April 6, 2017
CRIME SCENE by A F Branco
WAR BETWEEN U.S. AND CHINA BREWING IN S. CHINA SEA?
China has “largely completed major construction of military infrastructure on artificial islands..."
James Holbrooks | Anti Media
Adding fuel to an already highly combustible situation in Southeast Asia, China has completed major construction of military infrastructure on artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, they can now deploy combat planes and other military hardware there at any time. Citing satellite imagery analyzed by the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative, part of Washington, D.C.’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, the news agency writes that “work on Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief Reefs in the Spratly Islands included naval, air, radar and defensive facilities." Sticking to the mainstream narrative that China is an aggressor in claiming sovereign rights to the majority of the South China Sea, Pentagon spokesman Commander Gary Ross says the new images confirm what the U.S. military already knows.
"China’s continued construction in the South China Sea is part of a growing body of evidence that they continue to take unilateral actions which are increasing tensions in the region and are counterproductive to the peaceful resolution of disputes,” he told Reuters. China, has repeatedly, downplayed this notion and stuck to the position that it’s simply erecting defensive infrastructure within its own borders, as would any nation. “As for China deploying or not deploying necessary territorial defensive facilities on its own territory, this is a matter that is within the scope of Chinese sovereignty", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press briefing Tuesday. Despite comments such as these — and the very real fact that China hasn’t actually invaded anyone — the corporate media jumped on the news of the new images.
Forbes, for instance, ran a piece that essentially listed all the reasons why China is a really bad actor in the region, and CNN talked to analysts who explained how the military buildup on the artificial islands will be gradual as China continues to exert its authoritarian influence over neighboring countries. But the reality of the situation in the South China Sea, all geopolitical analysis aside, is that there’s about to be a lot of military hardware in those waters.
U.S. forces are already in the region, taking part in joint drills with ally South Korea that will last until the end of April. Then, at the beginning of May, Japan, another U.S. ally, will sail its navy’s most powerful warship through the South China Sea on a three-month tour. Just as the joint drills with South Korea end, units from Delta Force, the Navy SEALS and Army Rangers are taking part in, Japan will shove off a warship aimed at waters claimed by China.
If that timing seems a little curious, also consider that the U.S. just deployed its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in South Korea, which both China and Russia cared none too much for. With China showing no signs of backing away from its stance in the South China Sea, the U.S. military appears to be on the long-dreaded collision course with China may not be far off on the horizon.
South Korea's Leader Arrested and Jailed to Await Trial
Ex-President charged with bribery, extortion and abuse of power.
NYT-March 30, 2017
Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s first female president and its first leader impeached and removed from office, was arrested on Friday on charges including bribery, extortion and abuse of power. Ms Park’s dramatic downfall capped months of turmoil and intrigue, as huge crowds took to the streets to protest a sprawling corruption scandal that shook the interlocking worlds of government and business, including the leadership of Samsung, the nation’s largest conglomerate.
Judge Kang Bu-young of the Seoul Central District Court issued a swift warrant for her arrest, warning that if Ms. Park was not quickly taken into custody the former president might “destroy evidence.”
POLICE: REPEATEDLY DEPORTED MS-13 GANG MEMBER SEXUALLY ASSAULTED 2-YEAR-OLD GIRL
Officer says crime is "probably the most heinous criminal act I've ever seen.
Frank Eltman | Associated Press
A member of the MS-13 street gang who had been deported from the U.S. four times stabbed two women and sexually assaulted a 2-year-old girl in a New York City suburb, police said Thursday.Tommy Vladim Alvarado-Ventura, 31, of Hempstead,on the south shore of Long Island pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail Thursday. His court-appointed attorney declined to comment. Alvarado-Ventura is suspected of assaulting the child between Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning while the girl’s mother was at work, acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said at a news conference. He said investigators are still working to determine exactly when the child was assaulted.
Krumpter said that in his 28 years in law enforcement, this crime is probably the most heinous criminal act I’ve ever seen. It really is nauseating.
SWEDISH FEMINISTS FLEE SUBURBS DUE TO ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS
Open-borders subversives escaping neighborhoods they destroyed
Chris Tomlinson | Breitbart
Feminists in Stockholm are leaving areas like the notorious migrant-heavy no-go zones of Husby and Tensta because they say religious fundamentalists now rule those suburbs. Nalin Pekgul is a feminist and former member of parliament for the left wing Swedish Social Democrats. For over 30 years, she lived in the Stockholm suburb of Tensta but says that she no longer feels safe there. She claims Muslim fundamentalists have taken over and she doesn’t feel she can visit the centre of Tensta without being harassed, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports. According to Ms. Pekgul, the situation for women in public life in the area has deteriorated over the past several years. She noted that there has been a rise in religious fundamentalism amongst the men in the area, many of whom come from migrant backgrounds. Pekgul attempted to combat the trend by organising coffee shop meetings but soon abandoned the idea.
“In Tensta I am a known face and I have no desire to stir up trouble when I get harassed,” Pekgul said explaining why she no longer goes into the centre of the suburb, “I always hope that it will blow over. One should never forget that the vast majority here are cursing the fundamentalists.” Zeliha Dagli, a former Left Party politician, did end up moving from the no-go suburb of Husby. Dagli described Husby as having self-appointed “morality police” who attempt to control women’s behaviour in the area. Aggression toward feminists, in particular, became an issue she said. “There were rumours that we wanted to take away women’s veils,” she said.“They said that I should keep myself, and then I did not feel so safe anymore.”
SHOCK VIDEO SHOWS MAID FALLING FROM WINDOW IN KUWAIT
Incident highlights mistreatment of immigration workers in Islamic countries
Paul Joseph Watson
Video footage filmed in Kuwait shows a maid hanging from a window before she falls onto a roof in what some are pointing to as an example of how foreign workers are mistreated in Islamic countries. “Hold me! Hold me!” the woman, who is reportedly Ethiopian, screams in Arabic. She then loses her grip and falls at least seven floors onto a lower roof. At no point does the individual filming the incident make any attempt to help her. [The video removed due to its graphic nature] Miraculously, the woman appeared survive the trauma to escape with a broken arm, and helped by emergency services.
The woman who filmed the incident was reportedly arrested. BBC reported that the maid climbed outside because she was suicidal and that the woman recorded the incident “because she did not want to be accused of the maid’s murder if she had died." However, the incident highlights the mistreatment of immigrant workers in Muslim countries. In many Islamic countries, particularly Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, maids are treated like slaves and forced to work in abhorrent conditions.
As Alya Mooro writes, sexual abuse and harassment of domestic workers is commonplace in rich Arab Gulf states because foreign maids are at the mercy of employers who exercise control over their visa terms. This often allows the employers to feel like they have complete control over the maid and will not be reprimanded for however they choose to treat them,” explains Balqesa Maalim, a program officer at the International Organization for Migration. Uncovered footage also showed veiled Muslim women being literally herded by a man with a stick in Saudi Arabia.
FORMER MUSLIM: ISLAMISTS EMBOLDENED BY PC CULTURE
'The Islamists want one thing and that is a Sharia compliant society'
Bending over backwards to appease followers of Islam only serves to embolden radical Islamists, a former Muslim said on the Tucker Carlson Tonight program following a terror attack in London on Wednesday. Ayaan Hirsi Ali says President Trump's travel order may have been clumsy but he is absolutely right.
Women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali explained Islamists aren’t concerned with whether a society accepts their culture or not. “I think that if you look at the Islamists they don’t go to the liberals and say, ‘Thank you so much for letting us, take over. We’ll stop terrorizing you.’ They don’t do it,” Ali stated. Mr Carlson clarified, “So what you’re saying is the Islamists don’t want sensitivity above all, that’s not their goal?”Ali, the founder of the AHA Foundation which defends critics of Islam, answered that the Islamists’ ultimate goal is to create a global “Sharia compliant” society no matter the cost. “The Islamists want one thing and that is a Sharia compliant society and eventually the world. That’s what their aim is.
It sounds crazy to you and me and everyone else, but that’s their objective.” Ali also described the infrastructure by which Islam takes over a culture, including indoctrination, intimidation and physical violence known as “jihad.” Whoever is in their way is their enemy, Ali said. It doesn’t matter how nice the liberals are, how accommodating and obliging they are, that’s the objective of the Islamists. And if you don’t understand that I don’t think you should be in the business of making legislation or in the business of authority leadership because you are just incapable of understanding that problem.
The former Dutch parliamentarian also claimed nations which welcome the culture aren’t perceived positively by Islamists; rather, the religion sees cultural integration as the work of God, and outright rejects the ideas of non-Muslims. They remind us that we don’t have that moral standing because the Islamist sees non-Muslims and non-Muslim ideas and even non-Islamist ideas as illegitimate, as against the idea of God. And I think we empower them because every time we appease and appease and appease, they see that as – you know they see God’s hand, their perception of God – they see God’s hand as making it easier for them to advance their agenda.”
In the interview, Ali also voiced her support for President Trump’s executive order which temporarily bans travel from six terror-prone nations. She describes her “someone who is not afraid to speak out when she feels it necessary.” The activist’s comments come in the wake of a London terror attack Wednesday outside of the British Parliament which left four dead at the hands of a radical Islamist.
Franklin Graham's Turn Toward Intolerance Or A Realistic View Of Sin
The famed evangelist, who made his reputation with humanitarian works, calls for a halt to “all immigration of Muslims to the U.S.”
One should expect that parents would lose their minds long before their children. But in the case of the famed evangelist Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, it may be the other way around,” wrote Jonathan Merrit on July 19, 2015. Referring to Franklin Graham’s post on his Facebook page back in 2015. Pastor Franklin Graham proclaimed that all Muslims should be barred from immigrating to America and treated like the Japanese and Germans during World War II. Muslims who come to America have the “potential to be radicalized” and participate in “killing to honor their religion and Muhammad,” he said in response to the murders of four Marines in Chattanooga, TN.
The liberal author Mr Merritt then insult the Pastor's behavior with this slur, "This is only the latest disturbing comment from Franklin Graham, a man whose rhetoric seems to be growing more extreme and whose behavior seems to be growing more erratic. The son of America's most prominent evangelist was once known as a leading humanitarian, but he has now traded that legacy for a pot of partisan porridge."
In 1979, Graham became president of Samaritan's Purse, a global humanitarian organization whose mission since 1970 was to meet emergency needs in crisis areas. Under Franklin's leadership, the organization swelled in size and began developing its own relief programs. It provided much needed medical care in the wake of military conflicts in places such as Somalia, Sudan, and Kosovo. It worked to repair infrastructure after the El Salvador earthquake. And it built large-scale feeding programs in places like Darfur. By the end of the 20th century, Franklin Graham had established a reputation independent of his famous father, Billy Graham. one that was centered on confronting the needs of people ravaged by war, disease, hunger, and famine. But that changed after the election of George W. Bush. President Bush credited Franklin's father with converting him to Christianity, and after he was elected, made Franklin one of his closest spiritual advisors. Samaritan's Purse received a government contract to provide aid following the war. The humanitarian leader began to grow more politically opinionated after 9/11, even calling for a crusade; against terrorism.
After the election of Barack Obama in 2008, Franklin adopted a more combative posture. He said some White House officials were "anti-Christ" Graham, for example, voiced support for Vladimir Putin's crackdown on the rights of LGBT people. There has been increased discrimination and violence against LGBT persons in Russia, including beatings, abductions, and public humiliation. "Putin is right on these issues," Graham said. He has taken a stand to protect his nation's children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.
In the wake of Eric Garner’s death at the hands of white police officers, he told “Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and everybody else” to “listen up” and stop resisting police officers. He claimed recent events could have been avoided if the victims had simply learned to “obey.” The comments came across as insensitive and paternalistic to many, including African American Christian leaders
Many of his comments evince a belief that dark spiritual forces and hatred are at the core of political liberalism in America. He says that secular businesses that wish people Happy Holidays are waging a war on Christ and His followers, rooted in a hatred of our culture for Jesus. He added that, the devil animates it all. He claims that the entertainment industry, especially in certain segments of the news media is persecuting Christians while stating that Fox News Channel is the greatest news in the world that God is using for divine purposes.
He has spoken out against the tax-heavy economic positions of Democrats, for example, while also advocating for new taxes against things he doesn’t like—like violent video games and films. When asked point blank if he believed that Barack Obama was a Christian as he professes to be, Graham said that "nobody knows" if anyone else is truly a Christian. Later, he said there was no question that Republican Rick Santorum was a bona fide believer. He removed his ministries' money from Wells Fargo after it launched a pro-gay advertising campaign and called on others to join him. But he announced the move on Facebook a site run by a corporation outspoken in defense of gay rights.
Two things seem to rankle Franklin like nothing else, Barack Obama and Muslims, two things he doesn't see as entirely different. He has claimed that the president's problem was that he was born a Muslim because his father was and the seed of Islam is passed through the father. These comments were made despite the widely reported fact that, Obama's father was already an atheist by the time of his birth. During the President's first term, Graham aligned himself with Donald Trump and other so-called "birthers"; who were calling on Obama to produce his birth certificateand prove that he was actually an American citizen.
MOSCOW, BEIJING TO BYPASS US DOLLAR IN GLOBAL MARKETS
BRICS countries have large economies with large reserves of gold, will this end of dollar hegemony?
The Russian central bank opened its first overseas office in Beijing on March 14, marking a step forward in forging a Beijing-Moscow alliance to bypass the US dollar in the global monetary system, and to phase-in a gold-backed standard of trade. According to the South China Morning Post the new office was part of agreements made between the two neighbours “to seek stronger economic ties” since the West brought in sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis and the oil-price slump hit the Russian economy.
According to Dmitry Skobelkin, the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia, the opening of a Beijing representative office by the Central Bank of Russia was a “very timely” move to aid specific cooperation, including bond issuance, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism measures between China and Russia. The new central bank office was opened at a time when Russia is preparing to issue its first federal loan bonds denominated in Chinese yuan. Officials from China’s central bank and financial regulatory commissions attended the ceremony at the Russian embassy in Beijing, which was set up in October 1959 in the heyday of Sino-Soviet relations. Financial regulators from the two countries agreed last May to issue home currency-denominated bonds in each other’s markets, a move that was widely viewed as intended to eventually test the global reserve status of the US dollar.
Speaking on future ties with Russia, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in mid-March that Sino-Russian trade ties were affected by falling oil prices, but he added that he saw great potential in cooperation. Vladimir Shapovalov, a senior official at the Russian central bank, said the two central banks were drafting a memorandum of understanding to solve technical issues around China’s gold imports from Russia, details to be released soon. Russia is the world’s 4th largest gold producer after China, Japan and the US. If Russia is to become a major supplier of gold to China, the probability of a scenario hinted by many over the years, namely that Beijing is preparing to eventually unroll a gold-backed currency, increases by orders of magnitude.
Meanwhile, as the Russian central bank was getting closer to China, China was responding in kind with the establishment of a clearing bank in Moscow for handling transactions in Chinese yuan. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) officially started operating as a Chinese renminbi clearing bank in Russia on Wednesday. Dmitry Skobelkin who is the deputy head of the Russian Central Bank, said. “The financial regulatory authorities of China and Russia have signed a series of major agreements, which marks a new level of financial cooperation.” He added. "The launching of renminbi clearing services in Russia will further expand local settlement business and promote financial cooperation between the two countries.” Irina Rogova, a Russian financial analyst told the Russian magazine Expert that the clearing center could become a large financial hub for countries in the Eurasian Economic Union. Bypassing the US dollar appears to be paying off: according to the Chinese State Administration of Taxation, trade turnover between China and Russia increased by 34% in January, in annual terms. Bilateral trade in January 2017 amounted to $6.55 billion. China’s exports to Russia grew 29.5% reaching $3.41 billion, while imports from Russia increased by 39.3%, to $3.14 billion. Just as many suspected, with Russian sanctions forcing Moscow to find other trading partners, primarily China, this is precisely what has happened.
The creation of the clearing center enables the two countries to further increase bilateral trade and investment while decreasing their dependence on the US dollar. It will create a pool of yuan liquidity in Russia that enables transactions for trade and financial operations to run smoothly. In expanding the use of national currencies for transactions, it could also potentially reduce the volatility of yuan and ruble exchange rates. The clearing center is one of a range of measures the People’s Bank of China and the Russian Central Bank have been looking at to deepen their co-operation.
One of the most significant measures under consideration is the previously reported push for joint organization of trade in gold. In recent years, China and Russia have been the world’s most active buyers of the precious metal. On a visit to China last year, the deputy head of the Russian Central Bank Sergey Shvetsov said that the two countries want to facilitate more transactions in gold between the two countries. We discussed the question of trade in gold.
BRICS countries are large economies with large reserves of gold and an impressive volume of production and consumption of this precious metal. In China, the gold trade is conducted in Shanghai, in Russia it is in Moscow. Our idea is to create a link between the two cities in order to increase trade between the two markets,” First Deputy Governor of the Russian Central Bank Sergey Shvetsov told Russia’s TASS news agency. In other words, China and Russia are shifting away from dollar-based trade, to commerce which will eventually be backstopped by gold, or what is gradually emerging as an Eastern gold standard, one shared between Russia and China, and which may one day backstop their respective currencies.
Meanwhile, the price of gold continues to reflect none of these potentially tectonic strategic shifts, just as China – which has been the biggest accumulator of gold in recent years – likes it.
Nuclear Power Plants On Alert Following Credible Cyber Threats: “Terrorists May Have Developed Ways Of Bypassing Safety Checks”
Concerns: That computer hackers were trying to bypass nuclear power station security measures
The global cyberwarfare scare washed ashore the British isles this weekend after UK nuclear power stations and airports were told to tighten defenses against terrorist attacks in the face of increased threats to electronic security systems, after intelligence agencies concluded terrorists could plant explosives in laptops and mobile phones that won’t be caught by normal security screenings.The Telegraph reported that British security services issued a series of alerts in the past 24 hours, warning that “terrorists may have developed ways of bypassing safety checks.” Behind the latest terror threat: intel agencies believe that ISIS and other terrorist groups have developed ways to plant explosives in laptops and mobile phones that can evade airport security screening methods. What is perhaps surprising, is that it is this latest intelligence which is said to be behind the recent bans, in both the US and UK, of travelers from a number of countries carrying laptops and large electronic devices on board. Furthermore, “there are concerns that terrorists will use the techniques to bypass screening devices at European and US airports.”
There are also concerns that computer hackers were trying to bypass nuclear power station security measures. Energy minister Jesse Norman told The Telegraph that nuclear plants must make sure that they “remain resilient to evolving cyber threats”. Mr Norman said: “The Government is fully committed to defending the UK against cyber threats, with a €1.9 billion investment designed to transform this country’s cyber security.” He said the civil nuclear strategy published in February sets out ways to ensure that the civil nuclear sector “can defend against, recover from, and remain resilient to evolving cyber threats”.
Meanwhile, back in the US, intelligence officials have warned that groups including ISIS and al-Qaeda may have developed ways to build bombs in laptops and other electronic devices that can fool airport security. There are concerns that terrorists made the breakthrough after obtaining airport screening equipment to allow them to experiment. FBI experts have tested how the explosives can be hidden inside laptop battery compartments in a way that allows a computer still to be turned on.
The US Department of Homeland Security said in a statement: “Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in electronics. “The US government continually reassesses existing intelligence and collects new intelligence. This allows us to constantly evaluate our aviation security processes and policies and make enhancements when they are deemed necessary to keep passengers safe.”
Manny Gomez, a former FBI special agent, cited by the Telegraph said: “We had the shoe bomber, cartridge attempt, now this is the next level. We need to be several steps ahead of them.” For now there have been no effected cyber-terrorist attacks, although few things can redirect public attention and send the world to scramble demanding the “safety of the government” quite like a terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant. We can only hope that despite the overt warnings, such an escalation will not take place.