ASIA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ASIA

Jan 24 14:44

Western fawning to shore up Saudi House of Cards

The fawning by the American and British governments toward Saudi Arabia over the death of King Abdullah is for good – albeit unspoken – reasons. The oil-rich feudal kingdom is a lynchpin of Western hegemony in the strategically vital Middle East region. At a time when the region is gripped by instability more than ever, the House of Saud now enters a dangerous period of transition, which presents deep alarm to the Western patrons.

Jan 24 14:38

ECB to launch €1.1 trillion of quantitative easing

By buying eurozone governments’ bonds using electronically created money – so-called quantitative easing– the ECB hopes to shore up confidence, boost inflation, and drive down the value of the euro on foreign exchanges, helping to boost exports and kickstart growth.

The €60bn a month figure includes the purchases of private sector assets that the ECB had already begun to try to unlock credit markets.

Jan 24 14:35

Congress Seeks Netanyahu’s Direction

Showing who some in Congress believe is the real master of U.S. foreign policy, House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session and offer a rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s comments on world affairs in his State of the Union speech.

Boehner made clear that Netanyahu’s third speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress – scheduled for Feb. 11 – was meant to counter Obama’s assessments.

“There is a serious threat in the world, and the President last night kind of papered over it,” Boehner said on Wednesday. “And the fact is that there needs to be a more serious conversation in America about how serious the threat is from radical Islamic jihadists and the threat posed by Iran.”

Jan 22 14:56

The ISIS comedy continues…

Much of the Western world has reluctantly signed up with America’s counterfeit crusade against the radical group. And now Japan has been suckered into the madness...

One can’t help but laugh at the way in which our loathsome leaders try to pull the wool over our eyes time and again.

These cowards in high places have resorted to fantastical lies and clownish frauds to keep us complacent and ignorant.

This latest chicanery should make you grin.

Just hours after Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an “anti-terrorism” pact with Israel and pledged $200 million towards the anti-ISIS coalition led by the United States, ISIS released a video threatening to kill two Japanese hostages.

The infamous British-accented Islamic State fighter, who allegedly beheaded a string of hostages over recent months including American photojournalist James Foley, appears in a new video demanding a ransom of $200 million in exchange for the release of the two Japanese captives.

Jan 22 14:53

The ‘hasbara’ tweeps who brought down Jim Clancy, and their ties to Israel and the Israel lobby

As the hardly left-leaning Thomas Friedman has explained, even espousing the U.S. State Department’s official policy that settlements are illegal and East Jerusalem is an occupied city can stop a career before it starts.

Veteran CNN journalist Jim Clancy’s resignation this week is one of the odder media fallouts from the Charlie Hebdo Paris attack. On January 7, Clancy got into a late night Twitter spat regarding the French satirical magazine with online adversaries. When he told them they were ganging up on him and practicing “hasbara,” the Hebrew word for “explaining” that describes pro-Israel advocacy often at the behest of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they lashed back as if the term were libelous.

Jan 22 14:49

“Civilization” of the Neocons

The power of the msm – in combination with the brainless masses works wonders.

Imagine – a bunch of French, CIA and Mossad special forces, one of them or a combination of the three, attack a racist, Moslem-insulting publisher in Paris and a kosher supermarket at another end of town – killing altogether 17 people, notwithstanding the ‘suicide’ of the French police chief in charge of investigating the atrocity.

A million and a half people in Paris take to the streets – about 6 million throughout Europe – all screaming or carrying posters with a maddening, inexplicable “Je Suis Charlie” – depicting an utterly brainwashed mindset, brainwashed for decades with Washington directed mind control.

Jan 22 00:02

The ‘hasbara’ tweeps who brought down Jim Clancy, and their ties to Israel and the Israel lobby

As the hardly left-leaning Thomas Friedman has explained, even espousing the U.S. State Department’s official policy that settlements are illegal and East Jerusalem is an occupied city can stop a career before it starts.

Veteran CNN journalist Jim Clancy’s resignation this week is one of the odder media fallouts from the Charlie Hebdo Paris attack. On January 7, Clancy got into a late night Twitter spat regarding the French satirical magazine with online adversaries. When he told them they were ganging up on him and practicing “hasbara,” the Hebrew word for “explaining” that describes pro-Israel advocacy often at the behest of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they lashed back as if the term were libelous.

Jan 21 12:48

Russian Foreign Minister: Efforts to Isolate Russia Will Not Succeed

Russian FM kicks off annual press conference by reiterating President Putin's statement: "Isolationism policies will not work"

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held his annual end-of-year press conference in Moscow. Fielding questions from reporters for over two hours, the country’s top diplomat spoke about the situations in Ukraine, Syria and Russia’s relations with the West.

More than 370 journalists, including three journalists from Ukraine, were accredited, and the conference was broadcasted online in Russian, English and French on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

Jan 21 11:54

Importance of being Syria’s Assad

President Bashar al-Assad whom the US regarded all through to be “ a huge part of the problem, may also now be part of the solution”

On the other hand, the latest reports from Saudi Arabia show Crown Prince huddled with a delegation of American senators led by John McCain to discuss the Pentagon plan to arm and train the Syrian rebels. It seems for a moment that the ‘regime change’ agenda in Syria is back on the front burner of the Obama administration’s Middle East policies.

However, that will be overlooking the remarks by US secretary of state John Kerry on Wednesday voicing support for the Russian efforts to kick start negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition figures in Moscow as well as de Mistura’s efforts for an Aleppo ceasefire.

Jan 21 10:50

The Danger of an MH-17 ‘Cold Case’

The Obama administration continues to drag its feet on releasing U.S. intelligence evidence on who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 six months ago, a failure that has given the guilty parties time to scatter and has created a new breeding ground for conspiracy theories.

Now more than six months after the shoot-down of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine, the refusal of the Obama administration to make public what intelligence evidence it has about who was responsible has created fertile ground for conspiracy theories to take root while reducing hopes for holding the guilty parties accountable.

Given the U.S. government’s surveillance capabilities – from satellite and aerial photographs to telephonic and electronic intercepts to human sources – American intelligence surely has a good idea what happened on July 17, 2014, when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed in eastern Ukraine killing all 298 people onboard.

Jan 21 10:45

America Is Open for Business in Iraq (Psst… Wanna Buy an M1 Tank?)

Are Tanks Good for Anything Other Than Profits?

Washington’s rallying cry now seems to be: “Wait for the spring offensive!” In translation that means: wait for the Iraqi army to get enough newly American-trained and -armed troops into action to make a move on Mosul. That city is, of course, the country’s second largest and still ruled by the new “caliphate” proclaimed by Islamic State head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. All in all, not exactly inspiring stuff.

You can’t have victory if you have no idea where the finish line is. But there is one bright side to the situation. If you can’t create Victory in Iraq for future VI Day parades, you can at least make a profit from the disintegrating situation there.

Jan 21 07:50

ISIS threatens to behead two Japanese hours after Netanyahu predicts Japan will experience terror

On January 19 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe obediently groveled to Israel to pledge support for the Zio-war on terror. Japan, whose constitution actually prohibits the country from maintaining a military, already has “peace keeping” troops in the Zionist created new nation of South Sudan, and Abe promised Netanyahu that Japan will provide $200 million in “humanitarian aid” to the countries fighting ISIS. This, of course, is not what it means, because the most effective military fighting ISIS belongs to the Syrian government, yet this aid will certainly wind up going to groups opposed to the Syrian government.

Netanyahu warned Abe that Japan could become a target of terrorism, and almost on cue, within a matter of hours ISIS released a video featuring two Japanese hostages in orange jumpsuits and a knife-wielding masked man who announced in British English that the Japanese would be killed if a $200 million ransom is not paid in 72 hours.

Jan 20 13:44

Netanyahu forced to look for new markets in Asia as the EU rejects Israeli goods in face of Illegal Settlement Policy

The current anti-Israeli feeling in Europe has led to manufacturers and retailers opting for non-Israeli products and produce as more importers decide not to buy goods from a state that treats the United Nations and human rights law with such contempt.

Up to now, the EU has been Israel’s primary, bilateral trading partner but the political climate has radically changed in recent months as Europe loses patience with the Netanyahu government and its all too obvious moves to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. The EU urgently wants a settlement to the Palestinian conflict but now sees that the current right-wing, Israeli administration of Binyamin Netanyahu is not, and never will be, a partner for peace.

Jan 20 02:51

Charlie Hebdo, Zionism & Media Deception

Mustapha pondered whether the attack was stage-managed by the intelligence services, considering the two deceased suspects were being closely surveyed and watched by French intelligence and police for years, their names even showing up on ‘terror watch’ and ‘no fly’ lists.

Mustapha noted in the interview that in Western countries “the full force of the law” is brought down upon critics of Zionism, whereas anti-Islamic neocon zealots are given a platform on mainstream media to spout lies and deceptions intended to demonize Muslims and Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya.

Jan 19 23:22

Challenge for Pope: Seize Chance for Religious Renewal

The world now needs a fearless champion with clout, another overturner of money tables, scatterer of vested interests, exposer of hypocrisy and scourge of the unjust... a genuinely heroic figure that ordinary folk around the world can look up to.

In any month nearly 200 Palestinian children are held in Israeli military detention and the numbers remain fairly constant.

His Holiness, on reflection, must know that the situation in Palestine is wretchedly deplorable and an ugly stain on civilization generally and Christendom in particular for allowing it to happen. Praying with villains like Peres and accepting their refusal to allow access to Gaza’s communities doesn’t cut the mustard. Extraordinary evil requires extraordinary measures.

Save you prayers, Holiness, for someone and something more deserving.
Are we just people who use fine and pious words?

Jan 19 23:03

The Danger of an MH-17 ‘Cold Case’

Now more than six months after the shoot-down of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine, the refusal of the Obama administration to make public what intelligence evidence it has about who was responsible has created fertile ground for conspiracy theories to take root while reducing hopes for holding the guilty parties accountable.

Jan 19 22:08

Trolling Russia

The edifice of world post-1991 order is collapsing right now before our eyes. President Putin’s decision to give a miss to the Auschwitz pilgrimage, right after his absence in Paris at the Charlie festival, gave it the last shove. It was good clean fun to troll Russia, as long as it stayed the course. Not anymore. Russia broke the rules.

Neither willingly nor easily did Russia break ranks. Putin tried to take Western baiting in his stride: be it Olympic games, Syria confrontation, gender politics, Georgian border, even Crimea-related sanctions. The open economic warfare was a game-changer. Russia felt attacked by falling oil prices, by rouble trouble, by credit downgrading. These developments are considered an act of hostility, rather than the result of “the hidden hand of the market”.

If the initiators expected Russians to be mad at Putin, they miscalculated. The Russian public is angry with the American organizers of the economical warfare, not with its own government.

Jan 19 14:29

Challenge for Pope: Seize Chance for Religious Renewal

The world now needs a fearless champion with clout, another overturner of money tables, scatterer of vested interests, exposer of hypocrisy and scourge of the unjust... a genuinely heroic figure that ordinary folk around the world can look up to.

Not many weeks after that bizarre presidential pray-in with the Pope, Israel launched its most recent murder spree, Operation Protective Edge, slaughtering nearly 2,200 including more than 500 children, seriously injuring thousands more, making countless families homeless, wreaking massive destruction on vital infrastructure and causing lethal public health problems.

His Holiness, on reflection, must know that the situation in Palestine is wretchedly deplorable and an ugly stain on civilization generally and Christendom in particular for allowing it to happen. Praying with villains like Peres and accepting their refusal to allow access to Gaza’s communities doesn’t cut the mustard. Extraordinary evil requires extraordinary measures.

Jan 19 14:17

The Syrian Ambassador’s Complaint

This is why they want to privatize the United Nations, so that the influential donors can control the decision-making mechanisms, without giving a damn about the provisions of the Charter.

Dr. Bashar al-Ja’afari, sat down with Al-Akhbar for an interview.
The veteran diplomat, who has held his position at the UN since 2006, and lives restricted to a 25-mile radius of New York City, has much more to say than the half hour allowed. Defiant as always, he discussed the challenges he faces at the UN, explained why he thinks the organization has lost its way, and censured Western states and media for their hostility toward the Syrian government.

Jan 19 12:20

Police round up orphans and keep them chained in filth during Pope's visit to Philippines

Street children as young as five are being caged in brutal detention centres alongside adult criminals in a cynical drive to smarten up the Philippines capital ahead of a visit by Pope Francis this week.

Jan 19 08:05

Netanyahu says Europe's 'Islamization' pushing Israel to expand Asia trade

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that a wave of anti-Semitism and what he called “Islamization” in Western Europe are factors in the government’s push to expand trade with Asia.

Jan 19 00:32

Charlie Hebdo, Zionism & Media Deception

On the program I asked Mustapha if Zionism and the octopus of lobby groups that work on its behalf is as big a driving force behind US and broader Western foreign policy as some contend. “France, the US [and other Western countries] are under the domination of Israel,” Mustapha told me. Mustapha contends that Israel’s agents have supplanted all independent leaders in the West, replacing them with grovelling lapdogs who do the bidding of Israel at all costs, even to the detriment to their own people and nations.

We touched on the recent events in Paris, wherein “Islamist” gun-men are said to have carried out a massacre at the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a kosher market. Mustapha pondered whether the attack was stage-managed by the intelligence services, considering the two deceased suspects were being closely surveyed and watched by French intelligence and police for years, their names even showing up on ‘terror watch’ and ‘no fly’ lists.

Jan 18 13:37

Western politics of high-octane emotion

Western governments and their pliable news media are audaciously playing politics with public emotions.

The trouble with this “high-octane emotional politics” is that it stupefies the public from asking some very necessary hard questions of the authorities. By buying into weeping and self-indulgence, the public are at risk of being manipulated like never before.

Just as John Kerry was offering a big hug “to all of France”, the US government this week announced a significant step-up in its military involvement in Syria. The Pentagon unveiled plans to send 500 military personnel to train “moderate rebels” to fight against the elected government forces of President Bashar al Assad.

Jan 18 13:27

Paris Charlie – the Shock Doctrine par Excellence

False flag – converted immediately into public shock, the perfect condition for ramming any police, military and surveillance legislation down the people’s throat.

On 12 January the French Parliament approved with almost unanimity – with one abstention only – the budget for France’s continuous and enlarged involvement in the new war on Iraq, a new war engagement led by Washington and supported by its vassals, UK, Canada, Australia and France. Aircraft carriers and troops were immediately mobilized, not even losing a day.

Jan 18 09:40

Can Obama Untangle from Syria’s Civil War?

Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar would all reject a policy that would allow a regime they regard as an Iranian ally to persist in Syria.

Contradictions between the Obama administration’s policy in Syria and realities on the ground have become so acute that U.S. officials began last November discussing a proposal calling for support of local ceasefires between opposition forces and the Assad regime in dozens of locations across Syria.

The proposal surfaced in two articles in Foreign Policy magazine and in a column by the Washington Post’s David Ignatius. Those indicated that it was under serious consideration by administration officials. In fact, the proposal may even have played a role in a series of four White House meetings during the week of Nov. 6-13, to discuss Syria policy, one of which Obama himself presided over.

Jan 18 09:37

Neocons: The ‘Anti-Realists’

This neocon madness – this “anti-realism” – has been playing out in the real world on a grand scale, destroying real lives and endangering the real future of the planet.

The primary distinction between the neocons and the liberal interventionists has been the centrality of Israel in the neocons’ thinking while their liberal sidekicks put “humanitarianism” at the core of their world view. But these differences are insignificant, in practice, since the liberal hawks are politically savvy enough not to hold Israel accountable for its human rights crimes and clever enough to join with the neocons in easy-to-sell “regime change” strategies toward targeted countries with weak lobbies in Washington.

Jan 18 09:31

Obama to Senators: Choose U.S. Over Donors

The president urged the lawmakers to “take the long view rather than make a move for short-term political gain”.

On Thursday of last week, President Barack Obama spoke to a group of Democratic senators in a private meeting during a Baltimore hotel political retreat.

He asked the senators not to support a bill, drafted by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) (left) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), which would add further sanctions on Iran during this time of delicate nuclear negotiations between the U.S., its allies and Iran.

One unnamed senator in the room told the New York Times that Obama said that “as a former senator himself, he understood how outside forces — like special interests and donors — can influence senators to act”.

Jan 17 11:15

China and Russia launching new credit rating agency in 2015

The new Universal Credit Rating Group (UCRG) is being set up to rival the existing agencies Moody’s, S&P and Fitch, and its first rating will be issued this year.

The setting up of UCRG is in its final stages, ready to challenge the ‘Big Three’ that currently dominate the industry, the Managing Director of RusRating Aleksandr Ovchinnikov told Sputnik News Agency on Tuesday.

“In our opinion, the first ratings [will] appear … during the current year,” Ovchinnikov said, adding that accreditation with the local regulator is already underway.

The news comes on the heels of Fitch’s decision to follow S&P in downgrading Russia’s sovereign credit rating to BBB-, a step above junk level and on par with India and Turkey.

Jan 17 11:10

Can Obama Untangle from Syria’s Civil War?

Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar would all reject a policy that would allow a regime they regard as an Iranian ally to persist in Syria.

Contradictions between the Obama administration’s policy in Syria and realities on the ground have become so acute that U.S. officials began last November discussing a proposal calling for support of local ceasefires between opposition forces and the Assad regime in dozens of locations across Syria.

The proposal surfaced in two articles in Foreign Policy magazine and in a column by the Washington Post’s David Ignatius. Those indicated that it was under serious consideration by administration officials. In fact, the proposal may even have played a role in a series of four White House meetings during the week of Nov. 6-13, to discuss Syria policy, one of which Obama himself presided over.

Jan 17 10:44

Gas Theft and Auschwitz Snub… Russia’s Every Right to End the Insults

How many insults does the European Union expect Russia to bear without consequences? Ethnic cleansing of Russian people by the Brussels-backed Kiev regime, a refugee crisis on Russia’s borders, economic sanctions based on groundless accusations hurting Russian society – and now this – the neo-Nazi cabal that seized power in Ukraine with CIA backing last year has repeatedly been found guilty of siphoning off Russia’s natural gas exports to the EU.

Russia’s objective is simply this: to put an end to the Kiev regime’s de facto theft of Russian gas exports to Europe. How much more reasonable can that be?

No doubt the dutiful Western corporate media will crank up the «Putin as arch villain» narrative. Families freezing across Europe will be attributed to the «evil genius» of the «Soviet mastermind».

Jan 16 14:48

China and Russia launching new credit rating agency in 2015

The new Universal Credit Rating Group (UCRG) is being set up to rival the existing agencies Moody’s, S&P and Fitch, and its first rating will be issued this year.

The setting up of UCRG is in its final stages, ready to challenge the ‘Big Three’ that currently dominate the industry, the Managing Director of RusRating Aleksandr Ovchinnikov told Sputnik News Agency on Tuesday.

“In our opinion, the first ratings [will] appear … during the current year,” Ovchinnikov said, adding that accreditation with the local regulator is already underway.

The news comes on the heels of Fitch’s decision to follow S&P in downgrading Russia’s sovereign credit rating to BBB-, a step above junk level and on par with India and Turkey.

Read more

Jan 16 07:12

Off the Grid? Or Make Your Own Grid?

by Brian Berletic

There are many reasons people want to get "off the grid." From unstable energy prices, to environmental concerns, to even just a search for independence, the list is long and diverse. Just as diverse are attempts to "get off the grid." But as one community in Thailand is proving, sometimes building your own grid is just as good, maybe better.

The "Pa Deng model" is a project born out of necessity. The national power grid simply didn't reach the farms and villages in this remote sub-district located south of Bangkok along the border with Myanmar in Phetchaburi province. Several failed attempts at simply handing out technology had frustrated many, and the founders of this project, including one Ministry of Energy employee, decided to take matters into their own hands...

Jan 15 10:34

Japan urges US publisher to remove comfort women from textbooks

Japan has taken its campaign to rewrite its wartime history into the classroom with demands that a US publisher remove “inaccurate” descriptions of tens of thousands of women who were forced to work as sex slaves before and during the war.

The move by the country’s foreign ministry comes after a Japanese publisher said it would delete text and depictions of the women, most of whom were from the Korean peninsula, from textbooks used in high schools.

Jan 15 09:51

Dying ‘good career move’ for French hate-mag

As ever, the Muslim world is responding with restraint and dignity to the latest vile conduct by Western so-called free-speech secularism.

The French so-called satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo – more accurately a hate-inciting, racist rag – has published its first post-massacre edition this week, with print sales going through the roof.

The magazine has abused the principle of free speech as a cynical cover to promote hate speech and in particular to foment prejudice against the Muslim population of France and Europe more generally.

Muslims have become the most vulnerable community in Europe and around the world for persecution by Western state and non-state bigots. Over the past week, Muslim communities and places of worship have been attacked by mobs in Germany and France amid the climate of hatred that the likes of Charlie Hebdo and its state benefactors have been responsible for.

Jan 15 09:46

Lawsuit says Caltech Provost and others ignored Israeli spying

Dr. Troian’s allegations describe subversion of one of America’s most important scientific institutions and provide a potential case study of how U.S. taxpayer funded scientific technology is stolen by Israel.

Following is a deeply disturbing excerpt from a civil lawsuit filed by a Caltech professor against Caltech, often named the world’s top research university. Caltech’s official name is the California Institute of Technology.

According to the lawsuit, a small coterie of Caltech professors and administrators ignored Israeli spying and theft of taxpayer-funded U.S. technology and then retaliated against the professor for reporting it.

Jan 15 09:42

Bob Carr: Australia’s UN vote on Palestine does a disservice to all sides

A true friend of Israel should be able to send a message about what Australians think.

More Australians winced than applauded when they learned of their country’s very last vote at the end of its two year term on the security council.

It was a lousy way to wrap up a two year term on the security council, given the intense competition to win the seat.

Jan 15 07:15

Russia’s presidency aims at turning BRICS into full-fledged cooperation tool

One of the major goals of Russia’s presidency will be implementing the BRICS decisions on setting up its own financial institutions, namely the New Development Bank and a currency reserve pool

Jan 14 13:46

Watch your language! (even when speaking the undeniable truth)

Willcox: “Many critics, though, of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.”

Poor Tim Willcox, now terrorized for doing a professional job at the Paris anti-terror march.

In a live TV report the BBC’s Willcox was interviewing people in the crowd and talking to a Jewish woman about her fears of persecution.

She said: “The situation is going back to the days of the 1930s in Europe.”

Willcox replied: “Many critics, though, of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.”

She countered: “We can’t do an amalgam.”

Willcox said: “You understand everything is seen from different perspectives.”

The reporter’s remarks were widely criticized by viewers, with some calling for his resignation.

Jan 14 12:40

Marching Towards Disaster: What’s Really Behind The U.S. Push In The Asia-Pacific?

On the sidelines of the Group of Twenty (G20) Summit in Brisbane, US President Barack H. Obama delivered a keynote speech to diplomats, policymakers, faculty members, and students at the University of Queensland on the United States of America’s foreign policy and Obama’s so-called “Asian pivot” or “pivot to Asia.”

In 2013, a report by Brian Andrews and Kurt Campbell for the British think-tank Chatham House described Washington’s redeployment efforts in the Asia-Pacific region like this: “The United States government is in the early stages of a substantial national project: reorienting significant elements of its foreign policy towards the Asia-Pacific region and encouraging many of its partners outside the region to do the same.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 
Jan 14 11:44

Japan Cabinet OKs Record Military Budget With Eye on China

Japan's Cabinet approved the country's largest ever defense budget on Wednesday, including plans to buy surveillance aircraft, drones and F-35 fighter jets to help counter China's rising assertiveness in the region.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet endorsed a nearly 5 trillion yen ($42 billion) defense budget for the year beginning in April as part of a record 96.3 trillion yen ($814 billion) total budget.

The budget must still be approved by parliament, but Abe's coalition holds majorities in both houses.

Jan 14 07:23

Netanyahu gatecrashes Paris rally

Gatecrashing Netanyahu's latest offense. Showing up where not wanted.

French President Francois Hollande’s national security advisor, Jacques Audibert, asked him not to come, through his Israeli counterpart, Yossi Cohen. Saying Sunday’s event wanted to demonstrate solidarity with France. Avoid divisive issues. Like Israeli/Palestinian relations.

“(S)everal hours after (he said) he would not be traveling to Paris, his office issued a statement stating that he would in fact be at the march.”

“Hollande’s anger at Netanyahu was evident during (Sunday evening’s) ceremony,” said Haaretz. Held at Paris’ Grand Synagogue. “(A)ttended by hundreds of members of the local Jewish community. Hollande sat through most of the ceremony, but when Netanyahu’s turn at the podium arrived,” he walked out. A snub easily noticed.

Jan 13 15:04

Japan Sexual Apathy? really?

Jan 13 09:06

“Je suis Ali Abbas”: The Forgotten Victims of State Terrorism

Dr. Halpin’s summary in this case, encapsulates the terror of state origin – the US and the UK in particular.The UK almost always manages to present a beatific face – at first glance.

Massive terrorist attacks were hatched soon after the pretext of cinematographic ‘terrorist’ attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on September 9th 2001.

A splinter of this terror came to Ali Abbas, then 12 years of age and formerly of the village of Zafaraniya, near Baghdad about 10 days after the shocking and ‘aweing’ started.

Read more

Jan 12 12:55

Taking the mickey: war crimes suspects led Paris anti-terror march

They should have been arrested as soon as they landed in Paris, clapped in irons and dragged to The Hague

I sat down to watch the Paris march commemorating Charlie with curiosity, for this important outpouring of ordinary people’s fears and resolve had been hi-jacked by the French government in a nauseating attempt to de-odorise some of its terror-dealing friends by hosting and parading them at the head of the march.

Jan 12 07:51

An explosion? Conflicting theories on what caused AirAsia jet crash

Earlier, an Indonesian search and rescue official said that the AirAsia jet was likely to have exploded before hitting the water, judging by the wreckage

Jan 11 16:45

AirAsia QZ8501 black box found – Indonesia authorities

The flight recorder from the crashed AirAsia QZ8501 flight has been discovered in the Java Sea, Indonesian authorities confirmed in a statement.

Jan 11 14:45

Charlie Hebdo Massacre: Another Staged Event to Incite War and Destroy Freedom?

Many analysts are questioning the dubious timing and nature of all of these incidents, which come at just the right moment to lend credence to the US-led coalition against ISIS.It is nothing short of miraculous that just as various Western countries gear up for military strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, ‘terror incidents’ hit their respective homelands right on cue to give the politicians their belated ‘casus belli’ for joining the campaign to be rid of ISIS.

French politicians and other Western leaders have been pontificating about Western ‘values’ and have selectively invoked ‘freedom of speech.’ “We live in a free and open democracy which has freedom of speech,” the West’s dishonest leaders say.

“Radical Muslims don’t believe in ‘our values,’ hence the necessity to fight them overseas” is the standard establishment talking point, trotted out time and again by the professional script readers fronting as presidents and prime ministers.

Jan 11 08:50

‘Anyone but Bibi’: Israeli PM popularity slumps before elections

More than 230,000 dollars has come in from various donors in the United States. It makes up almost 90% of Benjamin Netanyahu's re-election funds, most of it coming from just three American families.

But even all that money can’t buy popularity – Bibi’s ratings are languishing, as voters look to alternatives, Paula Slier reports.

WEBMASTER ADDITION: Yet another reason for Israel to stage a flood of false-flag terror attacks!

Jan 11 08:44

Israel Big Winners at ICC: Palestinians and US Taxpayers Too!

Turn on Your Smart Phone! Justice Calling! See You in Court!

This past week the International Criminal Court at the Hague accepted the application of Palestine to join the court. This so-called risky move by Palestinian President Abbas was both applauded by the world and sadly panned by the USA and Israel as being provocative and an obstacle to the “peace process”.Strange the USA and Israeli governments attempt to argue against a day in civil court right? Talk about being on the wrong side of humanity! Ouch!

I mean there is NO better way to behave in a civil society with our fellow man than going to court.

Going to court is the most excellent non-violent way to seek justice when injustice exists unchecked. It exposes our bad behavior to objective peers for a judgment that help us all better live together under commonly held values. Yet here we are watching the lost USA and Israel stand-alone against justice! Sad really!

Jan 11 08:40

The farce of Western free speech

Western free speech is nothing but a cynical charade by those in power to maintain their unlawful positions of power.

Speaking outside Elysée Palace in the aftermath of this week’s terror killings in France, former President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned the violence as “an attack on civilization.” Coiffured, sun-tanned and nattily dressed, Sarkozy’s solemn words made him appear like the embodiment of civility.

That’s a quaint turn in etiquette by a politician who is mired in allegations of sleaze and corruption, as well as war crimes.

Sarkozy wasn’t too concerned about “civilization” when he and his British allies launched the NATO bombing campaign of Libya in March 2011 in stark violation of a UN mandate. That seven-month onslaught led to the murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi – from whom Sarkozy had gladly received hush-hush political donations in the past, before stabbing him in the back.

Jan 10 14:10

The farce of Western free speech

Western free speech is nothing but a cynical charade by those in power to maintain their unlawful positions of power.

A satirical magazine championed by Western war criminals for its “free speech” to dehumanize Muslims is hailed as “heroic?” While an informative, serious news channel like Press TV is banned. Now that is farcical cartoon.

Evidently, it’s acceptable to insult Islam, according to Western select use of free speech because it suits political agendas of demonizing Muslim countries so that they can be attacked with Western warplanes or covert terrorist proxies. But it is not acceptable to satirize Zionism or Western ruling classes.

Jan 10 06:41

Paris attack becomes Political Football in Israel and Palestine

France has recently supported the Palestinian people and their cause at the UN Security Council, causing panic among Israeli officials in Tel Aviv who have said on several occasions that they fear they have lost the entire European continent as a result. They have also expressed worries that the European position, led by France, is turning against the Israeli occupation and in favor of the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, independence, and statehood.

Many Israeli analysts have urged authorities in their country to work to regain European support, fearing that losing France would mean losing Europe as a whole. The response to these fears has been an unprecedented campaign of Israeli incitement against Muslim immigrants in Europe.

Europe is still capable of differentiating between a bunch of crazy terrorists, a crazy occupation, and an innocent citizen living under occupation seeking help.

Jan 10 06:35

NATO Trips on Own Lies with U-Turn on ‘Russian Aggressor’

With the flip of a coin, it seems, all this grave anti-Russian bombast is suddenly redundant, with the US-led NATO alliance, through its European civilian cypher Stoltenberg, apparently stretching out the hand of co-operation to Russia.

NATO’s civilian figurehead Jens Stoltenberg this week urged Russia to be a partner against terrorism. He was speaking the day after the deadly gun attack on a magazine in Paris where 12 people, including three police officers, were killed by assailants purporting to be affiliated with radical Islamists.

During a visit to Germany, the NATO general secretary called upon Moscow to be “an ally in the fight against terrorism” – adding: “We think it is important that Russia, which is our biggest neighbor in Europe, and NATO are working together on important issues like fighting terror.”

Jan 10 06:26

A review of David Smith-Ferri’s “Where Days Are Stones”

Notwithstanding, the worlds of journalism and the Arts are seldom bridged. Universities endow “chairs” for poets who eschew the ugly side of human existence, so that those “honored few” may focus on their own cerebral delectations. The prose of modern journalists seldom, if ever, rises to the loftiest levels of observers like Shakespeare, Euripides, Dante, Hemingway or Edna Millay. And yet, as journalists or artists, many strive to weave ourselves into the fabric of our times; to capture the Zeitgeist—to make it knowable; to join the conversation. David Smith-Ferri is one such weaver, one such poet-journalist, who proves his value again in his third collection of poems, Where Days Are Stones (143 pp; Haley’s, Athol, MA; 2014).

“Now there is nowhere to hide
from their message
and the question it implies:
War is a horror. Always.
What am I doing to stop
and prevent it?”

Jan 09 10:34

West’s sickening moral hijack of Paris massacre

The Western reaction to the massacre at a French magazine this week is sickening. Western leaders, from US President Barack Obama to Pope Francis, from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth to United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, have all come out in force to issue statements of condemnation and condolences over the mass killing of 12 people by two gunmen at a Parisienne office.

But let’s put the slaughter of the French journalists and two policemen in perspective.

We should not allow the ultimate authors of international violence to hide behind the selective mourning for victims of terrorism.

Jan 09 10:31

Questions, doubts as France grieves

The Wednesday attack at a Paris office of Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine indeed was a tragic incident. The police say they have launched a manhunt for two suspects in the case and that a third has already surrendered. With France now in a high state of alert, things look set for the case to be over soon. Nevertheless, serious doubts still exist over what prompted the massacre and who will eventually benefit from Paris’ most violent attack in many years.

Sepahpour-Ulrich further expressed regret that in order to demonize Islam, every act committed or presumed to be committed by a national from the Islamic faith is automatically dubbed terrorism “whereas heinous terrorist acts by others is not considered terrorism”.

Jan 09 10:27

“Wait!” Says Dennis Ross. “No Need for a UN Resolution”

Dennis Ross, writing in The New York Times, criticizes Mahmoud Abbas for using international institutions to put pressure on Israel.

Ross's accusation reminds me of the The Israel Project's training manual designed to help the worldwide Zionist movement win the propaganda war.

Dennis Ross co-founded the (pro-Israel Lobby) AIPAC-sponsored Washington Institute for Near East Policy and has been described as more pro-Israel than the Israelis.

The State Department seems stuffed to the gunwales with people like him and the consequences are worrying.

Jan 08 14:33

Who profits from killing Charlie?

And yes, I am Charlie. Not only because they made us laugh; but because they were sacrificial lambs in a much nastier, gruesome, never-ending shadowplay.

Cui bono?

Careful planning and preparation; Kalashnikovs; rocket-propelled grenade launcher; balaclavas; sand-colored ammunition vest stuffed with spare magazines; army boots; piece of cake escape in a black Citroen. And the icing on the lethal cake; faultless Paris-based logistical support to pull that off.

They might have spoken perfect French; others said it was broken French. Anyway, what matters is that they uttered the magic word; “We’re al-Qaeda.”

And just to make sure everyone had the perpetrators implanted on their brain, the killers also said, “Allahu Akbar”; “We have killed Charlie Hebdo”; and “We have avenged the Prophet.”

Jan 08 08:24

Follow-Up Open Letter to New York Times Editors

Using its global reach irresponsibly. Betraying its readers in the process. Why don't Times editors tell readers about Obama's Ukrainian friends? Abhorrent ones.

January 2013 open letter to New York Times editors was this writer’s most widely ever read article.

Touching a raw nerve. Showing increasing numbers of people fed up with managed news misinformation rubbish.

Wanting what Times and other MSM scoundrels don’t deliver. Real news, information and analysis.

On issues mattering most. Domestic and geopolitical. Things affecting ordinary people’s lives and welfare directly. At the most perilous time in world history.

Out-of-control US policies make global war possible. Madness if happens. The role of the media is to inform. Fully and accurately.

Telling people what they need to know. Especially on issues mattering most. What’s more important than war and peace?

Jan 08 08:20

‘Obama is Extremely Successful for Powerful Interest Groups’ – Paul Craig Roberts

PCR interviewed by Sputnik: Has President Obama delivered on his pledges? Whose interest has Obama served?

He has achieved the agenda of the neoconservatives and the military security complex. He has demonized Russia and its President. He has broken up the economic and political relationships between Russia and Europe. He has secured the agenda of the Wall Street, by establishing through the Department of Justice that there would be no prosecution of the criminal gangsters that dislocated the American financial system and ripped off millions of people. He has achieved the agenda of the lawlessness of the US, having determined that the people who tortured detainees will not be prosecuted, even though torture is a felony under the US law and is also prohibited under the international law.

Jan 08 08:01

2015—The Year of the Sheep(le) has arrived

We sheep’ll take you down, Harper!

It’s hard to feel any optimism about end-of-year reflections when the Isramerican military-industrial-corporate-media empire, which controls our reality, is going through its death throes and taking the planet down with it. If the empire ain’t killin’, it’s dyin’! The need to keep the world in a heightened state of panic means that rational decision-making must be sabotaged, which is why the same crises persist or get worse from year to year while omnipresent solutions to them are actively ignored. In other words, human time, the time associated with progress, stands still, and so every December 31 we reflect on a year that is morally, politically and economically worse than the one previous.

Jan 06 10:48

Where Are Bernie Madoff and His Inner Circle Now?

Bernard “Bernie” Madoff, the most extraordinary swindler of the heady pre-recession years, was arrested six years ago on Thursday, but the distrust that his dealings directed toward the financial system is indelible.

Many people know a friend, relative or school acquaintance whose college savings or retirement fund was pillaged by Madoff’s gargantuan Ponzi scheme. The Occupy movement, the Heartland’s vitriolic anger towards bankers, and the proverbial Main Street-Wall Street divide are all linked to the mess Madoff sank himself into. His loss of $65 billion in Americans’ savings rattled what little confidence many Americans still had in Wall Street and the finance industry.

Jan 06 10:40

Wobbles in US-EU axis against Russia

The latest wobble in the Washington-Brussels axis against Russia, as expressed this week by Francois Hollande, has to be seen as good news. In that, at last, finally, official Europe is coming to its senses about the dangerous course the US is driving.

French President Francois Hollande this week called for an end to Western sanctions on Russia. He is the latest senior European political figure to express misgivings about the hostile policy that Washington and Brussels have embarked on against Russia over the year-old Ukrainian crisis.

BBC report added: “Politicians in Italy, Hungary and Slovakia are among those who want the sanctions eased.”

To that list we could append Germany, Austria, Spain, Greece, Czech Republic and Bulgaria, among others.

Last weekend, Czech President Milos Zeman deplored the warmongering attitude of the Kiev regime, denouncing the CIA-installed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk as “the prime minister of war.”

Jan 05 11:47

A review of Paul Craig Roberts’ How America Was Lost: from 9/11 to the Police/Warfare State

I must declare that PCR is simply one of America’s best chroniclers of this sad, brutal era of imperial overreach and moral decline.

Anyone who wants to understand where we’ve been recently, where we are now, and where we’re heading, had better read this book pronto!

These hundred-plus columns hammer home some basic themes:Our Constitution has become little more than “a scrap of paper” (quote attributed to G. W. Bush—and sure does sound like something that moron would say!).

Also, the official narrative of 9/11 is a “hoax.” That preposterous narrative has been used to justify our Nuremberg-Standard “war crimes” against Muslims (killing, wounding, traumatizing and displacing millions) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Syria.

Jan 05 11:36

Looking Backward, Looking Forward: 2014-2015

The balance sheet for 2014 and the prospects for 2015 provide us with a complex panorama of negative and positive outcomes. In most cases the advances, are not earth-shattering but open possibilities for further progress. The negative developments, however, have greater and more threatening systemic outcomes.

We will proceed in a telegraphic fashion to outline the positive and negative developments in 2014 and their real and potential symbolic and substantive impacts. In the second part of the essay we will sketch out some of the most important events and the way in which the positive and negative outcomes of 2014 will play out in 2015.

Jan 05 09:48

Japan 2014 Births Fall to Lowest on Record

Jan 05 08:40

The Chinese are Coming: Beijing in the Balkans and Eastern Europe

The chatter about Beijing’s economic surge coincided well with its Balkans drive, yet another means by which the Chinese business juggernaut is seeking satiation. Chinese diplomats and figures are not strangers to the region.

Last month, Beijing exerted its already noted muscle in the southern European, Balkans region, holding discussions with Serbian counterparts on further financial involvement. The point of convergence was the Central and Eastern European-China summit, continuing last years 16+1 initiative begun in Bucharest.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To minimize the time goods get from China and Asia to Europe will also make those goods more attractive, from a price point perspective, to potential European companies.

Jan 05 07:01

Russia's "Startling" Proposal To Europe: Dump The US, Join The Eurasian Economic Union

Russia has presented a startling proposal to overcome the tensions with the EU: The EU should renounce the free trade agreement with the United States TTIP and enter into a partnership with the newly established Eurasian Economic Union instead. A free trade zone with the neighbors would make more sense than a deal with the US.

It surely would, but then how will Europe feign outrage when the NSA is found to have spied yet again on its "closest trading partners?" Some more on Russia's proposal from EUobserver:

Vladimir Chizhov told EUobserver: “Our idea is to start official contacts between the EU and the EAEU as soon as possible. [German] chancellor Angela Merkel talked about this not long ago. The EU sanctions [on Russia] are not a hindrance”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

love Putin or hate him, he 20,000 chess moves ahead of the US government in presenting this proposal to Europe!!

And Europe, collectively, may well have had just enough of US governmental bullying and NSA spying to say yes to the proposal!!

Jan 04 15:59

A review of Paul Craig Roberts’ How America Was Lost: from 9/11 to the Police/Warfare State

"Americans need to understand that they have lost their country.The rest of the world needs to recognize that Washington is not merely the most complete police state since Stalinism, but also a threat to the entire world. The hubris and arrogance of Washington, combined with Washington’s huge supply of weapons of mass destruction, make Washington the greatest threat that has ever existed to all life on the planet. Washington is the enemy of all humanity."—Paul Craig Roberts

Today, America’s fundamental strength as the dominant superpower lies not in our military prowess nor alliances, certainly not in our cultural values, nor our now off-shored manufacturing. Principally, it lies in the fact that the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. As the BRICS and other nations begin to realize they are better off without that system, our flimsy superstructure can crash upon our heads.

Jan 04 07:52

Weather blamed as ‘triggering factor’ in AirAsia crash

The most probable weather phenomenon was icing which can cause engine damage due to a cooling process

Jan 04 06:38

Who are the real human traffickers?

Why have numbers of desperate refugees willing to risk their lives trying to reach Europe suddenly exploded? Who, ultimately, is to blame for this crisis?

This week saw yet another ship-load of refugees marooned on the
Mediterranean high seas trying to make their way to “fortress Europe”.

Refugees coming from North Africa to Europe across the Mediterranean
is not a new phenomenon. But what is significant about the latest
surge in numbers is that most of the refugees are from Syria and Iraq,
according to the United Nations and other monitoring groups.

Dec 31 13:17

Upcoming 2015 year will be all about further moves towards the integration of Eurasia as the US is progressively squeezed out of Eurasia, Pepe Escobar believes.

Fasten your seat belts; 2015 will be a whirlwind pitting China, Russia and Iran against what I have described as the Empire of Chaos.

So yes – it will be all about further moves towards the integration of Eurasia as the US is progressively squeezed out of Eurasia. We will see a complex geostrategic interplay progressively undermining the hegemony of the US dollar as a reserve currency and, most of all, the petrodollar.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

China, Russia, and Iran are all thinking long-term progress.

The US government can barely think past the next election.

Dec 30 11:34

Russia, Japan likely to cooperate in creating Eurasian Economic Corridor

Russia and Japan have perfect chances to take their cooperation in eastern Siberia and the Far East to a new level in 2015 if they set up the so-called Eurasian corridor, MP Yukio Hatoyama, an important figure in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said in an interview with TASS on Tuesday.

“This concept is very topical in spite of all the current difficulties,” said Hatoyama who has more than once occupied important governmental positions throughout his political career.

He is president of the Japan-Russia Society, which unites the activists of different political forces, as well as large and medium-sized businesses.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF realized, this could offer tremendous economic benefits to both countries.

Dec 27 10:11

Malaysian PM criticized for golfing with Obama while 118,000 residents are displaced in massive floods

Malaysia’s worst flooding in decades forced some 118,000 people to flee as premier Najib Razak came under fire after photos showed him golfing with U.S. President Barack Obama during the storms.

At least five people have been killed by the rising waters and there appeared little respite on the way on Friday, with forecasters predicting further heavy rainfall across previously unaffected southern parts of the country.

As local media carried photographs of people wading through flood waters as deep as two meters (6.5 feet) and entire houses submerged by rising water, the government faced criticism for not declaring a state of emergency to help devastated communities.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is obvious that the Malaysian government is just as oblivious to the suffering of their people as is Obama to the economic suffering of the American middle class, which is vanishing exponentially.

Dec 17 10:14

Pepe Escobar, Eurasian Integration vs. the Empire of Chaos

Welcome to the new trans-Eurasia choo-choo train. At over 13,000 kilometers, it will regularly traverse the longest freight train route in the world, 40% farther than the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. Its cargo will cross China from East to West, then Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France, and finally Spain.

The Yiwu-Madrid route across Eurasia represents the beginning of a set of game-changing developments. It will be an efficient logistics channel of incredible length. It will represent geopolitics with a human touch, knitting together small traders and huge markets across a vast landmass. It’s already a graphic example of Eurasian integration on the go. And most of all, it’s the first building block on China’s “New Silk Road,” conceivably the project of the new century and undoubtedly the greatest trade story in the world for the next decade.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What does Chinese government do to get the things it wants economically?!?

It pushes technology, and drives win/win deals.

What does the US government do to get what it wants economically?!/ It wages wars.

And what is wrong with this picture?!?

BLOODY EVERYTHING.

Dec 08 08:44

US meddling to blame for ‘all Arab world sufferings’ – Sudan president

The bloody conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Libya are the result of the interference by the US, which wants to gain control over the rich natural resources of those countries, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir told RT.

“The people in Sudan believe that the since the fall of the Soviet Union [in 1991], injustice and oppression has prevailed around the globe as the US became the sole hegemon and began running things with impunity in many regions, including ours,” Bashir said.

In his interview with RT’s Arabic Channel, the Sudanese president labeled Washington’s policies in Middle East and North Africa as “harmful and destructive.”

“Just look at what’s now happening in Iraq and how it spread to Syria. All the suffering that is going in the Arab world is the work of the US,” he said.

Dec 02 10:29

In the six months since Thailand's military coup, the United States has exported tens of millions of dollars' worth of military equipment to the unelected government there

In the six months since Thailand's military coup, the United States has exported tens of millions of dollars' worth of military equipment to the unelected government there. This finding is based on a new analysis of US Census Bureau export data conducted by Truthout.

The records, which run through September, show that since the May 22, 2014, coup, the United States has delivered $11 million in parts for military aircraft, more than $1 million in parts for guided missiles and three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters worth more than $40 million.

The Thai military government, which calls itself the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), has mandated widespread censorship on television, radio, in print and in social media. It has also outlawed criticism of the military authorities, as well as gatherings of more than five people.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And just WHY would the US government support a military dictatorship in Thailand?!? For the same bloody reasons it supports such governments all over the world: stability (at the cost of democracy) and US profits.

Please remember the following, as reported in an article published by Mount Holyoke College:

"The Department of Labor indicates that 50% of garment factories in the U.S. violate two or more basic labor laws, establishing them as sweatshops. Sweatshops exist wherever there is an opportunity to exploit workers who lack the knowledge and resources to stand up for themselves. Typical sweatshop employees, ninety percent of whom are women, are young and uneducated. Many of them are recent or undocumented immigrants who are unaware of their legal rights. Young women throughout the world are subject to horrible working conditions and innumerable injustices because corporations, many of which are U.S.-owned, can get away with it."

And as reported at globalethicsnetwork.org last May:

One of the biggest hallmarks of sweatshop labor is that the workers are simply underpaid, especially considering the kinds of working conditions they endure. Minimum wage levels in countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, and China, are significantly lower than that of the United States. The federal minimum wage per hour in the United States is currently at 7.25 dollars, while it is 1.48 dollars in Thailand, 69 cents in the Philippines, and 67 cents in China. However, workers are frequently paid less than these estimates suggest—amounts barely enough to survive on even considering the lower cost of living in these regions.

And ladies, BEFORE you buy any kind of a garment from the after Christmas sales, please look at the tag, and note the country of origin.

Because if we can, finally, buy "fair trade organic coffee", where the people who nurture the plants to maturity and harvest, get some more money for their labor, we should be able to buy "fair trade garments", where the people who do the hardest labor get reasonably rewarded.

Dec 02 08:02

Russia takes Asia Pacific states as key oil and gas partners — ministry official

Russia takes Asia-Pacific states as main partners in the oil and gas sector, director of the department of oil and gas production and delivery at Russian Energy Ministry Alexander Gladkov said at the opening of the Russian stand at the 20th Offshore South East Asia Conference and Exhibition (OSEA 2014) on Tuesday.

Russia “counts on development of mutually beneficial cooperation in this sphere,” he said.

Nov 20 08:12

Asian demand for crude to drive switch to renminbi

The increasing demand for crude in Asian countries such as China was enough reason for the region to prepare to pay for trade in the Chinese currency renminbi (RMB), an HSBC official said.

Georges Elhedery, HSBC head, Global Banking and Markets (Mena), noted that the region was slow to adopt RMB since trade between the Middle East and China was still highly dependent on the greenback.

“The Middle East has been slow in adopting RMB but we’re starting to see a shift in the region towards the Chinese currency,” Elhedery told Gulf Times in a meeting with reporters at the HSBC offices in Doha.

He explained that minimal oil and gas exports to the West have made the region dependent on Eastern buyers such as South Korea, Japan, and China, which was critical in setting the international price of crude.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yet another nail in the coffin of the US dollar as the global reserve currency.

Nov 17 09:36

What did the Brisbane G-20 summit accomplish?

President Barack Obama was equally effusive, saying the gathering was not a “chinwag,” an Australian word for meaningless talk. Rather, he said, “it has been a good week for American leadership.” At a press conference, Obama listed expanding trade, a visa accord with China, and “a big advance on climate change” as tangible achievements.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So the headline accomplishment is a deal to take seriously a problem that was made up in the first place. Left unsaid in this article is the agreement by the G20 to consider bank savings accounts as investments in the bank, subject to loss if the bank gets into trouble.

Nov 13 10:14

President Putin Pledges to Increase Trade with China and Asia to Rebuke Sanctions

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Obama faces an impossible task at APEC and the G-20. Russia has products other nations want to buy, while all Obama has to offer is speeches and dubious promises.

Nov 13 09:48

Azerbaijan Risks New Armenia Conflict as Military Chopper Downed

Azerbaijan shot down an Armenian helicopter that it said violated its airspace in an attack that may trigger fresh confrontations between the two countries over a disputed region.

The Mi-24 helicopter was “trying to attack” Azeri positions near a cease-fire line when it was hit, the Defense Ministry in Baku said on its website. Armenia’s Defense Ministry said the aircraft was unarmed and called its downing an “unprecedented provocation.”

“This is the worst military incident in more than 20 years since the cease-fire,” Thomas de Waal, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said by e-mail from Washington.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a war as the Soviet Union collapsed that claimed about 30,000 lives and displaced 1.2 million people. The latest rupture of the 1994 cease-fire marks a potentially dangerous turn in the Caucasus flashpoint located between Turkey, Iran and Russia, which has a mutual defense pact with Armenia.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is not just the chopper which got shot down, but its crew, which could be dead; there are no indications in this story that there were any survivors.

This could get nasty in a heartbeat, because Armenia and Azerbaijan have had rough relations over the years, due to Armenia having seized Nagorno-Karabakh, and the reality Russia has a mutual defense pact with Armenia.

To all the adults in the room in the bowels of geopolitics, wherever the heck you are, whatever the heck you are doing, please drop it, and see what you can do to hold this fragile peace together.

As you understand, the risks of a war in this region may well be a prelude to a much wider military confrontation.

Nov 10 10:49

Obama leaves for China, Myanmar, Australia tour

Obama left Washington in the pre-dawn hours en route to an air force base in Alaska, where his plane refueled before traveling on to Beijing.

The US leader was accompanied on his eight-day trip, which also includes visits to Myanmar and Australia, by his national security adviser Susan Rice and several other top aides.

The China leg of his trip will be dominated by Obama's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, where the White House said it expects "candid and in-depth conversations."

The relationship between the two superpowers, which US Secretary of State John Kerry has called the "most consequential" in the world today, has been marred by tensions over the South China Sea, cyberspying and human rights issues.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In this set of meetings here, Obama is doing what Obama does best; campaigning. But of course, it's not for votes; it's for certain financial opportunities and considerations, which he most likely will not get.

China is avoiding doing business transactions in the dollar, and this trend is not going to stop.

China has a trade surplus. As reported on 7 November, 2014 in businessinsider.com:

China recorded a better-than-expected trade surplus of $45.41 billion in October, customs said Saturday, but weaker export and import growth could be a worrisome sign for the world's second largest economy. October's trade surplus expanded 46.3 percent from the same month last year, exceeding market expectations for a $42.3 billion surplus, according to a survey of 11 economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-china-trade-surplus-expands-to-45.41-bn-in-october-2014-11#ixzz3Igij9KAv

The US has a trade deficit. As reported by AP on 4 November 2014:

The U.S. trade deficit rose in September as exports slumped, a sign that the world's biggest economy is starting to feel the impact of weakening global growth. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the trade deficit rose 7.6 percent to $43 billion in September. That marks the first increase in four months. A deficit occurs when a country imports more than it exports. Economic slowdowns in Europe and China appear to have hurt demand for American-made goods. Since September, the dollar has appreciated in value more than 4 percent against the euro to $1.25, making U.S. products less competitively priced abroad. Exports fell 1.5 percent to $195.6 billion, led by declines in shipments of industrial supplies, consumer products and capital goods such as engines and computers.

And "...cyberspying and human rights issues" will be on the agenda?!?

Please.

As if the US government wasn't spying on China (and everyone else, apparently, after the revelations of NSAgate!!)

And after the Patriot Act, US torture of prisoners of war, the Homeland Security Act,the NDAA, and the way Americans are treated by police, Obama doesn't have much "wiggle room" on those two issues at all.

Nov 07 11:53

No Asia trade pact expected on Obama's trip to region

The White House downplayed any expectations on Thursday (Nov 6) of progress on a much-awaited Pan-Pacific trade deal during President Barack Obama's upcoming trip to Asia.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would encompass 40 per cent of the global economy and include 12 nations, has been the subject of protracted negotiations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One major brick wall is the TPP demand to prohibit all labeling of GMO products. Many Asian nations already have mandatory labeling of such products such as Japan and would view having to reverse their policy as a sign of weakness towards the United States.

Nov 07 07:40

Coast Guard to keep out Chinese boats

Patrollers with Japan Coast Guard are warning suspected Chinese poachers to keep away from islands in the Pacific. They concerned the crews may try to dock to escape a severe tropical storm.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This will cause a major diplomatic upset! You do not deny sailors shelter from a storm!

Nov 02 08:54

Japan risks Asian currency war with fresh QE blitz

The Bank of Japan is mopping up the country's vast debt and driving down the yen in a radical experiment in modern global finance

Oct 31 08:58

Special Report: Tsunami evacuees caught in $30 billion Japan money trap

Thirty billion dollars in funding for roads, bridges and thousands of new homes in areas devastated by the tsunami in Japan three and a half years ago is still languishing unspent in the bank. That means Keiko Abe is heading into a fourth winter of sub-zero temperatures in a cramped, temporary dwelling that is succumbing to the elements.

Oct 11 07:13

Home> InternationalJapan, US Revising Defense Plans With Eye on China

Japan and the United States are revising their mutual defense guidelines for the first time in nearly two decades to respond to China's military expansion and increase Japan's role in regional defense.

An interim report released Wednesday says the U.S. and Japan are pursuing a wider partnership that requires "enhanced capabilities and greater shared responsibilities."

The revision, the first since 1997, comes at a time of heightened Japan-China tensions over islands claimed by both countries in the East China Sea, as well as continuing concern about North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons development.

"What we need to address today is quite different from what we were aiming for in 1997," Koji Kano, a Defense Ministry official in the Japan-U.S. cooperation division, told reporters earlier this week. "The point is how Japan and the U.S. can respond better in the current environment."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: the US government is looking at a war against both China and Russia.

Sep 11 08:39

Japan may receive offensive military weapons from US amid rising tensions with China, N. Korea

The United States could provide offensively geared weapons to the Japanese military within five years, Tokyo officials say. The discussions between the two countries come as Japan’s rivalry with China intensifies and alliances shift among Pacific powers.

Sep 10 08:10

Bank of Japan Buys Government Debt at Negative Yield

Tuesday marked another milestone in the topsy-turvy world of monetary easing in Japan: The Bank of Japan bought short-term Japanese government debt at a negative yield for the first time, according to market participants.

The BOJ scooped up some of the three-month No. 477 Treasury bill, which has traded at a negative yield for the past two trading days amid strong demand, the market participants said.

Normally, people who buy debt expect to get their money back plus some interest. Negative yield means the buyer gets back less than he or she puts in.

Why would the Bank of Japan buy under such conditions?

Aug 24 07:18

Chinese ships log 20th intrusion into Senkaku waters this year

Four China Coast Guard vessels intruded into Japanese territorial waters Sunday morning near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the Japan Coast Guard said.

It was the 20th intrusion by Chinese government ships this year and the first since Aug. 12.

Aug 06 10:09

Southeast Asia’s top Islamic militant found alive two years after US jubilantly declared his death

The Philippine military said Wednesday one of Southeast Asia’s top Islamic militants was alive, more than two years after jubilantly declaring he had been killed in a US-backed airstrike.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More proof positive that one cannot believe ANYTHING the US government says.

Aug 06 09:40

THE PALESTINIAN CONNECTION TO HIROSHIMA

Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick explained eloquently about the real reasons for dropping the bombs instead of the mythology that is told in school books in America. But does that really make any difference on the horror of what Truman and his generals visited on humanity? Those of us in the medical field understand clinically what radiation poisoning does to the human body but politicians also know that and Truman had detailed reports from the earlier experiments. I met so many hibakushas (survivors of the nuclear blast) and their children and grandchildren. Many told us of the dramatic death of children by leukemia and other cancers and of the congenital deformities. It was more than we could take even as visitors so I can only begin to imagine the actual feelings of people here.
*

Aug 06 07:41

Japanese Sanctions against Russia May Go into Force on August 5 - Reports

The Japanese sanctions against Russia, announced last week, may come into effect on Tuesday, the Kyodo news agency reported, citing a diplomatic source.

Japan's government may approve the package of sanctions during a cabinet meeting on August 5, which would bring them into effect in the second half of the same day, the agency said.

Aug 05 10:02

New war risk on Russian periphery amid Armenia-Azeri clashes

The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan may meet this week in a bid to defuse escalating tensions between the two countries after at least 18 soldiers were killed in the worst clashes in two decades.

“Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan will hold talks with his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on 8-9 August,” Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan said on the government’s website.

Azerbaijan has yet to agree to the negotiations, ANS TV reported, citing Novruz Mammadov, deputy head of Aliyev’s office.

President Vladimir Putin plans separate meetings with the two leaders at the end of the week, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told Itar-Tass.

The skirmishes between the South Caucasus countries, which border Turkey and Iran, flared amid the worst geopolitical standoff since the Cold War between Russia and the US over the conflict in Ukraine.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This situation is NOT being helped by the reality that the US has been selling arms to the Azerbaijan government.

The following statement was reported at Asbarez.com in June of this year:

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Eric Rubin, explained on Thursday that U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan is not for use against Armenia. Speaking before the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), Rubin explained that arms sales to Baku are only for counterterrorism purposes and that the U.S. is seeking a resolution to the Artsakh conflict. “Where we do provide security assistance to Azerbaijan, we are careful to ensure it is used in full compliance with the law to counter terrorism, support the operational readiness of U.S. Armed Forces or coalition partners to counter terrorism, ensure Azerbaijan’s border security as long as it is determined that such assistance will not undermine or hamper ongoing efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan or be used for offensive purposes against Armenia,” Eric Rubin told the Helsinki Commission.

Sounds like great diplo-speak, doesn't it?!? Soothing, following all protocols, dotting the "i-s" and crossing the ts.

But once arms are sold to the government of Azerbaijan, there is no way for the US government to guarantee where the arms are going,or these the arms are going to be ultilized, period, end of discussion.

Eric Rubin understands this clearly, and the cynicism and hypocrisy in these statements are so horrific that they stink to high heaven.

This is yet another attempt to destabilize Russia, which supports Armenia in this fight, by arming the Azerbaijan government against Armenia.

Aug 05 07:18

US Cluster Bombing Legacy Continuing To Cost Lives In Laos

The Vietnam War era’s dark legacy of pervasive cluster bombing is still costing lives in Laos, nearly 40 years after the end of all hostilities in Southeast Asia. In this documentary feature, Journeyman Pictures meets the brave women who are trying to clear the bomb fields.

Laos has the notorious reputation for being the most heavily bombed country in the world. During the Vietnam War, the US dropped 2 million tonnes of explosives on Laotian territory. Even today, there is estimated to be up to 80 million unexploded munitions scattered across the countryside. Removing them is job that will likely take more than a lifetime to complete.

Jul 29 10:28

China, Japan and Russia zero in on Latin America

The leaders of China, Russia and Japan all descended on Latin America in recent weeks, jostling with the United States to increase their influence, invest and tap into resource-rich markets.

The latest arrival was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who on Monday was in Trinidad and Tobago, the second stop on a five-country tour that began on Friday in Mexico.

Abe’s visit began just as Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his tour, which included stops in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba. Xi signed more than 100 trade agreements on the trip.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was in the region for a week from July 11, stopping in Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua and Cuba.

The United States remains Latin America’s top trade partner, but gone are the days when Washington could take the region for granted as its backyard.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As this economic evolution continues, particularly with Russia and China, watch the US dollar get dumped in favor of direct trade in the yuan and ruble.

Apr 05 13:11

Tons Of Radioactive Fukushima Water Spills Into Pacific Ocean

TEPCO believes they have accidentally spilled 12 tons of radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant has spilled into the Pacific Ocean.

Jan 15 16:09

Iran rial slides, 'dollar' text messages appear blocked

TEHRAN, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Iran's currency has slid 20 percent against the dollar in the last week despite central bank intervention, and Iranians concerned about the economy said on Tuesday attempts to send text messages using the word "dollar" appeared to be blocked.

The central bank reportedly pumped $200 million dollars into the market last Wednesday after new and much tougher U.S. sanctions prompted nervous Iranians to change rials into hard currency, accelerating a rise in the price of dollars on the open market.

Dec 11 06:50

Thailand: Stage Set for Another Color Revolution

Tony Cartalucci, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

What happens when the UK's globalist nexus Chatham House, the US's International Crisis Group (ICG) run by George Soros and Zbigniew Brzezinski, lawyers like Robert Amsterdam, and media giants like BBC, CNN, the Guardian, and the Economist get together to back street protests? Color revolution . . .

Dec 09 09:59

AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?

Ignorance and courage in the age of Lady Gaga

If you hang out much with thinking people, conversation eventually turns to the serious political and cultural questions of our times. Such as: How can the Americans remain so consistently brain-fucked? Much of the world, including plenty of Americans, asks that question as they watch U.S. culture go down like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit.

Nov 26 14:39

My View From the Bowl, past Bernanke, Obama, South Korea, and the toilet paper.

The U.S. is in debt huge to China, and although China isn't our largest debtor; it is truly the only one on the world stage with the ability to act alone with the same menacing ability as the U.S. claims it still cans.

The reality?:

1) China could crash our economy within 4 hours if it felt it wanted to, AND that it would be a viable interest to its people and longevity. It CHOOSES not to due to the following-
a- Our dollar is kept just strong enough to attract goods from China which we all purchase and keeps China's people employed making all the stuff we used to. China wants its people working.

Nov 19 07:40

Bird Flu Outbreak in Hong Kong

AFP

HONG Kong is scrambling to contain an outbreak of bird flu after recording its first human case of the illness since 2003.

A 59-year-old woman now in a serious condition in hospital.

Nov 15 03:16

Mongolia's "Color Revolution" & Banker Colonization

As the bipolar Cold War system ended, a transitory phase of globalization was initiated in order to pave the way for global governance.

The color revolutions of the 21st century were a highly sophisticated method of transforming nation states into such a world system.

Mongolia experienced the draft form of color revolution in its "Red Rose Revolution" in the 1990's. The sparsely populated country was easier to manipulate due to its corrupt politics and post-Communist identity crisis.

As with many buffer states, Mongolia regarded it as beneficial economically, geo-strategically and security-wise to cooperate with larger powers such as the U.S. [1]

Nov 13 05:47

Spectacular opening ceremony of the Asian Games 2010 in Guangzhou, China

Laser beams, fireworks and water jets exploded from the banks of the Pearl River as China marked the opening of the Asian Games, two years after dazzling the world with a gala opener to the Beijing Olympics. The opening ceremony paid tribute to coastal Guangdong province's seafaring heritage. The venue on Haixinsha island was configured like a sailboat for the opening festivities designed by Chen Weiya, who was Zhang Yimou's deputy when he crafted the Beijing ceremony.

Nov 10 09:54

Japan may put troops near disputed isles

Tokyo is considering placing troops on a remote Japanese island in the East China Sea to monitor China's expanded naval activities that have worried its neighbours, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The defence ministry wishes to create a "coastal security surveillance team" with the main mission to radar-monitor Chinese naval activities, the Yomiuri Shimbun said, citing ministry sources.

Japanese defence officials are considering placing about 200 troops on Yonaguni, Japan's westernmost island, roughly 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Taiwan, the Yomiuri said.

The Japanese military regularly sends patrol aircraft to the region but has no permanent monitoring facility there, the Yomiuri said.

A defence ministry official denied the report, saying no such decision has been made.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Whether or not these reports are true, they only serve to ratchet up tensions in the region, rather than calm things down.

Nov 09 06:48

Barack Obama Asia trip: 'Progress being made to end mistrust with Muslims'

The president said his efforts to improve the relationship between Muslims and the West have been "earnest" and "sustained". Still, he said the progress is "incomplete" and there is more work to do.

Though issues of terrorism and extremism often dominate the tensions between the Muslim world and the West, Mr Obama said the relationship must expand beyond security issues.

"What we're trying to do is make sure that we are building bridges and expanding our interactions with Muslim countries," Mr Obama said during a joint news conference with Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Nov 08 18:29

Muslims in shock over police 'terror' leak

Apparently released via file-sharing software, the files and the background on how they were compiled reveal that Japanese police, under pressure from U.S. authorities, trawled Tokyo in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, in search of intelligence data among the city's tiny Muslim community. According to victims of the leak, in some cases the Security Bureau tried to recruit them as spies.

Nov 05 05:21

Barack Obama leaves for Asia to seal business deals

The drubbing handed out to Mr Obama's Democratic congressional allies in Tuesday's mid-term elections by disillusioned voters has increased pressure on the president to create jobs.

The US leader is taking 200 chief executives of American firms to India, where a senior aide has said the White House is hoping for "tangible benefits".

The executives are drawn from the fields of technology, publishing and chemicals, among others, seeking opportunities in India's booming economy, which is one of the few bright spots in the struggling global economy. Boeing and Lockheed Martin will strengthen their bids for an $11 billion deal for 126 fighter jets.

Oct 30 04:59

Empire - The Asian Arms Race

Oct 26 05:52

Anti-war protester hurls shoes at ex-Australian prime minister John Howard on live TV

Peter Gray flung his shoes at John Howard, a key Bush ally on the Iraq war, after demanding that the former leader defend his decision to send 2,000 troops to support the US-led 2003 invasion.

'That's for the Iraqi dead!' Mr Gray shouted as he flung the shoes during the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's live Q&A programme. The shoes missed their target and Mr Gray was escorted from the studio.

Oct 12 23:12

US airbase threatened in Kyrgyzstan as Russian-backed parties poised to take power

The staunchly nationalist Ata-Zhurt party had taken a clear lead by Monday afternoon in what international observers from the OSCE called a "vibrant" election which "reflected the will of the people of the Kyrgyz Republic".

Oct 11 04:39

In the crosshairs of US drones

Residents live under a constant fear of being hit as dozens of unmanned drones buzz the skies over North and South Waziristan. The drones frighten children and women who sometimes become the victims, especially if the intended targets are anywhere close to their homes.

According to local tribal sources, the Americans have planted several spies whose job is to insert microchips in vehicles which are then tracked and taken out by missiles fired from drones.

When the US drone attacks started several years ago, their priority was to get the al-Qaeda leadership, But a lot has changed since then, and it appears the Americans have expanded their targets to include foreign fighters, the Pakistani Taliban, and al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

Oct 03 09:38

U.S. troops' presence in the Philippines altruistic?

One can never, for one second, believe that American troop presence anywhere is ever altruistic, from the standpoint of US government foreign policy objectives.

Oct 02 15:01

It was very sad that Quran was burnt: Craig Blomberg

One of the most distinctive and important teachings of Jesus was love for one’s enemies. Muslims as a whole are not Christians’ enemies, but even if a few Christians think so, that gives them no reason to violate their Lord’s teaching on loving the people they think are their enemies.

Sep 29 20:45

Americans are NOT Stupid

"Ok. I'm a little mixed up over the Palestinians and the Israelis . . . which one is throwin' the rocks?"

Sep 18 21:12

JAMES PETRAS: IMPERIALISM AND IMPERIAL BARBARISM

Excerpts from Petras thesis:

Imperialism, its character, means and ends has changed over time and place.

Under pressure from nationalist and socialist anti-imperialist movements and regimes, colonial structured empires gave way to new nationalist regimes. Some of which restructured their economies, diversifying their productive systems and trading partners.

Aug 30 22:34

Putin: U.S. Rearming Georgia

"There would have been no aggression and blood if not the rearmament of Georgia two years ago; we had been telling this to our partners, including to our European friends; and everyone kept silence; and how did it all ended? It led up to the war. This rearmament continues today," Putin said.

This is Russia's escape clause in the flawed 6-point ceasefire agreement which Sarkozy screwed up while he was so busy looking in the mirror at himself on the world stage.

Aug 28 11:22

Afghan militants in US uniforms storm 2 NATO bases

U.S. and Afghan troops repelled attackers wearing American uniforms and suicide vests in a pair of simultaneous assaults before dawn Saturday on NATO bases near the Pakistani border, including one where seven CIA employees died in a suicide attack last year...

Aug 27 13:33

GORDON DUFF: WHY AMERICA MUST HAVE AN ANTI-WAR UPRISING

What is war? All war is class struggle. If we still had more communists around, they would remind us. Rich people start wars, poor people die and resources are stolen, banks emptied and all of it hidden behind flag waving and childish scare tactics. War is part of the grander plan. Is war politics or is it economics?

At one point in the last 2 years, it was estimated there there were as few as 12 “potential Al Qaeda suspects” in Afghanistan.

The person reading my water meter is a “potential suspect.” To a paranoid or law enforcement officer, anything that moves is a “person of interest.” A “suspect” is a person of interest who isn’t sleeping or dead.

Aug 11 04:14

Intifada Palestine Wish you a Blessed Ramadan

Both God’s blessing and his generosity are best exemplified this month, as giving alms to the poor, suppressing greed and lust, along with feeling for suffering of the other all dominate interaction between people, bringing out the finest in both men and women.
The Intifada Palestine Team

Aug 08 10:37

US plans another Kyrgyzstan base

The US is planning to construct a USD 10 million military base in the southern city of Osh, Kyrgyzstan, where more than 300 people died in deadly clashes in June, Press TV reported.

The US Defense Department says the base, called Osh Polygon, will feature a range of facilities and weapons training services, including a secure garrison compound with officers' quarters and barracks for enlisted personnel, range facilities, crew-served weapons and explosive ordnance, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Your tax dollars at work, folks; while the US economy is in spectacular meltdown, and homeless Vets sleep in our streets.

Aug 05 18:36

Chinese Carrier Killer Missile Could Shift Pacific Power Balance

Nothing projects U.S. global air and sea power more vividly than supercarriers. Bristling with fighter jets that can reach deep into even landlocked trouble zones, America's virtually invincible carrier fleet has long enforced its dominance of the high seas.

China may soon put an end to that...

Jul 25 07:26

Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah 'worse than Hiroshima'

Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.

Iraqi doctors in Fallujah have complained since 2005 of being overwhelmed by the number of babies with serious birth defects, ranging from a girl born with two heads to paralysis of the lower limbs. They said they were also seeing far more cancers than they did before the battle for Fallujah between US troops and insurgents.

Jul 24 07:59

Handcuffed to history in South Asia

by Aijaz Zaka Syed

I sometimes wonder if Shakespeare had India and Pakistan’s leaders in mind when he wrote those immortal lines in As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.”

No matter who is in power in Delhi or Islamabad, the script of the carefully choreographed diplomatic spectacle never seems to change. From their famous encounter at Tashkent to the tense handshakes at Simla and Agra, and from Vajpayee’s historic bus trip to Lahore to the bitterness of Kargil, the more the narrative changes, the more it remains the same.

Jul 08 09:04

Uzbekistan - US worked with Al Qaeda allies to try to oust Karimov?

According to Wayne Madsen, 30 July 2005, there is evidence that the USA was involved in the revolt against President Karimov's government in the town of Andijan on May 17.

Jul 05 10:25

In Azerbaijan, key to Afghanistan efforts, Clinton walks tightrope on democracy

After a major speech in Poland encouraging democracy, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled Sunday to a country that has tossed bloggers in jail, held elections widely considered flawed and abolished term limits for its president.

But she took a notably cautious approach there on the issue of democratic reforms.

That's because the country is Azerbaijan, a key transit route for U.S. troops and supplies heading for Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is far more to this meeting than talks about than transiting troops and supplies to Afghanistan here and improving US/Azerbaijani relations, and was notably absent from in this article.

Take a good look at the following map:

http://www.thetravelalmanac.com/atlas/iran.htm

Azerbaijan borders Iran at Iran's northwest border, at the Caspian Sea.

Although consultation regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh regional conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan may have been the "good reason" for this meeting, the real reason may well be to find out what Azerbaijan is prepared to do - or not do - when the US and/or Israel attacks Iran.

Jun 29 20:45

Israeli Nuclear Espionage: The Art of Keeping America at Risk for Fun and Profit

Israel agreed to sell South Africa nuclear weapons.

More than that, it makes any aid America gives Israel illegal. If Israel is nuclear, which is now official, and in violation of international treaties, just as with Iraq and Iran, then America has to demand inspections and disarmament. There is no choice. This is the law. Law for Iran, law for Iraq is also law for Israel. Israel has expected this day for years.

Jun 29 07:36

On the developments in Kyrgyzstan

Two sister nations have been made to confront each other and shed blood as a result of well-planned provocations and plots designed and executed in a very professional way. These two nations have lived together as brothers and sisters throughout our history and shared the same homeland and culture.

Jun 29 05:37

Jeju islanders want love, not war

By Matthew Reiss

Plans for a missile base on South Korea's Jeju island, 450 kilometers, from Shanghai have threatened to disturb a precarious balance of power in the East China Sea. But Washington's aspirations to use the base have been blocked by residents of the island.

The administration of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak announced commitments in 2008 and 2009 to purchase and deploy a fleet of Aegis destroyers equipped with US anti-ballistic missile and radar systems, built jointly by Hyundai and Lockheed-Martin. To date, opposition to construction of the base and a pending lawsuit have delayed preparation of a home port for the ships. But following the March 26 sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan, the government has grown less tolerant of dissent.

Jun 27 07:53

Bangladesh hit by general strike

Dozens of political activists have been arrested in Bangladesh after the main opposition parties called for a dawn-to-dusk general strike across the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Good for the Bangladesh

Jun 26 06:39

The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order

The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom, Part 1
by Andrew Gavin Marshall at Globalresearch.ca.

There is a new and unique development in human history that is taking place around the world; it is unprecedented in reach and volume, and it is also the greatest threat to all global power structures: the ‘global political awakening.’ The term was coined by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and refers to the fact that, as Brzezinski wrote:

For the first time in history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. Global activism is generating a surge in the quest for cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world scarred by memories of colonial or imperial domination.[1]

Jun 25 15:13

Russia plans second military base in Kyrgyzstan

The Kremlin tried and failed to win approval for the base in the south of the country last year but saw its chances evaporate when the man it was close to making a deal with, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was deposed in a coup earlier this year.

However, as the interim government that succeeded him struggles to maintain order after an outbreak of ethnic violence in the south of the country that left more than 200 people dead, the Kremlin has quietly revived the controversial plan.

The base, to be located in either Osh or Jalalabad, would extend Russia's geopolitical influence deep into Central Asia and bolster its position with both China and the United States.

Jun 25 09:39

Kyrgyzstan: Picking Up the Pieces

Kyrgyzstan joined the rank of failed states this month: its central government lacks legitimacy and depends heavily on external aid, with the US base looming large, while the people are largely destitute, harassed by local thugs and drug barons, and looking to Moscow for a way out.

The issues at stake are the referendum next Sunday to legitimise the interim government, and the drug trade, which Bakiyev’s clan still controls and is loathe to give up. Heroin comes from Afghanistan via Tajikistan and is repackaged in Osh before being transported west to Uzbekistan and north to Kazakhstan and Russia, according to the UN. The killing two weeks ago of Aibek Mirsidikov, one of the drug kingpins in the area, threatened the Bakiyev clan’s control. The rest is history.

Jun 25 06:58

US to build troop training centre in Tajikistan: envoy

The United States plans to build a facility for training local troops in the ex-Soviet Central Asian state of Tajikistan, the US ambassador said here Friday.

"The plan... is almost 10 million dollars to build this national training centre for the Tajik armed forces," Ken Gross told journalists at a briefing in the capital, Dushanbe.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Great: we're ringing in Russia with military bases in Central Asia, while the infrastructure here at home is collapsing!

Jun 22 17:23

Russia pushing for control of fuel supplies to crucial US airbase

Russia is pushing to impose a direct fuel supply deal on the US's airbase in Kyrgyzstan that would allow it to force a rapid closure of the base once it is no longer necessary to support Nato operations in Afghanistan.

"Ultimately it's in the security interests of Russia for the US to be using this base for its operations in Afghanistan, but under a very, very strict mandate," said Ana Jelenkovic, Central Asia analyst at Eurasia Group.

"If Russia is able to monitor the destination of the fuel, it limits the ability of the US to stay there in the base long-term. It makes the Americans staying there at Manas contingent always on some Russian support."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is not a deal that NATO and the US are probably keen to have happen, but it may be the only way to keep the US base at Manas supplied.

Jun 18 10:04

Kyrgyzstan Violence Claims Up To 2,000 Lives

Kyrgyzstan's interim president said Friday that 2,000 people may have died in the ethnic clashes that have rocked the country's south – many times her government's official estimate – as she made her first visit to a riot-hit city since the unrest erupted.

The deaths have been due to rampages led mainly by ethnic Kyrgyz against Uzbeks.

The United Nations said that as many as 1 million people may eventually need aid in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, including the refugees, internally displaced, host families and others who may suffer from the unrest.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that this violence and unrest was orchestrated to keep the country from going to the polls at the end of this month to elect new leadership.

Jun 17 10:26

Kyrgyzstan: Eurasian Geopolitics 101

For the moment, the Pentagon is breathing a sigh of relief. Vital US fuel supply flights from its Manas base to Afghanistan resumed last week even as Kyrgyzstan slid into chaos. At least 171 and possibly as many as 500 have died in rioting in southern Kyrgyzstan this week, almost all ethnic Uzbeks, with thousands injured. More than 80,000 fled to neighbouring Uzbekistan, forcing it to close its borders as it cannot cope with more. On Monday, China began evacuating the majority of its 1000 nationals.

Jun 14 16:40

Russia peers into Kyrgyz void

This is an internal conflict, and Russia does not see the conditions for participation in its settlement," a Kremlin spokesperson told reporters in Moscow on Saturday. Russia was providing emergency humanitarian support, she said.

However, she made a hugely significant revelation: "In his capacity as chairman of the Collective Security Treaty Organization [CSTO] council, [Russian President Dmitry] Medvedev has ordered consultations to be held among secretaries of the member states on Monday to work out a collective response." (The members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a very measured, "adult in the room" stance from Medvedev, in behalf of both Russia and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

Jun 14 09:47

Russia deploys hundreds of extra soldiers to Kyrgyz military base

Russia has deployed hundreds more soldiers to protect its military base in Kyrgyzstan, in the wake of fresh unrest that had left almost 100 people dead in the Central Asian country as of Sunday.

Three Ilyushin Il-96 military planes with a battalion of Russian paratroopers on board have landed at the base in Kant, the Interfax news agency reported. A Russian battalion typically ranges from 350 to 800 soldiers, depending on the situation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is an interesting development, in light of the fact that Russia had previously declared it was sending no troops to Kyrgyzstan to quell the rioting.

As reported last Saturday, 12 June, at

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/7050247.html

"Otunbayeva asked Russia early Saturday to send in troops, but the Kremlin said it would not meddle into what it described as Kyrgyzstan's internal conflict.

"It's a domestic conflict, and Russia now doesn't see conditions for taking part in its settlement," Kremlin spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said in Moscow. She added that Russia will discuss with other members of a security pact of ex-Soviet nations about the possibility of sending a joint peacekeeping force to Kyrgyzstan.

Timakova said Russia would send a plane to Kyrgyzstan to deliver humanitarian supplies and help evacuate victims of the violence."

One has to wonder why Russia would believe that its base in Kyrgyzstan would come under any kind of attack.

Jun 14 09:07

100,000 Uzbek Refugees Flee Deadly Chaos, Bound For Border

The United States, Russia and the United Nations worked on humanitarian aid airlifts while neighboring Uzbekistan hastily set up camps to handle the flood of hungry, frightened refugees. Most were women, children and the elderly, many of whom Uzbekistan said had gunshot wounds.

The interim government had planned a referendum to approve a new constitution on June 27, but it now appears unlikely the vote will take place. New parliamentary elections are scheduled for October, but the violence appears aimed at undermining the interim government before then.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It looks as though the interim government of Kyrgyzstan is about to unravel.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

One has to wonder if Bakiyev, the former president, will be returned to power, under these circumstances.

Jun 13 11:29

Kyrgyzstan Death toll grows as Kyrgyzstan ethnic violence escalates

Mobs of Kyrgyz men rampaged through southern Kyrgyzstan today, slaughtering ethnic Uzbeks and burning down houses in a third day of ethnic bloodshed.

The country's interim government granted its security forces shoot-to-kill powers and promised to send a volunteer force to the region – but the violence continued to rage, taking the death toll since Thursday night to more than 100.

Opponents of the new government said it had failed to impose political stability, and was letting the country drift towards civil war.

Jun 13 10:55

Official: 30 killed in Kyrgyzstan village

Ethnic rioting spread Sunday in southern Kyrgyzstan, where at least 80 people have been killed and more than 1,000 wounded. Thousands of Uzbeks fled after their homes were torched by roving mobs of Kyrgyz men.

Fires destroyed much of Osh, the second-largest city in a Central Asian country that hosts U.S. and Russian military air bases. Stores were looted and the city was running out of food.

Gunfire rang out Sunday in another major southern city, Jalal-Abad, where the day before a rampaging mob burned a university, besieged a police station and seized an armored vehicle and other weapons from a local military unit. Thousands of Kyrgyz men brandishing sticks, metals bars and hunting rifles gathered at the city's horse racing track, shouting anti-Uzbek slogans while police stayed away.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That the current Interim President Roza Otunbayeva has begged Russia for troops underscores how utterly critical the situation has become for her government.

Jun 13 09:56

Malaysia to send aid convoys to Gaza

Ahlul Bayt News Agency (ABNA.ir), Former Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohammad has disclosed a plan to send shipments of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip to break the Israeli blockade.

Jun 13 04:53

Thai government tells US it's in charge

"We ourselves also see some difficulties in negotiating and discussing with the Red Shirts," Kiat told AFP. "If the US extends a helping hand, I don't know if it will have different results."

(*The Thai government should consider that the US entertained the idea of using a nuke , on an oil leak)

Jun 12 15:29

CIA Seeks Chaos in Kyrgyzstan?

The town of Osh, the 'southern capital of Kyrgyzstan', has long ago become a major cross-point for the Great Heroin Way..."

There may be more to this than meets the eye, see Russia criticizes US, NATO over Afghan drugs from March where they complain that a surge in heroin smuggling is endangering Russia's national security, and (just this week) Medvedev Seeks War on Afghan Drugs, But U.S. Is Tepid. Anyone want to guess which recently-independent western-backed state is the Euro-hub for all these drugs?

Jun 11 11:17

Japanese PM Naoto Kan warns of Greece-level 'collapse' under debt pile

New Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, seeking to lay the groundwork for a future sales tax rise, warned on Friday that the country risked defaulting on its borrowing if it failed to rein in its massive public debt.

Jun 05 20:10

Gordon Duff: Pakistan’s Role In Afghanistan

THE KEY TO PAKISTAN’S SECURITY IS AFGHANISTAN

THE KEY TO AFGHANISTAN’S SECURITY IS PAKISTAN

US policy in Afghanistan hasn’t so much failed as it hasn’t even materialized. With the original rationale for overthrowing the Taliban their relationship with Osama bin Laden now long forgotten, buried with, not only the death of bin Laden many years ago but much more. No ties between bin Laden and 9/11 have ever been established, none of the training camps seen in the online videos existed anywhere but in fiction, truth is such a delicate thing. Children in Afghanistan are taught to be fighters from birth. Training an Afghan to fight is like training a fish to swim.

Jun 05 09:34

Burma is trying to build nuclear weapons and missiles, says US senator

The Burmese Government is attempting to build nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, according to a military defector who smuggled photographs and documents of secret nuclear equipment out of the isolated dictatorship.

Evidence presented by the former Burmese officer and weapons engineer suggests that the country is still a long way from creating usable nuclear weapons. But the fact that it has even a nascent nuclear programme will cause international alarm at a time when the West is struggling to contain the ambitions of Iran and North Korea.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to Senator Jim Webb: the US, in its invasion and occupation of Iraq, gave the world a magnificent object lesson as to what can happen to a nation which does not have a nuclear deterrent.

The Bush administration used the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which it did not, as the springboard for its attack against, and occupation of, Iraq.

Welcome, Senator Webb, to the wonderful world of unintended geopolitical consequences.

And of course, any allegation that will make North Korea look even more like a rogue nation is always attractive to the US, to China's embarrassment.

Jun 01 23:09

Japanese PM Resigns Over Failure to Move US Base

Just over a week after being forced to make a public apology, admitting that his campaign promise to get the US to abandon a military a base in Okinawa would go unfulfilled, Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio has tendered his resignation, putting an end to his eight month reign.

Jun 01 19:48

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama Will Announce His Resignation

The main cause of the collapse in polls was the result of his backtracking last month on a pledge to relocate U.S. troops stationed on Okinawa.

May 30 09:12

Japan party quits coalition over US base

Japan's Social Democratic Party, SDP, has decided to leave the ruling coalition government amid a row over the controversial presence of the US military in the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Obama's bullying (and using that false flag attack n the South Korean warship) to force Japan's PM to allow the US base to stay on Okinawa might bring down the entire Japanese Government.

In diplomatic circles this is known as a "whoopsie!"

May 29 22:23

In Japan, U.S. Losing Diplomatic Ground to China

When Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates visited Japan’s new leaders in October, not long after their historic election, he pressed so hard and so publicly for a military base agreement that the Japanese news media labeled him a bully.

May 28 08:21

Russia wants '100% proof' N.Korea sunk ship

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia will not support efforts to punish North Korea for sinking a South Korean warship until it is fully convinced Pyongyang was behind the incident, a foreign ministry spokesman said Thursday.

"We need to receive 100 percent proof of North Korea's role in the sinking of the corvette," the spokesman, Igor Lyakin-Frolov, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

"Our specialists are currently studying the materials of the investigation. We need to draw our own conclusions about what happened. Everything will depend on the situation and the body of evidence."

May 27 23:35

Beijing suspects false flag attack on South Korean corvette

WMR's intelligence sources in Asia suspect that the March attack on the South Korean Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, the Cheonan, was a false flag attack designed to appear as coming from North Korea.

One of the main purposes for increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula was to apply pressure on Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to reverse course on moving the U.S. Marine Corps base off Okinawa.

May 27 16:33

IMF calls for gradual rise in Japan sales tax

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Take from the people to give to the bankers. Take from the people to give to the bankers. Take from the people to give to the bankers. Take from the people to give to the bankers. Take from the people to give to the bankers. Take from the people to give to the bankers. "

May 24 22:48

Japan premier incites anger over U.S. base

Okinawans were outraged Sunday that Japan's prime minister reneged on his campaign pledge to move a U.S. military base off their island, a decision that upholds a long-standing agreement with Washington.

May 23 09:54

Hatoyama Accepts U.S. Base on Okinawa, Says He Has ‘No Choice’

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama decided to move a U.S. military base within Okinawa in adherence to a bilateral agreement, saying security threats from countries such as North Korea trump local sentiment to shift it elsewhere.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How LUCKY for the US that North Korea (nudge nudge wink wink) "attacked" a South Korean ship just when Japan wanted to kick the US out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 20 10:00

MSM: ‘Act of aggression’ sank Korean ship

North Korea has threatened “full-scale war” after an international report concluded a torpedo fired by one of the reclusive regime’s submarines sank a South Korean navy ship in March.

A multinational team of independent investigators concluded that North Korea was behind the sinking of the 1,200-tonne corvette Cheonan that killed 46 sailors.

The international team, including five Australian Defence Force personnel and experts from America, Britain and Sweden, analysed the shattered hull and parts of a torpedo found on the sea bed.

The investigators say fragments, lettering and propellers on the torpedo match North Korean-manufactured torpedos acquired by the South seven years ago.

May 20 02:06

Kyrgyzstan ethnic clashes kill two

The interim government of Kyrgyzstan has declared a state of emergency in the southern city of Jalalabad after two people died in clashes.

Shots were fired as police tried to stop ethnic Kyrgyz protesters from storming an Uzbek university.

May 19 06:58

Plenty of swine flu vaccines, not one volunteer to take them

On Day One of the swine flu vaccination drive for healthcare professionals, the BMC found the vaccine had no takers. Over 2,000 city-based professionals, who had worked in isolation wards and screening centres when the virus had first struck, had consented to taking the vaccine, but none turned up.

May 18 06:56

Massacre in Thailand and Obama’s Foreign Policy Stance

When the White House is quiet as protesters are butchered in the streets of Bangkok Thailand, suspicions are raised. Silence often equals complicity. One can only imagine what the U.S.’ response would be to a Venezuelan government slaughter: the U.S. media and Obama would loudly condemn such an act, in contrast to the muted response to Thailand’s blood bath.

Thailand was thus transformed into a U.S. client state and given money, guns, and U.S. government intelligence to battle Thailand’s “communists.” This relationship has equaled numerous Thai dictatorships that have a very bloody history, including the shooting of untold numbers of protesters that the Thai government named “communists,” or their modern equivalent, “terrorists.”

May 18 06:44

Bracing for the worst in Bangkok as troops gather

Further in, families lolled on plastic mats laid on the pavement damp with rain, seemingly unperturbed by the prospect of an imminent military onslaught. The deadline of a government ultimatum on protesters to leave had expired over an hour before, and a reported 30,000 troops were getting into position all around them.

Refusing to leave the protest site in Bangkok, scores of women with children have found shelter at the Wat Pathum Wanaram Buddhist temple, wedged between two ultramodern shopping malls. They idle on rattan mats amid sculptured hedges around saffron-robed monks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Making martyrs out of these protesters may well be the undoing of the current Thai government.

May 18 05:38

17,000 Form Human Chain At U.S. Base In Japan

— Thousands of Japanese linked hands and encircled a Marine Corps base in Okinawa on Sunday to protest its presence on the island, putting more pressure on Tokyo to resolve an impasse over the base's future.

About 17,000 residents surrounded the Futenma air base early in the afternoon, chanting slogans and completing a human chain twice for several minutes each time, city official Hitoshi Nakou said. The base covers about 1.9 square miles (4.92 sq. kilometers), and sits in the middle of Ginowan, a city of about 93,000.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unless this situation is resolved, Hatoyama and his party are going to lose their collective shirts in the next election.

May 17 14:06

Thai Protestors Using Improvised RPGs

May 16 08:53

Thailand Protests Worsen For Third Straight Day, Gov't Declares 'Live Fire Zone'

Thailand's leader defended the deadly army crackdown on protesters besieging the capital's heart, saying Saturday the country's very future was at stake. Protesters dragged away the bodies of three people from sidewalks – shot by army snipers, they claim – as soldiers blocked major roads and pinned up notices of a "Live Firing Zone."

"I insist that what we are doing is necessary," Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said in a defiant broadcast on national television, making it clear he would not compromise. "The government must move forward. We cannot retreat because we are doing things that will benefit the entire country."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, the wholesale slaughter of protesters is going to "...benefit the entire country.?!?

The Thai government, through its actions, just may have a real revolution on its hands.

The US is evacuating all of its diplomatic personnel out of Thailand immediately, which indicates that they know this situation is very much likely to worsen.

May 15 08:54

THAI TROOPS OPEN FIRE, DEATH TOLL SOARS...

May 14 11:06

Death toll rises as anti-government protests escalate in Thailand

At least eight people were killed and up to 121 injured during a day of violence between anti-government protesters and troops which drew months of stand-off in Bangkok closer to an endgame.

Dozens more were injured today, seven fatally, according to reports from hospitals, as troops used teargas and fired live and rubber bullets in an attempt to bring to an end two months of protests in which more than 30 people have died and more than 1,400 people have been injured.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Rather than coming to an "endgame", it is highly possible that the actions by the Thai government will simply exacerbate an already volatile situation.

May 14 09:21

Russia Ready To Assist To Resolve Tibet Issue

Addressing the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said if all the parties to the conflict made sincere efforts to separate purely "pastoral" contacts from politics, this could bring about a solution to the problem, and Moscow was ready to assist in this regard.

China, which has always claimed Tibet as its territory, condemns world leaders who meet with the Dalai Lama as it accuses the Tibetan monk of heading a separatist movement seeking independence for Tibet.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Lavrov can generally be counted upon for his quiet pragmatism; this offer of mediation is certainly a demonstration of that quality, which may possibly bring some calm to a very tense situation.

May 14 08:59

Thai Protests: Violence Erupts In Bangkok

Late Thursday, the army moved to seal off the Red Shirt encampment in an upscale commercial district of the capital. Some 10,000 protesters, women and children among them, have crammed into the area.

The Red Shirts see Abhisit's government as serving an elite insensitive to the plight of most Thais. The protesters include many supporters of former prime minister Thaksin whose allies won elections in 2007 after his ouster. Two subsequent pro-Thaksin governments were disbanded by court rulings before Abhisit was elected by Parliament.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Making martyrs out of its own citizens will prove very counterproductive for the Thai military and government, both domestically, and internationally.

May 13 09:58

Thai protester shot, killed during violent clashes with police

Earlier, the leader of the Red Shirt movement, Seh Daeng, was shot in the head while being interviewed, according to a journalist who witnessed the shooting. He was in critical condition.

May 06 13:44

Japanese PM's Reversal on US Base May Have Political Cost

Political analysts in Japan say Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's reversal on a key campaign pledge is likely to cost him in coming elections. Mr. Hatoyama told residents of Okinawa this week it will probably be impossible to completely move a U.S. marine base off the island.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aren't the Japanese supposed to slice themselves open when they fail to keep a promise??? :)

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