozens of Iraqi Republican Guard tanks and armored vehicles in the Battle of 73 Easting in the Gulf War, all without taking a single casualty.

The key lessons, he wrote in a summary of the battle last year, were: "shoot first," "fight through the fog of battle" and "take risk to win."

Thirteen years later, he was back in Iraq leading the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in what ultimately was a key effort to quell the insurgency in Tal Afar, in northwestern Iraq.

McMaster's work there was said to contain the roots of the counterinsurgency program of General David Petraeus, and McMaster worked with Petraeus on the Iraq troop "surge" in 2007.

- 'Warrior-thinker' -

In between, the Philadelphia native earned a doctorate in American history from the University of North Carolina, and took increasingly senior army teaching and training positions.

That mix embellished his image as an all-around professional warrior, somewhat like Trump's choice for secretary of defense, Jim Mattis.

Indeed, the two got to know each other in the 1990s and Mattis has endorsed his White House appointment.

"The two have a strong working relationship," said Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis.

McMaster "might be the 21st century army's pre-eminent warrior-thinker," wrote retired lieutenant general Dave Barno in a profile of McMaster as one of Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in 2014.

He "is also the rarest of soldiers -- one who has repeatedly bucked the system and survived to join its senior ranks," Barno said.

Nevertheless, McMaster's latest post could prove a new level of challenge.

After Flynn resigned, several other top current and former military brass declined to work in the Trump White House, including, reportedly, Petraeus.

One issue was the ability to fully control the staffing of the national security council.

McMaster has been promised that control, according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer.

But even with that, he will now be one of the top political and military elite in charge of prosecuting unpopular, seemingly stalemated conflicts like the one he criticized in "Dereliction of Duty" -- which is subtitled "Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff and The Lies that Led to Vietnam."

One criticism of his Vietnam survey at the time was that it placed all the blame for the failure to win the war on US leaders. McMaster, meanwhile, did not consider what the wily North Vietnamese themselves did to prevail.

 

 

Trump's envoy at UN warns Russia US stands firm on NATO, EU

 
‎Monday, ‎February ‎27, ‎2017, ‏‎6:17:14 PMGo to full article
United Nations, United States (AFP) Feb 21, 2017 - US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Tuesday said the United States is ready to improve ties with Russia but will not compromise on its support for NATO and the European Union.

Haley told a Security Council debate on conflicts in Europe that "Russia's attempts to destabilize Ukraine" were among the most serious challenges facing the continent.

"The United States thinks it's possible to have a better relationship with Russia - after all, we confront many of the same threats," Haley said.

"But greater cooperation with Russia cannot come at the expense of the security of our European friends and allies."

The remarks came as European governments are seeking reassurance after US President Donald Trump applauded Britain's decision to leave the European Union, criticized NATO members over burden-sharing and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Haley said the United States was committed to "the institutions that keep Europe safe" and that it "will not waver" in its support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The United States wants to deepen cooperation within NATO while "keeping the door open to new allies," she said.

Enlarging NATO has been a major bone of contention with Russia, which sees any expansion of the military alliance in eastern Europe as a policy of containment directed against Moscow.

Haley described US ties with the European Union as "deep and enduring" and said differences with European governments should not be seen as a shift in US support.

"No one should misinterpret occasional policy differences and debates as a signal of anything less than total commitment to our alliances in Europe. That commitment is strong," she said.

The ambassador stressed that the US and the EU were united in the view that sanctions against Russia would remain in place until Russia returns Crimea to Ukrainian rule.

A recent flareup of fighting in east Ukraine "show the consequences of Russia's ongoing interference in Ukraine," said the US ambassador.

Haley said Russia's decision to recognize passports issued by separatist in Ukraine's Lugansk and Donetsk regions was "another direct challenge in the efforts to bring peace to eastern Ukraine."

 

 

Germany to boost troops as US urges more defence spending

 
‎Monday, ‎February ‎27, ‎2017, ‏‎6:17:14 PMGo to full article
Berlin (AFP) Feb 21, 2017 - Germany will increase its military to nearly 200,000 troops over the next seven years, the defence ministry said Tuesday, a day after US Vice President Mike Pence urged European allies to boost their defence spending.

Berlin had already announced last May its first increase in troop count since the Cold War, but the ministry said it was further revising numbers upwards.

The Bundeswehr is now expected to grow by 20,000 soldiers to a total of 198,000 in 2024.

Additionally, the number of civilian staff would reach 61,000 over the same period, said the ministry.

"The Bundeswehr has rarely been as necessary as it is now," said Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

"Be it in the fight against IS (Islamic State) terrorism, in the stabilisation of Mali, the ongoing support of Afghanistan and against people smugglers in the Mediterranean and the Aegean or with our increased presence for NATO in the Baltics," she said.

Over recent years, the army had seen a significant reduction in troop numbers following Germany's reunification and the end of the Cold War.

In 1990, the number of soldiers reached 585,000, before falling to a low of 166,500 last June.

Washington has repeatedly pressed Germany to increase its defence spending to reach the NATO agreed level of two percent of economic output.

So far, of the 28 NATO members, only the United States, Britain, Poland, Greece and Estonia have met the two percent target.

 

 

Pence reassures Europe, demands NATO funds

 
‎Monday, ‎February ‎27, ‎2017, ‏‎6:17:14 PMGo to full article
Brussels (AFP) Feb 20, 2017 - US Vice President Mike Pence told nervous Europeans Monday that Donald Trump will remain committed to transatlantic ties, but warned NATO allies they must boost their defence spending in return.

Capping a European trip aimed at allaying fears about the new administration's support, Pence said Washington's backing for the EU remained "steadfast and enduring".

"Today it is my privilege on behalf of President Trump to express the strong commitment of the United States to continued cooperation and partnership with the European Union," Pence said after talks with EU president Donald Tusk in Brussels.

European allies have all been unnerved by Trump's criticism of the EU as a vehicle for Germany, his praise of Britain's decision to leave the bloc and his dismissal of NATO as "obsolete" even as he praises Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But Pence pledged the United States would keep working with Europe to boost the world's two biggest economies, fight terrorism and defend eastern EU states against Russian encroachment.

Tusk, a former Polish premier, said that Europeans "truly needed" the meeting with Pence and that the 28-nation bloc counted on "wholehearted and unequivocal" US support.

"Too much has happened over the past month in your country and in the EU ... for us to pretend that everything is as it used to be," Tusk said.

Pence also met European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, a former Luxembourg premier, who stressed that the United States "needs a strong united Europe.".

- NATO 'actions not words' -

Scores of protesters gathered in the EU quarter of the Belgian capital during Pence's visit, criticising the Trump administration's attitude toward women, gays and climate change.

Two female protesters went topless and carried banners saying "Pence get out of our pants," while another placard read "Love Trumps Hate".

At NATO headquarters, Pence said Trump expects NATO allies to make "real progress by the end of 2017" towards meeting a goal they set in 2014 of raising defence spending to two percent of GDP over a decade.

"If you don't yet have a plan -- these are my words, not his (Trump's) -- get one. It is time for actions, not words," Pence told a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

So far, of the 28 NATO members, only the United States, Britain, Poland, Greece and Estonia have met the two percent target.

"America will do our part but Europe's defence requires Europe's commitment as much as ours," Pence said Monday.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis delivered a similar message at a NATO defence ministers meeting last week, saying Washington could "moderate" its commitment if allies fail to pay up.

Pence, Mattis and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have stuck close to established policy during their first foray into Europe despite Trump's previous pronouncements.

But they have also been left to cope with their president's unpredictable remarks, and by a growing scandal over the new White House's links to Russia.

Pence admitted on Monday he was "disappointed" that former US national security adviser Michael Flynn had given him "inaccurate" information about his contacts with Russia over US sanctions before he resigned last week.

However he said he fully backed Trump's decision to accept Flynn's resignation.

- 'Very positive' -

Pence's visit came two days after Trump referred, during a rally in Florida, to a non-existent Swedish terror incident and urged people to "look at what's happening in Brussels" as he listed a series of European cities struck by deadly terror attacks.

Pence said the United States would remain "full partners" with the EU in fighting terrorism, a Trump priority.

He also pledged it would defend Europe's "territorial integrity" and said the Trump administration will "continue to hold Russia accountable" for the violence in eastern Ukraine and demand that Moscow honour the Minsk agreements for a ceasefire due to begin Monday.

Trump is expected to attend a NATO summit in Brussels at the end of May and he has also been invited to meet EU leaders.

An EU source told AFP that Pence's meeting with Tusk was "very positive".

"Will it allay all Europeans fears about Trump? No but it was the best we could have hoped for," the source added.

 

 

Trump backs 'One China' policy in call with Xi

 
‎Sunday, ‎February ‎12, ‎2017, ‏‎5:56:35 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Feb 10, 2017 - President Donald Trump reaffirmed Washington's "One China" policy in what he said Friday was a "very warm" conversation with Xi Jinping, in an apparent effort to ease tensions after angering Beijing by questioning a major plank of Sino-US relations.

"We had a very, very good talk last night, and discussed a lot of subjects. It was a long talk," Trump told a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his side.

During the phone call, the new Republican president pledged to "honor" a decades-old position that effectively acknowledges Taiwan is not separate from China -- a policy that Trump had suggested a few weeks ago he might jettison.

"President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our 'One China' policy," the White House said in a statement, adding that the two leaders had "extended invitations to meet in their respective countries."

The White House called the phone discussion -- the first since Trump took office -- "extremely cordial," saying the leaders "look forward to further talks with very successful outcomes."

Trump said Friday that he and Xi were "in the process of getting along very well, and I think it will be very much of a benefit to Japan."

Xi, who took the helm of the Communist Party-ruled country in 2012, welcomed Trump's gesture.

"Xi Jinping appreciates Trump's emphasis on the American government's commitment to the One China policy and pointed out that the One China principle is the political foundation of US-China relations," a Chinese foreign ministry statement said.

Trump's insurgent campaign for the White House included frequently lashing out at China, which he accused of currency manipulation and stealing American jobs.

He raised eyebrows in the wake of his election victory with a protocol-busting telephone conversation with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen.

He later threw doubt on the "One China" policy, suggesting that it was up for negotiation and could form part of talks on trade, drawing rebukes from official Chinese media.

- 'Backed Down' -

Ashley Townshend, an expert on US-China relations at the University of Sydney, said Trump's apparent capitulation was an indication of the moderating influence of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

"Everyone will be surprised at the speed with which Trump has backed down on this issue," he said.

The change was unlikely to be conciliatory, he added, but could be read as a sign of pragmatism in the new administration's approach to its powerful adversary.

"There was a real risk prior to this clarification that the two sides would be unable to even find a way to speak," he said.

"This removes an obstacle to relations, but it doesn't advance them in any meaningful way."

Taiwan has been ruled separately since the two sides split in 1949 at the end of a civil war.

Despite having its own government, military and independent foreign policy, Beijing has refused to recognize the island, viewing it as part of its territory awaiting reunification with the mainland -- by force, if necessary.

Washington cut formal ties with Taipei in 1979, when it recognized the Communist mainland rulers in Beijing.

However, the US remains Taiwan's most powerful unofficial ally and its main supplier of arms.

Trump's suggestion that he could restore relations with Taipei -- which Beijing views as a non-starter -- had threatened to chill ties with the Asian giant.

- 'Come to his senses' -

Beijing had been prepared to give Trump-the-candidate a pass, said Wu Xinbo, director of the Center for American Studies at China's Fudan University.

"When Trump tweeted a few things about the 'One China' policy previously, it was prior to his inauguration, so we can consider those his personal opinion," said Wu.

"Now that he is in office, he represents the government's views, and as such, he must emphasize the continuity of policies such as the Taiwan issue and the One China issue."

Xu Guoqi, an expert in Sino-US relations at the University of Hong Kong, said Thursday's call showed the US president had "come to his senses" about a policy that had underpinned ties since Richard Nixon occupied the Oval Office.

"Without honoring the One China policy, the relationship only has one way to go: down to hell," Xu said, adding: "Now the two sides can assume business as usual. They are back to square one."

A high-ranking European diplomat told AFP he hoped that the call indicated an end to Trump's "incoherent signals" on China.

"Maybe the phone call marks the beginning of a more rational and consistent policy," he said.

On Chinese social media, commenters agreed the call was overdue.

"Trump has finally seen the light!" one user posted.

"What could be bad about having good relations with China?"

burs-hg/amj/sst

 

 

Chinese, US aircraft in 'unsafe' encounter over South China Sea: US

 
‎Sunday, ‎February ‎12, ‎2017, ‏‎5:56:35 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Feb 11, 2017 - A Chinese military aircraft had an "unsafe" encounter with a US Navy surveillance aircraft near a contested reef in the South China Sea, the US Pacific Command said Friday.

The two planes came within 1,000 feet (300 meters) of each other during Wednesday's incident near the Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by both the Philippines and China, according to Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis.

The close encounter comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and China over Beijing's moves to establish a presence in disputed areas of the South China Sea by building reefs and atolls into artificial islands.

"An interaction characterized by US Pacific Command as 'unsafe' occurred in international airspace above the South China Sea between a Chinese KJ-200 aircraft and a US Navy P-3C aircraft," said US Pacific Command spokesman Rob Shuford.

"The US Navy P-3C was on a routine mission operating in accordance with international law."

Davis said the Chinese aircraft essentially "crossed the nose" of the American plane, causing it to "make an immediate turn."

"We don't see any evidence that it was intentional," the spokesman said, adding that the incident appeared to be a "one-off" encounter.

"Clearly we have our disagreements with China over militarization of South China Sea," he said, adding that interactions between ships and planes are "largely professional and safe."

The KJ-200 is an airborne early warning and command plane, while the P-3 is a maritime surveillance aircraft.

The Pacific Command said it would address the issue "in appropriate diplomatic and military channels."

- China responded 'legally and professionally' -

A Chinese defense ministry official told The Global Times that the Chinese pilot had responded "legally and professionally" to the US plane when it approached the aircraft.

"We hope that the US could take the bilateral military relations into consideration and adopt practical measures to eliminate the root cause of air and sea mishaps between the two countries," the official said on condition of anonymity.

China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the resource-rich region despite rival claims from Southeast Asian neighbors and has rapidly built reefs into artificial islands capable of hosting military planes.

US President Donald Trump's administration so far has taken a tough stance on China's claims in the South China Sea, insisting it will defend international interests there.

During his confirmation hearings, new US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson raised the threat of blocking China's access to the contested islands.

Under president Barack Obama's administration, Washington insisted it was neutral on the question of sovereignty over the South China Sea islets, reefs and shoals, calling for the disputes to be resolved under international law.

But the US has dispatched aircraft and naval patrols to assert its rights of passage through international spaces.

burs-oh/mtp

 

 

US, Japan say defense pact covers disputed Senkaku islands

 
‎Sunday, ‎February ‎12, ‎2017, ‏‎5:56:35 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Feb 10, 2017 - US President Donald Trump offered Japan assurances Friday that mutual defense agreements cover the disputed Senkaku Islands, claimed by China as the Diaoyus.

After repeatedly questioning defense pacts, Trump signed off on a joint statement with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that reaffirms America's security guarantee.

The pair said they "oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan's administration of these islands" -- comments that are sure to rile Beijing.

China warned the US it was risking instability in Asia after Trump's new defense secretary vowed to back Japan in any military clash over the disputed island chain.

China, which is also involved in a widening dispute with several Southeast Asian countries over islands in the South China Sea, accused Washington of stirring up trouble.

 

 

 

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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 State Of Dis-Union Pics

 

 

 

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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